Upgraded Focus
Sep18

Upgraded Focus

Hi guys! So yesterday Kasper wrote a post on Pomodoro technique which is something I really like and I haven’t thought about in a long time, reading that got me really productive again despite the release of GTA 5… ok so I still played a lot of GTA 5 but I was productive too. It also got me to thinking, even though I have my own routines and techniques, a lot of them focus on technology… so where Kasper is bringing you great content on how he manages to be such an effective teacher, long distance runner and musician… I figured I’d get to Geeking out and focus on technology for now! In Brief: Biofeedback is a technique where we use technology to teach ourselves about the way the body works in ways we don’t usually understand.  From that understanding we can learn to make ourselves better in many different ways. The Upgraded focus Brain Trainer uses HEG feedback to improve our decision making, planning and focus abilities (as well as some other added benefits.) I love this thing. I’m going to write up some demo routines and things I think are useful to incorporate into a schedule soon, as well as an introduction to biofeedback for anyone that’s new to it – I always think people will know about this stuff, but it seems a lot of people are just hearing about it. For a simple definition let’s go to wikipedia: “Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will.  Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception. Biofeedback may be used to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes which often occur in conjunction with changes to thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Eventually, these changes may be maintained without the use of extra equipment, even though no equipment is necessarily required to practice biofeedback.” Simply put: Biofeedback is using gadgets, tools and technology to give you an understanding of what your body does and then learning to affect that in one way or another.  A heart rate monitor is a biofeedback device for instance, it tells you how fast your heart is beating after all.  In recent times more gadgets have been released and are becoming popular, meaning that in addition to basic things, we can understand a vast array of different variables.  The rhythm of your heartbeats can be measured and understood using a heart rate variability device like the EmWave2, which helps you understand your stress levels and through...

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Neuroptimal Personal Trainer Review Part 1
Aug31

Neuroptimal Personal Trainer Review Part 1

A new quest begins. What is it? ‘The NeurOptimal® Personal Trainer Bundle is a highly recommended, neurofeedback training package that helps people reach peak performance, happiness and well being. NeurOptimal Neurofeedback users enjoy the benefits of reduced stress, improved sleep and relief from conditions that used to hold them back from becoming all they were meant to be.’ In Brief: NeurOptimal is a premium biofeedback device; despite being expensive, it is potentially far more cost effective than some other biofeedback tools. It is produced by Zengar It will be featured periodically as part of our ongoing series of biohacking and biofeedback reviews. It is a recent addition to Note’s (Joshua) biofeedback tools and so far he likes it. We would love to hear from other people who’ve tried Neuroptimal. Full disclosure, I am a little obsessed with biofeedback and I’ve had some really huge positive changes from using it.  One of the things I consider essential in any biofeedback toolkit is the Heartmath EmWave2 – I’ll get into that on another post, but that is one little, fairly inexpensive piece of kit that helped me get myself together in 2012 and end up in San Francisco making new friends and kicking butt in a way I hadn’t done for years.  Over 2011-12 though that had happened at brief points with the help of biofeedback.  So again, heartmath is a definite in my book but today we are admittedly talking about something that would fall under the ‘premium’ label when it comes to biofeedback, and yet compared to other options, it works out to fairly cheap.   More on that later. Shipping a neuroptimal device comes with some complications, not least that to get it to England (through Australia and Canada) you’re going to hit some seriously hefty import duty and taxes, that caught me completely by surprise (probably my bad, I likely missed the warning!) and was really not a nice experience.    Luckily, the delivery was a device designed to make me feel better, so all in all it wrapped itself up pretty nicely. I’m going to update this as I go along and most these updates will be retroactive, I got this a few weeks ago and we have had much to do that I didn’t get the chance to start writing this stuff up. Where shall I begin? ‘Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’ Well, fair enough then. The experience of Neuroptimal is fairly unique as far as my own personal journey so far.  You have 5 electrodes attached to your ears and head (3 ears, 2...

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Review: Dave Asprey being creative…LIVE!
Aug30

Review: Dave Asprey being creative…LIVE!

Hi folks, I have to write a brief apology to kick this off… I did think about posting this the other day but I didn’t get around to it and if due to that you’ve missed a couple of awesome days of Bulletproof principles LIVE! Then really it’s my bad.  I am sincerely sorry! I was so busy watching myself and working away in the breaks that I briefly put it out of mind.  Since we only have readers in the tens so far I hope no-one holds a grudge, and it is technically our first week! To put it simply, one of our favourite people, Dave Asprey of The Bulletproof Executive and Upgradedself is doing a three day workshop on creativelive, and while it is on… it’s FREE! I bought an all access creativelive pass for $99 which is the going rate if you purchase the course now and until it finishes its live run tomorrow afternoon… after that it’s $149… so no pressure, but I wanted to give you guys early (even if I’m late!) news about this.  I really just discovered CreativeLive through this and I’ve already put my name down for and bookmarked some upcoming courses. You can see the course free today right here (Friday 30th August) from 9am PST, or 5 o’clock GMT http://www.creativelive.com/courses/bulletproof-life-dave-asprey If you purchase it you also get materials that pre-empt the release of The Bulletproof Executive book that we’ve been waiting for.  They’re really great and informative.  I’ve always been a big evangelist for Bulletproof products after they had a significant affect on my life and I loved The Better Baby Book even though I don’t plan on procreation anytime soon (I’m very committed to my practice sessions though) and I’ve since gotten a lot of people into one or more aspects of the Bulletproof Lifestyle.  Dave is a really interesting guy who I respect sincerely and who’s really kicked butt in so many areas that he is the rare example of someone genuinely embodying the principles he preaches.  He was the first guy to ever sell something on the internet, is the Vice-President of a cloud computing security company and runs one of my all time favourite blogs.  Not to mention the Stickmen have Bulletproof brand supplements in their kitchens and even took a recent excursion in Amsterdam powered by Bulletproof Coffee we’ll no doubt be writing about very soon! In any case, friends, PLEASE see this whist it’s live and free, even if you’re only getting that last day, that’s still HOURS of content for nothing.  Which is a pretty awesome price… but I do recommend picking it up for...

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Review: The First 20 Hours
Aug20

Review: The First 20 Hours

A few years ago, Josh Kaufman wrote The Personal MBA… I loved it.  It’s like having a stack of business books condensed and covering most of the things you’d want to know if you happened to be searching the ‘self-help’ or ‘start a business’ books section.  It is by no means the only book you need, in fact, here’s a link to Josh’s list of the 99 (and growing) best business books to read . His new book, The First 20 Hours, is a very different project, it has more of Josh’s personal touch to it and is more about having fun (at least, in our eyes) than it is about business.  Why? It’s about learning. Josh’s book is written as a polite and easily digestible treatise on why you should learn something new.  It’s also a slight rebuttal to the interpretations of 10,000 hour rule popularized in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.  The idea being that maybe you do have to put an average of 10,000 hours in to your craft to be a world champion or a master craftsman, but you don’t have to be a world champion to play tennis effectively, or a master craftsman to make your own pottery.  A close listen to his talk or a read through of the first chapters (the most important are the first 3, arguably) should lead readers to understand that it’s not a definitive ‘do this for 20 hours and you’ve ‘learned’ that skill’ but a ‘do this for 20 hours and try to be smart and organized about it and you’ll almost always be surprised at how much you can learn in that time.’ The first three chapters detail everything you need to know about the way Josh recommends you start thinking about learning new things, the following chapters are personal stories about him learning new skills.  Truthfully, I read the first three chapters and couldn’t stop myself rushing off to brush up on my piano skills. The remaining chapters I read for fun on a sunbed and then bought the audiobook because I enjoyed reading it enough that I wanted to listen back for inspiration as I was beginning a new skill. There is no hard theory here, the book is Josh’s observations of learning and experience culled to make a great set of guidelines, rules, tips and encouragement.  Just as there is no book that will provide you with a chart of how to practice for 10,000 hours, all that can be offered is the encouragement to begin.  The chapters about him learning are enjoyable and surprisingly full of information on skills like Yoga, Ukulele playing, Programming and Touch...

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