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