#Experiences

I’ve always gone through life living very frugal. Saving where I can. Whilst my friends have been living it up, going on holiday to fancy destinations, going on wine tastings, and generally just having fun.  This never really bothered me.  I never spent money on buying the next biggest television or buying a new car every year, things like that never really appealed to me. I enjoy living comfortably and that was enough for me.

A while ago I got married and my wife and I spent the most amazing week in Mauritius. Having our every whim catered to. Amazing. This really made us think. We’re constantly saving up money to buy our own house, or to replace the worn tyres on our car, or to replace a broken appliance. We never really spend money on ourselves, on experiences. Mauritius was an awakening, it showed us that life should be enjoyed.

In 2017, this will be our mission, spend more money on experiences. Sure, we will still save a lot, for other things, but we will take some time, and money, and go do something we normally would not.

Life is short, live a little. #Experiences.

WordPress plugins you need on your site

I try and do a lot of regular optimizing on my other blog. Over the years I’ve found a few WordPress plugins I cannot go without. I thought I’d share them with you.

 

CloudFlare/Incapsula

CloudFlare and Incapsula are the two best CDN‘s around, and both have a free version. I use both, on different sites, for various reasons. Many articles have been written on the differences between the two, so I’m not going to spend much time on the subject. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is best for you.

W3TC

If there is one plugin you cannot go without, it would be this one. You can speed up your blog/website so much by using W3TC. The options for caching content are endless and once again, many articles about this plugin have already been written such as this one from Tuts+

SEO Friendly Images

If you’re anything like me, super lazy and you don’t add ALT text to your images, then you’re going to need this plugin. We all know how important it is for SEO to have ALT text on all your images. This plugin conveniently adds it for you, using the name of the post, or whatever other option you have enabled in the settings area.

Widget Logic

This is another one of my favourites. Sometimes you only need a certain plugin to appear on a certain post/category. With this plugin you can do that. You do need a bit of brains to figure out the ‘logic’ part, but other than that, this plugin works great.

WordPress SEO

Your blog cannot go without this plugin. Besides all the normal SEO stuff like providing you a place to add meta tags for Google Webmaster Tools or adding meta tags for a category/page, this plugin also generates your XML sitemap.

WP Smush.it

Another one for the lazy folk. If you upload images that aren’t web optimized, this plugin will do that for you. In the free version, you can only optimize images that are less than 1Mb, but if you upgrade to PRO, you can optimize images up to 5Mb.

Total Security

Total Security saved my butt a few times already. When you’re done with a clean install of WordPress, there are a few things you can do to harden WordPress against attackers. Total Security scans your WordPress installation and gives you a nice report of all the things you can do to improve security. In addition to this, they also compare your WordPress core files against a known safe version and shows you any differences, meaning modifications to your core code that could have been caused by exploits in some of your installed plugins.

One year wiser today

Time is a precious commodity, of which we have a limited supply. So many people fall into the trap of merely existing and not living to their full potential. Wow, I’ve heard that phrase a lot throughout my life. At some point in your existence, you’ll start to understand what that means, and start living.I love martial arts, any form of it. Personally, I practice Brazillian Jiu-jitsu and you learn so many valuable life lessons from it.

Here are a few that I’ve learned, that apply to your life, as well as the mat.

Time – more specifically, timing. There is a time and a place for everything. Just because something does not work right now, does not mean it will never work.

Seize opportunities. You only get one chance at it. Life works pretty much the same, you’ll be given an opportunity, what you do with it, is up to you. Let it pass you by, and you might never be so lucky again.

Grow some balls. Life is tough and unfair, deal with it. Some days the new kids who are younger, more athletic, but less experienced, will kick your ass. Don’t go sit in the corner and cry, acknowledge the fact that in that specific situation they were better than you, learn from it, and move on.

Confidence is the key to much success in life. People can smell confidence, it’s like a powerful fragrance. Once you have it, nothing can stop you.

Get comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Put yourself in situations where you think you’ll fail. The more you practice / think of worst case scenarios, the more prepared you’ll be if it happens one day.

Learn from other people’s mistakes. I like having conversations with elderly people, they have so much wisdom and life experience. They can give you advice on mistakes that they’ve made, that you haven’t even thought of yet.

Appreciate the relationships you form. Meeting good people nowadays is rare, making friends with good people is a privilege.

A couple of things I learned

I like sharing my life lessons with other people that are interested enough to listen. Here are a couple that I’d like to share with you today.

 

  • Don’t judge people you have a professional relationship with. I’m specifically referring to your colleagues, but this can relate to anyone you do business with. You don’t know them personally, so you have no idea what their situation is at home. People always bring their home problems to the office.
  • On that same note, don’t make business decisions based on emotion, rather make those decisions based on facts.
  • Keep your friends close and keep the people you don’t like even closer.
  • Have genuine conversations with people. It helps you connect with them.
  • Don’t worry if someone does something better than you can. Give them credit for it and immediately you did something that they could not do.

Stay vigilant

Silly season is almost upon us and this is usually the time of the year that you have to start looking over your shoulder. Mall robberies are on the increase as well as breaking and entering. If you walk down the street there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings, if something seems out of place take it as a sign of danger.
  2. Look everyone in the eye. If a criminal knows you know what they look like, they are less likely to attack you for fear that you will recognize them later on.
  3. If you look like a victim, you will likely become one. Don’t look scared or afraid, give the impression that you will fight back if they should try and attack you.
  4. Everything goes in a street fight. Anything can become a weapon.
  5. Practice in your mind what you are going to do if faced with an attacker or robber, be prepared.
  6. Carry a bottle of pepper-spray.

I had a situation the other day right in front of my office building.  As I approached the front door to unlock I saw a neatly dressed gentlemen walking towards me. I knew something was wrong immediately and stepped back to create some space between us. He grabbed the door handle to try and gain entry. I pushed him out of the way, went inside and locked the glass door behind me. I then proceeded to question him through the glass door and found his stores to he incoherent, he was clearly under the influence of narcotics. I phoned ADT and whilst waiting for more than 20mins for them to arrive tried to calm him down, as he was getting agitated.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to remain calm. As long as the other party does not have any weapons or endangers your life, try and diffuse the situation whilst keeping distance between yourself and the potential threat. Don’t get into a physical altercation if your aren’t acting is self defense. Reasoning with someone under the influence of drugs can be frustrating, but don’t take matters into your own hands. If you lay a hand on him, you can be charged with assault.

Stay safe out there.