I started this blog post as a way to tie things up for the year and thoughts kept pouring out so much that I realized I missed creative writing. In just one week it has allowed me to write a little bit everyday and so, here goes nothing.
You want what you can’t have and take what you have for granted. So be grateful for what you have.
Humans are really funny. They want what they can’t have. Then when they get what they want, they don’t really care for it anymore. I’ve always tried to be hyper aware of this and count my blessings and be grateful for what I have. For example, for the past several years, I used to live close to the beach in Los Angeles. I made sure to take advantage of this and went often because I know many people who live close to the beach but barely go once a year. I tried something new in 2018 and ended up making five high energy motivational beach-workout videos and it was really cool that I did cause now it’s not as easy to do because…
Now I live further from the beach
In the middle of last year, I moved away from the beach to live with my amazing girlfriend. This is a pretty big change: Living with another is not easy but when you use that as an opportunity to accelerate your self development and communication skills, it’s a truly divine experience with all its ups and downs. So divine indeed that I want to write a book about it. (Btw, watching this speech by Alain de Botton was incredibly helpful for understanding relationships better. I highly recommend it.) Being away from the beach is a sacrifice though, I can’t surf as often, but instead I’ve gotten into bicycling…
Bicycling again feels really good
The benefit of being far from the beach is that I’m really close to some epic mountains. I could start biking uphill out my door and climb nonstop for 20 miles, which is something most people don’t have access to so I’ve been taking advantage of it. (Plus, the town I’m in is small and fun for commuting.)
Recently I went riding with my brother who has a ton of experience in extreme bicycling and I was having trouble staying consistent and he gave the following advice:
Pick up the pace but know your own limits.
Don’t try to exceed what is sustainable.
Pick a pace that you know you can keep up with.
And don’t worry about being able to catch up.
You will catch up if you pick a sustainable pace.
I felt that was very helpful. Not just for bicycling, but as a metaphor for all things in life. Moving on…
Fuck Self Doubt
Earlier in the year, I was inspired to make a couple food-related blog posts and videos. But when I told my brother about it, he said “Nah man, stay focused.” And this was a surprise because to me, food was relevant to health and fitness because it has to do with nutrition and everybody eats, every day, too. But with that doubt inserted in my head, I decided to not do it which I somewhat regret because the motivation for it is gone…
If that creative spark for a new idea isn’t captured and executed on quick enough, it fades. So I’m learning that I need to trust my intuition a lot more and reduce noise from outside sources (not to say my brothers opinion isn’t valuable, it surely is). And one of my new year resolutions is to figure out how to make everything flow better. Balancing exercise with content creation, Medax appearances, beach time and girlfriend time.
Being your own boss is a double edged sword
I’ve been building my online presence for several years now. And it wasn’t until this past year where I decided to do this full time. So I don’t have a 9-5 and people think having the freedom to do anything you like sounds like a dream, as it should be, but the reality is that it’s hard to stay disciplined and motivated when creativity comes and goes, and especially stressful when I am barely making ends meet.
Every other morning I create work for myself by refreshing my to-do lists and make grand ideas of how much I’m going to get done, but if I don’t get it all done I get stressed out. It wasn’t until a friend of mine told me “You are the one who creates this work for yourself” when I realized that I am unnecessarily stressing myself out and feeling self-created guilt for not working “fast enough.” The reality is that I will choose quality over quantity, so I don’t publish things as fast as I think I expect and shouldn’t get bogged down due to it.
I hope for 2019 that this online business becomes sustainable for me because at the moment it isn’t and so I plan on making more premium programs and it’s why I started up a Patreon where you can donate monthly to help me out (bless your souls who contribute!). I also realize that that the more money I make, the more I think I need to make, so it seems like a never-ending feedback loop but it does provide great peace to have some sort of consistency. I notice I’m happiest when I don’t worry about the rate at which I am making money. I hope I get to that level so that I could be churning out more content effortlessly without stressing myself out. 2019 might be that year.
Existential crisis’ won’t stop, can’t stop
Several years ago I kept thinking how we are all going to die. It took me a while to get over it. I even wrote a blog post in 2013 called, we’re all going to die and that’s okay. So I thought I was over the whole existenstial-crisis thing. But apparently I wasn’t because I recently watched Bohemian Rhapsody (loved it) and when Freddie Mercury died, I cried my eyes out. He was so talented and yet was taken away so early.
But that’s not all. I cried my eyes out when Frosty the Snowman melted. That’s right. Frosty. My mom used to play this cartoon every Christmas on the VCR when I was a child. It was one of my favorites. And I hadn’t seen it for over two decades and something deep stirred up in me because I started balling so hard when he melted in front of the little girl who was all alone because it again reminded me how short life is and how short on time we really are. So make the damn best of it and hang out with only GREAT people who lift you up, not drag you down!
I’m trying to write for 15-30 minutes a day
I’m realizing that I feel much more fulfilled when I write blog posts like this. Making YouTube videos doesn’t cut it. Writing allows me to vomit my thoughts and then later I can edit them. If I could somehow make my YouTube videos complex like my blog posts, I may be onto something, right? People love it when I talk about complex subjects. Maybe I should work on that for 2019.
Social Media and spreading myself too thin
I got really distraught and discombobulated by social media use. As someone who does everything from the marketing, video editing, to Instagram, blog, YouTube, reddit… it’s easy to spread myself too thin in regards to content creation and get burned out.
I personally find myself feeling depressed when I open up Instagram and viewing other peoples Instagram stories and posts when I’m not in the best of moods. I get this notion that everybody else is having a better time than me, making more money than me, and just all around living better lives than me. But it’s complete and utter bullish. When I zoom out, my life is overall pretty good. I workout daily. I have an astounding girlfriend. I connect with nature often. I’m building an online presence where I could make a living doing what I love.
But if I’m not in the best state of mind and I’m watching other peoples perfectly curated posts, it drags me down into some weird unfulfilled sad mood. Very few people actually talk about their harsh realities. Like the fact that making money and making ends meet is really hard and depression is a serious issue. I commend those who just have a knack for posting things daily without giving two shits about what others will think. But given how short time is, I personally try to limit the amount of time I spend on those things. (For more reading, apparently a study points that Instagram has the the most negative effects on a persons image followed by facebook and snapchat but Youtube has the most positive.)
Consistency trumps everything 💪
I experimented with pullups a lot this year. In late 2017 I ran the Russian Fighter pullup program, where you do pullups nearly everyday and had excellent results in just a few weeks in a very easy manner (documented here).
And then around August 2018, I was intrigued by the strength required to do a one-arm pullup as I was nowhere near such power. I applied the same fighter pullup program toward towel-assisted one arm pullups on a bar, for 4 months and made huge progress. It also made me realize that it requires so much strength that I will most likely (unless I lose a significant amount of body fat), not be able to even achieve a one-arm chinup by the end of 2019 without risking injury! Luckily, there’s no rush. The journey is all there is and I’ll do my best toward it with however nature deems fit.
Along side these pullups, I did pike pushups to get toward handstand pushups. I’ve been documenting my progress with great detail and I will share the details in a separate blog post next. The point was, I made great progress because I was consistent with my workouts and logged everything. And the trick to staying consistent was to not over-do each training day but leave lots of gas in the tank for the following day!
So, what will the new year bring?
The dream would be to eventually hire a video editor and marketing agent to take care of the nitty gritty stuff that takes up a lot of time so that I could write more and make more videos at a faster rate. (Maybe a business partner would be in order. Contact me if you’re the one.) I’d love to write blog posts more often (and eventually a couple books) to continually spark that inner openness I used to share. Plus, if I could open up more on video and share complex topics, I think that is useful as well. This internet medium is powerful. I must keep at it to get better at it. I also must remember what the great George Carlin said 6 months before his death: it’s important to not give a shit about what others think.
Thank you for reading this.
I must stop here before the inner perfectionist wants to make more changes.
“Done is better than perfect because perfect never actually gets done.”
Have a splendid year, everyone.