In my late teens and early 20s I used to practice sitting meditation on my own. Up in college I would sit inside the closet in my dorm because it was dark and quiet, and I would just sit and practice breathing and being in the silence. I would do this for about an hour. I had nothing more interesting to do. I continued to do this up until I was 21 or 22 and I had to find a job and make money and pay rent.
I was young and I wanted a girlfriend and to have sex, so I stopped practicing the silent meditation and instead began going out late and doing things that were the opposite of meditation. I met people, got involved with their daily dramas (the bullshit we call friendship, which is really just wasting time with people who one day we will no longer communicate with).
I'm 37 years old now and suddenly beginning in 2014 I realize about myself that I really appreciate silence. You don't get much of it living in New York City. Most people don't know what to do with themselves when they are alone in a room with no sound, no music, no activity.
I could sit alone in the dark for days, except to use the bathroom or eat. I love the silence.
In the world of investing and the chasing of dreams, we are bombarded with "Facts" and the "Truth" all day long. Some one is lying to us. I read the article about Alec Baldwin and his falling out with celebrity life and I just appreciate the fact that I never became famous. Who wants to live in Alec Baldwin's shoes? Not me.
Success is great, but when you are in your 50s and you're having to start your family over again because you failed the first few times and the world thinks you are an asshole because you are just being yourself -- that sucks.
We seem to envy celebrity and wealth and people what we perceive are religious or spiritual -- because deep inside every one is the desire to have something that someone else has that we don't.
The more I see and experience and read and understand about life, the more I am happy that I am able to sit in silence and not fall victim to the parade of emotions that we are bombarded with every day.
We could all learn to be better people if we sat alone in silence every day. Then instead of wanting to be heard or wanting to communicate all the time, we just observe what's going on and learn not to give a crap.
I still want a lot in my life. I'm 37 years old. I want to have a home that is very quiet. Where I don't hear people in the adjacent buildings. That seems like a simple goal, but when you really think about it, very few human beings have that.
For me, it's a goal that I will keep working on. When I'm not doing that I will appreciate the moments of silence I have.
~ Greg Soon
I recently started a new job -- which required a new wardrobe -- so I spent nice sum of money on dress shirts and pants at Brooks Brothers. Part of taking care of my new clothing is a desire to wash and iron the clothes myself.
So I found this awesome video on ironing a dress shirt:
2013 was a year of identity crisis for me. I got gravely ill with the flu in March and it knocked 3 months of plans out of my life. Then I lost a lot of money in the stock market when the REIT bubble popped in May (I also had to pay a big tax bill to the IRS because of some bad choices I made with a 401k from my previous employer).
I went on my first real vacation since I was 16 years old: a good old fashioned road trip in California, down highway 1 and visited San Francisco, Sunnyvale, San Luis Obispo, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Rancho Santa Fe, Solvang and San Jose, drank lots of wine, drove 1,300 miles, ate lots of tacos and had a great time.
But aside from the fun vacation I was suffering with a career plateau and an uninspiring work place environment.
Around my birthday in August I hoped to change some things and in general sent the intention out into the world that I needed some new opportunities.
It took about 3 months but the opportunity finally appeared right after Thanksgiving weekend and I interviewed for a new job at a company that impressed me immensely. I was hired and in a December flurry my life is changed and I'm suddenly filled with renewed optimism.
I start my new job in January 2014 and my financial outlook is looking bright and I hope to have a social life again (I had been working 1pm to 9pm for the past 2 years).
2013 was not a bad year for me, I had many enjoyable experiences, but it was hard because career-wise I felt like I was stuck with no opportunities at all.
I am very grateful an opportunity came up and that I had the energy and motivation to follow it and not let it go to waste.
I plan on taking advantage of every opportunity that 2014 throws my way -- and to continue learning, expanding financially, securing my financial future, and becoming a smarter business man.
I took this photo at a Toys r Us somewhere in between Los Angeles and San Diego:
Good article on REIT outlook for 2014:
This is a short interview with Brad Thomas, a very well-known REIT investor / writer:
Disclaimer: I'm posting this for my own reference. So this is not a recommendation or advice of any kind.
Lists and Databases of High Yield Junk Bonds, The Finra site is the best but I added a couple other links just to check out later:
This is Michael Milken, the 1980s King of Junk Bonds -- We do not want to be Famous like him:
An Excellent Economics Lesson by Ray Dalio: