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Keeping on keeping on.

Perseverance. Discipline. Self-control,call it what you like, but the ability to stick with something throughout all the ups and downs, through the passionate jungle lands and long treks through the dry deserts of pure hard work, is a special skill.

Gary Vaynerchuk calls it his hustle.
Nike uses the slogan “Just Do It”.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s all about keeping your head down, shoulder to the grind stone and nose in the dirt.

It’s about Action.
About Grit.

But remaining focussed and committed and to maintain the belief that your plans will succeed is one of the primary factors for success. It’s also one of the things I seem to struggle with the most.

I feel like I have a ton of potential (I love and hate this word), I have dreams and things I see myself being able to achieve. And I get that it’s hard for everyone – if it was easy we wouldn’t be drawn to the GaryVees of the world, because we’d all be getting it right anyway.

It’s frustrating though. This is more a rant than a 5 steps to making your hustle work. Honestly, I’m not sure how to. I have all the theoretical knowledge – at the very least, enough to get started – but somehow somewhere I just can’t or don’t. My head goes blank whenever I have free time, but when I’m busy, then it’s filled with all the cool things I could or should be doing.

I’ve got Trello boards filled with ideas. And cool shit I want to do. Overload and too many ideas is probably a real issue here. Busy-ness too. Distraction for the sake of distraction.

And Fear.

Fear of losing. Fearing of success. A whole lot of fear. There’s a thousand reasons why not. I’m doing my best to push through it – but the noises are loud. The excuses many. And the distractions innumerous.

Our minds are weird things. What I long for the most, I seem to do everything to avoid achieving. Every little issue that I could formulate to stop myself getting somewhere I will. It’s annoyingly frustrating.

I’m determined to get there, but it’s really hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes.

I think through all the struggling and reading and listening to podcasts, talking to friends, thinking and watching others succeed and how they did it, I’m starting to formulate some kind of a way forward. Some way to hack my way to the surface.

I know I said this isn’t a 5 steps post, but maybe it is..

I think the keys points are :

1. Work hard and smart. Cliche I know. But for me, I’m always “working” but really I’m usually not. I’m distracting myself with something. Often times it’s aimlessly scrolling through facebook. Or going through newsletters and clicking interesting posts that I’ll probably never read because I open too many and then save them all to Pocket or Evernote in the hopes that one day I’ll go through them but never do.

So I need to start working. Actually working. On something. Anything. Even if it’s scary.

This means planning or giving myself a task. That’s important – preparing my mind for work. Just sitting down and then going ok I need to work here’s the work let’s go never really works. At best I end up writing about it (queue this post) at worst I end up lost in my Facebook news feed hitting refresh in the hopes I’ll be entertained.

2. Treat everything as an experiment. That way if you fail, it’s not really failing – it’s simply data that can be taken and used to rinse repeat. Success is the same – data. Rinse repeat- see what I’ve done right or wrong and how I can make it better.

What I can use to make it work for me. Because otherwise, honestly both ‘success’ and ‘failure’ can be a trap that leads to stagnation, which is failure. As with most things in life, annoyingly, we’re always moving. Either it’s positive or it’s negative but it’s almost never still.

3. Break the work into smaller pieces. The big tasks always overwhelm. I end up staring at it for 10minutes then checking Facebook and remembering 30min later that I was actually doing something. Especially if it’s something new or hard or that I’m not 100% comfortable with.

Breaking things into bite-sizable bits helps me be able to figure out in my head exactly what I need to do then get on and do it. It creates small actionable bits for each piece of the work. Solve one piece then move on to the next. Rinse repeat and soon the project is done. Elephants and single bites and all that.

Sometimes what happens is that I don’t break things down small enough, and so I end starting something and then not getting anywhere – so what helps is whenever you start a task, see if it can be broken down further – and rinse-repeat this until you can knock off each task easily and gather a nice momentum through the work.

4. Plan everything. This ties heavily into #3. The only way you’ll be able to break a project down into actionable bits is by taking a few minutes out to plan. I’m always the most productive when I plan first. Planning gives me a good overview of what I need to achieve overall, it makes sure that I haven’t missed anything and then it allows me to break the project into smaller tasks and catch anything that I might need to consider or plan for down the road.

5. Focus. Focus is insanely important to achieving anything. It’s the ability to keep on at a task or project without being distracted by all the miriad distractions that abound – especially when your work depends on being so heavily connected. Always online, always available. This is where a good plan goes a long way. Knowing what you want to achieve and how you’re going to go about doing it is a fantastic way to encourage focus and discourage procrastination.

6. Get Started. Just Do It. The Art of The Start. Hustle. All the gurus are saying it. It’s the hardest part – just get going. Just start. Just do the fucking thing. Why is it so scary? All the reasons above – fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of well pick something and it’ll jump in and distract. Simply get started.

I’ve found the best way to start is to define what you want to achieve. Set your goal. Any goal. If you don’t know where you want to end up – then at least decide where you want to be in a month. Define what you want to achieve – it’ll probably change anyway – but get it down. Then using planning, break it down into smaller chunks, and as I’ve said above-  it makes it less scary, gives you something to focus on now. Something achievable. And something that ties into a bigger picture. It’s your roadmap. You’re paving the road as you go, but in the back of your head you know where you’re going.

These are some of the tools I’ve used -and I’ve found really helps with getting me onto a project and productive quickly. There’s almost definitely a few more.

I know them and yet they’re still so difficult to use. Usually it’s because I think of something rad, get scared then forget the process and don’t get anywhere – so having it here written down will hopefully serve as a much needed reminder.

And hopefully it’ll help you to get going on whatever dreams and goals and side projects you have in your heart to do.

Focus and the Beast.

There is a lot to be said for focus. The ability to focus on a singular goal can help one achieve some amazing things.

I’ve been growing a theory that indecision is the leading factor that keeps me from achieving my dreams. That and laziness. Actually not laziness, but fear. And maybe a bit of lazy. Although it’s not lazy.. it’s lack of belief that I can achieve what I set out to.. But they’re all tied together I think.

Indecision leads to inaction. Which leads to, well, nothing. It leads to maintaining the status quo. The easy way out is also the quickest way to land yourself in a dead-end.

One of my favourite authors and life hackers, Tim Ferriss has stated that he believes it is possible to become world-class at something within 6 months – so twice a year. Simply through focus and finding the quick gains.

And it’s these 3 things that tend to leave me in mediocrity.
Indecision. Inaction. Fear.

I always feel like I suck at getting things done. I struggle with focus. My focus seems shit at the best of times, but I’m beginning to learn how to hack periods of concentration back into my life.

The thing is I don’t lack at all in having ideas or goals. Vision maybe a little- but again that’s more because of a lack of believing I can achieve what I set out to. Lack of self-confidence really.

As a result of knowing there’s an issue, I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about how to fix it. I’ve also tried to look at what’s worked for me in the past. And I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to focus when I have a clear picture in my head of where I’m going, what I need to do to get there and the task I need to do right now.

Unfortunately more often than not – it’s deciding those 3 things that proves incredibly difficult, but when I spend the time figuring it out, it really helps pull whatever I’m working on from an idea and closer to reality and having that purpose and a defined idea of what to do now and what comes next really creates a space for focus. That and tackling one thing at a time, which is a whole other kettle of fish…


I’m so meta right now.

tl;dr I need to write, therefore I’m writing. About writing.

I need to write. Which is the primary reason I’m writing now, today. Writing about writing. How very meta of me.

I set out in August to create a piece of content every day. This post will mark my 7th written piece. I’ve created some Snapchat content almost every day, and a Twitter video. I’ve made a weird Beme video – honestly, I don’t know that I like it. It feels… weird.

But, I think I’ve missed a day or two, which kinda sucks.

So far I think it’s the fear more than anything.. I have this weird fear of writing. To write, I need a topic (Or like tonight, I don’t), and there’s this strange fear. No, not fear. Anxiety. This this strange anxiety around finding or at least accepting a topic. I suppose it’s almost that once I accept a topic to write about – I then need to embrace it. I don’t want to fuck it up or sound silly or come across ignorant. I’m still at that place where I fear societal backlash if I say something stupid – which is in itself stupid because the number of people reading what I write is so small and 99% are friends who tend to be very nice and encouraging about it all (thanks guys).

But.. in the back of my head I know I need to write something. Anything. And the irony is that as soon as I sit down to write the words come. I’m pretty opinionated and know a bit about a bunch of stuff, so I never really struggle to write about something once I’ve chosen the topic. But still, anxiety.

And it’s that anxiety, and kinda possibly just not feeling like it that leaves me writing my posts usually around midnight, starting just before so that the created date still comes in on the day. But, that’s also meant that a few times I’m simply too tired to write anything, and end up writing something like this..

What happens when I fall asleep writing
This is what happens when I fall asleep writing…

But that’s the moany part. I figure it needed addressing. I really want to finish the month strong. I have a bunch of stuff I’d like to write about – but I also know a few of them will take time which I need to make time for, but everything pays a price.

Writing this means that either I’m going to go to bed later or I need to fill in my expense slips another day. And they’re kinda piling up.

But this writing thing is good. I’m starting to be aware of what I want to write each day. I’ve been thinking about things more and it’s pushing me to read again (which is only ever a good thing).

I really want to do some vlogs. I’m looking forward to messing about with some video editing, but also just getting some videos out. That scares me on a different level, though. Mostly because it’s me. On a screen. Talking and shit. What will you people think!? And more importantly – what will I say?

On the vlogging, I think I’m really just not sure what to do. I mean I could do a bit of a standard vlog journal thing, or do more of a technical tutorial vibe. Arguably I should do both. The experience will do me good. I don’t know – you guys have any tips or advice? Pushing little videos to my Snapchat daily journal thing has been fun – but one can’t say much in 10s, and it disappears so quickly – I’d like something with a little more permeance – even if it’s simply so that I can go back and look through things, and build up a bit of an archive. I think that’ll be a rad thing to have.

While we’re on Snapchat – I really really like the text-overs and how they handle Emoji. It looks like they’re going to start bringing in image overlays too (if GaryVee’s vids are anything to go by) which will be very cool. Why is no one else doing this? I wish I could record a video or take a pic on Whatsapp or Instagram and easily be able to overlay text or scribble some silliness on it. Would be rad.

Ok well that’s it – and my first official ‘journal’ entry.

Chat again soon my lovelies.


The price of choice

Choices are expensive.

And not just because of opportunity cost, but because of the impact that making a choice has on us.

That’s why discipline is so hard. Or any kind of change where we aren’t being driven by passion or some form of natural motivation.

We are creatures of habit. And once we’re headed in a direction it’s very hard to change it.

That’s why trying to make changes outside of our norms is so taxing on the mind. I’ve always found it hard to illicit change in myself. Even when it’s something I really really want to see happen, the energy only lasts so long before it runs out.

As an illustration, I’ve been focussed on weight loss and fitness for the last four years. It’s been an up and down road. 

Over the years, a few things have settled as habits, but I’ve also found it harder and harder to remain focused on eating right. 

And honestly, I’ve always found that focusing on exercising was a lot easier than focusing on eating, and I think I know why. 

Exercising is an active thing. Once I do it I always feel better, it feels like I’m proactively changing, and so I think it’s a lot easier to keep motivated with it. Eating, on the other hand, is very passive. There are some immediate impacts of eating healthily over not (less chance of feeling bloated, etc) but generally it doesn’t feel very active. 

Additionally, I think the main issues boil down the to the number of decisions one needs to make for each.

When exercising it’s really a matter of deciding when to exercise and what to do. And typically it’s three to four times a week. 

Eating on the other hand is deciding what to have, and that includes remembering what you can and can’t eat as well as usually having to make (or pre-make) food, three times a day, six to seven days a week (if you’ve got a cheat day). And it’s not just three times a day, but it’s also repeatedly choosing not to indulge that chocolate or pasta craving, and that typically happens a lot more than just at eating times.

So, in summary, where exercising requires you to make the right choice maybe 8 times in a week, with eating it’s upwards of 50. And all those choices tire out the brain and willpower. 

The other side of it is that the more you make the right choice, the easier it is the next time, and so, arguably, making 50 right choices in a week means it should set in as a habit a fair amount quicker than the 8-odd times with exercising. 

Thankfully, though, there are tools one can use that reduces the day-to-day choices and makes it a lot easier to instigate change consistently.

A bit more on that next time.


Productivity Hack: #1. Facebook’s

tl;dr Facebook’s domain is a great distraction-free way to use Messenger.

I have all the chats.
Seriously. All of them.

Skype, Google Chat, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Slack, Slack, Whatsapp, iOS Messenger and Twitter (DMs & replies). I communicate with clients, business partners and mentors on any bunch of these channels every day. And that’s not including a handful of email accounts, trello, jira, asana and Google Doc collaborations.

Most of these are pretty passive. They don’t get in your way until someone wants to talk to you and most of the time answering one message doesn’t pull you into the dark depth vortex of endless distraction. That is all except that damned beautiful Facebook Messenger.

Chatting within Facebook on web with those little widget windows is DISTRACTING man. All too often I’d switch to the FB tab for a quick reply to a message when I’d inadvertently see something interesting in my news feed and 3 hours later I’m like – “oh crap! I was doing something.”

But Messenger is also arguably the only chat app that provides a consistent experience across all platforms, and as a result is the platform of choice for one of my closest friends with whom I speak the most frequently (and a lot of business).

Because of the productivity hit we’ve tried a bunch of different options, Slack, Whatsapp, Google Chat, but we’ve kept coming back to Messenger. And here’s why – it’s the only network I know of that is available everywhere. It’s pretty stable, has voice messages, relatively good quality voip or video messages, image & doc sharing, et al. But the environment it lives in is damned distracting.

So, my only real option was to keep on looking for a way to use messenger without the inevitable time-suck vortex of Facebook distractions.

Solution 1:’s full Messenger view.
My first solution, which worked quite well for me for a while, was to open Facebook in full Messenger view.


Click to enlarge.

Here’s how: In on the web, click the messenger icon in the top bar and then the see all link. This will present you with all your chats, without any of the distracting newsfeed, however you’ll still see your notifications on your ‘world’ icon.



This was a decent enough solution, but having the notifications and other facebook chrome in view can still get distracting.

Solution 2, and my current chosen win:
Probably about 2 months ago, Facebook launched – a webapp dedicated just to messenger, no facebook notifications, no newsfeed, just messenger. It’s like the iphone app, just bigger.

If you haven’t checked it out, yet, you can at, especially if, like me, you’re looking for that productivity push, without losing access to messenger.

Purpose breeds potential

tl;dr purpose, by its nature, imbues its bearer with potential. (can I get a hoo-rah?)

I was sitting in the steam room one morning at my local VA, after my usual 3km run and single-exercise heavy weight session, when it came to me, like a gorilla.. I’m going to stop before I get any cheesier.


having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.

latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success  or usefulness.


I can’t actually remember what I was doing when this dawned (probably driving, I have many of my epiphanies behind the wheel), but I know I was thinking about the value I’ve found from setting goals. And how just the act of setting a goal almost immediately predestines you to some level of success. 

On a base level this is immediately obvious. You cannot really experience success if you don’t have something to measure it against.

So by simply giving a oneself a purpose, you open up the world of potential. Without that purpose, you’d probably just carry on your day-to-day without any need to change.

Now, I’m not even talking HUGE goals. Obviously the bigger the goal the greater the chance for success and achievement, but even something small and simple – like the one driving this post – “I’d like to produce some kind of content every day for the month of August” has already seen me reaping rewards and getting excited for what lies ahead –  and I’m only 4 days in.

So hammering on that goals thing again – but by simply setting a goal (purpose), you create this space to fill with change and progression.

That’s zero to 100 with one simple step. As far as life-hacks go, I think this one is pretty awesome. The fantastic thing about it is even if you fail at the goal – your starting point was zero, so any improvement is a success. For example, if you’re a couch potato and you set a goal to lose 10kg in 3 months, but because change is hard and you like your noms, you only lose 5kg – or 1kg or even if you don’t lose anything at all, the really important thing is you’ve moved towards change. You’ve set your eyes beyond your immediate shadow, and set yourself on the road to success – you’ve increased your potential and that’s an empowered place to be.

Give it a go – what area would you like to see yourself growing in? Why not, set a goal, and give it a try.

My dirty ‘d’-word.

tl;dr Discipline is a bitch. Get on that shit early.

I’ve been thinking about discipline a lot lately.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’d have realised that it’s a bit of a recurring theme lately.

I think it was late last year when I came to the awkward epiphany that the one thing I’d been running away from most of my young life and is now quite lacking, is the one skill I could damn well use right now.

Discipline. Yeah, that old chestnut. 

As a kid, I remember my father trying desperately to instill a sense of discipline into me. Mostly he used the “brute-force” method – with a belt. Now before you go crying about it to your oversensitive sensibilities, hidings were a celebrated means of discipline back in the day and had their merits.

That said, I saw discipline as everything I didn’t want to do getting in the way of everything I did. Discipline was a dirty word, and not in a good way. I felt it was everything stopping me from being ‘free’, from really enjoying life. I mean who wants to learn the value of mowing the lawn when you could be playing games at the mall or vegging in front of the telly watching Empire Records for the hundredth time?

For me, discipline was a pain in the arse and I did everything I possibly could to avoid it.

Oh, what an idiot I was.

Flash forward 20-odd years and all of a sudden I’m lamenting the free-spirited child of yesteryear with all his frivolous whims and afternoons spent rollerblading in the driveway.

I wish I’d just hunkered down and did the hard stuff, because all of a sudden I’ve realised discipline IS the ONLY way to achieve true freedom – the freedom to do what you want without getting in your own way.

There are so many things I want to achieve (my list of ‘this’ll be so awesome, let’s do it’ is maybe a little too long). And yet I find that no matter how much I wish and want and hanker after that Men’s Health look for summer, the Nosh bar next to the teller invariably wins out. Or the couch over the gym. Or the next super rad awesome cool series over learning to actually play guitar, paint more or write.

Thankfully we have passion, but passion usually runs out just that little bit too soon. Just before we get to the place where we’re hitting the “ooooh this is rad, I’m so glad I did it” phase, passion invariably goes “ok, I think you’ve got it from here, I’m off to the Bahamas” and dumps you on your fat ass, nosh bar in hand watching the latest Game of Thrones.


And so this year after crying in my beer for a few days, I realised I should probably get on with beating my body into submission (BDSM, self-flagellation whip in hand) and focus on instilling a little bit of discipline into my life.

I’m now about half-way through the year, and to be brutally honest, I’m not quite sure how I’m doing. Discipline has got a lot to do with perseverance. And probably the only thing I’ve really persevered at is attempting to get more discipline – which isn’t a bad thing, but I’m a little worried that I haven’t really stuck it through on all the wonderful things I’ve been attempting to be disciplined at.

But it’s not all thorns and teardrops. I’ve seen a modicum of success across a few things, albeit up-and-down across them all – but the positive thing here is that I suppose this is the journey. The weird thing about perseverance is that you simply shouldn’t give up and you have it. Get up one more time than you fall down I think the adage goes.

So far I’ve more or less gymed at least 8 times each month this year, I’ve also maintained some sort of focus on my weight-loss goals- even if it’s not exactly going fantastically. I’ve sorta kinda kept reading and have some semblance of a morning routine going. And I think the most important thing is I feel like I’m gaining more control over my life and my future.

And honestly that’s a win for me and I’m amped to see what the next part of the year holds.

Is the dirty-d something you struggle with? I’d love to hear what you’re doing or done to push through the laziness and get more.

In the eye of the beholder.

Author Note: I wrote this a few years ago on my side project. Reposted it here, because I like it and want to consolidate the things I like under one roof. Have made a few edits here and there.
Repost from 

tl;dr an essay on beauty.

Whenever I think of beauty, I’m reminded of that scene from FightClub where Edward Norton fucks up that guy, because he felt like destroying something beautiful.

Strangely, the visual impact of that iconic fight left me not able to look at Jared again in the same way for a very long time. It even impacted how I enjoyed 30 Seconds to Mars (until they did this). Beauty, whether unblemished or destructed has the ability to impact us in a profound way.

Beauty is a strange construct. Sometimes it can be sickening, pulling us to destroy it. A sappy, weak thing, that calls a rage from us that we never knew was there. Other times it can make us cry, overwhelmed by whatever our own personal mix of beauty is.

There is beauty in so many things. There is beauty in destruction. In pain. In a field of flowers. In a breath. There is beauty in my little girl as she sleeps. In a duck perched on top of a pole, the rising dawn as it’s backdrop. In the graffiti someone painted all over the carriage on the train I took into work this morning.

When you think about it, beauty tends to conjure up thoughts of peace and serenity. A quiet calm. It’s sublime. Demur. And yet it is these qualities that allows it to persist in the most unexpected of places. Beauty is subjective. I’m certain my personal brand of ‘beautiful’ is very different to yours. For me, it’s got to be a little fucked up. A little twisted. Decidedly tilted. It’s Yolandi Vi$$er. It’s Kat von D. It’s Fight Club. It’s graffitied trains. It’s metal like this. It’s Mix n Blend’s Oppi mix. It’s pretty much all my Pinterest posts.

It’s not ballet; It is thistattooed girls, underoath and a song by fun.

We may think that destruction is the enemy of beauty. But there is beauty in destruction. The degeneration can be something amazing. It all boils down to our point of view. I honestly think the antithesis of beauty isn’t destruction, it is apathy. We let life pass us by, absorbing but never adding to it, simply perpetuating the 9-5 40hr a week syndrome, as we scramble to pay off our debt, pay our rent and somehow pay for our procreation to go to school and get an education so that they, too, can rinse-repeat the cycle.

Modern society is stuck in a mundane existence. I find myself living vicariously through movies, in music and through those people around me that have managed to buck the system and throw themselves into being beautiful. I want to be beautiful. I want to be known for creating beauty. Instead I’m stuck in a 40hr a week job, doing tiny tweaks on the same thing every day.  Ad nauseam. It’s not that I’m not grateful. I get to spend my 120hour months in a pretty cool office. And I get to make something. But it’s not inspired. It’s not interesting. It’s not beautiful.

My outlook on life is decidedly alternative. It’s different, but even in difference it falls into a predefined set of rules. My brand of uniqueness has just been cloned from everyone else’s. I love that I’m not a commercial being. I like to tell myself I’m not one of the Bieber, Lady Gaga or Parlatone-loving non-thinkers out there. I’m not another one of the mindless many. But the truth is, I am. I may not like Bieber, but I’m a sucker for my iPhone. I buy Vida. I like my DCs and my Von Zippers. I want a Nixon watch. Or maybe a Tag Heuer. I only get tattoos at guys that do awesome work. And one day, when my 40hour work weeks pay off, and I’m no longer over my head in debt, and when I finally break out of this middle-class holding cell, I really want to buy a Ferrari. Why am I any different? I like metal and dubstep. I have dreads. My tattoos are innapropriate in most corporate jobs. I wear sneakers and a hoodie to work. But I’m still a slave to the suck. I like to think my one saving grace is that I’m aware. I know that I’m stuck and in my mind’s eye, I’m clawing my way out.

But my pessimistic side seems to say this might be our truth… Hope. That light at the end of our tunnel. Is there really a way out? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, pondering on what allows us to escape. There are a few answers, I think. The truest and most obvious is to find a way to climb out; To be your own champion, and somehow through shear will and lack of fear, create a different reality. And there aren’t many who do this, but those that do, achieve wealth and we presume happiness. What seems to be a more achievable goal is to redefine what escaping means. I think it’s in no longer worrying about the light at the top of the climb, in finding peace and our success in our family, friends and the things we can do outside of our offices. In that, there lies an alluring glimmer that seems to say “accept your fate, and find happiness elsewhere”.

But there in lies our apathy. The lie inside the half-truth. It’s learning to both love life now – live fully;  connect deeply – and continue to strive to free ourselves from this suck. It’s a unique meld of the scramble and the considered. And it’s about creating beauty.

It’s something that I need to realise. We can all create beauty. We can all learn to really, deeply, share our lives with our families and friends. We can all find something that inspires us to be great, and dive into it. We need to learn to enjoy life. Share it with our family. Leave the 9-5 at the office and be present. We need to throw off the corporate stagnation and create something beautiful. And we need to learn to scramble.

I have realised I’m on a mission to create something beautiful. And then to do it again. And again. My rinse-repeat needs to be in creating beauty; not boredom. It’s creating a brightness where there is something dull. And I urge you to join me. The world is fucked up. Our middle class utopian dream is a nightmare. We’re over our heads in debt, working too many hours doing godawful jobs. It’s time we start creating again. Whatever that may mean to you.

I dare you to be beautiful.