What would you do?
That Lion King Scene.
"When you try to catch two rabbits, you end up losing both."
"Always exceed the expectations in everything you do."
I love these two quotes because I think they’re very unexpectedly relevant to the timeless, classic dilemma of “finding one’s passion.”
The connection between the two quotes and this dilemma at first glance appears not to really be there at all. But more extensive discussion shows it to truly be.
I don’t know why, but we seem to all be under this impression that on Monday we will be a mixture of confused, eager, depressed, and anxious to find our passion- and then suddenly on Tuesday the heavens will dramatically open up and suddenly we’ll not only find ourselves on fire, but we’ll also have this serene assurance and a majestic confidence in the work that we are doing. Our culture has created this beautiful idea that there is only one “true profession” that truly aligns with your oh so special DNA.
Firstly, not being sure if a job is your “true passion and calling” is the most privileged problem in the world.
Secondly, half assing something just because you’re not sure if it’s your thing is incredibly foolish. Build a habit of going 110% in everything you do. Make it your principle, make it one of your values. Because ‘finding your passion’ in real life generally looks like this: a long tiring series of jobs that don’t quite fit you, and then finally you find what you love. And the only thing that will get you through those jobs and to your ‘passion’ is that principle.
I write all this because I see so many people justify their laziness and bad character through this idea of “not having found their passion.” The thing is, because of their laziness and lack of character, they will never find their passion. Never let uncertainty be an excuse for not putting everything you got into it. It’s a catch 22. Because you’re not sure if it’s your “passion” you never really put 110 percent into it. But because you never put 110% into anything, you never find your passion.
So be sincere in the smallest things and be diligent in all you do. People don’t like these words because it’s so not romantic and it’s basic. But it’s the truth.
I sure do, always do, ever do, & here they be, stories of excellence online & free:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock HolmesJohn Steinbeck, FlightAgatha Christie, Double Sin and Other StoriesSamuel Beckett, LessnessVladimir Nabokov, The AurelianMaxim Gorky, Twenty-six Men and a Girl
Muhammed Ali is known to have said “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
Monday and Tuesday have been good. I got into the habit of using my planner the past two weeks and it has been helping tremendously. I spend the first twenty minutes of my day writing out every single task of the day, every follow up required, every meeting to attend. I then sorted these by importance, labeling each with an A, B, or C. I tackle all the A’s first, then B’s, then C’s. Crossing things out as you finish is super gratifying and I think helps you build momentum. I want to emphasize how much easier and less hectic the day becomes when I take that first twenty minutes to plan.
I think I’m learning how to make decisions and how to juggle a huge volume of tasks and prioritize what needs to get done first. I’m learning how to be extremely efficient. I’m learning how solve a problem that I don’t know how to solve. I think it through and identify what information I need, where I can get that information from, and how to apply that information. In short, I’m getting to practice being Rational. Sounds funny but I don’t think most people conduct themselves very rationally. They fail to identify what key information their missing and are unable to break the problem down into it’s essence and identify what really is the core of the issue.
Leaving for Baltimore tomorrow night. We will be walking the National Food Expo in order to look into buying new machines and also any new products that we can make ourselves. The Expo is great for identifying market trends and getting even better acquainted with the current market climate.
Thursday night, we leave for Korea and China.
One week of traveling throughout Taipei, Guangzhou, Taizhou, and Hangzhou. We’ll be visiting eight different machine manufacturing plants in order to double check the designs before we finalize orders. The Company is making major investments in new high capacity machinery in order to prepare for the market swing we predict to see early next year and the coming quarter. Another goal of this trip is to get be up to the point where I can make this trip out next year entirely on my own with my Father’s guidance. He’s asked me to take special note of every single aspect of the overseas machine inspection process so that I can conduct a thorough review on my own in the future.
The next fourteen days should be extremely exciting and challenging.
And in the morning, light will sock you in the face. Guaranteed. So your Why better be stronger than that punch.
The past two days have been interesting. We left Wednesday morning at 3:45 AM for Las Vegas. We stopped for a beautiful breakfast at Denny’s and after several hours of driving, finally pulled into Henderson City Hall. Henderson City is off the 215 about ten minutes before hitting the Strip. You would never know that it’s there. But 15 minutes in, we’re surrounded by a master planned suburbia and a good sized industrial center. Even thought it’s in throwing distance of the Strip it’s still the complete opposite of Las Vegas and the kind of environment you associate it with. It’s more like Irvine.
We had a meeting with the City’s Economic Council. After several presentations, we hopped in a car for a windshield tour of Henderson residential and industrial quarters.
After this, we went to Claim Jumper and met with the Greater Souther Nevada Economic council in addition to Nevada’s Manufacturing Alliance. The City Councilmen happened to be having lunch at the adjacent table and they eventually came over to say hi and help with the pitch.
Overall, it was very impressive and Henderson provides a level of service and partnership that truly impressed us.
Hands shaken, we then got picked up by the City’s commerical broker. What followed was an intense five hours of driving around the city looking at over 15 different properties. This finished at about 7 in the evening.
Following dinner at the Cosmopolitan, we headed over to the Green Valley Ranch resort. After a few emails, we called it a day and quickly fell deep into sleep.
It had been a long eighteen hour day with only three hours of sleep the night preceding. But it had been so exiting and invigorating to be actually in Nevada finally, scouting out our future facility.
Tomorrow we meet with the Phoenix council. It will be another long day but it’s going to be interesting to see how their pitch is different from Nevada’s. The best part is actually walking these 100,000 square foot facilities. It’s the strangest thing seeing the vision right before your eyes and under the soles of your feet.
So much driving today. We missed the offshoot onto the 93 and only realized this an hour past it. By the time we realized this, we were already in Flagstaff and had to keep going. Added an extra hour to our already long and extended trip. But the road drive was made better with two ungodly large gas station sodas, Jack Link jerky, and a big sinful bag of munchies.
Ate at one of Phoenix’s small Korean restaurants, after which we picked up my brother from Sky Harbor Airport.
Tomorrow is Friday!
Quote of the day.
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
—Cyril Parkinson, Management Theorist
Real question though: When you consider your Facebook and the ways in which you use it and what you usually do when logged on- would you agree that its cons outweigh its pros?
I think you can come up with a million reasons why you can’t give it up. But I’d argue that most of those reasons are hypotheticals so far removed from how you actually normally use it in reality.
I really believe that it’s a distraction and a compulsive habit with actual consequences and that that time could be better used doing life.
So here’s a trial run. I’m committing to not logging onto Facebook with my username until November 1st. That’s only about 7 weeks but I think it’s a good start. Will post about any withdrawals symptoms- totally kidding about the withdrawal symptoms but actually very serious about posting updates on this little commitment.
Sorry for the bad word play in the title.
Birthday in four days!
When I think about my eighteenth year of life, I’m truly just so thankful. It was a year full of some of the best times of my life. In the span of one year, there were so many different happenings- remarkably all of which probably make it on to the lifetime highlights list.
Greatest waterpolo season of my life, admission into Cal, six months in China, the most rigorous computer science/ethnic studies/math1b classes of my life, joined a fraternity, Death Valley, Turkey and Israel, and finally working for the first time ever.
Looking back, it was a blur of crazy adventure after adventure in new and wonderful places. Some of these adventures took me thousands of miles away, others took place in my mind and in the context of confined routine. Year 18 was full of some really difficult confusing points that made me sink into hazy apathy. And then it was also full of moments of exultation, fulfillment, and warm inspiration.
Four days until my nineteenth year of life begins.
I’m excited and can’t wait for all that awaits. It’s not going to be easy or comfortable, but I think it’s going to be fulfilling.
Closing note-I think there’s this point in your life where suddenly it all clicks and you suddenly finally understand how opportunity is always disguised as a problem. ALWAYS. And when you finally understand the true profundity of this idea, every single day and it’s accompanying trials suddenly intrinsically change. I can’t really explain it. But it’s not so much you’re getting better at overcoming the problem and fighting against, but more like things just stop appearing as problems and more like fun adventures that you know are immensely rewarding and fulfilling. Eh. Did not do a good job explaining that.
But it’s like you realize that it’s only in the trials that you distinguish yourself and it’s how you respond exactly in those tough moments that defines you.
We all crave certain things. These cravings are the drivers behind all our emotions. And emotions are the drivers behind all our actions. Whether we get the things we crave or not, is what determines or happiness.
This is all well and fine. It’s how we are fundamentally wired, it’s the basis of human behavior.
But what about when we crave things that are bad for us. What about when we start craving things that only feed our most immediate desires and in doing so, neglect our deeper much more profound cravings? What if humans were designed to crave certain things, but we are completely brainwashed and convinced to crave other things by our insidious culture.
The deeper desires are sometimes so deep that we give up on them and content ourselves to pursuing the more surface ones. But of course, these do not bring us true contentment. It’s tragically ironic. Even though there are certain things we truly care about and truly outrank all other desires- they’re rooted so deeply that we forget them.
The bright lights and constant honking around us seize our mind.
It’s almost like everyday you have to convince yourself once again. It’s a daily struggle to focus on the things that matter. But I think it’s one that’s worth it.
It’s nice to be sitting here on the couch, leisurely listening to music and writing down my thoughts from the past week.
This past week was the busiest week I’ve had at work all summer. Our annual SQF audit was Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We worked like we’ve never worked before. Leaving the house at 4:00 am and coming back in at 11:00pm, and then getting up again the next day at 4. Doing this one time is fine, but linking 15 hour plus days back to back to back is grueling. But we had the objective in mind and we let our commitment to that objective carry us through the fatigue, frustration, tediousness, and ambiguity.
SQF certification is critical for our business to continue to operate. Large retailers refuse to do business with companies that have no been certified. Certification only happens after an intense three day desk and facility audit. Certification indicates that an effective system is in place to guarantee safe and quality food. The SQF body produces a 60 page report detailing rules and regulation.
June, July, and August we worked hard to understand this 60 page document and initiate corrective actions to address any non-conformities. It was grueling. It got tedious at times. But it forced us to understand every component of the business. When I think about it, we were thrown straight into the deep end. Understanding the SQF system is a massive undertaking and something most professionals must invest heavy amounts of resources to do so. Being able to implement a SQF system is a highly sought after skill set and consultants easily clear 30,000 for each project.
When things settle down, I may put an ad up on craigslist and help other businesses through the process. Charge $150 or so every hour.
Looking back on the past three months, I can easily say that I’ve grown enormously in so many aspects. It was basically my first real life test. When we think of tests we think school, but the professional world has its own unique brand of tests. In some ways they’re much more fun, but at the same time they carry so much more magnitude and correspondingly, stress.
To be charged with the management of such a huge project and successfully seeing it through till the end is enormously gratifying and most of all, empowering. It’s a nice big notch on my record and it will give me the confidence and ease of mind going forward into the next big projects.
Some things I learned:
-taking just a little bit more time in the beginning to fully understand the problem can save so much time and effort.
-it’s vital that you delegate effectively. Big projects are simply impossible to do alone. It’s a skill to be able to break the project down and figure out how to use other people to complete the job.
-You must care. You must become obsessive. Only that intense passion will get you through the rough spots and rainy days. If you don’t really care, just quit. The first prerequisite toward any kind of project is there has to be an intense care for it.
-Consultants only real advice is you need more consulting.
Looking back, just so much perseverance. Work ain’t always roses and sunshine. There were days that I felt so overwhelmed and confused. But you still show up. You grind away. And eventually, you reach success and it’s all worth it.
So this past week’s success was the validation of every single day spent working hard June, July, and August.
I smile thinking about it. It’s time for the next project now.
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