Sweet Shit Saturday #003 (How To Order Edition)


A couple months back, the 21st of February to be exact, Steve Pavlina wrote an article that really connected with me. I’ve been reading his stuff on and off for about 4 years now and while I don’t always agree with him, I respect that he’s so clear and open about his life.

(Speaking of Steve Pavlina, I’m tentatively planning on being in Vegas for his October 29-31 workshop. Join us? You can bet my Halloween costume will be ridiculous.)

The article in question is called How To Order.

I’ve read it a few times (and again just now) and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since February. In a way, it’s similar to my Mind Control Method. But it’s different. And it’s public. And I’m going to place an order in the paragraphs that follow. ;)

In this article Steve (we’re on a first name basis now? sure…) talks about the Universal Restaurant. Just like a food restaurant, to get what you want at the Universal Restaurant, you have to place a specific order.

You wouldn’t walk into a pizza place and state “I’d like a pizza” without saying exactly what kind of pizza you want, right?

So when setting goals or synthesizing dreams, why do so many of us make vague statements like “I want a lot of money” or “I want a hot girlfriend/boyfriend”? It just doesn’t make sense.

Don’t ask for a romantic partner. If you want a geeky, vegan, bisexual, happily jobless girlfriend who gives amazing blow jobs and loves to travel, then order that. Order it loudly enough so your waiter can hear you, and people at nearby tables will say, “I didn’t know that was on the menu. I’ll have one of those too… with a twist of lemon.” (excerpt from How To Order)

The best part about ordering is you don’t have to be perfect: “One of the best ways to get what you actually want is to take your best guess, and order it.”

It might not turn out quite right, much like when you order something at a restaurant and your dish isn’t exactly what you wanted. That’s OK. There will be other meals. Accept the order you placed and move on.

“Here are the rules: Decide what you want, order it, receive it, and digest it. It’s not rocket science. Don’t make it complicated.”

Thanks Steve.

So here’s my order with the Universal Restaurant:

“A geeky, vegan, bisexual, happily jobless girlfriend who gives amazing blow jobs and loves to travel.” HA! Kidding. ;)

I feel like reading that the first time might have made you uncomfortable. It’s easier to read the second time, yeah?

So here’s my actual order:

A tall, musically-inclined, skinny, vegan, minimalist, atheist, working from anywhere (or quitting-the-job-soon) girl who will challenge me, isn’t older than me, and who likes to (or would like to) travel the world and go on lots of rollercoasters (literal and figurative).

Although let’s not get crazy Universe. By tall I mean woman-tall not me-tall. 6’5″ (~195cm) would be too tall. ;) Based on the order, it’s assumed this woman is not in credit card debt and has the ability to live/work anywhere. Since assuming is a bad way to place an order, I just made it clear. To make it even more clear: I’m not going the married/with boyfriend route Universe. That has happened 2 too many times. ha! So, single please.

That was a rambling order, but sometimes food restaurant orders are rambling as well. That doesn’t mean they don’t turn out spectacularly.

I know what I’m ordering is incredibly rare, and I don’t even know if I’ll like the meal, but that’s the whole point. I’ll let you know what happens. :)

Want to place your order for anything at all? Since the order has to be loud (meaning, public) you can place it in the comments below. Or place your order on your own blog and link to it in the comments below for the rest of us to read.

Onward with sweet links!

Man-Powerin’ Across Michigan by Jason Leyrer

If I can’t use my blog to highlight something cool one of my oldest friends is doing then what good is it? About a year ago Jason and I talked about doing a bike ride from Chicago (his current home) to Detroit (our former home). Then I decided to leave the country. The awesome thing about Jason is he doesn’t give a shit. He’s going solo!

And even better, Jason’s raising money for prostate cancer research. If you’re so inclined, please support! BONUS: If you e-mail me your receipt I’ll send you a copy of How To Live Anywhere. Figgity-fantastic, chyeah? (Unrelated but related: I wrote about a trip I took with Jason, and another friend Adam, here: The Persistent Shower Companion or Early Mornings At The Munich Airport.)

Seven Weird Habits That Will Change Your Life by Jonathan Mead

I think we have a theme today. Jonathan’s first habit is “engage in time travel” and, in a way, it’s similar to my Mind Control Method. But again, like Steve Pavlina’s How To Order, it’s different. :)

How To Practice Walking Meditatation by Tammy Strobel

I did this regularly in India and it felt amazing. I haven’t done it much in Thailand. Err, not at all in Thailand. It’s not a priority, but it is a valuable experience none-the-less.

James Randi’s fiery takedown of psychic fraud on TED.com

I’m pretty sure James Randi would hate the “How To Order from the Universe” information above considering the content of this video. Or maybe not. Psychics are frauds. Ordering from the Universe (and my Mind Control Method) works for other reasons and it’s not rooted in the “supernatural.”

The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers by Annabel Candy

My favorite is #7: Effective bloggers are persistent. This holds true for anything you want in life. I’ve known Annabel since her blog had something like 200 subscribers. She’s up to about 1,300 now! Congrats Annabel!

The “Do What You Love Show” Episode 3: Speaking 7 Languages With Benny Lewis by Baker

I had the pleasure of being on the first Do What You Love show back when I met up with Baker (ManVsDebt.com) in New Zealand last December. I still haven’t met Benny, although he’s in Berlin and I might just it make it out there for a bit this Summer. Baker and Benny are two of my favorite people. No joke. Here they are in one place!

Questions/comments/wanna sing outlaw lullabies? You know what to do …


  1. Always generous with your links! Thanks ;)
    If you come across that girlfriend Steve described, I want precisely the same one!! When you find where they are hiding, send details and I will abandon my mission and go find her immediately :D Otherwise I’ll keep making sure the universe is hearing my orders loudly and clearly, so there is no misunderstanding!
    I found a nice girl a few months back that fit 80% of my requirements, but was unfortunately a passionate astrologist and everything I did or said was “so cancer” of me and predicted by her vague non-newspaper readings. It seems I wasn’t clear enough when making my order :P Obviously I found this out after we started out! That aspect of her cancelled out all the good… why do the free-spirited ones have to believe in such rubbish??
    The search continues! One of my requirements is that she is afraid of spiders. An absolute must.

    • hehe. Are they like packs of wolves? Do they hang out in groups? :)

      The problem isn’t that we can’t get what we want. It’s that, really, we don’t know what we want. (stole that from Daniel Gilbert) And that’s why I like this concept of ordering. Because we order what we think we want. And if we find out it’s not really what we wanted we can order something else. (And no, I’m not referring to women as “somethings.” I mean this in the broad sense of anything we could possibly want, whether human or otherwise.)

      I once ordered a BMW and a big house. I got them, but I placed the wrong order! It happens. :)

      So, I guess, keep ordering. If it’s fear of spiders that does it for you, then fear of spiders you shall have! (I know maybe 3 girls who aren’t afraid of spiders, so this should be easy to find.)

  2. Hey Karol – problem with Sweet Shit Saturday’s is you’re giving us too many great links to procrastinate with! Maybe try putting some crap in there next time so we can go about our Saturday’s productively…

    And yes, Pavlina is a little (lot) f’ed up but he shoots straight and if you get around his lifestyle, his blog is a wealth of information and inspiration.

    • haha, these links are the edited crop. Throughout the week I gather a good 20-25 that I’d like to highlight! I know it’s overwhelming even with ~5 links, but damn, I just don’t know what else to do. :)

      As far as Steve: I don’t believe he’s fucked up at all. He is who he is and it rules. Just because I’m not into polygamy or BDSM doesn’t mean others shouldn’t practice freely. The whole point of this blog is, after all, freedom. ;)

      • Which is totally cool, but I bet he scares off a lot of first time readers who would otherwise really benefit from him (he does address this is some of his racier articles). It’s what sets him apart, though, from thousands of others – gotta respect that.

        • If it scares off anybody, and I don’t mean to speak for him, but those are precisely the people he doesn’t need around. It’s the Finding Your Right People thing. :)

  3. Karol! I practice this ordering thing all the time! Only I call it my “sales order to the universe”. I write it down first on paper and then I tell friends and relaticks about it because the more people who know what you’re looking for, the more likely it is that they’ll help you achieve it. Isn’t it amazing?

    • That’s awesome Lelly! I think my family and friends would have already introduced me to someone like this by now, but the person does not exist in my current social circle. Hence telling the rest of the world.

      Writing stuff down works well. It’s part of what my Mind Control Method is about. :)

  4. Here’s my order:
    A (>5’4″ but <6') tall, creative, open, minimalist, physically fit girl who likes the same geeky shit that I'm into, reads a lot, and loves to travel. Got that Universe?

    I write everything down. It's like a compulsion. MCM helped me channel that. Thanks Karol! :)

  5. Thanks Karol, we’re getting there aren’t we. Did you know about my all expenses paid trip to Shanghai with Coca Cola too. Things are definitely starting to pick up and it’s brilliant to have your on-going support. We’ve come a long way:)

  6. So, that’s what you are looking for in a woman! I don’t think Shannon Albert can marry you anymore, as she wants ;)

    I love this concept of How to Order- the idea of “you wouldn’t go to a pizza place and just order a pizza.” gave me a little ah-ha moment. You have to know what you want, in detail. Even if it’s rambling, or not sure, and you change your mind a lot. At least pick something. Excellent weekend inspiration, Karol :)

  7. Hey Karol, I know this off topic but I was wondering what’s the best way to keep your passport safe while traveling – Do you keep it on you at all times or just keep it in your backpack? Do you use a money belt to store it?


    • haha, I don’t worry about it at all. Maybe that’s dumb. Right now, I have a motorbike rental, and the rental place is holding onto my passport. Who knows what they’re doing with it. But it’s how you rent a motorbike around here. When I do have it, I keep it on me if I have my messenger bag on me. I don’t use a money belt ever, for anything. Although I did buy one. I should probably get rid of it as it has just been taking up space for 7 months.

  8. ;-)
    Hey Karol,
    interesting order indeed! ;-)
    Just recently I have been discussing this topic of ordering and meeting the life partner with my friend and we have both agreed that there are so many super cool people out there in the world and yet they are single.

    Why is that?
    We know better than majority of the people what we want from life, we are vivid readers, we are passionate about life, we agree that less is more and being minimalist is pretty natural way of living for us, we are very conscious about our own actions and its impact, we are lifelong learners, we love to help people and make this world a better place, we love to travel and openly connect with people and yet we are alone. Why?
    Any ideas?

    • I guess it’s all in how you look at it. I don’t feel like I’m alone. I simply don’t have a girlfriend/wife. :)

      And yes, there are lots of super cool people out there. At least you have the right attitude. Too many people take the stance of “there is nobody out there for me, everybody sucks, wah, wah, wah!” :)

      I think why a lot of people that you mention are single is because we’ve developed too long of a list in what we want and if someone doesn’t fit directly into that mold we disregard them. That’s no good.

      See, while I did order what I ordered, I don’t know if that’s what I really want. Right now, I’m just guessing. I ordered it because it’s the female version of me, and she would be cool to meet. I think! But I would happily date a religious omnivore. And I have. I’m attracted to passionate people even if those passions aren’t necessarily exactly in line with mine.

      • ;-) Oh, yes definitely no mourning about being single;-)

        I have been also thinking how would I place my order, but I guess I would end up editing it every day;-)

        But there are some general features which are essential for the “meal” to be edible – generous, passionate, fearless, modest, creative, inspiring, trustworthy, sensitive.

        He must be artist! And by art I mean, that he will live up to his passion and dreams, fearlessly following path of unknown creative life, which will be inspiring for me and many other people around. World needs artists and original content in any field and area of life. So, it doesn’t matter whether he is singer, painter, blogger, cook or ceo, if I see that he is walking his talk, that is attractive for me.
        I would not want to be with my male copy, I would rather create synergy of my art and his art;-) So we both can learn and grow together.

        • Hi Ivana,

          The point of the order is to just place it, but read Steve’s article for more in depth info.

          I’m a big fan of artists myself. :)


  9. Thanks for the post!

    I had been reading Pavlina for a long time but a couple of years ago I ditched his RSS. It was a good feeling to see that he is still going North after all this time.

    I see the ordering to find a couple as a powerful way to know yourself, understand your desires and focus on whatever you really want. Thanks for it!

    • Thanks Pau. You’re right, a lot of it is about understanding your desires and focusing on what you want. It helps to synthesize it into an “order” or just written down somewhere.

  10. Thanks for the shout-out. Less than two weeks to go before the ride. Assuming I survive and want to do it again (which I’m pretty sure I will), maybe you can Man-Power Across Michigan with me!

  11. Ha, I got a bit of a kick out of the idea that we might not like what we “order.” Though I’ve never thought of it in terms of a restaurant, the basic idea is something I’ve adhered to in the past. As far as another person goes, I got exactly what I ordered twice and it was awful, twice, haha.

    Since then, I actually have been a bit more vague. I really don’t know what I want sometimes–even in a restaurant. I think there is a certain virtue in saying “surprise me!” Really, it’s all about being open to what life presents you.

    To put it in terms of the analogy we’re using here, sometimes you go to a restaurant, make your order, and they bring you out a complimentary appetizer that you didn’t expect. Sometimes, I enjoy that appetizer more than what I ordered. Don’t pass up an opportunity just because you were expecting something else!

    Great pots Karol. Makes me think!

    • Hi William,

      Thanks for your insight.

      Yes, I understand being open to surprises. I’m definitely not going to deny a wonderful woman just because she doesn’t fit into that order. That said, I also like to get what I order when I’m out to eat. :)


  12. This is my first EVER blog comment, but I just wanted to say that I love the Sweet Shit series, Karol. I look forward to it every Saturday. Keep it up!

    Oh, and P.S. Thanks for the postcard from Goa last month. Very thoughtful and it meant a lot. :-)

    • Thanks for making this blog your first comment Renee! You’re welcome for the postcard.

      I’m glad you enjoy Sweet Shit Saturday! I enjoy writing it. :)

      I probably should explain the postcard to others who might be reading. I’ve had a lot of postcard comments/tweets/e-mails and if you didn’t get a postcard you might be wondering, wtf? The postcard was sent to everybody who bought How To Live Anywhere on Day 1. It was my thank you for supporting me and Kiva. (Since all first day’s sales got doubled by me and sent to Kiva.) It took hours and hours and hours (I think ~6) to write those postcards, but it was fun. :)

  13. Ha! Weird day when people want to order you; “A geeky, vegan, bisexual, happily jobless girlfriend who gives amazing blow jobs and loves to travel.” Definitely…weird…
    I love making orders of the universe. Even without the idea that cosmic forces are aligning to bring you your shit, how can you recognise what you want unless you’re damn specific about it? I’ll be a successful writer the day that I achieve the parameters I defined for myself regarding success and all that…

  14. The big problem is that people order in the negative. That is, they say they DON’T WANT , but the universe doesn’t order negative. It just hears, you want and gives it to them. Then they just bitch they always get the same kind of thing/person.

    So, order big and order in the positive … much like your list!

    • Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for joining in!

      I don’t notice people ordering in the negative. I just notice that orders aren’t clear.

      As far as the bitching, yes, that happens. But isn’t it usually followed up with something like “what I really want is…”?


  15. Karol, for someone new to extended traveling, can you recommend an area or country to visit first? Say someone has 1-2 months. What do you think of Thailand and/or New Zealand/Australia? I appreciate your perspective!

    • Hey Tim! I love all 3 places you mentioned. But as far as recommending a specific place, I don’t like to do that for the simple fact that everybody is different. You’re into different things than me and so the places I like you might not.

      Australia: My favorite city was probably Brisbane. Big city, but small feel. Lots of free stuff to do. Great bike lanes. Lots of open space. My least favorite city was Cairns. It’s a perfect city if you just want to get wasted with 40,000 backpackers though. I also really liked Sydney and Alice Springs and Adelaide (free city bike hire!). Everybody seems to love Melbourne, but I am indifferent towards it. Lots of great veg restaurants, but I wasn’t really into it otherwise. (Again, everybody’s different.)

      New Zealand: Queenstown is awesome if you’re into adventure stuff. My favorite place as far as nature was Lake Tekapo. Most people only pass through Lake Tekapo because there’s “nothing” to do. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and I stayed for 3 nights. (only had 30 days total in NZ)

      Thailand: Bangkok was OK. I love Chiang Mai. The only downside is lots of pollution. I haven’t been elsewhere in Thailand so can’t comment.

      So my recommendation: just pick a place and go! :)

  16. The thing about making an order is that you have to pay for your meal.

    Sometimes the receipt can be a nasty wakeup….

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