Daily Interests

october 20th, 2017

I have a hard time expressing enthusiasm about my coaching to people. I have this belief that people don’t actually care about what I do. Not everybody. There are a few people who are genuinely interested in soccer and coaching and I can have quality conversations with them. But whenever I’m with friends and my coaching comes up, I tend to just clam up. I say a few sentences about it and change the subject, because I’m afraid that I’ll get carried away talking about something that I really enjoy and they’ll just be sitting there bored and uninterested, and being able to get a word in otherwise. I suppose that’s just an assumption I have and I need to test that.

october 19th, 2017

I’ve been reading Pep Confidential for the past week. It’s about arguably the best soccer coach in this generation. It’s fun to pick up small little things and try to apply them to my own coaching. I think reading any sort of biographical text can be very informational and entertaining.

october 18th, 2017

Here’s my problem with TV shows like Game of Thrones. They’re such a huge time commitment. I don’t really want to invest hours upon hours of my time just to get where everybody else is and not have a conclusion. Right now, I have no plans on watching the show. I watched the first five seasons or so but I really don’t want to put in any more time. It’s the same with Weeds which I talked about a few days ago. I thought it was just two or three seasons which I was fine with. It turns out that it’s 9 seasons. I don’t want to watch nine seasons of a television show. What’s wrong with like one or two? It’s the same with sequels for movies. Just because people want something doesn’t mean you should make it. The nuclear bomb is a perfect example of this. (Actually that is a very complicated issue but hopefully you get my point. Stop while things are good and you’re on top. Keep it golden as opposed to squeezing all the magic out of it.)

october 17th, 2017

I found out I could buy a dozen cookies for two dollars (plus tax) at Wal-Mart. As exciting and awesome as that is, I’m also terrified by what this will mean for my health. I wish I never found out about these cheap, yet tastefully addicting, cookies. To quote Oscar Wilde “I can resist everything except temptation.”

october 16th, 2017

Cell phones are a form as escapism. What was designed to help people talk over long distances is now a way to not talk to somebody over short distances. Cell phones are just a barrier to overcome in the friendship making process. I try (but often fail) to only use my phone when I need to. When I was in college I would sit there before class, reviewing my notes, looking around the room, or doing whatever as long as it didn’t involve my phone. I made myself available to conversing with other students sitting around me but they never seemed to notice. Not that I blame them. I have a hard time talking to somebody when I see them with their phone out. Maybe they’re actually doing something important, like drafting an email for a job opportunity, or texting their parent about how they were the ones who accidentally set the dog on fire. They’re probably not doing anything that important but it’s still a tough barrier to overcome.

october 15th, 2017

I read The Talent Code (which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before) but the main thing it discussed was how successful people are formed, or what common elements they have in common. One of the things that these people shared was the loss of a parent at a young age. The hypothesis is that such an event forces the child to learn how valuable life is and that they need to do something with it. The fact that they no longer have a parent to lean on or be supported by forces them to provide for themselves and make their own way. I buy that argument. I think being forced to develop on your own, without having a safety net underneath you, gives you a competitive edge. Because everything you do really does become a do-or-die situation. So whatever you choose to do, you do it 100%. There are billions of dollars poured into developing soccer players worldwide, but the best players still come from the slums. Kids who at a young age determined that soccer would be how they would get out of the ghetto. Chilean soccer star Alexis Sanchez had a childhood that involved his father leaving the family and his mother voluntarily relinquishing custody of Alexis because she couldn’t afford to feed him. Alexis performed on the streets to earn a few coins and had to ask his neighbor’s for money. It’s amazing to think he came from that and is now a prolific soccer player on the international stage.

october 14th, 2017

I have this philosophy where whatever I deem to be the harder of two choices is the choice I need to take. Whenever I hear myself say “I don’t want to…” that immediately becomes a sign that that’s what I need to do. I don’t know if this is a good life philosophy or not (I mean I am kind of homeless so… yeah.. it’s probably not) but it’s certainly fun and challenging. I’m inspired my Jerzy Gregorek’s words “hard decisions, easy life; easy decisions, hard life.”

october 13th, 2017

It’s not enough to just know technical knowledge about a given field. At least not if you want to manage people or become a leader of some sort. I’m going to use coaching as an example because that’s what I have the most experience with, but I’m positive this works across all areas of life.

Being a good coach is not solely dependent about what you know about the game. You have to be able to educate players. You have to be a good teacher. You have to have good methods and present the information in a way that’s digestible. You have to be able to manage personalities, motivate players, connect with individuals, plan sessions out and use time wisely. It’s the difference between being a plumber and running a plumbing company. Surely the owner/manager needs to know about plumbing but there are so many other important skills to have as well. I find that in coaching most people think that as long as they know about the game then they’ll be a good coach. I don’t think that’s true though.

october 12th, 2017

Weeds on Netflix. I’ve put aside about fifty minutes at the end of every day to watch two episodes of this show. I don’t know why I started watching it. All I know is that my brother likes it and that was a good enough recommendation for me. It’s like Breaking Bad but for people in suburbia who don’t actually know that much about drugs.

october 11th, 2017

It’s my mom’s birthday!

october 10th, 2017

Kevin Kelly wrote about having 1,000 true fans. I always thought that meant design a product or a service and find people who really like it. But now I’m beginning to think maybe it’s possible to find 1,000 true fans without doing any of that. With social media like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat it’s possible to gain followers and fans without actually creating a physical product. So that’s something I’m going to be toying around with now.

october 9th, 2017

Today I wrote out the biggest problems in my life. Their the biggest questions that I don’t have the answers to, and then I tried to come up with some. I found it helpful to break things down and take on the most immediate problems first. It gave me some insight into how the answer may be quite simple. I may not have to have a concrete solution for every problem, but I least have a direction to pursue.

october 8th, 2017

Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman is the book I’ve been reading for the last week. It’s the autobiography of super smart physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, won a Nobel Prize, and how he spent his time visiting strip clubs and playing practical jokes on people. Just reinforced my belief that physicists are odd people.

october 7th, 2017

I was thinking about Spider-Man 2 today. Honestly, I can understand why Dr Octopus is so angry. He has 8 limbs. He’s the real Spider Man. Their whole feud was over a trademark dispute.

october 6th, 2017

I’m still trying to identify the link between physical, emotional, and mental states. I don’t think there’s a hierarchy between them. Each ebbs and flows on its own accord, but the key is learning how to use them to strengthen each other when they need it. There are times when I’m mentally and physically capable of writing but emotionally I feel anxious so I don’t. But once I start playing on those strengths by sitting down (physical) and brainstorming what I want to write (physical) then I begin to feel (emotional) like writing. When I get those three things aligned my best work is done.

october 5th, 2017

Something I’ve been experimenting with is positively reinforcing actions as they’re occurring. Not waiting for it to end and then rewarding the behavior, but as it is happening. If the recipient changes behavior and begins to struggle I stop reinforcing it. I give them the opportunity to figure it out, to discover for themselves what works, and then I reinforce their correct decision with positive praise once it happens.

october 4th, 2017

In soccer I’ve begun to look at cues that prompt a certain action. Like goalkeeper secures the ball so centerbacks get wide. Or midfielder turns with the ball so wingers make diagonal runs in behind. There are cues that occur on the soccer field that enact some sort of motion or decision. I think there are the same cues in life. We see something, or hear something, or get stimulated somehow and it cues an instinctual habit. We don’t even realize we’re doing it because it’s second nature. Habits are powerful actors in our lives. Eugene Pauly was a man who lost his short-term memory from a particularly nasty viral infection, but it had no effect on his day-to-day life. He struggled to remember what he did 30 minutes ago but he could take care of himself because his habits were so strong (which is true for all of us). We wake up, we eat breakfast. We walk to the bathroom, we brush our teeth. Now I’m not saying habits are bad, because they’re not. I think removing an element of decision making can actually make our lives simpler (supposedly Einstein wore the same thing every day to save his brain’s energy for more mentally demanding tasks), but I find it helpful to be consciously aware of what cue I’m given and the action it provokes.

october 3rd, 2017

I have this belief that the first ten percent and the last ten percent are the hardest. It’s difficult to get started on something, but once you begin it’s possible to get into the flow. But then, towards the end, when you feel like it’s completed and that it’s good enough, that same feeling hits. Where you just don’t want to do it, because it’s already practically done. Who cares about the last bit? The beginning and the end have always been the hardest parts for me.

October 2nd, 2017

It’s fun watching people’s reactions when you enthusiastically praise a small thing that they did correctly. I find that with all ages, no matter who I’m coaching, a sudden increase in intensity and positive praise increases the desire, fun, and ability of the player that is on the receiving. I think I need to practice the same thing on myself when I’m feeling down.

October 1st, 217

There’s a small story in Ted Orland and David Bayles’s Art and Fear. I copy and pasted it below becomes it sums up so nicely the importance of practice. Beginning anywhere and doing anything is better than the alternative.

“The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely it’s quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one— to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”

september 30th, 2017

I spent way too much time watching soccer games today. In case anyone wants to watch replays of matches check out here.

september 29th, 2017

I posted a picture to my Instagram page today. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written but I think I did a good job conveying the emotions of a tree.

september 28th, 2017

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”

Now I’m sure I’ve used this quote before because it so elegantly sums up one core belief I have. Namely that I need to make the hard decision. Whenever I’m presented with the option of taking the easy way out, I need to do the opposite. Now I’m too young and I lack the experience of knowing whether this quote holds true or not. But I want it too. So bad. Now it’s just a matter of actually making the hard decisions.

september 27th, 2017

Not really a daily interest but this song has been stuck in my head all day.

september 26th, 2017

Karen Pryor wrote that it’s important to have a plan if success is reached quicker than anticipated. I applied that to coaching of course. If a team gets the hang of one skill or concept faster than I thought they would then I have a progression in which they can still practice the same thing but under more challenging circumstances. What I overlooked though, is that the opposite holds true as well. If you plan something out and the first phase of it can’t even be done successfully than it doesn’t matter what you have planned after that. It simply won’t work. So not only do you need to plan for success you need to plan for failure. You need to have a backup plan in case things do not go the way you anticipated right off the bat.

september 25th, 2017

I am now a goalkeeping coach so I’ve been brushing up on exercises to run and the technical details. This has been the best YouTube channel I have found that focuses on said goalkeeping: Pro GK Academy.

september 24th, 2017

I’m reading The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs right now. It’s easy to read and holds my attention. I have yet to find anything enlightening in it but it’s entertaining and I’m learning about how some people still devoutly follow the more eccentric laws of the Bible.

september 23rd, 2017

Ballers on HBO. I don’t find this to be a comedy but it’s entertaining. I’ve spent way too much of my time recently watching it. It reminds me of Blue Mountain State except Ballers is trying to be more serious.

september 22nd, 2017

Coaching related, but it’s hard to find the balance for scrimmaging young players. Like U8/10. One approach is that you should divide teams up evenly between all the players. The counter argument is that then the one or two best players for each team end up getting a majority of the touches, and the less engaged players don’t get the ball at all. The other approach is to divide teams based on skill. But then the counter argument is that the weaker players don’t get challenged enough or see what better players are capable of which would help their own development. I think you just need to alternate between how teams are divided. Sometimes do it by skill, sometimes to do it somewhat randomly (I mean you don’t want a team of highly skilled players beating up on lower level teams).

september 21st, 2017

Don’t Shoot the Dog (also here’s a PDF of it) by Karen Pryor is what I’m interested in today. Great book that on the surface is about training dogs, but it gets into how to shape behavior for any living organism. I’m beginning to apply the principles I’ve learned in my coaching. I’m also fairly confident it’s the only dog training book that contains the line “that’s one way pimps keep their whores in line.”

september 20th, 2017

A little motto I’ve been telling myself is that I’m starting from no but I need to assume yes. This can be applied to a lot of different situations but a clear example I can give is in asking a girl out. You’re starting from a place of no, meaning that you don’t have a date and there is no relationship, so therefore you have nothing to lose. So you start from no but you assume yes. Meaning you assume this girl already likes you and wants to go out with you. So now the only thing left to do is ask her out. There’s no harm in asking about something you don’t already have because worst case scenario is you end up where you are now. It can be daunting to ask somebody for something but if you assume you’re worthy and capable (because you have the experience and already act that way) then it removes some of the fear and makes it easier to inquire.

september 19th, 2017

Ray Dalio has a book called Principles that I have been reading off and on for the past month. In it he says managers have to be good at confronting people, so that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on for the last few days. I realize that I’m capable of seeing a problem but rarely do I action to rectify the situation because I don’t want to butt heads with somebody else. So I’m working on a way to do it that’s not confrontational but instead educational.

september 18th, 2017

In Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness he writes that people only regret inaction. Seldomly do people regret doing something. It’s only in situations where people don’t do something that they end up regretting their actions (or inaction). I try to remind myself of this when I’m forced to choose between taking action or riding the status quo.

september 17th, 2017

I believe there is a link between emotional, physical, and mental states. I’m not sure how all of these three things play into each other but it’s a concept I want to explore. I don’t know a lot about emotional theory but I do know that the prevailing methods talk about physical stimuli which prompts an emotional response based on our mental perceptions. Or at least some type of exchange between those three components, although there’s debate about which comes first and if the responses are consistent over time. My point being is that I want to learn about how the thoughts I have affect my emotions which affect my physical state. Or how any one of those three things affects the other two.

september 16th, 2017

Is it possible to have race be a good thing while getting rid of the negative side-effects of race i.e. racism? This may sound like a weird question about a potentially sensitive topic and I’m exploring this idea right now so it may have a lot of flaws in it. But I think people like having an identity, about knowing who they are. A librarian, a teacher, a mother, a father, a student, old, young, smart, dumb, dog-lover, whatever it may be. But certainly race is part of that identity list as well. So is it possible to have race be positive in the sense it provides somebody with an identity, while removing the negative aspects? And this is different than being proud to be black, Asian, white, etc. I suppose I’m just fascinated how nothing exists without its opposite, so it is possible to have race with no racism? If the United States evolves to a racism-free society does race even exist at that point? And is that a good thing? Do we want to get rid of race if it means we lose a part of our identity?

To be 100% clear I am a huge proponent of fair treatment for everybody regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, etc. I’m just wondering if it’s possible to have benefits without the disadvantages with regards to race.

september 15th, 2017

I found this TED talk about why time exists. I like the idea of knowing about this stuff but often it’s too dense for me. However I followed along with this TED talk just fine. At the end it reminded me of how Elon Musk argued that we are living in a computer simulation.

september 14th, 2017

The best training session I’ve ever seen.

september 13th, 2017

I think people are aware of this but it’s something I find myself thinking about on a semi-regular basis. Being introverted means you gain energy by doing solo activities – reading, drawing, watching TV whatever it may be. Extroverted is being energized by social activities or group events. That’s all it is. They’re not about being shy or boisterous or whatever. It’s possible to be an outgoing introvert, but they would just need some down time to recover.

september 12th ,2017

I think there are small things that people do that reveal a lot about who they are. The issue is I’m not sure what those small things are. What I’m thinking about right now is the relationship to food and their diet. Meaning I think, on average, people who are vegan or vegetarian or paleo or whatever it may be, have certain generalizable beliefs. Of course this isn’t true for everybody and I may be wrong completely, but it seems there would be a core mode of thinking that those people would have in common. Next would be the questions people ask, or if they ask questions at all. I’m not sure about this one, but it’s something I want to explore further.

september 11th, 2017

Being homeless, for lack of a better word, means I don’t have a place to return to. I can’t run away from my problems or hide under my covers. It means when it gets dark, I go to bed. When the sun comes up, I wake up with it. I’m completely exposed to the world and everything it throws at me, and I absolutely love that feeling. It helps me recognize the things I can control and the things I can’t. When I open myself up to the world I am susceptible to everything. I’ve experienced some truly lonely and terribly uncomfortable moments. But I’ve also experienced moments of overwhelming joy, gratitude, and camaraderie. To use the Pareto principle (although I guess I’m not using the principle just the general concept of the numbers) I believe 20% of what I experience is flat out awful. But the other 80% is absolutely wonderful.

september 10th, 2017

80 page spiral bound notebooks with college ruled lines. That is my favorite type of notebook and I could not find one for sale today in Salida… That’s not really a Daily Interest but I spent a lot of time thinking about it today. Well not a lot, but probably too much.

september 9th, 2017

What was I interested in today?… Well I’ve been reading Tools of Titans recently. That’s been fun. Today I drove to a soccer field to do some filming for a video I’m working on but there were people around so I put my camera away and pulled out the Titan text. There was a part about Morgan Spurlock from Super Size Me fame who said to make art about what makes you angry. I set the book down and said aloud “But I’m not an angry person.” I recognized that as an assumption about myself. Who knows. Maybe I am angry, but it’s just so deep down that I’ve forgotten it’s there. So I wrote for two minutes about how I could be an angry person and then a feeling of rebellion arose in my chest. Suddenly I didn’t care that there were people all around me. I pulled out my camera and shot what I needed to. It’s funny how acting like we’re something, whether it be happy or angry, actually leads us to feel that way. It also made me think maybe I should work on becoming angrier.

september 8th, 2017

I was given a pair of merino wool socks and a matching hat yesterday two days ago. Today, I did some research into it.

First, a merino is a type of sheep that live in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. There the temperature ranges from 95 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit and sheep have to wear their wool year around. Their wool has evolved to work well in all types of weather; hot, cold, dry, wet, whatever it may be they are set. Merino wool can absorb 30% of their dry weight before feeling wet and can wick sweat away from the skin. It’s odor resistant, dries quickly, and the small diameter fibers keep it feeling soft instead of itchy. I might go change my socks when I get back to my car…

september 7th, 2017

There has been no wifi in Salida for the past day (I’m writing this September 8th) and part of me enjoyed that. It allowed me to focus deeply on my writing and to not get bogged down in finding synonyms or sources. Yet there was an underlying fear that I was missing out on an important message or email. When the wifi was fixed I connected to it and found my fears to be unfounded. Which I guess is a good thing? #foreveralone

september 6th, 2017

There are some players that you need to overindulge with positive reinforcement before providing criticisms and solutions. Others openly seek criticisms and solutions because they know that it’s not personal, it’s just what’s needed to improve (assuming of course that you provide said feedback with respect and no intonations of anger). I’ve seen both of these types of players in my coaching career and it’s made me think about which type of player I want to be in the game of life.

september 5th, 2017

I read the best Acknowledgements section I’ve ever read today. It’s from Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. It goes:

“This is the part of the book in which the author typically claims that nobody writes a book by himself and then names all the people who presumably wrote the book for him. It must be nice to have friends like that. Alas, all the people who wrote this book are me, so let me instead thank those who by their gifts enabled me to write a book without them.”

I don’t know if this breaks copyright laws or not, but I don’t care. It made me laugh.

september 4th, 2017

I finished reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris today. I wouldn’t say I gained any insights from this text but I did learn to appreciate the value of a story. I’m currently working on my own nonfiction book and I go back and forth about how much story I should add versus how much should be straight forward, right to the point, facts. Dan Harris could have written “Meditation is good. Forget all of the stigmas attached to it and try it yourself. It will help.” That’s really what his book was about, but the story behind it was fun, entertaining, and taught me the path he took to get there.

september 3rd, 2017

I finished Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning Today. I once read that you should always buy a book, no matter what. The issue with that is it costs money and takes up space (unless you have an ebook version). What I do is list, on the back cover of my journal, all the books I’ve read this year. At the end of the year, I’ll look over it and decide which books I’d like to read again. Then I’ll go ahead and buy them.

My point being is that Frankl’s book is definitely worth re-reading for me.

september 2nd, 2017

I climbed a mountain today. But more than that I was reminded of all the things that I’ve pondered about the last few months. Is it better to be alone and to do what you want, or to have someone to share moments with but worry about what they want? It’s good to remember that all time passes, that success should not be determined by an end result alone, and that it can be hard to find the line between perseverance and quitting. Where is the balance between striving for more and accepting what you have? What are the factors that play into that answer? Geography? Education? Class? There’s just too many questions.

September 1st, 2017

Catch Them Being Good by Tony DiCicco and Colleen Hacker may be one of the most helpful coaching books that I’ve read. And it’s not just about coaching soccer, it’s about communicating with players and educating them as well. It’s about how to manage players.

One of the ideas (if I’m right. I’m writing this all from memory) that Hacker used on the players was a mental technique that she called “parking it.”

When one of the USWNT players was having an issue at home or experiencing some other distraction, Hacker would tell the player to “park it” and deal with it later. This approach asked the player to focus on the game/practice and to not worry about the pressing issue. They could deal with it once the game/session was over, but when they are asked to be part of the team they needed to be fully present.

Today I found myself on a hike worrying about something. Then I realized that there was no point to my worrying in that moment. I was in the woods, I couldn’t deal with the issue even if I wanted to. So I “parked” it and allowed myself to enjoy the rest of the hike. When I finished hiking I dealt with the problem, and I was in a good mood and ready to deal with it because I hadn’t spent the whole hike needlessly fretting.

august 31st, 2017

I spent way too long figuring out how use some new plugins that I downloaded for this site. If you get an email telling you that I wrote this then that I means I messed up and that I have a bunch of more work to do.

I’m incorporating Optinmonster and MailChimp for CDC. If you’re familiar with the software, let me know.

august 30th, 2017

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” -E.E. Cummings

AUGUST 29TH, 2017

In The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin made the point that novelty is a key part of happiness. Today, while listening to an interview with Maria Sharapova she said that was focused on repetitions as a child. Something about the ball consistently moving and the repetitive movements drew her into tennis. Surely repetition and novelty are opposites, but it seems reasonable that Sharapova doesn’t see repetitions as stale. In Grit, Angela Duckworth makes the case that people who stick with a passion and become paragons find nuances in what they do everyday. Thus, they are getting their repetitions but that does not mean every movement or action is the exact same. They differ slightly and professionals learn to notice those small changes and revel in perfecting them.

I guess what I’m saying is that if you want to stick with something and become good at it then find nuances.

august 28th, 2017

There’s a warm up program that most soccer coaches use called the FIFA 11+ Warm Up. The warm up and its iterations have been around for a while but I’ve never used it. Instead I choose to do warm up exercises that I have done as a player. Unsurprisingly, the warm up I use and the warm up FIFA recommends are similar, except I find the FIFA 11+ Warm Up lacking in agility exercises. I believe that strengthening exercises are important (things like squats, bounds, and jumps) but young athletes need to train their balance and quickness as well. The FIFA 11+ warm up is fun, but it uses way too many cones and I think it could do with another iteration that has a stronger emphasis on agility work.

august 27th, 2017

I’ve done some work washing windows over the past week. Besides the smell of ammonia it’s not bad. While washing today I thought about my Dirty Jobs related post from yesterday. It reminded me of something else Mike Rowe said about how there are lots of people who are doing work that nobody else wants to. They do it well, and in some cases they make good money. It’s funny how we view some jobs as less desirable or below us. But the truth is, some people really enjoy this work. Maybe not necessarily the work itself, but the opportunities it provides. I don’t imagine most people want to grow up to be a window washer, but the guy I work for does it and really enjoys it. It was never a passion of his, it just fell into his lap as an opportunity and he ran with it. He never thought it was below him and now it’s serving him well.

august 26th, 2017

There was an episode of Dirty Jobs, and I wish I could find it, where Mike Rowe worked for an army veteran. It was nothing special or groundbreaking but Mike Rowe shook the man’s hand and said thank you. It’s such a simple thing to do but it seemed so kind, respectful, and thankful.
I just learned that a man I play pickleball with served in Vietnam. And you’re damn right I stuck out my hand and said thank you when I saw him today. Turns out he was a tank medic and earned two purple hearts and a silver star. Regardless of how I feel about a war the dedication, heroism and sacrifice that is shown is mind-blowing. The least I can do is acknowledge the weight they have borne and continue to bear today.

august 25th, 2017

A while ago a parent that I coach for recommended I read Gregor the Overlander. With so much time on my hands, and rediscovering my joy of young adult literature with Artemis Fowl, I downloaded the audiobook and began listening to it. It’s no Harry Potter but it is fun.

august 24, 2017

There are times where I can’t decide if I want to do something out of motivation or if I am committed to the idea. For me motivation is momentary. If my motivation will only get me halfway through a project, and then I give up on it, then I might as well not even begin and waste my time on it. Commitment though is what I look out for, and it’s hard to find. I still have no real system to distinguish the two. Maybe the only way is to begin and see how you feel/how far you get?

august 23rd, 2017

I was washing windows today and I realized that squeegee is a pretty awesome word. So is spatula. And mukluk. And diagnostic.

Also, I came across the idea that money may not be able to buy happiness, but not having money can cause unhappiness. It’s funny when things only work in one direction.

AUGUST 22ND, 2017

Audiobooks. Audiobooks are great. I was thumbing around on my library’s digital catalog of audiobooks and I came across Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. Ah man. Such a good book. It’s crazy how many of the lines I remember word for word from my childhood. If you haven’t heard of the series go read the first book. It’s even on audio form on YouTube.

august 21st, 2017

Asking someone if they have a role model is a great way to learn about them. If they do, then you can determine what attributes or accomplishments they admire most and ask them about those things. If they say no, then you can ask why not and I’m sure a conversation will be prompted about self-motivation, confidence, or just a general hatred for humanity. Either way that question can spurn in-depth conversations and act as a great social bonding tool.

august 20th, 2017

I am interested in the idea that one day I will be able to give back. That I will be able to pay it forward. During this past year I have opened myself up to the world and was in some exposed and vulnerable situations. And almost every time some generous soul (and usually somebody who has been a traveler themselves and been in isolated circumstances) has arrived, helped me out, and put me back on my feet. I think it’s become too easy to be afraid of other humans. But in my experience, when I’ve left my life open for great things to happen, and for people to remind me how wonderful humankind is, I have never been disappointed.

Actually that’s not true. One time while hitchhiking somebody pulled over, rolled down their window, and asked if I needed a ride. I said yes. They laughed, drove off, and left me on the side of the road. That wasn’t cool. But that is only one negative situation among many other positive ones.

AUGUST 19TH, 2017

I’ve been reading The Happiness Project intermittently for the last few days. I have yet to find anything ground-breaking or earth-shattering but it is a fun, light, easy read. Reading the comments on Goodreads makes me come to Gretchen Rubin’s (the author) defense. It’s easy to say that because Rubin has money, a good family, and lives in a safe and comfortable house that she would no little about what it means to be unhappy. But maybe that just shows how elusive happiness can be.

AUGUST 18TH, 2017

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard

I love this quote. Reminds me that if I want to have an above average life I need to do above average things and make decisions that the average person wouldn’t.

august 17th, 2017

Slaughterhouse-Five. A classic text that I read by streetlight while laying down in the back of my car (which I think enhanced the experience of reading it). A lot of my perceptions about time have been influenced by this book, but what I really love is how Vonnegut manages to convey ideas but still leave it entirely up to the audience to picture it in their head. Like how he describes post-bombed Dresden’s landscape as the moon. Or an attractive woman as who men wanted to fill with babies. It’s fun, simple writing about a serious topic that still allows space for reader interpretation.

AUGUST 16TH, 2017

I’m alive. Although I didn’t make it back up the mountain due to rain so there was no real need for concern. I’m afraid pickleball will become a fixed part of my life here in Salida. It reminds me of soccer (and probably every other sport) that once the technique is mastered it becomes a game of strategy. I watched this game today and tried to pick up a few things on technique and positioning. We’ll have to see if it pays off tomorrow.
(On a side note, the guys in the YouTube video make it seem so much easier than it actually is. But isn’t that how it always goes?)

AUGUST 15TH, 2017

I’m interested in bears and mountain lions today. I’m thinking about spending the night up where I spent my first day in Salida, but I’m a little wary of running into some scary predators. Fortunately (Actually not really. It’s really quite sad.) Colorado began experimenting with “predator control,” meaning they have begun to systematically trap and kill bears and mountain lions in the area to increase the deer population. I don’t want them dead, I just don’t want to be bothered by them. I might get some bear mace or something. If there’s no Daily Interest for August 16th you know something has gone wrong.

AUGUST 14TH, 2017

I ended up playing pickleball for four hours today in a park and I had a really great time. I certainly learned a lot about how to play which was super nice. But what is really cool is the USAPA website that shows where you can find a game to play in.  I especially like the Growth of Places to Play Chart (which I’ve copy and pasted below) that does not label the amount of courts to play nor the measurement of time that’s passed.

August 13th, 2017

Alright. So I’m cheating a bit here. Today I am interested in the blog entry I posted today. It’s a complete change from what I’ve done before, but I think it works okay.

august 12th, 2017

Most of the time I focus on getting my work done for the day so I can go out and do things later on. But I’m not so sure that my approach works anymore. Mostly I’ll just drag out my writing by getting distracted on Reddit and YouTube. I essentially lived out of balance for the past month and a half because I was so focused on writing and neglected everything else. Everything else that I thought was fun yet unproductive. Now though I’m beginning to realize that it is important to go out and get distracted and have adventures. Only by being enthused about life can I be enthused about my writing.

AUGUST 11TH, 2017

I began reading Principles by Ray Dalio today. I’m currently working on my own personal manifesto/life manual/philosophy and it’s been fun to read some of my own ideas reflected in Dalio’s work. I’m not that far into it (I honestly got it 5 minutes ago but I’m anxious to sit down and take notes on it) but it seems promising.

AUGUST 10th, 2017

I’m reading Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief this week. Halfway done with it and I have a hard time reading it as non-fiction. If it’s all true then there are some truly deceitful people out there. Which isn’t hard to believe but I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

AUGUST 9TH, 2017

What would you still do even if you knew you’d fail?

I love this question. It forces me to think about what I will learn from the experience, not gain from the result. This has been one of the guiding questions I have used for the past few months, and because of it I have tried to do many things that I would not have before. Like calling and leaving a voicemail for Charles Duhigg.

august 8th, 2017

I find “interesting” to be a cop-out word.

I’ll be in a conversation with someone and they’ll tell me that “babies begin teething around 6 months” and I’ll say “Oh, that’s interesting.”

While I find that informative and odd, because I’ve never considered when a human begins to have teeth, I don’t believe “interesting” does the topic justice. There are ten words I could use instead of “interesting” that would prompt further discussion but “interesting” is just the fallback reply that I depend on.

Ever since becoming aware of how often I use the word “interesting” I’ve noticed other people using it too. I think it’s an overused word that cuts conversations short.

august 7th, 2017

I had a conversation with my brothers today about movies. Movies we liked, why we liked them, what actors were in them, etc, etc. There’s something amazing about widespread phenomena/media/incidents that people can bond over. There are some things that everybody seems to be aware of. Like Game of Thrones. Or raccoons.

august 6th, 2017

I started thinking about coaching again today, and if there’s anyway I can turn it into seasonal work. I have a few ideas brewing so stay tuned to see what happens next.. In the meantime here is one of my favorite resources I use to learn more about football tactics.

august 5th, 2017

My brother recommended a podcast to me called What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law. I didn’t know what con law meant, but now I know it’s short for constitutional law and is defined as “the body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the parliament or legislature, and the judiciary” according to Wikipedia.

Short, twenty minute episodes for the podcast. Relatively informative and entertaining.

AUGUST 4TH, 2017

I began listening to NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast today. I listened to the episode about deep work and found I was guilty of doing some of the things the guest talked about. For example, I am pretty good about putting my phone away when I work, but I do have a habit of Googling a question as soon as it pops into my mind. My brain switches gears very quickly, and even though I get back to my work in less than a minute later, the damage has already been done. I’ve already taken my focus off of my writing and made it harder to achieve that deep work state. It’s something I’m aware of now, and now I’m looking out for other ways in which I momentarily distract myself that keeps me from being completely focused.

AUGUST 3RD, 2017

I spent quite a lot of time reading Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup late last night and part of today.

Also, it’s crazy how many sites out there are based around books. A lot of blog users list the books they’ve read as well as the notes they’ve taken while reading them. There are plenty of other sites out there that have summaries of books like this one and this one (these links go to summaries of The $100 Startup).

august 2nd, 2017

Josh Waitzkin’s book The Art of Learning holds a few helpful insights. One of which is that we have natural energy flows that can fluctuate on a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis. By paying attention to how we feel, we can learn to recognize and predict those time blocks when we have high creative and productive energy. By creating our schedules around these high moments of productivity we can ensure we’re fulfilling our potential in an efficient manner.

august 1st, 2017

“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.”   -Aristotle

july 31st, 2017

An old traveling friend recommended the Serial Podcast to me this week. I had heard of it before but I guess I was just waiting for someone I knew personally to give it the green light. I started it yesterday and I’m already halfway through the first season.

july 30th, 2017

Veep. I have spent too much time today watching this show. It makes me wonder if the president really can be this disillusioned. Doesn’t seem too far stretched if he’s surrounded by yes men.

As I watched though the seasons of Veep (it took a few months) I stopped liking the main character. She’s generally unlikable and not a good person. It reminds me of Pain & Gain where none of the main characters were likable. I guess directors and producers want to show incompetence and make it approachable through humor. But I don’t know.. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. I’m just not a fan.

july 29th, 2017

Make hard decisions now and live an easy life later.

july 28th, 2017

I mentioned this on my Now page but I’m thinking about what to do after I leave Denver. The option I’m leaning towards right now is to grab my backpack and hitchhike to Austin, Texas. I’m going to call it a vision quest because it sounds awesome, and I’m hoping it will give me some perspective on life and renew my drive.

I have complete freedom to do whatever and go wherever. I’m very much open to suggestions and advice so hit me up if you have any recommendations or any advice on hitchhiking in the United States.

july 27th, 2917

I wasted way too much time today watching clips of The Eric Andre Show. Every time I see his interview with Lauren Conrad I cringe so hard. Not for the squeamish.

july 26th, 2017

It hit me how important food is.

Not just to keep our bodies running, but how it acts as a social tool.

Families, couples, and friends eat together and cook together. Meals have become a social lubricant to grease the wheels of companionship. Being a good cook is a trait of an ideal partner. And Somerhalder said the way to the heart is through the stomach.

We do tons of things to facilitate social bonding but perhaps none are better than preparing and enjoying a meal with somebody else.

july 25th, 2017

Over the past three months I’ve been developing a morning routine that sets me up to have a productive day. There’s so much information on what a good morning routine should look like, so I’m trying to figure out what works for me.

Currently I am experimenting with micro-tasks that relate to larger projects I’m working on.

For example, I write about two to four hours every day. So I begin my morning by writing for a short period of time. I use The Five Minute Journal for this. It’s a basic tool, but it gets me writing something down first thing in the morning.

I’m also working on developing a healthy lifestyle. So after I write I’ll go to the gym for about 45 minutes, then come home and make myself a protein-rich smoothie, followed by walking Lizzie for about an hour.

Finally, I’ll come back and read for a bit. Normally whichever non-fiction book I’m into at the moment. Currently it’s The War of Art.

After that, I’m set for a good day. My days revolve around writing, exercising and cooking/eating healthy foods, and educating myself. I find that the tasks I do in the morning all take on elements of the type of life I want to lead right now.

It’s definitely not perfect though. It takes about 2.5 hours which is way too long. Ideally I wouldn’t have to walk Lizzie, but I enjoy walking around the neighborhood while cogitating or listening to a podcast.

I’m still tinkering with my morning routine. I want to experiment with Tony Robbins’ Priming technique as well as some cold-exposure practices next. If you have a system that works for you let me know about it through the Contact page or on Twitter. Maybe you’ve discovered something that I can learn from.

july 24th, 2017

Decided I needed some fiction to read so I picked up a copy of The Martian by Andy Weir two days ago. A lot of science-y stuff behind it, but it’s a fun read. I’m about 200 ages in. Apparently he’s also written a mind-blowing four page story called The Egg. I’m linking to it, but I haven’t read it yet, so hopefully it’s good.

… Just read it. It was okay.

july 23rd, 2017

Exploring places is awesome. There are times when GPS is a wonderful thing that can stem off anxiety, frustration, and tardiness. But if you have the time, don’t worry so much about getting to a destination. Put your phone in your pocket, walk around, and open yourself to the world. It can be scary and off-putting but it’s also fun and exhilarating. Get lost. You’ll be okay. When you’re coming to the end of journey, be it through shortage of time or energy, that’s when you pull your phone out and return back home.

july 22nd, 2017

The War of Art is what I am interested in today. I found a copy online and have managed to read about 100 pages of it in a day. Nothing too life changing in it, but it does give a new paradigm on how to view barriers and dips.

july 21st, 2017

There’s something to be said about dramatization. About imagining every barrier you encounter as a threat against your life.

Waking up early is tough. But those demons of sleep are looking to keep you from making the most of your day.
Working on a project after you’re finished at work is hard. Those enemies named fatigue and exhaustion are looking to keep you away from what you love.
Getting up to play with your child is difficult. The army of energy-sucking soldiers is looking to destroy your relationship.

It may seem ridiculous, but I think it’s true. Every step of the way there will be barriers that keep you from living the best life possible. These demons, enemies, and soldiers really are looking to take your life away from you. It’s a battle that’s renewed every day.

But as much as it sucks having your enemies heal overnight, it also provides you with the chance to be a great conqueror again.

You can spend your days winning or losing battles. But remember that however you spend your days will be how you spend your life.

july 20th, 2017

Stopping cues. In the twentieth century stopping cues were built into everything to show us it was time to move on. Newspapers had a finite number of articles, magazines had a closing section, and radio and TV shows came to an end.

Today we have never ending screens full of information. Feeds continue indefinitely, websites have links that take us to the next place, you can scroll down a page and never find the bottom. Stopping cues have been removed to keep audiences on the line.

But stopping cues are helpful. They allow us to sit and reflect on the content. They remind us to explore new ideas and to step back from immediate gratification. Stopping cues may push the audience away but they can also help the audience engage with the content more fully, as opposed to mindlessly consuming the next thing.

Find a way to create your own stopping cues so you can build on the ideas you now have, and avoid replacing it with the next one. Set a timer, change how you consume content, find a way to bring in cognitive disfluency to what you do.

july 19th, 2017

I went to a Vietnamese grocery store today and they had these huge, pokey, green pieces of fruit called jackfruit. It’s popular across South Asia due to its high yield, ease of production and its versatility. We used the jackfruit in lieu of pulled pork and created some tasty sandwiches.

july 18th, 2017

I revisited an idea today that dealt with money. The notion is that money is used to cover up weaknesses.
I go out to eat because I’m not a good cook. I take my car to the garage because I have no mechanical skills.
So before I spend anything now I ask myself “Am I buying this because I want it? Or am I buying it to avoid doing something?”

july 17th, 2017

A compilation of different sites that have a Now page. Which is probably something I will add shortly (Update: I did!). I just spent an hour clicking through different blogs. It’s interesting because you get a snapshot of somebody’s life. You can learn who somebody is and what their interests are through a few clicks of the mouse. Which sounds creepy when I go back and read that, but it’s amazing. There’s so many personal blogs out there. I have probably connected with more exotic people in the last hour than somebody who lived one hundred years ago did during their entire life time.

july 16th, 2017

This is taken from my notes dated February 2017. I became interested in the biological basis for optimism. Activity in the left hemisphere of the brain is associated with high self-esteem, a cheerful attitude and general optimistic beliefs. A report on this can be found here.

Without getting too in detail there is a crossover point in our brain. Meaning the left side of our brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. What’s interesting is that when we move the right side of our body, say, opening and closing our right hand, it stimulates the left side of the brain which can change how we view situations. So next time you’re feeling down twirl a pencil with your right hand or kick your right leg around. It may help.

july 15th, 2017

I began reading Stephen King’s On Writing, the first Stephen King book I’ve ever read. A good read with some helpful information, but at times I find his conversational style to be at odds with the advice he gives.

july 14th, 2017

Today I got interested in Whitopia. It started with this TED talk a week ago, and now today I spent ninety minutes researching and writing about it.

july 13th, 2017

Lesbian bed death. I went twenty four years of my life without hearing this term, and now I’ve heard it twice in twenty four hours. At first I laughed when I heard this term used so flippantly but then I looked it up. Lesbian bed death was a term coined in 1983 to describe how lesbian couples supposedly become less sexually active over time, but it’s also a widely debated issue.

There have been studies that showed lesbians have less sex than their gay and heterosexual counterparts. There’s also studies that concluded lesbians have more sex than heterosexual couples.

I Googled lesbian bed death and I found a microcosm of a much larger issue. There were websites claiming it was real and websites claiming it was fake. The blatant contrast of opinion is laughable so I had to take a screenshot.

I can’t help but be reminded of all this talk about “alternative facts” and “fake news”. Whether you believe in lesbian bed death or not is dependent on the websites you read. I looked at a dozen websites talking about LBD and it’s amazing how many articles I had to search through before arriving at the studies that were cited. In fact, in the article I linked to about lesbians having more sex it’s not even correct. That study concluded lesbians have less sex than heterosexual couples but it’s cited in other websites as reaching the opposite conclusion. It’s absolutely nuts how everything gets twisted around. It just goes to show that you have to put in the time and effort to do your own research otherwise you end up repeating other’s arguments without truly understanding the issue at hand.

JULY 12TH, 2017

This one is simple today. Podcasts guys. Listening to an hour long podcast is like reading for an hour. I’ve stopped listening to music while I clean, cook, and go on walks. Podcasts all the way.

July 11th, 2017

One lesson that I’ve kept coming back to in the last six months is the concept of balance. Nothing exists without its opposite. I believe that if you want to succeed in whatever area you need to accept all the outcomes across the whole spectrum of what could happen. I’ll give a clear example.

I want to invest $50,000 (this is clearly hypothetical). If I want to go big, if I want to reap the largest reward I can get, I have to take risk, right? No risk, no reward. I am more than okay accepting the fact I may end up getting a $250,000 ROI, but I’m less accepting of the fact I may lose everything. But if I want that big prize at the end I need to learn to accept the balance of things.

So I try to ask myself what is that I’m doing. Am I just squeaking along because I am afraid of loss? Am I only putting 40% in because I’m afraid of what might happen? What’s the worse that could happen if I went all in? Could I accept whatever the outcome would be I failed? Would I be able to endure it?

July 10th, 2017

When I was training for soccer I thought of my daily energy reserves as my currency. Every choice I made took into consideration how much physical energy it would cost me. If I hiked in the afternoon I wouldn’t be able to train as intensely or as long in the evening. It was amazing how helpful it was to reconfigure my resources and scrutinize their value to me.

Today I consider time to be my most precious resource. Often I get caught up doing small things. When I catch myself in these moods I carefully examine what I’m doing and decide if it is actually helping me pursue my end goal or if it’s simply busy work that I can put off or drop altogether.

july 9th, 2017

Going back over my writings I realize I have written “the importance of action” more than any other phrase or string of words. This is something I struggle with as I am prone to over analyzing and deliberating before taking action. But at the heart of it, no matter what ideas you have or plans you make, nothing is more important than taking action to make it so.

July 8th, 2017

Very rarely do I enjoy in binge watching things. I think the only time I did was when I was hungover and watched every episode of Westworld. That was a great day. But I also resented myself for that as well.

Today though I decide to listen to S-Town. I wasn’t expecting to like as much as I do. I’ve listened to about 4 hours of it today while I was walking the dog, cooking, doing dishes, etc. Check it out. It’s like Making a Murderer but in audio form.

JULY 7th, 2017

In February of 2012 I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary about two obese men who went on a juice cleanse and the impact it had on their life. That’s when I first started thinking that you can add to your life by taking things away.

The recent minimalist movement has reinforced this way of thinking too. Instead of taking more medication maybe we should be removing certain things from our lives. Instead of trying to fix problems by adding more, maybe we should look at eliminating effects.

July 6th, 2017

Hard cases make bad laws.

I heard this old adage today and I really liked it. To me it symbolizes the idea that you can’t take one bad episode or outcome of your life and generalize it to all future outcomes as well. Sometimes you just need a gentle reminder that you are a resilient human being.

July 5th, 2017

I was listening to Esther Perel talk and in passing she mentioned that Americans want things to be explicit, while other cultures are okay with leaving things implicit and unspoken. This idea has rooted in itself into my brain as I think about what could be improved if it was left unsaid. If the implicit assumption is shared by multiple parties then maybe it is good to allow things to develop naturally. As opposed to forcing it and explicitly discussing the subject. But as soon as there’s evidence, or reason to believe, that multiple parties do not have the same understanding than it can behoove everyone to have an explicit discussion and understanding.

When I entered the dating market I struggled in the first few relationships because I was either trying to guide it in a certain direction, or I took the opposite approach and tried to let it grow organically without any direction. Essentially I was attempting to find the balance between explicitly labeling what was happening or trying not to pay attention to the relationship itself. Which is different than not paying attention to the person I was dating.

Either way, I’m still thinking about when it is beneficial to be explicit versus implicit, and all the different areas this principle can be applied.

July 4th, 2017

This idea came from something I saw on my Twitter feed today. It was a short video showing two orangutans using saws after they see a builder use one. It reminded me of Daniel S. Coyle’s The Talent Code where he writes how 9/10 of the world’s fastest sprinters have older siblings. He argues that they encoded proper running form when they were young from watching their older brothers and sisters run, and thus it helped them become world class sprinters.

Related to this is something I heard David Blaine say about how he was practicing for his world record breath hold. He knew that it could be done. But it wasn’t until he visited Wim Hof and saw Wim holding his breath in ice water that Blaine actually realized what to do. I think the same applies for larger concepts in life. How we want to do something, like become a finance investor, a best-selling author, or a great actor, but we need to see somebody doing it first to understand exactly how to get there. And see is a relative term here. Really we need somebody to show us the process in which to get there.

July 3rd, 2017

Two years ago a professor of mine turned me on to the idea of listening to coding music as I studied. Over time I’ve tinkered with playlists and music streaming services, and the best resource I’ve come up with so far is Spotify’s web player. If you don’t already know it’s free, easy to sign up, and it has a great selection of all kinds of music.

They have a crazy amount of instrumental playlists that can help with focus and productivity. For the past two months I have been listening to this song on repeat while I write. If anybody can tell me why you can’t repeat single songs on Spotify, let me know. I had to create my own playlist comprised solely of this one song and put that on repeat. It took me thirty seconds to do and I’ve used it daily since, so it’s still been a great use of my time. I’m just curious.

Get at me if you have any music or songs that you like to listen to while you work. I’m sure at some point I will get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.

July 2nd, 2017

Over the past six months I have become supremely interested in self-development, self-reflection, and general learning. One thing I kept reminding myself to do was create free time and space in my schedule where I could relax and sharpen the saw, as my boy Stephen Covey put it.

Yet even in these scheduled times for spontaneity and recovery, I was still focused on what I should be doing next. I couldn’t allow myself to unknot and recognize the present moment I was in. Even Phil Zimbardo’s test told me I was too focused on the future.

It was crazy. It wasn’t until I was at the end of my two day fast and taking Lizzie for a walk that I actually allowed myself the mental space to relax. Where I wasn’t focused on the next thing I wanted to try, or what I was going to write about that night. In that moment I stopped forcing myself to think, or trying to relax, and I was just calm. And something happened where I created this web between all of my isolated thoughts. Without trying to be I ended up having the most productive few hours have had all year. Maybe it was deliriousness from the lack of food, who knows, but it’s a feeling I’d like to recapture

There’s an element of irony here because doing anything, which in my case involved not focusing at all, requires a bit of focus. So this is a paradox that I’d like to play around with more…

July 1st, 2017

A fellow traveler sent me a link to this TED talk. An interesting idea that makes wonder what the why behind this site is. It reminded me of something I heard Ricardo Semler do. He would ask “Why?” three times in  a row when he was remaking his company. It’s talked about briefly in this article.

Lastly, it also reminded me of a tool I read about in Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. He said that when you create a to-do list, or have a task in front of you, make sure you understand why you are doing it. For example, I created a syllabus for myself to live like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for a month. Underneath my assignments page I wrote about why it is important to do it and how it relates to my larger life goals.

june 30th, 2017

I wish I had a quote or a source for you guys, but I just don’t. I’m pretty sure I heard it on the Tim Ferriss podcast episode with B.J. Novak but I could be wrong…

Anyway, the idea was to pay attention to how you feel when you think of, or hear, an idea. I often find myself doing a cost-benefit analysis when I come to a decision. I look for the opportunity costs and try to decide if whatever it is is worth it or not.

Recently, I had a thought about how to spend my summer and it hit me like a punch to the face. Just clear as day, I had an emotional and physical reaction and I knew I had to do it. That was a clear example of when I had a real reaction to an idea. But I wonder how many other potentially good thoughts went away unrealized because I wasn’t paying attention to my physiological or emotional reactions….

June 29th, 2017

Wall Street Journal Article- Is There Anything Grit Can’t Do
(If you don’t have access to the article, you can link to it through this site and read the full thing. I don’t know why that is. It just takes an extra click of the mouse.)

The article talks about Angela Duckworth’s study on grit. It does a decent job summing up Duckworth’s book (Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) but I found the most interesting part comes at the end.

The writer, Kay Hymowitz, says it’s hard enough to develop character when social media is so prevalent and “nourishes precisely the opposite of character.” I can understand why she would say that, but that is a very narrow blanket statement to make. Just check out The Rock’s instagram!

Hymowitz says it’s hard enough to measure hard skills i.e. math, writing, and reading comprehension. So imagine how hard it would be to measure empathy or self-control, traits that are key to developing grit. I agree that those would be hard to measure, but that doesn’t mean educators shouldn’t try to teach or model those skills, right?


June 28th, 2017

I went to a soccer game today and had an interesting realization. When you first meet somebody and they start talking about themselves, they’re not bragging. They’re telling you what is important to them. They’re telling you how they identify themselves. (I mean they might be bragging too)


June 27th, 2017

My Headspace app updated itself today. Which should have been fine, but I can no longer do those free ten minute meditations that they had. However, I did find Tara Brach’s guided meditations. When I need a break from writing or doing whatever, I now go lay down and meditate for ten to twenty minutes. My favorite so far is her Relaxing Back into Full Presence meditation.

June 26th, 2017

David Blaine is insane. Just a madman. It’s not even his ability to perform mind-blowing illusions that make me say that. The man is a testament to self-discipline and willpower. He must have trained incredibly hard to endure through his most iconic feats. If you haven’t seen his TED talk you need to go check it out. It’s a great way to spend twenty minutes. What just blows my mind, and makes me say that Blaine is insane, is he performs incredibly dangerous stunts. Spend four minutes watching his most recent special when he shoots himself in the face.

Here’s the most succinct list of craziness that he’s done that I could find. It’s a bit dated, but you get the idea.