15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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Random Acts of Kindness, Inc.

Ever hear of a corporation that has #Kindness as its corporate strategy? (Tweet this!)

Our mission is Random Acts of Kindness.alohaicon

Our product is Random Acts of Kindness.

Even our marketing plan relies on Random Acts of Kindness.

Introducing Aloha Pin, LLC.

I started posting some teaser trailer posts about this venture a few months ago. We wanted to launch this company as a non-profit initially, but as it turns out, it is much more expensive to start a non-profit than a corporation. So instead of a non-profit company like I had mentioned in previous blog posts, think of us as a “charity fund raising organization.”

Here’s our big idea. Also our simple idea: We sell these fashionable little lapel pins with our Aloha Pin logo and our website on the front. The pin is not for you to keep. The pin is for you to give away.

Whenever you perform a good deed, help out a stranger, perform a random act of kindness – you give them your Aloha Pin and tell them to check out the website.

AlohaPin.org

Every pin has a tracking number on the back of it. By typing in the pin code, you can see the stories and history that have followed your pin. You can leave your own story, of how the pin came into your hands and how you passed it on to someone new. You can continue to follow your pin and see how every random act of kindness leads to another and another.

alohapin_image

  • “Why the pins?”

The pin is a reminder. A reminder that someone did a kindness to you. It’s human psychology that if someone gives something to you, you want to give something back. It’s how the Moonies collected millions of dollars from people in airports by handing them a flower first which most people threw away then asking for donations. We’re using psychological jujitsu to make you into a better person.

  • “Why the numbers?”

The number is a chain. And you are a link. The number anchors your single random act of kindness into part of a much longer chain. If the person that gives you the pin is a stranger, you may never get the opportunity to repay their kindness. But by passing the Aloha on to someone else, you are keeping that act of kindness alive and allowing it to spread. It’s a ripple of kindness.

  • “Why the website?”

The website is a light. It shines a light on the ripple effect of Random Acts of Kindness. You never know how one act of kindness can affect not just the recipient, but also someone else that they come across. You never know how you may affect the life of someone that you’ll never meet.

  • “Did you get the idea for this from that movie?”

….. No.

I mean…. What movie?

  • “Think you’ll make tons of money off of this corporation?”

Only if we sell ten million pins, but probably not. I guess we’ll just have to settle for making the world a better place.

  • “So what can I do to help?”

Please share this post on every single social networking site you are a part of. Scroll down. See all those buttons? Post, tweet, shout out, email. In fact you should sign up for some new social networks just to tell people about Aloha Pin. You can even tell someone about it if you see them face to face if some of you still do that. If you are a computer programmer, you should create a new social networking site so that you can tell more people about us. Actually we could use your help with the website, we are still tweaking the whole pin tracking part which is kind of essential to the concept.

  • “But why the pins?”

Are you serious? I just answered that.

….

Any other questions? Please post in comments.


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Bachelor Food Innovations

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These particular sliders are made with teriyaki spam, but any flavor of spam will do

I don’t have a real post today because I’m finally (almost) ready to announce a new business launch in the next couple of days. Which means I can finally post the draft that I had planned to post two months ago in the next couple of days.

But I didn’t want to leave a void in your life if you were eagerly anticipating my Tuesday post.

So, here’s a worthwhile recipe for those of you with no culinary skill AT ALL:

Carb-Free Spam and Egg Sliders!!

I think we can safely add “inventor” to my resume.

As it turns out, those two hurricanes that were supposed to obliterate Hawaii barely touched my island. But in anticipation of several days without electricity I cooked up most of my frozen food and hard-boiled most of my eggs.

So I couldn’t cook up a traditional spam and egg breakfast.

Quite a conundrum, no? Fortunately years of playing Dungeons & Dragons taught me how to overcome these challenges, and TA-DAH! Carb-Free Spam and Egg Sliders….

genius

If I remember my Saturday morning cartoons correctly it says Super Genius on the back of his business card

Matt S. Law… Genius… Super-Genius…

I suppose I could go out of my way to apply some sort of life lesson to this fable of egg and spam.

Something like “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Except that quote is attributed to Emerson and what he really said was “Invention breeds invention” which is almost the exact opposite of that quote. It would apply if I were constantly working, developing new recipes, coming up with discovery after edible discovery. As opposed to just staring into a barren refrigerator and trying to come up with something to eat.

You know what. Let’s not over-think the moment. Just be sure to serve up some Carb-Free Spam and Egg Sliders at your next potluck, office party, or Easter dinner. And be sure to mention during a lull in conversation as an interesting fact, “Say, did you know these were invented by Matt S. Law, success principle author and genius? Some might say, super genius.”


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Ration Your Passion (or) a Tale of Two Rabbits

rabbitsA few weeks ago we had a guest pastor at our church talking about marriage relationships. One of the bullet points he taught for having a marriage that rocks (as opposed to a marriage that’s on the rocks) is to be a good steward of your passion.

Years ago, I heard from a successful multimillionaire that we have a limited amount of passion that we can apply to our worthwhile endeavors.

At the conference for independent business owners I recently attended I was reminded several times about the importance of focusing your passion.

See, the universe is telling me to blog on this topic.

Passion, excitement, enthusiasm can be a driving force for your goals, dreams and visions. But it is possible to squander your passion by trying to focus on too many things at once. And not necessarily stupid things like video games and television. You might be trying to do too many good things at once.

Confucius say: A man who chases two rabbits catches neither.

Some of us may think that we are human dynamos, that our excitement and passion will never fade. Sorry, but that isn’t the case. We grow weary. We even grow weary of things we love.

We need to be intentional about applying our passion and creative energy towards things that matter. (<–Click to tweet)

I’m looking back on the first two-thirds of 2014 and thinking that I haven’t got as much done as I’d like to have gotten done.

  • My buddies and I are still struggling to iron out some website difficulties for our business/non-profit launch.
  • I’ve finally finished a ghost-writing project that really should have been done as long ago as January.
  • I plotted out a joint writing project with a friend that we still haven’t started.
  • I’m behind on some financial goals.
  • I’m behind on some business growth indicators.
  • I’m behind on completing my third book (which will drive back the dates for 4 through 7 – yes I’m up to 7 books that I plan to write).
  • I even missed blogging a couple times in the past couple of weeks. (In my defense I had a great blog post all written up to announce our business launch, I just didn’t post it because I didn’t want to drive traffic to a site that isn’t working).
  • And of course I’m way behind on meeting my dream woman and getting married.
  • I’m even behind on battening down the hatches for a pair of hurricanes that are just 36 hours away.

What’s the point of me recounting all the reasons I’m behind the eight ball? My point is my energy has been directed in too many directions. It’s like trying to light eight fuses with a magnifying glass by rapidly zooming from one fuse to the next. Sometimes you need to stick with one thing, apply a consistent amount of work towards it and give it a chance to ignite.

We have a limited amount of creative energy that we are allotted each day. Some of our best hours we are forced to spend at work, but of our remaining time, we need to make sure that we are applying it to what is most important in our lives; our vision, our purpose. You may not have the freedom to give all the time to your dream that it deserves, but be sure to give it your best time. Give it all the passion that you can muster up and stay focused on it.

Remember the Native American saying, “If you chase two rabbits you will lose them both.”

Have you ever felt like you are pouring your best effort and energy into many different things – and somehow nothing is getting accomplished?

Step back.Rabbit_Killer_Small_5885

Prioritize.

Pick a rabbit.

Kill it.

Just be careful you’re chasing the right rabbit.

 

What’s your rabbit for this week? This month? This year?


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Operation: Kitty Drop

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She keeps a paw on my hand. When she senses movement, she grabs and bites.

Many experts offer advice on proper blog formatting, how to drive traffic to your blog, how to create compelling copy, blah blah blog.

I read through them on occasion then proceed to ignore them. However, one piece of advice that I recall has to do with humanizing your blog. I suppose there’s no harm in telling the occasional story about myself, my life, my epic journey of self-discovery.

This past weekend, I kicked my cat out of the house.

I hope you weren’t expecting anything really deep, I barely know you.

So, my kitty, Jane (short for “Calamity Jane”) went on a trip with me to Portland, Oregon where I handed her off to live with my mom in Washington.

I didn’t really kick her out of the house. I’m living in a house that my mom owns on Oahu. She recently moved to Washington, so I’ve been taking care of the property and Miss Kitty. Technically, Jane isn’t even my mom’s cat. She was found by our tenant who brought home this little feral kitty. I’m the one that got her to drink kitty formula and milk out of a bottle.

IMG_20140504_195134

Jane likes to stare off into space, ignoring the camera, pretending she’s posing for an album cover.

She just happens to like my mom.

And bites me.

True, she doesn’t bite hard. But she’ll actually let my mom pet her. And purrs. She never purrs when I pet her. She tolerates me for a minute then grabs hold of my hand and bites me. And my mom really wanted to take her to Washington.

Kitty carrier: $50
Certificate of Veterinary Inspection: $75
Cost to Transport Pet in Cabin of Airplane: $100
Bringing a Grouchy, Bitey Cat to Live With Your Mom: Priceless

So, this ends the Living With Jane chapter of my life. I thought it was important from a perspective of closure to let everyone know about the completion of this circle since I’ve mentioned Jane in the past.

You may remember these blog posts about my cat from the archives:

This is MY book. You don't get MY book until I'm done with it.

This is MY book. You don’t get MY book until I’m done with it.

Jesus Spoke in Parables, Aesop Wrote Fables, I Use Classified Ads

This Is What My Cat Let Me Write Today

Oh, I also spent the weekend at a conference for independent business owners with about a dozen multimillionaire keynote speakers. I’ll blog about that experience next week.


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Who Are You To Judge Others?

(So I was hoping to announce our new business launch this week, after failing to launch last week and the week before. Unfortunately our web designer was hospitalized with a staph infection for most of last week, so we still need to iron out some details on the website to make it, you know, functional. In the meantime here is an article on the dangers of judging others)

judgeHow many adages have you heard about not judging people? Point a finger at someone else and you have three pointing right back at you. Glass houses, throwing stones. Judge not lest ye be judged.

First of all, criticizing or condemning someone else is almost always a form of self-aggrandizing. “He did this, which I would never do, so I’m better than he is.” Pointing out another persons faults frankly never particularly endeared me to the critic. It reeks of desperation. It’s like trying to make your own house look better by breaking up all of your neighbor’s furniture.

Second, we almost always judge other people by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions. So even if we do something bad, it’s not so bad in our own eyes. “I only lied to protect your feelings, whereas he lied because he is dishonest.” We can never know what someone else is thinking or feeling, and when we make value judgments about others, then at best we are just guessing as to their intentions. At worst we are just plain lying to ourselves and others.

Third, if you were that person, you would have done the exact same thing. If you had their genetic makeup and their upbringing, then let’s face it, you would have made all the same decisions, hence the expression “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Fourth, we can never see the big picture. We are victims of our own perceptions. Something that may seem like a tragedy may have great unseen rewards. And someone who we deem as evil, reprehensible, untrustworthy, or just plain mean, may from a big picture perspective, be a good, worthy, honorable, nice person in history.

For example, let’s say that we are electing a new world leader. Who would you cast your vote for?

Candidate A.
Associates with crooked politicians, consults with an astrologist, has had two mistresses, chain smokes, and drinks 8 martinis a day.

Candidate B.
Was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C.
Is a decorated war hero, a vegetarian, doesn’t smoke, drinks an occasional beer and never cheated on his wife.

So who do you vote for based on your perspective?

hourglass

 

 

 

 

Take your time if you need to think about it…

 

 

 

 

 

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Candidate B is Winston Churchill.

Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

Think first before judging others.


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How To Acquire Luck

(I was going to introduce our new business launch today, but we are still having some technical problems with our website, so that will have to wait until next week. Instead, I will empower and uplift you with this reprint of an article I wrote for Helium.com many years ago.)

cloverI’ve heard luck described as “the moment when opportunity and preparedness meet.” A lucky break is only lucky if you are in a position to take advantage of it.

As a quick example, a couple of friends of mine were playing basketball at a public park. Two grungy looking men approached them on the court and offered to play a two-on-two game. They agreed and played for about an hour. Afterwards, they told my friends that they were roadies for Metallica who happened to be playing in the next town and offered them tickets and backstage passes to the show.

“Wow, what great luck!” I hear you cry. No, as it turned out, one of my friends had a final the next day and declined the invite. “Whoa, that’s bad luck…”

But wait a minute. The opportunity was the same for both of them. How could it be good luck for one of them and bad luck for the other? That had to do with their preparedness at the time to accept the opportunity. One friend was caught up on his studies, enough that he could take the time out to play a pick-up game. The other procrastinated and figured he could study after he played some ball. Tough luck.

So, the key to acquiring good luck is being prepared. Because after all, when opportunity knocks, it’s too late to build a door. Like Donald Trump said, “The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get.”

So think about an area in your life that you would like to be “lucky” in.

Looking for a promotion? You’d better start now learning some of the ins and outs of the company you work for. And not just your current position, learn about the job requirements and expectations of your manager, the managers of other departments, the corporate mission statement, and the history of your company. Then when a position becomes available, as they inevitably will, you are already a step ahead to fill the position.

Looking for a financial windfall? Start studying finances, stocks, market trends. And more importantly, start socking away a few dollars from every paycheck so that you have some funds to work with. The worse the economy gets, the more everything in the country will go on sale. Vacations, property, automobiles, art. All of it sells for pennies on the dollar if you have cash to bail out the previous owners.

Looking to be the next big music idol? Then you’d better have a demo tape available when that opportunity comes by and Big Wig Record Producer Smith asks you if your band is any good…

If you want a lucky break, then you better have already put in the work. Otherwise through laziness you forfeit your good luck for bad by default.

rabbit“Are you feeling lucky? Would you like to?” (Tweet this)


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Why I’ve Never Eaten At Restaurant X

There is a particular restaurant on Monsarrat avenue in Honolulu that I’ve never eaten at. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, it has gotten excellent reviews, but I still have not eaten there. I have no ill will towards the owners, the employees, the menu. The place is not infested with rodents or ghosts that I know of. “So why haven’t you ever eaten there?” I hear you cry.

Because whenever I am in that neighborhood, which is not that frequently, I eat at this other restaurant down the street:

ImageThis little hole in the wall is the infamous South Shore Grill. I know the owner, Bruce. I have brought many friends there who have become regulars, who have in turn introduced other people to South Shore cuisine. Yes they have good food, yes I am acquainted with the owner (I wouldn’t say we are friends), but what really accounts for my absolute devotion to eating at South Shore Grill as opposed to Restaurant X (as well as many other fine eating establishments nearby)?

Because. One day about 5 or 6 years ago, Bruce stopped to help my mom change a tire on the highway.

Because I want to live in a world where a random act of kindness is repaid back to you. (do you?)

Because I’d like to think that every single person reading this would want to support a business that is owned by a man who would take time out of his busy schedule to help a lady change a tire. (And if you think that you are busy, try opening a restaurant).

And I hope every single person who reads this, shares it. And every person who hears of South Shore Grill, whether they live on Oahu or are just visiting, stops by for lunch.

Next week I’ll be expounding on random acts of kindness and the launch of our new business that has kindness as a commodity.


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The Secret of Steady

ImageExpounding on my comments from last week, the reason slow and steady wins the race is because of steady not because of slow. The only reason that slow is of any value is because it makes steady easier.

For example, I did some math because I’ve started running again recently and have been tracking my workouts using a free app called Runkeeper. My average walking pace is about 3.5 mph while my running (jogging) speed was about 5.8 mph. That’s only about a 67% increase between walking and running (sue me, I’m out of shape).

But the difference is, that after jogging for 20 or 30 minutes I’m tired, sweaty and sore. But 20 or 30 minutes of walking is essentially effortless. I haven’t broken a sweat, I’m not tired and I don’t have to worry about being sore in the morning.

That extra 67% of speed uses up 800% more energy (at this point I’m no longer using data from the app, I’m just making up numbers).

That’s why I’m such a big advocate of small, daily changes.

Small, daily changes that are easy to implement allow you to apply steady growth to your life. (tweet that)

And just like with walking, if you do it every day you would be amazed at how far you can go.

I wrote my first book in 15 minutes a day. I also gave myself the intentional limitation that I would not write for more than 15 minutes. So no one could accuse me of cheating.

When I wrote my second book, I finished a lot quicker because I didn’t handicap myself with a speed limit. Now that I’m on my third book, I realized that I’m way behind schedule. Because I allowed myself to become complacent, allowed myself to believe that I could make up skipped time by going fast. After all, missing four days of work at 15 minutes a day, you can make that up in one hour, right? Or if you fall behind two weeks, you can make that up on your next day off and just concentrate on writing for a full day of work, right?

All the chronic procrastinators know the answer to that…. NO.

We tend to over estimate what we can do quickly (my jogging pace is only 67% faster than my walking pace). We severely under estimate what we can accomplish slowly.

So yesterday, after not looking at my manuscript for a couple of weeks, I planned to use my my day off for a marathon writing session. It worked out about as well as running an actual marathon after a couple weeks of inactivity. I was sluggish, I was confused. I had a hard time making sense out of fragments of thoughts and sentences that I’m sure had a point when I started them a few weeks back.

The bottom line is, I need to once again practice what I teach. I need to get back to my 15 minute habit. Walk every day and run when I can. Stop allowing myself to get out of shape.

Slow, steady growth:

  • Is easy to maintain on a daily basis
  • Keeps your momentum going in the right direction
  • Keeps you limber so you don’t pull a groin muscle

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. ~Chinese Proverb


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You Don’t Need To Sprint The Whole Way, But Don’t Stop Walking

Yes, that’s me racing a turtle on a black sand beach. Yes, it is illegal to be that close to a turtle. How do I know this? Because there is a sign posted. Want to know where it’s posted? About ten feet in front of me–facing the water. Which is a dumb place to put that sign because it only warns the tourists as they are LEAVING the beach. Unless the intent was to warn the turtles ahead of time and inform them of their rights.

Everyone is familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race, right? That is not the entire truth. Actually it is steady that wins the race. There is no inherent value in slow.

I’ll defer to another story that I read in elementary school, although I don’t recall the title of the book, but I think it might have been The Great Brain Does It Again.

Kid A was talking smack because his parents bought him a new champion quarter horse. Kid B challenged him to a race with his parent’s broken down nag. Except that Kid B challenged him to a race that was two miles long. For those unfamiliar with the term “quarter horse,” it’s a racing horse that is trained to run short sprints, say… a quarter mile.

Kid A galloped out strong at the start, easily out-pacing Kid B’s old workhorse, but Horse A exhausted itself and eventually stopped despite his owner goading him to keep sprinting. Horse B jogged across the finish line.

Kid B won a lot of money on that race. But being something of a swindler, gave everyone a chance to win their money back the next day. Except this time Kid B agreed to race riding the quarter horse and Kid A could ride the winning nag.

The next day, Kid B won. Because he didn’t race his horse, he paced his horse. Rather than trying to force the champion quarter horse to sprint the entire two miles, he would let him run, then let him rest, let him run, let him rest. He didn’t push the horse past the point of exhaustion. He went at a steady pace and ran in occasional bursts of speed.

That’s my message for you today. In whatever venue you are planning for, whether your finances, your fitness, your relationships or your spiritual walk: Do a little bit every day, but do a lot when you can.

  • If you have never started saving for your retirement, don’t try to sprint by allocating 50% of your salary and 100% of your discretionary spending starting now. You will get exhausted and you will stop.
  • If you’ve been neglecting your spouse or children, don’t try to make it up by sprinting; by devoting every waking hour of your attention on them. It’s a little bit creepy and clingy.
  • If your relationship with God is not where you want it to be, don’t sprint by wearing a hair shirt, then fasting and praying for 48 hours straight. You’ll hallucinate. And itch.
  • If you want to get in shape, don’t start by racing a cheetah.

Stay steady. Don’t exhaust yourself.

The hare would have won if he just walked the entire race. His crime was that he stopped.

Devote a little bit of time and resources every day towards your goals. That’s your walking. And if you occasionally feel like running, then run.

  • Financial walking is setting aside a small percentage of your paycheck towards long term and short term savings (say $100 a month). Running is when you get a Christmas bonus and throw half of it into your portfolio (an instant $500). Notice though that sprinting is no substitute for steady walking.
  • Relationship walking is eating meals with your family, asking about their day, being available to talk. Running is taking them on a vacation! And I think we all know that trying to be Superdad for 1 week out of the year when you haven’t been around for the last 51 weeks is a little pathetic.
  • Walking with God is reading the bible for 15 minutes every day (I used dailybiblereader.com to read the entire bible in one year for about 15 minutes a day). Running with God is going on a missions trip or building orphanages in the Philippines.
  • Walking for fitness is… well, I guess is actually just walking. And when you’ve built up some stamina you can actually do some running.

Small investments compounded over time yield vast rewards (I think I may have written a book on this subject).

Have planned, daily activities that move you forward in some area of your life. That’s your daily walking; your good habits that make every day a growing day. Even just investing 15 minutes a day will result in huge long-term growth with very little effort.

Then every so often, you will have the opportunity to run. And when you do, you won’t pull a groin muscle.


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Do You Believe in Life After Birth?

Bored-people-at-meetingWatch people at work today.

How often do you see someone look at the clock?

How often does someone say “I wish it was time for lunch?” They mentally check out for an hour and virtually fast-forward to their break.

Or maybe they said I wish it was quitting time? They just mentally discard the second half of their day.

If you offered someone the opportunity to fast forward their life to the weekend, would they do it?

If you offered a child the opportunity to fast forward through a month of their life to get to their birthday, would they?

Two months to get to Christmas?

How many people are squandering away their lives by not living now, but living in the future? Cramming 3 or 4 days of joy into every year?

zombieEvery moment spent being bored, every moment spent wishing time would skip ahead, is a moment where you are not really living. You are one of the walking dead. One of those masses of people living a life of quiet desperation that Emerson wrote about.

What’s the solution? How do you breathe life back into your life?

Purpose.

Purpose will add life to your living. (Tweet that)

If you are living your life towards some purpose, you are living for something greater than yourself.

If you have a purpose, you are focused on big thinking and big ideas rather than on tedium and boring details.

If you are striving towards a purpose, than even the most mundane, trivial job becomes a means to finance your purpose.

If you are on purpose, you are no longer drifting aimlessly and instead are focused on achieving or becoming something greater.

With a life of purpose, you no longer have wasted moments. Every moment is moving you towards your life purpose.

If you are bored, if you are weary, if you are just staring at the clock waiting for the drudgery to end; determine a grand and glorious purpose for your life.

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