Why the American Mindset is WRONG

Achieve Limitless Success, Happiness and Gratitude

Zero BS on taking Control of your Life. No spam.

Whether you like it or not, the majority of Americans have a flawed mindset towards life.

We grow up with the hopes and aspirations of being successful, which most of the time “success” is defined and quantified by how much money you make, the size of your house and what car you drive.

In addition, the way others view you or the perception of how you want others to view you seems to be just as important as the actual success itself.

Deep down into our core, these few factors are what typically drives us each and every day.

We work long and hard for days, weeks, months, years upon years at a time to attempt to achieve some marginal success, some “happiness”.

Whether that success to you is to lease a BMW that you can’t afford to project the image of success to those around you, or to buy a material item that months down the road won’t give you the same sense of feeling you got when you first bought it.

We associate material items with success, which we hope will bring us happiness. As at the end of the day happiness is all of our ultimate goals whether we realize it or not.

At a certain point in life (typically sooner than later), having this mantra equals out to a really fucked up way of living.

F the BS: It’s time to recalibrate! 

Take Europe for example. I’m not a world traveler (yet), but I’ve spent a decent amount of time in a handful of western European countries to get a true feel and sense for how the average person lives their life.

And I hate to break it to you, but “success” and material items are not a top priority for Europeans, not by a long shot.

Simply being out in the open, enjoying the present moment and the scenery, with friends and family over tea, coffee, wine, beer, some lunch…this is their ultimate goal and priority and what brings them happiness.

While we as Americans put all of our focus, efforts and energy into working to make more and more money to buy more and more bullshit consumer products, as well as the next new thing that we don’t need and won’t ever bring us long term happiness, most Euros seem to keep it simple and take advantage of the small moments and things in life.

Now let me disclose that I’m sure it’s not like this for ALL Europeans. And undoubtedly, they may have similar financial stresses and overall life problems like us, but the key difference that literally changes everything is that they live in a society where working and money simply aren’t No.1 or even No.2 in their mental list of what’s most important in life. They put friends and family first, and push to the side the bullshit of everything else (fancy cars, the latest technology gadgets, big homes, etc, etc).

Before I wrap this up, just think for a moment about what you may be LOSING by making your current definition of success your top priority.

We only have so much time on this planet to live, love and breathe.

Do what needs to be done to make the true priorities in life your top ones. It won’t be easy, and it may take years to accomplish but you only have one life to live so make it worth it.

I’ll leave you with this story that gets me every time…

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Achieve Limitless Success, Happiness and Gratitude

Zero BS on taking Control of your Life. No spam.

MONEY Master the Game Tony Robbins – Book Summary/Notes

-compounding interest – invest 10-20% of income annually. 

-you find bargains at the point of maximum pessimism. When everyone is running one way, that’s the time to run the other. 

-when the market is going down, that’s the time to buy, as “night is not forever” financial winter is a season, and it’s followed by spring. 


-mutual funds – broker fees and hidden fees (commissions, market impacts costs, spread costs, transaction costs, etc) fuck you royally over a lifetime of investing. They make money regardless if you do, they have interest mostly in investing your money into funds that reap the most benefit for them, not you. 

-they promote time weighted returns/average returns, which are bs. Dollar weighted returns/actual returns are the truth. 

96% of actively managed mutual funds fail to beat the market over any sustained period of time. 

-mutual fund companies produce churn and burn mutual funds, and only advertise the good ones to try to recruit you as a client. 

Beat the market essentially means going up against stock indexes which are baskets/lists of stocks (S&P 500 (standard and poors top 500 companies in America, as an example, or Vanguard 500). 

Top guys like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffet recommend only focusing on stock indexes for minimal risk and maximum upside. 

Hedge fund – private fund for high net worth investors. They bet for the market and make money when It goes up, and bet against the market and make money when It goes down. 

From 1993 to 2013 s&p returned averages of 9.28%, while the average mutual fund investor made 2.54%. 

An index fund mimics or matches the market, It doesn’t try to beat It as a whole. 

Asset allocation – diversifying your investments to weather the storm regardless if it’s up or down. 

***low cost index funds – a portfolio of these type of funds is the best approach for a percentage of your investments. Fuck mutual funds.

401k – a retirement account option, similar to an IRA. This is where you can have your mutual funds managed within if you choose so. Fees are excessive. Average person will lose 155k to 401k fees over a lifetime based on annual income of 30k/yr and saving 5% income per year. 

PLUS – since taxes are deferred to a later date (this is for IRAs too), it’s unknown how much the tax rate will be in the future. Which means you could end up paying a shit ton when you decide to return and begin withdrawing from your retirement account. 

Your total annual fees and associated costs should be 1.25% or less on average. Investment advisor fees can be tax deductible.  

-find and hire an independent registered investment advisor (ria) a legal fiduciary. Their fees could be tax deductible based on tax bracket, fees will be less and they have a legal right to have your best interests in mind. 

Portfoliocheckup.com – tool to analyze your current accounts/holdings and help give guidance on how to properly set up your asset allocation. 

Creative planning – $50k minimum on assets to invest to use their services. Recommended though. (Portfoliocheckup.com)


Investor.vanguard.com/advice/personal-advisor – this can help with how to set up a portfolio. 

Key criteria for finding your own fiduciary 

-registered with state or sec as a registered investment advisor

-ensure person/firm is NOT affiliated with a broker dealer (ask for this in writing) 

-does not offer proprietary funds (products/funds creating by the firm, they try to sell you on adding them to your portfolio), you want investment advice, not them selling you investments as well. 

-advisor is compensated on a percentage of your assets under management, NOT for buying mutual funds. Shouldn’t pay more than 1.25% in annual advisory fees for comprehensive financial planning and less than 1% for only portfolio management. 

-NO 12b-1 fees, shareholder service fees, consulting fees or other pay to play fees being paid as compensation. 

-advisor does NOT receive compensation for trading stocks or bonds. 

-ensure your money is held with a reputable third party custodian such as Schwab td ameritrade or fidelity, not with advisor directly. 

-ensure firm has educated and credentialed advisors on board. 

Roth IRA – pay taxes up front, which is better because then you never have to pay fees again (especially once they go up as they always do). But you can only

put a maximum of $5,500 annually, Roth 401k allows $17,500 annually. (Don’t think you can even do a Roth IRA if you make over a certain amount). 

BUT – If you make over $122k/yr, there’s no income limitations on a Roth 401k (although it can be maxed out, not sure what’s the max), which means you can do $17.5k/yr, pay the taxes today and be chillin

Tony is partnered with America’s Best 401k – look into this company

Cash balance plans – need to look into this

Profit sharing plan – need to look into this


-variable annuities – no go. Pretty much just another form of investing in mutual funds, tax deferred, with excess fees. 

Structured notes – a loan to a bank where if the market goes down, you receive 100% of your money back. If the market goes up you get a piece of the upside (plus your money back). 

Important to use a trusted bank (canadians banks are best). 

Market linked CDs – similar to notes but backed by the FDIC. You get a small guaranteed return if market goes up (plus piece of upside). If market goes down you get back your investment plus the small guaranteed return + you had fdic insurance the entire time. Money is typically only tied up 1-2 years where a structured note can be 5-7. 

^^^ Do this through a fiduciary advisor to limit fees. 

Fixed indexed Annuities (FIA) – 100% principal protection guaranteed by insurance company (essential to pick a trustworthy one), same as notes/market linked cds, participate in upside with no downside. Gains are tax deferred or if own within a Roth IRA you don’t pay taxes on returns. Some fia’s offer certain monthly income payments for every dollar you deposit, when you decide to turn it on/trigger It. <—— need to look into more.

Annuity without the annuity – something about paying insurance 1% annual fee for monitoring your portfolio for protection. In the event you run out of money during retirement they will guarantee you an income stream for life. 

Immediate annuities (income insurance) – for those at retirement age or beyond, seeking guaranteed set monthly income in exchange for a lump sum payment up front provided by an insurance company. 

Mortality credits – mentioned but unsure what It is or means. 

You can select an option where if you die prematurely, the insurance company will refund your heirs the same amount you put in (but then you’d get much less amount on your monthly income payments). 

Or you can get an inexpensive term life insurance policy. 

Deferred annuities – you give a lump sum or money over a period of years and instead of immediate income, your returns are reinvested in a tax deferred environment, until you choose to flip the switch on. 

Three types of deferred annuities (need to pick a top insurance provider. Especially one a part of the insurance guaranty association, which essentially guarantees you up to a certain amount of the company goes under). 

1 – deferred income annuity – aka longevity insurance – lump sum deposit today, guaranteed income that kick on at a date much later in life. 

2 – fixed indexed annuity – rate of return is tied to how the stock market does, you get a piece of the upside of the market (typically capped on the amount of gains you get a piece of, sometimes it’s uncapped and they just take a small spread) , with no downside and no possibility of loss. The insurance company takes a part of your principal and invests It by buying “options” on the stock market index. If It goes up, they keep majority of It and give you a piece. If It goes down the options expire and you don’t lose your principal. If you get an FIA within a Roth IRA there’s no tax on gains or lifetime income once you begin to access It. 

3 – hybrid annuity – aka contingent annuity – you keep your capital and invest It in a tax efficient portfolio of low cost index funds, if you run out of money in retirement the insurance company steps in and pays you guaranteed income for rest of your life. Check out the ARIA Retire One product. 

In tax deferred environments, you get charged a 10% fee if you make a withdrawal prior to age 59 and a half. 

Avoid variable annuities. 

Www.lifetimeincome.com – informational resource on the different annuity product options. 

When you buy a house let’s say 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 6%, fully 80% of your mortgage payments will go towards interest. 

If you buy a home for $1m, you end up paying double, so $2m due to interest payments. In order to stop this insanity, you can prepay your next months principal and cut your 30 yr mortgage to 15 yr by not having to pay all the interest. The next time you write a monthly mortgage check, write a second check for the principal only portion of next months payment. 

When selling outside of a tax deferred account…. Long term capital gains tax – holding investment for a minimum of a year and one day to get a significantly lower tax fee (around 20%) versus selling quick and having to pay larger short term capital gains 

When investing make sure you can at least defer taxes (401k/ira/annuity/defined benefit plan) so that you compound tax free and only pay taxes when you sell, if you cannot invest in a Roth. 

-Look into real estate investment trusts (reits) for Non accredited investors. Owning a Basket of properties around the country. Can be purchased for as little as $25 a share and offers quarterly dividend payments. <——- the 75 year old age segment will grow by 84% between 2010 and 2030, massive demand and not enough supply. Senior housing facilities is a good long term investment opportunity.

Asset allocation

-money market funds 

Diversifying your portfolio amongst different asset classes and across different markets. 

– dollar cost averaging (diversifying across time). It takes out the emotions from investing, whether it’s greed or fear. You pretty much invest on a set schedule, with the same amount of money invested each time. This way the fluctuations and volatility of the market work to increase your gains. (Ex – If a specific stock you own goes down, you end up buying more of It at a lower price). 

Lump sum investing can be more lucrative but also more risky. 

-rebalancing – To be successful you need to rebalance your portfolio at regular intervals. 

If your risk/growth bucket goes up to 75% of all your assets when It needs to be at 60%, you must rebalance by selling some of your assets doing well, and buying underperforming safer assets when their prices are lower for your security bucket, to put the proportions back in balance. 

Beware of taxes when rebalancing if you’re in a tax deferred environment and/or if you’ve owned the assets for less than a year. 

Tax loss harvesting – using losses to maximize net gains, lowering your taxes (not sure on this one). 

Ray Dalio – how the economic machine works – www.economicprinciples.org

Ray says if you have 50/50 of your portfolio broken down into stocks and bonds, you really are risking 95% of your portfolio because stocks are way more volatile than bonds (three times more risky/volatile)

To have a balanced portfolio, you must not only divide your money equally, but divide the risk of each investment equally as well. 

You must divide up your money based on how much risk/reward their is, not just in equal amounts of dollars in each type of investment. 

All weather approach – there are four possible types of seasons in the financial world 

1 – higher than expected inflation (rising prices) (commodities/gold, inflation linked bonds (tips))

2 – lower than expected inflation (or deflation) (treasury bonds, stocks) 

3 – higher than expected economic growth (stocks, corporate bonds, commodities/gold)

4 – lower than expected economic growth (treasury bonds, inflation linked bonds (tips))

Since you don’t know when one season will approach, the best strategy is to have 25% of your risk (equally) in each season. This way you’re covered/protected at all times. 

Rays sample portfolio


       – 30% in low cost index funds (like s&p 500 or vanguard)

-long term government bonds

     -15% in intermediate term (7-10 year treasuries)

      -40% in long term (10-25 year treasuries)

This large percentage of your portfolio counters the volatility of the stocks. 


       – 7.5%


        – 7.5%

You always want a piece of your portfolio to do well with accelerated inflation. Although they have high volatility, they counteract for when rapid inflation hurts both stocks and bonds. 

Must rebalance at least annually (can increase tax efficiency if done properly). If one segment does well, you must sell a portion and reallocate back to the original allocation. 

Private placement life insurance (ppli) – aka the rich mans roth but without income or deposit limitations – a type of life insurance policy that is shielded from income tax on gains, as well as the payout upon death. Depending on how it’s set up, you can also withdraw or borrow funds tax free. 

Borrowing is legally deemed a loan, which is not taxable. You can then repay the loan at a future date of your choosing or allow the life insurance proceeds to pay off the loan when you pass away. 

Must be an accredited investor to access PPLI (typical minimum annual deposits of $250k/year at minimum of four years, Net worth of at least $1m not including the value of your primary residence, or income of at least $200k/year for last two years or $300k/year combined with spouse). 

For those unaccredited – there’s TIAA-CREF. Www.tiaa-cref.org/public

Need to set up a living revocable trust versus a will. This way you avoid probate if you pass away, which is a costly and lengthy procedure of allowing the courts to sort through your assets and make everything public record. 

It also can protect you while alive, unlike a will. If something happens you can have an incapacity clause that allows someone to step in and handle your bills and other affairs. 

Look into Pour over will – even though It requires probate. 

Free living trust template at www.getyourshittogether.org or legal zoom. 

-warren buffet – keep emotion out of It. Invest in undervalued companies for the long term. 

Paul Tudor Jones – 5 to 1. 200 day average. This way you can be wrong 4 times and still make money. 

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment Tal Ben-Shahar – Book Summary/Notes

-happiness isn’t a destination, it’s an unlimited resource and a lifelong pursuit. We can always look for new ways to become happier and gain more happiness.

-focus on creating “rituals” versus calling them habits. “Building rituals requires defining very precise behaviors and performing them at very specific times, motivated by deeply held values.”

-when priming – keep the emotions fresh. Imagine what each item means to you and experience the feeling associated with It. 

-happiness/hamburger model – 4 types

Junk food burger – present enjoyment while ignoring potential negative consequences. 

Vegetarian burger – rat race – suffer now for purpose of some anticipated gain. 

Worst burger – doesn’t taste good and no benefits. Nihilism type, doesn’t enjoy the moment or have a sense of future purpose. 

Best burger – best of both worlds both delicious and healthy. Happiness burger. Living secure in the knowledge that the activities that bring them enjoyment in the present will also lead to a fulfilling future. 

Rat racers work hard, don’t enjoy what they do, and have a persistent belief that once they reach a certain destination in life, then they can be happy. 

Our culture reinforces the belief that if we do something good (at work) we will receive something in return (a bonus, raise or promotion), making us focus on the next goal rather than on our present experience. 

We are not rewarded for enjoying the journey itself but for the successful completion of a journey. Society rewards results not processes or journeys. 

We mistake relief for happiness, reinforcing the illusion that simply reaching goals will make us happy. 

Just like when we have a headache, when the pain goes away we derive a certain pleasure from the absence of pain but then very quickly adapt and take our physical contentment for granted.

Studies on journaling show that writing about negative as well as positive experiences enhances our levels of mental and physical health. <- Opening Up JW Pennebaker

Studies show that happy individuals are successful in various aspects of life, marriage friendship income work performance and health. Relationship between happiness and success are reciprocal. Happiness brings success and vice versa. Happy people live better and longer. 

Happiness = pleasure (in present benefit) + meaning (in future benefit)

Simply setting goals and even reaching them doesn’t always bring meaning and purpose. Goals we set must be intrinsically meaningful. 

To live a meaningful life we must have a self generated purpose that possesses personal significance rather than one that is dictated by society standards and expectations.

The important thing is that we choose our purpose in accordance with our own values and passions rather than conforming to others expectations.

Mapping your life – spend time writing and reflecting on how your day went to identify important patterns. You can then decide what to eliminate and what to focus more on. 

When making decisions our society makes us focus on material than emotional, as wealth is measurable and emotions/meaning aren’t. Your house or a book is quantifiable, but your feelings for the home or what a book means to you cannot he measured. 

Emotional bankruptcy. Wake up, material wealth doesn’t bring happiness. Think about everybody around you, everybody is looking towards the same place for the same hopeful feelings, but it’s wrong! 

Goals – people who set goals are more likely to succeed then people who do not. having explicit objectives that are challenging and specific with clear timeline and performance criteria leads to better performance – book called building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation Locke and Latham. 

Set concordant goals – goals we pursue out of deep personal conviction or strong interest that are integrated with the self directly from self choice. These goals are chosen from the self stemming from a desire to express rather than from the need to impress. 

Meaning Pleasure Strengths Process – writing down for each to see what you’d enjoy doing most, not what others want for you or doing something just because it’s a strength of yours. 


And seeing overlaps 


To determine what would make you emotionally prosperous versus financially unhappy. 

Happiness boosters – activities lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours that provide us with both meaning and pleasure both future and present benefit. They can inspire motivate and provide energy. 

Appreciative inquiry  – rather than focusing on what doesn’t work this focuses on what has worked or does work. Think about what made you happier in the past and what specifically made you feel good then ask yourself how you can take what you’ve learned from your best past and apply it toward creating a better future.


Imagine you are 110 years old and are able to go back in time to when you were younger and you’re able to have 15 minutes to give yourself advice on how to find more happiness in your life. Think about what you would tell your younger self.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy William B Irvine – Book Summary/Notes

Negative visualization

thinking about how things could be worse, allowing you to appreciate the present/moment and not take anything for granted, and to make us value whatever we have much more. While also preparing you for when the worst actually happens.

Example being the two fathers with a daughter. One appreciates her daily and gives her constant attention knowing that he could lose her at any moment. The other takes her for granted and doesn’t truly appreciate her in each and every moment. He is set for much more disappointment and unhappiness.

Negative visualization techniques 

-bad things happening in your life

-imagining unfortunate circumstances that happened to others happening to us

-how our ancestors had to live and imagining if we had to live that way

-bad things that happened to us, happening instead to others

Contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world forces us to recognize that anything we do could be the last time we do it, allowing us to do things with significance and intensity.

Hedonic adaptation – a way of living that sucks the joy out of things we once longed for that we now possess/have. Applying negative visualization to losing those things or people in our life can help us not take what we have for granted, appreciate it more as well as enhance our capacity for enjoying our life more.

Also increases the chance of that joy we experience to remain durable, surviving changes in our circumstances.

Dichotomy of control (internalization technique)

setting goals and values based on things that you have complete control over internally, and things that you have some but not complete control over, rather than others that are completely out of your control externally.

Example being setting goals that are easy and obtainable versus ones that most likely will lead to failure, or even if you end up achieving them, you suffered during the process of achieving them.

Things that we have partial control over (like winning a tennis match, or getting a book published), we should set proper internal goals (and no external goals) for these so that we don’t experience disappointment (such as practicing and playing to the best of your ability).

The things which we have no control over at all, should be set/pushed to the side as not worth worrying about at all, saving yourself from unnecessary anxiety.

Fatalism (acceptance of fate and what happens in the past and present is out of our hands/control)

the best way to gain satisfaction is not by working to satisfy whatever desires we find within us but by learning to be satisfied with our life as it is, by learning to be happy with whatever we’ve got.

If you can learn to want whatever it is you already have, you won’t have to work to fulfill your desires in order to gain satisfaction, you will have already been fulfilled.

In the present (this very moment) we have a very important choice with respect to it: we can either spend this moment wishing it could be different, or we can embrace it. If we habitually embrace it, we will enjoy our life.

It’s a waste of time if we worry about past or present events, as we have no control over it.

Self-denial techniques

Voluntary discomfort – 3 benefits
-by taking these acts (choosing to be cold or hungry) we harden ourselves against misfortunes that we may encounter in the future
-builds your confidence and gives you a wider safety/comfort net. It also prevents anxiety, as you won’t be worried about these things for the future
-helps us appreciate what we have

Voluntary denial of pleasure to build your self control. (If you choose to not eat ice cream, you will gain pleasure and praise yourself for your self control).

Mastering this type of self denial and control will allow you to attain the goals of your philosophy of life, which will dramatically increase your chances of living a good life.

Meditation techniques

Every night run through a mental checklist of daily living, and how you responded to events, and how you should’ve responded in accordance to stoic principles.

As you go about your day, play the roles of participant and spectator (create within ourselves a stoic observer who watches us and comments on our attempts to practice stoicism). Examine what you do, our motives for it, and the value of what we are trying to accomplish.

Also, be careful observers of the actions of other people, learn from their mistakes and successes.

Social relations

If you have to deal with or be around someone who gets on your nerves or is annoying you can do a few different things
-think of others who may find you annoying
-realize that the world cannot exist without them
-you getting annoyed only makes things worse than what the person is even doing that’s annoying you
-it is fate that makes them the way they are
-in the big picture we will all be dead soon, don’t let them get to you

You shouldn’t think about or speculate about other people.


-the first strategy is to pause when insulted and consider if what the insulter said is true. If it is, then there is little reason to be upset.
-next strategy is to pause and consider how well informed the insulter is. He may simply be reporting how things seem to him and what he sincerely believes.
-another is to consider the source of the insult and if it is someone you respect and value their opinions. If you do, then their critical remarks shouldn’t upset you.
-just as a dog barking at you may dislike you, you shouldn’t allow other people’s insults to upset you.
-another important strategy is when insulted, we ourselves are the source of any sting that accompanies the insult. If we can convince ourselves that a person has done us no harm by insulting us, his insult will carry no sting. It is up to us whether we get upset or angry from insult.
-respond to insults with self-deprecating humor, versus a counter-insult
-or don’t respond at all, the insulter will be even more upset


-by allowing ourselves to get angry over little things, we take what might have been barely noticeable and transform it into a tranquility shattering state of agitation.
-our anger invariably lasts longer than the damage done to us, making us fools for allowing our peace to be disrupted by minor things.
-using humor in replace of when you get angry or annoyed, can then become a source of amusement from a bad thing or situation.
-think about the impermanence of the world around us and how unimportant whatever your angry about is, and how it doesn’t matter in the big picture.
-a good strategy is to turn our anger into its opposite. Force yourself to think the opposite, a wholesome thought. If you’re angry, think about love. Two opposite thoughts cannot exist in one mind at one time, the wholesome thought will drive out the unwholesome one.
-We should force ourselves to relax our face, soften our voice and slow our pace of walking, allowing our internal state to resemble our external state, removing the anger.
-simply apologizing for angering someone else gives you a calming effect, and prevents you from obsessing over the thing that made you angry. By admitting your mistake, we lessen the chance that we will make them again in the future.
-make yourself a person to be loved by all while you live and missed when you have made your departure. Why experience anti-joy when you have it in your power to experience joy?

Personal values

On fame – you shouldn’t care what others opinions are or what they think about you. You shouldn’t try to seek fame or social popularity. Trying to be viewed as favorable or admirable by someone else means having to change who you are to emulate what that persons own values and beliefs are.

On luxurious living – “not needing wealth is more valuable than wealth itself is”

People who live luxurious lifestyles are rarely satisfied, as it whets their appetite for even more luxury.

Natural desires (such as a desire for water when we are thirsty) can be satisfied, unnatural desires cannot. Think twice the next time you want something and are trying to satisfy it/yourself.

The danger of being exposed to a luxurious lifestyle is losing the ability to take delight in the simple things, seriously impairing the ability to enjoy life.

ENJOY the simple things and moments while in the PRESENT.


-periodically contemplating your own death and understanding that your days are numbered, allows you to get the most out of life (versus someone who thinks he will live forever and takes each day for granted, resulting in wasting his days).
-living each day like it’s your last allows you to extract the full value of that day, and the days that follow it.
-no point in fearing death, as it’s a negative emotion that can be avoided and in fact substituted by gratefulness and appreciation of life and what you have.


-if someone close passes away, it is perfectly natural to experience grief. After reflecting on it, you must try to reason it out of existence “is this what the person who died would want you to do? No, they’d want you to be happy. The best way to honor their memory is to leave off grieving and get on with life.”
-The goal is not to eliminate grief but to minimize it.
-“A man is as wretched as he has convinced himself that he is”
-what point is there in being unhappy just because once you were unhappy?

Advice on becoming a stoic

-Do your best to enjoy things that are easily obtainable or can’t be taken from you, such as your character or the idea of simply being alive right now.

-while you enjoy things that can be taken away from you, practice negative visualization so that you prepare for the loss of those things. You need to learn how to enjoy things without feeling entitled to them and without clinging to them, as they can be taken away at any given moment.

-be careful to avoid wanting the best of everything, leading to enjoying a wide range of easily obtainable things.

“To have whatsoever he wishes is in no mans power. It is in every mans power not to wish for what he has not, but cheerfully to employ what comes to him.”

“A boundless joy that is firm and unalterable.” – Seneca, a primary beneficiary of stoicism.

Third Circle Theory Pejman Ghadimi – Book Summary/Notes

Achieve Limitless Success, Happiness and Gratitude

Zero BS on taking Control of your Life. No spam.

Three circles/potential stages in one’s life

First circle (most people live their entire life in this circle. Low self value) 

-birth – limited to your parents views, thoughts and beliefs.

-settler – complacent, limited, not on an ideal frequency level. 

-dreamer – mid life crisis, trying to catch up due to questions past decisions made. Seeks instant gratification for growth. Bitter and envious of others progress and success. 

They have the ability to change, as there’s so much information out there, but they are too set in their ways. 

Second circle (20% progress to this stage. Introduced to new views that defy your beliefs and behaviors, empower you to Increase awareness if you’re open to It).

-the awakening – exposure to new views. Enables you to gain confidence to pursue interests and not just being limited to what you’re told. 

-the leader – feeling of leading and informing others about the negatives and lies in the world. Others are drawn to your character which amplifies your abilities. 

-the achiever – money is the main motive here. Ability to manipulate others. If you cannot graduate from this stage you won’t be able to define your existence or purpose. 

Third circle (2% graduate to this stage. They have learned their purpose and how to remove themselves from the equation of life. When you choose to not make it about you anymore, you establish a true vision of what the world can be.)

-the vision – see deeper than most, and visualize your view of a better world where you are not the center of It. Enables you to apply importance to your projects regardless of size. Because you see further than most, You don’t fear bringing It to life of the hard work ahead. Once you see this way you can never see any other way again. Your projects become your desires and main priorities and leads to defining your purpose. 

-the purpose – your belief in something greater than yourself, where you allow your mind and emotions to remove themselves from the equation. Money no longer matters and decisions are made for the common good of the vision rather than your desires needs and wants. High levels of energy reveal themselves and allow no obstacles but rather serve up challenges that always have answers and are quickly overcome. The world doesn’t revolve around you but rather in front of you. Fulfillment is felt. 

-the rebirth – mind frees itself of unknown and focuses on the vision. Rebirth is achieved when vision is recognized by all not just those around you. Purpose is define, game of life is mastered. 

Awareness of the theory now allows your subconscious to seek signs to validate it. 

Environment – drive, confidence, that I was the best from my dad. Optimism, affectionate, kindness from my mom. 

As we grow up we learn more by actions than by what is said to us. We look to emulate these actions and turn them into our behaviors. 

Emotional intelligence is essential to taking control of life and your reactions to life. Awareness that your emotions are your weakness will enable you to overcome them. 

Achieve Limitless Success, Happiness and Gratitude

Zero BS on taking Control of your Life. No spam.

Take Your Time: The Wisdom of Slowing Down Eknath Easwaran – Book Summary/Notes

-give yourself more time by simply waking up earlier in a calm, peaceful and unhurried manner. This helps set the tone/pace for the day.

-simplify your day. Don’t try to do it all, or cram multiple things into one day. Focus on what’s important and give it your full focus/undivided attention.

-what’s important? Put together a list of everything you deem important, then scratch out the things that aren’t necessary or beneficial in your life. Try to stick with only the things left on the list, revisit after a few months and make a new list.

-take time to pause for reflection, observation and original thinking.

-don’t let yourself get hurried. Best way to prepare for stressful situations is to learn to stay calm and pause to think when circumstances are pressuring us to hurry, or find ways to completely escape the situation if possible.

-cultivate patience. Patience is absolutely essential for learning to slow down. You can learn to develop it, just try to be patient every time life challenges us each day.

-slow down your mind. “A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine.”
The more we slow down the thinking process, the more control we have over our lives. Buddha called this “living intentionally.”
Slowing down is a means to an end, the ultimate goal is living in freedom, free from pressures of hurry and distractions. It means living at the deepest level of our awareness.

-one pointed attention- giving everything you do complete and undivided attention. This helps all aspects of life.
Don’t do multiple things at once, it prevents you from being present and fully aware.
Don’t allow negative emotions to impact or affect your current state of mind, treat them with compassion.
Train your attention to come back to the present when it goes on a train of thought about the past or future

-when you feel driven to act on an impulse, take your time to ask if this is really what is in your best interest.

-likes and dislikes – learn to appreciate your dislikes and give them patience, compassion and your attention/focus

-when you feel you’re getting impatient or want something your way, try to put the other persons comfort and convenience first.

-practice and use your mantram whenever you’re not busy focusing on anything of importance. Apply it when in the heat of the moment or a situation when thoughts and emotions arise. Practice diligently with determination.

The Winner’s Brain Jeff Brown – Book Summary/Notes

Self awareness factor
-pay attention to others facial expressions
Focus factor
-admit when distracted and use a word to get back on track
-pay attention to small details
-yoga/meditation techniques
Emotional balance factor
-keep a detailed emotional journal for a week or two to strengthen your emotional vocabulary.
-start becoming more aware of your own personal emotional baseline, highs and lows.
-broaden your perspective to grow your opportunity radar.
-empathy- the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Memory factor 
-do something new once per week (try a new food, learn meaning of a few new words, etc).
Resilience factor
-after a setback, slow down for a moment, take a deep breath, try to find the source of the mistake, once you find it adjust behavior accordingly and move forward.
Adaptability factor
-do yoga and meditate
-become more aware of your thoughts. Imagine them flowing by like water in a stream. You can detach from them and focus on the emotional tone behind them. You’ll start to see the patterns of emotions and actions. Recognizing them is the first step to changing them.
Brain care factor
-exercise often
-eat fish weekly
-eat fruit daily (apples/blueberries)
-drink unfiltered juices (apple juice daily)

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way Robert Maurer – Book Summary/Notes

-process of building habits and taking small steps to achieve big goals. Continuous improvement that is not really viewed as tough or hard work, yet still brings you to your goals. 

Innovation – drastic process of change occurring in a very short period of time, dramatic turnaround. Fast big and flashy, reaches for the largest result in the smallest amount of time. 

By taking small steps/low key changes, It helps the mind circumnavigate the fear that blocks success and creativity, and leads them to accomplishing their goals without much effort. 

Cortex is the part of brain that makes us human. Rational thoughts and creative impulses take place here. Thinking part of the brain. The cortex is where we make changes or jumpstart the creative process. 

Midbrain is where the amygdala is located, which is where the fight or flight response lives. When used It shuts down other functions (such as the cortex). Any challenge, opportunity or desire triggers some degree of fear, limiting our access to the cortex. 

By using kaizen, you can focus on small and easily attained goals, bypassing the triggers of the amygdala, and tapping into the cortex (creative impulse). As you consistently work on these small goals your brain creates new neural pathways, leading to acquiring the new habits. Your resistance for change begins to evaporate because you’ve literally rewired your brain! 

Your brain is programmed to resist change! It has built in resistance to new behavior and habits. 

Asking Small questions 

The brain loves questions. When you ask a question such as how can I fit in an extra few minutes of (lesson) into my daily routine? It allows the brain to ponder on It and come up with creative ways to Incorporate the habit into their routine. 

What small benefit can I receive from performing this lesson? 

If I knew this small benefit could result in me gaining more (happiness gratitude awareness success taking control), what would I do differently right now? 

By coming up with these questions on your own, It allows for inspiration and creativity and begins to motivate to want more. 

By repeating the question on a regular basis and waiting for an answer initiates the subconscious and it’s access to the intelligence knowledge base. 

Small Questions aren’t demanding or scary. Which allows you to circumvent the amygdala and tap into your creativity. 

Need to ask the questions in a gentle and patient manner. 

Self value habit lesson – ask yourself What is one thing I like about myself today? One positive thought I’ve had about myself, one positive act I’ve engaged in, no matter how small. 

Potent partner – if you find It difficult to retain and implement this attribute, ask a friend or someone you know who has It, what is one thing they do to ensure that they instill/possess and use It during a moment of doubt or turmoil. 

Try to ask these questions regularly, ideally during the same time each day (morning, in car, lunch, etc) 

Goal question – what is one small step I could take toward reaching my goal? What is one small thing that is special about me? Asking in a kind and positive tone. 

Awareness question – what is one small step I could take to improve my awareness? 

Mind sculpture – visualization technique, visualizing in vivid detail, not just seeing but smelling hearing tasting feeling. Brain doesn’t know the difference. Creates new connections between cells to create new complex motor or verbal skills. 

Taking very small steps. Doing an activity for seconds, instead of minutes.  

Small Rewards stimulate the internal motivation required for lasting change. 

Small rewards are the perfect encouragement for instilling habits. 

Each time you work towards your habit and follow through, you can give yourself a small reward. What this does is 

Reward should be appropriate to the goal and for the person, and free/inexpensive. 

Example – if you go three days in a row with thinking of 3 different things that you’re grateful, you can give yourself a piece of candy. 

The idea here is to try to work towards the habit with the reward in mind in order to get you into wanting to perform the action, until you no longer need the reward and It becomes a habit. 

Small steps + small rewards = success

Small moments

Take the time to slow down your thinking and actions and use your awareness to notice minor issues or problems throughout your day. How can they be improved or fixed? 

Guy hated his job, couldn’t think of a more suitable career. Was asked to find one moment each day when he enjoyed his work the most. Discovered something he liked and pursued It, while enjoying this time during his current work until he quit. 

Indulge and recognize the hidden little moments that bring happiness. If you can notice them as you work on improving your habits, and truly feel them and appreciate them and learn to be prideful or excited for them, it will allow you to better implement the habit for good. 

Psycho Cybernetics Maxwell Maltz – Book Summary/Notes

-self image is correlated with success and failure 

-self image is created through experiences, not intellectual knowledge acquired 

-if you can change or improve your self image, you can overcome obstacles and achieve your goals

-all actions, feelings and behaviors and abilities are always consistent with the self image, reflects it. through your experiences, you consciously or subconscious create an image of yourself and who you are. These experiences validate It. Once you begin walking around and living with this image, you start attracting and seeking confirmation for It. The verification strengthens and you act on It just as if It was really true, turning into proof. 

-this objective proof blinds a person from realizing that their issues lie in the self image/own valuation of himself.  

-the self image can be changed regardless of age. People look at the wrong details when It comes to wanting to change or make progress. Instead of looking within at the self, they look at what’s around them and use those as excuses. They think that they’ve tried or attempted to think positive about any given situation so that they can pursue it, yet they are unaware of and never think to change the self that is the sole driver who is actually going to accomplish the goal. “Impossible to truly think positive about a situation as long as you hold a negative concept of your self.”

-stop identifying with your failures and mistakes. 

-subconscious is a goal striving servo-mechanism consisting of the brain and nervous system which is used by and directed by the mind. Our mind operates this automatic goal striving machine. 

-creative mechanism – goal of this is to achieve mental images created by imagination. Key goal is our self image. Self image prescribes the limits for the accomplishment of any goal, the “area of possible”. It works on info and data that we feed into It (thoughts beliefs and interpretations). This in return is used to solve problems and respond to situations. 

-success mechanism – in order to turn your creative mechanism into a success mechanism, you must use the method of learning practicing and experiencing new habits of thinking imagining and remembering, and acting in order to develop a legit self image, while also using your creative mechanism to bring success and happiness in achieve goals. 

-we have access to a higher power of intelligence when we begin to think hard enough. Our minds can rescan our brain or our subconscious find answers to our problems that we don’t have knowledge in ourselves. 

-can’t change self image unless you see the new image as your truth 

-success mechanism must have a goal or target. Must he conceived of as already in existence, now, either in actual or potential form. It operates by either steering you to a goal already in existence or by discovering something already in existence. 

-skill is learned via trial and error. Correcting the error until It becomes successful. Then continued success comes from not implementing the errors any longer and remembering only the successful ones. 

-trust your creative mechanism. You cannot force It by too much conscious effort. Since It operates subconsciously you must allow It to work its magic. As you act and place a demand on It by your actions, it will come through. 

-we use our imagination for our goals. We use It constructively or destructively. The key is becoming aware of which way you’re using yours and improving on It daily. 

-nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a real one. It reacts automatically to information you’ve given It from your brain. It reacts appropriately to what you think or imagine to be true. 

-we act and feel not according to what things are really like, but according to the image your mind holds of what they are like. We have certain mental images of ourselves our world and the people around us and we behave as though these images were the truth, the reality, rather than the things they represent. (Need to mention this in part 2 for control when It comes to our emotions, how we need to stop always believing all of our thoughts). 

-if we picture ourselves performing in a certain manner, It is nearly the same as the actual performance. Mental practice helps to make perfect. 

-role playing – imagining yourself in various sales situations then solving them in your mind, until you know what to say and do whenever the situation comes up in real life. Imagine every possible scenario and work out the best response. Preparing beforehand by using your imagination. 

-Rehearsal practice – when preparing for an interview plan for It in advance. Go through all questions likely to be asked, think about answers you’d respond with. Rehearse the interview in your mind. Leads to confidence. Helps to react spontaneously due to practicing to do so. 

By consistently mentally visualizing and actually feeling the action/doing of the task/goal at hand, you can vastly improve when actually performing It physically. 

You must have a clear mental picture of the correct thing before you can do it successful – Alex Morrison golf teacher. 

Our brain and body functions as a machine that we operate. The auto goal seeking machine steers its way to a goal by use of data and store info, auto correcting course when needed. It can only operate in one way, with a target/goal to shoot at. 

Must clearly see a thing in your mind before doing It, once you do, the creative success mechanism within takes over and does the job better than you could by conscious effort or willpower. 

Mentally picturing the desired end result forces you to use positive thinking. 

-visualizing past wins, something that you’re happy proud and positive about. Doesn’t matter how big or small It is. Vividly going through the experience to relive It, how It felt, smelt, heard, subtle and minor detailed specific ls important to practice. 

-take the few seconds to recognize when you’d typically get annoyed or upset in any certain situation, and instead of letting It affect your present state, take a deep breath and relax your body. Think about what getting angry solves, and how this moment can be used to better yourself and often times what you were going to be angry about ends up not being as big of a deal or as worse as you made It out to be. “Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen”. Stop allowing your opinions to influence the way you feel. Stop always believing that your thoughts and opinions know best! 

Power of hypnosis is the power of belief – when a hypnotic suggests something that overcomes a negative idea that the person implanted in their mind (you are very strong….when person thinks they cannot lift more than 100 lbs). They imposed a limitation on themselves with a negative belief that they can’t do It. By removing the mental block, they become dehypnotized from their own self limiting beliefs about themself. 

-there is no norm or average standard. We must stop comparing ourselves to others. There is only one you, you’re not meant to be like others and vice versa. Your inferiority complex originates from thinking of where you stand in relation to someone else’s norm. Stop this madness! 

-if an error is made, you must focus on correcting It next time and then forgetting the error. Dwelling on the past does not serve anyone well and allows the negative behavior to continue, when the goal should be to remove It from thought. 

-the conscious mind is the one that selects the goal, gathers info, concludes, evaluates, estimates and starts the wheels in motion. It is not responsible for results or solving problems. We must learn to do our work, act on the best assumptions available and leave results to take care of themselves (subconscious) 

Happiness – all internal. Habit that can be fixed and improved upon. Happiness lives only lives in the present not in the future when you hope something can be attained. 

Focusing and imagining pleasant ideas and memories of the past is essential to self improvement, and allows you to face life more pleasantly. 

Think and Grown Rich Napoleon Hill – Book Summary/Notes

Determination, persistency, in order to “grow rich” you must first create the mindset and the thinking process for becoming rich. 

Then, It must become a life obsession. You must think about It, the different scenarios and outcomes and envision It. Feel It see It posses It. 

If you want It bad enough, you must be so determined that you convince yourself you’ll have It. 

Edwin C Barnes – no money no education. He knew that he wanted to be a business partner with Thomas Edison. His thoughts were of confidence, as if It was definite that he would become his partner. 

Burning desire – 

“Wishing doesn’t bring wishes. Desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and mean to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches”

Money conscious – the mind has become completely saturated with the desire for It that you can see yourself already in possession of it. 

This is the mindset necessary for attaining ANY definite goal. 

Auto suggestion – if you repeatedly tell yourself certain things, those things will become your truth and will end up happening in physical reality. You can plant seeds that through constant reminding and repetition will result in millions of seeds of the main focus of thought. 

The master mind principle – surrounding yourself with others who have the same desires and motives, paired with working together in perfect harmony creates an intangible force that allows all to learn from one another, taking the power and teachings that they give you, and becoming successful because of It. All successful individuals have had others in their corner. The smarter the group you surround yourself with, the better off you’ll be. 

Sexual energy – those that can learn to harness and channel this energy and impulse (the strongest of any other kinds, combined) are who end up becoming most successful. Having a woman that you love and being able to mix equal portions of love, romance and sex within the relationship is the most powerful feeling one can have, and allows you to pursue tremendous goals. 

The subconscious mind is your gateway to becoming a genius and gaining access to infinite intelligence. It feeds off of emotions and feelings. If you give It positive thoughts and desires, that is what you’ll get back in return, and vice versa.