Self-Reflection: Peak State, Passion, and Goals

  • 2017-04-30

I came across a Tony Robbins article on how to make your dreams a reality. I am a fan Tony. Inspiration is very important in my life, and he’s a very inspiring man. The article talks about this framework for achieving your goals. So, I thought, let me take a look at this, see where I am and where I want to be.

What puts me in a peak state?

  • Exercise, especially when I do it early in the morning on the weekends. It brings me a sense of achievement before the day has even started.
  • Solitude, I’m an introvert and I recharge when I’m all alone.
  • When things I do have a meaning. This is more related to work topics, but meaning in what I do is very important. If I have to work on something that I consider does not have meaning or is a waste of my time, I will get drained very fast.
  • Balance. Balance in everything I do, work vs relax, quantity vs quality, etc.

What am I passionate about?

This is a difficult question. The other day I was walking back home with a coworker. We’re chatting about random things and life stuff, and somehow the conversion led to this Mark Twain quote:

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

When I was younger I thought that money was the answer to everything. It’s really not. Money can be used as a tool allowing you to spend time on things you’re passionate about. Without knowing what your passion is, or not having time to pursue it, your life can be very sad. I’m not exactly sure what my passion is. I believe it’s partially something that you’re naturally good at. When I just got into programming, when I was maybe ~12 years old, I was very much into computer security and networking. There was lots of “underground” content back then, which was way way above anything I could comprehend. One of the first real software tools that I built was a LAN scanner built on top of ARP. These days I enjoy building tools because I value my time more than anything else. Looking at the past and present, maybe I am passionate about automation and tooling. If you can’t delegate it, you definitely can try and automate it.

Decide, commit, resolve

One thing that I’ve been working on recently is this new tool set for writing API tests. Not exactly sure where the idea came from, it’s definitely meant to automate boring tasks out of API testing and make developers more efficient in making systems reliable.

So, following the Robbins' framework, I made a decision to build Bluebook. This project is potentially a stepping stone to financial freedom. If I can keep pursuing this goal for long enough.

I also want to be in the peak state most of the time. If we look back at the list above, the peak state is defined by the environment I’m in.

Take immediate, intelligent, consistent and massive action

I’ve been working on Bluebook for probably about a month now. The results are fairly good. The software is not ready to be used yet, but it’s getting close. I am spending 2-3 hours a day working on the idea. Not sure if this is a massive action, but it is consistent and slowly moves things forward.

Improvements to the peak state are a bit more tricky, because the environment I’m in is the primary driver of being in a good mood. To transition into peak state you must perform things that are in your control that put you in this state, modify existing environment, switch the environments, or create the ideal environment yourself. For example, I need to be consistent with morning exercises, or I need to renegotiate how I work and from where I work at my job.


The final step in the framework is SMART, meaning that the goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored with a Time Frame. I think this step is a little bit where I’m having trouble. I do very little planning ahead. I have a vision, but I don’t have explicit stepping stones that will get me there.

Perhaps in another post I will provide an entire roadmap for Bluebook. Looking at this brain dump, it looks like a good self-reflection.

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