This Movie Is Well Worth Watching

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1 minute

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“A winter weekend: snowboarding and staying warm by the fire with a movie on.” -Maxwell Fayans

My go to movies are not war movies, but I decided to give Hacksaw Ridge a go. I was shocked by how great this movie was. It really hit home. After watching I felt grateful for all that I have. That battle scene was gruesome (but awesome) and in a matter of seconds many lives were taken, just like that. War movies can put your life in perspective. I remember listening to a podcast with Chris Sacca where he spoke about being grateful that you have a bed to sleep in each night. There are many people that don’t have this luxury. This past summer I saved someone drowning and it really allows you to see things in a different way. This movie illustrated that acts of bravery can come in unexpected ways. Don’t always count someone out because they are different. I highly recommend watching this movie.

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The Magic of Creativity

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 1-2  minutes

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“It’s you + creativity + fear.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

What I appreciated most from Big Magic was the part on fear. I feel that everybody can make great things. However, at times fear tries to hold you back. This is what gets in the way. You may be afraid as to what other people think of you.

I think this book opened my eyes a little bit and allowed me to say: You know what, I am just going to go for it and put fear aside. I acknowledge that fear is there but you need to have the courage to get past that level of fear and move forward in creating great art. You have to be willing to let your passions and ideas come forth and make a move on them instead of rejecting them.

I want to continue writing as it is something that excites me. I want to work on that art every day. This is what makes me happy and that is what is most important. We are brought up in school with the emphasis that if you work hard you’ll be happy. But what if you don’t like what you are working hard on. I think it’s important to find your creativity and work on that everyday which will create happiness along the way.

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Talking Happiness During Holiday Season

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3  minutes

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“Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it’s the realization that we can.” -Shawn Anchor

I had The Happiness Advantage on audio sitting in the passenger seat of my car and for some reason I couldn’t get myself to listen to it. I finally decided to give it a try, as it was the only audio book left in my car that I did not read. I was hoping it was not one of those happy mumbo jumbo books, yet I was surprised from the get go and I was hooked. I could relate to the author and his experiences at Harvard. This might be my favorite happiness/positive thinking books/

This book even sparked a convo with one of my good friends Harjot Hans that I wanted to share below:

Me: I did some reading early this am and the way our society pushes us: They make us think that if we work extremely hard and sacrifice things, we will then be happy once we get that raise, promotion etc. However, the opposite is true. Success succeeds happiness. With a positive mindset and happiness along the way, this will help you to succeed at your job and make you successful.

Him: So instead of thinking get this job, then that degree, and the other job that makes 100k to get the car to be happy. You should be thinking this is great, I’m doing the right things and it’s such a blessing to be in this position?

Me: Be grateful right now for what you got. That you have the privilege to work at a biotech company. Be optimistic. When you live a life of positivity that will lead you to success.

Me: It’s when you sacrifice health and happiness by working so much that you are depressed or hate life with the end goal of getting that promotion or car. In the end you will not be happy as this negative lifestyle will consume you.

Him: Will keep that in mind

Him: It’s too easy to get consumed and fall off the wheel maynn

Me: Ik that’s why you need to be aware of these things and not let emotions get to you.

How have you brought positivity into your life?

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How to Become One of the All Time Greats: 5 Keys

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

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“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”- Barack Obama

Over the past few days I listened to the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. I heard about this book after reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. He continually referred to it so I said to myself: let me give this a shot. It was on my “To Read” list, but I never got around to getting it.

This book had some great takeaways and I wanted to share those with you.

  1. To be a great leader, your decisions and actions need to be about the company and not yourself
    • The leader does not let his ego get in the way of making decisions.
    • The leader is not concerned about fame or his salary.
    • When the company succeeds: the leader says it is because of the entire company, each and every employee. The leader believes they are lucky to be at such an amazing place.
    • When the company makes a poor decision: the leader takes full responsibility.
    • The leader will put the company first and do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.

 

  1. Who before what
    • It is about hiring the right people
    • One needs disciplined people who you can trust will do an amazing job and will continue to “break new ceilings”
    • Wait until you find the right person, as it will help your team to succeed rather than spend the time training someone who might have had some red flags

 

  1. Managers should manage the system not the people
    • When you have the right people from the get go, a manager should manage the system to help make the team more productive and effective

 

  1. The goal/vision for your team should be simple
    • Ask yourself: What can we be the best at?
    • Continually ask yourself: Is the decision I am making getting our team closer to the goal?
    • Stay focused, present and don’t let the sunk cost fallacy get in your way

 

  1. A culture of your own
    • Bring in the right people that are aligned with your culture and values
    • Make your workplace lively and fun. A place where you are excited to come in each and every day.
    • Work should not just be work. It should be a place full of friends that are there for you, with that same passion and fire under their feet.

 

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Live Worry Free: Tips from the great Dale Carnegie

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes

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Remind yourself that the only things you can control are your thoughts and actions. Everything else is uncontrollable. -Ryan Holiday, Daily Stoic

I recently just listened to How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie in my car. I did skim through it (parts of it made me sleepy on my commute) but I walked away with some great reinforcing ideas on how to live a worry free life. Worry can lead to sickness and poor health. Here are some ways to prevent that.

The most important takeaways I found are:

-Ask yourself: What is the worst possible outcome? How does it make me feel?

  • This is something that I use when making decisions that are stressful or risky. It tends to calm me down and make it easier to move forward rather than thinking about all the different outcomes.

-Live day by day. I know that sometimes you need to look at the big picture but by living each day to the fullest and not thinking about the future or past can help you to live a happier life.

-When discussing a business problem  answer these questions in writing: What was the cause of the problem? How could we solve this problem? What do you recommend?

-Be grateful and appreciative of what you have. There are many people out there in worse situations than you.

-Practice happiness. Smile more. Meditate daily. Get busy doing the things you love. Be optimistic and don’t let your negative emotions get to you.

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Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes

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Minutes Before Making A Sudden Save in Long Beach, NY

Yesterday my father and I attempted to save two drowning individuals in Long Beach, NY. We were walking down the boardwalk onto the beach and all of a sudden an individual ran up to us screaming that two guys needed help in the water. We immediately started running to the shore, jumped on our surfboards and paddled out to them past the jetty. There was a strong rip current due to a tropical storm and no lifeguards were on duty at the time. We were able to save one individual and I send my condolences to the family of the other individual. This really shocked me and I couldn’t believe what just happened. I want to warn every one of the major rip currents out there from the storm surges. It is a reminder that anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

The life lesson I learned was to be grateful for all that you have. You really do not know how much time you have left. I try to remind myself each morning what I am grateful for and to live my life to the fullest. Time is the only thing we don’t get back. It is easy to get caught up in focusing on things such as your income or what type of job you have. However, you have to remember to do the stuff that you love because you never know what may happen next.

Philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, stated, “It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.”

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How Saying No Can Change Your Perspective

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time: 2-4 minutes

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Hiked to the summit of Buck Mountain (Lake George, NY)

“Well I’m turning my sights on the country; I sold everything that I own; Heading away from the bright lights; Looking for where the wind blows.” Wishbone Ash- Ballad of the Beacon Lyrics

Derek Sivers stated that if your answer is not hell yeah, then your answer should be no. I agree with this because you cannot please everyone. The person you should most please is yourself. It is important not to be so hard on yourself when you do say no. There are times when you need to stop and ask yourself, is this getting me closer to my goal? Are my priorities clear so I can move forward with the things that matter to me dearly? James Altucher stated, it is important to focus on saying no to the little things and saying yes to the big things.

Be in control of your day and remember that your schedule is most important. You will get emails from people asking you to do this or that. Majority of these are interruptions. By checking emails frequently and saying yes to each one, you realize that you are on their schedule, not your own. It takes away from your own creative time. You can get so caught up in other people’s tasks that you forget about your own goals and what makes you happy.

I was introduced to power of saying no when reading The 4-Hour Workweek. I started by only checking personal email after 12pm. The benefit of this, is that it allows you to focus on your personal goals and to do lists. This is when I am personally most productive.
I try to stay away from social media in the morning as well. I would recommend using the chrome extension, StayFocusd. This limits your time on select websites. I limit myself to 10 minutes a day on Facebook. I couldn’t believe how often I would click on Facebook without even realizing it. It was almost as if every time I turned on my laptop, I would have to check my news feed before I can move on. Most of my time on Facebook I was looking at what other people were doing and it made me jealous. By limiting social media, you can focus on yourself and your goals. I find that I have so much more time from this one fix and I am much happier.

Logging out from social media and technology every once in a while feels good. When my iPhone 5 was on its last leg, I realized I spent more time on my self because I was not answering all the texts, calls, notifications from everyone looking to ask me something. Eventually I had to get a new phone but it felt good for a change to be out of the loop. Let me know your experiences with saying no.

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What Can Your Ego Do For You?

Written By: Maxwell Fayans

Estimated Read Time:3-5 minutes

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“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey

Yesterday, I listened to a chapter from Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday and I must say that this chapter really hit home. I find that sometimes I get lost in competition and continually try to “Keep Up With the Joneses.” Before you know it years fly by. As Peter Thiel stated, “Before getting swept up in the competitions that define so much of life, ask yourself whether you even want the prize on offer.” I learned a lot from this one chapter titled, What Is Important to You? and wanted to share this.

Ego undermines greatness and can destroy us. However to know what you want in life is wisdom. We often lose site of our priorities in the rat race. It is this form of status anxiety, and envy that can become threatening. We fear that we are always missing out. We tell ourselves I would be happy if I had what the person next to me has. This could be a sports car, yacht or mansion. According to Alain de Botton, we tend to latch ourselves onto suggestions from others. The more accomplished you are, the more successful people you will be around. This might make you feel small because you are comparing yourself to them. We are not in a race to keep up with others because in their eyes success and happiness can be a whole lot different than yours. Put aside the competition and set the terms of your own life. Slow down and have a clear mind of the space you are in right now. Having the sense of your own path is key to a life of happiness. It is about being yourself and going where you set out to go. Make decisions for yourself, not anyone else. If you find yourself in competition and second guessing be sure to always come back to what is truly important to you.

By knowing what matters to you, you can start to say no to the many things people put on your plate. You will start to gain a quiet confidence in yourself. It takes courage to stop and stay focused on your purpose. But once you find what you are after, you may begin to feel true independence. Your ultimate responsibility is yourself. I am excited to hear your thoughts on this.

 

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