Category Archives: Life Stories

New Business Project

In yesterday’s post, I shared some of my logistical plans for 2020, and some tiny lessons for you.

This post will be far more interesting, and far more actionable for you.

In today’s post I’m sharing with you my new business + marketing processes, goals for 2020, and life thoughts / perspectives I have adapted that you may enjoy.

The New Business?

I made a Facebook post a few weeks ago announcing officially that I am no longer accepting digital marketing clients in 2020. All prospects are being redirected to various friends of mine.

Current client relations are being maintained, as detailed in my previous post in which I mentioned I’d be headed to Texas for a business meeting.

My new business is a project that aims to cure loneliness.

According to my research, 56% of internet users experience high feelings of loneliness at 7/10 or higher. A significant portion of those people also experience anxiety and/or depression.

Loneliness is something that I’ve personally struggled with, especially because I’ve been out of schooling since age 17 and started moving to new cities at age 18, making it rather difficult for me to easily make new friends.

This has forced my back up against the wall, and I’ve now developed strategies to rapidly build social circles around the world that are deep, meaningful, and great.

I’ve also conducted a vast amount of research, including forms which received combined responses totalling in the thousands.


This data, along with chatting with dozens of lonely people (from the forms) in many countries around the globe, has allowed me to structure a program that aims to “cure” loneliness by identifying the top 4 causes & treating them.

The program has quickly gotten interest, as this is a true market need, and I’ve worked with some people to improve their situation- we already have paying clients, woohoo!

I am expecting a testimonial within the week as well, which I will share with my Facebook timeline.

On one hand, it’s a bit exhausting working in this niche- some people aren’t willing to grow, so I have to quickly delete my chats with them for my own mental sanity (yes, you CAN create the life of your dreams…).

On the other hand, it’s deeply fulfilling helping people.

I’ve already mapped out the entire business for 2020- by the end of 2020, I’d like to enroll 105 students/clients into the program, which is certainly do-able.

If you have a large following and would like to help promote (for a % of income), then definitely reach out to me.

I’m currently working on developing organic marketing processes, which have been quite effective considering the time investment.

I am working on making these processes more efficient, giving value in my Facebook profile + other groups, and I’ve got some others method which I’d like to test which includes but not limited to:

  • “Tik Tok,” I’ve heard this is good
  • JV partners- basically if you have a large following you can promote for me for a % of revenue
  • YouTube
  • Email Marketing?? Maybe.
  • FB Ads

FB Ads is certainly something we’ll do, especially considering my advanced knowledge + prior experience, and they’re set to start running by or before April of 2020.


For now, I want to get some organic leads into V1.0 of the program, and start re-iterating and improving the program before I blow things up with ads.

Want To Help?

I am not opposed to receiving help, paid or unpaid, for this project.

By the end of 2020 I aim to see myself as more of a “manager” of the project than someone who is on the front lines.

Like I said it is deeply fulfilling helping others, however I am also susceptible to the emotions of others, so I don’t like spending too much time in support groups as they can often be negative and self-defeating instead of truly supportive.

Some things that the project currently needs help on are:

  • JV promotions (finding JV partners to promote OR promoting yourself if you have a large following)
  • FB organic marketing (I have created a process, but it needs to be refined)

This project is super exciting and the demand for a program that “cures” loneliness by helping people identify their weak points & fix them is fulfilling.

The 4 Causes of Loneliness

There are more than 4 causes of loneliness. However, these are the main 4 that I have identified in speaking with others and conducting extensive research on the subject.

#1: Logistics + Knowledge

If you don’t have good logistics to meet people (ie. live in the middle of nowhere), OR don’t know how to use FB groups, find events, etc. then you’re more likely to feel lonely.

#2: Self-esteem

This is the biggest ones. Almost everyone has opportunities, but they miss them because they don’t take the shot & lack self-esteem.

Even as I complain about Phoenix “lacking a social scene,” I’ve still met TONS of new people.

At the cafe I am currently writing at I met a super awesome marriage coach who helps prevent people from going through a divorce successfully.


How did we meet? He was reading a cool book, I commented on it, conversation started, and BAM we’ve been meeting every week to get coffee & hangout since.

That brings us to the third one…

#3: Conversational Skills

People don’t know what to say when meeting new people, or how to make conversations deeper (compared to small talk).

#4: Authenticity & Reality

The final one is that people are not authentic; they do not show their true face. They are not self-connected and living in alignment, so even despite all the friends/lovers/family they have, they still feel lonely.

Or, they compare themselves to IG models & others that seem to be “living life.”

My program addresses these 4 causes (as well as a few of the other minor ones) and we’re already seeing rapid positive results.

I’ll have a testimonial to share next week from a young guy that has already experienced great benefit with me. Woohoo!

Saying NO!

I’ve been saying “NO” a lot more recently, which feels great. If you struggle with loneliness, I encourage you to take every social opportunity by saying “YES.”

Once you get to a better point though, the word “NO” becomes powerful.

I was recently invited to a Vegas trip (for free accommodation + travel), but turned it down.

The idea was super exciting, but I decided that it would take away from this project.

The week that I was “supposed” to be in Vegas I ended up closing the first client/student for the Loneliness Project. By saying “NO” to that, I said “YES” to curing loneliness in others. Boom.

Are you saying YES to too many things? Stop it, and start saying “NO.”

Every time you say “YES” to something you say “NO” to several other things, and vice versa.


Within the yes is the no, and within the no is yes. It is yin fading into yang, and vice versa.

The ONE Thing…

I recently read the book “The ONE Thing,” thanks to a random guy I met in the cafe I’m currently writing in a couple weeks ago.

He had this book, I commented on it, and he’s the guy I’ve been meeting weekly. He gave me his book to read. I read it. It was great.

In life we can only focus on ONE thing at a time, at any given moment. Focusing on the ONE most effective task has been SO helpful in pushing this business faster than anything I’ve previously done.

I finally feel free of endless tasks, and it’s also why I’m hardly writing. My ONE thing is doing sales for this new business, and everything else is less important or unnecessary.

I’m letting other tasks build up, things get chaotic, etc. but ultimately I had to pick a priority and run with it. And now I’m seeing the results.

Are you doing endless THINGS but not getting RESULTS? It’s probably because you haven’t read “The One Thing,” which I encourage you to read.

Not every task is created equally; one task is the most important at any given moment. Focus all your attention on that until you have another ONE thing to focus on, etc.

Life is Simple. Be Happy.

I’m seeing through the ONE thing how simple life really is. I’m letting chaos on the outside build up as things don’t get done, yet the results are increasing as I focus on the ONE effective thing that gets me results.

It’s crazy how little you actually have to do to experience results. It’s all about prioritization.

What’s the ONE thing that you can do RIGHT NOW such that by doing it everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?

It’s true on a high-level and minute by minute level.

Right now I choose to write for pleasure; after I write, I shall do my ONE THING, which is sales.

I’m letting SO much else build up and not be done.

This “ONE THING” applies to happiness though as well. What’s the ONE THING you can do right now to feel happier such so that by doing it everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?

Life is simple:

  • Be healthy
  • Handle your finances efficiently
  • Do what makes you happy (do activities you love)
  • Find a partner, enjoy time with them, have great sex
  • Find great friends, enjoy time with them
  • Meditate & be in the now
  • Be decisive

Anyways, that’s all I got for you now. If you’re interested in this project, hit me up.

Otherwise I’ll talk to y’all later!

-Michael

Intro to 2020

We’re nearing up on the third week of 2020, that was fast! I’ve been in Phoenix for the past few weeks still, though I’m looking to get out soon.

In today’s post just wanted to share some of my reflections from my recent mistakes, how my 2020 is going so far, and what I aim to accomplish in 2020.

This post is more about my travel plans + experience around the world, with some lessons sprinkled in. Tomorrow’s post will have less logistical data about myself, and more actionable information for you.

America: Cool, Kind Of

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been dying of boredom living in the Phoenix area. This is mainly because my family’s residence is far from downtown Phoenix, technically in a small town.

It seems that the general vibe of the Phoenix area (and Arizona as a whole) is more family-based, slow living. It’s frustrating for my social butterfly heart.

In the entirety of the Phoenix area- which from one side to another is more than half the distance from Sofia to Plovdiv- there is a grand total of three party areas.

All of the bars & clubs are on three separate areas, yet they still manage to be mind-numbingly dead on weekdays. Only last Friday was it relatively okay, yet still many dance floors remained barren.

Even with Arizona State University back in session, the clubs are still SO meh here.

However, I am rarely in downtown Phoenix, as it’s the farthest club area from my home, so perhaps there it is cooler. Bad logistics is frustrating.

Lesson learned: I definitely do not like areas that aren’t walk-able, or don’t have a vibrant social scene. The entirety of the Phoenix area (around 5 million people) seems to have LESS going on than “small town Chiang Mai” (population 220k).

Planning to Fail?

I didn’t plan to stay in Phoenix so long actually. The combination of jet lag + reverting to a previous save” of myself left me a bit dazed and out of it.

I did feel excited to return to America. Great customer service, cheap electronics, and food diversity is great. Everything in native English makes things easy.

However, I think that I would enjoy other areas than the Phoenix area. I didn’t have a clear plan on “what to do” though, so I quickly fell into old habits & loops until too much time had passed.

I’ve learned now that certain environments can GREATLY affect your behavior. In my case being around family + old friends triggered me to act in old patterns, many of which were not productive for my well-being.

I kind of got locked into old habits. I’ve since improved a fair amount, though I still need to get out & reset.

Ultimately I let too much time pass without deciding where to go, and I must go to Texas for a business trip. This created a difficult situation in which I could either stay in Phoenix with family but remain bored, OR go somewhere else to be happier yet still have to return for the Texas business trip.

It was a hard choice- Mexico + other countries ‘south of the border’ were calling me but my values for 2020 is to “travel less, focus on connection more,” so I’m headed to Montreal, Canada next Wednesday despite the absurdly frigid temperatures.

And by absurdly frigid temperatures, I don’t mean the Bulgarian version of cold which is currently -1C in Sofia. The forecast in Quebec for my arrival is currently -42C in some areas.

This is Canada, my friends! But… At least I get to practice some French?

Lesson learned: by not planning for my next step BEFORE being jet lagged and in a previously unproductive environment, I fell into old patterns very quickly and ended up missing out on an action that might be ideal for my happiness.

Another lesson: being decisive and going to Montreal was the right choice. It was eating me up for some time but I kept procrastinating, but I could finally sleep well after I bought the flight.

Why Canada over Mexico?

In my previous post, where I wrote about my 2020 plans, I explained that I was done traveling to new places, for the most part- unless it was an explicit vacation with friends OR there was substantial evidence that I would enjoy moving there, and thus it would be a more-permanent move.

Mexico is cheaper, nicer weather, etc. but ultimately I’ve decided to stick to my values.

It’s been a while since I’ve experienced such cold (in my hometown it’s -11C right now in the day) but it’ll be worth it for my favorite bars, favorite restaurants, etc.

Now… I need to buy some serious Winter gear.

For my Montreal friends: I am excited to be coming! I’ll be there until February 6th, and I already have several of my favorite events lined up.

Despite the deathly cold temperatures, Montreal is STILL more of a lively city than Phoenix it seems…

If I were to live in America- which I’m not opposed to down the line- I’ve realized that it would have to be in a more walk-able (or fast commute) place, such as California (NOT L.A. but the smaller cities like San Diego) or Boston.

After Canada: Business in Texas

After Canada, I’ll be headed to Texas for a yearly meeting at my top client’s company.

I’m quite excited for this event, and it was necessary that I go. This is what created the whole dilemma & frustration for me- I wanted to go to Sofia or Chiang Mai, however I would have to be in Texas in February to guarantee my contract for the year of 2020.

There are some older board members in this company that do not understand the concept of remote work- how can Michael work from Thailand, Bulgaria, Phoenix, everywhere?

By showing up in person it allows me to leverage my social skills to maintain the contract. I just found out I’ll also be speaking to the company on two of the days, which I’m slightly nervous (but more-so excited) for.

After Business: Freedom

I feel quite frustrated to be stuck in North America at this time of year to be honest, which may have not been clear in the previous paragraphs. I am writing dispassionately on my blog these days, as my priority is elsewhere (more on that later).

I wanted to scope out Phoenix as a place to live, which I didn’t do a good job of doing quickly.

Quickly I realized it wouldn’t be the best place for me to live- due to long commutes + lack of social scene- however I stayed too long.

It was a hard choice: my visa was still pending in Sofia (can’t go until February), Thailand is a LONG + expensive flight, Phoenix bores me to death, and Montreal is expecting a brutally cold Winter.

Others would say “just go to Mexico,” and I have friends in Mexico. But like I said, I’m a bit burnt on travel- long-term social connection is a big value.

So I’m stuck in North America until the end of the business trip in Texas.

After that I intend to return to Phoenix for a week max to enjoy time with family + friends in Phoenix, mainly family though, and then I’ll be off to Sofia or Chiang Mai.

However, Chiang Mai has “smoky season” every year between February-April, in which pollution levels reach an all-time high.

Funny enough Sofia pollution levels are quite high now as well… However they’ll be nothing like Chiang Mai when smoky season kicks into full gear.

The idea to go to Bangkok or the islands down South is in my mind, but my values for 2020 dictate that I should not go unless it’s an explicit vacation or I intend to move there.

If I suddenly have MANY friends go to a specific island (ie. Koh Samui) THEN I will go there in February, however it’s not looking like that’s gonna be the case.

It will be most probable that I will return to Sofia in February, as sad as it makes me to extend my farewells for another 3 months to those I love & miss in Thailand also.

I intend to arrive in Sofia on such a date so that 90 days later is 1 week after May 14 because May 14 is my birthday.

In 2019 I did absolutely nothing for my birthday, and the trend has always been that my birthdays are less-than-exciting.

I want to make up for the apathy by purposefully celebrating my birthday in Sofia, Bulgaria in the best way possible.

This also adds another stone AGAINST going to Thailand in February- I’d only stay 1-2 months MAX so that I have 1.5 months prep before my birthday to plan something epic at a bar.

Thailand vs. Bulgaria

I THINK that at this period of my life I’d like to obtain a permanent visa for Bulgaria, which is still quite difficult. It’s an absurd amount of money, especially compared to the work they require you to do.

Actually, I wouldn’t complain about the money IF I could get residency WITHIN Bulgaria, like most normal EU countries allow as far as I know (ie. Germany).

However, they make you fly to Chicago MINIMUM 2 times just to get a visa, AND pay their fees.

It’s making it hard to move to Bulgaria and live there long-term. So for this year, as I’ve written before, will likely be the case of me going to Sofia for 3 months, Chiang Mai for 3 months, returning to Sofia for 3 months, then finishing the year in Thailand (then getting a visa for Bulgaria).

Who knows what will happen in that time? Maybe I will fall in love with Thailand more, and give up on Bulgaria. Maybe I will decide to live in Boston.

It’s a shame the visa process is so complicated. It’s okay that it’s a bit expensive- these things are worth paying for. The primary frustrating part is flying in-person to Chicago, two times, and the second time they don’t even tell you when to expect to fly back- they just expect you to pack up and go at their whim. Ugh- what about managing accommodation, cheap flights, etc.?

I don’t know if I wish to live in Bulgaria long-term. There’s a lot of downsides.

But for now, I have the best friends in the world, so it’s worth it. We’ll see where the chips fall though, as I’ve had the best dating & culinary experiences in Thailand.

I’m chilled out though. You know, life is simple: just do what makes you happy. And sometimes there are obstacles like visas, and sometimes life shows you new paths that you never would’ve expected. Just gotta go with the flow.

Business & Life Goals

Stay tuned for my next post tomorrow, where I’ll share my business & life goals + direction for 2020.

2019 Reflections; 2020 Plans

2019 is coming to a close, and with that a new year: 2020.

For me this has been quite an incredible year, however included in the painting a few dark spots.

In this post I will publicly share some of my own reflections for 2019, and write about some plans/goals for 2020.

Feel free to reply with your own thoughts on this, as well as your own 2019/2020 stuff.

2019 Reflections

#1: Be Decisive– the worst thing you can do is be in a state of limbo.

If your heart gives you even the slightest hint as to what the “right” decision for you is, then just follow that.

In the end it doesn’t quite matter what decision you make, as you can always adjust as you move along.

If you make the “wrong” inauthentic decision, you can adjust course later. For example, if you decide to live in a city you end up not liking, you can always leave.

The only “wrong” decision you can make is not making a decision- of course you need to give yourself time to make the “right” decision, but there does come a point where you just need to act and deal with the consequences.

Don’t regret anything; just adjust course ASAP.

#2: Keep it Simple- How do you be decisive? By keeping it simple!

Define things into their simplest components possible. For example, earlier this year I was telling victim stories about a break up and bad visa situation. That never fixed the problem.

When you define things into their simplest components, the advice that you need to hear is often quite easy to see. You often don’t need to ask anyone for advice.

If you still need to ask for advice, you can more easily receive it. The more complex the story you tell, the lower the quality the advice you will receive.

#3: Enjoy Darkness– Even sad emotions have positive expressions.

When you give in and surrender to your emotions, you can experience them fully which helps you release them.

Bad emotions give you lessons, and by feeling those emotions you ensure that you don’t get stuck in a loop of repeating your problems over and over.

There’s also a positive expression of each emotion, though we aren’t often taught that:

  • Anger – workout
  • Sadness – write poetry, redefine your life
  • Depression – workout and work on expression
  • Anxiety – an opportunity to overcome fear

#4: Reflect More– Seriously.

When you just sit down, journal, go for a walk, jog, whatever and give your mind time to sort itself out, it often does. You will know what you need to do.

Do not derp on social media, YouTube, drugs, etc. (it’s okay to do, but if you need answers in your life you’ve gotta embrace the pain that boredom carries with it until answers come).

#5: Everything in Moderation– including moderation.

In life there is yin & yang, left and right. Don’t get jammed on one side, though sometimes it’s definitely more ideal to stick to one side.

For example, you need to embrace reality but also be spiritual. Create wealth but also create spiritual wealth. If you get jammed on one side, you end up “needing” the other (ie. the poor yoga instructor, OR the hollow wealthy man).

However this balancing of opposites is not always absolute; for example, it’s generally wiser to lean to the side of health than the lack thereof.

#6: Just do what makes you happy– stop saying “should.”

Granted it doesn’t hurt anyone else, just do it.

You need to figure out for yourself what makes YOU happy, then just do it, without getting stuck in habits, routines, “shoulds,” ego, or pressure from family or friends or society, etc.

Life is simple. When you keep things simple, and define what you want, the steps to get it become rather simple.

It’s just easier to stay in routine than to repeat this reflection process, but it’s important you stick to it.

#7: Meditation is amazing.

I’ve now meditated almost every day for over a year- and the benefits are obvious.

It’s helping with the whole “clarity & simplicity” mindset I have. I’m also judging others way less, letting go of my former arrogance, and taking action in reality instead of in my mind.

Other 2019 Reflections?

I had several others, but I felt like these 7 would be the most benefit to y’all. Now here are some things I’d like to do in 2020.

2020 Objectives

#1: Long-term Conscientiousness.

I’d like to be more of a long-term thinker, which has naturally been happening as I move through life.

Instead of planning life by the month or day, I’d like to have an idea of general milestones for the next year.

This includes business success, relationships, and health. More on that here:

#2: Go to the Gym.

I’ve wanted to do this for quite some time, but I haven’t due to the whole traveling thing; it’s much more expensive going to the gym when you have to constantly cancel memberships…

I have a current workout regiment which keeps me quite fit, but not optimal- I’m able to build a ton of strength, but my muscles don’t “pop out” like they would if I were lifting heavier weights.

This year I achieved my goal of running 5k in under 20 minutes, and also for the majority of the year did a push-up/sit-up routine. The results are showing for my abs, but not for my arms.

Like I said I’m building strength but not muscle size, and looking better is a huge motivator for me. So, I’d like to upgrade my workout routine into the gym instead of doing what I’m currently doing.

#3: Ergo Work Setup

My days of working at a cafe are coming to an end!

I was meditating a few days ago, and my shoulders, neck, and head asked me to start taking better care of them.

Back when I first started in business, I had a dope ergo setup that also included a standing desk. Since traveling, I’ve not been able to easily recreate this.

It’s not hard work; I just take some books, buy an external mouse + keyboard, and work at home instead of at the cafe.

Since experimenting with an ergo set up just for the past few days I’ve felt a TON better. It’s crazy how much more endurance I have, and now I realize that previous “work fatigue” I thought I had was actually me hunching over!

Also, I’d like to work more from home instead of a cafe, just so that I can handle business calls, etc. Working from cafes is really fun though, so I’ll still do that, just for less time.

#4: Long-Term Living Situation

I will be more thoroughly investigating a long-term visa for Bulgaria, as that is where I tend to feel happiest.

However, this last trip in Thailand was 11/10 amazing. So if I can’t get that visa, then I’ll do 50% time in Thailand, and 50% time in Bulgaria most likely.

No promises yet though- I’m doing a little bit more reflecting to confirm my long-term living situation.

I’d ideally like to live in a one city- any city (ALMOST)- but I’m not quite committed to any place yet. The only place I’d pull the trigger on is Bulgaria, which also happens to be the hardest place for me to get a long-term visa >_>

That being said, even 50% Bulgaria and 50% somewhere else is nice, because at least then it’s certain, and I can probably rent one place and have it work out financially.

Like I’ve written many times this year, the whole “digital nomad” thing is kind of wearing on me. I need a main base, and it’s kind of funny how easily I’ve gotten stuck in this way of life.

I wrote down for my goal list “less travel, more focus on long-term connections + dating, and more focus on my bases as well.”

I’m also feeling more capable of handling deeper, longer-term relationships…

#5: Embracing Reality

I’m looking to embrace reality more and more, and apply my decision-making skills to this year to live a much more fulfilling and relaxing life.

Some moments in the past week I’ve been thinking things “should be like this, or they are like that in another country, bla bla bla” but I’ve silenced that victim bullshit and embraced reality.

It’s a lot better when you do that.

Anyways, what’s up with you? What did you learn in 2019, and what do you plan to do in 2020?

Let me know!

Thanks – Michael

Life, Gratitude, & Clarity

It hasn’t even been a week, but I’ve noticed massive changes in my brain & life since consciously reducing my “distraction addiction.”

Instead of watching endless YouTube videos, I watch none- maybe one, then done.

Instead of putting on my headphones, constantly listening to music or podcasts, I have embraced the awkward elevator talks and boredom.

When I decided for my brain that it could no longer get dopamine from those methods, it has begun auto-optimizing for my other areas of life.

The answers to questions such as, “where do I want to live, what do I want to do for work, what am I passionate about,” etc. keep getting answered. I just feel… clear.

Every morning I used to go down a rabbit hole of bullshit on my phone, wasting several hours.

Now I get up and workout in the morning instead of the evening, and that “morning workout high” is carrying me through the day (this is likely a huge cause of the many benefits I’m experiencing too, re-adjusting my workout schedule).

The coolest benefit is feeling re-inspired to do business & work again.

I bought this expensive business course that is one of the best. When I first went through it, I went through the areas I felt most excited by, not in any order (despite the creator telling you that you MUST go through everything in order for it to make sense).

I went to wek 5’s content, then week 4, then 3, then 2, and then finally 1- but I rushed through week 1, thinking arrogantly that I didn’t need it.

Guess what? I got my ass kicked!

When I was in Bulgaria earlier this year I hustled my face off for a month straight, denying my mental health, social life, and dating life. And I walked away with nothing to show.

How is it that I could experience success sometimes with minimal work (10 hours per week) but then other times when I was pulling in a 10 hour day I had nothing to show for it?

It’s because I didn’t do the boring foundational work that’s necessary in business.

It goes back to “Distraction Addiction.” My brain was so used to constantly being stimulated by bullshit that it couldn’t bare to handle the boring, lame work of business that legitimately creates success.

I had to get knocked down a few times to return to a humble state, realizing just how little I know.

In short, my problem was I was selling things the market didn’t truly need. Yet I was spinning my wheels as if I need better ads, better Emails, better this and better that.

Nope, the fancy marketing tactics don’t work if the market doesn’t want the product.

With my brain fixing itself, I find myself capable of sitting through a boring 1 hour lecture about how to conduct market research. It actually is becoming interesting, perhaps also because I have tried the “succeed fast” way, so now I am humbled to do the real work required to succeed.

Since cutting out my distraction addiction, I’ve picked up a few healthy habits. Here are some of them:

  • Reflection- my brain is naturally reflecting on life, problems, pains, and joys. I am realizing that I don’t need to Google for advice, ask a million people, etc. I can just reflect on my pain and find a solution (that’s not to say it’ll always be that way, but for now it is).
  • Clear thought– my brain is thinking clearer. I can think about complex things and stay focused on a topic for longer
  • Affirmations- I’ve picked up affirmations again
  • Morning Workouts– they suck and are definitely easier in the evening after you’ve loosened up but it’s a great way to wake up and feel awesome
  • Self-Control– in general I feel I have a lot more self-control.
  • Social Acuity– I’m already pretty good at this but it’s getting better. I can handle the discomfort of new social interactions easier
  • Introversion- strangely I’m feeling more like an introvert and capable of being one since this. I don’t need people/girls to stimulate me.

These are no doubt just the surface-level benefits, and more are to come.

Another huge one is that my perception of time is changing. I used to feel like days went by so fast and there was “no time,” but now I feel like there is A TON of time.

For example, a few days ago I went on a date with a girl and we had “only 3 hours” together. But it felt like a long 3 hours (and it was a great date FYI).

I just feel more productive in general, perhaps because you can easily blow away 3 hours on social media/videos just like that, whereas 3 hours spent in the “real world” go by pretty slowly.

Gratitude

My memories feel clearer, too. Suddenly I am able to remember yesterday, the day before, the day before that day, etc. much easier.

With my brain not being constantly stimulated, it’s like it’s naturally sorting out everything in my life. I know I keep writing this and it might sound strange, but you should really give it a try.

I don’t feel like I’m in conscious control of my brain, and that’s OK & GOOD. It’s just a machine processing my life, I’m letting go, not stimulating it with bullshit, and because I’m doing both of those things it’s naturally doing its thing.

I am having moments of immense gratitude + love. Perhaps it’s because I’m 100% here to “experience the moment.”

A few days ago I drove up to the mountain just to enjoy the view, alone. My phone was off the entire way, and I hadn’t been stimulating before.

I felt like crying from joy at the wonderful view. It was magical. I thought to myself, “this is the purpose of life, to experience, to explore, to live in each moment as it is.”

Why hadn’t I felt that way before? Because before I was trying to SNATCH PHOTOS OF EVERY SINGLE FUCKING VIEW & ANGLE.

Isn’t that what we are all doing? We go to some temples or mountains or cool shit and PHOTO PHOTO PHOTO then leave!

Without the excess stimulation, the constant “BOOM BOOM BOOM” of social media bullshit or music or notifications or WHATEVER, I am in the NOW, and in being there feel immensely grateful to experience this life.

I am becoming more aware of… Everything. I’m driving the same roads I do every day, but this time I see new cafes, new restaurants, new secret alleys to explore…

I am remembering my past clearer. Where I came from. Who I am now. Who I am becoming.

I feel immensely grateful for all of the friends I’ve made & the experiences I’ve had all around the world.

Why had I forgotten just how amazing life is? The constant noise from the phone alone caused me to forget, caught up in all the distractions of the little roller coasters.

Yesterday evening I briefly saw a few pics on my IG feed as I was responding to some messages- I saw every smile fake, everything bullshit.

I’m not saying it’s all bad. It definitely has its utilities. But c’mon, I know some of y’all aren’t smiling like you do on your IG feed.

We are masters of the internet world, yet incapable of connecting in person.

I think that disconnecting from my phone is attracting people to me as well. Yesterday after my workout in the park, instead of leaving my headphones on or derping on the phone, I decided to walk around in reality, and smile at people.

A girl said “hello” to me, and we started chatting. I met her friend, and the three of us started walking together around the park.

We spontaneously decided to drive to a temple together, then go to a cafe after. I met more friends of their friends at the cafe.

Also at the temple I made another acquaintance. Because I wasn’t peering through the world via my phone, I made eye contact with someone and we started talking. We exchanged contacts and will get lunch sometime.

The simple decision to exist in reality is connecting me with several other humans, it’s crazy.

Yesterday I met at least 6 new people all because I decided not to peer into my phone. Instead, I woke up to reality, and peered into the eyes of others.

It wasn’t even me that said hello. I did nothing. I just looked and smiled and people came to me.

Yesterday was supposed to be a routine day, but ended up being an exciting adventure of making new friends, exploring temples, and enjoying laughs.

How many opportunities are you missing because you look into your phone instead of the eyes of other humans?

I’m noticing my decision affecting others as well. I mentioned a girl that was so addicted to her phone she couldn’t hardly communicate with me on our first date in my last post.

When she told me when she was free, I asked if she’d be going out with me, or her phone. I put my ultimatum down and she put her phone down, and she went from a “boring phone girl” to a sweet, cute girl I enjoyed being with because I would not accept her phone addiction.

Reflection

Ray Dalio created an epic 30 minute YouTube channel called “Principles for Success” (click the link to view).

My biggest take-away from it, and partly what inspired my anti-distraction-addiction goal now, is his emphasis on reflection in the process of success.

Being clear-minded and free of distractions, I feel my brain processing events, feelings, and thoughts naturally.

The boring 3 minutes I spent waiting for the elevator in my apartment building are no longer stimulated by roaring music + IG notifications. Without that stimulation my brain can, without conscious effort from me, process it.

That right there is why I write so passionately about this! I feel human again! And I am amazed at the fact that I have to try SO LITTLE to become clear about my thoughts & feelings.

There’s very little required of you, too. Just turn your phone off for a day and watch what happens.

Anyways, back to Ray Dalio: I realized that I was charging through life without reflection. I repeated over the past couple years many of my mistakes, and I also lost perspective.

I stopped feeling inspired & grateful to live my life because on IG I constantly saw hot girls + smiles + ultra-fit guys “better than me” (but not actually), and my brain couldn’t think clearly with background music roaring all the time via my headphones.

Now that I’ve given myself boredom time just to reflect, I’m becoming clearer and clearer day by day on my financial goals, travel goals, etc.

And like I keep writing over and over, it requires no conscious effort on my part.

Whereas before I was constantly trying to figure things out, now they are figuring themselves out because my subconscious mind is free to wander!

In Bulgaria earlier this year I remember talking with a friend so anxiously, trying to figure out “where should I live?”

Should it be in America? Bulgaria? Asia? Oh gosh, the anxiety, the complexity!

Now I’m chilled out, I know what I want & need, I don’t need any feedback. I’m not 100% certain yet, but I know the steps I need to take to become certain.

When you wake up to reality, you figure out how you want to live- really.

There have been some uncomfortable emotions. I have some writing this, now. A little emotional pain that I’ll have to go into.

That’s why distracting is so much easier. I could forget these emotions for a minute by opening YouTube. I’m not gonna lie, I have that impulse slightly.

But I choose not to. No more. STOP!

The discomfort needs to be embraced. Life feels long now. One day is… A REALLY long time.

Instead of the days flying by, I’m going “holy shit man 16 waking hours how am I gonna spend all this time???”

I’ll keep you all updated, but I highly encourage you to join me. Turn off your phone. Disable notifications. Be clear. No more music. No more TV, movies, videos, anything. Stare at the wall and discover your true life.

-Michael

Fresh Winds Among Chaos: Upgrading for 2020

Do you want to make 2020 the best year ever? It starts now, by preparing before we all get wasted for New Year’s and spend the first week of 2020 in a hungover daze.

A Fresh Wind Among Chaos

Yesterday I did something out of the ordinary and really incredible:

With my phone off, I went to a low-key cafe, drank coffee, and just sat there. It was quiet. It was boring. I felt restless.

I had my journal in front of me.

Suddenly, I started writing. A lot.

I went from “a bit confused about life” to “extremely clear on what exactly needs to be done, how I feel about things, and where I’m headed.”

It was awesome. You should try it.

I came to quite a few realizations…

But First… A Story

I’m beginning to feel more and more a distaste to our modern technologies.

Today I went on a date with a beautiful girl. She couldn’t keep off her phone for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Minus ten points!

Ugh, it’s really starting to become a problem. And when my hot date hops on her phone, it tempts me to do the same also.

Also, I don’t think I’m boring. I could be wrong. Not all people are meant to mix.

It just seems that you have to dance like a wild monkey more and more to keep people’s attention these days.

I’ll be the first to admit I have a phone problem, but at least I can refrain from whipping out my phone when the conversation hits a 1.7618 second silence!

Dating aside, phones specifically are starting to becoming an annoyance for me.

Turn off notifications, and opening apps becomes addictive because you never know if you’ll have a message or not.

Turn on notifications, and you will get distracted every time you get a new buzz.

There’s no winning this fucking game.

I don’t know about you, but my phone and technology in general has become a problem in my life.

Both in how it’s affected others, but also, how it has affected me…

Embracing the Eye of the Storm

Back to my realizations from earlier. I was in a cafe, phone off, just me, a quiet vibe, and a pen n’ paper.

Just an hour before my moment of clarity, I felt tired, sluggish, confused, anxious, and generally out of it.

I had multiple things I “needed to do,” but for weeks they just couldn’t seem to get done… Which is ridiculous, because even the most time-consuming (extending my visa) would take just 1-2 hours on a bad day (this is Thailand, the most efficient visa extension in the world).

Maybe it was partly due to the coffee… But I can attest now as I write at 23:24 / 11:24 PM having gone over 9 hours without coffee, it’s the non-phone thing.

You see, in that cafe free of my phone, my brain did something a bit strange.

The Self-Solving Puzzle

Hours before that moment in the cafe, I had multiple situations that needed solving.

For example one of the many puzzles I had to solve was whether I should travel to the islands down South, extend my stay in Chiang Mai, visit Bangkok again, or have a really awesome Bangkok girl come up to visit me.

Clouded by endless notifications, YouTube videos, and IG bullshit, my mind couldn’t think.

When I cut off the madness, powered myself with coffee, and just sat there, SOMETHING solved everything for me.

My unconscious brain (or something) beautifully solved every problem without a single conscious thought from me!

I still marvel at that moment- I just fucking SAT THERE with a PEN AND PAPER, primed my unconscious mind with “I need this solved,” and then magically the ideal solution came to mind!

With the solution clear, my next steps became obvious. I created a simple action plan for the rest of 2020 as to my travel situation.

I also became clear as to my emotions regarding Bulgaria, Thailand, USA, where to live, all that good stuff (more on that later, plus more goodies for you).

Peace as the Default?

I’ll list some of the other realizations I had in a moment. Something else magical happened.

This newfound clarity brought with it a sense of wonder & joy. Then looking at the cafe, I noticed the paintings, subtle design elements, and other nuances that went unnoticed due to the phone capturing my attention!

In Thailand there is a BTS station called “ASOK,” which translates to “without sadness,” roughly speaking.

By just sitting there, I felt “without sadness.” I wasn’t particularly happy, but at peace, I was.

Why do I so desperately feel the need to be entertained by YouTube?

For the first 5 minutes it is more painful to just sit there, but the next hour is filled with wonderful peace, a sense of wonder, and extreme mental clarity!

Removing the Gas Pedal

I am reminded of a lesson I learned on a spiritual blog I used to read when I was 14 or 15 or 16 or something.

The author at www.calmdownmind.com wrote on one article something along the lines of:

“The mind is like a moving car, and when you meditate, you are taking your foot off the gas pedal. The car does not instantly stop moving, for it has inertia. With time, this car will begin to slow, and then stop. You will have the inner peace you’ve always had.”

This really is what I can see happening within myself!

Sometimes I feel compelled to watch YouTube because the content is truly fascinating. For example, I LOVE “Ownage Pranks.” Every week he releases a hilarious new video!

But other times I watch out of boredom, or a craving, or I even start from a good place but then find my way down the rabbit hole. You know, when you start at 9PM, and next thing you know it’s 2AM.

I’m finding more and more that for my own mental health it is often better just to sit and do nothing.

At first I may have some uncomfortable/derpy thoughts that I don’t like being with.

More often I may have some uncomfortable emotions. For example, I may have just been around someone I do not like.

What I’ve learned is when you just sit there in awareness, and feel, let go, relax, you often end up letting go of whatever it is that bothers you.

The first few minutes (or dozen minutes) suck… Don’t get me wrong. It feels much better short-term to pop over to YouTube.

Long term? Sitting there, literally doing nothing feels so much better!

The Solutions Come From Within

It seems that most of the answers I need come from within. There is no research that needs to be done, second opinions required, or data needed.

I just need to reflect- and perhaps so do you- and let the unconscious mind sort itself out.

This spiritual talk is rather practical. It’s simple: when you stop feeding your brain with new bullshit, it can sort out everything it has already taken in!

Some Of My Realizations

As promised, I’d like to share a few of the realizations that I had, as an example of what’s possible.

First, I figured out what my travel plans should be for the rest of 2020. I will remain in Chiang Mai until Dec 15, spend a couple days in Bangkok, then return to Phoenix.

In Phoenix I will decide what to do next, after first spending a little time with family + friends.

Currently it looks like I will either acquire a visa for Bulgaria, or live half my time in Thailand and half my time in Bulgaria for 2020.

Second, I realized how I truly feel about various things/places/etc.

For Bulgaria, I love the city of Sofia and how it’s laid out. I hate the customer service and general selection of products (not so good for business, shopping, cafes, etc.).

But what’s best about Bulgaria are my friends there. It’s easy to stay connected with them also because of the way Sofia is designed. The parks are incredible too.

Third, I’ve become a lot more aware of my financial situation and just how far behind I would’ve liked to be by now.

There were other, secret realizations. The most important thing you should take-away is that the experience made me feel CLEAR!

MANY answers came to me! I did not need to search online for the answers, ask friends or random people, or DO anything but SIT in a QUIET PLACE with NO DISTRACTIONS.

By feeling more clear now on what I want, I feel that I need to better optimize my time. I want to make sure I live every minute authentically chasing my goals or living fully, not derping around on YouTube…

And the Biggest… My Addiction: YouTube

The biggest realization is that I have a severe functional addiction: the phone/technology/YouTube.

I listed a few different things because it has shape-shifted over the years.

Sometimes I was indulging in video games. For example, in mid-2018 I once played Fortnite for like… 12 hours straight. Ugh, imagine if I had WORKED 12 hours straight- that’d probably be one new client!

Other times it was Reddit. Reddit is particularly toxic, with a high potential for drama. There are a few golden nuggets, but you need thick skin… And it’s a rabbit hole even if you never post.

Sometimes it’s even just going down an internet rabbit hole. 5 hours went by, I’ve researched a lot, but I have nothing to show for it…

MOST of the time, it was YouTube. It’s always been YouTube to an extent.

For nearly a decade since YouTube’s birth I can recite my fascination and enjoyment of YouTube.

When I was in Middle School (age 11-14), I recall watching YouTube on my iPod 4 (remember that?).

I distinctly remember my first favorite YouTube channel “MinnesotaBurns.” He would play Call of Duty and “troll” people. It inspired me to do the same, and cause a lot of havoc on Xbox + PC games.

Over the years I watched all types of content: informational, pranks, funny, sad, motivating, SO many different things.

At certain periods of my life, it was net-positive. In fact, I believe that of all the social media networks, YouTube has HIGH potential for positivity due to its educational + uplifting nature.

At age 14 I became inspired to become more socially confident + get girls, setting me on a path that would inevitably lead me towards self-development, and then business, creating my current “digital nomad” life!

Sometimes I watched YouTube to cope, like when I was sad, needed a friend, or even just needed some inspiration.

Anyways, let’s cut the story. You probably have a similar one.

Somehow over the years I began to watch more and more, sometimes addictively, sometimes not so additively.

It wasn’t a problem when I was 16 to indulge until midnight in hilarious videos. Or to watch YouTube while eating a meal.

Now, it is. Something has changed either in the platform, or how I use the platform.

The Dangers of the Internet (Particularly YouTube)

Please note that I’m not personally attacking YouTube. I love it. It’s still incredibly useful!

What I’m writing applies to the internet in general- Twitter, IG, Facebook, Blogs (like mine, too), YouTube, etc.!

Somehow over the years it became harmful. I watched a little too much. I began to crave it, like an addict.

And I have time. We all have time. So I gave in. I still worked, achieved my goals, whatever.

But instead of watching it because it was truly the best thing to do at the time, I began to watch it to “pass the time” out of boredom. I wanted to “get to the future.” Or the pull was just too intense!

Now it’s not all bad. For example, it sure is nice when waiting in airport queues to watch a nice, funny video to lighten things up.

However it’s also just as easy to open up YouTube when you’re eating a nice, delicious meal.

Just last week I was eating some incredible Italian food (the diversity here in Thailand is amazing!) yet I felt myself compelled to watch YouTube while eating.

I believe that is a key marker of an addict… Right?

At the very least, WHY?!? The flavors of the meal were wonderful!

Why did I need to also watch a YouTube video? You can only focus on one thing, the video or the food. So as I watched another video, my meal disappeared and all that remained was the good after-taste of it all.

In watching YouTube during my meal, I robbed myself of the great experience of enjoying that meal!

And fucking everyone is doing this now! For you it’s Facebook, for her it’s Instagram, for him it’s Twitter- but it’s fucking SOMETHING.

Walk into a restaurant and tell me what you see these days. It’s awful. It’s becoming a massive problem. We’re forgetting how to… Human.

Date Resistance

And I can see in myself too these negative effects spreading EVERYWHERE.

I am dating a great girl here in Chiang Mai. But when I first met her, I prematurely judged her.

The first 30 minutes of our first date were not particularly exciting. Like all first dates, it was slightly awkward, we struggled to find a good conversation topic + flow, etc.

A part of me was thinking “maybe I should just leave after drinking my coffee.”

Thank goodness I didn’t! After an hour we found our connection, went to the waterfall, ate delicious Thai food, and then enjoyed some exciting times together.

This is a dangerous time, instant gratification from YouTube for me and perhaps something else for you makes it tempting to “dip out” of awkward encounters with new people because it’s more pleasing short-term to derp-out to that little screen of yours!

The girl I went on a date with today lost a bit of my respect with her obsessive phone usage.

Emotional Turmoil

One time I went to eat at a restaurant- a delicious fruit bowl. I felt so compelled to whip out my phone while waiting for my meal, but I decided against it.

I realized I felt emotionally bad. Why?

I was previously hanging out with someone I did not like! It was draining.

So I sat there with my feelings, and soon they dissolved. Then I felt better, and could eat my fruit bowl with full attention.

My mind now is so tempted to whip out YouTube every time I feel bad, or am bored, or whatever… But this just builds up the pain as it never gets processed.

An Unclear Mind + The Last Unknown

And as I have written so much about already, my mind doesn’t feel clear.

That simple exercise of just fucking SITTING and DOING NOTHING allowed my uncoscious mind to lay out a VERY clear path up to 2020, as well as an “if-then” system for deciding my 2020 plans!

There is one last unknown- what I’d like to do for my work. Should I keep doing what I’m doing, develop an online course, switch niches, etc.?

I don’t know yet. But I know how to find the answer now.

The Ticking Clock

Worst of all, the clock is ticking. Tick tock, the clock.

How much time have I wasted in 2019 alone to bullshit internet stuff? Is it really okay to indulge “even just a little?”

Sure, maybe a little is okay. I dated this girl earlier this year and we played Minecraft together one time for a while.

That was a ton of fun. It was an exciting experience to combine a pretty girl with one of my favorite childhood games.

I guess what’s most important is defining what kind of life I really want to have- and I ask you too, what kind of life do you want to live?

I do concede that playing video games with some real life friends (ie. laptop meeting at a friend’s place) can be a lot of fun. It’s a shared experience with friends.

But doing it alone? Not fun. It’s just a distraction from doing the necessary yet hard or boring tasks needed to live a great life.

Meeting new friends is awkward and annoying. It’s a lot easier to whip out that phone or play that online game short-term.

But the growing pains of such a task is necessary, otherwise you will be faced with greater long-term pain.

Ultimately what scares me is just how much time, and thus progress, I have lost in 2019 already.

Already the idea of quitting YouTube even for a month (and limiting other network usage) is terrifying. That feeling is the end of the delusion of it not being that much of a problem.

The fact is I have NOT made the business progress I intended to make earlier this year.

The biggest business thing I learned this year was that, as quoted by Sam Ovens:

“People don’t have business problems. People have personal problems that show up in their business.”

I’m filling my mind with derpy YouTube bullshit. Even the self-help stuff I listen to nowadays is highly unnecessary! I don’t need anymore “information.” I need to chill and take some proper action.

As above, so below. With a derpy mind comes derpy work. It needs to end.

Even if this is not true, the fact is that dedicating 50% of my YouTube/video game time this year alone would drastically change my business & financial life.

The clock is ticking. I do not want to live my life on YouTube, and the negative effects are extending farther out than just the time I waste on YouTube.

A New Path Forward

The phone has got to go. Yet I can’t. It’s too valuable to throw away, it’s necessary in our modern times.

The mind needs to be upgraded. I need to upgrade for 2020, as I would encourage you to do as well.

I could write for so much more about the dangers of the internet, distraction-addiction, YouTube, video games, whatever.

At this point, the message should be more than clear: it’s a huge waste of time, and boredom has its merits.

I want 2020 to be the best year ever, and I know that starts with taking back control over my mind.

As demonstrated to me in my no-phone chilling at a cafe with a pen n’ paper, a whole lot is possible of the mind I never knew to be possible.

The conscious ego need not do anything. Just relax, chill out, and wait for the solutions to be solved from your unconscious mind. Then act.

I am resolving now to vastly reduce my internet derp time, and instead replace it with productive action, meditation, or just chilling out.

Many of my goals are not where they need to be, and I can see now it’s not that I didn’t work hard enough- it’s that my energy, time, and attention were being crippled by the wrong things.

“Sam Ovens” also has another amazing business quote:

“It’s not about playing to your strengths, but about fixing your weaknesses.”

I can clearly see this to be true. My great mind (as is yours) is useless if polluted by internet nonsense.

Most of all, your time here is limited. Even as I secretly hope for “Immortality” I know that it is unlikely, and thus every moment must be optimized for success or fulfillment.

This means actively making new friends, nurturing current friends, meeting dating partners or actively dating, working out, eating right, working on the business / income, OR if not moving towards a goal, actively enjoying life by exploring, hanging out, napping, ANYTHING that is TRULY fulfilling.

This is the beginning of my new path: a life free of the hooks of the internet.

I’d like to free up my time from the internet (excluding work-stuff or legitimate research), and live REAL LIFE!

No more derping for endless hours on YouTube, mindlessly scrolling on IG, or ending up on some silly internet rabbit hole.

Time is too precious to waste. There’s a whole lot to create.

What do you think about all this?

Let me know. (:

Thanks,

-Michael Keller