The Week Of Intentional Incremental Improvements

This Week:

  • A turning point in my personal growth and business mindset.
  • Moved hostels despite things going well. Was it worth it? Maybe not…
  • The embarrassing bubble tea story with the cashier at Food City.

February 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🇲🇾 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Metrics From The Week

This is the lowest my recoveries have been in a while, 57% avg this week vs 68% 30 day average. My theory: overheating from workouts (and running to/from the gym) leading to higher daily strain for what’s considered a “normal workout” and sleep quality not as great lately due to these hostels. Not certain though.

Optimizing My Intentionality

It feels like I’ve really been in “output” mode lately. I haven’t read a book in something like 6 weeks? Part of me feels that I don’t need any more advice, strategy, or learning, I just need to “do.”

But at the same time, it feels like my growth is stagnating. I need a certain amount of inputs, intentionality, and improvements to grow.

So one of the things that’s been on my mind in the past couple weeks has been figuring out how to systematize intentional learning.

For example, I’ve been meditating consistently twice a day, every day, since I got here to KL.

But it doesn’t feel like I’m intentionally getting better at meditating… I’m just going through the motions.

Yes, there are some things and habits where just creating or maintaining consistency IS the intentional improvement, but I’m past that now. So, now what?

The problem is not just with meditation though, it’s with every aspect of my life. There’s just too much to improve that it gets overwhelming and I just don’t do anything. THAT is where I feel I am.

So with all this context aside, I was taking a long podcast walk and had this vision pop into my head for a system to address this.

I walked back to the hostel, happened to need to use the toilet, and was frantically writing out my thoughts for this system, the problem, the solution, how I could get it to work.

And then I grabbed my laptop and created it.

It’s not complicated, it’s just a list and a board, but it’s the thinking behind it that made it helpful. The idea is to accept that I’m only going to work on 3-5 baby steps any given week until I feel like I’ve mastered those. It’s about accepting that I can’t work on everything all at once.

This is still half-baked and not finished yet, but I think it might be helpful to get an idea of generally what I’m talking about (click to enlarge):

The real takeaway from this was reflecting on the process I just went through. I thought, “if you’re frantically writing about something on the toilet, it’s probably a sign about what you’re passionate about 😄”

Anyways, I’ve felt a lot more intentional during my meditations this week and I feel like I’m now actually getting better, which feels good.

Addressing Constraints

One of the admin-y things I did during my “productivity optimization” work last month was set up some recurring tasks. One of those things was to do an 80/20 analysis every month (something Tim Ferriss recommends in The 4-Hour Work Week).

I feel like I have a tendency towards the belief that “admin-y work is work that’s not output so you shouldn’t spend very long on it,” but this was actually really helpful because I actually made a change that directly addresses a constraint.

I journaled through what problems I’ve been running into with this business venture as well as my personal brand (videos), where I feel like I’m constrained, and brainstormed ideas for what I could change to resolve the constraints.

One of the constraints I acknowledged was that there’s just too much information out there regarding steps to follow for building a SaaS. It’s too overwhelming.

It feels like I’m just feeling around in the dark, stumbling along, with voices from all directions saying “turn right; turn left; over here; no, not that way; walk this way.”

And one of the things I learned from the education system is that following a path can be extremely helpful.

So I went back to the build in public community looking to see who’s reputable that has some kind of book, course, or synthesized process that I can just accept as fact and use as guidance. Turns out that Pieter Levels has a book called The Indie Maker Handbook, which is pretty much exactly what I’m looking for. After all, what he’s done is pretty much exactly the type of business I’m looking for.

And so I bought his book (it was $30).

I haven’t started reading yet (I did this yesterday afternoon), but my plan is to just turn off my brain and do exactly what the book says. I think having guidance here will be really helpful for me.

Which speaking of, this feels like a turning point for me.

I’ve long had the idea in the back of my mind that I think I’d do well if I had a course (about anything) to follow, but the money always got in the way as an obstacle (which is more like, I’ve never had the confidence in the direction I wanted to head).

It’s a decision to withhold the penny-pinching mindset and actually invest money into something that will shave years off of learning all these lessons myself. That feels like a mature decision that a business owner would make.

Business Progress Update

Last week I detailed out the core idea and researched this idea. This week I created (almost done) a landing page I can use to validate that/if other people 1. have this problem and 2. would pay for the solution.

Off the back of the above discussion, there was a fair bit of fumbling around the first half of the week – what landing page builder do I use, how do I create a good landing page, what template should I use, etc. It took me a lot longer than I wanted, but I finally settled on one and figured out how I want to visualize this.

I don’t have the email sign up working yet, and need to do another pass with the copy, but it’s pretty much done visually (there are more sections below).

And by the end of the week, I bought a domain and set up the routing to my draft page, another sign of tangible progress (albeit very small).

But again off the back of the above discussion, I’m shifting my focus to whatever Pieter Levels recommends doing in his book. If it’s create a landing page, great, done. If it’s something else, then I’ll just use this later on.

The Excitement For Working Out

So in last week’s post (The Week I Did My First-Ever VO2 Max Test) I finished it with “Man, I’m just excited to get back into this Anytime Fitness I found!”

That day (Sunday) I went on a walk instead of going to the gym (recovery score was 36%, oof), but then Monday morning all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait until 4pm when I would go and work out again.

After you get past the… suboptimal… run over and back 😅, it’s just been such a great experience to work out at this Anytime Fitness. The quality of the equipment is amazing, it’s super spacious, it’s incredibly clean, looks good, and the staff working there are really friendly.

Pretty much every day I’ve been there, one of the trainers/coaches that works there is walking around dusting the equipment, getting in between the cracks, lifting up the benches and doing the undersides. The attention to detail and quality is insane.

I just have flashbacks to working out at the $3 day pass gym in Bali (The Week I Was Put In The Hot Seat And Razzed By The Group). Dripping sweat, no A/C, only fans, rusty equipment, dumbbells everywhere… Ahhh I’m just smiling, I love that gym for the way that it is 😂

But also, I have no way to weigh myself besides going to the gym to see how my bulking progress is going. There’s essentially a mini-game of progress and rewards baked into the process of going to the gym, making it even that much more desirable to go.

I also started this Google Photos album of all my body progress pictures from the past 2 years and that has been really rewarding and motivating as well.

A Sign?

Gimme a bit and I’ll come back to make this public.

Lock Icon This content is not ready to be made public yet.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It Change Everything

It came up on 2 weeks at this hostel I moved to and so I decided to do another analysis thinking through what I like, what I don’t like, etc.

While it’s not clear cut, I thought this hostel was WAY better value per dollar than the co-living hostel. But as such, there were more downsides than the co-living hotel.

I was just gonna keep extending but I did a quick search if there were any hostels that might be as good (or maybe even better) than this one.

I found a couple that seemed interesting and worth trying out. So I decided to switch hostels, despite feeling a bit reluctant by hitting a stride lately.

I moved to another hostel under the same brand, a bit more expensive, not close to any health food restaurants I had mapped out, but also had a work area and was closer to the gym.

Well, the room was way more cramped so I had to stuff my bags at the space inside the capsule, there are no cabinets to store my own food (nuts, oats, protein powder, etc.), the work area is pretty small and I have to strain my neck to look at my laptop, and I can’t find a good healthy-food restaurant that’s of similar quality to the places I’ve been eating the last 2 weeks…

BUT oh my god the run to the gym is like 100x better. Instead of a ~10-11 minute run crossing 4 streets, it takes ~5 minutes and there are only 2 roads to cross and the lights are pretty favorable. Just that small change has already made a big difference.

So anyways, call the experiment a success but I think I’m gonna move on from this one 🤷‍♂️

Beautiful morning view though!

The Health Screening Test

In the spirit of trying to capture how good I feel this chapter of my life into health data, I found a health screening clinic this week and bought one of their comprehensive health screening packages. Apparently these health screening packages are really common and popular here in KL.

Gosh I felt like Bryan Johnson in there. I got a full body ultrasound (took an hour, they did something like 11 different organs), vein and artery ultrasounds, a lung function test, electro-cardiogram (ECG) heart assessment, urine test, and comprehensive blood and hormone exam with over 50 markers.

Great experience, felt like a very reasonable price for everything that you get, would recommend.

Long Walks On The Beach In The City

If you read last week’s rant section on walkability, this is what I’m talking about with people walking halfway across this 6 lane super-highway road with cars wizzing by at like 35mph. Yeah, I think I’ll pass on that one.

Interesting Content From The Week

I have been absolutely brainwashing myself with 1M content lately.

The Future of Male Body Language (from 1M) – actually really interesting; the culture moving from this overly dramatic aggressively “alpha” body language nowadays back to a refined, relaxed, natural, and authentic body language.

The Brainwashing of Men Under 30 (from 1M) – this was a great video; reigniting hope and optimism; the media (and social media) has brainwashed us guys (and women) under 30 that every guy out there “in the wild” is making $500k/yr, >6′, jacked, and drives a Ferrari. When in reality it’s a lot easier to get to “the top” than you’d think. I think we need more of this message nowadays.

Others from 1M this week: Become a 40-Year Old in Your 20’s, 28-50 The Sweet Spot for Men, The Great Male Filter 25-30, The Exponential Male Gap

21 Brutally Honest Lessons About Life – Alex Hormozi (4K) (from Chris Williamson) – Every video from these 2 is incredible. I can’t say I directly changed any behaviors as a result of this video, which by Hormozi’s definition means I learned nothing, but it feels like there’s a subtle rumbling in the background for me. I did have an extreme thought about changing my fundamental beliefs that I tried to parse out in this video this week What if I just went extreme and changed everything about beliefs, but I just couldn’t quite get my feelings and thoughts into words.

Food From The Week

Again not pictured is like 5 photos of the same Agrain bowl that looks like this:

Bubble Tea

My bubble tea addiction is getting to the “uncontrollable” stage 😅. Reminds me of Seattle/Portland/CA a year ago (The Week I Visited The Largest Tree In The World “📍Fresno Pit Stop”). At the very least I’ve been asking for less/half sugar 🤷‍♂️ but as I’ve learned, even that’s still got heaps of sugar in it.

Gosh this is almost embarrassing to admit… The cashier at Food City’s drinks counter started recognizing me.

I went up and ordered another milk tea, he punches it in, then (in this Indian accent) goes “you only drink milk teas.”

I looked up and kinda shook my head confused.

He goes “we have all these other great teas” and points down at the menu, “this peach oolong tea is good, this brown sugar tea is also good.”

“You only ever order milk teas.”

I started laughing and said “😂😂 okay okay there are so many teas on the menu and I don’t know which ones are good so I just stick to the ‘starred’ ones that I knew”

I came back the next day and ordered the Peach Oolong tea that he recommended.

Rather than letting the server guy hand me the tea, he took it from the server’s hands, grabbed a straw, and motioned me to come over.

I started smiling and walked over.

He handed me the drink and straw and went “drink” while pointing down (like, “drink it now”). I put the straw in, took a sip, and said “it’s good!” And he nodded and turned away 😂

What’s Next?

Moving hostels this week? But DEFINITELY looking forward to that low-stress run to the gym.


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