Excuses

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

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

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

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

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

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Boredom

You ever been bored? I have. I used to be bored often. I was always saying “There’s nothing to watch on TV”, “There’s no good games on tonight”, or “There’s nothing on Netflix”.

I’m bored less often now. I have things to do. I’m reading Seneca’s On Tranquility. He says it doesn’t matter the ranking you may have in society. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. At the end of the day you have to be able to be alone with yourself. That’s tranquility. How do I reach that point?

At this point in my life I can do this by working on things that will eventually help me reach my ‘long term goals’. That’s an abstract term we all use. “What are your long term goals?”, “What’re your short term goals?”. Well, isn’t that relative to the person.

Right now, my 5 year goal is my long term goal. A few years ago, a 30 year goal was my long term long. I continually ask myself why I can’t achieve something in 6 months. I got the idea from Tools of Titans.

It’s worth asking. It doesn’t mean I’m going to accomplish my goal in 6 months but it may help me think differently. It may help me think of ways to reach my goals quicker.

The mind is always working. If there is anything I learned from reading books like Think and Grow Rich, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or Seneca’s On Tranquility. The mind has to be doing something. Even if you’re just sitting there watching celebrity news or a sports ‘analyst’. The mind is taking it all in. Your mind is going to fill itself with whatever you feed it.

I don’t think I was eating healthy up until a few years ago. Now that I eat healthier, I think about my mind. What am I feeding my mind?

It used to always be sports. All the time. I could tell you the scoring leader in the NBA the past 3 seasons. Yet, I couldn’t identify the type of business I wanted to start or what my goals were. I was just letting my life flow with the currents. Not taking control of my own ship.

That’s changing. I can tell it’s changing. I’m taking control of my life. I don’t read poetry often but I read Invictus. It’s the reason my online store is called Invictus Beard. I was introduced to the poem in Think and Grow Rich.

My mind is being filled with more valuable information. I’m taking a course on how to start an online business. How do get things done. If I ever feel stuck I can ask a question or I can watch a video on how to do it. I listen to Podcasts. I read books. I’m trying to feed my mind a healthy diet of valuable information.

I stopped watching the news. I avoid the popular page on Instagram. I barely watch any sports.

I think all of these things are just information that I used to digest to keep me away from what was most important to me. I would sit and watch news. Listen to everything bad that’s happening in the world. It may be good to be knowledgable on the current events of the world but I can always get that information from my friends. In fact, they are going to give me a better summary than the news because they actually think about it in a way that is going to affect them.

The other day I was in the car and my AUX cable broke. Naturally, I put on the radio. The major news of the day was that The Weeknd put out a “diss track” and it may be intended towards Justin Bieber. I turned to Eliz and said “Now I have to read 3 books to get that worthless piece of information out of my head”. Who cares? Why do I care what The Weeknd and Justin Bieber are up to? How are they helping my life? As a society we concentrate our efforts on the wrong things. We let our minds intake garbage. We let our bodies intake garbage. As soon as we can accept that, we can change it.

I’m not perfect and I’m not suggesting I’m even close to it. I’m saying I am getting better. It takes practice. Slowly I’m getting to a place where I’m feeding my active mind the right types of information.

I mentioned earlier that our minds are always active. That’s why we can grow bored. We sit and look for something to do. We think Netflix is actually helping this out. I used to think so. I’m barely ever bored now. All of this entertainment at my fingertips. All the time. I thought it was great but on the contrary it’s a dangerous thing.

I’m 25. I know about a lot of shows on Netflix. Lot’s of great shows on Netflix. Lot’s of great movies. I could sit there and watch something different every day. I would never be bored, but I think that may be the worst way to live.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can help the world. I’ve always said I’m an environmentalist. The world is going in the wrong direction. Someone needs to change the tide. The year before winning the MVP of the NBA, Derrick Rose asked “Why not me?”. I ask this question to myself often. Why can’t I be the person that influences change? Right now, I’m simply focusing on myself. Trying to make myself better suited to take on bigger problems. Trying to see how I can help. What I can do. Before I make moves into that realm of the world I want to accomplish financial freedom. It’s step one. That’s why I’m working hard at bazinga!. That’s why I’m working hard on my own business. Ultimately, however, I want to accomplish something major. I look at Elon Musk and think why not me? I look at Leonardo DiCaprio’s work for climate change and think Why not me? I look at Al Gore and think why not me? In the past, you could’ve had an argument and said this was due to my ego. You probably would’ve been right. Now? I think it’s different. I don’t think I want to do it for me. I want to do it for the planet. I want to do it for my future kids. My nephew.

After all this talking about how much I don’t watch Netflix, there is one show on Netflix that I absolutely love. It may be my favourite show. Chef’s Table. Yesterday, I opened Netflix for the first time in a while and saw they released a new season. I watched the episode of Jeong Kwane, a Monk that cooks in a Korean Temple. I suggest everyone watch this episode. It was incredible to watch how preparing the food and cooking was a form of meditation for her. I was envious. I want to be able to live those monks. One with nature. One with my own mind. Truly free.

I feel as if I’m working towards something bigger than myself. It’s all going to come in due time. I just feel better about myself knowing that I am actually doing something. Actually working on it. Not just waiting around for something to change. Making changes within myself to ensure things around me change. First, I need to be able to free myself financially. Then I can concentrate on those bigger tasks.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.