- This Codex Vitae, or “book of life”, is a collection of my beliefs and concepts that inform my decisions and life. It is a work in constant flux; as my understanding changes, so will my beliefs. The main purpose of this document is to (1) pull my beliefs into the light where I can questions them more effectively and (2) to share philosophies, concepts, tools, and inspiration that have been helpful to me.
How to Use This Codex
- If you are DoomHammer:
- Develop a habit of using the Codex as a repository for beliefs that develop throughout the year.
- Consider doing a monthly review of whether my life is in alignment with values and beliefs. If not, should my behavior change or have my understanding and values changed?
- Do a yearly review in January of the entire document, editing places where beliefs have changed. Expect beliefs and tactics to change — don’t hold on to them too rigidly.
- If you are not DoomHammer:
- Read this with the understanding that you are different than DoomHammer— the way he lives his life is not the way you should live yours.
- Consider creating your own Codex Vitae. Feel free to copy anything here that is helpful.
- Beliefs about beliefs.
- The only way to know if a belief is right for you is to live with it. And even then your situation will change. Therefore, the beliefs in this document represent strong opinions loosely held. They will change.
- Articulated beliefs allow for a more efficient life. They reduce the need for self-negotiating or flip-flopping.
- Fundamentals that guide my life.
- Reading about productivity can be a good way to grow, but nothing beats Actually Doing Something.
- “Done” now is better than “perfect” someday.
- Prefer action to continuous planning.
- Priority is not plural. Always know your most important task, and treat everything else as a “Plus”.
- Calendar blocking makes me more committed.
- When procrastinating clear everything up and start with a Pomodoro.
- Do the hard stuff before 1PM.
- Try to have meetings as late as possible not to interfere with Maker’s Time.
- Know what do you want to do. Next Action beats huge monolithic project.
- Keep Inbox Zero, store mail related to projects in some external storage (Evernote, Git, …).
- Productivity is a means, not a goal itself. Be human first and foremost.
- Context switching is costly.
- ASAP often leads to FUBAR.
- Store ideas in an external storage. Clear your mind as often as possible.
- Note things down when you make observations. Articulation helps with cognition.
- Complete a morning routine before starting work. This eliminates some possible distractions.
- Take Breaks After Pomodoros. Walk. Gaze in the distance letting eyes rest. Breathe some fresh air.
- Be able to work much less time with much better results.
- Improve focus.
- Improve planning.
- Improve estimation.
- Make Interstital Journaling Consistent.
- Track long-term projects in detail.
- First and foremost I eat to give my body the necessary energy.
- But I prefer good food to bad one.
- Mexican and Thai cuisine seem to be my favourites.
- Protein over Carbs.
- Fat is OK.
- Avoid added sugar.
- Avoid added salt.
- The less the food is processed the better for my organism it is.
- 4 meals a day every 4 hours work pretty good.
- Wheat is not very good for me.
- Some dairy products (like ice cream) make me feel funny.
- Too much pu-erh can wreak havoc on both my stomach and my calm.
- Try to prepare meals one day in a week for whole week. Freeze everything you won’t eat in the next two days.
- White things are generally bad (flour, rice, sugar, salt).
- Always have a plan for next week’s meals. And have some backup quickies for emergency situation.
- Always have mixed nuts and/or protein bars with you.
- Drink as much water as you can. Always have a 0.7l bottle with you: it’s not too big to be intimidating and it prompts you to drink it.
- Diets work when they are backed by healthy habits. The less you have to think about it the better.
- Food is a great way to socialise. Both eating out, inviting friends to a prepared dinner or inviting friends to a cooking cooperation.
- Supplements may or may not be needed based on diet and location.
- Money spent on quality food can be saved on medication bills later in life.
- Free isn’t a good reason to eat something.
- Do not waste food.
- But when in doubt about its freshness, discard it. Health is the ultimate goal after all.
- Sweets, if not too sweet, are OK once in a while.
- During the work-week prefer easy to prepare meals over fancy ones. Save the fancy ones for the quality time with your friends or with yourself.
- Microwaved fancy meals cease to be fancy, start to taste microwaved. Don’t spend too much time on a meal if you want to microwave it anyway.
- If possible order your grocery, saves time and money wasted on eye-candies.
- Restaurants should be for quality time dining, not to satisfy the basic hunger.
- Shopping from local suppliers not only boost the local economy but often can result in higher quality food.
- I love eating and I love cooking. Baking is not my speciality however (mostly because the outcome is not my thing).
- Alcohol should be consumed in moderation and only if it’s tasty. Avoid getting drunk.
- When drinking alcohol consume at least as much water as alcoholic beverages. Ideally a glass of water before and after a glass/shot of watever you choose.
- I don’t drink coffee due to an unpleasant experience years ago. Cold brew in cocktails I find enjoyable, on the other hand.
- Don’t eat to “improve your mood”. You’ll be sad and fat instead of just being sad.
- I really enjoy spicy food (hence Mexican and Thai) though it can leave my stomach dissatisfied. This is the trap I find myself most often caught in.
- Consuming alcohol while hungry only intensifies my hunger and sugar craving.
- Breakfast cosists of 4 large fried eggs, optional additives: mixed nuts, spinach, greek yoghurt.
- When in doubt cook chili con carne (or sin carne).
- No caffeine after 2PM.
- Never go shopping for food without a plan.
- Glass of water after getting out of bed.
- Pu-erh, oolong and mate as a wake-up drink. Ideally Bulletproofed (spoon of coconut oil, spoon of grass-fed butter, pinch of turmeric, pinch of ginger).
- When abroad always look for the nearest Lidl, Aldi, Netto or similar. Then prepare some go-to meals to cut on eating in restaurants.
- When abroad try to visit at least one fancy restaurant and one street-food vendor. This is called experiencing different cultures.
- Dark chocolate is a sweet I can enjoy.
- Eat more fresh fruit.
- Eat to gain more muscle mass, lose fat.
- A bit of movement can do much more good than some medicine.
- If you want to get into physial fitness you have to train something instead of just exercising. It means you need to follow a plan or program.
- Physical fitness can make your body look great but this shouldn’t be your sole reason to work out.
- I prefer skill-based fitness (calisthenics and parkour) than pure strenght-based (weightlifting).
- Two-week break in exercising can have a serious impact on your performance.
- Exercise machines are good as long as you’re an exercise machine salesman. For others free weights should be much better.
- StrongLifts 5x5 makes for a good program if you want to do weight lifting.
- For basic daily fitness the 7 Minute Workout is a good start.
- Always have a bodyweight training plan on hand. You can work out everywhere so you are prepared if all else fails (no gym, no running space, no equipment, just you).
- Have some full-body bodyweight routine you can fall back to.
- Walk at least 30 minutes every day.
- Use stairs if possible, avoid elevators and escalators.
- Maintain at least 68 minutes of physical exercise every day (walking, biking and skating counts, so does yoga, stretching, and various workouts).
- Enter physical fitness competition (fulfilled on 25.11.2017).
- Build enough strength and skill to perform various calisthenics figures:
- 10 consecutive Muscle-ups
- Front lever
- Back lever
- Hand-stand push-up
- Human Flag
Intoxicants (Drugs, Alcohol, etc.)
- There is a thin line between drugs, medicine, supplements and so on. Whether they are “good” or “bad” depends mostly on the dosage and desired outcome.
- Experimenting with cogintion enhancements shouldn’t be considered a crime.
- Drug addicts shouldn’t be considered criminals. They are the victims.
- I find it hard to understand that in my culture drugs are persecuted yet alcohol is glorified to the point that a non-drinker is often stygmatized and ostracized.
- My culture have a long tradition of drugs usage (poppies, ergot, mushrooms). Only recently have they started to be penalized.
- Preferred source of caffeine is either pu-erh tea, green tea or yerba mate. Ideally a mix of them.
- I don’t consume coffee as a beverage.
- Don’t consume alcohol to intoxicate yourself. Consume it for the flavour.
- Learn more about nootropics.
- Try a prolonged abstinency from alcohol (the longest so far is 90 days).
Mental and Emotional Wellness
- Meditatate in order to know your mind better.
- Avoid social comparison.
- Practice gratitude (eg. through 5 Minute Journal).
- Mental wellness goes hand in hand with physical wellness.
- Assume good intentions in people.
- Seek Victory not Vengeance.
- Always try to wear a smile. Makes yourself feel better and probably others as well.
- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You can be that Jack.
- Create more art (with a fairly liberal definition of art).
- Spend some time each day just breathing and thinking.
- Go for a walk in a park/nature once a week.
- Actively listen to music once a week. Ideally a full album on a high-end stereo.
- Take a relaxing bath once a week.
- Every day exercise your mental fitness. Read, learn, play, grow, improve.
- Take a daily walk. Ideally either in the morning or in the afternoon.
- Try a two-week long retreat from civilization.
- Spend more time outdoors.
- Spend more time talking to people.
- Spend more time in front of stereo.
- Conquer the fear of heights.
- Compound interest applies here as well. Care for your long-term relationships.
- Being honest does not require being rude or unpleasant.
- Friendship is one of the currencies that generate enormous gains.
- Keep in mind that whatever you do, you wouldn’t be in that place if it wasn’t for your relationships.
- Try to surround yourself with succesful and/or happy people. They will be your inspiration.
- Avoid too much interaction with people that bring you down. They will drain your energy.
- Help people in need but don’t confuse help with codependency.
- Ask questions. Your assumptions for someone’s behaviour may be incorrect.
- Don’t gossip.
- Smile when out in public. Don’t forget to smile when alone as well.
- Difficult conversations tend to get more difficult when postponed.
- You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- I try to avoid conflict.
- There are certain people with whom I don’t want to disagree.
- If you feel like giving someone a gift, just do it.
- Be honest. Lies don’t pay.
- Spend more time talking to people.
- Be a better listener.
- Try not to offer unsolicited advice.
- Try to better understand my partner.
- Dress according to occasion.
- Perfect fit is better than perfect pattern.
- The more universal a piece of cloth is the better for me (see: Buff).
- Down jackets are great for travel.
- More layers are better than special purpose clothes.
- Quality clothes are usually worth it, expensive clothes not necessarily.
- Best quality/price ration in clothing so far: Uniqlo.
- Have your own style. it is part of your personality.
- Good shoes are usually difficult to get. When you find ones that suit you better buy several pairs.
- Underwear of choice: Uniqlo AIRism, never worn anything more comfortable.
- Socks of choice: the most universal so far has been Smartwool Hike Liner Crew.
- T-shirts: Uniqlo AIRism, Uniqlo Heattech and Icebreaker Tech SS Lite seem to work fine.
- Longsleeve t-shirts: Uniqlo Heattech.
- Dress and business casual shoes of choice: Clarks.
- Always carry around merino hat and merino gloves. They weight little and don’t take too much space.
- Same goes with Buff.
- When traveling get three pairs of universal clothes and do the laundry on the go.
- Have a dress shirt of choice.
- Have trousers of choice.
- Have my suits perfectly fitted.
- If you’re still paying mortgage don’t call the house yours. Admit you only have certain rights to it.
- Renting can be expensive, but it also allows for better flexibility.
- None at the time.
- Live for a year in AirBnBs, hotels, apartments and such.
- Money cannot buy you happiness. You need to achive it yourself.
- That said not having to worry about money makes it easier to be happy.
- Too many goods rob you of your happiness as you start worrying about them.
- Invest in people and experiences first.
- Money is artificial and has no value in itself. It is a particularly long-lasting bubble that can burst any time.
- The banking system is something that can make your life miserable by chaining you to a job you have burnt out doing.
- Buy things when you have enough savings to buy them (no consumer credits).
- 0% interest loans are great ways to postpone payment and let it rest on savements account.
- Use credit card only to the limit you know you can pay without interest. See above.
- Have a stable passive income to support nomad living.
- Investing in quality goods is better than replacing faulty ones every now and again.
- Keep less, but strive for multi-use goods.
- Luxury goods don’t necessarily mean quality goods.
- Cheap goods almost always mean low quality goods.
- Companies I’d rather not deal with
- Hewlett-Packard due to trying to corrupt Polish officials
- BP due to oil spill mostly
- Zoom, various ethical concerns, and their malware-like practices
- Amazon, ethical concerns regarding both employees and retailers
- Companies I like and endorse
- Be content with quality producuts I already have.
- Most work benefits from good communication.
- Which means don’t hesitate to ask if something is unclear.
- Sitting on a problem non-stop won’t solve it. Give your mind a break and it will provide solutions.
- Prefer short focused work instead of multitasking.
- Perfection is rarely reached in a business enviornment but that should not allow for sloppiness.
- Do work that you enjoy, it will be much easier this way.
- If something is boring automate it or you risk not doing it at all.
- You cannot control everything. Delegate if necessary.
- Know what you want to achieve when starting a task.
- Start speaking publicly.
- Learn how to recognize poeple worth hiring.
- Hiring right people is probably the hardest part of managing a business.
- I am a good at coordination and planning, but not so good as a manager.
- I prefer to be organised and have a plan. I don’t necessarily need to stick to it if I find a better solution mid-flight.
- It is better to let people learn from their failures than to always do the hard things for them.
- Team’s job is to collaborate and find solutions together, not to blindly follow orders and wait for clues when something goes contrary to the plan.
- Shared values and principles help others reach the same conclusions you would, only without your direct involvement.
- Motivation can be negative and positive. Try to know people’s carrots because they can last longer than sticks.
- Marketing is the key. Even if your product is the greatest invention since the wheel, people that haven’t heard about it simply won’t buy it.
- Passion combined with focus is more often than not a better way to success than competence alone.
- What drives me in pursuing different ventures is having an impact. I believe teaching and education creates an impact. I believe writing creates an impact. I believe seeking mutual agreements between companies that serve customers creates an impact. I believe public speaking creates an impact. I believe coaching creates an impact. What I want to do is to change people’s life for the better. It matters less whether it is by products, by sharing knowledge or by consulting. I want to have an impact in whatever I do.
- Think about marketing when you think about the product.
- Hire potential customers of your products, they will have the natural drive to improve them.
- Start a succesful business that will be sustainable for at least 10 years.
- Build a passive income portfolio.
- Learning different fields helps broaden the mind.
- Small chunks of data make it easier to accomodate learning into a daily routine. This is why I find apps like Duolingo or Blinkist to be helpful.
- It is harder to forget practice than it is to forget theory. Focus on practicing the learned skills.
- Each day dedicate at least 15 minutes to learn or practice.
- Learn to communicate fluenlty in at least 4 languages (betting on Polish, English, German and Spanish for now).
- Ideally passion projects, work and business should overlap, though not necessarily in full.
- Passion is a better drive than money.
- Passion projects are great to learn something new or to grow in something already known.
- More often than not passion projects are about doing, not about finishing the work.
- Think about non-obvious ways how you can apply your passion in business environment. Not every music lover needs to be a musician.
- Creating things brings real joy.
- I always think of myself as an artist, no matter what I do for living.
- Allocate time each week to do something purely for the joy of doing it.
- Pursue various side-projects.
- Turn some side-projects into business ideas and try to market them.
- We are approaching a civilization where work would be a privilege of the few. And we are not prepared for it.
- Arts and culture are deeply important. I’d argue that this is what makes us human.
- Assume good intentions when in doubt
- Return to being a cultural promoter.
- People are by no means equal. We are very different individuals. Any form of generalization is hurtful to some minority.
- Hence you cannot satisfy all.
- Generalization, however, is needed to form sensible rules.
- This means that politic systems are never ideal. We are too complicated for that.
- Assume political people want to do good as far as their context reaches.
- To better understand major political trends consult this post by JBQ.
- Avoid echo chambers. Try to understand different aspects of an issue.
- Empathy helps with politics.
- Don’t judge first. Listen to what the other party has to say.
- Become active in the causes I care about.
- One major I am aware of is the fear of heights, though I am working on it with my parkour coach.
- Failure. Depends on the case, but sometimes it prevents me from taking an action.
- Ridicule. Most often in situations that do not warrant such fear.
- Making mistakes publicly. I know growth comes from making mistakes, but I prefer to err in solitude.
- Phone calls. I have no idea why, but I prefer to have a personal chat or text somebody than to actually call that person.
- To live a mediocre life. I want to be something when I grow up.
- Being too old to achieve something meaningful. Mostly in the sports department, but translates well to business sometimes.
- Not being able to help those I think I should be able to help.
- Not achieving my full potential.
- Failing to understand my partner.
Influences and recommendations
- Philosophies or ideas I espouse.
- Books and other media that have impacted my believes.
- Death: The High Cost of Living
- The Hobbit
- The Little Prince
- From Hell
- Sunstone, vol. 1
- Sex at Dawn
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 1
- The Sandman
- A Scanner Darkly
- More: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1248703?shelf=read&sort=rating
Favourite Music Albums
- Too many to enumerate
- Mostly guessing here, as I don’t pay much attention to them.
- Sin City
- V for Vendetta
- Forrest Gump
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Yellow Submarine
- The Doors
- Alice in Wonderland
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Quotes and mottos to live by.
- “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
- “(Fame) I’m gonna live forever
- I’m gonna learn how to fly (High)
- I feel it coming together
- People will see me and cry
- (Fame) I’m gonna make it to heaven
- Light up the sky like a flame
- (Fame) I’m gonna live forever
- Baby, remember my name”
- FAME (title song, sung by Irene Cara)
- “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War
- “I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend.” - Freddie Mercury
- “I have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything but I will not be mastered by anything.” - 1 Cor. 6:12
- “Change your mind, you’ll find open doors.
- If you’re able to share, the world can be yours.
- They say I’m poor, but I don’t feel the same,
- The capital I own, is the “P” in my name.”
- Klangstabil “Pay with Friendship”
- “I exist not to be loved and admired, but to love and act
- It is not the duty of those around me to love me
- Rather, it is my duty to be concerned about the world, about man”
- Janusz Korczak “Warsaw Ghetto Memoirs”
- “Gloomy safety
- Or beautiful danger
- The daily mundane streets
- Or brutal nature
- Be one of the few
- That’s brave enough
- To choose your fate, bruh
- Be one of the few
- That makes opportunities
- And moves the stakes up
- Are you a consumer
- Or are you a creator
- Are you a producer
- Or are you a potato
- Be one of the few today
- To use your labour to your favor
- Be one of the few
- Generating greater boons to human nature”
- Dan Bull “Handsome Anthem Anthem”
- ““Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
- “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
- “I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
- “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
- “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
- “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.””
- Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
- “I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, “Bob,
- everything in your world seems to be happy.” That’s for sure. That’s why I
- paint. It’s because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can
- make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch
- the news.”
- Bob Ross
- “One is the realization that marketing is a moral obligation. Somewhere in the world is someone who needs help, who wants help, and who doesn’t have any help. It’s your job to find them.”
- “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”
- People who’s lives or work inspire me in mine.
- Bob Ross
- Richard Branson
- Best Mexican Resturant: Dos Tacos, Warsaw, Poland
- Best Pizza: Oliwa do Ognia, Gdańsk, Poland
- Best Ice Cream: Gelateria Italia, Gdańsk, Poland
- Best Cocktail Bar: Pixel, Gdańsk, Poland
- Best Fine Dining Experience: A Tafona Casa de Xantar, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- A list of articles I helped creating at IOD
- Monthly Reviews 2018
- Monthly Reviews 2019
- Monthly Reviews 2020
- 2017 in Review
- 2018 in Review
- 2019 in Review
- Codex Vitae