I'm going to put together a book that's about half old blog posts (probably rewritten / polished) and half new material to connect the blog posts into a cohesive book. Could you tell me which of my posts had the biggest impact on you? A link or title or description (that one where you said...) is fine.
Tynan, I've got to say the one post that impacted me above all others is http://tynan.com/bethetwin
I'm not sure why it did, but for whatever reason, it was the biggest motivator that got me over the productivity hump in coding.
I.e. you know when you're tackling your first programming language and the simple stuff can throw you for a loop for hours? Like forgetting a semicolon and deciphering the error message, or hitting your first infinite loop and having the whole computer crash... But once you make it past a certain point you feel like you can actually build amazing things.
Something about visualizing that creepy guy in the picture, dressed up in a suit in the dog park stuck in my mind, and every time I'd momentarily try to quit in frustration, the absurd (re: unforgettable) visual images of that guy mingling with a CEO on the golf course or out taking dog sweater pictures would snap me back. After all, I didn't want that guy beating me to it or getting the supermodel girlfriend.
Now, thanks to me gutting it through and becoming an innovative programmer, I am living the entrepreneurial/daring/unique/self-employed lifestyle you very much espouse in all your writing, which if I recall correctly, is one of your main goals for this blog. If I hadn't sat down and gutted it out then, I likely never would have, as I was a student and it was the last chunk of time with which I had nothing scheduled (and thus could concentrate on a specific skill).
Speaking of which, I'm really interested in having a SETT blog now that I'm entrepreneuring full time; I know you mentioned something about signing up for a waiting list, but I couldn't find it. I'm holding off starting writing until it becomes available (I'm not in a rush, I just think SETT's release will coincide with me having enough stuff to write about regularly), so where can I sign up?
I've been slowly working my way backwards through your blog and taking notes in a google doc for while now. I'm somewhere around late 2009, I think. From my notes, here are what pops to mind (I'm paraphrasing the titles from what I remember):
The Order In Which to Tackle Life. Advice for Young People. The Gear posts, of course. Five Rules to Make Friends with Famous People. Advice on how to Write Daily. The one recommending books you've read recently. The Vegas posts seem useful to know, although I'm no gambler.
I also really like the paragraphs these quotes are part of: "Confidence is tied with self ownership, both as a consequence and as a means...." "Our social skills are the window through which others see us....""Building these patterns is one of the best features of our brains..."
Your few recent posts about battling procrastination have been very helpful to me.
Etc. Anything else along those lines in your new book and I'll be first in line. Cheers.
A big draw of your site for me is being able to retrace your steps from being just another faceless nobody who shied away from life to becoming who you are today. I segued onto your site from Steve Pavlina's personal development site after reading an article you wrote about him when I was googling reviews for the guy to try and understand the criticism Steve was getting for moving into new age topics and supporting polyamory. From there I was hooked with your descriptions of the adventures you undertook (LukeMD's comment covers a lot of them). side note: You need a list of most popular articles or most commented/unusual ones on your front page again - that's the bait that got me in here. Nothing draws attention like an unusual story - [I guess we can thank pickup for that concept].I also got Make her catch you - your pickup ebook - and was enthralled by how relatable your early self was to me. You lost out with a girl you really liked. You had a fast food addiction. etc... Later on you dropped everything you knew and took a risk to live with total strangers in The Game - the secret society of pickup artists. Innumerable other stories. You tried making an indoor swimming pool - I've always wanted to do that! You live in an RV free from rent and HOA's and the dregs of society to live free and do whatever you want - a sheer fantasy of mine.
A lot of your old stuff from Better than your Boyfriend I never got to see but from the little that alluded to it I think it'd be really good stuff for a developmental ebook. As a sort of reflective consciousness type of thinker/blogger I love reading your old stories as they are both entertaining and educational. Educational if you can look at it from my lens - you bare it all - you share your triumphs and your losses - your strengths and your insecurities. It is basically a living journal of evolving consciousness in print. From your tales I can infer and kind of 'read' you as a person and they become a sort of guide for me. In the battle of life your tales outline past victories and what you went through emotionally to get to where you are now. Yes - I think that's the ticket.
Most motivational and development bloggers give you concrete steps and logical actions with a lot of prodding to move you up the scale. These help the head but they don't hit the heart - the center of change. Action is spawned from thought and consciousness itself - thus making lists and affirmations and goals (physical manifestations of action) will not be effective if you cannot even get yourself started (the mental/conscious/desire aspect - WHY we do things). The leaps and bounds in my personal development came from reading how other people faced up to their challenges and dared to stretch the envelope of life itself. I didn't learn a tad from making excel spreadsheets detailing where each minute of my free time went. As an example I learned and developed much more from reading Steve Pavlina's biography of how he was as a teen over his countless articles for self improvement. Like Steve and yourself I'm a programmer too. I am a raw food sympathizer. I went into pickup. I went into advantage gambling. I was kind of a klepto like Steve before my dad caught me stealing once when I was young. Many others are to - you are relatable - relatability touches the heart and spawns change. If I can do it - and he was like me - what stops me from doing what they did? That aspect of personal development is seemingly an unknown niche in the personal development arena and I think you are well poised to take full advantage of it. Your old stories raise consciousness - I don't know how to explain it. Read my blog in my profile specifically the parts including and after 25 days to vegas from June 2010 onwards. I sometimes think I'm you - many years ago - if you failed to step up to the plate and take life by the horns. Relatability has the biggest impact (imo).
Tynan, have let you know by reply on blog every time I came across a particularly relevant piece for me. I've also cut and pasted some highlights into a word dcument, if you want me to sent that. Rob
Brain Training by Tynan, The Only Meditation That's Ever Worked For Me, Five Rules for Making Friends With Influential People, Doing Things When You Don't Want To Do Them
I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect.
As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading.
That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot.
Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012.
The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it.
I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect. As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading. That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot. Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012. The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it. I now plan my day every morning. Sebastian shares his daily planning routine, which I used as a rough template for my own. Every morning I record the time I went to bed the night before, the time I woke up, the time I brushed my teeth, the time I finish planning, and the time I finished writing a blog post (I'm writing one every single day, but not posting them all). Recording the time you finish these things is a bit of subtle genius from Sebastian. When you record the time you finish something, you tend to do it earlier. Today I woke up and had two immediate phone calls that had to be made, which pushed my whole schedule back. As soon as I saw the time, I started doing my few morning things, including writing this post. Morning used to be my least productive time of day, but now I jump right in and start producing. The rest of day planning consists of making a todo list for yourself. You're supposed to create a list that you believe can be completed to 70%, but I've completed 90-100% every day, despite trying to make the list harder each time. It's amazing how much you can get done when you have a plan and start early. I use the tasks feature of Google Calendar for my todo list. It's not amazing, but it's good enough and keeps me looking at my calendar, which makes me more likely to schedule things and see when they're happening. At the end of the day, I do a quick five minute summary, as prescribed by Sebastian. I record whether or not I flossed, reflected on the possibility of death, and played my violin. I write down my key accomplishments for the day, my top life goals, a quick analysis of the day, and my top priority for the following day. Last, I record how many minutes I wasted, how many minutes I worked on SETT, and how many minutes I spent writing. RescueTime helps me come up with a rough estimate of these things. There's a lot more than planning your day in Ikigai, but that was the big value that I got from it. He also spends a lot of time covering the same sort of strategy and philosophies that I'm a big fan of and write about here. ### The great Alaska trip starts next Saturday. A few friends and I will be riding our motorcycles to Alaska for no real reason at all.
Why do I get up at 600 AM?
I commented to someone last week that it's been five years since I've held a full-time job, and back then I had two. I was able to hold two because the hours for grading papers was flexible and I was efficient in my work. These jobs, teaching assistant and AmeriCorps volunteer ended when we had our first daughter. In the five and a half years since then I've always had an itch to do something. Defining myself as just a stay at home dad isn't quite enough. I'm incredibly grateful for the days I get to spend with my daughters, but I also need to do something for myself. To do something I get up at 600.
For the past half year I've been working on The Fatherhood Book. This project goes from exciting me immensely to being a pile of dog crap that I need to clean off my lawn. Writers say this happens often so I'm on the right path. I've written and edited almost all of it during my two hours in the morning. The book is a short 20K words, but it's the first 20K word project I've begun and almost finished.
In the mornings I also find guests for 27GoodThings.com. This site earns about thirty dollars a month through the Amazon Affiliate program. I run the site because I love finding good things to read, watch, and use and it allows me to connect and help other people.
In the mornings I also write the posts for this site. Usually that means I write a handful of posts one morning and schedule them to be published later. This post for example, was drafted on November 31st.