Cheat Codes

Do you remember learning about cheat codes for video games? It was mind-blowing and made the games so much fun.

Up up down down left right left right B A Start has been seared into our minds. We’ve completely forgotten experiences we’ve had with our friends and families, but we’ll never forget that code.

Cheating gets a bad rap. It sounds negative, but sometimes it’s good to cheat in life.

The programming course I’m taking is gamified. As you move through the lessons and complete challenges, you earn points.

But if your code isn’t working and you’re feeling stuck, you can click a button to reveal an example of working code. Doing so reduces the points you earn by 75%, but it keeps things fun.

I’m happy to troubleshoot my code and search the web to an extent, but at some point the frustration of being stuck outweighs the potential glory of solving it on my own.

A little cheat keeps things fun for me and ultimately I’m still learning what I need to learn to progress to the next level.

Last week I mentioned I’m trying the Slow Carb diet recommended by Tim Ferriss. Once per week, there’s a cheat day – eat anything and everything you want. No rules.

Counter-intuitively, the cheat day increases fat loss. By spiking caloric intake once per week, you increase cAMP & GMP, plus improve the thyroid T4 to T3 conversion. I have no idea what that means… something about metabolism.

But more important than the biological benefit is the psychological benefit of a cheat day. When the opportunity to satiate any craving is right around the corner, sticking to the diet is so much easier.

Another cheat I’ve been exploiting is artwork creation for this newsletter. When I started Sunday Shrooms, I liked the idea of drawing something unique for each post rather than using a generic stock photo.

But some weeks I’d spend more time creating the artwork than writing the article. I’m doing this for my enjoyment and that part was taking away from my experience.

So I switched to Midjourney and now some robot in the clouds makes my artwork.

What kind of fun cheats do you have for life?

- Matt

This week’s artwork created by Midjourney with the prompt: Robot in the clouds using a laptop, pixar-style.

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