3 weeks ago I did a heroic dose of magic mushrooms and experienced “ego dissolution” – which is to say, from my perspective, I died. Then I filled my journal with pages and pages of notes, observations, and rules for my life now that I’m me again. This podcast covers most of what I now believe to be true about how I feel I should live.
Lia talks about body image, and how she’s working on getting to a healthier place mentally after pregnancy. Ryan gets a chance to talk about dunking and seizes it with everything he’s made of.
After 4 years, Lia and I have decided to start publishing these podcasts again! We’ve found that the forced conversation is as close to a date as we can manage these days, and so we’ll be doing these bi-weekly.
The technology has also gotten much better, so it looks like we’ll be able to publish these episodes to iTunes for easy subscribability.
I have it in my calendar to write one of these every year. Two years I wrote for 10 years out, this year I’m writing as if it’s my 34th birthday (so, one year from now).
I enjoy circling back to these entries in my journals, and on my blog, and seeing how much of it has become reality. There’s something to writing it down, almost like it gets submitted to the subconscious mind, and from there it becomes directional. Something to be drawn towards.
I’m not convinced that getting what I want is the hard part. I think it’s trickier to truly figure out what I want in the first place.
I’m also wondering if getting what I want is how happiness happens – or if it has more to do with wanting what I have. There’s a potential snag in this line of thinking:
- I’m not happy until that moment I get what I want or
- I’m embracing stagnation by not pursuing my goals
There has to be a bit of both I think, at least for me. I’m at my happiest when I’m setting little goals and achieving them. They add meaning to my days, and give me something to chase, which feels good and requires discipline. Discipline I can always have more of, and it rarley feels good to exercise it, but its fruits are tasty.
But it also clearly feels great to meditate, to let go and to trust that everything is going to turn out alright. That I don’t have to control things. And maybe that I don’t really have much of a say in my fate anyway. That last thought is a weird one, and it comes from Sam Harris’ app, Waking Up which I’ve been using as guided daily meditation. It’s been really good so far. But he says we have no free will, that we’re as much a reaction in the universe as anything else. I struggle to understand the validity of this, but it does seem as though he’s onto something. It also seems to me that if there’s even a trace of authorship in my life which I control, I’d better fucking slam that pedal to the ground and do the best I can with it.
Nobody wants to die with a full tank. Fuck that.
So where do I want to be, and what do I want to have done by my 34th birthday?
Here’s my Google Keep list:
- Deliver on family time every day
- Earn $10,000 in online info product sales (Publish 100 FrisbeeThrows videos/blog posts, Master the funnel, actively engage and grow community, grow email list to 1000 “true fans”)
- 25 frisbee videos / blogs by the time we leave Ecuador
- Bad first draft first info product for sale
- Invest $40k
- 5 minute breath hold
- Lift 1000lbs between deadlift/bench/squat
- Dunk a basketball on a 10ft rim
- Get my first cutback surfing
- Meditate every day
- 3 month Duolingo streak to jack up my Spanish
- Clear $100,000 in income
- Hire someone to both build and maintain websites for Butter
Getting out of my own way mentally helps. I have thoughts pinned to some of these goals, old thoughts, that the goal itself is out of my reach somehow.
When I was 32, I learned some of the truth behind the Henry Ford saying “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
How do I just flip that switch though, mentally? For dunking, it was looking laterally to other guys my size and under, on YouTube, dunking basketballs like savages.
For income, it had more to do with looking at how I was spending my time and being more efficient. Putting in higher quality work on tighter time constraints. People way busier than I am do way more than I do, and are happier too. I have no excuses.
So I think the first step is going to simply be sitting with these goals, and having them solidify in my mind as “100% doable”. So doable, they begin to feel inevitable. That’s a great place to operate from.
So I’ve got my list! We’ll see how the year goes.
I wrote down my bucket list a month ago, then this month I reread it.
Here’s the list of things I want to do before I die, followed by my own reflections regarding the list and my internal war with some of it’s elements…
My bucket list:
- Build a strong family with Lia and our daughters, maintain loving, healthy, respectful relationships with each other as we all grow and change.
- Become a grandparent – hopefully many times over!
- Get barrelled.
- Clear $200,000 in gross annual income.
- Become financially independent.
- Break the 5 minute mark on a breath hold.
- Dunk a basketball.
- Do stand up comedy.
- Build/buy our dream house / land on water.
- Teach my daughters to surf, free dive, spear fish, jiu jitsu, muay thai, soccer, volleyball, hockey, ultimate, golf, skateboarding, carpentry, code, knife throwing, climbing, canoeing, investing, business, mindfulness, goal setting/completion, music, art…
- Leave the world a little better than it was when I arrived.
In reviewing my bucket list, I’ve realized that I’ve been holding back on going for the big goals. The most pronounced one is dunking a basketball. I initially didn’t put it on the is the list, then had to incrementally increase the goal from tennis ball to volleyball, and only now am I accepting the reality that I will one day dunk a basketball. IF I train!!
This acceptance is big. Overcoming my internal resistance to one of my biggest dreams represents a significant change in my forward progress. I’ve been static on that for a long time. Now I’m moving. Move on one formerly impossible big goal, and then move on the next.
I’ve been static on that for a long time. Now I’m moving. Move on one formerly impossible big goal, and then move on the next.
I’ve also been going through a restructuring of my time to forcefully prioritize time with my wife and daughters at the expense of time doing work for other people.
This has made me very happy. It has compounded the love I have for my girls, most potently with Isla. I have historically shut her out the most in order to work, and giving her my full attention has felt really good.
It is becoming clearer and clearer that earning Isla’s love is the most important thing to me, because I can see how it’s possible to miss out, even a bit, and not do as good a job as I could have, and fucking regret that.
Same goes for Lia and Lake. But right now Isla, at the stage she’s at, seems most urgent.
Following my bucket list goals to their ultimate conclusions, yes grossing $200K would feel amazing. As would attaining financial independence. But those without making an absolute success of my family would be damn near fucking meaningless.
Looking at it the other way around, I wouldn’t care much if I never grossed over $200K, it would be harder not to ever feel what financial independence feels like… but I’d be happy. I’d be SO happy. Like I am now.
If you don’t see any change whatsoever, except for my pants – that’s because there hasn’t been any. Not a damn bit!
I almost didn’t finish. Half way through the month I was lagging way behind and a friend of mine (Shaggy – we rented his place for a bit in Hawaii) texted me that he was almost done the 1000 burpees. So I had to finish. I couldn’t have Shaggy finish my own god damn workout without me.
So I did somewhere between 50 and 70 burpees each day and caught up, and it sucked and I hated every day of it.
But the overall purpose of all of this – which is to force me to exercise every day mainly so I don’t end up staying indoors for 3 straight days and not changing out of my track pants – was a wild success.
I haven’t had that cagey feeling, that restless shitty “I need a shower” feeling – and not from exercise but from precisely the opposite. Nobody should ever need a shower because they haven’t exercised. And I was doing that. Or not doing it. And it felt like shit. So now I’m needing showers again because I stink because I worked out. And I feel way better for it.
This month, 1000 deadlifts.
Maybe there will be visible change, but probably not. I’m feeling the internal change, so that’s enough to keep me going.
That and god damn Shaggy texting me every few days with an update that he’s ahead of me in reps – again.
Check out my face in this picture. Looks like I have half an orange in my mouth and I’m about to cry. Probably was about to cry.
So, without being obligated to post a workout video for the past couple days – I just flat out stopped working out. Damn! So much for a habit forming. And last night I had a crazy hard time falling asleep. Probably because my body is used to expending at least a bit of energy every day – and I didn’t do a damn thing.
Everywhere I look, it seems like people are talking about burpees. In the audiobook I’m listening to (Spartan Up) the author talks about doing 10,000 burpees in a week. Another author I follow talks about his aunt committing to 40,000 burpees in a year.
After a little Googling and YouTubing, I’m now convinced that burpees are awesome and that I should do some. So this month I’m going to do 1000, all of them outside. I’ll even post before and after pics to see if there’s any notable change.
So far I’ve done 43 (18, 15, big rest, 10) and felt close to vomiting. Guess we’ll see how it goes! Check out the Postgame Report on my 1000 Burpee Month to see the before and after photos.
I go for the 2 minute handstand in this FINAL DAY of this video series.
My goal in publishing a short workout video each day was to force myself to form a new habit of working out each day (in accordance with Google’s estimation that it takes 66 days to form a new habit).
Despite having completed the series, I won’t know if the habit has formed until I’m no longer socially obligated to post these videos. So we’ll see.
As for the deeper reason behind working out every day – which was to improve my mood – that has been a total success. I had been finding myself getting frustrated and cagey if a day or two went by without any outdoor time or exercise, and simply doing a couple minutes of (even super light) exercise (and preferably outside) has 100% abolished those shitty feelings.
Keeping that realization at the front of my mind in upcoming days will help keep this going off-camera. It feels great to get outside and move a bit. It’s not intimidating if I don’t have any expectations of myself in terms of workout intensity.
Along the way, I discovered that skipping and handstands emerged as being great fits for me because they weren’t intimidating at all, and yet forced a minimum effort (ie jumping high enough to get over the rope, or holding 175 lbs overhead for over a minute).
Even entering into either of these exercises with an internal motivation level of “half-assed” – the very nature of the exercise forces you to perform at a reasonable level.
So, after all that rambling, here is my final video in this series: