What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word "investor"?

Many people's first thoughts would probably be something dealing with money.  Maybe a person that has acquired a significant amount of money.  The key is, how did they gain the money?  In my mind, they earned the money by researching how the could take their existing resource and use them in such a way that they would grow.  They then continue this process of growing their amount of money.

What does it take to grow money?  I submit that it requires some knowledge and planning.  It requires knowing what types of activities are most likely to make money grow and then making a plan and taking the actions to make the money grow.

Most everyone want to have more money.  There are just different approaches to how people try and get it.  Some people try and steal it, and others are hoping for lucky to shine on them to provide the money.  The investor does not have to steal or rely solely on luck.  There is of course some chance involved, though it is like the saying "The harder I work, the luckier I seem to get."

How does this relate to other parts of our life?  I think you can be an investor in all areas of your life, not just with money.  You can be a love investor, friend investor, healthy investor, spiritual investor, or whatever is important to you.  What would this mean?  This would mean, you can educate yourself about that area you are interested in, you can make a plan and take actions on the plan to increase that which you want and then continue to do this to make it grow.  Be careful that you are not trying to steal or rely on luck to get what you want.

What is the opposite of an investor?  A bum is the closest I can come up with for an opposite of an investor.  A bum just coasts along, with no long term vision or plan.  Their planning might extend a few hour or at most a few days.  I doubt there are many bums who have yearly or even decade long plans.  Investors often have 5 year, 10 year or even 500 year plans.

Look at the areas of your life that are important to you.  Are you being an investor or a bum?
Somewhere recently, I saw a post about the most important advice that this person had received.  The advice was something like, "Stop trying to find people that need what you have, instead find people that think like you."

This made sense to me in that the people that I enjoy most and benefit most from are those that I can see how we have similar beliefs are understandings of the world.  I guess to make this work, it would also help to be clear about what I believe, or maybe look at the people that I like and respect and what about them I want to emulate.

One thing would be rationality.  The idea that there are causes and effects for things and it is possible to learn.
Outlier - Another key for me are people that are used to being outside of the normal.  I like people that are just a little off.
Money is good. - I like people that believe that money is a good thing and having more is just fine.
Positive/happy/funny - Who doesn't like people that have these traits?

Outlier, I struggle with that one.  I think independent would be a better choice of words.  Someone that is happy to believe their own belief and not concerned if others accept it or not.

So we have rational, independent, financially motivated and positive.  How do I put knowledge seeker in?  I am attracted to people that are seeking answers.  People that are interested in challenging their beliefs, in a rational way, and considering alternative rational explanations.  Open minded?

OK, I have Rational, Open Minded, Independent, Positive, Capitalist.  Yes, this is very close to it.  I like capitalists and am a capitalist.  The think about capitalist is that it is such a charged word.  Especially that I live in China, a communist country.  Communist and Capitalist are listed as antonyms in the thesaurus so many people here may resist labeling themselves as a capitalist despite business being highly valued here.

I really like capitalist because it does separate those that are afraid of money and those that aren't.
How do you convince others about the truth of your beliefs?

In most cases, I understand how it doesn't really matter.  There is some saying about a person convinced of a truth against their will is not convinced.  The idea is that everyone want to think that they realize the truth of something themselves and not that others tell them.

OK, I get this, but what about in cases where it is urgent and important to convince the other person?  In particular, I'm thinking about convincing my wife about how to treat my son's sickness.  This morning, my son woke up with a sore throat.

My wife went to reach for the antibiotics to give him and this started some friction between us because I immediately forbid her from doing that.  I did this because I have lots of evidence that not only are they non-effective again sore throats which are usually viral, but that misuse of antibiotics is dangerous.  Check out this article about Antibiotic Misuse.

How could I have handled it differently?  I have heard the advice that I should agree with everything my wife says.  So, I should agree with her advice to administer ineffective and potentially dangerous medication to my son?  That's hard for me to accept.

Furthermore, I also have strong evidence that there is little evidence of any effective treatments for the common cold and he best we can hope for is to reduce the suffering and just wait about 1 week for it to get better.  The most effective medications are NSAIDs or Acetaminophen (Tylenol).  I prefer Acetaminophen because it is effective for me.  When I take NSAIDs I don't have any feeling that they work.  You can check this article about how to treat sore throats.

We have Ibuprofen for children, an NSAID, though it is difficult to administer without my wife's help and she doesn't want to give it because she wants to give the antibiotics.  Furthermore, she doesn't believe me, despite me showing her the above pages.  No, she want to call her friend, who has no more medical knowledge than my wife, so I don't know why she would trust her over me.

So, how could I handle this differently?  Just let her give the antibiotics?  Give my son no medication and let him suffer?  Continue to try and show my wife that antibiotics are dangerous and NSAIDs and Acetaminophen are thousands of time safer?

We are also dealing with cultural differences as my wife is Chinese.  Reason and logic are feeble weapons against culture and habits.
What if today is the last day of your life?  How would you act?  What if you treated every day like that.  Eventually you'll be right.

How about if it was the last 6 months or last 10 years of your life?  If today was truly the last day of my life, would I keep doing what I'm doing right now.  Pretty much, yes.  I have no need to jump on a plane and fly somewhere.  I do that plenty and then most of the day would be spent in the airport and on the plane.

Today I have a productive day planned and am satisfied with what I will be accomplishing.  Maybe it is more helpful to push out the death clock to 6 months or 5 years.  Or maybe it's just helpful to think about what I admire that others have.

I admire leaders that are calm, funny, positive and rational.  I admire people that control significant assets.  I admire people that have traveled the world.

When I think of it this way, it is more clear the areas I have more work to do.  I am rational and sometimes funny.  I am working on the positive and the calm comes and goes.  As far as controlling significant assets, this is definitely a weakness.  Travel the world is not a problem, I have that one covered.

So the most significant issues would be controlling significant assets, positive and calm.  How would I define significant assets?  I guess large amounts of land, buildings and businesses.  How much is a large amount of land?  I don't even know.  Let's say large enough that it would take 12 hours to walk the perimeter.  So if I walk 3 miles per hour that would be 36 miles perimeter.  That would be 9 miles square or 81 square miles or 51,840 acres or 20,979 hectare.  We could say 50,000 acres or 20,000 hectares.

For buildings, I think a 20+ story office building, or shopping complex with 20+ units.

How can I control those assets in
hat Yesterday's post was helped me to focus some on how to have an equal or greater amount of energy to do the things that I know will help me improve versus those things that I "naturally" enjoy doing, like watching TV.  The advanced course for that topic would be how to do those things even when they aren't planned.  Meaning when I wake up in the middle of the night, instead of watching TV or surfing the web aimlessly, I do productive tasks.  For now, I'm satisfied if I am able to schedule myself to do these productive tasks and accomplish them.

Another challenge that I have is creating and maintaining a powerful network.  I am probably closer to this than I may think.  I can relate this to dating, another of my favorite reference points beside weight loss.

There have been long stretches of my youth where I had no dates.  It wasn't that I didn't want to have a girlfriend, I just didn't know of a method to reliably get one and my circle of friends was small or non-existent so it was also highly unlikely that I would get one by accident.

Finally, I had decided to do something about this and started taking action and learning about different ways to get dates.  I was also impressed by guys that seemed to have an unlimited supply of dates.  The thing that I eventually realized was that the distance between where they are and where I would be happy wasn't that far.

What I mean is that if I had zero dates, it wasn't like I would need to get 100 dates to be wildly happy.  Not even 50 or 25.  If I had 3 dates per week, that would already be more than enough.  I know some guys who have 6 or 7 dates per week, and this is rare, like being an Olympic athlete or multi-billionaire.

So, all of this babbling is to focus on, how many quality contacts would make a reasonable network for me?  100 quality business contact?  3 social business meetings per week?  I think that is a reasonable goal.  If I was able to have 3 social business, face-to-face meetings with decision makers a week, that would be a reasonable goal.
I like this quote.  I can also relate it to the idea that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

When reading this, I have also recently thought about the fact that if I have the energy to scold my child, or yell at my wife, I should also have the energy to love them.

For example, I have caught myself resting on the couch and my son or wife might want some attention from me and I am reluctant because I feel tired.  Though, if my son does something "wrong" all of a sudden I have the energy to jump up and correct him.

It was really striking to me how my priorities seem a little off balance.  Why, all of a sudden, do I have energy when my son does something "wrong", though when all he want is me to play with him, or love him, that I say I'm too tired?

Realizing this, I now do my best to use that filter when my son wants to play.  I ask myself, am I really so tired that even if he does something I don't approve of that I will let it slide, then if that is true then I can also continue my resting.  If I realize that I have enough energy to scold him, than I surely have enough energy to play with him.

Zig Ziglar tells a similar story about how you have a day where everything seems to go wrong.  You wake up and there is no hot water.  You go to your car and it has a flat tire.  On the way to work, you run into a major traffic jam.  When you get to work, your assistant isn't there, so you have to do double work all day.  Finally when you get home, you are so tired, your wife approaches and says how she is so happy to see you since you had already agreed to help her clean the house today.  You profess that you can't take another step and then your friend calls and says the if you can come over in 15 minutes, they have front row tickets to a game or concert and you are out the door in 5 minutes.

Why did you all of a sudden have energy for "fun" and not for your wife/family?  How can we either create energy all the time, or classify time with our loved ones as "fun", or classify "work" as "fun"?

For my wife and son, I have a method where I ask myself, if I have enough energy to scold or argue with them, then I surely first can use that energy to play and love them.  How do I transfer that mindset to work?  I have instances when I just avoid work and surf the web.  How can I tell myself, "If you have time to surf the web, then you have time to do work?"





For the past 18 days, I have been suffering from debilitating joint pain. The cause of this illness is a mystery, despite visiting two doctors in Korea, 2 doctors in China, 3 pharmacists, countless internet searches, at least 10 oral medications and topical traditional Chinese medicine.

The key thing is how does this affect my success?  First way is that I during those 18 days, I stopped most of my system of success.  The system consists of 1) Wake early, 2) Write out goals 3-5 days / week, 3) Write in blog 3-5 days/week, 4) Listen to 45min - 1 hr success material 3-5 days / week, and 5) Take regular action towards goals 5 days per week 6) Weekly meeting with other success minded people.

For the first few days of illness I did continue with my success activities, then we had 7 days planned vacation in Korea and I have traditionally stopped most of these success activities during vacations.  This is a pattern that I want to review because I am more careful about trying to maintain a healthy eating pattern, even during vacation, though I did allow that also slip.

I believe that the success system is mostly concerned with training our mind, just like a healthy program is designed to train our body.  When you go on vacation, how much unhealthy things should you allow yourself to do since you are on vacation?  There are of course extremes on both ends of this spectrum.  I have heard that professional athletes if they even miss one day of training will suffer for several days when they start again, so if they stopped for 3 or 7 days, they would suffer even more.  Most of us aren't at this level a performance, so I suspect we can probably handle 1-3 days of slacking off.

Well, back to the current situation, the good news is that in general I have been able to maintain a positive and productive attitude, especially with my wife.  My wife has been great in looking after our son, practically completely by herself because I have been bedridden for the last 7 days.

Life happens one day at a time.  I can just start from where I am now and decide if this success system works for me and continue from there.
When it comes to being successful, it is often that people will say that your EQ is more important than your IQ.  With EQ = Emotional Quotient and IQ = Intelligence Quotient.  You will also hear, "It's not WHAT you know, but WHO you now."  A third way is "Your NET WORTH is equal to your NETWORK."

All of these sayings are saying that the human element is the most important factor in being successful.  In learning about human beings, we also hear the terms Empathy and Sympathy.  For the longest time, I had no clear explanation of the difference between these two terms.

Many people will explain these two terms to mean something like being able to feel what another person is feeling.  So if somebody is happy, I can feel their happiness and if they are hurting, I can feel their pain.  There is even something called "sympathic pregnancy", or according to Wikipedia Couvade Syndrome, where a man experiences some of the same symptoms and behavior of an expectant mother.

As I read the Wikipedia articles on the difference between empathy and sympathy, it also gets confusing, so let's start with the more simplistic explanation of the difference.  One way I heard to distinguish them is that empathy is recognizing the feelings of others without having to experience them yourself.  Sympathy is recognizing and feeling the same feelings as another.

According to this example, it is recommended to have an empathic doctor instead of a sympathetic doctor.  An empathic doctor will recognize your pain and discomfort caused by your throwing up.  A sympathetic doctor may also start throwing up with you.  An empathic man will recognize the emotional turmoil of his partner and will not allow that to prevent him from helping to get over this turmoil.  The sympathetic man may join in the emotional turmoil, crying and or fighting with his mate.

I like this simplistic definition as I can understand it and it clearly tends to prefer empathy over sympathy.  Reading Wikipedia it is a little less clear.  Wikipedia's definition of empathy is " the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient (in fiction writing) being." and sympathy is "an extension of empathic concern, or the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being."

One thing that strikes me about these two definitions is that empathy mentions feelings and sympathy says "distress or need".  This would indicate to me that empathy can cover all feelings, pleasurable and painful and sympathy is only focused on painful feelings.

According to the Law of Attraction, this would clearly indicate that we should pay attention to empathy since it covers all emotions of other people.  If we focus on the painful feelings then more painful feelings will tend to come up.  If we focus on
The Nike slogan of "Just Do It" is easy to understand and makes great sense to overcome the sense of fear that might be stopping you from doing something you want to do.

What do you do if you have no idea what to do?  I mean, what if your mind is a complete blank?  You try to ask yourself questions, like "What do I want?", or "How can I improve?" and all you hear is the echo of the empty chamber between your two ears.

I guess some people would suggest to "Just Do It" anyway.  Just do something.  Anything.  Get up and go outside and walk around the block.  Get up.  Get up.  I think that sitting in from of the television or randomly surfing the web would not qualify as "doing it".

Give it a chance to try and break out of whatever it is you are doing now.  It's very possible that by doing this nothing will happen.  You will return from your activity still with no idea what to do.  That's OK, at least you got up and did something, no matter how small.  Reward yourself for this little success.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.  This activity you just took may or not be one of those steps, but remember if you are looking at the thousand miles, you won't even be able to see each of the steps and when you look at one of the steps it may seem unbelievable that such a small thing could ever add up to a thousand miles.  Have a clear understanding that those small steps do indeed add up to thousands of miles.

Do smal
What is the foundation of your life?

For me it is probably reason and simplicity.

I like things easy to understand that are logically consistent.  This, of course, means things like the scientific method and placebo controlled trials.  It also means things like the Law of Attraction, compassion and love.

If somebody tries to propose to me something and insist I must use faith to accept the belief, then I tend to assume that the person either has little basis for their belief or are trying to deceive me in some fashion.  I strongly believe that using our mental capacity to understand and discover the world is one of the greatest goods that we can do.  How does throwing out that capacity help us to reach our potential.

When it comes to supernatural abilities, I also question the whole concept.  If such abilities actually exist then that would mean that they are part of nature and would no longer be super.  They would just be another ability that some people possess and others don't, though there would be nothing special about them such that if in the presence of a doubter then all the evidence of these abilities disappear.

If I assume that the world is reasonable, what is reasonable to me?

Setting and working towards goals, strikes me as simple and realistic as many people who have achieved great things either consciously or unconsciously behave this way.

It seem reasonable to look out for myself and my family.

It seems reasonable to st