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Days 47, 48: Conversation, Playstation, Flu

Both days untracked. D47 and D48 both untracked... started well, some decent work. We got off the schedule for work on D47, the Head of Marketing and Entertainment from a local hotel we did a deal with invited us over to his house. So we were there when we'd normally be working, played Playstation, ate popcorn, had a good time... can't remember the last time I had a day like that.

Unfortunately, it was pouring rain on the way back home. The drainage is pretty bad in Ulaanbaatar, and I was skirting around the edge of the road with a calf-deep or perhaps knee-deep below. It was a two-lane road, and most cars were wisely sticking to the dry side.

Then this maniac comes at full speed, hits the puddle, got soaked head to the toe. No joke. Quickly turned off my USB headset and iPhone, both of which were wet (they didn't break thankfully). Walking back after that, I felt some chills and woke up with a cold.

Going hard on the medicine, vitamins, going to stop by the pharmacy and grab some nuclear strong antibiotics. In countries without strict prescription controls, I'll usually keep azithromycin in my apartment, but didn't bring any with me. I'll grab some if I can find it, or amoxacillin if not.

It turned out to (almost) be a blessing in a disguise, since instead of an intense workday I just worked slowly and did a bunch of planning. I haven't had time for that slow planning stuff, but I've been basically out of commission for running around the last couple days. Let's see how this affects things going forwards.

No Middle

On Tynan

When I talk about working like a maniac for 10-14 hours a day, I sometimes get criticized for working too hard. I need to relax or enjoy life more, people say. When I read this, I assume that I've done a poor job explaining how I feel about work or how I actually construct my life, so I figure I may as well write a blog post to talk about it, as well as the underlying principle.

There are many days where I only leave my RV to shower. I wake up, drink tea while I do a quick Chinese lesson, write a blog post, program for twelve hours with a few short violin breaks, read for an hour, and the go to sleep. People assume that this is a stressful and intense day, but I actually find it very relaxing and enjoyable.

Think about what our ancestors went through. They were constantly uncomfortable, hungry, and in danger of being killed. That's stress. My life is not stressful at all. Compared to what our brains are wired for, my life is a complete cakewalk. The problem is that we don't compare ourselves to that, but instead we compare to what the average American does, which is work not very hard, watch some TV, drink some beers, and go to sleep.

Any time I'm being compared, by myself or others, to the average American, I consider it to be a warning sign. The problem with the average American life is that most of his time is being spent in a mediocre fashion. He works because he has to, and not very hard at that. His entertainment serves to distract him rather than to enrich him. This is the exact opposite of what I want to do-- I want to fill 100% of my time with high impact activities, either doing very good work or having some sort of really high quality experience. I want to spend none of my time at all doing things like busy work or channel surfing. I don't actually expect for it to be 100% to 0%, but I set that as my goal and try to get as close as possible.

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