Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

How I can achieve my life goals by going the extra mile

Habits of Going The Extra Mile by Napoleon Hill (For context)

Prompt: How can the strategy of going the extra mile help me attain my goals?

By next year, I want to gain more popularity. I want to meet and talk to people more often, as a way of helping me gain experience in social environments. I think that good talking skills are very useful and applicable in everyday situations in life, and something that I will be thankful for later on. I can take steps to do so by going to my siblings’ school 3 times a week to talk to kids my age there. Currently, I’m going there once a week at the most. By doing it more often, I can meet more people and practice my social skills more often. This increases my probability of success. Also by practicing basketball, which gets lots of attention from people my age. Skills at basketball display physical ability and control, which are typically respected traits. By getting attention from these abilities it will be easier to make more friends.

By the time I am 18 years old, I want to have a business generating $10,000 per month or more. This way I can gain independence, get my car, and potentially impress others. I can get started growing a business by learning about either Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or about starting a YouTube channel. Choosing one of those business options would help to achieve the goal of making over $10,000 a month. Working towards starting a business is going the extra mile since I am not expected to make money at my age, or to do much other than my schoolwork.

By the time I am 25 years old, I want to have moved out of my parents’ house and get married. This gives me further independence and a more complete life. By making a good amount of money from my business, and saving up for years, I will eventually have enough money to buy a house. And by meeting enough new people I could find a potential partner for marriage or even a co-founder for a sustainable business. I also want to double my business’s profit from $10,000 to $20,000. This allows me to make other investments if I recognize good investing opportunities. If I go the extra mile and put lots of effort into cutting down on expenses and finding ways to optimize processes, I can increase my revenue as well as profit margin.

Advertisement

Business I, Week 2 – How Harry Browne’s Approach to Selling Relies on The Principle of Service

American writer Harry Browne published a book called The Secret of Selling Anything in the late 1960’s teaching others how to be successful salesmen.  In 14 chapters, he explains in detail each step of his approach to selling a product and the logic behind the step.  The principle of service plays such a crucial role in his method, because without it, his strategy would be practically useless.  The principle of service consists of a consumer having needs, a seller providing a solution, and then making a happy exchange.  Harry Browne’s approach to selling relies on the principle of service because his steps consist of understanding a customer’s problems and providing a solution.

The first step Browne teaches is to identify the needs of your customer.  Doing this will help you understand what service is relevant.  Find out what the buyer wants to accomplish and help them accomplish it.  They are probably already motivated to, so it should be simple to get them talking about it, to gain information on which service is necessary.

Next, you need to confirm that you understand this buyer’s needs.  Agree with what they have told you and try to summarize it for yourself.  Verbally discuss ways to let him get what he wants, and answer any questions he asks, whether it will help you sell something or not.

Now that you know of his wants and needs, you may be able to solve his problems.  Think of something that you could sell to him.  If you have a product that fulfills the customer’s needs, then it will be easy to convince the person to buy it from you.

But to sell that product, you’ll also need to introduce it well.  Present it in a way that shows how it suits the customer’s desires.  Make it a simple process for him to buy it, by showing him the steps he must take to.  For example, a webpage with a clear list of instructions helps buyers understand how to buy a product.  And when selling any product, it is crucial to ensure that you don’t oversell it.  Never promise more than you can deliver.  The comparison of what the customer expected versus what they received will make them feel cheated, and unsatisfying your customers is never a good thing, since you need them to buy from you.

Finally, make sure to follow up after the sale.  Make sure that your customer is happy with the product, and not at all resentful.  The best sale is a sale that leads to another sale.  You want more sales; it benefits both of you.  Do your best to make sure you can keep your customers with you to keep buying from you.

That concludes Browne’s approach to selling a product and all the important content of his book.  In conclusion, Harry Browne’s selling strategy is reliant on the principle of service because he finds and understands a customer’s needs, solves their problems by presenting a solution, and he follows up to ensure the customer is happy.

Business I, Week 3 – Why Running My Own Business Will Guarantee My Own Employment in a Decade

                As many people are aware, machinery and artificial intelligence (AI) is improving rapidly over the years and taking jobs.  In the past, machines have taken jobs that were simple, easy, and tedious.  While they make processes simpler for bosses, workers are losing their jobs.  And as technology has been skyrocketing, machinery continues to replace more complex jobs.  This brings my point of how I won’t lose my job by starting a business.  AI and machines are becoming more and more capable and are taking most jobs, so I have to either become my own boss or get fired by someone else. While you can still go out of business, since you are your own boss, you have a lot more control over your situation.

                A huge part of estimating technological development is Moore’s law.  First theorized by Gordon Moore in 1965, Moore’s law predicts that roughly every 2 years, transistors (a component inside all computers and machines) will get twice as small.  Smaller transistors leave space for more transistors, which bumps up information processing speeds.  This is how technology is revolutionizing by the year.  Faster processing speeds give AI more capability, and as discussed, help them take more jobs.

                If we look back a couple of centuries, separating seeds from cotton fibers was a simple but tedious task that took many people cooperating to hasten.  But after Eli Whitney’s invention, one man simply needed to turn on a machine to get the job done.  Another example is how no one needed to write a copy of a book by hand anymore, ever since the invention of the printing press.  This situation has been repeated over centuries and will continue to repeat.  Whether this is a good or bad thing, it means millions of Americans have lost their jobs over the past few decades.  Today, people with simple jobs are being replaced by technology.

You will probably lose your job in the future to AI, but getting a job isn’t the only way to make money.  Another great option is starting a business.  Depending on how much work you put into growing it, you can make way more than any job could earn you.  If there has ever been a good time to start a business, it is definitely now.  AI won’t stop improving, and there aren’t many years left until there are only the most challenging jobs left.  If I run a business of my own, in about 10 years or so, I will have less of a threat of losing my source of income, while also making a decent amount of profit while learning how to be an entrepreneur.  Most of us don’t stand a chance competing with AI, since they can provide better service, work for free, and can work 24 hours a day without a break.

    In conclusion, AI is improving quickly and taking over most jobs. Employees are replaced by robots, but business owners can’t be. By owning a business, you will stay working, and stay earning.

English 9 Week 3 – Positive Effects of Jim Lehrer’s Heart Attack

    In A Bus Of My Own, the autobiography of American journalist Jim Lehrer, a crucial part of the story is when he had a heart attack. While having a heart attack is nearly never a good thing, Lehrer’s wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was more of a good thing than a bad thing. When he survived the incident, he changed for the better. Jim Lehrer’s heart attack was an overall benefit because he cut out unhealthy habits, took better care of his body, and taught others how to avoid heart attacks.

    For the past thirty years leading up to his heart attack, Lehrer described himself as a heavy smoker. He recognized this as a bad addiction and had been trying to cut it out for a while. However, while he was trying to break his addiction, he would just keep smoking in secret. This all changed when Lehrer had a heart attack. After seeing what smoking did to his health, he instantly cut it out. This was understandably a very difficult decision since it had been a very regular thing in his life for years. It was presumably the fear of the damage smoking can do and the danger of it that drove him to finally put an end to his habit.

    Like most Americans, Lehrer had a bad diet for most of his life. He mostly ate junk food and processed food every day. But when he had a heart attack, made him realize that he is not a healthy person, which pushed him to acknowledge his flaws and improve on them. While in the hospital, Lehrer wrote a list of what he needed to stop doing and took action on it. He cut out from smoking after decades, fixed his diet, and started going to the gym three times every week.

    Not only did Lehrer benefit himself from his heart attack, but so did others. When Lehrer recovered from his heart attack, he decided to make a short film about heart attacks. He covered a variety of topics such as what causes heart attacks and how to prevent falling victim to one. He mentions in the autobiography that a woman called him and told him a story about how his documentary helped her be prepared for one of her friends who had one, who would’ve had a heart attack unexpectedly otherwise.

    An important thing to learn here and to be inspired by is the fact that after the heart attack, Lehrer didn’t just sit back and pray that he wouldn’t go through it again. He recognized his problems and put as much effort as he could into fixing them, going as far as cutting out his addictions and habits. In conclusion, the time when Jim Lehrer had a heart attack helped him more than it hurt him. Since he survived the incident, he managed to cut out smoking completely, start eating healthier, start doing more physical exercise, and even made a documentary to educate others about heart attacks.

English 8, Week 10 – Out On The Pampas by G.A. Henty

Out on the Pampas by G.A. Henty, despite its lack of popularity, is a very entertaining book. The story is about a family called the Hardy’s living in England who decided to move to Argentina, hoping for better opportunities for their children. They go through several adventures together and even develop a farm in the country. In Out On The Pampas, gender roles are very traditional and are followed without question, differently than what we see in today’s media. This is due to the fact that the book was written in 1871 by an Imperialist before the concept of feminism was widely accepted.

All the characters in the Hardy family have clear, defined roles based on age and gender. First, the males are the leaders and protectors of the family. Mr. Hardy is a patriarch, the leader, and the protector of the family. He has the final say in these matters. For his sons, Charlie learns to shoot, hunt,  ride horses, and protect his family from Indians. Hubert is similar to his older brother, he’s very good with guns. The women are in charge of domestic responsibilities. Mrs. Hardy teaches her daughters skills like cooking, sewing, etc. Ethel acts as a literary device, the “damsel in distress”. This book was written in 1871 by G.A. Henty who did not even know what woke propaganda was. This is not Henty’s fault, because the entire world had not yet adapted to our modern standards of political correctness. Next, we’ll compare these characters with more recent media. 

In modern media, we see lots of untraditional gender roles. In the new show She-Hulk, the female protagonist is a strong, independent woman, unbound by any patriarch. She is very physically dominant and stronger than most men in the universe. She uses her strength to protect people, which is a traditionally male role. Meanwhile, the girls from Out On The Pampas were like housemaids, and weren’t depended on in any physical activity.  Contrarily, they were the ones that needed to be rescued as the younger daughter was kidnapped by Indians later in the story. Another example of role reversal is the movie Moana. 

The Disney film Moana is another film that has contradictory gender roles.  The female protagonist is an adventurer who shows much physical capability. She is the one who decides to go and explore, and is therefore the leader of her expedition.  This is unorthodox in contrast to the plot of our novel in which Mr. Hardy is the one who decides to move to Argentina and is the leader of their journey to start a farm life there. Previously, males were mostly shown to be the leaders while modern social norms dictate otherwise.

We see a lot of gender reversal in today’s media that wasn’t very popular before. A likely reason for this is as methods of communication developed through the 1800’s-1900’s, people gained more ability to spread opinions through telecommunication technologies. People complained when they were offended and others tried not to hurt their feelings to avoid being canceled or boycotted. Companies try to be inclusive in order to not lose potential buyers and customers who may be offended otherwise. Currently, women are working and many of them are making a lot of money. Companies want to make them happy, so they have to cater to their needs. Our society is so different now compared to when the book was written. Then, most of the people who read it were likely white males, so those characters are the heroes. Most of the times, literature standards are society’s standards.

Gender roles in the media have practically reversed compared to the previous century. As people’s thoughts and feelings became wider spread, they became a bigger matter and the media began to change accordingly to maintain all their audience. In Out On The Pampas the characters seem racist and sexist from a modern perspective, we should not judge a work of literature based on our current societal standards, and read it with the understanding that the world was very different back then.

English 8, Week 9 – 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas: Professor Aronnax vs. Captain Nemo

20,000 Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne is a fictional story about a French man named Pierre Aronnax who joined a hunt for a mysterious sea monster with his manservant and a harpoonist. They were rescued by Captain Nemo after falling overboard their hunting ship. Aronnax is an arrogant and self-serving character who tells the story biased towards himself; while Nemo is a mysterious character, motivated by vengeance towards the imperialists who killed his family.

    Pierre Aronnax presents himself as a dignified biologist who is the Assistant Professor at the Museum of Natural History in Paris.  He looks down on others, he is evidently egotistic and self-serving, and he reeks of envy and insecurity against captain Nemo. For instance, when he saw the submarine, he automatically assumes that it’s impossible because he himself couldn’t do it: “That a private individual had at his disposition a mechanical contrivance of this sort was improbable. When and where could he have had it built, and how could he have kept its construction secret?” Furthermore, Arronax is extremely self-serving. He wants to escape to take credit for his “original” studies: “We had not been made to break with humanity. For my part, I did not wish my intriguing and original studies to be buried with me.” Most readers would consider Arronax a protagonist and a generally good guy. However, with a deeper look, we can also see his dark side.

   Captain Nemo is an inventor, an engineer, and the captain of the Nautilus. “Nemo” is Latin for “nobody” which relates to Nemo’s reluctance to reveal his past. While Nemo is a confident man who is kind to his crew, he has completely divorced himself from humanity otherwise. He has done questionable things as a response to atrocities committed against him, his family, and his country.  Due to his pain he chooses not to discuss his origin, which drives Aronnax nuts:

Is Captain Nemo still alive? […] Will the waves one day wash up the manuscript containing the entire story of his life? Will I finally discover his name? Will the nationality of the vessel sunk tell us Captain Nemo’s own nationality? (2.23.5)Ar

Arronax and Nemo share some similarities.  They are both men of science who know lots about sea life.  Also, neither Nemo’s nor Aronnax’s pasts are clearly described in the book. Personality-wise, both men are somewhat arrogant in different ways.  Nemo follows his own rules feeling like he is above others’, while Aronnax is very egotistical and follows rules to better his image.

Nemo and Arronax are different in many fundamental ways. Nemo is a enigmatic figure throughout the story and knowing of some of the questionable acts he has done in the past leaves us wondering of what else he has done.  He also doesn’t care about rules of society, while Aronnax does and tries to be a good European. More specifically, Aronnax is very careful about how he portrays himself and his PR. He shows himself to be a good person, respecting others, building friendships, and fulfilling a task assigned by the government. 

    Professor Aronnax and Captain Nemo both have unclear backstories and are both determined men. However, Aronnax is portrayed as a kind and respectful man, while Nemo is portrayed as a senseless and evil person. Aronnax’s and Nemo’s contradictions add to the story, making it a more riveting book to read.

English 8, Lesson 41 – The Benefits of Cooperativity

    Cooperation is generally viewed as a great system that can be lots more beneficial than a single individual operating alone. While people have good reasons to perceive it as an effective system, like all things in life, it is not flawless. There are positive and negative effects that emerge from cooperative systems, which are important to consider.

    A very notable benefit to cooperation is its ability to hasten and simplify many processes. If two people each do one of two functions each to the best of their ability, they can complete the task much faster than a single person doing functions A and B both. This does not only quicken the processes but often it can also simplify the process. More tasks for one person to complete results in a more complicated process. Depending on what sort of situation, that individual may have to move from station A to station B to do function A and function B, while with teamwork, especially with many people, there will be less shifting and less work required per person to complete a task.

    Due to the way that cooperation can hasten and simplify even grueling tasks, it can open up more possibilities that are not available with a single operator. For example, the task of building a pencil, (the pencil model used at schools), requires not only two or three people but an entire economy to complete. One group needs to gather wood, another needs to gather yellow paint, and another group must gather aluminum, and so on until the actual construction of the tool can even begin. With one individual, this task would not only be nearing impossible to complete, but the work required to craft the tool would heavily outweigh the benefits of having a pencil, meaning individual would even attempt such a daunting task.

    While working in groups rather than solo has several benefits, it is important to remember that nothing in life is flawless. Cooperation is a great system that is applied everywhere you look in modern society, and even in ancient societies. People understand that two is greater than one, and teamwork makes dreamwork, there is one factor that is often overlooked. Working in a group rather than alone causes dependence on your co-workers. This is not a big deal when working as an employee for a big company, for example. But imagine you have worked on all your school assignments with your friend. While you can get your assignments with more easily than by yourself, you are slowly building a huge reliance on that friend. But if they became sick (for example) and could not make it to school or meet with you to complete an assignment, it is very likely that you would be unable to complete it yourself, and even if you manage to, it will not be nearly as good as with that friend that you rely on.

    Cooperation is more efficient than working alone in every way that one could think of. While it truly is a great system, everything has its pros and cons, including this. In conclusion, it is true that working in numbers is more efficient and easier than working alone, but it causes interdependence between the members of the operation which can be harmful if they are ever separated.

English 8, Lesson 39 – Are We Afraid of Not Being Independent?

    Especially in today’s society, independence is becoming a huge topic. While total dependence is never a good thing and a sign of immaturity, total independence is neither achievable nor desirable. As Bernard Shaw is credited for saying: “Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.” As Shaw states in his quote, all human beings are truly interdependent, which is a concept that most people have never thought about.

    The main reason that a person would feel afraid to admit to being dependent on another person is hurts their ego. This does not necessarily imply that only egotistical people do not want to admit to dependence, because most people are like this as well. Human beings, especially when maturing, begin to feel independent from others and are usually proud of themselves for it. But when they end up needing help with something, it hurts their feeling of independence and can make them feel bad about themselves or even upset.

    Another reason is that some people care much about how they look in front of others and would not want to be dependent. This especially applies to maturing children who typically do not enjoy needing their parents to do things for them, but it still applies to adults too and everyone else. Especially because of the fact that depending on others can make a person seem immature, people tend to want to show others that they have control over themselves and do not need anyone to help them.

    While some people could be considered independent, such as a wealthy adult, no human being is truly independent. The closest one could get to independence is simply not depending on their parents, because in society, everyone depends on each other for different services and resources. For example, to make a pencil, you need someone to cut trees, someone to mine led, someone to gather paint, and someone to obtain rubber for the eraser. Even a wealthy and powerful businessman needs his fellow members of society to buy his products for him to even make money in the first place. Whether people realize it or not, no one is truly independent since we all rely on different members of society for different services and resources.

    Even though all humans want to feel independent, true independence is neither achievable nor desirable due to the amount of work required to sustain the lives that we live today. Admitting to dependence can sometimes be hurtful to the self esteem or social image of an individual because it wakes them from their imagination in which they are independent. In conclusion, while complete dependence on someone is immature and an undesirable personality, complete independence is impossible to attain. Human beings are all interdependent, and they always will be.

English 8, Lesson 38 – Why Some Don’t Accept Advice

Topic: Is it true that when we most need advice, we are least willing to listen to it? Or is good advice always welcome?

 

While advice can often be helpful for those in need of guidance or help, sometimes even good advice is not accepted by others. This could be for egotistical reasons or others and can be a problem for many people who would be better off accepting advice but refuse to. Even at times when people really need helpful advice, they often do not accept it.

The reason for said stubbornness has an assortment of reasons. To help understand why someone would not accept advice that would help them, it is best to take their place and think of the matters from their perspective. There are plenty of situations where someone thinks they are or really are doing just fine at whatever the situation is. This person will probably be proud and think that they are handling their situation well. Whether they are stubborn or not, when another person comes along and offers some advice to improve, they will not want to follow this and even get upset about it. Someone else giving them advice can make the person feel that the advisor sees room for improvement in their being, while this person sees themself too good for improvement. A decent level of success can greatly higher the ego of an individual and make them feel infallible, while a tip for improvement implies weakness in their perfection and is taken like an insult. This effect often plays out when people are playing games or sports, where people tend to start feeling good about themselves quite easily.

Another reason someone would not accept advice is if they do not trust the person or trust that they know what they are talking about. This point is pretty simple to understand and does not need much of a detailed explanation, but a practical example helps further prove an already understandable point. In a game of poker, each player must think carefully about the situation and take calculated risks. Experienced players with good strategies tend to win more, while the opposite goes for those who play badly. If you are doing fine, not great but not bad, and someone who has lost thousands of dollars tries to explain their strategies to you, one probably would not follow that person’s advice. Only people who have records of past success will have their advice be accepted widely, and it is logical not to trust advice from the wrong people.

While the first example gave a negative depiction about people who do not accept advice, the second explains a situation where it is logical and acceptable not to accept certain advice. While there are probably several more situations where it could be reasonable not to listen, most of the time it is wisest to listen to what people have to say, because they see you from a perspective that you cannot see yourself from, where your flaws stand out and where others can realize solutions to advise to you.

History 8, Week 19 – The Spanish-American War

Writing Assignment: Write a two to three page paper on one of this week’s main history topics:
Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft, The Spanish-American War (include the political outcomes), The Titanic and American Entertainment.

 

    The Spanish-American War was a significant event in American history that resulted in America overthrowing the Spanish rule of several countries in the Caribbean. Due to the victory of the United States, Spain had to relinquish its claims in Cuba and ceded their sovereignty over Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the U.S.

    The Cuban War for Independence from Spain begun in 1895. This was the third and final war between Cuba and Spain, but then the United States of America interfered. They decided to take Cuba’s side in the war under President William McKinley who claimed they were doing so for “humanitarian reasons”. While Spain treated the Cubans horribly, even torturing them, this was an obvious smear campaign from American journalists attacking the Spanish. Plenty of American civilians went to Cuba around that time, so the government sent the USS Maine to protect them instead of forcing them to return to America. The USS Maine arrived in the harbor of Havana, Cuba on January 25th, 1898, but about three weeks later the ship was mysteriously sunken. The US government immediately pointed fingers at the Spanish government and used this as an opportunity to declare war against Spain.

    While the US was hungry for war, the Spanish had been in a precarious political situation for a few months and did not want to engage in another war. Unfortunately for them, most of their colonies in the Caribbean and Central America had either already gained their independence or requesting reforms, so they could not afford losing another territory and had to go to war. The US Navy was much more powerful than the Spanish Navy, and a US fleet was able to destroy a Spanish fleet quickly and easily in the Pacific Ocean during their first battle.

    The US Navy then went to Manila Bay, Philippines and defeated the Spanish in that area. However, rather than giving the Philippines their independence, the US held its revolutionaries at bay and gained control of the islands which led to the Philippine-American War a few years later. Then they captured Guam without a single shot fired. The Spanish garrison in Guam was captured and they left no Americans on the island. All this had happened while Cuba just wanted their independence, and not to be colonized by America. Unfortunately, they were under the control of the US until yellow fever broke out, forcing the American troops back to their country, finally freeing Cuba.

    Over the course of the Spanish-American War, Spain had lost several colonies, as well as their entire navy. They had no interest in continuing the fight, so the Treaty of Paris was offered in 1898 as a compromise. Just ten weeks later, the treaty was accepted, and the Spanish-American War had officially ended. Cuba went on to organize their independence in 1902, and the US controlled none of their territory other than Guantanamo Bay.

    The Spanish-American War lasted only around three months, but lots of change occurred in this small window. Several of Spain’s colonies had been repossessed by the United States or even set free. In conclusion, the Spanish-American War was a very important historical event because of all the changes of the colonies in the Caribbean and the political changes in Spain and the US.