Matisse VerDuyn

Just a blog with words and phrases and lessons learned from people who've told me stories about the things they've done and learned from others; nothing is always true, except the fact that nothing is always true. Founder of and Scramblage for iOS.

TED: Michael Shermer - The pattern behind self-deception - July 5th, 2014

From We want to discover patterns and associations to gain a sense of control / order (so much so, it can lead to superstition). Why? Believing a pattern is real, when it is not (false positive, safer, risk averse) is better than not believing a pattern is real, when it actually is (false negative, careless, risky). Scenario: if you hear a noise and run, you're okay whether it's a predator or just the wind, but if you head a noise don't run, you'll die if it's a predator. Evolution has shaped us to be lean towards false positives for survival. More meaningful patterns are recognized by the right hemisphere of your brain (via the left eye) than the left hemisphere (via the right eye). Dopamine also causes you to more frequently identify patterns.


TED: Minister Faust - How to engage in better small talk - July 5th, 2014

From Connect with someone on their interests and experiences, not yours. Don't ask, "What do you do for a living?" (closed) - social status, being either higher or lower, can be a conversation ender. Instead, ask, "What do you do for fun?" (bridge) - personal stories can be an equalizer. Listen to the other person with your full attention; if you have a thought, don't stop listening to hang onto it. Wait until they're finished, process, and respond. Interesting intro: "If you could have anyone over for dinner, who would it be, and what would you cook for them?"


TED: Shawn Achor - The happy secret to better work - July 5th, 2014

From It's not reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. Your external world is not predictive of your happiness. Your happiness is determined by the way your brain processes the world; your internal outlook. See stress as a challenge, not as a threat. Wrong formula for happiness: work harder = more success = happiness (problem is that more success = higher bar, forever keeping happiness out of reach). Correct formula: optimism = happiness = more productivity, energy, resilience = more success. Positivity from Dopamine through gratitude, journaling, exercise, meditation, and acts of kindness.


How to Make Yourself Tougher - July 5th, 2014

I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND THIS IS NOT HEALTH ADVICE. The following statements are an account of my experiences. Do some research and consult a doctor before attempting.
Learn what it's like to live without electricity. For one month, bathe in cold water only, and don't turn on lights. Only buy natural foods you must prepare and eat immediately; don't buy more food than you can consume in one sitting. Use a phone, computer, and car only as necessary to work (or buy food if out of walking range > 2 miles). Why? You'll be productive, social, less sedentary, and more in touch with nature.
Learn to survive on less food by only eating every other day (if you're a healthy adult, not pregnant, sick, etc.). Why? Because we take our access to resources for granted, and can live longer by adhering to calorie-restricted diets.
Learn how to function without sleep by skipping one night's rest without caffeine. Why? Because we're used to sheltered sleeping within a war-free zone. Most people don't have that privilege, must move constantly to avoid danger, and generally sleep lightly with one eye open. You'll learn to fall asleep quickly, rest efficiently, and spend more of your life awake.


TED: Michael Margolis - 3 pearls of entrepreneurial storytelling - July 5th, 2014

From Entrepreneurs need to know 3 stories: origin story, customer story, & the product story. Origin Story: your struggle and adversity are your purpose for becoming an entrepreneur; you didn't just sit there and accept a problem, you set out to fix it. Customer Story: we can't come from a place of judgment, we have to tell our customer story from a place of empathy. The customer has to be the hero of the story, not you or your origin. It's not about us, it's about the customer. How can you tell your story in service to your audience? When your audience can see themselves as the protagonists in your own story, the need to convince or persuade them to buy disappears. Talk about emotions, what drives us, how our customers feel. Are you selling crap, or do you give a crap? Do you want to change the world, more importantly, my (the customer's) world. Do you believe in what you're selling?


TED: Adam Leipzig - How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes - July 5th, 2014

From When someone asks you what you do, first tell them how what you do helps others, then tell them exactly what it is that you do.


TED: Sam Berns - My philosophy for a happy life - July 5th, 2014

From Don't waste time feeling bad for yourself. Accept your circumstances and move on.


TED: Stephen Cave - The 4 stories we tell ourselves about death - July 5th, 2014

From We don't yet know / can't prove what happens to us when we die. Our life is like a book, with a cover for our birth and one for our death. And as the characters of a book are not concerned with what lies before or beyond the pages, neither should we. We should only focus on living a good story.


TED: John Cacioppo - The lethality of loneliness - July 5th, 2014

From Even if you like your space, do not live alone. You will die sooner if you don't have someone to care for. Caring gives meaning to your life, and mutual protection / support. Loneliness is stigmatized.


TED: Allan Pease - Body language - July 5th, 2014

From Lean your head back, smile, and put your finger tips together in front of your to look and feel confident. Even if you are not confident about what you're saying, your confident posture will make you feel confident, and will convince others that you're confident. Speak with your palms up to seem friendly. Motion with, and bring your palms inward to show care and comfort. Push your palms out to alienate. Lead by command, only in a crisis, by giving directions with downward palms or pointing. Downward palms and pointing in other situations will make others feel uncomfortable with you.


TED: Chris Sauve - The habits of highly boring people - July 5th, 2014

From Write everything down and review / practice it.


TED: Pamela Meyer - How to spot a liar - July 5th, 2014

From Know what you're hungry for, from your aspirations to the simplest of your curiosities, because if you don't know your hunger, a con will figure it out, and use it to manipulate to you.


Faith - June 9th, 2014

"If while building a house, a carpenter strikes a nail. It proved faulty by bending. Does the carpenter lose faith in all nails, and stop building the house?"

"Then we are required to trust. Even if we are reminded of the existence of evil?"

"Deal with evil through strength. But affirm the good in man through trust. In this way we are prepared for evil, but we encourage good."

- Parable from the old Kung Fu series with David Carradine


Tact - June 6th, 2014

Never say more than needed.


Hate - June 6th, 2014

Don't hate people. Especially the ones you don't really know or haven't cared to. All the baggage you carry around, well, you're eventually going to have to let go one day, so you might as well free up the space while you still have some time to spare. Give new friends a chance, and old friends a second chance. Everyone who's been, and who will be, in your life has made you who you are.


Be Somebody - June 6th, 2014

Every Nobody wants to be like someone else.
A Somebody tries to be like no one else.


Camaraderie - June 6th, 2014

It means nothing to have something without anyone.
(you're only worth the value of your friendships)


Trust - June 6th, 2014

Trust is not transferable. (I trust you, you trust them, ≠ I trust them)


Learning From Failure - June 6th, 2014

When facing a problem, it's useful to remember the lessons you've been taught. But sometimes, you have to put them aside, and teach yourself.


Passion - December 21st, 2013

You should fall asleep at night thinking about what you're studying. You shouldn't fall asleep while studying, thinking about something else.


Empathy - December 21st, 2013

In How To Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie points out that, "A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people." If you ask anyone, sincerely, about what they do, what they think, or what's bothering them, they will probably tell you. The world is full of people with toothaches, waiting for a new friend to ask them about it.

PS. Read How To Win Friends & Influence People.


Job Experience - December 21st, 2013

If you pick a job related to your degree, you'll wear more hats at your future company. If you pick something unrelated to your field, you'll be much more interesting at dinner parties. You can't go wrong.


Wrong - December 21st, 2013

Don't listen to judgmental people. They're usually as wrong as they think you are.