This is a Capstone Project from a member within The Guardian Academy (TGA). A Capstone is one of the requirements for a member to complete if they wish to ascend to the final tier of TGA, Guardian. In his Capstone, Joseph (Wolf Pup #29) shares an exploration of the singularly most powerful lesson he’s learned in TGA. How slowing down has revealed the truths in his past, present, and future, to uncover how he plays his own infinite game.
Have a read through and if you were able to gain a new perspective from his knowledge be sure to share with him. You can check out the “Resource” section at the bottom for links to be able to further connect with him and or read more about TGA Capstone Projects.
Slowing Down Reveals Your True Self
“Restraint is the number one word in the Champion’s Vocabulary.” – Dr. Jeff Spencer
I leaned back in my chair.
Dr. Jeff Spencer’s voice gradually sifted into the background as he continued to talk about the Champion’s Mind.
I felt a buzz up my spine and a thousand and one ideas collided together. Thoughts from my past, thoughts from the present, ideas about the future.
The warm tingly feeling of epiphany.
It’s been over 2 years since first hearing those words. Though the first time I heard them I knew they were significant, it’s still taken this whole time to fully integrate them with my life, to understand what “restraint” really means, and why it’s so important.
“Restraint” (slowing down) is a guiding light in The Guardian Academy. To even get in, you must slow down and wait. Certainly to have the opportunity to ascend to Guardian, a process which has taken me effectively a year and a half to accomplish, one must wait.
And while we can see the need for it in the context of The Guardian Academy, to fully understand it in my life has taken time. Taken time sitting with open loops. Relearning ideas. Applying. Discovering the truth within myself.
Slowing Down is a powerful concept, but I believe unless you experience it within your own life, the idea remains ephemeral. You only see it when you can observe what has happened after you have slowed down. Until you apply Restraint to your life regularly you can hardly feel it … it’s like a slippery fish of an idea.
Like you’re trying to feel the absence of something.
Yet my experience has revealed to me that Restraint – that Slowing Down – is THE KEY to revealing my true self. How I play my own game.
Slowing Down has become a process of actually FEELING that absence created when showing Restraint. Like embracing as a fuzzy blanket the uncomfortable sensation of keeping a loop open.
Dr Jeff will tell you that we each have unique gifts which define ourselves, and discovering those gifts is important because that is how we live lives of significance.
To NOT discover our gifts, to NOT discover who we truly are, to NOT embrace these things is to NOT live a life of purpose.
And taking that path is a sad one indeed, for we fail to embrace the joy of all that is given to us by the living world, and we fail to give to others that which we are uniquely capable.
Who Am I? And ancient stories …
My name is Joseph Robertson. This is my Capstone to become Guardian in The Guardian Academy. I am a father of 4 (my first child born mere days ago, as I write, finishing this Capstone). Husband to an amazing woman and mother. I care deeply for others, for the earth, and for tapping into the deep understanding that makes each of us uniquely special.
You’ll see in this telling, the stories I share here, that I reference work I do … as a copywriter, a coffee connoisseur, a photographer, an entrepreneur. Turns out, I am all those things when I am doing them. But mostly I am someone driven to help people connect with the deepest thread within themselves, to share that with the world and help others through those gifts.
I was speaking with a mentor recently. We were talking about raising children in modern life. I told him a story of ancient times, which I will reflect in a moment …
But I came to a point which I realized years ago, but never fully integrated within myself. That I think there are 3 important things every child, young adult, and adult can figure out which will bring them a life of fulfillment and happiness.
Who you truly are.
What lights your fire.
How you can use that fire effectively to live in this world.
AND, that the path to figuring these three things out involves creation.
“That’s it,” he said.
“That’s your mission in life. Help people do that. Nothing else is more important.”
What’s missing now? Why doesn’t this happen? Why don’t we all learn this as we grow?
There was a time when society was built to help you discover and live your greatest gifts.
They were structured around the major transitions in life. Grief was a beautiful thing to be honored. And many other magical aspects which reveal layers of our humanity that have long been beaten down and scarred over by modern western life.
Our lives now do not have these structures. There are few systems or communities which actively help people discover their true self and find their place in the world.
I discovered, in Slowing Down, in showing Restraint, hidden doors in my Past, in my Present, and in my Future, which have revealed those truths for myself.
I believe each of us has the answers in us.
And I believe if you can welcome and embrace Restraint – embrace Slowing Down – you too will see the hidden doors, and unlock magical powers within yourself.
The Ancient Cultures
If you study the ancient cultures of the world, like the Mayans, you’ll discover that they had very structured societies.
In these societies, there were rituals. You knew your place. You knew where you were going. And each transition of your life, you likely participated in or experienced a ritual which drew you along.
Transitions like becoming a man. Like Marriage. Like having children. Like becoming a leader. Every point you further integrated with the community, with the culture, with the society. They all marked major shifts in your life where you now acted and were treated differently.
The magic of these cultures is in the gift they gave to the humanity of their people.
The gift of knowing who you really are, of discovering your greatest gifts which light your fire in life, and of understanding how you and your gifts can fit positively into the world.
THIS gift is nearly non-existent in society today, where we live in a culture of consumption rather than creation.
I feel blessed to be conscious of these transition points now, as I have stepped deliberately into marriage and becoming a father with my own rituals. Celebrating my own grief for the aspects of my life which I have been leaving, and embracing with joy the new era of my life I now get to experience.
Now as far as the Mayans …
I am not allowed to tell their story further here. It’s not my place to do so.
But there is a different story I want to share, because it’s one which reflects often how we see and feel about ourselves in life.
It’s a story which many use as a foundation of storytelling because it reflects our life journey and growth so well (at least, as far as we feel about it).
A Story From Long Ago
This is also a story from long long ago.
It goes like this.
A boy is orphaned and goes to live on a farm with his aunt and uncle.
He grows up this way, not knowing the world he came from, because when he went to the farm, he was a baby.
But, he’s got this feeling.
He keeps looking away from the farm, at the world he could be a part of.
He feels stuck where he is.
Working. Chores. Hardly having time for his hobbies or to hang out with his friends.
He has to sneak away to do that.
He daydreams about escaping his mundane life, going on adventures, and making a real difference for everyone else.
His Uncle especially tries hard to keep him from discovering the worlds out there which seem to be waiting for him.
One day, he comes across two strange new friends.
They lead him away from the farm. Not too far, it’s still land he is somewhat familiar with, he just doesn’t dare go there much. There’s mystery to this adventure. It feels auspicious.
Here he runs into an old man he’d heard rumors of.
The old man tells him fascinating mystical stories about the worlds he feels drawn to.
The old man who apparently knew his father.
If you’re feeling a tickle of recognition …
It’s because this is Star Wars.
And this story structure is popular – it’s The Hero’s Journey.
It’s popular because it mirrors our own lives … or at least, how we feel about our own lives.
So looking at The Hero’s Journey through Luke’s story now can help us understand the flow of our own life.
The Hero’s Journey has a typical pattern.
A person living a regular life (who is often dissatisfied by that life), has a particular experience which calls them to adventure. They decide to part with their world, they discover a mentor (sometimes, as is the case in Star Wars, the mentor instigates the parting), they go on an adventure, they nearly fail (or sometimes fully fail), but if they persist, they succeed, and return to their old world a new person.
There’s an element to The Hero’s Journey that almost always gets glossed over.
But it’s The Most Important element, which is necessary for The Hero to come full circle.
And in discovering this, you’ll see the KEY to unlocking your own Hero’s Journey.
Let’s go back to Star Wars.
Luke Skywalker, who all his life has lived on his Uncle’s farm on Tatooine, in one fell stroke is introduced to his past, has his present swept away from him, and is given the opportunity to embrace a new future …
A future he only ever dreamed about.
Obi-Wan Kanobi becomes his mentor and takes him on this grand adventure.
Along the way, he encounters struggle. His mentor perishes (though he is still with him), he discovers a new mentor and fights against his demons.
Ultimately by the end he triumphs over evil, becomes a Jedi, and returns to his home world a new person.
What are we missing?
In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke rapidly and progressively embraces his new practice and life becoming a Jedi.
But he makes a mistake.
He feels the power he now has available, he sees his friends in trouble, and he rushes through his training to confront the evil he believes he must defeat.
He leaves his training, his new master on Dagobah, to wield his new power as best he can, believing he must do everything in his ability NOW.
This nearly destroys him.
He loses his hand.
He is crushed.
Because of this he is forced to slow down. To regroup.
He returns to Dagobah. He embraces his training yet again, this time with the intent of complete understanding.
In The Return of the Jedi, what we don’t overtly see is in slowing down, he was able to embrace his true self. He was able to then play his own game.
When he finally faces not only Darth Vader again, but The Emperor, in the end you see him embracing and expressing his true self and playing HIS game, not theirs.
He refuses to strike down his enemy and throws away his weapon.
This act of embracing his true self inspires Vader to do the same in the last moments of his life.
The real lesson of The Hero’s Journey?
You can only become your full self by slowing down and embracing who you truly are, learning how to play your own game.
Yes, The Hero’s Journey is about self-discovery, but the WAY of self-discovery is frequently glossed over.
Because it’s boring.
It’s a process of making contact with reality, of repetition.
As Randy Massengale, in the CCA would say, you need Frequency, Intensity, and Purpose to discover. It takes time and focused intent.
In the stories and movies, these transitions get turned into training montages and you don’t really get to understand WHY that’s the turning point which reveals the hero’s true self.
But if you don’t do this, if the character in the story doesn’t do this, you rush into the arms of defeat, and doom yourself to repeat the mistakes of the past (Luke would have just become Vader all over again).
In my own journey slowing down, I’ve discovered how to unearth the pieces necessary for me to unlock and embrace my true self. To play my own game.
Slowing Down is the key to opening these doors, the reward is the gift of infinite full life.
I’m sharing these stories today in the hopes someone else can discover these doors, and the important keys to SELF which you can find behind each.
We’ll journey through my past, present, and future, so that I can show you all that is possible.
By the end, you’ll see how Slowing Down not only can bring you to your true self, but can help you tap into each and every one of these key fundamentals.
Self Mastery, Crystal Balls, and Demons
Here we venture into my Past, Present, and Future to see what truths Slowing Down has revealed.
The past is critically important. It’s in the past where I’ve been able to observe myself within the deepest understanding of who I truly am. The patterns and tendencies which reveal my undeniable nature.
The past is necessary for revealing my true self and figuring out how to play my own game.
But in order to get to the past, I had to start in the present …
The Present: Slowing Down and Self Mastery
In one of Huberman’s podcasts, on productivity, he mentions that it actually takes something like 7 minutes to get into focus, to get into flow, when you sit down to do work. So one shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t happen immediately.
What’s interesting for myself is that this was NOT a revelation. I could have looked back and observed this.
My day almost always begins by sitting down to write. And that’s not always the smoothest process.
I queue up my word processor, have whatever prompt or idea ready for me to jam on, and then …
Well, hopefully I write a lot.
Looking back what I also observed was that often, when trying to sit down and focus, if it didn’t happen immediately (because I felt like I had to gogogo), I would “get sidetracked” (embarrassing to look back and observe how often I said “fuck it, I can’t do this right now” and distracted myself with something else).
Hell, I still have days where I do this from time to time. But it’s easier to notice what’s happening and why and to take a moment to step back and let the RUSH pass.
Since allowing Huberman’s words to be my permission to just stop. Wait. And then go. I’ve discovered it’s FAR easier to get in and do the work.
There’s a power in KNOWING the process will get you there, even if you don’t feel it in the moment … that knowing turns the uncertainty inherent in the emotions into certainty of what’s beyond a veil.
I still get that feeling of not being able to get into it all, of not being able to start and push things forward … but I’m more conscious now, and when I do feel that need to push I can say Stop. Wait. Let it happen.
This has been another significant positive impact, which was more easily revealed during my Easy Dopamine Fast experiment – but when I let it be OK that I’m doing NOTHING (it’s not really nothing), I can get into focus REALLY fast.
It’s not 7 minutes.
I sit, let go of the tension of needing to make something happen, release the push to go, embrace slowing down, and suddenly the engine starts running.
(And perhaps even more fascinating, is that knowing this, embracing this, I STILL have times when I struggle with the urge to rush. Such is being human.)
It’s OK to Slow Down and Write
Simply by slowing down and allowing things to come to me, I’ve been able to recently come to clarity, or perhaps finally accept, one of the key ways I play my own game – the way I write.
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
– Flannery O’Conner
After writing and having The Real Cost of Dopamine published, I got a door opened for me. (To be clear, I wrote that article out of my own need to explore the idea, and because I figured it would be helpful. The same goes for this one, although as I went through iterations, I discovered I was writing my capstone).
I quickly realized, being tapped into a captive audience, I could (and SHOULD – danger word) write more, publish more, and direct people to my business and build an audience, and make lots of money, and blah blah blah.
After all, the scenario I’m in right now isn’t quite where I want to be (or is it? Hint: it is, I just again couldn’t quite see it), so I “must” need to take advantage of this to grow and expand and gogogo.
Of course, this feeling, this experience, didn’t manifest in myself so clearly that I could see at the time that need to push and go and make something happen.
There are still haunted clouds of my experience in entrepreneurship which lead me to feel like I must seize an opportunity when it is presented to me.
Part of what was motivating this desire was a feeling I needed more clients or different clients, or clients who paid me more, or a position where I knew it was easy to pick up new or more work if I needed it.
Right now I work essentially as a freelance copywriter (though my work always goes much deeper than “copywriter”), and my solvable problem has me getting my business to a specific state in the next couple years (there is an income and time-spent goal).
I started immediately digging into my own business, to try to work on how to make the most out of the situation, to capitalize, to gain what I could, and to strike while the iron was hot.
And then I had a call with Lukas Resheske (and a few other copywriters, the call instigated by my desire to make something happen), and Lukas said to me (paraphrasing) “Don’t take this the wrong way, but we’ve had this conversation over and over. You frequently loop on this and come back to the same spot. So the problem isn’t what you think it is.“
(I have historically always felt like I need to do “more” and even in my conscious embrace of Slowing Down, I can still slip back into that Human Mindset)
We stepped back, and stepped back.
In the spirit of Dan Nicholson, Lukas aimed for a problem which did not have a preferential solution, but rather a prescriptive one, if necessary (after all, he can’t tell me what to do with a preferential problem, that’s up to me to decide).
He asked me a very simple question “Are you ok? If all your clients left you, would you be ok?”
If my answer was ‘yes,’ then I didn’t need to do ANYTHING, and I should stop all of what I was doing (slow down, restraint).
If my answer was ‘no,’ then I needed to stop what I was doing and solve that specific problem first (again, slow down, restraint).
“Now that’s something we can be specific about.”
Turns out most people in my position (freelance copywriter to be specific) really just need like 6-12 months of runway available to feel comfortable enough … that is, if they lost all their work, they could survive exactly as they are living now for 6-12 months, and be certain in that timeframe to replace the lost work.
He went on to point out that no matter what, I’m best served by stopping, slowing down, and in my specific case solving the problem of getting more runway underneath me, which is something I can do from exactly where I’m at right now.
Here’s the real revelation from this whole exercise.
Not only does slowing down reveal the best path for me …
But it also lifted the entire weight of believing I needed to go fast and do more.
AND after that weight was lifted, I discovered something fascinating, and in retrospect something which should have been obvious.
Playing My Own Game
I discovered that I was RESISTING my own game because I thought it was wrong, bad, or a distraction.
Or maybe I was lazy and didn’t want to do the work.
But when I slowed down and realized where my strengths lie, and where my best work comes from ….
And started leaning into that something happened.
I discovered this not long into a flow/focus writing session.
I was diving down a rabbit hole of chaining ideas, subjects, tangents, and related concepts, which I realized I HAD to go deep into elaborating on.
And all of a sudden, like a fog lifting, what I needed to do became crystal clear.
I realized THIS is where I thrive, and my best work emerges.
This kind of thing right here, where I write and explore my ideas and within my writing the real way I am thinking emerges.
I can interact with my thoughts. I can discover the webs of ideas and understanding which make up the reality around which I am understanding.
I can find and tell the stories which encapsulate all the different ideas better than just “explaining” ever could.
The kind of writing which is LONG, which can take many many pages, or emails, or articles, or books. Which can take months or years to fully complete.
The kind of writing that supposedly no one has the attention or inclination to read.
The kind of writing which is about deep rich real life and which helps you tap into deeper understanding. Not superficially designed to make you feel something you don’t already feel or know within yourself.
It took me a long time to figure this out because my natural interests and passions seem to run counter to the image I see every other “marketer” or “copywriter” present. The way it’s “supposed” to be done.
I have a hard time self-promoting.
I don’t like to brag.
I don’t like to trick people into thinking I’m bigger or better than I am.
I certainly outright refuse to make things up or inflate what I’m doing to sound good.
And I don’t like to try to convince people of anything.
I used to think I just needed to grow into it.
But the more I do, the more I realize this fundamental …
Maintaining Contact With Reality
I don’t need to become someone I’m not. I just need contact with reality to discover how my fire fits into the world.
Rather than try to make claims, I’d just like to point to the work I’ve done and say, “hey, look at that.” And it becomes rapidly easier to do the good work and find people to work with the more I actually work.
I haven’t always had successful projects, but ultimately the failure has been in poor alignment with expectations, not in the results produced.
I discovered I work more effectively when I’m leading people instead of trying to make or convince them to do stuff.
One of my Bumpers is that I won’t “try to convince people of anything.” Another is I won’t “require a specific outcome.”
This might sound odd coming from a copywriter …
But what I’ve discovered through actual contact with reality is if you lead people into a place where their next decision is the obvious next best choice for THEM (like buying a thing), tipping the dominoes in the long term is MUCH easier.
I end up creating highly effective environments where no convincing is needed.
And when I approach my work without the expectation of a specific outcome (rather understanding that it’s a process of opening doors and moving closer to what we really want), I can arrive to the end result much more effectively and much more quickly than I thought possible.
When I started embracing this is how I work best, and started working with my clients in this way, I’ve seen the following happen:
One client completely changed his life. He went from doing 50 cold sales calls a day, hating his work, having maybe 2 successful calls a week, to only having 1-2 calls a day, all of them being successful sales calls, and more importantly, he’s happy now.
For another client, we actually doubled their short-term (90 day) conversion rate. But we weren’t even aiming for this because their service is a sale which takes a long time for people to come to – they are a Yoga Academy in Thailand, so their main in-person courses (1-2 month long retreats) are deeply involved purchases, where it often takes people 2-3 years to buy.
Life as a Student: Adaptive vs Prescriptive
When I slowed down, I realized that the work I’ve done which is most effective is dealing in deep fundamentals. It involves digging through layers of understanding by writing, and discovering emerging ideas which connect dots I thought were disparate or even didn’t realize existed.
At my heart, I am an Adaptive problem solver. I can’t NOT see the adaptive paths in nearly every problem I work with.
But for years I was confronted with the idea that I had to solve specific problems in a specific way. That my role was prescriptive.
I ate the pill that deep and long-form content doesn’t work, that I can’t dig into people’s philosophical and spiritual perspective on life in order to create effective outcomes for business.
And so I resisted. Thinking I needed to be simpler and more “on the surface” in order to be successful. Essentially, that I needed to focus on prescriptive problems.
Write a landing page to convert as high as possible. Write an email to get as many clicks as possible.
But slowing down and making more consistent contact with reality showed me this is not correct. Slowing down revealed MORE to me the adaptive problem in all of these scenarios, and how I can’t approach my work without consideration for these complex dynamics.
Now a client comes to me and says “I want to get more people clicking through from our email,” instead of telling them the best ways to get a higher click through rate on their emails I ask “why?”
Slowing down revealed, when I embrace this longer deeper process which fires me up, which is counter to what I see most people preaching, which “seems” like a bad idea, that I actually connect with, resonate, and find wildly greater success, getting me far closer to my goals than anything else I’ve ever done, faster than I ever thought possible.
In The Guardian Academy, when you embrace Restraint, build systems that have the least risk, require the least effort, and provide the most options will result in your outcome slower than you’d like … but faster than you ever thought possible.
As I write this, I’m still very much building contact with reality.
In fact, it was revealed to me as I wrote (and I feel like I should have known this … perhaps I did, and my words simply unraveled the understanding for me), but “building contact with reality” never ends.
I have always learned best by doing.
My process and my game is a LONG one.
Every email I write, every series I launch, every person I work with and help adds to the context and understanding of what I do, and how I help people most effectively.
I’ve discovered that the process of my work creates the real result, which is emergent magical clarity.
This is embracing life as a student. Always learning. Life is growth through phases of stress and release, creation and discovery of what that creation means.
In client work, usually the most immediate discovery is much more intense emotional bond with my client’s audience. If we’re doing automation series, they’ll get more responses to emails and more conversations than they ever have before because I create something which resonates on a fundamental level.
But the whole personal picture is a long-term one.
I’m not going to see everything with crystal clarity right away. It’s going to take another 2-3 years if I continue slowly building on my strengths and playing my own game. And that’s just to reach the next major goal. Every move I make now is designed to take me closer, but will also reveal new information that can change the path.
I could go more into depth on what I believe and understand to be true in my work, but that feels like it’s best reserved for a different space (if you’re interested, you can visit my site and sign up to my email list, you’ll get my intro series which explains everything – josephrobertson.co)
Coming Home To Self
I felt a “coming home” to myself when I slowed down.
I embraced “doing the work” and building “contact with reality.”
I do my best work and play my own game when I dig into the fundamentals. When I give myself the time, bandwidth and self understanding to take small steps and work at length to unravel the mysterious vision which only presents a tiny piece to me at the beginning.
This very piece is an example.
I started after “The Real Cost of Dopamine” with a visceral understanding that the most important thing for me in the past 2 years has been “slowing down.”
I didn’t know what this would become, what the importance of “slowing down” has meant to me until I let myself dig in and write and write and write. Letting new ideas and connections emerge and then spending the time to bring it all together into a cohesive piece for others to understand.
What does this mean personally outside of my work?
Quite simply this …
My long deep involved process is how I can help others discover their true selves, what it is which lights their fire, and how to weave that fire effectively into life.
Whether it’s business.
Or raising my children.
It’s all life. For me it always circles back to life.
All I have to do is focus on being better at my process in the present, and everything else will fall into place.
The Future: No Crystal Ball Needed
With the present revealed, I can now see how restraint unveils the potential of the future.
Do I know WHAT the future holds?
No. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t plan the path to my future with the knowledge of what will happen.
What I do know is, if I can continue to play my game the way I play it best, whatever I come to will be exactly where I need to be.
Having embraced my game, the answer for unlocking the future lies simply in The Solvable Problem.
(But you can’t effectively create your Solvable Problem without knowing yourself)
To me the power and importance of The Solvable Problem, it’s simple. Most people (and I’ve been there), live their lives striving towards something ephemeral. More money. More freedom. More time.
Always an orientation towards “more.”
These “more” decisions are also often made with the need for a crystal ball to be “correct.” They are made thinking “if X happens, then I’ll be rich.” Rather than slowing down and looking at what you have NOW, where you are NOW, and what really matters to you.
More Is NOT The Way
There’s no plan, no path, no set of strategies or tactics which can ultimately bring you to “more” because more is a bucket which can never be filled. AND the “thing” you need to happen probably isn’t going to happen the way you think it is (in crypto, that may be a token hitting a certain price).
In TGA vernacular, “more” is not a problem which can be solved.
“I want to buy a boat and live on it.” THAT’s a solvable problem. It can be quantified in specific numbers, and a specific plan to get there from where I am now can be defined.
Years ago, not long after I embarked fully on my life “as an entrepreneur,” after spending half a year traveling the world, I came back home and jumped on an opportunity to live on a boat.
I loved the novelty of it, and it was a cheap option. Live tight, live small, focus on my work. That’s what I was doing.
I loved living on the boat so much, I decided that with all the riches I was going to come to through my business (hah), I would buy my own boat and live on that.
Yet I never structured my life or my business with any kind of path which took me to have what I said I wanted. I was just hoping and rolling the dice for some big payday.
I used “the boat” as a kind of vision board nonsense trying to manifest a life I thought I desired, pretty much out of thin air.
Amusingly enough, I could have had my own boat pretty darn quick. I see that now with clarity (as a note: use clarity of hindsight with care, you always see the past and the paths you “should have” or “could have” taken with perfect clarity).
Problem was, I was set in the perspective of “more.” That I had to do things a certain way, etc. That I couldn’t actually achieve my vision without having a whole lot more than I did.
At the time, I was focused on my magazine all about coffee. More on that in The Past …
If I had set the boat goal as a solvable problem, then I could have turned all my decisions toward that goal.
What is it that I need to buy and live on a boat? And then for each decision that I had to make, was that decision in service of solving that problem?
Is it getting me closer to what I want?
Closer Over More
This is the key distinction which takes you away from focusing on “more.” What precisely do you desire, and then what is the next step you can take right NOW which will get you closer to what you desire?
Because that’s all you can do each day. Get yourself a little closer.
You’ll find as you do, the options, the dynamics, and the reality of your life change. Your solvable problem may change in time, and that’s fine! As long as you are moving closer.
For me, slowing down allows me to release the push and the need for more NOW. And when the dynamics shift enough that my solvable problem needs to change, I can SEE that and appropriately change my solvable problem, moving closer to what I want without wrecking myself.
I can recall looking back on the boat scenario that I was pushing and driving towards something.
But if I had slowed down, and stopped trying to make it happen, I might have come to a clarity in understanding of what I really wanted, and then I might have sooner made the decision to get me closer to that thing.
I made my first major “closer” decision long before I discovered TGA. I didn’t know it was what I was doing. But I had a moment where I realized the life I was living wasn’t what I truly desired. I wasn’t living as my truest self.
I had a moment where I slowed down and looked at my life in this context, in many ways did my first “solvable problem” (before knowing what that was), realizing I desired a life with a family, to marry and have kids.
Of course, I recognized I had little control in “making” that happen. So instead of trying to make that happen, I decided to move closer to living like the kind of person who would have that life … changed my home habits and perspective, and embraced building a closer family out of the friends I had.
2 Years later I met the woman I am now married to.
That’s how crafting my future looks to me.
A Future of Intent
Slowing Down unlocks the ability for me to craft my future with intent.
Even if I don’t know the final details of what that future will look like, I CAN know with certainty that I am moving closer to it.
On a personal and business level, I am now more focused than ever on playing my own game. I know with greater certainty than I ever have had, that in 10 years, I’ll be in the most amazing place with my work, because NOW I am exactly where I want to be doing what I want to be doing and moving each step closer to where I want to go.
I know my family will be in a good place, because we are NOW exactly where we need and want to be, and every decision we make for our lives is in alignment with what we want now, and moves us closer to what we desire in the future, having let go of wanting “more” than what we have and do in the present.
Slowing Down is the master step in crafting the ultimate outcome for your life.
For me it means I stop trying to make things happen now.
Instead I get real about where I am, WHO I am, and ultimately what I desire to make a reality, and then focus on the next best step in that direction.
I can’t think of a better way to unlock The Future.
Crypto Creates a New Future
Two years ago, as my wife and I were preparing to get married, we were also talking about buying our own home.
We both had only ever rented in our lives, and we really wanted to have a home for ourselves and our children. A place where we could have foundational roots for the forest of our family to thrive. A place where we could connect with the real natural life and make things and grow things.
Both of us have that need deep inside, and yet the way our lives have gone we’ve never really been able to live that part of ourselves.
So as we prepared to get married we talked about our plans for this, and figured out we could most likely buy a house in about 2 years.
Then, The Wolf Den and The Guardian Academy emerged. I was fortunate to get in the door at the beginning … something I used to think as pure luck, but I can now see as another step in a series of steps where I chose to move “closer” to what I really wanted rather than getting more.
I “got into crypto” years ago, dabbling as most people do, buying a few coins here, thinking I’m gonna be rich when the price goes up a lot, freaking out when it dumps, and just, in general, having no clue how to operate in the space.
Fortunately, I never risked more than I could afford to lose.
I’ve always been someone who’s not afraid to take a risk, but I still am cognizant of the downside as much as I can. I’m risk averse in that I’m not willing to “risk it all” for a promise, no matter how big it is. Dan Nicholson’s frameworks have been a real gift in taking this to the next level with the framing: “Least Risk, Least Effort, Most Options.”
When Nic Peterson announced he was getting into crypto and invited people to join and learn what he learned, that was a snap yes for me. I was already “in crypto” and looking to learn more, and I believed anything Nic did would be more than worth participating in, regardless of the outcome.
(I didn’t yet recognize I was moving “closer” rather than seeking “more”)
While I ended up making a relatively small investment (I had no extra money at the start and ended up selling some unneeded things just to pad my base case), what I have discovered in the process has been FAR more valuable than the money ever will be from this.
One of the key visceral discoveries has been that crypto, specifically through The Guardian Academy, has been like a PHYSICAL experience of philosophical concepts. I’m a learn-by-doing kind of person, so this was perfect.
One of the early big lessons which connected and made sense right away was “you win by NOT losing.”
There’s a lot baked into that concept. But basically the fewer mistakes you make, the less you lose, the more you win. In crypto, the fewer moves you make, the fewer mistakes you make.
Accepting this concept, leaning into this, FORCES you to slow down.
When I looked to make the fewest moves, embrace the lowest risk, while creating the most options … the whole concept of yield farming with liquidity made total sense.
Was I going to capture all the volcanic upside of a coin mooning?
But I have no interest in that. I’m interested in creating the life that I wish in the short and long term. And none of my goals needs a coin to moon.
If traditional finance opened this door better than crypto (given my current resources and capabilities), I wouldn’t be in crypto (for the money anyway, I’d likely still be in for the community, it’s amazing).
In The Guardian Academy, when it comes to crypto investments, we’ve often talked about a baseline of getting 70% a year on your investment over the course of 5-10 years. This is all done with The Base Case.
We humans are NOT good at naturally moving towards targets so far off. We want the reward NOW. We need to have our massive gains NOW. We need our riches NOW so we can live NOW.
To speak for myself, when I slowed down, I discovered much MORE of my life NOW was exactly as I wanted and needed it to be. Which meant, I didn’t need a damn thing from crypto NOW.
But it could play a strong role in creating the future we desire. From a financial perspective, crypto opens up the door for financial leverage, which is hard to imagine getting anywhere else.
From a life perspective, crypto opens the door for a completely different approach to the long term.
That brings me to our solvable problem, which is an important piece in unlocking the future AND the present (and only possible for me when I slow down).
Our solvable problem includes buying land, building a house, growing food, having goats and sheep, raising our kids to love and appreciate the natural world, and to grow into strong people.
So our calculation includes the estimated costs associated with how we want that to be, putting our kids through school, AND making it so that we don’t have to work if we don’t want to (both of us will always be working in some capacity, but having our income reliably replaced is desirable).
What Do You REALLY Want?
When I initially made my base case through guard/busd, I did so with a long-term 10-year perspective. Having set that, I realized the fundamentals which allowed me to establish it could be applied as well to the present.
What do we want out of life right now? What decisions are we facing? What are we really trying to do?
At the time both of us were coming through a financially challenging period, with major shifts in our careers. But we were well on our way to the long term.
We wanted to buy a house after we got married, and while interest rates were low, home prices were skyrocketing, and our shaky financial position we figured we wouldn’t be able to do it for at least another year.
But, we slowed down.
We had some real talk about our solvable problem.
We discussed where we were.
We discussed what REALLY mattered. And we discovered in order to get what we want in life NOW, we actually need a whole lot LESS than we originally envisioned.
We looked at our present financial situation.
And we discovered that with the certainty of our future in guard (backed up by similar certainty that both our careers would grow well, so even if crypto completely imploded, we’d be ok), we figured out that actually, we might be able to even buy a house NOW.
Turned out we were right.
Within a month of that point, we had an offer accepted on what turned out to be the absolute perfect home for us RIGHT NOW.
And we bought our first home at least a full year sooner than we thought we’d be able to.
It’s not what we dreamed for in the long term, but it’s exactly what we need for our lives now, and realizing this, and realizing that we had the resources available all along, Slowing Down, and redirecting our focus to What Mattered, allowed us to buy our house a year (or more) before we anticipated.
The Past and It’s Demons
My sandals scuffed along the rough sidewalk as I walked down the street, houses around me abandoned and collapsing on themselves.
The sky was blue.
The air sweated around me.
The sounds of cars in the far distance my only company.
I lifted my camera.
In 2005, a massive hurricane swept over the city of New Orleans, killing thousands and destroying the homes of countless more.
4 Years later I walked the streets of the 7th ward.
I was there supporting a youth group on a 5 year mission to help rebuild people’s homes.
I discovered something important about myself on this trip. A need to be spending my time on this earth doing good, helping others, improving life … whatever that may mean.
We ALL discovered something important about ourselves.
Something we all saw reflected in the eyes of the people we helped …
People who had no other recourse, who had no other hands, and no other hope.
Miss Ora – may she live everlasting in the peace of god
The time I spent there was a fork in the road of my life.
There was an obvious easy path.
There was a path towards a mountain.
I couldn’t possibly keep myself from walking towards the mountain. There was too much at stake in this life to do anything else.
When I returned to life at home, I made changes. I thought, the only way I can make the change I want to see in the world is to do it myself.
Simultaneously I was immensely dissatisfied with the job I had and the people who employed me. I hadn’t been able to make a change to a different job (“because of the recession”), and started to wonder … could I just work for myself?
So my journey into business was in part because I had a vision for something I really wanted to see become a reality, a passion to create, a view that if I wanted to see something happen I should do it myself.
But a big part … and knowing what I know now, if I’m being honest, the larger part, was a desire to NOT be living the life I was, stuck in a 9-5 job (8-6 plus weekends and nights, thank you boss), being completely unappreciated and underpaid.
A desire to NOT sell my time for money.
As I have slowed down through this entire process over the last two years, I started to see the real me.
It became clear that my “more more more” mindset was one driven by a desire to be not stuck, to not work for someone else, to be free.
When I slowed down in the present, and accepted who I am and where I am, everything I was doing in business and in life started to be more effective and more fulfilling and just better overall …
I realize not only did I not need to be pushing towards something (read: running away), but that I was actually served far better by NOT chasing, by NOT trying to force a thing into being.
Slowing down and being in the present unlocked so much more power in my abilities and happiness across the board.
That’s when I saw them…
Like shadows standing all around me.
They were suddenly listless. Confused by my lack of response to them.
I could see them clearly.
And I realized I was not trying to run toward anything.
That “idea” that I was pushing towards something greater was a smoke screen.
I was running away from and driven by demons the whole time.
The demon of fear that I would be stuck and not “live up to my potential.”
The demon of fear that I would never do something great.
The demon of anger that I would be forced to fulfill someone else’s vision, that my power and gifts would be shit on and the people in charge would inevitably drive all the work we were doing into the dirt because they thought better.
The demon of hubris, that I am better than everyone and should be doing greater things than anyone else, and that I’m above basic shit.
The demon of entitlement, that I deserve better because … I think I do.
The demon of denial, that I should be someone else, that I in my own self am not good enough the way I am.
The demon of shame, that I will not be accepted for who I am.
The demon of greed, that nothing is worth doing if it doesn’t make me more.
The demon of comparison, that I should have been better because look at my peers doing so much more than me.
I saw all these demons … and then I saw every action and choice I’ve made which was driven by their silent force …
The World of Coffee and It’s People
The year was 2012.
I had just been laid off (blissfully) from a job I hated by people who didn’t respect me.
I was heading into entrepreneurship full tilt.
I never wanted to sell my time for money again.
I never wanted to spend my time fulfilling someone else’s vision (especially when they couldn’t be damned to respect my ideas).
I had the 4 hour workweek under my arm and the whole world at my feet. Though having spent the previous 2 years trying out various business ideas (Photography was the first), and then internet marketing schemes, following my experience in New Orleans, I did know one truth about myself …
I really needed to do work that was meaningful. That had impact and improved people’s lives. Which brought honor and justice to everyone involved.
The opportunity to create a magazine, with Apple’s newsstand in full tilt, showed up in front of me. I saw opportunity to finally make a real business. To make money. To flex all those internet marketing chops I’d learned through various courses and gurus.
I created Coffee Lovers Magazine (later rebranded to Extracted Magazine) because on one level I thought that was what I was supposed to do at the time in order to make my riches.
There was opportunity. There was a gap in the market (no other coffee magazine which wasn’t made for the industry). There was a market of hungry interested enthusiasts.
It’s funny to look back because I was waffling between this and creating a magazine for entrepreneurs like myself, but I hated the idea of creating a magazine about entrepreneurialism when I barely knew what I was doing …
Even then I knew that guiding people to build their own businesses when I hadn’t walked the walk was bullshit, and I was bothered by most guru types out there doing similar stuff.
I created the coffee magazine because I had a newly growing fascination with coffee, knew the people behind it were absolutely amazing, that there was untapped magic to be found, and that wonderful connective community relationships could be built through it.
It felt like a thing I could do which would be meaningful.
But, I was at odds with myself from day one. I wanted to make a lot of money, but I also wanted to do it in a meaningful way. (If I were to do that business now, I would only do it if I could disconnect my need for income from the project)
This is one of the major lessons I’ve taken from the past as well … its important for me to have my basic needs covered BEFORE I try to do meaningful things … or that need will cannibalize my efforts and impact.
I actually realized this at the time. But I thought it was weakness.
I thought as an entrepreneur, you’re supposed to embrace uncertainty and fly in the face of sensibility to grasp at something much grander than you can see now. Go for the gold! Or whatever platitude.
It’s not weakness to slow down and create certainty.
Quite the opposite.
It’s the ultimate strength.
To spend the time to solidify your foundation, your base, gives you the greatest opportunity to make the greatest impact. And to do otherwise, to sacrifice your foundation in the name of reaching for more, is to actually damage those opportunities.
To serve LESS. To help LESS.
For me it amounts to a sin against my personal nature and gifts.
(Or maybe I just feel guilty that I squandered good in the name of “more”)
But at least I knew deep down that the work I do in life had to have meaning and help others.
During that dynamic of figuring out what magazine to start, another friend at the time was also in a similar boat.
We started our magazines together and worked closely at the beginning. He chose to do the entrepreneurial one and created “The Key to Success” Magazine. Which he later rebranded Foundr.
(One of my major demons of comparison)
There was something deeper in Coffee Lovers Magazine which tapped into a need within myself. A need to do good. A need to improve other people’s lives. To make an impact which was positive in the world in a way which did not TAKE anything from it, but rather gave with an open hand.
I very quickly replaced my income with the magazine and decided I could do that full time forever. But then plateaued from that point and was in permanent conflict with the desire and drive to “do the right thing” and my need to make money.
I tried to thread the needle and walked a fine line of refusing to do any kind of marketing for the business which I didn’t feel was in the best service of the people I served and the vision I had (which involved multiple levels of people, those whose stories I told and the people who read the magazine and drank the coffee in the end).
The coffee industry is notoriously rife with complete and utter bullshit. I couldn’t ever make myself run campaigns which had ideas I didn’t believe in … my knowledge and experience of the way coffee is, meant I could see every way that things were “wrong.”
This actually drove me to develop a marketing style which I’ve continued to hone much more effectively today. It’s one which focuses on guiding people with an open hand, rather than convincing or coercing them to action in the name of optimized conversions.
The End is the Beginning
Back to the magazine …
I’m telling this story because the endpoint is the start of The Guardian Academy for me.
So though I had this moral line I continually walked, I was constantly barely making enough money to keep doing it.
I got it in my head that I needed to create a marketing funnel which would turn X dollars into Y dollars in a short timeframe. (Originally I was bought into the belief that any good paid campaign should take 1 dollar in and spit 2 dollars out, eventually, I realized even just breaking even would be good)
I ground my face off for probably 4 years as I built marketing foundations, strategies, and tactics which brought people in and turned them into subscribers on a consistent basis.
And then came a pivot point, which I only realized AFTER The Guardian Academy, and AFTER I slowed down.
I had “solved the problem.” I realized I’d created a foundation effective enough to consistently turn paid leads into subscribers, with a break even point of 6 months (and with an average subscriber length of 3 years and always growing).
But it wasn’t “enough.” I hadn’t been clear on the problem I was trying to solve, and the bucket I was really trying to fill was bottomless.
I made a decision which ultimately proved to be the bleeding demise of the business.
Robbed Peter to Pay Paul
It was when I slowed down with The Guardian Academy and learned the concept of “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” (more on this with crypto and The Golden Goose in a moment), that I realized what I had done.
It was maybe a year after the point I realized I’d solved the problem I was trying to solve that it all collapsed into utter shit.
I had lost roughly 90% of my subscribers and business at that point.
I blamed it on a bad partnership and tech problems in the backend. There were indeed significant problems outside of my control which caused massive loss, to be clear, but if I had made better decisions, those problems would not have been so bad.
There will always be randomness. It is one of the two undefeated players in history.
The key is to situation yourself so that when the randomness is bad, it doesn’t really hurt all that much, and when the randomness is good, you get upside from it. (One of the core tenants of establishing a base-case)
When I got real, when I slowed down, I recognized …
The year prior, after realizing I’d “solved my problem,” I had decided to redirect my paid ads to a different focus because it promised a much faster more efficient return.
I wasn’t satisfied with a working foundational system.
I wanted MORE.
I wanted it FASTER.
I literally shut off my life blood in order to grasp wildly at a promise.
The promise was betrayed.
But the reality is that I Robbed Peter to Pay Paul, and precipitated the downfall of my own business.
Slowing down helped me see this.
I also recognized that, if I had just slowed down then …
If I had shown restraint …
If, instead of trying to scramble after MORE I had recaptured, reallocated, and decided to move forward more slowly and deliberately …
If I had realized I would have been served better meeting my personal financial needs in a different way …
My creation may not have died.
This is the past.
I can’t change it.
But I can see core parts of myself that are key to playing my own game.
I won’t ever sacrifice the meaningfulness of my work in the name of money. But my family comes first. So I must make decisions which cover the needs of myself and my family before I do the meaningful work.
The Golden Goose
The concept of The Golden Goose is a major component of slowing down and not wrecking yourself.
With the magazine I took the major funding for the core marketing engine of my business in order to “build a better” version.
If it had worked I probably would have thought I was a genius. I held onto the idea that I made the right decision for years.
But the truth is, that was poor decision-making.
The risk is ALL wrong.
What I had with the magazine was essentially “the golden goose.”
It wasn’t producing what I needed in the short term (or what I felt like I wanted), but my short-term problem could have been solved much better in different ways, had I not been blinded by the demons of greed and fear.
In crypto, we talk about The Golden Goose.
This is the “base case” asset which produces for you other assets, and then those assets can produce more assets. And the Goose does this reliably, consistently, as long as you respect it.
In TGA, we talk about the Guard/BUSD pairing as our golden goose.
This liquidity pairing hedges downside risk by being more stable, while at the same time providing liquidity gives us the opportunity to earn other assets as a reward, consistently growing your assets over time.
When I got into crypto through TGA, this golden goose concept made perfect sense. The combination of slowing down, mitigating risk, and creating certainty of upside with an appropriate time frame was for me one of those epiphany moments.
I put my initial major investment into Guard/BUSD and then I didn’t touch it. I’ve constantly provided liquidity throughout the entire time I’ve participated and will continue to do so until my solvable problem says differently.
Truth be told, I’ll ALWAYS have guard/busd in liquidity as long as it exists. Even when we meet our solvable problem, which may involve removing liquidity or selling assets to complete, I’ll still be keeping some in liquidity, because to me this is an Infinite Game.
The power of The Golden Goose is the power of life. It gives you ongoing creation and skin in the game. It gives you growth and expansion.
Your creation, your growth, and your expansion in The Golden Goose may at times not be where you’d HOPE it would be, but NEVER reject the ultimate power in your hands of having a base case of assets which constantly produce new assets for you.
This is limitless possibility in your hands because it represents unending creation and expansion …
But ONLY AS LONG AS YOU KEEP IT GOING.
This is why you DO NOT ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL.
Robbing from Peter to Pay Paul is to take from the golden goose to pay for something else.
By doing this you take from the unending creation of the possible in order to GAMBLE.
You cut short your infinite game in order to play a finite one.
You DECREASE certainty, DECREASE optionality, and INCREASE risk.
This is the opposite of what we ultimately want to do.
The fundamental way to avoid doing this is BY SLOWING DOWN.
Life – The Infinite Game
Life is an infinite game.
The ONLY way to win, is to unlock your true self, discover what lights your fire, and how to fit that into the world, and then keep playing.
As I have slowed down and taken a look at myself in the past, present, and how I see the future, I’ve at each point learned more about who I am and how I play my own game.
One frame which has revealed itself repeatedly throughout life is this concept of Finite and Infinite Games.
If you want to read the book, it’s a good one, though it can be dense.
Here’s my short explanation:
Everything in life is built out of Finite and Infinite games.
Finite games are ones you play to win. Like soccer. There’s a time limit. There’s a score being kept. There’s an end. And at the end, there’s a definitive result. Often a winner and a loser.
Infinite games are ones you play to keep on playing. They don’t have a time limit. There’s no score. The only end is when you stop playing.
Life is an infinite game. It ends for you when you pass on. But life itself keeps on going.
Within Infinite games, there can be Finite games (but not the other way around).
When it comes to both crypto and business, I find most people view it like a Finite game (probably life too).
Finite games are much easier to understand, because there is a score, there is a winner, there is an end point. It is by definition defined within knowable parameters.
Infinite games are harder to accept I think because they don’t have knowable parameters. Your goal isn’t to get a specific score, your goal is to just keep playing.
In crypto when you treat it like a Finite game, you are trying to win. You are putting in your chips and hoping to get a score now.
The problem is you lack control over so many unknowable dynamics which continue on forever beyond your participation. You step into what is effectively an Infinite game with a Finite perspective, almost certainly lose and then you are out.
But if you treat it like an Infinite game, then your goal is to not die. Your Infinite game crypto goal is to not lose.
In business it is the same. I made this mistake with the magazine. I saw it as a Finite game, and kept trying to win. But I didn’t realize that I had myself in the perfect position to treat it like an Infinite game and just keep playing to play.
Here’s why I bring up this rather heady intellectual concept at the end of this exploration about Slowing Down.
We’re all playing in the same Infinite Game. But we all have different parameters around which we are playing.
Slowing Down, having Restraint, and embracing The Guardian Academy principles is all about understanding yourself so you can keep playing your own Infinite Game.
Yours won’t look like someone else’s.
It might look like they are winning at Finite games, and if you start comparing yourself and trying to play someone else’s game, you’re going to miss the Infinite Game all around you.
Observe your OWN Infinite Game.
Find the path which allows you to always keep playing and moving closer to what you want.
And I believe in doing so, you’ll find within your Past, Present, and Future, your own truth, just like I (and many others in TGA) have been able to do.
What can you do with this now?
Writing this Capstone has been its own revelation. I started off knowing the power of Slowing Down and writing to share that experience …
I have finished it having discovered (through the very process of creating it) that helping my kids and other kids understand the following will be the greatest gift I can give:
Who you truly are.
What lights your fire (what you’re best at).
How you can fit yourself and your fire positively into the world.
Slowing down and taking the time to observe, understand, and take deliberate action closer to the things that matter WILL reveal those truths to yourself.
To finish, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite talks by Alan Watts, on Wu Wei:
Alan Watts – Wu Wei
There is a principle called Wu Wei.
Wu means non, or not. No. Negation.
Wei has a combination of meanings. It can mean Action, Making …
But the best translation I have found for it is Forcing.
So Wu Wei is The Principle of Not Forcing
In anything that you do
Now we know, when we watch any performance of an artist
Be it a Dancer
Or an Actor
Or a Musician
We know immediately when the performance is forced
And we say it doesn’t ring true, it’s too artificial, it doesn’t seem to be natural
Many people who study the Taoist Doctrines think that Wu Wei means do nothing.
In the sense of laissez faire, be lazy, always be passive.
It doesn’t mean that.
There is a time for action.
When you study judo, you use muscle ONLY at the right moment.
When your opponent is hopelessly extended and off balance you add a little muscle to it and throw him across the room.
But Only Then.
You never use muscle at the wrong moment.
For as Shakespeare knew perfectly well, there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at its flood leads on to fortune.
And so, Wu Wei is based on knowledge of the tide.
The drift of things.
Wu Wei is the Art of Sailing rather than the Art of Rowing.
So, one of the most popular sayings in The Lao Tzu Book is …
‘Superior Virtue has no intention to be virtuous, and thus IS virtue. Inferior virtue cannot let go of virtuosity and thus is not virtuous.’
So one could also say, the REAL Wu Wei, is NOT intentionally Wu Wei, and so is Wu Wei.
But INFERIOR Wu Wei so tries to be Wu Wei that it isn’t.
So that is to say Wu Wei is not a matter of cultivated passivity, or even cultivated spontaneity.
Because there are people who think that they are released, that they have realized that they are the Tao as all of us are in fact are, or that you are, to put it into Vedanta terms, everyone of us is the Brahman.
The eternal self of the universe, beyond all description or classification or thought.
And say ok baby I’m that, now I’m going to have a ball.
Well what kind of ball do they have?
What they do is they look up the rules on which society runs and do the opposite.
Well that’s still running by the rules of society only its the mirror image in reverse! That’s not spontaneity.
You have to be able to realize that you don’t know what you really want …
Until you are very quiet.
And it tells you.
Dr. Jeff Spencer and The Champions Mind – https://guardianacademy.io/human-versus-champion-mind-dr-jeff-spencer/
Dan Nicholson, Rigging the Game – https://www.riggingthegame.com/
The Solvable Problem – https://guardianacademy.io/tga-core-concepts-solvable-problem-1/
Open Loops – https://guardianacademy.io/open-loops-and-learning/
Base Case – https://guardianacademy.io/base-case-overview/
Recapture and Reallocate – https://guardianacademy.io/tga-core-concepts-recapture-and-reallocate-series/
Adaptive vs Prescriptive – https://guardianacademy.io/the-adaptive-dilemma-part-3-adaptive-versus-technical-problems/
The Process is the Shortcut – https://paragraph.xyz/@nicpeterson/7-growing-trees
Certainty and Crystal Balls – https://guardianacademy.io/tga-core-concepts-engineering-luck/
Huberman Podcast on Productivity – https://hubermanlab.com/optimizing-workspace-for-productivity-focus-and-creativity/
The Real Cost of Dopamine – https://guardianacademy.io/the-real-cost-of-dopamine/
Extracted Magazine – https://www.extractedmagazine.com
My Copywriting Business – https://www.josephrobertson.co
Original Twitter Post- https://twitter.com/sentient_image/status/1628540355653292032?s=20
What is a Capstone?- https://guardianacademy.io/tga-capstone-project/