Momentos: October 1st – October 15th, 2018


Just had the last call with my coach. Paid him $15,000 for the past six months of coaching. People have asked me if it’s been worth it. I’m not sure there’s an answer to that question. Maybe a year from now there will be. I’ve learned a lot, and I have much still to think about and reflect on. Deep work can take a while to bear fruit.


Been going a bit mad on the coffee the past month so taking a week off. Day three today and almost cracked, felt sluggish and wasn’t getting much work done. Then I got pissed off. No way I should be that dependent on a brown drink to be productive. Made myself sit down and rip through some client work. Felt better after.


First came to Las Palmas two years ago, and have spent several months here altogether. You’d think I’d know the city pretty well by now, but no. Explored the north of the city this eve, loads of little streets up there I’d never seen. And a castle, apparently the oldest building in the Canary Islands.

Coffee in Las Palmas
Coffee in Las Palmas


Full-on video mode today, must get it done by EOD tomorrow or pay a $1000 penalty. Had it scripted out but had to shoot everything and start editing. Got obsessive about it, lost in the flow, time melting away. It was dark when I came out of the trance, nobody home. Not sure I’m even halfway finished. Might have to do the same again tomorrow.


Early morning, standing under a red sky, telling her I’m going to quit. It’s been three years since I launched that course. Good results, great reviews, but very poor ROI for me. 123 people went through the sales series this week, not one sale. Something fundamentally broken there. But I’m excited. I reckon I know a better way.


Step sprints. Agreed with a buddy that I’d do at least four sessions this month. At a nearby stadium now putting in the work. Thirty seconds to sprint up, a minute to get back down, repeat. Told myself I’d do eleven, but I’ve done twelve. Heaving at the end of it and legs shaking when I try to walk. Feels good, in a strange way.

At the welcome party for Nomad City Gran Canaria.

Posted by Niall Doherty on Monday, October 15, 2018


I didn’t grow up in a physically affectionate culture, so it’s still strange for me meeting and greeting people in Gran Canaria with hugs and kisses. Often I don’t initiate, because it still feels unnatural. I know people here a while who I never greet that way, and I feel the air of awkwardness. But if I start doing it now, perhaps that’s even more awkward.


Met a guy at a rooftop party last night. Moved to Gran Canaria with his wife and two kids because they determined it was the best place to raise a family. Better than Italy, better than Malta, better than other parts of Spain. Great schools, great healthcare, very safe, warm weather, friendly culture, low taxes… there’s a lot to like about this place.


I love these bike sharing programs they have in many cities nowadays. The one in Las Palmas is a bit buggy but still works good enough. Unlocked a couple with our phones this eve and cruised on down to Las Canteras. Walked up and down the promenade for a while, listening to smooth trumpet, sipping a matcha.

Work session at CoworkingC
Work session at CoworkingC


Sitting in the kitchen with herself and this American chap, getting lost in the conversation. Talking about ideas and passions, depth and nuance, the kind of talk that has you vowing to be better, stronger, wiser, more caring, more open-hearted. Been feeling anti-social lately, but it’s not that I don’t like meeting new people. I just don’t like small talk. Thankfully, joyfully, this ain’t that.


Live video today was a rant about hustle culture, those people who say you should work hard, always be grinding. When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful! Ah, no. That’s madness. On certain days, we all need that kind of tough talk, but just as often we need the opposite: someone telling us to slow down, take a day off, have yourself a Netflix binge and don’t beat yourself up about it.


First day of talks at Nomad City. It’s nice to kick back and enjoy something like this and have no responsibilities, just stroll from talk to talk and chat with random people. I spoke at the first Nomad City two years ago, and it’s come a long way since then, now at the best venue in town, companies like Google and Evernote on the agenda. This way of working is only getting bigger.

At Nomad City in Las Palmas
At Nomad City in Las Palmas


One thing I’ve relearned this week is to be careful with the “How are you?” question. So easy to ask it by default, even when you have no interest in the answer. And so easy to give a default answer – “Good, you?” – instead of stopping to check in with yourself first.


Started reading a novel last night. Finished it this evening. That’s 39 books so far this year. Two tips for reading more books. First: spend more time reading books. Second: skip, skim and abandon. No need to read every word, every paragraph, or even every chapter. Speed through the fluff and slow down for the good stuff.


Told my students today that I’m shutting down the course. Lots of kind words and support. A couple of cancelled payments. And a definite sadness hovering over me. I know I gave it my best shot and helped a lot of people, and I’m sure good things will come from this change, but it still sucks to be packing it in after three years.

Sunset from Las Canteras.

Posted by Niall Doherty on Monday, October 15, 2018

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  1. Very best on the next chapter, Niall

    Whatever it is, I hope it brings you joy and fulfillment

    Thankfully we live long enough for several chapters

    Very best your way

  2. Great snippets of life, as always, Niall.

    re #14: reading more. You’re on point here. It’s about putting in time, making time.

    I read 50+ books for a few years in a row, but slowed down last year. Some of that is not finishing books that I stopped enjoying. As for “Speed through the fluff and slow down for the good stuff.” I’ve found this works best for non-fiction which, by nature of filling out 256 pages for a single thesis, is often a lot of unnecessary fluff. By nature of the work — subheads, bullet point lists, images — it’s also easier to skim.

    For novels, which I also look at as a fun leisure activity, you’re prone to miss good prose by skimming/skipping. It’s akin to fast forwarding through parts of a film. Can just read Wikipedia if I want to know the main plot points and the ending.

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