5 things to keep in your Journal

Today, while reading my Journal, I had a weird feeling. The feeling that my Journal was actually becoming valuable to me. Like I’d be willing to put up a reward if I’ve lost it.

Keeping a Journal has been so beneficial, I believe it is slowly changing my life, for the better. I’ve written about this already, but to add to it, I wanted to share with you the 5 categories I jot down in my journal as they come up. Anything else besides these, I generally try to keep out of my Journal. The reason for ignoring everything else is this, these 5 things give me the positive reinforcement I need when I read my Journal entries.

1. Ideas

Ideas that are positive, Ideas that build you up. Ideas for changing the way you think. Ideas that may help you improve and Ideas for a better future.

2. Keeping track of personal development

I still need to figure this one out, but a simple question here is how am I doing on the personal development front. I get to this category when I’ve slipped up. When I have not been disciplined with working towards my goals. It’s just a place of honesty where I can write about why I failed and then try to find some motivation for going further.

3. Important Events

Any important Event. I just write them down, good and bad. This to bring some reality to the lofty dreams, goals and Ideas I write down besides them. 

4. To put into writing what one cannot easily say in public

This is for those times when you have things on your heart that are hard to explain or say. They may cause harm in their raw form, they are hard because saying things mean dealing with them as well. Somehow dealing with things in writing is much easier for me than saying the challenging matter out loud. This kind of Journaling I use to untie the knot of the emotions and separate out truths and feelings.

5. To dump good thoughts

Thoughts and Ideas are very similar, but to me, they are things that linger. Things that build up. They may be inspired by ideas, events even other thoughts. These, I believe, form a core part of our character. I start my day with a clear mind, and as I go through the day, it gets clouded with many thoughts. I would like to hold on to good thoughts and minimize bad and sometimes destructive thoughts.

It’s your journal

This is not a list ascribing to you what you should keep in journal, but it is a nudge to help you think about a more structured approach to the things one should have in your journal. Being intentional brings you, the writer and hopefully the reader, a lot more value in the end.

Why I’m learning a new Programming Language called Go

For the past few years, I got stuck in a rut, a good one. My sole focus was not the technology I used. but rather the thought processes behind why and how I write code. I write in PHP and I mainly focus on the WordPress CMS. This pays the bills and helps me take care of my family but, while focusing on thought processes, I didn’t realise that learning a new language can have the same effect, helping me think differently about similar problems.

So why Go (#golang)? This one I stumbled upon by accident. A colleague of mine, Akeda, automated one of our workflows. Before this, we had a weird process involving multiple tools and steps. His script made life just a little easier. I thought one could improve it just a little bit more, but in oreder to do this I had to go digging into Go source code.

After hacking on this project and getting it “mostly working” I decided to dig a bit deeper into Go. I found out immediately that it was created by a few very smart people at Google. It is open source and has a very strong community. More specifically, Docker, the tool I use all the time, was written in Go(mind blown gif goes here).

With Go you to create systems software. I know my way around PHP and this is great, but there are a few things an interpreted language simply can’t do. This presented me with another opportunity to learn.

Go is written in Go! Yep, that means you can eventually read and contribute to any bugs in the language itself, if that’s something you’re interested in. I think it’s great that one only needs to learn on language to get involved with an entire commuinity.

Learning GO is free, no need to buy expensive books. Do the tour, then work through How to write go code and then read Effective Go. After this, you can start using the language. If you are new to programming you may need more help.

With Go, most of the tooling forms part of the language. The following things are already included: code documentation generation, testing, dependencies etc. In most languages I know these are third party tools. They may not work exactly how you want them to, but they work and they remove the burden of having to choose between third-party options. Though third-party options are available, the idea is that everything you need to be productive should be part of the language.

New languages force us to think differently about the same problems, as per this stack overflow answer:

It’s not about the next “new thing”. It’s about thinking in different ways outside of your normal thought patterns

I hope this inspires you to pick up a new language. There are so many to choose from.

Featured image is a gophers, the Go mascot. It was created with https://gopherize.me/. Creating a unique gopher.

Technology does not make us any better

Technology didn’t make our lives better, it simply changed what we can accomplish, but it seems, humans are still very much like we were 100 year ago:

Greedy, Selfish, Looking to impress, Wanting to do good, Doing good and so the list goes on.

We now only have better tools. Tools that allow us to do more harm and more good. But this is just more of the same. More of what we’ve always been doing. More harm but also more good.

They say it is exactly the same with money. Money doesn’t make you bad or good it just amplifies who you already are. Money gives you more options, but which ones you choose largely depend on who you are.

It all balances out in the end. We should not look to technology to make our lives better, we should look at how we treat the people who can do nothing for us. That is who we are. If we can better that, we can better ourselves.

Planning Down Time

After periods of intensity I find myself automatically collapse into a slower period, a period where I feel very unproductive. This was very frustrating as I feel like, you know you can do more, but you’re just not getting to it.

After a few of these instances I realised that this is normal. This is a natural cadence that one has to work with. Just like you can’t your muscles flexed indefinitely so you can’t function at your peak continuously, without taking the time out needed for recovering and recouping your strength.

I hope to settle into a 3 month on and a few days off after that. I know keeping all your leave for the big days sounds very exciting, but I think it’s better for you to take it in snippets throughout the year, maximising the weekends and other holidays.

Tribe of Mentors: Quick Review

The book contains 100+ interviews with highly successful people, the mentors. These people share their best advice and struggles.

If you don’t like reading, this is the perfect book for you. You can start at any point and stop where you like.

In this book Tim Ferris asks all mentors the same set of questions. Some people chose to only answer a subset of the question and others used their creativity to see the questions from a different perspective, which I found most interesting.

Tribe of Mentors contains various interpretations of the word “success”: Financial, professional and health to name a few. You will find that, not all the interviews appeal to you, but there are quite a few pearls of wisdom.

There were so many commonalities between the answers. One of the more noticeable things were Meditation, they all practice some form of it.  It was also interesting to see lots of repeating advice, which shows that there are only a hand full of fundamentals that you need to practice in order to become successful.

One thing I really don’t like about this book is that it consists primarily of Americans, to truly be a tribe you need people from the African continent. Well not really, but you know what I mean. I would have loved a more global approach.

The most Important habits that almost all the mentors practice are:

  1. Reading
  2. Meditating
  3. Exercising

I also learnt about a few interesting products:

 

I have taken some more notes that I will share with you going forward. This will cover the top quotes, best advice and top interviews from my perspective.

My favourite. quote from this book, which really bring everything together is:

“It is the quality of your relationships that determine the quality of your life” – Esther Perel