30 Levels of Dopamine

Random Observation/Comment #828: What’s wrong with just being bored?

Why this List?

Cheap dopamine is a distraction problem. I’ve advocated for creating systems so the harder work doesn’t feel like working hard. What it feels like is taking small steps. When you zoom out, then you see progress. These are tasks that I do in the order of ‘effort’ towards different rewards. If dopamine towards success is what I’m looking for, then maybe I need to spend more time towards trading off lazy dopamine hits with actionable steps that complete the bigger projects.

  1. Sending a message to a friend – This is something I love doing and highly recommend. Loneliness is a global epidemic.
  2. Opening Instagram Reels or YouTube shorts and scrolling – This is just so addictive, but I must say I do learn quite a bit. I still believe YouTube should be for tutorials enabling you to do creative things.
  3. Reading boredpanda for funny memes – It’s a terrible vice, but I love a good chuckle and Google News recommends these now.
  4. Listening to an Improv, Comedy, or D&D fun podcast – If not a chuckle, I get a good quick exhale from my nose and snicker.
  5. Watching a movie end-to-end without opening my phone – This is harder when I watch the movie on my phone.
  6. Nailing karaoke of a Disney song while driving in the car – Let’s go Trolls and Frozen.
  7. Making money on a swing options trade – Clearly a gambling problem.
  8. Getting queen bee in Spelling bee, Completing a Sunday crossword, continuing a sudoku streak, or beating someone at chess – Games are a great release and a popular way to keep a sharp mind.
  9. Learning a fun party trick or something with AI tools (yay faceswaps) – AI Tooling is so retail focused that anyone can build cool generative artwork. Should everyone? Probably not.
  10. Completing a Google review of a restaurant I’ve recently visited – I’m 800+ Google reviews in with millions of views on photos. Still doing only 5 stars though.
  11. Drawing in my physical journal – There’s something about physical tactile writing with black ink on canvas paper that makes me super happy. It’s a great way to unwind.
  12. Reading social media updates (posts, photos, stories) from friends and making comments – Commenting on friends stuff is another way of connecting. It releases more dopamine for connection than I care to admit.
  13. Completing a list of 30 or travel advice article – Lists of 30 writing isn’t the easiest task, but I feel so fulfilled writing at least one a week on random topics that come up.
  14. Cooking an awesome meal and getting a compliment – This is why I cook daily. I refine the dish and hopefully get a thumbs up.
  15. Watching a full TV series – This is a rare one because I don’t really watch that many streaming episodes. When I do get into a series, I feel inspired and love getting closure on the character arcs and plot lines.
  16. Listening to a full podcast series – This is more or less because I’m a “completionist” when it comes to podcasts. I binge audio content like no one’s business.
  17. Hosting a party at the house – If you know me, you know I love to throw a party. It’s a bit stressful, but it’s mostly fun seeing friends have fun.
  18. Launching a useful AI GPT agent that improves my productivity – Similar to AI tools testing, I’ve been refining how I write my GPT Agents for the upcoming GPT store.
  19. Presenting a workshop or keynote speech at a conference – I’ve completed 100s of workshops around web3 and AI for work. I’m hoping to see more of them publicly published this year. AI Monthly Insights Playlist. Clemens’ Public Talks.
  20. Helping a friend or a startup discuss their ideas and strategies for distribution and growth. Equally as happy when talking about finance and investing strategies.
  21. Delivering and handing off a big project – Luckily my projects are usually 3 months long and deep dives into specific subjects.
  22. Getting invited to be interviewed for something – I love being on panels and musing on current trends and predictions. Reach out if you want to talk about AI, Web3, and Writing!
  23. Completing and publishing 30 podcast episodes – This was a super fun experiment in 2021. Lessons Learned from Recording 30 Podcasts.
  24. Gaining a first customer with a startup SaaS idea – Base projects are getting easier and easier to launch.
  25. Publishing my second book with all the fun marketing ideasOur Life in Lists of 30 Preview with lots of marketing activities for this quarter.
  26. The feeling of the house not needing any more major renovations – This is so far down the list because it feels like I’ve been talking about renovating the basement for 2 years.
  27. Getting invited as an investor, advisor, or board member of a company – I’m an investor in a dozen companies and an advisor for a handful of companies. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience meeting passionate people building earnestly.
  28. Completing our digital legacy and estate planning setup with contingency plans – The creation of the trust and subsequent dead-man switch activities was a big lift off my shoulders.
  29. Running a profitable personal business that scales – Entrepreneurship takes the most risk, but leads to the highest returns.
  30. Watching Evie reach new milestones and grow up so fast – Despite the personal achievements I reach, I’m still enjoying the process and working towards a stable foundation for her to thrive.

~See Lemons Work on Hard Things