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    NoNothingNovember, Day 26

    Either be proud of or afraid of what you post.

    An article from Mike at struck very much home with me.

    So what did I learn today?

    Since I have started this blog,  I realize that I sometimes worry too much about not offending anyone – and/or embarrassing myself! I should accept who I am and stand up for myself.

    Ok, so let me correct that right here.

    When I wrote my review of “The Slight Edge” (, I said that this book has helped me overcome a lot of my addictions.

    That’s true. What I still left out was the one addiction that I felt the most devastated and embarrassed about:


    NoNothingNovember, Day 25

    Making the NoNothingNovember journal more useful.

    I decided to change the format of my diary a little bit – to make it easier to learn from.

    I will still write down what happened in each category, but now it will be preceded by:

    What did I learn today?

    and then structure the posts into

    (1.) What went well?

    (2.) What do I want to improve?

    (3.) How will I improve?

    That way, I can track my progress better and give myself some “love” while still working on improving my life. Especially (3.) forces me to come up with a little plan on HOW to improve.

    Once a week I review these points and thus see (a) what I have accomplished and (b) where I still need to correct my path.


    NoNothingNovember, Day 24

    NoNothingNovember, my sweet tooth enters the big sleep.

    Three weeks seem to be a valid time to train yourself new habits.

    I am a bit surprised by it myself, but most of the vices I wanted to abandon this month are simply gone from my mind.

    For example, yesterday, I went to get a sandwich for lunch, and there were all those sweets and snacks lined up – I did not even think for a second about buying any of those.

    NoNothingNovember goals


    Slept fine, albeit sometimes, I am a bit tired over the day. Maybe I should up my sleep time to 6.5 hours.

    Sweets and snacks

    As I mentioned above: no desire for sweets. Not even for a replacement, like oatmeal with honey. My sweet tooth lies dormant. Did not think it would be that easy.

    Social media

    I still only check twitter and Facebook when there is an eMail waiting for me, or when I post my “three things to be grateful for”.

    The only times when I have to restrain myself is when someone posts something sounding spectacular. And indeed, there might be a webpage that is truly informative and good to know.

    What I do then is I click on the link and bookmark it for later, then close it again.

    That helps me indeed not getting distracted.

    What have I achieved?


    We had a bit of a setback, an experiment that was crucial to our research did not pan out the way we expected it to.

    These things happen when you work in science. You gotta look ahead and come up with a new idea.

    However, the fact that I make my bed every morning, follow the Happiness Habit and NoNothingNovember helps me here:

    it has freed my mind from all BS, so I can focus on what is important to me.

    That’s basically it for today!

    NoNothingNovember continues: Day 25 tomorrow.

    (a description of my #NoNothingNovember challenge:

    NoNothingNovember, Day 22

    Growth occurs by fits and starts.

    Some days are very slow, others are really extremely efficient. Day 22 was the most productive day in November, if not in 2014, for me.

    I wrote several articles for this blog, plus finished my “homework” assignment for the Science Writing class I am attending and still managed to get ahead at work.

    That being said, with day 22 I can also review my complete progress in November so far.

    NoNothingNovember goals


    Without an alarm clock – I did not need to be at work on time – I slept close to 7 hours. I sometimes wake up after 5 hours and make myself sleep longer until I have a minimum of 6 – 6.5 hours. I really want to get my body used to a regular sleep time.

    I don’t want to ever think I could sacrifice work for sleep, that just makes me fall back into old patterns of behavior. Instead of urgently needing to finish my work, I could lose my discipline and postpone it, regarding sleep as an optional resource.

    Enough with that BS.

    Since the beginning of november, I have slept an average of 6 hours 20 minutes each day.

    Sweets and snacks

    Once again, it was a saturday, so I indulged into oatmeal with blackberries and apples, sweetened with honey. Fantastic. Even after freezing and warming it up in the microwave.

    So, of course, no sweets and snacks that contain refined sugar.

    I am down from 227.6 lbs at the beginning of november to 216 lbs three weeks later. That is a loss of 11.6 lbs or 5.3 kg.

    My body fat went from 25.3% to 23.4%. Almost 2% lost, which amounts to 7.9 lbs (3.6 kg) pure fat.

    In other words: by removing sweets and snacks from my diet, 68% of the weight I lost consisted of fat.

    Social media

    When I open Facebook or twitter to post about things that I am grateful for or answer an eMail, I have almost no interest anymore following the stories people post. In the cases where I do find it interesting after all, I click on the link and bookmark the site that has opened for later, thus eliminating all potential distractions.

    Social Media don’t distract me anymore.

    What have I achieved?


    I spent a lot of time with searching for a way to handle a software error. The other day, I was recording pictures with a high-resolution microscope, and now the software does not display the data properly. The problem is absolutely solvable, but needs some additional work.

    That is one of the exciting or “sucky” things about science. You spend a lot of time trouble shooting.

    And what did I achieve since the beginning of november?

    I am not as far as I thought I’d be with assembling the figures for the manuscript. On the other hand, I have managed to get most of the experiments done that were still missing.

    Now I have to finish the experiments completely, then focus exclusively on putting the figures together. Thanksgiving will give me a bit of time to do that.


    I planned on writing three articles for this blog on the weekend, and I finished them all. So that was productive.

    Since the beginning of November, I have revamped the design of my blog and published around 25 blog posts.

    That is pretty much the pace I wanted to have. Now I feel I can even amp it up and publish more unique, non-dairy style articles.


    I have still managed to finish a homework assignment for my Science Writing class. How? I worked the whole week at it and NOT started in the “last moment”.

    That is something writing this blog has shown me.

    You can’t finish an article within two hours after starting and hope it will always be as good as you want it to be. 

    What the Science writing class has taught me in addition:

    There are a lot of style elements in a text that you can improve upon, and it is absolutely worth taking your time to extensively edit your texts.

    That being said, of course: it is better to have a draft that you can improve upon rather than not getting started.

    NoNothingNovember continues: Day 21 tomorrow.

    (a description of my goals for the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here:

    NoNothingNovember, Day 21

    Always reach out to your fellow man.

    NoNothingNovember, Day 21








    I was reminded how awesome and helpful this community is. Within the last month alone, I have met several truly remarkable people and made great friends.

    Only through reaching out online and taking every opportunity to meet up in person. I am truly amazed.

    Remy Sheppard from invited me on his podcast, and I felt very honored by that request. Humbled, even.

    He has been running blogs for years now, and I am merely starting out.

    We just connected on Skype and started chatting – and he gave me ample opportunity to talk…

    … and to introduce the German version of “Sesame Street” (or something kind of close to it) to the American audience. 😉

    Some things we focused on included:

    God and Religion – is what we directly experience really all there is?

    Government and corporations, political correctness. A short venture into “shirtstorm”.

    Arguing in a mutually beneficial way – how to step out of your ideological “box” and focus on the real issues.

    Moxie and moving forward – embrace your heart and confront your fears. Killer Instinct = Emotional Honesty.

    Chasing after money vs. providing value.

    Jokes and the German language.

    Gaining life experience by reading autobiographies.

    How consistent reading and writing has helped me change my mind – becoming happy is something you have to WANT.

    Time – the most valuable resource everyone has.

    You can check out the podcast (plus Bernie and Ert!) here:


    NoNothingNovember goals


    I am sleeping my regular time, though was still a bit tired over the day. That may have two reasons:

    #1 – If I worked very intensely one day, the next day is almost always less productive.

    #2 – 6.25 hours is still not enough sleep for me.

    I’ll stick to my 6.25 hour schedule and see if my tiredness is something consistent.

    Sweets and snacks

    No temptations.

    Social media

    No problem. I have so many other things that require my attention – foregoing Social Media is not difficult.

    What have I achieved?


    I have to say, writing is real fun for me, and I am quite happy that I started to get into a regular writing habit more than half a year ago.

    Because now I have a collection of many moments and experiences from my life, and the exciting part is – I can actually share them with the world through my blog!

    And nobody can do anything to stop me 😉

    Don’t worry, I make sure they are relevant to the main question – how can we become as happy as we want to be?

    My main point here though is that I have a lot of drafts for future articles. Editing is more work than I thought – it takes the same time, if not more, than writing the draft – but I can start with a solid base and already know what I will be writing about.


    As I mentioned above, Remy Sheppard was kind enough to invite me onto his podcast. It was great to just shoot the shit and talk.

    I am in this for ca. 3 – 4 weeks now, and even though this blog is online, I have already made a handful of connections and met awesome people in person.

    That is truly something to be grateful for.

    NoNothingNovember continues: Day 21 tomorrow.

    (a description of my goals for the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here:

    NoNothingNovember, Day 20

    Keep your eyes wide and enjoy your life.

    When I looked back at yesterday, I first thought nothing much had happened. But when I wrote everything down, it’s not nothing. There are small steps that we should celebrate just like the big landmarks. In fact, your whole life consists of small changes that from time to time amount to bigger monuments of achievement, as I have detailed in my recent book review here:

    NoNothingNovember goals


    Every night this month, I have slept between 6 and 6.25 hours. So far, so good. What I still want to change is to get more regular sleep from 10 – 11 pm until 5 am. I am most productive in the morning, so I want to have as much time as possible then.

    The best way to reset my schedule is actually on the weekend. Because the later I start my day, the more my schedule gets shifted to the evening. There is no workaround from monday to friday, since I still need to get to my regular job.

    Thus, my task is to get into a regular schedule before the week starts.

    Sweets and snacks

    No temptations yesterday, and I did not miss anything.

    Social media

    I discovered a good way to further remove any temptation of browsing the internet on my smart phone – I subscribed to an RSS feed. This way, I can read content on a webpage that I am really interested in without the flashy elements and links.

    I got that idea when I saw that people are accessing my blog via the RSS feed reader Feeddler.

    What have I achieved?


    I took a huge step forward by gathering some data that was still missing – movie recordings of blood flow in zebrafish embryos, viewed through a high-resolution microscope. That may sound fancy, but what I am really doing is to prepare the embryos mount them under the objective, adjust the right region to film and hit “record”.

    But it took a while to get datasets that were actually useful to begin with. So I am happy that I finally got it.


    I finally wrote the first blog post for my book club section – “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. This has been a hugely transformative book for me, so it was an adequate candidate for the first post. I’d be happy if this book can help others the same way it helped me.

    On the long run, I will talk about approximately one book per week – a version of the “52 books in 52 weeks challenge” Mike Cernovich from Danger and Play has talked about; Ed from “52in52weeks” has taken up that challenge.

    I’ll comment a bit more on that challenge soon – I have already established my habit of reading one book per week and will soon introduce more books here, so stay tuned for more updates.


    One point I am still struggling with a lot  is to become faster in editing my blog posts before I publish them. Sure, I can WRITE 750 words in 20 minutes about anything that comes to my mind, but those “ramblings” are mostly interesting to myself.

    Learning to write for my audience – for you, dear reader! takes much more practise, because I want my blog posts to be useful for YOU.

    As everything in life, this will take practise.

    Isn’t that great? I am really happy I live in these exciting times.

    NoNothingNovember continues: Day 21 tomorrow.

    (a description of my goals for the #NoNothingNovember challenge can be found here: