Stop Waiting to LIVE….

5 07 2012

Here is a fantastic ‘thought piece’ quoted by branding specialist, speaker and author Richard Sauerman. A brief effort at detective work on my part proved fruitless and I was unable to track down the original author, but  elsewhere it’s been titled “Life Lessons From The National Geographic Channel”.

Enjoy. And more importantly, let it challenge you! Life is short.

–  Quinton



When you are born, you will share your birthday with 18 million people.

During your twelve years at school you will have an average of 17 friends.

By the time you’re 40 that number will have dropped down to 2.

You will grow 950km of hair.

You will laugh an average of 15 times a day.

You will walk the equivalent of 3 times the circumference of the Earth.

You will eat 30 tonnes of food.


You will drink over 9,000 cups of coffee.

You will have one chance in 10 of being electrocuted.

On average, you will spend 10 years of your life at the office.

20 years sleeping.

3 years on the toilet.


7 months waiting in traffic.

2 months waiting on hold on your iPhone.

6 years texting.

8 years watching TV

and 19 days looking for the remote.


This will leave you with less than one fifth of your life to actually live.





What if?

18 01 2010

Spotted this thought-provoking billboard in Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour’s waterfront. I will let it speak for itself.



“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.”

– Jonathan Winters

Do Epic Sh*t

18 12 2009

This one will be a short one. Taken from Life Coaching website




I recently heard a presentation called “Try Making Yourself More Interesting,” by speaker Brian Oberkirch. In his discussion, he presented the following, easy guidance:

Do Epic Sh*t

Many of us aren’t doing epic sh*t because we think we’re not big enough to do it. Or that it’s better to start with something small and that smallness defines our ambition indefinitely. Or that epic sh*t is stuff that epic people do.

Wrong. Everyday people do epic sh*t and then become epic. They weren’t born that way.

Okay, so you may not like “Do Epic Sh*t” as a mantra. You might prefer to think along the lines of “Create Something Remarkable” a la Seth. They’re saying the same thing, though.

What are you doing that’s epic? Why is it worth talking about? Why should other people care?

Rather than do something small and work like hell to build a story around it, do epic sh*t and let it speak for itself.

Make a LIFE, not a living

11 12 2009

4 Ways to Eat Your Fear

1 12 2009

I came across an inspiring article by Robin Sharma just today, about breaking through comfort zones. A good question to challenge yourself with regularly is, “What would I like to be doing right now, but am not, because fear is holding me back?”

To rephrase a popular quote: “to fear is human.” We are all afraid of certain things and all of us, to varying extents, allow those fears to hold us back from fulfilling our true potential. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of others and what they think.. fear of failure, success, responsibility, disappointment, danger (or perceived danger). Author, speaker and life coach Anthony Robbins says F.E.A.R. is, more often than not, “False Evidence Appearing Real.” So many exciting, rewarding things, are nowhere near as risky as we think they are!

Consider something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t. If you can’t think of anything, you may have to dig a little deeper. Sometimes we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we WANT to do something, because we don’t like the thought that we are not following through with it. Either way, find at least one “thing”, and start looking at ways to DO it – instead of reasons to NOT do it. People at the end of their lives nearly always regret the things they didn’t do, more than the things they did. You have incredible potential. Don’t leave it unfulfilled!

Article by Robin Sharma (international leadership coach, author and speaker) is below. Enjoy.



If you’ve been following me online, you’ll know I’m down here in New Zealand chasing Winter and skiing great snow. This morning I hiked up one of the peaks at “The Remarkables” and then skied down it. Was I scared? Yes (don’t let the smile fool you). Was I committed to stretching beyond my comfort zone so I could grow as a skier. Definitely. So ate my fear. And skied down the mountain.

Just a ton of lessons I want to share with you from this morning’s experience. Here are my best 4:

1. Staying within your comfort zone is a waste of time. Whether on a mountain or within a life. Why? Because though you’re not frightened, you’re also not growing and improving.

2. Don’t let your mind keep you small. As I climbed closer to the peak and the air got thinner, my mental chatter grew louder. “What if you fall off this mountain?” “Maybe you’re not good enough to ski this.” “You could be in trouble up here.” I just switched it off and got down to business. Just focused on getting to where I needed to go. Most fears are just a bunch of lies you’ve sold yourself anyway. So I refused to buy them.

3. We each have our own Everests. Maybe you’re facing a business challenge. Maybe you’re going through some really hard personal time. Maybe you’re just in a place where nothing seems to work. Don’t back down from your Everests because climbing them will take you to your next level of leadership and humanity. They are such precious gifts. Embrace them.

4. Reward the Win. When I got down, I scored myself a “Mountain Chocolate Muffin”. Sure, it may not have been the best thing for my body. But it definitely was the best thing for my soul. As I ate it, while sitting out on the deck overlooking more peaks, I celebrated my win. That reward anchored me to the positivity of tackling hard things. So now I’m ready for the next one.

Few things feel as good as doing something that challenged you deeply versus running back to comfort. I beat some fear this morning, bumped up my ski game and can’t wait for the next opportunity. To stretch, reach and grow.

It Never Gets Easier Than NOW

20 07 2009
Do it now!

Do it now!

Hello there.

You – yep YOU, sitting there at your computer – are about to read one of the most challenging, sergeant major “kick-butt” articles you have in a long, long time. Actually, you can’t read it and not feel yelled at to “get your act together”. I’m sharing this post with you because it’s a big favourite – I came across it yesterday on (great website). It’s more than worth the three minutes and forty two seconds it’ll take to read. Just promise me that you’ll DO something different after reading it. Brace for impact, and “hold your nose cos here goes the cold water”.



Just do it!

Just do it!

Have you ever heard friends say they’ll start a company “someday” or start investing “next year” or even just hang out on a weekend “another time”?

Every time I hear someone say “I’m too busy” to do something, a little puppy dies and I want to stab myself in the eye with a katana blade. I don’t think people realize how good we have it right now: We’re young, we’re only responsible for ourselves, and we can do basically anything we want. If you think about the responsibilities we’ll have in 20 years–or even 5–you start to appreciate that doing almost anything will never get easier than it is now.

Here are 10 examples:

1. Saving money is never easier than now. If you don’t think you can save 25%+ of your salary today, think about this: You have no one else you’re spending on. And while your salary will go up, the increase won’t be commensurate with your expenses–unless you start developing habits right now. Let’s think about some of the expenses we’ll face soon: insurance, a new home, homeowner’s insurance, remodeling, moving costs, a car, car insurance, car repair, medical costs, vacations, giving to charity, giving wedding gifts, giving birthday gifts, giving graduation gifts, a babysitter, diapers, baby formula, kids’ sports, and, finally, unexpected expenses. As Chris Yeh wrote, “Just this morning, I calculated that our monthly expenses are about 10X what they were when my wife and I were just a single couple living on our own, mostly due to our two bundles of joy.” If you think you’ll be able to save more in the future than today, you’re out of your mind. Read my site, read others, start a budget, and find a way.

2. Working out. We’re in the best natural shape of our lives. There’s a school near my place, and when I run, I see older men sweating like Patrick Ewing after only one lap. I scornfully lap those 72-year-old men over and over again. It’ll never be easier than today.

3. Eating fast food. With that said, our metabolism also makes it possible for us to eat the greasiest, most delicious food on earth without causing our thighs (or whatever) to show it. So maybe we shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying that filthy KFC bowl.

4. Starting your own business. Here are some common reasons people give for not starting one “right now” that make me thankful I am not a dragon (my sigh would ignite them): “I’ll just wait until I save a little more money,” they say. Or “I just have to learn some more before I do it.” Now, most people won’t start their own companies and that is perfectly cool. But for those that want to, there’s nothing like learning by doing–and if you fail, what’s the worst that can happen at our age? You don’t lose your house or wife and kids. You go and…get a regular job. You can always go to the corporate world. Going the entrepreneurial route gets harder and harder.

I faced this exact situation when I was graduating from college: Google made me a great offer, the position was a nice fit, and the people there are really smart. Plus, the food is amazing. But I decided to go the startup route (to PBwiki) because I can always go back to the corporate side. The people at Google couldn’t have been more supportive.

5. Just hanging out with friends. It’s easier to go out with friends now than it will ever be in the future. Why? Because we all live in the same general area, live similar lifestyles, and have virtually no responsibilities to anyone else. “But Ramit,” you might say, “most of my friends live far away.” Even if they live on another coast, we have such few external responsibilities that we can take a weekend trip to most places. Also, on my comedy blog (Things I Hate), I wrote about the people in college who get “married” by only hanging out with their boyfriend/girlfriend. What a huge mistake. Your friends aren’t all boring and in serious relationships yet. If you have any married friends, have you ever tried hanging out with them? It’s like a giraffe trying to find a pair of lost contact lenses. Impossible. We’re young, our friends are young, and we’re all pretty available to hang.

6. Doing your own side projects. Good grief, we have more free time right now than we know what to do with. “But Ramit,” you might say, “I work 12 hours a day and then I study for the GMAT and then I build houses in Guatemala on the weekends. You’re full of shit.” Let’s keep it real: We all have lots and lots of time we use for leisure activities–whether it’s watching The Hills (Heidi surprised me on Wednesday), working out, or whatever. The question is, can you track what you spend your time on and redirect it to something you care about? Something that will have an impact for the next 5, 10, or 50 years? The answer is yes. And we’ll only get busier in the future.

7. Taking risks in investing and life. I’m going to describe some fears we have about investing, but you can apply this to anything.

Don’t worry so much about losing all your money. Don’t worry about not having the optimal asset allocation. Don’t worry about your friends making more than you. Worry about not getting started. In my 1-hour talks, I ask young people our age about what would happen if we lost all our money right now. After a couple of inevitable gasps, most people admit that it wouldn’t really be that bad. Maybe they’d go live at home for a few months, get back on their feet, and go get another job. But what happens when you’re 35 with a husband, 2 kids, and a mortgage? Losing most (or all) of your money would be catastrophic. And if you’re 65 and spending your money on pills and bingo, losing your money can be a matter of life and death.

To get higher returns, you incur higher risks. And at our age, we have a huge tolerance for risk–even an appetite for it. And if we invest well for the long term, time can mitigate any short-term losses. No, I’m not telling you to lose all your money. You have to get educated and get started (see a list of all my articles). But if you let a fear of losing money deter you from investing, you’re losing the best years of compounding to turn a little money into a lot.

8. Meeting interesting people. You wouldn’t believe how many people are willing to meet to share advice and connections. I meet them all the time, and it’s not because I’m some fancy guy (I’m not). It’s because I’m young and interested. CEOs, VCs, and even small-business proprietors and teachers are so friendly. I think it’s because of 3 things: First, people love to talk about themselves, and I’m interested in their story. Second, people love talking to young people, both to share their experience and to stay connected to young people; for example, last week, I taught a business friend what “Benjamins” are. God I loved it. Third, people love knowing that your intentions are pure and that you got in touch to learn, not to inject some corporate agenda. Who knows what could happen if you just asked?

9. Travelling. You think when you’re 30, you’ll be able to take a weekend trip to New York, stay out until 5am, then make it back in time for Monday morning? No way. I’m not 30, but aren’t most 30-year-olds plagued with arthritic joints and incontinence? Heh, I hope I don’t get in trouble for that one. Anyway, travelling to visit (or live) in other places is unbelievably easy right now. To visit, it costs about $200 roundtrip to anywhere in country. To live, we pick a place, get a job, and it’s done. We have no one to answer to, and imagine the amount you can learn by living somewhere else.

10. Living in situations your parents would abhor. As we get older, we naturally demand a more comfortable living situation. When we travel abroad, for example, we can stay in hostels with no problem. When older people travel, they need a hotel. In college, we lived in like 150 square feet with 2 other people. Older people measure their homes in the thousands of square feet, and they have things like “dens” and “islands” in their “kitchen.” (Funny thing: You should have seen some of the parents’ horrified faces when they visited Stanford, where the dorms are actually really nice. And then to buy sheets (”linens” to them) at Target? Oh my god!) Ok, that went off on a huge tangent, but the point is that we can live in a way that older people cannot. So whether that’s saving on rent by living in a cheaper place, or driving your 10-year-old car, or just realizing you don’t need that much…it’s never easier than it is now.

Think about it. Is this going to be just another blog article you read and then go on with your day? Or can you think of something concrete, right now, that you want to do – because it’s easier now than it will ever be?

Translation: Sieze the day, trusting little in the future. - Horace

Translation: Sieze the day, trusting little in the future. - Horace

Lessons From Gladiator

27 05 2009

All of Rome will remember this day...

 The movie Gladiator is in my top five favourite movies of all time (and I watch alot of movies). I remember feeling inspired and challenged the first time I watched it – it was as if a gauntlet was thrown down in front of me, challenging me to be a better person – a better man. Stronger, truer, more disciplined and honourable. Someone people can look to for encouragement and draw strength from. Someone who would make my family proud (in a good way). Gladiator was more than just another action movie, to me.

There’s a reason men (and women) loved Gladiator. The main character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, is the epitome of manliness, strength and honour.

Here are four lessons that we can learn from him – taken from a post on the site “Art of Manliness”. I agree with these wholeheartedly – and after reading them (and having recently watched the movie again), I find myself resolving, once again, to be a better man. Enjoy.

– Quinton


Four Lessons from Maximus…

1. He loved his family and was loyal to them

Maximus was a family man. He turned down the glory of being Emperor of Rome in order to embrace the warmth of familial love.

Marcus Aurelius: When was the last time you were home?

Maximus: Two years, two hundred and sixty-four days and this morning.

Although Maximus’ wife was brutally murdered, this did not dampen his devotion to her. Throughout the film a romantic tension exists between Maximus and the Emperor’s daughter. Yet Maximus stayed loyal to his dead wife and family and turned down her advances.

[Maximus looks at images of his wife and son]

Juba: Can they hear you?

Maximus: Who?

Juba: Your family. In the afterlife.

Maximus: Oh yes.

Juba:What do you say to them?

Maximus: To my son — I tell him I will see him again soon. To keep his heels down while riding his horse. To my wife… that is not your business.

2. He loved his country

Before Maximus became a gladiator, he was a loyal general in the Roman army. His men respected and honored him greatly.

When Rome falls into corrupted hands, he does not give up on his country. Loyally striving to fulfill the dying emperor’s wish for Roman rule to be restored to the people and the Senate, Maximus toils and sacrifices until the Republic is restored.

3. He could kick anyone’s ass, yet remained honorable.

“Gladiator” is known for its amazing fight scenes. In every battle, whether in war or in the arena, Maximus always defeated his opponent with a combination of brute force and strategy. He was able to ignore pain to get the job done. He never gave in to fear. Instead, he exuded an a quiet confidence that unnerved his opponents. He never doubted his ability to win.

Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.

While Maximus excelled at the martial arts, he did not revel in bloodshed. He only fought when he needed to and in the service of a worthy cause.

4. He was in tune with spirituality

Maximus: What we do in life, echoes in eternity.

Maximus devoted time to his spiritual life. He prayed to his gods. He had no doubt that his wife and son were waiting for him in the afterlife. Before each battle, Maximus would reach down and run dirt through his hands. It was as if he was asking the gods to be with him during the battle.

Maximus: Ancestors, I ask you for your guidance. Blessed mother, come to me with the Gods’ desire for my future. Blessed father, watch over my wife and son with a ready sword. Whisper to them that I live only to hold them again, for all else is dust and air. Ancestors, I honor you and will try to live with the dignity that you have taught me.