Note to the reader: this is a documenting of my first successful day on the 30 Day Focus Challenge. It’s not a great read, more just a recounting of my day. Only read if you’re specifically interested in the focus challenge, otherwise this is a much better read.

 

I finally took the Focus Challenge seriously. I kinda played around with it for about a month, before realizing I was simply wasting my time.

 

So today I sat down, made a list of indications that I am unfocused or stagnating.

What are indications that my mind is scattered or that I am unfocused?

  • A desire to watch a movie or read or do something else useless. Based in my confusion about what to do next. I don’t know my next step (or don’t want to do it), so I feel the desire to just stagnate because it’s easier.
  • When my mind keeps pinging between different things. My brain space is being occupied by multiple things.
  • Tiredness early in the day when I shouldn’t be tired. It’s just my mind trying to avoid work and thinking.
  • I know I should be doing something, but lose myself in something else.

And then another list of things that cause me to stagnate or lose focus.

What things cause me to or lose my focus?

  • Not knowing my next step
  • Being unable to connect my current actions with the way they bring me closer to a goal.
  • Being at home, where I have a non-work environment.
  • Starting the day in bed or doing something non-productive, and having that attitude carry over into the rest of the day.

Finally, and most importantly, I made an automatic response to being unfocused, and anther for stagnating.

Automatic response to being unfocused:

  • Answer “Why am I doing this? How does this help me achieve a dream?”
  • Once that is answered, put on a timer and focus until that time is up. Even if you’re not making progress, give it one full session (50/10) to try.

Automatic response to desiring to stagnate:

  • Ask myself what I want to be doing. What I’ve planned to do.
  • If I don’t know, sit down and find out what’s the best action to take right now to achieve a milestone?
  • Go for a 30 minute walk to just clear your mind.
  • Relocate to a productive location
  • Focus for one full session (50/10) on your MIT

 

Then…I focused.

I worked in 50 minute chunks with 10 minute breaks, and a 30 minute rest every two sessions (ala Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan).

When it was time to rest, I made sure I totally removed my work from mind and just relaxed. Read blogs, ate food, walked around, just relaxed.

 

There was a few times when I caught myself focusing on multiple things, and so I stopped, forgot about everything but the most important task, and refocused.

 

After about 6 hours of this, in which I set up my focus challenge, researched 8 articles for Chill Hookahs, wrote one, and tried (unsuccessfully) to set up concrete plans for my adventure and rest days so I don’t wind up stagnating…after all this, I was burnt out.

I sat down to start re-watching Earn1K to learn to sell myself, and caught myself listening but not absorbing anything. I realized this wasn’t a focus issue…my brain needed a rest.

So home for a meal, a bit of reading, and a nap.

Then back to the café to skype with Stepan (always a highlight of my week), and now to write this, find out if I made the short list in a competition for a free flight to meet up with some awesome entrepreneurs in Thailand, a session or two of Earn1K, and bed.

 

 

Overall, I feel like I got a good amount done and got a lot of rest as well. A good and fairly productive day. Great focus.

When was the last time you saw that gorgeous girl walk by and didn’t say a word to her. Or when you had a great idea for an adventure that could improve your life, but decided against it because it was “too risky” (aka scary)?

What if you could make it so you never had to endure that again? Never had to ask yourself “what if?” before going back to a life that’s not as awesome as you know it could be.

What if you could have the courage to get what you really wanted?

But what courage anyways? When we read that word, we know that it’s what separates the successful, love finding, money making, life changing people from the folk that just look up to them in wonder. We know that those who want it can’t seem to get it and those that have it can’t seem to teach it.

But what is it?

Well, I may have come up with the answer for you. I know it’s the answer for me. An answer that, if you really absorb it and implement it in your life, will result in you having courage.

It won’t be easy (few things worth doing are), but it will be simple and in reach.

Ready? Okay, to show you what courage is, I’ll give you a great example of a situation where you need it. (And remember, this is just an example situation. This approach works in every situation where you need courage.):

Back to that gorgeous girl you saw walk by. Remember her? Yeah, and did you want her? Will you be thinking of her after she’s gone? Would you enjoy having her deep in your life, and having all of her?

The answer is yes. HELL yes.

So you know that the answer is yes, you do want her. And you know that the only way to stop her from walking right on past your life, and instead make her a part of your life, is to go and do something to make that happen.

And you know that, if you keep trying to bring these girls into your life, and keep learning and testing to see what works to attract them and what doesn’t, you’ll inevitably get better at it. Every failure will teach you more about what to do and not do, and will won’t really take anything from you (you didn’t have her in the first place, so it’s not like you lost her).

A man who goes and talks with that stunning beauty that he noticed passing by, that man has courage. Balls. Chutspa. Entroverted energy.

But, really, he just knows what he wants and he know the best way of getting it. He knows that he wants her in his life, he wants her in his bed, and the only way to make that so is to talk to her and learn what he can do to make it happen.

In Sebastian Marhsall’s sense of the word, he is a strategist. He knows what he wants and he does what he can to get it.

That courage is just him remembering what he wants most. He can approach her because he knows that doing so will get him closer to what he wants, no matter the outcome.

It’s that simple.

Courage is    remembering what you want.

When you feel that fear, just remember what you want. You don’t want to watch as opportunity walks by, you want to seize that opportunity and make you life a bit more amazing.

You remember what you really want, and you’ll have the courage to make it happen.

Again:

Courage is    remembering what you want.

Write that down. Put it where you will see it often. On a sticky note on your screen. Written on your arm. As your wallpaper.

Remember that definition of courage, and you will always have it. It won’t be easy, you’ll still have to battle your fear, but when you remember that just trying, you’re getting closer to having it in your life, your fear will dissipate and you will be able to do it.

 

Courage is     remembering what you want.

 

If you love, hate, agree, disagree, or have anything to add to my philosophy here, let me know! I’d love to talk with you about it, and it encourages me to write more.

 

What if you could guarantee that your day would be productive? That you would not give into procrastination, that you would be confident no matter what obstacles you faced?

And, what if, instead of just a productive day, you could ensure a productive week? And then a succession of productive weeks, which become productive months, productive years and, finally, a productive life?

 

Actually there is one, quite simple, step you can take help make this a reality.

What is it you ask?

Start Without Pause

 

When you wake up, know exactly what to do next. Wake up, drink water, brush teeth, workout, fuel up, plan day.

Make your first few tasks useful and productive as you possibly can, and do them without hesitation.

 

This works because the way you begin your day sets the tone for how your day will be. The term “woke up on the wrong/right side of the bed” holds a lot of truth in it.

You’ve had those days that start off with you slamming on the snooze button, until you finally haul your groggy self out of the sheets and wander around getting ready to do whatever you have to do that day.

Those days turn out slow and unproductive.

 

It works the other way too though. When you wake up, refresh your body, exercise, eat good food, plan your day, and tackle your first task without getting distracted in between, you’re day becomes one where you make a good sized leap towards your goals.

And it doesn’t just work for days. Kickoff a week with a good day, and you’ll have  a good week. A productive week at the start of the month is a likely precursor to a productive month. A month of goal achieving at the beginning of the year marks a year of creating and realizing your dreams.

 

So, right now, plan your first few step to take out of bed tomorrow. I suggest a drink, a run, and a great meal.

Do that, and you’re day will be one of those worth remembering.

 

Photo is: practising my parkour rolls during a morning workout.

I’m in a relationship right now that is very interesting.

It’s like our levels of love/friendship with the other are always going independently of the other’s, and always changing. Sometimes we’re girlfriend and boyfriend, sometimes lovers, sometimes friends, and usually we are on different levels entirely (one more in love and one more a friend).

The best word for us, we found, is “companions”.

 

I love this relationship. It’s always good, and it’s always interesting to navigate.

And I love it because I’ve learned something important from it that allows me to enjoy it:

 

If you’re both in love, dive into it with no hold backs.

When that changes to something else, be okay and roll with it.

If you feel love and she doesn’t, be open to getting back to being in love again, but don’t try to force it, or be sad your not.

If she’s in love and you’re not, love her as you do (like a friend or whatever you feel) and care for her, but don’t try and act like you want something you don’t (ie. A girl/boy friend), or don’t want something that you do (ie. someone else).

 

This is essentially a part of the Stoic life philosophy: Being Happy With What You Have, And Wanting More.

 

P.S. A philosophy I follow that has helped me do this: “Never be afraid of being misunderstood”.

 

Do you know why guest blog posts exist? How crazy is that idea!?

 

Imagine a company that makes cars sending out a message to all it’s buyers saying “Hey, check out our competitor, you might like him”. Imagine a car company helping another car company that is just starting, to grow faster and take more of the market.

That would be crazy. Because car selling, and most things, are a market that is fully served, and one where each person has  a low appetite (aka one car and they are satisfied). If one person gets a customer, the other must lose that customer.

 

But with blogging, the amount of people who read blogs is growing every minute. The market is always getting bigger. And each person will read MANY blogs, and (if and when they buy something) buy from many teachers, not just one.

So, when a blogger helps another blogger get more audience and grow (by talking about him or giving him a guest post), the first blogger can only stand to gain.

The people who learn from the first blog will learn from the new blog, and the people who learn from the new blog (now and in the future) will likely be introduced to (and become readers/learners/buyers of) the first blog.

 

Also, the more people agree with you and blog about the same stuff, the more the people who want to learn what you teach will be able to find you and your brother bloggers, and so the more people will read/buy from you and other bloggers like you.

 

So, in the end, blogging is awesome because when one blogger helps another blogger, everyone (both bloggers, all alike bloggers, and all like-minded readers) benefits.

It’s all benefit.

Teaching can only help learning if the learner agrees with what the teacher shares.

 

You know the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink”. Imagine now that a horse also drank oil and wine. If the horse is thirsty for wine, it needs someone who can lead it to wine. Then it will drink.

That’s what we as humans are. We have an array of different possible wants out of life (like different drinks we may want). Some will not give us happiness, so we should not do (drink) them.

And when one of us finds a great way (a watering hole) to get the drink they want, they sometimes help others who want the same drink by helping them find it (and find more together).

So, what I’m saying here is this:

  • When Learning: Do not do something you don’t want to do (do not drink a liquid that will not nourish you). Only do what you want to do, and learn from others who are doing it.
  • When Teaching: If someone does not want to do what you want to do, don’t try to force them to do it, thinking they will enjoy it too. Don’t try to force other horses to drink from the pond you found. Find the people who are happy to learn from you, and focus on teaching them, leave the rest to find what they enjoy.

This post is an extension on the post Patriotism and Religion: Why I Think It’s Stupid & How To Make It Smart. I ended that post with this thought:

And this is why I think loyalty to the first one you encountered is stupid:

The world has become so small and humans so smart that we can now choose our own leaders in each field, instead of following the same ones our parents follow.

Try all the new things you can, and learn about all the different things you can. Do not blindly follow one government, religion, belief, or institution of education, but instead explore them all and take the best parts of each for yourself.

You will then find/build those that match y0urself well. You will increase the enjoyment you find in life the more you grow your beliefs and choose your leaders.

If you always learn in all ways, you will become your own leader.

People say they want to change the world and better humanity. And I agree, in a way.

You must contribute to your society and change some lives to really achieve anything. But I think you must first choose which society you choose to call yours.

The people I see around me on the streets are, in my view, just people. The people who call the same country (or even planet) “home” as me do not hold any special value to me.

But the people within who I think/know lies the potential to enjoy life and make a change in the world: those are the people I want to fuel and be fueled by. They are my tribe; the society I choose to call my own.

Changing their lives and increasing their enjoyment is a huge measurement that I am living a life worth living.

 

P.S. Both of these posts were born of a discussion I’m still having with my new and very impressive friend Max Alexander Hanna. Without his input, I would never have come to these realizations or been able to share them with you.

I could never agree with a person who had a deep loyalty to the geographic region they were born in or the ethnic roots of their parents.

With the rare exception of one who is born and raised in one area, moves himself to another, and decides that the new area has earned his loyalty through it’s superiority. The loyalty of these people, I can admire.

 

But the kid in America with a Russian background who feels a great pride and loyalty to all things Russian would feel the same pride and loyalty to Italian things had they been born in Italy. This pride is not born of their country’s superiority to another, but instead of the random chance of where they happened to be born. This pride is based in their ignorance of other countries.(This all applies to religious belief as well.)

And I see no benefit to humanity or the universe that is born of ignorance.

 

Now, let’s break it down…

I’ve explained my belief on having a loyalty to country (or religion or whatever), now let’s get into my understanding of how this whole society formed and why this loyalty makes no sense.

I see the military and political leaders of my country as equal to the monetary and business leaders and the religious and social leaders and the leaders of helping the next generations grow themselves. (So I am just as likely to have a loyalty to the first business I encounter or the religion I am born into as to the country in which I have roots.)

I see them like this because, sometime before the agricultural revolution but after our evolution into homo sapiens (around the time we were drawing stuff in caves), humans lived in packs of around 5 to 15.

In these packs, each human would have a different role. The “Alpha Male” would be the strongest human in the group; He would protect the rest from dangers. The hunter/gatherer would be the fastest and most observational of the world; he/she would feed the group, and lead it towards resources.  The unifier/philosopher of the group (who only appeared in human packs after we got smart enough to start questioning our existence) would be the best at coming up with good sounding answers to mind bending questions of “Why?”, and give the pack it’s existential purpose. And the whole tribe worked together to care for the new generation of humans and help them learn and grow.

Every human in the pack played each role to some degree (like we do today), but there was always one human that played it most often and most well.

But then humans evolved, and the size of our packs grew from 5-15 humans to 50-100 humans. There were too many people for one person to fill each role and take care of all of them, and there were too many people competing for each role.

The competition lead to each role being filled not by one person, but a whole group. Each group would have it’s own leader, with other, lesser, leaders helping him.

 

And so the Alpha human became the tribe protecting group. The hunter/gatherer became the resource finding group. The unifier/philosopher became the religious and philosophical groups. And individual humans of the next generation were cared for the their family/friends instead of the whole tribe.

Now, we live in backs of millions of humans. The Tribe Protecting Group (previously the Alpha Human) has become what we call Countries & Governments. Resources have been replaced by symbols of resources (aka money); and so the Resource Finding Group (previously the Hunter/Gatherer) has become the Businesses & Banks. The Philosophical Group (previously the Philosopher) has become The Scientific Community; while it’s counter part of The Religious Group (previously the Unifier) has expanded into The Religions. And the nurturing of the next generation of humans has become a mass teaching movement, teaching the most common/powerful beliefs held by the tribe of millions, and known as The Educational Institution.

 

This is why I see the government as equal to the religion as equal to the science as equal to the business as equal to the education. Each is simply filling a role in a human tribe.

And this is why I think loyalty to the first one you encountered is stupid:

The world has become so small and humans so smart that we can now choose our own leaders in each field, instead of following the same ones our parents follow.

Try all the new things you can, and learn about all the different things you can. Do not blindly follow one government, religion, belief, or institution of education, but instead explore them all and take the best parts of each for yourself.

You will then find/build those that match y0urself well. You will increase the enjoyment you find in life the more you grow your beliefs and choose your leaders.

 

If you always learn in all ways, you will become your own leader.

 

Photo is: Me ruminating, “blaspheming”, and getting into a debate in a Church xP

July 31st. 1pm.

note: this was just my first experiment. To see the final results and analysis after a few weeks of experimentation, click here.

Me and my buddy Kush are breaking in the morning at my place.We’ve got a spliff lying around and he wants to get high. I want to do some work.

Kush, unrelenting as usual, says to me, “You know what I do when I need to do intense study for a test?”.

“What?”, came my sarcastic reply, already expecting the answer and thinking he was joking.

“I get high, sit down, and focus”. I guess Kush must have read the incredulity in my face, because he elaborated; “No, really. If you get high with the intent to get something done, and you don’t sidetrack yourself, you’ll ace it.”

I was still incredulous, but always willing to try something new and awesome out. Especially if it helps me be productive. So I accepted his claim as a challenge, and so was born…

5301-1

The Marijuana Productivity Experiment

The Hypothesis:

Getting high with the intent of being productive on specific tasks, will lead to an uber-productive session.

The Plan:

Hot box my closet-like bathroom. Go fuel up on good food. Get to internet and make shit happen.

The Targets:

  • Write 2 Chill Hookah Articles
  • Edit Asymmetrical about page
  • Make today’s pst for the Make Money Blogging Experiment
  • Write another Hookah Article
  • Read Education of Millionaires

I significantly over planned, in case this turned me into a superhuman of productivity and I didn’t want to have to stop and plan.

The Break Down:

Only read if you’re interested in a good story. Skip to “The Result” if you just wanna know the results. Caveat: I forgot to record times xP

__green___by_saphirenishi-d48dnmuGetting (very) High:

After nearly dying in my steam and smoke filled, 3 foot squared bathroom, me and Kush tumbled out and gasped in the fresh air.

This was potent weed, given to me by my shaman-like friend Edgar, and I had rarely/never been this high before.

Getting (literally) High:

Then the sidetracking started. I was inexorably drawn to the outdoors at my front porch, and was breathing in the fresh air and sunlight when Kush swaggered up behind me.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that I wanted to be productive this high. But I knew that I was at the most intense and mind-changing part of the high, and now was not the time.

Then Kush looked at the huge tree on my front lawn and said, “Dude. We must climb this tree.”

I whole heartedly agreed, and immediately raced to the tree and jumped up. I had climbed once before with my companion Melanie, and I once again got up to the aprox1.5 meter high point I had found before with her.

Kush joined me, and told me to. Go. Higher.

 

Now, there’s something I haven’t told you about Kush…he’s a natural born leader, and has no problem helping his friends get into danger (but not always himself ;P).

So, with Kush egging me on, I climbed up another, very difficult 2 meters. At one point, I had to push between two huge branches going in a V: my feet on one and my back on the other, inching up. Then turn around (somehow), and grab onto another V (using only my upper body now), and lift myself up. I did all this while eyeing the spiked (literally) fence directly below me.

But this wasn’t high enough for Kush. He encouraged the scared shittless me to climb up another meter and a half over spiked fence and hard pavement (no more grass to at least give the image of softness). I’m not going to go into the details, but I was now about 5 meters high in a tree. The highest I have ever tree climbed.

I got to a point where I slipped, and had to catch myself. I saw that as a signal that this was my current limit, and (painfully) climbed/slid back down the tree.

The Unexpected Rush:

During the last bit of this climb, Kush noticed that we were very low on time. He had a 4 pm bus ride back to Toronto, and it was about 2:30.

We grabbed our shit and headed out (a bit early because of nervousness/paranoia).

Fueling Up:

We arrived early, and grabbed a delicious subway to fuel up. Kush went to skype chat with his cutie, and I pulled out my comp and recorded the experiment details so far.

Now I was good and primed, ready to jump into my tasks.

Until BEEP BEEP BEEP, my phone alarm went off. It was 4pm…where was Kush!?!

The Departure of Kush:

Ten pretty intense minutes of searching and rushing later, we’re waiting in front of the parked bus. Not only are we the first guys on the scene, but even the bus driver was no where to be found.

I said bye to Yauheni and Geula (two other friends that had been living with me for the week), got an intense productivity pep talk from Kush, promised to keep him updated on my life, and biked off towards a beautiful Montreal café called Pikolo.

Boom!:

Around 5pm, I sat down, with my laptop and a delicious Latte, updated the experiment’s progress, and launched into my tasks.

First off, I wrote the HUGE Evolution of Hookaharticle for Chill Hookahs. It came out amazing. And then, spontaneously as I was editing the Evolution article, I wrote another one on the inventor of hookah that I had been procrastinating on.

Bam!:

Pikolo was shutting down, so I hopped on my bike, hit up a 24 hour coffee time, and edited, pictured, and published the two articles.

Wrote down the experiment’s progress, took a 15 minute facebook break, and then took care of today’s blog posts for the Make Money Blogging Experiment.

 

Got scared of my next step (editing the Asymmetrical About page), procrastinated a bit with facebook and a nap.

Bust..:

By now the high is over and I’m pretty exhausted (Haven’t managed a full night’s sleep for about 3 days thanks to my insane and awesome friends).

I decide to head home and catch up on my Z’s.   The experiment ended around 10:30pm.

 

The Result:

Success!In less than half a day I had accomplished more than the previous three days.

In about 5 hours of work time, I had written two blog posts (one over 1000 words long), edited and published three blog posts (the one on this blog had already been written), and skeletoned a fourth (this one).

I had also run an experiment to increase my productivity, and beat my highest climb in a tree.

Final Statement:

When doing so with the intention to complete a specific set of tasks, getting high on marijuana can be used to increase one’s productivity, creativity and focus.

legalize_marijuana_by_marijuanabear-d3115pv Weed can be used as a productivity tool.

We know which one I chose ;P

I don’t know how weed works or changes your perceptions (I have a basic scientific understanding, but not depth).

However, I know that it changes my perceptions and increases my tendency and ability to think deeply.

 

I philosophize much better when I am high. And, when I’m not with other people in the room, I turn to writing it down (which means I can share it with the world, instead of a small group of immediately reachable people who might not get value from my philosophies).

This means that I come to realizations that could change my life (this has happened at least once, with the realization that perception is reality, and I think more often).

So I think weed changes the way you think (not worse or better, but a new view point). This is beneficial and fun.

 

P.S. It also makes everything sensationally good, better. Food, sex, reading, video, thinking, etc.

P.P.S. The experiment I’m doing to “see if I can make money off my blog” was devised after a particularly potent spliff.

P.P.P.S. A few days after writing this, I did The Marijuana Productivity Experiment (Going Live Tomorrow). Weed can be used as a productivity tool!