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The Grind (60 days on Discipline)

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13.07.2018

Day 20,

Meditation - yes, Running - yes.

Last day of work for the week, Looks like  I can handle three days. I'll do 1 more week of 3 days and then consider if I can do 4 days. The things I want to do in travelling is going to require a lot of money so I need to put my head down and work away! I just value my peace and leisure time quite a bit but I think it's rational to put it aside for a couple of months to have an amazing couple of months down the track.

I spoke to my friend at work about how to change for the better. He's always wanting to make more money but doesn't see his blindness to his own spending/expenses. I told him to first change his environment then change one of his easiest habit which is smoking cigarettes. He occasionally smokes and it seems he doesn't have a strong affinity with the habit. I can see this guy is more self aware and smarter than the rest of the crew because he listens and I admire him for having such great capability in doing so. Now that I've experience a little taste of growth - I think I've done more in these last 3-4 months than I have in my last 10 years on Earth, I want that for him too and everybody else. The sad thing is it's very likely that he won't do anything about it, just like I did for the last 5 years. I had the desire to change but not the energy levels to make the shift, so I recommended he read the Miracle Morning which I think was the key to the ignition of my growth. I asked him to provide his email address and he hasn't given me it even though we discussed it...

Mediocrity is a cruel and disgusting thing that we don't even realise we are in. He says he wants to but he hasn't acted upon giving me his email address, a simple thing... so how is he going to even read the damn book? I told him you have to drag yourself out like you're running away from hell because you will choose to be comfortable and not do this. Regardless if he does or doesn't act on my advice, I hope that this at least begins a small bread crumb trail on self-development down the line however long it takes for him to snap himself out of it. I'm not going to give him any more advice... I think he's using it more of a tool to fantasize and 'feel' some dreams whirl in his head than actually take action, so until he takes action and tells me about it, only then will I give more advice if he seeks it.

I went home, ate food and looked up some music bands that were playing and decided to put it off in favour of arriving earlier at my mum's to practice Spanish and go fishing. It looks to be a grand day! I'll try to take some photos of our catch.

I talked to my father over the phone and he came back from Yemen in one piece which I'm grateful for. He said the minister of health there wanted to house the doctors in a hospital that had guns in there in case the people needed 'protection' and refused to move to the hospitals of his choosing deeming it not safe. It's crazy how much of the world we don't know sitting here in our little polite, egalitarian western societies when corruption is the norm in most others. That's part of why I want to travel as well, to break me from this comfortable spell I'm accustomed to and see a bit of the ugly of the world and give me some perspective of the things that I take granted for, in a way where I can have a paradigm shift.

Grateful for:  Water, Buses/trains, Internet (many of us dont realise how stupidly powerful this thing lets us be and bears reiterating), notepad to jot ideas/thoughts, My father.

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Day 21,

I woke up and slacked off my routine. I ate food before exercising. I ended up running 3 hours later so felt better after that. Didn't meditate but practiced it whilst out fishing and driving back to the city home.

We caught nothing out fishing, I ended up throwing up because of how Rocky the sea was. The wind was actually non-existent but the water was turbulent. We brought along another friend to join us and he made the journey a bit dinner with his humor. On the bright side we got a big dose of - that is life you win some, you lose some.

We came back home and I told my folks about the fireworks happening in town. They dropped me off at my place and I grabbed my camera to go shoot it. I arrived a bit late but managed to get some decent shots.

I practiced about 15 minutes of Spanish. 

Later, I got two invites from people I recently met to events. Friend A invited me to A Justin Timberlake vs Stevie wonder jam battle off thingy... It definitely looked interesting and I could have shot it. My other friend from work invited me to go to this Colombian fiesta in celebration of their independence day.

He said he'd be there at 10pm and wasn't there at 10.10pm. I sent him a text asking if they were coming (he was bringing his Mexican friend who he suggested I meet). I was disappointed and a little annoyed that my time had been wasted as well as spending $7 for entry. I didn't really care about the dancing I just wanted the opportunity to meet his Spanish friend and possibly practice some Spanish a have a point of contact for my travels in México.

I guess this is me being pretty outcome dependent and not really that good. Regardless, I don't really tolerate my time being wasted anymore because I realise to be an effective person or business man you gotta be where you say, when you say. And tolerating behavior like this can assimilate bad behaviors with the five closest people rule. I wonder if I'm being black and white here or I'm actually setting healthy boundaries, I think it's more the latter. I told my work friend to not ask anything from me anymore until he finishes reading the miracle morning.

A thing with me is that I'm quite empathetic in wanting to help people and am easily susceptible to being abused because I like to help or please people. I'm aware of this in me and am trying to change it. On the plus side as U was going out I met a guy that I previously met at Mundo Lingo but forgot his name. We had a good conversation on the street and exchanged phone numbers.

I feel like I'm building network of guys that want to self-improve, I just need to weed out the serious ones from the not so serious ones so our growth can be exponential and positive.

Grateful for: friendly Spanish people, getting invites from friends, water, cloud storage, warm winter days and men seeking to improve.

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Day 23,

Today was so so. Stayed up till 2AM thinking of watching the world cup and wanted to nap so my sleep schedule won't be fucked but ended up waking up at 6AM.

The previous night I spent trying to design a Business card but I think it's not clear in what I was offering as a service. I think I need to add a picture of a camera 📷 as cringy as I feel it seems, for the client it makes things more obvious what I'm offering. I keep forgetting I need to be thinking of what they, the client wants.

Today I read my Social studies course and went back to nap for an hour because I felt cold and snuggled slowly into my bed. I ended up running at 10.30 AM and felt warm for the next hour and could take more action as expected  with my body being warm. Thinking rationally is one thing, acting it and being congruent with it is a whole other thing 😅 

I listened to slot of Gary V today, always makes me feel at the very least positive. He's like the father we need but don't deserve. 

I went past a photography shop and went inside to look at second hand lenses and the cameras there. I asked to use have a look at the G9 and the guy was quite an apprehensive fellow and he told me to not go crazy with taking many shots as it was a new camera they were trying to sell. I practiced my knowledge of listening attentively and he was a wealth of information. I had mentioned that I sent an image to stock photos and was rejected and presented to me reasons why that might be. He basically said the people there can be anal because they've been told that pictures should be so many MPixels big but also they have a certain image in mind for what they sell. He told me that I should go sit down with them and ask them what they want and try to create what they need. He said to strip off the exif data out of my photos and deliver the pictures in 16 bit TIFF format for the highest quality.

I bought some tools for work and some chocolate 🍫 I was planning to edit the fireworks footage I shot two nights ago but procrastinated. On the plus side I practiced some Spanish at night.

Our public transport system is now incorporating double decker buses

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😄

grateful for: chocolate, experts willing to share their knowledge, transport system, running and Spanish. 

Buenos Noches!

 

 

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Day 24,

Meditated, bit better. I'm beginning to understand now that it's mainly about focusing on breathing with experiential understanding not just knowledge.

Running - there's a part of my run where I run through a series of flight of stairs, by the time I get to the top I shout "winner" and run down the middle of the street as part of my celebration. This feels good expending my impeded excitement for life in this quiet hour at 5.30 in the morning.

I looked through social studies material and it says to look back over the material and condense the lessons so I don't have to go over all of them again. I remembered the ANTS handout and caught myself having ANTS thoughts about 4 times thinking that I wasn't doing a good job, fast enough. I caught myself and realised they are just lies to sabotage my progress.

Went to work, told my work mate that I won't be giving him any more advice until he takes action. Its honestly fucked man, literally 99% can't be arse'd to make a change in their life in a week because it's easier to go watch a game and drink beer. I don't remove myself from this equation, its that pervasive across society. It makes me sad for my fellow man and hella scared now of who I make friends with and allow to become an influence.

I came back home and had a nap, I think I was dehydrated and didn't drink water. I woke up 50 minutes later and started studying Spanish. I was meant to go to Munro Lingo tonight but chickened out. I decided to go to the net cafe to try edit the fireworks footage I shot. I couldn't install my video editing software and ended up going for a walk with my ex-gaming friend. I suggested if he thought he was possibly addicted to video games and he said he was more playing to fill in the time. Basically the same thing, just rationalising it. Again, its sad this guy has a good heart but just doesn't realise/want to change his life bad enough.

It makes me wonder how the fuck I was able to realise my mediocrity and do something about it, I have no qualms that I am completely out of mediocrity but think at least I have begun my journey of realising my potential.

Ending the night by reading Dale Carnegie which I was meant to do in the morning. Today was my first day of working 4 days this week, if I think I can handle this week, I'll ask if I can start doing 5 days next week. I think its time for me to bury my head in the dirt and work hard till my trip to South America.

Grateful for: fabulous app, water, internet, meaningful conversations and speaking Spanish.

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I thought I posted this but apparently not.

19.07.2018

Day 25,

Meditation and running - yes.

Went to work and learnt to paint weatherboards, made plenty of mistakes but made good progress by the end of it all. I thanked my supervisor for being patient with my learning and I will make him a smoked fish sandwich to eat tomorrow.

I went to Mundo Lingo, at first hesitating with anxiety. After reading my social studies material, I worked up the courage and changed my perspective to see this activity almost like an experiment so I can detach myself from my anxious emotions and act rationally. I met a beginner learner of Spanish there and he said they practice Spanish at the previous suburb I used to live in and it's relatively cheap do I'm considering going there next week it's I think on Monday or Tuesday.

Grateful for: meditation, water, laughs, hard work and running 🏃

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Day 26,

Meditated a little poorly. 10 minute intense exercise by fabulous, this things awesome I swear like I've gone for my run but I usually only sweat a little on my runs because it's mainly cold air and wind drying me out.

I woke up a little early to make two extra sandwiches for my work mates. My supervisor already had made his Toasties and didn't take my offer since he had made his lunch already. I gave the other to my work friend and he appreciated the food. 

I had watched more of my neglected  welbeing Coursera course last night that being with people and sharing food and eating it together makes the food seemingly taste better. I intentionally tested this out and found it to be marginally true, perhaps more so with comfortable friends. I found myself examining my peers faces when eating and in the same way eating their joyous faces. Describing the taste of the food, what it looks like, texture, etc makes us appreciate the value in the food we are digesting and as a result tastes better by feeling better about our shared experiences.

I stayed till 5pm to finish a wall to paint, my colleagues usually leave a little earlier but I wanted to push myself and finish this wall of, it was the last day of the week anyway. I've learnt a good amount about painting in just the two days but I know there's a whole lot more to learn.

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I walked back home and had a quicker shower because I had a community event to go to. It was called Vamos Peru, organised by Club Latino in Wellington. There we learnt about the different regions of Peru from the Andes mountains to the jungles of the Amazonia. They apparently have thousands of types of potato and corn 🌽 :O. A peruvian guy introduced himself and talked to us about Lima and the surf life that's present there. Several women performed dances for us. I met an old lady who took salsa dances and teaches English and she told me about where to do these things, I wrote these notes eagerly. This event was do positive and fun, just like a big family gathering. The Peruvians there had cooked some food for us and even had a delicious dessert of the red-black corn jelly with rice pudding.

IMG_20180720_203519_055-480x600.jpg.335a05a20ef3dd5bd8a9e21dbb4fdee9.jpgThey are having another gathering on the 25th July. I am now home a bit late because I was enjoying that event so much

 grateful for: water, food, Peruvian culture, easy access to shower that freely flows on demand and my brown mature man pants, lol.

Edited by Arch

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Day 28,

I had recently rediscovered this gem of a song that coincided my search for overcoming social anxiety, Soo peaceful 

 

Meditated and ran. I found meditation to be more effective today as I had what I presumed a photography sessions with a friend. This goal in my mind allowed me to dedicate my focus to committing to the meditation with more presence and purpose. My friend later said he was too tired to come out to take photos as he had stayed awake stressing and thinking about work. 

I listened to my social studies audio but started drooping asleep. The doctor has a bit of a monotone voice but I am usually sleep when sitting still in the cold of the mornings. I did go running so am usually warm for the first hour afterwards.

I had planned to get fruit for the coming week but then got a call from my oldest brother who was in the city visiting our sister in law. He asked if I wanted to be picked up, at this time I was on a Spanish practice session with @giblet and he had by the time I had finished Spanish driven to the cafe they were having brunch at. He later offered to book me an Uber ride to get me to the cafe 😄 God I'm fortunate.

We ate very delicious light meals where the whole cafe was geared towards Veganism and Vegetarian food, they did have meat options too. I ordered lentil, split peas and kale salad, God damn it was yum! 

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The cafe was very unique. It outlooked towards the sea and had a blend of surf lifesaving themes, paddle boards and other quirky figures of interest. In the entrance, you would have to walk upstairs which gave it a vibe of exclusivity of a restaurant but this was just a cafe. On the climb of the stairs, I was met with literally a line outside the door with customers waiting to get in. I was questioned if I wanted to book a table and said that I had a friend here already to join and passed through freely. The whole cafe was full but it was well spaced out so that people could move, breathe and talk. The cafe was called Maranui on Lyall Bay for anyone interested. 5 stars from me.

I went back to my sister in laws house and discovered there house, such a cozy spot near the beach. They had a 5 month boy and I took photos of him. I edited and sent these photos to the mother, she was pleased with the photos. I enjoyed taking the baby photos, babies have such a joyful and innocent charm , I could help but feel playful in my own photography approach.

My friend who had previously canceled was able to come to the city later and I took a few samples shots and gave him a link at the end of the night. He was pretty pleased with them . I'm going to spend this week trying to learn this new camera my oldest brother lender me, he wants me to help shot a video for his business down the track.

I went home and two of my flatmates had a quarrel. One of them is an empathetic guy who got fed up with the other guy coming to him in a flurry of panic seeking help and the first guy got triggered and they started shouting at each other for a minute. I realised that the first guy had taken the negative energy from the other guy and had bursted into anger. I tried to ask him to chill but he was beyond that so I remembered that in these cases it is best to hold space and just listen to the person raging and just let them. I asked him to come walk outside with me as he had planned to go to the skate park where we had previously planned to shoot some photos of skating.

 

He said he didn't want to skate anymore after the other guy ruined his mood. I tried to make him realise that the world is full of negative influences and one must curate their influences as to not get washed away in the soup of negativity as it consumes you and you become part of it. I think I could understand what he was going through because I was similar to him, a people pleaser, a kind guy wanting to help everyone. I told him that this leaves us susceptible to being abused as we're too kind for our own good and allow other people's problems to become our own. I told him that he must realise that he must put himself first in order to help others. At the end of the night I asked him to practice meditation as he found he couldn't water properly with the seat of his mood. After I held the space for him and we meditated for 2 minutes he was able to calm down and skate a little.

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This is an upcoming pro skater who lives in our boarding house, he recently got sponsored by a skate shop.

I realise the place I'm in is not a good environment for me to be in to achieve my goals as there are negative influences that pass this boarding house. It's imperative that I find more professional, self development rational people to live with when I come back from South America. I'm thinking whether I should even do that now... 💭

My oldest brother reminded me of something very important at our accountability meeting at the cafe. He recalled how long ago we started doing our accountability meetups and the start of my journey only a mere 6-7 weeks ago... He said "imagine what can happen a year from now, imagine where you'll be 10 years from now with the growth your committing to now" my eyes opened and seemed with Glee ;D 

Grateful for: peaceful country, the inter and cellphone, chocolate and open sharing friends

Edited by Arch

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Day 29,

I meditated for about 4 minutes and the. Went for a run. 

Goals I achieved today was watch the Spanish course about regular are verbs and talk to my Mexican friend through a WhatsApp call. 

I went out to Petone, an Industrious part of Wellington to check out if they had better deals for work equipment than the hardware store in the city. I went to Mitre 10 and they had a better tool box but less options for paint brushes. I had heard to pay for good paintbrushes so I went to the other hardware store, a 15 min walk to see if they had better ones. I ended getting tools from both stores.

I figured if I'm going to be working in this profession, I should have the right gear to be self reliant and such. Up till now, I've been carrying my gear in a sturdy shopping bag and my gear was all over the show but this tool box brings about some order. 

I came home and bought some chocolate, yes I have a chocolate addiction :) I actually want to make chocolate one day, I have a very curious and sensitive set of taste buds for flavours, the potential is endless with high quality chocolate. I noticed in the super market they started introducing some higher end chocolate now too. I don't buy those as they are $8+ for 100g, I bought $2.50 dark chocolate for 200g.

This is an unnecessary expense that I need to stop spending on. I think this past week I ate through 4 bars of chocolate. I go through phases - as long as I don't touch chocolate I don't think about it but once I eat sweets the neural pathways start kicking in. Alot of it is just me being dehydrated and self rationalizing to buy chocolate when thirsty and not thinking straight. So I aim to drink more water this week and try to stay mindful of when I'm having cravings. Tough part is I knew they were cravings and I just gave in to them - there I realised it's addiction, the same kind from gaming.

I unfortunately don't have work tomorrow as it is forecasted to rain reasonably but this gives me some time to learn about painting, practice more Spanish and maybe photography. It's very cool now how I'm all excited about work and when I don't have it I seek to fill in the free time to make the most out of that excitement. I'm grateful of my growth from the change in my mindset

Grateful for: my Spanish speaking friend who practiced with me from Mexico, my legs that are able to take me what seems like endlessly around the city, water, my oldest brother for helping me keep accountable (obviously not in everything but better than none), photography and positive affirmations in the morning.

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Day 32,

Mediated 5 minutes today. Did Fabulous exercise drill.

Finished painting one place and moving on to the next site. Practiced using a roller, use a ratchet screwdriver and remove power point coverings. Simple stuff but I'm getting a lot of confidence in doing things I've never thought or done before.

I went home and went to a community cultural center to practice Spanish. My teacher was friendly and warm hearted Peruvian. I learnt a few things about useful traits or things to do as a teacher for my venture into English teaching.

We cooked causa, a potato mash with lime juice and Peruvian chilli sauce mixed together. Pasta, a chicken type of curry with onions, tumeric, oregano, ginger. There was a basil pesto and rice pudding as well. Our bellies were full 🇨🇨

I met most of the people thing and had some genuine conversations. Some young girl who was 19, who had traveled to Spain when she was 15, doing a double major in environmental and biology. I'm like farkk.. wake-up call time is running the fuck out yo! In a good way 😉

I spent more than I wanted to on the experience but when I look back it was worth it as I'm investing in myself and my future relationships which is priceless.

I will say this again... The level of mediocrity is out of control in this world. How we can be so priveledged with the internet, having free flowing water and all this high quality of life and not have the perspective to see that going to work isn't a chore but a drive for positive action.

One of my colleague friend was telling me how he thinks we're making shit money and how he's glad he got a got call from another colleague to be paid double what he was getting now. I was just like lala I don't wanna hear it, honestly people not having perspective on simply being able to be paid and be self reliant and instead chasing more money and learning to be content is straight poison, such scarcity thinking... It's so obvious to me now how everyone's so short term thinking, the most important question to ask - where am I being short term thinking? My chocolate eating habits, my meditation practice, my follow ups on friends, and more...

I can feel my eyes widen when I look long term now.

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On 7/26/2018 at 9:07 PM, Arch said:

The level of mediocrity is out of control in this world. How we can be so priveledged with the internet, having free flowing water and all this high quality of life and not have the perspective to see that going to work isn't a chore but a drive for positive action.

Our unconscious bias, and this case, the status quo bias. People naturally gravitate towards the option or the path that requires the least amount of input or change of them. Just keep moving forward, left foot right foot, but do't make a decision and don't rock the boat. Why? The herd mentality - as soon as they make a decision or rock the boat, suddenly they become the centre of attention and the possibility that the herd will reject them.

I have done a bit of reading on unconscious bias recently and this is not uncommon. Average Joe can't see their biases and lack the self awareness to take action for self improvement... we don't know what we don't know.

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Day 35,

Was at my mum's for Sunday, didn't meditate or run cause I didn't set up any alarm.

I still managed to do some things. Practiced Spanish with @giblets. Had accountability session with oldest brother. Went to hardware store to buy ratchet screwdriver for work. Helped step-dad with moving new washing machine in and taking out an old barbeque. He's wanting to clean out the house and get it spotless for selling and buying a new house come year's end.

I came back to the City and headed to the net cafe to edit the photos of the portrait session I did with a friend. I got paid for this which I appreciate as I spent a bit of time focused on it. He said he was very pleased with them so that makes me pleased too! 😄

Over the weekend I also bumped into an old aquaintance who I briefly went out to 'game' with as in girls not video games. So I maybe will look into that, my only concern is how it will affect my morning sleep requirement. Maybe I lazy this requirementfor one day, either Saturday or Sunday.

 

grateful for: Water, Spanish speaking partners, positive people, Gary V, the Internet

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Day 37,

Meditating is becoming a little natural, I focused on breathing, nothing else. Ran my short run and celebrated by shouting winner again haha, it's pretty fun.

I listened to my social studies course in the way to work. This week is about how if you resist it persists. The doctor alludes to the Wizard of Oz how Dorothy kills the Witch by staying calm and pouring water over her instead of using aggression. Here he is saying that you can fight a negative emotion with another negative emotion.

I repeat listened to Dale Carnegie. Summary is: Don't argue - boy this one is hard, I love arguing, debating and making conflict to explore discussions. I'm keeping my mouth shut more now and letting others talk. Also not out shining other people above you so that they don't feel inferior makes them more likely to like you. Accepting the other person's opinion and genuinely trying to see the other person's viewpoint, again this one is pretty hard for me. I've grown up thinking facts and being right is the way to go but this directly contradicts it.

I start with just keeping my mouth shut at work and acknowledging I'm most likely wrong and my superiors have more experience and knowledge. Something inside me is arrogant and likes to think I know as to gain confidence but this is fake confidence. Again hard for me, I think this is like a habit to cultivate over time.

I came home and ate dinner. I planned to go out to Munfo Lingo but feel sick and thought it was better to not jeopardize my health and become full blown sick and not be able to work tomorrow. I appreciate that I can make more wiser rational decisions these days.

Yesterday there were these drapes that were being thrown out and I thought they might be useful for photography so I took them home to use as background patterns. On the way home I asked 5 strangers in the street my business card design and if they could tell from the front face what service I was providing. I got positive feedback from all of them. The only thing that didn't work was the font used in the top describing my Business name and my name & occupation which is in a red font that isn't so clear. A solution my Mexican friend suggested was to use black or silver borders around the red writing to make it pop and stand out. 

Grateful for: my breath, being able to paint, Spanish learning, dance performances, the Internet.

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So it's been a while since last post. Many things have happened.

I had a setback of eating chocolate for about 2 weeks, like a whole bar 170g sometimes 250g 5 times a week haha. Anyways, I deduced it down that why this was happening was I had slowly lost my direction of purpose an orientation of behavior corresponding with said purpose. 

Things are quite good now. 2 days ago my favourite flatmate from Japan had moved out and I realised that he made my stay here at this boarding house even 5% warmer and inviting which was enough for a laugh or two. I asked the landlord of I could move into his room possibly. I had a look at it and he was living in a little sanctuary. The windows get more sun, the space is about 25% bigger, there is all 3 working lights, a big standing square slotted shelf space, a mirror... it has fucking everything and I'm pretty stoked! 

A big decision I recently made was to cancel my trip to South America. Gary V started talking about Entitlement about a week or slightly more ago. Entitlement is when your parents, friends or someone else gives you something and this develops a sense of people owing you shit. He says this makes people soft and if you want to run a business, in the long run you will flop as your foundation is made of rubbish entitlement. I'm guilty of this. I have been entitled all my life, my parents usually took care of my needs financially, mom cooked food, bought shit for me... still does but now I say no. I'm making a change now to work on my photography and ideally make a business out of it and put my head down and work hard.

I wanted to go to South America to go to a transformational 21 day Ayahuasca retreat in order to unlock the demons that are inside me an release/accept them. But this is really some idea in my head to short-circuit the process of Growth, so I choose the longer and hard route. I still want to do the retreat but maybe later when I have my own money to pay for it rather than the $1 top-up offering for every dollar I earn by my dad/brother. That would have just kept me going in the path of entitlement.

This weekend past, I shot some pretty cool snaps. I photographed Gflip, KVKA and Maxwell Young at a local bar venue spruced up by Redbull Music NZ.  

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I bought return train tickets to go to my mums place to pick up my older brother's computer. He is travelling the world atm with a laptop and hasn't been using his computer. I asked if I could use it as it would make my photo editing process much more efficient as well as not being in the negative environment of gamers in a netcafe. At the same time I'm a little hesitant of fulfilling my wish as it means I am being entitled again. But then I take a step back and realise I'm being black and white about this and will actually use this to progress my career in photography. 

Once I arrived at my mums house, I found I had left some other potentially useful gear that I had stored away - a small Chinese glidecam and a boompole. I figured I'm gonna need a car to transfer all these pieces of gear and it would be silly to hustle across the city with my back burdened by the weight. I instead called an UBER, and thought about it for a few minutes. I was hesitant as it costed $53 where my return train ticket wasn't used. Haha i'm such a cheap ass. Anyways I ended up paying or the UBER and am happy I'm progressing in my relationship of moving on from my poor mindset mentality now that I have some money to spend. The UBER driver was super cool and listened to my journey of rebirth haha and I told him about Gary V and he was intrigued enough to ask me to write his name down for him.

Next week I will attend an RSD Hotseat. Time to Fail 😄

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What a crazy day. I started listening to Napoleon Hill's How to Think and Grow Rich. It's had profound effects.

I got surprised yesterday by a billing by Facebook as I started running FB ads on the advice of Gary V. I assumed I get charged like normal instantly using a credit card but it was not so and so I was $40 short of my planned budget. I had planned to save like $30-$40 dollars for my trip up to Auckland to the RSD free tour/Hotseat. In previous days I had thought about buying a stereo microphone to help me record music videos and expand my available skills on offer as a professional.

Remembering Laurie Santos' teachings in the Science of Wellbeing course, taught me that experiences are more likely to make you happier than things. One of my sticking points is socializing and avoiding people so I want to get that fixed. So I'm putting it to the test and working on what I've long avoided. I worked 40 hours this week so I will use that to buffer me for next week as I'm taking 3 days off to do this conference. I'm taking the cheapest means to accomplish this, long ass 12 hour bus from Wellington to Auckland and staying at backpackers. I remember RSD Julien's early days where he talked about sleeping on the floor on basements with cockroaches crawling over him as he was using his computer. I like to think I have it easy #perspective. 

So going back to the FB surprise bill, I now had enough money to pay for 2 nights of sleep instead of 3. I needed to make $21 as I had $59 and needed a total of $80 for 3 nights. I remembered the chapter in Hill's book where he mentions Barnes who goes on a freight train to reach Edison so he can work with him. Barnes did everything in his power to make his desire happen. So I desired to make $21 - I looked around my room and thought of anything I could sell, I had a Steam Iron, lenses and books to sell. I thought why not go to the Waterfront and asked people if they wanted Portraits of themselves taken and that I would send it to them. I did this with a presupposition of it being an experiment to develop my social skills and say Hi and to get to know people and offer. In this evening I had made more connection with people than several days.

One of the understated fundamentals, I think of being a good photographer is making the people feel relaxed, trust you so they can have fun = enjoyable having their pictures taken = better expressions in photos. I tried to work out why some people rejected my offer. I thought no one has $2 for a portrait in this day and age where everyone carries eftpos. One group had small kids and a grandma/motherly figure and I asked them if they wanted their pictures taken. One of the kids immediately said yes with exuberance and pouted her lips when the mother said no. Alot of people were just afraid and I thought it must be the way I'm approaching. I did have a beanie which doesn't exactly spell approachable but it's Wellington and I want my head warm. I just walked up to people I thought potentially would want their photos taken - young, laughing, couples and families, that sort of crowd. I had made only $1 from an Indian family whom expected me to make prints for him on the spot (I need to save this idea for later) instead of simply online through email. I had scowered the Waterfront for people and found the people that said yes were girls. 

Now I don't know maybe I'm biased and 'try' harder around girls but it could also be that women are usually less rigid and can 'feel' the moment and go with my offer of giving them beautiful portraits. And I did give them beautiful portraits but unfortunately I won't reproduce them by their request and respect. It was nearing the end of the golden hour and I was feeling a little demoralized but I remembered to not give up and just keep trying. My last customers were a pair of Russian ladies. One of them had a daughter in the Arts who was a dancer and sympathized with my cause as she understood how difficult it was to be an Artist. They were a playful pair, I reassured the agitated friend that I would not post these online but to their email addresses and that I would whiten their teeth and make them beautiful. In the end I asked only for $2 but was presented with the rest of the sympathetic lady's purse.

Every day I'm getting more and more looks from girls, they can feel me becoming more 'manly' in control of his course for life and I feel it too. The difficult part is accepting the success. I've had this whole shtick in my life about being 'humble' and diminishing myself so that others may prosper but now realise this is straight bullshit. Still it's hard to reprogram this BS as I identified with it as myself. The girls that allowed me to take their pictures today, I don't know if I'm being delusional or looking too much into it but they felt comfortable around me and let me take their photos. I looked through their photos and they had glimmers in their eyes, maybe they were just posing but I can usually tell when people have truthful expressions. One girl said she had to 'be somewhere', obviously she didn't as she spent 1 1/2 minutes for me to take her photo. I usually just applied principles from How to Win friends and Influence people and asked about their interests which naturally puts them in control and a happy spot and just letting them talk.

Moral of the story: Never give up. The universe has a very chaotic but structured order of assembling riches to those who work hard, do the right thing and NEVER give up. To understand this is one thing but to live it is another. I need to print these teachings and put it on my vision board.

Later on in the night I went to another gig and shot some Balkan folk music; the venue was small but filled out, probably shy of a 100 people. In the end, I talked to the organiser and he thanked me for reaching out to him and spoke about another gig which he could potentially name drop me in to attend and shoot pictures for. This is the message, DO the RIGHT THING and the universe will reward you, it may not be in the shape you expect or speed or immediacy you want but it happens. It sounds like magic when I talk about it but that's what I'm seeing unfold.

One last thought I had: Kindness is the absolute transmutational gold of life. Most things require a transaction to achieve: you willpower through the cold and sacrifice temporary comfort for long term drive, you pay a cashier - you lose money, you get food. With Kidness it's different. It's not transactional, there is no give and take. It's give and give and give. The person that starts the giving eventually gets it back through the universe and the other is obliged to give it back for it is the most invaluable thing to be given something out of the compassion of giving. Gary V talks about kindness and I'm trying to understand it. Don't think it's something to understand, it's energy in positive motion that's all that needs to be understood.

I am right now writing this at 1:15 AM and procrastinating when I should be sleeping or editing last night's gig because I feel these ideas are fountainheads to wealth.

Edited by Arch

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So I came back from my RSD course in Auckland. Besides the course itself I loved just being around young people fluid in their movements of travel. It permeates a sort of carefree lifestyle as well as resourcefulness amongst the group. I learnt that I need to go out waaay more, I'm pretty rigid and outcome orientated. We practiced some funny lines like "You're adorable, I would totally cuddle your brains out!" and "I'm on my period tonight so we can't do-the-do". These weren't serious, they were just openers if we had nothing to say but also to break rapport. The main thing was just to approach without thinking and after doing like 4 or 5, you just forget about approaching to talk to people as a stressful thing and it becomes more natural.

I met a few people through the backpackers I stayed at and had some pleasant conversations with them and added one to a FB group who was from Singapore. I asked him if he played DotA because usually people from Singapore and Malaysia are known for it. He said he did and he was like me, a support player. He also did photography and later went out to Waiheke Island. On my way out of the backpackers I forgot to hand in my key and got charged $20. I didn't plan. Man I don't know what it will for me to get this! "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." - Winston Churchill. I did indeed not put priority on handing the key in and was more worried about making it to my bus which was to leave in ~20 minutes. I ended up sending the key back to the hostel from a town my bus stopped at which costed $3.50. Small cost for now... but this planning to fail is costing me too pay large in the long run. I kind of fell stresses with the news that I forgot the key and emotionally bought chocolate for $2.50 and later tonight a block for $3 and another two snickers for $2. All cause I failed to plan. I think I'm trying to do too much and spreading my focus think, beating myself up with guilt from not achieving what I want.

I think my goals for now is to become social. I think learning to have healthy relationships with people is central to a happy life, business, whatever else there is in life. Everything we do in life is with other people... but maybe I need to be ok without needing to be with other people too.. :S I plan to go out this Friday and Saturday and may sacrifice my photography recordings of music events for it. My instructor said I had this one face which I kind of get what she's getting at. I have this 'defensive' posture face like I'm putting up a wall for people not to judge me. This stems from me caring about what other people think. I think this is on my bucket list of one of the things I want to do before I die. I want to be center of the party and be ok with it, friends with everyone and just having a good time. I usually fail as when things get too big my reality can't handle it and I shut down and remove myself from the environment. 

In the Social Studies course that I was doing, where I am up to at chapter 8, it says to talk to the easiest person first and then the next least stressful person. This goes contrary to what the RSD methods of 'diving in the deep end' supports. See I don't know if I actually have Social Anxiety or I've just made it up and used it as an identity to hide behind and use as an excuse to act like a victim to defend myself from situations where I could be successful. If I remember back In intermediate I would hang with basically one friend at a time and in Primary school, the same. High school a few more people but was definitely overweight. Remembering the literature I've been reading, the rational thing to do is to not focus on the past but on the present and where I'm going. But does the mean that the 1 and 1/2 decades of social anxiety I experienced doesn't exist and hasn't cause some serious neurological effects that require slow readjustments? I'm just wondering which way is better. I've found the Social Studies method to be quite effective as it is quite rational whereas the RSD spiking emotions and stuff feels like a bit of a gap. I know I'm making excuses :S Patience and perspective is likely my savior here.  

Edited by Arch

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