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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