marcus aurelius

Results of Jedi Training

I turned 27 on May 5th- it was depressing. I’ve been a part of two excellent startups and one awesome company, but somehow I’m not satisfied. I’ve made a promise to myself that 3 years from now, by the time I turn 30, I’ll have my own company making at least 100k a year. The end of the year goal 6 months from now- is 20k profit. I believe it’s doable, and I’m currently taking the steps to make it happen. I also had a week off from work- it was needed.

I decided to go to the Hindu temple in Brea- there’s a 90 year old monk I know there who always invites me to spend a few nights with them, learn meditation and ask any tough questions I might have. So, that’s what I did. I left me computer at home, packed up my backpack with a weeks worth of clothing, grabbed 4 books, and went down to the temple.

The four books I took were

The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

and Trust Me I’m Lying also by Ryan Holiday

I’ve read 48 Laws and TMIL multiple times, but I’m trying to internalize both of them. I’m using TMIL to basically carve out a career path for myself. It is a very important book- a playbook of how to use the media to your advantage. I’m supplementing this book with two additional books from David Meerman Scott- also highly recommended by Ryan Holiday. (I sound like a fanboy, but the fact is that he has an easy to understand writing style, and I’m currently devouring any information I can on news, PR, and marketing. It’s something I want to be excellent at.)

To me, 48 Laws of Power basically amounts to mental self defense- I learn the strategies, and I find that I can apply them immediately in my own life. Especially Law 13. (Appeal to people’s self interest, not sense of pity or duty).

The other two books, Meditations and Obstacle is the Way, have been on my “need to read” list for a while. Obstacles showed up at my doorstep on my birthday so I was excited to read it. Both books were amazing. Even more amazing is how much overlap there is in between the philosophies of the Vedas in Hinduism and the practical applications of stoicism.

It was really fucking surprising to be reading the book, and coming across tidbits that my 90 year old monk friend had just mentioned not an hour before. There were highly practical tidbits that overlapped like how to react to events that happen to you and around you “no event is bad. Only your thinking it makes it so.” Also how to view luxuries (this steak is just dead flesh. This wine just old grapes) and to resist temptations.

I’m really glad I went. My biggest takeaway was about fear- when you feel nervous or afraid of taking action- usually it means that you really need to go do that thing. There’s no easy way to do it, so grit your teeth, plan what you can, take action, and don’t worry about the results. They don’t matter. All that matters is what you do, how well you do it, that you put all your effort into it, and whether you’re prepared to take action again, regardless of how well or poorly it went.

Now, time to get to work!