Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
A Spanish Missionary was visiting an island when he came across three Aztec priests.
“How do you pray?” the missionary asked.
“We have only one prayer,” answered one of the Aztecs. “We say, ‘God, you are three, we are three. Have pity on us.”‘
“A beautiful prayer,” said the missionary. “But it is not exactly the one that God heeds. I’m going to teach you one that’s much better.”
The padre taught them a Catholic prayer and then continued on his path of evangelism. Years later, when he was returning to Spain, his ship stopped again at the island. From the deck, the missionary saw the three priests on the shore and waved to them.
Just then, the three men began to walk across the water toward him.
“Padre! Padre!” one of them called, approaching the ship. “Teach us again that prayer that God heeds. We’ve forgotten how it goes.”
“It doesn’t matter,” responded the missionary, witnessing the miracle. And he promptly asked God’s forgiveness for failing to recognize that He speaks all languages.
This story illustrates just what this book is about. Rarely do people realize that we are in the midst of the extraordinary. Miracles occur all around us, signs from God show us the way, angels plead to be heard, but we pay little attention to them because we have been taught that we must follow certain formulas and rules if we want to find God. We do not recognize that God is wherever we allow Him/Her to enter.
Traditional religious practices are important: they allow people to share with others the communal experience of adoration and prayer. But we must not ever forget that spiritual experience is above all a practical experience of love. And with love, there are no rules. Some may try to control their emotions and develop strategies for their behavior; others may turn to reading books of advice from “experts” on relationships – but this is all folly. The heart decides, and what it decides is all that really matters. Read More
So you’ve wanted to learn to code for a while now, but you still don’t know where to start and how some people have managed to self-educate themselves. Maybe you went to school and majored in Finance, Marketing, Economics, etc… and you wonder “Can I really learn how to teach myself to code if I don’t have a computer science background?”
Yes, you can.
This post will not dive into the specifics of a language – that will be kept for a future lesson.
What this will do is tell you how to actually stay committed and learn to program for yourself.
One of the reasons programming for non-technical people can be such a daunting task despite the endless “Learn to Code in 24 hours” tutorials that exist is because rarely do these tutorials provide context.
Typically, an entry level programming book assumes that the reader (even a beginner) has knowledge on how syntax works, how software and hardware interact, and basically that the reader has a general understanding how the tools involved with programming and development. And although these entry level books will have the reader typing code and simple programs quickly, printing “Hello world!” is not very exciting.
Now everyone must start somewhere and “Hello world!” may be a good point to begin, but more importantly, the beginner should be given context and a general roadmap of how the language they may first be using sits in the stack of programming and / or web and application development.
More importantly, how do projects come together as a whole? What are the specific tools, editors, and organizational methods of files to create a working application via phone, internet, or desktop executable file?
While this post may not answer all of the specifics to the previous questions right now, it will address a few things not to do. Read More
I love to learn.
Learning new things and skills is what keeps life novel and allows us to expand our understanding of reality and the world in which we live. When life becomes hazy, gray, and filled with drudgery it is often due to us falling into the same monotonous routine and cruising on auto-pilot for the majority of our waking hours.
Learning makes us come alive.
So I’ll ask you, what is one skill, trade, etc… that you wish you could know / do? If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea, I’ll offer some of my own personal goals to see if this will jog your memory.
Growing up, I didn’t play any musical instrument. In fact as a young child I actually thought the idea of learning music was weird and didn’t want to take part with such people. It was not until college where I started to fully appreciate individuals who possessed a musical talent who could entertain a room with their gift.
Skill # 1: Learn to play / or gain a musical instrument / talent
Besides the idea of learning a musical talent, ever since AOL 3.0 dominated computers in the mid 1990′s, I have been fascinated with the internet, web page / application development, and design. I would spend hours at night (pre-search engine age) looking up HTML tags and attempting to build my own sites on Geocities. Had I kept persevering through high school and even into college, I would probably be more than proficient today. Read More
From my earliest memory with money, I’ve always been a saver. Maybe this originated when my Dad walked me through how interest was calculated on a US Treasury Bond or when he explained the general activities of how stock shares were bought and sold. Or perhaps, it’s just the fact that I’ve enjoyed the activity of earning and accumulating money opposed to spending it on frivolous purchases.
Regardless of how this behavior originated and became wired into my mental thought process, I’ve always been alarmed at people who carry high balances on credit cards, spend on meaningless purchases, or simply give / throw away change and don’t see the value in coins. Hopefully after reading this, you may be able to incorporate these tips into your own daily lives and begin to watch that savings account grow.
Tip # 1: View money as a Percentage not as a figure!
It is very easy to fall into the trap of making money decisions based on the actual dollar figure. For example, let’s pretend that we are going to the store to buy a specific pair of winter socks that costs $10 only to find that the $10 pair we normally purchase is not in stock and the only alternative option is a similar pair that costs $15. Instead of rationalizing the purchase of the upgraded item by telling ourselves that it’s only $5 more, think about the purchase in terms of percent.
In this instance, the upgraded product would be a 50% increase over what we initially intended to purchase. Now let’s use that same example, but instead of shopping for a pair of socks, let’s pretend it we are looking for a used car. We budgeted $10,000 to purchase a used car only to come across a vehicle that costs $15,000. Now that logic we used earlier with the socks doesn’t seem to be so effective does it? Good financial decisions start with good financial habits. Make sure to develop these habits on the small decisions so you won’t make mistakes when it comes to the important decisions. Read More
People often wonder what it feels like for an entrepreneur first starting out on their journey and leaving behind their 9 – 5. Here’s a synopsis in pictures.
1) They start out feeling free and excited…
2) Then they start running and come across this:
3) Still fueled by their excitement, they plow ahead through the sign and encounter this:
Every single moment spent on this blue litte planet we call Earth inspires wonder and awe within me and further awakens my inner child.
How is this to be true?
They say that Chimpanzees share 98% of our genes yet as I gaze into the distance of the New York skyline and view the lights, the architecture, the cars, the people, the fashion, the technology and realize that this all has resulted simply from the manifestation of human thought makes me contemplate how much of a difference that 2% represents and how grateful I am to simply have life in the form of a human being.
I’m further in awe by the infinitely number of events that occur simultaneously in this very moment.
As I write these very words, neurons are firing from my brain down through my arm which then trigger muscle movements to allow my fingers and hands to stroke the tiles on this keyboard. The keyboard, which is wireless, sends a signal through wavelength spectrum to the PC which then executes a chain of electrical commands that eventually are transcribed and interpreted by an abstraction of program languages and software to place these exact characters and letters on your screen – a screen that appears possibly thousands of miles away from my location. Read More
People everywhere are searching for opportunities to succeed. What many don’t see is opportunities are available within each moment in time – within every breath we breathe.
If you are failing to comprehend this then first, broaden your definition of success. In the Western world, the popular definition of success equates to riches, fame, and status. As a result, we often go about our days lost in our thoughts on the next opportunity for us to “get ahead” – sometimes at the expense of others and sometimes at the expense of ourselves.
If we begin to slow down and become more aware of the present our actions in the moment, we can embrace the opportunity to be our best in this very instance. For example, for the young man or woman beginning their career in an unglamorous position who is constantly thinking about what is next and how to get there – instead we should concern ourselves entirely with the moment.
The moment may be requesting us to be a customer service representative and assist a client with a problem. If this is the case, embrace the moment – the opportunity – to serve the customer as exceptionally as possible.
The moment may be requesting us to perform an unpleasant task of cleaning up a dirty mess – do so as diligently and immaculately. Read More
By accepting death and understanding that it’s one of the few things in life that all of us will experience – we can begin to overcome our fear of the uncertain. It also helps to focus on living a life that aligns as true and authentic to us as possible.
Have you ever played sports and lost a game by just a few points and reflected afterwards “If only I had made that shot or tried just a little bit harder, we could have won!”
Or took a test and missed your target score / grade by just a few percentages and later stated “If only I started studying just a little bit earlier, I could have achieved x.”
Or maybe that girl / guy who has always made your heart skip a beat when they enter a room and find yourself thinking just before bed every night “If only I could manage to muster the courage to ask them out.”
The stoic philosopher stated:
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, and we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life, but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it.”
Begin to live your life sans the “If only”. Begin to live your entire life like it is your last and the fear will begin to diminish and transform intro pure excitement and passion. Read More
Over the last several years since the economic collapse of 2007, fear mongers and gold hoarders have been passing around chain letters that typically use a teaser tagline like “Are You Prepared for the Meltdown?” or something similar. These links then lead to some video landing page with a pre-fixed 25 – 30 minute video aimed to place the fear of God into any watcher. They cite statistics about inflation, rising debt levels, rising college costs, and a slew of other data points. Now many of these statistics may actually represent some truth, however instead of laying the problems out on the table to discover a long-term and sustainable solution, they frame these statistics with an element of fear and offer gold as the solution.
Gold by itself has is rather valueless. It’s a metal that is essentially worthless in any industrial capacity (manufacturing, electronics, etc…) and derives it’s value based upon status / prestige and also based on the fact that prior to the 1970′s, the US dollar was pegged to an actual ratio of gold reserves held in the treasury. In 1971, Richard Nixon removed the Gold Standard allowing the dollar and interest rates to float freely. The problem with the Gold Standard is it inhibits economic growth and development to the actual number of gold reserves that a nation possesses. Therefore, in times of economic growth, a nation is unable to increase the money supply (and as a result lower interest rates) to allow for the expansion as there is a ceiling based on the supply of gold reserves. Since we’re no longer on the Gold Standard, Gold’s price today is essentially just a FEAR index. People who think that the “end of the world” is near rush to Gold because they believe if the economic system fails, we’ll discard dollars and go back to lugging around gold coins and plates in our pockets to conduct commerce. Therefore, these pitches drive specifically on fear, the end of the world, etc… and then nicely present GOLD as the solution to all your financial woes.
In reality, it’s bogus. Think about it… if you had a warehouse filled with gold, what value is that really creating for society? Sure, you may make some money on price fluctuations however it’s not really establishing or creating any real value or solving any inherent problem like an actual business does. Read More
Imagine yourself at a theme park being lulled toward a carousel by its bright lights and music. You take a seat and hold the rail with a gentle hand and enjoy the slow pace of the ride. After experiencing a few rotations, the excitement begins to wear off. Instead of being a flashy spectacle, the bright lights now hurt your eyes and the redundant music is beginning to produce a headache. What was once enjoyable is slowly transforming into a monotonous misery going round and round without making any real progress.
Unfortunately the ride isn’t even close to being over and soon it begins to increase its rotational speed. As the concentric rhythm begins to move faster and faster, you tighten your grip to hold on as the ride is now going so fast that all the enjoyment that once existed has been depleted. Due to the increasing speed, you have now become trapped in a vicious cycle of holding on for dear life to avoid facing the fear and pain that may result from letting go and falling to the ground below. Consequently, you are stuck on the ride.
With each new rotation, your grip becomes tighter and you’re more reluctant to let go as the possibility to experience pain and discomfort also increases with the speed. You glance around at the other people on the carousel’s platform and see the burden and anxiety in their eyes and begin to realize that you won’t be able to hold on like this forever.
Through painful consideration, you finally start to summon up the courage and decide to free yourself by finally L-e-t-t-i-n-g G-o. Read More
Fear can cripple and lead us into living extremely small lives. It can cause us to take a safe job and give up on exploring our passion. It can result in us being lonely and never asking that girl or guy on a date. And it can prevent us from exploring the world and experiencing alternative perspectives. All of these instances result in making life an extremely small and boring state of being when the truth is far to the contrary.
To prevent fear from sneaking up in our lives, we need to be conscious when making decisions and ensure the decisions are made to seize an opportunity instead of coming from a place of fear. The best way to accomplish this task is to recognize when we’re feeling fear then use it as a motivational device to move through with an action or behavior necessary to achieve an outcome or state we desire.
Following are two main fears we all experience that are common in preventing us from achieving great success:
- Fear of Financial Loss
- Fear of Failure (Read 5 Reasons Why You Must Start Failing)
Now if we examine these common fears, it’s easy to identify a central theme underlying these instances – fear of disconnect. For example, why are we afraid of Financial Loss (Read Eliminate Money as The Benchmark)? When our basic needs of shelter and food are met, typically additional financial security is used to boost self-esteem. This results in us acquiring material items that display out status in society. A fear of financial loss can therefore equate to a loss of social standing and friendships that were formed as a result monetary achievement. If we lose these friends and relationships, we allow ourselves to consider that we may be left all alone.
Just like the fear of financial loss, our fear of failure is typically driven by the idea that our fragile ego can be bruised. Society doesn’t like to surround itself with failures (which is ironic because those who achieve rarely do so without experiencing failure) and so if others perceived us to have failed, how can we expect them to still be there for us when we are down? Again, the common theme is we will lose personal relationships and live a lonely life of solitude.
To get over these fears, we need to actually experience them and fail. Only then do we see that although some people will take pleasure in kicking us when we’re down, others will be there to bring us back to our feet. Understanding this not only improves our personal relationships evolving them to a deeper level, but also makes us realize that we likely have a greater support system then you realize and are not as alone as we believe. Read More
Facebook’s new Open Graph feature has been released to me for a few weeks now allowing me to demonstrate the new search service. My first impression of the product is positive and using the features of the search allows me to better envision Facebook’s future ability to monetize from its user’s preferences and Likes.
Prior to the release of Facebook’s open graph, user’s may have been more hesitant to engage with “Liking” pages and products on the Facebook platform. Prior to Facebook Open Graph, the user feels that they are giving much more than receiving and possibly contains the incentive to keep information private than sharing it across their network. Facebook Open Graph changes this dynamic.
Now with the ability to search “Friends of Friends who like jazz in New York City”, user’s can easily discover trends and characteristic of their personal network unlike ever before. Consequently, user’s benefit from engaging and sharing their information with the Facebook platform as they themselves increase their discoverability.
Currently a problem does exist with Open Graph. A few weeks ago, I was set up on a blind date and only had the individual’s name who I would be meeting for dinner. As any curious individual would do, I went to Facebook to see if the individual was listed on the network. Sure enough, they were, however since we were not “Friends” I had no access to her pictures. Read More
Often I hear many people discuss work/life balance when contemplating job opportunities and career paths. They weigh the pros and cons by their ability to experience family life and explore hobbies and interests outside of work. I find this to be non-sense.
I’m all for quality time spent with family, however if we are miserable at the office and not pursuing the work that we are meant to perform, then this misalignment will likely spill over to tarnish the time spent with your family. And instead of looking to pursue hobbies or interests, try to make your hobbies and interests your work.
It’s estimated that over half of our waking lives will be spent “working”. Therefore, work is a part of life and not some separate distinction eliminating any truth behind a work/life balance. Success and happiness will come when we find a way to make our life our work. Read More
I recently overheard someone asked a question relating to career advice on how do you maintain looking busy at work to appease your managers? I couldn’t help but shake my head and consider the fact that this very question is being asked is a root problem on why it can be miserable to work for large corporations.
In the words of Thoreau, ”It’s not enough to be busy. The ants are busy. The question is what are we busy about?”
If you find yourself in an environment where you need to show “face time” or “pretend” to be busy to appease management, then run and don’t look back. Don’t listen to any person who says “Well Jonny, you need to learn to play the game” and all that poor advice. Yes, we do need to learn to play the game, but more importantly we need to make sure that the game we’re playing is worthwhile. Pretending to be busy is a game that equates to wasting our life by placing no value on our own time or capabilities?
The sad part is the manager who looks for people who look to be “busy” and cannot comprehend the value of thought and positive interruption. Much of the reason people try to look “busy” at work is out of fear that their manager thinks they’re not accomplishing any real work. If we instead focus on long-term value creation then no one should feel compelled to engage in meaningless busy work. Read More
100 miles deep down in the earth’s scolding hot mantle, carbon containing minerals are pressurized over a period ranging from 1 to 3 billion years. After withstanding such extraordinary circumstances, these carbon containing minerals transform from an ugly, black carbon based mineral into the beautiful, hexoctahedral crystal representative of beauty and purity that we call diamonds. This is the process of greatness.
Everyone wants to be great. Everyone loves the emotional drama attached to Michael Jordan hitting the game winning shot during Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. We rejoiced when Tiger Woods performed his infamous fist pump upon winning his first Masters. We support and text our votes for the finalists of American Idol. We praise the words from the charismatic and inspirational politician running for office.
What we don’t embrace is the pain, pressure, and extraordinarily uncomfortable circumstances that these individuals have had to endure and persevere through in order to attain their greatness. And it’s precisely this pain that makes greatness so beautiful. Read More
I’m a curious individual and sometimes this fact is a blessing and a curse. Curiosity is a great trait to have. It allows us to view the world we live in with wonder and awe and inspires us to ask and understand the question, Why?
Many of us all posses this ability as children. If we observe the behavior of a baby, we can see their eyes scanning their surroundings and toddlers are always exploring their environment. At some point in life, we become jaded. We lose the wonder and zest for life we possessed as a child. It takes time to regain this state of mind, however through exploration and questioning we can get it back.
Once we find it again, things begin to snowball as curiosity feeds off itself. The more curious we are, the more we seek knowledge only to discover new questions that need to be asked an answered. The pursuit of knowledge becomes addictive – although a healthy one.
The curious mind is a balancing act. Sometimes we must let our questioning run wild and explore every nook and premise we can find and fathom. Other times we need to hone in on a specific question we’re exploring and develop the discipline to turn off the curious mind. We don’t want to lock him away and throw away the key, but instead just quietly tell him “Now is not the time. Keep asking questions, but do me a favor and save them for later when it’s time to play”.
It was Steve Jobs who said “Sometimes to focus is to say No”. There are moments we must just choose to do one thing and one thing only and we can’t even let actual procrastination hide behind the veil of curiosity. Read More