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Ed

What Will You Learn From Ed's Journal?

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This journal has 2 main purposes

1. I'm still learning (you never stop).  But I have learnt a few things that hopefully will help you.

2. This is the selfish reason.  To have a place to keep myself accountable.

This thread probably won't be updated daily, but I plan to put something in here at least once a week.

 

What Did I Work On Today?

There's one thing you need to be working on everyday.  Regardless of how old you are.

Fitness.

I have to admit I'm out of shape at the moment.  I've been slacking off lately.  There's more flab around my belly than I'd like.

After reading Kyle's Thousand Mile thread I decided I'd go for a mile run.

I haven't gone for a run for a while.  I used to have to run 2.4km (1.5mi) in under 11 minutes.  It used to be part of my job, I'll talk about that another time.

Running is enjoyable but I tend to avoid it these days.  Not the best exercise for your knees.

I got a respectable time:

Run_time.thumb.png.9bf8eaa88bb86103b4ec9

While that might seem like a good time to you, it's slow compared to the speed I used to run.

Maintaining your fitness standards is much easier than improving them.

I'm not upset about it, just acknowledging I can do better when I'm fit.  And notice that I'm not comparing my speeds to anyone else.

Competition has it's place and it can be a great motivator to get you fitter.  As long as you're comparing yourself to someone roughly the same level.

If you're at the stage you can only do a slow walk that's fine too.  That's doing way better than sitting on the couch watching reality TV.

 

On the way back from my run I stopped off at the bar.  No, not the one that sells beer, but the ones you can do chin-ups.... Or pull-ups......  I'm really not sure what they're officially called.  Anyway, I jumped and grabbed the bar.  Pulled myself up 5 times.  I want to get it to 10 in a row before the end of January.

Then before I went home, I took this photo:

beach_run.thumb.jpg.806ab965670e29285da7

Edited by Ed
Wasn't letting me link earlier

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Awesome to have your journal up here Ed. :)

Thanks Cam.

 

What did I work on today?

1. Fitness - Do you ever get one of those days you just don't feel like moving?  Yeah, everyone does sometimes. I had one of them today.

Weird thing about exercise is that sometimes before you start it you really don't want to do it.  But as soon as you start it can become enjoyable.

I started by doing one set of push-ups.  I told myself just do one set, see how many I could do in a row....25.

By then I'd already done 25, I'd given myself some momentum.  Why not keep going?  I ended up doing 100 in total.

 

2. Relationships - I'm not necessarily talking about girlfriend/boyfriend relationships.  Although that also falls under this category too.  Relationships also includes friends, family, acquaintances etc.

I Rode my bike to catch up with some friends this morning (My bike has a motor so that doesn't count as exercise).  I'm heading down to Melbourne soon, so I wanted to see them before Christmas.

Sometimes you'll help out your friends in huge ways.  Or sometimes they'll help you out.  But a lot of the time it's the easy things, like just catching up occasionally.

hayabusa.thumb.jpg.20df10261819603bda03f

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I had an extremely unproductive day today.  Just kind of let the day pass by. I didn't seize it and pound it into submission.  One thing good came out of today.  I came to a decision, but I'll come to that in a minute.

Once I finish this post I'm going to start planning out the rest of my week.  Make a schedule.  And then as practically possible stick to it.

 

Today hasn't been a total waste (although it's very close).  I did a bit of walking and got some errands done. It's better than nothing but if I don't sweat I don't count it as exercise.

Kept up with writing everyday.  For the times when I don't have anything specific to say and I'm just practicing I use a program called Write or Die 2.  Basically it's a program you set how many words you want to write.  Give yourself a time limit.  And then you write.  Stay still for too long and it starts deleting your words. Wrote 500 words, it's a small amount to keep my writing muscles from wasting away.

 

Now to tell you about the decision I've made.

It's one that I feel nervous about making it public.  If I kept it to myself I could easily just back out of it and no one would ever know.

In Scott Adam's book he talks about the difference between wishing and deciding.  Most people settle for wishing.  Which means whatever they want never happens.

But I've decided.

2016 is going to be the year I get good at public speaking.

Years ago I put in a lot of work to get over my fear of public speaking. 

I joined Toastmasters, gave speeches.

When opportunities to speak in front of a group appeared.  I took them.

Public speaking is still very much something that I find nerve-wracking.  But it no longer holds me back as it used to.

But now it's time to actually get good at it.

microphone.thumb.jpg.2ec7b8f727b95b56319

P.s. Click here to hear my conversation with Cam

P.p.s. Let me know if there's anything you would like me to cover and I'll make a recording for the GameQuitters forum

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Hey Ed, I finally caught up with your journal. Good stuff. I agree with your points, love the wishing vs deciding argument, and appreciate the fact that you use your own pictures.

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Lal! Write or Die 2 sounds ... interesting? My first thought was that it has something to do with those games where you're fighting off zombies and things, and you need to type the words that appear on the screen to achieve that. Of course, it doesn't. But it still is a little game like :P.

I much prefer Scrivener myself, for it lets you adjust the font size, type, background color, and a lot of other things. I love the fact that I can set the background color to gray; it's so much easier on the eyes than white.

Edited by Marchosias

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Woohoo! Think this is a great decision man. :)

It's a scary decision.  That shouldn't be scary.  It's not like there's any credible danger in it.  I actually planned to make a small recording today.  But somehow I found clothes to put away, dishes to do etc..  Tomorrow I'll post a mini YouTube podcast. (YouTube is free while you have to pay a monthly fee for podcasting)

 

Hey Ed, I finally caught up with your journal. Good stuff. I agree with your points, love the wishing vs deciding argument, and appreciate the fact that you use your own pictures.

The wishing vs deciding argument comes form How To Fail at Almost Everything by Scott Adams.  I've heard similar points before but Scott just puts it so succinctly.

 

Lal! Write or Die 2 sounds ... interesting? My first thought was that it has something to do with those games where you're fighting off zombies and things, and you need to type the words that appear on the screen to achieve that. Of course, it doesn't. But it still is a little game like :P.

Write or Die 2 is very slightly game like.  But not much.  It's a plain screen that you write on and depending on your settings things happen only when you stop writing.  It's not a program I use for any serious writing.  It's more to force me to stop thinking about what I'm writing and just write.  Sometimes amongst the random thoughts there's some writing I can use. You can try it out for free here. (Change the settings then click on "Try")

If you're writing a book, Scrivener is the program most often recommended.  To write blog posts I'll either use Microsoft Word or just write it in WordPress.

 

What did I work on today?

1. Fitness - 1 mile run.  Last time I did it in 9:16 minutes.  I wanted to see if I could get it under 9 minutes this time. Managed to do it in 8:28 minutes.  Will I be able to run it in under 8 minutes next time?

Pushups - First set 25 then many sets until a total of 100

Chinups - 5 in a row, then 3, and 2.
Chinups.thumb.jpg.2137107cb1886b4d535c99

2. Writing - Published a blog post reviewing Don't Bite the Sun.  It was hard to write.  I didn't hate the book, I didn't love it.  I just kind of liked it a bit.

Also wrote 500 words in Write or Die.

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Great job on the push ups!  I've worked my way up to 10 in a row.  I worked my way up from three in a row at first.  It's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I'm still proud of it!

Progress is progress.  Good work.

One of the dangers of improving yourself is a lot of people the tendency to compare themselves to other people.  This isn't necessarily bad.  If you've got someone maybe 2 or 3 steps above where you are now the competitive aspect can be a great motivator.  It's when people start comparing themselves to others who are way ahead of them that it can become demoralizing.  If I really wanted to get my 1 mile time down I would seek out people who can run it in 7 minutes.  And try to beat them.  If I started to compare myself to people who can run a 4 minute mile.... that would just be depressing.

So going from 3 push-ups to 10 is something to be proud of.  It's a 333% improvement on where you started.

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What did I work on today?

1. Social- You want to keep your current relationships improving.  But it's also a good idea to put yourself out there and meet new people.  Today I went to a club I recently joined.  I'm still getting to know people there but a couple of the more experienced guys gave me some great advice.
9mm.thumb.jpg.b4be55d8b5929d874f12325873

2. Public Speaking - One quote from Cam's recent email is "2016 starts today. It doesn't start on January 1." I agree, there's nothing magical about New Years Day.  Everyday is the perfect day to start improving your life.  Which is why I've made a start at getting better at public speaking.  It's a small and almost insignificant start.  But it's a start.  So here's a very short speech (30 seconds).  It's exclusive to the GameQuitters forum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL7OSKiL9M8

3 Languages - I signed up to DuoLingo and got back into practicing some German.  According to DuoLingo my German fluency is 10%.  That might seem like a lot of progress for one day but I wasn't starting from nothing.  I'm behind where I was about a year ago.

Edited by Ed

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. Public Speaking - One quote from Cam's recent email is "2016 starts today. It doesn't start on January 1." I agree, there's nothing magical about New Years Day.  Everyday is the perfect day to start improving your life.  Which is why I've made a start at getting better at public speaking.  It's a small and almost insignificant start.  But it's a start.  So here's a very short speech (30 seconds).  It's exclusive to the GameQuitters forum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL7OSKiL9M8

Well done! Make or buy a pop filter, it's a must for recordings.

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Well done! Make or buy a pop filter, it's a must for recordings.

I took your advice Tom, I bought a pop filter.  So hopefully there's going to be a decrease in plosives from now on.

What I worked on...

It's 11:30 p.m.  I really should be getting some sleep.  I just wanted to quickly post this before going to bed. Anyway here's a couple of things I worked on today.

 

1 Public Speaking - Ok, it's only a short one again, (23 seconds)  longer ones are coming.  But in this one I talk about what I'll be covering over the next few recordings:

https://youtu.be/3vXwJAaL_1M

2 Fitness - Caught up with a couple of friends and we went skating along the path next to the beach.  Yes, we're too old to still go skating.  No, I don't care.

3. Languages - Duolingo claims I'm now 11% fluent in German.  Also I can now flirt in German "Deine Augen sind wie Sterne" (I can never remember if it should be dein, deine or deinen)

 

skate.thumb.jpg.e589ce931f9860d48d971fe1

Here's my blurry skateboard, just to prove occasionally I take extremely crap photos.

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At some point in my life I must learn how to ollie. 

Also, if you haven't seen the Bones Brigade documentary, it's awesome. 

I can't really ollie on my current board either.  It's a longboard, great for cruising but terrible for doing any tricks.

 

Rather than type out what I worked on today I recorded it:

https://youtu.be/RBfBYQxOnyo

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When I started my YouTube channel my focus was this:

1. Consistency: 1 new video every week. I chose Monday for no special reason.

2. Improve quickly: By putting videos out each week, I was more motivated to improve them quickly, because they were public.

ANnndd that's about it. Be consistent and improve quickly. If you see the first few videos I did, they were baddd. The first one was shot on my iPhone. I had my GoPro at the time, but I didn't know how to use it. So once I put out the video on my iPhone, I was motivated to learn to use my GoPro. Etc etc.

Can't wait to see how your recordings improve over time as well. Your approach is perfect.

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My approach is very similar to the one I took when I took up salsa dancing.  And one of the main things is to accept being crap to begin with.  I have actually given speeches and lessons as part of my old job.  And while I was competent at passing along information, I was never a natural or engaging speaker.  And I never felt all that comfortable doing it.  That's what I'm aiming to change.

I just had a look at the oldest video on the GameQuitters channel.  Sound was pretty good for a phone. Video would have been good too..if it wasn't shot in profile :) (Video should always be shot in landscape ie. phone on its side)

I think the technical side of recording is where I'll have the least problems. I've learnt a lot in the last week. There will always be more I can learn and improve on.  But at this stage the audio isn't too bad.  The biggest improvements are going to come from working on my delivery into the microphone.

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What's the worst thing that can happen if you decide to start a podcast?

https://youtu.be/ORKLCdIJj7E

Btw, the reason I'm not putting video with my recordings is it is easier to edit audio.  Rather than trying to edit audio and video and have it line up without jumpcuts.Some of these speeches will be built upon, refined and made into real videos.But for now they are semi-public practice sessions.  Theoretically anyone can see these videos, but practically they are GameQuitters forum exclusives. (They're unlisted so only people who read my thread are likely to see them).

Also worked on Duolingo.com today.  Progress is still good, but it has slowed a little.

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In what might possibly be my most controversial recording, I share some rough thoughts on NoFap.

https://youtu.be/bHR2d3ElkTk

I don't expect everyone to agree with me.  And if you don't agree please feel free to put your opposing idea into the Arena of Death.  And hopefully the better idea will emerge victorious.

 

It's 13:34 and I've just finished uploading my recording to Youtube.  So so far today I've completed working on public speaking.

I've also worked on improving my German through DuoLingo.  It's still fairly easy.  But what I really need to be doing is speaking German with Germans. (They can probably be Austrian or Swiss).  If you're learning a new language this is one of the most important things to do.  Sometimes you think you know how to say something.  But when the people you're talking to give you blank stares it's a good indication that you need to refine something.  Instant feedback, it will help immensely.

I haven't done anything yet but I'll also work on fitness.  Either a run or some weights.

And I need to do some packing because I'm flying to Melbourne tomorrow to see family for Christmas.

backpack.thumb.jpg.c9a125cd0301d57b7d5a9 (I'm not going for that long, I think I need a smaller bag)

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6:20 on Christmas morning. I'm typing this on my phone while I wait for everyone else to wake up.

I'm in Melbourne staying at my brother's place and I finally met my niece for the first time. She's one.  Yep, it's been a long time since I was here.

I grew up in Melbourne, (the suburbs, not right in the city). Besides it being freezing in winter I've always loved Melbourne as a city. I'm mostly enjoying myself but I get the feeling I no longer belong here.

It's a subtle but sad feeling. Almost like I miss the person I used to be when I lived here. Logically that makes no sense. I'm a much happier and positive person now compared to when I last lived here.

Time for some thoughts that are a little more upbeat:

I suck at ice skating.

My brother plays ice hockey, or as Canadians call it, hockey. So he took me to the Icehouse rink. (It's officially called O'Brian Group Arena).

I struggled to stay upright.  But I still enjoyed myself.  No one is good at everything.  And it's still fun to have a go at things even when you're not good at it.

 

No photos for now but I'll edit this post later. I'm on my phone so it's harder to reduce the photo file sizes something more reasonable.

Melbourne.thumb.jpg.5efe124fb6ccfb391379 (I horizontally flipped this photo, because I was standing behind the sign when I took it)

Edited by Ed

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Thanks Cam,

Hope you're having an awesome Christmas. 

Edit 28Dec: I hope everyone had a great Christmas

Merry_Christmas.thumb.jpg.64474aac27b38eMerry Christmas from Flinders St Station

Edited by Ed
Pic

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Considering I have trouble staying upright on ice-skates, I would totally suck at hockey.  Doesn't mean I wouldn't give it a go.

It can be more enjoyable doing activities you're good at.  But it can be just as fun to do something you're terrible at just to try it out.

Incidentally I'm going to watch my brother play a game of ice-hockey tomorrow night.

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