Troy Erstling

My name is Troy Erstling. If I had to describe myself in three words it would be energetic, enthusiastic, and curious. Over the last 10 years I’ve lived a nomadic lifestyle that started in Argentina, then led me to South Korea, India, Malaysia, and now Brazil, where I’ve lived for the last three years. I’ve also accumulated an interesting blend of professional experience as an English Teacher, Volunteer for NGO’s/Social Enterprises, Researcher, Freelance Writer, Marketer, Salesman and then Tech Entrepreneur turned consultant.

I like to think I’ve lived a fascinating life up to this point at my (somewhat) young age of 30. I like to think that I have done and accomplished a lot in a very short time span. I like to think that some people will enjoy to read about that journey.

So now, I’m sharing that journey and the lessons learned along the way for anyone interested in following along 🙂

Timeline for context:

  • 1989: Born in New Jersey
  • 89-07: Normal suburban Jewish childhood
  • 2007: Went to the University of Arizona
  • 2010: Studied Abroad in Argentina
  • 2011: Graduated from University of Arizona
  • 2012: Moved to Seoul, South Korea to teach English to 7 year old kindergarten students
  • 2013: Moved to Bangalore, India for the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise
  • 2014: Started working with ZoomCar India as a Social Media and Community Manager
  • 2015: Started BrainGain – a recruitment agency helping people work abroad
  • 2016: Moved to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to scale BrainGain
  • 2017: Move to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – BrainGain fails to scale due to tech issues – I moved on.
  • 2017: I start writing. A lot. I document over 300 pages of the story of BrainGain.
  • 2018: Started Sales Consulting and Coaching Businesses, begin publishing articles.
  • 2019: Started working with Steven Kotler and the Flow Research Collective
  • Present day: Over 200 articles published, top Writer on Medium in Advice and Mental Health, Head of Enrollment at the Collective…and we’re just getting started 🙂 Splitting my time between the US and Brazil and wherever life takes me in between!

Other curious tidbits about me:

New Years 2015 I completed my first 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. Since then I’ve been meditating on a daily basis and completed 4 more 10-day meditation retreats. A lot of what I write about comes from my insights off the cushion – trying to apply the lessons of meditation into my daily life.

Next – as any good introspective philosopher and psychonaut would do, I came into contact with plant medicines – Specifically Psilocybin mushrooms and Ayahuasca (DMT). This only further validated many of my learnings and insights from meditation, and have led to some of the most visceral and profound experiences of my life. While I don’t directly mention it, many of my articles are crystalized insights during an Ayahuasca experience.

I’m also an avid reader and I’ve read nearly every self-help and self improvement/personal development book out there. Again, many of the lessons I write about come directly from here. Books are the greatest teacher of all, and I’ve made it a habit over the last few years to read at least one book every month. I’ve also recently fallen in love with fiction. You can see what I’ve dabbled with on my Goodreads.

My passion when it comes to movement? The slackline. The sport where you tie a line in between two trees and walk across it while balancing. I’m slowly working my way up to highlines as well (in-between mountains!). While I don’t write much about it (yet), the slackline is an important part of the way I operate my mind and get into flow.

Pulling all of these threads together into one common tangent – Flow States have been my obsession over the last two years. The state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform at our best. Being “In the Zone”. It’s the common bond that brings together the worlds of meditation meets psychedelics meets self help meets athletic performance – and has the science to explain it all.

That’s what brings us to the cherry on top – My dream job working with The Flow Research Collective as the Head of Enrollment. I am the main gatekeeper to all of our trainings. I interview some of the worlds most fascinating business leaders, athletes, creatives, and more – and decide if they have what it takes to be a part of our elite tribe. We’re also exploding as an organization, and it’s been a blast watching everything exponentially grow (especially after my startup failed to see that same explosive growth).

What else?

I love to get creative. I love to express myself in whatever way that I can. I love to be the weirdest version of myself and see how that expands my comfort zone.

I freestyle rap. I chant a language I invented. I practice fake karate. Make strange voices. Do Troy-Chi. Dance. A bunch of other strange practices I’m yet to document as well!

My personal idols? Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Sacha Baron Cohen. Seth Macfarlane. Adam Sandler. Bruce Lee. Dhalai Lama. Alan Watts. The creatives and the philosophers.

If you’ve made it this far all I can say is thanks for reading. I appreciate every reader that I receive. Thank you and I appreciate your presence!

Enjoy the articles here, may they provide you value on your journey of introspection and love!