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”

Struggle

It’s been too long since I’ve written. I keep meaning to write but get side tracked. Many things have happened since I last wrote. I received my first comments on the blog from someone I don’t personally know. It was an incredible feeling to know my experiences may have helped someone in their lives. I moved to Waterloo, to my in-laws house. Eliz left for Cyprus to book our wedding venue. I moved in back to Mississauga to my parents house for the next 3 weeks, until Eliz gets back. The condo we sold didn’t close. The buyers backed out and now the condo is back on the market. All of this in 6 days. It’s safe to say I’ve been ‘busy.’

I’m not going to make the “I was too busy” excuse. I’ve had my opportunity to write but I’ve spend the time doing something else. Talking to Eliz, hanging out with family, going to play basketball, sleeping. I needed to do all those things. It’s been a stressful couple of days. The house not closing was a curve ball.

While all of this is going on I think I remained relatively happy. I’ve been working hard on it. Catching myself when Continue reading “Struggle”

Turkish Bath Mitten

Let me give you the setting of this post. I just took a 30-minute hot bath. My legs were hurting today and I thought the heat would help. Worked like a charm. After the hot bath, I used a Turkish Bath Mitten to scrub dead skin off my body and took a freezing cold shower.

As I sit here, I’m wearing my swimming shorts and a tank top shirt. I’m ready for summer to arrive. Also,  I didn’t want the boys to feel constricted this late in the night. I say late but its 11:41 on Saturday night.

When the hell did I get so old?

Saturday night, and I’m here writing a blog. Not just that, I’m calling it ‘late’ in the night. It was only a few years ago where around this time we would call the Taxi to go out. Now that I say that I realize how old I am. When I was going out we didn’t Uber to the club. Uber didn’t exist 5 years ago. Don’t quote me on that, maybe it did, but I wasn’t aware of it.

Anyway, I’ve really been meaning to write. I can’t seem to make time for myself. I just told Eliz how important it is to make some time for yourself. Even if it is on Saturday night. I don’t know why I’ve been putting off writing. Maybe it’s for the same reason I’ve been putting off taking pictures for Invictus Beard. Telling myself “Now is not a good time.”

I go through phases in life. I’m either all in on something or I’m procrastinating. I’m realizing Continue reading “Turkish Bath Mitten”

Choices

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 Continue reading “Choices”

Karma

Pen to paper. Fingertips on the laptop. Still haven’t got the Dvorak Keyboard. Come on man.

I speak to myself. We all do. There’s a voice in your head reading this right now. How often do you listen to that voice? Really listen. That’s what meditation is for me. Listening to that voice. Not changing anything about the voice. It helps me understand who I am. I have faults. Many faults.

I don’t do anything maliciously. It’s never a zero-sum game for me. Every situation I’m faced with I approach with a win-win attitude. How can we both win? That’s how I approach every business deal. If I don’t win then I can’t make the deal. If the client doesn’t win it’s better not to do the deal. Bad salespeople will take advantage of the client. You may make a quick buck but it always catches up to you. A reputation takes years to build, but it could be lost in a moment. I’m still young. 26. I guess I have to write ‘fairly young’ now.

I’m going to make mistakes. I’m making mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. Maybe I’m too harsh with people that have wronged my family and me. I’m on the road to happiness. If you haven’t done anything to bring happiness to me then why do I need to keep you around? I’ve tried. I’ve given a chance. Another chance. When is it time to stop giving chances and understand that this will never be win-win?

This is the hardest thing to do when it comes to family. It may be even harder when Continue reading “Karma”

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.

 

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?