When you’re on a quest for self-improvement, there are countless books, apps, methods, etc., out there that promise to “fix” you, or help you become the best you you can be. Bullet journals, meditation apps, yoga studios, books promising to help you “get your shit together”—there’s no shortage of products, services and experiences to buy in our culture.
But what if, rather than acquire new hobbies or projects, you turned to your old interests and pursued them with fervor and commitment? What if you tried that for a whole year?
That’s what David Cain proposed on his blog, Raptitude. He wrote that the idea, which he deemed a Depth Year, immediately “caught fire.” With a Depth Year, you’re going “deeper rather than wider”:
The “Depth Year” was supposed to be hypothetical—a reflection on how our consumer reflexes tend to spread our aspirations too thin. Because it’s so easy to acquire new pursuits, we tend to begin what are actually enormous, lifelong projects (such as drawing, or language-learning) too often, and abandon them too easily.
Not purchasing new things is key, but perhaps more important, Cain writes, is the recognition that “depth” has a different meaning to everyone. For some, it could mean embracing what you have and holding off on buying new toys. “To others it’s a more general pruning of waste, a suspicion of the impulse to acquire, and a refocusing on what really matters,” he writes.
The goal is go deeper with your current goals and hobbies—reading the books you already have, practicing more yoga poses rather than trying meditation for the first time, etc.—to stay the course, and “cultivate” the value of the things we’re already engaged in.
Cain writes that for him, the Depth Year helped him create “a new lens for looking at the tools and opportunities that had always been there.” Possibility was everywhere, he writes, when you learn to look for it.
This type of shift in perspective can help you overcome our culture’s constant need for more and better. Instead of thinking about what you don’t have or cannot do, you go deeper with what you already have, and can do.
I have been wanting to change my hairstyle for quite a while now, but because of my perennial short crop, it was difficult to find an appropriate hair stylist to advise me on how to go about getting that desired haircut, and whether it would be suit my face shape, etc. Hence, when I was invited by the kind folks of Salon Infinity (@saloninfinitysg) at Suntec City Mall Tower 2 for a haircut, I jumped at the chance.
Let me describe this in a little more detail. I have been having the conventional Armani haircut for over a decade already. Even though i wanted to change my haircut, my hair was way too short -- I was easily affected by my sides thickening, and within the span of two weeks, I would queue up for a new haircut.
However, a couple of weeks back, in May, I decided that it was about time to effect change. I read up on the Internet on some of the trending haircuts, and reckoned that I would still stick to a short crop (which was more ideal for my slightly curly hair anyway), but one that would allow me to sweep my hair to the side. In addition, I would like to have a more distinctive side parting, for a fresh and distinct look.
After being introduced to the creative director Raymond, I summarised quickly to him on what I desired, but I relayed to him that I was comfortable for him to try out his version of what would work for me. Without much hesitation, he went on with his clipper. Within thirty minutes, his deft hands got me this haircut.
The issue with this hairstyle was that it was not easy to see it from the camera. I then went nearby and took a side view which gave a better depiction of the hair parting line. In short, I was pretty impressed with Raymond, as well as the Aveda treatment when he washed my hair.
Giveaway and Promo Alert!
I had a good liaison with the Salon Infinity team, and we struck a pact to detail my hair journey for the next six months. I also requested for a promo and a giveaway offer, which goes below:
Promo: Get 15% off all ala carte services, including haircut (UP: $69.55) via promo code WILLIE15. Valid till 30 Sep 2017. T&C applies.
Giveaway: Haircut Giveaway to 1 lucky winner via Instagram! Follow @saloninfinitysg and comment why you should win a haircut worth up to $69.55. Contest ends 30 June 2017. T&C applies.
Big thanks to Alastaire for the filming, Louis for the coordination, and Joyce and Patricia for being willing models, we have our SHR video. As Wellaholic is still a young start-up, it means that we have to manage costs, and as a result of that, we have to resort to self-help. In spite of this, I would say that the output is a fantastic one. Kudo to the brilliant team for making this happen! =)
And the description that goes with the video? Let me paste it below:
★★★★★ " I have decided to replace my hair removal laser, which is very effective but painful, with the painless Super Hair Removal (SHR)."
Suitable for the face and body, SHR removes unwanted hair permanently and painlessly giving you the confidence to flaunt your body. Smooth fuzz-free skin, without the need to shave and wax, is now within everybody’s reach.
SHR is not quite an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and it is definitely not a laser. It is built upon the technological breakthrough where broad-spectrum light is used to warm up and destroy the hair follicles. Because it is not an IPL treatment, it can be used on darker skin. Because it is not a laser, the treatment is not painful.
Book your SHR at Wellaholic, located just 5 minutes by foot from Lavender MRT station.
Make a booking at bit.ly/elight-facial
Find out about Wellaholic's SHR at bit.ly/elight-one
After the Spartan Training at Penhas, the rest left, while a few of us stayed back to clean up. We swept the floor, mopped away the perspiration, and then cleared the rubbish. While we could grabbed a quick bite nearby, I wanted to do a quick recce of The Great Escape as a potential event venue. We drove over to the Golden Mile Complex, got a little lost and ended up at Rex Theatre. I queried the cashier and he beckoned to us to head towards level 5. At The Projector, we tried to find the route to The Great Escape and ended up at the restroom instead lol, but soon we found ourselves at the outdoor bar.
Unfortunately, there was a company event going on, which meant that we could not have our dinner there. The outdoor area had several puddles of water formed from the heavy downpour, but all in all it sported a great indie vibe, and was helped by the vintage Volkswagen Van which was used as a drinks serving area.
We then decided to find a place to have a quick dinner. I had my early dinner prior to the training session, hence kept the guys company as they found a Heng Hwa Lor Mee place at the basement level (rare!).
Things that we learned at the Resveratrol Wednesday today:
1. Asians are prone to be lactose intolerant
2. Take every process as an experience
3. Prostate cancer can happen suddenly without symptoms
4. Piloxing is a fusion of standing pilates, boxing and dance
5. Bowlingual is a computer-based dog-to-human language translation device developed by Japanese toy company Takara
6. Every experience is an opportunity to grow
7. Resveratrol has anti-ageing benefits
8. If you buy grapes to eat, the darker the skin, the better
9. Do something that you can share proudly with your kids
10. Wellness is a topic close to everyone's hearts and we all view it in differently, but the approach is similar... wellness doesn't come without effort and sacrifices
It was a great yoga outing today.
Okay, I had to wake up really early on a Sunday morning. At 630am in fact. After I washed up and drove over to Kallang Wave, I was wide awake and ready for my noob yoga session.
It all started the evening before. Andy mentioned that he was reaching out to the team from Wildfire for possible collaborations. Patrick invited us to join the yoga session, and I decided to blast this event through the group chat. It was at 630 am, on a Sunday morning, and while I was reluctant to wake up so early (I was hoping to get more rest this hectic period), I decided to see if there was anyone who would attend. Should there be one, I would join in as well.
Wei Ann promptly replied the group chat: "I'm in."
Our group swelled up to five of us, which was pretty impressive despite given a short notice (and on an early Sunday morning, I have to reiterate again lol). At the running track area of the Sports Hub, the morning air was fresh, and I was surprised by the number of enthusiasts that were already jogging around the track. XY, our yoga coach for the morning, ran us through the warm ups, and did some good stretching.
I particularly found the partner yoga to be fun and interesting - which reminded me of Pink's acrobatic movements during the MTV awards (I think).
After the yoga session ended, we proceeded to Starbucks for the collaboration discussion, which went well. I was particularly enthused by the team spirit, and I certainly hope that the #wellaholic movement would continue to grow, and in this process of this, we are able to get more like-minded folks to join us on this journey towards total wellness.
To find out more about Wellaholic, please go to www.wellaholic.com
To find out more about the list of wellness marketplace events, visit http://www.facebook.com/teamwellaholic/events/
It has been a very tiring period for me. I have been juggling with so many aspects of Project Cumulus such that the nights were becoming shorter, and I was heading to bed later and later. The days passed quickly like the moment of daybreak before sunrise; you see the colours of dawn, but for that brief moment, before the rays of the sun obliterated them all. It was just only August, and now it's already the seventh day of September. Time flies.
After clearing some backlog, I decided to put the prints that I decided (with inputs from the team), into the Ribba frames. With the powerful vocals of A-Lin rising into crescendo in the background, I adjusted the frames, while the curious kitties gathered around, as if they were getting ready for a ritual of sorts.
Then again, perhaps this was part of a large ritual, and a grand scheme of sorts. As what I shared with H in the car today, no matter how capable I could possibly be, I would never be able to do this alone. If I were a commander or a general in a forgotten era of an ancient Chinese dynasty, I would never be able to face the hordes of enemies without the support and loyalty of my capable lieutenants. And of course, they are all skilled in their own martial arts, and their weaponry abilities. In fact, I joked to H that he would probably be skilled in using metallic fans with razor-sharp blades.
And with jokes and worries juxtaposed into a blend of what I call hope, even as I sit here typing into the later hours of the night, I have A-Lin's singing to keep me company, and as Tigger lay asleep beside me, I look forward to what is to come. Aptly captured by one of the products, "Life's Promise". Indeed.
I have been, occasionally, posting the end-results of my (simple) salad creations, but I have never shown the behind-the-scenes of how my salads were done. Making salads is not exactly an exciting affair - I would rummage through the fridge to see what I have bought (and what was left over from the previous week). I would defrost the frozen chicken breast. I would then do all the chopping and slicing, before putting everything together with a salad sauce of the day.
Frozen chicken and celery
Most of the chicken that we can find in the local supermarkets are of the frozen variety, and mainly imported from Brazil. I used to purchase "fresh" thawed frozen chicken from Sheng Siong at $2.50 per piece, but I have since switched to packed frozen chicken breasts.
Why so? Because it is not ideal to refreeze thawed chicken. With the right package of frozen chicken breasts readily available in most of the major supermarket chains, I find this a cheaper and more convenient option.
I would almost always choose chicken breast over any other meats (with the rare occasion of Atlantic salmon, which is delicious but out of my budget). With so many damaging reports about red meats, I reckoned that it would be better to stick with poultry. For the evening, I also sliced the celery into small bits, but only after tearing the edges off, together with its fiber.
After I have defrosted the chicken in the microwave (about 6 minutes or slightly longer), I would then slice them into cubes. Chicken pieces cubed are easier to mix and easier to eat.
One big tip about eating salad lunches on a regular basis is to find a good variety of salad sauces. This evening, I would use the Bibigo Korean BBQ Sauce. I marinated the chicken cubes with a spoonful of the sauce and then cook it for about 4 minutes in the microwave.
Kale and Chillies
While the chicken is cooking in the microwave, I added the kale leaves (which I prepared the day before. I added salt, massaged the leaves and then left them in a plastic bag overnight in the fridge, and it should keep for a few days) as well as sliced the red chillies.
Again, in recent years, there has been studies touting the incredible health benefits of red chillies, and how they can help with weight management as well as with inflammation. I would use a chopper (my favourite type of knife), to slice the chillies into small bits, and then remove the seeds before adding them into the salad bowl.
Coriander or Cilantro!
While kale is a super vegetable and looks nice and green, it's pretty tough and difficult to eat. Hence, by adding some cilantro into the salad mix, it imbues a touch of freshness, brought about by the awesome flavours of the cilantro.
Cilantro herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. However, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels in the blood.
Cooling off the chicken
Make sure that the cooked chicken is really cooked (as sometimes the chicken might not be well spread out, and hence parts of it might not cook well). Make sure that the marination is absorbed into the chicken. I would add another half spoonful of the Korean sauce and mix it with the salads to ensure that it will have some flavour too.
Depends on whether you prefer to have your salads "dry" or your salads "wet", you can decide whether to drain the juices from the chicken away or to keep it as part of the salad sauce.
The awesome chicken salad!
And there you go! A really colourful salad that looks fresh and appetising!
As mentioned in my last posting, one trick about sticking to making salad lunches for the week ahead -- is to doing the entire week's shopping during the weekends. Hence, a few hours earlier, right after my gym, I decided to head down to GIANT to do my usual salad shopping. I ended up buying these items:
How to prepare Kale?
While kale salads are full of nutrients and fiber, making kale worthy of its status as a super-vegetable, it is not always easy to prepare kale. The last time I bought some kale for my salad, I had a hard time finishing the salad that I prepared.
Hence, I learned some useful tips to make kale a lot more delicious and edible in my salads:
Prevent “oops I forgot” and other excuses, and make your habits last indefinitely.
Scenario #1: The marketing team at Procter and Gamble investigates videos of people making their beds. They attempt to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, which was on track to be the greatest flops in their company history. Suddenly, one of the team members detects a nearly imperceptible pattern. With a slight shift in marketing, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.
Scenario #2: A young lady made a remarkable transformation. Over the past two years, she has transformed her life is almost every aspect. She has quit smoking, took part and completed a marathon. She has also been promoted at work. Neurologists investigated and realised that the patterns inside her brain has fundamentally changed.
What do these two scenarios have in common? Success was achieved by focusing on the patterns that shape and affect every aspect of our lives.
HABIT helped the transformation.
The Power of HABIT
Written by Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and writer, Charles Huhigg, the 2012 New York Times bestseller The Power of Habit describes several examples of the roles of habits in individuals, organisation, as well as societies, and follows up with methods to recognise and consciously direct the things that really control our behaviour and our results.
I will dedicate several blog posts to uncover the chapters one by one, with a key purpose in mind. On why it is important to form HABITS that will guide us and lead us to live a fulfilling life, or what I term as a #wellaholic life.
CHAPTER ONE: How Habits Work
The first story touched on Eugene Pauly, a 71-year-old man who lost part of the lobe of his brain (medial temporal lobe) due to a viral infection. The rest of Eugene's brain was perfectly intact, and he had no problem recounting or recalling anything that happened before 1960. However, he suffered a total short-term memory loss, and was unable to retain any knowledge of any new event or events for more than a minute. He constantly repeated his words and actions from a minute ago. Eugene could not recognise his family nor his friends, and he couldn't also tell where his bedroom was located, or how to get to the nearby supermarket.
However, in an effort to ensure that Eugene got some exercise to keep him healthy, his wife started to take him to walks around the block on a daily basis. One day, Eugene disappeared, and his wife went into panic mode, only to realise that Eugene showed up fifteen minutes later. While Eugene was unable to draw a map of his block or even point to where his house was, he was able to take that same walk around the block every day.
Eugene has demonstrated what scientists had suspected but never before proved; that habits are formed and operate entirely separately from the part of the brain responsible for memory. Later tests revealed that we learn and make unconscious choices without having to remember anything about the lesson or about decision-making.
Your brain is constantly seeking new ways to save effort.
As a result, it is always "rearranging" sequences of actions into automatic routines. Backing out of the driveway, for example requires over a dozen actions, but many of us do it daily without a second thought.
The HABIT Loop
The habit process consists of a three-step loop:
As part of the #wellaholic movement, I am currently exploring how to leverage the power of Gamification and Group Responsibility to form habits that stick. That has led me to HABITICA, a free habit building and productivity app that treats our real life like a game. With in-game rewards and punishment to motivate you and make you stick to your dailies and to-do tasks. While I am "beta-testing" this application for #wellaholic, I would like to invite anyone who would like to make a conscious attempt to form a habit (such as sticking to the #30days60secCoreChallenge and #WellaholicAbRoller challenge) to join us. Go to HABITICA, create a free account and contact me - I would gladly add you to our party, and let's create good habits and slay the monsters!
My name is Willie, and I like to muse about things. Things related to me are Wellaholic.