Tag Archive: book

A Hand from the Past

We always seem to have those moments when we look back and think that we have accomplished nothing. As if no goals have ever been met. Nothing we intended to write has been written. And absolutely no progression is being made whatsoever other than the prolonging of our existence.  I was having such an episode the last week when I remember that I wrote a book…I wrote this book when I was in much worse shape than I am now, and that book really did the trick!



The book was “How to Survive as a Complete Failure” and it has the log of things I did to get through when I was in the depths of failing. I read it a night ago and wanted to have contempt and say that the advice would not work for me…but I wrote it, and there were examples of when that advice did work for me. Which after I get over my pity party, got excited that I could do things to make my life better and I have proof that it works and that I actually wrote it down!

I am considering putting this on Kindle Self Publish, it is only 27 pages at the moment, but perhaps I will go through it once (correct spelling and grammar and whatnot…), and any new stories or experiences and call it the 2nd edition.

This blog is exactly the same thing. When I see people asking about how to start a blog, or that they want to write but they are not writers, I think of this blog… Which I have neglected at times, but have still written. When looking back on some of the post I reveal in the fact that “this is not the most terrible thing I have read!”

A big thank you for those who have been following this blog, keep a lookout on Kindle store for the “How to Survive as a Complete Failure” book!

What accomplishments from your past give you a boost?


After reading Ender’s Game I thought that I should try a much older sci-fi adventure to see how the writing differs.  When I discovered that C.S. Lewis wrote “Out of the Silent Planet” and the fact that the title is a very catchy Iron Maiden song, I set about to listen to that book next.



Lewis was extremely descriptive is his settings.  So much that I literally allowed my mind to blur the scene together and not get to hung up on what the scene would exactly look like.  I did like, however, the description of how Ransom could not make sense of much of what he saw on the new planet.  I compare this to learning my new job.  When I became a “pump man” for oil well bottom hole pumps, when I entered the shop for the first time…all the pieces were just bits of metal, that they had purposes and different sizes. It took my brain a moment to understand that and about six months to internalize the same, and just now after about my seventh month I am becoming useful.

I will comment that it was an exhausting mental effort to listen to the whole book as quickly as I did (about 3 days in the work truck and a little at home), but it was a fantastic story and even better from a viewpoint of science in the 1930’s and 40’s.  It felt oldschool and classy as the characters were all gentlemen in their own way.

I fear that much of the philosophy was lost on me, I know that the book makes the alien planet out to be a heaven of blissful people that never think any harm and makes humans out to be monstrous…but there was a lot more that if I had been reading the book instead of listening to the audio, I would have underlined or highlighted.

Some great quotes from the book:

“The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

It is a little maddening to start learning something, get really excited or experience please from the learning and then want to know everything there is to know on the matter and all in the same night!


“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Opposition in all things makes the good enjoyable and the bad fearful…or something like that…


“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

This makes sense in the book, but I fear that dwelling on one good memory instead of moving forward to make many more worth while memories is a dangerous thing.

I read “Enders Game” when I was in Elementary school…and I can easily say that I did not absorb a single word of it.  Though I did remember the little surprise near the end of the book.  It was really interesting to listen to the book and the company that did the recording did a masterful job even with the impersonations of different characters voices.  I has to listen to the book in 5 minute intervals to and from work in the morning, coming home for lunch and leaving work for the day.  I was fortunate to have a few times where I delivered an oil pump that I could listen for a 2 hour stretch.

Enders Game has an incredible way of showing how a bully to a young child can be torture and also how it can make you stronger if it does not break you.  I also really enjoyed how the characters were so young and yet doing amazing things.  I wonder how far from fiction this would be if children could be given the opportunity or even the pressure to excel.

I have some quotes that I really liked that were just mind blowing when you stop to think about them for a few minutes:

“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

I have found this to be true, the meanest example that I will admit to is when I was really young and was making fun of a kid for stuttering…after a little bit of that it took me a little while to stop stuttering, either way I got my just deserts.

“Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

This quote rang loud and clear over and over again in my mind.  It adds to my theory on how no one cares and it does not make them evil…they just don’t.  When you make interactions with people, they need you to work, or to do something or to even listen to them and help them through their problems.  But they are not, initially, asking you to be happy, just to be brilliant on their behalf.

“No book, however good, can survive a hostile reading.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

Pretty self-explanatory…a book cannot combat a bias.  I on somewhat on the fence about this…if you are really looking for the truth or for understanding a book can whittle away at you.  If you are dead set to not be persuaded you will likely not read the book or get very far in it.

“The essence of training is to allow error without consequence.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

Probably my favourite words in the book.  So many times I have been terrified in training, when this should have been my mantra.

I am a Writer!

Since I have gotten my new job as a pump picker uper and deliver, and repairer, I have not had much time to write.  And even when I do I really just feel like watching Family Guy and Firefly on Netflix.  In my wallet I have things I repeat to myself on a 3×5 card so that I do not forget what I am striving for.  And that fact that I am a writer is one of them.

You very well may be a writer yourself, or something else great that you are always thinking about.  Don’t lose sight of it just cause you got a new intensive job, or your current job may be brain numbing. 

Jot your ideas down somewhere, at my new oilfield job I inherited a large planner book for the year, and since the year is more than half over there are a ton of blank pages, I sneak my ideas and thoughts into this planner…for some reason when I write them throughout the day they seem brilliant but when I get home they seem mediocre.  Regardless keep your dream alive anyway you can.  The most crazy ways are probably the best.

Make sure that whatever you produce is available to anyone who wants it.  I have a Dropbox account and I save my writing or other such things as PDF’s.  Then put a link to download these in my Tweets and Facebook posts.

Enjoy who you are and keep living the dream!

What are some ways that you keep your dream alive?

A Book about Failure

I was racking my brain trying to write a book about computer programs or any number of things that I am good at, none of them were any good.  I was feeling rather low cause I really want to write and get out there.  Then a thought about writing a book about surviving failure popped into my head, and I could not shake the idea, but when I was in bed the book wrote itself in my mind.

So I typed what I could and saved it as a PDF for you to download, Enjoy and please give me any and all feedback!


Yes this is a rather long title and I sure hope it does not turn you off to reading this post.  I have been reading and working on websites the last few weeks and have completely neglected my blog.  The other big part is that after reading “Platform” I have not been that excited to write a post since there are so many things to consider when writing them.  To get things started I just had to ignore all the nay-sayings in my head and just write, it took a little bit of courage to even get started!

I have been writing this blog since October and now my wife has started a blog about her garden.  Her posts are amazing and include many well taken photos…I still have yet to embrace the always having a picture in my post, something that I need to change.  Also I have had a lot of websites to work on, and no, none are really creating any income… one might but it is for an artist, and they want to always change things to the point that I really don’t want to work on their site anymore.  Courage, it takes courage to endure the being in the middle of creating sites and making what I do into succinct products and packages, and then creating an elevator pitch…I almost dread the thought of it, but it must be done if I want to be able to market myself quickly when I have an ear for a few moments.

Finishing is also a very daunting tasks.  It is funny that after wading through a swamp, when you are almost to the other side despite all the alligators and being weighed down with muck and water, that we want to turn back and leave any progress that we made behind to go back to the familiar.  I got my site done and asked for feedback from people, I have gotten some great suggestions…but just don’t want to go back to my site and implement them.  So it is with so many things that I have almost finished, that little voice creeps in and say that all this is for nought, no one will listen, or view your content or take your services and you will be broke, go back to a normal job.

It is so true that hero like courage is required to get started, muddle your way through, and then we must muster another whole set of courage to finish what we have set out to do.

Do you have the courage to start, work though, and finish on your dreams?  It is not easy and it is not always fun, but I must take it at everyone who has done it word that it is worth it!

Holy cow I have not been blogging or getting any of the usually stuff done.  This last two or so weeks have been intense for me building for my future.  I got the book “Platform” by Michael Hyatt, and read that all the way through, then I had this feeling that I should start a video blog, I got a little excited and then let it die cause it would be a lot of work.  But the feeling persisted almost to dread if I did not do it, I kept thinking that I just could not do it or that it would be no good.  I finally just made myself do it, and here it is for you to view in this blog!

Hope you enjoyed it, I only made it like a week ago but with all I have been trying to do I just never blogged about it.

THEN I decided to get serious about my website, my previous one http://www.hartwired.com was pretty lackluster, and now that domain points to the same place as the new URL http://www.hartsoffice.com.  The great thing about this site is that it markets me, what I do for the company I work for, my teaching and coaching in software that I do for a school here in Drumheller, and what I do on my own.  The exciting thing that this brand that I am building can come with me where ever I go.  So when I do move back to Utah, or move to Germany…that all my work will not be for nought in that new location.

I love the adage that Dave Ramsey so often uses in saying, “Leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home!”  I can fight mediocrity and so can you!

What are you doing to find, kill and drag something home? (Note: of course you know this is a metaphor for finding success, no actual killing is needed unless you work at a meat processing plant of some kind…)

It takes Courage to Blog!

I just purchased and have been furiously reading Michael Hyatts book “Platform”, it has an overwhelming amount of great information about blogging and social media, but something really struck me and has been resonating in me the last few days:

“If we are going to create wow experiences, we must become courageous. This is a personal, psychological bridge we need to cross. What we want to create—that wow experience—is on the other side of the ravine. There’s no other way to get there from here.”

Hyatt, Michael (2012-05-22). Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Kindle Locations 634-636). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I thought that was fairly neat as I read, then I continued on and the usually fears cropped up:

* I should be doing something else…
* I should stop reading and look for my lost bluetooth…
* Doing the things in this book will take too long, so why bother…
* Go get a real job and just deal with it…

This is the best way that I can put some of the fears into words, but really it is a dreadful feeling that just wants to deter me from doing ANYTHING.  But this quote has really helped me, it pointed out that there would have to be some courage involved!  That being said, there would be fears to overcome, inaction to defeat, and sacrifices to be made if I want to get to where I want to be.

The worse fear is the future projection of failure, I have at least a good two solid times (that I can still remember clearly) being in a situation of absolute horror, bills were due, no money was coming in, the job I had at the time was shaky or I was unemployed.  The feelings I have had at those times resurface just long enought to say “Don’t go for it, get somewhere safe, keep low, keep quiet, don’t get noticed, they can’t hit what they can’t see…” a terrible mindset and a perfect path to staying mediocre.

I have many ideas that come to my mind and excite my whole being, but I almost never act on them, here is another impressive quote from Hyatts book:

“Listen to your heart. Most of us have spent a lifetime ignoring—or even suppressing—our intuition. I don’t know if this is a product of modern rationalism or American pragmatism. Regardless, I believe intuition is the map to buried treasure. It is not infallible, but neither is our reason. And it can point us in the right direction. We need to pay attention to this inner voice.”

Hyatt, Michael (2012-05-22). Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Kindle Locations 682-685). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The biggest thing is that listen in this sense means to ACT.  To do, if my heart and mind and spirit or whatever is telling me to do a video blog, then I should DO IT.  This has been a tough one for me and I still have not got it started, I just dunno what to say on the camera or how to act.  Courage, I need it really bad!

So I am asking you, how do you build your courage?

Febuary 12, 2000

Today’s the first day I’ve got this Journal, today was a slow “I’m tired” type day, mostly because I stayed up all last night, at a dance with my friends.  I went shopping with my mom, she went in and out of material store’s very quickly, she wanted me to be proud of her.  I played the computer a bit, found out my friends CD is missing, “Magicaly”  But later on I went to a dance with my cozin GUY1, I didn’t do much, probably because it was a major western theme, and GIRL1 wasn’t there, and I was also very tired to begin with.  So all in all it’s been a pretty good day, and now I go to sleep.

End 12:53 AM sunday 13, 2000

[Now me in right now…at the time of making this post]

I left the spelling errors in and tried to make it as much like my journal entry as possible.  Maybe not as magical as I had hope, but hey this is really my first time writing in something that I would keep for as long as I live!

Sadly this post will not divulge the information given by the title, but this is the next great book idea that I have.  I have not yet finished “Guerilla Computing” so maybe I should not jump ship towards this book, but hey it is such a good idea!

When I was feeling down in the dumps I was thinking about what I could write about, what do I know almost better than everyone, and this Failure book idea popped into my head.  At first I was gonna write a cynical and downer of a book, but as a I was thinking it more through, I could actually write a really good book here!  Here are some of the ideas for this book, let me know if you would actually read it.

1.  No one cares about your situation as much as you do, and you have the power to change it!

2.  If money is all you can think about, go out and get some!
–  Extra jobs
–  Talk to everyone about your goals to make life better for yourself.
–  Perhaps start a blog
–  The point is to do something other than worry

3.  Cognitive Distortions (you think it is much worse than it really is)
–  What is a cognitive distortion
–  What the reality of a situation might be
–  Accept that the worse case scenario is possible and that you will deal with it
–  The real worse case scenario is you sitting at home stressing instead of doing ANYTHING else

4.  Exercise!
–  Exercise revitilizes the mind and body.
–  Helps you calm down and not have so many of the cognitive distortions mentioned before
–  You will look and feel sexier!

5.  Volunteer
–  Being in front of people un-paid is better than sitting at home un-paid.
–  If you never receive and help, trying giving it first.

6.  Trust your own Intelligence
–  You have ideas that you think might help you be less of a failure, try them!  You have nothing to lose.

7.  Pride
–  Being to prideful might hinder you
–  Take entry level jobs until you find something better
–  People are generally kinder and more helpful than you think!

Well these are a few of the ideas I had in a quick little brainstorm, please tell me what you think, what other suggestions would you have for Complete failures, maybe you are one as well and you know that it is a stepping stone to success.  Was there something that you did after a complete failure that got you back out there and trying your hardest?

Would anyone want to co-author with me?