Appearing Superhuman Volume 1

I haven’t posted to this newsletter in many months, but I’m getting back into gear. This newsletter is a weekly compilation of things I found interesting, challenges I’m taking on, and the automations, processes, and habits I’m using to ‘appear superhuman.’

If you don’t remember signing up or aren’t interested anymore feel free to hit that unsubscribe button below. If you’re still along for the ride, then rock on 🤘 

Weekly Highlights: 

  • Why Life Seems to Speed Up as We Age (8 min video) – I’ve heard this advice before, but they put it eloquently in a way that’s easily understandable. Plus, I love the advice on how to achieve the perception that time is slowing down.
  • CIA Field Sabotage Manual (Declassified) (4 min read) – In 1944, the CIA released a guide on how to sabotage an organization, and I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of companies are voluntarily implementing these tactics today. These handful of examples sound exactly like what happens in a typical corporate meeting: (1) insist on doing everything through channels, (2) haggle over people’s wordings, and (3) advocate “caution” often.
  • Parenting : Who is it really for? (4 min read) – Derek Sivers is one of the few writers that makes me excited to check my email. He doesn’t put out content often, but when he does, it’s high-quality, unique, and thought-provoking. Plus, it’s cool he responds to literally everyone that emails him back — including yours truly. 

Quote I’m Revisiting: 

🕰 Piggybacking on ‘lengthening your subjective experience of time,’ I found this passage from a book called Moonwalking with Einstein I read back in college: 

“I’m working on expanding subjective time so that it feels like I live longer,” Ed had mumbled to me on the sidewalk outside the Con Ed headquarters, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. “The idea is to avoid that feeling you have when you get to the end of the year and feel like, where the hell did that go?” 

“And how are you going to do that?” I asked. “By remembering more. By providing my life with more chronological landmarks. By making myself more aware of time’s passage.” I told him that his plan reminded me of Dunbar, the pilot in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 who reasons that since time flies when you’re having fun, the surest way to slow life’s passage is to make it as boring as possible. Ed shrugged. “Quite the opposite. The more we pack our lives with memories, the slower time seems to fly.”

Song of the Week:

Satisfy My Soul by Bob Marley: Spotify YouTube – I was really feeling this song on a windy summer day walking my dog.

Video of the Week: 

This past Wednesday, June 8th, marked four years since Anthony Bourdain’s death. I put it on my calendar as a reminder to always live life to the fullest and step out of my comfort zone. With his affinity for all things food, that typically manifests with me eating something I don’t like or have never tried. 

Those who know me well know I don’t like despise seafood (fish specifically), so I thought I’d try raw oysters and snow crab for the first time. These videos aren’t anything special, but it’s proof to the universe that I did it:

My first time trying snow crab (:43)

My first time trying raw oysters (1:41)

Automation/Process of the Week:

My wife is pregnant with our first child, who’s due in a matter of weeks. Naturally, everyone and their mother is telling me how much sleep I will lose. It stands to reason that I’m now thinking if I’m going to get less sleep, then I better make sure the sleep I do get is high-quality. 

Here’s my plan:

Downloading the ‘AutoSleep Track Sleep on Watch’ App ($4)

The average sleep cycle is about 90-minutes, and waking up in the middle of REM sleep is when you feel the absolute worst. I use this Apple watch/phone app to ensure that rarely happens. When I go to sleep, I set the alarm for either 6 or 7.5 hours and tell it to gently wake me up in a 40-minute window to my desired wake time if it detects I’m already stirring, which usually means I’m awake anyway. This virtually guarantees I wake up feeling refreshed every day.

Moving your phone charger to the bathroom (free)

Harvard researchers experimented by comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours). The blue light from our phones kills our sleep quality. I opt to read before bed now, and I stick to fiction so I can switch my busy mind off of today’s problems and opportunities.

Drinking Calm Magnesium Supplement before bed ($20 for 3+ month supply)

Magnesium has a myriad of benefits, but it plays a large role in sleep regulation, and current research shows it helps the body relax and improve symptoms of insomnia. About half of Americans don’t get enough of it, so I take two teaspoons in a mug with 4-5 oz of hot water as I wind down for the evening.

After doing this routine for half the week, I got this notification from the Health app on my iPhone I’d never seen before. Seems like I’m on the right track.

Your Turn:

Here’s something to think about or journal on:

Where are you compromising? 

Where in your life do you keep saying, “One more day won’t hurt?”