This is a look back at the first week of March – including my goals and daily habits.
A lot of the advice in then self-improvement community centers on being present. Don’t live in the past, don’t imagine you are already in the future, live now. One widely recommended way of living in the moment is meditation. If you either shut off your thoughts for a brief period of time and/or focus exclusively on what you are doing right now – e.g. the dishes – you will hone in on the moment and loosen your attachment to the past and future.
Abandoning those attachments is the basis for getting rid of regrets – a passed opportunity – or fear – of bad events that could happen to you. Moreover, you learn to act and not react, since you are not a slave of your emotions.
February 2015 was a success – albeit smaller than I had hoped – but I managed to work in the direction of my goals.
The big event this month was that we finally sent off our manuscript. A brief explanation – as some of you may know, I work as a biological researcher at New York University. I am interested in the mechanisms that enable blood vessels to grow into the brain, and we found several genes that are necessary for the process. Excitingly, one of those genes is involved in a lot of different types of cancer!
Of course, even though the research will hopefully eventually benefit humans, we can’t really experiment on human subjects. Instead, we use zebrafish, that have blood vessels very similar to humans, as model organisms. We basically switch different genes on and off and use a microscope to record whether blood vessels are still growing or not. These experiments take several days to finish, and all in all, our work was approximately 4 years in the making. Even though the finish was a bit stressful, we are proud.
I am also happy, however, that I can go back to a normal blog post publishing schedule in march.
Two months gone in my challenge “One Year Of Discipline” – based on Victor Pride’s book 30 Days of Discipline and multiplied by 12.
As a brief explanation, “30 Days of Discipline” basically is a collection of 10 habits – some of which relatively easy, some of which hard work, depending on your personality. Those routines prime yourself for a successful day, and you can tackle your main project(s) (habit #11) heads on and efficiently. It has continued to work nicely for me and produced some good results, as you can see below.
These are my goals and performances in February 2015.
This is a look back at the third week of february – including my goals and daily habits.
The following article is directly inspired by another blog post from dangerandplay.com. It has clarified an important concept for me. My take on Mike’s article may be different from yours, so please don’t hesitate to check his article out.
Especially these days I am so much more excited about what I do than I was just a couple of years ago. I sometimes, however, still feel a lull in motivation. Mike’s article suggests to – in that case – go back to the basics – to find out in which situation I felt unstoppable. Remember what I did in those situations… and try to recreate what made me happy then.
I do not want to expand further on the concepts Mike has laid out there.
Instead, I would like to touch on one concept that came to my mind when I read his article.
No general introduction today – also part of my learning process. The last two weeks, I would not post anything at all if I did not have a larger article to write as an introduction. However, since this is also a log of my journey, simply posting the progress along “One Year Of Discipline” should be enough to keep my blog active.
Enjoy the read!
Summary of Day 47
#1 – Career
(a) Lab work
I finished one figure as well as one experiment. Ironically, only now I realize that even if I focus as much as possible, some tasks just take up their time. I used to chide myself for not working hard enough when in fact my main problem was a bad organization of my schedule.
(b) This blog
I reached out via Facebook to the “Smart Passive Income” community and will soon start a Mastermind group – of course, I am happy about that.
#2 – Health
31 push-ups in proper form. Then, finished out to 120 reps in one go, albeit I only went halfway down. Still, what a great way to show persistence to yourself at the dawn of the day. This ties back to my initial outline above – the more I get done by the beginning of the day, the happier I am.
Body Fat Percentage: 21.4%
Morning: eggs and coffee.
Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich.
Dinner: Steak with Brokkoli and Eggs, Mozzarella.
Much to my shame I have to admit I only slept from 4 am to 6 am. That means that I have to sleep now close to 7 hours every night for the rest of the week if I want to be at 6 hours average.
#3 – Social Life
I talked a lot with my coworkers about the project. This is not only straight job talk. This is some form of community or “tribe“, because we are building something together. So it’s emotionally relieving.
#4 – Habits
Here is the list from 30 Days of Discipline – and how I fared:
1. Eat three meals or less, no snacks: done
2. Get up between 5 and 7 am: I got up at 6 am. Ok.
3. Cold showers: check
4. No Porn and Masturbation: check
5. 100 push-ups/squats/sit-ups minimum: no problem
6. Dress to impress, dress for success: check
7. Make a to-do list: done
8. Stand tall and proud: always
9. No excuses/explanations/BS: I am not even thinking about that anymore. It has become so much second nature.
10. Keep those ideas written down:
What did I do well?
1. Woke up early. Went to work immediately. Focusing.
2. Had my desk cleaned up before starting to work.
3. Got to my calisthenics without much of a delay.
What do I want to improve?
Too tired. It is tracking embarrassing to drop your iPad in the train because you fall asleep.
How will I improve?
Simply make sure I get my minimum 6 hours of sleep.
Immediately before falling asleep, I will think about the start in the next day – and visualize the start of my day with all the tasks I will be doing. That should get me into the right mood from the getgo.
11. My purpose: Blog and work. I took care of them. See above.
To check the description of the “One Year of Discipline” challenge, click here.
To see yesterday’s post, see here.
To get back to the homepage, click here.
This is a look back at the second week of february and how I fared in my goals and my daily habits.
I compared that behavior to people that – when similarly faced with the possibility of freedom – continue in the environment they have always been in, even if they dislike it. For example, people often state that they “hate their job”, yet make little effort to change their situation. There are always 1,000 excuses as to why they can’t just quit and do what really brings them fulfillment.
Freedom to Breathe
A shower fell in the night and now dark clouds drift across the sky, occasionally sprinkling a fine film of rain.
I stand under an apple tree in blossom and I breathe. Not only the apple tree but the grass round it glistens with moisture; words cannot describe the sweet fragrance that pervades the air. I inhale as deeply as I can, and the aroma invades my whole being; I breathe with my eyes open, I breathe with my eyes closed—I cannot say which gives me the greater pleasure.
This, I believe, is the single most precious freedom that prison takes away from us: the freedom to breathe freely, as I now can. No food on earth, no wine, not even a womans kiss is sweeter to me than this air steeped in the fragrance of flowers, of moisture and freshness.
No matter that this is only a tiny garden, hemmed in by five-story houses like cages in a zoo. I cease to hear the motorcycles backfiring, radios whining, the burble of loudspeakers. As long as there is fresh air to breathe under an apple tree after a shower, we may survive a little longer.
I was a bit late to an appointment yesterday, so I took a cab from the hospital where I work. The cab driver was really friendly, and turned out to really like science, so we chatted a bit.
But before I continue, here is a video on today’s “Juice A Day” progress. I overcame a childhood fear!
Apologies for not posting more during the last week. I will be back soon with more frequent posts and probably a slight change of this blog’s direction. More then.
Today’s content is simply a look back at the first week of february and how I fared in my goals and my daily habits, as well as the One Year Of Discipline challenge.