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KAK's August 2019 Experiment in Self Control, Personal and Social Psychology

Kak

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Good morning Fastlane Forum and happy Monday.

My incubator program folks hear that a lot. Monday has always been a day of new beginnings for me. A start of another week. Endless opportunities lie ahead. I like Mondays.

The recent threads like:
Crushing the Comfort Zone
Doing The Andy Frisella "75 Hard" Challenge

...and finishing Atomic Habits over the weekend have inspired me to try something a little audacious. My own personal experiment. Special thanks to @Fox and @Get Right for the inspiration.

So here goes... This is my list. I will be posting in this thread as I progress. For the rest of the month of August I will do the following each day.

1. Wear a suit and tie, every single day, at least while I work.

Why? Everyone knows I am an advocate of dressing for success for the leadership benefits. If you didn't, this is one of my threads: Dressing For Success... Stop Looking Like A Fool. Now there are studies to show legitimate psychological changes in both the wearer of the suit and also the people they interact with. Why Dressing for Success Leads to Success

Among other things, the study measured improved negotiation terms, improved abstract thinking, increased feelings of power, increased testosterone, an overall boost in confidence and perceived social dominance/hierarchy for men that wore suits.

Now you can see why I want some of that action. I am currently wearing a gray plaid Brooks Brothers suit, white shirt and blue tie as I type this.

2. I will initiate contact with one person I have never met, seeking some form of win-win arrangement or synergy between companies every day.

Why? Relationships advance business. Customers advance revenue. We could all use more of this.

3. Maintain a diet that supports mental clarity.

Why? I can get distracted sometimes, probably some residual ADHD from childhood. Diet can tremendously help my clarity. To me this means ketosis, the whole time. I will use test strips to make sure I am in ketosis the entire time. I currently am. Also I weighed in at 212.5 this morning. We will see what we can do about that while we are at it.

4. At least 10 Minutes of Exercise Per Day.
I know... I am a pussy. Atomic Habits put an occurrence for me into words. Showing up for exercise is the hardest part. 10 minute commitment is something I can swallow every day for a month and it will likely lead to more exercise over time. Getting to the gym every day is a better habit than hard a$$, kill my muscles, work outs that will burn me out in 3 days and I don't go back for 7.

I will commit to 10 minutes per day.

5. Read the WSJ , distraction free, for 30 minutes per day.
I am getting the paper version if I can't figure out how to put it on the e-ink kindle. Airplane mode on the ipad until then. Education is imperative for self improvement.

6. Read a book, distraction free, for 30 minutes per day.
For 5 and 6, I think setting aside these chunks of time to literally leave the phone or ipad somewhere else will work wonders. Also knowing that I can get "back to it" in one hour will make it easier to swallow.

I will document my findings herein and we will see if this "dress for success" thing is all it is cracked up to be. We will also learn what small, incremental one-on-one discussions can lead to.

I will give an overall write up at the end to discuss overall improvements to well being and of course weight!

This should be interesting to say the least. And now I am officially accountable. Shit.

Who else is in?
 

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JunkBoxJoey_JBJ

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Decision(s) backing up your thoughts;

My phone has been on “Moon Mode” for several years for portions of the day/all night(s), only allowing favorites to get through if an emergency.

Also, love your reading challenge.

A rule which has been working unbelievable: I do not allow myself to even look at my phone screen for the “time” in the morning. Unless I have read 15-30 minutes or say a “chapter”...there is NO phone dopamine “reward”. Been crushing pages this way.

Crush it Kak.

PS - you look marvelous!
 

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2. I will initiate contact with one person I have never met, seeking some form of win-win arrangement or synergy between companies every day.

Why? Relationships advance business. Customers advance revenue. We could all use more of this.
After meeting up folks for some time, I feel the hardest part is not starting the relationship, but keeping up with it and moving forward to see how the other party works, and how to help him or her out.

Once the number of contacts builds up, it gets challenging to decide who gets my time first, or who has potentially good advice or opportunities to listen to.

Priorities is the word.

On coming up with the win-win arrangement, do you have an idea how to go about it?
Would you give consultations, recommend them good parties or other contacts that could help their businesses, perhaps even review their products and give your endorsement?

For me, I sometimes find so many folks having so many different kinds of needs that I sometimes wonder if I should only just offer help in my own specific areas of specialty, instead of being a jack-of-all-trades.
 

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I try to do this too. What I like to do is... there are certain behaviors that actually increase self control. For example Exercise and Meditation both release Dopamine, and Dopamine is basically Self Control fuel.

I wrote a little about them here

People with low Dopamine transmission have poor Self Control, and people who have high Dopamine transmission have almost unlimited Self Control. Exercise, meditation, reducing sugar (in favor of fruits which provide more consistent blood sugar & dopamine release,) getting plenty of sunlight. Use whatever self-control you do have to engage in activities that release/produce more Dopamine (and thus more self control,) then use your "profits" to "invest" in the other activities that further boost DA transmission, leading to even more self-control.

If you do it right it creates an Upward Spiral.

But needless to say I'm down.
 
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Kak

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On coming up with the win-win arrangement, do you have an idea how to go about it?
Would you give consultations, recommend them good parties or other contacts that could help their businesses, perhaps even review their products and give your endorsement?
I think it is less formal than this. More on seeking synergy. If there isn't any, you at least met someone new and something may bring them back in your head when there is a win-win opportunity.

If there is immediate opportunity, even better. I would suspect we uncover some of that this month.
 

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5. Read the WSJ , distraction free, for 30 minutes per day.
I am getting the paper version if I can't figure out how to put it on the e-ink kindle. Airplane mode on the ipad until then. Education is imperative for self improvement.
For myself, it would be more related to copywriting.

Here's what I'm working on alongside my freelancing, beginning a few days ago:

1. Take a few emails from the greats like Ben Settle and others, and break them down.
See if they follow the AIDA or PAS formula, identify hooks, objection killers and so on.

Perhaps I might google some key phrases to see if they turn up on customer review sites and forums, to spot if the email writers actually trail those sites.

And perhaps those customer sites could send me to more links and places where the market discussions are going on.

Then I take the concepts and try to write a similar email for a different industry with a similar problem.

2. Go visit other customer review sites on my own and grab at least 5 new insights or comments with potential 'ammunition' to write copy around, as long as its related to the product.

Presently, my best sites for looking at what the market is thinking are Amazon reviews, niche forums (got to get the keywords right to find them) and of course, Reddit.
Facebook groups suck though. Full of scammers, parrots and crickets.

I have compiled my findings in an Excel file, and also wrote some notes on potential headlines or copy phrases I can use for the future.

In a way, its a swipe file of sorts, but not to compile other's sales letters.
More of a swipe file of 'market speak'.

That way, I should be able to follow the saying 'Copy is assembled, not written'.
I would be able to write copy that is not based on bingo-banging by my own instincts.

I regret not paying attention to my last copywriting client who actually showed me an ENTIRE EXCEL FILE filled to the brim with their winning hooks, angles and notes. Could have implemented their stuff immediately, but I just continued my old methods until months later.

Some stupid guy I am.
 

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Nice work brother!

What time are you waking up these days? My biggest test of self control has been the switch from toddler alarm clocks at 5:45am to 5:00am so I get some uninterrupted time where I aim to do #’s 4 and 5 on your list. Could be a good option for you to knock out 4, 5 and 6 by 6:15am.

That said, I’m really focusing on #2, including getting ahold of some very hard to get ahold of folks. I’ll get a formal list together and join in.
 
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Kak

Kak

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Nice work brother!

What time are you waking up these days? My biggest test of self control has been the switch from toddler alarm clocks at 5:45am to 5:00am so I get some uninterrupted time where I aim to do #’s 4 and 5 on your list. Could be a good option for you to knock out 4, 5 and 6 by 6:15am.

That said, I’m really focusing on #2, including getting ahold of some very hard to get ahold of folks. I’ll get a formal list together and join in.
I am not a dad yet. It isn't for a lack of trying.

Currently we get up about 7, there is nothing workwise to do until about 8 central anyway. So it is just where we landed. I might try to push that back to 5:45. to get the reading and exercise done before I even "start" my day. Audible will help me stack reading on top of that workout, or driving. I should be doing that already.

The 30 minutes of WSJ is going to be more difficult to finish daily.
 

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Exercise is killer for productivity. I wrote this a while back:


Another study by Charles Hillman, professor at University of Illinois titled “Cognition Following Acute Aerobic Exercise,” found that 30 minutes of exercise resulted in a 5–10% increase in executive function. According to Web MD: “Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you get things done. These skills are controlled by an area of the brain called the frontal lobe. Executive function helps you: manage time, pay attention, switch focus, plan and organize, remember details, avoid saying or doing the wrong thing, do things based on your experience, multitask and more. When executive function isn’t working as it should, people’s behavior is less controlled. This can affect your ability to: work or go to school, do things independently, maintain relationships.”

The cognitive benefits of exercise may not be very surprising given how much exercise increases dopamine. And considering how much dopamine is related to motivation, it’s no surprise that it also may promote “go-getter” type behaviors.

Thomas C. Corley, Author of “Rich Habits — The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” interviewed 233 wealthy individuals (including 177 self-made millionaires) and 128 non-wealthy individuals in 2007 in order to find differences in lifestyle. He states “Aerobic exercise was the foundation of the daily exercise regimen for 76% of the wealthy, successful people in my study. Aerobic exercise includes running, jogging, walking, biking, swimming etc.”


(Sorry I love that survey.)

After Richard Haig, CEO of Haig Security Systems turned a daily 2 mile-walk into a ultra-running he stated “It’s no coincidence that I’ve done more to increase the company’s value in the past 2 years than I had in the previous 10.”
 

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Hey @Kak, I also have in mind to do something similar but I think that if is you that set up the challenge, you could avoid tasks that you know are difficult for you. What do you think?
 
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Kak

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Day one observations...

This isn't that bad. Maybe I set the bar too low. Maybe I'll be singing a different tune in a few weeks.

To that end, I felt confident. It wasn't completely game changing, but I felt on my game. When I spent a few hours in my home office this morning my wife assumed, I guess, that I was enthralled in something extremely important. She was careful not to "bother" me. That was interesting. She even mentioned the psychological effect it had on her.

This evening... I finally bought a "new" car. What better a place to test negotiation prowess and badassery than a car dealership. So I went down to the Mercedes dealership, to my suit’s dismay it was an "Autonation" dealership with "no haggle pricing" It was still a good deal, so I bought the Mercedes S550 that I have been eyeing... Yes, cars are a useless waste of money, but this one should last me a long time, and I like it.

I suppose instead of dragging feet, I just manned up and made a damn decision. Glad I did. It will now spare me from car websites for the foreseeable future. I was treated very well.

Reading was straightforward and easy. I killed the 30 minutes of reading to and from a lunch meeting on Audible. WSJ was fine too.

For exercise, I did push ups and an ab roller until I couldn't any more and spent about another 15 minutes on a rowing machine we own. True to my expectations, I spent a bit more time exercising than I needed to because it was easy to keep going once I started.

Now for the person I have never met... I reached out to the vendor relations department for an extremely large company requesting a meeting, we shall see where that goes.

Happy Monday!
 

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ChrisV

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This evening... I finally bought a "new" car. What better a place to test negotiation prowess and badassery than a car dealership. So I went down to the Mercedes dealership, to my suit’s dismay it was an "Autonation" dealership with "no haggle pricing" It was still a good deal, so I bought the Mercedes S550 that I have been eyeing... Yes, cars are a useless waste of money, but this one should last me a long time, and I like it.
Did you buy used? I'm a huge believer of buying used too. Let some other sucker eat the large chunk of depreciation.
 
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Kak

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Did you buy used? I'm a huge believer of buying used too. Let some other sucker eat the large chunk of depreciation.
Of course! What do you think I am? A doctor or lawyer? :rofl:

Let the people that either don't understand money or do and still don't care take the depreciation.
 
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ChrisV

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Of course! What do you think I am? A doctor or lawyer? :rofl:

Let the people that either don't understandd money or do and still don't care take the depreciation.
Or even worse, the lessees. I think a lease is pure instant gratification.

And I don't buy the whole 'tax write-off' thing. You're gonna spend an extra $40K just so you can save $10K in taxes? I'm sure there are some legitimate times that leasing is better, but I think the majority are just doing bad math.
 
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Kak

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Or even worse, the leasers.

And I don't buy the whole 'tax write-off' thing. You're gonna spend an extra $40K just so you can save $10K in taxes? I'm sure there are some legitimate times that leasing is better, but I think the majority are just doing bad math.
You can depreciate an owned car too... It is just on a different schedule. I must say the tax aware brain was pushing for a 6000 pound gvwr thing... But I got what I actually wanted...
 

ChrisV

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You can depreciate an owned car too... It is just on a different schedule. I must say the tax aware brain was pushing for a 6000 pound gvwr thing... But I got what I actually wanted...
Good shit... you've been eyeballing that car for a while. And yea, if it were all about saving money you could just get a used Fiat. Better off getting what you like.

Anyway, back on topic... yea, I think we overestimate how hard maintaining positive (ie health) behaviors is. It's often the first step that's the hardest.

One way I've found that's killer for Self-Control is monitoring your progress. Whether it be apps, pen and paper, spreadsheets. Using technology makes it much easier.

This is from a quasi-experiment a hospital did in order to increase compliance with their hand-washing policy.

Before monitoring progress? Only 3 in 10 complied with the rules. After installing a system to monitor progress and give feedback, the compliance rate shot up to ~90%

26417

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I love the Quantified Self movement. Our brains are wired to look for immediate feedback and we like being informed that we're stating on track.
 
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I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of wearing a suit. After reading your threads I definitely needed to make some size and shoe brand adjustment.

Lifestyle Changes

1) Quit porn. Numerous times this was mentioned throughout the forum. It caught my attention and after seeing the benefits I gave it a shot. Coming from once or twice a week, in the past 3 months I’ve watched it twice. Both times had nothing todo with boredom. Sexual desires should only be with my partner.

2) Going to the gym.
This place has to have weights, machines, and most IMPORTANTLY not crowded. 3..2..1... All behold Fitness System. They charges 2x-3x the membership fee and is further away from my location. I drive pass 2 huge name gyms to get there. But the fact that it fits my needs nothing else mattered. Ratio of going to the gym must be greater than not going every week.

3) Maintaining a Keto lifestyle. Been here before. Lost 40+ lbs in 2017. I never gained any back but I’m currently stuck at 240lbs (5’11).

4) Getting back to reading. Currently rereading TMF. Goal is to finish 1 book a month. I did purchase “Quiet” but its not solving the problems I have infront of me so the book will have to wait.
 

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Day one observations...

This isn't that bad. Maybe I set the bar too low. Maybe I'll be singing a different tune in a few weeks.

To that end, I felt confident. It wasn't completely game changing, but I felt on my game. When I spent a few hours in my home office this morning my wife assumed, I guess, that I was enthralled in something extremely important. She was careful not to "bother" me. That was interesting. She even mentioned the psychological effect it had on her.

This evening... I finally bought a "new" car. What better a place to test negotiation prowess and badassery than a car dealership. So I went down to the Mercedes dealership, to my suit’s dismay it was an "Autonation" dealership with "no haggle pricing" It was still a good deal, so I bought the Mercedes S550 that I have been eyeing... Yes, cars are a useless waste of money, but this one should last me a long time, and I like it.

I suppose instead of dragging feet, I just manned up and made a damn decision. Glad I did. It will now spare me from car websites for the foreseeable future. I was treated very well.

Reading was straightforward and easy. I killed the 30 minutes of reading to and from a lunch meeting on Audible. WSJ was fine too.

For exercise, I did push ups and an ab roller until I couldn't any more and spent about another 15 minutes on a rowing machine we own. True to my expectations, I spent a bit more time exercising than I needed to because it was easy to keep going once I started.

Now for the person I have never met... I reached out to the vendor relations department for an extremely large company requesting a meeting, we shall see where that goes.

Happy Monday!
I'm a little disappointed. I always figured you were probably reading the WSJ in a terry cloth robe while sipping espresso out of a tiny cup on a spacious rooftop with a view.
 

ChrisV

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To anyone who might question the benefits of diet for mental clarity... don't. It's seriously a game-changer.

 
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Kak

Kak

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Quick update!

I am SLACKING today. That is right. No suit and tie, I am wearing a dress shirt and a linen sportcoat... I know most of you would cut me slack on that one, but the challenge was a suit and tie. 95 degree weather makes a wool suit an indoor only option. The linen sportcoats can be worn outside a bit. I am still dressed for success either way.

Weighed myself this morning at 211 dead on the number so that is down 1.5 pounds since monday. Just from staying in ketosis the whole time and doing my 10-30 minutes per day of exercise.

Also, I got Facebook. After years of resisting, I finally decided I need a place to manage relationships with cool people I meet.
 
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G-Man

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Quick update!

I am SLACKING today. That is right. No suit and tie, I am wearing a dress shirt and a linen sportcoat... I know most of you would cut me slack on that one, but the challenge was a suit and tie. 95 degree weather makes a wool suit an indoor only option. The linen sportcoats can be worn outside a bit. I am still dressed for success either way.

Weighed myself this morning at 211 dead on the number so that is down 1.5 pounds since monday. Just from staying in Ketosis the whole time and doing my 10-30 minutes per day of exercise.

Also, I got Facebook. After years of resisting, I finally decided I need a place to manage relationships with cool people I meet.
Linen sport coat. One step closer to a terry cloth robe. :rofl:
 

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1) Quit porn. Numerous times this was mentioned throughout the forum. It caught my attention and after seeing the benefits I gave it a shot. Coming from once or twice a week, in the past 3 months I’ve watched it twice. Both times had nothing todo with boredom. Sexual desires should only be with my partner.
That's great if you HAVE a partner. I haven't had a regular partner in 9 years. Porn is a poor substitute, but... urologists say regular orgasms are strongly recommended for prostate health, sooo....
 

ChrisV

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Also, I got Facebook. After years of resisting, I finally decided I need a place to manage relationships with cool people I meet.
It's all in how you use it. I essentially use it as a Feed for News... I "follow" the pages I like and it delivers news to me. I can really care less about Sally's new cat.

There are also some decent groups on there.. like i have a couple Psychology and Personal Dev groups I belong tother... it's like any other medium .. it can be junk food or useful depending on how you use it

For instance, this is one of my Twitter lists:


It's mostly Harvard Business Review, Poynter, Gallup, Pew Research, Consumer Reports, Reuters, etc.
 
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Kak

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That's great if you HAVE a partner. I haven't had a regular partner in 9 years. Porn is a poor substitute, but... urologists say regular orgasms are strongly recommended for prostate health, sooo....
The porn stuff is TMI... This isn't the faplane forum.

Personally, I don't want to read about it, even if you are jackin' it for "prostate health."
 
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garyfritz

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Sorry @Kak. TMI gross-out not intended. But my dad got prostate cancer at 64. My brother was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago at 64, and had a radical prostatectomy last month. I'm almost 63, my PSA is rising, my uro wasn't thrilled with what he found, and I have a biopsy scheduled next week. So prostate health isn't just "in quotes" for me. It's a very real and present concern.
 

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I have searched this thread!!

There is NO selfie of you in a linen jacket or suit and tie or ANYTHING!! The people need selfies! At least like a shoulder shot dude!

But seriously, I love this idea! It’s entirely impractical for my day job since I work with sweaty elderly ppl all day.. BUT I’ve started going to events for work and community meetings and other things in a dress and heels + my diamonds more and more because of your whole dress to impress thread.

Love this! Keep up the good work!
 

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This evening... I finally bought a "new" car. What better a place to test negotiation prowess and badassery than a car dealership. So I went down to the Mercedes dealership, to my suit’s dismay it was an "Autonation" dealership with "no haggle pricing" It was still a good deal, so I bought the Mercedes S550 that I have been eyeing... Yes, cars are a useless waste of money, but this one should last me a long time, and I like it.
I am, looking at, buying a "faster" or more "luxurious" / "Exotic" car.

Criteria I am looking for.
  1. Under 80k
  2. Less likely to depreciate in 5 - 10 years
I came up with three.
  1. Lotus Elise 111R
  2. Lotus Exige S240/S260
  3. 2008 Mercedes CLK-63 AMG Black Edition
For the time being, my Kia Rio is doing the trick.
 

MTEE1985

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I am still dressed for success either way.
I’ve always found a jacket & no tie when done right will still outshine the guy wearing a three piece suit when it’s 105 out. Dressing for success absolutely applies to being appropriate for the situation and location.

Also, I got Facebook
35318224-6158-4888-967F-0B0BC909C4B7.jpeg
 

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4. At least 10 Minutes of Exercise Per Day.
I know... I am a pussy. Atomic Habits put an occurrence for me into words. Showing up for exercise is the hardest part. 10 minute commitment is something I can swallow every day for a month and it will likely lead to more exercise over time. Getting to the gym every day is a better habit than hard a$$, kill my muscles, work outs that will burn me out in 3 days and I don't go back for 7.

I will commit to 10 minutes per day.
If you are game, mix it up with mobility/flexibility training. Works wonder for overall performance, health and well-being.

This channel has some pretty good mobility workout.

And for anyone that is discounting it, try it once. Let me know how it goes.
 
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