Day Twelve: Critique a Piece of Work

image credit: Diana Thai
Today’s prompt:

Today, express your opinion on a topic or a piece of work. This is your opportunity to comment on something youโ€™re passionate about, or review a piece of art or entertainment that you love or despise.

So I saw this particular video show up on my Facebook newsfeed a few months back and it reignited some strong opinions I’ve had for a long time regarding this topic.

In a nutshell: “who should pay on a date, the guy or the girl?”

I don’t know who this guy is, but I completely agree with his reasonings. Here’s some of his main points and why I agree:

  • If the guy should always pay, but the girl isn’t held to anything on her end, this sets up a dangerous double standard.

This type of unequal relationship doesn’t lay a good foundation for the relationship. In the past, it was normal for a woman to be the home caretaker  and the man to be the financial provider. This uneven relationship that might have made sense back then, but it put the man in a more dominant position.

Today, women fight to be perceived and treated as equals to their male counterparts. Unfortunately, I think the push to keep the “chivalry” of the old days maintains the status quo and the old paradigms about men and women.

  • If a guy should pay for a girls time, it sets up the relationship as unfair for the guy

Again, this reinforces the idea that the two parties aren’t equal. 

  • If she doesn’t offer to pay her share, she wasn’t taught right. If he doesn’t offer to pay his share, he wasn’t taught right.

Manners. It’s not because you’re a man or because you’re a woman. It should be because you’re a generous and thoughtful person. What does it say about the person who unfairly takes advantage of the other person’s generosity?

  • If I were dating a girl and she never offered to pay, I wouldn’t date her. You should treat your partner like your best friend.

100% yes. Let’s remove male and female “standards” and cultural normals (which greatly vary across different cultures and across different time periods) and just treat the person we want to be with like our best friend. If you treat your partner as someone to be used, what kind of long term relationship are you really cultivating?

  • What matters most is trying. If your partner doesn’t feel like you’re trying to contribute to the relationship, that’s when he’ll feel used.

This is basically true in any relationship. Although we shouldn’t approach any relationship as only giving so you can get, it is important to evaluate if they value you as much as you value them.

If chivalry is dead, good. I’m glad it is.

I was raised to believe that although boys and girls are different, one isn’t superior than the other. By that sense, they are equal. I fully support being kind and courteous to others because you have class, regardless if you’re a boy or girl.

By those standards, I could never support the double standard of chivalry.

Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts you would like to add, I would love to hear. I read and respond to every comment ๐Ÿ™‚

๏ปฟDay Eleven: A Cup of Coffee

Today’s prompt:

Write today’s post as if you were having a virtual coffee date, catching up with an old friend. You can share any details youโ€™d like and include as many as you want, as long as you begin each with “If we were having coffee right now โ€ฆ”

Funny because today we’re actually in a Starbucks about to work on a side project, so it’s an ideal environment for this post.

I just so happened to use my free reward I’ve saved up ๐Ÿ˜ (The article I wrote shows how I turned $7 into $19).

Venti “Green Master Jedi” frap (everything tastes better when its free ๐Ÿ˜)

If we were having coffee right now, I would talk about the current book I’m reading, The Everything Store. It’s a very detailed account of Jeff Bezos and the origin story of Amazon. I’m hardly halfway through but it’s phenomenal so far.

I always love reading biographies of amazing and accomplished people. The biggest value I get from their narratives is not how they shaped the world around them but taking a look into their mindย and how they think. I believe that if you can learn how to think like they do, you can pick up some of the valuable essences of what makes them stand out.

What’s crazy about Jeff is that he has such a clear vision of what he wants. It seems like people around him knew he was gifted at an early age. The author and Jeff himself also point to the nurturing environment that his parents provided him; they always encouraged and supported his creativity early on.

He’s also very smart and analytical in who he works with. Even if he has to let go some of he people he started the company with, he knows it’s for the better of he company.

I think it takes a special type of person to be able to handle such a huge company. When someone like that makes waves in the marketplace, I feel it takes a strong leader who can deal with the “sky and the dirt,” as Gary Vaynerchuk says.

It’s always fun to learn about the back stories and behind the scenes, details that outsiders like myself had no idea was going on as it happens. For example, the shift that Amazon made to incorporate 3rd party sellers and a “related products” search in the marketplace. Also, all of the business meetings with other companies like Walmart and eBay that never went anywhere but we’re still a part of the Amazon story.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how I’m starting to get back into tricking with some college friends. A couple days ago after work, we had a productive park session:

When the cameraman tries a moving action shot, but trips and drops the camera ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ˜…

A video posted by J.R. “Pulse” Yonocruz (@yolocruz) on Aug 12, 2016 at 11:21pm PDT

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I’m hoping to be able to session once a week. I want to add more variety to my physical activity as well as gain new skills. It’s addicting when you accomplish your goals.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you about how I’m stepping up my workout game with my workout buddy Michael and progressing towards higher level calisthenics. We’re using Hugh Jackman as our war cry to push harder than we think we can, haha.

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That’s pretty much it! I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Let’s do this again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you liked best, and I always appreciate any insight or advice from my readers. I read and respond to every comment ๐Ÿ™‚

Day Ten: Let the Scene Write Itself

Today’s prompt:

Find a spot where you can sit and observe for at least 20 minutes: a bench at a park, shopping mall, or museum; from inside your car in a parking lot; or even a place close to home, like your front porch. Ideally, itโ€™s a location where you can watch action and interaction unfold (whether it involves people, wildlife, the weather, etc.).

Right now I’m with my girlfriend at Afters Ice Cream at Diamond Jamboree. I’ve had this craving all week for ice cream and donuts so might as well get both, right?

Meet the “milky bun,” ice cream inside a donut:

Diabetes with diabetes inside

But that’s not why I’m writing this haha. I made the mistake of coming to this location which I forgot is almost always crowded on a Saturday night.

While waiting in this long line is excruciating for my craving, it’s a perfect scenario for this prompt ๐Ÿ˜

From my vantage point, people are waiting in line. The store definitely seems understaffed for this crowd, but I commend them for their effort.

Outside there are a dozen or so guys in formal attire around a table. They must be coming from from an organization’s event.

Fancy guys and their fancy attire

Definitely a crowded night. We decided to go to Newport Beach to walk around near the beach. Apparently, the area we call “seaside” after a popular donut shop people fraud my late at night, has been overtaken since the release of Pokemon Go. My girlfriend wanted to go to the Pokemon stop where she can get items and catch new Pokemon.

“Seaside” named after Seaside Bakery

As expected, hundreds of people walking around at 11pm at night with their faces in their phones. Probably 80% of them were playing Pokemon. It was pretty hilarious and amazing at the same time. 

Although it’s weird people are coming out in droves to play a mobile game, it’s still pretty crazy that everyone is out walking around.

Good or bad, we’ll see if it’s just a fad or if it will last a while. I think it also depends on how  long the developers can keep innovating the fame before people become bored.

lifeguard memorial statue

Day Nine: Writing and Not Writing

Today’s prompt:

What do you do when youโ€™re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?
If youโ€™re not a full-time writer, or if your day is so full of other tasks that you have little time to write, consider these alternative questions: if you could step into a machine that gave you more time, how would you structure your day? What would you write with this extra time?

Alrhough I’m not a full-time writer, I do believe there needs to be activities that help refresh your mind and maintain that balance from variety.

For me, I try to exercise in some way daily to keep my body moving and active. I’ll hit the gym 4-5 times a week to strengthen my body, build endurance, and help clear my mind.

I also listen to audiobooks daily. Good knowledge comes in so that good stuff comes out. I like to be proactive with the nutrition I feed my brain so that I can reap the rewards down the line from the compound learning.

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Some of the books I’ve finished the past few month.

I’ve recently started tricking again with some friends from college. I haven’t tricked seriously since high school, as is apparent from my old 2007 sampler. (I was probably 30 pounds lighter and had crazy hair, haha)

I love tricking because it’s half mental, half physical. You can’t learn a new skill without steadily building your physical capacity to execute, simultaneously with the mental ability and breaking down your own limiting beliefs.

In college, dance used to be a big part of my life in terms of balancing school and work with something I really enjoyed to recharge myself. I danced with several teams but I particularly loved freestyling:

These days I spend most of my time at work, at the gym, listening to books, and then random weekend activities usually with my girlfriend.

Part 2: If I had more time, how would I structure my day and what would I write?

I think my day would more or less be the same, but I would add more time to working on my side projects and finding new experiences for the weekend, like when I tried Flyboarding for the ย first time in Miami:

 

I would also take more online courses on marketing, online business, entrepreneurship, business development.

As far as writing, I would definitely start working on my first published book. I’ve made it one of my long-term goals to be a bestselling author. Not exactly sure what the book will be focused on, but it will definitely include some of my personal narrative as well as some insight into how someone can improve their life or career in some way.

Generic, I know. But the goal is to add value through my own experiences.

Thank you for reading! As always, let me know in the comments what you think, and if you have any personal activities to add balance to your own life ๐Ÿ™‚ I read and respond to every comment!

Day Eight: Reinvent the Letter Format

Dear future self,

Hey buddy, how’s it going? Long time no speak, it’s been years (literally). I’m not sure what age you are but I’m your 25 year old self writing you from the past. Just checking in on you to see how things are going.

Congrats on all your recent success and accomplishments! I know you’ve been putting in all the grind and hard work consistently, so I know you’re starting to reap the rewards.

Just be sure to remember your “why” and don’t lose sight of it. Try not to get caught up in all the minutiae and remember to enjoy the journey. Don’t be too caught up and focused on the results without understanding the purpose.

How’s the family? I know you’re probably married and have kids. You’ve wanted to be a father for so long, I bet it’s a roller coaster of a ride, haha. I’m sure it’s tough but I’m hoping you’re loving every second of it.

Good job staying close to our parents and other family. Family is always important, especially your parents. Don’t ever stop making them feel loved and appreciated. Even if there may be times when they might annoy you, you know you’ll always love and forgive them.

I know you’re ultra wealthy, successful, and famous, but don’t forget to keep donating and giving back. Life is a gift, nothing really belongs to you, so always make it a core focus to add value to others. Keep inspiring others to do what inspires them and always strive to make the world better each day.

In case you’re wondering about me, I’m just as young, ambitious, and naive as ever ๐Ÿ˜. I’m very optimistic and hopeful for the future. Gratitude is always at my center which I believe is why I’m always so happy, even if I don’t show it.

Sorry for all the mistakes I’ve made along the way. At the same time, I know you’re grateful for them because there are no such things as bad experiences, simply learning experiences. We’ve survived 100% of our worst days, right?

Whatever challenges and struggles you’re facing now, just remember that I believe in you. You got this! #easy, right? Keep going full out, live with no regrets. I know you still have time, but there’s always still so much more to do. You’ll be more fulfilled working towards something that drives you than being complacent and relaxing.

That’s it from me, I’ll let you get back to it. I’ll keep on that grind and keep taking action on what I need to get done. The two biggest obstacles are just fear and procrastination, right? Haha ๐Ÿ˜Š

Take care and have fun!

Sincerely,

Marlo

P.S. Keep being weird and silly. Here’s a reminder in case you forgot ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Didn’t know The Broad was an AYCE buffet. #cheatday

 

Day Seven: Let Social Media Inspire You

For today’s prompt, we were given a choice of 5 different tweets to write in. This one caught my attention the most:

People close to me know that I am a HUGE advocate for education, especially self-education and personal development. I set a goal for myself to read at least 3 books a month that are geared towards helping me grow in some way.

When it comes to our education system (school), however, I have to be honest and say I do have some reservations.

I think the concept of education from elementary to high school more or less accomplishes the goals of getting kids acclimated to a social environment, teach them to follow rules, respect authority, and gain a general understanding of different academic fields (i.e. history, art, math, science, etc).

One big issue with school is that it’s gearwd toward pushing kids through a specified curriculum based on age. It doesn’t take into consideration the different types of intelligence. Each student is expected to score at a certain criteria regardless of their natural strengths or weaknesses. School doesn’t generally cultivate these inherent strengths.

During college, similar issues arise. General education requirements force student to take classes that don’t pertain to what they need to know for their chosen field (given they have an idea of what they want to do). Some see this as unnecessarily prolonging their college journey and subsequently their debt.

But one of the biggest issues I have with school is that everything students do is focused on one thing: passing a test.

As this tweet points out, students spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours studying for an hour-long test. They cram a semesters worth of material over the course of several sleepless nights just to regurgitate it and forget all they learned minutes after the test is turned in. And all for what?

For a grade that makes up a GPA that they can put on their resume after they graduate so they have some shot at standing out amongst a stack of other resumes from their fellow college graduates, thousands of dollars in debt with so much useless and forgotten knowledge.

Dont get me wrong. As I’ve said, I’m not anti-school or education. College for me was an amazing experience where I met many longtime friends, joined several dance teams, learned a lot of interesting things (95% of which I probably will never use professionally), met my current girlfriend of almost 4 years, and learned how to interact in a professional/academic environment, and most importantly learn how to learn.

My stance is, if you don’t know what you want to pursue as a career, don’t go into huge debt. It’s a great experience but every college has the potential to create a lasting undergraduate experience. Try going to a JC and transfer after 2 years. Go somewhere significantly cheaper until you find something you can get behind.

One more thought as I revisit the tweet at the top, it can also mean that the more you learn, the more you learn that there’s so much more to learn. Like the 4 stages of learning:

  1. unconscious incompetence
  2. conscious incompetence
  3. conscious competence
  4. conscious incompetence

Final thoughts: our school system definitely needs to be restructured. Two very important things I believe need to be taught from the beginning are 1) personal finance, and 2) people skills. If these can be incorporated successfully, I strongly believe our students will be in a better position to succeed.

Thoughts? What do you think needs to be taught in school? I’d love to know in the comments! I respond to them all ๐Ÿ™‚

Day Six: The Space to Write

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Prompt:

Where do you write? Do you prefer blogging on your laptop in a coffee shop? Are you productive in a quiet room, door closed, away from civilization?
Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you donโ€™t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting?

Personally, I’ve written almost anywhere: in my room, at a coffee shop, in a park, at a computer lab at a hotel, etc.

No matter where I am, I can be productive given I make an attempt to remove distractions. However, I do prefer reading and writing in public spaces like coffee shops with my earphones in and instrumental music playing.

I’m one of the people who loves having the noise and activity around them while they write and do work. I feel like I get energy from my environment. When I’m in my room, I find so many things to distract me, and I have a bad tendency to relax on my bed. Being in this environment has conditioned me to not be productive unfortunately.

In college, I also loved doing work in study groups. While there is a risk for being distracted by my friends, it also keeps me accountable since there are periods where everyone else is working and it makes me feel guilty if I’m not working while everyone else is.

I think having people around me helps give me those refreshing and necessary breaks that reenergize me between work sessions. Study friends are also good for getting input and feedback on what I’m working on.

My question for you, the reader, is: where do you enjoy doing work? Where is your ideal place?

P.S. Do you have any ideas for a future prompt that you would like to see me write on? A future prompt requires that I poll my readers for ideas to write about. Let me know in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

Day Five: Hook โ€™Em With a Quote

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At work, I go to the bank to make our daily deposits. When I pass by the mailroom, there’s always one of these signs by the entrance with a new quote or insightful message.

This was the quote from sometime last week:

Leaders get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves – and by which they are willing to be judged. -Frederick W. Smith (CEO of FedEx)

I love this quote for three reasons:

1. Leaders aren’t managers, they don’t lead from the back. They go out in front and lead by example. This means they’re also assumably one of the best in their field.

2. Life is all about standards. We don’t reach our expectations, we fall to the level of our training. How we do anything is how we do everything. Excellence is a habit.

3. Leaders don’t worry about following or judging by anyone else’s standards other than their own. Too many of us worry about what others think, yet don’t question the validity of the standards other people live by. Live by your own standards.

Be the change you want to see in the world, right?