#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!

#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!

#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”

#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!