The title of this blog may be a bit cliché, but I found over the course of the past week that the statement fits my situation. My focus has been on learning more about business, leading, programming, and trying to better myself in areas that I lack conviction. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Moving Back Into Development, some of those things are rudimentary and others health based. Regardless, the goal is to be better tomorrow than I am today.
In order for me to continue my growth as a person, as a developer, and as a possible business owner I needed to work on the basics of each foundation. In other words, I needed to work backwards in order for me to move forwards.
You might be asking yourself, “What does he mean?”
Well, a few examples of what this expression is all about and a few things I am doing are as follows:
- Eating whole foods and home-cooked meals.
- Walking and getting vitamin-D.
- Reading information and writing what I learn (taking notes).
This may seem like a trivial list of nonsense, but it is really helping to propel my journey forward as a new software developer. Each item on this list is specifically designed to help create a strong foundation in nutrition, health, and provide an environment conducive to learning.
Here is why.
The Basics: Food
As I grew older, the more I relied on technology to due menial tasks. Things that seem very normal to most today, but also contributed to a lifestyle (as I am currently trying to grow out of) that warranted laziness, which sort of developed into a “sloth-like” routine. The food I ate was usually bought via the internet for delivery or some fast-food option. If I bought groceries, then many meals were premade dinner options of the frozen variety. Essentially, I am a bachelor that found easy ways to supplement my need for food, which consisted of anything easily accessible and not real whole foods.
Obviously, this is a terrible habit that directly effects my well-being and health. So, going back to the basics of eating whole foods and cooking dinners are stepping stones that allow me to move forward in my battle of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
The Basics: Walking
So, when you are not eating healthy you tend to carry that over to your exercise habits, too. Remember that “sloth-like” lifestyle I was referencing earlier? Well, the past 4 years consisted of little to no exercise. My recent change to add walking and getting some sunlight have impacted my energy levels already, and it has only been a few weeks since I started really focusing on making a change.
The reason I call this a basic lifestyle reversal is because I remember walking everywhere when I was a younger kid. I know that walking places is not exactly ideal in most of America, but if I can add 20-30 miles to a weekly routine, then my waist and my mind will enjoy the benefits of the exercise. Not to mention the benefits of getting some vitamin-D every day!
When I was living in the Philippines it was commonplace to walk 10 miles a day to get where we needed to go. I find that this is definitely conducive to less vehicle owners, but also because it promotes a healthy lifestyle to simply walk to the store or to class or to the park.
The Basics: Learning
Not to reiterate my earlier points on technology making me lazy, but I fear that technology has created a platform that is conducive to forgetting things. Now, I am getting older and my diet in combination with my aging mind are definitely suspects in in my inability to retain information or recall information as I had when I was a teenager. However, I have been making a few changes to how I learn that seem to be working.
The first thing I try to do is find a hard copy of the topic I would like to study or learn. Now, I do enjoy reading and getting information from books isn’t foreign to me; however, I have been using the Internet and YouTube as my main sources of gathering information a lot more than I used to, and definitely more than when I was in high school. One main reason is because it is really convenient to simply look up the answers on Google or Bing when I needed the information. This is a direct byproduct of technology and the massive database that is now the Internet.
The older I get the more readily available information will become to everyone. I am not saying that this is a terrible resource – my only concern is that there may be negative effects on retaining information. So, I decided to utilize the “ancient” method of reading a book and taking notes.
What I have found is that I am understanding the material a lot more because I am focusing on writing down the material I learned. It may seem obvious, but it has really increased my ability to recall what I have read and store that information into my own database – my mind.
Yes, technology is an amazing utensil that really creates opportunities for people but I think utilizing old methods can have its advantages, too. There is an almost endless supply of information out in the ether of the web, and most of it shouldn’t be compartmentalized inside our minds but when working to better oneself on a particular trade/topic maybe slowing down the process by reading a book and taking notes is a superior choice.
Just my two cents!
Well, I hope you enjoy this update and possibly find some use out of my experience for your life. We all have the capacity to make our situation better. My road has not been an easy one to travel, but I am still traveling. Hopefully, with the steps I have taken I can continue to grow and learn.
See you in the next blog!
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson