THIS IS ISSUE.003 OF THE SMRT LIST
In this issue:
Yes I really did lose some expensive things this month but I received a profound lesson in return! More on this after the intro…
I’ve decided to stay in Europe until October and I am really looking forward to the next few weeks of working and cycling in a different environment and culture.
I just finished an intense 8-day bike tour from the legendary French Pyrenees to Girona, Spain.
700km and most importantly, 12,100m of climbing!
We’re all about the elevation (not distance!).
The last tour I did in the Italian Dolomites in 2019 was graded with a higher difficulty and much steeper but this year definitely felt harder because my body was healing from the past two years of chronic pain, digestive issues, and trauma.
But I went all in like always and pushed through it, I even had a breakthrough on the second last day. You can read about it here.
I am in shape but I didn’t ride for 2 weeks prior to this challenging tour, was working + partying and felt a bit burnt out from non-stop hustle (I admit, I love working and find it hard to stop).
Do you know what holds everyone back?!
Conventional wisdom tells you you should ‘ease into things’ after a break— hell no.
I know what my body can handle and I give it my ALL, thus I bounce back quickly especially climbing and training at high altitudes.
People who try to ease their way in give up early because they don’t see progress.
Progress = Momentum = Motivation
The question is: how much pain are you willing to handle? The more discomfort the quicker the results.
When you embody this mindset, life happens for you much more quicker!
I don’t wait around for anyone or anything.
I make things happen.
My Current Situation: Freedom
Right now, I’m on a 4-day intense work sprint in Nimes, France to make some bling so I can take another week off to cycle at the base of the revered Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence.
Not gonna lie, I’ve been pretty indulgent on my spending this trip and paid off one of my biggest credit card bills ever but I know I can make it back because I am good at hustling.
I stay focused on making money rather than worrying I don’t have enough money.
That’s a problem I see in many with a scarcity mindset: they won’t spend money on certain things even though it will give them exponential returns (eg. a gym membership or a bicycle).
It’s all about an abundant mindset and self-confidence… and learning to THINK BIG.
If you do that, you literally become a money magnet.
The Power of Manifestation
This is why I work for myself— so I can do whatever I want!
I choose to run my own business even though it’s tough. I love what I do but I like to work in sprints and take multiple days off because my work is not my entire life!
There is nothing more important to me than time freedom.
When I got into cycling over a decade ago, I told myself “I want to create a life so I can ride whenever I want” and because I was clear on what I wanted, I subconsciously made decisions to get to where I am today.
In this edition of THE SMRT LIST, I’ll give you one superpower you can start working on to designing a life you love, and a breakdown on how to do it. 👇🏼
Detaching From Outcomes
These days, I’m focused on creating and maximizing my cognitive functions so I can do it efficiently.
Greater life satisfaction. Meaning. Fulfillment.
When I came home after a two-year sabbatical at 30 to ‘rediscover my passions’, I didn’t have a career like I use to.
I was even jealous of my boyfriend going to work!!
Because that used to be me: excited to get up to work every single day while working in video games throughout my 20s.
🏆 That was when I learned how important it is to be doing something you are passionate about— working… creating.
We are meant to create— whether it is art, writing, or building a business.
If you’re not creating something, you are consuming or buying from someone else— making them money.
Don’t you want a piece of that pie?
Peak performance is required.
In order to create efficiently, you need to be in the right mindset.
And you need to be in the right state of mind: relaxed, calm, happy.
The theme of this edition of THE SMRT LIST is something I have been intentionally working on for the past couple of years.
The Power of Detachment
My inner peace has grown exponentially because I’m able to switch emotional states quickly and rarely get bothered by external factors out of my control
The secret to inner peace is knowing how to detach.
I have the freedom and the life I want right now because I’ve been unconsciously embodying this mindset almost all my life.
I just didn’t realize it until recently.
In 2020, I left a toxic relationship and environment, was recovering from a head-on car accident, and started a couple of online businesses at the same time.
My life was a hot mess— I was insanely busy with work whilst trying to heal from chronic pain and trauma, maintain a social life and never miss a workout.
But those events took my personal development to a whole new level.
By 2021, all I craved was inner peace.
In my journal that January, I wrote down my one-word theme as I do every year:
When you intentionally create a vision for your future, your subconscious will make decisions for you to get there.
By December 2021 when I was in LA reflecting on my life, I had one of those life-changing epiphanies and decided I was ready to purge anything that didn’t align with my values.
I did just that. I had difficult conversations and…
I achieved my CALM.
It took a year of extreme awareness and a few mindset shifts.
I literally spent the entire year chasing triggers (not running away) and questioning all my thoughts and behaviours.
What I Mastered After Achieving My ‘Calm’:
How to switch emotional states on the fly (from negative back to positive) by detaching myself from the situation.
- Practice being compassionate towards the person who triggered me knowing they are going through something too.
- Rationalizing why that person would say something so harmful (they are another human being going through a human experience).
- Knowing the trigger was my chance to learn something from it rather than let it ruin my day.
It’s not easy work— otherwise, everyone would be doing it and we wouldn’t have all these problems in the world today.
My life isn’t perfect and I still get triggered but I never let negativity penetrate my inner peace for long.
I catch it, feel it, and then make it go away.
If you can learn this invaluable skill of detachment, your life will get exponentially better.
What is Detachment?
- Detaching from people
- Detaching from what people think about you
- Detaching from money
- Detaching from material things
- Detaching from social and job titles
- Detaching from negative thoughts
- Detaching from inconceivable events
- Detaching from your conditioning
- Detaching from conventional lifestyles
- Detaching from needing to be right all the time
- Detaching from loneliness
- Detaching from the need to be with someone all the time (codependency)
- Detaching from outcomes
Detach And Get Everything You Want
I live a pretty fulfilled life because I see things happening for me, not to me.
So when bad things happen, I make sure to make the most of it.
Everything that happens to you is a chance for you to learn and grow.
💸 Money comes to me when I need it… literally.
I’m not super rich but by detaching from ‘wealth’, I created a rich life.
I never cared about salary or how much money I made, and I’ve never had a problem with finding work even as a consultant and running my own creative agency.
I turn down high-paying opportunities because I had zero interest in doing them.
I never strayed from my values.
As a result, opportunities seem to ‘show up’ in my life at the right time.
Very strange…. but there are many things we don’t understand about the universe.
🥑 I live very comfortably, can afford to eat out daily, have money to save, and shop at Whole Foods. Most importantly, I have the time freedom to do what I want.
Simply because I have never thought of ‘money’ as an end goal.
Of course, I work darn hard and deliver high-quality work. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
“The law of detachment says that in order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it.” – Deepak Chopra
🚴🏼♀️ I did the same for fitness.
Weight loss was never the goal.
For the last decade, I’ve never stressed about diet because by focusing on the journey, an active lifestyle has become a habit like brushing my teeth.
I would clip into my road bike even when it’s pouring rain outside or drag myself to the gym no matter how tired I am because my brain has been wired to do so.
And the best thing?
There is zero resistance.
Do you know how effortless life seems when there is no resistance when it comes to health and wealth?!
Do you recognize the patterns here?
The pattern is in the journey.
I focused on the journey.
Not the destination.
Our favourite cliche!
But cliches are cliches because they are true!
Here’s Why You’re Not Getting What You Want In Life
Because you are trying to control outcomes.
You’re trying to give meaning to everything.
Why? Because it makes you feel safe.
“If this doesn’t work out this way, the world is going to end!”
No darling, it won’t.
Control is an illusion.
Attachment is control.
When you attach meaning to anything, you give away your control.
Attachment is giving away your power.
Soooo…. What Happens When We Detach?
The irony is that when you surrender and ‘go with the flow’, things will naturally work themselves out.
You trust the outcome because you trust yourself.
Detachment means to let go of control. You actually regain your power.
But letting go is hard.
Because that means uncertainty.
Our brains hate to “not know.” It is constantly scanning our environment for familiarity because that means safety.
But if you are aware of this and can detach yourself from your outcomes, can you imagine the possibilities?
Learning to detach is a lifelong process. It just gets easier over time with practice.
Two things happened in the past month that trained me to further detach:
- I lost an expensive bracelet my boyfriend gave me. 😟
- I lost a Chanel bag when we were scrambling. This bag was sentimental because I bought it in the South of France a few years ago during a very significant day in my life. 🛍
I knew both those incidents were completely my fault for not being careful but when I realized I lost two very expensive things, I was surprisingly calm since I knew those were material.
We were on our way to a beach party and I didn’t want to ruin my own fun so I simply detached. I didn’t care if I had the bag or not because I trusted that everything would work out.
My entire night would’ve been ruined if I didn’t know how to detach. Instead, I ended up having one of the best nights of my life!
There was however another feeling I couldn’t get rid of.
Later that night, I reflected and meditated. I learned:
- It wasn’t the material objects I was concerned about because I knew I can always buy them again but I felt like a failure for being irresponsible. Disappointing myself is one of the worst things in the world for me.
- Both those objects were extremely sentimental. I was lamenting on how come I never lose the cheap accessories I normally travel with, yet I somehow lost two things that had deep meaning. But everything happens for a reason— losing these things helped me go deeper within myself.
I knew I wasn’t attached to the items because I felt no negative emotions about the loss of the material thing itself. I was actually excited about having an excuse to buy a new Chanel bag! Hah.
So what happened after?
Your brain actually “sees” everything you experience through your eyes but stores it away in your subconscious.
The funny thing about your brain is that it has lapses in memory to not overwhelm you with the endless stimuli we experience but I have learned techniques such as meditation to reach into my subconscious.
I found the Chanel bag after meditating when we finally got home after an extremely long day. I realize I stuffed it in another compartment in a rush.
The bracelet? It is gone forever in a posh private members club in London. My friend told me not to bother because others have lost Cartiers and Rolexes. I suspect it was pick-pocketed outside because I still have the other two that came in the set.
It took me 3 days to find the courage to tell my boyfriend about this seemingly insignificant incident because the thought of telling him made me want to throw up with shame. I felt like I was disappointing him.
I have never lost anything of significance in my life!
This was a lesson in going even deeper and not being so hard on myself.
What I Learned About Attachment:
- Attachment is an illusion.
- When you hold onto ideas, it creates anxiety.
- When you let go of ideas— or meanings— the anxiety disappears.
- The power of your mind is incredible.
- Detachment taught me to go deeper to learn more about myself.
Signs You Are Attached:
- You have anxiety and depression.
- You are still angry, resentful, or bitter.
- Vanity. You think your social and job status, and designer bags define you.
- Pride. You hold grudges because you don’t want to be wrong.
- Envy. You cannot control jealousy.
- Hopelessness and sadness.
The feeling of detachment is neutral— almost like meditation and mindfulness when you let thoughts come and go without judgment.
Here Is How You Can Harness The Power Of Detachment:
1) Separate your ego from your true self.
A classic teaching from Eckhart Tolle. Only when you detach your true self from the ego-drama of your monkey mind, will you be able to find inner peace.
Do this by reminding yourself you are not your thoughts, actions, or emotions.
“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation.” -Eckhart Tolle
2) Learn to be an observer of yourself.
Take your mind off the evil spells of auto-pilot with self-observation.
The more you catch yourself when you do things that are out of alignment with your values, such as acting like an entitled brat, stone-walling your partner, or projecting your anger onto others… the less chance you will do it again next time.
Our brain is malleable and we can train it to do whatever we want.
This is called neuroplasticity.
It begins with learning how to be self-aware.
If you [or your brain] “can’t see” what you are doing, you can’t change anything. So the first step is to catch yourself and admit you are doing these negative behaviours.
3) Learn to embrace discomfort.
Our brains are wired towards negativity bias, constantly scanning the environment for danger and its only job is to keep us alive.
Thus, as human beings, we naturally gravitate toward what is familiar.
That’s why we get anxious when there is uncertainty.
We get stuck in the same daily routine.
We get stuck in our social bubbles.
We never do anything different.
Because deep inside, it makes us feel uncomfortable.
Different is scary.
Most of us are on a fixed timeline going towards only one specific outcome.
Now, if you want to change that outcome, you need to start doing things differently.
That’s called stepping out of your comfort zone.
Once you find the courage, your life will begin to move towards a different trajectory.
4) Breathwork, Meditate, and Journal
If you do all these things consistently, you are in the top 1%.
These are literally the three most powerful tools you can use to take back control of your life and it’s free. It is crazy to me how simple these are yet most people don’t do it.
All these things physically and mentally change your brain!
Once you have control of your mind, you have control of your life.
6) Believe in yourself
Self-belief is 100% non-negotiable.
You must believe in yourself and what you’re doing and there is no way around it.
To build confidence, you need to put in the hard work: learn new skills, stay consistent with your fitness routine, and hold yourself to high standards.
Remember, no one is going to save you but yourself.
The more wins you achieve, the more confident you will become.
Momentum is addicting and will keep driving you forward.
7) Trust in the process
When you learn how to trust yourself, you surrender and learn to let go of outcomes.
Trust is earned— including trust in yourself to get things done.
8) Daily work
Transformation is a journey.
You’ve been wired to do things a certain way since you were born and undoing any of it will take time. You must work on these processes daily.
Trust the process because it gets easier the more you do it.
9) Detach from outcomes with mantras:
One of the most important mindset shifts I’m working on is to detach myself from what I think I need… and that it’s okay when things don’t go my way.
I use a lot of mantras in my life. I started doing this when I was doing hardcore HIIT workouts and Crossfit in my early 20s over a decade ago.
“Just do it.”
“Now or never.”
My current most-used mantra:
“Katy, you can’t always get what you want.”
I Learned To Detach. You Can Too.
Trust me when I say that life is so much easier and effortless when there is no resistance created by your own mind.
Curiosity Is The New Intelligence
- 🔊 Jocko x Peter Maguire (author, professor, war-crimes investigator, historian, surfer, ex-weed trafficker) – Another one of the most intense and thrilling life stories I’ve listened to as of late. From his days selling pot as an ex-surfer and black belt to his career as a war crime investigator. Real-life stories persecuting Nazi war criminals, the Khmer massacre, and the build-up to the Cold War.
These are the mindsets of people I LOVE. No snowflakes here. 🤚🏼 Bill O’Reilly coined the term in this book, Old School, which I totally resonated with.
There are a lot of hard truths many Snowflakes won’t be able to comprehend without getting triggered because our society breeds weak, entitled people who take everything personally, get offended by everything, and don’t take accountability.
Snowflakes: Cancel culture. Quits when things get hard. Victim-mindsets. Waits to be saved. Always chasing new trends. Flashy. Tracksuits. Loud annoying cars. New money. Never satisfied. They’re basically walking proof that money can’t buy class.
Old School: Don’t complain about hard work. Dress up and present yourself well even when going on a plane. They know life is tough and don’t play victim. They’re able to face uncomfortable truths.
Which camp do you want to be in?
Knowledge is power. But experiences are even more important.
- 🔊 Rich Roll x Ari Wallach – Talk about an inspirational life story! Listen to Ari Wallach and how he turned out the way he is. What a family history.
- 🔊 Aubrey Marcus x Dr. Dan Engle – How to Heal Trauma In The Psychedelic Renaissance – This is a beautiful conversation about alternative medicine and healing, MDMA therapy, and shamanic wisdom. I healed myself with a combination of functional + energy + allopathic medicine. There is so much more to the world than what we see.
- 🔊 Peter Attia: Exercise, VO2 Max, Longevity with Mike Joyner – I’ve been studying longevity for a decade because I plan to live a long time. It begins with health! And of course, exercise is the BEST thing anti-aging drug… and it’s free! Can you believe it?
- Current: California Bans Gas! Yes! Let’s do this world. 🍃
- Health: When Scientific Paradigms Collide
- Wealth: You Are Selling Yourself Out?
- Love: What is Tenderness (vs Kindness)
- Life: The Reason You’re Not Motivated
- Science: Yep, science confirms. Uncomfortable Truths ” are the most important knowledge
- Future: Imagining a World Where Buildings are Constructed from Living Materials