How to be the Best You (the No Bullshit Way)
It sounds ridiculous, but I thought I was going to die. The panic set in as I scrambled to find my phone to call 911. But for the life of…
It sounds ridiculous, but I thought I was going to die. The panic set in as I scrambled to find my phone to call 911. But for the life of me, I couldn’t find it.
Two years ago, because of multiple rounds of antibiotics, poor diet, and stress… I inadvertently destroyed most of the good bacteria in my stomach.
Apparently gut bacteria is incredibly important to your health because every time I ate anything my stomach would have an allergic reaction to it. Acid reflux, shooting pain in my stomach, etc.
One day, I ate something and felt my throat closing up. I tried drinking some cold water, but that only made it worse. I felt my an intense pain in my stomach and throat, then the panic set in. I was gonna die it. I knew it.
I sat there unable to find my phone, fearing the worst, and then nothing happened. I sat there for what felt like eternity and nothing happened.
Obviously, since I am writing this, I am fine (plot twist). But, if anybody has ever felt a panic attack they know exactly what I am talking about. That ‘knowing’ that you are going to die. I was put on some medicine that along with a measured diet and healthy habits have helped me improve tremendously.
But, the thought that I was gonna die made me think about my life. I wanted to work towards something greater, give it some sort of meaning. I didn’t want to die before reaching my true potential and giving back.
“The only luxury is time and the only thing promised is that you are gonna die one day” — Modern Philosopher, Kanye West
I decided I am going to make all my wildest pipe dreams come true starting now. I decided to read all the self help books, watch all the motivational videos, listen to all the inspirational podcasts, and take all the fancy courses. I wanted to learn how to be happier and better at everything I do.
Unfortunately Most Inspirational Advice is Bullshit
I can safely say 95% of the content I consumed was bullshit. They say things like follow your passion or do side projects or keep hustling. But these vague terms don’t really mean much. The hard part is the execution.
Advice like that sells well because it makes people feel good. I would use self help books to get inspired and to imagine a wonderful future for myself. But I never actually did anything. I was a classic dreamer getting high off platitudes and cliches. I needed to figure how to become a doer instead of being stuck in a sort of future nostalgia.
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” — John Green
I decided I can’t keep pushing my dreams to tomorrows because who knows how many tomorrows I have.
I realized if I was to achieve my wildest pipe dreams and inch towards my perfect self, I had to start from scratch. I had to create my own system.
My Lazy Habit System: How to be the best you
After a lot of false starts, struggling, and failures… I came up with a process by which I can live my life. By which I can inch towards my perfect self. So I don’t have to be stuck in the past and in the wanna dos. I came up with the lazy habit system after to help me become the perfect version of myself as fast as I can in the easiest way I can.
Now, I taught a whole class about this here.
But here are the basics…
1. Give up on your Goals
I gave up on long term goals and converted them into habits. I realized that trying to achieve my goals led me to take shortcuts and find short term wins that eventually did more harm than good. If I never achieved my goal, I would be depressed. If I did achieve it, I wouldn’t know where to go from there. Instead of trying to write a book, I decided I wanted to be a writer writing day in day and day out. Instead of being a dreamer, I decided to become a doer.
2. Know your why
I noticed that finding the intrinsic reason for doing things made my success ratio go drastically up. I started slowly cutting down on activities that did not have a strong reason why I was doing it. For everything I did, I asked myself why 5 times in a row to get to the heart of my motivation for doing it. This allowed me to find meaning in things that previously felt like chores (I connected the activity to a meaningful reason that would help me get to my perfect self) and allowed me to cut out things in life that didn’t have meaning (most social media time ended up on the cutting room floor).
3. Embrace imperfection
I embraced imperfection and created lazy habits. For example, take a habit you want to do and create a lazy habit for it. Aka instead of exercise or be healthy…say you’ll do a push up a day. You want to turn your habits into tiny, simple to do lazy habits. Eventually you can amp that one push up to 10 then 25 and 10 min treadmill then a full blown exercise. The key is that doing something in the beginning is much more important the quality of thing you are doing. First, get your body used to a habit. And then build on it. That way you will feel at a loss if you don’t meditate, exercise, or write during the day because it will feel like an essential part of your routine is missing (if you create lazy habits that stick eventually it will feel like sleeping without brushing your teeth… just wrong).
4. Make your environment lazy
Make your environment adapt to your laziness. Try not to use any willpower. Have your push up clothes ready. Decide on an exact time do it everyday sandwiched between two things and make sure you don’t have to think about doing that habit. Making a lot of choices, having discipline, and hard work is for suckers. Following through on your long term dreams shouldn’t feel like work because you enjoy doing it (identified your why) and because it’s a habit that part of your routine that you do automatically without thinking.
5. Shorten the Feedback loop
The problem with deferred rewards is that you have to keep yourself motivated until you hit the intrinsic rewards for following through on your habits. For example, if you are a writer day in day out, you can’t wait years down the line when you are successful. You have to build successes into your system, you have to shorten the feedback loop to get some of those rewards now. I have an essay coming out very soon that addresses this called How to love the journey if the journey is so goddamn hard.
6. Diversify your Success
How can you succeed even when you fail? This is a point I come back to many times in my writing notably in a future essay about how to be happy. The problem is many of us have only one success parameter in life (this can be defeated if you move from a goals way of thinking to a systems way of thinking). The example I use when I talk about this in my essay about loving the journey is podcasting. For me, there are many successes to podcasting. If I fail at everything else, I learn the technical aspects of podcasting, I learn how to tell great stories (and what audiences like), I get to ask my friends questions I’ve always wanted to ask, I learn how to listen, and so much more. Even if the podcast is a dismal failure, I will always have some successes because I learned something valuable. Honestly, you just have to get excited by every little thing you make happen. Be proud of yourself, you are on your way to success.
7. Create your Petri Dish
You are what you eat. You are inedible mix of the inspirations that you put in yourself. You have to continually create the conditions of the petri dish necessary for success, inspiration, and creativity. This often means doing things you would not normally do. This means listening to a bunch of podcasts, watching un-cliche movies, reading all sorts of books, watching a documentary about something you never heard of before, watching educational youtube videos, you get the point. Basically you have to consume a lot of good stories, didactic material, and art that induces empathy. Travel and experience different worlds. It is surprising the weird ways inspiration, success, and great ideas are induced. And it’s crazy how those inputs often seem to give you more strength, motivation, and different frames to keep going when the road gets rough.
Using these points (and others), I created an online course which has more than 850+ students who signed up and benefited from my lazy habits class.
This lazy habit class along with a lazy learning system I am coming up with cracked the key for me. I knew the steps I had to take to reach my perfect self.
What my podcast will be about
The next step on my journey to create the perfect system and perfect life is to talk to and learn from people who I admire to see how I can take the best parts of them and adapt it to me. At the same time, I want to create essays that explore what I have learned to solidify them and help you reach your perfect self through my stories, experimentation, and research.
So this podcast will consist of:
Interviews with people on a similar journey who have good advice to share. I don’t want to talk to people who are too successful to explain what they’ve learned. I want to talk to people on the cusp of success so they will be able to relay in layman’s terms what I should do to get started and get on the path of success. There is a magic in talking to people who in 5–10 years are going to be successful. We are getting a sneak peek into tomorrow’s experts. Then at the end of each interview, I tell you how to the lazy habits you can takeaway from the guest. So, you can start applying the guest’s advice to your life that very day.
Audio Essays of things I have learned and lazy habits I have incorporated. Those include how I learned to love the journey, why observing mundane bits of beauty will make life more meaningful and the secret to creating happiness in your life. This is something completely different than anything I’ve seen on any other podcasts, and people seem to really love them. I am especially excited to share these with you.
I am super excited to share with you what I’ve been working on for many months.
Last year there were multiple moments where I thought I was gonna die. Now, finally a year later I’ve gotten over that. I’ve learned to lessen my anxiety and learned how to create my happiness my taking steps to achieving my dreams.
One of my favorite authors, Alain de Botton, said (I am paraphrasing): Be embarrassed of who you were last year because anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year isn’t learning enough.
What he means is that human beings should never stagnate they should always be reaching and striving to be the perfect versions of themselves.
Think about yourself. Who were you a year ago? Who are you now? Are you embarrassed of who you were a year ago?
I am embarrassed of who I was a year ago. And learning how to embrace my laziness is an important reason why.
So, I think the biggest, most important promise I can offer you is this:
If you listen to this podcast and read the blog, if you learn the embrace your lazy system for creating habits that stick, and if you create systems to be a better person day in day out…
You will be embarrassed of who you were a year ago. Because after a year of embrace your lazy, you will have gotten closer to your perfect self than you ever thought possible.
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Want to build successful habits that actually last?
Join more than 850+ students and take my lazy habits class. Full of proven strategies to help you become a better you by unleashing the hidden power of laziness.
“THIS WAS EVERYTHING I NEEDED! I’ve read so many articles centering on increasing productivity and nothing has helped as much as this [class]. YOU’RE AWESOME!” — Brittany Levers
Remix of/Special Thanks to:
Kanye West, Scott Adams, Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing, Alain de Botton, John Green, Tim Ferriss, Austin Kleon, Brittany Levers, Shia LaBeouf, WaitbutWhy, WiseCrack, Raymond Carver, Nilay Modi, Jessica Hagy, How to be interesting, Aniket Mutatkar, Kirti Mutatkar, Manoj Mutatkar, Carlos Moya, Hadar Dor