Monthly Archives: May 2019

Chiang Mai Feelings

I just arrived in Chiang Mai, and it’s exciting- walking around this city I stayed in 6 months ago, it’s all the same yet I’m in such a different state of mind it’s so different.

Before the loud bikes, lack of normal sidewalks, and other differences between Europe/USA & Asia really bothered me. I thought I was above culture shock being a world traveler for so long, but now I am humbled to know that it doesn’t matter how long you travel for- it can get you.

I was heartbroken then, and I also had a huge surgery to take care of in Chiang Mai. It was a dark period of my life, my own personal Winter.

Now I’m in my Spring, or Summer perhaps, things are looking up- business growth, skills, purpose, girls, healing, it’s all coming together.

It feels almost like when I first started traveling. The dark feeling pulling me down is going away.

Now I feel young and free again, like anything is possible. What will happen during the month or two in Chiang Mai before I go to Bulgaria? Who will I meet? What will I see?

I stayed for 3 weeks before, but I feel like I saw nothing. I just stayed for a month and Bali and also felt like I saw nothing there.

I’m quite tired, and a bit irritable. It’s a funny mix of inspiration and irritability, as I hardly slept last night from excitement.

I now am wiser in my self-awareness, knowing that my irritability is not the place or me or my business or life- it’s just a bit of tiredness, and being locked in a plan is not fun either.

I used to think I was so invincible, that I could control my emotions, but now I realize you can’t- emotions do their own thing, and true freedom/meditation is just letting them be, holding in mind a true knowing of what’s true.

I can’t tell whether it’s the irritability or whether I need to go back to Bali, but I really miss Bali- now that I’m gone, I can feel the difference in vibe..

Not that Chiang Mai has bad vibes. Chiang Mai has great vibes, but it’s a different delicious flavor- my body craves for more of Bali, months more of Bali.

There is at least 2 months worth of stuff to do, I have friends to connect with again in Bali, and now I know the way of Bali (and Southeast Asia in general) so in a way I don’t feel ready to go to Bulgaria in June, but at the same time I can’t keep waiting- I miss my friends & life there, also.

This is the way of the traveler: to miss many places. To miss Montreal, Phoenix, Sofia, Bali, and Thailand and even more places and people all at the same time.

Bali really taught me how to enjoy the present moment- enjoy whatever dance you’re in. Goals are great, and everyone needs them, but the strange nuance of life is that you need to be present while you have goals.

So I focus on this moment, while also keeping in my peripheral where I’d like my business to go, and where I’d like to go to live.

Following your heart can feel scary because it takes you to the unknown. It shows you things, and demands growth. But it’s totally worth it.

My heart is scared for Chiang Mai. In a way the familiarity is nice, and there is a nostalgia from all the memories that I created here before.

At the same time, I feel sad because those times are gone- and I still have contacts in Bali. Who knows though, maybe some old acquaintances are here- now is the time to reach out.

I promised my heart that if after a week or a few days we aren’t feeling it, we’ll go back to Bali, even if it costs some money to do. Bali was SO amazing, I loved it so much!

And I didn’t even realize how amazing Bali was because I was coming out of my own personal darkness… now that I’m here, I realize how great there was- it’s not one big epic event or thing, it’s just the day to day that made it so amazing.

But I’m going to give Chiang Mai a 100% try. I owe that to myself. I first came here heartbroken, sad, in a shell, depressed, obsessed with money, going through a surgery, and so much more- now I’m young and free, healing, happier, and now I know the way of Southeast Asia.

For example, I knew where I might want to put my apartment in Chiang Mai- but I didn’t buy anything online because the Way in Southeast Asia is to look at things when here, and only book your first accommodation for a few days.

I do miss Bali. I also miss Bulgaria. I’m also excited to be here, and also a bit irritable from the flying and sleep deprivation.

But through it all, I’m feeling more and more relaxed and peaceful. Travel is teaching me to be here and now, nowhere else. Of course I keep in mind where I’m going, as should you (unless you need to wander a bit), but you only have THIS moment to choose where you’re going.

So here I am sitting in an old favorite restaurant, so excited to eat one of my favorite Thai dishes that I just couldn’t seem to find in USA- or it just wasn’t the same as eating it in Chiang Mai.

I love Thai food, and now I shall eat, so that’s all I should focused on- relaxed, one thing at a time, grateful for the food, grateful for the experience, grateful for everything, grateful for you.

Who knows what may happen. My heart may beg me to go back to Bali after a week. It may fall in love here. It may demand Bulgaria. One step at a time, enjoying the dance, that’s the beauty of life- you don’t know where it’s going, but it’s fun (if you let it be so).

-Michael

All In or All Out

When I took magic mushrooms for the first time over a year ago, I knew it would be deeply spiritual, but I never could’ve guessed just how important the messages would be to me.

I learned several key lessons in that first trip, which I wrote down, saved, and some of which I remind myself of to this today.

One of those lessons is this: all in, or all out.

All In or All Out

Life is full of decisions. You could eat at a million different restaurants, live in countless countries and countless cities, date countless people, and work too many jobs to fulfill a dozen lifetimes.

We each feel particularly called to something, which is our “heart” or “intuition.” It’s very important that we listen to it.

The whole Universe works to help you follow your own path, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Events which we consider “bad luck” could actually be events which are designed to change our course and bring us unknowingly to riches we deserve.

How many stories are there of someone getting fired, then finding what they are truly passionate in? Suddenly they feel so grateful for getting fired, otherwise they may be dying slowly on the 9-5 grind they never really wanted.

Sometimes though you face a crossroad where there isn’t a clear path. The choice is up to you.

You should always consult your heart, and if your intuition doesn’t say “no” to any of them, then try listen closely to see what feels better. Sometimes it doesn’t matter- but you still have to make a choice.

You can’t live with regrets though. Sometimes you follow your heart and not everything goes to plan, or something unexpected which we call “bad” happens.

Should you have not followed your heart? No because in following your heart, you often learn to listen deeper, and your heart becomes wiser in its decisions.

Sometimes your heart knows that it must go through some pain and growth or loss in order to get something which it wants. The heart wants what it wants, but it also wants you to feel good, creating conflict.

This is where success barriers come in- we avoid doing what we know we really must do.

With anything, you need to be “all in” or “all out.” If you make a decision, go all in with it in that moment- if you can’t, then maybe you should be all in for the other decision.

The problem with many, including sometimes myself, is that they make a decision but think of the other, or hold regrets, or always wonder “what if…”

One great way to make decisions is ask whether you’d regret something because you know that if you would not be all in for the other decision and regret not taking the other path then it is a path you truly must take.

I’m speaking even of the small things here- if you can’t be all in for eating Mexican food tonight, then why should you go eat Mexican sitting there wondering what Italian food might taste like on your tongue?

Sometimes we make a decision and there’s no clear path. There is no good answer. In these cases it still makes the best sense to go all in for one decision.

If you make a decision but don’t take responsibility for it, then you can only be bitter at the world for that it didn’t work out exactly as you desired.

If you make an uncertain decision certain, then you can be “all in” and fully responsible for the outcomes, even if you can’t control it completely.

In this way you become the captain of your life, guiding yourself through life. You listen to your heart, and you follow it, knowing that things may not always go as planned but that it’s your true path.

There may be nothing worse on this Earth than not following your true path.

To fail in the face of authenticity is to have earned yourself a wonderful experience of following your heart, an experience which may just lead to your treasure.

To fail in the face of inauthenticity is to have cut yourself twice- once for denying your heart, and once for failing also.

The pain of not following your heart is greater than any pain you could experience by following your heart.

The nagging feeling of your heart whispering “I want to do this” is enough to drive man mad.

For long I’ve ignored the next big step in my path, and now that I’m taking it, it feels scary, but I know that I am living true and that whatever fault may come it is for better.

There is risk, of course. I don’t say anything of the future, either- I will not say where my path will go, just that I think I know where it goes, and I believe that I’ll arrive where I desire to arrive.

Of course, the path may change to get there, but I have faith as long as I follow my heart everything will turn out- it always does.

Try to follow your heart, be all in for it. We both know you can’t be “all out,” for that is to not be alive, and you are here now for a reason. You know it intuitively.

Promise your heart you will listen to it, that you will do what it asks of you.

And when you need to make any decision, be all in or all out. Not fully down for it? Don’t do it.

If you are uncertain, choose to be all in because there is no other choice. It is pointless to take one weak step in either direction, when you could choose to take a step with power, even if you don’t know what the right decision is.

Fortune favors the bold, which requires you to be all in.

All in, or all out. Choose. Now.

Done.

-Michael

Bali: 1 Month Report + I Already Miss It

I can’t believe it’s been about 1 month in Bali. It feels like I’ve experienced so much, yet so little at the same time.

I’ve had so much fun with friends, going to parties, scuba diving WWII shipwreck, motorbiking across the island, seeing magical temples, and so much more.

At the same time, I feel like I’ve hardly done anything. With every adventure I’ve had, 3 more adventure ideas/possibilities came up. It feels as though I’ve hardly done anything!

I estimate that I’ll need at least 2 months to do everything I’d like to here in Bali- I haven’t even left yet, but I’m certain that I will return.

It’s a bit sad actually. While I don’t have too deep of social bonds to anyone here, I feel sad to be leaving new friends & the place of Bali.

It feels as though I’ve just gotten settled in- I know where my favorite restaurants are, as well as morning cafes. Just yesterday I discovered an amazing breakfast/brunch place with one of the best salads and coffee I’ve ever had in my life.

In fact, the coffee is literally SHIT coffee! It’s called “Luwak” coffee, and it’s the best I’ve had in my life- but it’s still SHIT coffee.

No, literally. The coffee beans are fed to the civet cat (a special animal in Indonesia), and then we take the coffee beans after they shit it out to make coffee. Sounds disgusting, and I hesitant on my first drink, but I also became hooked immediately.

It’s so amazing that today I had three Luwak coffees! A huge benefit of the coffee is that it’s low in caffeine, so three coffees doesn’t send you to mars.

Anyways, coffee aside, Bali has been amazing. Let’s talk about some of my experiences so far.

Bali: Mini 1-Month Report

I’m calling this a mini report because there’s so much to experience in a place like Bali you can’t really explain it all in words. It’s amazing!

Traffic & Motorbikes

The traffic is crazy, but you get used to it. I would not recommend riding a motorbike unless you have a license though, as the please sometimes make stops. The fine isn’t that much if you don’t have a license though.

However I recommend the motorcycle license because I learned things in training that you never could learn just riding on the road, such as how to make emergency turns, understand car’s and other people’s visibility of you, etc.

For example, even in USA you’ll see experienced motorcycle riders riding basically in between two lanes. Why do they do that? Is it to be dangerous and stupid?

Actually, not quite. Positioning yourself between two lanes is great because you aren’t in the car’s blind spots, and should the cars suddenly stop (or you notice someone isn’t stopping behind you) you have an escape point between the cars to accelerate to.

Riding a motorbike is fun, but so many clueless Westerners hop on a bike that don’t have a clue how to ride it. One thing that regularly frustrated me was all the people that left their turn signal on.

What’s insane is that people would leave a fucking turn signal on in night. Are they really so clueless they can’t see a giant flashing orange light on the motorbike IN THE NIGHT? What the fuck?

Most motorbikes also have a flashing green light on their dashboard, so some of these people riding motorbikes are so clueless that they’ll have a fucking flashing green light in front of them and flashing orange light to their right yet they don’t even notice it!

Either that, or they don’t know how to turn a turn signal off on a motorcycle (which is done by pressing the button down, compared to left/right).

Motorbike rant aside, it’s a lot of fun, and not as dangerous as you think- assuming you know how to ride a motorbike. The traffic appears crazy but there’s a method to the madness that I quickly figured out. I love motorbikes though, so you may not have the same fun experience.

As long as you’re calm riding, you should be fine. The problem comes when you get over-stimulated or over-excited. Everyone that I met that crashed created chaos instead of relaxing into the chaos. What I mean is that they felt the traffic was crazy, and so drove crazy, when in reality it appears crazy but you should actually be relaxed.

Generally speaking I would avoid white people on motorbikes, I felt safe riding around Indonesians and other people that clearly knew what they were doing. To someone watching me on a camera, you would think that some of my moves are “dangerous” (such as passing cars & motorbikes), but the reason I was doing it was to get away from other people that I felt weren’t certain.

In Bali, the safest thing you can do is keep it moving. Don’t ride too slow (but if you do hang to the right, and never drive slower than the cars). If you know how to pass cars, pass cars and get away from everyone else. But don’t do anything you aren’t calm/comfortable with, because it is fear that makes you crash.

Wow, that was a lot on motorbikes. I love it, it’s fun, and it really makes me present to the moment, but I am a bit frustrated by all the people who have literally no idea how to ride a motorbike and think that it’s easy- real training will teach you a lot.

Food/Dining

Food here is amazing, and primarily Western. Prices are cheaper than in USA, albeit not as cheap as I would’ve thought it to be.

Some places are super cheap, like I found one Indian restaurant which was exceptional- the setting appeared to be a shit-hole in the middle of nowhere, but actually it was amazing.

Some of the actual sit-down restaurants are amazing also, but those are going to have more Western prices.

Local Indonesian food doesn’t suit my fancy, but it is the cheapest food- I did have it a few times, and compared to Thailand it really isn’t good.

Thai food has so much diversity, so much flavor & spice, etc. and I’m really excited for this aspect of Thailand (I leave tomorrow to Chiang Mai).

The local food is always the cheapest food, and because Indonesian food isn’t too good (most would agree also, this isn’t just my preference- sorry Indonesians!) I can’t wait for Thailand for that reason. My monthly food costs will reduce drastically, while the quality will increase.

However the diversity of Western food here is exceptional- I ate at amazing steak restaurants, Italian restaurants, a Balkan (Bulgarian/Serbian/Romanian) restaurant. and even Greek restaurants.

I had 2 Danish friends that even found a Danish restaurant and they said it was 100% authentic.

Each bite of the Balkan restaurant felt like I was back in Bulgaria, and the smells took me back to living in Sofia. The food I had in the Greek restaurant took me back to Greece.

The owners are also from their restaurant’s location. The Balkan restaurant owner was Romanian. The Greek restaurant was owned by a Greek man with such a thick accent it was damn obvious where he was from. The same for my favorite Italian restaurant.

They were all so kind also. The Romanian promised me a special Balkan drink when I return to Bali, and the Italian man gave me and a friend free dessert and a free shot of something amazing. The Greek, like a true man from Greece, was always there to greet you with a big smile and shake your hand as you left.

Health Food

There is a huge healthy/vegan scene here, if you’re into that. I eat healthy (but with meat/dairy) and the food is exceptional. I even eat at Vegan restaurants, which says a lot about someone who loves his Balkan meat.

While the local food is lackluster, the overall food scene is exceptional. Because it is not local food the prices are slightly higher than the local food prices in a place like Chiang Mai, but the prices are still very affordable.

For the value you’re getting, it’s insane. You can eat magical smoothie bowls filled with all kinds of incredible food. Even more Western dishes are stylish & colorful, from local restaurants to high-end restaurants. Foodies will love it here!

Note: there are some great local restaurants which I ate at, one of which was in the Northeast of Bali, and I stayed in Canggu where many travelers/expats hang out, so this is probably why my experience of the local food was different.

Cafe Scene

There are exceptional cafes as well- the smoothies & health scene here is exceptional! You can find delicious, cheap smoothies filled with whatever you’d like and no added sugar everywhere at a very affordable price.

The local coffee scene is amazing- the best in the whole world, based on what I’ve experienced.

The coffee shops are not designed for work, like some are in Poland, Bulgaria, and Chiang Mai.

They are more designed to be social, so you can’t get work done. This is the one downside to Bali, that you must find a co-working space (more on that later) if you work remotely.

Even then, there are some places you can get a little work done… it’s just not so normal here, so keep that in mind, remote workers!

One of my favorite cafes serves something called a “Chicory,” which is kind of like Decaf coffee. It tastes so good and I often drank there.

Just yesterday I discovered Luwak coffee, and I wish I had found it earlier because I’d love to have this exceptional drink every single day.

These cafes often serve breakfast/brunch as well. For example, the place I get my Luwak coffee also serves one of the best Caesar salads I’ve had in my whole life.

So the cafe/food scene here is exceptional. You can expect amazing food at an affordable price.

Fun & Adventure

Besides riding the motorbike, there’s tons of adventure to be had here.

You can see beautiful rice fields, climb or ride up mountains, see magical temples, go to the beach, surf, practice yoga, meet friends, go to bars, and so much more. You name it, it’s probably here somewhere in Bali.

I mean if I can find a Balkan restaurant here, you can find pretty much anything here.

There are amazing gyms, and even some rock-climbing ones. Yesterday I went to a trampoline place where you could jump on several trampolines indoors.

There are also ultimate Frisbee tournaments I’ve gone to, cool bars, Tennis, bowling, again- you name it you’ll probably find it somewhere here.

Culture

Balinese people are very kind, though one frustrating thing is that because so much of the economy is dependent on tourism, a lot of locals probably see you as a walking ATM.

That’s not true everywhere though- in the Northeast I met some compassionate, hilarious locals that wanted to tell jokes with me and just have a good time.

Canggu is a very popular Western / expat place, so my experience is a lot different than someone staying in Ubud or Amed. I also made Western friends, which made the whole experience a lot different than if I had a set of local friends.

I did make some local acquaintances through ultimate frisbee, but we didn’t hangout so much- we did in a group (with foreigners) so I haven’t got a complete local hangout just yet.

In a place like Bulgaria or Poland, you immerse yourself in the local culture. You are joining Poland or Bulgaria, but in Bali the experience is truly amazing but you don’t really feel like you’re joining some local culture because of the amount of tourism / expats here.

Again, I only stayed a month, and it would be totally different if you were staying elsewhere!

Next time I’m here I might stay in Ubud, or if I stay in Canggu again I’ll venture more far out to less-traveled areas. For example, going north from Canggu just 3-5 miles and you’re away from all of the western / expat stuff.

I went up there to explore a couple times, and saw so many beautiful temples, amazing locals, and talked to some groups of people to see what they were doing.

Away from the expat areas is a completely new Bali. If you’re white, it’ll be quite apparent that you are truly in Asia because in these villages where no one else goes only the locals are there.

One strange thing that happened was me and a friend were exploring a beach north of Canggu away from the tourists (where we were the only white people we saw, except for one other couple we saw later) was a group of kids maybe aged 10-15 came up to us and wanted photos with us.

They spoke hardly any English, but intuitively I could feel that it had to do something with the color of our skin. My friend, a Danish girl, said that in Lombok (a neighboring, less touristy island) she had several people come up to her asking for a photo or guys giving her free stuff (ie. hitting on her).

Maybe they wanted to show to their friends they had foreigner friends? Or that they had met foreigners who had actually dared to venture out of the Western hub of Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu? Or they thought it was weird we were on this beach?

Who knows. We can’t judge, and we shouldn’t say bad things about it. Maybe they just thought it was interesting we were there. I now try to take photos with as many people I meet wherever I am in the world, and true Bali culture must be so different from our own that I can’t understand it.

For example, I’ve observed a lot of Asians like taking lots of photos. There’s a joke that you can spot the Chinese by how they take lots of photos in groups.

While this is vastly different from us Americans (we may take photos, but not so many, and not of random things) we must remember that our cultures are different- we must respect that.

It has been scientifically shown that an Asian’s brain processes information different than an American’s for example. This isn’t good or bad. It just means that our culture shapes the way we act and see the world.

From what little I do know of Balinese culture, it is deeply spiritual. All over the roads even in Canggu you will see special little offerings and incense. It is beautiful to see! There are temples everywhere where they pray and make fascinating noises.

While some in the local areas see you as walking ATM’s, and if you walk around you’ll sure to be badgered by several taxis, the vast majority of people are highly compassionate. Indonesia is about smiling and putting your best food forward.

All of the locals speak some English as well, albeit many with a strong accent that can lead to minor difficulty here or there. You must not speak too fast or complicated, or with too strong an accent, to make sure you’re properly understood.

Some things are simplified. For example, if someone orders something and you want it, you don’t say “hey I’d like one of those also” you say “same same.” Actually, that’s more of a Thai thing, but I am fairly certain it applies here also.

Honestly, now that I’ve wrote this, I feel that it kind of does a disservice to Indonesia. I honestly have no right to talk about local culture because I’ve only been here a month, and I didn’t make several local friends or experience local festivals.

I am a foreigner who often enjoyed things with other foreigners. There are some very obvious differences, such as that smiling & service is super valued, and that people are extremely kind.

But a true Balinese culture? Impossible for me to write about. What I’ve wrote here is probably 1% of local culture, if even that. I’ve only scratched the service, and I’ll never understand it completely.

For example, my ex was Bulgarian and I’ve lived in Bulgaria for roughly a year. Many of my friends there are locals. I experienced several local holidays, learned some Bulgarian, and even after almost a year with my ex we were still discovering fascinating differences between us.

The way we were raised, American vs. Bulgarian, was so vastly different, our lives so different, and culture so different that it would be impossible for one to fully comprehend the life of the other- though we can certainly try!

I intend to go back to Bulgaria for 2-3 months starting June, and even then I know that if I were to live in Bulgaria for years I would still discover things about the culture.

It’s not that people are exotically different- we are all fundamentally humans. It’s just the million subtleties that create a culture or experience. It’s the unspoken differences. It’s the vibe that you can just feel is different- not better or worse, but much 2 different great songs, equally beautiful, but beautifully different.

So, I just want to say here that experiencing what little bits of the local culture was amazing, but I’ve hardly tapped the service. They are humans like us, but with a vastly different world view.

I’m just grateful to have been in Bali and experienced this amazing place!

Spas & Massages!

Southeast Asia is AMAZING for massages! This is true of Thailand also!

Here in Bali you can get exceptional massages for super cheap. I think I enjoyed one epic massage for not even $5- traditional 1 hour (or 1.5 hour?) Balinese massage. It was amazing.

There’s also a great spa called Amo Spa which has more expensive massages, but then a spa with sauna & cold plunge which is cheap for the add-on price. I met lots of cool people there.

Internet & Censorship

Internet is cheap (in terms of getting a SIM card for your phone), but it can be spotty at times, depending on where you are.

Sometimes it’ll randomly go out. WiFi can also be very spotty. Video calling with friends was often difficult, and sometimes impossible.

The government also censors several websites, mainly porn websites, but then random websites get caught in the filter like Reddit. Sometimes Reddit works, such as if you Google “Reddit [topic to research,” but if you were to try go to the main page it wouldn’t.

At some co-working spaces & cafes, you can access blocked websites. For example, where I’m at now I could visit Reddit if I wanted to.

Generally WiFi is good, but you can’t work outside of a co-working or coffee shop with great internet, unless your villa has great internet.

Accommodation

Accommodation is cheap and readily abundant! My “home-stay” (which is like a hotel room but with a family in a villa) is just $425 for the month. No deposit required. It’s also directly in the center of Canggu (but this I regret due to noise). It also is cleaned 3-4x per week.

If you can ride a motorbike, I recommend getting a place farther away from the center of Canggu or wherever you’re staying. It’s much more quiet, and a bit cheaper.

The extra 3 minutes will mean you save an extra $100-$200 on a month’s rent, it’ll be super quiet at night, and you may have a bigger place also. Next time, that’s what I will do!

Where I’m at now I need ear plugs to sleep at night. It’s not the worse thing because the location is amazing, but the extra 2-3 minutes of riding is totally worth the much-needed silence I’d like at night.

You can also get private villas, private chefs, private drivers for fairly cheap also, depending on your budget. Like I said next time I’ll look into a better home-stay, apartment, or even villa but farther out from the center for that much-needed silence. Maybe the WiFi would work, also.

Sometimes the electricity goes out too but that’s not really a problem. I think every place I saw had AC as well, which is obviously much needed.

One frustrating thing was that lack of silence in many of the accommodations I visited. I am fairly certain on one of my first few nights in Bali (in a different accommodation) I woke up to a couple having sex in the bungalow next to me.

I didn’t get any special action in Bali, which probably is okay because to be quite honest I’d rather have the freedom to make some noise than have to worry about waking up all the neighbors.

All kinds of wild animals, farm animals, ceremonies, and motorbikes make noise as well, which is why I’d recommend making sure your accommodation is quiet.

Digital Nomads

SO MANY people here make money online while working remotely! It’s a great community to plug into over here.

In Bulgaria I think I could count all of the digital nomads I met on one hand just because of how few there were- but all digital nomads seem to make their rounds here in Bali.

One thing that sucks is the visa situation though- there isn’t a super clear path to residency, as far as I know. However, that could just be the talk from a ton of complaining digital nomads.

Many digital nomads are living perpetually on a tourist visa, which makes me uneasy, especially after Bulgaria rejected one of my visa extensions. While I love it and will return, I feel uneasy about getting attached to a place that doesn’t have a clear path to residency and then citizenship.

Overall

All in all I loved my stay here in Bali. I feel like there are so many more adventures to be had. For every adventure I had, 2-3 more ideas popped in mind or were introduced to me by others!

I feel sad to be leaving- I will certainly return for a total of several months more stay.

I’m excited to return to Bali, experience more of the local culture, have great adventures, and make it even better than this time now that I have so much knowledge of how things work here!

There’s so much more to write about, I feel like I hardly tapped into the experience here in Bali, which is probably why I typically avoid writing posts about places.

And really, there’s so much more to write about. But I’m ending it here. So just keep in mind that there’s a ton more to Bali, you’d probably have to call me/Email me to get more info if you wanted to ask. 

Done!

-Michael

Fear is Your Compass

We humans fear success more than we do failure- I don’t know why, but that’s just the case.

I mean sure we pretend to fear failure, especially if we’ve some arbitrary degree of status or success that we might lose.

But what we really fear is moving up and embracing a new reality. Is it just the fear of change, or is there more to it?

I’ve watched all kinds of videos on this. Some people suggest that we have resistance because our primal brains just want to do what’s comfortable and what brings short-term rewards.

Another video suggested that we fear failure because back in caveman times we subconsciously knew that rising up in status too fast would trigger jealousy in others (in theory), and so we would keep ourselves at the level everyone else thought us to be to avoid unnecessary attention.

Whatever it is, I’d argue that success is scarier in a way than failure. With it comes power, responsibility, and a complete transformation of yourself.

In failing, you only have to enter a “derp” state and become less of yourself. You can dull out the pain with social media, YouTube, drugs, sex, TV, you name it.

What if you become rich? Now guilt-vampires may chase you down, reminding you that other people don’t have it so good.

Or worse: your friends and family may beg from money from you, and exploit your kindness.

You may wake up just to realize that all your friends & family were fake all along, and that they never really were authentic… Now that you’re a crab coming out of the bucket, everyone wants to pull you back down.

Maybe your girlfriend or boyfriend gets insanely jealous. They attack you with all their might, despite being the one person who was supposed to always be with you.

If you fail, they criticize you and work with the world to push you down, but if you succeed they grab onto you and pull you down, because they don’t get to be in the limelight.

I don’t know what it is, but you can’t lie to me and say that you don’t know what you really want to do- you have at least a sense of direction with where you want to go, or riches you wish to have.

Today I was talking with a friend about business, and we got really excited. We realized how simple business really is.

All you have to do is create a good ad, run it, sell a top-funnel product that breaks-even, and then create an upsell offer and you’ll be literally printing money.

If you don’t understand what I just wrote there, I promise it only takes a day’s worth of immersion to figure out what it means. Boom, instantly you’ll have the framework to be excessively rich from internet marketing.

The next steps are just to figure out how to write great ad copy, target the ad properly, get a great product, and sell the product. It’s really not complicated- it’s not super easy, but the path is there to walk, and it doesn’t take years to achieve riches.

But… it often does. I’ve remained mostly at the same income level for the past year. In fact, I haven’t really done too much in the past 2 years.

I’ve noticed that sometimes when I tried to get new clients I’d start sneezing a lot, get a headache, feel numb, self-sabotage, self-attack, and feel like an imposer, as if I wasn’t good enough to make a certain income level.

Anyways, my current income level is fantastic. I can enjoy a wonderful life in Bulgaria or Southeast Asia that many could only dream of.

The idea of doubling my income- something which in actuality is extremely easy to do- is quite exciting but in a sense also over-stimulating.

One psychology article I read suggested that the excitement associated with growing a business can often be subconsciously mixed up with the same excitement experienced during a traumatic situation which previously caused PTSD.

I’ve had diagnosed PTSD before, from a situation in which a gay guy tried to rape me in my sleep. I’ve also experienced severe bullying in school.

Because I have experienced these terrible things does my brain associate the overwhelming excitement with becoming financially free with these things? Is my brain circuitry a bit messed up?

This explanation actually makes a lot of sense, and even if you haven’t had one single-defining traumatic moment of your life (studies suggest many more have, you’re not alone!), you’ve likely experienced some emotional turmoil such so that you associate excitement with fear, and get emotionally overstimulated.

That which lies beyond comprehension is scary. I think of what tripling my income would do for me, which I could do, but haven’t yet:

I could take first-class long-haul flights, live in luxurious villas anywhere, make same-day travel decisions instead of budgeting, buy anything anywhere that I want. My income is good for a 21 year old (just turned 21 today!). Tripling it would be insane!

For a mixture of reasons, success is over-stimulating to us. The good is SO amazing that we don’t go for it. It’s too unknown, too much change, and we also use the fear of failure as an excuse not to move on.

One dangerous thing that traps a lot of people is when “a little success” prevents them from getting “a lot of success.” That has happened to me.

Someone makes a little money, but then in fear of making more, they never take the risk to make more, so they just stay where they are at.

Example: I know that I should run ads to try get new clients, especially now that my Facebook Ads skills has been validated. If I just dedicated $1,000 per month for ads, I could sign on several clients which allows me to scale my business very quickly.

The problem is: that $1k could go towards my savings in the event something goes wrong, or it could go towards paying tax debt that I owe. In the short-term, the 1k is very valuable, especially in terms of financial security.

One post on Reddit said “the middle class is when $100 isn’t a lot to make but it’s a lot to lose.”

That is so true- making a few hundred bucks is not exciting to me. I am in no hurry to do that because it wouldn’t change much. Dealing with that low of clients is not worth my time.

Losing a few hundred? That would affect me quite a bit. There’s A LOT I can buy with a few hundred bucks. That could be my food budget for the month, or in a place like Bali where my rent is currently $425 per month (and it could be less), that’s almost an entire month’s worth of rent!

At the end of the day, it’s all just excuses. Fear is the compass. You shouldn’t be reckless, though reckless people still often end up multi-millionaires.

What does fear is the compass mean? It means that what you’re afraid to do, you should probably do.

You should probably go talk to that girl. You should do that work out. You should probably run those ads, Michael!

Following Your Path

Following your heart is not always easy, and I’m still working on it every day. It’s what we all intuitively know needs to be done, but so few people actually do it.

One way to get started is to create a plan. Then the next hardest step is taking the first step.

A huge modern-day trap people have is “information paralysis.” There is so much information on getting started. You could watch countless videos on picking up girls, but one approach is better than all the videos you could watch by a certain point.

It’s easy to theorize, talk, plan, and learn but where is the actual growth? That’s done by walking the walk.

I just wrote a post earlier about a complete fake who received so many interviews, and was to be a Tedx speaker, yet was essentially broke. Those people are habitually addicted to the validation of appearing successful, without actually being successful.

Instagram makes it too easy to be those people. The only thing that matters in business is the profit you’re making and the clients you’re servicing, but you could just take nice photos of “the hustle” all day and make people think that you’re working.

Then you can wonder why it took 4 years to get your business going… maybe it’s because those types wasted all their time doing BS work, rather than what really counts (like making sales).

In my own life, I’m walking my own path. I’m terrified. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the fear of not being good enough. We fear that we don’t deserve the income, especially when so many others don’t have that income.

I know what I need to do, and finally walking the path is… exhilarating. It’s not always pleasant.

Sometimes I created an ad for a client that flopped right on its face, and I had to awkwardly explain why we spent $100+ for a lead that will go nowhere.

But now, I’m finally seeing the results come in. I’m finally developing my Facebook Ads skills.

I’ve finally got some clients (that I’m working with for free until my skills are validated) to run Ads for, and I’m finally seeing that I am deserving and skillful in this.

I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do.. for years. It didn’t take years of hard work to reach this level.

It could’ve been done so much faster. Probably in months. You could reach this success level in a mere 3-6 months, but success is more about overcoming mental blocks than it is about actually progressing.

When I spoke to my friend this morning, we realized just how easy building wealth is. I told you how earlier. The theory is so simple. The focused work, potential rejections, potential flops, and every other obstacle isn’t that bad but it’s all your mentality about it.

Lifting weights isn’t hard. It takes maybe 5 hours per week. Running isn’t hard. It takes 20 minutes a few mornings per week. Business isn’t hard. It just takes studying & working a few hours per day.

Everything is only hard in our minds because deep down, we’re afraid. We’re terrified. We have some resistance. We don’t know why it’s there. Logically we know that even if all our fears come true the success is more than worth it.

It’s all a battle in the mind, one we each must fight alone.

Fear is the compass. What you fear most, you know you must do.

The path is yours.

-Michael

Why Getting Rich is Noble

Note: I am not revising this post because of its length, and I typically avoid touchy subjects like this anyways because I quite honestly don’t like angry messages in my inbox about situations more complex than above most of our heads (INCLUDING MINE).

The really short, condensed version is on the very bottom… a little TL;DR. The super-short version is that creating wealth ethically benefits everyone else because to make money you must give value to other people. This article focuses only on ethical wealth, no durr building wealth without ethics is wrong and far from noble. 🙂

Yesterday a friend hit me up asking me for some advice on his response to a deep ethical question. I liked it, but one statement triggered me: he said that we are all “killing people by omission” by not donating more money to charity.

Not only do I disagree with this, I think it’s very backwards and that getting rich is one of the most noble things you can do assuming it is done ethically.

Okay, let me make this 1,000% clear: ASSUMING IT IS DONE ETHICALLY! Like yeah, you can rob a bank and get rich but that’s fucked up.

Also, let’s make a very clear note: I normally avoid political talks because it gets people triggered and creates circular fights that lead nowhere. The truth is, situations like poverty & homelessness are so fucking complicated that neither of us can really understand it.

So when I give my thoughts here, note that it’s not 100% complete, I’m still open to well-constructed arguments, but most of the time I ignore taking part in such debates because they go circular and no understanding is had… but time is wasted. I will try put counter-points in my thoughts so we can understand the other side too (in the end to better reinforce the side that getting rich is good).

The only reason I debated with this friend was because he’s an epic friend, and he had a bad belief that needed some shaking up. I was surprised when he wanted me to write this blog post about the talk, but I figured fair enough, let’s go and write one slightly political post.

Here is why getting rich is noble, and more importantly it benefits everyone:

The Complexity Factor

Note: this is SO complicated, the whole issue of charity / getting rich / people being poor so try to keep an open mind and think of how everything affects everything. Some solutions sound bad but work well, and others sound good but turn out bad. Try to think deep. This article will be all over the place, building a huge point at the end. Hang tight.

Again: this post is gonna be all over the place. Strap in and try let it all come together. I confess this won’t be my most coherent post as I’m a bit tired and sick. I’ll try make it all wrap together, but I’ll probably have to write a 2.0 later and take days properly researching & writing.

The Inspiration Factor

This part is debatable because some people respond to success of others differently. In an ideal world, we’d all get inspired.

I am one who gets inspired. When I read “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss, any chance of me going to University & getting a job were shattered. I was so damn inspired I decided I’d be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life!

Because of his book I now make money online, and have traveled the world for almost 2 years now visiting 13+ countries and living in at least 4 for over a month.

When you get rich, you inspire others. Well, some others might get jealous, but in my humble opinion it’s kind of a choice.

You can look at someone and say “I don’t have what you have so you don’t deserve it” or you can say “wow I’d like to create that too!” One mentality keeps everyone poor & limited, and the other uplifts the world.

We need people getting rich and then inspiring others because it gets people out of the shit-hole that they’re in in the first place!

Have you ever been around a couple that has a great relationship? It is damn well inspiring to get a great relationship yourself! Conversely, how have you felt when you observed a couple get abusive or fight? Probably drained.

Get rich and inspire others. Some of my biggest breakthroughs have been sitting next to millionaires who have told me that it’s possible.

The Guilt Factor

The belief that “we are killing people by omission” [by not donating our money to charity NOW] is unhealthy because it prevents you from taking care of yourself. It assumes that responsibility of others falls on you, which it doesn’t.

You can only take responsibility for yourself. Yes, life is kind of fucked up. But you shouldn’t hold yourself back because someone else is starving. That’s called “crabs in a bucket” mentality.

I don’t meet a lot of rich people that are guilt-stricken with the suffering of others: instead they focus on themselves, then their family, then their friends, and then finally the world.

Is that so wrong? No. Absolutely not. It is wrong to force someone to take care of someone else.

Should you try? Absolutely. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try, or that if someone gets hurt and needs help in front of you that you don’t help them.

All I’m saying is that someone starving in a far-off country is far different than a true crime of omission, which would be for example not feeding your children. By the way I was taught in school, a “crime of omission” involves a factor of responsibility, which is not present in the case of charity.

Occasionally people try to make you feel guilty for not taking care of others- again though, that’s just wrong. It holds your life back. For reasons I’ll describe later, you should never hold yourself back and guilt yourself over those “meaningless” purchases and “little luxuries” (don’t get triggered yet, more on this later).

In short, feeling guilty because someone else is suffering only holds your own life back. For reasons described later, that’s terrible for everyone involved… (seriously, this is a huge point, please read on)

The Real Cause of Starvation/Poverty

The argument my friend primarily made was that donating money would feed people that need the money, instead of spending it on “useless purchases” (ie. massages).

The problem with this, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t address the actual CAUSE of the starvation or poverty. It’s just like medicine how people get prescribed insane drugs without addressing the cause so they never fix their mental problems or health problems.

Throwing $ at the problem doesn’t solve starvation. You can “give a man a fish for a day, or teach him how to fish.”

Most people that are poor don’t know how to participate in the local economy. Poor nations have a poor economy. Donating doesn’t fix that cause, but can cause complications. More on this later as well.

However getting rich stimulates the economy, at least in your local area. In cases such as internet businesses you have the capacity to outsource to places like India which sends money to their local economies.

What’s better: donating $5 or building your business, hiring Indian programmers and supplying them with a living?

Now if your business collapses, they still have skills/past experience to get another job, compared to just throwing money at them- if the money stops coming, they starve again, but if they have skills (and you incentivize people to get skills), then the economy improves.

The outsourced Indian workers then have money to spend into their local economy too which boosts everyone there.

Starvation is a Recurring Problem

My friend made the mistake of saying that “donating $300 saves a life.” Well, no- actually not.

We don’t live in a 3-dimensional world. We have also the dimension of times (and who knows what else?).

When you donate $300 to save a starving kid, you do not necessarily save their life. You buy them a month. That’s it. Then they die. Problem solved?

Now in some cases, you send someone $300, and then they get a job the next month and you save their life and they live happily ever after. I’m referring to chronically terrible places where starvation is a problem (ie. some African countries).

Again, this goes back to the whole “fix the cause thing.” You could send someone a fish, but unless you can send a fish a day for the rest of your life you don’t save their life.

You are one fish poorer, and they die the next day anyways. Problem not solved.

Donating… Often Fails

Google “donating does more harm than good.” The studies that have been done are… shocking.

Let’s be honest: a huge reason we donate is because we want to feel good, nothing else. I tip $5 and I feel like I’m a good human. Did I actually improve the world?

Let’s say you donate fish to a poor African village. Great, you solved hunger. But guess what: there are long-reaching effects; it’s too short-sighted to think that you solved the problem.

Now all local food industries have been disrupted. Who’s gonna open a restaurant or fishing company when they could get fish for free, from you? What happens when the donations stop- well there are no local businesses (because they couldn’t survive), so now everyone goes hungry and dies!

Am I saying you should never donate? No. I’m just saying you really need to research which charities actually have impact.

Another example of this is some “genius” who thought they should send 1 million shirts to some African country. Great, right? Now the locals have clothes!

Wrong. Now everyone who owned a clothing business goes out of business. You’ve disrupted the local economy.

Again, research this on Google. A simple Google search will reveal countless studies.

Energy & Vibes

The rich children stay rich adults, and the poor children stay poor adults: why? Answer: energy & vibes. You could also replace this with “mentality” to be less metaphysical.

It has been scientifically demonstrated that everyone has a “comfort level” of wealth. If you lose your job, you’ll scramble to find another at the same level plus or minus 10%.

The same is true though if you make too much money and aren’t prepared for it. Have you heard of the countless lottery winners who ruined their lives?

So many professional athletes & lottery winners get A TON of money, but then they lose it all because they were not prepared to handle such wealth in their life! They still had a “poor personal mentality” and lost all their wealth too fast.

On the other hand, you’ll also see rich people have their business fail then a couple years later they’re all rich and comfy again. How?

I’d recommend reading “The Science of Getting Rich,” as there is great information on this. This is also why charity isn’t always effective.

Have you also ever observed a friend date the same bad person over and over? Maybe the habitually date a cheater, or someone that’s abusive?

That’s because the subconscious mind is weird as fuck, and we basically go back to whatever we are subconsciously comfortable with, even if that’s poverty & starvation.

By getting rich you actually inspire others because you directly influence their “vibe” by showing them wealth creation IS possible!

For myself, to make money online & travel the world, I had to do all kinds of affirmations & visualizations just to push back the barriers. Looking back, it isn’t hard at all to do this- it’s just a mental thing.

It’s shocking actually to see me write this. 4 years ago me would be shocked and slightly angered someone could suggest this life is easy.

The thing is, making money online while traveling the world is my definition of “normal” and “comfortable” now. Take away my clients, and I’ll find my way back to this level in max 6 months.

Could you achieve this level in 6 months? Yes, but you have to do A LOT of visualization work & surround yourself with people living this lifestyle so that your subconscious mind realizes it’s possible, and begins getting familiar with it.

The problem with so many charities is they don’t address this deep, root cause of recurring poverty, abuse, starvation, etc.

People DO break out of their circumstances and CAN change of course, it’s just hard. At a very general scale you see that people born into a certain socioeconomic class will likely stay in it.

It takes a lot of focus to move on a socioeconomic class for no other reason than it’s your “vibe” or “energy” or “mentality” or whatever you want to call it.

Getting rich is great because you’re forced to change your vibe, which also changes other people’s vibes (indirectly or directly)! It raises everyone up! More importantly you also stop straining the system and holding others back too.

Everything is Connected- Think 100 Moves Ahead!

The best chess masters are prepared several moves in advance. The problem with many solutions like “just donate your money to charity” is that it doesn’t think of the far-reaching effects of such a thing.

For example, let’s say you start to donate 50% of your income to charity and live like a minimalist.

Now less money is going into your local economy, which also affects the world economy, and by just handing out free money you’re disrupting the economies of people receiving the money, and you’re also not addressing the cause of the problem.

I’m trying to address some of the far-reaching effects here, but you really have to think about it and do A LOT of research.

I’m an idealist at heart (my personality is literally ENFP, and NF types are “idealists”) and struggle in relationships because I’m too ideal- seeing the best in my partner, but not being realistic.

The same is true of so many feel-good programs like “donating” or “charity.” They’re more selfish than good, focused on making you feel like you’re doing something good when really the far-reaching effects are different.

Maybe you do something good today, but how does your actions today affect tomorrow and the following days? As it’s said, “good intentions pave the road to hell.”

Should Billionaires Give Up Their Money?

Okay, so maybe you’re convinced: us regular people don’t really have a huge effect, and based on new research it turns out that donating isn’t always the smartest thing to do.

Furthermore, it actually does better to focus on creating your own wealth than taking responsibility for everyone else (but I still have more writing to do than “the inspiration factor,” so hang tight- I’m addressing other points first).

First we need to address a bigger kid on the block: the billionaires, millionaires, and other ultra-rich people.

Should they be forced to give up all their wealth? They could end hunger for some time. They have SO MUCH money, surely it’s not fair, right?

Important note: we are talking about ETHICAL BILLIONAIRES! Obviously unethical people are a different story.

My friend almost had me here, but then I thought about it: why are people so rich like Jeff Bezos? How did they earn such wealth?

Jeff Bezos created Amazon, which employs almost 650,000 people. It’s safe to say that Amazon has created jobs for over 1 million people around the world (likely tens of millions).

For example, I worked for a client that helped people get products on Amazon. My client literally could not have his business unless Amazon existed! I could not have him as a client unless Amazon existed.

Because Jeff Bezos created Amazon, my former client had an entire living helping other people sell on Amazon (which is how his clients made a living), and how I got paid- by the way, I used the funds from this client to invest in my health, which was poor at the time.

Think about it: millions of people have jobs & a complete living because of Jeff Bezos creating Amazon. He’s done more good in the world than any of us.

Should he be forced to give up his wealth because he has too much and others don’t have enough? Honestly, I don’t think that’s fair. The fact is he created millions of jobs- people have livings and families because of this man.

It’s so selfish and greedy to think that we should take this man’s money away from him because “other people have it bad.” Again, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay that others have it bad, but it’s not morally right to take from people that earned their money themselves.

Jeff isn’t “killing by omission” as my friend originally said- he actually helped more people than anyone else, and so he deserves his wealth!

The same is true of say Bill Gates, who also employs hundreds of thousands of people directly and created several other jobs related to his industry.

Again, I go back to the point of “throwing money at the problem doesn’t fix the problem.” It puts a band-aid on it that doesn’t heal the wound. Morphine doesn’t cure a broken leg- a cast does.

To really understand why billionaires deserve their money, we need to ask ourselves:

Note: also a lot of people don’t seem to realize that “net worth” is not fluid. Jeff Bezos has like a 150 billion dollar net worth, but that doesn’t mean he has 150 million in cash. It can include assets such as his company or real estate.

How is Wealth Created?

This is the biggest question which makes this entire argument valid. If you get wealthy by stealing from others, then obviously being a billionaire is wrong.

Remember: we’re focusing on ethics. There are ethical billionaires and unethical ones, just like there are bad boys and good boys, and bad girls and bad boys, and shit food and great food.

Assuming wealth is created ethically, there’s one primary way to make wealth: provide value to others. I recommend researching more on this topic.

Think about it: why do you buy anything? It’s because you need it more than you need the money, that’s it!

If you provide a product which is worth more than $20, AND people want it or need it, people will pay you for it.

I have no problem paying $150 for a one-way from Phoenix to Montreal because I think that’s an epic value. I would not pay $500 for one-way Phoenix to Montreal because that is not a valuable exchange for me.

When I was young I purchased a lot of video games because they were an epic value- $60 for months worth of fun? The answer was a no-brainer- hell yes!

I would not personally pay $500 for GTA 5 (video game), but $60 is a price point I can handle.

What billionaires do is create products that are SO valuable to society that countless people use them.

Jeff Bezos created Amazon- have you used Amazon? Odds are, yes. If you live in USA, then you will enjoy super fast shipping. With Amazon Prime, you can get free 2-day shipping and sometimes products arrive the same fucking day that you order them!!

If you don’t like someone, you can always vote with your dollar. Order from someone else besides Amazon. Don’t purchase anything related to Amazon. You will suffocate Amazon just a bit from its life force which is money.

Money is neither good or bad. It just is. It’s a tool. Remember that!

In short, wealth is created by giving value. This is true for a job too- you say “$x per hour is what my time is worth,” and then you work at that. Think you deserve more? You must find someone who agrees you’re worth more, and then you’ll make more.

Of course, there are unethical ways to make money such as employee exploitation and theft, but the way to fix this is to inspire people to find better employers and protect their assets better (and occasionally legal recourse).

Because wealth is created by giving value ultra-rich are in no way wrong for what they have.

People like Jeff Bezos created a platform (Amazon) which allows consumers to get what they want at an affordable price, and on the flip side he also employees several employees and helped create several side-industries (such as Amazon consultant & Amazon Ads experts).

Taking away their money and just throwing it away doesn’t help the economy! That’s the key thing everyone must realize. A society does well when money is flowing between people, and new industries and wealth can be created.

When you donate it, sometimes great things happen- that I don’t disagree with, and as a society as a whole that is necessary. However no individual is “killing by omission” by not donating- in fact, on the contrary, by becoming abundant themselves they actually contribute to the economy.

Are you not an entrepreneur? Guess what, you’re still creating jobs.

For example, I have clients that I work for, and recently I’ve purchased some massages here in Bali. I am temporarily hiring these people to work for me, providing the service of a sweet, sweet massage.

Is it unnecessary? Yeah. But it’s probably more effective than just donating the money. I am stimulating the local Balinese economy, helping locals stay in business, and now with this money these wonderful locals can spend this money on things they want in life, which will continue to help their money flow around.

Remember: when wealth flows, everyone benefits and anyone can get rich easier.

A recession occurs when no money is flowing, so starting new businesses is more difficult because people are less likely to buy. Jobs are less easily created, and companies often have to lay people off.

Other Income Sources

Note: there are other sources of income that don’t involve giving value, such as trading in concurrency. I made some money in late 2017 on Bitcoin and Litecoin. I was not providing value to anyone.

These are viable methods to make money, and are still better than demanding others take care of you- because the money can then be fueled into an economy. However I’d personally recommend on giving value because markets always change.

Too often do people get rich with a crypto, then lose it on another investment. It’s a little “hack” through a market inefficiency, and it’s not sustainable in my humble opinion.

The fact is the easiest way to get rich is provide massive value to people.

Can Wealth be Created?

Everything I’ve said is all great n’ all. We’ve covered how donating can disrupt local economies and sometimes isn’t effective (remember, I’m not saying always, just oftentimes- do research on the studies).

We’ve covered how the ultra-rich (assuming ethical) deserve their wealth, and that wealth is created by giving value. We’ve covered how getting rich yourself stimulates the economy and benefits everyone, in a longer and more sustainable way. We’ve covered how you can only be responsible for yourself, and no one is responsible for anyone else inherently.

One final question remains: can wealth be created? Maybe it’s true the ultra-rich earned their wealth, but are they “hoarding it from the rest of us?” Is wealth a zero-sum game?

The short-answer is no. You can look into this more, but I’ll prove it very simply here.

The zero-sum mentality game looks at life like monopoly. If one person makes money, another loses it.

What this neglects is the value exchange- remember, I value the massage more than my money, and then that money can flow back to me.

It also neglects the fact that money is printed off and simply a tool used to facilitate exchanges.

Wealth can be created by this simple fact: we have planes. If wealth couldn’t be created, we wouldn’t have advanced past the caveman era because one man’s wealth would turn into another’s loss.

Perhaps in the grand scheme of the Universe there’s some wealth cap, but right now it’s infinitely higher than we could imagine!

So much energy can be harnessed by solar power alone. Research just how harnessing the entire sun’s power for just one day would power the Earth for… well, a really long time.

Right now wealth can be created by anyone.

Getting Rich is Noble: Helping Others/Yourself

One huge problem I have the idea with donating so much of your wealth away is that it neglects yourself. You’re essentially taking responsibility for others, and less for yourself!

What if you get dangerously sick, but don’t have the funds to support yourself because you have been donating money? Well, you’ll need help from family/friends/welfare. Congrats, you’re now a drain on society, undoing the good which you set out to do by donating.

It shouldn’t even be a moral question to donate until you’re financially set until the age 100.

Google: how many elderly are dependent on their children because they didn’t properly save for their retirement? How many people get life problems, then need financial support?

If you end up requiring the service of others, you undo any good you did because you “take” their money. Some health therapies can be incredibly expensive. If you live in a healthcare-free country, keep in mind that there are still similar situations in which you take money (ie. not being able to pay rent).

Remember: if you invest in the local economy (by improving your ability to give value and spend money in the economy) everyone will become richer.

Now what about friends/family? Here’s a dilemma: should you donate $1,000 to help a starving family in Africa, or use that $1,000 to pay for your spouse’s operation that would save their life?

I think most people would take care of their spouse, and that’s normal & fine. You are responsible primarily for yourself in life. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to guilt-trip you into taking your money. Still, it’s a tough one.

When you get rich, you can take care of yourself first, but then the next line of people you are responsible for: your kids, your family, your spouse, then finally your friends (not necessarily in that order).

What would you do if you donated $1,000 to charity, but then your spouse needed an operation for $1,000? And you had no more money?

Okay, this is an extreme example, but it makes you realize: you need to be rich to take care of your secondary responsibility, which is the people closest to you.

This is the way humanity improves & thrives. You can’t be responsible for people on the other side of the world or random people even in your own city.

AGAIN I MAKE THIS CLEAR: that doesn’t make it wrong that they suffer, and in an ideal world we could just take care of everyone. The whole point of this article is for us to realize that life is so much more complicated that what we’d ideally like.

Anyways, humanity thrives because we take care of those around us. If we get rich, we can take care of those around us. Hopefully those around us stay abundant as well, so that they can take care of people close to them (that we aren’t close to).

Then the cycle continues. This is a bit too idealistic, but the primary point stands: being financially abundant is also about taking care of those closest to you, too, before worrying about others.

Re-investment Into Yourself/Business

Another reason you need to focus on getting rich now instead of donating is for the simple fact that you can donate more later than now. Let’s say your ultimate goal is to donate a lot- that’s great.

But you don’t win the game by donating $1 per day for the rest of your life. You’re better off saving your donation money to invest in your business.

For example, what if I invest $1,000 into my business instead of charity, then I grow my business, which allows me to hire employees & stimulate the economy (so in the end the positive impact is much higher).

Or back on the donation level, let’s say I start to grow my business a ton, then by the time I die I die with a net worth of 20 million. That’s so much more money to donate than if I were to donate my profits as soon as I made them (by re-investing my profits I grow my business, increasing the end donation amount).

I stick fast to the “stimulating economy” part though- a lot of people brush over this when thinking about how to help others.

Self-care vs. Greed

So many people make it sound as if getting rich is some greedy, evil thing to do- but it isn’t!

As demonstrated, getting rich can actually benefit a ton of people. Let’s take my business for example.

I create lead ads for clients. I’m currently focused on realtors- so I get realtors clients that want to sell or buy a home by running Facebook Ads.

I get paid because I’m delivering value, so I’m happy. I can then spend this money on little luxuries which stimulates the economy. I can save for my future (and my future family’s) so that I don’t strain society at all in the event I have a disaster.

If I lose all of my clients, I have several month’s worth of savings to prevent me from having to take anyone else’s money. I am also saving to re-invest in my business.

When I buy things from others, even things which are “little luxuries,” this is not bad- it helps me live a better life, I am not responsible for anyone else, and in the end it’s positive because it gives these people jobs.. the money continues to flow!

My clients are satisfied because they get the value they search for. Their businesses improve, and they’re able to improve their service. In the example of realtors, they get clients and they can help these clients buy/sell a home.

My clients get paid from their clients, so they’re happy. They can do the whole spend money thing I described for me. Their clients then get a product/service that satisfies them. The satisfaction goes around, everyone wins.

By setting the goal of getting rich, I must service more clients. Actually, I now don’t even think about getting rich, my goal is to simply service X clients and deliver Y value because I now know money is a side-effect of giving value.

Wait: before continuing, you NEED to re-read that. SO MANY millionaires do the same! All of the ultra-rich I’ve met focus more on giving value than they do how much $ they’re getting. To get money, you must give value. Focus on that! NOT what you get! Set the goal of helping people and then getting paid!

Anyways, getting rich is self-care, and people that want to take from others love to label self-care as greed, as if it’s wrong to be well-off when others are suffering. That’s fucking awful, so many people get derailed because guilt-vampires put weights on people trying to move up.

You are not obligated to give to anyone. It is nice if you can and do, but absolutely not necessary. You are not killing by omission or committing a sin by not giving. You must take care of your life and inspire others to do the same.

Will you give? Yes. I will give & help others too. Don’t be silly here. The point is just that you can’t feel obligated towards giving, otherwise you’ll feel guilty about creating wealth, and so subconsciously prevent yourself from creating any wealth in the first place!

Don’t confuse self-care with greed. Guilt-vampires do this all the time. The two are very distinct and different.

This is NOT Anti-Charity

This is NOT an anti-charity post, this is a “why you should be rich” post, but often people getting rich are attacked by people saying “you should give all your excess wealth to charity,” which is just wrong to force someone to do that.

It’s clear that I want the best for everyone. If you do wish to donate, do a shit ton of research on how your funds are affecting the economy, whether the charity is legit, etc.

There are so many charities stealing money, living lavish, or doing things which sound/feel good but then disrupt the local economies of people in need, further pushing them down.

If you donate without doing several hours worth of research into the charity, then I’d highly re-consider why you’re even donating. Is it to feel that you’re moral? Do you feel guilty? Do you feel God is watching? Do you just want a quick hit of feeling good, thinking you’re doing something morally right? Were you guilt-tripped by others into it?

One of the beautiful things of getting rich is that you can give back! I love to leave big tips, especially in places that don’t expect it. If I eat an exceptional meal or have a wonderful massage, why not leave a little extra for them to enjoy?

Remember: it all trickles down, and giving in this way benefits everyone. In the case of tips, it’s not putting anyone out of business (ie. giving shirts to people in Africa then destroying the local clothing businesses) and it in fact reinforces wealth-creating behaviors (such as great service) instead of mooching behaviors.

There are several ways you can give to people, including those that are suffering & starving in poor countries. All I’m advising is that you should not let that make you guilty and prevent you from getting wealthy. As we’ve discussed, getting wealthy ethically can only benefit the world.

All I’m also saying is that you need to spend several hours to make sure your method of giving is actually benefiting society. Some charities take a % for themselves. Some do weird tax shit, others fuck up an economy.

Just play devil’s advocate for a while, and once you’ve found the right way to give you”re going to feel AMAZING when you do find the right place to give. Don’t give just to feel good, give to make an impact- and you’ll do great, and feel great.

Getting Rich is Noble

So why exactly is getting rich noble? So many reasons.

In this post I’ve tried to illustrate the point that mindlessly donating your wealth is a bad idea, and rather more selfish than actually getting rich.

Let’s be real: many people who donate do so just to feel good (because the idea of giving feels good). It’s good that donating feels good, or any type of charity. I think that we should all give back somehow. I’d like to try inspire others & help others as I become rich myself.

But we must not be short-sighted with our desire to feel good. Sending $100 to a starving family in Africa is nice but doesn’t address the bigger problems and the longer-reaching effects on their local economy.

It also doesn’t create a long-term beneficial impact for their lives. Sure it feels good, but is it really a great thing to do?

When you work on creating your own wealth, you inspire others to become rich- you also create new jobs & industries, even if you don’t hire others. You can afford extra luxuries, which are NOT bad, and you shouldn’t donate the money to charity instead. Take care of yourself first before considering taking care of others.

The extra luxuries like video games & massages provide jobs to other people. The money gets flowing, and the people that receive your money can then spend it on things. You’re now a player in the world economy.

When you work on creating your own wealth, you guarantee that you won’t become a drain on the system yourself. If you donate half your wealth and never re-invest in yourself (or your business), and then you get sick and require financial aid from friends/family, you’ve now caused a negative impact which just un-did all of the charitable work you did.

It makes more sense to become a millionaire and never donate so that in any terrible worst-case scenario with you, your family, or your friends can receive financial support without draining the system or others.

You need not feel guilty at all about not giving because not taking is already so valuable for society. Are you financially set for the rest of your life?

As hard as it is to say, it is not morally right to assume responsibility for anyone else. You can only take responsibility for yourself, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. Take care of yourself and live fully!

That doesn’t mean what’s going on elsewhere isn’t sad- it just means that it’s not your fault and so you have no obligation to take direct action. However strangely enough, simply by becoming financially secure you ensure that you won’t become a drain on society, which makes it easier for everyone else to get wealthy.

You need to invest in yourself, take care of those around you, and be responsible for you. We need to inspire to take the same action and not be dependent on anyone else.

Wealth can be created, and the ultra-rich are not bad (assuming their wealth was created ethically). The ultra-rich are in fact very much deserving of their wealth. We can’t criticize them because they’ve created more jobs & positive effects on society than any of us, so until we’ve contributed similar value we shouldn’t try to “steal” their money by demanding they give it away.

Self-care is so important, and guilt-vampires will try to make you feel guilty for wanting to be rich, as if it’s a zero-sum game, but as we’ve learned wealth can be created. You are actually benefiting the whole world by getting rich.