I want to preface this post with the information that I read a book called the 7 habits of Highly Effective People. The general themes are how to listen effectively, how to schedule your time, how people create synergy, and how to live with a value system and principals. There are so many other points but the general idea is improving as a human being. I finished the book on Friday but the principals were fresh on my mind while I was going through these past 4 days. To say that this was a life changing book is accurate. I felt that I was applying things I learned from the book and getting results from people that I have never done before in the past. This was a serious effort that has me unbelievably optimistic about my future. My ability to communicate effectively with people is going to be the most important skill I can take with me for life. Having people open up to you and you being able to do the same is what enriches life. All that being said, here are some interesting things I came across on my trip. These will range from randomness to more important encounters.

1. The Southwest Airlines number system sucks. Basically there is no assigned seating and you get a number that allows you to pick any seat you want. What happens is that the people who get on first choose the aisle seat or the window seat. This leaves the middle seat which just makes for awkwardness and would be completely avoided if they just gave you a damn seat.

2. The Rock is my boy. I don’t usually bring my personal relationships to the blog but we really get along. No topics are off limits and we can crack up on everything from taking dumps to life’s bigger problems. It’s nice to have a friend who is cool with you being you. The level of trust is there and communication just works. I think we’ve always had a good friendship but added a level this weekend and I think that comes from some of the book’s ideas.

3. The synergy at the horse track that allowed me to win a few hundred bucks was real. I didn’t get lucky by accident. If this particular example wasn’t a clear message of how people can feed off of other people, then maybe I am just a lucky moron. If the Rock and I went to the track by ourselves, I wouldn’t have had the same result. Being around someone who taught me the ins and outs of the track was the reason for the success. This other guy was a really nice guy who was our age and we just worked well together. Meeting him for the very first time and after an hour or two together we were like best friends. I could totally call this guy every weekend to hit the track if I wanted to because we just hit it off. I know this seems totally gay but I promise you that most people can’t go to a horse track and win money like I did. Yes it’s luck but for this particular day, there was more working than that.

4. One more encounter I had this weekend was with a person who we do business with. We talked about so many good topics and I think the both of us left the conversation with strong impressions of one another. Age difference and any other road blocks aside, the learning that took place from my end about him and his life was invaluable and I hope he could see my degree of seriousness in trying to be successful. The understanding that two sides of agreements have to be mutually beneficial for ideas to really work out is paramount. It seems so obvious but most people are selfish and only look at things from their point of view.

It is weird for me to explain why I have been unable to deal with life in such positive experiences up to this point but I really think I’ve broken through. I also don’t think that you’ll notice anything significantly different in me in real life but something under the surface has changed. I’ve also written down about 20 different thoughts that I’ll share in the near term which can give a better understanding of the principals I’ve found work for myself. Everyone is unique and feelings differ depending on who you are but as is the case with this blog, you can learn about me.