Motivation: Inspire Yourself

Inspiration is a hard thing to find. But one of the most important things in life is finding what inspires you. Ironic, right? The thing we need the most is more elusive than the Road Runner to Wile E. coyote. That is why you need to take some time to sit down and figure out what is important to you in your life. Now this will change as time goes on and you accomplish things, so you may want to do it periodically. But it is vital you find out what you want from life and how you are going to achieve that.

Once you find out what is important to you, pursue it. And you need to keep yourself encouraged however you can. For me, I am very visual, I like to see things being accomplished. For me keeping motivate to purse my education meant hanging my diplomas on my wall in my office so that everyday I walked in and flipped on the lights, I could see that I have made progress. This keep me motivated to keep going. “Another few classes, that is it. You’ve made it this far” Is something I would tell myself everyday.

If saving money for a house is important to you, figure out a way to keep yourself motivated for it. Spend some time looking at things for the house, don’t buy anything, just get excited about it. So when you are out and see something you want, you can stop and think “No, I really want my house. That little reading nook I saw on Pintrest would be better than this thing”. Or if you want to advance your career, keep a list of things you accomplished that day to keep you going. Whatever motivates you to keep going, to keep getting better, even if it is silly. I remember at my one job that I loathed, I used to keep sticky notes with every issue I fixed. I would then count each note as a point and had rewards with point amounts. Then I would trade in notes for rewards to myself based on the amount of points I achieved. It was silly, but because I hated that job, I needed a way to keep going and that did it for me.

Whatever it takes, no matter how silly it is, if it keeps you going, keep doing it.


Relationship: For better or for worse

Every now and then in life someone comes into it that just changes everything. That person could be someone you’ve know for a long time that you suddenly see in a new light, or someone from seemingly out of nowhere. But regardless of where they came from, they turn your world upside down, but not in a bad way. The job you used to hate seems more tolerable because you know they will be at home for you when you finally clock out. That family issue you are having doesn’t seem as annoying because you know that they will be there for you after it is all said and done.

Finding someone like this is seemly more and more rare in a world like this, but it does happen. However, relationships are so romanticized that they get put up on this pedestal that honestly sets them up for failure. You think that just because you have a good relationship everything will be grand and nothing can phase you anymore. This is far from true, things will still bother you. The only thing that is different is that you have someone to go through it with you.

Life is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows, even if you find this perfect person who makes you feel that way. There are going to be problems, there are going to be things that are going to shake you to your core. Sometimes the things that happen are directly caused by that person who is supposed to bring you joy. And this is just they way life goes.

Far to many people are not taking a relationship seriously anymore. When you make a commitment to someone, you need to follow through with it. You need to give 100% all the time and never take that person for granted. Hell, sometimes when they are giving 10% because they are having issues, you need to give 90% to make up for it. Relationships are give and take, you need to do both for it to be healthy. There needs to be a balance, to far one sided and it will not last.

This gave and take can be simple things like she does the finances that you hate doing and you do the laundry she hates doing. Or big things like you give up your preferred job and take another that is just ok so she can be with her family. You never know what this give and take is going to look like, but it needs to happen.

You can’t be selfish in a relationship, you need to be selfless. You must put that persons needs before your own, you have to care for that person more than you care for yourself. Now this isn’t saying strip naked to give them your clothes on a cold day, but rather give up your jacket for a little so they can warm up. Brave the cold for awhile, but not to the point that it damages you with frostbite. Give and take is a balance, and it is the job of your partner to do the same for you. To not keep that jacket for so long that it harms you, because you should be more important than they are to themselves.

I implore you to not give up on a relationship when things look tough. Challenges and adversity are what make us grow as people and as couples. Do not look at her losing her job like a terrible thing, look at it as an experience to grow closer together while you both sit down and look for jobs for her. Look at it like an experience to learn more in depth about what she likes to do and what she doesn’t. Life is going to have situations that are awful, and the secret is not to turn them all into a positive thing. No one likes to lose a job they liked, but there is nothing you can do about it. You can’t control exactly what happens to you in life, but you can control how you react to it. And when she comes home crying because she lost her job, the way you react is critical. She is overwhelmed from her day, days like this is where you need to give more than you take. Because when you started seeing each other, you swore you would be there for that person. For better, or worse.

Outrage: Healthcare in America

Did you know the number one cause of bankruptcy in America is healthcare expenses? SERIOUSLY. Go google it, I’ll wait…CRAZY right? But no one is doing anything about this. Yes, Obama got more Americans coverage, which is great. But the problem is not the amount of Americans that are covered, it is the cost of healthcare. Even with healthcare you can still rack up huge amounts of debt. Getting more Americans coverage is like making sure everyone has a raincoat before a tsunami. Pointless. Instead of distributing all the raincoats, do something to stop or reduce the tsunami.

Of course stopping a tsunami is very difficult, but so is changing healthcare in the US. the healthcare industry has so many politicians wrapped around their fingers that any meaningful change will be hard pressed to be passed. Healthcare was not always this expensive, and it really isn’t as expensive as it seems in the US. All over the world healthcare is done rather cheaply and there are all kinds of arguments that the US costs more because the care is better and what not, but this isn’t true. Check out this post from Newsweek published by Ryan Bort¬†

We are seriously last in all the countries that were analyzed. In pretty much every area the US healthcare system is awful. I am not going to make the single payer argument in this post, although that would make the most sense. In this post I want to take about how pissed off you should be that you are getting screwed everyday of your life.

Ever heard of something called a charge master? No? I mean, that’s fair, it is rather obscure. It is the document that hospitals use to charge for things. California requires that hospitals publish this information, so I took the liberty to pull one up for you from Hanford Community Medical Center. All The prices below are taken from their 2016 charge master. It is the first one on the page when you filter by 2016, go look at the prices.¬†

Let’s say you get dehydrated, you pass out at a sporting event and are taken to the hospital and oh no, you don’t have insurance. The first cost you get hit with is an ambulance charge which we won’t even get into because it’s so variable, but trust me $500-2000 is not going to be uncommon here. Ok, so you are taken into the ER for treatment, you have now woken up and are sitting there wondering how you got there. Well, you are in the ER so you get a fee for that, Which this isn’t a serious case, so they may treat it as a Level 1 which comes with a tag of $707. As you are sitting there, the nurse, or doctor, assess you and figures out you are dehydrated. Well, that is an assessment, or screening, and that has a price tag of $500. They start an IV on you to give you fluids, the IV fee is $134. They hook a bag of saline up to it, that’s $524. (These cost a dollar by the way). Then let’s say they keep you there for an hour, which is another $88. They let you go and you think all is well. Until you get hit by a whopping $2,000 bill minimum, not including the ambulance.

$2,000 for a simple thing, that is insane. Go look through them, the charges for some things are insane. I chose a very simple thing for everyone just to give an example. But even with insurance, this could cost you a few hundred dollars to the full cost depending on what type you have. We should be outraged that they are allowed to charge $524 for a $1 dollar bag of saline. We should be outraged that they charge $707 to just have a room in the ER and then bill a minimum of $88 every hour you are there. Higher costs does not mean better care.


Budgeting for your lifestyle

Anytime you have to set money aside, it is a tough thing to do. There is always that new toy you want or some guy selling magic beans that look interesting. Life will always be full of hard choices, it’s just how it goes, but saving money shouldn’t be a struggle.

One big thing that I think people don’t understand is that saving money doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it just means you don’t get to have certain things. You have to make choices on what is important to you and what is not. For instance, I love online gaming and internet activities, I will gladly sacrifice eating out once a month for $40 to get the best internet package I can. Fast internet is not something I can live without, it is part of my lifestyle.

Now, let’s say internet isn’t your thing, it doesn’t quite tickle you in all the right places. Let’s say eating out is your thing, so, you have to cut out other things in your budget to make room for it. It’s seriously as simple as that, find what you love doing and cut out the things that aren’t as important. Yes, yes, I can already hear you screaming at me, there are other things you can do like go to happy hour and eat for cheap or use Groupon to save money. That is true, totally true, and I highly recommend you do it, but you are missing the point here. I’m not saying don’t try to stretch your budget to do more of the things you love, I am saying find out what you love and cut out the things you don’t need.

A good way to kinda find out what you need and what you don’t is to see what you actually do in a month that you enjoy or need in your life. Other than the obvious items like Rent, water, etc. There are things that you pay for that you really may not use that much. So I suggest keeping a list of what you actually used in a month and how much you used it. So like, let’s say you have a Netflix subscription, I know that it doesn’t cost much but shush, the principal is the same. You just take a note on your phone or whatever every time you use it that month. That’s it. That simple. And at the end of the month, if you didn’t use it much, stop paying for it.

But, keep in mind the things that matter to you. If you only ate out once that month, but it’s something you love to do, keep it. Budget for it by doing what I just wrote about and try to make room from it. It’s important to budget for your life and not your wallet. Money is nice, but your happiness is worth far more in the long run.

What this blog is all about

Hello everyone!

My name is Nick and I have recently decided to start rambling about my thoughts on issues as well as thoughts I just have on a daily basis. I figured that I might as well start a blog so that maybe someone can benefit from me just going on about things. This blog will basically be about everything and everything, but I am sure the categories will narrow over time.

A little about me, well I am a pretty average guy. College graduate in the field of IT, work a full time job, still going to college to further my education. I have student loans like everyone else who has went to college and I also have issues just like everyone else. The only way I stand out is that I have a passion for learning, not to say you don’t, but mine is a sort of obsession. I learn about anything and everything I can just because it bothers me if I don’t know something. Now I am the first person to admit I don’t know something or that I am wrong when I am, but sometimes everyone gets some bad information. I find myself reading about IT, money, healthcare and general scientific things the most, but by no means is that everything I know.

But that’s enough of that for now. I want to welcome you to the blog and I hope that you will pick something up from it as it progresses. I am happy to hear any feedback you have for me, be it a comment on a post or an idea for a new one. With all that said, start reading!