Life Lessons Feb 2015

        Every now and then I like to review my priorities.  I do this not by looking them up but by listing them off the top of my head.  When listing my priorities, I pay attention to the order in which I remembered them because it is often the order that I have them prioritized in practice and that data is as valuable to know as the priority levels you want them to be in theory.

People often approach budgets with the wrong mindset and order of events. If you go to a restaurant and your budget is $10, what you should do is look at the menu and find what you want. THEN look at the price and adjust your decisions.  Too many people do it backwards: they use the budget to look at the prices and find out what they can afford, and then try to maximize their dollar and/or maximize their spending.  They have their priorities reversed.  The focus should not be the money or cost, the focus should be your wants and desires. When you prioritize things before your own satisfaction, you end up being dissatisfied with your choices even though they are your choices, and that is an unfortunate position to be in.

Furthermore, by making decisions with the wrong priority order, they forget that $10 is the maximum to spend and not the goal to spend, and they end up spending the maximum $10 to maximize the value that they get from their money.  They forget that the whole reason they have a $10 limit is to be smart with money and save it for more important things in life: rather than potentially find something they want that costs less and gets them to their financial goals faster than expected, they get there at the slowest pace possible given the goals they set.  

 

When someone says to you to be more normal what they really mean is for you to be more like them. If I tell someone else to be normal I mean for them to be more like me. Therefore, unless you want to be that person, listen and consider but don’t follow their advice unless it’s what you want.  Don’t change yourself to be a worse version of someone else.

You adapt to your environment and circumstances.  If I spend time with people who are not good at cooking for example, I’ll learn their bad habits slowly and become a bad cook myself.  When you don’t have the option of spending time with people who are good at cooking, say you can’t afford the lessons with professionals or the tuition for school, then the way to improve is to focus on your own cooking to the exclusion of those around you.  Adopting habits is not always the right thing to do, sometimes you should look at yourself closely and simply work on finding ways to improve yourself in comparison to yourself, because if you do that long enough you will evolve beyond your past skill levels.  Furthermore, this skill will come in handy when you become at the top of your field and there’s no longer anyone to look up to and emulate.  When you are the leader and the cutting edge, the person to beat is yourself, and an important skill to being at the top is to be someone who can improve in comparison to themselves.

In my childhood it was easy to develop in isolation because I didn’t listen.  I only heard myself and no-body else.  Over the last few years I learned how to listen, I developed listening skills.  The problem is I let what I heard influence and affect me in ways that I should not have.  I reached for the stars, then I started hearing people say I was reaching too far, and I stopped dreaming as big.  Listening skills are important to stay grounded and normal, but what you should do with your life should be unique and specific to you.  I started looking for other people’s decisions to emulate and asking for other people’s advice on what decisions to make for my own life instead of making choices myself and asking myself which choice to take.  Ask for advice, listen, but in the end, listen to yourself. 

Specialization tells us to focus on execution.  Be able to do this and you’ll get a job. But this is not good for personal success long term because whether you succeed is more a function of good decision making and life strategy than a function of how well you can execute decisions.  In this way capitalism is misleading in the path to success.  It doesn’t matter how good your Squirtle can shoot his water gun, if you’re fighting a grass Pokemon you made the wrong strategic decision to use Squirtle.

The same is true able school as about capitalism.  Schools teach execution, life teaches decision making

        If you’re going to give, give AFTER you have enough. Give what you HAVE, not what you DON’T HAVE.  Make sure you have enough, then AFTER you’ve gotten enough, start giving.  Don’t hurt yourself in the process.  

School/academics are high level, high off the ground and high in your head.  Daily life is at eye level: you interact with the world and it interacts back.  Deep in your heart are your feelings, this is the ground. Too few people engage in activities that touch the soul.  and instead spend too much time in their heads or in their eyes.

Get more sleep if you are an athlete: Professionals get 10-12 hours of sleep a day! (http://hackerella.com/sleep-challenge/ and http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663723/infographic-of-the-day-why-pro-athletes-sleep-12-hours-a-day)

        You can find whatever you’re looking for when it comes to emotions and interpretation.  If you are looking for love you will find it. If you are looking for hate you will find it.  Fear, Joy, etc.  Make sure you’re looking for the right things and not wasting your time looking for the wrong ones.  

There is good and bad to everything. It is important to see both but focus on the good
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