30 (or 20 or 10) Minutes A Day

Being a self-professed “Business Nerd”, I’ve always been curious about how some of the concepts that you learn within say economics class, investments, and marketing can be applied towards one’s every day life.

One such area would be the idea of compound interest. It is well known that Warren Buffet reads a lot everyday, 500 pages to be exact. His explanation for such is that all this reading and knowledge layers on top of itself and compounds.

It’s hard to argue with the results. Warren Buffet is one of the few investors in the world who has consistently beaten the average market return.

Not to mention he’s one of the richest and happiest men in the world. The reason for his riches comes from his investments and compounded knowledge. The happiness? Probably from his unashamed indulgence in Coke. As he self professes “I eat like a 6 year-old”

Coke and food aside, I’ve been recently trying to apply those self-same principles of self-improvement and compound interest in my own life. While I can safely say that it has not made me one of the richest men in the world, there has definitely been visible improvement all of the areas I started to apply these principles in my life.

Here’s a quick list of the areas, and how I tried to applied those principles to my life. :) I hope you find some inspiration!

Spanish

Hola! Me llama Nicholas y yo no hablo espanol. Ahora, yo voy aprendo.

After visiting Barcelona this year, I have really fallen in love with Spain, Spanish culture, and Spanish! It’s a lifelong goal for me to go back to Spain, live there for a while, and become a fluent speaker of Spanish.

What I do everyday is try and set aside a few minutes to get my daily fix of Spanish. 
 This can mean doing one exercise in a Spanish textbook I got. One conversation with my fellow Spanish-learning friend. One session on duolingo or lingvist.com

Sure the conversations get awkward. There’s a lot of crashing and burning. But in the 4 months of slow learning that I’ve been through, I am definitely feeling much more confident in my writing and reading ability.

The speaking part is still crashing and burning.

Dancing

I dance like a flopping fish.

But since I was really young, when I saw someone doing the robot and “popping”, I’ve always wanted to learn that style.

So I did what every teenager should do and signed myself up for home hip-hop “popping” classes at the local dance studio.

I am being regularly embarrassed by 6 year-olds. Kudos to them, they’ve worked for it. But hey, I can’t afford to lost dance battles to little Adam every time I go dancing, my 17 (almost 18) year old pride can only take so much of that!

So instead, I go out of my way to practice popping. For those of you who don’t know what popping looks like, it’s sort of like you are having a very controlled, robotic seizure in separate parts of your body.

So whenever I’m standing and bored, I practice popping my legs! Whenever I’m sitting down and doing some work, I practice those mini-convulsions.

I’m pretty sure that anyone who see’s me thinks I’m crazy or have some form of epilepsy, but on the other hand, I’ve noticed that I’ve gained the ability to keep up with choreography, be more confident, and make a few of my friends go :O wowww.

I still don’t have anything on little Adam. It’s a work in progress.

Knowledge and Reading

I love to read and learn and just be an overall nerd? (Shame on me)

I actually make a very concerted and concentrated effort to avoid television shows. The main reason being that I know the moment I start watching a show, I will never stop. This happened to me when I started watching Daredevil, and I regret everything.

So I end up filling my time reading a lot of articles and blog posts. 5 minutes before bed? I’ll pull out Medium. Need to destress? Quora is great for that (it’s full of inspirational life advice). Professional procrastination? Bloomberg View!

I also have a bunch of newsletters in my mailbox that give me something new and educational everyday. Three favorite right now are Seeking Alpha’s Wall Street Breakfast, Abnormal Returns, and a really weird and out there one called MEL Magazine.

The latter has a lot of questionable content, but the writing style is so entertaining that I can’t resist.

So what’s happened? What are the results?

Every conversation, I’m a quote machine. All these random life advice nuggets, personal finance tips, and philosophy preaching have been internalized in my brain. I find that there’s a lot of perspective in my life now, and that I’ve begun to challenge a lot of assumptions I previously had.

As a side note, I’ve also recently been reading a Medium channel called The Ringer, which has a lot of articles about basketball and the NBA. As a result, I can hold my own in a conversation with the jocks.

I find a good trick is just to shout out a few names, reference really good players, and stake a claim on your favorite team.

Typical conversation:

RUSSEL WESTBROOK MVP. YO THAT WAS A NASTY CHASEDOWN BLOCK BY LEBRON. RAPTORS ARE GOING TO WIN.

What can I say, I’ve learned a lot :)

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I also run the Project 5K Podcast and Blog at blog.project5k.ca , check it out for some life advice, entrepreneurial perspective, and engaging conversation! Because I don’t post everything on Medium, if you are interested in getting more of these posts directly to you inbox sign up here! http://eepurl.com/cKFgsz

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