Category Archives: Success Mindsets

Embracing Freedom as a Lifestyle

Recently, I believe that one of the most dangerous words in the English language is “should.”

In many ways it is egoic, guilt-filled, and you “shouldn’t” force yourself into undesired action with the word “should.” Yet this is how we are trained as kids.

This past year has been filled with epiphany and personal growth, and one recent lesson I’m about to share with you is embracing freedom as a lifestyle- and removing “should” from my vocabulary, except when absolutely necessary.

For example, in my recent dilemma of whether I should go to Thailand then USA or straight to the USA I had in my mind that I “should” go to USA because “that was the plan” and “I am American and thus should try out living there.”

Note that I “must” (should) leave Bulgaria because of my visa expiring- that is a practical, truthful use of the word “should.”

But the second use- that I “should go” to America- was not fair to myself and let to an egoic split within my mind that made it harder to follow what my heart really wanted to go, which was to go to Thailand.

Eventually I came to the conclusion (thanks to the support of some friends) that it would be wiser to go to Thailand, and save my “mind energy” for dealing with the logistical issues of Thailand such as the difference in time zone, instead of living somewhere I don’t truly want to live!

Another example of this (and even better) is last night I was at a party. I wasn’t sure if I should go or not as I was feeling tired and a bit sad to be leaving Bulgaria.

I ended up going, and was having a blast. I then decided to leave, when some friends came together and one suggested we go to a club playing some great electronic music.

My mind said “I should go home and get some rest.” So when we left, I promptly excused myself and started walking home.

During my walk home I began to feel this sense of nagging… My heart was saying “no, let’s go to the club and party all night.”

Keep in mind North American readers, this was at 2 or 3 AM, and clubs in Bulgaria go until the sun rises! When I say “party all night” I mean literally party until 5 or 6 in the morning.

During my walk I reflected on this feeling- I asked myself, “Why should I go home?” No answer came up.

I was saying that I “should” go home because it’s “healthier,” but I also had nothing to do all day Saturday! If I stayed out, I could sleep in as late as I want, and allow myself to recover.

Furthermore I loved the party, the group of friends, and my days in Bulgaria are numbered. Why not enjoy some time at an awesome Bulgarian club?

I turned around and went back to the club, and partied past 5 AM. It was a ton of fun. The music was great, the dancing awesome, the club filled with great vibes and attractive women.

Today (the next evening) I slept in late, ate some food, drank coffee, and I feel good.

Deep down I know that had I eaten a sandwich then went home at 3AM, I would’ve been more tired than staying up until past 5 AM partying with no food. I could feel it in my heart.

When you follow your heart, you are gifted with more energy than is required to do what you want to do.

I feel incredible today- why? I should, by all standards, be more fucked up… But I’m not. I lived authentically. I’m not hungover, despite being hardly able to walk straight earlier today at 5AM.

Today I was talking with an awesome friend I made via a mutual friend about life stuff- travel, where to live, adventure, our jobs, dating, all that stuff.

She was very authentic and down to Earth, and in being in that energy field it made me reflect on my own lessons that I’ve been learning and applying in life.

For example, she had a very specific type of guy that she liked- and she was totally okay with that.

Deep down I know that I’ve felt more attracted to Asian girls and Bulgarian-looking girls, but I never admitted it publicly. I always felt some discomfort in admitting it.

But part of embracing freedom as a lifestyle is in being okay with the way you are. You have to know who you are, and what you want, and when you know that, you should just go for it.

Don’t over-complicate things with the whole “should.”

I had a friend suggested I live in Las Vegas to “learn how to pick up girls,” but what’s the point in going all the way there? It’s just a useless “should.” I know that what I like is in Eastern Europe + Asia, why “should” I follow a path to there?

In reflection, it is actually strange to not have a type, in the dating example. Most everyone I’ve met has common denominators in all of their past partners.

Yet due to society we feel scared to admit it. We don’t want to admit what we like or want, and thus we never chase our true dreams and goals. We get stuck in the loop of “should” rather than truly living our authentic lives!

When I write, I am thinking of the YouTuber Nomad Capitalist who says something along the lines of:

“Go where you’re treated best.”

He was saying this in reference to other countries in which you can enjoy a better cost of living, but also where you might actually be treated better in certain regards.

When examined though, and in a deeper video upon his life quote, it is revealed that the meaning of this is to be completely free. Just follow your dreams, your heart, whatever you want to do.

Stop worrying about other people, or getting stuck in the egoic notion of “should.”

It should be said also that this also means being careful about creating unnecessary life steps for success in your life.

The biggest example of this I can give is that sometimes people recommended that I go to a certain city for a certain thing, but the two things are vaguely related.

Example: “you should go to XYZ City because it’s great for business… Or because you can network, etc.”

People have suggested to me to move to a certain city or check it out just because the city has made a loose association with business or the type of work that I do.

This is a huge way I see people fucking themselves up- when I’ve observed friends doing these things, they usually shoot themselves in the foot.

Now, I’m not saying that moving to a new city doesn’t carry certain benefits. Obviously if Asian girls is your thing Asia is better than Eastern Europe, so on and so forth everywhere.

What I am saying is when there’s not a clear-cut statistical relationship between two data points and you make a decision on that, that’s basically just you creating extra steps in your life for no reason.

Some people say that Sofia, Bulgaria is not that good for business. Often times I am believing this as well- I would likely not have clients here as they can’t afford my rates, and when it comes to the EU you minus well sell to countries like Germany, Sweden, or Finland that are much more abundant.

However in reflection we can see that my work is online, and thus I can work from anywhere. I could have German clients but live in Bulgaria, or American clients and live in Thailand.

The biggest problem with this is that I am in a different time zone, and also unable to meet people in person. These are the two biggest disadvantages to such a thing, which are real, measurable disadvantages.

Does that mean I should move to another city? I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

There are ways to overcome this problem that allow me to maintain my life of freedom and adventure. There are still clients that I can close, and remote work is starting to become the norm slowly but surely.

In short, what I’m trying to describe here is that a loose association between two cities (ie. New York and business) is often made in people’s minds, and then people make decisions based on that when in reality they might be able to succeed in business (or whatever) right where they are.

This is the hardest “should” to overcome because as I mentioned earlier there are several cases in which moving to a new city will have tangible benefits.

Again Asia has Asian girls, if you’re into that. Moving out of the Middle East provides you with a safer political environment, as another example. These are tangible benefits associated with moving.

But many people confuse tangible benefits with general associations that are drawn up, so people say they “should” go here or there or do this or that when in fact they have not personally measured whether this particular action will tangibly help them!

Just Be Free

It sounds almost ridiculous to write those 3 words as you’ve seen similar stuff everywhere, but when actively applied it is completely true- and I understand it can be harder to apply at some times over others.

There are societal pressures, your own ego, friend pressures, family pressures, etc. but ultimately you have to follow your own path in life.

This is the big mindset shift that I’ve been making in 2019, and it’s been reconnecting me with the original dreamer I had inside me in 2017. In 2018 I took a slightly different path that was necessary for my growth, but now I’m finally coming full circle, integrating both sides of the coin.

If my heart decides that I should live in Thailand and not in the USA, then I should just follow that- I can always check out USA later! Same is true for Bulgaria.

No need to overthink it or burden myself with “shoulds.” You should (pun intended) save the shoulds for when they’re genuinely necessary, ie. I must leave Bulgaria because my visa is expiring and if I don’t leave there will be trouble.

If you want to work a certain job, just do it. If you want to go somewhere, go there. If you want to date a certain type, then just date that type and stop holding yourself back from what you truly want deep down!

Last night I really wanted to party- I wanted to party like that for a long time, but every time the opportunity came up I passed it up with a “I should rest” or some other bullshit. But no, I wanted to party. So I did it. And now I feel better, I feel more energized than had I gone home at 2 or 3AM like all the other nights!

To live this life of freedom, you have to know who you are and what you want. Then you need to just take steps for getting what you want.

I know that my heart enjoys living in Bulgaria & Thailand, so I’ll just live there. If my heart decides to live in the USA, I’ll do that- but for a large part of the past year it’s been a “mind thing” to want to go back there- it’s been something in my mind, not my true, authentic & free self!

There are still places I want to travel and adventure, and living in Thailand and/or Bulgaria make it easier to do so. It’s cheaper, why spend more and have to work harder when my heart wants to live out here anyways?

Like I said I might later this year be “all in” for the USA- or I might not. But I’m writing this now both to you and to me, just to follow your damn fucking heart.

Live a life of freedom! Go for what you want! It’s okay to have a dating type, or want to go somewhere, or create a business or whatever.

Stop bogging yourself down with “should this should that,” when really you SHOULD just follow your heart and make it into a reality.

As sad as I am to leave Bulgaria, I feel excited to head back to wild Bangkok and beautiful Chaing Mai. I’m highly considering- especially if I get a girlfriend- to skip attempting to live in America, and instead just fly back for the holidays then back to Thailand… Or even just stay there during?

There are other things I’ve considered doing out of the norm recently, such as playing video games or going skydiving. Instead of rationalizing these things away, I’m now embracing the freedom lifestyle, and saying “why not?”

“Why not?” is such a powerful thing to ask because it reveals just how silly your rationalizations actually are.

One way or another, just do what you want. Stop complicating things. Follow your heart! Be free and happy!

Finally, I will add that this doesn’t mean neglecting important responsibilities such as your finances- it’s wiser then to reflect on these things so that your heart truly wants it.

When I live more in tune with my heart, I feel more motivated to work harder and longer because I’m actually producing wealth to spend and save for things I genuinely want to do!

What does your heart want?

Go follow it (:

Thanks,

-Michael Keller

Observing Patterns of Existence: Your Destructive Pendulums Revealed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Observing Long-Term Patterns of Existence

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

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

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

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

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

One of my Long-Term Destructive Pendulums

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dissolving the Pendulum of Existence

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

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

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

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

What are your Patterns?

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

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

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

-Michael Keller

Good Research is Near-Impossible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

But why?

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

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

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

SEO: Manipulation by Content Creators

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reflective Walks are Better than Google

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Masterminds & Asking for Advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learning How To Use Google

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

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

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

There’s perhaps more that can be done…

Curating a List of Solid References & Websites

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

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

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

Courses & Paid Content

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

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

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

Books- The Holy Grail

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improving Research to Improve Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Michael

Thinking Bigger & Lifestyle Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Self-Perpetuating Absurd Echo Chamber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “Vibe Blinders” & Conflicts Thereof

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Restrictions in Thinking: Echo Chambers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creative, Original Thought- Do We Have It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unknown Unknowns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boom. Mind blown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thinking Bigger & Lifestyle Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

-Michael

Cutting the Learning Curve ASAP

“Why buy that course when you could find it online for free?”

I used to be a skeptic, too. But then I started investing in myself and some really crazy things started to happen.

For some reason everyone feels entitled to everything- especially knowledge. With Google delivering an answer (albeit not necessarily the right one) within mere seconds of a search, I suppose it’s only natural that we all begin to demand information be widely available, free, and instantly accessible.

The harsh fact is that it is not. In fact, as I’ve leveled up in certain areas of life I’ve discovered that often what you find on the front page of Google is just a ton of clickbait bullshit.

“SEO experts” are people that do a great job of ranking their web pages high up on Google.

It often isn’t the most accurate, relevant, or useful information that you find for a Google search but instead the Google search which is most SEO-optimized.

For example, I found it quite difficult to research what different laptop specs were because every blog post is filled with thousands of useless fluff just so that they rank higher for the search terms from Google bots and keep me on the website longer (which Google also counts as being more relevant).

When I type something basic in such as “HDD vs SSD” you don’t find the short, relevant answer that SSD is faster than HDD and thus significantly better to go with.

Instead you get thousands of words of bullshit comparing every little thing and breaking it down into completely unnecessary parts such so that it becomes confusing.

This is true with everything.

One thing I notice this particularly in is Facebook Ads- I’ve committed to excellence in it, and everyone is so adamant that they can find information about it via Google or practice.

No, you can’t.

The last course I bought was $1,500 (normally $2k) and contains the best information I have found in my life. The 10 hours worth of video content was more than worth it- how many hours it would have taken me to discover the same amount of information via Google? If at all?

Another problem is that you don’t have a good filtration mechanism if you aren’t already quite successful in the field. I often took VERY bad advice for things like Facebook Ads from the free blog posts… I wasn’t wise enough then to consider that maybe these people had no idea what they were talking about!

The fact is despite so much widely available free information the best is still behind a paywall, and rightfully so- it often takes the curators of such content years of their life to discover what works well.

I’ve noticed a couple other interesting things when it comes to purchasing advice or courses instead of discovering the information for free:

  • You value it more, and thus are more likely to apply it. When you get something for free it doesn’t mean much. I’ve been given strategies that would’ve 10x’d my business if I had applied them starting last year, but I didn’t pay for it and thus never took action. The stuff I purchased now I’m applying because I feel I have to get my money’s worth.
  • You save a TON of time. You don’t waste time on bad advice. You don’t waste hours, days, weeks, or months trying to figure out what works. You get an expert to give you the stuff, NOW.
  • I seriously can’t overstate just how important time is.

We live in such a one-dimensional world, as if it is your wealth that is the most important thing.

What about time? And energy? It is a combination of these things that make life truly abundant.

I’m starting to value my time more and more, and in doing so I’m considering purchasing courses but most people are so quick to tell me “no, don’t do that!”

Everyone has good intentions but I don’t think most people know what they’re talking about. For a very long time I haven’t. I still don’t- I’ll openly admit that.

What I do know is that the quicker you learn something, the more likely you are to excel at it.

For example, to learn sales it could take you years. How many rejections and failures can you handle until you give up?

If you invest this time to ultimate success reduces, and thus your overall chance of success. You also can spend more of your life succeeding instead of bulldozing through failure until success.

Cutting the learning curve in life is one of the most undervalued things in society yet one of the most important things.

With the widespread availability of free information, we have forgotten to value just how transformational coaching, masterminds, courses, trainers, and bootcamps are.

In my life I have been quite stubborn, rejecting financial assistance, medical assistance, and refusing to purchase courses when I otherwise could’ve- but the spend would’ve totally been worth it.

Life is meant to be enjoyed anyways. Sure it’s a process, but the process is more enjoyable when it brings you results.

Here are some thoughts on how to cut the learning curve and succeed in all facets of life faster:

  • Buy courses, and stop accepting free advice. The best stuff is usually behind the paywall. You’ll be more likely to apply it. You’re also giving value, and thus intimately understanding the buyer’s perspective (thus making it easier to sell yourself).
  • Get a mentor to fast-track you to success
  • Get a mastermind group or friends where you can “be real” with each other in advice-giving.
  • Get a fitness coach, dating coach, or life coach to help guide you on the various paths of life
  • Get a psychologist to help with mental health if you are struggling
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Of course not all of these are financially permissible at any given moment. So pick and choose based on priorities, but know that the help you receive (if from the right course/instructor/whatever) will come back to you significantly greater than if you were to fight alone.

-Michael