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“At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you… everything’s going to go south and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem… and you solve the next one… and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home. All right, questions?” – Mark Watney, Martian
On this page, I have written about my life philosophy. I share some of my routines and how I build structure into my life around what I consider the fundamentals for growth:
- Sleep and the circadian cycle
- Nutrition, light, air, and water
- Social, physical and cognitive activities
- Healthy environment and exposure to nature
I believe that respecting these fundamentals will lead to better health, improve productivity, and increase general life satisfaction. These consequently will help us to accomplish and build great things.
Academically, I’m most interested in problem-solving using programming and mathematics. I find topics such as logic and algorithms fascinating. However, I try not to limit my thinking only to these fields but actively understand other points of view, including biology, psychology, history, politics, business, and economy.
Reading is essential for learning about things that have already been discovered and educating yourself about the world. I actively read books and articles related to my interests and sometimes venture outside of them. Apart from reading, I have found listening to podcasts to be an excellent way to learn about specific topics. Podcasts are also a great way to find interesting people such as authors and entrepreneurs and their work.
Writing is also essential for learning. It forces us to understand the subject at depth, use learned knowledge, and communicate it with other people. I regularly practice my technical and non-technical writing skills, for example, in the form of this blog.
I’m also learning photography to improve the quality of my photos in the blog and other online profiles. I have learned that visual images effective at influencing people, especially online because humans can process visual images faster than written content.
Routines, Work and Sleep
Routines create an essential structure for a successful day. Morning and evening routines affect the quality and productivity of the day as they help us prime the body for work and wind it down afterward. They are crucial for good sleep and proper circadian cycle, both of which are fundamental for good health.
In the morning after waking up, I check my sleep data from the Oura ring. It tells me when I fell asleep, when I woke up, the total sleep time, and a break down between each sleep stage; deep, REM, light, and awake. It also shows me my morning readiness score, which takes into account the sleep and nighttime heart rate variability. The readiness tells me how stressed my body is and whether I should be doing any laborious physical exercise that day. After I’m done reading the Oura stats, I make coffee or tea and go for a walk outside to receive sunshine and physical activity for a wake-up signal to the brain. Once outside, I like to pause to do some reading or do a workout in a park. Afterward, I am ready to begin working.
Because my work consists mostly of knowledge work, I typically work remotely. Remote work enables full control over daily routines, work environment, and which tools I use. I describe my home office set up in the article “Ergonomic Workstation for Knowledge Workers”. Having control over the work environment enables me to have long, uninterrupted periods of focused work, known as deep work, which is necessary for being effective at cognitive tasks such as reading, writing, and problem solving. After working, I usually go for a walk, sauna, or engage in social activities.
My evening routine begins one to two hours before bedtime by putting on my blue-light blocking glasses. Ideally, I would also avoid using electronic devices and do some light social activity. Since that’s not always feasible, I watch some non-stressful tv-series like sitcoms or read books instead. I avoid hard physical activity in the evening. Usually, I sleep my window open to cool down the room. During sleep, I wear earplugs and a sleep mask to block out noise and light, and my Oura ring on to record my sleep data.
I aim to do my mentally requiring daily tasks in increasing order of stimulus, coined as the stimulus hierarchy. In practice, this means reading, then writing, listening to audio content, and then watching video content. I find it helpful to focus on less stimulating tasks if I do them before more stimulating tasks, such as reading before writing.
I have been physically very active and interested in physical training since childhood. I practiced competitive swimming for a decade before I quit at eighteen years old. The training included swimming and gym training, and the training volumes were at the highest, more than eighteen hours per week. The experience from swimming has contributed to my views about the human’s ability to push over mental and physical limits. Later I have also come to understand the importance of being physically active, especially in a group setting.
After I quit swimming, I have been keeping up my physical fitness with free weight, body weight, and high-intensity training. I aim to do a workout once every two or three days. A typical workout consists of a warmup, traditional barbell exercises, and bodyweight movements.
In the university, I joined the cheerleading team, where I have been practicing amateur cheerleading since 2016. Our team has performed in American football games, university events, and competitions. Cheerleading has taught me about teamwork, managing performance anxiety, and managing simultaneous physical, cognitive, and psychological stress.
I also include sauna and cold thermogenesis to my physical health-related practices. As everyone knows, Finns love saunas, and I go to the sauna regularly. I always combine my sauna sessions with cold exposure, such as cold showers, rolling in the snow or jumping into an icy lake or sea.
I became interested in nutrition after experiencing chronic digestive issues, acne, and general fatigue. All of these issues were related to poor gut health, which I discovered after addressing the digestive issues by changing my eating habits. Also, the use of antibiotics contributed to poor gut health. Eventually, I managed to fix these issues with a combination of nutrition, probiotics, and other lifestyle changes.
Today, I embrace eating quality, unprocessed food, and the importance of correct preparation techniques. I favor local foods whenever possible. Typical foods that I eat include:
- Animal products from healthy animals. Mostly beef, eggs, and pork, less often fish, dairy, or poultry.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Fats such as butter, animal fats, olive oil, and coconut oil.
- Salt, herbs, and spices.
- Honey and other bee products.
- Coffee, tea, and cacao products.
I supplement with
- Vitamin D3 (daily)
- Magnesium (daily)
- Melatonin containing sleep supplement (daily)
- Probiotics (periodically)
I don’t subscribe to any specific diet, but my diet does closely resemble an ancestral, paleo, and low-carb diet. However, I try not to define my diet by what I eat, but rather by the objective that I am trying to achieve.
Generally, I think that an ancestral view of nutrition, such as the Weston Price Foundation’s dietary guidelines, is a good starting point for a healthy diet. It makes the case that we should be eating foods that humans evolved to eat.