Thursday, 31 March 2016

Participating in something bigger than me

Marathon Of Hope, Running Through Newfoundland - Ontario Canada

Beginning

Running the Terry Fox 10k run was an electrifying experience. It was cold, it was wet, and it was exhilarating being amongst supporters for a great cause.

Before I continue I just wanted to mention that this touches me very closely to my heart because I have lost my grandparents to cancer. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye as I was in another country. They will forever be in my heart.

Prior to the beginning of the run there were speeches made by people who have gone through tragedies and recoveries. The stories were heartwarming, they set the mood for the run.


Brief History

If you are not familiar with Terry Fox let me tell you a brief summary. Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977. He made it his mission to raise 1 million dollars by running across canada on his prosthetic leg. The purpose was to raise awareness in finding a cure for cancer. His cancer spread to his lungs one year after starting his journey across Canada. He died in 1981 in Ontario. His mission of 1 million super exceeded into 24 million, much more than he anticipated, what came as a surprise was that he left a legacy. 36 years later we are celebrating his run in every city across Canada and are still raising money for cancer research.

In september of 2015 I lived in coquitlam at the time, and I got the privilege to participate in the run at the exact place where Terry Fox was born and raised.

At the beginning of the run it was easy to get ahead and to keep at a good running pace, especially after the speeches before the run. I did nothing to prepare to run 10 kilometers, although I would say I am fairly athletic. It also helps running beside motivated individuals. Motivation spreads like fire when ignited.

Same is true in anything you do in life, it is a snowball effect. The only dilemma is to keep the momentum going.

End

Near the end of the run, there was one individual who persisted with a tremendous pace. I was at this point giving up before I seen this man running. This inspired me further to continue. When we came through the finish line together he congratulated me, I did the same for him.

The sportsmanship is profound in this event. Everyone was cheering and in an uplifted mood. How could you not participate in something so inspiring. I will continue to support the cause and participate in the event yearly. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to experience this.


Takeaways

In business and in life you sometimes that push is needed to keep going. Who do you look up to to get that push? It can be anything or anyone that has a compelling action, story that will encourage you to go beyond your safety net. Taking risks is necessary. Now this may not seem like a risk going to do a run, however going by yourself can sometimes be intimidating, and going in the rain doing it for longer than your used to and not giving up I would say is coming out of the comfort zone.

What I didn't understand is how this run served its purpose in raising awareness for cancer. Right? I mean your running, however when I got to the event it all made sense. At the event there are merchandise sales of which the proceeds go to the foundation and each runner has to donate a minimum of 10$ to participate and more if they choose too.

You will get back much more than you put in


I would do it again, and I encourage you to support a cause the resonates with you. You have been blessed with more than you need, even if you don't think so. This universe works in reciprocity. What you give you will get in return 10 fold, the most important factor to remember is not to expect anything in return.

To be continued....

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A terrible experience all the way to the emergency

This is where I should of been dropped off!


Eyes deceive and make the mind believe. It is so powerful. When I seen my foot swollen I made myself believe the unbelievable, that it was broken.



I woke up in agonizing pain and looked down at my foot to my discovery of it being the size of a baby watermelon. My girlfriend confirmed the fact that she thought it was broken as well, but still kept optimistic and said not to judge it so quickly. Well I did judge quickly and it is crazy how our mind behaves when others tell us something that confirms our intuition. I thought I had broken my ankle. 

I hopped in the cab and the driver dropped me off at the main entrance rather than the emergency entrance, which by the way they are allowed to do, worried about getting a ticket instead of a person's well being. So I had to hobble all the way into the front door which is 65 hobbles.  Yes I counted. Once I reached the front door. There was no staff to help me but instead a volunteer of whom was the information dispenser.  There was more concern about giving people information than taking me to emergency.  I was dumbfounded.  

I get put into this low-budget wheelchair. You can't even wheel yourself around in it, and the padding on it, well there is non. The nurses have to take time to wheel people, cost effective? Who ever thought of this did not take into consideration the time spent by nurses wheeling people around.

When I made it to the check in desk, I forgot my identification. At this I thought to myself things couldn't get any worse, and how rushing only generates mistakes. I was asked if I had been at this hospital previously. I said no. After giving them my name, turns out that infact I have been here. Ill save this for another post.


I was angry and ashamed of myself.  Thoughts such as what will I not get to do for next little while we're running through my head. After falling asleep waiting for the x ray I woke up with a different attitude.


By the way before I fell asleep I watched people come and go and I was angry because I was there first. I guess it's more about who is in worse shape, and I am on the lower end of that list. Even though I wanted to feel like I am important.


I woke up with an uplifting attitude. I asked the nurse who was wheeling me around "where are you from?" This question can lead to a wonderful conversation.  You make the person who you ask feel important. Try it, when you meet a stranger, ask the open ended question of where are you from. I got this from Leap by Tess Vigeland.

Why do you need to ask someone what they do when you first meet them? That person who you meet maybe has lost their job or in transition, why get into something that the other person may not care to talk to you about. Who really cares what you do for work, what matters is what kind of person you are.

I am thankful that my foot is not broken and that I will recover rather quickly with some good rest! The great news is that I still have my health and well being! And you should be grateful to. There will always be someone who has it worse than you!

To be continued....

Why simplifying your life can make you happy

Being a minimalist can be the greatest route to freedom and happiness.

Let me tell you why, and how.

I recently read a book by Miya Tokumitsu called Do What You Love And Other Lies About Success And Happiness. It is a short but compelling read, debunking all those myths about success, passion and how you have to work endlessly and tirelessly to become essentially a slave, if not to someone else than to yourself.



True freedom comes not from all the gadgetry or more stuff, instead it comes from having the essentials and spending your time with people, being human. Laughing, crying, enjoying someone's company, not a nice car, new clothes, expensive jewelry, or your brand new Iphone and spending all your time attached to social media. Finding meaning and purpose in people and relationships.

We read a lot about people's success, who are in the limelight. How about all those people working arduous in the factories who we don't hear about. What also stood out for me in her book is what she says I find to be not just a truth but also a reality, "people with more money get to sleep more than people with less money".

Today I watched a Ted Talk by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, about minimalism. They created a community by simplifying their lives, and bringing value to others, advising their community to do the same. What stood out for me was the fact that they bring up awareness around the fact that value builds a community, people will share your opinions and ideas if you can bring value to them. However this was not the main purpose of their talk. The purpose was around minimizing everything in your life.

I also read a blog by Mark Manson, whom I share a lot of ideas from, that you need to apply the 80/20 rule to everything you do. For example, you wear about 20 percent of the cloths you own. You watch about 20 percent of the shows on T.V. You share an infinite bond with 20 percent of your friends. So how about the 80 percent of the junk in your life that serves you no purpose except as clutter.

When I moved from living in a 3500 square foot house by myself into a 1000 square foot apartment with my girlfriend and all of our pets, let me tell you that downsizing=freedom. It felt like a huge weight lifted of my shoulder to get rid of so much crap I and her accumulated over the years of living in bigger houses. It is like you have this obligation in filling your house just for the sake of making it look decorated so that others can pass judgements. Let me tell you, you don't need any of that crap because you do not use it, let alone love everything you own! But you won't see this until you choose to.



Start getting rid of stuff you do not need or use. How do you know you don't need it? Apply the 6 month rule, If you haven't used it in 6 months and not planning on using it for the next 6 months, sell it or throw it out, don't wait to, just do it!

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and it just so happens I read the DWYL book and listened to the Ted Talk the very next day after finishing the book. Coincidence? Probably not! This happens to me on a frequent basis.

To be continued....

It is in you to ASK

Ask - Acknowledge someone's kindness

You can get so much by simply asking.

Why are we so afraid to ask? Are we afraid because of the shame and guilt. Is it because we will feel that we would owe back?

I learned you need to ask the right questions. There are different levels of ask. Roger Killen a host with the Vancouver business meetups calls it the 10 dollar, 1,000 dollar, and 1,000,000 dollar ask. He says the million dollar ask is by asking a gatekeeper. A gatekeeper is an individual or an organization that can lead you to a colossal amount of leads, instead of just directing the ask towards one individual. (On a side note Roger is hosting the next Vancouver Ted X)

Aladdin Homecare is one of the companies I am associated with. How it began is by my partner who came to me and asked me to join forces with him. I was compelled by his persuasion and impressed by his ask. The rest is history.

I ask not to be polite but to seek opportunities that might otherwise pass me by. I ask because I want to ask, because the worst thing that could happen is getting a no from the individual. Will this embarrass me? Sometimes it will, but embarrassment is worth the opportunity.

What is my ask? My ask is always to get more value out of life, and yours should be too.
Ask! If you are having problems with anything, you can always find someone to help, and sometimes it comes from the most unexpected people. You will never know until you ask. No one is going to give you anything unless you request it.

Get into the habit of asking. Requesting and demanding are on two opposite ends of the spectrum. How shitty would you feel if someone told you to do something for them, as opposed to someone leaving it up to you to decide.

You build trust with the person you are asking. Let me tell you how. You build trust with them if you ask first and than small talk later. Don't bullshit someone by asking them to meet up, go for coffee to catch up if you have other intentions in mind. The person you are asking will be more likely to do something for you if you are being upfront and honest, put your intentions out in front of you. No need to hide them until the right opportunity comes up and its time to ask for favor. ASK FIRST.

Don't do things for people expecting something in return. That is a weak and conditional relationship. Read up on Unconditional relationships, they are not tit for tat. Build strong relationship by offering to help, with the only reason being is because you want to.


To be continued....

Monday, 28 March 2016

How does a man define success?

Why do you exist? Just be yourself! Why pretend to be someone you are not. You have a gift and the world is waiting for you to present it. 




I noticed a friend of mine was bothered by how I have evolved. I asked what bothered him so much about it. He said to me you are not being yourself, that you are trying to be someone you are not. I was taken back by his statement at the same time I was not surprised at all. To some people change happens really slow, or something impactful has to happen for change to occur in a individual. Change is not a bad thing, in fact it is a great thing as long as it is constructive change. Someone who notices your change means that they themselves are still at the same position they were before you changed, keep that in mind.

Another friend of mine had asked a question that got me thinking during our basketball game. The game was just about to get under way. After successfully winning our first game, we then lost the next game. The rules are when we lose we sit off, however my teammate substituted for another team since there was a shortage of players. While I watched him play I noticed how hard he worked. I wasn't doing so good in terms of my game. 

I was asked, what makes a man successful? The first words that came out of my mouth were perseverance, hard work and deliberate practice. In the book outliers Malcolm Gladwell conveys successful people as outliers. They happen to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right people. 

I sat there and watched then a revelation came to me, I could have said a lot of things about what makes a man successful. It all depends on how you define success. Anyone can be successful with anything they do and with themselves. According to the dictionary success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

I read a lot of success quotes on Instagram. You can also find many celebrities with success quotes; Will Smith-If you want something go get it. Period, Ghandi-Be the change you want to see in the world, and my most favorite quote, Henry Ford- If you think you can or you think you can't you are right. I can go on and on with these quotes, why bother? Will they make you successful? Certainly not. Do you need to read any of these for motivation? I don't think you do, I think motivation should be a driving force within you.

How do you define success? 

When the game finished and we won 5 games to 1, we were walking outside my teammate kept repeating my answer to his question about how I define success. I told him to ask me the question again. When he did I replied back to him "THE MAN". Really only you can define what success means to you. You can be a successful husband, brother, son, teacher...

Change is good if it makes a man better than what he was prior to the change, thus becoming successful.

On another note...


Today is a sad day for me and especially hard for my girlfriend, we adopted out our doberman, whom we fostered for 3 years, to a loving family who are going to take good care of him. I went to look for him where he usually sleeps only to find an empty room.

To be continued....

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Life will never be the same, let me tell you why

I spoke with a doctor recently and was somewhat surprised at what he told me. My question to him was why are you calling me from different numbers, and when I call back I can't reach you. To my stupefaction I was informed in his own words, I do not want a leash. 

Taken back by his bold statement, I was encouraged to write this post.



Could you imagine not having a mobile phone? How would life be for you?
Boring, unsatisfactory, mindless, all these come to mind of how one would feel. 

Think about this, what would you do if you did not have a phone with you at all times? How would you feel?

Generation Y is practically born with a mobile attached to their hip at all times, and yes I am guilty of this too! This is where I will talk about the addiction part of it. Addiction is a habit that we have a hard time controlling for a particular substance thing or activity. Let me ask you this, when you wake up in the morning do you check your phone? Before you go to bed at night do you need to see how many likes you got on facebook? Here is a good one, do you panic when you can't find your phone? Taking this into consideration, do you think you might have an addiction? The cynics would disagree and make up excuses as to why they 'Have' to check their phone. Remember you don't have to do anything, you choose to do things.

The smartphones have replaced many computers and most certainly the land line. Of course the convenience of it is precedent. Some businesses depend on the smartphone to survive. Cell phones can saves lives. I bet you never thought I would say that. Imagine you get into a nasty car wreck and the person who hit you nearly kills you. Good thing they can call for help immediately instead of watching you die!

I do notice more of a trend with the older generation. A few people choose not to carry cell phones. It feels manumit not having your phone on you. Try it, go a day or two or three if you dare without your phone, zero, no social media, no camera, no calls. You can even call it a retreat. You will probably get this kind of call, "you disappeared of the face of the earth, where have you been".

I am not going to get into the history of the cell phone, you can google it. However I will say from my experience is that in the early 1990's cell phones were just becoming popular and I still remember using a house phone to schedule meetings with my friends, calling the movie theatre for showtimes, not being able to talk on the phone while using the modem for the internet, and having the freedom of not having to answer to people or check emails on a perpetual basis. As the phones got smarter they became an appendage.

What annoys me about having smart phones is living in this interconnected world were you can reach anyone in the world and find any piece of information in a matter of seconds, saving time, you lose that deeper connection between you and the person you are physically with. The humanity is becoming obsolete. Don't you see a problem with this? Walking into a restaurant where people would normally have intimate discussions are on their phones not living in the present but instead in a virtual world.

Now this is a fact from Water.org. More people have cellphones than toilets.



Let's have an international day of being mobile free. Read this article from the CNN.

To be continued....

Why is a perfect question to start with

Why am I going to school? Am I doing it for myself or for someone else? Will I not be successful if I do not go to school? 



My grandparents, who are no longer with us, have encouraged me to take higher level education (university). In 2003 I graduated from highschool and was working various jobs, landscaping, contracting, and making a fairly decent pay. I did not see how more school was going to make me more money. That was my motivation, money. Although with their health deteriorating due to cancer I felt I would let them down if I did not pursue further education, and i'll explain why besides the obvious.

Both my parents have obtained their bachelor degrees in the country I was born in, Lithuania. My grandparents felt it was not only essential but it was critical in obtaining my university degree. With them living in Israel and me living in Canada they felt that if I was going to be 'successful' and be able to live a financially free life that without that degree I would end up broke and be working a minimum wage job. Like all grandparents they want the best for their grandchildren and not only the best but better than what they went through in life. 

However what was not transparent to them, and to many high schoolers is that this degree in which our society deems so important is that not only will you place yourself in massive debt (there is a business to get into, lending money to students). If you are lucky enough you will get a middle class job, a form of temporary work with little or no guarantee of continued employment. Until the next wave of educators push you out of your position. Most likely it will take you several years to pay your student loans, and certainly not get you very far at all especially with the lack of education on how to manage your finances and prepare you for the real world. 

Schools are great at teaching us subjects that we cannot use in the real world 

What have you gained from a math or calculus class? Or your biology class, dissecting rats???
Why can't schools teach us things we should know and are useful instead of us having to educate ourselves through real world experience.

Yes there is that option to go into trade school, which my best friend is doing. Yes it pays good money, but like everything, it is extremely hard work, long hours, and he sacrifices his memories and time in a remote location away from his family and friends. Yes you will have to do this in anything that you want to be really good at. However my approach to it is a little different than his, and not everyone wants the same result, that is what makes us unique.

My parents took a big part in me going to university, with the same mindset of my grandparents. "You will get nowhere in life doing what you do, if you don't go to school". So I decided it was the "right" thing to do. I enrolled in school. Like many of us, we work and go to school, time is ticking. I completed my certificate in Business Management and thought might as well continue on to get my diploma. Well work became a bigger priority in my life than school did and after completing my certificate I really did not see any value in this. So I put school on hold.

As time went on and I became more and more financially secure by working smart and investing money I had saved through the various jobs into new ventures. I learned that being at the right place at the right time and meeting the right people is essential for growth and success. Is it about who you know, or what you know? Its both!

Inspiration comes in bundles, and I must say that I got inspired when I seen my girlfriend get her bachelor's degree and now on a pursuit to get her masters. She plays a major role in my life and has taught me the values of why school is important, the things I would not easily pick up on. She says "not only does it teach you discipline but also it gives you a different perspective and outlook on problem solving, it may even teach you things you could use in your business" . Of course with those words of fortitude from her and her scholarly dad I decided it was time to go back to finish what I had started.

When applying for my first two classes after I had taken sometime off I was back at that place where I was when I decided school was not for me. I sat there and thought to myself why am I doing this? So I dropped out of those two classes. I then had a short conversation with my girlfriends dad and we both agreed that I should take something that I enjoy in school. So I took a chance on taking the class of which I am almost done now and it gave me a new outlook on what to pursue in school.

The teacher in this class was highly informative and supported my decision to take a different route in which degree to pursue.

Do I need this degree? No!!! I want this degree because it potentially can open new doors of opportunity for me. It is sad that society's norm is to judge your credentials before they look at you as an individual. However success in business speaks loud and clear. I am not looking for a job, I create jobs for people . Like my friend said "we want a business not a job".

So I think I covered the pro's and con's of why school is good. If you didn't catch that then read through this post again. If you did understand it then let me tell you what all this means. I am going to school because I want to challenge myself. I am not doing it to get a higher paying job, or a job period.

Go to school because you want to, not because you are told to. Why do you need to impress anyone? Are you getting the growth and enjoyment you are there for?

I want to leave you with one last note. School never taught me how to make my money work for me, to compound my earnings, and that bringing value to others is what it is all about (more on this later).

To be continued....

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Do your feelings come first?



I know I am passionate about something when I can't stop thinking about it, day and night, I am driven.

I work so much harder and to me it does not seem like work. I love what I do, not so much the people I do it with. I feel there is a gap that needs to be filled. Choosing the right people is not as easy as it sounds. I am a multi-preneur which means that I own several businesses with several partners. What I have learned is to adapt and to ignore my feelings because changing someone will never work. Changing your attitude towards it works 100% of the time. Why would you let someone else control your emotions. Believe me I have struggled with this for a long time until I learned to ignore my feelings. If you think about it like a triangle - thoughts, feelings, and actions, when you change any one of those you get a different result. You want your feelings to always come last.


Don't get me wrong I do have some partners who I enjoy working with. 

Who do you have in your life who you just do not get along with but you must for a reason that only you can answer. Best thing you can do is ignore your feelings about that individual and look at the whole picture. Are you miserable because that individual is making you miserable, now think about this real good, or are you miserable because you yourself make you miserable?

Going back to the start of this post, passion looks beyond the obstacles, and makes your work effortless. How do you know it is 'passion' it is when your so driven at completing something that you always find a way around any obstacle that comes in between you and the accomplishment of the task.

So how does passion and being in control of your emotions tie together? Passion is a purpose and when that purpose is achieved you are happy, relaxed, appreciative, and you will feel love towards the accomplishment.

Making these posts gives me that sense of accomplishment, although it is tiresome, tedious, and sometimes frightening because I wonder the response that I would get from the audience reading it, so I ignore those feelings and think about what I am going to write and I go ahead and do it, let the feelings come last.

This is the same process that goes to the work that I do with my partners in my businesses.

To be continued....

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Stop being a procrastinator

It is taking me sometime to build a website that I believe would be suitable for my needs so bare with me here. The new site will be KARASINTII where I will be posting daily blogs as well promoting all my businesses and projects that I am apart of.

What do you hate doing? How can you convert it into something you love?

As you heard me say before, we are habitual creatures and we like routines. The rare few like spontaneity. I speak from experience, so if you are one of those rare few I admire you. What routines do you already have that you go into autopilot mode? When you wake up what do you do instinctively? Do you brush your teeth? Do you drink a glass of water? Do you check your phone? By the way the last one is not only a habit but it is an addiction to many people, this I will discuss another time. So where am I going with this by asking you these questions. Well because we get used to routines, there is somethings that we just do not like doing, maybe it is taking the trash out, cleaning the house, making meals, or making those tough calls to people you just don't want to talk to but you need to. Yes I am referring to all you procrastinators. I once to was a procrastinator, and on somethings I suppose still am.



One thing I learned from experience and from reading Brian Tracy is that you must eat that frog. What does this mean? Something you need to do but don't want to should be done first thing when you open your eyes or as soon as you are allowed to do it, like making that call. This takes practice and discipline. Like all habits it will take time to adjust to Eat That Frog. Like all habits if you have a reward this will become much easier to do. Mix what you love doing with what you hate, with time it will turn into something you don't mind doing.

For example I was reluctant to make meals before and I would be a regular at some eat out places. How did this change for me? It was a slow start especially when I used to have food cooked for me all the time. Things change and so did I. What brings me enjoyment now in cooking is knowing that I will be pleasing someone else in return, this is my reward making someone else satisfied, and not to mention filling my ego. 

So whatever you don't like doing think of the bigger picture. What will happen if you accomplish that task. If you feel it won't do anything larger than the minimal task, then think of what it won't do for you, trivial I know. Like if you don't take out the trash you will live in a filthy mess, or if you don't make that important call, eventually you will have missed out on a potential opportunity.

Build your habit of doing things you don't enjoy doing, soon enough you will be on autopilot and before you know it the task that you once dreaded is now complete.

To be continued....

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

How I choose a good read

Well this will be my last post on this domain. I will do another post after this one giving you my new link to go to and read my future posts. My challenge is to write a post everyday for 365 days about my personal experiences and how they shaped me to be me. I do sincerely apologize about my non edited work. I do however feel it makes it more authentic (to all those who care).


How do I pick a good book? How do best sellers make it credible yet unreliable?

I contemplated before writing this two part blog. I hope this will help you on decide how to pick your next book or maybe it won't and you have your own style in which you choose buying books. Either way I do encourage you to read because it opens your mind to so many more possibilities and opportunities. This blog post is not about how it opens new doors for you, however in my future post I can certainly elaborate.

So the first part is on how do I pick a good book. So far I have been happy with all my choices and I am not sure if it is by luck or sheer coincidence or the fact that I have only read only so many books this past year that I like them all. I do follow somewhat of a structure in choosing my books. Of course there is an old saying "don't judge a book by its cover" however it is in our nature to do exactly what we are told not to do. I do judge the book by it's cover, if the cover doesn't appeal to me unfortunately I would need a recommendation or reference to that book from one of my friends or a authors of which he/she mentions it in their book. Next I would look at the inside cover of the book, is there a write up of a short summary of the book and is there a write up on the author. I enjoy reading books that are written by credible people, who have long life experience of which they are sharing (yes I am horrible I know, stereotyping). I don't care so much for the reviews because everyone has their own tastes, and some could be skewed in terms of favorability by the reviewer. Lastly I would open to a page randomly in a book and read maybe 1-3 pages to observe the author's style of writing, everyone has their own style of writing. If you don't know what style you like, then just keep reading books until you come across a writing style of which you do not enjoy reading, make a mental note of that and when you browse through your next choices for books you can pick up on the style you don't like. So far I have not come across any style I did not enjoy, maybe it's because the content outweighed the writer's style.

Everyone has their own taste in books, that is what makes us unique.

Second part of this blog post I want to write about how some books that are best sellers are not a reliable source in which to choose your book. I recently read a blog (my apologies I forget the author's name) he wrote about how people could easily have a best seller book on sites such as amazon. He actually went ahead and proved it. Without even writing anything except for the form he filled out on the site, he took a picture of his foot, he chose 2 categories to put it in, ones that are not very popular or have many selections to choose from, asked his 2 best friends to buy the copies, whala it became the best seller. He even gives us the step by step approach in a 5 minute read. Why is it so skewed? It is because of the limited regulation I believe.

When you see the tag best seller, it is important to see who tagged it a best seller, New York Times is a reliable source and so is the washington post. Another thing to look for is how long has the book been a best seller for and the most important are how many copies were sold. A book of someones foot that sold two copies to be a best seller is not right.

I will end it on this note, don't let money discourage you from buying books, the best investment you can make is in yourself!

To be continued....

Monday, 21 March 2016

What comes naturally to you may not come naturally to others.

Why do we do nice things for others? Do we do them because we feel bad? Do we do them because someone else has done something nice for us? Do we do it for recognition?

I personally feel that you should do nice things for others not in return for something or reciprocating back for someone else's nice gesture. It should come from your heart for wanting to do it just because. I have said before that doing something nice for someone is like a ripple effect, and it also raises serotonin levels in you and the person you are doing it for.



Studies have shown that when waitresses go above and beyond in a restaurant the customers will feel obligated to leave a larger tip. Why is that? I suppose an easy answer would be it is human nature. If we looked deeper into this we can think back into the cave man era. When the men would go hunting and bring back food for the family, the family would do everything they can to make sure the men are looked after in their home because without the food the family would starve and be malnourished.

Now fast forward to the modern era, what does that have to do with what is happening now? Woman take care of themselves just like men do, there is no dependency. However our instinct remains to give back to someone who has given to you. Is everyone hardwired like this? Certainly not. Greed and selfishness plays a big role in our society as a whole. If we were all nice to each other you could almost consider it a utopia, but in reality if no one competed then would we be this advanced as a human race? Probably not. We need selfishness and greed, just like we need to be selfless and giving, it is in our innate capacity. Giving when no one has done anything for you or expecting anything in return is not easy, especially the busy lives that we live. What you can do is build your habit to give. Doing something daily or weekly it will come naturally to you after a great deal of practice.

Like my girlfriend tells me, everything should be in moderation. However giving does not come naturally, giving back to someone that gave to you does. So I challenge you for the next week to give for no reason at all, whether it be opening a door for someone, or paying for someone's coffee. Do something nice for someone else. Doesn't have to be a stranger, although it would be unexpected and rewarding for both of you.

If you are feeling BOLD Email, Tweet, Facebook, me and let me know what you did for someone else and (optional) how it made you feel, or feel free to leave a comment below so others can see it too.

To be continued....

Sunday, 20 March 2016

"I look up to you"



Has anyone ever told you that they look up to you?

It feels good, and awkward all at the same time. I guess it also depends on who is saying it. I had a friend who I have not known for very long tell me that, and I felt humbled yet speechless. What do you say back?

Starting with a thank you. Than I  asked myself why did he say what he said. I mean I have only been friends with him for about 1 year. We were introduced through our girlfriends. He is younger than I am by a few years, yet he has a maturity level that's larger than some of my friends.

So why did he say those 5 unpretentious words to me? Going by assumption on this one, It is possible that what I did on my birthday, hosting a party and being selfless instead of collecting presents from my friends we donated to a good cause, might have been a factor. Maybe the fact that I am older than he is, that's possible. Is it because we share a great deal of commonalities and that we both play on the same basketball team, I suppose it could be, or that I have been in my relationship longer with my girlfriend than he has with his. I do not know what prompt him to say it.

The easiest way to find out is to just ask, being modest on this one is a bit hard because I don't want to come off egotistical. I suppose I have that influence over some people, probably more people than I think. My closer friends would feel embarrassed as I would to say that "I look up to you". They would probably ask what kind of drugs am I on. It is being a bigger person on this one and a ascent in your maturity level to be able to come out and say that. I have said it to people who are older than I am, and it feels liberating. Try it, I encourage you, say it to someone you mean it to. It could change your relationship with that person if the person had no idea they had that influence over you.

To be continued....

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Top 4 books on my reading list

In this post I will write about books that have had a lasting impact on my life. I don't want to bore you and write about every single book, so I chose 4 of the most important ones that I think you should also give a read.



Will start with the first and most important book, Hyena written by Rude Jude Angelini. He is formally known as that guy that used to make fun of everyone on the Jenny Jones show. Now he is a celebrity at the xm sirius radio on channel 45 with the All Out Show. He inspired me to read my first book ever and this began an escalation in my reading career. I believe everything happens for a reason. This book was so inspiring in the fact that Jude published the book on his own and promoted it on the radio show. At the time I used to listen to the show on my drives and I had a good laugh every time I heard his voice. He is carefree and right to the point, all bullshit aside, his a funny guy by being honest and himself. So I gave his book a shot and it has literally turned me from never reading a book to now reading 3 books a week, go figure. This book is comprised of short biographical stories of Jude's life. Some of the stories are laugh out loud funny some are meh. However this encouraged me to go on a path I would have never imagined myself going. By the way this read also inspired me to start writing these blogs, and recording my daily life activities and thoughts.



Second book that I will talk about, and it was hard to decide amongst the books which were important, but it also happens that the books I am mentioning are in chronological order of reading them. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. I read this book while I was travelling in Thailand. Very appropriate considering I was amongst buddhist monks and temples. This book was so powerful that I was pushing it on all my friends who I thought could really benefit from this read. It has really impactful tools that the author uses to relay to the reader by communicating the story about a high end executive who sold everything and became a monk. It still resonates with me today the implementations from the book. For examples practicing mindfulness and appreciating everything in your life. Such simple things that we all take for granted always can change your life to living healthy and happy by being aware.



Going down the list the third book, and this came a bit later in my readings, is by Simon Sinek, Start With Why. I have talked about this book on my instagram page (@redesignyourfuture) as well as in my earlier blog posts. This read came to me at first via summary notes from my co-founder in my philanthropy project Givers Group. He suggested to read this and I began applying the concept immediately in everything in my life. Start With Why is written to not just entrepreneurs but to everyone that wants a deeper understanding of the work they do and the life they live. The concept is simple yet complex. He asks you to not just think about how or what you do because those two questions are easy to answer, he advises to ask yourself why you do what you do. I see this now in many people in the community who are starting to realize the power behind the WHY. In fact since I have been applying this in my life, people approach me who understand this and we connect like you would with someone who you meet in a different country while you are travelling who happens to be from the same city as you live in, having that commonality. If you know how to communicate your why your business or whatever it is you do in your life will have such a stronger impact on the people you are communicating the message to.



Last but most certainly not least, from a thought provoking author, Malcolm Gladwell. One of my favorite authors, has written many books, and I love each and everyone of them, so it is very hard to choose just one. He also has a term nicknamed after his followers, gladwellian. I think if you read Outliers it might push you to read all the books in his series. They are very psychological in nature, but don't let this discourage you from reading the rest of his books or Outliers. I love his writing style, I feel his messages are important. I chose this book because it was my first read. A friend of mine who runs a leadership program in Vancouver suggested the book. I was mesmerized by the read. He goes to say what luck is and how the most influential and successful people have become successful. It matters where they are born, at what decade, what they do and who they know, basically being at the right place at the right time doing the right things. He also suggests that there is a 10,000 hour rule. That if you deliberately practice for that long at something that you will become a master at whatever you practice.



Of course you know that I always like throwing in bonus material and surprising you with more content. One more book I will mention is written by Daniel H. Pink, Drive. The author uses great examples and explains that motivation does not come from just the income you earn. Once you earn over 70k income, the income no longer serves as the motivator in what you do. I will leave it at that, find out more by reading his book and you will be surprised as I was, You can also check out his Ted Talk, it sums it up in 18 minutes.

It is amazing how one book can lead to many others. Every book I read authors usually mention books they have gotten the concepts from for their book. I have began a reading list and I am constantly adding to the list more than I am able to erase off the list. Hope this inspires you to read, get past the first chapter, apply the speed reading approach that I suggested in my earlier post, and most importantly enjoy, learn, and teach! The best way to learn is by teaching others, you truly find out what you have learned and it sticks.


How to formulate a compelling story

Compelling stories sell! Have you ever wondered why you are loyal to certain brands, or why you care about something so much that you want to share it with everyone. 

Usually it's because there is a story behind it. A story so powerful that it makes the product or service remarkable. Lets look at some of these stories to get a better understanding of how they are formulated.




TOMS shoes started with Blake Mycoskie travelling to Argentina to lose himself in the culture. He met a woman at a cafe who was volunteering to do a shoe drive for children who were in desperate need of shoes. To him this concept was new. So when he came back to America, already having entrepreneurship under his belt he decided instead of creating a non for profit charity and collecting donations for shoes that possibly won't even fit the children in need to instead make a for profit business out of it and when someone would buy a pair of shoes the company would buy another pair to fit a child that needs it across the globe.




Apple was co-created by young visionary, Steve Jobs, who seen a potential treasure that no one else saw. He started out with Steve wozniak in his parents garage building computers which later became a multi billion dollar company. Majority of people in the world have or know someone who has an apple product. A great deal of tech companies start out in people's garages instead of big fancy tech companies.




IKEA founded in sweden by Ingvar Kamprad to create a better and simpler life for people worldwide. This coming from a country which is all about high price and quality. His vision aligned perfectly with his goals and he created a global furniture company, affordable with beautiful design.

How do you create these stories? 

Well the first thing you need to do is to Start With Why. Why did you start your business? I am sure there is a story behind that, and if you think on a deeper level you will get to the root cause of the why. Everyone has a why but not everyone knows how to communicate their why. So next step is communicating your why to others inside and outside your organization. It must be told with passion and it needs to be impactful/compelling, how you tell your story matters! How does your story align with your values, and what kind of difference are you making?

You want a story that sells itself. You don't want to ask people to do something, instead you want people to want to do it themselves without being asked. That is what a good story does.

By answering the questions above, and learning how others have done it, you are on your way to formulating a story which you already possess, and I promise you that you will change the course of your business.

If you don't know how to formulate a compelling story. Hire someone that does. This can take you from being mediocre to being at the top of your industry.

Your story matters.

To be continued....

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Who has influenced you?

The secret to success is sincerity. What is a mentor? By definition it is a experienced and trusted advisor.



Today I had an interview with the Big Brother Society. What an experience that was, an hour interview turned into 2 hours and the questions that they ask me where so good. It definitely impressed me with their vigorous process. I really appreciate how much they care and how careful they are selecting the right fit for a little (that's what they call the little brothers). If you don't already know this program is for youth/children who want to have a mentor in their life and don't already have one.

What struck me is that the coordinator made it seems that the program is only for children who either don't have a male role model because of losing one, or the male role model is away. Why should this program only be for children who don't have a male role model? I raised this point with the coordinator who was interviewing me, and I don't think she understood really what I meant by that, by having a mentor even though you have a male presence in your life.

I believe that this program should be offered to children not just who are in need of a male role model, or I mean they don't have a male role model, but it should be offered to everybody, because I feel like I could have used a mentor when I was growing up. 

Yes my dad and is still in my life, my parents are together, and I have a sister but I could have learned and developed a great deal by having a mentor at a young age that was outside my family, that would bring a fresh perspective in my life, and not a biased one. We all look up to someone whether it is a celebrity or a superhero. Working with someone personally, you learn so much and grow exponentially. Someone who you can share experiences with, and like I said in my earlier posts, experience triumphs empathy. I always believed in the mentor mentor mentality, where each person can grow and learn from each other.  

I'm excited to meet my little brother who I will be mentoring for the next year and hopefully longer. Who I can impact and empower positively. I encourage you the reader too also recognize who you've been a mentor to and to reflect on what have you learned from the person you have mentored.

Every single one of us has been a mentor to someone. It could be someone younger or older than you. You could be doing it right now and not even realize it. Think deeply, who do you have influence over and why? And who has influence over you. There's no contract to sign or any verbal agreement, you just do it naturally, authentically, passionately, and for the right reasons.


I have mentors in my life and I don't even think they know it. They share their genuine advice that is indispensable, their very caring, and I feel comfortable being vulnerable, sharing anything that I have to say. I think the important thing is that our values are aligned for this to be able to work between each other. In my later posts I will talk more about who the mentors in my life are, for now I want to leave you with this thought. Who is your mentor? recognize it and think about what you offer to that person in terms of you being a mentor back to them.

To be continued....

I hope you don't go through what I am going through



Saying goodbye to my pet is the hardest thing I have ever endured.

People are very interesting it is amazing to see how judging someone's character over the phone as opposed to in person is so much different. I'm going through a tough process right now deciding on who will adopt my pet. I want to find the perfect home the most ideal owner, so I put out an ad on Kijiji, it is a platform for people to trade. It is not easy doing this, it is my first time, and meeting these people I automatically have an intuition after the first 30 seconds I meet them, if it is something that's going to work or not going to work. Of course the nice guy that I am  it's hard for me to just turn around and say no forget it I don't like you. I give them the benefit of the doubt. In most cases it seems to turn out that giving them the benefit of the doubt is just wasting my time.


It is also amazing as to when you let the people do the talking as to how much information you actually get from them instead of asking questions. When I ask questions I don't even hear the answers to those questions instead I let them talk and I listen and I judge. Yes I judge and so would you!

It is not easy but after meeting and listening to a lot of people I'm starting to get the hang of who is being genuine by the type of things they say. You would think to yourself yeah that would be a good owner, do I particularly have a checklist? Not necessarily, but you quickly pick up things by listening between the lines and when somebody says one thing that you would not agree with or something that just doesn't seem right you automatically make your mind up about that person.

One lady was trying to hide from me that she had another dog and her friend came over and after had revealed to me that not only did she have another dog but that she gave away her other dog that she had because it was too needy, and she thinks that she's the perfect candidate. Some people are delusional! 

I think I may have found a good home for my pet I'm still going to do my background due diligence.

Ten things to look for when you are looking for an adoptee. I had called some rescue places, I have done some research and through the experience that I am going through, this is what I came across:

1. Ask for their vet reference (red flag is they have not owned a pet in the past) 

2. Ask for two personal references (even better if they have the friend right there at the same time, to reveal all there is to know without any script)

3. Go to their residence and see how they're living. You can tell a lot by a person's lifestyle. Are they organized or are they messy?

4. What kind of history do they have, Stable or unstable?

5. Intuition! What is your gut feeling when you first meet them, you can judge a character usually in the first 15 seconds of meeting them. You just need to learn to listen to yourself.

6. Social media, you can find everything on social media about that person or simply google them. (thank you internet) 

7. Jobs, how long will they be away from home? What do they do for work?

8. Do they own their house or rent, and how long have they been there for, and are they planning on moving anywhere?

9. Will your pet be inside or outside?

10. Will you be allowed to visit your pet occasionaly? (red flag if not, that usually means there is something to hide)

Optional. Criminal record check. 

Familiarity breeds comfort, when you meet somebody that shares the same interests as you you seem to feel a bit more confident in them. Be cautious, be wise and I hope you never have to go through what I'm going through because it is not easy.

To be continued....