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Category Archives: Schalk Cloete Jnr.

Kortverhaal: Doen dit oor

Doen dit oorDoen dit oor het in Huisgenoot van 1 Maart 2007 verskyn en vertel ietsie van die vreugde wat ons kon ervaar om te sien hoe ons hakkelende ouboet deur die kursus by die McGuire Programme https://www.mcguireprogramme.com/en ‘n nuwe mens word – ‘n mens wat nie terugstaan vir uitdagings nie en wat ten volle tot sy reg kom. 

JA, DIS DIESELFDE ONTVANGSDAME; hy het maar gehoop dis nie twee persone wat die pos deel nie.  ‘n Formidabele tante van onsekere ouderdom; ‘n gesagsfiguur, kon netsowel ‘n skoolhoof gewees het.  Sy onthou hom baie beslis van gister se besoek.  En sy was baie beslis nie beïndruk toe hy vanoggend bel en aandring op ‘n afspraak met presies dieselfde Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Die liewe internet!

InformationOh, the internet – that amazing global collaboration that brings the world to a digital device near you.

Like all awesome technological progress, it also brings plenty of problems. In this case, it’s the huge amount of useless or even dangerous information it puts at your fingertips.

Let’s see how we can sort the digital wheat from the chaff.

Honestly assess your information diet

recent post likened the abundant information from the digital revolution to the abundant calories from the agricultural revolution.

Calories are food for our bodies. Information is food for our minds. 

So, how’s your mental diet been lately? Do you feed your mind with healthy amounts of wisdom-rich information? Or is it more like one long empty information binge?

Empty information is just like empty calories: great for instant endorphin releases, terrible for long-term health and vitality. 

Cutting out empty information is key to a healthy digital diet.

Video streaming

Digital video entertainment offers an excellent example of this comparison between information and food: 

  • Semi-illegal streaming of series and movies is like dirt-cheap empty calories. A decidedly average experience that makes you prone to catching some nasty viruses, but oh so addictive.
  • Budget subscription platforms like Netflix are like a cheap all-you-can-eat buffet. To get good value from your purchase, you have to stuff yourself to bursting point.
  • Platforms like Google Play where you pay for what you watch promote quality over quantity. This is like buying a fine chocolate and enjoying it slowly, preferably with friends.
  • Going to see a highly rated new movie in the cinema is like a fine dining experience.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the last two are much preferred to the first two.

Just like food, endorphins from digital treats are sometimes useful to improve mood or enhance a nice social situation. And just like food, we should focus on healthier snacking.

The key bit of wisdom in the above-linked post goes thusly: if you can’t get yourself to pay for a healthier snack, you clearly don’t need it.

So, it’s either healthy digital snacking or no digital snacking. 

It’s not just video

This simple rule works for any other type of online information.

Online news offers a highly topical example in these virus-infested times. Having all the world’s problems conveniently summarized at your fingertips is a smooth highway to overwhelm and anxiety.

Oorspronklike post: https://schalkcloete.com/intelligent-internet-use/

 

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Benut jou rekenaar (desktop) ten volle!

RekenaarThis week, we’ll be spending some quality time with the digital revolution – that wave of clever gadgets that changed our lives forever.

Like all the other technology revolutions, this one certainly has its pros and cons. Our mission is simple: catch all the pros and dodge all the cons.

And what better place to start than the digital agent that first infiltrated our homes: the personal computer (PC).

Ergonomics

This should be top priority for anyone spending a sizable chunk of their day on a PC.

Make sure your work space features the following work and life enhancers:

  1. A supportive chair at a height where your feet comfortably rest on the floor.
  2. Positioning of your mouse and keyboard so that your forearms (and the entire weight of your arms) can rest comfortably on a flat surface.
  3. Positioning of your monitor so that your neck is always in a comfortable position.

Movement

It’s vital to get into the habit of moving your body at least once per hour. 

Actually, there are some studies that want us to get up every 30 minutes, but I find that too disruptive.

A fitness watch that buzzes when you’ve been stagnant for one hour is just the right tool for the job. The cheap Mi Band 4 discussed earlier helped me to finally get this right.

Discipline

Creating a comfortable environment for PC use is awesome when you’re at your productive best, but wrought with danger when you’re getting lost in Netflix or YouTube.

The single best antidote for this slow poison oozing from your PC is RescueTime

You can use it to block distracting websites after a certain amount of time, depending on whether it’s work hours or not. It also gives you some eye-opening statistics on how you use your PC.

Efficiency

There are three keys to graduating from PC user to PC master:

  1. Become an expert in the software you use regularly as well as your chosen operating system. A good test of your expertise is how many keyboard shortcuts you know by heart.
  2. Two words… Blind typing.
  3. Excellent organization of your files (including fully automatic cloud backup), combined with a keystroke launcher like Launchy.

Comfort

Those who have mastered the movement habit, good discipline and high efficiency have earned the privilege of taking ergonomics to the next level: genuine comfort.

Personally, I do most of my work on my PC in a comfortable recliner in front of my TV, which serves only as a computer screen.

Over here in the far North, I’m always working under a lovely soft duvet, often with a nice cup of hot tea on the table beside me. This makes the process of working on my PC deeply pleasant.

So, once you’ve proven yourself worthy, proudly claim your just reward: a luxuriously comfortable workstation 🙂

Hier is die oorspronklike post: https://schalkcloete.com/intelligent-pc-use/

 

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Wees slimmer as jou slimfoon!

SlimfoonMy oudste trek nou heel toevallig met sy blog by die maniere waarop ons tegnologie kan bestuur:

The smartphone is one of the sharpest parts on the double-edged sword of the digital revolution.

It put the world at our fingertips, but, in so doing, it created the most distracted and overwhelmed generation ever.

As always, today’s post is all about swiping right on the good and left the bad.

Notifications

As the world is finally cracking down on smoking, saving millions of lives, a new addiction is quickly filling that void: notifications

Addiction is horrible for the user, but great for sales and even better for profits. Tobacco companies exploited this despicable marketing strategy for decades. Now it’s the turn of app developers.

And notifications lie at the heart of this digital addiction: that hypnotic “ping” or alluring little number on an icon telling you that someone liked the selfie you just posted.

Indeed, notifications are highly addictive and extraordinarily distracting.

Turn them off.

All of them (including email).

Your phone should only demand your attention for calls, texts and important reminders.  

Addictive apps

There are countless apps out there that essentially sell distraction. Why on Earth would the most distracted generation in history pay good money for more distraction?

Simple: addiction.

Here’s a simple 3-step digital detox strategy:

  1. Classify: Carefully consider each installed app and classify it as either essential or addictive.
  2. Clean: Delete all addictive apps without which you’ll still be able to breathe.
  3. Rearrange: Shift apps around as follows:
    1. Essential apps on the home screen
    2. Non-classified apps on the next screen (so you have to swipe at least once to see them)
    3. Addictive apps you literally can’t live without on the last screen (so they’re multiple swipes away)

Inefficiency

A smartphone is great for getting information on demand, but there are many tasks where your PC is a way better tool.

Here are three examples of badly inefficient smartphone tasks:

  1. Writing longer messages, emails or documents.
  2. Doing serious online research (you phone is OK for some of life’s big questions like why dogs eat grass and cats are scared of cucumbers).
  3. Online shopping.

Who owns who?

Do you own your phone or is it the other way around? Be honest now…

If you’re in full control of when you use this digital tool, you’re the owner and all is well.

If this digital tool regularly takes control of your actions, you’re the owned and have a serious problem.

Rule your phone with an iron first that will make the world’s worst dictators squirm. There should be no doubt about who’s the boss 😉

 

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Die ooreenkoms tussen kos en inligting!

My seunskind se blog trek nou heel toevallig by die belangrikheid daarvan om die inligting te beheer wat na jou toe kom en seker te maak jy stel jou nie aan goed bloot wat jou net ontstel en waaraan jy niks kan doen nie. 

InformationThe digital revolution is the dominant influencing factor in our lives today. It’s impact is so great that the whole of next week will be dedicated to digital mastery.

But before we get to that, let’s take a bit of a detour and talk about diet…

Information: food for your mind

The previous post introduced the striking similarities between food and information.

Just like nutrient-rich food nurtures your body, wisdom-rich information nurtures your mind. And of course, on the dark side, we find empty calories and empty information. 

The good, the bad, and the useless

Distinguishing between good and bad information is easy:

If it takes your mind to creative places that can genuinely benefit your life (or the lives of others), it’s good. If it gets you stuck in a distressed or distracted state with no positive outcome, it’s bad. 

Good information is like nuts, seeds and berries – super tasty and very good for you. Bad information is like a tub of cheap ice cream – not really all that great, but for some reason you can’t stop eating.

And then there’s the useless. This is the mindless flipping through TV channels, the purposeless scrolling on Facebook or the random YouTube adventures. It’s primary cost is time. 

In terms of our food analogy, useless information is like filler carbs – not good, not bad, just there. And just like filler carbs, too much of it can crowd out your capacity to consume the good stuff.

Treat your information like food

This analogy is very interesting to play with in day-to-day life.

Does the information you consumed today remind you more of a green salad or a deep-fried doughnut?

Are there perhaps some signs of addiction to your deep-fried doughnut digital treats? Or perhaps an information snacking problem? Do you know where to find the green salads of information?

Do You Maintain a Healthy Information Diet?

 

 

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The world’s worst foods: Empty calorie fats

CupcakeToday’s discussion is closely related to yesterday’s post on empty calorie carbs. But there are a couple of important peculiarities about the health impacts of these fatty treats… 

What’s so bad about empty calorie fats?

Just like empty calorie carbs, empty calorie fats give your body plenty of fuel, but no nutrients to repair the damages from burning this fuel. In the long run, this causes serious damage to the body – much like an engine that is run without oil changes and other maintenance.

There’s one type of empty calorie fat that is especially hazardous: trans fats. These fats are mostly found in margarine, shortening and vegetable oil – and any food that contains (or is fried in) these ingredients.

Luckily, the authorities are acting to outlaw this dangerous ingredient, but it’s worth checking the labels of fatty foods just to be sure.

After trans fats, saturated fat is the most problematic. Food labels also state the amount of saturated fat in any food, so this information is readily available to you.

Most sources put the safe limit of saturated fat at or slightly below 20 g per day. Go beyond that, and you will increase your risk of heart disease. Cancer is also associated with diets high in saturated fats.

Other fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) are generally quite good for you and can represent 30-40% of your calorie intake without problems.

Some examples of empty calorie fats

Any food where the label lists plenty of fat (especially saturated fat) and virtually no nutrients fall in this category. Here are some examples:

  • Chips
  • Cake and icing
  • Cream and ice cream
  • Biscuits and crackers
  • Mayonnaise
  • Arguably also milk chocolate and bacon

Much like empty calorie carbs, the big problem is that these foods are truly delicious. Therefore, we’ll spend some time later in this chapter to build our defenses against these carefully engineered addictions.

But don’t worry, there won’t be any expectations to never eat any delicious treat ever again 🙂 Like most things in life, we just need a healthy balance.

 

The world’s worst foods: Empty calorie fats

 
Kommentare af op The world’s worst foods: Empty calorie fats

Posted by op 03/12/2019 in Gesondheid, leefstyl, Schalk Cloete Jnr., Uncategorized

 

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Net een treetjie op ‘n slag is nodig

everydaymaynotbe-min2Die idee van “mini-habits” of selfs “atomic habits” is deesdae oral om ons. Doodeenvoudig: Stel vir jouself sulke klein doelwitte dat jy feitlik nie kan misluk nie. Sodoende verseker jy eintlik jou sukses en word dit soveel makliker om vol te hou met wat jy ook al wil verbeter in jou lewe. Hier is die idee van net met 1% verbeter in ‘n week:
(Moenie skrik vir die grafiek nie – jy kan hom maar ignoreer ook! 🙂 )

A 1% improvement sounds like nothing, right? Anyone could become 1% better in a week if they tried.

However, when you unleash the superpower of consistency on this simple idea, it takes on a whole new form. The numbers tell the story:

  • Improve by 1% every week for a year and you’ll be 66% better. Not bad.
  • 2 years? 179%.
  • 5 years? Thanks to the power of compounding, 5 years of 1% weekly improvements will make you a whopping 13 times better!
  • After 15 years (only a third of a standard career), it gets pretty ridiculous: 2325 times better! Now we are getting to the realm of billionaires, presidents and great inventors.

These numbers told me to end each Supermorning week with a 1% improvement post. So, here are my top 3 improvements over the past week:

  1. Started this blog and kept to my daily post commitment
  2. Totally clean eating habits and 10 hours of light-to-moderate exercise
  3. Published an article in the largest publication on Medium

In fact, this week was much more than 1% improvement 🙂 You can see the sharp upwards spike in my daily consistency data below (the little red bit). I really hope I can maintain this performance!

Did you grow your 1% this week? Any plans for how you can grow 1% next week? Feel free to share – a little commitment here could make a big difference!

The graph shows my cumulative performance against a target of 35 points daily. Up to now, I have only been averaging a bit more than 33 points per day, hence the slow downwards trend. 33 points per day is still good, but I really want to get back above the 35 point target!

Week 1 of getting 1% better

 

 

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Goed begin is half gewin!

SonopEk het oor baie jare heen op die harde manier geleer dat my dag grootliks bepaal word deur hoe ek hom begin. Dalk het ek ‘n bietjie gehelp dat my liewe kind dit soveel vinniger geleer het en dit nou in so ‘n mooi projek kan omsit. Hier is die betrokke post, met die skakel heel onder:

Win the morning, win the day

Cliché, but true. We all know this, but very few of us manage to do it with any degree of consistency.

Perhaps part of the reason is that we have never really stopped to think about why it’s so important.

So, let’s do that now. Imagine you’re in a maze with doors all around you. When you go through one door, you are faced with several new doors to choose from. This will be our life analogy for the day.

Yes, each day is a series of choices. And each choice we make shapes the next choices available to us. 

The diagram on the right shows why it is so important to start the day with the right choices. If you screw up the first couple of choices, the day is likely to be a mess.

We’ve all been there. Snooze the alarm, run late for work, skip breakfast, run out of energy, grab some unhealthy snacks, get home tired and frustrated, snap unnecessarily at a loved one, sooth the pain with some empty calories and equally empty entertainment, get to bed way too late, repeat.

On the other hand, starting the day right makes it so much easier to have a great day.And a great life is simply a long series of great days.

We’ll talk a lot more about morning routines in coming posts. But for now, let’s just start with building the habit of giving ourselves a fair shot at a great day by getting our asses up and running at the same time each morning (discussed yesterday).

Why not give this a try? A new post will be waiting for you every morning, giving you one minute of quiet reflection before life starts happening.

Win the morning, win the day

 

 

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Die geheim tot ‘n beter lewe!

Blink idee gloeilampSo, you want to know the secret?

Here it is: simply do the right things (and avoid doing the wrong things) day after day, week after week, year after year. 

Yeah, I know this sounds like state-the-obvious for beginners, but just bear with me for a few more lines.

We all know right from wrong. Eat apples, not chocolates. Work on that important project, don’t binge the latest Netflix series. Save for retirement, don’t splurge on another electronic gadget you don’t really need.

Yet, we keep on doing the wrong stuff. Why? Because it gives instant pleasure. Yes, we know there will be pain down the road, but when that chocolate cake looks at us with those big brown eyes, we must devour it.

It’s basic instinct.

Luckily, human beings are capable of controlling their basic instincts. Willpower is essentially useless in this battle, but there is a tried and tested solution: intelligent design.

Designing a life where you are in control will be a recurring theme on this blog. But for now, let’s start with the simplest of habits that lies at the foundation to a good life:

Monday 1-minute action: Set a constant sleep and wake time on your phone

If you have an iPhone, just visit the bedtime function of the clock. Android users need to install an app like “Sleep as Android” or simply set two recurring alarms: one for bedtime and one for waking up.

Go on. Just do it. Just for tonight…

Then join me tomorrow morning as I try to convince you to go for another day.

Die oorspronklike post is hier te sien: https://schalkcloete.com/the-secret-to-a-great-life/

 

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SUPERMORNINGS!

My oudste gebruik sy eie en my swaarkry om met hierdie konsep vorendag te kom: Die eenvoudige gedagte dat jou dag soveel beter is wanneer jy die oggend op die regte/beste manier begin.

SupermanhondjieSuperheros have been part of our culture forever. In the old days, they shaped mythology. More recently, they commanded a dedicated group of comic-book fans. And today, they have taken over the silver screen.

Why do we love superheros so much? Aside from awesome action and special effects, they offer a unique brand of escapism into a world where people can fly, teleport or shoot lasers out of their eyes.

Sadly, the real world is much more bland and boring. But it has its own bland and boring superpower: consistency. As unsexy as it sounds, this amazing superpower can give you everything you want out of life.

Consistency is the power to command your own body and mind. Very few people have mastered this dormant superpower within them. That’s why so few of us are in great shape, financially free and performing at our true potential.

But the good news is that anyone can awaken this awesome power that lies within. This origin moment is an important part of every superhero story – a story that can also be yours!

My hope is that this blog can give you your own origin moment and help push you through the subsequent training montage. Since we are stuck in the real world, it will take a couple of years, not a couple of minutes like in the movies. But the results can be just as magical.

As homage to the superpower of consistency, I will consistently publish a daily post that will arrive in your inbox at 6 am (GMT +2). This quick 1-2 minute read will provide a little nudge in the right direction every single morning.

And as these little nudges accumulate, your own superpower of consistency will take form.

Oorspronklike post by: https://schalkcloete.com/supermorning/

 

 

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