2018 – The Most Epic Year – So Far

Even though – technically speaking – it makes no sense to wait for some specific day to make summaries, we are doomed to the yearly cycle. Being creations of nature, we live in iterations, just like everything else does. There’s day and there’s night, there are season of the year, and there are passes around the Sun we reset every 1stof January.

Let me share with you how I fared through last 365 days. Just to make it easier, let’s split it into three categories: Health, Wealth, Relationships. After all, they encapsulate everything in life.

Continue reading “2018 – The Most Epic Year – So Far”

Never Wish Luck

Yesterday, I participated in a half-marathon. Many of my friends, relatives, and close ones wished me luck. With all the best intentions they had, their approach was wrong.

Never wish luck to anyone.

It is external. By definition, it’s outside of control of individual counting on it. It’s almost as pointless as hope, with hoping for luck being the ultimate recipe for disappointment.

What to wish to someone about to set sails on a challenging voyage?

Wish them grind, because only when you pay the price, you appreciate the prize.
Wish them perseverance, because the way out is always deceptively easy.
Wish them resilience, because the bigger their challenge is, the more often they will fall.

All of these are within control of every single person, whether they realize it or not.

Grind, perseverance, and resilience allowed me to shave eleven minutes of my previous personal record yesterday.

Are you feeling lucky this Monday morning? Or ready to push forward?

Step Over Procrastination

According to at least a few of wacky internet calendars, last Sunday was World’s Procrastination Day. It’s obvious then, why I put off publishing this article till this morning. I’m actually surprised I didn’t wait until tomorrow.

Jokes aside, the costs of unbreakable wall blocking many of us from achieving a bit more are extremely high. Especially given we know that one day we’re going to have to climb it. And, ourselves, we add brick after brick, inevitably making sure the voyage uphill will be as costly as possible.

Just because we’re not prepared.

Because it’s so hard.

Because there’s a price to be paid.

Basically, because we decide to stay in safety of our comfort zones.

On the other hand, there’s whole slow movement, noticing the fact that at work and in our private lives, we put enormous pressure on ourselves to focus on things of little importance. With all the good intentions, it’s so easy to misunderstand the whole idea and use it as yet another excuse to wait a bit longer.

And, as we wait, the price relentlessly rises.

While I’d love to go and brag about my spectacular successes on this field, I can’t. There are areas of my life, which I decide to just sit through. Wait a bit longer.

So that I can be better prepared.

So that it is easier.

So that I can afford to pay the price.

Basically, so that I can stay in whatever’s left of my comfort zone.

There are some honest conversations that I put off. My taxes are always paid on the final due date (or so…). I take the elevator home, when I’m back from workout. I do all that despite living the lifestyle that many active duty soldiers would declare harsh.

It would be good to do something about it, then. And the strategies are countless. If you try googling it, you’ll be overwhelmed with plethora of options. Which, inevitably, leads all of us – including me – into the abyss of analysis paralysis, hence we make the cheapest of choices – we vote to do nothing.

Then, it doesn’t have to be that hard.

On Sunday, I had a pretty rough running workout, preparing for half-marathon in two weeks. It went bad, to say the least. I wasn’t dressed accordingly to arctic weather. Running (sic!) late, I neither stretched, nor warmed up properly. My nutrition choices of the day were foolish. All combined, I achieved truly pathetic results and returned home exhausted.

And this is what I saw:

The easy way of the elevator to the left. The smart choice of cooling down while burning extra few calories on the staircase to the right.

The choice was obvious.

However, as I reached out to press the button, a crazy thought wandered in my mind.

(Note: this is what happens when you run – and it’s the greatest gift I can imagine.)

Let’s just take one step. I can always walk back.

Seconds later, I stormed straight into my apartment several floors up, laughing to myself. Here’s why it worked:

I chose the smallest possible first step (which, in this case, was literally a step). Then I allowed myself to turn back if I want to. Then I decided to plough on.

That’s it. There’s no need for strategies or fancy approaches.

How to make that tiny step out of the comfort zone?

Step.

Downsides of Early Rising

If you ever received an instant message or email from me, you know why it’s important to mute your phone notifications before going to bed. I rarely reply to evening messages later than at 4:30 AM, which leads to a conclusion that I wake up even earlier. The whole concept of early rising is popular ever since the personal development was invented.

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
– Aristotle

As it’s extremely easy to write about so popular and well described idea, you just can’t avoid the advocates of waking up before rest of the world. Myself I could talk about it for hours, sharing examples of how it makes my life better. Even my Instagram is full of this propaganda.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
– Benjamin Franklin

Thing is though, everything in life has a price tag attached. What would be the cost of being healthy, wealthy, and wise?

  1. There’s nobody around. Literally. You’re there all alone. It’s perfectly fine if whatever you’ve planned for the morning can be done in solitude. Many things can’t. While we’re at it…
  2. Devastating majority of businesses are closed. That excludes some 24/7 gyms, gas stations, or – if you’re truly blessed – your clients in another timezone.
  3. It’s dark and cold. That is kind of an issue especially during winter time. While I truly enjoy jogging when there’s no dog owner around, doing it in darkness can be dangerous.
  4. You’re likely to be devoid of energy when everyone else is still alive, exercising their social lives. It’s not that of an issue for some, for instance – six and half hours is more than enough for me. It is a rare gift though, and you don’t want to be ”that guy” falling asleep when even small kids are still active.
  5. Speaking of social life – try setting the alarm clock so that it wakes you up and, at the same time, allows whoever else is in your bed staying there. Good luck!
  6. You might become completely out of sync from the rest of the world. Last weekend I had a breakfast with some friends at 9:30AM. For me, it was lunch.
  7. If it feels like it’s not for you, you’re probably right. We’re not the same. Not only our sleep patterns differ – they evolve over the course of our lives. Remember that the next time you make sarcastic note to that lazy teenager – they need 9 to 10 hours of sleep each day.

And whenever you’re told that some legendary CEO wakes up at some ridiculous hour, think of the dozens of others, who sleep the way they want.

Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin.
– Mark Twain

With that said, given it’s almost 5AM, let me get to my gym, destroy myself there, and then enjoy the coffee at sunrise.

For me, it’s worth the price.