How To Get Into UC Berkeley

For how small this website’s community is (60 people a day on average) – I’m always surprised when someone emails me (jonathan.gaurano [at] gmail.com) asking me to write an article. I appreciate it and like when you all do this because it helps me write something on this blog. I’m writing for you.
Here is what this person had to say:
“Future posts on college would be cool…”

As much as I could tell you how to get into college, I’m going to be honest with you that in my senior year in high school I applied to six universities and then got rejected by five: because I came from an under-resourced economic community, I wanted to go to an elite university because I knew the network for these places would help me move up into society – faster. So, I only applied to elite universities – AND – I got rejected by five of them.

Those five universities were i) New York University, ii) Columbia, iii) Brown University, iv) Wesleyan University, v) Notre Dame. Yes, I got rejected by all of them.

Last minute I got accepted by UC Berkeley (it’s a story I will tell later). It is the only school in California I applied to because it was the furthest from San Diego & it was (and is) the number one public school in the world. I thought to myself that if I didn’t get into UC Berkeley, I would go to a community college and then transfer. I really wanted to go to this school & now I’m going to tell you how I got in – hopefully it’ll help you someway.

Here we go.

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Making & Connecting with Friends

A week ago a reader emailed me asking me to write a post:

I think it would be cool to hear more advice on making friends. I know you have a post on networking though. I love hearing about networking advice though lol. Personally though, I struggle with connecting with people and making friends, and you seem like someone who knows a lot about that.

I think this reader gives me a little too much credit in this department. I’ve been thinking about this subject and I’ve realized the one thing this reader has to understand is that making and connecting with friends are two very different concepts. I believe making friend is one of the easiest things one can do in life, it requires little or no effort. Connecting with a friend is harder because it requires more time and trust with both parties involved. However, the main thing to keep in mind is that for both things to happen you cannot go in trying to be friends with anybody: you need to let it happen naturally.

As you can see there are three concepts we’re going to analyze and go through. Let’s begin.

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When Something Punishes You. Push Through?

Here’s the story.

I left for New York on Wednesday, July 9th 2014. I was there with my startup buddies for a business event where we had a big part in the convention that was being held there. Sadly, the convention got cancelled last minute. So here I was, spending $500 for a flight to New York, traveling to the destination with no real goal in mind. The only logical thing to do was i) Vlog ii) Write for this blog & Thought Catalog and iii) have fun times with my New York Friends.

Long story short these are the events that took place. I’m writing this fast because I’m currently sitting in an airport lobby waiting for my next flight.
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The Power of Consistency

Consistency, regardless if it’s working out – to brushing your teeth, is a very important trait to have if you want to be successful in anything. For the sake of this article and for the sake of my own brand, I’m going to talk about consistency in relation to the examples of this website, my articles on other sites, and my YouTube channel.

Let’s start with articles on other sites.
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Jesus. Too Much.

What’s up ya’ll?

I understand I haven’t been writing much and the numbers are showing. It used to be that about 100 of you were looking at this blog and now, we’re averaging only about 50. I haven’t disbanded ya’ll completely. I like writing and will keep up with this blog, but right now I will tell you that I haven’t been in tip-top shape because I’ve been extremely exhausted in the last few weeks.

As of right now I’m helping my friend with his startup by managing his internal team and pitching in with his sales strategy for an upcoming convention in NYC. I have no idea why I’m pitching in, but I guess because I just like helping? I believe in his idea? It’s fun to solve problems that a company has? It feels good to be needed?

(Probably yes to all of these rhetorical questions).
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Making Things NOT Happen

“I want to stay busy.”

“I’m not doing enough.”

“I need to be productive.”

These are constant things I hear and also tell myself on a daily basis when it comes to the projection of my self-worth. If I’m not doing something productive or if I’m not busy then I feel like I’ve become a disgusting slob for that day. The more slob like days I have, the more I want to rip my shirt into many pieces: I hate not being productive.

But, in time I’m learning that there is a big difference between productivity, staying busy, doing enough, and actually making things happen. What do I mean?
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The Only Way Out is Through

The Only Way Out is Through – Robert Frost

I was talking to one of my (gambling anonymous) sponsors the other day and I was telling him that I was having difficulty getting through the day without thinking about gambling. Living with an addiction that you’re trying to get rid out of your system is very arduous. Not being able to gamble might be easy for others, for me it’s like getting a mosquito NOT to fly towards a bright light.

Almost impossible.

And -

Los Angeles has a ton of Casino Lights that seduce me while I’m driving to and from work on the freeway. My head and hands sweat as my brain is trying to thinking of excuses to exit the freeway and SPRINT into the casino.

I really want to stop Gambling because it’s not only going to ruin me financially, but it’s also going to ruin the potential I currently have: am I willing to risk the rest of my 20s – MY LIFE – on cards?

So I called my sponsor and began to tell him how I wanted to pounce to the casino: the URGE IS SO STRONG. It’s weird it was like the casino was calling my brain to visit her. I was actually in pain because I wasn’t visiting her. You could say it felt like a bad breakup. I was venting these thoughts to my sponsor when he said, “Jonathan – The Only Way Out is Through.”

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Marathon vs Sprinting

It’s strange.

In the past I’ve helped (or managed) YouTube channels whose videos have gotten hundreds / if not millions of views. And, recently I did a video that grew to around 2,000+ views (still climbing) organically – and I’ve never ever felt so excited in my life! It could be because i) I wasn’t expecting these amount of views. ii) It grew organically (didn’t do any spamming on other channels). iii) It’s my own.

If you haven’t seen the video, here it is:

Anyway, this post is about Marathon vs. Sprinting…
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Daily Quick Moments

I’m doing this new segment on my channel called, Daily Quick Moments. I’m doing it because I realize that I do not have the time to throw in a quality adventure video every week. The videos are less than 3 minutes long and they’re really fun to make. And, it’s a great way to keep my creative juices flowing as it helps relieve my stress. Yes, “Daily” means I’m trying to do it almost every single day… we’ll see.

Watch the first two episodes:

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Surround Yourself With Smarter People: For The Entrepreneur

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, people who you can bounce off ideas with, and people who are there to motivate you till the very end.

It’s been three months since I’ve been out of a job and in the process I’ve been looking for other opportunities to keep me going. The time has been spent traveling from North to South California to even random places, like Utah. I’ve been able to interact with a variety personalities in the YouTube space and startups.

This whole ordeal has led me to one conclusion: I need to surround myself with people who will get me to work. This is basically my issue is that I’ve been able to get out of bed and start working. You can see this as a sad thing but I’m unable to work alone. I love working an office. I love working with people who I can talk to about my ideas and here the projects they’re working on – this keeps me on my toes. And, I’m taking this philosophy not only for my own personal work, but also to the people who I work with (interns).

For example, I’ve now left my girlfriend in Northern California (staying long-distance) because the peer group I need to be at is in LA. And, I just purchased a plane ticket for my intern so I can start working in LA over the summer.

I believe the biggest investment you can make are the people you surround yourself with: you can do things yourself, but it’s always great to get second opinions on things because it can only make your work better. Also, it’s always great to have people who also believe in your projects because that in itself will make you make more.

I’m saying that you should be doing the same thing.
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Celebrate The Small Wins: Analyzing Thought Catalog Pieces

I’m writing right now because I’m a little stressed at the moment. I think one of the biggest reasons I’m stressing is because I’m unable to complete my latest vlog.

I’m trying to figure out how to integrate a bunch of the days to make it not boring. It’s bothering me as I keep editing and re-editing scenes – trying to make a story of some sort.

The ability to not finish this task is making me realize all the other unfinished things I have at the moment. In addition, my lawyer just said today,

“Time flies really fast man, I hope you’re getting your shit together. You better not be homeless by the end of the year.”

Then, I have my family and my partner subtly breathing down my neck all because they’re going through financial strain (need help. I believe I’m the source to help). Usually in these circumstances I go out and I gamble because it’s just a way to relieve stress. However, it’ll just create more stress in the long run because losing money won’t really help my cause.

Therefore I’m writing.

This article will be what I need to feel like I at least got something done, which will just ease my mind and help me complete my other tasks (momentum). Yes, I’m writing that you too can help clear your own mind and de-stress from the craziness by appreciating your small wins.

What do I mean? Let me explain.
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New York’s Finest High School & Ramen Noodle Soup!

Today I finished editing and just published my new video: “New York’s Finest High School & Ramen Noodle Soup!” This post isn’t about a strategy to what I’m going to do to make people watch the video. I wanted to talk about the experience, the students, the lessons I learned, and other things involving teaching (education).

Before we begin, you can view the video below!

Alright, let’s get started.
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Happiness & Positive Reinforcement

I’m happy right now and reflecting on so many aspects of my life. I think I’ll talk about it tomorrow, but for now I’m reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I’m going to implore you to read it because it’s pretty life-changing. Anyway, I want to share an expert from the book.

It involves the power of being kind and enforcing positivity to your peers, co-workers, and anyone (if any) who works for you. And, how this power can drastically change your workforce for the better. Here we go…
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The “I Don’t Know What To Start. I’m Distracted” Complex

This is my 17th time trying to write today’s article for this site. It’s been tough because my mind has been wandering around trying to figure out what to do first: should I edit my next YouTube episode? Write the article for Thought Catalog (writing on another site to get exposure is beneficial for want-ta-writers like myself)? Finish this article for my site because I promised ya’ll I would write more often (almost everyday)?

In the past few hours I would bounce around from this task to the next – to the next – and then back to this task again. For example, I want to close this document and finish my half-started Thought Catalog article. But I know that once I get to “trying to write” the Thought Catalog article I’ll just stare at the blank document thinking about how this initial article isn’t done.

What’s even worse is that now little other things are popping up that are making me even more distracted: a facebook notification, a text message alert, the fact that I need to check up on my car outside before I get a parking ticket… etc.,

AHHH. My brain is spinning, but I’m controlling myself because I want to make myself an example: I can tell you honestly that once I started this article (after changing the topic to the one I’m writing now), I have yet to sidestep from completing this task.

I have a saying when my brain surges in so many different directions that you’re unable to get anything done, I call it the The “I Don’t Know What To Start. I’m Distracted” Complex. The complex ruins your creative output because it doesn’t leave your brain open to think of something new or creative. It’s a bane.

Sometimes it’s so bad that I end up NOT getting anything done and just running to the nearest couch or bed to sleep: instead of my day being productive, it becomes a wasted day of just me sleeping. Pathetic.

Do you have this complex as well? I’ve had it all my life and I’m going to tell you how I’ve been able to “kind of” get a hold of this complex.

I feel writing this is helping me more than you right now, but hell, the best way to solve anything or become an expert at anything – is to teach the concept. I’m here to teach.

Here we go.

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Loser. Unable to DGAF.

I’m unable to DGAF (Don’t Give a F*ck) about what people think about me. It’s difficult especially when you’re not doing well. In my case, me “not doing well” is the fact that my side projects are not going well and I’m a little lost in my life with my career.

For example, I only have about 4,000 views on my YouTube channel (out of like 8 videos) and I average 65ish unique visitors a day to this blog. 65! LOL. (The blog views are fine as I’m not expecting much due to the fact that it wasn’t made to be popular, but more so my outlet to write AND a place where people who really searched hard for me – could get a dose of who I was as a person – BUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL & other social networks… well I suck) I should just kill myself.

The place(s) I used to work at always laughed, snickered, joked about, and were highly entertained when someone they hated (or rivals) failed (didn’t do so well). Right now I can feel these types of people breathing down my neck with great satisfaction that I’m not doing well. And, I’m having a very tough time trying to DGAF.

They say that “success” is the best revenge. However, I don’t want to be successful because I want revenge. I think that mantra is the stupidest fucking thing to say. The best revenge is NO revenge. Period.

Personally, I want to (and will work my ass off to) be successful so I don’t kill myself. Literally, I succeeded in certain things in my life all so the fact that I wouldn’t take a gun, stick it into my mouth, and pull the trigger.

I’ve never been a point where I’ve gone through with or attempted with a suicidal action. I think I’m too conceited and it’s a big permanent solution for usually – temporary problems. [In addition, I think suicide, in my case, would be a very selfish act (vying for attention)].

But, it’s not like it’s not in the back of my mind – haunting me to succeed.

Let me explain:

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How To Make a Prank Video with LAHWF & Tim Ferriss: Video Strategy?

Today I finished editing and just published my new video: Making a Prank Video with LAHWF and Tim Ferriss. It was a fun one to shoot and edit. Now, all that is left is doing things to make people view the video.

Before I begin telling you what I’ll be doing today (hopefully it works) – you can first see the video here:

Alright, now let’s get started…
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My Disease Called Gambling

I have a gambling problem.

I’m writing this because I find if I make this issue public I’ll be able to get a better grip of my problem. It’s not only a need – I WANT to stop this horrible habit because it is ruining me financially.

I know I would be about $100,000 richer and done more productive-meaningful things in my life (time wasted) if I didn’t gamble.

It is SUPER CRUCIAL that I must stop this time because I’m starting my own business venture this summer. Every cent I spend must be spent wisely towards a business purchase / decision. I am fortunate that, till September 2014, I will have steady income being deposited into my bank account.

However afterwards – gulp.

Therefore, I am telling you that I have a gambling problem. I’m going to tell you my story of why I got into it, what it has destroyed, and how I will fix it altogether. I hope sharing this will help anyone else who is dealing with compulsive disastrous habit(s) / disease(s) such as gambling.

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Vacation Over. Back to Beauty.

There is this goal, since the restart of this blog, that I have to write everyday. However, for the past five days (and till the 31st) I’ve strayed (will stray) away from this blog due to a vacation I had in New York. This is not an excuse, just merely a statement so you and I have an understanding of why I haven’t posted (or will post) in a while.

Five days in internet land is equivalent to one month. I apologize and will stay on top of things again. There are about 100-150 of you who visit the site everyday and I thank you for your readership. I don’t want to let you down.

Today I want to discuss about taking care of your cosmetic look. Yes, I’m going to be talking about the products and things I use to make my face looking healthy. I’m not talking about makeup – I’m talking about lotions, soaps, and routines so that way you can look healthy and refreshed as well.

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How To Make Things Right

It’s really hard to figure out a way to make something right.

Before I start with this whole piece, I’m going to say that I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my life. I’m talking about errors and mistakes, intentional or unintentional, that have led to me burning bridges with important people or “people close to me” – in my life.

Definition:

Important people are people I care for, while people close to me are usually the ones who are not necessarily on the top of my “caring” list but have some stake in my life (e.g., co-workers and subsections of different family members).

Let’s continue where we started – it’s really hard to figure out a way to make something right. The idea that you can suddenly say a few words or do a quick action to absolve your sins is something of a magical miracle.

I also want to make it clear that this article is going to be focusing on “making things right” with people you are or once were somehow close with you. As in, these people were never your opponents to begin with… usually people who you trusted as they trusted you as well.

Alright. Let’s begin.

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What To Talk About on A First Date

You’re shaking, anxious, and your bladder is giving you false signals that you have to pee. It’s time for something you’ve been preparing yourself for: the first date with a girl you’ve been talking with for a few days. You meet up, you give her a hug, and now you’re just… staring at each other.

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