Saturday, April 11, 2015

2 out of 3

This weekend my dad won some box seats at the Utah Jazz game.  We went up and it was a really fun game. The food was great, the game was exciting, the only downside was we lost by just one point. 
There was one second left.  Gordon Hayword launched up a desperate three ball that went nowhere -but wait- he was fouled! We have a chance to tie the game up and send it into overtime. Hayward had to nail three free throws in a row, and with the pressure that is no easy task. 

First shot (arena = silent)………………………………….. swoosh, good!

Second shot (arena = silent)…………………………………swoosh good!

Third shot (arena = silent)…………………………………….ka-dunk- NO-good!

We lost by one point and we were so close.

The experience made me think, what had happened if Gordon Hayward had missed the first shot instead of the last?  It is interesting but I think that we as fans would have been much less disappointed had we lost early than had we lost at the very last shot as we did. I was very impressed that in the post-game interview when asked, Hayward simply said, I took a shot and it didn’t go in. 

What a great perspective.  I think we would do ourselves a great favor if we put things into their proper perspectives rather than getting caught up in the emotions. If we lose by one at the last second or a thousand it counts all of the same, we lost.  The same applies if we win. 

For me I am going to focus on not letting things get to me, but rather realize that if I lose I lose and if I win I win, and barring ethics I am not going to worry so much how I ended up there. This way I won’t let my emotions lead me to irrationally get upset about things that I really don’t need to beat myself up about.     

Saturday, April 4, 2015


This week was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ General Conference.  This conference occurs every six months and is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love hearing from church leaders and being able to be uplifted.  The things that they talk about are always so relevant to the times and things going on in the world. 

Every conference there seems to be a theme.  So far, only two sessions in I feel like the theme has been family and that we need to serve everyone around us.  One quote I liked was “thee lift me, and I’ll lift thee and we will ascend together.”  Today’s world it is ever important that we help one another to get through, this is why the family is so important. 

I know that these men and women who deliver these messages are called of God.  I encourage everyone to listen to and study their words.  Whether you are a member of this Church or not.  I know that the gospel and the messages that center on Christ can change lives, because they have changed mine. I know that this Church really is Christ’s church here on earth.  It is a refuge from the troubled world that we live in, and brings peace to one’s soul.   

I am going to try and make this General Conference different.  I am going to review often the talks that were given. So that I won’t have to wait every six months to enjoy the blessings that come from listening to the words of the Lord.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Entrepreneurship in Action

I am in an Entrepreneurship class in which I am learning a ton.  In the course of the class we have learned many of the basic steps to come up with a business idea, validate it, and then take it to the market.

The first step is to identify a pain point, something that is an irritation or pain to customers. A big pain point that one of the members of my group mentioned, is scrapping off the ice on your windshield in the mornings.  So we ran with it.  We came up with the idea of a car cover that would prevent ice from forming on your windshield, preventing one from staying out in the cold scraping ice, freezing their hands off.

My team after doing basic market research (asking people).  We found that for people to be interested in such a cover, it would have easy to put on and off.  After thinking of many possible solutions, and adjusting those ideas we came up with two models.

                   The Sheet Model                            &                      The Accordion Model        


Both models use magnets to cover your windshield. The difference is in the putting on and taking off of the products.  One can be wrapped up while the other is folded.  

The thing that I have learned the most from the class is that any business it is all about your customers and what they want.   Too many companies spend millions of dollars in resources and time, in developing products that people don't want.  They could have known if their product would have satisfied their customers if they would have done one simple thing - ask them.  

Most businesses fail, but if you fail fast and fail often, you will eventually find your golden goose.  
That is what I learned the most from this class.  

But hey? What do you think?  Would you rather use the sheet model or the accordion model?

I am probably not going to take this idea to market, but I would still love to hear what you have to say, so click on the link and tell me what you think.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Remote Meeting

This week I had a meeting online using the modern technology of video group chat.  My team used a google program to host our meeting.  It seems common place, but this technology is amazing.  I remember as I child I was in awe when I watched Pokemon and professor Oaks talked to Ash through a phone that showed the other person through video.  Today that technology not only exists but is also common place. 

Online interactivity is extremely useful for many reasons.  One time I found my roommate on a “date” with his girlfriend in Italy, they were watching a movie together through their tablets!  The greatest advantage of group video conference calls is convenience.  Because everyone in my group has different schedules, we couldn’t all be together until 9:45 p.m.  Trying to find and get to a physical location that late at night would have been such a pain, but we were able to do it from the comfort of our homes.

There are disadvantages however.  For instance, it can be really easy to have technological difficulties.  Case in point, I couldn’t get my side of the video chat to work for like 10 minutes, which was very frustrating to me and my team.  Many times things become laggy and it is hard to understand what people are saying.  I think video conferences should be used when the convenience is a very high priority. Through my experience I observed that quality is definitely better in the traditional face to face meeting.

I will definitely try to utilize today’s technologies more often.  I will still be mindful however, that technology brings new good ways to do things, but it maybe does not always bring the best ways.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's March, and there's Madness

This is probably one of my favorite times of year- The NCAA tournament!  I am not a basketball guru or anything but I love that co-workers, friends, and family can all come together, and unlike most sporting events, everyone can participate.  Everyone is invested. 

So just like every year there are upsets.  For me it Baylor is always a team that destroys my bracket.  I cannot believe it.  Watching the end of the game, the other team made a crazy end of the game miracle deep three.  A shot that easily could have missed; it could be said games are won by centimeters. 

So in my apartment we made a group.  And we made a bracket for our good friend Phil (Phil by the way is a plant in our apartment that we named - yes we are crazy) Well Phil’s bracket got absolutely destroyed in one of the very first games of the tournament.  The team he had winning the entire tournament was upset and lost by one point = why the tournament is known as March madness.

Something I have learned from this is just how useless we are at predicting the future, (granted Phil is only a couple years old so we will cut him some slack).  Even the experts have no clue what is going to happen.  The same is true for my major, finance.  In finance we are constantly trying to forecast the future.  But the truth is it can’t be done.  If it could everyone would be filthy rich.

We can make good guesses but our good guesses are often wrong.  This applies to personal life as well.  It is important to never be over confident that you know what reality is.  I am 21, so I know a lot, right? Well there are 6 billion people, with an average age of 30 that is 180,000,000,000 billion years lived compared to my 21.  This puts things into perspective a little bit. 

I am going live my life making the best choices that I can given the knowledge that I have, but I am going to make a point to not become overconfident in my abilities or in my opinion.  I will always keep trying to figure out what the “madness” of this life is all about, but will expect to get things wrong once in a while. But the good news is that just because I am wrong doesn’t mean I am not learning. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Coming Home

This week my friend who I trained on a two year mission just arrived home.  It caused me to reflect that I have been back in America for ten months now.  Much has happened in these ten months.  Yet I always wonder what more I could be doing with my life. 

Elder Thompson who got home this Wednesday is going to be going through a transition into non-missionary life.  It was something many people here in the Provo area go through.  I remember on the mission Elder Thompson and I would talk about life back home.  What we had done, and what we planned on doing.  We imagined what it would be like.  Two years is a long time. 

It is really interesting to me to see how things have changed.  I am in the thick of life with classes and such that I rarely take time to have a good reflective view on my life as I had did the mission.  I think that it is really important to always take a good inventory of our lives and our goals.  I want to more regularly consider the larger scope of my life.  To not get so lost in the thousands of things that I have to do.  If we take our lives in perspective more often I think that we can plan for, and end up having more meaningful lives.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The measure of success

What is success? We measure ourselves, and when we improve on our measurements we feel good.  This is normal but how often do we actually deserve the success that we obtain.  Is there really a measure of merit that correlates with success in this life?

This week I had a finance test.  I did really well, I got 100% on it!  Which is awesome.  I feel really good, life is great, etc. etc.  The thing that I just don’t get is that I studied for half of the time that I did for the first finance test, and on that one I didn’t do so well. 

If it is just luck or the difficultly of the different tests then why do we still feel so much satisfaction when we do really well.  Maybe we need to just detach ourselves, this way when we score poorly we won’t feel upset either. 

I have thought a lot about these things in my entrepreneurship class.  The teacher who has sold businesses for hundreds of millions of dollars, has told us straight, I got lucky.  That luck is a huge part of being successful.  If it is luck, being at the right place in the right time, then what is the point?

While I am not about to quite trying, I am going to avoid stressing myself out about outcomes that I don’t have full control over.  I will do my part, and be happy with whatever is the result-- though it never hurts to get a 100%. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Salsa Dancing

I learned something new this week! I learned how to salsa dance! Well … pretend to salsa dance at least. 

I have a friend at work who is from Columbia and has been trying to get me to come to Salsa club with her for months, and getting me to come to salsa club is no easy task.  If you were to ask my friends my hobbies, dancing is not something that you’d hear.  I just never have been the biggest fan of dancing.  But my friends persistence paid off and I she finally broke me. 

Well, I still don’t really dance, but it was a lot of fun, or a lot of ‘funny’ rather (for the witness of my dancing crimes that is).  But definitely a positive experience and who knows if that is the last time that I will go to a dancing club, be it country dancing, square dancing or whatever.

The thing I learned is that is good to try out new things.  I’ll admit that I am an awkward person that is often out of my comfort zone, but believe me I don’t going looking for opportunities to embarrass myself.  But maybe I should.  Going out of your way and trying new things can give one a broader perspective on the world. 

I don’t think I am going to try to become a talented salsa dancer or anything, in fact I know I won’t.  But I can now say that I have done it.  I don’t have to say that I would be a horrible dancer, now I have confirmation.   

I am going to make sure that I jump on future opportunities to learn new things, especially things that I have never tried before.  Who knows I may find a passion or hobby that I didn’t know existed.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cosmic brownie vs. Tillamook yogurt.

At the end of last week I started to feel a cold coming on.  I didn’t pay much attention to it, until the next week.  While I was bemoaning and coughing Monday which was really sad because it was holiday, I began to consider my health.  I realized that maybe there is more that I could do to keep myself healthy. 

Being a college student it can be hard to eat healthy foods and when you are feeling sick it probably isn’t a good idea to go to drink a gallon of Tampico, eat at Waffle Love, and down a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.   –hence I got sick.

I am not a health major but I feel that sugar is really bad when you are trying not to catch a cold.  So to recover as quickly as I could I decided to get extra sleep and restrain myself from consuming sugary foods, it was hard.

My first temptation: A cosmic brownie. 
I went shopping with a friend who bought a box of Cosmic brownies.  After sampling a piece of one I was offered one for myself, which I obviously accepted.  But then I remembered my goal.  This brownie surely would be the end of me.  So I was strong, and I put it away to save it for later. 

Because I had just gone shopping I sat down and pulled out a Tillamook yogurt, harmless I thought.  Out of curiosity I decided to see how much sugar was in my nice little yogurt . . . 27 grams! What? I jumped over and took the box of brownies from my friend, 26 grams! 

I was shocked.  A yogurt has more sugar than a cosmic brownie?

Being healthy is hard work.  I think that we have stigmas with certain foods.  In reality there is so much unsolicited junk food all around us.  I am going to try to educate myself on the foods that I eat.  This will be a good habit that will either lead me to eating healthy, or, realistically, just end up helping me justify eating a good old cosmic brownie.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

When You Forget...

This week I walked into one of my classes, everything was normal, I was at ease, the students in the class were chatty as normal.  I began to get my stuff out of my bag to get ready for class, the scene only to be described as calm.  Then as happens I overheard the students beside me speaking one to another,  “. . .  so for my project I . . . ”  So in my mind I am like “project… what project”, then that thing which was left back in the innermost dark regions of my mind resurrects and—well, then calm is over.

Forgetting things is one of the worst feelings in the world.  I wasn’t lazy either, I had two really big midterms the week before and in my great efforts to succeed in them, I plainly and simply forgot.  Telling that to your professor though, is not really the greatest recovery strategy. 

Forgetting this project immediately put me at the zero percentile in the class. 

While standing beneath an un-scalable ten thousand foot mountain face, a mountain climber looks up and gets chills.  A student looking at an equivalent ten thousand foot academic mountain also gets chills. Difference being, the climber feels pumped the student feels pummeled. 

Bad grades are not the end of the world.  In fact I will be more than fine.  Bad things are really frustrating when they happen because of dumb reasons.  For instance, even though in both cases you lose, it is interesting that fans leave sporting events happier when their teams has just lost by 30 points then when they lose by 1 point in the last second by a bad call by the referee.   

Details make big differences.  That is why it is so important to pay attention to the small things.  I need to make sure that I am diligent in keeping track of when things are due.  I am going to every week go through every class of mine, to make sure that I know exactly when everything is due so that I don’t miss the things that make the differences, the details.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Look Up!!

Have you ever seen the image of the evolution of man? - It starts with a hunched over monkey and progresses onward until it becomes and upright-walking man.  Well the next step for man is going to backtrack.  We will return to our heads being hunched over- why will they be hunched over . . . Because they will be staring into our phones.

For my entrepreneurship class I was asked to go to a place that I normally attend and to sit and watch for 15 minutes, to just simply observe.  I decided to go to a food court, and just see what I noticed about the world.  And what I noticed, is that we don’t, that is, notice.

I was amazed, by observing I figured that at more than 80% of the tables there was a phone or a computer that the person sitting there was buried into.  This included people that were eating at tables with friends, and this was the majority of the tables. 

I don’t want to sound like the old person that always says “you youngsters these days are so into your electronic things, you need to look up more” but . . . I want to sound like the old person.  –GET OFF YOUR PHONE!

The assignment alone is not what makes me so passionate.  But the assignment made me especially aware to other experiences I had this week.  Because of where I was going passed a girl 10 times; she was engulfed in her phone and her face was engulfed in her hair, and not once did I even see what she looked like.  Another experience, which I think is the worst, is that I came up to a friend to do a task, and literally said “It is nice have someone to talk to while we do this task.”  After upon saying this, they immediately put earbuds in and started watching YouTube clips on their phone.

I found another blog that talks about this same topic, it seems that most of us are realizing that technology is talking over our lives.  Too much technology

I think that society would be surely be a much more social place and most probably a happier place if we would just unplug for a moment or two.  I am going to make sure that I am not that person who forgets the people around me, or doesn’t take time to enjoy the real world which is ever around me. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Joys of Shared Apartments

I like living in an apartment with 5 other dudes.  It can be fun, at times a blast, until. . .

One Problem that I have is that I work early morning custodial, not a resume builder but it keeps me fed.  Because I wake up at 4:15 a.m., I usually try to get to some shut eye early so that I can avoid the same (eye’s being shut), the next day in class.  I love my roommates.  I love my roommate’s friends.  I consider my roommates friends as my friends.  But sometimes they need be my friend,… some other time. 

I guess it is an inner conflict of telling people that it is time to leave.  I am not scared of offending, I am good at that, I just need to be responsible and do it. 

People are finally getting the hint. The other day I had my covers over my head while someone in the room (who doesn’t live at our apartment) was doing homework and talking to my other roommate.  It took them a while but they finally realized it would be a good idea to leave. 

My favorite was there was this one night where I came home to 4 to 5 people in my room all with laptops and headsets etc. having a StarCraft tournament.  (My room’s not that big by the way).  It was cool and all being surrounded by coordinated warfare with the sound effects and all, but sleeping more than 5 hours is nice as well.

I can’t really blame anyone but myself.  If I want to, I can just ask people to leave.  I am going to be more responsible from now on and get to bed on time.  To do it I am going to have to enlist the support of my roommates/their friends in this worthy cause. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Making Corrections

This week at work my work crew was switched around.  I was ended up working with another girl and unfortunately I made her really upset.  What did I do? Well I suggested that she do the process a “better way”.  I was light hearted and didn’t mean it to be insulting, but sometimes I don’t think that there is a right way to correct a person.  After I mentioned the “better way” she was visibly upset and said “The way I have been doing it has been just fine.”

In communicating we need to be tactful, but sometimes I feel as if there is no ‘right way’ to say something.

I do think it is important that we work on saying things in the right way as to not insult people.  It is an art, and to be good at it will make for a happy life.  Sometimes it may even be best to not say anything at all, but where is that point then?

I am going to try to be better at making suggestions or offers to help that will come across as less demeaning.  Also when others have to correct me, I need to make sure I do not get offended myself.   

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Relationship communication

Synonyms of relationships: confusing, frustrating, annoying, fun, and outright mysterious.  

The past few months there was a girl that I was interested in.  We spent lots of time together, texted each other often. Things seemed great. We were not dating but it seemed to be heading in that direction.  I thought things were normal until, as happens in many relationships, there began to be some serious mixed signals.  I wasn't so sure about them but just told myself not to think too much about them.  Well as happens, I thought too much about them.  In my insecurity in the situation I was finally forced pin her down with direct questions and to squeeze out answers.  As it turns out she is not so interested me, sad, yes, but it happens.  But why did the see-saw have to go on for so long? Why would someone text someone late into the night, and then the very next day barely acknowledge the same person.  A mystery I will never know.  

But what I do know is that if we would just speak our minds to people, we could save a lot of time and reduce a lot of stress.  I don't know the reasons why the girl in which I was interested avoided sharing her mind, but  upon self-examination I found that I am guilty of the same crime.  It wasn't until things got really crazy that I went looking for answers.  Maybe it is because we are scared of what those answers really maybe.  

From now on and in future relationships I am going to be timely (not too hasty) on when I explain where I think things are at.  I won't try and figure things out by the small social cues and flirty hints. I will wait to confirm my assumptions with verbal confirmations.  Interpretations need to be clear, and when it comes to relationships, clarity is something you can't have enough of.