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! 🙂

 

Ah-Ha Moments

Read time: <3 minutes

As I state in my about me section, I cannot change you for the better. Only you can change yourself. I am a firm believer in what I like to call “ah-ha moments” that can greatly alter your course in life for the good or bad. Something influences you, you have that ah-ha moment, and something inside of you changes that causes you to change your behavior. Let’s look at several different real-life scenarios.

I like to talk about health issues a lot with my wife, but oftentimes it can come across as lecturing or harping on her about things. Well she had an AHM one day while randomly watching tv and some lady basically said some of the same things I had been saying. My wife told me about her AHM and how she just needed to hear what I was saying from someone else. Anyway, the lady on tv was her inspiration to have that AHM, even though she knew all along what she needed to do.

Another example is a woman in a physically abusive relationship. I mean, she literally has visible bruises from the abuse. All her family and friends say she needs to get out of the relationship, and, clearly she does, but she decides to stay. One day, the guy breaks her arm during one of his episodes and she finally decides to leave. While extreme, it took that event for her to have her AHM and get out of the relationship, even though she had people telling her the exact same thing the whole time and it seemed obvious that she needed to leave.

I know this girl who smoked about a pack a day. I oftentimes would tell her that she needs to quit smoking/not smoke so much and she always says that she knows and whatnot. Then, she gets pregnant. After she finds out the news, she quits smoking cold turkey for the entire pregnancy. It took that outside event, the health of her unborn child, to spark the AHM in order for her to change. Unfortunately, as soon as the baby was born, she started smoking again, and in this case, the outside influence was the only thing that caused her to change. Once it was removed, she went right back to her old habit. Ideally, an AHM would spark internal change that would cause you to want to change for good.

I, personally, find that I have a lot of AHMs while reading books or even various articles on some of the blogs I follow. Various interactions with people also have been the source of many AHMs for me, specifically deep conversations, mentor situations, and even just having a drink with a friend.

There are many more examples, but one of my goals in life is to help people experience as many of these AHMs as possible. I find that living an extraordinary life and being an inspiration to others is one of the best ways to incite change within others. Whether we are talking health, wealth, relationships, bad habits, addictions, or various mental issues, a person will only change when they decide for themselves that they want to change.

Take action now: AHMs are worthless if you don’t act on that internal feeling of wanting to change. Once you have an AHM, you must change your actions or the moment is wasted.

Start by reflecting on some of the times in your life when you experienced an AHM. Perhaps it was a time you quit a bad habit or started a good one. It could have been when you had a realization in your job, relationships, spirituality, or physical/mental health and you changed your life due to that realization. Once you recognize a couple of AHMs in your life, narrow down the source of inspiration that caused your moment. Everyone’s source of inspiration to change will be different, but the goal is to immerse yourself in the situations that help you have the most AHMs. These sources could be through books, meditation, conversations, through service to others, even tv shows or movies. How about kylefromkansas.com? 😀

Remember you must act on these moments. AHMs without action are worthless. Find a group of like-minded people to support you in your new change. Meetup.com is a good source or even craigslist. Don’t let that AHM go to waste!

Results of the “Not-so” Haunted House

Read time: 2 minutes

For the last month and a half or so, I have been putting my blood, sweat, and tears into fixing up this house. Here are the results of my efforts:

Photos: Before and After

Here’s a spreadsheet of every cost I have incurred.

All this info will be in the left sidebar for future reference. Since this was my first “major” rehab, I learned a lot during the process of fixing this house up as compared to the first two, which were relatively easier. Besides new skills such as laying laminate flooring and tile work (and dealing with mold!), I learned a lot about the management side of this business. I know I can’t do all the work myself, and shouldn’t. Ideally, I would do very little of the work, and hire most of it out and still be in the green. Eventually I am going to want my properties to be managed to make this whole thing even more passive.

Besides stuff related to construction and business, I learned a lot about relationships as well. A friend who has been helping me had to suddenly cut back on his hours due to his significant other and personal situation. It helped me realize that I am in an amazing relationship with an amazing woman and have it way better than most married guys. Heck I’m even going back to Vegas in December without her. Whether you’re married or not, enjoy the personal freedoms you’ve been given and appreciate the time you have with your loved ones. Being away from my wife for nearly 2 months has helped me learn to appreciate the time we have together even more.

Kind of went off on a tangent there, but I have learned a lot about many different aspects of business and life through this house. I am hoping it goes well with renting it out and I’m ready to move on to the next adventure. Every house has been a unique experience and I look forward to what the future holds! 🙂

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Read Time: 2.5 minutes

I remember back when I was in middle school sometimes wishing I was our dog, Freckles. I’d say to myself, “Man, I wish I had it easy like Freckles. She gets to lay around all day and has no worries.”

Recently, I was at church when the pastor started talking about how glorious heaven was and how awesome it will be once we get there. I believe he even went so far as to say, “Just take me now.” I even have a good friend who will sometimes comment how he wishes he were dead (he’s not suicidal) just so he could go to heaven and all would be well. It doesn’t even have to be as drastic as death; you could wish you were a celebrity, rich person, more attractive/popular/athletic/funny etc.

This is a dangerous mindset to have. You become an “escapist” and daydream of a “better life” without taking action. This is also where substance abuse comes into play. Drinking your sorrows away or escaping into video games all day long. These are coping methods that don’t get down to the root of the problem of acceptance of yourself and your situation.

When I think about these situations, it saddens me. It saddens me that we would think our problems are so great, we would rather take the easy way out. Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, we should all make the most of our very limited time here.

There truly is no “easy” way (unless you are extremely lucky!) to achieve results in every aspect of life. It takes work to improve yourself and your life, and especially to live a life you can look back on and be proud of all that you have achieved.

While it is important to be happy in the moment and appreciate what we already have, we should always be moving forward. Improving ourselves and the world we live in so there are less people wishing they were something or somewhere else. There is no better place than this present moment! Enjoy it and create for yourself a fulfilling life!

Take action now: First of all just stop and take a moment to count your blessings. Think about all the good things you have in life. Whether that be as simple as a bed, food, and a roof over your head, you are way better off than most of the people in the world if you just have these things! Not to mention the freedom to do things without persecution, relationships, education, the list goes on and on. Having a gratitude attitude really helps to put your life in perspective and realize that things are not as bad as they seem.

Second, take the time to make your life better so you are not wishing you were not yourself. I have mentioned 30 day trials many times and will continue to do so. Get an accountability partner. Join a meetup.com group that focuses on personal development. Get out there and stop wishing your life was better, make it better through your actions!