One of the general life goals I've got is to be more grateful. I knew I wanted to do this for a while, but had an opportunity a couple weeks ago. On 17 August I had my phone and some dead time, and I remembered I wanted to start tracking gratitude better. So I started making a list of things I'm grateful for.
I was just cleaning my iPhone notes, and found the list:
Gratittude - grateful for good friends. Chris having me as a guest. Chase and I working on creativity. Talking biz with Anthony. Coffee. Miu Ne. Beach. Swimming. Working muscles. Good juice. Bread, rice, eating healthy. Smart people. Hacker News. Self discipline. Technology. Jailbreaking my iPhone. Massage. Learning how civilization emerges by walking through the slums. Walking by the canal. The motorbike ride back that passed by the train, watching the train pass. Walking in the park with the cool animal garden sculptures. Learning how to negotiate here. Commander Marshall's circus. Working on critical thinking, meditations, SDS. Pho. Rice. Fish. The really good seafood. Playing Risk with Chase and Anthony. Talking philosophy with David. Paul Graham wrote back to me after I said thanks to him and that I think he goes down as greatest philosopher of this era. Yifei is awesome to do business with. Swapping ideas with Bren. Working for CDefine, first client. Learning. Reading ultimate sales machine. Live music at habana. Heading out to a nightclub first time in a long while. Not sleeping too much. Chris's cleaning lady washing my clothing. I feel strong. Habits improving. people reading my blog. First guestpost. The meteor shower at 3AM
It was fun doing that - was sitting and waiting to eat Korean food, had nothing to read, and didn't have my headphones to listen to audio. So I started clicking around and listing down some things that went well the week before. It's amazing how much there is - I'd like to do this more often going forwards. It's really nice.
I made a habit out of reviewing my gratitudes in bed twice a day - just before going to sleep and on waking. It took a few weeks to make it a habit. I not only enjoy doing it, it makes for more relaxed sleep and also I noticed after a month of doing it that I automatically start looking for things I am grateful for during down time in the day. Cool bonus! In addition my life has been flowing smoothly and I think this is partly due to focusing more on what I am grateful for than what is "wrong". I am happier too.
PS If you are in San Francisco check out Cafe Gratitude - all the dishes have positive names like I am Happy, I am Abundant so you get to say that when you order. Then when the server delivers they say You are Happy, You are Abundant. The food it really tasty and healthy raw food that is like no other raw food and salads you have eaten before. They have a recipe book ("I am grateful") if you can't get there in person and want to get a flavor of the place from somewhere else.
"What gets measured, gets managed." - Peter Drucker
There is so much power in this quote. If you've never tracked yourself, you don't even know how much power there is in tracking. I couldn't even explain it adequately. You wouldn't believe me. You'd think I was exaggerating. The simple act of paying attention to something will cause you to make connections you never did before, and you'll improve the those areas - almost without any extra effort.
I'm not a believer in "free lunch" and I don't think the universe vibrates things to you just by thinking about them. But the closest thing to a free lunch getting vibrated to you by the universe is writing things down as they happen.
Before I go any further, I need to give you one piece of advice - start small and build up, so you don't overwhelm yourself. This is just being pragmatic. You want to scale up gradually, as I wrote up in "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking." You want to build small wins, lock them so they become automatic, and then expand.
I'd have a hard time convincing you of the power of tracking, so I'll just show you. I fill this out every single day.
I always want to write about a "typical" day here in Austin, but it seems like no day is actually normal enough for me to write about, so it ends up not happening. So, since I have a few minutes in my RV before it's time to head to late night dinner, I'll just write about today. I always wonder what people do with their days, so maybe my regular day will be interesting to you.
((Note: I'm aware that this is a bit like those rambly livejournal entries that no one actually ever wants to read. ))
I woke up at around 10am, which is pretty early for me. The sun comes in through the RV window at just the right angle to hit me in the face at 9:45. This happens every morning. Sometimes I wake up then and sometimes I roll over and sleep until 11am when it finally gets too hot to keep sleeping.