The Power of Ultra Instinct

If you’ve watched Dragon Ball Super, or at least have a little familiarity with what I’m talking about, you know what Ultra Instinct is. If you don’t know and you are curious, learn about it here.

I took personal days from work Friday and today. Not for any particular reason, but just to decompress. And boy, did I decompress. I slept maybe nine hours a day, not counting several hours each day in addition to that I just laid in bed watching anime and other assorted YouTube crap. But I decompressed a little too much. Yesterday and today, I set out to do more than I did on Friday and Saturday. I had my medicinal coffee, I got dressed, and I ended up getting even less done than the previous two days.

If you need to do something now, this is going to sound really vague and stupid, but you have to clear your mind and just do something without thinking. This is where Ultra Instinct comes in, because two of the main ideas of that transformation are that any kind of person can do it, and that the object is to clear your mind and allow your body to move on its own. Clearing your mind is admittedly the hard part, but once you’re not thinking about doing something, it becomes easier to move you body without thought towards that action.

I’m not a self-improvement guru.

I’m not a self-improvement guru

I feel like Supa Hot Fire whenever I open my blog. The phrase “I’m not a rapper” feels like an apt description of how I feel about myself in terms of my online writing when I change it to “I’m not a self-improvement guru”.

Image result for supa hot fire
Supa Hot Fire himself, very clearly not rapping.

I see all this fluffy self-improvement stuff that I’ve written, and I’m wondering why I did it. Sure, I’m very interested in self-improvement, but that’s not actually my goal. Even if I wanted to be a self-improvement guru, I’d need a very long time, a long track record of verifiable results, and a niche that I could fulfill, among many other things, to succeed in that path.

I don’t feel comfortable telling people how to wake up at 5am to work on their dreams. I don’t feel comfortable telling people how to eliminate time waste from their lives. I don’t do either of those things, and I’m mostly okay with that. To me, self-improvement is important insofar as I am able to do the following.

  • Achieve my goals
  • Live as my truest, best self
  • Walk away from time, money, and energy sucking holes that adversely affect my well being

Those are broad ideas, but the fact of the matter is that I’m not the most efficient, effective, talented, or logical individual, nor do I really care enough to be.

Change is coming on this blog. I’m not exactly sure what it will look like, but it’s on the way.

2018 So Far, Part 4 (even more sort of)

These are still a thing, I think.

Meditate every day.

While I hadn’t been meditating much at all the past few weeks, I did meditate for three days this week. I should try to get into the habit of this.

Stop consuming so much social media.

I’m too busy these days to use social media as much!

Become more energetic and adventurous in my personal life.

I’ve been maintaining my step goal, I’ve been going to more events, and last Monday, I sacked up and talked to these two pretty girls at a local bar. Nothing came of it, but I’m honestly just glad I tried. In addition, I’ll have a lot of free range to work from home this next couple of weeks, so I plan to spend a lot of time just working from local cafes and coworking spaces. Maybe I’ll see neat things and meet new people.

Put myself in more situations where I meet new people.

I’ve been doing this too. I attented a cryptocurrency meetup, a young professionals happy hour (for all kinds of professionals, not just tech nerds lol)

Provide value to others through my writing, knowledge, and wisdom.

I’ve been volunteering at two local Coder Dojos, but on top of that, last Saturday, I attended a panel where myself and several other recent college grads from the Fellowship I’m in talked to high school kids about post-high school life in a technical career path. Not only did I share my wisdom (and my book that I’m still sitting on) with the kids, but I learned a lot of neat things about the different paths my fellow Fellows have taken to get to where they are. I guess from that, hopefully the high schoolers learned that there is no one single path to success.

Establish a serious, sustainable additional source of income.

I’ve been studying slightly more, but nothing tangible has formed yet.

I will no longer be posting updates about my “progress” on taking that two week trip to the West Coast since I’ve done all I can for that right now.

Fulfilling your potential when life is too /comfy/

I was talking to a friend of mine earlier today about how it’s really really easy to rest on your laurels when life is easy. Take me for example. I aspire to be an educator and mentor of aspiring software engineers, but the main reason I’ve made little progress on this life dream so far is because life is too damn comfy right now for me to take big actions.

Looking upon myself, I see a young, mostly healthy, single guy just working and living. I make good money at my job. I’m able to occasionally exercise a mentor role at work. I have a lively enough social life. I have a solid work/life balance. Life isn’t ideal, but it’s good enough. 

When you want to reach your full potential, but life is already pretty good as it is, the best way to get to that point is to begin building habits for the tasks you need to accomplish to get you there. You’re not gonna know all the steps you need to take to get to your full potential, but you will have some ideas of what small things you can do to move you in that direction. Steve Pavlina, one of my favorite personal development gurus, once said something like it’s better to just keep doing things that someone in the position you want to be in does than to lay out an exact plan of how to get from point A to point B and try to execute it step by step.

Actually, thinking about self-improvement that way makes me think of agile software development vs. waterfall software development. Your requirements for a massive undertaking aren’t set in stone, so you’re better off working on small tasks and iterating than trying to plan it all out and execute it step by step without re-examining your goals.

When you’re working on your goals to the best of your ability every day, you can eventually get where you want to go without the immense pain, stress, fear, and uncertainty of hitting a “point of no return” where you’re forced to act. Yes, it probably takes longer to accomplish a goal this way, but it’s easier and more sustainable in the long run. Obviously, in reality, self-development isn’t this easy, but this the simplest explanation I can think of at this time.

Build up your habits one baby step at a time!

2018 So Far, Part 3 (sort of)

On the last episode of Dragon Ball Z, I wrote about my progress on my New Year’s Resolutions. Part of why I hadn’t updated last Monday is because I hadn’t done all that much, but I was also sick for the first half of last week. All my bad habits come back to the surface when I’m sick, such as subsisting on microwaveable food and and spending my whole evening on YouTube.

So now… what have I done about the following new year’s resolutions?

Meditate every day.

I have not been keeping up with this as much as I’d have liked. I meditated maybe three times in the past two weeks, but I wanna try and keep going at it.

Stop consuming so much social media.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about keeping my phone away from my bed and using a cheap MP3 player for white noise. I definitely did not do that. On an unrelated note, I find that every time I say I should do something, I often don’t do it, even though it’s almost always good for me.

Become more energetic and adventurous in my personal life.

Again, not much has been done about this. I did sack up and finally buy a new (newish) car though, so I guess I’m taking bigger steps with my actions in my personal life? I also have actually been working out more and harder than usual the past couple of weeks, barring getting sick.

Put myself in more situations where I meet new people.

Lol.

Provide value to others through my writing, knowledge, and wisdom.

n/a

Establish a serious, sustainable additional source of income.

No action has really been taken on this the past couple of weeks, but with the added expense of this new car, I better get on this!

Go on a two week trip along the west coast.

I actually did purchase the plane ticket and get the PTO approved from work, so I will be flying into Seattle on Saturday, October 6th and coming back Sunday, October 21st. It’s nice that I managed to score a direct flight

Regarding my personal goals, this past couple of weeks has been a wash. But having spent much of last week resting and recovering, I feel ready to roll again this week. Let’s give it a shot.

2018 So Far, Part 2

On January 8th, I wrote a blog post sharing my progress with my new year’s resolutions. I have copied and pasted from that article to this one so I can focus solely on updates.

So now… what have I done about the following new year’s resolutions?

Meditate every day.

I have meditated for nine days so far in 2018, for an average of ten minutes each time. I’m no good at clearing my mind though, but I’m trying to dedicate myself to becoming better at that.

Stop consuming so much social media.

I’ve since unblocked Facebook on my phone, but I spend less then ten minutes a day scrolling through Facebook on my phone, so that’s good. I spend on average ten minutes each day scrolling through Facebook on my laptop. I still watch a lot of Youtube though. I should keep my phone away from my bed and use a cheap MP3 player for white noise.

Become more energetic and adventurous in my personal life.

I went to Chicago this weekend with my brother and his girlfriend, and it was a total blast. My brother’s girlfriend is Mexican, and we spent most of the time eating Mexican food and hanging out with her friends and family. I’ve never had much exposure at all to Latino culture in the past, so this weekend was an amazing eye-opener. It was also nice to see how much Spanish I still remember, sort of.

Put myself in more situations where I meet new people.

I touched on this on the last point, but I did meet some really neat people this weekend.

Provide value to others through my writing, knowledge, and wisdom.

I can’t say I’ve done all that much about this the past week, but I did learn about a really neat opportunity that I want to look into to get more exposure and experience as a mentor.

Establish a serious, sustainable additional source of income.

I’ve decided that I want to build an app with React Native that I will use to help educate and engage users. I have no idea what features exactly it will have, but thanks to my React Native experience, I do have a sense of how I want to architect it.

Go on a two week trip along the west coast.

Plane tickets from Indianapolis to Seattle have actually dropped to $294 round trip, and both flights are nonstop for the days I want them. This is probably the best deal I’m gonna get, and I don’t have a frequent flyer’s credit card, so once I get the time off approved I’m going to buy the tickets.

Slowly but surely, I am moving towards my goals.

2018 So Far, Part 1

What have I done about the following new year’s resolutions?

Meditate every day.

I have meditated for five days so far in 2018, for an average of ten minutes each time. I’m no good at clearing my mind though, but I’m trying to dedicate myself to becoming better at that.

Stop consuming so much social media.

I’ve blocked Facebook (not Messenger) on my phone, but I’ve been spending more time on Youtube to compensate for this lack of mindless media consumption, so I need to fix that.

Become more energetic and adventurous in my personal life.

Energetic? I’ve been exercising more, particularly with cardio. Adventurous? I’ve only done really passive things so far. I’ve collected a list of meetup groups on Meetup.com and signed up for a non-anonymous chat app. However, I do plan to go to Chicago with my brother and his girlfriend this weekend, so hopefully that will be cool.

Put myself in more situations where I meet new people.

Again, I have yet to make real action on this. I have begun eating lunch in the break room where people actually eat instead of taking lunch to my cube and just eating in there.

Provide value to others through my writing, knowledge, and wisdom.

I shared the Google Doc for my book with my coworker’s son who’s a college freshman and is studying informatics at his university. Hopefully he will be able to derive some value from that.

Establish a serious, sustainable additional source of income.

I’ve finally finished this React Native course I’ve been doing on Udemy, so I now have some ability to create CRUD mobile apps. I just need to find an application of this skill. In addition, I met with two of my senseis at work today to learn from them about how I can be a better software developer and a better educator.

Go on a two week trip along the west coast.

Tentatively, I’ve decided that I’m going to go from Saturday, October 6th to Sunday, October 21st. I want to accrue more paid time off at work, and renting a car to drive up and down the west coast will cost a lot less after I turn 25. Plane tickets are $325 round trip last I checked, but I’ll check it again tomorrow.

If you’ve read this far, you can see that I haven’t done all that much yet. It’s okay though. I just have to keep moving in the right direction.