Wednesday, June 29, 2022

When Does Addiction Become a Problem?

It's socially acceptable to be young and do crazy things but their comes a time when it's expected that you leave these things behind in order to become a functioning member of society. Terms, such as "alcoholic", is most often associated with an adult more so than a teen who might be getting drunk every weekend.

When does addiction become a problem?

It becomes a problem when the addiction takes precedents over the responsibilities of the individual. While responsibilities can come at any age, it usually becomes more relevant with time. Teens, freshly out of high school, don't usually have the same responsibilities as an adult a few years into his career.

There's an extended family member of mine who's an alcoholic and decided to forgo most of his responsibilities for his life, in favor of alcohol, giving that responsibility to his children instead. His eldest son, at a young age, had to work simply to pay bills that should've been paid by his father. This went on up until the dad became sick and had to be placed in an assisted living home. The son was given the choice to care for his father or leave him in the assisted living home. What would you of done in this situation?

If you're battling an addiction then you're sole, most pressing, responsibility is on self-recovery. Seek help not only for yourself but for those around you. There's nothing as painful as seeing someone you love struggling with such daemons.

In Canada, various programs/helplines are available.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

It's Your Life

There's some tension in the family as of late due to my sister wanting to move an hour away from where she currently reside making it a bit more difficult for anyone to go see her. While I can certainly appreciate some peers feeling overwhelmed with the news, I don't consider it bad news as she's simply wanting to find her place of happiness in the world. My sister is conflicted as she would of liked to have everyone in the family approve/be overjoyed of the new possibility that presented itself in her life.

I've learned a long time ago that you don't need to seek approval from those closest to you for every endeavors. It's sometime best to do what you feel is right before sharing with those closest to you as they might of steered you in a totally different, wrong for you, direction. 
If my sister doesn't do as she pleases, due to the interference of a family member, then part of the happiness, or lack thereof, falls on the person responsible for the interference. 

My hope is that she'll shut off the naysayers and do what her heart dictates. If she makes the decision then she gets to enjoy the fruit of them. The good thing about this particular decision is that she can always decide to come back or move somewhere else she may find more agreeable to her.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Don't Buy The Latest, Expansive/Powerful Phones

A phone is only as good as it's battery and every battery will get worse over time. If you were to buy a 2000$ phone today, instead of the 700$ one, know that in 5-6 years both of these phones would struggle to run more than a few hours.

Expensive phones usually have better specs but is that really useful? What do you usually do on a phone other than take some pictures, browse online/social media, or text/call? Do you really need a phone that is as powerful as the latest generation of gaming console to do these things?

When buying a Desktop/Mac, what you want to do with it determines the specs you should be looking out for. For some people, this logic doesn't apply when buying phones but even if it did can we really use the phone for anything more than the bare minimum? Let me explain:

  • If you get the powerful phone in order to play games wouldn't it be better to buy a switch or a laptop instead?
  • If you're looking for the best camera/phone, wouldn't it be better to buy an actual camera instead?
  • If you're looking to do video editing, wouldn't it be better to do that on a desktop/mac rather than a phone?
  • ...
Perhaps the only reason why companies are making powerful/expansive phones is for those looking to satisfy their ego. Like Rolex is to watches, an expansive phone as a social status tied to it.

I bring this up today because I recently had to upgrade my phone and it took everything in my power NOT to buy the latest/powerful/expansive entry opting, instead, for a new/old iPhone 11 (rather than the newer iPhone 13). When questioning myself I realized that I don't need power as much as I need functional. The arguments I made with myself are the ones I shared above.

If you are in the market for a new phone I would encourage you to find out what you want to do with it and buy something that is on par with your findings, while also being within your budget, rather than something more powerful/expansive that you may not use to its fullest capabilities.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

When Cheaper isn't Actually Cheaper

My mom is quick to brag about the deals she got on some her purchases but sometimes getting something cheaper isn't actually cheaper. Dollorama is one of my parent's favorite place to shop for some goods, like ketchup, and while it is cheaper per unit than bigger bottles you also get a lot less content for that price.

This seems to be a very difficult concept for my parents to understand. Look, I get it, you don't have 7$ to put towards a big ketchup bottle hence why you purchase the smaller, cheaper one, but what needs to be understood is that it won't last as long and next thing you know you're back at Dollorama buying another small bottle. If you would of gotten the bigger bottle, you may still have some ketchup to spare during that same period of time.

This philosophy also extend to other items. When buying shoes, you can get cheap brands but they likely won't last as long, or be as comfortable, as the bit more expensive ones. Essentially, this means that it's more expensive to be poor, and buy the cheapest options, than to be rich and buy the not so cheap options.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Last Home

Ever since my grand father passed away, 10 years ago, things have been changing quite rapidly for my grand mother. She went from owning a house, to moving to an apartment, to moving to a private care home, to the hospital, to moving to an assisted living home; The later of which will likely be her last home.
Due to complications, that came with her advance age, she went from a fully functioning person to a shadow of her former self. She went from being able to think clearly, walking, to being confused and confined to a bed.

Given the choice, I'm sure she wouldn't of wanted to be in this situation but getting old isn't a choice now is it?

The family's responsibility now is to accept this new version of our elderly family member while also remembering who that person was at her best. My hope for my grand mother is that she's able to find some enjoyment in this last stage of her life as well as peace with this inevitable end that awaits us all. 

She's given me life/love and, most importantly, an example to follow. I will be there for you until the bitter end.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Books Recommendations to a Friend

I always get excited when someone comes to me to ask for books recommendations as I know the benefits these books can have on people. Sadly, these inquest occurrences are few and far in between with only a few instances currently coming to mind. The books I recommended to her were based on the subject she wished to improved upon. The following are my suggestions:
  • "Personality Plus" by Florence Littauer
  • "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • "5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman
  • "The 7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen Covey
  • "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie
  • "Cashflow Quadrant" by Robert Kyosaki
  • "How I raised myself from failure to success in selling" by Frank Bettger
Along with the book recommendations, I shared with her the struggles that readers sometime have with the hope that she would be able to identify these and move pass them. Those are:
  • You won't always remember what you read and that's okay.
  • The brain is like a muscle - It needs a warmup period with constant training in order to grow.
  • You don't need to finish every book you start as not every book is good or is for you.
  • Start by reading 15 min a day.
I'm happy she decided to start on the self-improvement journey and am thankful that I was in a position to make these recommendations to her. My hope is that she'll read those books and find some additional ones of her own.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Cutting the Chaos

The Universe is chaotic and we defined boundaries, in the form of Governments and socially acceptable behaviors, for ourselves as well as varying degrees of processes across all of our industries in order to make the Universe appear less chaotic. It's through these configurations that we manage to become the most populous specie on this planet. Perhaps wars and rebellious groups are a reminder that the world isn't as properly defined as we make it out to be.

Is there a better way to live?

Each new generation brings with them a host of changes. The Millennials and Gen Z have redefined sexual identity, relationship boundaries as well as what constitutes a home - many preferring mobility over a sedentary home. It's normal for these changes to be seen as chaotic by the preceding generations but let's not forget that they, too, have made changes for what they considered to be a better way to live. What's important to remember here is that these changes are the natural order of things and what ever is wrong will be made right again by the following generations.
While changes occurs regardless of society's restrictions it does occur faster where freedoms exist.

There's still chaos...

As I mentioned before, wars and rebellious groups are a reminder that our society is built upon chaos. We aren't perfect therefor we haven't been able to create a perfect society. Perhaps these evils are necessary in our quest for improvements. Interestingly, the time period that we live in is relatively calm compared to any other period in our history which may be a sign that we have made some improvements over our predecessors - let's keep this cadence.

If there's one thing to remember about this post is that change is necessary on our quest to create the perfect society. If we already lived in a perfect society then there wouldn't be any need for change. My only hope is that these changes will occur via peaceful means with the uttermost respect for each other.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Everyone is Replaceable At Work But...

It's been said before that everyone is replaceable at work but is that really the case? With time, everyone is replaceable as the people left behind slowly fill the hole that was left in the project by the person leaving. The size of the hole, however, differs depending on the contribution of the person to said project. I remember this particular instance where it took more than 2 years to fill in the hole of that one person that left - these are the kind of people that a company should work to keep.

Employers must identify these people to insure that they're properly taken care of by the company as loosing them as far reaching consequences.

How long do you think it would take to replace you?

Funny enough, I want my departure to be as seamless as possible. I always want to leave a project at the same state, or better, than when I was there. This is why I spent a lot of time mentoring others in everything that I do as I never want to be in a situation where my departure would leave the project in a bad spot.
Maybe this is the approach everyone should have? Why would you want to leave the project you've spent so much time working on in a bad spot?

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

We're Dumb!

I recently came across a list of people that were put to death due to being convicted of Witchcraft. When we think about someone being put to death due to Witchcraft we probably think about something that occurred in the 1700s but surprisingly this isn't the case as we've had a Witch put to death as recent as 2020 according to Wikipedia.

"Who knows why we were taught to fear the witches, and not those who burned them alive."

While we have the ability to think we choose to, often blindly, follow other people that does the thinking for us as well as live our lives mostly on habits. When we, blindly, take someone else's thinking as our own we're sometime face with a situation like the Witch-hunt mentioned above where a group of people believe that it's within their rights to prosecute others for, what they believe to be, Witchcraft. 

Thinking is like a muscle that we must exercise in order to be proficient with it. 

The biggest problem that we face as a specie today is that we've created some very smart, but deadly, inventions that are often being controlled by not so smart people. If we think about the Atomic Bomb currently in Putin's possession (and at one point at Trump's disposal) it's not difficult to see that this is an extinction level problem. 
Leaders of the world either forced their way into the role or are voted in but in neither case is "being smart" a requirement and it's essentially the responsibility of the masses to insure the world leaders qualifies for the role. 

Recently, I've been frustrated that some very good people have been influenced in all sorts of extremist ways (think freedom truckers, patriot parties...). If we, in-fact, lived in an tyrannical world I would see these as necessary but what we have today is mostly angry people directing their hate towards good world leaders and they either want to replace them for one of their own or another leader that is, himself, behind a tyrannical scheme.

True freedom comes with a responsibility and that responsibility is for each one of us to educate ourselves from good, trusted, resources rather mamajaba32 on Youtube. I'm fully aware that everyone thinks that they're right but in order to be sure we're right for anything we constantly have to challenge our belief from trusted sources.

I know I've been all over the place with this post yet the bulk of the message is simply this: We're dumb! You can be young and dumb, that's kind of what's expected, but you can't be old and dumb.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Nobody Will Remember You (And That's Okay)

I once said that life was about choosing how to be remembered yet there will come a time when nobody will remember us. Slowly but surely time will forget that we ever existed whether it be shortly after our death or a thousand years in the future.

Out of the billions of people that ever existed only a handful of them are still remembered today. If we think of Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein ... all of those individuals left a mark that will likely be remembered for thousands of more years but there might come a point when history will forget about them too as in order to remember anything we need the ability to carry forward the knowledge from one generation to the next. In the event of a global catastrophe, that would prevent a generation to share its knowledge to the next, this chain would be broken only for history to start anew.

This is "okay" because it simply can't be helped. There's nothing, anyone, can do that will leave a permanent trace into this vanishing thing that we call time. A million years from now, humans may not even be around anymore. 
Sometimes one has to wonder what's the point of all of this? A religious person might say that our existence is some sort of test that will determine where we'll be in our next, eternal, life. I always found it a bit strange that what ever behavior we have in our brief existence on this planet is, somehow, playing such a major role in another, more permanent, state of existence. 
If we, somehow, lost all of our history and started anew it would be interesting to see what kind of religion humans would create for itself. My guess is that the Sun would, once again, reach deity status in much similar ways as our ancestors have... up until a prophet comes along to shake things up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Future is Vegetarian

It makes sense for a specie with self-awareness to move away from barbaric origins in favor of a nobler future. We've made a lot of progress in that regard and one of the ways we can further this is by moving away from meat. Animal cruelty aside, it's not difficult to see that we will eventually reach a point when our meat habits will no longer be sustainable

Maybe it's my, albeit small, Buddhist side of me speaking but does it really make sense to have our specie consume another for survival? Consuming another specie has been useful to us in the past yet we now have the technology to move away from it. Why not explore these options further?

While the current meat alternatives aren't necessarily the healthier option it's still a step in the right direction.

If we ever reach space age then we will need to make changes to our diet. It wouldn't make sense, for example, to bring cows for long term space travel. 
If we think about it from the perspective that the planet we live on has limited resources and that once we reach space age we will need to find alternatives to meat then why not start looking at alternatives now? We may not need to remove meat from our diet completely, yet, but we should start thinking about revisiting some of our meals.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Manager Vs Leader

Lately I've been finding that I'm an excellent manager but a very poor leader. As a manager, I'm good at coming up with processes and assigning tasks to others but I doubt that other people see me as being inspiring (a quality of a good leader).
Being in a management-ish role, I have more people than ever before looking up to me for answers to their day to day struggles. Sometimes, I share these answers but it doesn't seem to stick and I'm required to repeat myself frequently as a result. My current belief is that, given more leadership capabilities, this wouldn't be as much of a problem

According to the book Launching a Leadership Revolution, by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward, Leadership effectiveness is determined by three things:
  • Character - Doing what you say you're going to do even when nobody is looking (or being trustworthy). 
  • Tasks - Ability to accomplish the tasks at hand.
  • Relationships - Being able to connect with other people.
Relationship is, perhaps by far, the area I struggle with the most. Making friends has never been one of my strong points. It's not that I'm a bad person it's that I find the entire process of building relationships kind of exhausting. 
It is said that Extroverts are those that gain energy from being around people and that Introverts are those that gain energy being alone... I'm definitely in the later group.

What now?

Relationship is one of the most important qualities to have as a human being. If you don't have relationship skills then your human experience is going to be a lonely one. This flaw of mine is something I absolutely need to solve. How? Re-reading the Launching a Leadership Revolution book might be a great place for me to start.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Recycling the Unrecyclables

I find it difficult to believe that in 2022 we still allow companies to use material that can't be recycled. Is there any reason why we can recycle a bottle of water but not the cap? Why not make the cap recyclable too?
I understand that there might be some limitations, such as meat can't be stored in "x" type of plastic for whatever reason, yet we need to get back to the drawing board and find a solution to this problem. 

We also need to look at ways to recycle the unrecyclables. Can they be used in other products? Can they be broken down and made into bricks to build houses with? Can a used bottle cap be washed and used for another bottle?
Are we not doing this already because it would be too costly do to so? Why is it cheaper to pollute that planet than it is to do things to preserve it?

Sadly, I have frustrations when it comes to this problem but like most I don't have a solution for it. Is it possible to live without destroying our environment in the process?

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Show Your Skills/Work to the World!

You can be considered good at something until you either expose your skill/work, and the general consensus is that it's good, or you go through some sort of challenge and finish at the top. Many people consider themselves to be the "best" at something but they don't share that skill/work to anyone. 

How do you know you're good at something if nobody else knows about it but you? 

It takes courage to show your skill/work to the world as it can potentially expose you to the reality that you may not be as good as you made yourself out to be in private. 

I like to think of myself as a great writer but the reality doesn't align with how I see myself as a writer but because I know this I'm left with a choice: Do I cry about it or do I keep pushing? I chose the later... Anyone that wants to be the best at something needs to go through this.

Show your skill to the world, let it judge you, find something to improve and keep pushing. You'll grow faster this way than if you try to be the best only in private.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

How the War in Ukraine Could of Been Worse...

Dictators, like Kings, are people that think about their own interests before the interests of their people and the only reason why they want to expand their rule is in order to exert power over more people. While the world's eyes are on Putin right now, due to the invasion of Ukraine, we need to thank our lucky star that the U.S.A isn't led by Putin's friend, Trump (who was quoted as saying that he approved of his friend's invasion), as the future of the world could of taken a totally different turn. 

Dictators are to be reasoned with but not befriended. 

What this ordeal taught me is that it's crucial to have respectable, morally aligned, individuals in a country's leadership roles. Annoyingly, Trump is proof that sometimes being President is more about winning a popularity contest than it is about someone of character being chosen for the role. The fault is, as I see it, on the voters more so than on the person being chosen because the voters decided to ignore Trump's morally corrupt past and give him the job of running the Country.

With the invasion of Ukraine is now in full swing, the world finally got to see what Putin's plan was with all the money he had acquired from other Countries. Whether or not Ukraine will fall remains to be seen but one thing is certain; Putin's quest for more power seems to have had the adverse effect, at least in the short term, as most Countries have now heavily sanctioned Russia's businesses. 

We live in scary times...

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Don't Lie, Cheat or Steal!


Back in the early 2000s, there was a wrestler named Eddie Guerrero who had a "Lie, Cheat, Steal" wresting gimmick. It's a philosophy that his character was applying quite often and he was able to achieve quite a bit with it. Obviously, that was a fictitious character in a fictitious world. If we were to apply this philosophy in real life we would not be as successful as Eddie Guerrero was portrayed as being - at least not in the long term.

Lying, cheating, stealing might give us an edge in the short term but it opens the door to potential headaches in the future because the people that were lied to, that were cheated or that got things stolen from will want restitution and the person that did these deeds will loose trust in the process. Once trust is lost it's almost impossible to get it back.

When Eddie Guerrero did these things, he suffered none of the consequences but real life doesn't work like that. Eventually these things are brought to light and justice is served.

Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Timeline We Share

To live means to be part of a timeline that we share with other living creatures. The core purpose of every living creature is to insure its continued survival on this timeline. Some living creatures, like humans, have developed an awareness to its surrounding which gave them the ability to set different, but not so different (as the root of every goal is survival), goals for itself. 
Some humans are selfish, or does things to insure their own survival, and some are selfless, or who do things to insure the survival of others including or excluding themselves. Both of these groups want to survive but one could say that selflessness is better because it benefits a group rather than an individual.

To me, it make sense to have a group of living creatures, like Foxes, fight off another group, like rabbits, for survival but where it doesn't make sense is when you have individuals of a same specie fighting each other for supremacy/survival. 
Primates, for example, have groups that will fight off primates, from another group, that entered their property. Because these two groups can't cohabit they're effectively limiting the specie's potential to grow. One would think that a group could become so big that it could conquer every other group, and then grow exponentially, but what tends to happen, with the case of primates at least, is that big groups separates to form smaller groups and the cycle repeats itself.

I've purposely chosen primates in the example above because humans have commons ancestors with them and we can certainly see similarities in regards to behaviors. The societies that we've created for ourselves might be a bit bigger and more complex but the idea behind those societies remains the same - we form these groups in order to survive and we will fight off invaders just the same as our primate ancestors did. 
At a much smaller scale, the workplace has people fighting each other to rise up that corporate ladder which, to me at least, is the same as having 2 primates fighting each other for group dominance. The type of society we've built is definitely a progression of the primate's territorial mindset.

Our society, unlike Primates' societies, has evolved to the point where we've included such things as personal freedom and equal rights. It's now possible, for example, to have women occupy roles that used to be reserved for men something not accepted in primate societies. Progress is slow but these are indicators that we're moving away, at least in some areas, from our primitive instincts in favor of a, perhaps, more logical approach to the way of living our lives.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Don't Work For Things

"The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more but in developing the capacity to enjoy less." 

(This is essentially one of the core philosophy of Buddhism.)

Because I don't believe that success is defined with material things, I never been one that found pleasures in accumulating objects but I realized that, for the few objects that I do own, the objects owns me just as much as I own it as I need to care for it. Some of my friends have big houses, camps, multiple cars, four-wheelers, motorcycles... all these things requires one's attention in order to function properly and you kind of, as I mentioned before, become a slave to it.
I'm not against material things but maybe we should limit what we own and not associate happiness, or success, with things regardless of what society says.

I find he world of sales to be most guilty of this as sales is about projecting an image of success through various objects that society associates with success. Salespeople knows that you're more likely to buy their products or services if they show up in a new BMW, wearing a fancy watch, than if they show up in a 20 year old, rusted, car. The problem with this way of doing business is the salesperson, who often doesn't actually have the finances to support the successful image he's trying to project, goes broke trying to look successful. Maybe this is what they meant by "fake it until you make it"?
Being excessively in debt is, perhaps, the biggest downside of trying to own too many things or live beyond your means. It's very difficult to find happiness in situations where you have to work to pay off past purchases.

A friend of mine said she wants her entire life to fit within a suitcase. She loves to travels and fully understands the joys of owning very little. Maybe we should take her example?

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

History is Repeating Itself

“The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
-Georg Hegel

The above quote is only partly true, at least to me, as history repeats itself only by those that haven't learned from history.

Every major changes in society was met with opposition. If we look at the civil war, in the US, there were those that wanted to end slavery and those that wanted to keep it - both parties believed, strongly, that they were correct in their beliefs.

In 1885, smallpox was ravaging the world until a vaccine came out that greatly reduced deaths by the disease. The vaccine was opposed by some even as many were dying from it. 
Fast forward to 2022, 2 years in a pandemic, and you have a group of people opposing vaccine mandates even though they've proven effective against COVID. If you speak to anyone who's against the vaccine you'll realize that they have a strong belief in their views.

History is repeating itself but only because some haven't learned from it.

What I find most annoying is when the opposition believe that what ever they're doing is for the greater good. That, somehow, they're misconception of reality will bring forth greater liberties than ever before if they were to succeed in their endeavors. It's very difficult for me to understand how someone fighting to continue slavery, for example, ever believed that his cause was the right one. What experience did he go through in order to believe that he has the rights to own another human being? What experience have people gone through in order to believe that vaccines, or social distancing endeavors, don't help fight off infectious diseases?

History is repeating itself because not enough people have learned from it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Reading Struggles

My dad admitted to me that he didn't like to read because he had problems remembering what he had just read. I think we can all relate to this to a certain point. Some people have Dyslexia or other learning difficulties that adds up to the difficulty of learning new things from books. I would argue, however, that most people don't have any problems other than they get discourage too easily when attempting to read a book. 

The following are things that anyone that wants to read anything should keep in mind and be at peace with:
  • You will not remember everything that you read: This is normal as not everything that you read will have a significant impact to leave a mark.
  • Not everything needs to be remembered: Authors usually adds a lot of "fluff" to books that don't necessarily need to be remembered.
  • You will not understand everything that you read: Some authors like to use fancy words to describe things which may confuse the reader.
  • It's okay to take notes of what's important: Taking notes is a great way to remember the parts that you actually need to have remembered. Some like to write notes, or highlight, directly in their books but I usually prefer having a notepad on the side where I'll write important paragraphs along with some thoughts.
Reading is a form of meditation and, like meditation, is something you get better with over time. Don't get discourage if you struggle with a book. Give it time and you'll get it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

When Overtime Impacts Your Decisions Making Abilties

Most employee agreement type of contracts have clauses about overtime requirement. In some cases, working longer hours may help but if it occurs too frequently then the quality of the work is being sacrificed for quantity.
Jeff Bezos said in an interview that he has at least 8 hours of sleep because most of his work is about making decisions and you make better decisions while you're well rested. 

We may not be making the same types of decisions as Jeff Bezos is making but we're making decisions non the less and I'm sure they're better with a well rested mind than otherwise.

I consider myself lucky that I can count on my hands the amount of time I worked overtime where it negatively impacted my sleep as many have to go through this on a weekly basis. If this is your situation I would encourage you to look for other opportunities in your field or otherwise. If you keep doing this, in the longer term, it may have farther reaching consequences than simply negatively impacting your decisions making abilities.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Universe doesn't care about Humans

A friend of mine once said that he believed the Universe was created for the purpose of human curiosity. In other words, if we weren't here then the Universe would cease to be. He's certainly not the only person to think this way and it's something that I simply can't agree with.

The origin of this belief screams creationism where everything is only 6000 years old. If this were true, that the Universe was only 6000 years old and that humans were only around for that long, then maybe the Universe would of been created solely for us but there's evidence that suggest that the Universe is much older than that.

If we look at our planet's history, you'll find that the Universe is more than 6000 years old and life thrived before the introduction of humans which suggests that the Universe existed prior to our existence, or awareness, of it. 

We we could possibly say, however, is that the Universe only exist to us while we're alive as its the only time that we are aware of it. 
The Universe existed before humans and it will continue to do so after we're all gone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

"Don't Live on Autopilot"

"Don't live on Autopilot" is a phrase I heard recently that made me realized that I was living on auto pilot ever since this pandemic began. While simplify some aspect of our lives is necessary, as to reduce the chances of spreading this virus, it doesn't mean that it should be to the point where we basically just eat/work/sleep which, admittedly, is all I've been doing for the past 2 year.
What this means, in reality, is that I haven't gotten out of my comfort zone much and this is something that definitely needs to changes as the only time we grow is when we're outside of our comfort zone.

Shake things up!

So what can be done about this?
  • Learn a new skill - Now could a perfect opportunity to sharpen existing skill or learn a new one entirely.
  • Change job/career - Covid changed the work landscape which, to some, may not of been for the better. Maybe it's time to start looking for a new job or change career entirely?
  • Re-connect with friends and family - Join a new forum, start a chat with an old acquaintance on social media, expand your network of contacts.
  • Embellish your living space - Is it time to renovate your home? Do you need new furniture?
  • Visit your area - Pretend you're on a holiday in your area and go places you've never gone before (while respecting the restrictions).
  • Prepare a gift for someone - Is there a holiday coming up? Is there a birthday? It's never too soon to start preparing gifts.
  • Try a new restaurant - You may not be able to sit in a new restaurant but many still offer takeout options.
  • Exercise/eat better - Some of us used to workout quite regularly prior to the pandemic. Now may be the time to jump back into it or look into it for the first time.
Those are but a few ideas that could get someone's life out of an autopilot period. Note that I didn't mention things like "watch a new series" as I think we can all agree that entertainment kind of adds to this problem rather than fix it. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

When Bad Things Inspire Change

The Magna Carta (Great Charter) is the most important document ever created by man and it came to life due to the tyrannical reign of a king. This King did such a bad job that a civil war ensued, which he eventually lost, and was forced to sign this document that would ultimately take some of his powers away and give it to the general population.

This document, for those of you who doesn't know, is largely responsible for the freedoms we get to enjoy today.

If this King would of done an okay job, instead of a bad one, then maybe we would never of gotten this document. The inspiration came because this King rub off too many people the wrong way for too long proving that, perhaps, the greatest of inventions comes when people are at their most uncomfortable.

In a way, we have to thank this King for being one of the worse in history as without his contribution we wouldn't be enjoying the freedoms that we do today.

Wikipedia is a great place to go if you want to learn more about Magna Carta or who this King was.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Can you Live on Minimum Wage?

Some provinces in Canada have recently upped their minimum wage to the enjoyment of many and the frustration of others, like myself, that just wants the cost of living to go down rather than to increase the minimum wage but I digress as the subject of today is "Can you live on minimum wage?"

I believe it's possible to live on minimum wage but it depends on a few factors. Namely:

  • Where do you live? If you live in New-York, there's no way you can live, with any sort of comfort, on minimum wage but if you live in an unknown town then you might just be able to. Where I grew up, for example, it's possible to find a decent house for 50k with monthly payments that could be manageable on minimum wage.
  • Do you have debts? Debt is like a vampire sucking the money out of your wallet. Depending on the amount you ow, it may not be possible for you to live on minimum wage until you clear out that debt or declare bankruptcy.
  • Do you require a car? Cars are money pits and whether or not you require one can determine if you can live on minimum wage. My first car was a 15 year old Honda Accord that my dad got for me for 500$. I drove the thing for a few months until it died and after that I started walking to my, close to minimum wage, job (total of 4 hours a day) in a city that I couldn't afford owning a car and pay rent, at the same time, on minimum wage. 
  • What's your relationship/family status? Are you single? Do you have kids? Is your spouse working? All these are factors on whether or not you can live on minimum wage. 
  • Are you disciplined with money? Being able to stick to a budget is critical regardless of the amount of money you earn but it's even more so when you have only a few dollars to spend every month. Are you able to say no to yourself and live on the bare minimum?
  • Can you live with someone else? If you're able to have roommate then that can help with some of the financial struggles from working minimum wage.
While I believe it's possible to live on minimum wage I don't believe you can thrive on it as you require money to make money. You require money to gain more skills, to invest, to save, to build something for yourself and the less money you earn the more you mind needs to be focused on it which takes the focus away from planning your future. Given the choice, I doubt people would choose to work on minimum wage as it's definitely not an ideal place to be.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

New Year Resolution - The 100 Books Challenge

A friend of mine shared with me all the 100 books she read in the last year, for her yearly resolution, and said she was resetting the goal for this year. The list she showed was quite impressive but I was disappointed to find that all of those books were essentially fiction. Of course, she can read what ever she wants just imagine what could of happened to her if she would of read a hundred books about personal finances? Business? Relationship? Philosophy?... She would of been an expert on those subjects!

Having read many of these non-fiction books myself I can certainly understand why this doesn't appeal to some people: It's fairly dry reading and can be a chore. There's a non-fiction genre, however, that resemble fiction but you can still learn a lot from and that is History.
History books are, obviously, not work of fiction but reading about a time long gone does have a bit of a fiction flair to it. 
The book about Alexander the Great, by Jacob Abbot, is an excellent example of a work of history that feels like a work of fiction as the author goes in great details about the epic battles the Macedonians fought against the Persian empire which makes the book difficult to put down almost the same way as a good fiction story would.

I love that my friend is able to read 100 books in a year. It's not something that I feel I can do unless I significantly change my priorities. I read about 15 books in the last year some of which were re-read. This year, my goal is to get 20 good books in. The below are a few that I have on the go right now:
  • "Resolved" by Orrin Woodward (Re-Read)
  • "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill
  • "Meditation" by Marcus Aurelius
What books are you currently reading? Are you planning to read 10,20,100 books in the next year?

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