100th Post: On Shortness of Life

It’s been way over two years since I opened this blog. So managing 100th post in in bit over 700 days still averages about a post per week. Today we are going to, aptly return to the constant theme in my – and in everyone’s – life, which is that life is short.

Appropriately for celebratory post I chose the put out the best video I’ve created so far. Especially towards the tail end of my trip I seemed to hit another level, but overall the rise in my capabilities to express myself through speaking is significant. Not to say I’m still any good, I am still too mediocre to even retain most of people who stumble onto my videos.

I also added a little bit of compilation of random quick segments from old videos, mostly for laughs. Being able to make fun of myself, maybe another thing that I’ve improved on?

Yes, the name of the post is an homage of Seneca’s On Shortness of Life. I came across it many many years ago – if I had to guess when, it was my late teens. I didn’t really have the focus or attention span back then to really read it, but I did skim it and it gave me a little bit of urgency about my life. I also read a lot more articles like this at that same time, for instance this one. That latter one really hit deep on me. Testament to it is that I still remembered it after over half a decade so well it took me only 10 seconds to find it again, having never read it since that time I read it. Read that shit. It will wake you up.

That’s all I want to do here. It’s a lot of what I am doing with my blog, and with my life. Just shaking these zombies wandering around awake a little bit at a time. We all need to wake up into these bleak realities. They are uncomfortable to stare at, but they will fuel you to an amazing life better than nothing else.

We need lot of shaking awake – I just talked about this last december last time. And I am absolutely certain I will be talking of it again and again until I am dead. It’s the most important truth everyone of us must realize. It’s worth it to throw that old video in there too, even if it might get a little redundant at this point – It’s essentially just worse take on same topic. I think it’s worth it to see at least in terms of how I’ve improved over last 7 months:

Whether you believe in afterlife or not, you still need to understand that this form is limited, and to get as much done in this world as you can, you have to get urgent about it.

If this post made you think, drop me a comment.

Things Will Go Wrong

Post number 99 is here! In warm-up for the grand achievement of 100th post, we will talk briefly about things going wrong.

Lot of things has gone wrong for me over the last couple of years alone. I’ve had a really messy break-up. I’ve failed numerous challenges I set-up for myself. I’ve made myself look a fool countless times. What’s my point here? Well, the point is that if you’re doing something, you will make messes sometimes. If you’re not, you’re simply not doing anything. My video, shot before Brazil, elaborates more on this:

I just came back from Brazil/Turkey combo trip couple of weeks ago. I was abroad for fifty days straight, bit over actually. Shit went wrong. I lost my eyeglasses, tripod, got lost a few times, dropped off at wrong bus stop, spectacularly burned my skin, made a complete mess of a friendship of day, traveled to a remote location to meet someone only to have them not show up, and so on and so on.

To some people that sounds like an absolute disaster trip, but what I am omitting is the mountain of good experiences. And did any of the above really even faze me? Most items on that list is worth a nonchalant “oh, that sucks”, shrug and moving on. Point is, to get all of these peak experiences, to live a memorable phase of my life (I cried during my last night in Istanbul cause I was sad to go home – so obviously my experience overall was amazing), I had to take a few minor knocks.

Shit will go wrong in life. In much, much worse ways than what I listed there. No matter how without risks you live, you will still die. All items you have will break down. Your friend might get leukemia from out of the blue. Are you really gonna let that small shit that could go wrong stop you from living out the awesome life that is out there? You don’t immunize yourself against bad shit by being conservative – you immunize yourself from the best experiences in life. The bad things that could happen are aren’t even worth sheltering yourself from.

Besides, I’d argue going through all that small shit also hardens you for the real trials in life, the real emotional anguish. Mark my words our lives still have a lot of darkness in store for us. This is not a pessimistic, dark attitude to life, just accepting the realities.

I hope this was the much needed slap on some people’s face to wake them up, in the meantime I will start preparing for the 100th post.

Drop by with a comment if the video got you thinking!

18-month Plans

First I planned to do this post as three separate posts, but due to the hallmark of 100th post coming up, I combined it all into one post. What you find in this post is my 18-month goals for three areas in my life – Fitness, Work and Social Life. If you don’t give a shit about my goals, feel free to skip the post, this is more for me to realign myself after most of my yearly goals became obsolete when my move out from home got delayed.

Fitness Goals

I’ve been kinda letting my workouts go on their own weight lately, just going through the motions day by day without necessary any grander goal or progress. There’s been a bit of progress, but definitely it feels like I’m moving nowhere fast – it’s time to put an end to that. So I’m going to formulate 18-month plan for my progress that will be the true north in my fitness compass. Every session I will have to ask whether the things I’m doing is taking me towards my goals. As there is more than one area to fitness, there will be multiple goals.

Overall Physique

I am not going to aim for certain look, as it stands I am actually quite happy with how I look. What I am going to focus on is gaining weight, ideally without getting too puffy (which should be impossible anyway should I attain my other goals). My goal is to reach morning weight of 85 kg shirtless in 18 months time.

Conditioning

The best ever shape I was in this regard was actually in 2008 summer, when I was in the army and managed to complete 3000 m on the 12-minute running test. I will set my sights to that same goal which shouldn’t be too hard to achieve. As I will be 28 by the time, it will be one of the last chances for me to be at my absolute peak fitness, so I am going to grab onto that opportunity with both hands.

Strength Goals

I am kinda hesitant to put any numerical goals… but what the hell, let’s try. The ideal of course would be to be capable of deadlifting twice my bodyweight, which at 85kg would be 170kg. However, I think 61kg increase over 18 months is a bit ambitious especially since I can’t weight train that much. So I will aim instead towards a much more modest goal of 140 kg. And hey, that’s still strong. As for bench press, I’ve never been a big fan of that exercise, but I might as well try to get my result in that to match my bodyweight of 85kg. If I can reach that early, might as well go towards 100 kg which is what I ultimately wanna reach. I don’t really care about going higher in that exercise, in fact probably as soon as I can do 100 I will mostly stop bench press, cause I don’t feel any need to strain my shoulders further.

I am more a proponent of bodyweight exercises anyway. My biggest goal for a long time has been free-standing handstand and this is finally the time to do it. I already have the strength to do it, so its more of a skill goal to learn to put the pieces together and developing the motor skills. If I reach it faster than that, naturally next step is to go towards handstand push-up.

Another thing I really want to go for is beating my old record of chin-ups. Its not gonna be easy as I’m not currently in my best chin-up shape to begin with, and I will be working to gain a ton of weight during the 18 months which will naturally make chin-ups even more challenging. Still, with 18 months of time it is definitely possible and my record isn’t anything outrageous. There’s people who can do hundreds of these, so my goal is still modest compared to that.

Flexibility / Health

I’d like to finally achieve the level of flexibility where reaching my toes wouldn’t be such a challenge – I can do it after a long long long warm-up of stretching to my hamstrings, but not without it. I’d like to be able to do that without any warm-up and maybe get even my palms on the floor with little warm-up. Another thing is that I want to get rid of my back issues which will involve lot of hip region stretching, psoas stretching and probably other stuff I don’t even know about yet. Also it will involve sitting less. Being capable of sitting in seiza for long periods would be another nice side goal as well that I will work towards. Also, half-lotus, enuff said.

Finally I want to improve in all other facets of my working out, but the improvement can and will be slower as things listed here take more of a precedence over them.

In Short:

  • Gain weight until 85kg
  • Run 3000m in 12-minute test
  • Deadlift 140kg
  • Bench press 85 kg
  • Free-standing handstand
  • Record in chin-ups
  • Become much more flexible
  • Get rid of back pain

18 months starting from August will be February 2016… So that will be the time I see how far I went in these goals. Only time I’d reset my goals before is either by something going badly wrong or by me reaching all these goals before 18 months. Considering the rate of my progress so far I consider the latter to be unlikely, but naturally I’d be hoping for it. February 2016 will also likely be the time of the year when I will be reconsidering my future anyway, as the year wherever I have moved to will be up by then.

So, my 18-month plan series continues with my plans for my income over the next 18-months… Let’s delve right into it!

Work / Income Goals

As you might know, I am currently doing normal 40-hour workweeks at my job. I can’t due to my contract clauses tell you details about what I exactly do, but needless to say I work in a kind of regular job, just that its online. I get evaluated every six months and if I do well, I can get a raise. So my income and time commitment is kind of fixed in this regard.

But naturally there’s still things that I can do for my income. As said, I get evaluated every six months so my primary concern will be to perform strongly to earn at least one raise over next eighteen months. Basically week-in week-out this will be about learning to work effectively higher and higher percentage of those 40 hours, until I reach the level where I work with steel focus and unwavering discipline, effectively hour after hour.

There’s three chances over the course of next 18 months to get a raise, so I’d think one time is a realistic aim. Two times… That’d be a massive success. Three times I don’t really think so cause I’ve not been up to my full potential lately and the past work affects the ratings.

Other Endeavors

There’s of course lot of other ways to make an income aside my regular work. So let’s go through the ones I’ve been using one by one and see what I plan to be doing with each of them.

Fiverr

I’ve had writing gigs up on Fiverr since forever and I’ve made some decent income from there – but considering the time investment, Fiverr isn’t nearly as lucrative as my regular work is. Furthermore, every hour of work I get from there is just additional strain on top of my 40 hours so there’s obviously a limit of how much I can do.

So all I am going to do with my Fiverr is to keep some gigs up that have been doing well for me, do a little bit of extra work there and earn tiny side income, that’s all I need from there. On 18-month scale, Fiverr is not an important source of money for me, so aside that I am not going to set any specific aims. So on 18-month scale, the only goal is to tweak Fiverr income as effective as possible – meaning a good return for effort I put in, or gigs that are fun to do. I already have fun gigs on there, I just need to figure out more stuff that I think is fun that I could earn money from. Not important on grand scale, but still a nice opportunity.

oDesk

ODesk is actually where I do my work anyway, but through oDesk its naturally possible to get all kinds of freelancing work. And obviously I should start diversifying on there – getting a flow of other work going on so that my profile there looks even stronger than it already is. Fact is, I will not always have the job I currently have, but if I play my cards right even if I get fired my income doesn’t completely dry up.

So now I should be doing as much work on oDesk as possible to make myself look great there. Also it is not just about money – my job is kinda monotonous in some senses. It doesn’t actually teach me that much new skills. So to keep expanding my skillset and sharpening the saw on the existing skills, I need to get varying jobs on oDesk to keep challenging myself.

That being said, especially when I am traveling I can’t take more than 10 hours extra workload per week, so there’s a limit of how much I can do. But on an 18-month window, it’d be good if I could work up to at least steady 10 extra hours on other gigs on oDesk. Even if I get paid lowly 10 bucks an hour, that’s still 400 bucks a month extra on top of my income, and more skills being built in the process – not to forget building an impressive work history there as well, which would make getting more work even easier, should I ever end up needing more.

Amazon Kindle

As people might know, I have a book available on Kindle, Healthy Eating. Looking back at it, I think the book definitely needs some revisions (not for inaccuracies, more about how it is overall), but it is still a valuable book and I think writing it taught me a lot about putting some consistent work in. I’d honestly love to write another book, but the thing is, with my audience and promotional skills and all the resources I have available, I just can’t get that much return of investment for all my effort.

Maybe I’ll do it anyway, but thing is, right now I don’t want to do anything on Kindle. Am I passing up a huge opportunity? I don’t know. Fact of the matter is though that I could not capitalize on it fully anyway cause writing a book takes a lot of time. Even if I worked 100-hour weeks, I’d get just couple of books a year out anyway. Or who knows? Maybe I am aiming too low. That being said, as far as Kindle goes I am not going to set any further goals. If I can find the time to do tweaks on my existing book, that’s awesome. Anything else would just be an additional bonus.

Affiliate Marketing Websites

Again, I have a pre-existing site that’s reasonably SEO’d and making some sales, though I think Google has taken my current ranking away which is something I need to sort out.

In any case, there’s potential in my existing site to even be a bigger cash cow than it is, but it needs work to develop into that.

So this is actually something I would want to get to, especially cause it isn’t all on me – I can actually have my brother help me work on it. It still requires some effort on my part, but this is definitely something that is worth the effort in many ways.

So my goal for this would be to get my affiliate site up and running back again, with regular new content, at least double the current traffic and profit. It’s hard to kind of exactly define how far I should get with this in 18 months. So in short, I think I would want to have a well set-up site full of content and a steady stream of traffic coming in without me having to think about it too much – I think earning $500 a month from this site is perfectly reasonable goal.

Adding in New Projects?

For the longest time I considered expanding the scope of my income creation. For instance, creating a business of some sort is something I might ultimately want to do.

But the thing is, right now I don’t think the time is ripe for that. I have enough in the projects I already have ongoing. Now is time for learning. That’s not to say jumping into my own business wouldn’t be lot of learning, but I still feel I have a lot of things to figure out before committing into something that will take a massive concerted effort over a long period of time. Before that, I want to read a lot more books, visit more places, figure out myself and life. I don’t even feel like I am stalling. I feel like the insight I have right now is guiding me to take this path of waiting  a little while. I already have my writing, I already have my work, and for now, at least for next 18 months, that is enough.

Overall Income Goals

Over the next 18 months, my goal is to simply add another thousand bucks to my monthly income.

In Short:

  • Add $1000 / month to income
  • Get one raise over next 18 months
  • Add steady 10 hours / week of oDesk work
  • Work your SEO site to earning 500 bucks a month
  • Start reading 2 hours a day every day (kinda indirectly related to this and didn’t really fit anywhere else)

Social Life

In my goals for 2014 I set out for this year to be focused on Becoming Social aspect of Becoming Awesome. It has come true a little bit but not much to be honest. I am more social creature now than I was 7 months ago, but by any standards I consider myself introverted – however people I’ve met up with for the most part have started to reject the notion that I am shy, so I guess I have to conclude I am making some progress in it.

Truth is though that I have almost no social life to speak of. On my Facebook I have about 30 friends and you know how much of a “friends” the people you have added there are. So really the people I stay contact with are just a handful and really close I am with even smaller subset of them.

Frankly I think that’s something that’s gonna stay like that. As anyone who has known or followed me for a longer time can attest to, I am a bit “out there” personality wise. So it is definitely rare the kind of personalities that match with me enough to sustain long-time friendship or anything else. Also I feel like I have very limited bandwidth to keep up and sustain much bigger social circle anyway. Years of being a recluse and increased work output have made my ability to be social very limited.

However since I am devoting a one whole segment of this post for social life it obviously is an important thing for me and an area where I seek improvement.

At the same time it is the kind of thing that it is hard for me to put easily quantifiable goals down. Income isn’t all numbers either, but adding thousand bucks to your income is much more useful goal than “getting 10 new friends.” So I obviously won’t be using numbers on this one.

One thing is clear for me when it comes to my social life and relationships – I am looking to retain my freedom. After my messy break-up I realized I am in a phase of my life where any commitment is just a premature burden. That doesn’t mean I am not looking for love, bond and connection, just that I am not willing to give up my freedom for them. I’ve always considered freedom one of my biggest values in life, and giving up a little bit of it for my former commitment to my ex was always a point of internal conflict for me.

Going Beyond Normal

As I previously stated, meeting up with people (mostly from online) over the recent months I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that I am not shy, and that I am normal. So there goes the premise of my whole blog, right? Nah. I am still by my natural inclinations an anti-social person and there’s lot of holes in my inter-personal skills that I can kinda cover when chatting with someone one-on-one, but that would expose themselves over a longer interaction. But that’s besides the point – for sake of argument, let’s say that I have moved from a place of creepy anti-social weirdo to some sphere of being “normal” socially. Of course with everyone being more socially crippled these days than just couple of decades ago, me just being able to hold eye contact and being able to talk normally constitutes normal these days – whereas compared to a higher standard I’d still be very mediocre.

Being called normal is nice for sure after 26 years of being an outcast (or at least perceiving world like that), but I am looking to move beyond just normal. Is next 18 months enough of a time frame to complete that? I’d say its not easy, but it is definitely possible if I push myself.

What does going beyond normal mean for me? Well as opposed to just coping with social situations, I’d like to thrive in them. I’d like to learn to enjoy conversing with strangers, to be comfortable with initiating conversation.

I’d like to reach a point where after some unwinding (we all need that) I am comfortable expressing myself even in social gatherings where I don’t know everyone, even in front of big groups (as said, one-on-one I am actually alright nowadays, but in groups I fade away). I want to be able to assert myself and be able to influence people just with my presence.

We all have an ideal self inside of us, a mental projection of awesomeness. In lot of ways, this is about moving towards that ideal for me.

Online Contact

I pretty much exclusively use online means to make new friends. It has worked for me great, I have to say. I met my ex through online (yes, ultimately it ended bad but I thank my ex for a lot of what is good in my life today), and have met up numerous other people, some of it I’ve become very close with. Indeed there’s a handful of people I am already quite close with even though I haven’t met them. I love having connections like this, and my experience online has been almost solely positive. But there has been some unpleasant moments as well, where I’ve been led on cause lets face it – its easy to pretend to be something you’re not online. I’ve come across some posers.

I am not going to stop leveraging the connectivity of the internet to make friends all over the globe, but I am looking to stop using it as a primary means of communication. I’ve already proved through numerous meet-ups with people I originally contacted online that I can be likable and “normal” as stated in even face-to-face social situations, even in cases where the other person doesn’t know much of me.

I can push through the barriers of shyness in these cases. Another process I have down is just being able to talk and do videos in public places – so I have the processes down to make even richer social experience possible – all it is lacking now is drilling the new habit in, working those new neural pathways into my brain and literally rewiring myself to be able to do that with just anyone, not just when I am talking to a camera or a person I just met from online.

Now of course, just like making videos and meeting friends from online, this is something that requires practice. During my first online meetups I was visibly shaking and nervous. Now I can be quite normal right away and usually within short time I am fully able to express my crazy personality. During my first videos I just blathered something incoherent, more pre-occupied with people watching me than being able to focus to task at hand. Now I’d say I’m pretty good at remaining focused and not giving much of a shit what people around think of me. Similarly, now I am barely able to talk to a stranger, but if I force myself go through repetition I will become able to do it.

Where I am now I naturally can’t practice it a lot, so that’s something that’s mostly going to be reserved for my travels and eventually for my move away. Over 18-month period I want to have this down though.

Quality Over Quantity

Now once I have the above habit down, I am not just limited by the number of people from online I get to meet me, I can just walk up to any stranger and start talking to them. Though I have build good friendships and more through online communication, fact of the matter is that unless there’s physical meet up involved any online friendship is just like having imaginary friends. In real face-to-face talks are where the deep bonds are made so this shift is naturally positive in that regard.

It doesn’t help though if I creep out and put off people, but as we’ve established there’s proof that people don’t react to me negatively. However I am sure there’s still plenty of times ahead of me where I creep people out. You cant undo 26 years of social crippledness in matter of months.

Quality is hard to assess though, especially when it comes to something like social connections. Is it that I make people enjoy my company? Well, that’s some part of it for sure. If I improve their lives? Well that’s something I totally want to do for sure. I can’t quite put my finger on it – but I want to develop a mindset where I am focused on giving value to people and just able to express myself more and more fully, with less pretense. Not everyone will like what I am once I take the mask off completely, in fact some people will for sure hate me… perhaps even majority. But strong reactions from people to me is just a sign that I have moved closer to that real, unfiltered expression of my true self.

Emotional Balance

I am a pretty happy dude nowadays, but close human relations is the final frontier where anyone’s emotional balance is put to the test. When someone else is having a bad day and they take it out on you, it’s a good litmus test for your own calmness. Being able to just remain good moods yourself is a challenge, let alone helping picking up that someone.

Life will throw shit at your face and dealing with people is good training for that stuff. From every friendship I mess up because I freak out over nothing or lose my cool, I learn something and take it to make the next thing better.

What I am going to here is that I want to keep healing the past scars that still affect me. Everyone of us have been damaged somehow. We all carry pain from the past that makes us act up, and it is healing that that I am looking for. I want to make peace with my demons. All this rosy language is meant to just say that I want to keep stripping away the things that make me unhappy. I will probably write in the future about how I believe that being happy is the default state that happens when there’s nothing making you unhappy. So ultimately in my social life I want to reach a point that nothing gets me down. It is not something that’s gonna happen in 18 months, but I believe that’s something I can improve upon significantly over this period of time. I want to become mentally strong even when other people fail to be.

One measure of becoming stronger and finding balance for me will be finally burying the ghost of my ex from my mind. Will it happen through simply forgetting her and completely moving on, or can I make a peace with the situation somehow? I do not know yet.

Wrapping it all together

So what exactly am I trying to achieve? All that heady theorizing aside, what are the things that are actually actionable over next 18-months. Well, definitely starting to approach people once I reach over Thailand for my next trip (yeah, it’s already booked and ready to happen, I won’t be staying home for too long). I have learned a lot from my Brazil trip on how to streamline my processes to hit the ground running when it comes to being social – lot of it is momentum and in my trip to Brazil & Turkey I felt I got all the momentum all too late. I will talk about that later, that’s for sure.

Aside approaching people, I will look to keep making friends online but to lesser extent than before. I have limited time as it is to keep contact with my existing friends so to keep adding to it is difficult. However I’d like to have people to Skype with to kinda keep my social groove going – here at home my lifestyle is such that I don’t really talk to people much, which causes me to atrophy in my social skills whenever I am not traveling. Just to slow that down, Skype is an useful tool, especially if I can find new people to talk to over there. That’s always better in terms of my goals, cause talking to a new person is always a bit more challenging than to someone I already know well.

I’d also like to learn Portuguese. Yeah it’s not a social goal as such but since it didn’t fit under the other two really, it will go under here. I learned a minuscule amount before and during my Brazil trip, but enough that I feel inclined to keep building on it and learning it properly. Will Brazil be the destination of my long term move… Who knows, but adding languages to your repertoire is never a bad idea.

Becoming Social was my main focus for this year, and while that didn’t exactly come true, it is still a major focus of my next 18-months – it’s not as if my income is going to skyrocket or my physique going to shift massively – no, the biggest gains I am looking to have in this area.

In Short

  • Approach people when abroad and get used to talking to strangers
  • Look to express yourself with less barriers, more freely. Knock people off the fence so that they either like you a lot or hate you.
  • Learn Portuguese at least to such extent you can have basic conversations.
  • Retain your freedom by not committing into anything yet.
  • Become calmer, kinder, less judgmental – generally just keep ironing out the personality flaws.
  • Get a social circle of friends wherever my journey takes me next. Retain and deepen the existing friendships.

In Conclusion

Whoa, I turned this into the War & Peace of goal-setting posts. 4.5 thousand words! If someone is still reading at this point, please let me know in the comments. If someone really cared that much, I thank you. Lot of this was, as I said, just personal realigning and not necessarily something that I should publicly declare, but hey, it usually acts as sort of a good-luck charm.

Now I have plenty of goals to go for over the next 18 months. Every day from now on I will be looking to work towards these goals – if not all of them at any given day, at least a good number of them, and within every week there should be numerous actions taken towards bettering every one of them.

It’s a mix of simple goals and harder-to-reach goals. A mix of easily quantifiable goals and those that are harder to quantify. Nonetheless, I feel like these are the things that right now matter to me most and the ones that I am best equipped to move toward right now.

18-month Plans & Digital Cleanse

I am back from my long trip. In the end I didn’t just spend 37 days in Brazil, but also extended the trip with a 14 day stay in Istanbul. So in total, I spent over 50 days away from home.

It naturally affected my blog activity, for I didn’t have much time to post on here.

Now I am going to focus on blog and everything else useful on much more intense focus, for I am also starting a digital cleanse. I talk about this in my newest video:

I don’t remember where I picked up that 18 months thing, but it makes perfect sense. I definitely need a re-evaluation of my mid-term goals – After all, the goals I set for the year were pretty much thrown out of the window as soon as my Malaysia move fell through. Also my sense of consciousness was definitely shifted after 51 days abroad, in 2 countries, 6 cities and on 3 continents (Istanbul is partly in Europe and partly in Asia).

Anyway as I was waiting for the new video to upload I watched some of my other videos I created, there’s some of my best shit coming up – watch out for it :) I am not the kind of guy who generally gets too excited about my own stuff, I am usually more self-critical, but I think at least one of the videos I created really hits the target for once.

If you have any own experiences about digital cleanse or making 18-month plans, let me know in the comments!

Expanding Your Comfort Zone: Jumping into the Deep End vs.

Waddup freaks! It’s your favorite weirdo writing today from Goiânia in Brazil, some way off the beaten path. I shot a video this morning following a discussion with a friend of mine about growth and what approach should you take to it.

Her approach was more based on doing a little bit every day, slowly stretching the limits of what she was capable of, whereas she perceived my approach to be more “jumping into the deep end”, just doing really challenging stuff like travelling to the far ends of the end, etc.

After pondering about it for a while, I decided to do a video about my conclusions. Check it out below:

I can definitely say that I have plenty to improve in my expression, but at the same time I feel like I’m improving. Anyway here’s what I was trying to communicate:

Your comfort zone is like the intensity you can grow at, like I said in the video, going far out of your comfort zone is like doing an intense workout. But doing a single intense workout won’t make you jacked – it takes a long time of consistent effort to be able to achieve that. Once you get used to more intense workouts though, your potential increases immediately. It’s the same concept, just applied on a grander scale.

So obviously wise approach is to consistently push yourself, and always be leaning to the edges of your comfort zone. If you can handle jumping to the deep end every now and then, that can can then fuel even further expansion of that comfort zone, especially once it becomes hard to push that comfort zone in your regular day-to-day life. The growth itself, on the other hand, doesn’t happen linearly at all. Just like in working out you can actually get weaker in the short term despite pushing yourself, or plateau for a long time, you improving yourself and your life overall won’t happen linearly in a straight upward slope.

That’s why you have to focus on the process. Push yourself and trust that eventually results will come. Be more concerned on how well you are spending your time, rather than the actual results you’re getting. And of course, be happy of small victories, like I was today for getting out and doing that video (it actually still isn’t easy at all).

Hope that makes any sense, I’ll get back to you soon :)

Brazil Preparation Challenge

In case I haven’t made it publicly obvious enough on here, I am headed to Brazil on June 9th for the World Cup. This is something I’ve been talking a lot in multiple posts, but now the talk is actually becoming reality. It is going to be my most intense trip yet, so it calls for some preparation, not just in terms of booking flights and tickets and stuff – I need to also have my routines razor sharp to be able to pull the trip off with honors.

Working Vacation

I guess the first thing to note regarding Brazil is that I will have to be able to retain my industry in terms of working through the whole trip. I am allowed have some slight dips, but nothing more than that. I know already from my trips to Malaysia and Hong Kong that this is extremely hard equation while traveling. So I have to do my best to have everything ready and drilled while things are still easy back home. Here I don’t need to figure out logistics every day, here I don’t have anything unpredictable going on, here practically it’s just a matter of putting in the hours. So if I can’t do it with absolute perfection here, what hope do I have far away from home where logistics might be completely against me?

Another thing is that I need to start getting used to doing the things I will be doing in Brazil – in other words, getting out and creating some videos. Cause that’s exactly what I plan to do in Brazil. As usual when traveling, I don’t want to waste the chance without getting some videoblogs done. This is something I was really unhappy about in Hong Kong and Malaysia, and to an extent in my Lapland trip as well. All of those resulted in just one video, which is better than nothing, but certainly in hindsight I wish I would have done more.

I’m not gonna go all out either like in Japan and make a video everyday, but I’d like to be working on my videos on most days. Now I probably do shorter form shooting – in other words, have longer videos pre-planned, and then shoot just one segment per day for that video. I might not even cut anything in Brazil, certainly sounds a bad idea to me to be doing a lot of video editing while I could be enjoying a new country, especially given how much work I’m already doing daily.

If I decide to do some videos where I talk more about the trip itself rather than about my life philosophy etc like in most of my videos, then I might slap those together much quicker and indeed upload online there, since it’s more timely content. But if it’s me talking about some higher concept then there’s no reason to overwork myself to get them online before being back home.

Brazil Routine

I’ll explain the routine here in the video:

Now as most of you won’t watch the video (and I’m fine with that since I’m better at writing anyway), I’ll recap most of the content here. Also the vid was made earlier on the week, so now it’s practically only two weeks until Brazil – I’m slow.

Basically I have my day divided up into just three components that I need to complete daily.

Work Component

Basically this is just sitting down at a computer for two stretches of four hours and trying to remain relatively undistracted to get as much work as possible done. Ideally that would be 7-7.5 hours and my daily bit of writing 750 words. If I pull this off, I don’t even need to do work every day of the week, I can have one full day off, or couple of days where this component is halved. Between the two four hour halves I could go eat, do another component, go out, whatever. The idea basically is just that once you sit down, you’re staying there for four hours and whatever you get done, that’s that.

The method behind this madness is quite simple – if I ‘ve noticed anything while working is that having a simple focus is what helps productivity more than any other hack. Just setting a time for four hours and then sitting through it, knowing that it is the time for work-mode, is an effort to override all the over-thinking and procrastinating processes inside you. Four hours as a time span is too long for beginners, but I no longer have the luxury to call myself a beginner, so I go for it – it is not completely overwhelming either that something like ten hours might be.

Besides, all it means is that the timer is running – you don’t actually even have to work for the four hours straight, you can take short breaks during it, as long as the overall focus remains and you still get reasonable  amount of work done. Three hours of work out of four hours of it is absolute minimum, though.

Physical Fitness Component

You know how nazi I am about this stuff, and for a good reason – when I drop off my routine, I drop off badly, so I can’t afford to let myself get there. My intention is to keep working out through Brazil, and simplest way to do that is to lump your physical activities together and do them at once. So starting with my typical 30 minutes of stretching (or doing 15 mins in the beginning and 15 minutes as a cool down)  and then working out just makes sense. Now I would imagine I have no problems with playing football in Brazil, so I at least have one easy access form of working out – then again, I’m a huge proponent of bodyweight methods so pretty much my full range will be available for me at any place.

Video Blog Component

Lastly there’s the part of the day that defines how much I output into this blog. Practically in Brazil this means that I  strap up my camera and tripod with me and head out to visit some place that would offer me a scenic shot and then do the bit that I have prepared for that day. This might just smoothly and naturally integrate with rest of my trip while in Brazil, but I want to have the habit of creating videos already formed here so that it will be automatic when I arrive in Brazil. You don’t want to start overthinking things when you are having crowds around you – better get the process down well here where its quiet.

Ideally I want to shoot such short segments that I can have pretty much everything I want to say in my head at once. Either that, or just shoot the kind of video blogs where I talk about the trip freely, where it doesn’t matter that much what I blather. My aim for Brazil is to make 2-3 videos where I talk about the approaches I have to life and then perhaps do some videos where I document the trip itself more. I am not yet decided on how I go about with that, but that’s largely irrelevant now. Now matters that I have the right habits down.

Simple System, Simple Usage

As you can see I didn’t devise anything very complicated for myself. That’s cause the older I get, the more I realize that it’s the simple stuff that actually brings the results. There’s always a temptation to think that getting a lot done is something you achieve by complicated systems, but no, you really achieve it with very simple systems and then just retaining consistency. Retaining it when handling with the chaos of life.

This was all thought with the consistency in mind, and making remaining consistent as easy as possible. It’s made so that I can stay on top of my things with just using my simple mind, and not needing using any complex productivity tools like my Universal Awesomeness Score for instance is. I will of course keep tracking that throughout the trip, but partially this simple system exists to make that easy as well – cause everything is made into very clear, consistent blocks of work, applying them to my system at the end of the day will be easy.

The hard part, like with any system, is actually applying it and following through. That’s what the next four weeks before Brazil will be about. If you go through my blog you will find a TON of failed systems I’ve devised for myself. Some of those sucked, some of those were okay, but on most of those I had no follow through. Now there’s the emotional leverage though – I can’t afford to fail. This trip has already required massive investment both in terms of effort and finances. So I am not about to let it drip through my fingers without getting the best out of it. I need to be well drilled ahead of it.

Finally let’s talk about priority of all the different components. It is very simple actually:

1. Physical Fitness Component

2. Work Component (at least one half of it)

3. Video Blog Component

Even if a day is full of stuff, logistics don’t work, something else goes wrong – I can always go do my workout, if nothing else then running. Hell even if I get jailed I can still do push-ups and handstand holds in the jail cell, among other things. And even if I’m lacking time, I still should always strive to get at least one half of the work done. The video blog is not absolutely necessary so if things go a little wrong or if I’m just a bit slow during the day, that is easy to drop to save some time.

Ideally all components should be completed, but I’d guesstimate this is about 11-12 hours of time investment every day to complete all three. While traveling in a foreign country, accounting for wandering around, getting lost, figuring directions, etc. etc. etc. it is impossible to get all of that done every day, even if you take no rest and just blast away all day.

In the end I won’t absolutely have to complete 40 hours of work every week either – if I get to 30 every week things won’t be disastrous either then. Finally the actual order of doing this stuff will vary a lot, but usually if I know I surely have the time to do everything, I’d start with the work.

So anyway, thanks for sitting through another War & Peace of Blog Posts, nearly 2000 words again (is it just me or is my average blog post getting considerably longer than it used to be?), I’ll head out to completing my “components” for the first time.

Drop me a comment below! Also share the post if you liked it, I’m not promoting my blog at all so if it’s gonna spread it has to happen through word of mouth.

Why I Broke Up with My GF

Enough time has passed, its time to go through some demons from my past… This post is going to be very personal and little about self-development, so if that’s your thing you might want to skip this one.

As I’ve mentioned in this blog many times, my relationship with my GF came to an abrupt end at the turn of the year. This post is going to talk about that.

Any break-up is hard on a person’s emotions, but the way our relationship ended was completely fucked up. I experienced the lowest of low in the aftermath – the dynamic of the relationship and all made sure that this was about as painful of an experience as I could have had.

Everything was set. I had worked hard, pushed myself for two years. I was ready to make the leap, to completely restructure my life for a woman (never a good idea) and move a country for her. Only thing in between was her coming over and us spending a vacation here in Finland together before we’d fly back together victoriously.

Fact was though that things have been deteriorating. Still, I was hopeful that being physically together could help the things. They didn’t. The vacation was marred with arguments, and the worst of them ended in this:

It would have been hell of a good sex... but it wasn't from sex.

It would have been hell of a good sex… but it wasn’t from sex.

I was so shocked and my reality was shattered. It’s one thing to have some petty arguments, and whole another to have the other person hate you so much that she physically assaults you, especially to that extent.

What The Hell Happened?

I’ll give an honest account on how things escalated to that point. We had been eating a dinner on the cruise (as you can see, I’m in a small cabin). During the dinner I made some silly joke, like I generally do, and it for whatever reason upset her. Lack of sense of humor on her end marred the end of our relationship. The tensions were heightened as we returned to cabin. I wasn’t wearing a shirt as I was preparing to work out (yeah, I don’t stop even for a cruise). I was still annoyed at the fact that she got upset over nothing, so I was lecturing her about it – not mature thing to do, admittedly.

She wasn’t listening though, instead fiddling around with her phone, that she had used all through the vacation to message with another guy (yeah… there was another guy in the picture. She ended up staying with that guy for rest of her vacation and they are now dating. Figures), so that further drove up my annoyance.

I demanded her to listen, taking the matters to my hands quite literally. I snatched the phone off her hands. Note that I was annoyed, but no super aggressive. I told her I’ll give it back to her when she answers my question. I don’t remember what it was – but the subject of our argument was trivial at this point. I was just wanting her to answer to me and then I’d given back the phone.

She didn’t answer me, instead tried to grapple back for the phone. She really escalated fast into massive anger. “Give it back!” She demanded. Being taller and stronger than her, I merely positioned my body between her and the phone and played keep-away with her. If it was funny at all, it stopped being funny few seconds into it. Realizing she could not get her phone, she sank her long nails right into my flesh!

This was absolutely shocking to me. But I have a personality of a pitbull and when I am being hurt, that just makes me stick to my guns more and become even more stubborn. Any sane man would have thrown her phone at her and walked out of her life for good – if her fucking phone is so important to her that she is willing to hurt a man she is supposed to love, then fine, have your fucking phone. All I asked was an answer. Violent response was completely disproportionate to the situation.

But I didn’t walk away. Feeling the sharp pain, I pushed her on the cabin bed off me. She got up and lashed out again. I pushed her down again. At no point I used violence at her. I merely pushed her away repeatedly.

Now what’s so dark in this that generally, when lets say guy punches a girl, he immediately realizes the gravity of what he is done and is sorry for it. Generally, at least. It’s a moment of boiling over, and then its over. But for my girlfriend it wasn’t like that. She drew blood from the first scratch, but kept getting up to fuck me up more every time I pushed her down. I thought she would calm down if I just weathered through it, but it just went on and on.

I don’t know how much time passed. Ten minutes? 20? 30? I have no idea. We struggled for a quite a while with the same pattern. At some point she cut at my wrist with her long, sharp nail. I still have a scar on my wrist that makes me look like I attempted suicide in the past. It wasn’t blind rage – it seemed almost a calculated effort to try to cut open an artery.

For a fucking phone!

In the end, I pushed her again on the bed, she ended up on her stomach and I happened to just get on top of her. I grabbed her hands with force and twisted them backwards, pinning her down there. The situation, at least to that extent was over.

I was the bloody mess of above picture – well worse actually, given I took a shower and wiped most of the blood off before the picture. She left the cabin feeling anger towards me, showing no signs of regret or remorse. Which is something that remained consistent through the following months. At every point we discussed this afterwards she felt she was justified and I got what was coming to me. In fact, if anything she accused me of it.

Now I’m no one to say I was faultless. I’m first to admit my faults. But at this situation, I didn’t do anything outrageously bad, definitely not something worth getting permanent scars for.

While the damage on my body looks bad, its not even an increment to the emotional scars I got from the situation. I’ll be fine, but certainly that’s something that will leave a lasting mark in my mind about women.

Aftermath

I’ve tried my best to forgive her for what she did and try to remain friends with her, as I thought it was just an isolated incident and that wasn’t the kind of person she is. However, I think I needed a little help. “Sorry”, from her end would have been a good start. But as said, she felt no regret nor remorse for what she did. Instead, every time we talked her whole modus operandi was to point out how it was all my fault. I’m not denying it, it was probably all my fault. Regardless, laying your hand on someone who you are supposed to love is not something that can be justified.

In the end, fact was that she had fallen out of love with me a long time ago. Her resentment towards me was deafening. Attack on me was just an expression of that hate for me.

I did a lot wrong during that relationship to deserve that hate.

It was a lesson in setting personal boundaries for me – I should have never hung out for a so long time with someone who clearly was not enjoying my company – lack of sense of humor was a sign of such.

Anyway, to get back to my story we had gone through this pretty crushing way to break up, and then the final kicker – I had my 900 euro tickets to Malaysia still -you think I was going to let them go to waste? Of course not, but Malaysia was not the best environment to be in at that point. Everything around me was like rubbing on my face all the effort I put into the failed relationship. So I was absolutely destroyed. It was not until Hong Kong when my recovery started and I bounced back.

I will write more about what I learned through this difficult experience in the future. Now, I just wanted to come out with an account on what happened.

Reconstruction of My Routine

WreckI’m back. I’ve been a total trainwreck* of late, which has seen me completely fall off my habits, especially off my weekly posting schedule. My blog is at a crossroads and definitely I feel a change is in order. Mainly though this post will be about me attempting to get back into work groove.

*Trainwreck in my case means I’ve been having too much sugar.

Hong Kong Fallout

I stayed on most of my routines fairly well during my excursion in Hong Kong. I kept doing my workout every day, even if sometimes the logistics got difficult, sometimes doing my workout at 2 am.

What killed me off (not literally!) was falling sick during the last days of Hong Kong. Now I have been off everything for a long time.

However, I turned into a trainwreck during Hong Kong even before all of my routines breaking down. Don’t get me wrong, Hong Kong was incredibly awesome and I’d put the whole trip up there as one of best moments of my life, but the fact was that the whole idea of traveling while doing my location independent work was pretty much shattered. Doesn’t help to have a location independent job if you can’t actually maintain the processes of doing it while being, you know, in a different location.

I’m not gonna get into detail about what happened in Hong Kong to make me so hazy brained to not be able to work, as it would be unsavory story with plenty of debauchery (and mom, if you’re reading, this… Nothing happened in Hong Kong. I was just sight-seeing. I’m a good boy). The key thing is to understand that it kinda threw me off the rails and left me with a lot to think about.

Avoiding this in the future won’t be the subject of this post, instead now I have to focus on simply getting back to my ways.

Public UAS Tracking

Yeah, for those who don’t know what UAS stands for, it’s Universal Awesomeness Score. My few months old scoring system that I’ve not been so careful to stay on top of. What I mean by this is that I’ve not been the most meticulous tracker of my own productivity lately. It’s simple, really. When you are a wreck who is not working much to begin with, you are not feeling very inclined to track your own productivity. Just discouraging.

It has to get sorted, so I am moving my points tracking on this site, on a separate page. I don’t want to start spamming the main blog feed with my weekly updates, but I want my points still to be a part of the site – after all I redesigned the whole points system so it fits everyone better. If I’m not using my own system well and setting an example, how can I expect anything else to do it? Furthermore, it being “public” (not that there’s many people reading my blog) would motivate me to push myself into higher and higher scores.

This kind of signifies the change that this blog is facing as well. I am yet to decide what direction I want to take this blog to. So far it’s been posing mostly as a personal development blog, and there’s always aspects of that in it as I am so heavily into growth, but at the same time I feel like I am not very good at it. Yeah, you get better by doing it, but if I’m only going to post once in a week the progress is going to be slow.

Yeah, that’s another thing. Posting once a week. I don’t think that really fits me. I mean, on one hand it does, very much. Forces me to be productive. But this should be something to aid me moving forward on my path, this blog – not something that I feel forced to do. The messages here on this site should come out of inspiration, not out of obligation. Obviously often times its a mix of both, but I’d definitely want to be leaning more on the inspiration’s side.

Since I’ve already fallen off the wagon of weekly posting, I’m to keep just posting freely at least for a while, at least until I figure what I want to do.

When we get to the bare bones, this blog should first and foremost be an expression of myself. Whether that turns this into more of an personal journal like site or something, that’s something that I will have to figure out. I do know I want the blog to be a window to my life.

The New Routine

For my new resurrection, for my Phoenix-like rising from the ashes, I figure I need at least some sort of template to base my days around. Of course I am going to be very flexible in case something comes up, but if nothing comes up I think I need to be disciplined. As I’ve learned in the past, the template should not be something that completely overwhelms me. So here goes:

- Wake up to a new day -

  1. Work for three hours
  2. Breakfast
  3. An hour of reading
  4. 15 min of stretching
  5. Work out
  6. Lunch / second meal**
  7. An hour of reading (optional)
  8. Mediation
  9. Write for an hour
  10. Third meal

** I very rarely have my second meal at lunch-time. *Grins*

- Few hours of free activity -

  1. Address pelvic dysfunction + porn star warm up*** / This can be replaced with session of Yoga
  2. Work more until feel tired / lose focus
  3. Final meal of the day
  4. Sit down for 5 minutes to plan and set goals for the next day
  5. Read fiction until sleepy

*** Porn-star warm-up is a hip-mobility routine on Amped Warm-up Guide

So there it is. As you can see, it is divided into two parts, like bookends of the day, but naturally I will move around little blocks of the day as I see fit and some probably will be omitted altogether on some days. The essentials really are to put in a few hours of work in every day, read a bit, eat a lot, write, exercise, meditate and stretch. Beyond that, everything else is just bonus. If I don’t let my time leak into silly things like fiddling around with my phone, it is all very doable with a nice window of time in between the two routines where I can do whatever I want.

I’ll dissect some bits of it a bit now. Why I want to delve straight away to work? Well, because after all of this time I still have most trouble with it. It is the thing I want to procrastinate with. But if I start the day with a simple minded focus to get it done, I usually do very well. Doing three hours straight away just sets me up well for the day. I’ll have breakfast only after that. As my meals are generally heavy and I feel tired after them, reading is a perfect follow up activity for the meal. Then it is always nice to get the body maintenance out of the way for the day.

Again, after second meal I might want to do something lighter like reading, but meditation will be good as well. If I am tired it is a good way to train your mind to be more focused during tiredness, something that’s very useful to learn. Ideally after meditation the worst food coma would have cleared and I’d have a nice, focused and clear mind to start writing for the day. After writing I’ve earnt another meal and some free time to unwind.

Ending the day well is of course important. I want to do more body maintenance cause I do a lot of sitting, I have notoriously tight hips and already am having some back problems. So it doesn’t hurt to alleviate that. Not to mention the extra hip mobility might come in handy on those days that I’m not going to bed alone…

Before slamming down some more work for the night I think its useful to grab a snack. After the further work and the final meal I’ve definitely earnt my rest. Fiction is perfect to read before sleeping as it generally doesn’t put you in a state where you are thinking about super logical stuff or doing future projections and reflections in your mind.

So there. Good plans have been laid, now the predictable battle in staying disciplined to them is ahead. But of course, this isn’t a challenge, I’m going to be flexible on these, I just want to have some go-to structure for the indecisive moments.

Dump your comments below. Come on, don’t be shy.

Courage and Fear in Modern Society

It’s time for the long-awaited bungy jumping video, and some other reflections related to it. This time I don’t have much of an intro, I think I nailed the video this time even though technically it’s not done well (the speaking part was just shot using a phone and holding it in hand – the bungy itself is HD shot with multiple cameras by AJ Hackett). I think I did a good job communicating my message anyway.

So check the video out:

As for the “tomorrow’s video”, well it never got made – by the time I was in Malaysia I had gotten reaally sick. Way too sick to be sleeping on the station floors or walking around KL with 10 kg backpack. Thankfully my ex loaded me up with enough drugs to take out an elephant so I held over for the nearly 24 hour transit back home. Not fun to be sick while travelling, but then again would there be a better timing for it anyway?

But enough about KL, let’s go back for a moment to that moment in Macau. I step on the edge and look down. It has been a long wait to get there. I was early at the tower in comparison to the jump time. I had just sit for a long time with the crowd of people staring at me, along with the other few guys and a girl that were lining up to jump down.  Thinking of what mess I had gotten myself into. I felt like I did a good job maintaining outward calm, but my bubble had been bursted when one of the guys of the staff came to get me. “Why you so serious man? You scared?”

Whether I had been scared or not then was irrelevant now that I had stepped to the edge. Cause this was being scared. This was being fucking scared. I look down into the drop of over 700 feet and all the blood tries to escape my body, as if not wanting anything to do with it. Complete numbness overwhelms my insides as my reptilian brain screams at me. “Take a step back. TAKE A STEP THE FUCK BACK.”

You can hardly blame it. It doesn’t realize I’m all strapped up and a rope will stop my fall. It merely wants to preserve my life.

I briefly blame my mom for not stopping me getting these stupid ideas before the countdown starts. I am in position to jump. Five, four, three, two, one. I gotta say it is pretty savvy, the way they send you out. The loud countdown gives you just enough social pressure to do it. To nudge you through the fear. I didn’t really jump right by leaning forward as you are supposed, I was so stiff with fear I merely dropped down. It didn’t matter, gravity handled the rest.

As for the jump itself, the moment I was off the edge all the fear subsided cause there was no room for it any more. Just a few second of intense consciousness as my body raced towards ground. The rope stopping my descent didn’t really feel bad. You would imagine it is abrupt, but it felt smooth enough to me. But then again I was falling fast so what’s smooth in those speeds anyway?

I didn’t let out a sound the whole way. After saying goodbye on the edge (you can’t hear the things I say cause I muted the video so that the background music they put didn’t clash with my own background music – you didn’t miss much aside me saying awkwardly “awesome”, the goodbye before the jump and the countdown) I was just quiet the whole time until at some point I just put all the emotions concisely into one sentence “Holy shit…” while hanging from the rope.

Would I do it again? Sure, I would do it. But don’t mistake that I think I did something brave that matters. I did something brave that gives me an adrenaline rush and empowers me – the brave things that change life for myself and for others are different. In many ways, they take more courage anyway than dropping down from a ledge, and they need that more courage applied repeatedly, day in, day out.

Thanks for tuning in this week, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought!

The Full Scale of Human Experience

Let’s start with an update regarding my trip. I had some messed up stuff happen with my monies and as an end result, I will have to return to Finland instead of staying in Malaysia after my HK trip ends. I bought some match tickets for Brazil already which put my finances to a stretch, and the kicker is that now I even won’t get the tickets, the money is just temporarily off my account. Needless to say, it was not fun to run out of money during my Macau excursion. Oh well, lesson learned in keeping a buffer of money always available. Now with the boring shit off my chest, let’s delve into the post itself.

As my above paragraph states, my journey is coming to its abrupt and unplanned end. Lessons have been learned aplenty but reflecting back on past nearly a month, all I can say is that I’ve experienced nearly everything there is. From the low points to extreme highs, I’d go as far as to say it’s been the month of my life so far.

Is that an overt statement? I can’t say for sure. Perhaps it is just silly mental masturbation to think about such notions as “best month/year/any period of time of my life” but I like to do that. So far I’ve called my first month in Malaysia the best of my life and it was indeed a huge turning point for me. It was challenging for that kid who suffered from crippling shyness, yet it was filled with happy memories and gratitude for the experience, with very few lows.

Now? Well, as I’ve said here on the blog already in a passing mention, I broke up with my gf ahead of the trip. Anyone who’s been following me for a period of time knows that would be a big deal to me. I invested a lot of effort into making it work, literally hauling my ass to the other side of the world to make it happen. It wasn’t going to be though, and the repercussions were of that magnitude. Being in the environment where I have got myself just for the relationship just rubbed its failure into my face further.

So the first half of the month was spent in a blurry state of mostly depression, with few glimmers of feeling better. What about Hong Kong? Well I have to say Hong Kong has definitely its rough edges, but my experience here has been extremely positive. Indeed to such extent I am feeling like coming back after my Brazil trip gets sorted out and over with (I make an adventure of a lifetime sound like a chore).

If Malaysia 2012 was more of an even line of positive emotions upwards accumulating into a great month, Malaysia/Hong Kong of 2014 has been more of a extreme up and down thrill ride. Which one will I prefer? Well my heart would probably prefer the former, but honestly, give me the thrill ride.

That’s where the best memories are made, after all. The intense lows will just turn into powerful memories in time and intense highs… Well even more powerful memories, not to mention they feel incredible when you experience them.

The Full Scale of Human Experience

What it all boils down to is experiencing all that there is and experiencing to the maximum. I won’t shy away from intense sadness, I won’t shy away from intense pain, and I most certainly won’t shy away from intense joy. But to get joy, pleasure, passion, whatever, you will have to put yourself vulnerable to the intense negative aspects as well. I’ve had very stressed moments during this trip, I’ve had sad moments, but in just few days or moments that can all change into even a surreal level of bliss.

In the end it is all about experiencing the full scale. It’s from the emotional spikes that the strongest memories are made of, not just even bliss of everything going smoothly from start to finish. I talked about this in the past as well.

So now that we have established that you want to go for the full scale, how do you do it? Simple, put yourself at risk, go for too big goals that inevitably draw out the mistakes of you. Have zero fear or hesitation to commit to your courses of action. Get emotionally invested.  Things will fail and you will get sad. Things will succeed and you will feel happy. Regardless you will experience intense events, stuff that you won’t even believe that could happen to you. You will wake up asking yourself what is happening to your life. On some mornings in a positive sense, and on some mornings in a negative sense.

It is all just sides of the same coin. So when I cry for sadness I don’t resist the emotion at all (except if I’m in front of people – I like to grief in privacy), similarly I attempt to let the joy of good things take me over when it comes to take me. I’m not saying I’m perfect at this either, but the more you open yourself up to the full scale of human experience, the more incredible your life will be.

Bad shit happening won’t make your life any worse. You need to understand that. What it will do is harden you for the future trials and give you great stories to tell in the future.

Hope that made sense – do share your thoughts in the comments. I’m too tired to keep writing now – see you next week!

Also, yes, I made the bungy jump as intended in Macau. I’m not gonna talk about it now though – next week will be all about it.

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