The way I see it.

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The way I see it is…it’s like running towards a destination far off in the distance. Imagine a blinking light far off in the distance. You don’t know the exact route, the exact path you’re going to take, or everything you’re going to come across on your journey. However, as long as you have a clear vision of your goal. You can get there. You just have to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the challenges along the way.

People ask, “What if it’s not possible to run to the place you desire?” It’s true, there are places you can’t run to because of physical limitations (i.e. running across the ocean) or simply just not possible (i.e. running to the stars). That’s the realm of the real dreamers. People like Tesla, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers, people who sought to do things that were beyond the level of comprehension of their time. I’m not there yet; I hope to be one day.

I’m simply trying to run to a place so many other people have been, a place where people with far less opportunity than me have been. So, I know it’s possible. It might not be the well-worn path. It might be full of hardship and adversity, but I love a challenge.

I don’t know the purpose of life. I don’t think anyone undisputedly knows the purpose of life. If you think you do, I’m all ears, but until then, I’ll give myself one because I hate standing still. My purpose, my goal, my reason for being is to make the world a better place because I existed. I’m not saying I’m a saint; I’m not. I am human like everyone else. I have desires, needs, and greed. However, what I recently realized through my reading is, great people are humans too. I used to hold them on this pedestal. I thought that in order to be great, you had to be almost godlike. You don’t. Your personality and character trait doesn’t dictate the good you can do. From what I read, Steve Jobs was a total asshole. He was manipulative, downright mean, and yet he was able to make a huge impact on the world and touch millions of people.

I’m not telling you this because I condone “character flaws”. I don’t. I believe you should strive to be the best person you can be morally. However, it is more of a reminder that even when flawed, we can do amazing things.

Ninja 300 Diary

It’s been a year since I got my motorcycle. Did you know the chance of dying on a bike is 27 times greater than a car? That’s 2700%!!

Knowing this, getting a motorcycle is a stupid decision.
I do a lot of stupid things, but it’s not because I’m ignorant to the consequences. In fact, most of the time I’m well aware of them. I just simply reject the premise that the consequences are worse than not doing anything at all. J.K. Rowling comes to mind: “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

I am more afraid of not living than I am afraid of dying. That said, it’s all about balance. I’m not out here doing coke off of hookers’ ass cheeks. So please, don’t think I’m some adrenaline junkie with no regards for my wellbeing. I love life; I want to live for a very long time. Some risks are just worth taking, that’s all.

It’s been amazing year. I have made more money and have been in more ventures than ever. I went on more dates and talked to more girls than I have in the last 4-5 years combined. Physically, I’m the strongest I have ever been. I got to the chance to travel and go on adventures like I always wanted. And above all, I made more genuine connections this year than ever. All because I made a fool out of myself more times than I can count, have been in some of the most awkward situations of my life, and have been constantly reminded that it can all be over in a blink of an eye.

I have already had a few close calls on my bike, and I’m sure I’ll continue to do so. I expected this. I know this. I also LOVE this. It forces me to live in the moment and take nothing for granted. A bit dramatic, but every time I’m close to death, I’m reminded of how amazing it is to live. I have no choice but to make every moment of my life count. It’s a shame, but I – like most people – only truly value things when we lose it or are constantly reminded it won’t last forever. As Steve Jobs said:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

Life is hard. Life is hard for everyone. Even for people who seem to have it all figured out. You don’t know what they went through or had to deal with to get there. Also, if you’re lucky enough to experience things in excess, you’ll realize money, girls, and anything else most people like to envy or think will make them happy will never be enough. The void can never be filled from the outside. It has to come from within….. And with that…I just realized I have become too preachy…so I’ll just leave with this.

If life is a bitch, I’m going to bend her over the fucking counter. Lol

I’m going to make the best of it.

I’m not normal

I hate the idea of being average, normal, or whatever other word you want to use to describe mediocrity. When I was younger, I used to care about fitting in, but I just don’t anymore. You know why? Because I came to the realization when I was studying “great people”. No one great was ever average. All of them were weird or eccentric, either personality wise or through their actions. They all did things that were way beyond the level of “normal” for their time. Steve Jobs is well known for traveling to India to search for an “enlightenment” guru and LSD usage during his teens and 20s. Warren Buffet started investing at the age of 11. FREAKING 11! Do you know what you were doing at 11?! Probably not investing. Also, I’m pretty sure if Lady Gaga wasn’t famous, all of her freaking stunts would have landed her in a mental hospital. Now the real question is, did fame make her weird or did fame only magnify whom she was?

Normal people don’t climb Mount Everest. Normal people don’t put their life on the line to be the first person to the moon. Normal people don’t run 100-mile courses. Normal people don’t put countless of hours into their craft for a tiny chance at succeeding. Normal people don’t launch billion dollar companies. Normal people don’t chase their dreams.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

UPDATED: I wrote this a while back and I want to amend this. Though I still agree with everything I have written, I wanted to add that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be normal and fitting in. I have come to the realization that everyone has their own path, goals, and aspirations. I want to warn people that standing up against the grain is a hard task. There is a certain isolation when you’re on the extreme end of the bell curve.

2014: Another year has come and gone

Another year has come and gone, and around this time I’m always in a reflective mood. I like to re-evaluate my life, direction, and basically everything about myself during this time. If 2013 was the storm, 2014 would be the morning after, still dazed at the events of the night before. In a way, 2014 was me waking up, examining the damages, and working my way out of them. This year was a lot calmer, less ups and downs. My life returned to normal. It returned to reality. I was no longer spending thirty to forty hours on the poker table every weekend. I was no longer winning or losing thousands of dollars a day. I was no longer dropping $500 chips on the roulette tables when I was getting bored. No more free trips/rooms to Vegas or Atlantic City. No more VIP treatment. No more feeling like I was living a double life — developer by day, poker player by night. No more waking up to $500 tabs. Life was no longer a whirlwind of being in a dream or nightmare state. However, I have learned so much that I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I returned to a regular nine-to-five job, Automated Software QA Developer. Sexy, huh? Life, in a word, has returned to normalcy.

And honestly, I’m not sure if I like it. Maybe I’m a little weird. Hell, who am I kidding? I am weird. I hate the idea of being normal. I hate the idea of being stable. I hate the idea of seeing my life mapped out in a stable manner. I hate the idea of going to school, getting a job, finding a wife, settling down, and living out the rest of your life. I want more out of life. I want more meaning and serendipity.  I want to be in a situation where I don’t know where life is going to take me in the next ten years. I want to be that guy in Peru somewhere launching a multi-million dollar business, or that homeless guy backing through India searching for his guru, or most of all, A GOD-DAMN RAPPER! Lol The point is, I want my life to be an awesome adventure. One of my co-workers likes to jokingly call me crazy, but I prefer the word eccentric.

Creatively, though, 2014 has been my best year. I have grown in leaps and bounds in terms of  writing, photography, and in just the way I look at life. I did and created things that were above and beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. Not to say they were great work or anything. The bar was just set very low. It’s a good feeling to surprise yourself. Here’s to looking forward to 2015 and everything it has to offer.

It has never been a better time to be a good person.

//Wrote this awhile back, just didn’t have the time to put it out.

With all the craziness with the racist NBA owner, I wanted to write this. It has never been a better time to be a good person. The amount and rate at which information is traveling is unprecedented. The real you is going to be exposed, good or bad. It was just easier to hide yourself back in the day because information didn’t travel as fast, and people were sharing a lot less. It’s not a bad thing; transparency is good.

This whole situation can be summed up as someone’s personal flaws being exposed. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that an eighty year-old white male was found to be racist. He grew up in a different time and a different era. What is morally correct in one generation might be completely wrong in the next. Time and progress changes everything. Steve Jobs said, “Death is very likely the single best invention of life.” I believe this because, though I do not wish death upon anyone, death will clear out irrelevant ideology and morally from the past and bring new life. However, until that day comes, please stop with the hatred and the mob mentality. If you hate someone because of their hate, you’re just as bad. Seek to understand. You don’t have to agree, but don’t perpetuate the hate.

The Internet/social media has given everyone a chance to be in the spotlight. The reason why everyone loves social media is because, in a way, social media gave us the power to be famous, the power to broadcast our lives like celebrities on tabloids. It feeds our narcissistic hunger to be popular, important, or someone people read/care about. On the flip-side, we now have the power to inspire, share, and motivate people faster than we ever have before just by living our lives and being true to our self. That said, it’s like everything else in life; it is about balance.

Still figuring it out.

I feel like I have been putting out the vibe that I have this whole life stuff figured out. I don’t. Don’t let my writings fool you. I’m not trying to lecture anyone; I’m not trying to tell people how to live. They’re just things and experiences I have come across that I view as true in my world, in my reality, in my eyes. It is only one way of looking at things. Photography has taught me that “point of view” can change everything.

I write because I enjoy it. I write because it is a medium I like to express myself through. I write because it inspires me. I write because some where somehow I hope this will inspire someone. However, even though I have good intentions, I realize I can be wrong; I can impact people in ways I didn’t mean to. This is why you should question information and check your sources and only believe in things that make sense to you. Especially these days, it’s too easy for people to put out fake information. There is literally a hoax for everything, or a hoax within a hoax…It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

But yeah, like I said. I’m still just trying to figure all this stuff out. I used to think that it was horrible that I still don’t have it all together yet. I used to think to myself, “I’m supposed to know exactly who I am by now.” But thanks to my obsession with studying great people from our generation, I have learned that it is okay to be “lost”. (Insert related video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDYXaaT9sA)

Five years ago I was so sure who I was as a person. I was an nerdy engineering student who was a very “logical” thinker who couldn’t do anything “creative” if my life depended on it. I was going to graduate college, get a job, have a family, and live out my life as an upstanding citizen. I wasn’t lost; I knew exactly how my life was going to play out. I’m not sure when or how I completely veered off course, but I did. Maybe it was when I made the realization I was completely miserable in an education system I longer believe in. Maybe it was when I made more money in a day than what my parents ever made in a year, only to lose most of it in a month, but by then it didn’t matter anymore because it shattered my perception of money and what is possible.

I am so grateful for everything that has happened because, in being “lost”, I was able to completely free my true ambitions. I found what Steve Jobs would call my “inner voice”. In not knowing who I was anymore, I freed myself to do all sort of random things. I shattered the perception of myself. I no longer felt like I was not a creative person because I didn’t know if I was creative or not. So I tried things: drawing, photography, poetry, writing, running, philosophy. I started reading about “success”, psychology, and even a couple philosophy books. I started watching tons and tons of motivational videos on YouTube, way more than any normal person should consume (Haha). To the point, I think it made me become a little bit delusional on what I could achieve, but I think that’s a good thing. More than that, I started studying people who I admired. I would watch interview after interview on great people who have achieved a certain level of success in their field. I also didn’t limit myself to a certain field. I would study businessmen, writers, actors, artists, comedians, rappers, and the list goes on and on.

After all of this, I felt like I could go, be, or do anything I wanted. The next step was proving to myself that I could do things that were not plausible. I ran the marathon just to see if I could because it was sort of mythical for me. I knew it could be done, but five years ago it was something I would have never done. Why would I? WHO THE HELL IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD RUN 26.2 MILES FOR ANY LOGICAL REASON?! What’s scarier is there are such things as 100-mile courses (Just imagine how insane those people are, haha). I picked up a camera because I thought it was cool. It turns out I’m a little more creative than I thought. I started writing more. I took a shot and ask someone who was waaaayy more successful than me to be my business partner/mentor, and somehow it worked. I have been blessed with opportunities and good people, though I wouldn’t say it was all luck. I made a choice to put myself out there, to put myself in situations to get lucky. With all that said, I’m definitely not where I want to be; I have a long way to go and much more to learn. My marathon time was horrible, and my business could be a lot better, but the point is that these grand ideas are now possible. I realize the only person standing in my way is myself, as cliché as that sounds.

I want to share a story

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?” To which the businessman replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions, señor? Then what?” The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”-Author Unknown


I love this story, even though on the surface it would seem like the moral of the story goes against everything that I am. This story tells a message that I have always believed in, and that is to do what you love. Yes, I consider myself a businessman, and I think in a very similar fashion as the businessman in the story. However, I see myself as the small fisherman doing what he loves. It just happens to be that my beach is the office, gym, and the place I go to when I meditate.

What this story really nailed home for me is, everyone is different. Everyone has their own path, dreams, and aspiration. Some people want to be a billionaire philanthropist trying to save the world, and some people just want to sit at home and eat Cheetos. There is no right answer for everyone. Don’t ever let anyone or society tell you how you should live your life. If you’re perfectly happy in your current situation and don’t find the need to be more successful or reach higher, don’t. “Do you, boo-boo.”

What makes you happy might make the next person miserable. I just happen to be someone who enjoys pushing the limits of my body mentally and physically. I like challenging myself to be better every day. I like working twelve-to-fourteen-hour days. Does it make me a better person than the next guy? No, I’m just different. In fact, I’m probably a little weird. I would like to argue that a homeless person who is happy is 100% more successful than anyone who is unhappy and wealthy. Though, that said, this is mostly a hypothetical example, as I think it is hard to find a happy homeless person, but there are some out there.

Money comes and goes; love comes and goes; friends come and go. However, the only thing that can never be taken from you are the moments of happiness in your life. No one can go back in time and take those moments away from you (Not yet anyways). Whether that be launching your first successful business after decades of hard work, lying on a beach, or just lying next to a loved one, find out what makes you happy and be successful.

Be a Creator

Most people are used to the term of being called a “consumer”. That’s because most people consume things like food, entertainment, and a variety of things. However, how many people would call themselves a creator?

Well, I’m telling you that if you want to consume things beyond your wildest dreams, you need to learn to be a creator. So what do I mean by a creator? Simply put, be someone who creates things that are of value to society. Instead of reading an article, learn how to write an article. Instead of watching a funny video, learn how to create a funny video. Instead of buying a product, create a product. Instead of going to an amusement park, build a fucking amusement park. The shift in thinking is slight, but it is a huge difference.

Think of anyone successful and nine out of ten times they were a creator, from Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, to Jay-Z.

The beauty of being a creator is, it is virtually limitless to what you can create. You’re only limited by your imagination. The problem with consuming is the experience is limited to only things people have created. What I mean is, if it doesn’t exist you can’t consume it. Yes, common sense, but I don’t think many people realize this. Where as if you are a creator, if it doesn’t exist, you can bring it to life.

Being a creator is hard because you are putting yourself out there. One of the hardest things for people to do is share a personal poem, painting, or creation. That’s because most people are afraid that people won’t “get it”, or they are afraid of being judged and criticized. When you create something, it becomes an extension of who you are. Then you have to put it out in the world to be judged and criticized. It can be a very scary thought. The pain of being “rejected” is very real. However, that’s the risk you have to be willing to take if you want to achieve your dreams.

Business, Relationships, and Running

clock

*REPOST FROM 12/5/12*

Thinking about time management one night, I soon realized the similarities between a relationship and a business. Both take a huge initial investment of time in the beginning, but require less and less “work” as time goes on. As in, you’re no longer trying to learn everything about each other or trying to do everything in your business. You have learned to trust and delegate. Thus, it becomes more about maintenance. Both, relationships and businesses, go through stages. Both have a beginning and an end; however, if you are lucky you will build something that will last a lifetime.

One thing I have realized is it doesn’t really matter how many failed relationships or failed businesses you have been a part of. It only takes one special person or one successful business to change your life.

Too many people settle too early. Settling is easy; to continue to put yourself out there and take chances is hard. Every time you reach out to do something new, you run the risk of losing what you have already accomplished. Every time you end a bad relationship, you run the risk of being lonely, and I’m sure most would agree that being lonely is hard. However, I’m also a believer that anything worth having is hard to obtain. As cliche as this sounds, you’ll know when it’s the right one.

I recently finished a half-marathon, and I’m training for a full marathon in April. It was an experience that I will never forget because I learned so much from it. One of the things I have learned was that once you cross that finish line, everything was worth it. The five to six months of training, the 20-30 miles each month, it was all worth it. It was worth the 2+ hours of exhausting, sweat-dripping pain I endured throughout the run. In fact, it made it the journey that much better. All of the work and training became trials and tribulations in my small “story” to the finish line. If the race had turned out to be an easy run, I guarantee you that it would not have meant as much as it did. The fact that I felt like I could collapse at any moment during the last two to three miles made crossing that finish line memorable.

I kept thinking to myself, if I had given up at any time during the race, I would have never been able to experience that. All of my pain and struggles would remain just that, just pain and struggles. So, if you ever feel like you just can’t handle it any more, or that you’re in unbearable pain, find a reason to keep going because once you cross that line, all of that pain will make it that much sweeter.

I do the things I do because I see the running, the reading, the self-analyzing, the critical thinking, and self-development as part of a bigger race. Bigger than a marathon, a run for life.

 

I see changes, but…

I see changes within myself, but is it enough? I wonder if other people have this feeling that whatever they’re doing isn’t good enough. I always feel like I can do better.

Compared to last year, I am a much more disciplined person. I have been using my calendars, agendas, and daily to-do list. A quick look through my agendas and notebooks is proof of this; there is more of an abundance of information in them. However, I still feel as though I haven’t improved much.

It’s probably the fact that I am not where I want to be yet, and that is okay. I just need to learn to take it a day at a time and not get discouraged.