Soon after our agreement, Noam invited me to come stay in Costa Rica for two months. He was going to travel and he offered me his apartment while he was away. Only then did it strike me that this journey had just begun.
I arrived in Costa Rica with my girlfriend. Noam lived in Tamarindo, about 5 minutes away from the beach. He received us with a lot of excitement and kindness.
I got to understand a number of things about Noam those first few days.
1. He was an incredibly active person: As soon as we arrived we got to meet some of his friends, and went to see the sunset. In the mornings, he woke up at 6 AM, meditated, went for a run and then cooked and ate breakfast. Almost immediately we started working. All through the day he was either communicating something, working on something, thinking about how to solve something. Never a moment’s rest.
2. He worked with systems: He only stayed for three days after we arrived. But in those three days, he showed us: how to effectively fill and drink the water so we would always have cool water to drink. How to make healthy, energizing water; how to efficiently peel and prepare the local fruit. He had mapped out his town, he knew the places to get either the cheapest or the best quality food. Having learned this, our lifestyle there was made significantly simpler because of these systems.
3. He was tiring: While all of the things we did were exciting, If you aren’t used to a supersonic rhythm of action, conversation and thinking, then you will find keeping up with him very draining.
As Noam said:
Systems are very useful and save you a lot of time, but they take a lot of time and effort to create in the beginning.
This was a lot of what I experimented with during my time in Costa Rica: Creating systems. However, I tried too many things and stuck with too little of them.
Experimenting is good for a time but after a while, you have to decide and begin practicing certain habits and systems of being organized to help you in the job and keep to them.
Experimenting with systems: When doing this, notice what starts being different when you use that system. That is what interests you most, that is the value of that system.
How long should you experiment? No exact time. However, when taking up a system, decide how long you want to try it out and when that time runs out, decide whether you want to keep it or not, then don’t go back, stick to it/variations of it no matter what.