It’s tough for us right now. Searching for a house is time consuming. It’s in a different city so driving back and forth is taking its toll. ‘I don’t have time’ to go to the gym. ‘I don’t have time’ to read as often as I’d like. ‘I don’t have time’ to blog as much as I’d like.
I don’t say these things out loud because they are excuses. I write about how being busy is an excuse. How can I make excuses like these and tell people if I write the opposite? That would make me a hypocrite. I never say those things… out loud. Thing is, I’ve been saying it to myself. Reasoning with myself. Fooling myself. I shared this quote before but it is relevant here, it’s by Richard Feynman “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
This morning I ordered the Dvorak Keyboard. Took less than 5 minutes. Yet I’ve been telling myself to do it for weeks, if not months by now. The only difference between today and every other day I wanted to order the keyboard is the fact that I remembered to put it on the list this morning.
I did something different this morning. I sat down at the desk and asked myself what the most important small tasks are. Sometimes the tasks that only take 5, 10, 20 minutes are very important yet I put them off until it’s too late or I forget about it completely. Taking my own advice is difficult for me sometimes.
Ever since I began writing this blog people have been opening up to me more than ever before. I’m having deeper conversations. Friends are sending me podcasts that I may be interested in. Others are telling me about their goals and aspirations. I don’t think I started my blog for any of this but I welcome it. I really enjoy it.
I find myself checking the stats of the blog posts now. I hate that I’m doing this. I didn’t start writing to get a huge readership. I simply wanted to write. I don’t want to stray from that. I keep telling myself that’s not happening. Then again, I’m telling myself I don’t have time to workout. It’s an excuse. I can do 50 push ups before I shower. That’s something. I choose not to because I’m telling myself I don’t have time. Fooling myself.
At the same time, I want to share this blog with people. One of the first posts I wrote was shared by a friend. One of his friends told him she felt as if she knew me personally. That was incredible to hear. I don’t know if I’m helping people by writing this blog. Maybe I will help someone out by sharing my experiences. Ultimately, that is my goal with this blog. I believe that’s the reason I’ve started to check the stats more often. I want to reach more people and share my experiences with them.
I wrote a post about my parents and how we don’t really know what their dreams were. One of my oldest friends said this was eye opening for him. He never thought about it like that. I think he may be in a place in his life, as I am, where he is thinking about the future. He has a serious girlfriend. I believe he wants kids someday. He mentioned that we live in a materialist world. I agree with him.
We are always being sold something. You have a BMW, but it’s not a Mercedes. You have a Mercedes but it isn’t fully loaded. You have heated seats but it doesn’t have the panoramic sunroof. Who cares? I don’t care about any of that anymore. I always give the car example but he also mentioned travelling. This hits home because I love to travel. What type of sacrifices are we going to make when we have kids? I’ve thought about this a lot. Until a few months ago my dream was always to live in Toronto. After re-reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I realized that wasn’t my goal anymore. Reading the book and having Niko made a huge change in my life.
I’m willing to make sacrifices for Niko. Today, I spent part of my night at a puppy training class. I really enjoyed it. A year ago, I would have laughed at the idea. When we first got Niko everyone that has a dog and kids said having a puppy is great practice for a baby. I don’t have kids yet but I can see why they said it. I sacrifice time for him. I didn’t think I would enjoy doing half the things I do with him, but I do.
Getting back to the conversation I had with my friend. He mentioned how it was easier for our parents to make sacrifices because they had less options. They understood that moving to Canada and raising their kids here to give us a better life was clearly their best option. Maybe that’s the case. It doesn’t mean they weren’t brave. It takes courage to be able to leave everything behind and move to another country, especially if you don’t know the language. That takes courage that I don’t think I have.
The point I believe he was trying to make is about the options. We have so many choices now. Maybe it’s a great problem to have but it is a problem nonetheless. I’m in the latter part of my twenties. I’m ‘an adult’, as they say. I can stay at my job at a startup. I can look for another job and get paid more. I may not have the freedom of working from home but I may be making a lot more money. I can quit and concentrate strictly on Invictus Beard, my online store. I can completely stop everything and start a renovation company in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and learn as I go. We can buy a detached house with a big yard. We can buy a condo unit and have money for an investment property. I can quit and try to convince Eliz to take the money from the sale of our condo and backpack across Europe for a year. I can try to convince her to buy a Tesla SUV and travel across Canada throughout the entire summer. We can move to Thailand and live there for a year.
Not all of us have all these options but most of us growing up in Canada or another developed country have most of the options I mentioned. Of course, there are hundred other things we can all do. The important thing is taking the time to envision yourself in the future. What is going to make you happy. You!
I’m already making sacrifices for my future kids because I know that is going to make me happy. My friend asked what if they aren’t appreciative of the sacrifices? I asked him if he is familiar with the Stone Cold Stunner.
I hope they will be appreciative. Reality is, some of us may not be as appreciative of our parents as we ought to be. This may include me. I hope not but I may need to show my appreciation for my loved ones more often.
We all have options. This is a blessing and it can seem like a curse. You may be asking yourself “Do I want kids now or do I want that downtown lifestyle I’ve been working towards?” I think the question you need to ask yourself is why you have been working towards a specific goal. Is that really the goal you want at this point in your life? My goals in the past 8 months changed significantly. I no longer want the downtown lifestyle. I want to go camping and be closer to nature.
We are all ever-changing. The goals that we had last year may not be the same goals we have now. We need to revisit our goals often. Ask why. Why are you working towards buying a new car? Why are you working towards a trip to Vegas? Why are you working towards a big house in Toronto? When is the last time you asked yourself “why?”
The goals I had set for myself were all things I wanted for myself before I met Eliz. That was over 5 years ago. I didn’t know Eliz then but after being with her for this long I still had the same vision of where I wanted my life to be as if nothing had changed. Reality is, a lot had changed. I didn’t stop to really think about my goals until I wrote them down thanks to an exercise in Think and Grow Rich. My advice is to write out your goals and then ask yourself why you want it. Is it because you saw it in a movie? Is it because you think it will make your enemies envious? Is it because you want to be the most successful out of your friends? Are these reasons enough for you to continue down this path? What is the purpose?
Only you have the answers to these questions. For me, I wanted the downtown lifestyle because I thought about being the bachelor that went out every night. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even enjoy going out when I was a bachelor. I enjoy spending the night cooking more than eating out. Then why was I still working towards buying a condo downtown?
I didn’t have an answer. I was fooling myself. I kept working towards something that I didn’t truly want because I didn’t take the time to check in with myself. I didn’t take the time to observe my surroundings and how much everything has changed. Once I realized, I decided to change my goals. I’m happier because of it. You can be too if you are truly honest with yourself. It goes back to Feynman’s quote “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” Be brutally honest with yourself. Understand that it is perfectly normal if your family and friends may not agree with your decisions. You may find that you want something completely different than you thought. You’ll never know if you don’t stop to ask yourself first.
If any of you take the time to do this exercise and ask yourself why, I would love to hear about your experience with it. If you want to comment on my writing, even if it is a criticism, I would be excited to hear from any of you. Most of the people that are reading this already have my number but if you don’t, please feel free to drop a comment, private message me on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just felt like if I am going to start including the above postscript then it would be cool to have a tagline to finish off these posts with. Here is what I got:
Work towards happiness.