A note to self, that turned out to be a near universal truth to all young entrepreneurs.
No, I am not ahead of the game.
I do not have ample time.
Nothing is guaranteed.
I will not be fine.
Sure, I’ve done one or two impressive things for my age. So what? At my age, Elon Musk was building PayPal.
In comparison to many, I’m ahead of the game…but why compare myself to the many? Even when comparing myself to those I respect, there is no reason for me to ever feel lax or like I am guaranteed to come out ahead.
The truth is, I’m not.
Here’s the truth: Lately, I’m lazy. I slack off, I waste time, and I don’t get shit done. This isn’t always the case, but it is more often than it’s not.
Here’s another truth: I love life most when I’m in one of two states: Either I’m adventuring completely, with no plans for my days and much exploring. Or else I’m creating something, and devoting everything I’ve got to it. If I’m creating something and giving it any less than all I’ve got, I don’t feel good…and that’s my body telling me that I’m operating wrong.
Yet I sit at my computer and feel overwhelmed or bored or simply lazy. Why?
I don’t know for sure, but I believe it has to do with humans' natural tendency to be inactive. In a survival setting, it is in our best interest to conserve energy so that, when the lion leaps out of the bushes, we’ve got all the energy we need to run away.
But the time of lions has passed. I am not in a survival setting.
I am in the time of philosophy, where how you think dictactes how you live. I am in a setting of lifestyle design.
I have a choice to make, and my natural inclination is towards the latter while my desire is towards the former. I can choose to exert all my energy into cultivating a lifestyle & mindset backed by philosophy that allows me to remove all barriers, self made and otherwise, and give everything I’ve got into whatever I’m focused on, thereby maximizing the chances of turning my goals into my reality and enjoying my life to it’s fullest. Or I can choose to take it easy, live a normal life, and look back at the end of my life without great pride or great regret…just a collection of passable memories.
To me, the latter is death. What is the point of living, and living consciously, if you live on autopilot?
Yet the former is not an easy route to choose. It is the path that is walked by heros, and no others. It’s followers are most often found in fiction novels, and quite rare in reality.
I want to be one of those who choose a path of self-moulding. I am nothing that I do not choose to be. None of us are. But most of us choose to accept the influences of our outside world and so be moulded into something that is not entirely under our control.
It does not have to be this way. Social awakwardness, fear, laziness….it’s all just the product of being moulded instead of moulding oneself.
How can I mould myself?
First, listen to no one without hearing your own objections. Convention states that everyone has down days. It states that, at 19, I am ahead of the game. It states that you can’t always give 100%. That you’re emotions are you, instead of a tool of yours. That your thoughts and your mind are you, instead of just a set of tools.
What am I? I am my inspiration. My emotions & my thoughts are tools of my inspiration. My body is a tool of my mind. They need not effect me anymore than a pop-up notification need be clicked. I can take note them, address them immediately, or complete ignore them, depending on what best serves my inspiration.
I know what I want. I know it instinctively.
I know how to get it. Usually instinctively, or else I know how to learn how to get it.
Often, despite this knowledge, I will do something that is not what I want or not the best way to get it. My emotions and preconceptions and fears take hold of my actions and steer them off the best course.
This need not happen. I know all that I need to know…going about following that knowledge is simply a process of treating my thoughts and emotions as imperfect tools, and doing what is best for my inspiration.
I don’t want to regret my days. I don’t want to go to bed knowing that I did no do my best. I don’t want to be a servant of my lower selves.
I want to go to bed proud and exhausted every single day. I want to spend my days absorbing reality to it’s fullest, and building my life into what I dream it can be. I want to be completely fearless, and have the internal mindsets and rituals to override all obstacles and bring me rocketing towards my goals.
This isn’t just about adventure & entrepreneurship anymore. I’m not here just to make an automated income that lets me travel and have fun. This is about love, and finding the perfect woman, and having what I need to be the best man in the world for her. This is about body hacking, and learning all the supplements and rituals and tests and experiments I can do to optimize the capabilities of my body and mind. This is about immortality, and learning how to live forever by whatever means I can. This is about being the kind of person my mentors & role models will enjoy spending a lot of time with, and feel confident in asking and following my advice. This is about deep adventure, doing the kinds of things that change the way I see the world and having nothing outside of my reach.
This is about living a life worthy of a great novel’s main character. A Jarlaxle, who changes the lives of legendary warriors for fun, destroys and creates dynasties for pleasure, lives life for the enjoyment of it, hangs around dragons & heros & villains & legends, and is remembered only as a confused memory of a dramatic whirlwind of action and creation by most who cross his path, be they a street merchant or a king.
This is about disregarding the game everyone else is playing, making a better one, and finding a select few who you would enjoy playing deeply with.
This is about being worth the gift of life that most of us have forgotten the value of.
Interestingly, it seems my execution of work actually pulls me off center. The exposure, the harsh contact with reality, the revelation of things I do well mysteriously almost as difficult as facing the things I don’t do well, all puts me in this hugely vulnerable spot of all-pores-open. Which, might just be the nature of work. Perhaps there is a ramp-down, after I work, to get myself centered again. I'm experimenting with doing bursts of intensity, and then taking a moment to return to center, similar to the sequences in martial arts. I will report back.
Eben Pagan's 50/10's, I've found, work wonderfully.50 minutes of work. 10 of rest. another 50. another 10. then 30 minutes of rest. repeat
Ivan Ilic, a professional pianist, just reached out with a guestpost and reaction after reading "I think the biggest barrier for me to overcome was myself." Some really fantastic observations on breaking through in here -
Sebastian’s last post was inspirational to me, but not because of the story itself, poignant though it was. Although I would love to read a more detailed account of R’s unusually successful turnaround, there was a turn of phrase in Sebastian’s response that really resonated with me.
“The good news and bad news is that there’s almost never a silver bullet. So, you can safely stop looking for [it] and start picking up 1% edges, 2% edges here and there. Trend upwards and establish little good habits, a better environment around you, and so on. R covers this when he says, “Make sure that all the small steps you take are taking you in the right direction. A little bit at a time, over a long period, and you’ll always win.”
The only way to realize the power of incremental positive changes over time is by experiencing it yourself. Although self-discipline has not been my biggest problem, I had a serious slump in the second half of last year. When I needed to move my most important projects forward, I seemed paralyzed. Does that sound familiar?
The past six months have been the first time I have orchestrated my own turnaround, without external factors to motivate me. “Picking up 1% edges, 2% edges here and there” and establishing modest good habits has been so effective that looking back over the past six months, I’m still shocked.
So I'll begin my first blog post ever by saying wow free-writing feels weird. It feels strange to just write whatever comes to your mind. I have been planning to practice free-writing for a while now and I imagine myself spending 10 minutes every day at least just free-writing whatever thoughts are speeding through my head. But according to what I've learned about myself thus far in life, writing ten minutes a day in unlikely to happen. And that is exactly why I am setting out to do just that.
I have known myself to be a lazy, unmotivated, procrastinating bum for far too long. I have not accomplished anything I've set myself out to do because I simply don't believe that I have the willpower to continue on with anything. So I am challenging myself to free-write for at least ten minutes every day for a minimum of one week. This blog is dedicated to this challenge. My intention is to use this blog for free-writing on a regular basis, whether that be once a day, a week, a month, whatever.
The point of this blog is not for people to read necessarily, but if people take an interest, more power to them. So if you are a people and you are reading this, awesome. I'm flattered beyond belief. If you're reading this and yawning, I'm less flattered but still excited.
Let me quit rambling and begin:
My First Experience With Free-Writing: