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Most People Think This Is A Smart Habit, But It's Actually Brain-Damaging

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Most People Think This Is A Smart Habit, But It's Actually Brain-Damaging
This is the mental equivalent of eating McDonald’s every day.

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Bad learning = brain damage

A knock on the head isn’t the only way to “impair” our brains. Brain damage can be caused by anything that physically changes our brains in a way that makes us less intelligent or functional...

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Our 🧠 physically changes when we learn

Researchers found that certain parts of the brain of London taxi drivers who completed the training process were significantly larger than aspiring drivers who dropped out of the training program.&...

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Assuming that all learning is inherently good

Just like eating McDonald’s doesn’t make us healthier, “junk” or “fake” learning doesn’t make us smarter. In fact, this kind of learning actually makes us dumber.

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How Learning Works

Learning is a circular process: 
  1. Taking in information, 
  2. Reasoning with that information
  3. Experimenting in the real world, 
  4. Get...

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Junk learning is like a disease

Each new thing we learn is like adding a new brick to a building and then cementing it to other bricks to create a knowledge structure.  

When we’re collecting bad ideas, we ...

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Alvin Toffler
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” 

Alvin Toffler

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When it comes to knowledge, think like an investor

Most information out there will be outdated in months, and it will be a bad strategy to base your knowledge on easily perishable blocks. 

The strategy here is to consume information that...

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Dunning - Kruger Effect

In learning any new domain, our confidence is actually highest when we start. Dunning and Kruger found that when we don’t know what we don’t know, we overestimate our abilities. 

As phil...

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Confirmation Bias is not Learning

When we only hear opinions that confirm our beliefs, our learning is incremental at best. Like our social media bubble: We read the same sites, listen to the same friends (who agree with us!), and ...

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Assimilate or Accommodate

When we are exposed to new information, we adapt to it in one of two ways:  

  1. Assimilation — We use our existing base of knowledge to understand a new object or situatio...

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The Halo Effect

It's a cognitive bias that makes us trust a person’s advice in one area of life simply because they are an expert in another area.

It’s like buying a Lincoln car because Matthew McConaughe...

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Over-specialization can limit us

Being too specialized can hurt future learning if done alone. Supplement by spending more of your time learning fundamental knowledge that doesn’t change. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Love at first sight is based on imagination

Love at first sight is based on imagination

Most people understand love at first sight to be falling in love with a stranger when they see them for the first time. But love at first sight is based on stereotypes, imagination, and ass...

What makes a stranger stand out to you

If you have experienced love at first sight, think what made the stranger stand out to you.

  • Did the person resemble someone you had a relationship with before?
  • Did the person cause you to feel nostalgic about an old friend? If so, that "love" may have been only a subconscious connection, where your brain remembered a positive impact of a previous relationship.

Our subconscious mind connects facial features with characteristics

Knowing this, you may understand why some are certain about the possibility of love at first sight.

But it doesn't make the potential resulting breakup easier. It leaves us feeling like we lost something destiny had intended.

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Mental Models: Out of Box Thinking

Mental models are the various thinking frameworks that are used to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.

Just raw intelligence is not enough to solve problems. A different or a...

Mental Models: Examples

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. They are beliefs, worldviews or frameworks of thinking. You carry a certain kind of thinking in you to arrive at a solution to a problem.

Some examples:

  • Demand and Supply: to understand the economy
  • Game Theory: to understand trust and relationships
  • Entropy: to understand disorder and decay

Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari

“Scientists generally agree that no theory is 100 percent correct. Thus, the real test of knowledge is not truth, but utility.”

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Healthy skepticism

Healthy skepticism
Healthy skepticism does not mean you’re dismissing everything as false — it simply means remembering the things you hear or read in the media could be false, but they could also be true. O...

Find out who is making the claim

When you encounter a new claim, look for conflicts of interest. Ask: Do they stand to profit from what they say? Are they affiliated with an organization that could be swaying them? Other questions to consider: What makes the writer or speaker qualified to comment on the topic? What statements have they made in the past?

The halo effect

Is a cognitive bias that makes our feeling towards someone affect how we judge their claims. If we dislike someone, we are a lot more likely to disagree with them; if we like them, we are biased to agree.

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Describing mental fatigue

Describing mental fatigue

It is the feeling that your brain just won't function properly. People will describe it as brain fog. You can't concentrate, and simple tasks take too long. You find th...

Causes of mental fatigue

Contributing factors to mental fatigue are poor nutrition, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, or cognitive overload. Cognitive overload can take the following forms:

  • When you focus on a single task for an extended period of time.
  • When you spread your attention across too many things.
  • Worrying about tasks. It is as mentally taxing as doing the task.

Give your brain high-quality fuel

Your brain is fuelled with the same food as your muscles. What you eat has an enormous impact on your cognitive functioning.

  • Cut down on refined sugars as it decreases alertness. Aim for sustained energy levels throughout the day.
  • Plan your meals in advance. If you wait until you're hungry, you're already low on energy and willpower and will reach for a quick energy boost in the form of sugar.
  • Don't skip breakfast. Without it, you may likely crash in the middle of the morning. Eat more eggs, yogurt, and oatmeal to sustain your energy levels until lunch.
  • Snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon to give your body consistent fuel.
  • Stay hydrated with water. Mild hydration can negatively impact cognitive performance.
  • Listen to your body to figure out what makes you feel best. The same nutrition advice won't work for everyone.

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This Day Is Your Entire Life

This Day Is Your Entire Life

What we are doing today, how we master the present day and how good we are in living each day, is the key to master your weeks, months, years and your entire life.

We start our days acc...

Today Is The Future

Most people keep planning, visualizing and imagining their future life as if they are watching some other person live it. That person is you. If you intentionally live each day, perfecting and maximising your vision of the future, instead of killing time or just living a bread and butter, day-to-day existence, you steer your life towards the direction you want.

We need to act like the person we wish to become, as we are what we do all day.

What Your Brain Needs To Thrive

  • Nutrition: We are what we eat, and having a good nutritious diet, full of green vegetables, nuts and seeds goes a long way. Avoid processed foods at any cost.
  • Oxygen: or fresh air is a primary need of the brain. Any daily exercise routine is best for brain health.
  • Information: The brain needs information to process, preferably high quality and diverse. Active learning, along with continuous mental challenges that get the cylinders firing is the way to nourish the brain and form connections. True learning reframes our entire mental model and helps the brain evolve.
  • Love: What keeps us happy and healthy is good, loving relationships, and the care and touch of loved ones.

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The reasons we crave junk food

  1. The sensation of eating the food: what it tastes like, what it smells like and how it feels in your mouth.
  2. The blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates t...

How craving are stimulated artificially

  • Salivary response: the more a food causes you to salivate, the more it will cover your taste buds.
  • Rapid food meltdown: this tells your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories.
  • Calorie density. junk foods are designed to convince your brain that it is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up.
  • Memories of past eating experiences: When you eat something tasty, your brain registers that feeling and will bring it up in the future.

Building better habits means changing your environment

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.

Nowhere is this more true than with food.

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Turn Small Decisions Into Routines

Decision-making works like a muscle: as you use it over the course of the day, it gets too exhausted to function effectively.

One way to avoid this is to eliminate smaller decisions by t...

Make Big Decisions In The Morning

Save small decisions for after work (when decision fatigue kicks in) and to tackle complex decisions in the morning, when your mind is fresh

A similar strategy is to do some of the smaller things the night before to get a head start on the next day.

Pay Attention To Your Emotions

...and you'll able to look at decisions as objectively and rationally as possible.

Strong decision-makers know that a bad mood can make them lash out or stray from their moral compass just as easily as a good mood can make them overconfident and impulsive.

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Believing That Being Wrong Is a Failure

The best way to know what works and what doesn’t, is to fail a few times.

Smart people don’t fear being wrong because they know that being wrong is ultimately an instrument that pushes...

Thinking That Everything Is About You

Many of us obsess over “rejections” and ruminate on what we could have done differently. It’s more productive to realize that every disappointment or poor interaction is not actually about us. 

Successful people realize that every little thing – bad or good – is not a reflection of them or their self-worth.

Being E-Ready Every Minute of the Day

Smart people know that having a fulfilling life means having a life outside of work. And they make time for it. Obsessively checking work email at the dinner table is a good recipe for disaster. 

Set some time where your phone is off, and your attention is on the people right in front of you.

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Confirmation bias

People don't like to rethink their beliefs once they are formed. 

We would rather ignore information that would challenge our ideas than engage with threatening new information. This is ...

Availability heuristic

Our brain likes to take shortcuts to solve a problem when normal methods are too slow to find a solution. 

The problem with this approach is that frightening events are easier to recall than every-day events. We should be aware that alarmist news broadcasts don't help in an accurate sense of events.

Anchoring

We have a tendency to stubbornly hold on to a number once we hear it and gauge all other numbers based on the initial number, even if the information is not that relevant.

For example, if customers are limited to 'four per customer' they are more likely to buy four, even if they did not initially intend to do so.

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