📈 How do you measure your life?

📈 How do you measure your life?

Hey, y’all! Welcome to week 2 of the newsletter. This one is longer than the last. Turns out once you start writing you really can't stop! I have a lot of cool stuff I’ve recently started playing with as well as new perspectives. I’ve recently been focused on goals this week and talking with friends about their motivations and more so about money.

✍️ Quote of the week:

“Money doesn’t account for anything real in life. It gives you a fancy car, a big house, a nice vacation but those will never compare to the love, friendship, and compassion we give to one another. So my advice for money is to be smart enough to make enough of it, but never stupid enough to think it’s all that matters.”

🎶 Song of the week:

Horses are Faster - Ian Munsick

📖 What I’m reading:

Superfans by Pat Flynn - This book has a lot of content that feels like an extension of 1,000 true fans. I’ll be excited to share what I learn from this book as I grow this newsletter and maybe other platforms I continue to explore.

👓 Top 4 learnings:

🎯 Be specific about your goals and decisions - If your goal is to “make more money” or “lose weight” or even say to yourself “try harder” then you’re going to be extremely disappointed in life. Having goals that are vague and ambiguous will always have you reaching for a target that’s constantly moving and in return leaves you exhausted and burnt out. I have a goal this year to “drop 10% of body fat” that I then break into smaller monthly goals: “drop 1% each month”. If I lose more or less then I can adjust my workouts/diet accordingly. But I never say to myself “try as hard as you can” because that type of vague and blank response will leave me exhausted at the end of the day. I’m not saying you shouldn’t tell yourself to try harder but to be more calculated in how you respond to your goals and decisions.

✍️ Writing better - I recently read Everybody Writes and I have to be honest and say that it was tough to read through, not because the content was poor but because there’s a lot of information that is already common knowledge if you spent some time around click bait articles. It’s a good read if you’re new to writing and want to gain a bigger audience with your blog or newsletter. My key takeaways from this book are 1. Learn to provide the most important sentence first. 2. Get to the point. Short and sweet. 3. Know your reader. Their language, their hopes, and their dreams. Then speak to them in that fashion 4. My favorite quote from this book is “Write drunk, edit sober” because your drafts should be your uncensored raw ideas; both good and bad, then work to get your writing to something you and your audience will enjoy.

🧑‍🍳 The most successful chef in the world - Who do you think is the most successful chef in the world? Do you think it’s the richest chef; Alan Wong, with a net worth of $1.1 billion, Alain Ducasse with the most Michelin stars in the world: 17 total, or Remy, the rat from Ratatouille. For me personally, it’s none of them. To me, the most successful chef in the world has to be Thomas Keller: 7 total Michelin stars; more than any other U.S. chef, self-taught with no formal training, and most importantly the people that have worked with him have gone on to great success. Just look at Grant Achatz of Alinea: 4 Michelin stars. Corey Lee: 3 Michelin stars. Rene Redzepi: 4 Michelin stars.

This had me reflect on an old way I use to think when I first started my career 15 years ago. See an old philosophy I use to have was “life is a game and money is how we keep score” which is an extremely toxic mentality to have because life is much more than that. To me the deep connections you make with people and the impact you make on their lives outweigh anything financial or from a self-fulfilling reward.

At the end of my life, I want to know that I’ve loved so much and that I’ve been so loved.

🤝 Never say “We should hang out sometime” - As a person that fears rejection and battles being indecisive, I tend to leave all my statements and requests open-ended. One of the sayings that have limited me from hanging out with friends is saying “We should hang out sometime” because it puts all the decision-making off of me and onto them, and while that's sometimes ok, it should never be the norm. When you say it often, you’re basically saying "I don't know how to make decisions but I like you, can you take all the responsibility and choose the place, the time, the situation”. I think it's because we may worry if the decision, time, or place might not be good enough. Putting all the responsibilities off of yourself and onto others may put you at ease from the decision but it leaves others emotionally exhausted. So I say to you; take the risk, choose the place, choose the time, and be ok when the answer is no.

🤑 Crypto:

Rate hikes & snake bites. It’s all everyone is talking about. But what if I told you that rate hikes are good. Did you know that the feds raised rates in 2016-17-18 and 19? And that was all before the pandemic started. Bitcoin did fine in that time, as well as other cryptos. In fact, you can argue that Bitcoin was also a much more volatile market back then too. I’m not doing much in crypto right now because I’m first going to see if Powell will do what he says he’ll do. Listening to the feds talk about these rate hikes thing has been cringe so far. It’s been a game of who can kick the can furthest down the road. Once they announce what they’re actually going to do is when I’ll be making moves.

🎲 2 things I’ve been enjoying this week:

Peak Design Mobile Tripod - As I looked through my photos I noticed a big issue. All my photos are of my daughter/wife, me/daughter, or me/wife. We don’t have any photos of all 3 of us. Something that I would like to fix. In the spur of these moments, I don’t think to capture a photo of all of us. Mostly because it’s always a hassle to find someone to take a picture or to position my phone in a way that captures all of us. So having a tripod that's always attached to my phone is something I hope fixes that. It works with Apple's MagSafe so I can use it with or without a case. It also has a ball head so I can pivot it any way I like.

Fujifilm X100V - Out of all my cameras, the X100V has to be my favorite. Canon and Sony have moved on to be very utilitarian in their approach to photography/videography. Disclaimer: I’m not here to debate which camera brand is better. Just my own personal take on what I love using.

To me, the color science, small frame, and film simulations make this camera somewhat of a toy for me and bring back that feeling of joy in photography I use to get when I first started the hobby. Canon, Sony, and Nikon all have their place in professional photography. They're all very good at photo/video/post-processing. If you are in the market for a new camera that does 4:2:2 video, takes high-res stills, and has a large array of lenses then stay away from this camera. If you want a camera that’s fun, playful, and easy to pack on a quick night out then I highly recommend the X100V.

👴 Dad thoughts

I try not to take things too seriously. The house gets messy, the kids aren’t hungry, they aren’t ready to leave the park yet. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I was trying to find the perfect toy to play with, or when I didn’t feel like eating Menudo, or when I wasn’t tired and wanted to play more at the park. My goal as a kid was to try and make every experience perfect. But the more perfection I applied, the more exhaustive it was for my parents. As a kid, I never understood this and I don’t expect my kid to understand this either. Although, one thing I have found success in is saying “only 5 more minutes and we’re leaving” rather than “alright let’s go.” Because it gives her the ability to wind down and set the expectation rather than abruptly leave.

As always, have a great weekend!

📬 PS: Again, please do reply to frankaguilar@me.com if you have anything to add / any questions. I quite enjoy replying to comments/emails as a source of procrastination from revision.

📬 PPS: Also, please send a message to frankaguilar@me.com and let me know what you thought of this email if you have a spare few seconds. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what was useful about it and what could be changed. Thanks <3