Self improvement

There are a few articles/websites out there that have in the last few weeks started inspiring me to seriously work on improving myself overall.

One by Rob Walling, on career questions then quite a few articles by the following people/sites: and Steve Pavlina on life general.

Scott Hanselman on developing your coding/technical skills.

As well as a variety of others that I cannot quite remember now, but will update here once I find the articles again.

I'm going to lay a basic outline of what needs improvement here, and will then, after some serious planning, delve into the details of the improvements I want to make to each aspect of my life.

In no particular order of importance, here are the things I plan to work on.

Yes, I do currently race at a fairly high level, but that is with very little training, some weeks as low as 4 hours in the saddle.  To the less fit of us out there that may sound like a lot, but compared to the pro riders out there, who sometimes do over 30 hours a week, I'm doing precious little.  So I figured if I start training more, and better, quantity is not always quality, and drop the extra weight I'm carrying…

Which brings me to the next point… 

My weight/health
Since quitting smoking over 5 years ago I have not managed to shed all the weight I picked up.  At the time I was down to about 84kg, but then tore the ligaments in my ankle and quit smoking shortly after.  The 4 months of not being able to do any sport and the quitting smoking quickly balooned me up to about 96kg, of which I managed to lose about 5 fairly quickly after starting training again, but I've been yo-yoing between 88kg and 91 kg for the last 3 years, which frankly, is just too heavy to be competitive.  So my plan is to get down to 80kg before a point in time in the not too distant future.

Professional skills
Yes, unfortunately we all have to make a living somehow, and my wife's business is not at the point where it will support me in a life of luxury just yet. Luckily I'm in a profession I really enjoy, so having to work for a living is not that bad.  In terms of professional skills I have a fair understanding of a lot of technologies, but only a detailed understanding of a few.  So there is a lot of scope for growth.  This development will also help with the ultimate goal for me and my family to move elsewhere in the world for a safer life than in Johannesburg.

Squash & Golf
Another 2 sports which I absolutely love playing, but just don't get enough time for, especially the latter.  A big problem I have with these 2 is that while playing you get in this rut of not thinking, and that totally kills your game.  So I could work on my physical skills here, but I think my mental skills for these need more work at the moment.

Personal Development
Although I'm not a devout follower of any particular religion, I do have my reasons which I will expand on later, I do have faith, leaning more to the Christian side of life.  I am very interested in the spiritual side of the world, and would like to expand my horisons on this front.  So I will definitely be joining my wife on a Reiki course, as well as some other things that I want to learn & experience.  Since about November I started daily meditation, with the help of Holosync, which did mak e a big difference in my life, but with the changes so small that you do not realise it immediately.  For the last month or so, I have dah a serious shortage of time for a lot of things and one of the things that suffered most was the daily meditation.  I can now feel the huge difference it has made with some of the motivational problems I experienced last year surfacing again.

The how
As put in Rob's article, I feel that currently I'm only a consumer of information, that's the almost the equivalent of a parasite, just take and no giving back.  So for that reason I'm going to consciously start becoming a creator.  Two ways of doing this, I've had a few ideas for some web applications that could be useful to the general population.  I've already started developing the first on, watch this space for more info soon. Secondly, I'm going to use my learning experience to start writing some informative articles on the things I learn.  Not only from a technology point of view.  I have the gift of being able to quickly understand a concept and then put in words that anyone with no knowledge of a subject can understand, so hopefully there will be some interesting things for everyone being published here in the near future.

So, this is step 1 of my commitment to improvement…

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