Book Report: “The Checklist Manifesto”

blog Apr 28, 2011

I like to read books about success.

Last year I read a book, and reread it recently, called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. The book describes how a simple checklist can dramatically improve productivity.

It seems at times we are so focused on the “big picture” that the details of life get somehow lost. For example, if you are going to the grocery store, you will probably remember the main ingredient in the dish that you are cooking, but a pedestrian item on your list such as milk might get forgotten. This is because you assume of course you have to get milk. A simple list will allow you to not be forced to remember all the little things.

Although forgetting milk is no big deal, there  are often parts of our daily lives that we forget to do. We push aside what we think are non-significant tasks and we don’t perform them as much as we should.

Gawande takes the reader into the ER, where he implemented a checklist before he did surgery. They would check...

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My foray into the world of fiction, Part 2

blog Apr 19, 2011

PART II

(Read Part 1 here)

Andrew waited the obligatory 48 hours to call her back. Even though he scrolled down to her name ten times in two days, he felt pathetic. In their short time together, he found out that Karen worked at a PR firm; the conversation was interesting with a sexy undertone.

Up until this point, Andrew had half a dozen girlfriends and a couple of casual female friends. He was ready to stop dating for the sake of dating, he was ready to find a wife. His last two relationships were going nowhere so he called them off.

Lesson: Andrew spent the last few years defining and picturing what he wanted in life.

After a hard day at work dealing with a client who didn’t understand anything about anything, his mind started to wander. He asked himself, what would my day be like if I had someone like Karen to go home to? Would that make everything better? He tried to shake the feeling off but for some reason he couldn’t.

Lesson: Andrew let his emotions take a hold...

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My foray into the world of fiction,

blog Apr 07, 2011

Andrew was a lawyer in his early 30s. He just went partner in his law firm and had spent his 20s in law school and working his way up in his firm. He came from a big Italian family and was ready to settle down. It seemed that he was at a friend’s wedding or a bachelor party almost every other weekend. It was time for him to settle down.

Lesson: Andrew identified exactly what he wanted.

One Friday night in the middle of summer, his friend called him up and said a group of guys were going to a bar downtown. Having a hard week, he waffled about it and wondered if he should go out. After a few texts back and forth, he decided to go. Even though he loves his friends, a primary reason that he went was to meet and flirt with women even though he particularly did not like meeting them at a bar.

Lesson: Andrew knew that in order to fulfill his goals he had to get out there.

He met up with friends around nine for a late dinner. Most of his friends he knew for over 10 years. Some of them...

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The Coolest Thing I Have Seen in a While

blog Mar 31, 2011

Two nights ago after having dinner with my family and Pat, I called a good friend of mine Artin from college then slid into bed, where I turned on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I love comedy and satire. He had on Miguel Nicolelis, a professor from Duke University. They developed a suit that disabled people can put on and simply by thinking–through their brainwaves–a disabled person can walk and move without assistance.

For the last couple of months I have been thinking about movement. I found myself looking at people and seeing how they move. At times it’s hard for me to have body calmness that other people have. At restaurants I see people putting their hands in their laps. What’s ironic is the fact that I sit in my chair that is over $30,000, has cushions and support, and here they are sitting in their chair that costs no more than fifty bucks and they are more comfortable than I am. I also watch people run up stairs, people in crowds navigating their...

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An Argument for Being Neurotic

blog Mar 24, 2011

Andy Grove famously said only the paranoid survive.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been writing about my own need to find some kind of balance in my life. This week I am going to argue against taking it easy.

I always look at the traits of successful people and one thing I notice in most of them is that they do not rest on their laurels. Sure, they take time off, they go have fun, they party. At some point or another, successful people get neurotic, want more, and nothing is enough.

There is no doubt that I get neurotic about my goals and sometimes I go too far. I get that. The fact is that I want to see so much in my lifetime and I accept that it is harder for me than most people. I don’t like it, but I accept it. With that being said, in order for me to succeed, I have to be neurotic. There are some things that are easier for me to do than most people, like writing this blog. I can have a blog post done in half an hour. Okay, enough bragging. On the other hand, there...

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Response to “Taking it Easy”

blog Mar 16, 2011

Last week I put up a blog post called Taking it Easy. First, let me report that right after I put up the post, I sent Kristi home early, turned on the USC game, shut off my computer, and went to lunch with my mom. Admittedly, maybe watching the Lakers game was not the best way to relax, because I become more neurotic during intense games. If they actually won the game instead of losing it, I would be more relaxed.

I received a comment on my post criticizing me for missing the mark:

Guess what… you are missing something right now! Not sure what it is but you are indeed missing it; that is how life works. I thought you were a marketing major? You should understand that human desires and emotions can be shaped and formed based upon perception versus reality. How many folks buy a new car thinking it will make them happier, sexier, etc? I read your book “Love Your Life…” and the one thing that struck me about you is your craving need and active search for what...

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Taking It Easy

blog Mar 10, 2011

From the beginning of the year until now, I have been tough on myself to say the least. My best friend for 25 years, Patrick, says that I work too hard. I like working. I never think I am working hard enough. I think I put more pressure on myself than anybody does on me. I had to learn patience, and to tell you the truth, I am not a patient person. That’s not a good thing for someone who’s disabled. I always want to figure out a problem right away. To sum up, I am neurotic at times but I guess all successful people are neurotic.

I often get mad at myself for not tweeting enough, Facebook-ing enough, not reading enough articles, not having enough fun, not looking for a girlfriend, not connecting with enough people, and I am just exhausted dictating this sentence. I need to relax!

In the last two months, I have completed a manuscript of my autobiography, moved out of my parents’ house and into my own, gone to Vegas with Patrick, and except for winter break, have not...

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Update

blog Mar 03, 2011

Most days when Kristi comes in, we talk about my next steps as a writer, a speaker, and business owner. She is a writer herself and has a marketing background. When we got back into the thick of things early in January, I said that I wanted to be more methodical. I shared with her an idea I was playing with in the back of my mind and immediately she said, You’re writing it.

At the time, I did not know if it would be a book or an article, or just a blog post. But as it turns out, I started writing the second version of my autobiography and this Monday I finished it. I am emotionally exhausted and over the last 10 years I have really grown as a writer. This version is very mature compared to my earlier one, which was just anecdotal; this version is more reflective. I reflect on my disability, love, life, and how I see the world.

It’s also very raw and that’s why I’m exhausted. I am also very invigorated because I saw how far I’ve come in my 33 years. I am...

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10 Things You Don’t Necessarily Need To Know

blog Feb 24, 2011

From the beginning of this year until now, my blog posts have had a very serious tone. So today I decided to have a little bit of fun and give you a glimpse into my personality with 10 random facts about me that have nothing to do with anything. 1. My favorite fiction book is The Beach House by James Patterson. 2. I have watched Coming to America, Big, The Princess Bride and Major League II each over 75 times. 3. I have gone to Vegas at least five times with under 24 hour notice on a whim or because I had a bad day. 4. I can eat pizza every day if I had to. 5. I once towed two wagons full of neighborhood kids with my wheelchair back in the 90s. 6. My friends often get me out of my chair to dance on my feet when we go out. 7. My friend Jerry got mad at me because I forgot my handicap sign one night and remarked jokingly, why do you think we hang out with you? 8. I am a computer nerd. 9. I am proud to be a mama’s boy and if you met my mom, you’d understand why. 10. I have...

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Valentine’s Day

blog Feb 14, 2011

This week is Valentine’s week and some people think that this holiday was somehow concocted by the gift industry. I am not going to look up the origins of Valentine’s Day because I have a packed day and just don’t feel like it. Too honest? (It’s a blog, get over it!)

I am 33 and if you have been keeping up with this blog, then you know I’m having a strong desire to find love. I always thought of myself as a romantic. Heck, my book is called “Love Your Life and It Will Love You Back.” A clue? I feel that it is time for me to start looking for romance. I just moved into my first house and before this, I always came up with the excuse that I am not ready because I don’t have my business where I want it or my living conditions are not ideal, but with the great windfall that my family went through, those excuses are gone. In fact, one of the biggest factors that influenced me moving out of my parent’s house and into my own place was...

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