:Focus what separated professionals from amateurs

I saw this quote in Quora

Alexander was able to adjust his entire army’s strength to focus on exactly what they needed to do, what he had taught them, not waste their energies. That :focus’ was what separated professionals from amateurs, soldiers from warriors.

I think about that statement and find that in my own experiences, when I build simple websites to complex applications, my thoughts at those time were “I can do this by myself for a couple of days which others seems doing it for weeks to months & I always have in the back of my mind what are the key success factor that I need to focus on and put everything else back as they’re supposed to be.”

I may say that this approach worked quite well, and have bring me up to my current condition. The same statement that pop up in my mind at that time about other was they’re amateurs, though now, I can see what they’re talking about, how a project would require so many people and so many time due to the processes and ensuring all features get done while before I can easily eliminate, replace or provide standard features for non key features.

But the mind set changing from :focus to process oriented does take a negative effect on me, it make me think sluggishly, just like the massive army again Alexander’s outnumbered army. In the big number mind set, I felt it is hard to accomplish small simple task, cause there are several steps in doing it and require communication and coordination, which brought me down mentally when I’m thinking about doing new ventures – I don’t even can see through the fog and yet I have to map out the teritorry for others so they can walk through it. Doubts, fear and feeling of incompetence toward self and team rise up. Though this mind set is useful for ongoing project that already have established objectives and how to do it, just add people to the process and refine it incrementally but it’s really bad in new ventures especially without pattern to follow or we trying to make out new pattern against the existing ones.

Focus, how Alexander saw it, is observing the opponent and condition, finding the weak spot that can be taken and then can have further momentum to crush other part of the opponent. Can the weak spot identified before hand? Sure, most of the time. Will it change in midst of war? Highly likely. So having a continuous focus that ever changing based on the latest status are the most advantageous strategy not the fixed and outnumbered strategy and they’re even better against opponent with the large, process oriented mind set which lack agility.

Though focus enable to identify, select, decide and act flexibily within short time, it also require efficient and effective execution for it to be successful, if they’re slower or at the same speed of the opponent and lack adequate power, though the focus are narrower, the opponent can easily match that, there need to be speed and power that can decisively subdue the weak spot or rather identifying which weak spot that has strategic advantage for further actions, with underwhelming condition against our speed and power (easily overcomed).

A though also come in while writing this down, a spine cannot stand erect perfect and stable in some part of the muscles that supported it is weak, ex: lower back muscle, though upper and middle back muscle are firm and trainable, if the lower back muscle is weak and untrained then the spine will have set back. Though it can still stand erect but it won’t be stable in long term.

This issue is about identifying which weak part exist in our self and create prevention plan and repair plan for it (the fear setting routine from Tim Ferris), whether strenthening them is necessary now or it is only to be solved later, can the current strength overcame the weakness enough so it won’t be a hindrance or this is the main problem that keeping us from reaching the objective all along, solving it is necessary to achive the objective.

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Dysfunctional Thoughts: 20180829 – On stopping midway in Online Learning

Situation

When I watch online tutorial, I can’t follow till the end, either stopping midway or finding other distraction, the course that should only take 2 hours (speed up mode) can then take a whole day and sometimes not finished within one day. Some thoughts or factors that might cause the symptoms

  1. I didn’t get it /
    1. well, this is hard /
    2. I don’t get the big picture /
    3. I don’t get the why –
    4. I want to know the why not the how to make sure I can use it properly or modify it at my leisure
    5. I can’t stop and ask midway things that I didn’t understand
  2. Too much distraction available
    1. Playing video too fast
    2. Without following type as you watch
    3. This is boring and I need a moment of distraction
  3. I don’t eat enough – non keton condition – low energy / concentration
  4. It’s a video, so there are no Real people holding me accountable
  5. No process for following a course
    1. Watch only is not enough
    2. Not all material are relevant: some already understood, some are shallow
    3. When not understanding the topic: what to do, to ask to clarify, switch, notes

Pre – Emotion 

  1. Pride: 70% – Yeay, I understand this part lets celebrate that first
  2. Bored: 80% – I don’t get it, it should be faster, are there any better course/material

Automatic Thoughts

  1. Yeay, I understand this part lets celebrate that first – Maximization
  2. I don’t get it – all or nothing
  3. it should be faster – overgeneralization
  4. there any better course/material – ? not focus and clear criteria

Rational Thoughts

  1. Learning require intense focus and mastery do require time and focus, a little step is just little step that need next step to be meaningful
  2. Faster is not the objective, mastery and objective is
  3. I need process to manage the bored feeling
    1. skimming is good but video ?

Post – Emotion 

  1. Pride: 10% – it’s vain and require clear objective and progressive progress
  2. Bored: 20% – make sure there will be process for handling this

Conclusion & Cope

  1. Pride is just minor factor
  2. The main factor is bored which caused by feeling of excess capacity and trying to find other things to spend of the excess, therefore there need to be process / method to fill when learning

Online Video Learning Process: inconclusive

  1. Objective
  2. Prepare
  3. Review
    1. Mindmap
  4. In-Session – This is important
    1. Mind Map
  5. Short Review
  6. Conclusion and to do

Dysfunctional Thoughts – 20180828 – On Feeling Stuck in Facing Overwhelming Work

Situation 

I have just finished some important part of the main projects:

  1. Solving mobile apps architecture
  2. Learn new programming language techniques and tools
  3. Write up coding from existing application
  4. Review another project closing notes

Right now, I’m feeling stuck,, probably because of yesterday realization when I review the project closing notes, it somehow register as defeat and we got nothing better ahead or things that are ahead require much heavy lifting to pull through also this is one of the time I can perceive how lack of direction/vision that my communication is (after quite sometime not communicating directly to the team). I felt that the team need a vision/direction for the company while I’m not giving it, or my direction is lackluster and doesn’t ignite any spark within them.

Pre – Emotion 

  1. Failure/worthless: 70%
  2. Overwhelmed: 40%

Automatic Thoughts

  1. I don’t have a great vision: personalization, labeling, jump to conclusion
  2. Things are hard to pull through: catastrophe,
  3. I can’t do it
  4. I can’t figure all the things out
  5. I am by myself and should keep it by myself
  6. No one to help me – at least at my level
  7. So what does it even mean, if I reach the goals then so what of about it
  8. Recognition?
  9. Recognition of my work, values, effort, results, … self from friends, enemies, … others (THIS) –
    1. I felt knot relieved when I acknowledge this,
    2. especially Recognition from enemies that had failed, attack or inhibit me,
    3. the drive to prove them wrong, not revenge,
    4. but to exert I’m better than you, enemies!
    5. PERSONALIZATION – it’s about me against them and it weights a lot against other factors, it’s the sinking factor that brought every others factors came down

Rational Thoughts

  1. Personalization of bad things happen to me and to get back –
    1. You don’t have to Recover by the way of how You lose it
    2. Life goes on, those that with you or against you whether they are deliberate or notnot
    3. focus on the one with you and especially the ones that made deliberate decision
    4. retrospectively least to no focus on those that against you and doing it deliberately
  2. I don’t have to succeed
    1. But I can spend my time and resources in trying them
    2. Learning along the way
    3. Work with others, try to put trust on others for my key resource deliberately, try to open up one step at a time

Post – Emotion

  1. Failure/worthless: 0%
  2. Overwhelmed: 10%

Conclusion / Cope

  1. Identified triggers of enemies and try to get things back to them is a huge sinking factor
  2. To cope: identify, stop and bless them – the high road – it’s better for you and them
  3. The other factor are just following factors from the sinking factors

Property – Thinking about it as investment

The property value

  1. Price $100k
  2. Renovation cost $30k
  3. Price post renovation $190 (Around 40%)
  • The financing
    1. Money spent – $60k
    1. Down payment $30k
    2. Renovation $30k
      Loan $70k
      Potential benefit from selling
    1. 1st year:
      1. Selling: $190k
      1. Cost
        1. Other financing cost and closing cost: $10k
        1. Loan: $70k
        1. Installment: $12k (9%/year)
      1. Profit: $190k – ($10k + $65k + $12k) – $60k = $44k
        1. Money Spent: $60k + $12 = $72k
        1. Profitability = 44 / 72 = 61%
    2. 2nd year:
      1. Selling: $200k
      1. Cost
        1. Closing cost: $10k
        1. Loan: $70k
        1. Installment: $24k
      1. Profit : $200 – (10 + 60 + 24) – 60 = $46
        1. Money Spent: $60k + $24 = $84k
        1. Profitability = 46 / 84 = 54%
  • Last conclusion after working more detailed on the spreadsheet in google sheet, the calculation
    1. Financing: own money, bank mortage, private lenders (for financing the down payment and renovation)
    1. Income: sell, rental and rental – dorms
    1. Expense: installments to bank and private lenders
    1. Considerations:
    1. private lenders % for installments and profit sharing, how attractive should it be
    1. Ownership of property between me, bank and private lender
    1. Which one is better: pay full amount, finance with bank, finance with private lenders or finance with private lender and banks.
  • Conclusion
    1. Providing 20% interest for private investors are not feasible, while providing 10% are not attractive especially if without asset.
    1. The ownership of the property might became problem because the financing require personal and bank mortage.
    1. For best case regarding getting a lot of profit in the shortest amount of time is to buy, renovate to increase value and sell underprice asap with private financing of profit sharing or bank mortage with free early repayment. This can generate around 30 to 60% in the first year and keep on declining for additional years (% per annum)
    1. For combining between rental – dorm and selling so that to create layered risk, sell asap and collect rent while waiting, the financing will be preferable with bank mortage, low interest rate and 10+ years of payment plans are hard to find for private lenders.
  • Additional Notes:

    Based on the Bigger Content video about analyzing real estate opportunity, ‘the 4 box’ of income, expense, cashflow and Return of Cash on Cash (Cashflow / Cash invested), let’s reanalyze the condition above

    1. Income: $4k
    2. Expense:
      1. Regulars: $400
      1. Property management: $100
      1. Tax: $10
      1. Insurance: 0
      1. Mortgage: $2k
      1. Vacant: $800
      1. Repair $100
      1. Total: $3410
    3. Cashflow: $590

      Return
    1. $6k / $60k = 10%

    Getting Things Out of My Mind

    There are some lingering thoughts in my mind that I consciously and sub consiciouly taking my time, and I suspected some of them take a significant amount of time while not that important or worthwhile. So to clarify, I’ll dump them all here and see what they are and identify, eliminate, stop, prioritized accordingly. So here goes

    1. About dry fasting and the subsidiary
      1. The peels
      2. The salad
      3. The dry fasting
      4. Intermittent fasting
      5. Should I try dry fasting
      6. Is it dangerous, how can I avoid the mentioned pitfalls
      7. Are the advices legit?
      8. Should I just buy the peels, spices package? Can they get sent to here? Will they pass the customs?
      9. Are the peels and spices formula safe? Putting all of those ingredients though each of them is supported by research paper, but mixing them all into one, medicine + medicine can produce poison
    2. The business
      1. What should I do with the cosmetic online store?
    3. The current IT project
      1. The module for time calculation is still hogging my mind
      2. The reporting modules and dashboard and data input enforcement still not completed
      3. The slow performance of the production environment
      4. The contract still not signed
      5. The support responses, resolution and communications
    4. Next project
      1. How is the last presentation performance?
      2. Need time to make proposal for Integration project
      3. Need time to make proposal for Mobile application development
      4. Need time to review the RFP
      5. Need more web developers

    So there you have it, the items that are lingering in my thoughs, by intuition I’ll try to identify which items that takes the most out of my time

    1. Current IT Project – Support responses
    2. Dry Fasting
    3. Current IT Projecct – module for time

    Based on priority and impact it should be

    1. Current IT Project –
      1. Resolve standard and escalation
      2. Appoint Support Leader and Job Description: Daily Review of reported issues, status, resolve/escalation, FAQ
      3. Production performance
      4. Recruitment
    2. Next Project
      1. Proposal routine refinement and templates
    3. Online store
      1. Next marketing test

    The most important one is

    1. Time allocation
      1. Plan it or lose it
    2. Plan and Prioritze action list on each topic
      1. Routine for plan and prioritize for each topic
    3. Optimal working mode:
      1. mental: I’m here to make out something good and learn along the way, no right answer or wrong answer
      2. physical: stamina and strength
      3. environment: working tools, seat and computer
      4. communication: written in PM / wiki, response standard

    Dysfunctional Thoughts: 2017 06 02 Not Relaxing in Vacation

    Situation

    I’m taking vacation and can’t get myself to relax, It felt something must be done, I need to do something, I got to be useful, Like I have to watch my back and make sure everything run well and efficient. While it not supposed to be like that

    Emotion – Pre

    1. Anxious: 80%

    Automatic Thoughts

    1. I need to be always alert, just in case – overgeneralization
    2. It will ruin my work if something happen – magnification
    3. I am not reliable – personalization
    4. I am not useful – overgeneralization and personalization
    5. I don’t have value – all or nothing
    6. I’ll be look down upon – personalization
    7. I’m not better than anyone else ?

    Rational Thoughts

    1. I’m not better than anyone else – I have strengths and weaknesses
    2. What I will do are
      1. Just making a living
      2. Helping others
      3. There is a limit of what I can do
      4. But there are also so many possibilities that can be made in a life time

    Emotion – Post

    1. Anxious: 50%

    Cope

    1. When taking a holiday I need to put in place a protocol to make sure things run smoothly
      1. Emergency protocol exist but keep it to one channel only / one person
      2. The rests are delegated
    2. I am not the begin all and end all of my business,
      1. I am limited but with my team we can achieve great things together
      2. It is just a work, though I took pride in giving excellent service but it’s not the defining factor of my self worth
      3. My capacity though currently dominated by the current project, can be used for other purposes, it didn’t need to drain me out of other opportunities

    Dysfunctional Thoughts: 2018 02 08 – On Connecting with Others

    Situation

    When thinking to contact others for courtesy or I need to do some courtesy before getting into business, I hesitated and felt a drag, reluctance, vain, doing something worthless

    Emotion – Pre

    Worthless – 75%
    Avoidance – 60%

    Automatic Thoughts

    1. What does it use? I should do something more important – All or nothing
    2. I am bad at courtesy and chitchat – All or nothing
    3. I don’t want to leave fake impression or being a bother for others – Mind reading
    4. Here goes something that I’m not good at and a burden for me – Mental Filter and Discarding Positives
    5. I am afraid they will reject me and confrontate me – Personalization
    6. I am afraid I say something stupid like some in the past, react or said something unappropriately – Generalization

    Rational Thoughts

    1. Communicating, courtesy and chit chat may or may not be important, but they lead to better appreciation with others, understanding and connection, all of those are quite beneficial either in function or socially.
    2. I do enjoy having nice conversation and being able to connect with others and recognized, it might not lead to something practically useful but so are most of my activities.
    3. Well I am not top notch at communicating, I have mediocre skill and I want to practice from books that I read, if I made mistake then I am no different than everybody in the world, not perfect, made mistakes and be better is the choice that I want to make
    4. People do have their own time, condition, and situations which might make them react negatively when contacted, they are beyond my control, I can only approach with good will and bring positive, upbeat attitude hopefully to cheer or in anyway to have positive influence on them and back off if the time is not right, it’s not always about me. If it is I’ll try to dissolve them.

    Emotion – Post

    1. Worthless – 15%
    2. Avoidance – 15%

    Cope

    1. Start with good intention, upbeat and positives vibe when contacting others – being mindful of others signals
    2. Think about closing routine when communicating, unique and represent upbeat & positive vibes – leave a good trail. (For later thoughts)

    Test #13: Occam’s Protocol to increase weight and muscle mass – Abandoned

    TEST CARD

    Title
    Following Occam’s Protocol exercise and diet plan will increase body weight and muscle mass

    Due Date / Duration
    Sep 11 – Oct 9, 2017 / 4 week

    Step 1 – Hypothesis – Critical: 3
    I believe that following Occam’s Protocol of exercise and diet plan will increase body weight and muscle mass

    Step 2 – Test – Cost: 2 – Reliability: 2
    To verify, I will

    1. Follow exercise plan
      1. Join the gym, do the calibration first
      2. Workout A and Workout B (till 7 reps to fail) with variable resting time of 2 days to 3 days
    2. Using the following recipe
      1. Daily shake – half in the morning and half at afternoon
        3 cups 2% milk,
        30g whey protein,
        1 banana, and
        3 heaping tablespoons of sugarless almond butter
      2. Also I’ll take on muscle increase catering plan

    Step 3 – Metric – Time Required: 1
    And measure

    1. Weight daily
    2. Shake intake : 1 serving
    3. Diet meals serving : 1/2 serving
    4. Exercise
      1. Status: 1 fail – 2 moderate – 3 easy
      2. Type: A – B
      3. Weight: LP/30
    5. Stamina : 5 perfect

    Step 4 – Criteria

    I am right if at the end of the test

    1. Weight from 62 to 70
    2. Stamina increase

    LEARNING CARD

    Step 1 – Hypothesis 

    I believe that ==Same with above==

    Step 2 – Observation – Reliability: 1

    I observed after taking the shake for 2-3 days with light workout, my body doesn’t react well, probably due to milk (lactose intolerant) or high protein (inflammation) and this test is stopped

    WEEK 1

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Weight
    Shake intake
    Diet meals
    Exercise Status
    Exercise Type
    Exercise Weight
    Stamina

    Notes:

    1. Day 1
    2. Day 2
    3. Day 3
    4. Day 4
    5. Day 5
    6. Day 6
    7. Day 7

    WEEK 2

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Weight
    Shake intake
    Diet meals
    Exercise Status
    Exercise Type
    Exercise Weight
    Stamina

    Notes:

    1. Day 1
    2. Day 2
    3. Day 3
    4. Day 4
    5. Day 5
    6. Day 6
    7. Day 7

    WEEK 3

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Weight
    Shake intake
    Diet meals
    Exercise Status
    Exercise Type
    Exercise Weight
    Stamina

    Notes:

    1. Day 1
    2. Day 2
    3. Day 3
    4. Day 4
    5. Day 5
    6. Day 6
    7. Day 7

    WEEK 4

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Weight
    Shake intake
    Diet meals
    Exercise Status
    Exercise Type
    Exercise Weight
    Stamina

    Notes:

    1. Day 1
    2. Day 2
    3. Day 3
    4. Day 4
    5. Day 5
    6. Day 6
    7. Day 7

    Step 3 – Learnings and Insights – Action Required: 1

    From that I learned that

    Step 4 – Decision and Actions

    Therefore, I will

    Dysfunctional Thoughts: 20180402 – On Conflict with Client

    Situation

    1. I’m in a conflict with client and I’m to withdraw our service until our demand is met.
    2. It’s excruciating, I feel a knot in my stomach, waiting for responses and not being the easy pushover as before
    3. I am confused between just meet their demand like before or just stand ground till consensus reached

    Emotion – Pre

    1. Anxious – 100%
    2. Feeling of uncertainty – 90%

    Automatic Thoughts

    1. What happen if everybody get angry at me? Mind Reading, Personalization,
      1. They’ll lash out on me: Personalize
      2. They’ll demand us to work: Mind Reading
      3. I get vilified by client and donor: Magnifying
      4. They will think I’am incompetent: Personalization
      5. I’ll loose their respect: Magnifying, Personalization
      6. I am not good enough: Personalization
      7. I don’t have any use or any value: Over generalization
    2. They’ll cut off our work and payment: This is rational
      1. Not enough money for payroll and expenses

    Rational Thoughts

    1. Angry
      1. They already did and express it with so many behavior toward us
      2. Me and team are already vilified by the client, but hopefully not so with the donor, I think they understand our situation but also powerless or don’t have any idea on how to restore things up.
      3. They respect me, they actually kinda afraid / reluctant in treating me bad personally
    2. Cut off
      1. They already did by delaying progress report
      2. And they think the progress report is their leverage

    Emotion – Post

    1. Anxious – 100%
    2. Feeling of uncertainty – 90%

    Cope

    1. Act professionally and don’t put myself in the line, it’s just business
    2. We have what they want, start negotiating
    3. Withdrawing service from client and donor is an option
    4. Limit the risk related to payment, demand clearance or guarantee from donor but do it tactfully.