21by21

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My two cents… Read the rest at https://21by21.brpx.com/

Nobody could phantom that 2020 would end to be one of the weirdest years of our lifetime… so far.

So, it is really hard to accept the challenge to think and write about what 2021 has in store for us.

What I write below is based on three underlying premises:
First, that the future is mostly already here.
Second, that we can all desire that next year will be hopefully a return to “normalcy”… but it’s highly likely it won’t. The world will not be the same no more.
Third, we are all suffering and just grasping from the fact that the pace of change has dramatically increased and changed gears… right in front of us. We need to hold on… for the ride.

In 2020, we had to change how we live and all thought it would be just temporary… but, next year will we have still to adapt.
In several ways, I think we fast forwarded several trends that were already creeping around us.

In 2021, we will undoubtedly have to tackle several challenges ahead of us… and there is one thing I take for granted: our lives, for the better and for the worst, will become even more digital.
Namely, due to rising environmental concerns, health related issues, generational shifts and out of sheer and practical necessity… companies and people will do a lot more things in a digital realm.

Work, play, buy, sell, watch, share, collaborate, monitor and control – everything, increasingly online.

Finally, due to my role as an early stage investor, I have to try to have a stance on what might or not be a trend going forward.
For what it’s worth, here go my two cents about several key trends I believe will be picking up even more pace in the near future:

In the B2C world: digital entertainment is on the rise; online gaming and esports are becoming massive; we cannot keep up with pace of the vast array of sharing platforms that cater several niche interests; the way we buy everything is changing, and therefore, e-commerce is in constant flux; sustainability and environmentally driven decisions will impact more and more our daily actions – what we eat, wear, live and how we travel or commute; finally, above all, I feel that people are also a lot more focused on their physical and mental health and overall well-being…
(and all of this will be more and more mobile centric… simply because the zombie-like-neck-down human condition is here to stay, with everybody looking at a glowing device firmly held by one of our hands, whilst we walk pass everything around us…)

In the B2B world: “remotely-more, physically-less” working environments are here to stay; therefore, distributed cloud solutions to flexibly manage everything work process we have in our companies are on the rise; collaborative tools we be in also dire need; so will be cyber security products and services to protect ourselves and our assets from increased vulnerabilities and risks that we will all face; technology to handle contactless or unattended human interactions in customer facing services will be sought for in higher demand; hyper automation and extracting intelligence and decision making from the ever-increasing volume of accessible data is for sure an unstoppable trend.
Trends apart, on a ending positive note, 2021 will simply be what we will individually and collectively make of it!
“Every moment has to be complete in and of itself” (from Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)

learn how to sleep

Sleep is the most powerful learning tool!

Sleeping 7-8 hours per night has an enormous impact on your ability to learn. Cutting sleep, even for as little as one night, can have irreversible impacts on what you learn both before and after, in your fatigued state.

Pulling all-nighters should be banned from your life as a valid tool to cram information. The costs are simply too high.

Even if you’re not staying up for days on end trying to learn, few of us get the sleep we need to learn at our best.

What You’re Doing When Sleeping

Sleep is not a passive activity. Although it seems like you’re doing nothing but resting, the mind is highly active during your moments of slumber.

Sleep is broken into different discrete phases, mostly falling into two catagories of REM (rapid eye-movement, aka dreaming) and NREM (non-REM, which includes deep sleep).

While your head is on the pillow, your brain is engaging in very important work. This includes:

One of the first studies to demonstrate the importance of sleep to memory was the 1924 study by John Jenkins and Karl Dallenbach. In it, they compared rates of forgetting over the same time period when subjects were awake and asleep. The results are quite dramatic:

NREM sleep plays a particularly important role, with sleep researcher Matthew Walker explains:

“Indeed, if you were a participant in such a study [on sleep and memory], and the only information I had was the amount of deep NREM sleep you had obtained that night, I could predict with high accuracy how much you would remember in the upcoming memory test upon awakening, even before you took it.”

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mindfulness

I started off with Headspace but lately I’ve used with some success the Calm app, but never wanted to pay for it!

Now I am testing two free alternatives to then stay with one!

Smiling Mind is in testing mode now!

 

Top picks for the best meditation apps of 2020:

1. Ten Percent Happier

2. Headspace

3. Simple Habit

4. Insight Timer

5. Calm

6. Stop, Breathe & Think

7. Smiling Mind


What is meditation and what does it actually do?
Mindfulness — the goal of meditation — means being fully aware and present in the moment you live in. To achieve it, practitioners recommend paying close attention to your thoughts and feelings, observing your breath, and focusing.
Essentially, mindfulness is “this little kindling of interest in the most mundane fact of your existence,” Clifford Saron, a research scientist at the Center for Mind and Brain, tellsInverse.
Anyone can achieve it. But some people learn how to be mindful by regularly practicing specific techniques, including meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
The evidence is mounting that meditation is beneficial for both the mind and the body. Studies show that mindfulness may curb anxiety and depression, and may even improve your heart health. Other research shows mindfulness may treat alcohol addition, or increase resiliency in the face of stress. Other studies show that even just a brief introduction to mindfulness meditation may lessen pain and negative emotions.
Most recently, a pair of research papers to be published in March 2020 suggest that mindfulness may benefit you at work, too, by boosting attention and resilience in high-tension professional settings.
Mindfulness may go even further — a 2012 brain scan study found eight weeks of meditation quite literally changed participants’ brain structure.
But, while the science behind meditation and mindfulness grows, experts in the field believe the lay market in mindfulness may have gotten a little ahead of itself.
“This is a fraught area with inconclusive and highly variable results in which the press about the effects of meditation is way ahead of the actual data and the methodological issues involved,” Saron says.

Smiling Mind— A go-to for younger users interested in meditation.
Founded in 2012, this Australian app has quickly become a go-to for youth mindfulness meditation.
The app provides users with a survey to assess their base levels of happiness, contentedness, and alertness. It is customizable, meaning it can be tailored to enable younger users — especially those in school — to meet specific goals they have for their mental health and well-being.
Smiling Mind made it into the top picks because of its sports meditation programs: The app includes 6 modules with 12 sessions (made in partnership with Cricket Australia) designed to help users in their athletic performance.
There are longer sessions ideal for training and off-season periods, and shorter booster-style sessions that may help users get ready on the day for the big game.