Art of Living Like an Old Man

As you are looking for ways to best live an optimal life, I have one simple solution.
Start to live your life like an old man.
Find an old man that is effective in your life and take a look. Notice that when a person reaches a certain age they get to an area where they are in a preservation mode and that leads to them making the decisions which best lead to longevity. The smartest ones are the ones preparing for 50 years from now. Not for today. So why not start now?

Watch Your Back.
Ever hear of old men getting abdominal strains? Nope. That is because everyone works their abs, who doesn’t want a flat stomach? Start working your lower back now. You’ll be happy about it later.

Invest in Quality. 
He tends not to own many things, and those things which he owns are pretty great in quality. You will often hear an old man say, “I’ve had this scarf about 20 years now”. It is not because that man has some secret cryogenic box in which he stores the scarf. He purchased a good quality scarf. We should focus on only getting that which is necessary and that which is durable in quality. If you’re constantly buying the same object over and over again, then you’re buying shitty products. Quality does not always necessarily mean expensive, although admittedly it does appear to be the case more times than not. Remember, a symbol of status is not a representation of quality. Beats headphones might be a great marketing play, but a plain pair of Bose will give you better sound quality.

Eat What Fuels You. 
Don’t just buy like an old man, live like one. My grandma is in her 90’s and her diet has been the same for probably 30 years now (yes I’m aware she’s not an old man). She basically does what we all know we should do. Healthy fats (pecans/almonds/avocados) Hearty grains, some fruit, and a lot of leafy greens. She is a vegetarian so I would choose to add in a little protein as well but for the most part, she’s got it down. Once in a while she will break down and share a chocolate croissant, but it’s not an every day occurrence.

Watch Your Feet. 
How else do the old live? The protect their feet and their knees. We learn late in life we do not need to wash our hair each day (and certainly don’t need to rinse and THEN repeat). Stretch. Even how they use their feet. All moves with the body of an old man are deliberate. No waste.

Consistency. 
Have a routine to some parts of life. Your morning is the best time for this. The old I know wake up, take their pills, and go through the motions. Assuming you’re not on too many medications, you can skip the pill step and go right onto breakfast. Consistency is key.

Focus On Moments. 
Spend a lot of time with family. Spend time smiling. Have long meals. Go easy on your knees (this belongs in all categories). Old men don’t waste their time either. They only do what is important to them. They only do what is necessary. Old men look forward. Old men give advice to young peers. Old men are helpful. Take your time cooking. Sit in a rocking chair.

Bottom line.
Old men live deliberately. They don’t waste motion, time, or resources. They do act deliberately.
They don’t use too much salt and certainly limit their sugar. Watch your knees.
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Life is a Gap to be Closed

Your life is one big gap. A gap of days. From the day you’re born, to the day you die. Between there will be a series of gaps that are your personal duty to fill. The quality of your life will depend on your ability to close these gaps.

Life is essentially one big gap of time. And that gap of time is to be filled with knowledge and experience. Every time you have some pain, it’s a gap of knowledge about a subject or a person which has lead you there. Any inefficiency is merely a gap in efficiency.

There’s always a gap between who you are, and who you could be. Who you will be will happen no matter what. Not changing now will make you who you shall become a year from now. How you could ideally be is only limited by your willingness to close the gaps on where you wish to be.

The self knowledge gap will be the most important to fill. You are you. Now you have to learn about you. Ask yourself some good questions. You feel an emotion out of a situation, so what is sparking this, are you noticing a pattern?

There’s a gap in your energy? Then fix the gap in your nutrition and exercise. Search for what you remember as making you feel energized and use it to fill your life. There’s a gap in your happiness, then there’s a gap within you. If someone hadn’t focused on gaps in Machu Picchu, we probably wouldn’t know about it today.

Don’t let yourself be held in by the gaps of life. Narrow these gaps, build your bridges, and always be certain to mend your gaps. How you do one thing is often how you do everything. Once you start closing gaps you’ll make this a habit and you’ll soon see that it becomes exponentially easier to make progress on your other shortcomings.

Do not see money as a gap. Money is earned by creating more value for others than someone else can. So if you can solve someone else’s gaps, you will solve your own money issue. Say you work in an office. The office has chairs and phones. The customers have money, and your company has the product. So where’s the gap? That’s where you come in. You’re already helping to fill the gaps of others to create value, so why not do the same for yourself.

Sad part is sometimes we don’t know what gaps we have until they’ve started to hurt us already. I didn’t realize how weak the muscle around my knees were until I faced an issue with them. I used to have constant problems with my toes. I was always hitting them on something. I was walking too fast and not being deliberate enough with my actions. Now it’s been almost a year since injuring my feet in any way.

Your ability to recognize and fill gaps will help push you further in life. Not getting hired at your dream job? Then that job probably sees a gap in your resume or experience. Fill it.

Keeping filling the gaps and watch your life grow.

The Problem with Virtual Reality

We have a new drug that is on the brink of radical acceptance. This drug will be legal for all ages and will spread so rapidly the entire world may miss the absorption into our society in the blink of an eye. I fear that the drug of the future will be Virtual Reality. Ultimately, people will be addicted to habits they don’t truly have.
So you’re going to have to follow me on some of this. Your brain is easily the most complex machine that exists in the known universe. It takes in a wild amount of stimuli in a second and can decipher complicated information in a moment that even a computer is still unable to do.
There’s also a reasonable concern, and for this part you’ll have to humor me by at least opening your mind to the thought of evolution. Our brains are already over stimulated by screens. Screens came out of nowhere from an evolutionary point of view. There was no gradual rise. One day they didn’t exist, the next thing we know, they’re everywhere we look. Try finding a mainstream restaurant without a flock of T.V.’s. You can’t. We still don’t know the long term implications this has on the brain of a child which is overstimulated daily by bright screens. Our brain is not prepared to make such changes in a short amount of time. That type of evolutionary catch up can take generations, and all of a sudden we are going to start implanting experiences that our brain has no safeguard against to help decipher what is real and what is not.
Ask yourself this: Have you ever felt panic in a dream? Did you ever wake up in a sweat with deep breathes coming from your chest? That’s because whatever was happening inside of your dreams was so real to your brain that it caused this type of bodily reaction, showing that in the moment it’s almost impossible for our bodies to distinguish between reality and dreams, and that’s even more alarming because we have been dreaming for at least a few generations.
Now we are going to introduce a tool which is not only visually stimulating, but is also confusing to our brain. I know people who claim to be fluent in languages they can barely speak. We naturally like to say that we’re capable of things we don’t have a clue about. Sometimes it’s even done harmlessly. I have been to Colombia, and I proudly say it to Colombians that I meet in day to day interactions. They don’t know that I’ve only been to two of the seven regions of their country. It would be like only seeing the SouthWest and claiming you understand America.
Would you even be considered a liar if you say that you used to ride a motorcycle? How long at 5 hours a day would you have to do this until your brain can’t tell the difference?
If you feel something will it make it real ? We all have a vice. What if pretending is the next vice ?
Think about how porn has distorted the true expectations of sex. Its undeniable that a mans view of a woman has been altered by the online porn industry, so how could the same not happen to our experiences if they’re altered by fake experiences.
While I fully understand some of the awesome possibilities with VR, perhaps seeing the inside of a volcano, exploring the surface of the moon, etc. I still find myself reluctant to ever put on another helmet that brings me into a fake world.
In a day where video games, reality t.v., and sports lock people inside their homes half of the year, with the other half spent looking down at their phones, I would highly suggest not taking part in this new drug.

Books I read without Sports

So this last year I decided to take a break from sports. Not because I don’t like sports, but because I had seen enough games. I started to wonder how many hours of my life I had spent watching strangers go up and down a field. That being said, I made a promise to myself to make a bit better use of my time and instead replace each sporting event with reading a book. Over the last few years my “to read” list had grown quite substantially and yet I found myself not tackling it. So that being said, I went full force. A year later I have read/listened to in the realm of 50 books. I did over 290 hours of just listening to audiobooks alone, either when in the gym or on the go. Lots learned, just as entertaining. There are some clear themes, and then some titles are oddly misleading.

Here is the list, feel free to ask me about any of the books.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair- Robert M. Pirsig
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
On the Move- Oliver Sacks
Big Sur- Jack Kerouac
As a Man Thinketh – James Allen
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Following the Equator – Mark Twain
God’s Debris – Scott Adams
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
A People’s History of the United States of America – Howard Zinn
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Henry Miller – Sexus
Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
The Practicing Mind – Thomas M. Sterner
59 Seconds – Richard Wiseman
The Future of the Mind – Michio Kaku
Waking Up- Sam Harris
Mastery – Robert Greene
The 50th Law- Robert Greene
Drive – Daniel H. Pink
Flow – Mihayl Csikszentmihalyi
Start with Why – Simon Sinek
Creativity, Inc. – Amy Wallace, Ed Catmull
Think Like a Freak – Steven D. Levitt
The Art of War – Sun Tzu
Switch – Chip Heath
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer
The Game – Neil Strauss
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz
The Truth – Neil Strauss

The Tao of Seneca – John A. Robinson 
The Art of Dramatic Writing – Lajos Egri 
Funny on Purpose – Joe Randazzo 
App Empire – Chad Mureta
48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene 
 

Antifragile – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Abundance – Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler
Bold – Peter H. Diamandis

Total Recall – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance
Steve Jobs – Walter Iassacson
Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
Sick in the Head – Judd Apatow
My Struggle – Karl Ove
How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie
The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
Trust Me, I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday
The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holiday
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries, Jack Trout
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
Manage your Day-to-Day – Jocelyn K. Glei
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Influence – Robert Cialdini 

 

Brainpickings: Life Work Balance

Maria Papova of Brainpickings discusses David Whyte’s writing on balancing life and work and how our own personalities clash.

 

David Whyte on How to Break the Tyranny of Work/Life Balance