Thoughts - All

8/23/2017

  • This is going to be a dense entry. Finally back from London. The trip marked my longest vacation yet. While it was a much needed change of pace from the city (the fact that I was reluctant to step away from my routine probably meant it was time to do so), I’m so glad to be back. Have a lot of work planned for this fall that I’m eager to get started on (more on this later).
  • “Regimented Boredom” seems to be cropping up more and more as our default mode of operation these days is tending towards constant consumption of inputs (media, stimuli, etc.). I’ll be covering this in my next post on “earned fatigue.“ The initial draft is in review (if you’d like to help edit, let me know). More resources on this:
  • “Thinking aloud, doing quietly.”
  • Earlier, I noted that abstaining from social media is almost a competitive advantage. A second-order effect of doing so might be stronger independent thinking. Imagine how clearly one would think for themselves in the absence of digesting opinions/takes and instead preferring primary sources first.
  • Been thinking a bit about a small, lighthearted “test” Ryan gave me a few weeks ago. While we were waiting to meet Greg for a concert, I had shown him that if you 3D touch the iOS keyboard, it more easily moves the cursor around a text field. Once Greg arrived, Ryan showed him this trick and deliberately took credit for the find. I immediately jumped in and let Greg know I had originally shown Ryan. I fell for the trap. Why did it matter who knew about the feature first? Ryan referred to that incident as a “humble test.” This was a small (arguably innocent) example, but made me pause and gut check my intentions there.
  • I never connected the common adage that separating one’s bedroom and office is better for separating concerns (sleep and work) as a concrete instance of working memory resetting when switching rooms.
  • Very much a nascent thought here. So, pardon the stream of conscious. Arjun and I recently discussed how most of the risks my peer group takes these days (e.g. joining an early-stage startup) aren’t actually that risky. Or, as he called them, they’re “50/50 flips.” The odds aren’t bad. We then went on to enumerate what some “80/20 flips” in our life might be (acknowledging that they are completely the product of our respective situations). One that immediately came to mind: taking my writing full-time (Patreon tier and scheduled cadence).

7/31/2017

  • you [all] are on single initial basis now

    • Such a nice extension of being on a first-name basis with someone. Picked this up from Ryan over the past few months. R, KT, GE, GS, if any of y’all are reading this, 👊🏽
  • Noticing a lot of my private journal entries starting with “Such a dense day.” Despite the media narratives about 2017, personally—and I recognize that this comes from a place of privilege—this year has been the best yet. Here’s to the weeks ahead.
  • Ryan M. gave me such a nice shoutout about my SC profile. Made my day. I spend a large portion of my day with headphones on listening/curating music, so to know it’s affecting others for the better makes me really happy.
  • R dug through some of my old tweets which brought up such great memories. Also, reminded me of just how much I’ve changed since moving to NYC (to where I almost view Jasdev from n - 1 years ago as a goof haha). Cities are forcing functions for course corrections.

7/25/2017

  • Three months since my last entry. Damn. Let’s unpack a bit.
  • Toeing the line with 6-7 workouts a week for months finally caught up to me. Learned about overtraining the hard way. Kind of hit a wall, where I would feel like a zombie outside of the gym (and when I wasn’t drinking coffee). Pulled back to three workouts a week and my energy has been through the roof. I’ve had time to be a “human” again, get back to writing, and better focus on dating. Moving forward, I’m structuring my week around key sessions and having ancillary workouts support them. For example, I might reserve Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for core lifts (Legs/Shoulders, Back/Biceps, and Chest/Triceps) and reserve Tuesday for a cardio slot (Peloton, Studio, or an outdoor run) and Sunday for yoga. This gives me two days of regimented rest.
    • On the note of outdoor runs, an experiment Ryan and I tried recently was playing the same mix on our respective phones (while wearing headphones). This allowed us to focus on pacing, yet maintain an ambient shared experience. I’d highly recommend doing this, even in non-fitness contexts (e.g. coworking)
  • Finally honing in why I’m so drawn to friends who love to goof around. Fun aside, it might stem from the fact that derping contrasts so well with the mental work I do at the office (i.e. I focus at Peloton, so I can enjoy being a dingus after hours). Reminded of this from Michael’s tweet on needing contrast to relax.
  • “You’re very deliberate about crafting an environment where everyone around you feels safe in being their true selves.” Quite possibly the best compliment I’ve received in a long time.
    • Ryan wanted some examples of this, so I figured I’d elaborate with some that are top-of-mind:
      • Asking questions publicly. At Peloton, I always err on the side of asking questions to my team in public channels, as opposed to DMs. This better normalizes asking for help, regardless of seniority (in addition to better sharing knowledge).
      • Being transparent about goofiness. This is one of the best definitions I’ve seen of a senior engineer. Just because we’re surrounded by skilled colleagues, doesn’t mean we have to be uptight (or “with it“) all the time. It’s okay to be open about the derpier moments. They remind us that we’re all human.
      • Accounting for future teammates. At Peloton, we’ve recently started having the client teams review OpenAPI docs, prior to server-side implementation. During these reviews, I’ve often found myself pushing to have the team write down our assumptions, avoid temporary codenames, and other hurdles that would make onboarding difficult for new hires. Similarly, even though our iOS team of three engineers and one manager is all-male at the moment (:/), I’ve made strides—albeit nuanced—to make sure our culture and code are welcoming to anyone.

4/25/2017

  • Lots of updates. But, I’ll focus on the things that bubble up to mind first.
  • Retreat with Tara from Friday-Friday. Calmly excited for it. Seven days of pure disconnect. First time since owning an Apple Watch that I’ll be leaving it behind (usually wear it around the clock for sleeping heart rates).
    • On the note of watches, a part of my conversation with Arjun this past Saturday at Everyman Espresso (so good) that stuck with me is how he treats his technology usage as modes. That is, he’s either all in—headphones, music, laptop, etc.—or all out—mechanical watch, leaves phone behind (if possible). I’ve noticed a parallel to this “opening” and “closing” of modes in meditation. To help hone focus, it’s common to sit with alternating periods of focusing on the breath (or any anchor) to simply letting the mind wander. Almost like interval training for the mind.
  • April call w/ Shiva was incredible. I love the sessions we have that end w/ even more topics to cover.
    • One (public) highlight and one I’ll probably open up a bit more about later:
    • (private): Trust in the process. Getting better week over week and I should be proud of that (beyond stoked for 4/27/2017, reminds me of how I felt before 12/28/2013). The growth has been reiterated by those close to me.
    • “Remembering the ‘fun’ in activities” that can sometimes feel routine. Lifting, cycling, meditation, and writing. Specifically on the exercise front, it’s refreshing to take a step back and remind yourself that it’s purely for enjoyment (I’m thankfully not conscripted by the military to exercise). I was reminded of this during a Peloton team ride a few weeks ago. I was in the front of the studio, hammering away the entire time, focusing solely on output. During a rest segment, I turned around and saw a row of my coworkers dancing on their bikes to the music. That’s what it’s all about. Fun. Sounds obvious, but I often forget this, as I sometimes compress an entire experience (workout in this case) to a single metric (output).
  • Ryan and I recently discussed the sobering realization that, even if our respective employers IPO and we’re fully vested, the best-case returns wouldn’t move the needle on our quality of life. Not complaining here, I’m beyond grateful to have the opportunity to work at Peloton. But, it serves as fodder for me to want to start my own gig (most likely in the intersection of fitness and tech) or start a side project that brings in extra income each month.
    • To be clear, the motivation isn’t money. But rather, the ability to continue pursuing missions I’m passionate about (fitness and tech), while building a financial foundation for my future family.
  • Gonna head bed soon. Have time for one more thought. Building on 12/9/2016’s note of “seeking magic in every encounter,” an instance of this is being that friend who’s absolutely stoked to see another friend. Did this with Jason and Kate during last week’s reading and it seemed to make their morning. Going to miss those two a ton <3

4/16/2017

  • Been a while. Just wrapped up a dense NYC weekend with Vinay (visiting from Virginia).
  • Backfilling my journal this evening was a blast. Excited for summer travels ahead.
  • Sitting with my itch write and work on side projects again, the main blocker seemed to come to the surface. I’ve been spending a lot of energy (and time) solely on work, fitness (hovering around six workouts a week leaves me pretty wiped), and friends/family. Obviously there is a balance here. Going to start carving out time for myself again to just sit, think, and reflect.
    • Used to do this pretty regularly when I spent Sundays at Balanced.
  • Writing this entry next to Ryan at the office right now. Sometimes I pinch myself at how our friendship transitioned from a Twitter follow to calling him one of my closest friends in the city.

4/3/2017

  • Concepts, learnings, and things that seem to “come into your life when you’re ready for them.“
    • Meditation
    • Learning about your parents’ past
    • Joy of reading
      • Despite being gifted to me over a year ago, I finally read WBBA last month. I couldn’t put it down. The first book in a while that had this effect on me.
  • These things should be introduced at an early age, but are better absorbed when we naturally find ourselves gravitating towards them on our own accord
  • Fifth book of the year. While I tweeted out before about not counting books, there is no better feeling than finishing a good one (and putting down one that isn’t right for you)
  • Missing writing and projects a lot.

3/20/2017

  • At the heart of Ten Thousand is the idea of pursuit. In business, fitness, and life, we believe in moving forward with a quiet dedication to constant improvement.

  • Took an (unintentional) one month hiatus from the journal. I honestly missed updating it. Two aspects I want to improve about it:
    • Jekyll plugin that generates permalinks for each bullet
    • A workflow that doesn’t involve a human git commit. It adds too much friction.
  • Knee appointment turned up all-clear. Phew. Just a patellar tendinitis flare up (which I actually dealt with back in my cross country days)
    • Taking it somewhat easy this week, but, I should be set to race on Sunday (!!!).
  • One of the best aspects of NYC is coming back to it after vacation. It’s getting increasingly hard to see myself living anywhere else (while I don’t have a family). Going back home to VA this past weekend felt like exiting a highway. Which is necessary, but felt like I didn’t have the environment to chase earned fatigue.
  • Attending the first wedding in my friend circle this past weekend gave me a fresh lens on my friendships. Questions like: “Who do I want in my wedding party?“, “Who should give a speech?”, and “How well would my different ‘compartments’ of friends get along (not a worry, just that I have different mannerisms with some of them)?”
  • Peloton hackathon in a few weeks. Excited to come out of the woodwork.

2/20/2017

  • Might need to update this log more frequently, today’s entry is bursting at the seams.
  • Systems—or more magically put, worlds—that we create, but don’t yet fully understand fascinate me. Examples:
    • Go. Mark Bao noted this recently. A game we’ve constructed, yet have barely scratched the surface of its emergent properties.
    • Mathematics. I was reminded of this beautiful realization from the Collatz Conjecture. Such a simple problem statement—probably only requires a grade-school-level education to understand, yet the greatest minds in our field can’t crack it. We (humankind) created the integers, but haven’t unpacked its greatest mysteries (e.g. distribution of primes). Making somewhat of a leap, I’m excited for when we come in contact with other life forms, determine if their systems are equivalent (up to isomorphism), and see how much of the domain’s “knowledge” graph they’ve traversed (i.e. with their understanding, have they been able to prove the Collatz Conjecture?)
  • The owners of laundromat I go to asked if I was a boxer last night, after seeing my cycling jerseys. Felt a warm sense of “belonging” from that interaction during a normally mundane task.
  • Small, physical manifestation of empathy I’ve noticed:
    • Stocking toiletries in your bathroom that aren’t necessarily “expected,” but cater to anyone visiting or staying at your space (being serious here—for me at least, noticing these items shows that you have a baseline level of thoughtfulness that is rare these days):
      • Tampons and pads
      • Prep-H Wipes
      • Poo-Pourri
  • Ryan perfectly described the difference between living in and out of Manhattan as follows: “it’s like being on-campus versus off-campus.” Of course, there is a level of privilege that comes with being able to live in the city. But, given the option, nothing beats the absence of the cognitive overhead in planning your day around commuting.
  • Justin captured the (antonym of) a feeling I was trying to describe in my 12/12/2016 update in his latest newsletter issue (which is amazing, by the way). “Earned fatigue” is the core of what I was trying to get at. A day filled with total dedication to each task at hand, allowing you to come back to your apartment, drop your things, and crash-land onto your bed with accomplishment pumping through you.
    • Side note: the salutations in his newsletter are refreshingly different
  • Practiced going first in organizing an outing to see Yotto on the 3rd with some friends (if you would like to join, let me know 🙂). Made me miss living near a “concert buddy.“ That is, a friend who would drop everything they’re doing to go to a concert with you at a moment’s notice. Vinay is definitely that person for me (he’s coming up to visit in April for Anjunabeats), but living near him would make this a regular occurrence. Soon enough we’ll get him out of Virginia 🙃.
  • Furthermore’s post on routines versus rituals made me think about how I’ve inadvertently starting doing this with some of my keystone habits:
    • Reading
      • Sessions w/ Sravanti and Kate & Jason around coffee/tea
      • Sitting in a designated place and using reading time as an opportunity to catch up on Anjunadeep episodes
    • Workout
      • Still formalizing this one a bit. But, noticing that I use the walk to/from the gym as a period of peace that I fill with anthemic music. Asked Drew (my coach) if he could start sending me our workouts before sessions, so I can meditate/visualize them beforehand.
    • Meditation
      • At home: using my own cushions (as opposed to laying on my bed) and ending each session gazing out my window and noticing something new about the view (turns out Hunter College is right next to my apartment?! Saw the sign after today’s session).
      • Away from home: The structure and rhythm that Balanced provides for me (and my week).
    • Tea
      • Simply getting the supplies to make the perfect cup of matcha (lattes). After reading Bird by Bird (finished it today!), Anne’s metaphor for writing as a sort of tea ceremony stuck with me.
    • Programming
      • Also needs a bit of formalization, but music seems to be the key here. Usually in the form of longer sets. Also, the motion of blocking Twitter (noted in 1/31/17’s update) helps a bit.
  • Probably enough for today. Did table some other updates: mention of sending notes to Matt about his 60 minute class this week, realizing it’s time to write my post-surgery post, and mini-retreat this coming weekend to practice for the one with Tara.

2/12/2017

  • A bit delayed, but finally got the time (and energy) to sit down and write some thoughts from this past week.
  • Small moments of joy when walking through the city:
    • Noticing someone smiling at their phone and imagining them either sending (or receiving) a message from a loved one
    • Audibly laughing aloud to yourself during a funny moment in a podcast
  • Speaking of podcasts, this is the best ad I’ve heard: “This show is sponsored by X and they asked us not to read an ad.”
  • Easy wins that I’d add to the next version of watchOS:
    • Mindfulness minutes (whether through the Breathe app or HealthKit) being a part of the activity rings (could even be a binary indicator in the center of all of the rings, which would be a subtle metaphor)
    • Variable move goals. If I hit 750 calories each weekday, I’m going to be a vegetable on the weekend. That’s okay and the Activity app should cater to that.
  • The more I think about it, meditation helps me (in the larger scheme of things) in the same way Track and Field helps an athlete have a baseline level of competence in any (read most) sports.
  • Have another social leap of faith planned for this week. Fingers crossed.
  • Learned how to make matcha lattes today, so tempted to buy a frother. Imagining making lattes for my future partner on a cozy weekend morning warms my heart.

2/8/2017

  • Have a few thoughts I’ll post in the morning. For now, time to rest. A lot to digest from this week. Can’t wait to distill it with John tomorrow, beyond grateful for our friendship and how he “bet on me prematurely.”

2/3/2017

  • Noticing more and more peeps unfollowing everyone on Twitter. Felix even made a tool for this that backs up your current following graph.
  • As I step away from Twitter, I’m using it more as a funnel for content (distilled through apps like Nuzzel) that I digest elsewhere. A subtle, but important distinction. I’m no longer consuming on Twitter. But instead, from it, at my own pace.
  • Cryotherapy session tomorrow. Nervously excited.

2/2/2017

2/1/2017

  • Stings, but have to keep moving.
  • Actively being mindful about (or abstaining) from social media used to come across as surprising. Now, it’s almost a competitive advantage.
    • On 12/22/2016 I noted about good posture (not forced) being attractive. Attentive listening is as well. When someone listens without the urge to constantly nod along or make periodic confirmations, I can tell they’re meditating on what’s being said.

1/31/2017

  • Last day of the month, absolutely flew by.
  • While setting up the new laptop at work, I’ve realized that the “lazy-loading” approach to configuring my development environment works best. That is, instead of spending a day to install all of the tools I “think“ I need, I just install them as I go. Helps avoid the “configuration trap” I’ve wanted to write about for some time.
  • Experimenting with 3+ hour SelfControl.app sessions at the office => deep work has skyrocketed. Going to keep this up.
  • Hilarious moment when Matt noticed I was doing his on-demand class today at the office.
  • As I’m writing this, the phrase I mentioned on 12/12/16 is still lingering: “In the end, winning is sleeping better.”
    • For me (touched on this on 1/12/17), that means doing three things: pushing my mind (difficult problems), pushing my heart (exercise), and meditating.

1/29/2017

  • Looking towards May and the seven day silent retreat, I think it’ll probably be one of the toughest (mental) challenges I tackle this year. I wonder if this is how ultra-marathon runners feel when thinking about upcoming races.
  • “I hope you have a blank slate of time today to fill with building something you love.“
    • adds to favorite salutation list
  • Realization while reading with Kate and Jason today that I’m already orbiting around the Morning Teams concept in a stepwise fashion

1/28/2017

  • Been a while since I’ve made an entry. Migrating the thought journal to my personal site (Canvas’ mobile app is currently un-maintained, Salesforce’s acquisition of Quip will always loom over, and GDocs doesn’t support Markdown).
  • Great thread here between Nathan and Nikhil.
    • I can see both sides of the coin. “Stability of [government]” definitely precedes all else. On the other hand, people’s reluctance to share/start interesting conversations during these times puts us all at a disservice (arguably a smaller one, as I mentioned). Really makes you think about what your “posts” online are adjacent to.
    • Surfacing threads like these or gems buried in @-mentions would make for an awesome newsletter.
  • Made another social leap of faith this past week. Going to keep up the momentum (I’ll reveal more soon in this journal).
  • Answering questions for a written interview (to be released soon) has made me realize how much I’ve changed in the past few years. Prompts like “tell us about yourself” are becoming increasingly complex for me, in a way that feels great.
  • Fodder for one of my queued blog posts
  • Tweet of the day ❤️

1/13/2017

  • Going to bed with a full heart

1/12/2017

  • Dust has settled after my latest post on pouring my whole self into work. Seemed to resonate with peeps ❤️
  • Took a leap of faith socially today. More to come on this.
  • Lots of intersection with Ryan’s constants that make his days better, for me:
    • Physical exercise
    • Meditation
    • Walking to and from work listening to music
    • Deep work in the office (been tough these days with more boring testing tickets)
    • Calling my Mom
    • Reading (been good about bed-time, should wake up earlier to get in some am reading)

1/8/2017

  • I’ve found comfort in realizing that advice, books, and hobbies (e.g. meditation) often don’t ’click’ until certain parts of our lives. It’s as if we have to be in the right state (emotionally, physically, maturity-level, etc.) to digest them. Don’t beat yourself up if a book recommendation didn’t resonate with a friend, it might just be the wrong time.
  • Funny how I spent today procrastinating on the post I logged about yesterday by writing a different one 🙈
  • First Sunday-coworking from Balanced. I practiced going first by suggesting this membership tier and now it’s officially a thing!
    • The space is how I aim to design my own apartment (and how I’d like to design my house someday).
    • Our trajectories take us on unexpected paths. Over 18 months ago, I was reading Leo’s posts on the Buffer blog. Now, I’m side-by-side in the same coworking space.

1/7/2017

  • Quiet on the journal front. Tail-end of the week had a lot to digest and many hilarious moments. Randomly thought about an old blog post idea that I’ve had in the queue for a while. Going to outline it now to get some momentum:
    • The Death of Services
      • Highlight recent shutdowns like Vine
      • My approach to storing certain types of media
        • Notes: make sure that all clients I use are backed by Markdown files (easily transfer to different services)
        • Spectacles: backup all circular videos
        • Passing on backups of journals and Dropbox accounts to loved ones in the case of an emergency
        • Content from shutdown services will be the “old albums in the grandparent’s attic“ of our generation
        • Medium Rare

1/4/2017

  • Noticing that when people set a goal to wake up earlier, they forget about volume of sleep. The former should be secondary. Sleep enough, then work on shifting your wake up times.
  • Calm excitement as Ryan, Michael, Kenny and I prepare to announce our logs.

1/3/2017

  • Just got news that I don’t need a second surgery (deep exhale). Finally can get back to training. The ’limbo’ state of not knowing an outcome was the hardest to deal with. Noticed a similar parallel in a previous long distance relationship (and those of my close friends). There needed to be an end goal in mind, where one of the partners (or both) take the hit and move to the same place. If that conversation isn’t addressed, it tends to lead to issues (something I tried to resolve, in my move to NYC).
  • Walking home today, I forgot to play music after putting in my headphones. Reminded me of Nikhil’s thought on this earlier in the week. Just walking in silence with my thoughts, gave me the ability to notice aspects of my commute I typically gloss over. Nothing particularly profound here, just a nice reminder that I can turn off autopilot when navigating the city.

1/2/2017

  • Feeling so much love today. My favorite core value is to love myself and others infinitely. On a long enough timescale, it comes back around.
  • First birthday in a while that I’ve chosen to spend alone. Just me and my thoughts. While I finally feel like I’ve assembled a tribe here in NYC, it’s nice to just reflect on my own.
  • Planning my first 2017 trip. Looking like I’ll be in Austin.
  • On my way to finally meet Kevin IRL, Twitter has a magical ability to turn online friendships into offline ones.
    • The conversation was incredibly dense. Here are some notes:
      • Groups that name themselves before having a goal are usually the ones you want to bet on.
        • Kevin mentioned this and I found it fascinating. Aside from a professional context, I’ve seem this amongst friend groups that I’m really close to. TNN, a thread of a few HackCville alumni, and former bhangra team members group are examples for me. They’ve all had the common thread that we explicitly labeled ourselves (no matter how goofy of a name) and somehow that fosters the group dynamic (obviously a lot of factors at play here).
      • Brands are Schelling Points in an n-dimensional space, hard to enumerate what n is and its components
        • Direct competitors are along an n - 1 dimensional subspace
        • Schelling points are amazing. Now that I know the definition, it pops up all the time.
      • We often record the history of a company from when the founder(s) started work on their notable projects, but omit the experiences, friendships, etc. that precede them.
        • We noted that this is likely the reason that most efforts to take the best n people in a domain and having them come together to work on a project is often not successful. It’s often that the n + a and n + b-ranked people who have great chemistry (where a and b are nontrivial) that make a dent in a domain.
      • Dug a bit into how we think about what makes a good conversation:
        • Vulnerability equilibrium: both people need to find a meeting point when it comes to how vulnerable they are (i.e. we often don’t open up enough or open up too much, when the other person isn’t ready to be that vulnerable). Also, we think that the likelihood of being vulnerable decreases as the number of people in the conversation increase.
        • How our (intro|extro)version is often not fixed (it might be a trailing average of the past week). For example, if we hung out with peeps every day last week, the likelihood of us wanting to meet someone in the current week is lower (inverse if we took no social events).
        • The concept of single opt-in calendar events. This was a cool topic. What if we allowed our closest friends two hours of our calendar each (week|month) to fill in any way they think we should (single opt-in). I could help introduce my friend to a club/group they should be a part of and they could do the same for me. Really want to try this.
        • Coexisting
      • How media companies have explicit employees (traditional) and implicit employees (users) and the implications of this.

1/1/2017

12/31/2016

  • Through journals like this, my daily private journal, and my monthly checkins with Shiva, I tend to notice that I lack the urge to do larger yearly “reviews.“ The incremental course adjustment seems to work better for me. However, when asking myself what went well and what didn’t go well in 2016, here are the things that bubble up in my mind (more stream of conscious, gut instinct)
    • Went well
      • Exercise. Reached the best shape of my life this year. However, that also came with an unfortunate side-effect of needing surgery (and potentially needing another in the next couple of weeks). But, going through that experience has taught me a lot about myself and how the phrase “X is my meditation,“ where X isn’t meditation itself is generally flawed.
      • Changing to working on what I love. Joining Peloton has done wonders for my happiness. I’m finally working on something that resonates with me personally, that I almost have no desire to do side-projects, because I’m putting my whole self into features at the office.
      • Moving back into the city with roommates. Although I’m an introvert, I love ambient company. As trite as the evolution lens is, it’s rings true for me. Living in group settings helps me have a better baseline contentedness.
    • Didn’t go well
      • Allowing enough recharge days. I’m bad at saying no. While I’m game to hang with friends and catch up with old ones, I need to be more realistic about how much social activity I can take in a given week. 1x1 dinners five times a week leave me drained.
      • Reading. I ended the year with a better cadence. But, I missed my mark on the number of books I wanted to read. Fewer blogs, more books.
      • (A bit hungry right now, haven’t eaten lunch yet, brb, going to sit on this more)

12/30/2016

  • Been quiet on the journal front. It’s 1:13am and I’m struggling to distill these past few days into thoughts. Not a bad thing necessarily. Got my follow-up ultrasound yesterday, so I’ll have some closure in whether or not I need another surgery. Either way, I’ll be stronger because of it.
  • I have a couple of physical goals, post-surgery. One that I’m public about is my desire to enter my first cycling race. Can’t wait to start training once this injury clears up. Until then, I’ll be putting in mental work.
  • Saw some old friends that I haven’t seen in over two years. Felt incredible to catch up and some of them have even moved into the city. Walking home right now just smiling. Noticing that my best days usually end like this.

12/27/2016

  • Found myself creating two notes in my journal the other day: one for date spots in NYC (I used to do this during previous relationships, a good sign that my heart felt the urge to write some ideas down) and one moonshot note about names for the kids I hope to have someday.
  • Chatted with Ryan today about ways to “shock the system“ in different domains of our lives. Taking fitness as an example, marathons are a way of raising your baseline. In work, switching jobs (and the subsequent interviewing you have to do) accomplishes this. We tried to suss out other ways to do this in areas like reading and relationships.

12/26/2016

  • Just because technology can enable anyone to build anything they want to exist, doesn’t mean they should. This is because, as programmers, we often lack the background to understand the anthropological implications of our creations. This is why I want to go back to school and study cognitive science. Mixtures of the two fields will be entire areas of research.
  • Sounds obvious in retrospect, but a crucial second half to allowing myself more space to do meaningful work (writing and side projects) is proper energy levels. Two main contributors for me personally I this regard: sleep and recharge time (since I’m more of an introvert, spacing out time with friends, instead of back to back social outings in the week).
  • Looking back on my interest in track during high school and passion for cycling that developed over the past year, I’m realizing that I love endurance sports. Threads mental grit with physical training.

12/24/2016

  • Meditation is starting to become normalized in my family. It’s no longer awkward when I’ll take 20 minutes to myself to sit in an adjacent room to recharge.
  • Body is still exhausted from this past five workouts week, going to throttle back this coming week.
  • Found myself randomly checking Ryan’s thought journal as well. Felt like going beyond the surface level of his online persona (Snap stories for the time being). Journals like these are special.
  • Hit the nail on the head

12/23/2016

  • Not gonna lie, post surgery life is a bit tough. It’s hard to know if I’m pushing it too much on the exercise front or if it’s just residual recovery pain (since it’s all below the skin).
  • Day 1 with Spectacles. Still digesting their impact. Like my approach to saving text notes in a platform-agnostic format, I’m consciously saving all of my Spectacle video files. These glasses are powerful in that they enable first-person memories.
  • Finally got to see Toshi after so long. Missed him a ton. One of those friends that transcends the normal compartments we tend to bucket our friends into (i.e. work friends, sports team friends, etc.)
  • On the train to Utica now, thinking about this journal. Still would like a way for people to subscribe to it (but still be somewhat involved, as a proxy for intimacy). Maybe an RSS feed that hits the Canvas API and generates a diff each day?

12/22/2016

  • Looking back on my tweet about NYC finally feeling like home. Meeting certain people helped contribute to that. Kate and Jason are two of them. I hope to do the same for any new NYC transplants.
  • During my reading session today w/ Originals, Grant challenged one of the core assumptions I’m basing this journal off of (which I’m glad he does)! On 12/7’s entry, I made a note that this private–soon to be public–journal doesn’t have the mechanisms to allow dopamine conditioning from likes, RTs, etc. However, Grant argues that in doing a volume of work, that feedback is essential in determining which of your ideas are great (because we’re notoriously bad at self-assessment). I don’t know if virality metrics are the right form of feedback though. Going to sit on this for a bit.
    • Coming back to this. Grant’s stance of getting feedback on volumes of work doesn’t really apply to journals. Still a good thought to chew on, but, the intent of this log isn’t to be a form of creative output. Just high cadence thoughts (shoutout to Ryan).
  • Good posture (not forced) is attractive.

12/21/2016

  • Sacrificed a bit of sleep last night to just talk with the roomies. Haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Went to bed yesterday with a warm heart.
  • Excited for the recharge days to round out the week. Finally finding a balance between making the most of my evenings socially and allowing time to myself.
  • No meetings today. Let’s do it.
    • Looping back at the end of the day. Finally cleared out a bunch of backlogged messages and emails. feels_good.png
  • Really excited for 2017. As Shiva had mentioned during our last checkin, we both have grown an immense amount over ’16. Here’s to even more growth (in both expected and unexpected ways).
  • Shared an excerpt from this journal on Twitter today and it resonated with a few peeps. Can’t wait to make this public.

12/20/2016

  • A sign of inner peace is the ability to sit in silence for an hour. A sign of a good relationship is the ability to comfortably do the same with someone else.
  • Mom’s birthday today. It’s an understatement that she is the strongest person I know. Love her more than she could ever imagine (and vice versa).

12/19/2016

  • Despite the cost (which can somewhat be justified by the potential savings down the road by being in good health), I’ve come to love working with a coach/trainer. They help me build a better version of myself, while providing me with a friend I see multiple times a week, outside of my normal social circle.
  • Really missed the apartment mates while I was gone this weekend. Writing this entry now as we all sit in it living room, coexisting, yet silently connected through all we’ve been through (lived with them for a couple of years back at UVA).

12/18/2016

  • A recurring theme in noticing amongst podcast interviewees is that chasing ’happiness’ is a lost cause (much more of a fleeting emotion). Instead, a common thread is to instead strive for a steady state of contentedness. Noticing consistent meditation helping with this. Things that usually bothered me (e.g. my flight that was just cancelled), seem to brush off with way less friction.
  • I actually enjoy joining new social networks. The prospect of creating new, more compartmentalized social graphs is exciting to me.

12/17/2016

  • Brother’s graduation ceremony in the morning. Haven’t cried this much in a few months. Sounds awkward, but, crying more frequently (whether it be from laughter, love, movies etc.) feels healthier.
  • Even though I graduated two years ago, college feels like a chapter long gone in my life. Probably because looking back, so much has changed for me personally.
  • Watching Nisha help my Mom set up her Snapchat warmed my heart. I do a pretty good job of calling my Mom regularly, but voice and texts don’t really give her a lens into my life. Excited to change this. If you’re reading this journal, I’d like to do the same with you: snapchat.com/add/justdavesingh
  • The party always gets started when someone pulls out a deck of Uno cards 💯
  • Nathan is spot on here.

12/16/2016

  • Haven’t travelled outside the US (not counting Canada) since my trip to India in my teens. That needs to change in 2017. On the list:
    • Berlin
    • Sweden
    • Iceland
    • Japan
    • (will append to this as more come to mind)
  • Sounds like the journal has hit home with Shiva. He mentioned a few points that make this journal feel worth it: he mentioned that he checked the journal more than Instagram or Twitter, maintaining an identity outside of traditional networks is important, and the thought of this journal has come up multiple times for him over the past few days.
  • His thoughts on this sparked my response: “I’ve noticed with this style, it requires peeps to poll it every so often (as opposed to push with social), which is somewhat refreshing because it comes from a place of genuine interest.“
  • About to spend the weekend with my brother and the family for his graduation. Proud of him more than he realizes. To be honest, I wish I had been more vocal about this over the past few years.
  • Finally finished “Spark.“ Can’t thank Zack enough for the recommendation. That book came into my life at just the right time.

12/14/2016

  • Foods I’ve changed my mind about (which I now enjoy)
    • Almond milk
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Tea
    • Brussel sprouts
  • “We’re all playing our own game, but also the referee of it.“
    • Spontaneous dinner w/ Ryan at Dig Inn. Funny how we’re all going through the same emotions in parallel (Ryan, if you’re reading this, “ambient,“ air quotes ).
  • Checkin w/ Shiva in 30. We have a lot to recap. This will likely be our last session of 2016. Onwards.
  • Friends who push back on what we discuss/do are refreshing. Many peeps blindly accept what others say (or stay silent), when challenging what’s said could help the other person grow in ways they didn’t expect.
    • Today, Shiva reminded me of this when I told him about “digital listening.“ Sure, there is a place for pulling back from posting on social media. But, you can still be the person you want to be without abstaining from services like Twitter.
  • Shared a link to this journal for the third time.

12/13/2016

  • Shared a link to this journal for the second time.
  • Continuing on Arjun’s personal value of having a bias towards action, a decent framework for this is to assume most negative outcomes are your fault (within reason). Taking this view feels a bit more action-oriented. Take losing an important document because the power went out as an example. Sure it’s bad luck, but when you ask yourself “damn, that’s my fault, how can I prevent this?“ Magic starts to happen. I could have instead backed up my documents continuously. Still ruminating on this.
  • Abstaining from sharing content on social media is almost a way of practicing “digital listening.“

12/12/2016

  • Today I had that magical “I love my job“ moment.
  • First studio session w/ Peloton (previously had done on-demand rides for post-surgery recovery). The experience is fantastic. These past two bullets sound cheesy, but it’s so refreshing to work in a domain that resonates with me personally.
  • Late to realize this. But, a way I’m trying to foster a feeling of home in NYC is by finding “my spot.“ Perpetuum seems like the best candidate so far. Have a future vision of hosting 1x1s with my team there, if I become a manager/tech lead some day.
  • “In the end, winning is sleeping better.”
    • Quote really hit home with me after noticing that my favorite days are the ones where I hit the bed emotionally/physically exhausted (in a good way)
      • Is there a synonym for exhaustion that has a positive connotation?

12/11/2016

  • A weekend well-spent for me usually ends with a desire to get back to programming.
  • Collecting memories.
  • Building on “expect magic in every encounter.“
    • Funny how much we can learn from having a pet (made a pact to get a corgi by 27). This is just one of the lessons I’ve started to premeditate on.

12/10/2016

  • Had a bit of time to digest all of the information from the Tim Ferriss live podcast recording last night. While it was packed with gems, it’s hard not to look past the fact that the guests were entirely male (only one person of color). This lack of diversity might be why I started to pull back from his content. This isn’t to say that his work is bad, but it could be so much better with different voices.
  • The more I read about @dhh and @jasonfried, the more I realize that they’re silently building the version of Slack that caters to people who want to work for many decades. Not the version where you’re always reachable, constantly struggling to keep up with channels, etc. that leads to the “always-available“ culture we have in startups.
    • A takeaway I got from David’s comment about “engagement being a vanity metric for companies“ is that I want to work for companies where engagement => positive impacts on user’s lives. Feel great about this with Peloton.
  • “Information without emotion isn’t retained.“ adds to writing notes

12/9/2016

  • “Expect magic in every encounter.“
  • Following up on “Don’t give advice, tell stories.“ This is based on the assumption that you have stories to tell. Those don’t come from working in your room all the time. Trying to get better at this.

12/8/2016

  • Grateful
  • Whenever I’m in a group at a party/event and I see someone walking around alone, I try to invite them to the conversation and catch them up. This stems from the fact that I used to/still am often in that situation where I feel socially isolated at times and don’t want others to have to feel that uneasiness.
  • I was initially nervous about meditating in the office the other day. But, after a few people saw, they came up to me later and told me they’d like to join!
  • “Thumbs on glass“

12/7/2016

  • Don’t give advice, tell stories.
  • Funny how you find what you’re looking for when you don’t try and look.
  • Nights where I head to bed, physically and mentally drained (in a good way where I know I put in the work) are the best.
  • This journal is almost a way for me to decondition the dopamine rush of sharing on Twitter. But, it’s arguably more private and less accessible. Funny how the answer to most things in life is balance.
  • Sounds obvious in hindsight, but buying furniture that isn’t just my bed or desk has given me a space to relax in my apartment (not just being on the work or sleep side of the spectrum).

12/6/2016

  • Shared a link to this journal for the first time.
  • Still trying to figure out the best way to phrase this–but, some of my closest friends are the ones I (goof|derp) around with the most. Take Jay Whang and Jonathon Ho for example. They’re easily two of the smartest people I know, yet we’re so comfortable around one another, that we’ll say/laugh at the dumbest things. I’ll have days where I’ll cry of laughter reading their messages. I want to suss that out of other close friends. A “derp litmus test,“ per say.
    • “Little rainbows of absurdity“ as Tim Ferriss phrased it in the Tools of Titans
  • Working through some of the less glamorous tickets at work, I’m reminded of Curtis’ thoughts on this. Occasionally, you’ll have to put the team on your back and do the dirty work. But, when you’re a one-person shop, this slowdown in productivity needs to be weighed against accordingly. Definitely not black and white, but there is a balance.

12/5/2016

  • “Let’s do all the things. Quietly.“
  • I’ve never been one to erase pictures, videos, etc. of previous partners. While I understand this stance stems from the fact that I haven’t had a break up that ended on bad terms, each person has molded me in some way. I’ll always love infinitely.
  • Surgery recovery this past seven weeks => redirecting my energy towards mediation. Makes me realize that people who say “X is my meditation,“ where X is some form of exercise itself most likely haven’t been through a serious injury or period of time where they had to step away from X.

12/4/2016

  • It’s really hard to describe myself in dating app profiles. Not sure if that’s a bad thing.
  • One thing I miss from school is heavier doses of Computer Science and Math theory. Building projects is fun, but understanding the deeper rules/concepts at play is beautiful.
  • When I change my mind about something (say X), I try to thank the first person who introduced me to X for expanding my perspective.
  • A framework for mentors that I’ve been thinking about recently involves having three. One older, younger, and your age. This gives you perspective along three axes as you navigate your career and life.
  • I’d like to have more friends who are parents (but not related to me). Khe is the first person that comes to mind for me personally.

12/3/2016

  • After chatting with certain people in my life, I’ll either notice that I have more or less energy after the conversation. Definitely want to stay close to those who induce the former. Hanging with Ashoka this past week reminded me of this.
  • Spent the entire day just reading. Still days like these feel amazing.
  • One thing I really admire about Lickability is how they allow friends to join their Slack. A common desire for employees is to work with friends, what a great way to bring that in-house.
  • Reading Jordan’s post on Spectacles and how they’ve affected his thinking, I’m starting to realize this for myself and Twitter. The network is definitely more valuable than FB, Instagram, etc. for me personally, but I want to decondition this tendency to think in small ’bites.’ Might go on read-only hiatus for a bit and post here.