November 16th – November 30th, 2017
Did my weekly webinar again this eve. Was disappointed last week, when I had 30+ people on and didn’t make a single sales. This week I had less than 20 people and made two. Small sample size so can’t read too much into it. But one change I did make was to stick to the script and not go off on mad tangents. Maybe that helped.
130 strokes this morning without stopping, a new personal best. Came out of the water thinking that I might be able to swim the length of the beach before the weekend is out. Had to catch myself there though, step off the hedonic treadmill for a minute. There I was thinking about the next goal without pausing to appreciate how far I’d come.
Guacamole party. (Yes, that’s a thing.) About twenty people showed up. There are times in get-togethers like this when find yourself alone in the crowd, maybe the person you’re talking to excuses themselves for a moment, and you get the urge to check your phone or otherwise distract yourself, instead of just staying where you are and enjoying the space in between.
Getting everything packed up, will be gone for four weeks. Decided to leave the big bag here in GC and just take carry-on, see how that goes. I’m not quite the minimalist I once was, but I still lean that way. There’s great freedom in being able to pack everything you own in twenty minutes and head off into the unknown.
They have a siesta room at the Sala VIP lounge at Barcelona airport. I wake up from a nap, go grab some free food and coffee – yeah, I’m bragging – then boot up the laptop to see that I’m on the front page of the Irish Times website (still bragging). Amazing what writing your own press release will get ya.
Five things I didn’t know about Monaco before we went there today:
- It’s the second smallest sovereign state in the world, after the Vatican.
- With 38,400 people living in 2 square kilometers, it’s the second-most densely populated sovereign state in the world (after Macau).
- About a third of the population are millionaires.
- Residents pay no income tax.
- Citizens are not allowed to gamble at the famous Monte Carlo Casino.
We’re down by the market in Nice, doing the French thing good and proper: coffee and croissants in the Mediterranean sunshine, as we watch the vendors selling fruit and veggies and flowers. Later we’ll head to the fanciest hotel in town, where they charge €8 for a common cappuccino, and sneak a dance in the royal lounge when nobody’s looking.
Been tough keeping up with emails while on the move this week. My 7 Years video has blown up like mad, approaching half a million views now. Easily the most popular thing I’ve ever put out in the world. Off the back of that I’ve been on invited on TV in Ireland twice, wrote that piece for the Times, and was asked to speak at a conference in Australia.
There’s a copy of The Road here in our Airbnb in Marseille. It’s a book I’ve put off reading for a long time, knowing how dark it is. But now I’m pulled in, been devouring chunks of it between walks around the old port and electric bike rides down the coast. It is indeed a dark read, but they say exposure to the dark helps us appreciate the light. I was grateful for a simple meal this eve.
The response to that video has been overwhelmingly positive. But of course there are some critics and begrudgers in there. I’ve also seen many comments along the lines of, “Wish I could do that!” Well… you can. I’m privileged, sure, but you probably are too if you’re reading this. Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can’t. Start thinking of all the reasons why you can.
The madness of Marrakesh. All those winding little streets crammed with food and knickknacks and humans. You come out into el-Fna to find fruit stalls and acrobats and snake charmers. I try not pay any attention to the latter. Ever since my owl awakening in Nara I’ve been wary of anyone trying to make a quick buck off a wild animal.
El-Fna is an even greater spectacle at night, like something from an Indiana Jones movie. Drum beats and chanting from all angles. The smell of street food. A little boy on a tiny stool selling cookies. An old man in a wheelchair with his legs all twisted. Lights in the sky. A monkey on a shoulder. Orange juice and carved wood and me there in the middle of it all.
Six little dishes. A friend for the road. Bus heading west. Dusty outskirts. Dry riverbeds. Desert landscape. A shepherd with his crook. Goats climbing trees. Men in cloaks. Moroccan salad. Dirt roads. Crappy apartment. Beautiful beach. Cats and dogs. Email to thousands. Dinner for two. Green tea. A halo around the moon.
People making good money online drop shipping cat furniture and fake light sabers. Nobody has a problem with that. I pass up lucrative freelance work and make less money helping people build online businesses so they can live their dreams. I get called a scammer. Reminds me of something Dan Pallotta said in a TED Talk:
We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interestingly, we don’t have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money NOT helping other people. You want to make 50 million dollars selling violent video games to kids, go for it. We’ll put you on the cover of Wired magazine. But you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids of malaria, and you’re considered a parasite yourself.
Sitting having dinner in a little French restaurant. It’s after ten. Just did another webinar. Veggie lasagne’s a bit burnt but still tastes glorious. It rained for a few hours this morning. Local guy told me it was their first rain for a year. The dug up dusty streets have turned to mud. A voice from the miranet has been preaching for 45 minutes now. Perhaps he’s talking about the rain.
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These are my Momentos, vignettes I write daily and publish twice a month. They're incredibly self-indulgent and I'm surprised anyone reads them.
There's one for every day since February 27, 2013.