Good habits, and other memes

Meme: “The term “meme” (rhyming with “theme”), coined in 1976 by the biol­o­gist Richard Dawkins, refers to a “unit of cul­tur­al infor­ma­tion” which can prop­a­gate from one mind to anoth­er in a man­ner anal­o­gous to genes.

If you haven’t read Dawkins’ clas­sic book The Self­ish Gene…it is nev­er too late to enjoy it!

There are some “memes” float­ing now around blog­gers and I have been “tagged” (includ­ed) by 2 of them. So here you have:

1) On good dai­ly habits: this is the orig­i­nal post, and here are Hueina’s My Sim­ply Suc­cess­ful Secrets.

My “Sim­ply Sucess­ful Secrets” habits that I fol­low close to every day, in more or less that sequence:

  • Per­form 10–15 min­utes of breath­ing exer­cis­es to improve ground­ing, bal­ance, and breath­ing capacity
  • Spend 10 min­utes visu­al­iz­ing and writ­ing down the key objec­tives for the day
  • Eat a nice and healthy lunch-nev­er in front of the computer
  • Read some­thing com­plete­ly unre­lat­ed to my work in the evening
  • Kiss and com­pli­ment my wife before going to sleep-nev­er go unhappy/ stressed to sleep

2) On “5 things you may not know about me”. Senia: thanks for your patience…

  • I defined myself as a “Learn­ing micro-organ­ism” in the Stan­ford class that prob­a­bly influ­enced me the most. I love learn­ing, and learn­ing about learn­ing-which is what led me to learn­ing about how the brain works
  • Orig­i­nal­ly from Bil­bao, in the Span­ish Basque Coun­try, and very proud of it, I am now very hap­py to be liv­ing in the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty of the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area
  • When I was work­ing very very hard in con­sult­ing com­pa­ny McK­in­sey & Com­pa­ny, I start­ed to take sal­sa danc­ing lessons-prob­a­bly one of my wis­est deci­sions ever
  • The oth­er one was to mar­ry my wife Lisa and cel­e­brate a World Wed­ding Tour to share the par­ty with friends…instead of ask­ing every­one to come to meet us, and giv­en how much we love to travel…we decid­ed to take the wed­ding on the road, includ­ing print­ing some tour T‑shirts…
  • My role mod­els are the social entre­pre­neurs, many of them friends by now, who devote their lives to solv­ing social prob­lems in very prag­mat­ic and scal­able ways. My wife and I have been active in net­works such as Ashoka and The Schwab Foun­da­tion for Social Entre­pre­neur­ship, so I am then very proud that Sharp­Brains has just been nom­i­nat­ed for the The Tech Muse­um Awards — Tech­nol­o­gy Ben­e­fit­ing Human­i­ty.

I tag, for both memes:

Enjoy the final hours of the weekend!


  1. Positive Psychology Coaching on April 2, 2007 at 12:02

    Alvaro, NICE! I’m a big fan of the sal­sa-danc­ing (it’s just so much fun!), and am so glad to hear about this cool thing you did with your wed­ding world tour — did you and Lisa make up that idea? It’s just great!!! Sounds super fun. Best, S.

  2. Hueina Su on April 2, 2007 at 7:26


    Thanks for join­ing the fun. I enjoyed read­ing about your suc­cess hab­bits as well as about you. Your World Wed­ding Tour must’ve been a blast!! :)


  3. Alvaro on April 3, 2007 at 8:49

    Hel­lo Senia and Hueina:

    Well, Lisa and I had to come up with a way to cel­e­brate our wed­ding in a way to inte­grate our respec­tive cul­tur­al and reli­gious back­grounds and share the joy with as many friends and rel­a­tives as possible…so we decid­ed to have 4 stops in our “tour” and to write our own 10 lov­ing cou­ple commandments…it was a fun process!

  4. Aaron M. Potts on April 3, 2007 at 12:39


    Thanks for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Sim­ply Suc­cess­ful Secrets project!

    One of the things that I love about your list of suc­cess habits is that they are basic, but effective.

    Many peo­ple have this mis­con­cep­tion that any­thing use­ful in their lives also has to be extreme­ly dif­fi­cult, which is clear­ly not the case.

    Great stuff, thanks again for par­tic­i­pat­ing, and I want to also extend my con­grat­u­la­tions on the GREAT wed­ding idea that you and your wife had. 

    That’s out of the box think­ing if I’ve ever seen it. :)

  5. Alvaro on April 3, 2007 at 5:23

    Hel­lo Aaron: you asked a great ques­tion, and I am glad to contribute.

    am look­ing for­ward to read­ing your final sum­ma­ry write-up and learn from oth­ers a few “quick wins”!

    I agree with you: many peo­ple don’t under­stand what we can call the “rolling snow­ball” effect. We can not alter our brains dras­ti­cal­ly from A to Z, but we can move from A to B, then to C, then to D…and short­ly enough we can find our­selves in a con­tin­u­ous learn­ing loop.

  6. Alvaro on April 3, 2007 at 5:24

    Regard­ing the wed­ding, let me share lat­er our 10 cou­ple commandments…that was a tru­ly fun and cre­ative process :-)

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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