Tag Archives: motivation

My YouTube Endeavor

I used to be a photographer.
I got burnt out trying to pursue a career in editorial and commercial photography.
I let it get to me.
I gave up.
I quit.

Once I put the camera down, I let the creative in me settle for less.

Now, I’m back. In more frames than one.

24 Frames a second.

Sometimes 60.

I’m making movies.

Here’s one I made for my dear friends after we helped them move to Tennessee. They will be missed.

The reward for good work is more work…

Let me know what you think of my movie.
Comment if you’ve ever been burnt out of your passion.
Share where you fell short, proudly.

Taking ownership is a beautiful thing.
Expecting failure, planning for derailment, anticipating straying from the path…
That can drive you mad, but it’s a lot more realistic than demanding perfection.
Plan to refocus yourself
like meditation
That will keep you out of insanity.

I love you guys,
Thank you for your support.

Andrey Starostin

Healthy Wealthy Happy

Total Read Time: 5 Minutes

If you were healthy and wealthy, do you believe you’d be invariably likely to also be happy?

If you solved happiness first, would you hack your way into health and wealth?


I know happiness
Like I know rain
From behind a pane of glass
Corresponding dryness
With memories of wet lips
Time standing
as
still
as
I am
At the mirror
Leaves shaken by western winds
Waiting for my feet
To catch up with my mind

-A


Healthy

It’s obvious how important your health is when you’re losing it.
I forgot where I heard this, but nothing is more important than something stuck in your eye.

When you find the weakest link, or when it finds you, it’s pretty obvious how many things you should have been doing.

Stretching
Bending
Playing

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.
Most gyms are the same.
So if they’re the problem then figure out a way to play outside.

Some of my favorite ways to play

Find the tallest thing around you that you can touch.

See how fast you can get over something (fence, boulder, bench, yourself…)

Try and do something without hands, that normally requires hands (climbing, jumping, crossing).

Having fun doesn’t have to cost anything, staying healthy doesn’t mean degrading your self esteem.

Wealthy

THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON:
Expend less than you Produce

There are tricks and tips to build healthy habits and identify/eliminate bad ones.
I’m not here to tell you to unplug the toaster when not in use or to cook at home.

My favorite tricks to Remain in surplus:

Never drink alone.

If you buy a new pair of shoes, get rid of two old ones.

Find a water bottle you think looks really cool.
Cool enough to carry around everywhere.
Carry it around everywhere you go.

It’s worth mentioning… pay off your damn debt.
I’m constantly surprised by the amount of people I talk to in credit card debt.
I have all the compassion in the world for you out there…
Student debt got me good.
But come on now, don’t spend money you don’t have.

Happy

Now take a second with you eyes closed.
I mean it, close your eyes and think about this.

Imagine the state of health you’re currently in is good enough.

Forgive yourself for your debt and poor financial decisions.

There is happiness in every moment, and it doesn’t depend on you fixing things.

I truly believe you can be happy with where you are now, and love yourself for it.

I believe YOU would be happier if you tried.

For questions, connection, I would love to hear from you.

Email 
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Thank you for reading this far. 
You mean the world to me. 
I write for you.

Love Language

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes

“I thought they were another Buzzfeed quiz. You know? Those clickbait type quizzes to learn what kind of Pokémon you are?”


Don’t touch

See yourself in your Lover’s eyes
Painted holy and still tacky

Who am I then?

A museum piece
Preserved in a state of fallacy
For you’ll never again be
Who you were a minute ago

What if I stay really still?

And dry?
No, I’m Andrey.

I’ve been cleaning my suit of armor
Thinking with every passing day
How safe am I?

If I stare at this chest plate
Do I look away, Like I do reflections elsewhere?

Do I give this one another coat of polish?
Or
Languish and pray I never have to wear it.

-A


Welcome

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately.
Mostly introspective type philosophy, designed to bring forward a self actualizing being out of me.

It appears both kinds of fiction are capable of reaching deeper.

Mostly, I rely on these readings to habituate writing for me.
Like surrounding myself with instruments to promote music.

I want to share two moments of inspiration with you

The first is a story from Richard Power’s, The Overstory.

This is my summary:

A man commits himself to a Stanford prison experiment to earn $15 day because he had nothing better to do with 14 days.

He realizes purposelessness when he doesn’t give his blanket to save a man in solitary confinement.

He sends his previous selfishness aside by chasing purpose in Vietnam, where he loads carpet bombs and clears forests of life.

When he falls out of a shot plane, he is saved by a tree’s lush foliage and leaves the war.

He tends to horses and reads them Nietzsche through the winter, burning pages as he reads them.

When winter is over he digs up his savings and leaves Idaho, toward Oregon.

On the way he realizes how barren the forests are becoming thanks to loggers.

He commits the rest of this story to planting Douglass fir seeds in the ground by hand.

Reapplying a symbolic blanket to the earth.


When the purpose for which you act expands, as in the desired audience grows unfathomable, the act you do becomes more finite and yet incalculable. As simple as planting seeds. As infinite as the amount of seeds it takes to grow a national forest.

This thought process has helped me become a more disciplined writer.

Expand your desired audience

Simplify your daily ritual

Replicate until the end of time


The second piece I’d like to share with you is a quote shared with me by a dear friend.

“Don’t forget to practice your love language on yourself.”

Gary Chapman

5 Love Languages

Words of affirmation
Quality time
Gifts
Physical touch
Acts of service

Feel free to take the quiz and patronize Chapman for his fine work.
My lack of references are not out of disrespect.
I believe they would take away more than they provide here.

The point here, is we are all innately predisposed to be skilled in giving and receiving a unique combination of these languages.

What I’ve found is, most of the time they are different.

For example, I am least receptive to acts of service.
However I am very good at performing said acts.

They can change over time,
They sure have for me,
or maybe I’ve become more honest with myself.

Self examination

This part is quite interesting.

BUT

You have to be honest.

I’m sure you’ve already given some thought to which of the languages you’re great at; I do mean innately.

Now take a moment to think about which one (or two, but no more than two) you are uniquely horrible at doing

For Yourself

I consistently find it easy to perform acts of service and give myself gifts.

Physical touch is a much more serious topic that I aim to one day cover at length.
To summarize staunchly, I adamantly believe physical touch is a love language that solely deserves to be shared.

However, words of affirmation and quality time have always been a struggle for me.

I think it’s a self esteem thing, saying kind things to myself.

I don’t think the quality time is a loneliness issue, although that is how I’ve framed it for myself in the past.

For me, both of the love languages are a struggle born out of fear.

Recently, the best gift I’ve given myself is alone time and words of affirmation. It’s meditative and honest, creating a ripple effect of confidence throughout the week.

Fear is more present than I’ve ever believed.
And facing that fear by being alone with myself, listening to all the negativity, and realizing it’s all bullshit has been a beautiful shedding of armor.

I feel most things have to come naturally to someone.
So I can’t just say, you need to follow your fears and all of your questions will be answered.

I do think you can follow your fears and you’ll learn they’re not so bad.
You’ll learn you’re not alone.
You really find your true self down there.
I picked myself up down there.

Before you call me a stoic, I do think there’s validity in the cold shower. You can teach yourself, by exposing yourself to homelessness that it would be okay to take the big investment risk and have to shower in a puddle.

While it didn’t get quite as extreme for me as sleeping under the Fullerton bridge, it was as scary for me to make no plans with anyone and sit at home alone.

And yes, it was as simple as giving myself a pat on the back when no one was around to see.



For questions, and so I don’t feel so alone…

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Thank you for reading this far.
You mean the world to me.
I write for you.

Moments of Clarity: What Do You Want?

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes

I’m working on shortening the down time.
It takes weeks recently, but it’s been months before.
I spend so much effort and time planning: writing down ideas, plotting out their fruition, mentally wrestling my own discipline to start wanting it enough to make something happen.

That’s the secret, isn’t it?
Wanting it?

After plotting out these ideas, something happens.
It is almost reliable. All of a sudden, I stop wanting it, and time begins to elapse. I lose interest and fall into a sense of loss.
I don’t know what to want.

That’s what I mean by “it’s been months before.”
It took two weeks this time.
Today, I found clarity again.
Today, I want again.


In a world where we skip from 
One desire attained

Into debt

The price for your instant satisfaction
To another debt paid through discipline
Laden with questioning whether it was 

Worth it 

To then 
New desire visualized

What will you do with your lesson learned?

What will you allow yourself to instantly attain?

To gratify yourself with 

What do you allow yourself to be spoiled by

And when spoiled what will you want for next 


Did you ever stop wanting 

Do you want to? 

-A


I woke up today without an alarm.
Only my thoughts.
I woke up wanting to write something for you to read.
Something worthwhile.
I immediately accepted that I had nothing, so I decided to read.

I’ve been reading Anthony De Mello’s, Awareness. I put my bookmark in last time with maybe two short chapters left.
I would normally finish a book with so little left, but for some reason I hadn’t.

Anyway, the point is I really wanted to get back to reading, because I had so little of the book left.

I reached clarity while reading.
I was sparked with desire and knew what I wanted to write again.

De Mello, “Every child has a god in him; our attempts to mold the child will turn the god into a devil.” … “The religion that makes people good makes people bad, but the religion known as freedom makes all people good, for it destroys the inner conflict that makes people devils.”

Before the pious quote eats all your attention and pulls you away from here, let me explain.

I realized when I listen to my body and soul, I am constantly telling myself something. There is always something missing. Why do I feel like I always want something? How can I choose what to want and when to want it?

I am not talking about a new t-shirt.

I want to read, but talk myself out of it because I believe I’d just fall asleep during the first two pages.
I want to eat something really unhealthy and sit in my own filth, but luckily my pantry is missing the lord’s chips.
I get bored and think it’d be fun to drink some wine, but thank heavens for Andrey’s rule number 1: no drinking alone.

Pay Your Debts

When you choose to stay up late and watch Netflix,
then wake up early and go to work,
then come home and stay up again
doing some other impulsive thing,
you have racked up one hell of a debt.

The debt is with your own heart and soul.

I keep telling you, you have to love yourself.
And, you did. You indulged. It’s okay.

However, you now must pay the price.

There’s an order to things.

You have to catch up on sleep.
You need nourishing food.
You must enjoy some exercise.
You will want do some fulfilling work.

Sleep is your first debt, just like it’s somehow the easiest thing to give up.
If you’re not caught up on sleep, anything that isn’t an impulse will bore you and you’ll just fall asleep when trying to force yourself to do the right thing.

Food is your next impulse. You will be hungry, and you must reach for the nourishing food that takes care of you. We’ve covered this, you know what’s good for you.

If you hate running, exercise does not mean run. It does not mean burpees, just because you’ve heard that burpees are where it’s at.
Exercise is meant to leave you feeling better.
Pick something you like to do, maybe a scenic bike ride, a hike through a forest preserve, a longer walk with your dog.

Getting your body moving starts an inertia of loving yourself that can’t easily be stopped. All of a sudden you’ll want to do more good.
That’s where fulfilling work comes in.

This is the feeling you get when you’re ready to take action.
When you know what you want.
When the world is clear.

When is the last time you felt clarity?

I wish I could feel it every day, but like I said at the beginning of this, it’s been two weeks, and before that it’s been months.

Have you noticed some trend in your moments of clarity?

I mean it, I’d really like to know. I’m always trying to learn better ways of being a better me, but we’re all human and this is hard for everyone.

How about your fulfilling work?
What do you do that fills you with joy and satisfaction?

I write.

If you have the time, let me know:

Email 
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Thank you, so much.

-A

Latest Thoughts: A Theory on Alcoholism and Self Harm

Total Read Time: 4 Minutes

I like how recording artists release their work. The music of their heart and soul is poured out daily until they let go of a compilation. It is… released.


Released by a few bad shifts at work
Mindset is productivity
Responsibility and discipline highlighted
By their absence

Mindset as soil
Ideas as seeds.

Ever-changing soil can nurture seeds
Into rooted theories and concepts.
It can be too acidic.
It can ferment.

Sometimes, my mindset can give birth to noxiously attractive ideas.
Like a train wreck.

-A


Perpetuation of Self Harm and Substance Abuse

I’ve done a lot of self-experimentation. Recently, I’ve tried removing certain distracting elements from my life. I think of them as “easy” or more accurately, “obvious.”

Diet
Exercise
Alcohol
Sleep

I’ve written about these more specifically.
It would be a compliment if you sifted through this website.
I would love to connect and talk too.

Subtraction Past Zero

Assuming you can, once you remove the obvious elements from your life that are holding you back, you would think a massive light would emanate from your chest. It would feel like a sci-fi phoenix rebirth. You would hatch new colorful feathers and majestically screech like an eagle.

The truth is, it’s shockingly the opposite. You begin to miss having something obvious to blame. It was nice to feel like garbage, knowing you shouldn’t have drank last night. It felt comforting to say, I’ll eat healthy this time for lunch.

I liked having an easy answer.

Once you remove the obvious, you begin to see the less obvious. All of the repressions from your past begin to surface.
You are left with everything left of zero.

Think of this scale:

Subtractions : -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 <0> 1 2 3 4 5 : Additions

When your lifestyle is full of easy things to blame, you’re somewhere around 5. The subtraction of those things take you closer to where you’d like to be: zero.

Blame is the Trend

Continuing to find things to blame is the trend. You spend time focusing on blaming diet choices, exercise habits, and substance abuse. That focus carries you past zero and into the negativity of blaming your job, blaming loved ones around you, and blaming yourself. When you continue blaming things, you get further from zero and closer to -5.

Balance Blame with Love

You have to see the good in the world around you. You have to subtract a bad habit and replace it with a good one. After my father quit smoking cigarettes he told me he began to taste food again. His life had flavor again! He gained appreciation for having stamina. At that time in his life, he went to the gym again and got into great shape. I remember he would flex his bicep and challenge me to wrap my hands all the way around his arm.

Allow light to displace the shadows of negativity and engorge your life with love and self improvement.

You’re Not Alone

The heaviest thoughts when you’re low are thoughts of isolation. You want to be alone. You want to retreat. You feel like you deserve the blame and hatred for yourself.

I promise you, you’re not alone. There is a world of people who have lived through everything you’re dealing with. There is almost always someone In reach who has dealt with what you’re dealt. Everyone deserves to know,

You are Not Alone

I want the best for you.
I want you to feel.
I want you to taste.
I want your life to have flavor and light and excitement.
I want you to feel the love you have for yourself.
I know you are capable.
I know it’s somewhere inside of you.
Please, try and see it too.
Try and look past the shadows.
You deserve this.
You’re worth it.

Thank you, endlessly.

Thank you for your love, your support, your time.
You make my day better.
Always feel free to reach out.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Follow Your Trauma to Find Your Dream Job

Total read time: 9 Minutes

I can’t stop thinking about wrong jobs.
Lately, with COVID-19 on everyone’s radar, job security is more important than ever.

I’m so sorry for everyone in hardship right now. I pray you have your health. I hope for the best support to find you. I wish they would have the cure for this strain of coronavirus and solution for all of this sooner. Remember to reach out and ask for help. You are not alone.

Contact your creditors for relief with monthly payments.
Fedloan announced they will defer all accruing interest during all of this.
Help finds it’s way out of the most unexpected places.
Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up.

I’m writing this out of the honesty of my heart. I believe everyone has
something they dream of,
something they could do with authenticity,
something that keeps them up at night,
something so terrifying and exciting at the same time,
It’s crippling.


If only The Sun and the Moon
Could with yearning hands
Outstretch their arms

Until then

The Sun will gleam
The Moon, a muse
And I, Your Earth

I enter the breadth of your tides
Knowing the safety of your arms
I inch my way atop arduous mountains
Feeling every step closer
I step into the abysmal night
Where You lead me to solely what is

Trustworthy

Only as much as I can handle
Slightly more than I ever

Before you

Could

-A


Changes Seem So Out of Reach

You think about it sometimes, don’t you? What it would take to get you out of this rut. You fantasize about having the gall to stand up straight, reach out your arm, exposing all of your scars.

What are you so complacent for? Why did you get so used to this? Why does it still sting to think about where you could be instead?

Derek Sivers, in his interview with Jeremy Ryan Slate said after your twenties, change is mostly rare. You spend so much time after high school moving, applying, meeting… changing. Eventually you find a job that pays enough money, you buy a house, and you slow the hell down to a screeching halt.

Maybe you’re like me and actually gave something a shot. I dove into photography for years. I started a business and got paid for my work. I emailed photographers, magazines, editors… I poured out my heart all over the world. Nothing happened. I gave up.

Do you remember how it felt? The vast emptiness. It doesn’t happen overnight… the abandonment.

You realize you’ve given up one day. That feeling is instantaneous. It’s felt in the pit of your stomach. That’s how it feels to let yourself down. I let myself down.

What now?

You Feel Stuck

Maybe you really are like me and after you gave up, you didn’t have anything else. You felt so stuck because you didn’t have anywhere else to go.

The only certain thing is that bills keep coming.

You have to pay them, don’t you?

I kept going to the restaurant, waiting on tables, pouring beers at the bar, eventually brewed the beer… until eventually that wasn’t enough and I just kept the trend going.

How do you know what to do next?

I Am Crippled By Trauma

Fortunately, I know you’re like me. I know you’re traumatized. I know you start feeling great and get stabbed in the gut by your past.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity?
It sounded something like, “YES, THIS IS IT!”
I was driving down a steep hill in St. Charles, Illinois on a sunny day. Not having anywhere to be, I could drive as slow as I wanted. I thought, maybe I should share some poetry with people.

It felt so good to realize.

Until it came time to open the computer. Thinking of all my friends and family judging me. The laughter on the other side; people will think I’m a joke. They saw me give up on photography. They’ll think I’ll just give up on this too. They think I give up on everything.

Trauma has a way of popping up when anything really matters.

The knife in my stomach is always here.
I hope it always will be.

Vulnerability is so taxing. It forces you to relive your memories. You imagine this thing you so care about will end up like things did in the past. Your past will continue to remind you.

Fear is debilitating. Judgment makes you feel like you’ll never belong; like you’ll never be accepted. Failure means disappointing someone. Forget about not paying the bills, failure means everyone who didn’t believe in you was right.

What are you supposed to do when you’re afraid of disappointing and failing the ones you love?

Love Can Be a Gift and a Curse

It can feel so much easier just doing “the right thing.” You know, the thing everyone tells you is safe.

It becomes easier to help (to love) others by doing the things they say instead of doing right by you, instead of loving yourself.

I’m certain that the best in people comes out when they are loved.

When you’re loved, you instinctively have good intentions. You do the right thing right back at that person. You take care of them.

You can do the same thing for yourself. You can love yourself.

The Truth is Right in Front of You

There is a litmus test when you’re doing the right thing.

The excitement is an unalienable light in your eyes every time you speak.
The feeling has clarity; it matches what people told you you’re gifted at.
Earth shaking trauma reappears to warn you, this is something that matters.
Love flows through you; you know you need this.

If You’re Anything Like Me

First of all, hang in there because it gets better. Secondly, think about what happened to me. All of this makes sense.

Giving up was the right thing because photography was not.
I gave up on photography because photography was not writing. Photography was not truly the pursuit for me.

I was stuck because I let the inertia die.
Not only did I come to a halt, but I went backwards to the restaurant industry. I started climbing up a ladder on the wrong wall. The climb only made sense because money had to be made and bills had to be paid.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Having abandoned the first thing that I cared for, I was lost. After reading enough books, I looked to the people around me and listened. They liked my writing. Even in my emails to all the photographers, I received compliments for my composition.

I couldn’t move forward without looking in the mirror.
Trauma punched me in the face every time. I have an avoidant personality, finding it easier to hide at my own expense. Standing up to myself was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I didn’t know how.

I learned to love myself.
This took a whole summer to even start believing. I read and studied Mastin Kipp’s work. That’s where I learned about the different personalities. I really delved into behavioral psychology.

I took the leap of faith.
Even armed with love for myself, previous experience with running a business, and all of the knowledge and motivation from the books I’ve read, it still felt like jumping off a cliff to put this writing out.

Taking the leap of faith doesn’t mean quitting your day job.
Derek Sivers says the happiest people he’s met have two jobs. The first job is your dream job. Even if you don’t get paid for it, you treat it seriously and truly give it your all during your free time. The second pays the bills. It’s consistent, its reliable, and it’s a break when trauma strikes and you feel vulnerable during the first job.

You just have to go for it.

Is it possible that the things you gave up on were necessary to give up on?
Is your ladder on the right wall?
Listen to the people around you, what are you gifted at?
Have you forgiven yourself?
Have you started loving yourself?

What do you have to lose?

The truth is, you have too much authenticity for anything you truly care about to fail.

Eventually, it will take off.

You owe it to yourself to fill your life with Love and Significance.

Thank you

I really do this for you. If I reach you somehow. If something sticks out and you’re touched, please don’t hesitate to contact me on whatever social platform feels comfortable to you. Connection feels amazing. We all grow stronger every time we add to our community.

Thank you for your time, and for your support.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin


Recommended Reading

Help finding yourself when you’re stuck:
Designing Your Life

Mentioned above:

Derek Sivers

Jeremy Ryan Slate

Mastin Kipp

How to WIN Today: Forget the Nail; Just Swing the Hammer

Total Read Time: 4 Minutes

“Basically as we try to design more than we can comprehend, more than we can understand. We will shift from traditional engineering to evolutionary algorithms and iterative learning algorithms like deep learning and machine learning. And as we shift this engineering to the training of these iterative algorithms, the locust of learning shifts from the artifacts themselves, to the process that created them.

Tim Ferriss podcast: 404: Steve Jurvetson,

Tradition tells us,

Keep your eyes on the prize

We are led to believe we can do anything we set our mind to.

We are given tools to dial back the size of our goals. The end seems so far away. It all feels so daunting.

Dale Carnegie advised us to live in “day tight compartments.

If you’re worrying about tomorrow, you’ll lose track of today. Dale suggests focusing solely on today.

This is the “dialing back” I mentioned earlier. Take Quick analysis of your end goal and you can figure out what you can do today to get closer.

WHAT IF YOU HAVE NO END GOAL?

Crazy right?

That’s been my life for the past 10 years. 2010 I thought I’d be a math teacher, 2012: a photographer, 2014: a beer brewer, and plenty more in between.

Enough about me, how about you?

It’s okay to NOT know what you want.

You can spend years, even decades figuring out your desires and goals.

You can be a lot more productive with that time.

FOCUS ON THE PROCESS, NOT THE OUTCOME

Love the Hunt, not the kill.

Doesn’t it make sense? If you’re searching and fighting for happiness, are you saying you’re unhappy now? Do you think the dream job will bring you fulfillment? Once you have it, you will still have to go to work. If work now makes you unhappy, then work later, albeit different, will also make you unhappy.

I volunteer, I’ll be the bearer of bad news.

Your appetite won’t stop growing. You think $100k a year is enough, but once you have it, you’ll need $200k, $500k, $1,000,000.

Stop imagining the future. Start living right now.

Jocko Willink’s latest podcast, episode 210: Leadership Strategy and Tactics, talks about the seal teams advancement strategy. It’s just like life. “As soon as you feel ready and comfortable to do your role, you’re promoted and advanced forward.”

You’re in a constant state of progress. That means, you’re never “there.” You’ve never arrived, because you’re already here.

THE PROCESS

If you believe anything I’m saying, if you’ve read this far…

First of all, thank you 🙂

Secondly, let’s set some assumptions:

You don’t need money. Money just allows you to spend more time doing the things you want. Assume you have enough money and start doing the things you like.

You have time. Worrying about time is a waste of it. Tomorrow is future you’s problem.

There’s nothing to be a afraid of. If you’re not working toward any goal, remember you don’t know what you want, then you can’t fail. I mean, failure is the biggest fear right?

What’s left?

That’s right, nothing. Nothing to fear. Nothing to worry about. You have nothing to do, except what you desire. The choice can be anything. The direction can change any and every time you want.

The only thing that remains is process. You start small. Start now.

Thank you

For your endless love and support.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Bibliography

Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your time and attention. Thank you to my loved ones who give me significance.

Inspired by Tim Ferriss podcast: 404: Steve Jurvetson

Further inspiration by Jocko Podcast Episode 210: Leadership Strategy and Tactics

Suggested reading:

Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”

A quick weekend read. Dale’s typical analogous style keeps you following along with examples to back any and all of his theories.

Live On Purpose

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes

This is one of the hardest and at the same time easiest topics for me to write about. The difficulty comes from how important it is to me, because I’m okay at failing at things I don’t care about. This is not one of those things. The ease: because it consumes me; there is no shortage of material in my brain when it comes to this. -Andrey Starostin

It hits when you’re confronted with the question of time. How much time do I have left? For some, it’s so crystal clear and in focus, that their next steps have no alternative. For the people who face the doctor, prescribing the amount of days they have left, I have the utmost respect. I’m most impressed by their outlook on life. In every experience I’ve encountered, be it podcast interview or story, the individual who has accepted the finality of life has disconnected with entitlement and focuses with pinpoint accuracy what is most important to them in their remaining days.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Living every day as if it was your last is not practical. However, living the next 5-10 years seems to get closer to the point. The point is one I’ve made repetitively throughout my writing; and it is intention. What are you doing on purpose? I mean truly thought out with reasoning and discernment.

Let’s take it back a notch and examine the span of one’s life… from a western perspective with a heavy bias from what I’ve seen and experienced.

I truly apologize that I do not have the end all be all answer to what is the meaning of life. I can only write what I can be genuine about.

The life of Andrey Starostin

  • Birth
  • Immigrated to USA, without speaking English
  • Raised through the United States educational system
  • K-12 into higher education (Bachelor’s)
  • Spat out into the real world, with no more curriculum
  • Self betterment: job hopping and career development through business education – entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Ended 4 year relationship and started the relationship I never knew I needed
  • Self betterment: emotional stability, facing past traumas, dealing with self honesty and intentionality, discipline, and leadership.
  • Today: 19 December 2019

Analysis

Self analysis… ahh the bias… wowww he’s full of himself…

My goal here is to articulate the necessity for intention, based on where in my life it has struck organically and the impact it’s had.

Let’s start with the lovely topic of immigration.

I moved to Chicago, Illinois at 5, almost 6 years old. One huge takeaway, believe me there can be an entire book on it’s own, is assimilation and conformity. At a core, I am a mix of extrovert and introvert, but overall I need to feel like I belong and I recharge independently (most of the time just the 10 minutes on the toilet scrolling through instagram while my legs go numb is enough). As a kid, not knowing English really threw a wrench in my whole needing to fit in. My parents told me of the stories I’ve evidently repressed when I came to them crying because I didn’t know how to ask the neighbor’s daughter if they’d come outside and play with me. My parents also told me about the phone call they received from the ESL program director, exclaiming my sister and I graduated into acceptable fluency in record time.

I believe this was the beginning of my exposure to the power of intention.

Although K-12 were some exhilarating years of my life, I’d like to talk about

Falling flat on my face in College

Entering the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I was dropped off in my dorm room and for the first time in my life, I tasted freedom. Although I had a great time, after my first year of adjusting to independence it would be an understatement to say my grades and personal development suffered. Sophomore year had to be different. I switched majors and essentially started over, having to make up for lost time by overloading my schedule. With the intention of finishing school in 4 years and not being a failure in the eyes of my family who raised me in an educational siphon, I was able to graduate on time and learn self sufficiency and independence.

My first bout of intentional self betterment was through my first business:

Starostin Photography

During my sophomore year of college, while my sister was planning her wedding, she spoke with her photographer and I came up during the topic of hiring more help. The business asked for my portfolio, which I of course had never compiled. To save time, I’ll say I never heard from the business again. Nonetheless, the endeavor gave me the lens to view photography as a business I could do. (Obligatory photography pun)

I started the business taking photos of families, couples, animals, etc. and it taught me such a tremendous amount of lessons. This blossomed into research about business, when I was introduced to Tim Ferriss’ and Tony Robbins’ work amongst many others. Thus began:

Andrey Starostin’s Self Help Education

I was engrossed by the possibility of making it in America on my own. Yes, I had a college education under my belt, but I truthfully desired being my own boss and creating something meaningful for the world. I re-examined my life and, despite a durable effort to reach out to the professional Editorial world, Photography wasn’t it for me. I was back on my keister with a restaurant job in a failing relationship. Until…

The Life-changing, Unapologetically Honest, Love of My Life, Kyrie came along

This is a topic I will be returning to many times.

Kyrie has been the first person in my life that made me look at myself and want to be a better person. As selfish as it sounds, self-deprecation was my go-to anytime a decision needed to be made. I realized with Kyrie that I have a future and I have goals of being a husband and a father. I wanted immediately to work on and make myself the best man I could be. With the safety of the trust I received from Kyrie, she scraped down to the core of my being, picked up every broken piece of my traumatic past, and made it okay for me to be vulnerable. That my friends, is Love.

19 December 2019

Which brings me to today: the Andrey Starostin full of intent to better himself into a husband and a father. Yes, that is the end goal. I could not imagine a better life than the honor of being a husband and a father.

Again, I wrote out my life up to this point to highlight the times that have been truly life changing. I owe those times to,

Intention

If you were going to die in 10 years, what would the next 12 months look like? Odds are, you’d probably go back to the same job at first, but then what?

It is that question that answers my priorities for me.

Money: I hate money. I’ve always hated money. Damn it we need it though. Money is flexible and can come from a variety of sources. Let’s put money on the back burner.

Family: There we go. That’s important. Let’s talk more than the family we were born into. Let’s talk about the family we made for ourselves. The people we choose every day to surround ourselves with. That’s the family I’m talking about. Yes, you could spend more time with them, but you can’t take them away from their lives for 10 years. Every time you do spend with them, could have more quality, more intention, more attention.

Work: Remember, money is on the back burner. I’m talking about the work you’re here on this Earth for. What, if you died today, would be work left unfinished that only you could complete?

Leisure: Fast forward a month, maybe even just a week into you finding out you’re dying in 10 years. You’re burnt out from all the emotional pressure. You’re overwhelmed and you need a release, a distraction, something to ease the tension. Hobbies are invaluable. Truly fulfilling hobbies are the best way to recharge and get you back into a meditative stable state of mind. It could be reading a book. It could be kickboxing. It’s different for everyone.

Fitness: What if the doctor was wrong? Do you cave and let yourself go for 10 years? Or do you look in the mirror and fight for the 11th, and the 12th. Fitness is more than going to the gym. Fitness is a lifestyle of dedicating yourself to feeling optimal. Fitness is work that can not be bought. Only you are responsible for looking that damn good.

How do you get the most out of 10 years?

Let’s make a plan. Let’s make a weekly checklist of meeting your priorities.

Where and when will you organize your family, work, leisure, and fitness? Ideally, we begin with a blank calendar assuming you are starting entirely fresh. They are your priorities for a reason, so fill them in first. In between all of those things, we have to talk about money.

You have a choice.

Either you can slide all of those priorities around and make money fit when it comes from some extra job you work at, OR you can make your life’s work (the meaningful one that only you can do), your leisure (the one you truly enjoy), or your fitness (that you’re doing to better yourself) make money for you. It would be an even bigger bonus if you could combine two or more.

Remember, never mix family and business. Money and Blood don’t mix.

If this sounds too hard, let me ask you, have you even tried?

If they’re truly your priorities, you’re already doing the work, enjoying the leisure, and making yourself fit every day, every week.

This is where Intention comes in. Take some time and examine your priorities. Look at what means the most to you in this world and write it down so it doesn’t consume you while you’re trying to sleep at night.

If you are awake at night, thinking, I ask for you to do one thing: Be grateful for the world around you. It is so much bigger than you. This life of yours is worth more intention. This world needs all of you.

Thank You

I am so thankful for my family and friends that support me every day.

Thank you Kyrie for your undivided love and endless patience.

Lastly, I am thankful for you, my audience and the time you dedicated to read this.

Thank you,

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

The Hands That Hold You Down, Could Be Hands That Pull You Up

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes

Picture a man riding a chariot pulled by two winged horses. The horses: one noble and sound paired with one of the opposite will. The horses are the devil and angel on your shoulders. The charioteer is your mind. The chariot, your body. Without the reign of enlightened reason and discipline, your horses will guide you to danger.  – Phaedrus, by Plato.

A quick disclaimer by Andrey Starostin: I am not a physician. Please consult your doctor to ensure your safety both physically and mentally before you follow any of my suggestions. 

To gain control over your body, you must first control your desires pulling you to the path of least resistance. I can’t speak for everyone, but several of my friends and I agree that once you abstain from sugar for a little while, it becomes less appealing. Every once in a while I fold under pressure and have a blueberry muffin. I’m reminded every time, it’s not even THAT good. Trust me, not only is it possible, but it becomes easy to make the right decisions for eating, for choosing engaging activities, and even choices for your financial health.

“The initial resistance that trees face when they stretch their roots is the same Earth that solidifies to hold them in the face of any storm.”

Have you ever noticed how annoying people are who start working out? 

They’re onto something…

Once your environment is supportive of your goals, you will weather any storm.

The way to upgrade your lifestyle is to update your ecosystem. If you are growing and your ecosystem is not, your surroundings will resist your progress and pull you back to your previous comforts. If you FIRST change your ecosystem, you will be pulled UP and into improvement.

When you begin to work on yourself, It is uncanny how irresistible it is to talk about fitness and health. No matter what stage you are in your journey, the temptation to share will always seep out of your smile. That’s why people who take care of themselves like to talk about their skin care routine. *eyeroll*

A note on empathy. People who are fit and healthy make working out seem so easy. It’s hard. Damn hard to start and even harder to keep going. I can’t stress enough how important it is to reward every little victory. I really mean every little victory. Make small goals. Take consistent effort. The plateau is real, and when it hits try your exercises at a different angle, with more intensity, or simply with less rest between sets. 

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Method:

  1. Desire 
  2. Discipline 
  3. Measurement = Progress
  4. Progress = Desire
  5. Rinse, Lather, and Reinforce with REWARD

Let’s start with Ease of Use

The more we talk about fitness, the more excuses come up why you can’t. 

Start with what you can do. 

Forget counting calories. 

I tried counting calories one time, realizing it’s too easy to bullshit. Even the most honest record will have the human error between who made the food and who is measuring their meal. 

That’s not to say it’s impossible; I’ve seen people take control and transform their life measuring their food intake. I’m being honest. I succumb to dishonesty in self reporting the measurement of calories.

A farm needs a good fence.

(Stay with me here) A farmer building his fence can carefully measure every post. He can save an enormous amount of time and energy. How? By measuring the first one and using it as a stencil for the following hundred posts. 

I consider counting calories a calibration. Cacophony of alliteration at it’s finest

I like to check in every once in a while with my portion control by counting a meal’s calories. Once I know roughly what the size of my meal is, my infantile mind is appeased. 

Basics to calories: 

Keep in mind, this is an exaggerated simplification.

Food intake – Physical expenditure during the day = caloric surplus or deficit at the end of the day

Surplus in calories = gaining weight

Deficit in calories= losing weight

Forget the Gym

Your home is your gym and you are the squat rack. ESPECIALLY in the beginning. There is no need for bars or weights. Your foundation should be set with proper range of motion and flexibility. Body weight exercises mitigate risk. Your focus should always be on form. If you don’t believe in commitment without buying something, make it a pull-up bar. 

Ritualize 

If you turn your fitness into a routine, you have a much better chance of sticking to it. Even if you can’t give it 100% every day, SOMETHING will be so much more effective in the long run than nothing at all. 

Pacing with Intention

Calendars make something actually happen. Schedule ahead. Plan out a routine for yourself. Set an end goal that is a certain skill or technique that you want to be able to do. 

For example, I started out wanting to touch my toes at any point in the day without pain. 

The important part here is pacing a difficulty that is not too hard, but challenging enough that you don’t get stuck in a plateau. 

I made sure to stretch. I stretched all of the muscle groups involved in touching my toes every day. I identified where my weakest links were.

You should schedule a recalibration day every week to see where your progress is at. This leads us to…

Scalability

Your fitness goals will always be scalable if you follow a recalibration schedule. The focus on constant adaptation and change will never allow for a plateau. Your body is smart. It likes to be ready for challenges. So keep challenging it by looking for creative ways of doing the same things you’ve mastered.

Reward

At every interval you have to treat yourself. It’s so important to honor the fact that you are putting in the work that so many people struggle with. Making the right decision every day will grow and harden your discipline. The best way to make sure you’re rewarding yourself is by measuring your progress. While scheduling your routines, set goals and measure where you’re at every day.

Thank you

Thank you to Kyrie, to my family and friends, to you, my audience and my peers. You motivate me and make me feel significant.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin