Saturday, August 31, 2019

Doing Your Best

Means you can’t be doing any better. I hope doing my best will happen someday in things that matter. I think of my workouts, I know I can do another set or another rep, but is that actually better? I know what I’m doing is working, the weight I’m pulling or pushing keeps increasing and my reps do too. But what’s the goal?

Best is possible, but best could mean death. If I kept going and going and going, eventually rhabdomyolysis can set in and without treatment, lead to kidney failure and then death. I think I’ll stick to the 3 near failure sets of 8 or so exercises, every other day for the time being. Is it my “best”? No. Am I getting stronger and healthier? Yes.

Think about your actions in regards to the important stuff, physical health, emotional well being, family, relationships, and finances. Can you do better?


Friday, August 30, 2019

On Being Right


Not “who’s right?” but, “what’s right?” Which matters more?

When talking to someone and trying to convince them of something, what matters is that they agree with the idea, not the person. 

Often times people will agree with you to shut you up. What the goal of persuasion should be then is that the idea itself has to be confirmed. 

If you get them to say THAT is right instead of YOU are right, you’re on a better path to seeing a change occur. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Next Big Thing

What is it going to be?

Recently we had the internet. Then we had smart phones. Finally social media and online shopping. 

So what’s next? Robots and automation? Or is it Solar and wind power creating free energy for the masses? Lab grown food? I don’t know. What I do know though, is that it isn’t watching 40 hours of Netflix a week. It isn’t stuffing my face with junk food everyday. It isn’t so many things. 

The next big thing is going to be things, pick something in an area that makes sense and go for it. Or not, the world will accept another customer as well. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What Would You Say?

If you got in a time machine and went forward 10 years into the future, what would you tell yourself?

This scenario is often told in the reverse, but I’ve never heard it proposed this way. 

I don’t know but I think it’s a good exercise.

Arturo, I hope you’re still going to the gym every other day. I hope you’re still writing. I want you to know that no matter what happens, as long as you do the right thing you’ll be okay. I don’t know how much you’re talking to your family but let them know that you love them more often. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Try And Try Again

You tried and failed. Are you done?

You tried and succeeded. Are you done?

If success doesn’t end the pursuit then why do we so often let failure stop us?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Luck

If someone’s successful and they say they’re lucky, listen to them. Their humility will lead you down a better path than anyone claiming that they’re self made. 

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” maybe, or you’re born into money. I don’t like the way people discount luck. If you’re reading this, you’re luckier than those who won’t. 

How do you capitalize on luck? Guts. 

When that opportunity comes, even if you’re not prepared, if you feel like you can make it happen, do so. My brother and I had no business getting a $519k loan back in 2010, but we did, and we sold the house and it worked out well. I’m not saying bet the house on black or red, I’m saying bet on yourself. As long as you can live with the worst case scenario more than you can with the idea of not going for it, go for it. 


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Education vs. Skills

People say that we need a college-educated populace. Why? I mean it sounds good. It sounds wonderful, but it’s not true. I argue that we need a skilled populace much more than an educated one.

What good is a degree in whatever if you can’t use it to create value in this world? What’s worse is that taxpayers are subsidizing these loans with federal guarantees and now there’s talk of taxpayer funded college. It’s madness.

If you want to learn something, you have the Information Superhighway at your fingertips. If you want to spend $40,000 learning something, you better make sure that it’s a good investment and don’t take the debt on if it isn’t.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Students Loans

How do I know that forgiving student loans is a bad idea?

If college was such a good investment, then student loans wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone would be gainfully employed, making their payments and the world would be better for it.

The world is not better for it.

The fact that there’s a student loan problem is telling us that college isn’t the answer.

College used to be affordable, what happened? Federal officials came up with the horrible idea to back loans. Colleges loved it, tons of new students and they all had their money upfront.

Look where it’s gotten us. Overeducated, underemployed and under-skilled.



Friday, August 23, 2019

Monopolies Are Bad

Look at what DMV employees do with their monopoly. If you make people feel unappreciated, upset and powerless then your business should fail. 

It usually does, but thanks to monopoly, it doesn’t. 

What they put people through would never fly in the private sector.  It comes down to one main issue. Power. Whenever power is in play abuse will likely follow. 

If your job has policies that make no sense or you’re tasked to do things that don’t make sense then fix them. Even if you have a monopoly, how hard is it to be a decent human being? 


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Immigration

Here’s a solution, jail the employers and managers, 1 year per employee.

As long as employers aren’t punished they’ll keep exploiting cheap labor. As long as we do nothing we’re complicit in their exploitation. The federal minimum wage law says very plainly that each employer must pay each of his employees $7.25 an hour. There’s no mention of legal status to work. So where’s the justice? Where’s the equality? Not here. 

I think it comes from the idea that we’ve been fed for so long, that something is better than nothing. Maybe it’s true, but it isn’t legal. I don’t think every law on the books is just or right, but this one is. I think it’s criminally low, but we need a bottom for sure. 

When we allow the most vulnerable to be criminalized and the wealthy to go free we really show what this nation has thus far stood for. 

Maybe my solution is simplistic and naive. But I know one thing for certain, we can do better. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Healthcare

Is it something that everyone should have access to? Yes, but not in its current form. In its current form, it’s largely ineffective. 

Why is it okay to abuse our bodies by ingesting chemicals and food like products until we’re sick? Why should this behavior be subsidized by other people on insurance plans or even by force via taxation?

The problem isn’t healthcare, it’s that we don’t care. We call critics shamers and whistleblowers conspiracy theorists. While preventable deaths outnumber murders by at least ten to one, which do we focus on? 

People say that it’s their choice when it comes to food but have no problem with people being caged for narcotics. I’ve already explained how sugar is a drug. Heart disease kills 600,000 Americans a year. Cocaine kills 14,000. 

As long as healthcare means pills and not lifestyle alterations, what are we really doing?


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Paying People Less


80% of people hate their jobs. 

What would happen if they got paid more? They might save up and quit. This is why employers will exploit, (pay less than they can), every employee for as long as possible. 

If an employer has someone stuck in the Zombie Loop and living paycheck to paycheck, then why would they ever willingly give that up? They have guaranteed profitable labor. All they have to do is kick back and watch their employees bring in the money. 


Monday, August 19, 2019

What Would You Say?

If you got in a time machine and went forward 10 years into the future, what would you tell yourself?

This scenario is often told in the reverse, but I’ve never heard it proposed this way. 

I don’t know but I think it’s a good exercise.

Arturo, I hope you’re still going to the gym every other day. I hope you’re still writing. I want you to know that no matter what happens, as long as you do the right thing you’ll be okay. I don’t know how much you’re talking to your family but let them know that you love them more often. 


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Is Your Arena Big Enough?

Top 10% of managers make a good living, top 10% of rappers don’t. 

I’d say the top 10% of 1% when it comes to rappers make a living and less than that are rich. So in your life, what arena are you playing in? Is the arena big enough to succeed or do you need to be that top 1% of 1% to really make it? Often times we go into things not understanding just how small the chances are of winning. 

Whatever you plan on doing, make sure you know what odds are stacked against you and more importantly the effort and actions required to overcome them.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

If You Hired Me

If you hired me to be your boss for a day, what would I have you do? What changes would I suggest for you to change in your life that are crystal clear? What should you be doing and why aren't you doing it?

I’m reading Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard P. Rumelt and just got a lightbulb moment in Chapter 4. One high level executive asked another, “If we got replaced, what would our replacements do right away? So why aren’t we doing that?”

It made me think, well, I’m the boss or executive of my own life, if I hired someone for a day, what would they say to change? 

The point is, we have to continually strive for better if we’re to be successful and fulfilled. The key is knowing what we should be doing and executing. 


Friday, August 16, 2019

Influencers vs. Influential

Googling those two words will yield completely different results. One shows fashion icons, the other societal and cultural titans.

It’s the difference between your WCW and MLK Jr. Which do you aim to be? Which would you rather follow?

If we want to be greater than our past selves, we must do more of the right things. Who You Could Be is mostly up to you.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Zombie Loop

What can you do that will provide the most value to the world?

I don’t know exactly what it is for me. But I know what it isn’t.

It isn’t going to work on Monday, to come home, to watch TV, to go to bed, to wake up to repeat this cycle until Friday. Just to have a couple days off, to dread Monday but then repeat the cycle all over again. This is the Zombie Loop.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Women

Because I’m not a woman, I have nothing to say in matters regarding women.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Minimum Wage

$15 an hour minimum and tie it to inflation so that it goes up 3-5% every year.

If a job can’t sustain life, it shouldn’t be called a job, it should be called for what it is, it isn’t indentured servitude or financial slavery but it’s something. It’s a system of control based on limiting resources. They pay you just enough to maybe need a little debt to get by and so that you’ll keep coming back to work or end up homeless.

Only a percentage of the cost for a product comes from labor, so maybe prices will go up, but it won’t be more than the raise in your wages. WIll some jobs go away? I hope so. Will more jobs come in to fill the gap because of people’s increased spending power? Most definitely.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Our Military

We spend the most, so we should have the best right?

The US Government pulls in about $3.6T in tax revenue and spend about $700B of that on the military. It’s about 20%. Imagine taking 20% of your paycheck and buying guns with it.

I’m not a general, I’ve never fought a war but I do know that $700B is a lot of money.

Do we need it? I don’t think so. We have nukes. We’re not going to invade any country for their land so why do we need such a large standing army? About 1.4M personnel. That’s kind of crazy too, 0.33% of our population gets 20% of our tax revenue. Sure, money goes to buying bombs and stuff but it all ends up in their hands.

As with a lot of things, we need to do better.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

The US Economy

Do you have six months of your monthly expenses in your bank account? Most Americans don’t. Actually, most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. What happens when that paycheck disappears?

The news says the economy is great, that employment is at record highs. There are 130 million full-time workers and 230M working-age adults. But sure, record-level unemployment is a thing.

We need to stop and ask who is telling us a story before we believe it at face value. I don’t know when the next recession is coming but I do know that when jobs start getting cut it’s going to be a domino effect like we’ve never seen.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Race

60 years ago laws were passed so that we could not be discriminated against based on race for certain things. Just this year Facebook had to pay a fine for racial discrimination for the way they let people advertise housing.

We can’t all get along. Most of us can, no doubt, probably 99% of people hold no racial prejudice that would cause them to get violent.

But it’s not just vocalized racism that affects us. It’s the judge giving people of color longer sentences than their European American counterparts for the same crime. It’s the hiring manager giving the entry-level job to the person that looks most like them. It’s 45 presidents, and only one being of color. It’s doctors not giving minorities the same level of care than others.

Everyone has the right to feel however they want to feel, but when it turns into actions that are harming others, we need to do better. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

Public Transportation


The chicken or the egg?

Ridesharing companies understood that they needed drivers on the road before anyone would use their app.

Why can’t city and transportation planners see that we need more frequent buses for there to be more riders?

Maybe because there's no incentive to actually be better at their job. If a year goes by and management can't show that they're getting drivers to switch over to the bus system at an acceptable rate, we should fire them. We're going to keep getting what we're allowing. Traffic and pollution will only get worse unless those who are supposed to be responsible do their job.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pollution

Pollution is a big problem. Almost everything we consume goes through a manufacturing process and those processes create waste. This is one of the main reasons that I’ve undertaken the practice of minimalism.

Since the beginning of the year, I have purchased two items from Goodwill and nothing else besides food.

Fashion is one of the largest polluters in the world. Look it up if you didn’t know and brace yourself.

Meat is another terrible polluter. I’m not a vegetarian and I probably will never be but my beef consumption is way down, maybe a pound per month.

Driving, I’m blessed to not have a job that requires it or a family that needs chauffeuring, if I need a car, I’ll rent one. Public transportation isn’t great and I think there is a lot of room for improvement.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Climate Change

People that have little motivation to lie say it is.
People with an enormous motivation to lie say it isn’t.

Who should we believe?

I’m going to believe that releasing chemicals into the air that you’d never allow to be pumped into your home is bad. I’m going to believe what I see, ice melting and record-setting temperatures.

Climate scientists say emissions and animal raising are leading causes so I’m going to use public transportation as much as possible and consume less animals. I’m going to spread the word, and hope that you can spread it as well.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Guns

When the 2nd amendment was written matters. Civilians could have the same weapons as the government. Weapons have changed a lot since, and the current level of disproportionate firepower is abysmal. We’re arguing over rifles and guns that fire too fast, while the government controls nuclear bombs. As far as weapons go, I think we should make moves toward how it used to be.

The majority of Americans want mandatory background checks, seeing how this hasn’t happened, it shows how our government officials are not doing what the populace wants.

Because of the technological advancements, I think we need testing and continuing education for gun safety. If you need continuing education to sell life insurance, you should need it for firearms too.

If someone is negligent with their gun and a crime is committed with it, I think that the owner should be legally responsible as well.

These weapons can inflict a lot of damage and as much as I’m for the right to keep and bear almost any arm, we have to do something politically. When our politicians take money from this industry, there’s inarguably blood on their hands.


Monday, August 5, 2019

Mass Shootings

Mass shootings are around 2% of all gun deaths.

One problem is that the people that want gun control won't move to areas where the people don't. As long as we live in a republic and not a true democracy, the majority doesn’t necessarily rule the minority and these shootings will continue to happen.

Another is the NRA and other groups giving money to lawmakers. As long as we allow organizations and corporations contribute to lawmakers they will influence our laws.

What’s the solution? Maybe it’s accountability. If someone uses your gun to commit a crime, the gun owner does the time too. We’re allowing people to own weapons of local destruction, more accountability is required.

Lawmakers, our congress and senate have to be replaced one person at a time. If this matters, and it’s not just to sell ads, then let’s start getting them out.

My final thoughts, for hundreds of thousands of years humans knew and respected the dangers around them. Your personal safety is your duty, until this society is completely at peace, stay vigilant.


Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Plan For Oil

What seems to be happening, at least to me.

The owners and influential want to secure and control energy. Presently, oil is the easiest to control. Wind, solar and other options, therefore need to be slowed down as much as acceptable. They can’t be completely stopped or there will be suspicion.

Their foreign strategy is to keep oil reserves that are closest to home as unused as possible. Keep South America destabilized so that we can get the oil in Venezuela when we need it. Keep the Middle East in constant conflict and take their oil as fast and as easily as possible.

They’ll deplete the Middle East first, maybe Russia, Venezuela and finally the USA's supply.

Yep, that’s it.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Thou Shall Not Judge

But we all do, all day, it’s what dictates our actions. How many times have you learned from other people’s mistakes and made a change in your actions or an avoidance of some sort? 

So should it be, “Thou shall not overtly tell others of your judgment on them?” It’s better I guess, but they can still see in your actions that you’re judging them. Maybe it’s best instead, to have a discussion. Explain why you do or don’t do what you do or don’t do. 


Friday, August 2, 2019

When to Keep Silent

You don’t always need to speak or add something. With age I’ve found silence is sometimes an appropriate reaction. You don’t always have to respond.

I remember when someone would tell a story and I’d have to explain my similar experience, sometimes taking away from what my friend had told me. Now, a lot of times, I’ll let them keep that moment. It’s not about me, it’s about them. When someone says that they just tried something, instead of saying you have done that already, ask how they liked it, get more out of them before you tell your stories, if ever.

Your input isn't always needed.


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Application Over Information

The problem with information is that there is now enough out there to consume every second of your life.

The future is in the hands of those that apply what they learn.

Learn enough, and then act. Learn as you go as much as possible but always be effective.

Sharpen the ax, of course, but don’t forget to start chopping before your time is up.