Baby steps

Baby steps

It’s all about baby steps

I still remember these words from

my grade 8-9 basketball coach

1% better every day

Whether that be personal life, academics, career, health, or basketball

1% better every day

Don’t worry about being a millionaire overnight

Celebrities aren’t made by one movie (they usually did several crappy movies before the star in the movie that “makes” their career)

Rome wasn’t built in one day

It’s not a lot, but baby steps eventually turn into strides, and before you even realize it, you will be running fast towards your goals

Different circumstances

Today I went to Milton Herschel School and man this school is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen

It must be over 4 times as big as Vilanova’s 250 acre campus

Children lived in mansions which houses up to 14 kids

The school where they took classes looked more like a tiny college

And there was just so much free land and greenery

But the students at MHS all come from underprivileged communities

Which is good and bad

Good because it allows kids without the right circumstances to flourish through support and education

Bad because some times the circumstances of a child isn’t where they go to school or how much money you throw at them

The graduating classes of MHS often have huge disparity in terms of where the children end up

My friend who goes to Villanova has friends at Princeton, UPenn, Georgetown and other esteemed universities

But out of his 200 graduating class, he notes several who have dropped out of college after one or few semesters and maybe 15 have ended up starting families already before they’ve turned 20, which also forces them to leave school

It’s an interesting case study of whether or not it’s possible to “help” people through institutions like MHS

How can we truly help people besides simply financially and educationally? I think personal life and EQ skills are just as important to teach besides a good education and scholarships for school

Not everyone is fit for school

But everyone is fit for life. And I think life skills is something we need to better teach future generations

finite desires

The first thing we learn in any introductory economics class is the definition of economics, which is widely accepted to be how we, as rational humans, with infinite desires, should act in a world with finitely scarce resources.

There are two important notes here:

  1. Humans are rational
  2. We have infinite desires

Both of these concepts, when looked at carefully, actually seem very contradicting if you’ve lived past your teenage years.

Because, well, 1) humans are the exact opposite of rational, and 2) if we had infinite desires, why do people give away their goods to other people?

Economists rarely address the legitimacy of the rational choice model, unless you study the field of behavioral economics which blends psychology with microeconomics.

Most people understand though that we really aren’t rational.

The second note is humans having infinite desires, which also seems a bit off.

If I had infinite desires, why would I ever choose to share what I have with other people?

Rather, in life, my decisions aren’t actually to obtain as many goods as possible. Don’t get me wrong: material goods are great. But there is a limit.

The richest people often end up starting philanthropic work because there is indefinitely a point in our lives when we realize that earning income, although is necessary for modern day survival, does, in fact, feel rewarding, what is more fulfilling is actually giving.

To flip the terms:

Humans are irrational and we have finite desires.

With this framework, we shall see how humanity should better reflect choices.

This will be a future topic I will address once I’ve learned more about this framework. If you are interested in this framework, I learned it in my humanities professor’s amazing book that brings economics into conversation with Thomas Aquinas.

You can find it here: Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy

 

Live to trade another day

Often when I’m day trading stocks and I profit for the day, I want to keep going. I want to use the positive momentum. But what I’ve learned is that often in those instances I start trading with emotion and I end up losing partially the gains I made earlier in the day.

Even with day-trading stocks, it’s important to understand that life isn’t a sprint… it’s a marathon. And you want to be consistent and show up every morning. Take it one step at a time; live to trade another day.

Book for 2019: The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness

I was inspired by my high school teacher to share the books I’ve been reading and plan to read for 2019 here on my blog. Last year I finished 50 books, and although I did discuss a few of them, I think it would be good for me to reflect on each book I finish.

Meditation is weird because people often think that it is difficult (as I did too), which is a paradox. Meditation is perhaps the only time during the day that I actively try to DO NOTHING and allow my mind to be free.

This book, written by the Founder of Headspace, was a great introduction to the world of meditation and mindfulness and is also one of Bill Gates’ top 5 books of 2018.

As I’ve been using the Headspace app for the past 3 months (almost daily), I did already know many of the teachings that were written in this book. So, for those that don’t currently meditate, and would like to dive into the world of mindfulness and Headspace, I would totally recommend you pick up this book to learn more and hopefully drive you to continue on this path.

I would have to say that meditation and mindfulness practice has been the best habit I’ve picked up recently, and I will no doubt continue to consider this one of the best habits of my lifestyle that I hope may continue for many years. It’s amazing how 10-minutes a day can change your life.

Get it here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MbiCLl

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Ideas for sale! $20 each.

Ever feel like you aren’t creative enough? What if you could purchase ideas? How much would you pay for just ONE new idea?

What if I told you that new ideas only cost $20 each.

They are called books… Revolutionary, right?

If you don’t have creative ideas yourself, there’s no excuse. Buy them for $20 each. And if you are lucky, you might get more than just 1 great idea from every book.

I’ve always stayed away from books until I was forced to read them when I started university and boy, did they inspire me. I’ve been hooked ever since thanks to my intro to business Professor.

My goal is to read 50 books for 2018, a habit that Bill Gates has kept for decades. I can confidently say at the halfway point, I am on track thus far. I just started my 23rd book of the year:  The Go Point: Knowing When it’s Time to Decide.

Even if you just read 10 pages every day, you’d still be reading 15 books a year (average ~250 pages per book). Anyone else on a reading challenge? What is your favorite book(s)? Comment them down below. Let’s exchange book recommendations. Some of my favorite books are The Little Prince & “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Success

Oh yeah, and if you want the ULTIMATE BOOKLIST (mine) feel free to check it out here:

ULTIMATE BOOKLIST LINK

#books #reading #bookchallenge #business #inspiration #ideas

 

 

[Book Review] Freakonomics

[Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explains the Hidden Side to Everything] – by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt was a great book. 

It was different. And I liked it.

Freakonomics makes you look at the world in a different way.  The book explores the real reasons for the 1990s crime drop, information asymmetry, real estate agents, correlation vs. causation, and, most importantly, in the introduction, which discusses the fundamental principles of incentives. From then on, each chapter focuses on answering, or more so addressing an unusual question.

Continue reading “[Book Review] Freakonomics”

[Book Review] Originals – Adam Grant

Adam-Grant-cover-Originals

I am a big believer of self-learning through books. An autodidact. Elon Musk-esque, if you will.

But there is an important factor that I’ve noticed to understanding the contents of a rich book: writing about it.

It’s not enough to just blow through books; you have to truly grasp the content, and writing about it is one way that I’ve discovered is a great way to do so. Materialising what I’ve learned is important to me so I can, for one, understand the concepts as I read the book, and two, create a historical documentation that I can always turn back to for review.

So this is my book review of the book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, — by Adam Grant.

An intro to Dr. Grant: Adam Grant, who is rated the best professor at UPenn Wharton Business school, is an organizational psychologist who has written several #1 NYT books. In Originals, he discusses how Non-conformists (procrastinators, slow people, and other different personality traits) succeed in life with their increased creativity. Adam Grant also wrote the book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives our Success (Which I highly recommend you check out as well!)

These are 15 points that are mentioned throughout the book (and at the end, I believe) on how to be original.

How to Champion Originality and be Successful:

  1. Question the defaultPhoto by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

Don’t take the status quo; ask why they exist in the first place and how to improve upon what is currently accepted as “the norm.”

Leonardo Da Vinci supposedly carried around with him a ledger, where he would write down “playfully curious” and, to most people’s standards, weird questions. Apparently, he would wake up and ask himself a type of question, at one point, posing the question: “What does the tongue of a woodpecker look like”

Another classic question: Why is the ocean blue?

Science teaches us that the ocean is not blue just because it wants to be blue, but because water reflects the color of the sky.

So, then why is the sky blue?

What is color?

Questioning the default leads us to generate original ideas and thoughts of approaching otherwise widely accepted and mundane aspects of life.

2) Triple the number of ideas you generate

Every innovator swings and misses; more swings, more hits!

Baseball players hit 1/3, and that is considered a good ratio.

Content creators are the same. Seth Godin is a large proponent of this concept too–that no idea is perfect, but the importance is to create content to test it out. Because how will you know the idea is crap if you don’t try it?

The most successful composers, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, has way more failed musical compositions than successful ones. There is a correlation between originality and number of “swings.” (I won’t say causation though. Shoutout to my statistics nerds)

3) Immerse yourself in a new domain

Photo by Gez Xavier Mansfield on Unsplash

Broaden your frame of reference. It’s all about perspective. When you get a position at a company, see if you can go on periodic job rotations to understand the how the rest of the company runs. Work in another country — important emphasis on work, because simply traveling and vacationing in other countries doesn’t provide the same contextual insight. Be a scientist who takes dancing lessons; no, seriously!

Nobel-prize winning scientists are much more likely to be involved in the arts, a contrasting skill, compared to ordinary scientists

22x more likely to be involved in performing arts, amateur acting, dancing, magic

12x more likely to be involved in writing, poetry, plays, novels, short stories, books, essays

7.5x more likely to be involved in crafts, mechanic, wood making, electronics, glass blowing

7x more likely to be in visual arts: Illustration, drawing, sculpting, painting, printmaking

2x more likely to be involved in music: instruments, composing, playing, conducting

4) Strategic Procrastination

In the midst of generating ideas, stop midway

Yes.

Allow yourself to incubate your current ideas and give time to foster more while on break.

It is important you give yourself time to relax.

Then, when you attack the problems again, your ideas will be ready to hatch!

5) Seek feedback

Photo by Ivan Sean on Unsplash

Accept and champion feedback from both peers and enemies. Don’t be afraid of a little bit of criticism. In fact, you should crave it, build off it, and improve. Feedback is the only way you can receive more objective answers on how you are doing — you can’t always trust yourself!

If you want to learn more about radical transparency and the importance of feedback, try the book ”Principles” by Ray Dalio (The greatest hedge fund manager)

*Must be constructive feedback that is meant to improve you, not spiteful.

6) Balance your risk portfolioPhoto by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash

Balance your risk areas. Many successful entrepreneurs, before their business fully takes off, will have a day job.

Even Bill Gates, who famously “dropped out” of college, technically took a leave of absence, and then formally dropped out after he realized Microsoft would take off.

It’s important to mitigate risk in many aspects of your life so you can TAKE huge risks in those areas you really want to pursue.

7) Highlight reasons NOT to support your ideas to make virtues clear

Dr. Grant found that people who were pitching a business idea and began their sales pitch by describing the 3 biggest weaknesses of the idea made investors more inclined to work with the partners.

What you realize is that after the biggest weaknesses are known, the virtues become much clearer. And if they don’t, well maybe you don’t have many virtues in the first place!

8) Make Ideas more familiar…with analogies!

It’s important to consistently repeat yourself when presenting unconventional ideas. The more exposure people have, the more likely they are to adopt the concepts.

Think of the adoption of the internet, and compare that to what is happening with the blockchain revolution.

Many people argue that they don’t understand blockchain, so they opt not to use it. But who truly understands the internet? That’s what I thought.

Another important aspect is using analogies. I’ve often used the Shared Google Docs analogy to explain the basic concepts of blockchain — a ledger open to all who want to see the transactions (distributed, or shared to all parties), and a way to track, document, and secure such transactions so it is readily “shared.” It increases trust, just like a Google Docs — you see what I see, and I know that I see what you see.

9) Speak to a different audience

Speak to disagreeable people who share your methods and use their input.

Then, challenge authority and use your enemies to help shape you

Tough people with similar approaches and methodologies will make you tougher, and make you adapt. In the end, if your audience has the same mindset or end goal, it will champion your ability to create more innovative approaches in a tougher environment.

10) Be a tempered radical

Manage your emotions, but also be ready to make radical advancements. After all, you are trying to be original, right?

11) Motivate yourself differently when committed vs. uncertain

When determined and ready to attack your tasks head-on, focus on how close you are to reaching your goal. Think: Just a bit more!!!

When unmotivated and disheartened, focus on how far you’ve ALREADY gone. You’ve done so much; don’t quit now!

12) DON’T try to calm down

When nervous, turn anxiety into excitement and enthusiasm instead of trying to suppress it

Don’t say “just calm down” instead say “I am excited”

Have you noticed that many interviewers ask athletes or performers, before a big show, if they are “nervous”?

And they usually respond with something like: My hands are a bit sweaty, slight tremble, heart beating fast.

They are not nervous. They are excited. Use that excitement and enthusiasm. So not only is the concept of “calming down” useless, and actually produces worse results, it’s also an extremely triggering sentence…

So no, I will not just “calm down” Patrice.

13)Focus on the victim who is harmed, NOT the perpetrator

Focusing on perpetrator fuels anger and wrath and negativity, instead:

Focus on the victim. This translates to positive anger and thus channels into positive action instead of revenge.

Instead of harming the harmer, help the harmed.

14) Realize you are not alonePhoto by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

Even just 1 ally who believes in your vision can tackle the problem together will make you much more successful.

I am an introvert myself, but I know how important it is that I have such a supportive network of people I can count on. (Family, best friends, colleagues)

Finally, 15) If you don’t take initiative, status quo will persist

There are 4 ways to respond to dissatisfaction: Exit, Voice, Persistence, Neglect.

Persistence, and neglecting the problem, are both passive methods of dealing with stress. If they don’t work, it might be good to take action by speaking up (voice), or removing yourself from the situation (exit). Don’t let the status quo persist. You are better than that.

Now go out there and create.

Champion some originality.

Good Luck.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Hi, thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed reading my writing, please let me know by sending over some likes, and comment down below! Would love any feedback as well.(#5)

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[Book Review] How to Be Original

I finished reading  Originals, – by Adam Grant.

  • Adam Grant, who is rated the best professor at UPenn Wharton’s Business school, is an organizational psychologist who has written several #1 NYT books. In Originals, he discusses how Non-conformists (procrastinators, slow people, and other different personality traits) succeed in life with their increased creativity
  • This is my book review and 15 points on HOW TO BE ORIGINAL
How to champion Originality:
  1. Question the default
    • Don’t take the status quo; ask why they exist in the first place and how to improve
  2. Triple the number of ideas you generate
    • Every innovator swings and misses; more swings, more hits!
    • Baseball players hit 1/3
  3. Immerse yourself in a new domain
    • Broaden your frame of reference
    • As a great scientist learns art forms, broaden your skills
    • Job rotation
    • Learn a new culture (work in a new foreign country)
  4. Strategic Procrastination
    • In the midst of generating ideas, stop midway
    • Allow yourself to incubate current ideas and foster more while on break
  5. Seek feedback
    • Radical transparency about feedback (Principles by Dalio)
    • Accept and champion feedback from peers and enemies
  6. Balance your risk portfolio
    • Balance your risk areas (an entrepreneur who has a day job)
    • Mitigate risk in many aspects of life, so you can TAKE risks in others
  7. Highlight reasons NOT to support your ideas to make virtues clear
    • Describe 3 biggest weaknesses of your idea to understand virtues
    • Harder it is to create more weaknesses, you begin to realize virtues
  8. Make Ideas more familiar
    • Repeat yourself for unconventional ideas.
    • EXPOSURE and mix your new ideas with old ones, by using analogies and comparisons
  9. Speak to a different audience
    • Speak to disagreeable people who share your methods
    • Challenge authority and use your enemies to help shape you
    • Tough people with similar approaches
  10. Be a tempered radical
    • manage emotions
  11. Motivate yourself differently when committed/uncertain
    • When determined, focus on progress left to go (How close you are to reaching target!)
    • When unmotivated, focus on how far you’ve ALREADY gone (You’ve done so much; don’t quit now!)
  12. Don’t try to calm down
    • When nervous, turn anxiety into excitement and enthusiasm instead of trying to suppress it
    • Don’t say “just calm down” instead say “I am excited”
    • Nervous and excitement = synonyms
  13. Focus on the victim who is harmed, NOT the perpetrator
    • Focusing on perpetrator fuels anger and wrath and negativity
    • Focus on victim = positive anger to channel into positive action instead of revenge
    • Instead of harming the harmer, help the harmed
  14. Realize you are not alone
    • Even just 1 ally who believes in your vision can tackle the problem together will make you much more successful
  15. If you don’t take initiative, status quo will persist
    • Exit, Voice, Persistence, Neglect = 4 ways to respond to dissatisfaction
    • Might be good to take action (exit) if other methods don’t work

Grateful Day 85: I am grateful for naps

Reading Day 26: It’s crazy how much reading I’ve done this month, just like how much magic I did in February

I’ve already read 12 books this year and I plan to hit 50 for 2018!

[Book Review] The Wealthy Barber Returns – David Chilton

wealthy barber returns

David Chilton sounds like me, but trapped in a 40-year-old body.

His writing style is extremely informal, and he often uses sarcasm, puns, and incredibly badly timed & cringe-worthy jokes…

Basically me!

Either way, his books, The Wealthy Barber & The Wealthy Barber Returns are both great finance books.

As the name suggests, the book teaches you how to be wealthy, even if you were a barber.

The concepts are basic and fundamental; great for anyone!

Save more, spend less, invest and compound, and don’t get yourself in debt.

But Chilton not only provides great examples and humorous tips on how to do all those things, but he also understands that although the theory is simple, it is hard to execute.

The chapters are short (often 2-4 chapters each).

The book is broken down into many segments so it feels like actually a really short read.

I aspire to be a financial advisor or someone who helps the general population with financial advice…and although I do think that I know a good amount of information on finance, it seems awkward to take the advice for an 18-year old, doesn’t it?

I hope for a world where everyone, my friends, family, and the general population is financially literate and is not burdened by the concept of money. And I think a great way to spread financial knowledge is through reading.

And that’s why you need to read his book…Read this book if you want to be a Wealthy Barber.

Good Luck and always reach out! I am always free to share my investment journey