Blisshacker Manifesto: Lateral Thinking is Vital

What is Blisshacking?

In this article and the podcast episode tied to it we discuss the origins of blisshacker and how vital lateral thinking is to living a better life. How travel hacking and lateral thinking made me a better father. We also talk heavily about why self-help fails. We tend to think of things in absolutes when we just need to follow some amazing advice by a  lengendary martial artist.

bruce lee, lateral thinker extraordinaire

Bruce Lee. Lateral Thinker Extraodinaire

Bruce Lee, eloquently stated, “Adapt what is useful. Reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” When I went through a difficult divorce in 2013, I had to relearn who I was. Everyone, even those whom never had been through a divorce, chimed in with advice. I was inundated and frustrated because the advice of one person would always be contradictory to another. All I wanted to be was happy. I tried everything. I only found bliss when I figured out that I needed to find my own way. No one else could walk in my shoes or have been where I have been. I needed to take care of myself and only adapt what was working as well as reject what was useless. I also knew I had to relearn how to love myself, which had seemed to erode as time had passed. It was a very hard and difficult time as all I yearned for was a simple thing… happiness. It felt like happiness is elusive. I found myself thinking, maybe I’m not doing the meditation technique correctly or maybe I’m not humming the right tune.


Life is suffocating.

Life can be suffocating.

My monkey mind was going bananas – and  I couldn’t get quiet. I was chronically overwhelmed. Every day is akin to being hugged by a python that is slowly constricting me. When I had my breakdown, I realized that the way I thought, the way I had built my internal “source code” was the reason I was struggling so much.  This is why I put together this podcast and blog. Blisshacker is your oxygen. I’ve been where you are, hungry for answers. I meditated. I mindfulness-ed. I tried to ignore my ego and my anger. I super-sized my faith. I downsized my shiny things. I tried just about anything I could think of. I became inundated with advice, even from those who’d never been divorced before. I read all the books on happiness, meditation, faith and mindfulness that I could get my hands on. Every text had its own unique “holy grail” as to how to attain happiness.



Blisshacker is your oxygen.

And yet, I was more depressed than ever as I journeyed on. I also realized I wasn’t alone. For all the books, techniques, trainings, and yoga pants wearing that we do, we are a grumpy bunch of people. Have you noticed that if you walk in a public place with a lot of people, the majority of them have unhappy expressions on their faces?

In this inaugural episode of the podcast, learn about Jaleel and myself, Suresh. We talk about our frustrations and what we want to do with this podcast and how lateral thinking made me a better father.

Blisshacker Manifesto - 4 rules edition

Watch the Video Promo

Listen to the Podcast Episode

Press the play button on the right to play. Click the 1x icon to increase the play speed. Show Notes are below the Player.

Show Notes

0:00 – My Frustrations with my divorce and the constant sh!t storm of advice that people give you. My failed attempts at being mindful / at peace and calm / being in the present moment as I deal with finances and my daughter living 8 hours away.

2:40 – Who am I is the one question we all get wrong. We focus on the books, the techniques and whatnot and try to mute that which doesn’t fit. We force ourselves to be happy and disallow the negative emotions. To be at Zen, you need to accept yourself and all the emotions you have. When you do this, you free up your life as you are allowing your emotions to flow freely. There are upsides to darker emotions. A great book on this subject is the Upside of your Darkside by Todd Kashdan. I highly recommend your book.

4:20 – What is blisshacker in a nutshell? You have to find your own happiness. We go into bio. I talked about how I’ve been coding forever and my vegetable juicing fast where I went from 267 to 213 ( a loss of 54 lbs in 60 days). We also talk that blisshacker is about more than just nutrition and typical self-help. We also go into lateral thinking and travel hacking as well.

7:50 – An example of how travel hacking has revolutionized my life. I kept thinking that driving (Houston to Dallas and back every weekend 2x) to see my daughter would save me money because of the adage that flying is more expensive then driving. I found out about travel hacking and it has made a world of difference.

14:20 You are poor because of how you manage your time not your money.

15:20 How even if you are fearful of flying, you should still get set

16:00 Jaleel Bio – 2x military vet, one time in the Army and one time in the Navy. One of which was “Camp Snoopy”. The story of how Jaleel and I met We met when we were 14 in high school which means we’ve been friends for like 24 years.

17:48 – We talk about Jaleel’s passion, being an award winning chef that’s worked in restaurants around the world.

19:00 A crazy fourth of July celebration we had where Jaleel went nuts with the food. Kale Ceasar Salad ,King Crab and Snow Crab Salad, Mexican-style Corn, Cheese burgers where the cheese and bacon were a part of the burger patty, out of this world shrimp with an amazing mango-peanut- peri-peri sauce that would start off peanutty then sweet and hit you with peri-peri after kick. Thoughts of a block party at the beach with bliss hackers. Reach out to social media :) How people aren’t having fun anymore.

27:00 How did Jaleel end up getting into the Navy after being in the army. Jaleel’s divorce and how everything is a job. Chief Dad Officer’s and the like.

30:00 My wife makes an appearance. We talk about hilarious “LM” story that Jaleel to this day doesn’t want to talk about. The fallacy of external validation. Suresh talks about his military experience, “Call of Duty and Ghost Recon”. How we are always trying to get the next level of success and how it’s never cracked out to what it be. We talk about the Power of delegation.

40:00 The true moment where Jaleel had a bliss moment and finally became an entrepreneur. How to value your time. salary is slavery. We think we can’t get a better job and we suffer.

42:00 How there is never “Balance” and that though you can’t run away from your stressful life and responsibilities the key factor is to relax too.

44:00 Bliss tip . Entrepreneurs. Learn how to fire clients. Don’t be a revenue whore. If it’s not working it’s not working.

46:00 Blisshacker Show summary. We want to teach you how to live better even with the hard core stresses you may have.  We are here to help.

Related Podcast Episodes and Posts

Our Related Posts on Other Sites

Here are some articles I wrote on Good Men Project that talk about the  concepts that are vital to Blisshacker:

How to I learned to Love Myself – It’s important that you love who you are , flaws and all.

Seven Strategies to Being A Limitless Man – How a nervous breakdown after divorce got me to become exponential.

Five Life Altering Lessons for my Nobel Prize Winning Neighbor – How I learned to become a man from someone I never actually met.

How I Failed at Being Mindful and Living in the Present Moment – Life is more nuanced that and simple concepts of living in the present moment and mindfulness are more nuanced.

How to Guide to Lateral Thinking

lateral thinking is the only way to get the truck out of the predicament.

A stuck truck.

The best skill you can learn is to lateral think. It helped me learn that flying is cheaper than driving if you take into consideration time and you learn how to travel hack. So how do you lateral think?

Let’s go through a problem:

A truck is driving down a road and gets stuck under an overpass that was unfortunately an inch lower in clearance than the truck. The truck gets wedged really bad and the driver can’t reverse back out or move forward. There is now a traffic jam as no one can get through to the other side. Everyone is now out of their cars trying to figure out what to do. For forty five minutes, and a plethora of ideas, a six year old assesses the problem and has an answer which frees the truck in several minutes. What did he come up with?

Answer below, but before you read think about a few things. What are your initial thoughts on the problem. Write them down. Next, state the facts as they appear in the problem. See how your initial thoughts are based on prior experiences, biases and the like. Now lastly, play a game of what if. You should be able to see the answer to the problem when you realize that alot of your thinking is tied to prior experience and not the facts of the problem.

We have cognitive biases, experience biases, and get distracted by them when looking at a problem. So as stated in the problem, everyone tried to figure a way for the truck to go forward and backwards to get it dislodged. But a six year old looked and said, it only needs to be an inch less taller than it is now. What if the truck was lowered that inch? How do you go about doing that? Take the air out of the tires.

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