Currently Reading: Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days
First, I noticed that I got a number of subscribers since my last post. Thank you for your interest! I’m not sure how many of you are keen on selling me “make $$$ blogging!” services, but if you’re interested in the blog itself, I’m very flattered and look forward to getting to know you. I’m going to split my writing between my business and personal development, so rest assured: more entrepreneurial thoughts and experiences are coming. But, first…
A few years ago, while still in college, I picked up on the idea of giving myself weekly challenges. Every week, I’d decide on something I would do slightly different from my normal way of living – usually for self improvement, but sometimes just to test new waters. Inspired by David Cain of Raptiude, I kept this up for a few months, and definitely learned lots about myself. For example, I found that if I went to bed before 1AM and got up before 8AM consistently, day after day, my alertness and quality of work became significantly better. It’s nothing mindblowing – we hear about how important sleep is all the time – but confirming it on myself in a measurable setting was a memorable and important experience. I spent another week without listening to any music through headphones, particularly outside. This led me to self reflect a lot more, and pay more attention to the people around me. Yet another week, I consciously stopped paying attention to girls: when I would instinctively notice an attractive girl, I would drive my thoughts away and continue with whatever I was doing. If I remember correctly, by the end of the week, I had a date. It may have been a coincidence.
Some other challenges were less successful- but just as insightful. One week in the dead of winter, I committed to taking a cold shower every morning. Just last month, in an attempt to resurrect the challenge tradition, I decided not to eat chocolate or other processed sugars. The second and third days were miserable, but then I got used to it. I lost weight. Overall, I have nothing but positive memories or my weekly challenges, and I can now laugh at the ones where I was miserable. (Surprise!) I’m going to go back to doing them. I’ll think of the first one within the next few days, and you’ll be the first to know.
The idea of self-experimentation is not new. Have you ever done something of the sort? What were your experiences like?