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”

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Personal Space

Few things popped into my head today. Oh, I should write about this. Oh, that would be a good post.

I forgot both of those things.

I should be a better note taker. I use lists often now.

I forget things. Too many things to keep track of. I make lists. They’re very helpful. Todoist App is a game changer for me.

Ah yes!

Space! That was one of them.

Personal space.

Time to ourselves. We don’t get enough anymore. Mainly it’s our own fault. At least, for me that’s how it was.

Besides the obvious sports every night, I would spend entirely too much time on social media. Not being productive. Not thinking about anything about important. Simply scrolling.

Scroll.

Funny meme.

Scroll.

Basketball Highlight.

Scroll… scroll…scroll.

I’d look up and I’d wasted an hour of my time. Oftentimes even more than that.

I shut down my social media. Cold turkey. That didn’t work either. Now I felt disconnected. I wasn’t missing the endless memes and videos. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on in my family’s life in Turkey, or what my friends were up to. Granted, social media isn’t the place to actually see the truth in peoples lives. In any case, I felt like I was missing out.

I returned to social media but changed something. I deleted a lot of contacts. Over 700 on Facebook. Many on Instagram as well. I spend less than 10 minutes a day on both now. I can share pictures. I can see my family’s pictures. I feel connected yet I don’t feel consumed.

I think about my parents. They didn’t have these distractions. Let’s face it, unless we use it with extreme productivity, they’re distractions. Now, we go to the bathroom and we make sure to grab our phones. We don’t even think in there. Those moments of just looking up and around at our surroundings have disappeared.

If we are constantly looking at our phones. Constantly checking Instagram’s popular page. Life is passing us by. I would spend time on Instagram rather than dealing with a problem. It was the easiest way to procrastinate. It was easy to ‘pass time’ on social media than face my problems. It was an escape. An incredibly bad habit. I had to realize it, to kick it. Even now I find myself beginning to scroll. I make sure to stop myself.

I woke up today at 05:30. I never wake up this early. I did it because everyone is sleeping at 5:30. I could get up. Meditate. Read. Write. Think. Workout. Things I need to do for myself.

I felt great today. I need this time. I have a puppy. I have a fiancée. I have family. Friends. I love spending time with all of them, but at what cost?

We’re always pulled in all directions throughout the day. We need to have that time to be with ourselves, or else my brain goes 100mph as soon I get into bed. That’s when the stress starts to hit. That’s when I grind my teeth and wake up with a headache.

Time to myself is crucial. This is the way I grow. I read my goals aloud. A trick I picked up from Think and Grow Rich. Nearly every morning and some nights, I read my goals aloud to myself. I need to do this because I need to constantly be reminded of what is most important to me. I’m a forgetful person. If you ask me what I had for lunch 3 days ago I wouldn’t have any idea. Maybe you’re like me. If you forget your lunch you can forget other things. Your mind can become occupied with other things. It’s a great feeling to remind myself what I am working towards. It alters my actions throughout the day because I know why I am doing it. I know the end goal. I understand why I must complete that task. It’s certainly increased my productivity.  It all started with that time to myself.

I continually mention meditation but it is so helpful for me. Again, I need that time to do it. I can’t meditate when Niko is barking in my ear asking to go out. I am a firm believer that if we don’t train our minds then we can never truly appreciate the complexity of our mind.

Working out is another thing I need to do alone. I used to go with friends. They found ways to be productive with it but I would easily be distracted. I would go play basketball rather than workout. I would hang out with friends. Now that I work out alone I feel better.

I see this all the time. People that stop working out for a few weeks or months become less confident. I see it in their demeanour. Once they get back to it, they are happier. More confident. That’s how I feel when I work out. It’s a great feeling to know that if nothing else goes right that day, at least I did something to take care of my body. I need that time to myself.

At 25 my parents didn’t have to worry about all of this. Life simply wasn’t as fast paced. Call me an entitled millennial or Gen X or whatever term you want to use but that’s the truth.

When my dad went home from work at 25 that was it. Now, I could be eating dinner and receive an email. It doesn’t happen often to me but it does to many people my age. With the incredible pressures we face each day, it is more important than ever to reserve time for ourselves.

I’m not suggesting everyone wake up at 5:30 to meditate and write. Or, maybe, in a way I am. My point with this post is we all must treat ourselves better. It starts with us. If I treat myself well I can treat others well. To treat myself right, I need to make time for it. If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it too.

Option 2

I look forward to writing these blogs. I think about it throughout the day. What I will discuss. What will stick out most that happened throughout the day.

Today, I discussed the blog with my friends. They said it’s refreshing to read about someone’s journey, while they are still in it. At least that’s what I took from the conversation.

I told Eliz yesterday, this is the good old days we’ll look back on. A lot of things are changing in our lives. It’s extremely important to stop and appreciate it.

I watched The Office series and on the last episode one character says, “I wish you know when you’re in the good old days before they’re gone.”, or something along those lines.  It’s a powerful quote. I’m a futuristic person. I think about my future and what I want out of life. Sometimes this can be a hindrance.

Oftentimes, I forget to appreciate the daily grind. J. Cole is my favourite artist and he said, “There’s beauty in the struggle.”

I’m starting to understand these quotes more clearly.

The other night, I placed my first large order for beard oil to sell on Amazon and my online store, Invictus Beard. I felt an incredible rush when I clicked the button to purchase the order.

I don’t know what the outcome will be but it sure felt good to click that button. It felt good to Continue reading “Option 2”

Jasmine Tea

As I write this I am having a great day. I’m sitting in my in-laws place and they happen to be out of town. I’m not saying it’s great they aren’t here but it’s just nice to be alone with Eliz and Niko. We have roommates at our place and we are always visiting with people so it’s nice for it to be just us.  Eliz is sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace. Niko is sprawled out making sure to touch both of us and I’m on a recliner sipping Jasmine Green Tea that we bought during our trip to Bahrain.

This tea costs a bit of money. It was like $15 for a small bag. It’s the most expensive tea I’ve ever bought. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying this to show off. It’s just I never thought I would ever buy tea at this price. I’m Turkish. Tea is a big deal to us. Yet, we only know of one. Good old black tea. We steep it in Turkey of course. It’s pretty amazing how much tea Turkish people drink.

You have a guest over. Tea.

You go over to someones to quick to pick something up. Can’t leave without tea.

You go to the mechanic. Even there they offer you tea.

In fact, there is literally a job in Turkey, Çaycı, which translates to Tea Server. This is an actual profession. You could go to a jewellery store in Turkey and you’ll see the Çaycı pop his head in and out carrying tea. It’s actually pretty cool.

Why am I talking this much about tea?

Well, if it weren’t for Eliz I would’ve never bought this tea. I wouldn’t have even thought about getting it. Now, I drink a few cups a day. It tastes amazing and if relaxation came in liquid form this would be it.

As I sip the tea I realize how many other experiences I would have never had if it weren’t for Eliz. It’s quite outstanding. I’m more open to trying new things. People say it’s great to have habits and, depending on the habit, I would agree.

Habits could be negative or positive. It’s easier to fall into negative habits. You don’t need as much effort for them. I’m trying to make more positive habits. For instance, I’m trying to make a habit of trying something new. Doesn’t have to be everyday but definitely more often.

My schedule last few years went something like this. Wake up around 8:30. Quick breakfast then start work at 9. I did have long instances where I would wake up at 8 and actually meditate for 20 minutes before starting work. Then I would do what I needed for work and around 5 I would get to the gym. I’d play basketball until about 7.

When I got home, I’d have dinner then sit and watch a game until I slept.

I don’t think this is the right way to do things anymore. Nowadays I wake up earlier. I actually reserve time for reading. I haven’t been meditating as much as I like but I’m going to make time for that too. I’ve been thinking about my future and I just don’t want to fall into a rhythm where it’s the same thing day in and day out. That’s not living. In my eyes, that may actually be dying.

This doesn’t mean, go out and get yourself a small bag of $15 tea. I’m only suggesting that you take a look at yourself. Take a look at things that you simply aren’t doing that you want to do. This doesn’t have to be something enormous. Even something small like going ice skating. I remember Eliz and I went a few years ago. She tried to teach me. I learned how to skate, but I didn’t learn how to stop. It’s a great memory for me. It’s something so simple.

Trying new things should be a habit for everyone. I tell myself “Be First” in the mornings. Read this in Tools of Titans. What I took out of it was, be the first person to smile at someone walking by or the first one to strike up a conversation with a stranger. I’ve been doing this lately and it’s already had great ROI. I’m making a habit of it.

Thanks to Niko I’m making a habit of getting out and going on walks more. I’m starting to research parks. I never would have done that before. Canada has so much nature to offer and I never used even think of taking advantage of it. Well, I’m reinventing myself and going to parks and camping are things I’ll definitely be doing going forward.

I’m (what’s another word for cheap) good with money. When Eliz suggested we buy $15 tea the hair on my neck shot up like Niko’s does when he hears a knock at the door. I know for sure Mehmet a year ago would have put up a bigger fight. Now, I think, why not? If I actually achieve my goals then I don’t need to be worrying about spending this money. That’s how I am approaching decisions more and more.

This doesn’t mean just go out and spend money trying to find happiness. I don’t think you can find happiness that way. However, I also think being cheap and not spending any money because that’s all you ever think about isn’t a way to find happiness either. I get it, we should be responsible with money. Save, invest and all of that. I also think it is unwise to think we are taking any of this money with us. Is $15 worth an argument? Is it worth the regret of not having bought the tea and having a craving for it weeks later?

Money is interesting. Francis Bacon said “Money is a great servant but a bad master.” That’s a great quote. If I always make every single decision, even something as small as $10, as I often used to, with calculations and intensity then who is really the master?

I paid off my school loans in 18 months after my graduation day. Roughly $28,000. I went to war with my student loans. I was lucky enough to still be living at my parents and worked part time for 6 months then full time the subsequent year, all at the same company. I was on contract then hired.  I still think I did the right thing with that money. I didn’t want to be another person that complained about their student loans. I also didn’t want to have a monthly payment I needed to make. Maybe I could’ve done something different with that amount of money. The interest on a student loan from OSAP isn’t that much. I may have been better off using the money as a down payment on a house or something. I didn’t really know about interest rates. They never teach you that in school. Think about that for a second. They don’t teach you interest rates in school until maybe university. Interest rates and how credit cards make money should be taught in high school, before you even think about getting a credit card, but I digress.

Basically, I don’t want to be cheap anymore and I want to make a habit of trying new things. Maybe being in tune with nature is the best of both worlds. It doesn’t cost much to visit parks. Especially this year when Canada made all national parks free admission. My entire life I always thought about the implications of buying something as small as a coffee. I would think, if I buy a coffee and it costs approximately $3 with tax then over a year it would come to this much and over 5 years it will add up to this much and blah blah blah. Like, dude, if you want a coffee, just get one. Relax a bit. It’s not like I drink one everyday.

I’m not an expert on money and I’m not claiming to be. I’m saying there are things that we all do when we speak to ourselves. I was hard on myself for the way I used money and in some ways, maybe I let money be my master. I’ve said in my blogs before, I’m just trying to be easier on myself and this is a place that I think I can be kinder on myself about.

At the end of the day, whether it was $5, $15 or $50, that tea brought us happiness and every time I drink it I am reminded of that great day we went for a stroll with my sister and mom in Bahrain. That memory is worth a lot more than $15. If I decided to put up a fight I may have saved some money but I know I would’ve deprived Eliz of something she wanted and it may have caused a rift between us. Is that worth $15? Definitely not.

I’m looking within more and more each day to find out how I can be happier. It actually does take hard work to be happy and I’m willing to do it. Journaling in the morning. Having a great workout. Working on my online store. Pushing to new heights at my work. Blogging. Having intimate conversations with loved ones. I find these are all making me happier. I will do my best to continue to do each one.

Clichés

I finished Tools and Titans by Tim Ferris the other day. Holy crap. What a book. It’s action packed with life lessons by incredible people. I’ve already started re-reading it and tomorrow I’ll go pick up the most mentioned books. I’m a big fan of Tim Ferris. He walks the walk. Not enough people do that anymore. Do something, it’s gratifying. Stop talking about it and walk the walk. You’ll have more energy. You’ll be happier. I’ve been happier in the last few months after starting my online store, Invictus Beard.

I’ve already digressed.

The reason I mentioned ToT is because of a quote I recall about clichés. I’m recalling from memory here so bare with me but what I understood from the quote is “Don’t just push clichés aside.” Really meditate and think about them because they are incredible reminders. They’ve become clichés because they are true.

Let’s think about a common cliché for a moment. “Eat more vegetables”. Everyone says this. If you’re trying to get fit, no doubt you have said this to yourself, yet we push it aside. We don’t really think about it or follow through with it.

Full disclosure here: I am a vegetarian. It’s been 7 months now. Nonetheless, I think the cliché is valid because once I started to eat more vegetables I lost 15 pounds even though I was visiting the gym less. Efficient.

I’m Turkish and we love ourselves some ‘Ata Sozu’ (Turkish Proverbs). There is one for everything it seems. Obviously, the older generation that have grown up in Turkey know more than me but whenever they mention one I’m thinking “Holy crap, that’s so true.”

Since I’ve begun meditating I think deeper about these things. I’ve started to think about Turkey as a country compared to Canada, where I grew up, besides the 4 years I spent in Brooklyn (literally put the bit about Brooklyn in to annoy my friends).

Canada is a younger country. Turkey has a longer history. So think about this for a second. We’ve been told that stories always last throughout the years. In any culture it seems the grandparents tell stories and tales. Well, another quote from ToT “The good shit sticks”.

I think that’s why there are so many Turkish proverbs and clichés. It’s because these are some of the lessons that have been passed down that have become cliché.

Now, the cliché I really want to discuss. “Dream big”. It’s a cliché. It’s a big cliché.

Again, just think about this for a moment here. Dream big.

So simple.

If we continually tell ourselves, I will work for 40-45 years at a 9-5 and then retire when I’m 65 then guess what happens? That happens. You retire at 65 after years of being stuck in traffic, years of being stuck in the office. I think continually telling yourself something is your dream. It should become your goal.

Think and Grow Rich by Neopolian Hill literally asks the readers to come up with a goal. Think of a time frame to achieve it by and repeat it to yourself aloud. Every morning, every night.

The richest people in the world do it. Daymond John does it and he recommends Think and Grow Rich so that’s where I figure he got this idea from.

You get from life what you ask of it. This is more evident to me now than ever. I’m dreaming bigger. I’m asking for more.

I read T&GR 6 or so months ago and I’ve been doing this ever since. Reading my goals aloud to myself. Sure I miss a few mornings, a few nights, a few days but I always make sure to get back to it.

I’ve changed my goals as well. I now have two for family, short and long term. I have one for my financial future. I have one for my health. I have one for Invictus Beard. I have one for my career at Bazinga.

Dream Big. A cliché.

I’ve begun to do it. I don’t know if this cliché has been handed down from generation to generation. I don’t even know if it works yet but I definitely see a difference in my own attitude. I see a difference in the way I think, the way I carry myself, the way I envision my future.

I’m asking for more out of life now. Life is too short. We don’t realize how short it is until it’s too late. Maybe these thoughts are past my 25 years but I’m glad I’m having them now. I realize this great journey is going to come to an end. At one point – 100, 200, 1000 years from now – nothing of me will be left, has been eye opening.

I will do my absolute best to squeeze everything I can out of life. Enjoy small moments. Enjoy time with my family, friends, Niko. Travel. Eat great. Drink well. Meet people. Hear their stories.

It all started with a cliché for me to realize that maybe my goals aren’t even big enough.

Think about other clichés that you’ve been passing off. Not putting any thought to. Something very important may be hiding right there under your nose disguised as a cliché.

My big dreams have become big goals with real dates. I know the dates off by heart. I know how long I have to achieve my goals.

Dream big then dream bigger. Ask more out of life. You may actually wind up getting what you ask for. That’s my hope. We’ll see if it actually pans out.