The extent to which you engage in life is defined by only one thing: your energy level.
And it is 100% under your control.
Your energy level is defined by:
The stuff you put inside yourself – food, drugs, the air you breathe, and the content you consume.
The environment – the quality of people around you, noises, amount of sunlight, etc.
What you do – routines, habits, deep work hours (the more the better), shallow work hours (the less the better).
If you eat shit, drink every day, smoke, and live in a polluted city with angry people around you (this is starting to sound very much like Moscow) – your energy level will be close to 0.
Of course, you won’t get anything meaningful done. You don’t have any fuel!
Discipline doesn’t help. It works for a while and then stops. Because discipline burns fuel.
You won’t get far on discipline. You need external sources of energy.
Here are a few ideas:
Eat clean. Lots of green vegetables. Less meat. More fish and hummus.
Exercise. Running, plank, push-ups, bike, swimming – it doesn’t matter unless you keep pushing yourself physically. Ideally, outside and in nature.
Consume good content. Not to be smart but to put positivity in your ears. Chances are, you’ll become smarter too.
Create something. Write, podcast, paint, design, build, hack. Ideally, for at least 1.5 hours of deep, concentrated, uninterrupted work.
Talk to somebody. Human beings are social animals. Push yourself to socialize and get out of your own head and problems. You’re not in school anymore, you can afford to surround yourself with people who love you and whom you love back.
Do something that sucks. Work. Do something unpleasant. Do something where you have to push yourself to sit down and work. And then be proud that you did it. That productive high is the best thing in the world.
Practice philosophy. By consuming ancient ideas and letting them influence you. (I recommend Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic for this.)
These things must become a part of your Daily Practice.
You can’t (really) influence the quality of your output. You can’t control how successful or happy you’ll be. But you can always pay attention to who you’re with, what you put inside yourself, and what you do. Only you control that.
It’s your job to make sure your energy levels are as high as you want them to be.
Neither success nor fulfillment is guaranteed. But if you have high energy, at least you’ll feel great in the process.
And that’s all that matters.