The passion for learning

I’ve always been a curious person growing up.

When I was little, I would stare up at the stars and wonder what those things were.

“How do I get there? Can I touch it? How far away are those stars?”

My mind was filled with imagination.

I wanted to learn how this life worked.

Going through high school and college

In my high school days, I was learning but honestly, it was mostly memorization.

I was struggling with home life, so I barely had time to think about school.

I did enough to study, get decent grades, and apply to college.

However, the real learning began in college.

In fact, I had no choice.

It was do or die for me at that period in time.

I had just lost my father, and I had no other family.

In my mind, I HAD to get a job. I HAD to make money.

I HAD to survive at all costs.

And the only way I could achieve that was by studying.

More importantly, learning everything.

So for the next 4 years, I studied feverishly. All day, every day, while at work, eating dinner, hanging with friends.

In my mind, I had ZERO doubt that was what I NEEDED to do.

I worked multiple jobs, studied all day, dreamed about how I would be successful.

I thought about how things would get easier.

I visualized it every day.

How I developed a passion for learning

Learning is a process.

Learning is a habit.

Learning is dedication.

Learning is a way of thinking.

I understood immediately that the only way I was going to survive was to level up.

I NEEDED to be smarter. I NEEDED more knowledge. I NEEDED to understand what was happening.

This, in turn, changed everything.

I started loving studying because I was learning how things worked.

From science to finance to greek mythology, I enjoyed it. Some classes less so of course ๐Ÿ˜…

But overall, I learned to enjoy the process.

I was able to make SENSE of what I was learning.

I also found that I LOVED helping and teaching others, which I still do to this day.

When you find a way to be curious and wonder how things became the way they are, that’s where true learning emerges.

You begin to enjoy the fine details.

Steve Jobs was like this.

Questions to think about to build your learning passion

The truth is we all live busy lives, so taking the time to learn can be challenging. However, it can achieved.

Start with one fundamental question, “Do I want to learn?”

We can’t begin to learn anything if we don’t have the desire to.

So ask these questions and see how you feel:

  • Do I want to learn that new skill?
  • Do I want to learn about that new job?
  • Do I want to try out that new sport?
  • Do I want to be better?

Having a desire is the first step towards the path of learning.

Enjoy the journey and process

Like everything in life, learning is a process. It’s a journey.

Learn to love it.

Learn to love every minute of it.

Things take time.

But when you do achieve something new as a result of spending time to learn, you feel amazing.

To this day, I learn everything.

I keep an open-mind to all perspectives.

I love hearing what people have to say, whether I agree or not.

So there you have it.

Keep learning, keep growing, and most importantly, have fun.

Life’s short, kick ass, and spend it with people you love.

Enjoy!

Curiosity is an unfair advantage.

Curiosity is an unfair advantage.

Curiosity will encourage you to take bold actions, start new projects, and force you out of your comfort zone.

Go back to the last time you truly asked questions about life, your career, your relationships, etc.

At some point, we lost our curiosity of the world.

Be bold, be fearless, embrace life.

Be curious.

Be daring and live the life you want and desire.

No one – and I mean no one – can say otherwise.

Be curious, stay curious.

Be 100% authentic with your true self

The only way to live a full, true, happy life is to be 100%, fully authentic to your true self.

What does that mean?

It means being yourself even when no one is around to watch you.

Life is short.

Time is valuable.

Spend it graciously and abundantly with people you care about.

Protect your time.

Be authentic.

Be yourself.

Please wake up

man sitting on the mountain edge

โ€œPlease wake up.โ€

There I was, in the first grade, witnessing my own mother trying to end her life.

I was so young I didnโ€™t quite know what was happening, but I did know that she wasnโ€™t breathing.

It was the four of us, and we were crying our eyes out hoping she would wake up.

โ€œPlease wake up,โ€ I said as tears fell down my cheeks.

Please wake up.

We were just kids.

Experiencing these kinds of moments at such a young age is hard.

Normally, kids and families shower each other with love and affection, have family picnics with friends and relatives, enjoy their childhood, and not have to face the harsh realities of death, sadness, depression, and loneliness at a young age.

My mother faced many demons, many of which I didnโ€™t know about till much later.

While growing up, we lived through an extremely difficult childhood as my father would constantly scream and shout at us while our mother would guzzle her favorite alcoholic beverage every night.

And after that, my dad would go on to scream at our mother, which then our mother would scream right back at us. It was a vicious cycle.

Every day felt like misery.

There were so many memories of me crying in my bed, praying I wouldnโ€™t be screamed at again. My siblings went through the exact emotions โ€“ we were in constant fear.

You never forget.

Those memories will forever remain

As I’ve gotten older, those memories have never disappeared.

Sometimes, those memories motivate me to do more and persevere. Other times, those memories drag me down. I’m human.

My mother ended up suddenly passing away 18 years ago while I was still in high school.

I was right beside her to witness her breathe her final breath. Down to the last hour and last minute.

It was painful.

You’re not alone

For those who have experienced something similar, just know that I empathize with you.

Although you may not hear it every day, you’re loved and cared for. This world can be very misunderstanding, but know that there are many, many others out there just like you.

You’re not alone.

You will persevere.

You will get through this.

Have you experienced something similar in your life?

Let me know by leaving a comment or messaging me.

Embrace the grind.

Look inward

The days are long.

It can be tiring and exhausting.

Some days, you wonder why is everything piling up on you.

“Why me?” you’re asking.

But sometimes, we should try asking “Is it because of me?”

We always have a choice.

A choice to be better, to improve, to change course.

Look inward.

Find a happy medium.

Push forward.

Why do I write?

โ€œThere is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.โ€

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why do I write?

To write better.

To write clearly.

To write with a purpose.

To write with passion.

To share stories.

To connect with people.

To build relationships.

To never regret.

To pass down knowledge.

To open doors.

To close doors.

To live life.

To live freely.

To be me.

That’s why I write.

๐—ช๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด = ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† = ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ = ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐˜๐—ต

Your thoughts? Why do you write?

Here’s why gratitude matters and can change someone’s life

Immediately after graduation, my world flipped upside down.

I experienced tragedy. Again.

For the next 3 years, I was a zombie.

I was lost, disengaged, and helpless.

In 2012, in search of a new role, I interviewed with a relatively unknown company called Vistaprint.

Still shaken by past events, I was nervous. But something was different here.

I was happy, laughing, and hopeful.

The team welcomed me, cracked jokes, and calmed my nerves.

For the next 5 years, we worked hard, ate lunch, and laughed together. I met some of the best people during this phase of my life.

I am forever grateful. They believed in me and helped me get back on my feet.

Now, I apply the same experiences to my businesses and team.

We share our gratitude and do our best to make sure people are happy, excited, and hopeful.

Your thoughts? Who has helped you that you feel grateful towards?

P.s. Our giant presentation decks we used to create. So many late nights, so many great memories ๐Ÿ‘‡

How I Push Myself To Do Uncomfortable Things

Uncertainty is inevitable.

Fear is inevitable.

We all experience it.

But how we deal with it is a different story.

After trying and experimenting many different things over my 3 decades here on Earth, here’s what I have learned.

Are you proud of what you’ve done?

Is this who I am? Someone who doesn’t take action?

Those two phrases power me every day.

Whenever I face a difficult challenge, I ask those things.

Cold email, networking, jumping on a call, podcast, etc.

They all scared me.

BJJ, MMA, boxing, wrestling.

I’ve done these for over 20 years.

I’m still scared.

But the trick is, I ask those two questions mentioned above to get me fired up.

Is this just me?

The thing is this.

We all CAN change.

It comes down to a choice.

What choice will you make?

Remember this: whatever’s happened in the past is the past.

You CAN change.

Take action.

Be fearless.

Live without regrets.

Don’t be that person

“You’re never going to change.”

“That isn’t you.”

“We’ve been together 20 years. Don’t bother.”

“You say you want to do. But you won’t.”

“You don’t have confidence.”

Please don’t do this.

  • Don’t discourage people.
  • Don’t kill someone’s dreams.
  • Don’t put people down.
  • Don’t place insecurity onto others.

Instead, do this.

  • Be encouraging
  • Be loving
  • Be supportive
  • Be open-minded
  • Be creative
  • Be a partner
  • Be loyal
  • Be a fighter
  • Be hopeful

Be positive vs. negative.

Be supportive vs. unsupportive.

Be hopeful vs. pessimistic.

Be loving vs. uncaring.

Be open-minded vs. close-minded.

Here’s the thing.

The world is your oyster.

You never know what can happen.

So why not choose the path to happiness and exploration.

That’s how to live.

An ounce of happiness

Everything means nothing when all is gone.

You won’t take your cars, your houses, your money to your grave.

Your status games, your desire to show off, your need to please.

None of it matters.

So focus on what makes you happy.

Maybe it’s taking a walk outside at night.

Maybe it’s tinkering with toys.

Maybe it’s a hot meal out near the beach.

Whatever it is, do that.

Be happy.

In a world where social media reigns supreme and everyone is trying to go viral, stick to what makes you happy.

Sanity is nice.

Forget your pride

Yes. You heard that right.

Forget your pride.

Forget trying to be right.

Forget trying to always be number 1.

Forget trying to stomp all over everyone.

Forget trying to prove everything to everyone.

Forget being miserable.

Forget being prideful.

When all’s said and done, and the ashes have cleared, only the people who truly matter will remain.

When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Forget your pride.

Let them know how much you love them.

Don’t wait.

Don’t let your pride sink in.

Just let the words out.

Be grateful.

Time is limited.

Time is precious.

This is our one life.

Our one and only life.

The Grind.

*Originally posted back in May 7, 2017 after leaving my corporate job

What is the โ€œgrindโ€?

My definition of the “grind” is the ability, determination, and willingness to push through an obstacle, despite the unnerving challenges ahead.

This can be working hard at your job to finish a project deadline, working through the Nth hour on your small business, or even anxiously pummeling your way to complete your last set of push-ups.

As a wrestler and lifelong martial artist, Iโ€™ve sustained numerous injuries, puked my share of times after practice, and generally felt like giving up.

But I would always recall the โ€œgrindโ€.

How could I look at myself and just quit?

How could I allow myself to just stop when the going got tough?

I canโ€™t.

To grind through tough circumstances is what develops character, strength, heart, and dedication.

It can be hard though.

Fear, rejection, and anxiety. We all face it.

But what’s important is to remember we will endure it.

We will get past it.

You can grind through the pain.

And remember, when you do, cherish every moment.

Soak it all in.

You earned it.

Because when you take a step back, you tell yourself, โ€œI did this. On my ownโ€.

Grind through the circumstances.

Grind through the challenges and obstacles that lie up ahead.

Youโ€™ll be proud of yourself for having done so.