by Niall Doherty


Einstein oft described himself as a militant pacifist, advocating resistance to military service. But he changed his tune when Hitler took power and proved bent on annihilation. Poor old Albert was criticized for being inconsistent. But hey, he was a scientist, and any good scientist will alter his views in light of new evidence.


We get deep while we match symbols, pull wooden blocks and eat shitty french fries. I ask how many sex partners she’s had, and get the same question back. We talk about one night stands, monogamy and opportunity cost. I realize that the more truthful I am with this girl, the less likely I am to sleep with her. But that’s okay.


Prep and research for the trip north. I want to be in Colombia by the first week of October, and I want to take my time getting there, enjoying the journey, not worrying about work. So I’m pushing hard now to earn a few weeks offline. Venezuela sounds like it might be dodgy though, especially at the Colombian border. I may need to find another route.


Reading about Bruce Lee. He died at age 32, the same age I am now. He had two thousand books in his personal library, a true philomath. I’m seeing this pattern with all the remarkable people I study. They’re all voracious readers, insatiably curious. “Be happy,” Lee once wrote, “but never satisfied. A man must constantly exceed his level.”


I’m surprised you’re still reading this blog, surprised that anyone is really. And grateful, let’s not forget grateful. I publish a rare post and get a bunch of supportive comments and emails. Someone even sent me a $10 donation today. I guess I’ve built up a lot of goodwill over the years. Thank you for reading. I’m glad we have this time together.

The view from Praça do Papa in Belo Horizonte

The view from Praça do Papa in Belo Horizonte


Solitude. I’ve been alone in the apartment for five days now, and loving it. Working, reading, eating, meditating… the occasional moonwalk across the living room. I was going to attend a meetup last night but checked in with myself and decided more alone time was in order. I’m quite content like this, though I’m sure the pendulum will swing back the other way before too long.


Been reading NVC, one of those a-ha books, lifts a veil you didn’t know was there. Now I can see clearly how everyone is just trying to get their needs met. The know-it-all at the meetup; the prostitutes at the intersection; the critic in the comments; me, taking twenty minutes to write a reply. All attempts to meet needs, mostly unspoken, often unconscious.


I don’t have long left in Belo Horizonte, just a few more weeks. But I can see myself coming back here to live again some time. It would be a good home base. The people are incredibly friendly, the women are beautiful, the cost of living isn’t too bad, the weather is perfect. Make time to be social, learn some Portuguese, and you can be very happy here.


John’s response got me thinking. I’ve committed to staying in shape. Diet and exercise has been a huge priority for me here in Brazil. The software business? Hard to admit, but not so much. My efforts have been scattered. I haven’t gone all in. And I’m not sure I can until I settle down somewhere long-term, hammer away at it day after day like it’s my job.


Ten hours sleep, up before eight. Shave, shower, walk around the block to catch some sun. Clean apartment. Breakfast of lentils, sausage, egg, spinach and tomato, with a cup of tea. Coaching call. Green smoothie. Fasting now. Finance report. Work. Sneaky coffee and a novel across the street. Skype with meus pais. Work. More tea. Weekly review, inbox zero. Book. Bed.

Hanging with some Couchsurfing friends at the Thursday-night feirinha

Hanging with some Couchsurfing friends at the Thursday-night feirinha


Over the past eight months or so, many professionals in the travel industry have told me about painful problems in their business they’d happily pay to have solved. But validating those ideas has proven difficult. Easy find one or two people with a specific problem, but finding enough to sustain a SaaS? That’s where office hours are required.


Feigning apathy. You work up to something for three months, and then just when you’re about to reach that goal, there’s a voice in your head that says it’s fine to quit, that it doesn’t really matter, that you’ve got nothing to prove. But that’s bullshit and you know it. Your ego trying to protect itself. You’re here because you care, because you want this. Finish strong.


Warren Buffett was once asked what superpower he’d like to have, and responded that he’d like the ability to read faster. Definitely feeling him on that. Blows my mind how much knowledge is out there just waiting to be absorbed. I read two books a week nowadays, but I’ll never clear my wish list.


Belo Horizonte gives the impression of insecurity. Every wall less than eight feet tall is crowned with spikes and an electric fence. You’re told not to walk around with your phone out, someone might snatch it. And I know there are real dangers here, but I wonder what’s more discomforting: the actual dangers, or all the warnings and precautions.


In his bachelor pad on the fifteenth floor, watching white lines disappear. They call him the Highlander, because he never dies, always the last man standing on a night out, never seems to sleep, a billion-watt smile ever-present. Earlier in the evening he showed pics of a playmate he hooked up with last week in Rio, then skipped us past the line into a club.

Finished strong: 101 push-ups in a single set

Finished strong: 101 push-ups in a single set

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

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