Category Archives: Personal

Visiting an offshore oil rig (on land)

I visited an offshore oil rig my dad helped design, it was pretty cool getting to actually go on one (normally it’s NOT a thing visitors get to do)!

These are huge billion+ dollar projects with thousands of parts from hundreds of different suppliers.  Cool too see projects of this scale come together:

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Something I found interesting:
To get this platform built and setup costs about 1 billion dollars.  It can pump roughly $5,000,000/day in oil.

Assuming there’s only 300 full-production days per year, that’s still $1.5billion/year for 10+ years.  This rig will probably scrounge up $10 – 20 BILLION in oil over the years.

Wow….oil ain’t a bad business!!

Brazil 2015

For 9 days in May I went to Brazil.

Since my memory is pretty lame, I shall post random pictures of myself here in order to remember:

Places went:

  • Rio De Janeiro.
  • Bello Horizonte.
  • Ouro Preto (quaint little town, day trip at max).
  • Inhotem (to see largest outdoor art decor museum).
  • Stayed at Sheraton Rio Niemeyer (If I were to go back for a workcation, I’d probably stay here again).
  • Stayed at Miramar Hotel (If you wanna be in the hot spot of things this was awesome)!

El handstando:
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My new rock collection:
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Discovering Brazil…..or just posing like I did:
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Beach outside room:
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Levitating sand:
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Cheesy pose:
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Aprazivel restaurant in the treetops:
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Going up Sugarloaf Mt:
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Top of Sugarloaf:
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Fancy Fancy:
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Imhotep:
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I am a tree:
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Streets of Ouro Preto:
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Red art room at Imhotep:
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This picture looks like a space base on Mars:
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Balls:
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Met this dude named Jebus:
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Escadaria Selarón in Rio:
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Brazillian Coast Guard doing practice helicopter rescues right outside hotel balcony!IMG_0734

Rio is really pretty:
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Hardcore security at soccer game:
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Soccer game:
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View from Miramar Hotel on Copacabana Beach:
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Yoga dog!
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Big J overlooking the city:
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There was a comically large number of fire extinguishers everywhere we went in Brazil.  Especially in hotels:
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First class makes life better ;)
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You know it’s fancy when you have 3 forks and 3 knives:IMG_1059

Successful.  Passed out in United Lounge:IMG_1080

 

Random thoughts about Brazil:

  • Way cooler place than I expected.
  • Portuguese is a very pretty language.
  • People were all extremely friendly and nice.
  • Getting ripped off wasn’t a problem, everyone very honest.
  • I personally didn’t experience any of the high theft rates commonly heard of there.
  • Would totally go back!

 

LA, India, Japan

Hamma yamma.

I was out of town for about a month starting Dec. 29th, with a ski trip to Vail right before that.

It was Los Angeles for New Year’s, india for a few weeks, then Japan for 8 days.

Unfortunately I’m forgetful and won’t remember any of it, so I’ll post certain pictures here, and in the future when I see a few pics, all the memories will flood back!  Hooray for having a blog!

I’m literally making this post whilst at a SuperBowl party right now, so it’ll be kinda lame:

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Roots of this blog

I started NevBlog for one reason:

To track my finances.

In 2004 there were limited ways to do this, so the chronological order of a blog made the most sense.

So NevBlog was born.  You can see it here in all it’s glory thanks to the WaybackMachine!

http://web.archive.org/web/20050830024244/http://www.nevblog.com/

NevBlog then:Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 2.20.31 PM

 

NevBlog now:
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Through the magic of the internets, people somehow would stumble upon my blog and read it.  The blog was a side-project for fun and documentation.

Somewhere along the way business somehow got mixed up with it.  Which is fine, but moves the blog away from it’s roots.

I think in the next year I’ll be switching that up.  I’ve started posting kopywriting stuff on a different blog now: KopywritingKourse.com/blog

It’s still in the infant stages and will be changing a lot.  But it’ll be nice to separate this stuff from NevBlog stuff.

 

And I REAAALLLYYYY miss that little column on the original NevBlog where’d I’d track all my finances.  THAT was cool :-)

It feels good to be getting stuff done recently!

DAMN it feels good to be getting stuff done recently!!

I’m not saying I’m working a lot more than normal, but I’ve been gaining “momentum” once again (I scheduled my 2013 too lax, and barely got anything done).

There are literally days when I work at home and watch YouTube and read Digg the ENTIRE….ENTIRE….ENTIRE DAY.

It almost amazes me how I can waste that much time.
It’s almost…….impressive!

Anyhow, here’s some things I’ve done this year that have helped me get my mojo back, perhaps you can pick some lessons (my favorite is the last one):

1.) I took a Thailand Workcation.  
This was mixture of play and work.  But the main objective was:


“Do work, by a beach”.  

That was the motto of the trip:

2.) Scheduling creative writing times with other bloggers/entrepreneurs.  
Simply being around other people who are working towards similar things really helps.  On some Wednesdays I invite a couple people over to have “Creative Writing Time”.  The rules are you have to be WRITING something:

Here’s me, Noah Kagan, and Ryan Holiday in a pool (even thought it’s 50 degrees outside):

3.) Keeping accountable with other entrepreneur peeps.
My friend Billy from Forever Jobless and I are meeting with a select group of people every month, and the lessons learned are awesome.  It almost makes you wanna do a lot of stuff before each call.

4.) Co-working when I’m not being productive.  
Simply working around another person makes me more productive.  I dunno why, but it sure works!  I just call people up and see if they want to work.

5.) I put up a giant mirror in front of my workspace.  
Instead of a guitar sitting right there, I now see my monthly/quarterly goals staring me in the face.  Sure kicks me back into gear.

6.) Using Self Control App.
But I think one of my FAVORITE new things I’ve tried, is nuking the time-wasting sites I use.  I do this using Self-Control App.

I added a blacklist of: Digg.com, CNN.com, Facebook.com, and Reddit.com.

When I click the “start” button on SelfControlApp, I can no longer access those sites for a certain amount of time (I’ll generally put it for 5 hours).

However I can still access Gmail, Google Docs, Aweber and all the other useful things I use online:

So….. 
If you haven’t been all that productive lately, at least one of these might help push you in the right direction!

Have a happy Thursday :)
Neville – A very lazy man

P.S.  Oddly enough this Wednesday I spent from 7am till 7pm fiddling around with WordPress stuff.  I actually had a lot of fun doing it!

It reminded me of college when I took computer science classes (which I got kicked out of the first year) and would sit at a coffee shop with headphones in and work on my laptop till 6am.

It’s weird how THAT sounds fun to me!
#letsgetnerdy

Thailand workcation

Beautiful beaches….
Sunshine……
Perfect weather……..
“What’s the password to the wifi?!”

That’s how most of this trip I took with Noah went.

We took a two week “workcation” to Thailand.  Basically the idea was: Sit on a beach, do work.  

I’ve done it before and it’s a great way to work!

The only problem is you have to go with people who are ALSO under the impression they’re going on the trip mainly to work.  Otherwise they’ll drag you into traveling around all day (total 1st world problem).

Here was our trip Itinerary:

  • Flew from Austin to Houston to Japan (had AWESOME sushi), then into Bangkok for two days.
  • Took flight into Ko Samui and ended up staying there for a night (I loved the vibe of that island).
  • Took a ferry ride into Ko Tao, it was a backpacker kind of town.  Did some awesome scuba diving there (apparently it’s famous for that).
  • Took a long boat ride + bus to Krabi to hang out with Edmund (who we met through AppSumo).
  • We got setup with scooters, a secluded beach resort, a bungalow on the beach, and all the food & drinks we could order (all for $93 for 3 nights for BOTH people)!!  This part of the trip was so awesome.
  • Flew back to Bangkok for a few days.
  • (I’ll elaborate more with recommendations later when I’m not half-delirious writing this).

So anyhow, here’s a summary of the trip in pictures:

The first day on the beach on the Ko Samui island I made my goals so I could clearly work on a set number of things and not get too distracted:
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In Bangkok we totally randomly met up with Nomadic Matt.  In case you don’t know Matt’s site, he travels around the world and gives advice on where to eat/stay/travel.  In fact, every time I researched an island to stay on, I would Google the island with his website after it in order to get his recommendations, like:  “Ko Tao Nomadic Matt”.

Here’s Me, Matt, and Noah having a beer in a very westernized area of Bangkok:
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Thassalotaflights!  Something like 32 hours of travel time each way:
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We were greeted by a hologram in Japan:
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There were lots of stray dogs I played with…..good thing I’m fully vaccinated against rabies!
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Relaxing on Koh San Road (where all the backpackers hangout), waiting to get my foot massage:
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Know those “riots” going on in Bangkok?  We went to them, and they were very very peaceful.  It was more like a market or festival than a “riot”:
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To avoid the jet lag getting me the first night, I downed a couple of these “real” Red Bulls.  They’ve got some kick to them!
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ASIAN FOOD EVERYWHERE:thailand

 

This was us at 5:30am catching the SuperBowl at a nice hotel in Bangkok that had the game playing.  It was full of Americans (the very few other Americans we saw on the entire trip):
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Noah working diligently during the SuperBowl:
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Drinking custom-made fruit smoothies for about a dollar a piece:
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One of the “rioters” :-P
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Meow meow meow:
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Coconuts…..my FAVORITE:
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Ordering food on the beach while working in perfect weather:
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I REALLLLLLYYYY liked the vibe of Ko Samui.  Next I come to Thailand I’m going back.  It was touristy enough to where there were a lot of nice hotels and restaurants and things to do, but NOT so touristy it ruined the mood.  The water was so perfect and calm, you could walk in the water over a 100 meters and still stand up till your waist:
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Ko Samui:
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I had to put this in there so I remembered…..
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The guy who drove us to the airport had the sickest bus I’d ever seen!  It had huge subwoofers in the back, it was pimped out with gold mirrors and rims, and that sound system inside sounded amazing:
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Relaxing in the pimp bus:
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Headed out on a ferry to Ko Tao Island:
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Perfect breeze and weather for a ferry ride.  It was 100% foreigners:
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Cool scenery:
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Noah wore that Taco Shirt LITERALLY the whole trip except the last day!
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Lol…..Noah was messing with the hotel in Ko Tao when he booked, and said it was our “anniversary” so this is how we found our hotel room!!  Hahahahahah
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Lol….I walk in the hotel room to find Noah working from a bed of roses:
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In Ko Tao we met up with an AppSumo fan Edmund who owned a bunch of business in nearby Krabi (hotel, hostel, restaurant, travel agency), and he showed us around:
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Ko Tao was cool……but most of it was foreigners.  So you’d see scooters zipping everywhere, but it was all white people on them:
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Edmund scoring us some kebab skewers for a snack…..LOVED the cheap road-side food in Thailand.  Actually much prefer it to the nicer restaurants:
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Discovered a random Mui Thai gym in Ko Tao….it was all foreigners:
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Crossfit??!?!? In Koh Tao?!??!  Very random:
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This is how I woke up to work:
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Working early morning (still getting up at weird times with jet lag):
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THIS is what a workcation is supposed to be!!  Beach, good food, maybe beer, fast wifi, perfect weather.  It got even better later on into the trip because we weren’t even at a resort:
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All three of us working for a few hours:
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In Ko Tao there was this RANDOM ASS taco shop we stopped by, and it ended up having the BEST tacos I’ve ever had!  HIGHLY recommended:
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We ended up making friends with the owner, he was actually American!
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Of course you gotta get an off-road scooter:
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Scooter trip around the island:
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Parked and walked down some steps:
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….and found this random beach for locals:
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I brought my Martin Backpacker guitar and we played a few tunes on the beach (Edmund was formerly a rockstar the band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus):
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Great views that pictures don’t quite translate:
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Chilling and working:
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Working from a restaurant thingy on a cliff:
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View from the resort balcony where we were working:
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Dasch meow??
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Took a ferry outta Ko Tao:
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Sat in the “VIP” section of the bus there which no one knew about…..so for the same price as everyone else, we road in style in our own section of the bus!
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Arrive in Krabi…..this is the road we’d drive on everyday with those cool Avatar-looking mountains in the background:
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Here were the scooters we rented for our entire stay in Krabi…..TWO of them for less than $18 total.  Mine was the sky-blue one with random logos all over it.  Fortunately both me and Noah have our motorcycle licenses AND both have scooters back in Ausin, so we’re experienced.  But it doesn’t really matter over there, they’d give you a scooter in two seconds without asking if you know how to ride one!

Scooter crashes by tourists are so common, they call the road rash you get a “Thai Tattoo”:
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More coconuts for me!
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One of Edmunds businesses in Krabi was a hostel with a really cool vibe to it….so we spent time working from there:
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Noah took over job as bartender:
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Scooterizing:
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Lol…..this random poster on the wall of the hostel always cracked me up!
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This is at our bungalow on the beach in Krabi where we stayed a few days (which was AWESOME by the way).  One day I was shaving my beard, and decided to see what a goatee on me looks like:
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Scuba diving in Koh Tao:
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Doing a quick re-fresher of how to not die in the ocean before going scuba’ing in some world-famous waters:
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One of our dive locations:
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Before taking the plunge:
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IMMA SCUBA DIVER!
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Workcation scenes: Me working from a beach:
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Hammock’ing:
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Hammock and the “restaurant” area for the bungalows we stayed at.  There were just 4 locals who lived at the resort and did all the work/cooking.  So peaceful.  One day we saw a total of only 9 human beings:
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Chillaxing.  That weather was utterly perfect:
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Photos we HAD to take before leaving this beautiful location.  Me relaxing by the ocean:
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Noah chilling by the ocean.  The water was so warm and mild and non-wavy you could sit there comfortably:
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Aaaannddd of course I have to end off the album with a couple of Handstand pics!!
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By the way, the reason I do these “I just took a vacation, here are my photos posts” is for my own memory.  I forget EVERYTHING, but if I see a picture of the event I can recall it perfectly.

So this is my way of keeping this memory alive!

Hope you enjoyed the pics and got a sense of the workcation.

If you want to do your own workcation, based on our experience (of this trip and others), we know there’s some factors that affect this:

  • Have solid goals of what you want to get done during the trip, and tell others so you’re accountable.
  • Other people you go with should be on the same page of wanting to work at least 4-6 hours a day.
  • Don’t be moving so much….it disrupts the whole working and “resetting” process.
  • The goal of the trip is NOT to travel around and be a tourist….it’s to work. Of course there’s a mix of touristy stuff and sightseeing thrown in, but it needs to be a good balance.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol or party too late except on designated days.  This throws off the whole work schedule.
  • Having a perfect breeze, comfortable accommodations, fast internet, good local food, and preferably a beach nearby is optimal.

In the future we might do a workcation where we take a bunch of other people along with us.  Whatchya think?

Do your damn work

I wasted many-a-day postponing answering to every comment in this post, so finally I just recorded it the whole time.

This is about 4 hours of time condensed into a 1 minute.

Whilst answering the comments I researched random stuff, goofed off a bit (you can see I watch a YouTube video or two towards the end), and trudged through writing comments and emails.

When people say, “MAN I wish I could do what you do and work from wherever and still make money!!!!!” …..they don’t see the more boring side of it.

Show some fucking passion poster

Posted this on the blog, and two weeks later this randomly shows up in the mail!

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I love it!!

Happened to have a leftover frame that was the right size, and hung it up in my reading room:
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Thank you random poster people that sent it to me :-)

Guessing this is you??
http://gfda.myshopify.com/

Sincerely,
Neville

 

P.S.  I got to play with Google Glass (and take selfies of myself in them).  Cool technology, will pass on this 1st generation of them for now, but the 2nd and 3rd iterations will be AWESOME.

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about alcohol

I wanna talk about alcohol.   

I recently had a small “discovery” about myself which has drastically cut down on my alcohol consumption.

And just for fun, I’m going to write this email, whilst drinking a beer!
Cheers:
——————————————

So here’s how I’d normally drink alcohol:

IF I’m at a party….
–and–
IF they are serving alcohol…

I will normally drink.  

There’s no real rhyme or reason to this.  I’ll simply have a cocktail or beer out of habit.

Now my problem is I drink FAST.
If I have a drink in my hand (whether it’s a beer, martini, or CocaCola), I’ll keep taking sips until it’s finished.

When I’m done, I’ll get another.

I could finish three drinks before someone else finishes one, and not even realize it till it “hits me.”

I went to 9 weddings in 2012 alone, and I want to share with you a common theme:

1….) I would show up to the wedding reception where there’s always an open-bar starting around 7pm till dinner starts.

2….) I would load up on free drinks, and by dinner time, be kind of buzzed (let’s not use euphemistic words to hide the truth here ….I’d be kinda drunk by this time).

3….) Every drink I take lowers my ability to keep up conversation and be “sharp”…..so I’d be bit dull by the time dinner starts.

4….) Since I’ve been drinking, I’m SUPER hungry by dinner time, and I scarf down the meal and whatever leftovers I can get from others.

5….) So now I’m at a wedding, can barely stand up, feel bloated, have to take a huge dump, feeling cranky, and can no longer make witty conversation.  I just wanna leave at this point.

OK……so by the end of a wedding I’m feeling like crap all because I had too many drinks too fast in the beginning.

This was shockingly apparent to me when I was at a wedding in Cancun (the 4th wedding of that year).  I drank before the dinner started, then scarfed down three plates of food (they flew in a chef from Goa and the food was incredible)….and I felt so bloated and full that I had to go back to my hotel room to throw up.

I ate SO much food I literally couldn’t keep it down.

This was my body’s way of saying, “OK YOU DUMBASS YOU NEED TO SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.”

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that story until now.
It’s incredibly embarrassing.

SOoooo I ended up making a “Wedding routine” I started following with great success for the next round of weddings.  Perhaps you can use this advice for parties you go to:

1.) I would not have any drinks till AFTER dinner.  Because of this I could keep up great conversation and have a good time without an impending crash.

2.) I would only eat HALF the dinner portioned to me (to avoid feeling so full).

3.) Sometime late into the dinner or after, only if I felt like it, I would start having drinks with friends.  Having a few drinks helped me have more fun on the dance floor.  Several times I simply didn’t feel like drinking at this point because I was having a lot of fun and didn’t want/need any drinks.  It was liberating.

THAT’S IT.  That simple change of “only drinking after dinner” completely changed the outcome!!

Such a stupid little hack changed everything!!

Now that routine worked well for events like weddings, but I frequently go to tech meetups and events, and they’re often held at bars.

The WHOLE point of these is to meet other nerds and have cool conversations.  But with every drink I have, my intelligence goes down.

So one day I was talking with a shy-yet-incredibly-intelligent friend *cough cough* STEVE *cough cough*

….and we were talking about drinking habits.  He asked me one question which till this day I cannot get out of my mind.

This is almost verbatim what he said:

“I don’t understand why you drink.  You’re already outgoing, so why do you need alcohol?  I’m super quiet and nervous at parties, so if I have 1 or 2 drinks, it actually loosens me up and I have a better time.  So the alcohol serves a purpose for me.  But for you it doesn’t.”

–my friend Steve

HOLY FREAKIN CRAP.

I had never ONCE in my life asked the simple question:
Will this drink make my time here better or worse? 

This led me down this path of thinking about all the other hidden invisible scripts I (and others) follow in life.

Go to party with drinks —> You drink. 

Go to college —> Then get job. 

Party is invite only —> You can’t go

It seems that we all follow these invisible scripts for seemingly small things.

So remember in the beginning of this article I said “I’m going to write this email, whilst drinking a beer!”

That wasn’t a joke.
I am sitting on my couch with my Macbook Air and a Blue Moon beer on the table.

But here’s the thing…..
I was feeling lazy and un-creative before.  I was tickled by the idea of drinking a beer WHILE writing an article about drinking, so I did it.  And the beer served me.

Actually the beer isn’t near me anymore.  I only drank half and put it back in the fridge.  Because instead of following the script of “Have open beer —> Drink it”….I’m asking if the beer is serving me or not.

It served me when I started.  And now that I’m done, I don’t want anymore.

I’d like for you to identify one invisible script you do on your own, and how you’ve changed that behavior (or plan to).

I love hearing stories that have TINY changes that product BIG results (so I can emulate them).

I’m particularly interested to hear about changes in your relationship, work, or habits.

Leave a comment on my blog about them (you can remain anonymous or change your name if you’d like).  I will be selecting 5 commenters to send a NevBox to in the mail (anywhere in the world)! (remember each NevBox cost $97 and I have to physically ship it to you via snail mail…..and I’m no longer selling them).

So go comment with a SMALL change that’s produced BIG results for you, and I might be contacting you to send you a NevBox!!!