Category Archives: Personal Development

Long vs Short Posts

Most of my articles are quick reads, under 5 minutes.  I did this for a reason, I figured people are busy and would be more likely to read a concise, to-the-point article than a 10 page long piece.  This article by Ramit has made me reconsider my writing.

He makes many good points in the article, but what stands out to me is how many people read things and do not take action.  I do not want people reading my blog for entertainment or mental masturbation.  People must take action, change their habits and patterns, and do the hard things in order to better themselves in order to have a better life and sense of well-being.

In future posts, I plan on delving deep into issues people have with their mindset and what’s really holding them back to a better life.  While I feel I can have deep conversations about these topics, writing about them and getting the meaning across is a whole different animal.  I need to do more reading about how to write good copy!  Here’s to higher quality articles and more changed lives for the better!

Fund your Freedom

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read time: 90 seconds

What are you doing right now to fund your freedom? While some of you may be maxing out your 401k or IRA, a lot of people I know personally seem to not worry too much about the future. While traditional methods like I just mentioned are better than nothing, I would highly recommend that people take measures to fund their freedom now to get out of the rat race!

It is surprising to me how many people are willing to sacrifice an amazing future, just to get by in the present. Does watching American Idol truly make you happy? Why are you willing to blow your money on stupid shit you don’t need, while being a slave to the system and the 9 to 5? Do you want to be able to take as many vacations as you want, do the things you want, and truly be free? Why are you sacrificing an amazing life by giving in to “instant gratification” having an entitlement mindset, and thinking you deserve the good things in life now, but are not willing to put in the hard work?

Most people prostitute themselves Monday-Friday only for the freedom of a weekend. How many times do we hear TGIF? Or how Mondays suck so much? If you want to be free from the system, you have to start doing the hard work, now, to live the good life!

If I told you I made 50k a year would you consider me rich? What if I told you I don’t have to work at all? Does that put a new spin on things? I am currently trying to hit my goal of 50k a year through my real estate endeavors and now my ecommerce and online businesses. These endeavors will fund my freedom. I am also willing to sacrifice things like shopping, driving a nice car, and other things most people feel they “need” in order to achieve my personal freedom from “the man” and the system. Time is our most valuable resource.

TAN: You must start looking into the methods that will help you achieve your personal freedom. The key here is that you must learn something new and be able to apply the knowledge. You cannot expect to sit back and win the lottery. Learn a useful skill and offer your services, learn how to start a website and make money online, learn how to save money – all of these things will help you to fund your freedom. Basically, if you’re sitting around doing nothing in your free time, you are wasting precious time that could be used to create for yourself a better future and an amazing life. You must be able to create value in some way, then the money will take care of itself. Invest in yourself now; I guarantee it will pay off in terms of a better life! 🙂

A New Me and a New Year

Read time: <90 seconds

Ok, so for those of you that know me or can tell by my writing style I can be somewhat harsh and lecture people to death. A recent conversation with my wife has helped me realize how I drastically need to change the way I deal with different people in order to have a greater chance of affecting them in a positive way. No one wants to be harped on. No one wants to be told they are in the wrong. Even if what I am saying is the truth. This has been a hard fact for me to swallow. My typical rebuttal would be something along the lines of, “it’s the truth and this is the only way and the truth hurts so deal with it.” While it may be true, it won’t necessarily help the other person change their actions.

While we all know what we “need” to do to improve our lives, actual behavioral change is quite difficult. I was recently reading an old article by Ramit who talks about this fact. I used to be one of those people who preached about how “easy” it is to lose weight, eat healthier, spend less, improve yourself, etc etc. I should know, however, that it is actually quite difficult for most people to change their behavior, even when they know they should and what they need to do. You cannot simply “try harder” in most cases.

Ramit also talks about active and passive barriers in another article and is a great read towards trying to automate your life for success. Even the smallest changes in your life can have a big impact towards your success in changing your behavior.

TAN: What are some small changes you can make right now that will affect your behavior and lead to positive changes in your life? One small change I did to improve my health was buy a doorway pullup bar and every time I need to use the bathroom, I bang out some pullups. Also, I like to do some “pissups” as well, which are just pushups every time I use the bathroom. Read Ramit’s article on active and passive barriers and try and eliminate those that are affecting you the most.

Behavioral change is hard, and I am finally ready to admit that and empathize with people and be more encouraging. Let’s make 2012 a great year with many ah-ha moments and positive life changes! 🙂

Nobody’s Perfect and Everyone is Mostly Full of Shit

Read time: <4 minutes

Do you have a particular blogger or two that you look up to? Possibly a few facebook friends who you are jealous of? Ever wish you were someone like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet?  I’m here to tell you that most, if not all, people try and paint a rosy picture of themselves online or even in real life and declare how great their life is and how many breakthroughs they are having in their life and on and on and on.

I’m here to say it’s mostly bullshit.

Whether it’s facebook, a blog, or even face-to-face, people generally won’t tell you what’s really up in their lives unless they are really close to you or very open. They won’t say what problems they are having in their relationships, jobs, health, or in discovering their life purpose. Social niceties drive me up a damn wall and I feel as if I’m trapped in my own personal hell with the same routine of “How are you?” “Fine, and you?” blah blah blah ad infinitum/nauseum

Well enough ranting, but generally the more people try and show off/brag/etc. the more insecure they really are. If my life is amazing, I don’t have to tell people that my life is amazing. It just is.

Let me get to the point. Stop wishing you were someone else or had their life. Their life is far from perfect. They have their own issues to deal with just like everyone else. They shit and wipe their ass just like everyone else. The next time you find yourself putting someone on a pedestal, imagine them sitting on the toilet taking a shit and then wiping their ass. Literally, imagine it. They are human too with many faults, flaws, insecurities, and issues. Accept the cards you’ve been dealt and make the most with what you have. Our choices ultimately shape who we become and what kind of life we will live.

I know, I know. It is much much much much easier to watch tv, drink pop, eat mcdonalds, talk about the weather instead of real life issues and settle for the status quo. It is a constant uphill battle to fight laziness and entropy. And I’d say the vast majority of people will give up, accept mediocrity, and become part of the 99%. Be the 1%, and I’m not talking about getting rich in a monetary sense necessarily. Live a rich, fulfilling life and appreciate every moment. No one is perfect. You can choose to live the life you want by changing your actions.

TAN: First of all, you have to accept the cards you’ve been dealt in life and get over the poor me bullshit. Ok, you weren’t born Paris Hilton. So what? Accept your circumstances and realize that you can improve your circumstances through changing your actions. Take full responsibility of your life. Only when you take full responsibility of your life can you improve upon it.

Second, analyze which areas in your life need to be improved. Rate each area (health, money, career, relationships, spirituality, etc. on a scale of 1-10. Get all areas of your life to 9 or 10. How to do it is relatively easy. For health, stop eating shit and exercise. For money, stop living outside your means and spending your money on stupid shit you don’t need. For career, learn more about any subject for free by using the library or internet. Learn tangible skills that make you more marketable to employers. For relationships and spirituality, those are entire articles/books in themselves, but you get the point. Getting off your lazy ass and getting to work is the hard part. Make goals with deadlines and go for it. Write them down. Look at them daily. Get an accountability partner. All these things will add up to improve your chances of success.

Third, reap the benefits. Life is not a competition to be won. He who dies with the most toys/experiences/lovers/followers still dies. Despite what people tell you, I am a firm believer in this. You must let go of other people’s expectations to be happy. I’ve known people living in complete poverty who were still relatively happy compared to someone who is super rich but miserable. This is all internal. Only you know what makes you happy. Do the things that make you happy (as long as it doesn’t hurt others, obviously). You don’t have to show off or require anyone’s approval but your own. You are accountable to no one but yourself. Once you realize this, you will truly be free. And happy. 🙂

Beyond Prayer

Image: kenfotos / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read time: 70 seconds

Now that I’m hitched, during the holidays I attend my wife’s church she grew up in. Looking at the handout, there is an entire page dedicated to prayer concerns. While praying for these people is a nice gesture, my thoughts immediately turn to the question of how many of these people are taking any tangible action to help the people on this list? How many people every Sunday simply pray for their neighbors and call it good?

I’m not here to discuss whether or not prayer works, but my blog is all about taking action to avoid mental masturbation. I can pray every Sunday for the little old lady to get better in the hospital or I can make a batch of cookies/bring a card/offer to help in some way, and most definitively improve her life. The difference is tangible results. All I know is if you take 2 people, one who is praying for a person, and the other who actually, physically, helped in some way, I can see real results from the person who took action.

Moving beyond a religious discussion, the analogy of prayer is relevant to personal development and improving your lives and those around you. Do you talk about the next “big idea” with your friend over beers, or create a landing page to collect emails to see if the idea has merit? Do you make new years resolutions or write down specific goals you plan to achieve for the next year?

I am a firm believer in the law of action versus the popular law of attraction. If you take specific, measurable action towards improving your life, achieving your goals, and helping others, you will see results. Period. Simply wishing/hoping/praying/discussing/thinking/feeling in itself accomplishes nothing.

TAN: If you are a church-goer, the next time you see someone on that prayer list, actually go help that person in some way. This year, don’t make new years resolutions, write your goals down. We must take action to improve our lives. Do yourself and others a favor by actively engaging yourself instead of sitting around thinking things will get better. I know you can do it! 🙂