How to Earn Your Freedom

Came across this the other day on this blog.  It was so excellent I had to spread it.  Well worth spending 30 minutes and listing to it.  Start at 7:22.

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Apr 15th, 2015 | Filed under Adventures

Vegas, MardiGras, Hockey and Central America

Atop Volcano Telica a couple days ago, near Leon in Nicaragua. Saw lava for the first time, which was incredible.

Atop Volcano Telica a couple days ago, near Leon in Nicaragua. Saw lava for the first time, which was incredible.

 

Last month, February, I didn’t publish a post.  It was the first time in nearly a year where I didn’t, mainly due to the lack of downtime I’ve had and the lack of a routine over the last couple months, which is typical this time of the year. As a quick recap to reflect on later, I arrived into the US on Dec. 23, 2014, celebrated Christmas, the next day played in a 2 day hockey tournament, then for New Years went to downtown Denver to celebrate on behalf of the Soul Foundation, a charity that ran the event. New Years day was spent celebrating a friends birthday.  On January 23rd, I went to Salt Lake City for a week to visit my brother and soon to be wife, and we explored the area, including a trip up to Idaho to relax in the Lava Hot Springs.

After a week there, I flew from Salt Lake City directly to Las Vegas to meetup with my other brother, his friends, and my friend Jesse from university to celebrate the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.  It was a great 3 days, but definitely heavy to say the least. I got back to Denver on Tuesday, came down with a cold, and spent the next 3 days recovering before flying to New Orleans on Friday with my brother and many of his friends. We spent 3 days there celebrating Mardi Gras, which was incredible.  The parades, the food, the people, the architecture, everything about it was great.  We got back to Denver late Monday, and the following Friday headed into the mountains in Colorado for the Pabst Pond Hockey tournament. I hadn’t played in the tournament in years since I wasn’t in the US for it.  This year it was again incredible, as we rented a massive lodge that could slept 20+ people.  We spent the days grilling, playing hockey, and relaxing in the hot tub.  It was truly an amazing experience with great people that I’m grateful to have been able to play in.

The tournament ended on the following Monday night, on Tuesday I spent the day packing, and on Wednesday I flew to Costa Rica, where I would start a 2 month journey backpacking north to Mexico.  Currently I’m 20 days into the trip on the Pacific Coast on Nicaragua.  It’s been a great journey so far and look forward to the rest of the trip. In short though, the last 2.5 months have been quite busy, and as a result I’ve spent much less time online than normal.

That’s it for updates. Surprisingly the internet has been quite good in Central America, or good enough for most of the trip.  However, that will probably change as I head north into Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, but we will see.  The initial plan is to fly back to Denver from Cancun in early-mid April, but we will see if that holds true. After a wedding at the end of the April, I fly back to Asia on April 29th. It’s always exciting, but crazy to think it is already March 11th!

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Mar 11th, 2015 | Filed under Adventures

Good reads, January 2015

knowledge

Warren Buffett, the man commonly referred to as the greatest investor of the 20th century, was standing in front of 165 wide-eyed students from Columbia University.

One of the students raised his hand and asked Buffett for his thoughts on the best way to prepare for an investing career. After thinking for a moment, Buffett pulled out a stack of papers and trade reports he had brought with him and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” [1]

Buffett estimates that 80 percent of his working hours are spent reading or thinking. It’s enough to make you ask, “Am I reading enough books?”

Copied from James Clear’s blog post here, which is an excellent blog I’d highly recommend

It is interesting to think about.  Over the last 2 years of my life, I’d probably say about 70% of my time is spent reading as well.  Not necessaily books, but often articles, research, or posts on the internet. We are in the age of information, where there is so much out there to learn, you just have to sift through as much of it as you can and then just read, think, and learn. I think the combination of curiosity, abundance of information, and time is why I spend so much of my life these days reading.  It seems every book I finish I come to a new realization about the world, or become inspired to try something new. It is fascinating.

The last month in the US has been great – I’ve spent the last month in Colorado with friends and family.  Currently I’m in Salt Lake City visiting my brother and his fiance, and this weekend I’m going to Las Vegas to celebrate the Super Bowl with my other brother and friends, before returning to Colorado in early February.

Early February I will go to New Orleans with my brother and friends, then have a week an a half back in Colorado, including an awesome pond hockey tournament up in the mountains, and then I’m off to Central America for 2 months or so. Below are a few of the cool things I’ve discovered online over the last month, which I’d recommend.

Good reads/videos/podcasts from the last month:

I also share things I find interesting on my G+ here, as well as on Twitter.

I’ve also finally setup a GoodReads account to keep track of my to-read list, have read list, and currently reading list.  You can find those below:

I’m always looking for book recommendations.  If you have any you think I’d be interested in currently not on the list, please let me know in the comments below. I’m hoping make a good dent in the To-Read list this year.  I plan to implement James Clear’s “Read More” technique, in addition to reading before I go to sleep each night.  Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

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Jan 29th, 2015 | Filed under Other

2014 In Summary

 

Khao Yai National Park (???????)  - May, 2014

Khao Yai National Park – May, 2014

With each passing year, time flies faster.  I first came to this realization when I was like 15, when summers began to fly by instead of seem like forever.  High school, at the time, did seem like forever, as did university. The older we get, and the more wise we become, or the more aware we become of the world around us, the more we’re distracted and the faster time consciously seems to pass. Without a doubt 2014 was the fastest year of my life.

It’s been a year since looking back on 2013 already, so now it’s time to reflect on 2014.

Summary

– In January I moved to a new place in Bangkok, close to where I lived before, but to a newer place that was bigger.  My good friend Richard moved out to Bangkok from the USA, and lived with me for 6 months.
– In February I broke up with my long time girlfriend, and traveled to Malaysia with Richard.  We went to Penang and the Perhentian Islands, a place I’ve wanted to visit for a couple years.
– March was mostly spent in Bangkok.  We hosted a few friends from abroad.  The STM Meetup was also in Bangkok, so attended that, as well as few other rooftop parties.
– In April I celebrated Songkran (Thai New Year) again, which was a blast. At the end of April, Richard and I went down to Krabi a few days before my brother and his friends came from the USA to visit.
– In early-mid May, our trip from Krabi continued to Koh Phi Phi, back to Bangkok, up to Chiang Mai, down to Phuket, over to Singapore, and back to Bangkok with my brother and his friends. It was great fun. At the end of May after they left, we went camping at Khao Yai National Park.
– In June, I went to Koh Samui for a goodbye party of some friends, and shortly after getting back to Bangkok I did a week trip up to Hong Kong and Macau. After returning to Bangkok, my friend Constantin (from Romania) came to Thailand for a month to travel.  We went down to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, then back to Bangkok since Richard was leaving Thailand and I was moving to a new place.
– In July, after Richard left, Constantin and I went to Chiang Mai and Pai, then back to Bangkok.  He left in the middle of July. A couple weeks later, a couple friends and I went to Krabi (Ao Nang and Railay), where I started a challenge of no drinking for 2 months.
– August was spent mostly with my girlfriend, working, reading, and exercising. I didn’t go out much, but mostly focused on improving myself and planning out my next trip.
– In September I went to Bangladesh for a couple weeks, and when I returned, had my first sip of alcohol after 75 days.
– October was spent mostly with my friends in Bangkok.  I did a day trip down to Pattaya and had some excellent lunch on the beach there. I also went to the Human Body museum at Chulalongkorn University. October 24th marked my 2 year anniversary in Thailand.
– In November I celebrated a couple birthdays, and then took a trip north to Chiang Rai to visit my friend who opened a restaurant there. We explored some of the province, and got some good local experience there.  Afterward I went to Pai for a few days to rest in a hammock and visit some friends who just moved there, then went to Chiang Mai to catch a flight back to Bangkok.  While there, I grabbed lunch with my friend Cam who was about to move back to the USA.
– In December I went to Koh Samed for the Kings birthday, spent time with some awesome people, and probably partied too much since my time in Bangkok was winding down. On the 23rd I returned to Colorado, where I am wrapping up this post.  The New Years party is tonight, where we will be attending an event in downtown Denver raising money for charity, while celebrating the New Year.

What went well this year?

Health: Many things went well. I’ve become more conscious of my health.  The 1st 6 months of the year, while living with my best friend, we partied like rockstars, which definitely took a toll on my body. Since, I’ve exercised consistently, ate much better, and have hopefully made a permanent change to how I treat my body. I can definitely say I’m in better shape now than I was January, 2014.
Knowledge: I’ve read a lot and become more intrigued as I’ve become more aware of things I otherwise wasn’t aware of before. I’ve become more curious. I’ve read more books than any other year of my life.
Business: I’ve scaled my main business and ventured into a few new projects, which are in the works for the new year. I’m in a better position now than I was at the beginning of the year, and I’m happy with the progress.

What didn’t go so well this year?

Health: While my healthy suffered the 1st 6 months, I had an incredible time with some good friends. For the short term, it was worth the sacrifice.
Writing: I missed 2 months where I didn’t get a full blog post done, which is something I will work on for the new year. During my 2 months of no drinking, I wrote everyday, but didn’t finish much of what I started.  So it is time to focus on consistency and finishing what I start.
Business: I wanted to launch more into mobile, which didn’t happen, as all my new projects focused on desktop still.  I also failed to finish a few projects that I started.  In 2015 I will strive to finish what I start so I don’t have projects lingering around distracting me.

What am I working toward?

Health: Focus more on improving techniques, and learning more about my body.  I’m working to reduce my body fat percentage, which has primarily been an issue with my diet. I also want to reduce my alcohol consumption, which should be easy now that I’m not in Bangkok ;), at least for a little while.
Knowledge: I have a book list about 30 books deep at the moment which I plan to make a good dent in, if not finish in 2015.
Writing: I enjoy writing, and I want to make an effort to do it more.  I have lots of ideas and thoughts on various things that I want to share. Writing each morning when I wake up would be a bonus.
Business: I have a few loose ends of various projects I want to tie up, and then have a new idea I’m going to begin implementing which is related to scaling charities.  I’m excited I get that launched.

All Together

Typing this post and looking back has been insightful.  I stayed busy, mostly stayed happy, and thoroughly enjoyed this year. Many of the things I’ve worked on this year is used by thousands of people, and positively impacting their lives.  I’m hoping 2015 will be bigger and better.

Looking back at my goals I set a year ago:

  • Read at least 1 book each month. DONE
  • Take mobile more seriously – learn everything mobile and launch a venture into it. FAIL (for another year)
  • Travel to northern Asia.  DONE (went to Hong Kong, though not as far north as planned.  Though I am satisified with what I explored this year.)
  • Spend at least 14 days without speaking English (only Thai). FAIL (made it like 4 days, and this proved to be harder than I thought)
  • Do at least 1 30 day challenge. DONE (did not drinking for 75 days)

This year, instead of making a list of goals like I have in the past years, my goal will be to improve 1% each day. I want to work on my weaknesses, improve my strengths, venture into new uncomfortable things, and challenge myself.  I’m exited for what the next year will bring.

On a side note, this year I made a G+ page which syncs with my Twitter and Facebook, where I share cool things I discover.  Check it out and see if it interests you, I’d love to hear your feedback:
https://plus.google.com/104941165363038243339/posts

Among the things I shared was this speech below, which are 9 Life Lessons.  It is well worth the 11 minutes:

Happy New Year, see you in 2015!

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Dec 31st, 2014 | Filed under Adventures, Other