Leonardo Da Vinci

I was on my way home today – took the bus of course.  Wasn’t quite paying attention to the time or where I was.  Looked up, oh no…. missed my stop. Pushed the “Stop Request” button, ran to the door and got off.  Too soon, still had 5 stops to go. Mobile phones are great for losing your way.

It started to rain.

No umbrella.

Oasis of Creativity

I looked ahead of me down the street and saw an oasis of information, the library!

I ran to the library, hoping my laptop and phone don’t drown.

I started to look around and couldn’t find what I was looking for – Inspiration.

I asked the librarian, “I need some help finding a book please”

“Certainly, can you tell me a little about it, tell me everything you know”

“I need inspiration”

he tells me “you’ve come to the right place!”

Then without and hesitation he walks me to the children’s section (this made me think about leadership and creativity) and reached in to pull a book out.

“You’ve been asked this before?” I query.

“Nope, you are the first and if you need inspiration this is the best section. Leonardo de Vinci.”

He was right.

To be a millionaire you must….

There are a million little bits of advice that everybody will give you about becoming a millionaire.

Here are 8 must haves:

  1. Be frugal:

    Save money, buy the cheap stuff when you don’t need top quality. Store brand canned beans are just as good as name brand.

  2. Understand money:

    Learn basic accounting, Learn the difference between an RRSP and an RPP.

  3. Start everyday optimistically:

    A positive start to your day is the only way to start your day. If you start your day thinking you will fail, you will. So succeed at being positive and your day will be more positive.

  4. Eat breakfast:

    You deserve a boost of carbs and energy first thing. It helps with number 3. Don’t overdo it. 300-500 calories is all you need. A big glass of water and a little (or a lot) of number 5.

  5. Drink coffee:

    Coffee has been proven to boost metabolism, increase cognitive functioning and burns calories. Plus it’s a good social exercise. Just have gum, toothbrush, or breath mints handy. Drink coffee all day! Drink coffee to the point that you risk having trouble falling asleep, then stop. If coffee upsets your stomach or gives you IBS then don’t do it. If you dink it past 3pm and you have trouble falling asleep then have you last mug at 2pm. Drink as much as can with no adverse affects. And enjoy.

    And if you’re from Canada, like me, then it warms you up in the winter.

  6. Be physically active:

    Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills. There are plenty of good reasons to be physically active:

    • You will feel better
    • You will be stronger
    • You will be more attractive
    • You will reduce stress
    • You will become a millionaire
  7. Be bored:

    If you are always bored, you aren’t working hard enough.  Occassional boredom is actually good for you.

    Being bored can help you be more creative and come up with original thoughts.  Boredom encourages your mind to wander, which will probably lead you to more creative thinking.  So put your phone down and enjoy your boring bus ride to work.

  8. Have fun: Even you need a break.

Having A Paradigm Shift

Blocked Emotions

My grandmother passed. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t, my emotions were blocked.

I knew as I was standing in front of my Nona looking at her lie peacefully in eternal rest that I would never see her again, never eat her pizzelle again, never feel her love again. Still no sadness.

My brother is mourning. My father, aunts, uncles, cousins, all mourning.  Not me. I am a statue.

Watching People Mourn

This goes on for an hour, I watch people mourn and I envy them. Consciously I close my eyes, I clear my mind – I summon a dark green smoke to cloud my thoughts. I push pictures of memories of Nona through the fog. My memory is strong. I have a lot of pictures to look at. One at a time like flash cards.

My Brother

“Sir, please sir”. Someone is waking me from my thoughts. It’s one of my brothers, Stephen, he sits beside me, “this one is easier than Grandpa’s isn’t it?”

Still lost in my memories “yeah, it is. Why? Why don’t I feel sad?”

Stephen in his insightful way “Kids, it’s hard to think about death when you are surrounded by complete happiness”.

Maybe that’s his way of saying, ‘it’s OK to not be sad’.  But that’s not true, I am sad.

Looking around I see at least a dozen children dressed in dark clothes holding hands running, tumbling, laughing, making fun from sadness. The adults aren’t stopping it. Grandparents come by to their grandchildren and hug them and smile and offer water and treats to keep their energy up.

Standing, we embrace. I can’t tell him that it’s the emotional void inside my frozen heart that keeps me from feeling grief.

He doesn’t know what to say

He turns and walks to his children tumbled on the floor, smiles at them exchanges a few words and walks on, leaving them to play.

Summoning Grief

I cannot summon my grief.

The afternoon viewing comes to and end.

Back to the hotel for a brief stop. My wife and children stay. I go back to the funeral home for a second viewing that evening.


That’s how my heart feels. Blank. A frozen void incapable of emotions.

I go back to the hotel. Meet up with Andrew, my brother, we talk about his upcoming wedding. We talk about money. We talk about time. We talk about houses. Then it gets to the time where we are both done talking and we part ways.

Back in my hotel room I walk in and the sound of deep peaceful sleep breathing washes over me. The unmistakable melody of children sleeping. I walk to them and give them each a silent kiss. After a few minutes I am ready to climb into bed. My wife is sleeping in the beautiful way she does.

Alarm softly wakes me up. The chaos is carefully held in check by two experienced parents. Starbucks for breakfast, then into suits and dresses and get ready to check out. Emotions are in check.

Get to the funeral home.

Hugs, kisses and mourning are everywhere.

Not here. My heart is blank, frozen.

Paradigm Shift

The priest says a brief prayer, funeral home director gives us some directions and allows family to say their final goodbye.

I walk up to Nona, kneel in front of her. That’s when it all settles in. Nona is gone and I missed the last five years of her life.

I cry – I sob. It all comes out. My heart breaks and my world changes.

The New Me

I will focus on family and less on work. And it actually happened, it’s not just something I thought or said. It was a real paradigm shift. My priorities actually changed.

I felt heavy and light. Heavy because of everything I missed, light because I knew my path forward and it was the right path.

Becoming and Uber Driver

First thing is first. Uber driving has been very successful for me. I recommend you sign up to be an Uber Driver.

And on with the story..

I got the app.  I filled in the information. and nothing happened.  I waited and I waited, still nothing. I started searching for a help number.  Nothing.  Finally found it on an Uber blog, Go to your Local Uber Greenlight Hub.

2 weeks later…

Still trying to become a driver

I am on the bus headed to the Uber Greenlight office in Ottawa at 1111 Prince of Wales Dr., Ottawa, ON.  It’s a nice day for a bus ride, I only need one transfer so there won’t be a lot of waiting.  Ottawa transit is in the lower half of North American transit fares for major cities.  That’s good.

When I first “pulled up” to the Uber office I was nervous. The whole Uber idea is creating a lot of anxiety for me. I’m not sure why. I am good with people, I am a good careful driver and I know the city fairly well. I should be OK with this, that’s one of the reasons I picked it.

Post publish edit: Every time I get in the car to drive an overwhelming sense of anxiety sweeps over me – fear that someone I work with will get in my car and I will have to explain why I am driving with Uber.

Benefits of driving with Uber

I make money instead of playing video games.

I get to talk to people about “stuff” which is sometimes interesting and sometimes it’s a nice change in pace from the usual conversations I have at home.

My car is an asset. Instead of rusting away parked on the road at risk of being taken out by the next snowplough, my car is actually generating income.

Some self imposed regulations

If I am going to work “on the side” it must be at a minimum of $20 an hour. If it’s less than $20/hr then I should stay home and sleep or keep up on my day job.

When I Uber drive I check with my wife first. I will not let $20 an hour interfere with my marriage or children.

I will only Uber drive 3 times a week.

Uber driving will never be a priority. Everything else has higher priority.

Uber is a success

Uber has been a very successful endeavour. My car is always full of gas that someone else paid for. I keep it clean. Insurance and maintenance is paid for. I don’t make a lot extra and it is barely helping me expanding on my peer-to-peer lending, however, all of my vehicle expenses are completely covered so I have extra cash flow.

Niagara Falls

I would like to write about Niagara Falls. It is so magnificent that it deserves some mention.

You should visit something magnificent in your life. Something natural and amazing. It’ll change your perspective of how many possibilities the universe has to offer. And if it doesn’t, oh well, at least you can say “I visited Niagara Falls”.

Magnificent. It didn’t change my perspective and I have all these great ideas to make it over Niagara Falls in a barrel that I will never try and would likely end in a swift, stupid, death.

I visited Niagara Falls. You should too.

Playing the Lottery and Losing

So it happened.  I thought about it too many times – how to win at the lottery.  Then I spent several hours studying the numbers and performing statistics.  I became confident that I could beat the Lottery.  But you can’t…. The balls don’t care.

And because you can’t win, I am going to show you how to lose at playing the lottery:

Step one:
   Enter all the winning numbers into an excel spreadsheet:

Lotto Excel

Step two:
   Do some fancy statistics

Lotto Stats

Step three:
   Pick 6 sets of numbers based on those fancy statistics
Lotto Selection

Step four:
   Buy your tickets
Lotto Ticket

Step five:
Lotto Numbers

Step six:

Congratulations!  Your a lottery loser.

Playing The Lottery and Winning

Lotto 6/49 Every Time

I have been asked many times, “How do you increase you odds of winning the Lottery?” Let’s stick to the Lotto 6/49 because I’m Canadian and that’s the most popular Lottery in Canada.

How do you increase your odds of winning the Lotto 6/49?

Simple…. Put your money in your pocket and walk away from the lottery booth.

BOOM, you win.  You just won $3 that you were about to lose.

Every time, your chances are the same

You odds of winning the lottery are exactly the same every time you play:

1 chance in 13,983,816.

Every time.

Pick you favourite numbers and your odds of winning are:

1 chance in 13,983,816.

Every time.

Run the statistics on the winning numbers and you pick:

20  31  34  40  45  47

By picking those numbers did you increase your chance of winning?

No. You can’t do it.

1 chance in 13,983,816.

Every time.

Analysis – Why you can’t increase your chances

Remember the time you were playing football with your buddies and you caught the ball with your balls.  Bet you didn’t do that again.  What’s the chance of that happening again?  Close to zero.  Why?  Because you are smart enough to never do whatever you did to catch the ball with your balls again.  You are going to alter your position the next time you catch a ball and never let it hit you in the balls again.

Remember the time you were playing dice and you rolled a 7.  What are the chances that will happen again? You have a 16.7% chance of rolling a 7 again.  Every time you throw 2 six sided dice you have a 16.7% chance to roll a seven.  Every time.  Dice have no memory, they are inanimate objects and cannot alter the outcome of their position once thrown.

Lotto balls have no memory.

If they don’t remember, they can’t adjust how they come out of that fancy looking machine.  Maybe the rail gets a little kink, or the 49 ball gets a little wobble and the odds are adjusted for a few games but, the rail gets straightened, the ball gets replaced, and the fancy machine becomes a computer.  Lotto balls don’t have a memory.  Lotto Balls can’t remember which one came out last or just before and they don’t care.  So they come out in random order never really caring if you win the lottery or not.

Don’t buy a ticket.  You will lose.

Don’t ask how to win

Asking will lead you to thinking about it and thinking about it will lead you to spend money.

So don’t ask.

Put your money in your pocket and join all the millionaires out there who don’t play the lottery.

Cheating your goals. It’s OK to Cheat!

Just sold some stuff to get closer to my goal

I just sold some small household items I don’t need anymore:

A ladder $50
A pile of old fence boards $20
Some junky old lawnmower $10

I decided to put it all on my peer-to-peer lending. $80 over 3 years at 16% = $132 at my age of freedom the $80 will generate a monthly income of $1.75.  But was that right decision?

What are my choices and why make that choice?

Some people will say “Oh that’s great, SAVE all your money and your on your way to financial freedom; so successful!”

Others will say “Really? Invest $80 and what are you going to do with $1.75 when you retire?…  Just spend the $80 and be happy in the moment.”

So what’s the real answer? Save or Spend?

Both are correct.  It’s OK to cheat!

It’s like dieting. You have to have a cheat day. It’s OK to spend the $80.  Spending sometimes will remind you about why you are doing this whole Million Dollar Pursuit.  Make sure when you cheat, you do it right!  Maximize your cheating and stay on track to meet your freedom date.  Here are some guidelines:

  • Only spend extra money – don’t dip into your planned investments.
  • Plan a cheat day – I am going to sell some of this stuff and spend the money on myself. Plan your purchase, plan the sale.
  • Spend on yourself or others. Whatever makes you happy.
  • Don’t be guilty. You planned this, it is part of your freedom plan.
  • Have a small savings that you set aside for cheat days. And spend it. That’s why you are saving it, to spend.
  • Buy a Lottery Ticket – just for fun!  Check out my post on Failing the Lottery and my post on Winning the Lottery
  • Spend money you have. Don’t borrow. Borrowing has long term consequences.

Put your guilt on Layaway and enjoy whatever you just bought with the $80 you made.