Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Age Doesn't Always Equal Wisdom

"Wisdom is the one thing that makes growing old worth it."

Age doesn't always equal wisdom. If you do not actively work on yourself, every day, most of your thinking will be the same in 5 years as it is today - only then you will have grayer hair.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
-Benjamin Franklin

Have a plan for your education that is in alignment with your life's mission. Make the next 5 years count.

"In youth we learn; in age we understand."
-Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

Monday, April 16, 2018

What is Discipline?

Discipline is an accumulation of small actions.
Discipline is to follow-through on the promises you've made to yourself.
Discipline is waking up when your alarm goes off.
Discipline is saying no to the good in order to achieve the great.

Discipline requires attention.
Discipline requires time.
Discipline requires effort.
Discipline requires sacrifice.

Success requires discipline. Make Discipline an habit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The 4 Requirements to Live a Life of Joy

"In America today the popular word for the good life is "happiness." ... The American pursuit of happiness can often look like a compulsive, joyless effort to escape boredom... A people blessed with far more material advantages than any other society has ever enjoyed is not clearly the happiest people on earth. One plain reason is a paltry conception of the good life, or what I have called the highest standard of low living in all history. But this only forces the basic question. What, then, is the good life?"
-P. 115 of "Living Issues with Philosophy" book by Harold H. Titus and Marilyn S. Smith

According to Chris Brady, there are actually 3 “happy” feelings that one can feel. Those are Pleasure, Happiness and Joy. Let’s talk about them in a bit more details:

  • Pleasure is the least fulfilling of the 3 because it constantly needs to be worked on in order to keep the good feeling going and it doesn’t last very long. Orrin Woodward once said that “"Pleasure does not bring happiness; it only brings an increasing hunger for more pleasure." Pleasure can be felt while doing such things as playing video-games, watching movies, sex among others. Pleasure requires an external component to trigger the feeling and is short lived. It's at this level that addictions can be found.
  • Happiness comes from being proud of yourself for a job well done or through meaning. It’s to see the good sides of life.
  • Joy is the ultimate form of “happiness” and there are 4 things to consider to achieve it. Those are (note that I’ve ordered them by importance to me):
    • Spiritual - Spirituality is finding your moral compass either by following a religion or by other means. It’s to have a general understanding of the universe and your place in it - to be at peace with it.
    • Health - Everything in life gets more difficult if health is an issue. Be sure to eat right, exercise and stay away of agents that are known to cause health issues (such as cigarettes, chemicals …)
    • Relationships - This includes friends and family. Robert Putnam once said “Happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one’s social connections.” If you do not find this to be true, then you likely do not have many meaningful relationships.
    • Finances - Here, I’m not talking about owning a big house with nice cars but to be financially fit. If you are heavily in debt, it can be very difficult to feel anything else but stress and stress doesn’t bring Joy.
Joy obviously is what everyone should strive to achieve during their lifetime and doing so requires a lot of effort and an active part in one's own life. To sit by and watch the days go by won't bear any fruit.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Future of Education

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." -Buddhist proverb

Let’s face it, the cost of a university/college education is always going up. It doesn’t make sense to start off any career (assuming you can find work in your field after you graduate) with a debt so big that it can take up to 15 years to pay it off.

The future of education is online. Why pay thousands when you can get the same education for free or at a fraction of the price? Sites like Udacity , Udemy , among others, all offer University quality courses in the comfort of your home.

For those of you who doesn’t know, I have a computer science degree that I took in college a few years back and I’ve been working in the IT field for the past 10+ years. I recently completed lesson 1 of “Introduction to computer science” from Udacity (course here)and, while i cannot speak of the other subjects available, the quality has been on par with with the courses I took in College.

Studying online, however, isn’t “in” or “cool” yet. Society as a whole seems to be reluctant at the idea of taking a online course. When I suggested this to my peers, the first thing they told me was “Online courses are great but you don’t get a certificate from it [and therefore is useless for interviews or jobs]”.

As I’ve said before, society’s definition of education is wrong. To resume the words of Harold H. Titus and Marilyn S. Smith, taken from page 220-222 of their “Living Issues In Philosophy” book, education means:

“Mere possession of a diploma - or any other symbol for that matter - is no proof of education.
  1. To be educated means to know at least one field with some thoroughness…
  2. To be educated means to be able to communicate with others…
  3. To be educated means to be able to live in a changing word and to entertain new ideas…
  4. To be educated means to be able to get along with others…
  5. To be well-educated means to be able to entertain oneself, to develop a rich inner life and a wide range of appreciations and inner controls…
  6. To be educated is to be sensitive to the larger spiritual order of which man is part…"
The other big issues most people have is with self-discipline or the perceived lack of support one would get from taking an online course because there are no teachers to interact with. First, I would encourage you to work on your self-discipline as it is a skill that will benefit you in your career/life just as much as throughout your online course.
As far as support goes, keep in mind that there are thousands that took the course before you. Each courses gives you access to a forum with answers to many questions. Most of which, in my specific case, have been answered by the teacher himself. Using Google doesn’t hurt either...

Whether you take the direction of a University certificate or an online course, the important thing is to stand out and that can be achieved with or without a diploma. Robby Leonardi , for example, created a very creative resume to show off his skills (note that he didn’t even mention degrees).

Take the time to visit the online Universities you’ve seen here, learn a new skill in the process, and make it work for your next career move.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The So Called "Experts"

"Many people welcome authority because they have little confidence in themselves or are intellectually lazy: to accept the word of someone else is to take the easy way of gaining comfort and assurance. [...] Such conformist tendencies modern high-pressure advertising and propaganda." - From “Living Issues in Philosophy – Sixth Edition” book by Harold Titus / Marilyn Smith

We don’t need to be an expert at something to share an opinion on it. If it is said with enough confidence, it can be perceived as truth from the uneducated ear. It frustrates me that there are so many so called “experts” who purposely misinform listeners to benefit their own agenda.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” - Abraham Lincoln

There can be no long term viability for business that initially used deceit in order to make a sale. Once the deceit is found, the business can no longer prosper and it can also lead to legal trouble.

If you are the author of such deceit, I would encourage you to reconsider your business plan. I would also encourage the consumer to not make an emotional purchase and to do their research before making any kind of purchase.

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