typing keyboard

A New Blog

My friend was telling me that he wants to start writing more.  He was talking to me about it cuz he knows I write a lot

keyboardhand

Finding Ways To Make Money

I am thinking about looking into other ways to make money.  I’ve been talking with someone who says that he has been able to make some

two surfers

Living Life

I want to take more time for myself and do some of the things that I want to do.  You know, I’ve spent a lot of

crane

My Job Is Awesome

This week my shop gave in and bought some well-needed tools. We have had issues with not having the proper tools to work on the cranes

engine

Double Trouble

Here’s something I wrote a little bit ago but wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not. I’m a little embarrassed to even be

 
typing keyboard

A New Blog

My friend was telling me that he wants to start writing more.  He was talking to me about it cuz he knows I write a lot online (hello, you’re reading my writing right now!) and he wanted to know how I recommend to get started.  I wasn’t really sure what to say since there isn’t really that much to writing besides, you know, writing.  So I was like dude, you just have to sit down and start writing.  I know it seems simple but it can be quite a bit of work.  There are some posts that really took me some effort to write, and there are others that came easily.  My friend is one of those people who has a lot to say.  He and I have had long talks before about some really strange stuff, so I’m sure he’ll be able to come up with stuff if he ever gets around to starting a blog.  But he’s also one of those people who has the motivation to do stuff so I’m pretty sure that if he gets set up with a blog he’ll probably write a lot of stuff for it.

I told him to think about using Weebly if he wants to do something for free.  Or Live Journal.  He asked me if there are any that are not free and I said there are some, empower network comes to mind, but I think for someone who is just starting blogging there’s no reason to get one that costs money.  I mean you’re just sharing some of your thoughts online, it’s not like you’re going to be making any money from it anyway so why pay?  I guess if you want specific features you can pay for it, but I’d stay with ones that are free.  Plus, you can always change your mind in the future.  By doing it this way you can focus on writing and not have to worry about anything else.  Most of the free ones are quite easy to set up.  Especially the ones I mentioned.

So I think that he’s probably going to get started with that and then I will see if there is anything else he wants to do on his blog besides post some of the random thoughts he has.  Knowing my friend he’ll probably post reviews of his favorite standup comedies or something.  Actually, he’s been watching a lot of serious shows, too, which is new.

keyboardhand

Finding Ways To Make Money

I am thinking about looking into other ways to make money.  I’ve been talking with someone who says that he has been able to make some money on eBay but the thing is I don’t really have anything that I want to sell.  He has a bunch of stuff and he has just been putting it on the eBay listings and I guess people are buying it.  He seriously has so much stuff that it’s no wonder that’s working for him.  But when I thought about what I’d sell I came up with nothing.  I don’t really have anything that I want to get rid of!

So anyway, this same friend said that he saw that Alan Waters mentioned I could fill in surveys online.  I don’t think that’s an actual way to make money but at the same time I guess I could look into it.  My opinion could possibly be worth money I guess.  I don’t know what kind of organization would want to pay people to take surveys, though.  So I’m think that I’m probably going to see if I can find anything related to that.  The other thing I have been looking into is seeing if I can find another set of towels for my kitchen.  I’ve got these towels right now but they are kind of thin and they don’t really absorb water that well.  Have you seen the kind that look pretty but don’t really do anything when you are trying to dry your hands?  That’s what I’ve got.  So I’m gonna need to head to the store.  Hey, maybe I’ll be able to find some that are on  display and actually see how they work and then I’ll be able to figure out if I want them or not.

I am also gonna call my friend and see if he wants to head over to this other guy’s house who is supposed to be having a cricket game today.  I don’t really know what the rules are but it’s something I’d like to learn since practically everyone else I know who is from England loves that game.  I’m not even really that much of an athlete but I would like to learn to play so I can join in when my friends are playing.  I know that they pitch it all bouncey and it’s completely different from anything else so I’m going to have to see if there are any bits of knowledge I can gain about how to actually get it to go where I want it to travel.

two surfers

Living Life

I want to take more time for myself and do some of the things that I want to do.  You know, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to save money and in the process I’ve avoided doing certain things.  I haven’t taken many vacations because I would rather cash out the PTO, plus at my job it’s kind of hard to get time off anyway; they always make you pay for it somehow.  It always sounded fun to travel the world yet I haven’t even left the USA.  Now seems like a good time to change all of that.  Enter a new and improved me.

I’m going to start taking more time to enjoy life and live in the moment. I want to go surfing and I think that’s going to be my first adventure.  Here’s why.  First, I live pretty close to places with surf; California, Costa Rica, etc.  Second, how awesome does it look?  The few times I’ve actually seen people surfing it always looks like so much fun!  And it seems like one of those lifestyle things, you know, like surfing is something that you do, it’s something you are.  Well I guess technically thing you are is a surfer, but you get the point.

Plus, I’m really high strung and surfers always seem so laid back and relaxed.  I could use some of that in my life.  I wonder if it’s the case where that type of personality is drawn to the sport, or if the sport tends to have that kind of effect on the person.  I imagine it’s probably a little bit of each.

It’s kind of like, do hippies like the kind of music they like because they’re hippies, or does the music encourage them in their hippie ways?

I’m high strung.  Am I attracted to activities that are high strung type of activities?  Well… I don’t know.  What’s a high strung activity?

Maybe if I spend some more time doing relaxing things, or hanging out with people who are laid back, some of that energy might rub off on me.  That’s one thing I’ve become more aware of recently is energy (sometimes called “vibes”).  There really is an energy or a feeling in certain situations that is intangible.  You might not even always be able to explain it, but you can feel it.  And I’ve noticed that different people have a different “energy.”  It’s part of the reason why there are some people that I don’t like hanging out with.

crane

My Job Is Awesome

This week my shop gave in and bought some well-needed tools. We have had issues with not having the proper tools to work on the cranes that we service and it’s really been a pain. Well, last year was a fiscally amazing year for our company; we got more contracts and bought more equipment than any other year in our fifty year history. We had a bit of profit left over so the higher-ups decided to give our maintenance shop a pretty hefty budget so that we could finally get the new tools we need to work on all of this new equipment. It’s about time we got the tools we need.

I think the most useful tools we got by far were a new series of hydraulic torque wrench. These things are incredible. It’s something I’ve been pushing to get for years now. Why are these things so stinkin’ awesome? Well, imagine this. Before we had these, we had manual torque wrenches that clocked in at around three feet long and thirty pounds. What’s so bad about that? Imagine lugging a thirty pound, three foot long wrench up the side of a monster crane, then trying to both balance and put everything you have into torqueing that bolt, if you slip you could seriously hurt yourself.

These new wrenches are much smaller and you hook them up to a hydraulic pump. That means that you have the wrench set at a specific torque, you slip it over the nut, you activate it, and it does the work for you. Talk about making my life easier. I’ve had way too many close calls over the years with manual torque wrenches, and these pieces of equipment aren’t something you can just impact a bolt on and call it a day.

Cranes are precision machines, every bolt is designed the way it is for a reason, every cable is designed the way it is for a reason, and every individual piece of steel has been precision machined for safety and capacity. There are some heavy loads lifted with these cranes and heavy loads mean the machine takes on a lot of stress. If a bolt isn’t torqued properly it may not take that stress the way it was designed and can either loosen or even shear off. It doesn’t take many improperly torqued bolts to put a crane operator and everyone else around him at risk.

engine

Double Trouble

Here’s something I wrote a little bit ago but wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not.

I’m a little embarrassed to even be writing about what happened to me.

I need to get a couple of things done today and none of them are things that I am particularly looking forward to. The worst of the bunch is dealing with my upcoming DUI charge. My court date is exactly one month from now and I need to figure out what I’m going to do about it. I also need to deal with my car because I seriously think the transmission on it is going out. I am no mechanic but I am pretty sure that is what is going on. When I shift into 2nd gear it is fine but when I try to shift into 3rd it doesn’t want to do it. I have been just skipping that gear altogether which I know isn’t good. Reverse isn’t working that well either but thankfully I don’t have to use that too often. I’m going to take it into a shop that my buddy Greg works out and have him or one of his coworkers look at it.

My DUI is a whole other bag of beans. I should have known that sooner or later I would get one but like most people I thought I was invincible. I know I probably can’t get the charge dropped because I was well over the legal limit. I am just glad I didn’t cause an accident or anything like that. I got pulled over because I forgot to use my turn signal when I changed lanes on the highway; I wasn’t speeding or anything but that is all it took. After doing some research and talking to a few people, I know and am going to need an attorney when I go to court. I’m thinking about talking to this firm. I am going to call them later this afternoon when I’m done with my car. I think I should get that looked at first because that is my only mode of transportation. Hopefully I won’t need a new transmission because I know how expensive they are, and if that’s the case I would probably just have to get a whole new car which means a car payment that I don’t have right now. I guess you could say that I’m not in a very good spot in my life right now but I have nobody to blame but myself. It’s apparent to me that I need to get my act together and soon because I am not getting any younger.

messy-desk

Get Organized

You may remember a previous post I made about getting your stuff handled.  I’d like to talk a bit more about that because it seems like something we all struggle with at times.

Being organized is important.  Look at your desk.  Look at your bedroom.  Look at the inside of your car.  Do you have stuff all over?  If someone else came over, would they think it was messy?

That last question can be hard to answer for yourself because there’s a bit of bias and familiarity when dealing with your own stuff.  Let me give you an example.  I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty organized person because I know where everything is.  It wasn’t until I had some people over at my place one day and we were all taking pictures, and I saw my desk in the background of one of the pictures.  It looked really messy, like you couldn’t even see the top of my desk because there were papers and books and notes I had been taking and stuff all over.  Now to me, it never looked messy because I had seen it accumulate slowly over time, and also because I knew where everything was.  That book I was reading?  It’s on next to my monitor under that stack of papers!  I know where it is!  My calendar, that’s on the other side underneath some envelopes!

The point was, my desk was messy, and it took seeing it in a picture that someone else took for me to realize it.  Do not confuse familiarity with cleanliness.  You don’t always notice it when it’s happening to your own stuff over time.

I was embarrassed.  Here I was thinking all this time that “yeah, my place is pretty clean,” and I come to realize that I was wrong.  People probably thought I was a slob.

I set out to get some storage bins and start organizing my stuff better.  It was kind of hard for me, though, because I already knew where everything was, and now I had to sort it into different groups and store it that way and then remember “ok, now where did I put that?” when I wanted something.  But the thing is, the kind of “I know where everything is” messy desk “organization” style only works for a while.  Once you get too much stuff it gets to be more than you can remember (not to mention, your desk gets really messy at that point), and a more logical organization system becomes more efficient.

Not to mention, if you’re going to be having people over to your place, especially people on whom you want to make a good impression, you should make sure your place is clean and organized.

bag-of-money

Do You Need To Make A Huge Salary? (Hint: No)

Nearly every guy has thought at one point “how can I be successful with women if I don’t make a lot of money?”

That question represents two incorrect ways of thinking.

First, it presupposes that you need a lot of money for women to like you.  This is a backward rationalization.  What happens is that guys will see other guys who are successful in their lives and happen to have women, and assume the two are correlated.  “He must get women easily because he has a good job!”  What is actually happening is the guy probably has women for the same reason he is successful: he’s ambitious, he’s confident, he’s a leader, he takes action in his life because he is motivated.  Getting women is a side effect of having those traits.

The second one is the actual phrasing of the question: “make a lot of money.”  Many people (not just guys) equate making a lot of money with having a lot of money.  Remember that many people live paycheck to paycheck and so to them, making a lot of money means having a lot of money.  Consider the following two people:

Person One makes $30,000 per year.  Person Two makes $100,000 per year.  You’re probably already thinking “I’d rather be Person Two.”  Just hold on for a sec, chief.  Person One lives a very frugal life and has no debt and a net worth of around $200,000.  Person Two parties like a rock start and buys himself tons of cool stuff to try and impress other people.  Person Two has $1,000 in his checking account and a 4-figure balance on his credit card.

Now who would you rather be?

Who do you think has more stress?

Who do you think is going to be OK if they lost their job tomorrow?

This example serves to illustrate a point and ignores the fact that Person Two could be in a much better position if he were to make better financial choices, but that’s beside the point.  All else being equal a higher income is better, but now you realize that making a lot of money is not the same as having a lot of money.

So what are some ways that we can have more money.  I’m not going to tell you in this post to go get another job, or start a business, because while those are good ways to make more money, they’re not the point.  If you’re already frugal you can skip the rest of this post.  If not, your first lesson is that saving money is the same as making more money.  If you save $100 here and $50 there, and $3 every day, and $30 here, etc., that adds up to hundreds per month, which can add up to thousands per year.  Most people would be happy if they got a raise of a thousand dollars per year, but they never stop to think that saving an extra thousand per year would be the same (technically more, because you don’t pay taxes on money you save, but you’ll pay taxes on that thousand dollar raise).

Where can you cut expenses out of your life?  Do you need that huge cable TV package?  Really?  Are your car insurance rates too high?  Do you spend a few bucks every day on coffee?  Did you know you can make your own coffee for less than a dollar?  Does your office have a coffee machine with free coffee?  Do you buy $100 ties when you can find ones for half as much that look exactly the same?  Here’s a quick tip: if you’re making $40,000 per year in a corporate job, you don’t need $100 ties.  Who are you trying to impress?  Your coworkers who make the same salary as you?

Now I would be guilty of not giving  the entire story if I didn’t mention that yes, there are some women who will be attracted to you because you have expensive stuff (because they mistakenly think that having expensive stuff means you have a lot of money), but you don’t want to date these women, anyway.  You want to date someone who is supportive of your smart financial decisions, not someone who just likes being seen with you for status, or worse, because you spend lots of money on her.

maze

Getting Things Handled

You need to feel like your own life to be in order if you want to have success in other areas of your life.  A lot of people don’t realize that this is the kind of thing where everything you do kind of interacts synergistically with everything else you do.  What will happen is there will be some guy who isn’t really happy with a certain area of his life, so he’ll start to learn about that area.  In some cases, he might even start to obsess about it (come on, we’ve all been there!).  Yet despite all he learns and all he tries, he may not have the kind of success he wants.

Why?

Because the rest of his life is kind of in shambles, and it all kind of bleeds over into everything else.

Let’s say there’s a guy who wants to learn to play guitar.  So he reads all about it online, he orders some instructional programs or signs up for lessons with a local teacher, and even spends some money on a decent beginner guitar.  He practices every day but never really gets anywhere.  Why might this be happening?  Because the rest of his life is kind of in shambles.

Your brain can kind of play tricks on you like this.  Subconsciously if you don’t feel like you are making progress in your life, or if you don’t feel like you are worthy, you can often self-sabotage your own progress in other areas.  The guy in our example might have a messy home, be behind on his bills, have just gotten dumped by his girlfriend, and works at a job that he doesn’t like.  It all makes him feel like he sucks in general, and that vibe is carried over into anything new he tries.

When you have your own matters handled it creates a feeling of confidence and positive energy within you that will carry over into other things you want to do.  This is especially true for meeting women.  A lot of guys feel like losers who don’t deserve good things throughout most of their day, and then they decide they’re going to go out and try and meet women one day, but they don’t have any success.  Why?  Because they don’t feel like they deserve any success!

Now, this isn’t to say that our here won’t end up being good at guitar.  Maybe he really enjoys playing, and in fact, maybe he finds that brings him joy that spills over into other areas of his life.

But always look at your own big picture.

Are you responsible?  No?  Start creating to do lists.  The more stuff you feel like you have to do that is looming over your head, the less motivated you will feel and you may even get to the point that you start putting it off.

Are your finances handled?  No?  Meet with an accountant.  This is a big area that holds a lot of people back.  It doesn’t mean you have to be rich, but you should at least have a plan in place that is gradually taking you to where you want to go.  Are you paying off your debt?  Are you saving some money each month?  Being on the right track can go a long way to making you feel more positive in general.

Is your place presentable?  No?  Clean it up!  Now.  Seriously.  Go clean it up and then come back and finish reading this post.  When people live in messy places it can just kind of bring you down and make you excuse laziness.  After all, your place is already messy, so who cares?

Plus, if you meet someone cool, do you really want to bring them back to a messy place?

fortunecookie

Your Mindset Comes From Within

If you’ve spent some times reading about self-improvement type things, you’ve probably come across many references to people saying things like “it’s all in your head,” or sometimes referring to it as “inner game.”  When you’re just starting out, it can be frustrating to read that kind of thing, especially if you’re analytical in nature, because it’s like “no, it’s not in my head.  Look at all this objective evidence I have to the contrary.”  You may then go on to justify it as “sure, those successful people are in a good mood because they’re successful.  I’m sure if I were successful, I would be happier, too.”

That mindset can take a long time to overcome.  I’m talking months.  Maybe even years.

And what sucks about it is that it’s a self-fulfilling mindset.  According to that way of thinking, the more unsuccessful you feel, the more justified you feel in being in a negative headspace.  It makes sense to you, which makes it a strong, inner belief, and that’s why it can be so hard to change.

Say you go out to a bar and see a guy who is being approached by many different women.  He seems to be smiling and having a good time.  He’s putting out a positive vibe.  You see this and think to yourself “well obviously he’s happy, look at how many women are hitting on him!”  You then think about yourself, and not only do women not approach you, but they don’t even seem interested when you try to talk to them!  No wonder you’re giving off negative, defeated vibes!

The thing is, that other guy isn’t giving off positive energy because of all the women that are talking to him.  It’s actually the other way around; they’re interested in him because he’s a fun guy who is giving off positive energy to the people he is talking to.

I know it seems backward, and that’s part of why it can be so hard to internalize this belief.

So let’s say you believe it.  The next question is “how do I become a more positive person so I can experience a more fulfilling life?”

One of the best ways is to start exercising.  Not only does exercise release endorphins that actually make you feel better and have more confidence, but it also results in improved health and appearance.  Go running.  Lift weights.  Join a club that plays a sport that you like.  It doesn’t even have to be a “normal” sport like baseball or basketball; there are even clubs for things like kickball (which is an awesome sport, btw!).  The benefit of this is twofold: not only do you get physical exercise, but you will also meet people who have a similar interest (you both joined the same league) which can be a great way to expand your social circle and meet new people.

I’m serious.  Order some cheap trainers at http://www.getthelabel.com/fcp/categorylist/promo/trainers-sale and get started.  They ship all over the world.  Go for a run.  Go to the gym.  Join a boxing gym.  Just make sure, especially if you haven’t worked out for a while, that you start slow.  You don’t want to get injured and set yourself back.

You may find that your mood is becoming more positive almost right away!

cup of coffee

What You Say Does Not Matter

You really can meet someone anywhere.  A lot of guys get hung up on the “what do I say to her?” part of the approach.  The truth is that it doesn’t matter.  It literally doesn’t matter what you say.  In fact, most people don’t even remember what the first thing their friends said to them was.  Do you?

I was at a health food store and I saw a cute girl that I wanted to talk to.  I walked over to the aisle she was in and started looking around, and for a moment I had that feeling that everyone gets: “I don’t know what to say to her!”  It’s funny because even when you realize that it doesn’t matter, you still have those thoughts.  I saw her reach for a bottle of green coffee bean extract and knew I could use that as a conversation starter.

“Hey, does that stuff really work?”

She turned to face me and smiled.  From this point forward it was just a matter of vibing and the actual conversation didn’t matter.  She talked a bit about where she heard about the supplement, said she didn’t know if it worked or not but wanted to try it.  She already had a nice body so I don’t know why she was interested in a weight loss product, but that’s just how some people are.  So we chatted for a bit but I had to get going so I got her number and left.

The truth is I probably could have said anything to begin talking to her.  The only reason I chose to use the thing she was holding is because it was convenient and wouldn’t seem like I was “trying” to hit on her.  You know, we were just talking.  But even that doesn’t matter.

So I’m not telling this story to say you should go hit on women in health food stores.  It was meant to be an example of how to use things in your environment to help you talk to someone when you would otherwise be wondering “what do I say?”  It doesn’t matter what you say, just say something, and just be confident when you do it.  I asked her because I was actually curious about the stuff she was looking at, not just as a stupid conversation opener.

On a related note, I actually have been hearing more about green coffee extract recently, so I was actually curious what she had to say about it.  It turned out she was kind of in the same situation where she has been hearing it mentioned in various places but didn’t actually know much about it.  So our shared curiosity set the foundation for an interaction that went well.  And btw, I texted her later that evening and she replied right away.