In this issue:
My goal today is to help you develop mental resilience because life is never going to get easier but you can get better at it. Effortless.
*First a quick note: I’m going to be experimenting with different formats for my newsletter over the next few months. An outlet to spread philosophy and ideas to spark critical thinking and deep insights requires freedom of creativity, right?
I’ve been preoccupied with some very inspiring communities, cohorts, and peak performance programs that made me realize there’s a club out there that the masses are not a part of.
I’ve been in a personal development bubble for over the last decade and a few months ago, I realized how far I was into it— almost disconnected from reality thinking I was surrounded by super achievers. This was one of the reasons I began this newsletter and relaunched a blog (I’ve been writing since 2005).
What if there’s a way to future-proof your mind so you stop making horrible decisions?
Just like how I choose an overarching “word” for each year (2022 was FOCUS), I want to choose a theme to focus on every month to learn about because it’s important to keep your brain stimulated with deep work.
This month, I’ve been thinking about a controversial but much-needed point of view:
Society breeds us all to be weak and chained to our profit-driven economies that breeds complacency.
Trapped in a cycle of burnout that prevents creativity and autonomy— a necessity in wellbeing— you’re doomed until you join an exclusive club that are actually taking control of their minds.
How many of you need that glass of wine every night you get home?
How many of you ate that bag of chips after dinner last night?
How many days did you miss working out last week?
While there are peak performers out there doing massive global-shifting things— your brain is tired and that prevents you from pursuing passion projects that will actually contribute to your well-being and the rest of humanity.
Now, I’m not saying you need to change the world! But if you work on yourself and your MIND, you’re already creating a ripple effect of positive change that the world needs.
And it can be effortless— once you learn how to prime your mind for peak performance. It’s the biggest not-so-secret out there.
Why Society Makes Us Weak
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of surface-level conversations and mindsets. I avoid small talk like the plague
Most of us can’t cope with the complexities and nuances of life so existential anxiety is eating away at our souls incentivizing the mundane: mundane mindsets, relationships, thought processes, and average ways of living.
It’s okay to do the minimum at points in your life but if you’re feeling unfulfilled, that means you need a change.
Maybe you want to stop feeling anxious or get rid of that constant resentment against your spouse.
Maybe you strive for a bigger purpose.
Whatever it is, it’s time to stop doing shallow, mundane work.
The masses tend to descend towards “the easy”— their cognitive biases while distracting themselves from reality so they don’t have to put in the “real work”.
When you ignore your underlying thoughts and emotions, you are pointing your trajectory toward a life where you’ll never fulfill your true desires.
The Result of This Weakness
Do you have achy recurring pains? A negative mindset? Inability to control your feelings? Feelings of lack and imposter syndrome?
Less than two years ago I was a hot mess. Seemingly perfect outside but inside, I was filled with trauma, sadness, and rage because my hormones were fucked up and my mind was a mess from losing everything I built up to that point, most importantly, my health.
Not to mention the chronic pain from a car accident and not being able to do my two favorite things: cycling and eating! My digestive system shut down from stress.
This happened because I was out of alignment with my life’s vision.
I got into a relationship and environment way below my standards because I wasn’t clear on my vision. I succumb to weaknesses even though I thought I had all my 💩 together.
When you don’t know what you want, the universe gives you chaos.
Everything happens for a reason and thank god for a pandemic (jokes) because normally I would’ve run away to the South of France but I was forced to stay put and ended up uncovering years of impossibly high standards, perpetual feelings of never being enough paired with unwavering discipline that drove me to that point in my life.
💡 Trigger Warning: FUCK TRIGGER WARNINGS. This edition of THE SMRT LIST is what’s wrong with the need for trigger warnings. 🚫 Besides, the audience who comes here already has the foundations of a strong mind, right?
Why you may need to read this:
👉🏼 These underlying emotions manifest themselves in physical conditions (chronic pain, gut issues, migraines, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, autoimmune disorders, disease, and sickness).
And it’s sad to me how so many people live in a state of chronic pain, low energy, lack of emotional regulation, and low self-esteem— yet they don’t even realize it because it’s “their normal.” These are all results of a dysregulated nervous system.
Trust me, once you start living that peak performance lifestyle and know how it feels to have your brain and body ON all the time, you will find it hard to revert to lazy habits. But more on this later.
Did you know they can detect Alzheimer’s decades before it shows up in your brain? It’s been long known that diseases begin with our thoughts and science is beginning to put it together.
You may not see it now but one day everything you didn’t deal with is going to show itself physically.
Lesson: Don’t run from problems unless you want the universe to gift you stinky feet.
The last time I didn’t want to face something, I ran away to Europe to distract myself with bike rides, the glorious alps, and a few weeks of partying in the glitzy glam of Monaco and South of France.
When I was flying home, I asked the universe to give me a sign— she gave me a stinky foot. I’m not even kidding you.
If I haven’t spent my entire 20s living a healthy lifestyle, the last two years would’ve been a nightmare. But despite the uncontrollable emotions and suffering, I was still living and enjoying my life to the fullest because I had a mindset of iron.
Every day was excruciatingly hard and lonely (thanks, pandemic)— partially self-induced because I didn’t want to drag anyone else into my healing process. An ex did that to me so I’m still triggered by those who can’t take accountability (one step at a time, right?).
The past few years, my confirmation bias made it obvious that people who get “stuck in healing” or never rise up against their unresolved traumas all had similarities.
The ones who stayed the same did work.
The ones who leveled up and progressed faster did The Work.
Do The Fucking Work
“The Work” Means Action
The difference between success is the ones who are constantly procrastinating versus the people who actually take action. This not only goes for healing but for business success and life in general.
- Scrolling social media.
- Endless inspirational quotes, podcasts, Tedtalks. Zero action.
- Consuming more than you create.
- Doing mundane tasks you can do later so you don’t have to do the hard work (eg. cleaning versus exercising).
- Talking to your friends about the same pains, and traumas you’re going through from 4 years ago and not making any progress.
- Getting pissed off at others because you don’t bother managing your energy.
- Exercise for their cognitive and mental health.
- Going to therapy and doing the homework.
- Listening to a podcast, taking notes, and applying to real life.
- Performing a habit every day (eg. 5-minute meditation)
- Read books and learn how to not project their traumas onto other people.
- Learn how to use their biology to their advantage with science-backed techniques.
Does this trigger you? Good! That’s the point.
If you weren’t triggered, you are already on the right path and doing the work! Good for you too! 🔗 Click here to read about how to take action and heal your mind + body + soul from pain and trauma.
Curiosity Is The New Intelligence
🔊 Peter Attia: The comfort crisis, doing hard things with Michael Easter
- This podcast is everything about what this edition of THE SMRT LIST stands for. Raised by alcoholics and after having gone through the struggle himself, Michael realized we are in a ‘Comfort Crisis’ coddled overabundance of things, encouraging us to stay in our comfy couches and warm homes, and afraid of the cold— if we are stuck in your comfort zone, you need to read his book.
- We are hardwired for stress but society keeps us weak. We need to learn how to challenge ourselves and learn how to be bored (almost impossible with smartphones and technology).
🔊 Lex Fridman Podcast: Annaka Harris: Free Will, Consciousness, and the Nature of Reality
- My favorite podcast I listened to in the last month. Free will doesn’t exist because our subconscious is guiding our actions. Your reality is an illusion unless you know how to control it.
- Annaka is well known for her work on consciousness. She is bright and authentic. Must listen if you want to spark deep thinking, or just start to explore consciousness.
🔊 Aubrey Marcus: Finite Energy And The Great Simplification w/ Nate Hagens
- Nate is the director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future and his work is one of the most important in the world. Everyone needs to listen to this conversation if they care about their future.
- Deep, spiritual discussion on the direction the world is heading with our energy crisis, the need for simplification, and reunification.
- The paradox of the rich versus the poor: eerily quiet yet perfectly manicured gated mansions versus trailer parks live with people, BBQs, and community.
- Society’s definitions of success don’t equate to happiness.
- Don’t get me wrong, I love my luxuries but I know I can survive with very little as long as I have my basics met. The past month, I’ve literally lived in 3 outfits, worked + gymmed every day, doing deep creative work daily, and haven’t felt this content. Exactly what I needed for a complete nervous system reset!
- We should all know by now the gut-brain axis. Our immune system lives in our gut where trillions of bacteria actually dictate how we think.
Do you ever wonder why some people are more susceptible to conspiracy theories? I have nothing against the concept because they encourage divergent thinking but they’re a nuisance for the undeveloped mind.
- We all think we’re smarter than we actually are. Your brain is wired to defend the story you tell yourself.
- When your mind isn’t primed to comprehend complexity, you fall prey to conspiracy theories. Solve this by staying curious and learning about things you don’t agree with.
- It’s much easier to use shortcuts to make sense of a complicated world we’re already overwhelmed with, especially during a crisis.
- Your brain is trying to protect you from your feelings of lack and purpose so it’s distracting you from feeling the pain… because deep inside, you know it’s your fault for not taking action.
- Cognitive shortcuts are shortcuts our brain’s default to overcome sensory overload. Check out this article for a quick lesson on these cognitive biases!
I disagree with this article because if you rewire your mind, wellness can be integrated seamlessly into your life. It’s only overwhelming when it’s new. And when your environment isn’t set up for success.
The sad part is that most people don’t make the time to solidify new habits, instead they will complain about being overwhelmed and not offer solutions.
Shouldn’t we be preparing our bodies + mind by understanding what’s expected before jumping into something as challenging as raising children? Work on your habits and your minds before taking on such a daunting responsibility otherwise you’re only passing on unresolved feelings of lack and trauma to future generations which keeps us trapped in a cycle of destruction.
In the spirit of “future-proofing”— we should be focusing on educating the general masses drowning in Snowflake Culture on preparing their mind and body for challenges in which this pandemic exposed that 90% of us don’t have the resilience.
Hustling means showing up and doing meaningful work. We don’t wait for opportunities, we create our own opportunities. Work hard and work smart relentlessly in the face of discomfort with a sense of urgency because failure is simply not an option. Hustling means doing more than expected and doing things other people won’t do because we don’t conform to mediocrity.
On conscious dating and placing importance on personal growth.
I’ve been away from my partner for almost three months before we reunite at the end of this month in Marrakesh. I’m finding so much fulfillment and gratitude in having someone with whom I can have such a loving + mature relationship. One where I’m not co-dependent yet fully committed to despite our distance. I love being okay with being alone— it’s one of our strongest superpowers.
The road to love isn’t linear and one of the reasons people are stuck in mundane marriages or toxic relationships is because they settled too early— or they haven’t done the inner work to figure out what they want. Society forces you to settle and “date one person” otherwise you get labels such as a ‘player’ …but how do you know what you want if you haven’t experienced what you don’t want?!
So please go out there and date consciously but unapologetically while working on yourself at the same time (so you don’t project and pass on your unresolved traumas to someone else). Stop settling!
A student asked her cosmology professor the meaning of life. Here was his response.
I literally cried reading this. So simple. So profound. Why I love science.
Be comfortable with not knowing. It’s so hard to not know but it’s okay to not know— but that’s why we have science. Watch this short video if you want to fall in love with science.
I love seeing how people lived in the past. It really makes us more grateful for everything we have!
Thought-provoking article on the enhancement of the human condition with technology. Touches on risks, ethics, and nuances. The concept of Maxhumanism is very similar to the Peak Performance movement where we use what we already have— our biology to our advantage. 💪🏼