New Year, Who Dis?
Who did you become in 2021? Who will you become in 2022?
New Year, Who Dis? is the latest offering from Beyond Self-Discipline. It’s a three-day workshop where we’ll become “year alchemists,” reflecting on the past year, synthesizing insights, and entering the new year with a sense of purpose.
Learn how to memorialize the last 12 months and glean your most important lessons. You’ll leave with a process that you can repeat for upcoming years (or quarters, months weeks)
Write considered intentions of how you intend to show up in 2022. This will not be your typical “new years resolutions” goal setting session.
Discover what it takes for you to have a “Perfect Day.” You’ll design your ideal day, and with group accountability, make sure you start the new year with it.
The workshop will take place online in 3 live video calls over three days, on Sunday, December 26th, Monday, December 27th, and Sunday, January 5th.
Live Session #1: 12– 1:30pm EST on Sunday, December 26th.
Live Session #2: 12– 1:30pm EST on Monday, December 27th.
David Allen @ The Stoa: 10-11:30am EST on Thursday, December 30th.
Live Session #3: 12– 1:30pm EST on Sunday, January 2nd.
The Perfect Day: All-day on Monday, January 3rd.
While it is recommended to attend all of the sessions, you can still participate and will get something from this experience if you cannot attend them all.
We will be experimenting with a “choose your own economy” option…
Market economy: $200 USD.
Gift economy: Gift what you are inspired to give. If your gift is a monetary one, gifting a lower or higher amount than the market rate will be warmly received.
Whatever economy you choose, money can be sent here. After sending your payment, send us a quick email, introducing yourself, stating one beautiful thing that happened to you in 2021.
Email @ thestoa at protonmail dot com
Next week’s events:
The Virus and The Machine w/ Paul Kingsnorth. December 20th @ 1:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
The Liminal Web w/ Joe Lightfoot. December 20th @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Wisdom Gym events:
Collective Journaling. Daily @ 8:00 AM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins.
Collective Presencing. Every Tuesday @ 2:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
Stoic Breath. Every Sunday @ 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 60 mins.
Note: Collective Presencing’s Friday sessions will return on January 7th.
Newly posted events:
Getting Things Done in 2022 w/ David Allen. December 30th @ 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here.
Living at Your Knife’s Edge: The Wisdom of Extreme Sports w/ Ari Delashmutt. January 11th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
December 19th, 2021
I received this message yesterday from my spiritual hype man, Ari Delashmutt…
You’re back Peter. You’re fucking back and you’re lit up and I wanna take a bite outta you big enough to leave a huge mark.
Mark received, my friend. And yeah, I am back. I also feel ready to light things up. There is still a residue of funkiness, with some sense of vague obligation, but I do not want to focus on this right now. I want to focus on being back.
My creative energies have been freed and fired up. This journey of stewarding The Stoa is pretty awesome, as I am paying attention to when and where the daemon lights me up, getting a sense of a potential “deep code” of how to get into the right relationship with this thing. Here is a sketch of an emerging heuristic: the less I know what is going on, of what is or what should be, while being cool without knowing, the more the daemon comes out and plays.
When I have a firm idea of a direction, I tend to lose my daemonic access. Maybe I could have both one day, a vision that has a consistency expressed through words, while still feeling the daemonic rightness in my body. I am finding most long-term “output goals” are set with unconscious elements of fear though, and when fear is present, even subtly, the daemon gets turned off, probably seeing me as a spiritual beta male or something.
I want to write in an upcoming entry about the phenomenon of fear-based goal setting. Or perhaps wound-covering with goals is a better way to look at this - instead of investigating the intrasubjective spots you are not loving, you set a goal, out of fear, seemingly to heal a wound, unwittingly running away from it and making things worse. There might be a term for this already; I’ll have to coin one if there is not - goal bypassing, dirty goals, or goal bandaids are some coinage candidates.
The thing that is better than having the more normie goal-setting stuff is to do what Dave Snowden suggests to do when you find yourself in a complex ontology: safe-to-fail probes, sometimes called “safe-to-fail experiments.” From the Cynefin wiki...
A complex system has no repeating relationships between cause and effect, is highly sensitive to small interventions and cannot be determined by outcome based targets; hence when dealing with complex systems there is the need for experimentation. Safe-fail Probes are small-scale experiments that approach issues from different angles, in small and safe-to-fail ways, the intent of which is to approach issues in small, contained ways to allow emergent possibilities to become more visible. The emphasis, then, is not on ensuring success or avoiding failure, but in allowing ideas that are not useful to fail in small, contained and tolerable ways.
People often seek me out for philosophical coaching because they want to play with the daemon during Game In-Between. The thing I often recommend to do is safe-to-fail probes, which are perfect containers to temporarily contain the wildness of the daemon. You got to experiment with something that makes you come alive, see what emerges, then experiment again. As I like to say, the best safe-to-fail probe is the one that gets you to the next. While this is what I recommend when people feel stuck by uncertainty and not liberated by it, I seem to have forgotten to use this myself.
Ever since the summer, I have been entering a new phase with my relationship with The Stoa. During its first year, things were just wild. Hundreds of events, seemingly random, with no explicit throughline, but with an underlying sense there was a daemonic one. It was fun, random, weird. A sense of community formed, drama occurred, and tons of memetic cross-pollination happened.
I have stopped being interested in continuing to do all these random one-off events though. I sense it would be good to have one or two randomish events a week, but I am longing to do something that requires more time and design commitment from me. The Rebel Wisdom course I co-taught with David Fuller, Becoming a Live Player, was the first course I taught in the market economy since leaving Dale Carnegie Training. It was a rewarding experience, but not weird enough for me.
I do not really think I want to do “courses” anymore. I do want to do something with live experiences though. I was reflecting on what to do that is a course-but-not-a-course at The Stoa, and a few ideas were coming up. Andrew Taggart and I were in conversation about doing something called Discovering Wisdom, which has not manifested (yet), while Daniel Kazandjian and I wanted to bring our personal “mastermind group” / “philosophical fellowship”-informed relationship to the world to see if we could scale our friendship of virtue to include more good people; we decided to call the experience Beyond Self-Discipline (BSD).
We launched a minimum viable product (MVP) of the BSD experience in October, calling it Beyond Self-Discipline Zero (BSDv0), which I was live-journaling about. It was a great experience for me, but the experience was varied for the participants, as the quality of experience was so dependent on the “digital gang” members they were grouped with. If one gang had someone not showing up, the experience of beauty was diminished.
We were planning on the “official launch” in January, and invited a small group from BSDv0 into a “BSD Lab” (also called “Daemon Lab”) to perfect the official launch. The lab faded out after a few weeks, partly due to my lack of focus thanks to having existential issues while travelling around Europe, and partly due to sensing the daemonic energy heading elsewhere.
I was internally putting too much pressure on BSD. I lost the plot basically. There was this story that formed, which went something like this: Okay, let us model BSD after other successful “cohort-based courses,” like Tiago Forte's Building a Second Brain, treat it as some Tim Ferriss-ian “muse,” so I do not have to worry about cash flow anymore. I can then focus on being a full-time creative. To articulate this more simply: Instrumentalize a product/service to receive a comfortable cash flow so I can focus on doing creative shit without pressure.
I do not know if I can even do something like this though. I cannot seem to outsmart the daemon. He just rebels, laughs at all my cute plans, stubbornly refusing to move. If he decides not to move, neither can I it seems. When I was last going crazy here in front of you, it was like I fused with the daemon, writing crazy shit like this: This is the daemon speaking, or whoever is speaking through him.
I actually experience this seemingly unhinged statement as true. While I can operate (somewhat) in consensus reality again, this daemonic imprinting did not go away. It is probably for the best, because it forces me, again and again, to land back down to ground zero fucks. This helps me be cool with not knowing where I am going, and like a good Stoic punk, wrap a DIY safe-to-fail probe around whatever daemonic energy is alive right now. So yeah, that is what I am going to do.
Daniel and I did get accepted into this cohort-based course incubator called Maven, which the likes of Tiago Forte and David Perell are investors in, so perhaps my cute plan of having something like BSD to help financially support me gets manifested after all. Here at The Stoa though, it is going to be all daemon. I am here, in the now, enthused to experiment wildly, with safe (and perhaps not-so-safe) probes.
I do not know what category to use to refer to these probes. If I am not going to be calling them courses, what will I be calling them? Some candidates: anti-courses, happenings, journeys, performances, hackathons, psychotechathons, experiences, or simply experiments. Hey, the daemon just had an idea regarding a category name: who gives a fuck?
Yeah, exactly. I want to stop being so precious about having a category for something before I do that something. Just fucking do the something. In this spirit, and with the spirit, I will simply create. I sense there is a throughline with these upcoming creations though, which makes them different from the previous phase of The Stoa. During the previous phase I was just wildly hosting one-off sessions without much thought. I was running on a rapid-fire daemonic instinct. Now, I want to spend more time, energy, and love on the design and delivery of the experience. This is my true art after all. Creating experiences.
I had reservations about charging money for things when The Stoa first started, but not charging for these upcoming creations does not feel right. I do not know what economy I will put them in. Do they stay in the gift economy or are they better off in the market economy? Ah. I sense I got an answer. As a good liminal being, our “both/and” move consistently leads to good enough answers.
I will allow a “choose your own economy” thing, sort of like those “choose your own adventure” things. We’ll offer a set rate if the person wants to go with the market economy, but also add a gift-whatever-you-are-inspired-to-gift option, assuming they are inspired to even give a gift. Yeah, this feels right enough to experiment with.
Daniel and I are going to continue to experiment with the BSD brand, without any attachment of where it goes, using it as a placeholder for our joint virtuous projects. We are both realizing, especially with my seeming daemonic fickleness, that we have to deepen our friendship of virtue, and communicate readily about whatever tensions arise. Good. As I wrote about recently, 2022 is about deepening my most important relationships.
We will be doing something next Sunday called New Year, Who Dis? This will consist of a yearly review psychotechnology that Daniel uses, which will happen before the year, then a “perfect day” experiment, where you design and attempt to embody your perfect day, which will happen in the new year. The idea with this offering is that we are going to become “year alchemists,” transmuting our relationship with the closing year, bringing the new year in with some beauty.
It is going to be weird as well. I recently helped our friend Ole Bjerg launch a course from The Stoa called WTF Is Money Anyway? It was a three-day course that ended this week and it was, well, weird. Ole combined all his interests together - his knowledge of our bullshit banking system, cryptocurrencies, burning money, family constellations, astrology, and “conspiracy theories.”
Something like what he delivered could never exist in any existing institution. It is simply too weird. Taking his course inspired me to experiment more here myself, risking being weird in front of you. Beyond BSD, I want to do many weird experiments. We need more experiments and we need to get better at experimenting. How? It is so simple really. Experiment more.
It looks like “experiments” will be the placeholder word I use for upcoming daemonic expressions until I come up with jazzier coinage. It is good enough though and good enough is all we need right now.
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