Just got back from an amazing trip to Barcelona, Spain. Met a lot of amazing people, saw a lot of beautiful architecture and of course learned some new swear words in different languages. Before I write this i want to say that everything i wrote exactly a year ago stands true to me still. In the last year this is what I’ve taken from life:
People are Mostly Nice
Some of the most successful, well off people I’ve met in life are extremely nice and giving. It may come as a shock because i believe the most people view people that are well off as assholes. I used to think this way when i was young and immature. The truth is you just don’t understand them and what makes them tick and if you did you would uncover a diamond. Successful people provide so much value to this world – they give jobs, they take care of their tribe and they ensure that there will be more great people by reproducing. Even those not well off are true gems underneath that initial shell they have when you meet them. Take time to get to know people and be interested in their perspective, it will pay back dividends.
You Have to be Selfish with your Time and Action Taking
If you don’t value your time and the action you take during it, you will die an unfulfilled life. I’m sorry to break this to you but the only way you will get ahead in any area in life is massive action. You aren’t going to somehow get connected to the right person if you aren’t making massive moves in your own life. Set aside time away from your closest peers to grow as a person. The only way you can actually GIVE is to be selfish. Have some values to live by and know what your goals are or else someone else will set them for you. Do you REALLY want to live someone else’s life? Fuck that.
Worse Before Better
Most things in life will get worse before they get better. If not worse, you will at least hit a plateau and if you are smart realize you have to kick yourself in the ass to get to that next level. You have to go through some pain to achieve what you want but the good news is when you look back it doesn’t seem like pain at all. It was all just part of the process. Unless you had previous training than…
You will be sloppy with your money, before you start to put it to work and become financially free.
You will be fat or unhealthy before living a healthy life.
You will hang out with shitty undependable people before you meet people that are more aligned with your values.
You will have months of no profit in business before you finally push through and make a profit.
You will have a shitty emotionally manipulative relationship before you have a good one.
Each year you get older you will realize what is important in life, but almost always things will seem bad before they get good. Everyone has shitty days, months and years. Stay in the game and keep taking massive action. This is all just part of the PROCESS, don’t get discouraged.
Embrace Chaos and Change
Nothing in your life will stay as it is. Your friends will change, the economy will get bad, your business model will get old, your new car will not look as appealing and you will grow old. You have to come at one with the chaos of the world and learn to love it while at the same time adapting to it. Your only here because your ancestors were able to adapt. The only thing you have is your values. They will be tested. There will be storms beyond your wildest imagination – deaths, people screwing you over, money issues, and the list goes on. What determines that you stay on top of your game is top notch values and massive action taking towards your own personal success.
Never Act on your Emotions, Except when they are Right
In certain areas of your life you will get feelings that things should be a certain way. Remember, that anything that happens to you in life only has as much meaning as you give it. You are the decider here, no one else. You can have passion without acting on your emotions – if you know your values and what you stand for. Sometimes you will get a feeling that will be right, but often that is the result of something happening to you over and over and you not giving it the attention it deserves. You were sort of ignoring it. The only time you should act on your emotions is when you realize that you were ignoring some set of things that were happening to you over and over that don’t benefit your long term goals. It’s very, VERY easy for events to slip under the radar. Other than that – never act on your emotions especially when it comes to work because often the path to success is very clearly defined if you would just follow it. When you act on your emotions you will be all over the place, constantly looking for “the next thing” and ignoring the long term. You don’t want to wake up an old man / woman and realized you wasted your whole life, do you??
Outside of Work, Have Fun
When you are working GO HARD and BE EFFICIENT. But after a hard days work have some fun – party with your closest friends, have a lot of great sex and enjoy the time you have on this earth. Travel and meet new people. Laugh and joke around. Go on an adventure. Make a fool of yourself at your nearest karaoke bar. There is this myth that people who are successful or striving to be successful don’t have fun and are boring. I’d rather be dead.
Life is Fragile
Late last year my cousin was killed by a drunk driver and my mom told me on the phone: “Paul, you are not promised tomorrow”. I wrote that on my whiteboard so i will never forget it. Any day, any moment your life could end. Don’t go around thinking that you will be here forever – you better live every single day like it is your last. Work as hard as you possibly can, love without restraint and make sure the people that are closest to you feel your presence. Live in the now because it’s all you have.
That’s all for this year, still learning and growing 🙂
I started using Lift as soon as a buddy told me about it. I was largely turned on by the iPhone app because I already knew that our habits / rituals every single day really make us who we are. Lift allows me to put in any habit i want to do on a daily basis, lets me check in each day and also gives me a push notification to tell me how good I’ve been doing. This may sound a bit robotic, but it’s really not. This application has really changed my life. Here’s a look at what my habits are:
I could talk about a lot of things on that list but by far the one that has had the most impact is a reminder to call my Mom and Dad. For a while i was too busy to remember small, yet extremely important, things like this. Lift has made it so it’s right next to every important habit i do on a daily basis.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
I don’t put everything on Lift. For example, i don’t put “eat healthy” because that is a given. You are going to have to eat no matter what every day. I put things on here that I don’t have to do, but that if i keep doing them on a daily basis will have a powerful impact on my life. I don’t have to work out, work, call my mom / dad, read, or be social. But Lift has pushed my in the right direction and serves as a constant reminder that these habits are important to my end goals.
“Rituals are where the power is” – Tony Robbins
If there is one thing I have learned from living in Las Vegas for the past 5 years while simultaneously running a business, having a social circle and trying to hold down relationships it’s this: You have to take responsibility for everything going on in your life and be completely focused.
I’ve managed to stay centered here, so I feel that my advice to you is valuable.
Step 1: Set Boundaries
What is a boundary? It’s a mental fence between what you will and won’t accept. Are you always taking on things that you don’t have time for? Are you getting 2 hours of sleep every night? Do you have an obsessive relationships?
It’s time to set some boundaries my friend. Set them with your family, friends and most importantly yourself. Stop agreeing to things you don’t want to do. Let people know in a non-bitchy, down to earth way that you won’t be able to do that certain thing anymore.
Step 2: Meditate
I meditate 20 minutes a day and it has greatly improved my focus. Now instead of being all over the place when working, I can zone in and be present. My attention span can go from chill to in the zone because i do this every day. How does one meditate? I’m not going to get all spiritual here, because the way i meditate is very simple yet effective.
Sit in a chair upright or sit on the floor (Indian style). Set your phone alarm for 20 minutes. Either keep your eyes open and focus on the wall or close them (i personally keep my eyes open). Breathe in and out slowly 5 second in, 5 seconds out. As you are doing this feel the aliveness of your body. If a thought comes (and they will) just let it pass and keep breathing. The goal of meditation is to get to a place of no mind (no thought). What you may not realize is just how distracting your brain can be, taking up meditation daily will increase your brain power and lower your cortisol (stress hormone).
Step 3: Get rid of Distractions
Take a inventory of your surroundings – objects, people and events. Which of these objects, people or events are a complete distraction to you? Remove them (be civil). I have been off facebook now for months and I didn’t realize how big of a distraction it was until I was off. What a massive waste of time.
A few months ago, I made a mind map of everything I did often – the places i ate, the websites i frequent, habits i have, etc. I started slashing things that didn’t work in my favor and were actually highly distracting my productivity. You have to be honest with yourself here. It’s very easy to write off your bad habits, but good luck being focused.
Step 4: Make a To-Do List
Take a sheet of paper out or use Work Flowy. Each day start with writing what you need to do. Don’t put more than 5 things each day. As you get things done cross them off. Anything you don’t get done, start a new list for the next day.
The biggest thing with a To-Do list, is your need to get momentum. Don’t put 5 hard things you know you will never get done. Be realistic. If you want to get more hardcore into this I recommend David Allen’s Getting Things Done.
Step 5: Take Supplements
I had an intense workload over the summer. I began to search for my version of NZT (from the movie Limitless). In reality these supplements are known as Nootropics. I don’t have much time to go into massive detail, but twice a day I took:
These supplements gave me 4 hours of pure focus like i can not explain. I did all kinds of research online when I came up with taking these 4 together. I was also inspired by reading Younger You by Eric Braverman & The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman.
Step 6: Read Books and Listen to Eckhart Tolle
I listen to Tolle every day. A little much? You don’t understand and neither do I because there is nothing to understand. Stop searching for the answers and live in the present moment. Listen to all of Eckhart Tolle’s audio books and your life will change in ways that are unexplainable. You will see things / people for the first time again, even though they have always been there. When you can put your full focus in the now you won’t have a problem with your attention span, trust me. All your thoughts, past and present worries go out the window when you just let go. Tolle will get you there.
Also, read books on what you are interested in. If you don’t read, start with a few pages a day and then gain momentum. What does this have to do with staying focused? Well if you can put your focus on reading a book for a period of time, you can likely put your focus on anything. Why do you think companies hire people who have degrees? Mostly it has nothing to do with what they learned (a few obvious exceptions). They hire people with degrees because they know how to focus and have an attention span to spend that much time doing something without getting distracted. That quality is an asset to any company.
Step 7: Change How You See Things
Perception is reality. Start responding instead of re-acting to everything that is going on in your life. The more you react, the more unfocused you will be. Instead of looking at the task you have to do as easy or hard – just look at it for what it is and then DO IT. Stop telling yourself mental stories about the things that need to be done, people that need to be attended to, and so on. You’ll be surprised when your productivity skyrockets just from this small change.
In health, business, friends, etc you can take two paths…
Path 1 -> Same (easy, not risky, comfortable) = Staying the same
Path 2 -> Different (hard, risky, stressful) = Growing
If you take path 2 eventually it will turn into path 1 and you will have to make your choice again. Will you chose to grow or stay the same?
Some people go to school to learn while other people read books about topics that interest them. Some people go on facebook to learn about their (now wide) social circle’s happenings and all the drama that goes with it. It’s so nice to just sit back and let our minds be consumed, it’s so damn easy. I’ll admit, sometime’s I like it as well. We live a comfortable life because men and women of action did things while others minds were being consumed by endless knowledge and stimulation. They took action, they held opinions.
In the Earth, there are so many wonderful treasures.
And if you know where to dig, you will find gold, diamonds, all kinds of treasures.
But if you don’t know where to dig, all you will find is rocks and dirt.
He can show you where to dig, and what to dig for, but the digging you must do yourself.
Knowledge is Not Power
In fact there would be no knowledge, no book, no understanding of anything if someone didn’t first take action. Action. I read books by people who have done things, because mainly I don’t have time to read stuff from some grown person who sits in a high chair spewing shit at me they have never even done.
What I Now Realize
Anything that isn’t an action, even if it’s just a small action, is largely a waste of time. That mean’s if you are reading a business book to improve your business, you better damn well have an action plan in a notebook after you are done. Someone who makes millions more a year than you writes a book that you purchase for $10, you better damn well get something actionable out of it.
When you are doing anything social or spiritual you should be free of your mind. There should be no agenda or to-do list. This, however, doesn’t mean you aren’t taking action When you have fun and are out of your mind it is just a flow of actions with no thought. It’s actually a state of pure ecstasy.
Separate Logical & Emotional Actions
Logical action: Working on business
Emotional action: Hanging out with girlfriend
In the first example, working on business stuff, I will be using my mind. Thinking. This is a logical action. I know if i think too much and don’t take any real action, nothing gets done. In the second example, hanging out with girlfriend, this is more of an emotional action. This is what i refer to as flow above. I’m just out of my head having a great time, enjoying her feminine energy.
More to come.
Never settle for mediocrity, keep pushing yourself beyond your means. Keeps learning and growing. Do it for yourself and your family. Never let up. Don’t get an ego about it. Learn to love the process and respect greatness. Do not put up with people who don’t want to grow and let the fall by the wayside. Know deep down what it takes to succeed is constant improvement. If you forget this and get lazy you will fail. Your life will be meaningless.
Glad it’s Friday, it’s been a CRAZY busy last few weeks. Tomorrow I’m going to Disneyland with the rest of SerTop to celebrate our busiest month ever. Been wanting to get this off my chest for a while…
About a month ago I finally realized the only the way to be truly happy is to kill my ego, almost completely. You were born without an ego or identity. Then slowly you developed one and it latched on to everything – sports teams, status in life, ideals, religions. These things became part of you. People became a part of you and defined you.They formed your ego and your identity. Those things you associate yourself with. The… THIS IS ME aspect of your life.
If you want to become a mature adult you need to kill this part of yourself. Most of us mistake having an ego and attachment as being a more mature adult ( i have a house, a car, a job, therefore i am a mature person). I have news… all that doesn’t mean shit towards your happiness. Without an ego, you can not be hurt – you are completely unafraid of failure and rejection because you have nothing to lose and you also have nothing to prove to ANYONE. The only reason people get fearful in certain life situations is because they feel it will negatively affect their identity aka hurt their ego.
Have you ever see that short movie by Spike Jonze where Kanye West kills his ego (below)? In the video near the end he cuts out this little creature which represents his ego and has hands it a little sword to have it kill itself.
Before you started attaching yourself to everything, you were born happy. Happy and free were your default state. You can not be happy if you continually try to find an identity for yourself in other things and people.
I’ve known this for a while since I’m really big into Eckhart Tolle and his teachings in the book The Power of Now, but it really clicked about a month ago. If I was going to kill most of my ego, I’d have to stop caring about certain things in my life. How can I do this? I needed to obviously prioritize my focus and I recommend you do the same.
As I make this change in my life I am getting closer and closer to becoming completely fearless. Testing myself under extreme situations but not attaching myself to any of it because through meditation and letting go of my thoughts I have become more free. I hope to get to a point to where I can be fully in the moment during every aspect of my life.
Unlike most people who preach to kill the ego, I strongly advise still going for everything you want in life. Be motivated, get the car, the house, the traveling, etc – but don’t attach yourself to any of it. Don’t let it make an identity for you. Don’t let it ruin the real you – the YOU that was born happy.
Here is a great Eckhart Tolle Video…
Non Identical Twins…
Looked at the ultrasound this morning. Name ideas? Names? Nope already got em…
It was scorching fucking hot in Vegas out in front of our office when me and my business partner Adam decided… wow STbands is not giving our customers the best experience. Two different groups coming to one confused site. We decided enough is enough. The site had to be split in two. Before we even knew the names, we new that one site needed to focus on selling custom sweatbands, custom silicone wristbands and other custom promotional products, swag and giveaways. The other site needed to cater to people looking for sweat bands and other unique sports accessories. This was the make up of our old STbands site.
These two sites mark a milestone for my company. Because the two websites are only half the story. We made a substantial investment in a new back-end that will allow our customers / team to have an even better experience.
Also in other SerTop news, we had our busiest month ever last month. As a result, we decided this month to take our whole team to Disneyland – each person gets to bring someone else and everything including the hotel, transportation and meals is paid for by us. We are extremely proud of how hard our team has worked.
I’ll let you know when I really have kids. Which will be soon.
Hear that? Of course you don’t… it’s your mind looking for stimulation. Stimulation that it mistakes for happiness. Lately, I have essentially been training my mind to stop thinking about what doesn’t matter. It’s really an art because you are actively painting your own blank canvas in this life. Every moment you are making an unconscious decision what to focus on, splashing that sheet with all sorts of different colors.
As you get older you realize only a few things are important in life. All the shit that was crammed into your head by society growing up means nothing and in fact it has set you back years in being happy and successful. Shut up with your drama, petty bullshit, excuses and start actually giving a fuck about what does matter.
Do you know what is important to you? If not i recommend you write that shit down… NOW. In my case it’s very simple, three things:
Work – Hustle my ass off until there is nothing left in me. Essentially be a (productive) slave to my team and customers. Having that feeling of being completely drained at the end of the day. Work from home, work at the office, work on the plane, work where-ever. Getting Things Done. If i have a work day where i am not productive (which happens) i feel like complete shit. There is no worse feeling. Why? I hold myself responsible for giving other people the opportunity to excel in life. I hold myself responsible for giving my team and partners the opportunity to be able to give their kids / future kids and there grand kids the upbringing they deserve. That is literally the type of thing running through my head on a day to day basis.
Health– Physical and mental. Eat clean / good food, work out hard, bike, pool, hit trails, meditate, and surround my mind with good people and books. A good dose of learning and taking massive action. Existing in the present moment. Good sex, often. You know, Maslow didn’t put sex as a basic human need on his famous hierarchy of needs as a joke…
Fun – Amazing experiences with amazing people. If I had the energy / time I would go out every single night to meet new people and have a new adventure. Just being outside of the house does it for me. Traveling to different places, even on short notice.
So next time you think about your petty drama or stupid low conscious thoughts ask yourself… Does this even fucking matter in relation to what’s most important to me?