It was another day in the office and Jeff was sitting in his desk chair, staring at the lifeless, gray walls which defined“his” space. Jeff hated his job and was generally frustrated with life because he was a slacker and he knew it.
There was the time that he wanted to run a marathon. He bought a new pair of running shoes and a running book, but only showed up to run for a couple of weeks before quitting.
There was the time he wanted to build his own website. He read all about it for months and researched everything. He even put up his own site, but after a couple of weeks, he quit when nobody visited the site.
There was a similar pattern. Jeff would get excited about something and get off to a quick start, but when he didn’t see results, he quickly became discouraged and gave up. After giving up, he would fall back into old habits and life was the same for Jeff day in and day out, year in and year out. And now here he was, bored and frustrated.
It was on this day that Jeff was sent back in time.
He couldn’t tell what had happened, but out of nowhere he found himself in the middle of an ancient construction site. He looked all around trying to get his bearings when he saw it: the Roman Colosseum being built before his very eyes. He thought to himself, “What the hell is going on here?”
Jeff explored the construction site in amazement and came across a man who appeared to be a stonecutter. He was about Jeff’s size with a large hammer, standing next to an even larger rock. As Jeff passed the man, with one great blow, the stonecutter split the giant rock in two.
Jeff thought to himself, “Wow, what a man! I can’t believe he cut that rock with one hit!”
by GEORGE P.H.
Last summer, I went to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. This was a dream come true for me: Kiedis & Co. aren’t getting any younger and I absolutely had to see them live while they’re still touring.
Midway through the concert I realized that, at any given time, 5+ people in my immediate vicinity were using their phones. Everyone was instagramming, facebooking, foursquaring, texting…
They didn’t even stop when Under the Bridge – only one of the best songs ever – came on.
My first thought was, are you kidding me. These people paid good money to see a legendary band… but were more interested in telling their friends about the concert than actually watching it.
Then I remembered that it’s 2012 and this is normal. People live in their phones now.
But they really shouldn’t – and here’s why.
Internet Addicts Anonymous
I belong to the last generation of children who grew up without internet access. As a kid, I had to wait for my favorite cartoons to come on if I wanted to be entertained.
Every Sunday I’d stake out in the living room, waiting for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to come on at 11. If I missed an episode, I had to wait a whole week to see my favorite cartoon.
And if the T.V. wasn’t enough entertainment for me, I had to go read a book or find a creative way to keep myself occupied.
It’s different for today’s kids. They’ve got the Internet, video games and TiVo. They can choose to be entertained whenever they feel like it – which is not a bad thing in and of itself.
What’s bad is how addicted this generation has become to being stimulated. Now that most phones are internet-enabled, we’ve got constant access to all our favorite distractions – and we abuse the shiet out of that privilege.
Every day you see people Facebooking at work, watching shows on the bus and reading blogs at dinner. They can’t just enjoy the moment – they’re too used to being entertained all the time. Without their hourly fix of “fun”, they get jittery and distracted.
Yes, being able to have fun wherever you are is incredible, but it stops being incredible when you can’t stop doing it. Phones are a great way to stay entertained on the go but using them all the time will rob you of real-life experiences.
#10 – For the most part, what others think doesn’t matter.
Ten years ago I was a 17 year old high school student who let the opinions of other people largely influence my choices. It was a dumb way to live, considering that ten years later, those people whose opinions I held in such high regard aren’t even a part of my life anymore!
The times when someone else’s opinion of you truly matters are few and far between. Think first impressions, like meeting your significant other’s family, meeting a new client, or meeting a potential employer for a job interview.
Don’t let other people rent space in your head. What they think of you isn’t important. What matters most is how you feel about yourself.
#9 – Explore new hobbies and opportunities often.
When I cared about what other people might think about me, I never tried new things. I was afraid that if I sucked at something, I’d be embarrassed. To spare myself the embarrassment of being bad at something new, I would never explore opportunities to learn a new skill, or start a new hobby.
Looking back on it, I see it as lots of time lost!
Nowadays I’m always anxious to put myself out there and learn something new. I sing at karaoke, I enter juggling contests, and I play Euchre even though I suck at all of them. I try new things as they come up, whether it’s a new restaurant, a new beer, or a new pastime. When you try new things, you discover more and more things that you enjoy.
Currently, I have plans to master the piano, the pool table, the surfboard, and the pen in my lifetime. They’re things that I know I love. Still, if you were to introduce me to a unicycle today, I’d hop right on to try and take it for a spin, fall off, and then hop on again!
As Harold and Maude put it best, “Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can’t let the world judge you too much.”
by Julien Smith
1. The world is trying to keep you stupid. From bank fees to interest rates to miracle diets,people who are not educated are easier to get money from and easier to lead. Educate yourself as much as possible for wealth, independence, and happiness.
2. Do not have faith in institutions to educate you. By the time they build the curriculum, it’s likely that the system is outdated– sometimes utterly broken. You both learn and get respect from people worth getting it from by leading and doing, not by following.
4. Connect with everyone, all the time. Be genuine about it. Learn to find something you like in each person, and then speak to that thing.
5. Don’t waste time being shy. Shyness is the belief that your emotions should be the arbitrators of your decision making process when the opposite is actually true.
6. If you feel weird about something during a relationship, that’s usually what you end up breaking up over.
7. Have as much contact as possible with older people. Personally, I met people at Podcamps. My friend Greg, at the age of 13, met his first future employer sitting next to him on a plane. The reason this is so valuable is because people your age don’t usually have the decision-making ability to help you very much. Also they know almost everything you will learn later, so ask them.
8. Find people that are cooler than you and hang out with them too. This and the corollary are both important: “don’t attempt to be average inside your group. Continuously attempt to be cooler than them (by doing cooler things, being more laid back, accepting, ambitious, etc.).”
9. You will become more conservative over time. This is just a fact. Those you surround yourself with create a kind of “bubble” that pushes you to support the status quo. For this reason, you need to do your craziest stuff NOW. Later on, you’ll become too afraid. Trust me.
10. Reduce all expenses as much as possible. I mean it. This creates a safety net that will allow you to do the crazier shiet I mentioned above.
— Author Unknown
1. First Important Lesson – “Know The Cleaning Lady”
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
2. Second Important Lesson – “Pickup In The Rain”
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.
She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.
A special note was attached. It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.
3. Third Important Lesson – “Remember Those Who Serve”
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “50¢,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “35¢!” she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.
When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.
4. Fourth Important Lesson – “The Obstacles In Our Path”
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand – “Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.”
5. Fifth Important Lesson – “Giving When It Counts”
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”.
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
- If you can make a reasonable living doing what you love, DO WHAT YOU LOVE.. You may not get rich, but you’ll get to do what you love. Don’t quit your day job until doing what you love pays the bills, but don’t incur big debt getting a law degree or an MBA if you really want to be an artist.
- It’s amazing how easy life is when you’re honest with yourself and others. This doesn’t mean you should be rude and inconsiderate, but it’s better to be upfront when you have to rather than concealing things and letting them grow.
- Set up a safety fund. Yes, I know the savings account interest rates suck right now, but having 3-6 months of expenses in readily accessible cash can save you a lot of hassle. It also allows you to loan money to friends when needed (do this judiciously).
- Start lifting weights yesterday.
- Don’t get fat.
- Stand up for yourself. People will do anything for their own personal gain at others‘ expense: Cut in line, take money/property, bully/belittle, guilt- trip… Do not accept this. These people know they’re doing the wrong thing and back down surprisingly quickly when confronted. In a public setting people tend to keep quiet until one person speaks up.
- Staying in shape is dirt simple. Body fat is dictated by what you eat and your activity. Working out affects 2 things mainly: fat and muscle. Aerobic exercise burns fat and builds a little muscle. Resistance training builds muscle and burns a little fat. If you’re fat you’re eating too much and/or not doing aerobic exercise. Period.
- There is no greater difference-maker in income than a college degree. I agree that it’s BS, but it’s true. It’s never too late to start. Just attending school looks good on interviews. And many companies offer tuition assistance so it doesn’t have to be that expensive.
- The biggest disappointments in life are the result of misplaced expectation. Tempering unrealistic expectations of how great something will be can greatly reduce frustration.
- Understand that at 22 you are at your most energetic and most creative, but your labor is valued very little. All the more reason to 1) stand up for yourself and look for the highest bidder and 2) get that degree.
- Try to picture us old fuks as the teenagers we used to be. Talk to that person.
- Stay limber. do lots of stretching every day. eat more vegetables. stay away from meth.
- LIVE. Experience as many things as you can. Go places. Do things. Do not fall into routine. Do not become comfortable with TV and gadgets. Follow your dreams, and be smart to ensure your success. Take chances. Carpe diem. No one ever achieved anything great through laziness. Don’t let fear stop you from enjoying life.
- Love is a choice… it’s not magical. You are not destined. There is no such thing as “the one.” Spend enough time with an attractive person, and biology kicks in. So use your head, and ﬁnd someone you really enjoy spending time with. Cause you’re going to have to do almost everything with this person. The person who makes you feel most relaxed, most like yourself, and accepts you as you are. The person you don’t have to impress. This is your best chance for happiness.
- If she’s got sexual hangups, and you like sex, ﬁnd someone else immediately. Only a therapist can cure her.
- Your credit score is really important. Don’t screw it up.
- Everything in moderation. Don’t be a slave to any substance, especially food.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes. If you do, join a program and quit immediately. It’s a total waste. If you want to smoke pot, don’t do it every day. (Harder than you might think.)
- Don’t get fat.
- Don’t ignore the obvious. Think with you head, not your heart. Take responsibility. The future is coming, whether you want it to or not.
- The world is full of bad people who will hurt and control you. Stand up for yourself. Do not pity them. Beware charity cases.
- Avoid negativity and negative people.
- Always do what’s right.
- don’t buy things.. buy EXPERIENCES.
- That.. is a profound statement. I lived the experience thing at 40 I am doing pretty good for myself. I am uber happy as well incidentally.
- The girl you love in your twenties (early twenties, at least) probably won’t be the girl you love in your thirties. Much in the same way that women undergo some sort of change between the ages of 18 and 22, guys will change- probably a little later than girls. Out of all my friends, I think they’re all divorced at least once by now.
- If I could go back, I’d say that pretty much every white-collar job that paid well in 1990 won’t be a good job prospect in 2010. The US is drifting towards a service-based economy, and that’s that.
- Save money, and start saving early. Not that it’ll help any, of course; the stock market is rigged against the individual investor; saving money with a bank will ensure you’ll get sharped there, too. In fact, you’ll get ripped off no matter what you try to do, and the dollar is probably going to crash long before you’re ready to retire anyway, so either make some highly educated investments in collectibles, or just try to limp by, staying out of debt and packing away what you can in your 401(k) and in the stock market. Not that either will be worth anything in 20-40 years, but who knows.
- Read more. And not just blogs.
- Little things that you want but don’t necessarily need cost money, and they add up. This is why nobody in my age bracket seems to have money anymore: that $30/month cell phone (or whatever it costs- I don’t own one), that cable TV, that 42” plasma TV, a new car every few years, etc. But, hell. See rule #3: that money you save this way may not be worth anything by the time the dollar crashes anyway.
- Don’t stick your dick in crazy. Unless you want to. Might be fun for a while, but- shiet, man. It’s crazy.
- Help your fellow man- the whole “Today you, tomorrow me” thing. Know how to change a tire, jump a car, safely bust a car window when a kid is stuck inside, render ﬁrst aid, etc. I spent several years as a volunteer ﬁreﬁghter/EMT, and when I started, I didn’t know shiet about what to do in an emergency. I even have my extra class ham radio license, if communications go to complete and total shiet. That way, I can ask what the weather is like in Santa Monica when Phoenix has been wiped off the map by the world’s ﬁrst inland tsunami. Not sure how ham radio will help, but all my neighbors will think it’s cool- the ones not dead and stuff, anyway.
- Those guys you went to high school with? They’ll all be fat and balding. Little tip: it’s the sugar and carbohydrates that make you fat, the soda, the pizza crust, the cake and cookies and candy that everyone else at the office brings in as treats. If you skip those, you might dodge a bullet- and an expanding waistline. Drink ice water.
- Learn to ignore some people. Arguments on the Internet are like the proverbial winning at the Special Olympics.
- Put things in context. 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs died out. We’re still arguing over how T. Rex walked (or ran), much less whether they had a blog. Do things that matter, because time runs out.
- Be polite, be courteous, and at least dream that civilization can be civil. A society is the sum of its parts.