Streamlining – January 4, 2022 (4/365)

Good evening. Comparing last night’s mood to today’s, I must say I wish it was yesterday. There was a lot of that flow going on… but now that I think of it, it has a lot to do with what’s going on in the mind before putting in the first words. Like last night, I was already set on a good opening, and everything followed through.

Today, I think it’s necessary to push forward, and to get my being to understand that when I sit down on my sofa here in the sala at this time of the night, before I shut down, I will write, and write I will.

Okay, Yoda.

To be honest I don’t think I made that much more progress today compared to yesterday. I was slacking for the most part of the morning, getting out of bed at around 9, only to goof off with YouTube and the computer until around noon.

I will say that, unlike yesterday, we didn’t settle for a cheap dopamine shot today. No, in its place, I thought I’d hit two birds with one stone – I’d workout, and the workout that I’d be doing would be more pull-intensive, which is exactly how it sounds – more pullups, in terms repetitions and variations. You have your standard overhand pullups (in my opinion chinups have you cheating just a little bit because you involve your biceps a little more), and you follow it up with triple the amount of Australian pullups – these are done with your feet on the floor, and you pulling up at an angle, effectively reducing intensity just enough for you to apply more tension by way of focusing on perfect form.

I also did all those pullups today because some dude left a comment on a YouTube video I uploaded last December which was also pull-intensive – he thought I was doing half-pullups, and today I proved I was doing things right from my point of view.

Or well, who was I kidding? A bit of back story here, last month I was committed to working out 6 days a week, for the entire month of December, Sundays off. I’m not making excuses here but I do admit that I was slacking off in my workouts at times, and especially during those moments when I literally had to squeeze in the daily workout because of other things that needed to be done. These were the holidays, after all… but even that didn’t keep a couple of people from pointing out what I knew all along.

All this has me remembering about the times I delved into NoFap. The purpose of this movement was to get men to go cold turkey when it came to porn, but more of not jerking off. For a lot of men, this was certainly possible, but on a long enough timeline, we all cave in. Unfortunately, it is at these moments that men lose motivation to keep on going, because in their point of view, their ‘streak’ was broken.

The mindset of a streak is helpful, but like any other mindset, it serves as a tool which has its functions and weaknesses. I remember someone talking on YouTube about considering not thinking in terms of upholding a perfect streak, but in percentages instead.

Consider a man who hasn’t choked the chicken for 99 days straight. Pretty cool, no? You’d probably hear this man talking about how he’s been super productive or whatever. But on the hundredth he falters and cleans the pipes. With a streak mindset, he focused on the failure which brings him back to zero days without incident… but with a percentage mindset, he is still 99%.. ‘proficient’, I guess. Much better to see it that way, if only to reduce the demotivation so he could keep on going.

I bring all this up to indicate that if this percentage mindset had its place with the streak mentality, it would have us ending obsolete – not necessarily bad, but obsolete – habits, it can certainly help us in establishing and evaluating more experimental – not necessarily effective, but experimental – habits. Habits such as exercise, or improving on pullups, and maintaining good form and efficiency, to be precise.

Of course, if the streak or the percentage mean nothing to you, it does help to be accountable to an entity – a person, or a community. In my case I subjected myself to being accountable to anyone on YouTube who cared to watch this old fart working out – and to my surprise, I’ve connected with at least 3 other people in the process, and we’ve helped each other out by way of checking in and leaving comments, etc.

At this point I’d also like to thank you, dear reader, for reading this far down the line, and tolerating the thoughts of this same old fart, whether he is in or out of the ‘flow’.

‘Flow’ state, they call it. I remember one time they called it the ‘zone’. Like when Michael Jordan hits the hardwood, he’s in the zone, and the crowd goes wild.

I’m on the fence, currently experimenting to clarify my own perspective of getting into this state of mind… part of me understands that the best times that it comes is when it comes spontaneously, but part of me insists that if it could be switched on by our own doing, then that’ll have to do for the most part. Earlier I mentioned that I am forcing my being to do this at a particular time and place – I do this knowing the repetition forms the habit, or, yeah, I’m maintaining the streak. 

I don’t really feel like going through the rest of the day sequentially, but in the spirit of what I was talking about yesterday, I will answer the three questions:

In what way have you made yourself fitter? My daily workout, which goes as follows: 4,3,2,1,2,3,2,1,2,1 reps, x1 Pullups, x2 Kettlebell Swings, x3 Australian Pullups, x4 Squats. 4 sets of 6 20lb Bicep Curls on each arm / Shoulder Presses / Band Pull-Aparts. After lunch I walked a couple thousand more steps to buy vitamins and anti-phlegm medication, as well as some cup noodles – Doshirak, to be precise. Thanks a lot, Bald And Bankrupt.

In what way have you made yourself smarter? While I was walking I thought it would be a good opportunity to start the 3(!) hour talk Joe Rogan had with Dr. Robert Malone. Good insights, especially pointing out how mainstream media is able to push its narrative even if it goes against actual facts and scientific findings. Trusting the science is not parallel to trusting the media. It is our duty to do our own research, and, if we’re religious, or Christian, in particular, we trust in Christ above anything else we rely on.

In what way have you made yourself money? Taking a quick visit to Binance, I staked what I had just sitting around. I’ll just leave it at that.

I also did some initial research today, on answering a question I’ve apparently been trying to answer for years – how in the world will I make money with what I now call my investments into photography (gear and services e.g. Photoshop and Lightroom)?

I’ll be open about it here, I initially wanted to start printing out photo-books, sort of like coffee-table type ones. I still do, actually… but with the NFT space becoming bigger and more diverse, I’ve been doing some testing there as well.

So far I’ve tried converting time-lapse videos into GIFs, and I’ve also tried composite shots… but one thing that I am proud of is my ‘Christus Est, Ergo Sum’ collection – photographic expressions of my Christian worldview.

What I’ve learned so far in this space is that these are certainly ways for me to communicate what I own. I mean, while I maintain that the best way to fight plagiarism is to always make better creations, I do appreciate any opportunities to express legitimate ownership over what I do make… and while I hate seeing watermarks on otherwise beautiful photographs, linking them to a crypto wallet seems to be so much better. And it’s like I’m ‘blessing’ the blockchain at the same time… if that even makes an ounce of sense.

A couple of years ago, photography legend Trey Ratcliff unveiled his ‘Plotagraphs’ – still photographs blessed with animations, e.g. rivers with actual flowing water, clouds moving across the sky, etc. While I dismissed all this as a party trick back then, I see its potential now, especially in the NFT community. The only thing that held me back into getting more hands-on about it today was that this was, again, a couple of years ago.

Maybe today there’s something better than making the clouds move.

Maybe there’s something more than the flow.

With that said, in the days ahead I plan on scouting even more on OpenSea, Rarible, etc. to have an updated perspective on what other photographers are doing, so I could have my own ideas built off of them.

So today didn’t really feel like much, because there was more ‘research’, more improvement of the theoretical by way of reading and listening. I intend to be a little more of a kinesthetic learner in the next days…

…and for the rest of this year, really.

I apologize if I wasn’t exactly in my element on this one, but I will try to do better in all aspects. Ending today with another quote that’s been sustaining me as of late:

“Doing your best might look different each day” – Liz Fosslien

Maybe there’s something more than the flow.

Good night.

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