I have a rule of thumb that lets me know when I should wrap up a discussion.
The more ego that's involved, the more selfish the points will be. Red herrings will be thrown left and right, and people will completely cease to even consider their partner's(I prefer the term partner, not opponent) point of view.
This is basically why religious debates will never work.
When the value of the conversation reaches a certain threshhold, I back out and refuse to go on.
Recently I added a daily moral to my TODO list.
One of the first things I do every morning after rolling out of bed and taking a shower is to think about what specific things are most pressing in my life right now, and if nothing is extremely pressing, what can I improve on?
I choose a simple, short word or phrase, and base the actions of my day around it. It keeps me from filling my day with other things like video games or watching TV, and gives me a clear plan to stay on track all day.
Sometimes I'm driving myself too hard and I have to relax or I'll burn out. Other days I'll be in a slump and I need to re-focus to get back in the game. This quick morning pick-me-up has drastically changed the quality of my days.
To be honest, I'm having a hard time deciding on what to write about today. I feel like my writing isn't quite up to par today. I'll often get in these slumps, and I can't kid myself by saying this is the worst slump I've been in.
After sitting and thinking about it for a while, I realized why I've been having such a hard time. I'm trying way too hard to appeal to everyone.
I find that I write best when I imagine another human being that I'm writing to. My "ideal audience" if you will. He's just a single androgynous guy thing, and I'm trying to inform him about something, or entertain him in some way. Maybe I just want to share something personal with him, because I trust him. He's my ideal audience, after all. He's got all the traits of a person that I want to be writing for.
When I sit here, trying to think of things to appeal to everyone, it's really hard to come up with what to say. I get stage fright. It's funny, because I know that I don't have a massive readership. With the amount I've been changing my blog's name and direction lately, I'm pretty sure I've confused the few readers I've had into running away at this point, haha.
Catching up with the family has been great. Jacksonville hasn't changed a bit since I left, and picking up with lifelong friends was effortless. It felt like we'd never been away from each other.
The recent travelling I've been doing (Vancouver over the weekend, Florida today) has got me excited again about the around-the-world trip I've been planning with friends over the past few months.
In 2016 I and friends plan to work entirely remotely and travel the world while doing it, making more money out there than we would be at home. If you have any interest whatsoever in joining us for any amount of the trip, list your name and contact info in the Google Doc:
The majority of us are engineers, but any job where working remotely is an option works.
I've been meditating since 2008, but I've been drawing even longer. I've noticed that when I get into a seriously long life drawing study, something that lasts at least 30 minutes, I get into a state that is not unlike meditation. Before I took up meditation, I feel like I reaped a few meditative benefits from life drawing, and it could help to explain why meditation was so natural for me as a beginner.
If you're interested in a relaxing hobby that can help you perceive details and live in the moment, life drawing is a lot of fun. Consider it! You might never get great, but even getting the gist of it seems to be enough to get in a light meditative state. You'll also have something to show for the effort. I put my paintings on the walls, which is almost as cool as being able to draw on the walls of your own house.
This week I cut out fried food entirely from my diet, and the effect has been astonishing. My energy levels and mood are through the roof, and my stomach is feeling amazing.
It's a little difficult to keep up, but my diet is very simple so I generally eat the same thing every day.
The change came after listening to a podcast in which Sebastian Marshall described his system of self-tracking. I've been self-tracking to a limited half-assed extent for a long time, but the lack of scientific rigor was just not there.. even for a 1-subject-study. I upped my standards, began isolating my studies instead of mixing them, and I'm getting a lot from it.
I'll write more on my self-tracking method in a future post! Right now I want to utilize this newfound energy 8)
Make sure you don't go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won't laugh at you. Jim Rohn
I'd like to share my simple but very effective method I use to strategize my life.
Any good life strategy begins with a Bucket List. A Bucket List is simply a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. I have a lot of fun putting these together!
A short excerpt from my Bucket List:
Right now I'm two days of solid work away from launching a social art site. I have the time, I have the energy, but what I'm lacking is the focus.
My TODO list is FREAKING HUGE right now.
I want to build robotic bee-keeping equipment
I want to write genetic algorithms to find paths through mazes
I want to write neural networks.
At first I thought this was going to be another hollow SUCCESS AND INSPIRATIONS image, but after taking a look at it I realized it's basically my entire life philosophy in an ugly vector graphic.
Fucking up is my favorite part of life. It happens way more than things going perfect, so you might as well learn to enjoy it and see how you can use it to your benefit.
A quote that's affected me more than any other(And really should be on my ridiculous FB quotes list) is something by Thomas Edison. When he was inventing the light bulb, an interviewer asked him if he was discouraged after his 100th failure trying to build the darn thing. He famously replied(And I paraphrase) "Failure's? I've successfully discovered 100 ways NOT to build a light bulb! "
Unless it's a life-or-death situation, don't ever over-prepare. Just wing it. In the long run you'll get better results.
I'm planning an around the world trip for 2016 right now with some friends and I don't want to be penniless when we embark. I plan to work while on the road, but the extra padding is still nice.
It's amazing what simple steps you can take to save huge amounts of cash over a period of time.
Simply cutting out my daily habit of eating lunch at a restaurant with colleagues is going to save me $35 a week, and that's an insane $1800 a year!
Zeroing in on these small expenditures will go a long way to helping me far surpass my savings goal of $20,000 by 2016.