You are capable of doing more than you think.
Your body certainly is.
Your mind is just a pussy.
I’ve got your attention, lets go.
So, I’m currently 55 hours into a water only fast. Why?
Because I can.
Because my mind is stronger than my basal desires.
Because my dependence on food is mostly out of habit and comfort. The longest I’ve gone is 70 hours – and that’s not a lot compared to some.
I’ve been doing daily intermittent fasting (IF)on and off for about two years and frankly I think it’s something everyone should try – and extended fasts are something people should at least try once they’re comfortable with IF. I understand the science well and have done it enough to say we as humans eat entirely too much and one to two meals a day is more than your body needs. I am sharper when I fast and I just operate better – to a point – currently all I can think of is food and that’s ok because my current experiment is to push myself. This post isn’t about the benefits of fasting – I may do it later but there’s a lot of material about it including this very well put together video.
This post is actually here to tell you that you could be doing more with yourself and your time. Just like my current fast, although I am famished I can still put my attention into this writing and the more I write the more I want to write. I’m excited about it, like I’m hunting for a sandwich, the drive for food is almost overwhelming yet I am able to steer it towards more important ventures because my mind rules my body not the other way round. Would this effect continue three days in? A week in? A month in? I’m not sure, a lot of the writing suggests that after the first four days it stops being an issue. I am not going that extreme this time round but I will report my findings one day. Today I have managed to work a full day, go for a 5k bike ride, walk about 3 ks and do my usual squat, bench and row routine. Here I am four hours after doing all of that and calling it a day and I’m still functioning without brain fog – albeit with the occasional rumble in my belly and thought of food – I watched quite a few people eat in front of me, I walked past several restaurants and I’m fine and I’m still here writing this post.
A lot of people tell me ‘man I wish I could do what you were doing’ or ‘I wish I had time to _________, but I’m always working’. To be honest, I’ve only met a few people whom I feel can actually use that excuse. A lot of you spend your time poorly, don’t look after yourselves or are just too soft–I’m not judging I get like that too sometimes. You’re miserable at work, you come home to eat, watch Netflix, game and go to sleep. I’m not here to judge you but to get you to consider if perhaps the reason you haven’t written that book or started that project is because you’re lazy or too comfortable in your current bubble – ask yourself “what do I actually do when I come home from work? Is it serving me towards what I want out of life?”
I hate hearing the Bullshit excuse of ‘I don’t have time’ when someone is talking about fulfilling a dream or desire.
Bro, it’s your fucking dream – if it isn’t important then what is important? If you can’t live your dream then why the fuck are you alive? The service of basal desires and instant gratification with porn, TV and toys is not a life- it is an empty listless existence spent in a sedated haze.
It pisses me off when I hear it because I see in a lot of these people with a genuine desire to create and be more. I see how unhappy they are and how much they suffer for neglecting to satisfy their souls. Then I also hear it from people who are simply employing a bit of lip service crying that they “can’t do it” just so I feel bad for them – I do not know which upsets me more. I also know several people who have that fire and that desire but are genuinely stuck in a position and I can’t give them the answer ‘manage your time better’ because it’s simply not the answer.
This post isn’t here to tell you how to manage your time better, nor is it here to tell you what you should be doing. It is literally here to give you some examples of people who do push themselves and how it’s working for them. I am not going to use myself as an example because I am nothing compared to some of these people. These are friends of mine or people I work with. These are people who I love, admire and respect because they genuinely work their arses off in service of what they love and believe in. Mediocrity is not in their dictionary and it shouldn’t be in yours. I’m using nicknames because I haven’t asked permission to talk about them nor do I want to embarrass them or inflate their egos.
Case one: The Iron Bull Mr. S
Mr S. used to be a delinquent. I’ve known him since I was about 15 and he was a hard partying nut case who did nothing by half measure. He left school early and had his life put in order by seeing some competent men do their thing, show him the way and work him into submission. Mr S. had a pretty average start but is now a driven, hard work machine who terrifies everyone around him. He studied like a dog for two years, gained a qualification and is now working for one of the biggest companies in the country – he recently got asked to move down south for 4 months away from his friends, family and partner because he knew he needed to because he loves his job and he saw it as an opportunity. He also manages when asked to help me with Mad Arab, to learn to play bass, work out and watch a shit load of anime and play kazoo – he works hard, he plays hard and does nothing by half measure.
Case two: The Very Smashing Miss W.
Miss W. Studied for several years all while working, she spent some time studying abroad, came back and is now running an art gallery full time as well as painting her own stuff. She also manages to work nights at a local bar and then drags herself home at 3am to start work on Saturday morning at ANOTHER gallery in another town that she manages over the weekend. It’s what she loves and she does it with a vigour and passion – possibly with too many cigarettes but she does it and does it well.
Case three: The Queen of Colours, Miss J.
Miss J studies full time, works part time, has a huge family, a boyfriend and still manages to do it all. I’ve only see her once not covered in paint. She lives, breathes and is covered in art. She’s only in her late teens and I’ve never seen anyone so dedicated to something in my life. She has a flow, a grace and a fire when she’s holding a brush that I cannot begin to describe. Her work speaks volumes regarding the amount of time and dedication she puts into her craft. I have seen her stay up for days on end working, I have seen her collapse due to forgetting to eat or due to exhaustion – I’m not saying it is a way to live but she has a spirit and life force about her that always makes me smile. It is so rare to see anyone work so hard in dedication to the muse.
Case four: The Perfect Host, Mr M.
Mr M loves and believes in what he does. He works his arse off to keep his dream alive and has helped a lot of people in his community to realise theirs. Mr M runs an entertainment venue. He supports performers, musicians and his city by giving them all a place to perform and experience some culture. He has made great sacrifices to make it happen and last I checked has spent many a night sleeping in his car because his dream is more important than creature comforts. I love this man and love everything he does. He stays up late into the wee hours at work and still manages to drive his daughter to school every morning.
Case Five: The Black Bear – the other Mr S.
They both have sir names starting with S and they share the same first name so we’ll just refer to him as ‘the Bear’. I actually don’t know everything The Bear does -this list is just the things I’m aware of. The Bear studies full time, he also manages to run two businesses in two separate towns, the Bear still manages to go to the gym and ontop of all of that – the Bear is out working night clubs on nightclub nights until four in the morning. So he’s basically working well over four full time jobs. The Bear understands ‘when the sun shines, make hay’ and he’s using his youth to make as much as he can. He’s pushing himself very hard but he knows it’s worth it.
These five demonstrate a few things to me. Firstly, we’re capable of a lot more than we think. Working our arses off in service of what we love is more energising than it is tiring. When we focus on what we really want our bodies can certainly step up to it provided we take care of ourselves. Finally and this is what I want to impart on you the most: sacrifices MUST be made in order for us to achieve what we really want. Stupid things need to be sacrificed and vices need to be tamed with discipline in order to get the most out of life. Do you think when you’re 70 you’ll think back to the video games you played or the Netflix series you used to watch? Will you look back on a life well lived or will you ask ‘where the hell did my life go?’
When your ‘why’ is strong enough the ‘how’ gets a lot easier. I’m not saying push yourself to exhaustion or starvation but at least make a little bit of time for what you care about, sacrifice the occasional gaming session or TV series. You’ll thank yourself for it. You’ll be so much happier at work when you develop yourself, you’ll have more energy, I promise.
All five of these people have access to the same 24 hour as you do. They still have seven days in their week but they manage to get more out of their days than some people do in entire years. I hope this inspires you to challenge yourself to get more out of your life.
Life doesn’t give us what we want, nor does it give us what we need. It gives us what we deserve.
It’s been two hours since I last thought of food. Funny that.
Audio of this post: https://youtu.be/uxs3Q43IbyQ