Goals

So at the end of last year I wrote a list of 50 things I want to do. You can find it here: http://talekhi.net/eitherway.org/blog/. I was just looking at it today and I can give you an update on the things I’ve accomplished:

  1. Run a marathon – Boom, did it last week…
  2. Climb a mountain – I climbed Mount Whitney, tallest mountain in the contiguous states, hooah!
  3. Learn how to rock climb – I’ve been rock climbing since February and love it
  4. Do the 100 things challenge – Did it and feel awesome about it. I don’t necessarily count all my possession anymore since it’s not the number that really matters but the idea. All my belongings can fit in my car now 🙂
  5. Become a teacher – I’ve sort of been working this with my MovNat certified trainer status. I’ve been teaching it for free to any who would like to learn 🙂
  6. Learn parkour – Been going to a bunch of jams this year and been meeting some crazy insane people. Love it.
  7. Cliff Jumping – cliff jumping, rock jumping, same thing right? Blue Streak ftw.

7 out of 50 in the span of eight months…not too shabby right?

I’ve been talking to friends recently about goals in life and stuff like that and I watched that Conan O’Brien graduation speech he gave in Dartmouth. And I came to the realization that we as people change and with that change our goals in life change as well, and that’s not a bad thing. I know for the longest time all I ever wanted to be was the best software engineer I could be. That was my life goal, my main motivation. Now, that’s like the last thing on my mind.

Some people may say that I just go through fads and whatnot but I actually do enjoy the process of changing. Change in terms of personality, outlook of life, motivation, anything and everything. It makes me feel like I’m growing through this life in a dynamic and interesting way, not just a static being. I’d like to think that I would be unrecognizeable to myself a year from now.

Let’s see, last August, yes, I can say I’m quite different from the Joshua Primero from a year ago. I’m much calmer now, more mindful, more open to things, and obviously in way better shape 🙂

So having said that here’s a list of some near future goals I wrote for myself in no particular order:

  1. Meet more people (girls!)
  2. Learn more about fitness/nutrition
  3. Travel/couchsurf
  4. Find new places to explore
  5. Become better at MovNat, Parkour, rockclimbing, and soccer
  6. Keep on teaching MovNat and figure out what I want to do with it in the future
  7. Read a book a week
  8. Blog everyday
  9. Sleep early, wake up early
  10. Learn to meditate
  11. Get outta the tech industry
  12. Learn Jiu Jitsu
  13. Learn guitar
  14. Pay off those fucking student loans
  15. Stop being online so freaking much

Happier

Today a coworker gave me one of the better compliments I’ve ever had.  He said that I always seem happy and that I was one of the happiest people he knew.  I was kind of surprised at the compliment but it also made me feel good.  I don’t think I usually express my emotions outwardly very much which was why I surprised at the comment but I’ll take it  :P.

But it is very true.  Lately I’ve been on a super high.  I feel as if I’ve finally gotten a hold of my life again.  I’ve become passionate about so many different things.  I’ve come to some realizations about life.  I am no longer afraid of things I used to be afraid of.  I’m less afraid of failure.  I’m less afraid of myself.  I’m less afraid of death.  I’m not standing still.  I want to explore and explore and keep on trying new things till I die.

Having said that, there is still so much to learn.  I’m still trying to figure myself out.  What do I really love?  What do I really want out of this life?  I think about this kind of shit a lot.  I wonder if there is a time when I will have it all figured out.  Or maybe that’s just an illusion.  Maybe everyone goes through life trying to figure it all out until their last words.

I’m fine with that.  Actually I think I prefer it like that.  I think it’s ok to be confused as long as you’re enjoying the ride.  Like they all say, it’s about the journey, not the destination :).

Being chill

Why is everyone in such a hurry?!  I thought about this as I was barefoot running the other day.  As I was enjoying the sunshine and just taking in the environment around me I noticed that everyone else on the trail, even those walking, seemed like they were in a race to get somewhere or something.  Chill out!

The past few weeks one of the biggest realizations I’ve come to is how important it is to be chill.  If you look at it from a health, social, psychological, physiological, and happiness standpoint, being calm and not worrying is one of the most important things you can do.

From a health standpoint, cortisol is a hormone secreted when we are in stress related situations.  It acts as the hormone which elevates our senses and sends adrenaline to decide whether to fight or fly from a given situation.  From a biological view, this is very important for those few dangerous situations humans can get themselves in.  The problem is in today’s overly stressed world most of us are swimming in cortisol 24/7 and the result is our body thinks we are fighting for our life all the time which has bad consequences (one of them being weight gain ahem ahem).

From a social standpoint, everyone knows how much easier it is to hang out with someone who is chill and is not uber uptight.  I used to be an ubertight one especially when around people I’m new to.  I think it was a confidence thing.  I’ve definitely worked on this and hopefully I’m atleast a little chiller in social situations although I know I can still be super awkward sometimes 🙂

From a psychological/physiological point of view, from my personal experience, I am way more productive/in control of my body when I’m not in some sort of panic mode.  I program better.  When I’m skiing on a super steep slope that seems a little bit too difficult for me, once I calm down I can go down so much easier than when I am all tense and nervous.  I’ve taken to practicing getting to this calm state in scary/uncomfortable positions.  In the morning I take an icy cold shower and try to stay relatively calm during the whole thing (no easy task!).  When bouldering I try and jump off the top of the boulder staying calm about the height I’m at.

From a happiness standpoint I cannot say how happy and at peace I am when I am chill about everything.  I think the trick is to live in the present, not in the past or in the future.  I used to be a past/future living person.  The change between that and living in the present is such a big difference in state of mind I think it’s taken me a while to get to this point where I am.  But holy shit, what a big difference!  I like to focus on this exact moment and how my body feels and the exact circumstances of my environment.  It is such an exhilirating feeling, like what it means to live.  Instead of focusing on what my future is going to be like, I begin to think of the utter endless possibilities of what could happen from this moment on depending on what I do.  Because life is not something that happens in the future, it’s what’s going on right this moment you are reading this blog.

This thing about living in the present has been written about so much but I think I’m only now starting to get it and actually apply it to my own life.  I’ll leave you with a couple of these writings:

A zen parable:

The monk raced to the edge of a cliff, glanced back, and saw the growling tiger about to spring. The monk spotted a vine dangling over the edge of the cliff. He grabbed it and began shinnying down the side of the cliff out of the clutches of the tiger.

Whew! Narrow escape.

The monk then looked down and saw a quarry of jagged rocks five hundred feet below. He looked up and saw the tiger poised atop the cliff with bared claws. Just then, two mice began to nibble at the vine.

What to do?

The monk saw a strawberry within arm’s reach, growing out of the face of the cliff.

He plucked it, ate it, and exclaimed, “Yum! That’s the best strawberry I’ve ever tasted in my entire life.”

Roger Waters:

I certainly realized then that year that life was already happening, I think it’s cause my mother was so obsessed with education and the idea that childhood and adolesence and…well, everything was about preparing for a life that was going to start later, and I suddenly realized that life wasn’t going to start later that it had…you know…it starts at dot…and it happens all the time, and at any point you can grasp the reigns and start guiding your own destiny, and that was a big revelation to me; i mean it came as quite a shock.

Lao Tzu:

 

My Motivation

So I’ve been talking to some people about what our main motivation in life is.  Some people say they want to change the world and leave it in a better place.  Others to help and serve others.  Others to find a girl and start a family.  All very legitimate things I think.

For me, I think I used to be in the change the world and leave it in a better place camp.  But I think I’ve changed or atleast I’ve come to realize that maybe this isn’t what most motivates me nowadays if I’m going to be honest with myself.  I mean I still believe and want to change the world but that is not the be all, end all for me.

In a previous blog I came to the conclusion that my main motivation was this yearning to be free.  I wrote about that here.  However, I’ve come to realize maybe this isn’t exactly correct so I’ll slightly modify my position.

I think my main motivation these days is for self-expression.  I believe that freedom is very related to this but it’s not exactly the same.  You can be free (say in the middle of a jungle) but never be able to express yourself.  I want to express myself through my work, art, music, movement, my ideas, and my life.  In the end I want to be able to fully express myself as who I am.

Yes, I want to change the world, help and serve others, and start a family but it would be an extension of the need to express myself, those things not necessarily being the main motivation in and of itself.

On Paleo

So just finished a three day convention on paleo and primal living here in Austin.  I’ve been following paleo for about 4 months now.  Here are some things I’ve come to learn and have taken away from my experience with the Paleo movement so far.

  1. Since going Paleo I’ve experienced some amazing things I never knew could happen.  I have so much energy nowadays to do so many different things.  There are times when I just feel so on top of this world with so much joy like I own this earth.  Kind of like I’m drunk but without the alcohol!  I’ve talked to some other people and they’ve felt the same way.  I find myself also smiling during a day more often than before.  Such a crazy feeling 🙂
  2. One of the most important things to do is to just listen to your body.  If you just listen to your body you will know what you need.  Sleep when you are tired.  Eat when you are hungry.  Don’t work out when you don’t feel like it.
  3. I am rather romantic when it comes to living naturally.  I find the scientific theory behind diet kind of interesting but in the end I will just use my instinct and feeling to figure out what I am going to do rather than overanalyzing.  Now that I think about it ever since I was young I’ve always abided by living instinctively and going with the flow.  I’m not interested at all in optimizing anything via artificial means.
  4. Moving naturally or like a kid gives me so much joy.  I begin to feel so young and vibrant.  It’s a shame that I’ve stopped since I was a kid but now I know I want to do a lot more.  Climbing, jumping, crawling, walking, running, squatting I remember it being so fun as a kid.  Hopefully I can rediscover this.
  5. The whole paleo movement has opened my thinking and my view of the world.  Even if all of paleo is shown to be dead wrong it has opened my mind to the idea that so much of conventional knowledge has limited my thinking of how things could be instead.   Nowadays I rethink everything I learned or taken for granted in the past.  The world and life itself feels like my playground now where I can explore and discover new things.  It feels so exciting and empowering!