Lemur Journal!

Where are you and where are you going?
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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:15 am

Testing out a new dieting strategy today where one diets in sprints. The traditional method (daily calorie restriction or DCR) is to find your maintenance calories (roughly body weight * 14 for male or body weight * 13 for female) and subtract 500 from this amount to create a weekly caloric deficit of 3500 calories a week (equal to ~ 1lb of fat). Adjust by real world results. Another popular method gaining steam seems to be intermittent fasting / alternate day fasting / etc where one fasts for a short-period of time of 1-2 days (creating a very large caloric deficit) followed by ad libitum feeding or tracking maintenance calories. There are some studies that show the latter is actually better at maintaining muscle mass (I think this is mostly a product of protein intake but I digress for now).

Anyhow, I thought I would give the latter a shot by trying out a modified version where I eat 1000 calories every other day. Not a true fast (even the ADF diet calls for 500 calories on the 'fasting' days) but a severe caloric deficit none the less. On those 1000 calorie days, protein intake will be emphasized to support maintenance of lean body mass and increased satiety. At a bodyweight of 185 pounds, my maintenance calories should be 2,590 calories. Eating only 1,000 calories would allow me to burn 1,590 calories on that day (equivalent to 0.454 pounds of fat). Over a course of 2 weeks, this should amount to approximately 3.18 pounds of fat loss. In reality, probably a little bit less due to some metabolic slowdown.

Behaviorally, I think it will be easier to adhere to mild suffering every other day as opposed to small suffering every single day. I've done the latter with some success but want to test out the former. My long-term goal has always been to get to 170 pounds.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:07 pm

https://www.zedbooks.net/blog/posts/fre ... usal-work/

Something to read...when I get the 'free-time' to do so. Ironic ;)

classical_Liberal
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:33 am

Good article. It's become obvious to me that employment bleeds into every aspect of life. I've recently become aware of how much it influences my chosen "hobbies" (bad word per article). I think the concept presented regarding the constant need to maintain "employability" is particularly true and even more insidious. How many people here, and in the FIRE world in general, have great fears regarding future employability, which holds them back from reaching goal lifestyles. I would venture to guess many folks here would make very different decisions if not for this insecurity.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:54 am

Excellent article! Very timely.....

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:12 am

Reading a lot of Carl Jung lately and I've been extra motivated to conquer insecurities, fears, anxieties... making the unconscious conscious. I've posted before on my journey last year through having so much pent up anxiety that I could barely handle conference calls (viewtopic.php?f=26&t=10042). I handle those no problem now. This year I had to give team briefings every week...bothered me at first and now is becoming more routine viewtopic.php?f=26&t=10042&start=20#p181531. I decided to keep pushing the personal growth path and in about 2 weeks I'm instructing a course with 15-20 students. Big step up for me being in front of so many people, facilitating, teaching, leading... but I look forward to it - This experience will allow a lot of growth because it is not the normal 5-10 minute exposures here and there that I see in the normal 9-5....this will allow me to get 8-9 hours straight of exposure. There will be fears, trembling, anxiousness, but my job is to pass information. Nothing more, nothing less. I look forward to the pushing past of mental barriers. I'm visioning getting through this and saying "hey that wasn't so bad" and sign up to instruct another course for the entry-level consultants...

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Bankai
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Bankai » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:07 pm

Fantastic attitude. What other areas of your life outside of work do you think you could apply the same mindset/techniques?

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:27 pm

Bankai wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:07 pm
Fantastic attitude. What other areas of your life outside of work do you think you could apply the same mindset/techniques?
A good question because a lot of my introspection and studying philosophy has been motivated by being able to mentally cope with the grind/corporate life but I am seeing how studying philosophy can also help prepare one to solve real-world problems, family & friend relationships, etc. I have a book coming in called "Constructive Living" by David K. Reynolds that I've seen referenced in quite a few different videos & blog posts I've been watching/reading lately. Other relevant studies: Stoicism, Epicureanism, Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung...all have motivated my attitude as of late.

All of these studies and reading and I found myself seeing a pattern to solving my own mental barriers (mainly anxiety in some social situations but mostly public presentations that my job forces on me): 'embrace suffering' , 'see anxiety as your mind telling you to correct faulty behavior patterns' , 'bring the unconscious to the conscious', 'self-actualizing.' They're all rooted in tackling problems head on, not letting the judgement of others bring you down, and looking for internal motivation (self-actualizing / personal growth) as opposed to external rewards. Once I started seeing presentations and public speaking as a skill worth practicing - I started developing a much better attitude and believing I can do it. In fact, instructing this course was my idea and I signed up for it...a step up for me because I normally don't volunteer for these things lol but I saw it as an opportunity. I get to say now instead of my boss 'volunteering' me to do it; I have the power now.... Stoicism taught me as well to imagine the worst case scenario and realize that is still not a big deal if things to work out as planned, Maslow taught me that this is part of self-actualizing and pain comes with the territory, and Carl Jung taught me that 'anyone who takes the safe road is as good as dead.'

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:50 pm

Just finished instructing a course of 30 students. A lot of 'firsts' and mental obstacles were challenged and overcome in one 8 hours session of exposure. In that 8 hours, I got to feel the pride of my students learning basic coding and running scripts, the frustration of trying to learn a new concept / complex syntax, and also having overcome some adversity with 'internet connectivity issues' (in other words, dealing with an issue that was a bit out of my control). My students were very mixed...some were happy to have the basics down, some were very frustrated to be bullied by the complex exercises. Part of this was an expectation issue, other parts were due to what I believe is the course materials being too much for a beginner. I was told that for a first time instructor I didn't do bad (some even thanked and gave compliments) but others clearly would have gave me a 2/5 stars due to frustration alone.

What surprised me the most was 2 things. (1) I was expecting a feeling of total relief when it was over which I sort of feel but more than anything I want to do again. Do better. I'm awaiting the feedback which I estimate will have some what went well and what didn't. This feeling I did not anticipate. (2) I handled myself emotionally FAR better than I thought. Literally...it was crazy. I felt as soon as I started instructing, a different Lemur / hat was on. I dunno much about Jung's 'archetypes' yet but I felt like a different person teaching but my personality was still there...actually there were parts of my personality that wanted to come out more (like humor) but didn't due to some of the early morning frustrations. The course was frustration - awesome - frustration sandwich unfortunately.

I'm followed some of the principals of constructive living (still reaching this book) and some of the teachings I've read by some ancient philosophers...its working. Anything less in theory should be a bit easier now that I collected this soul stone for my glove.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:59 pm

Congrats getting the teaching day under your belt! Reads like it went pretty well.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:22 pm

Discussion with a friend about my grand master plans of FI (which to me sometimes I feel is a little over his head since he is negative net-worth with student loan debt and can't really relate on this end...) but finances aside we did have a good discussion about the whole work culture in America and both pretty much agreed that 40 hours a week just takes up too much of your time. This was a a surprising common ground for a friend of mine who seems himself as highly conservative person, entrepreneur, and someone who wants to work long and hard. I think his job being on the line lately is making him have some second thoughts. My job is up for automation as well....

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:21 am

Epiphany since I'm actually building scripts to automate my work...

1.) Find a job that can be automated.
2.) Spend time on the side away from normal duties automating your work (doesn't have to be away if part of your job is literally to automate it.)
3.) Get your job fully automated. Chill and find other ways to be useful if so desired.
4.) Be made 'redundant'
5.) Collect valid unemployment because your job got automated. Hang out in this stage if so desired for as long as the law allows for the free money stream (for instance in some states there is a max time to collecting unemployment).
6.) Update resume with 'automated these processes saving corp $xxx,xxx amount of dollars per year.
7.) Get a new job with even better compensation due to reasons in #6

Repeat

This is somewhat made in jest but hanging out in step 5 could end up being a net-negative had you stayed and just keep investing unless it leads to such a big comp increase in step 7 that made up for the changes....but at this point you're asking for too much responsibility and a chance of having a job that is not easily automated. Also spending a lot of time in step 2 continues to help master whatever skills you're trying to build.

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Bankai
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Bankai » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:27 am

Have you considered, once you automate most/all of your work, to stay in your job and just cruise through daily tasks while spending most of your time at work (now free) on other pursuits?

bigato
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by bigato » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:50 pm

Bankai: that sounds awfully depressing to someone who is creative and resourceful enough to automate its own job.

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Bankai
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Bankai » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:53 pm

Depends what you do with your time? Watching cat videos Vs learning new skills is quite different. But yeah, it probably wouldn't work long term.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by bigato » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:05 pm

You have a point there, but I mean, what about feeling useful and sleeping well at night knowing that you are doing the right thing?

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:35 pm

@Bankai

@Bigato

This reminds me its probably a good idea that I don't ever work remote even if I do automate most of my job...I love the idea but in practice I always ended up screwing off. Usually not cat videos but I would be reading / practicing coding as oppossed to actual work duties...My last salary jump happened because I got bored and maxed out my job skills.

With this job I have now...I can probably automate just about everything in 6 months and at that point I would simply request more automation / coding projects to do knowing the boredorm I've faced before in a similiar situation.

The unemployment part was mostly a joke. I've never been made redundant due to automation but have done some thought experiments on what I would do in in the situation...can always spin a positive there especially if you're the resource that built the automation in the first place. About the 'sleep well at night' I think that is quite subjective...Salary is designed because productivity is hard to measure. I'm almost certain I have co-workers that do not put nearly the same output and create as value as much as I do but they're probably paid more. Over-time, I've learned not to care about either - as in, what my co-workers make or whether is I am 100% productive 100% of the time. Productivity to me has always been a roller coaster as in...

1.) Creative idea found
2.) 10+ hour days building out my prototypes and looking like an amazing worker
3.) Prototype finished...now slowing down and taking it easy for a few days. 8 hours of work turns into a few hours of screwing off on the internet..until I eventually get bored and then step 1 is found again.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:08 am

Finished reading 'Constructive Living' by David Reynolds. Good book and some interesting tidbits about effectively dealing with feelings using principals from Japanese Morita Therapy...I think my takeaway from that book for me was the understanding of just how fleeting feelings are: both happiness, sadness, anger, contentment, boredom, these feelings all come in waves...and sometimes for unapparent reasons. The importance of this book is recognizing how despite our feelings, we are responsible for our behavior and we need to have the lotus of control to do in life what needs doing despite these feelings. Feelings don't define our behavior but they can be useful prompts to take action. Accept your feelings as they're, ask yourself what this feeling is telling you to do, and take action... also if the feeling seems to be present for no apparent reason...one need not feel guilty about having that feeling. It is what it is.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Frita » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:33 am

@Lemur
Timely article for me as an education world dropout, thank you for sharing. Not being tied to work opens up many possibilities but requires no longer being on autopilot.

For example, do I continue in my volunteer role as community youth garden outreach? Do I do it because I enjoy it or to look good for employment? The latter, so how do I quit? The conclusion cannot generalize to each activity. Picking up trash as a volunteer with my family at the neighboring national park where we ski, hike, and camp is something I want to do more. Sure, it may look good from an employment perspective, but the activity is joyful.

@c_l
classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:33 am
How many people here, and in the FIRE world in general, have great fears regarding future employability, which holds them back from reaching goal lifestyles. I would venture to guess many folks here would make very different decisions if not for this insecurity.
When education became about succeeding in work and not about learning, it went off the rails. I started teaching right before the shift, saw what it could be, and battled for decades. Though DS says I should be proud for not selling out, I know I should have got out sooner and used my own fear as an excuse. Over time, like the frog in a pot of cold water over a low flame, one adapts and the results are ugly. By being FI, I have been inside of a heat-resistant bubble within that boiling pot. I could have gotten out sooner (but didn’t due to fear and the ease of habit) but still can. Staying to avoid fear is rather ironic.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:48 pm

@Frita
I think education is about 10 years ahead of healthcare in the changes you describe. Remember the political clamoring about US education system being so expensive, yet having worse outcomes? No child left behind was the result. In an attempt to "fix" the system we ended up creating a factory line of teaching and students focused only on standardized tests. All of the joy and individuality was sucked out of the system for "results".

Today we see the same accusations in the healthcare system. Resulting in Medicare payment changes base on incentives and standardized results. Healthcare is presently making the same switches teaching did. It's becoming an assembly line with only certain measured outcomes as goals.

I'll leave the decision on whether or not these materialism based thoughts, processes, and changes meet the needs of society to the politicians. The only thing I know is that it sucks every last iota of joy out of the professions for people like you and me.

Frita
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Frita » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:33 pm

@classical_Liberal
If healthcare has another ten years to reach the state of dysfunction as the education system, that is scary. What will that look like?

American students have not made the predicted academic gains, visual/kinesthetic/special thinking has been marginalized, and the people with the vision to change the system are either leaving or choose not to participate in the first place.

A couple years ago I met a guy who spent years persuing a professional music career (jazz saxophone). He gave up, got an MBA, and became a banker. When I asked if he still played for fun, he said he didn’t because it was too painful. I get that and will be going cold turkey on education endeavors, though I will continue learning. An interesting update: That former jazz musician quit this summer and is off to the Peace Corp. No other details, though I am curious.

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