Side Hustle Ideas

One of my goals this week is to brainstorm some potential side hustle ideas. I’ve built up quite a collection of domain names over the past decade, and one of the thoughts I’ve had is to build one of those out into a full application.

I’ve got some complex web applications that I’d like to build out with microservices. I’ve got a simple idea for an application, that I could sell through the app store for 99c or something, and I have an idea for a community.

The community is the idea that I’m most excited about. It’s a take on the FML (Fuck my life) terms and flips it for personal responsibility. The idea is FML (Fixing my life), and it would be a community with ideas for recovering from burnout, seeking better relationships, and all the things I struggle with and I figure I’m not alone in feeling.

There are similar communities out there, and they charge exorbitant amounts of money to participate. Honestly, if there was one that charged, $9.99 a month, or an annual $100 fee for some real value, I might jump on it, or… I could build it myself.

Front Loading With Protein

I’ve been on and off again with the Ketogenic Diet for the past couple of years. If I can get into deep ketosis, my life seems to go better and I feel better.

But, given my hectic schedule and limited time for meal prep, it’s not always the easiest diet to maintain, and my caloric intake is usually far below what it should be.

Recently I tried a Whole30. I’m in the midst of it right now, and honestly, I’m feeling good. I have developed a rather unhealthy relationship with Lara Bars, but aside from that 🙂

When I’m doing Keto, I get a lot of shit from my vegan daughters. I’ve reduced my bacon intake, which is probably good for all kinds of things, but they’re still not OK with it.

I was talking to my massage therapist 2 days ago, and she’s not so keen on the Ketogenic diet either. I value her opinion a great deal more, because she’s highly educated, and absorbs information like me. She was suggesting that recent research pointed to the benefits of front-loading the day with protein.

I’m considering adopting a weekly meal prep plan, wherein I spent an hour or two on Sunday preparing breakfast burritos and then using them to kick start my days during the week.

Burrito, cheese, scrambled eggs, brown rice, black and pinto beans, cilantro and may a little bacon and/or sausage. Toss them in the fridge and grab one in the morning when I head off to work.

Why I Love Mushrooms

I’ve been a fan of different kinds of mushrooms for a while.

I have a mix of mushrooms that I consume daily to boost my energy, mood, and boost my immune system. Cordyceps, Lionsmane, Reishi, Maitake, and Chaga.

They’re nice to take anyway, but with the burn-out and depression of the past couple of years, they’ve been very helpful.

I tried some other mushrooms this weekend. It turned into one of the most amazing experiences of my life to date, and may well turn out to be a critical pivot point.

The taste wasn’t much to write home about, in fact, I swallowed most of the concoction without tasting it, courtesy of some cool water. It took about 15 minutes to kick in, and… Wow!

I’ve been seeing a therapist in a couple of different capacities over the past 2 years as well. Honestly, it’s helped a little, but not as much as I hoped.

4 or 5 hours on Saturday night, and I experienced more benefit to my mental and emotional wellbeing than I had, considering the totality of the last 2 years.

I’m on a 5-day streak of feeling really good right now!

Experimental Best Practices

As I review the past week, I’m realizing I’m in a good place. I’ve had good days in the past year or 2, but they’ve been very much singular, and few and far between.

When you conduct experiments on your lifestyle, to see if they will bring more joy and accomplishment to your life, it’s important to remember to run 1 experiment at a time, so you can tell what works.

I’ve been trying a couple of new things, and they worked, but now I don’t know if one worked, or they all worked, or 2 together worked and the other 3 didn’t.

Here’s a sampling of some of what I’ve tried and how long I’ve been trying it:

  • Daily supplementation with 5-HTP to enhance serotonin production – 2 weeks
  • Daily journaling, with a focus on gratitude and ideas which emerged during the day. I’ve been thinking about capturing synchronistic clues! – 2 weeks
  • No caffeine – 3 weeks
  • No alcohol – 2 months
  • Whole30 eating plan – 3 weeks
  • Daily planning sessions – 2 weeks
  • 10 minute of meditation – 2 weeks
  • Daily relationship check-in with my partner – 2 weeks

My guess is that the 5-HTP and the meditation are the 2 most potent factors, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point.

I’ve also been trying to get back into running, with various states of success, and… I have an experiment coming up this weekend, which I’m particularly excited about.

Boundaries and Planning

I was thinking of writing about boundaries today, because:

  1. I don’t do a good job defining them.
  2. Not setting them is killing me.

I also got this quote from James Clear in his weekly newsletter.

“Aim to be great in 10 years
Build health habits today that lead to a great body in 10 years.
Build social habits today that lead to great relationships in 10 years.
Build learning habits today that lead to great knowledge in 10 years.

Long-term thinking is a secret weapon.”
James Clear

I think they’re related.

Synchronicity!

Do you have any good suggestions for identifying, defining and enforcing boundaries in your life?

Journaling and Gratitude

According to the experts, expressing gratitude helps improve your quality of life.

I’ve begun a nightly journaling, planning and meditation session as part of a goal to improve my life and dig me out of the emotional slump which I’ve been in.

Unfortunately, I’ve combined this with changing up my supplement stack, trying a new diet, getting off caffeine, and being more honest and straightforward in some of my personal conversations.

Something is working. The problem is, I don’t necessarily know if it’s all, or some, or one, or none of these things working to help me feel better.

I feel like the shit-storm is still raging around me and yet I feel more sturdy to stand against it.

It feels like change is coming. The good kind!

Also, Mercury is in retrograde, but I don’t have time for that!

Reinvent and Rebuild

I’m trying to begin a new phase.

The last two years have involved more wallowing in self-pity and waiting around for things to change longer than I care to admit. I mean… I’m admitting it, but I’m not going to describe the vast extent of those activities. And they’re pretty vast… Like really vast… But enough of that.

One of my new year’s resolutions is that I want to end 2020 in a deep and meaningful relationship that is helping me grow and become a better person.

I’m also OK if that relationship is entirely with myself because no-one knows me better or should love and appreciate me more.

So here are some things I’ve been working on for the past week, and some I’ve been working on a little longer.

  • I’m doing a 3-month abstention from alcohol. This has been going on since January 1st.
  • I’m 2 weeks into a complete eradication of caffeine from my diet. I think I have pretty severe adrenal fatigue.
  • I’ve been doing a Whole30 for almost 3 weeks now
  • I’ve been journalling nightly for over a week
  • I’ve had a nightly planning session to prepare for the next day. It’s not super effective, but I’m doing it.
  • I’ve been meditating for 10 minutes each night. Headspace was started to annoy me, so I’m doing a timed session with a Binaural Beats playlist on Spotify.
  • I’ve started running again

There are also some things I’m planning to get working on in the future.

  • Plan to pay down my credit card debt and start building some savings.
  • Finish the requirements for my WTSDA Black Belt
  • Develop a daily Tang Soo Do practice which includes a review of my forms and all one-step techniques at least twice a week
  • Get back to planning out and executing my dream of Code-Em-power, a computer literacy program for woman and minorities.
  • Somewhat related, I need to visit my friend in Chicago again. I miss her, her daughter and the city.

So, here’s to reinvention and rebuilding, with a virgin, and whole friendly beverage of your choice!

At Least If I Believed In God…

At least if I believed in God, I’d have someone to direct my rage at.

Although if I did believe in God, I’d probably do the ‘Good Christian’ thing and tell everyone that it was all part of God’s plan for me and that I was growing.

I’m not growing. The current situation kinda sucks. But it’s all first-world related, and I’ll hopefully be able to dig out of this mess in a few months.

Maybe…

Show Your Hand

My manager said something interesting to me this week. We’re trying to find a new team member, and I was worried that his star candidate might not be fully aware of the requirements for the position.

“We don’t want to show our hand”

I love my job, but when I got hired, the hiring manager had the mindset that any engineer could do the job he was hiring for, and so instead of sharing details with me, he talked in generalities. He hid his hand, and the result was six months on me struggling to get up to speed on the project. It was a welcome change from the previous employer who worked me to death, but still not pleasant.

Why do we feel the need to not be upfront and honest?

My favorite question of late has been, “What is your ask?”

People feel the need to explain themselves and paint a picture before getting to the point. I don’t care about the backstory as much. I want to know what you need. If I know what you need, I can help you, or know that I can’t help you without the linguistic dance.

Of course, I state this, as a man who is trying to figure out his needs as a human being.

And sometimes, know what you need is half the battle.

When Someone Shares Something Beautiful And It Bothers Us

I shared the video of Will Smith a few days ago. It talks about seeking out people who fan our flames.

My week started off in the most phenomenal way. I did a float in an isolation chamber first thing on Sunday morning. It was incredible! I came out buzzing and feeling on top of the world.

On Sunday evening I shared a quote on Facebook. It was from some Toltec teachings that I’ve been reading, discussing how each of us is perfect.

Perfect because we are exactly the product of our experiences and our choices.

Perfect because we are here in the present.

Perfect because we are.

It was interesting and disheartening that a friend, who has meant a great deal to me in the past, took issue with what I said.

Not only did he point out why I was wrong, but he brought up something I’d said a few months ago about being psychologically damaged by my experiences with religion.

Why?

Why did he feel the need to impose his views on me?

Why point out my weaknesses and vulnerabilities?

It made me this of this selection from Hafiz, a 14th-century Sufi poet.

The small man
Builds cages for everyone
He
Knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners.

 

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