A Month of a Morning Routine

by Justin on March 13, 2015

For February I decided to start every morning with a standard routine. The idea was that if I started the day on the right foot (rather than by grabbing my phone and checking my email) I’d be more likely to spend the rest of the day on the right feet also.  Long story short: it worked. I found that the morning routine helped me to have a more clear mind and to be more effective throughout the day.

Care to see the morning routine that I came up with, and am still doing most mornings?  Here what it is currently (with a couple steps left out): [click to continue…]

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A Month of Growing Food

by Justin on March 13, 2015

Rows of Seedlings on Jan 10

My plants on Jan 10. From left to right, the rows are: Quinoa (except the farthest plant which is Kale), Kale, Broccoli, Garlic, Chia, Lentils, Tomatoes. I planted the Quinoa and Kale on Jan 3, and the rest on Jan 5

In January I decided to try growing some food in my apartment. I thought it would be fun, healthy, and better for the environment than buying food at the store.  It turned out to be fun (although far more work than I’d expected), healthy (but expensive), and not nearly as environmentally friendly as I’d hoped.  Let me share some more photos and then I’ll explain a bit more about the environmental piece.

Jan 15 Sprout Tray

A tray of sprouts on Jan 15. That tall stuff on the left is wheat grass. Wheat grass was the king of the sprouts.  I didn’t continue with sprouts because they were small, boring, and didn’t taste great.

[click to continue…]

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A Month of Philanthropy

by Justin on March 12, 2015

Charity wordsIn December I decided to donate to charity for the first time.   I won’t explain here what charities I donated to or how much… I’ll just say that I mostly chose causes that I care about and think are important.

I’ll also explain a few interesting concepts that I learned while educating myself on how to donate effectively (these are all explained in the videos listed at the bottom of this blog post). Here are the concepts:

The percentage of your donation that goes to the cause isn’t important; what matters is the results generated by your donation

Peter Singer uses the example of helping blind people.  If you wanted to help blind people one thing you could do is donate money to organizations that train guide dogs. In America it apparently costs about $40,000 to fully train a guide dog and to train the blind person to work with the dog.  And it costs $20-$50 to cure a blind person in a developing country if they have trachoma.  So if you have $40,000 to donate, you could either train one guide dog, or you could actually cure over 1,000 people of their blindness.  I think it’s clear what the most effective use of the $40,000 would be.

Even if the guide dog organization put 90% of your donation towards training the dog and the blind person and used only 10% for their own overhead, whereas the organization that cured trachoma put only 10% of your donation towards the cause and used 90% for their own overhead… your donation would still generate far greater results in the hands of the trachoma-cure organization.

[click to continue…]

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A Month of The Mankind Project

by Justin on March 10, 2015

The Mankind Project LogoIn early November I went on a personal development weekend for men put on by The Mankind Project (MKP).   I also attended a men’s group meeting run by MKP for the rest of the month, and have continued attending it up until now.

Why I Did The Weekend

I did it because I’d met 3 people over the past year (one was my therapist) who had done it and they’d all found it worthwhile & recommended it to me, and because I was aware that I had (& still have) a lot of growing to do.

The New Warrior Training Adventure

The weekend itself, called the “New Warrior Training Adventure” was an intense and active and experiential weekend that was run by a staff of strong, compassionate, dedicated men.

I can’t explain [click to continue…]

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A Month of Podcasting

by Justin on November 20, 2014

The Green Podcast Logo

A while ago someone suggested to me that I needed a new “challenge” to which I could apply myself.

I wanted something that would be primarily a mental/psychological challenge – something that would push me outside my comfort zone and make me grow.  I decided that hosting a podcast was definitely outside my comfort zone, but not so far outside that I’d necessarily botch it completely.

So I started The Green Podcast which was (and is) a challenge, and has the benefit of being about a topic that I’m happy to spend my energy on. It’s the type of podcast which, if done well, I’d like to listen to myself.

I was very nervous recording the first episode, and a bit less nervous for each of the next 2 (have only recorded 3 episodes as of this writing). [click to continue…]

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