Magical Potion, Juke Box, Intrinsic Rewards

What is happiness?  Perhaps it’s a warm bubbly feeling you get.  Are we all chasing after a magical potion that will lead us to a place of euphoria?


Absolutely, and I’m going for it tonight.  Not that I need to be involved in an exotic serenade of a primal dance-floor tucked away in an abyss of the forest… even though that would be pretty cool.


I’m just looking to feel good through the day and night even if what I am doing is not all that exciting.  After all it’s finding the balance between two specific states that drives a person to enjoy unique experiences.


So on a Monday while you’re working away you might not be so fond of what you are doing.  But then you make a magic switch and appreciate the fight, the grind and power on through.  A sense of accomplishment, perhaps even that strange bubbly tingly happy feeling comes your way (after all doing a good job at meaningful work will do this).


Further you’ll be building up something else deep inside.  An up-regulation of sensitivity to social inclination.  After all the weekend wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the work week.


I wouldn’t mind going to paradise Island. I love it there and it plays an integral role in what drives me through my days.  However, some people in paradise have their own battles. They have a strange desire to get things done and get back to reality.


Seems that no one can win?   Be miserable at work, then not quite enjoy paradise to its full potential when it comes your way.


It’s very easy to do this and unfortunately most may think this is the only way.. life just goes on..


But perhaps a simple change and you too can enjoy both places..  even if it’s perceived as non-ideal…it’s called enjoying the journey.


It comes down to making intrinsic rewards in what you do, regardless of how big or small.  Research shows that the ability to make the most out of these small rewards or the simple things in life may be the most vital part to enjoying your life as a human.  Some might have guessed it was big accomplishments.. which are great, but the volume of these “small unique situations” constitute the majority of your life.


If the scenario, environment your re in is perceived as “non-ideal” say as at work, you can re-establish your position in order to set yourself up for victory.


Find a way to make it a game where you find what you do interesting and locate the positive points throughout your day.  They too exist on even a Monday.  These small intrinsic rewards will end up being to the key tokens to feed your internal juke box.


We all might beat to a different tune, but every juke box needs some sort of token to keep going.  So it all comes back to enjoying the journey.


Find the intrinsic reward in whatever you do.


Let the juke box play..

Smile and enjoy the small things..

The only way to think

I like the energy here..

..but I think we can take it up another level.  In a world where everyone seems to be self-centered due to the mind having a view of one’s self you can only connect on a meaningful level with most via positive interaction. Beyond creating attractiveness  you’ll also have a wide array of other benefits.

You’ll solve more problems. >> Optimists always find the solution.  Why is this?  They foster a flexible mindset to tackle problems.  This in turn results in good outcomes.  This cycle further perpetuates as this garners enthusiasm for future problem solving.  

It will help you conquer negative emotions>> Being positive helps recover from negative emotions.  Most people will even mistake feeling “ok” as being in a bad mood in the context of a previous peak moment.  Instead of letting the perceived negativity snowball, accept normalcy with a positive attitude and you’ll be at another peak before you know it.

You’ll start thinking about something besides yourself>> positive emotions promotes generosity.  This is a result of appreciating different perspectives beyond your own.  Through understanding of your fellow companions you are more likely to engage in kind acts.  These kind acts don’t go un-rewarded as they result in strengthened relationships along with increased well being.

You’ll become more creative>> Positive emotion leads to creative thought and new information.  The mind expansion doesn’t stop here.  Being grateful for new information leads to further momentum into new learning.  So be thankful for shared wisdom.  Some may even argue that the only true thing passed on is one’s education, knowledge and experience.  Learn, share and teach.  It’s a fun cycle.

You’ll live longer>> the saying “we’re not here for a long time.. we’re here for a good time” might actually have you sticking around for a bit longer than your salty counterparts.  An interesting study followed a group of nuns and placed them into groups based on their diaries.  The ones who were labeled as “positive” on average lived 7 years longer.  Another group of middle-agers from Ohio displayed the same benefit, even thought they weren’t nuns.  That’s good news for those engaging in all “WeCan Weekends.” 

So looks like your positive vibes will have you solving problems, being a champion among your peers, sparking a creative spirit and being here for a bit longer.  (that’s to say if you’re even counting).  After all in the context of time.. it’s all pretty short.  However, it’s only in the context of something finite that you can experience greatness.  After all… we’re not vampires.


How to avoid becoming vacationed out

  • Vacations are awesome.
  • Too much of paradise can become miserable
  • Keeping vacations short and sweet (and more frequent) may be ideal
  • Find balance between social fun and getting things done

I once gave a presentation to people who were wondering their best way to use PTO “paid time off”.  They seemed to be under the impression that I was “always on vacation”.  While everyone was talking about the need for a week or two break I recommended the following:

  • Enjoy frequent long weekends (3-4 days off)
  • Avoid extended vacations

Why is this?

  • The mind de-sensitives itself to pleasure after being on vacation
  • After bouts of hard work you re-up your ability to enjoy more
  • Adding an additional day (or two), i.e. Monday or Friday to the weekend creates a balanced lifestyle
  • Your PTO lasts much longer. *

The Bottom Line: There is a sweet spot when it comes to vacationing and more is not always better.  The same goes for working.  Less isn’t always better.  Finding a balance between getting things done and social fun will keep the mind hard wired to be happy while feeling meaning and purpose.

The best weeks I’ve had: I’ve kept a journal for many years now and it is quite clear that  working hard for 3-4 days at a time followed by a 3 or 4 day weekend unleashes the “WeCan Weekend Mindset”.  This is especially a great format in the summer time.

A simple but proven rotational schedule:

Week one – 5 day work week, 2 day weekend

Week two – 3 day work week, 4 day weekend

Week three- 4 day work week, 3 days weekend

Repeat, or mix and match as desired!

Chimney squats at Santacon to a cheering 5000 santas proved to be a negentropic moment.

Chimney squats at Santacon to a cheering 5000 Santas was quite euphoric.  It also served as a nice symbolic break to the long working hours of a brutal winter busy season. A true negentropic moment.

*I’d trade in a month off for 25 WeCan Weekends in a heart beat:

(Just a little secret- I have pulled this stunt before).  This kind of move had me labeled as an “internal vacation consultant” amongst fellow employees.

Lets say you get 5 weeks of PTO.  You can have off for just over a month or 25 3 day weekends.  Granted a month off is pretty sweet but returning to work for 11 months isn’t.  Not to mention that you’ll probably be a bit bored on some days off here and there as your mind will make a vacation that long the “new normal”.  Now the other side of the puzzle allows for over half of your weekends of the year becoming “WeCan Weekends”.  This is a formula where you crush work for 4 days, up-regulate the mind to the good times and then have a ball for a 3 day period.  It also proves as a great refresher to getting things done.  You might even say “Heck, work ain’t so bad, I kinda dig the grind and after all it allows me to enjoy every weekend so it’s a necessary evil.  Not to mention there is a sense of purpose and accomplishment in learning and conquering new challenges.”

A few quotes that reel in the WeCan Weekend:

“The sum of various mini-rewards holds more weight in the human mind than one large one.  The key is in finding balance and appreciating smaller rewards.  “

“Happy people seem to have one central theme in common.  The ability to make the best out of all the small things.”

“If you’re waiting your whole life to meet the wizard of oz you might just miss the yellow brick road you’ve been traveling on.”

“Before you start your day touch the ground, a tree or jump in the ocean.  Accept that it’s all connected.  Even though your piece of this connection is small, it’s unique.. and that.. you’re thankful for.”

2014-04-28 14.03.46 HDR

One proven way to “get wet” is to jump right in.

Amazecakes- free ebook on the Cyclical Lifestyle

Hey Everyone,

I’ve created a short free e-book in draft format known as “Amazecakes”.

The book brings to light the benefits of a cyclical lifestyle/diet from a happiness and body composition perspective. (Yes, a cyclical diet is most advantageous for feeling good and looking good).

More importantly it allows you to live a flexible lifestyle. One big take away from the 10 page ebook is that it’s all about doing what works for you.

If you can consider how to adjust the amount of food, or type of food that works for you (while considering when it’s time to change it up, i.e. “Get Amazecakes”.. will be well on your way to appreciating the small things in life while growing your journey towards where you want to be.

All you have to do is click on the “Store” icon above and download the PDF.
Get Lean & Healthy

Live Longer & Stronger



Because you’re AMAZECAKES TOO!!

>>Keep in mind this is a draft and I’ll be having other versions coming up in the future along with a potential “pocket journal” which goes hand in hand with the Amazecakes zen style of dieting.<<

Hopefully you have fun reading the book and come up with some unique ways to UP YOUR LIFESTYLE with my simple methods.

“In search of the good life even the smallest changes can cascade into a journey full of new turns, feelings and experiences.”

Once the Euphoria Hits you’ll know why life is Awesome

Become a cyclical diet artist (CDA). It’s an ART FORM to align the cyclical roller-coaster with your journey.

Some days you might eat a little extra and that’s just fine. Some days you’ll eat a little less and that’s okay too. What counts is that you had the special sense to know what you needed and when.

AHHHH…. What a beautiful wave you’ve created!


How Do I become a CDA?

For me some days it is as simple as lowering intake through good meal spacing (such as intermittent fasting) paired with lower carbohydrate intake. So yes I do get a good portion of complete proteins (such as steak, pork, chicken or whole eggs) paired with fats that I love (Kerry gold butter, coconut oil, avocado, dairy fat such as in whole fat cottage cheese, half and half in my coffee, the fat in eggs and also in meats).

It’s pretty nice to feel my general level of focus and concentration rise during these lower intake periods (as we have an evolutionary trait to get things done when resources are a bit lower.. I like to call it the HUNTER’S FOCUS)

Just a few days later I might notice something, the focus might wane and my desire to ENJOY MORE comes right through me. For this I get in a hard work out or a set of sprints followed by a larger meal and even some dessert of something I truly enjoy. Although my focus subsides out comes the rise of those social hormones and perhaps it’s time for a night out on the town.


There will be no weak end to this Weekend..

Cause it’s a WeCan Weekend.

and we will

and we can


Just about the time the party ends I have a strange desire to get back to work and feel that focus again. What has happened here is the reward of the weekend became the driving force that propelled me through all of life’s to dos. Also, made them quite enjoyable and that’s the key here for a CDA. Whether you’re out being social, crushing work or doing something you love to do it should all be fun and enjoyable.

Being a CDA is a vehicle that enhances the life you choose to live.

You don’t have to diet like me but consider tailoring what works for you and become your own CDA.

Perhaps it will be a cold hard truth once the euphoria hits that life is awesome.

Anything else?

Oh yeah.. one more thing. Don’t forget to smile.

We want to see that Duchenne Duchenzo.

Natural resources research gave me more insight into a cyclical dieting

When doing some research into natural resources/precious metals it seems clear that humans have a “relentless pursuit of growth” ..

You might see this as a gift and a curse. A lot of the great things or advancements you see in technology or consumption stem from this “relentless pursuit”.

The other side is people’s “relentless desire” to consume more and more resources. Part of this has to do with more disposable income, great marketing and smart product life cycles (yes most of what you buy is designed to become “trash” at some point)

Not to mention the mind has a unique way of de-sensitizing itself to these material goods and the only fix is that.. bigger or better goods.

There is nothing wrong with “enjoying more” but it comes with a cost.. your time and psychic energy to acquire and consume more material things.

So what to do? It seems that having a lifestyle that a mix of moderate consumption that is rich in good times is best for the good life.

Beyond your ideal lifestyle, additional income has shown a negligible impact on happiness. Abstaining from the fun isn’t the way to go either.. after all everyone wants to “live it up”.

So it really comes down to what you define as “ideal” in terms consumption based goods. Perhaps by shifting resources elsewhere you can free up the most valuable resource of all..your time.

One good example that comes to mind is a cyclical lifestyle where you can have bouts of consuming a little less than you normally would for a few days followed by a day or so of enjoying more.

This should prove beneficial from a body composition, savings account and a mental appreciation aspect. Usually when you can have a little less of something intermittently it makes you appreciate it more when it comes back into your life.

So from a diet perspective:
-Consider eating a little less than you normally would for a few days paired with lower carbohydrate intake. Being in a slight caloric reduction will be ideal for fat loss.
-After a few days get a real hard workout in and “enjoy more” of something you really want. Sweet potato fries? Why not. This will prove to be a great way to gain or preserve muscle and reset and metabolic slow down that might have occurred during your previous diet stint. Not to mention that “eating up” every few days is a lot of fun and serves a great reminder that “life is good.”

-From an investment perspective
-Consider curtailing spending a few days a week or saying no to that one impulse purchase. This will allow you to save for more meaningful investment decisions that can pay back dividends. Also, over time you should be able to have more “Free time” with more saved money as it’s not an issue to “Get ahead” as you’ve saved over time.

Ride the wave however you choose.

Simple Fun

Finding momentum among positive and negative thoughts

Within this post..

  • We all feel a wide range of emotions including positive and negative ones
  • Being thankful/grateful strikes upon your positive memory nodes
  • Positive memories lead to social cohesion and growing ones network

Lets take a look at positive and negative thoughts from within.  I say within because these are envisioned scenarios that don’t actually manifest.  Even though an event doesn’t actually occur how can we channel the mind among these thoughts to have more meaningful days and nights?

Things could turn dark*..

You have a thought, a belief that something is wrong.  However this worry never manifests.   Why stress yourself for no reason?

or it could lighten up..

On the other side you envision the greatness of a euphoric scenario.  You believe it’s going to happen but as time passes it never truly manifests.  Was this a pipe dream that you just spent time fabricating in your mind?

Even a positive person with good luck experiences some sort of roller coaster of emotions.  So what can we make of the ups and downs within? 

Even the strongest of mental ninjas can’t turn away the occasional un-ideal thought.  But one thing can be agreed upon and that is to be thankful and grateful for the positive points and experiences of your life.

Being thankful & grateful goes alot deeper than coming off as an appreciative person on the surface.  It actually wires your brain to bring up positive memories more frequently.

So by being thankful you are actually training your brain (the world within) to have a more positive environment.

Further, being thankful/grateful is a great way to grow one’s network.  Good times are contagious and people generally want to be around someone else who is having a good time/thankful for what they have.

This in turn leads to a better support cast making one’s life more enjoyable.

So the way I see it is you need to be thankful/grateful what you do have and this will in turn unravel a lot of the negative thoughts within and replace them with positive ones.  Once your mind is right and you start doing things (whatever it is you enjoy to do) it will further enhance social cohesion and the journey you choose.

So let it be known that being thankful opens up the mind, opens up doors and lets you get that feeling inside that life is good.

Bonus: the other side
What if you aren’t okay with your current situation?  Perhaps you want something more socially or economically to live your ideal lifestyle.  This isn’t a bad thing and one of the pathways is feeling good is the feeling of going or growing somewhere.

There would still have to be some sort of balance within to appreciate the road on the way up.  With out this you might find yourself in a re-occurring set of hedonic or epicurean loops that lead back to the same place within.  Since the mind seems to de-senstivie itself to the situation at hand, even a bigger fix or accomplishment over time would be needed to get the same feeling as the old one.

Seems like you can’t win within even if you have it all on the outside.  This goes back to the point of this article in that you need to be thankful and find a balance at some point.

So shoot for success but not at the expense of your own happiness and definitely be thankful on your journey to wherever it is you choose.
Oh and one more thing..

 *I’d like to make a note about things turning dark.  If you live in a world where you never had a down day (or felt salty) how would you be able to distinguish being happy from the normalcy.  So instead of pouting consider that you just up-regulated your sensitivity to the good times.

After all a hard Tuesday at work makes you appreciate a fun Friday even more.