December 16th – December 31st, 2017
This town has more cats and dogs than people. Playing around with one dog on the beach this morning. They’re great creatures to say hello, but shit at saying goodbye. They’ll be all giddy and happy to see you, like you’re the most important person in the world. Next minute they’re off sniffing the heels of some random surfer like you never even existed.
We’re eight kilometers in the sky, looking down on the largest disputed territory in the world. Nothing but sand and rock stretching to the coast, strangely beautiful. Occasionally a random building there in the middle of it all for no good reason. My new friend in the next seat sees my eyes wide and says, “God made all of this. Do you believe?”
Mostly men on the streets of Laayoune. Occasionally a woman, old or middle-aged, wrapped up colorful. I’ve probably seen five heads of female hair since getting here. On a main street I find cafes selling cigarettes instead of food. A cart full of oranges. Little vegetable and electronic shops. Floors dusty and paint peeling. I walk past a butchers with the severed head of a cow hanging from the front wall, tongue sticking out. I buy four bananas for breakfast and head back to the hotel.
Sometimes the best response is no response. Especially on Facebook. Wrote out a reply to a controversial comment today, then deleted it. I wasn’t going to change any minds on there. Message from a stranger asking which country she should visit in Europe. No reply. Another comment ridiculing something I posted on my page. Ignore it. Better things I can be doing with my time.
“Don’t let the world decide how you feel.” Heard that on a podcast today. When you think about it, most of us constantly let the world, or circumstances, or other people, dictate how we feel. Why are you upset? Because he did this or she said that or this thing happened. When you can instead decide for yourself how you’re going to feel inside, regardless of what’s happening outside… that’s a superpower.
Back swimming at Las Alcaravaneras. Yesterday and today. Water’s been choppy, has me struggling a bit. Aiming for sixty consecutive strokes but best I manage is about forty. Coming out of the water I remember what Terry Laughlin said in an interview right before he died: the rougher the sea, the calmer you need to be.
Above the clouds, between Teide and Toohil. Kissed my lady goodbye this morning, got to the airport early, as I like to do. Wrote an email to a few thousand people and sent it out. Waking up from a sky nap now, pulling out a pen and paper. I’ll write him a letter, a few dozen heartfelt lines, tears in my eyes a couple of times.
Standing on Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork. Basking in things. Hugs and smiles. Christmas lights. Wooly jumpers. Warm drinks. Frosted windows. Kids dressed up all cute, excited for the magic. A man on the corner with a guitar and a voice sings a good song that I tell myself I’ll remember and soon forget. But no matter. I’ll remember how it made me feel.
He’s been building this machine for a couple of years now. Evenings and weekends, chipping away. Pure craftsmanship. Every bolt, every rivet, perfect in its place. He’ll spend an hour crafting a bracket from scrap metal, exactly to measure, can’t buy anything like it. I’m not big into cars, but I can appreciate what he’s done here. The care, the precision, the attention to detail. Thing of beauty.
A different kind of craftsman today. We’re having the big dinner out, first time. A magician comes to the table. He’s good, has us all enthralled. Notice the words, the gestures… years of work gone into this. He can measure up a table perfectly, knows which string to pull, which to leave untouched. A tough craft, must have endured lots of failure and embarrassment along the way.
Did some free writing and brainstorming today, decided I’ll make some big changes to 3M1K in the new year. Definitely raising the price for one thing. It’s way too cheap for the value it provides. And a low price attracts less serious, less committed students. I’m better off working with fewer, more qualified people. Thinking I’ll also open the doors only once or twice a year.
Complained too much today. Was focused on excuses for why things aren’t exactly the way I want them, instead of taking full responsibility and doing something about it. Got home and stayed up for three hours watching crap on YouTube. It’s like Jim Rohn said: don’t wish life was easier; wish you were better.
Been reading The Prosperous Coach. A lot of what I do these days is coaching, and I want to be better at it, make sure I’m helping people as much as possible and getting rewarded accordingly. One point made in the book is that, as a coach, you should be investing heavily in a coach of your own. If you’re unwilling to do that, how can you expect anyone else to?
Fortieth and final flight this year. Sudden burst of energy between listening to Terry Crews and reading about Ferdinand Magellan, I start planning out a new morning routine. A miraculous one. Spent a while writing out affirmations, something to read aloud to myself every morning, a nutritious breakfast for the subconscious.
Lying on the beach, talking about our plans for the year, what experiences we’d like to have. Throwing around ideas like jungle treks, snowboarding adventures, a month in Amsterdam, living in Thailand for a bit, etc. etc. We have to pause and appreciate how damn lucky we are, how much freedom we have. We can actually go do all those things and more in 2018. Nothing stopping us.
Pretty good year, I’d say. Found an amazing life partner, helped a lot of people, earned about $4k/month, visited thirteen countries, read a lot of books, asked a lot of questions, had a video go viral, got my work featured in prominent places… feeling wiser and more capable than ever as we start another lap and see lights explode in the sky. Onwards and upwards, my friend.
In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?
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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.