Early to bed, early to rise challenge: done

I nailed it. I had a lot of help getting it done because the commuting kind of forced me to adapt. I think I might have gone to bed really late like 3 times this month, whereas previously it would be like 20 times a month ūüôā¬†Also getting up at 05:00 during the week now, and getting to bed 21:30-22:30ish.

How am I feeling?

Feeling good. If I don’t get enough sleep I feel terrible, but all in all I seem to be holding it together. I am however very tired over weekends, probably because there is no more adrenaline then. I always wanted to get up early in the morning and now I am, so it’s great.

What’s next?

Good question… I am still trying to figure out what my next month challenge will be. I am still very busy – working an extended day in the office, and then further working on the train and nights/weekends to wrap up closing my own company. So it’s really hard to commit to a heavy challenge for October. What’s more is that I am going to do a HEAVY challenge in November (attempting to write a novel), so I am going to need all time I have in October to tie up loose ends first!

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Challenge update (early to bed early to rise)

It’s about 06:13, and I’m on the train to Cape Town. I got up at my new usual time, just after 05:00, and got to bed last night just after 21:00 (though I didn’t actually sleep until 22:00).

Yesterday I was sitting at my office desk just after 06:00 – beating the Cape Town morning traffic.

So far, so good. I was really tired the first day I got up early, but mainly because I couldn’t sleep the previous night. After that, I mostly managed to maintain a good routine. Sure, I struggle to get up some mornings… but I struggle to get up at 10:00 in the morning as well, so that’s nothing new!

Taking the train is giving me two hours of extra working time every day now, which really helps, as I have more than enough to keep me busy. So on that note, let me get back to work.

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September 2014 Challenge: Early to bed, early to rise

Because it’s spring! Well, that’s only partly the reason. We had our first awesome sunny days now and everything about Spring/Summer makes you want to get up early and storm the day. But as awesome as Spring is, staying in bed late is also awesome-ish, and I believe that the latter might be my stronger suit.

I started a new job this month, and as the job is quite a ways from my house, I will have to do some commuting everyday that I never had to do in the past. So from there I decided to make my monthly challenge to get to bed early and rise early. I always wanted to make that one of my monthly challenges, so now I have the perfect excuse to do it.

New job, new sleeping pattern. I am going to get in bed early at night, so that I can get out of bed early and get to work early.

One does not simply rise and shine

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August 2014 challenge

I was about to write in the title what my challenge for this month is… but I simply couldn’t. It will make me feel like an idiot. I can’t find a way of writing it in one line without it sounding silly… so anyway, this is what I will be doing in August. Every day I will take a selfie!

There you see, it sounds really bad when you put it like that. So let me try to explain so that I can redeem some of my pride. By the end of last month, my hair and beard had grown a bit, and it’s once again time to get rid of it. So during the course of this month, I will shave off that beard and get a haircut, making for some interesting appearance changes. My wife came up with the idea that I should take a photo of myself every day so that I can see how my hair and beard grows/changes – and honestly I think that is a fun/interesting challenge. So I took her idea and I am going to implement it this month. I am still considering whether I will put the photos on the blog at the end of the month or not… will see.

Don’t expect many updates this month, because there’s really not much to share on such a simple challenge.

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Studying every country in the world: Done

I completed my monthly challenge last night. I have studied every country in the world this month.

I will say that the challenge was insightful. I got a general feel for where the “world” is at: what the global trends are, what appears to be working politically, economically and in society and what the general state of continents, countries and areas are. I learned about some interesting countries and ranking systems/indexes to use when evaluating a country.

So without further ado: Here is the complete list of all my “winning countries” – one from every study session. And then finally, I picked a top 3 for my¬†favourite countries:

  1. Australia
  2. The Bahamas
  3. Chili
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Estonia
  6. Fiji
  7. Ghana
  8. Iceland
  9. Liechtenstein
  10. Luxembourg
  11. Netherlands
  12. Samoa
  13. Slovenia
  14. Switzerland
  15. United States of America

And my personal three coolest countries in the world are:

  1. Australia
  2. Netherlands
  3. United States of America

It seems like wealth and prosperity triumphed over laid-back remote living when it came to my final winners. Both Aus and USA offer the best of both worlds though, so they are awesome.

World map

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Studying every country in the world: Update #4

I have four days to go to the end of the month, and I have less than 30 countries to study. Victory is within my grasp.

Since my last post one of the countries on my list to study was South Africa. Reading the wiki page, considering the facts, and seeing how the world sees our country was quite a sombre experience. I hate to say it, but we really live in a horrible place. We have the world’s highest murder numbers, the highest AIDS number,¬†the highest GINI (financial inequality) and an estimated half million women get rapes in South Africa every year. The spin-off is that we have the largest private security sector in the world with 400,000 registered security guards.
If you are someone with the means to leave our country and go overseas, but your still here, then I would like to firstly commend you on your courage in staying. Secondly, I would like to ask you if you are trying to make a change? South Africans, it seems, don’t have the luxury of indifference or passivity. Our answers and help is not going to come through¬†our politicians, it needs to come through¬†us. We live in a country that desperately needs healing and salvation, God help us.

Here are my top countries from my past couple of study sessions:

  1. Samoa – warm island paradise, off the beaten track.
  2. Slovenia – high mountains, clean air, high living standards.
  3. Switzerland – chocolates, watches, engineering brilliance and wealth.
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Studying every country in the world: Update #3

I’m still making steady progress studying the countries of the world this month, but I realised that there are some challenges/issues:

  1. As I do the studying at night before I go to sleep, I found that many times I will read through an article and afterwards realize that not much has sunk in, sometimes I can’t even remember the name of the country I just studied! So maybe I should start studying at times that I am not completely drained of all energy.
  2. I tend to linger too much on some countries, when I am interested in them – and then I get slightly sidetracked and end up reading other stuff as well. It might be part of the whole experience, but it does hinder my progress somewhat.
  3. I am not going fast enough, I need to pick up the pace if I am to finish by the end of the month.

Here are some of my new “winners” from the daily countries I studied:

  1. Fiji – laid back island life in the most stable economy in the pacific. Also, the Human Development Index puts Fiji higher than South Africa, meaning that if I can stand it here, then I will be happy there as well.
  2. Ghana – ¬†The first African country to make my list! This African country has a Space program, 1% of it’s GDP is allocated to space exploration. They have high speed rails, they have heaps of scientists.¬†They have high numbers of people who finish their Bachelors Degrees and they are building HOPE City – a technological beacon of African sci-tech. Pretty cool.
  3. Iceland – Pure Scandinavian awesomeness. Smart people, hard workers, clean, fresh, wealthy.
  4. Liechtenstein – A mini Swiss/Austrian country in the Alps where everything works, you pay little tax, and there are more registered companies than residents!
  5. Luxembourg – running out of things to say… this one just looked the coolest on the night ūüôā
  6. Netherlands – I’ve been there, it’s awesome. Friendly people, fun culture, understandable language, very advanced and super impressive for it’s size. (And I have family there as well)¬†Hup Holland!

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