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Can the Lifehacking Concept Help You Live Until the Singularity?

Can the Lifehacking Concept Help You Live Until the Singularity?

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    Most geeks know who Ray Kurzweil is. Most musicians do too, and so do many blind people. Kurzweil has invented so many things in so many different fields, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Perhaps one of the things he’s most famous for, aside from inventing the first reading machine and some awesome keyboards (the kind a musician plays), is his support—or, really, evangelism—for the concept of the Singularity.

    The Singularity, in case you didn’t know, is the theorized point in time characterized by the development of a smarter-than-human intelligence that is capable of improving itself. From this point on, we’re supposed to see a rapid advance in technological progress, because the artificial intelligences are constantly creating intelligences that are smarter than themselves, and hence able to tackle many other problems in technology and science that we haven’t even begun to touch on.

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    One of the concepts that comes hand-in-hand with the Singularity is transhumanism—which is, more or less, the improvement of the human nervous system and body through technology. It’s through transhumanism that we approach Ray Kurzweil’s extreme lifehacking. Though 60 years old, Kurzweil is determined to stay alive until the Singularity occurs and he can upload his consciousness and essentially live forever using (again, theorized) mind transfer technology.

    Well, everyone’s motives for lifehacking varies, and if the Singularity does arrive I bet a lot of us will regret not taking extra measures to stay alive (if we could have regret in death, anyway). But there’s a heck of a lot to learn from guys like Ray who take lifehacking to an extreme level.

    Have a Strong Motivation

    The extreme measures that Kurzweil adopts to live longer—as we’ll discuss in a moment—are all inspired by a strong motivation. At the root of that motivation is a desire to live forever. That’s a pretty strong motivation, and to stick to such extreme measures it needs to be.

    If you’re going to adopt an extreme lifehacking system to achieve a goal— it could be for anything, from losing weight, giving up smoking to learning an instrument—you need to find a way to keep motivated consistently. It’s got to be so good that even the strongest urge to give in doesn’t shake you. For instance, I know many singers who, when they realized that smoking damaged lung cells irreparably and it was impossible to ever gain back their full lung capacity, quit immediately and permanently.

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    Before you set out to conquer a heck of a mountain, what’s going to get you to the top?

    Take No Risks

    Sometimes the best things in life happen because we take risks, but if you’re going to do this right, you’ve got to eliminate all of your potential downfalls. Kurzweil drives slowly and carefully; if you live in his neighborhood, you’ve probably beeped your horn at him a few times! He realizes that driving is a huge risk to longevity and eliminates as much of the risk as he possibly can.

    If you’re trying to quit smoking, a risk would be going to a club or party where there is nothing but smoke in the air, or heading out to eat in that little corner where the smokers go during their lunch break. There’s one of those everywhere.

    Eliminating risks means you don’t have to work as hard to keep motivated, since there’s less resistance to it. It means you’re more likely to succeed.

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    Don’t Go Half-Assed

    Go here and scroll down a bit. That’s a picture of Kurzweil’s daily vitamins, and he even has to hire someone to sort and separate them into bags for him. This isn’t a person who one day decided he’d just eat less chips and go for more walks when he finds the time.

    If you want to lose weight, then forget the fad diets. Cut out all (there are no alternate interpretations to the world all) the crap in your diet, and don’t put a time limit on it either. Don’t decide to do it for a few weeks or “until I lose the weight”—do it from now until the day you die. Exercise as much as you need to each day so you can burn more calories than you take in. There is utterly no point in going half-assed, other than to make it more difficult next time you try.

    I hate reality television, but I’ve seen an episode or two of the Australian version of The Biggest Loser. To me, that’s extreme lifehacking; they’ve done everything they can to bring about the change they desire. They spend almost all day, every day, with their mind focused on solving the problem.

    Kurzweil and his partner Terry Grossman routinely look for new ways to improve their health and extend their lives, such as producing alkaline water to scavenge free radicals in their systems. Part of lifehacking is looking for new ideas and trying them out to see if they work; it’s experimentation. While one should bear in mind the take no risks policy while doing this—going to a party full of smoke is not an experiment that will help you quit—it’s perhaps the most useful, and most enjoyable, part of the process.

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    What is Lifehacking?

    Some people will inevitably tell me that this is not lifehacking. Lifehacking is about making small changes to your day-to-day life to make it more efficient, they’ll say. I’ve heard it a hundred times before. And what they say is true, but I believe that’s only part of it. The underlying concept has great potential to improve your life. By limiting what it can be, you limit yourself.

    You can adopt a little lifehack that’ll help you sort your email faster. That’s all good. But can you implement extreme lifehacking to bring about massive change in your life? Give it a shot, put it on trial, and see how many areas of your life you can improve before the year is up.

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    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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