Why I do this: Formative goal

1000 hour goal! What is it, and what am I doing?
This should have been the very first post, but it makes more sense to first get the activity going in order to have some retrospect. I am providing context on what I am doing by creating these daily posts on various topics. The activity itself is a lesson and a meta-goal and a building-block for a bigger project. The above is a relatively short post that explains my motivation and purpose for these posts.

Solitude vs loneliness: Why you need it

This time I start of with a contrast of solitude and loneliness. I then proceed to examine the necessity of solitude and why we need a healthy dose of it for sanity.

  1. What is the conventional wisdom and perspective on solitude and loneliness
  2. The down-side of not having solitude
  3. Benefits of solitude
  4. What does this look like on the ground for me
  5. Looking forward

I am holding my breathe for results…

The double meaning is intentional.
In this post, I reflect on brown fat, the Wim Hof method, cold showers, and physical and psychological resiliency. I am making an effort to organize my thoughts (without introducing the chore and rigidity of choreographed preparation):

  • Brown fat
  • Cold Showers
  • Wim Hof breathing (or holding breathe)
  • Topics of future interest
La Poza de Las Mujeres – Manatí, Puerto Rico, 2019

Using tickler-files in a paperless GTD system

Today’s post is mainly in response to Jake’s explanation of the GTD rules that he choses to break, why he does so, and therein an attempted explanation of how a tickler-file system works. In his post, he calls the tickler-file system ‘43 folders‘, the latter is a branded website that focuses on such systems.

In this brief audio, I am explaining how classic David Allen tickler-file system works, and then going further to detail how I break that rule to suit my own heavily electronic GTD system.

I got a cold shower for Christmas…

It might be strange and tough for some to even imagine… yes, on Christmas morning, I voluntarily took a very cold shower and actually enjoyed it. In this post, I briefly touch on the theory behind cold showers as a way to strengthen the mind. Beyond that, there is theory and practice (has been practiced by many cultures around the world for centuries) as better explained here.

This is one of my earlier posts and you may hear me ramble more than usual and touch on my other habits (early rising).

How I build strength and tenacity

It is indeed true that the more a person keeps himself in a zone of challenge and performance, the better he becomes at handling future challenges. I am saying that because I recently sat for a relatively simple exam (AWS SA-Associate Certification) and found it difficult to sit for a long time. This is in contrast to times before when I easily sat for 3+ hours to do a professional or speciality exam. In comparison, I have found it quite easy and natural (not effortless) to work through the preparatory steps for the exams (and other projects) in a methodical way; even when the road is long and the load is heavy.

Until I find a stronger and better supported explanation, I am attributing this development of inner strength to the fact that: for the last 1 year, I have been taking cold showers in the morning (I know, what is the relationship)?

At the onset of this habit, I debated with myself and even tried to find valid reasons to skip or just take a warm shower. Increasingly, I have taught myself to get in the shower, allow the internal debate to continue, but go through the motions necessary without letting the debate hinder the process. Even a slight hesitation is not allowed – I simply put myself in the third person and go ahead with switching the valve to ‘cold’ and then opening the water.

The above approach is documented (I am not going to provide links) as a good way to build inner strength and practice the ability to know what needs to be done and proceed to do it; even when it is unpleasant. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. I will talk at depth in other posts, but I will mention that this has been valuable for me when deciding to stay the course or start a daunting and long project – “Just start!”

Those Training Wheels …

It is not exactly what it sounds like; I recently got all my ducks in a row and ‘tipped my toe’ in the river again. Over the past two weeks, I have been ridding my road-bike for 10 kms every morning. The objective is to get more cardio exercise in place being that gyms are not open, and/or that I do not want to unnecessarily expose myself to COVID….

Biking, then running for my life!

… well, it has been many many months since I started writing this story. As shown above, I got to ride 10 Kms every morning until I could not. The back wheel that is barely 2 years old gave in and lost all the air one morning. I promised myself that I would order and replace it (my local bike store sold and installed this apparently problematic one). After some weeks/months, I decided to go back to the basic exercise of all time; running. I sustained that for a few weeks/months and finally decided to bring the game into the house when the weather got too chilly in the mornings.

Que cuarentena?

Estamos acostumbrados a la cuarentena… quizás – ya hace aproximadamente seis semanas.

For the sake of efficiency and assurance that I will not compromise the message as I try to convey it through my still fledgeling Spanish language. On that note, do not get me wrong, I am making great advances and can now communicate in multiple tenses. Fluidity and vocabulary and my main areas of growth. Watch me!

My intention is to share some ideas on what I am doing while during the self-isolation. I am rediscovering old activities, getting back to my roots, and learning new things and preparing to spring back once the market is open again. I am doing my regular job (arguably more productively than before), soul-searching on ways to improve every area of my life, learning Spanish (with manic focus), training myself to operate efficiently and with purpose, and looking back at the times when I could have traveled but did not. I am also appreciative for the travel that I managed and proud of myself for having a bias for action. The lockdown is useful in that it is teaching me to value the ability to travel to different places. Next time I have an opportunity, I will not lazily sit back at home and do nothing; but I will jump at the opportunity to even travel somewhere (regardless of the destination).

I will go deeper into specific activities that I am doing while on lock-down (as each will require its own page for proper coverage).

I am currently listening to the book Deep Work. It is opening my eyes to new perspectives to ideas that are not new to me. I find that this book is timely for me as I am beginning to evaluate how I spend my time. My goal is to eventually understand and optimize how I use my time, and optimize it so that I can do my work in less time and leave time for introspection and growth.