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Posting this draft from awhile back…

The goal of paying off my last credit card will come to fruition this month (being October 2013).  Now I am really excited for the next goal that I have made for myself, even my wife is fully on board.  That goal is to pay off all the student loan debt, which is the only debt we have left…, but there is one problem, I have no idea how to do that and I am working myself into anxiety over it…

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This is my daughter, Mercedes, helping me take apart broken laptops at Grandpa’s and Grandma’s.

While Mercedes has no idea about how to take apart computer or what to do with the parts when the computers are broken down, but that does not stop her.  She picks up what she sees me pick up and just starts working on it. 

While I have been pacing and stewing and contemplating on what I can do to earn extra money to reach my new goal, I finally decided tonight that I will just start doing…anything.  And reviving the blog that I once wrote so often for seemed a good place to start.

I started browsing through pictures that I unloaded off of my iPhone and I came across this one of Mercedes working on a computer.

As always my children teach me something about life.  Just start doing something!  Don’t worry about wither or not you can!  Emulate others who are doing what you want to do.  You see them all the time.

Motor Mind

Posting draft from awhile back..

Had a fairly busy time this last week.  Along with my day job I prepared a computer course for 18 people, which was a little nerve racking.  But I did something that covered the gaps and nervousness in my teaching.  I made a  booklet with copious notes and many screenshots that laid out everything I was going to teach.  That saving grace was a thought in my mind about a week before the class was to start…

 

I have read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and have listened to it many times.  While I am not a perfect student or act on all the principles all the time, I do act on something because I have heard it so many times and decide to try it out.  In this case I went to program my subconscious mind to accept the thing that I wanted it to work on. 

 

I was thinking about the class and getting nervous about it when the picture of a booklet of notes came to mind.  I got excited about cause that could be my notes to teach, and also there notes to learn from.  And with a large class some could read ahead and I would have appropriate comics from the internet to keep the really bored ones entertained.  I pictured the size, the pages with screenshots and that it was nicely bounded with a clear cover.

 

I imagined this again the next night and even got particular about the details, it was bounded with a black spiral binding, and the cover was clear.  CLEAR I SAY!  So when I got to work on it and was going to print it… that was rather expensive, so I had to find way to make it cheaper.  My boss at the day job let me print them at the shop.  Then I went to school that I was teaching at and asked about binding.  They suggested all sorts of cheaper ways to do so but it stuck in my mind that it would not be as classy and professional as I have imagined it.  So in the end I paid for some nice binding but not for any of the printing or color ink.

 

The people in the class liked the book so much that I got an email about getting more copies cause other at the office were jealous of such a great little book.

 

What I have taken from this experience is how we use our minds to dream, make a vision, and make those things actually happen.

The Most Frustrating Thing

I have recently become debt free, have started to save thousands of dollars and  got a promotion at work.  Things have been going really well for me and I am elated that I have reached many goals that I have set not too long ago.   Yet I am still frustrated internally.  I am fretful all the time.  When there are things to be done and deadlines I feel trapped and anxious, when there is free time I get fretful again thinking I should be doing something.  Upon excessive thinking and driving all over the place to relax I have found what may be the cause of my frustration.

I have been thinking of a post like this for a few weeks now.  I keep putting it off or rather just didn’t make myself do it until now.  That is my biggest problem.  There was something inside my mind, something that I should do or write and I don’t.  The longer I don’t the more I regret it.  Then I eventually lose it.

After writing goals and deadlines, or putting the date on ideas that I want to do, I become sickened by how long ago I had an idea and when I finally see that note again a year or more has flew by.  Now granted I am not doing poorly, from the first statement above you can tell that things are going really well, but still the frustration lingers.

I started this post on my tablet one night and then the missionaries from my church came for a visit.  These are always great cause I rant and rave about whatever topic comes up till I am blue in the face, and on this visit I spoke of all the controversies that inundate Facebook and how no one listens and no one cares, so it is just spinning wheels.  Then I went on to say, “if people really wanted to improve the world they would improve themselves, they would start in their own home and become an amazing father, or an amazing mother.  They would take care of themselves, get out of debt, figure out how to earn more money…and by being their best they would improve their situations, their lives and thus improve the world and later have real ability to help people around them become better and more fulfilled…thus improving the world even more so!”

I thought this was a great breakthrough, while this was in my mind for the longest time I did not have the words.  As I thought more about it and how I could enact on my own sermon the reason for my constant frustration became a little clearer.  The most frustrating thing is that we are capable, and know that we are capable of so much.  That we can have what we want and others can too…BUT we don’t cause we constantly allow small failures, habits and addictions to slowly ruin our lives.

Think about it, have you even decided to go to the gym, you are driving there and at the last turn don’t make that tiny effort to turn the wheel and you drive past and just waste that time or go back home and watch TV?  Have you tried quick drinking caffeine and rebound because you were just bored? These, among many other examples, fill our lives and then we wonder why we are tired and anxious.

I propose that it is just not the bad habits and failures that drag us down so low, but that we know on some level that we could have done better.  How scary it is to think that I would wake up at 40, 10 years from now and had done more of the same from age 20 to 30.  That hundreds of thousands of little choices buried me in the same mediocre person that I have been.

I don’t need to get more tasks done in a day, I just have to make the right decision in the right moment.  No more effort will be required than if I had made wrong choice, but often things are worse off if do.  I save nothing by neglecting a work out.  You may argue time but really how is that hour used that day that you did not work out?  Pay attention…you will find that you are cheating yourself…over and over and over again.  And THAT is frustrating! 

Real Education

I often feel that I have learned so much more in the “real world” than I did at university.  While I value the education that I did get there, I will always regret getting student loans and how I went because that is what you do and erroneously thinking that I would automatically make a larger income because of going.  Don’t get me wrong, some have gotten loans, get a great job and were able to pay them back.  But that has not been mine or many others experience.

“One brought up exclusively by books carries through life a certain remoteness from reality: he stands, as it were, out of the pale, and feels that he stands so; and often suffers a kind of melancholy from which he might have been rescued by a more real education.”

William James

I love reading books, the Kindle has to be one of the greatest things that has come from our technological age.  And the things that I read stick in my brain and persuade me to think of solutions or actions that I would not otherwise.  But this quote has some merit in that we cannot just read and then call it a day and expect our desires to just flow to us.

Currently I am reading a book about how to become a high performer.  Being as I like to read I am just cruising through it.  But it asks that I write down questions and ponder and answer, also to devise a plan or some rituals to help bring my energy up.  I have not done any of them.  I feel remote from it all, like the quote implies it is almost like I am from the outside looking in and feel sad for being such a putz…

But not all is lost, the book I am reading spoke of doing things to re-energize one’s self, and doing these things just for the enjoyment of doing them.  Luckily writing a blog, pointless or not, is one of those things, so here it is! Enjoy!

What are some things that you know of intellectually, but don’t or won’t do with your actions?

Lazy Haze

It is the New Year and everyone seems excited about new goals and plans.  As for me, the last week or so I have just felt lazy and unproductive.  There is not really anything at the moment that gets me excited and fearless to the point where it does not matter whether I get 8 hours of sleep or not or if I have to stay late at work to get everything to a point that makes the next day easier and less stressful.

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Above: The debt payoff charts.

In the last quarter of 2013 my wife and I have paid off most of our remaining debt and only have $7,000 on my student loan left to pay off.  It’s been a really exciting process, but December was an odd month with a forced vacation, so the income was irregular, and I think that must have knocked me off the exciting “appetite for life” feeling that I had at the time.

We all know that many make grandiose plans for the New Year and if you listen to Dan Miller or a number of other motivational podcasts, these plans rarely last past February.  A thought I had was that I was not going to get caught up in the goal frenzy that happens this time of year.  I would just wait until March so that I could make and act on the goals in a sober manner.

But still this “lazy haze” is really annoying me.  I still need to be proactive and get things done at work and around the house and with the kids.  So I am trying a few things just to be less annoyed with myself.

One thing is working on my daily checklist again.  Despite that I think my system could still use some tinkering, the best thing about it is to just track what I do in a day and have the list for suggestions of things to do when my mind is blank and hazy.  The other thing is that I signed up for Jon Acuffs “30 days of hustle”…then forget that I signed up for, then got an email giving me today’s task. 

After getting onto the 30 days of hustle Facebook group I saw that so many were talking about ramping up their blogs that have died, and while no one likes a copycat, I thought that was the perfect thing for me to try out.  So that is why you will be getting all the delicious content that my mind has to offer!

My hope with my blog has always been getting some discussion, advice and feedback from anyone who happens to read it.

What do you do to combat the “lazy haze”?

Trying to have patience

After reading a few blog posts about patience and how we are the microwave society etc etc… I decided I will try to practice a little more patience.

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This picture of my daughter Chloe expresses exactly how I feel when I finally accept that I must be patient…

I was transferring ownership of two of my Android apps for $1200, and I was very excited to apply this toward the credit card that is almost paid off.

Of course there were hiccups, Google had to manually transfer so that took a day, then they transferred them to the wrong account…that took another two days to get one in the right account and another day on top of that to get the second app in the right account. And then waiting for the buyer to notice and get the money sent to my Paypal.

And even while writing this I am waiting 3-4 business days for the money to be transferred from Paypal to my bank…then…when my wife send the money from the bank to pay the credit card, that will basically take a week (I think visa set it up to try and trick people into late fees but that is neither here nor there).

For the part of this process that is done I had many internal impatient fits. I wanted to email Google a hundred times until they did their end right away, I wanted to take all my savings and throw it at the credit card, I wanted what I wanted right now! 

But patience paid off, I still have savings and I was able to put the extra income towards the credit card.  I am still wildly impatient but I keep it in check knowing that acting hastily only makes things worse.

How do you deal with times where you know you must exercise patience? 

I Have 3 Choices

One Sunday as my wife was playing the piano at church, I was taking care of our two daughters.  Mercedes, the older of the two, was having an absolute fit and just wanted to play outside.  After I got my dad to take my younger daughter I took Mercedes out to the car since she was being so loud anyway. 

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After she calmed down I tried talking with her and gave her two choices, “Mercedes, you have two choices, you can stay in the car OR you can go back inside.”

This actually helped her calm down even more as she immediately stuttered, “I have 3…I have 3…I have 3 choices.” she said as she put up 3 fingers to herself and counted them with the index finger of her other hand, “Stay in the car…” she touched one finger, “go back inside,” she carefully touched the second finger, then she excitedly touched the third finger “OR go play on the grass!”  When her mom came out to the car Mercedes still had three fingers up and seemed to walk back into the church carefully guarding her hand that held her three choices.

While it is difficult to get my daughter to do almost anything when her mind is set, this is something I absolutely love about her!  Her mind simply does not care about choices or constraints that she does not desire, while she did concede that the other choices existed, without effort she came up with a possible third choice.

Mercedes has replied to this choice situation many times, each reply has been brilliant, “Make it a different choice daddy!”, “That is not a choice!” or “How about a different question?”

There is so much I take from this every time it happens.  How many choices do I have?  What do I really want?  What am I missing by being so focused on the few choices that others impose on me?

The $50 Deal

Every month in my family budget my wife and I get so much blow money.  This month (and many other months I am sure) I will be trying something different.  I want to pay $50 dollars to someone out there who is willing to help me find side work.

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I have a credit card that I am absolutely sick of and want to pay off and then destroy the card.  In order to do that I need to make some extra money.

The deal is that if you find me a gig or a temp job that I can make at least $500 in week from, then I will pay you $50 for the finder’s fee.

Certain criteria are needed for the gig:

*  Something that I can do locally in or around the Drumheller area…
OR
*  Over the internet such as building a website or computer consulting.

*  My day job can be sporadic, if I get a call or have to work late I cannot get around that.

*  I would have to make at least $500 in a week for you to get the finder’s fee.

*  No MLM (Multi Level Marketing), Pyramid schemes, or other such things.

*  Payment for the finders fee comes after I have obtained the work and earned $500 or know that I will earn at least $500,

*  If you, yourself, are providing a gig I will gladly give 10% off off whatever we agree upon.

*  I will gladly accept smaller paying gigs but the finder fee will be reduced, such as $10 for a $100 gig $20 for a $200 gig etc.

*  I can turn down any gig for any reason.

To get a feeling for what I can provide you may check out my resume here.

Better Than Not

So many times I have thought that I just cannot do something.  I waited too long, I’m too old or too young, there is no point and so on.  One day I was giving the missionaries from my church a ride to a town that was an hour away.  I was busy with oil pumps and had to work late, and even later since I gave the missionaries the ride.

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When I told my wife about it later I remember saying, “It’s good to be around the missionaries, or at least it is better than not being around them.”

For whatever reason that really stuck out to me.  How many things that we decide to do or not do are better for us if we do them?  Many times things are binary, it is simply better that we did them.  Of course there are those things that we have done that it would have been better that we didn’t, but I find that there are many more things that we should have done that we didn’t.

Safeguarding time by not using it?

One of my faults is that I won’t do many things cause it takes up time…time that I could be doing something more important…as soon as I find out what that is.  Or time that I could be sleeping…since I always need to catch up on sleep.  It seems that I always hoard my time thinking that it will help me, when really, the time passes whether I do something with it or not.  So, simply put, it is better to do something with the time you have, rather than nothing.

Are you hoarding your time?

Can’t Blame Wife and Kids

Near the end of April my wife and kids went to the States to help my wife’s sister with her first baby.  I was excited for the time to get a lot done on my own projects that I thought the wife and kids were keeping me from getting done. I was even gonna have a little blog series on all the things that I did while they were away…sadly I didn’t really do much…

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Sure I did a lot of good work at my day job, but when I got home I spaced out.  And yeah I did clean the house, but really when it stays clean after you clean it, it is not as big of an accomplishment.  Probably the best thing that I did do was go exercise about three times in the week that my wife and kids were gone.

This was a fantastic eye opener.  Namely that it is not my wife and kids that are keeping me from getting things done…it is not that I don’t have enough time or that the conditions are not right.  The problem is with me and the habit that I have formed and concealed by blaming all other aspects of my life for the laziness that I excel at.

They have been back for a few days now and for whatever reason I am finally kicking myself into gear again to get some things (outside of maintaining my existence) done!

What habits or consequences are you suffering and blaming on others?