I have a feeling these posts are going to turn out shorter and shorter over the upcoming days… New York just keeps me busy, but in a very positive sense. I can’t stop marvelling and exploring, every time I visit here again.
So my titbit of productivity wisdom today is about the power of blogging. In the context of keeping up with my daily habits, I’d say blogging is really the one thing that makes all the difference. I’m certain I would have stopped following my strict habit regimen long ago, if it wasn’t for this blog.
This is going to be a short one. I’m drunk and I just came back from a drag queen bar, which was much more of an interesting experience than I first thought. There’s nothing quite like a guy / future gal on hormone therapy flashing his boobs to you, while making some very straightforward sexual offers. Good times!
So, I take my current drunken state of mind as an excuse to do some navel-gazing – even more than usual I mean. It’s just that a thought hit me earlier: I’m most content or “happy” if I find myself in a situation where I can perform many different roles, in relation to others. I think you could call that social schizophrenia.
If you are even remotely interested in personal development, you probably know the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. It’s a modern self-help classic. With that being said, I really don’t like the book. It uses lots of wishy-washy words like “purpose,” “integrity,” “responsibility,” etc. that are just meant to make the reader feel important and pumped up while hardly conveying any real meaning. This vague, ambiguous text goes hand in hand with several references to how you have to be law-abiding proper Christian in order to be become more successful in life… Do I need to say more?
When I first started traveling, I was very worried about its effect on my ability to get work done. I was afraid I would get very excited and spend all of my time sight-seeing and meeting new people, but in the process, drop all my hard-won daily habits.
I’m flying to NYC in a few hours to spend most of December there, continuing my ongoing love affair with the city. As much as the prospect excites me, I’m also a nervous wreck. I’m scared of flying, always have been, and, when I’m honest with myself, I’m also slightly uncomfortable leaving my steady and well-known surroundings here in Munich behind. Mind you: This is coming from someone who has spent most of last year on the road, constantly changing countries, cities and airbnbs. You would think I am accustomed to this by now, but no: Not even two months back at your old waterhole, and the oh so familiar fear of change starts to creep back in.
If you know me, then you know I believe the key to every kind of success is forming the right kind of daily habits. Whether it’s mastering a skill, getting healthy, becoming more organized, or successfully running a business, having the right habits in place is the ultimate answer. Taking this into consideration, I recently began to differentiate between certain types of habits.
One of the main reasons I STARTED this blog was because I wanted to hold myself accountable for my self-prescribed daily habits. Letting others know to put more pressure on myself, all that stuff. One of the main reasons I KEEP WRITING this blog is that it helps me to stick out the grind, i.e. the process it takes to get good at something.
There is an all too human urge for instant gratification and it has only gotten worse with the arrival of the digital age. We want it all and we want it now. Any effort requiring more than a few clicks seems outdated and boring. The idea that something has to be learned and practiced daily, over the course of several years, has completely gone out of fashion.
We are the culture of the “hack” – everything can be somehow circumvented, or so we like to think.
I sometimes look through older blog posts of mine – not so much from this blog, as it is still relatively young, but from my previous blogs. It’s funny to see how you thought and felt about a certain issue at a certain point in time and how your views have changed in the meantime. Quite often, I feel pretty embarrassed. I look at some of the claims I made in the past and cringe at the sloppy development of my argument or their sheer naivety.
My friend J and I were talking about the causes of sleep deprivation today. One of the main things we came up with was the inability of most people to keep a regular sleeping schedule. Going to bed and waking up around the same time works fine during the week, but as soon as the weekend arrives, all resolutions go straight out the window: I mean, it’s the weekend after all! I get to do something fun, like hanging out with my friends and getting buzzed! Let’s do it!
My best friend J recently decided to go on a low-information diet. He is normally the guy who checks several news sites every day, follows a bunch of podcasts, and rounds it out with some Facebook time. As he so eloquently puts it: He is very good at dicking around, hence the diet.
The term “low-information” diet was originally coined by Tim Ferriss in “The 4-Hour Workweek.” It refers to a conscious daily effort to NOT expose yourself to any kind of news or social media. I have my reservations about Tim Ferriss’ writing (too many quick fix promises are involved) but some of his ideas are spot on – and the low-information diet is among his best.