Two quotations that have been doing wonders for me

The first is from Josh Waitzkin, whose life the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher was made after. The second is from Mark Manson, a blogger whose writings and whose thoughts, I find, are absolutely spot-on (and more importantly, easy to apply).

From Josh (the picture shows him with a black belt from Marcelo Garcia, one of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s demigods):


The secret is that everything is always on the line. The more present we are at practice, the more present we will be in competition, in the boardroom, at the exam, the operating table, the big stage. If we have any hope of attaining excellence, let alone of showing what we’ve got under pressure, we have to be prepared by a lifestyle of reinforcement. Presence must be like breathing.

And the second, from Mark Manson:

Happiness, like other emotions, is not something you obtain, but rather something you inhabit. When you’re raging pissed and throwing a socket wrench at the neighbor’s kids, you are not self-conscious about your state of anger. You are not thinking to yourself, “Am I finally angry? Am I doing this right?” No, you’re out for blood. You inhabit and live the anger. You are the anger. And then it’s gone.

Just as a confident man doesn’t wonder if he’s confident, a happy man does not wonder if he’s happy. He simply is.

I feel the two are inextricably intertwined; the sort of presence that Josh explains in his book The Art of Learning (the book where the quotation’s from) is that state which he found himself in when he was competing at world chess tournaments, international Tai Chi competitions, and later, at the highest levels of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He found a state of flow, stemming from his ability to be ever-present — something he practices moment by moment.

Presence is this: neither thinking about the past, which has already happened, nor about the future, which has yet to happen — rather, simply immersing yourself in the intricacies of the present moment.

So that which leads to happiness is presence, a skill. Thus, happiness is also a skill.

You simply are happy. It’s not a destination. It’s a state of being that necessitates a skill to be ever-present.

Consider Kasina Meditation. This type of meditation is a form of exerting pure focus onto a disk, red or blue. Supposedly, CAT scans (don’t think linking the studies is worth it for such an informal posts) reveal that those who are well-versed with this sort of meditation are in perennial states of ecstasy.

Thaaa fuck? Ecstasy from simply focusing on a red-friggin’-disk?


So presence=>focus=>a happy state of being.

Food for thought.


So I’m not inspired very easily

but when I am, I get insanely inspired. Tim Ferriss is one of those characters of inspiration; one of the reasons I like him so much is because he’s so prolific (e.g. here’s a 3-hour podcast he did with Joe Rogan). I’m the type that doesn’t do well with structured learning (e.g. exam #1 is on date A, essay #2 is due on date B, etc), something I’m aware I’m weak at — and something I’m in the process of fixing. I’m much more the take massive amounts of information, deconstruct it, paternalize it, and apply whatever patterns I find are important.

So the fact that Tim has a bunch of books + all these interviews + all these mini-documentaries helps me explore the thought processes of this particular person.

The fundamental reason I like him so much though is because we both have a similar unquenchable curiosity for absolutely everything — mastering mastering. One of the most important qualities I’ve learned from the little I’ve heard/read of/from him is his minimalistic approach; that is to say, the Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of your results are results from 20% of your efforts.

Nothing short of inspiration. Not only because he’s remarkably intelligent and amazingly articulate, but because he’s also extraordinarily realistic to what he knows, what he doesn’t know, and what he knows he can’t know because he’s simply not an expert in some of his research fields.

Here’s a picture so that the link looks more appealing.

My inspiration:

Here, by Christopher Mark Heben.

seal team six

“We’re experts at becoming experts. That means if I have to know everything there is to know about something by 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, I-am-going-to-know-that. As are my buddies.”

That means: my “one hour” must be equivalent to other people’s “10 hours”. So I get to 10,000 hours much quicker than anybody else, in less time, more effectively.

Laser-like focus with my HSP traits.

There’s a reason

why you’ve never heard of Mike Pyle. And why you’ll never hear of him.

mike pyle vs rory

Because he’s not in touch with reality, stemming from his arrogance.

Before his fight with Rory MacDonald. The fight. After the fight.

He “wants the title right now” — but I predict he’ll never, ever get it. His age, style, whatever, apart, his mindset will not win him anything. Not necessarily because he’s overconfident, though it seems that and being out of touch goes hand-in-hand. But necessarily because he’s not in touch with reality, caused by his haughtiness.

Rory MacDonald, on the other hand, stays so damned humble. He doesn’t merely say that he’s humble; rather, he lives out humility. He, along with GSP, are on the path to championship and are champions, respectively, because they’re in touch with reality — which stems from their humility.

Life lessons.