If you’re a decent human being, then you have definitely seen a few showings of Goodfellas and you definitely were captivated by the prison scene where they cook up dinner and you definitely know that Vinny used one too many onions in the sauce. The scene always made you hungry and although Mom’s sauce was good, it really couldn’t hold up to the sensibility of wise guys. For anyone wanting to get close to tasting the feast in Goodfellas, I found a legit recipe. Make this tonight and Fuggedaboutit!
All the ingredient: onions, tomato puree, vine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, white wine, chianti, beef stock, ground beef, pork and veal, salt, pepper, basil, pecorino romano, ciabatta, pasta and steak.
For me, it was movies or the internet. Hours gone. Some people say it’s not wasted if you’re enjoying yourself. But I wasn’t. It was more of a passive, unproductive, numb way to spend my time when I should’ve been doing something else.
Here’s what I learned. Self awareness is the key. What I mean by that is when I would say I was going to quit, I would later find myself back on the computer or on the couch watching tv. It took a long time for me to even realize what I was doing. It was like a habitual auto-pilot for me. You have to wake up. Be aware of what you’re doing and where you are. If you need to, make a schedule. And adhere to it very strictly. Set alarms if you want. But you just have to wake up and be present and plan your time. Know what you’re going to do, and do it. If you don’t know what to do, you’ll fall back into your natural pattern and just say "I’ll start tomorrow."
Once you’ve got that down, you have to make sure you don’t transfer the obsession/addiction to something else that’s just as bad. The goal is to make positive, long lasting changes. But you also should just take baby steps. That will help the reinforcement. For example, when I first woke up, I would want to immediately turn on the tv or get on the computer or worse: both simultaneously. At first, I did something small. When I first woke up, I would just sit. No television, no computer, no phone, nothing. Just quiet. Allow my brain to wake up, process, slow down, and make plans. The reason I did that is because, like you, I wanted to transfer my leisure time to reading but I was too annoyed/used to a quick fix to immediately start reading all day every day every chance I could. I had to transition slowly away from relying so heavily on screens for entertainment.
Don’t think you’re a failure if you relapse. Don’t say "Well, I messed up a little while today so I might as well go back to my old habits for the rest of the day/week/month." No. Small corrections. Positive encouragement.
When you do start reading, make sure you are reading things that truly interest you. Don’t read something because someone else said it was great and you just HAVE to read it. If you don’t like what you’re reading, you will stop. Then you’ll feel guilty. Then you’ll go back to your old habits and feel even worse. So if you don’t like what you’re reading, move on. Find something else. It’s okay not to like everything you read.
We are our own worst enemies and problems. But we’re also our solutions. So just be honest with yourself, know and recognize your limitations and weaknesses, and move forward with your head held high.
The most helpful tool anyone can suggest for you is a stop watch with a countdown timer.
But tools are useless if you fail to recognize that meditation is work. It’s not a short break from reality to relax, escape from the world and take a personal vacation. It’s the mental equivalent of the type of strength training that requires developing power by maintaining immobile exertion for an extended period, rather than the standard up/down lifting of weights.
And even if you fully understand that, your success or failure is upon you and how willing you are to treat it like a form of exercise- it requires habit, routine, dedication and perseverance.
That being said, in the most generic routine description I can muster, I would suggest:
Commit to a daily habit. No excuses. It also means a dedicated schedule that has you meditating at the same time, each day.
Start with a place that affords you solitude and relative silence. Stick with it unless it suddenly becomes unusable. Habit helps you avoid distractions.
Sit, comfortably, hands in your lap and eyelids relaxed to near closing, AFTER you have primed your stopwatch. Don’t force anything- find your comfortable zone of sitting.
Your stopwatch should be set to countdown 1 minute. That’s all, just 60 seconds.
Once you start the countdown, set the stopwatch aside, relax your closing eyelids. Begin meditating. No matter what happens- phone ringing, knock on the door, car horn outside- you are committed to that minute and do not deviate for any reasons outside immediate physical danger (say, kitchen fire).
The actual psychological routine of meditation isn’t to ‘clear the mind’, but rather, to empty it. “Clearing the mind’ is counterproductive- it requires you focus and attach on the thoughts and ideas that will naturally spring forth in the mind as you sit in silence, and it will never truly be clear or empty because your focus on fighting your thoughts is clutter as much as the thought you are trying to push away.
Line muffin pan with olive oil and then dough.
Add a ton of stuff like italian sausage, jalapeños, and mushrooms.
My ingredients: garlic, ginger, onion, mushrooms, kale, bok choy, carrot, jalapeno, green onions, and shrimp. We’re going to create a basic stock.
Peel a hunk of ginger, smash some garlic to peel…
by Marcus Geduld
Just as with any skill, practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately, that means telling stories now, while you’re still bad at it. Getting good at anything means trying, failing, learning from failure, and trying again. Go ahead and fail, but keep a journal of your failures, analyzing as best you can why you failed and what you can do better next time. Earn your successes. Realize that you’ll never be good at storytelling. Not you in particular. Anybody! Updike, Fitzgerald, Shakespeare … — our greatest storytellers — all knew that the only worthwhile method was to keep trying and failing, trying and failing. Tips will help (see below), but please keep this paragraph always in the forefront of your mind.
What happens next?
The number-one ingredient for a story is the tension of an unsolved mystery. Stories set up a questions and delay answering them. The simplest example is a question in the first sentence with the answer delayed until the second sentence:
"You know who Bob’s favorite singer is? Meatloaf!"
That’s not a very interesting story, I know, but compare it to this:
"Bob’s favorite singer is Meatloaf."
The first version evokes (just a little) tension. The second doesn’t.
Now imagine telling the first version but walking out of the room after the first sentence:
"You know who Bob’s favorite singer is? —– "
That agony is what you should strive for. Because the most basic human urge that makes us want to listen to stories is the need to know what happens next.
Curiosity is the juggernaut that drives storytelling.
If you immediately tell us what happens next — or if there is no next ("Bob’s favorite singer is Meatloaf") — then there’s no hook.
Practice this simple question-delay-answer structure over and over, in all your communications. I mean in emails, text-messages, Quora posts, and so on. You’re not going to become a good storyteller by learning how to go into storytellingmode. Instead, turn yourself into someone who tells stories all the time. May stories a natural part of the way you communicate.
Ok, I have a confession to make.
I have spent almost my whole life– 31 years– caring far too much about offending people, worrying if I’m cool enough for them, or asking myself if they are judging me.
I can’t take it anymore. It’s stupid, and it’s not good for my well being. It has made me a punching bag– a flighty, nervous wuss. But worse than that, it has made me someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything. It has made me someone who stood in the middle, far too often, and not where I cared to stand, for fear of alienating others. No more. Not today.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, is different.
We’re going to talk about the cure. We’re going to talk about what’s necessary. We’re going to talk about the truth.
Do you wonder if someone is talking shit about you? Whether your friends will approve? Have you become conflict-avoidant? Spineless?
Well, it’s time you started not giving a fuck.
FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.
Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.
What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further.” They may not like this behaviour, but so what? These are people don’t like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don’t care for you in the first place?
Right. Then, there’s Internet trolls. That’s a whole other thing.
Regular people are fine– you don’t actually hear it when they’re talking behind your back. But on the web, you do see it, which changes the dynamic drastically. They have an impact because they know you have your vanity searches, etc. But the real problem with Internet haters is that they confirm your paranoid delusion that everyone out there secretly hates you.
Thankfully, that’s not actually true. So the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side.
Humans like to think we’re a clever lot. Yet those magnificent, mighty brains that allow us to split the atom and touch the moon are the same stupid brains that can’t start an assignment until the day before it’s due.
We evolved from primitive creatures, but we never quite shed ourselves of their legacy. You know the clever, rational part of your brain you think of as your human consciousness? Let’s call him Albert. He lives in your brain alongside an impulsive baby reptile called Rex:
(Rex is your basal ganglia, but that’s not very catchy so I’m sticking with Rex).
Rex evolved millions of years ago – unsurprisingly enough, in the brains of reptiles – and his instincts guide and motivate you to this day. Hunger. Fear. Love. Lust. Rex’s thoughts are primitive and without language.
Here’s the bit you’re not going to like. Rex makes the final call on all your decisions. Every. Single. One.