October 1, 2014
When That Alarm Goes Off

I try to go to bed  everyday with at least some degree of inspiration. I try to muster myself with some level of emotional drive before making the exit from the car into the office every morning. I like to start and end strong.

This evening seems to be tougher than others. Slept ten hours in the past two days while working about 24 hours in two days, which wouldn’t be too bad but with jet lag I just faded hard in the evening.

So this evening I’m having trouble going to bed with peace of mind. But it’s okay. I don’t expect to experience completion every moment of my life. I’m just going to bed and let my habits carry me forward these next 24 hours. I know I’ll pick up soon enough.

On another side note however, while I was swimming today I thought about how sad it is that sometimes we have so much difficulty waking up. It’s okay when this is once in awhile. But when this is a chronic thing, it’s a sad thing. Because you shouldn’t be twisting in agony every morning deciding between getting more sleep and waking up and living life. Just think about how somber of a fact it is that sometimes sleep is more preferable than waking up and living.

I want to be excited to wake up. I want the day to be way better than an extra hour of sleep.

September 30, 2014
Supercuts

Monday the 29th was difficult at points. Especially in the morning. I felt suddenly so overwhelmed by everything left undone. But this time around it (as in this episode of frustration and discouragement) was a little bit different. I had so deeply felt this same exact feeling earlier in the summer at the same exact intensity level. And at that time, I remember my Father calming me down and confidently but understandingly reminding me that it was really not that bad, and that it could be done. Problems always exaggerate themselves. Especially the tedious ones.

Anyhow, I’ve found that the best remedy to this sudden aggressive panic, is to remind yourself that it’s precisely in these moments that you distinguish yourself- and then secondly, you should just decide to stop looking at everything as a whole and just focus on the most immediate step before you and then proceed onward one by one.. I’m not going to say “and then finally you’re done quicker than you know it.” Because that’s not true. But what is true, is that with simple action and a resolve that is mind you, heroic on somedays and dramatically dubious on others, progress is assuredly made. 

And I think that when at the end of the day you can reflect on all the shitty parts and  the good parts  together, yet still in summary recognize that progress has been made, you can get back at it another day.

Oh, and haircuts. When you’re stressed and grappling with some situation, a nice clean cut makes you infinitely more optimistic and ready to step boldly into the cold, scary world. Not kidding at all. Haircuts are the best stress reliever in the world.

September 28, 2014
September Blue Skies

September Blue Skies

September 28, 2014
Fall is Coming!

It’s been a beautiful Saturday. The weather was a beautiful sky blue with wispy white clouds dispersed here and there. It’s on days like this that the freeway takes on a whole new level of enjoyment. I indulged a little bit today and slept till 12pm. That certainly sounds like a bit more than a splurge, but considering that I’m still completely synced to Asia- not so bad. It’s going to be a difficult next few days as I manhandle my way back into my normal circadian rhythm. It’s going to suck but it’ll be a nice little jolt to my body as I attempt to kick off the slight hint of laziness and compromise that has overcome me the past two weeks.

A thought that has really vividly illustrated itself multiple times in my life is this: “The moment you decide that you have reached success, progress stops. Failure begins.”

While there are many areas of my life that exemplify this phenomenon, one example is physical fitness. Every single time I finally get to peak condition and to the point where I can look in the mirror and say that I have reached my goal, this new pattern emerges. In this new pattern, I suddenly start skipping workouts. I give myself more cheat days. I lose the consistency. And sure enough, four weeks later I’m back where I first unhappily started. The one day missed, the one extra cheat day- always becomes the new pattern. So I’m here once again with a renewed determination to eat right and get that fitness habit back.

It’s very east to slip into this mode of existence where everything becomes so cumbersome. All the tasks that lie before you seems so tasking and difficult. You seem unable to muster the willpower to deny the instant gratification and consistently engage in a slothfulness so profound that it influences not only your mind, but your body and spirit. I use “profound” because I think this mode of existence has so much magnitude. It’s scary because it’s so difficult to throw off. This vice always induces a state of apathy and lethargy and anxiousness that prevents a return to that wonderful powerful life of purpose. Making a decision to deny slothfulness and instant gratification is extremely difficult because it always is immediately followed by a withdrawal period. Your body which has grown soft, and your mind which has grown anemic yells every morning for that shot which will bring a dull haze and quiet the severe restlessness and anxiety. But even though I am fully aware that all this impends, I nevertheless shakingly step forward. Because behind every feeling is nothing, but behind every principle is a promise. Because I know that we confuse comfort for happiness. Because I know that each day is not but a series of choices between what is right and what is easy. Because there are people I care about.

It’s been about two and a half weeks since I’ve given up Facebook. To be honest it has not been to difficult since I’ve been so busy lately. I think that’s the secret to stopping things. You got to start doing new things. That’s a principle.

I’ve decided to add on a few more things. Occasionally I catch myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Wait…to be honest with myself, this is at least ten times a day. It’s one thing to just occasionally check something. But when it’s a ten times a day thing, and you’re getting absolutely nothing from it, IT REALLY CANNOT HURT YOU ONE BIT to stop it altogether. All the times you scroll, there is ALWAYS something better you can be doing. And I mean better in every sense. That’s not debatable. And I know that it’s good to cut yourself slack, sharpen the sawy and “waste time” but there’s so many better ways to do it than internet applications. So Instaram and Snapchat have been thrown in there own little nifty grey folder Apple allows you to create. It’s titled, “bottom of the month.” I suppose I’ll let myself check at the end of every month. Might actually still use it to post photos, I enjoy/need the self expression aspect of it. 

Best things I’ve read this week that really encouraged me.

Very simply, a virtue (or vice) is acquired through practice— repeated activity that increases our proficiency at the activity and gradually forms our character. Alasdair MacIntyre describes a child learning to play chess to illustrate the process of habit formation.14 Imagine, writes MacIntyre, that in hopes of teaching an uninterested seven-year-old to play chess, you offer the child candy—one piece to play, and another piece if the child wins the game. Motivated by his sweet tooth, the child agrees. At first, he plays for the candy alone. (And he will cheat to win, in order to get more candy.) But the more the child plays, the better at chess he gets. And the better at chess he gets, the more he enjoys the game, eventually coming to enjoy the game for itself. At this point in the process, he is no longer playing for the candy; now the child is playing because he enjoys chess and wants to play well. And he understands both the intrinsic value of the game and the way cheating will now rob him of that value. He has become a chess player. Moral formation in virtue works much the same way. We often need external incentives and sanctions to get us through the initial stages of the process, when our old, entrenched desires still pull us toward the opposite behavior. But with encouragement, discipline, and often a role model or mentor, practice can make things feel more natural and enjoyable as we gradually develop the internal values and desires corresponding to our outward behavior. Virtue often develops, that is, from the outside in. This is why, when we want to re-form our character from vice to virtue, we often need to practice and persevere in regular spiritual disciplines and formational practices for a lengthy period of time. There is no quick and easy substitute for daily repeti- tion over the long haul. First we have to pull the sled out of the old rut, and then gradually build up a new track. 

That’s just a bit. Check out Glittering Vices by Rebecca DeYoung for more.

When the Heat promoted him to advance scout in 1999, he balked, partly because he didn’t think his penmanship was as neat as his predecessor’s. When Riley made him an assistant coach two years later, he resisted again, wondering how he could reach his boss’s exacting standards. “I was comfortable and change scared me,” Spoelstra says. “I’d get this pit in my stomach, that fear of being a disastrous failure.” He compensated with work, starting at 4:45 a.m., compiling reports on every team in the league when other staffs were splitting the load.

“People assume a good team is easy to coach,” says Adelman. “But the pressure to maintain the trust of these talented players, and keep the whole thing from disintegrating, is very hard.” Every day was like another two-miler at Portland. Spoelstra started with a huge lead but saw the field closing on him. Most of the time he held it off. On the rare occasions he didn’t, the despair was deep because the expectation was immense. “I hate this quality, but I can go to dark levels when we lose,” Spoel­stra says. “It’s not a panic attack, but there’s anxiety. I’m inconsolable. I’m a train wreck. I’m being myself. Then I get this crazy, intense focus, where I get desperate not to be embarrassed again. That dark spot is what I tap into. Creativity comes from there.”

It’s one of the joys of reading. Stumbling over a voice that is enunciating something that you have been feeling so intimately the entire day, week, or year.

Specific goals.

Everyday one of three, 20 minute swim, run to the park and back, or gym.

Lay out the clothes night before (another post on why this is life changing~).

5am up and out of bed. 30 minute power naps allowed. 

One piece of writing a day.

Half hour of reading a day.

Being big hearted, thinking about others(with family), getting rid of this strange irritability that befalls me suddenly and viciously sometimes.

Constantly engage in Imagination.

 

September 28, 2014
From 'The Dungeon' to the top: Erik Spoelstra's rise with the Heat

The story behind the man.

The behind the scenes work, that led him to the highlights.

September 19, 2014
Alibaba and the 40 facts

Fascinating.

September 19, 2014
29-Year-Old Golf Phenom Who Disappeared From The PGA Tour Will Get $10 Million If He Quits Forever

What would you do? 

September 19, 2014
That Lion King Scene.

That Lion King Scene.

(via marci1900)

September 19, 2014
Passion

"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.

September 18, 2014

likeafieldmouse:

Do you have any more links to wonderful short stories? :)

I sure do, always do, ever do, & here they be, stories of excellence online & free: 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock Holmes
John Steinbeck, Flight
Samuel Beckett, Lessness
Vladimir Nabokov, The Aurelian

September 17, 2014
9/16/14

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. 

September 16, 2014
"No Man has a chance to enjoy permanent success until he begins to look in the mirror for the real cause of all his mistakes/previous failures."

-Napoleon Hill

Amen.

September 16, 2014

And in the morning, light will sock you in the face. Guaranteed. So your Why better be stronger than that punch.

September 16, 2014
 

 

September 14, 2014
 

 

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