Constant optimization

An unexpected benefit of all this self-imposed change is that it helps protect you from forming bad habits, which are hard to change once you get them. In fact, change itself becomes the habit, which is a good one to carry with you through your life. The willingness to experience change brings opportunity, wealth, learning, and happiness for most of us who embrace it.

Wait. Is he saying there are people who don’t optimize? #watisthisidonteven



On the other hand, if you dump your trash in the forest to avoid paying the city’s garbage fees, or haggle endlessly with the manager at big-box store to get things for free, you’re not helping anyone but yourself. Canceling TV service and taking up the more productive hobby of reading library books is Frugal. Saving the same amount of money by voting down property tax funding for your local school system is Cheap.

~ Peter Adeney

Even my title.


I suck and I know it

There. That was a mouthful, and it makes you sound like a loser. But all of a sudden, you’re no longer a victim. Suddenly, you’ve framed the problem entirely in terms of things you can control yourself, and thus you can finally make some progress towards solving your problem.

~ Peter Adeney

In terms of money and fitness— I suck. Yeah, you laugh… it is SO easy to brush this step off.

I brushed it off for about forty years.


Suffering is not what you think it is

Suffering is nothing more than a lack of consciousness. The more conscious you become, the less you suffer. The act of raising your consciousness is really a process of letting go of every thought that causes you to suffer. This process can take considerable time, but it does work. Every step you take in this direction will yield an improvement.

~ Steve Pavlina

Self-improvement is an exercise in lifting oneself up by the bootstraps; Quite impossible and quite necessary.


Action’s ecstasy

Action’s ecstasy is instantaneous and compounding: even if for the millionth time, it works it’s magic. It’s trigger is sure: All you do is peel your ass off the bottom of whatever hole you’re in, and climb.

~ Bryan Ward

I can vouch for the potentcy of this drug. And it’s method of action is clear: With each small action which demonstrates one can affect one’s environment, the pattern of learned helplessness is broken.


The kind of training I need

The truth is that if you can push into the discomfort, with love, and keep going … it’ll be an amazing breakthrough for you, an opening up of your habitual patterns. It’ll be a place of growth, of learning, of tremendous change. This is the kind of training that you need to put yourself in if you want to grow. Not a meditation retreat, necessarily, but any kind of practice that makes you want to retreat. It doesn’t have to be hardcore, just something that causes you to be uncomfortable, that causes your old habitual patterns to come up.

~ Leo Babauta

Leo’s Zen Habits has helped me tremendously over the years. His was one of the first useful sites I found about 10 years ago when I started changing my life. The idea that hard work– not a retreat per se, but anything that makes you want to retreat– is exactly what I need to work on, is one of the pillars upon which I began rebuilding. When things start to crack– when I feel my grip on my reasonable demeanor slipping– it’s this idea which I try to pull up.


The power of now

This shift in thinking produced a significant shift in my priorities. I began focusing more of my energy on improving the quality of my present reality instead of projecting all those improvements into the realm of someday. I started asking questions like, “How can I experience more joy in this very moment?”

~ Steve Pavlina

Steve’s writing is probably an acquired taste — some of it I’m still not swallowing. But this one was well worth the read; Probably well-worth a re-read too. ;)


Status update July 2018

(Part 68 of 68 in ~ My Journey)

I’m not quite ready to publish scantily-clad selfies… so I left my socks on. I’ve a target weight in mind which corresponds to 20-year-old-me and a good photo from 1991.


This is the least I have weighed in 20 years. About 55 pounds (25kg!) lighter than 2008.

A visiting Finn mowed my lawn for me yesterday, and so I had time for one last run on this continent before I leave for a triple-stop Parkour trip in about twelve hours.

The graph is a little odd because I didn’t stop the tracking immediately, so there’s a huge bar for the last split (not shown.) It’s a lollipop route, so the 11-minute split is up the slight hill which I ran down at ~9-minute pace. The whole run came in about 9:33, which is right on the fastest I’ve ever run this. This time was much more uniform in pace than the last time I ran this.

Why do I post this stuff? Because whomever you are, whereever you are in your physical fitness (or complete lack thereof), you can simply do what I did: Start where you are.

That royal road to the physical and mental derangement of mankind

And here I would like to add a word of warning to those I am trying to help, for a study of the letters in which the writers tell of experiencing difficulty in understanding, show signs of having been written after a quick reading rather than a close and careful study of the subject matter. I read recently an article suggesting that people should practise reading quickly, although the habit of too quick reading in which understanding becomes dominated by speed — that royal road to the physical and mental derangement of mankind — is an only too common failing today. This is only one example of the habit of too quick reaction to stimuli in general, and to its prevalence may be traced most of the misunderstandings, misconception and misdirecrion of effort manifested by the great majority of people today in conducting matters relating to the body politic.

~ F Matthias Alexander, in the 1941 preface to new edition of “The Use of the Self”

There is nothing new under the sun.

Sleep smarter

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has now classified overnight shift work as a Group 2A carcinogen. This means that staying up late repeatedly, and working overnight, is a strong enough cancer-causing agent to be lumped in with lead exposure and UVA radiation. That might sound crazy, but there s now a ton of scientific data showing exactly how this happens.

~ Shawn Stevenson, pg 43 of Sleep Smarter

Shift work that involves circadian disruption? Carcinogen.

A while back I wrote a piece on Sleep. It turned into three parts and after writing it, I felt I had only scratched the surface. Then I stumbled over this book.

I read the book and it’s really good! I blasted through it agreeing all the way. If you know everything about sleep, you’ll still enjoy seeing it all laid out in an approachable fashion. If you have NOT YET MASTERED SLEEP — wait, what is wrong with you?! Sleep is the single most important thing in your life. It is the activity you spend the most aggregated time doing. Remind me why you have not spent time studying sleep and improving yours?