Category Archives: Deep Reads

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

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

Repeating Childhood Trauma

Is it true that we really repeat our childhood traumas over and over throughout our adult lives?

For the past year, I have recently become to believe this is true, both in my observations of my parents but more importantly myself.

This post will be focused mainly on myself but you can easily apply the reflections to your own life.

Healing it is something I’m not entirely sure how to do, but I am certain that it is possible. It’s just a matter of navigating said path and transforming yourself into a person that is free of the trauma.

The childhood trauma could be anything. In extreme cases people that have extremely abusive parents tend to have extremely abusive partners that also treat them the same.

The theory is that patterns we have learned and experienced in childhood become patterns that we unconsciously get drawn to in our adult lives because we are attracted to what is familiar.

The Destined To Be Lost: The Cause

Growing up I suffered from a sense of “not belonging” quite often. I felt like an outsider.

I’m not exactly where this came from. Perhaps being the first born makes you feel like this especially when my parents had to be busy with something. Maybe it was unconscious energy passed down from generation to generation.

Or it could even just be “bad luck.” I remember one girl saying I was “weird” when I was about 4 years old, and that stuck with me for quite some time. I always felt a bit “weird.”

In reflection I don’t think I was that different (if at all) but more so the problem was the bad luck in who I was initially surrounded with. We are all dealt cards early on in life, and never are these cards fair!

Growing up in my childhood became more difficult with a series of moves that were made.

In the 6 years of schooling before middle school, I went to four different high schools. One switch was due to a move of homes, but the other two were simply due to the ridiculousness of Omaha’s changing development.

Each time I made friends in one school, I was destined to lose them and say goodbye. Sure I had some stable neighborhood friends (thank goodness), but never did I have a group (as a child) for long in school.

I went to Katherine, Rower, Reeder, and Reagan Elementary schools. The first two I spent one year, and then two years in Reeder and two in Reagan. I believe it was even worse it happened like this because I was younger for Katherine/Rower schools, so the transition was more difficult to deal with.

By the time I was in middle school I felt like an outsider and associated myself with those. I spent too much time alone. I was angry and in grief often. I felt frustrated. I felt disconnected and alone.

Worse yet I had unconsciously embraced the identity of being “different” and “weird.” The bullies like vultures smelled this and used me as their punching bag.

On one occasion at least 20 kids created an elaborate plan to trap me and attack me. I tried to leave school on one hallway where 5 kids blocked. Then I tried another where another 5 blocked it. So there was only one exit to go down- where 10 kids waited outside and they all got me.

No wonder that in America we have a shooting problem with such cruelty. Little kid me was angry and it weren’t for video games and athletics, I would’ve lost my mind (let’s be real, I was already losing my mind and filled with violent, deadly RAGE).

If it weren’t for inspiring YouTubers I started to watch that promised me a better future, I likely would have crossed over to the dark side because I would’ve believed that all there is to reality is that.

In High School I improved but only by a short margin. I felt like an outsider and felt broken by this point.

When I finally got a girlfriend, we had to break up because I was moving to Phoenix.

Did this set the stage for my adult life?

Reflecting on the Past 3 Years

It’s scary to see the similarities between my childhood and the past few years. Don’t get me wrong it’s 100x better (no, tens of thousands of times better) but there’s one recurring theme:

The Outsider. The Traveler.

I’ve often felt like an outsider in many countries, and disconnected from my own country. I’ve struggled to find a place that felt like home, except when in love with my ex.

Perhaps it’s not the place anyways, but the people you are with?

Regardless, I’ve been addicted to travel and it felt like I lost a bit of control over it in 2018. Even now it feels hard to get a grip sometimes.

I know logically that I need a “home base,” but now I’m at a point where I’ve traveled so much that it’s super difficult to imagine staying in one place for even 6 months straight nonetheless a year or years!

Only recently have I considered that to solve this problem I must go inward- instead of going outward. The problem isn’t outside me. It’s inside me. I unconsciously choose all of this.

Every time I start to adjust to a place, it seems I have to go because my visa expires. Or something happens. Or I already have bought a flight.

When I finally felt some peace in Bulgaria in mid 2018, my visa “expired” and I had to get going. That was the longest I ever spent in one place (about 6-7 months) in the past 2.5-ish years.

That moment felt cruel because I had a girlfriend… But we were both young and each other’s firsts, we had no maturity or capability to handle the problems that were tossed our way.

Was it a surprise that we broke up? I could hate her for her faults and myself for my faults, but as I reflect on it more and more I feel compassion for both her and me and us as it were.

Every relationship has problems but fighting visas and money and immigration all at the same time dulls every strong flame. At least in a dramatic argument there is passion and fire and make up sex. But there is no such passion with paperwork and long distance suffering.

Alas, it is so. I am in many ways held bondage by this past identity so unconscious that it took me years to realize it.

I am unconsciously sabotaging my own happiness by traveling, but now I’ve dug myself in so deep that settling and building a home and building a real life seem so far out of reach!

Should it be in Sofia, where I have the most friends and life is walkable and good? Or should it be somewhere where people speak English, and that’s better for my hobbies and business?

In any case, I must break the “outsider” and “traveler” identity. Already in Thailand I let go of the former, and told people I LIVE in Thailand and that I’m MOVING to Sofia. I LIVE in Sofia now, and NOT TRAVEL through it.

The outsider is harder to break, for it has deeper roots, and is the core issue which led me to aimlessly wander in the first place.

Breaking the Circle of Suffering

Through reflection and awareness, already I can feel the patterns of the past dissolving. You can only get more of what you have by doing what you’ve always done, so I intend to take different action to get better results.

At first, my goal was to have a home base by March or so of 2020- but as I feel a detached neuroticism taking over me again, as it did in December of 2018, it becomes ever more apparent that I locate this place to call home “ASAP.”

Unconscious Pain, Re-Manifested Repeatedly

The way that I realized this is I spoke with another long-term traveler digital nomad friend- we met in Bulgaria, traveled to different continents, then met again in Southeast Asia.

What I realized was this: we both likely suffered CPTSD as children, and were repeating it in our travels!

PTSD as you know is a singular traumatic event (ie. getting robbed and beaten) that causes significant emotional distress.

CPTSD (or complex PTSD) is repeated, subtle to mid level trauma (or high) over a period of years.

For example, getting bullied in middle school severely and constantly switching schools and losing friends was not as traumatic as war to me, but a state of little periods of stress that kept re-manifesting over and over.

Every day going to school felt like war. I identified as a soldier in a way, never certain whether I’d enjoy a day of peace or this way the day I got pushed around.

This type of stress creates a state of depersonalization, derealization, and feeling of detachment as the consistent stress begins to wear on you. You get accustomed to the constant pain, it becomes the norm but in it becoming the norm you lose yourself to detachment.

Me and my friend both realized that we were entering states of detachment again- when you know you’re gonna be leaving a place, what’s the point in connecting with people?

In the beginning I had no such problem. I connected easily in Montreal, Budapest, Belgium, London, and Sofia. But after I left Sofia that first time (likely because of a strong relationship attachment) it all began to feel meaningless.

I was leaving Cyprus, so what was the point of connecting with anyone there? Instead of engaging with life, I detached from life. Of course if you’re somewhere and you’ll leave there is still a point to engaging with the people there, but the problem is the sense of detachment prevents you from doing exactly what you need to do to be happy.

Travel has likely re-induced a subtle state of CPTSD to me and my friend over and over.

Where will you work? How will you meet girls? How will you make friends? When will you say goodbye? Where to eat? Where to workout? How to get around the city? Jet lag? Client calls? Visas? Immigration?

Me and my good friend are highly adjusted to states of constant stress. In some ways this makes us powerful. Drop me randomly in any city in the world and I’ll find a way to get by (well maybe not North Korea or ISIS-held areas please).

The Key is in Perpetuation…

But the problem becomes that the ENERGY wants to PERPETUATE itself! When you are happy you want to share that energy. And when angry, you wish others to be angry too!

So we’d adjust to stress better than most, but the problem is that we find ways to perpetuate it at the same time.

The problem would be that if you dropped me in a random country I’d probably unconsciously decide to go explore all the countries around it in an unsustainable fashion such so that this CPTSD energy keeps living on within.

We wouldn’t relax when we have a girlfriend, job, and stable life in the new city. We would claw for more.

Releasing and Transforming

This is why I’ve been believing in a lot of transformational stuff recently. The fact is that “I” am not capable of achieving “XYZ” because “I” am not someone who HAS “XYZ.”

You have to become exactly that which you want to receive- transformation must take place in order for change to happen, otherwise you will perpetuate the past.

I can’t say with certainty how to release the shackles of the past, but via meditation, conscious action, and reflection, I feel that it is possible.

Ultimately it also takes place in the present moment. I am choosing to feel belonged, and choosing to enjoy each moment as best as I can. What other choice is there?

Finally in each pain there is a positive.

In becoming an outsider, I thought independently and realized that success was incredibly easy to achieve. Most people are chained by the shackles of others. I am chained by a shackle nonetheless, but at least I got to live an epic past 2 years.

Ultimately no shackle is worth holding onto, it is against the essence of true freedom!

So I intend to release my shackles, break the cycle, and redesign my life and fulfillment as I see fit instead of letting the past run me.

And you can do this, too 😉

Thanks,

-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

Conquering Inner Demons

Since April, it’s been my commitment to finally start financially growing in the way I’ve always wanted to. After creating my website, it came time to put my hands in the mud: sales.

First I made the mistake of launching Facebook Ads pre-maturely. In the moment it didn’t seem like quite a mistake, but now I have learned a lot more and decided to first increase my revenue and then experiment with ads when I have a larger budget.

In the past 2 weeks I’ve been highly committed to experimenting and learning sales. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.

Conquering Inner Demons: It’s So Easy, In Mind

In theory, the prospect of anything is incredibly easy.

If you want to get several girls, all you have to do is buy a training program and then hit the clubs and talk to all kinds of girls. Within a year you’ll be an expert.

If you want to grow a business, you buy a training program and hustle hard. You just have to evaluate what’s most important (sales + closing deals) and then do that.

Yet that’s not what happens.

As humans we can so easily make two mistakes:

The first is over-analyzing, over-planning, yet never taking action. This is me- I have known so much for so long yet not applied it.

The problem with this one is you’re a “talker” but not a “walker.” People validate you because you sound intelligent, when in fact you are not applying what you’re talking about.

I’m purposefully writing way less on the blog for this reason, and from now on only writing about things I’ve already done rather than the theory of the future.

The second is indiscriminate action. I’ve also dipped into this, though my problem lies more in the first.

These are the people that blindly shout you need to work 90 hour work weeks. Yet they don’t make any progress. They rush to take action, yet without planning or any degree of reflection.

Alas, it is not yin or yang which we need yet both to create the whole. Success in any field is a combination of planning & thinking while also taking massive action. One without the other leads to mediocre results.

Conquering Inner Demons: Getting Assistance

One of my own problems has been being too stubborn combined with being too disorganized.

Getting organized has happened naturally as I’ve taken more action. It’s especially happening as I start to schedule sales calls and practice sales calls with other sales newbies.

Admitting that I needed help was difficult. I ended up purchasing the “Consulting Accelerator” program for $1,500 (my referral link gives you $500 off the $2k price if you’re curious) because it is the most comprehensive course on creating a consulting business.

It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made. I’ve also purchased coaching calls with others, some as high as $250 for just 45 minutes with an expert. That too was a good investment.

I’ve written previously about the “map of consciousness,” in which a “calibration” above 200 is productive and healthy and anything below 200 unproductive and not healthy.

Well I can see now that I’ve calibrated so close to 200 in terms of wealth creation- I’ve calibrated at the level of “pride.”

At pride you are taking action (sometimes), but more concerned with your appearance or image.

A prideful person also is insistent that they could “achieve it all on their own” and so they do not get help from courses or others, even when the time saved is so significant.

You see this pride rampant among the internet because the majority of the population on Earth calibrates below 200. According to the book Power vs. Force & Levels of Energy, the global average has only exceeded 200 and for long before that we calibrated right below the level of 200.

Everyone is so insistent that you can “find everything for free online,” yet they fail to realize in doing so you will lose countless hours and also get confused by free advice which is not useful.

Anyone can write a blog. It only costs me about $60 or $80 per year or something like that for each one of my websites. That’s not even the cheapest hosting either!

By going through the consulting program, I’ve been able to learn exceptionally valuable lessons and face my inner flaws.

It was not pleasant. I had to face the fury, and I still am.

Conquering Inner Demons: Facing the Fury

Recently I messaged a friend who had become quite successful in business, and recently became quite successful with the ladies as well.

Initially I had been more successful in business than he- but he soon overtook me as I regressed from courage (taking action) to pride.

What I told him was something like this:

“I realize now why I always delayed taking action. By taking action, I’m confronting all of my inner securities and even the positive beliefs I’ve had about myself that I’m smart. I feel rather stupid because I realize now ther’s so little I know, so many mistakes I’ve made, and so much to learn.”

Sometime in April, when I resolved to actually become great, I began to have some negative thoughts start popping in my head telling me that I was “stupid.”

Sometimes I’d fight it with thoughts like “I’m smart,” but that didn’t make me feel too good either.

I realized recently that thoughts like “I’m smart” did not feel so good because they came from a place of pride. What does it matter if you’re smart or not? It doesn’t matter, all that matters is the results and happiness.

I had some beginner’s luck in business, but I failed to be persistent in my action until recently.

This beginner’s luck left me with a bit of pride and self-belief that I was greater and more intelligent than I actually was.

No, I was wrong. I am far from great. Far from skilled. There is much to learn, in all aspects of online business.

Sometimes when I take action and I’m building a sales list to contact, I start to get negative thoughts and my brain gets cloudy. But I push on.

I remind myself that it doesn’t matter how smart I am, for it is an iterative process. For example, my second version of the sales outreach script was a disaster. My 5th iteration or V5 is what has performed best. V6 has been mediocre.

The problem with thinking that you’re smart is that you expect great results instantly or soon.

That’s not how life works. You must take action, measure the results, and then form a new hypothesis and take action again. This iterative process is what gets you success in all areas of life, whether it be fitness, business, or dating.

For example, one non-business epiphany I had recently was that getting a woman’s Instagram was reducing my “approach to conversation ratio.” This ratio is how many women go from approach to text conversation.

The problem with getting a girl’s Instagram is that if she has already a fair number of followers then my follow will not trigger a proper notification on her end, and my message to her will get trapped in the “message requests” folder.

I hardly have any followers yet I am constantly spammed with porno bullshit.

Does this mean that I’m “bad with the girls?” No, it just means that the previous method of acquiring a girl’s contact information was ineffective. It’s likely that some of the girls I talked to are confused why they “never got my message” because they mass delete all messages that go to spam!

The school system is a huge detriment to this as well no matter if you were considered “smart” or “stupid.”

Some believe they are not smart, yet they just had crap teachers and a broken system- they could be in fact so intelligent.

On the other end of the spectrum you could believe you’re smart and win in that system, but then feel afraid to take action (me) because when things “don’t work” the first time you feel insecure about your intelligence.

I’ve sent 690 Emails but only had 2 sales calls (with 1-2 more in the pipeline). That’s a shit ton of work. That’s a threat to my perceived identity of being “smart” or a “good communicator.”

However one iteration (V5) of the 690 Emails (128 Emails of the 690) performed particularly well. By doubling down on V5, which is where one of the sales calls were acquired and another 1-2 are in the pipeline, it’s easily possible that these numbers will be better.

Be… Without Form Like Water

If anything this growth experience has taught me that I have to let go of my identity and become like water. Having an ego is of no benefit, whether you have positive thoughts or negative thoughts. Both inhibit you when it comes time to hit a new goal.

Some days are a struggle, but I push on because I know that I must go on in order to succeed.

It’s only a matter of time until I crack the sales code, and at this point there is no limit to my success.

In the meantime, it’s more of an internal battle than anything. The consulting course gives you an easy framework to follow to get results.

It teaches you a scientific, iterative process that allows you to refine your sales processes & offer so that you and your clients get the best results.

The thing is, you can’t get attached to any identity or emotions because it’s almost a guarantee that V1 will not be effective.

Iteration is the key word here- you must always test new things and keep what works while discarding the rest!

Regulate Yourself With Data

Sam Ovens, founder of the course, reminds you to “regulate yourself with data, not emotion.”

There are several times in the past 2 weeks where I’ve felt down because I’ve opened my laptop to receive no responses after grinding on writing cold Emails.

But I had to remind myself: that’s just V1. Or that’s just V2. It’s an iterative process and you have to test a ton of things to get it right.

The great flaw with school is that you get a one-time grade that defines you. That makes no fucking sense and has no basis in the reality of life & business.

In real life, if you do not succeed the first time you are allowed to reiterate and improve over and over until you get results.

The fucking school & University system is a mess. If I send a cold Email that gets no response, that does not define me forever. I am allowed to resend another Email to a new person or hell even the same person!

What we perceive as our identity is just a temporary snapshot of where we are at in a particular moment. It’s always changing.

Conquer Your Demons

I’m sharing with you today so that you can remember to conquer your own demons and face them!

With whatever goal(s) you have in life, you can achieve them, but you probably won’t succeed on the first attempt. That’s because life is a scientific, iterative process in which you most constantly retake the test over and over until you pass.

Unfortunately modern schooling makes us think that one grade defines us forever. No, you’re allowed to try over and over until you succeed!

Even more unfortunate is that you may have an identity. Whether you think you’re smart or not, this identity will likely hold you back. You have to relinquish this identity such so that the demons have nothing to attack.

How can the demons attack if I am neither smart nor stupid? They have no beliefs to punch, and I can just focus instead on reiterating what needs to be done until I achieve the desired goals.

Be like water, and lose resistance to your goals. Plan & take massive action for maximum effect. Reiterate over an over until you get it right. Done.

-Michael