Reflection: A look back at 2015 -2016

Reflection: A look back at 2015 -2016.

While I sit here in my computer I’m here thinking back about the last twelve months wondering, how I was seven months sick in bed not able to do anything not wanting to do anything but think about getting better. I did not even want to read, workout, write or even hang out with my friends.

Now that 2016 has come to end most of us are starting the new year reflecting on failures but we never take the chance to focus on the accomplishments.

What I will say that when I started I Renaissance Man, I had started 2015 full of fire and wondered at the time what if We tend to take a lot of what life has for us for granted we tend to let those everyday things that we consider mundane and boring be put to the side for another day.

Yet when we are in a moment of weakness and are not able to have the mindset to do anything that’s when those mundane things become treasure that we so want and desire. I was in sick for months and while I was sick could not go to work yet I desired my job.

I desired my office I desired being around the people that I something had no interest in talking to yet I was now wanting to be my old self I was grateful to my dungeon office.

I was ready to take life back I wanted to be overwhelmed with work so I can get out of my own skin and out of my own head.

 

But as I remember back in 2015 & 2016, I realize that although I had a very bad time in those months I realize the good things have happened to me.

 

What am I grateful for 2015- 2016:

 

I’m grateful for my website Irenaissanceman.com realizing that this site is what is keeping me and making me stronger.

 

Health underlined: I’m grateful that my health has returned to me in late October mid-November this was a fantastic slowly seeing that my strength was returning to me and making me feel better for things that I had set aside to concentrate on my health such as reading, writing, working out, and fixing the site. In addition, I wanted to feel better because my family was coming from Spain.

 

Family: my family visit from Europe in December I’m very grateful that I’m able to see my mother and father and enjoy the holidays with them as I previously tweeted in January 2016 that saying goodbye is the hardest part to family.

 

My apartment: it was a rough start in 2015 I don’t mean health wise but I mean living conditions originally when I first moved to my current apartment unit was not the original unit. The first The first apartment they were about to give me was delayed due to the previous tenant burning down the kitchen. The second apartment that they had given me upon receiving the keys space there was an infestation of termites. So, what I’m grateful for is that the management of the building gave me for the same rent a bigger unit facing the east side.

 

Traveling with family: I’m very grateful that I was able to take my family to visit the northern Florida and visit Saint Augustine. I love it the city is old and quaint, it’s a city that makes you feel like you’re in Europe.

 

I want to conclude this post by saying the 2017 will be a very bright year a positive year a year of prosper accomplishments

 

The Spaniard

2017 MANIFESTO

 

2017 Manifesto

As 2016 come to an end and we bring in the new year all of us including myself make a list of resolutions that we would like to accomplish. But sadly, as it’s been said time and time again that not all resolutions are kept and some are abandon as early as third week of January.

Although I have in great detail outline The Life Manifesto I also believe for this site that goals within the 12 months should be created as a means to keep one on task and create a sense of accountability.

Many of you have tweeted me that the site has gone silent this is true and I have mentioned on my tweets since mid-2015 and early part of 2016 I have been dealing with health issues. Besides my health I have taken on further responsibly in my career and not to sound like Al Bundy who scored 4 touch down in one game I received two promotion in one year. After all is said and done, I have been thinking about I Renaissance Man and I have been writing on my notebook ideas and articles that I have been wanting to post.

 

So, let’s begin:

Manifesto # 1 I will not be doing 52 books in 52 weeks: This is a running joke among my friends who are eager for me to continue working on the IRM site.  They asked me not to start for this year 2017 the challenge again do to every time I do I then fall sick. So, after thinking about it best to let this one fall for the 2018 challenges.

 

Manifesto # 2 I will be reading books on finance and wealth management: 2017 is the year to make money but then again, every year should be the year to make money. I want to dedicate 2017 to reading books on wealth.  I will however be posting my review on the books I have read for my readers.

 

Manifesto # 3 I will be accomplishing at least 5 of the challenges on my Life Manifesto: What else can I say that the reason I Renaissance Man was created in the first place. This site is to catalog my journey as I explore different adventures in my life.  I know that I have mentioned it before but being sick is what has prolonged the site moving forward but now more than ever I am excited to get the show on the road.

 

Manifesto # 4 Getting back in shape and getting down to 10% body fat: I know this is the typical new year’s resolution everyone has but I have already been working out since November. After my last checkup doctors said I was ready to go I wasted no time hitting gym. I have gain weight due to the meds but the way I see it I was in top shape before I will be in top shape now.

Manifesto # 5 Project Alexandria: On I renaissance Man, I have created a page for a two-part project. The 1st part is to get together with nonprofit organization and create a campaign or foundation to provide underprivilege kids with libraries.

I will work with local agency to obtain books and have them sent to countries and schools to create libraries mobile libraries even if they only built a small shelve to house them.

The 2nd part is very near and dear to me I have always loved the story and the history behind The Library of Alexandria and reading that the library may have had over 500 thousand books or scrolls at one point inspired me on my own my personal quest to acquire at least 1% of that which is about 5000 books.

I have a vast library in my home but I have it all over the place and found that I have been purchasing duplicate copies of books that I already own. One of my followers on twitter asked me for books that I recommend and it came to me that I want to catalog all the books I own and post it on IRM.

This is a task that will take a full year for me to accomplish for I have a library in my apt but the remainder of the books are stored in containers.

I will be dedicating time to take out all my books and place them on an excel sheet. I will post my books on the site and will even include links where someone can find them.

 

Last but not least:

 

Manifesto # 6 Play more golf and build a network in the golfing community to start a business: So, I had read or even heard Tai Lopez says that when you take on any form of endeavor you should at least give it about 18 months. That’s exactly what I want to do with this resolution it won’t be for a twelve-month period but 18, reason being I would like to bring back my handicap down to a 14 handicap like I had before. I am sure its non-existing now, and would love to get exposure to the golf business.

I had lost momentum when my clubs were stolen from a storage unit I had and I was working towards getting down to scratch. To be honest I even consider at one point giving up the sport.

As luck would have it the clubs that I wanted went on sale this year in April, that I jumped on the opportunity to purchase them and decided to a get back into golf.

Like I said before my focus was my health and it put a stop to a lot my ideas but with a good clean bill of health I am ready to conquer the golf courses for 2017.

 

So, there you have it my 2017 Manifesto ready to go I’m looking forward to accomplishing these goals and many more.

Have you completed your 2017 manifesto and if so let me know?

 

The Spaniard.

52 Books In 52 Weeks 2.0: Week # 4Book # 4

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Mars And Venus In Touch By John Gray PH.D.

 

In 2014 I read Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus and I will say that it gave me a clear perspective of the dynamic in relations between a man and a women. After a break up I found that book in thrift sometime in October of 2013 and it was months after that I decided to read and it improve the way I think and date.

Fast forward I discovered this book in a thrift shop for only .25 cents in 2015 and once again took me months before I came around to reading it. I will begin to say that this book is somewhat similar to Men are from Mars and women are from Venus but it focus more on the power of communication. I like to think of this book as the cliff notes of Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. John gives you ways of better expressing yourself and your significant others. This book gives you insight on the why modern women are unhappy, men at work and home and how to get a man to listen and so.

This tiny book is great as a quick read and being fair with the challenge when I do read a tiny book I read it for a second time. This is a must have if you don’t want to read Men are from Mars and women are from Venus ( I also highly recommend) and want to know how he or she thinks or want a better line of communication with your partner. This book benefits both men and women with the given scenerios explain by jonh.

I did notice that this book may have been a special print since its part of the Hallmark Books collection so trying to track this book in any local store was very difficult to find.  The book is available on Amazon for only 00.1 cent. Yes you read it correctly only a penny according to amazon.

52 Books In 52 Weeks 2.0: Week #3Book#3

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How To Be A gentleman By John Bridges

Do you lack etiquette? Do you lack class? Well don’t fret John Bridges book How to Be a Gentleman a Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy is here to help. This book covers helpful tips of when you need to be a gentleman. This is is for men who are  serious about their self-perfection. It offers a lot insight on what to do and how to act in large party setting and what sort of silverware to use. What I like about the book it is a short read, so short I took my time to read it and read it twice.

The book is a quick study guide should a need a rise as the author states:

“A gentleman is someone who makes others feel comfortable. Good manners is simply a matter of common sense and courtesy.

While this is a tiny book  so is this review without giving away so much of it. I will say that the chapters  break down is what make the book a quick read and how the chapter intertwines with each other,  painting you a picture of scenarios. Such as when how much to use cologne, the etiquette of a cigar, when to wear a tuxedo, how to make a dinner reservation and how to order a wine these are the many gentlemanly things you will find this is book. I do approve of this book being in your library. Not only does it teach you common courtesy and etiquette but it truly is a well written classy book.

How to be a Gentleman By John Bridges is available on Amazon.

52 Books In 52 Weeks 2.0: Week # 2Book #2

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Richard Branson Like a Virgin By Richard Branson

 

I am regular reader of Richard Branson’s blog so I decided to pick up one of his books to try for the challenge. ***** WARNING THIS REVIEW MAY HURT SOME CEO’S FEELINGS ESPECIALLY IF YOUR IN THE NET WORTH OF 1MILLION TO 10 MILLION BRACKET****. Per Google search it states Richard Branson’s net worth is 4.8 Billion Dollars. So obviously I want to take advice on business from a billionaire and this book delivers that.

The information that is given to the readers is for the aspiring entrepreneurs. Branson takes you on an adventure through how his views on creating a multi-billion dollar business and how he went about it without even going to business school. He definitely shows that you can work hard and still have a good time as you built your empire.

One of my favorite chapters is the one where he definitely advised where the customer is not always right. The actual chapter is called THE CUSTOMER’S IS ALWAYS RIGHT EXCEPT WHEN HE’S WRONG.

I work for a corporation and this chapter I had to read it several times because here is a man who not only is successful and had lot entrepreneurship knowledge but is what I consider the renaissance man of the business word. Yet has not harping on the like most company that customer’s always right.

Richard Branson even states in his book that he once wrote,

“Since your employees are your brand ambassadors, their needs should come before your customer’s. that doesn’t mean that your customers’ opinions aren’t important, but simply that you should not build your customer service system on the premises that your organization will never questions the whims of your clients.

After reading that section of the book, (I read it several times this week) I could not put down the book. Richard Branson explanation on business is solid and easy to understand his philosophy’s are from what I gather on the book that there is no rules set in stone that starting a business will come with its trial and errors.

In another chapter called LAUNCHING A BUSINESS FOUR COMMON MISTAKES  In this chapter he talks about the mistakes you may encounter and try to avoid.

Step One: Stay on Target

Step Two: Be realistic about costs

Step Three: Hire the people you need, not the people you like

Step Four: Know when to step down as CEO

In this chapter he even go on to explaining that asking about the mistake and making them is part of the process of being entrepreneur.

Richard Branson continues by explaining how important it is in staying in shape in a chapter called WATCHING YOUR WAISTLINE WILL HELP THE BOTTOM LINE. This chapter Richard talks about how it’s a necessity to have a healthy work life balance and include some form of exercising regimen for your overall success. He states that too often we are too busy with the success of the business that this part of your life is neglected. He states that working out helps your business and your mind.

As you can tell from the writing I am a huge fan of Richard Branson after reading this book it gave me a huge understanding of what being a entrepreneur and the work that requires to having your on business. Since my focus for 2016 is getting my business of the ground I think this book is a great tool to have in your library. Richard Branson Like a Virgin By Richard Branson is available on Amazon.

52 Books In 52 Weeks 2.0: Week #1Book #1

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Communion by Whitley Strieber

When I picked up this book to start reading for the challenge I wanted to start with something paranormal. This book does  not disappoint I mean as I started reading I could not put the book down Whitley account of alien abduction is truly detailed and at the same time frightening. The writing is supereved given a a great detail of his experience & what transpire in 1985. On a couple of occasions I found my self reading with all my lights on, then just my reading lamp.

The true accounts of the abductions can best appreciated and understood when Whitley went through the hynotize. The encounter as he tries to remember his experiences with missing time, bizarre implants, and with the  Grey creatures who he calls through out the book The Visitors, leaves wanting more and what exactly are their intentions.

While I don’t want to give away a lot of the book I will say that if your into the paranormal, ufology  or even a skeptic. I would say to truly read this book and have an open mind. This book is a must have in your library Communion by Whitley Strieber is available on Amazon.

 

52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge 2.0 2016

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Why I chose to do the challenge again simple. I failed it in 2015 to complete it, but it was not due to lack of motivation or due to being lazy. My focus has shifted from my challenges to my health. I will discuss in another post about my health during 2015.

After speaking with Dylan from WAYOFTHEOLYMPIAN.COM and Seth from SETHROSELIFE.COM both told me to continue with the challenge again, one for the readers and two to get back into the routine of reading again.

As for this being the first official post for 2016 I want to thank those that have taken the time to email me and follow up with me as to why the sight had gone silent.

I am happy to start a reading challenge 52 books in52 weeks 2.0. This was a challenge I discovered on several sites that I like and want to give my thanks to. I will say that this is not my original idea so many thanks to the following sites:

The challenge was not part of my list however after reading about it in the blogs I decided to add it to the Life Manifesto. I have been slacking on my reading and what better way to get the ball rolling for the New Year then then taking on this challenge. Below I will list how I did for 2015 and the books I have read.

Inspired but the hard work of 52BOOKSIN52WEEKS I too will also read the books in a week a post a very a short summery of what I have read. To make sure that I am on track I created a spreadsheet with dates that you can also download and use if you decide to take on this endeavor.

In addition to my reading a book a week, I will be reading finance books in between since I want to crush all debts an increase my finances.

Books I have read in 2015:

  • PARANORMAL STATE: Ryan Bunel.
  • DAY BY DAY ARMAGEDDON BEYOND EXILE: By J.L. Bourne.
  • YOU’RE BROKE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE: Larry Winget.
  • CHESS: FROME FIRST MOVE TO CHECKMATE: Daniel King

So only 4 books considering that I was sick. The challenge will not have specific books but I will read anything from fiction to nonfiction books. Any books you like to suggest I read please post in the comments.

 

Books Where To Find Them on the Cheap

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The other day I read a tweet from Tai Lopez. (See below).

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I have to agree with Tai on his response and made me think in an age of technology and information overload I don’t that the technology is creating forward thinkers and problem solvers.

We are now in an age where technology is bringing loads of knowledge and has made it now where we can download a book into your phone when you think about it, this was not possible about 12 years ago. I think as technology continues to grow one of the oldest and simplest forms of attainable knowledge seems like its fading away.  Books, with an age of self-publishing and the mobile devices that allow us to download the books these golden treasures are soon to be relic or collector’s item in years to come.

Well don’t fear I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon but in case you want start your own collection I am here to help you find books.

 

6 places to look for books & build your collection on the cheap.

 

 1. Half.com – This is a Ebay company and I will say that I have bought most of my business books here vs Amazon. I will say while I found some books at the regular prize on the website, for the most part I found that they are truly half off and even cheaper.

 

2. eBay.com – But wait you just mentioned Half.com why eBay? Well with eBay you can either buy the book at full prize or make a bid for the books and judging from what I saw on the web after monitoring some books I think is safe to say that the books sold extremely cheap and I even placed bid bought a book and I did not worry about someone sniping me ( this occurs when someone waits till the last minute of bid even seconds before it closes and they bid cents on your item wining them from you). Something that happened to me several years ago on a collectible action figure from the 80’s.

 

3. Craigslist.com– While Craig’s list is like an online thrift store I did notice that no one was giving books away for free, but selling them in bulk and extremely cheap. For example one seller had 200 books for 50 bucks. The down side of this you may have already some of the books in your possession.

 

 

4. Thrift stores – Believe it or not this is one of my favorite avenues to obtain books besides purchasing them on Barnes and Nobles, thrift stores are great. I say this because I have three that I used that are in 5 mile radius and they are never short on books. I found books from great authors like Dean Koontz, Larry Winget and Dale Carnegie in thrift stores and in mint conditions. In addition to having many books, please see the pictures at the header of the post they are extremely cheap for example hardcover book are $1.50 and paperbacks are .75¢. Now the down side of this is you may not find the book you’re looking for so you do need to go with an open mind and hope that the book you were looking for last week would be there. You will also notice from the picture below I purchased 9 books for only $12.00 dollars. If you can handle that these books were previously used and can deal with the dust that some of these stores have then thrifts stores for the most part will be a great asset to building your library.  image

5. Book exchange or Book exchange clubs – Books exchange clubs are great but there are many rules with. For the most if you exchange a hardcover they would not exchange a hardcover with you but a paper back.

 

6. Borrow books from friends– last but not least and I will say that it does not get any cheaper than this, however you can’t keep the books especially if you have a friends like me who will hound you to finish reading them to return them. Your next option is to ask your friend if once you have read them if they do not mind parting with the books.

There you have it 6 ways to get books and continue to expand your mind and your library. Now Gents lets start reading!

 

 

30 Days of Discipline Part # 1

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30 Days of Discipline February 1 – March 3, 2015

Are you lacking discipline? Are you lacking motivation? Do you feel that you are not in control and wonder what’s my purpose is? Well then the solution is 30 Days Of Discipline. This is a no nonsense challenge for any man who has lost focus and needs a straight up kick in the ass. Victor Pride takes no prisoners with his book that will have you motivated and driven in no time.

Now I am going to be the first to say that I am not affiliated with Victor Pride or Bold & Determined but I will says that I bought the book back in April 2014 and I have attempted the challenge and failed in it.  I say failed because there are 12 disciplines you have to adhere to on a daily basis for 30 days and I will say that it’s not easy.

While I wont  share the 12 disciplines in details, I will at least says that I have a to complete a 30 day goal and what better way than to challenge myself to NO SUGAR for 30 days. In addition you are required  every day to do callisthenic  exercises to get the body in shape. Victor not only provides a very well detailed book but the book comes with a workbook to track your progress.

I will follow up on March 4,2015 with my success and how the experience has changed my life. I will also add how of my 30 day goal of no sugar has help or hinder me.

For further reading on  creating Habits and following a discipline please click on the links below.

Build Discipline, Create Habits, and Stay Organized

30 Days of Discipline

52 Books In 52 Weeks :Week #4 Book # 4

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Chess: From The First Move To Checkmate By Daniel King.

I was at a friend’s house that happened to be cleaning his garage and was going to throw this book out. Now before anyone starts and says anything yes this book is relatively a very short book for the reading challenge however I will say  that the challenge is not about the number of pages but, about the content within its pages.

I have always loved to play Chess and as a matter fact I keep a board at my desk in the office. This book being that it was fast read (only 64 pages) was a good fit for collection of books. The book starts of with a brief a history of the origins of Chess and actually gives an approximate date of when Chess rules were established to game as we know now. The word CHECKMATE came from the Persian word “SHA MAT” meaning the king is defeated. The book is very beautifully illustrated and the diagrams make the reader comprehend the moves and strategies that are laid out.

Daniel King did an excellent job giving the reader a clear detailed knowledge of the Chess Pieces as wells as the names of the moves for example moves such:

  • Forks
  • Pins
  • Skewers

The book even has a section called training and Daniel explains that this section of the book just like working out is also crucial to a player.  In the book he includes exercises, now I will say I read the book in about an hour and decided to read again.  I then spent two days with my Chess Board doing the exercises and moves and found the book to be a lot fun and interesting. After you do the exercises there is a page that includes a test to help you sharpen your skills and improve on your algebraic notations. This book also gives you a current history of the first champions of chess as well as a current timeline. There even a section that explains how Chess was introduced to the Former Soviet Union and how the Russians dominated the game. The pages are filled with pictures and the book even shows how computer are constantly being taught to play. Daniel even provides sequence that you can program to play against a machine player.

For the most part being that it’s a book full of illustrations I can’t say that this is a book that an advance player would pick up, but if you are novice or beginning to learn how to play Chess then I say get this book.