For some reason, I’ve always had the drive to “max out” every area of my life.
I saw life as a video game.
My mind, body, spirit, and finances were the abilities I had to gain experience in.
I wanted to become multidimensionally jacked.
Maybe because I started questioning the default path early.
Maybe because I noticed how unhappy, overweight, and miserable people seemed.
Maybe because I observed how people limited their opportunities by taking a specific path in life.
It didn’t make sense to follow what most people do, because that would create a life that most people have, and that isn’t pretty.
The problem with the default path in life is specialization, compartmentalization, and niching down.
We are trained to focus on one dot, instead of the lines that connect the dots.
In school, we learn biology, chemistry, math, literature, and more. We go to individual classes that don’t connect the dots between them all. It lacks holism, creativity, and the kind of practicality that gets abnormal results.
After school, we narrow our minds further on what we think we want to be for the rest of our lives.
We’re expected, as teenagers, to choose one of the infinite paths in life when we haven’t even started our real life. How can we know exactly what we want? There doesn’t seem to be a greater recipe for misery than to focus on one thing for the rest of your life.
This strips our curiosity and creativity from us.
It leads to a world where warriors lack brains and intellectuals lack balls.
A “philosopher” will ignore practical aspects of life because they are an intellectual. But the main question of philosophy is “How does one live a good life?” If a philosopher can’t build a business, ease their mind, or become a social savant, their philosophy means nothing.
Scientists will throw a frog in a blender to examine its parts. They will make a few discoveries, but not nearly as many if they studied holistically.
Rather than only looking at the pieces of a frog, you can study its environment, mating patterns, decision-making, and diet without ignoring one or the other.
The effects of compartmentalized learning destroy our individual potential.
The Modern Renaissance Man
At birth, we are prescribed a way of life.
Go to school, get a job, find a partner, try to squeeze in activities that make life good, retire at 65, and never work again when work is a necessary part of life that should involve investing our attention in what we deem enjoyable.
In school, we’re told to pick a major.
In business, we’re told to pick a niche.
So we neglect other areas of study and our results suffer.
Creativity is the path to wealth, mental and financial, and creativity requires a high level of understanding focused on solving specific problems.
We are smack in the middle of a second Golden Age.
There is so much information on the internet that it becomes overwhelming. There is no way that you can learn everything, but you can learn a lot.
People still live in a paradigm where they have to get very good at one thing, because in the past, that’s what the environment required for success.
Now, success is reserved for the value creator. The specialized generalist. The new Renaissance man. The Digital Renaissance Man. Somebody who can study diverse interests, create value from them, and sustain an enjoyable lifestyle like I teach in Digital Economics.
We live in interesting times.
There’s an abundance of information, but it’s only overwhelming to those without goals or intentions behind their learning.
The creator economy emerged and courses began condensing the information into actionable business models and life advice.
Content, courses, and books are like mental zip files for the modern world.
It no longer takes 4-12 years, $40,000, and a piece of paper to make a replaceable income.
But, this implies personal responsibility.
Nobody is there to hold your hand.
Here’s what you do:
1) I Am Nobody
Be a designer, writer, marketer, socializer, runner, bodybuilder, philosopher, scientist, psychologist, and polymath that knows how to sustain their obsessive curiosity.
Subscribing to one skill, ideology, or identity limits your potential in every situation.
The Universe is a shapeshifter. It is in constant flow. The oceans evaporate, condense in the clouds, rain down into puddles, and the water inevitably finds its way back.
Nothing is permanent.
Your cells are completely different from a few years ago. Your interests are allowed to change. Your mind is allowed to change. You are allowed to change.
Become the Universe.
2) The Curiosity Compass
As a kid, people would discourage “going through a phase.”
I had my emo phase, my gym bro phase, and even my raver phase. All of which have shaped who I am.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with experimentation. There is absolutely something wrong with conforming to the whims of others.
Prescriptions, roadmaps, and long curriculums are not bad, but they narrow your mind on a specific outcome with specific advice to reach that goal.
This is useful, but should not be treated as a one-and-done type of deal. That’s how you get trapped in a miserable life.
There is one pattern I’ve noticed both in myself and those I aspire to be like:
They don’t limit what they learn to one thing.
By pursuing what you are curious about, not only are you motivated to learn, but pattern recognition increases good dopamine and solidifies high-level knowledge.
“Focus on one thing” is great advice, but only if that one thing is a big, meaty, meaningful goal that requires you to focus on a plethora of interests, skills, and experiences to achieve.
My “shiny object syndrome” in business is what led to my online persona today. My branding, content, and products are all a unique culmination of my skills and interests.
It is wise to become obsessively curious about a topic, skill, or interest for 1-2 months to add it to your mental toolbox. This will only increase your awareness of opportunities as you experience life.
When you niche down (for too long, or too far) you become a glorified search engine that lacks depth and personality.
If you want to share your curiosities in public (in a way that brings career opportunities and fulfillment) check out 2 Hour Writer.
3) Invest In Your Education
In this life, you own one thing: your mind.
Everything else can be taken away from you.
There is one thing that the school system did get right which is consistent, daily education in hopes for a better future.
But, schools don’t prioritize curiosity, so most people hate learning by the time they graduate.
Learning is the foundation of the human experience.
Hammer it into your head that you must be learning something, anything, every single day. No matter if it’s for 10 minutes or 3 hours, your future depends on it.
How else are you going to discover new opportunities if you don’t first learn about them? How are you going to act on opportunities that don’t exist to you?
When you stop learning, your life stops progressing. You stop growing. The psychological benefits and feel-good chemicals stop flowing. Life gets mediocre and repetitive. You become mechanical and robotic.
We’ve talked about learning a lot, but learning means nothing without building.
Become A Builder
In my new book The Art Of Focus (coming soon) I have a section on the philosophy of the builder.
One pattern I’ve noticed in my life is that I’ve always carved out time to build something of my own.
School work, client work, and projects assigned to me at a job were necessary but didn’t get me the fulfillment I was looking for.
My life was the meta-project that was built through a series of personal and business projects.
Projects frame your attention for learning.
When your focus is centered on that which you are building, all information you are exposed to is filtered through that lens.
The source of learning is struggle not memorization. You must encounter a problem, discover the solution to that problem, and integrate it into your life.
To identify a problem, you need a goal.
To solve a problem, you need to create a solution.
To create a solution, you need a project to invest your attention in for the next 1-6 months.
When I say project, I mean something that is measurable and documented. It doesn’t have to be a physical product.
It can be as simple as having a weight training log, tracking your food, tracking your weight, and researching fitness information to boost your progress.
Let’s start there.
1) Big Irrational Goals, Small Rational Steps
Big goals are better than small goals because they give you the vision, motivation, and long-term focus necessary to see them through.
I get more excited about building a million-dollar business in 1 year than I do sending 10 networking DMs a day.
I get more excited over looking shredded at the beach this summer than I do meal prepping for the week.
To embark on your journey of becoming multidimensionally jacked, create a big goal for the main pillars of your life.
- Mind – How do you want to handle emotions and stress? Do you want to have the same mediocre mindset as everyone else?
- Body – How do you want to look and feel? How does that impact other areas of your life (like how others perceive you and throw opportunities at you)?
- Spirit – Do you feel like life lacks meaning, wonder, and fulfillment? Do you feel like life is happening to you, or that you are flowing with life?
- Business – How much money do you want to make? Why? Do you want that money to come from a purposeful endeavor, unlike 90% of jobs?
I would highly encourage that you spend 10-20 minutes writing about this in a journal. How do those impact your life?
The problem is that people stop here.
They mentally masturbate over their goals and never make any meaningful progress toward them.
2) Outline A Project For Each Domain Of Life
The goal is the what, the vision is the why, and the project is the how.
Now that we have vision and motivation for our big goals, we need to gain clarity.
Projects have a goal, process, and priority actions to knock out on a daily basis.
What can you do every single day that will move the needle toward your goals?
What aspects of your goals do you need to educate yourself on to make better decisions?
How can you document your progress in a way that keeps you motivated to come back tomorrow?
In the notebook you used to write down your goals, create a simple project for each goal:
- The milestones – Write down tangible milestones with realistic timelines.
- The variables – Write out each variable that will help you achieve the goal (for health: nutrition, training, sleep. for business: product, traffic generation, content)
- The principles – The priority actions that will move the needle forward.
- The skills – The skills you will have to acquire to actualize that goal.
This brings even more clarity to changing your life.
3) Start, Then Learn
If you want to learn faster, don’t start learning.
- Outline a project
- Start building it out
- Learn along the way
Too many people get trapped in tutorial hell, stacking up useless knowledge as brain fog.
Start, encounter a problem, and experiment with different techniques to solve that problem.
When I was learning Photoshop, I would try to learn everything about the software before starting.
When I did start, I felt like I knew absolutely nothing.
I had to supplement with specific tutorials and “create with me” videos until I figured out how to create what I wanted.
What I realized is that there is more than 1 way to solve a problem.
If I wanted to remove the background behind something as complex as a tree, I could either do it with the pen tool, color channels, color range, or quick select.
Quick select would be what everyone does, and it often leads to the worst results.
Keep this in mind when you are researching anything.
If anyone can solve the problem with easily accessible information, there is probably a better way of doing it that will give you an edge over your competition.
Now, I don’t want to make it seem like you should never learn unless you have a problem.
Quite the opposite.
I would highly encourage a general education habit.
10-30 minutes every single day immersing yourself in information related to your goals.
Watch a YouTube video that interests you. Buy a best-selling book. Queue a podcast for your next walk (and start going on walks… I promise you won’t keep up with this education habit if you don’t get out of your house. Too many distractions).
4) Lifestyle Design Through Habit Formation
The difference between you and who you want to become is the habits that compose your lifestyle.
Think about it.
Do mentally, physically, or financially jacked people just wake up with the best mind, body, and business one day?
Or do they have tiny actions they take on a daily basis that maintains their progress and builds toward a better future?
Most people will tell you to stop playing video games, going out, and distracting yourself… I agree, but I don’t.
I still play video games here and there. Maybe 5 hours a week.
I still go out with friends and stay up late. Maybe 2-5 times a month.
The reason I still outpace 99% of people is that I frontload my mornings with needle-moving tasks.
Between 5am and 11am I:
- Go on a run 3-4 days a week
- Write my newsletter and content for 1 hour (this sustains 95% of my business… remember, principles).
- Build out a new project, right now it’s my book launch and software company
- Hit the gym 6-7 days a week
- Take walks in between all of those activities
- Cook nutrient-dense meals that take 10-15 minutes to prepare (and eat out for dinner quite a bit – I’m hovering around 4500 calories a day)
I know not everyone can do this due to time constraints, but neither could I in the past.
As you get results from your efforts, you become more efficient at what you do. Time will free up (since that should be a sub-goal for almost every goal you set… it’s a great way of measuring progress).
When in doubt:
Waking up an hour earlier unlocks the distraction-free time that will solve most of your problems.
That’s it for this one my friends.
To the multidimensionally jacked,
– Dan Koe