5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Side Hustle

A lot of us hesitate when it comes to start a business on the side. The fear to fail, to not make money or to lose money always get in the way. Our inner 6-year old child is always telling us that we’re not enough, that we don’t have what it takes to be successful, or that other were born talented… WRONG!

In today’s world we cannot apply the mindset of those who lived in before us. With all due respect to our parents and grandparents, the times we live in are way too different from theirs, and if they did not adapt to the new reality then we should think twice about following their advice to the letter. And that includes our teachers, mentors, friends, colleagues or acquaintances.

Technology has reshaped the way business is done. And learning by doing is the best formula to decide is we want to start a new business venture.

Here are the reasons why you should start a side hustle online:

#1 – It’s easy. It’s incredible how simple and fast is to start creating content online. Writing blogs, posting videos, creating digital courses… there’s a million things you can choose from to decide the nice you want to focus on. It’s literally a few clicks away.

#2 – It’s free. You don’t “need money to make money” online. You just need to understand that it will not happen overnight, but after some time while constantly creating value, you will reap the benefits of this, and then you’ll realize that your initial investment (if any), it was nothing compared to the new kind of life you have now.

#3 – You can learn. Doing by learning is great. I have learned things like trading forex and stock options, affiliate marketing, product arbitrage, and all that by giving myself the chance to try it. And even though sometimes I have list as a result of my investment, the learning experience and the connection I’ve made along the way have been invaluable. Those lessons I have learned cannot be taken away from me by anybody.

#4 – Learn about yourself. Sometimes we learn things about ourselves that have been there the entire time. This can happen when we connect with other people who are pursuing goals that are like ours. Their input is a great way to validate our potential and let it transform into actions that can help us get going. Remember, to avoid falling from the bicycle we must keep moving forward.

#5 – Find your target market. If you’re at this stage, that means you’re sold on the idea of doing business online. Here you use all the learnings and the feedback from those who are consuming your content to find your ultimate customer… those who will be interested in products that you recommend or your own product.

So, there’s pretty much no investment when it comes to learning online business models.

It’s up to you to take action.

Let me know if you need any help. I’d appreciate connecting with you to increase my network and learn how I can create more value to you.

Have a marvilloso día!

pexels-photo-267350

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

Advertisements

A restless mind

Our brain doesn’t need to rest. When we sleep and cross into the dream world, the brain is reconstructing itself and becoming smarter. What we call rest, for the brain that translates into rewiring and producing complex and stronger structures that will allow us to continue the physical and intellectual journey the next day.

Learning new things keeps the brain active, and such activity continues (if we allow it) in the golden years, when the physical part becomes more challenging. Is in this moment when we need to find ways to stay in learning mode. It’s never too late to become a musician, a poet, a writer or a singer. As long as we fuel the passion for acquiring new skills, new trades, new moves…

The brain has a unique capability called neuroplasticity, which is the ability to change continuously throughout an individual’s life. For example, brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location, the proportion of grey matter can change, and synapses may strengthen or weaken over time.

We can learn something every day. But we have to seek for new knowledge. We need to move from “I’ll try” to “I will”, in order to keep our minds busy in productive thoughts. Such drive will take us to a better state in our older days… away from the risk of senility.

Let’s keep learning, keep the grey matter working!

I can help you learn Spanish, and you can help me learn something!

Adios! 😁

BOOK REVIEW – The 5AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life.

BOOK REVIEW – The 5AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life. By Robin Sharma, Adam Verner, et al.

This is a great book! It presents a good story on how to own your morning in order to conquer your day. It presents a similar approach to what’s known as the compound effect, where small increments lead to huge benefits in the long term.

The 5AM Club is a story where the lives of a billionaire, an artist and an entrepreneur get intertwined to produce a plethora of learning experiences and events that redefine and reshape the mindset of the last two, guided by the unorthodox yet appealing billionaire.

In audio format, this is an 11-hour book. It took me four days to listen to it entirely, but a couple of hours into I was psyched and hungry to keep learning more.

Event though this is depicted as a fiction story, the life lessons are real. I bought into this approach and I’m applying it myself.

In a nutshell, the book presents an approach to devote 1 hour a day to yourself. From 5AM to 6AM this is a time to practice the 20-20-20 method, which consist of 20 minutes of intensive exercise to the point of breaking a sweat, followed by 20 minutes of meditation and rest, and finally 20 minutes of deep learning about anything that improves your life.

A very important part of this is to jump right out of bed with no distractions, no technology, no news. It just you and you only. Resisting these temptations is a key component for this to work.

I’m just three days into this and I’m seeing good results already.

But, hey…this is not something new! It’s being said that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, but it takes around 66 days to get such habit ingrained in our subconscious minds, so it becomes automatic.

I’ll share with you my results half-way thru to such period, to let you know what kind of progress I make. However, I want to share with you now a few quotes that I gathered from this book.

  • Change is hard at first… messy in the middle… but gorgeous at the end.
  • The moment you most feel like giving up is the instant when you must find it in you to press ahead.
  • One who sweats more in training bleeds less in war.
  • High victory is made in those early morning hours when no one is watching and while everyone else is sleeping.
  • To find your best self you need to lose your weak self and that only happens thru relentless improvement, continuous reflection and ongoing self-excavation.
  • The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.

You can borrow it from your public library. Let me know if you need help with that.

Or you can get it on Amazon.

You’re welcome to join the club!

Have a nice day!

 

Alejandro

Use your defects to your advantage

Sometimes a defect can be an impediment, a hurdle, a hard thing to live with.
 
Other times a defect can help us be creative and use it to our advantage. Let me share a personal experience.
 
Early in my life I faced issues with my right ear, to the point that I’m almost deaf on that side. I didn’t know until I got tested around 11, and as a result of that the doctors tried to compensate for the lack of internal tissue in my inner ear to enlarge my bones so I could have a “normal” hearing. The medical care was awesome, and I was able to improve my hearing a bit, but to this moment I still must manage such imbalance in different ways.
 
I tell my friends that their secrets are safe with me, if they talk to my right ear, which is quite the case. 😅😅
 
This condition made my school days challenging, and I had to ask several times to the teachers for additional repetition of the topic, because I missed some details sometimes due to the noise around me. But then this became an advantage, because by having the teachers repeat things I was reinforcing, having an extra “class”. At first, I did not think of this that way, and of course it was not done intentionally, but later in college that became a powerful tool when needed to juggle multiple activities. Let me explain.
 
My parents’ financial situation was tight, and the expenses of a professional career were too much for them. Although I attended public schools, the everyday expenses and books and other materials were taking a toll on my folks, so I quickly decided that I needed to work in order to help myself and them. This job was in a daily newspaper, which was great because it was after school and it was a full-time job. The downsize was that I was home very late, at 1 or 2 AM, and classes started at 7 AM, with almost 1-hour ride on the bus.
 
Also, during those days I decided to pursue student leadership, which led me to become the president of the Computer Systems Engineering student counsel. This helped me tremendously to get out of the shell where I was before and I was able to create great connections in and out of the school.
 
So… how much time was left for studying? You can imagine. 😕
 
So, I resorted to the tactic I had created as a result of my early struggle. I started asking the teacher to repeat the process to solve the problems, or the definitions of any term or topic, so I could reinforce it right there in the classroom. Sometimes the subject was so easy, it was ridiculous, but I knew that I would have no time to go over it by myself.
 
Sounds like cheating? I will let you be the judge of that.
 
Have you use any defect to your advantage?

 

 

Failure is relative, learning is constant

This is a story about chickens… Should they live or should they die? It all depends on the context.

When I was about 6 or 8 months old (according to those in my family who told me the story) I lived in a small house in Mexico located out in the country which had a big backyard at the time. A lot has changed, as today my parents’ house is in a crowded area with not a lot of wooden spots as before.

One day my mom sat me on a blanket while she was taking care of the house chores, and during one of those activities, a group of baby chickens came close to me, wandering from their mom, probably looking at me as the weirdo giant brown bird playing alone in the back of the house. Neither the chicks’ momma or the human baby’s momma were paying attention to their respective sprouts, which created a situation of “opportunities” for us trying to discover the world around us.

When a baby chicken was within reach, I took it with my hand and started holding it from the neck as if it was a squeaky toy, maybe with the idea that such thing was fun and exciting. And yes, the chick started squeaking, but only for a few seconds, and then died, allegedly from asphyxia (up to this day, such allegation has not been proven).

Disappointed, I dropped the inert little bird and proceeded to take the next one in the proximity, to continue having fun but getting the same result as before, until there were no more chicks (alive) to play with. It was then when apparently the fun experience turned into fear in lieu of the sight in front of me… a chick graveyard. It was then when I started crying, either because of guilt (unlikely at such age) or because I was no longer having fun as I had ran out of chicks.

That’s when my mom came to my “rescue”, just to witness the scene I created, and while she quickly comforted me, she kept asking why had I done such thing, although we both new (!?) it was only a rhetorical question.

In these circumstances is easy to determine that I FAILED to keep the chickens alive, as they would have served a better purpose other than just the temporary entertainment of my innocent life at the time.

Killing the chickens: WRONG.

Now, fast forwarding approximately 14 years, I visited my grandma’s farm, where there was still a lot of surrounding nature and simple life to enjoy, away from the city craziness. It was a summer break, and my brother and I were working with our uncles doing hard country physical work, like preparing the soil, seeding the crops, helping at the brick factory, carrying buckets of water from the well to the house, and some other challenging activities.

One day I was assigned an interesting yet creepy task. For dinner we were going to have chicken. And the chicken had to die. And my aunts were mean, so they were having fun because I had never done this before (allegedly). But in this case the circumstances were different. This is a grown up chicken with enough meat to feed a group of 6-8 people. So, here we go… I was supposed to hold the chicken’s head with one hand and the legs with the other, and pull them apart with enough strength to break the neck and minimize the poor animal’s suffering. But for some reason, even though strength wasn’t an issue, I could not do it. It could be that the chicken kept moving, making me nervous, or that the subconscious brought back the images from my early childhood.

One of my aunts came to the rescue, not without giving me all kinds of “compliments” for my failure. And then it just took her a few seconds to make sure the chicken crossed the finish line, and headed towards the cooking pot.

Not killing the chicken: WRONG

Failure is not absolute, is relative. When we face failure, we must identify the circumstances, and separate those that cannot be controlled by us, from those that can be changed to try again.

And of course I learned something: chicken is delicious!

chickens

 

Three steps to make habits stick

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links to outside websites. I may receive a commission if a product is bought as a result of using those links.

 

It’s been said that it takes 21 days to create a habit. But that it’s just the first part of success. It takes more than 60 days to stick to a habit and to avoid the risk of getting back into the old behavior.

In his book, “Atomic Habits“, author James clear provides very simple ways to create and sustain habits geared towards success. I share my comments here, taking this book as a guide.

If you want to make sure that a new habit gets ingrained in your mind, follow these three steps:

  1. Make the habit clear and visible. This requires the use of tools that remind us of the habit every time is due. It can be a simple note on a sticky note, or a text or phrase in a whiteboard. Also, our phones provide a great variety of alarms, reminders and applications that can help us remember that is time to get to work.
  2. Add context to the habit, to make it meaningful. When add more elaborate meaning to a habit, this can motivate us to keep working on it. For example, exercising can lead to losing weight, but additional information like avoiding high cholesterol or cardiac problems can be a bigger motivator to avoid skipping a workout session.
  3. Make it fun. You can create your own system to make a habit a rewarding experience. If you want to play with your kids or grandchildren, and you push yourself to the point of breaking a sweat, you will accomplish two goals: spending time with them and working out. Or if you want to stick to reading, you can pick two books, one that helps you learn something, and one that entertain you but maybe doesn’t create value.

There are millions of small habits that can improve your life, and finding a way to start and sustain those is the key to great success. Staring is simple, but it takes discipline to make their execution automatic. However, creating discipline weights ounces, but if we don’t get disciplined, that brings regrets… and regrets weight tons.

This is a great read, or if you prefer, you can also use the audio version.

Are you ready to create good small habits?

Almost a perfect weekend!

A few days ago, our family went thru a somehow exciting and stressful ordeal. It was full of new experiences and lessons learned that will forever be remembered, and now that we look at it in retrospective, it brings smiles and laughs every time we talk about it.

Our kids, who at the time of this event were both minors, were invited by their cousin to a concert in Mexico City on a Thursday night, which meant that they needed to travel on that the same day to minimize the lost school days. In this case, due to airlines regulations, they had to fly non-stop. Living in Cincinnati, that meant we drove for 5 hours to Chicago for them to start their journey and to avoid costly plane tickets

Minors who are American citizens traveling internationally need to be authorized by their parents using a notarized document. But in our case, one of them is a Mexican citizen, which means that in addition to the notarized document, a document provided by the Mexican government website had to be filled out, signed by the parents and printed, so it could be presented when returning home.

We missed to fill out the latter.. the result was total craziness…

But before, the good stuff…

After waiting until the plane took off from O’Hare (Mom’s command wish), we checked in at a hotel close to the lake, so we could walk around downtown Chicago. Even though the day we arrived the weather was not the best, that didn’t change our plans. We walked by the lake shore and the downtown streets, visited a few malls while getting outraged at the parking fees. That taught us to use cabs or other public transportation. We even witnessed a couple getting married doing a photo shoot in the middle of the street. The bride was wearing a strapless dress… talk about courage (we were at 30 degrees). I guess for a Chicagoan that’s not a big deal!

IMG_2734

Da’ Bean!!!

We went to a Cuban cafe, were my wife ate caldo gallego (originally from Spain) served by a waitress from El Salvador. Diversity at its best! And my espresso was spot on!

And of course, being from Mexico, we had to go to La Villita (The Little Village), the Mexican neighborhood where English is not the first language spoken; where in every corner there’s a classic store where you can buy groceries, food, pastries, snacks, etc. We planned to shop for groceries in our last day before driving back home like we did in previous occasions, but that did not happen… you’ll see why in a bit.

We had the chance to visit my cousin, and we had a blast enjoying a lazy morning and going to lunch with his family. Damn, those kids grow fast… just like mine I guess.

Of course, we kept tabs on our kids. It’s either that or the missus going nuts about it, so we checked in with them more times than I could count. They had a great time at the concert, and then the next days going to parks and enjoying the local food.

Everything was on track to be perfect. Hey… I even went to the hotel gym two days in a row!

The plan for the last day was to check out early, do grocery shopping (fresh cheese of different varieties, meat cuts, delicious pastries for my wife me…) and then head to the airport to pick up the kids and drive the 5 hours back home to reset to our normal routine.

But then it came Sunday morning. The kids’ flight was scheduled at 7 AM. We (My wife) were was checking on them since 4 AM to make sure everything was fine.

And then, when they were ready to get their boarding passes at the airline counter, the dreaded missing document was requested, setting the paranoia into the highest possible gear. We were on the phone during the whole time, receiving instructions to fill out the document online, print it (thru the hotel front desk –they were awesome!), sign it and take pictures to send them to be printed at the airport and try to complete the documentation.

First try: wrong. We signed the wrong box. We were rushing without thinking. That meant we had to print the document again.

And here’s a little bit of context: we were in the 10th floor of a very old hotel, where everything is slow, including the elevators.

We finally got the document right, but it was already 7:25 AM. The plane had already left. Paranoia found new higher gears and made us think at a speed that sometimes I find impossible to do in normal circumstances. The situation required serious solutions and fast. The kids’ cousin had a schedule flight the same day, and when they asked about another flight, the next available non-stop was the next day. Some airlines don’t allow alone minors to fly at all. Others have strict policies and charge for services for these kinds of situations, but no tickets were available.

After going back and forth (the kids and their cousin) to multiple airlines, they ran out of options for traveling the same day, so they needed to stay another night at the hotel, and their cousin would loose his flight and stay also the night with them. He would not accept leaving them alone. We’re so grateful for that.

So… the solution?

To calm the evident anxiety in my wife as well as the not-so-evident-but-definitively-there anxiety inside me, we resorted to the expensive but effective option. First, we accepted the fact that the trip was not going to happen on Sunday. Then, around 8 AM we booked 4 plane tickets:

  • One one-way ticket for my wife to fly immediately and non-stop to Mexico City, scheduled from 3 PM to 8 PM
  • 3 one-way tickets for my wife and kids on Monday, with one stop, because at this point it didn’t matter as she was traveling with them, so the “minors traveling alone” issue was gone.

By the way, we wouldn’t have been able to get out of the hotel easily that morning, because the Chicago Marathon was happening. Beautiful to watch… from my window.

We finally packed and checked out, forgetting a couple of things behind, as usual. Lunch… irrelevant… under really bad mood… not at all enjoyed by my wife. I liked it, but it was not the same.

Grocery shopping… not even in question. Delicious pastries… 🙁

But most importantly, the anxiety level we were carrying on our shoulders came down to a manageable level (at least for me, I think), and now we needed to plan the last part of the trip. I drove my wife to the airport and after she cleared security, at her command wish, I left immediately to drive thru tollgate highways and not carrying any cash, so there I was, receiving instructions to pay online 4 times and delaying whoever was behind me (it was not rush hour, so it wasn’t that bad).

By the time I made it to our hometown I picked up the dog from our friends’ house and went straight home to check my wife’s flight status. Everything went fine and I could hear her relieved voice when she hugged her sprouts and became convinced that everything would be all-right.

A mother’s deep connection to her kids is something I cannot explain, but definitively it’s admirable. I love my kids, but to see my wife loving them so profoundly makes me feel incompetent, and I can only try my best to show them my love and appreciation in my humble and sometimes naive understanding.

Sunday night at home felt like a vacuum, only me and the dog looking at each other wondering: Where is everybody? Why is the house so empty? Where are the delicious pastries?

Monday morning was supposed to be another day at the office for me, but it was far from it. Keeping tabs on the family’s trip was on top of the list, to then pick them up at the airport at 10 PM.

With a delay in the second leg of the flight (in case there wasn’t enough drama already) due to a mechanical issue that had to be double-checked and with the risk of having to off board and get on a different plane, they finally took off 40-plus minutes after the scheduled time, in the same plane.

But Mom was not too concerned, because she was with them… that was better than not being there.

The final balance was another day lost at school for the kids, a work day lost for my wife, and a house full of exhausted people who needed to rest… a lot.

And yes, the financial burden, but like in many situations, money is replaceable, but the stress and worry of a loving mother is something priceless. I learned that big time.

I hope there’s anything you can learn from this. I certainly keep learning something every time I reflect upon it.

And of course, I must go back… for my pastries!

 

 

5 MIND OBSTACLES KEEPING YOU FROM BEING SUCCESSFUL, and how to think differently

Some mindset authors propose that we all have a 6-year old child in our minds that is always telling us the worst things about ourselves, and such child sometimes governs our actions as a result of us paying too much attention to what he has to say. Here are some of the thoughts that keep us from being successful. You might relate to one or more. The key is to think differently, and to push that 6-year child away from you.

OBSTACLE 1 — LACK OF TIME

When something is truly important to you, you will always have time. Sometimes 5 minutes makes a big difference.

  • 5 minutes of daily cardio exercise will help you lose about half pound per week, or 26 pounds after a year!
  • 5 minutes of daily reading will help you boost your brain power, avoid Alzheimer, improve your empathy, reduce stress and to fall asleep.
  • 5 minutes of household chores (if you don’t do this already) help you increase productivity (making your bed), make you proud about your house been clean, lower nervousness (washing dishes) and even can get you a nice tan (working in the front or backyard).

Do you have 5 minutes?

 

OBSTACLE 2 — LACK OF RESOURCES

In today’s economy, a hundred dollars is enough to plant the seeds for future wealth. If you have 100 dollars to invest in a promising company, you can reserve a seat at the table for when such company becomes a big success. There are many feasible ways to get into that world. It’s just a matter of changing the mindset to understand that having resources doesn’t mean having millions or even thousands of dollars. With just a few hundreds, you can create financial assets for the years to come.
Websites like Republic, Wefunder and others provide a plethora of opportunities to invest in companies for as little as 50 dollars.
You should invest in what aligns to your risk appetite. I’m not a financial advisor, nor I claim to be one, and you must understand that there’s a chance that you might lose your investment entirely. For business opportunities that require more financial resources, there are also strategies that can help, like reaching out to family members and friends, or using lines of credit that allow you to get started. The same risk principles apply here, and risk management is a critical piece that you need to consider.
To lack resources is different from being resourceful. Starting a business requires a lot of creativity and sometimes the road will be bumpy or with zigzags, but that’s what entrepreneurs must be able to face to achieve the success they want.

OBSTACLE 3 — IT’S TOO DIFFICULT

With the right motivation, everything is possible!
Back in time, during a country’s revolution, there was a train being used to displace people to a distant point. Here’s the conversation between a Sargent and the Colonel:

Sargent: Sr., we’re trying to fit all the people into the 10 train cars, but we have filled all of them and we still have enough people for three more cars. What do we do?

Colonel: Go back and announce that anybody who can’t fit in the train will be fusilladed!
After a few hours, the Sargent comes back.

Colonel: Well?

Sargent: Sr., after I delivered your message, all the people could fit in the train and now we have three empty cars!

Difficult is a state of mind. When we change our minds from saying “I can’t” to “how can I do this?”, the possibilities are endless.

OBSTACLE 4 — I HAVE NO SUPPORT

Life is not fair. Life is hard. The sooner you swallow this pill, the sooner you will be focusing on your goal, even when nobody believes in you. Here are some examples of people that faced opposition, but ended up been a great success:
Steve Jobs, ousted from the company he founded, came back and turned it into one of the biggest companies in history. Its products are not cheap, but its huge audience is an example of the power of influence. Jobs did not solve a problem but instead created a need that people didn’t know they had.
Thomas Edison, who is credited appropriately for inventing the light bulb, spent all his time isolated (with help from an assistant) due to the rejection of society. That did not matter to him, he was determined to fulfill his goal of being an inventor. The rest… you know it…
Michael Jordan was rejected by his High School team and even though he came back and proved himself in college, the team that had the first chance to draft him went for another player instead. Jordan is now known as the greatest basketball player in history. Every player that shows great talent is always unequivocally compared to Jordan. He has become the bar, and will continue to be, for many years to come. I don’t think the name Sam Bowie rings a bell on this.
There are other examples, of not so known people, whose accomplishments are not measured in millions of dollars or magnificent impact throughout the world, but still those examples are above average, because they are making something out of nothing, they show resiliency where others see defeat. They see opportunity where others see a roadblock. They constantly learn (like you, right now) while others just scroll… up and down.
Support is important, but it’s not a deal breaker. If your dream is big enough and scares you enough, you’ll make it real, with support or without it.

OBSTACLE 5 — WHAT IF I FAIL?

At some point in the journey there will be setbacks, some small, some big. There will be times when the burden and the pressure appear insurmountable. Here’s where the breakthrough zone is, the ultimate test to your character, your resiliency and your willingness to push thru towards the end. It’s where the fighters persist and the quitters are forgotten, where the successful people rise above the average people, where the comfort zone is behind to allow your passion flourish, where learning good habits pays dividends and unlearning bad habits save you from going back to your old self.

You will fail… you bet! But your mindset is a powerful tool that can make you stronger than you think and will help to swim instead of sinking.
I’m here to help you, if you allow me to.
I wish you the best of success, because you are awesome!

 

 
Alejandro Clavel is an entrepreneur, mindset and career coach with 20+ years of experience coaching and mentoring young and seasoned professionals. He lives in Middletown, OH with his wife and his kids. He can be contacted at alejandro@alejandroclavel.com

Vacation time: learning while relaxing

Vacation time can be exhausting… in a good way! So many flight options, routes, schedules, baggage fees, plane meals 🙁

Once landing at the destination, so much good food! Damn my diet!

In my case, so many beaches to visit, with a lot of activities like snorkeling, parachuting, tanning, beach massage, walking, swimming, paddle boarding =0)

Vacation time offers a lot of physical yet relaxing time that cleanses the mind from our life’s routine and turns the body into a fun machine, ready to go from one activity to the other, with enough energy to enjoy and rejoice without limits. Sleeping becomes a wonderful time to quickly recharge and restart the cycle the next day, looking forward to a new sunrise, new food, new activities, new relaxation, new exhausting… challenging… exhilarating… fun.

Learning while being on vacation is not optional. We learn new places, new tricks to our gadgets in order to capture those moments. We learn the limits of our bodies, when tasting new local foods and drinks (this, while fun, can come with a toll).

This is what I learned while on vacation:

  • How to operate a GoPro camera.
  • How to use the panning function on my cell phone
  • I tasted new versions of the seafood I grew up on
  • How to listen to controversial family conversations without interjecting (this is a tough one)

Going back home is always an opportunity to relearn, because time produces change… change in our minds, in our bodies, in our families, in our old friends, in our neighbors.

Learn while you’re on vacation. It’s always fun… it’s always exciting… it’s always beneficial.

Keep learning, while having fun!

The Summer of Learning

There’s no perfect time for learning. No perfect place, website, school, group of people, weather or learning style. There’s only desire. Desire to become a better version of ourselves every day, without constraints, predisposition or outdated traditions. When we let go old ideas like “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, or “if ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, we liberate ourselves from limits imposed by people no smarter than us. We then jump into a world of possibilities that allow us to exercise the only muscle of the body that doesn’t get tired, but instead becomes stronger every time we feed new information to it.

And it’s right there, inside our brains, where the seed of desire originates. It’s a small idea, a simple thought, a short statement that makes all the difference: I can do it.

Mark Twain said: If you believe you can do it, you’re right. If you believe you can’t, you’re also right.

Simple, yet challenging. Clear, but scary.

So, It’s not a matter of luck, at least not in the form of unexpected good fortune, but a quest, a resilient desire to continue the journey of learning while finding time, resources and the perseverance to confront the obstacles ahead and be ready to experiment, create, try, fail and repeat until the goal is accomplished.

Another toxic idea is this: “everything has already been invented”. This suggests that creativity and invention are not needed anymore, and that we must simply consume everything around us, with no hope to improve. But this mindset produces lack of progress and stagnation, and keeps us from investing in ourselves, which is necessary to keep finding new goals, new ideas, new dreams.

Let us have a Summer of learning, and keep extending such learning journey forever. It will make us better, and it will make the world better!