PSY – Gangnam Style
I just realized this song’s awesomeness, though apparently it’s been all the rage for the past 2 weeks. The video is nuts but I love it! It’s crazy and random, but I love the KPOP-y ness of it. It made me revisit middle school (my Asian pop listening phase) and listen to some KARA, Big Bang, and Hyuna as well. The video has gained international acclaim and even though it’s been online since July 15, 2012, it’s gotten over 65+ million views (as of now, may skyrocket over time). Wikipedia has an entire lengthy writeup about it – check it out.
I hope this gets not only PSY but also KPOP some mainstream American exposure as well! Though I have no idea what PSY is rapping about… only that the video is a bit of a satire of the kind of rich, affluent people in the Gangnam district of South Korea. I might be wrong, though. The point is, the song is incredibly catchy and addicting. Like the Korean version of LMFAO.
3 Tiny Habits
I started BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits program last week. I’d highly recommend it to everyone. The program’s basic premise is to build 3 new tiny habits that take less than 30 seconds each to do, to make things so automatic — so idiotically simple — that our brains don’t even think about it: we just do it. Second nature.
I found out about BJ Fogg via Ramit Sethi, who is a guy who knows his stuff about personal finance. Both share common interests of behavioral psychology, a subject that highly interests me as well. Check out Ramit’s blog, all of his content is pure gold. And I don’t say that lightly.
Bad habits have been something I’ve been struggling with, and by extension, building good habits, so this seemed like an excellent way for me to experiment and iterate on myself.
My three tiny habits that I built:
- When I wake up, I will read one Bible verse.
- When I finish brushing my teeth, I will floss one tooth.
- When I leave my apartment for class every morning, I will pre-pack my exercise clothes and bring them with me.
Habit #1 was to help me to become a better Christian in reading the Bible more. Habit #2 was one of BJ’s suggested small habits — just a small introductory push for me to build a good habit, not that I don’t floss already. Ha. Habit #3 was to help make exercise more automatic, rather than relying on sheer willpower — my reasoning here was to make it SUPER easy for my brain to say yes, let’s go exercise, because the environment was conducive and facilitated the habit.
My results after 1 week? Habits #2 and #3 were highly successful, while Habit #1 I was able to do for the first half of the week before I just got too lazy.
I’ve been thinking about why the results came out that way, and I think the reason is the physical/emotional/mental rewards that I receive for doing them. That is, after I floss one tooth, I (obviously) just finish flossing all my teeth and enjoy a nice, refreshed and clean feeling. That is, after I exercise, I enjoy the rush of endorphins and runner’s high, etc. after I work out and basically feel amazing afterwards.
However, after I read one Bible verse, I don’t really get any physical/emotional/mental stimulation… I think perhaps it’s because I don’t quite have a planned reading routine, that I was flipping randomly in the New Testament trying to find an inspirational verse; if I land on a random verse, without knowing the immediate context, I don’t quite get a full enjoyment of the verse and it’s “too much work” on my brain to go back and read 10-some (or more/less) verses related to it in order to understand what’s going on. I’m thinking one way to remedy this is to get a Bible study companion to read with me and keep me motivated, or to construct some sort of reading schedule instead of reading haphazardly.
In retrospect, the physical/emotional/mental rewards immediately made me think of Claude Hopkins, who exploited this habit-making process to convince the American people to construct a national toothbrushing habit. I also recently read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business last spring — highly recommended read. It was the main impetus for me severe focus on trying to build good habits and good routines — no more allnighters and cramming.
Regarding technology, products and users — TechCrunch recently ran an article titled: “Where Have the Users Gone?” precisely on habits and rewards. The author argues that you need to play on people’s habits as a way of user acquisition and retention. He suggests that rewards may be the answer to help build product into users’ habits and describes two groups of rewards: infinitely variable (Twitter/keeping up with people’s lives, gossip, etc) vs. those with finite variability (addictive video games).
In other news
Pretty shocking (or not) news on Apple’s huge $1.049 billion win over Samsung in a highly publicized patent lawsuit, and Lance Armstrong’s debated doping implications, ending the fight against doping charges and relinquishing 7 Tour de France titles. RIP Neil Armstrong – the first man to walk on the moon. It will be interesting to see the effects of the GOP Super Pac money floodgates open after Romney accepts the GOP’s party nomination for president. It’s almost September… November is right around the corner.