One Year Of Discipline, Day 40: How We Make Snap Decisions – And I Overcome A Childhood Fear.

One Year Of Discipline

I was a bit late to an appointment yesterday, so I took a cab from the hospital where I work. The cab driver was really friendly, and turned out to really like science, so we chatted a bit.

But before I continue, here is a video on today’s “Juice A Day” progress. I overcame a childhood fear!

I remember that back during my PhD thesis in Dresden, Germany, we had “Open Night of Science” twice a year. People could just stroll into the institute, where we had prepared some “show-off” experiments, and they could watch fruit flies under the microscope, feed our zebrafish and check out the axolotls – which regenerate their tails after being cut off (disclaimer: no axolotls were harmed in those nights).

The folks who went on tours through the institute always came back really enthusiastic, perfectly amazed and happy. And they were proud that such an institute existed in their city.

Oftentimes, scientists keep to themselves and don’t make many efforts to contact the public. Ironically, they do work for the public – most of the basic research is funded by grants from the government. Scientists often wrongly assume that people are not interested in their work. Yeah, people will often say “Math is hard” or “I couldn’t do science”, but that does not mean they don’t enjoy when scientists make an effort and share some of their research with enthusiasm.

Right. But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, the cab driver. I was actually amazed at how he seemed to have recognized me wanting to get a cab before I had actually decided I would hail his car.

He told me he can see right away when people want to use a taxi. Before they actually start stepping to the street and looking for one. He told me that foresight came with experience, but he could not really explain it.

It strongly reminded me of the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell talks about how we actually form our decisions within a split second, before we come up with logical arguments in favor of our choice. For example, there was a museum that had to decide whether they could trust the authenticity of a statue they wanted to buy. The museum brought in a number of experts who looked at the statue very carefully, then decided it was trustworthy.

Very soon after they had bought the statue, another expert saw it and immediately realized the statue was a fake. And he was right.

It seems that our subconscious mind comes up with mostly correct solutions to complex decisions – within a split second. we don’t know what’s going on, so we say it’s a “snap” decision. As mentioned in the book “Incognito“, the decisions we think we consciously make are merely feedback from our subconscious mind that has already made the decision for us.

I found it very interesting to find another example of those snap judgements in daily life.

Summary of Day 40

#1 – Career

(a) Lab work

Nothing special to say, we are working on the manuscript, and that’s that.

(b) This blog

I wrote this blog post, and I can manage to write it in less than 2 hours. The first hour is for actual writing, the second hour for uploading my YouTube video, putting links in, editing etc.

#2 – Health

(a) Workout

Daily Calisthenics:

Nice. Today I could do 21 push-ups in proper form in one go. The rest was between 9 and 10, then pause etc. until I had finished 120.

Squats and sit-ups were going well in one sitting. Nothing special to report here.

(b) Nutrition

Boyd fat 22.3%, a bit higher than yesterday, but nothing that worries me too much right now.

Coffee/Eggs/Protein Shake for Breakfast

Mozzarella and Tomatoes, vegetable oil for dinner.

(c) Juicing

See YouTube video for further explanation. You can find the Raw Omelette recipe here. Check also Juicing for Power.

(d) Sleep

Only 4 hours, I need to take more. I have to stop writing my blog article by midnight and continue next morning.

#3 – Social Life

I kept mostly to myself and focused on my work. Struck up some conversations with people in public transport to loosen myself a bit up emotionally.

#4 – Habits

Here is the list from 30 Days of Discipline – and how I fared:

1. Eat three meals or less: If you count the juice, I had three meals.

2. Get up between 5 and 7 am: I got up at 7 am. Ok.

3. Cold showers: Every day one cold shower. No mercy.

4. No Porn and Masturbation: Check.

5. 100 push-ups/squats/sit-ups minimum: 120 each, every day. See above.

6. Dress to impress, dress for success: Check.

7. Make a to-do list: Done.

8. Stand tall and proud: Done.

9. No excuses/explanations/BS: None.

10. Keep those ideas written down: Notes for today:

What did I do well?
I overcame my life-long aversion against drinking raw eggs and finally HAD THEM!!! Woo hoo!

What do I want to improve?
A bit tired over the day.

How will I improve?
Get more sleep.

How did I feel today?
Morning: still tired, but “pumped up” (don’t think I can keep up with one more short sleep day, though).

What did I learn today?
You can have a lot of fun by just doing what you normally would not do. Celebrate it adequately. E.g. make a whole YouTube video out of it and finish it with as Whiskey.

11. My purpose: Blog and work. Did not slack on either.

To check the description of the “One Year of Discipline” challenge, click here.

Here are some other reviews of “30 Days of Discipline”:

John Shea’s podcast and blog.

Striving for Freedom.

Proper Villains.

30 Days to X.


Good Looking Loser.

Free Northener.

Captain Capitalism.

Ignore Limits.

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