Monday, September 28, 2015

You're Poorer Than You Think

If you live in Canada, you must of seen the financial institution "You're richer than you think" ad. How can a financial institution say something like this when they see first hand how in debt people are?
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."
-Proverbs 22:7
How can anyone feel rich when they have a debt twice (or more) as big as their yearly income? Being able to afford the monthly payments doesn't necessarily mean someone is "rich". One's ability to produce income may be high but that means little if the spending habits are just as high.
"If you don't learn to spend less than you earn, it won't make any difference if you earn twenty thousand dollars, fifty thousand dollars, or one hundred thousand dollars per year. Your spending would simply rise as your income rose."
-Dwight Nichols
Most people are poorer, not richer, than they think. To tell them otherwise is a lie. They need not to spend more but to learn how to make a budget, pay off their debts and invest in their thinking.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Today's Tax

"Surrender of Lord Cornwallis", by John Trumbull (1920)


The American Revolutionary War was fought following the implementation of a 5% tax, without representation, from the British. The Americans saw this as a form of slavery and decided to put an end to it.

Today, we're taxed almost 50% (when we consider inflation of Fiat Money, income tax, tax on individual items etc...) Why are people okay with this?

Romans emperors figured out that when you "Entertain and feed the people you can take their freedoms away"... - isn't that what's going on with the world today?

Our focus on entertainment is allowing our government to take away our freedoms without creating an uproar. People don't understand the issue simply because they're not focused on it.

So what can I do?
Master your finances instead of having it master you. Get a better understanding of Fiat Money, inflation, the economy, Gold Standard, the various taxes of your country and get out of debt!

The more you understand it, the more you'll be interested in it. The more money in the bank you have, the more you'll want to protect it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

But it's On Sale!

"Sales exist to make us believe we're saving money by spending it." -Laurie Woodward

Every item we buy has a huge markup on them due in part to the many business processes it goes through and on the supply/demand. A pair of shoes, which cost 10$ to make, will sell for $100 by the time it reach the consumer.
When items go on sale, they are a bit cheaper to you but not cheap enough to make the seller cry about it.

"If you don't master money, it's going to master you." -Tony Robbins

Sales are just attempts to make more money out of us. It plays with our "If I don't buy it, I'll miss out" feeling. We shouldn't buy items that we don't need simply because it's on sale.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Squamish - Where Clouds Are Born


I had the opportunity to explore some mountains during the 2015 Arc'teryx Squamish Climbing Academy held at the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish (45min North of Vancouver).
This is one destination you can't afford to miss if you're in the Vancouver area. The scenic view, which starts on the drive there, is probably why Squamish was named the best mountain town to visit in 2014 according to CNN.


The July 10-12 event included many activities related to climbing and some live music from a local band. The fact that it rained during part of the event didn't damper the experience at all... I mean, you can't go wrong with a party on top of a mountain right?
I'm a mountain hiker more so than a climber but found myself genuinely interested in the information shown by the guest speakers/climbers and I was left with a "I need to try this" feeling at the end of the night.

The Sea to Sky Gondola is, again (I can't emphasize this enough) a must see destination if you're in the Vancouver area. This is the one place that truly shows the natural beauty that is B.C.

*Update - July 16, 2015: A video of the event was released on youtube today and you can actually see the back of my head at 1:50 - It's pretty Rad (climbers say that a lot)! Check it out here:


The event was also mentioned on the Arcteryx blog here: http://blog.arcteryx.com/arcteryx-climbing-academy-wrap

Friday, July 10, 2015

Journey To Vancouver


Following someone leaving a project in Vancouver, the company saw fit to send me to Vancouver to act as a bridge until a permanent replacement can be found.
I currently reside in the Deep Cove area, North of Vancouver - a place filed with hiking opportunities which is, to me, it's greatest appeal. So far, I've climbed 2 mountains with incredible views. I just wish I had a better camera at this point because my old Iphone 4 just doesn't do the experience justice.

I've met a lot of nice people and found that they use the words “Finicky” and “To Be Honest” quite often in their mingling (while also calling "vacation" a "holiday"). Many Brazil students are enlisted in the local university English course during the summer season.
I've met a Brazil woman who didn't speak a single word of English and we had to use my Iphone translate app to communicate. It's my first time using this app in such a way.

The biking system, on most streets, is amazing! Something every city in Canada could learn from. Obviously, biking is very popular here but so is climbing, hiking, skiing/snowboard, boating ... most of the population here is fit.
Recycling is another thing the city does right. Everyone is encouraged to recycle and everything that can be recycled usually is.

As you may be aware already, Vancouver is a bit like California in the sense that water is becoming a problem. Rivers are low, we're currently not allowed to water the lawns and fires are spreading here and there throughout the province (obviously, camp fires are prohibited). The locals have told me that it usually rains at this time of the year.

During my stay, I haven't seen a single seagull nor pigeon but I did see many black crows. Perhaps it's because there's not as many McDonalds nearby? (Which is, as you know, the natural habitat of seagulls and pigeons)

The experience has been beneficial to me so far. While this isn't a vacation, it still feels like it because I love what I do here. I would definitely recommend you to visit this place given the chance.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Can We Stop Gossip?

Gossip spreads like a disease but can it be stopped? To answer this, I'll go religious on you for this blog. Are you ready? Here it goes...

Jesus is said to have lived a life without committing any Sins and yet we crucified him. If we can crucify someone who never did anything wrong - then how can we possibly expect to stop gossip?

Those that are in the spotlight, achieving or in the pursuit of a worthwhile goal, will get their fair share of gossip. Why? For some, it's jealousy and for others it's fear. When you're out there succeeding, it makes some people uncomfortable because you're proving to them that succeeding is possible - often they made themselves believe that it isn't.

We can't stop gossip, we can only ignore it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When to Quit...


“A leader quits on ideas, not on himself.” -unknown

A leader must have resilience or a "I'm not going to quit no matter what" attitude but there are times when nothing else can be done and we have to move to something else.
After all, it would be quite difficult to be in a business of making Vinyl disk, VHS players or cameras that aren't digital when the market for them is no longer relevant.

Sometimes, “quitting” decisions, on certain projects/products, have to be made for the sake of a better future. Ask yourself “If I put wood in this fire, will it be bigger in the future?” if the answer is no, then start another fire somewhere else.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on June 24, 2015 and can be found here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Here We Go Again

"We've grown apart" excuse for a break-up has been overused. Are we actually looking to be in a relationship with someone who won't change? Or are we expecting that we won't change?

We change every day and if we don't learn to be at peace with those changes then how can we expect to have successful relationships?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hard Work

"You will never make everyone happy, but you must start by making yourself happy with your efforts. If you are not happy, then it is no surprise that others are not."
-Chris Brady

Hard work gives us confidence in our ability to perform and in ourselves in general. It also gives us peace of mind when it comes to job security. After all, who would get rid of someone who performs on par or above the call of duty?

If you want to be proud of yourself, find ways to do more for your employer or in everything else you do.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Relying on Habits

"There is a theory of human behavior that says people subconsciously retard their own intellectual growth. They come to rely on clich├ęs and habits. Once they reach the age of their own personal comfort with the world, they stop learning and their mind runs on idle for the rest of their days. They may progress organizationally, they may be ambitious and eager, and they may even work night and day. But they learn no more. The bigoted, the narrow-minded, the stubborn, and the perpetually optimistic, have all stopped learning." -Philip Crosby

A habit requires less energy from the body than learning something new - which is why we have so many of them. We should still be actively learning new things rather than relying on the things we've grown accustomed to.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Being Attractive

"Exterior beauty, without the depth of a kind soul is merely decoration."
-Vanessa Quintero

Being attractive alone isn't enough to determine whether or not you'll be successful in a relationship - you also need an attractive heart. Who you are matters more than how you look and since we loose some of that physical appeal as we age ... what will be left of you if all you had was an attractive physical appearance?

"But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
- 1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)

Being our best is much more difficult than looking our best since it requires us to think. Reading, meditation and being humble are all steps required for us to become our best self.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Temptation

Temptation comes in many different forms and It promises nothing more than pleasure. Pleasure doesn’t bring happiness; only an increasing desire for more pleasures.
It’s a vicious cycle that, once in, is hard to get rid of. We instinctively know when we’re being tempted by something. Identifying those things isn’t a problem, it’s just a matter of not succumbing to it.

In a relationship, pleasures can be a disease slowly eating away the connection you both share. It's important for us to identify our temptation sources and stay away from them.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on September 14, 2011 and can be found here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

To Forget

Knowledge is fleeting - it only stays for as long as it needs to.

Forgetting is neither good nor bad since it helps clear the mind of bad memories we might have (if we let it) - allowing us to better enjoy the present.

Forgiveness is the act of forgetting the hurt someone did to us and I sometime hear people say "I forgave but will never forget" but forgiving without forgetting isn't really forgetting at all. It's merely saying words to ease someone else's conscience without letting that person off the hook.

Forget the negative things that are holding you back.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sharing Blog Post On Facebook With Blogger – Detailed Steps

I've struggled with this for the longest time and finally figured it out! Bellow are detailed steps on how you can take your blogger post to Facebook.

Step 1: Add the Facebook share button on your blog post by editing the Blog Post Layout (assuming you haven't done so already).


Step 2: Go to Settings/Search Preferences and click on the edit link next to the Description label under the Meta Tags section.


Step 3: Create a new post, click on the newly added "Search Description" section and fill it out with the snippet you want Facebook to see. You can also include a link image in here by using the same link that's generated by blogger when importing an image.


Step 4: Post your blog and wait a few seconds then click on the Facebook share button to see how it will be shown. You can update it if need be and do note that it always takes Facebook a few seconds to detect the changes.


Tips:
You can also use this tool to help troubleshoot your post https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/object/

Voila! Hope this helps :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

SEO - Not The Only Thing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always a big focus for a company's website. Everybody wants to be on the first page on Google but is it still the main thing? Absolutely not! Today, reviews are just as important as SEO.

"The customer experience is the next competitive battleground." - Jerry Gregoire

Think about this for a second; you do a search for "X" product and your company is shown first on Google but the company's reviews are mostly negative. Would you want to do business with a company with mostly negative reviews?
SEO alone is not enough to make a company's website stand out anymore - it also needs outstanding reviews.

The next time your web designer ask if you want to invest in SEO tell him "Of course!" but then go straight back to the meeting room to figure out to best serve your customers.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Social or Unsocial Media?

"Happiness is best predicted by the breath and depth of one's social connections." -Robert Putnam

Those who feel this isn't true probably don't have many close relationships. Social media doesn't bring people closer together, it drives them further apart.
Some people spend more time in-front of a screen than in-front of other people and, when they do get together, they spend their time texting other people instead of being attentive to the person next to them.

This is a problem since the only way to build anything great is with the help of a community and the only way to have a community is to have people around other people.

Lets meet old friends and not bring our screen devices with us.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Understanding Impulses help with Finances

“An impulse is a wish or urge, particularly a sudden one. It can be considered as a normal and fundamental part of human thought processes, but also one that can become problematic, as in a condition like obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
-Wikipedia.org

An impulse buy is brain washing ourselves into thinking that we need the item. It's to the point that we think it'll be the source of our ultimate happiness. We know we did an impulse buy when the feeling goes away as soon as we purchased the item.

Advertisements are designed to create such feelings in us, while it’s impossible to block all ads from entering our mind, we should minimize our exposure to them to better control our emotional impulses towards items we really don't need.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on November 8, 2012 and can be found here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

In The Dark

"To become a leader worth following you must give time and attention to the inner man. To leave a Legacy that goes beyond accomplishment alone, a leader must devote himself to matters of the heart." -Andy Stanley

A leader is someone who leads by example but is your example worth following? Are you a the leader in your field but doing dishonest things when nobody is looking?

The name of those who had a weakness of the heart no longer only comes with their field of expertise. If we think about Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong - we all think about how great they were in their respective fields ... but also what happened to them at the height of their careers.

What you do in the shadows will eventually be brought to light. Let's be good people even when nobody's looking.

Monday, June 1, 2015

We're Getting Old!

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

Age slows us down both mentally and physically but we learn to do things more effectively - requiring less energy in the process.

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

We seem to think that we've reached the height of our knowledge during our teen years only to realize again that we know next to nothing once we hit our mid twenties. Only then do we ever realize how smart our parents were and we should of listened to them more.

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's Within Your Grasp

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't-you're right." -Henry Ford

We've all heard the phrases "I'll never be successful", "I can't loose weight", etc... and sometime we tell ourselves those things and that's okay. What's not okay, however, is to keep telling ourselves these things and not doing anything about it.

The reason why someone is successful in business is because they're doing something the unsuccessful business owner isn't doing. If the unsuccessful business owner knew how to be a success - would he intentionally fail? Of course not.
The successful bodybuilder knows more, and does more, about his craft than the unsuccessful one. It starts with knowledge!

In what ever field you're trying to get good at, you won't be until you learn the ins and outs of it - either with experience or with the help of someone else's experience (mentor or books on the subject).

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Controlling Honor

"Honor encompasses the virtues of integrity and honest, self-denial, loyalty and a servant's humility to those in authority above as well as a just and merciful heart to those below." -Jeff O'Leary

Doing the honorable thing is the right thing to do but for some people in power, it's just a way to have better control over the masses. A corrupted king could get his way by appealing to the honor of his knights. It is therefor important that the person in charge of those honorable men keeps his motives in check and his intentions morally aligned.

The honorable thing to do is to assist the leader but we also have to verify that the leader is worth following. Otherwise we may end up in conflict with ourselves when ever the leader ask to do something that's not morally right.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Not choosing IS choosing

“Most decisions are not fatal and every decision increases your ability to decide the next time.” -Orrin Woodward

Not choosing is a choice in itself - it is better to decide and assume the consequences than it is to stay put and let things happen. The more decisions we make, the bigger the confidence in ourselves at making decisions and the more likely we will make other/bigger ones.

Make decisions! :)

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on July 15, 2011 and can be found here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sleep

Sleep is not only required to achieve anything great, by providing energy to produce, it also helps with our attitude. It is difficult to keep our negative talk in check when we're tired as it requires energy to do so.

Sleep also help reduce stress, repair the body and keeps ourselves looking young. If you don't get your 8 hours of sleep every night - try it and see if you notice an improvement in your day (or if you still need that morning coffee).

Monday, May 25, 2015

Date Your Partner

We often hear people say "we've grown apart" which makes sense considering that most people work 8-5 jobs and then entertain themselves 2-4 hours every night - not much time is left during the day to spend time with the person we love.

Make time to date your partner - it's more important than a job or entertainment.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Job Security?

"If you take the risk, you might eventually fail. But if you don't take the risk, you've failed already." -Dale Carnegie Training

As a job ever been secure? Factors outside of the employee's control is what determine a job's security. Companies go bankrupt, wrong decisions are made and project get cancel - all of which is done with complete disregard of the employee.

Is going in business risky? Absolutely but so is allowing someone else's to make career decisions for you. With your own business you can, at least, make the decisions that are the most beneficial to you.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

4 Rules for Saving Money



Wealth means how long someone can live forward, with his current lifestyle, without a source of income. For some people, it's not very long. It is good practice to have 3 to 6 months saved up in the bank in case of emergencies. The below rules can help achieve that.
  1. Live below your means: If you make a million dollars a year but spend a million dollar a year, you're not wealthier than the person who made 30k and saved 5k.
  2. Keep track of every penny spent: Keep track of your spendings to then make an accurate budget. Ideally, you want to save 25% of your monthly income so that you accumulate 1 month of freedom every 4 months.
  3. Open a Tax Free Savings Account(TFSA) to invest and/or retirement account: There's nothing wrong with a government to want his share of the money you make but when you use a TFSA for your investments or a retirement account to store money in, the government gives you a little break. This will give you more money during tax season and I would encourage you to save it.
  4. Don't finance things that depreciate: It doesn't matter if the item is at 0% interest, it's still not a good idea to buy new due to the depreciation of the item.
We generally want to clear off our debt before starting to save for the simple reason that the interest rate on a debt is higher than the interest rate on money we save. For more information, pick up the book "The Millionaire Next Door" book by Thomas J. Stanley Ph. D. & William D. Danko, Ph. D.

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Revision Wednesday(on a Thursday)
Blog post originally created on February 18, 2015 and can be found here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stuff

"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like." -Dave Ramsey

Stuff is, to some, a source of happiness which requires constant purchases to maintain the feeling. Stuff does little but add complexities in our lives. The less we have, the less we have to worry about.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You Snooze You Loose

Holding off that dream of yours? Waiting for the perfect moment to ask that person on a date? Finding excuses to not ask for a promotion at work?

That one person you like won't be single for ever. That promotion may not come around again. You may not have enough energy tomorrow to start your dream journey...
Wait no more! As we speak, they're hundreds of people fighting for the things you also want in your life - some of them may not be as afraid as you to go for them.

Act today! It may just be your last chance to do so.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thinking for Yourself

"If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no desire of your own." -Napoleon Hill

I love my mom but there are things that she says to me that I have to ignore because it affects negatively my life decisions. It's not to say that I never take her input, she is a smart cookie after all - I just do what I feel is right for me.

Growing up, I had a hard time with this. Her opinion of what I should do, or what other people would tell me I should do, would often be what I ended up doing because I couldn't think for myself.

There comes a time in everyone's life where he needs to stand up for himself and make his own decisions. It is better to end up somewhere you wanted to go than to end up somewhere someone else wanted you to go.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

No Right to do Wrong

"... no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them."
-Viktor E. Frankl

As M. K. Gandhi supposedly said “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”. When does suffering ends? It ends with you!

Life is equally unfair for everybody; some are going through difficult times while others are unfairly blessed but that doesn't give us the right to pass on our suffering to others.
We must learn to forgive and forget. If we forgive but don't forget then we're not really forgiving are we?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It Starts With You

When we cheat, we are more likely to believe other people are cheating too. When we do good, we're more likely to see the good in others.

Life is an interpretation of ourselves and it changes only when we change.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on June 28, 2011 and can be found here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Routive Vs Discipline

Routine without purpose is boring while routine with purpose is discipline. The difference between the two is that one comes with the "why" while the other comes from going through the motions. Both still requires going through the same process everyday.

Do you know why you're doing what you're doing or are you only going through the motions?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Emotional Memories

As I said before, emotions are what allows people to understand each other and now I understand it to also be a mechanism to help create memories.

We tend to remember experiences, with many emotions involved, more vividly than those that had not as strong of an emotional impact on us.
We remember our pains, our loves... but we likely don't remember our drive to work from 2 weeks ago - as it was uneventful in terms of feelings.

Those who live a life of routine don't have as many vivid memories of their lives as those who goes to great length to get out of their comfort zone since the system isn't "shocked" with feelings to start the process of remembering. When the body is on auto-pilot, it doesn't need to remember things as much.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Change!

“Today we come across an individual who behaves like an automaton, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be, whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replace genuine laughter, and whose sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain. Two statements may be said concerning this individual. One is that he suffers from defects of spontaneity and individuality, which may seem to be incurable. At the same time it may be said of him he does not differ essentially from the millions of the rest of us who walk upon this earth.” -Erich Fromm

The industrial age brought with it a host a changes in the world that got carried over to the information age. Man has become industrialize - a machine that is paid to do not to think. This problem is made even worse since as soon as he arrives home he entertains himself, in an attempt to forget his workday, until he goes to sleep - leaving little room for the brain to, again, think.

"Human beings will not change unless the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing." -Anthony Robins

Get control over your thoughts - it's time to change and actually think!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How We Speak To Ourselves

How we speak to ourselves affect how good we are at doing things. Who is more likely to hit a home-run? The person who tells himself "I'm going to hit that ball out of the park" or the person who tells himself "I'm probably going to miss it again"?

Last year, I started drawing again and while my physical skills did improve - how I speak to myself when I draw is what changed the most. My self-talk went from "I can't draw" to "I can draw". Practice helped change how I talk to myself when I pick up a pencil.
Here's the thing; I don't draw as good on days that I feel negative about myself and it's not because my physical skill suddenly went out the window, it's because of how I speak to myself.

The person who's confident will get good at a new skill faster than the person who's not confident.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What Are We Teaching The Next Generation?

"Children are closer to the original potential we were born with. Until we become programmed to believe what we cannot do, as children we are still willing to believe in what we can." -Shad Helmstetter

Nobody is born a racist - kids are thought to be racist by their parents, or close association, and these beliefs can last a lifetime to then be passed on to the next generation. Will it ever end?

"Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot."-Charles Bukowski

Obviously, this doesn't only apply to racial beliefs. There are plenty of bad habits we pass on without knowing it and it's our responsibility to identify and fix them. Are you a good example for the next generation?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Lifetime of Weakness

‎"I think we never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public." -Chuck Goetschel

As a kid, I used to think that adults were invincible. That I could tell them anything and it wouldn't hurt their feelings and that once I get to that age, I would be the same.

“When you’re young; you learn. When you get older; you understand.” -Unknown

As you get older, you realize that you're just the same as when you were a kid. We still have fears, we still get hurt, we still feel like we want to cry ... what changed? Obviously, the body did and we do know more about life, and hopefully take responsibility over our actions, but it surely is different than how I envisioned it as a kid.

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Revision Wednesday (on a Tuesday)
Blog post originally created on June 7, 2011 and can be found here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Average

"When you're average, you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top." -John Wooden

Average, Middle-class, Normal... call it what you want but what it really means is being controlled by a system and not being good nor bad at it.

"When I thought I was learning to live, I was learning to die." -Leonardo Da Vinci

What is the system?
The system is a set of beliefs they influence you to follow - so much so that you loose your individuality to become a carbon copy of what is considered appropriate for the system in place.

Can I beat the system?
No, you can't beat the system but you don't really want that anyway. What you really want to do is either master it or create your own.

Ok... so how do I do that?

"The brain simply believes what you tell it the most." -Shad Helmstetter

The person you listen to the most is in control of your thoughts. If you want to master, or create a system, what you'll first need is creativity. Creativity comes from within - how can you think creatively, or have original ideas, if you're a carbon copy of somebody else? Your ideas are not your own until you stop people from dictating your thoughts and start listening to yourself.

Finding yourself, your individuality, your own ideas, will help you figure out ways to succeed within a system or create a successful system of your own. Given that, of course, you have the courage to follow through on your ideas but that's another topic for another day.

*This post can also be found on Men 2.0

Friday, May 1, 2015

What Is Creativity?

"You don't get more creative ideas by trying to think more creatively, you get them by acting more creatively." -Roy Spence

Creativity is like a forest fire in the mind - some people wait until lighting hits a tree for the fire to start while others light up a branch with a lighter until it burns.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Building Grades Vs Character

When did grades for a schooling system, that's employee focused and out-dated, become more important for a parent than building a child's character?

Teach a child character and you teach him how to live successfully. Teach a child that grades are everything and he might end up cheating (since it's more important than character) to get them.

The person a child becomes is more important than the things he can memorize for a test.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is the area of comfort we set out for ourselves in which we are most comfortable in. Chris Brady likes to call it the "familiar zone" because there's really nothing comfortable about it.

How can we call it "comfort" when there's debt? Or when we're not chasing our dreams and settling for lesser ones? It truly is more accurate to call it a familiar zone.

"Only through pushing past a person's comfort zone will a person improve his level of skills." -Orrin Woodward

We're not growing when we're doing the same things every day. We are more likely to notice the areas we need to grow in when we get out of our familiar zone than when we remain in it.

If you want to grow, do something outside of your familiar zone!

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 5, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Planting seeds or Chasing Shadows?

Every tree cast a shadow. Money is not the tree. It is merely the shadow of the tree. Money is not real. It is but the shadow of the things that are real. Too many people spend their lives chasing shadows instead of planting seeds that will grow into trees." -Daniel R. Castro

Are we busy at chasing shadows or are we planting trees?

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Matrix

I've been without cable T.V. (it's been replaced by leadership books & cds) for so long that conversations with media centric people have become somewhat disconnected.

I'm not in the loop in terms of news, sports or latest T.V. shows but I do know quite a bit about philosophy and personalities.
They are, as you can see, two different worlds. It really is like living in The Matrix - Two side by side realities co-existing.

Was the introduction of the television what began the separation of worlds? Most importantly, did you take the red or the blue pill?

Friday, April 24, 2015

American Dream or the American Way?

The American dream is the big house, big cars, financial freedom, success etc… Employees are not signed on the American Dream; they’re on the American Way. They work for someone else's American Dream - not their own.

"An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off the cliff and builds the wings on the way down." -Roy Spence

Business owners and entrepreneurs have a better shot at the American Dream than the employee. Are you living the dream or following the American Way?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Millionaire's Way

There are many ways to become a millionaire but if we work for someone else for the rest of our lives ... it's not likely that we'll ever become one. Unless, of course, we're super frugal with our money, invest it properly, and we never loose work due to sickness or an unfortunate layoff.

We, as employees, seem to instinctively know this which is why we think the only way for us to become a millionaire is through lottery tickets (and statistics shows that we're more likely to get hit by lighting than win the lottery). So what other solution is there left for us?

"Money is just a way to keep score. In reality, it's always and only about solving problems. Money is the way people grade how well you solve their problems. If you can do that often enough, for enough people, the money will come. You can count on it."-Daniel R. Castro

The best way to become a millionaire is to become good at identifying needs and finding solutions for those needs. If we've successfully identify and found the solution for the need, the money will take care of itself - it's that simple. Or is it?

Nowadays, technology seems to get in the way of our thinking. We check Facebook, emails, twitter, Facebook, emails, Facebook .... we never set a time to stop and think about needs, let alone solutions to those needs.

Get away from your devices and see what happens!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Life Can Bring You To Your Knees

"Forces beyond your control can take everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you." -Viktor E. Frankl

We can spend years building something and loose it all in an instant. What is there left for us to do then? Give up and die or get up and try again?

The choice is ours to make.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jealousy

Trust is the foundation of relationships - jealousy is a lack of trust and therefore should have no place in a relationship.

What causes jealousy?
Some say that jealousy is a sign of love but it's actually a sign of low self-esteem/low self-image. Those who don't trust themselves around other people won't trust their partners around other people.

Jealousy is a form of worry. A jealous heart is able to create fictitious scenarios in the mind that creates real emotions and can affect how we interact with the person we're jealous of.

What's the cure?
Not allowing the other person to go out is not the cure of a jealous heart. If you create a prison; prisoners will try to escape to freedom. If you want to trust your partner, start by trusting yourself and work on your self-esteem/low-self image issues with the help of self-improvement materials.

Getting rid of jealousy won't happen overnight. It's a lifelong process, we constantly have to work on it but it's required for us to become better people.

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Revision Wednesday (On Tuesday)
Blog post originally created on December 8, 2011 and can be found here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Educational System of Employees

The educational system is designed to create employees. Don't believe me? When does school starts and ends? When are the breaks? How many courses are there related to entrepreneurship?

The problem with this system is that the workforce is either moving to other countries or being replaced by machines; what we need today isn't more employees but more entrepreneurs.

In the IT field, India is becoming increasingly in demand as they are able to provide similar level of services at a fraction of the price. If you're a driver of some sort, your days may also be numbered as driverless cars make their way into the spotlight. There are no type of work that is considered "safe" anymore.

Employees are becoming a thing of the past - how will we adapt to the new age? By taking over our own destinies.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Unpassion

"Here's a litmus test. If you have to grit your teeth, and tighten your gut, and listen to motivational CDs in order to muster up the strength to perform the task again tomorrow, this is not your passion..." -Daniel R. Castro

For most people, it's easier to share what they're not passionate about than what they are passionate about. Why? Because they haven't spent enough time reflecting on it. They know what they're not passionate about because they probably had to do it at one point - and didn't like it.

Have you found what you're passionate about? It has been said that if you do what you're passionate about, you'll never have to work a day in your life - I believe it's true to a point. Having to do something to pay the bills removes the joy out of it (having to do it for someone else doesn't help either).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Abusive Werewolf

There once was a Werewolf who didn't treat his girlfriend right;
He would have sex with her and leave in the middle of the night.

Everytime he would leave,
she would clean her bruises and think to herself
she would be better of with an elf.

The morning came,
the Werewolf was back!
...this time with lipstick on his face.

Now she's gone,
the Werewolf is alone;
Owling at the moon
without a queen on the throne.

By Mathieu Hachey

*Picture created by artist Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 - 1553)

Multitasking doesn't Work

We don't multitask well. There's a reason why it's illegal to text and drive. We can't focus on 2 things at once.

Multitasking is like having 1L of water to divide into many glasses. We pour a little here, a little there and next thing we know we're out of water and none of the glasses are full. Having them all around us also create a mess and adds up to our stress.

"Be present wherever you are. Multitasking is a thief, robbing us of joy and stealing our ability to focus and create clear memories. If you're with your kids, be with your kids. If you're at work, be at work. Stop splitting yourself into little worthless pieces." -Chris Brady

Multitasking creates stress when trying to accomplish too many things at once.
To remedy this, make a list of what needs to get done and prioritize it. Don't start the next task until the first one is done. Focus only on the present task.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 9, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Money and You

Money does talk; Money is a good indicator of the type of person you are. If you have a lot of money saved up, chances are you're good at saving it. Where you spend money shows your interest and where you get your money from shows what you do for a living.

Save it and spend it wisely.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lack of Energy or Enthusiasm?

Do we lack energy or do we lack enthusiasm? When we're tired at the end of the day and that a special someone gets in contact with us, don't we feel more awake afterwards? What changed?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Respect Money

"We are too busy staying alive to figure out how to live." -Shad Helstetter

Money is important and we have to do everything that we can to save it in order to have some peace of mind and think about the more important issues. When we're in debt and finances is all that we can think about, we're not truly living.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Is Your Past An Excuse or a Reason?

Do you use your past as an excuse for your failures or as a reason for your success? Both a prisoner and a successful person can have similar upbringing but one of them used it as an excuse to misbehave while the other one used it as a reason to succeed. What happens to you is not as important as how you react to it.

If You Want Something Done Right...

If you want something done right, do it yourself right? Not always. Sometime you have to trust other people to do things because you don't know everything. If your child has a toothache - will you not bring him to the dentist?

Learn to trust other people to take on things in your life to free your time to do what only you can do.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Keep track of Progress

Keeping track of progress is important to those who want to achieve. Data doesn't lie and allows one to tweak their efforts as they go. A process some likes to call "PDCA" (Plan Do Check Adjust) or "PDSA" (Plan Do Study Act).
Daniel R. Castro once said that "I have come to realize that persistence simply for the sake of persistence is lunacy. Creative persistence is genius." and one can unlock this creative persistence genius through the PDCA process because it forces you to think differently about a problem.
If your goal is to loose 10lbs in a Month but don't track your progress, how will you know if you're on track? The PDCA process can help you improve constantly on your journey to the goal (as shown in above diagram).
The next time you do want to loose 10lbs, you'll already have an effective plan (that worked for you before) to get there.

For more information check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCA

*Diagram by Karn G. Bulsuk (http://www.bulsuk.com).

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 13, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Creative Persistence

"I have come to realize that persistence simply for the sake of persistence is lunacy. Creative persistence is genius." -Daniel R. Castro

To push through just for the sake of pushing through is not as effective as taking a step back to look for others ways to do it. There are more than one way to bring a bolder up a hill. Have you found the most effective way to persist through your though time?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Old Vs New Thinking

"We are the most comfortable with the thoughts we have lived with the most. It makes no difference if those thoughts aren't the best for us - it's what we know, it's what we are the most secure in keeping at our side." -Shad Helmstetter Ph.D.

The best way to get rid of a old way of thinking is to replace it with a better one.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Have Beliefs

"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." -Harold Titus / Marilyn Smith

We can't really think of ourselves as being unique if we only blindly follows someone else's beliefs - we need to develop our own to share or challenge the world with.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Saying "sorry" Too Often Deludes It

When you do something wrong, you should apologize but there is such a thing as apologizing too much. Don't apologize for "existing" or standing up for yourself.

Take note of the times you've apologize and ask yourself if it was necessary to do so.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 20, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Enthusiasms Over Something You Don't Like

"To get enthusiastic [about something you're not usually enthusiastic about], learn more about the thing you are not enthusiastic about." -David J. Scwartz

Dopamine is the chemical responsible for that "good feeling" in our bodies and we get a dose of it from many different experiences. One of which is the sense of discovery.

How much do you really know about the thing you're not enthusiastic about? Chances are, not enough. If you want to "feel good", or be enthusiastic, about the subject - learn/discover more on the subject to get some Dopamine flowing.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Can One Person Make a Difference?

Where would we be today if Martin Luther King Jr. never gave his "I have a dream" speech? Where would we be today if nobody had stood up against Hitler? If King Leonidas wouldn't of taken a stand against Persia's invading army, would we still have our form of government?
History is full of great men and women who initiated change.

"Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room." -Christine Todd Whitman

So, can one person make a difference? Yes, absolutely - one person CAN make a difference! It takes that one person to first take a stand; to then inspire the mass to move towards something greater than themselves.

The person who thinks one person can't make a different hasn't spent enough time studying history.

*This post can also be found on Men 2.0

Friday, March 27, 2015

Don't Give Your Anger

My patience has been tested quite a bit as of let due to car troubles and I'm glad I didn't give my anger away to someone else. Your anger is your responsibility, to give it away to someone else only increases tension and won't get you anywhere.

There are other ways to let your anger out such as the creative end or through fitness. Make the world a better place by killing the anger inside of you.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What Goes In

"You will become what you think about the most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming - what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself." -Shad Helmstetter, Ph. D.

It's important to filter the information that goes into our brain and to learn to control our thoughts. There are so many things out there that try to steer us in the wrong direction that it's almost impossible for us to be 100% free of stupid/misleading/negative things. Removing cable T.V. from your home is a heck of a good start.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Doing it Anyway!

If you want to get good in anything you will have do it even if you don’t feel like it. If you only do something when you feel like it, you'll never get anywhere.
It has been said that in order to be an expert in anything, one must have done it for more than 10 000 hours. I believe that a mentor is also necessary. Not only does a mentor speed up the process, a good mentor will also bring you higher than you could on your own.

It’s hard to do anything without being distracted these days. As I’m writing this, I’m receiving txt messages on my phone... You will need your undivided attention to what ever you’re doing in order to get good at it. Keep distractions away, they’ll only be wasting your time.

What do you want to get good at?

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on November 14, 2011 and can be found here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Experts Are Often Blind

"Don't be blinded by your own expertise." -Daniel R. Castro

How do you know if you're an expert? Well have you stopped learning about your industry? If yes, perhaps you consider yourself to be an expert and no longer look into honing your skills. After all, what is there left to learn?
So called "experts" are often blinded by problems that requires a new way of thinking - different than what they've acquired so far. Since they already feel like they know everything, they simply brush it off as being an unsurpassable problem when it sometime isn't.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."- Albert Einstein

Don't be an expert - be an eternal student.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Intellectual Laziness

"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 in human beings create fertile soil for modern high-pressure advertising and propaganda." -Titus/Smith

How can we stay away from intellectual laziness? If you want control over your intellect, you need to feel like you're in control of your life. Otherwise, you're a slave to your way of thinking and are influence by which ever voice is the loudest.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Technician Vs Entrepreneur

"Entrepreneurs don't look for money. They look for problems that need solutions."
-Daniel R. Castro

The difference between a technician and an entrepreneur is the technician is focus on improving existing products while the entrepreneur is open to new ways to fill a need.

"Entrepreneurs are not experts at finding something new. They are experts at finding things hidden in plain sight."-Daniel R. Castro

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Things You Shouldn't Say

"To be honest" or "to tell you the truth" are sentence fillers that make the listeners go "aren't you honest/truthful all the time?"

Either skip this part or switch it to "i believe..." or "this is what I think". It is what most people want to say in the first place anyway.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dream - Struggle - Victory

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes to make them possible." -T.E. Lawrence

Dream - Struggle - Victory... I must of heard this a thousand time throughout my years of being associated with great men. I've come to realize that the struggle will come regardless if you have a dream or not. The difference is that the struggle won't be followed by a victory if there's no dream or if you work towards someone else's dream.

While a dream doesn't guarantee a victory: not having a dream guarantees no victory, of your own, is possible. You might be caught up in someone else's victory though.

Dreaming is the most important thing in life and it's also often over looked. "I don't need a dream" they say "I just go". To that I ask "but where are you going?"
Everyone has a dream but only a few actually works towards it. What is your dream?

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 13, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Discipline Weighs Ounces While Regret Weighs Tonnes

“There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tonnes.”― Jim Rohn

There's a story of this woman who told a famous pianist "I would give my life to play like you do" to which the famous pianist replied "I did". One of them was experiencing regrets while the other had learned the required discipline to become a master he what he liked to do. Which one are you?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pride Gets In The Way

"When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotions, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity." -Dale Carnegie

Too much pride gets in the way of living a fulfilling life by limiting the decision someone makes. While we don't consciously think "will this affect my pride?" we do subconsciously think about it and stop ourselves from doing something because we believe it will affect negatively how people see us - even if we really want to do it.

Other people don't care about your pride as much as theirs and by you being silly you allow other people to be silly as well. Don't let pride be an obstacle in your life.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Leaders Are Problem Solvers

The quickest way to be a leader is to learn how to be a problem solver. Leaders also lead through example. Which means that leaders must first learn how to solve their own problem prior to solving the problems of others.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Breaking Things Down To Understand

"...Professor Tony McCaffrey of the University of Massachusetts Amherst asked his students to describe objects generically by their shape, size, and materials-rather than by their common name. For example, one of his students might describe a candle as a wax tube, and a wick as a string. The only rule was to avoid describing the object in a way that implied a particular use. Students who were able to break down common objects in to their generic piece parts showed a 67 percent increase in their problem solving skills."
-P.103 of "Hidden Solutions All Around You - Why some people can see them and some can't" book by Daniel R. Castro

In fields such as Software Quality Assurance, breaking down the software into manageable pieces allows someone to better understand and test the application. Mechanics also use such skills when working on motors.

Solutions come easier to us when we allow the mind to break things into individual pieces to have a better understanding of the complete picture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Insanity

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Is an insane person aware that he’s insane? I don’t have to look far to see people who do the same thing over and over again expecting different result.
There are guys at the gym who's too prideful to use lightweight for their exercises and wonder why they don't get any results (it's the squeeze not the weight). In this case, pride is what makes them fit in this definition of insanity.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on July 12, 2012 and can be found here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Facts of Life

"We cannot assume that, by gathering more and more "facts" a person necessarily gains understanding and wisdom about his life and the world in which in lives." -Harold H. Titus/Marilyn S. Smith

The school system that we have needs to be tweak to add more subjects related to life's needs. Course on relationship, finances and basic entrepreneurial understanding should be included in the curriculum to better prepare the student to tackle life.

Monday, March 9, 2015

We're Not Experts In Everything

"...each of them believed himself to be extremely wise in matters of the greatest importance because he was skillful in his own art." -Socrates

A master programmer possesses knowledge of the computer languages and may develop confidence in himself as a result. He then might think that he has knowledge in areas in which he has not. We must not think of ourselves as experts in areas which we have no experience in.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Entrepreneurs Can See

"Entrepreneurs are not experts at finding something new. They are experts at finding things hidden in plain sight." -Daniel R. Castro

I don't currently possess the eye of the entrepreneur but "Hidden Solutions All Around You - Why Some People Can See Them and Some Can't" book by Daniel R. Castro is giving me some good insight of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." -Henry Ford

Entrepreneurs are masters at finding solutions to the needs we don't know we have. To develop that skill, we first must pay attention to the world around us to identify the problems.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Inform and Affirm - The Religious Debate are Futile

"We don't look for information to inform us. We look for information to affirm us." -Daniel R. Castro

The debate between 2 religious group (or atheist vs religion) is a futile one since both party don't try to understand each other - they try to affirm themselves. They're not looking to change their views as much as the views of the other person.

"We tend to overlook, ignore or discount real, tangible, concrete evidence when it goes against our beliefs." -Daniel R. Castro

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

There Are No Limits



"Belief gives birth to passion. Passion gives birth to action." -Daniel R. Castro

We set our own limitations in life. Whether we say we can't or we can, both statement are true because we make it so.

"Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon." -Lana Hamilton

We will never do more than we think we can. To do more, we have to become more. We have to read on a daily basis to expand our thinking and work on ourselves. The book Resolved by Orrin Woodward is a good place to start.

Start today!

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 10, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Unluckies

"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." -Marilyn Vos Savant

Some people seem to attract bad luck. I get stressed just hearing about the stories they share with me. I worrying about them, I don't like seeing anybody suffer and I want to help. They don't seem to mind, however, and just keep forging. Before I know it, they've fixed their issues and moved on to bigger things. They didn't even need my help.

Koodos to the unluckies - keep forging on! :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Communication in Relationships

Communication is what creates or destroys the trust people have for each other. Failing to communicate with someone, due to lack of self confidence or other reason, makes a relationship with that person very unlikely until the issue is resolved.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Everybody Hates Procrastination

There are things in life that we, alone, can do and the first thing we notice is that we keep getting in our way. Procrastination is what usually kills our goals and is one of the worse habits to have. If left amok, it will rob us of our victories in all areas of life. Do not leave to tomorrow what you should be doing today.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The "Healthy" Employee

As you probably know, there are a lot of corporate employee coffee lovers out there. Most of them go to the doctor to get checked and some are told that they’re blood pressure is too high. Instead of doing a lifestyle change, like reducing coffee consumption for example, they get on pills.

It doesn't make sense to me – why would someone raise their blood pressure, with something such as coffee, to then try to reduce it with a pill? Couldn't you just stop drinking coffee to see if it helps? High blood pressure is a big deal after all.

We rely on pills too much - they should be used only when there are incurable problems, not as an excuse to continue our poor lifestyle choices.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Self Confidence

A lack of self confidence makes other people doubt in your abilities to accomplish anything even when you have years of experience on the subject.
Self confidence can make an expert look like a fool or a fool look like an expert.

What this means is that confidence in your abilities is just as important as the abilities themselves.

Self confidence needs to be treated individually rather than be bound to what you do (or what you like). Doing otherwise will only create a temporary posture when your field of expertise is brought up but you will loose it as soon as the subject change.

Being comfortable with yourself will make you comfortable in any situation.

If you want more information, the below books (pictured above) are a good place to start:



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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 19, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's Happening Again!

A while ago, I wrote about how the internet providers would drop unlimited internet packages in favor of pay-per-use format (blog available here). To my dismay, this is again happening with Telus in Canada according to CBC news

What a pain! Since they charge for overuse of internet, wouldn't it be nice if they could refund people who haven't used as much during the month?

Monday, February 23, 2015

“The No Medical Required” Insurance

Ever seen the commercials regarding "no medical required" type of insurance? It’s a good way to get new customers but the question we should all be asking is “do they look at my medical history once I need the money from the insurance?”

I have no experience with these types of Insurances but lets logic this out. The goal of insurance is to make money out of you and to give as little as possible back. They need to make money which, to me, means that they will look at your medical history once you actually need to get money from them (but hey, at least they don’t look at your medical history when you pay for the insurance … how nice of them!)

I may be wrong - I would read the fine prints before getting those types!

Friday, February 20, 2015

We've Grown Apart!

"We've grown apart" is a popular reason for people to get divorce. The problem isn't that people have changed, because we all change on a daily basis, it's that we failed to communicate that change to our partner hence why we feel like we've grown apart.

The "we've grown apart", at the core, is but a communication problem rather than a "we changed in opposite direction" kind of problem.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hone Your Craft

Self-Improvement is important in everything we do. It's what give us the winning edge over somebody else. Doesn't matter what job we're doing, we should learn all that there's to know about it in order to increase our value as an employee.

John Bolinder, a 36 year old CFO, joined a mail room of a microbiology testing company at the age of 22 and was promoted to CFO at the age of 28. How did he do it? He worked on improving himself by completing his MBA at the University of Utah and the rest of the company by finding solutions to the various problem they faced in the mail room and other departments.

The job we do today will be the same job we do in 5 years if we don't work on improving ourselves.

For more information on John Bolinder, see the article on the Forbes website available here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

4 Rules for Saving Money



Wealth means how long someone can live forward, with his current lifestyle, without a source of income. For some people, it's not very long. It is good practice to have 3 to 6 months saved up in the bank in case of emergencies. The below rules can help achieve that.
  1. Live below your means: If you make a million dollars a year but spend a million dollar a year, you're not better off financially than the person who made 30k and saved 5k.
  2. Keep track of every penny spent: Keep track of your spendings to then make an accurate budget. Ideally, you want to save 25% of your monthly income so that you accumulate 1 month of freedom every 4 months.
  3. Open a Tax Free Savings Account(TFSA) and/or retirement account: There's nothing wrong with a government to want his share of the money you make but when you use a TFSA (in Canada, we can save up to 5500 a year tax free when using this type of saving account) or a retirement account to store money in, the government gives you a little break. This will give you more money during tax season and I would encourage you to save it.
  4. Don't finance things that depreciate: It doesn't matter if the item is at 0% interest, it's still not a good idea to buy new due to the depreciation.
We generally want to clear off our debt before starting to save for the simple reason that the interest rate on a debt is often way higher than the interest rate on money at the bank. For more information, pick up the book "The Millionaire Next Door" book by Thomas J. Stanley Ph. D. & William D. Danko, Ph. D.

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Revision Wednesday(on a Thursday)
Blog post edited/re-posted on May 21, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Move?

"The grass is greener where you fertilize it." -Lana Hamilton

A job is not the same thing as a relationship or a business... career decisions are difficult to make. The grass is greener where you fertilize it but what happens when you feel like you lost the drive to do so? One can always "fake it until making it" or move on. The best way is to weight in the good and the bad of staying vs moving on and go with which ever side we feel is better.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I'm Back!

2015 has been interesting to say the least. So far, I’ve learned that I’m not as disciplined as I’d like to think myself to be and that I lack some skills that would be beneficial in my career.

I’m thankful for my family, friends and the wonderful Christy for being there for me during the interesting times. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Money Vs Performance

"You don't get a raise on the promise of better performance; you get a raise only by demonstrating better performance. You can't harvest money unless you plant the seeds that grow money. And the seed of money is service. Put service first, and money take care of itself." -David J. Schwartz

To ask for a raise, before demonstrating better performance, is like wanting an apple from a tree we haven't yet planted. Find ways to hone your skills and do more prior to ask for a raise and you'll be more likely to get one.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Things Change

Life doesn't always go our way. Sometime, things change for the worse even when we give it our all.

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" -Elbert Hubbard

Having a positive attitude during those times is good but not enough, we also have to be proactive. To find solutions to our problems to move us forward. We grow the most during life's storms than we do during good days.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thoughts Define You

"The key to winning what you want lies in thinking positively toward yourself. The only real basis other people have for judging your abilities is your actions. And you actions are controlled by your thoughts. You are what you think you are." -David J. Schwartz

Sometimes, confidence in yourself is all that is required to get the important task at work. Maybe the person who doesn't have confidence in himself could also do the task but people don't believe he can do them since he doesn't believe in himself (or talk positively to himself).

"Other people see in us what we see in ourselves." -David J. Schwartz

We all have our bad days but lets make it a goal to kill the negative thinking towards ourselves and feed the positive. Lets control our thoughts!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quit trying to keep up with the Jones's...

"Quit trying to keep up with the Jones's because the Jones's are broke." -Orrin Woodward

Some people put reputation above all else and they believe that if they don't have the latest gadget-it will hinder their social standing.

"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like." -Dave Ramsey

There's a difference between looking successful and being successful and that's not determined by how good a car looks.
True wealth is how long you can maintain your current lifestyle without having any source of income. In other words, the guy who makes 1 million a year but spend 1.5 million is worse off financially than the guy who makes 30k a year but has a couple month's worth of savings, according to his lifestyle, in his bank account.

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Revision Wednesday
Blog post originally created on December 11, 2013 and can be found here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dress Right

"How you look on the outside affects how you think on the inside. How you think determines how you act. How you act in turn determines how others react to you." -David J. Schwartz

We do tend to feel more confident when we dress properly. A psychology professor would ask of his student to dress sharp during exams. He believed that when you dress sharp - you think sharp. David J. Schwartz said that "Your physical exterior affects your mental interior."

"Dress Right. You Can't Afford Not To!" -American institute of Men's and Boy's wear.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hey! Listen

Everybody likes to be heard and understood. We win more friends from listening than we do from talking. Orrin Woodward said “We have two ears and one mouth- use them in that proportion.” Do twice as much listening as talking, seek first to understand and then be understood.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Now That's Self-Control In The Parking Lot

The parking space, where I work, is very limited we therefor have no choice but to report the cars that don't belong there to either have them removed or have the owner pay a fine. This towing company uses a device to lock the wheel and they attach a cord, from the driver's door to the device, in order for the person to notice something is on the wheel.
This particular lady, however, had to get in the car from the passenger door because the driver's door was broken. She never noticed something was on her wheel so she started driving off with it - completely destroying the rim and the tire on that side.

Seeing this (only too late to warn her), I got out to offer my help. A young lady, with a big smile, came out of the car and said "something is wrong isn't?" to which I said "Yes - you wheel was locked and is now broken. You'll need to replace the thing." That news, which would had the ability to wreck anyone's day, didn't phase her one bit. She took responsibility over it as if it was the littlest of things.

The amount of self-control that lady had that day is truly inspiring. If it would of happened to me, I would of been upset but she didn't let that little tragedy wreck her day. I learned a lot about attitude and self control from her that day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pointing Out The Good Vs Pointing Out The Bad

"A lie repeated often enough becomes the believable." -Orrin Woodward Anything we repeat to ourselves becomes believable. Therefor, pointing out the good in people not only allows them to go beyond what they would normally do, it also helps us notice it more of the good as we have "brainwashed" ourselves in that way.
The opposite is also true, pointing out the bad in people not only makes them worse, it also makes us notice more of the bad.

We should point out the good 10 times more than the bad. There are benefits of pointing out blind spots in people so they can be aware and grow out of it but it shouldn't be all that we focus on. After all, who are we to know what's good and bad in other people?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Living Risk Free

A life lived without any mistakes, from attempting nothing, will still have an end. Why not take more calculated risk? Is there such a thing as making it safely until death? Is such a life worth living?

The belief was to go to school and get good grades, find work and you'll be set for life. This "security" mindset no longer works - security is the new risky. Nobody will take care of you but yourself - life requires us to take chances.

The best thing we can do is invest in our brain because while we can loose everything else, nobody can remove our thoughts.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Emotional Control, Energy and Exercise

Those who don't possess emotional control over their being are difficult to interact with. They either fail to express themselves properly or things said to them triggers unwanted emotional responses (like anger).

Energy has a lot to do with how much control we have over ourselves. Not only is working out help provide more energy to the body, it also help train the mind - giving us even more control over ourselves in the long run.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Crowd Psychology

"For some time it has been known that people in large groups are more suggestible and can be easily manipulated; the area of study is known as crowd psychology." -Harold H. Titus / Marilyn S. Smith

Have you ever wondered why companies are so focused on creating a group culture? It's easier to steer a ship when everybody is on board. When the top few are convinced, the others usually follows.
There's nothing wrong with that per say (unless the intentions are wrong like those Hitler had for WWII) - just remember who you are and where you want to go. If it's not in the same general direction as the current ship you're in, jump in the water towards the ship that is going where you want to go.

"The brain simply believes what you tell it most."
-Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D

Companies that still use cubicles but, at the same time, wants people on the same boat should realize that communities can't be built when everybody is surrounded by walls.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Keep A Journal

Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings you've had during the day is a great way to start understanding yourself and the improvement you've made on your self-improvement journey. We can't really know how good we're at something if we don't keep track of it.

The improvement I see in myself when ever I read an old entry in my journal is a great feeling. The things that used to hurt me don't anymore. My writing skills got better over the year and I can pretty much tell how interesting my reading was in a given month based on the quotes I wrote down (I also like to keep track of good quotes).

Some like digital journals while other prefer physical ones since they can carry it anywhere they go. When buying a physical journal, I would recommend you to choose something that will last you a couple of years. Usually, you can get some at around 20$ that are sturdy and of quality enough to last.

What is your favorite journal?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's This Time Of The Year Again!

Another January another year beginning with resolutions and the most popular one, it seems, is fitness (the gym regulars know what I'm talking about).

The first 3 months of the year is the worse time to go to the gym – it's packed! Don't get me wrong, I want people to exercise and feel better but they don't go in with the “winning” attitude. The “I'll try and see if it works” will make them quit before they see any changes in themselves.

So, if you are one of those people, please stick with it for the entire year! Heck for your entire life!

Happy New Year!

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