🦉 WoW #77 - Keep It Simple🦉

Jul 14, 2021 1:39 pm

Happy Wednesday, Wise Owl Nation!


Every so often I become aware that I have been overcomplicating my life.

I've learned that this is a natural thing that I do without realizing it.


I usually realize it's happening only when I've started to feel more stressed and overwhelmed. I'm comfortable with stress. I am not comfortable with overwhelm.


In my mind, when you are overwhelmed, you are either overcomplicating your life (most common), or you are in serious need of a skill upgrade (less common).


Realizing I am in over my head at a skill is pretty easy to identify, but realizing I am overcomplicating my life is never easy.


So this week I want to share some of the ways that I do a soft reset on areas of my life to bring back a simpler, more productive daily life.


Let's get into it.


You can find all past issues (including this one) here.



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🧠 Wisdom Tip(s) of The Week: Everything can be simplified

Everything can be simplified, and I mean everything. The universe is made up of connections of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. There are even smaller particles of matter than those, but by now you get the idea.


You can always break something down a little further. This is especially true with your overwhelming and stressful life.


For example, my favorite writer James Clear has a great breakdown of how to achieve exceptional results. Spoiler alert, it involves keeping it simple.


"Three steps to exceptional results:
1) Do less. Stop dividing your attention.
2) Do it right now. Once you have identified the essential, go fast. Maintain a bias towards action.
3) Do it right away. Acting quickly doesn't mean carelessly. Get to work right away, but keep working on it until it's right." - James Clear


This is real wisdom, and it can be applied to everything.


One of the best ways I've ever found for handling stress is the Stoic trick of "focus on what you can control, and nothing else."


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I shared this quote last week as well, but lo and behold, the wisdom carries across many topics. Last week I applied this quote to freeing your mind. Well, guess what, that is exactly what you need to do when you are worrying about things that are outside of your control.


Simplify Meditation

Another powerful, yet simple tool for helping your mind calm down and keep it simple is meditation.


Don't you dare roll your eyes at me 🙄. Funny enough, many Americans and western readers overcomplicate event his simple tool.


I've heard from so many people over the years that "meditation just isn't right for me. I can't just stop thinking. I think too much."


Yeah, well. No shit.


No one, and I mean no one, starts off meditating and is able to completely quiet their mind. In fact, some would argue that isn't even the point of meditation.


The point of meditation, in my opinion, is to take a break from the noise of your busy life and allow yourself to just breathe. Everything we do is in some way habit-forming. If you can consistently separate and break away from your busy-ness to meditate, you will start to notice that you can separate and break away from bad emotions.


Truth.

You are not angry. You are just experiencing anger.

You are not happy. You are experiencing happiness.


You are not the emotions you feel, and because they are just emotions you feel, you can let those emotions go. If you can let yourself sit still and breathe.


Keep it simple and meditate.


Simple Routines

I am guilty of everything I write about in these newsletters, but few things am I more guilty of than complicating routines.


For the better part of a decade, I have been low-key obsessed with routines. In my mid-twenties I saw routines as my saving grace. And while routines ARE great, they can easily become bloated and fall apart.


The entire point of a routine is to be a repeatable sequence of tasks that you don't have to waste energy thinking about. Routines are powerful, and your brain will start to build them whether you want it to or not.


Entire careers have been built on writing about routines, but it all comes down to one important point.


Simple routines stick, and complicated ones die.


One of the most famous morning routines, popularized in the book Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, keeps itself "simple" by being a memorable acronym.


SAVERS:

S - Silence (prayer or meditation)

A - Affirmations (say nice things about yourself)

V - Visualization (visualize a perfect day, activity, or whatever)

E - Exercise

R - Read

S - Scribe (write via journaling or other modes)


SAVERS is simple because it scales both down and up. You can do the entire routine in 6-minutes if you're in a real rush, or you can do it in 6-hours. I don't recommend trying to affirm yourself for a full hour though. Doesn't sound fun.


The point is, it's simple.


Yours can be even simpler if you want.

My current routine every Wednesday morning is really simple.

  1. I wake up and start the coffee
  2. Drink my breakfast (overnight oats)
  3. Take any medicine I need to take
  4. Sit down at my computer (with my coffee) and start my "Writing is a Habit" playlist
  5. Log in to Sendfox and start writing


That's it. Simple.


Keep your routines simple.



💪🏻 Health Thought of The Week: simple foods, simple workouts

Simple foods/recipes

For most of 2020, I had a DoorDash problem. Why did I have a DoorDash problem, you ask? Because it is simple. In a few buttons, I have food cooked and delivered. Dangerously simple.


It was also a simple way to gain weight, as restaurants don't care about portion sizes or how much sugar they put in their General Tso's Chicken sauce.


So, in 2021 I started looking for simple foods and recipes I could start eating that could challenge the simplicity of DoorDash.


I've found a few options.


The first is a food called Overnight Oats. This kind of morning meal is extremely popular with long-distance runners, and the first time I tried it was back in 2018 when one of my fiance's Occupational Therapists made it for me.


Fast forward three years and I found a company that prepares and packages the ingredients for overnight oats and ships them to you. Simple!


I've been using Oats Overnight (the company name) for a while now it really simplifies breakfast, if you're into that.


The next option is to meal prep simple breakfast sandwiches.

The process is so simple that I tried it out and have been profiting from homemade frozen breakfast sandwiches for over two weeks now.


My fiance found the meal prep video on TikTok, of all places, and I literally watched it over and over again as I spent an hour or so meal-prepping two weeks' work of food.


You can watch the video here if you're interested.


Simple Workouts

Getting a daily workout in is tough to pull off.

So, simplicity matters when trying to overcome that mental blocker that keeps getting between you and voluntary sweat.


The simplest workouts I have found are long, 45-minute walks, and kettle-bell swings.


Kettlebell swings only require one piece of equipment and can be done almost anywhere. There really is no excuse to not do this simple exercise. Even those of you that have issues working out normally should still be able to do kettlebell swings.


The full-body movement does not overly stress any one area and is not hard on joints.


Start small, with a light kettlebell, and get your form right. You can find a million YouTube videos that will teach you the proper form. Then it is just a matter of doing them consistently. Start with two-handed swings, and eventually graduate to one-handed swings, alternating hands.


This one exercise works out your entire body and helps offset some of the posture issues that come from sitting at a desk all day.


Okay, let's move back to the most basic of all exercising - walking. If you are capable of walking, you can go on walks. I live in Texas, and it is extremely hot in the summer, so I choose to go for walks in the morning around sunrise if I can.


To make it more fun, I usually listen to books or podcasts while on my walk.

If you are one to make excuses based on how much time you have available, then go for a ten-minute walk.


No excuses. Keep it simple, and get to work.



🤑 Wealth Thought of The Week: Simplify Expenses, Simplify Wealth

Simple Spending

The easiest part of building wealth to control is your spending habits.

If you're a budget person, then make a simple budget.


I am not a budget person, and instead, use a process called conscious spending. This basically means I don't spend any money on something I don't care about, but spend lavishly (within reason) on areas I do care about.


For example - I never buy myself new clothes unless absolutely necessary. On the flip side, I am happy to buy $100 worth of books each month, or MORE than happy to spend over $100 a week playing poker with my friends.


I don't drink alcohol so I never spend any money on alcohol of any kind.

I love watching the UFC, so I spend at least $70 a month on UFC pay-per-views.


I don't care about the fanciness of the car I drive, so I bought a decent car and paid it off. Now I don't have to worry about car payments.


In a given year, I may take one or two plane rides, so when I do I make sure I have a comfortable flight. I spend extra to choose my seat and seat location. I make sure I get priority boarding. I happily spend the $85 every five years to have TSA pre-check so I can skip most of the airport security lines.


This is all guilt-free spending because I am spending money in areas I care about. That is worth it to me.


Simple investing

Yes, friends, there is simple investing. In fact, simple investing a common topic for this newsletter.


For traditional investing, I use a Robo-advisor to invest my money in a group of index funds that fit my risk profile. The Robo-advisor automatically rebalances my money and automatically reinvests any earned dividends.


I set it, and forget it.


For crypto, I do the same thing. I am much more interested and passionate about crypto than I am about traditional investing, so I do spend a lot more time reading and learning about it, but my actual investment strategy is dead simple.


A few times a week I automatically buy ETH and USDC.

The USDC is sent to BlockFi where it earns 7% APY.

The ETH is staked where it earns anywhere from 5-20% APY (much closer to 5-7% right now)


My investments automatically earn more of themselves each week, and if ETH increases in price, then great, but I am not often paying attention to that these days.


Simple investing is automated, consistent, and does not take up much of your time. You don't sell when the market gets volatile. You hold and buy more, consistently, over time.


Here is a screenshot of my Kraken staking account that I shared to my Instagram account last week.


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What this image shows is that every week I earn 0.04 ETH.

That doesn't seem like much, but right now that equates to about $100 USD each week.


What that also means is that every 25 weeks I earn a full ETH.

I don't touch anything. The staking just works. Thanks, Crypto.


Quote/Meme of the week:

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Focus on what you can control.

It is always worse in your mind than in reality.

If you're overwhelmed, then take a step back and simplify everything.



Have a great week!

This concludes our issue this week, I hope it gave you some perspective or injected a little motivation into your life!


If it helped, let me know! I read every newsletter response I receive, and I absolutely love hearing from all of you. This newsletter is for you, so I need your help to make it as great as possible.


If you'd like to show me some love for writing all this free stuff, you can always buy me a coffee.



More Resources

I will be adding to this section over time as we find resources that will help you all.



Crypto Resources

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The Bankless Podcast: This is a link to the bankless podcast on Spotify. Start from the very beginning and learn why I am so positive about the power of Crypto and Ethereum in particular. You can find the podcast easily on the internet, but I am linking to episode 1 on Spotify for your convenience.


Buy your first ETH or BTC:

  • On Coinbase - this is the easiest starting place for the newest beginners
  • On Gemini - Another great option founded by the Winklevoss brothers. They are based out of New York.
  • On Kraken - Kraken has a bit of a harder user interface, but they already have ETH staking enabled with the push of a single button.

Earn interest on your crypto

  • BlockFi - Currently, you can earn 5% interest on BTC, 4.5% interest on ETH, and a whopping 8.6% on stable coins like USDC. Use the referral code b09f24fd to support the newsletter.

Other tools:

  • Argent Wallet - This is the best mobile wallet for Ethereum, Defi, and all things on the Ethereum network, including staking. They even have plans to implement Layer 2 to remove network fees.
  • Ethhub - this is a weekly newsletter that lists out all the interesting news, articles, and tweets that have happened in Crypto that week. It's free and awesome.
  • Ethdashboard - A simple dashboard to look at various metrics in the ethereum space. I mainly use this as a quick tool to check ETH gas fees.
  • Cointracker - this is one of the better tools for tracking all of your various crypto across all of the various wallets, exchanges, etc. You can also use them to do your crypto taxes each year.
  • Metamask - this is a crypto wallet that you can access from your browser and allows you to easily interact with blockchain apps online.
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