October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014
Mental Ramblings

Once again, decision time!!!

Need to throw down thoughts…

I’m choosing between taking yet another semester off to work or returning to school for the spring semester.

I’ve been thinking it over mightily and have been reflecting on the different opportunity costs associated with each decision. It’s a tough one indeed.

Some points that have been coming up:

-I was initially concerned about the sacrifices that work requires. The biggest one I had thought was friendships, community, and just the general absence of the practical benefits of being in a place that really supports peer association and fellowship with fellow man. But this can happen while still working I discovered this week. By being CEO of Self and committed, I found myself looking at several different beautiful communities and fulfilling social scenes. The boxing gym, church, volunteer services, local colleges. 

-I would never go to school for a business related degree. The opportunity cost is just too high. If my primary goal is to learn business, than there’s not other option, not even remotely as good as working in the Company. I’m getting a decade of experience in one year. Working for the company is a MBA course/business administration degree on steroids. Massive steroids. If I choose to return to school, I must not be going for the purpose of learning business.

-If I go back to school, I will most certainly be pursuing a degree in rhetoric. This would be a stepping stone into law school. I would choose a concentration in international or corporate law. But I don’t know if this pathway fits me. Business is on some many levels more enjoyable to me. 

-If I go back to school, one of the biggest reasons will definitely be the social experience, the opportunity to be amongst my peers and learn and grow from them. To be inspired by them. To network. To build relationships. But I’m starting doubt this idea Networking as an undergraduate is pretty bullshit. No one has gotten to a point where they’re able to make meaningful relationships. Don’t misunderstand me, they’re happening but they’re not nearly as significant as I think most of us understand it to be. I’m sure I can join associations and groups where I will be inspired and meet really cool people doing cool things. But again, the opportunity cost. At the company, it’s all that times ten thousand.

There are people in life who peak in high school. Some in college. Sometimes you delay gratification for a greater thing to come. Plus, even while at the company, I have my weekends and evenings to do still cultivate my social life and spend time with my peers. (I didn’t think this was possible but when I challenged myself I realized it definitely was).

As I make this decision the key things that are constantly popping up are 1) timing 2) opportunity cost.

1) I don’t think there’s any one correct decision. But there’s definitely waves in life and it’s important to understand that some opportunities are only available now, and others are there to stay. So of course, in that case you would want to first go with the one available for a limited time. 

2) More and more, I realize that we don’t really make decisions based on the item in front of us. We make a decision based on our evaluation of all the other available options besides the one in front of us.

Praying, contemplating, searching. 

**stream of thought, for anyone reading this, i think this is a good example of how difficult it is to place your thoughts into words, to do it correctly usually takes a very long time or alternatively intense focus( i think this is one of the main factors that sometimes makes it hard to just sit down and write in the first place, it sucks to read your thoughts and hear how bad it fails to capture what youre thinking and instead you sound basic and stupid), which is good because than as you seek to express it the thought is further refined, writing simultaneously while thinking and synthesizing requires intense focus, clearly that’s something I don’t have tonight :) 

October 17, 2014

All of us carry our personal set of assumptions, beliefs, and expectations.

We have an idea of how things ought to be. We have a certain philosophy on relationships, how they should start, what role they have, and what a good one looks like. We have a certain philosophy on professional success, how it is developed, how it can be achieved. We have a certain philosophy on family. We have a certain philosophy on happiness. The list goes on.

But let’s just agree on how LIMITED all these are. 

I love reading and I love talking with new people because they’re one of the few things- possibly the only things- that can flip my paradigm. My references levels are reset. I’m inspired. I’m captivated. I’m renewed. I’m challenged.

New books, new conversations. My obsession. Or at least I’m trying to make it so.

October 16, 2014
"If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it." - Muhammad Ali

"If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it." - Muhammad Ali

(Source: jayzslifeandtimes)

October 16, 2014

Looking around nervously, he allowed his left pinky toe to cross over the line. He again scanned his surroundings anxiously. Crossing the line was proving to be a complicated affair.

Breath shallow, sweat beading, imagination and id swirling.

But he summoned his will and took strong strides out and beyond. He continued these strides, moving with a sense of purpose that quickly and surprisingly brought him far beyond the line. And he looked around and realized where he was and how far he had come, he felt a supreme fulfillment as he enjoyed the wonders of novelty, exploration, and tenacity.

Life tends to reward you for stepping out of your comfort zone. That’s a constant realization these days. That’s a principle.

October 13, 2014
Simple-Tough Truths #1

Sow sparingly, and you will reap sparingly.

Sow generously, and you will reap generously.

October 9, 2014

Wednsday was a blur. So fast paced and crazy.

If I had to choose one idea that captures the theme of my life currently, it’s definitely, “Indeed. There are seasons of life that are easy. And there are seasons of life that are a grind. Life is Seasons.”

October 7, 2014
"The safest way to get what you want is to try and deserve what you want."
- Charles Munger

"The safest way to get what you want is to try and deserve what you want."

- Charles Munger

(Source: shotgunshy)

October 6, 2014
On false idols (and why they will fuck you up):

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

– This is Water, DFW

October 3, 2014
Secret Magical Tips

So I’ve been setting my clothes out the evening before. It makes getting up easier. I can just roll out of bed and simply throw it on. 

Waking up is hard enough. Waking up and then having to stumble half asleep through your semi-organized closet struggling to find an outfit is a hundred times worse.

The past five days, I’ve been up and off to a great start five times.

Definitely a habit to stay. 

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 into 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

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.

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