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Philosophy

The Turning Point

After 25 months of building a workout habit, there are a few things I’ve noticed.

The first is that maintaining my weight is much, much easier now. Even if I completely go off my regular eating over a holiday like Thanksgiving, it takes about 2-3 days to return to my normal weight afterwards.

The second is that we often tend to focus on the wrong habit. I often joke that I do not have a workout habit but in fact, I have a going to the gym habit. Some days are great workouts, others are not, but if I walk in the door of the gym, I’ve continued my habit.

The third is that eventually, we hit a turning point where our identity becomes wrapped up in the habit. There’s a point where it’s hard to imagine yourself not doing that thing. It becomes so deeply ingrained in who you are it’s not even a habit anymore. It’s just something you do.

The goal of any new pursuit that requires a lifetime of maintenance should be to reach that point—realistically, results are nice because they help you stay motivated—but none of them actually matter so much as staying long enough to change who you are.

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Philosophy

Deeper

We spend so much of our lives skimming across the surface of the water that we forget that the best things are often below us.

Slow down, take a breath, and dive.

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Philosophy

The Process

The most important thing I’ve learned about reaching goals in life is just how unimportant the actual goal is.

It represents something we want to achieve, something we don’t have, or a milestone we’d like to hit. But it says nothing about the underlying lifestyle changes that would make that goal achievable. And once we hit it? What then?

Sure, there are goals that are one time things. A sprint to get a project done, graduate from university, finals week, things like that. But for things like health, eating well, mastering a craft, the moment we stop practicing the things that got us there, we begin to lose them.

The process of getting there is 99% of the point—the process is how we live our lives day in and day out. The process is the goal.

So why wait until we accomplish what we set out to do to enjoy it? To celebrate it? A life that only celebrates the achievement of a goal is a life with little celebration.

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Philosophy

3 Steps of Successful Investing

After the recent explosive growth in cryptocurrency, I can’t help but reflect back on my experience mining altcoins back in 2013. Bitcoin had become somewhat well known and was floating in the $500-$1,200 range and many alternate coins (altcoins for short) started popping up all over the place.

The concept seemed interesting, so I built a few computers that were designed to “mine” some of those currencies started learning as much as I could.

I sold much of the currency that I acquired through mining to cashflow the operation. It ended up being several bitcoins worth of currency at the time, but was sold off mostly in the $600-700 range in 2013. At a certain point, the mining I was doing was no longer profitable, as my computers used more energy than new technology that was constantly being developed.

So we turned off the machines and on one of my computers kept some bitcoin and dogecoin (one of the currencies we mined at the time).

Four years later, we see bitcoin rocketing from $1,300/BTC to over $17,000. I can’t help but think about what I might have done differently knowing bitcoin’s potential for growth. Realistically, there are three steps to any hugely profitable investment:

1 / Have A Great Idea or Think of Something Interesting

To start out, you have to have the idea that others might not have yet. A piece of information, some intel, or perhaps just a thought while comes to you while showering that makes you think getting into something might be a good idea.

Once you have the idea, you can research it a bit, find out as much as possible and then move on to the next step.

2 / Execute On Great Idea

This is a critical stage of the process, where you actually have to execute the great idea. 99.9% of people fail here when it comes to investing—they never take action on an interesting idea they had. Perhaps they don’t have the funds to invest or fear losing money on such a thing.

In this step, you have to actually buy the stock/coin, make the bet, or figure out a way to leverage a potential outcome over a period of time. Doing this, moves you on to the final step.

3 / Have Patience

This step is the difference between making 10% on a decent trade or investment and making 2,500%—having patience enough to let your idea fully play out and see where it could take you.

A big part of this is being financially stable enough to not need the money you may make in the short term and to just keep on holding. Part of the reason I kept my own bitcoin for so long was that it was inaccessible—on a computer in the basement, disconnected, for almost four years.

When bitcoin started rising rapidly, I figured I should at least figure out how to control the money I had stored.

If the idea was great, and you executed on it, and you have patience enough to wait for it to potentially come true, you will be a successful investor.

If you only have two of these things, it’s likely that you won’t get very far at all.

Categories
Philosophy

allow the time that it takes

There is this constant pressure in life to change how things are so that they’ll be how they can be. Looking back on the last decade of my life, I wouldn’t say I exactly had a plan, but I never went long without a side project or some adventure. I’m not sure if the drive to always have a side-hustle came from my discontent with how things are and a desire to build a different existence, or simply my broad diversity of interests.

Either way, I’ve never felt content just doing one thing. Mastery really was never a consideration for me, at least until recently–I have always been incredibly engaged until the moment the learning curve starts to taper. Once I have a foundational understanding of something, I’m pretty much ready to move on.

These days I find myself thinking more about how a two-pronged needle doesn’t pass through fabric. One hundred shallow wells will produce no water, yet a single deep one is much more likely.

Removing distractions and focusing on our goals is a beautiful thing and it allows us to make some serious progress towards the life we want. But that isn’t to say that it should be rushed–allow the time that it takes. Most things in life could be considered a practice, a daily one at that, one that we simply get better at slowly as time goes on. This is what most paths to mastery look like, slow, steady, intentional practice and honing of craft.

These things don’t have to be rushed, we don’t have to scramble to get to a place where we aren’t already. Perhaps much of contentment comes from appreciating and simply existing where we are while honing our practice for continual improvement. Finding that balance between pushing forward and sitting still.

Somewhere in there, lies the secret to happiness and contentment, that balance between personal growth and achievement, and seeking bliss within our current beings. So instead of rushing forward, perhaps we may allow the time that it takes and enjoy the journey along the way.

 

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Philosophy

After 30 Days

I’ve heard it said that it takes 21 days to establish an unbreakable habit. I find this to be completely ridiculous. It seems like maintaining a habit gets hardest after that point, after 30 days, when you’ve had a long day and you’re exhausted and just don’t feel like it.

That little voice in your head says, “Ah, come on. You deserve a break, you’re doing great!” is when it’s most important to double down and get it done.

Lifestyle changes, at least significant ones, can take years to fully cement themselves into our daily lives. That shouldn’t discourage us from trying to establish habits, though.

In fact, I find it somewhat encouraging. When we start to think long-term, a slip-up over a single day seems to matter much less. When the timeline is stretched substantially, it becomes a matter of numbers and sheer consistency over time that really makes the difference.

Average speed.

So the question does come up, what are you willing to do for most of your life? If you want to be in good health, are you willing to eat vegetables and go on walks most days of your life until you physically can’t anymore?

No 30-day Beach Body/Insanity workout can accomplish that.

I do think it gets harder after 21, or even 30 days. I’m running into that right now, just like I did last year. I’ve successfully hit my targets and completed my daily tasks for almost the entire month and especially tonight, I’m exhausted.

It might be because we just got a puppy that requires a lot of time and attention, but man am I tired. At the same time, I’m grateful that I now have to take the small chunks of free time available to me much more seriously.

The point is, I’m willing to continue, to keep going and push through this dip to see where my daily habits take me. I know it’s what matters, and I know it’s what will get me where I want to be.