On Giving

Day by day you have to give the work before you all the best stuff you have, not saving it up for later projects.

My natural instinct is to store up my energy and my creative thoughts for later projects that I will use one day. But it’s only when I go full steam ahead, being present in the moment, investing all of my talent and creativity, that I get any sense of achievement.

Giving is its own reward, but it is the only thing worth aiming for.

30 Day App Challenge

Update: This challenge started on 20 October 2014 and ended 19 November 2014.

I would like to challenge myself to write a mobile app in 30 days. After the 30 days are up I want to publish it to the App Store. If you would like to join me on this challenge or would like to see my progress, read on.

Posts in this Series

Updates

Updates will be sent via mailing list (see below) and on twitter
Github: http://github.com/bholdt/appchallenge

Questions

When will the challenge start?
20 October 2014

Can I join the challenge by creating my own app too?
That would be great! Easiest would be to post a comment here, or reply to the ionic forum post. If you have a blog or twitter account where you will update your progress add it as well.

How much time will you spend on this?
I will work on the app for an average of an hour a day. That’s not an awful lot of time. But it’s an experiment as well, to see how much can be achieved given those time limits.

What app will you be creating?
I will post my idea on the first day when the challenge starts

Why make this a public challenge?
I have had this goal for a while now and have not had the courage to go ahead with it. Making this challenge a public one, will motivate me to actually go ahead and ship it. And sometimes one just needs that extra kick in the bee-hind.

Will this app be sold for lots of money on the App Store?
I will never say no to lots of cash, BUT my primary aim is to ship an app and to learn from the process of creating it. Marketing and selling an app is not part of this challenge.

What if you fail horribly?
Hopefully it will help anyone reading this afterwards, and me, to avoid the same failures.

What framework are you going to use?
I will be using the Ionic framework. Why? I am familiar with HTML and javascript, whereas ObjectiveC and Swift are all new to me. Plus ionic comes with a whole lot of stuff out of the box, which I will need to get shipping fast.

Where can I read about updates?
I will post updates on this blog, on twitter, on the ionic forum, and via this mailing list (sign up below if you are interested).

Book Review: Superhuman

SUperhumanI have always been interested to see how we can adopt new habits and get rid of bad habits. This book has been one of the best I have read on the subject. Here’s a short summary.

What is a habit and why are habits so important?
A habit is something you do everyday with little or no required effort or thought.
It’s the engine that drives the people we most admire.

Don’t spend you willpower, Invest it
Building a habit means converting something that requires a lot of effort and willpower into something that becomes automatic.

You already have a million habits
We are creatures of habit by design. We already have a million habits we do every day (what we do after we wake up, brushing our teeth).

Good Habits aren’t more difficult to execute than bad habits, they’re just harder to build
Getting over procrastination, or other bad habits and replacing them with a good work ethic is very difficult to do at first. One has to weigh up the cost of building the habit and keeping the habit.

New Habits vs Old Habits
New habits are things you are doing now, but old habits are things you are. Contrast waking up early and being an early riser, or eating a healthy meal to a healthy eater. Moving from doing to being.
Creating new habits takes a lot of willpower, meaning we cannot build lots of new habits all at once.

Think very long term
When choosing which habit to take on and which one to drop, it’s important to see the impact of it in the long term. One individual action won’t make a difference, but a cumulative action built up over years, that makes a difference.

Consistency is everything
Skipping a habit is detrimental to progress. This doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up about it, but it does mean you have to be aware of the consequences. Scaling down your habits is key to make sure you do it every day. For example, instead of saying meditate 30min every day, start with one minute every day.

Absolutely never skip twice
Whenever you skip doing a habit, consciously admit to yourself you are skipping the habit. This will happen on a few occasions, but do not ever skip doing a habit twice in a row. You will be starting from zero again.

Plan Variances
You need to plan well in advance for what things you will change when travelling or on holiday. Then once you are back to normal routine, your normal habit can and will kick in. Important to plan deliberately and well.

You just go – Do a terrible Job
Creating habits requires loyalty. What should you do when you sick and tired and really don’t want to do the habit. Do it anyway, but do a terrible job at it. For example, when writing 500 words, write random words, or write about how sick you feel. It’s not the individual action that counts, but the consistency.

Don’t reward the lazy brain
Your brain will try and put a few barriers in your way so it can go back to resting (easy way). This in itself can become a habit. Solution is to just push through and continue working anyway.