I slept in until eleven thirty today. Three months ago that would qualify as an early morning, but I"ve shifted to becoming an early riser, and now that feels late. Usually I have my writing done by twelve, but it's one thirty now, and I'm still working on the second sentence. Okay, third now. I don't feel particularly motivated. Maybe it's that I just finished some big SETT things yesterday so there's nothing pressing there. Maybe I'm a bit disappointed that I slept late. I brewed a new tea for my morning pot this morning, and it's not very good. Maybe that has to do with it.
Today is the most important day, I remind myself. Actually, yesterday was the most important day, but it's over. Today is the next most important day, making it the most important day I have left in my life.
What makes today so important? Well, I'm as young as I'll ever be again. I work every day to sharpen my mind, but I'm fighting nature, I think. I have the most time ahead of me as I'll ever have, making today an excellent day to start new habits, and an important day to keep old habits. Writing every day is one of those habits, so I have to write this. It would be an insult to those even-more-important days in my past where I started this habit, if I didn't.
Every day I'm alive, I risk death. Not in a great measure, but I live in a big city, I drive a motorcycle, and weird stuff happens. If I lost my legs tomorrow, how would I think about today? Wouldn't I think about I should have used them when I had that chance? It's sort of like, after you break up with a girl, you think about the last time you were together, and you think that maybe you should have made it a bit more special. It was your last chance, after all. Today's probably not my last day with my legs or my brain or my eyes, but you never know. Weird stuff happens.
I'm not the only one living today. If I slack on my work, my competition will inch closer to me from behind, or away from me in front. Am I so cocky that I can give them this day?
Everyone I know is moving one day closer to death today; what can I do to make the most of the time I have left with them?
I don't really panic in real life, probably as a function of being a professional gambler so long. The only time I panic is when I do it on purpose to try to scare myself. When I go skydiving I try to impress upon myself how my only connection to life are those little strings extending upwards from my shoulders. When I scuba dive, try to focus on how I'm in a hostile environment, full of liquid I can't breathe. I have a little tank on my back, and without that, I would be dead. These things aren't really dangerous, but they're a good opportunity to remember how fragile and valuable life is. In the same way, when I have a day where I feel sluggish or unmotivated, I try to make myself freak out about how important today is and how only a fool could consider not making the most of it.
Usually I just think all this stuff in my head, but today I figured I'd write it out. Already, just a handful of paragraphs later, I feel motivated. Time to wrap up the daily writing habit and move on to crushing out some programming. Today's your most important day, too... what will you do with it?
Yesterday The Hustler's MBA was on the front page of Hacker News and BoingBoing. If you're a new reader who came here from one of those sites, welcome!
Photo is a beach in Phuket.
Today my baby girl started calling me Mama instead of Ba, and I was there to hear and hug her for it. The most important day with an infant is every day. I'm with you, Ty. (Jen)
Make hay while the sun shines. Difficulties are never far off. Many people cannot handle that much truth all in one post, but I dig it. Thanks, man.
ANOTHER awesome post. I'd actually stopped reading a few months back because I was finding it hard to relate with the posts about poker and programming.
But at the moment EVERY SINGLE post you publish is gold. You're an inspiration. So much that I wrote a blog post on you:
OK, Tynan. I gotta ask something. I have been seeing this pattern of driven intensity. I like that. I can relate. It's a big part of why I dig your blog. I confess I have not gone through and read a bunch of earlier posts, so maybe you already said it, but what life transforming event did you experience that caused you to go from your earlier indifference to ambitious goals to this ferocious go-for-it-ness?
When I say "earlier indifference," it is because I remember reading how you said you were lazy in school, for example. You've hinted along these lines several times.
And once again, I totally agree. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing all the way. Carpe diem.
Great. Thank you.
By the way, I'm intrigued every time I hover over your name and see that you're a wood sculptor. Would love to hear more about this in the community section or something.
...I hover over your name...
Wow, cool feature (and the comment creation window is the most user-friendly and esthetically pleasing I've ever encountered).
Kudos to the creator of this blog software. ;-)
Thanks! I'm working really hard on it (even on Saturday at 7:30pm...)
If you want see the feature I'm most proud of, check out a long thread like http://tynan.com/hustle and scroll down slowly to the bottom...
Well, to be honest, I've never checked out the community section. That's not because I'm not interested! I like that you wanted to build a site that was not just a one to many thing, and I enjoy the comments others make.
But I have an *extremely* slow internet connection, so the load time when I click on the link is interminable. Seriously, I get the little yellow loading notification at the top of the page, and it hangs there beyond my capacity to wait, but that does give me an idea for a post: "Patience Is NOT a Virtue."
Heh. Thanks for the encouragement, though. I'll try again later at school where I have a fast connection.
One day last week I drank too much tea too late in the day. Instead of going to bed at my normal 1:30-2am time, I went to bed after 3am. The next morning I woke up around eleven, feeling a bit slothful for sleeping in. Usually I make some nice green tea in the morning, but I skipped it that day, half because I had overdosed on tea the day before, and half because it was almost the afternoon. I sat down at my computer, but instead of doing my daily planning, I started researching Persian rugs.
By one in the afternoon I was still sitting at my computer in my skivvies, having done nothing more substantial than gain a comprehensive amateur understanding of what to look for in a Persian rug, and maybe answering a handful of medium-priority emails.
The day was off to a bad start. Not a horrific start, like the kind where you lose your arm in a grain combine, but the kind where you've gotten such a slow start that the day begins to feel like a waste.
I opened up Google Calendar to plan my day, but then closed it. What's the point, I thought, when I've already wasted so much time? There was no chance it was going to be an excellent day, so my brain was trying to steer me towards just writing the day off and refocusing on the next one.
Yesterday in "Prioritizing" I wrote -
I think most people are at, maybe, 10% of their max capability. Probably more like 2%. That’s where most of my life I’ve been. Lately I’m near 40-50%? It’s intense. Better technology, better coordination, better planning are all necessary.
It didn't occur to me as anything important at the time - just a line thrown into a post on prioritizing. A few people have mentioned it -
Your 2% vs. 50% comment struck me as interesting.
Do you have experience being 2% productive? It would be interesting to hear from you exactly how you are different.