Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Runner's "High"



According to Scientific America , "a Runner's High is a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain."
I'm not the biggest runner around. When I do cardio, i'm usually only on it for 30 minutes in order to put a "check in the box" and call it a day. In other words, I don't care for it that much but I have experienced a Runner's High and totally understand why some of you like to run that much.

What did it do to me?
I'm a pretty anxious person and that reduced anxiety, mentioned above, was definitely felt. It's almost like the clouds in my mind had gone and I could think clearly for the first time in a while. As a kid, I would get that feeling while playing soccer but never really paid attention to it.
The feeling started to fade roughly an hour after the workout. As I write these words, it's been roughly 8 hours since I was at the gym and only have distant memories of how it felt.
I remember feeling like that as a kid while I was playing soccer but I never really paid attention to it until today. As we get older, we get less and less of those euphoria moments because life doesn't really push us to move all that much.
But I get it.

I "get" why some of you crazy folks are running for hours on end. You guys are chasing the feeling.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How Mature are your Finances?



Budgeting, saving, investing can be difficult to some. Personal finances is almost as important as a family member and it needs a higher degree of attention than what most people are currently doing. In this blog, I will compare finance to the 3 stages of human life.

  • As a Baby - This is where your personal finance is the most vulnerable. Money is your master - the slightest life mishap can derail your life significantly. As a baby, your personal finance needs to be nurture and taken care of. This means that you have to make sure that a big chuck of your money goes towards your savings and paying off debts. This is when you start figuring out a budget that works for you.
  • As a Teen - As a teen, you personal finance is starting to be comfortable. You have savings, your debt is reduced to a minimum and you started looking at insurance to protect what you've accumulated. Unlike the baby phase, if you were to loose your job at this point you could go a few months before needing another one.
  • As an Adult - Money is your slave. Your personal finance is matured to the point that you no longer need to check on it every second day. Some of your money has been invested and is working for you. Your budget is optimized. If you were to loose your job at this stage, you have other avenues that generates money for you. You could take a job that pays you less and still have a comfortable lifestyle or you could retire altogether. You have insurances to protect your assets.


The finance of most people never really leaves the baby phase. Some are able to reach their teens but only a few is ever going to reach adulthood. Which stage do you identify your finance?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Less Self-Help & More Philosophy



I get pretty annoyed with LinkedIn nowadays because most post you see on there are from some random people giving some superficial "a la Self Help" type of advise. Don't get me wrong, it's great to have so many people dedicated to personal improvement but my problem is that they don't seem to be adding anything new to the conversation. If all they do is share 2-3 quotes then what's the point?

Stop putting 2-3 quotes together and calling it a day (I can be guilty of this too).

There was a time in my life where I spent roughly 3K a year on self-help materials. I read/viewed/listened to my fair share of them. What I want now is to listened to people that have actually put some thoughts into what they say. Give me your perspective rather than reading the back of a book.

When I travel, I always bring the same book with me. "Living Issues in Philosophy" as been my travelling companion ever since I bought it for a buck 10 years ago - best book I ever purchased.
The reason why I like this book is because it takes a deep dive into various philosophical ideas. Think of it as Self-Help on steroids.

I see the self help industry as a deluded form of philosophy and maybe that's the problem. Just a bunch of superficial ideas duck tapped together for the purpose of making the reader happy by giving him hope. Hurray! It works and it sold well but it ultimately didn't change anything.

We need to figure out what it means to be human, find out what our core values are and continuously listen to them. To me, this is only achievable by reading philosophical material.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Lies The Banks Tell You



Financial institutions have built a reputation of trust with their customers but not everything they say makes financial sense. Remember that they are primarily a business and their goal is to make money off of you. The following are some of the lies they may tell you in order to get a few extra dollars out of your pockets:
  • A House is An Asset - If you have a good credit score, it's possible that the bank will try to entice you to take out a better loan, than you originally intended, for the purchase of a house. They will tell you that a house is an asset; that it ultimately will make you money in the long run. This isn't true... An asset is something that put money in your pocket every month. A house is certainly not putting money in your pocket every month unless you rent it out.
  • You're Richer than You Think - No you're not! This used to be a motto for a Canadian bank and it's just plain false. Banks will usually tell you this so that you take some of your money to invest. While there's nothing wrong with investing in itself, you should never invest money that you need to live - only the money you can afford to loose.
  • Credit Score - The entire credit score system was created by the bank. it is a number that they put next to your name to determined how likely you are at repaying your debts. Your goal shouldn't be to raise that number but to get out of debt entirely. You won't have any issues getting a loan if you have money in the bank.
  • Insurance - Don't get me wrong, insurances are good to have but banks don't usually care whether or not you're already covered at your work or if you have insurances with other companies. Be sure to read the fine-prints of those before signing your name on those contracts.
Remember that even though banks have our money, it doesn't mean that they have our best interests in mind. Be aware!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wake up Earlier!



We all have 24h in a day. What we do with those 24h basically determines the types of person that we'll become. Those that wake up earlier have a few hours head start over everybody else. The following are things you could be doing if you woke up earlier:

  • Plan the day - Since most people are asleep, you can use this uninterrupted time to think about the day ahead.
  • Power workout - Working out needs to be part of everyone's routine in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in life. Mornings are the best time to do this as your body has the most energy.
  • Work on a new skill - Do you want to learn a new language? Learn how to draw? Learn something specific to your work? It's easier to learn something in the morning vs after a busy day at work.
  • Press your suit - Got an important meeting today? Make sure you look your best by pressing your suit.
  • Prepare meals for the day - Food is the fuel of the body and it can be difficult to eat healthy when we're on the go all the time. Mornings could be a good time to prepare the nutritional meals for the day.
  • Read - Warren Buffett, one of the richest man on the planet, read 500 pages a day. Imagine how many books you would go through if you read 500 pages a day!


If you're looking to improve your life then waking up earlier, to work towards your goals, is a must. Those few hours, compounded over time, has the potential to change your life. Stop snoozing!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It's Time to Work!



The mentality today is that we need to enjoy life while we're young instead of waiting until we're retired. It's not a wrong way to see things but whether we like it or not, we have to contribute to society and the best time to do so is in our youth. When we're young, we not only have the most energy but we also have a greater ability to learn.

Those that feel like they're missing out on life or are selling away their youth to the corporations feel this way because they are not working at something that is true to them - they are not following their passion. Work at something you're passionate about and you will not feel like you're wasting your life.

Our time on this planet is limited and there isn't any nobler pursuit than to work towards something that we're passionate about and that can potentially leave a mark long after we're gone. Whether we like it or not, this will require some type of work.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Confidence is not Truth



In dealings with people, confidence is everything. Anything said with confidence can be perceived as truth even though the two aren't related.

We've all got scammed at one point or another by someone who told us something that sounded like it was the truth because it was said with confidence. "I don't feel like he's lying" so we thought.
In a more extreme case, Hitler was using this approach to convince an entire Country that Jews were bad people and they should die. It makes no sense if we approach what he said from a logical point of view but it was repeated, with confidence, so often that people started believing in it.

Salesmen are thought to believe in what they are selling. To be sold on the product themselves if they ever wish to sell it to someone else. To believe in one's product is to have the ability to communicate its positives with such confidence that the listener will be sold on the idea as well.

What we have to do, as the listeners of those messages, is check the facts and form our own opinions.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

We've Made Christianity Ugly!



The Christian religion (and others), which is ultimately meant to be a way to achieve inner peace, has become nothing more than an ugly business for personal gains and abuse: I’m tired of it all!

Ultimately, there are 3 categories the Christian religion business falls into. Those are:
  • Legal/Official - Include the papal and all of its derivative. Have a look at the buildings the high officials lives in and tell me the Christian religion isn’t a business. It makes for a pretty ugly business when you consider the years of abuse, by priests, that's been happening all over the place.
  • Entertainment - Joel Osteen, John Gray are religious personalities that profit heavily from their “service”.
  • Scam - The likes of Peter Popoff who asks audiences to pay thousands of dollars to see live miracles. These are the worst of the bunch since there are doing it solely for the purpose of making money and their services generally lacks any real Biblical content.

While I understand that some of the money earned has to go towards paying one’s bills - it’s not supposed to be paying off 5k shoes, fancy cars and mansions.
Is it so bad for me to expect preachers to be living a similar lifestyle than Jesus did? Or at least have a similar lifestyle than the average person listening to the sermon?
Some may see this as jealousy, and maybe in a way it is, but it's also common sense to me. The expectation of the money given to a Church is that it will fund worthy causes - not pay off someone's Rolex.

What is perhaps the most ironic in all of this is that we keep selling religion as this beautiful thing but it is the cause of many evils in our history. There were times when women were burnt for religious sake, we fought wars in the name of it and committed all sorts of lewd acts under its protection.
These are hardly the history one wants to remember on his path of inner peace but it is there non the less.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How They Control Us



The mass media is how we’re being controlled and we’re easier to control when we’re uneducated. No, it’s not about getting masters degrees or attending schools… it’s more about getting a basic understanding of a multitude of subjects to help us get through life without getting taken advantage of (at least not as much). Some of the subjects to consider are the following:
  • Finance - people are quick to take advantage of those that are financially illiterate or irresponsible. There are always things to learn about finances.
  • Politics - It’s not that complicated and learning about it will allow you to make more informed decision of which party you should elect.
  • Relationships - Learning how to get along will help get us opportunities that we couldn't’ get otherwise.
  • Philosophy - You certainly don’t need to be an Aristotle but to know about philosophy, and develop your own life philosophy, can help be at peace with the world.
  • Spirituality - Speaking of being at peace, figuring out who you, and accepting it, is also important.
I once heard that thinking was the ability to see with the "mind's eye" and that in order to open that eye we needed to be learning beyond what we're thought in schools. Did you ever get a course on Finances in school?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

End of the Mom/Pop Corner Stores?



A global economy means that locals stores are competing against stores anywhere in the world via the internet. In a pity attempt to find relevance, it's not uncommon to hear people say that we should be "buying local!" and I can't help but ask "why?".

If you are in business and you are currently begging your customer to buy your products or services ... well you either need to change or face the fact that your business is doomed to fail.
In a free economy, the strongest always wins but strongest can be anyone. The internet not only put another nail on the mom/pop shops' coffin, it also opened the door for great ideas to reach more people than ever. You can literally make money by filming yourself and putting it on youtube.

This "revolution" is not the first of kind. It isn't the first time that the mom/pops type of shops have had to fight a war. Previously, Walmart came in and put a lot of those type of business obsolete. They had a better system than anyone else - hence why they pretty much won that battle.
We could say that Amazon is currently winning because it pushed the idea of Walmart even further. Walmart is now trying to find relevance in this new market.

This shift is beautiful and it is normal. It is up to any entrepreneurs to come up with better ideas to change the world. Keep inventing!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Health Conversations in Moderation



We all have that one or two person in our lives that talk about the things that are going wrong in their lives constantly. Generally older, those people usually don’t do much during their day and focuses too much on the negative sides of their lives rather than the positive one. They literally have nothing better to talk about because they don’t see much going on with them.

We have to remember that talking about diseases, aches or ailments are only interesting to the person that has them and there’s nothing to gain from sharing it other than an attempt at compassion or pity. These negative talks can also suck out the energy in the conversation.

In moderation, those type of conversation are fine. After all, it’s important to share how we’re doing to our friends but it shouldn't be all that we’re talking about.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Are We Tough Enough?


*French troops storming Redoubt 9 during the Siege of Yorktown


It's not too long ago that warfare required men to stand in line waiting to get shot at while listening to your orders via flutes and drums or looking out for flag signals. Unsurprisingly, some men would flee the battle and were considered lesser men for doing so. (Although we could argue that they were the smartest people of the bunch... why in the world would you stay in line waiting to get shot?)

Those that didn't flee are among the toughest, most courageous, men in history. They believed so strongly in their cause that they were willing to take a bullet for it.

Where are those courageous men today? We grew to be selfish individuals - we don't stand up for things that doesn't affect us even though it would be the right thing to do.
We are quick to push the responsibility to someone else. You'll hear things like "The Government should do something about this."

Well... why don't you?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Debt Free is Possible



Back in 2010, I wrote an article about some financial struggle I was going through. I remember being heavily in debt and hating the fact that I "had" to work to pay it off. I couldn't just leave my job, I felt like I was stuck and being let go would of destroyed pretty much all that I had accumulated up to that point.

Fast forward 9-10 years and I'm happy to report that I've been debt free for the last few years now. If I could do it, so can you! Granted, I don't own much but it turns out that I do not need much in the first place. As long as I have my books, something to write with and some video games for when I need to shut my brain off - I'm good!

“We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.” -Dave Ramsey

Perhaps one of the biggest things, to get debt free, is to stop listening to what society tells you to buy. No, you do not need a new vehicle every 2 years. You do not need a house you can't afford to live in. You don't need to be spending every penny you own. You do not deserve anything (Marketers be like "Buy this couch - you deserve it!")

One of the biggest eye opener for me was when I realized that being in debt meant that I was sacrificing future time for something today. I hated the idea of surrendering my future - I wanted freedom.
Debt is financial slavery. The only reason why it is accepted today is because people are free to choose whether or not they surrender their lives to the mighty dollar. In some cases, however, this is not really a choice and I consider myself fortunate that I was influenced in the right direction early on in life.

Being debt free requires sacrifice and discipline but the freedom you get from it is priceless. Make the choice to be free!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Experience brings Wisdom



"We cannot assume that, by gathering more and more "facts" a person necessarily gains understanding and wisdom about his life and the world in which in lives." -Harold H. Titus/Marilyn S. Smith


We can certainly appreciate listening to someone that has mastered something. We might ask ourselves, how did he become so wise? Some are wise at a specific subject at an earlier age than others. Why is that?

Wisdom doesn’t come with age - it comes with experience. The only reason why we associate wisdom with age, or time, is because it takes time to acquire experience.
Someone that doesn’t do anything worthwhile with his time will not acquire relevant experience and therefor will not be wise as much as someone who deliberately thrive to improve.

The time it takes to acquire wisdom in anything can be shortened depending on your discipline. There are a set of rules that one must follow to acquire wisdom. Those are:
  • Focus - Find out what you want to be wise in. You only have 24h in a day and a set amount of days. What do you want to master? Found out what it is for you.
  • Study - Obviously, learning about the area you want to be wise in is a must.
  • Practice/Do - Books can only teach you so much about anything. At one point or another you will have to test out what you've learned to see what works and what doesn't.
  • Teach - There's no better way to learn something than when you have to teach it to someone else. Formulate what you've learned in a way that will be easily understood by the generation that follows yours.


In what areas do you want to be wise in?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Should Cigarettes be Illegal?



Tobacco companies were recently sued by a handful of individuals because cigarettes are bad for your health. First of all “duh?”. Second - Why is this still on sale? Why are people still smoking?

It is now legal in Canada to smoke Cannabis. Cannabis is often used in the medical field to treat various diseases such as anxiety and glaucoma. If you smoke cannabis responsibly there's not much that it does to you in the long run. Cigarettes, on the other hand, have been proven to cause various diseases. Tobacco companies have been putting all sorts of chemicals in them to intensify the addiction smokers have towards cigarettes - making it very difficult to stop once you start.

Why do people even start smoking today knowing all of the negativity surrounding cigarettes? I remember as a teen, those that smoked were considered "rebels". It was a way for them to show their disdain for society. It was "cool" and maybe it still is for teens of today.
Now that I'm an adult, I get a totally different feeling when I see people smoke. When I see a teen, I think to myself "well he doesn't know any better" but when I see an adult smoke I always ask myself "why? what's your excuse?"

Why is it not illegal?
Back in the 1920s, some countries had made it illegal to buy alcohol - it sure as heck didn't stop people from drinking and it basically just added fuel to the ever expanding black market.
Cigarettes would have the same result. By having it legal, the government can at least get a cut of the profit, via heavy taxes, and regulate its use.

I do find it kind of silly for people to smoke, knowing full well the risks involved, and then sue tobacco companies when health problem arises. I mean, have you ever seen a box of cigarettes before? The potential health issues are written on the box itself.

Stay away!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Feelings to Control



Before we goes to the heart of this post, it is important to differentiate between Feelings and Emotions since most people seems to interchange or confuse the two.

What’s an emotions?
According to imotions.com , emotions “are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain…”

What’s a feeling?
According to imotions.com, feelings are “originating in the neocortical regions of the brain, feelings are sparked by emotions and colored by personal experiences, beliefs, memories, and thoughts linked to that particular emotion. Strictly speaking, a feeling is the side product of your brain perceiving an emotion and assigning a certain meaning to it.”

A clearer example of the difference between emotions and feelings is when you’re getting slapped. Emotions is the pain that originates from it while feelings is how you react to that pain.

Humans can control their emotions...
This means that humans have control over their feelings which can cast doubts on the sincerity of them. Seeing someone cry doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s sad.
Actors, who are masters at controlling their feelings, uses their acting skills for the purpose of entertaining an audience. They cry when their fictional son dies so that we also feel sad about it.

Some uses their feelings as a way to exercise control over people for malicious reasons. They show remorse even when they do not feel like it. They cry when they do not feel like crying.

Why do they do this?
They do so for their benefits. Because they don’t want to take responsibility. Because they want you to think that they are innocent.

How can you tell if someone is controlling you?
Some are better than others at controlling their feelings so it’s not always possible to tell if they are sincere or not in the moment. In some cases, the more time spent with someone the better you’ll become at identifying how sincere the feelings conveyed are.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Entertainment Addiction is Making Us Anti Social



It is not social media as much as entertainment in general that made us antisocial creatures. We would rather stay home and entertain ourselves than entertain guess in our own home or go at social gatherings.

After a certain age, it is normal for most to start loosing relationships in to focus on more important ones. Everyone needs a friend, however, and there's a problem when there are no one to interact with.

When did socializing become such a burden? Since we are social creatures, what does this mean for our overall health? What part does it play in our mental Health? Could it be the reason behind the rise in people with depression?

Entertainment is an addiction, and like addictions, it makes us more distant from others. The problem with the entertainment addiction is that it seems to go unnoticed for longer periods. Since we're not injecting ourselves with a chemical, or drinking a substance, we don't associate it as an addiction.
We just sit and watch another episode, play another level, listen to another track, check on another web page... it is a problem when you would rather do these things than to go socialize.

A life of fulfillment is not filled with addictions. There's a time to socialize and a time to for entertainment. Put limits on yourself so that you don't miss out on this journey.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Subtle Employee Retention Tactics



Companies uses a multitude of subtle tactics designed to retain employees. These are by no means secrets but they may not be obvious to some. I’ve identified a few for you below:
  • Insurances. Dental/Vision/Medical … insurances, which you pay part of in most cases, are an obvious hook for employee retention.
  • RRSP/401K. The RRSP/401K offering from companies varies but it’s another way for companies to entice new-comer and retain older ones.
  • Seniority. Senior resources may have a more advantageous parking spot, take priority when it comes to taking vacations or get first dibs on incoming projects.
  • Raises. Small raises, every year, is another way to keep employees around for longer.
  • Additional Vacation Days. Some companies will give additional vacation days based on the years you’ve worked for them.
  • Severance package. A severance package is basically money the company gives you when you leave. Some companies, for example, will give a month’s pay per year you’ve worked for them. So if you decide to quit (or you got a layoff), after 10 years, you get 10 months pay from the company.
  • Work from Home. Working from home can also be a way to retain employees. This can be even more appealing with employees that have kids.
  • Social Activities/Employee Moral. Paid company event such as Bowling, Paintball or night at the bar, which are aimed at keeping the moral of the employees high, are also ways to keep the employees around for longer.
  • Bonus. Bonuses, in all of it’s form, are also ways to keep the employees around. This also help motivate the employee to accomplish more. It can be in the form of “Employee of the Month”, extra vacation, money, miscs gifts ...etc

What other subtle tactics have you noticed in the workplace? Obviously, it is sometime not enough to keep employees but it’s not difficult to know why they were put in place.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Health for Granted - Until It's Gone



Too often, people take their health for granted. They smoke, eat badly, don't exercise ... all is fine until it's not.
Why do we still have so many people smoke cigarettes today when it has been proven that smoking cause health issues.

I've been in contact with people that have told me that their health was important to them while they were lighting up a cigarette.
If your health is important to you, you have to prove it with actions rather than words and there's a pretty extensive list that you have to follow.
If you, for example, eat healthy but still smoke cigarettes - it means that you don't care about your health.

Health is not about looking like a magazine cover. It's about paying attention to what you consume and do with your body. Don't take your health for granted because you will regret it once it starts to fade away.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Stop Drinking Sugary Drinks



Clever marketing campaigns have sold people on the idea that things such has diet sodas are healthy. While we can argue that they are an healthier alternative than the sugar packed regular sodas, they are definitely not healthy.

A recent study has shown that diet soda may be linked to an increase risk of strokes and other diseases.

I would argue that the term "diet" should be removed from the diet soda cans altogether. Nobody, who's serious about dieting, have included such items as diet sodas as part of their diets.
One of the problems with the sugar derivatives (other than the potential health risks), such as Aspartame, is the fact that they are sweeter to the taste than regular sugars and it increases our craving for more sugar as a result.

Sugar is a drug with the power to kill us when consumed in large amounts.

Instead of drinking sugary drinks - why not just add slice of lemons or oranges to regular water? Or try non sugary sparkly water?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Remove the Training Wheels and GO



When I was about 5 years old, a friend of mine came over to my house with his bicycle and I noticed there was something different with his bike compared to mine - he didn’t have any training wheels!
There was no way I would let my friend be the only one riding around without training wheels. I went in the garage and removed the training wheels myself. Then, with my friend’s encouragement, I rode the bike out of the garage. My first ride was bumpy but I soon got the hang of things.

My dad was pretty proud of me that day. Needless to say that he was expecting to be more involved in that process.

If it wasn't for my friend, I probably would of rode my bike with training wheels for a few more months before mustering up the courage to ride without them.
Sometimes, the best, and quickest, way of learning something is to remove the training wheels and just go. Sure, you might fail the first few tries but you'll get the hang of things. If you're fortunate enough to have a mentor encourage and walk you through the process - that's even better. Let's face it though, we do not often come across mentors for every single things we want to accomplish or learn.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Recession?



Historically, we’ve had a market correction (A.K.A Recession) every 10 years or so with the last one being in 2008. We’re overdue for one - so where is it?

One of the problem with recession prediction is that there’s a new one made every year. This suggest that while it is possible to identify patterns with the economy, predicting its future with any sort of certainty is a little bit like trying to predict the weather - anything can change at a moment's notice. What is true today is not necessarily true tomorrow.
Our economy is global and every single person is contributing to it. There are markets created and dying every day.

There are, however, signs that may suggest that a recession is at our doorsteps. Those are:
  • We're over due for one - The economy isn't perfect because those that affect it are not perfect. Historically, there's been one every 10 years or so and it's been 11 years since our last big one in 2008. We're overdue for a correction - this is not only to be expected but a natural process of this imperfect economy.
  • America’s Tarifs - The tarifs are creating uncertainty throughout the world.
  • House Sales are down - The cause of the last recession was largely due to the housing markets. There are signs that it's heading in the same direction as it did in 2008.
  • The unemployment rate is at a all time low - How can this possibility signal that a recession is coming? There's always a calm before the storm. The employment rate is about the same as they were in the 2008's recession.
  • Global Warming - What does the actual weather have to do with the economy? Businesses can't run when everything around it is either burning, flooding or getting destroyed by strong wind. For the economy to run, you need people at work and buy things.
  • Going Out of Business - Big companies, such as Toys R Us, Sears, Payless Shoes... have closed down their doors in the last few years.
While no 2 recessions are alike, you do not need to be an economist to be able to identify patterns.
A recession is not always a bad thing either, there are a lot of money moving around during those times and some of that can land in your pockets if you know what you're doing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Society's Pressure on Kids



A few years back, I had bought a Disney princess painting kit for my friend’s 4 year old daughter. When I gave it to her, we took the paint out and started using it on the picture of the princesses. The mom soon interjected and was criticizing her daughter's painting and giving tips - telling her that she should be painting within the lines and such.

I was shocked. What I saw was society telling a little girl how to be creative. Let me tell you something, kids don’t need anyone to tell them how to create. It comes instinctively for them. Give them something and they’ll make something else out of it. Art is not about coloring within some predefined lines, it’s about making your own rules.

This is, of course, only one area where society pushes its preconceived notions on the next generation.

Sure, there are important principles to follow for some disciplines in order to achieve anything worthwhile. If we think about fitness goals, for example, we know that we must follow a specific set of rules in order to attain a specific set of results. If we don’t, then who knows where we’ll end up.

Don’t touch the arts though. Let kids do what the heck they want with the pen and paper. Maybe the only rule they should have is not to draw on the walls?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Stop and Think



Most people out there will tell you to work, save up for retirement, buy insurances and live frugally. All good advice but have we ever stopped to think whether or not we want the same kind of results than the persons give us the suggestions?

The above suggestions are good for those looking to have a career their entire life but it's inadequate for the entrepreneurs at heart. The above promises a somewhat safe path to retirement but really what's the point? We'll die whether or not we work for ourselves or have a career. We can't carry anything with us in the afterlife. The act of living has it's fair share of risks attached to it.

So if you are an entrepreneur, don't be surprised that the rules may be different for you. You may not be looking at living frugally as much or thinking about retirement the same way someone with a career would. That's not only okay but also expected. The rules are different for you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Give the Employees a Break



“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” - Richard Branson

We've all heard of the atrocities going on in the Amazon warehouses. We also know that this is not an isolated issue. There are other companies that seem to think that they can do whatever they want with their employees.

If you treat your employees like automaton, they will eventually burn out or leave.
This issues hit close to home for me. There's a close relative of mine that was recently put on leave ... That person requested vacation on many occasions but the company failed to comply to the request. Saying things like "who would take care of your responsibility if you're away?" ... well who's taking care of things now that this person was forced out?

It's funny when you think about it. On one side, you have people saying that employees are disposable - that it would take a week to replace anyone ... and on the other, you can't give someone a break for more than a week because they are needed every day. So you can go without a person for a week, until you find a replacement, but you can't let that person on vacation for a week.

If the employee requests a vacation, it is the responsibility of the employer to make it happen and they should be moving heaven and earth to make it happen. Everybody deserves a break from time to time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Blogging Tips: What I learned in 2018



It's been a while since I created a post about blogging tips. I'm a better blogger now. Some lessons I had to learn more than once while others are new. I hope the following tips will help you on your blogging journey.

  • Have a backlog. This is particularly useful if blogging is your hobby. Life will get in the way. Be sure to have a few blogs written somewhere that you can use at a moment's notice.
  • Keep track of the data. See what blogs post generated the most views, what didn’t, and figure out ways to improve those numbers.
  • Figure out the “buzzwords”. For example, when you add “Free” anywhere in your post (where it make sense) it usually generates more views than blogs that don’t.
  • Be mindful of current events. Talk about fitness the first month of the year. Make blog post about gifts suggestions around Christmas times. Talk about current worldly affairs that you feel would catch people’s attention the most (Facebook privacy, Trump, etc….)
  • Be consistent. Do you want to write every day? Once a week? No matter what you decide, be sure to always follow through.
  • Be mindful of social media. Include the standard social media share icons at the end of each post and make sure that your post is properly shown on those social media sites. Do the test yourself - you can't afford not to. (See here on how to get started)
  • Reference yourself when it makes sense to do so. Did you previously talked about the subject? Include a link to your previous post. This will bring visibility to older content.
  • Include a picture. This goes with the social media point. If you do not include a picture, as part of your post, it won't be shown properly on social media. Be sure that the picture doesn't have any copyrights. There are copyright free images available here.
  • Be your best promoter. Be proud of what you've done. Share it with enthusiasm if you want other people to also be excited about it.


What have you learn on your blogging journey? What do you think of the above tips?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

You're an Adult Now!



"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self."
-Aristotle

What does it mean to grow? To be an “adult”? When I was very young, I used to look up at adults and think to myself that they not only had all the answers but also could do anything. I saw adults as being the very embodiment of the human experience. What we should all aspire to be.
It was a clean, cut, thing. Overtime, you become and adult. You have all the answers and everybody thinks the same.

Obviously, my thinking eventually changed. I’ve seen adults of all shapes and size with all sorts of different thinking. Many of which I don’t aspire to be like because, while they often act a big game, they don’t particularly do anything that I consider meaningful or beneficial to our common experience that is life.

Now that I’ve been making my way into adulthood I realize that there are no cut out paths. There are many different ways to live life but ultimately there is one thing that adults have in common. They have a better understanding of what life is, who they are, and their roles in all of it.
Some will say that being an adult is about taking responsibility for your life. Working, paying bills, being responsible for what you do. There’s definitely some of that too.
We, as a society, like to put number next to the word “adult” but is there really a time when we magically transition from kid/teen and into adulthood? To say that we all become adults at 18 is kind of odd considering that we’re all different. Some will reach adulthood sooner than others. It’s a “are you ready to be an adult” type of question that you internally answer.

“Age is just a number for me! A person is as young as he feels.”
-Sunny Deal


The funny thing is that I don’t actually feel like an adult. I, for example, am just a big kid trapped in an aging body with a bit more responsibilities than I used to have. Sure, my daily reading has made me a better thinker but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel younger than what my body shows to the world. I still like many things that I used to as a kid.
It’s like after a while, my thinking stopped changing as much.

How about you, what does “being an adult” mean to you?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

For Our Planet's Sake!



We know for a fact that plastic is killing our planet then why do we continue using plastic, that can't be recycled, in our products?

According to plasticoceans.org there's an estimated 8 million tons of plastic that makes their way into our oceans. Some of that are getting in fish and ultimately our food.

Let's think about that for a minute.

If you buy a bottle of water, the bottle is recyclable but not the cap. Why the heck not? How many caps makes their way into our oceans?
When you buy a box of chocolate, the box is made of cardboard but the chocolates are placed on a plastic surface, within the box, that is not recyclable. Why not?

While I understand that we won't rid ourselves entirely of plastic, we no longer can afford to make single use plastic that can't be recycled. Every new, and existing, products have to consider this and plan their next move accordingly.

We, as consumers, also need to be more mindful of this and do the necessary changes in our purchasing habits to support a healthier future for our planet. Things that we can do today:
  • Stop using straws.
  • Bring our own bags when we're shopping.
  • Buy products that uses less single use plastic.
  • Recycle what can be recycled.
Let's decrease that 8 million tons of plastic/year to 2-3 millions for 2019. What other ways can you think of that would help our planet?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Stick to your Fitness Goals!



I dread this time of the year because the gyms are jam-packed no matter what time you go in(and I go between 5-8am). Don't get me wrong, I love that people want to get back in shape - I just hate that most will give up on their goals by the end of the first month of their membership...

Stick to it!

It sometime takes years to get overweight. Then why are we expecting to be back in shape in just a few days? Give yourself at least 3 months to see any sorts of meaningful progress. Here are a few tips for you:
  • It starts with a goal. The goal needs to be detailed. Make it realistic, set a deadline for it and remember to review the results weekly to determine progress and make the necessary adjustments to achieve it.
  • Learn the difference between fat and muscle weight. Remember that muscle weight more than fat. Do research on BMI and be sure to include that in your calculation for weight lost/gains.
  • The diet is everything.I said it before ... you can't outwork a bad diet. Sure, you will still get some results when you workout with a bad diet but not as much, or as fast, as you would with a diet that support your fitness goals.
  • Give it your all! Working out is not just about lifting a set of weight 30 times and calling it a day. You're not just going in to put a check-mark on some worksheet checklist. You're working out because you have a goal. You're working out because you're tired of how things are today. You want change - prove it!
  • Mix it up. On the bodybuilding scene, there's something called "muscle memory" which is basically your body being accustomed to the workout you're doing to the point where you're barely getting any results from them anymore. When you feel like you've plateaued, change your workout a bit. Add more weights, do different machines ... anything to surprise your body and force it to adjust. It will also keep you interested for longer.
  • Join a class. The gym is a wonderful place to meet people with similar goals as you. You are more likely to stay on track when you have an entourage that is working towards the same thing as you. Join a class, get a fitness body. Be accountable to someone.
  • It takes time. Be at peace with that. You will feel like you're dying for a bit and you won't see any results - but changes are happening. Give it time. It may of took you years to get in the shape that you got - you will not change that overnight.
  • Learn about fitness. We are interested in the things that we know. Learn about fitness and all of it's intricacies to keep you engage. Read magazines/blog/books - checkout some online videos.
  • Make it fun! To me, working out is a game. Can I lift more today than I did last week? Will I meet my buddy, Jerry, again at the gym?
Stick to it. Remember, you paid for that membership. Might as well use it to the fullest.

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