It’s time to hack your brain… and it’s way easier than you think!

Back in my basement after returning from Costa Rica and not going to lie, I kind of like it in here. 🙂

We traveled through FIVE different areas during the trip: Arenal -> Manuel Antonio -> Playa Hermosa -> Guiones -> Tamarindo, quite a journey as you can see.

Some places we stayed at were amazing with breathtaking ocean views:

others – not so much:

At the end of the trip, I remember us walking by the ocean in Tamarindo, looking at the beautiful sunset and at that moment I told my wife, who organizes pretty much everything important in my life “Another amazing well-planned and memorable trip! Thank you and I love you!”… something along those lines ))

See, she spent a lot of time beforehand looking for places to stay and things to do, communicated with a bunch of different people, figured out flights and car rentals.

The only thing I had to do once we landed in Costa Rica was to execute the plan.

For once I didn’t have to think about anything or make decisions on the spot and that was quite liberating!

More importantly, the whole trip turned out almost exactly as it was designed.

Personally, I didn’t really have any specific plans or goals for a while. I thought I was smart enough to figure it out as I go.

Fortunately for me, I ended up in the software engineering world so I could afford to simply go with the flow.

Yes, I was doing good financially, probably better than a lot of people (nothing remarkable by any means), but there was this voice inside that was demanding more out of me…

Over time I distilled it to the desire of having the freedom to make my own calls in life. Freedom to choose when to work and went to rest, what projects to take on, which people to work with.

The problem was I didn’t know how to get there… so I figured if the past 12 years in the technology world didn’t get me where I wanted to be, then I needed to take another approach.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m very grateful for the experience and the skillset that I got from being a software engineer.

And it’s not that I didn’t like what I was doing. Quite the contrary, I loved every minute of it for the first eight years of my professional career and spent pretty much whole day every day coding something.

As I grew older and worked my way up to the senior engineer position I started getting bored of the implementation details. The moment I could imagine the solution in my head it wasn’t interesting anymore.

Eventually, I transitioned to operations where I dealt with tricky performance problems, server automation, high traffic environments, release pipelines and dev teams support.

I thought I finally found the sweet spot!

Until I got bored again…

Maybe it’s the natural progression for all software engineers or it’s just me, I have no idea. Let me know in the comments if you ever felt the same way.

Deep down I knew that I was becoming too comfortable and needed some major shakeup if I ever wanted to have a shot at achieving “the dream”.

I was slowly becoming rusty and obsolete like Terminator model T-101.

About a year ago I finally said to myself: “Enough is enough, Sergey. It’s to time to wake up and get after it!” and things just unfolded from there…

I left my old comfortable job at FastCompany, changed my diet and my morning routine, immersed myself in marketing and sales (a taboo for engineers, right?), started spending more time around entrepreneurs, hired a personal coach, opened up a few social media accounts…

Seems a bit on the crazy side? Maybe you right, but I felt that was necessary to break my chains.

Did it work? Was I able to break free?

No, not quite there yet, but I feel like I’m approaching the tipping point. There is hope where once was nothing but darkness.

Here are some of the major wins so far:
– restructured the e-commerce business to give me reliable income every month and came up with new blue ocean strategy that should help us grow it to the new heights
– got involved in the financial startup in the marijuana space where I assembled and manage a small distributed team. Pretty cool stuff, more details to come.
– improved my creativity by practicing daily writing
– built up some muscles (doing a hundred pushups every morning really works), improved the digestion (by adding supplements and eating real food instead of junk), got rid of annoying headaches and increased my energy levels!
– started sharing what I learn and building my own community of rainmakers (over a hundred people strong!)

May not seem like a lot, but it matters to me.

More importantly, I’m once again excited about the future and feel like I’m in the driver seat now!

Anyway, as I started exploring the world outside of the technical realms, the same pattern started to emerge over and over again.

Do you want to guess what I’m talking about here?

Importance of planning and setting goals, that’s right!

Now, I know what you thinking “Ha, plans, they never work!” (should be familiar if you come from the software engineering world) or “I don’t need any freaking plans, I already know what to do!”.

In fact, just yesterday me and my brother Andrei, who runs a pretty cool salvage cars business discussed the same topic.

Basically, he was complaining that there was just not enough time in a day to do everything that he needed and wanted to do in order to grow his business and finally transform to the “business owner” instead of the “business operator”.

Andrei said he didn’t need any plans and already knew what to do, that it just wouldn’t work for his personality type and yet, as I listened to his arguments, it became clear he needed some basic planning more than anything else.

See, the planning and goal setting gives you clarity of where you going and what needs to be done to get there. It allows you to focus, prioritize and execute.

Once you spend an hour and get “the blueprint” on paper (very important), you can use it every day to literally program your brain to make it happen (that’s what I do by the way).

It sounds crazy, but it works and I already see the results in my own life.

If nothing else it gives you something to refer to once you hit the wall and start questioning everything again. In those moments you can just review your goals and be like “oh, yeah, that’s why I do what I do” and instantly snap out of the emotional chaos.

In the end, it seemed like I was able to convince my brother to give it a shot and come up with some specific plan of action. Will see how that goes.

Remember this one? “Where focus goes, energy flows”.

You don’t have to trust my words here, just try it for yourself. Create a simple “blueprint” of what you want to achieve this year in different areas of your life: spiritual, health, wealth, personal and business. Be as specific as you want, but don’t get into crazy details (keep those for to-do lists). Focus on the big picture and let your brain and the universe find a way.

Got it? Good.

Now that you have your plan figured out all you need to do is read and visualize it every day and that’s the essence of brain programming as far as technology stands today.

Sorry if you were waiting for something more advanced (like download yesterdays memories to s3 with nodejs). Remember one thing though – simplicity always wins.

Stop doubting, embrace the change and #getafterit!

Wake up, Neo... The matrix has you...

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