We are born alone
and we die alone;
and for a waking moment
and bear eternity,
We are born alone
and we die alone;
and for a waking moment
and bear eternity,
If you changed the title of the Bible to some other name, and changed all the personal names and places of the Bible to other names, would it make it any less true?
The words are just words that index certain concepts… a translated bible is still a Bible.
But the truth is in the relations between the words, in the context that’s woven with words through story. And so you can transpose these relations onto other stories that are similar, and find a similar truth, Aka archetypes.
The abstraction, the metaphorical relations are the essence of what communicates truth.
I had an interview this morning for the director of sales position at a device manufacturing company. The business is 50 years old with about 100 employees. I’d report to the VP of operations. I’d have 3 sales guys reporting to me, a marketing manager, and a customer support manager. I’d assist with selling B2C, and B2B to OEMs and Endusers/Key accounts. The position is $145k+10-15% bonus, and a bunch of other benefits. Could have a should have asked for $225k and saw where that got me. Learning lessons.
Not a whole lot of traveling aside from trade shows, of which there are quite a few. I liked the VP of operations. Good guy. It’d be a nice company to work for. Lots of growth, no debt, lots of cash. The owners are two partners in their 70s who are pretty risk averse, but they have an innovative engineering team, and a product that’s positioned as a middle tier device that is affordable but offers great technology. They’re in a good spot. Their B2C business is a mess… they really have no idea what to do about Amazon. I emphasized the importance of cutting off all but a few resellers, and taking the business in house. They think it’s more work than it is. So, they’re losing money, and want to continue with their current model simply because it’s working, but I know for a fact they are leaving a lot of money on the table and they don’t know it. They just don’t want to mess with something that isn’t broken. I get it, but as someone who is constantly trying to improve and optimize at the first sign of inefficiency.
I have another interview for an Area Manager role. I have no direct reports, but manage a vertical of component technology products across of wide territory, and support the field sales/ key account managers/ End-user and OEM sales engineers to drive more business, as well as work with channel partners and their sales team. The component vertical I’m in charge of is not the core business, but it’s a $30 million territory, so it definitely is a significant role, and the particular technology that I’m responsible for is experiencing high growth. I’ll assist the field sales guys with projects and sales calls, and will also go on sales calls myself. I imagine there’s a lot of pipeline management, lots of collaboration, lots of reporting to keep track of. I believe travel is between 30-50% each month. They have offices in San Francisco, San Ramon (where our interview is), and Sacramento.
I have to do a 20 minutes PowerPoint presentation to their team of 3-4 in 40 minutes. I’m at a cafe just looking over my notes, the PP, and studying a bit. I’m very confident. I initially had all these fancy graphics and detailed slides, but then realized that is totally unnecessary, so I kept it very simple, distilled core points, and made it concise.
The company is the leader in the field, and the guys I’ve interviewed with so far seem to take themselves way too seriously. Not a great impression. They seem cool and likeable, but geesh. Lighten up. Talk to me like a person, not a new cadet, not like you’re in some ivory tower, and don’t be so abstract with the job description. Why was it so difficult to figure out the role? You either don’t know it, or you’re being intentionally obtuse to make it seem sexier than it is. So anyway.
And PowerPoint? I get it. But get with the times. It’s not a great tool for communicating. But whatever. I don’t make up the rules, I just follow them and play the game.
Anyway. I’m gonna grab a bite and head their way.
I have two more in person interviews tomorrow. I’m still waiting back from the company I’d like to work for. When I returned from my interview with them, they called me the next day to extend an offer, saying they were enthusiastic about the impression I left them. The hiring manager reviewed the 70/30 compensation split for the position, as well as the benefits, and all the other perks such as paid time off, holiday leave, sick leave, paid volunteer days off, company credit card, and a $600 car allowance, along with computer and cell phone. The salary and OTE was about $10-20k less than what the other positions I have been interviewing for were offering, but on my application I listed $100k as the salary expectations. I had to explain to the hiring manager that that number was incorrect, and that the salary expectations were actually $130k with OTE of $30-40k. She said she would go back to the team and see what she could do and get back to me tomorrow or Friday, and that they also needed to do a background check and a few other organizational things. Well, Friday came and I received an email that they were still working on my offer and that she’d get back to me Monday. Monday came and went, and this morning I received an email asking if I had a moment for a quick chat. I responded that I was available anytime today at their convenience. I’m awaiting a call.
Of course, I am worried. What is the delay? What did the background check bring back? My thoughts raced… is my drivers license in good standing? Do I have any criminal activity? Only a misdemeanor in 2011 in Worcester, MA when a drunk guy stole my pizza and started a fight, and police arrested be for disorderly conduct.
So the company just called and gave me a formal offer. $120k + Semi-annual bonus, which they say will bring my OTE to $182k. In addition, 3 weeks paid vacation starting immediately, 5 paid volunteer days, 5 days paid time off, 12 paid holidays, $600 monthly car allowance, 8% 401k matching, Laptop and cellphone, American Express company card for business expenses, and zero out of pocket for health insurance. They’re sending me over the documents to sign now.
Isn’t humility required to make a confession? As in, the abeyance of pride and ego, to admit error? Of course this requires authenticity. One can go through the motions, mimicking righteous behavior in order to mask disingenuous intent and deceive an audience in order to gain praise, but if that’s the case, its anything but right action.
Of course when someone publicly confesses and apologies, it can seem like a game.
But everything is a game…literally. All human behavior is guided by rules, which are informed by morality, which is nothing more than an attempt to abstract the optimal behaviors for self-preservation. Every game has rules. You break the rules, there are consequences. Depending on which game you decide to play gets you different rewards. What isn’t a game? Work? Relationships? Friendships? Social obligations? Civil obligations? You speak like games are avoidable. It’s literally all there is in life. Game implies rules. You play it with the world, with others. Those who master the rules succeed.
It’s interesting that the etymology of confession and apology is rooted in a defense of one’s faith. I imagine when someone did something wrong, they confessed and apologized in order to right themselves with god, truth, righteousness or whatever ideal virtues a person lives by, and get back on track to moral living.
In order for real change to occur, the only way to confess and apologize is privately. But in order to regain public trust, I think a public confession and apology is necessary, whether you’re a civilian or a public servant. I just watched a politician’s apology for the first time, and it didn’t come across as authentic whatsoever, quite the contrary. I think these public displays capture the disingenuous apologies quite well. Now, whether the public will see through it will largely be a matter of whether the public is on good moral ground.
I think the ego is the source of suffering, the source of most problems. It’s not adaptable. It is right, it knows what it knows, its an extension of a need for control. But change requires faith, and that faith can be entirely pragmatic, not religious. Faith that the future, that not knowing the answers, that letting go of the old, of what you think you know, and embracing the unknown: this is necessary for change. Change is one of the fundamental truths of Buddhism: impermanence is the ultimate truth. Our inability to accept change leads to an inability to adapt, and the consequences is suffering.
As he grew older William developed into a strong, smart boy. His father was a military captain with a strong faith in god. He lived by the book, and William’s mother, a loving and kind woman, kept the house and fed the children.
When William wasn’t roaming the forests, he was sprawled out in his father’s library reading the encyclopedia’s and other books of his fathers. After he learned to read, William discovered how large the world was. These books containing all these stories of other kingdoms, other lives and countries and ways to live. William was fascinated and read voraciously.
He would dream up all kinds of his own inventions and imaginative works, drawing elaborate schemes, devices, or images.
Williams father was an eccentric man, and the family was always moving to new houses to renovate and remodel before moving to another home, far away. William spent much of his time alone, in the wood, in books, or with his sisters. He was an odd child. Not like the others, but that’s expected since he was a lion.
At school William rarely fit it. His mane was transformed into long golden hair, and often the other children would laugh at him. What did a lion care for the opinion of these sheep, anyway.
On the playground a group of kids would take to bullying William, tripping him, kicking balls at him, and defacing his chalk drawings. William didn’t pay them too much mind until one day he saw them picking on someone else.
There was a new girl, named Claudia, from some country south of america, he was told. She barely spoke a word, and had half her arm missing. Just a twist of skin on the stump, like the end of a sausage. The other children would laugh and point and treat her as if she was infected, never playing with her, and avoiding her.
One day in class, while William was inspecting the patterned crevices that collected small rocks on the bottom of his shoes, the teacher called everyone to collect in small groups for a project. They would be planting bulbs. All the children gathered together and collected supplies for the teacher. William dreamily scanned the room and saw Claudia alone in the corner of the room. He looked at the other children happily at work, and Claudia seated there alone, looking at the floor. His heart began to crush with compassion. He walked over and sat next to her.
They became friends.
The lion felt arms wrap around his body and pull him from the waters and onto shore. The sun warmed his body.
There were voices all around him, and he felt himself being pushed and prodded.
He opened his eyes and there were a pair of awkward looking animals towering over him. Small, furless creatures, resembling monkeys, standing on two legs, with tufts of blonde hair on their head, and slender limbs with long fingers, and pink lips. The lion reeled back and splashed into the water. The small figures all cackled with laughter and pointed.
The lion looked into the water and saw a reflection he did not recognize. Instead of a golden mane, he saw a hairless face, with gold locks of hair. He was one of these fair, furless monkeys .
William, the creatures exclaimed, you scared us!
William? Thought the lion. Who is William?
Don’t swim so deep next time! You’ll drown yourself, they said.
The lion thought himself to be in another dream, even more bizarre, so he relaxed and played along
I’m sorry, he said.
That’s okay. Lets get dressed and go to supper. Mother is calling us.
The lion looked into the water again and studied his reflection for a moment, opening his eyes wide in curiosity. He looked down at his small frail body. He was wearing a pair of shorts. He shivered and looked back at the female creatures. They began skipping off.
William, the lion thought to himself. What a peculiar name.
He picked himself up and began crawling forward before he realized how awkward this was. He looked at the creatures ahead, and raised himself on two legs, gaining his balance. He stepped forward and walked after the creatures.
The lion was now a boy, in a world he was not familiar with. He soon learned that these two creatures were called humans, and that they were his sisters.
He met his mother who was setting the table for dinner.
You’re a mess William! Get cleaned for supper and put on a new set of clothes.
William looked at his half naked body. It was smeared with dirt. Mud and grass protruded between his toes, what once were paws. He began to lick himself clean.
His sisters began to squeal with laughter.
William! his mother said. Stop being an animal and clean yourself up this instant. She grabbed him by the arm and led him to the bathroom where she turned on the shower. She left and returned with a towel and some garments.
Clean yourself up and hurry down to dinner, she said before closing the door. The shower steamed the glass. William took his hand and smeared the glass to study his face. What a strange dream, he thought to himself. I will play along. My destiny awaits.
William stepped into the steaming shower. It felt nice and rejuvenating. He rinsed his fleshy body and rolled around on the towel to dry himself. He picked up the clothes and put them on as best as he could figure.
He returned to the table downstairs and took a seat next to his sisters. His mother sat and called “Dinner is ready!”
A large solemn human entered and sat at the head of the table.
He looked at his family.
Smells great, he said.
William, your shirt is on backwards.
William looked down and back at the man, then at his sisters who laughed.
William almost drowned today! they said
Yes he was trying to touch the bottom of the blue hole and we had to go pull him up.
Don’t be stupid William, said the man. No need to show off.
William blushed. They said prayers and ate a marvelous dinner. William used his mouth, being unfamiliar with utensils, which earned him more scolds.
That night he laid in this new bed, and felt very alone. I hope I wake from this horrible dream, he thought to himself. He thought of his kingdom, his pride, his family.
Soon he fell into a deep sleep.
Light filled the room and birds chirped nearby. The young lion stretched his legs and opened his eyes. He was not on his lofty valley perch. He was on a bed, in a room.
Wake up William! the voice of the lady said from downstairs.
You’ll be late for school!
School? he thought. He shrugged and proceeded to climb out of bed.
The mother lady scolded him for not dressing himself for school and took him back upstairs to put on some clothes and hurried him out the door with a paper bag and a bag fixed to his back. He and his sisters walked to school. There were large trails of rock in every direction, straight and long, crossing with other trails. Marvelous wooden homes lined these trails, called streets.
William made it to school and encountered a large area where many children were running about, climbing, kicking balls, huddled in groups. His sisters ran off and he was again alone. No matter. They were all different shapes and sizes. William found a large tree and sat beneath it and observed the children. A large green caterpillar was articulating his way across some fallen leaves. William picked it up and examined its small face.
Hello sir, can you tell me where my home is?
The caterpillar raised itself and replied, Dear king, you are at home. You need to make your kingdom here now.
That can’t be right, said William. My home is far away. I need to find my way back.
You will, said the caterpillar. But if you excuse me your highness, I need to finish my breakfast and began weaving my cocoon! I wish you the best on your journey, he said, before leaping off Williams hand, and descending down a silk thread.
A bell rang and the crowds of children ran towards a large building.
A large monstrous woman came from behind William.
Boy, it’s time to get in line! William looked at her in confusion.
She grabbed him by the backpack and lead him to a line of children and deposited him at the back.
They were lead into a room and another lady with a beaming smile and greeted them.
Welcome children! said the women.
They put their bags away and then assembled into a circle. William sat through this class largely mystified and confused. For hours they would rotate between listening to this lady and creating designs with wax sticks, which they called penmanship. Then they would plant some seeds in a foam cup with soil, play with colorful blocks, and parrot back some words to the teacher. They ate food from their brown papers bags, had a nap on foam mats, ran around outside before they returned to parrot more of the large lady.
Then they were released from the school and William and his sisters and a serry of children walked home, peeling off into their homes on one by one until they said goodbye to the last children and walked up to their house. Mother was waiting on the porch husking corn.
Grab a seat and help your momma with the corn.
William and his sisters husked corn and soon ran to play in the back yard.
William’s sisters, Jennifer and Nicole, would run through the woods with William, searching for the forests creatures. William would stop and speak to the animals and send them a message to bring back to his kingdom. None of the creatures could tell William how to return, but they all knew he was king, and respected him for his kindness, despite his boyish appearance.
William was an odd child, and the other boys didn’t seem to take to his weird ways, frolicking in the woods, finding wood creatures, and playing in the rivers. This is where William felt most at home. The other boys preferred these games on a magic box with buttons. Video games. Sparkling images would entrance the boys for hours, but William would grow tired and restless.
In his classrooms William would be more fascinated by the Ant crawling across the classroom carpet, or examining the rainbows produced by prisms of glassware, or examining the surface of a buckeye he cracked from its shell. His teachers would grow more and more impatient with his inattention.
They soon consulted with his parents and took him to an elder called the Doctor. The doctor thought that William was sick, and had his parents give him a white pill twice a day. This would heal William of his preoccupations with nature and bugs and animals, and help him sit for hours while the teacher parroted.
The pill indeed worked. William was entranced every day after taking the pill. His wonder and enthusiasm soon waned, and he found himself greeted with smiles and good remarks from all the adults, but inside William felt like he was dying. He moved less and less, and could sit for hours for no reason, his mind attending to what was in front of him, or dreaming of his old kingdom.
Each night he would call out to the animals beyond his window sill, the moths and bats and owls and fireflies, and tell them his story, asking them to find a way to pass along his message to his parents in his kingdom. Each night he longed for this dream to end, and each morning he woke to the humans ordering him around, get dressed, do your penmanship, practice your words, clean your room, eat your vegetables. (Lions don’t eat vegetables.)
That night the lion fell into a restless sleep and slipped into a dream. He returned to the cave and saw the snake coiled upon itself, eating its tail.
Why are you eating yourself snake. You will die! said the lion.
The snake stared wide eyed at the lion and continued eating
The lion turned from the cave lifted his eyes to he heavens. The sky turned red and the sun turned black and darkness enveloped them.
Where is the light! the lion said
I will show you the light, the snake echoed
Follow me and I will show you the light…
The lion could not move his feet. All around him was blackness. Suddenly the light returned and the sun shone brightly. Hotter and hotter until the bush and trees combusted into flames and all was engulfed in the roar of raging fire. The lion grew fearful and closed his eyes and roared loudly. And suddenly there was peace and a coolness. The lion opened his eyes and he stood surrounded by the endless dust and desert. In the distance there was a mighty dune. He climbed the dune and peered into the distance and saw a mountain, and below the dune there was a pool. Thirsty he descended to quench his dry mouth.
He approached the pool and saw a baboon next to a coconut tree, bathing in the sun. Trying not to disturb the baboon. The lion looked into the pool and saw his reflection. His majestic mane blew in the wind. The lion bent to drink.
If you drink you will die, said the baboon
The lion stopped and looked at the motionless baboon for a time, then bent to drink again.
You will die, the baboon said again.
Who are you, said the lion.
I am a friend here to help you
The baboon rose.
Do as I say and you will live.
He climbed the tree and retrieved several coconuts and wove a rope from the palms and strung the coconuts around the lions neck.
What is this nonsense, said the lion. It’s heavy.
Walk to the mountain my Prince and you will find more help along the way
I need to drink said the lion
Soon said the baboon.
The lion was parched and exhausted by the heat. He looked at the cool blue pool in longing, then at the old baboon.
Being in a foreign land he felt helpless, the first time in his life.
Very well said the lion.
He began to walk towards the mountain. He continued onward toward the mountain in the distance, up the steep dune surrounding the pool.
Back at oasis, the pool belched gaseous vapors and a carcass floated to the surface. The baboon, seated peacefully under the palm, opened one of his eyes and observed a dead lion float to the surface and sink back into its depths again.
The lion scaled dune after dune in the desert heat. His limbs were growing weak and soon he collapsed from exhaustion. The sun baked his gold fur and he closed his weary eyes.
“Foolish lion” said a voice
The lion opened his eyes
“Foolish lion who listens to monkeys”, the voice said again
The lion saw a small lizard crawl out from under the sand
“Some king you are taking orders from a monkey said the lizard”
The lion winced and tried to speak but his mouth was too parched to form words.
The lizard crawled on the lions back and inspected the coconuts.
Silly lion, taking orders from monkeys. But you look like a tasty treat, said the lizard, and he bit into the lions flesh.
Too exhausted to move the lion released a deep groan.
A shadow flicked overhead and in the next moment the lizard squeaked and leapt from the lion and jetted across the rippled sand.
A howl pierced the air and a plume of sand erupted where the lizard once was. When the dust settled the lion saw a large raven tossing the remains of the lizard into this throat. The raven then turned to the lion and peered at this lifeless king of beasts. He hopped closer and inspecting the coconuts and hammered his beak into their flesh. Water began to trickle out.
Drink, said the Raven. You’re close.
He nudged the coconut closer to the lion and the lion lapped the refreshing coconut water.Life returned to his limbs
Rise and follow me.
The lion rose and continued his march, while the raven flew overhead
Soon he reached the foot of the mountain, just as the sun was setting
There were large rocks at the base, crags and pointed peaks. He climbed the mountain and at the top he saw a large tree engulfed in flames. A voice spoke:
You must fulfill your destiny as king and step into the darkness, said the voice
The lion shook with fear.
The voice spoke again.
Go into the darkness and bring the light, said the voice
The tree burned bright and the lion bowed his head and shielded his eyes
Go now, said the voice.
The trees flamed roared louder and louder until suddenly silence.
The lion opened his eyes and was greeted by the morning sun. He stood and saw his pride all around him stirring in their sleep. The sun just began breaking over the horizon, illuminating the valley below.
What a strange dream, the lion thought.
He was disturbed by the dream. What does it mean? He thought of the cave and the snake the day prior. That day he roamed the valley like he had done so many times before, but he could not get the dream nor the snake from his thoughts.
He returned to the cave and approached the opening and called into it.
An echo rang back.
He began to walk into the cave, deeper and deeper. He turned and saw the light at the entrance of the cave appear as a small bright dot.
Hello, he called.
Hello hello hello, the echo called back.
He walked further and lost his footing and slipped and tumbled down the rocks and into a free fall. The lion looked up as he fell and the last trace of light extinguished into blackness as he plunged into the dark pit. Time stopped and the lion trembled at the thought of being lost and dying alone. Down down down he fell until he splashed into dark waters. His lifeless body, shocked with pain, paralyzed with fear, floated in the dark waters. Beneath the waters was only the sound of whooshing and his heartbeat. Blackness bled into nothingness.
In the beginning there was darkness. Chaos lived here. From out of chaos light was born. And these two gods would wrestle for all eternity.
When lightness was born, life arose from all that it touched. In time the water would boil and rain would burst forth from the heavens, and the earth would slowly begin to froth with life as the seas churned and the land baked.
From out of the earth a spirit of greatness sprang forth and manifested into the form of a lion. From this lineage produced a princely lion of great destiny. He lived in a wide valley surrounded by mountains in the heart of a great continent. In the middle of the valley was a ridge where this lion’s pride could see the entire kingdom from its perch. There was no suffering, no death, no evil. Reincarnation would transform life into life.
The lion was happy. The princely lion would patrol his kingdom, walking the perimeter, taking stock of the animals he ruled over. Each day at sunset the lion would return to the pride on the perch and sleep.
Darkness was the time of creation.
One day he was sauntering along the streams outlining the valley when he heard a voice whisper in the distance. He looked and saw a cave and approached. He had not seen this cave before, this small dark mouth in the mountain.
Hello, he called. A voice echoed back, Hello
Who is there?
A friend, said the echo
The lion approached the dark cave and a snake smoothly slithered from out of the darkness.
Who are you? said the lion.
I am looking for a king said the snake.
The lion puffed his chest, I am the king
The snake said, wonderful, we need a wise king.
Will you come with me?
Where are you going? Said the lion
To take you to your kingdom, said the snake.
This is my kingdom, the world is my kingdom.
The snake laughed and the lion roared
How dare you laugh at me!
I’m sorry sir, but there is another kingdom, beyond yours
The lion did not understand.
You speak non sense. Everything the light touches is my kingdom. I can see all the earth from my throne.
You are right sir. But there is a kingdom beyond the light
The lion grew curious.
Where is this kingdom then?
I will take you there said the snake, and he began slithering into the cave.
The lion stopped. He knew that no life was permitted to venture into the darkness, for this was the holy promise to the great mother earth, that light shall guide our steps, and without it, all is lost.
The snake paused and turned. Why, dear king, can you not go into the darkness?
The lion paused. Because the darkness is for sleeping and creation. The darkness is where the new day germinates.
You are right, said the snake. But your new kingdom lies on the other side of the darkness.
The lion was perplexed by this riddle.. He looked over his shoulder and saw the sun setting behind him.
Be gone snake. You speak in riddles and nonsense. I am king of all the earth.
Very well said the snake.
The lion returned home and had a dream that night.
I’m at Hanahouse, an open seating pay by the hour to work space, reading and doing some reflection. I am looking forward to start work again.
G and I agreed to break it off, and be friends. I care for her, and love her? But it’s not working. Perhaps it’s me? In my mind, she’s just overly emotional, demanding, neurotic. I know all she wants it love, affection, and attention. The problem is that she expects it all the time, and when she doesn’t get it when she wants it, she has a melt down. If the expectation was off the table, I’m liable to provide her more love and attention, but I’ve also determined I’m not great with attention to begin with, and this is a hallmark complaint of many of my relationships. Yes, I love the companionship and affection, but the majority of my waking life I spend thinking, lost in thought, reading, preoccupied with god knows what, whether its health and fitness, so some grand scheme, or just intense work. I don’t have the libido to deliver on demand. Not to mention, I’ve ceased all exogenous testosterone supplementation at the start of the year, so my libido has returned to normal, or maybe subnormal.
Throughout my life, the stimulation of sex wasn’t as exciting as other things, perhaps the chase itself. Intellectual stimulation is the paramount fixation for me. As a result, most relationships were friendships, and the attention I provided my partners was probably less than they desired, and so they would often feel unloved. I can’t say I didn’t care or didn’t love my past girlfriends, because I definitely did, but my lack of affection is probably a symptom of the loss of novelty and stimulation, which ultimately transforms the relationship into a platonic companionship. I think women just need babies to fulfill that need. I don’t know how men can possibly do it without being “whipped”, or totally controlled.
Operations and Management Strategy
What do customers want?
I’m reading a biography hat focuses on leadership and entrepreneurial traits.
Born well to do, on a 150 acre plantation with servants and many homes, his father gambled away all the family wealth on futures trading, and the family of 10 ended up moving to a city to live in a 150 sqft apartment when he was 4. He started working at age 7. And had a few years of schooling. He tried going back to school in his late teens but his writing was so poor that he failed to do well, and dropped out. He would work 18 hour days for years on end, living in absolute poverty, in small cramped spaces with his wife and employees and assistants, and penny pinch in order to reduce costs for customers.
He lost half his siblings by the time he was 10. By the time he was 20, everyone in his family had died except for one sister and his father. By the time he was 27 his family was reduced to 1. He was the only survivor.
He built a business that almost died several times. But he hustled like a mother fucker. The amount of money he lived on is astounding. Frugality.
By the time he passed away in the 90’s, he had helped rebuild and restructure the Japanese economy, built a $70 billion dollar global company, founded university graduate programs, and created one of the most innovative companies on earth, amongst many other things. He had no advantage and every disadvantage. No special talent, no financing, no patents, no networks or influential friends, no technological breakthroughs.
He was not particularly good looking, not charismatic, not especially talented, lacked formal education, stood 5’5 and was frail and often sick.
Talk about struggle and suffering and sacrifice. He persisted, never gave up, worked like a mad man. It’s just inspiring as hell.
He treated his workers like gold, like they were family, and it’s a culture they still maintain to this day. He never asked his employees to work harder than him, but he was very stern and had very high standards. Working harder than his was a difficult task. His only special quality was his insatiable work ethic to GROW.
“Those who tell the stories rule society.”
“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.”
The pen is mightier than the sword.
I’ve been meaning to write for some time now. Life is good. I’ve got several job offers from Fortune 500 companies. $160-250k, with a 70/30 salary/bonus split. I’ve been praying and mediating recently.
I need to accept a job offer sometime this week.
I need to break up with G, just focus on my career.
I got a final in person interview with company B for a better position… sales manager, doing enterprise systems and IOT, managing 8-12 sales engineers, and 15-50% more pay…
Company B is the industry leader in the Industrial Automation space.
Company A is one of the world’s Top Regarded companies, I think 10 according to Forbes. They’re both a fortune 500 companies.
Company A has many divisions, and is about 3-4 times larger ($100 billion vs $30 billion). Company B is primarily focused on automation, security, industry solutions (sensors, components, controls, motion, safety, networking, etc).
Company A’s industrial automation division is relatively new… I’d be on the ground floor as a Regional Sales manager. No manager, just a director to report to in NJ. I grow the territory. There’s room for advancement… National Sales Manager within the next 3-5 years I was told.
Company B is established… I’d be managing a team of 8-12. Much more bureaucracy and politics, I think.
Technically speaking, they sell the same products.Company B owns 55% of the US Industrial Automation market share. They are the leader.
Company A… is like nothing in the industrial automation space. Other industries like IOT, Batteries, Artificial Intelligence, Avionics, Electronics, Home Automation, etc. They just revamped their US strategy. In Asia they are much bigger in the Industrial Automation market. They just were late to the game in the USA, and now its their fastest most profitable division, but its new. The whole US industrial automation team is probably 20-30 people.
The Company B position is a lot more responsibility. 50% travel for Company B (none for Company A). A lot more work, but I think it would be a growing experience and enjoyable. I’m “technically” not qualified, and I lack experience haha. But that doesn’t matter. I got this far, and I know I can do the job. I’m a machine, and they see that, and will see that.
The upside with Company A is that its…Company A. A globally recognized brand with many divisions and lots of opportunity for lateral moves within the company, and even growing the division would be an exciting challenge since they are so new.
Company B is established… I’d learn a lot. As a sales manager, I’d be managing a large territory, and many sales engineers. I’d be working with enterprise systems at large manufacturers. Its an established sales force. More much management and reporting. But i think it could be good to learn the ins and outs of this company at such a senior level.
My career goal is to get into consulting at some point. I want more management and operations experience. I want to specialize in the Industry 4.0/ Automation world. Its a fast growing industry and there is a demand for specialist who know and understand it, so I want to gather experience… my end goal is to work for a big company, gain experience that I can leverage and then try to work for a big consulting firm… McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, Boston, whoever is a good fit.
So my decisions will have to align with a company that will fit with that goal… which will serve me better?
I love the team at Company A. They’re all very educated, very kind, like a family. Just good people. Down to earth. Most have advanced degrees in electrical engineering and MBAs. I don’t know much about Company B team yet… Ive yet to have an in person interview. It will likely be next week
Company A seems very people oriented. Very loyal to their employees. Lots of great benefits. 3 weeks vacation. 3 days PTO. 12 paid holidays. 5 days paid volunteer days. And sick time is up to the managers approval. The team is very seasoned… director is 21 years, the BD director is like 26 years, the product managers are like 6-12 years. Very career oriented company
I know much less about Company B’s culture.
I was thinking about the dichotomy of analog vs digital/ discrete signals, and the logical linguistic equivalence.
Formal (symbolic or Boolean) logic is entirely digital logic.
In formal logic there are operators (and, or, not, if/then) and values (true, false).
These values in digital logic represent presence or absence: yes or no, on or off. The signal is there, or it is not.
Logic is a very robust way for building reliable systems.
In physics, energy signals can be represented as a waveform or particles. That is, analog or digital.
I was just thinking that even in digital logic, in order to have a “yes” value, there needs to be a threshold, or an ideal curve which acts as the set point.
But this set point is arbitrary, in the sense that there is a human judgment that decides what that necessary threshold is to trigger “on” or yes is.
The operators in formal logic are represented as relays or contacts or logic gates in digital logic.
Values (propositional statements/ premises) in formal logic are either true and false. And they are true and false based on their facticity, which is arrived at inductive reasoning/ empirical observation/ testing, and therefore is entirely a matter of probability.
When we observe the world, we can look at things are true or false. Presence or absence.
That is a very logical way of looking at things.
However, what is the analog approach?
When someone makes judgements about the truths and clarity of facts or values, they do so by making judgements according to a set of preconceived criteria of what qualifies something as true, present, real. Can my senses engage with it? See it touch it hear it? Can others? Okay. It is true, a fact.
But then we bring in the matter of perception.
Perception is very different from observation.
Perception is loaded with criteria, loaded with ideas about the world, and what we see.
Observation is very superficial, and therefore honest, devoid of bias.
Just because you perceive something doesn’t make it true. The perception is a product of the mind, not of the thing/experience.
Observation is devoid of judgment. It is a stoic or apathetic attitude which allows you to see the world as it is.
Perception: roasted turkey dinner.
Observation: dead burnt bird carcass.
I just was thinking about the simultaneous existence of the waveform and particle, analog and digital experience of man, and how it influenced thoughts, and ideas.
When you realize that the most pleasurable and satisfying way to spend your life is actively developing yourself in relation to your highest ideals, into a set of goals that force you to actualize hidden potential
Its inspiring to understand that life can be SO MUCH MORE than we currently know, that that realization alone will not only improve the quality of our life, but improve the lives of everyone around us. When you accept that yes, life is difficult, for everyone. It’s a feature of life. The only way to transcend that reality is to accept it, and choose your difficulties, instead of letting circumstances and people choose them for you… I don’t know when to lose hope for others. I only know that the best thing I can do for others is be my best, and that’s all I can do. When someone can see that I was and am, on average, a shit bag, and that I got it together and keep it together, I hope that is enough to inspire others that seem unreachable.
No one can help you but yourself.
The secret to life and success is that there is no secret.
If you can’t help yourself, there’s no helping you.
Man, I think the biggest challenge for people (myself included) is re-claiming self-worth, learning to value yourself, and doing that through small daily victories, because once you understand that you have infinite potential within you, nothing will stop you. Its not if, its when.
Habits. Learning to establish habits. Not focusing on fighting the old, but focusing on creating the new. Habits are everything. Don’t think, just do. Overthinking is the devil. Thinking you can “think” your way into happiness, out of problems, is self-deception. Action. Action cures all. If you want something, DO IT. Don’t hesitate. Seize that shit. Instantly. Trust your instinct. ACT. Eliminate hesitation, doubt, worry
Action. There is no ready. Its NOW. Every moment.
Spend time alone. Think about what you really really really want. Meditate on it. Dream about it. Make it clear. Really spend time focusing all your energy on what it is you really, really want, what you desire.
Have that dream, and have it clear, and powerful, and let it fill you with emotion, with euphoria. Then you fuckin act.
I always tell myself that I’d rather fall forward, stumble, crawl… then not move at all.
I’ll desperately move forward. I don’t care if I have to get up every day bruised and broken. As long as I’m acting towards my goals. There are days in life when every day you get up, you get knocked down. The beauty is that every day you decide to get the fuck up, you can at LEAST fall forward. And that is progress.
It NEVER rains every day. I always remember that. There will be cloudy days, it may rain, storm, flood…. but the sun will always shine again.
I like to think of a person’s life as a little sail boat. Shit happens. Circumstances. Other little sailboats are bastards. Winds. Currents. Storms. Waves. Life is never a straight line. You never sail in a straight line. Its always a zig zag, you must always tack to the wind. But the thing is. If you don’t have a goal, if you don’t have a designation… you will NEVER arrive. You must have a destination to get through the storms. Goals are everything. Values are everything. Desires. Dreams. Whatever you want to call it. You must have a destination in mind.
Hunger. Urgency. Feel the pain, and let it move you. Don’t let it paralyze you. Let it hurt. Don’t numb it. Embrace the pain. Let it move you. And ACT.
Do not self medicate. Do not feel sorry. Do not make excuses. You vs. You. 1% improvement everyday gets you compounding returns.
I read early on in my “personal development” pursuit, that I couldn’t spend “major time with minor people”. I thought that sounded terrible, but its very true.
You become your company. You want to spend time with people who are achieving greatness.
I used to look down on those people… like… people who struggled to get their shit together. But then I realize I know what thats like. In fact, even after I pulled myself out of it, I’ve been there… mentally, emotionally. I realize I owed it to myself to be a role model. Not for my ego. Quite the opposite. I need to give when I have abundance.
Not a lot of my time. But care and share, and be a light. People are hungry for connection, for people who care, for answers, for salvation. There are people whose lives you can change. You can’t spend your life fixing people. Or changing people. That’s not the point. Its to be a source of inspiration. By making yourself visible. By sharing your thought processes and values. You might be one of the few quality people he’s ever met. He may never have access to the quality of person you’ve become, and you can, potentially, change his life.
Success is a state of mind: Poverty mindset vs Abundance mindset.
Its all an attitude, all a state of mind.
If you have faith that there are seeds of greatness within you, you can water those seeds with righteous thoughts, and actions will spring forth and soon your life will begin to blossom and bear fruits of goodness and success; you must believe that you have the potential, that there are untapped gifts, that there is a force within you waiting to be tapped
You gotta embrace the pain, hit bottom, give up, and embrace change, realize that the way you’ve been living is broken, and be open.
People change due to inspiration, or desperation, or some combination, but pain, and the desperation it produces, really can be an incredible force to spur us into action, and I believe that ACTION is the source of inspiration. MOVE.
You gotta turn on to reading to change your thoughts
Thoughts = actions = habits = character = destiny
That is why reading is so powerful. Thoughts are seedlings that can grow into mighty oaks. The book As a Man Thinketh By James Allen changed my life. Simple, concise, pure wisdom.
James allen was the first “personal development” philosopher, so to speak. Sure there are philosophies like stoicism and buddhism and what not, but James Allen was the first one to be like… Yo. You can change your fuckin life if you change your fuckin thoughts. Essentially the first guy to put forward the idea that man can actually improve himself. That through a series of meta-cognitive realizations, he can do things to alter his life. And it all starts with Thoughts. You become what you think about. Attitude is choosing your thoughts.
You can’t choose circumstances, but you can choose thoughts, you can decide what to think. That THAT is the source of changing everything.
Only when the man is right will his world be right
I haven’t been in a routine, for various reasons that don’t matter. I’ve been doing spiritual work, looking into myself, asking myself what is working and what isn’t, re-evaluating my values, my priorities.
I’ve been going going going the past few years, and I need to re-prioritize. I’ve been wandering, and unhappy, so finding peace within, and understanding what it is I REALLY want
what is REALLY important, and becoming obsessed with that.
I’m maturing, and I’ve gotten a lot of things out of my system; some things, not so much, and I’m focusing on understanding why.
What is causing me to perpetuate some habits?
Focusing on getting back to the insanely productive lifestyle I’ve created for myself in the past. Moving out to california has been a challenge, but I am focused and I am committed to my goals. Wherever I end up next my goal is to set some wild goals, and meticulously master them, achieve phenomenal success, and streamline my life: Rise rise rise.
I have the work ethic, I have the discipline, I have the intelligence… there is nothing stopping me. But the past few years my values have been confused. I’ve been hungry for the wrong things, or hungry for the wrong reasons. Getting to the bottom of that has been my quiet resolution.
I’ve been struggling on some fronts. Unstable. Unhappy. I’ve relinquished responsibility to too many things outside myself. And I’ve been chasing phantoms… I’ve let my habits deteriorate. I’ve let my desire to please others, or do things for reasons not of my own, to sway me in unproductive ways: all these things have been very subtle developments, but my foundations have been shaken and creaking for some time. I’m renovating this temple of mine.
Re-establishing habits of mind, of body, of soul. Reintroducing prayer. Reintroducing radical action. Reestablishing habits toward ends that will allow me to manifest my dreams.
I’ve let my dreams die.
And I’ve been cultivating them once again, pulling myself up from the nihilistic pit I’ve been digging, raising my eyes to loftier, more compelling visions of a life worth living, and authentic expression of my highest ideals.
Some books I recently read that have been amazing:
•The 10x Rule (amazing sales/life performance book… optimizing effort for maximize achievement)
•The Power of Habit (cool book full of awesome anecdotes)
•The 5 second Rule (how to get shit done)
•Extreme Ownership (written by Jacko, navy seal… how to take full responsibility for your life)
•The Compound Effect (incremental progress leads to exponential results)
•The Obstacle is the Way (challenges are the source of progress)
•Exactly what to say (how to sell and close anyone on any idea)
•The Subtle Art of Not giving a fuck (great life book…. spiritual and practical advice)
•Peak Performance (what separates good from great, and how to sustain greatness without burnout)
•The Originals (what makes someone a creative success???)
•Deep Work (discusses the increasing rarity and value of working uninterrupted for prolong periods of time… no distraction. Creating spaces to focus. Focus. Focus. Focus is the key to productivity. Nice overview of successful contemporary and historical figures who mastered Deep Work)
Hierarchy of Actualization
Triquetra— mind, body, spirit