Mount Ararat (pictures taken from Yerevan) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Ararat
Mount Ararat (pictures taken from Yerevan) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Ararat
I like reading books. What I like especially is to find some powerful quotes that can strengthen me. One such quote can be found in Tolkien’s “Lord of the rings”. I read the books twice and watched the movies twice. It is not that I am a fanatic but I really like reading good books. And LOTR is certainly an excellent story, also because of such powerful quotes:
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”: Gandalf
The quote is mixing two opposite views: destiny and free will. But I would say that free will is more emphasized and that is why I always have it in my mind during rough times.
There was a lot of regret in my youth, mostly about lost time. I would get stuck in some regret spiral. The result would always be more time lost. Eventually I got over it by precisely doing what Gandalf says in the quote, although I came across the book years after.
The quote just strengthens my view: no regrets. Focus on what will you do next, not on what you did before. Use the experience from the past, of course, but do not regret the past time.
Use the given time which is left.
I am just guessing that if you would ask an average person this question he or she would say: yes. This is probably because an average person is not in jail so feeling free is mostly connected to not being locked psychically to a small and limited area.
But if you would ask: are you doing what you want most of the time? I doubt that the answer would be yes.
The other word for freedom is independence. So we could say that the opposite of freedom is dependence. Makes sense: if you depend on something or someone then you are not completely free.
On the other hand, ultimate freedom is not possible simply because people are dependent on water, air, gravity, etc. Putting aside those dependencies that can’t be reduced, someone could achieve nice level of freedom by reducing all other dependencies.
Are Amazonian tribes the most free people in the world?
They only worry about very simple and necessary things like food. They only depend on rivers and jungle to find the food. But they spend most of their time on those simple things like collecting food so they don’t have much time for freedom.
Are rich people free?
They have money to go where ever they want and they can do more things than most other people. Could be also that they have less dependencies than other people. Usually they don’t have fixed time when they need to be at work, etc. But a lot of other people depend on them. Like employees.
Looks like the freedom-dependence relationship is too simple to describe the problem. There is an inverse thing to dependence: responsibility. A child depends on his mother, so she has responsibility towards it.
So maybe you are not depending on someone or something but you have responsibilities for someone or something. That reduces your freedom too.
If you would have no responsibility and you would not depend on anything (except air, water, food, etc.) you would be free by definition :) But what would you do then?
Are rich people’s kids free?
They depend only on theirs parents money and usually have far less responsibility then most other people. Are they free? Maybe. But why lot of them end up depending on stuff like alcohol, drugs, etc?
Seems like we need some dependencies and responsibilities after all :)
At the end of the day, freedom could be just the privilege of choosing the right dependencies and the right responsibilities. If you don’t have time for the right ones consider reducing the ones that are bad or eating to much of your time.
You want to go visit some location all your life? Stop smoking, start saving and one day you will have the money.
Unable to save money? Watch the TV then, looks for travel channels.
You like dogs and you want to take care of a dog? Start reducing your TV time, as you will be lot of time outdoors with the dog.
Want a kid? Give the dog away. Might be to hard to take care of both. The kid should be more important. Kids are the ultimate responsibility: less freedom but definitely more joy :)
I live in a time when there is no need to fear. Also I live in a part of world which is not dangerous. Compared to some other parts of the world it is quite a nice place. So I don’t have much reasons to seriously fear. Of course people always find some ridiculous reasons to be frightened, but today my life is not threatened by hunger, illness, war nor any other life threatening occasions.
I am also not frightened of the future for my self. Unless, some drastic changes come into the world :) like the black plague or similar ELE. Remember, last time it happened it wiped out half of Europeans. Now, that is a good reason to be scarred.
To summarize I think I am capable of dealing with present and near future circumstances quite good. So I don’t fear.
But this changed one year ago when I got a child. How will future look like? Will wife and I raise the child so it could live well in the future world? What about today? Will it fall of the chair? Will it hurt the head? How will it learn to cross the street? Too much uncertainty.
So I fear now….
By the way I read the Dune series currently and there is a nice song about fear:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain
Back in elementary school I liked physical exercise. Running was no problem, I could run 10km and then go and play basketball. Also cycling 30km over the hills, no problem. I knew without thinking how important is to have a regular training.
But then my high-school changed that. Problem was the distance, I needed to change 2 buses for over 30km to get to the school and needed to wake up at 5:23 am (yes, I remember that time quite well) every second week for 4 years. I got used to it but the only drawback was no time for some regular training what so ever.
Going to university (in another city) didn’t change much at the beginning, although the distance was much shorter and public transportation was better. Well, the student way of life didn’t help, that is for sure.
But after few years I realized the situation must change. So I started to go to the gym together with few friends. I must confess I didn’t like it and it didn’t stick except for the indoor rower. That part was really exceptional as you can burn a lot of calories in short time. But after some time it didn’t make sense to go to the gym only to row.
Then we tried to jog. Didn’t stick too, probably because I was running on asphalt, so my feet where killing me. I have over 100kg so it makes a difference on how I use my feet :)
After some time I discovered swimming. As I am originally from the seaside I love swimming. The only problem were the pools (as I am no longer living by the sea) with all the chemicals put there to prevent infections and stuff. but I got used to it. As I never learned how to swim crawl properly (25m without stopping was the limit) my first concern was to learn how to breath. And that is one of the main reasons I love swimming, it forces you to learn how to breath. After few month my crawling improved so I could swim a bit more than 25m. After a year I could do 3km without stopping and I was filling great. But the the risk associated with pools prevailed after few years and I stopped swimming regularly.
Short after my 30. birthday I decided to do something new. One of my friends was training judo for 5 years so I went there and tried. It was superb. Although people don’t start to learn judo at my age, I somehow did it. After 2 years I got to the green belt. I felt excellent. Every training was physically demanding but also great stress relief. Plus I learned some techniques. Very very good sport for recreation.
It is much easier to destroy than to build, thus, building is much more challenging to me :)
“Quiet water wears down mountains.” - old proverb
One of the most undervalued thing that is very rarely mentioned but in my opinion very important for a long term success as an entrepreneur (and generally in life as well) is continuity. Meaning that things you do should rather be done in smaller portions but over long period of time.
Let me give you few examples:
Surely there are some more examples, but you get the picture.
It is hard to organize your life to use less bursts and more continuity. You need to be patient, focused, determined and have some routine.
Easier said than done :)
Never have I read a full biography before. Till this one. There are people who worship him, there are people who think quite the opposite, but the fact stands that he was an unusual guy with an unusual life which is always a good material for a book.
I find the book inspiring because of one thing: Jobs focus. He was able to focus really, really good and in my opinion it was the main reason of his success. But he payed a big price for this ability. His family suffered and probably he could have lived more if he had not force him self to focus so much on work at Apple (and Next and Pixar too).
Many people didn’t like him. He was rude, even brutal when dealing with other people. He was rarely involved in charity. He made a big profits with Apple in last years, but workers in his China factories made very little for them selves. But I would give him credit anyway because he did it not for pure profits but to achieve some creative goal. And vast number of people are now using his creation worldwide.
Now that is a legacy worth reading about :)
2 weeks ago (March 30th) we celebrated 100 years of Karl May’s death. He was a known liar and thief, had problems with law in teens, proclaimed him self a doctor, probably had kleptomania, etc. A controversial person softly put.
But he did write some beautiful and joyful books, especially for teenagers (as I once was). I did read a lot of those books but Winnetou series is absolute classic. And the main character, an Apache chieftain, was the most inspiring fiction person in my youth: a proud leader with great integrity and strong will. His traits were idealistic but influential nevertheless.
Few motives from Hanoi, Vietnam
Going to visit Hanoi, Vietnam again after few years. Back then I was amazed with what the people there were capable of putting on a small motorcycle. Check these few pics :)
Recently I read this book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged (there is even a new movie filmed last year of which I was not aware of, although critics are not good). My plan is to write a review on every new book I read especially if it has some impact on me.
And this one really had made an impact.
After I finished the other book from the same author “The Fountainhead”: http://ilukac.com/post/12853806626/book-the-fountainhead, which was a really nice book on individualism, I couldn’t avoid “Atlas Shrugged”.
The book is similar to more popular Orwell’s “1984” but more complex, with more levels and characters. Both authors are critical to totalitarian regimes but in different way.
It is an unrealistic book, almost like science fiction. Not because of some SF stuff like Rearden Metal or Galt’s Motor, but because of the fact that all characters are clearly differentiated, they are either:
In reality it is impossible to clearly classify people in those two groups. Of course, in the novel this clear distinction has its role: to make possible of “removing the pillars of the world” scenario.
Author defends the “laissez faire” system as superior to communism and similar regimes, but in my opinion she has a big flaw in her thinking. To her, capitalism is better because it is self-regulated. But self-regulation only works if you have competent and moral people in charge. Of course it would work then, heck any kind of system will work better with better people running it. But the problem is that such rare people are rarely in charge.
That is why we have problems today in the global economy. A lot of greedy bastards are leading us. And we have a system which encourages them.
Nevertheless, the book is a must read for all people who want to be entrepreneurs or live successfully in the today’s global world.
Those are some of the key messages you can learn from this book. Fits my way of thinking perfectly.
Who is John Galt? You will need to read the book :)
Remembering Cairo, Egypt
Happy birthday Muhammad Ali
It is just over 30 years since he left the ring. And it is almost as long since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which, ever since, has taunted the supreme athlete he once was. Most of the world’s inhabitants had not been born when he fought his epic contests with Joe Frazier, George Foreman and the American military. Yet Muhammad Ali remains to this day one of the most admired human beings on the planet, perhaps still the most widely loved of us all. This newspaper has never loved professional boxing, but Ali always gloriously transcended his sport, which has struggled to survive without him. That he has reached his 70th birthday after the assaults and ravages that have been inflicted on him is another tribute. A lesser man might have become reclusive, content to live in a well-tended retreat. But Ali never turned his face away. The greatest. The people’s champ. The words still fit him. Happy 70th birthday, Muhammad Ali.