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Riding compounding waves of inspiration

Blog

ax is an author, public speaker, and yoga instructor. He has spent more than a decade managing complex businesses across geographies for major IT multinationals.

In this show he deconstructs strategies and tactics for surviving and thriving in the post-industrial age we are entering into.

Want Advice?

Max Zografos

When was the last time you received advice? Recall that experience for a minute, and then choose one of these maxims:

  1. The worst vice is advice
  2. Feedback is a gift

Which one did you go for?

I’ve been pondering about this for years. When is it okay to ignore counsel? Equally when should we take it on board and act on it?

Here's what I ask myself whenever I receive any type of guidance. Is it coming from an inner place of peace? If not, then it is not advice but something else. Here is what it could be:

1. Complaint

A personal complaint dressed up as advice. It is subjective and very much about them, not me. Something I did pissed them off, made them insecure, et cetera.

What they say is not to be dismissed of course, but it has to be screened and edited before it informs my interactions with just that individual. We can’t and shouldn’t try to please everyone, lest we become trite and irrelevant.

2. Appearances

It's when someone dispenses advice as part of an authority role they're supposed to fulfil.

I see this in many Yoga teachers, especially the younger ones. Small aside: When Yoga moved to the West it lost a key ingredient: Mastery. Disciples became clients. Gurus became 200-hour certified instructors. Classes became a platform for them to perform their act (to get paid and pay the rent). None of that was about the student.

“Thinking is never directed at itself, but always at something else . . . thinking explains something outside itself; it forgets itself.”

~ Albert Soesman, Our Twelve Senses.

True advice comes from a place of composure and peace. A teacher sees potential in me and her aim is to cultivate and bring out the best in me. His interest and fulfilment comes from seeing me flourish. That’s the kind of help I need. That’s what I'm willing to open up and surrender to. Most of the times that’s the hardest advice to act upon.

I try to think about this when I interact with people. Am I writing something? It should be about the reader. Am I presenting? It should about my audience. That's you.

I need to be curious and inquisitive when surrounded by people. It's the best way to beat social anxiety and stress. I should know as I’ve been diagnosed with both—which also means you should take everything I say with a grain of salt.

“Salt is connected to thinking.” ~ Albert Soesman, Our Twelve Senses.

How I Recovered my Manhood

Max Zografos

I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I wished my typing fingers could catch up with the overdrive in my head. I learned that people like Matt Mullenweg (inventor of Wordpress) type on DVORAK keyboards that let them type 10x faster.

But let’s backtrack a bit.

In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been in health-freak mode for a while. Here is my theory: To excel in something you need good guidance. My definition of good, is balance. Something can only be virtuous if it is even-handed, i.e. if it has Ying and Yang in equal measure.

So I follow two nutrition experts, Kris Carr and Dave Asprey. Their target audiences couldn’t be different (sweet honeys vs. bulletproof bros) and yet their message is equally bona fide. Marry the best of each and you’ve got the ideal mentor.

Dave Asprey got me into the Bulletproof coffee (sans butter), supplementation and blackout curtains. Kris Carr introduced me to the promising world of juicing. Both Asprey and Carr agree that juices should be green. I.e. fruit is carb sugar and should be used only in moderation.

My research consumed every single minute of last week. Oh yeah, juicing is science. You don’t just walk in Argos and buy a £50 juicer, oh no. Cheap centrifugal juicers are loud and tend to rust and break. What’s more, they’re only good for fruit. I decided to spend a bit more and get a masticating juicer that can handle greens—I went for the Omega 8224. [1]

Once the relatively painless part of juicing the vegs [2] and washing up was over, it was time to drink up. The best way to describe this liquid is, dunno, nectar? The chalice of immortality? The drink of Gods? Call it whatever you like, but it works. Every single molecule in my body absorbed its healing goodness in a matter of seconds.

But the real epiphany came when I woke up next morning. I’ve not felt like this since I was a steak-devouring teenager. My body was full of eager passion. Passion for love and drive for life. Ready to fulfil Kim Anami’s exhortation to go ahead and make love (euphemism) to life.

[1]: This is the first piece of kit I own that comes with a ten year warranty. Yes, you read that right. This thing is a keeper.

[2]: Here is a video of me juicing for the first time. It's a bit amateurish but have a look if you don't know how masticating juicers work.

Have you felt that?

Max Zografos

Picture this:

You wake up one morning and realise your arm is frozen. Any movement results in excruciating pain. You can’t get out of bed, can’t get your clothes off and even if you lie down it still hurts.

You ease your head back on the pillow and take a deep breath. Before you even start to consider what’s happening, you notice a swelling sensation down your throat. So much so that swallowing takes effort. Oh, and you have several blisters on your lips.

And then you smile.

You can stop visualising now, this is not some fantasy, it actually happened last week. The reason I smiled was because I knew exactly what was going on.

It’s called Candida die-off. It’s what happens when ancient-old toxins are flushed out of your body. The smile was in recognition that the cleanse was underway.

Why would someone do this to themselves?

You need to have a sufficiently urgent pain point. Here is a tiny excerpt from my upcoming book:

“I squinted my eyes but couldn’t focus. Whatever fuel my brain ran on was depleted by now. I knew the feeling all too well. I’d suffered from it all my life. The gradual shutdown. The hollow stare, the impaired speech, the misery.”

If this sounds frustrating that’s because it is. My goal in life is to escape those states of mind, so I can be of true service to people and find fulfilment. But you need to “put your own oxygen mask on first."

You’ve gathered, I hope, that I am willing to pay any price—time, money, discomfort—for a chance to improve my capacity. Which segues us to Candida overgrowth, something I’ve been diagnosed with in the past (in the form of Leaky Gut) but was never able to deal with, despite a largely vegan diet and no alcohol.

Based on advice in Kris Carr’s amazing blog, I began taking strong probiotics three weeks ago. The guidance was to start slow. Instead I jumped head first with four pills a day. Before I knew it, billions of dead gut bacteria deluged into my bloodstream and within days I got a frozen arm, sore throat, flu, cold sores et cetera.

"The best way out is always through," I said to myself and persevered. I now feel much better, but I didn’t stop there.

I recently installed blackout curtains in my bedroom, based on advice in Dave Asprey’s blog. You may know him from the Bulletproof Coffee which I drink every morning (replacing butter with Hemp Powder).

I haven’t slept like this in ages.

Didn’t realise how much ambient light my brain would normally have to content with until I removed the curtain in the morning. The difference was nothing short of illuminating.

In such pitch darkness you start noticing the smallest sources of light, like wall sockets, appliances and door frames. If you value your sleep (you should) then get those curtains.

And while we're talking bedrooms . . .

The other day I listened to a podcast with Kim Anami. She says that whatever happens in our bedroom mirrors and projects on what happens in our professional and financial life. If we don’t let our sexual energy manifest properly then all this stuck energy will impact our emotional and financial flow.

As you know, I’ve been fascinated with celibacy (and Brahmacharya) for several years. Kim Anami has compelled me to take a fresh new look at how (much) I express my sexual energy.

Can’t build Rome in one day.

I’m still miles away from where I’d like to be. Reading classics like “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius reminds me to be content with where I am, and appreciate those few morsels of breath I’ve been given in this life.

But I won’t stop until I get there, and neither should you. Don’t settle. If there is anything I can help you with (tech, writing et cetera) give me a shout.

Always write it down

Max Zografos

The importance of typing our thoughts down has been discussed a lot. Classics like The Artist's Way have sung the praises of this habit, as have numerous personalities who shared their daily regimes.

By all accounts, this is one of the rituals "effective" people do first thing in the morning. Dump everything down.

During sleep we are in touch with something beyond our own thought. Something that transcends our individual capacity.

I don’t know about you but whatever this mysterious entity is, I want more of. If only I could be more conscious during sleep and type things down as they unravel, wouldn’t that be insightful?

I mentioned in last week’s post that Homer attributed his epic Odyssey to a Muse. There is nothing collaborative about it. He didn't confer, negotiate or even discuss with her. For all we know he merely took notes. He was a passive transcriber. What a fortunate man.

Until we reach said levels of inspiration-driven trance, all we can do is catch-up in the morning. It’s the closest we can get.

Until we figure it all out, we just need to take notes, type everything down, capture traces and clues, collect all evidence from that nightly encounter while it's fresh, before our busy day unleashes its gross [1] elements all over it [2].

[1] By the term gross, I don’t mean disgusting; rather indelicate.

[2] If you love hand-writing then go for it. Penmanship has several cognitive benefits compared to typing. I for one prefer a keyboard together with iA Writer and Dayone writing apps for their simplicity.

Is this what friendship is?

Max Zografos

Is there a sexual undercurrent in your friendships?

There most definitely is, and I mean this in a big way: All energy is sexual energy.

When we meet someone new, this energy is looking for avenues of expression. Will it be at the low and gross level, or the higher and subtler ones? Will we fuck them, start a business with them, meditate with, or reach even higher levels of attainment with them?

Tantric communion apparently involves sexual matching at the gross, mental and spiritual centres at the same time.

Which leads us to an interesting question; If such wonderful things happen when humans get together, what is—if any—the benefit of solitude? Could such thing as a "lone genius" ever exist?

Could it be that the communion we experience when physically alone, happens in accordance with something out there? A telepathic connection of sorts? Something no less sexual than what we'd have with a carnal partner? And if that’s the case, which type of communion is of higher value?

At the onset of Odyssey, Homer attributes his epic work to a Muse. I bet he didn't have a girlfriend, let alone beer buddies. He probably was a loner weirdo.

Which ultimately begs the question: are humans destined to be in the same physical space with each other, or not? It’s tempting to think that once we’ve evolved enough we won’t need such debased levels of cohabitation.

Our spiritual progress and evolution will be such that we won’t bother with the grossness of physical connection. Everything will be achieved telepathically and spiritually. Distance won’t exist. Space won’t exist. And who knows—perhaps time won’t exist either.

Maybe we will dematerialise into something beyond what we can imagine now. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

Have a wonderful day. I’m off to work.