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Understanding yourself requires as much mistrust as trust.
But uncertainty sucks and hurts our ego, so it’s hard. Yet it’s necessary for thinking clearly.
Clearer thinking = better understanding = better choices = happier us.
One of my favorite quotes is by tech billionaire Marc Andreeson who said he has “strong views, loosely held.” Meaning, he has conviction for what he believes in, but isn’t afraid to change his mind if new evidence presents itself.
So, to keep myself in check, here are six things I’ve recently changed my mind about.
1. Advocating melatonin use
I was listening to this Tim Ferriss podcast with Dr. Andrew Huberman when I perked up around the topic of melatonin. Friends much smarter than me have vouched for Huberman’s legitimacy, so I trusted his advice. Huberman stated that in his research, he noticed that melatonin suppressed puberty in children and has strong effects on the sex steroid hormones pathways, such as estrogen and testosterone. He gave an example of one experiment where they injected male Siberian hamsters with melatonin and their “pretty impressive sized testicles” shrunk to the size of a grain of rice. For the female hamsters, their version of a “menstrual” cycle stopped. Lastly, he also said most of the concentrations of melatonin that are in supplements are 10 to 1,000 times what the endogenous internal levels would naturally be. So people who are taking 3, 5, or 10mg of melatonin are essentially “super-dosing” sleep hormones. Instead, he recommends 200-400 mg of magnesium threonate, 200-400 mg of L-theanine, and 50 mg of apigenin, which is a derivative of camomile (common for teas).
Caveat: Do I now think melatonin is the devil and am never gonna take it again? No. I’ll definitely still use it sparingly when I’m traveling or having trouble sleeping. But I won’t take any more than 1mg and won’t make it a habit.
2. My workouts have always been a means to an end
Coming from a natural bodybuilding and science-based background, my goal’s always been to build muscle in the gym. My body’s made of granite and the barbell is my chisel… lol, not really. But I saw lifting weights as a means to get more jacked, and that’s about it. Only until recently have I prioritized “feeling as good as possible” by the time I leave the gym. I’ll do more cardio than lifting if I want to. I don’t do barbell lifts anymore because I don’t like them. And God-forbid if I use more machines than free weights. Now, my workout is the end in itself⏤the process of working out is my reward. And, of course, I still enjoy how it makes me look, but that’s not my ultimate goal anymore.
3. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency
Might rustle some feathers with this one, but who cares. I don’t even know if I’m right because I’m still SO dumb on the topic. But the recent crypto craze over the last year sucked me in (thanks, Elon Musk). I didn’t lose tons of money on DOGE or MOON Coin, or anything like that. But I did start to dollar cost average every week a very small percentage of my total income into Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now. And if it wasn’t for one of my very smart friends (and Nassim Taleb), I’d probably keep doing it, but they changed my mind. The main reasons I’ve stopped investing in crypto is because 1) the environmental impacts of “mining” crypto aren’t insignificant, 2) people say it’s “decentralized”, yet Elon can make a tweet and manipulate everything, and 3) it’s… probably… not a good idea to try and support something that intends to overthrow our entire monetary system…? I hear the arguments for why it’d be great, and better, and all these things, but I think that’s a utopian idea where everything goes perfectly. I’m also an idiot and don’t know anything about economics, policy, coding, etc. I’m still holding onto what I have, I’m just not investing more. Would be happy to hear your thoughts? Just drop a comment below.
4. Morning workouts
For the record, I still think people who lift weights in the morning are crazy (because I’m tired, there’s nothing wrong with it). But I’ve came around to the idea of going for a brisk walk in the morning after waking. Besides the obvious health benefits of walking, I liked the way Gary Halbert, author of The Boron Letters, described it: “It cleans you out, it settles you down and it gives you a nice glow that will stay with you throughout the day. It will also make you more clearheaded and improves the quality of your thinking.” He called it “road work.” Henry David Thoreau said, “For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.”And if that doesn’t motivate you to walk, I don’t know what will.
5. That the pandemic is bad
JUST KIDDING. But also, having a space between me and another person on planes should be a permanent thing. Anybody else?
6. My work/money/”success” dictating my self-worth
To be fair, this is still very much a work in-progress. If I rewinded 5 years, I’d be stoked with where I am now. What I’m realizing, though, is that most of my negative rumination happens when I don’t keep my word to myself. I say I’m going to finish that thing, but I spent too much time dicking around on Instagram instead. It was important to me, I had the time to do it, but I didn’t follow through. I never want to be the guy that says, “Well I could do that if I actually tried, but…” Fuck that. I know what I’m capable of, so I’m trying to live up to that. But I’m trying to do it without berating myself too much in the process. Because while I think it’s fine that my career gives me a piece of my self-worth, it shouldn’t be the whole thing. I am not my work. And my work, or bank account, or accolades, don’t define me as a man. These things also matter: who I am as a brother, as a son, as a romantic partner, as a friend, as a coach, what I do for fun, who I make laugh, who I make think, etc. This is what I’ll be remembered for. And lastly, I won’t be remembered at all soon enough, so why do I care so much about what “stuff” I accumulate? I have this one life, so, dammit⏤I’m gonna at least have fun while pursuing my goals. And I can’t do that if I’m constantly delaying my happiness until the next milestone is achieved.
I see changing my mind as a sign of strength, not weakness.
I don’t want to believe the same things I did three years ago. Hell, even six months ago. It reveals growth and open-mindedness.
But, most importantly, it helps me understand reality without diluting it with my own interpretations. I care about the Truth over being right.
Well, except when I’m arguing with my family. Then I care about being right.
Enjoy your day.
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