#333 - Just Press 3 for a While

5 minute read

Motto: Don't say cheese, just smile. Life is Good. 

This is the kind of stuff I think about.

What is "smart"? What makes somebody smart? Is it just... knowing a lot of things? Is somebody smart just because they do really well in bar trivia? Are you smart because you've read so many books? Is she smart because she's so well-traveled? Is he smart because he's experienced a lot of things?

I don't think "smart" is definable in a global scope. It's sort of like "healthy". It doesn't mean anything, really. Healthy is what you define it to be. If you die of a heart attack at 35, but that was your plan all along - does that make you "unhealthy"? Planning to die at 35 certainly makes you not smart... so what does? Maybe "smartness" is something you just know when you see it, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. 

I'm not "smart" because I pulled that sweet Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart reference. I had to Google 'who said that thing about "I know it when I see it"'... but just because I had to Google it - does that take away that I said it? Is smartness just having the ability to produce results?

A smart person would probably know.
A smarter person would probably say "don't think about it".

Along a similar vein - have you ever considered the difference between actually learning something vs just "learning the sequence of words that explains the thing"? I think my college education was very much centered around "learning a sequence of maths that does a thing" and NOT about the real-world applications that would invoke those maths.

I can read about how to accomplish X or Y in Java on Android - but until I apply X or Y to solve a real-world problem, it's somewhat meaningless. Breaking code into functions seemed like a completely meaningless set of steps to take when I could just write that same code directly into the main body of whatever. Today the concept of not containerizing code just seems... brutish and messy.

And now for something completely different.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best videogames I've ever played. I watched my brother-in-law play some of it over the weekend and I was reminded just how delightful the experience was.

And now for something else completely different.

I want to expand upon something I wrote about almost two years ago...

I feel like many of the major problems people have in their lives that they've struggled to control have well-known, simple, yet extremely unsexy solutions.

Weight management, financial management, how to wake up feeling rested, how to stay on top of tasks - these are solved problems. Not implementing the tried-and-true solutions to problems you're having is a matter of lack of discipline. I think that part of the problem is the Hedonic Treadmill and a tendency for each of us to return to the status quo in a more general sense. You do a thing. It makes you happy for a while, until it doesn't. Then you stop doing the thing even though you know it's good for you. 

I think that it's hard to change behaviors and attitudes without changing environments. Once you've established a pattern of behavior in a given place, that's just sort of how you are there. I go to my parents house and I'm instantly high school Aaron again.

I'd like to sit down high school Aaron and show him the Top 10 from below... although I don't think it would have much effect.  I'm not saying that I have these problems solved, I saying I can describe how one would solve them. 

That's the difference between learning the sequence of English words that explain a thing versus actually learning the thing.

Alright that's all I had, I've gotta go have a good evening.

Top 10: Simple Solutions to Life's Big Problems
10. If you're having trouble with money, make a budget. There's a billion tools and techniques. They all achieve the same thing. Follow the budget. For more money stuff, see this notecard.
9. Talk to people around you. Talk about your problems. Talk about their problems. Talk about the weather. If you're unhappy, talk to a therapist.
8. Regardless of your religion, at least 6 or 7 of Christianity's 10 Commandments are no-brainers. Do those things. I'm sure there's some super obvious stuff included in other religions that I'm not aware of
7. If you have tasks, write them down someplace you'll see them. If you have an appointment, put it in a calendar. If your tasks need to be done by a certain time, put them in that calendar, too. If you don't have a calendar, your phone is a more than capable of covering this.
6. Have a place for everything, and put everything in its place.
5. If you're drinking something that's not water, have a reason. Drink water almost exclusively.
4. Don't smoke. If you're a smoker and you want to stop. Don't buy cigarettes. I contend that if you're addicted to thing, having the thing is going to prevent you from getting over that addiction. If you're a smoker, why? Seriously why? That's maybe a different topic, but how could you possibly have gotten yourself into that situation? How D.A.R.E. you.
3. Lift weights, do cardio, and stretch. There's a million exercise routines, but the basics cover basically everything. If you are going to become a bodybuilder, physique model, or high-level athlete then you'll know what else you need to do. If you're not those things, then you don't need to do much else.
2. Sleep consistent hours. Don't hit snooze. Avoid screens for an hour before bed, and definitely while in bed.
Delete Facebook. Hit the gym. Lawyer up.

"What? What is that thing? Is Pepsi sponsoring the Olympics?"
- Eli, when the middle of the Korean flag showed up -

"New team mascot: Paul Walker, RIP"
- Cory, whose brand of humor I appreciate more each day -