“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost

Everything sucks.
I don’t know what I’m doing.
All my friends have high paying jobs, are getting married and I have no future.
I don’t know man, I think it’s all over for me.

I’ve said these exact words to my best friend a bunch of times. I’d be over at his house and he’d take me on a long walk around the forest. And I’d sulk & whine.

I don’t know how he put up with it. But he listened & was comforting. And hopeful. I guess that’s what good friends are for.

Things always did get better.

I really did not want the high paying corporate jobs. I did not want to get married young. And I definitely was not ready for kids.

I didn’t know what I wanted, just something better & different than the normal suburban life.

If you’re reading this, I’m sure you are in a similar journey.

If you’ve ever felt down & out, let Jerry Seinfeld cheer you up:

This clip is from his documentary “Comedian.”

Jerry had wrapped up his popular tv show. And was back to square one, with zero new material. The documentary shows how gathers up content for his next standup special.

Jerry is the confident vet who has tasted tremendous success.
He is contrasted by a young comedian Orny Adams, who is starting out.

At one point, the young guy is complaining that he is not progressing as fast as he’d like. Time is passing by. All his friends have high paying wall street jobs, are buying houses & getting married. And what will his parents think??

And Jerry tells the perfect story that sums it all up to follow the road less traveled.

I share with you this video I’ve watched dozens of times as medicine when all hope is lost.

May it help you out as it has me.

##
Full Poem Source

Topics covered:

1. I’m sweating.
Did a 20 minute hardcore kettlebell swing workout. First time in life. And it was fun.

2. I’m out of breath.

3. Everything I’m doing in this video, do the exact opposite to make a good, watchable video. Make it shorter, do it widescreen rather than vertical, don’t chew gum, have frequent short cuts, don’t have closeup of sweaty beard, blah blah blah. But seriously, who cares when you’re hyped & feeling great??

3b. If you’re interested in making good videos, this book is useful
How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

4. All different types of workouts possible (gym, bands, kettlebells, weight lifting, high intensity interval training, bodyweight workouts, etc) and what I’m doing now that’s working.

5. Metabolic Effect book talks about REST exercise method. Workout for a set time, ie: 20mins. Work out as intense as possible. Then take as long as break needed to do another round. Finish when 20min timer goes off. This is different from workouts where there are no breaks and ones where there are limited breaks (ie: 1min rest between sets). [Click here to read more, dude...]

rollercoaster
TL;DR: My friend jerks off way too much. Whenever I do, it’s always because I’m depressed. Tracked my mood for 7yrs. Read daily rituals of successful people, positive psychology, spirituality, energy management, diet & mood books. Created my own daily ritual to keep me even keeled and away from the depressive roller-coaster. It’s working. Instead of being depressed for months at a time, now it’s 2-3 days max. My ritual for yesterday is included below.

“My all time record for jerking off is 24 times in 24 hours”
my friend said.

In college, guys compete over everything. I guess.

I was the type of person that never even said the words “masturbation” or “jerking off,” let alone brag about it.

My friend was the exact opposite.
Charming. Smart. Good looking. Athletic. Ladies man.
And likes talking about jerking off.

We’d be hanging in his apartment on a friday night. Handles of captain morgan being passed around.

He would declare that it’s time to jerk off, go into his room, & lock the door. Then come out a few minutes later, with a smile.

And no one made fun of him. He had that kind of confidence.

I tried (ahem) beating his record a few times.
Best was 11 times in 24 hours.
And it was torture. Not fun at all.

Being forced to jerk off 24x in 24hours should replace water-boarding as our go to punishment. Terrorists will give up, I promise.

So why did he jerk off 24x in 24hrs?

My theory is that we masturbate, not because we’re perverts.
We masturbate because it’s a natural, free, easy way to feel good – especially when depressed.

We all know that an orgasm releases a ton of good feeling chemicals in our brain.

Whenever I think about porn A LOT, or get the urge to masturbate frequently, it’s ALWAYS when I’m feeling terrible in life.

I’m at a low.

In a rut.

The shades in my apartment are closed. I have dirty dishes in the sink. I have chores & projects I don’t feel like doing. My mind is full of negative thoughts. I’m reliving old painful memories. Sometimes, I haven’t showered in days. I skip classes. I don’t answer my phone. [Click here to read more, dude...]

Someone said something racist to me today.
I keep forgetting I’m not white!

I was driving home & pulled up to this old pickup truck with a couple of white dudes. As the light turned green, I think one of the dudes leaned out the window and said something to me, about being Indian.

I’m not 100% sure. I was already in a frazzled state. It was hot. I had worked out all day. And blood sugar was low.

For a moment, I thought how cool it would be if real life was like Grand Theft Auto. I could ram his car, and whoop his ass with a baseball bat. And nothing bad would happen to me.

But I didn’t.

And to be honest, I didn’t even get mad. Maybe it’s all the meditation & stoic self training.

The rest of the drive, I tried to reframe my negative thoughts.
I don’t have to care what people say.
Just because someone said something doesn’t mean I have to feel a certain way.

I remembered the old stoic story.
Someone spit on Socrates. Later the guy came back and apologized. Socrates said he wasn’t even offended. No need to apologize.

Stoics don’t care what anyone else does. You can spit on them, hit them, make fun of them, imprison them, kill them – even on their death bed, they are unaffected by externals.

So I talked to myself this way until I got home.
Took a nap.

Woke up and ate some low fat cottage cheese with sunflower seeds.
Good protein & good fat. [Click here to read more, dude...]

Question:
“How do you become more productive?”

Richard Branson:
“…. work out”

cheetah
TL;DR: I came. I saw. I conquered. Kidding. I gamified cardio exercise today by using a heart rate monitor & doing random things to keep me in ideal zone. Time flew, it was fun, hope to do it again.

There are two kinds of guys.

The 1st guy is into physical activities (football, hiking, running, outdoorsy)
The other is into mental activities (reading, learning, puzzles, strategies, thinking)

The goal, I guess, is to be a healthy balance of both.

I’m in the latter camp.
I can work out my brain as much as possible daily and it’s fun. I like to read books, articles, listen to audiobooks, use spreadsheets, blog, listen to speeches, podcasts, play strategy games, think, journal, on and on.

I don’t understand exercise at all. I don’t like doing it. I dont want to do it. I dont understand how people do it.

The problem with this is that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise increases overall energy, so that thinking becomes better.

And I have yet to figure out how to get myself to exercise regularly.

In the past 16years, I’ve tried:
- weight lifting with three different buff friends
- joined countless gyms
- hired four different personal trainers
- p90x
- ddp yoga & yoga for regular guys
- bought two heart rate monitors
- wii fit
- pull up bars
- kettlebell swings
- exercise bands
- walking
- tae kwon do lessons
- dance lessons
- hackers diet exercise
- jillian michaels dvds
- bodybuilding books
- blah blah blah

I had to first define what exercise meant for me.

1. Feeling good
vs
2. Being muscular (or other specific fitness goal)

Feeling good takes a little bit of exercise/daily movement. It could be walking, jogging in place, jumping jacks, throwing the football around, walking up and down the stairs a bunch of times, etc.

Being muscular means a regimented schedule of intense workouts & nutrition.

I decided to start with just trying to feel good physically.

And I had to admit that I’m starting at a complete newbie level.
It’s day one. I’ve been sedentary for far too long.

That is hard to admit to myself.

Most programs fail because I’m trying to take graduate level classes when I really belong in preschool.

Today’s successful experiment:

Last nite, made a mental note that I wanted to work out this morning. Had no clue what I’d do. But just a mental image of me doing something. [Click here to read more, dude...]

boxofchocolates
TL;DR: If you’re faced with a tough road ahead, no turning back, and in need of some emergency positive juices: hand out some compliments, generous tips, and especially boxes of chocolates to strangers. And dare the universe to be bad to you. Impossible.

I was panicking.

I had just bought a plane ticket to Brazil.
Put down deposit money for a psychedelic retreat.
And now there was no turning back.

But I had never travelled out of the country by myself. Can’t speak Portuguese. Not a big fan of meeting new people. Not a fan of sleeping away from my bed.

And to top if off, I purposely avoided planes for many years because it’s torture. Coach seats feel like a giraffe stuffed into a sardine can.

Not going also was not an option.
My current life was even worse.

Overweight. Miserable. Working a job I hated.
My garage floor was filled with TONS of mcdonalds wrappers.
I just didn’t care.

My normal routine:
Skip breakfast. Rush hour. Coffee. Work. Coffee.
Skip lunch. Coffee. Work. Rush Hour.
Dinner binge. Food coma. Sleep.

Rinse. Repeat. For six years.

So I have to fly outta here.
And I’m panicking.
What now?

I decided to hijack positive energy.
Force the universe to be nice to me.

I went to Walgreens & bought the most expensive boxes of chocolate.
Three of them.
And decided to hand them out to three random strangers I meet during the trip.

First person I met that day was my cabbie.
Friendly greek guy.
Like overly friendly.
We talked about his kids, his life, my life and other positive things.
His warm personality set the right tone for the day.

I didn’t expect to part with a box of chocolate this fast.
At the airport, I gave him compliments.
Tipped well.
And lastly handed him a box of chocolate.
His eyes lit up. Said his daughter loves chocolates.
Great.
Have a great trip.
Thanks.

I walk into the airport and am confused.
I’ve never solo traveled international before.
And I was doing the thing where you go to a kiosk to print tickets. [Click here to read more, dude...]