Joy is a choice. Wise words from a friend.

State of mind influences how you make decisions, how you interact with people, and how you view the world. Why not have joy be the foundation of how you control each of those events? I had a great conversation with a coworker of mine while out in San Francisco. He was telling me about how he learned about the fact that joy is a choice. It really clicked in my brain because a very similar statement fundamentally changed the relationship with my wife. The statement we read in a book together before our marriage was Love is a verb. Its not something you feel its something you do.

This statement about joy stuck to me like a magnet because I had seen such a success with the similar statement about love. I can’t wait to apply this new technique with joy. I want people to feel the joy emanating from me with every interaction. I want it to positively impact my life and the people around me. With this new state of mind I might be able to stay motivated and content at the same time. That is the ultimate goal for me. Currently My motivation stems from a constant pressure of unhappiness with my current situation. It is exhausting and I am excited to share it with you all in another post. Perhaps I am not the only person experiencing this tiresome but effective motivation.

Despite that, I think choosing joy is going to shape my life and I can’t wait to check back in and let you know how it all goes!

Help yourself by helping others!

Help yourself by helping others!

You don’t know what you are missing! Giving back is the most rewarding thing any human can do. I was given this opportunity through a professor, named Debby, that I had back in my community college days. Her and her husband started a company that provides challenging environments to promising kids. They do this to help unlock their potential and give them a perspective outside the cookie cutter public school system. 

She asked me to give a talk through either video chat or I could stop by if I happen to be in California. After thinking it over and talking with my wife, I obtained plane tickets and started planning. Then, briefly after getting the plane tickets, I confirmed with Debby that it would be ok if I actually stopped by. A little out of order but that’s how I operate.

I knew if I really wanted to influence these kids the best way would be in person. Video chat just doesn’t cut it! I wanted to actually try to make an impact and I sure as hell wasn’t going to half fast it. 

Fly in Saturday morning fly out Sunday morning. That was the plan! Without any more details than that, I got on a plane. I landed in LAX and had to decide how I was going to get to the air bnb which they were hosting this event. I got an uber to pick me up and the 30 mile trip did not take long. 

I was given new directions half way on the car ride and I redirected my uber driver to a shopping center in garden grove. There, with luggage in hand, I had him drop me off at a less than prestine Carl’s Jr. That’s when Steve, Debby’s husband, walked in and greeted me. He gave me the scoop on a crafty plan to hide my identity this weekend until the end, when I gave my talk. After a small scavenger hunt for some supplies for the day, we headed to the air bnb

I was able to participate in one of the tasks given to the kids. It was the process of quickly interviewing people to try to gain a small snapshot of who they were. It was basically speed interviewing. 

Then we headed to Laguna beach where I got to spend a lot of time taking in the ocean. Flew my drone around for awhile and then took a swim. There was some sort of crab migration going on but despite being surrounded by hundreds of crabs, they didn’t bother me to much. Caught some great waves and footage. 

The kids were assigned to play a card game that involves silly tasks that force you to interact with strangers. They spent most of their time at the beach attempting these tasks. They found great success and it was a pleasure watching them get out of their comfort zone. 

When we got back to the air bnb they had a project that involved meal prep. Watching them do this, I realized that even ordinary tasks can build team work, creativity, and challenge the problem solving skills of these kids.

Later that evening, I was able to give my talk. I told them about my story and some of the attributes that lead me to succes in my career. It was great sharing with them and I would love to do it again. 

I slept on the couch woke up and flew out at 7am. 

Moral of the story, giving back leads to great opportunities. It can enhance the moral fiber in your life and give you a great feeling of self worth. Take the leap and give it try, you won’t regret it!

How hard can you work?

How hard can you work?

I work pretty hard, but I really need to step it up. It is easy to get in a routine of letting your normal workload exhaust you, however that exhaustion isn’t enough to justify being satisfied at the end of the day. I’m talking about working every spare moment you have and making it second nature. 

A lot of times these blogs are written while laying in bed, feeling guilty that I didn’t produce enough content. I watched too much tv today, I rested on the couch too much, I spent too much time at dinner or simply I didn’t motivate myself to accomplish anything.

My day job is what pays the bills and I pour a lot of my energy and passion into it. I love what I do, but it’s not going to get me to the next level of succes. So I have to crush it at my day job and then have enough energy to make something worth a damn when I get home. It’s a lot of pressure, but I do my best work under pressure.

So why not just be under pressure all the time and then I will be putting out great work all the time? It sounds like a little overkill but it’s what has to be done to achieve the level of success I am looking for. 

Did I mention I have a wife and two kids as well? My version of succes includes not neglecting my family, so… there is some massive pressure for you. I am currently loving this new adventure I’m on and don’t want it to stop. I get excited every time I have something new to share with the world, and the reaction to it is instant satisfaction. 

With a renewed urgency to just work my brains out, I can’t wait to see what the next few months are going to lead to. 

Please follow me on my journey on my Facebook page which is the hub of all my content.

I would never spend that much on a XYZ

I would never spend that much on a XYZ

You cheap bastard! But really, why do we buy things that the majority of people considered financial lunacy? There is always going to be a certain level of bias coming from someone who likes expensive things, but here is my take.

We don’t buy them just because they are expensive……at least not all the time. Many of products including clothes, cars, watches, electronics, etc. have a much higher standard of quality when they are the top brand with the higher price tag. 

I’m not saying all name brand products do, because this world is filled with its share of rip-offs. You can tend to avoid the scam items by going with businesses that put extreme pride in their brands. 

I love being surprised by a high end product’s detail. Anything built by hand (not assembly line hands) should be considered a work of art these days. You can hardly find decent products built with any level care. In our consumer nation we tend to get wrapped up in the ability to dispose of everything. But with hand built high end products, they last longer, work better, and inspire more emotion than any discount item could ever dream. 

Of course, sometimes you just want to show off, but that in itself is a tribute to how a high end product can connect with you. You can start a conversation with it, be stopped on the street by strangers just for having it, develop a confidence that may not have been there without it. There is value added to your life that many people can’t see and they never will unless they experience it themselves. They will be unforgiving with their criticism, but that is part of the gig. If you are going to flaunt it then expect people to hate on it.

So do yourselves a favor: take a product that you are passionate about and strive to achieve the best of whatever that product is. Work the extra hours, make the sacrifices, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You only live until you don’t, so enjoy the shit out of it!

Put down the self-help book and do something

I have found that completing projects has given me a euphoric feeling. Usually it is the projects that requires physical and mental work. When I am exhausted after a project, I feel amazing at the same time.  The best part of any large or challenging project is not the end result, but all the things you learn while completing it. This is what real self improvement is, not reading a book or going to a seminar, but completing real challenges and learning how to overcome obstacles by actually DOING THE WORK.

I just experienced this by doing some DIY repair on my Aston Martin V8 Vantage. I documented it mostly for the other Aston owners, but I realized while doing it that this feeling of accomplishment needs to happen more frequently. I want to complete more projects and feel more of this. It felt great diving into something I wasn’t sure I could do, overcoming the challenges, and finding success.

If you really want to improve yourself, find something you haven’t done before and don’t let one damn thing stand in your way! I challenge each of you to pick a project that you know you will encounter adversity and start it today. Begin the research, plan it for the next weekend, start the work, do what ever it takes to get it done!

Check the TimeMoneyLife youtube Channel for that video of me working on my Aston Martin.