Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace

What motivates you?

It’s a simple question that can be answered in a variety of ways. You can look at extrinsic motivators, which are things in the world that you work hard to get. Examples of this include money, sex, fame, a new house and car.

And then you can also have intrinsic motivators. This includes goal-setting, grip, passion, curiosity, purpose, autonomy, and mastery. 

When we discuss cultivating motivation, we’re discussing how we can align and tune up that entire stack of skills. Steven Kotler concedes that this isn’t an easy feat—but when you finally get the hang of it, the benefits are extraordinary.

You may think that this isn’t something you’re capable of doing. Maybe you feel different from the “greats” of this world. But in this episode, Steven Kotler and Alexander McCaig disprove that mindset. The reality is you are just as capable of peak performance as any other athlete.

It’s the first basic point of Steven Kotler’s book: all human beings are foundationally hardwired for peak performance. Our biggest challenge is learning how to work with our natural biology, so that we seamlessly enter a flow sequence that empowers us to become our best self.

What Happens if I Just Push Through?

What’s our instinctive response to getting something done? We try using raw grit to push ourselves through the task. And grit is trainable, but you have to work at it by pushing yourself slightly harder than you want to every single day. Grit without flow is a recipe for burnout.

The way our system is wired, we need to get some flow from an activity before we’re comfortable enough with learning how to get gritty.

Extrinsic motivators can only do so much in propelling us forward. Once we get what we want, we need to start asking ourselves: what else can we look forward to? 

This is where intrinsic motivators come in. And Steven Kotler believes that it’s best to start with curiosity. Look for different curiosities that introduce more passion into your life. Learn things that catch your eye: read some books, watch a movie, listen to a lecture, take a quick class…there are so many ways to feed your curiosity.

Once you start cultivating them, you can really start looking for where they overlap and intersect. And then you can start building something that’s uniquely your own from these intersections—something that fuels your passion, because it gives you all the dopamine you need to focus.

It’s important to think of achieving peak performance as a marathon, not a sprint. This won’t happen overnight.  It’s all about getting a little today and a little tomorrow, until everything compounds into the peak mindset we’re looking for.

The Role of Autonomy in Motivation

What does our personal autonomy have to do with cultivating motivation? This was a salient part of the discussion, as TARTLE is an advocate for human rights.

If you have to do something that is not of your own choosing, Steven Kotler believes that the best way forward is to find something in the task that affords an opportunity for mastery.

At this point, Alexander McCaig shares his personal experience with rowing. Sure, it helped him get through college and he was pretty good at it. But he did not have any motivation for the sport. 

“My life became a function of how low you can get a specific number over a set distance. That was the mastery, right? How do I get there? How do I get there the most efficiently?” Alexander McCaig shared, “Everything else, it paid for me to go to university at the time and all that other good stuff. But it wasn't truly something I had any passion towards. I wasn't actually intrinsically motivated to do this thing.”

When Alexander McCaig chose to leave rowing, he regained his sense of autonomy. And he shares that the benefits were twofold: first, there was a massive difference in his internal happiness. Second, he freed up more energy to focus on the things he really wanted to do.

Steven Kotler’s Encounter With the Flow State

Steven Kotler shared his experience in being diagnosed with Lyme disease, a chronic autoimmune condition that can be fatal when it reaches the brain. He was incredibly sick, and described it as having “the worst flu you’ve ever had crossed with paranoid schizophrenia.”

Neurologically, Steven Kotler struggled. He lost both short-term and long-term memory, suffered from hallucinations, couldn’t see straight, and experienced pain everywhere. This was his life for three years.

In the middle of this dark period, one of his friends demanded that he try surfing. Initially Steven Kotler laughed at this suggestion—after all, he couldn’t even walk across a room. But she insisted, and eventually he gave in. They took a trip to the beach, carried him to the shore, and handed him a board the size of the Cadillac.

And then they walked him to the lineup and he sat on his board.

“I took all the energy I had left in the world, I think, and decided I was going to try to catch that wave. And it was maybe, as I said, like a foot and a half on,” Steven Kotler explained, “But I paddled and puffed my feet and popped up into a dimension that I didn't even know existed.”

Later in the episode, he described his feeling while surfing as a “very powerful altered state experience.” And he found out that this altered consciousness is referred to as a flow state. 

This flow state is incredibly similar to the state of mind that athletes used to become superhuman.

So What Really is the Flow State All About?

How did Steven Kotler interpret his experience of the flow state, in the context of his Lyme disease? To this, he refers to a book called The Breakout Principle by Herb Benson. 

First, an autoimmune condition is caused by a nervous system going haywire. According to Herb Benson, moving into a flow state jumpstarts a release of nitric oxide. This pushes stress hormones out of our system and lets in a variety of feel-good neurochemicals in, such as dopamine and serotonin.

When Steven Kotler entered the flow state, he effectively reset his nervous system to zero. In addition, these neurochemicals are huge immune system boosters.

We most commonly see the flow state with athletes. But it can also take on a mystical form as well. Abraham Maslow, in his study of high achievers, found that their one commonality was a capacity to alter consciousness and place themselves into flow states. 

Suddenly, a common thread is established between high achievers, athletes, and Steven Kotler’s experience on the waves. Everything boils down to shifting into the flow state.

Closing Thoughts

Our quality of life can be improved significantly if we understand how our biology works, and what we can do to build towards our flow state. Steven Kotler’s life experiences and insights highlight the urgency for systems and foundations that give us autonomy, the freedom to pursue our curiosities and our passions.

As it turns out, there is nothing that separates us from high achievers, athletes, and mystics. We’ve got everything we need built into our human biology. What we need to work on is our capacity to induce our peak performance.

Let’s build a world where we can make that happen for everyone.

What’s your flow state worth?

We have an innate capability to independently perform a wide variety of physical and mental functions. It’s hard-wired into our rules of our survival. However, this is not a perfect mechanism; we do have the ability to silently use language to process our lives, but we don’t really have an in-depth understanding of how it works just yet. 

This knowledge gap is what fuels the self-help industry, which has a wide variety of ideas and methods. Some are backed by scientific evidence, while others are manifested as a result of a strong placebo effect. Regardless of how these solutions are created, it’s clear that one’s mental state is key to making change happen.

So what’s it like inside our heads and how can we improve the way we converse with ourselves?

Self-Help: Cutting Through the Pseudoscience

Ethan’s book, entitled Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It provides a welcome academic perspective on the power of that little voice in your head. He provides a refreshing take on how even the oft-overlooked act of talking to ourselves the inner dialogue has a science to it. that leads to obsession, overthinking, and rumination is broken down into chemicals and reactions in your brain. 

If you’ve ever found yourself obsessing over an issue that happened years ago, or staying up at night because you found yourself triggered by a passing memory, Ethan’s insights on how the immaterial manifests into material may be the key to reining those thoughts in and getting a good night’s sleep.

One common critique of the self-help industry is that most coaches and authors often sell placebos for negative ways of thinking. They cover up the problem instead of getting to the root of an idea. 

While Ethan concedes that placebos can have a powerful effect on one’s mental state, it can also prevent people from seeking the help they need to turn their life around. Mental wellbeing is an important aspect of adult life that may need attention. While his book is not a replacement for therapy, it does give people the opportunity to find sound scientific advice without having to shell out a lot on seeking psychiatric help, which can come at prohibitively high prices even with healthcare insurance.

Learning How to Self-Regulate

Our inherent response to negative emotion is to avoid confrontation, or at least refrain from getting triggered. Unfortunately, negativity is an integral part of the authentic human experience. It’s the way we cope, or self-regulate, that’s the game-changer. When faced with a problem, we are challenged to pick between immediately trusting our guts, or holding back and letting it run its course first. 

We’ve all heard of how we need to trust our intuition; however, it’s not a foolproof method to solving all our conflicts. A better understanding of how our brain is wired to think—and how we wire our brains to think—can better help us distinguish between those two states.

Time Travel and Personal Development

Hindsight is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used for both good and bad. This idea of staying in the moment can be harmful because it encourages people to remain stagnant, and ignore opportunities to process important experiences.

The pressure to always stay in the moment also places restrictions on what your brain is really capable of. Your mind is constantly working on making calculations based on your past experiences, and translating it into forecasts for the future. In this way, it’s a lot like time traveling.

Breaking Destructive Thought Cycles

It’s easy to believe that our internal thought process won’t have an impact on our actions. However, the truth is that living in a constant state of harm or fear does not afford a good foundation for individuals to make good choices— not just for themselves, but also for others. 

A natural consequence of experiencing adversity is our attempt to look inward and try to analyze every facet of that event. While this may be done with the best intentions, it is all too easy to get stuck in negative thought loops; reliving the worst parts of the challenge in their head. This is a debilitating process which can quickly become a habit. 

Another aspect of this is that sadness becomes a familiar, and even a comfortable, state of being. The negative chatter is accustomed to highlighting the worst parts of our lived experience. As a result, our ability to process in a healthy way becomes affected. 

Closing Thoughts: The Road to Better Chatter

Cognitive bias is a quiet problem with a serious impact. It takes plenty of commitment for an individual to successfully change the way they think, feel, and behave about themselves despite outside pressure. 

Thankfully, Ethan points out plenty of ways for you to retrain your thinking. The key is to give yourself psychological space, or an opportunity to view yourself as another person struggling with their own unique problems. This is where the metaphorical fly on the wall idea comes in: if you’ve ever found it much easier to give advice than to follow it, distancing techniques are the key to internalizing these messages.  
Ethan and Chatter gave plenty of insight on how external divides may come from internal manifestations of unresolved emotion and cognitive bias. In a world where people are separated by a multitude of different beliefs, perspectives, and experiences, this discussion could be a step forward to more open dialogues—especially when people begin with themselves.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

Data Science vs IT

Believe it or not, there is often more than one department at a company that does things with computers. Even more shocking, they do different things. Unfortunately not everyone knows or appreciates that, even within the same company. 

For example, as companies become more and more data driven they are looking to their data science/analytics departments for solutions. That certainly makes sense on the surface. Unfortunately, the corporate executives tend to forget that the analysts can’t institute new systems on their own. Often, implementing new analytics will require outside support. Unfortunately, IT is largely a maintenance department that occasionally finds new solutions to problems. Within a major company, IT’s job is largely to keep the computers working, both in the hardware and the software departments. At best, they can identify and install new software for gathering data, but they typically won’t do the gathering.

Conversely, the data science division might identify the software but most likely would not be handing the install. Therefore, when a business is trying to get more value from its data it can cause unintended conflict between data science and IT, usually with data science blaming lack of IT support for not being able to get enough quality data to get the job done. However, all data science needs to do first and foremost is to get data and analyze it. It doesn’t much matter how they get that data. So, one great way they can do that is to sign up with TARTLE and buy their data from us. Or, more accurately, from you.

One of the great advantages is that we offer access to source data in real time. We can connect you with our members willing to sell access to their medical data. This is not only past data, but current since it is possible to get connected to various health tracking apps as well as IOT devices like Fitbits. If there is a need for more specific data about behaviors you can simply ask our members directly. Since they are all here with the goal of being able to get rewarded for sharing their information the engagement rate is going to be a lot higher than a blanket survey sent out to the general public. 

This is all in stark contrast to the way data analysts typically get their info. They usually get it from third party aggregators or from social media companies that sell it in large blocks. There is little opportunity for buyers to customize what they are getting, meaning they have to spend a lot of time and money sifting through data that is probably irrelevant. It’s also old. Data acquired through second, third, or even fourth parties is likely to be weeks or even months old, meaning that you are trying to make solid business decisions based on old information. In essence, you’re guessing. Yes, it’s an educated guess, but a guess nonetheless. Real time data allows for much more accurate projections as it minimizes the time between observed behavior and the response to it, whether that be a new product, marketing plan, or company policy. 

Another benefit of working directly with TARTLE’s users is that you only pay for the data you need when you need it. We’ve already touched on the fact that through current means of data collection, you will likely spend a lot of time sifting data you don’t need. You might also have to spend money to get it in regular batches, usually coming at times when it isn’t needed. With TARTLE you can customize the type of data you need, how much, and when, which in the end will save time and money.

If you’re working in a data science department, you can sign up as a buyer at TARTLE.co today and get started. We’ll get you connected with members eager to help you develop better solutions for your business. 

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.

Fiber Optic Data

The world is awash in data. There is data coming in from research, phone calls, satellites, phones, fitbits and even your Bluetooth connected fridge. Collecting data isn’t our problem, being able to process it is. Before you can process it though, it needs to get transported. In that sense it’s like any other raw product. Like a piece of iron ore, it needs to be transported to a foundry and dumped into a furnace to be refined so it can be turned into something useful. Data needs to make it from your IOT device to a server where it can be processed and analyzed. Too often, transportation and processing are bottlenecks in the transformation of raw data into useful information. 

Think about a highway, you can only increase the volume of cars on the road so much before it descends into chaos. Yet there may still be a need to get even more vehicles, or at least people and products from point A to point B. So you need to come up with new ways to handle the traffic. Data is similar. Most data is still transferred over some kind of copper wire. That wire can handle only so many electrons moving through it, just like a highway only being able to accommodate so many vehicles. For years though, those older copper cables have been getting replaced with fiber optics. Basically long pieces of very thin, flexible glass, fiber optics use photons instead of electrons to transfer data. Immediately, there is a gain since the medium allows for faster movement of data. There are also new fiber optics being developed that allow for speeds up to a 100 times faster than what is currently available. How fast is that? Just for a point of reference, imagine walking at 100 times the pace you do now. Instead of power walking at around 3-4 mph, you would suddenly be able to walk from Chicago to Washington D.C. in less than three hours. 

Yet, that presents its own problems. Fiber optics have a massive capacity for data because of their ability to send many signals simultaneously. However, when you get too many signals going through at once it becomes a jumbled mess. It’s similar to how one person’s echo is easy to understand but the echo of a choir singing is indecipherable to the human ear. Thankfully, there are clever software writers out there who can write the necessary algorithms to untangle that mess. In fact, with the new fiber optics that will be coming out soon, the bottleneck won’t be the data transportation, it’ll be the ability to untangle that data into discernable bits of information so it can be analyzed. Essentially, the physical technology is already here, we are just working to bring the software side of things up to the same level. 

In a sense the kind of data analytics and processing that TARTLE works with is similar. The standard way of aggregating data from second and third parties has a lot of noise embedded in those signals, even after it has been processed. That is because there is a lot of circumstance and context mixed into the kind of data that is gleaned off monitoring your devices and internet activity. And as it turns out, there is no mere algorithm that can filter out that noise. The only way to get a clearer signal is by doing something the big companies rarely do, go to the source, to you the individual. The answer to “why” you did one thing instead of another is the only algorithm that can truly help decipher that data. It gives the context that is missed when companies only look at your data and never to you as a person. TARTLE provides an avenue to get the answer to “why”, making our system the most efficient way to get clear and accurate data about people and why they do what they do. 

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.