The Dirty 30: Notes and Quotes from My Best Year

Omar M. Khateeb
8 min readApr 11, 2017
Here’s to a year of being “me” at scale.

This past year has been quite a journey. I always knew it would be.

The year I turned 30 was memorable, and I made sure to capture a lot of lessons, quotes, and learnings that are worth saving.

More importantly, I captured a lot that was worth sharing.

Yesterday was my 31st birthday and I wanted to share with you all those notes and discoveries.

The “Dirty Thirty” was definitely about getting my hands dirty, getting in the weeds, and uprooting everything to see what I found within me.

It was a year that can be best described as a year where I learned to be the person I’ve always been.

I had many struggles and obstacles to overcome, but I soon learned to embrace them and see that the obstacle is the way and becomes the way.

I learned that finding true happiness starts with wanting the things I already had.

The ability to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future, was paramount to my year.

I learned to not amuse myself with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what I have, which is sufficient.

I was awakened to understand that the greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within reach.

We just need to train ourselves to get to feeling any kind of enlightenment.

The habits of our mind are like chains; they are too weak to be felt until one day we wake up and they’re too strong to be broken.

So here are my learnings from my 30th year on this earth.

I hope you enjoy them, but more importantly, I hope you do something with them.

“If learning turns to knowledge, you become a fool. If your learning turns into action, you become wealthy” — Jim Rohn

Notes, Quotes, and Learnings

  • A student went down to the river and asked Socrates about the secret of success. Socrates dunked the student underwater and almost drowned him. When the student came back up for air Socrates said:

“The secret to success is within us all, and when you desire it more than that breath… you will have it”.

  • Do you know why people like violence? Because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. Remove the satisfaction and the act becomes hollow. Sometimes we can’t do what feels good. We have to do what is logical — Alan Turing when bullied as a child.
  • “Set up all your projects so they’re focused on two things: Building relationships and developing skills. Then, nothing is a failure.” — Tim Ferriss
  • “Be careful with what you desire. Where your heart is set, there lies your impediment” — Seneca
  • “The way you do anything is the way you do everything” — Logan Templeton
  • “There’s no doubt you will be successful. The question is, will you matter?” — Seth Godin
  • “Those who claim to tell Gods and Monsters apart forget that night and day are one.”
  • Precision beats power, timing beats speed.
  • “Discovering who you are is like being an archeologist. You can’t jump to a conclusion of what you find from just dusting off one bone. What you think is the tooth of a fish could be a sabertooth tiger.” — Eddie Selover
  • “All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame and even dangerously bad ideas.”-Seth Godin
  • Choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You’re not born this way, you get this way.
  • Remarkable visions and genuine insights are always met with resistance.”
  • “Understand why you missed, not why you didn’t make it” — Lesson on how professional dart players think.
  • “A fast way to success is to look like you’re playing by someone else’s rules while quietly playing by your own.” — Jacob Barringer
  • “Safe and comfortable are the riskiest things you can do today” — Seth Godin
  • “Winners are all about depth. Losers are all about width” — Gary Vaynerchuck
  • “You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him angry” — Matt Afshari, Mazor Robotics Clinical Training Manager
  • “Find a good technology that has the potential to help people. Then find people that can help people. That’s how you build a company.” — Chris Sells, VP of New Business, Mazor Robotics
  • “Training the mind doesn’t only impact the way we feel, but the way others feel around us.” -Andy from HeadSpace
  • Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.
  • Motivation is fickle and can be thrown off by just being hungry. You need to develop enthusiasm for discipline.
  • It’s ok to be ignorant. Ignorant can become intelligent through curiosity. When you stop being curious, you become stupid. Stupid is forever.
  • “The universe will not let its will be manifested in cowards.” — Dr. Fisayo Ositelu
  • “We can’t control the sea, but we can control the way we surf the waves.” -Andy from HeadSpace
  • “Focus is less about what you need to do and more about what you need to stop doing” -Andy from HeadSpace
  • “Listen with two ears and one mouth” — Ken Husted, Sr. Director of Sales, Mazor Robotics
  • A formula for Greatness is consistency driven by the deep love for the work.
  • “It’s the very people whom no one imagines anything of, who do something no one could imagine” — Alan Turing
  • “Great managers not known for their thinking. They’re known for their action and execution.” — Chris Prentice, CEO, Mazor Robotics Inc.
  • “You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.” — Les Brown
  • Your 2 million-year-old brain isn’t designed to make you happy. It’s designed to make you survive.
  • “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human ….” — Calvin Coolidge
  • There are challenges we can signup for and emotions we can experience
  • He’s the kind of guy where if you lose sight of him, he ends up being the guy behind you that figured out where you’re actually going -Hal on Manford, a legendary exec
  • Better to be roughly right than precisely wrong
  • Life is a mix of opportunity and difficulty.
  • If Life were Chess….Start as a pawn. Then become a chess piece. Then chess player. Then the guy who makes the chess board. Then the guy who makes the game. And then change it.
  • “The quality of my life is reflected in the quality of questions I ask myself” — Tim Ferriss
  • “Angry rich people live their lives based on expectation and not appreciation” — Tony Robbins
  • Losers react. Winners anticipate.
  • History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes — Mark Twain
  • Life gets better when you get better.
  • “Life isn’t happening to you. It’s happening for you” — Tony Robbins
  • Everyone builds castles in the sky, the problem is when we try to live in them.
  • You must never fool yourself, for you are the easiest person to fool -Richard Feinman
  • Suffering is the moment that you see reality exactly for what it is. There’s no more denial and then you change
  • The candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long
  • Poor thinking habits keep people poor.
  • If you’re dishonest with others, you’ll be dishonest with yourself. If you’re dishonest with yourself, you’re disconnected from reality. That’s what leads to the discontents of civilization and unhappiness.
  • “The thing about once you’ve reached a milestone and smashed it, that wasn’t the hard part. The hard part is what you do after. It’s about refreshing and staying ahead. People will catch on and say “ok dude we already saw that. What else you got?” -Jamie Foxx
  • Don’t say “how do I use that to make my old thing work better”.
  • Focus on less and better
  • Look for troubles with happiness and curiosity. They’re opportunities, not obstacles. The obstacle is the way.
  • Make plans like an adult. Believe in them like a child.
  • To be truly happy you must want what you already have.
  • If there’s hope in the future, there’s power in the present- John C Maxwell
  • Motivation gets you started. Habit gets you there — Zig Ziglar
  • People find complex decisions scary, since it’s complex we don’t know what to do then we trust whatever choice is made for us-Dan Airly
  • Replace your wishbone with your backbone.
  • The more you bleed during peace, the less you sweat during the war. Train hard
  • Don’t confuse a sideshow with something that’s valuable.
  • Great presenters tell you what they’re going to teach you, then teach you, and conclude by telling you what they taught you.
  • Motivation gets you started. Habit gets you there.
  • It’s more important that you do work that’s valuable than work that’s pretty.
  • There’s no doubt you will succeed. The question is will you matter?
  • In sales, change the frame of reference.
  • Look to create a whole new platform/language for creativity in your field.
  • Our thoughts fill our spaces and our spaces return the favor. Screen the environments you’re in and the people you surround yourself with.
  • “God will not place a burden on a man’s shoulder knowing he can’t handle it”
  • Have customers choose between something and something else, not something and nothing.
  • Don’t win every little battle just to then lose the war
  • The hero and the coward feel the same thing. The difference is how they respond.
  • Find difficult things to be grateful for.
  • Your competence becomes your confidence.
  • You’re a lot better than people who are just frustrated. You don’t have an opportunity, you have an obligation.
  • The very thing you scared of is your opportunity to make a difference.
  • We are only interested in what other people are interested in.
  • They’re not here to hear from you. They’re here to hear from each other.
  • Fix the hell on earth for you and then sell the solution.
  • Change what it means to be a ________
  • You get paid in proportion to the difficulty of the problem that you solve.
  • Be able to see patterns around corners. Then you can predict the future.
  • “To succeed in the business of the future, we must become the very people we are trying to reach.” — Brian Solis
  • “Always pick substance over form” -Thiel
  • Adversary to business is what carbon is to steel
  • Knowledge -> Strategy -> Execution.
  • “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ― G.K. Chesterton
  • It’s not what you get when you reach your destination. It’s about who you become.

Omar M. Khateeb is an unorthodox and innovative medical device marketing leader with a background in science and medicine.

He currently serves as Marketing Manager for Product and Platform Technologies at Restoration Robotics.

His interests reside in sales psychology, neuromarketing, and self-development practices.

Check out his virtual bookshelf here to find your next great read, and connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or SnapChat.