Love the Struggle

Learn to love the struggle. Learn to love the work.

That’s what I kept telling myself as I was tearing out the drywall on our house. We’re renovating the place right now and it isn’t easy. There is some hard work to be done. Even though my dad and father-in-law are very handy we will still need to bring in a few professionals to handle some of the more critical work. That will cost money. Appliances will cost money. New floors, new lighting, new bathroom, new kitchen, it will all cost money.

I could sit around and stress about it. I did that for part of today. The thing is, when you are tearing away drywall and punching holes in the walls you tend to let some of that frustration and stress go. I’m not too worried about the cost of the renovations. Eliz has Continue reading “Love the Struggle”

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Social Norms

What am I going to write about? Sometimes while I write I surprise myself with the ending. Somehow, I tie it all together. Or maybe I just think I do a good job of it. That’s enough for me right now.

We saw our place for the first time as the homeowners. My parents and sister saw it for the first time too. I could see the pride my dad had for me. It was a great feeling. Eliz was measuring everything like crazy and making her plans. She’s been working with her mom to put together a brand-new floor-plan. I’ve seen her work in the past and I can’t wait to see how she is planning to utilize all the space we have now.

I seriously have nowhere to go with this. At times, I think, this is a great thing to blog about but when I sit down to write, it doesn’t come to mind. I don’t wait for it either. I think if I were to just sit here and wait it wouldn’t be a pleasurable experience. I don’t want to think too much about what I’m writing. I don’t really have anyone proofread my work. I simply look out for the obvious spelling mistakes. Also, Word is helpful enough with the red and blue lines now that point out spelling and grammatical errors, respectively.

If I wanted to, I know I could ask a friend of mine to help me proofread. He has a great way with words. I aspire to be at that level. The more I read the wider my vocabulary gets. However, I feel pretentious Continue reading “Social Norms”

Bought a House

Holy crap we bought a house.

I can’t believe how it all went down. It’s a really big detached house. I’ve never lived in a place like this. A house like this was in my long-term plans. However, after listening to Eliz talk about her renovation plans, and seeing her Pinterest pins, I think this could become that dream house over time.

In Tools of Titans, one of the guests said we should ask ourselves why we can’t accomplish our 5 year goals in 6 months. I don’t know if I said to myself that buying a house like this would be possible in such a short amount of time, but clearly it is. This doesn’t mean everyone of us with long term goals can achieve it in a fraction of the time, but there is no harm in asking yourself why you can’t do it sooner.

It feels great. A weight off our shoulders. It’s a big step in our lives. I want to enjoy the moment. Thing is, now there is a mortgage to think about. House repairs that need to be completed. These things take time and money, but I’m not worried at all.

I know that we are going to get through the minor things that need to be done. I was happy to see what Eliz had in mind for the laundry/mud room in the new house. It was exciting to envision how we can put in the work to make the house our home. I’m really looking forward to it.

This week has been busy. Obviously, we Continue reading “Bought a House”

Change

The other day I spoke to my friend. I don’t see him often. He lives an hour away from where I am. He began talking about my blog. I wasn’t even aware he was reading it. He mentioned a post before but I didn’t know he was following my posts.

I’m always nervous when discussing the blog. A lot of what I put out on here is personal. It makes me feel exposed. I feel as if I’m out of my comfort zone. Discussing the blog in person really takes me out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know what he was going to say. I didn’t think he would be malicious or say anything negative but I still felt nervous.

He said my writing has inspired him to write.

That may be the biggest compliment I’ve received regarding my posts. Everyone I’ve talked to mentions they like the realness in my posts. The authenticity. I’m very excited to hear that my posts may inspire someone to do something for themselves. Whether that’s writing. Starting their own business. Having that conversation that they’re afraid to have. If I can be of the slightest help then I feel as if this blog is already rewarding.

Yesterday was Eliz’s birthday. We all went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was a great movie. I felt as if I could really relate to the Beast. I don’t think I was ever intentionally unkind. It’s just I think about how much I’ve grown in the past few months. I think about the younger version of me. How much I’ve changed. Eliz helped me in it immensely. Taught me many lessons.

My Facebook friend list is small. My Twitter is the same. That’s where I’ve been sharing my posts because I was comfortable with people on those lists reading my blogs. Yesterday, for the first time, Continue reading “Change”

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.

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.

 

 

Teenage Mehmet

Today was a busy day. Starting to feel the wrath of overseeing so many clients and at the same time hunting down prospects.

I like it.

Also went shopping. I needed jeans. I got a sweet pair. Looks great.

I used to hate shopping. With a passion. Maybe because I never wanted to get anything extravagant because money was tight. Even though my parents would never show that to us. I guess as kids we have more intuition than we think. My parents never said we couldn’t have something because of the price. Especially when it came to essentials like clothing.

I’m not saying we could pick anything in the Gucci store. I’m just saying if I wanted a nice pair of jeans my mom didn’t hesitate to get it for me.

Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit and I was just a lazy kid. I didn’t want to go shopping. Always put my mom in a difficult predicament. She knew I needed new clothes. She knew I hated shopping. So she would get clothes for me and I would get upset.

The nerve of young me. I oughta smack myself. This woman goes out. Thinks of me enough to buy me clothes. Brings it home for me to try it on. Then I get mad because she didn’t get what I want?

Eliz says I was raised spoiled and it’s examples like this that makes my argument that I wasn’t, weak.

Yet my mom would do that often. She’d get me stuff. She may even think to herself “He wouldn’t like this” or “Yeah, I think he’ll like this one”. I never considered any of those things. Teenage Mehmet. Thinks he is the shit. Too lazy to go shopping. Not to lazy to get mad at his mom for grabbing him something he doesn’t like.

I’m really making myself look like an ass here but now that I think about it, I just want to go hug my mom. How did she put up with me?

I guess that’s just what moms do. Or at least that’s what my mom did. Having support from loved ones is so important. It shouldn’t be taken for granted yet I always did. At times I still take it for granted.

I read Seneca’s letter to his mom when he was in exile. Incredible read. The insight that he had on his mom’s life was enlightening. I don’t think I know my mom as well as Seneca knew his. I feel I will get to know her more now that I realize that. I will take the time to do that. I don’t remember if I heard this in a movie or read it somewhere but it was something like “We don’t really know our parents”.

Isn’t that so true?

We come into the world and only think about ourselves. We’ll listen to stories our parents tell us but I don’t think we really know who our parents really were before we came along. We just knew them as the parents version of themselves. We never got to meet the young, single version of our parents. The ones trying to navigate through life. They ones that didn’t have to worry about Mehmet crying because he shit himself.

What were their dreams? Their aspirations?

My parents always tell me they are happy. I believe they are. Lately, since I’ve become more ambitious I’ve been trying to become an inspiration for everyone around me. Including my parents. I don’t think we ever truly stop trying to impress our parents or stop trying to make them proud.

Maybe that’s a fault on it’s own. I think parents always want the best for their children and sometimes that can translate to expectations.

I’ve learned that maybe I won’t meet the expectations my parents may or may not have for me. It’s not like they sit me down and tell me we’ll be proud of you if you make this much money. They aren’t like that. I think as long as I’m happy they’re happy.

This can also be tricky. What is happiness for my parents may not be happiness for me. My dad spent most of his life working. He still works. I am extremely proud of him for that and I don’t think I show it nearly as much as I should.

He had a family and he made sure he did everything he could to provide for my sister and me. He worked long hours. Multiple jobs at a time so my mom can stay home with us when we were younger. In NY he would work during the day then sleep on the train while on his way to his other job to pump gas. I don’t know if I could do that. He did. He did it so I wouldn’t have to. He made those sacrifices so I could go to school. Finish university. Have an easier life than his. He granted me opportunities that maybe he only dreamed of. Maybe those were his dreams. I may be living my dad’s dreams. I don’t know. I’ll have to ask him. I look forward to that conversation. Maybe I’ll have it this weekend over some Raki.

It’s because of my parents that I am able to dream bigger. The sacrifices they made brought me to this position. I understand very clearly now it’s time for me to take the baton and run with it.

I may not be able to do exactly what they want but that may be okay. They brought me to the place I am now. On the verge of huge changes. “2017 is the year of implementation”. This year we are going to get things done. Planning phases are complete.

It’s all about doing this year. That’s why I am so adamant about my online store, Invictus Beard. I’ve been talking about starting my own business for a long time. Now I get to start one that I can work on after regular work hours. Doesn’t take up too much of my time and if I can accomplish what I envision then the process will be automated. I’m always thinking about time. How can I get technology to do the work and free up my time?

That’s my ultimate goal. I think that is the same dream my dad has. Have the time to be able to do the things I enjoy. He loves us so much. I can tell just by the way he looks at me. He is so proud of me and he never has to say it. I feel it when he looks at me and his mind wanders off. Then he’ll tell me “I just remembered when you were just 6 years old…” or something along those lines. Maybe he is living out one of his dreams. The dream to raise great kids. That’s not a compliment to my sister or myself but it is a compliment to my parents. They were able to do so much for us that we started life off ahead of most. It’s precisely these reasons why I feel the need to continually grow. Spiritually, mentally, and yes, financially. I want the freedom that only money can buy and I want it while not paying for it with time. That’s my dream.