Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve is a Con-Artist

If New Year's Eve was a person, I would certainly describe him as a tricky con-artist to deceive the brain and it's function.  This blog will be somewhat negative, but hopefully eye opening for some people.  If you do not feel like reading thoughts on how most people approach the New Year incorrectly, then just discontinue reading here :).

While people look to the New Year for an inspirational platform to a better future, and a chance to change their lives, most people just use it for temporary change.  I see this in all aspects of life, people will change for short periods of time, but usually it is not a long term effect.  If you want change in your life, go for it each day, there is no reason to use an arbitrary day such as New Year's to make that change.  Those who have pushed it off until the New Year are much less likely to succeed than the motivated person who tried to begin implementing change a few weeks back.

New Year's Eve is actually a con-artist to help you fall further in to the trap of being lazy.  Those who try to change themselves at the New Year usually do so in a way that is impractical and not sustainable long term.   Let us dive in to some examples, and I will try to give ones from my life that I can relate t

1) Studying More - the brain is conditioned to where you currently have it set at, I did not go from playing 3 hours of poker a day to 12-14 hours most days by simply making a massive jump in hours.  My brain would not be ready for this and would burn out extremely quick.  It needs to be conditioned to the longer hours by increasing it's tolerance on a daily/weekly basis over time.  The same can be said with attempting to focus on studying for longer or any task that needs focus.  After the New Year, people will generally mean well, but they will over compensate, thus driving themselves to exhaustion and a plateau.  At this point, you will see them throw in the towel often and head back to old habits.

2) Working out and hitting the gym - Inevitably, the people who want people to know they lift on facebook or social media, will post about how upset they are that the gym is super packed with people who just made a New Year's resolution to get in better shape.  They will also comment how the people will be gone in a month, and this is true for the majority of these new gym go-ers.  But WHY?  It is because they have yet again not gone about conditioning themselves at the right pace.  By going from almost no training or nutritional discipline to all of the sudden four days of lifting and a strict diet, they will inevitably fail.  You need to build it up, it's the same through out all of life.  You put in the time and practice to continually get better and it just does not happen instantly.

3) Being a better spouse - Again, usually people will rush this and do too much at once, wearing themselves out.

I wanted to keep this short so I will sum it up and give tips.  NEW YEAR'S EVE is a CON-ARTIST, he gives the majority of people a false hope for the coming year, until to disappoint them and let them fall back in to poor habits.  There is hope though, you can alter your New Year by taking a better approach than you have in the past.

1) The first step is to realize that improving yourself is a process and not an instant fix.

2) From here, read some topics on the subject you are approaching to familiarize yourself.  For working out, you have countless forums and resources across the internet that will be a great step in learning the curve to take.  For a couch potato, this will most likely begin with some light cardio and a few weeks of light weight lifting just to get the body used to some physical activity without destroying the body in to complete shock.  Over the next month, the person may progress to slightly heavier lifting, while beginning to learn a little bit about nutrition and implementing it.

3) Set goals and track progress, by having a map of the progress you want to reach, you can hold yourself responsible by giving yourself penalties for falling short.  Do not make these too lofty that you will fail no matter what.  Rather, make them tangible.  For instance, set a goal to be doing what you can at the gym for four days a week, do not set a goal of a certain weight on a lift...that is more complex and should be left to people that have been lifting weights for a long time and have goals in that aspect.

4) BEFRIEND OTHERS who are more intelligent than you on fields.  This is the most under utilized resource that most people do not tap in to enough.  Your learning curve is accelerated exponentially when you have someone's brain to pick that is much more knowledgeable on a topic than yours is.  Do you want to get in to real estate, ask a friend who has been successful for it out for some drinks and pay for a night on the town while picking his brain.  Make sure that you are prepared and have done some research and learning on your own first though.  Those who are smart in their fields hate to waste their time.  They do not want to sit their discussing the absolute basics with you, and this information is available all over the internet.  Do your research, and then write down questions on the stuff you do not fully grasp along the way.  These are the questions that will be the best leveraged to increase your knowledge on the topic.

5) Compete with others - Perhaps find people who have similar aspirations to yourself, and set up friendly ways to compete with them so you have more drive to attain your goals.

That's all, be a better person in 2014, but don't fall in to the pitfalls that almost everyone else does.  Set attainable goals with time frames, and utilize the resources you have at your disposal more wisely than you had in the best.  Have a great New Year everyone.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paris, France July 3rd-5th, 2012

I still have a bunch of other places I need to write up on, but think I will get to them when I can and will try to update on a few of the places in Europe that I've been to while they are fresh in my mind.  I'm also changing the format of the blog and just writing in plain style from now on.

I was not too excited to get to Paris to be honest...I booked this location because it was the cheapest entry flight in to Europe and I knew I'd see it sooner or later.  Why was I not excited?  Everyone I've ever met that has been to France has basically said the same thing, people are rude and I would not enjoy that.  Well, I've met quite a few people from France, with the experience never being anything but good.  For this, I was skeptical on others reviews.  However, they were spot on, I found the people in Paris to not be very friendly.  I loved the sights though.  I am not even an art buff, but seeing Le Louvre was incredible.  It is massive, an art aficionado could spend a month in here and still be fine coming back the next day.  Seeing the Mona Lisa was a big highlight for me.  I would recommend doing more research before going so that you appreciate the art work more.  I did not do this, and while I found a lot of the paintings/sculptures very neat, I would have liked to know more about what I was looking at.

Tip: There is a huge waiting line in front at the pyramid.  If you walk across the street and left a little, there is another entrance with no line.  So...wait a few hours at times, or walk in right away by simply walking 3 more blocks?

having fun doing typical tourist photo outside of the main entrance to Le Louvre

Examining the fuck out of a painting I'm sure

O Mona, what you do to me

having fun

the bad guy from the 3 musketeers

Napolean's stuff

Napolean's bed

Before heading here I had been to Notre-Dame cathedral.  It is very nice, and I would recommend getting there early in the day.  I went at night and during the day, and during the day there were way, way less people and it made for much better photographs and viewing opportunities.  Nearby, was Sainte Chapelle which was considered one of the greatest achievements of Gothic architecture.  If you don't care much about that, then don't visit as it was 8 euros or so and you see all of it within a few minutes.  If you do appreciate history and architecture greatly, then why not stop in.  

That's all for now.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

You are a function f(x) of those you surround yourselves with

I am very thankful for all the birthday love on facebook as I'm in a new city with few friends and starting new as always.  I am glad to have made so many great friends around the World, and wanted to write up a quick blog on a few things to help people become more successful.

While working hard and studying are big proponents of achieving success in fields, some times they are arduous and extremely time consuming.  For this reason, most people never have the drive and always look back with regrets of what if's.  This write up will simply be the easy ways to ensure you are progressing towards a successful future which you desire.

1) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH TALENTED PEOPLE.  Perhaps the most easy thing that people continually do wrong is to not surround themselves with people that have the same or more drive than they have.  When they do so, they don't really have an outside forcing factor on them at all times.  I will try to relate a lot of these to poker as that is what I do for a living.

Example 1: When I live or travel with very successful poker players, I am most likely to learn more from them as they may be sharper in certain aspects or forms of the game than I am.  However, I can travel with people that do not play poke or do not have drive to put in lots of hours to it.  When I chose the second option, I am limiting my learning curve which is always accelerated when I am around people of similar or greater abilities than myself.  This is one of the easiest things people can do...when people that you hang out with on a consistent basis have no drive to study or continually push to better stuff (which I have nothing wrong with), then you should try to hang out with others more often that will drive you more if you want to be more motivated and learn faster.

A picture of Elon Musk, an idol of mine.  I watch everything about him that I can get my hands on to see how someone as successful as him approaches the World, both for motivation and drive for myself.

2) UTILIZE THOSE WITH MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN YOU.  This point is similar to point 1, but also very important.  Sometimes focusing on multiple fields can be counterproductive and not net a huge result.  An example of this would be if I studied everything about stocks daily to know how to invest to the level of a trader.  I have a solid foundation and knowledge of the stock market and investing which is due to me reading on my own, and then consulting an expert (2 of my brothers in finance) on the topic when I have questions I am not sure on.  I have no need to be the most brilliant hedge fund manager, so instead of wasting time studying, I compile a base knowledge for myself, and then utilize more knowledegable resources at my fingertips to help with the process.  The same is true of my brother Kyle, I have a solid foundation on nutrition and exercise, however he is the wisest person I have ever talked to about the topic and he focuses on it for a living.  Thus, I use my base and then I reach out to him when I have further questions as my time is best spent studying other topics.

3) STOP WATCHING REALITY TV.  For those on no path, and not happy with their jobs.  This is the most counterproductive trait of most of American society.  Most people get stuck in a rut where they are unhappy with their jobs, come home and have 3-5 hours to themselves and just plop in front of the television to watch nonsense that is not benefiting them in any way other than "instant gratification" which seems to be what most of society is built around and why people cannot maintain proper diets.  Do not feel sorry for yourself, keep studying anything you can get your hands on and reading during this will be amazed how fast you can absorb knowledge and it will help immensely with your future and getting out of the feeling of being "stuck."  Build your knowledge, don't decrease it with silly television

4) GET IN GREAT SHAPE, INCREASE YOUR FOCUS LEVELS...this is one I am still working on.   This one is one of the most overlooked things as well.  Not only does being in great shape lead to a higher sex appeal and a greater sex life.  It also is the first impression people get when they see does not matter what jobs say, they are bias and first impressions are massive, thus being in better shape always helps.  Food is the fuel for our brains as is oxygen and blood flow.  This all increases with exercise and my studies and poker ability progressed greatly with it.  I have much much higher concentration and focus levels for extended periods of time.  It will help a bunch for those feeling tired all the time.

5) TAKE RISKS, society raises people to go to school, go to college, get a degree, sit behind a desk, and then work and have a 9-5.  This is completely fine for those who want to do it, I have nothing against it.  However, a lot of people talk to me about wanting to work for themselves and reap the extra benefits.  Habits are tough to break, and this is a habit that is jammed over and over repeatedly in to the brain as to how we are supposed to live our lives.  Again, it is fine if you want to work a 9-5 and live this way, but if you do not then you have to condition your brain otherwise.  A great step would be to keep talking to friends who do abnormal or different jobs they are passionate about and pick their brains for advice.

I had lots of people questioning me with poker after receiving my engineering degree and business minor.  They pretty much pointed to the above and said what are you doing, you need to get a corporate job.  I even countered my risk.  I ensured I was making atleast 3x my normal starting salary with poker.  I did this as I know poker is a zero sum game with diminishing returns as the market becomes more saturated over time.  I then bought part of a restaurant...this was as an investment, but also as a resume gap filler to show drive and initiative had poker gone south.  Poker not going well was virtually impossible by the way with the study hours I put in while growing up through the game.  I basically never looked back.

6) I will write some more on finances in my next blog, but the last bit of advice is to REALIZE THAT YOUR LIFE IS 100% MATH!!! That is correct, even when you are deciding what to wear, you are deciding the how others will perceive you in it, your sex appeal in it, your comfort level, and so on.  Your brain is actually assigning values to these which you have become so sharp with that you don't even realize you are doing math.  The people you talk to, the unhealthy meals you eat, these are simply mathematical choices that your brain is weighing between risk and reward.  However, it is assigning values constantly to these.  By recognizing this, you can actually build math simulations or models to solve some stuff in your life.  My last blog dealt with the math of leaving a job if you want to take a peak back.  YOU CAN SOLVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE AND EVERY DECISION BY USING MATH, so do so.

Take care, and thanks for all the birthday wishes this week.

Leave any comments below.