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:

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.