Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Bring Value

Why are people at the top of their careers make more money than those at the bottom? Because they add a lot more value.

I had an argument a little while ago with my father. He was telling me how stupid it was for professional athletes to be making so much money compared to those working in the medical field. What my dad failed to understand is that the reason why the athletes make so much money is because they are adding a little bit of value to a lot of people.
While doctors offer a better service to society, the reality is that they are limited in the amount of people they can help during a given day. A professional athlete, on the other hand, entertains millions of people and his salary is a reflection of that.

If you think of Sydney Crosby, Michael Jordan or John Cena ... everyone of those people are at the top of their game and help the company/brand they work for make billions of dollars. If those companies want to keep making billions of dollars then they have to take care of their top assets. If Sydney Crosby was to switch team, for example, that could have a huge negative impact on the brand.

"Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you make in payment."
-Bob Burg

How can we add more value?
The short answer is by being more valuable. In the words of Ortega:

“... we distinguished the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is the one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter the one who makes no demands on himself, but contents himself with what he is and is delighted with himself. Contrary to what is usually thought, it is the man of excellence, and not the common man who lives in essential servitude. Life has no savor for him unless he makes it consist in service to something transcendental. Hence he does not look upon the necessity as serving as an oppression. Nobility is defined by the demands it makes on us - by obligations, not by rights. Noblesse oblige. “To live as one likes is plebian; the noble man aspires to order and law” (Goathe).”

The reason why there are so little people at the top of any field is because not a lot of people are willing to put forth the effort necessary to be at their most valuable. Some find comfort along their journey and never really improve beyond that point.

I have this to say to those of you who have found comfort: We are all students in the school of life. Learning doesn't end when school does - it ends when the student is dead. Learn until the day you die.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Be Calm

One of the greatest skill you can master is the ability to remain calm in all situations.
When I was younger, I used to think that this is something that would come naturally as we age but experience has thought me otherwise. If you look around you, you will see people in their last phase of life that still act rashly in situations that do not warrant it.

Why is it important to "Be Calm"?
Logically speaking, you make better decisions when your mind is calm then when it isn't. When you act rashly, things can escalate quickly to the point where you're acting completely out of character. After the fact, once your mind is calm again, you realize the error of your ways; only too late. You then need to figure out how to live with the mess you've created (but could of been avoided).

How can I be more "calm"?
In my case being calm is a state of mind that I have to work similar to a muscle. There are 3 things that I need in order to have a calmer mind. Those are:
  • Read/Meditate - While I do not practice meditation in the true sense of the word - reading is a form of meditation and I read constantly. I prefer non-fiction and my favorite subjects currently are Self-Improvement, Philosophy & History.
  • Diet - This may be an odd thing to add to some but the diet does play a part in how you feel. You are what you eat and if you eat junk - you will feel it. What you eat has an impact on how you feel and therefor must be considered here.
  • Fitness - Working out is a good way to release stress. If you are stressed, you are more likely to act rashly in any given situation. If you remove the stress then it goes without saying that your mind will be calmer.

This isn't a quick fix solution or one that you only do a couple of times with benefits that you can enjoy forever. It requires constant effort.
Also this is definitely not full proof. There are still times where someone will "push my buttons" just right which may result in me doing or saying something that I later regret.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."

If you feel your mind isn't in the right place - hold your tongue. You can't take back the words once they're out of your mouth.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

My New Gym Bag

I've been working out most of my life and during that time I've been using garbage bags or gym bags, that I got for free from one place or another, to carry around my gym clothes/shoes/items.
I've used one of those free gym bags up until recently. The bag was full of holes and wasn't really useful to me as a gym bag anymore.

It was time for an upgrade and for the first time ever; I decided that I would actually buy my next gym bag. I had 2 criterias:
  • Rugged - The thing has to be able to handle my workout lifestyle both at the gym and elsewhere. I want to be able to kick that thing around without worrying about it. I want the thing to last me years.
  • Size - Big enough to carry everything related to my workout or whatever physical activity I want to do.
After a few weeks of looking online, I came across "TOBWOLF Waterproof Gym Duffel Bag, Travel Luggage Backpack for Men and Women" and it's so good that it made me regret not buying a decent gym bag earlier. It not only meets my meager criterias, it also includes things that I didn't know I wanted from a gym bag.

If we go back to my criteria:
  • Rugged - The thing is built to last. High quality material stitched together nicely with high quality zippers for the pockets.
  • Size - Not too big, not too small - I'm able to carry my shoes, belts, braces, books, water bottle, earbuds ... everything that I need on any given day at the gym. It is big enough that I could put a basketball in if I wanted to.

Now if we talk about things I didn't know I wanted:
  • Separate compartment for shoes - This is a neat idea. Shoes can get stinky so they added a pocket specifically for shoes with some breathing holes in it.
  • Water Resistant - Want to bring the bag near water? No problem - it's made with water resistant material.
  • Wet Pocket - A pocket was added to put wet items in so that it doesn't touch anything else in the bag.

One thing I wish the bag would of included is a dedicated water bottle pouch that is big enough for a 1 liter bottle. So no, it's not a perfect bag (no bag is) but it's definitely better than any bag I ever owned.
If you're in the market for one, you should check it out!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Good Books can be Read More than Once

"You are what you think you are. Think more of yourself and there is more of you."
-David J. Schwartz
A little while ago, I went on a few dates with a woman that I felt was out of my league. I didn't flatout tell her this but since it was on my mind she could feel it through my actions.

Soon after, I picked up "The Magic of thinking BIG" book, from David J. Scwartz, (for like the sixth time in the past 10 years) and I'm still amaze at how much I'm getting out of this book. While the book didn't change since it was created; I sure did which explains why I'm getting totally different messages each time I pick it up.
What I got from the book, this time, was simply that I need to focus on the big picture if I want to have the necessary confidence to go through my daily affairs. By focusing on the end result, it gives you the perspective in the present.

Would I be with that person today if I would of applied that philosophy? Who knows? Life is still amazing though so be sure to live it fully!

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