So last week, I had the honor of hanging out with a couple of really cool cats, Christian and Aly of the Hipster Gypsies. I met Christian through some RVing related threads on Tynan's site, and have been following their blog for a quite some time now; they both have been living in their 1997 VW Rialta for the better part of a year now, and are currently on a 4 month tour across the United States celebrating their recent engagement...then, they plan to downsize to a backpack and travel across Europe!
While the Gypsies are on their tour, they are filming and releasing episodes on both YouTube as well as their blog. Christian and Aly have a lot of really awesome camera gear, and their production quality is great. The best part? They have a video-editing studio with two monitors in their RV. Gotta love the mobile lifestyle in 2014 — you can be anywhere and still be high-tech! =)
When I heard that the Gypsies were going to be passing through LA on their way to San Diego for the first leg of their trip, I reached out and offered to host them; the timing worked out perfectly as I'm also leaving SoCal to go on my own 6 month voyage a little over a week from now!
We had a ton of fun! Had some adventures, geeked out on RVs, shared realizations from the road...it was time well spent with great company. We had a whole day adventuring through LA, and the Gypsies filmed an episode about it; check it out here on Youtube if you haven't already watched the video above!
Today is my first post as a free man.
I'm writing this as my Bulletproof Coffee steeps from Oakhurst, California. Yesterday I ate breakfast one last time in LA with a couple of close friends, then started driving North on my open ended journey; the beginning of the rest of my life reborn as a phoenix.
February 28th, 2014 was my last day entrenched in the shackles of Corporate America; right after I quit, I hopped into a car and headed straight to Las Vegas for the weekend! Wow, what an adventure — I have a whole video post lined up chronicling that journey, which I will post up when I finish editing it. I have a ton of content and stories to share, but have been very preoccupied preparing for my voyage.
This last week has been crazy; I've worked harder not having a job than I ever did when I did have one! Preparing your entire life to fit in a footprint of under 100 square feet can be quite a challenge; tying up all the loose ends between selling my truck, processing all my physical items, packing, and saying good-byes has been a taxing, yet highly rewarding experience.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu Why do we feel rushed? Why do we feel rushed? Actually, the better question is: Why do we allow ourselves to feel rushed?Feeling rushed has nothing to do with how busy you are, how fast you're moving, how many tasks you're juggling at once, or how late you're running... Feeling rushed is a continuous choice. Feeling rushed is nothing more than a constant, ongoing choice, made moment to moment. Feeling rushed is simply just a mindset! We unconsciously integrate patterns, behaviors, and perspectives that form our mindsets - this is especially true when it comes to feeling rushed, and the anxiety and stress feeling rushed brings along with it. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says to themselves: "Hey, I think I should rush around like a chicken with its head cut off and stress myself out this morning!"Here is a simple fact of life: nobody can force you to rush, and nobody can actually make you feel rushed and stressed out; we only rush and stress ourselves. Not one person out there in the world has the power to stress you out! There is only one person capable of possessing that power, and too often that one and only person responsible wastes all of that power by not even acknowledging that he or she owns it!The only person who can make you feel rushed, stressed, and anxious is YOU! When your boss tells you last minute he needed that report YESTERDAY, do you fret over how you're going to get it done, darting to and fro emotionally involving and mentally taxing yourself with somebody else's problems?When you're driving from point A to point B, are you rushing to get there as fast as you can, focused only on the end point - getting to your final destination? When you scurry out of the office at the end of the day, do you get behind the wheel and tune out of the present moment and try to rush home as fast as possible to work on the next obligation? If you're running late for work in the morning, are you stressing about being late for work? So stressed that you allow yourself to get upset and drive frantically darting through traffic, while creating scenarios the entire drive of the different excuses you could use to explain the reason why you're late? Do you ever shuffle straight from your cubicle to your car to pick up unhealthy fast food in the drive-through so you can hurry back to your desk where you continue to work while rushing through your lunch?Do you ever put yourself under ridiculous time restraints, underestimating the actual amount of time that a task or project will really take to complete, then feel rushed and frustrated while trying to get it done, and finally feeling guilty when those extremely high standards were not met?Personally, I can answer yes to all of these questions. I lived this way my entire life until I adopted a mindful outlook, a present minded awareness. After becoming alive and living in the present moment, I realized that I was feeling rushed, stressed, and anxious when I was NOT living in the present moment - I was out there in the future somewhere, in some imaginary possibility that 99.9% will never happen. Or, I was stuck in the dead past, reliving and misconstruing a past event, failure, or mistake.I used to allow anything and everything to cause me to feel rushed, stressed, and anxious.I would tell a friend I would be at their house in an hour, when I knew I had a bad habit of miscalculating the time it would take me to get ready. I really wouldn't even leave until close to or even after the time I told my friends that I would be there! Of course, the entire time driving there I would be rushed, trying to drive there as fast as possible because I made a mental commitment that I broke, and I stressed myself out and beat myself up because of this self imposed deadline.I would put too many action items on my daily To-Do list than is reasonable and feasible to accomplish in one day, rushing through each task furiously while watching the clock as if it were a race. Often times I would create a list for the day that not even a perfect robot could execute (without resting, eating, or taking a break)! The closer to the end of the day it became, the more my self imposed impossible To-Do list would rush me and stress me out!I took on too many commitments, trying to juggle more plates than I have arms for (I'm not vishnu, the Hindu god with 8 arms)! I allowed the problems and emergencies of others to cause me to feel rushed. I led an overcomplicated life, believing I had to do all of this unnecessary "stuff", and all of this "stuff" caused me great anxiety. Every time I got behind the wheel of my car and hit traffic, I felt rushed! Feeling Rushed? While living in the present moment, nothing can rush you. When you simplify your life, nothing can cause you to feel anxious or worried.Consciously choose each and every commitment, action, and project you are involved in, and then immerse yourself in it! Simplify, and remove everything unwanted, unnecessary, and unhelpful from your plate. Then, a magical thing happens...you realize that you're working on what you want to be working on, doing what it is you want to be doing! When you live in the moment so you are the doing of whatever it is that you already determined you want to do, you won't feel rushed and stressed!Don't focus on that which you cannot control, only focus on what you can do - you can't always control what is going on "out there", but you can always control what is going on "in here"! Focus only on what YOU can do in a given situation. If there is some situation that you can't perform any action to solve, then it's unactionable: you can't do anything about it anyways, therefore it shouldn't cause you to feel rushed, stressed, or anxious! If there are some actions you can do and want to perform, then do each task one by one until they're done - be the task: focus solely on getting the one current task at hand done, live in the moment while executing, and then move on to the next action. Don't drown in the sea of things to do when you can really only do one thing at a time anyways! So goes the old saying: "Inch by inch, everything's a cinch! Yard by yard, life is hard!"It is a mindset shift. Even if you're currently working in a hectic job that you don't like, you have the complete authority to stop allowing your job and all other external influences determine how you feel on the inside. Seriously, it's as simple as saying this: "I don't care." You are the only one who has the power to choose what you care about, so why care about something in a way that gives you no benefits and only drawbacks?Many people toil every day at jobs that they say they hate. Ask yourself, why are you actually working at this job you don't like? Obviously if you weren't being paid, you wouldn't be there! Do you need to support your house that is too big for you anyways, your TV service filled with hundreds of channels you hardly ever watch, a gym membership that hasn't been used in a year and a half, that fancy sports car, the mandatory yearly computer upgrade? All of these are commitments you choose to take on, and by taking on these commitments you have to facilitate the infrastructure to support them, which for most people means spending their limited time on this earth trapped in a career they don't even really like, to support things they don't even really want...and ironically, this whole stressful cycle causes us to feel rushed! Are you working towards building the life you want, or are you working to maintain the status quo imposed by society? Most people don't truly realize that if you stop consuming the things you don't really need or want, you don't have to work so hard to just get by - which gives you freedom to pursue the things you really want in life, such as the freedom to pursue a career that might make less money, but totally fulfills you... instead of that high paying, but soul crushing job! It is a sad, hypocritical paradox society is caught in nowadays...but we can shatter this hypocrisy by waking up, one person at a time. You're not in a Russian Gulag! So, you come to terms with what it is you actually want, and why it is you currently are trading precious hours of your life to support it. Perhaps after really pondering it, you realized there really are many of these things in your life that you actually do want, so you consciously make the decision to keep working at your current job to support these things. There is a key difference though: Before, it was unconscious - you didn't consciously seek out the job, you just ended up there to pay your bills because it was probably the best financial offer you had at the time. Now, you realize that you're doing what it is because you WANT to be doing it to support your infrastructure. You're working in your current job because you WANT to be, not because you HAVE to be (you're not in a Russian gulag)! If you'd rather be working doing something else for a living, you can figure out what it will actually take to get there and focus on executing the plan to get there in the present moment, one action at a time. You set the destination and plot the route to take on the map of life, so you might as well enjoy the scenery because feeling rushed and anxious isn't going to help you get to where you want to go any faster!Perhaps you cancel all of your unwanted commitments, freeing up money and time, and making it so you don't have to work so hard to support things you don't truly want - things that chain you down and cause you to feel like you have to rush out there and do all of this work just to have and support these things. We feel rushed because we feel trapped in a situation (which is exactly the opposite of freedom). A proper perspective can turn a perceived trap into an opportunity! At this point, you're realizing that you're working where you are because it is what you WANT to be doing, to support what it is you consciously decided that you REALLY want in your life. If the dislike of your job outweighs the money and benefits of what your job gives you, quitting is as easy as walking up to your boss and saying "I QUIT!"Maybe you don't currently have the job of your dreams, but you don't have to let your working situation cause you stress, anxiety, and to feel rushed. You can live in the moment, focused on being the work while doing it (instead of agonizing about everything else you'd rather be doing, and everywhere else you'd rather be instead) and doing the best job you can without attachment to the outcome. You can only do so much at any one moment anyways, and by distracting your attention away from the actual task at hand, you're being less effective, getting less work done, and feeling more stressed. Then, the less work that gets done, the more rushed and stressed you feel - it is a viscous cycle! Be honest with yourself. By being honest with yourself, you can set your direction and consciously choose your actions in life. Sure, maybe you have to keep temporarily working at your job you don't like to pay your mortgage payment. But, by looking at the reason that you choose to go to work and acting from that, you can be completely content knowing that it is the decision you CHOSE. You don't NEED a house, a car, or all of the gadgets that society has ingrained in you that you need, you CHOOSE to go to work because you WANT those things. So why not live in the moment no matter where you are? Whether you're working on a personal project you love or a workplace project you despise just to pay the bills, focus on and live in the task you're currently doing - and don't allow yourself to be attached to or worry about the outcome (that's future based thinking instead of present minded thinking). Live and act within the present moment and you'll never need to feel rushed again. If your boss is feeling rushed — that's his problem, not yours! Your boss can yell at you, threaten you, and bury you with work but only YOU can allow yourself to feel rushed! And feeling rushed is going to cause you to perform poorly and cause you to be much less effective and efficient - so it really does nobody any good. When you focus only on the end goal instead of focusing in-the-moment on the steps it takes to get there while doing them, it all will seem overwhelming. So often we feel stressed because we aren't directing our awareness towards concrete action that will accomplish the end goal; instead, we look only at the end goal and feel stressed because we are choosing to look at how much we still have left to do, instead of just doing it!Lao Tzu said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." There have never been truer words, especially in this age. The way to stop feeling rushed is to BE the step. Be each individual step on your thousand mile journey. If you focus on the entire thousand miles left ahead of you, and you constantly worry about every step left to take instead of living in each step as it occurs one by one, you aren't really walking there at all! You're spending time that you could be taking steps to think about the steps you're not taking! Looking at it from that perspective, it seems quite ridiculous, but the sad fact of life is that this is how most people live their lives!Instead of focusing on the real action people are doing in the current moment and why they are doing it, most people are focused only on the end goal. Most people hate their jobs, but go to work to pay for countless "things" they don't need and deep down don't even really want! This is why people live such unfulfilling lives nowadays. People think they need all of this "stuff", so they go to work every day doing shit they absolutely hate to support the infrastructure of crap they don't need. To fill the void in their lives, they go out and buy even more garbage - because hey, they worked hard and earned it, they deserve a reward! And so the cycle continues - rinse cycle repeat.So I'm making a call, right here right now. You have no more excuse. Now that you know, you can act. Break out of the cycle of needlessly rushing yourself and embrace the unlimited power and potential of your true self by living and executing in the present moment. You can be be mindful, be present, and be centered in the now NO MATTER WHAT is going on "out there" - and the best part is that doing this will increase your performance, cause you to be more efficient, give you clarity, and help you be truly effective accomplishing the things you really want to do!We think we have to run everywhere, darting to and fro, our to do lists overflowing so much crap that we trip over them. SIMPLIFY: Decide what it is you REALLY want in life, what it takes to make that happen, and then close the gap by executing each action step mindfully in the present moment! Be the eye of the hurricane! Nothing out there can force you to feel rushed, not even a hurricane! In the center of even the most powerful hurricane lives the eye: complete stillness and clarity in the midst of all the violently tumultuous weather surrounding it...When you realize that you can find this stillness and not feel rushed in the midst of all the tumultuous storms we encounter in everyday life, you have made it. If you can find stillness in the middle of a level 5 hurricane, you can find it in a traffic jam! Your true state of mind does not change with the external world - you can have stillness and clarity no matter what else is going on around you. Find the eye of the hurricane and become it!
I just bought my 1995 FD Rialta, and have not replaced the stock mattress that comes with it. I was planning on getting a nice tempurpedic mattress, but then I saw the most recent posts on this site and saw the roll up futon with the tea mat, and thought that was a great way to maximize space; I am also a big fan of drinking high quality loose-leaf tea, it's one of my daily rituals.
Tynan, would you be willing to shed some light on how this setup works, what kind of materials you used, and how one might recreate something similar to this setup? And, is the roll-up futon comfortable to sleep in, a worthwhile replacement for a full-time mattress?
I'm trying to evaluate more options before I sink money into a new mattress; I would love having more space to sit indian style and drink tea, especially with a friend or two :)
I filmed this Bulletproof Coffee tutorial video while hanging out in SoCal with the Hipster Gypsies; I always make Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast and thought I would try to convert the Gypsies...needless to say, they were fans! When Christian suggested we record a how-to video, I was more than happy to oblige and share my technique for my favorite daily kickstart to the day!
So, for those of you who don't know...you may be asking — what is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof Coffee is the most delicious, healthiest, and best way to start your day that I have found. I have my mug of Bulletproof Coffee every morning for breakfast; it keeps me full for the first half of the day, while providing ample energy as well as a huge cognitive boost. Your body is not hungry as you have ample calories from healthy fats, yet your body also reaps the benefits of being in a fasted state (such as autophagy and weight loss) because there are no carbohydrates or protein in the drink; it jumpstarts your metabolism and helps teach your body to burn fat as the primary fuel source.
Simply, Bulletproof Coffee is made with only 3 ingredients:
A Valentine's Day I'll never forget
After having worked the same job in Corporate America for the last 5 consecutive years (my first and only real job after college), I have been desperately yearning for something more. The drab grey walls, the distracting water cooler chat, the endless sea of cubicles...it all has been slowly killing me from the inside out; eroding away at my soul inch by inch as the tide reduces a magnificent towering cliff into minuscule grains of sand.
For the first year or two I learned a few things, did an interesting project or two, made a couple of friends. Then, the learning stopped. The interesting projects stopped. I hit a plateau, and there was no going around it; this road to fulfillment is closed, necessitating another route instead.
I've been seriously trying to quit for the last 6 months or so, but things have constantly come up: financial roadblocks, commitments, excuses. Now, after some hard work and planning, I finally have enough saved to cover my minimal costs, and projects lined up to keep me busy for the next 6 months.
Finally, today, I make a stand; a leap, if I may. It's time to step out of fear, mediocrity, and stagnation into a life of adventure, growth, and fulfillment. It's time to finally show myself some love...and how fitting, being that its Valentine's day! Will I be my Valentine?
Greetings from a beautiful springtime Portland, Oregon!
So, I have been documenting the different cool places that I have been working at during my travels, and I'm going to be featuring these unique mobile workspaces in a weekly feature entitled WoW (Workspace of the Week)!
This week's cool workspace comes via a chill coffee shop named Matteo's located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Based on what I saw on Yelp, it doesn't look like much is really too much going on in Klamath Falls, so I'm sure I stumbled upon what must be the best coffee shop in the whole city!
I stopped into Matteo's on my way up to Portland for a quick coffee break, and ended up posting up on a comfortable leather couch with a fireplace and free wi-fi. Quite a comfortable way to spend a morning getting some coding done and catching up on e-mails!
WoW! I don't know what to say about this place, other than it is the coolest place I have ever done laundry, not only in Portland but anywhere! (And I've hit up quite a few laundromats since I obviously don't have a washer and dryer in my RV)
Not only does this place have the most up-to-date and efficient washing & drying machines (so you don't have to worry about frying your clothes) — it also has a coffee & tea shop, cafe, bar with wine and local beers on tap, and a 2 story lounge with plenty of sofas and tables, complete with ample outlets for charging all your gear (I have 4 outlets right now hiding under my legs, charging up my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook)!
What a great place to post up and get some work done while handling your laundry needs — every other customer here is a working professional hacking away on their laptop like me; this seriously rivals any coffee shop I've worked at, and has a ton of space so isn't likely to be crowded at any time of the day.
In the end, all I have to say is this is surely one of the most "Portland" venues I have been to (coffee/tea/cafe/bar/lounge/laundry all in one space), and I mean that in the absolute best of ways! I'll definitely be coming back here to do my laundry every time I'm in Portland =)
- Albert Einstein
Homo sapiens used to be a results-oriented species. It didn't matter how someting was done, all that was mattered was the size of the kill, or the amount of nuts and berries that were brought back to camp; this fostered innovation: better weapons for killing prey faster, increasingly more efficient methods of transporting goods, revolutions in cooking food, and so forth.
But recently along the line during our development, something began to change...
I just passed through Cuba! No, not the Cuba of Fidel Castro and prohibited Monte Cristo cigars...but the Cuba of the deep south in Louisiana.
Right now I'm sitting in a little Restaurant/Deli called "Larkins", in York, Louisiana; Larkins was the only business that Yelp said was open in the entire town past 8 PM (in fact, it was the only place with any reviews at all, weighing in at a whopping count of ONE review). I'm the only white guy in this entire establishment (let alone the entire town) — yet I haven't felt any judgement or discrimination directed towards me that stereotypes tend to portray as synonymous with the deep south; it's been absolutely no issue at all. Everyone is super nice, people have been friendly and inviting, and I'm having a blast! As I'm sitting here writing this, I'm chowin' down on some tried and true southern cuisine: catfish, hush puppies, and fried okra — and of course washing it down with some refreshing southern sweet tea!
I also just had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Larkin who owns this establishment; he was very welcoming and offered to let us park our RV in his parking lot overnight to grab some rest before we continue onward. He had seen my friend Anna on the news, so we all had a friendly chat and took some pictures before he gave us all some Red Diamond Sweet Tea for the road!
I'm having a hell of an adventure, helping Anna (and her sidekick Robot) with her project "Anna Runs America". Anna is a friend I have from back home in Orange County; I've known her for a couple years, and we've had some crazy adventures such as going to Burning Man together! I've always known her as a strong personality, a talented artist, and an incredible athlete...but the new thing she had brewing was such a challenge I was wondering in the back of my mind if she could really make it!