15 Minutes

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


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The Closest Thing To A Drunk Text You’ll Get From Me

drunkSo, I’m not actually drunk but I am impaired. So I thought it would be fun to write a blog post while I’m lightheaded and partially coherent and see what it looks like next week.

“How much have you had to drink?” I hear your cry. Nothing. I’m actually fasting.

On a spur of the moment decision (Monday) I decided that I would fast and pray for the next three days. And while it’s only been 36 hours, this is what I have to report so far. First, that I’m not even hungry. Which seems strange to me. That should happen when you don’t eat, right?

And second, when I don’t eat I get dizzy and lose motor skills rapidly.

My immediate conclusion is that my brain uses up like 90% of my normal calorie intake, because I am seriously having trouble functioning, speaking coherently and I keep drifting in and out of a semi-conscious state. Sounds pretty close to drunkeness, right?

Most people would question my reasoning for fasting in the first place. Mostly because I am like thirty pounds underweight for my height. I had to explain to my office staff today that I’m not fasting to lose weight, I’m fasting for spiritual reasons. People in the bible used to fast and pray all the time. I’m sure some churches do it today, even in Fat America. I’m fasting because I’m seeking guidance from God on the direction of my life and my vision.

I was prepared to be hungry, what I wasn’t prepared for was my brain just kind of shutting down.

Looking over the last couple of paragraphs, I think that I actually sound quite clear in my writing, but that just might be my “fasting goggles” talking. Next week when I read this, we’ll see how it looks.

I know in my last post I said that I was going to write a post on overcoming fear, but that will have to wait until next week. Tonight I’m drunk texting. Besides, I covered it in the second chapter of my first book, you can download it and read it on Smashwords here.

Look at me, fasting impaired and still able to insert a hyperlink! I think I would do awesome on a field sobriety test.

As part of this experiment in blogging while undernourished, I think I’ll post again tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll at least be hungry. And later, I’ll post on the results of my time in prayer and fasting.

Let’s hope I don’t post anything I’ll regret.

drunk2

I also did not proof-read this before hitting the publish button. The only editing I did was on-the-fly. Well and I went back and inserted this caption into this photo.


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Why We Don’t Set Goals

route

Having this app track my jogging route with a moving red line makes me want to fight Nazis.

The first chapter of my first book is all about goals. How to set goals, how to keep your goals updated and relevant and in front of you all the time. A whole slew of reasons on why it makes sense to have goals. They keep you enthusiastic, they keep you focused. If you think and dwell on your goal you are drawn towards it.

I think everyone understands the concept that if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time. I’m sure most people have heard of the case studies comparing classmates that set goals absolutely obliterating the accomplishments of those that didn’t set goals. Yet there are still very few people that actually set precise, specific goals for their lives. If they do have a goal then it is a vague, indistinct goal.

I’m guilty of this. Even very recently, despite the fact that I wrote a chapter on this very subject.

I finally healed from various injuries enough to start running a few months ago, and I’ve been semi-regular at it since then. But I never set an actual precise, specific goal. Just kind of getting out the door to “get in shape.” Which is of course better than sitting at home with a bowl of ice cream, but with the vague, indistinct goal of “get in shape” it’s easy to lose focus, lose enthusiasm, and skip the occasional day. Or week.

I was advised (thank you, Cinda) to set some kind of running goal, like to enter an upcoming 5K race. But I never did. I dragged my feet (which probably accounts for my slow jogging speed) and just sort of slogged through my workouts. I didn’t set a goal because:

  • I didn’t feel that I knew enough about fitness to set a running goal. Which is dumb because I have access to a personal trainer and I could have asked.
  • I was lazy. Which is also dumb because I was expending the energy to go outside and run but not willing to exert the mental effort to figure out a goal.

So, ignorance and laziness were my two reasons.

Last night however, as I was leaving my front door and turning on my running app trying to get a good GPS signal… My phone app threw down a challenge! It invited me to accept the Echo 50K Challenge.

The Challenge: “Track 50 kilometers with Runkeeper over the course of a month. They can be runs or walks, they just need to be GPS tracked!”
The Reward: “Get $20 off any Magellan Echo watch and three free months of Runkeeper Elite for completing!”monk

Now, I have no interest in a watch of any kind (because it hampers my kung-fu skills), but I thought that it was a cool idea to force people to move 50 kilometers to qualify for a discount on anything, so I hit “accept challenge.”

And just like that, my little free app tricked me into having a goal. A precise, specific goal. 50 KM in 1 month. And after consulting with a Canadian, I learned that kilometers are way shorter than miles!

So, to readdress those two lame excuses from before.

Ignorance is no excuse for not setting a goal. Make up some arbitrary number and make that your goal. If it’s too easy, you’ll know to set the bar higher next month. If it’s a statistical impossibility that you didn’t realize is utterly impossible, you’ll still be much better off striving towards perfection than ambling aimlessly.

Laziness is no excuse for not setting a goal. If anything, having a goal will empower and energize you. It gives you something to always strive towards. It’s what makes video games so addicting, because you are constantly trying to reach the next level or unlock the next badge. Not having the goal actually just adds to your burden.

A funny thing happened as I began running. The Runkeeper App sounds off every 5 minutes with your distance and pace. I usually keep my phone in my pocket with the volume turned way down, but at the 10 minute mark I managed to hear it say “distance 0.0 miles.” I fished my phone out of my pocket and sure enough, even though it showed I had a good GPS signal, for whatever reason it wasn’t counting the distance I had just run.

I had set a goal just ten minutes prior, and already adversity was conspiring against me! Which made me think of another reason that people don’t set goals: Fear. Fear of not attaining your goal, fear of failure, fear of looking foolish. Sometimes just the fear of standing out. How many times have you talked about some dream, goal or vision for your life to a group of “friends” and had them just belittle you for it? Remember, having goals is a rare thing, and being rare necessitates being different. Being different means facing opposition. And sometimes obstacles will be placed in your path to test your resolve.

Ignorance and laziness are dumb reasons that I had. Fear is not a dumb reason. Fear is a very real, potentially damaging force in our psyches. Fortunately it can be cured by a simple step: Action (which is coincidentally the second chapter in my first book, it’s almost as if my book has life lessons that are applicable to my daily life).

I’ll write next week on the subject of overcoming fear (look at me setting more goals), but in the meantime I want to encourage you to set a goal. Set a goal this week for something that you’ve never done before. And if you’re afraid to start, tune in next week for a blog post on overcoming fear.


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Analyzing The Cause of Death of Your Dream

hello-my-name-isWhen we are children we have big dreams and goals. We have zero understanding of finance, or economics, or world anything. All we know is that we want it all. Sports cars, space ships, a team of racing camels, a mansion in the clouds; all while being both a rock star and the king of Norway. Of course some of those things are possible, some are dependent greatly on your bloodline, and some are ridiculous and frivolous. But that’s okay, you’re a kid and it’s your dream.

The real danger is when you are an adult, or at least old enough to understand a little bit about how the world works. It’s dangerous to develop a dream at that point later in life. Because when those dreams die it kills what’s left of the child inside you; which is another way of saying it pushes you that much closer to death.

Do you have a dream that you’ve given up on?

It may not have been a big, honking, audacious dream.Maybe you just wanted to complete your doctorate. Be a full-time spouse or parent. Travel to Israel and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Be able to support your parents in their old age. One of these things leapt into your heart one day as more than just a “oh, that would be nice if…” but rather as a “I will, I shall, I must one day…”

But if it’s something that you were passionate about at one point, then you have to ask yourself, “How did it die?”

Was it murder? Did someone kill your dream? Either someone in a position of authority that forced you to abandon it. Or someone intimately close to you that made you choose between your dream and your life together.

Was it disease? Perhaps something in your environment killed it. Usually the number one environmental cause of the death of a dream is ridicule. If enough people around you make fun of you for having a dream, it can get slowly whittled away.

Was it attrition? Did your dream just starve to death? A great slayer of dreams is “busy.” Busy keeps us from accomplishing so much in the way of personal relationships and achievements, because it keeps us focused on now, focused on a survival mindset. We neglect our dream and it wastes away.

Did it just die of old age? Procrastination kills more dreams every day than any other enemy, we just don’t realize it because it started killing them years ago. We delay, we put off, we hesitate, until finally it just makes more sense to not think about it anymore.

I want to give you two insights about dreams.

  • First, treat your dream like it’s a baby.baby

Babies are vulnerable and fragile. You can’t set it aside in the woods for a few hours and just hope that a pack of wolves doesn’t find it. You need to protect it from the wolves. Nothing is as fragile as a newborn dream. People will attack your dream for one of two reasons. A friend may push you to test your resolve. Someone else may push you just because they’re a jerk. Either way, don’t expose your dream to anyone unless you’re prepared and willing to fight for it.

Babies require care and nourishment and warmth and love. You need to think about your dream, talk about your dream, be emotional about your dream. As you feed your dream, it becomes stronger. It’s immune system gets stronger and it becomes more resistant to disease. You don’t have to keep your dream swaddled forever, eventually you can start sharing your dream with others. Some of those people will be good for your dream and they will help guide and nurture it. Some people will hate the fact that you have a dream and you should never bring your dream around them again.

  • Second, dreams can be resurrected.

Dreams are like a metaphorical baby not an actual one. A dream that has died can be brought back to life. Usually this involves removing the source of what killed it in the first place. That’s why the dreamicide post-mortem is so important. If your dream was murdered, then lock away or banish the murderer. If it was diseased, then change your environment to a healthier one. If it was attrition then start spending time and effort on the act of dreaming again; take 15 minutes to write down all of your dreams and goals. If it died of old age… well, I hate to say it, but some dreams do have an expiration date. For instance, I always thought that I would be married and have started my family before I turned thirty. I still dream about a wife and children, the time frame just has to be adjusted because I waited so long.

So if you have a dream: Protect it. Nourish it. And make it a Priority in your life. Treat your dreams like they are a matter of life or death; because in reality they are.


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Increase Your Value by 52.5% In Less Than 1 Second

pareto2I don’t remember exactly where I first heard of the Pareto Principle, a.k.a. the 80-20 rule. In fact I don’t even remember who Pareto was, possibly an economist (if only there were a convenient way to instantly look up information without having to leave my computer keyboard… oh, well).

The premise of the rule is this: you will get 80% of the effect from 20% of the cause. Or 80% of results come from 20% of the effort put in. This principle applies not just to your personal activity, priorities and time management, but also to large organizations and businesses.

pareto1Some examples of the principle in action:

  • 80% of your work will be completed in 20% of the total time spent (for those of you who procrastinate, it will be in the final 20% before deadline).
  • 80% of your satisfaction at work will come from 20% of your job duties.
  • If you own a business, 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your product line. And 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your salesmen.
  • In your church, 80% of the donations will come from 20% of the people.
  • In any book you read, 80% of the content will be found in 20% of the pages (the obvious exception being MY books which have incredibly valuable tips and information condensed into every single page including in the copyright information right next to the title page).

According to leadership expert John Maxwell this rule even applies to picnics.

  • 80% of the food will be consumed by 20% of the people. Also, 20% of the people will provide 80% of the food, but those two groups are never the same 20% people.

Usually when I talk about principles of success, I focus on the idea of slow, gradual growth, of changing our daily habits, of internalizing change and becoming rather than just behaving successful.

I’ve said many times that the idea of a quantum leap to success is largely a myth. Well, today I’m going to admit that I was wrong. Instant success is possible, and using Pareto’s Principle I will share a method that will instantly increase your profit, or relationship, or happiness, or whatever you choose to apply it to.

Stop spending time on the 80%.

End of seminar.

Well I suppose I could expound on that idea just to prove the point of Pareto’s Princple.

Legendary life insurance salesman, Frank Bettger, wrote a book called How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success in Selling (and by the way, no one ever asked him “What’s your book about?”). In Chapter 2, he carefully analyzed his records of 12 months of his daily activity (interviews, sales calls, and commissions). He came to the realization that when he took his total annual sales commissions divided by the total number of sales calls he made, his average phone call had a value of $2.80.

This realization had a major impact on his thinking, because it made him realize the value of his time, and the value of every phone call, regardless of whether the person bought or not.

Here’s what his records further revealed. 70% of his sales were made on the first interview. 23% were made on the second interview. However, he was spending roughly 50% of his time with prospects on the third interview or later. In other words, he was spending most of his time chasing 7% of his total sales.

So here’s what he did: if his prospect did not buy a policy from him after his second sales interview, he stopped calling them.

Whoa, that’s pretty drastic. What if that customer seemed like he was right on the verge of buying? Sure, there was a chance that the customer might buy. And that chance was 7%; he had the records to show it. Whereas a brand new customer that he was calling on for the first time had a 70% chance of buying.

That single decision increased the value of each call from $2.80 to $4.27. That’s an increase of 52.5%… in case you were wondering about the blog title.

pareto3Your time is valuable.

Your time is less valuable when you invest 80% of your activity into 20% of your results.

Spend your time on the valuable things first.

If you spend all of your creative energy in the 20% of activity that yields the 80% results, you would increase your productivity by four times (at least I think that’s what the chalkboard shows). Math only accounts for 20% of my GPA so I skipped it. In fact, it took me quite a while to figure out that increasing something from $2.80 to $4.27 is a 52.5% increase.

So I have two questions for you:

  1. How can you apply Pareto’s Principle to your life, and
  2. Which 80% of this blog was unnecessary?


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What Does YOLO Mean To You?

yoloFor those of you close to my age, let me first tell you what YOLO means. It’s one of those cool acronyms that the youngsters use nowadays instead of speaking in sentences. It stands for “You only live once.”

So, let me ask you again, what does YOLO mean to you?

For many of those same youngsters it means to live life with complete irresponsibility. Have fun. Live for the now. Don’t concern yourself with the future. Be a pleasure seeker. Live with abandon. In other words YOLO is an excuse to behave like an idiot in the name of Carpe Diem.

Responsibility is the sign of our transition from childhood to adulthood. And that transition seems to be taking longer and starting later. I didn’t care much for the movie Fight Club, but one line that stood out to me was when Brad Pitt described men as “little boys trapped in thirty year old bodies.”

It seems like the age at which we are considered adults is getting older and older.

Before it sounds like I’m pointing fingers at Generation Y, let me just say that I don’t blame them. I blame the adults. I blame the culture that they were brought up in.

Parents coddle children, thinking that making their kids’ lives easier makes them better parents. If you grew up in the 1800′s you were probably expected to go out on your land with a musket and kill something for dinner by the time you were nine. In contrast, to demonstrate how helpless society thinks children are now, last month a woman was arrested for allowing her nine year old daughter to play at a park unattended. (I am not making this up).

ponyHere’s an example of the type of expectations that we used to have for young people when we were a brand new, barely civilized country.

This is an actual employment flier for the Pony Express. They wanted young men because the horses could travel further with boys than with adults, and some of the runs were over 300 miles. Expert riders willing to risk death because there were still many hostile Indian tribes that would kill unaccompanied, white minors to take their horses. Orphans preferred so that they wouldn’t be missed by a grieving mother.

Today, peanut butter is illegal in most cafeterias because of potential allergies.

Our expectations for our youth has dropped so incredibly low.

Some might argue that those were primitive times, when people lived in hardship and were expected to live by their physical prowess. We are a more sophisticated generation, much more educationally enlightened, using our brains rather than our bodies.

Really? I’m willing to bet that most graduates of a public university today could not pass the entrance exam for public high school in 1912. Back then, you had to qualify to get in to high school. Today you are arrested for truancy if you don’t go. Here are some sample questions from an eighth grade school examination for the Bullitt County Board of Education in Shepherdsville, Kentucky from 1912:

  • Arithmetic: How many steps 2 feet 4 inches each, will a man take in walking 2 1/4 miles?
  • Grammar: How many parts of speech are there? Define each.
  • Geography: Name and give the capitals of States touching the Ohio River.
  • Physiology: How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body? Where is it located? What does it secrete?
  • Civil Government: Define the following forms of government: Democracy, Limited Monarchy, Absolute Monarchy, Republic. Give examples of each.
  • History: Who first discovered the following places – Florida, Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River, St. Lawrence River

How did you do? You can try the rest of the test here if you like.

We learn less though we are required to spend more time in school. We attempt less though we have so much more opportunity. We achieve less though we start with so much more abundance. And some idiot yells YOLO as if shotgunning a beer were some kind of accomplishment.

So here is my message to the young (and old) people of today.

If you don’t feel that your government, your school or even your parents expect great things out of you, then expect greatness of yourself.

You only live once, so take responsibility for your life. You only live once, so recognize that your actions today influence the direction of your life tomorrow. You only live once, so be respectful to others and don’t utter hateful words that will damage relationships. You only live once, so treat your body like you plan to wear it for a long time. You only live once, so stop waiting for someone else to provide you with your life. You only live once, so always strive towards greatness. You only live once, so don’t give up on any worthwhile endeavor. You only live once, so live your life with purpose. You only live once, so live today how you want to be remembered when you are gone.

You only live once, so don’t do stupid things that will be caught on video and get you fired tomorrow.

So, what does YOLO mean to you?


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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

IMG_20140626_192343

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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