NoNothingNovember, Day 5

A description of the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here:

Day 5

Sleep – Had six hours of sleep – sticking to my schedule. No tribes and tribulations today.

Sweets and snacks – Unlike the days before, I was not missing them at all. Maybe I have gotten through the initial feelings of discomfort?

Social Media – Still only logging on to Twitter and Facebook when I have a concrete goal to post. In addition, I have now eliminated all websites from my browser gallery that do not have anything to do with me – e.g. politics and sports websites, gossip and click-bait.

What have I achieved?

Manuscript – More experiments, more results. Instead of checking my eMail first thing in the morning and THEN start working, I am now visualizing my work 5 minutes before I arrive in the lab. I am much more focussed and committed that way.

Blog – Still writing one article per day, and this weekend, I will focus on improving the layout of this blog and make a blog posts schedule. I have literally hundreds of articles I wrote over the last year, but they are not in any particular order.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 6 tomorrow.

NoNothingNovember, Day 4

A description of the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here:

Half a week done by now…

Day 4

An important part of every challenge is to plan ahead. Sometimes your daily schedule gets “upside down”. For example, we had a conference at work yesterday –  I was meeting some old friends and hung out with them afterwards, getting back home between 11 pm and midnight.

That had the potential to drive my daily schedule off track.

Since I knew about the meet-up before, I made sure I had done all my writing and reading for the day before meeting my friends – even down to the advance preparation of my glass of self-made juice that I am drinking each and every day.

In the end, I could go to sleep without worrying about any unfinished business.

Always think ahead and be prepared.

Sleep – I was able to get my six hours of sleep from 12:15 am to 6:15 am. I really come to cherish that I have cleaned up my bedroom. This room now calms me down almost immediately. All my business for the day seems finished. I am happy to let the day go by and look forward to the next one.

Sweets and snacks – The challenge today was the big amount of pizza we had ordered for the meet-up. I figured that my vow to not eat sweets and snacks also extends to fast food like pizza. I focused more on talking to my friends than having a greasy piece of food in my hands. “Snubbing” the pizza wasn’t easy, but on the other hand – I have lost 4 pounds of weight and 0.5% of body fat since the 1st of november, which is a much better long-term reward than the short-term satisfaction of my appetite.

If you envision your long-term goals and track your progress, immediate gratification loses its appeal. Instead of being a prisoner of your instincts, you build up something for yourself – leading to lasting happiness.

Social Media – Keeping out of time-wasting internet sites gets easier and easier. I think one of the “appeals” of Twitter and Facebook is to “stay in the loop”. Once you “break the loop” and stop checking up on people’s status, you don’t really miss much. Besides, being with my friends yesterday >>> checking their status online.

What have I achieved?

Manuscript – I have continued on and finished some more experiments. Even though it was a bit of slow day, I proceeded.

Blog – I am now able to write at least one article per day.

What a difference #NoNothingNovember has already made in my life! Before, I would not find much time for anything because I “needed to check” Twitter and Facebook.

Now, it’s the opposite – I am less and less online because I am working on my blog and manuscript.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 5 tomorrow.

NoNothingNovember, Day 3

A description of the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here:

And the journey continues…

Day 3

Sleep – I slept 6 hours again. Easier than yesterday. What actually helps me is (1) that I am keeping my bedroom uncluttered and (2) that I just put a space heater in. The room was close to the street and therefore cold. Now, it is nice and cosy. It might be my German upbringing, I always crave “Gemütlichkeit”. The moral of the story: keep your bedroom happy and distraction free.

Sweets and snacks – it somehow came easier yesterday – aided by the fact that I am losing body fat. Even though the reason for that is probably more complex than omitting a couple of days of sweets, it looks like I am seeing direct results, which is very motivating.

Social Media – between reading, working on my manuscript at work and writing for my blog there was not much desire to engage in Facebook or Twitter. I posted my initial “Three Things I Am Grateful For” and sent a Facebook eMail to a friend, and that was it.

What have I achieved?

Manuscript – I have managed to finish 3 – 4 figure drafts. Now I only need to fill them up with individual panels.

I also made a new discovery from one of the experiments I was running! Which does not happen that often, as everyone working in Science knows.

Blog – so far, I have managed to write an article per day. This is a good pace and I am happy that I can keep my blog while still working on my manuscript (which takes the bulk of my time).

Had I have had less sleep and been distracted by Twitter – I probably would not have gotten  that much done.

NoNothingNovember continues: Day 4 tomorrow.

NoNothingNovember, Days 1 and 2

A description of the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here:

As promised, here is my journal so far:

Day 1 and 2

Sleep – I slept 8 hours from Day 1 to Day 2 and then 6 hours from Day 2 to 3. The 8 hours of sleep were easy because I had tired myself out the whole week before. The 6 hours were significantly harder, because I was so excited about starting my blog and would have LOVED working more on it that very evening. Yet, I know it’s better to keep something to look forward to the next day, when I am well rested.

Sweets and snacks – knowing that that would be challenging, I indulged myself in a lot of snacks before day 1, so on that day I was basically still full from the day before. On day 2, I made myself some oatmeal with blackberries, apples and honey. Delicious. I did not miss store-bought snacks at all.

Social Media – that was a bit easier. First of all, on both days, I posted the three things I am grateful for as status updates in the morning, then I logged out and did not touch it again until the next morning. I think that was possible because on day 1, I focussed on my lab work, while on day 2 I focussed on producing content for my blog. I have eMail notifications enabled, so I am sure I won’t miss anything important, e.g. if someone sends me a request.

NoNothingNovember, on to day 3!

NoNothingNovember – The Challenge Begins!

We all have our vices, don’t we? Some of us watch an excessive amount of TV and play computer games. We smoke and drink too much, plus eat too much fatty food.Worse yet, even those of us who live a healthy lifestyle often use our work as an excuse to escape our problems.

We use the internet to “connect” with each others. We stay “up to date” by watching the “News”.

But… have you ever gone out in the city you live in, breathed the air and actually “took it all in”? Have you ever sat outside and smoked a cigar with a dear friend? Have you ever found the time to climb on a mountaintop and felt connected to the world around us?

See, we yearn to be with others. We use all the tools at our disposal to be everywhere at every time.

Yet, we are nowhere at all. At no time. Those tools end up using US to disconnect us from the world and entrap us, just like a venus fly trap ensnares a bug, all the while he is thinking “Wow, green! Plant! Nature! I’ll indulge just this ONCE.”

I was guilty of my abundant share of vices at one point in time or another. I still am.

But I also realized I wanted to experience real life, not some artificial version of it.

Time to let go of some bad habits!

#1 – Not enough sleep.
Regularly, I need around 6 hours of sleep. How do I know? This is the amount of sleep I take without an alarm clock.
Yet lately I have “existed” on only 4 – 5 hours. Less sleep = more experiences? WRONG. The body always catches up. Rather, take a good night’s rest and then go about my day with verve and enthusiasm. 
Goal #1 – sleeping no less than 6 hours per night.
#2 – Too many sweets.
Since I am originally from Germany, I like to get a reminder now and then about my old home country. Two of the things Germany is really great at are Chocolate and Sweets – to the detriment of my health and my wallet, since German candy is also very expensive to import.
Goal #2 – no snacks and candies, no refined sugar whatsoever. 
#3 – Social Media.
eMail, Facebook, Twitter. Who knew a little bird could be so vicious? Yet it has consistently managed to lure me into countless hours of wasted time. The same goes for Facebook and checking my eMail. It’s not only the temporary distraction, no: checking twitter rips my focus away for the project I am working on.
Of course, I still want to be able to post updates to my blog and thus grow my audience, but that’s the only way I’ll be using social media – to make a legitimate post and answer any requests. No participation in any conversation.
Goal #3 – Only use Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media for posting blog updates or answering a direct request. 
So these are all things I DON’T wanna do. Will there be some goals that are coming forth?
First, since I am a researcher, I am working on a manuscript that consists right now of a written text and 8 remaining figures that are halfway done.  I will finish all these figures so that we can send the manuscript in in december.
Second, I have just started this blog. By the end of november, I want it to be up and running and the initial kinks smoothed out.
Both goals should be reachable after I eliminate my distractions and get enough sleep.

Let the games begin!

LifeScience Mentor

Welcome to my blog. My name is Florian and I hope you enjoy the site.

1982 Weede 01

LifeScience Mentor is a resource for scientists and non-scientists alike.

If you’d like to contact me: flulrich[at]gmail[dot]com

I will show you ways to improve your life, chose the career that suits you best and most important of all:

Figure out what YOU are happy about.

I will help you build a solid base so you can do what you really want.


My own journey started 20 years ago. I still remember it as if it was yesterday.


I was mowing the lawn when my father came up to me:

“Florian”, he said. “I know what you have to do! You gotta become a toxicologist.”

I was already into all things science and now my father had given me a cool suggestion, an outlet for my scientific mind. A little boy’s dream come true.

Thus, I studied biochemistry and got my PhD in Germany. Then, I went over to the United States to pursue further research – my current job has brought me from Princeton to New York City.

It has been a crazy ride, I fell into bottomless pits but also soared to highs I would have never dreamed about reaching – just by trying out what works and trust the process. I am truly blessed.

Now I am ready to give back.

I see too many of us spending countless hours of our life time behind lab benches or corporate cubicles, unsure what the future will bring.

Often we are told to “work harder, and success will come”.

But is this presence you are living still the one you envisioned for your future? There is a whole life full of choices out there and I want to bring them BACK to you – so you can take back the initiative and win again at the game of living.


I wish you a great time on your journey!