Tag Archives: habits

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-ExupĂ©ry), 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.

Being addicted to constant distractions

Last week, I spent my Thursday and Friday at the Search Love Conference in San Diego, CA. It was very good and I learned a lot about SEO, back-links, Google and content marketing. This post is not about what I learned though. This post is about what I observed while at the conference.

The conference included two long days of back to back to back speakers. It was mentally draining and at times I did feel my concentration levels faltering. I can definitely understand the need to look around, and play on your phone, to attempt to regain focus. But what about if I stared at my phone the entire time? Or maybe looked at my laptop the entire time?

At each location I sat, I was surrounded by one or two people completely immersed in their laptops. I sat in three different spots, in different areas of the room, and at each spot I was next to someone who was completely distracted on their laptop.  Literally, they were paying zero attention to the speakers. They probably looked up three or four times.

I could see their computer screens and they were browsing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iTunes, news sites, the official conference website and checking their gmail. Really???

I thought it was pretty ridiculous that these people payed, to attend a conference, only to be checking their social media accounts the entire time. Talk about being addicted to constant distractions.

I’m sure there were many others that I didn’t see. Of course there must have been, because I wasn’t looking for them. I noticed the three or four people, I did notice, because they were sitting right next to me or in front of me.

I’m glad I wasn’t that person, and I hope I’m never that person who needs constant distractions.

Epictetus and the Banquet of life

If you remain focused and really put in the effort to live a good life, then opportunities will present themselves to you. It is almost inevitable. Opportunities that you never imagined possible only months prior.

Sometimes it’s good to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Other times it is important to take a step back, to see your overall dream picture, and realize that passing up on an opportunity is a better choice. It can be a difficult decision, but better for your overall goals.

For example, an awesome late night networking event may present itself to you, but you know that right now your overall goal is to perform well at a new and/ or current job. Staying out late, on a weekday, will definitely hurt your productivity the following day.

As awesome and fun as the networking opportunity sounds, the correct choice is to pass it by and wait for it to present itself to you at a later time. Preferably once you are accustomed to your job, and can afford to show up to work on 4 hours of sleep, because you already have the hang of everything.

On the other hand, if you’ve been at your job for years and know all the ins and outs, maybe it is a poor idea to pass on the awesome networking event. It could present more benefits to you than a regular well rested work day. Showing up with less than 4 hours of sleep, might be a reasonable trade off for one day.

It’s up to you to analyze your current circumstances and take into consideration the overall picture of what you are trying to do.

Here’s what Epictetus has to say about it:

“Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t yet come? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you. Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth – one day it will make you worthy of a banquet with the gods.”

-Epictetus