Lifting the Foot

Lifing the Foot - Walk the

What is the hardest part of a journey? Is it the toil and tribulations you come across along the way? The obstacles that you are forced to overcome? Or perhaps it is getting to your destination, only to find that you still have much farther to go. Or that it wasn’t what you felt it […]

Quality Questions

“The most important conversation is the conversation you have with yourself each day.” James Clear Questions are powerful things. The mere act of someone asking us a question causes our brains to start formulating answers. We are basically answer-seeking machines. If I asked “what do you feel like eating?” your brain will, even without trying, […]

What Advice?

If you met someone exactly like yourself … – same experience– same resources– same problems … what advice would you give them? My answer: Take your time. Be deliberate with your actions in the moment. If you rush, you cut corners and are not focused or present. If you take your time — do things […]

Monkey See. Money Do.

“When an online course tells you how to make money in real estate remember they are making money by selling online courses. When a conference covers how to build an online business remember they are building an event business. Learn from what people do as much as what they say.” James Clear I’ve often felt […]

Raising Standards in the Moment

I view rushing as a sign I am not expressing my highest standards. It seems the more I am frantically working on a task the less I am able to produce my best results. But the rushing itself is not the issue. You can still do things quickly and with a high level of excellence […]

Blame vs. Focus

“Life instantly improves when you don’t blame other people and focus on what you can control.” James Clear There is often an inverse ratio for blame and control. The less control I (believe I) have the more willing I am to blame others for the situation. And the more control I feel I have (or […]

Building Your Identity

“Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are. – The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.– The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.– The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to […]

Foundations of Health

I had a blog post once (in some now-long-gone blog) where I talked about the four foundations of health. They were, in order of significance: Stress Sleep Nutrition Exercise And, in that post, I mentioned that stress is the number one engine of health — either good or bad. I would say now that 50% […]

Trust Your Gut

“Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do. … Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore. Don’t seek joy at all costs. I know it’s hard to know what to do when you have a conflicting […]

Teaching is Learning

“Teachers should prepare the student for the student’s future, not for the teacher’s past.” Richard Hamming As I prepare to teach another semester at the University of Hawaii West O’ahu, I am often thinking about what information is more essential to present to my students. The future of web design, and specifically UI/UX design, which […]

Go Wide. Go Deep.

“Broad ideas influence more people. Specific ideas influence people more.” James Clear I am hoping one day to have a consistent YouTube channel. They operative word being “consistent”, as I have several YouTube channels, but none of them have a sequence of video releases that has gone more than a dozen or two long before […]

Re-Learning to Pack

It has been a while since I’ve travelled. Almost a year. (Thanks 2020.) And as I prepare for a short journey I’m realizing that my ability to pack for minimalist travel is a muscle that has somewhat atrophied. Back when I lived in China and was traveling every month I became really proficient at packing […]

Language Classes

This is a part of my Language Learning series. What are language classes? I realize that asking this question might seem silly. Most of us already have an idea of what language classes are since we are all forced to take them as some sort of elective requirement in school. But what I mean is, what […]

Be Lazy. Be Dumb.

“Before you begin, think as if you are a lazy person. Imagine the competition will work harder. Your only chance is a better strategy. After you begin, work as if you are a dumb person. Imagine the competition is smarter and more talented. Your only chance is to outwork them.” James Clear So, basically to […]

Choose Your Discomfort

“Many people delay taking action because they hope to avoid suffering. They keep searching for a path that won’t involve tradeoffs. But some form of suffering is always inevitable. The process of taking action is the process of choosing your pain.” James Clear Part of the “why” that I talked about last time is, in […]

Self Sabotage

Why do we participate in activities that we know are detrimental to our goals, needs, health, and well being? Why do we do things which immediately cause the inner dialogue “why am I doing this?” It isn’t just a lack of will power. And it doesn’t seem to be just a pain vs. pleasure stimulus. […]

Optimizing Your Environment

Note: The language learning series will continue. I will also be interspersing other posts, like this one. “The more disciplined your environment is, the less disciplined you need to be. Don’t swim upstream.” James Clear Our environments dictate our habits, routines and rituals. If you set up your living or working space in such a […]

Speak From Day One

speaking from day one

This is a part of my Language Learning series. What is speaking from day one? This method of language learning was popularized by Benny Lewis, “The Irish Polyglot”, who was one of the earliest language learning bloggers. He has a pretty massive following and this approach to language learning is focused on overcoming the most common […]

Studying Grammar

studying grammar

This is a part of my Language Learning series. What is studying grammar? The idea with this approach to language learning is, if you understand the rules of a language, then you will be able to better craft a sentence, and you’ll be better equipped to understand what you read and hear. I have purchased grammar […]

High Frequency Word Lists

high frequency word lists

This is a part of my Language Learning series. What is a High Frequency Word List? The basic idea of a high frequency word list is based on the fact that the majority of words used in a language are limited to a small subset of the total words that exist in the language. The […]

Language Learning Methods

I’ve been thinking recently about the various methods of language learning that I have used over the years. So, I will be writing about a few of them in the coming days mainly as a way to codify what they are and how I feel about them (at the moment). And, perhaps this will be […]

The Daily Grind

It seems clear that it is more effective to have small, consistent actions vs. large, grand movements. But for some reason we (human beings) often try to create change using large, sweeping efforts at one time, rather than tiny, habitual actions over many days, months, and years. Nature doesn’t work that way. Why would we? […]

Time is not Linear

Back around 1993 I was standing in the driveway of my father’s old house on Rose Hill near Seattle, Washington, speaking with my (step) brother (in-law) Walt and my dad. Walt mentioned that he felt like time wasn’t linear. That it didn’t progress in a steady fashion throughout one’s life. Instead, time is experiential. Time’s […]

Winning is Failure

“The secret to winning is learning how to lose. That is, learning to bounce back from failure and disappointment — undeterred — and continuing to steadily march toward your potential. Your response to failure determines your capacity for success.” James Clear I heard almost the same thing on a documentary about Wing Chun. The Wing […]

Just One Priority

As mentioned in the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, the word priority only started being pluralized (i.e. “priorities”) in the early 20th century. The word’s root, “prior”, means “first”. You can’t have more than one first, right? Reminding myself to have just one priority is a daily practice. I certainly […]

The Bare Essentials

There are different levels to living: poverty (in all senses) survival (just barely) stability (head above water) thriving (happy and healthy with what you need) abundance (more than you need) So, what is the bare minimum you need for each of these? Poverty: this is below survival level, so you already don’t have what you […]

Lessons from Wing Chun

I recently started training in Wing Chun. Compared to other styles of martial arts I’ve studied in the past, it is extremely direct and non-subtle. You focus on your center line and immediately respond in a direct way to whatever comes towards you. It is an essentialist style of martial arts, to be sure. Nothing […]

Evening Rituals

The power of a morning ritual comes from the power of your evening ritual. Set yourself up for success so your morning starts off on the right foot. A few ideas … Go to bed at the same time every night. It makes waking up at the same time every morning much easier. Go to […]

Questions to Ask When Procrastinating

“Does doing this contribute to your long term vision and goals in life?” “Will doing this allow you to perform at a higher level with those tasks you need to do?” “Did you already finish at least 3 of your most important tasks for the day?” “How much better would you feel if you were […]

Questions to Ask When Buying Things

“Is this a ‘want’ or a ‘need’”? “What is the worst thing that would happen if you didn’t have this?” “What is the best thing that would happen if you didn’t have this?” “If you were going to travel around the world for 5 years out of a backpack, would you take this with you?” […]

Questions to Ask When Organizing Things

“If you were traveling around the world for 5 years out of a single backpack would you take this with you?” “If your home was on fire is this something you would grab as you are running out the door?” “Does this contribute to a better life for you or those you have an impact […]

Less is More

less is more

This is an exploration of less. Simplicity Minimalism Focus Mindfulness Stillness You get the idea …