: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.


Dysfunctional Thoughts: 20180829 – On stopping midway in Online Learning


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

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

    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: 20180402 – On Conflict with Client


    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%


    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.

    Test: 20180310 – Increase Energy Level and Mind Clarity by Autophagy through Intermittent Fasting

    Increase Energy Level and Mind Clarity by Autophagy through Intermittent Fasting

    Due Date / Duration
    Mar 10 to Mar 20, 2018 / 1 week

    Reach autophagy to increase energy level, mind clarity and overall better health and without having to be restricted on food intake and just doing intermittent fasting supported by keto / bulletproof coffee.

    1. Intermittent fasting for 18 hours
      1. last food intake is dinner and then start fasting till next lunch
      2. breakfast replaced with bulletproof coffee only (fat don’t break fasting)
      3. no avocado or other juices during breakfast, move them to lunch
    2. Autophagy
      1. Calory deficiency are not enough for autophagy if we eat frequently, it need to pass the glucogenesis metabolism (fasting)
      2. Supported by fasting, keto (Bulletproof) and exercise
      3. Switching the mode in and out are necessary, prolonged autophagy can gave bad effect.
      4. There should be cheat days to balance the body .
      5. Pay attention on water, electrolytes, minerals or other elements deficiency
    3. Eat normally during lunch and dinner
      1. This is the main focus, if I can achieve this it will be the most sustainable solution

    Step 1 – Hypothesis – Critical: 3
    I believe that I can increase Energy Level and Mind Clarity by getting into Autophagy condition with intermittent  fasting of 16:8 or 17:7 ratio (16 hour fasting and 7 hour eating time) from last dinner up to lunch.

    Step 2 – Test – Cost: 1 – Reliability: 1 
    To verify, I will

    1. Fasting after finishing dinner up to Lunch
      1. Breakfast using Bulletproof Coffee, without dairy nor juices Avocado?
      2. Have light or HIIT exercise
      3. Drink 2 big glass of water in the morning
    2. Eat normally during lunch and dinner
      1. Not limitation on carbs, juice or anything
      2. Eat until full
      3. Dinner at
        1. 19 = 17 hour fasting
        2. 20 = 16 hour fasting

    Step 3 – Metric – Time Required: 1
    And measure

    1. Fasting
      1. Last Meal time
      2. Lunch Meal time
      3. Fasting duration
      4. Hunger Level
    2. Intake & Exercise
      1. Breakfast Water intake  (glass)
      2. Breakfast Bulletproof coffee intake (cups)
      3. Exercise Light or HIIT: 0 – none, 1 – light, 2 – HIIT
      4. Lunch
        1. fullness: 1 to 5
        2. Low Carb: 1 to 5 (Low carbs)
      5. Dinner
        1. fullness: 1 to 5
        2. Low Carb: 1 to 5 (Low carbs)
    3. Result
      1. Energy Level 1 to 5
        1. Morning: 6 to 12
        2. Day: 12 to 18
        3. Evening:18 to 00
      2. Mind Clarity: 1 to 5
        1. Morning: 6 to 12
        2. Day: 12 to 18
        3. Evening:18 to 00
      3. Overall Health: feel side effects 1 – 5 prime health

    Step 4 – Criteria

    I am right if at the end of the test

    1. Fasting completed above 16 hours >= 5 days
    2. Energy Level  >= 4
    3. Mind Clarity >= 4
    4. Overall Health >= 4

    Step 5 – Observation – Reliability: 1

    I observed

    Factor 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    F – Last  21  18 20  20  22  22  20
    F – Lunch  12  12 12 13  13  13  12
    F – Duration  15  18  16 17  11  11  16
    F – Hunger  1  1  1  3 3  4  4
    I – Water  2  2  2  2  2  2  2
    I – BP  2  3  3  0  0  3  0
    I – Exer  0  0  0  1  0  0  0
    I – L Full  5 4  4   3  3  4  4
    I – L Carb  2 2  2 2  2  2  2
    I – D Full  5 3  4  4 4  3  4
    I – D Carb  2  3  3 2  2  2  2
    R – E Mo  3 3 3  2  2  3  3
    R – E Day  2 2  3  2  3  3  2
    R – E Ev  4  3  4  3  4  3  3
    R – M Mo  3  3  3  2  2  3  3
    R – M Da  2 2  3  2 3  3  2
    R – M Ev  4  3 4  3  4  3  3
    R – Health  3  3  2  2  3  3  3


    1. Day 1: Eating Oglio spicy pasta with sweetened cappuccino are not making me sleepy, they boost my night energy, I have experience this twice. Spice is good
    2. Day 3:
      1. I feel slight fever after lunch time
      2. Sleepiness after lunch is also reduced, not like before.
      3. I take garlic tablet at night with a lot of water
    3. Day 4:
      1. still slight fever on daytime, hunger are mild due to not taking bulletproof coffee
      2. In general energy level are lower compared to day 1,2 but still stable enough to do light activity
      3. I also notice the discomfort on upper stomach are subsiding
      4. Skins on feet near toes which usually look very dry became better, skin regenration maybe?
      5. Still taking garlic tablet at night
    4. Day 6
      1. I notice for the past few days, my morning under pressure session are now more mentally than physically
        1. I feel my physical condition is stable and ok, while my mental still trying to resolve things
        2. I also succeed in solving complex problem along the way
        3. Though I still have problem but I don’t feel drag anymore from the body, instead my body is signalling I’m ok and ready to go instead signalling to support lethargic condition
        4. My evening energy level which usually were crappy, is now better, I have more energy and kinda feel wasting my energy for nothing if I did nothing. Opposite of before where I feel I’m spent.
      2. On past few days I also awake several times at night and have hard time to go back to sleep
        1. some research findings: due to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) or entering ketosis, I had hypoglycaemia before and it felt weakening, instead the current condition is I have energy, which I’m inclined more toward ketosis symptoms.
        2. I can make use of this condition.
    5. Day 7
      1. sleepy on the road after a big lunch with a lot of rice, chicken and beef

    Step 6 – Learnings and Insights – Action Required: 1

    From that I learned that

    Although not meeting the fasting frequency and duration criteria but I feel the effect

    1. Energy levels although not high boost, I felt they are stable and always at the normal spectrum instead of ups & down, which is quite a feat by itself
    2. Overall health is also on the normal spectrum all the day, mild symptoms/weaknesses are subsiding and I feel normally energised.


    1. This intermittent fasting work for me
      1. Better energy level from morning until evening. (Until evening till night! This is Important, I’ve been searching recovery routine that work and this one really work)
      2. Reduced sleepiness after lunch time, even after taking a lot of rice
      3. No weight loss for me, which is what I wanted (62kg)
      4. My limbs felt warm again, instead of feeling cold
      5. I can eat more flexible, eat whatever I want, though high carbs can still induce sleepiness but not severe as before
      6. Having good energy level, the body swing my mental back to normal instead of dragging me down
    2. My transition symptoms
      1. Slight fever during day time, maybe my body is on repair mode
      2. The discomfort in my upper stomach is also subsiding
      3. Having Bulletproof coffee make me hungrier, but non noticeable performance effect: with or without Bulletproof coffee didn’t feel different significantly
      4. Waking up and hard to sleep, this can be energy boost

    Step 7 – Decision and Actions

    Therefore, I will

    1. Will continue Intermittent Fasting which is flexible enough 16:8 and break days anytime I want.
      1. Increase caloric intake to increase weight by protein shake, beverages, bulletproof coffee
      2. Adding exercise to increase autophagy stressor
    2. Try another variant of Fasting, One Meal A Day (OMAD)
      1. The challenge is to take enough calorie,  at least 1200 to 2500
    3. My next agenda will be for increasing weight, energy level and health by
      1. Increasing autophagy by exercise and increasing fasting duration
      2. Increase caloric intake: bulletproof coffee, beverage and protein shake

    Dysfunctional Thoughts: 20180314 – On Feeling Powerless


    1. Feeling powerless when facing current problem especially when relying on others in critical condition that need fast and accurate responses
    2. I feel just want to stop and do nothing, to let it slide

    Emotion – Pre

    1. Helpless/powerless: 90%

    Automatic Thoughts

    1. They can’t provide fast and accurate responses like me – generalization
    2. My work result will be terrible – generalization
    3. I am seen as a failure for not providing desired solution – personalization
    4. I am not worthy – personalization and generalization

    Rational Thoughts

    1. They can sometimes, but they need training and routine
    2. Not always
    3. My worth are not my work

    Emotion – Post

    1. Helpless/powerless: 70%


    1. It’s not about me, need to learn to rely on others

    Dysfunctional Thoughts: 2018 02 21 – On Failed Confrontation/Negotiation


    The discussion ended wihtout achieving my goal and I felt lethargy like

    Emotion – Pre

    1. Helpless – 90%

    Automatic Thoughts

    1. I fail in this negotiation – all or nothing
    2. I am not good enough to solve them – generalization, personalization
    3. I am incompetent – magnification
    4. People won’t appreciate me – emotional reasoning
    5. I’ll be useless and without meaning – emotional reasoning

    Rational Thoughts

    1. We got some things through so it’s not a total loss, and we win some and lose some in any discussion/confrontation/negotiation.
    2. I hit some and I miss some so celebrate on what hit and learn from what I missed
    3. Some problems are beyond my control so that’s all there is. Whether people appreciate or not appreciate me are beyond my control and I shouldn’t base my life on it
    4. I am useful in some area of life in running the company, day to day operation, building the team and I’m work in progress and I learn. Couldn’t expect more out of me, learn, do and share.

    Emotion – Post

    1. Helpless – 10%


    1. I win some and lose some, I can learn more and the condition couldn’t be better

    Dysfunctional Thoughts: 2018 02 08 – On Pressuring Employee


    1. I am reluctant in pressuring my team to do what I want, I currently monitor and tell them if they missed their job, but I feel can’t fully give them accountability for their job and this hinder my effectiveness also.
    2. My way of pressuring them is by questioning them whether they have do that, but it became overwhelming and if I missed them some works not get completed.
    3. Should I be more assertive and clear in assigning responsibility/accountability and demand quality work, instead of micro managing
    4. I don’t want they to feel bad or think me as bad and pushy

    Emotion – Pre

    1. Frustrated – 70%
    2. Angry – 60%
    3. Overwhelmed – 70%

    Automatic Thoughts

    1. The don’t have a sense of responsibility like I do: mind reading, overgeneralization
    2. They will resign if they are overwhelmed: mind reading

    Rational Thoughts

    1. People can take up the challenge if they are given the opportunity and have clear understanding of their responsibility and guideline of how to do it
    2. Not all people resign when given responsibilities, some flourish and some may not and will resign. Resign is an acceptable solution in the case of the later.

    Emotion – Post

    1. Frustrated – 20%
    2. Angry – 0%
    3. Overwhelmed – 10%


    1. Create organisation chart and guideline,
    2. Document and communicate to all related parties
    3. Review based on responsibility and result
    4. Need to reprogram habit of micromanaging, by doing routine 5x simulation of Stop Reacting with Micromanaging and switch to
      1. Whose Responsibility is it
      2. Did they know it is their Responsibility: Let them Know and Set Expectation – Communicate to all related parties (operator and manager)
      3. Did they know how to Solve it: Give the guideline and pointer on how to do it to all related parties (operator and manager)
      4. Make sure Responsibility and Guideline are documented.