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My Goal Review (Q1/Q2/Q3 2017)

I have no idea what I’m talking about nor have any clue what I’m doing, yet some shit is sticking against the wall.

It’s crazy to think about how long I’ve been keeping these logs to keep track of my life. Anyway, another three six nine months passed since my last review. Guess it’s time for an update for the ones who’re still around eh?

The format is going to be a bit different this time around since I can’t really justify to allocate too much time towards writing. So I’m just going to do a honest talk in this video and give an overview of my life currently.

Mind

Overall

I feel like in many ways the last 6 months have been the most difficult period I’ve had to face in my life so far. I’ve been afraid for a long time that my efforts were useless. I’ve been afraid that I was just wasting my time away and programming wasn’t something that held a future for me.

I mean, if you look back, I’ve been programming since June 2015! Granted, I was still in school for most of that time but the last 6 9 months I didn’t really have any valid “excuse” as to why I couldn’t land a decent job in IT. I had a lot of self-doubt because I just couldn’t trust my own capacity to provide for myself in the future. I felt like I always could be doing more and kept condemning myself for having no career results to show for.

I know it’s something out of my control and therefore I shouldn’t directly hold myself responsible and blah blah blah. But it still sucked.

Big time.

You can visualize all you want, set your shiny little goals and watch motivational movies all day long. If your results don’t change, neither does your mind.

Your brain simply doesn’t accept truths not backed by reality.

But now that my investment/risk has paid off and I’m slowly building up more trust in my ability to reach my goals, my mindset is doing quite well.

7/10


Health

Overall

Overall I feel like I’m sleeping enough and definitely eating healthy but that my stressful situation (back injury + poor career prospects) has been a major energy drain. Also the fact that I didn’t really plan in any fun/exciting stuff leads me to become less engaged in life overall.

My back injury is still the biggest thing I want to get fixed overall in this department. I’ve been doing my exercises pretty consistently and am almost completely painfree atm. Going to keep this up for the coming months. Here are some recent physique pictures. I’m doing allright although I’m not investing a great deal of time/energy in maintaining my health.

78,6kg/10-ish% body fat

8/10


Wealth

To become more employable I decided to build up my programming skills through building several own projects and blogging about technical stuff on TrueTech. I’ve built apps like contentcrawler (find most popular articles for any website), big part of growthbakery (cliënt project), coachapp (personal trainer app), several practice applications and several small business websites.

I think the combination of running my own company (problem solving) + having a pretty nifty portfolio (inventive/creative) convinced the companies that I’m a decent programmer and could be an asset to the company although I don’t have any formal background in IT.

I don’t know what strategy actually paid off, but after applying for AT LEAST 35 companies, I actually had 2 offers recently and 2 other companies who were interested. It’s my first actual job with a future and where I won’t have to be wearing safety shoes with a steel tip or where I’ll have shit dripping down my legs whilst collecting peoples’ trash.

Pretty cool.

I think it’s overall better for someone just out of school to first learn the ropes in a smooth-running business for about 2-3 years before starting their own startup/company. Most people – even smart ones – just don’t have the required skills/market insights to make something that could provide a decent income. Then again, I also have a pretty low tolerance for risk. Most of the things I’m doing are about avoiding risk.

I also feel a bit distrustful towards getting this job. I have an impostor syndrome and do not want to fuck up this opportunity. I don’t really feel like celebrating my success because allowing too many happy feelings is something I consider to be dangerous. Because then I might let “loose” to much which lowers my performance/hustle ethic.

Our achievements pose the burden of responsibility to perform at a similar level in the future and a fear of loss for the things we’ve gained.

Now I actually have something to lose.

But overall, I can’t suppress feeling somewhat more hopeful towards the future.

Update: I’ve landed my first ‘major’ project and they’re satisfied enough with my performance that they want me in it full-time instead of only 4/5th. If project continues after 30th september, I’m moving out. Which is pretty exciting.

Here’s a small video of what I’m working on atm. It’s pretty cool & I’m learning a crap-ton.

7/10


Social

Overall

I know it’s horrible, but I just cancelled all my social stuff the first 4 months of this year (but I made up for it later). I didn’t do any physical meetups with my friends for at least two months where I just “grinded” on my skills. Sole focus trade off. I did do somewhat regular (1 each other week) Skype calls with my two closest friends but overall I’m just neglecting it really.

Now that I’ve landed a career I’ll be focusing a bit more down on getting my social life back in order (to about 2 evenings a week).

I’m not really a person who needs a lot of variation and if I can get about 2 evenings a week of close talks/some fun activity to do, I’m fine. I love routine but sometimes it just gets too much.

5/10


Fun/Meaning

Overall

I feel a bit of a duality in my life.

Overall my life feels pretty meaningless and I don’t generally feel like I’m making that much of an impact. When I look at people like Elon Musk I’m constantly asking myself what the fuck I’m doing with my life. (Here’s a great interview with him btw!)

On the other hand, this comparison makes me dissatisfied with my life, no matter how high I perform. The pressure to overachieve leads to frustration, anxiety and a great deal of unwanted stress. This accompanied by the knowledge that I could – always – be doing better leads to an overall crappy life.

I’m slowly realizing that not everyone is I’m not going to be exceptional at each area of his/her my life. Life, for the most part is a tradeoff. And everything that’s worthwhile will take a shitload of time, energy, money and dedication to see it through. Here’s a great excerpt from an article called “In defense of being average” by Mark Manson (you should read all his stuff – seriously);

We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. But the fact is, most of us are pretty average at most things we do. Even if you’re truly exceptional at one thing — say math, or jump rope, or making money off the black gun market — chances are you’re pretty average or below average at most other things. That’s just the nature of life. To become truly great at something, you have to dedicate time and energy to it. And because we all have limited time and energy, few of us ever become truly exceptional at more than one thing, if anything at all.

We can then say that it is a complete statistical improbability that any single person can be an extraordinary performer in all areas of their life, or even many areas of their life. Bruce Wayne does not exist. It just doesn’t happen. Brilliant businessmen are often fuck ups in their personal lives. Extraordinary athletes are often shallow and as dumb as a lobotomized rock. Most celebrities are probably just as clueless about life as the people who gawk at them and follow their every move.

We’re all, for the most part, pretty average people. It’s the extremes that get all of the publicity. We all kind of intuitively know this, but we rarely think and/or talk about it. The vast majority of us will never be truly exceptional at, well, anything. And that’s OK.

Which leads to an important point: that mediocrity, as a goal, sucks. But mediocrity, as a result, is OK.

Is it?

5/10


Lessons

Learned some things the last quarters. (Or at least some insights I’ve had lately)

  • Our self-improvement society makes you feel like there’s something wrong if you’re not radiating sunshine and happiness 24/7. But it’s ok to experience negative feelings. Problems in life never go away, they just become less bad. The only people who are happy 24/7 are sociopaths.
  • The worst that can happen isn’t crashing and burning, it’s accepting boredom as a tolerable status quo. Complacency and apathy towards your current situation without a desire to grow anymore. Apathy is the worst.
  • Not giving a fuck is an attitude cultivated by a certain degree of abundance in each area of your life. You can afford to feel careless when your problems don’t hurt as much anymore.
  • Being comfortable with who you are isn’t about being indifferent but about being comfortable/accepting of your differences.
  • Always give yourself the opportunity to pay for your mistakes
  • Never attach your name to something you know is flawed.
  • It’s not the weight you carry that breaks your back, it’s how you carry the load. (on dealing with problems; it’s never the actual problem but the way you respond to it)
  • Have one marketable skill that will forever serve you in hard times. Focus on money first, then women – If you have to.
  • Hope for change is comforting by buying products/reading articles instead of taking action. –> Are you buying comfort products instead of doing the necessary actions?
  • The hungry don’t get fed – in all areas of life. It’s easy to get more of what you already have
  • Pursue wealth but act poor. Don’t share your salary with anyone. As the world evolves, the gap between the rich and poor will expand and many will become unemployed. People will become increasingly resentful towards the wealthy. No matter how much more they contribute to charity/goodwill. There’s no benefits in acting like a big shot. When the day of the pitchforks and torches arises, be under the radar.
  • Planning and organizing around skill acquisition is more important than inborn talent. Use a system to rapidly acquire new skills instead of relying on inborn traits.
  • There’s a difference between guilt (self-blame for negative situations in the past) en regret (wanting to change the past). Guilt requires choice and responsibility. Don’t guilt-trip yourself over negative outcomes you didn’t have any control over. It’s important for a healthy sense of self-esteem to not accept guilt from yourself unjustly.
  • How you treat others should not be defined by the mood or circumstances you’re in. Be as disciplined in being nice in interactions as you are disciplined in executing your work. (I’ve let the way I treated others be subject to my mood swings the last three months).
  • Allow yourself to experience the results of your work/character through pride/vacations/earned breaks/gifts to self). If our flaws pose the problem of inadequacy, our achievements pose the burden of responsibility to perform at a similar level and a fear of loss.

Essence

I’m not sure exactly sure how I feel about this period in my life. I think my consistency has been bad and therefore I’m not really sure how much I can trust my resilience in difficult times. I guess the thing to do from this point is just the same thing like I always do; correct my trajectory on things that are off-track and keep doing the things that are working.

Thank god I have some sort of feedback system in place that gets me back on track when I’ve strayed too far. (The next article I’m writing, will be about this)

I don’t really have that much to say this quarter since not really much has happened besides me working on improving my programming skills and getting my career started. And although that progress can be captured in two sentences, it has made all the difference.

To end this post, here’s a funny picture I drew last week (I didn’t come up with it though);

How’s your life been going lately?

Take care,

– Simon

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