Thursday, September 30, 2010
I can't tell you how many people I hear complain about something every. single. day. Next time you think about complaining or whining about something because you're stressed out at your job, think about all the people in the world who would be thrilled to even have a job. Next time you spill something on your shirt or get a rip in your jeans, think about how many people in the world don't have clothes. When you'd rather sit on the couch then go to the gym, take a minute to think about people who can't walk and what they would give just to be able to spend a minute walking on a treadmill.
Be thankful for what you have, because believe it or not, there are well over a billion people on this planet that would lie, murder and steal to be in your shoes.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The article is from 2006, and though we know much has changed in the political and financial landscape since it was written, it still speaks volumes about people you will come across in your everyday life: Those who will complain about the status quo any chance they are given, but still try their hardest to uphold it and do anything and everything to avoid disrupting the "path life has sent them on" vs. those that strive to challenge the "path" and choose to blaze their own trails, ask questions, and seek advice.
Here are his words:
Great advice. Some that I am going to make a concerted effort to follow more closely myself.
It Never Gets Easier Than Now
July 28, 2006
Every time I hear someone say “I’m too busy” to do something, a little puppy dies and I want to stab myself in the eye with a katana blade. I don’t think people realize how good we have it right now: We’re young, we’re only responsible for ourselves, and we can do basically anything we want. If you think about the responsibilities we’ll have in 20 years–or even 5–you start to appreciate that doing almost anything will never get easier than it is now.
Here are some examples:
Saving money is never easier than now. If you don’t think you can save 25%+ of your salary today, think about this: You have no one else you’re spending on. And while your salary will go up, the increase won’t be commensurate with your expenses–unless you start developing habits right now. Let’s think about some of the expenses we’ll face soon: insurance, a new home, homeowner’s insurance, remodeling, moving costs, a car, car insurance, car repair, medical costs, vacations, giving to charity, giving wedding gifts, giving birthday gifts, giving graduation gifts, a babysitter, diapers, baby formula, kids’ sports, and, finally, unexpected expenses. As Chris Yeh wrote, “Just this morning, I calculated that our monthly expenses are about 10X what they were when my wife and I were just a single couple living on our own, mostly due to our two bundles of joy.” If you think you’ll be able to save more in the future than today, you’re out of your mind. Read my site, read others, start a budget, and find a way.
Working out. We’re in the best natural shape of our lives. There’s a school near my place, and when I run, I see older men sweating like Patrick Ewing after only one lap. I scornfully lap those 72-year-old men over and over again. It’ll never be easier than today.
Starting your own business. Here are some common reasons people give for not starting one “right now” that make me thankful I am not a dragon (my sigh would ignite them): “I’ll just wait until I save a little more money,” they say. Or “I just have to learn some more before I do it.” Now, most people won’t start their own companies and that is perfectly cool. But for those that want to, there’s nothing like learning by doing–and if you fail, what’s the worst that can happen at our age? You don’t lose your house or wife and kids. You go and…get a regular job. You can always go to the corporate world. Going the entrepreneurial route gets harder and harder.
Just hanging out with friends. It’s easier to go out with friends now than it will ever be in the future. Why? Because we all live in the same general area, live similar lifestyles, and have virtually no responsibilities to anyone else. “But Ramit,” you might say, “most of my friends live far away.” Even if they live on another coast, we have such few external responsibilities that we can take a weekend trip to most places. Also, on my comedy blog (Things I Hate), I wrote about the people in college who get “married” by only hanging out with their boyfriend/girlfriend. What a huge mistake. Your friends aren’t all boring and in serious relationships yet. If you have any married friends, have you ever tried hanging out with them? It’s like a giraffe trying to find a pair of lost contact lenses. Impossible. We’re young, our friends are young, and we’re all pretty available to hang.
Doing your own side projects. Holy christ, we have more free time right now than we know what to do with. “But Ramit,” you might say, “I work 12 hours a day and then I study for the GMAT and then I build houses in Guatemala on the weekends. You’re full of shit.” Let’s keep it real: We all have lots and lots of time we use for leisure activities–whether it’s watching The Hills (Heidi surprised me on Wednesday), working out, or whatever. The question is, can you track what you spend your time on and redirect it to something you care about? Something that will have an impact for the next 5, 10, or 50 years? The answer is yes. And we’ll only get busier in the future.
Taking risks in investing and life. I’m going to describe some fears we have about investing, but you can apply this to anything.
Don’t worry so much about losing all your money. Don’t worry about not having the optimal asset allocation. Don’t worry about your friends making more than you. Worry about not getting started. In my 1-hour talks, I ask young people our age about what would happen if we lost all our money right now. After a couple of inevitable gasps, most people admit that it wouldn’t really be that bad. Maybe they’d go live at home for a few months, get back on their feet, and go get another job. But what happens when you’re 35 with a husband, 2 kids, and a mortgage? Losing most (or all) of your money would be catastrophic. And if you’re 65 and spending your money on pills and bingo, losing your money can be a matter of life and death.
Meeting interesting people. You wouldn’t believe how many people are willing to meet to share advice and connections. I meet them all the time, and it’s not because I’m some fancy guy (I’m not). It’s because I’m young and interested. CEOs, VCs, and even small-business proprietors and teachers are so friendly. I think it’s because of 3 things: First, people love to talk about themselves, and I’m interested in their story. Second, people love talking to young people, both to share their experience and to stay connected to young people; for example, last week, I taught a business friend what “Benjamins” are. God I loved it. Third, people love knowing that your intentions are pure and that you got in touch to learn, not to inject some corporate agenda. Who knows what could happen if you just asked?
Traveling. You think when you’re 30, you’ll be able to take a weekend trip to New York, stay out until 5am, then make it back in time for Monday morning? No way. I’m not 30, but aren’t most 30-year-olds plagued with arthritic joints and incontinence? Heh, I hope I don’t get in trouble for that one. Anyway, traveling to visit (or live) in other places is unbelievably easy right now. To visit, it costs about $200 roundtrip to anywhere in country [note: we know now this is NOT the case. - Rick]. To live, we pick a place, get a job, and it’s done. We have no one to answer to, and imagine the amount you can learn by living somewhere else.
Living in situations your parents would abhor. As we get older, we naturally demand a more comfortable living situation. When we travel abroad, for example, we can stay in hostels with no problem. When older people travel, they need a hotel. In college, we lived in like 150 square feet with 2 other people. Older people measure their homes in the thousands of square feet, and they have things like “dens” and “islands” in their “kitchen.” (Funny thing: You should have seen some of the parents’ horrified faces when they visited Stanford, where the dorms are actually really nice. And then to buy sheets (“linens” to them) at Target? Oh my god!) Ok, that went off on a huge tangent, but the point is that we can live in a way that older people cannot. So whether that’s saving on rent by living in a cheaper place, or driving your 10-year-old car, or just realizing you don’t need that much…it’s never easier than it is now.
What about you?
Monday, September 27, 2010
About 40 minutes into my workout, dripping sweat and gasping for air like I just got revived by someone doing mouth to mouth resuscitation, a late teenager in an unfilled cutoff shirt, comes up to me and asks, "What's your secret?". The funny thing is, I was severely trying to ignore him the first few times he asked, but being a persistent adolescent, he wouldn't be turned away that easily. After finally giving in, I removed my headphones and in the sassiest tone I could muster whilst still being out of breath I look at him and say, "WHAT??!". He repeats his moronic query, and without skipping a beat I reply, "I workout while I'm here, and don't dare bother other people who are in the middle of a workout". Placing my headphones back in, I shake my head and get back to it.
20 minutes later - no joke - I see the same kid about 6 inches from one of the full wall mirrors squeezing zits out of his face. Seriously. I was stuck. I must have watched in disgust for a full 3 minutes. It was like watching an enormously obese person order a ridiculously large meal at a fast food chain but then INSIST on getting a DIET Coke. I mean, come on. Had the kid actually been trying to do something and asked for a little help in between my sets, I would have been more than happy to show him a couple things. Just asking "my secret"? I mean....
For other decent gym etiquette, check this list out. Number 4 sounds extremely familiar, no?
Friday, September 24, 2010
Though I was hesitant about seeing only half of one of the most prolific funk-hip hop groups ever, I was pleasantly surprised when the opening set consisted of a slew of early Outkast - mixing the hits "ATliens", "Skew It On the Bar-B", "So Fresh, So Clean", and "Ms. Jackson." For me personally, it was the high point of the show - the rest was just "meh". After essentially tolerating a set of his new music I was pleased to hear them bring back a little more of the old school with "Bombs Over Baghdad" - as were the several hundred people who may or may not have been (read: they were) enjoying themselves with a little bit of the "sticky-icky".
Of all of Big Boi's new music, I could only find one that resonated with me and brought back the nostalgic excitement I remember during college parties. The new single "Shutterbugg" ft. Cutty, is poised to become a hit - if isn't already.
Regardless of my particular likings of the style of music, it's impossible not to give respect to Big Boi for his lyrical /flow ability. The show overall had an awesome energy to it, and the venue was poppin'. Of anything, I was mostly focused on Big Boi's decision to wear bright red socks on such skinny legs.
I mean, the guy is pretty short, and not the leanest, but the bright red socks and the green hat left him looking like one of Santa's rejected elves from the Eastmont Mall. Regardless however, the guy was amazing at getting the crowd participation joint on lock and truly entertaining the crowd - all of this without Andre 3000's "wacky/zany" outfits and personality. Which was definitely appreciated.
If you're not sure what exactly they are check out the link on Amazon.
Yup, you read that right. Energy Sunflower Seeds. I think it's an AWESOME idea, especially for staying awake during long road trips. However, there is one thing (aside from the $1.99 price tag and $4.89 shipping cost) that bothers me juuuust a little bit.
Apparently, the geniuses over at Sumseeds thought that Tony Gwynn was the best guy to be the face of a snack food that contains Caffeine, Taurine, and Ginseng. Don't get me wrong, Tony Gwynn is an OG in the game of baseball. The guy batted .394 during the 1996 season, the second highest batting average since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. In fact, he never batted below .309 in any full season during his 20 year career on the San Diego Padres. The fact that he is more well known for his portly stature than for being in the Hall of Fame is more what I'm leaning towards.
I mean, the seeds have several supplements in them known for helping people lose weight. But look at that face! Is this really the ideal image for selling these? Are people trying to get all hyped up on seeds to go play baseball? Not sure. Truly not sure. I suppose will have to wait and see if this is the next banned substance to hit the MLB in the next few seasons...
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I have no idea what they are talking about. And they are blaming it on the adults?!? Say what? Thankfully, you can seek guidance from the Baptist Press if you are so inclined.
Plus, if that's the case, my nephew's repeated f-bombs before he was even 2 years old (used in the correct context and everything!) already puts him ahead of the curve.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Ace of Base
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mary J Blige
Soul II Soul
Dexy's Midnight Runners
Earth Wind and Fire
LL Cool J
Letters to Cleo
These are just artists featured in the first six songs (let alone those I didn't recognize) on Girl Talk's 2008 album, "Feed the Animals", by far the most amazing compilation of almost every genre of music from the last 40 years. Sure it's 2 years late, but how many of the rest of you out there know what's been going on with this guy? He was featured one Time's Top 10 Albums of 2008.
Anyway, do yourself a favor. Download the $5.00 MP3 album from Amazon.com and enjoy. That's about as much as you'd spend on a beer, and trust me, this buzz will last a lot longer. You'll also be treated to one of the best outros on any album I've ever heard in my life. If this album doesn't put a smile on your face after listening to well over a hundred different throwback and current artists in under an hour, well hell, I don't know what will.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
You guys might have also noticed that down the side of the screen I've added about 30 of my favorite blogs/websites. I suppose I shouldn't be revealing the places where I find most of the things that I post on here, but I figured there are a lot of other things that I don't re-blog that you might be interested in.
Check some of 'em out. Let me know what you think.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
One of my favorite artists and cultural commentators, Paul Madonna, captured this perfectly as he wrote in one of his drawings, "We find time for things we want, and make excuses for everything else." So simple, but so right on point. How often do we find ourselves running to a restaurant or getting take-out because "we don't have time to cook". Yeah, think about it. If you've got time to get in your car, drive and grab the food, drive home, set it out and eat that mess, you've definitely got the time to cook. You probably just don't want to, so you make an excuse to satisfy yourself. In fact, last week when I was making excuses not to blog, I was making excuses not to cook, and (gasp) making excuses not to go to the gym. It's a very slippery slope, one that I try to stay away from as much as possible, but being human, we all find ourselves falling victim to these scenarios from time to time.
One of my new favorite bands that has broken on the scene in the last few months, The Limousines, has a pretty catchy little tune that puts this kinda thing in perspective. I've posted the lyrics below the video, for you to check out. The video has a little mini-interview with the band afterward if you're interested.
Lyrics, "Very Busy People"
We'll end up numb from playing video games
and we'll get sick of having sex.
And we'll get fat from eating candy
as we drink ourselves to death.
We'll stay up late
making mix tapes, photoshopping pictures of ourselves
while we masturbate to these pixelated videos
of strangers fucking themselves.
We are very busy people,
We are very busy people.
There's crusty socks
and stacks of pizza boxes
making trails straight to the bed.
And when we're done sleeping
we'll stay busy dreaming of the things
we do not have yet.
Well there's a long, long list of chores
and shit to do before we play,
oh let's just piss away the day.
Crank call the cops down at the station,
just for friendly conversation,
requesting songs they never play;
Let's hear the one that goes like:
We are very busy people,
We are very busy people;
But we've always got time for new friends.
So come on over and knock on our door,
it's open whatcha waitin' for?
We may be sprawled out on the floor,
but we still make lovely company.
Pull up a chair, I'll pour some tea,
We'll shoot the shit, 'bout everything,
till you get sick of politics,
and flip on the TV screen,
we stare at the TV screen.
That Donnie Darko DVD has been repeating for a week,
and we know every single word.
(Every single word).
I've got an iPod like a pirate ship,
I'll sail the sea
with fifty thousand songs I've never heard-
And all the best of them go
La la la la la la...
la la la la la la...
We are very busy people,
We are very busy people;
But we've always got time for new friends.
La la la la la la...
la la la la la la...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Seriously though, the park was absolutely packed and an awesome time. The weather cooperated long enough so that even the most hipster of girls were able to put on a decent little fashion show.
Plus, there was this androgynous hula-hooper. Best random sighting of the day.
Looks like a few folks made it back from Burning Man a little early just to catch the last bit of the perfect weather in SF.
Friday, September 3, 2010
For all those that may take this weekend to head into The City, here's a little something to motivate you:
From Troy over at Caliber SF.
Everyone else, have fun and be safe.
For many people, the 1st of the month brings promise of food and diapers for children, rent payments, ahhh, who am I kidding? 90% of that money goes straight to the newest shoes, iPhones, rims, and drugs anyhow. Which gets us back to our friend that brings us the "Crackhead of the Day" showing just how "fun" payday can be downtown on 6th Street (funniest part about that link is that Google didn't dare go down 6th past Market - tell you anything?).
True, he might be diabetic. Buuuuuuut, I'm gonna guess the full nudity says otherwise. More pics via the link below.
Courtesy of Bluoz.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Seriously though, I don't think I've ever even consumed a Big Gulp. I do know I always wanted to fill one of those giant cups with some Slurpee when I was 12, but shit, I used to eat Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, It's It Ice Cream Sandwiches, Funyuns, and Welch's Grape Soda for lunch every-damn-day in Junior High. Gross. Duh. Odds are if you are a product of HUSD, you did too. But now that we realize how unhealthy all that shit is we stopped eating like that. At least most of us.
Until I'm fully disgusted by another sighting...Rick.