77.65 Positive

1413. Let the games begin again.  I am tired of resets.  I have only one main goal - 3,000 words per day.  I have to work harder on getting items posted and monetized.  I also need to work on minimizing food expenses by putting in more rice and pasta, but much of that will come after 5 weeks when I need to see where my A1C is heading.

1414. Circle of Virtue

As much as I resist it, I have to track my content production, whole foods and starches, and exercise.  Virtue is an old-fashioned term I think I can live with.  

This is about creating habits and rituals I can live with.  I can only put these into place every day by utilizing the early morning hours.  With 77, I am scuttled by better arguments that come to mind.

A small, clearly defined circle of virtue is essential to a good life.

No matter what else happens right now, if I produce 3,000+ words of unique content, I have the base to make my Walkabout Solopreneur a success.  I may not achieve a full time income or FU money in 77 days, but I should be on track.  Without the base, financial success could prove difficult.  Also, when traveling abroad, no one cares if you make money online or write your own books.

Overthinking the circle of virtue is a potential risk.  Much like New Year’s Resolutions, setting up fixed goals with deadlines can be detrimental to your mental health.  Failures do help guide us in the present and future, but the big decision is what rituals and pledges are you dedicated to defend, and which ones you must let go.

For this reboot of 77, I am absolutely dedicated to the habit of 3,000+ words per day.

I am also 100% committed to a vegan diet and lifestyle, but that takes no extra effort on my part.  I am adding one factor now - no meals if the blood sugar level is above 100.  That puts me in an intermittent fasting phase because my blood sugar goes up overnight.

In my efforts to move toward an ascetic life (moderate), I will track expenses for 77 days to see where the waste comes in.  I also need to track my exercise levels to see just how much or little I am pushing my body.

This is not about willpower.  Willpower is good for a short term problem, like losing weight.  It will not work over long periods of time.  If you pack too many activities into your circle of virtue, conflicts are bound to arise.  It also creates an atmosphere where failure evidently occurs.

The less you pack into your day, the more seriously you can commit.  Choose your tasks well.

When you choose what it is you want to do, you will disappoint some people who will react with hostility.  Expect it.  I think mostly of any IBM* with grown children who will go bat shit if you decide to seek a younger partner or spouse abroad.  You may “hurt” or scare your “loved ones” who claim to have your best interests at heart.  

Unfortunately, having a vibrant sexual partner “at your age” must not be in your best interest.

1415. Working For You

To keep to your circle of virtue has to be done for your own self-respect.  It has nothing to do with others unless you are facing a life and death situation.

I began a plant-based vegan diet to fight diabetes.  But eventually, vegans will abandon their diet if it’s done for anything other than moral and ethical reasons.  While it still helps me keep my blood sugar under control, my circle of virtue requires me not to kill animals for food.  I don’t need to, and I don’t want to.

I have to make that clear to others in the house.  Some will make a vegetable dish with “only” a little bit of butter and suggest I try it.  No.  You could have used a butter substitute, or no butter at all, but you didn’t.  Don’t ask me to violate my non-violence diet to satisfy your taste buds.

Prison books by people like Solzhenitsyn, Frankl, or even Stockdale are read to look for survival tips in case people find themselves in unthinkable circumstances.  If something does happen to you, someone else’s misfortune will not help you face your current situation.

You have to make it clear to others what your values are.  I can control what I do and how I live at least until I lose my mind to Alzheimer’s or have no bowel control and need a nursing home.

Much of survival in prison or the camps was a matter of chance.  Much of the success was due to taking one day at a time, and trying not to piss off the guards too much.  But in the case of the Holocaust, it was a matter of being rounded up later rather than sooner.  Luck, so to speak.  

Remember, history books are written by the winners, and dead POWs don’t write books.

No matter how benign a society or government is, it’s interests are not your interests.  Individuals are just cogs in the machine or tax resources to be exploited.  That why I refer to my financial life as Walkabout Solopreneur, and recommend a perpetual traveler lifestyle.

As Hillary Clinton so famously stated in 2016, most of us are considered deplorables (if we didn’t support her).

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobia—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

In the end, “public servants” come to think of us as deplorables unless we conform to their beliefs, and shell out way too much money in taxes.  Creating an international business, and living in low cost jurisdictions can save a great deal of money, but Americans are still taxed on their earnings worldwide.

[When we practiced immigration law, we would often advise wealthy businessmen not to get green cards.  Let the wife or children qualify, but protect your assets from the USG.  The government taxes LPRs the same as citizens.]

If you are secure in your principles, you can take yourself out of the firing line most of the time.  Expect verbal attacks from people who are upset that you are no longer contributing to their lives as the expense of your own.

If you are under attack, you have to be somewhat passive aggressive.  Become the poison pill for your assailants.  If you find yourself having to give in to their demands, make sure your opponent suffers the maximum pain.  After all, they are seeking to destroy your good life.  

1416. My life is not well organized - yet.  I will hammer out my habits and rituals during these 77 days with the main focus on 3,000+ words per day.  I can recognize stupid shit other people do, but am blinded to much of my own.  I need to be totally gone in 77 days.  Let the rest of the family pick up the slack.  I will visit Cleo in Sweden or Bob in Colorado Springs.  Or both.

1417. I need to work steadily to go through my old notebooks and papers, scan, and discard them.  I need to make the Chromebook the center of my life, and keep the files on a removable hard drive.  I need to consider moving all of the files to the cloud.

1418. In my move toward a more ascetic life, I find it easy to give up stuff.  I really only need a cheap android phone and a Chromebook to conduct my business.  I could even get rid of the phone, but the world is addicted to them.  Living in America is not that expensive if you are not working 60 hour weeks to pay for a McMansion or to fill a closet with clothes or for meals out or taking on another car loan.

1419. I need to create a small notebook that contains accounts and coded PWs as a paper backup when I travel.  When I leave xfinity, Norton will go away.

1420. The Devil Made Me Do It

If you are an IBM*, you probably remember Flip Wilson and Geraldine.  The devil made me do it.

We stick to our principles and pledges and rituals until the devil makes offers we can’t refuse.  For a vegan, how much could one piece of cheesecake hurt?  Plenty.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sugar and fat, I’m a first cousin to a drug addict.  I don’t eat one scoop of ice cream, I grab a spoon and the container.  Ben and Jerry are my two favorite Yankees.  For me, a serving of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies (second in sales only to Oreos - which, by the way, are vegan) is a sleeve.

We claim to hold certain truths to be sacred.  Thou shall not kill (really murder).  Depends on if you are human or another specie.  If someone offered you a billion dollars to live in a cardboard box and eat nothing but cheeseburgers, would you give up your freedom?

Are there any principles you would not surrender at the right price?  Chances are, you may never know.

Core to living a good life is having a small, defined number of principles you do not surrender.  For most of history, only a few monks or nuns living apart from the temptations of society have been able to achieve this lifestyle.  And many of them abandon the monasteries over time.

If you don’t define your core virtues clearly, you have to make a new decision every time a tempting offer comes your way.  For example, if one of your values is to be sexually exclusive with your wife, and a sweet young thing shoves her tits in your face, a true value will save your marriage.

I do have to admit, however, that if Uma offers to get naked with me, I hope I’m single at that time.

Items inside your circle of virtue are non-negotiable.

1421. I’ve been falling behind on turning my daily content production into posts and monetizing with affiliate links.  I haven’t been using the spinner or creating videos at a good clip either.

1422. Getting ready for a more ascetic life is hard.  I have to decide how small of a backpack I can get away with.  I have been using the drawstring bag, but I will have to go back to the backpack if I am to test showering at the gym.

1423. Make sure your systems for living are well-defined, sharply structured, and improved and optimized daily.  Kaizen.  Upgrade each health, wealth, and relationship system at least weekly, with the core values not harmed.  

Small tweaks can energize the mind and body, and help the brain by making everyday life more interesting.  I don’t know how elite athletes do it.  Watching Michael Phelps workouts should scare the shit out of anyone attempting to attain that level of prowess.  Same with runners like Usain Bolt.  Bolt once ran the fastest NFL 40 time in street shoes.

With Michael Jordan, whose workouts were also legendary, he at least had different moves and drills to perform.  No boredom, except with foul shots.  Yet he worked over and over for perfection.

In college, I had an opportunity to play in an occasional pickup game with U.Va. basketball players that went pro.  Two - Wally Walker and Marc Ivaroni - earned NBA championship rings.  Both were okay pros, but not superstars.  And yet, I can tell you, that they are incredibly skilled.  I can only imagine how good Jordan or Shaq or Curry is.

1424. I am concerned about increasing clumsiness.  I drop and spill way more things than I used to.  I don’t know if it’s a matter of having to focus on actions I used to do automatically, or a decrease in the sensitivity of my hands and fingers.

1425. You can learn new systems or improve your existing ones from books, ebooks, videos, online courses, and the Internet in general.

1426. I consider vegans to be extraordinary people no matter what their reasons for giving up animal consumption are.  Extraordinary people share a heightened connection to nature and all life.  The simple act of going vegan leads to non-violence in all aspects of life.  You vision becomes more clearly defined, and it becomes easier to move forward.  Some feel the universe blesses you, but I’m not so sure.

1427. What I’m finding works for my content production is putting myself on a night shift, and staying in the bedroom away from the TV.  I am tempted to go to Lucky’s Market or Panera Bread to work, but May has to be a test forum for increasing my ascetic life and curbing all unnecessary spending.  Even $2 for coffee can add up while not contributing to happiness.

1428. Stoics look to make small improvements. Action, not philosophy.  Most stoics have a daily refresh rate and strive to make small improvements on a daily basis.  I can do this first and foremost in regards to exercise by learning new routines that can be done anywhere.

1429. I want to post some non-marketing chklines with videos and links to dumbbell exercises and stretching.

1430. I’m looking to make at least $1,000 per day income within 77 days.  That’s not much, except that I have almost no fixed expenses.  Easy to track.

1431. By taking control of my diet, exercise, and online marketing lives, I feel a greater connectedness to the universe.

1432. I don’t know about others, but I play too many old stories in my head.  What dumbass mistakes did I make?  Who did I hurt?  Some of this anxiety is necessary for any species to survive.  To some extent it’s a survival strategy.  Unfortunately, the level of anxiety is way beyond any actual danger we face.

Think about our dangers, or the ones being thrown at us by politicians, like global warming.  I’ve done a lot of reading, and the science is not as settled as the media would have us believe.  After all, who is going to read a story about how fine the weather is?

Persistent anxiety leads to stress, and a shorter life.  

1433. My system for 77 days has to be flexible in the sense that I don’t lock myself into fixed hours.  My schedule varies, but I attempt to make the best use of the night hours when others are asleep.  The amount of TV is way down, which is a positive, but I’m not going to cut it out completely until a later gong.

1434. If something doesn’t feel right, stop doing it and gather some research.

1435. After 77 days of hard work, the idea is to take a vacation for 14 days.  Read.  Learn.  Study.  Collect the tweaks to use in the next 77 day push.  Don’t buy new shiny objects, and learn to use the ones I have or discard them.

1436. Instead of thinking big, go Gandhi.  Give away or throw out all unnecessary items in your life.

1437. Part of my travel pack will be to substitute speedo briefs for underwear.  They hold up better, are lighter, and can be washed and dried overnight.

1438. Set up those non-negotiable set points I need for success, but not so many as to divert my efforts from the main writing goal.  The exercise I need is always available - walks to the gym and planks at home.

1439. Set points are values you will not go below.  I will give myself a pass during that 2 week time after 77 days.  At that point, I can add a new set point or two to assist in the next gong.  

1440. Make sure set points are achievable.  It’s no use being a boss to yourself that you hate.  You still have to have some happiness in life.  When you apply non-negotiable values, you grow with age.

1441. When you slip on a set point, it’s not a failure like a goal with a deadline is.  But a challenge.  You know you can do it.  Was the failure mentaL or something out of your control.  I may have surgery during this 77 gong, and I imagine if I do, I will be out of action for about a week.  There is no need to beat yourself over stuff over which you have no control.

1442. Put yourself on a stoic path for continual improvement.  Stoics spend time discovering, upgrading, and improving their health, wealth, and relationship systems for perpetual self-improvement.

1443. IBMs* are plugged into a vision, a mission in life before the light at the end of the tunnel plows us over.  Without a purpose in life, work is a four letter word.  Traditional reward handed out by employers no longer have meaning.  You may have goals, but they don’t run your life.  

Working for money requires motivation that most IBMs* no longer possess.  When you are living according to your purpose and vision, you are now being pulled along.  You wake up each day excited by what the day holds for you.  Motivation is only needed when you are chasing goals imposed by others, or by financial need.

1444. When working on goals in alignment with you IBM* vision, the road is smooth and downhill in all directions.  When times are tough, failure can be good luck in disguise.  At our ages, no one wants to work hard on the wrong vision.  Extraordinary minds are motivated by a vision.  We want to create positive change in the world while we still can.  Leave a legacy.

1445. I am getting bitter about the home situation.  I need to take that trip to Colorado, but the money has to be right.