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.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Nobody Is Holding You Back

Are there arms around you? No. Is someone actively sabotaging your efforts? No. Are they talking shit? That’s different.

They’re using their words to disagree with you or to pass judgment on you. Why give them power? If you need someone else’s approval to be happy you’ve already lost. If you keep talking about a struggle that doesn’t seem to exist, you lost. Who benefits when we give power to a seemingly nonexistent problem?





Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Repeat What Works

Have you been successful somewhere and thought time to change?

Imagine if Steve stopped at iPods or Bill stopped at windows 95.

Where are you stopping instead of persisting?



Monday, July 29, 2019

Easy For You To Say

People say things like:
“If you had kids you’d understand. 
That’s easy for you because…
If I had that opportunity I would have…”

We all seem to know exactly what others should be doing. How come then, is it so difficult for us to know what we should be doing sometimes?

Whatever your answer, work against it. It’s so easy to slip into the what if, work on the what now. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

It Starts With I

I.

I what?

I will, I won’t, but surely, I must. In order to live we must take actions. What’s the point? That’s personal. 

For me, the point is a better life for those on earth. Do I know better than everyone? No, but I know that no sane person would ask for poison to be pumped into their home. But earth is home and we let poison get pumped into Earth everyday. 

Today, I will make more thoughtful actions.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Today Is It


Most likely not, but for millions, today is it. Even though you have a long life to live don’t let that be an excuse to not achieve something today. Whatever it is, no matter how seemingly insignificant, progress is progress.




Do the things.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Processed Sugar is a Drug

The definition of a Schedule I Drug in the U.S.
  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.
  3. It has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
Sugar’s application 
  1. The way people consume it to excess is evident by our health issues and its wide use in many food items. Once you start eating sugar it’s hard to stop. It's readily available with no age restrictions.
  2. Processed Sugar doesn’t promote health at all, Sugar is toxic in the blood stream which is why the pancreas produces insulin, which prompts cells to absorb blood Sugar for energy or storage.
  3. I don’t know any doctor that would see a symptom and say, "Processed Sugar is the solution."
It’s clear to see how this qualifies. I’m not saying it’s only Sugar that’s causing our health issues, but as with almost everything, there are multiple causes. The number one reason for preventable death in America is heart disease. Obesity and nutrition are causes for heart disease. If we want to solve our problems we must go to the source. 


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Too Much Freedom?

Your elected officials think so. Why else would they have to pass new laws every year? 

What’s a law? A limitation on what used to be legal. More laws usually means less freedom. 

I don’t know what the solution is exactly, but I know electing officials that receive money from large corporations isn’t it. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Why Nothing Is Free

Everything has a carrying cost.

I was offered a free shirt and I turned it down. The person said “it’s free,” insistently. “How strange, why won’t this guy take the free stuff?” she probably thought.

Everything has costs above and beyond acquisition. Even storage of a T-shirt, minimal sure, but if you have enough shirts, what’s the point in another that you don’t plan on wearing?

Mental storage has a cost too. Now I have to think about this shirt, keep track of it, etc.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Consistently Me

Recently I’ve heard that we should have a different persona for everyone we meet. They used their children as an example, they’re different around their kids than they are when they’re in a business meeting. I get it but at the same time, I take issue.

I take issue with the fact that people want you to act or dress a certain way, you walk into a bank and the guys have suits on, why? Because that’s the way it’s been done. Well here’s what I know, without doubt, how things are done never lasts.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Wearing My Seatbelt

I’ll wear my seatbelt. Some people don’t, they say they drive safely. Slowly, so it’s no big deal. Whatever. I’ll wear mine just in case. Thanks.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Recently Relationshiped

You never asked them out, and now they’re posting pictures with their significant other. Sometimes it hurts to ask, but unless you have a preexisting friendship that will be put in jeopardy what’s the downside?

Rejection is part of a well-lived life, imagine never hearing no, it’d mean you never tested the boundaries.

If it’d hurt to see them go, then you owe it to yourself to try.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Dear Minorities

If you don’t want to be told what to do, this message isn’t for you. I’m telling you to be good.

Stop breaking the law. Work to change the law. If you break the law your likelihood of getting in trouble is way higher than if you were part of the majority. So for the same crime, you have less of a chance of a positive outcome. Be smart about it.

The system isn’t racist, there are racist people in it. The government isn’t racist, it’s what we allow. People marched, boycotted and died for what we have. What has your contribution been? I know I haven’t done enough, I’m betting most haven’t either.

Friday, July 19, 2019

What Do They Want?

Henry Ford said if he asked people what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse. What they really would have said is they wanted a faster, more reliable and less expensive mode of transportation. But that isn’t as catchy.

People say stuff like, “Make something that people don’t know they need yet.” As if there are new necessities to life. As far as I’m concerned, there are no more necessities. Food, water, shelter, clothing, and arguably connection. Everything else is simply nice to have.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Youth, Not Time

It Isn’t time that’s the most valuable resource, it’s youth. Ask any billionaire if they’d give all their money up to be 18 again. You’d be surprised at how many of them would go for it.

You’re as young as you’ll ever be right now, don’t squander it on regrets.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

You Have to Eat

Or what? You’ll die? After how long?
Don’t listen to people that don’t have what you want regarding that specific topic.  My longest fast is just over 100 hours, I didn’t die and only broke it because my muscles started cramping so I knew it was time to eat.

The single person always has relationship advice and the glutton always wants to tell you how to eat. Find your specific role models, that have what you want and do what they’ve done.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Architects of Our Own Adversity

Do we make life harder than it has to be? I know I have. But because I can acknowledge that I’m making things more difficult I’m able to make them easier as well. 

Sometimes life will happen and a situation will seem insurmountable. It either is or isn’t. If it truly is, tough break. But more than likely it isn’t. So instead of wallowing, why not ponder? See the solutions and take action. 

Wants vs. needs plays a big role, always remember what’s actually required for life and what’s just nice to have. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Getting What You Want

First, define what you want. 

Second, find out who has what you want. 

Third, ask them how they got it. 

Four, strategize and determine if what they did would work for you. 

Repeat steps as needed until you can make a plan that will work for you. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

You Owe Nothing

Owe means to have an obligation to repay or pay something for what has been received. Do you owe something to your parents for having you and doing their “best” or probably not their best? This alone, as the title says, I think not. You don’t owe anything to your parents. They had you and helped you for selfish reasons. It made them feel good to create something, so they did.

When you are thinking of what you want to do in your life, you can’t worry about how it will make your parents feel. Unless you’re using their money, then that’s a different discussion but one you should have before taking a dollar. If they want you to be a doctor but won’t be going $200,000 into debt for a 10 year program, and doing the work, good for them, but you don’t owe them your future.

If you have a goal, and they don’t like it, too bad for them, you have to live your life on your terms and seek your own happiness. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

It’s Not For You

You’re perfect. You already know everything. You’re doing it. This isn’t for you. 

I do this for the person in need of guidance. If I could grab my 18 year-old shoulder and speak from the heart, these are the words I’d say. 

Maybe I wouldn’t listen, definitely not at first. But after a year of everyday content, I might have. You can’t change your past but you can change your future. Start today. Do the things. Find that 18 year old in your life and speak from the heart until they listen. 

If this is for you, be the difference. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

If Everyone is Special

Then everyone is special. 

The fallacy that keeps being repeated starts off with the same premise but concludes that nobody is special. 

You are special. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Way Things Were

Eventually, we’ll say “that’s the way things were.” Can we hurry up and change then? If we know it’s coming, can we fast forward?

I long for the day that these and many more are true:
We used to put people in cages for flowers. No longer.
We used to put people in cages for trading sex for money. No longer.
We used to put money ahead of everything. No longer.
We used to pollute the earth. No longer.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Blackout Drunk

I knew I had to stop when I woke up in a jail cell. I’ve driven drunk before when I was out but never caused much damage. Maybe a scratch on the car or something. I’d wake up in a parking lot a mile from the event I was at. At least I knew better than to try to drive all the way home.

This time was different. I was home, safe, no reason to leave but I blacked out and got behind the wheel. Enough is enough. Nobody was hurt, but if I let this happen again, that may change. Certain things aren’t for certain people, alcohol isn’t for me.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Smart Get Smarter

Knowledge is powerful and synergetic. Your understanding builds on top of itself. The smarter you get the smarter you’re able to get. Your best gets better.

I don’t know if the opposite is true, but day after day without self improvement means what? Do something today that you can build on tomorrow.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Where to Next?

Amazon knows. Netflix knows. Do you know?

Sears kept trying to sell stuff that people didn’t want. Toys R Us refused to lower prices and figure out how to grow. CD making factories shuttered because they thought the means to consume music was done evolving. Don’t be the person who ordered that last million VHS players right before DVD players went mainstream.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

All Connected

I don’t usually care what people do with their time. What they do with stuff though, that gets me. We waste too much. If someone says what they consume doesn’t affect others, they have to know that isn’t true.

If your actions, consume resources then they affect other people. What’s best isn’t what we’re doing, we know this and it isn’t going to change. But, and it’s a very important but, we can do better. Do.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Bring Your Own Napkin

Plastic grocery bags will soon be outlawed across the nation. Straws too. What about napkins? We already use enough paper in the bathroom, why must we bring it to the dining table?

Cloth napkins are a thing, better to be the first than the last.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Trust in Government

Why don’t we trust the government?

I like to distinguish between government and government officials. Government is the system we allow and officials are the people elected or hired.

I don’t trust some government officials because they take money from corporations and then pay them back with favorable contracts and regulations or lack thereof.

I don’t trust the system we have because it allows people, that aren’t elected officials, for example, police officers to cage other people based on laws that were very quickly passed but have proven embarrassingly slow to remove.

The system is flawed, almost everyone agrees changes are needed and YET our officials do nothing. What the fuck? The few rule the many.

So that’s it, just a short blurb on something that is probably going to be much bigger.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Give More

Life isn’t free, on the surface, it sure looks that way. But every breath we draw comes at the expense of the lives sacrificed before us. Gratitude, therefore, seems more an obligation than a nicety.

I guess some people don’t care, I can’t be one of those people. Every day people are giving more than they’re getting and that gap in reciprocity is how society functions. Thank you to the person giving more than they receive.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Pandering vs. Singing

Pandering to an audience is one thing, singing to the choir is another.

If you mean what you’re saying, you’re probably on the right path. Saying what the audience wants to hear but not being sincere, is another story. Whenever you’re making art you have to answer the question of who’s it for.

Is this for you or is it for someone else? If it’s for you, then as long as you feel good about it, great. If you’re making it for someone else, think of them first.

If it’s for someone else, look to what they’re consuming already and respect their choices.

You can pander, and probably get away with it for a while, but what I’ve found is the truth always comes out and if you’re on the wrong side of it, you may find future success impossible. If you want something sustainable, believe in what you’re doing.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Acceptance vs. Being at Peace

Acceptance means that you have taken action to allow something in. It doesn’t mean you have to be at peace with it. So I’d rather be at peace with something, it’s like the next step in acceptance. Probably leads to less stress and overall happier life.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

No Time Like the Present

If you were 20 and had 20 years to live, what would you do?

If you were 60 and had the same 20 years to live, would you do things differently?

People say it's time that they cherish, time is the most valuable thing, I think it's youth, that we covet. The only thing I know for sure is right now is the youngest you'll ever be again. Act accordingly.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Borrow a Dog

I highly recommend it. Unless you hate dogs, in which case, you’re probably a bad person. You won’t break it, you’ll have fun and the dog will probably enjoy spending the day, afternoon or hour with someone new too.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Sorry, No Change

Companies want to go cashless. Government officials are stepping in saying they can’t. What if the company say fine, we take cash but refuse to start the day off with any change. Then what? 

Will there be a law saying companies have to have a certain amount of change and of what denominations that change must be in at the start of the day? What if they give it all out, do they now have to send an employee out to get more change? And if they refuse, cage them?

How about this,  if a business wants to refuse cash, let them, it’s their business.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

No Time

We all get 168 hours each week. How can one person run a multimillion dollar company and another can’t seem to keep up with their bills even though their life depends on it?

The word, "priorities," wasn’t used widely until the 1940s. Priority - prior - the one before. The one before what? Whatever your objective.

Do The Thing. Singular.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Unsolicited Advice

People usually need a friend, not a counselor.

I’ve started asking, “do you want my opinion?” When I remember to at least. I’m not perfect but I’m working on being available, instead of a therapist.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Change Always Wins

The only thing constant in this world is change. Whether you do or don’t, change occurs. Change is constant, say you eat the same thing every single day and have the same routine, no matter what, your body will still get older. The sun will still damage your skin. Your telomeres will shrink over time, and eventually, you will die, as of 2019 science that is.

If you’re going to change anyway, why not make active efforts to improve your situation and the lives of those around you? I’m trying my best not to give unsolicited advice but it’s hard when the people you love refuse to love themselves.

This is where doing The Things comes into play. You probably know what you can do to better your life. You can better your mental health, physical health, finances, relationships and more. Seek wisdom and knowledge because, in five years, five years will pass. What you do along the way will determine your present.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Way Things Are

I often look at businesses and what they do and think, why can’t they just be better? Why not ask if I want a receipt before printing one out? Why don’t all grocery stores have self-checkout lines? How come waiters at restaurants ask if I need something while I’m in the middle of a sentence?

I don’t know why, so I ask. Cashiers say the receipts come out automatically. Grocery store managers say they may change, but not right now. Servers tell me that’s the way it is, they were trained to be bothersome, although they would never say it that way.

Where can we be better? What’s stopping us? Eventually, the old companies will die out and the new ones will start up. Companies like Netflix and Amazon will keep going until they decide, “that’s the way things are.”

Once a company or a person decides that change is no longer required or advantageous, then the beginning of the end is upon them.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Family Talk

How come people talk to there families how they’d never speak to a stranger? Someone you love, would die for and, would kill for, but for some reason, annoys you to death. Our attitude beats out gratitude sometimes and our tempers get the best of us.

Meanwhile, out in the world, a stranger seems to get the benefit of the doubt every time. We speak to strangers with compassion and understanding. We thank them in the warmest and most genuine tone. When our family members do something for us, they get a "thanks" that’s half-hearted.

There’s a practice you can start, constantly do nice things with zero expectations of reciprocity. How can you do something nice for everyone in your life every day? It can be something small, something large, whatever it is, do something. What’s the downside?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ask

Nobody is self-made. Anybody that tells you they are is either lying or delusional. Even a lone hunter and gatherer living in the wilderness needs nature to provide. You’d also be shocked as to who is willing to help. When Steve Jobs was a 12-year-old child he asked Bill Hewlett for some electronic components, Mr. Hewlett, abided.

Steve Jobs said, “I’ve always found something to be very true, which is most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.”

Seek the keepers of knowledge and wisdom, ask them for help.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

It Has Been Done Before

Whatever you’re trying to do, there’s a roadmap, not perfect, but similar. Even Bill Gates, the creator of the first software company, had a roadmap, he decided to license instead of transfer ownership. He didn’t invent licensing, but he used it. Henry Ford didn’t invent cars, but he made huge strides in the assembly line. Regardless of your goal, there are people out there who have done similar things, find them.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Finding Wisdom

What area of your life do you need help with?

Your current thoughts and actions have gotten you to where you are, less calamity of course. Will your previous actions, if unchanged get you to where you want to go? Probably not. There are people that seem to always be struggling. These same people almost never seek outside wisdom though. A fool never learns from their mistakes, the average person learns from their mistakes but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. I refuse to be a fool, so I’ll at least learn from my mistakes but it’s wisdom I’m after.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Wish Them Well

There will be people that annoy you. People that lie to you. People that will affect your mood in a negative way. Wish them well.

Recently, I began a practice of prayer, not to a god, but to the Force of Goodness and it’s the darndest thing. There are people in my life that do things which bring me great annoyance or confusion. These aren’t attacks or on purpose, but like my dad refusing to change his diet or exercise. It hurts me to see him act so nonchalant about his health. I’ve discussed the science and shared information but nothing has worked. It got to a point where it would physically pain me to see him eating junk food or drinking soda. I knew I was the one that had to change.

I started praying for his happiness in the morning. The first day, my annoyance and pain went down. The second day, same thing. He drinks a soda every day by the way, which is 30 pounds of sugar a year but that’s neither here nor there. After a week, almost all pain and annoyance is gone. I understand that I can’t change his behavior, I’ve made peace with that, but by going further and actually wishing him well, it has released something, I don’t know what, but it feels great.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Bite-Sized Tasks

I try not to get overwhelmed thinking about everything a certain idea entails. I don’t think about my presentation to city council on banning plastic bags because I haven’t even formulated the concepts and ideas into a coherent and infallible argument. So I spend a couple of hours a week, getting to that point first. I don’t want to play out a scenario or waste energy on a hypothetical situation that may never even come to be. Sometimes we get lost in the what-ifs that we never even begin, paralysis by analysis.

I know that tomorrow will come with or without my help. All I can do today is become a better person so that I may greet tomorrow with a little more capacity. Abraham Lincoln said, if he had six hours to chop down a tree, four would be spent sharpening the ax. I’ve never chopped a tree down with an ax but I think an hour of sharpening and then thirty minutes of chopping makes more sense than four straight hours of sharpening and then two of chopping. Feel free to correct me if that’s the case. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

How Are You?

Back to the bad questions. I feel like diving into this one a little deeper. This and what do you do irk me the most. I think it’s because we don’t want the truth most of the time. We ask in a superficial way. We expect “good” or “fine.” When someone responds too negatively or too positively, the asker is usually thrown for an uncomfortable loop.

I don’t like playing the semantics card on this one too regularly but I definitely go hardcore honest with my answer. I can say, “How am I? Well, I am because my parents had me and I have stayed alive this long.” That’s how I am, after all, but I know it’s not what they mean. There’s a word for people like that which I can’t think of at the moment. Honestly responding to this question though is great. Because I get to see who I’m dealing with. Did they ask superficially or with genuine interest?

I also tend to ask back a different question. I like “How’s your happiness?” I’m sure I’ll find another good question eventually but right now it’s good. People tilt their heads, blink quickly and respond. I like the conversation much more too. I’m sure others won’t copy my style, not yet. But it’s not about that, it’s about progress, slowly moving the needle to a more open, and accepted dialogue.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Write it Down

Ideas always strike, sometimes at the most inconvenient times. I try to write them down as soon as they come to me. But sometimes I don’t. Then the idea comes back to me, and I mull it over some more. This is why I think it’s important because I don’t want to spend time thinking about the same things. That’s wasting time. When I write it down, it’s out of my system and if anything comes up, well it’s probably in addition to previous my thoughts.

I also find that starting the writing process on an idea unlocks previously hidden thoughts on the subject matter.

When ideas start flowing, other ideas follow. When was the last time you had a good brainstorm? I haven’t used that word in probably 10 years. Well, good thing I started writing on this topic I guess. Pursue your goals, but before you can do that, you have to remember your ideas, when they come, bet on a record, not your memory.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Daily Dailies

What we do daily will determine what we do daily.

Your habits and mine will create the life that we’ve worked for. Things will happen to help and to hurt our pursuits, undoubtedly, but these will largely lean in the direction we’re leaning. The smartest workers, the easiest workers, tend to have the ability to continue working smart and easy.

It’s not how they got there that seems to escape us, but how they started. We see these people and say things like, “I can’t do that” well Henry Ford, the prolific employer, would have replied, “You’re right.” Self-belief isn’t enough though, what we need is action. Even a tiny, minuscule, small step in the right direction, that over time will lead to the same success we once thought improbable. In fact, I’d argue belief isn’t even necessary, just the right actions. When procrastination starts to creep in, I remind myself, to just do the work, hit my daily goal and move on to the next thing.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Avoiding What Needs to be Done

Seth Godin, one of my role models, asks his readers if we’re hiding. Hiding from the work that needs to be done. I know that I hide sometimes. I’ll sit down, open the laptop and get up quickly because I don’t have water. While in the kitchen, I see dirty dishes, that can’t stand, so I clean them. On the way back to the computer, I remember something and maybe get a little more off track, I ask myself, “What’s happening?” I answer, “I’m hiding.”

Why do some of us do this? I think everyone does. I’ve asked people about it, and getting started seems to be the hardest part, the first push up, not the last. The first word, not the last. The first step, not the last. Once we start, creativity flows, our bodies rise to the occasion and start moving, if only we could take that first step more often.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Where’s Your Map?

Whenever you’re going somewhere it’s always easier if you have a map. Even if you’re the one that made the map. Write out all of your goals. In my first book, I run you through an exercise. If you won $5,000,000 what would you do tomorrow?

I had ideas to work toward reducing waste and pollution on a grander scale. What I’ve come to realize is that there are people that have made this their life work. Great for them and I’ll carry the torch. There are many battles out there and we only have so much time and emotional energy. I have a daily and weekly map, my to-do list and my calendar that keeps me on task and working toward my various goals.

Justified Living

How do we live with ourselves? Every purchase has a footprint, some cost or effect that can be traced back to suffering.

How do we justify this? By saying things like, “The tree is already chopped down.” Or “It could be worse.” My goal is to make people be more thoughtful. Just because something is bad, doesn’t mean you should make it worse.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What Do You Do?

I don’t ask people the question of “What do you do?” I ask, “what are you working on?” Half the time they look like they’ve just been asked to calculate the trajectory of a comet two light years away. Fast blinking usually means they’re thinking. I get a what do you mean. I repeat the question because it’s very clear, “What are you working on?” The other half reaping with the question, “Like where do I work?” The conversation goes many ways after this, but where it doesn’t go is to a boring place with no emotional effort. I think that’s better.


The best answer I can think of do my question, “What are you working on?” is, “Myself.” What a good answer. Then I ask how and we have a great conversation. Yesterday, I said “What have you built recently? at least get them in the mind frame of building things. If we don’t think about building something, do you think that it will ever happen by accident?

Monday, June 10, 2019

Asking Better Questions

Whenever I find myself in a new social situation, I always hear the same questions. Mostly, “What do you do?” and “How are you?” These are bad questions. They’re bad questions because they aren’t asking specifically what the asker wants to know. “What do you do?” should really be “How do you make a living?” and “How are you?” should be “What feelings are you currently experiencing?” I know, even these aren’t perfect but they’re better.

That’s my goal, to ask better questions. I like to ask, “When was the last time you made something?” I haven’t been able to use the follow up yet, “Don’t you want to?” because I need to figure out how to word it in a less accusatory tone. Of course, people want to achieve and create things but our current culture doesn’t really promote that. It promotes consumption.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Build it For Your Target Audience

If I write a personal development book and show it to people that read personal development and they say it’s bad then I need to change it. If I get 10 people to read it and 7 say it needs work, and this is what they read, then it needs work. If 7 of them say it’s great, then it might be ready. But, remember, it’s not true until money exchanges hands. If I show it to someone that hasn’t read a book since high school and they say they don’t like it, I don’t care, it’s not for them. Seth Godin, said shun the nonbelievers and he’s right.

Above all, listen to the cash register.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Trust in Business

Trust is crucial in any producer and consumer relationship. If people are looking for something in particular and the reviews are good, they’ll buy it. They don’t care how much passion, love or enthusiasm went into building it. All they know is they have a want or need and you have the solution. Do you have to do this forever? No. Actually, you don’t even have to do this at all. Sometimes people will just give something a shot and it works out.

How many people start building a business before testing it out, before talking to their audience? A lot. When they finish building it, nobody comes and they get discouraged. Well, if you’re doing something for someone, shouldn’t you ask if they want it in the first place? Maybe they’ll say “I just want it faster or cheaper,” great, work from that and go backward. If it was better would they be fine paying the same price? If it was a little slower would the be okay with paying less? Or maybe, they just want something because it makes them feel a certain way, figure out what that feeling is and make something that gives them that feeling.

Most importantly though, will they buy? If you put people in a hypothetical situation they’ll often answer in the way you want them to. Supporting and confirming your bias. But if you ask them to open their wallet and buy something, the story changes. Look for the truth in action, not words. The truth is a transaction.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sometimes, The Customer Comes First

What happens when you build something you want to build and other people want to see it built? Success.

What if you build something you want for other people, but they don’t want it? You might be satisfied that you have built something but disappointed because nobody else wanted it.

What if you build something you’re not too thrilled about but people love it? You may feel unfulfilled or bad. They are satisfied and buy it. Crucially though, it allows you to build something for them again, and maybe this time, they’ll have open minds because of your previous work.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Strategy. Plan. Achieve. Have A SPA Day

A strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. A plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. Achieving something is to successfully bring about or reach (a desired objective, level, or result) by effort, skill, or courage.

So yes, have a SPA day and become a little bit more of Who You Could Be.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Cocaine

December 31, 2012, I sniffed my first line. A friend had a habit of giving people cocaine on their birthdays. I was 24, had a mortgage on a three-story house 15 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles, and had been selling weed for seven years. What could go wrong? I took it and fell in love. I don’t say this to glorify it but to wave a flag of caution.

You may not get addicted to cocaine. What I’ve found to be true though is once you do it you get a lifelong craving for it. Every person I’ve spoken with that has done it once, has done it again, or would do it again if given the opportunity unless they’ve made a decision to never use that drug again.

So then why do I believe it should be legal?

It’s addicting. So is sugar. It ruins people’s lives. It...doesn’t, not really. Cocaine, although habit forming isn’t impossible to stop using. Even if the withdrawal hurts, you can’t die from stopping it like with alcohol. Cocaine used to be in soda, kids drank it. So what are we talking about?

Society wasn’t in chaos when Pepsi gave you that extra pep in your step. Coca Cola put it in their name for crying out loud.

Politicians use drugs to stratify society. I guarantee some of those mansions in the Hollywood Hills have heaps of cocaine, but those aren't the doors they kick in.

Lastly, cost. Peru cocaine costs $1 a gram wholesale. In the United States, $40 a gram is a good deal. Anytime someone can 40x their investment, in a matter of days, people are going to get hurt.

Cocaine isn’t for me. Neither is soda, sugar kills 300,000 to 500,000 Americans annually, cocaine kills about 20,000. But how many people are in prison because of drugs? Roughly 500,000. If you want a safer country, start with the drugs.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Not Looking For A Relationship

I’ve heard a lot of people say they won’t get in a relationship because they’re too much work or some other reason.

A relationship should be a net positive. It should propel you forward, not bring you down. 

1 + 1 should equal more than 2. A good relationship has synergy. I’m looking for a relationship but only if this is the case.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Mr. Excuses

Who is that voice that always has an excuse or justification? Or always has to say, “Well not always,” “what if something bad happens?”, “you can work out every day and still get cancer,” or my least favorite, “what if a bus hits you?”

Don’t listen to Mr., Ms. or even Mrs. Excuses. They’re full of crap. They want to keep you hiding, keep you from achieving what you can achieve. Why? I don’t know fully. Partly because the known is comfortable and safe. Our brains haven’t evolved for this level of judgment. They think if we get rejected by the group we’ll be outcasted and killed. When really, that’s when we get to live.

We get to live when we feel emotions. Self-doubt creeps in and sadness seeps out. “Nobody liked my post on social media, how sad.” You want to know what’s sadder? Not posting it in the first place. I’d rather be vulnerable than silent. When Señor Excuses knocks, don’t answer. Keep making progress and if that bus comes at least you’ll know that you’ve been living instead of hiding.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Strive for Greatness

“You look good.” I’d rather them say “you look great!”

Think about how you feel when you genuinely say that you feel  fine versus when you are able to say that you feel great.

This isn’t a “fake it till you make it” or “act as if mantra,” do the things that will get you what you want.

Some people really are okay being 20 pounds overweight, I’m not. I think acceptance can be used like excuses when it comes to health. I know I have and I don’t want to anymore. I say put the work in and make the change.


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Be Okay to Level Up

If you aren’t okay with this, you’ll never allow yourself to be WYCB. Get out of your own way and get behind yourself.

Moving forward you can be a different, more capable person. If change is coming anyway, why not be better?