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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How to Achieve Mastery in Anything by Making Use of Your Travel Time

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Do you capitalize on your idle travel time?

Or do you waste time staring at Facebook like the next post in your news feed is going to reveal the meaning of life?

Most people do the latter. But whenever I see someone making use of idle time, I know that they’re successful in whatever they do. Putting your down time to use is big indicator of both having a purpose and overall success in life.

If you want to maximize your life, you need to learn how to make use of idle time. Traveling can be a tremendous opportunity for this.

Here’s a good example. Deepak Chopra said (in this conversation) that he wrote his classic book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” on a long flight. The possibilities are endless if you view travel time as an opportunity instead of a burden. It’s all about perspective.

Commuting

The biggest chunk of travel time in most people’s lives is commuting to and from work. So it would only make sense to optimize such a large portion of your life.

Do you drive to work? You can listen to podcasts or audiobooks.

Do you take the train or bus? You can read too. Or write. Or actually do anything you want, because someone else is doing the driving for you.

Do you stand on a crowded subway? You can listen to podcasts and audiobooks there as well.

Here’s a little real life math:
My dad (like many professionals in the NYC area) spends an average of 3 hours per day commuting to and from New York City. And he’s done this for the last 28 years or so. Let’s do the math…

3 hours per day X 5 days per week X 49 weeks per year (I’ll give him 3 weeks of vacation) X 28 years.

That amounts to approximately 20,580 hours!

That’s more than twice the time of the 10,000 hour rule that Malcolm Gladwell proposes (in his book Outliers) in order to master something.

So that means if you make use of a similar commuting time over a 28 year period, you can easily become world-class at 2 things. And that’s only during your commute! Think about that!

The same way of thinking applies to any form of travel. Make use of your flight times, bus rides or even road trips. (Especially if you’re alone. If you’re with others, this can also be a great opportunity to get to know someone better.)

The sad thing is that most people don’t have that deep, clear sense of purpose to achieve these kinds of things. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t.

How to Optimize Your Travel Time Towards Your Goals

1. Find a purpose. Decide what you want. Do you want to develop a certain skill? Do you want to gain knowledge on a specific subject? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to start a company? Figure out the direction you want to head in.

2. Pick your means of doing it, taking into account your means of travel.

3. Do it. Take action on a daily basis. Even if it’s just small chunks, it will compound profoundly over time.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A note for the overachievers: Find a balance. There’s a fine line between optimizing your idle time and burning yourself out. Intermittently give yourself some time to rest and do nothing. This balance will be highly dependent from person to person.

I’m not telling you exactly what to do and what not to do. Find a purpose and consistently work toward it. That’s how dreams are brought to fruition.

Enjoy the journey.

– Stevie P

PS – I wrote this on a bus from Dubrovnik to Split, Croatia.
 

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Time is a Sailing Ship

“We think that the world is limited and explained by its past. We tend to think that what happened in the past determines what is going to happen next, and we do not see that it is exactly the other way around! What is always the source of the world is the present; the past doesn’t explain a thing. The past trails behind the present like the wake of a ship and eventually disappears.” – Alan Watts

wake

Time is a sailing ship. The past is the wake. The future is what lies in the direction the ship is headed. And all of this concurrently exists in the present moment; the eternal now.

Both the past and future are projections from within the present.

We, as human beings, have a first person point of view of this voyage. Our body is the ship which we view the world from as we sail through space-time.

If you were to draw your perception back to a third person point of view, you would be able to see both the past (the wake left behind) and the future (where you’re headed). In the brilliant documentary “The Illusion of Time,” physicist Brian Greene compares space-time to a loaf of bread. What we perceive as now is a slice in that loaf of space-time, but the whole loaf always exists. So theoretically, if you were to somehow perceive reality from a higher perspective, you would be able to observe the whole “loaf” of space-time (past/present/future). Maybe this is the perspective of those who are able to “see the future.”

While the comparison to a loaf of bread is helpful in conceptualizing the past, present and future as the dimension of space-time, it doesn’t do justice to the ever-changing, dynamic nature of the universe. We live in a quantum soup of infinite possibility. There is no predetermined path (loaf of bread). The path is always shifting according to what you do in the present moment.

That’s why the metaphor of the ship is profound. You can change the direction of your ship at any point, and this will change both the future and the past. When you change direction, the wake you leave behind changes as well as your course ahead.

Even the simple concept of forgiveness demonstrates this. If you forgive someone who has wronged you in the past, you change the meaning of the past. So instead of harboring hatred and resentment in the present moment, you let go and feel freedom, love and empathy.

You have the power to transform past failures into learning experiences; pain into a catalyst for growth; disappointment into opportunity.

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A related, mind-bending phenomenon is called the delayed choice or quantum eraser effect, pioneered by the physicist John Wheeler. Imagine a star emitting a photon billions of years ago, heading towards Earth. And there is a galaxy in between the star and Earth. Because of this, the light will have to bend around the galaxy in order to reach Earth (which is called “gravitational lensing”). The photon can take one of two paths around the galaxy, left or right. Billions of years later, if someone decides sets up a device to catch the photon, it would behave as a wave, not a particle. This demonstrates that the photon really took both ways around the galaxy.

You could also view the photon by focusing a telescope on either side of the galaxy to determine which side the photon traveled to reach Earth. The very act of measuring the photon’s behavior means it can only come from one side. It will no longer act as a wave that went both ways, but as a particle which only went in the direction from which it was observed.

This is mind-bogglingly profound. It means that how we measure the photon now actually affects the direction it traveled in billions of years ago.

Everything is a projection from the present moment. The eternal now is all that exists, and from it you have the power to change both your future and your past.

Enjoy the voyage and sail free.

– Stevie P!

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12 Signs That You Need More Freedom

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Freedom is a tricky term. It’s a word that has been dragged through the muddy waters of assorted interpretations and biases for some time now. I could write a book philosophizing about what freedom is and what it entails…

But instead, I’ll share a simple definition that I found fairly accurate and useful: Freedom – Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. (Dictionary.com)

With that being said, we won’t find absolute freedom (in this reality, at least). Limitation is just a part of the game here on Earth.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have more relative freedom than what we’re experiencing now. Perfection is unattainable but we strive for continuous improvement. That’s what we do as humans. That’s what life is all about.

Some of us are finding that we deeply feel fulfilled by more freedom. Not more money (although this could be a means to more freedom), not a bigger house, not a comfortable, safe job…etc.

Those things may make some people happy, but this post is for the free spirits, those of you who yearn for freedom from the depths of your being. Those of you who recognize that something feels absent when you politely nod your head and swallow orders; knowing that deep down, your heart doesn’t agree.

Tame birds sing about freedom. Wild birds fly.

12 Signs That You Need More Freedom

1. You don’t like being told where and when to be somewhere – Instead of feeling like you have to be somewhere (think work), you prefer to determine where you want to be. You live by your own instincts, which usually don’t coincide with rigid, predetermined group models of time and location.

2. You value your time – You thrive off of prioritizing your time and doing things that are in your best interest. You enjoy being able to choose who you spend time around. Having to participate in time-consuming activities that are disharmonious with your goals makes you uneasy to say the least.

3. You prefer to create your own schedule – You’re independent and self-sufficient. You’re in tune with your natural rhythms. You know when you’re most productive and how to leverage your own unique “body clock.”

4. You trust yourself – You have faith in yourself to make the right decisions. You have confidence in your own inner judgment and intuition. You don’t need someone else dictating what you can and cannot do.

5. You think for yourself – You’re an individual who celebrates a unique world view. You have trouble aligning all of your thoughts, beliefs and actions with a one-size-fits-all group structure.

6. You’re self-motivated – You don’t need people to tell you what to do. You’re driven and productive by your own accord.

7. You’re spontaneous – You live in the moment and by your own intuitive guidance. You don’t like planning every minute of your life. You would rather go with the flow of the moment. The idea having to get approval for vacation time months in advance is ludicrous to you.

8. You cringe at being inauthentic – You just don’t feel right when you compromise who you are. You can’t feign enthusiasm. You struggle to put on a fake smile. You don’t want to make borderline (or blatantly) unethical decisions based on orders from others.

9. You question authority – You don’t accept anything at face value. You don’t blindly take orders out of fear, you would rather act on things you truly believe in. You question everything, even the fundamental beliefs that society is based upon. A passionately curious mind cannot be relegated to a state of confinement.

10. You don’t take yourself too seriously – You have a sense of humor. You laugh deeply and genuinely when something is funny. You’re not overly serious. Being “professional” and politically correct feels like you’re suppressing your inner child. You often ask questions like “Why does everyone have to be so serious all of the time?”

11. You’re highly creative – People who are highly creative have trouble staying inside of the box. Artistic freedom is paramount. So if you’re a creative person working in a job that doesn’t allow you to express your inherent creativity, you will constantly feel stifled and unfulfilled.

12. You have no desire to control other people or be controlled – Live and let live, this is the crux of freedom.

And you don’t have to be a single twenty something to attain more freedom (although that does help). You can make all of it work if you’re married with kids as well.

This idea of freedom will look differently for everyone (and is intimately connected with work and money in today’s society). For some people, they might be happy with a traditional, corporate office job. For others it might be working for a more innovative and flexible company, or manual labor, or some form of freelance work or entrepreneurship. For others it might even be checking out of society entirely and living off the grid. It’s all unique to each individual. Find out what more freedom would look like for you.

I personally fall somewhere around the freelance/entrepreneurial part of the spectrum, which is why I’m writing this post. It’s become glaringly obvious to me that the traditional, corporate office structure is absolutely antithetical to my intrinsic nature. I’m actively taking steps in the direction of more freedom (more on that soon) and I already feel as though a weight is being lifted off my shoulders.

Remember, we came here to be free.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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Do You Even Leisure, Bro?

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Take a step back and ask yourself…

Do I enjoy any true leisure?

Or is my life an endless string of time-stressed busyness?

In the phenomenal book “The Tao of Abundance“, Laurence G. Boldt defines leisure as “activity free of time remembrance.” Essentially, leisure is any experience in which you’re wholeheartedly “lost in the moment.”

We’ve all experienced this state… Hiking a mountain with no concept of “clock time” or a schedule. Long-term travel with no specific agenda, just going with the flow. Diving into creative work and completely losing track of time. At a party, celebrating with kindred spirits, with no concern of past or future. A session of lovemaking when you’re so utterly immersed in the ecstasy of the eternal now.

We instinctively long for these exhilarating reminders of our timeless essence. We chase them, sometimes through unhealthy means, because we don’t “leisure” as frequently as we need to for a deeply fulfilling and enjoyable life.

When was the last time you stopped to fully appreciate the moment? Re-start that practice now. Constantly remind yourself to “be here now.” Bask in the glory of the moment and notice how deeply fulfilling it is.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

When was the last time you did absolutely nothing? And I mean nothing. Not watching TV. Not playing video games. Not snapchatting selfies to Selma the secretary. Seriously, when was the last time you allowed yourself to just BE? Simply “being” is a smirk-inducing oneness with the moment; a merging into the sea of infinite bliss.

“Every moment is the best, that’s enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle

We live in a culture that is so frantically busy that we forget to allow ourselves to simply be. No input. No over-stimulation. Just marinating in the peaceful stillness of the moment. We often fail to remember how critical that is for intrinsic fulfillment.

The “time-crunch” we’ve conceded to doesn’t give us enough room to breathe. Because we don’t allow ourselves to ever fully rest (or experience leisure), it severely inhibits our ability to fire on all cylinders. That’s why most people trudge through life in this gray-zone of half-activity, never at ease, yet never at full throttle either. Everything is a balance of the yin and yang. On and off. Activity and rest. Balls to the wall, and balls to the… floor?

The grinding state of constant, compulsive half-action is insidious. It wears you down, while steadily lowering your maximum capacity. It’s burning the candle at both ends.

Let’s take sprinting (which is completely based upon generating maximum speed) as an example. Do sprinters sprint 24/7? Of course not. They have carefully calculated training programs, with rest being equally as important as the actual training. Sprinters also spend the overwhelming majority of their time resting. Even their training sessions, which include short bursts of high intensity sprinting, are intermixed with much longer periods of rest. If an athlete attempted to sprint unceasingly, they would quickly tire, and within minutes be relegated to crawling around the track. But this is how many people try to move through life. In a desperate attempt to keep pushing, they end up at an incessant, exhausting crawl; with no time to rest (so they think), no energy left to move at full speed and no clarity to even question why they’re doing it in the first place.

Most masters in anything are masters in both their craft and leisure. They operate like an on/off switch, with each paradigm sharpened by focused present moment awareness. Look at the greatest martial artists. They are unbelievably calm and peaceful, but once it’s time for action, they are lightning fast and immensely powerful. Without intense rest, there can be no intense action. Without intense action, there can be no intense rest.

Loss of presence disturbs both the restful state and the active state. In the case of the martial artist, thinking about the past or future will inhibit the peace of mind associated with rest. On the other hand, thinking about the past or future while in a match will quickly leave you incapacitated by your opponent. This is the embodiment of leisure through both profound rest and profound activity. When leisure permeates the entire spectrum of your being, you live vibrantly, instead of merely existing.

Tim Ferriss, who is just slightly more productive than the average person (I hope you caught the sarcasm), is semi-famous for alternating between intense activity and intense rest. When he writes, for example, he dives into it with intensive focus for a short block of time, followed by a break. This applies to life’s larger cycles as well. Tim said that he recently took 30 days off from any kind of work. A month of pure leisure and just being. He said it was a deeply revitalizing self-reset, and he came back to his work more focused than ever. Ok, you don’t necessarily have to take 30 days off from everything, but you can apply the same principles to your own unique situation. And speaking of those types of escapades…

Let’s talk about “real leisure.”

Honestly, do you get any real leisure? Moments when you’re so absorbed in the magnificence of the moment that nothing else exists?

As a society, we’re so leisure-starved that even our “time off” lacks leisure. Most people’s vacations are laughably short and desperately rushed, consisting of scrambling to catch flights, rigid schedules, hour-by-hour plans and the impending dread of having to go back to work.

However, one moment in which you truly allow yourself to just be makes it all worth it. This image, which epitomizes the word leisure, comes to mind… Sitting on a beach, soaking in the sunset and listening to the delicate crash of waves on the shore. That is all that exists, nothing else. A single moment experienced as a serendipitous eternity.

And don’t think you have to be on a beach to experience true leisure. That’s just a situation which is highly conducive to the experience of leisure. But literally anything that gets you lost in the moment is leisure. Leisurely experiences can, and do, vary wildly from person-to-person. For some people, solving mathematical equations might be leisure. For others, walking in the woods. For me, writing this right now is leisure. It could be anything. The experience of real leisure just feels right, as if you’ve delightfully surrendered within the warm embrace of your divine essence.

Cherish the now. Leisure is as simple as realizing that this moment is all that exists. Constantly remind yourself to “be here now.” The past and future are only projections of your mind. Fully immerse yourself in the euphoric ocean of eternal now and experience the ecstasy of everlasting rejuvenation.

Here are three sure-fire ways to experience true leisure and get lost in the moment:

1. Awareness

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle

Simply being aware that now is all that exists is transformative in and of itself. You will begin to catch yourself thinking about the past or future, inhibiting your experience of the present (all that really exists). With present moment awareness, sunsets suck you into divine bliss, landscapes lull you into luscious lucidity and parties become the climax of your very own movie. Awareness allows you to realize that there is nothing but now, and it is meant to be cherished.

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”- Eckhart Tolle

2. Passion

Dive into your passions and experience time melt away. There is a magical quality to being immersed in your passion, whatever it may be. Time and space dissolve, and you’re left in a state of simply being, with the Universe expressing itself through you.

If you don’t know what your passions are… What gives you those kind of feelings described above? What causes you to become lost in the moment?

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

3. Play

“To play in a childlike way is to let go of self-consciousness, to drop the armor of ego defenses, to give up pretenses and be what we are, plain and simple.” – Laurence G. Boldt

Playing is a primary part of our primal nature. It begets vibrant happiness and helps us cope with the harsh reality so many of us face in day-to-day life.

Play is also essential if you wish to be an optimal being. Not only an expression of love and joy, play cultivates creativity as well. It’s absolutely vital for the development of one’s mental, emotional and physical capacities.

“Play seems to be an essential feature in productive thought.” – Albert Einstein

Yet sadly, play is an activity that we strongly reject as “respectable adults.”

“Especially while at work, we tend to take a serious, nose-to-the-grindstone attitude. We have gotten the notion that to be a “grown-up” is to act stiff and “dignified.” We fear that others will not take us seriously if we allow them to see us acting silly or in a playful manner.” – Laurence G. Boldt

Unchain yourself from the shackles of what others think. Choose love over fear, and express yourself. Life is too short to suppress your unique brilliance.

Play a game. Play a sport. Run, climb, jump. Dance. Tease someone in a loving way. Laugh. Joke around. Be ridiculous.

Leap into the liberating liveliness of leisure.

You don’t need a vacation to experience leisure, nor does everything in your life need to be perfect. All you need to do is “be here now.”

Get lost in the moment.

So I’ll leave you with a question… Do you even leisure, bro?

 

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Is the Concept of Time Stressing You Out?

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“What time is it?”  My friend asked me in a tone of preoccupied worry.
“Now.”  I quipped, flashing a frolicsome grin.

I’ve made a lighthearted hobby out of getting people to question reality. It’s good ole paradigm-shifting fun. And one of the most tantalizing topics is the concept of time.

Ah, yes, time. That enigma that clocks measure. That concept constructed by calendars.

Time is merely a means of measuring movement and the procession of events. But, for some reason, our increasingly rigid concept of time is a great stressor upon humanity…

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and
not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms
of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” – Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

Disharmony proliferates when we perpetually project our consciousness out of the present, and into the past or future.

Is there any time when it isn’t now? Of course not. Our lives are a streaming continuation of now moments. The past and future only exist in our minds.

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” – Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now)

One thing that both mystics and cutting-edge scientists mutually agree upon, is that our concept of time is, well, an illusion.

This begs the question, is the means by which we measure movement and the procession of events optimal? Or are we doing it all wrong?

Let’s take a look at movement. Everything moves in a cyclical, spiral fashion. Planets revolve around stars. Planets rotate. Stars go through life cycles. Earth has seasons, climate cycles, water cycles…etc. Living creatures have life cycles, with countless micro-cycles embedded within (digestive cycles, circadian cycles, breathing…etc.). You get the point. The defining characteristic of movement in our Universe is cycles.

And if you were to map the procession of these cycles, they would take on a spiral shape. Picture the movement of a galaxy and apply that model to all of the cycles I just mentioned. We also see the spiral’s ubiquitous presence everywhere. These spirals are physical manifestations of the Fibonacci Sequence. Besides galaxies, we observe Fibonacci Spirals (The Golden Spiral) in sea shells, hurricanes, flower petals and in the position of facial features of most animals. (This article provides some more examples.) There are underlying patterns which act as a template from which reality is projected. So it would only make sense to use systems that harmonize with these intrinsic patterns.

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Spiral galaxies, or the concentric circles we use to estimate the age of trees, might provide a more harmonious template to measure “time” (movement and the procession of events). The Mayan calendar, based on concentric cycles within cycles, may also shed light on a better way to approach things.

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The basis of our system of time is that it takes the Earth’s rotation, as well as the Earth’s revolution around the sun, and relegates it to a measurable structure (days and years). Both of those movements are cyclical, but we’re attempting to measure them linearly. Hmmm…

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So why do we measure time in a linear fashion, if everything moves cyclically? This makes linear measurement fundamentally disharmonious. So instead of flowing with the natural rhythm of everything, linear time resists that rhythm, removing us from all that is (the present moment). Measuring time linearly is like driving while looking at a map, instead of the actual road. One more: Measuring time linearly is like determining the score of a basketball game, not by the amount of times the ball goes through the hoop, but by how many steps each team takes.

A blatant example of “time-stress”:
I had a deadline (“dead”… “line” – coincidence?) to hit at work last week, and I could feel stress creeping into my consciousness as a result. I felt off-centered and even noticed a slight inhibition of digestion, all because of my projections into the future (self-created what if’s and worry). I noticed the signs quickly and immediately brought myself into the present moment, alleviating the “time stress” I had imposed upon myself. And as a bonus, I actually got more done by being present.

Whenever you feel yourself being “time-stressed,” ask yourself this question… “What am I doing RIGHT NOW?” Unless you’re getting chased by a grizzly bear, chances are there’s no real danger at this exact moment. You’ll realize that your fear or anxiety is merely a self-created illusion by losing touch with the present moment. That question will snap you back to your natural state of peaceful presence. The present is your place of power. The now is the river of life. Go with the flow. (Note: If you are getting chased by a grizzly bear, there’s no time to worry or over-think. You just act. There’s a difference between danger and fear. Danger is real, fear is a choice.)

Yes, the past can provide lessons. And yes, some things require future planning. But both of those are, ironically, done in the now and enhanced by “being present.” And remember, if you overdo those analyses, you’re missing out on life right now (and resisting all that exists). We all know people who plan like crazy, losing touch with the present to the extent that they don’t even enjoy or appreciate the moment when it (a vacation, party, event…etc.) actually happens. That ain’t livin’.

When driving at night, you only see as far as your headlights reach in each moment, but you eventually make it to your destination. Embracing the perpetual present moment allows you to effectively navigate the roads of life.

Fully immerse yourself in the present. Be here now.

Things to think about:

  • The most innovative and successful companies now focus on how much their employees actually accomplish, instead of just the sheer amount of hours employees work (which doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity).
  • Is it possible to hold any fear, anxiety, worry or guilt if you’re completely absorbed in the moment?
  • Athletes actually slow down time during high pressure moments, like a game-winning kick, hit, or shot. “Time” is malleable according to our state of consciousness.
  • According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the faster you move, the slower time progresses. And an object moving at the speed of light will experience time at a standstill (the eternal now?).
  • You can cross the imaginary International Date Line and go into yesterday or tomorrow, depending on which direction you’re traveling.
  • The Gregorian calendar differs from the solar year by 26 seconds per year. By the year 4909, the Gregorian calendar will be a full day ahead of the solar year.
  • In England, the Gregorian Calendar was implemented by an act of Parliament which advanced the calendar overnight from September 2 to September 14, 1752.

Time is a totally real, natural phenomenon, right? (Wink, wink)

Be present, it’s a gift.

– Stevie P!

What Time Is It?

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What time is it?
It says 11:11
Seems like a moment ago
It was just after seven

My, my
Doesn’t time fly?
Cuckoo clocks
Crazy time

Oh it’s daylight savings
Fall behind an hour
Then spring ahead
Wait, it’s not really constant?
Like they always said?

Time is a consensus
Time is borrowed
International Date Line
Go across and say hi to tomorrow
Or traverse the other way
Poof!
Now it’s yesterday

Oh time zones
Imaginary lines sown
Drive for 5 minutes and cross
Now it’s an hour behind
Go back again
And the hour rewinds
Call someone in India
11 hours ahead
But both are in the ‘now’, right?
Maybe it’s all in the head

Oh it’s leap year
Let’s add a day
‘Cause they don’t quite fit
Had to devise a way
Rotation of Earth
Revolutions ‘round the sun
From the time of birth
Until the body is done

Time is amusing
A convenient illusion
Taking us out of the present
And into the past or the future
Creating a culture
Of anxiety and worry
Can’t talk now I’m late
Bitch! I’m in such a hurry!

Well…
We use schedules
Trains, flights and meetings
That is…
‘Til we travel through teleportation
And speak in telepathic greetings

A new paradigm awaits
Only if we let it
What time is it now?
I’m too in the moment
Forget it

1

The Tigers and the Strawberries (An Old Zen Story)

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There’s an old Zen cone (parable) that goes a little something like this…

A man was walking through the jungle, when he spotted a tiger. The man immediately fled, but the tiger gave chase. Approaching a cliff, the man saw only one option… A hanging vine. He jumped off of the cliff and grabbed the vine, hanging on for dear life.

The tiger came to the edge of the cliff, snarling.

Just as the man thought he was in the clear, he noticed another tiger prowling below.

And then, if things weren’t difficult enough, the man then saw two mice above him (one black, one white) gnawing away at the vine.

In this state of impending doom, the man looked over his shoulder to the sight of a strawberry patch on a ledge, at arm’s length.

The man reached over, plucked a strawberry and ate it. It was the best damn strawberry he ever had.

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The symbolism of this tale is powerful…

The tiger at the top of the cliff represents the past.

The tiger at the bottom represents the future.

The mice represent time, ticking away.

And the only thing we truly have is the present moment. Savor it.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” -Eckhart Tolle

 

Life is short.

Enjoy the strawberries.

-Stevie P!

Use This Strategy To Accomplish Anything (Part 1)

In this two part series, I’m going to share with you two techniques that greatly helped in completing my latest eBook, The Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Most people struggle with attaining goals, often coasting through life without ever accomplishing what they really wanted to.

Ask any random person on the street, I guarantee they have goals. But the truth is, goals don’t have great success rates. All too often, goals become something to achieve when [insert excuse for not starting]. That’s the thing! Most people don’t even get started towards their goals, falling into comfortable complacency for the remainder of their days.

The good news is that there’s a stupid simple way to circumvent that…

Choose something to improve upon or progress in, and…

JUST DO SOMETHING, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, EVERY DAY.

I’m a big fan of systems, habits, and routines that build momentum in a desired direction. When all you have to do is accomplish something bite-sized today, it’s easy as pie (see that double food analogy?). Do this consistently, and you build confidence. Keep at it, and you’ll feel empowered and fulfilled. And before you know it, you’ll be amazed by the progress you’ve made just by doing something, no matter how small, every day. This is the foundation of success and personal development.

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Embark on your journey. One step at a time, young jedi.

I read this great article by James Clear a few months ago. And what’s funny is that for everything I’ve made significant progress in, I subconsciously created a system/routine and consistently stuck to it. And this system/routine would result in mind-boggling progression over time.

So what does a system look like?

It’s basically a habit or routine that you consciously and consistently implement. It’s doing something continuously (usually every day), to make progress in the direction you wish to move in.

Do a little bit every day, even if it’s for the smallest amount of time.

Think about how consistent work compounds over weeks, months, or even years?

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” -Bill Gates

Elliott Hulse calls it “finding your heartbeat.” Making something such an intrinsic part of your lifestyle that it becomes second nature, like your heartbeat.

Another variation of a system is Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” technique (described in detail here). It’s basically doing something every day, and marking a big red X on a calendar each day you did it, creating a chain. The goal is to keep doing whatever you’re doing every day and, whatever you do,  don’t break that chain.

“Consistency is what matters the most in triggering something important to your life.” -Abdul Rauf

What I did to write The Art of Not Giving a Fuck:

You guessed it… I focused on doing something every day, no matter how small. Some days I wrote pages upon pages. Other days I edited one sentence (yeah… really). I just focused on doing SOMETHING every day, and before I knew it, I had a finished product.

“…you can do what I quite often do when I am having an uninspired morning.
I get started anyway, despite the lack of motivation within.
I do so by taking a small step forward and by just focusing on taking that one step. I may for example tell myself that I will work on a new article or on editing a part of a new course for 3 minutes.”
Henrik Edberg (The Positivity Blog)

Here’s another tip for when you’re not so motivating. Just focus on the smallest thing you can do to move in the right direction. For example, when I have the motivation of a stoned sloth and it’s workout time, I just focus on warming up. “C’mon, let’s just warm-up and see how it goes.” That’s it. And as I’m warming up I’m like “Ok, this isn’t so bad.” And then I focus on doing one set. “Let’s just get through this set.” Then I focus on the next set, and so on and so forth, until (voila) I finished the workout. And if you’re wondering, yes, I do motivational self-talks. It works.

The things we can accomplish when we take action consistently is literally mindblowing. It’s almost like a superpower.

“Daily, consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.” -John Di Lemme

This “system approach” can be applied to anything, and works best when it’s a daily habit. The only exception I can think of is something like working out, because you simply can’t lift heavy every day. You need to recover. So in this case, the system would be to work out something like 4 days per week, and make it a lifestyle.

So…

Don’t worry about that six pack, just eat one healthy meal at a time.

Don’t worry about having a New York Times Best Seller, just focus on writing one sentence at a time.

Don’t worry about catching them all, just focus on catching one Pokemon at a time.

Don’t worry about getting as big as Ronnie Coleman, just focus on one rep at a time.

Stay consistent, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way.

In the next part, we’ll discuss how to calibrate your system to achieve specific goals. Stay tuned…

And, of course, stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

-Stevie P!