Are you a Victim? (and the Secret to Success)

Can “victims” be successful? I know so many people who are horrible victims. The world is conspiring against them to keep them down. It’s the Government. It’s the Police. It’s the Illuminati. It’s their Boss, their Parents, their Friends, the Bartender, the Post Office, Google, Facebook, Amazon. It’s the other drivers on the road. It’s the guy who cut in front of them in line. It’s everyone. Everyone is conspiring against them, and that is why they are where they are.

There is a Game Being Played Around You

There is absolutely a game being played around you. There is no doubt about it – but do you know what effective people do?
They play the game. They excel. They become so good that it doesn’t matter if someone is conspiring against them because they will shine no matter what. That is the picture of an effective person. No one can stop them. They don’t get hung up by thinking that someone is trying to keep them from succeeding. They will succeed despite anyone that wishes to keep them from doing so. That is what I hope each and every Padorec reader becomes. A truly effective, successful, individual.

Handing Over Your Power

What is the difference between someone who believes that the Government is out to keep them down at every turn, and someone who believes God controls everything that happens to them, or someone who “knows” that the Corporations are just out to get them? Nothing. In every instance, there is an incessant need to believe that we are out of control of what happens to us. The Job Market sucks, the Government doesn’t want me to be successful (ridiculous), I don’t have the right skills. These are all part of the Victim’s handbook.

When you are out of control, then you are not responsible for your life, you are not responsible for its outcome, and you can live in bliss, knowing that if you only had power, then you could have been great.

Guess What. You have control over what happens to you. You have complete, total control. Want proof?
Could you quit your job tomorrow? Yes. Yes you could.
“But Paul, I need an income, I have kids to think of”
Yup, you do have kids to think of. You need to provide for your children, or pets, or apartment, or whatever is “holding you back”. So what could you do tomorrow to enable you to quit your job? You could begin working on building your own business.
“But Paul, I don’t know how to create my own business”
True. You might not know how to create your own business. So what could you do to learn? You could take some business classes online, or even reading a couple of books (try The Lean Startup or The $100 Startup)

“But Paul, I don’t have time to do all of these things”

If you use this excuse, then I assume that you are telling me that you have not watched TV in 2 years. You have not gone on Facebook in a year. You haven’t gone out drinking with friends, and your life consists of sleep, work, quick meals, and more sleep. That’s right, it can be a sacrifice to learn, but you have the choice. You COULD do all of those “great things” right now, if only you would commit.

Taking the Plunge

So why don’t we commit? Why don’t we take the plunge and accept responsibility for our lives? Why don’t we take control of our lives?

It’s easy to hand over control. It’s easy to come home every  day, eat dinner, watch TV, then go to bed. It’s easy to just watch sports all weekend and pretend that what happens to your team actually matters. I like the Tigers, but if they win, it does not have any effect on my life.

It’s also good for our ego. If I truly believe that the only thing keeping me from being successful is this conspiracy against me, then I still believe I’m amazing, but it’s bad luck that has kept me from being successful. That’s bull, and deep down you know it.

It is so damned easy to believe we don’t have control of our lives – that we are on some treadmill, and if only we could have the same advantages as those rich people, then we would make it big. But that’s just a lie. The truth is, you have all of those advantages. Do you have what it takes to make $10 Billion? Probably not. Could you become a truly successful individual? Absolutely! But no one will ever give you success. They will give you the illusion of success, but true success will never be handed out. That, you have to earn.

The Secret to Success

Everyone wants to know the secret to success. There is absolutely no formula for success, but I can tell you that it begins with hard work. Yes, that’s right – the cliche that everyone hopes is not true is actually true – success comes from hard work.

Nearly every “self-help” or “personal development” course/book/video out there comes down to hard work. You have to work at the things you do. You can’t just want it, but you must work at it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some tricks we can use to stack the deck in our favor (see The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale for an example) but ultimately it all comes down to hard work.

Take for example a course I am currently enrolled in. How to Make Your First Dollar – created by Noah Kagan and the AppSumo team. It provides a wonderful guide for anyone interested in starting their own business. It’s an easy to follow course, and is rather brilliant, but it is meaningless without the work that you must put in. Courses and books can point you in the right direction, but you still have to put in the hours in order to reap the rewards.

Is that discouraging? It shouldn’t be – it just means that you have to work for what you really want, and not get distracted by meaningless little things like getting caught up in the rat race at work. Focus on what you want, and eventually you will get where you need to be.

To gain confidence, concentrate your thoughts for 30 minutes/day upon thinking of the person you intend to become and create a clear mental picture.

-Napolean Hill (quoted by Noah Kagan)

 

So you see, you are not a victim. No one is pulling the strings of your life except you. Accept responsibility today for what happens in your life tomorrow, and you will be well on your way to building a life you are proud of and one that you control.

 

It’s all up to you.

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Black or White? Gray Decision Making is Best

There is an overwhelming desire to make various issues or decisions out to be black or white. That is to say, we tend to think only in extremes.

  1. iPhone or Android
  2. Democrat or Republican
  3. Carbs or No Carbs

The reality is, almost always, that the best solution is somewhere in between, and that there is more than one correct answer. On top of that, what is “right” is often abstract, impossible to know, or is always moving…or, more often, it’s all three.

In our example above

  1. iPhone is great for some people, Android works better for others – there is no “best”
  2. Democrat or Republican – somewhere in the middle is probably the best option for most of us, but each individual has different needs
  3. Carbs or No Carbs – what about “fewer carbs” or “healthy amount of carbs”?

 

How to Know What is Right

Since there really is no right answer, then how are we to traverse life? Well, for starters, we can all acknowledge that there are a range of correct answers to nearly every issue. There may be a right answer for us individually, but what is right for you may not be right for everyone.

 

When I was shopping for a new smartphone many years ago, after my HTC Tilt 2 was giving out, I had an important decision: Android, or iPhone. I went with Android, because it gave me more freedom, and I like having more choice in what happens on my screen. I was verbally attacked by some individuals – I’m not kidding. This became such a personal decision for some people, that they would attack those who came to a different conclusion. The truth is, there are a number of factors that go into a cell phone purchase decision: Price, Carrier, screen size, flexibility, ease of use, cool factor, camera resolution, perceived quality of the manufacturer. I had a certain set of criteria that led me to a Droid X. These other individuals had a set of criteria that led them to an iPhone. Other have criteria that lead to Blackberry’s, or Windows Phones, or feature phones.

 

The point is, we are all different. We have different needs, but we have a tendency to believe that the way we think is the way others think. As such, we tend to see those who have different viewpoints as being “wrong”. This transcends cell phones, and this works for politics, religion, financial management, decisions at work, decisions at home, etc. I wonder how much we could learn if we focused on why people make decisions, instead of which decisions they make.

 

Over the next week, when you find yourself calling someone “stupid” or “moronic”, even if it’s only in your head, ask yourself why did they make that decision? Why did they do what they did? What were their motivations, and how can you learn from them? You’ll be amazed at how much you learn, and at how much more the world begins to make sense to you.

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What do You Really Want Out of Life? Find Your Passion

I write a lot on this blog about how to get what you want – through productivity, personal development, and of course, Health, Wealth, and Love.

However, what if you don’t know what you want? So many people I talk to are just adrift – floating from job to job, girlfriend to girlfriend, video game to video game. They have no idea what they want, so what is the point of taking control? So they can more efficiently drift? No, that doesn’t make any sense.

This is a difficult topic for many folks to understand – they have always known what they want, and know what to pursue. Others haven’t known exactly what they want, but they have a general idea. If this is you, then stop reading this post now – you won’t get much out of it.

Perhaps I can help you to find what you really want out of life by telling my story. Keep in mind, however, that just because you know what you want, doesn’t mean that you’ll know how to get there, or that you’ll ever get there. However, Padorec readers are self actualized individuals who have control of their lives, and find a way to get what they want. You are one of these individuals. But know that just knowing what you want won’t be a magic pill.

My Story

I am not one of those people that has always known exactly what I want. Deep down, I have known, but I didn’t understand what I wanted for years. My Dad is fond of telling a story about when I was a kid. Apparently, I turned to him at one point and declared, very matter-of-factly, “Dad, I know what I want to be when I grow up.”
“What’s that?” He inquired, excited to hear what his only son had decided his fate should be.
“I’m going to be a Millionaire. I’m not sure how I’ll make it there, but I will be a Millionaire,” said I. Such a precocious little kid.

The reason I wanted the Million dollars was that I realized from a young age that being rich isn’t about having things (though many people use their money for that.) It’s about having the ability to control where the resources of the world go. If you are altruistic, then you can direct the resources to projects that help humanity. If you are a spoiled little brat, then you direct the resources to a luxury home builder, a Lamborghini dealership, and, maybe, to Gulf Stream. No matter how you spend it, having money gives you options.

I remember telling my Mom multiple times that I would get a bunch of money and find a cure for Diabetes. I wanted to ease her pain. I also told her I would find out why she can’t eat tomatoes, (she loves tomatoes, but can’t eat them because it causes arthritis flare ups) and then breed a tomato without that particular chemical compound. I wanted to ease her pain, and improve her quality of life.

I also have always loved learning. Every subject imaginable captures my interest. I never really accepted that it was impossible to know everything. I believed that we could find a way to cram the entirety of human knowledge into our brains. I realized, however, that this would take more time than one has in a single life, which is why I do not accept that we have to die. In fact, I do not plan on dying. For some, this is a bold statement, but the scientific research actually back this up quite well. (I would direct you to read Ray Kurzweil’s books for more information)

Ray Kurzweil is one cool dude

Ray Kurzweil says you can live forever

So, I want to learn everything ever – or at least be able to call up that knowledge. Great. But then I realized that Humanity will eventually no longer be able to live on this rock we call Earth. So we need to escape. But then I realized that due to the Entropy (and a couple of laws of thermodynamics), we will need to escape this Universe. Okay, that’s when I developed my own theory of the multi-verse (before I ever read a thing about the concept of a multiverse I might add). We need to figure out how to escape this universe.

Okay, so to learn everything, I have to not die. Additionally, we will need to know what exists outside of this Universe, so we have to escape this Universe. Additionally, I want humanity to live on, so to do that we will have to escape earth. Then, eventually, we will have to escape the Universe. That’s cool – we can do it. But I want to be around for it.

So, ultimately, what I want to do is to Leave Humanity off Better than I found it.

That is my mission. Me manifesto. That is what I strive for – what I want.

Right now, that mission takes the form of this blog. If I can help to create one self actualized individual because of this blog, then I have succeeded. I know I want to help humanity, and now I have a target.

How Does This Help You?

Telling stories about myself is fun. Now you can see just a little bit of what goes on in the – sometimes messed up – mind of Paul Recchia. But how does this apply to you?
If you are struggling to know what you want to do with your life, then ask yourself one question. What gets you excited? 
Is it your spouse? Your Kids? Maybe you are meant to be a family man or woman.
Your Job? Sales? Maybe you should be a career shark.
Tinkering in your garage? Maybe be a Mechanic, or inventor.
Money? (A lot of people seem to be driven by this, unfortunately) then follow my example above, and figure out why you are excited about money. Is it because of the things you can buy with it? Then ask yourself why those things excite you.
Reading? Learning? Then maybe you are meant to be a lifelong scholar.

Action Plan

I could keep listing examples, but the point is that you need to take some time, do some soul searching, and understand what really fires you up. If nothing fires you up, then it may be time to try something new. Take an art class. Go get a video camera and start making videos. Start blogging, take a course on business, go to a new bar. Whatever it is, try something new. If nothing you are doing right now gets you excited, then it’s time for you to go seek it out.
A lot of people struggle with this because of invisible scripts. They are full of self-doubt, and believe that they can’t pursue a passion because it wont’ pay well.
News flash, you don’t need lots of money if you are fulfilled. You need some money to pay bills, but not gobs of it. If you are enjoying your passion, then ask yourself, what is the point of having more money?
Pro Tip: if you are doing something you are passionate about, others will notice and you may even be able to turn that passion into an additional income (that’s for a wholly different post).
They think that they have to be “responsible” and follow the social norms. Screw social norms. If you love to travel, then find a way to quit your job and travel. If that’s too extreme, then go take a really great trip. Use up your vacation, use up a chunk of your bank account, but go do it.
Understand that you do not have to be drastic right now. There is no risk in finding out what you want to do – you don’t need to worry about quitting your job, or booking a trip around the world. Right now, you just need to find the thing you love to do. If you love it, and you’ve identified it, then you have accomplished your mission thus far. You still have to figure out the how, and Padorec will help with that, but at least the what is taken care of.
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Welcome to the New Padorec!!!

For my loyal readers, you’ll notice that the blog looks completely different. That’s because it is completely different.

 

I’ve migrated from Blogger (hosted by Google) to WordPress, hosted by me. This gives me much more flexibility and freedom in the design of the blog. In addition, it is a much better back end system that should make the reading experience better.

 

Look for new features as I continue this migration, and enjoy the new Padorec!

What does this mean for you?

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Make your own Flavored Liquors at Home!

 

Bring something cool and unique to your next party

Now you can get packets which will allow anyone to make their own flavored liquor. We all love a good flavored liquor, but most brands are made with chemicals and other nasty stuff.

These infusion kits include only the Highest quality spices from around the world.

You simply open up the packet of spices, dump it into your bottle of liquor (750mL) and let it sit for 2-4 weeks…the longer it sits, the stronger it gets. At the end of the two to four weeks, you filter out the spices (the filter is included) and it’s ready to drink!

You can currently get access to two time tested flavors for $5 each:

  1. Spiced Rum
  2.  Vanilla Rum (or Vodka)

You’ll be floored by the flavors of these liquors! You can take a cheap bottle of liquor, and turn it into something magical.

What comes in the packet?

  • Packet of Spices made from Top Quality Spices
  • Filter to filter out the spices
  • Instructions
  • Shipping to anywhere in the United States

To Order, Click Below

What Flavor?

Have a coupon code? Click below

Make your own Flavored Liquor

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Get your S!%T Done by Staying Accountable

You have goals. You have plans. You have a to-do list. Great. Awesome. You’re super!

I have goals. I have plans. I have a to-do list. I have not been great. I have not been awesome. I have not been super. I’ve been in a slump. This is a lack-of-focus slump. I am all over the place right now – starting lots of things, then not finishing them.

Having a to-do list is great, but it’s only the first step.

How in the world do you ensure you actually do stuff? For that, you need to keep yourself accountable. There are a few techniques you can use – I’ll tell you what I do.

I have been struggling recently to finish things, and to not drift into a Simpson’s or Frasier marathon. (One episode, just one more, that’s all I need…) So I searched all of my resources looking for help, and this concept popped up. I now use a Daily Accountability Form (I have it bookmarked as Accountabil-a-Buddy)

I stole the idea from Noah Kagan (who stole it from someone else) to create an accountability form. He uses it for marketing efforts with his team – it looks something like this:

I created a daily accountability form for myself using Google Drive. For those of you who don’t know how to create a form – look below for the video to do it yourself.
My form looks like a bit more polished than Noah’s – I used some formatting, but it took me 10 minutes tops to set it up.
The results are populated automatically into a spreadsheet with a timestamp.
My Neatly Organized Responses to Myself
So now I get a reminder every night at 10:00pm telling me to go do my accountability form. I fill out 6 questions, though they may change as my life goes forward.
  • How good do you feel about your day? (1-10)
  • What were three things you accomplished today?
  • What is one thing you could have done better?
  • Did you write something today? (Yes/No)
  • Did you eat 1 salad today? (Yes/No)
  • How good was your day really? (1-10)
The reason I ask myself to rank my day twice is that I want two measures. How I perceived my day to have been. Then, after thinking about what I did, deciding how good my day really was. I am measuring this to see if how I felt about my day is actually tied to how much I got done. It’s all data!
The best thing about this is that I can go back pretty much forever and see when I was most effective. If I see results in my other tracking (weight, cholesterol, bank account, etc.) I can look at the corresponding dates in my accountability form and see if I was doing something specific that led to more benefits. This is the same thing Nev from NevBlog does with his infamous to-do lists.
Then, of course, I wrap up my form with an inspiring image…

 What to Include in your Accountabil-a-buddy questions

I used a simple method to determine what questions to ask: I made them up.
However – the two Yes/No questions were generated based on habits I have developed, would like to develop, or have previously developed but am slipping on.
For example, I have been slipping on eating a truly nutritious diet, (I haven’t been eating unhealthily, but have not been a shining example of health like I have been in the past) and my weight loss has stagnated, so I added the one salad a day requirement. (edit: After less than one week doing this, I lost 8 pounds, and it appears my weight loss has started up again)
Every month or so, I write out the habits and lifestyle choices that are important to me. This is basically an audit of my behaviorS – at least what I wish it to be. It changes vastly over time, but a few key pieces tend to stay put.
My Desired Habits at a snapshot in time
I now take one or two items from this list which are not currently well-ingrained habits, and I add them to my Accountability Form. In this case, writing daily, and eating a salad. If it weren’t for my “write once a day habit” this post would not have been started, and you might not be reading it right now.
In this case, I’ve categorized it as Health, Wealth, and Love to help me focus. As you can tell, I’ve chosen to hyper-focus on health. That is due to my health being considerably lower than it should be, so I’m playing catch up.

Set up your own Accountabil-a-buddy

  1. Perform an audit of your current, desired, and potentially slipping habits
  2. Choose one to three of them that you’d like to focus on this month
  3. Create a Google Form with your questions (if you don’t know how, watch the video below)
  4. Bookmark the input form – make it #1 on your bookmarks bar
  5. Set up a reminder to do this daily (Any.do, Google Calendar, Outlook, Phone alarm, A note hanging above your bed, whatever)
That’s all it takes. I can already see myself being more effective with this Accountabil-a-Buddy, and I am clawing myself out of a slump I’ve been in.

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Eat All-American without the All-American Waistline

Baseball.

Hamburgers.
Football.
Apple Pie.
Cowboys.
Those things are quintessentially American. If you talk about any of them around the world (except football), they will mean America.
Unfortunately, there is something else that is recognized as American around the world:
Our growing waistlines.
America is easily the fattest country in the world, and that is just so sad. What can we do about it? Well, we can all change our diets, exercise more, and change our lives for the better.
Want an extra 10 years on your life? Me too.
I am on a personal quest for greater health. Since February 8th (when I started on a juice fast), I have been following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s eating plan from his book Eat to Live, and I have had wonderful results.
I’ve lost 72 pounds in four months.
Cholesterol is down 17%
Blood Pressure is perfect (117 over 72, versus 140/95 previously)
Enough of me harping about health. I’ve linked the resources, so if you would like to learn more, it’s up to you!

Apple Pie that’s Good for You?

You probably have no problems eating delicious Apple Pie, but it’s not the best thing in the world for you.
Why not make some healthy Apple Pie. I got a wonderful recipe from Carrie over at Carrie on Vegan in her post “A Modern Twist to Vegan Apple Pie
I made this recently, and I am in love with this dessert. My Mom even made this for me for my Birthday earlier this week!
This pie really will not stick around for long

It has everything – wonderful crust, massive mound of moist apples, sweet taste, cinnamon goodness, and a secret ingredient!!!

Here’s the recipe from Carrie. My comments are in brackets.
Make it. Enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty about it.

All-American, Guilt-Free Apple Pie Recipe

For the Filling
  • 6 Fuji Apples (or other sweet, red apple) [Paul: I had MASSIVE apples]
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice [Paul: Use store bought if you’d like]
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast [Paul: If you can’t get it, still make this pie]
For the Crust
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
Instructions
  1. Core the apples and cut them into bite-sized pieces. [Paul: I quartered mine and cut out the core. I then sliced them on a mandoline to get bite-sized pieces.]
  2. Combine the apples, orange juice, raisins, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until apples are softened. Stir in nutritional yeast and set aside to cool off.
  3. Place almonds, walnuts, and oats into a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the remaining cinnamon and vanilla. Turn the food processor on, and add the dates through the feeding tube one at a time. Process until mixture is well combined. [Paul: Read below for those without full size food processors]
  4. Pour the contents of the food processor into the pie dish and use your hands to spread evenly into the dish. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill for at least an our.
  5. When you are ready to assemble teh pie, pour the apple mixture into the pie crust and serve cold or at room temperature.
That’s it. There’s your All-American-without-the-American-waistline Pie!!!
For those with small food processors.
I do not have a full sized food processor. I have a mini-prep, however. 
Here’s how I handled this.
I processed the almonds into a powder. I dumped them into a large bowl.
I processed the walnuts and oats. I dumped them into a large bowl.
I processed 3/4c. of dates with some of the powder from my large bowl. I dumped them into the large bowl.
I repeated with the last of the dates.
I added cinnamon and vanilla to the large bowl.
I mixed by hand. 
This takes longer. The result works. 
So there you go, not having a food processor isn’t an excuse (a blender should work, but will take more work on your part to make it work.)

Seriously, this is one dish that you will be excited to serve to company!

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