… Everything Else Is Background Noise.

As I look at my goal list for today, I’m asking…

“Is there anything else apart from finding the right things to do… and doing them as right as one is capable in those circumstances?”

And my answer is no.

Everything else is background noise.

If one would built his life around two simple rules…

FIRST – Decide on what are the five things that can make the biggest positive impact in my life today…

SECOND- Do them, understanding that you’re going to do them less than perfect but showing up and doing your best is usually enough…

… then that person will be successful. Not only successful, he’ll be on the top of his game. And while we like to use buzzwords like “focus” and shit, we are the same people who distract ourselves with endless things and drop something important to answer a phone call or some trivial matter.

Once you drop from the science of achievement all the arbitrary, subjective parts, you end up with the core. And the core is that if you do some things in your life, you’ll see a disportioncate reward, one that exceeds what you’ve put in. And that if you even show up and try your best, sometimes being lousy at it, you’ll get lucky many, many times. Simply showing up moves the chance of winning from 0 to over 50% and those are good numbers in my view.

Another trend I’ve noticed…

… is that the more I ACTUALLY advance in life, and I’m defining actually here by accomplishing shit and not doing mental masturbation and giving myself high fives for missions I haven’t completed, the less theoretical and the less “complex” I become.

If you would have asked me ten years ago what is the secret to success, I would have probably talked for two hours. This is because I like the sound of my voice but also because I’d say everything that sounds nice.

Now, I just shrug. I don’t roll my eyes when I hear complex theories of how life works, but I know they are unnecessary, because life is governed by causality, not poetic justice, not karma, not anything else. In other words, if A exists, B happens. 

And while a degree of uncertainty exists in everything and there is some pseudo-randomness in how reality works, I know I don’t have to rely on luck. I just choose to play with forces in the universe instead, of creating interactions between what I do (my goals) and the systems that surround me (my environment).

Ergo, life becomes more like a chemistry experiment than anything else and most importantly, it becomes predictable. Because at this moment I don’t know in what form what I want will come but I know that it will come, as long as I prioritise without mercy and do my best to show up.

Razvan

Is reading a waste of time?

I have a confession to make. I love my Kindle. It is an older Paperwhite, technically, my ex-girlfriend’s Kindle and I carry it with me almost everywhere I go.

I spend one to two hours every day reading. 

And I’m happy for it. 

But it seems like nobody is doing something similar. Reading is a relic of the past, before high-speed Internet and Facebook and YouTube. And most people hardly touch a book, ever.

Well, I believe most people are idiots.

You see, I read for a few key reasons. 

FIRST – Because it makes me smarter.

No matter what I read, I form mental patterns. If it is a business book, of course, I learn about business. But even when it is fiction, I create new connections into my brain. 

SECOND – It makes me a better writer.

I think Stephen King said that to be a good writer, you need to spend four to six hours a day reading and writing. Right now I am reading “Under The Dome” and I love it. It is story-telling to its best. And I actually want to see what happens next, it is a very captivating book.

Can I watch the Netflix series instead? 

Can I just read the Wikipedia plot article on the book?

Sure, I can, but I actually enjoy the journey of discovering what is next and how it is presented. I am learning so many writing devices and styles by simply reading different authors. And I am a good writer today because I have read many good writers before.

And if I start reading Hemingway, I’ll drop all adverbs and adjectives too.

THIRD – I find it relaxing.

My life isn’t hard but it is challenging. Today I have woken up at 05:00 AM. Read for one hour, showered, went to have breakfast.

Went to the gym, where my trainer pushed me to my limit and 179 BPM. Came home. Tried to sleep. Couldn’t. Went outside to have lunch. 

The point is that I usually have a lot of things to do in a day and I am a big believer in doing what is important, not what is convenient. I prioritise and then prioritise again. What is left is the cream of the crop of tasks and goals, which usually isn’t easy or relaxing to do. What’s important also has the habit to be what’s hardest.

So when I read, I actually disconnect myself from everything. I could play video games but after two hours of playing Starcraft 2, I’ll end up feeling more tired than when I started. I could watch movies but honestly there isn’t any good movie that I like and I prefer my imagination to fill in the blanks than to have someone present me a story in his or her vision.

Therefore, reading is the most relaxing thing I can do. Sex ranks high too, so does running, but I find reading being more accessible than these in most circumstances.

FOURTH – I learn.

I am where I am for a few reasons and one that accounts for at least 50% of my success is that I’ve read, a lot. I’ve read other people’s ideas and then presented it to others and they gave me money for it.

I’m 100% self-taught. I have never graduated from college. 

I have learned a great deal by experience. And some things can only be experienced before they are acquired as ours. Relating with others, emotions, maturity, all came by doing something, failing and learning to do it properly.

But when it comes to the tactical aspects, the how-to, books were my best teacher. Everything from time management to running FB ads to writing sales copy to launching an information product.

Look… maybe reading is not popular anymore.

But I don’t care about what is popular. I care about living a good life. In a world where everyone is obsessed with food, I go to the gym four times a week. In a world where people crave about Fortnite, I try and read a book per week. In a world where everyone wants it easier, I look for every opportunity to grow.

I read because it is good for me, it is good for everyone. And maybe there are some activities that would be even higher leverage than reading (as debating ideas with like minded people or a mastermind group or participating in places like Toastmasters), but it ranks high, out there, with among the best things you can do. 

One thing – there is a difference between reading and studying.

Reading me is sitting in my bed with a bottle of water next to me, reading on my Kindle. Studying is having a document open and taking notes, making notes on me notes and discussing these with other people. I don’t study every book I read, only a few of them, because it takes 3 – 4 times as long to go through the material.

But unless it is a skill which I must absolutely develop, I simply read in a relaxed manner. I don’t need to do it hardcore. That’s why right now I’m reading “Under The Dome” but I’m studying, actively, a program on FB ads. It’s about balance. Making something too complicated is a sure-fire way to not do it at all.

Razvan

What I’ve learned about dating and relationships in the last twelve months…

You know…

I have this fantasy, of sorts.

In my fantasy, I’m surrounded by people. And instead of discussing movies or the weather or some stupid stuff, we ask important questions like…

“What are the top things we want to accomplish this week?”

“How can we accomplish them?”

“What are the obstacles that can stay in our ways… and what can we do about them?”

“What first action can we take now?”

“Have we tried this in the past and failed? How can we learn from that?”

I swear, I’d have tears in my eyes if I’d meet such people and be blessed with them in my life. Why? Because of course, nobody does it. Real life is not Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

But one can wish, right?

I guess this is why I have lost interests in most friendships. I have even lost interest in most girls nowadays. I have goals. I have things that are of grave importance to me. And the only person interested in discussing them is… myself.

I mean how would it be if I’d find a girl… that instead of gossiping at night or telling me about her frustrations or killing time, as most do, we’d review our day? What we’ve learned? What we want to accomplish tomorrow? 

What if instead of her being just a passive passenger in my life, where the most exciting thing about my relationship with her would be sex… she’d be an active muse to help me to improve my finances, fitness, education and so on – not by actually working towards the accomplishment of these goals for me but simply, by being there.

I’d run and I’d buy a diamond ring with all my savings and ask her to marry me right away. I would. Because if I could have that kind of cognitive intimacy with someone, where I feel understood and where what is important to me, is also important to her… I’d feel fulfilled beyond measure.

I dated so much in the last months. Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia… and I couldn’t help myself but feel a bit disappointed. Each time I’ve found myself listening, acting interested, but as a means to a goal – like, “if I am acting interested and I use active listening, then she’ll like me more and she’ll be more close to me”.

But I never felt any of that is of consequence. And sure, the sex was fun, the flirting was fun and spending time with a girl that turns heads on the street made me feel very proud of myself… but not once, not once we’ve actually discussed anything that I could feel is an actual investment in my life.

The last person with whom I did this… was a brilliant young girl who majored in Philosophy. We’ve spent hours at a coffee shop discussing life and concepts, then went to an art gallery and it wasn’t just “I fucking love the way she looks” but “I fucking love the way she thinks”.

I guess maybe I’m special in this regard, special as in high maintenance. Or maybe I’m not. But in my humble opinion, if you have a girl in your life, then it is supposed to be more than NetFlix and chill, and sex, and hanging out. It is supposed to be “we are a team” and act as one, instead of seeing her as an accessory or as a category of activities to do for relaxation.

Or again… maybe I love Atlas Shrugged too much and I’ve always craved for a Daphne Taggart when there was none available. 

And I don’t know how to feel about this.

Even in very recent history, I’ve spent time with someone and while she’s sweet and all, I wonder, did anything we spoke in those two hours was of consequence or we were just talking because I wanted to be with her? If I had no physical interest in her, would have I engaged in that conversation to begin with?

And the answer is no, of course not. 

I know what type of person I want. She must be smart, she must be very pretty, she must be fit, she must be relatively emotionally stable (or at least not a liability in my life), she must check a lot of boxes.

And those girls exists…

I’ve met this girl from Hong Kong… and a girl from China… and both were fitting a lot of boxes. Smart, very pretty, fucking hot – the kind of girls to sexually fantasise about but also to discuss Proust with them if you wanted.

So I know…

What I want is there…

But unfortunately, this kind of quality requires me to be a prize. No matter if I like it or not, the kind of woman that satisfies all my requirements for a relationship requires the kind of man that I’m not. I have some muscle mass to put on… some fat to reduce… some more money to make… some maturity to develop… some skills to comprehend before I can have such a girl.

And while it’s technically possible to date one even right now, as contrary to popular beliefs, girls aren’t the superficial fucks that everyone makes them to be, I know I can’t keep her. I can’t live up to expectations.

Not yet anyway.

I have very high expectations and for better or for worse, high expectations come with a high barrier of entry. It’s like wanting Mercedes instead of Skoda. Sure, you can want it but you need to also afford it. If one has only $20.000, he buys a Skoda, not a S Klasse Mercedes.

So is with the opposite sex…

Contrary to love stories and romance and improbable events, people tend to associate with others of their kind. Smart, ambitious, beautiful and driven people end up in relationships with… smart, ambitious, beautiful and driven people. 

And then is the old truth… that the things we appreciate the most in us, we look in others too.

Someone who diets and goes to the gym and she is proud of her body, well, she’ll look for someone with at least an above average body too. Not many perfect physiques there with fat fucks, all other things being equal, right?

And Harvard girls don’t end up with stupid morons. They end up with intelligent guys who make things happen… even if they may not have been to Harvard. 

If you end up putting everything on a graph, you’ll notice that we end up with someone that is very close to the average of our own qualities and while anomalies exists, the rule stands true in 99.9% of the time. And that’s only normal. I want something amazing. She wants something amazing too.

So maybe I should accept a truth at this moment…

FIRST – I am not happy with the type of girls I attract at this moment in my life. They’re better than nothing but for someone like me stuck in his head that needs to talk and analyse and achieve cognitive intimacy, it’s not really ideal.

SECOND – I should spend most of my time becoming that person. I have too much body fat, I don’t have a very attractive physique and I rate myself a 7 / 10. If I want to attract better in my life, I need to get to an 8 or 8.5 at least. It matters. It’s the truth.

THIRD – I’ve dated 9 girls in the last twelve months. 

One I’ve fallen in love with – but couldn’t have due to logistical issues. Damn irony.

One we’ve argued all the time.

One I’ve had huge expectations over her, and then realised she’s quite a simple and plain girl, which is perfect but not for my overly complicated psychology. I need puzzles to solve and people to intrigue me.

One was fucking amazing… but I am way too poor to take care of her, especially since she made it clear that she wants to be taken care of. And I would have… but I’m at least one – one and a half years away from being able to do that.

One had huge psychological blockages… and guilt… and while it was fine, she was very sweet most of the time, I felt better towards her as a friend than lover.

One… I was just a huge asshole and basically used her. She thought the ONS will be a relationship. I knew it wasn’t. She ended up hating me. I don’t blame her.

One… so loving, so sweet, so kind… but the timing was awful. Quite simple but maybe the closest I have seen to relationship material.

And the list could go on.

The point here is not to brag… the point here is that I’ve done this enough lately to know exactly what I want and what I don’t want. And apart from two of them, there was no connection, there no bond, there was nothing real. It was a game. 

And maybe… I should stop seeking new games and just improve myself up to the point where I naturally attract the type of girl I want and need in my life. But I know that while she’s my prize, I’m not her prize… so better hit up those gym sessions, read those books and finish those projects to make money.

Maybe the key is not to be a male slut and date again and again everywhere I go… but to build myself to the kind of person that finally attracts someone that makes me happy. And that I’ll do.

Razvan

Why I’m Deciding To Have A Clean Shave Daily…

Hi.

I want to give myself a clean shave every day or every two days.

And I know this sounds boring as fuck, but let me explain… as there is something interesting to learn about this.

The reason why I decided this is because I decided that I deserve better. That I deserve to feel handsome and to be attractive to the opposite sex. It’s a sign of self-love.

Now, truth be told, when one thinks self-love, doesn’t think of shaving. But isn’t it? I mean, when you dress nice, take care of yourself, eat the right foods, look good, isn’t that a ritual of self-love?

When a girl wakes up in the morning and spends two hours putting make-up and nice clothes, isn’t that her way of saying – I deserve to feel beautiful and attractive and I’ll act towards this?

I know it sounds strange as fuck… and it sounded strange when I realised this too, but we treat ourselves as good or as bad as we think we deserve. I’m starting to realise that if a person doesn’t groom, man or woman, it is not so much because of bad grooming habits or education or cultural influence as it is a sense of self-worth.

It is a belief of “who am I to take good care of myself?”. After all, self-psychology is exactly this – we tend to act in accordance with the belief that we have about ourselves. If we consider ourselves not worthy, our behaviour will then reflect. We decide how good we should be treated and then we actually treat ourselves that way… or expect others to do so.

So yeah… me deciding to get a clean shave every day is not world breaking news, but you understanding the psychology of self and how inner concepts of self-esteem are a direct reflection of outer behaviour may just be.

And to this sense of self, we also attach standards. What we are willing to accept and what we are not willing to not accept. It is closely related to boundaries both internal and external.

I know people who would never go outside with a clean, pressed shirt. And I know people who didn’t bothered to clean their hoodie in the last three months.

This has nothing to do with vanity. It has to do with a standard. And standards apply to other things too. One may have a standard that she can be only 50 kilograms. Another woman may have a very loose standard around 70 or 80 or 90 kilograms.

One may have a standard that he can’t earn less than $100.000 this year. Another may have a standard of “roof over his head and food in his belly”.

I guess in the end this is not about looking good. I don’t particularly think that shaving makes me that more interesting. It is just a note from myself to myself, saying each day…

“Razvan, you deserve to feel good in your own skin. You deserve to treat yourself good. You are worthy of your OWN love and admiration”.

And it starts with a shave.

Strange how all the dots start to connect and I’m starting to understand everything.

Razvan

It Took Me Seven Dates Before I Found A Girlfriend…

I’ve made a lot of crappy decisions before I reached the good ones.

  • Focused on the wrong projects.
  • Met the wrong people.
  • Spent money on the wrong clothes.
  • Purchased the wrong items.
  • Traveled to the wrong places.
  • Trusted toxic people.

Except… that I could not make good decisions now, if I didn’t make those then.

This is a part of life few understand. In order to get good at decision making, you need to screw things up a lot. Experience comes from trying and trying involves some degree of failure.

At the start, you fail a lot more than you win.

Then you learn and slowly, you balance the scale, until you have a hold on things.

But to be honest… each time when I look at some bad decision and how little sense it made, I need to remember myself two things.

FIRST – It’s easy in hindsight to judge anything.

Knowing now what I know, of course it was the wrong path. But I didn’t knew it back then and I was operating at another level of knowledge.

And that knowledge was the best I had available.

I acted at the best of my abilities and wisdom at that moment. I can’t use something I knew only after doing it to influence my decision to do it in the first time.

Life doesn’t work that way. Time flows in one way only. There is the past and there is the present and the present can’t change the past.

So punishing yourself for something you’ve done in the past, based on a standard or realisation found in the moment is an exercise in futility. Unless you also work on time travel and you are sure you’re not going to trigger any paradoxes, then just move on. It’s useless.

SECOND – You need to go through A in order to get to B.

Sure, I look at some of the decisions I make right now in my life and I’m saying to myself… I could have done that six months ago.

Except… I couldn’t. 

Every decision is a cause set in motion. Decisions don’t happen in a vacuum. Things happened that triggered them. It’s like a domino.

What am I doing now is a refined vision of the world built around theoretical and practical knowledge. Sure, this decision was available to me at all times…

… but just because something can be done, doesn’t mean we will actually do it.

I remember this time in Taiwan… when I was just after a breakup and I really, really wanted a girlfriend. It took me meeting seven girls until I’ve met one.

Each time I’ve made different mistakes.

Each time I was closer than the last time. It was almost like mathematical progression. The first one was an awful date. The second one a bit less awful. The third one even less awful. The penultimate one was almost a closed deal and the last one, was a closed deal.

I took the experience from each date and I realised what I’m doing wrong, modifying my behaviour.

And so it is with day to day life.

I do things. And I learn from them. And in many instances, there was a faster, cheaper, easier way of doing them. But I had to do it the hard way before I could have realised that. The process of modelling from NLP may shorten the process but I feel it’s not something I can escape, I must make un-optimal decisions before I can make optimal ones.

Right now in my life I feel like I’m kicking ass…

… and that I’m finally doing everything right. But in a year from now on, I’ll look back and realise there were easier ways.

Just as a year from now, I thought I’m doing my best and this is the best way. We operate at the best of our abilities in general and that’s usually enough.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not about doing things perfectly. It’s about simply doing them. I may struggle and I may be slow and I may be stupid in accomplishing some of my goals.

It may take two times… or three times the time and money I thought to accomplish them.

But I’m accomplishing them no matter what.

It’s just as with money…

  • In the first year you may make only $10.000.
  • In the second year you may make $10.000 in six months.
  • In the third year… $10.000 in three months.
  • In the fourth year… $10.000 in one month.
  • After ten years, you may even make $10K in a week or a day. 

The important thing is to…

FIRST – Know what you want.

SECOND – Define it as goals you can pursue daily / weekly / monthly.

THIRD – Work on them and get them done no matter if you feel like it or not.

Because at the end of the month you can look back and see a lot of random efforts that lead nowhere… or you can see how you put brick after brick and built another room in the castle of your life.

Razvan

Quantum Physics And Me Getting Some Sunshine…

You know Schrodinger’s cat?

That poor little feline died so many times… and did not die at the same time.

(Haha, too bad I don’t like cats)

If you don’t know what this is about, it is a thought experiment in quantum mechanics. You take a cat. You put it in a steel container where it has zero chance to interact with the triggers. You put a vial of poison that would instantly kill the cat.

The poison is triggered by a small amount of radioactive substance. If it decays, the poison is delivered. If it doesn’t decay, it is not.

So it is a throw of the coin right?

If A happens, then B, big deal, deterministic universe.

Except that radioactive material has quantum properties which means that there is an equal chance for it to decay and for it to not decay – and these are NOT exclusive of each other. Both can exist in the same space and time because quantum mechanics, that’s why.

So the cat is both dead and alive.

The vial of poison was both broken and kept intact. Both options are true because of the quantum nature of the material used.

You won’t know until you open the container, in which you trigger the observer paradox, how observing something changes its properties. And no, you won’t find a zombie cat, you’ll find one of those two states, but the important thing is that both states exists until one is directly observed.

This is the entire principle of quantum physics, the ability of something to have dual properties that are normally MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE, e.g. matter to be both a wave and a particle, which is technically impossible but yet, it has been proven true, under quantum physics.

SOOO…

Leaving aside the poor cat, I was sitting in bed and realised something.

The day that follows (which is now, today) can both be an amazing, fun, exciting, a-ha filled day… or it can be an exercise in frustrating momentum, where I feel the same and do the same, based on one choice.

Do I access technology or do I lock it away?

Because if I access technology I’ll end up doing the same things I’ve always done. But if I don’t, I create an entire new reality for myself, one in which I end up doing things that are different than using technology.

Both options are valid, both options exist, both options are open to me UNTIL I pick one or another by making this decision, do I use tech or I don’t today?

That cat can both live and die. My laptop doesn’t have quantum properties, I admit it, but by not using my laptop and phone, I can create an universe for myself in which I experience life from a different perspective. And since the universe is for better or worse (better), deterministic, picking a life without the distraction of technology today will automatically DESTROY the other potential universe in which I am still addicted to it.

You don’t get it… a simple choice like this has the power to create a whole new reality that never existed before. It is like the space-time continuum goes along as usual, minding its own business, admiring existence, whatever, and then, a simple decision splits it in two.

You now have two space-time continuums, one in which I kept using technology and one in which I didn’t. But these are parallel universes now, which made me be in awe of how a simple decision basically creates an entire new existence.

Of course, this is highly theoretical, just as the entire idea of a multi-verse is theoretical. And with all theoretical physics, good look proving it anytime soon.

But think about it…

Let’s say you are 14.

You see a girl you really like.

And you have two options.

The first one is to say hello. She goes on a date with you. Ten years later you marry her. You end up having a family with her. The other one is to not say hello. None of those things happen.

You basically create a split in the space-time continuum through a simple decision, assuming that the idea of a multi-verse exists. A multi-verse in which exists a version of the world for every possible atomic state, one in which my eyes are blue, one in which I was born in Kenya, one in which I’m 4.5 ft tall, one in which I may not even existed.

Assuming there is a universe, a version of our own reality right now, in which over 14 years ago, I didn’t come home, look for self-improvement advice, never got on this path. And I never got into marketing and business and so on.

It’s fascinating, the thought of how we basically split reality through our decisions and how there is a version (presuming) of the world in which I have done the other option and life moved on from there.

And what does this mean on a practical sense?

That seemingly small decisions can actually create huge forks in the road, and that whenever it makes sense, to take those decisions. And for me, it’s simply putting the damn tech aside and learn to enjoy life fully.

Razvan

My Love Letter To Goal Setting

Let’s get one thing clear…

Human beings are not designed to set goals and accomplish them. I swear it.

It’s not in our DNA to decide for something and then consistently work towards solving it. We have emotions. We have fears. We change our priorities.

One day or one week or one year passes and we’re nowhere closer to getting what we’ve decided for ourselves.

And to be honest… it’s our fault.

Because goal accomplishment requires discipline… and we lack that, a lot.

I’m talking from experience here. Too many times I’ve found myself in some kind of flow and three months later, I’ve spent a fortune, all my energy and time and accomplished almost nothing at all.

I’ve jumped from one thing to another, in search of excitement, in search of joy… and I’ve just moved in a circle.

And that’s when I’ve learned, the hard way, that if you don’t know exactly what you want and have some general idea at least what to do next, you’ll fail. 

So I believe you need goals.

You need monthly… and weekly… and daily goals.

Why not yearly?

Because at least in my case, I have no idea what I want to accomplish in a year. My life tends to be very agile and a lot of things change. 

But that’s not all… maybe I have a problem lacking a long term vision. It is that long term goals don’t inspire. Something you want to accomplish long term is too big. Where do you even start? How do you even conceive of something which will take 365 days of effort to accomplish?

So I don’t really set yearly goals anymore… because I know I don’t take them seriously.

But I can focus on something which is within my reach… this month, this week, this day.

And I set five goals each. 

And I change them a lot.

And here’s another thing nobody is talking about. You’re supposed to know what goals to set but truth be told, know how?

Like you have a little genie in a bottle telling you where you should focus?

Nope.

That’s why I change my goals from time to time because I realise that I need a different path and that what I’m doing is not really serving me that well. Or because circumstances changed.

Once you set a goal, this doesn’t mean that you need to stick with it until the end of the time. Many times I write goals out of a desire to fulfil my five goals… but then I realise they are just placeholders, that there is no rational reason to do that over something more important.

So I change them.

After years of setting goals – I know that good goals don’t come automatically and the question “what do you want from your day, week, month, year, life…” is very hard to answer.

So consider goal setting a process, a work in progress… and be ready to delete your goals and start anew if you’re feeling a bit smarter today than yesterday. 

Most of my long term goals that I set at the start of the year are obsolete now. Not all, but most. Why? Because I found a far better way to accomplish the same vision than to follow those goals.

I’ve realised that what I want can be done differently – and I should do it differently. For example, I had goals about running a certain number of sessions and following a certain number of sessions in the gym.

I’ve decided to just get a personal trainer. The vision stays the same – getting fit but the means are differently so the goals change.

But maybe the most important thing about goal setting I can tell you is that if you don’t set goals… you’ll drift through life. And maybe you’ll get something important done. Maybe done.

Luck becomes your strategy.

And I don’t believe in luck but it can work for some people. 

I believe that we create our own lives and the best way to do this, is to define what we want to create… and get to work. So I decide five things I want to accomplish this month. Then I decide on five things for this week, relevant to the monthly goals. Then I set five things I need to do today, both the needs of the moment and my longer term vision.

The basic truth is that unless you create your life intentionally… by deliberately putting your time, money, effort, energy into a few specific things, not just once a year but day by day… you’ll end up at the mercy of randomness and very few people ever get that lucky.

Razvan

Why My Motivation Is A Pretty Taiwanese / Chinese Girl…

I’m so sore.

It hurts. My body hurts.

But I gladly accept the pain. Why? Because I’d rather have this pain than the pain of disappointment and failing in some areas of my life.

Let me explain.

FIRTS – It hurts because I’ve just returned to the gym. And it seems that when you have a personal trainer, you end up doing proper workouts.

And proper workouts hurt, at least when in recovery mode.

SECOND – I’m doing this for a big reason.

It’s not to live to 100. It’s not to build discipline. Sure, these matters.

But you know what’s my real motivation?

To meet pretty girls and to date them. That’s all. I could say to fuck them but at this moment, I feel I need the company of a beautiful girl in my life a lot more than the physical aspect alone. For that, I can just pay $100 and be done with it.

(C’mon, we’re all thinking it)

And lately, I’ve kind of failed in this endeavour. 

I mean, just like I like a girl that is tall and fit and pretty, it’s only normal that she wants something similar. And I’m not feeling either very fit or very handsome. I actually have a body fat percentage of 22.4% or something.

Look… 

I’m a pragmatist. I’m extremely realist. I don’t like to tell myself stories. And the truth is that excepting special circumstances, I’ll not get a girl with 16% BFI if mine is 22.4%. Sure, there are unfit guys with fit girls but statistically, the odds are against me.

And while every girl has an appeal of her own, I actually have a clear idea of what’s the ideal type for me – fit, athletic, the Taiwanese / Chinese type. For me, that’s the prize. I’ve been two years in Taiwan, it’s what I like, it’s what I’ll find.

But to get my prize, I also need to be a prize for her, ergo, going to the gym and paying the equivalent of a medium salary in Malaysia (I’m in Malaysia atm) on a personal trainer to help me achieve my fitness goals.

Why am I so honest here?

Because we need to cut the bullshit.

You want something in your life. And the only way to get that is to become the person that naturally gets those kind of outcomes. I don’t know if it’s money or respect or love or freedom but you can’t get something unless you’re the kind of person that gets it – if that makes sense.

Someone out of shape and with 22% BFI is not the natural candidate for a good looking, tall, fit Asian girl. And that being said, I have a few options.

FIRST – I can blame the world.

Doesn’t it suck that girls have high standards and they should love me just as I am? Didn’t my mommy said I’m special?

It’s their fault, not mine, while I’m putting another handful of chips in my mouth.

(Hint: Doesn’t work)

SECOND – I can hope to get lucky.

And this happens sometimes. Sometimes you get what you naturally aren’t suited for.

And given enough trials and time, I can get that kind of girl with or without my improved body. However, I don’t believe in luck as a strategy. I don’t gamble in life. 

There is no certainty that what I want will happen… nor is there any strategy that I can maintain it. I prefer to be ready, not lucky.

THIRD – I can give up.

This is what most people do.

Seeing they can’t get naturally what they want, most people simply lower their standards and accept something more suited to where they are now.

It’s far easier to build a narrative justifying your current situation than it is to actually change them. And who needs a pretty Taiwanese girl when there’s porn available?

Doh.

For better or for worse, I’d rather slap myself fifty times a day than justify my story. It’s not a game I’m willing to play.

And FOURTH – I can simply adapt and become better.

I can accept a basic truth.

There are some standards required in order to achieve said goal. I’m sure the standards extend past the physical but I guess I’m above average in the other areas. Instead of justifying or blaming others or lowering my standards, I’d rather just raise myself to said higher standards.

Look… I believe in radical honesty. This is saying things as they are.

I’m willing to go through a lot of physical pain, sore muscles and “fuck, I’ll die” moments in order to have a very pretty girl next to me. That’s my why. It doesn’t have to be noble. It has to be mine. 

So it is with your goal.

Maybe you want a Porsche 911 to show your high-school classmates from ten years ago that you’ve made it and you’re a baller. Whatever. It’s fine. Your reason doesn’t to be noble. You’re not on national television. Do what works for you.

There are only a few things that really bring me joy – freedom, knowledge (especially deep conversations) and very pretty girls that are actually into me (the actually part matters a lot to me, I find it hard to sell myself lies). I’m not motivated by changing the world or ending world hunger or creating a revolution.

My “minding my own business” level is so high that almost nothing moves me from my path anymore. Know thyself matters a lot.

Because everyone in this world will tell you how to think and what to think and what’s right and wrong. And everyone should mind their own fucking business and be an expert in how to live their lives, not yours. You decide what you want and you pay the price for it.

Razvan

Loving yourself starts with the “do not disturb” mode.

Hi.

When you say “self love”, there are many things that come to your mind.

What I’ll tell you is not one of them.

So here it goes…

STOP being tied to your communication apps because you love yourself.

Think about it. If you reply each time someone contacts you, if a ding from your phone is enough to take you out of whatever you were doing and put you into reactive mode… you’re basically ignoring your own needs.

You’re saying “what you want from me is more important than what I want from myself so I’ll stop doing it”. For God’s sake, I know girls who stopped from having sex just to answer a phone call.

And in a way, I can empathise (not at that level but in general).

We’ve trained ourselves to respond. If the phone rings and we don’t answer, we feel damn uncomfortable. What if it is urgent? What if someone needs me? We’ve learned to equate other needs to contact us with something that must be solved now.

Except… it isn’t.

Most request, all requests on social media and phone hardly matter. Sure, sometimes you get a call and it is the delivery guy you’ve been expecting you or your house is on fire but I can guarantee you, 95% of everything you receive in your inbox, can be safely ignored for one hour… or twelve hours… or a day… or even a week. 

Now, I’m not saying to become a hermit.

I’m not saying to ignore and say fuck to everyone. I’m simply saying that what you are doing in the moment is important and you deserve to fully enjoy that given experience. This also means that if you love yourself, you’ll not drop it, no matter if you’re in the shower or eating or sleeping or whatever, in order to respond to someone’s else need for you.

I just connected the dots on this but someone taught me this a long time ago. I’m just hard to understand.

Her name is Joy and she is a wonderful girl for which I was way too unprepared at that point in time. And Joy would reply on her own timeframe. If she wanted to reply, she’d reply. If not, she’d not.

She was never rude about it. She never made a point. She wasn’t even strategic I guess. It was simply that Joy was living a fun life and she was too busy doing good stuff for her to answer Messenger messages.

She’s also the first person that while with me, never ever even looked at her phone, and I assume, this was true with everyone else. And I perceive this two fold – first, respect for the person in front of her and appreciation… and second, respect for herself, because if she was there, she wanted to be there, she wanted to enjoy the experience, she didn’t want to pull herself out of it.

I don’t know if you remember but about 5 – 8 years ago, answering your phone or using your phone when with someone it was a big insult. It was something to get upset. Now it is universally accepted. Now I can be with someone and she can pull her phone and answer WhatsApp messages while with me.

It’s stupid.

It’s moronic.

It is fucked up. 

And I believe that we deserve better. We all do.

So maybe the first step is to stop being reactive to your phone. If someone messages you, that person will get an answer, but not now.

Now, enjoy that food. Enjoy every bite. Or take a deep breath and enjoy your environment. Or enjoy your morning coffee, the book you’re reading, the song you’re listening.

You are gifting yourself this moment.

You are intentionally making yourself happy.

Don’t ruin this for something that’s not important. You, making yourself happy matters. You know, I know people who would stop a run on a treadmill to answer a WhatsApp message.

A fucking run…

I mean, c’mon, unless the message is “fucking alert, I need you now”, nothing is that important. Nothing is that important to fracture the moments you spend with your loved ones by looking at your phone.

And while in the above case I use your “loved ones” as your significant other, you know who is the MOST LOVED ONE?

I’ll give you one guess…

Yes, YOURSELF.

Nothing is that important to ruin the relationship you have with yourself. A part of you wanted you to enjoy whatever the hell you’re doing now. And you should embrace that part and disable those damn notifications and deal with everything later.

Don’t worry.

The world won’t end.

The deal won’t fall.

The house won’t burn.

If someone really really needs to get to you, they’ll call several times in a row. You can safely ignore most attempts, like really.

Plus, if you train people that it takes time to get an answer from you, they’ll appreciate you more. So unless it’s a sales conversation and you need to answer to close the sale (being fast there matters, and the rules above don’t apply), just let it be.

So tomorrow…

When your phone vibrates…

Put it in the drawer. Disable notifications. Close the drawer. Put a smile on your face. Get back to whatever you were doing before. Because you deserve to love yourself. And the best gift of love you can make to yourself, the best gesture is that you MATTER.

Is that your needs are important and relevant and should not be subordinated to the needs of others, especially a vast mob that has almost zero relevancy to what’s important to you.

You matter.

Gift yourself the gift of being in the moment… and doing what’s important to you, instead of reacting from your phone or email or whatever device you’re using.

Razvan

Sorry… FitBit won’t make you fit and slim.

I joined a gym.

I got a personal trainer too.

And why is that?

Because I’ve realised that Apple Watch or FitBit or Garmin will not make me fit. I can go right now and spend $700 on the latest Fenix 5 and get perfect metrics for how I run or what my O2 consumption is (or whatever it is measuring) but I’d still be out of shape.

The truth is that fitness trackers don’t make you fit just like owning a computer doesn’t make you a programmer. Sure, a fitness tracker is a great device to improve your life, if you are INCLINED towards improving it to begin with… but having FitBit tell me how many steps I’ve taken is not really making that much of a difference.

I’ve realised that if I really want to make a big difference in my life, then I must take this seriously. And taking it seriously means…

ONE – It will be painful and time consuming.

TWO – It will cost a lot.

THREE – It will require sacrifices.

And it’s true. For how much I’m paying for 3 – 4 weeks of personal training, I can get the most advanced fitness watch, one that would last me for years. I already have an Apple Watch but just saying. But the truth is that I will never do what I need to do by myself. It’s the past of most resistance and it is painful and my natural instincts tell me to fuck off.

It’s easy to walk 10.000 steps. It’s a bit less easier to go for another session when your arms hurt so much (better said, ache) that you can’t even put a shirt on (and no, that’s not a figure of speech).

So it is with most other things.

I can play Eben Pagan or Frank Kern or Tony Robbins or whoever in my headsets and say to myself “wow, Razvan, great job, you’ve finished another program, way to go boy” but… what have I actually accomplished?

If I want real behavioural change, I need to sit down with pen in hand, take notes, really comprehend the information, not just superficially go through it.

And I guess this is a larger trend of life, of modern life you know? Technology gave us targets to hit and it made us believe that if we just hit those targets, we’re successful. It made us believe that if we work for so many hours and walk so many steps and read so many books per year, that we’re fucking awesome.

The focus was always on quantification, like how many minutes you’ve meditated or how many kilometres you’ve ran? And all things being equal, five is better than zero. However, while technology is amazing at measuring how much of something is there, because almost everything can be reduced to a numeric value, it is kind of awful of measuring effectiveness and interconnected systems, how something interacts with everything else.

So I can go to the gym and my Apple Watch will inform me that I’ve lost 340 calories. But my Apple Watch won’t inform me if I’ve actually done any progress in improving my musculature or if I’ve improved my health. A piece of tech measures everything the same and as my trainer proves to me many times, it is not the same.

Doing 12 bar raises with 30 kilograms is not the same as doing 12 with 10 kilograms. The muscle won’t measure a point system, it will activate its restoration process only in the moment you’ve damaged it. So doing things right is just as important, even more important than how many things you do – and if you just measure how much you do, you’ll find the fastest and easiest way to getting there.

Of course this goes way beyond fitness. Let me give you productive effort. The trend is to measure how much you work in some unit of time, like a Pomodoro, and the more you do, the better you are. But what if I told you that meeting someone for 30 minutes can be worth 100 hours of otherwise effort? That all tasks are not made equal and that some are earth-shaking important… while others don’t matter at all?

What if I tell you that 20% of what you do generates 80% of your results? Or maybe it is 30 – 70 or 10 – 90 but there is a ratio there… and that quantification based systems don’t take this into account, and treat investing one hour into the 10% that generates the 90% just as the one hour into the 90% that generates 10% of the results?

Life is not very intuitive… and looking at others for answers usually doesn’t tell you where doing the least gives you the most. If common sense was common wisdom…

Nobody would use Netflix.
Everyone would buy 3 – 4 books a month on Kindle.
Gyms would be filled and personal trainers would be more in demand than MTV singers.
All work that would be done would be relevant and important.
Everyone would be extremely strategic in resource allocation like time and money.
Nobody would give a fuck about most email and let it pile up.
Facebook would be bankrupt.

But it’s not the world in which we’re living in.

In this world… everyone is obsessed with media consumption and gyms are empty… personal trainers struggle from month to month because paying $30 – $40 per session is way too damn much (but paying $300 – $400 for a night out is not)… most work done doesn’t help anyone and it’s for the sake of feeling and looking productive… people would waste five hours to save $10… inbox zero is a religious thing and the average person spends about 10 hours on Facebook per week, and that’s FB, not messenger.

You know…

We like to bitch and blame others. We like to blame Trump or society or our wife or the jews or some ancient Italian family or the universe because our lives are not working properly.

But when faced with a proper decision… one that will maximise value… and an improper one that will satisfy only the vanity of saying that you’re doing something, believe me, in 9 out of 10 cases, you’d take the second.

So the next time you get an audiobook, don’t listen to it in the shower. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down careful notes. And forget your FitBit. Sure, 10.000 steps a day are a decent number of calories burn but I’ve consumed more calories in the last 30 minutes by eating one ice-cream and one Kinder Bueno. If you really want to improve your fitness, it will be painful, uncomfortable, hurt your body for a while, make you sacrifice things.

FitBit is bullshit. It’s like the lowest thing you can do for your body. It’s better than not doing anything for your body but you know what?

You look at the commercials and see beautiful women and men being happy, wearing their FitBit and living the life. Or you see the Apple Watch for the same thing.

Well, guess fucking what?

They’re not like that because they wear a FitBit. They’re like that because they’ve made exercising a constant part of their life, go to the gym and eat properly. Believe me, they weren’t overweight, tired with life, barely moving, bought a FitBit Charge 2 and in a few months, transformed into models.

The same can be said with stuff like FitBit Coach (ex FitStar). At best those things count as warmups but even if they weren’t, believe me, the trainers don’t look that way because they got fit with FitBit. They looked that way because they went to the gym and gave it their all.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that technology can make your life better and that if you buy the latest Garmin Fenix, you will be a tough person that goes hiking and such. Sure, if you are a hiker and you life being outdoors, that device helps you and it’s amazing but the average person buys it more because they want to be associated with looking the part than being the part.

It’s like this MacBook Pro I’m writing this on right now. I can use this computer to write an app and sell it to the App Store… or to watch porn. It’s a tool. It helps me do more of who I am. It doesn’t change who I am to begin with.

The real path to change and accomplishing goals… sorry to say, but it is (1) more expensive (2) takes more time (3) requires more sacrifice than you believe right now. And while something is better than anything and 10% is better than 0%, don’t confuse doing the bare minimum (as doing your five minutes of exercise a day and walking 5000 steps) as doing what’s required to achieve the body of your dreams (dieting, working out both enough in quantity and quality, sleep, etc).

Razvan