THE UNDEFINED AND UNKNOWN - Christopher Calvin Govender

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3 Articles

Slack System

I have often wondered what I should be great at. It’s a question that I ask myself about most. My version of why am I here. Why am I here? What should I be doing? How can I best use my talents? 

If you are in a similar situation, I’d like to introduce you to something I call a slack system (I got the idea from Kevin Kelly). I call it that to make it sound proficient, but it’s really just messing around and trying things- anything. It’s about looking for adventure and new experiences. It’s about breaking stuff, fixing stuff, and stuffing up. It’s about giving myself more opportunities for failure. It’s about giving myself the permission to explore. 

Why? There’s this focus on being productive that is not so productive.

How to become like Warren Buffet? The top 10 habits of billionaires. How to focus like a monk? The seven steps to being the next Elon Musk. How to beat procrastination with a spoon? The list is endless. Everyone wants to be like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Elon Musk and therein lies the problem. 

Copy and paste, not create and invent.

Our irrationality is what makes us as humans so special. We can tell ourselves a story about anything and we’ll believe it. We give that up when we try to be more like computers and robots. There’s no formula for success or good ideas such that they can appear on demand, because there’s no way to factor in irrationality: the ability to do silly and whimsical things because you want to. 

Give yourself the freedom to be. Just be. Try anything. Travel. Don’t get yourself seriously in trouble but other than that, there’s an endless supply of adventures. There are many stories waiting for their main character – you. 

Who cares about being great? Rather look to be original. Rack up the failures and the lessons. Live with the purpose of being alive, and with the knowledge that this will eventually end. Enjoy every second, even the tears and pain. There isn’t any of that after death – well nobody truly knows. If you truly rather be safe than sorry, then you’ll live with fear and trembling as a companion, you’ll love with passion and naked honesty, and you’ll welcome Death as an old friend (Notice how I stole that from Harry Potter. Think about why Ignotus Peverell greeted Death as an old friend? He was the one with the cloak of invisibility).

The clock is ticking. The time is now. The Act is seeking. The answer is not how but why the hell not? 

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If I had a super power

I have this habit of looking for things that have asymmetrical risk reward. They seem kind of mythological since many people believe they don’t exist. We use a heuristic of “too good to be true “, yet they are there, hiding in plain sight, if you would only but look.

Some of the best ones that I have found are:
• Books: they cost about 20 dollars, yet they can change your mind and change your life. Many have for me. The ultimate is Love Yourself like Your Life Depends on It.
The Tim Ferriss Show: cost? Free! Habits, routines and systems of the best in the world; and he’s certainly among them.
Tony Robins live event: if you haven’t watched “Tony Robbins: I am not your guru“, do yourself a favor and watch it now.
Dale Carnegie course: I am doing one as of writing this post. Scott Adams recommended it and Warren Buffet said it changed his life.
• Travel: I went to Thailand in December; and saying it was the greatest experience I could imagine, is an understatement.
• Blogs: like Derek Sivers, Scott Adams, and James Altucher.
Meditation: you add life to your years.
Exercise, A healthy diet, Sleep: you add years to your life.
• Journaling: No matter how hard it is, it can be written down.
Stoicism: The ultimate practical philosophy.

All of the above makes you look like a legendary investor because the quality of your life will be indescribable, but would I want anyone of them to be a super power or even all of them? Maybe not. There’s something I’ve found that is greater.

Let me show you how I got my super power, and how it got me to make many of the items of the above list, a part of my life.

I was looking for a way to make me rich and I stumbled upon “The Four Hour Work Week”, which led me to Tim Ferriss. Then while looking for media with Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel, I was led to Tim’s podcast, which led me to books and reading, which led me to Kamal Ravikant, Tony Robbins, Derek Sivers, Scott Adams, and a host of other amazing people.

So you see if you pull on the right thread, how so much unravels? Keep searching for that thread. Keep looking to live life effectively. That curiosity, that belief that there are many more threads to pull, and so much more to unravel – that’s my super power. I may not be the best in the world at it, but I practice every day.

What’s your super power?

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