Looking in the Mirror Every Morning

Most of the time when I wake up, there is a mirror in the bathroom (not always….haha) Do we all look at ourselves there and reflect? Think about what we are doing with our lives, what we are living for, what is our goal. Had to read over Steve Job’s speech about morning mirror reflections, he is an amazing person.

Thinking of that today, I think so many of us, myself included, have been raised to think that money and material things are what measures our success and our life. Getting a good job, buying a big house, filling that house with nice things that we can show to our friends and neighbors to prove we made something with our lives.

Is that what life is all about? Thinking of the last words or memories as we die, and as I grow older, I meet more and more people from various cultures and financial backgrounds. I have seen the happiest “poor” people and the most miserable rich people. We have to keep reminding ourselves not to correlate money and happiness. I think my time in the Philippines really helped me there, the majority of people are financially poor, but for the most part they are happy people living life to the fullest. Made me look back to some time living in America and hearing people complain and not be happy when they have such a beautiful house in a safe and clean neighborhood. It’s all about perspective.

Sure, maybe people will say I am blogging this to make myself feel better because I am not financially well off. But power is not having money, power is the ability not to be influenced by money. To be able to walk away from money. The ability to do what we want to do in life without money as a factor. Sure, and therefore having money in the bank account makes us feel that we have more freedom in our life, but if that money in the bank stays there only because we are not happy doing what it takes to maintain that money in the bank, then I do not see that as wealth.

I am going to die one day, that day may be tomorrow, that day may be in 20 years, 50 years, 80 years (medical technology keeps expanding life right). You will die one day too. We will all die. I know I want to die knowing I lived a “Rich” life of experiences and challenging the way people think.

Maybe I am thinking this way today because I heard my friend’s friend is on his deathbed today….got a text from Gary about it a couple hours ago. And I am surrounded by newborn babies as well, Marie is due to have a baby soon, I chatted to Maritess, the mother of my goddaughter Charlotte V, surrounded by kids in almost all angles of my life these days. So seeing new born life and death so close, maybe its just because I am networking with so many people that the odds are I am going to be seeing more and more deaths and new lives….just makes me think how amazing life really is.

I always try to think that when we die, our soul and our life is lived on by the memories in our friends. I think back to my friend Bob’s death so many years ago, and I still treasure the thoughts and memories in my mind. Even if its not death, when I leave a city and a group of friends that I know I will not see again for a long time….I try to remember that my memories will live on, and that a new chapter in the book of life is coming.

So I hope to keep looking in the mirror every morning and know I am on track to challenge the normal day to day living. I know I may have not always made the best decisions in business and in life, but I also know I am going to move confidently forward to let the story continue.

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Comments 9

  1. hey mike, nice post nice reflection on life. i too have such conversations with myself, wondering what am i doing is it right. and in your blog I have an issue with the way you explain something. the second paragraph of this entry “Thinking of that today, I think so many of us, myself included, have been raised to think that money and material things are what measures our success and our life. Getting a good job, buying a big house, filling that house with nice things that we can show to our friends and neighbors to prove we made something with our lives.” I like that you said many of us and not generalized everyone that owns a house or car. I do not own but hope to own a home one day. And I think its a very valid dream to have. I am not doing it to have a status symbol. I want to have a good safe place to raise my family. Quality of life and the time spent with the ones you love is how I measure success. So some people may have big houses and nice cars, but maybe that’s not because they want to SHOW OFF. maybe they want to have a safe place for their family to live. and a nice car that keeps them safe if they were to get in an accident. Maybe this blog comment is written to make myself feel better – to validate what I am doing. but then I sound like you right. so success to me is measured in happiness in how one spends their free time (not work) and if you enjoy work – more power to you. you seem happy doing what you are doing so in my eyes you are successful. love ya man – ciao

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      thanks for your great comments Piotr,, I do appreciate them and glad you can give me the other side of the coin.

      Yes, taking care of your family and bringing up good children is also really important to me, but can that be done in a small apartment or in a less safe environment? In a way, I think by being a kid growing up in a more “raw” or exposed area, a kid grows up more aware of the real world, rather then being part of the Brady bunch.

      I dont know your upbringing too too much, I think I grew up in a middle class life, but was exposed to a lot of “dangers” in life, and by being exposed to them I grew up stonger, more appreciative of the “meaning of life”

      Then I see people in China and Philippines growing up with not much at all, and they are so happy and appreciative to have much less than “we” do.

      Anyway, we all want a “good life” and that is what we all work hard for…..but at the same time “what next”.

      1. Hey Mike, I agree. Growing up in a tough environment can definitely toughen up a kid and prepare them for the real world at a younger age. Then again if they get involved in the wrong crowd, they can become one of that crowd too – then that backfires. Its like that movie Gran Torino – have you seen it. Its tough to try and be a good kid in a tough neighborhood. but if you make it, you are stronger for it. You survived the mean streets of hartford when you were young, but then MIA was hardly a “raw” experience. Yet you made it out of there into one of the best colleges that anyone out of MIA went to so you did well. Your parents I guess figured they wanted to take you out of that City of Hartford public school system. I was opposite i did the private catholic school until high school. I laughed when I read your brady bunch comment. Really funny and I know what you mean. Life isn’t perfect, the astro turf isnt always green – we shouldn’t pretend it is cause the real world is different – its real. Good points mike

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          well, i hate to kinda say it, but the kid who is “converted to the darkside” in a tough neighborhood,,,,,,what happens to a copy/paste of that kid in a rich suburb school? a nice schoolbuy who will never do anything bad in his life. i think not

          life is so comolex, none of us can control how r children grow up, i guess as a parent we can give them the best environment we can provide, but it comes down to genuine love for our children that gives them true freedom to be who they are destined to be

  2. Great post Mike. As someone who “owns” (China has land-lease) an apartment in Shenzhen, I think the feeling of knowing that no one (landlord) can decide on a whim that you and your family must move, or that your rent is going to go up and you have no control, etc. Therefore I think a lot of people equate owning a house with “wealth” because they feel more in control of their destiny.

    Having said that, I think the culture in many places where you should have this absolutely massive house can really get out of control, and frankly the opposite can happen – you feel trapped by your house, are a slave to your mortgage, and are literally “stuck” and become unhappy.

    As someone who wants a bigger place (7 people living in 96 sq. meters!), I definitely want to be conscious of what I really need vs. what is “cool to have” and hopefully will make a wise choice. We all have a vain side to us, some more than others, but I think a sign of a well adjusted adult human being is knowing what you need vs. what you want.

    Sometimes it’s even ok to get something you just “want” (think iphone, expensive gadgets) but some people I feel don’t even see it as a want and think it’s a “need”. This is like a mental illness in a way.

    Anyways, enough rambling, bottom line, everything in moderation!


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      thanks to u and piotr for the familyman perspective….im still a selfish bachelor….

      but like i say above in my comment reply to piotr, i think genuine love and attention is the core

  3. I really appreciate what you write here. Your article makes a great sense. It is truth that a lot of peopel forget why they start when they begin to chase the so-called great thing like money, fame, sex. Only when everything comes to an end, will people understand what they forget to seize in their whole life. I once read a sentence which impressed me very much. It goes like this: everyone is crying to the world whileas people around him are smiling. we should live our life so that one day when we pass away, we could be the only one who are smiling whileas people around us are crying.

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      thanks for your feedback yes……..life is too short and i will make sure i am smiling on my deathbed……..
      thinking with the end in mind is the way to be….and death is the end as we know it

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