Total Read Time: 6 Minutes
This is one of the hardest and at the same time easiest topics for me to write about. The difficulty comes from how important it is to me, because I’m okay at failing at things I don’t care about. This is not one of those things. The ease: because it consumes me; there is no shortage of material in my brain when it comes to this. -Andrey Starostin
It hits when you’re confronted with the question of time. How much time do I have left? For some, it’s so crystal clear and in focus, that their next steps have no alternative. For the people who face the doctor, prescribing the amount of days they have left, I have the utmost respect. I’m most impressed by their outlook on life. In every experience I’ve encountered, be it podcast interview or story, the individual who has accepted the finality of life has disconnected with entitlement and focuses with pinpoint accuracy what is most important to them in their remaining days.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Living every day as if it was your last is not practical. However, living the next 5-10 years seems to get closer to the point. The point is one I’ve made repetitively throughout my writing; and it is intention. What are you doing on purpose? I mean truly thought out with reasoning and discernment.
Let’s take it back a notch and examine the span of one’s life… from a western perspective with a heavy bias from what I’ve seen and experienced.
I truly apologize that I do not have the end all be all answer to what is the meaning of life. I can only write what I can be genuine about.
The life of Andrey Starostin
- Immigrated to USA, without speaking English
- Raised through the United States educational system
- K-12 into higher education (Bachelor’s)
- Spat out into the real world, with no more curriculum
- Self betterment: job hopping and career development through business education – entrepreneurial endeavors
- Ended 4 year relationship and started the relationship I never knew I needed
- Self betterment: emotional stability, facing past traumas, dealing with self honesty and intentionality, discipline, and leadership.
- Today: 19 December 2019
Self analysis… ahh the bias… wowww he’s full of himself…
My goal here is to articulate the necessity for intention, based on where in my life it has struck organically and the impact it’s had.
Let’s start with the lovely topic of immigration.
I moved to Chicago, Illinois at 5, almost 6 years old. One huge takeaway, believe me there can be an entire book on it’s own, is assimilation and conformity. At a core, I am a mix of extrovert and introvert, but overall I need to feel like I belong and I recharge independently (most of the time just the 10 minutes on the toilet scrolling through instagram while my legs go numb is enough). As a kid, not knowing English really threw a wrench in my whole needing to fit in. My parents told me of the stories I’ve evidently repressed when I came to them crying because I didn’t know how to ask the neighbor’s daughter if they’d come outside and play with me. My parents also told me about the phone call they received from the ESL program director, exclaiming my sister and I graduated into acceptable fluency in record time.
“I believe this was the beginning of my exposure to the power of intention.”
Although K-12 were some exhilarating years of my life, I’d like to talk about
Falling flat on my face in College
Entering the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I was dropped off in my dorm room and for the first time in my life, I tasted freedom. Although I had a great time, after my first year of adjusting to independence it would be an understatement to say my grades and personal development suffered. Sophomore year had to be different. I switched majors and essentially started over, having to make up for lost time by overloading my schedule. With the intention of finishing school in 4 years and not being a failure in the eyes of my family who raised me in an educational siphon, I was able to graduate on time and learn self sufficiency and independence.
My first bout of intentional self betterment was through my first business:
During my sophomore year of college, while my sister was planning her wedding, she spoke with her photographer and I came up during the topic of hiring more help. The business asked for my portfolio, which I of course had never compiled. To save time, I’ll say I never heard from the business again. Nonetheless, the endeavor gave me the lens to view photography as a business I could do. (Obligatory photography pun)
I started the business taking photos of families, couples, animals, etc. and it taught me such a tremendous amount of lessons. This blossomed into research about business, when I was introduced to Tim Ferriss’ and Tony Robbins’ work amongst many others. Thus began:
Andrey Starostin’s Self Help Education
I was engrossed by the possibility of making it in America on my own. Yes, I had a college education under my belt, but I truthfully desired being my own boss and creating something meaningful for the world. I re-examined my life and, despite a durable effort to reach out to the professional Editorial world, Photography wasn’t it for me. I was back on my keister with a restaurant job in a failing relationship. Until…
The Life-changing, Unapologetically Honest, Love of My Life, Kyrie came along
This is a topic I will be returning to many times.
Kyrie has been the first person in my life that made me look at myself and want to be a better person. As selfish as it sounds, self-deprecation was my go-to anytime a decision needed to be made. I realized with Kyrie that I have a future and I have goals of being a husband and a father. I wanted immediately to work on and make myself the best man I could be. With the safety of the trust I received from Kyrie, she scraped down to the core of my being, picked up every broken piece of my traumatic past, and made it okay for me to be vulnerable. That my friends, is Love.
19 December 2019
Which brings me to today: the Andrey Starostin full of intent to better himself into a husband and a father. Yes, that is the end goal. I could not imagine a better life than the honor of being a husband and a father.
Again, I wrote out my life up to this point to highlight the times that have been truly life changing. I owe those times to,
If you were going to die in 10 years, what would the next 12 months look like? Odds are, you’d probably go back to the same job at first, but then what?
It is that question that answers my priorities for me.
Money: I hate money. I’ve always hated money. Damn it we need it though. Money is flexible and can come from a variety of sources. Let’s put money on the back burner.
Family: There we go. That’s important. Let’s talk more than the family we were born into. Let’s talk about the family we made for ourselves. The people we choose every day to surround ourselves with. That’s the family I’m talking about. Yes, you could spend more time with them, but you can’t take them away from their lives for 10 years. Every time you do spend with them, could have more quality, more intention, more attention.
Work: Remember, money is on the back burner. I’m talking about the work you’re here on this Earth for. What, if you died today, would be work left unfinished that only you could complete?
Leisure: Fast forward a month, maybe even just a week into you finding out you’re dying in 10 years. You’re burnt out from all the emotional pressure. You’re overwhelmed and you need a release, a distraction, something to ease the tension. Hobbies are invaluable. Truly fulfilling hobbies are the best way to recharge and get you back into a meditative stable state of mind. It could be reading a book. It could be kickboxing. It’s different for everyone.
Fitness: What if the doctor was wrong? Do you cave and let yourself go for 10 years? Or do you look in the mirror and fight for the 11th, and the 12th. Fitness is more than going to the gym. Fitness is a lifestyle of dedicating yourself to feeling optimal. Fitness is work that can not be bought. Only you are responsible for looking that damn good.
How do you get the most out of 10 years?
Let’s make a plan. Let’s make a weekly checklist of meeting your priorities.
Where and when will you organize your family, work, leisure, and fitness? Ideally, we begin with a blank calendar assuming you are starting entirely fresh. They are your priorities for a reason, so fill them in first. In between all of those things, we have to talk about money.
You have a choice.
Either you can slide all of those priorities around and make money fit when it comes from some extra job you work at, OR you can make your life’s work (the meaningful one that only you can do), your leisure (the one you truly enjoy), or your fitness (that you’re doing to better yourself) make money for you. It would be an even bigger bonus if you could combine two or more.
“Remember, never mix family and business. Money and Blood don’t mix.”
If this sounds too hard, let me ask you, have you even tried?
If they’re truly your priorities, you’re already doing the work, enjoying the leisure, and making yourself fit every day, every week.
This is where Intention comes in. Take some time and examine your priorities. Look at what means the most to you in this world and write it down so it doesn’t consume you while you’re trying to sleep at night.
If you are awake at night, thinking, I ask for you to do one thing: Be grateful for the world around you. It is so much bigger than you. This life of yours is worth more intention. This world needs all of you.
I am so thankful for my family and friends that support me every day.
Thank you Kyrie for your undivided love and endless patience.
Lastly, I am thankful for you, my audience and the time you dedicated to read this.
(Yes, I respond and read every one)