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Why TLC Was Wrong About Chasing Waterfalls

Multnomah Falls

Hi, my name is Stevie… And I’m a waterfall chaser.

I also don’t stick to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to.

Now you might be all like “But TLC said ‘DON’T go chasing waterfalls!'”

Yes, they did. I love that song (90’s music has a special place it my heart), but I disagree with the message of the chorus…

“Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to”

I remember when it first hit me. My thought process went something like this… “Wait, so they’re telling me to stay in my comfort zone and never take risks? Fuck that.”

I get the meaning behind the verses; avoid the destructive aspects of life like violence, drugs, addiction and precarious sex. That makes sense, obviously. But the chorus is the antithesis of what I believe to be good advice.

If all you do is stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to, you’ll be a slave to your comfort zones and live a life of lukewarm mediocrity. Nope, not for me. I’d rather explore.

Hiking Oregon

Comfort Zones Are Worse Than Death

Always sticking to what you’re used to is not living, it’s just barely existing. When you stay in your comfort zones, you basically live the same day over and over again for 75 years and call it a life.

There is no learning in that; no exploration, adventure, mystery, fun, fulfillment, excitement or growth. Comfort zones stifle growth. Life without growth is just dying slowly.

Build a habit of stepping out of your comfort zones. You can even start with tiny steps, such as turning your shower cold for the last 30 seconds. With a cold shower there is no risk, a ton of health benefits and you build the muscle of leaving your comfort zone.

Show me someone who continuously leaves their comfort zones, and chances are they’re someone who finds courage, success, fulfillment, passion, excitement, personal growth and what it really means to live.

At the end of your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do as opposed to the things you did do. Build some momentum in the direction of new experiences and continuous growth.

Waterfall Oregon

Act In Spite of Fear

We all feel fear, especially when stepping into the unknown (exploring rivers and lakes we’re not used to). What separates the hero from the coward is taking action in the face of fear. Everyone feels fear, but the hero chooses to be courageous despite the fear.

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
– Brene Brown

Being courageous doesn’t mean being stupid or impulsive. It means not letting fear determine your decisions and taking calculated risks.

How do you build courage? Again, start with small steps. You don’t have to go climb a volcano and slay a dragon right off the bat.

Waterfall Thailand

Courage Momentum

One of the keys to truly living is building what I call “courage momentum.”

Here’s how you begin to build courage momentum. Notice things in life that make you slightly uncomfortable and take action when you feel that resistance.

Cold showers, like I mentioned before, are a great way to practice this. Another way is to say “hi” to people in public, even when you feel awkward. You can also try a new food or a new recipe. You can take a weekend trip to somewhere you’ve never been. There are so many courageous micro-decisions that you can make each day.

If you practice small acts of courage daily, you will build unyielding courage before you know it. This is what I call “courage momentum.”

Lake Titicaca

Follow Your Heart

The two main motivating forces are love and fear. Choose love over fear in every situation.

Fear is constriction and limitation. Love is expansion and growth. Fear is the essence of your ego. Love is the essence of your higher self.

Notice when your ego tries to run the show. Be aware when it attempts to manipulate your decisions based upon fear. Simple awareness robs the ego of its power and gives you the choice.

Don’t chase the desires of your ego. Don’t run from home out of fear. That’s how you end up like the sad stories TLC warned us about. Explore because you truly want to explore, and follow your heart.

Trust your intuition and make decisions out of love. Be courageous, not limited by fear.

Explore, learn and grow. Just remember to follow your heart, choosing love over fear, and you will discover beautiful new lands.

So here’s my perspective on the situation…

DO GO CHASING WATERFALLS.

Much love.

– Stevie Wander

PS – Every picture in this post was taken by me, while chasing waterfalls.
 

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2

Coast to Coast: The Great American Road Trip

road trip

Every new place we go to, every new experience, expands our perspective.

This is why traveling may be the single best catalyst for personal growth (especially traveling alone).

In the spirit of travel, I just completed the classic American road trip. I drove from the East Coast (starting in New Jersey) to the West Coast (Portland, Oregon) over the course of 12 days.

Road trips are a perfect metaphor for life in general; you have to know where you’re headed, yet surrender to the journey. Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. Wisdom is an endless direction, not a place you ever arrive at. Can you see the theme here? The magic lies within the journey itself. The journey is never-ending anyway, as perceived destinations are really just checkpoints along the continuous journey.

My road trip was amazing and eye-opening on many levels. I stayed with some friends and family along the way, and used AirBnb for the rest (along with a last minute hotel stay). I’m truly grateful for everyone who hosted me along my journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Here were my major stops (shown as blue circles on the map below):

  • Aberdeen, New Jersey (starting point)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • St Louis, Missouri
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Park City, Utah
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Portland, Oregon (end aka checkpoint along a larger journey)

Us road trip map

Throughout my road trip across the United States, I recorded a few videos. They document my thoughts, feelings, reflections and experiences as I was traveling. And it’s not just about me. A lot of what I discuss are things that can be directly applied to your life. So instead of writing a long, drawn-out article about everything, I thought it would be better to just let my recordings speak for themselves…

Road Trip Vlog Series

Road Trip Vlog Part One

Road Trip Vlog Part Two

Road Trip Vlog Part Three

Road Trip Vlog Part Four

Road Trip Visuals Via Instagram (@steviepthatsme)

My road trip across #murica starts now

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

#pittsburgh #roadtrippin

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Gateway to the West

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

I love books #kansascity #library #archeticture #regalasfuck

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Where I did my HIIT workout today #redrocks

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

😍

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Gorgeous

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Be-Utah-ful 😉

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

So unique #saltflats #utah

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Dope street art #freakalley #boise

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Last leg of my #greatamericanroadtrip

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

Oregon coast 🌊🌲

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

Master Travel Anxiety with this Simple Technique

Flight cabin passengers travel

Travel is the ultimate perception-expander.

It forces you out of your comfort zones and catalyzes tremendous personal growth in a short period of time.

While travel is often quixotically romanticized, very few people address the other side of the coin; and that is the anxiety or fear that often accompanies travel. Anything that causes profound transformation carries with it an equal but opposing force of resistance.

Travel can be uncomfortable, scary and stir up anxiety in even the most zen people. The personal growth that comes from travel is a byproduct of constantly working through the resistances and fears that arise within you.

For me, anxiety tends to arise when I have to catch any form of public transportation or when entering an area deemed as unsafe. But I’ve learned to release myself from the clutches of travel anxiety by practicing a little ritual. And each time I do it, the clapperclaw of anxiety has less and less of a hold on me.

I came up with this self-guided meditation, or affirmation ritual, on a bus ride in Costa Rica and made the habit of doing it whenever I’m in transit. You can use it anywhere, any time or make a habit out of it like I do. But it’s especially useful when you feel that travel anxiety coming on.

The Travel Gratitude Ritual

Step 1: Close your eyes and take three deep breaths (into your belly) through your nose.

Step 2: Say these affirmations to yourself:
I am grateful for being able to travel
I am blessed
I am safe wherever I go
I attract positivity like a magnet
I relish in new experiences
I trust the process of life
Life is good

Note: You can repeat the affirmations as many times as you want. Sometimes, if you’re really overwhelmed, it might take 3-4 rounds before you calm down.

Step 3: Bring your hands to your heart and say thank you three times.

That’s it. Your travel anxiety will be gone, or at least greatly reduced, in a matter of seconds.

It’s also important to genuinely feel gratitude while you do this ritual. Not just think about it, but FEEL IT in your heart. Gratitude and fear cannot coexist.

Travel anxiety doesn’t stand a chance against the combination of gratitude, deep breathing and a reassuring faith that everything will be alright.

Try it out and enjoy the journey.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

Check out some of my other travel-related articles too:
11 Unique Ways to Optimize Your Travel Experience Wherever You Go
9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life
5 Reasons Why Traveling is Like Playing a Video Game
The Joy of Minimalism: Traveling the World with Only Carry-On Luggage

 

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

Live Like Every Interaction is Your Last

1024px-Goodbye_sun

We’ve all heard the phrase “Live every day like it’s your last.”

But how many of us truly apply that?

***crickets chirp***

Yeah… Pretty much nobody.

It’s too easy to slip into the dull monotony of day-to-day life, coast through life on autopilot and lull ourselves to sleep inside the deceptive contentment of our comfort zones; only to wake up and find out we’ve missed the dance.

“Live every day like it’s your last” has lost its potency because so many people say it without actually embodying it. So a new phrase that I utilize is “Live like every interaction is your last.”

Serendipitously, I found myself applying that phrase during my travels. “Live like every interaction is your last” has become a perpetual piece of motivational self-talk as I maneuver through my days; and one that has made life infinitely more fulfilling as well.

Everything is an interaction, so whether it be with people, animals, places or circumstances, treat each and every interaction you have like it’s your last.

I was led to approach this “carpe diem” mentality from so many directions. Multiple paths, winding around the requiem of human reality, ended up seamlessly converging on this idea of wholeheartedly diving into each moment, because the next moment is not promised.

11 Key Components to “Living Like Every Interaction is Your Last”

1. Facing the Certainty of Death

The reality of life is that death is inevitable. Death can also come at any time. To not recognize this is ultimate denial. By being consciously aware that death is certain and tomorrow is not promised, you will cherish each moment and squeeze the last drop of divine nectar out of every sacred day you walk the Earth.

No matter what your belief system is – whether you believe in heaven, reincarnation, evolving into Mewtwo in another dimension or believe nothing exists after this life – your time within this physical body is finite. This completely unique life that you’re living right now has never happened before nor will it ever happen again. So be grateful and make the most of it!

View death, not as your enemy or something to be afraid of, but as an ally motivating you to make the most out of each fleeting moment.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” ~ James Dean

2. Positive Programming

Condition yourself to live like every interaction is your last. Find an affirmation or mantra to repeat and help ground you into the bliss of the present moment.

During every personal interaction, I keep the mantra “Live like every interaction is your last” in the back of my head. It helps me to be more present, more compassionate, more loving, more forgiving, more grateful, more bold and more courageous.

We’re always programming ourselves whether we like it or not. Everything you tell yourself is a seed planted in the garden of your subconscious mind. Are you cultivating the kind of garden you want?

3. Letting Go of Judgment

Are you going to waste your time worrying about what other people think of you? Are you going to let the opinions of others determine what YOU DO with YOUR OWN LIFE? Are you going to throw away your own time by judging others? In the grand scheme of things, those petty judgments are ridiculously stupid, and an absolute waste of your precious time here on Earth.

I took a more in depth look at different forms of judgment in these articles:
No One Cares: Your Key to Freedom from Social Anxiety
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Judgment

4. Living Through Your Heart

Don’t let your ego run the show. Reside in your heart-space, that intuitive knowing from a deep place of peace.

Choose love as your motivating force in every situation, not fear.

And as cliche as this phrase is, ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” (or “What would Buddha do?” if you prefer that as the archetype of an ascended master). The point is, what would you do if you were operating from a place of unconditional love? Do that!

5. Practicing Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a pivotal theme here.

Holding onto any negativity is like holding onto a burning coal, thinking that it’s burning the other person. You’re only hurting yourself.

Forgiveness is more about not letting negative emotions fester within you than it is about the other person.

Cultivate mindfulness regarding holding onto grudges or dwelling on negative scenarios in the past. Simply being aware of it will take the wind out of the sails of any negativity you’re holding onto.

6. Recognizing the Stupidity of Negativity

In the grand scheme of things, complaining is useless, getting angry over little things is laughable (and if you really think about it, everything is a “little thing”), clutching onto resentment is idiotic…etc.

Are you going to waste your precious time on Earth mad at the guy who cut you off in traffic yesterday? Get over it and move on.

7. Honesty

Why lie? What’s the point? Think about how it would feel to leave behind nothing but a complex web of lives for those you supposedly care about.

Lying just complicates things anyway, while honesty (though more difficult at times) is much simpler.

Honesty also feels good, because it’s the language of the heart, and any pain felt on the receiving end of a genuinely honest statement (based in love) is pain on the ego’s behalf.

8. Embracing the Little Things

Living like every interaction is your last is not necessarily about going skydiving or throwing a party and inviting everyone you’ve ever met; it’s about cherishing the little things in life.

Savor your cup of coffee in the morning, feel the joy of taking a deep breath through your nose, go for a walk outside and cherish the moment, laugh for no reason, dance by yourself, hold the door open for a stranger and see their beaming smile, give someone a genuine compliment…etc.

Learn to love the little things and your life will be an awe-inspiring experience of perpetual vibrance.

9. Avoiding Regret

“Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You’re the brave hero of your own movie, so act like it. And remember that (so called) mistakes make the best learning experiences. Sitting scared in your comfort zone is not living, but a slow death.

Take some risks, be unabashedly honest, talk to that hot girl or guy, write that book you have inside of you, quit your boring job and travel the world, tell your loved ones that you love them every time you say goodbye… Because you never know…

When you’re on your deathbed, are you going to look back and have regrets? Or smile and say “What a ride, baby!”?

10. Presence

The present moment is all that exists, and its fleeting, so cherish it.

The past and future only exist in our minds. And it’s in the mental projections into the past or future where we find our fear, worry, anxiety and all those negative emotions. Remember, there are no problems in the present moment.

The present moment is the ever-moving point of unending actualization which encases the physical dimension. It’s a ceaseless vortex of infinite love that goes wherever you go. You just have to surrender to it.

Feel, in the depths of your soul, the indescribable magic of each moment.

Meet each moment with joyful totality.

11. Your Legacy

What are you doing to make the world a better place? What are you creating? Are you living with purpose? What message are you conveying by the way you live your life?

What is your legacy?

Let the answer to that be a guiding force for the way you live your life on a moment-to-moment basis.

The Catalyst of Travel

Travel has a profound way of spurring this way of living like each moment could be your last. With all of the new (and sometimes scary) places, all of the perilous bus rides and the natural fear of flights, you become far more likely to constantly consider your own mortality.

From that perspective, a choice presents itself in every moment: “Will I make the most of this moment, or succumb to fear and complacency, letting it slip away forever?”

The choice is up to you. You have the option, in every moment, to make the most out of that fleeting moment and live like every interaction is your last.

One love.

– Stevie P!
 

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2

Why I Stopped Traveling the World

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After about 5 months of inspirited vagabondism all over this beautiful planet, I’ve decided to stop traveling (for now).

What? Why? Are you crazy? Don’t you want to keep traveling the world?

Not really, at least for this phase of my life.

I had a myriad of amazing experiences, met hundreds of wonderful people, discovered so much about myself and gained an enormous amount of clarity regarding, well, everything. In short, I got what I was looking for (but of course, the journey now continues in other ways).

How I Decided Where to Go

My travels were guided by places that were calling me. I would get these deep, intuitive callings to go places. And that’s what I followed, no matter what. Money, distance and convenience all took a back seat while I faithfully navigated via my inner compass.

Every place was special and served as an auspicious co-conspirator for my personal evolution. They all played a role that I never would have imagined if I didn’t follow “the calling.”

“There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.” ~ Albert Einstein

Why I Stopped Traveling

I stopped traveling because no particular place is calling me right now.

However, that calling is now coming in the form of new endeavors (there are big things on the horizon for Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great) and building relationships with kindred spirits.

I have an incredible pull coming from the depths of my being. So that’s my focus right now. That is the theme of this chapter of my life.

Where in the World was Stephen Parato?

Here’s the general list of places I went to (notice that most of it doesn’t make sense from a strictly logical standpoint):

Marseilles, France
Barcelona, Spain
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Split, Croatia
Hvar Island, Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia
Pune, India (at the Osho International Meditation Resort)
Bangkok, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Pai, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Arambol, Goa, India
Iquitos, Peru (and the Peruvian Amazon)
Cusco, Peru
Machu Picchu
Puno, Peru
Copacabana, Bolivia
Isla Del Sol & Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Panama City, Panama
Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Isla Basimentos, Panama
San Jose, Costa Rica
Uvita, Costa Rica (and Envision festival)

I took a bunch of buses, a few trains and 13 flights throughout those 5 months (like a so-rad, pro-nomad).

I stayed everywhere from hostels, to Airbnb places, to guest houses and even a fancy hotel in Panama City for a night.

Such diversity of life experiences allows me to appreciate everything more, develop the perspective to be able to relate to anyone and evolve into the greatest version of myself.

Traveling for the Sake of Traveling

Since no place is truly calling me right now, if I were to keep gallivanting around, I would just be traveling for the sake of traveling. Doing that would actually be going against my intuitive guidance (which is pointing me towards new projects and building relationships, not more travel). And we all know what happens when we ignore our intuition.

If you’re traveling for the sake of traveling, are you really being guided by your internal compass? Are you traveling just so you can take beautiful Instagram pictures so that everyone thinks you’re cool? These are questions I’ve periodically asked myself. Notice when your lifestyle choices are based upon other people, or society, instead of your own inner guidance.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs

I’ve learned to trust my intuition and trust the process of life. When I do, life is infinitely more fulfilling and magical. On the surface, continuing to travel seems exciting, but I know that I’m entering into a different phase right now. I know that as I walk this path of inner truth, opportunities will present themselves that I never would have imagined beforehand.

What is Calling You?

Get in tune with what is calling you. Be brutally honest with yourself.

What do you have a deep, irresistible calling towards?

Who cares what anyone else tells you? Live based on your own genuine, intuitive (heart-based) desires otherwise you’ll forever be a slave to other people and external forces.

The calling will be different for everyone. For you, it may be be starting a family, or learning a new language or traveling to the country where your grandparents were born. We’re all utterly unique, on different journeys and at different stages of our own hero’s journey.

It all boils down to this: Live YOUR life.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

Croatian Island Bay Stance #hvar #starigrad #croatia #thatstancetho #perfectform

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Selfie Sticks and Knickknacks (A Unique Take on Tourism)

Tourism is an interesting phenomenon.

On the surface, it seems pretentious and annoying – flocks of foreigners, swooping in on new (to them) lands, taking more pictures than they’ll be able to look at in five lifetimes and throwing their money at local knickknacks that don’t really serve any purpose; all while looking laughably out of place.

But tourism as we see it today is a symptom of transition. People are starting to become interested in different places, different cultures and different ideas. And that’s a beautiful thing. It’s just that most folks haven’t yet honed their inner guidance system enough to proficiently pilot their newfound curiosity through this hybridized world of natural wonder infused with exponentially increasing technology.

The old paradigm, which never served humanity or our planet in the first place, is fading away before our very eyes. We’re moving away from the days of people comfortably sitting in their “identity boxes” (nationality, sex, race, religion…etc.), ignorantly fearful of those within other “identity boxes.” Two world travelers, even from the most different places imaginable, will never go to war against one another. Why? They’ve seen and experienced enough to realize that, at the end of the day, we’re all humans, co-inhabiting this big floating rock. Ignorance is the prerequisite for division-based violence. And in today’s transparent, global society, the dark shadows of ignorance are quickly being illuminated out of existence.

We (the people, not the lawmakers) are also harmonizing many areas of the world toward a more peaceful vibration. This is the flip-side of the utter monstrosity that was colonial imperialism/vampirism. Tourism can be corny, annoying and even mildly exploitative at times, but it’s a step in the right direction. The underlying intentions of tourism (curiosity, wonder and adventure of everyday people) are a far cry from the intent of organized oppression and thievery of entire continents by those in power.

We’re waking up to the fact that we’re all humans, sharing this planet. A reinvigorated, healthy respect for one another, as well as Pachamama (Mother Earth), is sweeping through our collective consciousness. Today’s tourism, tinged with selfie sticks and knickknacks, is just a silly bridge between the old and the new.

One love.

– Stevie P

PS – This post wouldn’t be complete without a selfie of my own…

I don’t usually take selfies, but when I do it’s with contemplative monkeys.

A photo posted by steviepthatsme (@steviepthatsme) on


 

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The No Excuse Nomad Workout for Traveling

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Do you lose any semblance of a workout routine when you’re traveling or on vacation/holiday?

We all do to some extent. It’s so easy to not “do squat” (see what I did there?) while living the nomad life.

But just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to leave your good ole friends health and fitness at home.

No gym? No fancy equipment? No problem. You don’t need anything (besides your own body) to get a good workout in. Rage against the machine and make use of the vessel you’re inhabiting.

I’ve been traveling for over two months now and I’ve created an effective travel workout routine as a result. Each workout takes only four minutes and all you need is your own body. It can be done anywhere and requires very little space (you can even do it in a tiny hotel room). So there are no excuses.

It’s never lack of time; it’s a lack of priority that prevents you from doing something. If you really want something, you will make time for it.

With this workout routine, you literally have no excuses for not doing it, besides being a lazy lemur.

Note: Anyone can do this and benefit from it, no matter your fitness level, gender, age…etc. You can also substitute variations of any exercise if they’re too difficult for you. For example, if regular pushups are difficult for you, you can do pushups from your knees.

The No Excuse Nomad Workout
These workouts follow the tabata template, which is 20 seconds of an exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and this is repeated 8 times. So the workout lasts for a grand total of four minutes.

During each 20 second set of an exercise, make sure to push yourself. Go hard, rest, repeat.

Aim to do one workout everyday (but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day), rotating between the upper body and the lower body workouts to give your body sufficient recovery time. Here’s what a week might look like: Monday = Upper body, Tuesday = Lower body, Wednesday = Upper body, Thursday = Whoops I forgot to work out, Friday = Lower body…etc.

And here’s a demonstration of me (in all of my European-esque sexiness) doing the first workout on the beach in Goa, India:

Workout 1: Upper body
Exercises: Pushups and Towel Rows

20 seconds of pushups
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of towel rows
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of pushups
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of towel rows
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of pushups
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of towel rows
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of pushups
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of towel rows
10 seconds of rest

Variety:
For variety, you can do pike pushups for shoulders for one or two sets, instead of regular pushups.

Want to do more?
If you’re still feeling energized, you can do some bent over raises and curls with whatever is around (ex/ books).

Workout 2: Lower Body and Abs
Exercises: Jump Squats and Leg Raises (see the links for examples)

20 seconds of jump squats
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of leg raises
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of jump squats
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of leg raises
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of jump squats
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of leg raises
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of jump squats
10 seconds of rest
20 seconds of leg raises
10 seconds of rest

Want to do more?
If you’re still feeling energized, you can do some lunges and calf raises

Pick a time of day that will work for you:
Are you traveling for work? Do it in the morning or after work. Are you vacationing for leisure? Workout whenever you feel like it. Wake up early, or workout during that afternoon lull…etc.

2 Mindset Switches That Will Greatly Help You

1. Priorities – Are you going to prioritize working out? Are you willing to devote four minutes a day? As you probably know, the benefits of exercise (particularly resistance training) are virtually endless. Find that motivation within. Because, really, there are no excuses for not doing such a quick and accessible workout.

2. Stop caring about what other people think – There are opportunities everywhere, especially in public places, if you’re open to them (the beach, a park, playground…etc.). If you’re on the beach all day, why not work out? The only thing preventing you is caring what other people think. There will be no public hanging for you after you work out in public, I promise. Just do it.

Step into the strongest version of yourself.

Enjoy the journey.

– Stevie P!
 

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2

5 Reasons Why Traveling is Like Playing a Video Game

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Pai, Thailand

Here you are…

You materialized in the third dimension, popped out of your momma and ended up a resident of planet Earth.

So don’t you want to explore it? Don’t you want to see what it’s all about? Aren’t you curious?

I know I am (to say the least). And deep down, beneath all of the fear, you too want to explore as much as you can before you’re gone.

The concept of life being like a video game fascinates me. For many reasons, I think it’s such a profound (and accurate) comparison.

Beyond the argument that so many signs are pointing to this universe being some sort of grand holographic simulation*, the principles of video games also apply to life in general. That’s the aspect which I want to focus on here.

Read another post of mine about life being like a video game here: Life is a Video Game: The Challenge Perspective

We only grow through overcoming obstacles. Everything is a learning experience. If life weren’t challenging, it wouldn’t be fulfilling, rewarding or fun. Think about it this way, would you play Super Mario if all you had to do was casually stroll to the right the whole time, meeting no obstacles? Of course not. That would get boring after two minutes. The same theme applies to life.

Travel is an aspect of life where the video game comparison is unavoidable. Here’s why…

5 Reasons Why Traveling is Like Playing a Video Game:

1. You Expand Your “Mental Map”

The mental map is a concept that my friend (shout out to Cole King) and I came up with while we were working as pizza delivery drivers in high school. We compared learning new streets to the maps found in many video games. You know how in video games the map starts as completely black, and as you explore it, it clears? (You can see a good example of it in this video.) Well, the same applies to your own mental map in life. Everything is just a mysterious abyss when it’s unknown. And you “clear out” and materialize that abyss by personally exploring it.

It would be a damn shame to die with only a tiny speck of your mental map cleared out. There’s so much out there (and in there) to see and experience. Make your story exploratory!

2. You Level Up Through New Experiences

I love the concept of “leveling up.” When traveling, I find myself gaining new insight (like whoa), broadening my perspective and developing skills at a mindblowing rate. Improving at anything is leveling up, and travel is conducive to improvement in many facets of life.

When traveling, you continuously expose yourself to new experiences. You’re perpetually launching yourself out of you comfort zone. You don’t learn or grow by going through the same monotonous routine all of your life. New experiences provide the fertile ground for you to grow, level up and evolve into the greatest version of yourself.

3. You Meet New People (Allies)

If you’ve done any traveling, you know that you meet so many awesome, interesting people. You learn from all of these people too. Everyone you meet is a teacher. People you meet are like allies you encounter in a video game.

4. Each Place You Go to is a New Level

Each and every place has its own unique culture, landscapes, architecture, quirks and personality. They are all different levels within the video game that is your life.

5. You Must Defeat the Bosses

In most video games, there are bosses to defeat at the end of each level. The “bosses” in life, however, are often intangible forces and/or fears to overcome. For example, You may have a fear of heights that you defeat by cliff jumping.

“Bosses” that I’ve defeated on this trip:

Travel anxiety – The fear of missing a flight, not finding a place to stay…etc. All of that fear based on projecting into the future. I’ve learned to do what I can, let go and be present instead of uselessly worrying about the future.

Fear of rejection – This fear would come up when approaching women. But I’ve acted in spite of this fear so many times that it’s no longer is a big deal. And you know what? Every time I’ve said “fuck it” and approached someone I wanted to talk to, it turned out well (or it’s a funny story). I’ve even met some really, really amazing people doing this. Maybe I’ll elaborate on it more in another post.

Striving syndrome – I’m hyper-critical of myself most of the time. I constantly put pressure on myself to keep improving, be a better person, learn more, write more and stay focused on goals. This is good when it comes to achievement, but it can rob you of the bliss of allowing yourself to just BE. There have been many moments where I had to stop and give myself permission to just BE; to simply enjoy the moment, with no goals and nothing to strive for. It’s difficult to balance being grateful for where you are right now and continuously improving. But I’m finding that balance. Due to my awareness of this tendency within myself, the “striving syndrome” now has less of a grip on me.

Kayaking in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Kayaking in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Where I’ve been to so far on this trip (aka the details of my mental map expansion):
Marseilles, France
Barcelona, Spain
Croatia – Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar Island, Zagreb
India – Pune
Thailand – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai
Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur

This trip feels like I’ve squeezed multiple lifetimes into this journey called “Stephen Parato.” I’m so grateful to be doing this and I want to inspire you to follow your heart as well.

Have fun and keep leveling up.

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

– Stevie P!

PS – For pictures and some short goofy videos of my travels, follow me on Instagram @steviepthatsme

*Resources regarding our reality being a holographic simulation:
Physicists May Have Evidence Universe Is A Computer Simulation
The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot

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