The past dozen or so years of my life have been dedicated mostly to learning and growth. Not totally singlemindedly, of course; I've traveled around and done fun things and have also put out a respectable body of work, but most of my focus has been on improvement.
And I needed it. I learned social skills, productivity, programming, writing, and some parts of ten languages. I built strong social circles in several cities composed of people I love and respect, built home bases in Las Vegas and San Francisco, and immersed myself in many different cultures around the world.
Time well spent.
Last night I had the idle thought that I should learn Korean. I miss learning languages, and Korean is a pretty good one. Then I thought about how I plan on spending more time in Budapest and how I should learn Hungarian, even though it is, by all accounts, impossible.
And then I thought: enough learning.
I've had a few friends who have gone back to college not because they need another degree or because they have some unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but simply because they don't know what to do with their lives and college is safe. No one (well, besides me...) criticizes you for going back to school, and you can delay having to live life.
It occurred to me that I'm not that different. Everyone is impressed when I learn a bunch of languages, but it's easy and acts as a substitute for things that don't come as easily to me. It's a sneaky trick, probably one that most of us employ from time to time: doing something worthwhile to mask the fact that we aren't doing what's actually best.
We need to balance building assets and knowledge with taking action, and it's fair to say that I haven't been far enough on the action side of that equation for a while.
My friend Noah Kagan came to visit in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago. In terms of taking action towards goals, he's one of the best people I know. We spent a lot of time talking about business, and the differences in our processes was glaring. He has concrete goals and takes action every day trying to reach them. I do whatever I think is best, but not towards a particular goal.
As an indulgence to myself, I finished all of the features I wanted to build for CruiseSheet, using today as a deadline. I chose a revenue goal for a year out, projected what I'd need to make every month to be on track, and sent a copy to Noah. From now on I'll take action on things that will get me closer to that number.
There's a time for learning, but there's a time for action as well. Learning is only really valuable when it is applied, so you have to make sure that you are actually using what you've learned. Until April first of next year I'm going to focus only on action. I'm sure I'll learn some stuff, too, but the ratio will be 90/10 or so.
Are you effectively applying your skills and knowledge into action? I bet about half the people that read this think, "Yeah, of course... that's how you live life", but maybe it will be wakeup call for the other half of us.
Photo is, obviously, the Golden Gate Bridge. Some friends and I rented a sailboat and sailed around the bay a little bit.
If you happen to know about real estate in Budapest, will you email me? My name at my name dot com.
Also, if you haven't checked out CruiseSheet in a while, you should! I've done a ton of work on it recently.
I went on my first cruise over the weekend. It was Royal Caribbean cruise line. We went out of Miami to the Bahamas. I really had a good time with all the party hard people on board. Everybody was super behaved considering all the alcohol that was consumed. I enjoyed the all you can eat meals. I probably ate way too much, but I tried to eat lots of salads. I don't know if that helps.
My teenage Daughter booked the trip, and I think we overpaid quite a bit. We paid $750 per person for the 4 day cruise, and we were on the 2nd level. I didn't mind being on the lower floor.
I talked to many other people at the pool, and they booked their trip with a group or online (priceline), and only paid $350.00 a person. And they were on 8th level and higher.
A relative told me I could have gotten a way better deal if we book a cruise that leaves out of a port near Orlando.
As for other fees...I did buy the alcohol/drink package for $173.00. I also lost about $250.00 in the casino. I had been up $500-$600 on the first 2 days of the trip, which weirdly it seemed that many other people were winning those nights as well. Then, the 3rd day of the trip everyone seemed to be losing. I kinda thought that might be the way the cruise line wanted it to go.
There were many dealers in the casino from Romania. They were all super friendly. When I was winning on the first couple nights, I tipped about $100. It obviously doesn't seem to make a difference if you tip a dealer as to how the cards come out.
This reminded me of this post you wrote:
Specifically, "I only quit habits when I don’t want to quit them anymore."
Before going to Romania, I decided I'd try to learn a bit of Romanian. By almost any measure it's sort of a pointless language to learn, but I figured I'd get a kick out of pretending to my I didn't speak any for a couple days, and then all of a sudden surprising my friends by speaking it.
My friend Brian did me a huge favor by going to the library, checking out the Pimsleur Romanian I series, ripping it, and then sending me the MP3s. After finishing the first lesson, I was struck by just how much I enjoyed doing it. I've used Pimsleur tapes to learn Chinese, Japanese, and French (which I never finished and consequently don't remember), but it had been six years since I'd started one.
The returns on learning the first bit of a language are huge. While I don't have nearly enough vocabulary to have an actual conversation in Romanian, doing one half-hour tape every day for a month left me with enough to be able to ask directions, order things at a restaurant, exchange pleasantries with strangers, and buy things. I think I successfully made a joke in Romanian, too.
So after all that, I decided that I'm just going to learn every language. Pimsleur has a list of over fifty that they support. I'm going to start with the ones I'm most interested in that have ninety tapes instead of the thirty that they had for Romanian. I did the full ninety in Japanese, and it got me to the point that I could have actual, if a bit kludgy, conversations.
Noah endured the flood because of his obedience towards God and ultimately the grace of God was over Noah. Evidently, God's grace towards all humanity. Without Noah surviving, none of us here. Not even your grandma.
God and Noah went through an intimate relationship after this flood. After the flood, Noah performed a sacrifice which God loved. Inasmuch that He made a covenant with Noah saying that it's a promise of love. One that involved a rainbow which represented God not destroying man with a flood again.
In my relationship, I realize my love for my girlfriend is great. A "rainbow" in our relationship is our gifts. I have letter that she has given me, and each time I read it I'm assured of her love for me. In the same way we have a "rainbow" with God. That rainbow is the love letter He has given us: the Bible.
The biggest message that the Bible proclaims is one of love: Jesus Christ dying on the cross for you. His death is my rainbow for salvation showing me that I will not be forsaken or alone.