Monthly Archives: November 2019

Should You Follow Your Passion?

Should you follow your passion, or turn the other way?

I’ve been thinking about different business things that I could do, and this topic has been bothering me for a while now.

Right now “follow your passion” is all the hype, but I don’t know if that’s right. It could be… I’m just thinking aloud here.

For example Steve Jobs gave that famous speech of “keep searching for your passion” BUT…

He was never passionate about tech stuff. He flaked on his first few projects. If he were to “follow his passion,” he would be probably a zen teacher or something like that.

He took an opportunity to get rich and then later became passionate when it succeeded.

To be honest, the same might’ve happened to me…

I realized if I found internet work, I could live anywhere in the world (writing this from my favorite cafe in the world in Chiang Mai, Thailand).

At first it drove me mad. I wasted SO much $, got SO angry.

But now I enjoy it… But no one would’ve thought that marketing would be “my thing.”

Was the passion behind my work always there, or was the passion cultivated through hard work, persistence, and eventual success?

Another thought I’ve been having is that your passion is MUCH different than WORKING in your passion.

Example: I love to run + workout intensely. I recently 5k in 19 minutes & 38 seconds.

BUT being a personal trainer is MUCH different than doing the running. It requires an entirely different skill-set!

Furthermore, I think that maybe these gurus are confusing “passion” with “purpose.”

When you give up making money and put the client first, their results become your PURPOSE.

Wouldn’t that make you passionate?

I’m not decided on this topic yet, and it’s certainly nuanced. It could indeed be good advice, and we are going through a worldwide cultural shift.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe I need to find a deeper passion, or pick a business niche I’m even more passionate about helping (but the help word implies purpose, thus creating passion).

I’m also wondering what might happen if I completely turn my head the other way and seek out the most boring, mundane business niche ever.

Example: all digital marketers are like “omg I want to help gyms and realtors.”

What if I seek out something really lame? Like plumbers, electricians, toilet cleaners?

There is no hype there, and very little competition. There are much larger market opportunities (in theory) here.

Like I said I’m not entirely decided on the topic, I’m taking some time to reflect where I’d like to take my career moving forward…

The whole “follow your passion” advice does have some merit though.

Example: when times get tough, if you’re following your passion, you’ll have the persistence to break through and get results!

Another thing for following your passion is that it’s better to live a happy, full life than a rich one. Better to make $1.5k per month and be happy doing what you love than $5k but be miserable.

However even for that there’s a cutoff- what about medical bills, taking care of your family, etc.? At what point does financial loss for a passion lose merit?

It’s just a nuanced subject, and I’m trying to find my way through the noise.

What do you think?

Life Rambles + Travel Plans (Nov 2019)

What’s up? Nov 2019 has been a packed month for me, primarily because of my visa for Bulgaria expiring, and me choosing to go to Thailand.

Here’s what’s been good, as well as some stuff I’ve learned along the way:

Note: I am shifting around the order in which this article was written, moving sections around so the flow might not be as natural! Reason being I feel certain things are more important, others a bit rambly.

Travel Plans

On Dec 18th I will arrive in Phoenix, Arizona to celebrate Christmas + New Years with family + PHX friends. If you’re in the area, let’s meet up!

Not sure what to do from there… With me learning Thai, I’m enjoying Thailand 50x more than last year when I first came here.

Also, I’m dating a really cool girl.. So I feel compelled to return to Thailand quickly after the holidays are over, in early January.

My heart still misses Bulgaria, well mainly my deep friends. Let’s be real, a lot of the aspects of Bulgaria are… Less than appealing to say the least.

However I have deep friends there, and our mentality is kind of “fuck the fucked up stuff, we’re awesome let’s have fun.” And those deep connections are SO fulfilling!

Sofia (the city) is extremely walkable, tons of nature, etc. so it’s great for living when combined with my awesome friends there.

It’s looking more and more like I WON’T be even TRYING to live in the USA, as I had written previously about.

I’m really just happy to be going to see my family + a couple close friends I have in Phoenix.

Plus USA is great for things like buying tech (Bulgaria + Thailand more expensive due to import tax or something), books, etc.

I know in my heart that I’ll know what to do next after I arrive in Phoenix. Will I stay and create a life there? Or swing over to L.A. and get a visa for Bulgaria? Or return to Thailand and live there? Or half Thailand, half Bulgaria for 2020?

I don’t know now, and that’s okay- my heart will know what to do when I get back in PHX, so I’m looking forward to it, but also sad that my time here in Thailand is again short-lived it feels.

Revisiting Original Intentions…

Why did I set out to live abroad, travel, and do the whole “digital nomad” thing?

As ridiculous as it may sound, even “world travelers” can get caught in a routine. Especially because being a “world traveler” makes me attract other such people, thus losing perspective of how wonderful this life can be.

Since returning to Thailand, and even a bit before, I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out on work.

Instead of just taking some time off to reflect and figure out what to do, I kept working, except in a non-focused way.

Something I’ve remembered recently is you must be “all in or all out.” Focus or not. Work and be productive, or don’t work at all- then celebrate and enjoy life!

So today, instead of derping on my typical routine, I broke it by driving to a temple far out in an area I’ve never been before.

It was beautiful. Being as it was farther out, there were almost no tourists. I got to kneel in front of the Buddhist Shrines without anyone else there but me. I felt a deep, powerful energy in bowing before it.

Walking around, I actually felt nervous. It was a nervous excitement. True travel is uncomfortable.

I decided to go to a new, random cafe after, even further out from my typical areas.

The coffee was incredible- a unique taste I never would have imagined. The beans were sourced from West Thailand. Thai coffee is amazing (probably the best), but no one realizes how amazing it is because many (if not all?) of the producers only sell locally.

I then decided to take the day off of work. I ate, met a very cute/awesome girl I’ve been seeing, and we spent the majority of the rest of the day being lazy.

Now I am doing some derp-work at a cafe at 22H / 10PM, but will get a massage very soon.

It’s been a really, really good day, and quite necessary.

Also, last weekend I visited Bangkok on a somewhat spontaneous adventure trip.

Forgetting… Then Remembering

I guess the monotony of the 9-5 can be had in this life too. In fact, it is equally as likely, because with no boss I can choose to work myself to death (which is all too easy an option).

When I’m stressed, I tend to become a workaholic (see: returning to Bulgaria 4 months ago).

But, I don’t need to work that hard. I need to be productive, not work hard. The two things are different. And too often, I’m working hard, not being productive.

I’ve been really derpy recently. Not really making progress or being productive. I’ve probably been derpy for months, if not years.

At least in the beginning I was hardly working but being productive, but now I’ve worked a lot more without the productivity. I have produced some things (ie. my website www.marketingtheuniverse.com), but it has been of little utility to me in the grand scheme of things.

I’m asking myself now “am I being productive, or busy?”

I’m also unplugging from my phone, avoiding social media, and preferring deeper social contact.

Everything is so fucking distracting. Everyone’s got something to sell but few can back up their claims!

I want to be a producer, but also live a great life.

The key thing is: a great life. And the ridiculous routines I’ve trapped myself in is NOT great.

I still haven’t visited the elephants after 4 months in Thailand for example. I have the time, I’m just not prioritizing everything perfectly.

Quality, Quality!!!

I’m making sure that things are more quality in every manner.

For example, some of the former acquaintances I had here were dramatic or not near as deep as I would’ve liked.

I made a new friend recently, and we enjoyed a deep conversation and late night walk last night.

Oh, that late night walk was amazing. We walked down roads and discovered things we never knew existed in Chiang Mai.

I think part of the reason my work got so derpy was that I stopped living life to the fullest.

Remnants of a Lost Love

Actually, I think a part of my stagnation is still break up residue. I did a meditation provided by a friend which helped me heal a ton, and I moved on a lot, but I still am regaining my assertiveness.

That break up was awful, spanning across several months. I was too dependent on her, and probably vice versa. It wasn’t a healthy relationship, but like a heroin addict, the heart can’t help but crave.

I’m a much better person than before the break up, but there are parts of myself I’d still like to update.

For example, I feel that a lot of my time is not being properly optimized. I feel that part of my work boredom is that I’m not living a great life, thus I have nothing to work for.

From the outside I’m living a great life, but there are many vices I have, the biggest being phone-related (YouTube, social media).

Instead of doing what I did today- going out to see Buddhist Shrines & temples far away from the tourist zones and making myself feel truly excited, I’ve spent months and months on repeat, doing for the most part the same thing.

I can feel again in my heart a bit of pain about my ex. Just a little craving my heart has.

I intend to meditate on it, see what it has to tell me. Because I’m glad I’m moving on, and I have- just a few last parts of me need reconnecting with.

Gratitude

I feel grateful for life, and am actively practicing more gratitude.

I’m remembering that life is a choice to be happy. Now. You can’t always control circumstances, but you can control your attitude to an extent!

So enjoy the dance, because it’s all you’ve got until it’s over.

I’m rambling a bit on these first few sections, but the short version is this:

  • I don’t feel I’m living life fully enough
  • I’m feeling stagnate in work, and finally decided to cut back on my work instead of derp-working
  • By doing exciting things + making deeper social connections (which I miss from Bulgaria) I’m feeling better
  • I have some ideas to regain passion in work, or at least get things improving again, but for now I’m accepting the much-needed break and not forcing myself to do anything.
  • By not forcing myself to work, I feel more productive. When I do work, I fucking work, and then DONE. Also, my mind is coming up with important ideas related to my work that I need to do.

Anyways, that’s all. I wrote these last few sections first but moved it to the last as I felt it was rambly. Most people don’t read all of this, so I wanted to make sure my upcoming travel plans were seen first, then other more relevant stuff!

What’s up with you? What do you think of all this?

Thanks,

-Michael

Passion & Appreciation: Life in Chiang Mai, 3.0

Now it’s been almost 2 weeks since arriving back in Thailand, and my mind is finally starting to catch up!

The jet lag has passed, I’m flowing in a productive routine, enjoying parties, reconnecting with good friends, and making new friends.

Contrary to my last post “Trouble in Paradise: Chiang Mai Feels,” this one is more positive.

Even as I wrote the last one I knew that there was only that sadness & pain because I was adjusting. Jet lag, missing friends, etc. will do that to you.

Unlike a vacation where you know you’ll be back soon, I know I’ll be gone from Bulgaria for at least 3 months- such a long time! Yet, at the same time, not quite long.

The 3 months in Bulgaria passed by like a strange trip, still my mind is comprehending it. I made super truly wonderful friends and miss you all!

Back in Chiang Mai, I’m adjusted to the new vibe. I’m getting better at this- adjusting to new places. Well, it could also be that I lived here for 4 months before, so now I’m capable of adjusting faster…

One way or another, I feel like I’ve grown a ton. Here’s what’s up in Chiang Mai with me (stay tuned for some epic content at the end).

Achieving Dreams

Just yesterday, with a new group of Thai friends I worked out with, I ran a 5k and achieved my all-time goal of many years!

I ran 5 kilometers at my target goal of <20 minutes, clocking in officially at 19m 38s- significantly faster than anticipated.

I made sure to reward myself with an epic steak + meat/cheese platter. I hesitated at the price, but after so many years of hard work and dedicated to being an athlete, I think it was well deserved!

Achieving this is inspiring me to realize that anything is possible. I could create wealth, get great at whatever I want, etc.

Dreams do come true- if you hustle hard at ‘em.

Today I am physically exhausted and so sore. In addition to that 5k, I ran somewhere between 6k-8k additionally with the group at a difficult pace. It was an intense day!

In addition to that, I also did something like 7k-ish the day before. So much running!

Connection & Belonging

The biggest pain that coming back to Chiang Mai had for me was the feeling of not being so socially connected as I was in Bulgaria, where the vast majority of my friends (and deep friends) are.

Many connections I had here were connections I had just because I didn’t have anyone else- I decided instead this time to focus on meeting new people I connect better with, which quickly happened.

Just today, after an exhausting 3 hour work session, I drove to go find some food. My friend pulled her car over and waved me down, and we drove together to get some food.

Chiang Mai in many ways feels like the “Sofia of Asia.” It’s small, you bump into others often too!

Yesterday I had another situation like that. 2 days ago I made a new friend. Then yesterday I went to the gas station to fill up my motorbike. The guy in front of me was that new friend, so we spontaneously got breakfast together.

The seeds I planted 3-4 months ago are growing, as those friends have introduced me to new friends. My social life is now taking off exponentially, and I’m connecting people I really enjoy, including locals that I can practice my favorite sport with!

More on this later…

Loosening Up

Is it the Chiang Mai vibe or my own development? I think a little bit of both. I’m feeling an increased maturity in me, especially ever since I went back to Bulgaria and finally healed from the remaining pain regarding my ex.

I feel much more in tune with my emotions, thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. Achieving such difficult goals like running 5k in <20 minutes also has created a sense of being indestructible.

I feel like is simple. If you want something, just go for it… Who gives a fuck?

Just go travel. Just go start a business. Just go workout. Just ask her out. Whatever you want, just do it!

People will judge, whatever. Let them do that. Life is too short to pander to the weak assholes.

Vacations & Fun

In loosening up, achieving clarity, and simplifying life, I have realized that I haven’t had a vacation in… Years. Like, 4 years or something like that. Maybe 5. I don’t know.

I’m thinking of taking off roughly a week in early December to fly down South to Thailand’s islands for some fun exploration.

There’s a really cool girl I’ve seen the last 3 (or 4?) times I’ve been in Bangkok, and I’d enjoy to go with her. We may go together, which would be epic.

Flights are super cheap so this weekend I might fly down to Bangkok to be with her and another friend that is flying back to Bangkok.

I felt SUPER amazing my first few days in Thailand, and that’s because I was in Bangkok with both of them. I connect well with my guy friend and her, so minus well enjoy that.

Tomorrow I might also take a little time off of work (and make it up the next day) to go to a waterpark with some friends. Thailand is quite affordable, so minus well enjoy life!

It took me nearly 2 weeks, but I finally got myself a massage a couple days ago also- which was so amazing and much needed.

Why Do I Push Myself Too Hard?

For years I often got down on myself for not waking up early enough- like, I think this has been my life habit since I was 14 or even younger!

I’ve wanted to “do it all.” Wake up early. But also party late. All that stuff.

Early mornings are great, but can leave me feeling lonely as many of the fun, exciting parties are happening at night- preventing you from getting up early (without depriving yourself of sleep).

Recently I’ve started asking myself- “why?”

I did this in Sofia and wrote about it. I had decided to leave a party and go home. But I had nothing planned the next day… AT ALL (Saturday night -> Sunday).

Why was I going home? It’s because of some old pattern that doesn’t serve me anymore!

So that night I partied, had a blast, and slept in late. Then got back to productivity mode the next week and all was okay.

I’m keeping life simple now… Maybe it’s just that my past year of consistent meditation is paying off?

I’ve meditated almost every day for over a year now.

I see that there are so many patterns within me anymore. Like an unconscious animal following its impulses, I feel driven to do things that no longer serve me.

I see this in everyone, not just myself. Through meditating, and thanks to a meditation a great friend in Bulgaria taught me, I’ve been able to rapidly release many of these patterns!

In releasing them I feel… Clear. I feel simple. Just do this, just do that. Whatever.

Last night was Monday, but I went out and partied anyways. I met some cute girls and they wanted me to dance with them, so we went to a Thai club for some dancing.

Had I given into my old patterns, I would’ve gone home… Instead I went into yet another “secret” Thai club that foreigners don’t know.

The Thais danced like crazy. The party picked up to something crazy that Bulgaria might struggle to compete with…

Looking around, I became nervous realizing I was the only white guy… The only foreigner.

The thai band sang at the girls (we were in the front of the venue), I wish I could understand and sing along to everyone singing.

However the Thais are kind and welcoming, especially to foreigners that are not “basic,” going to the same clubs everyone else goes to.

As I walked around the club the locals welcomed me, we danced together, did many cheers, and had a blast.

Foreigner Bubble

Overall I’m enjoying Thailand so much more than the previous times because I’m getting more and more outside of the foreigner bubble.

I’ve written about this before… Many of the foreigners here never really truly experience Chiang Mai! It’s almost annoying. It is actually a little bit.

People travel all the way around the world just to go to the same Western clubs they’d have back at home, in areas that are more white than Asian. It’s weird.

In the Thai clubs I go to you’ll find much cheaper alcohol, locals dancing like you’ve never seen before, some of the most beautiful girls, and some of the friendliest guys.

The only “downside” to these places is that, as a foreigner, you feel it. It’s terrifying, yet exhilarating at the same time.

Unlike in Bulgaria where I blend in with my skin, I stand out a ton. Does everyone give me a second glance because I’m attractive? Because I’m the only white guy? Or am I in my head?

Visiting these clubs gives me an idea of what it must be like to be a minority in America or Europe- you never realize how those people feel until you are the minority!

It’s a wonderful experience though. Unlike some places in the world, the Thais are welcoming to foreigners, so no one is giving me a cold shoulder.

Still, it’s a slightly nerve-racking experience. Walking around a club where it seems everyone belongs but you… Where you truly are experiencing something new and fascinating few will ever see in this world.. It’s exactly the kind of experience that I wanted when I left the USA…

Learning Thai

And in making Thai friends, connecting to the locals, and visiting local places I feel much more motivated to learn Thai, and I’ve learned a ton in this past week!

There’s a huge motivation to learn Thai, maybe even more-so than Bulgarian because in these places the locals often do not have good (if at all) English.

I’m asking often to be taught new words, new phrases, and each day learning a bit more! They are happy to teach it, and I’ve observed that now that I speak significantly more Thai, the locals are even more open & welcoming because they see I am not one of many transient foreigners.

2020 Plans?

This experience is making me even more excited to stay in Thailand. I will almost certainly be in the USA in late December for Christmas/New Years with family, but after… Then what?

I don’t know.

Less and less of me wants to live in the USA. Yet, at the same time, I feel interested to try it out.

I wrote so much about living there, and now it seems that in 2020 I might just spend most of my time in Thailand and in Bulgaria.

When I go back to America I’ll have to take an objective view of what I’d like to do.

Right now the main idea is to live half Bulgaria half Thailand. I will get a local place in Bulgaria, stay for 3 months, leave for 3 months to Thailand, then return for 3 months.

If I want I can extend my Bulgarian visa, or continue half/half, OR try something new. But for now, I like this life.

My Heart’s Desire?

I’ve been working a lot on my business, however a business coach suggested I try something else…

She suggested that I should consider being a “dating coach,” or do something in the dating/social life niche.

I came a long way from the 14 year old nobody that I was terrified to meet people, to know someone living abroad, traveling the world, dating, able to approach girls, etc.

She said that it was obvious in the way our conversations flowed that I was into that much more than what I was currently doing.

Earlier this year I was working on developing an ad system that guaranteed a client results, and then the goal would be to get several clients within that niche (by running my own ads) and build a ton of wealth for myself.

I felt passionate about it, but in our conversation alone, I have to confess that I would be much more passionate about something in dating…

For example, one product idea I had was “how to get a girlfriend in 90 days or less.” This is something I have proven capable of doing consistently in my travels.

As I’m also still interested in growing in this area, it would also allow me to improve more in the subject and develop better relationships + social life myself in the pursuit of helping others.

Many dating programs I had purchased were incomplete. They would just teach only mindset, or only action, and often it was random information, a lot of it common sense.

If I were to make a program, it would be comprehensive, and guarantee a girlfriend/boyfriend within 90 days or less.

If I didn’t do the dating niche, I’d do something with social life as I’ve multiple social circles around the globe that I love.

My mind isn’t entirely sure about this yet. Thoughts I’m having include:

  • What if I’m just distracting myself yet again, not committing to what I know I need to do to be successful? For example, maybe I just have to follow through a bit more what I’m currently doing
  • Am I truly qualified to this? On one hand I know I could get most guys a result, but still I know I’m not the best at this, I’ve a lot of growing to do myself.
  • Fears about judgement from friends/family

I’ll have to do some reflection, also a motivation for the vacation – to disconnect from all work, all routines, all social media/internet stuff and connect inward.

With whatever I do, I want to provide massive value to people. This might be my way to do it.

People DO tell me I’m good at building social groups… And I must confess I do enjoy doing it, and also meeting girls.

On the other hand I AM also passionate about fitness, so the idea to focus on the fitness niche and provide marketing solutions to fitness businesses is still there too.

I guess time will show my path…

Thanks,

-Michael

Trouble in Paradise: Chiang Mai Feels

It’s been over a week since returning to Thailand from Bulgaria, and that’s quite a mind-fuck. It feels like such a long time and no time at all… Ah, travel is weird.

It feels like Bulgaria was a strange dream that never happened. I wasn’t in Sofia for 3 months- nope, I never left Thailand!

I breeze through the BTS stops unconsciously in Bangkok as by now I’ve been in Thailand so many times and for so long I can find my way around no problem.

In Chiang Mai, my old mental map is still clear as day. I drive by an old park I used to run at, and I feel no rush to run there- I run there 2-3 times a week, right?

It hasn’t been months since I’ve ran there… So it feels. I’m in no rush because I was always here.

This feeling was the same in Bulgaria- as if I had never lived in Thailand. It’s like I live 2 double lives, a different person in each.

My English even shifted a bit when I arrived in Thailand. I spoke more of a Thai-English than Europe-English, for example I would say “I go to [restaurant] yesterday” instead of “I went to the restaurant yesterday” because in Thai they don’t have past tense in their language (so you just say everything in present tense and add “yesterday, tomorrow, etc.”).

I was here last year at about the same time- just in time for the “Loy Krathong” festival. It felt normal- I live here, right?

I made my Krathong, sent it on the river and made my wish… To find my home, or make my peace in this life as a traveler.

Now wiser, I realize that maybe the life I have carved for myself is with its pain points, but maybe I choose it. Maybe it would be more painful to settle, and so I must find peace in this life.

In Thai tradition, you send the Krathong down the river. You light the candle for Buddha, and as your Krathong floats away, so does your pain, your sadness, so that all that remains is peace.

I celebrated with a beautiful Thai girl who has quickly captured my attention- whereas before I may wish to be a player, now I am feeling more ready to be vulnerable. Perhaps I will go deeper, opening my heart to love (and potential heartbreak).

It’s great- Chiang Mai is wonderful. But there is a little trouble in paradise, as always.

Here I just wanted to share some thoughts of what I’m experiencing in this first week back.

Adjustment, Jet Lag, etc.

I sometimes get too hard on myself when I arrive at a new place. This time I’m learning to relax, accept the pain, and go with it.

It’s not that often I arrive in a new place and feel wonderful- unless it’s an explicit vacation. When you have to manage work at the same time, it’s quite difficult arriving to that new place, even if you don’t have that big of a workload.

Within just a couple days of arriving in Thailand I was handling sales calls, producing videos, and publishing content.

It’s difficult coming back though. My mind is still in Bulgaria!

When I wake up my mind says “where is the Rainbow Factory restaurant? I want my morning salad!”

I don’t feel so “culture shock,” as I’ve lived here before- it feels weird writing that. Like I said earlier I find my way around easily.

I know at BTS ASOK how to get to Khao San Road, or BTS Phra Kanong should I need. I know where my favorite restaurants are, and what I’ve gotta do.

I have some old friends (though not NEAR as many as Bulgaria, and certainly not as deep) and girls I’ve dated. It’s nice to come back to that, but my heart misses Bulgaria and my friends there.

Loneliness

To be honest, as great as everything is, I feel lonely. I miss family, I miss friends.

My passion & excitement may be in Thailand, I always wanted to live here. But the way my life turned out is that my deepest friends were in Bulgaria, and my family in America.

I didn’t realize how lonely I was until I did a meditation a friend recommended to me. I was starting to get all kinds of muscle tension and pain, a sign that there are deep, unconscious emotions that needed to be expressed.

As I meditated I realized I was in so much more pain than I could’ve imagined. It was like heart-break, except with all my friends and a place!

I wasn’t ready to leave Bulgaria- and because I wasn’t ready, I didn’t prepare properly. I acted up until the very end as if I wasn’t leaving, delaying packing as long as I possibly could, buying an AirBNB for Bangkok at the last moment, etc.

There are days where I wake up and I just want to swing by “Apartmenta,” one of my favorite places to hangout at in Sofia. I expect to see my friends there, but “Apartmenta” is too far even with a motorbike.

However, I should add that I haven’t made a big push to make more friends here yet. In fact, I’ve made none.

Tonight I’m finally going to one of my favorite weekly events where I know I have many friends- and in adding this event to my calendar last night, I realized that I had forgotten to text some of my friends I was back- OOPS!

I texted one “Hey I’m back in Chiang Mai” and he’s like “WHAT?!?” Other friends will be back in a couple weeks, as they’re currently on travels elsewhere.

One mistake (if you may call it such) I made when I returned to Chiang Mai after my stay in Bangkok (which was amazing) was that I went out with a girl I used to go out with, BUT she was only in Chiang Mai for 3 days.

Now, this isn’t a mistake in the sense that you might expect it to be. She’s awesome, I enjoyed hanging with her.

The mistake was that it was transient. She was here only for 3 days, during which time I could’ve gone to an event (or taken her to an event) to make some longer-term friends for while I’m here… You know, friends that actually live here.

I want to add that I’m not actually calling it THAT serious of a mistake, if at all, I’m just saying I should’ve prioritized going to an event instead of hanging out with just her- because as fun as it was she left back to another city, leaving me here.

One thing I’ll add is that I know I’ll be okay- so don’t worry about me. It’s just a bit lonely, missing Bulgaria, missing my deep friends there!

However, I’ll be going to that event tonight, and I’ll feel much better then.

Also I went out with a girl and we connected very quickly. She was exactly what I was hoping to find when I come back to Thailand, and WOW do I enjoy my time with her.

I definitely prefer the dating culture in Thailand over Bulgaria, where I feel that things are a bit too traditional. For example, one girl I went out with in Bulgaria basically expected me to pay for everything- she didn’t even offer, and I later got the impression she was taking advantage of my money and I chose not to meet her again.

However, I also didn’t get enough dating experience in Bulgaria to compare it to Thailand, as I was in work-a-holic mode for the first half of my stay.

The more I travel the less capable I feel of making comparisons between places as I can see just how contextual and “lucky” everything is.

It just so happens that in Bulgaria I focus more on social life and in Thailand more in dating, so it should be no surprise that I prefer each for their respective reasons and am unable to make a proper comparison.

Anyways, back on topic:

I feel a bit lonely, but I know it’ll go away soon. Also the “loneliness” feelings I realized is me not connecting with my own emotions. I was at first too much in the “happy me happy me” mode, and denying my sadness within.

The loneliness is also caused by the adjustment, which is energy-taxing. It’s hard to go out and be social when you’ve gotta run errands, handle work, feel tired from jet lag, etc.

Motorbike Troubles!

Not sure if this is a real problem or not… The first time I rented a motorbike longer-term in Bali, my hands/arms had no problems. Same for my first long-term rental in Thailand.

But then my second long-term rental in Thailand had a problem. The handlebars vibrated WAY too much. I asked to return the motorbike, and I got a new one which was better.

Now I again have the same problem: I feel that the handlebars vibrate too much, causing hand & forearm pain.

I took the bike for a test run before buying it, and I kind of feel that vibration. I felt I shouldn’t buy it, but bought it anyways.

The reason for this was with the upcoming Loy Krathong festival there were literally NO other motorbikes I wanted to rent (the rest being too heavy, too expensive, etc.).

In seeing that so many people were at the motorbike shop wanting a motorbike, I took the motorbike quickly from a place of scarcity.

It’s funny- I’m a marketer and could even observe myself buying the motorbike only because the shop was full and I was test-driving the last affordable + lightweight motorbike (scarcity!!).

Well I don’t know if it’s the motorbike, adjusting back to regular riding, or even my emotions (unconscious emotions tighten your muscles causing pain), but my hands fucking hurt!

I’ve known that I should just take it back and ask for a new one (when another lightweight bike gets returned) but I’ve been too nervous too. It’s weird, why am I so nervous? The worst they can say is no, and it’s obvious that I’m not trying to pull a fast one.

Furthermore they said yes to fixing this problem before!! Same motorbike shop earlier this year I had this problem with, and they fixed things for me before. Why am I so nervous now?

When I move to a new place, I tend to have lower self-esteem than normal for the first 1-2 weeks. I think this is due to sensory overload from the new area, jet lag, and other things taking my energy.

It’s so silly- if this were to happen in the end of Bulgaria I would’ve not fallen into scarcity and bought the motorbike and instead of found another shop. Had I bought it and wanted to return it, I’d do it instantly, not think about it for days.

However I should add that I am doubtful of just how much of my hand pain is caused by the motorbike. The last thing I want to do is return the motorbike just to get another that is worse OR the same.

Like I said deep emotional pain tends to cause muscle tension for me leading to physical pain just like what I’m experiencing. While a part of it is probably physical, another part could be emotional. It could also be I need 1-2 weeks to strengthen my hands to intensive Asian riding.

To add to my over-thinking, I fucked up dismantling the bike once (as it’s a bit larger than what I typically prefer) and I accidentally kicked the right side foot pedal with my left shin, causing a big bruise and a lot of skin to shred off.

The motorbike did not fall or anything- it was just me accidentally kicking some metal with my leg.

NOW it looks like I’ve gotten into a motorbike accident, at least for the past few days. I already have some scars on my knees from last year, and the fresh blood, scabs, and bruising on my left shin make the previous scars look fresh.

I’ve decided to wait to attempt to replace the motorbike until my wounds heal up. Now taking a look at it, I can see that in 2-3 days it’ll almost completely disappear.

It’s probably just me over-thinking it (no, it definitely is), but I don’t want them to think I got into an accident and want to replace the motorbike to pull a fast one.

Again, probably me over-thinking. Such is the joy of adjusting to a new place…

Bangkok & The Islands

I was really excited + happy to be in Bangkok. I met with a really awesome girl there whom I had seen there a few times before. I also met with a really good friend who is also a traveler, we’ve met in multiple cities around the world!

I almost feel a little stagnant in Chiang Mai- again don’t know if that’s the “adjustment” and my mind is looking for a quick-fix, or if it’s a genuine feeling.

A part of me really wants to try living in Bangkok or the islands down South! I’m gonna give it a little more time before deciding anything.

did meet a really cool girl here in Chiang Mai also, and there’s a lot more to explore up North.

Routine & Stagnation

Since returning to Chiang Mai I’ve just done the “same same.” I ate at the same restaurants, drank at the same cafes, etc.

I did this exact same thing when returning to Bulgaria! And to be happy in Bulgaria again, I had to chase the unknown, to do something exciting, to meet new people, go new places, etc. within the city.

It’s apparent to me now that this is what I must do to bring happiness again to me.

Last night I went for a walk down some roads I don’t think I’ve gone down before, discovered some cool places, and this morning I drank coffee at a new cafe I never went to.

I couldn’t stay long at the cafe- literally just 10 minutes, as I had a sales call. But those 10 minutes were SUPER refreshing!

It seems a bit ironic to say a world traveler can fall into stagnate, boring routine, but guys, it’s possible. I’ve done it!

The brain gets tired and it decides to go to the same places, do the same things, etc. just work and do nothing else. It’s hard taking care of yourself- going to a new place, etc. especially because there’s a desire for certainty.

I don’t want to go to a new cafe because the taste of the coffee might be bad. I want the same same good stuff… But I dared myself to do something new.

Tomorrow I’m gonna go to a new cafe also before work.

I’ve discovered that just relaxing alone, connecting with my emotions, and then daring to do something new fills my spirit up SO much! This day has already been SO much happier just because of that tiny decision to go to a new cafe for 10 minutes.

Social Media Addiction

I’ve known that I’ve had this for a while, but I have a social media addiction. It keeps me up at night, and wastes my time like nothing else.

I haven’t had time to do important things like buying new running shoes, buy motorbike gloves, etc. because I’m self-medicating with social media.

When I’m bored or eating alone, I turn on YouTube. I watch it after work alone. Sometimes it’s amazing- I discover an epic video, but the next 5 videos often suck and I skip around, desperate for a little more dopamine to ease the loneliness I described above.

No more!

I tend to do this a lot when arriving in a new place to cope with the stresses of adjustment.

No- I don’t want to cope. I want to thrive. So yesterday I practiced a meditation a friend taught me in which you speak your emotions aloud in detail (ie. I’m feeling a red pyramid-looking thorn in my bottom right stomach, it is shifting…).


It exploded a storm of sadness so strong that all I wanted to do was lay down and cry. That’s how I realized I was pushing things too hard, not taking time to connect with myself.

That’s what loneliness is, right? It’s not necessarily that you lack connection with others, but also with yourself.

In my desperation to be happy, I cut myself off from my own feelings of sadness. Instead of medicating with media, I decided to go deep in it. It is painful. It still is. But I feel a bit better.

Yesterday evening instead of staying up late I turned off my phone and went for a walk without my phone. Me, just with myself- I felt great.

Though soon my muscle tension came back, and I felt myself tense up as my energy was not flowing. I felt a compulsion to watch a video so strong, but I remained aware. I stayed with it.

For the first time since coming back, I woke up with relative ease. I did not snooze. I woke up with a bit of peace, and felt capable of handling the day. I feel… better.

This morning I then turned off almost all notifications, leaving just my Thai messaging app, direct phone line, and Whatsapp with notifications on.

My Instagram, sometimes Tinder, and Facebook Messenger always seem to be blowing up.

I can’t handle it anymore! Today I left home and did not post a picture of my morning breakfast on IG story.

Instead I sat with clarity while eating, watching the birds dance. It was really peaceful. I felt a craving to indulge in YouTube, but I resisted.

I wish I could delete that fucking YouTube app… Okay, I took a break from writing to move YouTube to the very far right on my phone, so that I’ll have to swipe left many times to reach the app.

Social media + the phone is a form of short-term “dirty” entertainment. It is not fulfilling.

Meditation is more fulfilling. The problem with meditation is that the initial 10 minutes can SUCK as you go deeper, as you feel all the pain you carry. But after, you observe in peace what is within, and sometimes feel just bliss.

I am committing to keeping a clear mind, to avoiding social media, and using it intentionally!

Of course I won’t delete it- I am posting on Facebook for business reasons, and IG is great for making friends. Same for Messenger.

But now I’d like to use it intentionally, instead of getting drawn into all of the notifications and rabbit holes.

Affirmations

Later today I may rewrite some affirmations to say in the morning too. This morning I said some, and I felt a ton better.

It filled me with a lot of motivation to get up and feel better. It makes you feel more capable of succeeding, of doing what you need to do.

Gratitude + Focusing on Improvements

I’m also reciting some things I’m grateful for instead of just being sad about what I miss in Bulgaria! I am grateful for beautiful Thai girls, the amazing coffee, my amazing client, etc.

Sales-wise I’ve been struggling in my business a bit, focusing only on the fact that I’m not growing substantially, but then I realized something:

I AM IMPROVING! At first I couldn’t get sales calls, now I have sales calls. Now I just need more sales calls, then improve my sales ability and then everything will work out!

I’ve changed the background images on my laptop to be seeds + nature-related things to remind me that I am planting seeds.


When I finally start getting new clients, it’ll be because of the work I did months prior, not on that day. I am setting the foundation for my business to grow. It’s a fuck ton of work sometimes and exhausting but necessary.

Meditation is helping a ton too. It’s like it resets your brain, puts you in the “now,” and thus makes you capable of figuring out what you’ve gotta do for your happiness (for me no more social media, workout more, make some new friends, break the routine).

Also, I just realized I only worked out twice since returning to Thailand. I missed 2 workouts.

That is also why I was probably feeling lonely/bad. After each workout I did, I felt significantly better. I will work out in a few hours.

Everything is Alright

As they say in Bulgarian: “Всичко е точно.” Everything is exactly, or everything is perfect.

Now I am wiser, and throughout all of the pains of re-adjusting, loneliness, business struggles, whatever, I am alright.

I can see from a place of wisdom & awareness that this is normal and okay. Adjustments are painful and sometimes difficult! I shouldn’t be hard on myself, and instead take more time to meditate, relax, and focus on the important things and don’t self-medicate with social media.

Now I am aware that such difficulties are normal when traveling, and that I experience such feelings when I go to a new place, even if that place once felt like home.

This is just my feelings now- they will pass, and soon I’ll be great again. It all comes down to the conscious choice to be great.

That’s all for now!

Thanks,

-Michael (:

Demon Humans: Protecting Yourself From Hell on Earth

I’d like to think that the vast majority of people on Earth are good- that it is only bad situations which turn them dark, and that darkness is but a passing moment, not them.

But even in such optimistic beliefs, it is impossible not to deny the darkness that lies within some of the walking demons here on Earth.

These people- demon humans- are in reality as they are described figuratively. Let one into your life and you can expect hell on Earth.

The thing about demon humans is that it’s the smart ones you have to be afraid of, or at least the ones that are “more normal” but still corrupted.

The less intelligent demon humans will go rob a bank, or commit some crime that gets them locked up rather easily. These are the obvious dangers we should fear.

It’s often visible who these people are very early on, and their vibes are powerfully potent- it doesn’t take long around them to feel a sense of danger so strong that even those most disconnected from their intuition know logically this person needs to be cut out.

The ones you should fear are those that you’ll never know are a demon until weeks, months, or years later.

These walking demons are “more human” on the scale from hell to heaven. They will have friendships, relationships, successes and achievements, and be “okay enough” to get by in society.

What I am describing by using the term “demons” are those crimes committed by humans that are not legally criminal- instead those humans that’ll ruin your life in every other way.


It is illegal to punch you in public, but it is not illegal to make you fall in love with someone, get you very attached, then cause you emotional hell, destroy your self esteem, and take everything you’ve got and leave you dry.

These demons are not just romantic either (but the romantic ones receive the most press)- they can be friends, co-workers, bosses, clients, anyone!

What makes someone a demon?


A demon will typically be a narcissist, have machiavellian tendencies, be a psychopath, be extremely bipolar (and take it out on you), or have some other mental illness that hurts not just them but torments those around them.

Remember it is a grey scale. Most people are not black n’ white. There is a degree of psychopathy, a degree of narcissism, etc.

The grey zone is what we need to be careful of. Those that are clearly dark will be shunned from society rather quickly, or commit a crime that sends them to prison.

The grey zone people (or even some of the smarter darker ones) will make you feel amazing- they will be charming, loving, or have only a few red flags.

We all have our personality quirks, right? How do you distinguish between a quirk and darkness?

The point of this post is not to write about all of the red flags because there are many, and I am no expert. I’ve just had a few experiences, done a bit of research on the “dark triad” and other personality type theories, and in integrating the knowledge + experience have become more naturally aware of what’s going on with the people around me.

These days I am more cautious. I am more guarded. I carry a big smile, yes- you must be enthusiastic with everyone you meet as to not turn off the good people.

But I don’t let anyone get too close for some time now. When a girl wants me to commit to her, I wait. I tell her this too, and remind her that she doesn’t know me either (if we’re being completely honest, we all have a little darkness within).

I am careful to tell details about my work, my life, my weaknesses, to anyone who might be able to abuse it. I do not have roommates, and do not intend to have roommates for a long time.

Sounds like a lot- sounds like I’m being paranoid, but if you met me, you’d never know that I think this. You’d probably assume I’m naive and giggly with joy.

Like I said you can’t turn off the many great people in this world being afraid of the few evil ones. You just have to be careful in how you approach any new person.

I will be giving, abundant, happy, free-flowing, all that without paranoia. No need to not enjoy an interaction- there are some “demons” I’ve met with whom I smile and talk when they are there within a group, because there is no other choice and because they still have a little light within ‘em.

The key thing here is to not give too much or to be naive. Give people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t trust them with your wallet until they’ve earned it- you get what I mean?

The thing you need to realize too is that the high-functioning “demons” (ie. sociopaths and narcissists) will not be recognized as such by everyone.

We all scream evil at the atrocities committed by those in the great wars, but few will see you getting backstabbed by someone you thought you could trust.

This is the great dilemma here- you can’t necessarily scream “demon” and cut the person out if they hurt you, or if they are presenting extremely red flags. Other people will jump to the demon’s back because the demon has only been given to them; the demon has not backstabbed them… Yet.

You need to be attentive to red flags when meeting new people without cutting them out too soon. There are good people with a few dark sides that deserve to be trusted and cared for, and whom you can rely on, but there are also bad people with a very good side.

All I can do is point you in the direction of learning about narcissists, sociopaths, and all that- it’s rather fascinating, and you no doubt will have stories of your own!

In the end there is almost always red flags. People’s true natures come out somehow before that “epic event” which ruins it all. In some rare cases there are perhaps no red flags, but in many there are.

You should trust your intuition too- sometimes you just get a feeling of “oh wait this person is not right.” Leave, and give it time.

Other times you may be lacking in a certain way (ie. business connections, dating connections, etc.) and feel that you are stuck with that person.

This has happened to me when I was moved to a new city. Because high-quality, socially intelligent people don’t hangout with narcissists and other “demons,” they cut out demons…

Thus making the demons easier to meet. You’re looking for new friends, and they’re constantly getting cut out so… They find you!

Other times the narcissist is super high-functioning, capable of love-bombing some people and making some connections. In these cases it’s also tempting to stay in their life because of what they have to offer.

Or the narcissist may have certain necessary skills for business. In these grey zone situations, there’s almost always SOME value or slightly good side that makes it hard for you to cut out the otherwise toxic person.

These are the situations I wish to raise awareness for! If someone is 100% rotten you will know obviously- you don’t need intuition to tell you because it’ll be screaming and your mind will see clearly what’s going!

It is those situations that are grey where it’s dangerous.

They’re nice for a month then start acting up. Is it you, did you mess up? Maybe you hurt them?

They’ve got massive value to offer, but there’s a sense they’re taking a bit too much. Maybe you aren’t that valuable after all?

They praise you when you please them, but as soon as who you are isn’t in total alignment with them, they criticize you harshly. Maybe they were right?

The sex is so good, and he or she is nice “BUT……”

The “friendship” was strong for 5 months, when “SUDDENLY…..”

These people may not even be aware that they are doing such toxic things, and good people also make some of the same mistakes that narcissists and demons make.

That’s why it’s so hard to figure out who is who! The good person will make a mistake, be genuinely sorry, and then make sure it doesn’t happen again

The bad person will make the mistake and then do anything it takes to get you back, disregarding your feelings at the same time.

It’s hard to distinguish between the two. That’s why I’m raising awareness for this to you.

One scary thing about learning about this is seeing those negative patterns and behaviors in yourself.

You may come to find YOU are a bit dark in some ways, and that you need to fix it. Although the pain of others will hurt a ton, it is even more difficult to recognize the darkness within yourself and heal it.

“Oh shit… Maybe I was a little manipulative. Maybe I acted the wrong way and hurt him/her because of that way. Maybe it wasn’t ALL their fault.”

Confronting my own darkness in the demise of my last serious relationship was the hardest thing to do.

Strangely enough, it doesn’t hurt that much. The pain from others will be more painful, but to just see what YOU did is worse.

When you become aware of your darkness, it almost instantly dissolves into light. The hardest part of your own personal transformation is complete. The first step, and hardest, is to see.

In the future you will not be so easily capable of those dark acts, for you will know that they hurt others, and even more hurt your own honor and integrity.

You can’t be dark because you are aware, and to be intentionally dark in awareness is true evil.

You’ll notice the pull of darkness when it comes. You’ve read the articles. You’ve reflected on your past. You will stay aware, and burn the darkness into light.

This is your inner transformation, and without the inner side of this path you will remain a victim to the darkness within others. Darkness finds darkness.

You may not be evil like a demon, but it is still that trauma and pain within that attracts you to the darkness of others.

Those that are light, that are free, happy, socially intelligent, and abundant in their lives can cut out so quickly those people that are not good for them.

It is only those that are desperate and in pain themselves, or also dark, that will miss the red flags the demons wave as they plunge their knife into your gut or your heart.

Ultimately remember that in cutting people out you are doing everyone involved a favor.

You are no longer feeding their darkness. You are taking care of yourself. You are opening a space for good people to come into your life- good people who might genuinely need your support and love!

You will become more abundant and light and happy, and be able to spread more lightness to others…

But it all comes down to that single choice to be aware. To observe the actions of others and even more importantly the actions of yourself.

Those that are good in your life treat well- and those that are not, no need to be dramatic. Smile and move on. Be authentic if they ask, but be careful not to get sucked into battle.

Know that darkness exists, even among so much light. Research narcissism, sociopaths, all that stuff! They are in prison, but they are also walking among us.

It is a crime to physically destroy someone, but not emotionally. So be careful those that hurt your emotions, and be daring in taking care of yourself.

You are an adult now. We all are. No one can take care of you but you. The fate of your own life rests on your shoulders from now on.

Armed with this awareness, I hope that you go out and take care of yourself. Be light, heal yourself, and free yourself of the chains others tie onto you!

Thanks,

-Michael