Welcome to 2018! This New Year’s Eve I have run into so many people that were either hesitant or against making resolutions. It was hard to listen to everyone’s compliancy in the matter of attempting goals and falling short of them. I guess we all cannot be like Mark Zuckerberg when it comes to the annual goal setting. It was harder for me to see all the past lists of resolutions I made and how oddly familiar each list was. No progress. Last year I thought I cracked the puzzle of achieving my goals. I arranged my year like a publicly traded company would, every 3 months would establish a quarter. And each quarter would be one of my four audacious goals I had set on New Year’s Eve. I failed miserably. What was once thought of as a stroke of genius quickly showed its flaws. I spent 3 months in isolation trying to achieve my first goal and when I failed at achieving it I lost all motivation. That failure crescendo through letting go of the original goal and completely dropping the business quarterly system. As of 2018 I am jumping back into these goals with the same vigor and optimism I had last year. Instead I am focusing on establishing habits that can be the leading dominoes which will help power through any goal or project that I place upon me. Daily Morning Journaling and Decisive Decision Making. I am excited to start the new year with these simple but strong objectives and hopefully throughout the year and especially at this year’s end I will be speaking the praises of having these habits in my life.
Super chill guy with an amazing apartment. I stumbled on this video the other day on youtube and I was enamored by his place, the things he collected, and the overall sense of style. I definitely love how much light fills his place and how there is an instrument at hand in any corner.
I made sure to read up on Joe, very interesting designer. He actually helped create the Coexist logo, yeah the bumper stickers you see everywhere. After that he has had his name tied to several fashion brands he founded and now is creative director for the ii Agency.
Quote of Joe's I enjoyed and will need to live by:
Inspiration for me comes in weird ways. I can’t force myself to design products. It usually starts from an image and something will strike me. Or sometimes I’ll wake up with a melody in my head, and I have to follow up. A song is like a puzzle and when you see those little pieces you have to assemble them right there. They won’t be there tomorrow.
Mike Flint was Buffett's personal airplane pilot for 10 years. (Flint has also flown four US Presidents, so I think we can safely say he is good at his job.) According to Flint, he was talking about his career priorities with Buffett when his boss asked the pilot to go through a 3-step exercise.
Here's how it works...
Buffett started by asking Flint to write down his top 25 career goals. So, Flint took some time and wrote them down. (Note: you could also complete this exercise with goals for a shorter timeline. For example, write down the top 25 things you want to accomplish this week.)
Then, Buffett asked Flint to review his list and circle his top 5 goals. Again, Flint took some time, made his way through the list, and eventually decided on his 5 most important goals.
(Note: If you're following along at home, pause right now and do these first two steps before moving on to Step 3.)
At this point, Flint had two lists. The 5 items he had circled were List A and the 20 items he had not circled were List B.
Flint confirmed that he would start working on his top 5 goals right away. And that's when Buffett asked him about the second list, “And what about the ones you didn't circle?”
Flint replied, "Well, the top 5 are my primary focus, but the other 20 come in a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort."
To which Buffett replied, "No. You’ve got it wrong, Mike. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5."
This strategy reminds of a dream I had. I was in conversations with the rapper The Game, and he had told to write a list of everything I wanted to do and be. Than to circle the first thing on the list, crumple up that list, and only focus on that one goal. That was some hard advice, I could never really accept it. I heard similar advice from people like Will Smith that believes in never having a plan B just a Plan A. I like Warren Buffet's strategy much better because it still gives value to the other goals you want to achieve but does a better job on prioritizing what needs to go before all others. I will have to re-read Step 3 many times because Flint's initial thoughts definitely mirror my own.
When I was younger the question I never asked myself is “is this the right thing to be doing with my time?” Assessing my schedule and weighing my options was not a thing I ever needed to do. If I had an idea I would immediately jumped at it. Started creating mock-ups, sketches, and discussing it with my close friends. In the past few years it feels like something completely switched. While I approach my 31st birthday, my mind is racing with many things, in hopes to solidify some of the abstraction that been floating around for years. Productivity has been on the forethought, since it affects my everyday life. While in college juggling classes and side projects never felt like a burden. Maybe it was the fact my school schedule was set by my professors at the beginning of the year and all I had to do was ride their prescribed roller coaster or maybe the fact when I hit a deadline it meant I was completely done with a project forever. It was not like my professor was going to return back the following year and ask me to redo my project. In tandem with struggling to keep up with my personal goals, I learned to be ‘productive’ in my professional life. At work I am constantly confronted that question. I have to quickly asset my full list of commitments and make concessions with my time and energy in hopes to divert scheduling conflicts that will detrimentally affect my whole set schedule and cascade into the future. It no wonder when I get home I attack my goals with the same mentally. Pool all my wants and needs into a bucket and continue to ask that insidious question ‘what should I do with my time,’ read a book, study for my licensing exam, write in my journal, meet-up with friends, catchup with work on my off hours, or possibly balance my financial budget? Cognitively that was one of the worst questions I have asked myself. It is getting impossible to sort through everything that is throw at us on a regular basis without adding the lists of micro-tasks found via our Facebook feeds, email inbox, bucket lists, and friend/family commitments. It almost meditative when you let go of the FOMO and pick up a notebook and sketch without any preconditions. So, this is to me starting my 31st year with trying to stop asking myself that darn question all that time and allowing myself to work on my personal goals without ego or sense of time.
One of my favorite things to do is to keep a journal. I probably have maintained one since my freshman year of college. It has helped me through many tough moments, especially when my mind could not handle the abstraction of all the information hitting me and I needed things distilled, concrete, and in a linear fashion. The majority of the pages in my journal are of me cataloging events and emotions. It is not an everyday affair, I just make sure to have my journal around my room at arm’s length whenever I want to express the noise in my mind into something more structured. It usually a dump of my thoughts from that moment and immediately I am able to walk away from it. Usually a page of writing has been enough to free me from the cycle of overthinking things. There are many times I pick up the book and after a sentence of writing I am more motivated to do the task that was plaguing just minutes ago. Getting things down on paper helps the mind organize the chatter in your mind into something intelligible. In the past year I tried harder to break away from ritualizing this activity. Instead of grabbing my fountain pen, I will write with any pen nearby with an adequate supply of ink. I no longer add locations to my entries and have deferred to rounding out the date instead of trying to get it down to the minute. Since going through several notebooks now, I finally see the importance of capturing a comprehensive view of all the things I ponder. I now glue post-it notes with quote and full typed brain dumps. I no longer tethered to the pen and can type mad quickly on my ipad and literally paste the print out into a page in my book.
The purpose of journaling is to clear your mind. Not just to gain focus but to establish a target to your focus.
I just returned from an incredible adventure. It had me on 6hr ++ hikes through the rainy amazon, on ski lift contraptions to visit ruins on the top of a mountain, and small shaky airplane rides to remote towns. It was definitely a mind altering trip. Before going I felt it was going to be a metal detox, but far from it on the conventional sense of isolating oneself at a retreat but more in an immersing challenge that forced me to shed distraction and anxiousness. I enjoyed the challenge and made me think, “Why am I not doing enough of these type of travels, I dream of doing this type of thing all the time.” If it wasn’t to my friend’s wedding, I would have not carved the time for such an excursion. I am excited I did so.
Right now, back in the states, I am trying to maintain my refresh state of mind, even going through the process of wiping all my devices clean of data, strong focus on my computer and cellphones. And taking a conscious effort to rid myself of distraction. It was sort of a vague Lenten promise of mine to spend less time looking at my phone aimlessly, but now it’s the direction I am focused on. I have a pile of books that need reading and ideas that need disciplined time to come out of abstraction.
On to seeing how far I can take some of these ideas that are knocking at my head.
Oh wow, this a definite must watch. French actress turned director, Mélanie Laurent, kills it on her directorial debut. Simply if you want to see a great example of a film that is tightly packed with all the fitting components here it is. Every word, sound, scene are there to completly serve the story and the emotional experience.
The film begins when this shy girl meets her complimentary opposite, the free spirited rebellious new student. At first their extremes serve to creating a friendship but soon enough this bond crumbles with a maddening force. The characters adapted from Anne-Sophie Brasme's novel are all very well developled and full of nuance. There are moments where you are mislead by a character's words, but with the force they leave a room you are left with their true intention. You will definitely be drawn into main protagnist's mind frame while watching this story unfold.
Harsh Reality #2: Owning a business isn’t easier than working at a 9 to 5 job.
If you start a business you get to be your own boss and set your own hours, right? Although that is what most entrepreneurs believe, it is very inaccurate.
Instead of having just one boss, you now have hundreds of bosses. Just think about all of your customers because essentially each one of them is your boss.
If you still aren’t a believer remember you have your own business because you are here to make money. And if you don’t do what each of your bosses (customers) want, your business will go bankrupt.
In addition to that, when you work at a 9 to 5 job all you have to do is work from 9 to 5. When you have your own business you usually end up working 10 to 14 hour days and in many cases 7 days a week.
Even after you start making money, things don’t always change. Although I am not rich, I have done well enough that I don’t have to worry about money. None-the-less, I am still working 60 to 80 hours a week.
mmm. I have been waiting to massively update my blog with new features for awhile now. I am still unsure what I am going to do with my older blog I haven't updated in ages. I might bring some posts back, like my travels in Europe, maybe one of these days I will finish posting them all up too. I am really trying to make this blog as barebones as possible versus a lot of the weird features and tools I created in my last attempt. Plus I am crossing my fingers that my grammer on this attempt is way better.