Monday, September 30, 2013

September in Review

I want to make sure that my blog is not too redundant with the same topic of travel.  Thus, I wanted to post some other stuff in addition.  I have never done a month review of my life, so I figured I'd do one.

I played poker for roughly 18-20 days this month which is a low volume month for me and took a trip to the Greek Islands.  All in all it was a very solid month for me with poker, especially given the drying state of the games these days. Very few have remained in the top echelon of poker players in the World for more than a year, so to still be here 5 years after I began is an incredible feat that I am really proud of in my poker career.  It took a bunch of hard work and discipline to do so...hell, I even had to become an ex-patriot at one point to continue down the poker path.

Besides poker, I took a 7 day vacation to the Greek Islands.  While they were just out of high season, I was still able to relax on the beach and block out the numbers of poker that constantly over indulge my brain on a consistent basis.  I normally have an extremely tough time blanking my mind from poker.  Just last night, it took me 3 hours to fall asleep while I was exhausted because my brain wanted to keep trying to solve this one poker scenario that I have been having trouble approaching and solving.  As for Greece, I will certainly go back next year when the islands are thumping in high season with crazy parties.  Hopefully I will spend a month in Ios or Mykonos.  To start, I began in Rhodes and followed that up with Santorini, Ios, and Athens.  For those wondering, Ios and Mykonos are huge party destinations to go wild in.  Greece was certainly one of my favorite countries to date our of the forty or so that I have visited.  It has so much history, from the greek mythology to the Acropolis.  Mix in pristine islands with amazing nightlife, and you have yourself an incredible country.  Here are some pictures from said trip.

 Castle outside of Rhodes

 Acropolis of Athens

 The Temple of Zeus in Athens

The beach in Ios

The lesser viewed side of Santorini

The more frequented and pictured side of Santorini

Sunset Bliss

Everything else is going rather well, I am continuing to get in better shape which helps in every single aspect of life, especially with daily focus levels to retain more information as I study to further my knowledge on new topics.  I try to not stay stagnant as that is no way to be successful, and I think nutrition and working out are the most overlooked aspects of what it takes to become smarter/focus for longer periods/feel healthier.  

I am sitting here in my apartment in Belgrade writing this as it drizzles outside and I continue to grind out small edges in poker while hearing Jay-Z playing from the cafe just across the street.  The city of Belgrade has been fun and the I have been having a great time with the friends I have made here.  The weather has turned pretty crappy, with rain every day almost seeming to be a daily given.  That's all for now, one of my shorter posts for ya.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jerusalem, Israel & Petra, Jordan

These 2 places really sank in with me for a few reasons.  The Middle East is a travel destination that many people do not make it to, and for good reason with all the conflict that goes on.  There are high danger areas and when you couple that with a lot of Islamic or strong cultures, you take away the bumping nightlife and excitement that most people are looking for in a vacation.  Hell, when I left Eliat, Israel, Egypt tried to bomb it just five days later.  Also, for the whole time that I was in Israel for two weeks the Middle East was on high alert for attacks and Americans were warned to leave.  I stuck it out and saw these places still as they intrigued me.

I'll first start off with Jerusalem, "The Holy City".  When I think of Jerusalem, I think about those hours spent in CCD class (Catholic school until 8th grade) once a week, in addition to the masses I attended most Sundays with my family.  It is talked about over and over again in the bible, and has such a vast history associated with it.  Jerusalem is heavily tied in to religion, both with Jewish and Christian faith.  Due to this, you will see varying levels of Judaism displayed across the city.  I believe there are three tiers, which vary in the way one wears their hair and the style of their clothing.  Needless to say, it is an extremely religious city and a neat one to see.  I would not recommend it for nightlife of course, but it is a great see if one has the time and is in the Middle East.

As far as sites in the city, the main one to visit is the Old City.  It encompasses four areas that cater to different faiths in this tiny city area within the walls, they are the Jewish, Christian, Armenian, and Muslim quarters.  You can see the difference as you walk through and experience it on a recommended guided tour.  The main thing that you will encounter on the tour is the view across to the Western wall, which is arguably the most religious site in the whole Jewish faith.  It is where many Jewish people come to pray while on pilgrimage.  We did not make it down to it but I recommend giving it a go.

 A shot of the Western Wall from the Jewish Quarter

Apart from the Old City, there are a few other things to see in the city.  We made it to the top of the hill to get a view of the city, which is something I also recommend to do in each city.  Also, we went and saw the Israeli Museum where we were able to see a reconstruction of how Jerusalem and the Old City looked, as well as scrolls from the original Bible!

A shot of some romance and the city from above

A scroll from the original Bible

O yeah, they also claim Jesus may have been crucified here in the Old City in that tiny structure

 Afterwards, we decided to rent a car and drive to the Dead Sea.  The Dead Sea was very neat, it is a vast sea is that is so salty that nothing can live in it.  In fact, with such a high salt content, it makes it so humans are buoyant in it.  It was certainly fun to lie in it and float for the first time in my life, and I believe the salt also cleanses your skin.  An interesting fact is that the Dead Sea shores are the lowest elevation of land on the entire Earth's surface!  It is a must to see if you visit Jerusalem.

This is view you get as you drive along it

Some ultimate relaxation w/ Jordan in the horizon

But be careful! You may run in to the swamp thing

A last few side notes, car rentals are not like the USA, they don't care if you ding it up a little so don't worry about them not inspecting the scratches thoroughly.  Second, be extra careful to not get this salt in your eyes, it absolutely burned like hell and hurt very badly.  I hate to go in twice to get a t-shirt to wipe them out, and the pebbles are very unforgiving and scalding hot.

Now on to the country of Jordan.  For those who do not know, the whole Middle East pretty much loathes Israel and does not allow anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport to enter.  This is not the case with Jordan, as they will allow you to enter from Eliat as it brings in money from tourism.  Also, it is still possible to get in to other countries but you may be scrutinized heavily or not let in, so please have them stamp another sheet of paper when you return to Israel as they originally did for us.  After Jordan though, they stamped our actual passports so now I may not be able to go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, we shall see.

Our first impressions of Jordan were certainly different than what we had thought.  We ended up seeing well built buildings that were in good condition.  Next, we ventured to the beach where we saw a bunch of people in their swimming trunks which I did not expect from a Muslim culture.  We followed suit and jumped in for a quick rinse.  Following this, we stumbled in to Pizza Hut which is not common in Europe.  Thus, we indulged to get our fill and appease our American palates that go through cravings which are unattainable throughout most of Europe and the Middle East.  We came to Jordan for one reason though, and that was to see Petra, an ancient city discovered in the early 1800's.  It was truly one of the most unique and memorable sites that I have seen to date.

 The rather lame beach of Jordan

Petra was unknown to mainstream society until the early 1800's and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and is now one of the list that comprises the 7 Wonders of the World.  They have also shot a famous seen from the Indian Jones: The Lost City movie at this site.  It is a massive site that is extremely well preserved and still requires much more excavation.  To travel here, I recommend a night right across the border.  The following day, have a private taxi take you to the site and wait to take you back.  This was not highly expensive at all.  I will be excited to return to this site with my future wife and kids in 30 years to witness the progress they have made.  The pictures speak for themselves below and make this a must see site on anyone's list that plans on seeing most of the World.

The most famous of the buildings, the Treasury Building (wear head attire at your own will)

A shot of the beautiful walkways you pass through

A shot of myself and my partner in crime for the trip, Thomas

You can just chill with donkeys if you climb to the top.  I believe they let people ride them up as it is steep.  They had many donkeys at the site and they used to not treat them right so I would not participate in this.  However, they have cleaned up their act and treat them better these days.

A derailed train we encountered on our drive out to Petra.

Leave any comments you have here, I hope you enjoyed this.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tel Aviv and Eilat, Israel

This post is for my boy Mister Michael Song

After a month in South Beach and 3 weeks in Vegas, I decided to hit the road again and ventured off to the Middle East for the first time.  The first stop was Tel Aviv, Israel as I'd been told by quite a few people to see this beach city.  To say Tel Aviv did not live up the hype is an understatement, I thoroughly had a bad time in Israel over 2 weeks.  It just fails in so many aspects and I apologize now for this blog and future ones to people from these places, as I am going to ultra brutal with places and not sugar coat anything.

Tel Aviv has one thing going for it, and that is the really nice beach that lines the city and is packed with paddle ball players up and down.  The water is rather clear and inviting, with a great water temperature to boot.  That is where the good of Tel Aviv ends, so if you visit I recommend going to the beach for a few days and then skipping town.

The first downside is how strict it is at the airports, you have to go through extensive searches each time due to high high security risks as every country remotely close to it in the Middle East wants to pretty much attack it.  I will get in to the fucking hassles I went through at the airport towards the end of this blog.

The highlights of Tel Aviv - The Beach - below are some shots of me in front of the beach or with it in the background.  The beach was a great temperature, enough to be refreshing and not cold at all.  The beaches are filled with people playing paddle ball that it is even hard to move in some areas.  I recommend lounging on the main beach area and taking in the scenery.  What is highly unique is that the beautiful beach is right outside of the main city area, which is not the case in many places in the World.  The ones I know of are Miami, San Diego, Rio de Janeiro, and I'm sure some others.  This is right up there with them as far as how nice the beach is and its proximity to the city.

Now for the bad about Tel Aviv which was more or less everything else for me.  I understand kosher and everything about it, however I know many people are not in to kosher foods, so be prepared to get no cheese on anything.  The city itself is okay, but nothing special at all and rather run down.  The rent is extremely high for what you get here...a comparable amount in Miami will get you a nice place near the beach whereas here it will get you a unit with not many amenities in a mediocre part of the city.  Which brings me to the cost of living.  It is outrageously high here for what you get.  Most beers out cost $8-12 and entry costs were high as well.  Couple that with the average annual salary not being very high and this leads to less people being able to afford buying drinks while out.  The phrase "real city that never sleeps" may be the most laughable way I've heard a city described in all of my travels.  First off, Fridays are rather dead as they have the Holy Day on Saturday, with Thursdays and Saturdays bring the bigger days.  There are two or three pretty okay clubs in the city, but hardly anyone drinks or gets drunk while out.  It is almost completely sober cliques that are cut off to everyone else and just having normal conversations w/ minimal music.  Adding this all together with a culture that is not very attractive, and you wind up with one of the more boring cities I've been to in all of my travels.  So much for the city that never sleeps.  On top of that they make you wait in unorganized lines at the club that take forever to get in to.

Another bad issue is the internet, it is very unreliable and expensive for what you get.  In addition to the cutting out, a lot of sites are blocked by the Israeli government.

On a positive note, the English is extremely good here and it is easy to talk to people if you need directions.

THE UGLY - Let me preface this section with the fact that I do have a bunch of stamps in my passport, which can bring you under more intense scrutiny with countries, as well as my profession drawing flags.  However, the policies at these airports and for everyone was so much stricter than I have ever seen.  With good reason as every country in the Middle East basically wants to bomb them so they have to be extra cautious.  Every person has their bags checked individually at each airport that I saw, where they go through each possession and run the chemical wand through all of it to detect bombs.  There are also no real sights to see as well, basically just the beach.

My experience - While trying to travel WITHIN THE COUNTRY, that is Tel Aviv to Eilat where I am just a US citizen, they had Thomas and I questioned detained for quite a while which was a nuisance, but no where near what we were going to encounter at the next stops.  I will get in to the country of Jordan in a later blog, but to get there and to the Lost City it is best to travel to the beach town of Eilat (which Egypt tried to bomb 5 days after I left, unsuccessfully).  

Eilat was a nice and relaxing beach city with the airport right in the heart of it.  You can actually just jump off the flight and walk to the beach within a few minutes which was fun.  This beach seemed to be full of a bunch of teens that I am sure come here for their vacations and to party. The beach here and the vibe seemed very relaxed and much better than Tel Aviv to us, however we were basically just passing through to see the country of Jordan for a day.  I recommend staying a few more days than we did in Eilat and I would certainly recommend it over Tel Aviv.

The view across the water to the country of Jordan

I will dive in to Jordan and the Holy City of Jerusalem in my next blog, but for this one on Eilat and Tel Aviv, I'd like to touch on what happened to us at various airports along the way.  Re-entering Eilat from Jordan was quite the hassle as they are rival countries.  The border shares an understanding for travel though and it should not have been this difficult.  Again, they took out everything from our bags and gave us about 20 questions each.  30 minutes later, we were allowed back in to Israel.  The worst part about this was the lady stamped our passports which means we will be under high scrutiny if we want to visit Dubai or another Middle Eastern country as they all have feuds with Israel.  Originally they stamp a separate sheet for you so that it is not in your passport but this lady missed the memo and gave us the stamp we highly did not want in our passports.  

A few hours later is where it gets much worse.  Thomas and I were leaving Eilat for Tel Aviv when we got stopped again at this airport.  They asked us why we were in Jordan and we replied that we wanted to see The Lost City like everyone else that did this trip.  Next they wanted to know why we each only had a back pack on us to which we told them we only did a two day trip and the rest of our stuff was in Tel Aviv where we were staying for 2 weeks.  This did not add up to them as they don't see people come with such little.  In addition, they go through our passports...I have quite a few places that they do not like, mainly Malaysia and Indonesia.  After giving them the explanation that I was just a tourist a few years ago in these places with an ex-girlfriend, they decide to separate us to interrogate us individually.  We were questioned separately for 20 minutes each roughly.  The conversation was suspect and I did not want to lie, but I understand stuff sounds ridiculous to the person when they have not heard of it before.

Lady - "Where do you live"

Me - "Nowhere really, I am in Tel Aviv for 2 weeks and then I'll probably go live in Europe for a little"

Lady - "Where did you live before Tel Aviv"

Me - "I was just in Las Vegas for 3 weeks, and prior to that I was in Miami for 3 weeks, Mexico for 2 weeks, and Europe for 2 weeks."

Lady - "And before that?"

Me - "Before that I lived in Cape Town, South Africa for 6 months" 

At this point she is so confused, she asks what I do for a living and I tell her that I play poker to which she does not understand.  Thomas is going through the same questioning and after having four people question both of us, they realize our stories are the same, but decide we are of the highest threat level and take us to a back room.  In the backroom they make us wait for a while and get down to our boxers.  We had to sit there for a good 20 minutes and then go through more questioning and searching (no anal cavity search thank god).  Finally, after a little over an hour they rush us to get on our flight and do not apologize or anything for's just routine in Israel.

Fast forward to leaving Israel, the same exact thing happens and this time they can't fathom how I can need 3 laptops and a monitor.  They try to convince me that they are pretty sure my monitor is a bomb and they take it from my possession. I am told I can get it at the airport in Istanbul whenever I want.  Well, when leaving Istanbul, my monitor miraculously is gone and they have no evidence or sign of it, how convenient.  I am so pissed even thinking about my experience that I am going to cut the blog off here.  I'll write up about Jerusalem and Jordan in my next blog...until next time.

Cliffs on Tel Aviv and Eilat :

-Eilat is a nice beach area with a younger and more friendly crowd
-Tel Aviv has a very nice beach
-Tel Aviv is very expensive, an unattractive culture, has bad internet, terrible nightlife, rude and cliquey culture

I believe people talk about Tel Aviv being better than it is due to the Birth Right trip where basically people with Jewish ancestry fly people for free to see the country.  This is different than how I see it as these people get guided everywhere, meaning they probably have friendly guides and see it in a different light.  Also, they are less exposed to the locals and hang out with the tourists in their own group.  They also have this group to socialize with.  Couple that with the fact that it's one of their main trips abroad and less to compare it to, and that is why more people talk highly on Tel Aviv.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rambling on Life, Poker, and Misconceptions of the American Mind

I will get back to finally writing some stuff up on my travels for those that are interested, but I wanted to write a blog that does not necessarily have a direct point and may go off in a tangent.  I have not written (wrote?) one in quite some time, and figured I'd go ahead and put some of my thoughts here as I do not like cluttering facebook with non-important thoughts about life.

Since my last blog, I've been traveling about as usual.  I think I made a pit stop back in New Jersey to attend my college friend Jen's wedding, followed by New York, South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Vegas, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, and now in the place I am currently residing, Serbia.  It was nice to get away from the grind of every day poker and relax in the US for a few months.  Most people just see my pictures on facebook, or my posts, and they do not realize the amount of work I put in to poker or anything behind the scenes.  This is solely due to me intending to not bore my friends w/ useless posts on facebook.  They get enough of the "today is Wednesday, 2 more days until the weekend" posts, so I try to give them something fun or different to read as they scroll quickly through their news feeds every 10 minutes while at work.

I'm already off on a tangent of some sort, so I'll delve in to the first thing that has been on my mind, the misconceptions about what I do for a living.  Playing poker professionally is construed so differently by the select few that do it, and it is also viewed so differently by varying groups, be it female, male, young, old, or nationality.

1) Old people do not really grasp it, and they relate it to pulling the lever on a slot machine, the questions I get from my grandparents are fun to field and they always give me a good laugh.

2) Males seem to love it, most guys played in poker home games with their friends, and they are eager to ask questions about it.  Most of the questions I field are about fallacies that were implanted in to their minds for whatever reason.  The questions are basic and hard to grasp at times, similar to questions a novice may ask a venture capitalist when starting out, such as how do I know what company to invest in?  Questions like these are so generic and impossible to answer, but I know that people are just being friendly and I try to field them the best I can.

3) Females fall in to two groups, friends like it as it gives me freedom.  While females that are either in to your looks or personality are trying to understand it to a deeper level as they would like someone with a strong career path if they were to date in the future (understandably).  This gets interesting as it is rather hard to convey to people in a good light.

Tangent 2 (or 3) - This is mainly due to movies/television, and what society has ingrained in peoples' minds over their lifetime.  Movies just show some random rags to riches stories while leaving out the learning curve in the middle, or any huge risks taken along the way.  Television on the other hand is basically the World Series of Poker.  These shows are meant to cater to the audience and thus they only show the most important hands in poker tournaments, this is due to them wanting to keep their audience.  In reality, most poker hands end rather quickly with no dramatic result, but this is not shown.  Also, most of the players in tournaments get shown with a big pile of cash in front of them when they win.  I typically get a store along the lines of "O, I have a friend that does that, he once won $150,000!"  This is not the full story though and just another random riches story implemented in to someone's newfound logic on poker.  This is not the case, most of the people who play on television or in live tournaments are completely broke or in debt in general.  There are some exceptions, but in general these players have minimal edges if any, and they overleverage themselves.  For tournament poker, and a $10,000 buy in event, most of the players will sell off action (give other players a percentage of their play, called a stake).  Thus when someone wins a $150,000 prize pool, they typically only win a portion of this, and then pay taxes and debts to people.  For someone buying in to a $10,000 event with all their own money, I'd generally say they should have at least a net worth of $1,000,000 or be smart at shot/risk taking and do this occasionally with only a few hundred thousand dollars to their name.  Most of these tournament players are not disciplined or skilled enough, and with their overall travel expenses, they are unable to turn a profit long term.

I play online cash games, these games are more difficult than live tournaments or any other form of poker and thus have the best players in the World playing in them every waking hour.  However, with online cash games, there is no overhead or extra cost associated with it.  If I have an edge of $150/hour on average as an example, I will make $150/hour long term given that I maintain that edge.  There are swings in the short term, but a skilled player with a large enough bankroll to minimize/eliminate the risk of losing it all, will make that as their hourly.  With the games I play and my bankroll, I have an absolute zero chance of ever losing my bankroll which is nice.

Out of the thousands of successful players in the World (those consistently making > $100,000 a year as a base), a lot of them have life vices like spending too much on partying, risking too much in games they cannot afford to play in, etc.

Back to females - From that long explanation there will be some outcomes here.  You will have your females who have hung out with very successful players in Las Vegas and see it in the eyes of a luxurious lifestyle.  While they may encounter a broke poker player (this is the most common by a long shot), who has convinced himself he is a winning player (as most somehow do even with no consistent winnings to prove this one bit), and thus they will perceive it as a gambling venture with an inevitable bad outcome.  Sadly, that is the most common case and these people are purely gamblers, who do not belong as professional poker players, yet they try to justify it to people. Avoid these people at all costs as they are only trouble and deceitful people.  Lastly, most females will have never encountered a poker player.  In this scenario, it is all about coming off in a good light, if you are honest, have a nice living place, are cultured somewhat, or make direct eye contact consistently, then most females will grasp this and be fine with poker.  Females are much much better than males at reading body language and coming to conclusions very quickly about people. Poker players are taught this same skill set and hone it to a high degree.

WHAT I ACTUALLY DO FOR A LIVING - I have played poker for my main source of income since my senior year at Penn State University some 5 or 6 years ago.  I did this due to a few factors.  As an engineer, I was set to make "x" amount of money upon graduation, and by the time I graduated I was making "y" from poker with projections of "x+(0.05x) per year forward with an engineering job and a projection of "y^w" from poker where "w" portrays an unknown variable that is larger than 1.

Let's look at these formulas in further detail as all of our live decisions should be driven by formulas we can make tangible as 100% of life is math and formulas even if you do not look at it that way:

Engineering path for career earn - we are making

        x + 0.05x from the start, this is assuming a yearly salary increase of 5% per year.

And poker

        y^w per year.

So if (y^w) > x + 0.05x, then we should play poker?

Absolutely not, this does not depict the full story, and this is where people have the most trouble making daily decisions, they are unable to add in additional variable that do not have tangible numbers.

I need to incorporate extra variables for important factors which include:

a) Opportunity cost for future career earn if I decide to leave poker
b) Risk involved with resume gap
c) Potential for more passive income through extra savings
d) There are a bunch more that I am forgetting or leaving out as they are minor and just over complicate the equations

With engineering we get a solid career path with room to be promoted up in the company.  Thus our x + 0.05x will remain consistent, with extra room for more income as the years go by

it may be something like x + 0.05x for 4 years, with room for being promoted which may be incorporated by a variable, somewhere along the lines of

x + 0.05x + (20,000 * 1^(5-z)) where $20,000 would be the average pay jump multiplied by expecting this in year 5 roughly. However, as z increases, the yearly decreases, and with an earlier promotion we make more earlier on.

For poker we have out equation where we need to figure out how our income changes over the years

In year 1 it may be "y"

In year 2, we will inevitably get better at poker if we put in the hours, however others will get better as well as poker becomes more popular and people see it as a high reward profession.

In year 3, even as we have gotten better, there will be so many good/strong players eating in to our income, along with less novice players out there, thus our income may be on a steady decline after this.

We also need to take in to account the risk associated with having a resume gap, represented by variable "s" for this problem

Thus our final formula could look along the lines of:  "y^(1+(w-t)) - s where "w" represents our progression as a player and "t" represents the progression of novices and professionals that eat in to our income.

Sorry for all the math, I kept it basic and inevitably made a bunch of minor mistakes as I tried to breeze through it and keep it simple.

Finally...  if      y ^ (1+(w-t)) - s >    x + 0.05x + (20,000 * 1^(5-z)), then I ultimately could chose poker as a profession.  When it is close the decision could easily be swayed either way.  In addition, I left out a multitude of factors to keep the formulas much more basic.

For myself, the poker scenario was much greater than that of engineering.  If you factor in the freedom, traveling, life experiences on top of it, it made it a no brainer for me (I left these out of the formulas).  I hope this explains it better, this is how all aspects of your life should be approached, and those that are the best at guesstimating unknown variables the best are those that succeed the most in every day life even if they do not look at it from this perspective.

My every day life consists of working more than anyone I know basically, except for possibly the exception of Wall Street professionals, but I'd venture it is close.  I work more on a weekly basis than they do, but I also take off for more vacations inevitably than they do.  I do not post any of this on facebook of me sitting at the computer 10-18 hours most weekdays and 4-10 hours on most weekends as I do not want to bore people.  In all, I absolutely love my life and am so happy I went for the route of self-employment, I would not have it any other way.  However, recognize that I do put in tough work and I have worked very hard at poker to climb the rungs of the ladder, as poker is a game that very few can get good at even if they put all their abilities in to it.  I'd guess that roughly 1 in 100,000 people that actually tried to reach a spot near the pinnacle of poker would fail. It is a risk I took and pushed for and I'm extremely happy at where it has gotten me.

For those who complain about daily life.  Recognize that you can change it, and always be honest with yourselves.  The majority of people in the World are lazy, and how do you expect complaining about your 9-5 to change when you just go through the same routine daily?  You are not creating your opportunity for yourself.  A quote I recently heard is some of the best advice I live by - "Going through the motions is the most disadvantageous thing you can do".  I wrote misconceptions of the American Mind in my title and that is why I am touching on this point.  Most Americans that have not been abroad ever do not realize the amplitude of opportunities that they are exposed to that people from other Nations only dream of.  Most other cultures do not have as many options or nearly the same opportunities to make it huge in industries.  In a lot of other countries I will see so many happier people as a percentage of the population than Americans.  It is not because of their wealth or what have you, but because of their viewpoints on life and what they learn to enjoy.  So do not complain about small aspects of life as those in other countries have no where even close to the amenities you have as Americans and the resources that you have.  Do something different with your life each day that you would have put on the back burner, and see where it takes you...

Leave any feedback here instead of on fb.