Jordan's bed made

A Day In The Life: August 12, 2014 Edition

This is a follow-up post to Fear And Self Loathing In Las Vegas Part 2.

I got a few worried texts from friends. Thinking I might be about to Robin Williams myself.

Consider that the before shot. Here is the after.

I want to do a post like this periodically to update how I’m living. What routines, tools, habits, etc that I’m using. I wanted to write this 2 weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until I felt confident that some of these things had stuck.

I’m going to skip all the psychology on this post regarding why I think I finally made a change in my life. It’s still too soon. Too raw. Maybe in a year or two I can look back with some reflective competence and speak about it. Right now my hypothesis is that forcing self awareness and really confronting myself caused a shift. Maybe it’s just random though.

Enter my daily routine. Continue reading

Fight Club | Freedom Evolved

Fear And Self Loathing In Las Vegas | Part 2 | A Day In The Life: Early-Mid 2014

I’m really scared to post this. For the past 5 years (since I formally left school and haven’t HAD to wake up for anything) my general lifestyle could only be described as: neurotic, erratic, insane, difficult to predict.

As a solo entrepreneur, who lives on his own, and has virtually zero time specific commitments in his life (woe is me, I know). It’s been very difficult to make myself get out of bed.

For years, I’ve slept when I can’t stay awake anymore and woke up whenever I woke up. This “natural rhythm” method seems sensible, until you look at how it played out in reality.

Being massively overstimulated with electronic devices, caffeine, nicotine, stress, and anxiety every single day. My sleep schedule didn’t fall on a predictable track. There were plenty of weeks/months when it was sleep 12 hours, be awake 12 hours (and tired the entire time). Then other times when it was awake 20 hours, sleep 12 hours. Sometimes I didn’t sleep much and did some accidental polyphasic sleeping.

This had a ton of negative byproducts in my life.

Imagine: It’s Tuesday. You ask me to get lunch Wednesday. I will get extremely nervous and uncomfortable and make an excuse as to why I can’t. Not because I don’t want to get lunch with you, but because sometimes for me lunch happens at 1am. The thought of committing to a specific time that’s more than an hour from now is actually something that stresses me out.

That is insane.

Add onto this nutritional problems. I spent a lot of days without sunlight. Had weird appetite. Would miss meals and then massively overeat. Completely irregular meal times. No forethought about what I would eat meant that I would make all of my eating decisions when I was absolutely starving. Note: this is a bad idea.

I got fat. Really fat. I peaked at 320 lbs.

This whole monstrosity became a continuous downward spiral. The worse things got, the more apathetic I became. The more apathetic I became, the worse things got.

I started to become anti-social. Thinking I could worry about a social life once I got my fatness, sleep, and perpetual anxiety under control. Every new problem in life got rationalized out as being a a sub problem of one of these top level problems.

Things that didn’t normally happen to me, started happening. 

I got extremely depressed. I ruined some relationships I had. Everything suffered.  My interest in things like watching TV and eating fast food increased dramatically. They were cheap ways to feel OK, despite the long term costs.

Oh by the way. I’m not talking about something that happened to me years ago that I overcame. I mean, I’m talking about last month. Last week.

I gradually became more painfully aware day to day of the toll this was taking on my life.

My business declined to 50% of what it used to be, and my bank account started hurting. My sex drive was extremely low. I was only having sex with my girlfriend about once per week. I wasn’t even masturbating at all. Not because of #NOBNOM. I just didn’t have the sexual desire to.

Putting on socks became a challenge that would leave me out of breath for several minutes after accomplishing it. It became difficult to wipe my own ass. I’d get heartburn every day. Bad heartburn. Everything hurt me, like if someone would pinch me, it hurt really bad for a while (muscle fascia problems). The zipper on 3 pairs of my favorite jeans broke in the span of one month because I’d outgrown them. My skin would break out like I was in high school again (I think because of stress/poor diet/poor hygiene).

The one thing I can say is that I didn’t consider killing myself. It’s too soon for a Robin Williams joke, so don’t even ask!

I finally hit rock bottom. There wasn’t a cataclysmic event that set me off or anything. Enough things just piled up day by day, month by month that finally I hit a breaking point.

One evening last month I got mad. Really, really mad. I was mad at myself. Sitting and reflecting on what my life had become. How I got to where I was and such. I like to do that sometimes. But on this occasion, I focused on how the parts I didn’t like about life.

I locked myself in the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and had a conversation with myself for a few hours. This was therapeutic. If you’re struggling in life, you should do it.

I got so furious during this self talk that I really just wanted to beat the crap out of myself. How could I let all of this happen? Why was I such a lazy/whiney bitch; always running to Wendy’s to get a burger because that’s the only fun thing to do in my life?

Why couldn’t I be a real man? Make decisions and follow through with them?

I didn’t pull any punches. I went for the throat. Nothing was off limits.

By the end of the conversation I had lost all respect for myself. Every shred of dignity that I had was utterly destroyed.

This was freedom.

Note: I’m not a schizophrenic or anything. I think everyone keeps two sets of books. This was a struggle between my ideal self and my lower self.

Why couldn’t I change?

Because it didn’t hurt bad enough. 

And then it did. 

-Jordan Laubaugh
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Las Vegas, Nevada

Fear And Self Loathing In Las Vegas | Part 1 | The Girl & The Pho

5:10 PM PST, A Few Weeks Ago On A Monday, Pho Saigon 8, Las Vegas, NV

Enter Jordan. Hungry and eager for some savory pho. My host/waiter silently directs me to a solitary table against the wall, as had become our weekly routine. He knows my order by heart.

“Numba Fifteen Large? Thai Tea? You want boba, no boba? Extra Meatball.” He confirms before I speak.

“Yes, #15 large. Thai tea, no boba. Extra meatball.” I recite to ensure proper pho-munication.

We both nod in mutual pho-nderstanding as I hand him my menu.

With the logistics of our meeting decided he scurries away and I have 5-7 minutes to wait before a steaming bowl of happiness will arrive at my table.

pho

There is another piece of intel that you’ll need to appreciate my little story… Sitting directly across from me, 1 table removed, facing me, is a very cute girl. Continue reading

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The Hustler’s Ego

Everything they told you about ego is wrong. Your ego may have trouble accepting that. If it does,  I’m right.

Ego is used to describe all sorts of things that have nothing to do with the ego. When someone describes a person as having a big ego or being egotistical, they are saying that the person has an overly inflated sense of self. Anyone who is self absorbed, narcissistic, or conceited gets labeled as egotistic. This definition of ego is false. It’s just lazy linguistics.

For this psycho analysis, it’s better to stick with Freud. From his studies, discovering the ID, Ego, and SuperEgo, it’s safe to say that my presentation of ego has some scientific backing. Though I haven’t rigorously studied it. I just have one special benefit that comes with my understanding of ego. It actually works in real life. Continue reading

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How To Be The Coolest Guy In The Bar

Introduction

12:33 AM, Green Mango Club, Koh Samui, Thailand

Loud music is interrupting what would otherwise be the shocking silence of my new life. For 3 months now I’ve been out of my country, in a strange solitude, the road my single and constant companion.

I’m not sure why I’m here. Vacation? Mini-Retirement? Some desperate attempt to find meaning and fulfillment?

Why am I so unhappy? 

At 22, I’ve officially “made it.” I’ve built my own business from zero, and now it’s doing quite well. It provides a comfortable monthly income and, being entirely internet based, allows me to travel & live anywhere in the world. Despite this, I find myself utterly depressed.

When you think you should be happy, but you’re not, you end up miserable.  Continue reading

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How To Bootstrap Any Business Idea

My hope is that this post will save some real hustlers a lot of time. Deep down, I think plenty of people have “good ideas” but most people never take even the first step towards executing on them.

That being said, 99% of the ones that do make the first step, make the wrong first step, and after going down the wrong path, they fail for long enough, then they quit.

My philosophy is that, as soon as you have a product that people give you money for, that’s a business. It isn’t necessarily a good business, it might not be sustainable, or stable. But it’s there. It is a business.

So the first thing I always ask myself when I have a new idea is, “would someone pay for this?” Continue reading

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Why I Don’t Consume Stimulants On A Regular Basis

This scene with Chandler in Friends pretty much sums up my view on smoking (and all other stimulants).

That hilarious nugget being unearthed and shared notwithstanding. I recently stopped all of my addictions to stimulants (stimulants meaning caffeine, adderall, nicotine, etc. Anything with a stimulant in it). This was easy for caffeine, and I never really used adderall regularly, I just mention it because it’s such a commonly used stimulant. Nicotine was harder just because of the triggers, but I’ve pretty much kicked that too.

Now here’s why. Continue reading

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The Build It Before You Need It Strategy

I heard this line from Keith Ferrazzi while he was talking with Gary Vaynerchuk in this video while he was answering a question from an audience member about scrambling to get results on social media during the closing days of some contest (mostly irrelevant to this article). But it triggered a thought in my brain, and reminded me of something I said a while ago. That 53 people have now watched.

The advice was basically, “your situation is a good example of why you build it before you need it.” I’d never really heard someone put it quite that way and as soon as I did it opened a whirlwind of thoughts, which then made me write this post.

This was something that I actually realized for myself about 6 months ago. I knew that I needed to be hustling my fucking face off on social media and building a community around myself, but I wasn’t totally sure why. More importantly, I always struggled to come up with content because I didn’t have an end game. I didn’t have a book to sell, or a product to move, or some big ask to convert on. Continue reading

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How to Travel the World for Less Than it Costs to be Poor in America

I am writing this post so that I have it to reference in the future. A lot of my friends may read this and say “yeah duh.” Most of my friends these days are frequent travelers. It’s easy for any of us to forget what it felt like before we got out and saw the world. Most people who are stuck in their ways really have no clue that the types of things I’ll be discussing on this site even exist. When I mention the things I do in my normal life, jaws often drop. The other party often leaves with a palpable air of disbelief, as if they are thinking, “there has to be more to the story than he’s letting on. It’s not that simple.”

Sorry, it IS that simple.

The view from the balcony of my private room in Vang Vieng, Laos. Double bed, A/C, hot water, fridge, $9/night.

The view from the balcony of my private room in Vang Vieng, Laos. Double bed, A/C, hot water, fridge, $9/night. Read my Vang Vieng post for more details

Have you ever wished that you could travel all over the world? This post is for you. Here is a no B.S. guide to your first major world travel experience.

It is a lot easier than you might think. For me it was like having sex: after I did it for the first time I thought, “Why the hell did I wait so long? This is the coolest thing ever!” And I haven’t quit either activity since.

But I think going places is way way better than that. I mean anyone can have sex, and most people do at least once in their lifetime. Less than 1% of people will ever truly experience the joys of extended world travel.

Continue reading

Mountains in Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng, Laos: Southeast Asia’s Still Kind of Hidden Backpackers Haven

Getting to Vang Vieng.

In Vang Vieng, there is a feeling of remoteness that overwhelmed my American spirit. First, I flew 12,000 miles to the other side of the planet to land in Thailand. Then a month later I took 2 more flights (from Koh Samui to Bangkok and Bangkok to Vientiane). After 2 days in the very strange (to me) Vientiane, I boarded a bus that looked like something out of 1972.

The drive was very deliberate. Through the city at first, then it gradually becomes less of a city. The buildings go from very crowded to normal, to a bit of space, to more space, to much more space, to no buildings. Every so often we hit a village and cruised on through.  Continue reading