👋 Hi, I'm James.

  • James von der Lieth

What Drives Me To Be Better

What drives me to try to be a better version of myself most days is thinking about this second picture of this soft, pale, gross, selfish, probably hungover, poor excuse for a human being. This was only 8 years ago.



Back then, I thought fulfillment and happiness could be achieved by accruing the most impressive material goods and money in my bank account. I ignored my health to try to fill an emotional void with stuff. But then I finally got all that stuff, and it was clear the void was still there.

Instead of dealing with all my pain and failings from High School, I used alcohol, food, consumerism, and anything else corporate marketing shoved down my throat to try to fill the void in my soul. Like a lemming, I unconsciously embraced the Materialist culture that pervades America.

Watching my Mom die first hand put life into perspective and woke me up to the sad but beautiful truth that the only thing we leave this earth with is the love we've created. Since then, it's been a continual process of growth, screw-ups, reflection, more growth and more screw-ups. Luckily, around 8 years ago I discovered virtual mentors not beholden to the corporate marketing machine that helped me find the path to becoming better - people like Joe Rogan, David Goggins, Tim Ferriss, Naval, Tucker Max, and others. In my opinion, these people are the intellectual heroes of our time because of the metamorphosis I've personally had due to their willingness to be authentic and chase the truth without "selling out" for likes and money.

I'm still far from perfect or who I strive to be as a man, but I know I've come along way from just 8 years ago. I hope in 8 more years I look back on the person writing this and am glad I metaphorically "killed" this person.

I don't regret anything about my journey so far; but if I could tell my younger self anything it would be to read this (free) book by my favorite modern day philosophers: Navalmanack.

As Naval says, "A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought - they must be earned."

In other words, contrary to the relentless societal programming, a life built on prioritizing chasing money is not the path to happiness. Fitness, calm and love cannot be bought. Having a fitter body isn't about vanity. It's about filling yourself with natural, organic foods and burning off negative energy through exercise. I've found that your body is just a scorecard for your accrued decisions. With a fit body, you can experience a level of positive energy you may not know is possible - I sure didn't 8 years ago.

I've found it to be true that fitter body leads to a calmer mind. I can only hope and have faith in the idea that one day a calm mind will help lead to a house full of love.

I'm an entrepreneur, consultant for tech startups and VRM's, investor, STR owner, writer, and a digital nomad.

I blog about the lessons I'm learning on my journey to live a financially free 💸, healthy 🏃 and location independent life ✈️

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