Listen

My routine has gone out the window. In the past few months, we’ve gone through so many changes it’s hard to keep track.

In March, we began preparing the sale of the house. A lot goes into that process. Clean up. Painting. Fixing the lighting. Getting the house in tip top shape for the buyers. Once we decided to sell, simultaneously, we began searching for a house. That also takes up a lot of time. Research, going to look at places, putting in bids, losing, starting all over again.

That all finished near the end of April, I think. Then we moved out of the house at the end of April. For two months, my entire routine was gone. Then we Continue reading “Listen”

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Transform

We have the power to completely reinvent ourselves. The mind is more capable than we give it credit for.

So many things on my mind. I’ve had many moments in the past few days where I thought this would be great to include in the blog. One of the instances is louder in my mind than any other right now.

I never have good opening lines. It takes me time to warm up while I’m writing. To get into the mood of writing. I feel my posts end well. I love with finishing lines. The conclusion should be strong.

I wanted to start this post in a certain way but the pressure I’m putting on myself isn’t allowing me to write. I’m removing that pressure and instead simply going to start typing. Here goes.

The other night we were sitting around the dinner table. Another one of those nights where we sat at the dinner table for 3-4 hours. Eliz is out of town with her mom. We invited her dad over for dinner. Had a few drinks and a great meal. Then as we started to talk one story my mom told was eye opening.

Here’s something I never really thought about. My cousins came here when they were younger than I was. One was born in Canada. The other was 2 and the oldest was 5 or 6. Schools sometimes have “Grandparents’ Days.” It’s exactly as it sounds. A day to invite your grandparents into school with you. Refugee kids usually don’t Continue reading “Transform”

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.

 

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.

25 and counting

I think I’ve decided what I want out of this blog.

I blogged a few years ago for a few weeks. I was totally fake. I’ve deleted all of those posts now. I blogged about technology and different products. I had this idea in my mind that if I blogged about technology then maybe I’ll get a following and it would lead to more sales for bazinga and/or I’d get sent free tech stuff. Well, that lasted less than a month. I couldn’t continue with it anymore because I just was not that interested. I was trying to be someone I’m not. I couldn’t keep it up.

Now, I’m just writing. Simply spewing my thoughts into a wordpress blog. I don’t hope to get anything out of this now. I’m just enjoying writing. Putting out some real thoughts. I guess this is what they meant when they said “putting yourself out there”. That may be a cliché.

Well, it’s what I’m doing now. Being myself when I write. 25 year old. ‘Normal’ 25 year old.

I guess I’m normal but I hope not. It’s funny how we want to fit in so much during our childhood years that we get good at fitting in. I don’t want to fit in anymore. I find myself challenging the status quo. Why should I get stuck in traffic everyday? Why should I buy a house I can’t afford to be handcuffed to a mortgage? Why should I eat meat?

I’m 25.

26 in March. It’s not too far away. Friend of mine did something and I jokingly said “You’re closer to 30 than 20. Grow up”. I said it jokingly, but damn. It’s true.

We are growing up and sometimes we may not realize it.

When I first started at my job people were so shocked when they heard I was 22.

“Only 22? Wow good for you.” Now I’m 25 and I hear that less and less.

I didn’t feel much different. I mean it’s only 3 years. Am I supposed to feel completely different? Reading has helped me realize, yes, I should feel different.

I read something like “If you are the same person you were 3 months ago, then what have you been doing for 3 months?”

Holy shit. This guy is talking about 3 months. I’m here saying I don’t feel any different after 3 years.

I’m starting to take a cold, hard look at myself. At my life. I have this vision of my life as a sailboat. I think it came to me from something my dad once said. You can let the current take you anywhere or you can get behind the wheel and go places you’ve always wanted to go.

There are big changes in the near future for me. My fiancé and I have made some decisions that I won’t share here just yet. Still have to tell my family and friends first. Probably, the only people reading this blog right now but I think I should tell them in person.

I realized before making these decisions that it’s great to just step away from things and really concentrate on what I want. Start With Why. I haven’t read this book yet but from what I’ve heard about it, I think I get the gist of it.

I asked myself why about a lot of things lately. One thing that has changed significantly for me is how infrequently I watch sports now.

I was a fanatic. I couldn’t look away. This may be okay for some people but I have too many teams. I watched Galatasaray games. 90 minutes twice a week and if they lost my entire mood changed. I would snap at my family. I would get mad for something incredibly insignificant.

I watched NBA. Raptors games. GSW games. Cavs games. Whatever was on. Sit there and watch. 2-3 hours a night.

Football. I’d watch the Giants every week. 3 hours every Sunday.

I’d watch other Turkish League games. 90 minutes a game.

Barcelona games. 90 minutes twice a week for that too.

If nothing else was on I’d watch tennis. I’ve never played tennis in my life but I’d watch. 2-3 hours a game.

Look at all this time. Wasted.

That’s right, wasted. On what? Why did I watch so intently?

As if I was going to excel somehow by just watching sports. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch, but not nearly as much as I used to. Now, if my team loses, then oh well. I’m not going to let it affect my mood. Life is way too short.

These guys are making their millions whether I’m upset after they lose or not. It took me a long time to realize this but that’s the reality of the situation.

What I was trying to say is I’ve decided that this blog will be about my life. It will be about a 25 year old kid trying to make it through everyday struggles.

I have a wife-to-be. I have a Doberman puppy, Niko. I have family. I have friends. I’m marrying into another family. I own a home with my financée.

Thinking about all of these things can weigh heavy on me. I grind my teeth at night. Especially when I’m stressed. I didn’t know about this until my dentist said I’ve already deteriorated some of my teeth.

That’s no way to live. I shouldn’t be so stressed about my life that I’m waking up with headaches because I grind my teeth all night long due to stress.

I’m starting to take a hold of the wheel. I’m going to start steering towards things that make me happy.

This is what I’ll write about. As much as I can. My life. My trials and tribulations. My decisions. I’m not perfect. Not even close. I’m learning as I go, as I think we all are. Hopefully, if you’re are reading this my experiences can help you too and we can all learn together.

 

 

Finally

I’m finally doing it. I think.

I read 4 Hour WorkWeek almost 2 years ago. I told myself I would start something for myself. I didn’t say I would quit my day job. I like my job. Although, it’s getting pretty rough nowadays. Good thing about it is I get to work from home. Few of my friends have been asking what’s holding me back from starting my own thing?

I don’t really have an excuse. I don’t get stuck in traffic every night. I don’t have kids. Nothing is consuming my time outside of work hours. So why haven’t I started something?

I didn’t know where to start. I kept putting it off. Day after day.

“I’ll do something tomorrow.”

“What should I do? ”

“How would I do it?”

“What if I fail?”

“What if I lose money on it?”

“It’s okay, you don’t have too many responsibilities yet. I’ll be okay. Alright, I’ll start something tomorrow.”

Repeat.

This went on for about a year or so.

Then I began to realize that I am wasting my time. Realizing is different than actually doing something about it. I’d say to myself:

“I know I shouldn’t be watching re-runs of Friends. Do something. Start something.”

“I know I shouldn’t start a new show on Netflix. I should be starting a business. Doing something.”

“I know sports aren’t that important. But the Raps are facing the Cavs. I should be doing something. Starting something. I’ll just start tomorrow!”

Then this went on for about a year or so.

Frustrating.

Then I went to lunch with someone I admire. A client. Young guy that started his own business. He’s making great money. Sitting a few rows behind the Raps bench. Season tickets.

During this time I was suffering a concussion. Worst thing ever. Can’t watch TV. Can’t read. Can’t listen to music. Can’t be out in too much light. Brain chemistry is messed up. It’s not a great place to be.

I decided to listen to Tim Ferris’ podcast. He interviews extraordinary people. I enjoyed the questions he would ask. “What’s your morning routine?”, “What’s your favourite book?”, “What’s the last book you gave as a present?”.

Back to my lunch. Having been hearing these questions, I asked if he likes to read. He told me he read Think and Grow Rich. Suggested I read it too.

I did. It’s amazing.

It’s amazing because it made me realize one thing. I am the only thing holding myself back from starting something for myself.

So I decided to start something. Really start a business.

I began to re-read 4HWW. There’s a portion that suggests one contact a person that has found success in what one is trying to achieve.

I want to start an online store. I know this because I created a goal while reading T&GR. It’s simple really. Make a lot of money, and have a lot of time to do things I love.

So I decided to look for successful online stores.

I came across Steve Chou. This guy has started a course about selling products online. He has done it. His wife quit her job so they can do it together. So I signed up. It’s been pretty great so far.

We’ll see how it all turns out.