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Daily Mote Notes

It’s just a thought

It’s easy to get caught up in our thoughts, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay in them.  Thoughts are just random brain cells talking to each other. There’s rarely meaning there; it’s just a biochemical process that happens automatically to stop us from getting bored. And we get to choose what we think […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Wikipedia was tiny

Today, Wikipedia has over 6,229,184 million English pages. Tech companies and governments use it to source news, fact-check, and fight misinformation — despite despairing teachers everywhere. There’s even a copy of Wikipedia on the moon. But in its first year, Wikipedia only published around 20 pages. The gamechanger for them — letting other people contribute […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Mind follows body

People think that to change your behaviour or reach your dreams, you have to change your mind. But that’s backwards. Mindset plays an important part, but the truth is, when we change our actions first, our minds will follow.  That’s why even a tiny behavioural change — like drinking a glass of water in the […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Doing the bare minimum

Doing the bare minimum is often a negative thing. But some days, it’s the best we can do. On those days when all we want to do is crawl back into bed, turning up is often enough to make progress. Putting in the minimal effort every day isn’t how to get what we want from […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Raising the bar slowly

The current high-jump record is nearly two and a half meters (8.13ft) — a superhuman leap.  But when Javier Sotomayor took his first jump, he set the bar much lower. Each round, he raised the bar a little, sometimes as little as a quarter of an inch. Jump by jump, he pushed his body slightly further […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Even robots make mistakes

It’s impossible to ignore the rise of robots. They’ve gone from ‘awkward factory joke’ to ‘overlords-in-training’ in a handful of years. And it turns out the breakthrough was teaching them how to make mistakes. Our brains learn through trial and error. For many years, when a robot produced an error it would simply stop, shake, […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Everything is change

It’s human nature to look for meaning in the world; to attach labels and think up laws to make sense of the chaos. But there is only one True Constant in the Universe: everything changes. All empires eventually falter. Our things break and need replacing. Fashions cycle, meanings shift, and one way or another, every […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Mother Nature’s Valium

Here’s a powerful shield against anxiety that we can take everywhere. Meditation takes advantage of it, but we don’t have to meditate to quiet anxious thoughts or help us sleep.  The fastest way to reduce stress is to take a breath and a half. In the 1930s, scientists found that all mammals have this automatic […]

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Daily Mote Notes

60ft flying lizards and gold

It was always funny to me that dragons hoard gold. In almost every story we have about a dragon, they harbour some deeply valuable and important treasure; the hero must outwit or outfight the beast to get it. But why? What does a giant flying lizard want with a pile of shiny metal or a […]

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Daily Mote Notes

Is this helping me?

A few years ago, James Altucher taught me something that helps calm dark and anxious thoughts. Life wasn’t easy at the time. A cruel twist of fate had me walking past my new ex-girlfriend’s road almost every day after work. Grim visions of mistakes and arguments would envelop me as I passed, blackening my mood for […]