Monday, November 29, 2004

For the past few days, I’ve been testing a new format for this journal: a bulleted list of my accomplishments for the day. It pushes me to think of my days in terms of accomplishments, which I think is beneficial. It’s also easy to do.

I write these entries at night as I go to bed, which means I don’t post them until the next day. So, you’ll be seeing yesterday’s entries for as long as I use this format.

Accomplishments for today:

  • finished all of the documents that need my attention at work. I still have some more work to do, but I’m essentially done with my main project. This is a major turning point, and I’m quite relieved. Hmmm. Perhaps I should celebrate by going out somewhere.
  • Because I’m getting tired of eating turkey, I made a quick turkey soup/stew for dinner. I simply boiled some water, then shredded turkey by hand and added that, and added some baby carrots. I added basil, thyme, salt, and pepper, and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. It would have benefitted from more simmering and less pepper, but it tasted good, and was a welcome change of pace. It’s a good example of how cooking can be easy.
  • Watched episode 23 of .Hack//Sign, which continues to be excellent. It’s nice to see Tsukasa follow essentially the same path that Shinji Ikari should have followed in Neon Genesis Evangelion. While Shinji just repeated the same mistakes over and over, Tsukasa is changing and growing.
  • Assembled a 1/144-scale model Zaku II. This is a giant robot from the Gundam universe; I bought one to complement two other Gundam models I bought. Unfortunately, the Zaku II model turns out to be at a smaller scale than the other models, so it looks completely wrong when posed with the other models. That’s frustrating, but I am heartened to discover that it only took me an hour to assemble it.
  • Wrote four hundred more words of “The Old Man,” which is getting closer to a climax. I’m already 1,600 words in, though, which worries me a bit. I want this to be a short story.
  • Reviewed my finances, paid a few bills, and worked out a schedule for paying some others. I’ve realized recently that I value stable finances. I don’t like to juggle bill payments. So, now I’m looking for ways to make more money, and better manage the money I have.
  • Reviewed Japanese.
  • Reviewed my master mind map (more on that below), and assembled a preliminary list of my core values:
    1. Teaching others
    2. Learning
    3. Creativity
    4. Spirituality
    5. Security
    6. Financial security

My “master mind map” comes from an exercise in Leonard Gelb’s How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s a tool to help a person figure out who they are, and who they want to be.

You start by drawing a little insignia for yourself in the center of a blank piece of paper. Then, you think of parts of your life that are important to you—your job, your hobbies, etc.—and write down a word for each of those, emanating out from your insignia. Look, here’s what I drew:

[First Master Mind Map]

Later, you return and redraw this map, adding more words if you’ve thought of new things to add. Then you look at each of those words and think of ways to achieve them, and draw more words on the page to flesh out the mind map. Here’s what I got:

[Second Master Mind Map]

The next step is to review this map to notice patterns, as I did last night. I noticed that several of my goals—writing, Otherspace Productions, drawing, and even cooking—are all manifestations of a desire to show others what I’ve learned. That’s why “Teaching others” is on the top of my list of core values.

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