Every moment is a choice
It’s 1:43 am… I’m completely sober, sleepy, but not tired enough to go to bed.
Instead, I’m thinking of the duality of the human mind, both beast and benevolent. It is a quantum consciousness that we possess, and that we struggle to come to terms with. How the exact same act can be good in one scenario, but evil in another. For a less extreme example, this is something I deal with often…
There are two states of life: Growth and Decay. If you are not growing, you are decaying… dying. The crest of that curve is Comfort. If you follow me around long enough, you’ll hear me say things like “comfort is death” all the time. Getting comfortable is the moment you begin to decay. Yet, being content with whatever it is you already have is the true secret to happiness. If you follow me around long enough, you’ll hear me say things like “when is good enough actually good enough?” I’d love to hear your thoughts, because I have no idea.
How do we find this mysterious thing called balance? A fine term, as it really is a balancing act on the high wire that represents what we pay attention to. Do you see optimistically, or do the fears of uncertainty scare you away? Is there a calm center that can be found when one has mastered their craft well enough, or is it a constant teeter-totter, leaning side to side to make up ground lost/gained. A tug of war between pride and guilt, confidence and insecurity, trust and paranoia, pizza or burgers… I think you need a little time for each, cuz if you throw all of that in a blender and drink a hardcore smoothie, it will be most unpalatable.
Some of the choices I’ve made, even I find them to be unusual. Instead of a 2-bedroom downtown apartment with an 800 sqft deck I could have built a hockey rink on, I live in a teeny 450 sqft hole in the wall that overlooks the beach. No regrets! But I do realize all the function and extra space I gave up, just to be able to stare out of the window at something nice. This is also the first time I’ve ever lived alone without roommates. Despite the most ideal location and living situation, I am not comfortable. Nor am I uncomfortable. Maybe that’s because I’m always looking at price candles? Hmm…
In any case, I must not get comfortable or my performance and ambition will begin to decay. I cannot think “I’ve made it” yet. At some point in almost everyone’s life, they complete a critical stage and feel like now things are in place where they should be and that’s how the rest of their lives will be. Whether it’s related to school, career, love, starting a family; it doesn’t matter. It’s a satisfaction and stability that comes with the achievement of completing a previous life stage. As good as it feels, it casts a shadow that we drag our feet through.
<!Tangent… Back in 1998, there was a virus spreading around EFnet called through a file titled Life_Stages.txt Of course, I never got caught, but that was the very first time I thought of the different stages of life, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. />
A good example of this is championship hangovers in sports. Once a team wins the championship, logic would suggest that they would be the odds-on favorite to win again, as they have literally just proven they are the best team. However, the results are quite the opposite. Many championship teams miss the playoffs entirely the next season. Even if they did not lose any key players; what they lost was their hunger. A starving man digs deeper than a curious one.
Before XYO, I worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for four different companies. I did not see my friends for months at a time, or leave the house except to get some In N Out for dinner. I began doing this because I was sick of failing to complete the current life stage I was in. My best friend told me something along the lines of “your whole life, you’ve been talented enough to get by giving only 40% effort. I wonder what you could actually do if you gave just one thing your all.”
It really stuck with me, because I also wondered that my entire life. Because of that quantum consciousness, I was always floating between so many different things at once, that no one thing could ever get my entire effort. After that conversation, it was clear that blockchain and crypto was going to be my future, and I needed to find a home.
I’ve made minor contributions to projects such as Waves, Skycoin, Arqma, and DAV Network. I’ve designed my own exchange (never got developed). I’ve since written The Beginner’s Guide to Crypto Mining, along with co-authoring Crypto Revolution. I’ve written multiple whitepapers for upcoming projects that may or may not ever see the light of day. You may have seen the rigs I built with A-B Engineering — but it was all to see what would stick. Would one thing emerge from the pile that stood worthy above all the rest? Sure enough, something did. That one thing was XYO. For a while, anyway.
What an amazing run with an amazing team! Ended all too short. From there came another opportunity: Host a podcast.
Wait what? I worked all that time just to end up unemployed again, hosting a fucking podcast? Fuck.
Turns out, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. My co-workers from XYO now became my business partners, and we were free to follow our own vision.
Now it’s back to working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Why do I do this?
I work hard now so I can be lazy the rest of my life. Anyone who has followed me around long enough, you’ll hear them say things like “Aaron is one of the laziest people I’ve ever met. He has negative-zero discipline.” That same person then also added, “I’m so proud of him for finally giving it his best. He deserves his success.”
Rewind for a minute… Why did I pick XYO in the first place? Here’s what I wrote in the original article.
“Scott, Arie, and Markus are a few life stages ahead of me. They could easily say ‘I’ve made it’ and live in a much bigger place than mine, next to a nicer beach. Instead, they decided to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, together at one thing. As a community member, I came to the office several times and saw for myself what wasn’t being marketed; the real dedication and work ethic of the team. Tireless, passionate, and always optimistic.
It puts my own metrics to shame. I signed an enormous NDA to not talk about what goes on, but the developers, Arie, Scott, and many others regularly work over the weekend, not because they always have to, but because they want to. They’re too humble to say it, so I will. As a competitive person, it is inspiring (and frustrating) to be outworked by more people than I can count on one hand.”
Fast-forward to today:
2020. Worst year ever. Pandemic. Fires. Aliens confirmed. Black Hole Sun starts to actually make sense. 10 million people out of work. Something about wasps? Hold on, I am missing more stuff… where’s my apocalypse bingo card?
Despite all that, my partners and I have built three million-dollar businesses this year. Fourth on the way.
Now I’ve become the master. *ohhh-prrrr*
How’d I do that? Welp… It is now 3:07am. My first call today was 11:30am, then another at 4pm, then another at 11pm, and finally the last call of the day is at 4am for a quarterly shareholder meeting. Most of that time in between calls was spent researching, answering questions in CryptNation. My neck and back have been killing me all year from how much time I spend in a computer chair. Everything has its price.
My body feels like it has decayed substantially since the life stage where I just played hockey all afternoon and reffed all night. But it feels good to be in a position to invest in others, mentor others, and hopefully leave behind a better world than how I found it (spoiler alert: COVID is lab created).
So for any of you out there with game, with grit, come contribute to the crypto industry. Even dumb TikToks help make a difference, no matter wha the curmudgeons on Crypto Twitter say about you. And if you’re still not entirely sold, don’t worry, that’s a good sign you’re not crazy. It’s just the normal duality of a healthy mind.
Looks like we’ve reached the crust…
(This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated)
Disclaimer: I hold small amounts of a couple of the tokens mentioned in this article.