1) Meditation, I used to think it was something hippies did. I now think its worth 10 IQ points. I honestly can't recommend it enough.
2) Sleep, I'm getting close to 40 and the last 2 times I pulled all nighters I ended up deleting pretty much all the code I wrote from 11pm onward.
3) Occasional Fasts. I normally fast from 6pm until noon the next day but I now do one 3 day fast each month. I think this is going to become more and more common as a way to head off cancer in the body.
I'm not a doctor but my doctor friends believe that eating less is the secret to increasing life span and fasting is the secret to heading off cancer cells before they can really start to grow.
Also after 3 days of fasting I find that the mind becomes sharper.
Your millage may vary....
I pulled an all nighter and next day rear ended a vehicle near a traffic signal because I dozed off for a second. The impact was minimal and no one was harmed. It was the first accident with my fault in 15 years of driving. I am approaching 40 and have 2 young kids. I cannot get my priorities wrong at this point. Many lives depend on me and hence it is imperative that I take care of my health.
I am sharing so people in my situation may recognize importance of our health at this stage in life.
I wonder if we as a society will ever come around to treating insufficient sleep similarly to drunkenness or distraction for drivers. My intuition says it's similarly dangerous.
Here's some info from drowsydriving.org >
"According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in (such) a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times."
There are some regulations about minimum amounts of sleep for airline pilots.
I guess it would have a high cost and intrusiveness to try to document individual motorists' sleep, but I can imagine that if self-driving cars catch on as broadly and as quickly as many people have predicted, fatigued driving could become much more stigmatized and punished than it is today.
Perhaps a field test of some of the markers shared by alcohol and drowsiness. Maybe test for micro sleeps, concentration, etc. similarly to how the effects of insufficient sleep are measured in a lab.
Studies have shown waste products are removed during sleep by the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. Perhaps even a short period of cerebrospinal fluid circulation is enough to stave off sleepiness.
(a) I spend time browsing emails while lying down (easily eats 30 mins per night).
(b) No meetups in evenings.
(c) Excuse from business meetings after a certain time
(d) Cut down on social events on weekdays.
(e) Push all non-essential things to weekends.
I made this list for myself and it helps free up evenings. Your situation may differ.
I realized that my kids are my investments as well. In to someone's future/life (not trying to sound too dramatic). So, that's highest priority at this point and hence the sleep.
If I have to make a choice, I always choose sleep. Why? The other two priorities have a one-way dependency on it. I can sleep well while neglecting work or family, but I cannot make a decent contribution to work or family if I do not have enough sleep.
Okay, that came out a bit incisive. Do you have any scientific backing to support those claims? I'm especially interested in fasting. Not eating for 3 days a month does not seem especially healthy. Then I see the claim that it cures cancer and forgive me if all my alarm bells go off.
Seriously, try it, it's free!
* Clear, focused mind. I stop hopping from topic to topic in my mind "oh should I tidy the apartment, work on my website, etc etc" to a far more focused state. What you should do next is there with extreme clarity. You stop reading random junk on the internet too, and get down to it
* Much better sleep (this alone is worth it for me)
* Much calmer, steadier mood (less ups and downs in a normal day, I'm normally quite content but this effect was noticable)
All you need:
* 20 mins in a quiet room
* Perhaps white noise on headphones if you need it, timer on your laptop or phone
* Sit comfortably, back straight against a cushion, and focus on your breathing, try not to have any thoughts
* You'll fail, over and over, and follow thoughts down the rabbit hole
* Let the thought drift away without getting annoyed, start fresh
* Repeat for 20 mins
* Do it once per day, everyday
It sounds ridiculous, but this is really powerful. You owe it to yourself to try, there's no spiritual voodoo or 50/month courses needed.
I prefer to just become an observer of my thoughts; to acknowledge and let them flow; I focus on accepting that they are only thoughts - little impulses. The imagery I often have is that I'm sitting in a clear bubble, and my thoughts are swirling around me: I can see them, and I know they're there, but I do not let them in.
Mindfulness one of the key skills(if not THE key skill) exercised by meditation is the ability to be aware of one's own thoughts and feelings, and this is practiced primarily by
listening to what thought's were having, and letting them go.
I never fall into a deep sleep. Sometimes I trance out into heady thoughts where the outside world gets blocked off.
I don't really know where meditation ends, naps begin, and where legit sleep falls in the spectrum. My goal isn't meditation though, my real goal is to black out cold, but haven't gotten there yet. So ymmv for anyone else attempting but it seems I'm in the same field as you describe.
Then I tend to naturally snap out of it before my alarm rings me awake.
Tools: travelers sleep eye mask, comfortable silent area (my car in parking garage), phone timer.
The same way we are aware of moving our arm when we are doing so, becoming aware of your thoughts while we are thinking. We tend to take are thoughts for granted, giving them automatic truth status
Here's a great intro you could try: https://youtu.be/D5Fa50oj45s
> Mal: …Could have been meditating on the wonders of your rock garden right now.
> Jayne: Beats just sitting.
> Wash: It is just sitting.
There's a pretty big spectrum of mindfulness and meditation including "just sitting", yoga, Qigong -- or even certain forms of martial arts (perhaps most famously certain forms of Tachi, but also Pa Kua Chang and others).
Or even just taking a walk in the forest.
"Just sitting" is probably the easiest way to get started, but perhaps the hardest to master -- or stick with. But I think everyone should be able to find something that works for them.
It's more along the lines of "trying not to react to thoughts"
If you have sox installed, just run
play -n synth 20:00 pinknoise
What helped me was concentrating on my breathing and heartbeat, and the fact that I'm concentrating on my breathing and heart. I had a really hard time completely clearing my mind on demand, but those two things are very easy to start concentrating on and other thoughts slowly slip away.
Not OP but this is a good summary: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946160/
> Then I see the claim that it cures cancer and forgive me if all my alarm bells go off.
I think OP was implying that it may decrease your chances of getting cancer not cure it. Everyone will get cancer if they live long enough (based on the current state of medicine, that may change in the future).
edit: I should say that personally I don't really practice intermittent fasting (at least not consciously). But I don't eat after 8pm either, so I tend to do at least a 12 hour fast every day because of that. Sometimes I also skip breakfast which makes it a 16-18 hour fast. My biggest meal of the day is usually lunch not dinner.
I'm fuzzy on the details but I believe they were trying to explain why outcomes were statistically better for early morning treatments (people coming in with an empty stomach to deal with nausea)
Oxidative Stress, Caloric Restriction, and Aging
Calorie Restriction Promotes Mammalian Cell Survival by Inducing the SIRT1 Deacetylase 
Gene Expression Profile of Aging and Its Retardation by Caloric Restriction 
Caloric restriction and aging: an update 
Calorie Restriction Promotes Mitochondrial Biogenesis by Inducing the Expression of eNOS 
I'm surprised many believe this. It seems self-evident that our bodies are well adapted to periods of starvation. Any biology that wasn't so adapted would have been out-competed by those did.
The link to cancer is typically due to free radical theories causing genetic damage, and caloric restriction is being employed to help cancer patients last longer.
Their shortsightedness poisoned the Earth with the waste products of their energy production, changing the world's climate, and driving many of them to extinction. It also skewed the efficiency numbers towards organisms that didn't need to sit around synthesizing carbohydrates when there was so many free carbohydrates just sitting around for anything able to digest them.
I actually never thought about it from that angle. It seems like it should obviously be true now. Now the question is how true and if nuances exist where our bodies can take it but not optimal in health.
I think our current understanding of medicine and human biology is quite limited, so there may be tons of these little quirks - non obvious things that are actually amazing for us. But, i'm sure there will also be tons of things that are not directly related to what we did to survive thousands of years ago.
I haven't kept myself up to date on it, but I think I remember that it was more about changing an organism's biology early in life. If you're an organism that is going to burn less energy per day, then you are an organism that just has less entropy per day, and less side-effect damage to your cells because of it. I think that the gist of it?
"From predator-prey models (the so-called Lotka-Volterra type of population dynamics), I knew that populations experience [potentially high] variability, hence predators will necessarily go through periods of feast and famine. That's us, humans--we had to have been designed to experience extreme hunger and extreme abundance.
... So where on earth does this idea of "steady" exercise come from? Nobody in the Pleistocene jogged for forty-two minutes three days a week, lifted weights every Teusday and Friday, etc... Not hunters. We swung between extremes: we sprinted when chased or when chasing (once in a while in an extremely exerting way), and walked about aimlessly the rest of the time."
That's what he thinks anyway. We are complex, yo.
Are you sure? My understanding is that hunting requires a lot of tracking, where you are following perishable clues, which means a moderate sustained pace. And sometimes you are invisible to prey, but sometimes you just need to keep up. Notably when you have injured your prey but not yet killed it. On top of that there's persistence hunting, which is more like an ultramarathon than a sprint.
Also, when gathering you often need to move quickly. My chickens don't just move lazily all day, they often move around quite frenetically. When you find some good stuff, it behooves you to move quickly to gather as much as you can before others catch on. And when you're moving through barren areas it also makes sense to not waste time.
The idea that early humans rarely spent 40 minutes jogging seems like quite a bold assertion to me.
And anyway, even if we never jogged, we certainly migrated. An hourlong walk several times a week is a reasonable exercise regimen too.
Based on my own experiences, I agree with the main point, I find steady exercises like jogging much less exhausting than dynamic exercises like playing football (soccer) where you're frequently switching between exertion and rest. This also seems to tie in with High Intensity Training (though I've never formally tried it):
However, isn't weightlifting a couple of times a week an example of exercising to extremes? At least if you prioritise weight over repetitions. This is purely anecdotal, but I've heard from various sources that free weight exercises like squats and deadlifts are some of the best exercises you can do, as they work out your whole body and the proper form relies on getting different muscle groups to work well together.
Just some random research below, there is lots of more if you use google.
Two things not even remotely ONLY associated with hippies -- that have been practiced for millennia before the hippy movement ever existed...
>Do you have any scientific backing to support those claims?
>Not eating for 3 days a month does not seem especially healthy.
You'd be surprised.
>Then I see the claim that it cures cancer and forgive me if all my alarm bells go off.
There's (growing) research to suggest it partially mitigates risk: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3608686/.
This was the first pubmed search result for "fasting cancer risk". I think your alarm bells are miscalibrated.
I did this on and off (stopped eating Sunday after dinner and didn't eat until Wednesday or later in the week).
I was only 19 and 20 at the time and did it because I was bored but I remember feeling significantly more productive. Pretty sure I was but not sure if it had to do with a clearer head or because I suddenly had 1-2 extra undisturbed hours when everyone else was busy eating.
Stopped after an incident where I tried lifting weights after 2 days on a very restrictive diet and half a day with no calories at all. 15 minutes in I started seriously shivering and I never picked it up later although I am seriously tempted from time to time.
Basically, the idea is to divide into undereating and overeating cycles, eating a single big meal a day (or in more extreme instances, one large meal per 2 days).
Unfortunately, the book linked above does not have a lot of scientific backing. This may simply be due to how it deviates from a lot of conventional diets at the moment.
Nevertheless, personally I rarely trust "scientists" who work in the field of nutrition:
1. They tend to change their views drastically over time.
See e.g the whole sugar vs fat issue.
2. They are often heavily influenced by corporate funding, and as such incentive structures do not align well with the goal of rigorous science. One personal anecdote: my extended family uses a lot of coconuts and coconut oil in cooking. Coconut oil was presented in many "scientific" publications as being one of the worst oils, and olive oil as the best (often by olive oil company funded research).
Things are much more even now.
Basically, I believe in the following:
1. Following a particular ancestral diet is a pretty safe bet - it has been tested and refined over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. There is often accumulated wisdom in certain practices. See e.g. https://www.amazon.com/100-Million-Years-Food-Ancestors/dp/1... for a detailed discussion of this.
2. Intermittent fasting has been practiced in various cultures to different extents, often due to religious beliefs. Again, something that has persisted that long is likely fine.
In short, true science is usually lacking in nutritional work. As for anecdotal evidence, there is some, detailed in the book above. I also am skeptical about the extent of its benefits, but see no serious downside to the "one meal a day" idea.
also, have you ever tried meditation?
Sounds ridiculous to even ask.
One might as well be religious if they don't read scientific literature (which offers tons of studies on meditation) and don't at least keep an open mind and try to verify experimentally their claims.
Not only it doesn't sound "ridiculous to even ask", but there are LOTS of scientific studies on the matter.
it can't be because all the variables involved cannot be tightly controlled. Same reason why all the Psychology studies have been lately relegated to snake oil status.
All those studies are stupid.
People have been meditating for benefits (including more money and better performing at their job etc) for millennia. It's not just for spiritual/religious purposes (and if fact in some cultures those can be mixed as well without any contradiction).
>All those studies are stupid.
Yeah, all those scientists are useless and their universities are full of idiots, nothing like an internet comment to put them in their place.
If you want to prejudicially exclude research, don't claim to speak in favor of science.
And, Yes universities are filled with idiots, egotists and scamsters with their own nefarious motives. How do you explain the absurd 90% hypothesis validation? 
you have your own brain to observe and meditate on, why do you need some authority to tell you what to do.
>If you want to prejudicially exclude research, don't claim to speak in favor of science.
People like you who blindly believe anything a supposed authority puts out there in the name of science are real curse to the gift of science.
Just because there has been a replication crisis doesn't mean you can dismiss all scientific studies willy nilly.
Those are not some Deepak Chopra style BS, they are actual clinical studies (and I've just sent a sample, there are tons). And the "replication crisis" argument doesn't really hold up if independent studies reach similar conclusions (as is the case with a lot of these).
>People like you who blindly believe anything a supposed authority puts out there in the name of science are real curse to the gift of science.
I don't "blindly believe anything a supposed authority puts out there". I respect multiple teams working on a field and coming up with relevant results, and having their papers peer reviewed etc.
I don't use issues like the "replication crisis" to dismiss any study I don't like based on predetermined convictions.
Notice also how your links are irrelevant. We are not talking about Psychology studies but medical clinical studies. So whether "Positive” Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences" (as another paper says) is irrelevant, as we're not talking about soft sciences and humanities here.
I went to the first reference from your wikipedia link
Conclusion: Most clinical trials on meditation practices are generally characterized by poor methodological quality with significant threats to validity in every major quality domain assessed. Despite a statistically significant improvement in the methodological quality over time, it is imperative that future trials on meditation be rigorous in design, execution, analysis, and the reporting of results.
Second reference from wikipedia
The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness,
Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology
Exercise regimen is 3-4 days a week of strength training. Usually a moderate pace, 1.0-1.5 hours. Start the day with high-weight/low rep major lifts (deadlift, squat, bench), fill the middle with other high weight/low rep lifts, and towards the end as my energy is tapering off move to about 50% of 1RM and high rep sets of the same major lift until exhausted.
Probably more than you wanted to know. :)
So that all said, I've got the benefit of having maintained a more-or-less consistent workout regimen since before I started fasting and having logged every set along the way. When I started I was waiting for my performance to fall off a cliff... but it never came. My performance has remained steady and continued rising at close enough to the same rate as it was before that I'll call it "unaffected within some margin of error".
There was a white paper on /r/science about how decreasing amount of sugar one consumes, lowers chances of developing some kinds of cancer (can't find an exact link, something along the lines "less sugar starves cancer"). Pretty interesting, thanks s for sharing!
I would also be very considerate of posture, especially as you are learning. Eventually, the posture you select will become second nature, so it's important that you select one that is not going to cause damage, or pain. I would suggest an active posture - one where you have to focus, in order to keep yourself in the posture would be best. Then, if your posture slips, you'll know it's because your attention is elsewhere, and you can bring yourself back into your body.
Finally (because I have to go, not because I have no more to say) consider doing short length meditation at the start. You want to do 20 minutes, twice a day, but it doesn't have to be all at once, at first. In the morning and evening, set a stop watch, and let it run, until you feel you can do no more. Then subtract a minute or so from that time, and set a timer. For the first week, start the timer, sit with yourself, and when the timer goes off, get up, stretch, move around and do nothing strenuous for about a minute, then sit back down and start again, until you've done the equivalent of 20 minutes. After the first week, increase the timer. Just keep increasing it as you get more comfortable, until you can just sit with yourself for the full 20 consecutive minutes in the morning and evening.
The key is to not beat yourself up about not being "good" at meditation. When you realize your mind has been wandering, take note of it, return your focus to your breath, and move on.
A crutch is good for you as long as you stop using it when you don't need it anymore.
It works well with my procrastinating mindset because, even if I miss a day, I never do not boomerang the email to myself. It's important to learn to forgive yourself if you miss a day, which is why it works for me.
I also always zero my inbox which means I can't miss the email.
Your mind will wander, don't judge it, it's not good or bad. Just notice that your mind wandered and then focus on your breathing. Keep doing that until your time is up.
You shouldn't meditate with the goal of not letting your mind wander, and noticing your mind wandering isn't a bad thing. Just meditate by deciding to bring back your attention to your breath whenever your mind wanders.
I'll look into the Tara Brach podcast as well though. More opinions never hurt.
It's an open-eyed moving meditation. I love my 90 minutes of tech-free simpleness where I don't think, just react.
I can't recommend trying for 3 days straight enough.
When I developed more focus, I stopped using Headspace, so I could have longer periods of uninterrupted silence.
Try to only focus your awareness on the part of your body above your eyes. Something that helps is to pretend like you are carrying a basket on your head.
Also look for meditation MeetUps in your area, maybe being in a group will help you.
Meditation for skeptics.
Also, trying to optimise the way I do things / my systems. We all have them, whether we realise it or not. I'm just trying to better get on top of mine: wake -> meditation -> exercise -> breakfast -> office -- etc.
It's easy for me to feel entirely "in the present moment" when I'm deeply involved in a craft or something. and everything is going nicely. But it doesn't help when I want to start the hobby on a Saturday, but am also too anxious about a deadline next week for work, or when I'm bored waiting in line at the bank, or talking to new people at a bar. And so on.
It's been really helpful learning how to be mindful using what's always available to me. The breath, physical sensations, flow of my own thoughts. I can't always pull out a guitar or sewing kit when my mind starts racing. But (typically), I'll always have my breath.
Wow I can really relate to that. Mind telling me what you do for meditation and/or mindfulness? Do you treat them separately, or do them train them together in one program. Any app, or something in particular I can follow?
I'd suggest trying several different ones (probably not at the same time) until you find what works best for you. And give it a longer chance than you might be willing to at first.
It took me more than 30 days to get to where I could spend two minutes focusing on my breath and feelings and feel better and more in control. It's been a little over 2 months now, and I'm starting to notice negative or anxious thoughts as they happen or spiral into more and more negative thoughts.
Just yesterday at our company's quarterly meeting I had to speak briefly and one of my points was about an error caused by a client that delayed my team's project. I was getting very nervous, even though I knew 1) It wasn't my or anyone else in the company's fault. 2) This isn't new news, it's already been solved and management has known about it since the start. 3) All the other teams have some equivalent detail they're sharing, nobody is perfect.
Yet I was still panicking. I always get unnecessarily anxious in situations like that. Yesterday was the first time in my life I realized that rationalizing like that doesn't work, I was still expending the same energy and stress as if I were panicking. But now I'm stressing about those excuses, instead of stressing about the speech. So I just did my best to focus on my breath and whomever was currently speaking. It wasn't the same as trying to make my brain shut up, it was still furiously panicking and rationalizing, but I didn't have to listen and the thoughts didn't have to affect me.
Best of luck!
Coupling with the meditation, I've also been doing a martial art. Apart from the useful Zen lessons (eg: stop seeing obstacles as obstacles - if you hit things head on, it's a lot harder than flowing around them), it's been equally wonderful for my headspace. 3 times a week for 90 minutes I have to think about something other than work, or life - because I'm rubbish at it and I'll get hurt.
I suspect you'd get a similar benefit from a team sport where you're being relied on and can't let the side down. It puts your head somewhere outside of its usual place. I find the 'space' of that, like meditation, invaluable - especially because life is so busy.
Also, most forms of meditation are very soothing and tend to get you into a hyper-relaxed state that you don't get from most hobbies, though I'm sure it can happen with some hobbies, like gardening.
 The task shouldn't require deliberate mental effort on your part. Initially, it may, but eventually it becomes something you can do without consideration. Fold paper cranes for hours and hours. At first you think about it, eventually you're just reaching for the next square and realize you've made a few hundred cranes.
But if you can crack walking/standing meditation, things like gardening or endurance exercise can complement rather than hinder your efforts to just be instead of trying to send your mind somewhere else.
If you can do standing meditation then it's a lot harder for someone to 'waste your time', which makes certain social obligations a lot less tense, because you're not resentful about not being able to 'get out' of the situation.
It's also much easier to stop the thoughts, focus on the present moment, breathing, etc when you are running in a park as opposed to staring at the wall.
As you run, you focus on your breathing, or on your body motions, or on the environment around you - whatever makes you feel "present", experiencing the moment around you instead of being in your head. And you just keep running without thinking for some period of time.
Couple more bonuses of meditating while you're exercising:
- You can focus on motions instead of breathing. That way you move better, and it's more fun, and it makes meditation easier.
- You don't need a timer, you can just meditate while running a certain distance. Since you're doing it every day the timing will be pretty much the same, and you aren't subconsciously wondering when the timer is going to stop, you can just focus on enjoying your jogging.
If you also practice something like loving-kindness (it sounds hippy, but it has scientific backing), it can increase the quality of your relationships.
Lot of Indians fast. the reason is religious but many think the ancient just used religion etc as a tool to ensure their best practices are carried forward to future generations.
I've heard this before and it makes some sense. Don't know how to reconcile it against my desire to get out of the 17-18 BMI pit I've been in, and put on some healthy muscle (which requires a lot of food).
The point is, I'm too skinny, want to put on some muscle for general health, but have to eat a lot to do it.
Diet and exercise have also been things I've been learning very belatedly to take seriously.
I'm currently trying to improve at listening, communicating, and reading instructions properly.
What worked for me was resetting the rhythm itself, by under-eating over long periods of time, 2 weeks at least, up to 1-2 months. I keep telling myself hungry is the new normal, and in the long run it becomes the new normal. Under-eating is not even that hard if one goes mostly veggie, that is eat fruits / veggies / eggs / cheese / yoghurt / fish and skip sugar / meat / pasta / bread / rice / deep fried *. Few more tricks: always have a bottle of water nearby, take time to have a meal [15 minutes latency for full signal to propagate to the brain], snack lightly on fresh fruits, veggies and yoghurt along the day [never go crazy hungry].
To me the transition order is:
Sugar + Simple carbs + High calorie meals -> No sugar + Complex carbs + Fiber + High calorie meals -> Smaller meals + letting yourself get hungry for an hour before you eat -> Skip a meal -> Skip multiple meals
I have done 3 day fasts and never had that problem, I essentially went right back into my normal eating habits. The first meals after the fast were usually much smaller than the usual meals I would eat.
I have become more mindful even without practicing meditation anymore so it seems I did pick up a new skill/habit from training.
I think I will give it another try.
The beginning was pretty difficult but once you're used to it it's nice.
Drink water. Some people will allow juice on a fast.
I guess maybe the idea is the juice sugar gets digested quickly and you're back to empty, whereas the rice would stick around. I guess it's a question of whether it's better to go up to a 10 and then back down to a zero, or go to a 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.
I do have a question though, a 3 day fast?!?!?!?! 3 days of no food? I'm assuming you drink water?
Do you drink coffee or use any some of stimulants?
I wish this was true && that there was well compiled evidence that could convince me that this is the case.
Empirical religion ftw.
> "Of course you are uncertain, Kalamas. Of course you are in doubt. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born. So in this case, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them.
The XYZ fact may turn out to actually not generalize. With mental phenomena, often how you got somewhere matters more than the thing itself. For a nice negative example, think about taste - many of us have strong repulsion towards some foods caused by random events in the past. Like, for many years parsley made me nauseous, and it started when as a kid I ate a broth and then threw up. It's a common thing that when you're sick your brain can create associations between how you feel and what you smell or eat. So you end up hating some food not because it's objectively bad, not because everyone else hates it too, but because of a random event in your life that happened to get associated with it.
I treat n=1 experiments as a way to probe such random associations. If you find out that something works for you, it doesn't matter that it isn't scientifically proven. It doesn't matter the effect doesn't generalize. It doesn't matter it works only through association and that this association was created due to you doing the experiment. If it works for you, it works for you.
But to be clear - "it works for me" is the only thing you can say in such case. N=1 experiments are ok, but trying to generalize from them isn't. Saying "it must work because it worked for me" based on such experiment is of course quackery.
But that was just my experience of it after a short time (one month)--it's an empirical process of consciously observing your own mind (and letting things go), which is fascinating, and leads to continuous changes in how you interact with the world and others in it.
I'm saying this with first hand experience, I was skeptical (I think lazy is better word), but I started recently, been on four weeks now and it is working for me, never going back.
However I think it's good to get the balance right. If you're working full time then I think you deserve to give yourself a break when you get home from work and indulge in some escapism. Be that watching a film or playing a game. If not it often leads to burnout.
I think I'd often rather play a game as my mind is being kept partly active and I'm not just blindly staring at the TV. I've recently been playing "The long dark", it's a good way to chill, although it can be tense in parts.... ;-)
I remember it explicitly. Staring at a problem for almost an hour, not writing anything. Then just kinda saying screw it. I gave myself permission to just stop. Just started playing the first game I could find and sank a weekend into it.
I'm back to where I was before, but that moment is something I won't forget. Gotta give yourself permission, almost the way pomodoro gives you permission to focus completely for x time.
If you don't want to keep getting things done, that is.
I have no interest in a game unless I can demonstrably become very good at it compared to others. So, games like Skyrim (which used to be my favorite genre) are no longer very fun for me. Typically I don't finish them.
I do find helping my kids to 'save the world' is still enjoyable!
Losing to my 12 y/o daughter at Rocket League (seriously trying my hardest) makes me wonder WTF is wrong with me.
Lol... sometimes I think 12 year old kids should be tasked with figuring out the hardest problems.
Maybe another way to look at this is that I can't get into games that feel like projects. Building a base in DF is a project. If I'm going to be working on a project, why not a programming project that will actually create value in my life and others'? With something like Overwatch (team-based FPS with 15-30 minute matches) on the the other hand, it feels more like an activity, like watching a movie or playing a sport. I feel comfortable playing it for two hours one day and picking it back up the next day or the next week or just whenever I want to spend some time relaxing.
I still like building things so Age of Empires 2 is perfect for me - there's a lot of base / army building but it's ultimately a short stateless activity.
That said, we did get into Minecraft for a few weeks. It was a fun little way to build a virtual world together. But after an hour straight of playing, I would just get this deep sense of loneliness and depression, and have to turn it off. It's just not reality, and that makes it feel so empty, even when it's full.
I suggest this because they preserve the "game" aspect and give up a bit of the virtual world feel in exchange for having a strong social aspect (hanging out with friends in real life).
Either one is actually very conducive towards socially drinking with friends while doing something that isn't trying to hear each other at a loud bar.
There are some people that genuinely find joy in their work, I have no problem with those people. They probably have a bit of a problem in their personal life with overdoing it at work, but as long as they genuinely enjoy it I can't fault them.
edit: I should say before somebody jumps down my throat, I'm not saying we shouldn't have to work, or work is so terrible. I'm saying work is usually a means to an end, and you're very lucky if you happen to enjoy what you do to any degree.
I profoundly disagree with your definition of hobby. My "hobby" is writing a science fiction novel. I don't get nearly as much time to do it as what I do for my day job, but I try hard to approach it with the same degree of seriousness that I bring to my work. So far, I don't think I've written anything anyone else would want to read, but I've managed to get to the point where I actually enjoy the process of writing.
Even better, I can sit back after I've written a chapter and say, "yeah, that actually embodies what I wanted to say". There is a very profound satisfaction in being able to do that.
I agree that many things we do in our free time might not have the qualities I describe above. I do such things too. But I would suggest that hobbies can be serious endeavors, and that the very fact that we love to do them makes them powerful.
>>There is a very profound satisfaction in being able to do that.
For you its writing, for other its music, collecting stamps, playing games or whatever.
Why do you assume writing > everything else?
And if you want to look at it that way, I can say you are leaving a collection of stamps, you are preserving little snippets of history and culture from around the world and through the years. In my case, I might be leaving sick replays of me beating SMW2 World 1 in record time, for other's to watch in awe as I do over other speedrunners' work.
If you kind of look at it, everything can preserved and enjoyed by those coming after us. Stamp collection too in many ways is preservation of history. A game of chess with all its moves recorded, or an epic game of tetris.
Or take food for example. No body can taste what you cooked, but you can write down the recipe and ingredients to the very last gram and people can enjoy it forever.
So you spend your time creating something for other people to consume, then note that the act of consuming it is useless?
With that one you're learning skills which will benefit you IRL. Car breaks down? Don't have to pay a mechanic. Skills may applicable to other machines too. Plenty of hobbies have real benefits. Sports for example - health & fitness.
> I've never played a video game that felt as good as actually doing something in the real world.
I'm a bit confused as to why you're not applying the same reasoning to video games as you are to stamps - that you don't understand it, but there may be something to it. Note that video games are often one of the cheapest hobbies imaginable, so they have higher reach overall than a lot of hobbies that require considerable prep, access to various resources, other people, money, etc.
There are a lot of very different kinds of video games out there, the variety is staggering. You have competitive games, which are in the same department as sports; you have complex creation games like Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress; you have virtual worlds like World of Warcraft where you can get immersed in the lore or tackle a difficult objective with other people; you have adventure games where you are taken through an interesting tale (ever played Siberia?). I could go on.
I think most people feel that they're wasting time while playing video games because there's a huge social stigma against them still, and because they're hard to connect to other peoples' experiences and expectations.
Since then I've dropped almost all gaming, reducing it to about 4 hours a week of phone games and shifted to doing outdoor activities like running, biking, ect. PokemonGo has been a way to meld the two.
Everyone wants to hire me to do a minor variation on the same shit ten other companies are doing, and I'm still having most of the same arguments with people I've been having for 15 years, sometimes using articles and books written 40 years ago.
Go outside, get your hands dirty, and stop chasing your tail.
If one's reasoning is reductive enough, literally any activity can be made "meaningless". I find it's best to ignore a third party's evaluation of how you spend your time in most cases; they have their own biases, their own dreams, their own definition for what success and self actualization means.
That is something that you, only you, the consciousness reading these words, can decide.
So, certainly do it if you want and enjoy it. Some things do have objectively more impact than others, though, with your save and games probably not existing unless someone stopped playing theirs for a while to create them with expectation of such impact. That you even like it sort of endorses getting out to create or improve something similar as more meaningful.
And what makes you think that playing games and doing any of those things are mutually exclusive, I might ask? Is reading and writing mutually exclusive? Stop reading, I say! Is the most meaningful moment of your life reading something someone greater than you has written on a piece of paper or a computer disk for profit? (btw nowhere did I say my most meaningful moment was beating a video game, that would be my master's in physics, so far, but that's beside the point) I mean, to paraphrase, certainly do it if you want and enjoy it. Some things do have objectively more impact than others, though, with your book probably not existing unless someone stopped reading theirs for a while to create them with expectation of such impact. That you even like it sort of endorses getting out to create or improve something similar as more meaningful. Rereading this makes me realize how misguided this point is. I assume that it's all or nothing for you, indulge in a hobby and you are a leech on society, incapable of creation and mooching off the work of greater men. Lol.
Supporting your ability to enjoy games, funding better ones, funding your existing one which will have plug pulled, and any arbitrary thing you want in life. Money is a tool to acquire, create, or continue to use other things. I'm endorsing getting enough of it to do that rather than collecting it for its own sake.
" Like mastering SMW2, for example?"
I don't know what SMW2 is. More like any creative hobby that lets you put things into existence or push your mind/body further. People that start these things are usually glad they did. Programming as a hobby can help you build better games, too. Or at least mod the ones you have. Or port them when they're EOL'd.
"going interesting places (sightseeing, such a productive activity)"
How did you find out about the game you like? Doing the same thing over and over that you did as a kid? Or meeting some new people, going to new sites, and so on?
" forming lasting bonds with people (lasting 80 years, tops)."
8-16x longer than most games. Especially when they go abandonware. The people tend to be more useful in other aspects of your life when facing challenges, too. Something you're not so good at or can't currently handle because life just dropped bombs on you. Easy for your friend. Plus, activates those other parts of the brain and its enjoyment that the games can't. I'm saying that from perspective of an anti-social person who usually doesn't want to maintain relationships but knows they led to many rewarding experiences.
"And what makes you think that playing games and doing any of those things are mutually exclusive, I might ask?"
I don't. You just asked what could be more meaningful. I thought that might be easier than people were making out given specific activities led to what you find to be most meaningful. And had people avoided those activities in favor of what you were doing, those things you love would never exist. Each thing you dismissed above had a hand in bringing it into existence. And for many people's happiness and some's economic benefit rather than one person. Turns out those same things did that for other products, services, causes, and so on. Seems doing or building them is more meaningful given the results are what so many, yourself included, find most meaningful. They amplify people's experiences.
"nowhere did I say my most meaningful moment "
Great pride, it was. Glad your more meaninful moment was something that might create more meaning for you and others, though. Maybe money, too, but I don't know much about the industry surrounding physics degrees. I'd imagine research, teaching, and support roles mainly. Example of support would be domain expertise for simulation software for physical phenomenon.
"more impact than others, though, with your book probably not existing unless someone stopped reading theirs for a while to create them with expectation of such impact. "
Now you're getting it...
"Rereading this makes me realize how misguided this point is."
Then lost it...
"I assume that it's all or nothing for you, indulge in a hobby and you are a leech on society, incapable of creation and mooching off the work of greater men. Lol."
A mix is best. If we look at introvert to extrovert ratio, even nature puts it at about 1 out of 4. The brain was meant to both consume and create. Society's structures give different rewards for each in different contexts. So, doing both in an number of contexts is likely most meaningful pursuit if your aiming for best experience as a human. Modified by differences in how people's brains work obviously with some getting no benefit from activities that benefit others.
I sell small leather goods (wallets, belts, etc...) as a hobby now. Its been fun so far.
After I learned to program a few years later, I couldn't enjoy gaming any more. I'd try to play an hour or two here and there, and would get bored pretty quickly. But I eventually got nostalgic of those 20 hours nights. I sometimes miss the focus and dedication I had, even if it was just for a game that didn't bring me anything real, the way I felt while being so focused was enjoyable, not the game itself.
I tried to get back into it now that my life is in a much better position. I know the time I would spend on that wouldn't be spent on anything more relevant as it's time to off my brain. One thing I decided though is that I would only play with my wife; if she'd stop playing, I would too. So far, it has worked great, we've been spending more time together with that and usually help each other stop when we've been playing enough.
So, I thought back on all I did in that time. I noticed the missions were all similar with slight variations. The levels, items, and so on gave me little accomplishments but mostly just changed the numbers or face of the enemy I'd fight. There was also enough time lost to make some real money or do something like apps in the real world. Last time I did MMORPG's.
Closest thing I do these days is Battlefield 4 since it improves my hand-eye coordination, assessment, and adaptation skills as I try new weapons. Plus diverse strategies available for various maps. Keep thinking I need to get back to RTS or TBS games to but I just have a console right now.
Quick disclaimer: I'm primarily talking about WoW here, since that's what I have personal experience with, but most of it should apply in other MMORPGs too, to some degree.
That's absolutely not false, especially as a new player, but at the same time it's not really representative of the "true" experience that people play it for. Yes, questing (especially on low levels) is mostly the same fetch quests over and over with dull combat.
But once (if) you do get past that, there is a much more engaging endgame, where you have 10-30 people (20 at the highest level) who need to execute slightly different strategies, at the same time, more or less flawlessly. Plus, there's all the management stuff in trying to have all those people not get too angry at each other, while hitting their heads against the same boss for hours upon hours, over the course of several days.
So no, they're not flawless, and the levelling process is dull, but it's not really representative of what appeals to us that do play them.
I ignored this possibly because I was playing it solo. Good catch. This is actually similar to the high people get in both RTS and FPS games when coordinating action. A friend and I were doing it last night so fresh on my memory. :) Going to have to redo my analysis of the digital crack aspect to factor this in sometime in the future.
"while hitting their heads against the same boss for hours upon hours, over the course of several days."
That's where I'm already calling it excessive. It's repetitive stuff where you're doing the same things over and over to get an arbitrary number down for ridiculous amount of time. At best, doing it once or twice for an endurance challenge could be a benefit. Past that, this is causing a net loss for the players as alternatives could be happening with better variety, personal improvement, and mini-challenges built in.
For instance, our run on Battlefield 4 last night was a good example. Matchmaking is so broken at our level that deck stayed stacked against us like a boss fight with just two of us vs 2-8 opponents with skill + supporting amateurs. We constantly assessed environment and strategies given we were on land, in water, flying through air, and so on. Buildings varied in whether walls were there, what could get through them, snipers/choppers having line of site, traps, and so on. Weapons were more complex than aim and click with specific wait time, angle, or area of effect. Pro's with vehicles (extra rigged) changed whole dynamic of the above where we had to use weapons, location, pacing, and so on to counter them over period of time with many deaths. The opponents, non being NPC's, had human-level intelligence with a combo of common behaviors and surprising behaviors that were novel + forced us to improve our own tactics/awareness. All of these circumstances and effects hit us over a period of 2 hours. I helped that along by leaving any server that was getting repetitive or too empty.
So, the above experience compared to a mostly-repetitive, MMORPG, boss fight is about a non-comparison in value for the player. I had more depth of gameplay, more novelty, used more of my senses, improved hand-eye coordination, required more strategy, and so on. The benefits of enough such games to me personally & to how I approach situations in future games (tactical strategy & FPS) is clear. Everyone wailing against a boss doing same stuff, it and them, for hours involving mostly some clicks or macros I can't see except moments of hand-eye coordination or improved ability to focus despite boredom or wear. I got those, though.
So, they seem weak for a value proposition vs alternatives. I could see ways to mix that genre with what I described in BF4 run we did. I believe some do already. Meanwhile, playing them sacrifices more experiences than it gains while the supplying organization's numbers continue to go up. :)
Personally, I'd say that the thing that changed my life for the best has been Not Giving Tech Support.
When I was a teenager I was kinda miserable because some people abused me for tech support. You know, it's nice to give favors, but at some point you're fed up of reinstalling every computer in your block every 6 months. People stop you on the streets and the first thing they say is "you know I think my computer has a virus...". Yeah, f* you.
I guess not many people in HN do this anymore, probably because we're kinda old, however, if that's your case, learn to say no. It's fine. You can still oblige for some people. However, never do it for free. With close family and some friends, they probably have had more deferences towards you than you can ever repay. For others, just say "I do this for a living, it'll be $XX, at friend's price"
Once I started charging, only a few people took me up on it, and they've always been happy with the result. Those who want tech support for free should give something in return besides a beer "for your inconveniences".
I could expand but I'm afraid it would be an ugly rant. If anybody wants any help on how to say NO, just ask :)
Mac != Linux
A new variation is "I/My friend have this awesome app idea and we need a IT guy to code it out. Can you help?"
Lesson learned: just because you're family (or friends) won't mean they're going to uphold their end. Let them work for it first.
I used to get this from family too but it's been a lot better in recent years. My advice: install the most recent version of their favorite OS and let them stick with it until the end of extended support (so 10 years or so). My people still have Windows 7, are perfectly fine with it and know what to click and what not to click.
UltraVNC Single Click makes a pretty good remote support solution too.
I’m seriously considering buying a chromebook, just so I can play with one and figure out how good it might be as a future replacement PC (I’m thinking mainly for my Mum — mind you, I set her up with Linux over five years ago, and it has run so smoothly ever since…)
I don’t get blamed, but whenever my Dad has a problem there is a strong, unspoken pressure for me to drop everything and help him out. Have to work on managing expectations there just like with clients from my freelancing days.
Linux support though, I'd stay up all night for someone who's curious enough to use (or try using) Linux without being a computer guru already. Windows people bought a product, they can call the support hotline.
I'm curious, what do you think the average age on HN is?
Not that I have the facts, but I don't think HN is such an old audience.
I've been programming since I was a kid. Spending most of my time at a desk eating Doritos and fast food wasn't really the best choice. I spent most of my 'good years' as a young guy being really overweight and hating myself. Being overweight led me to really not like myself, be afraid of going out in public, etc.
I spent a ton of time in my best years feeling lonely, hiding away in my room hacking on code, and generally not enjoying my life 100%.
After years of this, when I turned 25, I realized that if I ever wanted to look good and feel confident, I should probably just get started. I did some research online:
* Read the fitness subreddit.
* Read some books about weight lifting and nutrition.
And... I just got started. It took a while to learn how to actually do things right, but over the course of the first year I lost almost exactly 100lbs not knowing what I was doing. The amount of self confidence that gave me was the single best gift I've ever had.
I didn't feel afraid to go out in public anymore, talk to people, give tech talks, or just generally interact with people anymore.
After that, I realized that if I could lose weight, why not take it up a notch? I've always liked the way professional bodbuilders looked -- they look like real life superheros. So, I figured that if I can lose weight, why not take it a bit further and try to get closer to what I'd really like to look like?
So, I started reading about bodybuilding, etc. I realized that it isn't that hard! So over the last 2 years, I've been doing a lot more weightlifting, eating better, etc., and things have been awesome! I feel way more confident, feel happier, have a better private life, etc.
Overall, getting in shape has been, without question, the best time investment of my life.
Here's me a few years back when I got married: http://i.imgur.com/NQ5dskZ.jpg
Here's me from a few weeks ago: http://i.imgur.com/k6OzJoS.jpg
Yes, that's the biggest thing that's under-stressed about exercise: the benefits are not just physical/health related. Like you, exercise has made me far less averse to interacting with people, and resulted in me being more outgoing, more open meeting new people, and just living a better life as a result.
There's a book called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain that relates that if exercise came in pill form, it would be plastered across the front page, hailed as the blockbuster drug of the century – purely on cognitive/psychological benefits alone. That really drove it home for me.
Don't just workout for health reasons. Workout for life reasons.
I can't tell you how many times I used to sit at home alone feeling bad for myself, vs now: I don't have the same fear. It's so much healthier (mentally) to be proud of yourself and just not worry about the way you look (or feel afraid of being judged by people) constantly.
Whoever is readying this, don't think you can get that amount of muscle in a natural way so fast. Only Testosterone, trenbolone and other stuff will make you that large.
According to a simple calculator, if you cut down below 8% fat (which is pro body builder territory), you'd still be at above 205lbs, which is no way achievable with normal/simple workouts.
I don't want to chastise you, but to whoever is reading this, make sure to have realistic expectations once you get into weightlifting. Getting below 15% while body fat, while having some decent muscle definition is a goal achievable by everyone. It might take a couple of years for some, but it is realistic. Trying to looking like the models in the fitness magazines, unfortunately is not, as 99% of them take hormones and other performance enhancing drugs.
Also, 2 years is a very long time if you consistently behave according to some goal.
In my opinion, there's no need to publicly accuse rdegges of anything but hard work and discipline.
I disagree. Research has shown that it is extremely rare for natural bodybuilders to achieve an FFMI (fat-free mass index) of 28 or higher. Based on OP's stats, his FFMI is 27.94. So either OP has godly genetics rivaling those of Mr. America winners, or he is using PEDs. I have no problems with PEDs, but it is disingenuous to claim that his results are purely from diet and exercise.
So sure, OP's physique is possible to achieve naturally, but it is by no means easy (requires winning the genetic lottery).
Nobody is prone to it.
The before and after is basically me being completely pumped and half-dead after my 8h vs. me taking a happy stroll out the office at the end of the day, going for a run and still putting in 4 more hours of whatever else I'm doing, easily. With 0 signs of burnout, when I was skirting the line for years before I started cardio.
So exercise, can't stress that one enough.
I don't really care about strength much, I try to focus on slow, controlled movements, and being really safe. But, with that said:
- bench: 400lbs
- squat: 315lbs for reps (been a while though, I recently hurt my back)
- deadlift: 585lbs (before I hurt my back, now I don't do them)
Btw, crazy gains. You look big in that second pic
I'm just starting the lifting thing. Not looking for the bodybuilder look, but definitely working toward being more muscular! Great job!
I know you talked mostly about fitness, but what's your diet like these days?
My first and last meal are:
- 50g protein
- 16g fats
The rest of my meals are:
- 50g protein
- 16g fats
- 50g carbs (rice)
That's about it! If you like chicken and rice (like I do), it isn't too bad. On Sundays, I take about 10 hours and 'carb up' as well, just eating lots of sugary low-fat foods: frozen yogurt, candy, etc. Helps keep you sane and balanced.
The 'bro science' of bodybuilding diets is that by eating small, frequent meals, you train your body to digest food faster and use it more effectively after training. It works well for me, so I've stuck with it.
Protein, etc., is not bad for you: it's just food. Eating 1/2 pound of chicken breast, and drinking a hefty protein shake are roughly equivalent in terms of nutrition. There's nothing wrong (in my opinion) with maintaining a relatively high protein diet, unless you're eating far more than 2g per pound of body weight (at which point you're going to unnecessarily tax your kidneys to break it all down).
Many bodybuilders eat around 1g of protein per pound of body weight, which isn't terribly much. People like me, for instance, eat mainly 'clean' foods: chicken breast, brown rice, green veggies, etc. I get my bloodwork done every few months, and have never had any issues.
You're correct that top level bodybuilders are taking a toll to their health, but running a casual cycle really isn't anything to write home about. Combined with a decent body fat percentage and a few hundred worth of Test-E, you too could look like him.
There is a world of difference between the lifestyles of top level mass monster Olympia bodybuilders and casual steroid users.
Whatever phisique requires steroids to achieve is literally too big and anyone who is not into bodybuilding will think that.
I'm curious what your routine is like. If you don't mind, could you share how many days a week you train/rest as well as how many hours on a good/average day? Thanks.
I go to the gym 4x's per week, for roughly 2 hours each.
Day 1: Back & Abs + Cardio
Day 2: Chest and Traps + Cardio
Day 3: Legs + Cardio
Day 4: Shoulders and Arms
For cardio, I do 30 minutes of moderate intensity stuff: elliptical, bike, stairmaster, etc.
For training, I do about 6 exercises per body part, with lots of high intensity (till failure) stuff. It's hard for sure, but works well.
For sleep, I try to get 9 hours per night. This one is really important. Without sleep, the rest doesn't work so well :(
Do you need special keyboards with those arms? :-)
I ended up with a significantly better salary than they originally offered and never even said a number. Just built a good rapport with the hiring HR rep and agreed that the offered amount would be totally reasonable for [someone else with good experience]. Then I pointed out that I also bring to the role [additional, relevant, and desired experience] and gently asked what they could do to make the number better?. (Then I kept my mouth shut and let them think out loud for a few minutes)
When you ask your question (this one is great btw - what can you do to make that number better), the other side may, subconsciously or (for more experienced negotiators) consciously just say nothing for a while. They're waiting for you to crack - to immediately fear the silence and blurt out something like "if that's possible of course" or "it would really help me, I've got 3 kids to feed". Following up your own ask with an immediate mini-backdown like this - without even making them say their piece - will lose you $.
Just wait. Silently. Lock eyes with them, not aggressively or weirdly, but patiently. After ten seconds (which may feel like 60), if the heat gets too much, raise an eyebrow slightly, clasp your hands, something.
Nothing's guaranteed but if you can do this you'll get better outcomes more often. And that's especially true on larger deals with very elastic prices (like selling an expensive piece of software) than something like your salary which often has real and hard bounds around it.
When buying used cars, I will often just ask, "Is there anything else I should know about the car?" and then wait.
It's also good for extracting confessions ("What can you tell me about this broken cookie jar, son? [long pause]").
If I save at my current rate I will achieve FI in 2022. If I had started saving aggressively sooner I would already be FI (I'm in my mid forties). I hate answering to other people and would rather work on my own stuff. FI will get me there.
Read the book The Simple Path to Wealth to understand the process. Or this blog post is a good start:
Another great resource (read the sidebar and FAQ on the right)
Have a job that allows this to be feasible.
Some people only realize 15 years later, after their industry tanks and they're laid off. Then they think, "If only I'd been more aggressive about saving early... I could 'soft retire' now instead of stressing like mad to find gainful employment." The good news: if you're still in your working prime, you might still have time.
The really shitty situation is folks who hit retirement age and only then realize that their savings are insufficient. Govt welfare won't cover you, and you may be past your prime working years (depending on industry or type of job), and instead of having an enjoyable retirement around grandchildren, you're stuck worrying about how you're going to pay for meds. Then you're just fscked.
TL;DR: Even if you don't think you need it now, your future self will thank you!
Deciding to live permanently at your current level is actually step 1. If you can't do that, then you'll have to increase salary, yep.
FI means different things to different people, but generally just means you have some FU money.
I had always been a guy who spends less than he makes but that kicked my ass into gear.
However, if you start investing now, in 2016, not at some average starting time in the past 100 years, note that the US stock market is over-valued according to the CAPE metric. As well as average real returns of 7%, historical data also makes a strong case for CAPE valuation being a good predictor of expected market returns over the following 10 years.
If your long-term forecast takes the additional information of the current over-valuation of the US stock market into account, the 10-year forecast of expected real returns for a 60-40 stock bond portfolio is roughly 4-4.5%.
One fairly obvious way to mitigate this might be to over-weight your portfolio to focus on stocks that are currently regarded as under valued by the CAPE metric instead of simply investing according to current market capitalization weights.
Further details in this article from 2012 (things look slighly more over-valued 4 years later): http://www.researchaffiliates.com/Production%20content%20lib...
I was a hobbyist programmer for a long time. Then my father passed away, and I went through his computer and saw all these projects that would never see the light of day. That gave me the motivation to choose one project and see it through until it was good enough to have actual users. Programming is much more satisfying and meaningful now.
So to me that means that I need to focus and do one thing at a time.
We are a sum of our parts and I probably wouldn't have as great of an appreciation for the time I have left if I hadn't wasted so much time. I still get a lot of time to code, but damn, my single 20s were a whole different world.
I spent two years writing, and Python Crash Course was published last fall. It's been really well received, which is tremendously satisfying. I've enjoyed the steady stream of emails from readers since it was published. Finishing the book has opened a number of doors, and it's fun to be working on a second career at this point. I like the mix of programming and writing.
No Starch Press page: https://www.nostarch.com/pythoncrashcourse
2. Writing regularly(fiction or nonfiction). I think it's one of the most awesome skills you can develop, and the younger you are when you start practicing - the easier it will be. Just create a blog, and try to regularly post something valuable there. It's truly awesome, in so many ways, and the longer you keep doing it - the more awesome it gets.
3. Reading and information diet. Trying to minimize inane internet browsing, news, social media, and maximize the healthy information that I consume. Audiobooks are the best thing ever. Enjoyable and satisfying to listen to, and incredibly valuable. Just get in a habit of reading/listening, and you will soon learn a massive amount of great information.
The way I do it is just by blocking all the websites that I tend to lose my focus on and have only two times in the day when I can visit these sites to get all the information I need.
p.s. it's really strange that hacker news doesn't support sharing of markdown links :(
I personally prefer cold turkey, but it's hard. It's probably better to pick something in between. I.e. something that you can see fairly quick results to. I.e. browsing reddit gives you extremely quick results. Maybe learning a skill like cooking or writing and tracking progress.
I don't have a designated time for reading, I'm just trying to avoid the "bad" kinds of information, and since my brain keeps craving it, audiobooks end up being the best way to satisfy it.
Broken into financial and non-financial ones from another thread:
Listing my financial ones:
Radical Personal Finance
Intelligence Squared US
Common Sense with Dan Carlin
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
The Economist Radio
Stuff You should Know
Hope it helps.
That said, I still haven't figured out whether I've found a way to focus better, or whether I handicapped myself by unlearning the ability to think without writing things down.
Professionally: email lists. If you have any reason to have a blog, you should have an email list. It surfaces the identities of the people who are actually interested in what you have to say, and ties people to you much, much tighter than "Oh yeah, that thing you wrote in 2011 that I read, that was a cool thing."
Businesswise: man, so many things could go here. How about "Put our sales process in a flowchart and execute from the flowchart, not from I'm-smart-and-can-extemporize-in-real-time. Adjust flowchart as required." Relatedly: answer common objections once, offline. Cache the answers. Repeat back from the cache, not from "best halfway decent thing you can remember to say in real time."
Can you elaborate on that? I'm wondering to what situation you are referring to and what kind of objections you mean here?
I've approached this variously and at different times on stuff I blog, mailing lists, or just maintaining my own offline factoid / response collections. A filebase you can quickly query and recall is good, my current subreddit is useful as I can keyword search it and pull up articles for reference in other discussions.
A real key is that not only do you not waste time on repeated answers, but you get the opportunity to improve your responses. If information changes, or you find a better reference, or you see (or come up with) a better argument or example, you can include it.
I've applied this in programming, hobbies, economics, politics, and other fields.
Yeah, these can be great. Don't, however, be aggressive about it. Nothing turns me off faster than being a paragraph into something to have the page dim and an overlay appear asking me to sign up for email updates.
Also, if you have a blog, offer an RSS feed.
Don't make decisions on aesthetic sensibilities alone.
Another has tracking and if I don't read the email, after a few months I'm unsubscribed.
Bigger isn't necessarily better.
* reduce the habit down to a ridiculously small subset of the habit. Eg. "I will floss every day" becomes "I will floss my upper, front two teeth". Or "I will exercise every day" becomes "I will change into my exercise clothes and step out my front door.". You don't have to floss all your teeth... just one. You don't have to actually exercise, just change and step outside
* put the habit trigger (your floss, your running shoes, whatever) where you have to trip over them during your regular routine. Eg. keep your exercise clothes on the chair where you sit to use your laptop or watch your tv
* put up a calendar where you have to see it every day (like at the dining table) and a red marker on a string (so you can't "lose" it) and make a Seinfeld chain
* enlist the aid of your family and friends. "Spouse... I'm doing this thing that's hard for me. I need you help. Please help me. And let's have a reward... if I [perform habit] for [reasonable time period... say daily for 6 weeks] I will take you to (or make it possible for you to) do [some activity spouse likes but doesn't get to do often]"
* have a big reward to work towards, but also lots of little rewards along the way to reenforce the good behaviour. Just make sure they don't undercut the habit
* make a consequence for failure. Something that won't really hurt you but will definitely sting. Make sure your friends and family know about it so you feel social pressure to go through it. "If I break the chain more than twice, I will publicly donate $1000 to [political party that I hate]... and the money will come from my budget for [hobby I love]"
* remove triggers for the habit you want to replace. Eg. If you want to eat healthy, then remove all non-healthy food from your home... don't hide it, don't put it somewhere out of reach so it will be inconvenient... get rid of it completely
* don't give yourself any wiggle room. Make your rules absolute. If you think you need an out (eg. might need to break $diet_plan due to business dinner) then explicitly give the authority to someone you trust and who has an interest in your overall success. Eg "I will strictly follow $diet_plan. My cheat day is Saturday when I can also eat [list]. Any other time, $spouse (or $friend) has to agree. Even so, I will stay within the following limits: $list"
* Plan out in advance how you will handle the curveballs that life throws at you (especially important to learn from the ones that caught you the previous times). How will you respond to $X? ... Decide now instead of hoping that future you will be able to detangle from the stress of $X enough to think clearly
* Take on only one habit at a time. Start the next improvement only after the current one is firmly entrenched.
If you have more then one, choose the one that makes the other ones easier
TL;DR; Assume you will be weak. Assume that it will be hard to walk the path of $good_habit and fall back into $bad_habit. Do everything you can now to set future you up for success by removing decisions, removing temptations, getting help from others, and making it more painful/embarrassing to give up than it is to simply do the new habit.
Is it better to write posts for a blog than an email list, then? I feel it's better for someone relatively unknown to start out with a blog, then perhaps switch to a mailing list when you're better known. (Case(s) in point: you, Jason Calacanis, etc.)
Click through for my last comment.
Another big aspect is sustainability (just like with your work life). You can make yourself train really hard for 2 hour workouts, 6 days a week and see massive progress, but once the progress starts to plateau it will be very difficult to stay motivated if your workouts aren't actually enjoyable. A good workout partner will give a lot of encouragement and enjoyment out of workouts.
Another option is to do activities that you find inherently fun - join a rec sports league, take up cycling, play racquetball, etc. Rather than zone out playing video games or watching TV, put on your headphones and go for a hike. Variety is a good thing.
Find something to exercise for. It's not: I want to exercise for me. It's not: I want to exercise to exercise. It's: I want to exercise to reduce my cholesterol so I live past 50. I want to exercise so I can participate more fully in (rec league sport, martial art, hiking), and not be the slow guy that gets gassed after 5 minutes. I want to exercise so I can keep my weight under 200lbs (creeping back up, but that was adding in a strength routine so good weight, waist is still slim). It can be vanity. It can be to take care of someone (ever had a sick or injured friend or family member and been unable to help them move? It's not a pleasant feeling, they need help and you're there but can't offer it.).
2) using the command line freely (ie : not being an expert, but being able to use it a bit and automate some tasks). At some point, I maintained several apps at once, and it became too much of a burden to do the builds myself and install it one people devices several times a day, every day, so I decided to use a CI tool (Jenkins). To do the builds, I had to learn how to do everything in command line, and that's how I got started (now I am able to handle my own server and do some simple sysadmin).
Since I have an IT degree, I blame my school for not teaching me both of them, which I picked up after graduating: not mandating source control is to my eyes a big failure, and while I had some Unix courses, they never taught me WHY I should take the time to learn the command-line (and thus, I didn't).
I've had people with CS degrees confidently tell me all this stuff is taught - it's part of their classes from day one, and they know all that like the back of their hand. But only a few seem to walk the walk - others blank out on basic questions. Others from local community college "web tech" programs mostly don't even know what I'm talking about.
Documenting code, knowing how to document your regular activity in such a way that other team members and management have a clue what you're doing, beyond code comments. Decent commit messages, using an issue tracking system, ideally some project management tool, etc.
While many dev problems do stem from actual technical issues, far too many I see stem from poor communication between the team members and the external clients/stakeholders. Few devs, especially younger ones, have any clue as to how important those skills are, over and above the raw dev skills.
I always tell people: its a good 10% extra overhead you add to a project during design to be careful with regression testing and source control, and that is paid back many times the first time you avoid a dangerous bug or bad tarball that goes undetected for 3 months.
Having a bad memory is easily remedied using notes, day planner (look at it each morning), smart phone apps, habits, etc. Using these tools will declutter your mind and inherently make you less absent minded. I have a fantastic memory now. And when I find my old ways creeping up (usually because I am short on-time or moving too fast) I immediately remedy it with planning.
Ultimately being absent minded implies "I don't care". I don't care enough to write things down or plan, or who I burden. If you think of it that way then you are more likely to improve. And if you are enabling someone who is absent minded, please stop. Tell them it isn't a symptom of brilliance or a genetic quirk. Every one has a smartphone. So it is a problem of not caring, lack of empathy, and irresponsibility.
As for gifts and travel, these are the major reason people fail to save enough money. If you are going to help someone in need, set a limit before you start helping. I've seen people self-destruct their high-paying careers because they felt too guilty to set limits. But without the high-paying job they can finally say no, without guilt.
Finally, you should travel because it makes you happy. Every year people joke that the holidays with the family involves getting the flu and intense family fights. If you are having this problem, explain that next year you won't travel if anyone in the house has a cold or until you personally establish habits that reduce your susceptibility to colds. When a fight gets out of control with your remote family explain that you might not visit next year until we can learn to be more civil. Establish a boundaries but also lower them once you as you build trust and respect.
Hope this helped.
I'm actually happier overall with my hair for two reasons: 1) barbers never completely did what I wanted, 2) I cut my hair more often (2-3 weeks)
One day a quick task came up, and I decided to hack it out. The only library I could find was a python library, so that's what I used... and it was so quick to get something. 10 lines later my boring task was done. Impressed, I started looking for other things to put this new super power of mine to work, and it's been spiraling out of control. I still use the other languages I know for the majority of my work, but things I might have just never done because I wouldn't have had time are now getting done. It's so great to get things done.
If you're fast/productive in C# and you're looking for a good way to accomplish quick tasks or experiment, LINQPad (http://www.linqpad.net/) will become your best friend very quickly. It would probably be faster to list the things I don't use it for than the things I do. The premium license is worth every cent.
There's Xamarin and other IDEs as well (I'm sure there's an Eclipse plugin but I wouldn't go there)
Xamarin Studio - based on my experience from about 4 months ago - is beyond awful at the moment
Then one day I realised that women thought I was sexist and men thought I was an asshole because I dominated the conversation. I'm a grown man and don't need to take advantage of every opportunity to speak.
Whenever I take a walk, even if it is a place I have been to dozens of times, I always find something interesting that I hadn't seen, heard, or noticed before. I have literally never gone on a walk and later wished I hadn't. I spend a lot of time alone anyway but there is a huge difference between being surrounded by a static, simple rectilinear enclosure and being surrounded by a living, breathing dynamic ecosystem. It is incredibly soothing. I do not regularly meditate, but I will often find myself sitting quietly in one spot outside and letting the sights and sounds wash over me along with the thoughts and feelings they evoke.
Seeing a developmental pediatrician for my son when he was younger to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Seeing a rheumatologist to discuss ramifications of the HLA-B27 gene and the family history of spondylarthropathies.
What's the common thread?
See a doctor when you have any health concerns, physical or mental, no matter what others may tell you about it being a waste of time. And not Dr. Google, M.D., but a doctor that you trust. Google their credentials, sure, but don't google a diagnosis.
I haven't had store-bought bread for 6 months, and each loaf I wonder why I didn't know about this earlier! (Here's a good starter on making a starter! http://www.theclevercarrot.com/2014/01/sourdough-bread-a-beg...)
First, I can't play such games in a non-competitive way. While some seem to play Hearthstone for fun, I play to win and I want to figure out how to do so.
This leads me to second: Ultimately, for an hour's worth of gaming time, I had a few feel-good moments and the rest was emotionally stressful. I hated the luck of Hearthstone, I hated random assholes in Heroes of the Storm who'd destroy the game.
When I realized that my emotions were determined by a random number generator I had no control over (matches and card draws), I finally decided to quit playing games for 30 days. After this month, I didn't really miss anything, used the free time to do other things and removed the Windows Bootcamp partition of my Mac with all games and never looked back.
A few weeks back, I played Hotline Miami 2. A single player game. It was okay, didn't waste endless hours of my time and had a definite end – not like multiplayer games where there is no end. But single player games won't cut it for me anyways and haven't for a long time already. I think they're mostly boring.
• There are no cards with the words "random" on them
• Of the cards you draw, you can mulligan several times to get a better hand
• Many cards let you search your deck and pull out what you need, or something similar, further reducing "chance" being a factor
• You play a game of Best-of-3, and on your following turns you can choose any cards from a "sideboard" to slot into your deck to adapt to the current match, again, reducing chance, and reducing Rock/Paper/Scissors fights
• You don't simply play your cards, push "Done", then go grab a drink. You can play cards DURING the other player's turn to manipulate and overcome their strategy. (This is the REAL reason I can't play Hearthstone. It lacks an entire other dimension of play.)
• Magic has more resources to draw from (cards, life, graveyard, mana, tokens, creatures, artifacts, equipment, etc), and more resources to consider, making the strategies much more varied
• The complexity of Magic cards is on the order of about 3-5x more than Hearthstone. The cards used in Hearthstone compare only to beginner decks designed for kids to learn MTG, whereas MTG cards can be incredibly complex in the strategies they afford you: http://magiccards.info/scans/en/m13/220.jpg
The list goes on, but coming from MTG, Hearthstone felt like playing a very limited, aggro-focused, RNG-dependent game designed for quick matches with simple strategy and little thinking, versus Magic, which you can play on paper with your buddies, at a table, and have fun drinking and joking around. (At least that's how I play it.)
I mostly posted my comment because I saw he had the same complaints about the RNG in Hearthstone, which personally drives me crazy. I figured he'd enjoy MTG more because it doesn't have such flaws.
i.e. Depth of knowledge rather than breadth of shallow knowledge (reading the headlines only).
But it helps to live in a different time zone (Germany) than most HN users.
Secondly: Doing 1.5 hrs exercise daily.
As a long-time Linux die-hard who passed so many applications by because they didn't work well in WINE and/or virtualized Windows, it pained me to switch, but Linux is much more cooperative as a VM than Windows is (and it also pains me to "reward" Windows's bad behavior with the position of host OS). With appropriate tweaking (Dexpot) and a good terminal (ConEmu+Cygwin for SSH to my VM), Windows is basically just like a DE that can play new games (Overwatch, woot!) and run my photo editing software 5x faster than it ran in VM.
I simply don't see any value in desktop Linux for my job, and using Windows makes it too hard (like trying to build a ship in a bottle).
YMMV, of course, depending on your work.
The first problem is that I'd be locked into Apple hardware, which is not something I'm interested in. Nothing personal against Apple hardware, as there are certainly pleasant things about it, but it's not what I want. For example, one of the only reasons I can do this is because I have a custom x86 build that accommodates it with a lot of disk space and a lot of RAM.
The second problem is that I've found OS X kind of inhabits an uncanny valley, where at first glance it looks great, but after using it for a while, you find a lot of small tics that are offputting. It does provide some nice traditional star-nix utilities and has some POSIX compatibility, but many things seem to have a bunch of little problems and incompatibilities that one has to get in there and address if the project doesn't already provide a Mac installer that does this for you. This may not sound like a big deal, but sometimes these "little incompatibilities" are showstoppers and sometimes they just take extra hours to get working. And each year, OS X is getting worse; the compatibility takes a hit, the system gets more and more locked down, and sometimes management scripts have to be totally rewritten.
The end result of that is that many of my colleagues that use OS X end up with a very similar setup to mine, where they have a Linux VM running in the background 24x7 to provide those needs.
Thirdly, OS X is a neglected middle ground in terms of testing and application compatibility. Devs prefer to work on Linux and users prefer to use Windows. That means that user-oriented applications, like new games, always work on Windows and that most dev-oriented applications work on Linux (and many depend on Linux-specific functionality like the proc subsystem which make it more difficult to port BSDs or OS X). Even if the code is compatible as-is on both Linux and OS X without changes, OS X is often the least-tested platform for relevant applications. I know there are a few vendors that release Mac versions of their games, so there is frequently a bit more availability on OS X than there is on Linux, but it's far less than there are on Windows.
I don't really see what I gain by using OS X instead of Windows. With Cygwin, I have star-nix utilities in Windows too, and I get immediate compatibility with practically every user-oriented application out there.
Do you think you could replace your VM with Bash on Windows?
>what program do you use to run your VM?
I use VirtualBox. I want to try VMWare, but I'm doubtful the difference will be very significant. I tried VMWare to host a Windows guest back when Linux was the host OS in hopes it would run DxO fast enough. While it was faster in some things that Virtualbox did slowly, it also did things slowly that Virtualbox had no trouble with, making it a net neutral, and not worth the license cost. If VMWare had full DX11 acceleration, it would've been different.
You can do raw-disk passthrough with VBox by creating the appropriate files with VBoxManage. Must be careful with this, as there is a risk that you can destroy the data on the original drives. I do this so that I can switch back to Linux as the host OS without hassle, should the need arise.
>Do you only access your VM via SSH?*
I primarily access it via SSH, but the VirtualBox windows are on a secondary workspace and I can switch over and start an X server and have my full desktop environment should I need it. I try to avoid the need, but I have done this a handful of times since switching in order to access or run graphical programs.
I've found that VirtualBox's 3D acceleration doesn't work properly. It was a pain to get it to work properly on my Linux system (which runs Arch) in the first place, but once I did get vboxvideo loading and glxinfo reporting Chromium as the renderer on a semi-consistent basis, the desktop environment would suffer corrupted draws that make it useless. I turned off 3d acceleration in the VM settings.
>What kind of development do you do?
Kind of all over the board. I maintain applications in Python, Ruby, and Java. I scratch my itch with other software which leads to occasional C or C++ development. I administer many servers and make use of Docker, Kubernetes, Ansible, and other devops stuff.
>Do you have an internal IP for your VM or do you just redirect the ports?
I have it configured as bridged network and it has an internal IP and acts like a separate machine on the network. This was important because many things in my home environment are dependent on my workstation and have that IP hard-coded (DNS is not justified for my house yet).
I have a Samba server running in the VM and exporting the frequently-used local filesystems, including my home directory and some btrfs storage (bulk storage goes on a separate Synology NAS, so I access that directly from Windows through its own smb server). My past experience with VBox's Shared Folders is that it's pretty unpredictable, and that it's usually just better to use smbd.
>Do you think you could replace your VM with Bash on Windows?
I wanted to try Bash on Windows, but it said I had to be part of the developer preview program, which I didn't want to do since it apparently involves registering with Microsoft and a bunch of similar stuff.
I am optimistic that Bash on Windows may be able to take some functions out of the VM, but I don't think it will be able to eliminate the need for it. It would be nice if it could replace Cygwin.
That was 8 years ago, really enjoyed using Macs since. Now Apple quality is going down, and powershell is getting really good, slowly moving to Windows.
I love Linux/Linux-like OSes. I also like stuff working without having to tinker with it--not that I dislike tinkering (it's great fun) but time is more of a factor now than it used to be.
Fresh air and exercise, all packed into the same amount of time it would have taken me to drive and park, even enjoyed the thrill and mental challenge of forcing myself out in the rain and snow. Took some shortcuts and explored areas I've never been to before.
Contrast with a car, where taking side streets will slow you down significantly.
I still love cars, a huge hobby of mine, but I actually enjoy them more when I'm not driving every day.
Then it depends on how you bike. Most people use a too low speed. This is like driving a car in first gear all the way to work. You will sweat. I use the highest gear comfortable. If it's too high my knees hurt.
Another thing is to find a slow constant rhythm. Do no "accelerate" on a bike. You will use a lot of energy and so you will sweat.
Stop working out. Blasphemy, I know.
A decade long love-obsession with "health and fitness" has taught me that 99% of what our health industry says is nearly-useless or unhealthy.
Half the battle of "health" is to stop self-destruction: drug-abuse (obvious), working out "hard" (less obvious).
Replace gym and repetitive activity with natural exploratory movement. If you are "supposed to stretch" after, the workout wasn't healthy.
The other half is basic. In gentle regular moderation: sleep, eat decently and drink water, go for a walk outside, have some friends and some activities you enjoy.
Everything else is minutia and can be left to bodybuilders, professional athletes and fighters, and military personnel.
I've done them for some time and you quickly notice the difference. Instead of inflated biceps which hurt when you stretch them to grab a jar on the top shelf, you'll squat without hassle, jump, get up from bed, and have better core strength.
This is the program I've followed and I'm happy with it: https://mhunters.com. Check out their videos on youtube and decide for yourself!
I generally enjoy my development work at bigcorp, but I found my mood swinging hard based on whether or not I was intellectually engaged at the office. If I wasn't working on something interesting and making progress, I became very sluggish and unmotivated outside of work as well.
I discovered indoor bouldering (rock climbing low to the ground over thick pads; no ropes/harnesses/training required) a couple years ago and it's been a revelation. I talked about it in an old HN thread about exercise . It's a great source of goals, steady improvement, and overall "doing something besides work." I have since expanded to top-rope climbing (taller walls, ropes, harness), which is also ton of fun.
Baking is fun too. I have never enjoyed cooking very much, but baking caters to the engineering mindset: very focused and rewards preparation and attention to detail. Baking, at least at the amateur "I want to make something tasty" level, has fewer "patterns" than cooking and more subtle variations on those patterns, which means you can bake lots of different things without having to find some new piece of equipment or exotic ingredient every time you try something. And baked treats are fun to give to friends.
I definitely wish I would have started this sooner or actually never started selling my time at all. I worked only for myself for the first 5 years out of school then the last 5 mostly for others (as a contractor - never an employee).
Our translations are mostly used for immigration purposes so it is a really gratifying business as many clients go out of their way to express their happiness with our service. We are dead serious about our business though... lots in our niche are not, but I won't bore you with the details.
So there isn't much physical separation of home and work and there is really no mental separation either since I own my own business.
For the most part I'm able to turn it off when I need/want to. If I'm not feeling productive or just want to do something else I can set the work down and pick up a guitar, go work out, ride a motorcycle, go see a movie, etc. and not think about the work until I get back to it. If I couldn't do that I'd probably prefer more separation of home and work.
Weightlifting but focusing on the work my muscles are actually doing as opposed to seeing a high number go quick. Three warmup sets and a high intensity failure set, with the warmup sets just training you to do the exercise in the proper form before you do it. Because a lot of people cheat the work their muscles are trying to do by crutching on momentum instead of letting their muscles have control of the weight. That would be a thing I wish I could indoctrinate into every every beginner. (DON'T COAST ON MOMENTUM)
Former smoker who has occassional cravings, liquid nicotine has been a life saver. Properly distributed, a giveaway of a three month supply would probably be the most cost-effective humanitarian mission for the homeless in the US.
Ignore most news. A radical acceptance that there's no point in paying attention to the equivalent of amateur illusions. It's a lot of central nervous system parasitics.
It's even made me think about making my source code more attractive.
The added bonus is that he also talks about his publishing system Pollen and that lead to me learning about Racket.
Not for all projects of course, but when building something enterprisey, simulated, or creative where users can model their own domain I believe that at least being familiar with the theory is not optional. I'm also somewhat convinced now that most "10x programmers" are maybe ~2x programmers who have simply encoded their expertise into a private DSL using JetBrains MPS or something. Allowing themselves to spend more time snowballing their skills and knowledgebase, and less time doing repetitive tasks and managing incidental complexity.
Oh also, I started using linear constraint solvers for automatically solving small to medium sized problems. You'll usually see them used for UI layout constraints, but that's just the beginning! For example, say you're building a small scheduling system, or a lightweight recommendation system that lies somewhere in between an if-statement and a full blown classifier, or you're writing some arbitrary last-minute business rule for a client where several things depend on each other with varying levels of weights/importance. If you know some things are linear, and the problem is unlikely outgrow the solver, then save yourself hours or work and just solve it at runtime!
The alligator system helped me visualize the dynamics of the system. However, about 3/4 of the way down, the pictures start being harder to follow than the bottom section of the page where he notates Church numerals and the Y-Combinator (without even defining what they are, which I find hilarious given how "for-dummies" the article starts out as). So what are Church numerals? And what's so important about the Y-Combinator that pg would name his company after it? I didn't know either, and the journey begins!
But also, just download clojure to mess around with a Lisp. Once you feel comfortable with the basics, check out core.logic.
It helps you build it up through basic building blocks
- Using Vim. Just do it. You'll be more productive than in most other editors, and you can use it over ssh on pretty much any machine.
- Using Python. Batteries included means less work for you to do.
- Using Django. Ditto
- Stopped chasing the latest and greatest JS framework and just use what I know (jQuery and Angular lately). Not worth my time when I already feel very productive.
- Use puppet for every server configuration, from my home NAS to every production server.
- Learned 3D printing/joined a hackerspace. Working from home sucks for social life and for developing business connections.
- Learned some basic UI/UX ideas.
- Started sleeping more. This is huge for productivity and my happiness.
- Realized that buying off-lease/gently used cars is much more economical than brand new. You can drive a 3 year old BMW for the same price as a 2 year old Honda Accord.
- Listened to Roll Play, especially Swan Song. Better entertainment than most TV shows.
- Stopped paying for cable and signed up for Prime, HBO Now, and Netflix. This isn't even to save money, but to not have to watch commercials.
- Discovered polyamory.
- Realized that I can build electronics on the cheap.
- Hired a personal trainer to get in shape, instead of trying to go it alone.
- Bought a double walled steel water bottle.
Sorry if this is too long.
Spending a couple days getting more elaborate commands under my fingers ('cw', 'dt)' has been totally worth it. I could have saved dozens of hours over the years if I'd learned the commands earlier.
I'm sure if I made a dedicated effort (ideally with a human present to answer the hard-to-phrase questions) I could work out all the kinks but it's a big hump to surpass.
For example, Eclipse requires you to re-setup your workspace every time you start a new one, and doesn't even have defaults for switching code tabs from the keyboard. The "find in project" feature is cryptic.
And IntelliJ doesn't seem to actually know how to run code; it always wants a "build configuration" that it gives a cryptic interface for and which the tutorial steps aren't very helpful for.
I google to get around the above problems but the answers don't seem to work.
I think it has to do with Java having a lot of boilerplate that an IDE helps a lot with auto-completion, and Java allows for a lot of static analysis, so IDEs can add a lot of value.
I have "misc" workspace, where I keep all my small projects.
> and doesn't even have defaults for switching code tabs from the keyboard.
In any case, you have to add the keyboard shortcut:
I would like to have better auto-complete in Vim, but to a certain extent I think I might just have been too lazy to go out and find the right plugins. I'm also working on a hobby project text editor where I hope to explore this problem a bit more... but I can't deny that an effective solution would be better than my current solution which involves a lot of Googling and many open browser tabs.
- I used Visual Studio before using any command line thing at all.
- Later I learned to use Linux and Vim.
- Then I had an internship where I needed to work with Visual Studio again (VS projects and TFS, not using VS was not really an option).
I ended up installing a Vim extension for Visual Studio. In Vim, I don't install autocompletion extensions. For me this is good evidence that Vim's hotkeys are more important than the autocompletion a good (arguably the best) IDE brings.
Now as for why, I can only guess and rationalize. I'm guessing that when you're in the flow, you know the names of the functions you want to call anyway, and if you're not using C# or Java with libraryname.classname.veryDescriptiveMethodName it's not going to save typing either.
It's the little edits that add up. It's like seeing someone drive a whole UI with only the mouse, no shortcuts - hurts. Likewise it feels infuriatingly slow to see people edit without vim.
Constantly remind yourself that "this is entirely optional," whether it's a lunch meeting, a product feature, or your entire career. It helps you be more present—in the moment. If it doesn't excite you enough to be in the moment, say no next time. Eventually, your schedule will be more and more interesting and engaging to you. We become a slave to "yes" without realizing it. Derek Sivers has a good piece about this: https://sivers.org/hellyeah
Give back; or even better, practice preemptive giving. Not to be manipulative or trying to find some sort of karmic success; just because giving itself feels good and it causes you to start thinking from a more empathetic, gratitude-focused state of mind.
I think the world needs more of this, and hell... it's easier to handle stress when you default to finding the positive in a situation than actively looking for something to be critical of.
The "give back" mantra is a bourgeois affectation.
* time (contribute to a project, help a neighbor paint their living room, teach a friend to weave baskets or something)
* kindness (listen to a friend's troubles over a beer, or assume the best in someone else's efforts, as opposed to criticizing)
I agree that when I practice those things I am happier for it, anyway.
Every Sunday I write down a single thing to accomplish for each day of the next week:
Read a chapter of a book,
Write a post about a specific topic,
Procrastination is super dangerous when there isn't a deadline. Way too easy for "tomorrow" to turn into never. Professional/Personal development stuff seems to fall into that trap pretty frequently.
I tried tracking things with all sorts of different software, but nothing clicked for me like pen and paper.
(Field Notes 56-Week planner pairs well with a uni-ball 307 Gel Pen.)
For this week, the list has
Code Complete - Chapter 4
Brain Bugs - Chapter 2
Don't Make Me Think (reread)
Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chapter 1 + 2,
Economist + Web presence
(read economist, write/email/etc deliberate internet stuff)
For the most part, this stuff happens after the kiddo is in bed, but before I sit down to watch something with the Mrs, or tuck into fiction/games/etc. Everyone's schedule is different, but everyone has some time they could be spending a bit more carefully.
Meant to get to Chapter 4 of Code Complete last week, but we wound up with a kid free weekend (thanks Grandma), so I took the Mrs. to dinner instead, and we followed up with GOG (1954).
Easy to burn out quickly if you're switched on and going at it all the time. Just as easy to let all of the extras fall off the edge while you're floating through seasons of whatever HBO's current thing is. There's not a line where activities are either relaxing or productive, it's a grey area, for sure. Need to find the right balance.
Generally reading 'Making it all work' from the GTD guy also helped with just wanting to get everything into some system; which I developed bit by bit using tiny habit changes.
By now I have an amazingly complex system involving a Google Sheet, Workflowy and Evernote that would be just about ready to be turned into a professional product... but getting there I went through dozens and dozens of little improvements of just getting everything out of my kind and into some system.
Being able to write down the tasks and scan back through my backlog has helped me be more productive. For me, using a calendar service or task manager app just does not work as well... BTW, I am a millennial.
edit: I am 10 years younger then everyone else at my company and get questioned all the time about "why I use a day runner" when everyone else is on a smartphone.
More convenient during my (on-transit) commute than a book and there's such a vast range of topics available to keep you interested.
Value Investing Podcast (John Mihaljevic) would be my top pick. The host can be slow so I tend to listen on 1.5x speed but the interviews are often fascinating.
InvestTalk I find more mixed but generally pretty solid round-up, usually gives me ideas for follow-up reading
Similar with The Investors Podcast, good introduction to some interesting people
LSE has some public lectures, also fairly broad range of topics (http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/pub...)
It's a really, really hard decision to make, to sink your time into something, and I can't recommend for everyone by default. Most people start projects on nothing more than a whim and will give up on those projects when they hit the technical-debt weeds. I don't think of that time as a waste, I think it's incredibly important to the learning process and I encourage people to start as many projects as possible. You just need to be honest and understand about yourself whether or not you're in it to win or just having fun, before you jump into a project head-first. I've seen a lot of people do that, and I've done it more than a few times.
This time is really different because this time I really have spent 2 years on the project and forced myself through multiple come-to-Jesus moments on my code. Everyone will have those sorts of moments as it's impossible to have such design foresight to predict all the ways you will want to use your software in the future, or that you won't change your mind on how you want to use it. And I think I needed to go through it to prove to myself that this was something I was going to be able to continue to work on. But I really wish I had known sooner.
I had fun, I kept going back. Got myself in great shape, got incredible amounts of confidence and charisma. These days I don't do it any more; the school moved to a less convenient location, and I ended up doing pole dance instead.
Getting in shape is great but it's boring; doing it with the context of learning something on top of it works amazingly well for me. And as a bonus, now i have no fear of looking stupid on a dance floor - I know a lot of interesting things to do to a beat.
Bouldering worked the same
way for me. I don't do it anymore for stupid reasons and I should get back into it, but for a while I was in amazing shape from doing something not only physically but also mentally stimulating (and fun!).
There's loads of stuff written about dos/don'ts, TDD, etc. but doing some testing is better than none. It's not a silver bullet, and it's possible to get too caught up in tests to the detriment of the system; but you can cross those bridges if/when you get to them.
It lets me keep everything in one window, and reveals the true nature of internet browsing (an ever expanding tree, rather than a randomly edited list).
You can see which page spawned which ones, which is a blessing for keeping the structure organized.
Plus the vertical list is much more readable than microscopic tabs or ones hidden with horizontal scrolling. Also, horizontal screen space is cheaper!
I use the Tree Style Tab add-on with FireFox, it's the most solid one I've tried.
2. Switching away from Windows to GNU/Linux
3. Investing in stock market
4. Eating organic and vegan only
5. Drinking only bottled water
6. Working out and learning martial arts
7. Working on my self-esteem
8. Believing in myself
9. Keeping small paper notes for everything I do and have
10. Avoiding crazy girls/women like every other good boy/man should
11. Being honest with myself
12. Taking care of the future me (then thanking the past me)
13. Fixing my teeth
14. Attempting to leave my country of birth
15. Realizing that being either depressed or happy are choices every human has to make for themselves
I've asked a few people to describe their moments instead of just listing what the change was. YMMV, but for me, these are far far more interesting than random lists of things.
I may have mis-interpreted the OP's intent, but it sure seems a lot more compelling when you know the catalyst as well as the reaction.
I didn't realize I should have been using him as a a role model until he passed away, but when it happened, it was very powerful.
It is also the first death of a relative I've had to deal with in my life.
Death often has that effect, for sure--it's painful, but can be inspirational at the same time.
If you had asked me without a scale for reference, I would have said 160 pounds.
It was 172.
172 isn't a crazy weight, but not realizing I'd made it into the 170s (which I'd never been before) while simultaneously believing I was 12 pounds lighter was definitely a "moment".
After a month of very low carb diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes, I'm down to 153 and feel much better too. :)
What you're really after is more like "what is a moment in your life that made you rethink things and change your behavior".
I think they're both valid interpretations of the question. There's a common idiom, "an aha! moment", which can refer to either the source of the revelation or the revelation itself.
Would you mind sharing some of the tips the guy gave you? I'd be really interested. I'm doing small-time IT contracting but looking to grow the business.
I started out running for exercise. It would take a lot to convince myself to run, and then keep myself from wanting to quit. I got really good at tricking myself or rewarding myself after a run.
At some point, I think it was that I got in better shape, I didn't need that much motivation. I could go for a run and not think about the physical work of it. I could think about whatever, either letting my mind wander, or think through an issue I had run into. It became much more enjoyable.
I wish I had gotten to that point faster.
But yes, I too discovered running rather late and realized it took me only about 3-4 weeks to overcome the initial discomfort, inertia and struggle. That was one of my "why didn't I start running sooner" moments.
If any of you are waiting to start running, I'd say, start now. No reason to fear it.
Same is true for having a regular meditation practice. It makes a world of difference. Don't wait to start it in your thirties or forties. That's another practice I wish I had started in my twenties.
I moved there when I was 26 and left when I was 40. I should have left at least 5 years earlier. It took a marriage and imminent birth of a child to finally push me into leaving.
I now live in a small city (250k-300k people) in a great environment with plenty of outdoor space, mountains, rivers, lakes etc.
I am not paid nearly as much as I was in London, and it took me a good 12 months to establish myself. However, I don't need London rates of pay to live here comfortably.
I feel my quality of life has drastically improved in the last two years since leaving London.
I moved there when I was 44 and wish I'd done so earlier.
much more to do, pay is better.
I feel my quality of life has drastically improved in the last two years since moving to London.
(But probably I'll want to move away some time too!)
2) IFTTT that syncs trello and google calendar
3) Eating Healthier
5) ABC: Always be coding
6) Talking to people who are really good at their domain
7) Sleeping: Flux helps
8) App that tracks how much time I spend on websites and apps
10) Reading fiction from a good writer
11) Reading good blog posts
12) Having a lunch with different people
13) Finding people who just started programming who I can help out
14) Not having decision fatigue
I have more, but these are the main one
anything you can recommend ?
Daily exercise, forgot about this for years. I think more clearly, feel better during the day, sleep better at night.
Home cooking, so easy to lose this joy when busy.
Swimming in the water when ever you go on vacation, whether is a pool, or stream, or ocean.
It's like playing an instrument versus playing the orchestra. It ain't for everyone, and I won't claim I'm particularly good at it, but it's a fascinating new kind of creativity.
I'm asking because on the one hand, I enjoy coding. On the other hand, it might make sense to work ON the business, not IN the business in the future.
That means my job turns into talking to customers, collecting requirements and authoring user stories, prioritizing the backlog, and generally giving the developers all the information and guidance they need to build (what I hope is) the best product we can, with the right feature set, executed with the right timing.
Of course, I still enjoy coding, but what I enjoy about coding isn't the hammering of the nails, but rather building a finished product from which users gain benefit. In that respect, what I'm doing now is leveraging an entire staff of people to achieve a vision I couldn't possible deliver by myself, which is pretty damn cool!
The role itself is multi-disciplinary. I have to understand the technology in order to adequately gauge cost and complexity, technical tradeoffs, and so forth. But I also have to understand the business impact of those decisions, and the way those decisions affect the customer.
In my particular case, we're in a B2B environment where we do deep technical integrations as part of product deployment. So my customers are individual business owners and technical operations staff that I interact with directly on a very regular basis (as opposed to, say, a consumer product where you're dealing in aggregate customer behaviour).
screen -dmS myservice /blah/start.sh
screen -S myservice -X stuff "stop\n"
When the process exits in that screen session, screen session is closed so that you can rely on screen -list.
"Daemon mode" is the mode for tmux, and the whole stack is designed to be extremely scriptable. "tmux send-keys" does what you're referring to, here, but essentially anything you can do interactively, you can do via the command-line.
Not to say you shouldn't just keep doing what works for you! But figured I'd at least make mention of tmux as an alternative... I'm a fan. :)
Since I use screen fairly often, it had never occurred to me (until fairly recently) that you can rely on it to start with a machine reboot -- and yet have the very familiar interface available to you when you want to intervene. Something to be said about muscle memory.
And yet, this is a default shortcut for command mode in tmux. "But you can configure it!" — one might say. No, I won't be doing it on every system I manage, I have better things to do.
It all started with less(1)... Configuring it is a pain in the butt. One day, I couldn't remember how to do it on a new machine, so I just performed the following command...
scp ~/.*less* ~/*less* newmachine:
I think there's a weird superstition that many of us have where we feel as if we don't deserve and won't achieve success unless we do everything we possibly can, across every vector of life, all the time. And this causes us to have "yes" as our default response, sometimes to our own detriment. And it often takes a big cold bowl of reality (death in family, getting fired, relationship breakup, physical injury, etc) for us to realize that it's OK to say no sometimes.
Will I write a glowing intro email for a passing acquaintance's friend who wants to work at company where I used to work and still have strong relationships? No, sorry.
Will I miss a scheduled workout so I can sit in on a conference call that got scheduled at the last minute? No, sorry.
Can you borrow my phone charger? No, sorry.
Writing these out, I get the visceral feeling that it will come off as selfish. It is selfish, I guess. But learning to say no to things I don't want to do has been a big step for me.
Cooking from scratch - keeps me healthy, is delicious, rewarding, impresses others
Not letting job define me - keeps me from getting disappointed when companies make decisions that doesn't align with what I want, removes emotion from decision making, my life on my terms (I'm moving forward whether or not the company is)
It's stupid how much of an effect that can have on my mood, and I never thought about it before, since guys aren't supposed to.
I've been studying for the CCNA and I've been having that moment ever since I started, there's so much to cover and so little time.
I did finally begin integrating into the larger tech scene around '07 with the introduction of Twitter. This and other factors led me to deciding to exit the business and join startups (Cloudscaling, then Docker). I had, however, passed up on offers to join early-stage at a couple companies that had mega-exits... so there's certainly a bit of, "what-if?".
That said, perhaps if I had more early success, I wouldn't now be founding my current company (IOpipe, Techstars'16: www.iopipe.com)
2) quit drinking alcohol (as a daily habit, I still drink an occasional beer with friends)
3) a whole foods plant based diet (https://medium.com/@borkdude/tl-dr-of-my-long-term-weight-lo...)
5) regular exercise
I was usually skeptic to crossfit. Have been doing weightlifting and overall weight training for 2-3 years and was used to pushing myself at my own pace and setting goals myself. Was afraid to turn my training into a cookie-cutter group class and be forced to do movements that are outright dangerous.
All the injury stories, the "cult" thing, etc. is all bullshit from my experience. No, you do not have to kip anything. At least on my "box" they frown upon kipping. To me that was amazing.
If you have any sort of training experience or some moderate fitness level you will be OK and will probably push yourself to do things that will make you see really fast progress.
Hang snatches, overhead barbell lunges, Wall Ball Shots, etc will make you stronger, bigger and more agile.
Just being on a floor where it is normal to drop a heavy barbell from a missed snatch is worth it. You will push yourself more and try heavier weights. Can't do it? Just hop over and take out some weights and try again. You don't have to wait for the frigging squat rack to be empty. That hour on the gym is for your group only. No waiting around for that dumbass tweeting while resting on the rack.
You will also have a coach (read good coach) that will sermon you and make sure you do things right. Last class I was doing some deadlifts and the coach started pushing me around and manipulating my torso and thighs to make sure I did it correctly. This went on about 3 different times in 2 minutes. It's good, when you are lifting and fatigue sets in you start faulting form.
Only been 3 months now, but man, it's frigging good. And the girls are hot and strong too. It's good motivation.
All in all, don't believe everything you read online. It's overdramatized.
Then again, if you haven't done ANY excerise at all in your life, it's probably better to start slowly on a normal gym. But not because crossfit is dangerous, but rather because you need to get used to your body and understand how much you can push it. It's easy to get injured doing any type of physical activity if you don't have experience and push too much, too fats.
As for beginners, I would recommend crossfit, but only if the gym has experience with complete beginners. Ours is great with it and go out of their way to scale everything and include everybody. If the coaches and other athletes are not inclusive, find a different gym. A good coach will teach proper form as best as someone can do it in their shape.
Doing polyamory. I always was in love with multiple people, but most of the time I was bound to one. I never cheated, but I felt bad often. Should have done this earlier, but only with the rise of the Internet I was able to find enough people to share my thoughts with.
Started lifting weight. This I really could have done sooner, but I always was kinda nerdy and weights were for buff cool dudes. It got me rid of back-pain and I generally felt better.
Sleeping 8 hours a night, even when behind on work
Set yourself a "no screens" curfew every night. After that time, don't touch anything with a screen (or anything else that causes stress and mental stimulation). I set mine about 2 hours before I go to sleep.
I use that time to clean, cook for the next day, read, and walk my dog. I often think about increasing it to 3 hours, since it boosts my quality of life so much.
2. Spending more time with family.
3. Finishing projects I start.
4. Solo traveling. I'm done waiting for others to get off their ass.
I can see within a few years from now I would have similar moments for stopping to use facebook and twitter
My #1 priority right now is becoming a breakdancer. Flexibility is such a huge component—you end up feeling lighter on your feet and incredibly alive. Changing my workouts to flexibity first almost make them philosophical.
The easiest way to do it is with Yoga—but it might get old quickly because there are many poor teachers.
Want to start doing it and feel like you always have so much to learn? Look up Ido Portal. OMG. :)
BTW, what do you mean by bboy?
In SF, it seems most freelancers are in it for the lifestyle benefits, rather than the pay. When you factor in the lack of vacation time, no benefits, often worse career development and networking vs. working at a proper tech company (one that hires good people, pays well, encourages learning/skill development) it seems a losing proposition. But then, this assumes you have the right kind of companies around, which most people don't.
The downside is worse career/skills development if you're not careful (you need to keep up and go to lots of meetups), you tend to get hired for the same jobs as an expert and not ever move up the management ladder, also some of the best companies and top positions won't be available to you as an outsider (big tech names, CTO roles, early stage startups offering equity over pay)
Example: at mass-market product development/distribution companies (Google, Apple, etc.), the big money will be made on a great product launch. In that kind of situation, you need to find a way to get some equity or some piece of the big launch. This -- big companies launching scaled platforms to lots of people -- is how the biggest fortunes are made in tech. I find these places aren't great for high-$ contracting because the economic incentives are so misaligned, all the way up to the CEO.
If, on the other hand, the business is some sort of intermediary, like a realtor / ad agency / investment bank, or uses an agency model (lots of cash comp, little equity value, big cash bonuses but nobody's building anything with stock/ownership) that might be a better place for a contractor because they have the cash to pay, but, I have to question whether that's going to make for a satisfying career.
Surprisingly, the older I get, the more I realize how much (1) the salary-optimization game (vs. being part of a big company/product/launch) is a sucker bet in tech and (2) so much of life is about relationships, network, and reputation. I guess it's different from person to person, but, still, I've done contracting and I'm not going back.
I started freelancing in grad school, so I've pretty much always been moonlighting and choosing my own hours (in addition to the "day job" of grad school).
The greatest outdoor activity I ever had was skateboarding (I am 33, and started two years ago) — I really really loved it, could do it for hours, learning tricks and just moving through the city — right until I broke my ankle. :(
It might not work for you, but for me, the joy in running comes from using that time to let my mind wander. Sometimes I use it to think about work and sometimes I just daydream. It can be a great meditative conduit.
To put in in less nerdy terms, cleaning, ironing and other housework, exercise and walking will never be boring again.
For instance if you were writing a paper, and hadn't ran spelling/grammar check for awhile leaving that as the first thing you need to do the next time you start work would be a good idea. That's an easy fix that doesn't require much thought, but gives you the immediate feedback of getting something done.
I've also been working on only adding things to my list that I actually want to read and avoiding books that I add only because I want to have read them.
Is there a title in particular that triggered your interest in reading?
Riding a bike.
Learning how to draw (I was trying to start several times, but always give up at some point).
Regarding Anabasis, the scene in which the 10000 put on a show for the Queen of Kilikia (who is rumored to be sleeping with Cyrus), ending it with a fake charge scattering the onlookers struck me as profoundly humorous.
2. Programming. It's been 7 years now, but when I first started it felt like an instant fit.
3. Currently, Unity 3d. I've tried to write games before and always gotten caught up doing graphics by hand. I'm doing a Udemy course on it and omg can't believe how easy / powerful it is.
4. Using my tax advantaged savings accounts. Why haven't I been maxing out my 401k every year? Not sure, but I am this year!
Crypto is super important, but it's way too hard to get practically anyone, even technical people, to use it. This area is ripe for disruption I think, especially as more and more high-profile leaks get released. Someone could sell some great, easyish-to-use crypto software and get a lot of money.
Now I'm losing all the way by just doing anything for any price :/
- Learning to say "no" easily
- Leaving a bad/so-so situation sooner rather than later
Two future answers:
- planning for the future (I'm an "in the moment" type)
- moving out of the city (and into the countryside)
I found myself growing angrier, frustrated and confused by world events and world events as they are portrayed by the media.
I realised so much of it simply did not concern me or was just outside my sphere of influence. So I tuned out completely. I have no idea what is happening around the world.
I know that wilful ignorance has it's drawbacks but I have never had as much peace of mind.
2) Setting several alarms every night.
I usually have 3-4 alarms that go off between 1h 30m - 2h intervals every night.
By breaking up my awareness of sleep into segments I find it so much easier to get up in the morning feeling that I've slept for a long time.
I hated that feeling of waking up after 7hrs sleep feeling as if I've been sleeping for no more than 10 minutes.
3) Brush my teeth whilst taking a 5 minute power walk in my bedroom.
Nice burst of exercise before going to bed and my teeth have never been whiter :)
This falls under a host of other habit stacking things I do to combine tedious everyday activities.
Everything and everyone interesting in my life from the past six years can be traced directly back to writing. Jobs I've gotten, deeper relationships with people whose work I love and respect — all tied together by words.
In my life, I can't think of a single thing that has a better return on time in to value out. (Outside of family / children.)
After I read "You don't know JS" I was really kicking myself for going so long without having a fundamental understanding of the language.
Things I am uncertain about:
* Organization/Admin set-up required to get going with me being the only person
* Finding programming projects, clients
* A good hourly rate to be charged
A little about me:
Have some experience with elasticsearch, big data (hadooop/hive), scala.
1. Save enough money for 3 months before I quit
2. Start looking for freelancing projects locally by asking companies that are looking for employees in my area to hire me as a freelancer instead of an employee
3. When you have 3 "yes, we can work with you on a freelance basis", I quit the company and approach the three of them until my first working day in that company.
I'm pretty sure these depend on your location ( I'm living in Berlin ), so you can ask around in some freelancing meet-up how can you start.
Getting a housekeeper to save time and do all the things I didn't want to.
Although it failed, letskudos.com was born.
Holy cow, could I actually do that?!
I began to change my limiting thinking, and tweaked the way and with whom I was networking with.... I began telling people what I desired in the way of working and living abroad... Low and behold I am recruited for a position abroad!
The company sponsors my visa and I leave in 2 weeks!!
My aha moment came with the encouragement from a lived in line to follow my dream, my desire, with the thought that it all was actually possible... And it is!!
I was living and working in a town that's somewhat boring and not the most inspiring. I came to the decision I needed to leave when there was a restructure going on and I realised that I wasn't learning anything and didn't really have anyone to learn from as well as the fact that the company wasn't really investing in learning and progression.
I've been at my new job for just over a month now and have been learning loads. The company actively invests in learning and personal development, with one of the benefits being a fund to spend on that as well as them providing training needed for my role. We've also recently been allocated some time to spend on personal learning/development.
I now work in a city so it also got me to move out of that town and closer to the city which has been good for my social life.
I now meditate 2x a day, run, and lift weights.
Finding a mental health professional is kind of subjective, so recommendations are not necessarily helpful. (Do pay attention to negative ratings though.) Even the most qualified ones can't help you if you don't "click" with them, so you may have to shop around a little. Don't be shy about switching if a psychiatrist or therapist isn't working for you; they're used to it.
Lastly, and this is my opinion only, if you have a teaching hospital nearby (e.g. at your nearest major university) with mental health services, you probably have a better chance of not getting a psychiatrist/therapist that's incompetent. No guarantees but a better chance. (Depending on your confidence in this thesis, it may even be worth paying out of pocket if they're not in your insurance network. After all, what is your sanity worth?)
Writing a diary with the stuff that i have on my mind, it is easy to forget who you where before, and why you changed.
Another one is tracking personal expenses. I was looking for a solution for a while and even built something of my own, but in the end ended up using YNAB (https://www.youneedabudget.com/) which I found out about in an HN comment.
2) Learning German which taught me important memorization techniques to carry over to other areas of my life.
3) Stretching & flexibility exercises. I've been a heavy weightlifter ever since college but only began to realize recently that lifting weights can have detrimental effects on your body if that's the only thing you do. You'll become less flexible and more rigid which makes you more prone to injury. Especially with our profession where we're propped on a chair for most of the day, it's important to make sure our bodies can achieve a full range of motion to prevent any skeletal or joint issues down the road.
4) Cooking and eating a ketogenic diet. I'm much more satiated and rarely go hungry throughout the day. Cooking was extremely daunting at first but not so much when you really start doing it. It's an essential skill to have, ensures you're eating whole foods and putting nothing processed in your body, and gets you invites to more potlucks.
5) Writing everything down. My Evernote has exploded within the last year. I keep everything there and it's saved my ass countless times. You'll thank yourself later when you get into the habit of writing everything down.
That's all I can think of right now. What's exciting to me after having wrote this is that all these things were realized only within the last year or so. It's fascinating how much we can improve in such a short amount of time as long as we are consistent with always trying to grow and learn.
Start reading slashdot and later hackernews. I am still a CS student, these news sites allow me insight into the world after college, allowing me to plan and visualize my future better.
Edit: lol looks like I should get some sleep
It is just that there is so much stuff happening in technology that it is almost a disservice to yourself (if your goal is to explore and learn new things) to always just stay in one place. It also happens to be one of the best way to get a good salary bump.
Two years ago I started running once a week, I hated it! But I knew it's a good form of exercise. Now I'm running 3 times a week and I love it! I'd like to run 5 times a week. I could just push myself to do it for a time period but I know right now this would eat away to much of my willpower and I'm ok with that. I know I'm gonna run 5 times a week in a year or two.
I learned how I can increase my willpower but it takes time.
I started designing as a hobby. Just started making designs focused on superheroes, comics, etc. A year later, one of cousin's said he is starting a new project, for which he needs some designs. I randomly started designing it. The UI/UX of that app ended up so well that he's still using the same design concept for the app, and since then I have been learning more and more about UI/UX and I have completed more than 7-8 UI/UX design projects till now. :)
EDIT: The actual "why didn't I do this sooner" moment comes after a month or so where you get fast enough with chord changes that you can actually play something :)
I'm an old AIX/HP-UX hand, and stuck to vi and clones because I was afraid I'd start using a vim-only command that wouldn't work on vi.
Then Unicode became more and more prevalent and vi and it's clones didn't support it well + I started doing mainly Linux, so I switched to vim. Then finally I started learning all the vim-specific extras... Yeah totally wish I started earlier!
For me it is taking extensive notes. Over the past year I started pay attention to the mannerisms, behavior, and personalities of the people whose position I wanted to take in the near future. One commonality among almost all of them: they take notes during almost every conversation and write notes throughout the day as they think of things.
He was a very good friend of mine, but my negligence definitely took its toll.
Journaling/writing: Writing is really usefull. It helps:
remembering (the brain just distord)
taking things out of your head to take some distance.
Don't believing in truth: There is no such thing as that.
And posting on HM! :)
I am rarely surprised by the consequences of my decisions... When I am surprised it's usually not in a good way. I guess that makes me an optimist? I'm a cynical optimist.
3. Exercise & Good Nutrition (Health is your greatest wealth)
4. Sleep (Turning Off Blue light 3-4 hours before has had a very positive impact on sleep quality and general wellness / productivity during day )
The book was published in 2008 and I just finished reading the book a couple of months ago. It was a wild journey into the land of science fiction. Highly recommend if you are a fan of Asimov or Phillip K Dick.
I feel like I have those pretty often, with the most recent being yesterday: https://github.com/nkantar/GHT.vim
- Introduce more technical leadership roles to my engineering team