The owners of my apartment told me a story about the previous tenant’s willpower. He used to maintain a strict diet and exercise regimen every day of the week except for one. On his “cheat day”, he allowed himself one “sweet of the week”. It lasted for a few weeks, but it wasn’t long before this “sweet of the week” quickly turned into a “sweet of the weak.”
Although I never knew him, he sounded like a good guy with one fatal flaw. I see it all too often with those who want to improve something in their life: he didn’t commit 100%. Pushing myself, whether it be with food, exercise, meditation, drinking alcohol, or work, has always been a 100% commitment because it is actually easier than 99% and it provides family and friends with a role model for personal growth. [click to continue…]
In America, and Texas especially, I have a great perspective on society’s perception of “freedom”. Although we Americans have put some effort into marketing ourselves as the freedom capital of the world, there is some truth to it. Our freedom loving founding fathers regarded tyrannical rulers as the foremost threat to liberty, but I contend otherwise.
Far more detrimental are the restraints we place on ourselves through our thoughts. Few people consider these freedoms, yet they are the ones that we have the most power over. Therefore, I am declaring independence from this tyranny, which has resisted my every wish. If you join me, it isn’t going to be easy, but we shall thank ourselves profusely when we are free. [click to continue…]
My livelihood is technology, but attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas proved that I was strangely “behind” the times. Everyone was talking about X app, Y program, Z widget, and I had no clue what any of it meant. Furthermore, I felt for a day that I was out of place, losing touch with my generation, and would be left behind. Upon further inspection, and some timely insight from my brothers in Florida, I realized that this wasn’t the case at all. Rather than spending my time consuming such technology products, I was instead trying to produce what other people used. This epiphany was insightful, but I realized that most of society consumes far more than it produces. It is time somebody provided insight into why humans consume so much more than we produce and how we can reverse that. [click to continue…]
In the spirit of my site relaunch, I wanted to offer some advice and my experiences as I have enhanced my mindset, my diet, fitness routine, and free time to pursue my own interests. None of this would have been possible without being able to generate a considerable amount of revenue through my internet marketing activities. This freedom from others has made it possible for me to do more with my time than I would have ever imagined. Therefore, I will outline my journey to location and work-time independence and how you can do the same. Most importantly, I will outline my story from the perspective of the nearly computer illiterate! In my experience, this freedom makes it infinitely easier to take control of your life and follow a path you are proud of. [click to continue…]
As much as I harp on productivity and working hard, I recognize that everyone needs breaks. For those who are stuck in jobs they completely despise, it is even more imperative to take ample breaks. With discipline, the frequency and type of breaks can be reduced, but the fact remains that everyone needs a little time for their own stimulation or distraction every now and then. However, I do think there is a vast difference between taking breaks to escape from pain versus earned breaks that are the result of attained goals.
Make the Pain Stop!
When studying or working, many people (at some points myself included) want to take a break and watch some television, a movie, or play some video games in an effort to escape the pain that hard work causes.
This is how manageable amounts of work go unfinished and people have trouble getting things done the way they should. Introspection of these events after the fact usually shows a clearer picture – the studying or the work was hard and the stimulation from media sources was a great way to escape the mental pain that it caused.
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A few days ago, I was jamming out to some music on my iPhone when I saw one of the most beautiful events in nature that I have ever seen. In the center of urban Austin, Texas a hawk sighted a squirrel, attacked it, caught it, and ripped out the innards perched atop an oak tree. Sure, we’ve all seen it on Animal Planet, but seeing it in the flesh (pun intended) was a totally different experience. Some were grossed out, others couldn’t care less, but for me it was a beautiful “eat what you kill” moment.
Eat What You Kill
I started to think about the same instinct within the human mind that is largely underutilized by most individuals. The same instinct to improve our chances of survival exists deep within every human being. For generations our DNA has held these traits, but only recently have they been abandoned. The social structures and technology that we live with does not require that humans tap into this primal instinct. The people who can tap into this evolutionary instinct can be infinitely more successful than their peers.
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Attention deficit disorder, clinic depression, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, multiple personalities, anxiety, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia. We have all heard of these brain disorders that cause loss of productivity, memory loss, and even death. In the United States and places where western medicine is practiced, these conditions are often blamed on chemical imbalances that require a special prescription drug in order to fix. Upon further scientific inspection, it is obvious that the chemical imbalances in the brain are caused by diet, exercise, and stress more than anything else. Instead of creating further imbalance within the brain by encouraging chemical concoctions, it is time people recognized the natural methods to live happier and clearer in their everyday lives.
The Power of Pills
Growing up in an upper-middle class American neighborhood, I witnessed my fair share of medicating for attention deficit disorder and a multitude of other brain disorders. In fact, my best friend [Click here to continue...]
In an age of abundance, stimulation is not difficult to attain. It is now possible to get a Big Mac or donuts that are higher in fat and sugar than our ancestors would have ever conceived. At the same time, stimulation through media or various other outlets can be found in almost all living rooms and theme parks. In general, technology allows humans to stimulate themselves in a extremely wide variety of ways. However, this stimulation comes at a cost. With increased stimulation comes desensitization and an unsustainable search for the next fun, delicious, *insert stimuli here*, great thing. By weaning yourself off mainstream levels of stimulation, you can greatly increase the amount of enjoyment in your life relative to others.
Enjoyment is Relative
One of the most obvious examples of this phenomenon is food. As I mentioned [Click here to continue...]
For months it had been my dream to attend a TED event and last Saturday it was realized. The TEDx Austin event was a breathtaking show of passion from speakers, youth, and attendees. To me, the glue that holds TED together is neither the technology nor the entertainment or design. What makes it special is the passion that can turn boring or mundane topics into inspiration for others to get involved. The core concept of TED in combination with the uniqueness of the venue and the city made it, without a doubt, the best day of my life.
One Great Day
The first chance encounter as I entered the Circuit of the Americas, was with who I would later find out was a speaker and visionary. Jared Ficklin and I discussed the history and divides in New Mexico, the identities of Native Americans, Mexicans, and Americans, and much more. It was a great start to a great day.
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As much as I try to avoid mainstream media, checking my email is often accompanied with the latest news about which celebrity is back in rehab or how many months probation another received. At the same time, I browse TEDx conference videos and find some of the most influential and inspiring stories from individuals who have gone through the worst physical, psychological, and emotional pain. If it ever comes up in conversations, I am just as liable to question how an individual with so many resources can fall victim to alcohol or drug use. Upon further inspection, it is obvious that resources mean little when it comes to success, happiness, and fulfillment.
Change the Rules and Make it Work
While I have never seen the show, one of the mentors of Project Runway, named Tim Gunn, wrote a book entitled “Gunn’s Golden Rules” where he emphasizes many of his own life lessons to “make it work.” In fact, throughout the portion of the book that I read, this motto was of paramount importance. It helped me to think of some of the stories in my own life when I felt fulfilled while lacking resources and simply making it work.
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