Do you fear getting to the end of your life without the faintest idea of where all that time went?
Looking back at what you have or haven’t done, not knowing what happened from one year to the next, because they all pretty much look the same. And worst still, amongst the feelings of confusion and despair, an underlying sense that you were capable of so much more.
Part of the problem is that almost all of our thoughts and behaviours are cyclical or habitual in some way and as creatures of habit we feel safe and comfortable within our daily rituals. We crave certainty and acceptance in our lives so much that we become reluctant to change anything for fear of the unknown.
This fear keeps you in the perceived safety of a job, earning less than you know you are worth, doing work that may interest but doesn’t inspire you. It ties you to unfulfilling relationships which appear marginally better than going it alone. It Stops you from breaking out of negative patterns of spending, eating, smoking, drinking and/ or taking drugs (sounds like a great night out, you may be thinking!).
While contemplating the reoccurring cycles in my life I realised that unless I made some significant changes I would never be able look back, at the end, and feel I had done myself justice.
We all possess good and bad habits and having a philosophy or methodology to identify cycles of thought and behaviour we want to change or improve is essential if we are to find out what we are truly capable of.
That’s When Being a CycleHacker Matters
A CycleHacker is someone who employs the cycle of doing, learning and evolving with the attitude and intentions of a hacker; to creatively overcome or circumvent limitations to achieve a desired outcome. As I coined the phrase “CycleHacker” I felt it necessary to also create a “catchy” dictionary definition.
It could otherwise be described as; someone that takes action with awareness, learning from what they do until they get what they want.
Or simply; living with a beginners mind.
By looking at the patterns in your life through beginner’s eyes and engaging your inbuilt preference of developing habits, in a positive way and on purpose, you can start to take control of the cycles that play out in your life.
Should You want to be a CycleHacker?
I have personally used this philosophy over the last 2 years to; stop smoking and drinking alcohol, start meditating for an hour everyday, read at least a couple of new books each month, develop healthy eating and exercising habits which have led to; fat loss, muscle gain, training for and running marathons, cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End. I have also taken control of my spending habits, saved enough money to fund a four year round the world cycling trip and have generally become aligned with my core values and happier as a result.
For a lot of people these achievements will be seem uninspiring, dull or easily attained, but they mean a lot to me, because the fundamental changes in behaviour I made were hard fought and caused me to question my beliefs about who I am and what I can do.
CycleHackers epitomize the ethos of what it takes to evolve. They are the trailblazers that learn by trial and error, never afraid to try something new, always learning from their actions. By doing and learning they use new discoveries to refine their ideas, make new connections and edge closer to solving their puzzles.
This curiosity was present in all of us as children, it’s the reason we all walk and talk. Wouldn’t the world be a very different place if, as children, we gave up learning these fundamental skills? Vast hoards of people unable to move or communicate, parents shrugging their shoulders saying things like “Walking just didn’t seem worth it to our little human door stop”.
As we get older we gradually exchange curiosity for knowledge, generalisations and beliefs, allowing us to function in the world, but preventing us from continuing to develop and evolve as people.
They provide a comfort bubble in which to exist, however, living in a comfort bubble restricts your experience of life in a similar way to one of those dog head funnels used to stop mentalist hounds from savaging passers by. You see the passing treats of life that you want to sink your teeth into, you just don’t have the knowledge, generalisations and beliefs that empower you to take a bite, and no one wants to live their life without being able to eat passers by. What? Enough of this analogy.
In summary, being a CycleHacker is about reclaiming your childlike curiosity, bursting out of your comfort bubble and doing things differently, learning and evolving into the best possible version of you.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
This journey is my way of challenging every aspect of my life. I will be giving up most of what makes me comfortable and secure and forcing myself to adapt and learn. I have three simple outcomes I hope to achieve:
- Physically cycle around, see and experience the world
- Learn about the world around me and within me
- Contribute to others by raising money for Room to Read, adopting a project to build a school or school library
In addition to this I hope to be able to share what I learn from my experiences, both good and bad, in a way that you can benefit from. I will add a new post each week although during some sections this may not be possible, so subscribe to updates by email below I’ll email you when a new post is live.
You can also follow me on Twitter: @cyclehacker
And connect through Facebook: CycleHackerWorldTour