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Meeting Steve and Erin Pavlina

Steve and I have a long but sparse history. By the time I'd first heard of him years ago, I'd tried,and failed,to do the polyphasic sleep schedule twice. When he started to experiment with it, tons of people sent me links to his site.

His first day was like mine, so was the second, and so was the third. On the fourth day I wrote him an e-mail giving him some tips and letting him know that it was about to get a lot harder. Day four was hell and I'd never made it through five.

He wrote back and said something like, "Thanks for the advice, although I refuse to consider the possibility that I might fail."

I thought, "What an idiot. That guy has no idea what he's in for."

Day four came along and his post mirrored my experiences exactly. On day five I woke up, went to his site, and saw that there was no day 5.

Internal Scorecard #16: Overland, Over Sea, and Over Fear


"I feel stronger." Years later, the line still randomly comes to me, unbeckoned.

It was from one of the most odd and intriguing video games ever made -- Planescape: Torment. You woke up in the morgue as a scarred and battered man who didn't know his name. When you got killed, you would… wake up back in the morgue. You were immortal. You couldn't die. Your goal was to figure out how this happened, who you are, and what you should do about it.

It was beautiful, well-written, and immersive. But the point that still stands out to me is that line.

"I feel stronger."

It happened when you leveled up. The levels up weren't something you chose; they just happened when you accumulated enough experience. It's an interesting metaphor -- you wake completely ignorant, but as you accumulate experiences, you feel stronger. Not "I am stronger." I feel stronger.

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