Getting Things Done by David Allen

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the [Project] Book Summary

The Five Key Ideas

  •  Anxiety and guilt don’t come from having too much to do; it comes from breaking agreements with yourself.
  • If an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it is defined.
  • Mastering your workflow involves capturing what has your attention, clarifying what it means, putting it where it belongs, reviewing it frequently and engaging with it.
  • Getting things done requires defining what “done” means and what “doing” looks like.

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Atomic Habits Summary by James Clear

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the [Project] Book Summary

The Five Big Ideas

  1. Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.
  2. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
  3. The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
  4. The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, and (4) make it satisfying.
  5. Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.

Chapter 1: The Surprising Power of Tiny Habits

“Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”

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How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the [Project] Book Summary

Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

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Classes of Happiness: Positive Psychology at Harvard, and the Science of Well-Being at Yale

I am currently learning these two classes about Happiness, Well-being, and positiveness.  It certainly benefited me a lot, and all are free.

  • The first one is Positive Psychology, taught by Tal Ben-Shahar at Harvard university, which enters the history books as the most popular course in the history of Harvard University.

    The whole class (with Chinese closed caption) is available at Youtube Playlist: [Open Courses at Harvard] Positive Psychology

  • The second one is the Science of Well-Being of Yale university. The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice. I am learning it through Coursera “the science of well-being

Getting up early

I tried several times to make get-up-early a habit, but failed each time.  I did succeed from time to time, but could not make it consistent. I really want to be an early riser, and now officially make it a challenge. If I can rise between 6:30am-7:30am 30 days in a row, I consider it a success. This certainly is not easy. The first thing to do is to find the motivation.

What is my reason to jump out of bed in the cold morning? Things that immediately came up to my mind include believing in myself, more time for exercise, getting abs, no guilty feeling of wasting time, no headache, more energy, more time spent with positive people, the quiet neighborhood, the bird chirping, the beautiful sunrise, and the entrepreneurial spirit.

I will come back to this post and strikethrough each day if i succeed. Anyone is doing it together with me? Shoot me an email or leave a comment!

 2/12    2/13     2/14   2/15    2/16

2/17   2/18    2/19    2/20    2/21   2/22   2/23

2/24   2/25   2/26   2/27    2/28   3/1      3/2

3/3      3/4     3/5

Breaking the comfort zone

Stepping outside of our comfort zone is inevitably an uncomfortable experience, but it can yield a lot more growth. I used to be afraid of public speaking, but I joined a toastmaster to face my fear, and I can see the improvement every week. Now it’s even much easier I talk to a total stranger. Whenever we see the result, it serves as a positive feedback that will encourage us to try harder.

I totally agree that “outside of the comfort zone is where the magic happens”. Now i am challenging myself at a daily basis.

Finished my first full marathon!

When I saw the sun finally came out i was so excited (it has been raining for many days in my area), and decided to go for a marathon run. It’s kinda dangerous since I did’t have much training after the half marathon run 2 months ago.

When I arrived at the trail, it started raining. I hesitated if i should just go home since it was raining even harder. But when i saw some hardcore runners passing by and not giving a shit about the rain, i made a determination that i will be one of them and finish today’s run no matter what.

In the first half, it was ok and i was pretty fast. But in the second half my feet hurt a lot. I had to stop to do some stretching for every mile. Energy and endurance-wise i was totally fine, and didn’t even feel tired; but feet and legs hurt too much. In the last several miles, it was almost as slow as walking.

The number is pretty bad (about 5 hours if excluding the time used to hide from rain), but i do consider it a big success since i never imaged i can do this!

What is more important than a healthy body?

A healthy mind I guess.

Mindset is discovered by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. At the heart of a “growth mindset” is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Below is the comparison.

mindset type

Finished half mathoron

I finished 13 miles in 1 hour 56 mins, which is not too bad for the first-time try. I actually didn’t find it too difficult (thanks to the training of spin class) except that during the workout my thighs sore. I wasn’t at the best physical condition (worked out too much this week), and I expect to do even better next time.

Another thing i achieved today is that I got the “best table topic” award in the toastmaster meeting. This is not imaginable since I thought table topic is the most difficult task, and i simply can’t do it. It comes easily today :). I can, and I believe you can too!

Happy thanksgiving all!

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A list of challenges I believe I can do

It’s year end again. I am here listing 8 challenges to be achieved by end of 2016. I will check them off one by one if ever :).

  • Take two cold showers in the middle of winter. This is not extremely difficult since it is California!
  • Run a half marathon (On the day of writing I ran 10 miles). Done on Nov 23, 2016
  • 25 pullups in a row (On the day of writing I can do 12-15 in a row)
  • Reach out and make 2 new friends.
  • Initiate and have a meaningful and coherent conversation with a stranger.
  • Get up at 6:45am 5 days a week.
  • A 48-hour hackathon.

Today I ran 10 miles and had to take uber to get back home since it was raining. The uber driver was a very friendly and interesting lady. We had a great conversation about nutrition, fitness and president election :).  She said she really wanted to run but the gym membership is costly. I recommend some gym with reasonable price to her. Hopefully she will check it out and get started!