by Niall Doherty


I hear from one mate who’s just had his first threesome, and another who thinks I’m crazy for passing up all the ass on offer here in Hong Kong. But I’m just not feeling it, no interest right now. And it’s nice in a way, not feeling that urge. I’ve often been a slave to it, would regret giving into the fear and not striking up a conversation. Now it’s not the fear that stops me, it’s that I really couldn’t be arsed. Let me go home and get back to work.


Earlier I posted up a half-naked pic of myself on Facebook, showing off the new physique. I’m in the best shape of my life, but hesitant to flaunt it. I’m not sure why. I don’t mind when other people show off some skin on there. I find it inspiring to see friends looking chiseled. And I don’t mind spilling my guts in writing, putting my most intimate thoughts online for everyone to read. So why so shy about my body?


I’m tired, had less than four hours of sleep, but I get up at 5am anyway and run those steps, bust out the core and pullup workout. Last week my running shoes went missing. I’m pretty sure the cleaner threw them out by mistake, though she denies it. I’ve been running since in my Patagonia trail boots, and going barefoot at Krav Maga class. I’m too cheap to buy new running shoes, too committed to quit training.


My main income stream, the one I can’t really talk about, has me torn. I know I could optimize and scale and build that business to the high heavens. Other guys in the same line of work are pulling $30k a month. Problem is the secrecy. I don’t like keeping quiet. I want to build a legit, profitable, value-adding business and then yell, “Hey everyone, here’s how I did it, and here’s how you can, too!”


I wrote a blog post in about twenty minutes today, much faster and easier than normal. I had to resist the urge to keep tinkering with it. I have a tendency to do that, feeling as if my writing’s no good unless I bleed to birth it. This may also be the reason why I struggle to ask for help. It feels a bit like cheating to me, like I can’t really claim credit for something if I didn’t do it all myself. It’s silly, I know. But a belief I can’t quite shake.

Sunrise in Hong Kong

Sunrise in Hong Kong


Try notice something you’ve never noticed before. This is a game I sometimes play while walking familiar streets. It’s easy to win, because there’s always something. Like the fire hydrant at the corner of my apartment building that I noticed for the first time today. Shit, I can even play this game in my room right now, while I’m writing this. See, the walls are beige. I’d never consciously noted their color before. Amazing what we miss.


Seriously blown away by this guy. It’s a Friday night and he’s obviously tired after getting off a delayed flight. He could be spending time with his girlfriend, could have let Andy handle the interview, could have just coasted and offered up verbal shrugs. But no. He’s present and committed to delivering value and kindness. I have a holy-shit-aha moment on the call as he speaks. And that’s it, one hundred percent sold. I have got to get into The Foundation this year.


I’ve been in hyperdrive for several days now, mind constantly racing, ripping through work, ideas relentless. I haven’t slept as much as I’d like, but my energy feels fine… for now. I love these periods of peak productivity, but I know I need to be careful. They’re often followed by a crash, and I’ve got so many plates spinning that a crash would prove disastrous right about now.


This should give you an idea of how antisocial I’ve been here in Hong Kong: I barely know the three people I share the apartment with. There’s a married couple from India and a lady from the Philippines. They’re all cool and friendly, but I’m consciously limiting our conversations to small talk. I think it bugs the Filipina quite a bit. Last night she invited me to watch Game of Thrones, but I opted to get some work done instead.


Down an alley by the Western Market there’s a photo of a HK street scene some hundred or so years ago, blown-up to the size of a baby billboard. In the lower right corner there’s a man dressed in white, walking towards the camera. They say we all die two deaths. The first when breath leaves lungs and heartbeats cease. The second when someone speaks your name for the last time. I wonder if anyone remembers that man’s name.



I used to have two modes. Social and mechanical. I went through periods of the latter whenever I was deep in a web design project. Coding would have me thinking like a robot. I’d try banter with a human and the words wouldn’t compute. To get in a social flow I’d have to spend a few days easing off the work stuff. More recently though, I’m finding it easy to snap into social mode. Or perhaps it’s that my work has become more social.


We park asses at a quiet beachside restaurant and continue the conversation. It’s been flowing effortlessly all day. Like me, she writes. And like me, her writing sometimes rubs people the wrong way. We talk about transparency and where to draw the line. “Is there anything you want to write about but can’t?” Yeah, two things. What happened in my teens. And what happened in Bucharest.


Two reminders. First, remember that your assessment skills are poor when you’re tired, self-assessment especially. Second, remember that champions do things even when they don’t want to do them. That in mind… I was pretty sure I ran a lousy roundtable this eve. I just wanted to go to bed after and forget about it. But instead I made myself send out a survey and gather anonymous feedback. Two responses so far. They both loved it. Huh.


I’ve gotten good at walking out of restaurants. I used to be very hesitant to go in and check a place out, the menu, the prices, etc. Especially the smaller places, where you know the guy greeting you is also the owner. I always felt like I’d be disappointing him if I left. Nowadays? Fuck it. I figure if I’m not liking something and stay anyway, I’m being insincere. Walked out of two places this eve. Had a great meal at a third.


Leaving yourself no other choice is a good way to get things done. You need to paint yourself into a corner. I told the guy paying me that I’d have that project finished today. I told my Mastermind group that I’d give up two weeks of cheat day if I failed to deliver. So there was no fucking way I was dropping the ball. I got just five hours sleep last night, must have put in a dozen hours on that one project this weekend. Now I’m done. And delighted.

A rare few hours away from the laptop, at Tong Fuk beach on Lantau Island.

A rare few hours away from the laptop, at Tong Fuk beach on Lantau Island.

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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