Maker Mind

Make the most of your mind

#045 | May 21st, 2020
Current mood: me when the lockdown is over. Artist: Hallie Packard.

The Goldilocks Principle.


Hi friends!

Many things in life are a question of balance, and mental health is no different. A little bit of anxiety can act as a source of motivation. Too much anxiety can be paralysing. A little bit of stress is a healthy survival response. Too much stress leads to mental illness.

This week, we will explore such questions of balance. First, the Goldilocks Principle of Stress and Anxiety, and how you can determine your optimum stress and anxiety levels. Then, the relationship between mindful productivity and neuroscience—why do we (and our brains) need balance in the way we work?

And because teaching is the best way to learn, we will also have a look at how you can write great educational articles, which can help you and your audience understand new concepts better.

Enjoy the read, and hit reply if you have any questions, feedback, or want to say hello!

Metacognition workshop: Join on May 25th to think about thinking, learn metacognitive strategies, and design your own thinking toolkit. Register »

Brain food

The Goldilocks Principle of Stress and Anxiety
In the children’s story The Three Bears, Goldilocks tastes three different bowls of porridge, and finds that she likes the porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold. This concept is known as the Goldilocks Principle and has been used across disciplines, including mental health, to describe something that is not too high, not too low—but just right.

The anatomy of a perfect educational article
Writing an educational article about something you want to learn about may be one of the best ways to study a topic. This is what I’m doing every week at Ness Labs, and you can do it as well. So what does the perfect educational article look like?

Mindful productivity and neuroscience
Mindful productivity is a sustainable way to work and think. It’s not a product, it’s not an app, it’s not a system—it’s a flexible roadmap. While mindful productivity is first and foremost a set of principles anyone can apply to work better and think better, many of the habits and routines it prescribes are rooted in neuroscience research.


Brain candy

The History of Philosophy (Deniz Cem Önduygu)
An incredible visual summary showing the connections between some of the key arguments of Western philosophers. Explore on your laptop.

The Miracle Sudoku (Simon Anthony)
Did I believe my friend when she said: “Trust me, you will love watching this guy playing sudoku for 25 minutes”? No. Did I watch the whole thing? Yes.

Why Bother? (Salman Ansari)
A beautiful short essay about digital gardens, why we create, why we share, and the pain of silence.


Brain trust

Lots going on in the members area this week and next!

  • Workshop. There will be two sessions of the metacognition workshop to accommodate for all timezones on Monday. I usually give this interactive workshop at companies and conferences for a much higher price than the membership cost. Sign up here.
  • Virtual meetup. We had a wonderful time during our meetup for note takers and note hoarders. We talked about Zettelkasten, taking smart notes, Roam versus Notion, and more. Read the notes (yes, meta)
  • Mind Match. As always, fill this form to get matched with a fellow member for a virtual coffee chat. Includes a thoughtful conversation guide with ice breakers!
  • Course. Just announced that yearly members will be able to beta-test the course in advance of the official launch. Join now if you're interested.

Until next week,
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