Developing SapphirePack and showing you that good things take time.
15300 words
sapphirepack.org

Day 28/365 or Day 17/31 for Minimalist Game

Sunday Jan 17th

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Migrating all my notes into wiki.js [120] # What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

Yesterday I got rid of 17 items which means today I'll get rid of 16 items!

  • 6 Box
  • 3 Lots of Paper
    My attention was scattered as a young child in the learning phase. I need to be in the doing phase, my attention is now focused almost singularly on a single core mission:

    • Personal: Care and give self time off more than you think you need. Because this is the minimum you actually need to function. Target 2 hours for Sapphire Pack EVERY day.
    • Social: Spend time with my core group of friends at least weekly and hopefully bi weekly.
    • Family: Spend time with family at least once weekly
    • Work: Do the best work I can EVERY day. It's that simple.

    What I threw away was plans for:

    • Endurance A minimalist operating system that is based on simplicity and lack of features (like Standard Notes). The most important things that Standard Notes has taught me is that less is more. A few well thought out tools are better than a trillion badly thought out tools.
      • Machine Learning I'm doing a different way now. I'm not going to check those papers
      • Website Design I believed that if I had a beautiful website that people would buy my course. What will make people buy or not buy will be the quality of the course, not having the most beautiful website. My website is beautiful in that it embraces stark minimalist design in both content and pages. I am very happy for that.
  • Shirt

  • Sweater

  • Swimsuit

  • 2 Bedsheets

  • 2 Pyjama pants

Digital

  • Comp 2080 Folder (at least 50 files)

Day 27/365 or Day 16/31 for Minimalist Game

This post includes two discussions that are extremely related. Working like you mean it preceeded by loosing the social connection

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Migrating all some of my notes to personal wiki and removing old duplicates [120]

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • 2 Papers that I keep holding on too but won't (probably) need.
  • 6 Books Some are perment borrows (which I am now returning) other are books I got that I no longer need to have.
  • 1 Scarf
  • 1 Empty Reusable bag
  • 1 Really good ukrainian mug
  • 5 Papers
  • 1 Yellow, Red and White (RCA) Cables ## Digital
  • Comp 2160 Folder (at least 100 files)

Loosing the social connection

You'll feel better with more frequent friend contact.

Working like you mean it

Means working less.

Day 26/365 or Day 15/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Creating plan for next 15 or so days of posts and with writing 'How this blog as shifted' [30]
  • Youtube Content Creation and Marketing Plan [35]

I'm not going to do it. It's like going to McDonald's and asking the people eating their 'Do you want to be healthy?'. Most will (if they are not offended) will say yes. But we wrongly attribute "being healthy" to just usually healthy good and proper exercise. We rarely talk about the whole host of other things such as environment, long term habits, reason for those habits, financial struggles, lack of skills, lack of know how. Doing it in a triggering environment is likely not going to help. It's like having your weight loss sessions inside a convenience store snack aisle. Sure it may help, or most likely you're going to revert to your old habits.

Most changes come from within, when the person is no longer happy eating potato chips and watching 6 hours of videos and not remembering any of those videos. When that person starts to notice their memory decreasing. When they begin getting bored much more easily than they used to. I know what it's like because I have been down there. I've lived that lifestyle, it's been much easier most days to suffocate these thoughts with more chips and another stupid video. Videos that make you think after "why?". Why did I waste the whole day, what's wrong with me? You promise yourself you're going to change, and you don't. Then the cycle repeats for most people.

You think you're broken, that you must be really stupid or lacking something if you can't just quit Youtube. But that's because you've without realizing it absorbed the lie that the exchange of information and services between you and Youtube are equal - like two people in the street -. You don't actually realize that the exchange of information is extremely unequal - like a person and a doctor -.

For situations where one party has an extreme advantage or disadvantage there often exists safeguards. For dockers the safeguard is certain legal laws and ethical practices. We don't have that for Youtube, because we are led to believe by Youtube and other large companies, that 1) using the platform is a fair exchange, 2) the platform will do better if they are able to self regulate.

I have already disproven number 1, it's in the algorithms, it's in the coupling everything it knows about human cognitive weakness, affect modulation and our fear of boredom. If you are interested, I would suggest learning from one of the best Center for Humane Technology. For number 2, we have seen this lie about self regulation preferable for consumers than government regulations play across may areas. The most concrete example is prisons. In the US, prisons are managed by private groups, this means that they have an incentive to continue having prisoners. This means they have a conflict of interest, because of the goal of the prisons is to rehabilitate someone for society. With government regulations, such as the prison system in Norway, the prison is managed by the state with taxpayers money. There is no conflict of interest here, as a result the goal of the prison is met with a much higher success rate than in the US. This is why self regulation is a lie. It's worse for the consumer and the only entity that benefits is the company that is self regulating.

If you are reading this, you are thinking one counter argument, that person in McDonald's could provide the final push necessary to make the difficult switch. Like a poster on the wall of the convenience store. So I'll make a plea, a poster and stick it on Youtube. But that poster will make sure to try and move those who are willing off of Youtube.

Now you think that I'm against Youtube. I am not against the concept of a video sharing service, but the way the system is setup is dangerous. Just for example, I was on Youtube today to watch a very specific video and I got caught I ended up spending 10 minutes when I only intended to spend 5. Even people like me who are aware of it can be caught. It's not something that you can just intellectualize away or brute force yourself into doing for the sustainable future. Some games are best not played EVER.

  • Redesigning and Linking Thinkific site to Sapphire Pack [55]

Designing Thinkific site is much harder than it seems at first glance. Since I'm not willing to pay 99$ per month currently for the right to raw edit the CSS. I know that I will definitely do that once I have paying customers but not now. I could bypass the system in a way that I'm not going to tell because I really respect what their doing and want them to be able to provide free Thinkific accounts for people like me, so that eventually we can upgrade and make it worth Thinkific's investment in us for a free account.

So with the limitations in mind what was I able to do? I was able to do basic theme editing with very limited font options. Ideally I would have a dark and lightmode CSS styling, just like I have on my website. However I can't, so choosing between dark mode and lightmode, I decided to go with lightmode. Then I had to find a way for the buttons and overall theme to try and mimic Sapphire Pack, down to something close to the system font. I got something that I'm quite proud of.

Finally I linked the course to Sapphire Pack as a double card (once at the top of the home page and then again at bottom of home page).

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Pair of boots that I have told myself that I was going to repair for over three years now
  • 4 Pairs of pants
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 7 shirts
  • pair of underwear
  • workout shirt

Yesterday, I hit the critical point where I thought, "I don't have enough stuff to give away". Which is obviously false, it's scary to loose things. Even things you don't use. I'm learning so much about connection and what really matters and what doesn't. I am getting to the point that I'm going to have things that only really matter, sure I won't be able to have every item I could want, but I can have all the items I need. Need and want are different though often I get those confused.

Digital

I was going to say that getting rid of excess stuff early on would make up for today but that was me getting scared of losing something that I haven't used in over 2 years.

  • Math 1240 (massive folder with easily 70+ files). It feels real good to permanently delete the files.

How this blog has shifted

Deep work is the gateway to being more enlightened.nYou can learn deep work, just to learn deep work and stop there. Stopping even here is a massive step, you will become more aware, aware of yourself and others and realign your life to within The Three Dimensional Dimond.

This is something that I will talk about more much later as I learn more about it myself. But here is the four points:
- Goal for work
- Goal for personal
- Goal for family
- Goal for friends

As long as you stay within the diamond, you are already doing much better than you realize. The next step is balancing. Deep Work can be used a tool for balancing. There are many other tools, the most common is meditation.

When you think about meditation, you think about sitting, or maybe walking meditation, 'wasting' an hour or even 10 minutes. I have wobbled between being too 'busy' or just forgetting.I don't teach you meditation, I don't practice it myself very much. But that doesn't mean that I'm not using it. As I'm preparing to teach you what I am learning, I realize that I am doing meditation without realizing it.

Boredom, focus on now, focus on sensations, letting thoughts go. All of these are forms of meditation. Not what you're expecting, not what I was expecting, but what is obviously necessary.

Most people will stop at deep work learning and that is a good place to stop, a few I hope will continue on. Realizing that I have shown you a glimpse of something you always had but had lost, and go for it.

Day 25/365 or Day 14/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Creating rest of my skeletons for my course [60]
  • Planning Sustainable Funding [27]
    What I need to know in order to properly delivery worldclass content. Remember my goal is to teach you once and have you be able to keep yourself up to date and kicking ass in deep work forever after. We'll look at a later time brushup courses or some other way to provide community or further training or enhancements. I can't offer lifetime deals because they won't work as a sustainable business. However, I may run in the future lifetime accounts actions like Protonmail did. Most likely I'm going to adopt a Standard Notes like product subscription philosophy (like 1 year, 3 year and 5 year). However with video teaching, that may be more difficult to manage. Furthermore, a long term subscription distracts the person from doing the most important part of deep work, the deep work itself. I also face a conundrum, should I interfere with someone's deep work if it's "good enough" or "working well enough" for them? As with any research, there are bound to be false discoveries, things that actually need to be unlearned after learning. I need to find a way to create a sustainable research funding supply and way to distribute new discoveries in deep work to those who do deep work, just like Mark Queppet does for Universal Man. Maybe something that's like a "touchup" that I send quad annually or even bi-annually.

    Whichever funding stream I discoverAll while reducing chance for inadvertent damage caused by false discoveries or hypothesis. Make a note, I'm not going to be talking out of my ass, I'm going to be teaching scientific based knowledge, teaching that can be refuted. This is the only type of teaching that makes sense. This type of teaching requires that I rightfully take responsibility for what I impart. It involves a more complex information setup, one where all information that I will present is linked to a database of knowledge and sources. This allows me to make quick adjustments and quickly provide massive corrections in the event that I end up ingesting bad information or the information is no longer relevant or even worse harmful.

  • Looking at Information Linking Engines [20]
    I found it in Wiki.js!!! I'll talk more about it in the future. However this visualization of the information linked togeather allows me to easily see what content is being used where. This is simply beautiful software.

  • Writing down what I need to research and transferring content over to Wiki.js [13]

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • 1 Cardboard Box
  • Envelope of plastic objects
  • Another envelope of papers I have digitized
  • Highlighter
  • 3 Pairs of pants that I've barely worn
  • Pair of Pajama pants
  • 3 Shirts
  • 1 High Vis Vest
  • 2 * Bunch of papers I wrote for an idea I never implemented

Digital

  • All files in download folder
  • Stat's content for second year. I keep telling myself that I'll use it but I never have gone back in the many years.

Day 24/365 or Day 13/31

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Write letter to editor of Winnipeg Free Press [10]
  • Cleaned up Kanboard [5] As I get a clearer insight, I can remove tasks designed for a different type of digital existance.
  • Got next 12 lecture skeletons developed and dropped an unnessary couse [60]
  • Finished second draft of what was to go in the Winnipeg Free Press. [45] I'm still going to submit it. If I don't receive a response within 5 days, then I'll post it to this blog. # What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • 6 Shirtlike objects
  • 2 Pantlike Items
  • Another pair of work gloves (sheesh)
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • Balaclava
  • Apple to Headphone adaptors ## Digital
  • 20+ PDF's on a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) Books that I got but haven't read for over 4 months.

I had a point where I had to go between several items because I didn't want to give them up but didn't want to fail the digital minalism challenge. What's really sad is that the stuff I gave up, if I had to say what I gave up, I wouldn't remember half of it. But this is just a sign that I was doing the right thing. If I don't know I have them then I shouldn't have it. What I should have should be sacred, loved and well known.

Day 23/365 or Day 12/31

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Difference between Federal and Provincial [10]
  • Register for Taxes [34] Longer than expected. Lots that I have
  • Writing for Free Press [16] Never got response back from them. Still going strong on the writing.
  • Writing skeleton of next 12 modules. Ended at Understanding attention. [60] This allows me to really figure out what I need to do # What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 button up shirts
  • shorts
  • pair of underwear
  • 4 part bedding for a bigger bed that I don't have
  • Recycled a shoe box ## Digital
  • 13 Emails in trash permanently deleted

Why do we keep around electronic emails when we don't do the same with paper mail? Often the mail stay's archived forever or for an extremely long time. This makes it harder to find what really matters and allows us to sidestep properly dealing with the information, choosing where it should be filed. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but most likely you wouldn't fall into those categories. If you're a large business who needs to keep records for multiple years, that would make sense, but most of us are not. Delete your emails all the way and feel an increased sense of relief.

Furthermore, remember those emails cost energy to store. Someone's server is running with your emails on their hard drive. Remember, I discussed this. Storing information remotely in most cases takes roughly 1000 times more energy than storing things locally. There is a benefit to storing things locally, but you'd agree, you really don't need to keep that password reset email from 3 months ago. You would also agree, you're not going to reread that advertisement you got via email. You delete it, you save them some electricity and storage. Many people do this and alot of energy is saved. We wouldn't need as much remote indexing of content since we'd be storing less.

Day 22/365 or Day 11/31

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Finishing Designing the curriculm. [20 minutes] I'm now finished with the curriculm. Total of 55 lectures which is both exciting and nerve racking. Since each one I'm targetting to be around 10-15 minutes. That's around 10 to 14 hours of content that I'll need to produce. That doesn't even include the time spent researching, video editing or the whole shebang! I was worried beforehand that the price was too low, now I definitely now it is. However, I want the important first wave of client (which will then allow me to post social validation like stars and comments), so I can improve the course and optimize my content production.
  • Rough Draft from Basics to Importance of Rewards (100 minutes) I'm spending 5 minutes on each rough draft so I don't get bogged down in the details. Then I'll do a clarifying pass and go from there.

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Sissors
  • Basic Calculator
  • Old Harddrive
  • Green Backpack I have no less than three backpacks, this being one of them. Ideally, I'll drop down to one. However I won't because each backpack I have had features that the other backpack doesn't have. Making it worth having both. Furthermore, only having two backpacks will really make me fix the other backpack I'm keeping because it's been broken for too long.
  • Book
  • Ruler
  • Gloves
  • Blanket
  • Boombox
  • Sleeping Bag (old)
  • Waterbottle ## Digital
  • Endurance An operating system that I keep trying to build but never complete. I'm going to give up so I don't feel needlessly guilty.

Day 21/365 or Day 10/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Learning about tax laws and business requirements. [120] It actually turned out to be more fun than I expected. I have a lot of questions that I have yet to answer such as: - What is the difference between Federal and Provincial companies - If I'm moving more in an online teaching/consultation, do I need to change my company information - Who do I go to to deal with taxes - How do I manage taxes if I'm teaching people across the world? - How do I make sure I properly contribute to retirement, CPP and EI?

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Blanket
  • 3 Pairs of Socks
  • 2 Shirts
  • Weird airy pants
  • Water purification
  • Prepaid envelops
  • Sewing kit I've had this tiny sewing kit that you can get at a dollar store for more than 3 years. I only used it once to repair a crotch tear on some pants (which promptly re-tore themselves in the exact same place next day). Since then I haven't used it, so it's time for someone else to benefit.

Digital

  • 2 Things one of them more intangible than the other 1) Deleting the after mentioned project from my computer. 2) Removed commitment to software project. I emailed the project lead and said that I was no longer able to develop and would hope to work with them in the future.

Understanding the sorrow

It was because at the end of the day, I wanted to give myself more free time. Spending time on a software project isn't respecting who I want to be or using my time adequately. I need time away from programming, (more than I initially thought) because programming is just a way to make money to fund my passions. Programming isn't my passion as much any more, it's helping people. Now there are some really phenomenal people that can design software that is life changing, but I'm not going to be one of them. My capabilities lie elsewhere, it's time that I accepted that.

Now that I'm working on Sapphire Pack, I'm filled with this different type of hunger, a type that can be satiated. Not something that I'm endlessly shoveling time into and not seeing any results that are meaningful. I was getting to caught up on the technical side, what if it did this or that. I often added the justification for why it would help people AFTER the fact, often without even realizing the ordering of my ideas.

This isn't to say that I'm not going to do software programming, because I am. This isn't to say that I may not make some amazing software, because I may. But I'm no longer having that expectation from myself that I must create phenomenal software, I must be on the cutting EDGE, I MUST, I MUST.

There is however something in the works with a close friend of mine that just may end up helping a lot of people, but since I'm not designing it with the implicit requirement that it MUST. I don't feel the corrosive tension and toxic envy of those who "beat" me to creating amazing software that changes the world for the better. Because it's not a competition, I know that, you know that, but when I expected that I must create life changing software, I became envious and disgusted with myself when I failed to meet those goals.

It's (easier) now to talk about it because I've had time to reflect and contemplate. However, when you're in the middle of pushing yourself beyond where you should push, it's hard to see the failures as maybe a sign. A sign that you are demanding unrealistic things from yourself. A sign that maybe you need to get your life's goals in order. Maybe, just maybe, take time off and figure out why you're so dissatisfied with life, with your accomplishments.

This wasn't the first time that I've felt this utter disappointment in myself. I tend to get this around every 6 months. Usually, I "addressed" it by finding another Franklin and changing my project to another radical idea.

Really addressing it became possible when I made the grand gesture in Sapphire Pack - by paying 600 - for a logo. I had this utter disappointment come right as I was starting and I seriously toyed with the idea of just aborting the entire "stupid" endeavor. However, I had committed 600 dollars and that's more than a months of rent. I couldn't give up, because if I gave up not only would I once again fail to see a project thru, I would have squandered 600 dollars. This combined with a public declaration, helped cement me in the early days. However my bill to Franklin was coming up and since I had committed myself fully in several ways, I couldn't trick Franklin by showing this even more fancy thing that I could work on if they gave me some more of that dark energy. The dark energy debt I defaulted on.

It felt really really bad, I suddenly had no energy, could barely focus. All of a sudden, everything that I had been trying to hide from myself came out, once examined I learned. I looked at shock at what I had done to myself, what I had lost. I didn't overwork myself for four years, I lost 4 years of really meaningful time with those who I cared about. This is something that I'm beginning to remediate and change.

Today calls with my friends and more importantly my dad. Later on, I'm going to set aside an hour where anyone can call without preplanning. So that I never forget why I exist. I exist to be with people, work is a necessity so that I can be with people. I had gotten it all wrong, I had believed for so long to the core of my being that I existed to do my life's work (whatever that was) and being with people was the "break from work". Now I'm going to try and live the right way.

Day 20/365 or Day 9/31 for Minimalist Game

Warning, this is a massive blog post, I didn't mean to write for this long, I started this at 1535 and am just now finishing it at 1745. Somethings just take much longer than you expect, I would have been in a panic over this a few days ago but now I've reached a sort of productivity enlightment.

The path to any type of enlighment are many and one way is always thru massive suffering. (Not the one that I would recommend, even to myself going forward).

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Researching hardware [25 minutes]
    • I've settled on the webcamera whiich is FHD quality
    • I've almost settled on a microphone
    • I've settled on lighting (tabletop)
  • Praticed using OBS to record video lectures in different formats
    • Myself in the top right corner
    • Half and Half
    • Just me
  • Writing this massive post. [120 minutes]

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Unnamed object
  • Strap that I never used

This was designed for camping and securing items to a camping backpack. However the camping backpack has all the necessary straps that I need. Meaning I don't need this one.

  • Weird black t-shirt
  • Two long sleeve shirts
  • Sweater
  • Swim shirt
  • Rope

It's thin and was designed to be used for a close-line that never really happened. It kinda did but for a VERY short period of time. Furthermore, the close-line was setup once when camping many years ago. Why have I kept it? Because I thought 'what's the harm?'. However this when applied to a lot of items, causes me to be where I am now, needing to be rid of things.

  • Gloves (yet another pair!)

I find these gloves in at least three separate storage areas, the fact that I have so many demonstrates why this clean out is necessary. However in each area, I only had a few pairs. Therefore in each individual case, I could be pardoned for deciding to keep them. However looking back thru all my gloves I have found, I could not be pardoned for keeping them all. When will I every need to wear that amount of gloves? When will I need that many backup pairs?

Digital

  • DIME

In the digital environment it's a lot harder to say "This is one thing" and "This is a collection of things".

Therefore in the spirit of getting rid of items if I'm getting rid of more than 9 items today it counts as nine items.

DIME was a project that I was working on but abandoned, having it sitting around made me feel guilty and that I should go back to it. However deleting it removes this unnecessary guilt and lets me use that energy for something else.

In case you were interested, DIME stands for Dark Internet Mail Environment and is a protocol designed by Lava bit. I was attempting to create the protocol in RUST so that any one could interface with DIME using the rust implementation. Why a separate implementation? Because it's very unlikely that both protocols implementations would suffer from the same mistake in protocol implementation (assuming the protocol is secure). Why does this matter? Let's look at Heartbleed, this was a error with the implementation of an important part of web communication, NOT with the protocol. Luckily since not everyone used that implementation, only 66% of websites were possibly screwed (for a short time only though). Having diversity in any field is important, it allows fallback and alternative implementations that may not fail in the same scenarios.

More importantly than what it is, we tend to really build up a lot of things that we wish to do in the digital environment and you have to be okay with saying, no. It's easier in the short term to make a lot of commitments to either yourself and others and not realize how draining overall the commitments are - even though each one may not take much energy) - only when you step back and see all of them to you realize you over extended yourself.

The four year sorrow

Introduction

Here is something I have learned that is really important that I wish to pass onto you. Only commit to those commitments that are extremely important. I really have dropped my life down to four commitments:

1) Sapphire Pack
2) Friends
3) Self
4) Job

Now this means that if I'm accomplishing Sapphire Pack, spending time with friends, doing what I need to do in my home and doing good at job, then I'm really acting in a way that reflects my innate goodness.

Wrong beliefs

I really used to believe that unless I was doing a lot of things, that I wasn't a good person. That I was somehow failing to use my time appropriately. That sleeping in, doing nothing, spending time with friends over a certain amount was BAD. That at the end of the day and my life that I would only judge myself and be judged by what I had accomplished that had raw cash value. This was a horrible way to treat myself, I stopped caring that I was hurting, that I needed days where I didn't do much. Days to hangout with friends and not feel that I was a disappointment because I hadn't put in 6 hours of work in.

Before hand, every day was a constantly loosing fight where I would realize that I had failed. I had failed to live up to my expectations of myself, because these expectations were unrealistic in the long term. I felt horrible, I felt like I failed. I kept jumping from one impressive project to another, each one I would burn myself out - usually before I reached 30 days - because every spare minute I would work on it. I viewed the weekend and time to catchup on work that I didn't owe anyone. I had weekends where I would churn out 14 or 16 hours of work and then wonder why next weekend I could barely churn out 2 hours. All the while getting angry and frustrated with myself, refusing to believe that I was good just because we all are. That our lives are not the sum of the monetary value of our actions.

I told those around me, that they needed to have time off, they needed to really relax. That as weird as it sounds, that having less time to work means you'll actually produce better content (that is up to a point). However I never took that for myself, I knew it was true but believes that I was playing catchup. First it was catchup for not seriously learning programming until grade 10 (even though I started programming in grade 7). Then with designing either this or that in software X. When I stopped believing those lies, I started to believe that if I developed this one amazing piece of software ALL BY MYSELF that somehow I would fix this gaping hole of lies, frustration, fear and sadness that I had. Sadness for unrealistic expectations that no one but myself that I held myself to. Fear that if I wasn't working, I was falling behind. Frustration that since I didn't know X then I wasn't ever going to find a job. Finally, the lie that I wasn't good enough, that I wasn't every going to be good enough. I believed that if I had the world's admiration and cash that I would fill this lie.

Breaking the cycle

I was wrong and I ended up spending more than four years overworking and hating myself. I became calculating, I wasn't allowed to spend time with friends unless I got X hours of work done. I wasn't allowed to have fun, because my work is fun (At least that's what I told myself). I became ruthless, I had to do even better, put in more time, just try harder - because obviously working 20 hours a week OUTSIDE OF UNIVERSITY, while juggling a full course load, family responsibilities, friends and gym - wasn't good enough. I became destructive, I won't allow myself to read anything that I wanted to (Sci fi anyone?), because then I was wasting time on "childish things". I used this word a lot with myself, believing that if I called it childish that I wouldn't want to do it. That turned out to be completely false, I ended up binging on books when I went to the library or when I was on route someplace (who would have thought this was possible?). I was viewed as extremely smart by those around me, so understanding of this technology or that framework or this concept. However I didn't see that as good enough, I beat myself up for not knowing how to properly implement a cryptographically secure key exchange protocol, an operating system from scratch or some API. I accepted and even vocalized to my friends and those that would listen that "we should leave that to the experts" or "it's alright not to know that, it's extremely complicated stuff", however I never really took that to heart until today.

Why this change, how did I learn this about myself? Because I did something radical, something that every single person like me - a person whose is working extremely hard to fill a void that can really only be filled with self compassion and realistic - I told myself that I was only going to accomplish one thing for 2021, one thing only. I still have days, where I finished Sapphire Pack obligations for that day in the early morning and am unsure how to fill that extra time, I'm not used to being busy with nothing to do. I realized a few very important things:

1) That friends and close connections are what's worth living for.

2) That doing less is actually more.

3) Excess work is escape from responsibilities and self reflection.

4) Doing nothing is still something.

Warning signs

When you put it that way it sounds plain as day. That sometime you need to do nothing, or your body will do it for you. Here are some examples:

1) During January of this year, something that I had been really proud of accomplishing and maintaining I utterly failed and relapsed. The reason was that I had used up every picogram of willpower with my self imposed work, I had none left to prevent old self harming habits from coming back in. This habit which I detested, I tried getting rid of in several ways.
1) Adding it to my already impossible list of demands that I had for myself that I do every day. You can already guess that I failed.

2) Trying to live with it, however this proved to be difficult because of the nature of the habit. This habit is one that destroys self control, long term thinking and hard work ethic (the three things I pride myself most on). This lead to 3 that until recently was my sad cycle.

3) Pretending to fix it and maybe getting a bit of the way, and then completely failing. Beating myself up and then failing again and again and again. Some of the fixes was truly genuine attempts but without modifying my overloaded mental life, I was bound to fail.

4) I hit rock bottom, I decided enough was enough, I added critical things that I believed I wanted at the time as gifts for myself. I dedicated time to actually doing it seriously, I incorporated it as one of my priority goals of the day. I was succeeding.

2) During the summer I moved. However I didn't alter my routines for extreme work and as anyone will tell you (including myself) after a big change in work, place or friendship you should't expect much from yourself. I didn't allow that, I viewed that as weak, that I had failures to make up for, then I could rest. Here's what happened, I had two knockout colds - and I rarely get sick - that had me fully grounded and unable to do anything for 3 days apiece. This was my body wresting back the minimal offline time that it needed that I was refusing - because I thought something catastrophic would happen if I did - to give.

3) During the school (which was now remote), I didn't lower my expectations. In fact I pushed them further than I would have allowed anyone in my care to do. I started my school day at 0730 and didn't end till 1700. I usually woke up 0530 and as the semester went on that happened less and less, I began to have more and more really bad colds and issues sleeping. I pushed back my wakeup time to 0630, but still planned as if I was getting up at 0530. This meant I started the day already an hour behind, at that point I only had an hour before my self imposed start of school began, I would eat and squeeze in 30 - 45 minutes of self imposed work. My exercise slipped, my mental health slipped. However I pushed things, I would end my day at 1700 and by 1805 be doing my self imposed work until 2030, then I would read until 2230 or sometimes until 2300 unable to focus on reading, but unable to sleep and intolerant of just doing nothing. My sleep worsened, I - who prided on caring for myself - began getting up 10 minutes before 0730 and starting my school day still half asleep. This is something that I would say is stupid to anyone, yet I was doing it myself. It got worse, I began dropping critical transition routines (these are transitions that are designed to have you either enter or leave a specific mindset), meaning that I was fighting with myself more. I was getting more exhausted and still I kept pushing myself.

During the holidays, I realized that something was really wrong, but I thought it was that I wasn't doing enough. That I was being lazy. I was sleeping a tremendous amount of time (some days 14 hours) and then working harder to "make up" for the missed work. I felt guilty for not following any of my routines, believing that I was too time constrained to follow them. Each day I finished my work feeling like "maybe I did a good job".

The now

By dropping my expectations to the big four. I have had less to do each day and because of that I have more free time. Time that is currently spent sleeping. For example, today I ended up waking up at 1030.

I have realized the modern Maslow's hierachy of needs for truely feeling good about yourself.

Commit to less and commit less time than you think makes sense

1) Commit to less and commit less time than you think makes sense.

Committing 2 hours per day to Sapphire Pack I thought was going easy on myself. I obviously had around 4 hours I could spend on it during the weekday and more like 10 each weekend day right? However, something I'm not sure what but I'm eternally grateful for, got me to choose 2 hours.

This has actually been hard on a few days but each day I'm proud because I did the two hours which honored my inner and innate goodness.

Stop trying to fill every minute of your day with "productive" shit. That's what it is, you're friends really don't care what you're doing. If you're going this deep (or crazy in my own words), you're really running from something. For me it was the belief that I was a failure, and always will be. I know this is wrong so every time I think that I contradict it, it's hard because at first I didn't believe it really, but know I do and it's easier. You're not a failure, trying to prove to yourself that you're not a failure will ironically lead you right there (as it almost did to me). Imagine you were doing what I did for another 2 years, where would you be, who would you be, how functional would you be? Furthermore, remember that I continued doing this extreme during Covid-19, which meant even MORE stress, LESS connections and a host of other microlosses that we don't realize we needed until we actually loose them.

Sleep is first

2) Sleep is first

If you overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion day in and day out 4 years (1460 days), you're going to exhaust your brains work fuel, and it's backup work fuel and the emergency work fuel and so on. You're brain needs to rest in order to work, if you're not giving it what it needs, it'll take it from you as an extremely last resort and when it's desperate.

Let yourself sleep, allow yourself to actually sleep. I was able to do this because of reduced responsibilities and realizing that I could finish my entire day in about 3 hours. This would have scared me even 7 days ago, but having less work means that you have more time to do thing (or nothing as my case has been for many weeks). Along with willing to hangout with people more, spend time doing thoughtful things and really living in the day (not the work hour).

Routines

3) Routines are second

Once you no longer need to catchup on sleep (or your brain use sleep as a way to recover boredom or offline time), this is what you need to begin doing. Routines allow your brain to slip into a groove, what to do and what not to do during specific parts of the day, thereby using less energy overall.

If you find your routines slipping, don't do what I did many times which is drop the routine. Drop work, drop things that don't seem critical. If everything seems critical, then think again, dropping routines is your brain's way of trying to keep up with what you've asked of it. Don't allow it to do this "favour" for you.

Exercise

4) Exercise is third

This may seem backwards right? Why would we do exercise after setting up a routines? Shouldn't we do it before? That's exactly what I thought and look how wrong I was. I ended up only hitting 4/28 workouts in the last month. This was because I wasn't addressing the fact that I still was demanding too much from myself (in other words, I was drawing more from the brain than I was giving it). Now if we look back at February I was hitting 26/27 workouts in this month. This was because I wasn't so far in the over demanding myself (long story that had to do with having to spend my University break not being able to over demand myself, so I had partially recovered).

Once you stop demanding so much from yourself and you have more time to do everything, exercising will be the perfect way to fill up an hour of your day. Furthermore, you'll enjoy it more and not be as anxious to hurry it up or cut a corner because you'll have more "buffer time" built in.

Boredom

5) Boredom is forth

Once you've given yourself ample time to be bored or do whatever that is NOT work (even self work, that still counts as work), then you'll be ready to work. This is something that I am going to teach about in deep work, which before today would have been lip service. NOW, NOW it's not. I've actually learned and really feel it. I realize this day of doing nothing was actually the most productive day that I've had in the last 365 days. This boredom was what allowed me to begin deconstructing my self lies and deceptions, what I was trying to fill. This boredom allowed me to make this life saving (and I do not use that word lightly) change.

I am no longer running from whatever dark energy you need to over demand from yourself for 4 years straight. I am running using my own energy, with my own limits. However it means that I'm able to work ironically deeper and longer than I have before. Let me explain in a story:

Imagine that this dark energy is an evil wizard named Franklin. You are named Draco. Now you (Draco) want to use more energy than you have, so you go speak to Franklin. Franklin being a greedy wizard (like all evil wizards are) demands a payment (no not your soul) but a stock in your success. However Franklin (like all evil wizards are) is impatient and demands whatever success you promised NOW. You knowing you can't promise that success, beg for more of that dark energy in exchange for a more ambitious idea. This cycle goes on, until you miss a payment (which you will). At this point, you can go find another Franklin (in this story all evil wizards are named Franklin) or stop borrowing dark energy from these energy loan sharks (err wizards).

This is what was happening with me, I was launching more ambitious projects every time I had my energy wane, because that's how I could trick myself and my brain and body into giving me the ridiculously amount of energy I was demanding. Because these projects would make us successful in a very short period of time - therefore no need at all to worry about actually taking care of ourselves, we can do that once we're rich - over and over and over again.

Obligations

6) The last is obligations

Once you've paid Franklin in either success (or in alot of sleep and boredom, I guess I forgot to mention those payment plans). Then you are ready for obligations. Then you are ready for doing whatever you promised you'd be doing. Here's what Franklin doesn't want me to tell you, you can't pay Franklin in success, because success is never successful enough to pay off your debt. The only way to escape Franklin alive is to pay with sleep and boredom. Then never approach another Franklin.

Using this hierarchy of needs, you need to be more accepting and caring for yourself. But you'll run off you're own energy, be successful for much longer and stop fighting and berating yourself. Understanding that doing nothing is just as important as doing something.

Day 19/365 or Day 8/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

Researching recording and presenting online.

I need 4 key items:

1) High Quality Mic
2) High Quality Web camera
3) Studio lighting
4) Background control

I learned about the different types of microphone and pickup patterns along with optimal web camera and desktop recording.

Targeting FHD is what I need to target in both circumstances.

There are multiple studio lightings. I'm going with the basic two source lighting and can upgrade at a later time.

I'm going to ignore my background and attempt to record with a blank or neutral background.

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Specilized running wind breaker
  • Quick dry pants
  • Wierd black t-shirt
  • Torn sock
  • Deformed balaclava
  • Aqua headband
  • Mechanical pencils (I found more of them)

Digital

  • Cheat Sheet Series (Massive folder that I cloned from Github but I only read a few notes a very long time back)

Day 18/365 or Day 7/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

10 Minutes Registering Sapphire Pack
In a few weeks, Sapphire Pack will be a real company! How exciting is that?

110 Minutes Sapphire Pack Design curriculm
I made MASSIVE progress, I redeveloped the curriculm from the ground by building on the work I did yesterday, I'm about 85% complete and I'm much happier with the course content and layout, the first itteration, was mainly a brain dump. It had some kernels of a good idea but included alot of unnessary fluff. The second itteration of the course is much better organized and does a combination of applied experience alternating with learning the deep work double pyramid.

Imagine the # is the deep work.
The * are the supporting skills in order to do the deep work and the ^ are issues that you must solve in order to properly build the skills so that you can do deep work.

     #
   * *
  * * *
    ^ ^
      ^

I developed the curriculm in such a way that you start out with deep work pratice after just the barest of an introduction, this is so you can get a feel for what deep work is along with being better to understand thing such as deep work limits and if you have a ^ or a * that you must pay extra attention to strengthen.

Futhermore, I set you up for success by having you apply your learning to something that interests you in such a way that when you finish the course, you'' be more than halfway done that thing you wanted, thereby making completion much more likely to happen!

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Torn pants For some reason I believed that I was going to repair them. For 3 and a bit years, I haven't. Should I, I feel I should. However having less items means I'll be able to devote more energy to repair and I'll also see the issues developing sooner.
  • Old box of random items
  • Stained tshirt
  • Quick dry shorts
  • Book
  • Gloves
  • Notebook

Digital

  • 7 Coursenotes of Phil 1290 which I used during the course and haven't checked back since!

Day 17/365 or Day 6/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Developed First Draft of Mega Curriculm [30 min] This was harder than I believed because I had major overlaps between differerent courses. I had to attempt to pare down the modules and total non critical content. It's quit hard not to just throw everything I know about deep work remotely into the course. However doing so would shift the burden of sifting thru what is critically important to deep work to the learner. Short and long run, I loose. I don't learn if I was wrong, or if I was right. I don't learn the flaws in my ideas and ultimately I don't improve and pass that improvement onto my clients and students.
  • Organize buisness documents and created git system [30 min] Git is important because it relieves you from the worry that you may need that in the future (you most likely won't) but it helps alot to track changes and see how far I've come along. Something that I'm really excited to see is on the 365th day, run the repo thru a git visual history and make a movie. Removing ideas is just as nessary as adding. I used to be of the mimd that something I really worked on hard even if not directly relavent could be made relavant. Not only did this lead to eventual project failure, it lead to diffusing my attention and leading to an inferior products (had the product ever shipped).
  • Understanding Consulting common issues [10 min] This ended up being unnessary since I;m designing the course to build trust in people that I am indeed worth being paid to provide expert advice on deep work. Therefore worrying about being a consultant and how to properly consult is an issue for waay later down the road.
  • Consolidating notes and redisigning curriculm [30 min] Still not done, I am not happy with how the first curriculm turned out, the curriculm jumped around too much as was too random with no clear cohesive narrative. I spend serious time inspecting what makes someone good and deep work and what would cause peolple to fail, furthermore how to account for the expected failures and to either head off the failure OR to provide the tools that the failee can use to recover from the failure. I use failee with the utmost of respect, I am failing alot right now and that's alright, however I've learned the tools to try again. I want to provide the entire toolbelt I carry to others.
  • Working on article for Winnipeg Free Press [20 min]
    Out of everything I did today, working on the article is the hardest for two reasions:

    1) Since I haven't heard back from the Winnipeg Free Press, most likely I'm going to be rejected.

    This really sucks, I really knew that asking to write for the Winnipeg Free Press or any large publisher with no previous experience or valid credentionals is a long shot. It also feels indirectly like a chicken and egg problem, I'm not going to get the recognization until I write in a big paper and I won't be able to write in a big paper until I get recognization. However you probably already see the flawed thinking, writing in big papers are not the only way to get recognition, there are other ways.

    2) As long as I don't actually work on the draft, I can fantasize on how well written and elequant my article is going to be. Writing the article makes me realize how not true these beliefs are. My writing is chunky, not something you connect with and overall academic and robotic sounding. However, now that I know what the issue is, I can pratice improving my writing, one failure or suboptimal piece at a time.

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Two pairs of shorts (I prefer pants)
  • Three shirts I didn't use
  • 3 garden gloves (Not PAIR, 3 single gloves)

Digital

  • Deleted old SapphirePack.org site folder that I haven't used for at least 15 days
  • Deleted empty Sapphire Pack Folder (it's actually quite relieving to remove an empty folder, an empty folder cries out to be used, when not using it would be the best)
  • Deleted happy memories folder (I don't need an external reminder, I have those memories inside my mind)
  • Deleted Happy memories document (I need less in my lief, less routines, less self obligations)
  • Deleted 10000+ hours tracker (I'm proud that I managed to extract the Cordova bundle from an APK. However, that is something I carry around inside, not physically)
  • Deleted Rust Learning (I want to learn Rust, but my goal now is Sapphire Pack. It's scary because what happens if I end up missing my dream job because I didn't know Rust? That's something that I'm willing to accept. If I'm willing to live my life in constant what if's and not concrete I do's, I will most likely be anxious, upset and worried.)

Realization

I'm now actually looking forward to every day, today deleting the digital stuffi is super rewarding and same with the physical. It's freeing. Keeping something as a way to guilt myself into using it, is more tiring and I didn't realize that was my thought pattern till I wrote it now. Why does this relate to deep work? Less pressure to accomplish things, the better. One can apply that same pressure to a select few goals. In my case just one, launching Sapphire Pack,

Day 16/365 or Day 5/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Developed introduction 6 ways
    This is because I want to make the introductions as least awkward as possible and have the client focus on our similarities instead of differences so we can do the best we can.The introductions are Environmentalist,

    • Switched to a single MASSIVE course just like Universal Man. Better way to build trust, since Sapphire Pack's main selling point is a one time purchase. I had temporary lost that. Set price to 147.89 (this is half of what I believe it's worth but I want to make sure that I over deliver instead of under deliver). This early price will allow a "soft launch" and extend my expertise so that in a few years I can relaunch the course and raise the price. This would be the "early adopters" price.
  • Disaster Recovery

    • Making sure to that the key infrastructure necessary is protected by using strong password and regular backups

Connect Payment Processor

What I did today for the minimalist game

Physical

  • Sweater that I no longer wear
  • Pair of quick dry shorts (I only really wear pants)
  • Shitty rope that doesn't do a good job at being rope (why do I even keep it?)
  • Hat (I don't like it and I have a few good hats that I do like)
  • Short sleeve shirt (I prefer to wear long sleeves) ## Digital
  • Deleted TTLS project folder from computer, it was written as a temporary project. Removing it means it's out of my mind, so I can focus on Sapphire Pack.
  • Deleted 3 Sound recordings I don't remember making (that was easy 3)
  • Deleted a short story by Cam Cain called "Late" (I read it once, I'm not going to most likely read it again).

Day 15/365 or Day 4/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Basic SEO Optimization Improving site content along with using meta tags
  • Found tagline which is "kickass deep working machine"
  • Started Thinkific Course page and figuring out how to match style and theme of main website # What I did today for the minimalist game ## Physical
  • Old tea towel
  • Slipppers
  • Bags of odds and ends including writing implement and hastly purchased charging block for a laptop
  • Simple Hammock/Winter Chair using the car front window light relfector and woven fishnet ## Digital
  • Document labled wishlist.rtf that I haven't checked in over a month
  • React Native PDF
  • Pragmatic Programmer Reactg Native PDF
  • Pragmatic Programmer Quantum Programming (Skimmed but haven't read. No need to keep around)

Working like you mean it

This means to devote time to working on a single project. It's easy to flit from one project to another, sticking to one main projec and not letting yourself of the hook for a particular period of time, this is where true satisfaction and accomplishments are born. Futhermore, as humans we are actually happier when we are working. This is because working is a goal directed behaviour where we can easily see how we are doing. Relaxing is actually harder than working because we don't know how "well" we are doing.

Therefore the way to make relaxation more relaxing is treating it like a job with SMART goals.

Day 14/365 or Day 3/31 for Minimalist Game

What I accomplished in two hours

  • Wrote part of first draft for "Why deep work won't work for you" for the Winnipeg Free Press.
  • Reviewed and continued to consolidate the notes from Cal Newport's Deep Work book. # What I did today for the minimalist game

Got rid of 2 notebooks that I keep telling myself I'm going to use but I'm not because the notebooks are:
1) Spiral
2) Small or Blank
I was keeping the notebooks out of a sense of obligation to myself that since I invested in these notebooks that I should use them someday. However I'm pretty sure that someday is going to be the day after I die.

I also got rid of unoppened plastic gloves designed to allow working in a very wet environment. I never used them and I got them more than 4 years ago. Really good sign that I won't need them. Why did I keep them? Because I believed that since I bought it that there would be a use for it in the future. In other words, I would feel terrible that I wasted money by not keeping the gloves until I needed them.Say this fear was actually founded, that I actually will need them in 5,10 or even 20 years from now.What's the cost in keeping track of them, moving them and finding a place to store them? This overrules the actual cost of the product within a few years. Therefore in the unlikely event that I need waterproof gloves for working in a wet environment, I'll go and get some.

Bonus

I also deleted the following digital items:

2 screenshots from Rewire that I told myself I would use but I haven't used.
1 Visual Studio Installer.

The visual studio installer echos the sentiment of the gloves, keeping something around just in case you need it in the future. It's actually easier to do so in the digital realm because it's "virtual". However those virtual bits eventually need to be stored somewhere physical, either your computer or someone else's computer. The more data that stored or written to, the bigger "digital house" you live in. The digital house that you live in actually takes real energy and outputs real carbon. To keep things simple imagine the VCU (Virtual Carbon Unit) we aren't interested in direct carbon value but the relationship between two or more processes. Imagine your storing that data just in your own computer compared to the cloud is around 1:1000000 VCU (that is you can store 1 million pieces of data X to equal storing 1 data X remotely on the cloud).

However, if data storage was the only issue, the solution would be to have very little data stored. However, this fails to account for consuming content. For example Netflix, Youtube and even this site your reading on right now!
Imagine this site (not the blog) takes only 10 VCU for every page load (an understatement but remember we are interested in relationships not the actual numbers). Now if we visit google, it will cost 22 VCU. Youtube is 160 VCU, Netflix is 90 VCU and Amazon is 310 VCU.

Watching an hour of video isn't even included but we can imagine that it's VCU would be at least a thousand times more. However, all this gets difficult to quantify because the equipment is getting more energy efficient.

Furthermore, in the hopes that you'll challenge my findings, please consider looking at the following websites and understanding how to educate yourself on your digital environment and the real world cost.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-what-is-the-carbon-footprint-of-streaming-video-on-netflix
https://www.websitecarbon.com/
https://theconversation.com/music-streaming-has-a-far-worse-carbon-footprint-than-the-heyday-of-records-and-cds-new-findings-114944