The Most Important Thing to Avoid with Knowledge

Are You Consumed By Information Consumption?

I have yet to meet a parent that calls their infant or toddler dumb. “Look at those bright eyes! Look at the way she focuses! I don’t know if it’s just me but he seems smarter than the other kids.” Academically-minded parents will push their kids to learn more, study harder, keep their grades up.

All this is fine for taking tests and advancing to the next grade or next stage in schooling but what sort of habits are kids and teenagers really picking up along the way? When I was in school, there was a lot of cramming and last minute studying going on just to make sure I was prepared for a test or exam, but after it was done, it would be a rare occasion that I would revisit that information again.

This way of utilizing information, like buying a really expensive chef’s knife, cutting a tomato in half and then throwing the knife away, is wasteful and inefficient. It sounds silly doesn’t it? For anyone that prepares food, that would be ludicrous to throw away a tool after using it just once. Yet, this is what happens in schools across the country, and around the world. Instead of treating precious knowledge and information this way, here are a few things to avoid so that you can really make the most of what you learn.

Plan on Using What You Learn

It’s a great feeling when you are learning something and everything clicks into place. You start understanding how the concepts connect and the lightbulb goes off in your head. It’s a great feeling! However, if there’s never a plan for how to use this information other than trying to pass a test, or just for the sake of having this information, then that’s all it ever becomes; some new piece of information that you have and a positive feeling of getting that information.

When I was younger I used to collect Basketball cards and the thrill of opening a new pack of cards was the most satisfying feeling. The sound of the foil ripping, the smell of fresh basketball cards and the anticipation of going through the pack hoping you get some desirable rookie card or special edition card. After opening the pack and sifting through the cards, they would just go into a box, never to be looked at again.

Learning something, gathering information, gaining wisdom, is one of the greatest abilities that we have. It allows us to adapt and master our environment. However, if we are just gathering information for the sake of gathering information with no intention of using that information, then it doesn’t make us better or more skilled than any other life form that has the capacity to learn.

Stop Being an Information Hoarder

I remember entering fifth grade and my dad told me to make sure I sit in front of the class and always raise my hand to answer questions. Before long, I found that less and less of my classmates wanted to play and hang out and I started to be known as a teacher’s pet. I didn’t know what the term meant at the time but when I found out, it was pretty devastating to know that people didn’t like me because i wanted to show the teacher what I knew.

That didn’t stop me from wanting to know more but it did make me very aware of what sort of impression I was making and how I was being perceived by others. I found myself still thirsting for knowledge and wanting to learn more, but not necessarily showing it. Essentially, I was hoarding information for myself, for no purpose other than to have it for the sake of having it.

I didn’t have a plan to utilize the information other than for tests or projects or to get a good grade so my parents would be happy. After a few years, it became burdensome to try and learn things just for the sake of being able to spout off some obscure fact in conversation. It wasn’t even that I was trying to make myself seem smarter, I just didn’t want to seem or be perceived as not smart.

At some point during early adulthood, I realized how tiring it was to hoard information for the sake of hoarding information. My reason came down to protecting my ego from being bruised if I perceived someone as being condescending.

If you find that you are someone that hoards information:

  1. 1. Ask what purpose that behavior serves in your life?
  2. 2. Answer the question, “If I wasn’t trying to hoard information for the sake of purely accumulating information, how would my life be better, different, or worse?
  3. 3. Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t spending time hoarding information, what would I be doing with that time?”

The purpose of this exercise is to gain clarity into an information habit. Once you start to become aware of the reason why you have this tendency, the path to change will become clearer if that’s something that you like to do.

Know The Context of The Information

I work in an environment where we have international clientele. There are instances when a language or cultural barrier causes a misunderstanding or something gets lost in translation. Not only does this happen because of a foreign language or cultural difference, it happens even more frequently when you’re interacting with people in your own culture and your own language.

People have a tendency to want to make sense if things, to fit information into a set of beliefs and perspectives that they hold. The danger in this can be demonstrated by the game telephone, where a group of people line up facing away from the initiator of the message.

Usually played as a group activity, the first person gets whispered a message. One by one, each player turns around and taps the person in front of them to pass along a message. By the time the message reaches the last person in line, it becomes a completely different message, to everyone’s amusement.

Sometimes a bit of information without the right context can set a decision making process completely off track. For example, if you see a news headline that reads, “Farmer Kills Neighbor in Barn”, you night think that the farmer is some deranged individual. Would your opinion of the farmer change if you learned that the farmer killed his neighbor because he walked in on the neighbor molesting the farmer’s young daughter?

Whenever being presented with information, question the context of information before making any decisions or acting upon that information.

Why Is Information Being Presented to you the Way It Is? 

After a long day, I like to browse through news sites or aggregator sites like It’s a way to zone out and wind down the day. I’ll save certain articles that I find inspirational, useful, or educational.

One thing to be aware of, especially with news sites, is that there is a very short shelf life to news. It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading out about current events happening in your town or globally. If you’re reading about it, it’s something that’s already happened and it’s old news

Even if it’s a developing story, you will most likely be getting a short snippet of information without a bigger picture explanation of what larger implications are.

Remember, any sort of news or aggregator app or even video website is set up so that you’ll stay on the app for as long as possible. With endless scrolling, constant updates, and feed refreshes, their goals is to literally flood you with information and options so you’ll stay on as long as possible to explore. For these platforms, it’s not necessarily about timeliness, objectivity, or limitations, it’s about training a viewers behavior to consume as much as possible for as long as possible.

There’s nothing wrong at all with consumption of information. The main thing is the you are aware of your habit and behavior so that you have clarity on whether or not your information consumption is serving your purposes.

Can You Turn Your Information and Knowledge Into a Skill?

There are so many skills that I wish I had, cooking gourmet meals, working on cars, construction and home renovation, Adobe Photoshop, Excel, speaking different languages, and dozens more. The great news is we live in the Information Age and the resources to learn these types of skills are completely available to you from the comfort of your own home or anywhere your mobile device can catch a signal.

It truly is an incredible time to be alive! If you are an voracious consumer of information, ask yourself if it is within your realm of desire to learn a skill from the information you consume. It starts off with a shift in mindset. Instead of consuming information to wind down at the end of the day or simply just to pass the time, start moving your intention of information consumption to a skill you’d like to learn.

Allow yourself some time but set a deadline for to dedicate your information consumption to a learning a skill. This is often the most difficult step as long established habits aren’t revised over night but over time. It also requires you to be accountable. For instance, if you are browsing online just for the sake of it and you want to dedicate some time towards gathering information to learn a new skill, start off with setting a 45 minute limit for yourself for browsing random things and then spend 15 minutes learning a new scale on the guitar, if, that’s what you’re interested in learning.

Over time, gradually increase the amount of time you spend gathering information on your new skill and decrease the amount of time you spend browsing random things. Be sure to set a plan for yourself. For instance, at the end of 2 weeks, I’d like to play the C Scale and G Scale on the guitar forwards and backwards without any mistakes. Small and consistent efforts over time will yield some incredible results as you combine your thirst for information into a new skill.

Value vs. Popularity: What is More Important in Digital Marketing?

With the advent of social media, the average person has an unprecedented reach to the entire world. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and many others have done an incredible job of providing an avenue for anyone to gain online influence. Once they figure out what they offer that people are willing to pay for, the platforms are there to reach large audiences that were too expensive to do previously. In the past, being popular would carry a lot of value in the in-person, social sense. You might know a lot of people or have a lot of people know you. Geography would dictate where the social currency of popularity would have influence.

When talking about value, the relative worth of something would be determined by what people were willing to trade for it. It could be a solution, product, or service that someone was willing to pay for. At the fundamental level, each party would have something that the other party found valuable and would be willing to do an amicable trade for.

Where value and popularity were more distinct in the past, the way that marketing has evolved in the last two decades has blurred the lines of value and popularity. Now, being popular online, having a lot of subscribers or followers, can translate into real value for those that can increase their popularity online. YouTube will pay you based on how many views your videos get. Companies will sponsor you based on how many subscribers’ feeds you can get their product into on Instagram.

Being able to connect with people used to be an art. Before it was more widely understood, the skill of connecting to people was something you had or didn’t have. Over time, incorporating psychology, sociology, anthropology, and even economics, has turned this art into a science. As marketing techniques evolve to be more sophisticated, having an understanding of popularity and value will prepare you for success whether you’re the marketer, or the one being marketed to. 

Sex Never Gets Old But You Do

Instagram is full of fit and beautiful girls in bikinis or sexually suggestive outfits. The sexier the outfit or the sexier the post, the more followers and likes that profile will gain. The same could be said for ultra fit guys pitching a work out program. With consistent posting, Instagrammers could gather tens, or even hundreds of thousands of followers. When companies want to promote their product, they will look for profiles with large subscriber bases. These profiles already have the validation and credibility with their subscriber base so it’s an easy foot in the door.

More over, they’ll look for specific profiles that will fall in line with the values the products stand for. Whether it is health, beauty, fitness, or energy, companies will partner with certain Instagram users to ride on their popularity to reach their subscriber base. They will usually have a designated code to track the referral back to the Instagram profile so that profile owner will get a percentage of the whatever the product sells for.

Something that these Instagram influencers have to be aware of is that their sex appeal will last for a while as long as they take care of themselves. However, Internet users are fickle. If you’re not consistently providing what they’re looking for, your sex appeal may not be enough for others to go out and buy the product.

Know Your Product Timeline

If someone is able to leverage his or her popularity and subscriber base, it’s such an amazing thing! The first time some sort of revenue or pay off comes in, they might feel like they’ve been blessed with a goose that lays golden eggs. This may last for a little while, or possibly even a long while. But without fail, unless what someone is offering continues to provide ongoing value, that person’s popularity and appeal will surely fade over time.

That being said, a person should set some sort of expectation for himself or herself, preferably a realistic one, of how long they plan on using this particular method of popularity based value generation to support them. For example, if a fitness model’s goal is to generate a huge subscriber base based on her pictures exercising or traveling to exotic destinations, she better make sure that she’s fit, has contracts in place for continued sponsorships with product lines, or is simply making and saving enough for the inevitable day that the gig is up or is no longer viable.

The biggest mistake that anyone can make is forgetting the fickle nature of consumers armed with virtually limitless information playing the role of judge, jury, and executioner in the court of public opinion. By its very definition, the coolness factor of something has a timeline built into it. The coolness factor reaches a peak and starts declining over time. As the old adage of “always keep them wanting more” applies, once something really starts to pick up, it’s already time to start moving onto the next thing iteration or gimmick before the decline starts.

If you can be like an airplane at cruising altitude in the way that you come up with ideas and offerings for your audience, you can just keep flying high. Otherwise, waiting until the wave of popularity dies out will cause you to expend a tremendous amount of energy to get back up to cruising altitude again.

Is What You Offer Timeless?

With time being such an invincible force in the dynamic of popularity, what is the best way to have time be on your side when it comes to marketing and reaching out to your audience? What you provide or offer would have to be something that fills a continuous need. What are some of the basics? Food, Sleep, Sex, Water, Air. So far, no one has tried to directly corner the market on air (and I hope no one ever does because that would mean that society and the planet as a whole has reached a pretty dark and dismal place).

When it comes to these basics, little to no marketing is needed to inform people about the importance of these essentials in your life. Most of the time, marketing for these basics come down to trying to show which one is a better option. For example, there are so many different brands of bottled water but they are all, essentially just water to serve the purpose of keeping you hydrated. But there are so many brands, Fiji, Voss, Arrowhead, Dasani, Smart Water and each of these brands use marketing to differentiate themselves from the others. It’s the same thing for toilet tissue. There is absolutely no question that everyone needs toilet tissue and the different brands out there, Charmin, Angel Soft, Cottonelle, etc, are all competing for your dollar.

At the end of the day, the value that something or someone offers doesn’t come down to the actual product itself. It comes from the benefit that the products deliver. Is what you are offering constantly, unceasingly offering a benefit, no matter how small or large, to your subscriber base? This is what companies strive to achieve. Providing value through a benefit and offering a great experience while doing so. Essentially, to be timeless, you need to create a positive and lasting relationship with your customers and subscriber base.

A great way to practice that is starting to cultivate positive relationships with your family, loved ones, friends, and any interaction or relationship that you have with people. No doubt, there are a lot of grouchy, disgruntled, rage filled, and even hate-filled people out there. There are even dangerous people out there. The point is not to go out there and just use love and grace to approach every situation. More accurately, the point is to be aware that everyone is coming from a background of specific life experiences that have shaped their view of the world and how they engage the world. This awareness, this inclination to listen and seek to understand before being seeking to be understood is the first most crucial step in forming a positive relationship.

Strive to be a Transformer

Seeking to understand before being understood can be a big leap to make. There is so much noise and distraction trying to compete for our limited attention. The desire for someone to make themselves known, to make themselves heard is an overpowering reaction to not being heard or acknowledged. At some point during a person’s life, if they are fortunate enough to experience a moment of openness in a particular situation, they will know the benefit of seeking to understand before seeking to be understood. When the shift in intent happens, going from wanting to be understood to seeking to understand, this is a transformational event because awareness of a dynamic has allowed you to alter how you approach your interactions in life.

This awareness brings more groundedness and it can be an incredible experience, all of a sudden opening up to something that you never knew was there before. What greater value can there be than in bringing this awareness to someone? Could there be something even more impactful than allowing someone to have this awareness? Absolutely! Implementing and incorporating this newfound awareness into a person’s life is way more impactful. Showing someone a hammer and nail is virtually useless unless you show them how to use it and what they can build with it!

This is where the relationship comes in. Going back to the proverbial, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Show a man how to fish and he eats for a lifetime” adage, the most value is shared when you can develop a relationship with someone in the process of showing how to implement or incorporate a benefit into their life! Their life is transformed; their life is altered in a positive way that allows them to be more fulfilled, effective, and results-oriented!

There is nothing wrong with being popular. It doesn’t even really matter about the reason why someone gets popular. For the mutual benefit of a person and the audience they cater to, the best way to have a sustainable run so that you can leverage popularity is by providing value. The more consistent, the more impactful, the more transformational and timeless the value, the longer someone will be able to sustain and grow their popularity. It just goes to show, that even popularity is a function of value in the long term so always make sure that value is a benefit to the audience and subscriber base!

Finding a Mentor

How to Find This Most Crucial Resource in Achieving Results

Without fail, there will be times in a person’s life where they feel like they’ve hit a wall or feel stuck. It’s the feeling where someone wants to make forward progress, advance in their career, or become better at a hobby. No matter what solution they try, they can’t break through to the next step. The most frustrating thing about it is not being able to identify what is causing this state of being stuck. Even worse than not knowing the cause of what’s causing this halt in improvement and achievement is not knowing how solve it. Quite simply, if a person has even a tiny bit of desire to improve and get out this rut, some sort of breakthrough is desperately needed.

If only there were someone that could point out or show you a different way or show you a different way of approaching a situation that you’ve never thought of before! This guidance will most effectively come in the form of a mentor, or someone that has experienced what you’re going through or someone that can identify the underlying causes of being stuck.

The right mentor will be able to identify what the underlying factors are that are causing you to be stuck and help point you in the direction of taking the steps to break through and move forward. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The student can’t be ready in a half-ass sort of way. To fully benefit from the experience and expertise of a mentor, the individual has got to be truly ready to commit 100% to their own improvement, regardless of how painful or difficult it might feel. Face it, if someone could get out of the situation that they’re stuck in, on their won, they wouldn’t need a mentor in the first place!

Finding a Mentor

Finding the right mentor for you is a process. If you’re truly ready to have someone guide you towards a solution, it will be worth it to go through the process of finding the best mentor for you. First and foremost, you need to identify the kind of results you want to experience. For example, if you were looking to get a new haircut, you wouldn’t make an appointment with a massage therapist. In the same way, there is probably already someone in or very close to your circle of friends that is experiencing the results that you would like to have for yourself.


Humble yourself, get your ego out of the way, and talk to them. Be gracious and considerate and ask if you could have a moment of their time. Tell them that you think what they experience in their lives, the things they’re able to do, are really impressive and you wanted to find out more about their process. For the most part, they will be willing to share at least a little, if not a lot, about how they are able to achieve the results they achieve. This could be in the area of career, hobbies, interpersonal relationships, finances, etc.

Initially during the process of finding a mentor, you want to take a look at your skills and strengths. I wish I could say that you can do anything, but if you’re reading this and you’re not three years old, you already have some firmly established habits and behaviors that are contributing to this rut you’re in. To be successful in your search for a mentor and achieving the breakthrough you’re looking for, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and be conscious of your daily habits. You’re looking for a mentor with similar strengths and skills so that you can more smoothly merge onto this highway towards progress instead of spending years learning how to operate a motor vehicle.

When you’ve identified a person that you potentially would like to have as your mentor, take the time to get to know them. Make asking questions and listening your priority rather than trying to impress them and flood them with what you do or don’t know. The goal is to get to know someone first, see if there is a good interaction and rapport. You wouldn’t tell someone on a first date to help solve all of your life’s problems! What would you do that with a potential mentor? If during the course of your conversation, you decide that this is someone you would like to have as your mentor, build a friendship. Ultimately, even though you will be the one that’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting, this will be a team effort to help you achieve the sort of results you want to achieve!

Evaluating a Mentor

Be very clear on the results you’re trying to achieve! If this is someone that already has the fruit on their tree or that you feel can guide you towards having the fruit you want on your tree, then this may be a very good potential mentor for you.

The initial interactions during your first few conversation can be very revealing about the potential dynamic for the mentor/mentee relationship. Was this person encouraging? Even if they weren’t the most warm person, do they offer valuable insights into the process of working towards your desired results. Were they more concerned about bragging or boasting rather than asking questions of what you’re looking to accomplish. Did they ask you questions about your existing process? Did they ask for anything in return for their assistance or did they ask for something even before assisting you?

From these questions, you’re able to see that it’s worth it to take the time to speak with different individuals, see how the working dynamic might be, and then foster a good friendship with working dynamic with the individual you identify that will have the most positive impact on your journey to achieving what you want to achieve.

The chances of you finding your perfect mentor on the first try are essentially zero. Get any sort of wishful thinking out of your head that you’re lucky and get rid of any notion of thinking that you’re gonna defy the odds. They don’t call them odds and chance for no reason. Besides, are you really willing to leave outcome of finding the right mentor to chance; the potentially life altering positive outcome of finding the right mentor to guide you through the process of becoming unstuck and having a breakthrough? Of course not! Take the time to do it right. You’ll thank yourself for it later!

Get Ready to Be a Powerlifter!

Unless you’re looking to find a mentor or coach that can help you improve your powerlifting technique, you’re not literally going to be doing any sort of powerlifting. However, after you’ve identified an individual to be your mentor, established a good friendship and working relationship with them and are into the process of working towards achieving your desired results, be prepared to do a lot of work on yourself. It’s not going to be easy work. As a matter of fact, if you’ve found a good mentor that is committed to helping you, and is will to work consistently with you on a specific course of action, you’re most likely going to find the work to be time consuming, require a lot of sacrifice and giving up your free time, and require you to adjust the way that you are used to looking at things.

Remember that your current state of being stuck didn’t happen overnight. It’s the culmination of months, most likely years, of habits, behaviors, and perspectives that got you to the point where you are today. The great news, is that you wanted to do something about it and you’ve found someone to help you through the process and that is something to be very happy about. You’ve taken two major steps in improving yourself and creating the kinds of results you want in your life!

You’ve connected with your mentor and have formed a solid enough friendship that they care about helping you achieve the outcome you want for yourself. (Take a moment to appreciate and be grateful for how fortunate you are to have that!) They are here to show you how to WIN! The biggest thing that you can do in return is to make your mentor WIN by diligently following the advice, wisdom, and knowledge that they impart on you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop feeling guilty, and start changing the course of your outcomes by getting off your ass and taking the steps that your mentor tells you to do!

Failing Forward

“Is this process going to be hard or is it going to be easy?” If this is the questions that is at the forefront of your mind, then don’t waste your own time or your mentor’s time. You should just get used to staying stuck because staying stuck isn’t painful enough yet to actually make a change or do something about it.

That is absolutely the wrong question to ask! The more appropriate questions is, “Will this be worth it?” You will see over time if your mentor has your best intentions in mind. If they do, learn to recognize when resistance comes up in you whenever they ask you do something that you’re not used to or think in a way that is outside your traditional way of thinking. You will have to learn to push past any resistance that comes up because that will just keep you stuck for a longer period of time.

You WILL be challenged, and you WILL fail during the journey. The important thing to remember is that you’re failing forward in your process to become the person you need to be to achieve the results you want to achieve. You will be challenged in ways that you didn’t know you could be challenged. It’s like going to the gym, lifting weights, and being sore in muscles you didn’t even know you had. Of course that’s the case! Prior to working with your mentor, you’ve never experienced the process and hardship of achieving the results you want.

IT’S OK! Give yourself grace. Take the emotion of out the actions and just know, analytically, that your actions under the guidance of your mentor will achieve results!

Solutions are Out There

As special and unique as we are led to believe, our experience of being human, despite our different cultures, are much more similar that we are prone to remembering most of the time. The results and outcomes that you’re looking for are not new. As a matter of fact, many people have achieved them before. The distinction, is that the results you’re looking for have not been achieved by you, yet. This is why finding a mentor is such a helpful thing to do for yourself.

Time is precious and until science finds a way for humans to live forever, take it upon yourself to learn and grow as much as you can! You won’t regret it!

Have you had a great experience with a mentor or ever mentored someone? What insight can you share about finding or working with a mentor. In your experience, how can a person being mentored benefit most from the experience? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

To Be Successful and Fulfilled, Love This…

To be successful and fulfilled. It’s the dream! Success and fulfillment mean different things for each person. In general, it’s a feeling of satisfaction and contentment within areas of your life, including work, interpersonal relationships, hobbies, and personal growth. Images and promises of success bombard us daily through traditional and social media, or friends or family members that you consider to be “successful”. This exposure shapes our definition of what success and fulfillment are. At worst, our picture of success leaves us feeling intimidated, and at best, it gives us a vision to strive towards.

Regardless of where on the spectrum you fall, one thing is certain. To be able to achieve success and fulfillment, a person has to genuinely embrace failure as a path to get to where you want to be. Motivational speakers will tell you to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Although this might be true, being willing to go through failure in the process of becoming successful is the road that ultimately leads to the results you are looking for.

In the current culture of participation trophies and going to great lengths to not offend or discourage, failure has become so taboo that many will fall on the wayside on the way to success, not realizing that failing is simply part of the process. A closer examination of failure and putting it in the right context can shed more insight on why loving failure is the only true path of truly sustainable success and fulfillment.

Fear of Failure

Even seeing or hearing the word “failure” is enough to make people cringe. It doesn’t matter what background, culture, or upbringing someone comes from, or what age they are. At some point very early on in life, every single person has experienced failure. For those lucky enough to have someone around them to explain failure in the right context, it would make all the difference in shaping a person’s perspectives on the experience of failure.

Unfortunately, it’s usually the people closest to us, the ones that have the greatest influence over us that program us, through witnessing our failures, to see failing as a bad thing. Too frequently, we are made wrong, made fun of, shamed, or embarrassed because of our failure. Sometimes it might even be our first time trying something new, something we’ve always wanted to try, that we fail at. When we are laughed at or made fun of, that closes the door for a new experience that sometimes may never open again for the rest of our lives.

Being shamed or shown disappointment for a failure doesn’t have to happen to many times to leave a lasting aversion to failing. Failing becomes associated with pain and negativity. What’s worse, failure at a particular task quickly becomes associated with being a failure as a person! How terrible is this! Considering that this happens most to young children, how could anyone not take the time to explain to this impressionable child that it’s absolutely alright to fail as long as they learn from the experience?

This is why addressing failure in the right context is so important in the development of any person. You’ll never get a hole in one the first time you set foot on a golf course. As a matter of fact, the first time you swing a golf club, you’ll be lucky to have the ball go where you want to go if you manage to hit the ball at all! Michael Jordan, didn’t set foot on the basketball court and immediately become the one of the greatest players of all time. The first time you liked someone and they don’t give you the time of day, does that mean that you’ll never find love ever again in your life? Of course not! We’ve just got to remember that this principle applies to any and everything that we ever want to get good at!

Learn from your mistakes. Get up and try again. Failing is simply part of the process at getting good at something.

When No One Else Gives you Permission, Give It To Yourself

By the time a person reaches 18 years of age, countless failures and mistakes have been made. Through lack of knowledge, wisdom, or intelligence, failure has occurred and the world has trained us that failure is a negative thing. Everyone has been laughed at or made fun of at some point and our minds correlate failure with something bad. And what have we been taught from a very young age? To avoid bad things!

Circumstances are never perfect. Moreover, the world is a dynamic place that constantly changes. In what may have been a purely good intention to protect us, those closest to us took away our permission to fail. As our experience growing up shows us, it’s best to avoid situations that we most likely fail at during our first few tries; especially if failure is public!

This is why each person owes it to themselves, for the purpose of living a successful and fulfillment life, to give themselves permission to fail! When those around us do not give that to us, this permission is something that we absolutely have the right and power to give to ourselves. Just say to yourself, “I’m going to fail at this, many, many times, and that’s absolutely alright. As long as I learn something!”

Think of anything that you’ve ever wanted to try. Surfing, cooking, dancing, playing guitar, or any of the countless hobbies or skills out in the world. It is fair to say that it takes a lot of time, practice, and effort to become good at something. As a matter of fact, research has shown that it takes 10000 hours of consistent practice to become world class at something.

The greatest inventions in the world, the most impactful innovations of mankind, are all the result of countless failures that resulted in knowledge and experience. It is this knowledge and experience, that will provide the wisdom and intelligence to ultimately becomes successful at something! The lightbulb, manned-flight, skyscrapers, farming, anything you can think of that is so common in our daily lives today, is the result of failure. More specifically, these modern amenities that we take for granted are the result of wisdom and knowledge that came from people who had the permission to fail!

Something Worse Than Fear of Failure

In 1994, Steven Seagal starred in a film called On Deadly Ground. There is a scene in the bar where an oil worker was picking on an old Native American patron. Steven Seagal steps in and challenges the oil rig worker to a game of slap hands and for every successful slap, the winner gets to punch the other person. Needless to say, Steven Seagal ended up teaching this oil worker a lesson and asked him, “What’s it gonna take for you to change?” The oil worker responds, through a broken, bloody nose, “I need time to change.”

The point of this story, is to show that our perspectives, the lens with which we view the world, has been programmed and trained over years and years. Allowing yourself to get over the fear of failure or even giving yourself permission to fail is something that you will fail at as well. It doesn’t come right away. Yet, it’s one of the greatest things that you can give yourself in your life.

A wonderful fringe benefit of allowing yourself to try to news and fail at the them in the process of getting good, is that you learn to give yourself grace. The world is already trained to try and knock you down, why help it along by beating yourself up? Give yourself grace. Make the process smoother for yourself. There’s no honor in helping the world to beat yourself up!

In the process of allowing yourself to fail and getting over your fear of failure, you save yourself the trouble of going through something much worse than failing…regret! Hindsight is a bitch and one day when there is time to reflect on your life, will you look back and be so happy that you played it safe, that you didn’t lose anything, but you didn’t risk or gain anything either? The pain of regret is so much more poignant because there is no reclaiming your time, there is no way to go back to when you were 20 and go and talk to that person you were so nervous to talk to. There is no way to say the words that you wanted to say to your parent or sibling.

This is why you should NEVER be afraid to fail. The payoff may not come immediately, but somewhere along the line, there will be a payoff for not being scared to fail!

Don’t Try. Do, Fail, Succeed, Repeat

“Give it a try”. “Try it out.” “Try hard.” If nothing else, for the pure sake of intent, replace the word “try” in your vocabulary with “do”. Allow yourself, open yourself up to the fact that “trying” means you have a way out. Trying is failure by default because there is no total commitment to succeed. It’s not absolutely necessary, just…try. When you replace try with do, there’s a change in your mindset. You either do or you don’t, because with trying, it’s failure and incompleteness rolled into one. Getting into a mindset of “do” prepares you, mentally and physically to overcome the certain failure you will encounter during the process of learning something or accomplishing something. Doing sets you up to try again, and this persistent getting up and trying again is will what ultimately lead to success.

Allowing yourself to either do, or not do, takes away a lot of the stress of the uncertainty that comes with try. You’re approaching with a definite and clear intent. If you’re not ready to commit to something, no problem at all. Just don’t do. If you are ready to get started, and are prepared to do, fail, keep doing after every failure, until you succeed, then start and say “I’m going to do this! Not just once, but over and over again until I get it.” If you’ve learned to walk or speak your native language, then you’ve already successfully gone through this process.

Fear of failure is something learned. A baby doesn’t come into the world with any fear. The same way that a baby learns to walk and talk, persistence and success are natural mind states when you let curiosity lead the way. To address fear of failure, do. Take action knowing you can deal with outcomes and, overcome obstacles and mitigate the risks that will come with anything worthwhile.

I’ve gone through many years working to overcome my own personal fear of failure. Working to reprogram myself is an ongoing process. Hindsight can be a very wicked judge, especially when operating under principles of regret. So, go out there, try anything you want to try, learn anything you want to learn. Fail miserably. It’s okay, you’ve given yourself permission and grace. Then one day when you’re successful, you’ll look back and be so glad that you learned to embrace failure! Happy failing/learning!

The Kardashians: Principles Driving their Empire

Seeing Kylie Jenner and the Kardashian family becoming insanely wealthy from their endorsements, shows, apps, etcetera, is mind-blowing. An article in Forbes (yes, Forbes) recently showcased Kylie on being one of the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaires. Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian, as well as Kylie’s sister Kendall are constantly on entertainment news, day in and day out.

The way that the Kardashian family has worked their way into popular culture is impressive. What did they do? How did they do it? I don’t know the Kardashian Family personally but there are certain qualities to their meteoric rise that are great lessons to apply on a small or large scale, in our own lives.

Famous for Being Famous?

What is it that they really do? Are they famous for simply being famous? On the surface it sure looks like this is the case. There was a “leaked” sex tape of Kim Kardashian and singer Ray-J back in 2003 that seemed to put her in the national spotlight. Shortly after that, the Kardashians became a household name, especially when Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK) began airing.

So is it that simple? Put out a sex tape, make sure it gets into the right hands and just ride that wave to millions? If only that were true!

Making a sex tape may not be the most conventional starting point when launching a business empire. I’m sure that even thought they thought about different ways to leverage this publicity to the maximum level possible, never in their wildest dreams did they think that they would be this big today.

Crisis WILL Happen, Almost Always Unexpectedly

I am not a religious follower of what’s happening in every single Kardashian or Jenner’s life. From what I do know of them these last few years, Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the clan, absolutely had a large vision for their family and was very business savvy about bringing that vision to life.

Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. She was married to Robert Kardashian, one of the OJ Simpson’s defense attorneys in the trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994. After Robert Kardashian passed and she married Gold Medal Decathlete, Bruce Jenner and had a couple of kids, Kendall and Kylie.

Then one day, one of her daughters’ name is all over the headlines for a sex tape. While most mothers might panic, Kris took a pause and saw a way to turn lemons to lemonade. Imagining how some mothers might completely disown a daughter for something so private being exposed and so public, Kris deserves a tremendous amount of credit for approaching the situation the way she did; looking for the opportunity in a potentially bad situation.

Committed to a Vision

In 2003, reality shows were not a new concept. MTV’s The Real World had been on TV for 11 years and all networks were trying to figure out workable formulas for entertaining and addictive reality show concepts.

It wasn’t until 2007 that the first episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians aired. Doing the math, it took almost 4 years from when a potential crises was turned into the early beginnings of a commercial and pop culture empire.

Ask yourself if you were able to persist, persevere, and be patient throughout all the planning, throwing around concepts, negotiations, production, even convincing that had to be done to seeing this idea to fruition! Not all family members may have been aboard to have their lives completely filmed, and all privacy thrown out the window. As a matter of fact, Rob Kardashian, the youngest brother of Kardashians had a difficult time being in the public eye. He wasn’t and still isn’t prepared to deal with the exposure that comes with being a famous reality show star.

Kris Jenner was fearless in her pursuit of creating a reality show. It didn’t matter what obstacle was in her path, she was going to make this happen to take care of her family. She pushed through doubt, she pushed through failure and closed doors, and she hustled hard to make it happen.

Provide Value

Value is defined as the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. Value is something that relative depending the individual, situation, or context. What is the value of Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Are they famous for being famous by providing some sort of entertainment value? Based on the success of their show, that answer is yes.

Are they improving the lives of others? Are they making the world a better place? That can definitely be argued. One thing for certain is that the show is a powerful marketing tool for themselves, and it is amazingly effective, when combined with social and traditional media, at getting the Kardashian and Jenner families into the collective media psyche of US viewership.

This way, they can keep selling their brand, their clothing, cosmetics, and designs to a trained crowd that can never have enough of whatever the family puts out. The hustle is strong.

The big takeaways that I always have to remind myself of, every time I get irritated about how much publicity they get, is to stop being a hater and give credit where credit is due. Try to learn from the principles of how they got to where they are. Have tenacity, have a vision. Don’t give up and stay committed to your vision even when the world around you is saying impossible. Keep looking forward and understand the value you provide.

What we make of ourselves and our lives is ultimately in our hands!

Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

Getting a piece of the proverbial pie is a motivation that can be traced back to the very first instance there was limited resources for a population of organisms. It has driven evolution, altered history, and defined cultures. In the progression from being solitary to forming groups and social structures, history has shown that cooperation generally produces greater results than what could be produced by an individual alone.

In understanding the dynamics of social structures, it’s always important to view winning and losing in the proper context of what’s at stake and how to minimize losses and while maximizing wins. Assuming there are two players in a given situation, what are some implications when examining combinations of winning and losing?

Lose – Lose

Lose – Lose situations are often driven by malicious or negative emotions; a bad place to start any interaction. In a situation where both players have something to lose, the whole objective is to see who loses less. A perfect example of this is in a divorce. Lust and passion may have brought two people together.

Lose Lose Divorce

However, extenuating circumstances ultimately rip a couple apart. Especially when there are children and assets involved, things like custody, property, and money may be positioned as things to be won, but it’s really difficult to say that there are any winners when stress, anxiety and splitting apart leave hurt feelings and lasting scars in battles that are rarely amicable.

In the process of any lose – lose situation, the entire goal is to lose less than the other person. It’s like a price war between two competitors where in an effort to undercut each other, the price of merchandise or services get’s driven so low it becomes a battle of who can suffer longer until the other business folds. Lose – Lose situations should be avoided whenever possible.

Win – Lose

Win Lose BoxingA Win – Lose situation is certainly better than a Lose – Lose situation. At the very least, something positive comes out for one party. Entering into a win – lose scenario, both parties know there is a possibility of winning. If they prepare properly, can manage to get up after being knocked down, and persevere, then whoever is more prepared to execute on a solid strategy will come out as the winner.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, or any competitive sport illustrates a Win – Lose scenario. The nature of these situations force the competitors to practice their skills in preparation and anticipation of victory. Here, we start to delve into the world of possibility. How high is high? What does excellence look like?

Win – Lose scenarios are the first stage where innovation arises in a positive way to influence and drive outcomes. Performance is elevated and boundaries are constantly pushed. Through Win – Lose scenarios, individuals rally and groups form to cheer on the party they support. As long as motivations and intentions are coming from the right place, and transparency in the execution of a strategy is available, Win – Lose situations show demonstrate to the world what is possible when there is something positive to be gained.

Win – Win

In a situation where both parties recognize the potential benefits of working together, we have a Win – Win scenario. This can be seen in nature as symbiotic relationships, in moral lessons as the Golden Rule, and in the business world as successful partnerships.

Win Win Tessalation

One of the most important pillars of a Win – Win scenario is trust. When any party enters into an interaction anticipating a Win – Win, they enter with an understanding that they can trust the other party and that the other party can trust them. Trust is the currency exchanged between those two parties or entities that allows for high performance; the type of high performance that allows everyone involved to execute and achieve at a level of excellence that creates powerful results seldom seen in a Lose – Lose or Win – Lose scenario. Participants in a Win – Win scenario are committed to achieving an outcome where success is marked by a milestone in which an outcome is a win for both parties involved.

Why Win – Win scenarios are usually rare, is because after a certain point in life, after being burned, after recovering from failures, parties are usually guarded. There may be a high level of initial suspicion that never dissipates. As distrust leads to miscommunication and lack of communication, barriers come up and suppressed feelings fester and the interaction becomes so unstable that arrangements will fall apart. Having more than one party involved and having a successful outcome is even more rare as parties may be hesitant to open themselves up to others.

To be fortunate enough to enter into a Win – Win scenario, where trust and open communication, hard work, and commitment form the foundation for optimal outcomes, everyone involved must be able to recognize the positive aspects in others, all while opening up and making yourself vulnerable so that the other party knows they can trust you. It is only then that other parties realize that you are invested and that everyone has each other’s backs.

In the Real World

Truth be told, in real world interactions, all three scenarios exists at the same time. We are constantly working to get a point across and convince others of our point of view. We seek validation and confirmation in every battle. The most important thing to remember is to realize and understand that there are many ways into the house, and to trust and recognize people’s strengths, and to let them flourish through those strengths.

Consistent and solid execution, as well as trust and committed communication will help to maximize your odds every time you’re in a Win – Win scenario.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Having a family member admitted to the hospital happens everyday. Yet, this is my first time that an immediate family member of mine has been admitted to the hospital. It was a wake up call, for my Dad as well as for myself. The truth is that although the onset of dizziness that caused him to go the hospital was relatively sudden, the underlying ailment that caused the eventual dizziness wasn’t something sudden. It’s been in the works for years, mostly because of his eating habits and diet.

When we’d go out to dinner once a week, it was always for Chinese food or something involving a lot of meat and friend or oily foods. I don’t know what he’d eat on a normal basis. Each time I’d ask him about his health and diet, he said that he was fine; after all he did ride his bike to work everyday and he did play ping pong three or four times a weeks and sweated until his shirt was drenched.

I didn’t think too much about it and assumed that he was taking care of himself.

Blog - 3:17 - Out of Site DizzyLeave Diagnosing to the Professionals

When I received the call the other day to take him to the hospital, I was optimistic, albeit a little concerned, but optimistic nonetheless.

In recent years, my Dad has been really active, riding his bike to work, playing ping-pong four a couple of hours a couple of times a week. That morning, my Dad seemed like he was doing well, maybe a tad bit tired but he still looked ok and I took him to the hospital and then went to work.

When I called a little later to see if he got home safely, he said that he was in the Emergency Room. His blood pressure and blood sugar levels were dangerously high. I became worried. A couple of hours later, he said they had to run some more tests and that he would have to get admitted to the hospital overnight. Over the last couple of days, the Doctor and staff have been working to get his blood pressure and blood sugar back down to stable levels. He will be discharged in a day or so.

It turns out that he has diabetes but never took it seriously and thought he could take care of it by himself with exercise. His blood pressure was so elevated because there was a small blood clot in his brain that, luckily, did not affect any physical or cognitive function and increasing blood pressure was the body’s way of making sure blood was circulating to where it was needed.

Growing up, everyone thinks and acts like they are invincible. “That’s terrible that someone has to live with that condition or suffer from an ailment, but that will never happen to me,” is a common perspective from our teens into our 20’s and maybe even our 30’s. For some, that attitude carries even further until the point that it’s too late.

For health, and other matters in life that are important that we don’t have expertise in, leave it to the experts, leave it to the people and professionals that have a system to manage, measure, analyze and resolve issues that pop up.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Often, there is so much emphasis on thinking outside the box, allowing for creativity, and going by the “feel” of things that sight is lost of the scientific, measurable and quantifiable side of things.

In our jobs and careers, we learn about and implement S.M.A.R.T. – C.  goals.

S – Specific

M – Measurable
A – Action-Oriented
R – Realistic
T – Timely
– and –
C – Consistant

It has become progressively evident that there are many great tips that can be taken away from the job. In the past I wanted to keep such a strong delineation between my work and personal life. As silly as it may sound, I viewed work as a necessary evil that allowed me to pay my bills and live a comfortable lifestyle. It was a very myopic and self-centered view.

In recent years, I’ve learned the importance of experiences and tools learned at work such as quantifiable results, measuring progress and success, and utilizing all available tools to keep a laser-focused track towards a worthwhile goal.

With this wake up call from my Dad being admitted to the hospital, it drives home the message that there is always a way to measure, quantify, and be precise when progressing towards a goal, in the case of my Dad, having a healthy life with healthy vital measurements.

If we really wanted to become experts in something, we should all become experts in knowing when to ask for help and keeping ourselves healthy!

The Infamous Catch 22

When moving forward towards a achieving a goal, we’re bound to encounter obstacles at some point. Often, the nature of these obstacles come in the form of a Catch 22, defined by wikipedia as “a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contrary rules”.

One of the earliest examples I can remember learning about of a Catch 22 is the one about the four leaf clover; you have to have a four leaf clover to be lucky, but you have to have luck to find a four leaf clover in the first place.

It can be frustrating in Catch 22 situations because it creates a feeling of being stuck without any options. In retrospect, when encountering catch 22 scenarios in the past there were a a few different factors in play contributing to why I would personally stay stuck or just give up and abandon promising endeavors to move onto another.

The Influence of Others

In competitive environments, discussion and debate will often center around why things won’t work instead of how they could work. Harmless discussions would sometimes escalate to very heated debates as each side would try to one up each other with logic, rhetoric, and fierce counterarguments to prove their intellect. I got the feeling that most of time, it wasn’t even about trying to foster discussion as it was to prove “I’m better than you”.

This time of discussion and back and forth debate can be very beneficial, however, if taken in the right context. By hearing the ideas of why something won’t work, this brings awareness to valid points that may not have been on the radar previously. In addition, if valid points are made, this takes out a lot of the trial and error during the process, thereby saving money and time. In the same way that Edison’s critics would comment that he failed 10,000 times before he was able to get a light bulb to work, his response was that he didn’t fail 10,000 times, but rather, he discovered 10,000 different ways that it would not work.

The ultimate idea is to extract from an experience or interaction, the things that could benefit you, rather than having attention distracted from the goal to be achieved.

Creativity & Accountability

Another factor that would cause me to get stuck would be not exercising creativity to get out of a Catch 22 situation. It is infinitely easier and more convenient to just give up or blame a person or situation for why something could not work or did not work. Common excuses are that a task is too difficult, there wasn’t enough resources or time, or conditions were not favorable.

The intimidating part about these excuses are not the excuses themselves, but rather the habit of excuse making that comes from making excuses all the time. When there is no personal accountability and blame is so quickly thrust upon a an individual or circumstances, eventually the habit develops of constantly giving away personal power. For individuals experiencing this, unless there is a powerful transformative force that knocks them out of this behavior pattern and brings awareness to what they are doing to themselves, it becomes a vicious downward spiral of a life being a victim.

To achieve anything worthwhile in life, there will always be obstacles. When the prize is big, the stakes are higher and the obstacles are bigger and more frequent. One of the most important lesson to learn is that life will constantly knock you down and that it’s absolutely crucial to get back up.

Only then, through knowledge, experience and wisdom gained can a person elevate themselves to a level that allows for creativity and true out-of-the-box thinking in finding solutions and accomplishing big things!


Anyone that isn’t physically disabled and has lived to become an adult knows what it is to have perseverance. A baby doesn’t just lay there after attempting first steps, give up and cry, never to try again. There was no judgement on by the baby’s parents, or by the baby itself for falling down. All there was to do was to get up and try again.

With each attempt, with each fall and getting up again, strength was built and the process became more and more familiar. There was no judgement or consideration of time or how many weeks or months has passed. All the baby knows is to keep getting up, keep trying and after a while, that they are mobile can run rather than just walking or crawling!

Catch 22 Baby Walking

Somewhere along the way, a seed is planted that failure is not good, failure is unacceptable, and once you fail at something, there’s no chance for redemption. The truth that is known as a baby suddenly becomes overshadowed and forgotten by the pressure to get it right the first time around.

The important lesson that is often missed from giving up too soon, is that perseverance when working towards a worthy outcome always pays off in one way or another eventually. If we are not armed with this context, the opinions that something won’t work, or that something didn’t work because of circumstances, becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

In life, others may expose and plant a seed of an idea in our head, but it is ultimately us and convinces and decides what truth is to us in our experience. Never let time and fear scare you into making choices, let planning and possibilities drive you forward in your decisions.

Dissolving a Catch 22

Einstein famously said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” The same goes for any Catch 22 situation you find yourself in. The policies, rules or nature of the Catch 22 itself may not be been something you created. However, implicit in the fact that you encountered the situation is the fact that you can create another situation to encounter. It may involve taking a different or longer route; it may involve a change in mindset to transcend the situation entirely. One thing is for certain, when a idea captures your enthusiasm and imagination to the point where you decide to take action, remember that the idea didn’t come to you for no reason. Ideas come to you because the consciousness of an idea resonates with your consciousness and has chosen you to manifest it into the world!

Are you Loving or Lusting?

When the word “love” is mentioned, it immediately conjures up images of hearts, Valentine’s Day, roses, the color red, and all of the different images we’ve come to associate with romantic love. When the word “lust” is mentioned, images of sex, nudity, passion and porn come to mind.

In the heat of the moment, during the course of dating someone new, pheromones are strong and hormones rage as an almost animal magnetism draws you and your partner together with an almost uncontrollable urge for physical passion. Sometimes the dating progresses into a relationship and other times, after the honeymoon phase, emotions and passion fade and the interaction between two people that started off with such intensity, dissolves and fizzles away.

As the quote states, “The past is a memory, the future is an idea, the only time we really have is now. That’s why it’s called the present.” In the perpetual exercise of being present and living in the moment, our minds exhibit an effortless tendency to think about the past or future. We often find ourselves asking where the time has gone, saying things like, “This year really flew by” or “I can’t believe it’s Christmas already, where did the year go?”

As important as is it to plan for the future and reflect on the past, it is tremendously more important to live in the present. In terms of relationships, the context of time offers clarity in making sense of our feelings and interactions towards our partners. When we look back with a fond heart on memories with someone special, this is closer to true love than some non-guaranteed future. There is a lasting connection between you and the other person. For all the time and great things that have been experienced, those specific memories are shared with someone who was there with you the very moment those memories were made. Those experiences that were shared, can never be changed or altered and will stay with those two individuals for the rest of their lives. The fondest memories will be cherished and carried forward throughout a lifetime with care and gratitude in the hearts of both people.

With the acknowledgment and memories of wonderful times shared together, completely releasing any wish to change the events that happened, we accept and honor those past interactions with a grace that uplifts our spirits and raises both people to a boundless lightness of Being. This is why looking back with fondness and standing presently with cherished memories is truly love.

Love on Fire

When it comes to lust, there’s so much imagination, creativity, any desire associated with it. Because we envision what hasn’t happened yet, when we lust for something, we are looking towards the future. Although lust is most often associated with things on a carnal and sexual nature, lusting for something is not just reserved for things having to do with sex.

When there is a result we want to experience with such deep desire and passion, to the point where it consumes us and it’s all we think about, this could be considered lust as well. Wanting to sleep with someone, wanting to become a millionaire; lusting for something could even come down to something as simple as a craving for pizza at 2 in the morning.

Lust is characterized by an intense desire or an uncontrollable appetite for something. Its frame of reference is in the future and we are constantly trying to drive towards something. In a sense, some of the greatest achievements in a person’s life, or even the history of the world, would not have happened if there wasn’t a lusting for a specific result. The drive of Steve Jobs to change the world with technology, of the Wright Brothers to perfect the world’s first flying machine, of Michael Jordan to be the greatest there ever was in the game; none of these tremendous achievements could have been made if there was not a lusting for a result.


There is something raw about lust. The unadulterated nature of lustful behavior provides a telling glimpse into the most animalistic nature of people. In many ways, the future facing and driving nature of lust is what has advanced the human race so powerfully forward since inception.

The past, present, and future are in existence all at the same time. Even though there is frequent encouragement of maintaining a healthy balance, it would be more productive to say there is an optimal balance depending on the result looking to be produced. With a past rooted in love, a present empowered with the ability to put in work, and a future created with a lusting for achievements, the ultimate balance always lies in the knowing the context and understanding the tools at your disposal.

BIGGEST Concerns in 2014

The expansion of the internet and computing as well as mobile technologies over the last two decades has allowed society to become ever more connected. I still remember when everyone first started using email and how I’d wait in anticipation for the time of day I could run down to the computer lab and how exciting it was to see that there were new messages in my inbox.

As social media sites such as friendster and myspace came about, ultimately leading to Facebook and a host of other social media sites, it was thrilling to all of a sudden be able to see profiles and connect with anyone, literally, around the world who had access to the internet and was a part of a social media network.

As this technology progressed even further to mobile phones and smart phone, it became even more exciting, especially with the thousands of apps out there to take advantage of all the new smartphone technology.

Over time, as technology becomes a more integrated part of our daily lives, we engage in a new type of consumption, namely, consumption of information. We have an almost insatiable hunger to read the latest news, find out what our friends are up to, learn about new products or places. It would take lifetimes to be able to consume all this information, and it would still be impossible to process it all.

Humans are social creatures, and this inherent desire to connect, coupled with amazing tools to connect in more substantial ways begs the question, “Who are we being for other people?” For as much content and information that we consume, how much of it is really adding positively to the lives of others? Is society starting to move in a direction where noise and popularity are perceived as true value?

John F. Kennedy challenged the nation when he stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” From his rally cry emerged some of the greatest advancements in science and innovation in human history, advancements that propelled the human race forward in a solid and lasting way. As the human race stands here today on the solid foundation set by the leaders and trailblazers before us, who are we being for society and what are we doing to pay it forward?

It’s funny to see the “first world problems” meme on the internet, the one where the lady looks so distressed, upset and frustrated with a caption that states a first world problem that is so trivial, yet it seems like the most earth shattering problem that has ever existed. Here is one of my favorites:

My Seat Does Not Recline All The Way On My Flight To Hawaii

We have to ask ourselves, what are we doing with our lives? Who are we being for others? Are we truly opening ourselves up to the possibility of greater things for ourselves, the people we love and society as a whole? There are so many options for give ourselves momentary pleasure, such as food, watching a movie, and going shopping. As amazing as technology is and as convenient as it has made life for us, we must asks ourselves if there is a better way to spend our time and utilize the technology we have available to us to add value to the world.

The reality is that not every single person is going to be the next Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, or Steve Jobs. Yet, every single one of us can do something small to brighten someone’s day. Every person can make an effort to at least be considerate and leave someplace better than they found it. Finally every person can explore the difference between simply looking good versus actually being good.