Monthly Archives: October 2019

Observing Patterns of Existence: Your Destructive Pendulums Revealed

“People don’t have business problems. They have personal problems that reflect themselves in business.” -Sam Ovens

Months after completing the best business course ever (that link is referral if you’re interested), I am still processing what I’ve learned. I rushed through week I and week II of the course, yet I’m finding those weeks to be the most valuable, funny enough.

That quote above was found on I believe week II, in which course creator Sam Ovens spends a whole week to immerse you in your mindset & mentality so that you don’t fuck up all the valuable information you learn.

It was difficult to go through Week 2’s content because I didn’t always understand initially how relevant it was. For example, one thing he talks about is your “Patterns of Existence” over a macro period of time.

It’s hard to observe these things until you become aware that it exists- and now that I’m aware, and have been aware for months, I can observe my negative patterns of existence play out over many months.

Another critical thing taught in Week 2 is that success is not about playing up your strengths, but minimizing your weaknesses. This is counter-intuitive to typical mainstream feel-good content which is all about “focus on your strengths.”

But when applied, this way of thinking actually makes sense. You could have a ship as awesome as the titanic, but it only takes one hole (weakness) to sink it. Same is true for your life: it doesn’t matter how many healthy habits you have if you shoot up heroin and undo all the good you’ve done over the course of years.

The problem is that many of our true weaknesses are not obviously apparent. My obvious weaknesses are easiest to mitigate because I know that they exist. The long-term, macro patterns are extremely difficult to realize without a high degree of awareness.

Observing Long-Term Patterns of Existence

Your “pattern of existence” is basically the yin/yang of your life spread out over a period of time.

One example of this is the entrepreneur who hustles really hard when times are tough, then blows away his earnings when times are good. His “peak” and “low point” are unconsciously defined. When at the low point he hustles and shapes up, and when nearing the peak he becomes lazy and loses it all.

As I wrote it’s extremely hard to observe this. Some patterns may become obvious with some reflection after reading this, but I guarantee that you will be reflecting back on this post (if you truly indulge in it) months later as now you will be consciously aware that this exists.

I’ve recently become more and more aware of my long-term patterns of existence. That is, the deceptive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors I have that feel so relevant in the moment but end up being quite destructive in the long run.

That’s because in the moment they are helpful. But long-term they end up trapping me into a cycle which I’ve been on for years.

One of my Long-Term Destructive Pendulums

One long-term destructive pattern I’ve had is a period of “immersion” in one subject in which I neglect other areas of my life in order to fulfill a singular task. Instead of balancing multiple areas of life, I find myself jumping too deeply into one.

The best example of this is my business immersion upon returning to Bulgaria. I decided that I just wanted to focus on business, and became obsessed with making progress. I neglected other areas of my life to work all day.

But slowly an explosion started to come… When what I was doing didn’t produce results, I snapped and spent 3ish weeks not being productive at all. In fact, it was embarrassing just how unproductive I was in those 3 weeks, especially when compared to my previous month of intense progress.

Suddenly my social needs started screaming, and I began to date, hangout, party, and do what I needed to in order to get my social needs were met. In the past couple weeks I’ve had dozens upon dozens of new Facebook contacts added, and created some pretty awesome group parties and group dinners and other group-related events!

But this was not sustainable either. My period of immersion into this area of my life neglects business, so I know obviously that I must get back on the productivity train. I need to deliver results for my clients and I need to get new clients for long-term sustainability in my career.

This has been a pattern for quite some time. In fact, it’s a bit of a blow to the ego to realize just how unconscious I was of this. Let’s go back into my life and observe this:

  1. When I first moved to Phoenix from Omaha (mid 2016), I went through a 6-month period of social immersion. I didn’t work much.
  2. Then I went through a period of business immersion in which I severely lacked a social life but ended up launching my business (first 6 months of 2017).
  3. Then I shot back into a period of social life & dating when I moved to Montreal (last 6 months of 2017)
  4. Then I got a girlfriend, and ended up focusing a lot on health and improving my health (first 6 months of 2018)
  5. But then my business nearly collapsed, so I re-immersed myself in business, and ended up breaking up with her as I realized it was not a healthy relationship (last 6 months of 2018).

These are extremely rough estimates and of course there are yin/yang drops in between, but even over a 6 month period I can see how I go through different boom-bust cycles.

These cycles have become shorter and shorter recently, but are still there nonetheless. There are also other cycles.

Dissolving the Pendulum of Existence

Consciousness is the starting point when it comes to dissolving any egoic pattern, especially the unconscious ones. That doesn’t make it easy though- you have to consciously go against what you’re feeling in the moment for the sake of balance, but not so much against what you’re feeling such so that the pendulum inverts.

In my case I’m trying to introduce some balance in my life, which I’ve written about previously. I need to find a way to balance social life and business as these are the two big areas of my life now that my health is consistently great no matter what happens in this boom-bust cycle.

This means working less and socializing less such so that both areas of life can be handled at once. I actually did a great job of this while I was living in Thailand earlier this year, as I would work hard throughout the day but never work past 5PM / 17h- that time was reserved for social gatherings and/or dating.

I think that when I finally get a home base (hopefully by later this year) I will be able to implement more of this balance in my life too. Constantly traveling to new places presses the “reset” button on the social life progress made, whereas when you live in one place and have regular friends it’s a lot easier then to work until 5PM then be DONE because people want to hangout with you anyways.

What are your Patterns?

As I’m learning in life, improvement is really not about maximizing your strengths- it’s about handling your weaknesses because those are the things which fuck you up. Goliath was taken out by David through one tiny weakness, all of his strengths mattered not when compared to David.

The first step is observation and awareness. The answers become more clear when you observe… Without observation, you don’t even realize that you have a problem!

Now that I know one of my biggest long-term destructive patterns of existence, the solution can come up. Instead of me writing stories about my struggles or endlessly searching on Google for solutions to my problem, I can relax and let the answers arise from within, as the problem comes from within…

-Michael Keller

Good Research is Near-Impossible

In a world filled with endless information at your fingertips, you think that we’d be better off than ever- right?

I think it’s not true. Especially based on my experience with digital marketing.

It’s all too easy to forget how to properly research things. When was the last time you found yourself on the second, third, or even eighth search page for Google?

As I level up in life, I find that the questions I am asking are a lot more complicated than what a simple Google search can provide.

In fact what I’m discovering is that what you find on the first page of Google is triggering, useless, and completely unproductive.

It’s getting hard to do solid research. Proper learning still has to be done via the classic book-reading, or finding experts.

I don’t know if it’s always been this way for Google or not, but as my questions in life are becoming more complex, I’m discovering it quite difficult to find complex answers.


Keep in mind I’m not asking questions so absurd such as “what is the meaning of life” that we haven’t figured out for thousands of years. They also aren’t simple questions like “what does XYZ mean.”

One example of a recent thing I was trying to understand is the occurrence of white male – asian female relationships.

It’s been scientifically proven that this combination is popular, and often desired. It’s also a 2-way street- it’s not just “creepy men” desiring Asian women. The Asian women are doing the same. Believe me, I’ve lived in Thailand and had female Thai friends- for at least Thailand, white Westerners are certainly more desired by the local population.

But why?

This post isn’t about this question specifically, but of all the more complex questions I’ve had like this in life that Google seems to no longer be capable of answering.

For example, I’ve tried to research what it’s like to live in Vegas, why obesity is particularly high in the USA, and how to pick a solid home base.

The results are often triggering, useless, and massive time-sinks. Properly intaking solid information is now becoming less important than literally finding that information in the first place- and learning to disregard everything else.

SEO: Manipulation by Content Creators

With Google being a solid source for simple questions such as finding the address of a shop, locating a nearby yoga studio or bar, or defining a question or translating a word, it becomes easy to forget that Google (and all search engines) aren’t necessarily dependable for more complex questions.

As a digital marketer I’ve learned about something called “SEO.” This is “search engine optimization,” and it is the science of making your web page rank higher on Google.

For example, if when writing an article you include more of a certain keyword, Google’s bots will be more likely to rank your website higher for a particular search term.

You can also increase your SEO via a variety of other methods, one method being to have people spend more time on your website. This is why websites now are often filled with lengthy yet useless articles also filled with all kinds of pictures- it increases the length of time you spend on the page and thus increases their SEO.

The quality content creators are often geniuses in their respective fields such as psychology or science. The other content creators are focused on SEO and ranking higher because they are “gaming” Google’s algorithm to their advantage!

This creates a feedback loop. When your web page ranks higher because of SEO practices and not quality content, the creator is more likely to create SEO-focused articles and not quality content. Others start this as well.

Now we live in a day where many of the websites on the first page of Google for any search term are SEO-optimized, not quality or content optimized! You are discovering what is the equivalent of an online advertisement- NOT a genuine article.

Example: simply type in SSD vs HDD. This is a storage type on a laptop. The short answer is that “SSD is better than HDD.”

But the first article doesn’t say that. They write a lengthy, content-filled (yet for the most part impractical) article about all kinds of specifications and useless details that no one really cares about.

Even clear-cut research such as how much RAM you might need in a laptop is difficult because of these ridiculous SEO-focused articles that try to waste as much of your time as possible in order to rank higher on the Google search platform.

We can’t blame them or Google because that’s simply what they gotta do to get paid- so we have to take care of ourselves and realize that Google often sucks for more complex questions and make sure that we properly research or find the best sources for finding solutions to our problems.

The front page is often useless! In the example of me trying to research the white male – asian female combination all I could find were ridiculous articles of people triggered about this very real situation. I could only find one relevant video, but it wasn’t that useful.

In other research I’ve attempted, such as on sleep optimization, people fill articles with all kinds of generic fluff but the best information is difficult to access.

Reflective Walks are Better than Google

In many instances I am discovering that I learn less by hunting on Google than when I go for a walk in the city or around nature. I like to disconnect, turning off all stimulus and just go for a walk and let my mind do its thing.

Eventually my mind begins to quiet down, and I start to get reflective contemplations on things in life. I start to develop more creative, unique thought instead of repeating the useless jargon the mind repeats to itself.

Don’t get me wrong- I love Google and think it’s extremely powerful, and I am so grateful for it.

But sometimes for medium-level (or even high-level) problems or questions simply going on a walk has been more effective for me in discovering the solution. If it isn’t enough, then I often become a lot clearer in how I ask the question so I can narrow down the search criteria into what I absolutely need to solve the question.

The mind (ego) wants to get MORE information. It feels that it needs to understand and have a clear answer, especially as this is how low-level questions are solved.

For medium to high-level problems, this question for information often does more damage than it does good! This is because the articles on the first page (and even first five) are useless, triggering, SEO-focused articles that provide little value to you.

They often don’t solve a legitimate problem but instead just get you to read and engage with something lengthy. They get your click, your time, and then rank higher on SEO while all the legit articles fall deeper.

It’s much wiser just to let your own internal wisdom find the answer in a moment of silence…

Masterminds & Asking for Advice

Another avenue that tends to be quite effective is “masterminds.” They’re simple and super powerful for finding clarity. It’s simple.

You get a few friends, schedule a time to meet, and then meet in a quiet place where you can be undisturbed.

First one person talks for a defined period of time (ie. 2 minutes) about a specific problem.

Everyone must listen intently and take notes. Then everyone writes and creates solutions to the individual’s problem. Then everyone shares (one at a time, with one clear speaker at any given moment) their solutions or thoughts.

This continues for every member of the group, and it is an amazing experience. These are simple to organize and will give you some powerful insight.

Google is not intently listening to your specific problems! It can only take the search terms which you provide, whereas other humans can listen to a 2-minute speech on your problem. That is power.

You could also just ask a friend for advice, which is good too. But masterminds are better because you get multiple people’s advice at once and I’ve found that by listening intently to other people’s problems you get epiphanies on how to solve your own.

Learning How To Use Google

Another thing I’ve been doing recently is making sure I’m researching with the fullest capabilities possible. Google is extremely powerful- much more than a simple search!

For example if you put quotation marks such as “this” around a word, then Google will ensure that the article that pop up MUST contain this word. There may be other neat tricks I don’t know about.

Putting the “quotation” marks around words helps you find more relevant, detailed information, and I find that it narrows down the results list A TON. If you have 5-word search but your desired articles MUST contain one word, then Google will cut out all articles which don’t have that word- saves you a ton of time!

There’s perhaps more that can be done…

Curating a List of Solid References & Websites

Another thing which I’ve found effective is curating a list of effective websites for conducting research.

For example if I’m researching self-help I know that “Mark Manson” or “Steve Pavlina” may have the solution to my problem. If I need something more spiritual, I may include “www.calmdownmind.com” in the search as I’ve found this is an amazing website for spiritual-related content.

The key is to include the name of the desired website in your search term, or search for the content via the website. For example, maybe you Google “calmdownmind.com” how to meditate. Notice the quotations around the website- this ensures that Google only includes searches from THIS website. I can also search that website directly.

Courses & Paid Content

Courses and paid content still have the best information. More importantly, courses have a pre-curated list of content that you can access instantly.

Sure, you can technically “find everything online for free.” But you’ll get lost in all the bullshit on the internet as well.

Just paying for the content and saving yourself the time by getting a course which is content-packed with VALUABLE content is so much better and totally worth the spend.

Books- The Holy Grail

I still believe that books are the best source of information on Earth. Come to think of it, the vast majority of important things I’ve learned have been from a small list of solid websites, books, paid content, and then masterminds.

But books have been the key instrument in all of this. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for books.

Finding books is the most painful method of research because first you have to find the book, then you have a search through the book or even read the entire book in order to get your desired solution.

While the most painful & long method, I find it to be the most effective and as my questions in life becomes more complex, I’m noticing an innate desire for books over all kinds of other material!

Books are not SEO-focused. If they’re written right, then every page will be filled with or supporting some extremely useful content. Authors have little to gain by uselessly triggering you or wasting your time- it is instead in their best interest to provide maximum value on every page in order to get the best reviews possible!

Whereas on Google you are benefitted by lengthy, triggering, useless articles, on books you are benefited most by short, useful, and true + applicable content.

Improving Research to Improve Life

Alright so that’s all. I’ve just been reflecting today and realizing as I try to research various things online just how… ineffective Google and the other methods of today are becoming.

I’m all about improving my life as well as others, and Google is still epic- we just have to make sure we understand the machine and are using it properly! There is still some epic things we can discover on Google- for example it can be used to discover books on various topics.

Overall though we must be careful when using this platform because there are people writing SEO-focused articles that are gaming the Google system without providing real value to us.

Unfortunately Google is not yet capable of weeding out these articles, though I hope that one day Google will become more effective in its abilities so that it can provide to all of us for the better.

In the meantime conducting real research on any subject whether for entertainment or improving your life is still difficult, even with the advent of useful technologies like Google.

It’s important to do your research right, otherwise you may not find the desired answer- or worse get the wrong answer, but think that it is the right answer….

-Michael

Thinking Bigger & Lifestyle Design

The great problem of thought is that it is often limited by that which is real and can be seen, felt, heard, or previously thought.

Take a moment, breathe, and listen to your thoughts to the next 30 seconds. I can bet with extremely high accuracy that your thoughts are not original; you had these same thoughts yesterday, and the day before, and the day even before that.

The way we perceive and organize are lives are often determined by our thoughts- and our thoughts are often created by other people or our environment, rather than truly unique and beneficial thoughts.

When you get into a certain “vibe,” you begin to experience a certain reality. The more you experience this reality and think about it, the more “solidified” and real to you it becomes- thus further perpetuating the reality.

Only now do I truly understand this. Me explaining it from the perspective of an “average person” would not make such a statement believable, so let me show you how it is become true for me and the implications of it.

The goal of this post is both for me and you to understand the limitations of thought & experience, and to find ways together to transcend our limited thinking so that we can create a better life we really want to live.

My Vibe, My Reality – The Absurdity of My Life From Outside Perspective

Earlier this year I relaxed in one of the top coffee shops in the entire world in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The coffee was some of the best I have ever tasted in my entire life. It was constantly packed and expensive for Thai standards.

I sat with my new friend from Finland. We shared stories from around the world, experiences in Thailand, and talked about relationships.

He had met an American woman, and they had near-instantly fallen in love. They video chatted from separate continents then decided to give it a go. So they flew across the world to travel together, and had been together passionately ever since.

We complained about some of the difficulties of our lives. Finding AirBNBs. Dealing with visas & currency exchanges. Finding WiFi to work from.

It dawned on both of us the absurdity of our conversation- it was good that we didn’t talk too loud, as the other patrons might have been offended as is often the case with those who complain about “first world problems.” And let’s be real, our problems are 0th world problems because we’re already in the top 1% of the first world.

You see, me and my Finnish friend, and his American girlfriend, we aren’t normal people. You already know why I’m “different.”

We are digital nomads. We work remotely while exploring the world. We live in cheaper countries to live bigger and save more, but also work on our online ventures passionately so that we can adventure to expensive countries as well.

Digital nomads do not typically have a “home base.” It’s quite normal for us to leave suitcases worth of belongings in different locations in the world.

At that day in the cafe, I had one suitcase worth of belongings with a friend in Sofia, another bag worth of clothes at a Bulgarian friend’s village, and the rest of my stuff in my parent’s home in the USA. “My stuff” was spread across three continents, and it wasn’t a big deal.

In the beginning of being a digital nomad, things were exciting and shocking. It felt like I had found the secret to life (as does every digital nomad). Suddenly you have the ability to be anywhere in the entire world, you can work from anywhere, you can work anytime, you can essentially create your life.

It is the epitome of the 4 hour work week. While the both of us were not quite financially successful, we had the ability to live a life freer than the majority of the world.

And there we sat, in one of the top cafes in the entire world, in Thailand, COMPLAINING!!!

The Self-Perpetuating Absurd Echo Chamber

I am often reminded when I speak to others about “what I do” of just how “lucky” or gifted I am to have this life. Actually, it isn’t that hard, but it is so different than most people can’t believe that it can actually be easy!

In the first year of this lifestyle, the difference in vibe and experience was so different that it was quite apparent to me how amazing it was to be able to live that life.

Throughout the second year, I had habituated to this way of life. It is certainly better for me than a 9-5 job or University path, but it is just a way of life filled with its own set of problems as well.

This life also doesn’t make me immune to normal people problems, such as relationship troubles. In fact it can amplify them- I spent a lot of my second year in pain over a relationship which ended.

Now here’s the point: me and my Finnish friend, and the rest of us “digital nomads,” live in such a vibe to where this is SO NORMAL that we often can’t even realize just how lucky or gifted we are!

It can seem absurd to most everyone else to complain about our problems, especially because on the outside a lot of the solutions seems to simple.

In the “digital nomad vibe,” it is hard to settle down because you are always craving more. You want a relationship but you also want to adventure and explore. You always want more experiences, and because you’ve had so many experiences it becomes harder to settle because you’ll always be acutely aware of the lack of any one place you are.

But in the “normal person vibe” the solution is simple: pick a damn city and settle there! Stop moving around. Build a life somewhere!

I am a digital nomad in this moment. And the longer that I spend in this vibe, the more solidified the identity becomes and thus the reality. After 2+ years of this, it’s become a way of living. It is normal to me, and I’ve disconnected from “normal ways of living” so much so that I can hardly fathom it, or relate to it entirely.

The “Vibe Blinders” & Conflicts Thereof

When you are on a certain “vibe,” you become blind to other realities. It becomes so normal for you to live and experience life in a certain way that you forget that there are other ways in which you can live. You get trapped to the very thing you jumped into.

This is why I gave the example of my life & my Finnish friend’s life. We are digital nomads and as absurd as it sounds have complained about problems that many people would love to have.

Living a life completely free to travel anywhere in the entire world has become so normal to us that we have disconnected from what it is like to have a 9-5 job somewhere like most people. Or to be struggling in other ways.

This is where the problem of a “vibe” comes in: you become “blind” to anything else BUT your vibe!

The digital nomad relates easiest to other digital nomads. We seem to find each other and “get” each other so much. This just reinforces our own reality.

Even if I am not around other digital nomads, the reality is still self-perpetuating. I can’t understand intimately the lives of my friends in Sofia, Bulgaria or anywhere. It’s simply out of my reality. It’s normal for me to be in airports, dealing with SIM cards and accommodation problems, and all these other things. It’s just my life.

Herein lies the problem with “vibes.” You develop “vibe blinders” and this creates conflicts because your problems also become self-perpetuating.

It was Einstein that said “we can’t solve a problem on the same level that created them.” But all too often everyone is trying to do just that!

Most people don’t believe that the digital nomad life or ANY other life is possible for that matter.

They are trapped in the vibe of the masses, which is to go to University, get a job, and then work and then retire. Not that it’s an inherently bad path, but it may not be ideal for an individual and there may be other lifestyle design for that person to do!

I recently met a beautiful girl- I’d love for her to be a part of my life. I hope that good things will come of it. She wants to travel and experience the world as I do. And to be honest if she can do it, then I may give up settling in a home base for a while and we would travel for a while.

But the problem is that this vibe is so far off from her current vibe that her “vibe blinders” prevent her from realizing just how easily possible it is.

It’s simple: get a remote job, travel. That’s it. I can teach anyone how to do it and within 3 months be location independent (assuming they also take massive action on what I say).

Let me restate this cleary: to ME in THIS VIBE, it’s EASY to work remotely while traveling. But she is in another vibe, and is blind to the fact that it is extremely easy and possible!

This is true of any skill or path which you want to take in life. I’m discovering more and more that things are really easy in life, especially if you pay someone to coach you or guide you.

You can learn how to be sociable, get girls (or guys for you ladies), create parties, travel, grow a business, whatever you want. The only problem is that your current vibe is in conflict with this and so you don’t believe it’s easily possible, and thus you don’t take action to create this reality.

I hope I explained clearly the absurdity of vibe blinders by using my own situation as an example.

To most people being a digital nomad and location-independent is absurd and completely out of their reality, and so when I show you just how “normal” it has become for me (and others) it should really outline the importance of recognizing vibe-blinders and what vibe you are currently in.

Restrictions in Thinking: Echo Chambers

When you are at a certain vibe, your thinking and reality become distorted in a way that perpetuates that reality.

You may be more fit for a certain type of life but you don’t even realize what is possible. You have been born into a certain life, had certain influences, and this created your thinking which sets the path of your life.

A lot of our thoughts in life is very non-original. It is provided by others and the situation we are born into.

“I am American and you are XYZ,” the proud American shouts, without realizing that humans are basically the same everywhere. And so does the Bulgarian, the Thai, the French- everyone shouts their country proudly as if it’s the only thing in the world, or as if there is some superiority to it when in fact there is nothing superior at all.

When you are in any vibe, this vibe often creates an echo chamber. I’ve switched vibes in different areas of life and this has become quite apparent to me now.

The digital nomad lives in such a way where they do not have a permanent home. They are struggling in certain ways. They are thriving in others. There are inherent problems and upsides, but it all becomes an echo chamber.

The same is true of the “beaten path” of University, 9-5, then retirement. When you follow that path, surround yourself with others on that path, and live that path then it becomes reinforced and you enter an “echo chamber.”

This is where the danger comes in: these echo chambers prevent you from switching to new, creative methods of thinking and being. You think in a certain way. You act in a certain way.

But is this productive to fixing your problems and creating the life you want?

Creative, Original Thought- Do We Have It?

It’s probable that creative, original thought is a rarity. I know for myself that the vast majority of my thoughts, as much as I’d like to proudly proclaim them as my own, are not from me.

My beliefs and experiences in location-independence and travel and business and all that are the direct result of the books and YouTube videos I watched. I simply picked up other people’s vibes and thought processes and started creating the same reality for myself.

Perhaps just 1% of thought is original. Or even less. Or slightly more. It’s hard to say, but it’s safe to say that most thought comes from others, your environment, and your biological drives (I’m hungry, I’m cold, I’m horny).

This is why most people follow the same path, and the hierarchy of life is shaped like a pyramid.

Most people don’t realize that they can consciously choose their influences, and so they just follow what everyone else is doing. They think that is “right” because everyone around them is doing it, so it becomes a self-perpetuating reality.

I’m sure that creative, original thought exists. Just way less than we imagine. It seems to come as an epiphany from silence, intense working out, or meditation in nature. Or when we “let go” from a problem.

The vast majority of other thoughts we can all agree on are not original. You have them day in and day out.

This is why books like “think and grow [you know this word, but I can’t type it because this Email might not deliver then thanks to Google’s spam detection]” exist.

The whole point of that book is to start thinking a certain way so that you can attract things to you in order to become more successful. It’s about taking conscious control of your thought patterns!

Unknown Unknowns

Now here is the problem of this whole vibe thing. When you have “vibe blinders” on, which we all do, your thoughts gets caught in an echo chamber and your reality becomes self-perpetuating.

This means that there are “unknown unknowns” outside of the loop you’re stuck in, and these things could help you meet unmet desires, achieve your dreams, and live the life you truly desire!

But how do you find these things? By definition “unknown unknowns” are difficult to discover.

For example, you may know that you don’t know how to cook. That’s an “known unknown,” meaning that you are certain that you know that you don’t know this.

Many people- myself included- have ways of thinking and opportunities that we don’t know, but we don’t even know that we don’t know them.

The problem then becomes that our life gets set by “initial conditions.” You are born into a certain reality. Then you embrace that vibe, as you don’t know anything else exists. Then you live a life based on this vibe.

Your life becomes dictated by the situations in which you were born into, things which you had no control over. Is that a life you want to live?

In the Hunt for Creative, Original Thought, Vibe, and Solutions

It was recently through a friend that I had an epiphany. I’ve recently been wanting to find more of a “home base” and start to relax instead of constantly traveling in the digital nomad life.

But the past week has actually been really awesome in Sofia, Bulgaria- and I’m kind of feeling inspired to travel again. The problem was that I wasn’t taking care of my social or dating needs.

It was an unknown unknown. I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t know what it was or how to solve it. This unknown unknown was causing a lot of pain in my life and the home base may not have fixed the problem.

Suddenly I’m feeling more self-confident, self-reliant, and happier. I feel like I can take on the world and go anywhere and be anything. Perhaps I could go back to Thailand, I think- or hell, I’ll be okay in USA also if I choose to live there.

An even greater epiphany which I had (as provided by a friend) was “fuck it why not have a home in all three locations?”

USA is awesome, Bulgaria is awesome, Thailand is awesome. Why choose? Why not just grow the business then have a home in each country and be completely free to choose?

Boom. Mind blown.

I was SO stuck on the “digital nomad vibe” or the “one home” vibe that it never occured to me that I could have multiple homes, or at the very least have a home in one place and then get a very fine AirBNB in another place.

The math behind it isn’t absurd either! The cost of getting a home base in Las Vegas or the Phoenix area would be roughly an extra $1,000 per month, perhaps a little less maybe a little more.

That’s just one extra client that I would have to close, and then suddenly I could have an awesome “main apartment” but my quality of life wouldn’t change at all if I wanted to travel to Bulgaria or Thailand.

The math is simple- close one more client. Easy. That can be done within 3 months. But why didn’t it occur to me earlier? Why was it so turbulent?

Well as I wrote earlier, it is the “vibe blinders” that prevented me from realizing that I could easily have multiple homes around the world, and have the best of all worlds.

Another thing which I realized was this: I love Sofia, Bulgaria for living but I’m also curious to live in the USA. Flights one-way from Vegas OR Phoenix to Frankfurt are quite cheap (less than $300 USD I think), and then one way from Frankfurt to Sofia is extremely cheap (like $50 or something).

I could easily have a home in both Sofia AND the USA, and switch between the two rather easily. Then take occasional 1-2 month vacations in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Another epiphany that I’m having is that I could have multiple non-serious relationships around the world (ie. in Sofia, USA, and Thailand). And this way my dating life never suffers. Or I could meet a special girl that also would be motivated to live this life of freedom and adventure, and then BAM the need gets met anywhere.

The original motivations for having a home base have other solutions. My problem was that I could only think in terms of previous vibes that I had experienced.

Those two main vibes are: live in one city and create a life there, OR digital nomad life.

It is an entirely new vibe to have 2 home bases, or a traveling girlfriend, or multiple open relationships that fulfill my needs anywhere I go.

I think it would still be wise for me to have one main home base for other reasons, but as you can see by this writing I have discovered new solutions to a problem which I did not previously know.

The problem of a consistent dating life that the home base was intended to solve can be solved via other methods. The problem was “vibe blinders” preventing me from seeing it.

It is in the digital nomad vibe to struggle with dating because you always have to move due to visa regulations. I’m only allowed to stay in Bulgaria for max 3 months per 6 month period, for example.

Thinking Bigger & Lifestyle Design

The truth is that there are MANY solutions to our problems, but we are blind to the vast majority of them due to our vibe blinders. We exist on a certain vibe, but this same vibe does not solve the problems that exist on that vibe.

The way we think bigger is by making new connections, being open to new ways of thinking, and actively trying to reflect upon and discover solutions (ie. via dreams, meditation, journalling, reflection).

It is so key that we discover unique solutions to our problems otherwise “initial conditions” (that is, the life we were born into) will take over and we will never realize live an authentic life where all of our needs are met.

I am reconnecting recently with the idea of “Lifestyle Design.” That is, the idea that you can design your life exactly as you want.

One of the keys then becomes to define your life as it is now, and then define it exactly how you would like it to be. You can’t find solutions if you don’t know the problem. But once you know the problem, you can start to discover solutions.

Remember to try to search out new vibes though, and new solutions. For example, a more consistent dating life is something I would desire, and having a singular home that I live in is one way to solve that problem, but there are multiple ways to solve the problem.

I am discovering these other solutions by meeting others in different vibes, consciously reflecting, and taking care of myself the best I can (when you’re happy you become more creative).

We live in a Universe filled with infinite potential. We have foundations that we need to break.

There are creative solutions to problems, but first we need to define the problems and the desired outcomes. Only then can solutions come- but be open to new thoughts, both from yourself and from others.

Beware getting too entrenched in a certain vibe or way of thinking because then you may become limited. For example, becoming a “digital nomad” has become a normal vibe for me and it comes with its own set of problems. These problems can’t easily be solved on the same vibe.


There are many more vibes and realities than we can imagine! Living free is about trying to consciously design your life rather than letting initial conditions dictate it, as most people do.

When all else fails, think bigger. In my case this means considering that I could have “multiple homes,” or at the very least have one main home base but still be able to travel from there.

When you think bigger and consciously design your life, you start to already entered a mental state called “abundance.” You don’t solve your problems from scarcity and limited thinking. You realize there are many solutions and nothing is really that big of a deal after all.

Now, what will you create? What will you do? How will you live. Pick the path consciously because believe it or not, you have the power to create your life exactly as you want.

-Michael

Embracing Balance for Growth

When I returned to Bulgaria from Thailand, I made a huge mistake- I neglected a big area of my life and sacrificed it in hopes of making progress in other areas of life.

My life in Thailand was much more balanced than it was when returning to Bulgaria.

In Thailand I would hardly work past 5PM, it was my rule to go out, hangout, date, have fun, whatever. I would also hangout with friends quite a bit in the weekend.

I made good progress on my business and dating / social life. Things were good- though I was curious to go back to Bulgaria.

When I returned to Bulgaria, I started to work longer and harder. My business goals are ambitious and I want to bring them to fruition.

In doing so I sacrificed a huge area of my life- dating. I stopped making it such a priority, and thought “I don’t need girls” and started working longer and harder. I neglected taking care of that aspect of life.

For example, I would work so long and hard until I burnt out, by which point I had no energy to figure out who to date or what to do.

This was okay for a month, but then it all started to snap after a while.

A week before last Thursday (9 days ago) something happened. I couldn’t work. It just wasn’t working. I decided to take a day to relax.

At the end of the day, my friend announced he was having a birthday party THAT day. He would pay for everyone’s meals, alcohol, everything so of course I couldn’t deny this. Not to mention I was working too hard- it was the perfect release.

We partied into the night, smoked, drank, and ate. It was a great celebration. I slept in on Friday.

On Friday I had many obligations to take care of, and work got kind of pushed aside. I was also having problems with a laptop, so work was already getting slightly delayed.

Somehow this problem compounded over the weekend, and the last week was one of my least productive weeks ever.

Only now am I realizing that I was slightly a workaholic, as observed by a previous post I wrote about trying to optimize my energy and focus ability as best as possible.

I neglected one huge aspect of focus and hard work- the other side of the coin!

I was treating myself like a soldier, trying to work so hard and keep pushing pushing pushing but I wasn’t allowing myself to release. It was a lonely way to live.

Many of my friends back here in Bulgaria weren’t productive for my growth either. Many are still trapped in their same problems and habits. I really could only care and want to be around my best friends back here- I realized that having such a big social network here wasn’t so useful.

Recently I started going to events, parties, and stuff like that as I was also inspired by a new friend which I made via a mutual friend. It’s been incredible.

It made me realize that again I was missing balance- like in Thailand. I was burning out on work, spinning my wheels but not really going anywhere!

The thing which I didn’t realize when I wrote that previous blog post was that you really do have to acknowledge the yin/yang of life.

Many of the most successful people in the world (think Charles Darwin, for example) would only work 5 hours per day. The rest of the time they spent enjoying their life, going on walks, doing whatever they want.

In my case I was neglecting my social and dating needs in order to charge forward on work. You can only do this for so long!

Now that I’ve started dating again and going out with girls, my mental health has improved tenfold (probably by an even greater factor).

I’m just so much more relaxed, confident, and happy. I don’t feel so stressed and in a need to find a home base NOW.

In fact, the relaxation has allowed me to achieve so much more! I’ve fixed my broken laptop, cleaned/organize my apartment, upgraded my style, met all kinds of cool people, and more.

It’s even allowed me to relax on the whole “home base” thingy. Before I was writing so intensely and so worried about “where should I live.”

Should it be Thailand? Bulgaria? USA? Somewhere else? Once again I am relaxed, and okay with the flow. In fact, I’m even okay if I have to travel again.

I’m starting to believe in myself again. My “vibe” is raising.

The problem back here in Bulgaria (which was simply “hidden” in Thailand) was that I didn’t believe in myself. For some reason I stopped believing that I could easily attract girls and social situations, and I made things harder on myself.

What I’m discovering is that things are… the same. In a way. It’s just as easy to go on dates here as it was in Thailand, it’s just that the method you go about it is different.

For example in Bangkok tinder is super easy for white guys with blue eyes like myself. That doesn’t mean here in Sofia dating is harder- it’s just that the methods are different. Instead of using Tinder to meet girls you can simply go to an event, and it’s surprisingly quite easy.

And because I’ve been relaxing and trying to enjoy things a bit more, I’ve been meeting girls/people in unexpected places. I met one girl at one of my most favorite hangout places.

She was pretty, we looked at each other, somehow we had an instant connection, started talking, then decided that we should go out. Perhaps it was even easier than in Thailand.

Here’s what I’m learning: where you go doesn’t matter so much, it’s more-so about what you’re doing wherever you are.

If you move abroad and then decide to suddenly start living authentically and dating whereas in your previous place you were not, then of course you will love the new place and not enjoy the previous!

The opposite is true as well- you won’t like any place in which you restrict yourself, consciously or unconsciously, because what you really need is not so much a place but a way of living.

What I’ve really learned since returning to Bulgaria is the key importance of balance, and especially socializing. It’s not hard to meet anyone, but you have to put in the work to find some events on Facebook or whatever and then start saying “hello” to people.

It’s actually really easy! The hardest part is the 5 minutes it takes to find the events and figure out the directions to the event. Once you have that figured out, it all becomes really simple.

Why do we complicate things so much in our mind? I work with Facebook Ads, and I see that many if not all clients are completely complicating the matter.

But the same is true of our personal and social lives. Dating is made to be so complicated when it is in fact so simple. Same for living.

The key thing I’ve learned here is balance. Work hard, sure. Make sure you get your solid 4 hours of focus work per day done. But then enjoy life because you aren’t alive to work, you’re working so that you can enjoy the best life possible- right?

I suppose everyone falls on a different range here. Some people work too hard, some people not hard enough. Or sometimes you may lack in every area.

Make sure that you’re working hard 4-6 hours per day, but then make sure that you’re “playing hard” and having a great social/dating life for the rest of the day. Or pursuing hobbies or passions or whatever it is you want to do.

What do you need to improve on? The rest of the post will be more journal-style focusing on me but you’ll learn a few things if you continue to read.

Personal Growth from This

I’ve just rediscovered this side of myself. It’s causing me to believe in myself more.

You see when I first started “traveling the world,” I kind of- kind of– had this figured out.

I was all about the “4 hour work week,” so I made sure to focus hard for my work but then go out and have fun. When I had just started traveling I had gone through half a year of really hard work to get my business going, and then I was going through a period in which I was more-so prioritizing socializing and whatnot.

Whenever I landed in a new city, I made sure to set up social events and things to do. I really prioritized meeting people.

In Montreal I said “yes” to everything, and joined a self-improvement group. This brought me many friends which I met and could hangout with. In London I stayed in a hostel and met a friend that lived there.

In Belgium I met an awesome girl I met in Montreal. In Budapest & Sofia I joined the same self-improvement group, but for the local cities.

Something changed in me sometime in Bulgaria that first time around. I got into a relationship and became so attached to that. I ignored many of the HUGE red flags in her. And to be fair she did the same also.

When my visa finally expired and I had to leave for Cyprus, I wasn’t so motivated to meet people and take care of myself. I just wanted her, which wasn’t healthy.

It led to me staying with her despite MASSIVE boundaries being crossed, that involve life or death. Cheating would’ve been preferred to what happened. If I could go back and do it all over, I would’ve broken up immediately while I was in Cyprus. It would’ve saved me a ton of hassle, and her as well.

That’s when a downward spiral started for me. You see, the problem is not that she crossed the boundary. People can do whatever they want. It’s up to you to withhold your own boundaries and take care of yourself.

In a guided meditation with a new awesome friend yesterday, I realized at least 90% of the pain I feel isn’t even from her. It’s the fact that I stayed 4 months longer in that relationship and gave so much when it was a no-brainer to walk away. Even after we broke up I chased her sometimes- why?

The reason for this was due to personal issues. Perhaps not feeling worthy of love, or something like that. I’m still meditating and going deeper and deeper into the feelings, learning what it is, and healing.

What I just wrote may sound like a complete 180 from the topic of balance, but it is through balance that I started to have these epiphanies. I met people, girls, and new friends that helped me understand this.

I realized that A LOT of my unhappiness in the past year was not caused by her or even travel, but from the simple fact that I was not taking care of myself and finding balance.

I had always been too focused on meeting girls, OR partying, OR doing business, OR health, OR something. The key word is here “or,” not “and.”

Anytime I lacked something, I would sacrifice everything I had to attain that thing. Then I would lack the thing which I sacrificed to obtain that other thing.

When you sacrifice something to attain something else, you attain that thing much faster than if you had not sacrificed that original thing.

For example, if you’re in a (happy, let’s say) relationship and you start working 12 hours a day your partner will likely not be fulfilled. They will feel neglected and the relationship will dissolve because you’re not investing time into them.

Well one day you’ll have all kinds of financial abundance, but at what cost? You lost a relationship. Then you’d have to go find a new relationship which is just a waste of time because you already had something successful!

The same is true, inversed. You shouldn’t sacrifice your business and health to go pick up girls 8 hours a day. Which I’ve done, by the way.

Self-Belief and Happiness in Balance

What I’m discovering by finding this balance in my life and taking care of my needs is that I’m believing in myself A LOT more. I feel significantly more authentic and “okay” with everything.

If you dive deep on ONE thing, you can go fast on that thing. But if you live a diverse and rich life, then you can go far in everything. Do you follow?

In the short-term you can tackle your wealth, your health, or your dating, or whatever, and you can make a ton of progress, but it’s a lot more wise to tackle these things in such a way that it is sustainable long-term because then you’ll make true, long-term progress.

For example, I hustled a ton in the past couple months, but with hardly any productivity in the past week (I’d say I had at most 3-5 hours focused work, and even that is high) I undid a lot of the progress I made.

Had I just worked a little less, I could’ve handled my social life, and then I’d probably still be at the same place as I am now except with some balance between dating, socializing, parties, AND business. Instead I fucked up a lot of the sales progress I made in this past week. Luckily my new client has been understanding, but that may not be true of the next deal I close.

Back on track:

I’m believing in myself a ton more, in every which way possible. I realized another key just now:

When you focus on one area obsessively, it’s kind of like saying you don’t believe that you can achieve it. Instead of chasing it from passion and joy, you’re chasing your goal from a neediness which screams “I need this now,” or “I don’t believe I can have this so I’m going to suffer and sacrifice in my best attempt to get it!”

And usually, it works. You do get it. You do succeed. And thus begins the never-ending cycle of lack of fulfillment because you believe that in order to succeed you have to sacrifice, and so you constantly sacrifice other happy points in your life to get other happy points- the net positive remains the same!

I’m finding that I believe in myself a ton more now in every area of life because I learned that “yes, I CAN have it all. I just have to put equal weight on every area of my life.”

I also discovered that my self-belief & confidence with women went down slightly when working like a workaholic. Suddenly it became a special, new event to go on a date, rather than a way of living.

Now that I’ve had the past week filled with dates, I’m relaxed- I’m calm. It’s okay, everything is alright.

Relaxation & Implications for My Home Base

And in taking care of myself, I find myself more relaxed. As you would, also.

With new (amazing) friends, pretty girls I have the opportunity to meet, and a better daily flow I simply feel more relaxed and fulfilled on a day to day basis. I woke up today feeling “chill” if you will. I’ve got things to do, but it’s okay- one step at a time, you know?

My “mission” for the past week was to NOT think about my “home base” or where I should live, as this had been a source of anxiety for me. I was so focused on the “place where I can feel like I belong,” that I neglected that I could find my people HERE AND NOW.

While I still don’t know with certainty where I’d like my temporary home base of a year to be, I’m totally okay with that now. It’s alright.

In fact, I previously alluded to the fact that I might be totally okay remaining a digital nomad for a little longer.

I’m not sure how true that is, but in this moment, more socially fulfilled, I am okay with the prospect of it and also okay with wherever my “home base” ends up being.

There really is pros/cons everywhere, so I’m deciding to slowly experience places and then live somewhere. Anyways, it probably won’t be forever anyways, so minus well go with the flow.

By taking care of my social needs and living in a more balanced way, I am finding that I am more naturally fulfilled, and actually excited with life itself.

It’s EPIC to live in Bulgaria, USA, or Thailand, or anywhere for now. The desire to have a primary home base is still there, but it’s less of a need and more of just that- a desire that will be fulfilled with time.

Ultimately living more balanced allows you to be okay with the journey because you’re meeting your immediate needs immediately, and then tackling a long game as well.

Sacrificing anything- for example health, wealth, or your social life, leads to short-term massive progress but really fucks you up and prevents you from going above and beyond.

I’m noticing for myself this more balanced method of living gives me more inspiration, relaxation, and “okay-ness” with the flow of life. The problems that are long-term are less urgent and I’ll be okay either way. I’ll be okay in any home base, as long as I live like this, anywhere.

-Michael