Tag Archive: reading

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?


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?

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.

Have you ever tried to strike out on your own, make contacts, and work towards contracts, only to find that when you have nothing coming in and you finally get a job to lick your wounds, that then and only then the Opportunities start to come in?

I have been working on using Social Media much better than I ever had in the past, and to use multiple channels as well.  I actually care now how many followers I have on Twitter and am always seeking for more followers (you can find me on Twitter @theHartsOffice) I followed the max 2000ish that you can before it caps you until you have more followers, and now I unfollow about 50 people a day so that I can find others to follow that might follow me back.

I was making a little headway, but no business opportunities were coming into fruition.  I had a great oilfield job fall into my lap while a I was training for a slightly less great oilfield job doing something else.  I took the former and then got a email to go to Edmonton to discuss Android app development.  I turned it down since I know that even after a good chat things do not fall into place quickly and I do not want to ruin anything at this new job. 

I am constantly torn inside, I want security for myself and my family.  I suppose it is much more for the family than for myself since I do not need much to get by, but supporting a family is a different beast in itself.

After reading the beginning of “The Success Principles” and “Think and Grow Rich” I find, or at least feel, that there has to be big risks taken, and endurance in those risks to get any traction.  So a fear in me is that I won’t abandon security for these larger goals.  How wretched this makes my soul!  Lucky for me I also stumbled upon a book called “How to Stop Worrying” by Dale Carnegie.  This book has helped me greatly to allow myself some peace.

I have concluded that I need to keep reading all these good books and then work in my off hours to obtain my dreams while keeping the full time job and having the ability to provide for my family.

What are you doing to chase those dreams? 

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!

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?

Fired Up yet Realistic

I have just purchased Michael Hyatts book “Platform”, and I listened about it on the Entreleadership podcast and then started listening to Michael Hyatts podcast.  There is so much good, uplifting stuff in all of this content!  There is almost too much to read.  Of course I have anaylze how I can do what others have done (very successfully I might add) and I have some concerns.

1.  I can’t afford all the extras that will give me the extra push:

Hyatt suggests a few plugins and they cost on a monthly basis.  Also I should own the domain for my blog, that does not cost much in the grand scheme of things but it still costs.  Also I think I need a life coach to really unlock and drive my potential, and a good one of those would be very costly.  My wife and I budget to the penny and our Dave Ramsey emergency fund has been depleted a few months before the birth of our second daughter.

2.  Burning out:

I have had this blog since October of last year and so far I have been fairly decent at keeping up with it.  But there have been those burn out stages where I did nothing and more often than not I do not comment enough on other people’s blogs.

3.  I censor myself a little bit:

Since I talk about not having satisfaction with my job I do not want employers to see this, and they are on facebook, and they are following me, so I don’t dare connect this to social media site anymore which I am positive really hurts my blog following.  I don’t hate my jobs or my bosses but I am always striving for something more.

4.  Money, it is always about money:

The blog does not make me money so I cannot devote as much time to it as I would like.  Also I never want to become that annoying person that spams all his friends to follow and read.  This could be a full time job and if it made me a living I would be happy to make it my full time job.  The content would be a lot better that is for sure.

What do you think?

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?

Guerilla Computing

This is my next brainchild for a book.  In all of my time helping people with computers they are most impressed by the fact that Icould get something done.  Sometimes it took a lot of mumbling and furious clicks and cutting and pasting but I get the result I need quickly.  It may not be a perfect work of art each time, but with computers and the internet that is not always a desirable quality.  It is about getting done what needs done and moving on or improving the task incrementally.

My book has topics on sundry items such as:

  1. Requirements for Guerilla Computing
  2. Old Computers
  3. Assessing Needs (in technology)
  4. No Fear (of technology)
  5. What is not Guerilla Computing
  6. The Almighty Google Blitz
  7. Technology is a Helper not a Contractor
  8. The Right Device for the Right Job
  9. The Ever Present Poser
  10. Learning and Growing Pains
  11. Multimedia
  12. Torrenting
  13. Social Media
  14. The Unholiest of Time Sucks
  15. Becoming a Webmaster
  16. Learn about Spaces..Giga, Mega, and Kilo Bytes
  17. Be Healthy
  18. Programming (If you really want to get in the think of it!)
  19. Zombies
  20. Brand Wars
  21. Open Source Software (OSS)
  22. Portable Apps
  23. Backing Up
  24. Networking

Now this is not a book that will teach you all these things in depth, but will give you exposure to the vast array of things many computing guerillas are well versed in and helps them be extremely productive.  Granted many people would be happy to get someone to do these things for them, but I know there are a lot of people out there who want to get their hands dirty and jump into the chaotic jungle that is Guerilla Computing!

I suppose this can fall under a book review, and it is really the only thing I can think about since I made myself read over 80 comics in the last week or so.  I have always liked the cartoon in the 90’s as a kid, the movies are pretty good, and I owned about a grand total of 6 or 7 comic books as a kid.  But a friend of mine had the complete series of Ultimate X-Men, so I told myself I should really figure out what the story is, how it was meant to be read…from comic books!

First off the thing I noticed is that 16, 17, 18, and 19 year olds were bigger and buffer than anyone of that age that I have ever seen.  I had a friend that was pretty big, and played football, but not like in the comics.

I think this series was done over this last decade so close to somewhere around 2002 or 2003, so the phones were flip phones and what not.

All the female characters were way hotter than they were in the 90’s cartoon… especially Storm!  Storywise I have never really cared for her much, but she had a naughty fishnet punk look to her for most of the series, too bad something had to happen to her boyfriend to get her to that stage.

I learned a lot more about the Jean character and that whole Phoenix thing that she is having problems with, that is actually a really neat side story.

Wolverine is, of course, the hard ass loaner…with a soft spot for any particular person or cause at any time that suits the overall story line.  But what I love the most is that we he gets really messed up and heals….his sideburns and long hair grow back just right!  I hate people who nit pick, but I was reading these comics for fun, so I picked here and there.

The other cool thing about this series is that they changed up the animation style ever so often, it feels really fresh and new when they do that!  You are reading a story of everyone having powers and being hardcore in their own special way, then when it has a more cartoony feel, you see the sillier side of them…despite what they are saying.   When they were in the sewers to rescue a friend the animation style was rather serious and really made for the mood of the story.

I love the full pagers that have incredible detail and a small line or a single word.  For example, five or six blocks are on one page where they meed a new guy who just killed a million bad guys…In amazement they ask, “Who are you!?”  Then you slowly, (creating the dramatic effect for yourself…you would be amazed at how you help yourself experience the drama in comics…) “Wolverine…” and there is blood dripping from his claws, his shirt ripped to shreds so you can see where he is quickly healing. a few bodies, and the people who asked the question blurry in the background but still showing complete shock and awe…it is super cheesy in the movies…but an absolute must in comic books!

I wish there was more about Gambit…he’s awesome, exploding cards? Who does not love that!

I really enjoyed it once I got a few comics in, if you are not into the comics…the first one or two will be really cheesy, but you gotta get into that universe.  I plan to read the Marvel Civil War series next, and was told that was a really good series.