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Week 2023#03: how to push yourself out of a hole
Basic feedback loops in your body, like exercise, can push you out of a bad mood
A strange tree I saw in Großwallstadt on Sunday.
Can you help me identify it?
What I’ve learned
You can flush your brain with happy-chemicals with just 30 minutes of medium effort.
On Friday I felt very…empty and demotivated.
We had just spent 5 hours at the hospice the evening before and this was incredibly draining. Even though you don’t “do” anything, watching a dying person inching into the next world just sucks all the energy out of you.
After finishing work, I just wanted the day to end.
I felt down and drained and didn’t want to do anything but sleep.
This reminded me of the worst moments last summer and that scared me.
Fear led to action and I started doing push-ups. A lot of them. After getting close to 150, I realized that I can push a little bit further and reach my last record of 180. Reaching 180, the thought of making it to 200 manifested and I continued pushing.
In total, I spent 30 minutes on this, but the results were profound: I felt really happy and energized again.
The dark clouds disappeared.
I felt in control again.
Your environment tricks you into a lot of things
I did 200 push-ups because somebody sent me an Instagram reel about “exercise being therapy” and told somebody at work about Dimitris Omiridis
Later on, I realized that this was no accident, rather my brain taking influences from my day and tricking me into acting them out.
As part of supporting some employee health activities at Bolt, I shared my experience which included a story about Dimitris Omiridis who got strong, and muscular and almost stopped aging thanks to high-volume bodyweight workouts and fasting.
A few hours before that, somebody shared an Instagram Reel about exercise being a therapy with me.
I blame treating my mood with exercise on these two seemingly unconnected events.
This poses another interesting question:
What other events control my behavior every day?
I haven’t found an answer to this off the top of my head, but it is something I want to be more aware of next week.
Product-market fit will hit you in the face
Another hole I found myself in was feeling demotivated about Talking To Strangers.
The project lost momentum and getting people to pay money for learning how to make friends as an adult seems like it requires expert marketing skills, which I don’t have and cannot afford to contract out at the moment.
Motivated by the house in Sweden literally setting my money on fire, I decided to test the waters for earning some money on the side by offering full-day Estonian workshops for 5 euros.
One post on Facebook later and 15 minutes later my inbox blew up.
All 5 spots sold out in 15 minutes.
I have a waiting list of over 20 people for the next workshop.
This is how it must have felt like to strike literal gold.
At least it felt like I’ve found an actually viable business.
I finally identified a concrete need and am in a position to fulfill that need. No need for complicated marketing (at least just now).
Expectation vs Reality
Something will happen w/r to the house in Sweden: one of the people from Workaway canceled, and my local handyman made me an offer to build a box in the basement for the pellets. Expected cost for clearing the snow, materials, labor, and pellets for 2-3 months: 2000 to 3000 EUR. Expected savings: 300 EUR per winter month.
My father will stay stable at the hospice: no 😢 he got a bit better initially but got a lot worse in the last days of the week.
I’ll have polished some of the teaching material for the Estonian Language Workshops: no, but this is good. Instead of procrastinating by endlessly polishing material, I decided to enter the market instead. Good decision!
I’ll continue with detailed tracking of my days: yes! This helps so much during the day as well as at the end of the week: looking back and seeing exactly what you did, at glance is very satisfactory.
10/10 will track time like this again.
A lot, again!
“Decode Estonian” Estonian workshops are taking off,
“Terminal fever” (i.e. the body initiating the dying process) set in for my father,
We spent 5 hours at the hospice Thursday night and got a call about his situation worsening Saturday night, spending another three hours until 3 in the morning at the hospice,
My mother, my brother, and I had to feel out where we draw the line between preserving our own energies to support each other and giving energy to my father. The line is different for each one of us and all of us accept this,
I discovered that you can build full-blown applications using Google Sheets, my new favorite tool for all kinds of internal applications I’ll need to build at work,
had a really nice afternoon on Sunday with Thorsten Ball in Großwallstadt, which helped me fill my batteries.