Tag Archive: trying


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?

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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’m Always Thinking…

Do you have a million good ideas?  I mean literally a million, or if not that many then at least a whole lot of ideas that just fill your brain with ecstasy?  I know that I do, and I absolutely love it.  It is probably one of the things that I will always un-shamefully love about about myself.  But there is a dark side to it as well…

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Have you ever felt disgusted with yourself?  Yes, you and I have all these amazing ideas, and what do we have to show for it?  I have tried many times to get in the habit of always writing my ideas down, because I know that they have a very short shelf life.  And if you have lost an idea and trying to think it back up, I can almost guarantee you will not retrieve it in its full splendour.

I had written the idea of a YouTube series that I would start about just the journey of attempting to be successful.  It would be really cool.  I wrote it down in some detail… Then forgot about it…well not really it was always in my mind, more and more ideas about it came to my mind.  But I decided it was alright I will start on it in a month or two.  Then one day as I was cleaning up my mess of a would be office in the basement I found the notes.  IT WAS MORE THAN A YEAR that I had these awesome ideas and I had not done a single thing for it! 

I felt gross about myself, and for good reason.  No matter how great of an idea that I have, it means nothing because it was not acted upon.  Enter the Matthew Effect, I have been in ruts for ideas since I have not used the great ones I have had.

There are some fantastic articles on Lifehacker that helped me really get the sting and the importance of this concept.

http://lifehacker.com/stop-waiting-on-your-ideas-and-get-them-out-the-door-no-476459071

http://paidtoexist.com/why-you-need-to-start-now-infographic/

http://lifehacker.com/seeking-inspiration-stop-looking-and-start-doing-476417146

Another side of the coin is that I do not want to become one of those people that I loathe… The idea guy (or gal).  The person who will walk through an idea and get all excited and when you ask them how they will do it… they shrug and say, “Someone else will do it for me…I am the idea guy…”  I almost want to slap them right then and there.

As of this post I am re-committing to acting on ideas and ceasing the trap of procrastinating and day dreaming that something good might come of just having an idea and not acting on it.  Will you do the same?

P.S. Here are some of the YouTube videos I have attempted to make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HlalLOGm6yU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=gNogs4_2Nn0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=85otWbzOb-Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IbhhwwE0cpo

This has been something that has been in my mind for the last 6 months or maybe even the last year if I would have been keeping a proper journal. I am a techno geek, I love gadgets, I love computers and I love nifty programs and websites. I go through phases of loving and being disgusted by social network sites. I had a Twitter account a long time ago and it seemed that it was a million people talking and no one listening.

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works...

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works…

You cannot promote yourself or your wares, whatever they might be. Everyone posts quotes left and right, which I don’t mind…but it is still not a conversation. It is a bunch of people talking at you hoping that you will buy into whatever they are selling.

I use to be extremely excited about all forms of technology. When the iPhone was first coming out my brain exploded with all the possibilities. I could run a business from my phone! From the marketing to the quotes on services. Even the FTP accounts and the Joomla administration could all be done from the phone!

But alas! The simple truth is that real business is done when you get clients or customers. Customers give money to people they can trust, and they trust people who they can talk to, have a conversation with, and hold accountable for the services or products that they purchased.

And while Smartphones can do so much they do not improve how we communicate or work. If anything I find all the alerts and buzzings from my phone as a nuisance and treat it almost like spam. But oddly enough the first thing I do when I wake in the morning is check my email on my phone, and more likely than not I delete all of them as they are spam or marketing of some sort.
With this series that I have dubbed “Digital Discipline” I hope to move myself, and anyone else that is interested into a new era of technology. Not the gadgets and computers themselves…but our on self discipline to use all the technology around us to our utmost benefit and improvement.

We could be learning new languages, improving the knowledge to become the best in our fields and careers, and improving habits. The most important thing is not use it when we don’t need or really want to. Go to bed if you are low on sleep. Make a phone call to someone if you are lonely or just looking for some human interaction instead of trolling down your facebook page replying to everyone wither or not you care about what they have written.

The world at large seems to be socially caving in on itself and it is no fault of the software out there, much of it works in a fantastic manner.

Can you see the negative affects that technology is having in your life? Is it outweighing the positive effects?

Social Media is a Big Investment

I see that everything is on either Twitter or Facebook. My kids diapers, the place that changes oil and even kids toys.

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I got on Facebook and Twitter quite a few years ago and was frustrated back then that social media was just everyone posting at you but no one ever listening. I swore off social media for awhile, just looking at it once in a blue moon.

Then I went on a reading binge when I had a Kindle for awhile. I read Michael Hyatt’s “Platform” and it, of course, stressed the importance of having a well maintained social media presence.

So I decided to get back into the game. But I know myself, I have super productive phases and then phases where I can only do the minimum. Lucky for me there is a service like Buffer that will queue up my posts when I think up a dozen in one sitting and spreads them across the days and weeks ahead when I don’t post at all.

I have been researching the negative affects that technology is having on actual social interaction and also seeing that unless you are a big company that can have a social media team, then social media pages and posts don’t make you sales or money.

I am not anti-social-media but I just want to take about the illusions that we have about it and how we should develop the discipline to waste our lives on it.

Do you think your investment in your Social Media usage is giving you a good Return?

2012 has been a rough year for the family and I.  I switched jobs in the middle of the year and had to wash dishes for $10/hr while I was transitioning.  I had a lot of lofty goal and wanted nothing more to get out of debt. Then near the end of the year, mostly November and December, everyone…and I mean everyone got sick.  It almost seemed like a plague that took over Alberta Canada.  I stopped even trying to blog, just queued up a bunch of regurgitation to post on Facebook and Twitter and have not read a book or listened to an audio book for the last two months!

I was thinking in the last week of the 2012 about my goals and my dreams and the horrible failure that I am and how I can’t accomplish anything…it was rather depressing.  But now that I am finally feeling a bit better, and I got my wife back from the Alberta plague I am much less depressed, we worked together on getting the house in order and even have time to relax.  She (my wife) plays her new Wii games that she got for Christmas and I am actually taking a look at my long neglected blog.

It is easy to crash and burn in life, it is almost impossible to not fall into a crash and burn situation at least a few times a year.  When I was in the dumps with being sick and my wife was passed out on the couch I thought that there was nothing more that I would want to do than to go up to my bedroom and pass out as well.  But I felt gross and I didn’t believe that sleeping could make it feel better (and I believe that sleeping can make almost anything better!).  So I started doing dishes and cleaning up the house.  I thought of all the failures I have had and that I should just give up on everything, but as the house got in better and better shape I started being more positive.

My thought process was that I will repair what it can in the house, I will do what I can to make my wife and I feel better, I will do what I can for the kids, and then I will work on other projects as I am able.  I caught the flaw in my thinking in where if I could not do it all, then there is no point in doing anything.  Ludicrous! If a stock drops a few cents does that mean it has to plummet?  If a plane crashes does that mean there are no survivors? If I stub my toe should I cut off my leg?

This year is both a bit scary and also very exciting.  The US is not ready for the fiscal cliff deal and I think it never will be, there are hard times up ahead, but there is also a lot of opportunity to work and get out of debt and be prepared.

What do you do after a Crash and Burn situation?

I Wanna Work for LifeHacker!

So I have been stewing about my goals that I had for 2012, ones that I accomplished and the many that I have not.  And I have been trying to think of want I really want out of life…I finally discovered how awesome of a blog the http://lifehacker.com/ site is and all the wonderful little articles that help one be more prodcutive, do more with their goals, and just some neat things that you can do with everyday items.

Lifehacker has been there for quite some time and I guess I just nothing had any interest in it, or when I ran across it…it did not have anything of interest to me.  But I read an article that almost change my life (I say almost because I have not perfectly implemented it yet…), it was about clearing to neutral, something that I had always known and sometimes used and have always had great results with. http://lifehacker.com/5957553/stop-procrastinating-by-clearing-to-neutral

I have always had ideas and systems like this, I also am crazy about mind maps, organization, and success strategies.  I have decided that I would really like to work for Lifehacker…so I tried finding job posting and the closest thing I could find was a job in Australia… don’t get me wrong I would love to move there, but that is not feasible at the moment since I am living in Canada and struggling to provide for my wife and two daughters.

So the new plan is to do better and better on my own blog, and get it to the quality that you would expect to see on lifehacker…who knows, maybe they will pick up one of my post and put it on their blog!

Here’s to dreaming, scheming and making some big hairy goals for 2013 that will make us stretch and grow!  Happy holidays!

 

The Matthew Effect

So I have really fallen off the wagon with blogging, and I have fallen off the wagon on many good things that I have been striving to do and make into habits that would better my life.  I have almost stopped listening to audio books and of course have not been reading my scriptures.

There was something very interesting that I heard from the last audio book that I was listening to and that is the Matthew Effect. It comes from this verse in the Bible:

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath.
Wikipedia gives what I would call and over-simplification of this verse and what I believe it to mean.  Before this verse is the parable of the talents ( http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25?lang=eng ) giving the account of men that had talents (a form of money) and how they used it.  The ones that did something with their talents earned even more, while the one who did nothing with his talent had his taken away and given to the one who did use all of their talents or actually made an investment instead of hiding the money in his stewardship in the ground…
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25 And I was aafraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo,there thou hast that is thine.

 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked andaslothful servant, thou knewest that I breap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with ausury.

 28 Take therefore the atalent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

 29 For unto every one that hath shall be agiven, and he shall havebabundance: but from him that hath not shall be ctaken away even that which he hath.

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The way I understand this parable is not just that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!  But that those who use what they have to the best of their ability will be given more.  If the person with only one talent did something with it then he would have received another, then with those two he would have received two more and so on.  It stands to reason that the increase would grow at a geometric rate, doubling each time the talents were used(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth).

The month of December has been a really bad one for me and my family, I got my truck stuck in the ditch, I throw out my back really bad, then the wife and kids got sick, and only now near the end of the month is my back really on the mend and my wife is somewhat feeling better from the nasty flu that has been going around.

Now in this troublesome time my mind has constantly be dwelling on the Matthew Effect.  I have been the slothful servant, while I was in good health and sound mind I had all these good things I could have been doing, but have neglected them thinking that I am too tired or my head is just not in it.  So instead I watch TV, veg and sleep in as late as I possibly could before getting ready for work.

An interesting thought occurred repetitively in my mind. Oh how much more I could get done if it did not take me five minutes to get my shoes on!  How much more could I get done if my wife was not sick so I didn’t have to do all the things that she does that I have taken for granted? I could write a blog post if I just felt a little better, I could work on my side business or read something good!

I was thinking that I would blog about this when I finally felt better…but wait, I neglected to write when I was in good health, why would the powers that be believe me when despite how I feel or the health that I may have, I still did not do the needful things and the things that would improve my character and my willpower?

I think and truly believe that I needed a month like this, that to become better than I am now I needed to suffer for a time to figure out that I am wasting so much of my time and energy…and to put it bluntly…that I am just plain lazy and apathetic!

Since I did not use what I had, even that was taken away.

Have you noticed the Matthew Effect (as I understand it) in your own life?

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? 

We live in a time where negativity is force feed to us daily.  We are overwhelmed by it and then we perpetuate it to all those around us.  We need to combat it if only to not end up wallowing in depression for the rest of our lives!

I thought of this when I was having a session with my marketing coach and we talked about how we can talk Dave Ramsey language since we both listen to him.  We also brought up Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, and Dale Carnegie.  I finally had to give him the explanation on why I listen and read from all these people.

It was because of the overflowing surge of negativity that I deal with everyday!  At first I could blame it on all the external factors of people telling me I can’t and that they just won’t. Then the news and politics.  But then my own internal powers of perception and overthinking fuelled that negativity to the point where I sit in front of my computer and the first thoughts ate “why do you even bother?”, “You know this will be a waste like everything else you have done…”, “I just want to blown my brains out….”  Forgive me for being so gross about it, but these are the thoughts that dominate my mind if I do not aggressively seek to replace them with something better.

And I have replaced it with something better, over and over and over again.  And I need to keep doing this until the day that I die an older than dirt man in his 90’s who did not blow his brains out.

The marketing coach was extremely impressed with what I did to win his business.  He contacted me on Twitter and gave me a free session, then told me the price to continue.  I was loathing in my self pity because I am broke and I really wanted to continue with the marketing coaching cause I so badly want to work for myself.  I was listening to a 48 days podcast by Dan Miller and he spoke of the mobile app developer that just made an app and presented it to him, and the chain of events that lead that person to be working full time making apps and was very happy.  So I shook of the despair long enough to make an app for this marketing coach and told him I would love to barter for some coaching sessions…and he agreed!

Just think if I had succumbed to the negativity that oozes all around me and would not even make the effort to listen to that podcast, I would not have made that app and I would not have the coaching and mu problems would have for sure worsen by the hour.

So what are some ways to fight back again negativity? Here is my list:

1. READ!!!!!

I read scriptures, motivational books, and twitter feeds from motivational people.

2.  Listen to good podcasts

Yeah if you listen to the same podcasts you will get a lot of the same, but hearing a person’s voice who has struggled and then succeeded and now offering you hope and nuggets of wisdom to become better, you tend to keep those things in your mind.

3.  Eat healthier

Trust me, unless you are a freak of nature or you have always watched you diet, you are not eating healthy enough.  I drink a bunch of soda and wonder why my body feels like trash all the time.

4.  Find people to improve yourself with

This is really hard, people want to do things for themselves, and somehow doing something with someone else takes away from them…I have not been able to enact this fully yet, but I know that it is important.