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EDITED: If I stop posting for more than a week without notice, I would really appreciate if you bombarded me with PM's and encourage me to come back. This seems like a good policy to have!

I'm unsure if I will do a daily journal, but I do need somewhere to rant today so this seems like a good place.

145 days free of video games, almost halfway into the fall semester.

Unfortunately, habits are very difficult to break and it's been a struggle to study and work on my assignments more than a day before they are due. Which is obviously a problem.

I really do need to break these habits, a lot of these habits involve getting on the computer and going to the wrong thing (Reddit or Facebook instead of my course website or what have you). The thing is, once I start doing my readings or assignments 8/10 times I really to enjoy it. Yet, breaking habits isn't easy and I can speak with all sorts of authority on what I will do in the future, and even try and block sites and do all this nonsense to try and stop myself from falling back into old habits, but then 3 hours have passed and I'm on Facebook. But sometimes I do not even realize this is happening, it just happens and I only realize later what I did!

I can even say that I really do need to start learning new habits and reinforcing them to replace my old ones. Yet it becomes extraordinarily difficult to clean up your act when you're trying to play catch up. For example I'll say I gotta start doing my readings daily, but then I spend the week working on assignments and studying for tests that are happening that week.

I think I need to find a week with nothing due, and focus on doing daily readings and daily assignment working. In the past I've done a lot of planning that ends up making me feel like I was productive, but then I would never get anything REAL done.

Of course, there have been a few things I've managed to work ahead on, not perfect but it's an improvement and I can acknowledge my improvement, but still realize I am still in dire need of more improvement. 
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Today I was at a food place to get supper before an exam, and after eating I decided to go back up to the counter and order a juice (beets, and other red veggies juiced into a really great drink). I sat back down and was studying my book when it suddenly started to get busy, and there were a bunch of people standing at the end waiting for their orders. The guy calls me and I thank him and grab my drink. From behind me a girl says "That looks really good."

Now here is where my problem is. When I first told this story to myself and my girlfriend, I said that I assumed she was talking to someone else and I walked back to my place, packed my stuff and got outta there, gotta get to the exam. I noticed her when I turned around, and once she got her order she went and sat... Alone. I felt terrible while I was leaving, I told myself I thought she had been speaking to someone else, etc.

But I think my mind modified those events. What I'm quite sure happened was she spoke to me, my mind froze unable to talk to her because it was totally aware it at the very least might be for me and I should turn around and respond. So it froze up and got me outta there, and when I turned around and saw her beside someone, that is when my brain said "LOOK YOU'RE OKAY SHE WASN'T TALKING TO YOU." And when it was apparent she was alone and it was a 99% chance she was talking to me, my brain flipped it and said "YOU DIDN'T KNOW" but even if I wasn't sure, the right thing to do would have been to turn around, and at least see if she was speaking to me. 

I had totally clued into the fact that I had been wrong while I was leaving, I could have stopped at her table and said "I'm so sorry were you speaking to me?" and the idea even came to my mind but I just kept going forward. 

Either way, I feel quite bad (I know I cannot do anything about it, and in the future the rule will be I MUST at least CHECK to see if someone is speaking to me) I have on occasion been ignored by people who I've tried to talked to and it always felt bad :(

This makes it clear to me that I still have to work on my social skills, especially speaking to people I don't really know and to women (or girls, because if someone is in the same age range as me they are a boy or girl). 

Alright, that's all I got for now, cheers guys!

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Good on you for starting a daily journal! How about I'll make sure you keep posting and you remind me to as well.

In terms of breaking bad habits, I broke my facebook/useless internet browsing habit by dedicating my desk to work only. This meant that over time my subconcious understood that when I sit at my desk I need to work, and I did this by having to get up and move somewhere else if I needed to do non-work related things, especially on the internet.

Don't dwell on your mistake, just as long as you learn from it and take action next time somebody talks to you. I'd recommend you focus on the decisions and actions you take NOW, not past actions.

If you have some tips on how to stick to not playing games, I would appreciate it! (I relapsed a few days ago).

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Always love seeing another journal up here. :)

When it comes to improving your ability to talk to people you don't know (especially girls), what are the challenges you're having?

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Thanks guys!

I figured I need to do something like that Alex, my only problem is that my desk is the only place I can look at my computer so when I want to do non-work related things on my computer, I must also sit at my desk. 

Yet, this may explain why I can be more successful in my school library, I do not have the same subconscious reaction to not do work, most of the times I end up in the library I'm in a rush to finished something. I will be trying to take more advantage of this in the future. I also do my readings better in the library, or in the university centre. So it seems like the key will be to spend less time at home, and more time in the library!

I'll go post some tips in your journal Alex! 

Thanks Cam!

I'm not sure what the challenges are, most of the times I don't have a problem if someone else starts the conversation, but that doesn't happen very often. A lot of times when I start the conversation with strangers it just doesn't feel like they are interested, I pick up a vibe that they do not want to talk to me. I'm guessing for most people those icebreaking conversations can be awkward, so maybe I'm just worried for no reason, I guess I need to keep trying to talk to people until I find people who sound interested. 

Sometimes it is a problem of not knowing what to talk about, I don't know what the other person is interested in etc. Any sort of tips in this area would be helpful.

Overall, compared to a year ago I am much less awkward and much better at conversations, I think what I really need to practice is the transition from stranger to friend.

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Yes exactly, find the environments that help you take the kind of action you want. For instance, I rarely work at home because whenever I want a break I end up laying on my bed and that causes me to spend an hour watching YouTube videos... whereas when I'm at my office or at a coffee shop, when I need a break I go for a walk, go to the bathroom and then get back to work. Big difference.

Thanks for sharing about the social skills side. I'm currently working on developing a bunch of videos to help you guys with this stuff (I was a social skills coach for the past 5 years in my other business). Check the social skills forum, we've had some good conversations about that stuff so far, and much more will come in the future.

- Cam

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Thanks Cam, I'll check it out soon!

I spent the morning at my girlfriends, because I slept over there to celebrate our 1st anniversary together as a couple (Yes, we started dating on Halloween !2spooky!)

Got some work on my presentation, but spent too much time browsing the internet. Worked at home and pretty much as expected got sidetracked, my University isn't exactly close to my home so sometimes that can be a problem. I guess I should consider going to my cities local library as an alternative. 

For the coming week, I have some goals in mind

  • Get back to doing Duolingo or Memrise daily, don't know why I stopped 
  • Once you're finished catching up on your assignments, it's time to get ahead. The week after this I have nothing due, so post Wednesday is a great time to get started on getting ahead and getting myself more organized 
  • (Break bad habits) Spend less time at home and use Recuse time to see how this affects your work
     

That's all I got for now!

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Been getting some grades back from my midterms and presentations, and all things considered some things aren't really that bad considering the grades I've gotten in the past, and some are really good! Overall I am happy with myself, and realize that even I push myself and actually study and work on things earlier I can get even more impressive grades! 

I found this site that talks about how to study, check it out http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~rapaport/howtostudy.html#intro
Some of the things mentioned I already do, like taking notes on paper only. Some of the things I do not agree with/ find effective, IMO re writing notes is not that useful.
It does have some things I am going to incorporate into my own routine, and I've taken it's guide on how much time I should be spending each day studying/doing work.
I also figured re-reading the textbook is probably the worst way to study for an exam, but I always felt the tradeoff is having to spend a longer time while doing the readings to take notes. His suggestion is to read the textbook fast before the class it will be covered in, and then doing a purposeful slow reading after the class. I do not think I have the time to do that for all my classes, but I might start implementing it by doing it for different classes every week, or maybe doing it for my Economics class only, since it would be really good for that course.

Going to look into ways to do self-testing, I already use Anki/SRS for language learning so I've always figured there might be a good way to put it to use in University. 
Going to get my notes into order, and order them into binders by class, and so far my idea is each class will either have two binders, or one binder with two sections, one for class notes and the other for notes on the readings. I think I will keep them split up so I do not have to carry the notes on my readings around all the time.

Past two days I've brought my distracted/very distracted time way down, good job but it's only been two days so we will see if I can keep the streak going. I've been going to the library as much as possible, and before sitting down at a computer I tell myself exactly what I will be doing, and when I need to use my phone to text someone or something, I try to leave my seat and do it elsewhere in the library. 

I'm back on Duolingo, two days in a row.

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Thanks Cam!  

So on Wednesday I did some work on my case breif even though nothing was immediately due, so I can say it's a good start. I also did duolingo that day, watched a video from Sam Harris and started listening to his podcast. 

Today I listened to his podcast driving to and from university. Lucky for me it was the one with Dan Carlin and it spoke at length about Islam and foreign policy, and synced right into my interests as a political scientist, who happens to be taking a course on the Middle East. Got a fair amount of work done on the case breif, but not as much as I wanted to.

Got my last midtermback and I was shocked..  A 96%! Really great stuff, and makes me realized I could be pulling these kinds of grades in all of my classes once I picked up steam, so tomorrow I'll hit the books hard, get the case breif done, and I have two quizzes tomorrow. Didn't get around to Duolingo today, I need to start bringing headphones so I can do it while I'm at the university. 

I've got a few podcast picked out for the next few drives I think, but when they are done I think I'll listen to the audio version of the slight edge. I was going to reread it but this way I can read something else instead. I might refer back to the book and redesign these posts to better fit with his recommendations, or I might start a physical journal, that would be a good way to practice cursive! 

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I've heard so many good things about Dan Carlin's work!  I think I'll have to add his stuff to the list of things I want to read or listen to.

Great job on your grades!  I know the awesome feeling of getting that test back with an awesome score!

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I had considered listening in the past, but never got around to it. I've got one of his podcasts on my phone now so I'm really looking forward to it!

Thanks Joe! It was a great feeling!

I'll be posting tonight or tomorrow about my days, not sure yet!

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Hey Guys!

On Friday, I continued on my case brief, summarizing one of the dissenting opinions, and did some reading for a quiz and then did a quiz! I don't think I did Duolingo. Overall the productivity level was okay, but I should have done more work, halfway through the day the University lost it's internet so I went home, but even though I could have continued writing about the other sections of the case brief I just did nothing really.

On Saturday, I woke up and after spending too much time messing around I did my other quiz and then went to my girlfriends places. I didn't get my Duolingo in.

Today, I got back from my Girlfriends and browsed the internet for a bit, then I typed up the dissenting opinion on my case brief. I know I should be doing more, but my eyes are really "heavy" and I have a headache. I'm not sure what's wrong, but it's draining any motivation to work on my case brief. I think I will do some duolingo to try and shake myself out of it, and then write up the 2nd dissenting and if time before bed, the majority on paper. Type them up quick and then tomorrow I can work on editing and double checking that work, it is due tomorrow.

All things considered, it's a relief that I don't have to be rushing and doing all of it right now in this state. Maybe I'll make myself some tea as I do some duolingo and warm my brain up. I'll post again here before bed with my progress.

 

 

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On My Case Brief and Essay Writing

Wow, look at the time. It's 10:01 PM on the night something is due, and I'm not going to have to stay up until midnight finishing it! Sorry I didn't report back last night, I got out the second dissenting opinion and I cannot remember if I did anything else, but today I wrote the majority opinion and edited it in the afternoon, and this evening I wrote the summary and edited the entire document over and over again, until a few minutes ago when I felt I wouldn't get anything more out of editing. 

Something that I have done that has helped me catch errors is to copy and paste the portion I am editing into google translate, and to get it to read it outloud. This allows me to hear and read the paper at the same time. Your brain has the tendency to skim over things if it already thinks it knows the content, making it difficult to edit something. If you can hear it while you read it, and the text-to-speech says something you aren't expecting, it makes you stop, re-read and rethink what you wrote. 

I did this in my paper proposal, and it seemed to pay off with an 80%, the only spelling mistake I seemed to miss was "courty" instead of "court". The professor also commented that in some sentences I was too verbose, and I could get to the point faster so I tried to do that in the case brief.  

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Spelling.... lol
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Other Concerns and Musings 

It could just be the change of seasons right now affecting you. I know I've been feeling it quite a bit.

That's true, I never thought of that!

Today I had a pretty bad time with acid, which is not usual given my diet (I eat a whole food, plant based diet*). Asking my parents I think the problem was apple juice. If any of you have ever wondered what one could put on cereal other than milk, in my house the answer is often apple juice or orange juice.

I completed Duolingo yesterday, and I will be jumping on there in a second and create a 2 day streak. 

Started listening to the audiobook version of the slight edge, and it's just as good as the book version and has reminded me the power of the slight edge and the importance of changing my philosophy. I'm looking to make the commitment to reading 10 pages of a good book everyday sometime in the future... I need to set a date.

But, something I've been excited to share and has put some fire in my step is a wonderful opportunity. To summarize quickly my Major is Political Science but my Minor is International Development. As such, there is an opportunity to apply and work for a major Canadian NGO this summer in international development in Africa. They spin it as a great chance at personal and professional development and even the idea of having the opportunity to finally get my hands dirty in development makes my stomach turn into butterflies. This is the opportunity I was looking for, and would make for an amazing reversal of fortunes.  
On my side there are economic concerns, while this opportunity would be great I need to be able to make enough money in the summer so I can pay for my university tuition. I was suppose to send an email asking about
compensation today but it seemed to slip my mind while working on my case brief. I've made a commitment to myself that regardless whether the economics works, I will bring my resume into the career services at the university and start a wild goose chase for a better summer job that is related to my degree. It does not matter if I fail and I have to go back to my current summer job, the fact is there is no harm in trying and quite frankly with the amount of distaste I have in my job, even if I have to return in the summer there will be a lot of comfort in knowing that I at least tried to find something better. 

*That's mostly plants and whole grains, low in processed foods, no meat or dairy. Think of a vegan, but I consume honey. This has basically been my diet since birth, my parents have a similar diet, but I do take it further than they do.

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Awesome to read your so mindful of your diet. I eat a very low processed foods diet as well. I would caution you on apple juice, since apple juice has a tremendous amount of fruit sugar. It's like eating 12 apples. You wouldn't eat 12 apples, you'd eat one or two apples. Just something to consider. I don't eat cereal personally. 

On another note, if you have the opportunity to do a summer in Africa, DO IT. Travel such as this can only lead to major positive life benefits, now and in the future. Just trust me on this one. :)

 

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Thursday Already..

Assignments and Procrastination 

Tuesday was not very productive, I realized Monday after my case brief that I had a economics assignment due Wednesday. Tuesday I read some of the book that I needed to read to do the assignment but in the end I did not put enough effort into it. I realized that day that unlike the rest of my assignments this one was due at Noon, not midnight. I think overall it caused me to panic and not put in the correct effort.

That being said I did not have a lot of time considering the number of pages I had to read. At the end of it all, Yesterday in about the span of an hour I cranked out the assignment. It's only 5% of my grade and I've learned enough that any grade is better than no grade so I did my best considering what had happened.

I realized for the future that I should have been looking a little further ahead, next time I will look ahead and space out readings I have to do for an assignment or essay so this doesn't happen again. 

After the assignment, I went to class then after class I hung out with my girlfriend until 2-3. While it was enjoyable I probably shouldn't have done that. Then I got home and basically did nothing for the rest of the night, I browsed the internet until finally I started watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I can forgive myself for watching the show, because it provides real entertainment value compared to mindless internet browsing and helped me unwind.

The Slight Edge

I finished listening to the Slight Edge audiobook. It was an abridged version. I think I liked the book a little more, but that being said the book did remind me of the power of the slight edge and I gleaned some different incites this time around.

Something as a Sci Fi nerd that made me chuckle was when he was speaking about the fact that there is so much information already out there on personal development, but not enough material on the philosophy. He said "The answers are already out there" it made me think of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They already had the answer to the question of life, "42". What they didn't know was the question.

This evening I am going to sit down with the audiobook and or ebook and work out the plans it has you do, in full this time. Somehow I will take that and make it my background on my computer, and save it on my phone or something so I can read it every morning when I wake up.

One of the things that really spoke to me this time around was when it spoke about the things left undone from the past. These things in the past that you didn't finish can bring you kicking and screaming back to the past to deal with them, and that past isn't where you want to be. I agree with this, and I admittedly I have a lot of undone things that need to be taken care of. I've started composing a list of unfinished tasks from my past and hopefully one at a time I will complete them. I was thinking about doing 1 thing a week.

I has this problem where I want to start working out again, or start reading 10 pages of a good personal development book everyday, all those slight edge techniques, but this tends to happen at a time when there are so many other things going on that I just don't feel like I have that time and all those other excuses. Which is general I guess just aren't true, given all the time I've wasted in the last two days. I think the number one habit I need to implement (Not related to school work) is any sort of daily language learning in Portuguese, something which I keep falling out of. 

Habits

A big part of me that I want to change right now is my habits. So with that the most appropriate book I can find is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I've looked for an audiobook, and there is an unabridged audiobook that runs for 10 hours. The book is around 400 pages, but books are dangerous for me. If I start reading and it's good, I just wont stop until it's finished.

I will most likely opt for the audiobook, but I found an article, and a free course about habits:
 http://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change
http://tinyhabits.com/join/

http://zenhabits.net/badhabit/

 

The tinyhabits course is free, you setup 3 habits you want to implement (I guess there is some sort of criteria that I do not know about yet) and over the week you have to email him if you have completed your habits or not. The next course is next week 16th-20th. I would like to sign up, but I know I have a paper due on the Tuesday, and I worry I will be stuck between finishing the paper and trying to do these habits... I guess one of the methods to prevent this will be to due as much as possible on the weekend. I'll post on here later if I decide to, and I would encourage others to try with me!

I'll be posting again this evening, gonna do readings for my essay until 9, then from 9-10 gonna work on my slight edge plan. 

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Awesome to read your so mindful of your diet. I eat a very low processed foods diet as well. I would caution you on apple juice, since apple juice has a tremendous amount of fruit sugar. It's like eating 12 apples. You wouldn't eat 12 apples, you'd eat one or two apples. Just something to consider. I don't eat cereal personally. 

On another note, if you have the opportunity to do a summer in Africa, DO IT. Travel such as this can only lead to major positive life benefits, now and in the future. Just trust me on this one. :)

 

It's true, there is a lot of sugar in juices, I don't drink juices outside of putting it on cereal. I also don't eat cereal that often, I prefer oatmeal! Some mornings oatmeal is just too much work haha ;)

I've looked into it, and unfortunately it's more volunteered then paid so I wouldn't be able to make the money to pay for my tuition. My goal is still to find a better job!
Travel is always fun, I've done "a lot" of traveling since and shortly before quitting video games! Something I want to fill my life with in the future as well, one of the reasons why I want to teach English abroad!

The post I've made above has taken some pressure off my shoulders, it's almost therapeutic to post here sometimes!

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Again with procrastination. Got 3 of the 6 base readings done for my first paper, and I summarized the important parts. Because of this I did not get to making my slight edge plan, but I'm going to jump on duolingo right now and do my daily 30xp before bedtime. 

I've considered bringing the goal down to either 20xp or 10xp. 20 would be doing 1 review and 1 new part a day, 10 would just be a pick between 1 review and 1 new part. I guess I could set it to 10, and do 1 new part everyday with a review whenever it is needed. I think 20xp might be my answer.

 

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EDITED: If I stop posting for more than a week without notice, I would really appreciate if you bombarded me with PM's and encourage me to come back. This seems like a good policy to have!

I'm unsure if I will do a daily journal, but I do need somewhere to rant today so this seems like a good place.

145 days free of video games, almost halfway into the fall semester.

Unfortunately, habits are very difficult to break and it's been a struggle to study and work on my assignments more than a day before they are due. Which is obviously a problem.

I really do need to break these habits, a lot of these habits involve getting on the computer and going to the wrong thing (Reddit or Facebook instead of my course website or what have you). The thing is, once I start doing my readings or assignments 8/10 times I really to enjoy it. Yet, breaking habits isn't easy and I can speak with all sorts of authority on what I will do in the future, and even try and block sites and do all this nonsense to try and stop myself from falling back into old habits, but then 3 hours have passed and I'm on Facebook. But sometimes I do not even realize this is happening, it just happens and I only realize later what I did!

I can even say that I really do need to start learning new habits and reinforcing them to replace my old ones. Yet it becomes extraordinarily difficult to clean up your act when you're trying to play catch up. For example I'll say I gotta start doing my readings daily, but then I spend the week working on assignments and studying for tests that are happening that week.

I think I need to find a week with nothing due, and focus on doing daily readings and daily assignment working. In the past I've done a lot of planning that ends up making me feel like I was productive, but then I would never get anything REAL done.

Of course, there have been a few things I've managed to work ahead on, not perfect but it's an improvement and I can acknowledge my improvement, but still realize I am still in dire need of more improvement. 
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Today I was at a food place to get supper before an exam, and after eating I decided to go back up to the counter and order a juice (beets, and other red veggies juiced into a really great drink). I sat back down and was studying my book when it suddenly started to get busy, and there were a bunch of people standing at the end waiting for their orders. The guy calls me and I thank him and grab my drink. From behind me a girl says "That looks really good."

Now here is where my problem is. When I first told this story to myself and my girlfriend, I said that I assumed she was talking to someone else and I walked back to my place, packed my stuff and got outta there, gotta get to the exam. I noticed her when I turned around, and once she got her order she went and sat... Alone. I felt terrible while I was leaving, I told myself I thought she had been speaking to someone else, etc.

But I think my mind modified those events. What I'm quite sure happened was she spoke to me, my mind froze unable to talk to her because it was totally aware it at the very least might be for me and I should turn around and respond. So it froze up and got me outta there, and when I turned around and saw her beside someone, that is when my brain said "LOOK YOU'RE OKAY SHE WASN'T TALKING TO YOU." And when it was apparent she was alone and it was a 99% chance she was talking to me, my brain flipped it and said "YOU DIDN'T KNOW" but even if I wasn't sure, the right thing to do would have been to turn around, and at least see if she was speaking to me. 

I had totally clued into the fact that I had been wrong while I was leaving, I could have stopped at her table and said "I'm so sorry were you speaking to me?" and the idea even came to my mind but I just kept going forward. 

Either way, I feel quite bad (I know I cannot do anything about it, and in the future the rule will be I MUST at least CHECK to see if someone is speaking to me) I have on occasion been ignored by people who I've tried to talked to and it always felt bad :(

This makes it clear to me that I still have to work on my social skills, especially speaking to people I don't really know and to women (or girls, because if someone is in the same age range as me they are a boy or girl). 

Alright, that's all I got for now, cheers guys!

Elegwa, the important thing to remember is that, in every situation that you've ever experienced in your entire life, you did the best you possibly could with the information that you had. If you "knew better", then you would have done better! Sometimes we look back on our failings and it's easy to beat ourselves up over it, so it's really important to stop yourself when you catch yourself doing that and remind yourself that it doesn't matter what happened in the past, all that matters is what you do going forward.

If you have a smartphone or tablet, I strongly suggest taking 20 minutes out of your day for meditation via Calm.com, specifically, the 7-days and 21-days of calm. The 21 days requires a subscription, but it's so cheap (something like 25 or 30 bucks a year) and so, so worth it, since the subscription also unlocks a bunch of other premium features. I can personally attest to how powerful this program is. The core concepts it helps you with are awareness (getting your mind to focus on what's going on in the moment), non-reactivity (stopping yourself from judging or creating a story around feelings, events and memories), and self-compassion (learning to love yourself and not beat yourself up over stuff).

Thanks guys!

I figured I need to do something like that Alex, my only problem is that my desk is the only place I can look at my computer so when I want to do non-work related things on my computer, I must also sit at my desk. 

Yet, this may explain why I can be more successful in my school library, I do not have the same subconscious reaction to not do work, most of the times I end up in the library I'm in a rush to finished something. I will be trying to take more advantage of this in the future. I also do my readings better in the library, or in the university centre. So it seems like the key will be to spend less time at home, and more time in the library!

I'll go post some tips in your journal Alex! 

Thanks Cam!

I'm not sure what the challenges are, most of the times I don't have a problem if someone else starts the conversation, but that doesn't happen very often. A lot of times when I start the conversation with strangers it just doesn't feel like they are interested, I pick up a vibe that they do not want to talk to me. I'm guessing for most people those icebreaking conversations can be awkward, so maybe I'm just worried for no reason, I guess I need to keep trying to talk to people until I find people who sound interested. 

Sometimes it is a problem of not knowing what to talk about, I don't know what the other person is interested in etc. Any sort of tips in this area would be helpful.

Overall, compared to a year ago I am much less awkward and much better at conversations, I think what I really need to practice is the transition from stranger to friend.

Elegwa, a conversation is a two-way street, and if someone isn't giving you as much attention as you're giving them, then you've got to give strong consideration to the idea that it might be worth it to simply move on. You will not get along with everyone, and you will not "click" with everyone, and that's perfectly OK! As long as you keep at it, you will eventually "click" with enough people in your life that the ones who choose to not put a whole lot of effort into interacting with you will not bother you so much. Remember that you are precious and valuable, you have a unique set of skills and talents that nobody else on the planet has, and you're on this planet for a reason. Your time and energy is an extremely precious commodity that you can never get back once spent, so make sure you spend it on people that fully appreciate it!

Thursday Already..

Assignments and Procrastination 

Tuesday was not very productive, I realized Monday after my case brief that I had a economics assignment due Wednesday. Tuesday I read some of the book that I needed to read to do the assignment but in the end I did not put enough effort into it. I realized that day that unlike the rest of my assignments this one was due at Noon, not midnight. I think overall it caused me to panic and not put in the correct effort.

That being said I did not have a lot of time considering the number of pages I had to read. At the end of it all, Yesterday in about the span of an hour I cranked out the assignment. It's only 5% of my grade and I've learned enough that any grade is better than no grade so I did my best considering what had happened.

I realized for the future that I should have been looking a little further ahead, next time I will look ahead and space out readings I have to do for an assignment or essay so this doesn't happen again. 

After the assignment, I went to class then after class I hung out with my girlfriend until 2-3. While it was enjoyable I probably shouldn't have done that. Then I got home and basically did nothing for the rest of the night, I browsed the internet until finally I started watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I can forgive myself for watching the show, because it provides real entertainment value compared to mindless internet browsing and helped me unwind.

The Slight Edge

I finished listening to the Slight Edge audiobook. It was an abridged version. I think I liked the book a little more, but that being said the book did remind me of the power of the slight edge and I gleaned some different incites this time around.

Something as a Sci Fi nerd that made me chuckle was when he was speaking about the fact that there is so much information already out there on personal development, but not enough material on the philosophy. He said "The answers are already out there" it made me think of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They already had the answer to the question of life, "42". What they didn't know was the question.

This evening I am going to sit down with the audiobook and or ebook and work out the plans it has you do, in full this time. Somehow I will take that and make it my background on my computer, and save it on my phone or something so I can read it every morning when I wake up.

One of the things that really spoke to me this time around was when it spoke about the things left undone from the past. These things in the past that you didn't finish can bring you kicking and screaming back to the past to deal with them, and that past isn't where you want to be. I agree with this, and I admittedly I have a lot of undone things that need to be taken care of. I've started composing a list of unfinished tasks from my past and hopefully one at a time I will complete them. I was thinking about doing 1 thing a week.

I has this problem where I want to start working out again, or start reading 10 pages of a good personal development book everyday, all those slight edge techniques, but this tends to happen at a time when there are so many other things going on that I just don't feel like I have that time and all those other excuses. Which is general I guess just aren't true, given all the time I've wasted in the last two days. I think the number one habit I need to implement (Not related to school work) is any sort of daily language learning in Portuguese, something which I keep falling out of. 

Habits

A big part of me that I want to change right now is my habits. So with that the most appropriate book I can find is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I've looked for an audiobook, and there is an unabridged audiobook that runs for 10 hours. The book is around 400 pages, but books are dangerous for me. If I start reading and it's good, I just wont stop until it's finished.

I will most likely opt for the audiobook, but I found an article, and a free course about habits:
 http://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change
http://tinyhabits.com/join/

http://zenhabits.net/badhabit/

 

The tinyhabits course is free, you setup 3 habits you want to implement (I guess there is some sort of criteria that I do not know about yet) and over the week you have to email him if you have completed your habits or not. The next course is next week 16th-20th. I would like to sign up, but I know I have a paper due on the Tuesday, and I worry I will be stuck between finishing the paper and trying to do these habits... I guess one of the methods to prevent this will be to due as much as possible on the weekend. I'll post on here later if I decide to, and I would encourage others to try with me!

I'll be posting again this evening, gonna do readings for my essay until 9, then from 9-10 gonna work on my slight edge plan. 

The Slight Edge really is quite an amazing book! Definitely go through the exercises, there aren't a whole lot but I believe they are very important to do.

Thanks for those habits links, I will check them out for sure! :)

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Elegwa, the important thing to remember is that, in every situation that you've ever experienced in your entire life, you did the best you possibly could with the information that you had. If you "knew better", then you would have done better! Sometimes we look back on our failings and it's easy to beat ourselves up over it, so it's really important to stop yourself when you catch yourself doing that and remind yourself that it doesn't matter what happened in the past, all that matters is what you do going forward.

If you have a smartphone or tablet, I strongly suggest taking 20 minutes out of your day for meditation via Calm.com, specifically, the 7-days and 21-days of calm. The 21 days requires a subscription, but it's so cheap (something like 25 or 30 bucks a year) and so, so worth it, since the subscription also unlocks a bunch of other premium features. I can personally attest to how powerful this program is. The core concepts it helps you with are awareness (getting your mind to focus on what's going on in the moment), non-reactivity (stopping yourself from judging or creating a story around feelings, events and memories), and self-compassion (learning to love yourself and not beat yourself up over stuff).

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Elegwa, a conversation is a two-way street, and if someone isn't giving you as much attention as you're giving them, then you've got to give strong consideration to the idea that it might be worth it to simply move on. You will not get along with everyone, and you will not "click" with everyone, and that's perfectly OK! As long as you keep at it, you will eventually "click" with enough people in your life that the ones who choose to not put a whole lot of effort into interacting with you will not bother you so much. Remember that you are precious and valuable, you have a unique set of skills and talents that nobody else on the planet has, and you're on this planet for a reason. Your time and energy is an extremely precious commodity that you can never get back once spent, so make sure you spend it on people that fully appreciate it!

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Thanks for those habits links, I will check them out for sure! :)

The past created the person I am today, even if I do have some regrets or points of contention I realized that the path I've taken so far has given me a unique set of experiences and knowledge that I would not trade in for another set. I remember the very first time the concept of what it means to be a grateful addict finally started to sink in and I understood what it meant. It was uplifting and liberating, but it wasn't over just like that. I do struggle with reactivity, and other negative thoughts and behaviours. I'll look into calm.com thank you! I watched a talk with Sam Harris where he talks about mindful meditation, but I have been having difficulty doing it by myself.

I do have a problem with self-compassion, and after listening to a podcast I realized I shame myself a lot, and it was almost a relief to learn that there was a different way to do this, so that I didn't have to feel so shitty all the time. I talked to my girlfriend once about how I feel about myself and she didn't agree with me on most points, so I need to work on seeing myself in a more positive light. 

Wow, thank you! I don't think I consider that often enough. I might be stuck in a mindset where I blame myself for being socially inept or awkward, when it may really be them. I can point to people in my life who I have just clicked with, male and female. It may just be a matter of finding an environment with people I will be able to click with. Next semester I'm going to either try going to a club or two, or maybe volunteer at the local radio station. 

No problem! Thank you for that post, it's really helped me think about me.

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161 days my progress has been quite slow, I often post here about my musing on my school work and language learning and stuff like this because my school work is my most urgent priority. In these 161 days I haven't made as much progress as I would like to.. I think?

See, this is the problem sometimes. I stayed home this weekend to get an essay done, it's due Tuesday. Friday was not particularly productive. Saturday and Sunday? I don't know, I've gotten more reading done and I've got the skeletons on how I'm going to write the paper. When I look at the work I've done, I don't even know if I can call it work, it barely feels like anything. Yet at the same time, this is a massive improvement over starting the paper on Tuesday morning and skipping all my classes to get it done. Yet that starting point is really bad, it almost feels like I'm telling myself accidental manslaughter is better than 1st degree murder. I don't know why I wasn't able to do more this weekend. Partly it was a battle against all the bad habits I've built, and the history of starting shortly before it is due. The other part was the events in Paris that were extremely depressing. 
I can see why what I've done is better than starting Tuesday, but it just feels like it's not significant enough to celebrate. I feel guilty about not starting earlier like I know I should have. 

I guess that just means I gotta get this done to the best of my ability and start the next ASAP.

I think deep down inside I'm scared to fail. No, I'm scared to put in a legitimate effort, and then fail. I can tell myself that I can just learn from whatever happens, but I think after spending such a long time not trying it's still scary and it causes me to procrastinate etc. Yet I've worked ahead of time on my first econ assignment and my case presentation and they both turned out fine! I could have practiced my presentation and improved the slides but all together I got a great grade and I should be happy with myself. I guess I'm worried about my case brief, maybe because it's the first thing I didn't spend up until the last minutes of the deadline doing. But I knew it was already done, that anymore work on it would be perfection seeking that would not have been constructive. Once I get the grade and feedback THEN I can find out how to make the next assignment perfect, but also celebrate my grade and the fact that I worked on it properly over time. 

This semester is going to end well, at the very minimum it will be better results then the last 3 years. I'm going to do my best, and give it my all in everything I do. I can take what I have learned and read this semester, and apply it from the start of next semester. I have to be content with the progress I am making, everyday is +1 and eventually it will snowball. I meant to say at the beginning that while I normally post about school work, that there are other problems (some highlighted above) that I do not speak about as often, and I am really not giving as much time do to my priority of turning over a good semester first. I want to inject some exercise and meditation into my week simply to keep me going until I feel like I can sit down and work everything out.

I feel like I've rambled on long enough, I got some exercise in Saturday but I haven't got my Duolingo in this weekend. 

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Hey, think about the primordial soup! Many works start as a collection of random stuff. Also research is a fundamental part of the equation. Don't beat yourself up when you're actually making progress, pat yourself on the shoulder instead :)

If you struggle with organizing your thoughts give mind mapping a try. I use XMind (free). 

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Thanks Tom! You're right, it started to fall together just when I needed it to!

I've been thinking about getting a book on how to do mind mapping instead of taking notes in class. Some research suggest it's better for remembering and understanding! Also a lot less writing haha!

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Wow, I haven't posted since last Sunday!

I finished up my essay and turned it in on Tuesday in class as expected, wasn't as happy with it as I wanted to be but oh well.

I got my case brief back with an 85%. All of that self doubt was for nothing! That's what happens when I get started early! :D

After the essay on Tuesday, this week I've only manage to do some reading for the next essay. I need to step up my game again :v. I noticed that when I do not post on here I do not get a lot of stuff done, but as soon as I tell myself I will post on here stuff magically gets done.

I'm making a commitment to post daily in this journal.

Actually, I applied for a volunteer position at my university. If i get the position I will have to help a new Syrian refugee student get comfortable in Canada and our University. I've volunteered for a program similar to this in the past for international students so I hope my experience there will land me this new, slightly upgraded position. It would be a really amazing opportunity to welcome and help someone! 

Today I work on Duolingo, then an online quiz, and now I am going to put more Hardcore history on my phone (finish all the ones on there) and read for my essay until I leave for my girlfriends!

See you tomorrow!


 

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