The Week I Was Put In The Hot Seat And Razzed By The Group

This Week:

  • The unsexy reality of 1% better every day.
  • The most socializing I’ve done in weeks.
  • Finally meeting someone who understands this mindset of work and travel that nobody else understands.

November 2023

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Live Travel Map 🌎

Personal Updates

Whoop Metrics – getting back up to 100% sleep has been a bit of a struggle this week. More on that later.

YouTube screen time was generally typical. However, this doesn’t account for things like listening to long-form podcasts, which I value.

Afternoon exercise

I had fun exploring this week on some long walks listening to podcasts/videos

Got a haircut this week! (Yes, this is a highlight from my week 😄)

And if you were here at the end of The Week I Watched A Man Get Knocked Out In Thailand. My hair looks SO much better. It’s hard to tell the difference but I think fixing my diet and reducing stress made a dramatic difference.

This week I also finally got a letter from the South Dakota clerk of courts! They exempted me from my jury duty summons for 2024. Thank the lord. If you are wondering about the context, I wrote about these in previous updates but put them behind hidden sections (now unlocked) because there was just too much uncertainty.

My face when I found out:

Business Progress Update

  • 90 bloggers contacted
  • 20 have responded
  • 10 have given feedback, I’m working with 3 on scheduling calls

New emails have slowed down this week as I’ve done more research and grappled with all the information.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed this week with, probably as a result of losing a clear sense of direction. The more I talk to bloggers about maps, the less confident I feel in the opportunities there. So, I’ve been broadening the scope of my research and questions and looking more into what problems bloggers have and challenges they have around monetization. That said, I’ve learned a whole heck of a lot about the business model of bloggers.

One of these days I’ll synthesize all this progress in a way that’s easier to understand all the context, but today is not that day.

The Thing More Important Than The Work

Something I started to notice this week was how confident I feel in asking for a 10 minute chat in my emails to bloggers. This was NOT something I was comfortable doing 2 weeks ago. But at this point, I feel like I’ve almost become desensitized to it.

As I was reflecting on this, it reminded me of a quote Alex Hormozi has, “Your work works on you more than you work on it.”

I’ve really started to understand this the past couple weeks.

This process of going from scared to ask for a phone conversation, to feeling comfortable asking for a phone conversation…

It’s that process of growth that is truly the result that’s most important.

WHAT I work on is less important than the person I become in the process.

And THAT is something to chew on.

Two New Problems To Solve

Speaking of work and growth. Two problems have resurfaced this week.

One afternoon I worked in the morning, had a zoom conversation with my family, then put in another 3 hours behind the laptop in the afternoon.

But those 3 hours felt more like 30 minutes of actual productive work.

I kept spinning my wheels, looking up from my laptop not sure what to do next, asking ChatGPT the same questions I asked it the day before.

I barely made any progress and that was frustrating.

It was frustrating because I felt like I wasted my time.

I’d say I’ve got my morning routine and 4 hours of focused work in the mornings pretty well established. It’s the afternoon sessions where I still struggle. I can do shallow work, things that don’t require much thought and decisions, but this typically doesn’t leave very many activities to do that support my needle-moving deep work activities.

For example, budgeting is a perfect shallow work activity I can do in the afternoon: put this number there, then that number here. Done. But that’s not something that directly supports the focused work I do in the mornings.

Additionally, sometimes putting in an extra 1, 2, 3 hours of work in the afternoon fries my brain so much that I have trouble recovering to 100% for the next morning… and THAT is definitely not helpful.

  • So, how do you work in the afternoon (after a 4 hr morning deep work session) in a way that’s both productive AND sustainable.

The second problem is essentially the same problem but on a macro level.

I’ve felt great getting back into a routine the past 3.5 weeks, but I’m starting to get to the point of questioning if and when I should take a break for a day or two, go explore, go surfing, whatever.

I do feel inertia from my routine, but that’s also what makes it so powerful. My routine is the foundation of my health, energy, and fulfillment. If you need evidence of this, just scroll back 4 or 5 blog posts when I was desperate for this routine (The Week I Got In Trouble With The Monaco Police, The Week I Watched A Man Get Knocked Out In Thailand).

So the problem lies in balancing these two, routine with rest/play/breaks. And more importantly, I want to caveat this with “… as a purpose-driven masculine man,” someone who derives meaning and fulfillment from their mission. I say that because THE most fulfilled and meaningful I’ve ever felt has been when I’ve been making progress towards freedom and valued goals.

  • So, how do you actually (like, in the literal sense) take breaks from work as a masculine man?

How do you convince yourself that the most important thing to do is to take tomorrow morning off and… go surfing?

Now that I think about this more, I think I could learn from my past self a year ago during winter van life, skiing and working in coffee shops.

But unfortunately there’s no skiing here in Bali 😅

The Real Effects Of Losing Sleep

Tuesday and Wednesday night I ended up chatting with some of the other people in my hostel room before bed. It was fun, but it ate into my sleep as you can see below (Wednesday and Thursday)…

On Thursday morning’s YouTube walk&talk, DailyV, whatever I call it, I could FEEL the loss of focus. I couldn’t really think straight, I couldn’t really focus that well.

It was fascinating to notice because the only real change was a loss in 30-45 minutes of sleep from what has been typical.

All it takes is 45 min less sleep and I can feel the different in how well I can focus.

The next night, after recognizing this, I prioritized my sleep and got back on track. There’s another learning in here for me about learning how to set and stick to boundaries. Not in the sense of “no chats before bed” but rather, how can I move some of that conversation to the afternoon, or have a chat for 5-10min rather than 30-45min.

So Much Socializing… Wait, What?

Yeah. The previous 2 weeks here I’ve laid low. But this week I’ve started meeting and talking with more people here at the hostel.

It was all encapsulated in this one day, Friday. It was a rollercoaster.

Just watch this video 😄

I went out for lunch with this group from the hostel (my first meal outside this hostel, LOL), had this great conversation with a girl about her work, then got put in the hot seat and razzed by like 4 people about eating dinner at the hostel and not going out to eat 😂, then ended with this fantastic conversation with this French guy.

The conversation with the French guy is something I want to share (next), but first I just want to note something about eating at the hostel vs. going out to eat. I was (re)reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss this week and this quote stuck out to me.

5. Don’t strive for variation—and thus increase option consideration—when it’s not needed. Routine enables innovation where it’s most valuable.

In working with athletes, for example, it’s clear that those who maintain the lowest bodyfat percentage eat the same foods over and over with little variation. I’ve eaten the same “slow-carb” breakfast and lunch for nearly two years, putting variation only into meals that I focus on for enjoyment: dinner and all meals on Saturdays.

Don’t confuse what should be results-driven with routine (e.g., exercise) with something enjoyment-driven that benefits from variation (e.g., recreation).

As I explained in the moment, on my list of priorities right now, going out to eat and trying different restaurants is like 4th or 5th on my list behind:

  • My mental health
  • My physical health
  • My focus
  • My routine

And to put the nail in the coffin here, one of the guys in the hostel group got Bali belly (essentially, super pale and sick) and had to get an IV and medications from the local medical center.

I’m not saying there’s NO value in eating out and trying different restaurants, but at the same time, there’s a very literal risk in doing so.

Finally, Someone That Understands Me

So this French guy… Where do I ever start?

We had a couple of great conversations this week, but I want to highlight one.

It starts with a little story of a different conversation.

One night I was catching up with these 2 girls from my hostel room, I asked how their days were, they asked me how my day was, normal stuff.

I had a typical day, worked in the morning, did some reading after lunch, went on a podcast walk in the evening, then chilled after dinner, nothing too out of the ordinary.

But I almost felt this sense of guilt like I didn’t do anything. I felt good about the day, but in that moment I thought, “well, I didn’t do anything exciting or new today like you did” and I felt a little awkward.

I still have this disconnect between my own self-confidence and my perception of other people’s thoughts.

And I think I’ve felt a little bit alone here.

It’s not flashy or cool to respond with, “yeah I had a incremental improvement day today. I made a little bit more progress on my business, spent my free time reading, and went on a walk listening to a podcast that I may not apply for another 3 months.”

This is literally what “1% better every day” looks like.

So fast forward to this conversation with the French guy and we got into talking about routine and travel.

Turns out he loves his routine and his work. He works every day just like it’s part of his routine. When I asked if and when he takes breaks, he said he takes a Sunday off every couple of weeks to go take a hike or a touristy thing, or does some things in the afternoons.

I was thinking, oh my god wait, this is literally me. You understand me.

We talked more about this and he was explaining how most people have associated “routine” with “boring.” i.e. if you’re in a routine it means nothing is new and thus you must be doing something wrong. So true.

Finally, I met someone who has this mindset of feeling fulfilled from working and who loves and values their routine.

I feel so grateful to be around people smarter than me, people that inspire me, and who push me to become the best version of myself. There’s a lot of power in that.

Food From The Week

Actually, it’s all the same, I should probably just reuse the photos from last week 😂

Catch Ya Next Week

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One Comment

  1. I totally agree about finding a good place to eat and sticking with it. Nobody needs trouble.
    And I I totally agree that routine in parts of your life frees you up to be creative in other parts. Totally agree. 100%
    But shaking it up every now and then can promote awareness, growth, compassion, and patience. Even if you decide to go back to the routine.

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