#76 Smile Advice

Good Morning 🙂

If someone smiles at you, smile back if you can.

Sometimes a smile is just a friendly non-contact version of hello, a handshake, a sign of kindness, or even respect.

You should smile back because smiling feels good and makes the other person feel good too.

I know it’s difficult to smile when we’re feeling the blues, upset, worried, or even angry, but if you make attempt, it might actually make you feel a bit better.

If you wanted to, you could give them a polite head nod or even say thank you instead.

Expressing gratitude is supposed to be the strongest of all ways to change your physiology on a core level when you’re feeling depressed and want to feel better quickly.

Sometimes when I don’t feel like smiling and I know I probably should, I try to visualize a happy or funny memory.

A lot of times it’s a bit too funny and I end up laughing out loud like a silly person.

Try and smile with you whole face, all the way up to your eyes.

I hope this brought a little bit of smiling joy to your morning.

Have a great day!


#75 Get Choosy With Your People

Good Morning!

I wrote about this topic a little bit last at the beginning of the last year, and I’d like to explore this topic a little more.

What I wrote about before is that we generally become the average of the five people that we spend the bulk of our time with.

This post is about getting specific in regard to the people we spend our time with and how it’s going to change us on a fundamental level.

It seems too good to be true, but it’s the reason why business conventions exist: networking. It’s one of the best ways to get your name out there in your niche.

As the old saying goes: “Sometimes it’s not what you know, its who you know.”

If you’re not where you want to be in life in regard to how much money, status, or power you have, then the best piece of advice around is to make friends with the people who do and start spending a lot of your time with them.

Want more money? Hang out with people that have more money than you do.

Want more success in what you do? Hang out with people that seem to have the success you want.

Want to be surrounded by beautiful people? Find some pick-up artists to hang out with.

Want more decision-making power? Time to go golfing with  politicians.

Spending time around the right people will get you a lot of the necessary know-how you need just by proximity. You’ll pick up on how they treat and talk to others, what questions they ask, how they think about the things that actually make a difference to their success, and how people treat them in return. They’ll teach just about everything you need to know even without either of you knowing it.

Most people will change what they’re doing almost without knowing it because fitting is a primal instinct. We want to be a part of the group and we need to fit in.  Our survival used to depend on it and in some respects it still does.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: how do I make friends with the people who I want to be like? I just can’t go hang out with Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jay Z, or Steven Spielberg.

Well, those people didn’t always have their notoriety. They all came up through the ranks starting at one level or another and made a lot of friends who helped them along the way. A lot of those people who helped are at the level that you probably want to shoot for before your luck kicks in and gets you get the ultra success that the famous people we hear about have.

After enough time, others with notice your personality changing.

This is a good time to mention that if you don’t want to change too much on a fundamental level, you’ll need to spend a lot of time with a ‘moral anchor’. This is usually the person who you spend the most time with already, but remember that you’re going to have to change on a fundamental level in order to get the success you want.

I think it’s important to also note that we aren’t all meant to have the success that we wish for.

High levels of success come with problems and unforeseeable challenges; even Biggie wrote about having more problems the wealthier he became. If you take a look at the people who win the lottery, most of them end up exactly where they started in only a few years, and sometimes worse off.

This is exactly what happened to me: I got the success I worked hard for, and I couldn’t physically or mentally handle it at the time. Now I’m back where to where I started; and that’s not a bad thing. It is invaluable experience.

The takeaway of today’s article is to shoot for half the success you’re dreaming about having. Find someone who’s at or close to that level already and start hanging out with them on a regular basis and pay attention.

There’s no shame in leveling up slowly either; that’s what works for most of us anyways.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Have a great day!

#74 Work Should Never Dictate The Pace Of Our Lives

Good Morning!

Why is does it feel like we have to rush our personal lives to make time to support our work lives?

Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

When I worked for someone else it always seems like they wanted more time from me than I willing to give them; overtime was almost always required.

Most people that work a forty hour workweek have a routine in place that’s comfortable and fits their lifestyle, but when the boss asks for overtime, it tends to throw a wrench into the gears our personal lives.

Ten extra hours a week is usually one extra hour per day and five extra hours on a Saturday, and if you have ever been required to work overtime, you’ll know it’s not usually for just one week. In my own experience, it’s months at a time and even years.

One extra hour added to the normal workday doesn’t seem like much, but it really is, and it adds up really quickly. It’s a full hour less for all of the things we need to normally do when we’re not at work.

Think of all of the activities that one extra hour is taking away from in your life outside of work.

For example, would you trade your reading, social media, gaming, and/or tv time before you go to sleep to work that extra hour that’s asked of you?

I know I wouldn’t, and this is how we get ourselves into either a lack of sleep or into a big friggin’ hurry. Both situations aren’t ideal, and a lot of time, it ends up being both.

We don’t get more time in a day and there are important things that must be done, so something else we normally do has to give and is either omitted completely or is done hastily and poorly.

This is why a generally accepted piece of good advice is don’t be in hurry; take all the time you need to do what you need to do, especially when performing tasks that require concentration like driving, using your judgement, handling a knife or operating heavy machinery.

This is also the reason why we have ultra-processed food at the grocery, drive-thru fast food, kurig’s, insta-pots, and other time saving devices.

I think we can all agree that certain things are much more enjoyable when we just take our time. This is extremely evident when we’re cooking and when we’re smelling the roses, both of which are the first to get cut when something else needs our time.

To make matters even worse, sometimes that extra hour ‘magically’ into two or more extra hours each day and now everything fun and enjoyable including socializing and the aforementioned food now suffers.

The changes we have to make in our personal lives is sometimes too great to make r oom for even one extra hour of work per day and this doesn’t even take into account the Saturday morning you now have to work too.

What do you like to do on Saturday mornings? Because whatever it is, you won’t be doing because you’ll be at work. 

A half-day of work in the morning is the same in preparation as a full workday because you still have to get up and go to work. So your five-day workweek is now becomes a six-day workweek.

Good-bye recharge time.

I like to sleep in on the weekends and wake up without an alarm clock, so taking away just this by itself makes working all of the overtime not worth it for me.

Are the extra hours at work worth it in the grand scheme of things?

Not it if it takes away from any of the important things in your life.

It’s time you can’t ever get back.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading (or listening to) today’s post.

Have a great day.

#73 The Happy New Year Post

Good Morning!

I think I’ve waited long enough to make my first post of the new year.

It might be a bit late, but happy new year anyways! I’m hoping that your 2020 is off to a great start.

This post really isn’t supposed to be about new beginnings, but as the first blog post of the year, I guess it can be.

If you think about it, the starting of a new year really doesn’t change the passage of time, but what it does give us is a marker for the beginning and the end of a large snapshot of time. A measure of time that we can use to our advantage.

It’s a significant measure of time that is important to a lot of us.

It’s important to a lot of us because we set goals for ourselves that we’d like to achieve by the end of the year.

Some of those goals are met, while others are not.

I do this myself every single year. While some of the goals were realistic and reachable within a year, some were simply not.

I don’t treat these unmet yearly goals as failures, I use these unmet goals as a measure of how realistic I was in my predictions, a measure of how much effort I put into each of those goals, a measure of how important of each of those goals were, and as a tool to reevaluate each goal on their own.

Some goals just take a longer to achieve than others or maybe they were just started later in the year.

You don’t have to wait until January to set new goal yourself, you can do it any time you want and give yourself any length of time you want to achieve it.

The most important part about setting goals and resolutions for yourself every January is taking action. Taking the first step towards reaching your goals is the most important and crucial step.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

#72 Let’s Get Excited About The Future Of Technology

Good Morning!

I had to share this awesome podcast episode with you.

I watched a Rogan podcast earlier this year with Lex Fridman.  He’s a professor at MIT, where he lectures on deep learning, artificial intelligence, and programming with respect to self driving vehicles and other technologies.

I’ve been listening and watching his “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Podcast” on a regular basis lately; I find the subject of deep learning fascinating. Check out his Channel here.

The podcast episode that I want to share with you is called “Michio Kaku: Future of Humans, Aliens, Space Travel & Physics”. Check it out here.

I think I’ve watched and listened to this podcast episode 3 or 4 times now.  I’m a huge geek and I love to nerd out on this subject.

I love these types of conversations: two brilliant people talking about all the technology and the seemingly sci-fi stuff that’s being researched right now that probably won’t be sci-fi in the not too distant future.

It’s kinda crazy how fast technology is progressing, what people are getting funding to study, and what the billionaires of the world are doing just because they want to literally push the envelope for the betterment of everyone.

Man, this stuff is exciting!

Here’s the link again in case you missed it.

Like the old saying says: “It’s a great time to be alive”. It’s been said so many times throughout history and I believe that now is certainly one of those times.

Grab the drink of your choice, get comfy and listen to these two dudes talk about an awesome and exciting future.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

#71 Fun with Fusion 360

Good Morning!

I recently moved back to my hometown where I am currently garageless. 

Eh… it’s no so bad really, but because I can’t keep my idle hands busy with welding and fabrication projects like I normally do, I’ve had to turn to my old friend 3D modelling and drafting to fill the void.

If you didn’t know, studied architecture in college and was a draftsman for about 10 years afterwards.  I worked for a gauge and fixture company for a few years and then a structural steel contractor for the rest. 

I never really stopped using various CAD programs.  Whenever I needed to visualize, plan, or design something, I usually use a program like SketchUp that’s quick, but lately I’ve been spending my time with Fusion 360.

If you’ve never herd of it, Fusion 360 is a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) program that is used to design and fabricate pretty much anything.

After playing around with the program for awhile I decided to take it a bit more seriously. I dove into the tutorials in the learning centre on Autodesk’s website. Fusion 360 sure has some powerful features and some amazing tools. 

There are some really cool things that this program does that other CAD programs I’ve used in the past don’t, like surfacing a solid!

After using the program for awhile now, I have to say it’s pretty rad!

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been working on.

I drew most of these projects to get more experience using the program to familiarize myself with how the new Autodesk programs work and feel and also to explore parametric modelling further.

Some of these do have practical applications, which is the whole idea of using the program in the first place. It’s a great tool to have in the tool box, or rather it’s a great tool box full of tools to be able to use.

I often live stream my Fusion 360 sessions. If you want to check it out, I usually stream Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 7pm-10pm EST and sometimes Sundays too, live on twitch. Check it out here.

I’m always looking for new projects to work on, so if you need something designed, a pattern made up for laser cutting, tool paths for cnc generated, leave a comment, send me a message or email.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

#70 The Battle For Nachos: Salsa vs Salsa Con Queso

Good Morning!

Let me preface by saying that Salsa and Salsa Con Queso are both awesome, but if I had to choose only one for the rest of time, I’m going to have to choose plain ol’salsa.

The reason I went with salsa until the end of time is because of nachos.

It’s hard to believe that there is any food that the amazing cheesy salsa doesn’t taste good with let alone one that is so closely paired with the wonderful tortilla chip.

So here’s what I’m talking about:

You make plate of nachos layered a mile high with your favorite choice of meats and cheeses along with other nacho toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, guac…

Oh guac, I love you….

Ahem. Back to the nachos.

…the sour cream, and olives, and peppers, and everything else your little heart desires.

And finally comes one of the hardest decisions of your life: What gets put on top of the beautiful, dare I say perfect, mountainous tortilla creation you’ve just concocted?

What will be the dollopous finale to the best work you’ve ever done in the kitchen on Mexican food night?

How will you remember this meal forever?

Like Gman says: “Time to choose”.

I’ve had this nachos dilemma.

Starring at each jar back and forth, each in turn, over and over.

But I have to choose the salsa because queso overtakes the other flavours and textures and I don’t think nachos are nachos without the salsa.

My ideal plate of nachos needs to be balanced with just the right amount of everything.

I need to keep it from becoming too cheesy, otherwise it’s just tortilla chips and cheese with a bunch of other things that don’t need to be there.

Nachos, you see, are far too important.

And it’s for this reason, I must choose the salsa.

Leave me a comment. What will you choose and why?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

P.S. I’d like to thank Jeremy Schryer for introducing me to the experience of nachos I’ve come to know and love way back in 1998 at U-Betcha Tap & Grill; The Hideout in LaSalle, Ontario for having a really great plate of nachos; and lastly, Tostitos: Keep up the good work.

P.P.S. As I’ve been editing this article about my inner battle of choosing salsa or queso for a plate full of nachos, I’ve come to realize that my ridged idea of nachos can and should evolve with time and thus can be arranged on the plate in a more adventurous way. Perhaps even more than one plate of nachos can be made at the same time? It could be a nacho party. I’m now craving nachos…

P.P.P.S. Now as far as the decision between tortilla chips and queso or tortilla chips and salsa…Queso all the way.

#69 Don’t Be Lazy

Good Morning!

Just about every time I want to do just sit down on the couch or hop into bed to relax or de-stress, there is always a couple things that I forgot to do or put off right until the end of the day.

For example, last night while I was walking into the bedroom to get ready to hop into bed, I remembered that I forgot to move my car from the street to the driveway and put the garbage out for the following morning.

Of course I remember this is after I’ve locked up and shut down the house for the night.

Continue reading “#69 Don’t Be Lazy”

#68 No Regrets In Understanding

Good Morning!

Earlier this year I started writing on a frequent basis in an attempt to quiet my mind organize all of the thoughts rolling around upstairs and their meanings.

Not only to find meaning, but to find a practical sense of direction and purpose in life.

This is essentially how I decided to deal with the proverbial mid-life extensional crisis that most, if not all of us will go through at some point.

I added writing and meditation and meaningful conversations with family, friends, and colleagues along with diet, moving my body daily, and above all: rest, to my daily regimen.

Just allowing myself to get the sleep I needed and to wake up each morning without an alarm proved to be one of the best things I could do for my wellbeing.

I seem to remember through my whole life I’ve always struggled how much rest I needed and the quantity changing from day to day.

Not getting enough rest all stems from working too much after already working too much, burning the candle at both ends and not having a “work/life balance” as if there were actually such a thing.

I chose the honor of hard work early on. I shouldn’t look back at that decision with scorn and regret, but I did.

Continue reading “#68 No Regrets In Understanding”

#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”