Gratitude Entry

I’m running down to the last minute on this blog post for the week. Instead of finishing my morning routine of writing some reflections of yesterday and aspirations for today in my journal, I’ll leave them here for this 22nd morning of January, 2019.

January 22, 2019

I’m grateful that Erin loves to drive, and for her ability to drive 10 straight hours without needing or wanting me to take a turn. I’m grateful for my graduate school friends, Brian and Rob, and the continuing work all of us put into maintaining a great relationship since leaving grad school back in 2005. I’m grateful to have found out my attempt at passing the IFM Exam back in November was a successful one.

Today, and this week, I want to focus more on my relationship with my wife. I want to be more careful of letting snide comments out, and remember that my partner for life deserves better. Instead, I will either keep my mouth shut, or find something more supportive to say in those moments.

Since I just returned from a craft beer expedition in Michigan, I want to take a break for the rest of the week from any craft beer, and focus on getting a few more workouts in, instead.

The benefits of a daily routine of reflection are vast. What are you grateful for in your life? What can you improve upon today?

It is Too Late to Start Early

So you might as well start now.

Happy New Year!

Last week (that Yuletide week between Christmas and the new year) I often heard people talk about a few new year plans and goals that they would start in the new year. Because, after all, right now we’re still on holiday.

I had some similar thoughts and ideas about 2019. But I had another thought as well: why not start right now?

If I can get started on a goal or path right now, even if it has to be slow, it will be much easier to get the train moving faster when the new year finally arrives. Perhaps I’ll have a higher chance of sticking with it, too.

One of my 2019 goals will be to do 50000 push-ups. I decided to do this while we were visiting Québec City over the holidays. That’s when it hit me… why wait? Sure, the push-ups I was doing in 2018 will not count for 2019 push-ups. Who cares?

The goal isn’t about doing 50000 push-ups. The goal is to incorporate more push-ups in my life.

Stop waiting for those artificial start and due dates. Get started now.

Passion if and only if Travel

Happy Holidays!

While still in Canada and away from my computer, I’m forced to use my phone for today’s blog post. As a consequence, I’m going to make it short.

There are a few observations I’ve made before and while traveling.

  1. Our passions in life are what motivates us to travel.
  2. Our travels further stimulate our passions.

Erin and I use Duolingo a lot, and want to learn different languages. She studies French and knew a trip to Québec was much more affordable than Paris. What a cool way to practice and see a new city.

Our passion of language learning motivated us to book this trip! If you have a passion, then travel!

Once booked, planning what to do comes after. It is then we use our other passions in life as a guide.

  • Where are the breweries?
  • Where are the best places to eat?
  • Where can Erin get a run in?
  • Where can Jason train BJJ?
  • Is there hiking?
  • Is there skiing?
  • What can we learn here?

The weeklong trip becomes booked fast when you let your passions operate. Of course, it is good to experience novelty as well, because you never know what passion may be lurking deep in your soul.

If you are traveling, find and fuel your passions!

Omelet Perfection

Ever since starting the Primal Blueprint/Paleo type diet and lifestyle over 2 years ago, I’ve been making an omelet almost every morning.  I estimate this goes into my belly 4.5-5 days a week on average.

In 10,000 Hours of Purposeful Practice, I brought up the theory that one can become an expert in about anything by giving it 10000 hours of deliberate, purposeful practice.  Making omelets has taken up a lot of my time (maybe not 10000 hours yet), and I feel like I’m becoming an expert at making this satiating, and healthy breakfast.

It starts with putting a small frying pan on the stove on medium to medium-high heat, and throwing in a little less than a tablespoon of butter from a pasture raised cow.  While this is heating up and melting the butter, I gather the necessary utensils and ingredients.

  • Plate, bowl, and fork.
  • Frozen veggies (usually Mirepoix or Broccoli cuts)
  • Guacamole (fresh made, or in the single serving size pictured next)
  • Two large or three medium to small eggs
  • Salsa or Organic Sriracha
These 120 calorie fat bombs are just delightful.

Once the butter has melted and begins to bubble, I throw in enough frozen veggies to cover the bottom of my small frying pan.  While the veggies warm and cook, I crack the eggs in a bowl and whip those bad boys up.

Once those veggies are warm and begin to brown only slightly, I turn the burner down to medium and dump in the eggs, using a spatula to craftily mold my amazing omelet into a nice little pancake shape.

When it begins to set, I loosen the omelet to be flipped, turn the burner off, and then flip it over on the other side, setting the pan off the burner.  This took many, many months to perfect.  So many times, the flip was a failure, and it became difficult to discern whether I was making scrambled eggs or an omelet.

The single serving guacamole is opened and spread over the omelet.  Then, it is slid off the pan and folded neatly in half.  It is then covered in salsa or some organic Sriracha.

This whole process takes me about 10 minutes and it is part of my daily routine.  If you checked out my schedule that I posted last week in An Example of Productivity, you’ll understand why I schedule 30 minutes for Breakfast/Coffee.  Making a pour-over coffee each morning from freshly roasted and ground beans is another story.

Since I have such a short memory when it comes to food, I end up having the best cup of coffee and the most fantastic omelet of my life every morning.  It never gets old.

This keeps me satiated until lunch without the need to snack. There sometimes is a desire to snack, but after a glass of water, I’m fine until lunchtime. By skipping toast (and any other type of grain), my body begins burning fat for fuel and providing me energy and mental focus to stay on task all morning.

The featured photo was my omelet on Saturday.  That version involved Sriracha and the individual guacamole cup.  The version below required that I mash my own avocado mixed with spices for the delightful spread, along with red jalapeno salsa on top.  This was last Tuesday morning’s meal:

It was tough to fit a full avocado into this fold!

If you find yourself hanging out with me one morning and you remember, ask for one of my masterpieces, and I’ll happily oblige.

Fun fact: this ode to the omelet is my 200th blog post, and today is Erin and my 8th anniversary!

10,000 Hours of Purposeful Practice

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he discusses the theory of 10,000 hours.  By examining several individuals that were considered the elite in their field of expertise, he was able to find that all of them had something in common. Over the course of each of these individual’s lives, they were able to devote a lot of their time, around 10,000 hours in fact, to their craft.

It isn’t just any kind of practice. In Peak: Secrets of the New Science of Expertise, by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, they devote an entire chapter to The Power of Purposeful Practice. It is not just the 10,000 hours of practice, it is the 10,000 hours of purposeful practice that is important.

This is a LOT.

If you practice something 1 hour every day, it will take you 27.4 years to get to 10,000 hours.  That lowers to 18.3 years if practicing 1.5 hours every day, and down to 13.7 years if you practice 2 hours every day.  You need to practice about 2 hours and 45 minutes a day at something to reach 10000 hours in 10 years.

The average adult American watches television for 35.5 hours per week.  At this rate, it only takes us 5.4 years of purposeful watching to become an expert at watching television.

This is a huge reason why most conversations are dominated by talking about what is on TV or the recent movie.  We all seem to be experts.  For some, it means talking extensively about sports, and specifically, their favorite sports team.  For others, it means dissecting each episode of Game of Thrones.

If you could go back and trade just a small portion of all that TV watching for the purposeful practice of something would you? If yes, where would you be now?

Maybe you would be an expert in coding and software development.

Maybe you would be an expert small start-up investor.

Maybe you would be fluent in 2 or 3 languages.

Maybe you would be an expert piano, guitar, or drum player.

At this point in my life, I probably won’t reach 10000 hours in my language learning, guitar practice, or jiu-jitsu that I’ve recently taken on in my life.  However, there definitely won’t come a time when I wished I had traded all the hours that I will inevitably put into these new activities for some more TV or movie watching.