"Everything is training."
I sat on the floor in Chiba with Marcus and Rob, both expert martial-artists, biomechanists, and entrepreneurs.
Most people don't and can't understand why you'd analyze, re-engineer, and repeat doing a small action over and over again to make it slightly better. But these guys got it. "Everything is training," as Rob says.
And it strikes me that there's the core things you're trying to achieve, the skill and habit-building that gets you there, and that two are very harmonious. In terms of producing more, the best training is often immediately applying what you've learned in an attempt to produce.
What is the rest of life, then, except the time that facilitates doing what's most important to us?
Why sleep? Because you need to sleep to be alert, for your memory, and to heal - so that you can do what's important to you.
Why eat? For fuel, to keep doing what's important to you.
If your goal is purely hedonism and living for pleasure, doesn't the rest of your life end up supporting that? Don't you, then, work for the income that lets you do pleasurable things or for the pleasure of the work itself? You don't go to the Immigration Office and apply for a visa because you want the visa, but rather because it supports you in traveling and getting the pleasure from that.
Of course, not all of us live for hedonism. For the ideal me, food is fuel, sleep is fuel, air is fuel. Learning is fuel, physical training is fuel. I burn that fuel to produce. I build the support systems that let me produce.
Everything is training. But not theoretical, academic training. Read a good idea. Immediately go apply it in order to get what's most important to you, or to keep training in what's most important to you.
What's the ideal amount of sleep? Whatever is optimum for producing and for what's most important. The tradeoffs include alertness, hormone balance, longevity, and the opportunity cost of the time of being asleep.
The pleasure of, say, sleeping, matters insofar as having more pleasure helps me do what's most important. For me, that's not pleasure itself. It's building. It's expansion. It's serving the strong and virtuous people, it's building art and commerce, it's advancing science and knowledge, it's having children and raising the next generation up to be stronger and smarter and better informed than we are.
Music? Fuel. Danse Macabre is on. Memento mori... produce. Action. Training.
Food? Fuel. Peanuts have a good mix of protein and fat. The fact that it goes nicely with black coffee is a bonus - I'll take the bonus, sure - but it's not why I eat them. I had plain black beans with pickled bamboo shoots for breakfast. It was a bland and mediocre eating experience, but I feel energetic now. I'm building. Constant training.
Coffee? Fuel... or is it? I quit coffee in '06 when I quit liquor, tobacco, sugar, and recreational drugs. I re-started coffee a few years later after I saw the research on how reinforcing vs. antagonistic caffeine usage can improve performance, and because it probably speeds the metabolism. But now, I need to improve my sleep quality (so I can sleep less, so I can be awake more) - so maybe I'll cut caffeine next time I have a relatively calm period and can handle the withdrawal effects.
Piracetam? Non-amphetamine stimulant with neuroprotective qualities. I'll take it in countries where it's not controlled. After researching, I'm comfortable with the side effects, tolerance building, toxicity, etc - they're within the bounds that are acceptable to me. Fuel.
Hyaluronic acid? Improves my joint and connective tissue, especially necessary after the various injuries I've had and how hard I run my body sometimes. Why do I need good joints and connective tissues? To do what's most important. Fuel.
I'm not there yet. But I want to be training 24 hours per day. Sleeping as training, producing as training, training always. Developing my mind, doing more, producing more. Trending upwards. Serve more, build more. Every action should be investigated - does this serve me? Does this let me actualize the highest level of myself?
This does not mean being stupid and running yourself into the ground. Going for a swim, going for a hike, snowboarding, scuba diving, crawling through some ruins, listening to nice music, getting a massage, taking a nap, eating healthy, laughing, joy - I do all these. But why? In a way, it's still all training. Relaxing is training. Having a masseuse pound the lactic acid out of my muscles is training. Good training isn't stupid, it's sustainable.
Yes, I want to make every minute of my life into the best it could be, into doing the highest and most important things for that moment. But that doesn't mean grinding nonstop until exhaustion, collapse, and breakdown. Relaxing is training, sleeping is training, eating is training.
That's the theory, anyways. Not there yet. Maybe never will be, since every time you climb higher you see that higher can be climbed. But I see it, slowly life is becoming a series of doing the best possible things, with the best possible people, developing celerity, understanding the numbers, connecting with good people, doing more. Building. Build. Train. Build. Same thing. Building is the best form of training.