Fu#% Your Dreams Follow The $$

Fresh from Chiang Mai, Thailand, here’s a post discussing what many would consider to be a controversial quote by WallStreetPlayboys.

“Follow the $$$ not your dreams.

Why?

You dreams are what you *would* be doing if you had money!”

Let’s analyze the motivation behind this. Following your passion means saying I like doing “X”, so, I’m going to do “X”. Unfortunately, following your passion often forgets to take into account the most important factor when considering a career — the market.

You don’t care if I like juggling. You want an entertaining performance for your child’s birthday party or corporate event. Similarly, I don’t care if you appreciate being able to work remotely. I just want someone to help me move my blog from one webhost to another.

Besides the possibility of earning a low wage or creating a business that fails, following your passion doesn’t even guarantee you’ll continue to be passionate about something. Consider the countless examples of people who liked cooking, but found they hated owning a restaurant.

In addition, consider that many employers advertise “doing something you love” as an excuse to pay you less. This is why WallStreetPlayboys is encouraging you to simply follow the $$$. Doing so, will provide you a life of material comfort.

By minimizing your expenses, it’s also possible to retire from a well paid corporate gig in a decade or less (WHAT? See how here). Of course, there’s also a balance to be struck.

I wouldn’t suggest you intentionally go into a field you hate simply because it’s well paid. Being an orthodontist is a pretty sweet gig, but if you hate school, downing an extra decade of your life in education may not be feasible to you.

The best gigs tend to be at the crossroad between compensation and purpose. Teaching English to children in Mexico may be spiritually fulfilling, but doing so is probably going to land you less than $1,000/month. Coding can pay well, but depending on the project, may not be meaningful.

If on the other hand, you designed webpages for English schools, you could feel you were making a contribution while also being well compensated. That my friend, is the quadrant you want to be operating in.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a House in Your Early 20s

I’ve been to many cities in my life. Saigon, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Dallas, Milwaukee, Chicago… the list goes on and on. Only now, am I starting to get some kind of idea of the city I’d like to live in when I’m older. Before I started traveling in 2015, I would’ve had no idea what place I’d want to live in.

That’s the simple and biggest reason you shouldn’t buy a house in your early 20s. You don’t want to commit yourself to living somewhere before you know it’s the best place for you. Your location impacts your happiness almost as much as your career and the people you spend time with.

Do you want to live in a city that’s always warm or that has four distinct seasons? Is living in a primarily English speaking city important to you? Is air pollution a deal breaker? What’s the dating culture like in your potential dream cities? Do you require vegetarian restaurants? Is nightlife important to you? Would you rather live near the mountains, or the beach? Are you a laid back small town guy, or a big city hustler? Is being in close proximity to other countries important for your occupation? Are there likeminded entrepreneurs, a tech scene, real estate opportunities, or something else business related that’s important for your city to provide you? How important is being near your parents when they retire?

We could go on and on and on. I wouldn’t recommend buying a house for residential purposes at a young age at all, but if you decide you’re at that phase in your life, these questions and more are all important for you to consider.

Unfortunately, many of these questions are difficult to answer if you don’t have a wide perspective from living or at least visiting dozens of towns/cities in your life. It can also be difficult to know which city will provide you the best economic opportunities before settling into a specific industry yourself.

For that reason, you’re generally better off delaying a house purchase until you’re older and more established. Rent and explore when you’re young. You’ll have plenty of time to settle down and own a house when you’re older… if you even want to at that point.

How You Can Save $100 and 100 Hours Each Month

Cancel your cable television subscription. You’ll save money, you’ll save time, and you’ll be more successful. Bonus points if you sell your television as well. In addition, consider making a more restorative habit your new form of leisure.

Instead of sitting in front of the tube after a long day of work, write a blog, do yoga, go for a walk, or meditate. Besides being better for your finances, all of these activities will also do more than television to restore you. These activities will more deeply recharge you, and leave you in a better position to do quality work the next day.

The Biggest Problem With Mastermind Groups

If you haven’t heard of them before, masterminds are groups that meet at regular intervals. Perhaps once a week, once a month, or once a quarter. It’s common for members to talk about their goals as well as things they’ve done in their businesses. It’s also common for members to encourage, and offer advice to others as well.

The thinking behind mastermind groups is that having others to offer outside perspectives on your goals as well as accountability is useful. The concept of masterminding certainly sounds good from this angle.

The big problem, however, is that mastermind groups usually consist of people either haven’t yet succeeded, or people that simply aren’t going to succeed. With this being the case, it’s not inconceivable how being in a mastermind group isn’t always as useful as it would first seem.

My recommendation to you is as follows… Start your own mastermind group and carefully select or filter those that are allowed to join the group. This will still give you accountability and brainstorming benefits of masterminds, without you having to receive potentially misguided advice or being annoyed that weaker members field advice without actually applying it.

By only allowing highly motivated, ambitious, and action-oriented individuals into the group, you can gain all the benefits of masterminds and expand your network with a fairly minimal time investment.

More Information Is Not The Answer

Do you need to read more books to finally lose weight? Do you have to watch more videos to learn how to talk to girls? The answer… probably not. Derek Sivers once said, “If information were the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

It’s true. Everyone knows you need to eat healthy foods and exercise several times per week to lose weight. Yet, how many people actually do it?

Or, people know something like e-commerce or coding is hot. Yet, how many people are still stuck working low-level jobs?

Even if you know opportunities exist, the real value isn’t in having information. The real value is in applying that knowledge. The unfortunate reality, however, is that most people fall far too short on the action side of the equation.

In short, action is what’s going to take your life to the next level. Once you gain some momentum with taking action, information then becomes useful.

Information can then help you optimize your actions. Plus, pursuing your goals shifts your reticular activating system to see how you could actively apply the things you’re consuming.

#1 Get a base level of knowledge (which you’ve probably already done).

#2 Take action.

#3 Make action a habit.

#4 Consume from experts to optimize your approach.

#5 Calibrate your actions.

The 30 Second Will Someone Be Interesting Test

Beyond vocal tonality and the way they carry themselves, there’s another easy way to tell if someone will be an interesting person. When you meet someone new, simply ask them, “What are you passionate about?”

90% of people will say, “You know… I like to eat, or ummm watch football, uhhh hang out with friends.”

Beyond simply having generic hobbies (which isn’t always a problem in itself), these people are also likely to respond to you in an uninspired fashion. They’ll also often hesitate before responding. If the response you get from someone is similar to this… they’re almost guaranteed to be uninteresting.

If someone can’t be engaged and energetic when talking about something they love… it’s likely any further conversation with them will prove to be dull as well.

Learning Efficiently & Becoming Mentally Strong

Often when we have opportunities in life we’ll say, “Awwww I should apply for this job but I’m not ready yet”. Or, “I should join this soccer team but I don’t think I’m good enough yet”. Or, “I should do X experience but I’m not ready”.

Visualize this. Someone is learning to ski. They go down the little hill again and again and again. At first the little hill is a bit scary, but they quickly become accustomed to it. Yet, they keep repeating this now easy task over and over again.

They’re intimidated by the challenge the big hill has waiting for them. They want to keep doing the little hill again and again to avoid the big hill. At the very least, they think repeatedly practicing the small hill will eventually make the bigger hill less scary.

This may work on some small level, but it’s important to recognize that repeating easy tasks has diminishing returns. While skiing down the little hill may continue to be fun, the pace at which you’re learning slows the longer you attempt the same task and expose yourself to the same repeating stimuli. This is an important realization, but one you probably don’t want to acknowledge.

We like doing things we’re good at. We don’t want to hear that the best way to improve is to do the things we’re not fully comfortable with. It means we have to face our fears.

It means doing things that may feel awkward or uncomfortable to us. We may have to change our perspective or attempt to expand our minds in ways that are mentally exhausting or frustrating.

Put simply, reaching your potential is impossible if you only repeat a small number of tasks you’re already comfortable with. Of course, there’s a balance too. If you stretch yourself too far you’ll learn inefficiently.

You shouldn’t be studying CSS if you don’t know basic HTML yet. If you’re learning English you shouldn’t study words like ‘Abolish’ or ‘Accumulation’ before you’re comfortable with more basic vocabulary like ‘fast’ or ‘smile’.

Inefficient learning is the best case scenario of this approach as well. More likely, you’ll just give up. You’ll claim learning to code or learning English “just wasn’t for me”.  Dangerous.

The best way to learn things, and the best way to expand your comfort zone is to do something one step or level beyond your current abilities.

If you’ve become comfortable with HTML, learn CSS. If traveling across the country doesn’t feel challenging to you, travel to another country. When giving a speech to 10 people stops being scary, give a presentation to 20 people.

Do the things that challenge you. Do the things that scare you. Before long, they’ll cease to be challenging or scary. Your abilities and comfort zone will have expanded. When this happens, you’ll know it’s time to move on to life’s next challenge for you 🙂

4 Reasons to Drink Water While Working

Everyone knows that drinking water is important for your health. Drinking lots of water hydrates the body, helps you control the number of calories you consume, assists the kidney in flushing out toxins, yadayadayada. We’ve all heard it before.

Yet, many people still aren’t drinking enough water. Some are so perpetually dehydrated that that they don’t even realize they need to drink more water.

Whether the health benefits of getting enough water haven’t been enough to encourage you to increase your intake, or you simply need a reminder to drink more water, this post is for you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, startup founder, independent professional, or digital nomad… you can’t afford to let something as trivial as you water intake limit your ability to produce great work.

Here are the top reasons you need to drink water while working.

#1 Your Brain Will Function Better

Research suggests that reaction times (as well as other brain functions) decrease after you become dehydrated. These decreases are also in proportion to how dehydrated you are.

In other words, you can still produce near your productive peak if you’re only a little dehydrated. On the other hand, fatigue and concentration could become a serious issue when you’re severely dehydrated.
Working at Computer

#2 You’ll Make Better Beverage Choices

When you’re dehydrated, you’re going to crave some type of drink. Why not let it be water? Getting your drinks from the coffee shop is problematic because you don’t always know what exactly is in them.

Especially if you’re living abroad, some countries like to add lots of garbage to your drinks. Condensed milk, sugar, yogurt, syrup, and ice cream have a way of finding their way into coffee chop drinks.

Drinking water is an easy alternative. You’ll be healthier, and you’ll also avoid large sugar crashes that’ll leave you feeling sluggish and unable to do your best work.

Ice-Cream

#3 You’ll Save Money

Are you bootstrapping a startup? Limiting your costs is one of the best ways to extend your runway. Avoiding expensive drinks and simply opting for water is an easy way to save money each day.

$2 on a coffee here and $3 on a smoothie there may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up. You don’t need to be a startup founder to benefit from these cost savings, however.

Employees or freelancers can also benefit from reducing their costs as well. As an employee, limiting your expenses can leave you with more money to invest in educational products, or courses.

Freelancers with low living expenses have the option of freelancing fewer hours, to develop new skills or invest time into building a more long-term scalable business.

Mlik-Smoothie

#4 You’ll Go to The Bathroom More Often

Drinking more water inevitably means that you’ll have to go to the bathroom more. Many people see this as an inconvenience. It’s not.

Having to go to the bathroom every hour or so can actually turbo charge your productivity because it forces you to change your body’s positioning. Most people sit way too much. Worse yet, they spend their already excessive sitting time seated with poor posture.

What’s the solution? Standing or walking desks are a great option. If your circumstances require you to sit all day, however, periodically standing and moving can be a great way to reduce the negative effects of sitting too much.

Of course, actually disciplining yourself to stretch every hour is difficult. Fortunately, drinking lots of water will force you to stand up and walk to the bathroom every now and then.

These occasional break will help you maintain your body’s posture and structural integrity over time. They’ll also allow you to feel more energetic and focused in the time you do spend working. Water for the win!

Vietnamese Bathroom

Conclusion

While water isn’t going to transform you into the next Mark Zuckerberg over night, your career or business will benefit from you increasing your water intake. With this change being so trivially easy to make, there’s no reason not to claim all the advantages a well hydrated body brings!

Why You Should Date Many Girls Before Committing to One

Like many young romantics, I always had the belief that I was going to marry the first girl I kissed or the first girl I had sex with. That of course didn’t happen, but why do a lot of young guys want that?

I believe it’s because many men that are inexperienced with women feel they’ve gotten lucky when they finally land a solid girl. When you finally get a girl you believe could be a halfway decent partner it’s easy to cling to here as a guy without much dating experience.

The most common reason being that you’re not confident you’d have the ability to replace her. Or, at least replace her in a reasonable amount of time. Another possibility is that you’re clinging to the (mostly) Hollywood fantasy of high school sweethearts, and you’re willing to stay with an inferior girl just because you believe she’s somehow inherently better for being the first girl to date you.

Finally, you may believe that you’re capable of replacing your girlfriend, but that you just don’t want be single again. That’s understandable. Going out to the bars, or swiping on Tinder, or however you meet girls is fun at first but can get old after a while. It can also be scary, especially for a guy that hasn’t yet been desensitized to the fear of rejection.

All of these reasons to prolong a relationship with a girl lessen over time as you acquire more experience with women. After you’ve been with a handful or perhaps dozen of girls (depending on the guy), you’ll realize that you can get another girl if the first one starts treating you poorly.

You’ll also realize that while you may have a soft spot for the first relationship of your life, you’d much rather have a higher quality girl rather than just the first girl that would tolerate being in a relationship with you.

Of course, these are just the reasons inexperienced guys often stay in a relationship longer than they should. More important, however, is understanding why you shouldn’t do this. That way, you can avoid getting stuck in a relationship that’s not going to make you happy or give you the ability to reach your potential.

Basically, the two reasons getting in a relationship before dating lots of girls is a bad idea are as follows:

  1. You won’t know exactly what you want in a girlfriend.

This is pretty self-explanatory. You need to date a crazy girl to know that while she’s fun, she might not be the best partner to raise your children or support you in building a successful business or career.

Likewise, dating a career-oriented woman may feel too competitive to you. Or, maybe you’ll like always having someone to talk about business with and push you to grow. However, you won’t know exactly what girl is right for you until you’ve sampled a lot of flavors.

The big problem is that everybody tends to fall hard for their first girlfriend. They make her into some perfect butterfly and magically overlook all of her flaws. Unfortunately, overlooking those flaws doesn’t make them go away.

Often your infatuation will hide the fact that while you two are a decent match, you do have fundamental incompatibilities that would prevent you from being together long-term. However, as you get older and have more dating experience you’ll be able to have a more objective experience in evaluating your level of compatibility with a woman.

2. You Won’t Know How to Structure the Relationship

There was a lot of things I did wrong in my first relationship. I wasn’t sexual enough, I was overly frugal, and I allowed myself to become emotionally dependent on the girl a bit too often. I’m better at managing all of those aspects of a relationship now. Likewise, you’ll do lots of things wrong in your first relationship too.

Fortunately, as you gain experience with women, read about evolutionary psychology, and grow older, you’ll gain a much better understanding of woman. You’ll better understand how to relate to them, but also how to structure your relationship with them.

You won’t be scared of losing any specific girl, and for that reason you won’t be afraid to set boundaries with your girl. You won’t let her walk all over you and she’ll love you for that.

Conclusion

While marrying and being together forever with the first girl you kiss or marry is possible, I wouldn’t be too concerned about trying to engineer your life to guarantee that outcome. There’s just too many variables to try to control. Plus, there’s so many advantages to dating 3, 5, 10, or even 20 girls before you choose the one you’re going to be with long-term.

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Picture is of the romantic hangout of young couples in Saigon, Turtle Lake. This is my last girl post for a long time. 2015 and 2016 were big dating years for me, and thus my mind is still in a bit of a dating and getting girls space.

Maybe I’ll get back to the girl stuff again one day, but for the coming months I’ll be talking a lot more about travel, personal development, personal branding/social media, and possibly coworking spaces.

Btw, I’m becoming a lot more active on social media these days. Please be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Tweet me @camchardukian on Twitter or send me a DM on Instagram to request new blog posts or just say hi! 

 

Your Dreams Must Come Before Your Girl(s)

Women love powerful men. However, even more than that, women love having power over their man. At least they believe this on a subconscious level. More often, the reality is that a women will begin to resent you once she’s tied your balls in a knot. If a women believes you’re living your life in reaction to her, she’s not going to respect you.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be supportive of your woman and love her. Rather, it simply means that as a man you have to have a mission for yourself. You need to have a direction you’re going and invite her on that journey with you. Of course, your woman can have her own goals too. That’s healthy. You can encourage your girl to lose weight, or learn a new language, or develop skills for her career.

The problem is when you place your girlfriend’s needs above your own because you’re afraid of losing her. Cheering your girlfriend on to go to the gym or spend 30 minutes reading books every night is an awesome way to be supportive in a healthy relationship.

Sacrificing your own goals and dreams for your girlfriend because you’re scared she’ll leave you otherwise, however, is exactly what you don’t want to be doing. I’ll give an example from my own life. I’ve recently become financially stable as a freelance writer. Because of this increased financial stability, I’ll spend some time this year traveling away from Vietnam and exploring the rest of Southeast Asia.

Maybe I’ll stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand or Bali, Indonesia for a few months. Maybe I’ll travel indefinitely. I’m not quite sure yet, but I’ve invited my girlfriend to come with. However, I understand that long distance relationships don’t work. That’s why when inviting her I explained that she doesn’t have to come with on this adventure, but that we couldn’t be together if she stayed in Vietnam.

Is that mean? What if she wanted to stay in Vietnam? While this is an incredible opportunity for her to see the world, she’ll have to spend a lot of time away from her family and friends to do so. Plus, she’ll have to put any “real” job in Vietnam on hold to travel with me, learn new skills and support my business.

I hope she comes with, and I think joining me on this journey would be an awesome choice for her life. However, I’ve clearly put a breakup on the table, and doing that required me not to be afraid to lose my girl. Yet in the end, I know one thing.

If a man doesn’t follow his dreams because of a woman, he will usually come to resent that woman. More than that, the woman will resent him. She’ll see that he didn’t go after what he really wanted in life because he was too afraid to lose her. That’s why you can never be afraid of breaking up with a girl.

If you place her before your dreams, you’ll lose your dreams. Plus, you’ll usually lose your girl too. At the very least you’ll lose her respect, and a relationship without that isn’t worth it anyway.

On the other hand, if you follow your dreams… that’s where all the potential in the world is. Your old girl will come along for the ride if it was meant to be. If she doesn’t, it’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter.

You’ll have your dreams, which were the most important thing for you. Ironically, you’ll still get girls in the end on this path because you’ll be fulfilled and content with your life. That my friends, is what draws the girls in.