Tag Archives: philosophy

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

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a.o.starostin

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

6 Minute Lifestyle

Don’t do yourself the disservice of googling “6 Minute Abs.” Somehow it leaks into your instagram ads and the world knows you’re ready to fall victim to their bullshit. Instead, google 6 Minute Lifestyle to come to this post anytime you need to feel a little more earthly and grounded. :]

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes


The Regal Yew

Do you believe a blade of grass sticking out of the ground
If it were to speak and announce himself as a regal yew?

Nonetheless, Do you step on his progress
And bury him back into the dirt?

Or shall you wait and see,
What burning questions the sun will serve,
What wine the clouds will weep for his thirst,
What earthen support will found his yearning roots

And when you move onto more exciting cities,
To one day return to the field of grass that raised you,
And see The Regal Yew,

Do you believe Yew grew rings upon rings,
To convince you he could?

Do you think he would speak,
or let his stature do the talking,
And convince you did too?


Sustained Effort

Maybe we all know better. Maybe I’m not breaking the foundation of the 6 minute abs series on YouTube. Perhaps we all understand abs don’t make you happy.

Why then, do you believe you’ll be happy with 1,000,000 followers and $1,000,000?

Applying the effort of positive reinforcement, over a sustained effort, will result in a lifestyle change that will emulate what you truly believe will make you happy: following your inner character.

That might be too wordy… let me break it down to fit into a 6 minute read.

Or exit this, and do a 6 minute ab workout.

Building Character

Pursuit of wealth and success is easier understood through negative reinforcement.

It’s the reason you’re not satisfied when you get what you wanted.

Motivation for wealth and success is not based on appreciation of what you already have, it’s the pursuit of what someone else has.

Pursuit of honesty and living true to your character is the arduous journey achieved through positive reinforcement.

It’s easier to understand through negative reinforcement: You don’t like feeling guilt and shame by lying, but it’s easier to lie or pretend to be something you’re not for short term satisfaction.

That is why it is easier to live in a negative, complaint driven lifestyle.

Instant gratification is born out of negative reinforcement.

Your short term feeling of winning is done through force of power. That power quickly runs out when everyone stops listening to you and your lies.

Positive growth, in this example, is made through building relationships with people where your driving force is your honesty and care for them. You have to honestly care, so that you produce the actions of a caring person. You can’t lie your way into someone’s trust, because you will expose yourself when it’s time to act upon the promises you make.

Expanding Honesty

Let’s simplify this with the 6 minute ab example.

The progress of your abs coming out is dependent upon you doing the 6 minute workout and then letting that feeling of health trickle it’s way into your whole week. The choices you make for your diet, your hobbies, and even the friends you surround yourself with.

6 Minute abs turn into a lifestyle, and then the abs show for it.

If your instant gratification focused mind believes it only takes 6 minutes to get abs, you might also believe that having a million dollars will make you happy.

Proposal

Try and put “the proof” of achievement on the back burner. Let the book deal, or the subscribers, or the paychecks all be frivolous byproducts.

Instead, focus solely upon your character, and follow the times in your life when you’ve felt honest with yourself, regardless of who’s approval was or wasn’t gained.

If you think of the product of your effort as short term, instant gratification then think of the lifestyle you want as long term gratification: thus being much harder to achieve and more worthwhile to savor.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re the type of person I’d like to hear from.

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

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Thank you

This post, inspired by quotes David sent me from Walden, by Henry David Thoreau and from Timaeus, by Plato.

Moons & Moods: My Equilibrium Theory

Total Read Time: 7 Minutes

Over the past 3 days I have had the worst mood swings in months. The more people I talk to between work and home, the more I find consistencies in their emotional irregularities. Oxymoron, (consistent irregularities) I know, but mine were more than just environmentally related.

I had to go to the dentist, which I have an irrational fear of . The days leading up to my appointment were awful. Everything effected me. The things I could bounce off of me normally really dug deep. Even the little things like stupid joking comments from people at work just had more of an effect than usual.

I wrote this for all of you dealing with a similar mood swing. It’s so natural. Maybe more natural than we all realize.

You can do it! I believe in you. You’re amazing!

Without further rambling…

I made the realization yesterday over coffee. Thinking back on my writing about alcohol, I correlated it to writing. The resistance to Start writing is so akin to the resistance to Stop drinking. I wrote,

It’s self-perpetuating. Alcohol demands more of itself. The hardest part is to stop. 

The easiest… not starting at all.

Andrey Starostin: Alcohol

The self perpetuation can be understood as a state of flow,

see my writing on flow in How to Find Your Passion.

It’s quite simple to keep writing once I start, due to said state of flow. I realized alcohol’s similarity in that perpetuation. So I thought about the resistance between wanting to stop drinking and wanting to start writing.

It’s hardest to stop drinking after the first few drinks.
&
It’s hardest to stop writing after you start.


It’s easiest to prevent the perpetuation of drinking by forcing yourself not to start.
&
It’s easiest to begin the perpetuation of writing by forcing yourself to start.

The Resistance

Life seems to be so full of resistance. The richest moments of our lives demand difficulty in one way or another. The War Of Art, by Steven Pressfield is a perfect manual, almost a writer’s bible. It is the mirror you didn’t know you could look into. Relating to all creators, Pressfield brings clarity to the physical, emotional, and spiritual resistance all creators feel to sit down and get to work. The rationales we justify Not writing with. Easily in my top 10 books of all time.

My point is, I am flawed.

Unfortunately, I succumb to the resistance and my writing goes days, weeks, sometimes months without seeing a pen touch paper. I battle the desire to be more productive. I want the ability to write any time I choose. I wish I had the control.

Why isn’t there a gym of my mind? Why can’t I go through the motions and deadlift words out onto paper?

Equilibrium Theory

As a young boy, I formulated rationalization to explain why the world worked. I had to make sense of things. When people get mad, they return to happy. When people quit a job, someone replaces them. When I run around the playground all day, I get a sunburn. Everything seemed transactional, as if to have a reaction or an exchange of energy.

As bad as things get, the show must go on.

My equilibrium theories have never let me down, but I have no explanation for them. The moon comes around every 27.3 days. It’s no coincidence that oceanic tides change, hospital attendance rates spike, and restaurant call-offs occur around the same time.

How have you noticed these wavelengths in your life? It seems like one day you’re posting on instagram, and other days you’re beating yourself up.

My point with the equilibrium theory and my discipline is that some days it’s so easy to write. Some days, I can barely get out of bed. I look for ways to influence those days into my liking.. perhaps by

Nudging

I want to control the wavelengths.
I want to find the optimal length, intensity, and frequency.
I want to understand how my ups and downs can be steered into my favor.

I believe discipline, going through motions and forcing yourself to do the intentional right thing, will raise your “low’s,” but with an important caveat.
It seems to work by desensitizing you to the effects of your emotions.

That means your lows are less low.
It also means your highs are less high.

There has to be an ideal wavelength, where the highs hit all the marks, last long enough, and the lows are not downright crippling.

Steering

What if you could choose where the lows fall, as much as where your highs soar?

I want my highs to be involved with creative endeavors. I want to create at my peak performance. I want to analyze and understand with clarity and love for myself.

As for my lows… I aim to steer them at something… resilient. Durability in various facets of my life offer the ability to absorb negativity and bounce back faster.

I believe you can practice steering negative states into parts of your life that are definite and indestructible. Controlling the downside seems to be the first step, letting the upside glow and aid in recovery.

I know, I know this sounds like some woo woo freaky mind games. I don’t deny that it’s out there. As soon as someone starts talking about moons and astrology people automatically have a predisposition to… you get the point. I’m just a young boy trying to make sense of the world.
I’ve heard from a lot of you that you can relate… creating things is hard.

So far the best examples come from states of clarity.

Clarity is when you’re centered. You can drop into yourself and sit in a state of experience. You’re aware, present, and intentional. Clarity is where I see that I’m right.

When do you experience clarity?
Can you access it?

I’ve never been able to provoke clarity, but I’ve learned to recognize it when its there. I use clarity to recalibrate where I am in the wavelength.

I encourage you to try it next time you are having an amazing day. Try to drop into yourself and write down your desires, your goals, your downfalls, things you want to be more intentional with, and experience the moment, recognizing it shouldn’t always be there.


It’s a work in progress, this theory of equilibrium. I wish I could control it, but I’ll settle for simply understanding it.

It offers some explanation for why I am the way I am.

While I may feel out of control, I gain some peace with the fact that some force in this world is.

Thank you,

To my support around the world. My family, friends, loved ones, critics, and editors. I can’t do this without you.

Andrey Starostin

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

Instagram
a.o.starostin

I’m Writing about My Relationship with Alcohol

Total Read Time: 8 Minutes

This post is about trauma. About Numbing myself. This is about choosing to give myself life instead of taking it away. I know it’s hard to read. Believe me, it’s harder to write.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I do not advise anyone on changes to their health. Please consult your doctor before you do anything. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol, please seek guidance and help from a professional. There are people a phone call away that know exactly how to help.

The most spent currency is time.

One of my mentors, although there’s no chance he knew the impact he has had on my life, is a man I worked with years ago. He worked with urgency, indulging in a sigh only when time was taken care of. I mean the kind of “taken care of” when we are waiting on time itself. His most quoted saying was, “we are up against the clock.” The clock started when he woke up. It ended when his tasks for the day were finished.

We are either waiting on time, or time is waiting on us.

When you start a kettle of water, the time span before it boils is YOUR time. During that time, you are free to do anything you want. When the water has boiled, you are back on the clock; with time waiting on you to pour that water over some coffee grounds.

I find a soothing relief when I am waiting on time. I feel productive and in control. Ahead of the game.

Another example of this is efficient dishwashing. Not the kind at home after you ate some eggs. The kind where a 50 table restaurant that seats 200 people sends back 200 plates after they finished eating. Imagine you are the dish washer, and the next set of guests is arriving. Clean those plates.

I once worked with a young server named Jake. The dishwasher at the time was complaining they had to wash too many dishes. Jake pointed out,
“You’re not the dishwasher. That machine is the dishwasher.”

The point here is, the one thing we can not control is the time the dishwasher takes to run each cycle. What we can control, is having the next tray of dishes ready so that we can have the dishwasher running as often as possible. When the dishwasher is not running, time is waiting on you to load that thang up.

Alcohol is a time suck

I see alcohol as an exchange. A trade sometimes. Most of the time, just a time suck. I give away the rest of my evening, to the influences of alcohol. I sacrifice the productiveness and efficiency of the following morning to “recovery.”

“I give away hard earned dollars to the empty calories I worked so hard at my job and in the gym for. “

Don’t mistake my drama for preaching. I am all about loving myself. I want you to love yourself. You are amazing. Your life is worth living. You are incredible. Don’t beat yourself up for a night of drinking. This is about understanding the CHOICE you’re making. Man, I’m full of caveats today…

Alcohol BLURRRS Time

My father often related his first drink of the day to it’s conclusion; the day that is. Decisiveness takes a steep drop after that first drink. It’s self-perpetuating. Alcohol demands more of itself. The hardest part is to stop.

The easiest… not starting at all.

“Drinking alcohol is borrowing happiness from tomorrow”

Matt Mullenweg

The Challenge

Awareness – Take note of the opportunity cost with drinking. Understand what you will be unable to do instead.
Value – Apply intention in weighing the value of your consciousness that you lose while drinking.

Honesty is the true challenge.

Why is it easiest to lie to yourself, when you are the person that knows the truth?

I want the blur. I hate the clarity of the mirror. I don’t value my time. My productivity doesn’t produce anything the world wants. It’s better NOT TO FEEL and keep the past buried. It’s easier to sleep.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

What I know about myself is I find the edge too hard to balance on. One drink is so perpetually powerful, I eventually succumb.

The easiest answer is no, to starting.

Why am I being so hard on myself?

I spend a lot of time looking around myself; at the people I look up to, the people that raised me, and the people I can learn something from. So… basically everyone.

Most of the time, I’m paying attention to myself. What makes me feel good, bad, okay, and not enough.

The times I beat myself up the most are when I’m unproductive, financially irresponsible, and repeating mistakes I’ve already learned from.

When I look at what keeps me on track to being disappointed in myself, it usually involves alcohol.

When I look at accomplished, revered people around the world, many of them abstain from… alcohol.

Decision time

Drink a lot less alcohol.
As in, barely any.
Most of all, to better understand the true cost when I do drink.

Accountability

This audience… YOU are a great start. I really don’t want people pointing out when I’m slipping down the slope again.
So please point and laugh if I do.

Reward

I really Love finances. If anyone wants to talk about money saving techniques, credit cards, savings accounts, trading options, etc… Maybe I’ll just write about it. I’m bound to eventually.

I’m going to reward myself for every time I say no to alcohol.
I set up an easy transfer between a checking account into a savings account at a different bank. Capital One savings, in case anyone is interested.

They’re both interest bearing, but the savings account I specifically chose because I have no physical access to it. I did not link any automatic withdrawals from it. It’s way easier to put money in than it is to take money out. The point being, to mimic the sunk cost of spending money on drinks.

Every time I say no to alcohol, I get to deposit the cost of the said alcohol into my savings account.
Bottle of wine costs $15?
Just made $15 dollars by being disciplined.

I started thinking… imagine if you could get back all of the money you’ve ever spent on alcohol… god damn.

So that’s what I’m doing now. Positive reinforcement.

The easiest thing to forget is to accept being human and forgive mistakes. I’m not saying I’ll never drink again. I’m not demonizing it if I do. Remember, I said I want to understand the cost of doing so. I’m also making it easier and more rewarding to not drink.

What does Alcohol look like in YOUR life?

I’ve heard of dear friends drinking because they’re bored. I’ve heard coworkers say how they realized how much better they feel after NYE if they don’t glorify getting sauced. I have friends running challenges to make March a dry month.

The reality of it is, alcohol is so present in our lives. It’s effects do not have to consume us. The world is such a beautiful place with people like you in it. I would love to see what you’re capable of if you stop letting alcohol hold you back.

Truly, Thank you

For reading my spilled thoughts. You are so significant to me, and to this world. Thank you for being in it.

Thank you for being.

Andrey Starostin

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

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