Mindfulness Course : Week 1

I started an online course called “Mindfullness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance” at Monash University on FutureLearn. (Name of the course is a mouthful, hence I decided to shorten the name as referenced in this post) These are my notes from Week 1 Mindfulness means being engaged and present in the moment. We are usually mindful during the activities that we enjoy. When we are not happy is when our mind wanders off (to worry, thinking about the past or the future) and so that is when we need to be mindful.

Ulysses Pact

While listening to the Changelog Episode 221, where they interview Dr. Cory Doctorow. In the Interview, Doctorow mentioned Ulysses Pact. In the Greek mythology, it is said that whenever ship passes near the Siren's island, the men would hear Siren's Song. upon which they would lose their rational thought and jump the ship to swim towards the Siren's island. (Sirens would kill the men) Ulysses wanted to hear the Siren's Song, but he also knew the risks.

Prevent *scratch* buffer from getting killed

I started using persistent *scratch* buffer few months ago. You can read about it here It worked well for some time, and then at least couple of times, I noticed that when I restart emacs (does not happen very often) my *scratch* buffer is empty. So I started doing M-x persistent-scratch-save every time I was done writing to *scratch*, even though persistent-scratch-autosave-mode was ON Just recently I realized that I had “lost” my *scratch* buffer while still within my emacs session (It did not show up in the buffer list) So then I realized why I might be losing the contents.

xonsh : python-ish BASHward looking shell

Getting started Easiest way to get started on Mac is : brew install xonsh This installed older version than one released. It was good to try xonsh for the first time. But the documentation was newer than the software (imagine that) So I removed it. But in the process it installed python 3.5.1 (as a dependency) I still have python 3.4.2 from earlier brew installation, but now it was “orphan”

QOD : Deliberate Practice

I am a regular “listener” (?) of Freakonomics and “James Altucher Show” podcasts among others. So when Steve Dubner and James Altucher started a podcast together there was no reason to not subscribe. Needless to say, their new show “QOD : Question of the Day” is both entertaining and full of information. This post is related to their episode no. 118 about deliberate practice. You can listen to the episode here.

Habit Loop

I'm reading a book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg So far I am fascinated by the information. Writing style is quite engaging. In first few chapters he talks about “Habit loop” Cue -> Routine -> Reward …. and suddenly I started seeing “habits” everywhere Two habits I want to mention here are of my children A younger one, just about an year old, throws tantrums when we are changing his nappy or putting on a diaper.

Rubber Duck Problem Solving

Background In case you are not familiar with Rubber Duck approach to solving a problem, it goes something like this : Sometimes, if one spends enough time analyzing the problem, one can find the solution on their own. But most of the times, we don't. We get stuck and “ask” someone. Off course, that “someone” is not as familiar with the problem as you are. So in order to help you, they ask you questions (so they can understand the problem first, before they can help you) But it is often seen that when answering “them”, you come up with the solution your self.