mathiverse's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Thanks, mF! Prioritizing getting to default alive fits with how I'd like to run a business.

Thanks theanimal and jacob for further input re: selling books.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Wow, I made a savory oatmeal recipe for the first time today and it was amazing. It fits everything I want in a breakfast too. It may become a new staple in my diet.

basuragomi
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by basuragomi »

Could you please share the recipe? Savoury oatmeal always seems to fall flat for me so I'd be interested in trying a known-good recipe.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I used this recipe, kind of: https://healthynibblesandbits.com/savor ... gg/#recipe, but with substitutions based on what I had. Red pepper -> green pepper, coconut oil -> butter, cheddar -> goat cheese. Of the optional toppings, I used walnuts. I used 25 grams of dried rolled oats rather than the amount suggested in the recipe (~2x what I used). I had the cheese on the side rather than stirred in. I also used two eggs. I used half a green pepper and half an onion rather than whatever was suggested in the recipe. I also used three tablespoons of butter rather than the suggested amount of coconut oil.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I made that recipe a few more times. I'm up to 35 grams of oats, 25 grams of walnuts, and three eggs and it still feels like the ingredients are in a good proportion to one another.

basuragomi
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by basuragomi »

Thanks for the recipe, I tried it but it really wasn't to my taste. There's something about oat texture that just screams sweet to me. Maybe it would be better if I turned it into scrapple.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I substituted beans for the oatmeal in that savory oatmeal recipe and it works well. Beans give me everything I like about oatmeal, but better. I can put in 0.75 cups of beans (and maybe more) vs a maximum of 30 g of oatmeal without ruining the texture and balance, thus I get more calories, more protein, and more fiber in a single meal.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

mathiverse wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 2:15 pm
[For 2023, m]y answer [to "What's the one thing that, if you do it, all else becomes easier or unnecessary?"] was to increase the energy level and the stamina I have each day. In the long term, I'll have more capacity for everything else I want to do.

Basically, I need to improve my diet, sleep, and physical fitness.

For me, it's mostly about removing things when it comes to diet (ie sugar and processed foods). And it's about consistency for sleep and physical fitness.
I've been reflecting on the year and I wanted to post an update about this. I made progress in this area, but honestly my results fell short of what I intended due to trying bad plan after bad plan. Things have clicked into place within the last two months and I did make progress through the year, so it wasn't a total loss. I look forward to see what another year of my new habits brings given that I think my current set up is sustainable.

For next year, I'm considering focusing on discipline or building self efficacy as a way to increase my discipline. This integrates well with continuing what I set up this year with respect to physical self care while also fitting well with goals in other realms. I'm not sure what this effort will look like. The idea is that if I can count on myself to be disciplined, then I'll be better able to execute any plan. Maybe I can finally check off some goal items if I can work on them with consistency.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I read "Long-Distance Real Estate Investing" by David Greene. I'd summarize it as a guide to which "guys" you need and how to find them if you are the type of person who has a "guy" for everything (the Fe method of investing?). While I find it useful to know what people are relevant to investing in real estate, I wanted more numerical methods of evaluating whether a property might be profitable to buy. His advice was to first make sure the property followed the 1% rule and then to ask your "guys" what they think since they are experts compared to you. Not exactly my style. I'd prefer more rigorous analysis of the numbers before relying on word of mouth or "experts." So I'll keep looking for more information to supplement what I learned from this book. Of course, I'll also ask my "guys" what they think after I run the numbers, but first I'll run some more in depth analysis on the numbers.

I do respect that his book was a decent guide on how to make sure each property is a small business and not your job. He clearly spells out which "employees" you need to hire into what roles and gives a lot of advice on creating a situation where they can do their jobs in a way that minimizes your involvement and oversight.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Cooking

Cooking is going fantastically. I finally realized that half of my problem is more like organization and planning rather than an inability to cook. I could follow recipes all along (for the most part). What I really needed was to emphasize a few steps to my food management process more than I was before.

When I think about what to eat, I now think in terms of macronutrients I still need while also getting as many micronutrients as possible. From there I look at what I have available and my energy for cooking and then I come up with a plan for a meal from there. I've gotten better at pre-cooking dishes that meet nutritional targets and that I don't mind eating regularly, but I've also got like 6 or 7 different "meals" that are all a bunch of no-cooking-necessary items that I like eating together. The worst case is slightly better since breakfast and lunch are decent even on those days I usually eat a bunch of junk food from the convenience store at the end of the day, but also my average day is way better because I think in terms of macros and micronutrients rather than dishes which may or may not fit into a good meal plan for the day.

I've figured out a bunch of helpful patterns in my behavior that I can take advantage of to make sure I eat at home instead of at restaurants too. Like eating my least favorite foods after exercising so they taste as good as possible. I also finally figured out some basic, easy recipes that meet my nutritional needs and that I know how to change up in a way that adds variety while only adding one or two steps to the cooking process.

Another major factor is that I started running everyday and I can really feel the difference in how I feel during workouts when I've appropriately eaten or not. That extra feedback on my diet has made a huge difference in my willingness to eat out or not and my willingness to cook.

Finally, I've been eating more calories lately due to the extra exercise and due to no longer aiming to lose weight. I lost 20 pounds of weight last year. I was only about four pounds overweight, but I wanted to get back to a particular weight rather than just getting back into the healthy range. Since I'm no longer on a calorie deficit, I can eat significantly more each day which means I'm far more energetic. It's actually kind of insane. I'm pretty sure half the time I had "no energy to cook" last year was because I was calorie counting and not taking that into account when I planned when I would cook or exercise. Toward the end of the weight loss period, I got a lot better with that by aiming to cook and exercise right after meals rather than at a random time during the day.

Given how my typical day of meals is shaping up, I can finally understand how some people can easily lose weight by cutting a little bit of rice or whatever everyday without changing the rest of their diet. I'm trying to head into that direction where nearly every lunch and dinner has a side of rice (or similar grain/starch) that I can just reduce or remove in the future while keeping everything else mostly the same. It helps that rice is a perfect carb to add calories to lower calorie dishes like soups or lower carb dishes like meat. It goes with a lot of the meals I eat. It also helps that I'm not really eating low carb anymore like I tried while reducing my weight, so having rice as a side for several meals a day is a viable strategy.

Earning

On the earning money side of things, no progress. I am busy with non-earning activities and I don't know if that will change anytime soon. I really want to avoid taking another job, but I'm also not driven to make a business or study up on investing. I wish I had saved and invested more when I was still working. I didn't realize how hard mentally it would be to go back to a job once I got out. I don't even want to interview. Fortunately, I don't need the money, but my family isn't FI, so it would also be better if I earned again. I'm still young, so I have time to figure that out later. Maybe later this year I'll toss my hat in the ring for another job.

Smart Contract Development

My brother and I have been learning how to write crypto smart contracts because he's really into crypto and I'm curious about it all. It's been good for our relationship and I've finally gotten a chance to help him learn to program after thinking he should really pick it up for a long time. Maybe once we get through the course we are using to learn, I'll try to find some work as a smart contract developer.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Lately, I've noticed that rather than considering any particular way to achieve a want/need as a point, I now see them as circles. That is to say when someone says I need item X, I now consider X in terms of a spectrum of options that all deliver what X is supposed to deliver. It's been getting easier and more natural to do this.

I guess I'm getting closer to unconscious competence when it comes to applying the material in section 5.2 of the ERE book.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

ERE MMG Meeting

My mastermind group had a meeting today. I started the meeting by saying that I have goals and desires that I'm excited about, but I'm often less excited about doing the day to day work to reach those goals. I want to enjoy the day to day work more. The examples we discussed the most were playing a musical instrument and, more relevant to my current situation, learning a foreign language and strength training, but the problem is more general than those particular examples. Here are a few haphazard notes about the meeting and the various thoughts people had about the issue. (edited above paragraph to better reflect my problem)

* I mentioned that improving my self talk around my self chosen tasks was helpful. As was leaving something in the tank at each session, so I leave wanting to come back for more.
* Idea: Do what you want rather than fighting what you want in each moment and see what happens - maybe you'll be satisfied with the results.
* Three factor model: habit (James Clear), discipline (Jocko Willink, Newport?), motivation (Newport?) -> Use these three ideas to find a method that works.
* Get rid of timelines. Be patient. Don't expect any result at any particular time. Can help one enjoy the process more.
* Focus on the big picture when, in the moment, you don't want to do a particular thing.
* Inner work - References to follow: Existential Kink, Grit by Ducksworth, Can't Hurt Me by Goggins
* When you decide to not doing something that was "in the plan" or "toward your goal": Have you quit because you're not focused? Or because you *should* be doing something else? Maybe you need playful experimentation to figure out the right path that fits your preferences? Eg maybe you hate weightlifting, but enjoy rucking around hills to gain strength. Quitting weightlifting would be a good step on the path to figuring out you like rucking.
* One way to make space: Have only "Don't do this." goals rather than positive "Do this." goals and then see what fills the open space.
* Some behaviors are "Fuck your feelings behaviors." These are behaviors one does without using any emotional check in to decide whether or not to do something. Goggins touches on this.
* "Mood follows action" - Goggin's sentiment at less of an extreme
* Start the activity with no plan to follow through, then see what happens rather than making plans.
* Focus on good stuff in the moment. Reorient attention to the good in the activity. Meditation can help with this. Can help the positive feedback loop creation. Every activity has good and bad and one can choose what one focuses on.
* Be clear on your purpose and the requirements of the goal and ensure you are okay with the latter to reach the former. Link your goals to the bigger why. Flesh out your bigger why where you can.

I think this session was most helpful in making clear what I need to figure out. Namely, how to create positive feedback loops that reinforce the things that I want to keep doing. I got a few decent ideas to try in that direction.

I think the conversation got a bit sidetracked into whether I have the right goals towards the end. That was somewhat interesting-ish, but not really what I wanted to discuss. I don't really want help deciding on whether my goals are appropriate for now. I already spent a lot of time doing that. I'd note that this is a frequent occurrence in our MMG. Someone will have a goal or desire and they will want advice on how to reach that goal/desire, then, at some point, part of the discussion will consist of discussing whether that person should have that goal or desire, usually including suggestions that maybe they are misunderstanding themselves or poorly choosing their own goal/desire. I wonder where that comes from? Folks from the MMG can chime in if they understand this dynamic better than I do. I know it's meant well, but I think it sidetracks the conversation in a way that's not useful a lot of the time.
Last edited by mathiverse on Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

I'm not entirely sure where it comes from either, but I think one thing we can do as a group is be more alert to it and call it out when it starts happening. "Hey, let's assume I've already done that meta-goal-setting process and focus on advice/feedback regarding the actual execution of the goal itself." As well as putting a caveat up front in the discussion: "I want to accomplish XYZ, I want to talk about how to accomplish XYZ, today I'm not interested in questioning whether I should be doing ABC instead. Let's keep it at the How not the Why today."

Now that I'm typing this out, it seems that "is goal XYZ appropriate?" is WOG-level thinking. It requires a judgement call regarding the homeotelicity and integrity of your entire web. And to make that call, you've really got to have your whole WOG loaded up in your head -- so much goes in to that decision process that it's basically futile to have a conversation at that level, because other people's minds won't have a granular enough simulation of your WOG in their heads. We've got to take your word for it.

A check every now again is good. But I'm not sure if that can productively be much more involved than:

"Hey, you sure this is really homeotelic?"
"Yes, I am reasonably sure. I have thought it through."
"Okeydokie."

ertyu
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by ertyu »

While im not part of your group, where it might be coming from is, it is actually quite common for people to try to force themselves to do what they should be doing because it's what they should be doing and at the expense of what they want. It's the institutionalized approach to goal setting and institution: you do behaviors abcd bc your boss, teacher, etc. said that's what you "should" be doing. It's common for people to leave the institution but stay institutionalized: what was formerly the teacher or manager is now your own ego: the ego has come up with a list of tasks it considers desirable to force you to do without any reference to what is or isn't going on around those goals for you internally. The ego-chosen goals aren't necessarily -wrong- goals, it's just that we need to approach them as a whole person rather than as an executing automatons that need to struggle against outselves to "force" ourselves to do things.

I'm not saying this is what's happening for you, mathiverse. What I am saying is, people might be bringing it up because on average for most, it's a part of de-institutionalization that's not obvious and many might struggle with even if you happen not to.

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Slevin
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Slevin »

I will eternally enter these debates and argue for process oriented development. Goals are good guiding north stars, but they are not tactics, and they are eternally disrupted by the unfortunate fact that the ideal self isn't the actual self. It's important to have goals, but you also need to be able to separate "achievable goals" and "idealistic goals" . Achievable goals are things you want, and things you can achieve with a process you have a proven track record of following, combined with consistency. Being able to save a large percentage of your paycheck is a constant “achievable goal” we see consistently around here. Other goals are more “idealistic” in nature.. things we wish were true about ourselves, but after we go and try them out we realize that they aren’t actually the paths we want, as we don’t want to go through the process to get to them.

Consider the Manson quote below:
Mark Manson wrote:Mark: The question is, what pain do you want to sustain? And this comes back to the idea that struggles, difficulties, they’re always going to be present in your life. And so, the key question of living a better life, and I guess this is... The subtitle of the book is A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, so this is that counterintuitive part. Instead of saying, “How do I get rid of my struggles? How do I get rid of my pain?” the question should be, “What pain do I want? What struggles do I want? What difficulties excite me and invigorate me?” You know, I’ve met a lot of people who...maybe they want to start writing or they want to write a book, and they come to me for advice and they say things like, “Well, I try to sit down and I write and then I get really insecure about it so I delete it, and then I hate everything I write, and then I just procrastinate and it’s been six months and I haven’t written anything,” and they look to me for advice, and I always find it difficult to answer those situations because the same problems that they’re avoiding or they don’t like with writing are the exact same problems that I love. Like, I love sitting down for hours and just meticulously picking at a paragraph I wrote or a page I wrote. I get really excited about just spewing thousands of words out onto a page and seeing what comes out. There’s something about that that invigorates me. And actually, in the book, I talk about how originally I wanted to be the musician, and I discovered the hard way that I actually didn’t want to be a musician because I didn’t want to deal with all the problems and struggle that came with being a musician. It’s like, I wanted to be on stage, but I didn’t want to have to deal with practicing and hauling my gear around and playing gigs and not getting paid for them, and so I inevitably quit. And so, I think people look at the question of what they want to do with their life too much in terms of, like, what rewards to they want. Instead they should be looking at it in terms of, like, what struggles do you enjoy, what problems are you good at solving.

Matt: That was one of my favorite stories in the whole book, the story of you spending your childhood envisioning being a rock star, and I think you even said it wasn’t a question of if you’d be a rock star, but it was a question of when. And then you sort of slowly had this realization that you might have loved the result, but the process you did not like at all.

Mark: Yeah, and it was funny. It took me a long... So, I stopped playing music when I was about 20 and I still held onto that dream for years. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties and my business was doing well and I was loving writing. Like, in the back of my mind I was always like, “Oh yeah, I’m going to do this for a while and then I’m going to go back to music and I’m going to finally start that band that I haven’t started in the last ten years.” It was this story I kept constantly telling myself, and it finally was... You know, in my late twenties I realized, like, it’s just not going to happen, and it’s not going to happen... It wasn’t like a sad realization. I mean, it was a little sad, but it didn’t feel like a failure. It felt very liberating to realize that, to realize that I actually didn’t want it. I liked the fantasy, but I didn’t like the reality, and it’s important to understand the differences between those two things.
Mark had an “idealistic goal” to be a musician, but through the process of practicing, realized it just wasn’t really a thing he wanted, as he didn’t want to go through the process it took to get there. He was just in love with the idea of having the thing in his head.

But that perceived “goal” end state is usually just a small imagined snapshot of time in a large journey, often one that never ends. What happens when you become a world class zen master? “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” If you hate the chopping wood and carrying water, enlightenment would just be a new continued form of torture. In the musical sense, even a legendary guitarist practices every day (in fact, probably practices / plays more than than most). You must learn to love the process because the process will become part of you forever.

If you hate the daily repetition now (in the early stages), you need to do one or more of: a) move to a form of the behavior you like more, b) develop grit + eat the frog, c) have fallback versions for days where you can’t do the full thing (i.e. on days I can’t do a full strength session, I do a different more chill workout, at least for a set or two. This continues to keep the consistency hight), d) build more slack into the system (i.e. large scale meal prep so you only have to actually cook a few times per week)... Or else reorient your goals. Do you really want to spend your entire life doing tons of things you hate / dread? Building grit is great and it is an important skill to have, but having use too much grit on the daily because you hate what you are doing much of the time every day isn’t healthy / sustainable.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

@AH: All that advice is great, thank you. I should definitely state that upfront when it's relevant. In hindsight, I also could have declined to state my specific goals. Someone ask and I answered which led to the side tracking. I should have mentioned they weren't relevant to what I wanted to discuss rather than answering. I'm bad at realizing I ought to do these types of things in the moment since conversations generally move pretty quickly.

@Slevin: As for process orientation versus goal orientation. Yeah, I agree. I already use goals in the way that you stated they should be used. However, there aren't really any activities in life that I enjoy every time I do it. Even if I sometimes enjoy the process that's important to reach some goal, I won't always enjoy it. But even still I'm not trying to fight through some activity I hate. Been there, done that. Now I'm trying to stay consistent with an activity I whose process I usually find worthwhile and sometimes, not always, enjoy. It seems worthwhile to discuss tactics and strategies for improving the percentage of the time that I enjoy the process.

It seems like the way I communicate the issue results in assumptions that the situation is pretty bad? Like Slevin's point that no one should have to use grit everyday to do something they hate is a strange response to my question as far I can tell. I'm not doing something extreme like that and I didn't mean to give the impression that I am.

Reading back what I wrote, maybe I can see this sentence might be the problem:
mathiverse wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2024 7:20 pm
I have goals and desires that I'm excited about, but I'm less excited about doing the day to day work to reach those goals a lot of the time. I want to enjoy the day to day work more or at least not have it be a struggle or a negative.
In particular, the highlighted part of the sentence "a lot of the time." Strike that from the record. That paragraph makes things sound worse than they are maybe. I edited that.

@ertyu: Gotcha. Well, I clearly have to get better at side stepping that assumption.

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Slevin
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Slevin »

Yep, exactly the part that exhibited the response. And eh, I can get distracted and focus on pedantic details of what people say instead of the overall point sometimes; responses by me are a reflection of how I read the post. So if it was off topic of the main point of the post… my bad, happy to remove if wanted.
Last edited by Slevin on Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Now that you've brought it up mathiverse I think it makes sense. This whole community is build on questioning implicit assumptions and going meta.

"How do I make a lot of money?"
"You don't want a lot of money, you want a good life. Instead of figuring out how to spend more you should spend less: THATS the good life."

"How do I figure out how to spend almost no money?"
"You don't want to spend almost no money, you want to have a good life. You should focus on renaissance systems thinking and stoke-driven skill development, which will emergently evolve into a low consumption good life." :lol:

"How to I achieve this goal?"
"Goals are meh. You should focus on process instead."

EREfolk are attracted to (and trained to by our little society's cultural values) the idea that the biggest waste of time is to solve the 'wrong' problems. And we've all had experiences in our lives where we realized we were working on the 'wrong' goal or vision, and that realization helped us save a massive amount of energy that would have otherwise been a waste.

So it's good that most of us are primed to think this way. However, it'd also be good to build practices and awareness of this so that we can have a tactical level conversation every once in a while without getting sidetracked.

e.g. the question-asker stating up front if they're open to meta questioning, or nudging the conversation back online if it starts to stray (or the MMG facilitator, my bad :? ).

Advice-givers can also add an item to their checklist: Is this what the asker was asking? Are they open to this? Are they fine with me asking if they think their childhood relationship with their mother is a factor in why they have a goal of taking the trash out regularly?

..

I've definitely been frustrated when a conversation I was the point of went meta and I felt like my self-efficacy was being questioned inappropriately.* On the other hand I've had my assumptions fruitfully questioned many times around these parts. It's a subtle thing to navigate, I think.

*My reaction is along the lines of "Why are you assuming that didn't occur to me?" But this is an ego thing.

Eta: to be clear, I think it’d be a bad thing if we stopped going meta instinctively. I just think a small tweak to allow us to get into nuts and bolts / sideline the meta track when desired would be useful. Which I assume is what this discussion is accomplishing.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Makes sense, AxelHeyst. And maybe it's my personal problem/an ego thing for me to work through too. Your asterisked reaction is basically what my reaction was in that situation.

Sometimes I appreciate the meta conversation such as the one we ended up having when I was asking about how I could go back to work again and not have it suck, so I also don't think it should be removed completely. I'd say your advice on how to move the conversation back on topic when that's not what I'm looking for is very helpful. Also next time, maybe I can send you a heads up and ask for extra support keeping the conversation less meta since you are good at doing that when you're aware it's necessary.

@Slevin: Nope. All good. It was a good post. It also helped me update the earlier post to be a better description of what I wanted.

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