Although people think they perform better on caffeine, the truth is, they really don’t. Actually, we’ve become so dependent on caffeine that we use it to simply get back to our status-quo. When we’re off it, we under perform and become incapable.
If you want to become elite at what you do, you need to consistently get better. High performance is all about putting in more and “reps.” Doing the same workout every day won’t make you stronger or faster. Just showing up to work every day and doing your job won’t make you better at your job. It’s been shown that most doctors become worse at their job over their career. They are at their height when they come out of medical school and slowly get worse over time…….
You get home from work, eat dinner, clean up, flop on the couch, and doze off watching TV or mess with your phone. Then you repeat the same routine Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Before you know it, you’ve hit the weekend, and it felt like all you did all week was work. In reality, you had an hour or two to do whatever you wanted each night. But because you didn’t consciously invest that time in meaningful or satisfying activities, every day felt like a grind……
Nordic countries like Finland and Norway may regularly come out on top of world happiness indexes for wellbeing year-on-year – but new research shows the happiness is far from universal.
A report authored by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen aims to provide a more nuanced picture of life in the Nordic nations – suggesting their reputations as utopias for happiness are masking significant problems for some parts of the population, especially young people.
The researchers behind In the Shadow of Happiness looked at data collected across five years between 2012-2016 to try and build a better picture of the so-called “happiness superpowers”.
It asked people to mark their satisfaction with life out of 10 – with people above a seven categorizedm as thriving, fives and sixes as struggling and anyone scoring below a four deemed to be suffering.
It found that in total 12.3% of people living in the Nordic region said they were struggling or suffering, with 13.5% of young people ranking themselves as such.
It found general health and mental health were both closely associated with happiness ratings – with unemployment, income and sociability also playing a role.
Mental Health As a Factor
Researchers found mental health to be one of the most significant barriers to subjective well-being.
Their data found these problems being reported by young people in particular.
“More and more young people are getting lonely and stressed and having mental disorders,” one of the report’s authors, Michael Birkjaer, told the Guardian newspaper.
“We are seeing that this epidemic of mental illness and loneliness is reaching the shores of the Nordic countries.”
In Denmark, 18.3% of people aged 16 to 24 said they suffered from poor mental health – with the number rising to 23.8% for women in that age bracket.
Norway saw a 40% increase over the five-year-period of young people seeking help for mental health difficulties.
The report notes that in Finland, which ranked as the happiest world country in 2018, suicide was responsible for a third of all deaths among the age bracket.
It found that young women consistently reported feeling depressed more than young men did.
What Other Patterns Did it Find?
The authors say that in Nordic countries high incomes protected people against feeling they were suffering or struggling.
They also found that people were more than three times more likely to report a low score if they were unemployed, especially men, who were also more likely to report mental health problems when unemployed.
It said that research shows lack of social contact was a greater problem among Nordic men than women.
Other conclusions included:
- Ethnic minorities living in Nordic countries were less happy
- Very religious people were more likely to be happier
- No difference was found between people living in the country and those in cities
Is It Really That Bad Then?
While the figures may seem stark, it is in isolation in some of the happiest – overall – countries on earth.
Although the report particularly focuses on Nordic countries, it does compare some of the data to that recorded elsewhere.
So while 3.9% of people in the Nordic region may report scores so low they are classed as “suffering” – that level is as high as 26.9% in Russia and 17% in France.
So the picture in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden does remain relatively rosy – just not as perfect as some may have painted.
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As the world’s population continues to rise and the average lifespan increases, cities are getting bigger. This poses a new set of challenges and opportunities for government and municipal planners. The increase in population means more energy, water, public service personnel, education and other services.
With three million people moving into cities every week, these services are often needed before any taxes can be paid. To better face these challenges, cities have to adapt and become smarter about how they use existing resources. Advances in technology are permitting city planners more opportunities to maximize resources and providing a new lease on life for aging physical infrastructures.
Cities contain many objects that receive, collect and transmit data, including traffic lights and air pollution stations. This data can be harnessed to implement a more efficient and smarter city that efficiently utilizes resources. Ongoing events can be monitored in a central system instead of in scattered reports that feature incomplete data.
Ideally, these systems would be installed in the beginning developmental stages, but assimilating them into existing infrastructures is still cost efficient, as they can be installed at prices lower than the cost of a new highway or water main because they are incorporated into the existing structures of the city.
Smarter, Connected Cities
An interconnected system of technologies has always been at the forefront of humanity’s technological push. It’s the future, and virtually every faction of the 21st-century tech ecosphere is adopting it. The real estate industry is no exception. In New Zealand, there are plans underway to develop a radically interconnected city where dynamic data about the city, including its pollution levels, noise levels, traffic patterns and even water usage information, would be collated in real time.
The city of Manchester in the UK is another example of a place that’s working to give its city sensing capabilities. Early this year, Manchester city council appointed three key stakeholders to lead the onboarding of a distinct range of tech infrastructure. The goal here, as was the case in Christchurch in New Zealand, is to develop a smart city — fully interconnected and capable of subsisting by itself.
Sensitizing Our Cities
Underlying this drive to grant municipalities self-monitoring and possible automated control is a technological boiler room of sensors and artificial intelligence assets. Smart cities will be designed to incorporate a blanket of sensors at strategic locations in the cities’ architecture.
These will relay collected data to a central database. While fortifying cities with sensing devices is nothing novel, the sheer scale and integration with artificial intelligence systems distinguishes the concept of smart cities. This sensor-laden foundation of smart cities mandates a change from the traditional developmental strategies used in building cities.
Municipalities looking to onboard the technology must make provisions for the installation and maintenance of sensors and critical analytic assets, a feat that significantly ups the budget and complexity of orchestrating a city development project.
A Safer, More Convenient Place To Live
The increased financial implications of building smart cities are justified. When fully implemented, the technology holds promises of providing key insights and curbing the adverse effects of natural disasters and urbanization to a reasonable extent, the latter being of paramount concern to many metropolises in the world today.
In Buenos Aires, for instance, there is already a sensor-driven anti-flooding system in place to check the impacts of flooding that is now commonplace in the city. The system has a network of sensors integrated into the city’s underlying drainage and storm control architecture.
These sensors feed data to an analytic software — in this case, Oracle’s business intelligence applications — that analyzes the input and uses it to generate citywide predictions of possible disastrous weather conditions. The Buenos Aires case is but a subtle implementation of smart city technologies.
Elsewhere in Christchurch, there are plans to collect real-time data from city sensors and inhalers used by humans. The goal here is determining the relationship between air temperature, air quality and the now growing incidences of respiratory illnesses.
This level of interconnectivity and massive data pulling, however, comes with its attendant concerns. There is always the risk of hackers shutting down services, data theft and, as we have seen with the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica fiasco, large-scale extra-legal use of collected data.