Monday, April 7, 2014

Jamie Hyneman: Ex-Homeless Man, Presently Great Man

I always find it deeply soothing to find that a man I greatly respect has gone through the same hardships as I have, and that he came out of them with spectacular success. It says to me that my problems are not undefeatable, and that success beyond my wildest dreams is possible, still, regardless of how dark things seem.

Jamie Hyneman is such a man I respect. Aside from being a host of the very popular show Mythbusters, he owns his own special-effects company and has a long resume of the creations he made for various companies, is a multi-millionaire, and has a rather polymathic resume. He's also one of the key men that makes me contemplate practical autodidactism.

Given that, it surprised me to learn that he ran away from home and lived out his youth in homelessness. Interesting parallel, for not only am I myself presently homeless, I also "ran away from home," given that I told almost none of my family that I was moving out of state (and remain out of communication with most of them).

At times my hardships make me pessimistic about my ability to rise out of them, but if a great man like Mr. Hyneman has already accomplished such a feat, it's earthly and human proof that it is possible.

If you think life is tough, keep your mind on your heroes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

An Attempted Return, With New Thoughts and Dreams

It's been a very long time, hasn't it? Though I've always been an inconsistent author, I apologize regardless, for the turbulence of life has kept me away. . . though I really want to get back to writing here. I've long missed the feeling of feeding my thoughts into the keyboard, though I am now rusty and probably have to write some bad articles to prime the system again.

To get reacquainted I'll detail what's been going on in my life, starting off at our departure point of discussing the Year of Hydra, then relay my writing plans, and, most significantly, tell how I've changed as a person, for a lot has been going on behind the scenes.

For the most part, I confess that the Year of Hydra has been very, very shaky, and I'm not doing as sincere a job as I should in my self-improvement goals. Ever since I've started my voluntary homeless experiment life has been an intense emotional struggle. The scars from last year still haven't quite healed, and of my own fault.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hydra Heads and Habits

I suppose that in my excitement to write about new year's I overlooked explaining exactly how the mythological beast, the Hydra dragon, will actually apply concretely to my thinking.

Well, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I'm rather fascinated by this book called Antifragile, which argues that it's better to be antifragile than to be resilient or robust. To contrast them, the author uses the analogy of the mythological Phoenix bird against the Hydra serpent. When the Phoenix bird dies it is reborn from its ashes, but it's no better or worse off; it's the same. When the Hydra monster gets a head cut off it grows two in response; injury makes it stronger.

I'm enthused to think that it's actually possible to set oneself up to be like the Hydra monster psychologically, in a way, so that obstacles at all times are just things to adapt to and grow from, not things that leave you the same or worse off.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So Passes 2013; Here's 2014, the Year of Hydra

Forgive me in failing to get a timely post out on new year's before the midnight hour, but other interference, well, interfered. Productivity was demanded elsewhere.

Anyhow, how about the occasional personal note plus a view on new year's resolutions?

Well, 2013, I have to admit, was the toughest year of my adult life. I intended it to be the Year of Prime-Moving to signal my really moving forward with putting skills to good (and financial) use, but it turned out to be the Year of Charlie Brown instead!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Non-Snake Oil Way to Regrow Hair?

Larry of the Three StoogesThis article will be the odd man out. It may be unusual for me to talk about a physical self-improvement matter since I spend so much time focusing on cognition and emotions, but this is a self-improvement blog, so all things relevant are on the table.

Anyhow, for a few years now I've been dismayed at how much I've thinned on the top. Even though I never have hair cutters take any off the peak, it usually never grows longer, except for my bangs hanging across my face. When my hair is patted down it shows the scalp's skin to an embarrassing degree, and since my sides grow so thick I end up looking like Larry Fine (from the Three Stooges, image above) at my thickest.

But ah! Man with Male Pattern Baldness are doomed to have it by genetic default, aren't they? Well, perhaps not.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Conduct a Memory Dig to Unearth Knowledge

Photo by Leo HarderRecently I read this very interesting article on memory that intrigued me with its assertion that memory improves by attempting to memorize *harder* things, that which is hard to come to mind. I'm surprised I didn't think about that myself.

As previously mentioned, I'm very fond of the Tell Me Everything You Know technique, which is essentially a mnemonic technique wherein you recall the learnings of the day. The thing the articles points out that I missed is that by writing in the items that easily leap to mind means that I'm not really making *additional* progress in learning. That is, I'm not challenging my memory sufficiently to actually get better; sticking to recalling easy things means you've already mastered them.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Are You Goku or Vegeta?

Found on Wikipedia, created by Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.Strange what cross-identifications the mind can make when contemplating something during a particular mood.

While irritated with something, I got to thinking about a show I really enjoyed called *Dragon Ball Z*. Concisely, it's about people using martial arts to save the world, with unique metaphysics involving flying, shooting disembodied (or pure) energy, and so on. My irritation at the time happen to be about my abilities and my visibility to others, and suddenly it struck me that two characters have differing mentalities related to this issue.

Two important characters in the show are Goku and Vegeta, the former the main character. Throughout the series they're primarily rivals to each other, the leftover survivors of an alien race who compete -- in a way -- to see who can come out on top. Goku, from the start, always stays on top, and perhaps its this pair's particular approach to self-improvement -- their particular mindset -- that determines definitely whether or not they actually succeed.