M2M Challenge - Lets try our hand at a 8 challenges

Posted by Argha Sen on August 28, 2018

M2M Challenge - Lets try our hand at a 8 challenges.

Been a long time since the last post and in the past 2 years we have not done much in terms of improving ourselves. Yesterday I stumbled upon a blog post by Max Deutsh where he tries 12 extremely hard challenges and succeeds in 11 of the 12 challenges and the last one was kind of really unrealistic. I am looking to do something at a much lower scale and target a 75% success rate.

Why the number 8

8 is a nice number to be honest. I was born in August 1988 so 8 is my number. Also 8 allows me to take a challenge every month and take stock of what has been done at the end of the year.

Additional Motivation

The journey for the next 8 months will be publicly documented on this blag. So everyday I will post updates. This is a journey that you will see me undertake publicly. For someone who averages a blog a year, this is a big challenge in itself. They say it takes 21 days to make it a habit so lets see where this goes.

What time do I have to do this?

I am very pressed with my day job for time so this will be something adding to the difficulty. I work as a Trading Systems Developer with Alphagrep Securities.

What are the challenges?

I am not yet decided on them all but a few are listed below. The challenges are geared towards things I have wanted to do but have never did due to one thing or the other.

  1. Run a 5k under 40 minutes. (May 2018)

    I have never run a 400m race in my life nor I am a regular gym goer. I weigh 90 kilos and not a fit guy by any stretch of imagination. I had tried running on treadmill about 2.5 year back and could run at 6.5 km/h for 10-12 mins. At that time I used to play some cricket and football though so this challenge will be to get back to the fitness and go better.

  2. Hold a Conversation in Kannada for 15 minutes.

    Four years in Bangalore and I cant speak the language.This needs to change and this monthly challenge will help me reach a goal that is necessary.

  3. Achieve a Chess ELO of 1600.

    Always enjoyed playing chess but never really gave it a long chance to improve. An ELO of 1600 is a goal to reach from my current sub-1200 ratings. This should make me competitive in Bangalore chess circles.

  4. Play a 5 minute song on the guitar.

    I have made several half hearted attempts at playing the guitar but never got past a few days. This would be a huge challenge and I want to play a song on guitar by the end of the month.

  5. Build a AI poker bot.

    Machine Learning and AI are really hot topics and I have no real idea of what they are. As a computer scientist it is a field I have never explored and I want to change this in this challenge. I dont know if it is realistically possible to be playing poker AI vs AI matches so if that is not the case then this can be replaced by another game.

  6. Reach a typing speed of 50 wpm.

    I suck at typing even after years in front of the computer. I have a decent touch typing now but no speed. So I plan to reach this speed.

Why am I doing this?

Learning is an exercise that should never end. In the past 2 years I have really neglected that aspect and I am trying this out as a way to get into a habit of lifelong learning.

Max Deutsh’s Month2Master has fascinated me and made me curious as to how much can we achieve in a month of practice. Josh Koffman and his 20 hour rule has fascinated me for a long time. It is an opportunity to put both in practice together.

I am looking to see if I can find what is the speed of my learning.

Am I starting from scratch?

In most cases, Yes. My current state is in the description of the challenges.

What Next?

I plan to start on the challenge on May 1, 2018. That gives me a couple of days to plan out the challenge and the get necessary preparations for the first challenge. Each challenge will be documented in a separate blog.