with “starvation, cold showers, grueling physical & mental work”?
Well…That’s how some of my friends, co-workers & family saw it. I saw it very differently, and as an important way to close out what’s been a year of building solid foundations.
2017 was challenging for a lot of people, and definitely a year I will remember for reasons I’ll discuss in future posts, but 2018 was a year of building back up. It was the year I built a foundation upon which the next decade of my life will stand.
This started off as a LinkedIn post,
then evolved into a longer FB post…and then I decided to write it here + expand upon how I’m closing this year out.
I hope you’ll find something useful in here, that you can either implement this year and/or beyond.
Original Post from FB
It’s a Thursday here (lunchtime) and the last mean I had was Saturday — some crackers for dinner.
5 Days…nothing but water, 360kJ Juice and a watered down bone broth.
Perspective…It’s a powerful thing.
This past week, have I had:
- 5 days without food
- Blistering cold showers each morning
- 1hr of physically gruelling work daily
- 15hrs of mentally gruelling work in the office (no breaks)
- A five day fast, where I feel cleansed & renewed
- Invigorating morning showers
- Movement @ the Gym
- Extra productive @ work, with so much momentum that I didn’t want to stop.
We are SOOO much stronger than we’re conditioned to believe.
This makes me think back to “Man’s search for meaning” by Victor Frankl, which is one of the most important books ever written (psychologist / psychiatrist who was a PoW in Auschwitz)..
The central thesis is that the meaning of life is not to be just “happy” or “comfortable”, but to it’s to find “meaning” in that which you’re doing.
Perspective is just that. You can find a more empowering meaning with anything that’s occurring in your life / the world — and from that place, you can make better decisions & have a better impact.
In fact, as humans, we find more meaning in overcoming that which is difficult. It’s how we build strength; wether physical (at the gym), spiritual, mental or emotional. It’s the pushing against something that makes us — so if you subscribe to the idea that life is about meaning — often looking to just make yourself happy / distract yourself / succumb to comforts, can be a detriment.
I’ll end this before I get over Stoic / Zen on all you mother fuckers..
But I’ll leave you with this song.
I was listening to it this morning whilst training, and it helped me push through the light headedness at times, this track is 🔥🔥
So yeah. That was my post. And it got quite a bit of feedback online.
In fact, it actually inspired me to be even more deliberate in how I closed out this year — off the back of which I took action on a number of things and created my “end of year list” — something I believe we should all have.
This end of year list (or cleanse) is so much more important than going out, partying, getting drunk & distracting yourself from the year you’ve had or the life you’re living.
This deliberate period of reflection, cleansing, silence, meditation & planning is what will set you apart in the new year.
Whilst others are “getting over” their hangovers — you will be prepared, clear, focused & content — ready for what’s ahead — for surely, as did the years preceding, this new year will test you once more.
My End of Year List
You’ll notice the theme of cleansing / fasting / silence — across multiple areas.
1. 48hrs of silence
Yep. No phone, no internet, no sound. Just me. Just silence. Like a mini-vipasana..
2. Clean up my to do’s
Don’t know about you, but I’m drowning in shit to do, and I know I’ll continue drowning unless I work out what’s actually important, reorganize, recalibrate and then venture forward,
3. Plan for year ahead
This is a must. I used to do this whole, elaborate 2 day process — but the older I get, the less I find I need to make it a giant process. I keep it simple:
- What’s the top 10 things I want this year
- Highlight the top 3 to 5
- Break them up into 3 key categories. Mine are: Personal, Professional and Financial.
This year, especially toward the close, I’m finding that I’m far more inclined to meditate once more. That went out the window in 2017, but it’s back. Must be all that Alan Watts I’ve been listening to lately….lol
5. Fasting & Clean Eating
I’m finding that after my 5 day fast (it actually ended up 6 days, because day 5 I had some blueberries, but whatever) I feel so clean, and I’m FAR less inclined to put shit in my body.
In fact, I’ve been on such a roll, that food’s become an afterthought — and not to my detriment, but to my betterment. We all eat too much anyway.
6. Train hard
I’ve started training again, and again, after that 5 day fast, I feel so much stronger, lighter, faster & I’m healing way quicker.
Spending alot of time catching up with reading. I went on a book rampage around my Birthday in August, and have sooooo much to catch up on. Plus a bucketload of articles in my “to read” list.
Just as important. There’s something about writing which helps to synthesize everything you’re consuming. I have over 70 unfinished “draft” blogs in my Medium, a bunch of which I will aim to churn out between now & mid Jan.
9. Cleaning the house
There’s something extremely meditative about cleaning…I generally do it in silence, or with Alan Watts on in the background.
A clean environment also seems to have an effect on you internally. I don’t know why that is, but it’s something I’ve experienced all my life.
10. Selling all my excess crap, including shitcoins…lol
Very similar to the above. Human’s are strange creatures that hoard so much crap over the years. We not only carry it around, but we store it — and most of the time don’t even remember that we have it (this includes all those shitcoins you have lying around on shady exchanges everywhere…lol).
Not to mention, you’d be amazed at how much crap you have lying around, that if you sold it, could fund something you actually want or need, ie; weekend trip, buying some Bitcoin, gifts, etc.
11. Giving away all my unwanted stuff
Extension of the above. Sometimes it’s just not worth wasting time selling shit — and there are people out there in need, who could re-use it Better on/with them, than in your basement / attic / wardrobe or wherever else you’ve decided to hoard all your crap.
I’m unsubscribing from basically everything. The same way we stockpile so much real world shit over time, our emails are one of the biggest junkyards in our lives — causing us excess distractions (at best) and stress (at worst). I’ve ditched everything except the following:
- Token Daily: https://www.tokendaily.co/join-newsletter/QW7l
soona amhaz curates the best in Bitcoin & broader crypto daily, and she is one of those rare people who get it.
Our fortnightly digest at Amber. I’m biased, but it’s good, because we have a high barrier to entry and a great bullshit filter.
- Abundance (Diamandis’ newsletter — always inspiring)
- My daily Medium digest
- Product Hunt Daily
- Crunchbase Daily
So there you have it.
I just realized it was “12 things”…uncanny.
I’m going to close this out & leave you with a short clip from Alan Watt, where here discusses some Buddhist proverbs of solving for suffering.
The key point is that it’s not about getting rid of, avoiding or escaping pain or suffering, but about embracing, acknowledging & living with it.
That’s how you build strength & live a life worth living.