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A Sunday Night Ramble…

September 27, 2010

Every now and then I become nostalgic and reflect back on my high school and college days.  Normally I try to stay focused on the daily grind, but its good to let your mind wonder because that is when the creative juices start flowing.  What better day to drift than on one of those cold, gloomy sundays in which you don’t want to get out of bed.  Under most circumstances I wouldn’t be happy to start the day with an overcast sky and a 50 degree day.  When it is 80 and sunny every single day for 2 months straight, every now and then its fun to get a curveball thrown at you with some cold rain.

Sunday is the perfect day to clean the slate for the week ahead.  I look at sunday as an organization day and my first day of the work week. This gets me into that whole “going against the grain” mentality. Nothing that I really do is normal to most people, but normal is boring so that label works for me.  I used to be a gambler, and a lesson that I always abided by was to go against what the majority of people thought, because more times than not they will be wrong.
Being an entrepreneur, I don’t work a normal five day work week.  There are ups and downs to that just like everything else in life.  I work seven days a week, but I wake up every morning without caring what day of the week it is.  Life is all about balance, and after reading hundreds of  biographies, marketing, and entrepreneurship books the common theme has always revolved around: doing what you love is crucial to success.   The 1am runs that I take or the 8am peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I eat probably don’t make any sense to most of you, but that is how I like to do things.

Sundays seem to always be catch up days for me.  I try to call family members and keep up with friends from afar.  I got off the phone with one of my buddies that works on Wall Street at one of these big banks.  He puts in 110 hours a week and more times than not will work 7 days a week!  Everytime I talk to him on the phone he sounds lifeless.  He makes a six figure salary, but at what cost?  I saw my buddy a few months ago and he looked malnourished and as though he had just gotten over a terrible illness and/or was fighting one.  The individual that I speak of did “everything right” (straight A student, model citizen, great athlete).  He went to a great college, pledged a fraternity, built a great network and got a “great job” (110 hour work weeks with no life is a great job?)  Always pushing himself to the limit, he bought into “the system” (the education system in our society does everything in their power to brainwash children into believing that “doing well in school will lead to everything working out”.)  which gained him “the american dream”. (Growing up in the 1990s, the American Dream for most people where I grew up in New Jersey was to work on Wall Street for a large corporation and live the high life in New York City)  My friend now is down and out because he has been working nonstop for 3 years and is beginning to realize that he has no quality of life.  Two of the last three times I saw him he had to leave and go back to work. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for him? Unfortunately I think he is blinded by the fact that he has always and will always be disciplined in line with the rules that were created by “the man”  (He is one link in a very large chain which represents our society as a whole.  The best analogy to use in this scenario is to imagine an assembly line in which everyday, at the same time, individuals operate in a systematic and robotic tendency.  They lose passion in their jobs, and the childlike imagination that is within all of us, is lost from their train of thought. They no longer are able innovate at will because they are working under “the man”.

So where do we go from here?  I am in a fortunate position in which I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule in my day to day life.  I don’t think of what I do as a job so it makes everyday very enjoyable.  Having a carefree attitude has helped me stay focused and healthy.  I make sure to workout on a daily basis and eat as healthy as a 24 year old guy who lives in a college town that runs a menu site possibly can.  I never did as well in school as the friend that I just spoke about, but that was probably because I was never paying attention to what most teachers were saying.  I remember asking my sixth grade math teacher why she was a math teacher and she told me that she loved math, and she loved teaching children.  If only it was that simple for everybody.  I look back on that day randomly because it makes me realize that everything in life can be broken down and taken in stride with a taste of that refreshing simplicity.

Do what you really want to do, not what somebody else tells you to do or what you think you have to do.

That will do it for tonight, good luck in the week ahead and I will get at you tomorrow with my next rant.

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