What is luxury?

Clean space

Not being rushed

Not worrying or having to worry about stuff

Freedom

Optionality

Effortless things

Ability to put effort into seemingly non-productive things

Things for the soul

Health

Natural light, air, forest, swimming in real water

Being someone

Winning the mental game

Lack of competition

Love

Work Out Harder

I think if I can figure out working out harder, on my own, that will be an internal thing.

Maybe to go further and go far in success, whatever that means, is to collaborate with other people. But what I am thinking is to be independent from other people. I mean basically not be dependent on other people. Or external circumstances.

But that seems like a contradiction. You are dependent on external outcomes. But you can be less dependent.

If I need something, in this case, working out hard, I can figure out some system.

But perhaps there are other ways to get things done that are more robust.

For example, if striking was important, I was thinking I could have a bag in the house. But there is no good spot for it. So, I could improve my skills in making a good spot for it, I could connect with someone that had faced this problem and could help me, I could connect with someone that has a good spot.

You know, something like that? I could find someone else that wants to work out hard. Independent of the system. If you are working, you might attract other people that are working, for example.

That is part of the thing.

You want a good life more than you want more stuff

Stuff, well when I did not have much money, I would pretty much take stuff that was free.

I'd find a use for it.

Or I could put it out. In college, there was a built in 'thinning out' of belongings once a year when we moved out.

But it is easy to accumulate more stuff than you need, or want, or is good for you. It is comforting to have stuff around. A spare phone in case one breaks, an extra set of hangers you do not use, etc. When you do not have a lot of disposable income, it is easier, better, more frugal, to have a store around. After all, when you do need an extra set of hangers, you cannot count on them to be offered for free. And maybe that is not in the budget this month.

Eventually though, your wages go up, and if you can think about stuff. Well. You do benefit. Every $5 and $10 thing costs money. And a bunch of $25 and $40 things can add up. So go earn more, for sure, but also consider your burn rate. You do not need a new shirt, you need to feel comfortable talking to people and maybe would benefit more from working out, therapy, or art. Which can be free or low cost.

I have found myself shopping for so many reasons. Advertisers are excellent at their job.

But you want a good life more than you want more stuff.

Consider how to be happy with the stuff you have. Content. You have felt happy before, without the things.

Have fun.

How to be happy and successful

When we talk about happiness, we may mean different things, which makes talking about it less clear. Is happiness excitement? Adventure? Joy? Peace? Achieving a goal? I would argue when I talk about happiness it is close to something like peace and contentment.

Contentment is a superpower. The ability to have a real, positive state in a variety of situations. I do not mean lying to yourself and telling yourself that everything is okay when it is not. I mean that moment where you shift and think, man this is valuable even though it is hard or not how I thought it would go. Or that you can benefit from this situation and are happy about it.

Part of the thing is context. Even if like something does or does not go your way, it is kind of inconsequential. You still won the lottery by being born, by being able to breathe, communicate, move around, and participate in life. It is like a kid crying because they do not have THAT toy, when they have like everything else around them.

How do you do that? By being able to see and appreciate what is going on. Have you ever had a moment where you actually stop and smell the roses? Beautiful sunny day? A crisp fall afternoon? Or a mysterious winter evening and you see the glint of snow in the moon? There is something there. Being able to observe and appreciate it is what is going on.

The other thing is that, well, what if you want to win? Sure there is chicken soup for the soul when you want to get over grief or appreciate life, but like, what if you want to fucking win? Get something difficult done? Push through a difficult thing?

I think the idea of gritting through and fucking killing yourself over something does 'work' in achievement, but like you lose in life. It is the classic tale of someone going after some huge achievement only to realize at the end they are sad, mentally in a bad place, and maybe even morally or ethically bankrupt. I mean that story is in like every religious and non-religious story telling practice.

After actually observing successful people, I really do believe another approach is possible. An approach of contentment and happiness. Like I am not saying everyone should quit their job and become a singer or a beach bum. I am saying that you can do what you do and have contentment. And I am also saying, maybe you find joy in making music. You do not need to wait until you have a perfect job, lots of money, and all the gear to start doing that. You could probably carve out some time to start enjoying playing music now, even with a job. I know there are people who bring instruments to work and find a quiet, out of the way, conference room to practice during lunch.

Being happy and content with your situation does not mean being lazy and doing nothing all day. Or maybe it does. -> It would get too boring. Try it. It can also include wanting to help people, want to improve things for people, etc.

This mindset from a sense of wealth is really the game.

I mean like if you are doing shit that is always breaking you down, how much harder is it to have a good life? If you can take what you are doing and appreciate the good parts, you can still work towards something that you like, and also, well you actually develop the sense of what you like.

I think that is part of it too. People that do shit they do not like all the time, so they can be happy later, start to confuse happiness with power, sex, adrenaline, domination, and drama. Right? It is actually super weird when you start to look at it.

Just because it has worked for you up until now, does not mean it will work for you in the future. On the next stage. In fact, it might be fucking up your life. Why would you choose to live a shitty, angry life at 100% 'money' when you could live a great, happy, fulfilled life at 80% or 120% 'money'?

You would do it because you do not have the skills in the happy life department. You think that 'success' is defined by some societal shit that is like just made up. You can even be competitive and have a great, happy life. I know people that are like genuiinely nice happy people who do combat sports. On the other hand, there are some people who are just angry and fucking raging during training all the time. I do not think the second person always wins the competition. Long term,I know they do not win.

It is a misunderstanding of doing stuff.

You get money or happiness by doing certain things. They are somewhat independent. People treat it as a zero sum game because they do not understand that it is a positive sum game.

If you run your success engine on anger, you'll burn out. I have seen it over and over. If you run it on good, quality fuel, that is a long term success machine.

Again do not twist my words. I am saying you can be content and high achieving. I am saying they are fairly independent, but related. I am saying that they are skillsets. I am saying that mindset is one thing and action is another thing. One person sees a squirrel and is like, oh cool squirrel. Another person sees a squirrel and is like, what a fucking pest. They blame the squirrel because like they did not think to put a net over their fruit. Or grow more fruit and account for squirrels eating it. Either way, if you want to have fruit, you have to do the same things. One person is just pissed about it.

And like even if there is a downside, which there is not, it still wins on the life scale. One person wins at a thing, and they think that is 90% of the game. When really it is 20% of the game and they have been concentrating so hard on that 20% that they have pretty much busted up their entire life. That is what I am saying to avoid.

I am sayng you can run your life on good fuel.

Mondays are the best days

Get after it.

And if you can't, that is okay.

And if you want to, but do not feel like it, take care of yourself.

And if you want to, but do not know where to start? 25 minutes on the bicycle. Put on clothes. Get a sweat.

How to Improve Your Life During COVID-19

Well the most basic thing is the most basic thing.

Clean your desk.

If you are not working, or not working from a desk, clean something. A side table. A small space.

That is the seed.

You are creating a nice spot and a nice place to start.

Each day, improve one thing about your environment. The rules: none really, but it can be small. Put away a paperclip. It can be medium, put up a shelf. It can be large, donate most of your stuff. But improve one thing about the environment you are in.

What can you expect? Most of the days, it will be little stuff, putting away socks you left out the night before. Lining up notebooks so the corners are square. Seemingly inconsequential things. But some of the days will be huge. Finally fixing the window so you can have bright sunlight. Moving all the stuff around so that you can easily work out and it is harder for you to do things you do not want to do.

Everything you change and improve is an improvement.

Eventually you will realize that there is finding contentment within yourself as well.

Ur Fascism Definitions

https://web.archive.org/web/20170131155837/http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

Read the part about ur-fascism

Summarized here by Gingevere:
"I always go off of Umberto Eco's 14 common characteristics from Ur Fascism.

The cult of tradition.
The rejection of modernism.
The cult of action for action’s sake.
Disagreement is treason.
Fear of difference.
Appeal to social frustration.
The obsession with a plot.
The enemy is both strong and weak.
Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy.
Contempt for the weak.
Everybody is educated to become a hero.
Machismo and weaponry.
Selective populism.
Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.

You could make a bingo cards out of these points and I guarantee you'll get a bingo 5 minutes into any trump campaign speech. The Rally on the morning of the 6th was particularly heavy with these points."

https://teddit.net/r/politics/comments/n4lag3/the_republican_party_is_for_liars_only_liz_cheney/

Simplify, Donate, Gift

I find I can take a relaxing breath when I get rid of stuff.

I donated things to a place and it is a good feeling.

I gave stuff to some people and it was a good feeling.

I sold stuff and at least I got money, but it is not as good of a feeling.

The rewards for doing things are friends, experiences, and money.

To be wealthy, have those.

To be efficient, achieve those that you need for safety and happiness without spending more.

Save the rest of the money, invest it, donate, gift it, employee people with it, solve problems with it, just deploy it in beneficial ways. Including buying independence that allows you to be free to do things that help people as well.

It does not need to be a minimal life. It should be a full life. Maximum life is a mistake in thinking. Abundant life is not a maximum life.

Be good, be ethical, help people, be happy.

GymTalk: Overworking and resting for workouts?

One thing I have experienced is being overworked or 'burned out.' This situation can happen in good things too like working out, socializing, work, and even art.

People take a few steps to get to the right approach to burnout. Oftentimes, people do not recognize or address it. That is a big mistake-- culminating in a fugue 'steady state' of depressive lows punctuated by manic highs.

2. If you recognize it, you are already on the path to recovery.

The source of burnout is often cited as 'overwork'. So people rest and relax more.

That make sense, but it does not really address the source.

3. The source is not just work. Sports are more 'work', but they are fun and people pay for it.

People actually love working. People spend ungodly hours looking up, quizzing, and testing themselves on sports stats. They dig up archane knowledge, and they actually spend money to watch someone do something.

Could you imagine liking your work so much that you would be willing to spend money on it like you do hobbies?

Absurd.

It is a valuable mindset to examine.

Sidenote: I have a whole rant on this topic of liking what you do and how you make money. The can and likely should eventually be separate. Or at least somewhat independent. Why? Becuase a robust income money system is multifactorial. As is a robust life and enjoyment system. If everything is too tightly coupled -- you are asking one thing to do too many things -- are you lack redundancy, durability, and robustness.

4. The source is stress.

Burnout is stress. It is both lack of ability to process stress and lack of rest. But those are both also predicated on lack of perspective.

The perspective can change everything. That is the story of the bricklayer. That is the story of the MMA champion. What are you going? I'm laying bricks for money compared to I am buiding a cathedral. What is your favorite part? I love practice.

5. Approach to address it.

Consider the stressful parts. With working out, it is often the high intensity portions. They tax the nervous system. Keep the same workout, but instead process fewer instense sessions. Keep some because you need them.

Workout more often, but less intense (credit to Firas Zahabi). He is a trainer for MMA and jiu jitsu greats, most notably George St Pierre. He says you should never be sore after a workout. Now if you went in, and tried a workout, at the intensity of the room, you might be sore. If you are sore, it is too hard, and so your answer is to build your endurance, build your capacity. I knew someone who trained with a top state cross country runner all summer. They ran the same miles, same times. The top runner went on to an amazing season. But the person who started out at too high of an intensity was injured and could not even get started training when practice season, much less competition season, came around. The difference? The top runner had built up all the ligaments, tendons, bone density, muscle endurance over time. They might have been running the same time, same distance, but one person knew how to rest, eat, sleep, etc. and had a system with better capacity for processing those workouts, than the other person.

So the approach?

  • Do not eliminate, but decrease sessions of peak intensity. Continue to work out.

  • Variety. Variety is fun.

  • Accomplishment. Find ways to make it an accomplishment. Or. Reject the need to validate yourself through some outward facing metrics.

  • Mental is the biggest part. Some people want to be seen running. They want equipment and spectators and cheering and social validation through apps. It is a drug, which is to say an enhancement. There are people who are able to run a marathon only by the the skin of their teeth completing it and with thousands of cheering people. That is lame compared to someone who walks 5 miles a day to work each way. The second person is more fit, the second person has the correct mental game, the second person is living a life. The first person has not even figured out the game yet.

  • Mental is the biggest part. Some people blame lack of equipment. Go running. If it is possible to go running or bike commute year round in Minnesota where the winter temps in the morning and evening are -10F to +10F for months out of the year, then you can figure it out wherever comparatively temperate climate you live in. Or get an indoor bike. Or join a gym. But lack of equipment? Lack of many factors, but equipment is oftentimes not one. Equipment is cheap if you know what you are doing. The lack is lack of know-how. The best money I ever spent was actually on books. I read a lot of books. The best time I ever spent was in the gym experimenting. On youtube there is so much. Online there is so much. The book content is definintely available. But you need a book to organize all the mess that you read about. The biggest part is the context, the understanding.

  • Equipment is not an issue. Eventually you get to it, but to start? Walk around the damn block. You want to do weights? Lift a jug of milk. A schoolbag full of books. Buy a heavy duty canvas cotton duffle bag on eBay ($30), buy sand or fill it with rocks ($20 for >100 lbs). But do you know what to do with it? The biggest part is knowing what to do with it. With understanding, you can do squats, bench, powercleans, overhead press, saggital, transverse, and frontal movements. Without knowledge and skill? No idea. You end up buying the wrong thing and not knowing what to do with it.

6. Summary: Have fun.

Be ethical.
Be helpful to people.
Be loving.
Have fun.