“It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. – Seneca“
Alright, another three months passed! Can you guess what time it is?
Nope, close though.
Time for another one of my quarterly reviews! This one was a bit better though than last quarter, dare I not say GREAT. You know the drill by now;
- Use f11 for full-screen. I tried making my blog more distraction-less/minimal since your attention span is the same as that of a goldfish. (This is an over-generalization – you’re probably nicely on track if you read my stuff)
also: click on stuff to enlarge it. (you probably wish that worked in real life as well eh?)
> Read 6 books (Read 5)
I’ve read 5 books the last 14 weeks for an average of 87 pages/week. Books read include; The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes, Social Skills Guidebook by Chis MacLeod, Rails Crash Course by Anthony Lewis, Deep Work by Cal Newport and Daily Rituals by Mason Currey. I’m currently reading Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl. Ultimate Sales Machine is a MUST READ for everyone with a pulse and Deep Work is highly recommended.
I haven’t really set many goals in this quarter since I’ve already made sure to implement daily routines that make my mind stay on track most of the time.
I have a morning ritual with daily gratitude/excitement journaling, a solid plan of action (in writing) that acts as filter for where I spent my time, a journal I keep for reflecting every day and a process I use every weekend to clarify my most important action points for the next week.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m not overly obsessively tracking and measuring my life – I’ve come to the conclusion I certainly do. And that it makes me happy.
So I’m sticking with it!
I HAVE been trying some new experiments in this area though, which weren’t goals (L to R):
- Time blocking every minute of my day
- Putting key objectives and focusing questions on my wall
- Listening to an audio-relaxation tape of my own voice telling me how great I am (aka trying to brainwash myself)
- Listening to podcasts whilst riding my bike/bus/doing cardio
- Working at a standing desk for most of the time to increase focus
- Daily recording how many pages I read/hours I program/do deep work.
> Weigh 80kg in the morning and 8% body fat (or less)
I’ve been focused on losing some weight and wanted to get cut this quarter and have achieved a solid amount of leanness – I still want my lower abs to be more defined so probably going to continue for several weeks and then switching back to maintenance/slowly gaining. Currently weight-in at 76kg & about 8% (visual estimate). Here’s (L to R) a physique update, my current mealplan, latest blood results, daily supplement stack and daily sardine stack.
> Have my back injury cured (I can do back squats & DLs again w/o pain)
I’ve finally cured my back with core stabilization exercises to strengthen my TVA (deeper abs). Currently still doing this 2x/day for 15 minutes by doing planking, lying leg raises, mobility stretches, deep squats, cobra-ups & child pose – Highly recommended to anyone who lifts regularly and is looking for long term injury prevention. Almost cried when I could squat & dl again without pain – literally. You DO NOT want to be injured for 9 months.
> Have 7,5 Hours Of Sleep Each Night On Average (7.8)
I need about 9 hours of sleep each night if I train 4x/week but I’m never able to reach that IF I want to get some decent work done. Therefore the best alternative is to aim for 8 hours each night (mo-sa) and sleep 6 hours extra (compounded sleep-debt) on sunday (Yes, this is a crash until 14-15h). This way I can ensure I can get up at 6:30 from mo until sa and get some deep work done in the morning but still allow recovery periods (sunday crash) to refuel myself. Sleep is about the biggest determinant for willpower too!
> Have 7,5+ average perceived energy (had 6.5)
I’ve done some pretty brutal dieting experimentation (vegan + fasted training + no carb + low calories) which caused frequent crashes in the beginning of this quarter. I’ve finally found a GREAT diet plan that’s working and probably something I’ll stick with for a long time to come. See leangains protocol
> Have 85% consistency in waking up & MR (had 79% consistency – 67/84 days)
I’ve woken up at 6:30 for 67 out of 84 required days this quarter. Missed the benchmark by 6% but it’s overall an 21% increase over last quarter, which is great. I’m happy about that.
My health is great right now, I feel awake/energetic for the whole day on most days and get up when I’m supposed to. My body feels and looks good although I’d like it to be a bit leaner still, I have a layer of remaining fat over my lower abs I want to get rid of to go from lean to shredded. I’ve also dropped a ketogenic diet for a more paleo-approach (meaning I upped the carbs) and it has worked wonders! I’ve optimized my supplement stack and am working out again 4 times a week, which is a great feeling to be able to handle that load again after 9m+ of injury. I’m still careful though not to over-exert myself.
New experiments I’m running for my health (energy & looks) are:
- Leangains protocol
- Drinking 2 cups of coffee + 100mg modafinil in the morning (only weekdays – see video)
- Daily tracking of sleep hours and meal consistency (how well I stick to my meal plan)
> Build at least 4 serious new web applications (made 2: A Video course & ROR tuturial app by Michael Hartl)
To improve my skills as a web developer I’ve aimed to build 4 different web applications but only finished two (partly because of school requiring a lot of my time). I’ve finished a video-course application and a twitter clone (check them out – won’t add you to a email/spam list).
> Get at least 5 paying clients for truetech & finish their project (had 2)
To make some extra money on the side (+ build up my skills/portfolio for a real job) I wanted to focus a bit on my side-business where I build websites for other people. I’ve had two paying customers this quarter and am currently working on 2 different projects which are both about 85% done;
> Earn at least 80€/week in sidejob (made 82,35€/week from sidejob & 159€/week total)
I’ve picked up a side-job to cover my weekly expenses and made a regular brainstorm on how I could make more money. I’ve made 82,35€ on average from my side-job and 159€/week total. I’ve included an affiliate link in my review of the 67 steps program which has been paying off well and have gotten 2 large donations as well.
> Spend <60€/week on average (94€/week total)
I’m being very careful to not let my expenses rise when my income does. But I do want to afford myself a certain baseline of high quality supplements (omega 3 is expensive), food (steak instead of ground beef) and allow regular book purchases (about 1 book each 14 days). I don’t think that’s excessive and the problem is likewise not the fact I’m wasteful of money but that I don’t fucking earn enough.
Purchases that can be labeled as eccentric though the last three month could be 66,5€ for a blood and stool analysis, 100€ for a pair of dress shoes and 90€ worth of supplements. I also think 60€/week is unrealistic since I pay for most (75%) of my expenses myself (food, books, supplements, gym, phone, transportation, business, …) – going to up this threshold to 80€
– Finish the cooking-book and lauch it for my internship
– Finish presentation & blogposts for school
– Reach 350 hours for internship
– Have my thesis completed w videocourse
– Have my product portfolio completed
– Have my extra-curriculum map completed
School has been a HUGE time sink for me that has kept me of my real priorities (biggest frustration). I’ve written and finished a 50 page cookbook for my final internship, worked 350h for free, created a portfolio site, written a 20k word thesis accompanied by a video-course on healthy eating. The list of useless tasks is almost endless. That said, I’ve prioritized my sleep and life-balance over making utterly useless deadlines for school and will just graduate in September now. Everything is done – just need to collect the stupid piece of paper.
> LAND IT JOB
– Apply to 4 different companies a la charlie hoehn (did 3)
My diploma isn’t going to provide me with a job, that’s already very clear. Heck – I’m at least three years behind people who have learned actual marketable skills (*gasps*). Again, no use in complaining, just learn from your mistakes and redirect course. So I’ve tried building up my skills and portfolio (further) whilst applying to different companies in the way Charlie Hoehn proposed in his video “The New Way To Work”. I have a meeting next week, we’ll see. I feel very unprepared for “real life” though.
I’ve had positive cashflow the last three months and have made some considerable money in different ways despite time constraints. This has (partially) allowed me more freedom of time despite the huge time sinks of school. I still need to focus double on getting more clients for truetech and improving my skills/portfolio to get hired for a job that has some actual future potential. Eventually I aim to get hired as a developer and move to Antwerp in Belgium.
Although I am A LOT better than in the beginning. I still feel like an armless, legless, drooling retard on a consistent daily basis when I’m in front of my keyboard and heavily doubt if my learning speed (which I think is slow – can’t really compare it with others) is an indicator that programming isn‘t for me/one of my strenghts. But I’ve made the decision and therefore aim to stick to it. People waste so much time chasing passion/purpose/pussy that they NEVER build up any real marketable skills. Good quote my Mikael Syding;
I have A LOT of ideas for experiments but currently am mainly focusing on redesigning/rebranding TrueTech (my company) so I can start implementing them. My current website is hideous and needs dramatic updating. Here’s what the new design currently looks like (full screen is best). Needs tweaking still.
> Do 4 meetups/events (1)
Did 1 networking/job event the last three months. Was a cool experience but didn’t really get anything out of it (very few people where there, since there was something much bigger in a nearby city). Isn’t much of a priority either.
I have a tendency to neglect my social life and therefore enforce it with habits/processes and routines. For example, when I’m reviewing my week I ask myself the question; “What new opportunities can I schedule to make new friends/deepen others?/What invites am I turning down?/ Am I being an asocial fucktard OR NOT-PRIORITIZING my social life?” accompanied by a even more endearing quote;
Past experiences cloud your judgment on the value of people and therefore unskilled social people rarely know what they are missing. If you spend a lot of time alone and most of your social interactions are fleeting and superficial that WILL form your reality-detached view based on false perceptions. If you see everyone as shallow or incompetent, the problem is NOT them but YOU. If it’s a case of the whole world being fucked up or you being fucked up, it’s mostly just you; You won’t see the effect until you are in your later 20’s and more lonely than ever. It will be an uphill battle to have meaningful relationships for the rest of your life. As people get older, they become busier with their life and more selective with their friends.
I believe anything that does not come naturally and adds tremendously to life quality (like having friends to share life with) should be an enforced habit or procedurized system. Hence why I remind myself of my own stupidity on a regular basis – which is very necessary, Will be prioritizing this again next quarter.
No women though; No dating – no approaches – no nothing. I believe it’s a time-sink for now.
Satisfaction: 8/10 (still not dissatisfied though)
No goals set
Haven’t been focusing on things that excite me/make me feel fulfilled and just plainly on finishing school and channeling my frustration towards improving my life (mainly marketable skills). Still went camping in the woods with Michael, great experience. We picked a random forest, grabbed a tent and some food and just went camping – awesome stuff.
I’m also planning a trip to Prague in two weeks (which I’m really looking forward to!) – last year we went to France, which was the biggest highlight of my year.
I also would like to write more. Life is incredibly vast and interesting and I WOULD LOVE to learn about history, deeper workings of technology, travel a bit whilst doing remote work but I simply can’t afford (figuratively in time) making writing a priority. Marketable skills (aka a real career) is more important atm. Currently I’m just writing a bit on sunday (my “off-days”) simply because I
like love doing it.
It’s tuesday at the time of writing though, should be at the gym right now :/.
Also have several good ideas I want to work out (all working titles offcourse)
- X number of tips for increasing focus & optimizing productivity (just a list with a shitload of ideas to have more output)
- The top essential life skills to learn to bridge the gap between school and real life
- The optimal way to learn any skill
- How to select, read and summarize books to increase understanding and get the highest ROI
- How I organize my life for optimal output
- How to systematize life to minimize willpower depletion
Learned some lessons (or just things I believe/quotes I picked up and found interesting). Probably stole a bunch of them without keeping the source/person who said it – not my intention :/. So here’s a discretionary note: credits go to the person who thought them first! Probably Ludvig is included somewhere
- Travel is uniquely for comfort-zone destruction and highlight creation (memorabe life experiences expand life). Don’t just sit there and do nothing when on vacation, do the difficult/uncomfortable stuff. That’s the whole fucking point of going
- It’s extremely easy to say that you should follow your passion/don’t pursue money when your life is in order and all bills are paid for.
- I’d rather die by work exertion than anything in this world. When I die, the candle shall be burnt on both edges, mental reserves thoroughly exhausted. And then still it will not have been enough.
- When wondering how people will respond to something –> Ask yourself: What would I like from other people/what makes sense?
- Bonding with people is a prerequisite for making a lot of money
- Make clients instead of customers (client = someone under the guidance, cure and protection of an expert, customer = someone who buys a product/service.)
- Most people spend more time planning a vacation than planning their life –> Unbelievably how true this is.
- If you want something out of life you AGGRESSIVELY execute on it; If you’re not naturally inclined, you FORCE yourself with procedures/routines.
- “Your job whether in business or personal life is to set up systems, procedures and training that form a machine which produces what you want”
- Don’t be cautious of the guy who’s read 1000+ book summaries. I’d take the guy who has deeply studied a good 100 books over that. What are the critical few skills (“kicks”) in life that’ll get the most bang for your buck?
- Reading the great thoughts of history, you will soon find yourself amongst their ranks
- Deliberate, scheduled and CONSTANT repetition of KEY information is crucial to improvement.
- “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and a few to be chewed and digested.” & Most to be puked out directly. Speed reading is for getting a taste of books only – Not for practical implementation OR committing the information to memory.
- The most important factor for willpower and energy is sleep.
- Success in any area of your life can be reduced to a simple checklist
- Technology will replace more jobs than it’ll create – especially for lower skilled people
- Lower grade education fosters lower grade people. You become your environment
- “How we spend our time says so much more about who we are than does how we spend our money.”
- The things that get your fired will be the same that will result in your greatest lifetime achievements
- Trend: the middle class is slowly being demoted or fired. Companies increasingly don’t want to deal anymore with having employees and everyone should recreate themselves in a 4HWW kinda-way. The hybrid workforce (freelance contractors) will force people to work for themselves.
- Being wordclass at something is possible within 1year!
- People who have had an early good start (< age 21), have had a more positive environment.
- Great people NEVER talk about the self-defined constraints of their personality/life. they are ALWAYS solution oriented.
- So much of getting results in life is defined by your attitude. Always be solution oriented and condition yourself for greatness. (on the brainwashing tape)
- Don’t ever apologize for claiming someone’s time. Like yours is worthless.
- Selling = trust + respect which translates in influence (social skills + expertise).
- The point of getting rich is to gradually eliminate every negative aspect of your life. Making more money is more important than spending less.
- It’s better to make a bad decision out of action than a bad one out of inaction. Always do something even if it’s the wrong thing.
- Be a witness instead of a judge (on judging people/being judgmental)
- Ask intelligent people on what they disagree & need : health, wealth, love
- Not having a virtual assistant is a lifestyle limiter
- Use parkinons’ law to reduce worktime (which forces you to do the essential) & paretos law to limit tasks to the important (so you work less)
- There’s a general consensus that at least 8 hours a day should be spent on income generation, which is absurd.
- Most people aren’t happy for your success, so fly low on the radar. (in response to this I’ll probably put less personal information out on the internet than I do now)
- Have an extremely low (no) tolerance of opinions not backed by success
- Nobody hires you unless they realize they can make a profit of you
- The unrealistic is more achievable than the realistic, there’s less competiton for BIG goals
- Best job: the one that takes the least amount of time and generates the most amount of money so you can focus on things you actually care about.
- You can’t force friendships. Some come and go based on where life takes them.
- Everyone wants, nobody does.
- Social welfare isn’t just. People who want to expand the social welfare system so the rich support the poor have no rational arguments for that (increasing tax on the extremely rich). Helping dependent people who should be able to overcome a situation themselves only weakens them + it’s no-one’s responsibility or “moral duty” to live in function of someone else.
- The upcoming decade will be the clash of the most comfortably raised generation with the hardest career struggle in history. (unsure of this statement – still needs validation)
- The most difficult part in investing is the psychology behind it. Having real money at stake and suffering losses and how you deal with those is the tuition price you pay.
- We all have an edginess to our personality which makes us psychopaths
- We’re in a period of life where consumers are incredibly spoiled & least likely to spend money
- Nothing is really free. Companies that employ free strategies are simply transferring cost and value to different parts of the value chain – or to a different time in the revenue cycle. (OR plain stupid & ruining the business/industry by inaccurately estimating the former two? – own addition)
- If you’re selling a product/service, always have a “how it works” video above the fold on the homepage. Peoples’ attention span = 0.
- “That I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
- Keep yourself surrounded with people on a similar mission, even if they are just virtual mentors. (on podcasts & books)
- There’s relatively little that others can/will do for you that makes a significant impact on your life quality.
- Most people do better on lower carbs and higher fat (<30% carbs & +-50% fat)
- We don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. The extreme variety of different experience creates new perspective. Broadens the mind
- Some diets are aching to religion – not questioning given answers instead of looking for them yourself.
Wow – guess I DO still know how to write after all this time eh?
Hope you liked it, found something useful and your life is going well too! I’m not available through email anymore though, your best bet for getting an answer is sending me a 1 question tweet to @basicgrowth.
Yes, I’m incredibly anally retentive and asocial and whatever.
But I’m happy about that 🙃 Here’s a last thought I want to leave you with;
Hard work isn’t rewarded, smart work is. There is a huge cultural admiration for hard work and being busy; I believe that’s ungrounded and plain stupid. There is 0 value in doing something the hard way. The economy solely rewards high quality output at the highest possible speed. There are no checks being handed out for cutting your lawn with scissors when you could be using a machine. Leave the socially conformed mindset of artificial busyness, email compulsion and social media posturing and get some real work done.
+ a call to action – ask yourself:
- What do I want ?
- What is true? / What is working
- What needs to be done?
All-right – off to the gym I go now.
Hi-ho Silver awaaaay. 🐎