How do you kill procrastination?

I’m hoping that the reason for my procrastination is my illness.

If it is, then when I recover, I’ll be a wonderfully productive individual again.

Yes, I’m ill. I’ve been ill for a few days now. It’s some kind of contagious illness, involving a fever, sore throat, and cough. I’m hoping to use this time as an opportunity to get in touch with my feelings.

There are a lot of things I want to improve in my life, but it’s hard to remember them, and even harder to act on them. Here’s a few of them:

1. I wish I blogged more.

Reading old blog posts is really awesome. Unfortunately, so many things didn’t get blogged: my trip in Taiwan, my time in Vietnam with my family, some outings with friends.

2. I wish I had a better memory.

I need to read The Memory Book. I bought it once. I think it’s still at home in California. Unfortunately, I don’t have it with me, and it doesn’t exist anywhere online. It’s surprising how many books still don’t exist on the Internet.

3. I wish I had some kindred spirits.

There are some people who seem similar to me, and I think we’d get along well, but we don’t talk much. Some I’ve never communicated with, like Tim Ferriss. Others I’ve only “talked” with over email, like Derek Sivers. Others I’ve met, like Tynan. And others are old friends who I’ve just fallen out of touch with, like Nick Shum. I’d like to put more effort into reaching out to these people. I don’t want to be burden on them. If I can, I’d love to help them.

4. I wish I didn’t procrastinate.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles online. Maybe what I need is to organize my time. Why read articles when I could be reading a genuinely good book, like The Memory Book I mentioned above? I still have a long attention span for programming, but the last time I did any serious reading was years ago, while a freshman or sophomore in college.

Some of the junk I’m reading these days:

– Hunting for great programmers using puzzles
- When you write your essays in programming languages
– Stuff about the US’s credit downgrade

To change subjects for a bit, I’d like to ponder on the future of the US economy. Economics has long been an intense passion of mine, and I’m sure I’ve stated many times that microeconomics was one of my favorite classes in college.

Fiat currencies are destined for failure

“It seems the world has spent the years since 2008 stumbling from one debt crisis to another. In fact, if we count the Third World debt crisis, which did after all affect most human beings on the planet, the world has been in a continual series of debt crises since the ‘70s. The difference is that until very recently, the U.S. was the ultimate arbiter of who owed what to whom, and on what terms. 2008 marked the moment when that began to change. Yesterday’s downgrade of T-bonds that had long been treated as literally as good as gold by the world’s central bankers marks the first full, public admission that this is no longer the case.”

History shows that fiat currencies don’t last long. It has been tried many times in the past. We’re not doing much more than repeating the mistakes of the past.

“Since 1971, when the U.S. abandoned the gold standard, and the world has been moving to a system of virtual credit money, we have been entering a new period of history. But it’s not entirely unprecedented.”

Yep. It’s not at all unprecedented.

Why we can’t have a dog

To change the subject once again, I’d like to ponder a bit about why I’m strongly opposed to having a dog at our house in Vietnam. Thuy and Trang have asked me more than once for permission to bring a dog here, but unless they’re willing to take 100% responsibility for all aspects of the dog’s presence, I must remain firmly opposed.

“I would never get a dog. I like dogs, but the limits it would put on my life would be too extreme. I would have to be home frequently to feed it. I would have to live in a house or apartment that could accommodate the thing. If I wanted to travel I’d have to find someone to take care of the dog.

I’m not saying not to get a dog – I’m saying to consider what you give up by getting one. The same goes for girlfriends, children, houses, cars, jobs, or just about anything. If you’re going to have an attachment, make sure that you know what you’re giving up by taking it, and make sure that it’s worth it to you.

One overlooked attachment is the habit of collecting stuff. People make a whole lot of decisions based on how much stuff they have. TVs, DVD collections, computers, art, etc. You might be surprised how happy you’d be with very little stuff, and you’d certainly be amazed at the freedom getting rid of it gives you.

I don’t know a ton of people who have gotten rid of their possessions, but none of them have ever gone back.” – Tynan on Opportunity Windows

Very well said.

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