August 16th – August 31st, 2018
Usually not a fan of travel days. Getting to the airport, getting through the airport, getting from the airport. But Amsterdam to Copenhagen today was a breeze. Had energy to burn in the evening so went for a run around our new neighborhood, found a park in the middle of an apartment complex with loads of gardens and balconies and the hum of contented living.
Several insights today during a coaching intensive. One of them relating to why I’ve been resisting requests from friends and acquaintances to meet up for coffee or whatever. It’s because those requests feel too much like, “let’s just hang out and see what happens.” Hanging out can be fun, sure, but I’m trying to stay focused on my purpose right now. Which necessitates that I be much more protective of my time and space and say no to more things.
Sneaking a look at a book during a coffee and cheesecake break as we roll around Copenhagen. Simple idea hits me as profound: create short, casual content regularly. See what topics hit the mark. Dive deeper into those that do. Like a comedian, working out material night after night in the local clubs, checking what works and what doesn’t, picking out and polishing up the best stuff for the special.
A few things you might not know about Denmark:
- Free health care.
- Well, kind of. Denmark apparently has the world’s highest taxes. 1
- The government pays students about $900/month while attending university. 2
- First country to grant legal recognition to same-sex partnerships (1989).
- First country to legalize pornography (1969).
- In recent years it has been voted as the safest, happiest and least corrupt country in the world.
Had a student on a call today and got to that place of pure presence and curiosity, eager to hear what she had to say next and feeling a deep appreciation for her being. Sounds fairly woo-woo, I know, but that’s how it hit me. And she seemed to get great value from our conversation. I reckon one of the big keys to coaching is to listen long and deep. Most people aren’t used to that. feels profound.
He’s standing at his front door in a dressing gown as I come down the stairs with the suitcase. I say good morning as I pass, and he nods back, but something’s not right. I’m down a half flight and realizing we probably woke him up, when he shouts after me, “Why don’t you stay at a hotel? These are private apartments!” I turn and go back up to him.
Was going to call today’s live video, Why astrology is (probably) bullshit, but ended up dropping the probably. Trying to put forth stronger opinions. I know I’ll be wrong about some things, but that’s no reason to be timid. Actually, it’s a good reason not to be. A stronger opinion gets more attention, which means I find out much quicker when I’m mistaken.
On the westernmost island of the Faroes, a place called Mykines, accessible only by boat and helicopter. Not more than a dozen people live here year round. A plane once crashed on this rock, a Dutch ship wrecked against it a few hundred years ago. We’re here to see the puffins, nesting on some of the world’s richest bird cliffs.
Another day, another remote part of the Faroes. The “cafe” in this seaside village is an old man’s kitchen, where he serves coffee and waffles. He’s lived here pretty much his whole life, in this very house. There’s a black and white photo on the wall, his younger self with his eight children. He remembers when the road to the village was built (1966) and when they first got electricity (1957).
How the hell did the first people arrive on these islands? The nearest land mass is almost 200 miles away. Can you imagine some poor schmuck centuries ago setting off from there in a rickety boat, thinking, “Sure I’ll just keep going and see what I find.” He couldn’t have known there was anything out there. Boggles the mind.
First thing today: hike to the top of a massive cliff jutting out into the ocean and look back at a magnificent hanging lake. Second thing: drive to a remote village in a valley with picture postcard grassy green rooftops. Third thing: drive to a gigantic two-tier waterfall and snap a few pics. Fourth thing: go get groceries… because life isn’t one big Instagram story. Pretty damn close though when you’re in the Faroes.
Infrastructure here is incredible. We must have driven through eight different tunnels today en route to the northern end of Kalsoy, to a town named after trolls where you can hike to a lighthouse at the edge of the world. One tunnel put us under the sea and through a mountain before coughing us up six clicks to the west. Internet ain’t bad either, and you can get a phone signal everywhere.
Travel day. Faroes > Copenhagen > Gran Canaria. I’ll move about 3000 miles in 10 hours. On the plane I’ll read the diary of a girl who never got to travel very much. She spent two years hiding in an attic in Amsterdam during World War II. Eventually she got to go outside and take a trip to Germany, when at age 15 she was caught by the Nazis and sent to die at a concentration camp.
Back “home” in Las Palmas, staying at The Roof again. It’s nice knowing the run of the place, can get right back into the swing of things. Went to the supermarket this morning and stocked up. Going to try a month with minimal carbs. No bread, no pasta, no porridge. Might try out an eight-hour feeding window as well, fast for 16 hours a day.
Working through some exercises in the book Traction. One is to define the purpose of your business. Why does it exist? Here’s what I’ve got so far: to help people live more free and think more deep. Put that through the 5 Why’s with my coach today. Ultimately, I want to help people gain more control of their lives so they can have a bigger impact on the world. (Sounds pretentious, I know.)
Barbecue at The Roof. Irish guy isn’t drinking the alcohol or eating the baked potatoes. Not very Irish of him. Conversation turns to sim theory, artificial intelligence, the singularity. I’m not the most knowledgeable on these topics, not at this table, so I try to listen and ask questions and crack the occasional joke to lighten up talk of mass extinction.
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.