Michael Coulter: Codex Vitae:

My version, (might not be yours) of The Book of Life. A CommonPlace Book: (Hate that phrase ;-)

My handbook for living as best I can right now.

See Buster Benson, and Tony Stubblebine for their way:

This is mine.

Crucially, design YOUR OWN: Don’t copy+paste anybody elses.

Though by all means copy paste snippets, paragraphs and wisdom from publically available thoughts and insights of others, (with attribution of course not least as mark of respect and graciousness but also to remind where the hell it came from and who might light the way for you further down the line.)

We are all different- universal truths of course, but you might be a night owl, I might be early bird. Vegan or Paleo eating? Who’s right? — — they both are if the authentically believe and stick to the plan.

The Do The Work. Get What You Need To Get Done.

Sources. Influencers, Coaches, Board of Advisors*:

BJ Fogg, Cal Newport, Judson Brewer, Benjamin Hardy, James Clear, Leo Babauta, Steven Pressfield, Joe Oliver, Charles Duhigg, Brene Brown, Robert Greene, Pema Chodron, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Rannoch Donald, Kirstin Neff, David Reynolds, Steven Hayes, Dan Harris, Tony Stubblebine, Forsyth, Eifert, and_, Joe Rhinewine, Scott Adams, Thomas Oppong.

A turning point for me last year: Writing the Do Lectures Side Project Report.

This year: Ten Meter Tower: Powerful lever for me:

Physical Fitness.

100 Rep Challenge.


Little often. Consistency, cadence. Streaks.

Bodyweight streak shot fridge.

Ride bike regularly- surf- busted eardrum-don’t run blown knees

Screen grab my iPhone home-screen:

Financial Fitness.


Wealth Creation.

The Power of the Alternative Rich List:

(I’m half-way there.) Can be there in 5.

How much. How long. Biggest fear.

Pay Mortgage off early?

Emotional Fitness:


Meditation practice. I’m on a streak. Coffee. Only one two coffees a day- super strength though.- with cream.

Acceptance & Commitment Training. More Aikido than MMA.

Box Breathing: Examples/apps? First responders,military- parasympathetic nervous system?

Habit creation/Behaviour change:

First BJ Fogg film that did it for me:

Instead of aiming for huge, drastic changes, what if you aimed to find small changes or actions you can make starting today. Small, continuous actions are the foundation of habits that stick. Einstein once said, “Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.”


Free 5-Day Online BJ Fogg Tiny Habits course: http://tinyhabits.com/join/

B=Motivation+Ability+Trigger, (Celebrate.)

General principles: Cue, Behaviour, Reward, (Celebration.) Domino actions, cornerstone habits. Consistently, systematically. (It’s a bit IFTTT.)

Don’t design for the outcomes: Design for the Behaviours:

Many habits orientated to the morning- getting good start- start with win and you can’t lose: Marines making bed?

Rituals vs habits: My take. My personal implementation. — only thing I personally class as a ritual — making coffee and scrambled eggs

Charles Duhigg helped, especially ‘Cornerstone Habits’.

James Clear explains, “We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life changing goals. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”

The Kaizen Approach and how it works

“Little strokes fell great oaks.” — Benjamin Franklin

Kaizen — Japanese for continuous improvement.

According to Brett and Kate McKay ofThe Art of Manliness”:

“Instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, just make small improvements every day that will gradually lead to the change you want.Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you’re trying to improve. That’s it. Just 1%.
It might not seem like much, but those 1% improvements start compounding on each other. In the beginning, your improvements will be so small as to seem practically nonexistent. But gradually and ever so slowly, you’ll start to notice the improvements in your life. It may take months or even years, but the improvements will come if you just focus on consistently upping your game by 1%.”

Here is why Kaizen works

“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.” — John Wooden

The Kaizen approach is a reminder that all improvements must be maintained if we wish to secure consistent gains. Think of the smallest step you can take every day that would move you incrementally towards your goal.

Becoming 1% better everyday is a simple, practical way to achieve big goals. 1% seems like a small amount. Yes, it is. It’s tiny. It’s easy. It’s doable. And it’s applicable to most things you want to do or accomplish.

The Modern Elder:

Time is running out for me to live a full and rich life in sync with my values, goals, hopes and aspirations.

Questions: Is it possible to live the next 10 years of my life in a richer, fuller way that I have the last 40. 100% willing to work with whatever shows up/opportunities. Power of Momento Mori.

My Young vs Youthful story.

The Five..what was that book?

Overall health:




Therapies. You name it. More books than Amazon. On subjects.

Gestalt. Hypnotherapy. Hydrotherapy. CBT. REBT. Sanctus. ???



Life Highlights: My wife, my immediate family, my house, my career esp. Advertising. Ironman, Riding bike over Alps. Presenting. Creativity. Photography. The Internet, Social media, working on a seminal social media project with Mother London. Passing myself off as the Uncle of one of Mother’s Founder’s (I’m not). Letting Nick Hand sleep on my office floor years ago in Edinburgh: Getting taken on by The Do. Learning to meditate. Practicing Mindfulness.

Life lowlights: Divorce first wife. Struggle with alcohol, depression, anxiety, social phobia. Being brought up in a guilt-ridden religious tradition. Social media. Chronic procrastination — now thankfully left behind. Decades long driving phobia — flying issues- not plane crashing. (“I’m not afraid of Flying — I’m afraid of Plane Crashing ;-)

Nutrition. Pretty good diet, maybe to good in terms of quantity but good food.

George Carlin Quote?

Hydration could be better.

Love wine, hate hangovers, long career marketing booze.

Alcohol: Life-long issue. Binge drinking. Fear/Danger of stroke. How I drink less during the week, or when big project on need to be on A-Game clear head every day: Nir Eyal- burn money.

High Cholesterol readings. Dairy, love cheese. Shoulda been a Frenchman.

Issues. Driving. Travel.

Gratitude vs Appreciation: My take. My personal interpretation. Elle Luna Illustration Picasso’s world, a game changer for me? (Taking an audience through my CV- Codex Vitae Not Curriculum Vitae ;-)might be a great ad/trailer for full workshop?)


Provide for my Family.




Side projects. Play to network strengths- wife picture framer, friends gallery top end interior shop owners, fine art digital print specialist, small, quality print shop.

Potters, photographers, Surf Business pals- clients and retial outlets as part of ‘personal’ network.

Specific things I’d like to achieve: Trains, planes automobiles: The ability and regular experience of travelling anywhere anytime without avoidance artificial support of alcohol and meds in terms of flying and trains. (I never drink/drug and drive.) Acceptance and Commitment Training.

Truth of the matter: I am already on the alternative rich list? Is it possible I can move up the rankings?



Consequences of not living in sync with values:

Rest of Codex Vitae from here on in very WIP:


Acceptance and Commitment Training.

How to feel ‘Clean’ Discomfort vs ‘Dirty’ Discomfort. No need to get Anxious about Anxiety.

Difference between Pain and Suffering, with introduction of struggle

Difference between: Respond and React.

Victor Frankl- space between Stimulus and Response.

*Not that they know it.

Times you’ve been optimum You:



Physical psychological and financial components

Keeping going if training Zane keeping going when green light game actually on

Keeping going streak not drink 100 days?

The Management Consultant and the Fisherman

This is one of our favourite stories. A cautionary tale for all the business consultants out there…

A management consultant was on holiday in a little fishing village watching a little fishing boat dock at the quayside. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them.

“Not very long.” answered the fisherman.

“Then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the consultant.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The consultant asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon’s rest under a tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums, and sing a few songs….. I have a full and happy life.” replied the fisherman.

The consultant ventured, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you…… You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city here or maybe even in the USA, from where you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Oh, ten, maybe twenty years.” replied the consultant.

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the consultant, laughing, “When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” pressed the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a tree, and spend relaxing evenings havings drinks with friends…”

Hi my friend,

I hope your training is going well so far. Today, let’s talk a little about fear.

Normally, we run from what scares us. We don’t even know we’re doing it, but we do it daily … when we procrastinate, when we avoid uncomfortable situations, when we build our lives around not having pain or discomfort. It actually limits us in profound ways, in ways we don’t realize we’re limited.

If we can move into the discomfort and fear, then we can expand our range. We have more freedom, less restriction, more abilities in life. This takes practice, because first we have to be aware of the fears, then we need to train in them. Lean into them. Learn to relish these scary areas.

Instead of running away from what scares you, every day you might lean into those scary areas. What discomfort can you give yourself today? See it as essential training.

The training we’re doing every day in this program is exactly that. It will be uncomfortable and scary for a lot of people. That’s perfect. Embrace it!

Some other ideas for leaning into what scares you:

Find something you’re procrastinating on and lean into the discomfort of it.

Face a scary project you’ve been trying not to think about.

Have a difficult conversation you’re afraid of having.

Talk to strangers.

Put yourself in uncomfortable social situations.

Push yourself a bit with exercise.

Try new foods, recipes, ways of cooking.

Dance in public.

Learn something new and difficult.

Meditate for longer than you usually do.

Lean into it. Embrace it. Find the deliciousness of it.

And in doing so, you’re creating more freedom for yourself.

with love,

Leo Babauta

Zen Habits

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