Real

J. Cole is my favourite artist. He has been for 7 years now. I always said if I could rap, I would say what he says. I just watched an Instagram video of him talking about how he approaches material items. I remember watching the interview where he said, “Don’t place your value on things…Love is real”.

I believe this unequivocally.

Today, my friends were talking about some guy that made money from selling mattresses. Supposedly, the guy spent nearly $200,000 in Vegas one weekend. – I’m not impressed.

I’m not saying he should do something else with his money. I’m simply saying that’s not something I am striving to do. I am working on making money. Lots of money. More money than I’ve ever seen. My goal with that money isn’t to spend it on material items. I know that won’t make me happy. So I think about what I’ll do with my money once I have it.

I’m going to get that big house. Not so I can tell people I have a big house. I’ll get the big house to have gatherings with my friends, family, and their kids. A place everyone can come to be together. What’s the point of a big house if I can’t enjoy it with my loved ones?

I look at material things as if they are all toys. At the end of the day that’s what they are to me. Toys. I’ve never had much fun playing with toys alone. I could play PS4 by myself and grow bored quickly. If I play with my friends I can play for hours. The PS4 is a means to an end. The point is to enjoy my time with my friends. I don’t need the console. It’s just nice to have.

I’m going to start investing more time into the relationships I want to blossom. To do this, I first needed to subtract relationships that were eating up all my time. Negative people will do that. I have spent too much time on them. Trying to help. Trying to change their point of view. Trying to have a relationship. Why? All wasted effort.

The more I think about my time the more I think about the people I want to spend it with. I needed the time that I was wasting. I need that time for people that deserve it.

Since I’ve started writing this blog I feel closer to each of my friends. I feel closer to my family. My future in-laws. I’m vulnerable when I write this. I think people understand it. The other day my friend mentioned family that he stays away from because they don’t have any ambition. He said he would be working at McDonalds if he stayed close to them. He is doing very well for himself. In fact, he mentioned the other day that he reached out to someone and simply asked for advice. Maybe I had something to do with it. Doesn’t matter. I liked hearing that he did it.

Few days ago, someone said Continue reading “Real”

Toxic

Lots have happened since my last blog. Lots of good.

I just have this one line in my head about how I would start my next blog. It was something like…

Eliz went to a “Tupperware Party”.

That’s a pretty good line I think. I’m starting it with that…

Eliz went to a “Tupperware Party”. You may know what I’m talking about. It’s when a bunch of people, predominately women, get together and one woman sells something.

In this case it was chemical free cleaning supplies.

We’ve kind of been on this ‘hippy’ road with Eliz. Becoming vegetarian. Meditating. Doing yoga. All these things that are, for lack of a better word, frowned upon. Not as if people say it’s bad to do it. I just mean people make fun of it. My friends make fun of me for it. I don’t mind. Some people may not understand our life choices. That’s okay. Some may disagree with it. That’s even better. We can talk about it. I can learn something from people that disagree with me. I think that way now. More than I used to.

Anyway, she went to this Tupperware party. She brought back a few items. Small things that don’t require chemicals to clean with. It makes sense when you think about it. We use so many chemicals to clean our floors. Our clothes. Our plates. I can’t imagine all of those chemicals are good for me. Good for the environment. Using less may be a great thing.

Ridding ourselves of toxic things. Toxic things disguised as helpful. Toxic things disguised as cleansing.

Toxic.

As we usually do, let’s dig deeper.

Let’s talk about other toxic things disguised among us. For instance, McDonald’s salads. Marketed as being good for you but once you add that dressing, it equates to more calories than a BigMac. I know what my friends are thinking. How could a vegetarian be speaking poorly of salads and, in a way, choosing the BigMac? I’m simply showing how there are many things out there that are presented as being great for us, when in fact, they are poison.

I felt I needed another example before sharing what I really wanted to because I want to show that I’m noticing these things.

Toxic things disguised.

Toxicity disguised.

It’s more evident to me now, more than ever, that this applies to people. It applies unreservedly. It applies unequivocally.

I had, up until a few days ago, people in my life that are toxic. Toxic disguised as caring. Disguised as supportive. Disguised as loving. Disguised as family. Toxic, nonetheless.

It was incredibly difficult for me to realize it. Took me a long time. All the signs were there. I ignored the signs. They are family after all. Swept it under the rug. Told myself it’s okay. It’s normal. I became accustomed to telling myself that. I became conditioned. I conditioned myself.

Conditioned myself to think their poison was just a misunderstanding. Conditioned myself to think it was okay for my mom to admit fault when she was being wronged. Conditioned myself to hide happy milestones in my life to avoid ridicule from these people. These poisonous people.

My mom and sister did too.

We kept thinking it’s normal for people around us to act this way. We were all so conditioned that the most obvious signs were being ignored.

Two days ago something happened that we couldn’t ignore anymore. My mom hasn’t been feeling well. As I’ve mentioned before my sister is pregnant. Toxic people came to my house and verbally attacked them. Attacked my mom when she’s been feeling ill. Attacked my sister when she is pregnant. What if something happened to my unborn nephew? What if something happened to my mom?

I have been approaching tough situations with the ideology that I can say, “Good…”. This is one where I said “Great!”

I’m glad it happened. Yeah. Glad.

We needed it. We all needed to see something we couldn’t ignore anymore. It took us too long. Entirely too long. Years too long. We should’ve removed ourselves from the maliciousness long ago.

It’s very difficult for me to realize something when I’m in the middle of it. Up until a month ago, I used to watch a lot of Turkish soccer. There seems to be an argument or fight in every match. The referee always does the same thing. He completely removes himself from the situation. He watches it from a distance. He isn’t in there breaking it up. He watches it all unfold.

I was in the middle of it. I didn’t realize what was happening. I’m glad there are people around me that began telling me these things aren’t normal. The referees. As soon as I began to realize it, I began to understand the malice in their actions.

These toxic people are what we call haters. We all have haters. I am happy when my friends are happy. I’m happy when my family is happy. Seems simple to me. It’s actually the simplest thing to me. When others smile. I smile too. Haters don’t. Haters aren’t happy when I’m happy. I couldn’t comprehend this. I couldn’t understand it. How? How can someone not be happy for me when things are going well? I am so happy for them when things are going their way. Not everyone is like me. Not everyone is like that. I used to think I knew what a hater was. I don’t think I knew entirely. I am positive I know what a hater is now.

I didn’t expect it from family. Especially, the same people I grew up along. I’m so grateful that I found out when I did. I’m nearly 26. Less than a week away. 25 has been a great year. Amazing year. This is the best birthday gift for me. Ridding myself of vile people.

I deserve happiness. My sister deserves happiness. My mom deserves happiness. These people actively tried to prevent our happiness. Continually. For years. During big moments in my life. During big moments in my sister and mom’s lives. Not anymore. That’s why I’m so thankful.

I don’t ever have to worry about these people ruining my nephews birth. Ruining his first birthday. Ruining moments in my life. My children’s lives. My wedding.

I may have pitied them. I may have felt pity towards them. I don’t. I ask myself the same questions I asked earlier. What if something happened to my unborn nephew? What if something happened to my sister? My mom? There isn’t any pity. Remorse. There is nothing. For this, I am immensely grateful.

I’m on my journey. I’m on my path.

The other day, my supplier sent me pictures of what my packaged product for Invictus Beard will look. I’m doing it. I’m moving up in my career. I’m doing it. I have been writing this blog. I’m doing it. Eliz and I are selling our house. We’re doing it.  I’m doing these things. I’m on my path. My journey to the top has begun. I don’t have room for toxic people. I don’t have room for haters. I don’t have room for people that are preventing my happiness.

The older I get, the wiser I become. The more books I read, the more I can relate it to my own life. I’m excited. If I was able to get to this point in my life with these haters trying to block my path, imagine where I’m going to be in the next 25 years. I can imagine it. The view is great.

Once again, I must show my appreciation for my fiancé. My immediate family. My sister, mom and dad. My friends. Again, it is with their love and support that I come to realize that these other people are toxic. I don’t have the energy to spend on them anymore. I’d rather spend it on my loved ones. They deserve my energy. My love. I choose to share my happiness with my family and friends. Happiness. They deserve it. We deserve it. I deserve it.

 

Non-Perfectionist

Three times now I’ve started writing and deleted everything I’ve written. This time I won’t do it. Whatever hits the page is staying on.

Well, except the portion that I proofread.

I’m not good at proofreading. Nearly every time I’ve written a blog I’ve received a message about a typo or a grammatical error. My sister is convinced I don’t proofread.

I do. I’m just not great at it. I think I’m getting better at it. It doesn’t matter much to me. I’m not doing this to sound smart. I’m just writing to let some emotions go and share my thoughts with my loved ones. For whatever reason this blog has become that medium for me.

Point is, with or without grammatical errors, I’m getting my message across. People are enjoying my posts. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting.

I’m saying it doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not a perfectionist. Not at all. I do my best. I do what I can. I understand it’s not going to be perfect. Maybe this is a weakness. Maybe it’s a strength.

I figure if I get 90% of it right then the last 10% is going to work itself out. We are looking at houses. None of them are perfect. Unless we build our own it’s not going to be perfect. Even then I doubt it will be 100% what we want. It’s not going to be perfect. I accept this. I’m okay with it.

The way I look at it, if I can be happy with it, if I can be happy with my effort, then I’m happy. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get that perfect house. That may not come along for another year of searching for houses. I don’t have the time for that. Or the patience.

Therefore, it’s a strength. I could proofread my work. Proofread it again. Then I may decide to change something. Then change something else. By the end of it the point I was trying to make, in my moment of writing like a mad-man, may change. That’s not the point of this blog. It’s not what I’m trying to do.

I make mistakes. We all do. It’s better to accept it. Otherwise, I may fixate on something. Continually think about it. Concentrate on that 10%. If I do that, I’ll never enjoy the other 90%.

This goes for my life in general. I can always think about the thing that is not perfect. The gym I go to has a sauna in the men’s change room and the steam room in the women’s change room. I can fixate on that. I can decide to move to another gym. Alternatively, I can accept the fact that I won’t get to use the steam room. It’s not a great system but it isn’t in my control. I’ll accept it and continue to go to the gym where I continually make new friends and have my best friends there.

That’s a very basic example. It popped into my head. It could be deeper. Think about the 10% of your life that may not be perfect. How often do you concentrate on that?

I do this all the time. Despite not being a perfectionist. I can’t even imagine how it is for people that fixate on small things. I think about the 10% of my life that isn’t exactly as I want. The situation that I can’t control. I think about how I can approach it differently. I think about what I can do to make it better. I try. I try again. It doesn’t help. It’s not in my control. Even when I understand this, I still can’t let it go. It’s that 10%.

I’m trying to limit the amount of time I spend on those things that aren’t perfect. I’ve already accepted that my life will never be perfect. We all struggle. That’s a part of life. In fact, that may be one of the fundamentals of life. We need to struggle. We all go through things.

It doesn’t always work out. It’s not always in my favour. I accept it. I simply need to stop fixating on it. I need to stop thinking about it. That 10% is occupying too much of my time. Too much of my mind.

I’m not saying it’s all I think about. However, if I realize how valuable time is then I need to realize that even a minute, fixating on something I can’t control, is too much time.

I don’t know if I should write this next portion. It’s personal. I feel my hands starting to shake a bit thinking about writing it but it’s the one thing that is occupying my mind the most while I write this post.

I have a cousin we grew up with. We were all always together. Despite that I don’t know if we were ever close. I’m close to her brother. I don’t think that matters too much. Maybe it does. I don’t know. The thing is we were always on good terms. She was my little cousin. My sister and I always looked after her. We basically grew up together.

In the past year, she’s grown distant from us. I’ve been thinking about what I did. What my sister did. What Eliz did. I can’t think of anything. I’ve talked to my aunt about it. We’ve had conversations but it doesn’t seem to lead anywhere. I don’t think it’s up to me to do anything. I’ve done nothing wrong. She wronged me. She wronged my sister. She wronged Eliz.

Maybe she doesn’t care. Maybe she does. I don’t know. I fixate on it. For the better part of last year this was one of the reasons I used to grind my teeth at night. At the end of the day she’s family. That’s important to me. Family is important to me.

I don’t have any control of this situation anymore. I told her mom, my aunt, what needed to happen. I’m older than her. In Turkish culture that means something. I told her what needed to happen. It hasn’t happened. I think about it. Not as often as I used to but I still do. I don’t want to. It’s just that 10%.

I count my blessings. More often now than I ever used to. I understand that 90% of my life is amazing. I’m thankful. It’s these type of things. It’s this 10% that I need to learn to let go. I believe I’m getting better at it. I don’t grind my teeth. Well, at least, not nearly as often. That’s an improvement.

I know. I get it. There are people out there that are way worse off than me. I know. I see that too. That’s why I count my blessings. It’s just I can’t help but think about this. I’m not complaining. It is what it is.

I have things I can’t control that I wish I could. I’m not a perfectionist. I could always say, “That’s good enough.” I think this has helped me in my career. As a salesperson, you don’t always hear what you want. If I know I did all I could then it’s good enough for me. I can learn from it. I can feel this already helping me while preparing to launch Invictus Beard. Nothing is perfect when you are first starting out. How could it be? I’m learning everything new. I’m making mistakes. Learning as I go. I accept it. It’s a strength. I wish I could do this more often in my personal life. I wish I could do it when it came to family. Maybe one day.

‘Professionals’

I put so much trust in people. Maybe too much trust in people.

As a 25-year-old navigating through life, many things are changing in my life. Many things I don’t have control over. I’m okay with that and I know I need to rely on “specialists”. I need to rely on people that should know what they are talking about. The question is, why don’t they know what they are talking about?

Today I went to see a house and the real estate agent said something and I believed her. She mentioned how at my price range we couldn’t afford a detached house. We should be looking at townhouses. We believed it.

A few later later she sent me a list of houses that sold in my price range and there are at least 20 on the list that are detached homes.

Am I crazy? How can someone make this mistake?

She says something and then sends me an email with facts that are contradictory to what she said. Did she forget what she said? Did she think I wasn’t listening? Did she think I wouldn’t take her seriously?

We have access to information. We can find out a lot, about a lot. The thing with this situation is I didn’t even have to do my own research. She sent it to me. I’m baffled.

This isn’t a small decision. This a huge decision in my life. It’s going to be my first house. Our first home. The first one we buy. I’m paying a good chunk of money to a real estate agent for their ‘expertise’. That’s why we hire real estate agents, isn’t it?

This entire evening Eliz and I were doing math. Going back and forth about what we can get and what we want off her statement. We were feeling desperate. Then she sends us something that completely goes against what she said before.

Do I put too much trust in people? I think so. This is one of those weaknesses that you say you have in a job interview with that infamous ‘3 weaknesses’ question, but I actually think it may be a weakness of mine.

I want to see the good in people. I want to think that people aren’t out to betray each other. I want to believe people aren’t trying to take advantage of each other. Reality is, some people are doing just that. Taking advantage of people’s vulnerabilities.

This is a recent experience. It’s fresh in my mind. I wish it’s the only one I can think of but there are plenty more. For instance, we went to ask about a mortgage. Before we showed up they asked us to bring some documentation with us. Once we get there, they asked for other things. How are these ‘Mortgage Advisors’ suppose to advise me when they don’t even know the documentation they need. Now I have to go back on another day to bring them the proper documents? Is my time not as valuable as theirs? I won’t be going back there. No, thanks.

I’m making a lot of decisions right now that are going to affect me for years to come. I must be smart and I must do my research to ensure I choose the best options.

I blindly believe service people that are supposed to be professionals. They are supposed to be the experts. This is my fault. I get it. The consumer should do their own research. I’m realizing that more and more now.

There are many great service pros. Lots of people that take their job seriously and understand the effects of their actions. I have a financial advisor and he has been great. He’s always been helpful. Answers my questions. He understands that I am going to take his advice seriously.

At the end of the day there are a lot of people out there that you are better off staying away from. It’s easier to make those selections when it comes to real estate agents or mortgage advisors. I probably won’t use this real estate agent again. I won’t go back to that mortgage broker.

Now, let’s dig deeper.

Many of us have people in our lives that are the bad real estate agent. As I get wiser I’m starting to understand more clearly that not everyone has ambition. Not everyone is trying to do bigger and better. Not everyone is trying to move forward. Many are fine with where they are. With who they are.

There’s a running joke within my group of friends about how I had many close friends but now I don’t speak to them anymore. I think about it occasionally and I’ve come to realize that they didn’t have the passion I have. The drive I have. Maybe we simply grew apart. Maybe I was a bit harsher and I didn’t want to waste my time with them. In a way, it was my way of unconsciously surrounding myself with people that I can look to for ambition. I do this consciously now.

I mentioned that I deleted many of my contacts on social media. I’m glad I did. I’ve cut out a lot of ‘Friends’ that I wasn’t getting anything from.

The hard part is doing that to extended family. When I was younger and away from my family for 8 years I had this idea in my head about my family. I thought about my extended family often, but I didn’t really know them. I knew them through the stories my parents told. They didn’t tell us about the negatives. Only the encouraging stories.

As I visited my family more often I began to realize that I may never get along with some of them. This is more evident to me now more than ever. I think about my guest list for my wedding and I think about all the people I don’t want there.

How can I leave them out? It would be a huge argument. My parents would be in the middle of it. I don’t want to put them in that position. I also don’t want people at my wedding that don’t bring me happiness. In fact, I don’t want people in my life that don’t bring me happiness.

I have family members that I grew up with that have hurt me. Hurt my family. My fiancé. Am I obligated to have them in my life because they’re family?

Why?

They’re negative people. They don’t care about how their actions affect people around them. Yet, I think about it. I lose sleep over it. Do they care? Maybe. Maybe not.

Maybe I did something wrong. I think about that too. It’s a hard pill to swallow to know that someone you grow up with turns their back on you without a reason. No fight. No argument. It’s puzzling.

I’m trying to let it go. I’m getting better at letting things go, but things like this still linger in my mind. Still pop into my head when I’m alone.

Surrounding myself with positive people. With people that have ambition has always helped me. It was my dad that told me something when I was about 11 or so. It was along the lines of “You are part of a group and that group is a part of you”. He was referencing the group of friends I had. I took that seriously. I still think about it. He wasn’t referencing my extended family, but I think it applies.

I continually try surrounding myself with positive people. Positive thoughts. It makes a real difference.

Busy, Busy

I read in Tools of Titans how some people are more productive when they listen to one song on repeat. The past few weeks I’ve tried this out and it has been working well for me.

I still have a few friends that aren’t reading my blog on a daily basis. I don’t mind it. They’re busy.

Busy.

I think this is the worst word and I hear it all the time.

“How’s everything? Busy?”

“Oh, yeah. Super busy.”

Why is that an indication of being successful?

Few weeks ago, I received a call from someone I hadn’t spoken to in a while and she asked the usual questions.

“How are you? Busy?”

I replied “No, not that busy.”

Her reply was interesting. She seemed to feel pity for me. Or some sort of sadness. Why?

Do I have to be busy to be successful? Is that what it means to be successful in 2017?

If that’s the case then I’d rather not be successful.

What do the most successful people desire?

Time. Time to themselves. Time with their families. Time with their kids. Their partners. Yet they’re always too busy.

I’ve stopped with this nonsense of saying I’m busy all the time. If you’re busy all the time then you’re probably horrible with your time. Or maybe you continue to put off the most important tasks and allow your time to be consumed by trivial activities.

I wanted to be busy. I wanted to be as busy as everyone I met. It seemed everyone I met at work events or conferences were always complaining about how busy they were. It was the beginning of my career. I would hear it all the time. I’m super busy. I’ve been so busy lately. Jam packed. Busy, busy. So busy.

Few years ago, I wanted to be that busy. Now? That’s the thing I fear most.

I don’t want to be too busy for the important things. Whatever that is to you. To me, the most important things are spending time with my loved ones. Reading. Meditating. Going to the gym. Sharing a laugh. When did it become the norm to be too busy to do these things?

Today, I was talking to my sister and she mentioned how in her previous job she disagreed with her employer because they didn’t allow a vacation day within the first year. She lives in another part of the world. She took a day anyway. She wanted to go away with her friends. She said, “When else was I going to have this opportunity?”

I’m so proud of her for that. I know she enjoyed that trip. It was one day but she used that day for herself. She knew she could get back to work on the next day and catch up. Who is so busy that they can’t catch up within a few days after missing a day?

We’ve created this culture where we must be busy.

Last summer I drove through northern France. Eliz and I stayed in Troyes. It was a beautiful, quaint city. I was shocked to see between 2-4 pm everywhere is closed. The entire downtown core was closed. Restaurants. Retail stores. It was all closed. This isn’t exclusive to Troyes. Many parts of Europe have this practice.

We look at that and think how could they do that? That’s so bad for the economy. How can they maintain with that kind of nonsense?

Well, I think they are doing it right. They are allowing people to go home. Have lunch with their family. Pet their dogs. Have a nap. Read a book. Run errands. Whatever it is. Imagine having 2 hours every afternoon to yourself. Do with that time what you will. Can you think of things you would do?

I can.

My entire life at this point is revolving around being able to free myself from the daily grind. I believe I’m laying the foundation. I like the way Troyes is doing it. However, I don’t want to settle for the afternoon. I want to free my time to do what I want. Day in and day out.

Today I met with a retired man that does my taxes. The more he spoke about his career and the path he took, the more I realized how different my way of thinking is. Even when I speak to my parents or my in-laws I don’t think they believe me when I say I want to retire in 4 years.

I listened to a new album today. There’s an interlude in the album where the artist is speaking to his mom.  He says he feels as if he has already lived his life and regrets his decisions and this is his second chance.

It resonated with me because I think I have the same mentality. I feel like I’m already regretting decisions I haven’t made yet. This may not make sense. I don’t know that it makes complete sense to me yet.

It’s like when I think about my decisions I think about what future Mehmet would think of it. Would he approve? This exercise helps, but it’s far from an exact science.

I believe that if you put enough good into the world. If you truly want something, tell yourself you want it and go after it, then everything will be alright in the end. However, we can’t continue to hope that everything will turn out okay. Hope isn’t a goal. Hope isn’t a plan.

Realizing that my ‘one day’ may never come lights a fire in me every day. I think this may be the single most important lesson I’ve learned. The one thing, above everything else, that has allowed me to put procrastination in its place.

If every day you acknowledge the fact that your ‘one day’ may never come, you will see everything differently. You will act faster than ever before. Untimely deaths, horrible accidents, unexplainable incidents happen. They happen all the time. Why do we all think we are immune to them?

I feel as if I’m fighting every day. Fighting for that minute. Fighting for that time. I understand the importance of it now.

Too busy.

Maybe we need to feel that way. We need to make ourselves seem important. We need to make ourselves feel that we are too busy to pursue our dreams. Maybe we tell ourselves we are too busy so we don’t have to think about what we want.

Have you ever thought about it? Seriously sat down and thought about what you want? What you want out of life? I didn’t until I was 25. I just imagine what I could’ve accomplished if I was 15 when I did this.

In any case, I still hear people say I’m young. I don’t feel that way. I feel as if so much of my life has already passed. Did I live the past 25 years as well as I should have? Maybe. Maybe not.

I met a retired high school teacher and told him I read 7 Habits of highly Effective People and how it was so enlightening. I told him I wish I had read it earlier in my life and he pointed out that maybe I wasn’t ready for it. I’ve thought about that. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I wasn’t ready to truly comprehend the ideologies in the book. Maybe that’s the case for all the books I read. Maybe not. Doesn’t matter now.

They say you’re as old as you feel. I’m 25. How are 25 year olds supposed to feel?  I feel like a 50-year-old. Maybe that’s a good thing.

A Cold Shower

I never think of the Title first then start writing. I don’t know if this is the correct way to do things. I just begin writing, most of the time without a clue of where I’m headed. Usually, I’ll just pick the title afterwards based on something I’ve written.

I take cold showers now. I had read an article a few months back that mentioned the advantages of taking cold showers. So I began slowly making my showers colder. Now, I’m at a place where the entire time the water is cold. I still haven’t reached the capability of having only cold water on. Now, let’s be clear, cold water in Canada is different than cold water in Dubai.

In my trip to Dubai I only ever had the cold water running and I could’ve been in the water for hours. Then I came back to Canada, a brave soul. I tried it here and was quickly reminded how cold a Canadian shower can get.

My mornings are becoming more of a routine and it starts with journaling. Then gym. Sauna. Finished off with a cold shower. I try to read aloud my goals to myself too. And I definitely need to start working meditation back into the routine. Nonetheless, whenever I follow this routine I am notably more productive. Also, I feel significantly more energetic.

Maybe it’s the cold shower that does it. Trust me, after a 20 minute sauna, a cold shower will give anyone energy.

I told myself to try new things, and this is definitely one that has been paying off. I thought, taking cold showers is great and then I came across a name, Wim Hof.

This guy is incredible, he basically says he can control his immune system. He ran a full marathon in -20 degree Celsius wearing shorts and did the same in the desert without food or water.

I want to be able to do that some day. I know everyone says stuff like this but once I achieve financial freedom and have the ability to retire this is the kind of stuff I want to get into.

Hof says it’s all about meditation. That’s it. We all have the tools within us to be able to achieve such tremendous heights. Yet, we waste it away. We don’t think about the time we are wasting every day on incredibly frivolous things. These are the types of things I am striving to do once I reach my financial freedom.

I was able to slowly build up my cold water tolerance to a place that I’m quite proud of right now. It just took a few seconds here, a minute there during my regular showers to be able to achieve it. This is how I envision myself becoming successful in my career and in my online store.

Day by day. Slowly pushing myself to get better each day. Constantly pushing myself. An hour, 10 minutes, the entire morning, whatever it is. Simply getting better. That’s the goal. I believe the 9-5 is an extremely outdated system. How is it that I can do all my work from my laptop, anywhere there is Wifi, yet I have to go into an office from 9-5? How could it be that someone extremely efficient still has to work the same number of hours as someone that is idle?

Well, luckily, I don’t have to go to an office. This doesn’t mean I sit around and don’t get any work done. On the contrary, I’ll argue that I get more done working from home. There are fewer distractions here as long as I create a space to work from.

I can put on some music and just do what I need to get done. I can knock out so much work in 1-2 hour intervals and take breaks in between. Go for a walk with Niko or make myself something to eat. It serves a purpose. If I sit and try to work all day then I’d get less then. Try it yourself if you can. Interval working.

The emphasis is to always be productive and move forward. I really am beginning to understand that our time here is limited and I want to enjoy it all. At the same time I am beginning to understand what gives me true joy.

What brings me enjoyment? Well, knowing that I am able to transform myself. Knowing that I am bettering myself each day. Knowing that I am continually looking to improve and now I finally know how. Books.

Before smartphones I used to go to bathroom and sit there and think. I remember as a teenager I always used to ask myself how I can improve upon myself. What could I do to be a better basketball player? What could I do to be a better friend? What could I do to be a better person?

I would sit there and ponder these questions and hope to find answers in my own mind. I guess even that was a form of meditation. Sometimes I would find those answers within myself.

Not like in books though. Now, I read books written by people that have studied brilliant minds. I read letters written by Seneca. I read autobiographies of wealthy people. I read about 7 habits that are sure to make anyone more effective.

Books have the answers. Learning from someones experiences is the fastest way to growth. Reading makes me think unlike watching a movie. Oftentimes I face situations and just think what would Tim Ferris do? How would Stephen Convey react? How would Wim Hof handle this challenge?

Reading books has helped me finally answer those questions I used to ask myself while sitting on the toilet as a teenager. Each day I’m getting better. Each day I’m pushing forward, even if it is ever so slowly. Doesn’t matter because I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my goals. I feel as though I am reinventing myself like a snake shedding off his old skin. It’s all thanks to books.