Apalla #34 – Life, Part 2

Mindset is really one of the things I’ve struggled the most to write about, and I’ve written about it many times. The problem has nothing to do with describing what a good mindset is — in fact, I’m about to do that for you with relative ease. The problem has to do with getting the person to act.

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Apalla #33 – Life, Part 1

Our last series before we go on hiatus to work on Alexandria is all about life. Yup, that’s right — what makes life worth living, and how do we figure it all out?

Well, I think for all hard problems like this, we need to invert (start from the end) and look at what not to do. In other words, our first chapter is all about regrets.

Thanks to the research at Barking Up The Wrong Tree, we have a good idea of what the top 5 biggest life regrets are: 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

Well, I see three distinct patterns across these five regrets: living the Ubermensch (“I wish I was the person I wanted to be”), being mindful (working too hard/not being happy), and socialization (Staying in touch with friends/reaching out to people).

So, how do we fix each of these? For the first one, I think mindset is everything (so much so, in fact, that it’s the entirety of the next episode!). Being able to ask yourself difficult questions without shying away from them is a superhuman skill that very well might unlock the key to happiness. Questions such as “What sort of person do you want to be remembered as?” and “What do you want to be remembered for?” can help get you to that fabled Ubermensch of yourself.

I think the next two, mindfulness and socialization, revolve around essentially the same concept: how does one make the most of the life they have?

Writers and thinkers have had a few different hypotheses when it comes to all this. Some believe in making each day as long as possible — doing it through emotion, where if you can think, laugh, and cry once every day, you’ll live a full life. Others believe that life needs to be treated as a game, or an adventure, and brought to its most fun and interactive extent. Ultimately, it’s up to you to interpret your own life. But hopefully understanding these regrets have helped you get there.

I already spoiled the next episode — mindset. I’ll see you next week for it!

Apalla #29 – Psychology, Part 4

Some of you may remember when we talked about biases during Behavior Economics. Well, since BE is, by definition, both economical and psychological, I thought it’d be appropriate to bring it back. So, for this quick laid back episode of Apalla, let’s run through a few more important biases — economic or not. 

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Apalla #28 – Psychology, Part 3

On this episode of Apalla, we’ll be talking about what is, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing concepts in psychology: that of the social game.

Essentially, just like how there are identifiable and stable patterns in normal human life, there are identifiable and stable patterns in interactions between people as well. This is what is referred to as the social game: the set of all interactions people have with one another, why these interactions occur, and what works best in each given game.

As part of the social game, there are two levels: the macrogame and the microgame. The macrogame relates to the social status of a person at any given point — that is, their place in the social hierarchy. The microgame, on the other hand, are individual social interactions that make up the placement in the social hierarchy. 

Typically, people want to score highly in the social hierarchy because it gives them access to resources. For example, people are more likely to share information, food, shelter, romance, etc. with people whom they see as charismatic or socially conscious (i.e. people who are high on the social hierarchy). This, in generalized terms, is why we socialize in the first place — we recognize that alone we cannot do much, but in a group we improve our survival chances quite a bit.

Although things like gathering food for survival isn’t quite as relevant to modern day socialization, these fragments still exist. Now, as an example, we socialize to get better jobs. Better jobs give us more money, which gives us — you guessed it — more food and better shelter. Really, it all ties back to resources!

That being said, a deep-dive on this concept is complex. In normal game theory, we often work with incredible simple models, with simple actors and simple payouts. Imagine how complex your social interactions are in comparison! Because of this, social games are an emerging field; but there’s no question that they’re an important one as well.

Anyway, that’s a quick summary of social games. Next episode, we’ll bring back biases and talk about a few more interesting ones. See you then!

Apalla #27 – Psychology, Part 2

Hello, and welcome to part two of our discussion of psychology.

In this episode, we’ll be talking about refactoring. Refactoring is the process of redefining aspects of your life based on a specific catalyst, often such as a brush up with death, a break up, or unemployment. 

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Apalla #26 – Psychology, Part 1

Today, we’re talking about some general psychology topics. Since I’m a big psychology fan, I have quite a few psychology docs on hand — however, I do also have a “miscellaneous” doc for smaller topics. I figure I’ll start off the psychology folder by firing off a couple of these as their own Psychology series. 

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