Hobbies and Interests and... Bears!? Oh My!

by Chris Sanchez

I've written previously about a well balanced life and feel it's important. "What hobbies do you have?" Is a common question that you get when talking with people and I used to respond; "I don't really have any." This was wrong but I wasn't putting together that my interests are indeed "hobbies" even if they aren't in the traditional sense like wood working or model building. 

Hobbies are an important aspect to keeping happy, healthy and focused in life (or perhaps distracted). 

Photography, travel, tv shows, movies, video games; The list goes on and everyone has different interests that they prefer. I myself love both relaxing and working with my hands so depending on which mood I'm in will determine what I might do on any given day. I tend to get excited or motivated at certain times where I'm all about working with my hands and that outlet tends to end up having to do something with my car. Other times I'll just want to kick my feet up and enjoy some entertainment whether it's sports on the tv or a movie. 

Interestingly enough, time of year also plays into account. Sports are year round and I enjoy watching or going to live sporting events but the type of sport may determine how I'm enjoying it. Winter is when I can hit the mountains and do some snowboarding while the other seasons I don't have a personal sport of choice. 

Im going to explore the various hobbies and interests I have in upcoming posts. I tend to use this as an outlet to express myself but if I happen to help inform or inspire others with what I write, all the better.

Stop and Breathe for Inspiration at 30k Feet.

by Chris Sanchez

Yes it has been 10 months since my last post. I'm fully aware but in my defense... ok it's the same boring excuses I've always used. I lead a (seemingly) busy life but I recently got inspiration to post again so here I am.

Ok now that we're all good I will continue. I've always been intrigued by "self help-esque" and betterment books, articles, etc. I have a strong drive to keep pushing forward. Whether that's in my career, in relationships, or just in myself. This is what leads me to read and be interested in this genre of information. Some of the recent books include: Play It Away10% Happier and The Charisma Myth. The underlying principles for most of these are very similar in nature however I think it's the persistence in the messaging that really drives home the initiatives for me.

The most recent article that sparked my interest to really write this article was "33 Ways To Be An Insanely Productive, Happy Balanced Person." I feel like I'm similar to most online readers as I'm attracted to "Lists" of most types, except I typically avoid the BuzzFeed lists because let's be honest, they aren't THAT great. Anyways, the items within the article itself are pretty solid but they aren't really what encouraged me to write once again in almost a year.

What did was the final line of the article; "Keep balance, keep working and stay happy!" I read this and at that very instant I thought, I am truly happy. I know I'm typically not a "sour puss" to those who know me because I always try to keep a positive demeanor but it's always a long road to happiness. Of course it's not a state to be forever in but that's really to goal, at least for me it is. I want to be as happy a person as I can for as many hours, minutes, seconds in a row that I can be. At this moment and for the time being I'm truly happy. I may be shoved in a tight airplane seat, 30k feet above the Colorado/Utah boarder heading home to the Bay but it's not stopping me from being happy. I love my job. It may get on my nerves and I may have issues with certain aspects but overall it's a fantastic job. My coworkers, many of whom I can call friends, are amazing, hardworking people. The work isn't rocket science but it takes a certain skill to perform at a high level and succeed at it. I've gotten into a great groove in being happy with who I am and comfortable in my own skin. I'd say the personal development piece has always been in motion since I can remember but it's a long road and will continue to be a challenge for self improvement and self love. I'm just happy I can acknowledge that I'm in a cohesive place in life. Living on my own for the last 15 months has really taught me to enjoy the time I get to spend with myself. It has also shown me where someone else can present themselves and make you happy in a different kind of way. Unfortunately things simply don't fall into place magically on their own. It does take work on your part to take the reigns and "get shit done" as an old Bluekai saying goes. Now it seems like I'm rambling a bit. My apologies. Moving on.

I just want more people to be happy. Stop, breathe and feel the sun on your face. Taking just a minute to be thankful in the moment does wonders for your attitude and outlook. Things won't be perfect all the time but it's important to do your part in being happy. Now I will go back to my never ending self improvement. And of course remember... Keep balance, keep working and stay happy!





Sporadic Life

by Chris Sanchez

My posts seem to be further apart these days. Life is busy but then again when is it not. I can't always use that excuse for my neglect here as well as the rest of my life. I think about people with "real" problems or even kids. Now they truly don't have time to themselves. I live on my own. No roommates to bother me when I get home. No one in the shower or using the kitchen. I should have all the time in the world. But after work all I want to do is shut off my brain, melt into my couch and laugh to comedians making with the funny on At Midnight. This isn't always possible though because I have some inner drive that kicks me in the ass and gets me to the gym 3-4 times a week. Lately I've been going 5 days a week and that's no easy task. It takes time and dedication but if I can make it work with the gym I need to dedicate that effort to other facets of my life.

Dating sucks and it's expensive. I feel even with online dating I could go on 100 dates, spend way too much money and not find the girl for me. Options these days are seemingly unlimited and completely limiting at the same time. I was listening to an NPR segment regarding the world of dating and how when you run the numbers for your preferences in an ideal match you get down to nearly zero potential matches. It's tough for me to imagine "settling" for the rest of my life just to not spend it alone. It doesn't seem fair to me or her. But that seems to be how society has operated for thousands of years before the internet and endless options were around. I don't know if I'll be able to find the ideal match for me using the internet and dating apps but I'll make sure to kick that personal drive into overtime to make sure I don't settle.

The Jailbroken World of an iPhone User

by Chris Sanchez

The iOS 7 launch is all the rage today and rightfully so. Millions of people will update their iPhones and this is clearly the future direction for Apples mobile OS. But there's another world that a minority of us are a part of and the newest iOS won't be truly exciting until it's jailbroken by our genius hacker community. I am sad to lose my jailbroken capabilities in order to upgrade to the new iPhone 5s but I'll surely be counting the days until I'm back in my comfort zone with a clean, untethered jailbreak. Apple made some good strides and I think the newest generation software is definitely an upgrade in the right direction but jailbreaking offers so many more advantages.

Key things to note before detailing my favorite and most used "hacks" if you will. Jailbreaking (once it's made available to the public by guys much brighter and more capable than myself) is easy to complete. These days you can simply plug in your iPhone, back it up, then hit a single button. The rest is taken care of from there. Once the phone reboots several times and is ready to go you have this new app store installed called Cydia. Cydia is the gateway to a whole new world (and a MUCH better iPhone experience if you ask me).

Now onto my favorite upgrades. The longest existing and very useful paid app is "MiWi". This allows tethering without paying the useless/pocket gouging monthly charge by your carrier. It's a one time payment of $20 instead of the $20+ per month you get tacked onto your phone bill just to utilize your existing data with other devices. Secondly I utilize "Androidlock XT" for an alternative to using a passcode. It's faster than typing a pin but will get replaced for me with Apples new fingerprint reader, which is getting great reviews on its responsiveness. Next is something Apple needs to incorporate if they really do care about true iPhone security. It's called "iGotYa" and it prevents your power button from turning off your phone when it is in a locked state. This is a huge issue for stolen phones as smart criminals who "happen to come by an iPhone" simply turn it off without ever needing your passcode and can easily sell it from there by just proving it turns on. By not allowing them to shut off the phone it's much more easily tracked and recoverable. I seriously want to know Apples apparent lack of initiative on this. Even better however, iGotYa also allows you to take a picture on the front facing camera when someone tries to turn it off. It then subsequently emails you the picture as well as the phones current location, further improving your chances of finding your phone. This will be one of the features that I'll greatly miss until iOS 7 is jailbroken. One caveat I will note is that your phone can still be hard reset (power button + home button) but this would have to be continuously cycled and doesn't seem like a reasonable solution for someone trying to conceal a stolen phone. Another useful one is called "Activator." This allows you to change any function on your phone to perform any action. It's super useful as I have "triple click home button closes all running apps." I also used it to double click lock button to turn on flashlight. There are literally thousands of combinations and custom actions that you can create and use with this. "Infinifolders" allows unlimited numbers of apps in a single folder instead of being limited to just 12. "Opener" automatically opens Google Maps instead of the dreadful and sometimes dangerous Apple Maps. In the same vain as the last one, "BrowserChooser" allows you to set your default browser to Google Chrome which I greatly prefer over safari, but we'll see how the updated safari on iOS 7 performs. "NCSettings" put a lot of the quick access settings into your notification bar. This is a welcome update that apple is now including as a new feature called "Control Center" but it's honestly 3 years behind the game. 

These are the main hacks that I use and will be miss, while I upgrade to the iPhone 5s and wait.


Constant Neglect/Constant Improvement

by Chris Sanchez

It seems that no matter what's going on in life, things are getting neglected at all times.  There's this invisible scale that takes up your time. As you add items taking your attention the other side, or items, add up as well since we have limited time and focus. It's a constant struggle to keep the important items balanced out and not forget about the neglected, but useful, stuff.

Work, sleep, social life, down time, relationships, working out... And the list goes on. The major struggle for me is that certain ones take president and almost always should, but life and it's priorities change over time and adapting to that change is key. I haven't been good at many things in life but I'm trying to improve as time progresses.

I tend to focus on the negative in life, as I think a lot of others do as well naturally, because it has a greater emotional toll and response from us. I know and am aware of the progress I'm making in life but I feel that the "unknown" of what I'm not currently doing or working on has this mystique about it since it isn't in front of my eyes or tangible. I tend to not focus on the day-to-day steps being made on the focused items in my life but rather the disintegrating parts left to wither or not exist at all. 

One of Jim Harbaugh's (49ers head coach) favorite quotes goes; "You are getting better or you are getting worse. You never stay the same." I feel this is so indicative of life since each aspect is either getting better (the stuff you're focused on) or worse (the neglected rest).

SF Quote.jpg

I have to do a better job of remembering that there are things getting better while I typically think about the stuff getting worse. The hard part for me is finding that balance where I'm happy with the progress and subsequent deterioration of each aspect of my life. Of course I want to do the best I can at my job but at what cost will my relationships suffer? I really want to travel and see other cultures to enrich my life, but at what cost to my career progression and development? These are the struggles that I'm sure most people have and must face, or ignore if they so choose, but I'm fixated on trying to better myself yet my opportunity costs are always weighed in heavily on my mind.

This seems to be in the vain of finding the "work/life balance" we all strive for but it goes much deeper than that because you have options beyond that. It seems that with the limitless moves to make I'm frozen in decision making at times. I have a vision of the path that I'd like my life to take but that path has changed course several times over the past several years from the decisions that I've already made (and not made). I'm realizing that this is never going to stop. That I'm forever in flux as life moves forward. I just need to make sure that as time forces me through life that I'm not in a daze or too focused on what isn't happening and be more in-the-moment for what is actually being focused on/happening/improving.