Musing 06: my do not do list + do list

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Musing 06: my do not do list + do list

New musings go out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 AM PST. To subscribe, go here:

Subject: My Do Not Do List + Do List

“Top of the world or bottom of the ocean. No desire to live in the middle.”

The whiteboard on my wall reads.

But how can you escape the middle life? The life nobody wants to live, but almost everybody ends up living? A life full of comfort, mediocre success, stagnation, minor thrills, and wasted potential.

Truthfully? I don’t know.

I’m just out here winging it just like you 🙂

But what I have done is discover the building blocks of mediocrity (the things that give rise to a dull and comfortable life) and turned em into a “Do-Not Do List”.

If I simply avoid what’s on this list, the chances of living and dying without ever seizing one’s true potential is greatly reduced.

On the other hand, I’ve also created a “Do List” which increases the odds of touching the sky.

What’s on these two lists?

I’ll tell you, but before I do I should note…

It doesn’t matter what’s on my lists. For we all have different definitions of mediocrity and greatness. The point of this email isn’t to program my list into your brain. But to inspire you to create your own lists.


If so, here are my two lists:

Do-Not Do List:

  • Use alcohol to numb the pain.
  • Fall victim to doing things that deliver short-term pleasure today in exchange for long-term pain (i.e. give into comfort today, but tomorrow live with the fact that you died without seizing your potential. Front end pleasure of comfort is nowhere close to the long-term costs of not living up to your potential. Avoid.)
  • Put others before you.
  • Complain, bitch, moan, blame.
  • Let one day of not completing your habits turn into two days.
  • Let others create your calendar for you.
  • Go out when you still have an unfinished to-do list.
  • Chase short-term $$$s over long-term trust.
  • Put money, pussy, goals, dreams on a pedestal.
  • Identify with your thoughts, emotions, beliefs.
  • Attend to your business before you attend to yourself (if your tank is empty, what damage will you do in business?)
  • Argue.
  • Avoid hard things.
  • Create to-do lists full of busy work.
  • Live for the weekend.
  • Stop reading after college.
  • Rely on one income source.
  • Put the fate of your life in somebody else’s hands.
  • Let technology rule you.
  • Marry a Karen.
  • Blindly believe what the media tells you.
  • Let age define what you can and cannot do.
  • Become one-dimensional.
  • Label life.
  • Be in a hurry.
  • Sleep less than 6 hours.
  • Take life seriously.
  • Hit snooze.
  • Let yourself go.

Do List:

  • 4.5 hours of deep work a day
  • Become a master of ONE skill + jack of all trades (who says you can’t do both? Once you’ve mastered ONE skill, becoming a jack of all trades allows you to squeeze more juice out of your ONE skill)
  • Have an overarching vision for your life. Make your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly plans in alignment. Live intentionally.
  • Sleep 7+ hours a day.
  • Live in awareness. (If you lose touch with the present moment, you lose touch with your powers.)
  • Master health/wealth/social.
  • Forgive yourself, others, everything. Nightly.
  • Move daily for at least 30 minutes.
  • Nature + meditation + deep breathing stack.
  • Make a list of your fears and tackle one by one.
  • Live in discomfort. Do one hard thing that makes you uncomfortable. Daily.
  • Develop an ON and OFF switch. When you’re ON, go full out. When you’re OFF, turn off completely. Learn to navigate between ON and OFF states throughout the day.
  • Surrender to the flow of life. Once you’ve set your intentions, have the balls to say yes to life and act in alignment (if you set the goal of making $1000 as a copywriter, then to say yes to life is to send out outreach messages. To not send out messages is to go against the flow of life. Cultivate strength to move with the flow.)
  • Read 10 pages.
  • Track your most important KPIs.
  • Always be in the mindframe of: “How can I help/be of service/value?”
  • Love the world like the world is you.
  • Laugh at the odds. Laugh at your failures. Laugh at your pain.
  • Face your demons. Grow spiritually.
  • Let go of your character.

Your friend,


P.S. Exercise: Go through both lists and tally up how many points apply to your current life. What did you score in the do-not do list? What did you score in the do-list? Doing this will give you a great indication of whether you’re heading for mediocrity or greatness.

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