Starbucks Restrooms: A Quick Observation

Unisex restrooms are apparently a “thing” at Starbucks now. My guess is that some person in management realized that there’s no reason to make a single person restroom gender exclusive – and if that’s really the case, then they have my total support; It’s more convenient when poop rooms are open to everyone. But if their reasoning has nothing to do with convenience, and this change represents their disregard for the differences between sexes and their lack of understanding that gender as a concept is not subject to preference, then I’m totally against it.

On another note, Starbucks restrooms are super clean. 10/10. Would go take a dump again.

The Greek Statesman’s Guide to Becoming a Success

A long time ago, a scholar once asked the Greek orator, Demosthenes, what the three most important traits of speechmaking were. His response was clear and concise: “Action, Action, Action!”

It’s extremely easy to blow concepts way out of proportion. We lead ourselves to believe that there’s a special recipe for things like success, and with enough time and study, we can discover it. However, the lessons of history tell us that this just isn’t so. Success isn’t discovered; it’s created.

What do Steve Jobs, Ulysses S. Grant, and Thomas Edison all have in common? Each one of them blazed a trail to finish the task at hand. They may not have had an exact recipe for their success, but through hard work and determination, they reached their goals in the end.

Sometimes, all you need to do is take action. You might not know what you’re doing, but that’s to be expected. Just keep taking action. Do what Benjamin Franklin said to do: “Continue to reach out.” You’ll be a be a better man for it.

An Article on Decision Points.

When given the chance, people usually decide to behave lazily and slobbishly. Fortunately, understanding decision points could completely stop such bad behavior.

What is a decision point? Well, they can usually be applied to a situation where you are brought to awareness of a particular task of sorts.

Take, for example, a large bag of movie theater popcorn. Popcorn bags at movie theaters are huge — freakishly huge — and yet they are often gobbled down by the people who purchase them. Here’s the question: If the contents of that same bag of popcorn was divided into 2 or more smaller bags evenly, would people still eat the contents of all the bags? Research suggests that most people wouldn’t.

When one task is spread out into multiple segments (multiple bags), it creates a series of points. In each of these points, the person trying to complete the task becomes more aware and usually more conservative (awareness tends to have that effect on people). Hence, people choose not to eat a bag of popcorn divided into 4 bags, but don’t mind eating one bag of the same amount.

Essentially, a decision point is when someone starts taking more time for contemplation about the task at hand. It’s an important theory that has many practical uses.

Adapting Through Flexible Behavior

There are things in the world I hate, but I probably won’t hate those things all my life; I just hate them right now. Does this make me inconsistent? Not really. I just like to adapt.

I’m always amazed by the number of people who think that being concrete in their ways is a virtue. After all, things are constantly changing. Gregory House called it “one of the great tragedies of life.” Certain ideas that may have worked a few years ago suddenly stop working. Beliefs are always changing… as they should be.

“Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it.” — Shunryu Suzuki

Slavery, incest, sexism — Each of these things were considered acceptable in the past until it dawned on society that they were too harmful or unneeded. Things are in constant motion, forever changing. Heck, even morality changes. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you change along with it. Unless, of course, you want to end up being a slave owner married to a sibling in a time when that’s not acceptable.

As far as functional living goes, it’s important to avoid being too set in your ways, habits, or beliefs. Because someday, they may become distasteful or even useless. Adapt when you can while you can.

The Appreciation of Life

I can’t believe I’m writing about this. I usually tend to stay away from such fluffy writing. However, I’ll make this the one exception.

With all of the busyness in life, it’s easy to forget the world around us. Things like work, family, and entertainment cloud our view of existence itself and what it means to be alive.

In order to live an organized, productive life, it’s important to constantly refer to our existence. We live. We breathe. We exist.

The time we have here on earth is limited – extremely limited – and unless we’re constantly aware of our own existence, instead of interacting with the world, we’ll just remain spectators watching time slip through our fingers.

Growing up, my dad always told me that each of us has a window of opportunity. Time is such a precious thing. It’s limited. That’s why we should be constantly aware of it, appreciating every second.

Money Lessons I Learned Running an Online Business

I recently decided to try my hand at online news reporting. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. In fact, I still don’t. But through the entire experience of trying to make a profit, I learned some extremely valuable lessons.

1. Ideas are Worthless Without Implementation.

Ideas aren’t worth anything unless you’re willing to diligently implement them. Sure, an idea can sound really cool and make you excited, but unless you’re willing to put in the necessary work to execute those ideas, you’re just wasting your time.

2. Time is Money.

Don’t spend too much time on frivolous projects if you can help it. If you’re serious about making money, you’ll spend your time doing things that generate income. Sure, this may sound basic, but it’s the basics that people are most likely to ignore.

3. Sometimes Saying No is Good.

When learning to manage your projects, it’s important to realize that saying no is sometimes a good thing. You only have one life, and there’s only so much that’s humanly possible to accomplish. Choose your projects wisely and have the guts to say no when those projects aren’t benefiting you as much as they should. This is just basic management.

These ideas are hardly new or shocking. They’re basic, elementary principles that maximize performance and help generate more revenue. After all, that’s the point of having a business – to make money as efficiently as possible.

A Letter to Liberals: You Made Donald Trump.

Dear liberals,

I get it. You think Donald Trump is a super scary boogieman. You detest him because you think he represents what Republicans really believe. You might even be correct. But I have some bad news. Donald Trump never would have taken power if you hadn’t enabled him every single step of the way.

Donald Trump, politically speaking, is a nobody. When he first announced his candidacy, his Republican opponents laughed. Nobody was taking him seriously, but then the you started making fun of him. You mocked him, you mocked his supporters, you mocked his ideas. You mocked him so much, that you gave him more publicity than any other candidate in history. Then he won the primaries.

Suddenly, you realized that mocking him wasn’t enough. You realized it was time to start vilifying him. You starting calling him racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic. You turned him into a victim, and by doing so, you turned a clown into a Republican hero. Awesome job.

It’s as if you were trying to put out a fire with gasoline. Every time you attacked him, you only made him stronger. Even though everyone knows he’s full of crap, they still love him because of you. The only reason he’s president right now is because you just couldn’t leave him alone.

Sure, there are other reasons that Donald Trump became president. It might even be because he’s the most liberal Republican this nation has seen in decades. But nothing contributed to his success more than you. Feel proud. You enabled your worst enemy.

The Relationship Between Mindset and Goals

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

I’m currently reading a book called The Gorilla Mindset. The reason I’m reading it is simple: I want to learn how to execute my plans and reach my personal goals. Thankfully, the book has helped enormously.

From my book, I’ve learned the importance of a strong mindset and how it affects my overall outlook at life. A mindset can make or break anyone. A person with a mindset that says, I can’t, will always fail. It’s like what Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” It’s extremely critical that a person’s mindset is a positive one that inspires positive action.

Sadly, having a positive mindset is pointless without having specific goals. You can be as disciplined and hardworking as you want, but without clearly defined goals, you’re probably just wasting your time. That’s why people who define their goal as lose five pounds have an easier time than those who vaguely say I want to lose weight. Having clearly defined goals allows you work toward your goals in a more efficient manner.

With all of this in mind, I have chosen to write out every one of my goals with a pen and paper. All of my goals, however specific they might be. I encourage you to do the same.

Unregulated Internet is Killing Our Culture

picture of internet

The internet has had an enormous effect on our culture. Only a few short years ago, there was no Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. Instead, news and information was closely controlled by a number of large media outlets. Sadly, this isn’t the case anymore, and our culture may be suffering badly because of it.

The past may have been corrupt, but it had its benefits. The media sure did a good job at making everyone feel safe back then (you were told that your neighbors were nice and friendly, and the thought of your pastor being a pedophile probably never once entered your mind). That’s because most news outlets refused to report anything that they considered crude or embarrassing. They controlled the system and decided what would be heard and what wouldn’t. The result? Everybody was more laid back (even though they probably shouldn’t have been), noisy and vulgar people were often ignored, and your kids could actually watch television without accidentally seeing a commercial for sexy lingerie. Good, clean, wholesome values were promoted, even if the promoters themselves didn’t necessarily believe in them. At least they pretended to.

Of course, that isn’t the case now. Information isn’t as controlled as it once was. Now, with infinite websites, we’re able to completely bypass the old media outlets. It’s true. The old media has lost its control over society. We now have a wider range of websites to get our information from, like websites run by a dude sitting at his computer in his pajamas at 2:00 am (me). We’re freer now than ever before… and with no accountability.

Sadly, we may have paid a very big price for our independence from controlled media. Since more and more people are able to learn almost anything at the click of a button, they’re starting to put pieces together on their own. As stories of scandal, lewdness, and violence are put in front of people every day, eventually the very values they claim to hold will disappear. That’s the endgame: the total decay of society.

In conclusion, I’m worried about the direction we’re headed in. We don’t have anyone controlling the information we receive anymore. We receive completely unfiltered data due to the internet, and it could be a recipe for disaster.

Go Big For More Productivity

For the past few months, I’ve been taking classes at Udacity to get a nanodegree in front-end web development. It’s been such a fantastic experience, and I’ve learned so much! Not only have I learned to code, but since my enrollment, I’ve learned which practices work and don’t work for completing mundane tasks like homework. These practices are life simply changing.

I’ve always been told that if you want to finish a large task, then you should make a habit of doing small portions of it each day. This method of doing things simply doesn’t work. At least, it doesn’t work for me. The reason is that it’s too easy to put off smaller tasks when they seem like they can be made up for easily. For example: “Oh, I can’t do today’s portion of the work. I’ll just do double tomorrow!” Then you end up not doing anything since, as they say, tomorrow never comes. I’ll bet you can relate.

So, what does work? Full immersion. If you really want to finish something, then just do it. Go big. Like Donald Trump said, “If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” Seriously. It works wonders for you. Just sit down, work on your task, and don’t get up until it’s complete, or at least until you have to go to bed. In that case, start again the next morning. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much your life will change by fully immersing yourself in your work. 

In conclusion, don’t settle for the small stuff. Spreading out your work does more harm than good – don’t do it. Instead, do as much as you can while you can.