Welcome to February 2021. We survived the first month of 2021, and hopefully it's been awesome, it's been great, it's been productive. Now for this Free Fatty Friday, I want to focus on a mantra, a saying, essentially, a verbal totem that has inspired, motivated me through these past few months, these challenging times, and this saying this mantra is “do something that makes you harder to kill every single day”. Now this directness is not meant to be violent, morbid, crass, but really meant to clarifying, distill the truth and wake us up from the civilized modern comforts of today.

I think we've been used to relative abundance safety and now with a pandemic with different social unrest. I think a lot of us have thought about our own mortalities in much more of a serious way. And talking about making yourself harder to kill is a really nice crystallization, at least for myself to understand what's at stake and what's at stake is that we have limited time on this planet, this beautiful planet to create, to build, to spend time with people we care about and explore this very, very short experience that we all share, which is human life.

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So there are two directions I want to take with this Free Fatty Friday. One is to breakdown the three attributes of making yourself harder to kill that of course, making yourself physically harder to kill. And of course that makes sense as a physiology, human performance podcasts and company to making ourselves mentally harder to kill. And I think especially over the last year, mental health with people taking their own lives are really spiraling downwards. This is as serious of a chronic issue as our physical performance and health. And lastly the third attribute or vector of making ourselves harder to kill is our reputation, our business, our livelihood. So that's an important vector to think about those two different sub dimensions. And I also want to focus on a realization that I've seen in my personal life in terms of both health and in business, which is that the fact that you don't die often means and implies that you not just survive, but you really thrive. And let's start with that observation.

When you think about how people fail, whether it's their health fails, their mental health fails, their business life fails. It all has the same root cause, which is that they stopped, they died. Literally the business dies they've given up on their mental health or they give it up on their physical health or something has literally killed them. Right? A disease has killed someone or mental issues have overcome someone's mental resilience. And that has led to their death or an external, exogenous shock has destroyed a cashflow for a business or reputation, and that entity dies. So if you literally do not die over a long period of time, and you can incrementally improve either your physical health, mental health or business health that essentially implies growth, implies not just survival, but again, that thriving growth that we're all seeking for ourselves.

So I've seen this with physicality. I think so many of us just give up on making ourselves more resilient. We had a new year's resolution and it's hard to be consistent and we tap ourselves out. So every time I feel like giving up, I think back to this mantra, make myself harder to kill every single day. If I'm not training my body, improving my aerobic capacity, improving my strength, there's something else out there that would love to kill me. And I'm making it easier for that entity, whether that's a disease, a virus or another fellow bad person, hopefully not. Whether that's a virus, a disease, an accident, or a bad human being. The fact that I'm not making myself harder to kill is making it easier for someone to kill me. So again, this is a very crass, direct blunt language, but I think it's important to realize what again, what is at stake. If you're not making yourself harder to kill more resilient, to a physical shock, you're making the job easier for your enemies, your opponents, whether that's a virus or another human.

So that is useful from a motivational perspective for me, because it's not just, Oh, I feel tired today, or, Hey, I feel lazy today, or, Oh, I worked out really hard yesterday, so I can take a break today. It's making it a much bigger stake that imply much more importance here, which at least for myself is a useful motivation because I'm not just playing the game of today. I'm playing the game of the 50, 60, 70, 80, a 100 years and my family's years and my children's years, and my grandchildren's years that me being strong alert, clear creating and, and being around for my tribe and community. That is what is at stake, not just that single day.

And when you take this mentality in terms of your physicality and apply that to mental health. And again, how this as a mantra every single day,

I think that kind of strengthening of mind strengthening of will starts trickling throughout, across your entire mental health. Mental health is a massive problem, that's not going to be solved with my Free Fatty Friday conversation here. But what I'll speak to for this conversation is what I've seen as a common denominator for a lot of mental crisises are a mission or a meaning of that inspires or motivates that gets people out of the bed. And a lot of us and potentially very justifiably. So don't really have that purpose or meaning, or have lost that purpose and meaning. I mean, we've become much less religious, we've lost so much social ties, especially in a quarantine and lockdown where we're not spending time in proximity with our friends and family. When we've lost jobs, we've lost economic opportunities, there's nothing to work towards and I think it's very easy to be nihilistic. And it's very easy to be nihilists like very understandably so how it's how to be nihilistic. So again, this mantra of making yourself harder to kill every single day, if we succumb to those instincts of saying, Hey, this is all meaningless. This is all nihilistic, why you even bother? I think each time you think that thought you embed those neuron pathways to fire, that thought fire that thought, and as you keep firing the same neuron pathways, those synopsis gets stronger and stronger and stronger. And now you've trained your brain to automatically think about nihilism.

So that's why proactively saying, Hey, we must make ourselves harder to kill mentally more resilient every single day. You're building a positive feedback loop every single day. So just thinking, Hey, there are exogenous threats that are threatening my comfort my lifestyle, my friends, my family, my own physical health, my mental health. I think the statement of making yourself harder to kill every single day is a really nice and buffer that I've used to at least balance the negative thoughts and start encouraging more of those patterns of positive thoughts, and that oftentimes manifest into physical activity that is beneficial, exercise, yoga meditation, or it focuses that energy to a business or livelihood goals, right? So instead of letting the negative thoughts, come and accept it, and you have negative patterns of copping of anesthetics, drugs, etc., and advices. Why not channel that energy? It's going somewhere into either physical health or physical resilience or economic or livelihood resilience. And the third topic we'll talk about, which is how does the notion of making yourself harder to kill apply in an economic sense. And if for folks who have been following me for a while, I've been doing startups and been in Silicon Valley for over a decade.

And often times the overnight success stories where you see people making ridiculous amounts, exorbitant amounts of wealth. It's not luck, of course, there's a lot of fortunate circumstances that lead there, but it's not just an overnight success. There's so much blood, sweat, and tears, and literally just not dying for a long enough as a business to get to that magic moment.

And I've just seen so many businesses from friends who took downturns, how to pivot. And there's so many easy times, even with in the H.V.M.N. company lifespan where it was so easy to say, ah, this challenge, the supply chain, this marketing problem, this PR problem, this personnel problem, this investor problem or cashflow problem. It would had been so easy to just give up, throw in the towel and give. And maybe even as a project like this, I've been doing this podcast for years now. It would have been so easy to say, Hey, I've got too much stuff going on. I don't want to do this podcast anymore.

Now making myself harder to kill, especially in a business or podcast context means that if I just show up and keep practicing and keep putting myself out there and keep innovating on products and keep marketing and engaging with people, the fact that we're still here, 5, 6, 7 years down the line where so many others have fallen by the wayside where de facto one of the last few folks standing.

And that notion of just being in the room, being in the game is enough. If we're in the game, if you're in the game with me, everyone else gives up you're de facto going to win. So that's the important thing about not just making yourself harder to kill. It's not just about survival. The fact that you can survive, where everyone else drops around you, de facto means that you thrive. So that realization, that understanding of the dynamics of group dynamics of competition, of how history has played itself out, it's not often that you need to do something heroic to make yourself win. Oftentimes it's enough to just survive and let everyone else fall to the wayside so that you ultimately become the hero. So what I mean in a more simpler terms are, you don't really need it even do heroics to be a hero, you just need to survive to be a hero. And that realization and that understanding of make yourself harder to kill every single day has really inspired.

So I hope to leave it at that and inspire you to make yourself physically harder to kill every single day, Strengthen your mind, make your mind harder to defeat every single day. And then in terms of your economic or business livelihood, just keep trekking on. Don't let your business die because so many people can give up. And if you just have your reputation, your business on with the lights on and taking orders or taking business, or still making effort, and if everyone else around you, your competitors or people in your market, if they dropped to the wayside and you're the last man or woman standing, that's good enough because that's not just survival, that means yet you're only player left. And if you chose a good enough market or audience or topic area, you become the world expert, the leader of your niche area.

So let's all make ourselves harder to kill. That's the tribe I want to go to war with and build society and culture with. I think a lot of us need to have this resiliency, need to have this strength. We should not be afraid to talk about mortality or dreams or hopes and fighting off threats. I think in our very PC world, now it's weird, or again, crass to talk about mortality, about making ourselves stronger, more resilient, and that is something I'm okay to plant, my flag on and take haters on. I think it's important to say, Hey, we should be a little bit harder. We can't be so soft as a species, as a culture, as a society, we need to understand that life is limited. We have limited time and resources. And oftentimes what kills us is not necessarily an exogenous external force. It's oftentimes us giving up on ourselves.

So my takeaway point here is don't let yourself take yourself out of the game, force everything that has to go wrong, to take yourself out of the game, but keep fighting, stay in the fight. And when times are peaceful and calm, that's where you do training, that's where you adapt, that's where you strategize and make yourself harder to kill. And once you make it through the other side, you and I, we're all going to be thriving in the new awesome future that we're all going to be building together.

So this is my Free Fatty Friday. Hope that this is interesting, thought-provoking and give me your thoughts and feedback. Love to continue the conversation. You can reach me at podcast@hvmn.com or find me personally on Instagram or Twitter @geoffreywoo. Make yourself harder to kill every single day!

Geoff out! Thanks!