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Contest: My Moleskine 2.0

Contest: My Moleskine 2.0

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    Stepcase Lifehack is partnering up with Moleskine and Hong Kong retailer city’super/LOG-ON to give you a chance to show us – and the world – what you can do with a Moleskine notebook. Moleskines are the notebook of choice for creative professionals around the world, and have become a symbol of latter-day nomadism – nobody carrying a Moleskine is ever without a place to capture their most brilliant thoughts!

    To celebrate the intimate relationship between lifehacking digital nomads and the Moleskine notebook, Moleskine, Stepcase Lifehack, and city’super/LOG-ON invite you to enter the My Moleskine 2.0 competition. My Moleskine 2.0 is devoted to giving tips and tricks to improve your quality of life by automating, increasing productivity and organising.

    Share your ideas, be selected for an innovative exhibition, and win a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks!

    We want to see your best ideas for hacking your Moleskine – whether to make the ultimate productivity-enhancing tool or the perfect outlet for all your most creative urges. Show us what you can do and you might win free Moleskines for life.

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    The folks at Moleskine will select the most creative entries, which will be displayed in the My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition that will take place in all city’super and LOG-ON stores in Hong Kong in July 2009. Your hack will also be presented on moleskine.com, moleskineasia.com, and on Lifehack.

    In-store and web viewers will be able to vote on their favorites, and the winners will receive one of these great prizes:

    • 1st prize: a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks!
    • 2nd prize: collection of 25 Moleskine notebooks and diaries
    • 3rd prize: collection of 15 Moleskine notebooks and diaries
    • All other exhibited entries: set of 3 Moleskine notebooks

    Send us your idea on how to make and do things better, faster, more creative and innovative, for both work and leisure with your Moleskine notebook!

    How to participate

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    This competition is open to all regardless of age, nationality, sex and location. There is no application fee. Selected entrants will have to purchase the Moleskine and prepare the hack for the exhibition, but will receive 3 Moleskine notebooks as a prize once their finished work is received.

    Application Procedure

    Submit your best idea using the application form at the bottom of this post. You may be contacted for further information after the first round of judging. Entries must be received before May 31st, 2009. Make sure you present your idea clearly. Your idea should fall within one of the following category:

    • Creativity and imagination
    • Organization and productivity
    • Archive and memory
    • Fun and innovative hacks

    The competition is in different stages:

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    1. Applications are due  May 31st, 2009.
    2. By early June, 2009, selected entries will be announced.
    3. Selected participants will have to purchase a Moleskine and prepare the hack following the submitted idea. (Entries will be selected by Moleskine; all decisions are final.)
    4. By June 30th, 2009: the hacked Moleskine must be sent to Moleskine Asia at the address provided.
    5. Submitted Moleskines will be displayed at the My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition in July and a winner selected at the end of the Exhibition.

    Selection Criteria

    The best entries will be selected according to their originality, creativity, usefulness, feasibility and design.

    My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition

    If you’re in Hong Kong in July, be sure to stop by city’super or LOG-ON to see the exhibition!

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    Date: July 15th – 30th, 2009

    Venue: city’super, LOG-ON, Hong Kong

    The selected Moleskine will be displayed in transparent boxes, so that audience can peruse them at their own pace. Ideas and “how to” will be displayed as well on panels. city’super and LOG-ON customers will be invited to vote and select their favorite Moleskine hacks.


    “Lifetime supply” is limited to 5 notebooks per year over a period of 50 years.

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    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

    More About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

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