Tag Archives: habits

Getting out of bed early in the morning

Do you have trouble getting out of bed early in the morning? It seems like we all do. I don’t know too many people who leap out of bed as soon as the alarm clock rings. Neither do I know anyone who doesn’t hit snooze at least once. I know I hit snooze, at least, once every morning.

It turns out that this is a problem people have been having forever. Even the great Roman emperor/ philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, had problems getting out of bed. I don’t feel so bad anymore. Here’s what he wrote regarding the topic.

“On those mornings you struggle with getting up, keep this thought in mind- I am awakening to the work of a human being. Why then am I annoyed that I am going to do what I’m made for, the very things for which I was put into this world? Or was I make for this, to snuggle under the covers and keep warm? It’s so pleasurable. Were you then made for pleasure? In short, to be coddled or to exert yourself?” – Marcus Aurelius 

Our goal for every morning sounds something like this.

“Your alarm goes off at 5am, and you immediately get out of bed without a second thought. As you orient yourself to the waking world, you can barely detect any lingering grogginess, even if you look for it. You stand up and stretch, feeling totally alert, fully conscious, and eager to start your day. The thought of going back to bed to get some extra sleep seems completely alien to you.

It feels great to be up early, and you know you’ll put those early morning hours to good use. You’ll be able to exercise, shower, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, read some inspiring material, and invest an hour in your home-based business — all before 8am. And you know that the habit of starting each day this way will serve you well for life.

Maintaining this habit is easy for you. You don’t have to force yourself out of bed, and it doesn’t seem to require much discipline at all. It feels normal and natural to be alert and active at this time.” -Steve Pavlina

A lot of my mornings look like that, but a lot of them don’t either (the nights I stay up late). To get your morning routine down like that takes practice and willpower (in the beginning). After you get used to it, and notice the benefits, the resistance to stay in bed won’t be as strong. You’ll know that getting out of bed early is a good thing and that it’s in your best interest. Once you see the results and have that kind of mentality you won’t need to hit snooze more than twice.

For many years, I wasn’t a morning person. I don’t think I considered myself a morning person until I was 26 years old. I would actually feel groggy, and like crap, for the first few hours of the day.

I noticed all that changed once I altered my diet. Once I started eating healthier and eliminated fast food, sugary treats and processed food from my diet, I was able to get up early in the morning and feel alert almost immediately. No more grogginess.

“Diet and sleep are inextricably intertwined. If you think you can master your sleeping habits without improving your diet, you’re deluding yourself. Seriously.

Unfortunately most people — Americans especially — consume a truly hideous diet these days, filled with hormone-laden animal products, artificial ingredients, sugar, caffeine, salt, white flour, and heavily processed junk. An unhealthy diet will tax your endocrine system (which is responsible for hormone production), and that is going to prevent you from enjoying restful sleep.

… If you’ve been messing with your physiology by consuming excessive sugar, caffeine, processed foods, etc, I highly recommend you fix your diet first before attempting to master your sleep habits. Otherwise you’re only going to frustrate yourself. Two and a half years of feedback from readers attempting to become early risers has taught me it’s almost a rule that waking up groggy and eating a crappy diet go hand in hand. Keep in mind that in the USA, the average diet is an extremely crappy diet. I think that’s why people who wake up before dawn feeling totally alert tend to be considered overachievers, freaks, or genetically gifted. From the early risers’ perspective, it seems like everyone else is drugging themselves into a stupor.” – Steve Pavlina

For the record, I discovered the eating healthy & getting up early in the morning correlation (or causation, if there are already scientific studies out there) before I read that Steve Pavlina article 🙂 .

If you’re ready to become an early riser, and ready to change your diet, check out Steven Pavlina’s two articles on the topic. How to Become an Early Riser and How to Become an Early Riser – Part II.

Use your hours (days) wisely

There are a lot of great philosophers/ thinkers who promote the idea of getting the most out of your day.

Use your hours wisely.

Squeeze every ounce of juice out of your day.

Don’t be wasteful of your day.

“We are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not Ill-supplied but wasteful of it.” -Seneca

Execute every act of thy life as though it were thy last. -Marcus Aurelius

But, where do we draw the line? When do we take a break? When can we simply hang out and chill?

I think you’re allow to chill, as long as you’re doing something that you truly enjoy, and as long as you’re in the moment. You can’t be fretting about the future. You’ve got to try your best not to be thinking about your next event/ activity. Life always happens in the moment.

Don’t be wasteful of your hours, because your hours are your days. Your days will end up being your life. That’s the ultimate idea to keep in mind.

A good day for me is a day where I touched on all of my ultimate life goals. Tai Lopez puts it in an easy to understand format when he says, ‘health, wealth, love & happiness.‘ If I touch on all four of those each day, or at least three, then I consider the day to be a good use of my life. Having that as my standard usually keeps me from blatantly wasting entire days of my life doing useless things.

Do you have a specific standard for what a good day (non-wasteful) looks like?

Interview with Bostjan Belingar (from Boss Life Hacks) on success, books & traveling

bostjan-belingar

Bostjan Belingar, The Player

Bostjan Belingar is a super cool guy. He works extremely hard. He built his videographer skills from scratch. He has traveled all throughout Europe and the United States (& continues to do so). He eats healthy and exercises regularly. He writes for a great blog called Boss Life Hacks dot com. If that were not enough, he even recently published his own book titled The Player: How I Traveled the World With an Elite Dating Coach, part 1.

The book is about his adventures while traveling the world with an elite dating coach, as his assistant. It was a real once in a lifetime opportunity that he wasn’t willing to let pass by. Luckily, he took it and it has changed his life for the better.

I first heard about Bostjan Belingar from the YouTube channel of RSD Max (elite dating coach Bostjan traveled with), where he was getting interviewed. After that, I went over to his blog to read some of his posts, and I’ve been checking on it ever since. Admittedly, I haven’t read his book yet (I told Bostjan), but I do own a copy. Don’t judge me too much 🙂 . It’s definitely on my upcoming books to read list. My brother read it and has said nothing but good things about it.

Bostjan was kind enough to give me 36 minutes of his time, to ask him a few questions, over a Skype call. It was a great chat and I learned a lot. I hope you enjoy the Q & A and get as much from it as I got. Thanks Bostjan.

Onto the questions!

 

1) Do you value sleeping 8 hours per night (recommended healthy amount), or do you prefer working hard & sleeping less? Where do you draw the line between the two?

Okay, so here are my thoughts. I, definitely, value sleep like gold. It is super fucking important. Especially, if you are like Brandon Carter doing gym. Your body needs the rest.

However, it is never black or white. The thing that Max (RSD Max) says, sometimes you have to sacrifice and hustle, is also true. My thing would be to strive to have balance. I always try to get 7 ½ hours of sleep per night. You sleep in cycles, and it’s usually 1 ½ hours per cycle. So, you can just multiply that, 4 ½, 6 and 7 ½. For example, it is better to sleep 4 ½ hours rather than 5 hours. It depends on your body, but these cycles are important.

How I do it is, for example, yesterday I wanted to go out and I couldn’t sleep for 7 ½. I slept just for 6 hours. In the afternoon, after my gym time and meal, I will plan for a short nap. I will probably take a 20 minute power nap. You can do a 1 ½ hour nap during the day as well, but if you take it too late you will fuck up your sleep schedule.

There are other factors that come into play. For example, I put aluminum foil on my windows so I can have a completely darkened room. It is good to take Omega-3 supplements before sleeping. There are a lot of factors to sleep, because it is super important.

If your sleep is good, it will be better than any supplement or diet for improving your health. You can’t go a week, or even a month, with just 4 hours of sleep per night. If you do that you will have serious problems. You won’t be able to survive. I think you can sacrifice 2 or 3 days per week, in a row, with below 6 hours or 4 hours if you have to, but you have to plan to get it back.

It’s not healthy to sprint full out until you burn out and almost die/ collapse, and be destroyed for a while. Recover, then get up and sprint again. It’s not a sustainable tempo. You learn something from trying it out, so I guess it’s okay to try it out. I would not willingly do that. I think it’s not healthy. I think it’s not proper. It’s usually a bad idea and all sorts of bullshit starts to happen.

But, then again if you have a strong wish. If you are very focused. If you know why. Okay do it, but be sure to balance it. Get that sleep back somehow.

You have to know the difference between hustle and the persona. There is a person, and then there is a media persona. You don’t see everything on Snapchat and YouTube. You see a lot, and these people let you into their private lives a lot. But, you don’t see everything. There are cheat days and relaxation days that you don’t get to see.

 

2) For someone who has never traveled before, how much money would you say they need to earn per month in US dollars? Whether it’s from a small business they run, savings, or maybe some freelance work. The goal is to stay in decent places & have some memorable experiences outside of their home country.

I can’t say anything about South America, because I haven’t been there. But, in most of Europe you can get by with $1000 per month. You won’t live like a king, but you can stay at Airbnb and hostels at the more expensive countries (England & France). I know it sounds ridiculous, but with $1000 per month you can travel and live with that easily. I did it with $500 a month.

It’s not as expensive as you would think. All the airplane tickets in Europe are, more or less, $100 for a one way ticket. I was in Prague, with my chick, and I stayed for $20 a night with Airbnb. It was in the middle of Prague. Over here, in Romania, for $25-$30 per night you get a Flat in the center of the city. If you want a room a little bit outside, it would be $10.

You need to be a little smart. Don’t sleep in hotels. Sometimes, try to meet somebody and crash on their couch for a week. You can, easily, travel through Europe on $1000 per month.

Traveling is the best thing possible. You will learn so much. You will meet new people and you will discover yourself. Save up 5k and go traveling for 3 months. Come back if you want and you didn’t lose anything. You just gained tons of experiences. Imagine 3 months in Europe, especially in the summer. Do you know how awesome it is in the summer? Parties everywhere. People happy.

You can go to Spain, France and Greece. Greece is very cheap. If you want to live for cheap, go to Eastern Europe. Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Czech Republic. Do you know how freeing that feeling is when you have everything open? It’s amazing. It’s wow.

You should have a little bit of a budget behind you. I’m a little bit of a control freak, so I don’t like to go until I’m empty. You know how many girls I’ve meet that go with the flow. For example, in Lithuania they are super poor. What they do there is, they save up enough money for a one-way plane ticket to Greece, or some other summer country. Like Ibiza. They get a job as a bartender and they tell me all these awesome stories. They don’t really care. They save up for the ticket and just go. And it always turns out well for them. But, I prefer to have a little more cash.

 

3) Which three books have you read, in the last 12 months, that have had the biggest impacts on you? What are you reading right now?

Definitely, the most and the craziest one, is the one I’m reading right now. I’m reading Tools Of Titans by Tim Ferriss. It’s amazing on so many levels. It’s a book that if I were super cool, awesome, rich and educated, I would write in about 50 years. But, Tim did it before me. You can learn everything. It has parts on wisdom, health and wealth. You learn everything from meditation hacks, ayahuasca trips, sleep hacks, body hacks, relationships, work and how to make money. That book is like a bible. You can learn anything. It’s amazing. It has the top performers of the world. It’s very awesome. You can reread it too. What I do is just open it to a random page. I, usually, always learn something new.

Also, a book that was recommended by Max, Linchpin by Seth Godin. It’s really good, because you can learn how to be indispensable. When I started to work with Max I was, essentially, out of the regular job market. I had regular jobs, but I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship and freelancing. That book taught me how to do that and become a linchpin/ indispensable.

I really like The Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), to be honest. I will put that as my third one. It’s cute, but it has really good metaphors. Again, Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss talk about performance and how to bring things to the world. But, The Little Prince is about love, why are we here, and people dying. It’s really cool, and I like it.

 

4) What’s your definition of success? Who pops into your mind when you hear, ‘success’?

It’s from the Tim Ferriss book, right? The first name is probably him (Tim), or Richard Branson. They say you should brainstorm to the second or third name. The second one could be the guys that I work for. So, Mario Tomic, RSD Max

I got it. Derek Sivers! He’s the one. He is very conventionally successful. He has made a lot of money. He had a company etc. He still knows how to have a lot of fun and disconnect himself. He knows how to chill. If you check out his website at Sivers dot org, you will see that he has a sort of funny post writing style. On the website, he encourages you to write to him. I wrote him an email and funny enough after a week I got a response. We ended up having a little chat about hobbies and things like that. It was super cool. I want to be that guy. I don’t want to be rich and successful to buy more cars. I want to be rich and successful so that I can chill out and play more.

 

5) Do you have 1 or 2 favorite YouTube videos that you find yourself re-watching over & over again? What are they?

I had one in the past. I don’t know if it still applies, but years ago I would constantly re-watch a video. It was Will Smith’s wisdom. I think it was a 7 minute video.

At the moment, I don’t have any. That one was in the past and I think I just switched mindsets from the ‘get more information’/ ‘feel a bit lost’/ ‘not sure what to do and not sure of myself’ mind space to, 2 years after working with Max, ‘I’ll just figure this shit out’ mind space.

Now, if I need information I will check YouTube. I’ll try to get the information and begin working on it. I’ll start doing it myself. I kind of swapped.

I don’t know if that makes sense. I swapped from that past mind space of needing constant input to be able to do (fuel from the inside). I now just work, produce, ship and do the things I feel I should be doing. Sometimes it fails and sometimes it works.

 

There you have it. Thanks again to Bostjan!

If you’re looking to read, or add more books to your Amazon list, check out Bostjan’s book

>>> The Player: How I Traveled the World With an Elite Dating Coach, part 1 <<<.

You won’t be disappointed 🙂 .

The good kind of brainwashing

For most people, the word brainwashing carries a negative connotation. That makes sense, since in most cases people are getting brainwashed to do something that is not in their best interest.

Ads and television commercials come to mind. We got thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that soda and fast food are good for our daily diet (many are still brainwashed into thinking this).

Dessert is okay with every meal, and ice cream is supposed to be eaten on hot summer days.

We need material possessions to complete us, and to become happy.

It’s totally the government’s fault (not yours or mine).

What else can you think of?

On the other hand, there’s the positive type of brainwashing, and there is a good kind of brainwashing. That’s when it’s working in your favor. I’ve been practicing this kind of brainwashing on myself for close to three years now.

What does it look like?

Well, it entails reading, listening and watching (YouTube) videos of people waaaaay smarter than me. Constantly, and all the time. Even re-watching and listening to people that have nearly the same point of views (think Gary Vaynerchuk and Tai Lopez).

To some, it might get boring and repetitive. You might even think that you got it after reading it the first time. That is, definitely, not the case though. If you did get it, then you would be doing it. Are you doing that habit you read about today? The habit Seth Godin talked about, or the one mentioned in Tim Ferriss‘s new book? If the answer is no, then you didn’t get it.

I realized, just how I got brainwashed into thinking that fast food for every meal was okay for many years of my life, I needed to brainwash myself into implementing positive life habits. Reading, exercising, eating healthy, practicing gratitude, being social, pushing myself and working hard.

I can, definitely, say that some of the brainwashing is beginning to work. I’m far from my potential but I can see some of the brainwashing doing its job (I still need more).

Ask yourself, what kind of brainwashing are you taking part in? Is it in your best interest or against you? Because, you are being brainwashed whether you want to admit it or not. We all are.