Tag Archives: Performance

Mega 90’s at Metro City (Dr. Alban, Technotronic, The Real McCoy & 2 Unlimited) 17 March 2017

First of all the important bit. I finally got to meet one of my first heroes, my favourite producers and musical obsession DR. ALBAN! Has to be one of my most memorable days.

Now for the full story. My bro had gone to a previous Mega 90s event with other 90s starts like Haddaway, Corona, Blackbox etc. I just thought they were tribute acts so wasn’t too interested. Then find out it’s the real artists themselves! Oh well too late for that one and anyway it wasn’t Dr. Alban.

This time round it was and even though Prasheel insisted they weren’t tribute acts it took me a while to register. At first I was just going to book normal tickets until I saw the VIP option where you get to meet the star, 2 items autographed and photo op. OH YEAH! Back in the day I even mailed his studio to tell them I’ll leave everything even to clean their toilets if I get to be around the MD (Microphone Dentist).

Tickets booked an all but Oztix were pretty disorganised. Later on sending me an email saying that they’ll start at 8pm and on the day… LAST MINUTE sending an email staying the meet and greet will be at 6:00pm so be there by 5:30pm after artist finish their sound check. Had to drop everything I was doing to catch the busses and trains. Now where I live is pretty far and closer to farmland so had to wait a while for a bus. Usually the busses are small but since it was when kids finish school it was a bendy bus and packed full of school kids bringing the noise. My nose and throat weren’t doing too well since the day before so all the kids cooties made it worse. Oh well I can’t afford to get sick until after tonight!

I was still feeling bummed and Prasheel had opted for the VIP meet and greet to but he was going to be in meetings and all. Just before I got to Metro I blocked a van that turned into the back parking. Had a feeling it was the artists and IT WAS! Feeling like a groupie. I wanted to run in the back as I saw him come out! Anyway went to the front and looks like I was second there. Derrick in a wheelchair was there first to do a meet and greet with The Real McCoy. Now thats dedication. We chit and chat. More people come. Find out there are only 4 people up to see Dr. Alban which included 2 Russian dudes who just got to Perth that day. Reeking of vodka.

Gates open. I had planned everything I was going to tell Dr. Alban and instead of just pictures I’ll set the video on so it records a video and also whoever takes pics can capture that too. The non-english speaking Russian did a great job. Dr. Alban kept asking me which of his songs are popular in Perth but I was so gone I just saying the same thing. You can see his frustrated smile in the video. I was fanboying so badly! I even had to be reminded to get my 2 autographs so got my Straight Outta Kenya shirt signed. After the video was taken I just started jumping all over the place lol. Dude is still so built for a 59 year old.

Russian guys want to drink but it’s St. Patricks day so both the Irish pubs in Northbridge had queues. Take them to NBC for their drinks while I walk down to Utopia to catch up with the boys. I was still super early so go back to chill with the Russians and talk Ace of Base, Acapella, La Bouche etc. Back to Utopia with Vikas, Hems and Dilan (who by the way gave us the first Dr. Alban album… how perfect is this!?) Eat, drink, good company and chat. I’m still drying my underwear from the excitement.

Walk down to Metro. Meet Prasheel (we both used to chill and listen to these artists). The organiser told me he can get Prasheel to meet Dr. Alban before he performs so there was still hope. Prasheel gives me a tour or the stair maze that is Metro city. Chill and so glad Prasheel got his meet and greet. He requested Dr. Alban to play Let The Beat Go On.

Locals DJ Nick Skitz & MC James Spy get the party started. Did some awesome remixes of the 90s songs. Hard bass and live saxophone. NICE!

Dr. Alban is on first. He didn’t look too pleased with the sound and was pointing at the speaker a couple of times but otherwise best performance of the night and not only because it was Dr. Alban. Technotronic was next and as much as I want to support them for what they’re doing it felt like they were dragging that one main song for too long and then the other few bits not many people knew. The Real McCoy and MC Sar were next and MC still has that rough voice. They even got on the dance floor with the crowd. And finally 2 Unlimited with their dancers. The new lady singer reminds me of a skinny version of my crush LisaRaye McCoy. I thought the rapper Ray had gone to pursue his own rapping career but so glad to see him perform. Still so fast, live and gangsta!

All in all a great night with great company and I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve seen the inside of a club. The fact that I got to see these guys with the people I’ve shared these memories with from Dilan hooking my and my bro up with the music to seeing the artist with Prasheel who shares the same love since way back made all the magic. Oh and I got one of my longest wishes fulfilled, which incase I haven’t emphasised already…. ah you know it.

Doors: 8pm
Nick Skitz Set: 8pm
Dr Alban: 9pm
Technotronic: 9:30pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: 10:00pm
Real McCoy: 10:30pm
2 Unlimited: 11:00pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: following 2 Unlimited til Midnight
DJ TIMBEE – 90s Aftershow party – Midnight til late


Share

The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free by Mark Boyle

The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free by Mark Boyle
The Moneyless Man Interview – Living without Money and being off the grid

Click to get the book or ebook (Free option below)

– We have come to believe that we need money, that we depend on it to survive. We believe that money provides for us when it is actually Nature. Even Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, said that “all money is a matter of belief”.
– He makes so many potent points and ways of alternate thinking. I mean there is just so much in such a small book! Ideas, resources, quotes. So far 2 pages are dedicated to other moneyless people and their blogs or books or clubs or whatever form of legacy they have left for others.
– How money started as something good and ended up ruining the world in more ways than just morality and environment.
– Excellent breakdown of how we are a part of a whole. The water in the stream is in a glass now and then goes in our bodies and makes part of us.
– Tribal people didn’t store or horde. Families spent real time with each other and had a sense of community.
– Money has made things cold and transactional. A doctor births the baby and accounts are squared and the relationship is over. And these days it’s just numbers on the screen.
– If you grow your own food you wouldn’t waste it. You need your own water you wouldn’t pollute it.
– Economy of Scales EOS – the more you produce the cheaper it costs to produce. It’s so efficient that the planet is being looted. You’re exchanging money with people you will never meet instead of supporting and connecting with the locals.
– Division of Labor DOL – Spending 40+ hours at a desk doing unfulfilling crap. Instead of having different needs and skills.
– Nappies: Most parents are aware that you can make reusable, washable cloth nappies. If these were used by everyone it would save 8 million nappies from being dumped in landfill every day (3 billion annually) in the UK alone, saving parents an average of £500 a year into the bargain. Yet there is an option that saves you both the bother and expense of making and using washable nappies. It is called Elimination Communication (EC), also known as Nappy Free Baby. This is a toilet training technique where a parent uses methods such as signals, cues and intuition to cope with a child’s toileting needs. This method’s ideal is to use no nappies whatsoever, but you may combine it with washable nappies when the situation requires it. Not only would the widespread use of EC take a big chunk out of our landfill sites, save all the energy and materials involved in producing nappies in the first place, and reduce the workload o f parents.
– A culture of scarcity that makes you worry about the other person breaking what you’ve loaned them, or not giving it back, leaving you feeling like the cheated one.
– Interview with Dr. Chris Johnstone about addiction. Connection of consumerism with tolerance.
– Once the land was free for all to roam. More recently, our land was held in common, for the commoners. Now it is owned by the few – 1% own 70% of the land.
– Suggests looking into Freemen when it comes to paying tax.
– Insurance in the old days used to be an understanding with locals who would help. Say like if something happened to your house, the neighbours would have the tools or know how to help.
– He created Freeconomy. You share your time, skills, knowledge for free. Update: The site has teamed up with Streetbank.
– Questions why a bird is free to live on land while we have to pay. Ideas and resources to live as free as possible.
– Indian flag wheel and Gandhi’s meaning of swadeshi. Mahatma Gandhi believed that true national independence would only be achieved through Swadeshi, which roughly translates as self-sufficiency. He believed that India would only truly earn political independence when it achieved economic independence. In order to do this, he encouraged the millions of Indians to start spinning their own cloth again and to stop buying it from industrial fabric centres such as those in Lancashire in England. This culminated in bonfires of Lancashire cloth lighting up the land as a powerful symbolic act. Therefore, the spinning wheel became the symbol of true political independence.
– If I were to create a flag for the planet, it would have a compost toilet on it. The flush toilet represents everything that is psychopathic about our current culture and mindset – we shit and piss into a life-giving liquid, spoiling it in the process, instead of using both of these potential resources (in different ways) to fertilise the soil which, in turn, makes the food that we eat more nutritious. Instead, we import polluting fertilisers from distant laboratories once we’ve finished polluting our waterways. Somehow we’ve managed to take a really beneficial resource for the soil and turn it into a major ecological problem. I urge you to ditch your flush toilet and install a compost loo as a symbolic and, dare I say it, spiritual act. It’s a no -brainer for anyone who wants to simultaneously stop polluting their source of life, drastically reduce their water consumption, and obtain a high quality organic.
– Given the tragic fact that every year in the UK, 3 million pheasants, 800,000 rabbits, 50,000 deer, squirrel and badgers, as well as 25,000 foxes are killed on our roads, (and extrapolating from these appalling statistics, whilst taking into account the differing size of the various animals and, for arguments sake, assuming that 50% of such animals are serviceable as food – i.e. avoiding the tabloid cliché that anyone who eats road kill ‘scrapes it off the tarmac’) then (when accounting for the differing number of servings from each animal) we’re looking at least 8,900,000 potential meals for the practical, discriminating and opportunist forager. Bon appétit!
– If you ever need glass jars or bottles of various shapes and sizes, just do the rounds of the recycling bins of some street in my area on the morning the recycling gets put out each week – you could start a jam factory from the amount of jars you can find during one morning’s stroll.
– Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to import lots of food stuffs into your own food system in order to preserve that which you grow or forage – people have been storing their food in the UK long before industrialised processes and fossil fuels came along. What is important is to slowly learn the skills you’ll need to preserve food – the best way to do this is by asking some of the elders of your community who hold so much unappreciated knowledge that needs to be tapped before it is lost.
– Skin is a little micro ecosystem in itself, and using soap is, in my book, on a par with cultivating the soil – I can see why people do it, but it’s the shenanigans of a people who don’t fully appreciate the intricacies of ecosystems, and the long-term damage we can do from what initially seems like harmless, innocent behaviour.
– Since I’ve been The Soapless Man for many years now, my overriding advice on most things in relation to hygiene is to use water and little else. There rarely is any need for anything more than that, with a few exceptions. When you use soap, you strip away much of the goodness and moisture as well as what we think of as ‘dirt’. The result being that we then become dependent on the same companies that sold us this moisture-robbing agent in the first place to put the moisture back in. They get to sell us two products when none were needed in the first place. People who don’t wash their hair for a few months are regularly quoted as saying their hair starts to clean itself. The same is true for skin. The main reason I can live without soap is that I generally eat a very healthy diet: wholegrains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and clean fresh water, the odd herb tea and little else. All organic and fresh. If you put good stuff in, what comes out will smell fine. If you put junk in, what comes out will smell like junk. It’s that simple.
– Bums and toilet paper: The first question you should ask yourself is – do you need it? I’ve no doubt that almost everyone will say yes! But many cultures use water to clean their bums, and considering we use water for all other parts of our body, there would seem to be a lot of logic in that. If you do prefer to have a wipe, then there are a number of options. First, you can approach your local newsagents and ask them if they’re happy for you to take a couple of copies of the previous day’s papers that they have to normally throw out. Similarly to your dishes, pine cones (choose the softer, decomposing ones from the forest floor) and big clumps of grass work well. Anything broad-leaved is good, though take care not to use any leaves that are toxic or poisonous to humans; a dock leaf will suffice, its anti-inflammatory qualities are particularly soothing if you’ve been on the curry the night before. If you are striving for Enlightenment and want to transcend the mundane material world, then use a bunch of stinging nettles and that will test your mettle. Surprisingly, smooth rocks with no sharp edges also work well, and the more porous the better. If you’re lucky enough to have moss at hand in an emergency situation, go for that. If it’s winter and all of the above are covered in a icy white blanket, then I’d advice using that blanket. Snow certainly isn’t the most appealing option at 6am on a winter’s morning, but that’s sometimes what living ecologically means, so man-up and deal with it! Remember: it’s only poo, and it came from you in the first place!
– Stay4Free is a project which allows you to have a house all to yourself. How it works is simple – you sign up, list both your home and your desired destinations,
and contact anyone on their database that could potentially fit the bill, requesting a house swap. If they fancy coming and spending some time in the part of the world your house is in, then you can agree dates and details between yourselves.
– Hushmail encrypts your email before it is sent so that nobody other than those who are the intended recipients can read it, after they themselves have decrypted it by one means or another. In Hushmail’s words, “a typical email message is no more secure than a holiday postcard sent through the public postal system”, whereas with their system it is more like “a letter in a sealed envelope”.
– Children learn best from practical involvement. Paras note: some squares don’t comprehend how true this is.
– Personal anecdote on his vasectomy and going the natural way to heal himself from complications.
– Medicinal plants work on the body in four main ways, via stimulation, relaxation, nutrition and elimination.
– Using roadkill buckskin is actually ‘more vegan’ than buying natural fibre clothing that has come from the global industrial-scale economy. Vegans who think that buying cotton and other pesticide-ridden fibres produced on land that has, first, been relegated from Wild to agriculturally managed land before, subsequently, being shipped around the world using fossil fuels (which have been extracted in ways that inevitably destroys huge swaths of habitat and all that once lived in it – the Gulf of Mexico being but one example), are deluding themselves to some extent about how ‘vegan’ their lifestyles really are. Pesticides are not vegan, the clue is in the name. Neither are fossil fuels.
– POP Model example – Level 1 (100% local gift economy): Walking barefoot, connecting with the earth beneath my feet. Level 2: Walking in shoes I made myself (or were unconditionally gifted to me) from local materials. Level 3: Walking in shoes I bartered for, which were made from local materials. Level 4: Walking in trainers made in a Chinese factory. Level 5: Cycling on an industrial scale bicycle. Level 6: (100% global monetary economy): Driving a hybrid car.
– As Epicurus once pointed out, there are two ways of getting rich: increasing your financial wealth, or decreasing your desires.

Note: Bhavna made a good point about the author’s profits from book sales and how that is the opposite of being Moneyless. He might be gifting it or contributing it in some way. Update: Just found a site where the book is made free online and looks like you can order a copy too. http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org/why-free/

Table of Contents – with subtitles to reduce notes
– Foreword by Charles Eisenstein
– Introduction
A reluctant author
All art is propaganda

1. The Money Delusion
Moneyless philosophy and the delusion of self
Time isn’t money
Real community requires interdependency
Our disconnection from what we consume
The Economies of Scale (EOS) married to money
The Division of Labour (DOL) married to money
Money causes waste
Gross inequality through the storing of value
Prostitution is to sex what buying and selling is to giving and receiving
Time to choose a new story?

2. The Moneyless Menu
WHAT IS A MONEYLESS ECONOMY?
The moneyless economy defined
The gift economy
THE GIFT ECONOMY IN ACTION
The 100% local economy
Local currencies
Barter
The resource-based economy (RBE)
Pay-it-forward

3. The POP model
HOW IT WORKS
Moneyless women and men

4. Challenges and transitional Strategies
Current human culture
Addiction to industrialisation
Land ownership
Planning permission for low / zero impact living
Council tax – the tax on being alive
Insurance
Being a parent

5. Labour and Materials
Labour
Freeconomy
Gift circles
Help Exchange
Other skillsharing schemes
The art of flint knapping
Materials
General stuff
Freecycle and Freegle
The Freeshop
Street freecycling
Skips
Sharing – not giving away – your stuff
Nappies
Books and paper
Booksharing websites
Booksharing clubs
Bookcrossing
Libraries
Newspapers
Paper and pens
Tools, gadgets and equipment
Five things to do with a pallet
Pallets

6. Land
Land of the free
Windowsills and small spaces
Landshare
WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
Turning urban wastelands into growing spaces
Create an inspiring vision and pursue it passionately
EMBERCOMBE – THE STORY OF ITS CREATION
Join an established community
Ghost towns
Buy land
PERMACULTURE AND RELOCALISATION
Campaigning for realistic land reform

7. Home
Free house
Squatting
House – and boat-sitting
Caves
The blackhouse
Cheap (or potentially free) to build, free to run houses
Passive solar designs
Earthships
Earth bag construction
Straw bale homes and guest houses
Subterranean houses
Circular houses
Compost toilets
COMPOST: ONE MAN’S SHIT IS ANOTHER MAN’S FERTILISER
Humanure
Wormeries

8. Food and Water
FOOD
Wild food foraging
WILD PROTEIN: LEAF CURD AND ROADKILL
How to make leaf curd
How to store and use the curd
Wild food and roadkill
Growing
Seed saving and swapping
Perennial plants
Closed loop systems
Organics
HOMEMADE NATURAL, ORGANIC PESTICIDES, FERTILISERS AND PLANT AND SOIL ENHANCERS
Pests
Biodynamics
Forest Gardening
AGROFORESTRY: ESSENTIAL FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
No-dig gardening
THE NO DIG (NO-TILL) METHOD
Guerrilla gardening
Skipping
Other ideas
Eggs
Honey
Storing your produce
Community orchards and the Abundance project
Water
Water wells and bore holes
Rainwater Harvesting
Springs, streams and rivers

9. Washing
WASHING OURSELVES
Showers
Baths
Bodies
Hand soap
Deodorant
Moisturisers and toners
Bums and toilet paper
Teeth and mouth
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Mouthwash
Hair
Washing
Haircutting
Shaving
Clothes
Washing
Drying
Detergent
Home
CLEANING USING 100% LOCAL INGREDIENTS
Dish Scrubbers

10. Transport and Holiday accommodation
AN ODE TO WALKING BAREFOOT
– Transport
Moneyless shoes
Hitchhiking
RULES OF THE ROAD
Bicycles bits and pieces
Liftsharing
Freebus
Accommodation when you get there
Wild Camping
Bushcraft Shelter
Long-term free accommodation

11. Living Off-grid
Electrical Energy
Lighting
Cooking
The Campfire
Rocket Stove
Hay box
Earth Ovens
Heating
Jumpers (and long johns)
Gas bottle wood-burner
Masonry stove
Sources of wood
THE FIREWOOD POEM
Solar Thermal
Open source ecology
OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES AND FREE COMMUNICATION
Computers, mobile phones and other communication devices
Free Communication
Skype
Linux
OpenOffice and LibreOffice
Information security
DuckDuckgo and Startpage
Hushmail
TrueCrypt

12. Education
EDUCATION FOR A NON-MONETARY ECONOMY
Home education
THE OPTION OF HOME EDUCATING
How does it work?
How do your children mix and make friends?
What about cost?
What happens as they get older?
A different understanding
Freeskilling
FREESKILLING IN PRACTICE: SOURDOUGH BREAD
Other projects and ideas
The Barefoot College
Other alternative schools
EDUCATION IN A GIFT WORLD

13. Health and Sex
A personal anecdote
HEALTH OF THE EGOCENTRIC AND HOLISTIC SELVES
At what point do we stop?
Localised healthcare options
Herbalism
WILD DRUGS
Identification
Harvesting
General guidelines
Preparation
Elder – Sambucus nigra
Nettle – Urtica spp.
Dandelion – Taraxacum officinalis
Pot Marigold – Calendula officinalis
Garlic – Allium spp.
Peppermint – Mentha spp.
Thyme – Thymus spp.
Chamomile – Matricaria recutica
A selection of local remedies
Migraines and headaches
Cold sores
Hayfever
Other local forms of healthcare
Plasters for cuts
Women’s health
Wild sex
Contraception
Lubricants
Aphrodisiacs
Dildos
SPEAKING OF SEX
A SIMPLE CHOICE

14. Clothing and Bedding
Clothing
Short-term clothing solutions
Clothes swapping and sharing evenings
Make do and mend
Go freeshopping
Reinvent
Long-term clothing solution
Hemp and Nettles
Braintanned roadkill buckskin
Jewellery
Bedding
Peg loomed woollen underblankets
Pillows
Duvets

15. Leisure
Learn to play (and make) an instrument
SOUNDS FROM THE UNCIVILISED
Painting, parties and booze
PAINTING
STREET PARTIES
BOOZE
LOCAL BOOZE FOR FREE
Other fun stufff
Games
Music, comedy and performance
Groups
Debate evenings
Movies
Imagination
FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR MONETARY MASTERS

16. The Beginning is Nigh

Share

Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

Click to get the book or audiobook


Big up Big Brandon Carter for the recommendation.

Notes:
– Most common desire was to eat and sleep. Then sex.
– Carnegie’s Win Friends and Influence People book spent 8 pages on explaining to people how to have that winning smile. Passive bashing of similar books.
– Marshmallow experiment. Successful ones managed to distract themselves for 15 minutes to get another marshmallow. The ones that failed seemed to get in more trouble. The ones with more willpower had higher salaries, more points, better physical health, less issues with drug abuse, etc. So basically self-control in early age showed lots of good things.
– Amanda Palmer’s story of not breaking character by not drinking coffee and other practices for years. She only broke if a couple of times or so. 90 mins x 2 a day.
– Don’t think of a white bear and the monkey mind experiments. EEG experiments.
– Ago-depletion makes a big difference. Fatigue, tired, negative. Signal are things like reacting more sad to sad movies, ice cold water felt more painful, after eating one cookie there was a stronger craving. So look for a change in your feelings about these things. During withdrawal, the recovering addict is using so much willpower to break the habit that it’s likely to be a time of intense, prolonged ego depletion, and that very state will make the person feel the desire for the drug all the more strongly. It’s no wonder relapses are so common and addicts feel so weird when they quit.
– How during exams students would lose this ego. They’d increase their smoking, drinking, shopping, being messy etc. More coffee, less exercise.
– Beeper study: The more willpower expended, the more likely they were to yield to the next temptation. Cash rewards did boost willpower reserves but if it boosts it too much they get used up fast and don’t make it to the finish line if that makes sense.
– Two main points. 1 – You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it. 2 – You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.
– 4 uses of willpower – 1 – Control of thoughts. 2 – Emotional control. 3 – Impulse control. 4 – Performance control.
– Focus on one project at a time! Don’t make a long list especially after new years! You will lose.
– Glucose and self-control are connected. Hypoglycaemia was connected to criminals and violent people or such activities. The food gets converted to glucose but does not get absorbed into the body. Surplus of glucose is like lots of firewood but no matches. If it’s high enough it’s known as diabetes. If students were given a healthy snack in the middle they’ll be less rambunctious. Dog experiment where sugar drinks restored their willpower.
– Women are less likely than men to suffer from lapses of self-control but are affected most during the luteal phase of their PMS cycle. It occurs after ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) and before the period starts. But they are less likely to become criminals or addicts.
– Always eat well or have enough glucose before dealing with things that need willpower. Even sugar tablets have helped reduce the need for cigarettes. Eat foods with low glycemic index.
– Driving with a bad cold is worse than driving intoxicated. If your child has a cold before an SAT test… reschedule. When you’re tired sleep as you’ll end up with less self-control, do more unethical things, etc!
– Even God had to breakdown the creation of the world into daily tasks. But his list he finished and the final task was rest. Our lists keep growing.
– Set a clear goal. We set too many. There are 3 consequences of existing goals.
a) Worrying a lot, over thinking.
b) Get less done, procrastination.
c) Health is affected. More physical, mental issues and anxiety.
– Experiments of people with self-control and addicts. Fast reward, their long term stories were just 9 days compared to 4 years of folks with better self-control. Ignoring long-term goals are not good both physically and fiscally.
– Debate of which is better Proximal/Short term goals vs. Distal/Long term goals.
– Monthly planning/goal setting is best. Daily is time consuming, lacks flexibility and with so many changes everyday it can get frustrating.
– How Drew Carey called up Dave Allen author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and hired his services … because he’s rich! Dave’s desk is complete absence of paperwork. Even the trays especially the inbox. Done, delegated, dropped or differed. I will be going through this book soon so you can read the notes there. Just do a search or click if the link is available.
– Zeigarnik Effect: Incomplete tasks and goals continue to pop in ones mind. Funny enough if you stop a song halfway your mind keeps thinking of it like it’s an incomplete task. So that’s why it’s stuck in my head! Which is why bad songs get stuck in our head.
– Grrrr. These books and their this study showed this but then that study negated it with this experiment and that experiment hypothesised … JUST GET TO THE POINT! Rant over. I’ll skip over the countless experiments mentioned.
– Mess is good but one mess at a time. Even if it’s getting cat food put it on a list!
– Marathon shopping depletes willpower. Bridal registry helps because it’s registered and things are in order.
– If you have a court case and it’s later in the day … bad news. Judges willpower and decision making will be depleted.
– When you have too much choice you get too picky and wait for something better. Shopping is the opposite, you deplete quickly so sellers market big things first and then towards the end save the impulse buys. How males lose their sense of priority and money when it comes to women.
– Self-awareness also plays a big part. Experiment where kids took more than one Halloween candy when the mirror was not facing them. People getting drunk to do all sorts of stupid things. 2 Step to improve this is 1. Setting a goal and 2. Monitoring your behaviour.
– Public info is also more important which is why all these fitness apps work so well.
– David Blaine’s doing all sorts of weird things so that he became an endurance artist.
– Sitting in good posture and upright helped lots of things.
– Many lefties are fairly ambidextrous.
– Exercises are like using proper words instead of yeah, nah and swearing. Exercise resisting to say them will grow the muscle.
– Exercise increases mental stamina and improved other aspects of life like studies, saving, less smoking and drinking, more chores, less junk food. Even though sometimes working out would mean eating more junk food.
– For men ‘oh heat’, will power is really low. This is where BBC (Big Brandon Carter of YouTube fame) talked about how he masturbates before making choices or how he recommended doing that when you start acting crazy.
– Use pre-commitment to stop you from getting into the bad habits. Making cash punishments help a lot and the more the money the more the success.
– Self-forgetfulness is another technique like how nurses distract you with other stuff and avoid using pain words.
– Talks about how prayer worked for non-believing Eric Clapton and Mary Karr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also talked about how to make thing sacred so you honour it more.
– Teenagers risk a hell of a lot to get social acceptance and do it in a cool way.
– The ones who were better at getting support from other people ended up abstaining more frequently and doing less overall drinking. The barbecue law is where you drink with your mates and risk offending people if not, so alcoholics need the same kind of peer pressure in reverse. Religious people are less likely to get into the bad things and misfortunes come to them.
– Bright Lines: These are clear, simple, unambiguous rules. And if you believe that the rule is sacred—a commandment from God, the unquestionable law of a higher power—then it becomes an especially bright line.
– Self-esteem: Grades in 10th grade predicted self-esteem in 12th grade but not vice-versa.
– Narcissists: They need adulation and admiration but don’t require to be liked. Good first impressions but don’t wear well. They are everyone’s favourite person but only during the first few meetings and then slip to the bottom of the rankings. Recently it has risen with USA youth and even their songs full of I and me. (Paras note: One of the reasons I got bored of hip-hop). The exception is in Asian where it doesn’t show up because of good discipline and self-control.
– Confucian concepts of chiao shun, which means “to train,” and guan, which means both “to govern” and “to love.” Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: (1) higher dreams for their children, and (2) higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take. Chua’s basic strategies—set clear goals, enforce rules, punish failure, reward excellence.
– The punishment has to be closer to the incident! A relaxed but stern word or two would be the best way to go. Don’t ‘let this one go’ too much or too early.
– Ferber method, or Ferberization, is a technique invented by Dr. Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. It involves “baby-training” children to self-soothe by allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving external comfort. In this method both child and adult are happier in the long term. Children need and want clear rules and they need to know and understand them. Asking them what goals they have is good too as you can direct them accordingly.
– Money for grades is controversial but it works in the long term. Society will be doing it to them in future anyway.
– Children raised by single parents tend not to do as well in life as children who grow up with two parents. A lack of adult supervision during the teenage years turned out to be one of the strongest predictors of criminal behaviour. When parents keep tabs on where their children are, what they do, and whom they associate with, the children are much less likely to use illegal drugs than when parents keep fewer close tabs. Anything that forces children to exercise their self-control muscle can be helpful: taking music lessons, memorizing poems, saying prayers, minding their table manners, avoiding the use of profanity, writing thank-you notes.
– Most children aren’t being hurt by playing video games, and that they can derive some of the same benefits from the games as from practicing music, playing sports, or pursuing other passions that require discipline. Earn respect through their accomplishments. To acquire skills, they fail over and over.
– 3 Discipline to lose weight: 1. Never go on a diet. 2. Never vow to give up chocolate or any other food. 3. Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others, never equate being overweight with having weak willpower.
– It’s better to make gradual changes because intense diets makes the body hold on to fat thinking there is a famine.
– Conterregulatory eating: Dieters have a fixed target in mind for their maximum daily calories, and when they exceed it for some unexpected reason, they regard their diet as blown for the day.
– Trying to hide your feelings while watching a movie drains your willpower, rendering you more likely to overeat later on in a separate, ostensibly unrelated context.
– Nutritional catch-22: 1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. 2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.
– Plan for battle in losing weight: Things like not keeping sweets out and visible, brushing teeth early before bed to stop from late night snacking. Using techniques like ‘if this, then that’. There is a connection with obese people clustering together like the story of how Oprah lost her overweight friends when she lost her weight. Weighing yourself everyday helps more than weekly. Prisoners gain more weight because they don’t wear tight fitting clothes or belts so they can’t gauge it. Eating in front of the TV encourages snacking as you’re not paying attention. It’s better saying I’ll eat it later instead of never.
– Procrastination: They are healthier overall but the closer they reach the deadline the more health issues they had so it cancels out!
– See last chapter title under Conclusion. Willpower 101 for a quick summary.
– The Planning fallacy: Late and over budget is the norm.

Contents
Introduction
The Decline of the Will
The Comeback of the Will
Evolution and Etiquette
Why Will Yourself to Read This?

1. Is willpower more than a metaphor?
The Radish Experiment
Name That Feeling
The Mystery of the Dirty Socks
Lessons from the Street and the Lab

2. Where does the power in willpower come from?
Brain Fuel
Inner Demons
Eat Your Way to Willpower

3. A brief history of the to-do list, from god to Drew Carey
Which Goals?
Fuzzy Versus Fussy
Drew Carey’s Dream In-Box
The Zeigarnik Effect
Zero Euphoria

4. Decision fatigue
Crossing the Rubicon
The Judge’s Dilemma (and the Prisoner’s Distress)
LazyChoices
Choose Your Prize

5. Where have all the dollars gone? The quantified self knows
I’m Self-aware, Therefore I . . . ?
The Quantified Self
Not-So-Invidious Comparisons

6. Can willpower be strengthened? (Preferably without feeling David Blaine’s pain)
Willpower Workouts
From Strength to More Strength
The Toughest Stunt of All

7. Outsmarting yourself in the heart of darkness
The Empathy Gap
The Ties That Bind
The Brain on Autopilot
But Enough About Me

8. Did a higher power help Eric Clapton and Mary Karr stop drinking?
The Mystery of AA
Heaven (like Hell) Is Other People
Sacred Self-control
Bright Lines

9. Raising strong children: self-esteem vs. self-control
From Self-esteem to Narcissism
Exceptional Asians
Nanny Deb and the Triplets
Rules for Babies and Vampires
Wandering Eyes
Playing to Win

10. The perfect storm of dieting
The What-the-Hell Effect
The Dieter’s Catch-22
Planning for Battle
Let Me Count the Weighs (and the Calories)
Never Say Never

Conclusion : The future of willpower: more gain, less strain (as long as you don’t procrastinate
The Deadline Test
Willpower 101, First Lesson: Know Your Limits
Watch for Symptoms
Pick Your Battles
Make a To-Do List—or at Least a To-Don’t List
Beware the Planning Fallacy
Don’t Forget the Basics (like Changing Your Socks)
The Power of Positive Procrastination
The Nothing Alternative (and Other Tricks of Offense)
Keep Track
Reward Often
The Future of Self-control

Share

The Spiritual Nature of Hair

“Our hair fashions might be just a trend, but if we investigate, we may find that we have been depriving ourselves of one of the most valuable sources of energy for human vitality.” -Yogi Bhajan

Consider the possibility that the hair on your head is there to do more than just look good. Man is the only creature who grows longer hair on his head as he grows into adulthood. Left uncut, your hair will grow to a particular length and then stop all by itself at the correct length for you. From a yogic perspective, hair is an amazing gift of nature that can actually help raise the Kundalini energy (creative life force), which increases vitality, intuition, and tranquility.

Cut Hair
Long ago people in many cultures didn’t cut their hair, because it was a part of who they were. There were no salons. Often, when people were conquered or enslaved, their hair was cut as a recognized sign of slavery. It was also understood that this would serve as punishment and decrease the power of those enslaved.

The bones in the forehead are porous and function to transmit light to the pineal gland, which affects brain activity, as well as thyroid and sexual hormones. Cutting bangs which cover the forehead impedes this process.

When Genghis Khan conquered China, he considered the Chinese to be a very wise, intelligent people who would not allow themselves to be subjugated. He therefore required all women in the country to cut their hair and wear bangs, because he knew this would serve to keep them timid and more easily controlled.

As whole tribes or societies were conquered, cut hair became so prevalent that the importance of hair was lost after a few generations, and hairstyles and fashion grew to be the focus.

The science of hair was one of the first technologies given by Yogi Bhajan when he came to America.

“When the hair on your head is allowed to attain its full, mature length, then phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin D are all produced, and enter the lymphatic fluid, and eventually the spinal fluid through the two ducts on the top of the brain. This ionic change creates more efficient memory and leads to greater physical energy, improved stamina, and patience.”
Yogi Bhajan explained that if you choose to cut your hair, you not only lose this extra energy and nourishment, but your body must then provide a great amount of vital energy and nutrients to continually re-grow the missing hair.

In addition, hairs are the antennas that gather and channel the sun energy or prana to the frontal lobes, the part of the brain you use for meditation and visualization. These antennas act as conduits to bring you greater quantities of subtle, cosmic energy. It takes approximately three years from the last time your hair was cut for new antennas to form at the tips of the hair.

Kundalini Hair Care

In India, a Rishi is known as a wise one who coils his or her hair up on the crown of the head during the day to energize the brain cells, and then combs it down at night. A ‘rishi knot’ energizes your magnetic field (aura) and stimulates the pineal gland in the center of your brain.

“This activation of your pineal results in a secretion that is central to the development of higher intellectual functioning, as well as higher spiritual perception.” -Yogi Bhajan

During the day, the hair absorbs solar energy, but at night it absorbs lunar energy. Keeping the hair up during the day and down at night aids in this process. Braiding your hair at night will help your electromagnetic field balance out from the day.

Split Ends

Loose scattered hair can develop split ends. Instead of trimming them and losing your antennas, Yogi Bhajan recommends applying a small amount of almond oil to your hair overnight so that it can be absorbed before you wash it the next morning. Keeping your hair coiled on your crown and protected with a head covering during the day will help your antennas heal. If you have long hair, see if your experience is different when it is clean and coiled at your crown, or down and loose.

Wet Hair

One year after Winter Solstice, when Yogi Bhajan was sitting in our living room with wet hair, he explained that he was drying it before putting it up in order to avoid a headache. When you put your hair up wet, it will tend to shrink and tighten a bit and even break as it dries. A better idea is to occasionally take the time to sit in the sun and allow your clean, wet hair to dry naturally and absorb some extra vitamin D.

Yogis recommend shampooing the hair every 72 hours (or more frequently if the scalp sweats a great deal). It can also be beneficial to wash your hair after being upset to help process emotions.

Yogis also recommend using a wooden comb or brush for combing your hair as it gives a lot of circulation and stimulation to the scalp, and the wood does not create static electricity, which causes a loss of the hair’s energy to the brain. You will find that, if you comb your hair and scalp front to back, back to front, and then to the right and left several times, it will refresh you, no matter how long your hair is.

All the tiredness of your day will be gone. For women, it is said that using this technique to comb your hair twice a day can help maintain youth, a healthy menstrual cycle, and good eyesight.

If you are bald or balding, the lack of hair energy can be counteracted with more meditation. If you are finding some silver strands in your hair, be aware that the silver or white color increases the vitamins and energy flow to compensate for aging. For better brain health as you age, try to keep your hair as natural and healthy as you can.

Tagore’s Hair

Yogi Bhajan told us this story about hair many years ago at Women’s Camp in New Mexico: Recognize how beautiful and powerful your hair is—when you keep it, you live a life of fulfillment in this world. When Rabindranath Tagore, the great poet who found God within himself, tried to meet a friend on a steamer ship, the friend didn’t recognize him and so wrote him a letter.

“We were on the same steamer, but I didn’t find you.” Tagore said, “I was there.” His friend said, “I understand you are now a God-realized man, and I would like to know what your first action was when you became aware of the Oneness in all.” Tagore said, “When I realized the Oneness of all, I threw my shaving kit into the ocean. I gave up my ego and surrendered to nature. I wanted to live in the form that my Creator has given me.”

When humans allow their hair to grow, they are welcoming the maturity, the responsibility of being fully-grown, and fully powerful. That is why you will find grace and calmness in a person with uncut hair from birth, if it is kept well. The Creator has a definite reason for giving you hair.

It is said that when you allow your hair to grow to its full length and coil it on the crown of the head, the sun energy, pranic life force, is drawn down the spine. To counteract that downward movement, the Kundalini life energy rises to create balance. In Yogi Bhajan’s words, “Your hair is not there by mistake. It has a definite purpose, which saints will discover and other men will laugh at.”

Deva Kaur Khalsa trains Kundalini Yoga Teachers and teaches Kundalini Yoga in South Florida. She was a student of Yogi Bhajan for over 39 years. She is co-owner of Yoga Source in Coral Springs, Florida


The Truth About Hair and Why Indians Would Keep Their Hair Long
by C. Young

This information about hair has been hidden from the public since the Viet Nam War.
Our culture leads people to believe that hair style is a matter of personal preference, that hair style is a matter of fashion and/or convenience, and that how people wear their hair is simply a cosmetic issue. Back in the Vietnam war however, an entirely different picture emerged, one that has been carefully covered up and hidden from public view.

In the early nineties, Sally [name changed to protect privacy] was married to a licensed psychologist who worked at a VA Medical hospital. He worked with combat veterans with PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. Most of them had served in Vietnam.

Sally said, “I remember clearly an evening when my husband came back to our apartment on Doctor’s Circle carrying a thick official looking folder in his hands. Inside were hundreds of pages of certain studies commissioned by the government. He was in shock from the contents. What he read in those documents completely changed his life. From that moment on my conservative middle of the road husband grew his hair and beard and never cut them again. What is more, the VA Medical center let him do it, and other very conservative men in the staff followed his example.

As I read the documents, I learned why. It seems that during the Vietnam War special forces in the war department had sent undercover experts to comb American Indian Reservations looking for talented scouts, for tough young men trained to move stealthily through rough terrain. They were especially looking for men with outstanding, almost supernatural, tracking abilities. Before being approached, these carefully selected men were extensively documented as experts in tracking and survival.

With the usual enticements, the well proven smooth phrases used to enroll new recruits, some of these Indian trackers were then enlisted. Once enlisted, an amazing thing happened. Whatever talents and skills they had possessed on the reservation seemed to mysteriously disappear, as recruit after recruit failed to perform as expected in the field.

Serious causalities and failures of performance led the government to contract expensive testing of these recruits, and this is what was found.

When questioned about their failure to perform as expected, the older recruits replied consistently that when they received their required military haircuts, they could no longer ‘sense’ the enemy, they could no longer access a ‘sixth sense’, their ‘intuition’ no longer was reliable, they couldn’t ‘read’ subtle signs as well or access subtle extrasensory information.


So the testing institute recruited more Indian trackers, let them keep their long hair, and tested them in multiple areas. Then they would pair two men together who had received the same scores on all the tests. They would let one man in the pair keep his hair long, and gave the other man a military haircut. Then the two men retook the tests.
Time after time the man with long hair kept making high scores. Time after time, the man with the short hair failed the tests in which he had previously scored high scores.

Here is a Typical Test:

The recruit is sleeping out in the woods. An armed ‘enemy’ approaches the sleeping man. The long haired man is awakened out of his sleep by a strong sense of danger and gets away long before the enemy is close, long before any sounds from the approaching enemy are audible.

In another version of this test the long haired man senses an approach and somehow intuits that the enemy will perform a physical attack. He follows his ‘sixth sense’ and stays still, pretending to be sleeping, but quickly grabs the attacker and ‘kills’ him as the attacker reaches down to strangle him.

This same man, after having passed these and other tests, then received a military haircut and consistently failed these tests, and many other tests that he had previously passed.

So the document recommended that all Indian trackers be exempt from military haircuts. In fact, it required that trackers keep their hair long.”

Comment:

The mammalian body has evolved over millions of years. Survival skills of human and animal at times seem almost supernatural. Science is constantly coming up with more discoveries about the amazing abilities of man and animal to survive. Each part of the body has highly sensitive work to perform for the survival and well being of the body as a whole. The body has a reason for every part of itself.

Hair is an extension of the nervous system, it can be correctly seen as exteriorized nerves, a type of highly evolved ‘feelers’ or ‘antennae’ that transmit vast amounts of important information to the brain stem, the limbic system, and the neocortex.

Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment. This has been seen in Kirlian photography when a person is photographed with long hair and then rephotographed after the hair is cut.

When hair is cut, receiving and sending transmissions to and from the environment are greatly hampered. This results in numbing-out .

Cutting of hair is a contributing factor to unawareness of environmental distress in local ecosystems. It is also a contributing factor to insensitivity in relationships of all kinds. It contributes to sexual frustration.

Conclusion:

In searching for solutions for the distress in our world, it may be time for us to consider that many of our most basic assumptions about reality are in error. It may be that a major part of the solution is looking at us in the face each morning when we see ourselves in the mirror.

The story of Sampson and Delilah in the Bible has a lot of encoded truth to tell us. When Delilah cut Sampson’s hair, the once undefeatable Sampson was defeated.

Reported by C. Young


“Human Hair – A Biological Necessity”
by Dr. Birendra Kaur.
Nature (Wahe Guru) put every hair on your body for a reason. The hair of the legs regulates the glandular system and stabilizes a person’s electromagnetic field. The hair under the armpits protects the very sensitive area where the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems come together; this affects the brain and your energy level. Eyebrows protect the eyes from sun and sweat. Facial hair on men covers the moon center on the chin and protects them from excessive moon energy. The hair on top of the head is very long, while the hair on the body is short. If it were only for warmth, the hair on the body would be long also. We only have long hair right over the brain. We are practically the only creatures designed this way. Hair is your antenna to receive a picture of the subtle world around you, to tell when people are lying, to feel things before they happen, etc..

The natural intelligence of the body is to maintain its hairs. If you allow the hair on the head to grow undisturbed; it will grow to a certain length required by your body and then it will stop. Perhaps you have noticed among Sikhs who do not cut their hair that hair length is different for each person. Each body has its own requirement. The hair also reflects the health of the individual.

It has been proven scientifically that people who have long hair tend to be less tired, more energetic and less likely to become depressed. People who have long hair also conserve energy and don’t feel the cold of winter the same as people with short hair. A person who has short hair wastes his body’s energy. A person who cuts his hair over his lifetime forces the body to grow 22 meters of replacement hair. A person who keeps his hair only produces 1.5 meters of hair over his lifetime.

Think of the story of Samson and Delilah in the Bible! He lost his strength when she cut his hair! Another example of the power of hair: To humiliate the conquered people of China, Genghis Khan made them cut their hair and wear bangs over the forehead! (Bangs cover the 3rd eye, inhibiting intuition and subtle knowledge.)

Hair is a conductor of the body’s electromagnetic energy. Ever see how the antenna wire in an AM radio is coiled in a circle? That’s because of something called induction. Induction causes any conductor of electromagnetic energy to induce a current in adjacent conductors. This means that when you coil a conductor, the signal becomes much stronger. Hairs on top of the head act as antennae. They conduct energy into the body.

Also, wearing the hair on top of the head protects the top of the head from sun and exposure, as well as channeling solar energy and improving vitamin D absorbtion. Yogis and Sikhs do not cut their hair, they coil or knot it on top of head on their solar center. In men the solar center is on top of the head at the front (anterior fontanel). Women have two solar centers: one is at the center of the crown chakra, the other is on top of the head towards the back (posterior fontanel). For both men and women, coiling or knotting the hair at the solar center channels one’s radiant energy and helps retain a spiritual focus.
This hair knot is traditionally called the “rishi” knot. In ancient times, a rishi was someone who had the capacity to control the flow of energy and prana in the body. A “maharishi” was someone who could regulate the flow of energy in the body, meditatively and at will. The rishi knot assists in the channeling of energy in meditation (Naam Simran). If one cuts off the hair, there can be no rishi knot. By giving us the rishi knot (and the turban) the Guru gave his Sikhs the blessing to have the capacity of a rishi.
Bonus Article – Click here

Share

Levitation – Amazing Dance & Video Mapping Performance by Sila Sveta & Anna Abalikhina … thanks Fubiz

Levitation – Amazing Dance & Video Mapping Performance by Sila Sveta & Anna Abalikhina … thanks Fubiz

LEVITATION from SILA SVETA on Vimeo.

‘Levitation’ is a collaborative performance by Sila Sveta and Anna Abalikhina shown on the TV show ‘Big Ballet’. All visuals were rendered in real time without any post production. Kultura Channel broadcast the second season of the show in winter 2016 in partnership with Sila Sveta. In addition to the technical and creative supervision, we staged 2 out of 7 single performances.

Share

Why Goal Setting Doesn’t Work

We have all heard this advice: Set goals if you want to accomplish anything substantial. That advice comes from personal coaches, self-help gurus, management consultants, managers and executives and is deeply imbedded in leadership practices.

In organizations, “stretch goals,” or “hairy audacious goals,” as a management motivational and performance strategy, is widely practiced.  Yet, there is evidence that goal setting may actually be counter productive if not a waste of time.

Our society, at both the individual level and in organizations, has an obsession with goal setting, particularly “stretch” goals or “audacious goals.” We tie goals to accomplishment. In our culture, an individual or organizations cannot be considered successful unless goals are achieved. And the usual motivation method used by leaders to achieve these goals is the continual focus on “improvement,” “bigger and better,” through harder and harder work, and increased productivity. And the way to measure that success is to measure goal attainment.

The following is a typical template for goal setting:

  • Write down the goals;
  • Make goals specific and clear;
  • Indicate how you’ll measure goal accomplishment;
  • Have goal timelines and deadlines;
  • State goals in terms of specific outcomes or results;
  • Attach rewards, incentives for attainment and punishment for failure.

The support for setting goals has reportedly come from both academic/research sources and popular self-help sources. With the respect to the first, researchers reportedly surveyed the graduating seniors from the class of 1953 at Yale University. They asked if the class members had written goals for their future. Three percent did. The rest did not. Twenty years later, researchers were said to have gone back to the surviving members of the class. They discovered that those with written life goals had accumulated more wealth than all their classmates put together.

The only problem with this powerful finding is that there was no such study. Researchers at Yale and members of the class of 1953 all swear they never conducted or participated in any such study.

The second source of support has come from such self-help sources as The Secret, which encourages people to set ambitious goals through a process of visualization. There is no study that I am aware of that demonstrates a causal link between visualizing goals and their attainment.

Despite the popularity of goal setting, there is compelling evidence that regardless of good intentions and effort, people and organizations consistently fall short of achieving their goals. More often than not, the fault is attributed to the goal setter. But the real problem may be in the efficacy of goal setting itself.

What’s Wrong With Setting Ambitious Goals?

Click to get the book or ebook


Aubrey Daniels, in his book, Oops! 13 Management Practices That Waste Time And Money,(link is external) argues that stretch goals are an ineffective management practice. Daniels cites a study that shows when individuals repeatedly fail to reach stretch goals, their performance declines. Another study showed 10% of employees actually achieved stretch goals. Daniels argues that goals are motivating people only when they have received positive rewards and feedback from reaching them in the past.

The Center For Disease Control estimates that 34% of Americans are overweight and a further 34% are obese, which means almost 70% of the population are dangerously unhealthy. That’s a curious result, despite the proliferation of weight loss programs that usually focus on weight-loss goals. The easy explanation would be to attribute fault to individual for lack of will or effort. But the problem may be inherent in the validity of goal setting.

Sim Sitkin a Duke University business school professor, completed a study(link is external) of stretch goals, and found they were most likely to be pursued by desperate, embattled companies that would have difficulty adapting if the goals failed. He says: “We conclude that stretch goals are, paradoxically, most seductive for organizations that can least afford the risks associated with them.”

L.A. King and C.M. Burton in an article entitled, The Hazards of Goal Pursuit(link is external), for the American Psychological Association, argue that goals should be used only in the narrowest of circumstances: “The optimally striving individual ought to endeavor to achieve and approach goals that only slightly implicate the self; that are only moderately important, fairly easy, and moderately abstract; that do not conflict with each other, and that concern the accomplishment of something other than financial gain.”

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and one of the authors of a Harvard Business School report called Goals Gone Wild(link is external),” argues that “goal setting has been treated like an over-the-counter medication when it should really be treated with more care, as a prescription-strength mediation.” He argues that goal setting can focus attention too much or on the wrong things and can lead people to participate in extreme behaviors to achieve the goals.

The authors of Goals Gone Wild, have identified several specific negative side effects associated with goal setting: “An overly narrow focus that neglects non-goal areas; a rise in unethical behavior; distorted risk preferences; corrosion of organizational culture; and reduced intrinsic motivation.”

Maurice Schweitzer of the University of Pennsylvania and Lisa Ordonez of the University of Arizona, co-authors of Goals Gone Wild, have studied the psychology of goal attainment, and in several experiments have shown that when people self-report their achievement of goals, if they are not entirely successful, a significant percentage of them lie to make up the difference.

One inherent problem with goal setting is related to how the brain works. Recentneuroscience research shows the brain works in a protective way, resistant to change. Therefore, any goals that require substantial behavioral change, or thinking-pattern change, will automatically be resisted. The brain is wired to seek rewards and avoid pain or discomfort, including fear.  When fear of failure creeps into the mind of the goal setter, it becomes a “demotivator,” with a desire to return to known, comfortable behavior and thought patterns.

Examples of Goal Setting Gone Wrong

In the early 2000’s , General Motors had set a goal to capture 29% of the American auto market. It even produced corporate pins for people to wear with the number 29 on them. Needless to say they never achieved that goal, and without a government bailout, GM may not have even survived.

In the early 1990s, Sears gave a sales quota of $147 per hour to its auto repair staff. Faced with this target, the staff overcharged for work and performed unnecessary repairs. Sears’ Chairman at the time, Ed Brennan, acknowledged that the stretch goal gave employees a powerful incentive to deceive customers.

Or take the Ford Pinto. Presented with a goal to build a car “under 2,000 pounds and under $2,000 by 1970, employees overlooked safety testing and designed a car where the gas tank was vulnerable to explosion from rear-end collisions. Fifty-three people died as a result.

In the late 1990s, specific, challenging goals fueled energy-trading company Enron’s rapid financial success. Dan Ackman(link is external), writing in Forbes compares Enron’s incentive system to “paying a salesman a commission based on the volume of sales and letting him set the price of goods sold.” Even during Enron’s final days, Enron executives were rewarded with large bonuses for meeting specific revenue goals. In sum, “Enron executives were meeting their goals, but they were the wrong goals,” according to employee compensation expert Solange Charas. By focusing on revenue rather than profit, Enron executives drove the company into the ground.

Max Bazerman, a Harvard Business School professor and co-author of Goals Gone Wild, argues the following in the study:

  • People can focus so much on reaching the stretch goal that they fail to realize how this has dumped other work on their co-workers.
  • With goals, people narrow their focus. This intense focus can blind people to important issues that appear unrelated to their goal;
  • A related problem occurs when employees pursue multiple goals at one time. Individuals with multiple goals are prone to concentrate on only one goal;
  • Overemphasis on short-term thinking. Goals that emphasize immediate performance (e.g., this quarter’s profits) prompt managers to engage in myopic, short-term behavior that harms the organization in the long run;
  • People motivated by specific, challenging goals adopt riskier strategies and choose riskier gambles than do those with less challenging or vague goals;
  • Goal setting can promote two different types of cheating behavior. First, when motivated by a goal, people may choose to use unethical methods to reach it; second, goal setting can motivate people to misrepresent their performance level—in other words, to report that they met a goal when in fact they fell short;
  • Goals create a culture of competition. Organizations that rely heavily on goal setting may erode the foundation of cooperation that holds groups together;
  • As goal setting increases extrinsic motivation, it can harm intrinsic motivation – engaging in a task for its own sake;

So What’s The Alternative?

In his classic article, “Small Wins(link is external),” psychologist Karl Weick argued that people often become overwhelmed and discouraged when faced with massive and complex problems. He advocated recasting larger problems into smaller, tractable challenges that produce visible results, and maintained that the strategy of “small wins” can often generate more action and more complete solutions to major problems because it enables people to make slow, steady progress.

Click to get the book, ebook or audiobook


In their recent book, The Progress Principle(link is external), Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer build on the same argument and clearly demonstrate how even the smallest, most mundane steps forward — for example, achieving clear consensus in a meeting — can motivate and inspire workers. Ever wonder why people will so often write down an item they’ve already completed on theirto-do-list? It’s so that they can have the satisfaction of immediately crossing it off and experiencing the sense of progress(link is external).

Focusing on small wins in combination with process improvement will driveyourorganizationforward without the negative consequences of stretch goals. However, this approach requires a willingness to abandon the “ready, fire, aim” approach to problem solving. The heavy lifting has to be done at the outset(link is external) — a deepunderstanding of the current condition is a prerequisite for true improvement. This approach also requires a subtle — but critical — shift in focus from improving outcome metrics to improving the process by which those outcomes are achieved.

If You Must Set Goals

If you must set goals, consider these questions to guide you, suggested by Max Bazerman:

  • Are the goals too specific? Narrow goals can blind people to important aspects of a problem. Be sure that goals are comprehensive and include all of the critical components for firm success (e.g., quantity and quality);
  • Are the goals too challenging? What will happen if goals are not met? How will individual employees and outcomes be evaluated? Will failure harm motivation and self-efficacy? Provide skills and training to enable employees to reach goals. Avoid harsh punishment for failure to reach a goal;
  • Who sets the goals? People will become more committed to goals they help to set. At the same time, people may be tempted to set easy to reach goals;
  • Is the time horizon appropriate? Be sure that short-term efforts to reach a goal do not harm investment in long-term outcomes. For example, consider eliminating quarterly reports as Coca-Cola did;
  • Consider how might goals influence risk taking? Be sure to articulate acceptable levels of risk;
  • Consider how might goals motivate unethical behavior? Goals narrow focus, such that employees may be less likely to recognize ethical issues. Goals also induce employees to rationalize their unethical behavior and can corrupt organizational cultures. Multiple safeguards may be necessary to ensure ethical behavior while attaining goals (e.g., leaders as exemplars of ethical behavior, making the costs of cheating far greater than the benefit, strong oversight);
  • Can goals be idiosyncratically tailored for individual abilities and circumstances while preserving fairness? Strive to set goals that use common standards and account for individual variation;
  • How will goals influence organizational culture? If cooperation is essential, consider setting team-based rather than individual goals;
  • Are individuals intrinsically motivated? Assess intrinsic motivation and recognize that goals can curtail intrinsic motivation;
  • Consider the ultimate goals of the organization and what type of goal (performance or learning) is most appropriate? In complex, changing environments learning goals may be more effective.

The Psychological Manifestations

Finally, there are psychological manifestations of not achieving goals that may be more damaging that not having any goals at all. The process sets up desires that are removed from everyday reality. Whenever we desire things that we don’t have, we set our brain’s nervous system to produce negative emotions. Second, highly aspirational goals require us to develop new competencies, some of which may be beyond current capabilities. As we develop these competencies, we are likely to experience failures, which then become de-motivational. Thirdly, goal setting sets up an either-or polarity of success. The only true measure can either be 100% attainment or perfection, or 99% and less, which is failure. We can then excessively focus on the missing or incomplete part of our efforts, ignoring the successful parts. Fourthly, goal setting doesn’t take into account random forces of chance. You can’t control all the environmental variables to guarantee 100% success.

The other problem is that goals are often cast in the image of the ideal or perfection, which activates the self-judging thinking of “I should be this way.” This counteracts the positive need for self-acceptance.

And if the goal is not attained, we can often engage in thinking we are failures, not good enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, etc. So the non-attainment of goals can create emotions of unworthiness.

We must also make a distinction between our intentions vs. goals. An intention is a direction we want to pursue, preferably with passion. My experience is that people are often confused, and unclear about the intentions of how they want to live and achieve, and therefore a focus on goals doesn’t assist them with clarifying their intentions.

When I work with people as their coach and mentor, they often tell me they’ve set goals such as “I want to be wealthy,” or “I want to be more beautiful/popular,” “I want a better relationship/ideal partner.” They don’t realize they’ve just described the symptoms or outcomes of the problems in their life. The cause of the problem, which many resist facing, is themselves. They don’t realize that for a change to occur, if one is desirable, they must change themselves. Once they make the personal changes, everything around them can alter, which may make the goal irrelevant.

There’s an old saying: “you don’t get what you want in life, you get in life what you are.”

Ray Williams
Paras note: Even though I still think it’s good to have an intention to reach your ‘goal’ I found something better. Jaydeep shared a great post which I’m still getting my head around. The feeling with which you sow the seeds of your actions, you will reap the same kind of results too – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Says a lot for people who do good and still suffer. A spiritual version of Newton’s 3rd law.
Feelings Reap Sow
Share