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My Journal - Joe

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Damn, I didn't realize that I didn't make a journal entry last night. I was completely absorbed in reading The Alchemist by Paolo Cohelo. That guy is an amazing storyteller! I ended up passing out and went to bed I woke up. No worries about my baby, she was safely in her crib when this happened. Think and Grow Rich is next on my list!

Anyways today was good again. My morning meditation was ridiculously unfocused. I sat through my whole 20 minute session with my eyes closed, but my mind wandered almost the entire time. I certainly enjoyed my quiet time, but it didn't feel like meditation at all. The good thing is that I did manage to be mindful throughout the day which was good.

Work was excellent because I managed to get some work completed! What I do for work right now is in its infancy so things can be difficult to complete as the processes we work to develop. I don't mind though because the job isn't very stressful. This will help me as I start school in a few weeks.

Baby time after work was lots of fun. We didn't go for a walk because I thought it was too hot outside for my baby. There is no part of me that wants to have a cooked baby. We danced and sung and laughed. She had a nice dinner and a much needed bath. Babies get really stinky.

One thing I want to practice in my journal is improving the quality of my writing. I love beautiful writing like the way Paulo Cohelo writes, and it's a great skill to have for many different reasons. If anybody would like to critique my words and provide me with constructive feedback, I'd really appreciate it! My goal is to write in a way that is clear, beautiful, and engaging. Since I write a journal every day, this is the perfect place to practice!

I'm thankful for:

  1. The keystone habits I have that have been cascading into success in seemingly unrelated areas of my life.
  2. All of the new people who joined the site.
  3. Reading the Alchemist. I want to fulfill my Personal Legend!
  4. Not having to cook tonight! It's delicious pork burrito leftovers tonight!
  5. Having a wonderful family. It's literally a dream come true.
  6. Being game free. Life is interesting and fun in a way that I've never experienced in my whole life.
  7. Having inner peace.
  8. Having an inner drive.
  9. Twenty pounds lost, fifteen to go!
  10. Climbing the stairs from the first story of my work building to the tenth floor for the first time today. I work in a ten story building so I won't be able to climb any higher in one shot. My quads are starting to get some definition!

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That's the power of meditation! Even when you're ridiculously unfocused you're learning. Everything isn't always going to go according to plan, amirite? ;)

So far I've enjoyed reading your entries and they've been very clear, concise and engaging, so keep it up!

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That's the power of meditation! Even when you're ridiculously unfocused you're learning. Everything isn't always going to go according to plan, amirite? ;)

?I never really thought about it like that. In my mind it was a failure in meditation, but a victory in maintaining good habits. Today's meditation was pretty unfocused as well, but better than yesterday. I wasn't able to do the visualization part of the exercise so I decided to just focus on my breath as best as I could. It seemed like returning to the basics was probably the best course of action. I'm not getting overly frustrated with this, but I feel like I'm not getting the full benefit.

My work day went very well. I received some training that really helped me understand more clearly how to perform my job functions. Also, I was able to help somebody with their work for the first time in this job! Mentoring is my favorite part of work so I was thrilled! Also, it shows that I have mastered some of my basic job functions. I judge my mastery of a subject based on how well I can teach it to a novice.

After work, I attended a get together with some of my old work friends and colleagues. It was fun to catch up with some good people. The best part, of course, is that I got to show off my baby to them! She was pretty comfortable around all the people which is great. My wife and I have put on emphasis on getting her out and socializing because she was crying a lot around strangers. She's made a lot of progress in this area lately.

After hanging out, my baby and I came home and she went right to sleep. It gave me just enough time to get some chores done and be ready to hang out with the wife when she got home. I didn't run today, but I did climb the stairs at work from the first floor to the tenth floor three times today.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My baby socializing!
  2. Reading "Think and Grow Rich".
  3. Having fun hanging out with good people.
  4. A record low weight! 21 pounds down and 14 to go!
  5. Helping a coworker with his work.
  6. Feeling healthier and stronger.
  7. Getting my external hard drive in the mail today.
  8. Evenings with the wife.
  9. Having a strong foundation.
  10. Reaching for my goals.

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Yep, meditation is definitely the practice of mindfulness, which happens even when things aren't going well. So even in those times you're growing! :D Remember you can always go back to your breath, and this same lesson applies in life. For instance, even when things are crazy, you can always go back to your keystone habits.

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I've also been having issues with meditation lately, I'm not sure wheter it's not working that well for me or I just suck at it xD but hope dies last I guess.

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Today was another wonderful farmer's market Friday! My legs have been getting stronger as I keep climbing the stairs at work. I climbed from the first floor to the tenth floor of my building 4 times today. That's 178 steps each time! At 7 inches of rise per step (which is standard for commercial buildings), that's 103.8 feet from floor one to floor ten. Doing this four times means I climbed 415 feet during these four trips, and that doesn't count the times where I just climbed 1 - 3 floors at a time during the day. I'm not sure why, but I felt compelled to do some math in my journal, haha.

I choose to believe that all of that vertical distance somehow justified the cupcake, fish taco, black eyed pea and corn salsa, and Italian ice I had at the farmer's market. I'm sure it did because I came in just under my calorie goal for the day! My baby had a great time there too! She's been getting over her disdain towards strangers which is good.

I'm tired and ready to have quality wife time so I'll leave it at that.

I'm thankful for:

  1. The farmer's market as always.
  2. My baby getting more comfortable around people.
  3. Getting my running in today.
  4. Reading "Think and Grow Rich". It's actually a whole lot like the Slight Edge. I need to write about the book in my next journal entry.
  5. Staying faithful to my habits.
  6. Doing more mentoring at work.
  7. Having a reasonable boss. Of course one day I won't have a boss, but for now this is good.
  8. Having a wife who really emphasizes having a high quality marriage.
  9. My meditation quality has improved slightly for the second day in a row. It's not great, but I'll take improvement no matter how slight!
  10. The 57 days of freedom I've experienced after severing 25 years in video game purgatory!

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Think and Grow Rich is a classic. Most self-help books written after it will reference similar concepts, but it's one of the originals. :) Complimentary to what you have been learning, and a good setup for your foundation moving forward into 4 Hour Work Week.

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I always thought that self help books were for losers before I started reading them. Really though, they were written by winners to share their keys to success. Besides finding them helpful, they're fascinating. I used to always wonder how some people seem to live by a set of different set of rules from myself. I'm starting to understand how it works.

I'm ready for bed after a very long and satisfying day.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Having breakfast with my new friend's family.
  2. Going hiking as a family.
  3. Grilling dinner.
  4. Locally grown produce.
  5. Bibs.
  6. Getting a bunch of cleaning done.
  7. Learning new things every day.
  8. My baby being so well tempered today.
  9. Coming in under my calorie goal again.
  10. Having my dream family.

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Today was lots of fun and super productive. We cooked lunch for the week, made salsa and guacamole for a birthday party, went to the birthday party, cleaned the house, had fun together, and had dinner.

One thing that's happened to me since I had my baby and quit games is that I've become busier than ever while being happier than ever. Before I quit games, being busy just meant that I was trying to get things out of the way so I could get back to games. This kind of busyness wasn't really enjoyable at all and caused me to have anxiety. These days I'm in the moment while I'm busy. When I cook, I enjoy the process and the smells. When I clean, I enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being in a clean and orderly space. It's a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy all of life's moments.

I'm thankful for:

  1. A new record low weight! 22 down and 13 to go.
  2. My baby smiling at other kids! She's getting much better at socializing.
  3. The delicious food at the party and for not overeating.
  4. My cat sitting with me.
  5. Taking a nap today. It was awesome!
  6. I got an email from Pat Flynn. It was cool to hear his thoughts on what I had to say.
  7. Having a wife that I trust with my thoughts. It's priceless.
  8. Learning how to live without games.
  9. My treadmill. It's nice to be able to run inside sometimes.
  10. Good habits. They're life changers.

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I've been listening to the latest episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast with Robert Rodriguez. It's really interesting to see how somebody finds success by being outside of the box. One thing he said was something like how he finds success by doing things nobody else is doing. It's a really statement and it goes along with what Pat Flynn says about finding success in the niches. Why compete with anybody when you can solve problems for people that nobody has really tried to solve before.

Exposing myself to all of these successful minds has me really fired up to find my own niche. Actually my mind keeps wanting to think about this stuff while I meditate. It's why I've been having trouble having productive meditation sessions. Even in the book "Think and Grow Rich" the author talks about how desiring money and believing you'll get it is the key to growing rich. I figure I can apply this to a business.

It's really cool how there is a coherent message that comes from the masses of successful people as to how to find success. I've become fascinated with successful people and want to study and imitate them.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Starting to develop a burning desire for success.
  2. Playing with my baby.
  3. Getting lots of walking in today.
  4. Learning to be braver than ever before.
  5. Having a boss that is supportive.
  6. Starting school next Tuesday even if I am a little scared. It's one step closer to my degree!
  7. Enjoying day to day life.
  8. Using my time and not killing it.
  9. Not losing my youthful nature.
  10. Having fun.

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Even in the book "Think and Grow Rich" the author talks about how desiring money and believing you'll get it is the key to growing rich. I figure I can apply this to a business.

?I beg to differ a little about this view, money doesn't make you rich, finding a passion and living happily off of it, does. just my two cents.

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?I beg to differ a little about this view, money doesn't make you rich, finding a passion and living happily off of it, does. just my two cents.

That all depends on your definition of "rich." One is the monetary definition and one is based on fulfillment and quality of life. In the former having a certain amount of money does equate to you being rich. The former it doesn't, but I believe in the perfect mesh of both. It doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both!

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?I beg to differ a little about this view, money doesn't make you rich, finding a passion and living happily off of it, does. just my two cents.

?I feel the same way. I want to be able to support myself and my family following my passions. I don't necessarily need millions of dollars in a bank account to feel rich. I already feel rich every evening when I relax with my wife at the end of the day. My goal is to feel rich while I work, play, and live as well!

I've gotten my schedule all set for the next semester that starts next week. I'm going to be one busy guy, but I WILL maintain my habits (this is what I need to tell myself every day to make sure I do them). They have transformed my life, and it would be a tragedy to get away from them. I'm determined to do great this semester as a student, employee, father, and husband. I will show myself that I'm capable of doing it, then I'll do it again next semester! After that, I need to take a year's leave of absence from work and knock out my degree! I'm going to walk across that graduation stage and be the proudest person to ever step foot on it! This is my plan, and I believe in it!

My terrible neighbors are gone now, and a clean up crew has gone into the home. They loaded up a huge dumpster full of furniture, garbage, destroyed carpet, sheet rock, trim, ceiling tiles...things that should have have to be removed from a home. It's truly a tragedy for the homeowner. She's such a sweet 80+ year old lady who needed to move into an assisted living home. She trusted this scumbag property "manager" who let this drug dealing, destructive scum into her house. She's been completely overwhelmed by what's happened to her place and is now selling it because she can't deal with it. The poor lady has probably lost thousands of dollars of property value judging by the damage I've seen.

When I'm successful, I don't want to be like that awful property manager who completely neglected the property until the neighborhood basically forced him to take action. We had been alerting him for months about what was going on in that house, and he would just brush it off. He never visited the property to take a look for himself what we were all warning him of. I want to do good in the world, not just look for ways to take people's money. The "manager" might as well just take the nice old lady's cane and break her knees with it while he takes her money.

After putting my baby to bed, I took about half an hour of my time picking up trash that the bad neighbors littered to help get us back on track around here. Also, my friend is looking for a house, and I told him to come check this one out when it goes for sale. Sadly, the place is now a fixer upper, but it could be had for cheap. I admit that it would be cool to live two houses down from a quality people like him and his wife.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Peace returning to the neighborhood!
  2. Getting lots of exercise in today!
  3. 61 days of game free paradise! I forgot to mention that yesterday was my 60 milestone!
  4. My baby's appetite lately. I won't have to worry about her food expiring. xD
  5. Beginning to internalize a little more deeply that I can have my own successful business!
  6. Tim Ferriss' latest podcast. I was fascinated by that one.
  7. Pat Flynn emailing me an answer to a question I had. The guy is successful and still has time for me. It meant a lot.
  8. My mind being excited by all of life's possibilities. This is the opposite of the depression that has hung over me for too much of my life.
  9. My wife's authenticity. She's just open with me, and I know I can trust her.
  10. My cats. They're reminding me that it's dinner time for them.

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Congrats on 60 days! And now 61! :D

You'd be surprised how many people will reply to your emails if you reach out. It's a good thing to learn because most people won't ever reach out, and the ones that do tend to stand out and/or get advice in a lot of ways. Check out this blog post of mine on one of those situations. Shoot Seth Godin an email. (Keep it short.) Bet you get a response.

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Today was a tough day for me. I haven't said that very much lately, but it was. My grandma had another heart attack yesterday. I'm hoping she can hang in there long enough to meet her great grandbaby. She won't be around much longer, but I know that meeting my daughter would be the perfect capstone to her life. If she can make it to next Friday, they'll be able to meet.

Also, my dad's health is declining. He almost died last year but was spared due to five brain surgeries. He's getting those symptoms again, and additional surgeries aren't an option. I'll be glad to spend some time with him too. I really hate this.

I've done all my habits again today even though I didn't have my typical zest for life today. I still believe in and want all the good things I talked about yesterday. It's just a stretch of time where progress is more hard fought, but I'm going to keep going forward.

I'll have to read up on Seth Godin's blog and send him an email once I have something relevant to say or ask.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Talking to my dad and grandma today. I don't want to be passing up opportunities to talk to them.
  2. Having more things to do at work lately.
  3. Being able to talk to my wife about the tough things I'm going through.
  4. Continuing to read my book.
  5. Not letting difficulties turn into anxiety.
  6. Having all of the travel plans done so we can see my family.
  7. Getting more physically fit every day.
  8. Resisting my strong urges to download a phone game today. That was my strongest urge since I quit.
  9. Having a new day tomorrow.
  10. Learning every day.

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I'm with you in these hard times, health is one of those things that sometimes there's just so much we can do about, serenity, patience and aceptance is what we need to hold on to so we can keep moving on in times like this, just hang in there, wishing my best to you and your relatives.

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Hey Joe, we're here with you during these times man. Be kind to yourself and know you are doing your best in unchartered territory. You will grow from the experience, whatever it happens to be, so just continue to trust your heart and your instincts.

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Andy and Cam, thank you for your kind words of support. I can honestly tell you that I found a not insignificant amount of comfort in them. My grandmother looks like she should be able to hang in there long enough to meet her great grandbaby. I'll be happy if we can help her to achieve one last huge milestone in life.

Work was good today. The assignment I'm getting ready to complete should be the first quantitative reputation builder I have in my new job. Hopefully I can use this to carve out my niche in my department. I never like leaving a job until I have achieved a significant degree of mastery in the job. Because I am able to put very significant achievements on my resume for every position I've held, I can leverage this into $5k raises or getting "poached" by a different organization for a $5k raise. Another benefit is that I can look back on my different jobs and feel good about how I've had a positive impact in each one. Still, I want to be my own boss and impress myself.

My baby is getting antsy so it's time to call it a journal entry.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Having a baby who smiles when she sees me. It's one of the greatest things I've ever experienced.
  2. Listening to Tim Ferriss today. He's always got interesting and useful stuff.
  3. Continuing good habits despite things not being easy.
  4. Avoiding the damn cell phone game yesterday. What made put me over the edge on the winning side was not wanting to give up my 61 day "high score". I'm very happy about this.
  5. I upped my running pace a bit. It's another small step towards running my first marathon!
  6. I'm going to hang out with my consultant friend again this weekend. It dawned on my an hour ago to think of some good questions to ask him.
  7. My baby went to sleep without crying at all! (I'm writing my thankfulness list about an hour after the first portion.)
  8. My wife and I had a good conversation about how I'm feeling with all that's going on in life right now. It's wonderful to just be myself in the tough moments and know that I'm still enough to her. That's some prime Daring Greatly stuff right there!
  9. Starting to notice the patterns that make people successful. I plan to keep studying these people and emulating them!
  10. My weight loss even if I haven't hit a new record low in a while. 21 pounds lost feels great! I just have to make the good small decisions every day and I'll be right where I need to be physically!

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The assignment that I was talking about yesterday went well. I got praise for the quality and timeliness in which I completed it. I'm hoping that I can continue to get similar assignments and become known as the go to expert in this area. This particular work is highly visible which should help me to negotiate nice raises or land other positions if I feel like doing something different. It's really just a way to hone more skills as I prepare for the world of self employment. Maybe I can sell an ebook at some point if I can distill my process into something that can be applied across multiple industries and disciplines. I've written instruction manuals for my company in the past so I do have experience in that area.

The farmer's market was awesome as usual today. I didn't by any exciting veggies today because we'll be off to CA soon. It'll be nice to see my family even if it's for only a few days.

I'm ready to rest after a long week.

I'm thankful for:

  1. A new record low weight. 23 pounds down and 12 to go.
  2. Coming up with some fun activities to do on our trip.
  3. My baby getting much better at her social skills so she won't scream at my family when she meets them for the first time.
  4. The nice warm cat sitting at my feet.
  5. The peacefulness of the evening.
  6. Working on developing my weaknesses.
  7. Fitting into shorts that I haven't worn in over a year.
  8. My grandma for hanging in there so she can meet my baby.
  9. Adding some push ups to my daily work out routine.
  10. Enjoying my wife on a lovely Friday evening.

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Today was quite the lovely and productive day again, which has become the new norm in my post video game life. We got all of our laundry and grocery shopping done as well as come general cleaning. We also went to a coworker of my wife's child's first birthday party. I really couldn't think of a better way to write that sentence, haha. This entry will be my second to last habit completed for the day. I'll be reading my book before bed to complete the set.

I'm going to need to find another podcast or two so that I'll have plenty of listening material for my five hours a week of commuting to and from school. Suggestions are certainly welcome! I currently have Tim Ferris, Pat Flynn, and another one that I can't remember the name of. I'm not currently looking for audio books though. I like read my books and not listen to them because I find that I absorb the information better, and reading is a great relaxing activity for me.

I was thinking about how strange it is that I am so much happier since I stopped seeking instant gratification. The funny thing is that the improvements started almost instantly as well. Does anybody else find that this is the case for them?

I'm thankful for:

  1. My baby enjoying another party. She didn't do quite as well as she has at other events, but it was still good.
  2. My wife taking care of things while I had a nap in the afternoon. Naps are the best!
  3. By baby played with the neighbor's puppy. They're mentally on the same level and it's hilarious to watch them interact.
  4. We went to our favorite local Vietnamese restaurant today. The banh mi was excellent!
  5. Laughing a lot today. I love to laugh and make jokes as much as possible.
  6. The funny look my cat is giving me from the top of his cat tree.
  7. I got pens that look like race cars at the birthday party. The beauty of being easily amused that that I'm almost always amused. xD
  8. The quiet time at the end of the day. It's wonderful to be still and revel in the victories of the day.
  9. Having a plan to finish my schooling. It's been a loooooong process.
  10. The camera I got when my baby was a month old. I'm a picture taking fool these days!

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Today was awesome! I met with my new friend for coffee today, and he really seems legitimate as far as knowing how to be successful in working for himself. He's been saying a lot of things that I have been reading in my books and listening to in the podcasts which is really cool. It never gets old to me to see how consistent the message to being successful is. The one thing is that he's very religious in the exact religion that I left in my early 20's. Oh well, it's good to always practice tolerance and acceptance. I can wait to learn more about what he has to say.

All of the chores that needed to get done are done, and much fun was had with the wife and baby as well. My wife is making me a wonderful dinner as I write my entry! She's really happy about it because she doesn't get to cook nearly as much is I do. Her job keeps her away from home a bit more than mine does.

This is my first week of my new school routine! I'm as prepared as I can be, and my good habits have been rolling along full steam ahead. I'm so determined to keep on having success even with an increased load of responsibilities! Without my arch nemesis, video games, holding me back, I think it's going to be a success. Of course, I'm a little scared about how it's going to go, but I want to be courageous. I'll continue forward despite any fear, and just trust that my good habits and much improved lifestyle will be the difference maker.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting dinner made for me!
  2. Meeting with my new friend. One of my goals was to make two new friends that fit my new lifestyle, and I'm halfway there!
  3. The laugh-a-thon that my wife and I had with our baby today. It's the greatest thing ever.
  4. Getting to see my family soon. Living far away is rough in some ways.
  5. Getting to know some of my neighbors better. There's some nice people where I live, and it's easier to get to know them when I'm not playing video games all the time.
  6. Practicing Daring Greatly today. It's not easy, but I did it.
  7. My work out routine. It's fast and intense which is perfect for me. I don't have tons of free time to sink into exercising.
  8. The unpredictability of life. It can be scary, but I find that it makes for a good adventure as long as your mind is in the right place.
  9. Getting back into school. I'm visualizing my future self walking across the stage and getting my degree!
  10. My running shoes. Shoe technology is amazing these days!

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