Dvorak Keyboard

Let’s see. Let’s see where the words take us. I don’t know where this post is going to take me.  I don’t know where this blog is going to take me.

I’ve been meaning to check out the other type of keyboard. Still haven’t even taking a look at it. I don’t want to swipe to the other screen right now to research it on Google. I want to concentrate on this blog.

I easily get distracted. I may be in the middle of something and my phone vibrates. I open it up but not directly to the notification. I’m on the home page. Then I see another notification on another app. I open that up. Look and see what’s going on. Respond to a message or something. Then I click the lock screen.

I remember that’s not why I opened my phone. I open it again. Go back, check the notification, then I lock my phone again. This sequence could take me 5 minutes. It could take me 20. It could be longer. That’s time. Valuable time. Wasted.

This happens. It used to happen more often than it does now.

Are the days of giving something undivided attention completely over?

How many of us have paid to see a movie and there is someone checking their phone in the middle of it? How many of us are the ones checking the phone?

This isn’t necessarily only about phones. If I’m doing something on one Google Chrome tab, there may be another 10 tabs open. Some for work but some for no reason whatsoever. Then there is the feature on the Macbook of switching screens.

I switch screens all day. Email, swipe to work research, swipe to Email, swipe to another tab, swipe to a Word document, swipe to Email, swipe to Excel, then my phone vibrates and you know how that goes.

How productive can someone be, doing so many things?

I was not very productive when I was working this way. I’m not saying I’ve completely kicked the habit of switching tabs but I’ve begun to grow very vary of it.

I use ToDoist. Today I created a category named: “IMPORTANT TASKS”. Every night or in the morning I will place the most important tasks that I need to complete that day. Today, I had one task on there.

Yeah, one. Just one. That was the most important task to me today. I’m happy to say I completed it. Does this mean I didn’t do anything else? Of course not.

I simply need to remind myself what is important to me, daily. If I’m going to work towards my own goals every day, then I need to remind myself, every day, of the most important tasks to achieve my targets.

I will limit the tasks to 3 on the ‘IMPORTANT TASKS’ list. I still don’t know what I will put on there but I was happy with my selection today.

I needed to get something done for Bazinga!. It’s something that I don’t particularly enjoy doing but it needed to be done. It was important to me to do it. I’m happy to say I did it. I crossed it off the list.

What a gratifying experience. Crossing something off my To-Do list. Well, in this case, it’s an app. I swiped it off my list. It’s the best swipe of the day.

I think we all need to feel productive. In fact, I think we all want to feel useful.  I know I do. There were times when I didn’t feel useful. It’s a bad feeling.

I believe being bored may be linked to feeling useless. Think about it. If you are sitting around, bored, you’re probably not doing something productive.

You could be thinking, that’s ludicrous. I’m sitting in my office and getting through all these tasks that I need to do but I’m bored. I’m productive but I’m bored.

Maybe that’s right.

I think a bit deeper. I think about that person doing work and feeling bored. Why?

Why are you bored if you’re getting things done? Are you fulfilled? To me, it doesn’t sound like it.

If you get 100 things done in a day and feel bored doing it or unfulfilled afterwards, then you are not living life as you should. At least, that’s how I think about it.

I have a tangible goal, with an actual timeline, that I am working towards daily. Ever since I’ve created these goals none of my tasks feel like chores. I understand why I need to do it. If I don’t think it will help me achieve my dreams then I don’t bother. I don’t feel bored while I’m doing it. In fact, I’m excited to take on the challenge. After all, it’s all for my goals. It’s for my dreams. It’s for me.

This makes a huge difference in my day to day activities. Goals are crucial. Working towards something that you want is rewarding.

Too many of us are thrown into life like a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean. Letting the current take us in any direction. At what point are we going to take control?

I’m 25.

I’m going to tell my kids I was 25.

I was 25 when I decided I’m the one in control of my life.

Every day I get pulled in many directions. Niko needs to go out. My phone is ringing. I get an email. I get a message. I see another headline. I check social media. I watch a video. Then another.

I’m not complaining, I’m merely stating this is what I go through every day. We all have some variation of this in our lives.

At what point are you doing something you want to do? Something that is important to you. Do you even know what that is? Do you remember?

I can’t count the number of times I was getting ready for bed and realized I didn’t do something I wanted to do that day.

Oh, I’ll just get it done tomorrow. I forget again. Then again. Then a month later it pops into my head. You want an example? How about that keyboard I mentioned earlier? It’s been over a month since I wanted to do further research on it. I never placed it on me to-do list. I thought I would remember. I still haven’t done it. This is one example of countless others.

The point is, we do this with the tasks that are most important to us. I’ve been telling myself to book a massage appointment since my car accident a month ago. I finally did it 2 days ago. Something as important as my own health is sometimes put on hold for that cat video. Or that message. Or that email.

Prioritization is key.

We can all get through 100 mindless tasks a day and at the end of the day feel completely bored and unfulfilled. That’s not what I want. I know what I want.

 

Old School Turkish Music

I have some old school Turkish music playing in my earphones right now. I don’t know where this post is going to take me with this music on.

Usually, whenever we have this music on, it’s a Friday evening. Perch already cooking. My dad and I playing backgammon.

Those are some of my fondest memories. I look forward to making these memories with my own kids. It’s so crazy to think that I may be a father within a few years. Why wait? “There’s never a right time.”

I look over at my sister. She’s fully showing now. She’s pregnant. Pregnant. That’s crazy to me. At times, I still don’t think it’s fully clicked.

Then I look over at my fiancé. I know she’s eager to have kids. She’s going to be a great mom. It’s all pretty crazy.

I’m 25.

3 years ago, I didn’t have these thoughts. 3 years ago, I had just graduated. 3 years ago, the hardest decision I was making was deciding on the best restaurant for date night.

Now look at me.

We must grow up and we should do it quickly. Seneca said something like: When you see an old man with grey hair, he may not have lived long, he existed long. He writes better than me, but it was along those lines.

I don’t want to exist long. I want to live long.

I don’t think I should have to wait until Friday evening to have those types of nights with my kids. With Eliz. With my sister and her husband. With my parents. My in-laws.

Age 22 is easy. The world is laid out in front of you. Go ahead, do with it what you will. I was fortunate enough to have finished university. Although, I still contemplate if I would have gone to university knowing what I know now. In any case, I was lucky enough to be able to go to University of Toronto. I was luckier still that I found a great job.

I should’ve been studying. I had an exam in a few days. My final exam in university, ever. It suddenly hit me. What’s next? What happens after that exam?

I told myself I should probably find a summer job. At least something that will put money in my pocket while I look for a “real job”. I went on the career website from UofT and found Bazinga. Few months later I was a full-time employee. I had a hand in it but I know Fate played a role. As Fate usually does. I digress.

I was saying 22 is easy. 23. Even 24. Then 25 hits. Suddenly, we’re all expected to have changed overnight. To be ready to make these big-time decisions. What prepares us for big decisions?

I’m talking big time decisions. Decisions like, when should I buy a house? When should I get married? When do I have kids? Where do I live? Do I stay at my job? Is this the career I want? Is this the job I always wanted? Am I passionate about this?

University doesn’t prepare you for this. Experiences may prepare you for these types of things. However, by the time you’ve gained experience, you’ve already made the mistakes.

Few days ago, a friend of mine and I were talking about my blog. He mentioned how relatable it is. I’m ecstatic when my friends say they enjoy the blog. It’s an amazing feeling.

He mentioned that he reads blogs to get tips. He said it may be a good idea to share how I was able to come to these realizations. How I bring myself to the point of taking action.

Then I think to myself, am I the right guy to be giving that type of advice? I ask again, what have I accomplished?

In my personal life, I believe I’m doing excellent. I have a beautiful fiancé, an incredible person. A great dog. Supportive family. Great friends. I feel like I’m gloating here but I’m trying to show my appreciation to them.

I’m thinking about what I’ve accomplished professionally. I’m not where I want to be but then again at 22 I didn’t know where I wanted to be at 25. I was taking it “day-by-day”. What a short-sighted way to live. Letting everyone else dictate my life instead of setting goals. I’ve changed that now. Maybe that’s a tip. Set some goals for yourself.

Take an evening. Put on some old Turkish music, or whatever else you’re into. Pop open a nice bottle of red wine. Be with yourself. Think. Decide what you want. You. The goals can always change. They often do. At least you’ll have a great starting point.

Now take that set of goals, and if you have a partner, share it. Your goals should be aligned. Again, I must reiterate, these are things that I am still working on. Eliz and I discuss this often. I try to understand her. Oftentimes, I’m too pushy. But the communication needs to be there. If my partner and I are striving for the same goal then we’ll have a much better chance of achieving it.

I think that was another tip. Communicate your goals with the one person that will help you achieve it.

I mentioned big decisions earlier in the post. Questions that I had. Questions that I continue to ask myself.

How do I get these questions answered without making the mistakes? Well, Warren Buffet said “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”

This is the one tip that I want to give everyone.

Read. No, not another article. Not the news. Not the sports section. Not even that business magazine.

Read a book.

Don’t watch the game tonight. There’ll be another game on tomorrow. You can catch highlights.

Read a book.

Read business books. Read psychology books. Read books about meditation.

I recently began reading Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu. This book was written over 2,500 years ago. I’m not that far into it yet and it’s already making a huge impact on my thoughts.

Only books have this influence on me.

I believe that to answer those questions, that I, as a 25-year-old man, have about life, I must read. Read about my career. About my goals. My aspirations. I believe those questions are answered in books.

We’re not the first batch of 25 year olds to walk this earth. Others have made mistakes. They’ve found the right way to do things. They had their trials and tribulations. We will too. The way to limit the mistakes is to learn from them. It doesn’t mean we must make the mistakes. I can simply read about someone else that made the mistake.

With every new book I read, I see things differently. I feel enlightened. Books are changing my life. They will change yours too.

Read a book.

 

Stop Pushing

I push people. Everyone around me. I’m always trying to be encouraging and try to push people to start their own businesses. I push them to read more books. I push them to go after their goals. I push them to realize their own potential.

What right do I have? Who am I do push people around me to do these things when I’ve yet to accomplish anything?

As much as I want these things for myself I want these things for my family and friends too. I used to think the best way to get people to realize they can do more is by telling them. How short-sighted of me.

Why would they listen to me? I wasn’t even listening to me. I’d tell myself to read more books. I’d tell myself to start my own business. I’d tell myself to push for more at my job. Then I would watch hours upon hours of sports. I didn’t do any of those things. This went on for nearly two years.

I’m in it now. I’m trying to do all the above. Still I find myself telling my loved ones that they can do it too. They can read more. They can be more. I’m starting to realize it’s the wrong way to go about it.

Everyone has their own thoughts. Everyone has their own challenges. If I deal with mine differently than them, what makes me right? If something works for me, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for anyone else. It may work for others but I don’t have the right to push people if they aren’t ready.

I realize this now. I have the type of personality where if my loved ones do well I’m extremely happy. If they aren’t feeling great my mood will change according to theirs. I’ve mentioned I’m an emotional person. This emotional roller coaster where I’m not the captain isn’t the best way to live.

Of course, my financee’s mood is going to affect me. Of course, my sister’s mood is going to affect me. My friends’ mood will affect me. The difference is how I react to it. I could do a better job of listening instead of reacting. I always have suggestions and I think I can solve everyone’s problems. I understand now that it comes off as pushy. If they aren’t ready to make those changes why do I think I can continue to push them?

I can only control what I can control. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on myself. I see or hear something and I think about my reaction to it. I think about what I can do to make the situation better. It’s easy to suggest something. The harder part is taking action.

Stop talking the talk. Start walking the walk.

That’s where I am now, I hope. Every day, slowly but surely, walking towards a better version of myself. As I push to make myself better my hope is that my loved ones will see my journey and realize they can do it too. The difference now is I am taking the steps. I am walking the walk.

Every time I put out one of these blog posts I feel vulnerable. After all, these are some of my deepest thoughts. I’m putting it out for everyone to see. I don’t care what strangers may think, but not many strangers are reading this right now. It’s my friends and family that are reading it. I’m okay with being vulnerable in front of them now. I never used to be.

What I’m already realizing is a change in my family and friends. We can have deeper conversations now. We can be more supportive of each other. Maybe they’re all going through the same things. After all, we’re all about the same age, 25 or so. All facing the similar challenges. We’re all thinking about how we can advance in our careers. We’re all thinking about how we can make our parents proud. How we can be a good partner. How we can start our own business.

The greatest change that I’ve realized is in one of my closest friends.

I used to write a blog a few years ago and I was fake. I used to talk about technology. I used to do it with the idea that I can gather a following and make more sales for Bazinga. He would troll every post. I look back on it now and I don’t blame him. He knows the real Mehmet and the person writing those posts wasn’t the real me.

Now, I think, he is a fan of my posts. He messages me after he reads the blog. He has suggestions. He helps me proofread. He posts genuine comments. What was the difference?

First, I believe I’m being real in these posts.

More importantly, I feel vulnerable in these posts. It may be coming across in the way I write. Since I’ve become more and more comfortable with this vulnerability my friends have realized it. Especially the one that was most critical when I wasn’t sincere.

My focus has changed. Lead by example. Another cliché. Yet again, it’s so true. If I continually strive towards my goals. If I continually do everything I can to be a genuine friend. Then, one day, I may become an inspiration to my loved ones to begin striving for their goals. I may not be there yet, but that’s quite alright. With time, my hope is that I will get to that stage.

I’ll always be there for my family and friends. Their happiness brings me joy. Their sadness brings me plight. I’m trying to grow myself to new heights. One of my greatest hopes is that my loved ones see my journey and have the realization that they can do it too. After all, if I can do it, why can’t they? If others can do it, why can’t I? Why not me? Why not us?

Personal Space

Few things popped into my head today. Oh, I should write about this. Oh, that would be a good post.

I forgot both of those things.

I should be a better note taker. I use lists often now.

I forget things. Too many things to keep track of. I make lists. They’re very helpful. Todoist App is a game changer for me.

Ah yes!

Space! That was one of them.

Personal space.

Time to ourselves. We don’t get enough anymore. Mainly it’s our own fault. At least, for me that’s how it was.

Besides the obvious sports every night, I would spend entirely too much time on social media. Not being productive. Not thinking about anything about important. Simply scrolling.

Scroll.

Funny meme.

Scroll.

Basketball Highlight.

Scroll… scroll…scroll.

I’d look up and I’d wasted an hour of my time. Oftentimes even more than that.

I shut down my social media. Cold turkey. That didn’t work either. Now I felt disconnected. I wasn’t missing the endless memes and videos. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on in my family’s life in Turkey, or what my friends were up to. Granted, social media isn’t the place to actually see the truth in peoples lives. In any case, I felt like I was missing out.

I returned to social media but changed something. I deleted a lot of contacts. Over 700 on Facebook. Many on Instagram as well. I spend less than 10 minutes a day on both now. I can share pictures. I can see my family’s pictures. I feel connected yet I don’t feel consumed.

I think about my parents. They didn’t have these distractions. Let’s face it, unless we use it with extreme productivity, they’re distractions. Now, we go to the bathroom and we make sure to grab our phones. We don’t even think in there. Those moments of just looking up and around at our surroundings have disappeared.

If we are constantly looking at our phones. Constantly checking Instagram’s popular page. Life is passing us by. I would spend time on Instagram rather than dealing with a problem. It was the easiest way to procrastinate. It was easy to ‘pass time’ on social media than face my problems. It was an escape. An incredibly bad habit. I had to realize it, to kick it. Even now I find myself beginning to scroll. I make sure to stop myself.

I woke up today at 05:30. I never wake up this early. I did it because everyone is sleeping at 5:30. I could get up. Meditate. Read. Write. Think. Workout. Things I need to do for myself.

I felt great today. I need this time. I have a puppy. I have a fiancée. I have family. Friends. I love spending time with all of them, but at what cost?

We’re always pulled in all directions throughout the day. We need to have that time to be with ourselves, or else my brain goes 100mph as soon I get into bed. That’s when the stress starts to hit. That’s when I grind my teeth and wake up with a headache.

Time to myself is crucial. This is the way I grow. I read my goals aloud. A trick I picked up from Think and Grow Rich. Nearly every morning and some nights, I read my goals aloud to myself. I need to do this because I need to constantly be reminded of what is most important to me. I’m a forgetful person. If you ask me what I had for lunch 3 days ago I wouldn’t have any idea. Maybe you’re like me. If you forget your lunch you can forget other things. Your mind can become occupied with other things. It’s a great feeling to remind myself what I am working towards. It alters my actions throughout the day because I know why I am doing it. I know the end goal. I understand why I must complete that task. It’s certainly increased my productivity.  It all started with that time to myself.

I continually mention meditation but it is so helpful for me. Again, I need that time to do it. I can’t meditate when Niko is barking in my ear asking to go out. I am a firm believer that if we don’t train our minds then we can never truly appreciate the complexity of our mind.

Working out is another thing I need to do alone. I used to go with friends. They found ways to be productive with it but I would easily be distracted. I would go play basketball rather than workout. I would hang out with friends. Now that I work out alone I feel better.

I see this all the time. People that stop working out for a few weeks or months become less confident. I see it in their demeanour. Once they get back to it, they are happier. More confident. That’s how I feel when I work out. It’s a great feeling to know that if nothing else goes right that day, at least I did something to take care of my body. I need that time to myself.

At 25 my parents didn’t have to worry about all of this. Life simply wasn’t as fast paced. Call me an entitled millennial or Gen X or whatever term you want to use but that’s the truth.

When my dad went home from work at 25 that was it. Now, I could be eating dinner and receive an email. It doesn’t happen often to me but it does to many people my age. With the incredible pressures we face each day, it is more important than ever to reserve time for ourselves.

I’m not suggesting everyone wake up at 5:30 to meditate and write. Or, maybe, in a way I am. My point with this post is we all must treat ourselves better. It starts with us. If I treat myself well I can treat others well. To treat myself right, I need to make time for it. If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it too.

Option 2

I look forward to writing these blogs. I think about it throughout the day. What I will discuss. What will stick out most that happened throughout the day.

Today, I discussed the blog with my friends. They said it’s refreshing to read about someone’s journey, while they are still in it. At least that’s what I took from the conversation.

I told Eliz yesterday, this is the good old days we’ll look back on. A lot of things are changing in our lives. It’s extremely important to stop and appreciate it.

I watched The Office series and on the last episode one character says, “I wish you know when you’re in the good old days before they’re gone.”, or something along those lines.  It’s a powerful quote. I’m a futuristic person. I think about my future and what I want out of life. Sometimes this can be a hindrance.

Oftentimes, I forget to appreciate the daily grind. J. Cole is my favourite artist and he said, “There’s beauty in the struggle.”

I’m starting to understand these quotes more clearly.

The other night, I placed my first large order for beard oil to sell on Amazon and my online store, Invictus Beard. I felt an incredible rush when I clicked the button to purchase the order.

I don’t know what the outcome will be but it sure felt good to click that button. It felt good to Continue reading “Option 2”

Tomorrow

I could die tomorrow. As a matter of fact, I could die today.

You could too.

We are not exempt from death. It is inevitable. We are all going to die.

Thanks for starting a blog in this incredibly dark fashion Mehmet, but so what?

Well, the sooner I come to terms with this, the sooner I will begin to truly live. I heard somewhere that Steve Jobs was sort of obsessed with the idea of his own death. Look at everything he achieved.

Too often we put off our own desires because we think we are immortal. Yet, we give into our fears because we know we will die one day. I’m trying to challenge this way of living. This way of thinking.

I accept that I can die today. I accept that I may never reach 65 years old to finally retire at an age that Canadian law allows. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. How could I think that 40 years from today is guaranteed?

Few years ago, I read Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money, Life. He pointed out how starting to invest early on, around the age of 25, would equal huge sums of money in the future. Naturally, I invested some money, despite being young. I went to a financial advisor and he was surprised to see me. He even said I don’t see many kids your age coming in here to invest.

Then we worked out a plan that would see me retire at age 65 and have enough money to be able to live ‘comfortably’ until I die at age 80 or 90 or whatever it was.

Few weeks ago, I went to see my financial advisor and he gave me a report. My financial plan or something like that. Doesn’t matter what it was. The important thing was at the bottom of the page.

“Retirement age 65.”

Holy crap!

Really? Is this what I signed up for? Is this what I want out of life? Few years ago, the answer was, undoubtedly, yes. Now? Not so much.

I’m not working towards retiring at 65 anymore. What the hell am I going to do at 65? If I want to take dance lessons, I’ll need hip replacement. If I want to travel, I’ll need my oxygen tank to clear customs. Okay, I may be exaggerating here but, point is, I don’t want to wait until I’m old and grey to do the things I want to do now.

I’ve stopped investing for the time being. It doesn’t mean I’ve started to take that money I was putting away and spend it on a new car or something frivolous. I’m taking that money and investing in myself.

I am starting a business. I needed some of the money to pay for a course. To order products. To begin marketing efforts.

This money may all go to waste but if everything goes according to my plan I won’t have to wait until I’m 65 to be able to retire.

The word ‘retirement’ may need some clarity. To me retirement doesn’t mean stop working and wait until I’m dead. On the contrary, I believe it’s when I will be able to start living as I want. Retirement to me is being able to free my time to do the things I want to do. I simply cannot wait 40 years to begin doing things I want.

As a society, we are okay with this idea. We embrace this idea. The idea that I will wake up every morning at 6:30. Get ready. Get stuck in traffic for an hour or more. Get into work. Leave at 5. Get stuck in traffic. Come home around 6:30. Drained and start emailing for work. Is this the life you want? It’s not the life I want. If you’re okay with this idea, then all the power to you. I’m not writing to change anyone’s mind. I’m only writing it to express my mentality and where I am in my life.

I’ve been extremely blessed in my life. In many areas. One area I feel extremely fortunate is the fact that I haven’t lost anyone close to me at a young age. This is another thing I take for granted and I shouldn’t.

My cousin is young. In his teens now. He’s already experienced a death of his friend. I think it was even before his teenage years. This happens.

A close friend of mine lost someone close to him not too long ago. Around our age. It happens.

Why do I think it can’t happen to me? Why do I put off my goals, dreams and desires for tomorrow? For next year? For retirement?

We are leasing. We’re tenants here. None of us own the body we are in, it’s foolish to think we do. At some point death is going to come and claim what is rightfully his.

When that day comes, I hope to be in a place where I will be at peace with it. I hope to have found tranquility in my life. I have many things I aspire to be. Many goals I hope to accomplish. I simply cannot hold it off any longer in hopes that I do it ‘one day’. It must begin today. If not today, then when? I’m not immune to sickness. Life can be taken away in an instant.

Waiting to go after my dreams won’t make me happy. Waiting to go after my goals won’t make me more prepared. So why wait? Time is running out on all of us.

I’m choosing to accept the fact that I will die one day. I’m choosing to accept it, so that I can appreciate what I have now. I accept it so that I can work on the things I want without being careless with my limited time, because time is just that, limited.

All too often we wander around aimlessly and take on other people’s goals and responsibilities as our own. I choose not to anymore. I have my own goals. My own dreams. I’m not going to wait to start going after them. Not for anybody. There simply isn’t enough time to wait because whether we like it or not, we’re all going to die one day.

Good news is, we can decide what we accomplish before that day comes.

 

 

 

Ask

I’ve been using the sauna a lot lately and a see a few other people in there from time to time. Sometimes, I come across the same guys and we discuss the benefits of going into the sauna, as well as other things. After a few weeks I realized that others, just like myself, found that the sauna’s temperature wasn’t as hot as we’d like.

One day, I simply asked a staff member at the gym to turn it up. The next day the sauna was warmer than ever before.  The next time I saw those men they were all thanking me. All I did was ask.

Asking questions is so important.

Too often I am too shy to ask a question.

I am too embarrassed to ask a question.

I feel as though I may be judged for my question.

This is another example of trying to do things outside of my comfort zone. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I am actively trying to ask more questions.

Yesterday, as a family, we went out for my mom’s birthday. I was hesitant tell the waitress it’s my mom’s birthday and to ask her for a cake. I know it’s such a small thing but I found myself holding back. I don’t know why. Maybe because they would sing and people would look at our table. It wasn’t something that I am comfortable with. Instead Eliz asked. I’m glad she did.

That’s a learning experience for me. I look at that and think never again. At least I hope never again. I should be able to ask simple questions like that.

At the same time I am very comfortable asking questions to people online. What is it about me that is more comfortable when sitting in front of a computer?

I’m not quite sure but I definitely feel as though I can ask questions over email or Facebook easier than in person. This is the case in certain situations. For instance, when I am in a meeting with a potential client I make sure to ask as many questions as I can.  Asking the right questions can land me a big contract.

Maybe I am hesitant in situations where there is no structure. In a business meeting we all know why we are there. On the other hand, if I’m in line at a Starbucks and I see someone holding a book I’m curious about, I will think twice before asking their thoughts on the book. I’m afraid of what the other person may think. This is precisely the type of situation that I am trying to change. My goal now is to able to ask how the book is. If I can do it in low pressure situations like that I feel I will be able to ask the right questions in high pressure situations. It takes practice.

I believe asking the right questions can change one’s life.

I play a lot of backgammon with my dad and soon to be father-in-law. I win some. They win some. It’s pretty even. I really enjoy it.

Last week, I searched for world winners of backgammon championships online. There’s a list of past winners. I actually reached out to a few online. Asked them a few questions and actually received replies. It was awesome.

They gave me a few tips. Mentioned websites that help them out. One champion even shared his favourite book about backgammon. I haven’t read it yet but I imagine I will at some point.

It only took me 15 minutes to find past champions and ask them questions. This was a trick I learned from Tools of Titans. 

I simply asked to be named VP of Sales. This, I did in person. Maybe our CEO was thinking about the promotion already. Maybe he wasn’t. What harm would it do to ask? Absolute worst case scenario he says no you’re not ready yet. He may have even offered up some advice to say this is what you need to do before you are ready. Instead, he gave me the role. The title. I feel I deserved it and I had to ask to get it. I’m glad I did. It was one question. Granted it came after years of work but it was still a question that needed to be asked.

I ask more questions in my personal life too. I ask about people’s plans. It leads to very interesting conversations. I get closer to them through these questions.

We can all benefit from asking more questions. The right question, to the right person, can change one’s life. Asking questions is beginning to change my life. We’ll see how it turns out.