The Matrix Is Real (How To Break The Shackles Of Your Mind)
The Mastery Letter #3
At some point in your life, we all learn, that motivation is temporary, much like emotion.
It is a nice to have, but if you wait to take action until motivation hits, you're going to be a failure.
Systems are enforced by discipline and then automated by tactical habits.
"Discipline equals freedom" -Jock Willink
He is damn right.
I've analyzed every move I've made since I was a teenager and it's all been subconsciously a small push towards freedom.
Problem is, it took years to figure out how to get freedom, and how to be disciplined.
As I got older, the more I realized that we actually do live in the matrix.
In order to escape you have to hyperfocus, embrace discomfort, and leverage systems to get out.
Most people stay comfortable, giving up all control in their life.
Make an average wage - 42k/year
Have no goals
Have zero attention span
Are stuck driving in traffic to the office
Sit through dozens of useless meetings
Act busy for 8 hours with no impact at work
Have zero autonomy at work
Watch the news constantly
Watch football or reality tv for hours a day
Have crippling debt
Didn't learn shit for skills at college
Stopped learning after college entirely
In order to escape the matrix and have freedom, you have to be exceptional.
To be exceptional, you need systems.
Building systems and discipline is the fundamental muscle needed to create habits and reach freedom financially and spiritually.
Discipline -> Systems -> Habits -> Freedom
You must start small.
Let's start with the building blocks because a strong body = strong mind.
Lifting weights is the best way to start your journey into freedom.
If you have never worked out before then start with 1 workout per week. If you can't do that, drive to the gym, look at the gym, and drive back.
Now, the gym is not entirely unknown, and you have wired the pathways.
The next time you can walk in, do a couple sets and leave. Or just get a membership.
You get the idea, small incremental gains are all we need, this compounds over the years.
When I am deciding on daily habits, if I can't do it consistently for 10 years, it is not worth doing.
The things that bring the most fulfillment in life are built over a decade:
Strength and muscle
For building habits, you need to establish a goal and take action daily the simplest way possible.
Simple meaning the LEAST limbic friction. Limbic friction is the difficulty of you getting a habit completed.
The best strategy in my opinion is habit stacking.
This is technically called "lynchpin habits" by Andrew Huberman.
It basically means you take something you already are doing, and stack another habit, before, during or after.
Audible + Walking
Coffee + Writing
Laying out clothes for next day + nightly routine
Lift + Audible
Cook + Audible
Cold Shower + Meditate
I like to set goals for the year and actionize them in the form of daily habits.
I will slightly adjust these during the year as needed if I find something worth building.
I don't like to set goals in the 5–10-year range personally because things change too much in that time. I find that monthly, quarterly and year work well.
Focus on process, not outcome itself.
Focus on finding the impact you want in X time, then reverse engineer it into a daily system to get you there.
E.g. Lift 3x a week, invest $1,500/m
As opposed to hit 205 incline bench and get a 300k net worth.
I can't control if I will hit a PR every time in the gym, but I can make sure to be there 3x a week. I can't control the market, but I can invest the money in high leverage opportunities.
You can always control the process, but the outcome isn't always controllable.
This helps manage expectations.
Typically, 3 health related, 3 wealth related, and 3 relationships related.
You repeat this until you have the life you want.
At a certain point, you have everything you need to do on your calendar to achieve your goals for the year and you just execute.
I love holding myself accountable, so I use system where I have a "Looking back" and a "Looking forward".
I can see in the Looking back what I accomplished for the year, and I can set my goals in the Looking forward for the next.
This works for me.
I then add them into google calendar, so I get reminders when it’s time to get it done.
I like to make it fun and use little symbols for each habit, rather than words.
My calendar is full of little graphics that align to my habits which in combination create my weekly routine.
The weekly routine is directly aligned with my goals for the month/year.
If it’s not something that is going to build me huge results 10 years down the line, I won’t do it.
This makes it almost passive and automated. It’s my past self demanding my present self get the work done needed to achieve my goals.
As you can see, I've got blocks for getting morning sun, writing, twitter audience building, meditating, checking mint, working at my w2 job, climbing, lifting, reading etc. Everything is there. I just have to execute.
I personally do not like creating this big delta between weekdays and weekends.
I love my work, and I love consistency, so I like to work every day.
Same with my habits. Same with my sleep.
You lose momentum when you grind super hard during the week and then sleep in and stay up late on the weekends.
You don’t want too many habits at first, just enough so you have the will power to consistently get them done.
You also don't need 100s of good habits a day in general. Just keep it simple with things that give you the highest ROI output for the input.
Again, everything I choose to build I will do this for decades.
Create 4 checking accounts (I use Chase)
Name them Income, Operations, War Chest, and Baller.
Income account - All sources of income are deposited into this account. You can then disperse the money into the other accounts.
Operations account (30/45%) - Pay everything on your credit card and pay it off from this account. Basically, all your expenses here. Rent, food, gas, subscriptions etc.
War Chest account (50%) - This will be used for automated investments. Index funds, real estate, crypto, and other investments. If you can’t do 50%, then focus on raising your income to get here :)
Baller account (5%) - Buy whatever you want. Materials, stuff for hobbies, etc. Ideally this is purely cash flow coming in from assets, like real estate, e-book, courses etc
*Optional* Taxes account (15%) - If you are an entrepreneur and need to pay taxes at the end of the year, store it here.
1 paycheck buffer in Operations account to avoid overdraft.
Save 3-6 months of rainy-day funds
Autopay credit card payments and all bills.
Setup mint with all your accounts to gain optics into your spending.
This is muscle you must build because what you track is what you improve.
Now that you have 1-2 months of optics/reporting, reduce expenses as necessary to fit your goals, but mostly focus on increasing income.
If you make 100k year, automate investments and put the rest into upping your skills from courses, books, mentors, certifications etc.
if you don't make 100k/year, invest entirely into yourself via education like books, courses, skills, mentors etc. to raise your income to 100k+. College is not necessary and a waste of money.
If you are employed, this is the order of operations for capital deployment: Automate investments into 401k up to match > max Roth IRA > max 401k > max HSA > Max company ESPP > Real Estate > Crypto
If you are self-employed I would: Invest in your business > Roth IRA > Real Estate > Crypto
Inside these 4 different buckets in passive index funds that track the total market index or s&p500 like VTSAX or FSKAX. Your 401k is usually limited so just pick a low cost (expense ratio) passive index fund that tracks the s&p500. Do not use managed. It's not necessary.
For real estate, I prefer passive so I don’t have to deal with the 3 T’s, toilets, trash and tenants so find a good Syndication team and every year when they refinance the apartment deal you get your money back and you can reinvest a larger portion into another deal. Rinse and repeat 1-2 a year that way you will slowly get into bigger deals and own a higher percentage. Always invest in people. At some point you have to take some risks and trust people in order to build your network. Remember, your network = your net worth
Overall, Aim for 50% index funds, 45% real estate, 5% crypto or something similar.
Use your active income from W2 job to deploy into real estate, stocks, and skills for your business to create more income streams and cash flow.
This creates redundancy, meaning if you get laid off, you have other sources of income. This also helps you take more risks at your w2 job because you have back up income sources.
Focus on getting promoted at work to increase w2 income
Continue focus on deploying time into your business and capital into passive investments to build your portfolio for the cash flow and tax benefits
Example of what my goal is by 2026:
W2 income - $15k/m
Deploy into stocks, real estate, education, skills
Online Business - $30k/m
Deploy into stocks, real estate, education, skills
From real estate
Real estate syndications - $10k/m
Coaching - $5k/m
E-book - $5k/m
Blog affiliate programs - $5k/m
Course - $10k/m
You tube ad revenue - $5k/m
Total - $55k/m
This is me smashing weighted chins with +100lbs x 4 back in July.
This system got me strong as fuck, on top of climbing 2x a week and doing BJJ 2x a week. I highly recommend it if you want to actually live your life outside the gym.
Keep it simple, don’t complicate things.
Minimalism is key. Do what you can be consistent at which is what you actually enjoy doing.
I focus on getting stronger, and muscle follows. I keep volume low and use the 80/20 rule while in the gym.
Minimalist approach allows for more recovery for other physically demanding hobbies like rock climbing or martial arts.
Minimal input (time in gym) for maximum output (muscle built)
Add your lifting routine into google calendar. I recommend doing this in the morning or afternoon on lunch if possible while you have the most will power.
Tracking your workouts is a must. I don't like paper and pen because were in 2022 and there is cloud technology, so shit doesn't get lost or wither away.
I train 3 days per week 45m-1hr.
Start with 2-3 compound lifts and end with 2 isolations. E.g incline bench, weighted chin up, then curls and lateral raises.
No junk volume.
80+% of results will come from 5-10 intense sets per week per muscle group focused on progressive overload.
Most people spend hours and hours a day in the gym and don’t track their lifts. They do way too much volume with little effort and don’t see much results. See Martin Berkhans legendary article from 2011 on fuckarounditis https://leangains.com/fuckarounditis/
Avoid lifting 2 days in a row. Your CNS needs time to recover if your workouts center around PRs and intensity.
Aim for strength gains by hitting personal records every workout of either an extra rep or more weight.
Kinobody is a great resource as well for this type of minimalist protocol.
My fav exercises - Incline bench, Weighted chin up, Weighted dips, Overhead press, Bulgarian split squat, Romanian deadlift, Knees over toes single squat, Lateral raises, Bent fly's, DB incline curls and DB skull crushers.
This is my tracking system in iPhone notes:
This is my current A/B system I run most of the time.
Currently only doing 2 sets per exercise to give my joints and tendons a rest. I am still getting stronger and building muscle.
I typically do 3 sets though.
For dip belts, I've tried a few from amazon and all distribute weight awkwardly. The best I've found was kinobodys belt that is nicely made and distributes the weight beautifully.
He also has a product called kino collagen that I use instead of whey protein because beef protein keeps me full longer and doesn’t bother my stomach. You will also get the benefits of collagen for your skin, hair and nails etc.
Outside of Kinobody and Martin Berkhan I would check out Alan Thrall or Jeff Nippard.
Simple is most effective, once again don’t complicate things
The most success I've had is when I eat almost the same thing daily. It is easy to track what you are eating when it's the same daily.
Avoid fad diets they are unnecessary and are not sustainable. Moderation is key with a focus on anti-inflammatory, nutrient sense foods that reduce heart disease, cancer and dementia. And overall longevity.
Choose 15-20 anti-inflammatory foods and eat them daily
Focus on foods high in protein and on the satiety index
Focus on high protein whole foods with every meal and ensure you stay within your goal calories.
Don’t worry about counting carbs or fats. Focus on high quality foods, Protein and calories are all that matter.
Create 2-3 meal combos with your foods that hit your protein and calorie goals and stick to those every day.
Every day around 12pm I will break my fast with a protein bar and banana, then around 3pm have 1lb of meat and a carb, and dinner another half pound of meat with carbs/veggies. I eat basically the same thing every day.
The key here is the get in the 1lb of meat because its filling and is 100g of protein to help build/maintain muscle.
Muscle is hard af to build, so you want to do everything you can to keep it. Protein is the insurance policy.
I recommend athletic greens as an insurance policy for vitamins and probiotics, some electrolyte supplement in the morning such as LMNT and omega 3 fish oil I like to take with my lunch salad.
Fast first 4 hrs after waking to increase longevity and focus.
Delay coffee 90 minutes to fully dump out adenosine and cortisol so you don’t crash in the afternoon.
Drink sparkling water helps curb hunger to finish the fast.
Eat 1g protein per lb of body weight.
Try to hit your protein goal early in the day
Drink lots of water in the first 6 hrs of waking including electrolytes early in the day so you do not pee during the night.
My S Tier food list:
Meats - Salmon, Eggs, Turkey, Steak, Chicken, Beef, etc.
Vegetables - Spinach, broccoli, Carrots, Bell peppers, onions, Kimchi, sauerkraut
Fruits - Berries, Bananas, Kiwi
Omega 3 fats - Olives, avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, walnuts, almonds
Starches - Potato's, Sweet potato’s etc. (Okinawa centurions eat lots of sweet potato's)
Deserts - Dark chocolate.
Supplements - Oemga 3s, athletic greens, magnesium, Vit D
Dr. Rhonda Patrick is a leading scientist in the nutrition realm that I would recommend.
USE MOUTH TAPE! Mouth breathing causes:
Change of natural bacteria in your mouth
Blood oxygen saturation levels drop
Tongue has nowhere to rest
Higher heart rate
Receding chin / elongated face
White noise to optimize deep sleep. Can help with deep work in mornings too
67 degrees max. Helps with deep sleep, colder the better
8 hours of sleep. Get in bed an hour early if needed
Set do not disturb on phone
Same time, don’t skip weekends
You can’t catch up on missed sleep. E.g sleep 3 hrs then sleep 12 next night. Damage is done
Blue Blockers or light off 2 hours before sleep
Eye mask or black out curtains
Electrolytes half before half in the morning
Stop eating 2 hrs before bed
Box breathing to relax 4-4-4-4 or 2 inhale 1 sigh
No tv. Bedroom is for sleep and sex only. You want to associate your room with relaxation and recovery, not cheap dopamine.
I would definitely check out Dr. Matthew Walker as he is a leading scientist on sleep.
Just as you train your body, you must train your mind.
A distracted mind is an unhappy one. If you can't focus, you're effectively useless.
Think of meditating like cleaning out the clutter in your home. You've hoarded bullshit for years and now it's time to take the minimalist path and get rid of it all.
Meditation is a skill. It is training your mind to focus on the breath. It translates when you are writing and zone off. All those reps make it to where I can get back on task quickly.
Find a place and sit up straight. I like to meditate in the bath in the mornings. It relaxes me while I dump Cortisol.
You can meditate anywhere. It doesn't have to be quiet. In fact, you should learn to meditate next to a construction site.
You won't notice gains for weeks. Be patient. It takes time, but your results will start compounding. You will find some sessions where you will finally enter into a parasympathetic state of pure bliss.
The first few times you won't even last 2 minutes alone with your breath. That is normal. You've ran away from your thoughts for decades, so it's only normal that your comfort zone is to flee back away into distraction. Just keep on doing it daily even if its for 1 minute at a time.
I prefer 15-20 minutes as the last 5 minutes is usually where I really hone in and get all the benefits.
The last 5 minutes are the most crucial. It’s like going to failure in lifting. Usually only your last few reps are difficult enough to stimulate most of the growth.
Sam Harris has a fantastic app called waking up that I highly recommend
That's it for now, folks.
Smell ya' later.
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