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David Amerland
Author, Speaker, Analyst.
Author, Speaker, Analyst.

David's posts

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Learning To Formulate Reality

It's weird to think that we need to train ourselves to understand what's really real. Yet, most times, our perception of what is possible and our assessment of the obstacles we face is the result of inner fears, doubts, uncertainty and indecision. We are led by our prejudices. Our fears are fuelled by misconceptions and biases. If we can train our minds to strip down what we see and deal with what we have, we soon realise that the seemingly impossible outcomes we seek become easier to achieve. - 

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Always worth reading. :) 
Semantic Writing Newsletter
26 ways to develop your personal brand
Headlines that succeed
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Can a Book Truly Divide a Country?

Only if we buy into some of the assumptions made for us without thinking, it would appear. 

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Bennie in Sunlight

Bennie appears to love the sun as much as Nike does. :) Clearly not a dog designed to live with Vampires :D 

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So, Fellow Cyborgs, What's Next?

We're already cyborgs. So the next phase shouldn't surprises us too much, nor should it be too much of a leap to stomach and Tim Urban argues that it is kinda inevitable.

Be warned, this is a long read. Really looooong. But totally worth it.

h/t +Gideon Rosenblatt who alerted me to it. Enjoy. And, oh yeah, kiss the rest of the day goodbye, but at least it won't be a total loss. You will have learnt a heck of a lot. 

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The things that drive us are never the things that we assume will. In every situation, at some point, we need to find the path to what is really important. When that happens we always revert to core values that stem from our identity.

These are some of the issues I explore in The Sniper Mind ( currently at 36% off for hardbacks, for pre-orders on Amazon.

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Have One Awesome Week Ahead

Bennie is enjoying the morning sun in his early morning walk and he hopes that all people on G+ have one awesome week ahead. I have to second that sentiment hombres, coz ... Bennie. ;) 

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I am a firm believer in technology’s ability to break down barriers, create fresh opportunities and shake up the existing status quo. But I also know that technology is only a tool. It is a means to an end and a conduit. It enables us to amplify our inherent capabilities so we achieve more with less effort which then allows us to pour in more effort to achieve even more. It also channels the best and worst of our excesses, amplifying our impulses to the degree that it appears, at times, that no matter how far we progress in terms of technological capability, we’re still slaves to our primitive past:

We are trapped in a time horizon that deprecates our ability to plan for the future and amplifies the importance of the present for us. The result is that while intellectually we understand the issues involved and totally want to become better versions of ourselves, we are unable to control our own impulses, even though there are actually answers to that problem:

As human beings we are in the unique position of actually being able to rewire our minds, not to make issues go away or make impulses disappear, that is clearly impossible. But we can put in place things that ‘trick’ our minds into behaving better so that our self interest is met not in the short term, but also in the long term. This amazing ability kept me into a world of cutting-edge science for three years as I worked on The Sniper Mind ( looking for the takeaways we can learn to implement so that we have better control over our impulses, can deal better with the unpredictability of the present and plan better for the future.

Just how powerful the mind is, is demonstrated in this example of one person using their mind to control someone else’s arm via the neural signature of a particular movement: That is also the principle behind The Sniper Mind ( whereby practices and mental tricks that work for some of the world’s elite soldiers can be transferred to our lives and benefit us in the world of business with impulse control, executive decision making and dealing with complex factors when under extreme pressure.

Impulse control is clearly something we all struggle with: particularly as we transition from being relatively helpless kids to occasionally helpless adults: What we are learning is that young brains are not just lacking in experience, they’re also not yet fully insulated which makes them prone to giving in to impulses which can lead to addictions:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk on the brain, resilience, impulses and its bandwidth is quite eye-opening:, particularly as he mines his own circumstances to try and understand the value of a “life well lived”.

In The Matrix Mouse says that “to deny our own impulses is to deny ourselves the very things that make us human” ( but impulse control actually allows us to overcome fears and control circumstances better so that we get better outcomes:

Psychology shows us that we can, if we want to, get better control of our primitive, maybe childish, selves: We can learn to become better by building better versions of our selves. Key to all of this is us. In order to change and improve we need to want to. In order to want to we need to be able to see “why?”. There has to be a future that offers some kind of hope.

It appears that nothing of what we do is in isolation. In order to want to improve ourselves, whether it’s mentally or physically, we need to exert effort and expand energy. That’s more effort than it takes not to do something and more energy than is required to give in to impulses. Effort and energy are never spent unless there is hope and hope is the result of future outcomes created out of networked communities and societies that can show constant improvement.

Back to our tech then. Whatever we use it for. However we use it. If it’s not integrated in the societal structures we build up and it’s not fully embedded in the human elements of our communities, it just ends up being yet one more means through which we can pursue our own self destruction.

Hopefully the tech you use has reminded you to shop for coffee, chocolate donuts, croissants, cookies and chocolate cake, without which this day becomes a lot less than it should be. Have an awesome Sunday wherever you are. 

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Is is an Insect, a Mammal or a Plant?

This is not the kind of question that you would normally be ambivalent about, except that the naked mole rat really turns things we know, on their heads, which only goes to show just how little we really know. 

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A Little Discomfort Goes A Long Way

I managed to injure my left shoulder during heavy bag training a few weeks back. I haven't done serious push ups for a few weeks now so today was the first day back, so to speak. You never know how far you can go until you try. This is a 20 push-up set split into a 10/5/5 combination using a medicine ball. I did three with a 2 min break between each. Much work to do still. :) 
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