A journey of self-actualization.

Coming To Terms With Your Limits: Contentment With Your Self-Actualization

Being limitless has been a romantic notion, promoted by legends like Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee’s teachings came from martial arts, but they actually applied to many areas of life. You…

Being limitless has been a romantic notion, promoted by legends like Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee’s teachings came from martial arts, but they actually applied to many areas of life. You could be an artist, or a mathematician. One could translate much of Lee’s philosophy to every conceivable profession.

The idea that there is always another level to reach in your life is attractive and true. Though, whether you will actually reach it is the question.

It’s a sad, but natural, fact: We do have limits. Everyone does. We’re not all the same. We don’t all have the same IQ. We don’t all have the same physical capabilities. We’re not all born in the same environments, to the same parents, with the same finances.

And there’s little to nothing we can do to change that. We’re born with a set hand of cards. Each differing from another’s.

Playing those cards in the best way we can is part of reaching the highest heights we can before we die.

Breaking Through A Counter-Intuitive Mental Limit: Overclocking

When I first started on my journey to achieve my residual self-image, I overclocked myself. “Overclocking” is a reference to computers.

One can achieve higher computer performance if they turn up certain settings. But this shortens the lifespan of your computer, because it’s not actually designed to run as fast as you may set it.

In this context, overclocking is different than burnout. Burnout is a result of something you do; overlocking is a state of being. It’s your personal settings. They go hand-in-hand, but they’re not one and the same.

Overclocking is a mental attachment not to being all that you can be, but more than what you can be. You’ll strive to go outside of the objective bounds of your capabilities. Even if you’re not burned out yet. Burnout is when you overwork, and thus experience drops in emotions and performance.

If you overclock your computer’s settings, and run it for too long, your processor will burnout.

If you go through life with an attachment to being more than what you can be, you will tend to overwork. This causes self-induced stressors that cause burnout.

A live example would be this: Let’s say your reading speed is 500 words per minute. At that speed, let’s say that you can comprehend and retain 90% of what you read. This would be your objective limit.

Your residual self-image may read faster than that. Let’s say your residual self-image reads at 1,000 wpm at 90% (twice as fast). You face two possible limitations:

  • Your genes don’t allow that speed in reality
  • Your genes do allow that speed in reality. But they limit the speed at which you can reach that level. Even with extreme and consistent exercise.

So, if your “psychological settings” are set for “overclocking,” you may do one of two things:

  • Your genes don’t have the potential for you to read at 1,000 wpm with 90% retention. But you try to read at 1,000 wpm anyway, only to retain 45% of what you read. You strain your eyes over time, and lose your eyesight, needing LASIK eye surgery to repair them.
  • Your genes do have the potential for you to read at 1,000 wpm with 90%. But you can only reach certain levels of progression at certain speeds. Overclocking leads you to read at 700 wpm when you’re not actually ready and should be at 600. Or you read at 800 wpm when you’re not actually ready and should be at 700. You may reach your goal in a certain time-frame, but at a long-term cost to your health in an unsustainable manner. Whereas, if you came to terms with the rate at which you can ascend at a comfortable pace, you’d be healthier. You may not achieve it as fast as you’d like. But, when you do achieve it, it will be sustainable.

In either one of the two scenarios, you’ll produce stress, like anxiety. These emotions will burn you out. And progress, or maintenance of your best, stops completely. You defeat the purpose.

The same is true in physical fitness.

Let’s say your residual self-image may be able to benchpress 400 lbs at 4% body fat. But at the moment, you can only benchpress 200 at 4%.

If your “psychological settings” are set for “overclocking,” you may do one of two things:

  • Your genes don’t have the potential to benchpress 400 lbs at 4% body fat. But you try to lift 400 lbs anyway, only to have terrible form. You tear your muscles and ligaments, needing surgery to repair them.
  • Your genes do have the potential for you to benchpress 400 lbs at 4% body fat. But you can only reach certain levels of progression at certain speeds. Overclocking leads you to lift 300 lbs when you should be lifting 250. And 350 when you should be lifting 300. You may reach your goal in a certain time-frame, but at a long-term cost to your health in an unsustainable manner. Whereas, if you came to terms with the rate at which you can ascend at a comfortable pace, you’d be healthier. You may not achieve it as fast as you’d like. But, when you do achieve it, it will be sustainable.

In either one of the two scenarios, you’ll produce stress, like anxiety. These emotions will burn you out. And progress, or maintenance of your best, stops completely. You defeat the purpose.

It’s a pattern that repeats for any given task or skill-set.

Coming To Terms With Your Limits

Now, let’s say that you come to terms with how you may not have the genes to progress in something as fast as someone else. Is there still always another level to achieve?

Yes.

But that doesn’t mean that you’ll get there in your lifetime. It’s like the common adage: Hard work always beats talent, until talent works hard.

You can have two cars. One of them is a souped up sports car. The other is a typical family four-door. Let’s say they both have the same amount of gears: six.

Now, let’s say that they both want to get to the same destination, from the same starting point. Which car is going to make it there faster?

That depends. The simple family car may get there first, if it’s flooring it at sixth gear while the sports car stays in second.

In that case, the engine of the family car is “working hard;” the engine of the sports car isn’t.

But what if both cars are flooring it at sixth gear?

The sports car will win every time. And there’s nothing the family car can do about it. It won’t matter what the driver does. Or, if you change the driver altogether.

The sports car will still win. It’s designed to.

Now, let’s shake things up even further: Give the family car a rough and rocky road, with twists, turns, pitfalls. Meanwhile, give the sports car a smooth straightforward Indy-500 path.

Not fair at all, right? In this case, not only is the sports car engineered from its birth to get there faster (genes/nature). It’s also got a smoother path paved for it to get there (environment/nurture).

And there’s all sorts of different ways we can argue about these kinds of inequality. Whether it’s fair or not. Communism vs. Capitalism. But that’s not the point of this writing.

The point of this writing is this:

If you’re the driver in the family car, inhibited by the rough roads, can you come to terms with that?

I hope you can.

Because if you can’t, you, as the driver, will have your mind set for overclocking. You’re going to downshift for higher acceleration. Red line. And then “burnout” your engine.

And if you burn out your engine, you’re not going to get to your destination at all.

So, what I’ve learned in my own personal journey of self-actualization is this:

Have the humility to admit that there is someone better than you. And if there isn’t, there will be. It may not seem fair. But that’s not for you to judge.

Have the humility to admit that you will never attain all levels in a limitless paradigm. It may take you ten years to reach what it may take someone else only two. And you’re only here for about seventy years. And out of that seventy years, you only have a limited time-window for jumps in improvement.

Your brain and body begin to decline at around thirty years of age. So, though you may still make improvements in many things, there’s a biological limit you must obey. And with each year, each improvement past your peek gets harder and harder to attain.

So, if not anything else, you’re limited by time. And this means that, by default, you won’t achieve everything.

What I’ve found is that when I’ve come to terms with my own limits, I open myself up to achieving my true maximum. Whereas, if I try to pretend that I don’t have any limits at all, I overclock myself and self-destruct. This is why self-knowledge is critical in the journey of self-actualization. You have to first know your limits to meet or exceed them. Which first requires the humility to admit that you have limits, to begin with.

What are your thoughts on this?

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The Problem With Fighting For Redemption: Another New Edition In The Works

In a nutshell, the problem with my memoir, Fighting for Redemption, was that I wrote it while I was very young. Everyone has a story worth telling, some tidbit of…

In a nutshell, the problem with my memoir, Fighting for Redemption, was that I wrote it while I was very young.

Everyone has a story worth telling, some tidbit of wisdom that they can contribute to the world. But to deliver that wisdom in the best way requires reflection over a lifetime.

I’d bet I’m one of the only writers who has innovated his own story so many times. Throughout ten years and counting, I’ve published many editions and revisions of it.

More than I’ve kept count.

Each time, I don’t change the events of the story, or how they play out. I change the delivery of the moral, and the story’s general narrative tone. The drive of the narrative’s purpose.

This occurs because of the way that I take criticism into consideration. I’ve been on a journey of self-actualization. So there is always something more to improve about myself as I evolve as a person.

Thinking this way leads me to return to it, to check what I missed or could have done better. This is a process of self-reflection, because the events of the story are me.

I am the character in the story. To criticize the story is to criticize me in a way: either the man in the words, or the man writing the words.

I see a completely different writing at 30 than I saw at 24. And I’m likely to see a different story again at 50.

This is natural.

It’s an infinite process, because a writer can never perfect their work. There is always something more to tweak. Something that can be rewritten with a bit more mastery.

The positive note to take into consideration is the fact that I do see a different story as I grow. I see continual flaws, but this means that it is true that I am growing.

To see flaws now that I didn’t before means that my perspective has changed. This can only happen if I have grown.

And if I have grown, I have more to give. This calls for a revision.

Two Stories Told

There are actually two stories told with Fighting For Redemption.

One was of a man who existed; the other is of a man who is existing, evolving.

The man you’d meet in person is not the man you’d meet in the story. This is because the man you’d meet in person evolved from the man in the story.

One could write a story about how a man can evolve from having written his own story.

Because of this, I cannot say that I regret having written it. Even though I keep going back to revise it every two to three years.

If I hadn’t, I would have lived a very miserable life. This is because of how the act of self-reflection yields priceless fruit for decision-making. Without having written it, there would have been no self-reflection. Without self-reflection, I would have made very different life choices, ones that I doubt would have led me to the same freedom, happiness, and contentment that I’ve achieved now.

The Search For Meaning

I keep tweaking the story with a new, published revision, not because someone may leave me a bad review.

I keep tweaking it because I question the value I’m giving to others with my life.

What is the purpose to my life or the value to my existence? I don’t actually know.

The only thing that I know for certain about the purpose of my life is that I don’t actually know what that purpose is, or if it even exists.

Therein, how I could pretend to know some grand purpose or moral to my life story? How could I try to somehow force meaning into the events of the story, and in the process tell the audience what to think of them?

I can’t, and shouldn’t try to. It won’t have a forced moral. Its title may be Fighting for Redemption, but you determine what I did wrong or right that would require redemption, if at all.

It is like this blog. It has evolved. The first version of this blog was one way; four versions of it and years later, it is another.

There is no grand purpose to this version of “Norton’s Mind.”

It’s cleaner. Sleeker. With far less insecurity.

There are neither many colors nor needless widgets. Nor tons of content focused on convincing you that I am some kind of character, rather than me being my true character.

There is no fluff distracting you from the deeper meaning of what exists. No vocabulary that’s bigger than it needs to be, nor grammar more complex.

There is nothing stopping you from seeing me.

Of what is and what I have to say.

There is only a blank slate of snow and a wolf. The avatar of my heart and the state of simplicity I’ve achieved. The state of peace.

You choose to keep my words on your screen. In your mind.

That is my existence to you.

What meaning or purpose there is at all to attach to my existence is your decision.

I give myself to you.

Expect the upcoming rendition of the memoir to reflect the same.

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I’ve Launched NortonsMind 4.0

The New Theme I’ve been blogging for years, most of my words on Facebook. Each version of the blog seemed to represent the stages of my mind’s evolution. The previous…

The New Theme

I’ve been blogging for years, most of my words on Facebook.

Each version of the blog seemed to represent the stages of my mind’s evolution.

The previous one reeked of insecurity. I cared too much about what other people thought of me. I had a ridiculous FAQ section addressing toxicity from reddit. As if low-lives who lacked the courage to say nasty things to my face were worthy of a response.

Moreover, I stopped updating it because it was too high maintenance. The blog looked good on the surface. But there were too many steps involved with making a single, simple post.

I needed something minimalistic. Something energy-efficient.

Less is more.

But first, I had to detach from my public image, and this took growth of character.

Disengagement from Social Media

I have deactivated all public social media channels tied to my name (e.g. YouTube, Twitter, Quora, etc.).

This is with Facebook and LinkedIn as exceptions. They are useful for acquiring clients/work.

The reason why is because social media stresses me out.

I had begun gaining followers on YouTube, even without posting but once every few months. But I don’t like the fact that my heart skips a beat every time I get a notification that someone has subscribed.

When that occurs, I think: “Is this a person who’s going to add to my headache and anxiety? Or is this a person who may teach me something and understand, or at least show support?”

More often than not, it’s the former rather than the latter. That kind of stress has led me to self-sabotage over and over again.

Even though I know how to increase my audience and have proven that I can at will, I should stay off of social media.

I’m tired of wasting time arguing with people. I don’t even buy into my own public image of being some super smart dude.

Okay, it is fact that, according to some tests and challenges I’ve made it through in life, I’m smarter than average. And yeah, I speak a couple languages.

But even I don’t buy into my own hype.

At the same time, if I’m just honest about who I am to people, I often have to go through a ton of bullshit to prove that.

But for what?

Consolidation of Content

Another reason why I needed a minimalistic update was because of the companies I own now. I own multiple companies with different blog pages.

Meanwhile, experience and data has taught me that people connect with people first. Not brands.

So, as I develop my marketing and investment company, my technology company, and others, it’s just easier on my readers to just follow one website, instead of three.

…or four.

…or six.

Because I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’m going to just keep creating businesses and/or buying them as I find new projects that interest me.

One, simple, streamlined website to follow is what’s needed.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

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How I Invest In The Stock Market: The Other, Other Way To Be A “Pro-Gamer”

DISCLAIMER: Mike is not a certified stock analyst; he’s a self-taught stock trader, and this is not to be considered official stock market advice. This post is only meant to…

DISCLAIMER: Mike is not a certified stock analyst; he's a self-taught stock trader, and this is not to be considered official stock market advice. This post is only meant to shed insight on how he personally invests. If you read the legal disclaimer of the website, you'll know and fully acknowledge that if you were to take inspiration from anything he writes on this website, especially what to do with money, you are doing so at your own risk. Mike is not to be held liable or responsible for any negative consequences that you may or may not suffer from taking what you read below as official advice.

NOTE: This article was written years ago. For instance, the publication date of this article says the year "2017," but it was actually much longer ago than that, for I've published and re-published this article throughout different renditions of this site. Since, I've matured as a person, as well as expanded my investment efforts into different industries as both a business owner and investor.


There Are Many Ways To Be A Professional Video-Gamer

There are many different ways to become a pro-gamer. I define an amateur gamer as anyone who brings in at least one penny of profit from their experience with gaming; I define a professional gamer as anyone who brings in enough money to live off of their experience with games.

One way is to start a YouTube channel, like FightinCowboy713's; you get paid to play video-games in a way that makes for great online content, which you then make money from via advertising and sponsorships.

A second way is to become a test gamer for developers.

A third way is to just get so ridiculously good at a specific game, such as Call Of Duty or Starcraft, that you make money in competitions, directly off of what your pure skill can win alone.

I used to be a Starcraft amateur gamer; I wouldn't call myself pro, because I didn't actually fly to Korea and cut any huge contracts, but I made some money gaming in small-time competitions, and ranked as one of the top-ranked players on the east coast of America. In order to reach that level of skill, I had to dedicate over 10 hours per day gaming. These were during my teen years, so, forget homework and good grades.

The economy at the time was in a recession, recovering from the wars encouraged by Bush and the beginning of Obama's reign as president. This means that jobs teenagers would usually get were scarce, and my family was particularly poor. Thus, I financially sustained myself by doing other people's homework for them (since there was no money in doing my own), and fighting in the streets for money.

However, at about the age of 17, I reached a fork in the road: either I was going to continue Starcraft as a legitimate career and go all the way to Korea (which was a very limited career, since the popularity of games rises and falls), or I could start to get serious about something a bit more lasting. At this point, because of my grades, I wasn't a suitable candidate for getting into a good college, and my family couldn't even afford a community college at the time. So, the only way to progress forward into becoming a member of society that didn't involve working a dead-end job at some restaurant somewhere forever (or doing something illegal) was to join the military.

Even as a young lad, I was smart enough to foresee this fork in the road years before I decided to eschew my homework; I was intrinsically motivated to go into the military anyway because of how games like Metal Gear Solid, and movies like TopGun inspired me to. So, I would have joined, even if my grades were Harvard-worthy. I just wanted to do it, and knowing that the military was there, I cared even less about my grades.

This was a childish reason, I know, to enlist in the military because a movie or video-game inspired me to, but it is a reason nonetheless, and people have enlisted for worse.

It wasn't until I was in the Middle East did I realize that there's yet another way to make money as a gamer: the stock market.

Games don't just appear out of thin air; you can't just pluck them from trees. Usually, entire teams of very intelligent, educated people with financial backers are needed for the creation of a game. What gamers see and play with is just a final product; there's actually so much more that goes on behind the scenes in order to produce what we buy and play on our television screens and computer monitors.

When Metal Gear Solid 4 came out, I was in Manama, Bahrain.

The epiphany came to me while just researching information about the game, before it was released, because I was just such a fanboy.

At some point, I read about Konami and its share prices. You can see the icon for Konami at the bottom right of the picture to the left.

That's when it hit me: I could invest in Konami before the game was released (because I knew beyond the shadow of any doubt that it was going to be a bestseller), and then sell my shares when the price of Konami's stock price spikes, for profit.

You can potentially make, literally, millions and billions of dollars with this strategy (over time, of course) if you continually reinvest your money (instead of spending it) for each game that you know will sell well for each individual game developer that you follow.

So, according to the technical denotations of what it means to buy stock, I technically owned a small percentage of Konami, relatively around the time of Metal Gear Solid 4's release. I made about $300 in profit. I could have made far more if I had the capital at the time to risk, but it was a wonderful experiment that proved true, which I now personally use as a part of my portfolio development strategy. But it's not an exact science. If you were to look up the specific date of when the game was released, you won't see a massively sharp spike; you'll see smaller spikes the closer you zoom into the data, which is what is very difficult to trace and time correctly, especially when you're on a limited Internet connection in the Middle East. That's the challenge of day traders, but I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a day trader.

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a day trader because I don't close out my stocks on a day-to-day basis; I get info about a game months (or even years) before it's released and, with enough info, I buy-in early. Then I set a stop-limit for myself to exit just as early, to avoid any losses. Ergo, this is not a quick way to make money; in order to play the stock market game correctly, I have to be in it for the medium to long-term, which is why it's essential to set a quality of life cap, and only invest money that I can afford to lose, that I can say goodbye to for three, six, twelve, twenty-four months (or more) at a time.

So, I set aside a percentage of the money that I bring in on a regular basis and transfer it to my stock account.

In order to be good at this, in this specific industry, I feel as if I need to game. This keeps my investment instincts sharp, which, to me, counts as being an unorthodox kind of pro-gamer.

This creates the demand for me to go to events like E3, to get Beta keys, and such, to have a more accurate understanding of how well a game is going to sell before the mass market does, and in combination with the knowledge that I gained from my business degree in Internet marketing, I can mentally analyze how each company is marketing its products, and understand the digital metrics of how well their advertising is doing on social media, the links that they're building on search engines, etc. to know where best to put my money.

This makes investing in games, with all of this knowledge and calculation, more akin to card-counting at blackjack, rather than gambling. But it requires a ton of research to perform accurately, which I've done, and continue to do.

Breaking The Investment Analytics In Conversation

So, my friend and I were talking about what was, at the time, the new Berserk game coming out. Berserk was originally a Japanese manga that's gained a massive, albeit underground, following over the past two decades. How I invest in stocks can be summed up by this conversation between he and I.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maGhZ9kY12M

Me -- "It looks like a repetitive hack-and-slash, like what we've already seen before with Dynasty Warriors, but with upgraded graphics; nonetheless, I'd still buy the game itself as a consumer simply because I'm a Berserk fan, but I wouldn't necessarily invest money in it expecting a huge return as an investor. It looks like a niche game."

Him -- "Well considering that Berserk has been going on since 1988 and they just revamped it not too long ago, it has a fantastic storyline so I think it'll pan out pretty well."

Me -- "Oh, I have no doubt that it'll sell well...within the realm of its target audience, but it's got a mature rating, repetitive mechanics, and the fact that its developer (Koei) has a stock price of 2,032.00 JPY ($19.41), I don't think that the value of the company would rise enough from the release of this game past what it is to make considerable profit from just this one release.

From what I can see, Koei has an impressive 5-year history in the stock market with a stock value definitely on the incline, but you'd need about $97,000 to buy into this game at 5,000 shares.

I mean, you could technically just pay $19 for one share, but the commission price of buying and selling just one share would be approximately $14. If the value of the share goes up 1 point, then you'll have made one dollar, which means that you'll have actually lost $13.

If you're looking to do what I'm doing, you have to go into it with the mindset that you're going to buy several thousand shares. The more shares at the beginning, the less you need the company's value to go up in order to make a profit.

And vice-versa. The fewer shares you buy, the higher you're going to need the company's stock value to go up in order to make any profit. It's about balancing, in your mind, how much you think the stock price is going to raise, over how much amount of time, based on their 5- and 10-year history.

I try to follow what I've created to be a 5,000 minimum buy-in rule. That's absolutely not a legal requirement; I just set that standard for myself, because I'm more of a bearish investor. When I invest, I go into it with the mindset that the stock is only going to raise 1 to 5 points. I don't gamble with betting all of my money on the next Apple.

I set an investment budget for myself, money that I can totally afford to lose. Let's say: $10,000 (which may absolutely be different for you; I know for most people that's actually a ton of money, but the same logic could even apply with an amount as little as $1; it's relative to the price of the stock and how much you have to invest. $10,000 is just a random pick from my head. You don't need that much to get started). What company can I buy 5,000 shares of with merely $10,000? Doing the math, this means that the price of the share must be approximately $2.00(+/-).

I then take the time to research each individual company one...by....one...like what games they've produced to what markets over the past 5 to 10 years and how that's made their stock prices jump and when.

When I find what my analytical judgment tells me to be the right one, I put my money in.

Then, all I need is the stock to go up 1 point in order to make a profit of $5,000.

The stock going up 1 point is a lot more likely and realistic than buying 495 stocks (for instance) for only $1,000, but needing the company to go up 10 whole points to make the same profit.

The company would need to invent the next computer or some shit for that to happen.

While Koei's stock is definitely going to go up a point or two from the release of this game, for your investment to not be a waste of time, you're going to need to buy several thousand at the current price that they're selling at: $19.41.

5000 shares at $19.41 each is $97,050.

If the stock goes up one point on the release of this game, you'll make a profit of $5,000.

Each point is how much profit you'll make per share. If you buy 5,000 shares, and it goes up 1 point, you'll make a profit of $5,000.

If you buy 10,000 shares, and it goes up 1 point, you'll make a profit of $10,000.

In order to buy 10,000 shares of Koei in order to profit from the release of this game, I'd need $194,100, for a 1-point exit (by "exit" I mean to pull out by selling your shares).

In order to make any considerable amount of money with this company upon the release of this specific game, it's not within my budget, nor is it worth it at this point in time for me.

I could bet for a 2- or a 3-, 4-, or 5-, point exit , but their stock doesn't seem that volatile, when looking at their 5-year history. Their stock shows gradual increase over years.

This means that, I'd have to buy in at that much money now, NOT sell my shares when they release Berserk...and just hope that the stock continues to rise at the rate that it's at...to sell them two to three+ years later.

To me...that's gambling, not card-counting...because anything could happen to the company 3+ years from now...and you could lose everything."

In Summation...

Whenever you pop in a video-game, you always see, in those moments before you reach the start screen, the logos of the developers that made the game, correct?

Those are companies that you can follow online; they have employees, investors, and many of them are publicly traded. What I do is monitor the upcoming video-game releases and rely on my 27 years of experience as a gamer to judge how well a game for any given company is going to sell.

Like the conversation above, my decision-making is not about what I personally like; it's about what I know will sell. I, as an individual, am only part of a small demographic group with very niche tastes; you'll virtually never catch someone like me playing the new Taylor Swift smartphone game coming out, but I know that it will sell well, even if I'm not a personal fan.

So, I research the company that's making the variable game, and if I think the stock is going to rise in a way that I can reasonably profit from upon its release, I buy into that company and hold shares until the release, when the stock temporarily spikes. Then I sell my shares for profit. And voilà.

Ready to find out more?

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