I was recently at a Chair Massage conference in NYC. I talked about being effective and efficient as a life hacker.
I sat waiting to get one of those on-site corporate chair massages from www.eventschairmassage.com I got into a conversation with someone who asked me,
“How does one create wealth as a lifehacker?
How does one find the best approaches to greater efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity? The best lifehacks also create greater self-awareness.” I responded “before anything else you need a strong foundation.
Let me explain:
In the early 1990s, I spent a winter in the Southern Catskill Mountains of New York State. My family owned a small cabin and I had planned on going into seclusion and engaging in some ruthless introspection through the very cold, very snowy winter
The Catskills are well known in American culture, both as the setting for many 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and as the favored destination for urban vacationers from New York City in the mid-20th century. The region’s many large resorts gave countless young stand-up comedians an opportunity to hone their craft. As a college student, I would often run the spot light for the late show at Kutsher’s Country Club.
In addition, to all of this, the Catskills have long been a haven for artists, musicians, and writers, especially in and around the town of Woodstock.
In the early 1950s – the 1970s many world champion boxers set up training camps in these resort hotels and many of these places became celebrity hangouts. By the 1990s most of the hotels had gone belly-up however a few remained. One was the Pines Hotel in South Fallsburg. There wasn’t much going on there since the hotel was on its last legs but I liked to use the Health Club and so I got myself a part-time job as a “Sports Massage Therapist”.
This happened just about the time Riddick Bowe and Rock Newman showed up. Riddick Lamont Bowe (born August 10, 1967) had won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division in boxing at the1988 Olympic Games. After turning professional, Bowe became a two-time world heavyweight champion, having first won the WBA, WBC and IBF titles in 1992 to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Bowe became the first fighter to knock down and defeat Evander Holyfield when he claimed the undisputed world heavyweight title in 1992.
Rock Newman is a sort of “RENAISSANCE MAN” who had been Captain of his Howard University Baseball team for 3 years, where he was selected as an All-American. After his graduation, he was enshrined into the Inaugural Class of the Sports Hall of Fame as one of the most outstanding athletes in Howard University history. Newman had done it all. He had been a very successful salesman, had been an award winning counselor and later became a top rated radio talk shows in the Washington DC metropolitan area where he interviewed people from all walks of life.
Rock had been involved in the careers of several champions, including guiding Riddick Bowe to the undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World. In November of 1992, Rock negotiated the largest compensation package for an athlete in sports history. Securing a deal with HBO/Time Warner and Caesars World that exceeded $100 million dollars in potential revenue for Bowe.
So here I was, living the monk’s life at an old dying Borsht Belt Hotel with the heavyweight champion of the world and his “handler.”
Each day I would go to training camp and watch Bowe spar with various partners, many of them highly ranked in the world of boxing. Newman was a very pleasant, very focused and extremely intense. I would watch how he directed and guided Bowe. He focused a lot on Bowe’s feet. This surprised me – I assumed that he would focus more on boxing techniques and defense.
Then I remembered something my friend Marty Kalminson once said to me when we were playing basketball in a 24-hour gym in Queens. “It’s all in the feet. As long as you are dribbling the ball the ball isn’t going anywhere that your feet aren’t going”. It made sense.
Years later, when I was deeply involved with the study of game based thinking and game theory I heard this again. I was reading about a television show “White Collar Brawlers.” On this show, a about the journey of life reflected through boxing, two office adversaries push themselves to the limit, learning to the sweet sport from some of the sport’s most hardcore trainers, and then slugging it out in the ring in front of television cameras
On the show, one of the trainers James “Country” Thornwell talks about why he focuses on footwork when training boxers, “…when you build a house you build from the basement up. If a trainer doesn’t start you out by working your feet, get a different one. Everyone just wants to see the hands fly, but it’s more than that. Once you’re conditioned, then you’ll learn to jab.”
I thought about what he said here and applied it to my thoughts on why game based thinking is so essential to living an effective, efficient, productive and struggle free life.
““…when you build a house you build from the basement up. If your trainer doesn’t start you out by working your feet, get a different one. If you are not taught to think strategically even in the best of circumstances you are in big trouble. Strategic thinking is game based thinking. It integrates the logical, the rational and the intuitive. Everyone but a few smart thinkers want to get rich, have a beautiful mate, get a nice car, get famous, and conquer the world but success is so much more than that. Even if one considers this “Stuff” a sign of success it’s more than that.
Once you’ve learned about the game of life, the players, the game space, the rules, the penalties for cheating, who the cheaters are, how to influence them, how to define your skills and master them, end game and such; then you’ll master strategy – then you’ll learn to jab.”
This was an extract from my notes on lifehacking. For a book on the subject I suggest:
“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book contains over 400 high and low-fi hacks.
– Available as at:
The Softcover version is available at:
Learn more about all of Lewis Harrison’s educational materials at: http://www.RealUGuru.com
Lewis Harrison – The RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem-solving, troubleshooting and strategizing based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.
He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.
Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.
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If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:
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This course and all the offerings on http://www.RealUGuru.com focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness, and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.
Here is a short interview with Lewis;
This blog is supported by a grant from Events Chair Massage (www.eventschairmassage.com). This is a company offering Anti-Stress hacks. This NYC Chair massage company offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC at trade shows, and at the Javits Convention Center, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.