The thrill of finding a shortcut is wired into you. A few million years of evolution in harsh environments with big consequences have shaped that. You're not a bad person because you want the easy way. You're not alone in your thirst for "tips 'n tricks."
Every single one of your ancestors, from Mom all the way back beyond your quintuple great Grandpa passed on a deep seated need to stay alive and a strong drive to thrive.
Your family mandated you have the hard wiring to survive and thrive in harsh environments. Trust me, you'll do well if it ever comes down to razor's edge survival. You were born to.
What evolution didn't see coming was the ultra-ease of staying alive in the First World.
If you're reading this, you've already been given far more than you'll ever need.
The incredible ease of First Wold life has allowed most of you to forsake your birthright by seeking out shortcuts before you build the foundation of health.
I'm talking physical, mental, and emotional health, and if the statistics are right, I'm talking about YOU.
What do I mean by seeking out shortcuts? Let me give you a few examples:
Now, before you accuse me of being a no-fun no-ease and no-comfort kind of guy, let me put in my one caveat:
Tips and tricks and hacks are fun to explore and see how they affect you. Curiosity is one of the things that advance our species, and I'm all for advancement.
However, if you rely on any of these to achieve something you'd be better off having by working for it, I think you're blowing it.
What does that matter? One guy online thinks you're blowing it. That's not the end of the world.
My big fear is that in the cacophony of incredibly persuasive marketing out there, it's probably the only advice you'll get this week that's actually true and useful.
The rest of the messages you get from the world this week will be about buying some thing that helps you get some other thing, or how a new discovery of some berry deep in the jungle will re-wire your brain and make you superhuman, or an easy way to get more "likes" and "shares" per post, or the ubiquitous one weird old tip to get rid of belly fat.
It's mostly bullshit. If you want to be happy, and healthy, and strong, and successful, you've got to put in the foundational work. Am I wrong? Just ask Tim Ferriss, the king of tips, tricks, and hacks.
He makes fun of the question, "So, do you really work 4 hours a week?" NO!
People who work 4 hours a week or less are generally unhappy, unfulfilled, unhealthy, and definitely not contributing members to a great society. The goal is not to "hack" your way to the minimum hours you can get away with, the goal is to be fucking stoked with every aspect of your life, to wring out the juice to the last goddamn drop of every experience you have.
The goal is to take this INCREDIBLE body you've been given and use the thing. Climb mountains, run rivers, make love, wrestle a puppy, cook a meal, play tag, dive in the ocean, pet a purring cat, sit in the exquisite silence of the desert and listen to your synapses go batshit crazy from all the nothingness. Use this bag of carbon and water you've been given to its fullest potential.
In order to do that, you've got to get the fundamentals right. There are no secrets to the fundamentals. They are simple:
Use your body every day for something more than an observation platform. Squat down, pull up, jump, walk, push, press, hop, run, hold your breath, just use the thing for more than an eyeball support machine.
Connect physically with people. Shake hands, hug, share a meal, share a bed, high five, wrestle. Get skin to skin contact every day; it is a foundation of health.
Use your brain to solve a new problem. Don't wait for a problem to come to you, seek one out! This little lump of fat and electricity can do anything you ask of it, so ask big! The world needs you and your inquisitive mind.
Eat food that makes you feel as good when you poop it out as when you put it in your mouth. Both ends of your digestive system give you feedback, don't ignore one of them. What happens between your tongue and your bung is expressed throughout your body. If your skin or hair or lips or eyes or grip or toenails aren't as healthy as possible, it's not a message to rub on lotion or take pills or powders, it's a clarion call to change your diet.
Get out in the sun, drink water to quench your thirst, and sleep until you wake up.
Those are the foundational pieces. Until you have all of those totally nailed, don't think for a second that anything, from a new handbag to artificial intelligence will do anything for you.
Beyond a momentary blip of empty endorphins, it won't, and in the case of AI it'll probably steamroll right over your maggot infested body just before a giant metallic claw throws your flattened pulpy corpse into a rocket propulsion furnace so robots can take over the galaxy.
That's it. It ain't complicated, it's just hard, and you were born to thrive in hard conditions. Execute, execute, execute.
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Too much reading...
How about dessert?