“Insert fancy, perceptive quote about life” – Some Smart Dude
A lot of time passed, a lot of choices made. Let’s see where Simon is going with his life eh?
Fun-fun times ahead!
Every three months, Simon (that’s me) does this weird kind of reviews where he shares way to many personal information about his life on the internet.
Why? – You may ask.
Simon is wired to think that doing this will help him reflect on his life quality and make more accurate judgments for where he wants to take his life into the future. By taking on a (kinda) objective perspective – he can adjust his “maps” of reality.
Likewise he’s able to get (hopefully) constructive feedback from the cool people reading his blog (that’s you). This way we can all define more narrowly what’s awesome in life and what sucks balls to make some sense out of this chaos.
Besides this blog is my life – I’m not holding anything back. I’ve been to inhibited in the past and therefore this might be a (positive) (over)reaction to that phase. Besides, if I do this i’ll also have a cool trackback-record of my life when I eventually reach the life quality I want.
I’ve also become pretty comfortable talking about my failures and successes as I’ve realized they don’t define me and that weaknesses can be fixed if I simply work on them. I really only truly value the perception I have of myself (or at least I know I should) and refuse to let my self-image be defined by prejudices of people who don’t even know me.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
I’ve updated my “areas of life” template to only include 4 main areas to improve in life and an “energy” section that contains activities which replenish or excite me like writing, watching movies, vacations, … . Compartmentalizing my life makes it easier to structure my goals and activities and review them.
Anyway, it makes sense in my head. It’s my “mental map” that I use to navigate my life
Fancy color code, you know the drill by now;
Something something something.
– I’ll easily meditate 20 mins a day (guided) with a meditation quality (subjective scale) of 3/5
I’ve been doing Holosync for the last couple of months which helps me to get into a meditative zone for about 20mins a day in the morning. Although I haven’t been really that convinced that it actually works. It does make me feel really calm and helps to empty my head. Which – suprisingly – isn’t actually that easy. My average meditation quality (measurement is subjective though) was around 3.1. Here’s a video of me – staring at a wall for 20 minutes. Be sure to watch the full video and take copious notes!
That’s a joke.
– I’ll easily implement audio visualization in my mornings.
I have made an affirmation tape that goes over my personal mission statement. In 5 minutes of listening I can re-direct my behavior into that of the person I’d like to become. Like Stephen Covey stated before: An effective life is the ongoing process of keeping you vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with those every single day”. In day to day life it’s easy to lose track of what you find important – to get stuck in the “thick and thin of things”. An audio session like this can “reset” you for the desired behavior imo. I’m not going to include the audio version as it’s a bit too emotionally charged but here’s the basic text version of my personal mission statement.
– I’ll easily do a consistent morning ritual at 6:30 and evening ritual at 20:00 with a “mood rating” > 3.
To get to 100% consistency is nearly impossible. I can’t get it right every single day since there’s always some variables that are not under my control (work that needs to be finished, deep conversations, resistance, …). I have about 85% consistency at this point – I want at least 90-95%.
- MR: Wake up > Stretching > Drink Water (750ml) > Cold Shower > Audio Visualization (7 mins) > Gratitude + Priority Check > Meditation (20 mins) > Juicing (15 mins) > Reading (1h)
It’s basically one big-ass habit chain that lasts from 6:35 to 9:00. It continuously sets me up for a great day. I do something similar in the evening (only shorter). Which goes as follows;
- ER: Cleaning > Dual N’Back > Journaling + Plan Next Day > Gratitude
Also, I’m tracking my mood throughout the day by using a “mood scale” that judges your mood based on pleasurable emotions vs activation level (see picture). I average out on a positive 3.4 – which means I’m doing good.
I’ll easily review my essentials twice/week (instead of reading)Once a week I review all the essential information I’ve gathered in my OneNote archive and review this so it stays fresh in my head. Things like; how to deal with common emotions, review of books I’ve read, review of programming info I’ve learned and so on. I’ve decided to reduce this to one time a week (but make this review-time bit longer). It also allows me to explain basic concepts clearly when the time calls for it and strengthens synapses I find important.
– I’ll easily try a dual ‘n back trial (1 week)
My working (short-term) memory sucks balls. I’m terrible with names, recent experiences or where I left items. I even have to check my journal to see what I did in my week when somebody asks me – I’m that forgetful (And I also believe it can be contributed to my more inward focus on ideas than on external events). But this sometimes gives people the (wrong?) impression I’m not interested in their life and therfore I’ve decided to do a brain training program where I can easily improve this part of my brain so my capacity to remember this kind of stuff increases. I’ve decided to turn this 1 week experiment into a daily habit.
– I’ll easily have read; Flow, The Power Of Now, Meditations
Books books books, you know what I like about books?
They allow us to “sharpen” the mental “maps” we have of reality. Giving us better guidance on how we can improve our life quality.
I’m thinking of coding a searchable archive on my website to share all the books I’ve read and the summaries I’ve made of them. Sounds like a challenging project!
Note: If you decide to read meditations by Marcus Aurelius, get the recent (simplified) version in print. The understandable version. The old version is really difficult to read.
I’m feeling remarkably clear lately. I think my chain of habits in the morning and evening really contributes a lot to my mental clarity and calmness. I’m not looking to change anything soon.
I’m not convinced the dual n-back training is making much of a difference but the science is there to back it up so I don’t see any reason to stop this. At the moment I’m doing only 5 sessions a day – yet I’m making good progress. I might bump this up to 7.
Also, I’m tracking a lot of metrics (which I believe is essential to objectively measure your progress) but I’m still not completely sure what’s relevant and what isn’t. I’m probably tracking useless stuff or I’m not tracking something that could help me out a lot. I simply try it out and see what’s relevant. Here’s all the stuff I track atm.
“What gets measured gets improved” – Another Very Smart Dude
– I’ll easily train 3/week (timed rest & progressive overload)
I’m reducing my amount of workouts/week to 3, so I can focus more on other priorities (like programming). I haven’t always done 3 training’s a week though. The last three months I’ve missed 6 training session. The last three weeks I’m doing an adaptation on the “Body By Science/Big Five” training plan (I don’t really like it since it doesn’t feel like you’re actually working out. Will switch soon to something like Starting Strength by Rippetoe. Since my blog is running low on half-nude pics of myself, here’s a physique update. 80.9kg, +-10% body fat, cold.
Aah – much better!
– I’ll eat an idealized, standardized meal-plan with a caloric surplus (brain shake morning/juicing) + cook in bulk on monday.
I’ve switched over to a paleolithic/ketogenic diet and my energy levels have been increasingly better. I don’t think I’m going to change much the coming weeks, I’d even dare saying it’s ideal at this point
Here’s a video of the things I eat in an average day;
-I’ll easily sleep from 23 to 6:30 (7:30 on average)
I’ve been around 7.7 hours of sleep each day/week on average. Which is awesome. It’s simply impossible to neglect recovery/sleep on a “heavy” mental and physical training regimen. I have averaged out about 2 powernaps each day/week which is too high in my opinion. However – the last four weeks I’ve averaged out at 0.8 naps/day each week. Which I contribute to my (new) energy/fat-shake in the morning.
– I’ll easily have tried modafinil (1 week),
L-theanine & caffein (1 week), bulletproof coffee (1 week) (Cognitive Stimulants Test)
I couldn’t get my hands on modafinil/provigil (until recently) and therefore have bought adrafinil first (which is bascially a slower version). So far, I haven’t noticed much effect on 300mg. Will try double dose soon. I have actually been able to get a prescription from my doctor for modafinil/provigil
but still have to go pick it up. I’ve picked it up today – haven’t tested though.
– I’ll easily do a morning juicing
Say what you want, but this thing boosts your energy levels like (insert foul-mouthed explicative of your choice) (if you’re fat-adapted). I give it a -5 for looks and a nice, 6.5 for taste. When I’m really hungry, it’s definitely a 7 and tastes like a chocolate milkshake… with a lot of chunks … and less creamy… . “Still good though” – Pain Avoiding Denial Bias
– I’ll easily do a morning fast from 21 to 15 until 15/08
I’ve been doing a four week morning fast experiment from 21 (9pm) to 15 (3pm) until 15/08 since I liked the mental and physical benefits Ludvig described on his blog. I haven’t noticed tremendous changes in my mental clarity/focus but I did drop some weight fast (about 3kg). I’ve decided to call it quits instead of turning it into a habit since imo the sacrifice isn’t worth the benefit. I recommend doing an energy/fat shake in the morning instead of a daily fast. A well-nourished brain functions better than a fasting one from my experience. I still fast a full day every Sunday.
– I’ll easily do a scrub & bleech each Wednesday
To keep me clean and spring I’ve been doing these weird scrubs on my face and brush my teeth with lemon juice & baking soda. This keeps me looking damn fine.. which is sweet. And I’ve – weird enough – been pretty consistent on it. Them details.
– I’ll easily have read; Wheat belly, body by science, Keto clarity
Haven’t made that much time for the “health-oriented” books as I’m doing just fine in the health department. Less ROI, so I put less time and energy into it. Optimize > Maximize.
– I’ll easily have checked my blood results
They turned out to be great overall although my ureum levels are too high (kidney indicator), which are most likely caused by an over-consumption of protein. I also believe my testosterone was too low imo (total testosterone = 555ng/dL). That’s below average for my age group. I’d like to be in the 800-1000 range. I might implement a dish of liver once a week. I also blame my sexual inactivity and the no-fap partially for this. For people who want to check, here they are. After 6 months on a high-fat, low carb diet I’m still thriving. I’ll retest my results beginning next year (each 3 months)
There a lot of science behind a low carbohydrate, high fat diet for weight loss AND health. I’m not looking to switch back ever.
I think it sucks that my free test levels aren’t up to par. I’m putting a lot of time, energy and money to improve my health markers and yet this (important) marker isn’t where it should be. I’ll dive deeper into this in the future and hope I’ll improved it by January.
My diet is looking ideal – as long as the budget can take it (+-60€/week) I’ll keep doing it. Yet I’ll have to build up a source of income to support it. My energy levels (especially my mornings) have improved noticeable after introducing the fat shake.
I’m looking to gain weight again until summer 2016 – I’ve put my eyes unto improving chest (weakest area) and arm size. No further adjustments are needed for now.
– I’ll easily meet-up once a week with Michael & Nicolas (openness/engagement)
I only missed two weeks where I didn’t see both of them the last three months. I see this as an important priority on my list of goals.
– I’ll easily approach at least 5 attractive girls/week (Wednesday)
I’ve been getting a lot more comfortable in doing this and have been constantly approaching about/more than 5 the last 4 weeks. I do this twice a week – for an hour and a half. I still want to improve my skills with women as I’ve always realized I’m a very logical guy and therefore have some difficulty building up a solid, emotional connection. Sometimes I feel like a stalker, sometimes I feel awkward – but I’m ok with that. At least It’ll create a time in the future where I’ll have the comfort to approach an attractive girl without being stifled and interact with her like a normal human being. I’ve gotten 9 numbers, 8 facebooks, 1 date, 1 kiss, 0 sex the last three months. Inanimate objects are looking increasingly attractive lately.
– I’ll easily do one board-game/social meet-up a week
I haven’t been doing this really consistently but I really end up enjoying it a lot. The boardgames allow me to escape into fantasy like I used to do with video games whilst still improving my social skills. This is a great combination. Games like Terra Mystica, Hyperborea, smallworlds. Some degree of escapism is necessary from time to time. I think everyone should have some type of social hobby (especially if you’re more introverted like me) I’ve learned that withdrawal from social interactions is to deny your inadequacy in social skills. I’m also looking for other meetups like writing meet-ups, coding meet-ups, entrepreneur meet-ups, new friends… .
– I’ll easily have read;
Emotional Intelligence 2.0, The Female Brain, Models, The Red Queen
The social stuff is probably still my biggest working point but I’ve seen some great improvements in comfort within large crowds and especially in approaching and talking to women the last three months. I’ve even made a sort of “mental model” that I use – A cheat sheet as you will. I hate random encounters so I’ve prepared some “back-pocket” questions that can serve in these things and some reminders I want to stay aware of (as recommended by Emotional Intelligence 2.0). I pretty much hate small talk and this will help me bridge the gap between the crap and the actually important stuff and keep me engaged in convo. As so;
> I’ll easily have coded my own website
I haven’t really made this a priority. I’ve replaced this by making a sort of platform on my website where I can easily share the projects I’m working on. Which isn’t really a full-breadth website but kind of just like a bunch of static pages linked together.
> I’ll easily have started SportMeats.com and will be making 1000€/month. Meet once a week to work on this.
I’ve continued to work on this but at the moment we’re on hold because we need to get the business number and we haven’t gotten the required certificates yet. So I’ve planned in a business course (October) where I’ll get the certificate in a short amount of time so I’m able to pick up the business again.
> I’ll easily start one, skill-based sidejob/week (programming/personal training/social skill) in which I make 80€/day (at least)
I have applied to several different jobs and more than 8 job offices and done some odd assignments to get my food to a satisfactory level but I can’t really say that it had much effect. In each of the jobs I’ve compeleted I was completely expendable and I’m guessing a lot of my future will look like that if I remain to be unskilled. Here’s me destroying alcohol that was tapped in wrong quantities. In some way I’m still providing humanity a service.
I can’t keep doing jobs like this. Building up relevant skills is essential.
> I’ll easily be at 60% of ODIN.
HTML, CSS, Jquery, JS, Ruby, Rspec, SQL, PHP
Programming is really sweet as I’ve been getting more and more competent at it. I still believe in the notion that we become passionate about the stuff we invest a lot of time and energy into. Chasing passion is just a worthless pursuit. Here’s some more projects I’ve finished/updated for example;
> I’ll easily have built my own coding platform with all my projects
On this platform I’ll be able to share the cool projects I’m working on and display (maybe) to future employees how I awesome I am at programming. I eventually intend to move this to another domain – separated from the blog. Click the picture below to go to my nerd cave!
> I’ll easily have read;
Linchpin, HTML &CSS
I’m glad I’ve found a skill which feels good for me and am able to see some clear progress on. It’ll give me the financial support necessary to provide for myself when I graduate in July next year. I’ve realized by analyzing my strenghts and personality that I need a creative, individual, analytic and challenging job to thrive in. Programming fits the bill perfectly for this.
Does it feel “right” all the time? Fuck no. And it shouldn’t either. The only way to get some real results out of anything in life is by using the following steps;
- What Do I Want Out Of Life?
- What Is True? (What are the “universal truths” underlying result x?)
- What Needs To Be Done?
- Stick To It – Set A Clear End
- Refine & Adjust
Secondly I’ll learn essential skills of running my own business by setting up and managing SportMeats when I get finished with the required formalities. An experience unmatched – especially early in life.
Yet – money is only a means to and end. It’s necessary to give you a breadth of time and depth of possibilities to be invested in activities you actually care about. I think I would be a great movie director and see it as an ideal platform to express my ideas.
> I’ll easily have taken the trip to France with M & N
This was easily the highlight of my year. The first time I’ve ever done a vacation with friends. It’s a memory worth cherishing as cliché as it sounds.
> I’ll easily fast and overeat (skip breakfast & bbq)
I did a challenge where I fasted (shortly) from 18h in the evening until a BBQ for school – Was funfun times :). I had 5 plates full of food. Love bulking season.
– I’ll easily take sunday off and watch a movie on saturday evening.
Consistency is important – but so is leisure. Therefore I regularly schedule in a period of relaxation where I rent a good movie on saturday, take a warm shower on sunday and sleep a bit longer to catch up on some sleep (10-11).
I haven’t really needed much variety/replenishing since I’ve started to like my life quality more the last couple of months. I’m a lot more aligned with the things I truly want to do and have the feeling my life is going in the right direction at least 85% of the time :). I think this has overall improved my outlook on life.
Most of my excitement I’ve also put under social goals. Like playing board games, approaching women and doing new meetups with interesting people. Energy and social have been overlapping a bit the last three months.
I’ve planned nothing extraordinary the next three months – maybe I should..
I can’t understand how unstructured people can possibly get anything done in their life. I’d say in a world of chaos and change (especially the one we live in now) it’s impossible to navigate efficiently through life without some sort of “anchor points” or mental maps you can use to make sense of this world. I’m fortunate my brain is good at providing that for me.
Anyway, over the last three months I’ve also picked up some valuable lessons;
- Have one marketable skill that will forever serve you in hard times. Only take employment when you want to learn about an industry and build up a skill whilst getting paid.
- Trust is earned through integrity. Respect is commanded by your character.
- Only the disciplined are truly free – Restriction creates the long-term benefits that require short-term sacrifices and the contrast to appreciate the freedom .
- Everyone struggles with same things. Everyone wants the same. We are all more similar than we are different from each other.
- Helping dependent people reduces their capacity to help themselves, therefore weakening them
- Stop wasting willpower on overcoming resistance – Reset the body, so it will stop resisting
- You never regret getting the best/most expensive option of something.
- Withdrawal from social interactions is used to deny your social inadequacy – Refraining further is only damaging
- Proving people wrong is useless unless it affects your life quality or the ones you love. Seek for truth when it matters – not proving others wrong , especially on trivial shit.
- The more positive social references in your youth, the more comfort you have as you get older. If you lost your virginity before 15, you’ll always be comfortable around women. The later, the more difficult.
- Some degree of escapism is necessary, even mandatory to cope with the harsh dealings of life yet the dose makes the poison.
- Purpose like love, freedom, peace are illusions of the mind to use as an excuse to justify our pointless survival (& reproduction). Humans are too bound by instinct to enter the transcendental plane of machines and too rational to be happy by living purely animalistic. Deeply understand human nature by reading evolutionary/standard psychology.
- If you feel negative emotions – listen, life is teaching.
- Fear and insecurity are necessary as they allow us to adapt, improve and survive. Our endless pursuit for happiness is natures cruel way to keep us surviving, adapting and procreating.
- The knowledge necessary for each generation will become bigger as time passes (more base knowledge needed in each industry in accelerating times).
- The pain of breakup is worth the highs of love. It’s better to feel pain now than never have felt love at all.
- Who are you to say what is “right living?”
- Art = mastery. By making art, it means you’re so good at a certain skill that you can perform effortlessly at the highest level.
- We all want people to like us, we all want to impress, we all need some validation, It’s impossible to be perfect 100% of the time.
- Take ownership for the life you’ve created and the way you deal with your setbacks – you’ve chosen every part of it.
I’m – for the first time in a long time – contented with the progress I’m seeing. The gratitude, meditating and new variety of social activities have made me appreciate my life a lot more. I see it less as a “burden” I need to carry like I used to do before.
Until recently I’ve always seen video games as the better option. In contrast nothing could top beating dragons, upgrading colossal cities, casting magical spells and the like. I’m glad I’m switching over to perceiving life as a challenge worth living instead a challenge needed to endure. “The highs are worth the lows – right?”
Also: You know those “normal” people who say the best years of your life are the ones in college?
They are wrong.
Don’t be normal. Ask;
- What Do I Want Out Of Life?
- What Is True? (What are the “universal truths” underlying result x?)
- What Needs To Be Done?
- Stick To It – Set A Clear End
- Refine & Adjust
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading this article, if you found it helpful, be sure to share it around. If you’re having anymore questions or thoughts on this article be sure to share them with me in the comment section below.
Take care & stay strong