Category Archives: Finding Fulfillment

All In or All Out

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

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

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

All In or All Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All in, or all out. Choose. Now.

Done.

-Michael

Fear is Your Compass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following Your Path

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The path is yours.

-Michael

Don’t Make Promises

Last night I did some late-night reflecting, and I realized that most promises aren’t worth making. You can’t actually guarantee any promise will be fulfilled. Here’s why.

The Unspoken Promise

In most commitments, there is an unspoken promise being made also. Let’s give an example of this.

“I will stay with you forever and ever,” a girl and a boy say madly in love with each other. That’s the explicit promise.

There’s also an unspoken promise, which goes “…if the circumstances of this promise remain the same.” In most promises I think this unspoken catch is there, whether or not you realize it (most people probably don’t, which leads to several problems, discussed in a moment).

If girl cheats on boy, then the boy will leave the girl. Is that not breaking the promise?

Well, it depends on how you look at the promise. Technically speaking he did break the promise because he left her! The unspoken promise (I won’t ever leave you… as long as you don’t cheat) may not have been made verbally explicit.

This is why business contracts are so long and complicated. Most would make the moral argument that it’s safe to leave her if she cheated, and that he’s not really breaking a promise, but technically speaking there was no “if you cheat on me” clause on the promise.

The Grey-Area of Promises

This murky grey-area is what leads to so much suffering, pain, and worst of all: guilt.

I know that for me stepping away from my ex was one of the hardest and most painful decisions I made in my life because I made the promise to “always figure things out.”

I like to stand by my word, so in a way I was breaking my word, and to someone whom (despite I was leaving) I cared so much about!

In my case there unspoken circumstances of the promise were violated- huge boundaries that involved life and death were crossed. Problems kept recurring in the relationship. Perhaps not everything can be “always figured out.”

Another unspoken promise of the “we’ll always figure things out” is that both parties work to keep the circumstances of the promise the same. What if one person doesn’t work to figure things out, but the other does, and then because the person not trying doesn’t try, the person who was trying leaves?

The person who left broke a promise, but again, the circumstances of the promise changed!

Promises & Time-Problems

Try making this promise: at 10AM next Saturday, you will go to the public mall closest to you.

Sounds easy to achieve, right? It probably is. You could make this promise with for the most part high confidence that it will be fulfilled.

Now make the promise for next month. Or 2 months from now. Or 6 months. Can you make the promise 1 year from now? What about 10 years?

It becomes clear that the more time you add onto a promise for it to be fulfilled, the more likely it is that the promise won’t be fulfilled! 5 years from now you might rather adventure through Europe, or perhaps you’ll be working long hours in your new job.

Imagine living on the other side of the world 10 years from now. Or what if you live in an area that gets severe flooding, and 5 years from now the mall is in a severe flood. Will you risk your life to fulfill such a promise?

The above example is obviously ridiculous (going to the mall), but think about how this applies to your unique life: how can you promise to be with someone 10 years from now?

Unfortunately, the more time between the length of time it takes to fulfill a promise and now, the more likely you are to have data-problems:

Promises & Data-Problems

By “data problems” I mean that circumstances change. Let’s say you make a promise to go out with your boyfriend on Sunday at 11AM. Then your car breaks down, so you can’t drive.

The promise was broken, technically speaking! Of course this is another “silly” example (and a forgive-able problem), but really consider the implications of such things which I’m describing here.

When you make a promise, it means you guarantee a certain thing will be fulfilled, typically no matter the circumstances. Are all of the circumstances under control? No.

And as discussed above, the more time it takes to fulfill a promise, the more likely you are to encounter uncertain events that nullifies the promise, technically speaking.

Remember, almost everyone would agree that there are “unspoken exceptions” such as a disaster preventing you from having to show up to your work commitments. Still, at a very technical level, your promise has been broken unless the exceptions were explicitly agreed upon.

Dangers of Promises

You might be reading this and going, “okay, this is a bit ridiculous… everyone would agree that in the face of disaster it’s okay to nullify a promise!”

That’s where we have to take things back to the grey-zone. Some situations have circumstances which changed slightly, but not a ton (like a severe disaster), where some people would agree that the promise is nullified but others wouldn’t. That is the danger of promises.

You ever read one of those intense moral problems in school, with no right answer? Often the classroom will be split roughly 50/50 on who’s right and who’s wrong. The fact is that while extreme scenarios described above everyone can agree nullify the promises, there are situations that not everyone agree upon.

And if you’re one of the group of thinks that the promise is nullified, but the person you made to doesn’t believe that, you’re in for a lot of trouble…

This is why relationships, friendships, and family can be so complicated. Grey-zone issues arise that places a little fault on everyone, and black/white blame can’t be assigned to anyone. To some perspectives some are bad, and some are good.

If you make promises that end up in the grey zone, you’re sure to enjoy a lot of drama in your life.

Really think about this here: odds are you’ve made a promise that hit the grey-zone that caused a bit of strife. You might not think you did any wrong, but REMEMBER: that is your perspective and in many cases the other perspective is also valid.

This is why I say “don’t make promises.” Of course you will still make some, but you should be extremely careful with promises that you make, and make damn-well sure the unstated exceptions become known so that there is no grey-zone. More on this below.

One final huge danger of promises is when you make one to a narcissist or energy vampire, or anyone else who would exploit you for backing out of a promise. If you’re like me, you would prefer to keep every promise, so you sometimes feel a bit guilty when backing out of a promise.

If you made a promise to someone who will exploit those feelings of guilt, you’re in for a world of trouble.

In short, promises that hit the grey-zone where one party thinks the promise should be nullified and the other shouldn’t is where promises become dangerous. The more time it takes to fulfill a promise, the more likely circumstances (data) will change.

The circumstances are key to any promise. We humans often mean a promise 110% when we say it because the circumstances as are they are. Will you withhold the promise even if circumstances change? What if the other person thinks that the circumstances didn’t change enough to nullify the promise, but you do?

A Rough Personal Example

Let me try give a good rough personal example. This promise I made hasn’t hit the grey-zone yet as no conflict as arose, and I think the other person will be okay with me backing out of the promise. However, it’s possible they couldn’t be… Let’s see what you think.

Right before I left to Bali in Mid-April, I made a promise to a girl I just connected deeply with. We had a “thing” but nothing was happening (I am still not over my ex), but on our last day together we started kissing.. Alas, the “thing” became real!

I made a promise to her that I’d meet her in Bangkok in late May / early June and we’d travel Southeast Asia together for 2-3 months. This seemed to be perfect timing for us: she wanted to travel, we connected, I still needed a month or so to get over my ex, so I’d be able to travel alone for a couple months to get over my ex finally then she’d come and we’d travel and enjoy a little romance.

After the little romance she’d return to America (most likely, I suspect she’ll find a way to make money online) and I’d go back to Bulgaria for 3 months. The timing was perfect and I felt certain of the plan.

Suddenly she texted me: she had made a promise to a friend and her friend was expecting her to keep it. She wouldn’t be able to come to Asia until Mid July at the earliest!

This messed with my plans greatly. If I were to wait in Asia for her, then travel Asia with her, I would not be able to return to Bulgaria until much later than I’d like- probably December at the earliest.

I would not want this for it would be winter, and more importantly I miss my friends there so much that I refuse to let myself wait so long to see them! I must go, and soon.

This created another option: I could then leave in mid-May (around now) after a month in Bali to Bulgaria, spend a couple months, or spend another month in Asia then enjoy a month or so in Bulgaria before meeting her to travel in Western Europe or Asia.

This is also far from desirable. I do not want to leave Asia so soon on a long flight, especially to stay in Bulgaria for such a short time- if I’m going, I’m staying minimum 2 months probably 3. I am also not currently interested in visiting Western Europe or any expensive countries as my finances are a priority.

It should be noted that she doesn’t wish to travel to Bulgaria, which is why this complicates the matter.

This situation created a conundrum for a day for me, but then it hit me: why don’t I just do what I want to do regardless of her, and then she can join or not?

I haven’t told her yet, but what I’m personally leaning on doing is traveling in Southeast Asia for another month (so about 2 months total, maybe 3 if I’m loving the next destination) then I’ll go to Bulgaria for minimum 2 months maybe 3.

She will either have to wait, visit me in Bulgaria, or cancel traveling with me at all.

Already now we can see how this situation enters the “grey zone” of promises. Does her slight adjustment allow me to make an even bigger adjustment? Is it right to her to just do my own thing and tell her to come or not?

This depends on many factors, for example she is not my girlfriend so there is no consistent promise to her (and it’s not like we’re regularly calling or anything, too- we’re just friends with a thing between us). If you were certain you wanted this girl, you might make the necessary compromises in your life to allow this girl in.

I promised this girl that I would be there in Bangkok when she flew in and that we would travel together. She made a slight adjustment, which through my plans a bit out of whack.

Whether it’s right or not to decide to not consider her completely and do my own thing is up for debate. Of course, it also depends on your level of commitment (if she’s your wife of 10 years, this is a whole different equation than a girl you had a thing with and connected closely with in the last month of Phoenix).

Back to the whole guilt thing too: this girl is unlikely to make me feel bad when I do tell her how I changed my plans, but where this gets risky is if I get a guilt complex and she exploits that.

I feel that the level of guilt in me is going quite away as I self-improve, but some people could easily be manipulated into compromising themselves for another person.

What do you think of my situation? I’m happy with my decision, and everyone will have their own unique perspective which reflects their own values.

My personal lesson is to make less promises because of changes in circumstances. I believe that this promise was completely nullified by the fact that the circumstances changed when she changed her travel dates, but another person might have a different perspective. I also do not want to put myself at risk for a guilt-tripping vampire, in the event that when I update her with my plans she attempts that (again unlikely, and I’d block her if she did, but this stuff does happen).

Some Compromises are Necessary

Now some yin for the yang. Some compromises are necessary. You can’t have a happy, healthy relationship without some compromise. Never heard of such a thing.

Those are called one-sided relationships, and people that think they must be on their path 1,628.83% of the time regardless of anyone else usually end up alone and unhappy (or they end up with a pushover who molds themselves to fit their partner).

Promises are also necessary in life sometime, but the point of this piece is to make you reconsider when you’re giving promises and what the possible variables are that could affect the promise.

For example, you need to speak with the recipient of the promise the possible variables that could affect whether a promise gets fulfilled or not. You two need to agree on what happens when circumstances change because the longer it takes until the promise can be fulfilled, the higher the chances circumstances will change.

Right now my priorities are self-centered and YOLO-style. I will not promise anyone my time or commitment far in advance. Promising this girl I’d meet her was a mistake, in a way. Again, I think it was nullified based on the fact travel dates changed, but that wasn’t explicitly stated.

Note: I know it sounds silly writing this, but seriously guilt-vampires will destroy the hell out of you for backing out of a “promise” despite circumstances changing. It’s happened to me and also why I’m in this YOLO anti-promise stage.

Actually, now that I write this, it wasn’t a mistake to promise this girl to meet her- sometimes you also just need to stand by your own values & truth! Remember that at the end of the day it’s your life and sometimes you need to be a bit dis-agreeable.

The circumstances changed by her, so now the promise is nullified. Just think though of other promises in your life, that are perhaps a bit more serious (business, marriage, children, etc.) and how they could end up in the grey-zone… prepare for contingency and variable circumstance.

But all this being said, some compromises are necessary. This girl isn’t currently important enough to justify changing my plans for. A 5-year wife would be a 100% different scenario (but in that case I’d also likely feel satisfied adjusting plans to accommodate her).

Done.

What did you think?

-Michael

Go Through The Pain of Moving On!

Sometimes in life, there are only 2 options: little pain now, big pain long-term, or big pain now but heal long-term.

Going through the very painful short-term period can really suck. “Short-term” can also mean months or years, and long-term meaning years or decades!

Because me and so many friends are going through break ups now this post will mainly be focused around that, but you could also apply it to something like getting good business skills.

Break Ups & Pain

Sometimes someone close to us (a lover, family member, or close friend) may cross a boundary or do something to hurt us so bad, or it may not simply be meant to be.

Human emotions get tricky at this point: we really want to stick around because we care for that person, but we also know that for ourselves we need to move on.

The problem comes with moving on- it’s also painful! Even in the most physically abusive relationships, the victim often struggles with moving on because of those nagging feelings of caring for the bad guy or girl.

What’s really hard too is when the pain is so long that you can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you had a quick 2 month relationship, it won’t be so hard to get over as a 1 year relationship that also had a rocky break up with intermittent contact following.

Getting over the break up in that case could almost take a whole year! Even if the biggest of boundaries were crossed, that literally involved life or death, it’s only human to still care and want the best for that person (and not want to go).

Well I’m here to say to keep going and push through those break up feelings. Cry, release, then do something awesome or commit to a new skill or goal. Work out and upgrade your body.

Whether you broke up or were broken up with, or it was mutual, or something complicated and in between you need to move on because the past is in the past!

You are not the person you were in the relationship. You are changing and so are they. You can be better than you were before, and find something better…

Of course it doesn’t feel that way. It sucks. When you’ve been sad for so long, you don’t really remember what “normal” feels like.

Those happy times fade into blissful memories. It feels as if the world is ending, and you’ll never have anything like that again.

Then one day, you’ll have a quick moment of clarity… the pain will subside. Will you be finally over them?

Moments after the feelings of pain and suffering will resurface. It was just a trick of the mind, perhaps.

Then one day it’ll occur again, this time for a few seconds longer. Maybe you’ll start to get this every single day.

You’ll still cry, you’ll still hurt, and only God knows why this is all happening as it is…

You’ll still never understand it… but that’ll be okay. Some things in life are a mystery. Some things can’t really be explained or understood.

Why must we experience break ups? Why did they cross that boundary? Why didn’t it work out?

Maybe if you did this, or they just didn’t do that, or the Universe would’ve given you two a BIT better luck…

This is the hardest part to go through. I’ve tried so hard to understand my own break up. I’ve self-attacked so much, and combed through my every mistake and personality flaw.

I’ve tried to focus on every one of her flaws, and the boundaries crossed. I’ve made myself angry and bitter.

I’ve focused on the bad luck, the bad timing, how the Universe which seemed to put us together so perfectly tore us apart with such ferocity. I felt like a leaf in the wind, as if this was all some cosmic joke.

The truth is we’ll never understand why these horrible, painful, and devastating things happen.

The best we can do is pick up the pieces and go search for something new- a new memory, a new place, a new person, a new you.

It really sucks, and even as you move on you won’t really understand it. I know I don’t.

Even though I have those moments of feeling normal and good, I still often feel that pain in my stomach, the tears in my eyes, and the confusion of… why?

As I write this now it all comes up, this endless pit of pain… Yet at the same time, I’m somehow healing. I don’t really understand it.

What was so perfect, what felt meant to be, is now gone. Those happy memories will always have a space in my mind. I felt so young and fresh, and even though it’s been just a year, I feel so much more mature and rough around the edges.

I’m trying to retain the joy, the free spirit, and determination and all other good things… but let’s be real, sometimes you just need to cry on your bed while listening to sad music all curled up.

It happened as it did, as fucked up as it is. Sometimes shit just happens. It’s all too easy to keep your mind in the past, as if reliving the memories and re-thinking it over and over will change how it is now.

In the end, you will move on. I’m moving on. It feels good. Then the pain will come back.

Recovery is not linear. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. Somehow, for some reason we may only know in death, this pain has to be walked through.

Keep walking. Keep crying. Stay true. Upgrade yourself. Live an awesome life.

Just keep walking through it, as hard as it is. One day I promise it’ll all be better.

-Michael

Leveling up in Life

I think I’ve realized recently what it really means to “level up” in life:

It means that you’re comfortable being independent, making decisions on your own, and asserting what you want completely.

It also means that you stop caring about what others think, and look at it instead as simply feedback- though often a reflection of who that person is rather than who you are.

Go to the end of this post to see my final thoughts, if you just want the quick bullet points.

For example, Donald Trump. Hate him, love him, shut up. Look at him objectively: he takes so much criticism yet gives 0 fucks… why else is he the president?

You can hate him all you want but who else has the balls to act as he did so confidently, and to assert what he wanted despite all the resistance?

Trump was determined to become the president, period. He didn’t care about the resistance or competition or anything. He stayed focused and got it.

Does it really matter that half of America and all of the world hates him? No. He’s president, Hillary isn’t, and neither are you.

Let’s switch gears out of politics.

A better example would be “that guy” at the bar who goes to pick up chicks, and everyone is like “wow look at this thirsty dude he’s learning pick up girls stuff” or whatever… but who goes home that night with the hot girl?

I experienced similar in my own life when I wanted to get girls, and also when I wanted to start my online business. You can’t follow the masses and be independent & free.

Recently I published a post called blinding pain & forgotten pleasure, about how the break up with my ex really fucked me up.

Some of you responded with such kind words & awesomeness, I really appreciate it. I also had a conversation opened with a friend where I was talking about a stressful situation in my life currently- some changes that are happening to travel plans and timing between various things.

It was through that conversation that I really got some clarity on what it means to live your life authentically.

One huge thing I’ve learned recently is letting go of validation COMPLETELY. For example, it’s a lot easier to pick up girls at the bar when you’re surrounded with all of your friends to laugh with.

Going out alone is a whole ‘nother story. Almost all of my friends I made in Bali all had to leave at kind of a similar time, which was frustrating to me.

I wanted to party last night but didn’t go because I didn’t want to be alone… but then I realized just how silly that was.

First, I am not attached completely to Bali. Worst case scenario (which is unrealistic) is that they put my face on a poster all over Bali to laugh at me, in which case I buy a flight out and BOOM my reputation is reset.

Second, only good things can come. So what if a couple groups or chicks rejects me (or you).

Does every rejection really matter when you get what you want?

When I was with my ex, I really didn’t care about all of the other girls who rejected me or that I rejected. None of the prior incompatibilities mattered because I was celebrating the fruits of my labor- which was going to the mall to meet girls.

So I’ve observed in myself how I have been resistant to doing some things alone, namely picking up girls. I may also have some baggage in that topic of it being “bad” or something like that, and one person I was talking to made me realize just how everyone was kind of shaming each other for the other’s primal desires.

I realized in contemplation, and in receiving bad advice, that it doesn’t fucking matter what anyone thinks. Part of leveling up in life is becoming more certain of your own choices, and not needing validation of others.

It’s also walking your own path and not compromising for others unless that’s a really authentic thing to do.

On the OCEAN personality test (Google big 5 by Jordan Peterson) I rank very high on agreeableness, which is why I’ve never got a ticket from a cop- I’m just too nice.

But on the other hand, I’ve been maybe too agreeable in my life. I’ve given to people who haven’t given back. I gave so much to my ex just to have a huge boundary crossed in Cyprus, that now I’m realizing I simply can’t agree with anyone anymore unless it fits my own agenda.

Now I feel like in a way I’m “becoming one,” or in another way of explaining it taking care of some little kid inside of me.

Back to the agreeable thing- me and a girl planned to meet in Thailand and adventure in Southeast Asia together. Suddenly she had a thing come up, and she wouldn’t be able to meet me until a month and a half later.

This created quite the trouble for me because it messed up the whole travel plan which I had going for me. I immediately thought of a couple different choices, and neither were entirely satisfactory.

As I voiced my messages to an acquaintance (the one who gave bad advice, funny enough) I realized something: why was I even worried about adjusting my plans for anyone?

I’m single now, and even though I connected very deeply with this girl, we aren’t together and there’s no promise of anything.

I realized I have to be disagreeable now. I’m just going to do what I want, and she can fit into my life’s plan or she doesn’t have to come at all. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m living true to myself.

Is that careless? A voice in my head tells me partly so, but as I strip away the layers of ego and “useless thinking” (let’s be real, 99% of thoughts are repeat gibberish) I realize that maybe what I thought to be “selfish & careless” was actually just self-care.

Some people in the world aren’t sensitive enough, others are too sensitive. I’m probably too sensitive, and need to become more disagreeable. So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

And with my ex, a part of me for so long deep down had always hoped that we would get back together, somehow. I gave so much, even after the break up, to show I was sorry for my own mistakes and that I was willing to improve. This was unconscious, too (the hoping of getting back together) even as I put on the facade of trying to move on.

But what has came of that? A huge boundary of mine was still crossed which potentially no one could come back from. I forgive, but that doesn’t mean I would allow myself to be put into another situation like that.

Now I am doing my best to kill that side of me clinging onto what was.

I feel some resistance towards meeting girls again. I notice in myself how when I know in my head that I should make a move, my body just doesn’t do anything. It still feels like cheating, or like I’m “tainting myself” for when I go back to her- but it’s DONE!

Even now as I write this, I slow down, the pain comes up, and I go, “damn.” But no more. I refuse to be hindered by such resistance. I AM moving on. I AM living an awesome life.

So I’m going to have an awesome rest of my time here in Bali, and I’m learning how to relax and be more comfortable in my own skin. I’m more okay with my own decisions and needing less validation from others.

I am really believing (at least for me at this point in my life) that so much of success & fulfillment from life comes from your ability to take criticism & face fear ALONE.

Anyone can pick up a girl with 3 buddies cheering you on. Anyone can start a business when you’re born into a family of businessmen.

But who can show up to a foreign country all alone and go meet girls to hook up with?

For the record, that’s my goal now too. Just to meet awesome chicks to hook up with. Not in a degrading sense (ie. fuck this bitch), but just in the sense that there’s very little attachment (connect with an awesome girl I can appreciate, date, etc. but not have the “weight” of a relationship). We can be together while we’re together, but I want to go back to Bulgaria soon so I’m gonna do that.

No compromises for anyone. Maybe this is a bit of an extreme, but after being in a very long relationship and compromising so much, enjoying the freedom of independence is exactly what I need to do.

I NEED to move on from my ex, and the whole prospect of hooking up & adventuring sounds exciting, so I think I’m just gonna do that, and in doing so kill that side of me that thinks there’s any chance of getting with my ex.

And there’s no one to do that with, so I’m just going to do it alone. Every day I’m feeling a bit more comfortable in my own skin, and I think the beauty of this break up, which has been so long and tough, is that I’m “falling in love” with myself… not in a narcissistic way but in the sense that I’m just being independent and doing what I want.

The rough plan now is to stay in Bali another week (or two), then go to Thailand, probably Chiang Mai because it’s awesome (last time I couldn’t appreciate it being heartbroken, having a surgery, being isolated, and crashing a scooter) and hook up and explore the area.

I have a list of goals to accomplish in Asia, some here in Bali, and some can be done in Thailand.

In a month or two, probably sometime in late June, I’ll go back to Bulgaria and stay for 2-3 months.

The friend who gave bad advice told me not to go to Thailand and hook up with girls because I’d “get too used to lots of girls loving me” and therefore not be able to pick up girls anywhere else.

It sounds silly, but any white guy (or English-speaking American) knows that Southeast Asia is a “man’s market.” I never thought there was such a thing as “dating culture” or a “dating market” too, but there is!

Some have tried to make me feel it’s a hollow desire, but then I thought about it: is it really? Or is everyone just running around making everyone else feel the same way, when everyone deep down just wants lots of girls/boys/whatever too?

And of course some people want a girlfriend/boyfriend, but that’s just as “shallow” (if it is) as wanting a hook up because the presupposition is that the boy/girl will fulfill things for you that you can’t on your own (whether it be sex, emotional needs, etc.).

Enough on that topic. I’ll probably go back to Bulgaria sometime in June or July, and I told a girl I’d meet her in Bangkok but that’ll have to wait. The plans changed from her, and so now they change from me.

You know, I just realized something too: so much of the important stuff in life is repressed or unspoken.

Let’s be real, you want a girlfriend/boyfriend, awesome sex, great emotional attachment, lots of money, fame, etc. yet for some reason society says that’s so “dark.”

In America particularly we are so sexually repressed, I’ve only met a few people who I can really talk openly with about sex. I can’t comment on Bulgaria or anywhere else in Europe, but based on general observation it seems that Europe is generally more open (albeit repressed in other ways).

Going for what you want in life is not dark or evil, as long as it is done ethically.

Some people will criticize you, but as long as what you’re doing doesn’t hurt anyone else (ie. in the case of hook-ups you should never promise something which you can’t fulfill) then you’re good. Haters gonna hate.

I made a note about this the other day: “I think success is just when you fail so many times or receive so much criticism that it no longer bothers you, and so you can carry on doing the things that’ll make you successful to actually be successful.”

Only now do am I internalizing this.

I want girls, parties, and epic social life? Gotta do it alone, all my acquaintances here left and the one remaining friend had business problems so now he can’t hangout at all anymore.

Want money? Gotta do it alone.

Of course, it always helps to have friends or people to do it with, but ideally you should be at the point where you don’t need that.

Dependence is needing people, independence is not needing people, and we need to be interdependent. Basically this means be independent, as you also fulfill your needs with other people (ie. you need a client to make $, you need a partner to have sex, so on, and you shouldn’t NEED validation or need them).

Final Thoughts

To be successful you need to be able to go at it alone. While other people do help, they can also pull you downward. For example, if you want to meet dating partners, you should be able to go at it alone. In my case I should approach girls alone and not rely on the “group energy” to give me any confidence.

Just yesterday I did my first solo-approach on the beach while working out… it was scary but exhilarating.

In doing this, you reconnect with yourself more and more and become more comfortable in your own skin. Group confidence is fake- everyone has it. Think of riots for example. True confidence is standing alone.

You should also just follow your own desires. Want hook-ups? Go for it. Want money? Start a business. Stop worrying about judgement and validation from others. Most of it is stupid anyways.

In my case I was frustrated at the dating life here in Bali, and considering switching back to Thailand because Thailand is a “better dating market” for people like me. So I’m gonna fulfill my Bali goals so I have the proper experience here, go out and meet girls, and then if I’m not satisfied I’ll head over Thailand to achieve my dating goals.

Some people have tried to make me feel it’s “wrong” to want to go to a place or do a thing like hook-ups, but upon reflection I realized that’s just their problem & repression, not mine. It’s totally okay to go for what you want, no matter how freaky it is. Or in your case it could be more simple like starting a certain job, or studying a particular thing others disagree with.

You have to be disagreeable in life, especially if you’re agreeable like me. While compromises are sometimes necessary, sometimes you need to say “fuck it” and walk your own path.

My example is an American girl & I were going to travel together, but the dates got changed by her and this messed up my plans. Now I’m deciding rather than accommodating her schedule, I’m just gonna do what I want to do- she can fit into it or not come. I’m okay either way.

By following your own path you’re truly connecting with yourself. We all have desires & wishes. In my case I don’t want to go to Bulgaria in Winter, I’d rather go in late Summer or early Fall (which I wouldn’t be able to do if I met the girl). I also don’t want to go for a short time in the summer, I want to stay at least 2 months.

Being disagreeable is hard but feels very energizing because you’re claiming what you want. Seriously, don’t live your life on anyone else’s terms! Note: there are nuances to this, and if you are a particularly disagreeable person you may have to be more flexible. I’m too agreeable, so this advice pertains to me. There is a spectrum!

Face fear & criticism alone, realize it is pointless. There won’t always be people to back you up.

Example: yesterday I wanted to party but no one could come. I distracted myself then passed out instead. Next time I will show up alone, make friends alone, and meet girls alone.

I was afraid of being judged/criticized/afraid (why? I don’t know) which doesn’t logically make sense, but being real we all feel the same.

To truly connect with yourself, it’s necessary that you follow your desires no matter what. Next time (probably tonight) I will just party alone, meet girls alone, or whatever.

All in all, reconnecting with yourself is so important especially after a break up. I’m too used to “us,” so much so that when I met someone I connected with I instantly tried to reschedule travel plans without consulting my own inner knowing what I wanted.

This includes friends too!! Example: in Phoenix only trying to meet girls when with the support of friends, instead of doing it alone.

Ultimately this is YOUR LIFE, so fucking live it! Travel alone. Meet boys/girls/whatever alone. Party alone. Of course, meet people & socialize, but the ultimate point is…

Don’t wait for other’s permission, time, availability, or be dependent in ANY way on other people in order to get what you want. Just follow your own desires, don’t worry about other’s judgement, take care of yourself, and LIVE AN AWESOME LIFE!!!