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Sleep, Purpose, & Vaccines

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t.”
~ Angela Duckworth

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we discuss four important “agreements”, the history of mandatory vaccines, easy online business ideas, natural sleep “cocktails”, and why purpose is greater than illness.

Our challenge is for you to celebrate your progress so far this year!

By the way, we realized last week that we’d been sending our emails from an address that didn’t allow you to reply. That was an accident. We’ve fixed that and we can now receive and respond to your replies 🙂

Four Agreements

In 1997, Don Miguel Ruiz published a little 100-page book called, The Four Agreements — using Toltec philosophy as its foundation, the book proposes four “agreements” for living a happier, more peaceful life.

Here’s a brief description of Toltec philosophy from Susan Gregg:

“This philosophy is based on the key concept that we don’t really see life at all; what we actually see is our filter system, which is composed of our beliefs, expectations, agreements, and assumptions.”

(Hence the term “agreements”)

And here are the four agreements (you could think of these as “commitments”) that Ruiz outlines in his book, which we think hold immense potential for personal growth. They’re worth thinking about…

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best

Mandatory Vaccines

In America (and perhaps in some other countries), many people are concerned about the safety of getting the Covid vaccine. According to NPR, 1 in 4 Americans don’t want to get the vaccine and that’s putting herd immunity — when enough people in a community are immune, disease spread becomes unlikely and rare — at risk.

Further concerns are being raised about the government making the vaccine mandatory — which supposedly flies in the face of America’s most basic value (freedom to choose). Already, vaccines are going to become mandatory for healthcare workers, teachers, and others in certain states.

That’s not a far-cry, though, from what other countries are doing — Australia, Britain, Canada, Fiji, France, Greece, Italy, Indonesia, and countless others are making the Covid vaccine mandatory for specific citizens.

Either way — regardless of which side of the fence you fall on — it’s a good time to review the history of vaccines and why the supreme court decided in 1905 that vaccines could be made mandatory by the government.

Knowledge is power.

Here’s a great article from History on that topic: When the Supreme Court Ruled a Vaccine Could Be Mandatory

Easy Biz

Building an online business is easier than it’s ever been.

Software like ShopifyOberloTeachable, and ClickFunnels make creating, marketing, and selling products or courses possible for anyone with enough gumption.

In fact, here are 16 “low-cost” business ideas from Shopify — check ‘em out if you want to start something… but you don’t know where to start.

Sleep Cocktail

Andrew Huberman is an American neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He’s also the host of one of our new favorite podcasts, Huberman Lab, where he shares “science and science-based tools for every-day life”.

On his episode about mastering sleep, Huberman shares his “sleep cocktail” (along with lots of other tips) — a compilation of three vitamins that are supposed to help put you to sleep and keep you asleep.

Here’s his “recipe” — he recommends taking these 30-60 minutes before bedtime…

Purpose > Illness

According to ADAA, 18% of people in the U.S. suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder. And 1 in 5 adults experiences some sort of mental illness every year — depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, etc.

It’s far from unusual.

Still, sometimes it’s tempting to believe that an illness — whether physical or mental — disqualifies us from success, from making the money we want to make, having the impact we want to have, or mastering the thing we want to master.

But let’s take a moment to play devil’s advocate.

Jon Morrow, who’s paralyzed everywhere except for his face, has built a blog — SmartBlogger — that makes over $100,000 per month.

Stephen Hawking was cursed with ALS and yet made massive contributions to science.

Nick Vujicic was born without limbs. But that didn’t stop him from becoming a world-renowned motivational speaker.

Cornel Hrisca-Munn was born with a deformed leg and no forearms, but has become a YouTube star for his incredible drumming.

While he was dying from lung cancer, Paul Kalanithi wrote his bestselling book, When Breath Becomes Air, and has impacted millions of people because of it.

The list goes on.

Here’s a list of celebrities, for instance, who’ve struggled with depression — it includes Dwayne Johnson, Katy Perry, Jon Hamm, and Lady Gaga.

The point is that illness does not automatically disqualify you from success — in fact, it’s possible to be successful in spite of your illness, to find ways to work with or work around the demons that plague you.

Perhaps the key is to find a purpose that inspires you — something to live for that’s more important than your illness. This reminds me of the quote we included in last week’s email…

“The purpose of life, as far as I can tell, is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant.”
— Jordan Peterson

This Week’s Photo

Manuel Silvestri / Reuters

“People walk in a flooded St. Mark’s Square during an exceptional high water in Venice, Italy, on August 8, 2021.” via The Atlantic

Extra Stuff

Here are some other articles that caught our attention this week…

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — answer at the bottom of the email!

I am a ball that can be rolled but never bounced or thrown. What am I?

The Weekly Challenge

Hard work is critical — for happiness, for health, for success — but we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t stop every now and again to pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge how far we’ve come. So in the spirit of celebrating progress, reply to this email and tell us what you’re proud of that you’ve accomplished this year. Check out our own answers below…

Mike’s Answer — I’ve read 15 books so far this year and I’ve built a habit of walking every day.

Alec’s Answer — Cutting sugar (refined carbs) and saying “no”. Time is the ultimate currency.

Until next week,

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: an eyeball

Join the movement below and challenge yourself to be better every week!