Mike Key

Explore. Read. Lift. Write. Code

Big Waves of Change

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In 64 days my family is hitting the road, and moving from Florida. And in 32 days our second daughter will enter the world.

Where are we moving to? Enter: BoldandAdventurous.com - I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors and adventure. For a few years now we’ve toyed with the idea of selling everything we own and traveling the country. But it always seemed, unrealistic, until now.

When our first daughter was born, my wife and I began to reevaluate the direction of our lives. One word kept surfacing in my mind, over and over.

MEDICORE.

We didn’t want to just live for the weekend, ship our kids off to day care and do the suburbia thing.

During my wife’s maternity leave it became clear she did not want to go back to work. I was completely against shipping our child off to some day care. We were in agreement, she’d stay home.

My wife however, still wanted to earn money. Being in tech, I found a job on WeWorkRemotely.com with Basecamp. Which to my surprise, my wife landed.

After a trip to Oregon for two weeks we knew that we wanted more than anything to start pursuing our dreams. For us, that meant TRAVEL. But now we where more confident in taking risks to get there.

The idea was to travel the country while living in an Airstream. Going and seeing whatever we wanted at whatever pace we chose.

Now that dream is becoming or reality. We purchased a truck, and bought our Airstream.

This month, the company I work for agreed to let me transition into a full time remote position. It’s been a huge relief to us in transitioning to this new lifestyle.

One of the biggest challenges I was facing was solving the issue of; A. Going back to freelancing B. Find a remote job - All while sticking to our time table and handling all the other things we need to get done. To be honest, I don’t think I could revive my freelance business while doing everything else.

But the fact is, I took a risk. I told my company I was planning to move. We knew one of two outcomes was possible. They’d let me go remote or I’d be out of a job.

But you know, safety is an illusion and you’re always one accident away from losing your employment anyways.

Take the risks, and have a little faith. Things have a way of coming together.

So that’s the big waves of change coming my way. It’s also part of the reason I’ve begun to neglect my blog again.

I expect that to all change once we are on the road. And that my time will shift for new projects and new adventures.

Until then.

-MK

updates

The Flinch

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Being able to tackle a task without self doubt, or backing down is something I think everyone wants to be able to do. And that’s the core idea behind Julien Smith’s book “The Flinch”.

What is the Flinch?

Julien Smith explains in his book that the Flinch is:

“In a fight, there is a fundamental difference between boxers and everyone else. The guys who have trained are different. If you hit them, they don’t flinch. It takes practice to get there, but if you want to fight, you have no choice. It’s the only way to win.”

“For anything you want to do, finding out how is easy. Do the research and make it happen— or so any book would have you believe. Yet every day, you smoke, gain weight, and stay at your old job. Every day, you do the exact opposite of what you plan to do. Why? “

“The flinch is your real opponent, and information won’t help you fight it. It’s behind every unhappy marriage, every hidden vice, and every unfulfilled life. Behind the flinch is pain avoidance, and dealing with pain demands strength you may not think you have.“

Julien describes how the flinch is our built in instinct to respond to danger. This “Flinching” instinct while useful to protect us from bears, does no good in our safer world of today.

Julien refers to this as our defective “Defective Alarm System” that remains from the past.

“In your daily life, you might never experience anything dangerous at all. Your life is safe— but you’re flinching anyway. You don’t flinch at bears, because there are none. But you do flinch at the prospect of speaking publicly or joining a gym. You flinch at the doctor’s office. You even flinch for sitcom characters. Anytime there’s potential change, there’s a flinch, whether it’s a threat or not.

You think the flinch is natural, and part of your life, which it is. But have you ever asked yourself why your stomach tenses up and you can’t watch imaginary characters on a television screen do awkward, embarrassing things? You should.”

“Think of a bear. You see it, and you react, instantly. You know how to deal because your brain is built to help you survive it: you run, jump, fight, or hide. But that’s not the world you’re in, so instead, flinching happens at job interviews or when you’re asking a girl to the prom.”

“What these encounters have in common with bears is that they’re changes in the status quo. This used to mean danger, so that’s how your flinch reflex sees them. It attempts to stop the changes from happening, using the same fight-or-flight mechanism it always has.”

“Your flinch has become your worst enemy. It should be a summoning, a challenge to push forward. Instead, the challenge is getting refused.”

The rest of the book goes into further detail about how to recognize your flinch and over come it. And the key to doing is recognizing your own flinch.

The book is an excellent read, that one can read in single sitting. I highly recommend picking up a copy of “The Flinch” and reading it for yourself.

reading

10 Day Fast - Into the next 95 Days

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Fasting for me has been something I’ve done for years. In my early twenties I often did it without reason. Later I got into multi-day and intermittent fasting for both spiritual and fitness reasons. I’m a big proponent of n=1 or self experimentation.

Over the past few months I haven’t done any serious fasting, beyond 18 to 24 hour intermittent fasts.

As part of my 100 Days Personal Challenge I’ve decided to launch myself into a full on 10 day water fast.

My goal here is to enter a state of full ketosis for a few days. To help me get some clarity of thought on a few issues and to strengthen my willpower.

Quick Explainer:

If you don’t know what Ketosis is, I’ll explain here. Human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of dietary carbohydrates, the liver becomes the sole provider of glucose to feed your hungry organs – especially the brain. As the body enters a fasted state and depletes glucose levels, your liver begins producing ketone bodies from fatty body tissue to use as energy. Thus, you are in a state of ketosis.

Fasting and Ketosis have some unique effects on the brain 1, that’s been well documented and studied in science (2, 3, 4). It’s not pseudo-scientific nonsense like fad cleanses.

For me, from experience I often find myself in a greater state of clarity and thought when in the fasted state. And this might be one of the reason so many religions teach fasting as a way to achieve spiritual enlightenment or to draw closer to God.

The Plan

For the next 10 days of this posting, I’ll be in a full water fast. Yes, water only. I will be supplementing that with BCAA’s 10mg in the mornings, walking about 3 miles each day, and using 2tbsp’s of Apple Cider vinegar 3 times a day in 8oz of water. I’ve found from personal experimentation that the Apple Cider reduces hunger cravings.

Other Thoughts

Tying back into 100 Days Personal Challenge I’m going to be reading two books on the subject of Willpower and determination.

They are:

The Flinch - By: Julien Smith

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength - By: Roy Baumeister

Of course, I’ll be posting my experiences during this experiment to the site.

Sources 1 2 3 4

goals

The Next 100 Days, A Personal Challenge

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100 days from now I’ll be starting a new chapter in my life, fulfilling a lifelong dream. But before that happens, there are a few things I’d like to straighten out about myself.

A matter of fact, these mini-habits are 4 of the 5 pillars of my blog. Read, Lift, Code, Write.

READ

I’m challenging myself to make time to read a book for 30 minutes a night, every night, for the next 100 days.

LIFT

My fitness has been a sore spot for the past year. I’ve gained nearly 20lbs. So the LIFT goal is 3 parts:

  1. Lifting weights 4 days a week.

  2. Walking 3 miles every day, with a 5 mile walk on Saturdays.

  3. Diet: the most crucial part. I’m a faster, always have been. So I’ll be following a strict intermittent fasting regime combined with strict adherence to a ketogentic diet.

CODE

It’s what I do for a living. Some days I’m passionate about it, others not so much. But there is always room to expand my skillset. I’m setting aside some free time around lunch daily to learning new skills and working projects that advance my skillset. One thing I’d like to do is find an open source project I can contribute too.

Also, I want to wrap up my personal website’s glaringly obvious inconsistencies and ship a working site. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just working.

WRITE

Simple enough it seems. Writing is something of a secret passion for me. I enjoy, but I just don’t do enough of it. Writing is work, and it’s a craft you can learn and get better at. But you can only improve your writing, by writing (and reading).

So I’ve set a simple goal of writing daily. And to keep myself on track a goal for this blog, 1 new post a week.

I plan on tying back into the other 3 pillars, writing about my progress with my fitness. Sharing what I’m learning with code. And writing my thoughts about what I’m reading.

So that’s it. GAME ON!

I Michael Key commit to the above. Feel free to call me out on twitter at @mike_key for updates or if you see me slacking.

goals

Desire Follows Direction

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Sometimes we get ourselves into a rut, where we just lack the motivation to get things done. We’ve got goals, but no real passion or drive to pursue them. As a consequence of lack of motivation we find it difficult to even start.

But the key to self motivation is ACTION.

Ask yourself, have you ever felt like not doing something, but you did it anyways and then felt better for having done it?

That’s emotion following direction. The plain truth is, that without direction your emotional state will be all over the place.

Take action in the direction you want to go and your feelings will follow.

Easy sage advice; but implementation takes a bit of work, grit and determination.

Next time you don’t feel like getting that task done, just do it anyways, push thru the emotion of not feeling like it. The motivation to complete the task will follow.

Don’t feel like working out? Work out anyways.

ACT FIRST > FEEL SECOND

motivation