End of the Year Review

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One of my favorite blogs is Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Nonconformity. Every year, he does an end of the year review to assess what went well, what didn’t, and how to improve things in the year to come. Usually I avoid doing the exercise since it seems like nothing that interesting happened. This year a lot of things went well so I wanted to take the time remember and celebrate the the successes.

What Went Well This Year? 

  • Felt well enough to end therapy and set out on my own
  • Finished life coaching with Alex and had some big epiphanies about the patterns in my life
  • Hired at a full time ambitious job with other young people
  • Joined an accountability group
  • Bought a nice camera! Which was something I had wanted to do for years and never had the money
  • Went to a Social Triggers networking event and actually had fun/didn’t hide in the corner or leave after 10 minutes.
  • Started personal training
  • Lost 15 pounds
  • Made friends with other bloggers
  • Stopped binge eating every weekend
  • Not afraid to ask for help or follow up with people
  • Been less apologetic about my ambitions or failures
  • Actually let more than 1 person read this blog! The last one I never let anyone read and I don’t think I told a single person what I was working on in my free time.

Overall, it’s been “The Year of Growing Up”. I had gotten into the bad habit of blaming everyone else for the problems in my life so I always had an excuse why things weren’t working out. It was hard to admit that I wasn’t putting in the work to make things better. My favorite blogs talk about taking responsibility for yourself so that’s how I started directing my life.

Instead of getting upset over every bad interview, I said “F%#$ that, I’m awesome and someone will eventually hire me.” About a month after making that decision, I was offered the job I’m at now. It’s full benefits and they’re training me every day to be more assertive.

What Didn’t Go Well This Year?

  • Didn’t get as independent as I wanted
  • Didn’t move out on my own
  • Didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted to
  • Didn’t grow the blog as much as I wanted to do this year
  • Didn’t make that many new friends in the city
  • Still spend a little too much time hiding out in my room
  • Still tend to be be afraid of success and putting myself more out there in the world

The thing I regret the most is not pushing things further. Why couldn’t I lose 30 pounds instead of 15? Why didn’t I push marketing the blog more? At the same time, I’m trying to not take it too hard since so many things went well this year. You can’t rush everything and sometimes it takes longer than you expect to follow through with your goals. I haven’t given up on them, it’s time to regroup and figure out how to make it happen.

Next year shall therefore be named:

THE YEAR OF SUCCESS

I’m tired of half finishing and half trying things. Next year I want to throw myself headfirst into all of my projects and have them be a success. Even if they fail, I would feel like it was a success if I met the challenge head on and attacked it.

Quote to live by next year

Give ’em hell, kid. 

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The Translation Business

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Even though most people think that the Middle Ages were dark, they were actually a period of learning. The infrastructure of the Catholic church allowed for ideas to be passed along. Better trade routes meant that people were able to pass things along. Generally merchants from the Middle East traveled to China and brought new ideas like gunpowder back with them.

Then someone would think to write the information down. Eventually a copy would get passed to someone probably in the church. Priests were similar to scholars because they spent a lot of time in silent study. The material would get translated into Greek or Latin.

No common people spoke or wrote Latin so the information would stay cloistered away.

When the printing press was invented, finally books were cheap to make so people could print out thousands of copies with minimal effort. Before that, a well read person had to painstakingly copy down every single word which could take weeks, depending on the length of the material. If they happened to be bilingual there weren’t any reference books for them to cross cheeck the translation. The translation would be up to the discretion of the translator. If he missed something or wrote and incorrect translation there wasn’t a way to look it up or complain about it on the internet.

All this building of information led up to the great information ages. Then came the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Birth of the United States. It’s a little unfair to say the Dark Ages were ignorant and superstitious times because there were people trying to spread knowledge. Yet there was a lot of ignorant things going on like the Crusades or burning witches at the stake.

It all lead to creating the setup for the periods of great intellectual growth. Today you can translate something on the internet in 5 seconds with fairly good accuracy. That’s a long way from copying down each word by candlelight for hours at a time.

The spread of information has been the greatest change of the 20th Century. If you were a peasant in the Middle Ages, you probably wouldn’t have been able to read let alone have access to books and these days you can look up anything you want to know in seconds. I wonder what’s the next age we’re leading up to. If it’s anything like Star Trek count me in for the next adventure.

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Tetrapharmakos and Other Diet Fads

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The flood of diet trends, advice, and lifestyles has been overwhelming in the past couple of years. In an attempt to find the “perfect human diet” anyone able to write an ebook (or dictate to someone else that can write) has become an overnight expert and confused all of us who want to get healthier in a rational way. Yet it’s still difficult to find good advice in the sea of nonsense.

Since the start of the Atkins diet, it seems like there some new fad every 6 months each with its own complicated plan and conflicting ideologies. Atkins stated that a low carb, high fat diet was the best way to lose weight so everyone that had been trained to avoid fat their whole life was suddenly allowed to eat bacon for ever single meal. I’m no “expert” in health, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that eating 90% of your daily calories from animal fat can’t be good for you.

On the other side there are people called fruititarians, who only eat fruit (as the name suggests). Once again, I am not a health “expert”, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that this way of eating has to be wrong as well.

I worked at a healthcare clinic for a couple months and it was kind of incredible hearing all the different issues people were up against. I never figured out why some people approach illness on the offensive or defensive. Some people find out that they’re sick and decide to overhaul their life to make themselves better. Others complained about how unfair it was and resigned themselves to the illness. One time I met a woman who had gotten cancer from HCG (Human Growth Hormone) injections, which she was first convinced would help her lose weight. That seemed ridiculous to me. What kind of snake oil salesman convinced her that would help her lose weight? At the same time, should she take more responsibility for that decision? She blamed the clinic that gave her the injections and never admitted that she should have done some research first.

If trends keep going the way they are now, it will be very likely that our obsession with food will become far more damaging than having a piece of cake on your birthday once a year.

Therefore, I’m introducing an old/new diet to solve all our problems.

Tetrapharmakos

“The four part cure”
Epicurus believed it was the best recipe for leading the happiest possible life. He explains it as:
   “Don’t fear god,
    Don’t worry about death,
    What is good is easy to get, and
    What is terrible is easy to endure.”
The fundamental obstacle to happiness is anxiety.

People worry about their jobs, family, weight, money, and everything in between. Maybe they should spend less time worried about what they don’t have and focus on all the things that went well. You didn’t die in a horrific car accident or get robbed on the way home from work.

It’s a guarantee someone out there had a worse day than you.

What’s easy to get?

Good friends and company. Good music. Good home cooked food.

If you have these basic things then the terrible stuff is easier to work through. Good friends and a home cooked meal can change everything.

What’s the craziest diet you’ve ever heard of?

Leave a comment below

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Buying a New Camera

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Time to check one off the Wander List

I bought a camera!

The Canon Rebel T3i has been my dream camera for about a year now. One time I was sitting in an airport talking to an elderly man. He was telling me about how he retired and now he had the chance to go on vacation. He went on a trip to England to look for old Roman coins on the beach and photograph them. After a while, a younger college guy also sat down so the 3 of us were talking about photography. They both had a Canon Rebel and were discussing why it was such a great camera. That seemed like a really good cross section of the population. A young college guy and an elderly man both agreed it was a great product. I wanted to buy a nice fancy camera at the time, but never had the money while I was in college so I wrote down the name and forgot about it until a year ago.

Now that I have a grown up job I can finally afford nice things! I researched Canon cameras. The model that they were talking about was a little dated so I figured that the T3i was a better option for what I wanted.

The flip screen is very useful when you’re trying to take pictures of yourself or vlog. The quality is amazing so far.

Here’s an example of a snapshot taken on auto mode: IMG_0054

 

My other digital camera was so old barely any of the pictures would be in focus. This is way better!

Stay tuned for more awesome pictures!

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