Tag Archives: How to

“Consider THIS Before Your Next Conversation.”

Total Read Time: 5 Minutes

Have you ever heard about the family that you actually got to choose for yourself? How about that you are the average of the 5 closest people to you? (Tim Ferriss quote… Seems to be a theme in my mentorship). The common denominator is your choice.

It really doesn’t matter where you are in life, what you’re working on, how much you’ve accomplished up until this point, or where you’re headed. The most valuable thing in our lives, is our relationship with the people around us.

Let’s take a bleak turn to drive it home.

On your death bed… Here Andrey goes again… You really get a clear picture of what truly mattered in your life. This is a gratefulness exercise. Imagine someone close to you died yesterday. What would you pay/do for one more day with them? Probably anything. I would pay anything…

This should make most of the so-called “problems” in your life go away instantly. Your relationship with people is above everything else.

Consider THIS before your next conversation.

Your day is built upon choices you make. You employ discipline, you have routines, and you choose the manner in which you conduct your relationships.

Relationships:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Significant other
  • Boss
  • Coworkers
  • Mentor

Every interaction you have can be a withdrawal or a deposit into your ongoing relationship.

Visiting your mom and spending time cooking with her: Deposit.

Visiting your mom and communicating your stresses in life: it may sound like a withdrawal because stress can be vicariously taxing, but I’d bet it’s a deposit in your mom’s eyes.

Visiting your mom and recommending new exercises, yoga, hiking, and general motivation for getting more active: sounds like a deposit because of great intentions, but could be a withdrawal if mom is a human and takes criticism with a grain of salt.

The most immediate use of this logic is at work.

Everyone has difficult coworkers, an unreasonable boss, and unfathomable clients/customers. If you structure your interactions, with positive intention, your days will get better, I promise you.

“This isn’t manipulation, unethical, or deceitful. The key is to care.”

If you struggle to care for someone, realize they are structurally tied to “the mission” and you will lose without their help. If you want a good shift at the restaurant you work at, the bad server needs help with their 3 table section. If they don’t get help from you, they’ll give poor service, bring out food late, force the food to get cold and the table will ask for the food to get remade, that will slow down the kitchen, and then YOUR table’s food will be slow and your table will be upset with YOU. I digress.

Surround yourself with Positivity

My best friend David DM’d me a quote on instagram: “Pay attention to with whom you feel your best.”

I later saw another one of those quotes: “Pay attention to who is happy with you, when you’re winning.”

It’s so environmental. Tying back to one of my earlier articles, The Hands That Hold You Down, your environment is directly responsible for not just holding you accountable, but directly influencing the quality of the decisions you make for the day ahead of you.

It’s quite easy once you do the mental heavy lifting. And that is, Honesty. Once you are honest with yourself and answer the following questions, you can easily delegate your attention toward the positivity in your life.

  • What facet or quality of your life would you like to make more deposits into? (Love, Health, Finance, etc.)
  • When you think of a deposit, what does it look like?
    • Is it more time with a loved one? Is it eating healthier foods? Is it avoiding going out when money can be allocated more prudently?
  • Think about who helps you deposit into those categories and who forces you to withdraw from them.
    • At the same time, think about who gives you negativity when you share your progress and who celebrates with you and supports your successes.

Confronting these people can seem so difficult, but I promise you it’s easier than you think, and quite addicting after you start.

For example, I’ve recognized alcohol as a slippery slope in my life that I needed greater control over. See Andrey’s Alcohol Commandments. I had to take an honest look at my life and recognize who I naturally drank more alcohol with.

“My approach was initially light handed”

I suggested alternative activities like playing frisbee, skateboarding, bike rides. Fortunately for me, some of my friends really enjoy doing those things and it was easy to structure hanging out without alcohol needing to be involved.

After hanging out, I just needed to decline an offer to go to a bar or hangout and have a beer.

However, some of my other friends really don’t do much other than drink. They would ask me to hang out, and I had to say I’m busy. It wasn’t unreasonable, since I work a lot and generally live further away. (It really helps that I work night shifts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and they work a M-F 9-5). Conflicting schedules, busy lives, and if all else fails…
“I’m saving for a wedding.” (Also very true and an incredible motivator).

Prescribe yourself Positivity

I freaking love a conservatory. Plants are beautiful, the buildings are warm and humid, it’s oxygen rich, everyone is in a good mood at a conservatory. I can’t think of a better place to go for positivity than Nature. If it’s cold outside, if you’re in a big city like me, odd’s are there is a conservatory near by that eliminates the cold and the distant forest. The Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago is free, and parking is free, so there are really no excuses.

Start a day off with some arugula, sunflower seeds, an apple, some olive oil. Visit a conservatory. Take some photos with your phone of a weird plant or a cool turtle.

“Clear your headspace by flooding it with positivity and displacing anything that’s been holding you back.”

Once you’re in that state of bliss, go through the questions again. It’s uncanny what a new mindset can shed light on.

It will have a domino effect

Surrounding yourself with positive influences and people who celebrate you cascades into every facet of your life. People who you care about, and who care about you give life a new meaning. It gets easier to wake up in the morning. You fall asleep quicker at night. Stress dissipates and so does the blood pressure.

I want everyone to feel significant. If you take the time to filter your life for the things that lift you up, you too will want to give back as much as possible.

Thank you

To the people who help me climb to new heights, you know who you are.

Thank you.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

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How to WIN Today: Forget the Nail; Just Swing the Hammer

Total Read Time: 4 Minutes

“Basically as we try to design more than we can comprehend, more than we can understand. We will shift from traditional engineering to evolutionary algorithms and iterative learning algorithms like deep learning and machine learning. And as we shift this engineering to the training of these iterative algorithms, the locust of learning shifts from the artifacts themselves, to the process that created them.

Tim Ferriss podcast: 404: Steve Jurvetson,

Tradition tells us,

Keep your eyes on the prize

We are led to believe we can do anything we set our mind to.

We are given tools to dial back the size of our goals. The end seems so far away. It all feels so daunting.

Dale Carnegie advised us to live in “day tight compartments.

If you’re worrying about tomorrow, you’ll lose track of today. Dale suggests focusing solely on today.

This is the “dialing back” I mentioned earlier. Take Quick analysis of your end goal and you can figure out what you can do today to get closer.

WHAT IF YOU HAVE NO END GOAL?

Crazy right?

That’s been my life for the past 10 years. 2010 I thought I’d be a math teacher, 2012: a photographer, 2014: a beer brewer, and plenty more in between.

Enough about me, how about you?

It’s okay to NOT know what you want.

You can spend years, even decades figuring out your desires and goals.

You can be a lot more productive with that time.

FOCUS ON THE PROCESS, NOT THE OUTCOME

Love the Hunt, not the kill.

Doesn’t it make sense? If you’re searching and fighting for happiness, are you saying you’re unhappy now? Do you think the dream job will bring you fulfillment? Once you have it, you will still have to go to work. If work now makes you unhappy, then work later, albeit different, will also make you unhappy.

I volunteer, I’ll be the bearer of bad news.

Your appetite won’t stop growing. You think $100k a year is enough, but once you have it, you’ll need $200k, $500k, $1,000,000.

Stop imagining the future. Start living right now.

Jocko Willink’s latest podcast, episode 210: Leadership Strategy and Tactics, talks about the seal teams advancement strategy. It’s just like life. “As soon as you feel ready and comfortable to do your role, you’re promoted and advanced forward.”

You’re in a constant state of progress. That means, you’re never “there.” You’ve never arrived, because you’re already here.

THE PROCESS

If you believe anything I’m saying, if you’ve read this far…

First of all, thank you 🙂

Secondly, let’s set some assumptions:

You don’t need money. Money just allows you to spend more time doing the things you want. Assume you have enough money and start doing the things you like.

You have time. Worrying about time is a waste of it. Tomorrow is future you’s problem.

There’s nothing to be a afraid of. If you’re not working toward any goal, remember you don’t know what you want, then you can’t fail. I mean, failure is the biggest fear right?

What’s left?

That’s right, nothing. Nothing to fear. Nothing to worry about. You have nothing to do, except what you desire. The choice can be anything. The direction can change any and every time you want.

The only thing that remains is process. You start small. Start now.

Thank you

For your endless love and support.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Bibliography

Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your time and attention. Thank you to my loved ones who give me significance.

Inspired by Tim Ferriss podcast: 404: Steve Jurvetson

Further inspiration by Jocko Podcast Episode 210: Leadership Strategy and Tactics

Suggested reading:

Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”

A quick weekend read. Dale’s typical analogous style keeps you following along with examples to back any and all of his theories.

How to Find Your Passion

Total Read Time: 9 Minutes

What are you doing about it? Why would you QUIT YOUR DAY JOB?


Everyone wants their dream job, or wishes they even knew what to look for. If there’s one thing my 20’s taught me, it’s that your mindset behind intention defines both why you do something and subsequently, how you do something, if at all. I have spent the past decade listening to the world’s leading minds distill their advice into instagram posts, 3 hour podcasts, books, speeches, and YouTube videos. There’s all the advice in the world for people on how to achieve their goals. I’ve spent 10 years stuck at step one: what is my purpose? Here’s what I’ve got so far. My purpose is to show you you’re significant in this world. Let’s start with HOW to start searching.

It’s hard to look at yourself...”

I want to empower you. I know what it’s like, very personally, to be stuck and hopeless. I believe everyone has a gift inside them, waiting for the flood gates to open so it can drown the world in the bright lights of their passion. It’s hard to open that threshold and find that passion because it’s hard to look at yourself when you’re the one that keeps walking through the doors of the job you hate. It’s hard to love yourself when you keep making mistakes and keep wasting time. I’m here to show you they are not mistakes, and that time is not wasted. I promise you, there is hope. There is room in this world for your smile and your laughter. There is a vacuum of purpose yearning for your authenticity. The world is hungry for the real you. I want to see you full of so much passion you can’t help but give it away. So let’s start with some definitions.

Definitions:

  • Passion and Purpose
    • Passion: When have you lost your sense of time and forgot to eat, drink, and sleep? What keeps your heart racing when you’re trying to sleep?
      • According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we need to build upon a pyramid of basic human needs to eventually reach a state of “Self actualization,” where humans are driven to progress toward their full potential. The needs are:
        • Physiological
        • Safety
        • Love/belonging
        • Esteem
        • Self actualization
    • Exercise: Loving yourself
      • Only once you meet your needs can you move onward. Think of where you are on the pyramid, in terms of check points, moving up only when the previous needs are met. My point here is to help you realize you may need to work on some basics before you’re even capable of looking into your heart. Naturally I find it easier to do things to help people before I help myself. I get stuck when I don’t have anyone to help, and honestly forget to really focus on self care and loving myself. Hint: most people reading this will be around love/belonging and esteem. Write down the needs you have already met and leave some space to think about what needs you have in front of you. Keep in mind the quality of each need you already met, and highlight the ones you want to increase the quality of. For example, you know you should eat healthier and get more sleep, but maybe you also feel you could be more present in your relationship and work on your self esteem. Really trust your gut on this one. Engage the gut of honesty!
    • Here’s a quick category breakdown:
      • Basic needs:
        • Physiological: water, food, sleep, clothing, and shelter
        • Safety: Physical, emotional, and financial security
      • Psychological needs:
        • Love/Belonging: relationships with family, friends, partner/spouse, all varying in intimacy
        • Esteem: sense of self worth and pride in accomplishment, image of yourself both where you are and where you want to be
      • Self fulfillment needs:
        • Self actualization: reaching full potential
    • State of Flow
      • When in a state of flow, you are fully immersed and engorged in your task, often losing all sense of irrelevant things to what you are doing.
      • There are times in your life where you have achieved that feeling of bliss in what you were working on. I most often find myself late to places because I lost a sense of time. I realized the things I’m late to are things I subconsciously don’t want to be doing, and the things I’d rather be doing take up all of my attention. Physical fitness, specifically skateboarding, rock climbing, and hiking easily take me to a state of flow. Creative endeavors, as in writing and photography, also seem to engross everything I have to offer in this world.
    • Exercise: get lost
      • Think about certain activities that take up all of your attention and feel like you could do them all day. Also consult the gut on some activities you’re notoriously late for. It may surprise you to realize you don’t like meeting with certain people who bring you down, or engaging in activities that leave you feeling disappointed in yourself. Write them down but don’t dwell too long, let’s move on to the fun stuff.
    • Interesting side note courtesy of dear friend Matt:
      • Explore commitment to punctuality, where lateness “feeds the flames” and punctuality really makes something undesirable more bearable.
    • Purpose: What is your easy A? What comes difficult to others, but feels innate to you, almost boring unless you push the envelope?
      • What do you do so fluidly, you create your own cursive. You have your own voice. You understand how to be unique.
        • Everyone has a camera in their pocket. However, Instagram is proof that everyone is not a photographer.
  • Job vs Career
    • Job: Financial dependence
      • Get’s old pretty quick. For me, about 2 years before the money isn’t so shiny anymore. If you keep switching for higher paying jobs, you realize they pay more for a reason.
        • Work hard for years, one 8 hour shift at a time, so you can get promoted! Now you get to work 12 hour shifts at a time! I’m paraphrasing a quote, I forget where from.
    • Career: Emotional dependence
      • Some careers have a clear cut path. Lawyers, Nurses, Teachers, Doctors. They’re looked at in Immediate recognition that “If I went to school for 15 years I could be an Anesthetist too.” Not to downplay how flipping hard it is to even make it past anatomy 101, but the point is the path getting up there is recognizable. Everyone wants a path, because once you can deconstruct a goal, tasks become obvious and feel more attainable.
      • That is why instead of finding the dream career, I will get you focusing on developing skills the same way a school curriculum adds up to a degree. More on that soon.
  • Success vs wasting time
    • Most jobs can feel like a waste of time, a means to an end, a paycheck that keeps your lights on. I can assure you the path from resentment of yourself, straight through feeling content or realizing you’re stuck, and to an ownership of pride in your hard work lies in one word: intention.

Reframing:

  • Intention
    • If you think of your entire life as a budget and a resume, then stop reading and go do burpees. If you’re anything like me, you’re human and you’re inefficient and you should love yourself for it. That’s the first step really, love yourself for the glorious steamy pile of human that you are. I worked in the restaurant industry for over 5 years. I told myself over and over again, that I’m wasting my time working nights when all my friends and family are off having fun, and need to focus on a career that will solve all my problems! I plugged in different things I wanted into job searches, only to return back every weekend to pour beers and carry trays. It really clicked one Saturday morning while I was setting up my bar. My GM walked up to tell me one of our fellow managers was leaving the restaurant industry. GM, “did you hear? She’s finally getting out! She got a real job.” My GM, now caught in a backpedal, “I mean not that this isn’t a real job Andrey, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean that…” It really sunk in that time. I learned that no matter what restaurant I could work at, no matter how high up the management ladder I would climb, if I dread walking into the restaurant, there’s only one way out: loving myself.
      • The job you currently have is not a waste of time. When loving yourself, you’ll find value in every experience you walk into with intention.
    • Time wasted = Experience earned
      • You think pulling shots and steaming milk was a waste of your free time after class? If I took away the product (coffee) out of the business model, you managed time in prioritization of efficiency. Taking in orders from both in store and drive thru, you have a natural sense for systems and processes: who needs their order first and how many things can you group together to buy yourself that stand up straight, hands on the hips, head held high breath of fresh air. Seems simple right?
      • Reconstruct the same business model over one week instead of one morning rush hour. You take in clients orders over the span of a week. Rather than finishing each task before you take a new client, you group together similar tasks to serve a maximum amount of clients.
      • I hear you from across the internet, multitasking is easy when you have the tasks. I spent 10 years changing what I want to be when I grow up. You may not want to take clients or multitask, but odds are, you’ve been training for your dream job this whole time. The answer is right in front of you. You just need to hear about it enough until it clicks. So if you’re like me, now you’re ready to start working with intention.
  • Acceptance:
    • Your current job/situation can quickly become an experiment once you accept how fluid your job can be.
      • Those without flexibility in their lives (if you have children, if you’re battling a DUI, if finances are against you) can be all the more intentional, prioritizing what changes to make in order to move toward one of a few things.
      • Before you tell me it’s impossible, I’ve lived by a principal since I middle school: Even the busiest CEOs and creatives eat, sleep, and breathe. Gary Vaynerchuck and Casey Neistat found a way to make it happen. No matter how stuck you feel, I know you can make time for self love. Maslow has the foundations all written out for us. Knowing where we are gives us the first steps in movement toward being ready for our own capabilities.
  • Your job(s) as an acquisition of specific skills
    • Each position in the world: retail, service, maintenance, communication, management, etc. holds value and can be targeted like a good compound exercise or sport can target a group of muscles for development.
      • Skateboarding seems pretty simple until you break down the posterior chain strengthening happening; not to mention the twitch muscle fibers constantly activating. Rock climbing tricks you into forgetting how great of a workout it is for your tendons/ligaments, back, and joint mobility.
      • Just like the physicality of exercises build muscle and confidence in your body, your experience in different avenues of your job progression build and sculpt your knowledge and skills.

Refinement:

“…The Secret to a Long and Happy Life.“

  • There is a Japanese term called ikigai – “The secret to a long and happy life.”
    • The term combines an ideal lifestyle containing:
      • What you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for.
  • Where you’re missing a link, locate skills in yourself that you need to develop, and pursue them through creative approaches
    • It’s important to add, I may not have experience in every industry, but my examples come from a couple I’ve been in for long enough to get my 10,000 hours of repetition in. These examples will feature a restaurant example and a freelance photography example. The restaurant example allows for you to develop yourself on someone else’s dime with little to no risk. The Photography example involves a little entrepreneurship and some more risk, but so much greater reward.
    • Developing talking to strangers
      • Serving/bar tending with customers that come to you
      • Reaching out to strangers to find ones interested in buying what you‘re capable of.
    • Developing financial fluency
      • Any job handling money with a cash register you’re responsible for balancing at the end of your shift.
      • Any sale you can make on the side where you have to bill or invoice someone for payment and keep track of your sales for tax season.
    • Developing building hands on knowledge and skills
      • Entering a job with a training program, extensive and comprehensive where someone leads you through the necessary steps.
      • Picking up a new piece of equipment and learning how to use it to it’s full potential until you become limited by it.
  • Just like every story has already been told, every job has the same principals.
    • You have something that you sell for more than it costs you.
    • You can make things cheaper for you through refinement of efficiency.
    • Make yourself more valuable, with diverse skills and experience.
    • Eventually you’ll outgrow selling yourself to a job, where you help someone build their dreams, and you’ll begin building yours.
      • Until you’re there, there’s way less risk developing yourself under someone else’s costs.
  • Through developing these skills, you’ll open doors for yourself you didn’t know existed, I guarantee it.
    • Exercise: Hammer and Chisel
      • You’ll find there are some skills you dislike working on
        • List those in your journal
      • We are looking for commonalities between these, and revealing what kind of work you’d realistically love doing.
        • For example, If you’re more into the sales acquisition side or management of operations or analysis you’ll know based on what skills are needed to accomplish these aspects of the business you’re in.
    • Those skills that you’re in love with are the bread and butter we are looking for here. The idea is to take those few truly lovely skills and think of a job where those skills plug into and can be refined so that you have complete control to essentially just focus on that skill. Even If you’re a jack of all trades, I bet there’s still one tool in your toolkit that’s your favorite.
      • In the restaurant industry, I loved the technical aspect of learning recipes as a bartender and refining my skills in making delicious cocktails. As a manager I loved planning and analysis of staff metrics on our company goals. Yes, I was the weirdo that loved meetings.
      • It was the same in my photography business. I didn’t care for client acquisition or managing schedules, but I loved knowing everything about my camera and lenses as well as applying that into a smooth experience on the day of a shoot. I loved planning the business goals on a step by step basis and looking into strategies on how to get there.
    • I’ve come to find I love planning an interview with someone to set a path in finding their passion or learning how they found it. I then love analyzing and distilling that information into easily digestible nuggets here for you! Of course, there is a lot more that goes into an interview and taking that to a written presentation. The foundation of it, however, is exactly what I believe is the core of my interests. The better I get at it, the less of the extra parts I’ll have to focus on.

Conclusion:

Throughout the past 10 years of my self help education, I found help with everything having to do with following my passion except for one thing: how to find it.

Finding your passion is not a race.

It’s honestly not even required to live a happy fulfilling life. If you’re anything like me though, you’re armed with tons of tools and plenty of examples of success around you.

The one missing link: the passion itself to focus the magnifying glass on.

Through self love you’ll get yourself ready to start looking at your skills for ones that stick out. You’ll be able to go into work today, tomorrow, and every time after with intention on developing those skills.

It’ll click one day, something where those skills shine brightest. Until it clicks, just keep refining what you have, because

You’re a beautiful human with all the knowledge already inside you.

Thank You

To my dear friends and family who help me with their support and words of encouragement. I can’t thank you enough.

Editorial help and review: Kyrie, Karina, and Matt.

Contact me

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Bibliography

Hierarchy of needs: http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Maslow/motivation.htm

Flow by: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi https://www.amazon.com/dp/0061339202/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_api_i_VWTZDb2HMHFQR_nodl

Ikigai: https://www.academia.edu/36989526/OceanofPDF.com_Ikigai_-_Hector_Garcia