Discipline, Not Motivation

Time is just zooming by this year. I checked the stats page for WordPress and the last time I wrote a blog was 11 days ago. I don’t understand how it’s been that long but I will write more often.

Yesterday, I sat down and wrote out all the things that require my time. Examples include, work for Bazinga, renovating the house, Invictus Beard, this blog, going to the gym, spending time with family and friends, training Niko, and a few other things that I would like to accomplish. As I wrote out more and more things I was beginning to see what I had already known, I’ve taken on more than I could handle at this moment.

Below that list, I decided to place a list with the most important tasks. It’s a way to prioritize for myself. If I get the things on the latter list completed daily, I know I’ll be in a better position a month, a quarter or a year from now. The challenge is being disciplined enough to complete those tasks.

I’m going to take it easy on myself this time around. I have a tenancy to push to my maximum for a month or so, then begin to slow down and come to a complete halt. I did it with Invictus Beard. I did it with this blog. I did it with many things in the past. I don’t want to do that anymore so I’m taking a different approach.

I was a C student in university. In nearly all my classes Continue reading “Discipline, Not Motivation”

Excuses

This has been one of those times where I’ve started the blog and deleted everything I’ve writing a few times. This time, whatever hits the page is staying on.

It’s easier to write when I write every day. Only a few things would have happened that I really want to write about and I write about it. Now, it’s hard because it’s been so long since I’ve written something. Eliz came back. She booked nearly everything for the wedding. We will decide on some things together but that’s about it. If everything goes according to plan we should have the house this week. I’m looking forward to it but I’m also anxious. It’s a lot to think about. We went to visit it and there is a lot of work to be done. Things I never even thought about. For instance, I never had to cut grass before because I always lived in a condo. That’s one of the upsides of living in a condo.

Today was hard for me. I’m trying to list my products on Amazon and I’ve been struggling. Everything I try hasn’t worked. Now I need to wait again for approval before I can get the product listed. It feels like it’s taking forever. I may just be impatient. Maybe I’m just mad at myself for those nights that I procrastinated. Although, I don’t think that’s what it was. I don’t think I was procrastinating. Maybe I wasn’t prioritizing it ahead of everything else. I wanted to write. I wanted to spend time with family. I wanted to see friends. I wanted to sleep. Spent most of today on it and I don’t feel like I truly accomplished anything. It’s an overpowering feeling.

It would’ve have been nice to be able to say, at least I finished the listing, but I wasn’t able to complete it. I can only control what I can control. I’ve been sitting here like an upset, grumpy old man because of things I can’t control. I hate when I do that. Then I get more upset because I see that I’m acting that way and wishing I wasn’t. Then when I can’t change it right away I get even more frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle. All the while it’s affecting people’s moods around me.

I feel the need to mention a conversation I had with one of Eliz’s cousins few days ago. We went out to grab a beer and had a great conversation about business, ambition, relationships, Continue reading “Excuses”

Confidence

I never loiter anymore. It used to be one of my favourite past times. I don’t think I knew it at the time. I simply liked hanging out with my friends. It didn’t really matter where we are. I used to loiter on the front porch with friends in Brooklyn. I did it at parks in Hamilton. I would always hang out with friends outside the gym at university. This could go on for hours and oftentimes, it did.

I recall one time an acquaintance of mine asked if we had nothing better to do because we were just standing around “Wasting time.” I didn’t see it that way. Hanging out with friends, making jokes, talking about whatever, was not a waste of time in my opinion.

I miss it. Nowadays, all my friends are busy. Even though some of us live close to each other we see each other less and less. There are times we see each other at the gym but those are instances when we go to workout or play basketball. Since we are all working and have other commitments and responsibilities, we don’t just run into each other near the cafeteria and hang out for a few hours. We have to make time now.

It’s not always easy to make the time. Luckily, the past few days I was able to hang out with my two close friends individually. I had amazing conversations with both of them. I’m glad we were able to make time to talk. At the end of the one conversation my friend said Continue reading “Confidence”

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”

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.