#66 Hey Take A Break Eh

Good Morning!

My brother asked some questions about taking breaks from work on social media last week and it got me thinking about a few things: Why do I feel like I need to do my own thing? Why do I need to be my own boss? Why go through all the pain and extra work when I can just go and work for someone else and collect a paycheck?

The answer is time.  It’s always been time and how I feel about it.

I want to be in control of my time and schedule.

At this point in my life, being in control of my time is the most important thing.  I’ve placed a huge measure of success on this one particular point.

Even as a robotics contractor I didn’t feel like I was in charge of my time. Continue reading “#66 Hey Take A Break Eh”

#65 Good-Bye Coffee We Had A Great Run

Good Morning!

I’m pretty sure I was at Grandma’s house the first time I drank coffee. I might have been five or six years old at the time. There were a few of us sitting around the table in the kitchen. So many good memories were made in that place. The last thing I remember someone saying before taking my first sip was something about my growth being stunted.

Everyone quietly and patiently waited my reaction.  I must not have disappointed anyone because I remember the smiling faces which I can only now assume was amusement.  I must have no doubt made the bitter-tasting facial expression then followed by the wide-eyed expression of “THAT’S REALLY GOOD!!” when the full bouquet of flavours had presented itself and ran its course.  When I was a kid, this was the treat a grandma’s house: coffee or tea and coffee bulla (Pulla or Finnish Cardamom Sweet Bread).

I began drinking coffee regularly in high-school at maybe 14 or 15 years old; I didn’t have a driver’s licence yet.  My group of friends tended to congregate at one coffee shop or another: Country Style, Robins Doughnuts, or Tim Hortons.  All any of us needed to do was show up at some point after dinner and there would be someone to have a coffee, a smoke, and a conversation with.  We’d spend hours there. Multiple coffees, overflowing ash trays, and stimulating conversations that made us not want to sleep.

This ritual continued until near the end of my 18th year when I decided to pack up and move to a new city and start my own adventure.  Continue reading “#65 Good-Bye Coffee We Had A Great Run”

#48 Personal Freedom Requires Discipline

Good Morning!

I was up really early today, 4 am early.

If you want more freedom in your life, you need more discipline.

If you type that line into google search, you’re going to get a lot of results.  There is so much to think and write about regarding freedom.

Whenever I hear someone use the word freedom, I’m reminded of the meme where there is a bald eagle standing outside a windowed door with the caption: “Excuse me sir, but do you have a moment to talk about freedom?”.

But that’s not the freedom I’m talking about.

I’m talking about personal freedom; and if you want more if it, you have to get your shit together.

What is personal freedom?

It’s about controlling how you spend your time to get along in this world.

It’s about setting your own working hours, goals, and how much money you’re going to make.

It’s about who you want to spend your time with and how.

Discipline is not a consequence, it’s the drive to take action.

Jocko Willink says “Discipline is your best friend. Discipline is the path to freedom from laziness and wasted time. Discipline will get you stronger, faster, and healthier than you’ve ever been in your life. Discipline is choosing what makes you better than what’s easy”.

If you want more freedom, you have to get good controlling and managing your time.  You need to have the discipline to work your plan, refining it and getting better at executing it, every single day.

If you want more money, you have to be disciplined with your spending and not buying shit you don’t need for a tiny bit of instant gratification.

If you want a better body and mind, you must be disciplined with your training and nutrition on a daily basis.

Discipline will get you anything you want in life.

As Jocko says, get after it.

Have a great day!

P.S. You can subscribe to the email list to get notified when there is new stuff on the blog.

P.P.S. If you want some tools to get you more personal freedom, check out “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual” by Jocko Willink.*

#22 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ever Let Your Coffee Get Cold

Good Morning!

I’m not going to let my coffee get cold today.  I’m not, going to let, my coffee, get cold today!

I’m going to finish the entire thing while it’s still at the right temperature.

I’m going to finish it because yesterday, the last two mouthfuls for the lack of a better way to put it, left a poor taste in my mouth.

It tarnished the experience that I expected to end well.

I already knew before I drank coffee, that it was cold and that the cream might be off, but I rolled the dice anyways.

When I look back on why I finished it: I didn’t want to waste it because I put effort into making it, and because I thought I needed it.

The aftertaste of the cold coffee was an experience that I didn’t care for considering I didn’t intend for it to get cold in the first place. I wanted a congruent coffee experience, like I normally have.

What the poor ending to my morning coffee experience did for me yesterday, was allow me to connect a few a few thoughts together.

The experience matters. The is especially true if we have formed habits around what we do on a constant basis.  We expect the experience to be the same throughout. The congruency of the experience from start to finish plays a large role in how we rate the quality of an experience and forming an opinion of it as generally good or bad. 

Timing is important, and sometimes everything. Had I remembered to start the kettle first so that I could pour some hot water into the mug to get it warm before I pull my shots, my coffee probably wouldn’t have gotten cold in the amount of time I normally take to enjoy my coffee.

How you finish is what creates the lasting impression. Regardless of how the entire experience goes as whole, we tend to only remember the really high points and all of the bad stuff. The slogan “good to the last drop” comes to mind.

Finish what you’re doing on a high point. We generally like to have a positive outcome when we do things. Finishing on a high point is one of the best ways to create a positive lasting impression of the overall experience and sets the tone of how we remember the entire experience. The reciprocal of this is also true, finish on a low point and the entire experience will be tarnished.

It’s never too late to make something right. You can always reflect on what went wrong, ask some questions and do some research to figure out why the outcome you arrived at was different than what you had expected. A new plan of action can be made for the next time, or steps can be taken to improve the situation.

Impressions can be changed if expectations are managed. Have you ever tried iced coffee? It’s pretty good right? Cold brew (or iced) coffee has a different taste to it because the extraction process is much, much slower. If I started out by making cold coffee in the first place, I would have managed my expectations.

Just because you put effort into something, doesn’t mean you have to live with it. This is a negative feed back statement. I could have just poured the cold coffee down the drain, but my morning coffee ritual takes time and a bit of effort to prepare a good cup and it seemed like a waste to not finish it. The whole experience was tarnished.

This is a lot like putting effort into a career that gets your priorities all mixed up, makes you sick and act like person you didn’t want to become. When knowing for certain that there will be a bitter ending, it’s better to make the hard decision to end on a high point.

So did I finish my coffee this morning before it got cold? I sure did.

Was the last sip as good as the first? I’ll make sure to warm up the mug more next time. 😊

Have a great day!