Archive - September, 2013

Four Months To Income Challenge Ends… In Under a Month

Spiral of Awesomeness really sent me into a spiral of… well, awesomeness. It is evident from the fact that my next challenge took me only a month to complete. That’s right, my Four Months to Income Challenge is already over as it’s goal has been achieved. 

Horizons Shifting

My life is undergoing a pretty fast period of transitioning at the moment. First half of the years was a pretty bad slump from me, but ever since July I’ve been blasting off and now I’m starting to reach the point where I’m going to escape gravity – well, so to speak anyway. I guess more appropriate way of putting it would be reaching an orbit. I’m not going to get into details but through my work I now have a steady income and pretty full schedule.

That of course leaves me to handle with completely shifted horizon. My inclination is to start a new challenge very soon, cause as last three months of my life have shown, I really respond to that kind of mode, but the thing is that I am going to be simply too busy to focus on any challenges for now. Once I’ve adjusted to my new life (which essentially just has me do the same workload regular people do), I might start thinking about adding some further challenge to it, but for now I’m contended to just keep doing what I’ve been doing.

That is, I am going to keep reading an hour every day, I’m going to stick to meditation and I’m definitely gonna take good care of my physical shape by exercising hard. One thing will change, though.

Twelve Week Challenge Turned to 100 Days

As of yesterday’s three hours of writing having been done, I have now completed three hours of writing for 98 days in a row. I am going to end this challenge to a nice round number of 100.

Why not keep going, you ask? Wasn’t writing three hours one of my goals at the beginning of the year? Well, definitely it was, and I’m going to keep writing a bit every day, as I’ve done for nearly 500 days in a row now, but as my workload is going to really intensify over the coming weeks, I am choosing to cut down on writing. I know now I am capable of doing that three hours of writing a day, it simply won’t be practical as I’m adapting to my lifestyle shift. In my current phase of life this will be the best decision.

In the past 100 days I’ve written nearly half a million words and it has been an incredible experience in terms of learning self-discipline, focus and forging my work ethic. My record day alone I wrote 7,500 words which is not my all-time record but definitely a ton to be written in just three hours.

Writing will still be very important part of my life, but life is all about balance and for now it needs to be cut back. There’s simply a lot of transitioning ahead of me in next few months. Not only getting used to this increased workload, but also the coming environment change with imminent move to Malaysia. Furthermore, I’ve been secretly planning a trip to US still before Malaysia, but will see if that will be possible a bit later.

Retaining the Balance

While my long-term goal is to achieve relative comfort with working insane (80+ hours a week) workloads, the balance is also important. I can’t just jump to those insane hours, I will have to small step my way to it. The fact is, my current priorities shifted given I now have some sort of finances going on – for me right now it is much more important to start combating my social anxiety and ineptitude rather than going for working even harder. I will need to leave some room in my life for other people in my life, which will be hard enough working 40+ hours every week and doing rest of the stuff I do every day.

For now I will focus on settling into my new pace of life, but I’m sure I will do some sort of challenge still before December comes – after all, there’s plenty of time before that.

For my blog nothing will change, I will focus on pounding out this one weekly update, and once I fix my computer, you might even start to see some videos again. I bought myself even a new microphone so the sound quality will improve again as well.

So yeah, this is today’s post, not so informative for most of you I admit, but I also needed to get that challenge thing updated. I am really excited for where my life is headed at.

As always, feel free to hit me up with a comment.

The Power of Testosterone

Ah, testosterone. The root cause in aggressive behavior in males. The crazy fuel. The thing that keeps us checking out girls. Yet at the same time, harnessing the power of testosterone is exactly what is needed to take what you want in life – is it any wonder that vast majority of most successful people in the world are men?

This is not gonna be a post about bashing females or telling about their inferiority. I don’t think that, but I do think that as men, because we have at least twelve times the natural amount of testosterone that women do, we are much more inclined to seek grand accomplishments.

It is widely known that testosterone is what makes us men more aggressive and more frisky. What it also does is give us that masculine radiance that just makes us naturally want to challenge ourselves.

That is why, if well harnessed, testosterone can be the fuel for your success.

In Spiral of Awesomeness, I inadvertently caused my natural testosterone level to start to soar. I worked out every day, ate much cleaner food, and challenged myself. to settle for anything but what I want. I’d rather die than not achieve everything I set out to.

In fact, I’m writing this post in a focused testosterone buzz after a good hard workout – though maybe a bit too hard… I’ll get into that in a minute. Now, let’s get to points what you can do to harness this power in yourself. Now girls might feel a little excluded here but really, these same things help raise your testosterone levels just as much as they help us guys. It also causes the same positive effects for girls as for guys.

1. Work out

Not only the biggest single thing you could do for your testosterone levels, but also probably the simplest one. I suggest you do an experiment next time you are feeling a bit phlegmatic, lackluster or depressed – head to the gym or do a really intense bodyweight training session. Done? How do you feel?

Well I can tell you how I feel – I feel like fucking money. Like million dollars. But do it right, don’t slack off,  you gotta really push your edge. Make yourself gasp. Make yourself grunt as you force final reps out. Feel the lactic acid, the burn in your muscles.

One great form of exercise is also the punching bag – punch that bag until your knuckles bleed… Okay, well I can tell from experience that you likely will strain your wrist first before you cause a knuckle bleed, and it is not smart to train too hard to injure yourself – but for the sake of this experiment, go a little nuts. (Disclaimer: Always consult a doctor before taking advice from Becoming Awesome. I won’t pay your medical bills that WILL come from following the advice on this blog).

Afterwards you will really internalize the difference a small surge of testosterone that the workout caused makes in your mode of being.

So stop reading this article already, whatever I write next will never be as valuable for your life as putting some death metal on to blast at your eardrums and heading out to pump some iron. Yes, totally use music, just further pumps you up into right frame for the workout.

2. Have more sex

Testosterone makes you more inclined to have sex, but sex also causes your testosterone level to go up. So its a really positive self-perpetuating cycle. Get a girlfriend (or two… or fuck it, as many as you like) that puts out and just enjoy the more masculine mode the constant sex will put you to.

If you can’t get laid, learn it. Don’t harass women or rape them. While that actually probably would increase your testosterone (as a high risk behavior), it will also land you in jail. Trust me on that. Just go out and approach girls, you will start figuring it out, or just by law of probability bump into a girl that really digs you, no matter how lame you are. Again, trust me on that. Besides, in pursuit of going for improvement on that, you will also do another action that improves your testosterone levels, which is…

3. Push your edge

Going for hard challenges, doing something scary or painful, taking on too much than you can handle… all good things to improve your testosterone. Stuff like competitive sports as well helps further amp this up. Do the kind of stuff that is supposed to be too difficult for you. Your primal responses will perceive it as if you are more alpha now and as a result with secrete more testosterone to help you to cope with it.

This has been studied in pack animals – the pack leader always has the highest testosterone, because when the former alpha gets dethroned the new alpha’s testosterone response goes up, while former has it decrease.

So take responsibility, compete, do some sick shit, take risks and see yourself becoming more of a man (literally) in the process.

4. Load up on meats & other forms of protein

Protein has become the easy quick pill answer for many people in terms of nutrition, cause it is a simple answer. But hey, it also works as long as it is in conjunction with a healthy diet, like I described in my own book.

Eating meats and other forms of clean protein (bar for soy, which actually increases estrogen) will further drive up your testosterone level, making all the other points in this list easier to achieve. Vegans might have tough time getting any testosterone response out of their body. Sorry about that, it’s just how our bodies tend to work.

5. Take care of your health in general

As I said in the prior point, just eating a lot of protein won’t do much good until it’s used as a part of a healthy diet. If you just pound processed meats you are not going to do any good on yourself in the long term.

Getting good sleep, staying low stress, in good shape and eating healthy will take you a long way. You will become more focused. You will become more masculine. You will become more productive just as a result.

As a last point I have to add that because this testosterone haze makes you really go for what you want, you also feel fucking happy in end as well. It’s an intense, radiant form of happiness as well. I wouldn’t change this post-workout feeling to anything in the world.

***

In the end, I don’t know how much of my recent massive peak in my productivity (I scored back-to-back record weeks in my point system for the first time since its inception) and state of mind can be attributed to my testosterone, but I am fairly confident the answer is A LOT.

This is one of the simplest, most fundamental concepts I’ve ever put out, yet it has incredible power. Testosterone is like plutonium – you can obliterate a city with it, but if you handle it with care, you can power up that same city for a long time with it. Anyone who fails to implement what I just said here is making a massive mistake.

As a final note, you CAN succeed with a low testosterone and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it – it is just that I feel like I’m in some sort of high and can clearly see the benefit for myself. At the very least try it out and make what you want out of it.

Share any experiences and feedback in the comments below!

In other news all my videoblogs are cancelled for now – lightning busted my computer and I only have limited use on this laptop I’m using, so I can’t be editing videos until I fix my computer.

The End of Spiral of Awesomeness™

Lotsa challenges ended yesterday. Today’s post is all about wrapping up Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge and some first updates on my Four Months to Income Challenge. Most of it in form of a video:

Going Through the Challenge

Let’s go through all individual parts of the original challenge in terms of how well I did on them:

The Path ~3-4 hours

In other words, for me this meant writing about three hours a day every day. This was perfectly successful, indeed for full 12 weeks that the original 12-week challenge already started. Granted, I sometimes was very distracted and I still have a lot to improve in the process itself, but I wrote over a quarter million of words during this time, so if I’m not satisfied with that, then I don’t know what satisfies me.

Working out 20 minutes-2 hours

Another perfect thing – I’ve been getting to pretty good shape. That being said, in the end a way too large portion of my workouts ends up nearer the shorter range – but you know what, fuck it, I do it every day and it is bringing results. I have nothing to complain, now it is just all about increasing the quality.

Stretching/Yoga 30 minutes

I don’t think I did yoga once, which is a bit disappointing fact, but I did stretch every single day. Again, a healthy thing to do and my body feels good.

Meditation 30 minutes

I had one outright missed day and a couple of cases that were borderline (I fell asleep while meditating). My meditation sessions generally were very sucky. Still struggling with this habit, but I’m putting the time in, so it will eventually start to click in.

Only cold showers not long cause you can’t stand it for long

Yes, I did this. Only just came out of my first hot shower in 8 months. As I said in a comment to my Merits of Cold Showers post, I can’t stand the coldest water on my head, it actually makes me feel woozy in just few seconds, and I need more than few seconds to wash my long hair, so I turn it slightly less cold for that. I am relieved to not have to do these all the time – they are great and I will keep doing them, but the comfort seeking part of me absolutely loathes it.

Additional Challenge: 1 hour of reading a day

I completed this – it didn’t turn out to be all that additional challenge. One hour of reading turned out to be fairly easy to incorporate to my life.

Stopping masturbation

Well, this is where I really failed hard. I would go as far to say this is the hardest challenge out of all of these, because it is all about wrestling with a biological desire (presuming you are not having sex – if you are it becomes easy).

Stopping eating junk food

This was a pretty much perfect success – granted, my diet is far from perfect, but I definitely stayed clear of worst crap.

Not drinking anything but water

Largely a success – with couple of acceptable exception. For instance, one day at work with my dad I ran out of my water so I drank dad’s soda just to keep hydrated. I didn’t cheat once because my willpower let go.

Did my life Spiral to Awesomeness due to the challenge overall? Well maybe that is a bit strong statement, but I definitely feel like I’m actually a hard-working guy now, as opposed to eight weeks ago, and I’m definitely raring to go for more. The past eight weeks have had me working harder than ever.

Eight Weeks of the Challenge

One final wrap-up for the challenge is to look how do the past eight weeks measure up in comparison to the most productive weeks of my life, according to my point system.

First week: #4 of all time

Second week: #7 of all time

Third week: #2 of all time

Fourth week: #6 of all time

Fifth week: Just out of top-10 of all time

Sixth week: #8 of all time

Seventh week: #5 of all time

Eighth week: Best week of all time

That tells everything you want to know how much of a success for me on a personal level the challenge was – the two most productive weeks of my life and seven out of eight weeks to my all time top ten. It’s not even the peak productivity about this that’s the biggest success, it is the fact that there was such consistency of high productivity for a long period of time.

But the hard part starts now – retaining that productivity for months and years to come. That is the only way that massive success is really created.

Merits of Cold Showers

I’ll be honest about how I came up with the subject for today’s post – I simply had no idea what to write about as I went to shower just now. It is a mundane idea that jolted through me as the cold stream hit on my skin one of the last few times. Thank god I don’t HAVE TO do cold showers everyday after this week. I will still keep doing them beyond Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge, though – here’s why:

Forget About Coffee

Coffee honestly never did anything to me. Honestly, I literally feel no added awakeness after taking coffee. So I don’t really drink it. However, with cold showers, you feel AWAKE and ENERGIZED after taking it – even if you feel cold to the bone. The combination of it making you breath deeply as well as forcing the whole body to vibrate to generate heat is a physiological combo that just inevitably leads to energetic state. I’ve often done meditation after taking a cold shower – the sessions tend to be jittery and restless.

Physiological Benefits

Another awesome thing about cold showers is that it indeed does make recovery faster for those of us who work out or indeed strain their bodies otherwise. That being said, I don’t really know much about this subject – I do know though that just doing cold showers doesn’t maximize the recovering effect showering could have. For that you will have to use contrast showers; alternating extremely hot and extremely cold water. I think I’m going to use that approach once Spiral of Awesomeness is over.

I don’t know about other physiological benefits – maybe in the future I will expand on these once I’ve had a chance to research. It definitely boosts up circulation.

Tough As Nails

The main reason I of course added cold showers to the challenge in the first place was the mental aspect. While it might feel good afterwards, I loathe getting under the icy water. It never gets easy. It never really starts feeling good. Well, it has certain rush to it. You certainly feel tougher when taking the cold shower

Ultimately cold showers build that willpower muscle of just getting the unpleasant thing over with – it also trains you to ignore the flinching reflex in yourself. You never learn out of it. That is why I think I will keep starting my showers with the coldest water possible even after the challenge.

Anything to add? Share your experiences regarding cold showers in the comments.

Now some of you might wonder what happened to video blogging idea relating to Four Months to Income Challenge. Simply put, I’ve had no time to create a video! I rushed a quick one today, but it wasn’t good enough to put out, so you’re just going to have to wait for that.

Four Months to Income Challenge

There’s still two weeks to go in my Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge, but as it no longer challenges me, I’m going to start my next challenge concurrently with it. I will still complete the eight weeks of the original challenge, just piling more challenges on top of it. In this post I will introduce my new Four Months to Income Challenge.

So What Is This New Challenge All About?

As I stated a long while ago, I’m set to move to Malaysia at some point in the near future. I’ve now committed since that post to make that happen at January of this year. Another thing that relates to my new challenge is the goal I set at the start of the year, in my post about goals for 2013 - I set out to increase my income to €1000. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it, certainly a very basic goal. Perhaps it tells of my dysfunction as a person that it’s been so long that I’ve been unable to complete it.

If you have a look at the goals I set for 2013, you can notice that I’ve already completed the other two goals. So if I could complete that one, I’d probably for the first time ever complete all the goals I set for myself at the start of the year. So I’m set out to really hustle for it. Of course, a thing like that is also not completely in my own hands – but I’m at least set to give my all to the process, results come if they come.

From Fiverr to oDesk

This challenge will be a bit different compared to the Spiral of Awesomeness™ for it will be more fluid. Every week there will be a new goal, and every week the actions I take will be different. Essentially it is something I move along reacting to the currents of how my endeavor is going.

First week’s goal is simple enough – to work for two hours every day towards my income creation, with the ultimate goal that at the end of the week my oDesk account is all ready and I’m well equipped to attract people to hire me. Weekends are off, however, in this challenge. I won’t go with “do everything everyday” approach like I do with Spiral of Awesomeness™.

Yes, my aim has changed from my already well set-up Fiverr platform to oDesk. I see oDesk to simply have more growth potential and also for some reason, despite adding more and more gigs, my Fiverr hires are decreasing, not increasing. Besides, with the low rate I would get at Fiverr, I’d need to work really hard to get even to that 1000 € of income. So oDesk simply seems more feasible and I already have earned more from there over last two months than from Fiverr.

As for rewards, initially there is no reward set. Yes, kind of going against the principles laid out in some other posts, but I indeed DO have a reward thought, I just can’t use it yet because it breaks the rules of Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge. I intend to include a cheat-day to my diet starting after that challenge, but if I complete my weekly tasks I expand it to a whole cheat weekend. But explaining that is for some other post that relates more to nutrition.

Not setting any other rewards is simply matter of leverage – you set the reward if you need a leverage to get yourself moving. I don’t need a leverage right now – the pain of having barely any income is already a one, and another is the fact that I fucking need to move to Malaysia in January. I won’t want to be two years into the relationship without even living in the same country as my girlfriend, the prospect of it is completely absurd. Besides, to really change my life I need to get moving. I’m turning 26 in seven months, after all.

Haven’t I Heard This All Before?

You might be thinking that you have. I certainly have. I’ve heard these decisions from myself many times before. Something is different this time, though. Spiral of Awesomeness has kinda done what its name suggests. It has built up some discipline into me. It has built work ethic. It has built focus. I feel like I’m better equipped to tackle this goal.

Last few weeks has been the most productive period of my life and I have no doubt it will continue to be like that. In fact, Spiral of Awesomeness is starting to bore me. Like it doesn’t challenge me enough. As if my mind and body is CRAVING for more challenge. So I’m going to give it that. I’m going to keep pushing myself. Try to reach new limits of mental and physical capacity. Go for the edge.

I know I set to this journey to get it easy, to live the four-hour week lifestyle. But now I’m wanting to become the guy who just breezes through 80-hour work weeks. I know, it sounds absurd to hear something from a lazy guy like me, but that’s where I look to be some day. Time will tell if I am, or if I can become intense enough to do stuff like that. That’s not to say I want to be working 80 hours a week as a lifestyle, just saying that I want to be CAPABLE of that.

Vlogs

Another thing I’d certainly like to incorporate to this challenge is doing a weekly video blog (Vlog) about it. Everyone knows I want to improve my speaking skills, and though I think they have massively improved over the last year or so, they are still pretty crappy compared to everything that is out there. This is internet, so I’m competing for attention with the best, there’s simply no two ways about it. So essentially I will just have to accept that most people won’t give a shit about my videos.

So, why not simply do Vlog type videos where I just talk about whatever has been going on and riff off of that, instead of thinking through ready concepts etc. to present to people? I get the same amount of practice in, and who knows, the videos might even be more entertaining. They’d certainly be faster to create. Now I’m only undecided as to whether I should do multiple videos during the week, or do multiple videos but combine them to one video at the end of the week, or finally if I should simply create one video on the weekend and be done with it. Decisions for me.

I would have done a video for this post as well, but I’m just so short on time constantly that I was not able to pull that off.

In any case it seems likely that you will start getting more frequent blog posts than once in a week. Kind of two concurrent series going on – my Monday posts where I essentially try to present concepts and provide value, and my Vlogs every weekend where you can follow the progress of my challenge. Not to say they will be valueless, but generally my videos get only 5-15 views and I think that only ten per cent watch the videos through, so I’m not expecting a lot of views. Initially creating the videos was tough and uncomfortable, but now it is kind of a fun hobby that I will gladly do just for myself.

So yeah, that certainly is a mouthful overall. If this prompts any thoughts in you, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments.