23 Jan

The Billion Dollar Question

There are a couple of ways to really get to know another person. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they play chess. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat children and pets. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat the serving staff at restaurants and hotels.

But is there a single question that will tell you something you need to know about a person? In my mind, there’s one question that stands out as particularly interesting:

If you had a billion dollars, how would you spend your time? 

It’s not a question about what they would buy or how they would spend their money, but how would they live their life once they had that kind of abundance.

I asked the question on Twitter, and got a couple of very interesting answers:

I’ve thought a lot about this question, and for me, the answer for the first few days of having that money is pretty simple, and can be divided up into three very simple blocks:

Clearing Debt
The first, and most obvious thing to do, is to clear out all my debt. This includes my mortgage, my student loan, the little that I have on my credit card or down payments. I would also do the same for my mother and sister, as there’s no reason for them to have any debts when I’m in that kind of financial situation.
Invest
I would then put the remainder straight into the market, distributed onto a number of dividend-yielding stock traded funds, much like Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF or Vanguard REIT Index Fund. If I’m doing my math right, a billion dollars invested would yield roughly 750,000 stock of each of these funds, giving an estimated dividend of $1,245,000 per quarter.
Resign
I would resign from my job, as there is no longer a need for me to draw a monthly salary from a day job now that I’m pulling in large amounts of money from my investments.
 

But as for how I would live my life? That’s the golden question. Here’s how I imagine my days working:

  • 9 AM: Waking up to the sun shining through the window, have a bacon & egg omelette, have a shower, do some stretching and breathing exercises and meditate.
  • 10 AM: Go out for a short run (up to 5km) with my dog.
  • 11 AM: Sit down in front of the computer to go through my e-mail, news and social media.
  • 12 noon: Head to town for lunch with a friend or business partner.
  • 2 PM: Hit the gym, go swimming, train martial arts or similar.
  • 4 PM: Work on my online projects.
  • 6 PM: Eat dinner.
  • 7 PM: Record podcasts.
  • 9 PM: Meditation and/or self-study.
  • 11 PM: Yoga
  • 12 Midnight: Sleep

This would be a typical day, of course, and there would be plenty of exceptions to the rule, but I think this is more or less how I would try to do it, if possible.

Now; the follow-up question to the billion dollar question is – of course – quite simple:

Why aren’t you living more of this life already? 

The most obvious answer is that I’m tied to my day job. For twelve hours a day, five days a week, I’m either at work, traveling to work or traveling from work. This saps a great deal of time from my life just to give me the possibility to pay for my mortgage, for food and for the simple pleasures in life. The remaining twelve hours of my life these days needs to be divided into sleep, dinner, and all of the other things I want to do, so I’m left to five hours of sleep, four hours of online projects and podcasts, an hour of dinner and up to two hours of bathing, training, yoga, meditation or something similar.

It’s a sad fact of life that our day jobs take up so much of our time and energy that we would prefer to spend on other things. That’s why I’m putting such a large portion of my life into a possible future career (the four hours of online projects and podcasts) so that I won’t be as dependent on my day job to support me. We’ve still got a long way to go before The Gl0d Group becomes the powerhouse of passive income that I desire; but every single month we’re one small step closer.

22 Jan

Self-Medicating Through Music

I don’t listen to a lot of music. I used to, but these past five years I’ve more or less stopped. It’s mainly because I listen to a lot of other things – podcasts and audiobooks, usually – but there’s another reason as well. I get extremely carried away with the music I listen to, and it distracts me from whatever it is I’m doing. I create elaborate visual spectacles in my mind based on the music and get carried away in sometimes dramatic and exciting ways.

Take, for example, the song Oriental Dawn by Samael. When I listen to this song, I see myself on stage, standing between Osiris and Anubis. I’m a larger-than-life version of myself, and in the final refrain, I sprout a large set of angelic wings and jump up into the air, where I shout out the final refrain to a stunned, impressed, and amazed audience. I have a sense of superiority, of power and magnificence.

Similarly, when I listen to a song like The Seven Angels by Avantasia – especially during the refrain of the song – I get the impression that I’m part of a small group of people. We’re standing up for a just and righteous cause and we find strength in our unity. There’s nothing we can’t do, as we’ve got divine powers on our side. We are the seven; judgment of heaven!

Because of this, I rarely listen to music. It’s simply too emotionally draining on me, and my mind needs to be focused on other things.

That said, there’s an advantage to having this quirk. I can use music to quickly raise me out of bad moods or play specific songs to put me in a state that I need to be in. Because of my current stress burnout situation, a lot of things have felt rather miserable, and I often get the impression that I’m in a dark place that I’m not about to get out of any time soon. My motivation is gone, my sex drive is gone, my ambitions for the future are largely gone – but I know that this is only temporary and that I have a good life waiting for me on the other side of all of this.

That’s why I’ve been playing this song on repeat for a bit. It’s a happy song that raises my spirits and makes me love the world. If I’m walking around with it in my headphones, I immediately feel lighter, happier, and filled with immeasurable optimism for my life. I get a spring in my step and a smile on my face. It’s a song that tells me that I’ve been in a deep and dark place, but I’ve persevered and come out on top – on top of the world, in fact. It’s a song that I can imagine the Breki Tomasson of 2016 singing from the rooftops.

Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

To go even further; while I listen to this song, I’ve been pressing my right thumb and index finger together in beat to the music. I’m coming to the point that the finger-pressing alone reminds me of the song – and thus the emotions in question.

How about you? Do you have a power song? Do you have a song that lifts you up and above the rest and empowers you to take on the hardest things in life? Throw me a comment in the field below!

20 Jan

John Wick

John-Wick-Keanu-Reeves2

This evening, I took a break in my normal habit of watching my super-playlist of television1 and watch a movie instead. The movie, this time around, was John Wick, the new Keanu Reeves movie with Michael Nyqvist and Alfie Allen (a Swede and a Brit, both playing Russians) as the main bad guys and with Willem DafoeLance Reddick and Adrianne Palicki in some of the minor roles.

Now; I know this is a bad movie. Don’t get me wrong; there are very few redeeming qualities about it other than the impressive fight choreography. Still; there is a part of me that just can’t but help love movies just like this one.

If you haven’t seen it yet, just imagine any Jason Statham or Liam Neeson movie of the past couple of years and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect. It’s about this guy who has some very special abilities when it comes to inflicting violence, he’s trying to live a life where he doesn’t do violent things, then some bad things happen to people that he loves and he decides to do some violence again, just to settle the score, get even or something like that. I’m sure you know exactly what kind of movie I mean.

I’ve been having trouble understanding why I like movies like this. They’re generally poorly written, poorly acted, lack any moral lesson (other than “sometimes, violence doesn’t pay, but usually it does”) and usually don’t have a single female character with any agency of her own.

Then it hit me.

Jackie ChanThis is basically the Hollywood version of all of the Kung Fu action movies that I loved watching while growing up as a child. In those movies, a martial arts master or a very skilled student has retired, left the monastery or chosen the easy life, opening a store or settling down with his family. That’s when a roaming gang of thugs force him to show his martial prowess and beat them to a pulp.

John Wick, TakenHomefrontRedemption; it’s all really just the same basic story. Take any old Hong Kong action movie, replace the cast and crew with a bunch of white guys, and then add lots of guns, explosions, and some more gratuitous violence to it, and you’ve basically got it.

I admit; it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but I just can’t stop loving these movies. They don’t challenge you in any way, they’ve often inspired me to do better in my own martial arts training and don’t really require all that much of your attention or brainpower. Perfect for relaxing on a Monday evening and don’t want to feel busy.

15 Jan

Dream Collaborations

I’m a big fan of concept albums and supergroups. I really loved sitting down to listen through Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia: The Metal Opera (SpotifyAmazon) back in the days. Later on, I learned to love Arjen Lucassen’s Ayreon: The Human Equation (Spotify, Amazon) as well. To a lesser degree, the same holds up for albums like Dream Theater’s Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory (Spotify, Amazon) and Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid the Omnicient (Spotify, Amazon). They all tell a story from beginning to end and have some very interesting ways of using the music to tell the story.

So; naturally, I’ve had many dreams of what kinds of concept albums with multiple artists coming together would look like, and today it came to me as a fully formed idea, ready and rearing to go. It would be a science fiction story; I’m thinking something fairly standard, Star Wars-like with epic space battles, a rags to riches pair of heroes, dangerous enemies to encounter, plots within plots, and so on.

The writing and music in the project would be made by:

The musicians are to a large extent a mix of Transatlantic and Liquid Tension experiment, former supergroups formed by members from Dream Theater, Spock’s Beard and The Flower Kings. The singers for the project would come from various other projects. My current list, which I’m still not entirely happy with, looks like this:

Many of these singers have worked together in the past. Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske, for example, are both in the supergroup Unisonic. Others have worked together either on Ayreon’s The Human Equation or Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia: The Metal Opera. The only new names to the list, really, are Vorph and Damon Fox, both of whom I think could make very interesting contributions to the plot.

10 Jan

Goals for 2015

I don’t like New Years resolutions; I try to just go for “I’m going to be stronger, healthier, richer and happier this year than I was last year”, but I do enjoy setting up some kinds of goals to strive for; things that give me some sort of structure and way of keeping track of things.

By definition, every single one of these is about me, myself and I; I don’t post my thoughts and ambitions relating to friends, family and relationships here.

With that said; let’s see what I have in mind for this year. Remember; these are goals, not resolutions or anything like that. I aim to achieve these things, but I won’t beat myself up if I don’t, and I’m fine with the idea of changing my mind half way though the year if something else pops up.

  • Quarter 1, January to March
  • Quarter 2, April to June
  • Quarter 3, July to September
  • Quarter 4, October to December

  • Get or build a power rack so I can start exercising regularly at home.
  • Finish painting my living room and hallway.
  • Kick nicotine and caffeine completely out of my life.
  • Get proper nightstands for my bedroom.

  • Reach at least $300 a month on the CSICON Patreon.
  • Release the first public beta of mesr.it.
  • Get back into the habit of running.
  • Buy two more suit jackets and two more suit trousers.
  • Finish decorating the kitchen.
  • Be in a regular routine of leg, spine and shoulder mobility and flexibility exercises. Yoga seems about right.
  • Launch my political party [Note: In Swedish].

  • Get back up to 75kg (~165 lbs) in body weight without raising my body fat percentage by more than 2.5% (I lost a lot of weight in both muscle and fat during my repeated illnesses and injury during the second half of 2014).
  • Also, cross that same weight goal in my bench press.
  • Welcome an additional three (or more) regular hosts to the CSICON Podcasting Network.
  • Be in a regular (2+ entries a week) posting routine for this blog.
  • Spend at least one full week on a beach in a tropical paradise doing absolutely nothing constructive other than possibly reading and thinking.
  • Find a new job that is closer to home and which doesn’t require a total of three hours of commuting every day.
  • Own stock and funds worth more than $12,500 (Currently $7,703).

  • Be well on the way in the development of an additional product for The Gl0d Group.
  • Learn to handstand perfectly for at least ten seconds.
  • Be back in the habit of meditating daily.
  • Appear as a guest on at least ten non-CSICON podcast episodes.
  • Reduce my dependence on social media.
  • Raise my passive income (after relevant costs have been deducted) from stock dividends, online projects, affiliates, advertisements and other “non-day job” sources to at least $3,000 yearly.

I’ll try to keep the list up to date as the year goes and make notes if I make any changes, additions or removals from the list.

09 Jan

Building Empires

There’s an old quote that often pops up in entrepreneurship blogs and quote collections that claims that if you’re not building your own empire, you’re building somebody else’s. It holds true in pretty many ways, but I believe it’s oversimplifying something that’s actually a fairly complicated scenario. Let me explain what I mean.

In my mind, building empires is about constructing companies or brands that become bigger than the individual(s) that comprise it. It’s about creating a revenue generation machine that gives you more than you put into it; whether that be in money, freedom, time, fame or something else. Coca-Cola is an empire. Apple is an empire. Your local corner pizzeria probably isn’t an empire.

One of the biggest problems that many would-be empire builders face – myself included – is trying to find a way to create their own empire before it’s actually earning enough money to allow them to make a living doing it. The Gl0d Group, my online media empire-to-be that runs CSICON and a few other things, is nowhere near paying my bills every month, even though the added income does allow me to live a little bit more comfortably and gives me some better margins. I’m getting more than I put in already, so it’s definitely beginning to be empire-like, but only on the very smallest of scales. It’s still at a point where I can’t just take a month’s leave of absence on a sunny island paradise and expect my empire to be in a better place than I left it when I come back, for example.

The percentage of new tech and media companies started in this way, by one or a couple of people finding the time after work and during weekends, is staggering. These are people just like myself; building their own little empires while they continue to profit – both in terms of money and experience – from helping somebody else build their own empire – usually via a normal nine to five day job. They’re people who strive to reach the day when their empire is large enough to support them and they don’t ever think about giving up.

In fact; very often, the two empires go hand in hand by choice. Personal branding is a very interesting thing in the marketplace right now; many people are well known for being skilled at something in particular, mainly because they’ve done that one thing for so many different companies, people or organizations. Whether that be developing user interfaces or saving struggling companies from financial ruin, many people find a niche and fill it, becoming empires in and of themselves. As a case in point; is Jony Ive building his own empire or is he building Apple’s? Maybe he’s building both? We equate the two today, but he could be doing his own thing in a couple of years, and the empire he built via his personal brand at Apple will follow him. A more recent example is Tom Merritt, who did some truly amazing work when he helped build Leo Laporte’s netcasting empire TWiT, and who is now doing some spectacular work doing his own thing.

You can’t leave your personal brand with your employer when you leave a job, and that brand can easily become your empire.

I think we should all build our own empires. Even if you’re working for the man, you can still create an empire around your own personal brand – by becoming a non-replaceable cog in the machinery of your work place. If you can’t make a living doing your own thing; be your own thing. Become “the guy who is/does/has […]” and make a name for yourself. Bring something unique to the table and make an impression. If you are fortunate enough to be able to do your own thing and make a living from it, the same thing is even more true. Now you really have to stand out and be a personality – a brand – that people remember.

Build empires, by all means, but don’t forget: Not all empires have to be industries that well products and services. You can be an empire all by yourself.

08 Jan

Counting Your Users

A couple of days ago, we saw the beginnings of a very interesting discussion when we learned that Instagram now has more active users than Twitter does. Headlines across the tech world were full of “Instagram now larger than Twitter”, and everybody started speculating about this shift of users in social media and the possible death of Twitter as a medium for teens and young adults.

I can’t but help wonder if we’re comparing apples and oranges here. Ev Williams seems to agree:

If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant. It’s at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this realtime information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter  –  important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter. If that’s happening, I frankly don’t give a shit if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures.

If we’re just looking at the 300+ million users using Instagram, it’s easy to say iTunes has a larger user base with their 500+ million users, but nobody would make that comparison, because it’s so obvious we’re measuring different things. Just like you wouldn’t say Instagram is six times larger than Bank of America, you wouldn’t compare it to a music, movie and app marketplace.

So why compare it to Twitter? On the face of it, it makes sense to compare Instagram to another service where people share snippets of their life and discuss them, but – like Ev says – the services are dramatically different.

Yesterday afternoon, I learned about the shootings in Paris just a few moments after they happened – on Twitter. I have meaningful discussions about politics on Twitter. I keep in touch with my podcasting friends and listeners on Twitter. I met my girlfriend on Twitter. On Instagram, I mainly just double-tap pictures of friends’ selfies, Siberian Huskies, well dressed men, attractive women, BDSM scenarios and silly entrepreneurship quotes. In comparison, I have Twitter on a secondary screen in front of me maybe 12-14 hours a day – both at work and at home – but only really check Instagram two or three times a day to see what’s been up since last I checked.

In terms of pure time spent using a product or brand, I think only Blizzard and Apple are bigger than Twitter if you look at my life up until this point. Instagram hardly registers. I’m fairly confident that I spend more time in the bathroom than I do on Instagram on an average day.

That said, I’m not sure average daily time spent per active user is a good metric either, because you’re really comparing very different things. The difference in intended depth in these two services is enormous, and it’s no surprise to me that people post their Instagram pictures to Twitter and not their tweets to Instagram. Always a man to say exactly what I’m thinking so much better than I can phrase it, Slate’s senior technology writer Will Oremus writes:

So is Instagram larger than Twitter? No – it’s different than Twitter. One is largely private, the other largely public. One focuses on photos, the other on ideas. They’re both very large, and they’re both growing.

So how should we measure these services? What can we compare them to if they’re fairly unique on the whole? Is there a better metric to use than monthly active users? Should we even be comparing the two?

Personally, I don’t think we should be comparing the two. Instagram is not a social network, it’s a media platform, with the emphasis on media. Media platforms should not be judged using the same metrics as social networks, just like we shouldn’t try to compare active Facebook users to World of Warcraft players.

Instagram might have more than three hundred million people looking at pictures now, and that’s great for them. Twitter has just under three hundred million people sharing interesting parts of their lives and following news, rumors and discussions, and that’s great for them.

It’s not a competition.

30 Dec

Dealing With Burnout

Overworked business man.

I’ve decided to relaunch my blog on a new host, with a new design and a new focus. All the old entries are still there – in a category aptly called “Old Blog” – but many internal links will be broken and the design choices made won’t make sense. The new focus of the blog will be a lot more personal, with my thoughts on things that happen in my life and how I relate to the world as it happens around me. This means you can continue to expect entries about geek culture, finance, podcasting, politics, tech news and the lot.

The topic I’d like to open up with is not a light one, and it’s one that I haven’t been talking too much about on the various social media I attend. About a month ago, I was diagnosed with stress burnout. It wasn’t what I expected to happen at all, since I’ve always seen myself as a high-functioning individual that just has a lot on my plate and enjoys keeping busy. I’ve always had a bunch of projects going, and that’s how I liked doing it. I didn’t understand what was going on when, for the longest time, I suddenly couldn’t shake the lightest cold and found myself unable to summon up even the simplest enthusiasm for things that used to be interesting and entertaining. For a period of two months, I descended into a funk that I just couldn’t shake. I would stare at my computer screen at work and try to start working, but nothing happened. I would look at my to do-list and not be able to find a single thing on the list that I felt like doing. I would meet up with my girlfriend and not have the energy or ambition to do anything but sit on the sofa with her and stare at the TV with a glass of wine or two. At night, when going to bed, I would be unable to fall asleep until 2 o’clock because my mind still needed to do some kind of work to feel good about itself.

Stress burnout messes with people in strange ways. For most people, it comes from the feeling of having no real control over one’s work, feeling a lack of recognition for one’s good work, and having unclear and overly demanding expectations. It also expresses itself in a way that is the polar opposite to stress. Stress, when your body handles it correctly, produces the feeling of urgency and hyperactivity, whereas burnout produces helplessness or even hopelessness. Although stress may cause a certain loss of energy and anxiety disorders, burnout often involves loss of motivation, ideals, and hope.

I’ll be starting Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in two weeks, at which point I hope we can start dealing with the matter in a therapeutic setting, because I’ve hardly been able to scratch the surface of it myself. Even with the Christmas holiday, a time when I’ve had all the time I need to sleep, relax, catch up on some lone time and reevaluate all the projects I’ve got going, hasn’t been successful. Most of the time has been spent getting over a persistent cough that got so bad I actually fractured two ribs – from coughing! I’ve still got a week left of my vacation, and most of my cough is gone, so now I just need to let my ribs heal up properly.

It’s going to be an interesting journey, these next couple of months. I realise I’m going to have to make a number of sacrifices in the way that I live my life – just to give my body and mind the margins that it needs to recover. I’m not keen on what that means, because I hate the thought of reducing the amount of things that I do. I mean; if I cut back on the things that I do – it just means my mind will have so much more free time to think up more shit to do! I hope that’s the point of the CBT; changing my perspective on the workload I need to have.

23 Dec

The Goals, Reviewed

Back on January second, I wrote a post about what my goals were for the year. Not so much my New Years Resolutions – I tend to avoid those – but things that I would like to do or accomplish during the year. Here’s what happened. My successes in bold, my failures in italics.

All in all, not too shabby. The fitness-related goals almost all failed due to my goals being set too high and being injured or sick for most of the last half of the year. Barring injury or illness, I might be able to get back on track and reach these goals during 2015 instead.

  • Quarter 1 (Jan-March):
    1. Get E’s stuff – and cats – out of my apartment. 
    2. Get baseboard installed in my office.
    3. Frame and hang Zelda map & X-files poster.
    4. Toss out all the stored up junk from the apartment, balcony and basement.
    5. Get my Green Arrow tattoo.
  • Quarter 2 (April-June):
    1. 5-rep bench press 125% of my weight (approx. 90 kg).
    2. Be a guest on a non-CSICON podcast.
    3. Be able to hold an unassisted handstand for 10 seconds.
    4. Get better storage solution for DVDs and console games.
    5. Paint or wallpaper the office.
    6. Replace all furniture that E takes out of the apartment.
  • Quarter 3 (July-September):
    1. Get below 12% body fat.
    2. 5-rep squat 150% of my weight (approx. 105 kg)
    3. 5-rep deadlift 200% of my weight (approx. 140 kg)
    4. Get new wallpaper for the bedroom.
    5. Get my driver’s license.
    6. Empty out and clean the bathroom, possibly replacing the tiles.
    7. Convert the library into something other than storage.
  • Quarter 4 (October-December):
    1. Have at least one (net) profitable month from my online projects.
    2. Buy rack and bench for home weightlifting.
    3. Be able to do at least three unweighted pistol squats per leg.
    4. Be able to do at least three unassisted handstand pushups.
28 Nov

Like Icarus, I Burn and Fall

This is a longer version of a post I wrote on Facebook. I think it deserves a more public place for me to point to and allows me to format the post a little better and have a little more of a chronology going. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be creating a project around writing updates about this topic.

I think it’s time to accept a fact that’s been in the back of my head for the past few weeks. I haven’t been sleeping properly, I’ve been sick more often these past three months than in the past few years before it, and I’m always feeling worn out and miserable. I thought I just had some bug that I was unable to shake, but I’m beginning to realise that there’s more to it than that.

I’m hitting the wall with stress.

I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say I’m mentally over-occupied about 18 hours a day – sometimes more – and my body is simply saying that enough is enough. When I’m not doing things, I feel like I should be doing things, and when I’m doing things it feels like there’s a dozen other things I should also be doing. I can’t concentrate like I once did, my appetite has gone to hell and I look genuinely miserable. I’ve lost about 10kg (~20 lbs), and beginning to worry about my health. I’m going to have to scale back on things and give myself time to rest and relax, and I really don’t think it’s going to be an easy journey. I’ve always had trouble sitting still – physically when I was a child and mentally now as an adult.

I’m going to have a chat with my manager on Monday to see if there’s any way the job can sort me out a regular meeting with a psychologist, because I’m at the point where I think I’m going to need some outside help. Who knows; I might even need a few weeks of sick leave just to sort things out; we’ll see. I hope not; I have massive guilt about not having been able to perform optimally at work recently – which is part of the problem, I know, I know. I’ve got to accept that I can’t solve everything myself, but on the home front I’m going to have to make a couple of changes as well.

I’m going to have to force myself to stop whatever I’m doing at 10pm every night and go to bed – it’s impossible for me to sleep for four hours a night and maintain any form of mental or physical health. I’m going to stop going to the gym for the rest of the year to eliminate another source of physical stress. I’m going to abandon a few of the projects I’ve got going, or at least postpone them for a few weeks or months as I get myself in order. I’m going to reduce the amount of social media I follow. I’m going to take a step back from following the stock market. I’m turning off all of my notifications on the phone except phone calls and direct text messages. My phone automatically goes to Do Not Disturb mode at 10 PM. I’m going to quit all stimulants (caffeine and sporadic nicotine use). I’m going to stop playing most video games that I play. I’m going to stop trying to engage in pointless debate online to change the world to a better place – I need to focus on myself first of all. I’m going to unsubscribe to a couple of the podcasts I listen to. I’m going to reduce the amount of energetic, high-tempo music I listen to. 

Those are the things I’m going to stop doing. Instead, I’m going to add longer walks with the dog. I just took a one-hour walk and we’re both in a better place than we were before. I’m going to add more lone time in front of the TV where I allow myself to just relax and not need to multitask. I’m going to pick up my practice of Yoga again. I’m going to start meditating again. I’m going to try to be better at meeting friends for simple activities – visits to a café, a walk, a carefree movie at home or at the cinema. 

Because if this continues, I’m not going to be in a good place.