Freedom Over Status

I can't tell you the exact moment it happens, but it does. We all turn into adults and we begin to realize our newfound responsibilities. 

If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up every few years growing up, these are some of the answers you would have received:

  • A baseball player
  • A drummer
  • A filmmaker
  • A music supervisor

For whatever reason, as children, we are almost hypnotized by those that we observe from a distance. And everyone we observed growing up was shown to us through television. 

It was the athletes, the actors, and the musicians that I wanted to be. And I'm not sure why.

As children, we don't see the other side of life. We don't cherish relationships, bask in peace, and thrive upon our abilities to do what we want. As adults, that's exactly what we do. And rightfully so.

While there are always going to be adults searching for fame and fortune, others like me, start to look through the array of obligation, to find the meaning of life. 

I began to realize what it all meant after I had children. It's the evolution toward the mentality that everything I do is for their future betterment. It's selfless, and it's everything. 

So I started to wonder about the opposite of fame and fortune. Because that's what I was starting to seek. I was realizing that all I want is more time with my family, stress-free work, and more freedom to make decisions. 

I quickly found that the more I simplified my life - less stuff, less meetings, less expenses, etc. - the better I felt. After all, none of that stuff matters. What matters most is my happiness and fulfillment. 

So here I am declaring success in my newfound ability to simplify my life. I don't overthink, I just do. I don't look ahead, I live in the moment. Most of all, I don't hope for something I don't want - because everything that I could ever want is already right in front of me. 

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Irritation Trumps Inspiration

As creative humans, we are on the perpetual search for inspiration. We wait for events to happen; to bear witness to incredible accomplishments, or to simply look at other things from a different perspective. 

Inspiration isn't the answer, though. 

Whenever inspiration strikes, it should be the ignition for an even greater drive. 

Whatever it is that we're creating is often deeply rooted in a problem we are trying to solve. The best innovators in the world tend to scratch their own itch by alleviating their own troubles. When the pain point is actually felt by the creator, it's a constant reminder. The reminder serves as the much-needed inspiration. 

Keep solving problems. Doing that will inspire everyone around you. 

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Thinking About Legacy

I've now written about this in three different places so I will keep this short. 

We should constantly be reminding ourselves about how we want to be remembered. If that doesn't motivate you to be the best person you can be, I, unfortunately, can't believe you want anything out of life. 

I not only published the 75th episode of "Ask Logan Lenz" answering a question about legacy, but I also repurposed my thoughts over on Medium.

100 Hours Left

As much as we hate to admit it, we are insignificant beings on a very large planet within an immeasurable universe. Rather than let that get us down, we should use that as fuel to defy the odds. 

How significant can you be in this world?

How can you make as much of an impact as possible? 

If you're looking for motivation, there is no better thing to consider than "legacy." When you think of how you will be remembered after you pass, you begin to summarize the highlights of your life. 

Here's a little trick that I learned several years ago. It's kept me going and continues to stimulate my mind on a daily basis.

Live life as if you were told you had 100 hours left to live. Not 100 weeks. Not 100 days. 100 hours.

If you don't resort to hustling your way to doing something significant, you weren't meant to leave a legacy outside of what you've already accomplished. 

For any of you that haven't reached your goals yet (which I'm hoping is everybody reading this), wake up tomorrow with that mindset.

Let's see how your mind and body respond to such an urgency. 

Good luck! 

The Best Television Shows of 2017 (So Far)

The final installment of the "So Far in 2017" countdowns is my list of favorite television shows of the year. With Netflix stepping up their game, HBO continuing to create stellar content, and the rise of Amazon video, there is no question we are living in the golden age of television.

Television is so good right now that there is no way any busy individual could watch every well-made show that is currently out. 

That said, I can still comment on the shows I did get to watch. 

Below is my list of favorite television shows of 2017 thus far:

  • 10. Big Little Lies
  • 9. The Defiant Ones
  • 8. 13 Reasons Why
  • 7. Twin Peaks: The Return
  • 6. Billions
  • 5. Master of None
  • 4. Mozart in the Jungle
  • 3. Silicon Valley
  • 2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • 1. Ozark
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The Best Movies of 2017 (So Far)

There have been a ton of great indie movies released this year. While I haven't seen all of them yet, my favorite list could be compiled. 

See below for the top 10 best movies of 2017 thus far.

  • 10. Lemon
  • 9. Colossal
  • 8. Dunkirk
  • 7. It Comes at Night
  • 6. The Little Hours
  • 5. Baby Driver
  • 4. A Ghost Story
  • 3. Brigsby Bear
  • 2. The Big Sick
  • 1. Get Out
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The Best Albums of 2017 (So Far)

This is the first of a series of 3 "Best of" posts that I meant to publish a few weeks ago. I'll overview my personal favorite albums, movies, and television shows of 2017. 

Here's a list of my favorite albums of 2017 thus far. 

  • 10. Jay-Z
  • 9. Haim
  • 8. Forest Swords
  • 7. Magnetic Fields
  • 6. Perfume Genius
  • 5. Father John Misty
  • 4. Paramore
  • 3. Kendrick Lamar
  • 2. Alt-J
  • 1. Dirty Projectors
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What's in Store in August?

Now that I am the Director of Marketing for Parts Market, there are a lot of exciting tasks to carry out to drive the company to further success. As I work through all of that, I wanted to ensure I maintained the tradition of alluding to the month ahead. 

So, what kind of events or projects are planned in August?

  • August 1st: 311 at Sunset Cove Ampitheater
  • August 14th: J Cole at American Airlines Arena
  • August 30th: Ed Sheeran at American Airlines Arena
  • August 31st: Opening Game for the UCF Knights
  • Every Saturday: Movie day with the family
  • Every Wednesday: Date night with the wife
  • Every Sunday: Baseball 

I'm also looking forward to tightening my daily regimen. That includes:

  • Wake up by 7am
  • Meditate every morning
  • Work out in the mornings (at least 10,000 steps + 100 pushups)
  • Take a cold shower daily
  • Bathe my kids every night
  • Read to my kids every night before bed
  • Eat vegan during the week

What do you have planned in August? 

The Beaver at the Hoover Dam

There is an old story about a beaver and a rabbit. They were sitting close to the Hoover Dam and talking while admiring it right after it was built.

The rabbit says "It's marvelous"

Without hesitation, the beaver excitedly agrees.

The rabbit reads his body language and asks "Did you build that?"

The beaver turns to the rabbit and says...

"No, but it's based on an idea I had."

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Google Wifi

I'm currently considering the best ways to make my at-home network as fast and secure as humanly possible. 

I have a standard modem with an Almond smart router (which I love), but I'd like to find out if there are more superior options for my area. 

If anyone has used Google Wifi (their mesh network connection), I'd love to gather your feedback on them. 

Google Wifi

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I would need 3 of them to cover my home so I am wondering if they will be worth the investment. 

Your honest feedback is appreciated. 

"Noble S**t" Attitude

Instead of the common phrase, "No Bulls**t" attitude, why not change it to "Noble S**t.

After all, I can tolerate lies. I can't stand, however, individuals that aren't working on things that truly make a difference in the world. 

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High morals. We need more of that.

We need more people doing "Noble S**t."

Brandless

 

As much as I love branding, you probably wouldn't think I'd adore this mission so much.

Brandless is a startup that works with manufacturers to eliminate the extra costs that are often associated with offering branded products. Instead, the company just provides basic products with simple labels that just state what’s in each product. And all of those items cost just $3.

Do these products interest you? 

How much weight do you put on the products that are made by the brands you love? 

This concept puts that sentiment to the ultimate test. 

AR Will Change in a Snap

Apple's new AR Kit is going to change the way we interact with our phones, with our apps, and most importantly, our environments. 

Where engaging selfie-driven apps have thrived, superior technology will take over. As capabilities become innate in hardware itself, there are less hoops to jump through to get to an output. 

I'm not saying that these apps will die with these hardware improvements, but you will certainly see unprecedented adoption rates in other (more accessible) places. 

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We are the World

  1. Hydrogen
  2. Oxygen
  3. Nitrogen
  4. Carbon

These are the 4 most prominent ingredients on Earth.

So is it a coincidence that humans consist of these same 4 things?

As we travel through the Earth, in a sense, the earth travels through us. 

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Inconsistent Normalcy

You can thrive off of stress and pressure. The adrenaline and excitement are just what you prefer. It drives you. 

On the other hand, others aspire to get ahead of chaos to avoid high-pressure situations. Being organized is their normal. 

Normal is whatever we make it out to be. 

The trick is to stick with what we are most comfortable with. The second we depart from our comfort levels, we consider it abnormal. Abnormalities breed confusion, which perpetually fuels discontent. 

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My Exciting New Adventure

Today is my first day as the Director of Marketing for PartsMarket. 

Go ahead and Google the company. I'll wait. 

PartsMarket makes it easy to buy and sell used auto parts online.

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My job will be to garner attention to the value this incredible company, and technology is creating for the automotive industry. I'll be getting in front of customers looking to buy auto parts (B2C) as well as garnering interest from auto professionals looking to sell the parts they source (B2B). 

This is an immense opportunity to disrupt an unproductive and antiquated space. The company is already on track to make a dent (pun intended) and I am extremely excited to join in the movement. 

I'll be checking in with updates on some of the marketing strategies I deploy for PartsMarket. As always, I will try to be transparent in my efforts because what works for me, and companies like PartsMarket, can work for many readers of this blog. 

If you feel there may be any synergies between what you do and PartsMarket, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I will look forward to changing an industry... together. 

Trust and Truth

Jack Welch is right. 

Trust is the single most important factor in business. Period. 

Having trust at the top, and ensuring it connects to every single fabric of your organization, is what ultimately builds a thriving culture based on success. 

Without trust, you can't manifest the truth.

Truth needs to come in two very important forms in an organization:

  • Speaking up when you have something to say
  • No sugar-coating (even your boss)

When a new employee is able to speak openly about his emotions, and perhaps his criticisms of what observes, you're building a powerful machine of honesty. 

Only the trust that you put into that new employee allows him to speak up - and allows even the CEO to listen with an open mind.