It's All In The Mind

Musings of an active mind

Archive for February, 2006

Is this helpful for my Knee?

Posted by activemind on February 28, 2006

Well if you have had a chance to look at my running log then you might have noticed that I have not been running for the past couple of weeks. Based on what I read, I am giving my knee some more time to heal and this time I am trying to take it slow and not run a marathon in first go 🙂 . I did go ahead and add some diet supplements to my daily routine. As I was wandeing the aisle of the local Costco store I came across this Joint Juice. There was some kind of promotion going on this product and I tried it. It was like Fanta with some citric taste rather than sweet. I kind of liked it. And on top of that a can is 8 Fl oz and just 30 calories. It says that you got to try the product for ~30 days before you would feel any kind of difference. I am giving it a shot to see if it makes any kind of difference. I might wait out this week more before I start my runs again as my knee feels much better after a 3 week rest. What also interested me is that I saw glocosamine tabs, gels, liquid all over the asile. I dont know much about it but is it something that important. I got to read more about it.
Does anyone know the bad part about glucosamine ( I can read good things about it all over the net).?

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Why be good?

Posted by activemind on February 24, 2006

This topic has been wandering in my mind for quite some time now. After I wrote, how good is good, I kept on thinking more about it. Also a couple of my friends who read my  previous article gave me support that it was a nicely written article which gave me some confidence and motivation to write the sequal. Again the title might not make a whole lot of sense. Why be good?
Well, when i sit down and think about the years of my life I notice periods of time where I was charged and got a lot done and made significant progress in every way. Then there are periods of time where I was just a lazy ass. It was not that I did not do anything at that time. Well I have always been working (its just the way I am wired….you can say that I am not an entrepreneurial mindset person but thats what I am) but what I mean is that I did not do anything to make any progress on the goals I had set. Why?
Its not that I did not WANT to make progress…I knew it pretty well that if I wanted to acheive something I will have to work for it. Its not that I was cheating myself by making up excuses like I did not have time…I knew very well that I had the time and I was spending it on doing things which were not inline with my goals. Then what was it?
I think I know the answer now…it was the mindset. The more I think and the more I write, I like the title of my blog even more. It was my mindset in those unproductive times which overcame everything…my desire for progress, my ambitions, my goals. I was just in the mindset that I need to take it easy for sometime. It is good to have some downtime to recuperate but how much is enough? What I mean to say is that it is very important to have clear goals in mind all the time. Even when you are having some downtime, so that they are a  motivation for you get back to doing things again. So now we can ask…why even try to be good? Again it all starts and ends at the goals that you have created for yourself. I was reading this article at Steve’s website about getting up early. I would’nt be surprised that if a lot of people still cannot get up early even after reading this article. Why?
Because I feel that getting up early is a goal that you have set but there has to be some motivation or some reason for doing it. Like if you are planning to get up early, you should also think about what are you going to do with this new time slot that you have found. Until you have figured out what to do with this new timeslot..there is not point in even trying to get up early. Why get up early when you dont know what you are going to do? I have had a couple of relatives who question as to what do I do after getting up so early (I get up at 6:30 with plans of moving it upto 6:00) and why give this inconvenience to your body. Well I feel that its a matter of personal goals and preferences. If you feel that you have enough time in life to do pretty much everything you wanted then probably there is no reason for you to sweat it. Forget what everyone else says and enjoy your sleep.
But on the other hand if you feel that there are some things which you really want to do but just dont have the time…here is a timeslot which is just lying there waiting for you. I have been an early riser ever since I got out of college. I enjoy the morning quite and the solitude. (my family wakes up 1/2 – 1 hr after me). Now the reason I want to push it by another 1/2 hr is because I want to incoroprate runs in my morning timeslot. So the bottom line…if you have enough motivation to do things that you really want to do badly
but have not been able to fo so far…then I think all these self development and time management makes sense for you. But on the other hand if you feel content with your goals and feel that you have the time to do pretty much what you want…maybe you are already managing your time efficienly or you have set the bar too low for yourself.
Self development like a food which you will never appreciate if you are not hungry…the more hungry you are the better the taste would be. Your hunger for self improvement and finishing your goals has to reach a point before you can enjoy this food. So before you sit down and start changing your lifestlye because someone else is doing it or someone else wants you to do it, I think you should sit back and ask yourself why? Its just not helpful to create action items for youself without knowing the true reason why you want to do it because if the underlying reason is not true and strong enough or not coming from within you , you will find the enthusiasm for your action item waning out pretty soon. So next time when you are thinking about life and what changes you need to make, think about things that you have always wanted to do badly and then work out the action items from there rather than picking up the action items and then finding a motivation for them.
peace!! 

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Why does my Knee Hurt?

Posted by activemind on February 23, 2006

This post might resonate with a lot of readers who are into some kind of physical activity and in my case it would be running. After being physicallly inactive for around 3 yrs for various reasons (or well crafted ingenious excuses 🙂 ) I finally got up and decided to get back on track. Well there were a couple of reasons that jolted me out of my smooth easy life-style and the primary one being the realization that I was getting older. I could not abuse my body in the same way as I could a couple of yrs ago. Like it was pretty easy for me to skip meals for any reason earlier. But fast forward 5 yrs, I am 31 now, and my body has changed that I have to keep my stomach filled to a certain level all the time. This started happening a couple of months back. If I skipped a single meal I would get bad and I mean real bad headaches and then the only way out was to take a tylenol and hit the bed. Nothing else helped. For the first couple of times I could not figure out what was wrong and why was I getting these headaches keeping in mind that I have NEVER had any headaches in my life. Then I started corelating things and came to the conculsion that anytime my stomach was empty, it would do something to my body and head and it would be in a state that I needed food, rest and medicine to bring it back on track.
Has someone else felt or noticed anything like this with themselves or I must freak out and go see a doctor?
Anyways, so I have decided to start with things which I like the most or something which I have wanted to do for a long time and have just been procrastinating about them. I am actively trying to pick up running with plans to run a full marathon by the end of this year. Lets see how that goes. You can watch my progress on my running log that I maintain online at coolrunning.com by clicking the link on your right. So I went for my practice run which was close to 4 miles like 2 weeks back and then I think I overdid it or did something bad to my knee. I have been having such bad knee pains that it difficult to climb up and down the stairs. So I went on the web and started searching for what was going on with my knee and learnt a couple of things that I was doing wrong. I also found a very good website about the problem I think I am having. Its called runner’s knee or IBT (Iliotibial Band Syndrome). This entire website is dedicated to this problem and as I searched more on the net I discovered that it was something very common for new runner’s like me. I have also found a couple of very good stretching and muscle strengthening exercises (pdf doc) which I have been doing for the past couple of days and It does feel better. I at least dont have to limp when going up or down the stairs. But I dont think I can still go for my runs this weekend. I will try..maybe a 2 mile run..and increase it if I dont get any pains. Watch out my runners log or postings on my blog here for how it goes.

Posted in Running | 5 Comments »

Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?

Posted by activemind on February 23, 2006

Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?
Have you ever wondered what is the easiest way to start your own Blog or have been bogged down by the choices and the various websites. Above is a nice article which actually taught me about wordpress (believe me I DID NOT know about wordpress before I read this article). I am happy I found it else I would still be using yahoo 360 or blogger or msn spaces which are no where near in features and ease to the combination that I am using now. Read my other posts to figure out what did the trick for me.

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Firstgiving – connecting supporters with causes

Posted by activemind on February 23, 2006

Firstgiving – connecting supporters with causes
Very good site for any kind of fund raising. Worth a look

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Social interaction skills

Posted by activemind on February 23, 2006

I was reading this how to go from introvert to extrovert article over at Steve’s website when I came across a link to Rick’s website. Although it does not seem to have been updated in quite some time but I did find this nice article about social interaction which I think is pretty good and to the point. I do not or rather cannot relate to some of the issues mentioned in there because I AM a social person by nature. I have never had problems in meeting and talking to new people but I do know a LOT of people around me who seem to have this problem. It was not until long time ago that I could undestand this concept. If something comes naturally to us, we do not realise its importance. Like the time when I broke my wrist and had a cast for 3 months. Although, I did learn to survive and get the basic tasks done with my left hand (I am right handed) but I did develop some ambidextrous skills after that incident. It was at that time I realised that some of the things that I took forgranted were not that easy for some other person with one hand. Now I can at least understand when someone havs a problem with social interaction situation. It was a completly foreign thing to me some time back. But yeah read the article at Rick’s website. He also has a couple of nice links at the end of the article which are worth reading too.

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Long time no see!!

Posted by activemind on February 23, 2006

As you might have noticed that I did not post for a couple of days. Well I was catering to some of other higher priority things and yeah to some extent lazying around too 🙂 . Sometimes when you foucs on things too hard and are at it for long you need some downtime. At least it happens with me every once in a while. I would have periods where I am up and running for 18 hrs a day for sometime and then there is a period when I am just too lazy to do anything. My favourite activity duing this hibernation is either some techie project or watching movies. Both of these activities seem to recharge me. I also seem to have found my new passion. I think it is running. It is something which I have tried in the past in a disorganized way and failed miserabely for multiple reasons. I am trying to take a better approach this time by trying to follow some guidelines and see if I make any progress. So far I am pretty upbeat about it but I kind of injured my knee after my previous run. After some hunting on the web, I found a name for the problem and was surprised to see that there is an entire website devoted to it. So dont be surprised if see a lot of posts about running from now on.

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Not good at html

Posted by activemind on February 23, 2006

I have been trying to get my website up and running for quite some time now. There are a couple of problems:

  • I am no good at html programming : Its not that I cannot learn it but I have just been too lazy and hence looking for some good WYSIWYG free html editors. But so far have found none. The closest I came was Nvu. It was okay but I think I want to try Frontpage too.
  • I did go ahead and register a domain name from 1&1.com but I am not sure what do with hosting. A part of me wants to host it on my NSLU2 which I use for my ssh server currently. I run the modified firmware on it. I dont think it should be a problem with my DSL provider and I have a solid 3M/384 connection.

Any comments on whether I should host the website myself or look for some hosting company?

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Have you tried 30gigs.com?

Posted by activemind on February 14, 2006

The geek that I am…..I opened up yet another email account a couple of weeks back at 30gigs.com. Since 30gigs.com was a new service I got my all time favourite id. This is not an in depth review of what they have to offer. Just google and you will find tonnes of their review but this is rather a rant of some of the very basic features which are missing. So the very first question is why do i need another email address. Well since I am subscribed to a couple of mailing lists and they were filling up my yahoo account I figured that I would use my 30gigs account and try out the service. So thats what I use my 30gigs.com account for…for my mailing list subscriptions.
I would say that the service has improved in the past couple of weeks but still leaves a lot to be desired. Like there is a notion of folders but there is no notion of filters. Well call me whatever you want and praise gmail as much as you want but I dont like to see ALL my messages. I just don’t. I would rather have seperate folders for my categories and keep my emails in the folders…not in my inbox. Thats one of the biggest reasons why I still prefer yahoo over gmail. I can create filters and folders. I know you can create filters in gmail too…but thats for tagging the emails with a tag not for moving them into different folders. I know you can say that select the appropriate label and you can see the emails in that “folder” but no thats not what I want. How do I achieve NOT seeing emails from a tag and see everything else. Like if I am subscribed to a mailing list and I am actually looking for some personal mail…I know how to search in yahoo mails..or I just want my inbox to show me email which are NOT from the mailing list but everything else. How do I do that using tags in gmail. If you are a member of a high traffic mailing list and have joined it using your gmail id you would know what I am talking about.
Anyways…back to 30gigs.com….I dont see a way to tag or filter emails into folders..yes you can create folders but you have to manually move the emails into them which is NOT something I want to spend my time on. Thats my BIGGEST rant for now. Besides that, its been not too bad. The interface is minimal, but yeah, its fast, and does the basic job. Again you have to keep in mind how I use my account.
I am not sure if this service is free to all now but I still have a couple of invites left…so if you need them..send me your email id and I will send them your way…

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How good is good?

Posted by activemind on February 13, 2006

I know the title is strange and might not mean a whole lot just by the looks of it but I am in a pondering mood today. I was thinking that there are so many books and articles about what is good and self improvement. Where do you draw the line as to what is good and what is not. Like there was an article today about quitting coffee or any kind of caffeine? Now there were 20 reasons in there, that talked about how bad it is for your body and stuff like that and it got me thinking that how much does a person want to be good. Like for me, I take like 4-5 cups of coffee in a day…..now I reason that if I like it (yeah! I love the smell of freshly brewed french roast ), I feel it keeps me going throughout the day, I dont have problems with sleeping at night…should I really cut it down? I am a firm believer that we cannot change any habbit if we do not truly want to change it ourselves….so I know that if I am not convinced that I am taking too much coffee and it is not good for me there is no point in even trying to change that habit or reduce the amount of coffee?
So now I go back to reading that article and I wonder how much sense does it make for me to even read that article. I know the title of the article itself is how to give up coffee and I am by no means convinced that this is something that I overdo…so why should I read it?
Now lets apply the same logic to self improvement web sites/ articles/books: So if I am convinced that I am the best and there is nothing about me that needs to change then I would never read anything related to self improvement. Some time back (not a whole lot though) I used to think that self improvement is for people who are not up to the mark or successful and there was nothing in which I could improve myself. But now when I look back I realize that I was gravely mistaken. There is always something about a person which can be improved for one reason or the other. Its just a matter of looking at yourself from a different set of glasses. Path to self Improvement is a never ending journey which gets even more interesting as you traverse it. So does that mean that people who are already reading about self improvement and thinking about it are already a step ahead of everyone else in terms of accepting their follies and doing something positive about it. Huh! Never thought about it in this way.
So thats means that the first step towards self improvement is NOT picking up some good book recommended by several people or experts or spending hours and hours reading some self development website or joining some self improvement course. The first step I feel is to accept and realise what and who you are and constructively compare yourself with other people. This is where the accept and realise comes into play when you don’t beat yourself over who and what you are but you accept it and realise that if you want to be someone or something else then you will have to put in the effort to change you. I know I sound like a lot of books out there but I feel as I write this that there is a difference between reading something and absorbing it. I have read this several times but I think I am absorbing it now.
I think both the examples above point to one and same thing: If we want to change something then the reason and the motivation for the change should come from within us…no amount to coaching is helful when it come this. It has to come from within!!
Does all this make any sense??

Posted in Self Development | 3 Comments »