Monday, April 30, 2012
Ready for Change
Declaring Our Intentions
There comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change we’ve had trouble carrying out. Maybe we’ve been stuck in a home, a relationship, job, or a town that hasn’t felt right for a long time, but we’ve been unable to shift our circumstances in the direction we want to go. At times like this, it can help to declare to the universe that we are ready for a change. Think of it as informing a helpful friend that you need her assistance to move to the next level in your life. If the time is right, the universe will respond with opportunities and offers designed to help you create the change you wish to see.
You can begin the process of making your declaration by getting clear within yourself about what exactly you want to change. Whenever we ask anyone for help, they can assist us that much better if we are specific. The universe also appreciates our clarity and has an easier time answering a direct communication than a vague yearning. When you are clear on what you want, write your declaration on a piece of paper and place it on your altar, if you have one. If you don’t, you can also place it under your pillow or in a box on your nightstand. Set aside a period of time every day to be silent with your wishes for change, repeating your declaration like a mantra. This lets the universe know that you are ready to change and will be receptive to its efforts.
Feel free to continue to refine and redefine your declaration, and remember to be open to the many different ways in which the change you seek might come to be. Remember also to be active in your own efforts, taking opportunities that come your way, watching for signs, and always taking responsibility for your intentions. If things don’t happen quickly, try not to be discouraged; it might take time to free up energy that has been blocked and possibly serving a purpose beyond what we can understand. If you continue your conversation with the universe, declaring yourself clearly and openly, you cannot help but experience the magic of changing and being changed.
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid."
By Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
“My Wage,” The Door of Dreams, p. 25 (1918)
Thursday, April 26, 2012
"It has become a morning habit to sing Bohemian Rhapsody on the way to school in the morning. Depending on traffic, we can usually start the song as we pull out of the driveway, and pull into the school just as the song ends."
Check out little man in the back! Also, if you check out the YouTube page, you will see that the video has about 100 dislikes.
How could this not make you smile?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Choosing Between Making Money and Doing What You Love
by Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown
"If you're really passionate about what you do, but it's not going to make you a lot of money, should you still do it?"
What a great question! It seems like just about everyone who has ever addressed a graduating class of high school or college seniors has said "Do what you love, the money will follow."
Inspiring. But it is true? Couldn't you do what you truly care about and very well go broke, as the question above (recently sent from one of our readers) implies?
Based on the research we did for our book, we're convinced that when you're heading into the unknown, desire is all-important. You simply want to be doing something that you love, or something that is logically going to lead to something you love, in order to do your best work. That desire will make you more creative and more resourceful, and will help you get further faster.
And, it will help you persist. When you're trying something that's never been attempted before — beginning an unusual project at work, or trying to get a new business off the ground — you're going to face a lot of obstacles. You don't want to be giving up the first time you encounter one.
But, let's be real. None of this guarantees wealth, or even financial success.
Friday, April 20, 2012
The Paleo Challenge.
It has just as many names as it does restrictions. From the Paelodiet to the Hunter-Gatherer Diet to the Caveman Diet, all of which I talked about in the feature podcast of CallMeArtist, I deemed the last few months: 'Six Weeks of Pure Fucking Discipline."
The Paelo Challenge, "centered on commonly available modern foods, the 'contemporary' Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and EXCLUDES all grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils." So-to-speak, the challenge is meant for individuals to return to the most basic elements of eating and to find their inner-beasts.
In addition, a focus on exercise and mental health is highly encouraged so I also gave up all alcoholic beverages and most of my worries for six weeks, while maintaining a fitness schedule of at least one hour of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day. So what did I learn?
At Least Try It
When I initially began thinking about trying the challenge, I had many apprehensions because I knew I would no longer be able to eat the renowned LA gourmet burgers, go extremely crazy at the club in drunken stupors with all my friends and that I had to sleep a lot more in order to support my fitness schedule. Then I realized everything was temporary anyway so I thought: "what the hell, why not at least give it a shot?"
In life, there are many things that may shy us away from trying a new food or a new activity, but how will you ever know if you would like something unless you first start by trying? If there is any regret at the end of your journey, I am sure you will look back and have them for the things you did not try or the things you did not say. Be encouraged, be strong and be willing to try new things.
We All Have Different Goals
When I first began telling some of my friends about my desire to take on this challenge, one of the initial questions was: 'so you're not going to be drinking with us anymore?' And of course the answer was 'no, at least not for a while.' I knew what I needed to do in order to accomplish my goals and cutting out alcohol was it. Met with many uncertainties and 'aww-mans,' I realized that friends, unconditional or not, will not always support every single goal that you may have. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows that everyone has a different goal and outlook on things, that which makes us all different.
I did not get mad at my friends for not supporting me, I simply just said, 'respect my life and my decisions.' I think that's something we should be doing for everyone. We were all born to find or create our own respective destinies, and we will accomplish this by having different goals, thus different journeys. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being different.
Steadfast to Your Personal Goals
“I didn't say it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." While fighting for your goals, there will definitely be many times of hardship and struggle. Anything in life that is desired should be worth fighting for or working hard for. If you want to become the best saxophonist in history, then it's time for you to start dedicating the time towards it. If you would like to become a Sommelier, then maybe it's time for you to starting reading up on your wines..but don't forget to also get your butt into the gym.
Whatever you want to do, just do it - don't think so much about the 'what'ifs' of possible outcomes. Just do it and focus on your goals, while having fun.
Enjoy What's in Front of You
Growing up as fat kid, I was always disciplined for asking 'what's for dessert,' when I still had a full plate of food sitting right in front of me. I always looked for what was coming next instead of enjoying what was right in front of me. This can be likened to what many of my peers and I are currently going through: the 'entitled-generation' - we want success now. We want the Bentleys Coupes and Audis without putting in the hard work. We want dessert before we are even satisfied with dinner.
Of course, I am not saying that some of my peers do not deserve the finer things they may currently have in life. Perhaps you come from a trust fund, perhaps you just won the lottery ( I sure wish I did a few weeks ago), or perhaps you are a budding young entrepreneur and you are earning success at a very young age. But perhaps you don't. How will you get there? By enjoying what's in front of you right now. The people you meet on a daily basis - connect with them. The books you enjoy reading - connect with them. The hours you put into running - connect with them. Whatever you are doing, connect with the moment and give it your all. Soon enough, the years will have passed and if you have done what you need to do, success will also accompany you. As long as you take care of the moments, life will take care of the years. Work hard, party hard.
Simply, take your butt to the gym. There is nothing better than being able to breathe in and out without any disruption and to know that energy is your friend. When you begin eating right and exercising, life becomes so much better because your mental health is also strengthened. Drink water because it increases your metabolism, steam your veggies because they are packed with antioxidants and move your body simply because you are blessed to have working limbs and digits. That's a blessing.
As some of my readers may know, one of my goals for the Year of 24 is to run a 6:30 mile or less, a task that a younger Alex would have definitely ran away from. Today, I am still not there, but I am close. I realized that whether it is fitness, hard work, doubt or confidence - it's all in the mind. Each day I get on that treadmill or the terrain, I prepare myself mentally to overcome my body's weaknesses. It is through strength-training that we become stronger. It is through experience that we become wiser. It is through pushing ourselves that we see just how far our minds, our bodies and our creativity can go.
At the end of the challenge, at the end of the race, at the end of the test, at the end of the journey - reward yourself. If you are working hard, then it just as important to play hard. And trust me, it makes the partying that much more fun. To know that you have accomplished something great is something to be proud about. If you gave up alcohol, feel free to have a few glasses of your favorite red wine. If you worked out everyday for the last two months, feel free to take a day off and not do a single thing (even though I am sure that would not be possible due to your new-found energy and devotion.) If you feel you have earned something, reward yourself by speaking up.
Whatever it is, always remember to reward yourself. Just as life is about working hard and accomplishing your goals, it is also about having fun, bathing in the sun and long nights of partying.
There is sometimes nothing better than see-able progress. My entire life, I have struggled with my body-image and how others perceive me. Smart decision-making in moving to haute LA LA Land then, right? But it was not until recently that I began to realize that it should be more about how I view myself and how far I am willing to go to acquire a 'david-like' figure. A greater focus was put on the things that went into my body.
No wonder I always had a muffin-top - I was eating freaking high calorie chocolate chip muffins one minute and drinking alcohol the next. What we put into something is generally what is also yielded. So I began to focus on what I was putting into my body, into my hours at the gym and into my mind. I began to kill the cravings for pizza and noticed that I began to smile a lot more as I looked into the mirror after a hot shower. I smiled because I realized that I was closer and closer to reaching my goals.
I smiled because it's just the beginning.
When you accomplish your goal and you look back smiling on all the connections you have made, the experience you have gained and the wisdom you have received - keep going, give back and "always keep moving forward, opening new doors and trying new things because curiosity will always lead you down a new path."
I know it's been a while since I have personally written any posts, but I hope you are encouraged. During the last six weeks of pure fucking discipline, my focus was me.
So how did I reward myself?
See picture below:
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
1. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($550 million)
Diddy has remained a mainstream mainstay for 15 years thanks to his knack for self-promotion. Lately, he’s been channeling that energy toward Ciroc vodka, much to the benefit of his bank account: he receives double-digit millions annually as a share of the spirit’s profits. Better yet, he’s entitled to a nine-figure chunk of cash if Ciroc is ever sold. He also boasts stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, marketing firm Blue Flame, record label Bad Boy, a handful of tech startups and cable channel Revolt, slated for a 2013 debut—all of which means he’s well on his way to becoming hip-hop’s first billionaire.
2. Sean “Jay-Z” Carter ($460 million)
Unlike his fellow Forbes Five members, Jay-Z still churns out music and goes on tour—most recently with pal Kanye West—adding to his considerable war chest. He sold his Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007 and signed 10-year $150 million deal with Live Nation in 2008, and also holds stakes in the New Jersey Nets, his 40/40 Club chain, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter and other businesses.
3. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young ($260 million)
Fittingly, the bulk of this super-producer’s wealth comes from headphones. In August, handset maker HTC paid $300m to buy a 51% stake Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008. Sources say each owned a third of the company before the deal, placing Dre’s cut at $85 million after taxes. The agreement also values his remaining stake at $100 million, which could increase rapidly as the company continues to expand.
4. Bryan “Birdman” Williams ($125 million)
The Cash Money Records cofounder would be higher on this list if he held sole ownership of his label, but he shares it with brother Ronald “Slim” Williams. The duo founded Cash Money two decades ago, inking very favorable $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998. The label’s value has soared with the success of rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne (who shares in the ownership of sub-label Young Money). There’s even more cash on the horizon—the label’s deal with Universal is up this summer, raising the prospect of a bidding war for the right to distribute Cash Money’s releases.
5. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson ($110 million)
The Queens-born rapper earned $100 million for his Vitaminwater stake in 2007, and then spent freely on cars and renovations to his Connecticut mansion, formerly owned by Mike Tyson. But a nice cushion remains from his back catalog, acting gigs and 50 Cent-themed videogames, books and clothes, as well as new headphone line SMS. Next up: an energy shot called Street King, which promises to feed hungry children—and 50’s bank account.
via highsnobiety.com and forbes.com
By Barry Ritholtz
From June 17, 2011
Please excuse the very wealthy for feeling a bit under siege lately.
Taxes for the top 2 percent are very likely to go higher. Uncle Sam’s share of capital gains and dividend income might rise, and means-testing for Social Security and Medicare is probable. In the United States, the very rich hold most of that wealth in dollars, which are worth increasingly less. As income inequality has grown dramatically in the nation, the very wealthy are blamed for all manner of social ills.
Rather than pile on the wealthy, this week I’d like to approach the subject of money a little more philosophically. There are surprising insights to be gleaned from the experiences of the very wealthy regarding their investments and experience with wealth.
Some context: In my day job, I come into contact with very high-net-worth individuals. These include young technologists with modest portfolios to families that measure their wealth in nine and 10 figures. For the math-averse, that’s hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.
Over the years, I have had some fascinating conversations with people who have hospitals and graduate schools named after them. I’d like to share some of the things I have learned from these folks.
1. Having money is better than not having money.
Sure, this may be obvious, but let’s get it out of the way upfront. Money may not buy you happiness, but it buys many other important things. Like financial security, excellent health care, education, travel and a comfortable retirement. In a word: freedom.
2. Don’t become “cash rich” and “time poor.”
Devoting all of your waking hours to making money is a problem, especially in professions with a partnership fast track. Lawyers, doctors, bankers and accountants can get so caught up in the competitive nature of their jobs that they lose touch with their family. Any semblance of a normal personal life disappears, and a very unhealthy balance between work and home can develop.
Work is the process of exchanging your time for money. Remember: What you do with your time is far more meaningful than the goods you accumulate with your money. If you are working so much to become rich but you ignore your spouse and miss seeing your kids grow up, you are actually poorer than you realize.
Monday, April 16, 2012
"An ad for the launch of the cable channel TNT promoting the “drama” of its programming had a pretty dramatic debut.
TNT’s ad has become the second most-shared of all time, according to Unruly, a video research firm. The ad, which was released on April 11, has been shared 3 million times. Only “The Force,” the 2011 Super Bowl ad from Volkswagen, has been shared more.
David Waterhouse, head of content for Unruly, says the TNT ad — called “A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Street” — may well surpass “The Force” soon since one in seven people who saw “Surprise” shared it vs. one in 12 for “The Force.”
The TNT ad, featured above, takes place in a “little town in Belgium” in a “square where nothing really happens.” TNT’s ad agency, Duval Guillame Modem, placed a large red button there and invited passers-by to “Push to Add Drama.”
Doing so led to a flurry of activity including a clumsy EMS unit dropping a man on a stretcher, a bicycle accident, a fistfight and the appearance of a woman on a motorcycle clad in lingerie. The ad, which appeared on YouTube on April 11, is now up to 21.5 million views."
via Mashable Business
Thursday, April 12, 2012
"Tomorrow's big business may be today's dorm room invention. From a personalized electric motor bike to pop-up medical clinics to the latest in QR code technology, the 2012 class of our annual college start-ups were founded on the mission to give back to the world’s communities, be on the cutting-edge of innovation, and have fun while doing it."
Click Photo to Check Out the List
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head:
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."
Leave Your Mark,
A Good Turn Daily
Helping the World Every Day
We can all vow to make the world a better place one day at a time by being our true authentic selves.
Each of us is more than capable of helping the world, despite our fears and limitations and the uncertainty that holds us back. It is commonly accepted that it is impossible to make a difference without unlimited funding or free time, yet most healing, cleansing, and spreading of joy is accomplished in a matter of minutes. If we vow to make the world a better place one day at a time, the true significance of small good deeds reveals itself to us. We come to see that we can be of service without dedicating our lives to recognized charities or giving up the pleasures we enjoy. The warmth we feel when we help the world is only a tiny part of the affirmative transformations that take place when we make altruism a part of everyday existence.
We make our homes, workplaces, communities, and countries better and brighter when we think positive thoughts that echo outward, give donations of time or money, smile at everyone we meet, and lend those in need of aid our assistance. As we learn, we inadvertently improve the universe because we can only be truly involved when we are informed. Even enthusiastically sharing ideas with others generates positive energy that then serves as the motivation for more tangible change. Selfless and helpful deeds remind us that we exercise some degree of control over a world that can seem chaotic at times. Even the smallest of such deeds is a demonstration of the fact that we are capable of changing the world in a positive way. So much negative energy is generated by the suffering, pain, and close-mindedness we are regularly exposed to, but we can counteract it in a constructive way by thinking and acting altruistically when opportunities to do so arise.
Helping the world often takes no more than a moment, just a wish for the world is a beautiful gesture and can be done by even the busiest of people effortlessly. The gift you give each day need not be grand or attention-worthy because the broader benefits are the same no matter the literal repercussions. Once a day, you can affect reality, and you can reap the rewards of knowing that you are making the world a better place, day by day.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
"Kuha'o has been playing the piano for about 3 years and has been blind since infancy. He is only 15 years old and can play most songs after hearing it just one time on the piano. I wanted to see what it would sound like if he were to play a dubstep song and it turned out phenomenal! I am such a fan of this kid! He is such a good hearted person and grateful for what he has. His good attitude is contagious and watching him play the piano and organ live is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Here's to you Kuha'o!"
Pay attention to the last minute and a half of the video when the beat breaks down and sit back and watch as he rolls his head with such passion.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
• Only 34% of men regularly wear a condom...
• 22% of men said they have had 20 or more sex partners in their lifetime...
• Only 13% of men prefer woman on woman pornography
• Woman on top ("cowgirl"), man on top ("missionary"), and man behind woman ("doggy style") nearly tie for favorite sexual position...
This survey was conducted exclusively for Esquire by Beta Research Corporation, an independent firm located in Syosset, New York. The 522 respondents were randomly selected from a pool of Internet-connected U.S. men aged 21 to 59, balanced to represent the U.S. population of men within this age group. They completed the online survey between January 23, 2012, and January 25, 2012. Because of rounding, some percentages may not add up to 100.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
A Reflective Window Into a Digital Life
The Cybertecture Mirror is more than just an elegant mirror for everyday use. At the touch of a button, it comes to life right in front of your eyes. The reflective surface displays information and content through feeds that stream onto the mirror surface from the worldwide web.
Monday, April 02, 2012
A passion project from Danella Dutton out of Los Angeles.
Professionally trained dancer, choreographer and instructor based in Los Angeles, she has enjoyed dancing from the age of four. Her thriving passion for dance has taken her to another level, becoming a professional Dance Sport Competitor as well as a Salsa, Smooth, Rhythm and Latin instructor.
Rocawear Presents: Jay-Z From "Marcy to Barclays" Commercial
The first ever Rocawear commercial is a retrospective of Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter's journey as a kid growing up in the humble projects of Brooklyn aspiring to make music and eventually making history. On that journey, the first business beyond music was the birth of Rocawear. Carter's Rocawear brand represents his prowess as a business man who continues to challenge himself to be more than merely a musician.