Michael Zelbel's Codex Vitae

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Michael Zelbel's Codex Vitae by Mind Map: Michael Zelbel's Codex Vitae

1. The Codex Vitae

1.1. My “Book of Life” Covering Beliefs, Strategies, Life Hacks and Bits of Wisdom. Version 0.1 This Codex Vitae idea comes from Tony Stubblebine, who got it from his friend Buster Benson, who got the idea from Robin Sloan’s book Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel.

2. How to Use This Codex

2.1. If you are Michael Zelbel

2.1.1. Do a yearly review of the entire document, editing places where your beliefs have changed. Expect values, beliefs and hacks to change — don’t hold on to them too rigidly.

2.1.2. Develop a habit of using the Codex as a repository for beliefs that you develop throughout the year.

2.2. If you are not Michael Zelbel

2.2.1. Read this with the knowledge that you are different from Michael  —  the way he lives his life is not the way you should live yours (this should be obvious, but stating it here in case it isn’t).

2.2.2. Look for a few bits of wisdom that you could apply to your own life. Michael recommends no more than three bits.

2.2.3. Consider cut and pasting this into your own Codex Vitae. Then delete most of the content. Feel free to add or remove sections as well.

3. Philosophy

3.1. Beliefs, principles and values that guide everything else in the codex.

3.1.1. Meta-Beliefs The beliefs in this document represent strong opinions, loosely held*. They will change. Often. Spontanuously. For no obvious reasons. * Term coined by Paul Saffo, http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/07/strong_opinions.html Articulating my beliefs makes me more efficient. It makes me more aware of my believes and I can base my views and actions on them. No need for self-negotiating and flip-flopping. In case I want to, I can actually change a belief at will, going through an EPIC Transformation* * Process by P.J. Eby, http://theeffortlessway.com/videos/bc24

3.1.2. Personal Principles Positive Impact Choose actions that have a positive, measurable impact on our world. Pragmatism Make simple things that work. Complete them as fast as possible. Let results offer guidance for improvements. Compounding Interest Strive for the small wins that compound over time to the big wins. This is true for relationships, learning and business. Cognitive Budget You only have so much time and brain cycles in the day. Optimize for spending those cycles on things that are important and enjoyable. Make Decisions Ahead Make decisions well in advance wherever possible. This way you can avoid the biases that come with pressure and recency. Responding to Negativity The only appropriate response to anything is love. I've already won Being born in the Western world, having had the priviledge of eductaion and health care, I've already won. Everything else is just the icing on the cake. Go into every challenging situation with the mindset of "I've already won." It does not matter all that much whether or not you succeed in this particular situation. It won't change anything in the big picture. With this concern out of the way, you go into challenges without fear and without the need to proof yourself to others. You can focus on "How can I help the people here around me?" A focus that will always pay off eventually. Empower, Enable, don't force it Many changes that I want to see are in my sphere of influence, but not in my sphere of control. Trying to force them is highly ineffective. I will only meet resistance. Enable the changes and empower those who want to change is the best option I have. Do not complain Steeping yourself in negativity has seriously terrible consequences for your mental and physical health.* The science is in and you are too intelligent to do these bad and useless things to yourself and others. Instead, be a responsible adult and focus on the positive that is already there and the positive that you can create.

3.1.3. Values Family and Friends first Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.* Health My health is a major key to life quality for my partner and myself. Safety and Security Our happiness in life depends on the wellbeing of one another. Personal Freedom Gain happiness from a sense of autonomy. Create the space in which you can bring your ideas to fruition.

4. Personal Systems

4.1. Systems and tactics for getting the most out of your life.

4.1.1. Meta-System System work in conjunction with habits. The key to use a system regularly, is to develop the habit to use it. At the same time, a new habit is best created by installing a supporting system. Every system has exactly one bottle neck at any given time. Find this bottle neck and remove it before optimizing the next part of the system* * Engpasskonzentrierte Strategie (German), https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engpasskonzentrierte_Strategie

4.1.2. Decision taking If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”. Learned from Derek Sivers* * Anything You Want, No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.” | https://sivers.org/hellyeah

4.1.3. Productivity Effectiveness Always strive for effectiveness. It always trumps efficiency in terms of results. SMART Goals SMART goals help productivity, as long as I block the time to progress them.* Focus If I focus on only one big project at a time, then I have much higher chances to succeed and I will reap the rewards much earlier. Trivial Tasks Break projects into trivial tasks in order to avoid procrastination. Track tasks as you go in order to keep context and get back into a flow after an interruption. A Kanban is a good tool for this kind of tracking. Momentum Focus on creating and maintaining momentum.

4.1.4. Mindfulness Blank Slate Each morning write down all thoughts that you have. Empty your mind. It transfers a good deal of chaos from your head into your journal. Positive Self Talk Each morning talk to yourself in the most positive, even highly exaggerated way that you can come up with. It unarms you inner critic, which in our rather artificial value system is usually much more potent than it is useful for you. Gratitude Practicing gratitude daily improves my life as well as the lives of people, who interact with me. When not feeling grateful, go to your gratitude checklist with all the prompts for reminding you of the things you are grateful for. Journal A daily journal helps keeping me sane. It helps me habitually reflecting on my actions. Meditation Meditation improves my awareness of thoughts and feelings. I feel better when I meditate regularly. Cat Mode Sometimes you have to take down time. A helpful concept for that from Buster Benson is "Cat Mode". When you embrace leisure, you are in Cat Mode*. Cats are the ultimate leisure creatures. Emily and I are in cat mode at the end of every day that we spend together at home. For 30 minutes or so we have a drink together in our jacuzzi. We are just lazy, we talk, we cuddle, whatever. It's time well spend! Reflection Reflecting brings me learning and satisfaction. At the end of the day I look a back on really good things that happened. Same on the week and the month. I always amazes and motivates me to see all the good stuff that happened to me.

5. Health

5.1. The things I do to stay healthy. These things seem to work well. In this century (which is about 18 years old) I did not have to see a medical doctor. There was not even one time that I really suffered from a cold or a flu.I am really grateful for my immune system. Staying healthy and free of communicable diseases helps the people around me to stay health, too.

5.1.1. Prevention Washing Hands Washing my hands often and thoroughly can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds).* I am obsessed with washing my hands. At home I have liquid medical soap and sanitising hand gel at every washing basin. Especially when handling food, I am washing my hands about every 30 seconds. Avoiding Public Keyboards At my workplace there are public keyboards. They are full of germs, just like any public handle or hand contact point*. We fly in people from all over the world. Due to the travel they fall sick very easily and very often. Every sneezing spreads their bacteria in the room. Typing on the keyboards deposits a good amount of bacteria right there. If I was forced to use our public keyboards, I would first sanitize them. Avoid Touching my Face I can wash my hands all day long, but especially in offices, hotels and when I am out and about, they will always carry a lot of germs. Avoiding touching my eyes, nose, mouth and ears* will hinder most of these bacteria to enter my body. Work Standing Standing at my work desk avoids the spine damage that sitting at the desk for long hours would do. I should wear compression stockings in order avoid taxing my legs with long periods of standing. Yearly Medical Checkup Do a yearly health checkup. I can care about avoidable health issues early on if I just let good doctors help me to do so. I have not seen a medical doctor in 20 years. I don’t get sick. I don’t even catch a cold. I do a ton of things to stay healthy, even things to avoid cancer. But there’s a multitude of severe problems that could start in my body right tomorrow without me noticing them. But an MD might have a chance to find them. So I better don't play Superman and acknowledge that I can use help.

5.1.2. Helping my Immune System Vitamine D3 A large epidemiological study consisting of 2,100 female twin pairs found that increased vitamin D levels correlated with increased telomere length in white blood cells (WBCs).10 Here’s the real kicker: the difference in telomere length between those with high (vitamin D sufficient) versus low (vitamin D insufficient) levels of vitamin D corresponded to 5 years of
 aging.* Eat Fermented Food "Focus on prebiotics, which feed the beneficial bacteria in our guts, nurturing them and helping them to grow. This is an area Dr Gemma Walton, a gut microbiologist from Reading University, has been investigating and she has found encouraging evidence that a prebiotic diet can increase the numbers of good bacteria in the gut."* Drink a Perl Dragon and Sencha Tea blend (to prevent cancer) Dr. William Li introduced the crowd to “anti-angiogenesis therapy”: in plain English, how to starve cancers of blood. Dr. Li specializes in inhibiting cancer-specific blood-vessel growth, which ostensibly keeps abnormal growth in check. The simplest “drug” he recommended was tea. Drinking a daily blend of white tea (specifically Dragon Pearl jasmine) and green tea (Japanese sencha). * Regular Sauna Visits A study found that using the sauna 2­ - 3 times per week was associated with 24% lower all­cause mortality​and 4­-7 times per week 40%.*

5.1.3. I love sleep After a night of good sleep I feel happy and unstoppable. The interactions that I have with the people around me are positive because my empathy levels are high. I make choices based on my long term goals because I don't feel the urge to for the short term wins instead. Schedule 8 hours of good sleep per night. Set a reminder for 30 minutes before bed time. Have a simple sleep plan like "I go to bed at 22:00. I get up at 7:00" and follow it every day if possible. "If I give you just four hours of sleep for one night, your immune system function is impaired by about 70 percent," says Sleep psychologist Matt Walker*. "So there's a catastrophic implosion of your immune system health." 9 Reasons You Really Need to Go to Sleep, http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/01/inquiring-minds-matt-walker

6. Love & Sex

6.1. A great love relationship is based on being honest with myself and with my partner.

6.2. Compersion is taking a love relationship to the next level.

6.3. Staying together is a choice that requires all partners to opt in.

6.4. Always be working on communication.

6.5. Monogamy is outdated and fails painfully for most people who try it. But due to the beliefs that we learned it's still the best option for most people. Human beings are promiscuous sexual omnivores.* And that's perfectly fine.

6.5.1. * Are we designed to be sexual omnivores? by Christopher Ryan https://youtu.be/LJhklPJz9U8

6.6. Safe Sex

6.6.1. I used condoms for intercourse all my life, all the time. I am glad I did. Latex condoms, used consistently and correctly, are 98-99% effective in preventing HIV transmission.* Besides protecting myself it is also my responsibility to protect the partners I have sex with by using a condom with no exception. * CONDOM EFFECTIVENESS The Facts About HIV and STD Prevention http://www.aidschicago.org/resources/legacy/condoms/ltoyw_fact.pdf

7. People

7.1. Beliefs and practices for other people.

7.1.1. Friends Friendship springs from two sources, shared experience and natural chemistry. Watch for the chemistry and bet on it, because chemistry is forever. Know who you your close friends are and invest in them.

7.1.2. All People People are inherently good. Bad actions come from bad situations. People around the world are very similar while being very different. Mankind did not yet find a way to live in large societies in a way that would be compatible with our psychology. It's still programmed for 30 or so people tribes. This creates a lot of frustration and depression. It causes the "defining paranoia of the human species.*" One way to improve would be to learn to stop caring what other people think about us. Rather care honestly about other people. Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/06/taming-mammoth-let-peoples-opinions-run-life.html

7.1.3. Connection Photography: For me as an introvert, my erotic photography provides a fun, non intrusive, way to interact with people on a deep and personal level. I love it and I help a lot of other people exploring that.

8. Business, work, and building things

8.1. Career

8.1.1. Interesting Career Choose an interesting career path, rather than simply hunting for money. I am putting so much time and energy into my work, that this is a great leverage point for making my life interesting.

8.1.2. Positive Impact Optimize your career for positive impact. It is deeply fulfilling causing positive changes. So make this your career.

8.2. Business

8.2.1. Marketing Marketing is the moral obligation of a product person — people need to hear about wonderful things. Done nicely, it improves the life of the who are marketed to, like the inverse sales funnel*. * Why I hate funnels, by Ben Chestnut, http://tinyletter.com/ben/letters/why-i-hate-funnels

8.2.2. Competition Competition doesn’t matter. If there is a lot of competition, then there is certainly a lot of interest and opportunity. Help new competitors onto the stage.

8.3. Management

8.3.1. Manage by Systems Create and improve a system that serves as a solid back-bone of your company.* Provide team members with enough room for their own decisions and creativity. Make the system detailed enough to give team members a feeling of security. * Work the System, by Sam Carpenter http://amzn.to/2aFWwMS

8.3.2. Manage by Principles Share principles rather than decisions. You don’t have to be the decider for everything.

8.3.3. Assume Good Intention Nobody comes to work to do a bad job. By definition everyone is doing their best.