“We just decided to.”
– Charlie Skinner, Newsroom
Shortly after turning 18 I decided to drastically change my life; I was a shell of the man I wanted to be, shy, unsocial, nerdy, and clumsy. I wasn’t considered attractive by the ladies and I wasn’t respected by my peers. I was always the odd one in the crowd.
For the following five years I’ve dedicated my time to changing the core principles of my mindset and rebranding myself as a confident, attractive, more educated, skillful, and social person. I’ve adapted a completely new persona and the lessons I learned through my change led to the birth of the Mind of Steel.
However, my summer in the US showed me how relatively easily I could be broken down and how my hard-earned strength of mindset can be shattered. I was devastated by that fact. Although I managed to find my way back, it showed me that even though I’ve come a long way in the last five years, I still have a long journey ahead.
So, ladies and gentleman, I’ve devised a year-long plan for strengthening ones mindset, confidence, discipline, and productivity. I’m welcoming you to read this manifest for the ultimate challenge of human will – The Year of the Bat.
WHAT IS THE YEAR OF THE BAT?
I have, in numerous articles, noted that my ultimate role model in life is Batman, and every time I say it, I need to explain what I mean before people assume I want to dress like a bat and jump off rooftops to punch criminals in the face.
While most people are familiar with the story of the Batman, a young billionaire who witnessed the murder of his parents and decided to become a vigilante, most people miss the central part of the story – what did Bruce Wayne do between becoming orphan as a kid and becoming Batman in his mid-20s?
And this is the most important part of the story. If you don’t know much about Batman, forget the Nolan’s universe as it doesn’t do the character justice.
Batman is nicknamed the “world’s greatest detective” (yes, even above Sherlock Holmes). He is portrayed to be at the pinnacle of physical and psychological perfection. He relies on his conditioning, reflexes, strength, speed, endurance, and agility – skills that all of us, with enough dedication, are able to attain.
Bruce Wayne spent roughly ten years traveling the world, educating himself, training with master’s in their respected fields and becoming the smartest, most skillful and physically fit human being.
And this is the kicker; this is why Batman is my ultimate role model. He represents constant improvement. He represents the strongest possible mindset. He represents what each of us should try to achieve.
And with that in mind, I introduce you to The Year of the Bat (YOTB). Appropriately named, it’s a challenge I devised to follow in Bruce Wayne’s footsteps. Keeping in mind that Batman, while rooted in science, is still a highly fictional character, I decided to switch his ten-year tenure for only one (for starters).
365 days of intense focus on personal development tailored to my needs and my aspirations. Despite being strongly focused on productive improvement for the past few years, I’ve been known to jump on and off that wagon; I was never 150% into it.
This changes now. Starting today, October 12th, I am dedicating the next year of my life to improving myself on every possible level, and I invite you to join me on this quest.
And best part is, I can’t tell you the specifics of what you need to do – YOTB challenge is tailored to your personal goals.
Transforming yourself in every possible way can be a daunting task, but as task management has taught us, big tasks become less daunting once you break them down to smaller components. You cannot use my plan, because we don’t have the same goals or identical areas of interest. However, this manifest will provide with the same steps I followed and allow you to create your own YOTB construct.
1. DEFINE YOUR GOAL
Batman focused his development on skills that would help him out as a future crime fighter, because his goal was vengeance on crime. My goals do not include fighting crime with my fists, so I’ve chosen my activities differently.
Become the closest thing to a real-life Batman as possible.
This is my personal goal. I know this goal includes being knowledgeable in a variety of subjects. I know it means developing a physically fit and functional body. I know it means developing a business that will allow me to live wherever I want and still make money.
You, on the other hand, have no idea what that statement refers to, but it doesn’t matter, because I know it also means not being bound by what other people think of your goals.
Your personal goal is…personal. You don’t have to explain it to other people or convince them it’s the right choice, but you need to ingrain it within every fiber of your being. You need to know every single second of every day why you are doing this.
Because shit will hit the fan. Things will get hard and you will think about quitting. But having your mind set of the prize will enable you to develop the only superpower Batman possesses – and never quit.
2. CHOOSE FIELDS OF INTEREST
When you know what you’re building towards, you can choose to perfect skills and activities that will lead you closer to your goal. Batman chose things like detective skills and criminal psychology; but what matters to you?
Personally, I’ve combined four fields of interests and filled them up with relevant activities:
A) Physical training
B) Psychological training
I’ve chosen specific activities to fill each of these categories including various aspects of, for example: A) Weight training, cardio and martial arts; B) Learning about sciences, languages, and other subjects; C) Meditation, relaxation techniques, lucid dreaming and observational skills; D) Writing, marketing, social media management, and product development.
In the past, I’ve tried to do everything from my list every single day. I would wake up as early as 5.30am and still fall short to complete all my tasks in a meaningful way before running out of energy.
For YOTB, I’ve decided to take my planning further, which brings me to…
3. BREAK THE YEAR DOWN
Meaningful transformations take time; if you focus on everything you want to achieve at once, you will produce mediocre results at best. Instead, I decided to break my goals in 3-month periods.
For example, for the first three months I will focus only on weight training, learning a specific science and a language, lucid dreaming, meditation and marketing my website. This is an overly simplistic breakdown of my plan, but you get the point.
I will focus on perfecting these areas before moving on to others. Of course, three months isn’t nearly enough to become fully proficient at anything, but with intense dedication it makes a damn good starting point for future expansion.
4. DEVELOP A WEEKLY PLAN
Now that you know what you’re going to be focusing on for the next three months, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do for the next seven days.
Mapping out the entire 3-month period isn’t a good idea, because there are always unpredictable changes and contingencies you need to consider. So, at the end of every week, take a look at your schedule and map your activities around it.
That way you’ll always be up-to-date and still manage to fulfill your weekly goals.
5. MAKE IT YOURS
Finally, the most important part of this challenge is – make it yours.
As soon as you wake up, the first thing you should always do is refocus yourself on keeping the eye on the prize. Your ultimate goal should light a fire of motivation inside you that keeps you moving forward despite all the shit you’ll encounter during the day.
There will be times where you will wake up on the wrong side of the bed, after a horrific nightmare, while it’s early, cold, and raining outside. You’ll want nothing else than to sleep for another five minutes, that eat cereal in your jammies while laughing at all the idiots following this manifest, forcing themselves to go through uncomfortable things just to become better people.
In that exact moment, you will need to decide; are you going to stick to what you’ve been doing and stay in the average, or are you going to become something more than a regular human being?
Year of the Bat started as a personal challenge. Just the name Year of the Bat reminds me of how badass Batman is and instantly motivates me to keep moving forward.
It’s up to you to rebrand the challenge. What motivates you? Who’s your hero? What inspires you to keep fighting and improving?
Join me on this adventure and let’s rise above the monotony most people live in. Let people fear us because they don’t understand us. Let them hate us because we’re better than them and love us at the same time because we had the balls to do something they didn’t.
Make YOTB your own personal challenge. Brand it for yourself so you can rebrand yourself. How?
Just decide to.
Greatest heroes are always born from tragedy. And I think there is no greater tragedy…than not living up to your full potential.