Greetings from Queenstown, New Zealand!
As many of you know, I’ve been on a trip round the world with my family for the last six months. And in all that time, I’ve never missed a scheduled issue of Further.
Until last week, that is. Blame it on Melbourne.
Turns out, Melbourne is a fantastic city. Great people, food, and art.
Plus, I saw The Struts in a dive bar and hung out with lead singer Luke Spiller. Rock and roll is not dead yet, my friends.
So there you have it … no issue last week. Partying like a rock star at my age takes a heavy toll.
All jokes aside, I simply decided to take the week off to enjoy the city. Thank you for forgiving me, and I’ll try not to do it again (unless there’s a really great reason 😉 ).
I’m about halfway through a Further feature article on creating lasting change as a follow-up to the willpower issue. In the meantime, Mark Manson recently came at the topic from a slightly different angle, and it’s well worth your time:
If Self-Discipline Feels Difficult, Then You’re Doing It Wrong
Down below, Trudi Roth explores how to use anxiety to your advantage, and I take you on a quick tour of a smart mirror that doubles as home gym technology.
P.S. Did someone forward this issue of Further to you? We’d love to have you join us by signing up here.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall …
By Brian Clark
Who’s the fittest of them all?
Forget Hamlet, that’s the question. And it might just be you when you invest in the right kind of smart mirror for your home.
If you hate the gym but miss looking at yourself while you work out, you can now get an on-demand, interactive home gym built into what looks like an ordinary full-length mirror. When you’re not sweating it off, your home gym equipment becomes just an attractive aspect of your home decor.
The aptly-named Mirror Interactive Home Gym is a giant LCD screen built into a one-way mirror. In addition to your reflection, it allows you to view a personal trainer who guides you through a variety of workouts, plus vital workout data such as heart rate and exertion level.
Next level home gym technology
Mirror’s professional trainers offer a variety of classes from cardio, to strength training, to yoga. And the device itself features a cool combination of hardware and software:
The Mirror hardware includes a carbon steel frame, a 40-inch 1080p display, two 10W speakers, and a 5MP front camera. It has dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which means it can sync with your Apple Watch or other Bluetooth heart-rate monitors. You’ll even get a Mirror Heart Rate Monitor in the starter pack that comes with your purchase.
Mirror will set you back $1,495, which is cheap compared to a $4,000 Peloton that may or may not look good in your ultra-modern $3 million house. But there’s also a $39 a month subscription fee for the classes, which leads to the obvious question …
Is Mirror worth the money?
I discovered Mirror thanks to tweets about it from my friend Chris Lema, so I thought I’d ask for his thoughts on the product so far. This was his response, solely as a customer:
This solves everything! I can pick my music. I can pick my workout. I can do it without a trip to the gym. And there is no equipment to hide.
Even more impressive (given that Chris is generally a discriminating consumer) is that he couldn’t think of anything he’d want improved about the product at this point. As far he was concerned, Mirror showed him nothing but benefits.
Mirror: The Future Of Fitness Is at Your Place
Use anxiety to your advantage
By Trudi Roth
The first time I had an anxiety attack, I was 22 and thought I had the flu. It seemed to come at me from out of nowhere.
When the dizziness and disorientation dragged on, my doctor diagnosed me over the phone. Turns out it was a garden variety panic disorder triggered by a major life transition — from college to “adulting.”
Three decades, excellent therapeutic help, and a daily meditation practice later, I now love my anxiety. It’s my most reliable barometer for navigating change.
The DL on high anxiety
Anxiety is a normal response to stress, and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. But why is anxiety a thing at all?
More importantly, how could this awfulness be a benefit?
Well, anxiety is there to help us survive. Problem is, times have changed more than our brains have. Your limbic system, often referred to as your lizard brain, uses the amygdala as a communications hub to brain explain incoming signals and alert you to real or perceived threats.
When the danger is authentic — say, an angry rattlesnake on a trail you’re hiking — the fight or flight instinct is a good one. But when it’s merely a perception of danger (like the fear of public speaking), this primitive response can backfire.
Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom ~ Søren Kierkegaard
The Yerkes-Dodson Law says that too much or too little arousal/anxiety can mess with your performance depending on the task at hand. Overdo it for an intellectual undertaking and you risk becoming paralyzed by fear; under do it for endurance-driven goals like running a race, and you might not have enough motivation to make it.
So while expending too much energy on worrying doesn’t work to affect change, a little anxiety won’t hurt you … and used wisely, it has a definite upside for optimal performance.
When an emotionally driven storms kick up, anxiety is an excellent way to gauge your next right action. Just let your primal reptilian commander alert you to the storm, then use your rational brain to steer the ship to new shores.
The Struts – Primadonna Like Me
Young & Dangerous, 2018
The only way The Struts qualify for the Further Flashback is because they’re a 70’s glam band stuck in 2019. Listen and you’ll hear Queen, the Stones, even a bit of Rod Stewart — and it’s amazing. Plus, how can you not love this line: Hey you! Don’t you know who I think I am? (YouTube)
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