Friday, May 31, 2019

Do What Works

I noticed myself saying, “Do what works for you,” more often than I used to. After some pondering, there’s a problem with this statement. What if their answer is “then I’ll do nothing”?

Nothing can technically be a plan because people can always try to stay how they are. Therefore, it would be better to say, “Do what works for the change you want to see.” If no change is desired, then you’ll still get inaction. However, it’s impossible to stay the same, so whether you like it or not, change is coming.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Doing Something Noble

What’s the most noble thing you can do? What would you gain and lose from doing this thing? Lastly, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Coincidence


Coincidence is one of life’s greatest comedians.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Wants vs. Needs

If you have to think if you need something, then it isn’t a need. Almost everyday people buy wants. What’s interesting is how we inflate needs and we end up paying much more than we need to for a version of them.

We transform our needs, lie to ourselves really, and turn them into nice to haves, luxuries. We can live half a mile from work in a smaller place for less money, but we don’t. Refusing to downsize we say things like, “I deserve this.” Deserve though, doesn’t really mean anything. You paid for it. You’re getting it. Great, so what? What are you giving up for what you deserve?

Think about your actions, they affect others. By making better decisions, you do your part to make the world a better place and your life easier at the same time.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Loving Life

168 Hours: What do I love so much I’d do it for free? How can I get someone to pay me to do that? If there’s no obvious job title in an organization doing what I love (and often there isn’t). Ask yourself: “What’s a low-cost way I could start a business doing that, and get the cash register ringing quickly?”

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Nothing Works

I noticed myself saying, “Do what works for you,” more often than I used to. After some pondering, there’s a problem with this statement. What if the answer is nothing? Nothing can work. People can stay how they are. There may be a lack then when it comes to motivation.

What are you doing about X Problem? Nothing.

Well, I guess that works.

If I’m telling someone you have to find out what works for you, when trying to help them better themselves nothing can be a plan of action, or rather, inaction.

When it comes to X problem, do what works for you to solve it. Let’s say losing weight. If someone has lost weight before then losing weight isn’t the problem, keeping it off is. When it comes to keeping the weight off, do what’s works is justifiably nothing because they have no experience.

I’m working on giving less advice, less unsolicited advice for sure, but less advice overall. What I think would be better is to say, when you lose the weight, track every calorie, stay away from junk food and don’t eat past 6 pm. You can add in some other strategies or use a mix of these but figure out what works and do that.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Ignorance Exists

I say some things that may seem obvious, but for some, they aren’t. Ignorance exists, and unless we freely share information it will persist.

I’d love to see a world where education is free, where ignorance existed only by choice and not by design.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Change Makers

What type of person is making the change you want to see? Become like them.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Love What You Do

Many people leave work at work, but if they did what they loved, could they? Does a best selling author only come up with ideas from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday? If an idea strikes her on the weekend, does she write it down immediately or hope to remember it come Monday?

My purpose is to make people’s lives easier. I love what I’m doing. It doesn’t pay the bills, but someday, it might.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What Thoughts Persist?

I have thoughts that don’t go away. No matter what situation I’m in, they persist. These thoughts, if aligned with my actions can be the kindling for a passionate life.

What you think about when you aren’t getting paid to think is what you should be getting paid for.

If you want to know your purpose, think about what you can’t stop thinking about.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Knowledge vs Wisdom

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” -Lao Tzu.

“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” -Albert Einstein

Yet here we are, I do a lot of reading and writing. Writing turns out to be reading for yourself and others. In my constant pursuit of output, I must realize that my relationship with the reader should have a time limit.

I don’t know how long, however long it takes I guess. If these words are to instill action then eventually I’ll be preaching to the choir and nobody needs to be told that they can do what they’re already doing.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Information Overload

“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” -Herbert A. Simon.

This is something I’m trying to work on. For about two months, I haven’t read any news articles online or in paper. Minimal headline scanning in Yahoo’s homepage or Google News. It’s been easier than I expected.

I’m almost completely ignorant to what’s going on in the world and it’s awesome.

Why does this matter right now? Just in time Information.

I need to focus on what I’m working on. If my attention is being spent on inactionable information I’m wasting time even though it doesn’t feel like it. That’s the trap of doing things that matter, but that don’t necessarily matter right now.

For whatever I’m working on at the moment, do I need to be giving my attention to this? That’s the question I try to ask every time some new information is put in front of me.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Carrots and Sticks

You may have a goal, but lack starting power. Set a reward (a carrot) for yourself and a punishment (a stick). Some people, much smarter than me have condemned this method as it will only lead to short term results. But what if you only need to achieve short term results?

By a certain day, I’ll do X. If I don’t, then I’ll do Y as a punishment. If I do, then I get Z as a reward.

I’ve tried this out and so far I’ve held myself accountable. I don’t use it for things like lifestyle changes but if I say I have to study every day and if I don’t I have to volunteer some time for an organization I despise, I get the studying done.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

When Discomfort Comes

It’s common for people to say “Growth is on the other side of comfort. Therefore, comfort means no growth.”

If you’re focused on your mission, doing the things, I don’t think any of that should be uncomfortable. If you’re doing what you love, where’s the discomfort coming from? I think this saying has been perpetuated by people struggling just to struggle. The people that enjoy playing the victim.

If what you’re doing is uncomfortable because you’re taking too much, well that’s a different story. That’s a story that greedy individuals tell themselves and hope a term of philanthropy will absolve.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

5/15/2019 Wednesday Weekly

Another week down.
Good - Habits are good. Good nutrition and exercise.

Bad - Studying on the LSAT has stagnated. I’m feeling a bit too confident. Logic Games are solvable but I’m slow. Will be taking a diagnostic test on Friday to see where I'm currently at.

Ugly - Getting a case of the what-to-dos. I know that focus is what brings success, but focus seems to be in short supply.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Earphones Out

Be open to life happening. Available. When we close ourselves off to the world we miss more opportunities than we could ever know. An acquaintance got a limo ride for the price of a rideshare because he was available to the world. Usually, he’d have his earphones in, secluding himself from others while being exposed to them. Now when he’s out in public, he’s aware.

I don’t remember exactly how the story went but it involved him dropping off his rental, leaving and on the way out he struck up a conversation with a man next to a limo. The guy said, “How about a limo ride to wherever you’re going?” If he had his earphones in, he’d have walked right past the man. Instead, he got to ride in a limo and feel like a celebrity for $20. 

Keep yourself open, you never know when opportunity will reveal itself. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Why Would They Point to You?

If a millionaire needs the best, who do they go to? What can they point to you for? Do you want to be great? How about great at something?

I don’t know if I want to be the best writer, speaker, activist, manager, etc. Therefore, it’s going to be very hard for people to point to me. This idea that we must choose only one though, is unproven. We can do many things in a lifetime.

The hard part isn’t doing, it’s choosing and staying focused. Pick a goal, don’t stop until you reach it or lose interest. I guess the first thing I’ll work on is what can bring me the financial freedom which will allow me to do the rest much easier.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Self-Made

What, no parents?

Nobody successful is self-made. Even the ones who had no mentors or role models still had customers. Before claiming you are or believing someone is “self-made,” ask how other people are involved.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Buying A Car

When it comes to buying a vehicle you can buy new or used. “New cars lose a ton of value right?” Usually, but not always. “Used cars have too many issues, I’d rather feel secure in buying brand new or at least with warranty.” Warranties are financial products, the only reason they exist is that dealerships and manufacturers make a profit on them.

If you live in a major metropolitan area you probably have a lot of dealerships competing for your business. My brother gets what he calls “paper cars.” In 2015 I saw this in action, he bought a never driven, basically new 2014 Nissan Note for well under MSRP and Kelly Blue Book. He could have sold it the same day and probably made a $1,000-2,000 profit. The way this works is looking at the newspapers for one-off deals. You have to be at the dealership early and sometimes literally sit on the car until they open, but once they do, the car is yours. Dealerships do this to get people in the door. He used to sell cars so he knows the trick, dealerships out one in the paper, with VIN as required by law but once it sells, every person after will be talked to about other marvelous deals, just not that one.

Buying used has a few issues but unless you’re getting a new car in the method above or something similarly priced, it’s the way I’ll go forever.

A lot of people get car loans and are immediately upside down in them, meaning, they owe more than the car is worth. This is something to look out for, especially at car dealerships that do their own financing. If your credit score is low and you can’t get a car loan with less than 5% interest, don’t get a car loan.

If you don’t have a car right now, why do you need a car tomorrow? Save money until you can buy a 10 to 15-year-old, reliable car with 10,000 miles max per year it has been on the road. I bought a 2002 Toyota Sienna for $2500 with 100,000 miles on it in 2018. It was in great shape mechanically, but I wouldn’t be turning any heads doing ng down the street. If you want to be better with money, understand that what you want and what you need are usually two different things.

The reason your financed car may be a terrible use of money is that these dealers will give you a car worth $5,000, according to Kelly Blue Book, which is what a lot of banks use to determine if they can finance your car, for $7,000 or more. If this happens to you, you’ll be locked into something terrible.

When I was in banking I tried to help a woman refinance her vehicle that she was paying over 15% interest on. She owed $8,500 and the vehicle was worth $3,500. She had never heard of Kelly Blue Book and thought it was a good deal. It wasn’t a good deal, she got swindled. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to protect people in these situations. A deal’s a deal. The car lot will even tell you, “You have bad credit, we’ll start you at 15% and in 6 months you can go somewhere else and refinance down to 5% or 8% interest.” Unfortunately, this isn’t completely true. A bank can only lend 100-120% of what a car is worth, because the car is the collateral, so unless she planned on putting a $5,000 down payment on that loan, for a car only worth $3,500, she’s stuck in a bad loan until she pays it off or works something else out.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Bad Things Will Happen

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

True then and true now. Preparation is key. We don’t walk in front of others and give a presentation without practice, but we present ourselves every day in front of them without preparation or even thought as to what might come. Think of the possibilities and prepare for the likely ones. Your life will improve.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Gambling

Life’s a gamble. That’s pretty dramatic, but most of us have said it once or twice. I stopped gambling with money a long time ago, over six years. I was up, I quit while I was ahead and have never given the house back their money. But I haven’t stopped gambling.

Some people say walking across the street is gambling, I've gone further. Gambling recklessly is what I mean. Speeding, running red lights, going out to places I shouldn’t be at, driving drunk, etc. I’ve gambled with my life enough to say, that for at least today, I’m not gambling recklessly with it anymore.

That leads me to my last gamble, time.

Whatever you’re doing, you’re essentially gambling with outcomes. You can increase your probability but for the big things, there’s some luck involved. My job is to put myself in the best position possible, so when luck shows up my preparation will allow me to capitalize.

Whatever the game, you owe it to yourself to get better at it. Your money, life, and youth depend on it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

5/8/2019 Wednesday Weekly

Another week down.
Good - Settling into my new place just fine. Life is good.

Bad - Nutrition, eating too much sugar. I’ve been writing a new book about what parents won’t tell their teenage kids. It’s different but I have two nephews who it’s dedicated for so I’m working through the temporary rough patch.

Ugly - Being distracted living with other people, still mostly doing my habits, but it’s getting tougher to stay focused. If it continues I’ll have to reevaluate my goals.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Struggle Everyday

Akin to when will you fight...

I’d rather struggle a little every day than not struggle and hope to be able to struggle a lot someday.

When you do some sort of work that you can build upon it makes the rest of your life easier. What can you do today that will make tomorrow easier?

It’s like eating right, today I’m going to feel like I’m missing out but someday when I’m 70 and can walk upright and run I’ll be grateful to my younger self. Depending on what it is, you might even pay for it the next morning.

When you think about doing something, it’s hard to ask if it’s going to be worth it. Our actions are supposed to make us happy, a lot of times they don’t. Short term sacrifice, long term gain.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Mental Peace

We sometimes fill our minds with noise because we don’t want to hear the negative voice(s). Maybe we’re stressed over relationships, finances or our current situation.

Why can’t we sit still and think our own thoughts anymore?

I remember driving in silence, no music, just my thoughts. Planning and processing.

You can only have one voice in your head at a time, that’s why when people talk over each other nothing registers. 

Music is not as bad as TV, but if we let it, as I used to let it, it will take your youthful brain and keep it preoccupied. Don’t think of your opportunities, put your favorite song on instead. It’s the weekend, just enjoy it, no need to think. You can’t live a life without music, take a listen.

Those who refuse to change are doomed to live the same. Be the person you could be, one choice at a time.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Daydream

Diane Barth wrote “Daydreaming: Unlock the Creative Power of Your Mind,” in 1998 and said we daydream around 30 to 40 percent of our waking hours. I know I used to, but I definitely don’t anymore.

After some research on Google I found David Evans article from 2017, “Is Your Smart Phone Stealing Your Creativity? Unlock Your Creativity Using Secondary Dream Time.”

Just as Wikipedia was made by stealing time from TV, daydreams had to go if smartphones were to be inserted. The constantly distracted brain can’t function correctly.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Great or Remarkable?

Before it’s measured it must be observed.

How do you get people to see what you’re doing?
Seth Godin says something remarkable is something worthy of making a remark upon.

Can something be great but unremarkable? Sure. So what’s the goal? Greatness or acknowledgment?

Look inward for the signs that you’re doing great things. Is it worth doing something remarkable only to be miserable inside? Even if the greatness is personal, even if your audience is small, even if you never plan on showing anyone your creation, if you think it’s worth the effort, do it. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Just A Coincidence

We love seeing meaning in the meaningless. Coincidence is often credited to an outside entity. Why not credit the actors for their actions?

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Planning vs. Doing

Doing without planning is likely wasteful and imprudent. Planning without doing can be wasteful or prudent. 

Thoughtfulness allows us to create. It also lets us see if something is viable.

If I had six hours to write a blog post I’d spend the first 350 minutes thinking and brainstorming. I’d spend the last 10 crafting the final product.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

5/1/2019 Wednesday Weekly

Another week down.
Good - Came back to San Antonio, staying with some awesome friends. On my stuff, studying for the LSAT. Tracking calories. Being productive.

Bad - The heat that’s coming.

Ugly - See Bad.