Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Update on the goals I set myself. Lessons learned.

5 weeks ago I set myself some goals, here is how I did:
  • Read a few books
    Man's Search for Meaning, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets of the Leanest People in the World, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers, The Call of the Wild, Mind Power Into the 21st Century: Techniques to Harness the Astounding Powers of Thought.
    Total: 6 books. Conclusion: Not too shabby! Great books.
  • Train & Summit Chimborazo (once and for all!)
    At the beginning of the break I went all out with my training by doing 650 meters of climbing without any previous training. This stupidity lead to injuring my knee. I had no idea what was wrong with it until 2 weeks ago when I met a nice physiotherapist who sorted my knee out. With only 2 weeks to go I trained hard to go to Chimborazo, including a 950m ascent/descent in 3h 30m. Not bad, I felt ready, however I could not get hold of my guide to actually go to Chimborazo. Shame. 
    Conclusion: Failed! :(
  • Finish developing a proof of concept for a start up I am working on with my brother
    I ended up paying a developer to do this, only a bit more work left to do and the proof of concept is ready.
    Conclusion: Almost made it!
  • Finish programming a chess study tool I left half done, this is on my list thanks to Igor SmoliĹ„ski :)
    I actually programmed this myself, today I am happy to announce it is ready to be tested out by people other than myself. Closed BETA!
    Conclusion: Made it!
  • Sell a car I bought before I leave for Chile & Argentina. I thought this would be a quick flip sale but instead its taught me some difficult lessons.
    Completely failed this one, I had some ongoing negotiations to trade it as part of a payment for a small apartment but in the end it did not happen. I am probably going to lose some money on this car, oh well.
    Conclusion: Failed
  • Of course, keep playing chess :) Here is my current on-line chess ranking: #15,241 of 423,339 (96.3%). I flirted with 97% for a while.
    Oh yeah, what this blog is all about. I kept playing chess on-line and I actually managed to go above 97% and hold it for a while (around 1,850 correspondence rating). Then, as usual started too many games and the less attention I give a game the more mistakes/blunders I make. Thus I've gone back down to 96% (#14,561 of 425,566 (96.5%) <- this feels like failure after being above 97%!). Now, I have my sights set on a permanent 97-98% ranking soon. I also found out a few locals who play chess and I've been joining them once a week to play live. I must say, playing in person is way more enjoyable (and I lose less!).
    Conclusion: I did it!

Lessons Learned
All in all I am happy with how all of this has gone. I didn't do half bad and as always I've learned a few things about myself & life.

1. To program/work 8-9 hours a day or just 3?
I really do hate programming (or is it working?) when it takes up my whole day. At the beginning of the 6 weeks I kept feeling like a failure if I didn't do 6-9 hours of solid work in a day. As a result, I felt some sort of resistance to work and didn't get anything done. After realising this I've set myself more realistic goals of 90 minutes to 3 hours of work a day. When I approached work in this manner I've managed to get a lot more done than on days where I aimed for the Western standard of 8 hours. I am willing to be these days I did more than most people who work 8 hours as well!

Considering I've read multiple times that most people get around 3 hours of productive work done per day (even if they work 8), a goal of 3 hours per day seems to be the way to go. It worked, I got almost everything done! Maybe the next start up I run I will impose a rule that everyone can only work part-time (and pay them double for it?), we can spend the rest of the day playing Call of Duty or something (er, I think that's what we used to do anyway :) )

2. Buying a vehicle without solid advice from a specialist is very risky!
I took the wrong person for advice on the purchase of a car, while the car is awesome & in great condition there is a very small market for this kind of car where I am, hence, selling it on is a huge problem. A niche car such as this will  take a lot longer to sell than I originally planned.

Funny enough, I knew this rule from The Richest Man in Babylon, "Arkad lost his first investment when he trusted a brick maker to purchase jewels. The brick maker knowing nothing about jewels got tricked, losing all the investment.". I broke this rule, now I shall never forget it.

3. If you are injured, see a physiotherapist.
I was under the wrong impression that if I gave my knee time to recover on it's own, it would. After all when I cut myself my wounds heal on their own. Boy was I wrong! The knee wasn't getting any better with time. When a physiotherapist saw it, she had it sorted within a day. Amazing.

4. Chess is enjoyed more when played in person.
Can't beat a game in person, so much more fun. Thanks everyone who has played me in person lately, it was good fun!

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