Category Archives: Readings

Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe Answers What To Do With My Life?

This is a great piece I came across by Mike Rowe, presenter of TVs Dirty Jobs (Trailer Here), in which he goes around working with people in jobs most people would think are horrible.  The piece to hand stems from a guy who writes to Rowe asking him for help in finding his ideal job.

mike-rowe-dirty-jobs-letterThe original full article was found on Top Right News and I have included both letters below. ITs a really great view on life from a guy who has seen a lot of jobs!

 

ORIGINAL LETTER:

Hey Mike! I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

- Parker Hall

MIKE’S RESPONSE:

Hi Parker,

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.

“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”

“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck -
Mike

P.S. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

P.P.S. Think I should forward this to Claire?

The Road Not Taken – Views on Choices

A lot of people struggle with what a decision can mean in your life. It is natural to have concerns about going down one path or not, and what it could mean. The reality is you can never predict what will happen in your life, so go with the flow…. Easier said than done.

This graphic based off the poem The Road Not Taken is by the incredibly talented artists at Zenpencils.com For their full article click here, or have a look below at this great piece.

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

2 Great Articles – Procrastination and Places Unhappy People Search For Happiness

Stumbled across two fantastic articles about the above. Procrastination and the want to happiness is two of the most important steps to conquer when trying to be successful. Procrastination will always be there for as long as you want something that is hard. While if you aren’t in a good place, then you try to look for happiness in the wrong places. Easier said than done, but you should look for what you have to be happy.

Both articles are easy to read and well worth it. Approx five minutes read each.

10 Places Unhappy People Search for Happiness

How To Beat Procrastination

Procrastination monkey

60 Amazing Inspirational Quotes to Change How You Think

Est. Reading Time 3-5min.

I really like these quotes found on Marc and Angel Hack Life. They are all about the power of changin how you think. You dont need to remember them all, but ask yourself some of these questions and see where the they take you.

  1. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  2. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  3. Don’t think of cost.  Think of value.
  4. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  5. Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know.
  6. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  7. If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Think twice before reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
  8. Making one person smile can change the world – maybe not the whole world, but their world.
  9. Saying someone is ugly doesn’t make you any prettier.
  10. The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well.
  11. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.
  12. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.
  13. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  14. As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.
  15. Making a hundred friends is not a miracle.  The miracle is to make a single friend who will stand by your side even when hundreds are against you.
  16. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go and move on.
  17. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, etc…
  18. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
  19. Don’t choose the one who is beautiful to the world; choose the one who makes your world beautiful.
  20. Falling in love is not a choice.  To stay in love is.
  21. True love isn’t about being inseparable; it’s about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.
  22. While you’re busy looking for the perfect person, you’ll probably miss the imperfect person who could make you perfectly happy.
  23. Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.
  24. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  25. In life, if you don’t risk anything, you risk everything.
  26. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  27. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  28. There isn’t anything noble about being superior to another person.  True nobility is in being superior to the person you once were.
  29. Trying to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
  30. You will never become who you want to be if you keep blaming everyone else for who you are now.
  31. People are more what they hide than what they show.
  32. Sometimes people don’t notice the things others do for them until they stop doing them.
  33. Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do.
  34. Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not mean you are alone.
  35. Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off.  It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can.
  36. Anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you.  It takes someone really special to stay in your life and show how much they love you.
  37. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don’t save it for a special occasion; today is special.
  38. Love and appreciate your parents.  We are often so busy growing up, we forget they are also growing old.
  39. When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you.
  40. Learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.
  41. When someone tells you, “You’ve changed,” it might simply be because you’ve stopped living your life their way.
  42. Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.
  43. Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, then let them be.  Happiness is a choice.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.
  44. When you’re up, your friends know who you are.  When you’re down, you know who your friends are.
  45. Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you.
  46. If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.
  47. No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.
  48. The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
  49. Many people are so poor because the only thing they have is money.
  50. Learn to appreciate the things you have before time forces you appreciate the things you once had.
  51. When you choose to see the good in others, you end up finding the good in yourself.
  52. You don’t drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.
  53. It’s better to know and be disappointed than to never know and always wonder.
  54. There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.
  55. Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within.
  56. If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past.  If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.
  57. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.
  58. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  59. Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
  60. If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Set a Challenge and Do it for 30 days

There are many schools of thought about how to learn new skills by making them a habit. 30 days is a great time frame to learn a new skill, change a habit, or better yourself as it starts from nothing and by the end can create a great impact on your life. Using an example of learning Spanish, to say your goal is to hold a conversation is a large daunting task. However, listen to one audio book chapter a day for thirty days is much easier in your mind. Taking the first step is always the hardest. An essential next step is to CROSS IT OFF EVERY DAY. Get a list, write down Day 1,2,3,4,5 etc to 30. And cross it off everyday as soon as you do the activity. Feel like you don’t have the time, do 10 minutes or whatever. Different challenges take different length of time.

Here are some examples to get you going and what they would help:

1. Do a Set number of press ups everyday – Pick a number that you feel comfortable with achieving. This will give you a confidence boost and get the heart pumping. If it starts to get easy increase the number. Need a hand follow the 100 push up challenge (Gets you from 0 to 100).

2. Read More – Read 1 Chapter a day – Reading relaxes you, and you can learn a new skill.

3. Get outside for 10 minutes a day – Walk to the shops, take a break. Recharge your brain before sitting down and working again. More valuable than it sounds. Combine this with reading.

4. Write a to do list – Get your goals out in the open, however trivial or huge and life changing.

Think about what you would like to do. A small change in your life can make huge steps down the line. Think, and enjoy. Get that list wrote!

Marathon Des Sables 2012 – Day 1 of the MdS 2012 – Two of My Best Friends are Crazy

So today while I sit in the comfort of my apartment, checking my email, like most of you will / have done, spare a thought for two of my best friends Will and Jim Hardy who have started day one of the Marathon Des Sables aka the MdS 2012. 6 marathons in 6 days across the Sahara Desert. Oh, and you have to carry your things too, just in case the original challenge was too easy.

The twins are doing it in aid of the MS Society (multiple sclerosis), and are trying to reach £8,000 in sponsorship. So if you too think they are crazy, or it just makes you tired just thinking about running SIX marathons in that short of time in 35oC heat with a backpack, then please donate £5 to them, US/Canadian citizens can also donate.

Donate £5 here

Read More here

Thank you and good luck boys!

Inspiring Quotes by JD Hooge

Est. Reading Time 1 minute

Here are some superb inspirational quotes by JD Hooge speaking in Portland Oregon, USA at a Creative Morning’s event.

  • Be allergic to bullshit
  • Make the complex, simple
  • Be honest, build trust, be honest
  • Don’t believe in luck
  • Hustle
  • Be inspired by the pioneer spirit
  • Perfection is so last decade
  • Chase the small ideas
  • Begin anywhere
  • Slow down
  • Get Personal, Stay Personal
  • We are all making it up as we go along
My favourites of the bunch:
Be Honest, build trust, Be honest – This is essential not just in life but in business. If you have a company that sells something, as soon as you stop doing this you are finished unless you change quickly. In the early days of Google they are said to of had on the wall in their offices, “Don’t be Evil”.
Begin Anywhere – it is the hardest part of any journey. Whether you are going to cycle across the world, or you are trying to get motivated on the next project. Writ down the next step, and do it. Sounds simple but it is essentially the hardest part of any task. If you want to read more into this, then I recommend buying Getting Things Done by David Allen. He is the master of this philosophy, and he is a really genuine guy. He has worked with most of the Fortune 500 companies so he really knows his stuff whatever level you are at.
If you click on the following links and buy you are supporting this website, and I thank you for it. it does not affect the cost to you in anyway.
David Allen Getting Things Done:
UK & Kindle Version
USA & Kindle

Originally found at Creative Mornings

Make Yourself Think

Today I found this website called “Makes Me Think”. It is full of interesting short quotes about various topics of the day. This one struck me…

Today, I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. “So,” I tried to delicately ask, “What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?” “Well,” she responded, “What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?” MMT

 

Find more on the site

Start With a Kindling by Evan Williams

Most people have not heard of Evan Williams, but you sure would know the companies he has helped create, been CEO for etc. Twitter and Blogger anyone?  On his blog, which is hosted by Blogger and has a link to his Twitter account (great self promotion), he wrote a short piece about getting things started. It is a beautifully written short post. It all starts with good kindling…

Original Post here

Starting a company is like starting a fire—harder than it sounds, and you have to do things in the right order.

 

To start a good fire, you need kindling. Something that will catch easily.
You can fail if you have great logs to burn but no kindling to get them started. On the flip side, if you only have newspaper and dry twigs, you’ll be off to a quick start, but your fire won’t last long.
There aren’t many fuels that start easily and burn hot and long. So starting with kindling and then transferring the heat to something bigger is key.

Also, lighter fluid helps—but only for a short while and only if applied at the right time. Be careful.

 

 

harbin-ice-festival

China Travel Preparations

Early next year I am off to China for several months. I hope to see a lot of the real China, as well as the usual tourist hot spots that I have wanted to see for ages, e.g. Terracotta Soldiers in Xi’an. Due to the packs of dogs that run wild at night in some Chinese towns, I have had to have the first of three rabies injections. It knocked me for six over Christmas. My Christmas Eve night was spent shivering in my bed whilst wearing full pyjamas, a hoodie with the hood up under my duvet with the heating on. My bones were physically freezing. I felt better after 24 hours, but alas I did not get to see Santa drop off my presents which usefully involved thermal gear for the trip.

Our first point of call is the Ice Festival in Harbin. This time of year Harbin is an AVERAGE -25oC. Yes that’s Average. However such freezing temperatures allow for one of the greatest shows on Earth. Apparently it has to be seen to be believed and I cannot wait to see it. They build an entire city out of ice. They use both traditional methods as well as laser and chainsaw cutting. It will be one of the first and biggest highlights of the trip. I just hope that feeling of cold from the rabies does not reappear once in Harbin.

My Chinese Visa is currently being processed which I found out is an expensive process for UK citizens looking for a multiple entry visa. With all the fees etc it is just under £100. And that is with going direct to the embassy and not through an agent. Either way it’s worth it as it will be an experience of a lifetime. I have been to Hong Kong and Macau before, but never the mainland. I imagine Hong Kong is a good way to gently get you used to China. It has all the Chinese signs and people but it also has the British influence so many people and businesses speak English. Same with Macau, however its Portuguese. Every road sign has Chinese and Portuguese. I know some Spanish so the wording is similar when written down. Being a casino based economy also means the place is setup for English visitors.

Rural China is a whole different ball game. You need to know some Chinese I have been told. Hopefully by going to the larger cities at first, will mean I can familiarise myself with the basics along with what I have learnt, which should stand me in good stead. At worst I have some good friends from Shanghai who may be receiving some phone calls.

Overall I cannot wait for China. It is such a huge and varied landscape with some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the world, a thing often overlooked. Yunnan providence looks to be a particular natural highlight. With just two more jabs to go it’s all getting very close and I can not wait to see what awaits me there.

Lonely Planet China (Country Guide)

UK READERS – China (Lonely Planet Country Guides)