Artist Date #7: Hedonic Calendaring 2018
My name is Kevin Votaw and I’m just a regular guy on a mission in 2018 to live a life north of happy through the Flow Genome Project’s Hedonic Calendaring framework. In other words, I am after my Metier: a life that I love and that loves me back.
Jamie Foxx appeared on The Tim Ferriss Show a couple of years ago now, showcasing his “Renaissance Man” talents and personality that has made him not only a success in the entertainment industry, but as a person as well.
Within that episode, Jamie talked about his thoughts on fear. “What’s on the other side of fear?” he rhetorically asked Ferriss. “Nothing.”
As Julien Smith says above, our fears are irrational, causing us to flinch — to shrink when we should rise, fall when we should stand, and run when we should fight.
A common exercise to face our fears and our flinches is cold exposure. Nobody is more famous in the arena of frigidness than the Iceman himself, Wim Hof and his method by the same name.
For Artist Date #7, I took on my inner critic taking a dip in the merciless Minnesota waters in the Gull Dam, using the Wim Hof Method to prepare.
Artist Date #7 “Sherlock” Recipe:
1.Pre-Performance Priming — the four horseman of ecstatic experiences done immediately prior to an activity.
- Breathe — 3 rounds of Wim Hof power breathing with breath holds (1:40, 2:06, & 2:30)
- Fuel — 16oz. water with lemon juice (before) & primal hot chocolate (after)
- Movement — 1 round power breathing to push-ups (60) & 15-minute ruck
- Music — “Don’t Look Down” by Martin Garrix feat. Usher
2. Kotler (Kaizen, Task, Release) — the easy win, the activity, and the release when the struggle comes into play.
- Kaizen — charged phone & packed swimsuit, towel, dry clothes.
- Task — complete the full Wim Hof Method routine: power breathing, pushups, stretches, and instead of a cold shower, a dip in river.
- Release — “breathe motherf%$*er!” as Wim would say.
3. Flow (profile/loci/topical/triggers) — the knobs and levers, or preconditions that must be present in order for flow to show up.
- Profiles = Deep Thinker macro & Hard Charger micro
- Loci = self
- Topical = mental
- Triggers (7)= clear goals, intensely focused attention, immediate feedback (psychological); novelty, unpredictability, deep embodiment, high consequences,(environmental)
4. Post-Performance Positioning (Pv3) — the reflection, the score, and the adjustments on the Hedonic Calendar event (see below).
Three Awesome Things — three amazing things that happened before, during, and/or after Artist Date #7
- I fought my flinch — and won.
- I did my first “real” experience with the Wim Hof Method outside.
- I feel amazing.
Adolescent Emoji Flow Scale-II
For flow, I scored a 10/10. The cold is a relentless attention-driver, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Completing the breathing beforehand and then mindfully focusing on my breathe as I rucked, I discovered that yes, it was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I suppose, as others have said, hands and feet get accustomed to the cold. Other than that, I found it the whole experience very rewarding.
For fun, I’d say I scored a 4/10, but mainly due to the fact I need to get better at doing hard things. My mind fought me the whole time this last week knowing I was going to do this as my Artist Date. Sharing it with Jamie Mentzer (what’s up bud!) a few days ago only solidified the fact I couldn’t get out of it. For once, and completely contrarian to my Deep Thinker profile, I can say that this Artist Date would have been more fun if I had someone to suffer with.
For feeling, I got a 10/10. The breathing resets all of the stress and the gunk of the day every time I do it; the rucking in a swimsuit and a tank top was refreshing; and the short “swim” in the water feels as though it purifies the soul, an almost literal trial by fire as my mind, hands, feet, and body screamed in pain before, during, and after.
Derek Sivers’ Stoplight Directional Test
Adding up my scores, where do I fall on the Derek Sivers’ Stoplight Directional Test?
- A “21–30” means “Go!” you’re in the green: This experience made me come alive! It gave me a TON of flow, fun, and feeling!
- A “11–20” means “Whoa!” you’re in the yellow: This experience wasn’t bad and a little fun, but it didn’t make me come alive.
- A “0–10” means “No!” you’re in the red: This experience didn’t make me come alive at all: little to no focus, fun, or feeling.
Overall, I scored a 24/30, another green score on the Sivers’ Stoplight Test. I learned on this Artist Date that when you’re doing hard things, it is indeed better to go together than alone. That said, I LOVE the Wim Hof Method. A huge hat tip to Maria O’Connell and the Twin Cities ColdThermogenisis Facebook group for the inspiration and support to go out and see what is really on the other side of fear — nothing!
Just like stoking a fire, the Stoke portion within the Post-Performance Positioning (Pv3) are the flow trigger adjustments you make based on what went well and what you’d change the next time you’re out.
What went well on Artist Date #7? I’m getting much better crafting my recipes with Clear Goals so that I transition from whatever I’m doing to my Hedonic Calendar event. Another thing that went well was that I’m continually and deliberately selecting events that match my profiles (Deep Thinker & Hard Charger). That may seem simplistic, but it is absolutely essential that you’re going in the right direction of how you access those moments north of happy.
What would I do differently on this Artist Date? Speaking out of both sides of my mouth, I would say that hard fun and safe fun requires a good partner or group, especially when you’re deep breathing and going into really cold water. Though I typically find flow by myself, my Hard Charger micro flow profile can be accessed just like my Deep Thinker can. I’ll consider this as I move forward that I can isolate or combine my two top flow profiles at will and see what happens with my scores.
Conclusion (List what’s next)
March in Minnesota is up and down with the weather. I’m hoping that I can sneak in at least one more snowshoe with a bunch of snow coming tonight and tomorrow. If not, I’ll consider a multiple-hour ruck of some sort somewhere new to appease the novelty that I crave.
Looking a couple weeks down the road it’s likely I’ll have my fantasy baseball draft with some of my dearest friends, a possible work trip to Denver, and maybe a St. Patrick’s Day parade with family. Lots going on in March to fit in my final Artist Dates, Microadventure for March, and seasonal Misogi in this first 13-week winter cycle before the spring season arrives in April-June.
Thank you all for your recent follows. The Flow Genome Project community is unbelievable and I am grateful to all of you for your words of encouragement, those I’ve connected with, and those I will in the future.
Until next week’s Hedonic Calendar event, keep stealing fire everyone.