“In the end
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?”

Meta – open sourcing my personal development

Meta (from the Greek preposition and prefix meta- (μετά-) meaning “after”, or “beyond”) is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept..

Meta is also a notion in Computer Science meaning to be self referential, so in our human terms it would translate to thinking / pondering about the self.

After spending quite a few hours reading different books and curating bits of personal development material, I wanted to open source some of my thoughts, to help others and also to get feedback.

This is a continual process, so will be updating this blog post if any new relevant information comes to mind / paper. Hopefully this should provide a general framework to better living.

The 5 health framework

Splitting up our being into 5 different units that can be addressed individually – and referring to them as health factors, is what 5 healths is all about.

The five healths (Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial) should be looked after on a daily basis, ignoring any would give an imbalance in lifestyle. The five healths vary to some degree (person to person – based on goals).

I’m just going to provide the core of the framework below with brief descriptions, and extensions can be added to each.

1) Spiritual

Spiritual health focusses on self harmony. Aside from religion, looking at these 5 pillars of spiritual health should provide a sound mind:

  • Respect: Treating everyone equally and cognisant of their feelings.
  • Honesty: Being open with your actions and intentions.
  • Integrity: Having high moral values.
  • Generosity: Having an open heart when giving.
  • Humility: Viewing your accomplishments as a result of other people / circumstances rather than solely your own actions.

In addition include your personal belief system / religion you follow here. (e.g. Buddhism)

2) Mental

Mental health is all to do with the mind, your learnings and findings. Different aspects to focus on are:

  • Education (Primary, Secondary, University education)
  • General knowledge
  • Reading books / articles
  • Taking courses of interest
  • Sharpening the mind

3) Emotional

Emotional health is about our connections to other people in our lives. Different aspects of emotional health include:

  • Relationships with family
  • Relationships with partner / significant other
  • Relationships with friends
  • Relationships with community / world
  • Finding mentors to help achieve our goals
  • Networking in relevant circles

4) Physical

This refers to our body, three main factors that should be looked at are:

  • Sleep (Quality, Quantity and Timing!)
  • Exercise (Cardio / Muscular)
  • Diet

(Add more based on your physical goals – such as sport or having a lean diet)

5) Finance / Career

This health covers how you generate income to survive, as money forms the basis of how modern economies function. Different aspects to look at include:

  • Job
  • Own business
  • Investments and Assets
  • Savings

 

To make this framework effective one should add targets to each one of the healths. For example in my physical health I can say that I want to sleep 8 hours a day and fall asleep before midnight each night.

Targets / goals should follow the SMART system, so:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound

I’ve attached a summarised form of the 5 healths here as a print out. I personally have it above my desk so that I can glance at it atleast once a day. I hope you find this framework as effective as I do!

Happy living :)

5 health framework

In any moment of time, is what you are currently doing the best thing for your short and/or long term goals? That is the question we should be asking ourselves…

News, news, news

One of the best essays I read last year was a case on why you shouldn’t read the news.

It’s amazing how much more productive you become when you aren’t constantly trying to fill voids of time with consumption of news, articles and tweets  You instead become a producer rather than consumer.

Ofcourse it’s not that ideal to be completely oblivious to the the world around us, but a good rule of thumb is that if there is something important happening, you’ll hear about it somehow :)

The shortened version of the essay (by Rolf Dobelli) is here:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli

3 things I learnt from not reading a book

I’ve been wanting to read a ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose‘ by Eckhart Tolle, as people have said amazing things about it for a while now.

Someone once told me their takeaway from the book (thanks Babs) in 3 points and the advice has helped me in my day-to-day.

1) Be free of judgement of others
You don’t know what situation or circumstances the other person is going through, there’s no point in drawing brash conclusions, chances are you were probably in the gutter at some point. They could probably use a friend who smiles, encourages and listens to their problems. Be that person. :)

Note: Having opinions is fine, otherwise life is boring. However there is a subtle difference between opinions and judgement.

2) Be free of materialism
Things shouldn’t define you, soon you’ll no longer exist and the only things that will matter are your relationships with people around you and your legacy.

3) Be non-resistant
The only constant we can depend on in life is change, there’s no point in resisting it, embrace it and leverage that change for the better. You’ll look back at that inflection point in a few years and it won’t matter anymore!

One day, I’ll get around to reading the book….

Maximum continous sequence profit

An interesting concept in Finance and Computer Science is if we have some historical data about the price of a security and we want to see the maximum profit we can make. (Assumption: we can only carry out one buy and one sell action)

Let’s assume that time is represented by natural numbers as opposed to timestamps. With this, we can represent the prices as an array and the index of the array representing the timestamp value (the lower values being earlier prices).

So given the array: [4.5, 6.0, 4.2, 4.4, 7.0, 3.2] the maximum profit we can make is 7.0 – 4.2 = 2.8

The solution may seem tricky as there are local sub-array problems that need to be solved, for example if we have gone through the first four elements of the array above, we can’t really say anything about the profit until we see more elements of the array.

The solution that I came up with had two variables and keeps track of the current maximum profit by continuous calculation and the minimum price value. This concept surprisingly leads to an elegant solution.

My solution (implemented in Python) is below, it’s got a complexity of O(n) – there has to be at least one element in the array.


def max_profit(array):
  profit = 0
  min = array[0]
  for i in array:
    if i < min:
      min = i
    if (i - min > profit):
      profit = (i - min)
  return profit