August 2, 2020 Future Present

Living In The Future

Life sucks right now, but in the future it won’t. That’s what I used to tell myself. I built up a habit of living in the future. The future, where everything is perfect.

I’ll have what I want in the future, I’ll be happy in the future.

This was the mistake I’ve been making for the past year. Life is too short to live in the future. Life is too short to justify being unhappy in the present.

August 1, 2020 Books Reading

Books Are Good If They Are Relatable

After reading many of my friends book recommendations, I realized that the books I loved had one common trait. They were relatable.

If a book is relatable it is actionable.

July 26, 2020 Social Media

Regulating Social Media

Social Media is addicting. To the point where it became a huge cause of anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction. I have used the following four rules keep social media use minimal, and mitigate it’s negative effects.

Every Social Media Must Serve A Purpose

This is a facet of Digital Minimalism. The following chart is my digital media reflection:

Digital Reflection

Do Not Have Social Media Apps Installed.

This one is self explanatory. Having the apps installed make social media too accessible. Use the web version and delete cookies after each session to have to login again to check the app.

Use Website Blockers During the Day

I use Self Control on my Mac to block all distracting websites from being accessed during the day. I also ensure my phone is in a different room.

Get Chrome Extensions That Filter Feeds

July 25, 2020 Books

Atomic Habits Summary

Here are all of my highlights from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.

  • To often we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action.
  • That said, it doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path towards success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.
  • Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.
  • In any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes are delayed.
  • Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment.
  • You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.
  • Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
  • Make your habits so easy that you’ll do them even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis. You have to standardize before you can optimize.
  • It’s better to do less than you hoped than nothing at all.
  • Build habits that work for your personality.
  • In many cases, when people pick the wrong habit, it simply means they picked a habit that was too difficult.
  • If you have a lot of time—like someone at the beginning of their career—it makes more sense to explore because once you find the right thing, you still have a good amount of time to exploit it.
  • At some point, it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training everyday, doing the same things over and over and over.
July 19, 2020 Books Strategy

The War Within

The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene outlines the personal strategies that history’s greatest generals have used to overcome The War Within.

  1. Identify Your Enemies
    Life is endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction. [1]

  2. Do Not Repeat The Same Methods
    What most often weighs you down and brings you misery is the past. You must consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. Wage guerrilla war on your mind, allowing no static lines of defense–make everything fluid and mobile. [1]

  3. Be Present.
    In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose its balance. It is vital to keep your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield. [1]

  4. Act With Urgency.
    You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter unknown territory. Place yourself on death ground, where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive. [1]

Notes

[1] These summaries are excerpts from the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

July 15, 2020 Creativity

Perfection is Not Real

Perfection is not real. Subconsciously though, I believed it was. School teaches that there is a perfect way to do things. That you can get 100% on a test.

Is there a perfect essay? Or a perfect book? Is there a perfect piece of software? Or a perfect house? Is there a perfect life?

Paul Kalanithi highlights the concept of perfection well.

You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving” - Paul Kalanithi

July 10, 2020 Career Jobs Thoughts

The Modern Job Market

The modern job market is akin to the modern NBA. In the NBA, the players have the power. The players who hone their skills and strive for impact have the most mobility. Players don’t spend all of their careers at one team. They go where they see fit.

Schools teaches us that good jobs are scarce. They teach us that jobs are extremely hard to get.

The truth is, good talent is scarce.

In the startup world, it is known that users rarely know the solution to their problem. Users aren’t responsible for creating features, they are needed to clarify the problem.

The same thing applies to the modern job market. Employers don’t know what the perfect candidate is. They only know what a team is lacking, and problems that need to be solved.

June 30, 2020 University Computer Science Students

Build Side Projects They Said

Build side projects. That is the general advice given to students who need to improve their resume.

Side projects are boring. No, I don’t want to build a website that displays the weather. I don’t care about a to-do list app. I don’t care about working with the Star Wars or Pokemon API. I don’t want to make an Instagram clone.

I don’t care about side projects.

But I avoided that facing that reality. I lied to myself. I wanted to be a competitive applicant so I had to like side projects.

People should be told to build products.

Building products is exciting. They have utility. They have purpose. If you find computer science side projects boring, switch your thinking.

Don’t build side projects. Build products.

A conversation with Jaden Banson inspired me to write this.

June 24, 2020 Mindfulness Present Decision Regret

The Present Tense: Overcoming Regret with Mindfulness

Mindfulness has become the new trend. It’s been marketed as the solution to almost everything. Headspace, 10% Happier, Waking Up, Calm, and other mediation apps are soaring in popularity. Thinkers like John Kabat-Zinn, Sam Harris, Dan Harris, and Andy Puddicombe have built an audience around the topic. Tim Ferriss, Naval Ravikant, and other gurus” advocate for it.

My intital thoughts on mindfulness were iffy. I realized quickly that it wasn’t the solution to everything. I tried to make mediation a habit, however back then I saw it as a task. Something I needed to complete.

I meditated for 10 mins today. Perfect, that’s off my to-do list.”

The Solution I Wasn’t Looking For

Lately, I’ve been dwelling on the past. The mistakes I’ve made. The what ifs I have. If only I knew back then what I know now.”

That kind of thinking is the root of the problem. Not being present.

We are listening to our own thoughts, reacting to things that happened in the past, applying theories and ideas that we digested long ago but that have nothing to do with our predicament in the present.” - The 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene

No amount of thinking in advance can prepare me for the chaos of life. The only thing that I can do is work with what I have, become a supreme opportunist, and live in the present tense.

June 23, 2020 Moment Decision

The End of My Daily Blog (for now)

I realized that I have other priorities in my life.

As a result, I will be pausing my daily blog. I will still write, but only when I have things that are important to share. Or just when I feel like it.

I want to focus more on long form writing, particularly essays. So stay tuned.


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