persist at

per·sist: to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition

Dec 11

4 Ways to Increase your Brain Power

If we assume that each of us has a finite capability and that 1 plus 1 is, indeed, 2, it follows thusly that the more minds you have access to, the smarter you’ll be. One of my recent historic role models, Andrew Carnegie, used this principle effectively since his childhood days and look what it did for him. He is the third richest person ever! In his day, his net worth was approximately $500 million which is an insane $340 billion today. All because he joined minds together to think of ideas greater than any one mind could bear. So here, I present to you, dear reader, 4 simple ways you can increase your own brain power by use of the famed Mastermind principle.

1. Share your ideas

All of them. We often keep our best ideas to ourselves in fear that someone else might steal them or worse.. judge them! But this is not often the case. Your ideas will be met with criticism, scorn and skepticism. So what? The feedback you get will help you further develop them

2. Form a trusted group of peers

Find like-minded individuals who wish to succeed in whatever it is that they are doing and ask if they’d like to meet regularly (say.. once a month). It’s a great idea and having the same people to sit with helps expand your mental powers. You get ideas from them and get to talk out their ideas.

3. Meet with your group regularly

After forming the group, make sure you meet! It’s not enough to simply form the group. By meeting regularly, you encourage thoughts that expand your potential. Benjamin Franklin formed a group he called Junto that met weekly. From those meetings, we ended up with the concept of the volunteer fire department.

4. Write it down

Whatever “it” is, write it down. Carry a small notebook to write things down with. Don’t jot notes on your phone, or iPad - take the time to write it out. You’ll unload a lot of the heavy lifting to your pad and free up your brain for even more wonderfulness.

Stay persistent, friends,

Shamoon


Nov 28

Tax Your Brain

In sixth grade, I had a teacher named Mr. Shuter for science. He was a friendly man and from what I can recall, a pretty good teacher. I don’t remember much of what he taught, but one lesson stuck out pretty dominantly. He urged us all to “tax our brains”. At first, this seemed silly and unnecessary to a science class. But then I thought about it many years later and really understood his meant.

First, a matter of definition needs to be clarified. When we think “tax,” we generally think about the financial term. But there is another definition that’s oft overlooked.

tax (v): to lay a burden on; make serious demands on

I’m pretty sure that’s the definition he meant. Reflecting on my own life, I’ve noticed that over the years, I’ve made less demands on my brain as I’ve fallen into routines that help with daily tasks. I’ve developed processes where once there was nothing but thought. Remembering the times when I would think to the point of exhaustion, I find myself elated.

So today I commit. I commit to burdening my brain. I commit to forcing my brain to work harder every day so that it can improve. It’s like any muscle, really, the more you use it, the easier it gets. It’s a lifelong commitment to tax your brain and I thank you, Mr. Shuter, for the advice you gave to a room full of 12 year olds.

Stay persistent, friends,

Shamoon


Nov 13

The Malady of Debt

Recently, I pulled myself out of credit card debt and it is a fantastic feeling! No longer am I  a slave to the machine and no longer do I need to worry about minimum payments. I’ve attached a graph below showing my debt over the past 3 years.

It went from manageable to unmanageably pretty quickly and almost without warning. I tried strategy after strategy, but eventually got out of it. What you don’t see now is the $0 that I’m currently at, but trust me - it’s there.

So how did I do it?

Persistence. I knew that it would take time. I had budget a few years to get out of debt back in June of 2011 (when the debt was at it’s peak). Fortunately, I got out faster than I had planned, but I was prepared. Like most people, I piled onto “interest free” credit cards and played the games that people play with themselves when trying to dig free. It didn’t work. The only thing that really worked was knowing that someday soon, I’d be debt free.

Strategies

People subscribe to various strategies when it comes to debt reduction and all of them are valid. They’re mostly valid, but the most important thing is to not add additional debt! Stop using your credit card for EVERYTHING. Go to the ATM and get cash, even if you need to pay a fee. The discipline is worth it.

Be Public

Tell people that you’re paying down your debt. Tell friends and family so that you make a commitment. A stick in the ground is worth a lot.

Reward

It’s not easy, but when you’re down to zero, be sure to reward yourself. Debt is a terrible thing and people don’t often realize it. It’s so easy to get into debt, but you can spend the rest of your life trying to get out.

Stay persistent, friends,

Shamoon


Nov 10

Social Media is Larger than Porn

I may be a bit late in finding this video, but as it turns out, social media is, in fact, larger than porn when it comes to time spent online.

People tweet, like, share and digg. They thumbs up and pin things. It’s incredible to see the growth of social media over time (not a lot of time, might I add). People spend more time tweeting than ever thought imaginable. I often complain to friends and anyone that will listen that people make things up to tweet about! Instead of living life, they share it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but a part of me longs for the days when people actually lived!

I’m glad, however, that people are at least getting more connected with each other. It seems that social media is the antithesis of porn. Instead of sitting alone in a dark room staring at your monitor, we’re not engaged in the real world a bit, “checking in” to the coffee shop.

Stay persistent, friends,

Shamoon


Nov 7

Continuous Learning

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education"

-Mark Twain

People in school often can’t wait to get out. People that have never had the chance to go for higher education will do anything for the ability to educate themselves. When I was in college, my parents told me, time and time again, that those would be the most care free years of my life. They were right.

Learning doesn’t have to end with school and it shouldn’t. Taking classes today is easier than ever before. With wonderful resources out there like Khan Academy, anyone can learn anything. The key is to motivate ourselves that we need to. As we live our lives with our jobs and responsibilities, we find that we have enough knowledge to get by and acquiring more seems like a daunting task.

But it doesn’t have to be. It can be fun and challenging. The challenging aspect of it is often the most fun. Imagine being locked in a library for the rest of your life. It sounds like heaven to me. This post isn’t filled with advice or easy steps to learn more or to learn more often. It’s just my thoughts on how wonderful a life spent learning can be.

We can all lose motivation from time to time and I find that learning something that I didn’t know is a good way to get out of the funk.

Stay persistent, friends,

Shamoon


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