Becoming A Titan
I know I haven’t updated this blog in a while, and the last update in November 2016, which wiped out the previous content, didn’t last too long. I am back now, but with a new and inspired direction for this blog. I’ve recently been reading ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferris, and I have decided that I am going to use this blog to track me becoming a titan!
There are a number of areas that I’m going to start training towards while I have the summer away from the university. Please bare in mind that I do work at McDonald's and I have a two-year-old son, so this isn’t a full-time endeavour, but I will commit as much time to it as necessary to succeed.
Without further ado then, let's discuss the next 6 months!
Fixing the Breathing
I suffer from chronic sinusitis, which basically means that I have a blocked nose day in day out all year round. I live on nasal sprays, but that also means that I live with constant nose bleeds and a £7.00 bill each week. The doctors have refused to give me surgery, but just keep giving me steroid nose sprays which I have not found to work. I have decided to take matters into my own hands!
During my research, I stumbled across a Russian physician called Dr Konstantin Buteyko, and in the literature I’ve looked into said he developed this method during the space race for cosmonauts. It’s crazy how many cool things got lost during the cold war.
To sum this up quickly though, as I’ll go into more detail at another point, Dr Buteyko developed the Buteyko breathing method, which teaches the student how to breath properly and more efficiently. It teaches you how to balance the O2 and CO2 in the blood to ensure optimum O2 release to the muscles, as well as how to solely breathe through the nose… Even during heavy exercise!
It has been suggested in various forums that the Buteyko method is successful at eliminating asthma, among other health conditions, so I am experimenting to see whether it can clear up chronic sinusitis. At very least, I would expect to see massive benefits from increasing the efficiency of my breathing.
Fixing my Eyes
I wear glasses, and have had had prescription lenses for years. The problem is, I didn’t wear the first ones I received, but then again the opticians said the lens was so minor it was almost pointless. It was only 2 years ago that I received stronger glasses, and then a year ago that strength was increased. I don’t wear my glasses just for reading, I wear them permanently out of laziness.
I came across a book titled ‘Improve Vision Without Glasses or Contact Lenses’. The book claims to provide exercises to strengthen your eyesight and has many positive reviews from the readers of it. As I don’t have a huge degree of errored vision to correct, I’m hoping that I could wipe away my need for glasses.
Why is removing glasses such a huge problem? Truthfully, it can be difficult to have to rely on something else just to see. When it’s raining or my glasses are dirty, they’re almost useless. Also, they only correct my vision in the field of the lens, which means I have a limited field of accurate eyesight. Finally, I don’t want my eyes to keep getting worse and worse, as I fear they are currently doing.
There are three important things I want to be successful at before I go back to university, each of with is quite in depth and will, therefore, require its own article. These are all skills that will be transferable in the world of work though.
The first is to finally finish the pMemory course (phenomenal memory), which is an online course I’ve completed before that teaches you how to harness mnemonic techniques for an amazing memory. I have completed the course before, but I didn’t successfully apply it to my life and the skill slowly drained away.
The next skill is speed reading, which I think I should see improvements in when my vision gets better too. Speed reading is a skill that many people dismiss as being fake, but it is well accepted that some people can read significantly faster than others. My thinking is, if someone else has learned to do it, then I can learn to do it better.
The final skill for university is an optional one depending on the time that I have available, but I would like to learn to write in Gregg Shorthand. I feel that this would help me no end in recording notes during lectures, but I also think it would help me during studying, where I like to use the Feynman technique to ensure I understand topics.
I want to work my way up to the top in any career I choose. It is my understanding that this is a pretty alpha driven world, and unfortunately, I have a bit of trouble with confrontation at the moment. I am a very confident guy, but confrontation is a problem still.
I’ve decided to do two things to combat this problem, and one of those is just because I kind of want to! Those two things are bodybuilding and boxing.
You may have noticed that boxers tend to be alpha males, and that then comes down to a nature vs nurture debate, but here’s what I think:
The fight of flight response, the thing that makes me freeze during situations of confrontation, is due to a biochemical reaction involving a few hormones including epinephrine and norepinephrine. I believe that I freeze in confrontational situations because I haven’t been in enough to learn how to control myself in those situations, or under the pressure of those hormones. Boxers, however, are placed in confrontational situations (sparring) on a daily or weekly basis. They have learned how to control themselves under that pressure.
My philosophy on this is that I can learn how to handle myself in confrontational situations by experiencing more in a safe environment. And if that alone doesn’t work, I am going to be less likely to take your shit if I know I can kick your ass.
Bodybuilding is more of a self-worth type of cause. In the animal kingdom, the alpha male is always the biggest and the strongest. Bodybuilding is a way for me to appear to be dominant, which means that my peers will more often than not treat me as though I am the dominant person, and to remain coherent with that self-image, my behaviour will adhere to a more dominant stance.
And on top of all of that, exercise alone has been shown to have a whole bunch of benefits on mental well-being, physical health, confidence and self-esteem.
The final category that I am improving over the next 6 months is my health. More specifically, I am going to optimise the fuel that my body runs on. I haven’t decided the exact mechanism of this yet, as there are a lot of other factors to weigh up, such as adhering to bodybuilding and post boxing meals etc. But I will be improving my diet dramatically and below is an idea of where my head is at, at the moment.
I am going to buy a thermomix. A thermomix is an expensive kitchen gadget (£960.00), but it is worth it. It replaces about 15 kitchen gadgets and can cook entire meals at once. It also has a feature called guided cooking, which walks you step by step on a digital screen to ensure perfect meals every time. I am a bad cook, and I don’t have the time at the moment to master ‘normal’ cooking methods. This will allow me to cook beautiful, healthy meals with simplicity.
I am going to remove convenience foods and snacks with the help of two things; meal prepping and the hot logic mini. Meal prepping is where you prepare bulk meals for the week (or longer) so that you only have to cook once per week. The removes a lot of time wasted in the kitchen and will help me avoid sticking a pizza in.
The hot logic mini is a reheating device that plugs into a wall socket and will reheat your food, retaining all the moisture, and taking as long as you need it to. What do I mean by that? Well, exactly what I said. You can leave it plugged in for an hour and then eat your meal, or four hours, or longer. It keeps your food at the perfect temperature without ruining it. So, I can plug the hot logic mini into a socket at breakfast (or when I’m in the library at university), and it’ll be ready for me to eat as soon as I feel peckish.
I have a lot to do over the next 6 months, but should I complete them all successfully, they will set me up perfectly for my final year of university and for work beyond that. I don’t want to sit in the shadows of greatness during my life, I want to be a Titan.