This thread reminded me that it is now 10 years since I stopped drinking alcohol. I haven’t had one drop since.
Sometimes people ask me: Why not just one glass? Why stop completely? Why not enjoy life?
The simple answer is: It simplified my life.
It’s easier to quit something 100% than 98%. It eliminates the decision. There is no internal debate ever again.
Other benefits include: I save money; I sleep better; no hangovers; I can drive anywhere without worrying about driving back; and potential health benefits of course.
Also, I completely removed one vector that could possibly ruin my life.
I just learned that a new industry of non-alcoholic social beverages is emerging. Examples are Kin and Three Spirit. Similar to plant-based meat.
In 10 years, I experienced no social awkwardness or negative reactions. I did experience that my non-drinking often unconsciously reduces the drinking of the people I hang out with. An effect I did not expect.
How did I do it? I went cold turkey. One day I got rid of all alcohol in the house, and never bought anything again. Done.
I enjoy taking occasional power naps after lunch or in the afternoon. I rarely fall asleep, but when I do, it really is refreshing.
One tool I discovered are Binaural Beats:
A binaural beat is an auditory illusion perceived when two different pure-tone sine waves, both with frequencies lower than 1500 Hz, with less than a 40 Hz difference between them, are presented to a listener dichotically (one through each ear).
For example, if a 530 Hz pure tone is presented to a subject’s right ear, while a 520 Hz pure tone is presented to the subject’s left ear, the listener will perceive the auditory illusion of a third tone, in addition to the two pure-tones presented to each ear. The third sound is called a binaural beat.
A friend recently suggested to use the “Downtime” feature in the iPhone’s Screen Time settings.
When enabled, all your apps are blocked, except for the ones on your “Always Allowed” list.
How to enable “Downtime”: 1. Go to Settings 2. Go to Screen Time 3. Go to Downtime 4. Enable Downtime and customize settings 5. Go back to Screen Time 6. Go to Always Allowed and choose apps you want at all times
My personal downtime is from 20:45 to 06:00. From then on I only allow Audible, Podcasts, Calendar, and some other utilities. Everything else is blocked.
My expectations weren’t very high, and I was positively surprised. I really like this feature. Especially that all notifications and badges are hidden.
Also, in “emergencies”, it’s very easy to allow an additional 15 minutes for a particular app. I like the “opt in” aspect of it. There is a hurdle, but you can get your thing done if you really need to.
As 2018 is coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the most important books I have read this year. Enjoy!
My favorite books of 2018
1. The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobelli (audio version): This was the most important book I read in 2018 (I’ve read the original German version). The book was so good that I have read it twice and have scheduled to re-read it at least once a year. It gives very practical recommendations of how to live a better life, and I’ve been able to implement multiple things.
2. A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine (audio version): It’s a great companion to Rolf Dobelli’s book (see above), and it’s a wonderful introduction to the stoic way of life. I’ve decided to not only read it, but to study it, and to integrate these practices into my life. This little iPhone app is helping me to practice it every day.
3. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson (audio version): This book helped me fix my bad sleeping habits. I’m now sleeping more and better! A great companion book is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (audio version). A great tool that I use to track my sleep is the Oura Ring. According to Why We Sleep it’s the most accurate sleep tracker available.
I used to spend significant money on Audible (which I still love and use). Then I discovered Scribd: for just $8.99/month, you access the whole library. I usually find about 70% of the books I’m looking for. If you click here, you get two months for free.