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  1. My Epic Quest revolves around three things: my family, my personal experiences and skills, and my Jedi training. What about your career, you say? What is the point of a career without a family? How do you excel in your career without a solid understanding of your personal philosophy, ethics, and morals? The first one are kind of personal, so I'm going to keep them out of here for now, but will probably drop some Woots and Blogs every now and then. My Jedi training started when I was a young boy and first saw Empire Strikes Back. Since then, I've always seen myself in Luke. I understood his failings easily because they were easy to relate to. As I grew up, I learned more and more about Jedi philosophy and how to incorporate it into my life. While at graduate school in 2006, I found my first online Jedi community and began trading stories, philosophy, and training. I have always valued my own views and experiences over others, because I am one of the few in the online Jedi community without a spiritual background. I am much more scientific in my views of the "Force" or anything supernatural for that matter. I joined my first online Jedi training school, the Institute for Jedi Realist Studies (IJRS), this past winter and put together a training schedule. The training has three main elements: mind, body, and soul. Each training exercise must incorporate all of these elements. I keep an Excel spreadsheet to track all my goals, but I will share a few here. GOALS (updated 2019-1205) Toastmasters International Pass 5 lessons by Dec 31st, 2012. COMPLETE CC manual by Jan 31st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-01-22 10 Advanced Manual lessons by Dec 31st, 2013 to earn my Advanced Communicator Bronze. COMPLETE 2013-10-01 Hold a new Club Officer position in July 2013 - June 2014. COMPLETE Complete two Successful Club Series speeches by Jan 14th, 2014 to complete my Advanced Leadership Bronze. COMPLETE 2014-01-18 10 Advanced Manual lessons by June 1st, 2014 to earn my Advanced Communicator Silver. COMPLETE 2014-03-24 Serve as Area Governor July 2014 - June 2015. COMPLETE Complete term as a Club Coach by June 2015. COMPLETE Complete one one-hour Leadership Series speeches by June 2015 to complete my Advanced Leadership Silver. COMPLETE (Speechcraft) Complete 10 Advanced Manual lessons and two Educational Training sessions by June 2015 to complete my Advanced Communicator Gold. COMPLETE Complete both Advanced Communicator Gold and Advanced Leadership Silver to earn Distinguished Toastmaster. COMPLETE. Earn a Triple Crown (3 or more Toastmaster Awards in a year) every year with a minimum of 20 speeches in a year. ON GOING Pathways Program: Effective Coaching (COMPLETE), Dynamic Leadership (COMPLETE), Presentation Mastery (COMPLETE), Engaging Humor (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Leadership Development (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Persuasive Influence (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Team Collaboration (Level 1-2 Complete, Level 3-5 In progress), Motivational Strategies (Level 1 Complete, Level 2-5 In progress) Jedi Training IJRS Courses: Pass Intro, Meditation 101, and Force 101 by March 1st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-02-14 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses (Communication 101 and Creed 101) by December 31st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-12-30 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses. (Spirituality 101 and Personal 101) COMPLETE 2016-12-19 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses. (Jedi Studies 101 COMPLETE, Warrior 101 COMPLETE) IJRS Courses: Pass last Novice course. (Situational Awareness 101 COMPLETE) IJRS Novice Exam (in progress) Maintain CPR/AED Certification Expiration January 2021 Self Defense Karate White Belt - COMPLETE November 27th, 2016 Yellow Belt - COMPLETE Orange Belt - COMPLETE Green Belt - COMPLETE, Senior COMPLETE Blue Belt - COMPLETE Red Belt - COMPLETE Purple Belt - COMPLETE Brown I Belt - COMPLETE Brown II Belt - COMPLETE Brown III Belt - COMPLETE Probationary Black Belt - COMPLETE Black Belt Shodan - COMPLETE Black Belt Nidan - In Progress Tool Training Nunchucka Katana Bo Staff Helping Others Extra Life 2016 Gameday COMPLETE 2017 Gameday COMPLETE 2018 Gameday COMPLETE 2019 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$1k 2020 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$1k 2021 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$2k Website, Blogging, and Vlogging Jedi Training Website/Blog - Combining with Coaching Determine Objective Find proper format based on objective Establish Website/Blog Maintain Website/Blog Coaching Website/Blog - COMPLETE and in Sustainment Determine Objective Vision, Values, and Mission Long Term and Short Term Goals Brainstorm Branding (few ideas) Find proper format based on objective Establish Website/Blog Maintain Website/Blog Practice Vlogging (Facebook Live, YouTube) for Website/Blog content Jedi Toastmasters Coaching Fitness Extra Life Charity Home Renovation Electrical and Lighting Wiring for the Deck Electrical and Lighting Wiring for Basement Closet COMPLETE Clean up basement for construction projects COMPLETE Second Basement Bedroom COMPLETE Kids Playroom / Craft Room COMPLETE Clean up Laundry Room / Workshop / Storage Area COMPLETE Fix Electrical Wiring in Laundry Room and First Basement Bedroom COMPLETE Attic Storage Garage Backyard Wiring and Plumbing Backyard Garage and Shed BUCKET LIST: Local US Travel Yosemite Yellowstone Niagara Falls Appalachian Trail Experiences DONE (x2): Hike Mt. Whitney to 10,000 ft (Lone Pine Lake) DONE: Hike with Redwood Trees (Trail of 100 Giants) Hike Mt. Whitney to summit 14,000 ft DONE: Hike Mt. Mitchell to 6,684 ft in Appalachian Mountains (highest East of Mississippi River) Hike and Camp at the Grand Canyon Sky Dive Ride in a Plane / Jet World Travel Asia Okinawa, Japan China Australia New Zealand Rugby Matches Lord of the Rings Moeraki Boulders North America Costa Rica Spotted Lake, British Columbia Whale Watching in Grand Manan, New Foundland, Canada Alaska Hawaii South America Brazil Rain Forest and Amazon River Marble Caves, Chile Cao Cristales River, Columbia Africa Pyramids Safari Europe Greece (Parthenon), Spain, France, Poland, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, England Physical Feats Free Handstand for 10 seconds without support Free Handstand walk for 5 steps Muscle-Up Toe Above Bar Run 5 miles Run 10 miles Run Half-Marathon
  2. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good fight lightin' it up, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "I Need to Know How to Wield It" [No Spoilers this time for The Last Jedi] Everyday the human body changes. Old cells die and new cell are formed. I read recently that in 7 years, the skin cells of the human body have been completely replenished with new ones. One could argue that the person you are in 7 years is a completely new one. I'd say that the person you have become in 7 years a slightly modified replication, with natural aging appearance, augmented with new experiences and memories to enhance skills. Those new experiences are the ones which help us grow challenging ourselves in new ways. Occasionally, those new experiences will awaken a new passion or bring out a new skill. This can be an exciting or scary time as our comfort zone, status quo, personal priorities, etc are challenged and changed to make room for the awakening. Personally, I have a few new awakenings. I am interested in playing more Magic: The Gathering outside my close friends. The passion I have for the game and the newest release is pushing my interest into doing more than just playing the game with purchased or thrown-together decks. After playing in a Prerelease event, I feel confident I can recognize synergy among cards, use that synergy to build a strong deck, and play socially and competitively without making judgment errors or game play mistakes which would result in embarrassment or upsetting my opponent. These events are not free and require time; therefore, I'll have to pick and choose my battles and balance my other priorities. There is a Cosmic Encounter (my favorite board game) tournament in May which I am very interested in; however, I am also intimidated by the scale of it. One could prop up the other. My IJRS Jedi Novice Training and Karate Brown III training are in the final stages, which is exciting, but I am facing the question about what do I do with it. For both, the natural progression is to teach others. The IJRS may ask that I help tutor Novice students. I want to put together a website to put my knowledge and philosophy out there for others to learn from (I do that here a bit with these lessons). For Karate, I sempai classes, leading small groups. As I progress, the leading will progress as well. When I reach black belt, I may be asked to lead classes. I have to ask myself, what is my personal goals for teaching? How much commitment will it take? Where does it fall on my priorities? There is also Epic Nerd Camp, which I want to be more involved with, but I don't see myself being able to commit the time necessary to do it and meet expectations. I have a lot of desires and commitments which I keep trying to fit in. I keep on looking at my evening Toastmasters club thinking that I will need to step away from it to make time for these other things. But that is such a small commitment compared to the things I am looking to expand on. What else will take a backseat? The scariest part is that is all MY stuff. What about my wife's stuff? My kids stuff? My life is their life which means it is all OUR stuff. The priorities and commitments will be sorted out one way or another. The stuff which doesn't fall on all our lists is the stuff which falls to the bottom. I need to ensure that every voice and passion is heard to craft my stuff to fit the others. Because we share our lives, how I wield my awakened passions is integral to how my family will wield it. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 8 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. 2 Sprints (10 reps), 2 Jogs (30 min), 2 Bikes (10 min), and 2 Racquetball sessions. Track time and distance. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 800 min total, 200 weekly. STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. Track reps for push-ups and sit-ups AMRAP and daily total. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 1000 min total, 250 weekly. Track progress towards belt. Track improvement on all material. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 Keep on cutting out the crap - No CheezIts, limit snacking at work, 6 Dr Peppers a week, and limit cheese to 6 meals a week. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 72 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 18 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge) Dishes (15) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (25) Yard Work (2) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($140.90 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 16 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $20 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PENALTIES: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in. Lose $5 for CheezIts, more than 6 Dr Peppers a week, and more than 6 meals with cheese a week. Lose $1 for each snack.
  3. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you'll never make it through the night." Hope is something which comes and goes. Like motivation. Or passion. Or love. Each of these need attention to be maintained or it will fade with time. Motivation needs to be refreshed. Passion needs to be re-energized. Love needs to be nurtured. Hope needs to held close to the heart. Hope is attached to these other concepts (motivation, passion, love) as well as others, like dreams, beliefs, etc. Hope is a theme in The Last Jedi and will lead to the epic conclusion in Episode IX. In health and fitness, hope is part of our goals. We hope to our plans work out and we meet our goals moving closer to our dreams... When things go off the rails, our goals are obstructed or appear to be out of reach, those are the moments when hope is most important. It has to be held onto through those moments, return with you to the drawing board, and make it to a positive achievement. Hope in something better is what can get us back up after a failure. If we let even a little hope go, then it can all slip through like sand in your hands. Maintaining hope is best done with priorities. We prioritize our lives by what matters to us. Most of us would say that family is our number one priority. Tie your hope for your goal to your number one priority, then it will never fade. My hope is to be a Jedi who influences the world to make it a better place for my children and their children to inherit. That drives me to coach, mentor, and teach others. It drives me to make changes in my life to be a proper role model for everyone who may look up to me. Another hope I have is to maintain a healthy body so that I can take care of my family, and give them as much joy and happiness as I am able. My back injury made me grumpy and sedentary due to pain and discomfort. I committed myself to fixing it. Part of that was financially through doctor visits, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and a spinal injection. The other part is making changes in my daily life to correct poor posture and spinal issues through exercise, diet, and better sitting practices. Hope is your life line. Without hope, your life may be lost. Keep that life line strong with prioritization. With hope, you will always be rescued. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. Cut out the crap. Eat salads, not burritos. Eat fruit, not cookies. Eat carrots, not Cheez-Itz. Eat less, not more. TURN UP THE HEAT! TURN DOWN THE EAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 15 hours each week (reducing for the school year as I need time to help the kids with homework). Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($294.35 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 17 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $20 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $2 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $10 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  4. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is NOT going to go the way you think!" - Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi {I avoided spoilers this time!} We can plan and schedule everything in life. We can make assumptions, predictions, and estimations. We can set expectations high or low. None of it may amount to a hill of beans. There are always outside factors, randomness, errors, and poor judgement to throw any perfect plan off track. For each of these, we just reset, re-plan, reschedule, and go again. But nothing every goes exactly how we think. Worrying about it, getting frustrated with it, or crying about it is a waste of time and energy. It is a waste of life. Killing time is not murder, it's suicide. In this spirit, I decided to focus on a few items in different ways for this challenge. Chores and Maintenance I have a lot of control over my time. Others Life Categories are effected by how my free time gets chewed up or manipulated by outside factors. Instead, I'll have those tie into my incentives to push me more in those areas. I upped the stakes on my IJRS Lessons. There have been a lot of things keeping me from doing that, most of it on my shoulders for not making it a priority over other things. After Epic Nerd Camp, it'll be time to get it done. The things I prioritized over it, namely Toastmasters, needs to take a backseat for a bit. My evening Toastmasters club may be folding in September. It just has not gone well. I could go on and on about the new Toastmasters education program and it's online platform, but I already vented about it in an email to another Toastmaster. I feel it has a direct correlation with all of my clubs recent struggles with member retention and recruitment. Even I am having difficulty using it, which just shows how poor the user interface and program design is. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. TURN UP THE HEAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 80 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 20 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($257.20 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 20 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $10 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $1 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $2 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 150.0 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  5. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 142 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Ohhhh... Great warrior... Wars not make one great" -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Luke comes to the swamp world of Dagobah looking for the Jedi Master, Yoda. He meets an odd alien hermit after crash landing in the swamp. Their exchanges are quite comical as Luke's frustrations with the swamp and his search set in and are exasperated by the odd alien hermit. Finally, Luke tells the odd alien hermit he is looking for someone, a great warrior. The hermit replies with the above quote, "Wars not make one great." I agree with the odd alien hermit for three reasons. First, because he is Yoda! You can't disagree with the Grand Master of the Jedi! Second, it is not victory in war which brings about greatness, but all the work to get there. War is something that has been glorified through stories of drama and action to recount history or to entertain through all eras of humanity. Today, it is through film, television, and books that war and the heroes of war are glorified. The heroes are the main characters who could always be described as "great warriors" at the end. A great warrior is the successful victor in battle. The focus is on their accomplishments and achievements, not on the path which led them there. Not every great warrior starts out great. They have training, struggles, defeats, learning, practicing to go through before they can find success and claim victory over their opponents. War is conquest and conflict where there are winners (the great warriors) and losers (not yet great warriors). The loser of war or conflict has an opportunity to learn from failure. After they learn from failure, they can then achieve greatness and be a great warrior, but the war is not what makes them great. It is the training, struggles, defeats, learning, practicing which makes them great. But for my third reason, you have to take the quote in context. Yoda is indicating a slightly different lesson. A Jedi's purpose is to serve others, respect all life, and protect all life from those who wish it harm for personal gain. A Jedi accomplishes these things by being one with the Force to see the "right" path forward to find solutions and results that benefit everyone involved and do not have harmful effects in the future. Luke refers to the Jedi Master as a Great Warrior, but Yoda undercuts the compliment by implying the Jedi do not seek greatness through being a warrior. Jedi fight as a last resort. Jedi use the Force for defense, never for attack. Instead, a Jedi achieves greatness through their servitude of the light side of the Force. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 9 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 159.0 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 75 Tasks or Projects, with at least 15 a week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (8)Church Work (4), Job Work (4), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (16), Yard Work (4), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (3), Family Activities (4), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 Added two new categories. Reading for entertainment is something I have been neglecting. Business Projects includes a few ventures I am working on with the Wizard Laser Tag, a Jedi Training Website, and a Life Coaching Website. Each could result in extra cash if they reach they maximum potential, but personally, that is not the overall goal for any of them. INCENTIVES! REWARD: For each week I complete 15 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($215 total saved so far). CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUS: $5 for each Business Project hour.
  6. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 142 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Yoda is very powerful and knowledgeable in the Force. Typically, he has the ability to see events well into the future, but it can be clouded by the dark side or the tipping of scales of large decisions. In this quote, Yoda was specifically referring to the fates of Han, Chewie, and Leia in the hands of Darth Vader on Bespin since Luke's choice to stay or go and his potential to fall to the dark side factored heavily into the events outcome, but Yoda's words carry more weight to it. Predicting the future is always reliant on current conditions and knowledge. As things happen and new things come to light, those predictions become more or less likely. The predictions could drastically change due to new information or occurrences. There are too many unforeseen variables at times. Being aware of how our decisions can influence the future is important to achieving the future we desire. Being aware of outside influences and the potential for unpredictable occurrences can help prepare for detours and breakdowns. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 The weekly plan is a minimum of two tabata runs with Pokémon Go. These runs are to include at least 5 sprints of ~50 meters for increased intensity. It's getting cold outside, so I may move to a treadmill for a few of the runs. We'll see how it goes. I'll also have 60 minutes of racquetball on Fridays. I'd like to do some field or gym training for rugby, soccer, and football footwork and ball work, as well. Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. The minimum leaves 40 minutes to make up by the end of the challenge. Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 Better to count Karate by itself. It is too difficult to predict or categorize the classes as Cardio or Strengthening. Plan is 2 classes a week for 45 min each. Add a third class or a individual practice for the last 30 min. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 159.5 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 Going to eat salad and veggies as much as possible with apples and dark chocolate as my sugary snacks. Avoid soda, ice cream, and potato chips. Minimize cheese and nuts. Most importantly, I have to continue to watch my portions. I cannot ever have two "large" meals in one day. Aiming for one small meal and one medium meal a day, keeping breakfast as small as possible. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Tasks or Projects, with at least 12 a week, from any of the following areas (max for challenge, no more than 3 each per week): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (4), Webmaster Work (6), Mentoring (8), Charity Work (8), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Church Work (4), Job Work (8), Household Chores (8), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (8), Auto Maintenance (8), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 No longer worried about diversity. I want to continue to get the important weekly things done while looking for the neglected areas. I NEED to revisit my IJRS Jedi Training this challenge. It has been too long. Auto Maintenance will be important to get to before the weather gets too cold and icy. Same with any Home Renovation and Yard Work. Incorporating a reward and consequence has been really helpful, so I'll keep doing that. REWARD: For each week I complete 12 or more tasks, I will put $10 aside for buying something just for me. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 12 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUS: $5 for each IJRS Lesson completed. Major Dates: Disney World Dec 1st-5th, Christmas Weekend Dec 23rd-26th. Each of these periods will need to be planned carefully to meet my goals.
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