How to stop biting your Nails: The Rubber band Approach

 

We are what we do. For 18 years I bit my fingernails. I was anxious about stuff and to temporarily alleviate the thoughts I bit my nails. It was an anxious habit and it sucked.

I was tennis player and sometimes I couldn’t play. I would bite them during lectures in classes I knew I needed to study for. I would bite them during scary movies.

I was self conscious of it, and each year made a resolution to stop that habit. I wanted it badly enough that I stopped being comfortably numb and took action, well many actions.

I tried using nail polish, habanero hot peppers, nail strengthener; all passive methods that didn’t work for me. Then finally I tried the simple rubber band. Having a rubber band on my wrist cured me.

rubber-band-300x240

This method is simple: Snap your wrist when you bite your nails.Trust me, you will become hyper aware of biting your nails very quickly.

  • Have a thicker rubber band that fits comfortably around your wrist. Carry extras.
  • When you put your fingernail to your teeth…stop yourself, take a deep breath, and don’t judge yourself or be mad
  • Lift up the rubber band and snap yourself hard enough to sting the fleshy part of your wrist. Repeat it 3 times.

The important thing is too always have it on, and snap yourself each time you begin to bite your nails. This is negative reinforcement and believe me, it works.

You might think this is masochistic. But no one ever said changing your habits was easy. But once you win this battle, you gain confidence in yourself.

habit-three-r
From Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit

While breaking this habit, you will recognize the common thought loops that occur before biting your nails. Biting your nails is a symptom not the cause of anxiety. To eradicate the nail biting even further, you must address the cause. Those thoughts are reminders that you haven’t taken action. So take action.

After awhile you develop a new problem. You have to learn how to clip your nails, which is pretty annoying.

Advertisements

Bag Check: What to bring to a Tennis match in your Tennis Bag

federer-isner-us-open-2015
Day Six of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

I’ve been reading  Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert. This part stuck out to me.

The player who understands the significance of gaining a small advantage (and of doing so repeatedly) might still underestimate the role that tennis equipment can play in helping you win more matches. Yes, you can bring the bare minimum, but any player who is serious about winning will go beyond the bare minimum.

I decided to make a quick list for my old high school team. I did some extra research and found this explanation from Gonzo Tennis very satisfying. Answering the question. Why even care?

If you’re heading over to the public courts for a quick rally or match with a buddy then don’t worry about what you bring with you (apart from a racquet and shoes) as there is no consequence for quitting early due to equipment malfunction or injury. However, if you are going into battle, so to speak, where winning might actually matter to you, you should have your tennis bag packed with these just-in-case items. Obviously, preparing for every eventuality is impossible so don’t bother trying. Keep the following basics in your bag and you can feel comfortable that you have taken reasonable measures.

US-Open-Image

10 Essential items

  1. Water, drink plenty before, during and after your match. Hydration is the key to good performance. Sip water on every changeover.
  1. Energy food: bananas, oranges, mangos, apples, cliff bars, granola bars
  1. Rackets, at least 2 rackets, in case you break a string
  1. Towels, 1-2 regular size towels to keep you dry
  1. Medical kit: Different types of bandages, neosporin, athletic tape, blister specific bandages, body powder, small pair of scissors, sunscreen, lip balm
  1. Dry tennis clothes: 1-2 spare TC tennis shirts, 2-3 pairs of dry socks, extra shoelaces, extra pair of tennis shoes, sweatbands
  1. Hat with a visor and sunglasses
  1. Over grips, in case yours get soaked or unravel
  1. Extra Shock absorber, in case yours flys off and you can’t find it
  1. A plastic shopping bag, for wet clothes, or for a makeshift cold pack

winning-ugly-mental-warfare-in-tennis-lessons-from-brad-gilbert-paperback-cover-art

Credit: Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert

Blood, Sweat and Oil; What Mud logging in the Oilfield is like

12799194_10205655106247934_2226029053071544862_n
Drillship in the distance

Extraction of volatile substances sometimes under extreme pressure in a hostile environment — means risk; accidents and tragedies occur regularly.

As a Mud logger my job is to take, describe and log the rocks and gas all the way down to TD. I also monitor the well, watching for problem indicators on our sensors. At the end of the day we produce reports for clients.

The job is sometimes hard, with long hours of dirty, sweaty work in hot cramped machine rooms. The job can also be boring, spending 10 hours staring at computer screens. I experience social isolation during the 14-28 days I am out here. But it does come with its perks.

Advantages:

The views.

Money. All food is provided, no long car commute. Pay is pretty good.

Hot showers, warm bed, laundry services, all you can eat buffets.

28 On / 14 Off Schedule. Is good for traveling.

Gym onboard, no alcohol. Can get in shape and lose weight.

Ability to read a lot. I’ve read many books while offshore.

The Oilfield Life

“It doesn’t rain in the oilfield” Applies today well. I am working the Midnight to Noon shift. It is pouring down rain and lightning is hitting around us. Still the rig crew keeps tripping out pipe.

It never stops working. These rigs go 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No holidays because it costs 1.5 million dollars per day to operate.

I work 12hr/day. My back to back, does the exact same job for the other 12 hours.

After I knock off I can play guitar, watch tv, or go to the Gym. I have been going to the gym less often this hitch because my circadian rhythm is still off.

12804687_10205655106887950_4136235894875740434_n
Sikorsky S-92 Personnel Helicopter

To get out here I take a 1 hour helicopter ride from Houma on a 20 passenger Sikorsky S-92, 20. Was exciting at first and now just monotonous. I normally just bury my head in my paper back because they don’t allow electronics.

My Drill Ship is 780ft long, 138ft wide. 10-15 floors. Built in 2014 in South Korea and cost 700 million dollars. Includes a cafeteria, helipad, 2 gyms, and a movie theater.

The global oversupply has led my company to cut around 30,000 jobs. My pay has been cut by 30%. Morale out here is pretty bad. Most of us are just happy to have jobs. People are getting laid off right and left. The training schedule has been canceled and we are all making sacrifices.

12801111_10205655109968027_8260532355494215692_n
Sunrise on the Drillship

My Offshore Oilfield Packing List: What to bring Offshore for Guys and Girls

_ds200

My Packing List

-PPE: Personal Protective Equipment, i.e. Hard Hat, coveralls, steel toed boots, and safety glasses
-Toiletries: vitamins, melatonin for nights when you can’t fall asleep, deodorant, toothbrush, shampoo, body wash, razor, shaving cream,
-Neck pillow for the van/helicopter ride to and from the rig, Sleep anywhere is good
-Aeropress for coffee, grinder, and whole bean coffee
-Kindle and a paper back book
-Clothes: extra socks and underwear, extra pair of shoes and t-shirts, fleece for cold days, workout clothes, they do laundry for you, but they sometimes lose stuff, so bring extras
-Electronics: extra pair of headphones, 1 TB hard drive for swapping stuff with rig hands
-Healthy snack food, icebreakers ice cube gum, sunflower seeds, bag of mixed nuts and dark chocolate.
-Adapter for the European, Korean outlets onboard.
-Fitbit to track steps onboard
-Small notebook to take notes in, or tally book.
-My guitar, for after my shift

Dude Specific:

Dip and cigarettes, protein powders, pre-workout, bandannas, game for the Xbox Live

Girl specific:
Flip Flops for shower, Breathable clothes, boxers, tee shirts for under coveralls, blanket for the unit or the bed, hand and baby wipes, lots of tampons, teas

What you cannot bring:
Knives, Alcohol, drones, guns, chemicals, fireworks.

10 Common questions about working offshore

10686875_10205331879125240_2542295761172519689_n

 

Delicious routines: Why a Jazz drummer eats 2 Chipotle burrito bowls a day to explode his creativity

Chipotle_menu_burrito_bowl.png

2 Chipotle Bowls a Day: The (Delicious) Power of Routine

When I first read the headline I thought that’s a great rationalization for being obsessed with Chipotle. My next thought, I want Chipotle right now.

Before you also get the craving and leave know that this Jazz Drummer and Entrepreneur inspired me. A year ago I set a goal to write more. I accomplished that goal using his method for lowering activation energy and setting up an easy routine/system.

Yoni’s creative process begins with his Chipotle system to save time and mental energy.

“Anchoring your routine around something by eliminating unnecessary choices to consume and shift mental and physical energy toward the projects that truly deserve them.”

Routines provide stability and channel your energy.

Yoni’s 2 bowls a day Chipotle routine inspired me to set a writing routine while I was stuck working on a Drillship.

He makes an interesting analogy with jazz drumming: his fundamental drum beat is Chipotle. All the variations and creative fills occur because of his fundamental beat.

Besides making me want Chipotle, I reflected on the time I devote to planning, buying, preparing, cooking, eating and cleaning up for meals. This is probably why I write more offshore than when I am onshore. I love to cook, but it definitely cuts back available time and energy to write.

Achieving creative bliss by lowering Activation Energy

Yoni eats healthy delicious meals, then put his time toward being a professional drummer. When I first read this article about a year ago I wanted to begin writing more on my blog. So I decided to set up a system.

Write 2 sentences a day

If I wanted to write more each day I would, and I usually did. But setting such an easy goal made it laughably easy. And as my man Mr. Money Mustache has said,

small efforts, repeated over time, will almost always surprise you.”

Sometimes I don’t write on days, but I’ve never stopped by being discouraged because the goal of 2 sentences was so low.

Lowering the activation energy of those tasks by eliminating the excuse that I don’t have time has proved to be the catalyst for incorporating writing into my daily routine.

I have a word document saved on my computer called 2 sentences a day. I am now at 119 pages and 67,000 words.

Yoni has his 2 bowls, and I have my 2 sentences.

My preference at Chipotle:

Chicken Fajita Bowl with brown rice, black beans, corn salsa, tomatillo green salsa, lettuce and guac.

Always finish Strong.

The Yoni Dina Chipotle Routine on Art Of Charm.com

How Red Lerille Mr. America 1960, started Red’s Gym: The biggest and best gym in the South

Reds Gym Pic

Reds started in 1963. His goal is to make an improvement every month. There have been 624 improvements since 1963. Today Red’s is over 185,000 square feet. Every time I get onshore I go here 4-5 times a week. Red has built a world class gym in the 214th largest city in the US. It’s an amazing place and an good story.

“This place started off like Red Lerille’s Health Studio, then it became Red Lerille’s Health Club, then Red Lerille’s Health and Racket Club, and eventually people dropped all that shit and called it Red’s.”

Red’s Keys to Success

1. Arrive on time, ready to work

From Red Lerille: Painting the town Red,

“Every day, Lerille rises at 2:30 a.m. and rides one of his six bikes to the club to open it at 3 a.m. He works out for about 90 minutes before he hops on his bike for about 45 minutes of cardio and then pedals home. He takes a shower, shaves, eats breakfast and then heads to the 7 a.m. mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, down the street from his home. After mass, he heads to the private airport where he hangars the antique airplanes he restores and flies one for about a half-hour. Then, he drives back to Red’s, usually arriving by 8:30 a.m.—about the time many people are grabbing their first cup of coffee for the day.”

Credit Lara Hale

      2. Say hello and goodbye

  Red’s has 250 employees. Guess who opens up the gym every morning at 3:00 am. Red.  He usually stays until 7pm, even on Sundays.        

         3. Make a change every month

“You gotta have a board, with some goals written down, you have to write your goals down.”

        4. Learn as much as you can

When I joined the gym he gave me the tour personally. He handed me a book One Summer by Bill Bryson. It was fun read and chronicled the crazy events of 1927; from Lou Gehrig and the Yankees to Charles Lindbergh. Not just into fitness, his hobbies are building airplanes and motorcycles.

       5. Stay in shape

He works out everyday. One of the pillar habits in The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is exercising. Exercise has ancillary effects in your life that moves you to accomplish all other goals.

 Tour of the facility and history of Reds.

 

Red’s is an anchor for Lafayette. It has

  • a basketball court
  • 4 large swimming pools
  • boxing ring
  • racketball courts
  • cafeteria
  • coffee shop
  • 2 yoga studios
  • Pilates stuio
  • Cycling studio
  • Outdoor obstacle course
  • Day Care
  • 6 squat racks and full sets of bumper plates
  • MIT which is basically its version of crossfit

Besides all that is has a world class tennis facility.

  • 20 outdoor courts (14 hards and 6 clay rubico)
  • 3 well lit indoor courts with a viewing gallery.

This place is amazing.Reds tennisreds 2

Two critiques I’ve heard are were the price and the bodybuilders. The former is an excuse, and the latter is an over generalization.

  1. Red’s over delivers on value. Those that say it’s too expensive just don’t want to go to the gym. That’s fine, but don’t tell me about how your free week at reds was amazing, and you really wish you could afford it. I paid a one time $230 joining fee. And I pay a monthly fee including meals and tennis court of around $80 per month. You get a world class facility for a low cost and it gets better every month. That’s a high return on investment.
  2. “Oh Red’s, isn’t that just a meathead gym”. It is a bodybuilding gym, but its a lot more than that. Red’s foundation is bodybuilding. He was 1960 Mr. America after all. Their are serious bodybuilders there and they do stand out, but to be honest they are maybe 5% of the total membership. And I’ve never had a bad experience with them. I think the critique is based on the assumption that if you are big you do steroids and act aggressive. I’ve found Red’s to be a community of like-minded people trying to improve everyday.

Compared to other gyms Reds is incredible for the value you get in return. You get a world class facility for a low cost and it gets better every month. That’s a high return on investment.