Overcoming the deadliest month of all

Advice handling overwhelm, experience with death, secret companies, political campaigns, and improving typing.

Hi friends,

Since January has come to a close, I and many others around me have felt extremely anxious, overloaded with work, and overwhelmed.

Statistically, January is the most fatal month of the year. We go from December- a month of closing down our work, being around people 24/7 to a January- a month of hustle, usually by ourselves, with no end in sight.

And to add on top of this, we have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) still in full swing, and we go directly into a month that is centered around measuring how much love we have for one another (February 14, Valentine’s Day).

In this extreme shift from month to month, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

And with how much this is being encouraged by media, you should feel overwhelmed.

If this resonates with you, a few tips of advice:

  1. Assess if you are getting what you need as Maslow's Hierarchy of needs suggests.

    Are you getting enough rest or nutrients?
    How are your finances and overall health and balance of stress?
    How are your relationships personally and professionally?
    How do you feel about yourself?
    And lastly, are you aligned with your purpose?  

  2. Address issues from bottom up.

    When there are many things out of balance, address them separately. We often think that there is a single solution for all of our problems, but the reality is... there isn't. Completing a work assignment isn’t going to radically improve your health. Mending a relationship won't guarantee that you’ll get out of an unstable financial situation.

    Write a list of all the things that are ruminating in your head and tackle them one by one, starting with the lowest common denominator: your health, sleep, and nutrition. You can't work if your body can’t function.

  3. Create a buffer before you even need it.

    Give yourself more time and opportunity to do the things that nourish you. To buffer in rest, end the day a lot sooner than normal. To buffer in improved nutrition, add more healthy options to your pantry. To buffer stress at work, negotiate a smaller deliverable and pad it with extra time. (We often underestimate how long things will take- I am extremely guilty of this.)

    By giving yourself space, you can start to regain control over what might have seemed like a lost cause.

  4. Lastly, give yourself some compassion.

    Forgive yourself for where you are today. Don't let the past discourage the potential of today. And don't let the future that hasn't happened, paralyze you from moving toward your goals.

    With each day, a new opportunity to try something new or to continue chipping away at that larger goal you've always dreamed of.

The world is in a very tumultuous state right now and we need to take care of ourselves first if we want to be here for the future.

I recently published a podcast on a topic that hits a bit close to my heart - death. A little over a week ago, I had a friend from San Diego pass away while he was getting ready for work. Life is extremely precious and we often forget how quickly it can disappear. We need to focus less on others and more on ourselves during this short time on Earth.


The Company that Doesn’t Want You to Know

By the NY Times: The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy Before We Know It

But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year, according to the company, which declined to provide a list. The computer code underlying its app, analyzed by The New York Times, includes programming language to pair it with augmented-reality glasses; users would potentially be able to identify every person they saw. The tool could identify activists at a protest or an attractive stranger on the subway, revealing not just their names but where they lived, what they did and whom they knew.

Mr. Ton-That wanted to go way beyond that. He began in 2016 by recruiting a couple of engineers. One helped design a program that can automatically collect images of people’s faces from across the internet, such as employment sites, news sites, educational sites, and social networks including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and even Venmo. Representatives of those companies said their policies prohibit such scraping, and Twitter said it explicitly banned use of its data for facial recognition.

“We have no data to suggest this tool is accurate,” said Clare Garvie, a researcher at Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology, who has studied the government’s use of facial recognition. “The larger the database, the larger the risk of misidentification because of the doppelgänger effect. They’re talking about a massive database of random people they’ve found on the internet.”

The Billion-Dollar Campaign

The Trump campaign is planning to spend more than $1 billion, and it will be aided by a vast coalition of partisan media, outside political groups, and enterprising freelance operatives. These pro-Trump forces are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history. Whether or not it succeeds in reelecting the president, the wreckage it leaves behind could be irreparable.

It's not Russia that is going to hack our 2020 elections. It's going to be ourselves.

A long, but imperative read by the Atlantic: The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President.

Improving Keystrokes

For many years, I used only a few fingers to type all of my words. It wasn't until I took a typing class that I learned how to utilize all of my fingers to type and my typing speed increased tremendously.

Basically, each finger has a designated "region" on the keyboard and each finger should be working pretty equally (including those pinkies) as you type. Those notches on the letters F and J are meant to orient your index fingers.

KeyBR Typing Practice is a great (and free!) tool to improve your typing.

As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share or sign up here: mindfulmoments.substack.com

Anything else? You can always hit "reply" to email me directly. 💌

Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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