SpreZZaturian
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Före detta hedgefondförvaltare, partner och VD på Futuris som utsågs till Årtiondets hedgefond i Europa för perioden 2000-2009
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29 maj 2016

Taking stock of May

Length: 1700 words (pretty short)

Executive summary: remember to take stock of the month, quarter or year passed. Have you progressed as hoped? If not, take corrective action. I myself have been wasting some time but gained some IRL experiences that are good for my Asperger's. I will make a few changes though, such as just saying "no".

Bonus: If you're Swedish and don't yet listen to Framgångspodden, I urge you to start (and keep an eye open for my episode in mid June 2016)

On goals:

priority 1 goals
My friend is representing Sweden in the World Championship final (women's 57kg) tomorrow Saturday May 28, 2016

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Message: I recommend you pause every now and then, and take stock of your progress.

I've advocated not to focus too much attention on long term goals, since they can overwhelm you and make you apathetic and passive. However it's a good thing to regularly think about where all the small daily steps you're taking will lead you if extrapolated (in absurdum) and ever so slightly alter your course if needed.

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What I do, think I do, and what I want to do

My main activities, in approximate order, are:

  • my dog
  • learning/improving
  • lifting weights
  • blogging
  • podcasting
  • writing (my next book)
  • Low (no) threshold mindfulness
  • Venture capital business - Angel Initiative
  • Social media

Let's take a look at how I've been doing

Ronja German Shepherd Doberman

The dog is a constant, we walk, I listen to podcasts. A constant, but a wonderful constant. Sometimes we just lay next to each other letting music engulf us and time disappear. Within Temptation has some great tunes for that.

Maybe, just maybe, however, the balance between listening to podcasts during our dog walks and talking to interesting fellow dog owners have shifted a little more toward the latter than planned. On the other hand IRL is where life is, and real time interaction with real people is hard to beat when it comes to inspiration. And there are some really interesting people walking their dogs in Humlegården.

Anyway, I've managed to keep my podcast playlist at bay (I subscribe to over 25 science and PD podcasts, so my routines have to be maintained in some fashion or other, lest the queue of listening material spiral out of control quickly and permanently).

What's worse is that I've been reading much less in May than I'd like to. That goes for both articles and books. I'm struggling to get through the Princeton Bitcoin book, for example, but have simply been getting to bed too late or been too tired (or drunk) to read more than a few pages at a time.

I've mismanaged my synergistic processes slightly this month. Writing this article on pure inspiration, instead of condensing it to a 140 character tweet is perhaps the only truly synergistic activity all month (taking stock of my month, writing an overdue article, perhaps re-using the material for the podcast thus saving time while also driving traffic here... and there). However, maybe I'm being too hard on myself, since most of what I do is completely entangled and mutually enforcing. 

Tokyo

IMG-20160514-WA0015 DSC_1243 DSC_1059 Toky

In May 2016 I've been good at saying "yes" but bad at saying"no". After a spontaneous 5 day tour to Tokyo (see above), the result was feeling slightly swamped backed home, by having too many projects and meetings taking time from my life-progress activities.

IMG-20160514-WA0017
Yes Man

On the other hand, even if I haven't written anything on my coming e-book during May, I've met a lot of interesting people, as well as experienced more than my fair share of decadence. The latter is a two-edged blade, I admit, but to me it's part of the learning complex I embrace.

yes man Monday
Yes Man Monday

Financially, I've made a few really good deals in May, while at the same time significantly limiting the time spent in front of the markets (I took the Tokyo week completely off, and only spent about 15 minutes in total during the week after Tokyo). Despite that my net worth is only slightly up in May. Oh,well, it's actually supposed to decrease over time, right? The ultimate goal is to pass away without a cent to my name.

Yes man Tuesday
Yes man Tuesday

My article writing has been a bit more sloppy than I'd like, and than I actually aim for. I'm not proud of that, but, still, the reason hasn't been slacking - quite the opposite. Hence, even if it wasn't a conscious choice, how can I be other than happy about my real life taking precedence over my on-line presence?

Talking about goals, my friend Patricia (girlfriend 2005-2015, now just a very close friend and co-owner of our dog) is fighting in the World Championship final in thaiboxing (women's 57kg) tomorrow, Saturday May 28, after impressive victories in the 8ths, quarters and semis. She finally feels pretty good about training more than 2 times a day lately (on top of a full time employment as paralegal at a law firm).

My podcast "25 minuter" is coming along pretty nicely (summaries and links here). Recently we've added a couple of interviews that I think has made the program more interesting than just me and Ludvig going on and on about taking deep breaths or mimicking Napoleon :). However, I can't honestly say I've poured my soul into the podcast the last few weeks.

25 min mini

No matter, just as with Spitznagel's Dao of capital, I see a slight failure as a motivator (perhaps necessary) for doing better the next time. Consequently I count on bringing som ereally good ideas and energy to the mike on Wednesday.

400 lbs deadlift. Well, almost. I took 180.3 kg which is 397 lbs a few weeks ago. I'm pretty happy with that (new PB), but it still doesn't quite rhyme with my rep bests of 140kg x20 on Christmas or 165kg x6 around the same time, or 160x5x3 the other day. The good thing is I probably have a lot of untapped potential in that lift.

All in all, I'm happy about my progress in the gym, not least in light of all the alcohol that has flowed through the system this spring ;). Apart from being injury free and using better and better (more safe and less cheat-y) technique, I'm proud of sticking to my every second day schedule, no matter what (including that day when the after party ended at 9:30 am and I was at the gym 9:48 am, or that time a friend called me over at 4:30 am, and after a few hours at that party I went directly to the gym for some heavy squats).

IMG_20160515_025915

Mobility-wise I've integrated certain exercises in my everyday life, such as walking with my forearms against my back (Morpheus) to mobilize my shoulders, and squatting deliberately when playing with Ronja (my dog). However, I've relaxed my psoas-stretching routines a bit more than I meant to. I probably haven't even reached my 5 minute a week minimum quota recently. I will make sure to temptation bundle the psoas couch stretch with the Game Of Thrones intro every week from now on.

The trick with temptation bundling is to combine an indulgence with a simultaneous less comfortable necessity, such as stretching. In time you'll start to long for that moment and activity.

As an added observation, more than once a week lately I've felt the urge to sit down when putting on socks, instead of balancing on one leg as usual. Bad Sprezza! Baaaad! I'm nevertheless happy to say, I've not given in even once.

And neither should you. Why on earth even bother going to work, gym or getting up at all if you can't even put on your socks standing up?


 

I touch leaves, and bark, and grass. I don't see dead people though.

I look at cracks, at sky. I observe people's movements. I breathe. I pay attention to smells and sounds and my own body parts (not the crack though; I can't see it - and frankly don't want to either).

That's my brand of no-threshold mindfulness and I urge you to try it. Spend just a few seconds here and there, truly experiencing the world in the now with full focus and childlike curiosity and wonder. That's it, then walk quickly and purposefully to your next interesting activity (don't rush or feel rushed though; you should never rush).

 

Angel Initiative

A week ago I and my business partner Jonas officially launched our company Angel Initiative. The response was much better than anticipated. About 5x the amount of companies we expected turned up. Right now we're sifting through 15+ venture proposals that will be funneled to our list of investors. It's fun and a good way to challenge my old sclerotic brain, but consumes way more time and effort than expected.

I have also spent too much time on social media (and normal media, e.g., a journalist investigating financial bloggers' impact on stocks they own themselves, and an interview in Framgångspodden [will be published in a few weeks, i.e., mid-June 2016]). One tweet all too easily turns into a conversation, which turns into more tweets, and sooner or later luring out the haters and ever more tweeting.

On the other hand I've almost stopped checking my Instagram completely, as well as kept the updates there to a minimum. The last one was a few days ago, though, when I had to boost my ego after several weeks of decadence :)

roof terrace Sprezza after Tokyo

 

Summary

Define your primary activities and goals

Engage in your priority 1 activity as early as possible in the day

Pause and take stock of your progress regularly, e.g., once a year (or month, if you prefer)

My results: mostly in line, albeit wasting some quality (writing and reading) time on unnecessary activities such as social media, saying "yes" and being hungover. On the other hand, I've experienced Tokyo, made friends, weaned myself off Instagram, and become more mindful.

Decide on corrective actions going forward

-I for example will say "no" more, temptation bundle psoas stretching with Game Of Thrones, and dive right into reading and writing instead of "just" checking Twitter first. In addition, I'll try to produce more quality work for my podcast "25 minuter". 

What will you do? Except finally decide to share one of my articles (this one?) with your networks, as well as get around to subscribing to my free newsletter and downloading and reading my e-book?

 

 

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