Australian Fires 2019-2020

Australian Fires 2019-2020

I was having a conversation, the other day with an American friend who was quite worried about my welfare. (Thanks Mark – much appreciated – I am very grateful for friends like you even all the way around the other side of the world).

He was hoping that we were OK and safe from the fires etc in Australia in January 2020.

It seemed that the media was reporting that Victoria (The Australian State in which I live) had been evacuated.

Evacuation of Victoria

Malacoota FireHmmmmm. This is actually not likely nor possible. It is very hard for us living in vastly different countries to understand the various sizes and other attributes involved.

Let’s have a look.

The Size Situation

Victoria, the smallest mainland state in Australia, is approx 92,000 sq Miles in area. This is just a little bit smaller than the American State of Oregon, and a little bit less than twice the size of New York State. Victoria has one major city, a few smaller cities, approx 10 minor cities, some hundreds of large country towns and settlements, (I live in a town of 4,500 people some 2.5 – 3 hours drive from Melbourne the major city). And there are LOTS of smaller settlements, farms and (hamlets shall we call them?) all over the place.

New York State has a population of just under 20 million people, whereas Victoria has approx 6.4 million. So you can see mass evacuations would really not be likely. We could move people around a bit if really necessary, but evacuations – in general, No.

Current Fire Situation

The current fire situation on my side of this huge country is mainly in the State of NSW and the North East of Victoria (near where I live – about 30% of the small State and mostly in uninhabited mountain or hard to access country) and spreads toward the Eastern Seaboard. But it is still not an issue here apart from a lot of smoke that comes and goes. Not yet. It may become so before the season concludes at the end of February.

Now while this is nothing short of catastrophic in so far as the amount of bush or forest, that has burned, (an estimated 26 million acres; 107,000 square kms; 41,000 sq miles - that’s approx the size of New York State again); it has destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including over 2,204 homes) and killed 28 people as of 8 January 2020, there is more. (Note that with our population density so low – 28 people is a LOT.) And it is ongoing.

Animals

The biggest issue is an estimated 1 billion animals that have been killed and some endangered species may have been driven to extinction.

Perspective

Arguments as to causes and mitigation strategies, political or otherwise, are not my concern here. But hopefully, this puts things into perspective.

Navy

However, not in my 70 or so years down here at the bottom of the globe, have I heard of Navy ships being called in to evacuate a whole town (which was almost completely destroyed by the way) from the beach/sea where the residents had all congregated in an attempt to stay alive.

I guess that was a mass evacuation. Normally 1,063 people live in that town increasing to about 10,000 during the Summer (Christmas) holiday season.

No one there now. They are all at emergency stations in Melbourne.

Facts

Often the media doesn’t take into account all the facts. Sometimes they don’t know all of the facts. Consume with care.

Cruise Like A Pro

Cruise Like A Pro – A Complete Guide To Carefree Cruising by Robin Gail

Cruise Like A Pro

A lovely little book. I have been on 5 cruises and still found some stuff I didn’t know.

This is a must purchase (softcover) to slip into your pocket or purse when you are actually on your cruise of a lifetime. It will save arguments and ensure you have the best time ever, avoiding most of the traps. So full of positive Tips’nTricks as well. All in a short readable and interesting book.

A bit like the old almanacs sailors used to carry to keep them aware of what was going on, you will use this many times on your cruise.

Petrol Prices – Ripped Off

Petrol Prices – Ripped Off

Recently I have been noticing a bit of activity on Social Media where people are commenting that they feel ripped-off by gas/petrol prices in particular, but in reality, they are thinking, I believe, on a larger scale. Gas/petrol is just one of the most visible. Let’s declare that we are talking small business in this article. I won’t define small business at this point, as that is a whole different story.

Rip-off

Definitions

What does rip-off mean? In the Urban dictionary it is defined as:

  1. Stealing ideas and/or products to create something of lesser value.
  2. To take credit for something that is not their own.
  3. To slightly alter an existing idea and product for personal benefit.
  4. Disregard the origin of the true creation in attempt to make a quick buck and turn a few heads.

None of which relate to actual pricing of a product or service such as gas/petrol unless the product is being misrepresented. That would be item #1. ie offering a lower octane fuel for the higher octane price. Classic case.

Then there is the Collins Dictionary:

  1. If someone rips you off, they cheat you by charging you too much money for something or by selling you something that is broken or damaged.
    • The Consumer Federation claims banks are ripping you off by not passing along savings on interest rates. (Maybe? All banks have shareholders they must pay. Some of these investors might be you?)
    • The airlines have been accused of ripping off customers. (Hmmmm)

This comes much closer to what people have been saying. But we need to be careful here. Value judgements and subjective thinking can trip us up.

What is too much money? More than you WANT to pay? More than you paid last week? More than Bill bought the same thing for on-line? More than the business owner deserves? How do we decide?

Wage/Salary

When you and me go to work for a boss, we do so, in general to receive a wage or a salary. There is some kind of ‘quid-pro-quo’ here. We provide something the company wants and they pay us for our time. All good.

And we, more or less, happily massage our living expenses to match as closely as possible the weekly/fortnight/monthly money, wages, salary. What happens within the company has very little effect, most of the time, on the workers/employees. They get their money (the same amount) regularly. Usually no matter what. There are retrenchments/layoffs and unfortunate things like that, but they are still exceptions to the rule. You go to work, put in your time, get paid, end of story.

Business

Doesn’t work that way for a business. Those of us who have ever owned a business know this only too well.

Every business (even the big corporations many of us work for) must SELL something to make any money. Every day. And when you are the owner, the actual machinations, the regular daily sales of your product or service matter to you. They matter a lot.

You are in a business, whatever it is, to make this salary employees take for granted. If sales go down one month so does the money in your bank account. You get less or sometimes no pay that month. Bills and costs of running a business very rarely drop. They usually go up. And they are continuous, they don’t stop because sales do. And then there’s stuff like school fees to consider as an example. So we walk a very tight rope in our businesses.

Not In Business For You - The Customer

It may come as a shock to many of you, but a business owner (say the boss of a gas/petrol station) is not in business for you. He is in business for his family. The PRODUCT he sells is FOR you, but that is all.

He/she decides what monthly personal income is needed over and above all expenses (and very often a contingency for lower sales some times of the year). Just like decisions you make when sometimes you decide a job is not for you as the salary is not enough to fund the lifestyle you desire. Same in a business. As well most businesses have a cost structure that includes up-front money. Remember if the business fails, the proprietor loses this up-front money, but the loan (usually this up-front cost is funded by a bank) does not go away just because the business does. So now our business owner has no income but continued personal as well as business expenses. He/she must set up contingencies to cover this possibility.

Contingencies

Speaking of contingencies – many businesses price their goods/service based on a yearly average. Some – the most lucrative - can afford to fluctuate prices to the customer down in good times, up in the not so good, many cannot.

If all else was equal gas/petrol stations could change prices based on the cost of the last delivery of fuel. And this is NEVER the same in any two consecutive deliveries. I spent many years in the fuel industry, and this is a known fact.

But if they have decided to run as close as possible to the bone, this cheaper fuel load sold at the higher cost, is a minor bonus like a salary earner Christmas bonus for example. It may fund an otherwise unlikely holiday, or it may just be set aside as a buffer for the rainy day when sales hit rock bottom for no foreseeable reason.

Charges

Businesses charge what they want? True as far as it goes. But it would be silly to watch your bottom line disappear in the red because you went all altruistic and figured your customers deserved a better deal. “I can’t charge my customer’s that – it’s a rip-off. I’ll just charge this price instead. Of course I may not be able to save up enough for my tax bill, but let’s worry about that another day”.

How does that help anyone?

On the other side of the coin, it would be beyond stupid to charge a price much greater than the opposition for the same product/service, or to charge a price so high that your customer base evaporates.

Must Charge

It is a see-saw (teeter-totter). In fact business can’t really charge what they want for a product/service. They MUST charge what their bottom line requires. And yes, some of this will be discretionary income. Personal funds. To spend as they see fit on - what you may JUDGE as - frivolous things, Perhaps like boats, holidays, houses, restaurants, clothes etc. Most salary earners consider this a right. A direct consequence of putting in 40-50 hours at the coal-face each week.

By the way, most business owners I know would kill to spend only 40-50 hours per week at work. So would their families. It is not possible in almost every small business. A story for another time.

Of course, if the business is huge different scales of economics apply and much of the argument in this article is not accurate.

Summary

To summarise, business owners are in business for THEM. Not for YOU. They charge what they want within reason to fund the lifestyle many wage and salary earners take for granted. It is not for you to judge.

You can CHOOSE to pay the prices asked for many varied reasons, or not. Your CHOICE. You cannot bleat until you can compare the lifestyle you have with that of a business owner. Remember ALL businesses are set-up to provide the owner with an income. Disposable income and costs of doing business income. Unless it is a hobby or a side hustle; but if it is the main wage/salary of a family many things are set in concrete before they even begin.

If a lower price would actually increase the businesses’ bottom line then it is silly to overcharge. If not it is reality.

Take it or leave it. In almost every case there are other choices you can make that better suit your budget or your convenience.

Make them. Don’t play the victim card.

Quick to Blame

What’s it all about? We are in Control of our lives!

Braving Change

For those who enjoy Who Moved My Cheese - November 16, 2019

Braving Change

Change is unavoidable and it seems to get harder to deal with the more I fight it.

Braving Change has let me look at change through different eyes. My resistance has been worn down through the author's words of wisdom.

For people who enjoy Who Moved My Cheese, this book keeps you on track to embracing change and all that it offers.

Amanda

Millennials and COMEDY

Millennials and COMEDY

Recently I watched a short clip where a TV host called on a young woman, born in 2002 (a millennial whose cohort was born between 1980 and 2000 approx) and asked her to perform 3 timed tasks which most born before this time would have done with ease.

Map Folding

No, that’s not quite accurate – one of the tasks was folding a map that NO-ONE can do. But the other two would have been quite easy for someone of my generation, (Baby Boomer).

Of course, hilarity ensued and the young woman messed up the tasks as hoped for by the host.

Comedy

But it disturbed me a tad. As you know, I am a huge advocate of change in all its forms and am not very happy to see a person made fun of because they were born in a different time.

Let’s look back to my favourite comparison point.

Silent Generation

A young person born before 1946 (the baby boomer accepted beginning point) was said to be in the silent generation.

Now had you asked one of these kids to saddle a horse, hitch up a cart of some sort and drive the contraption to town to pick up the weekly supplies, I reckon any kid over the age of 7 could do that. THEN. But not now.

I was born in 1949 and while I have seen and understood these situations, and have actually been on a horse, I would have no idea where to start if asked to perform for an audience.

Catch a Horse

Catch the horse? OMG. And that’s just the beginning.

Yet at the tender age of 15, I stripped down a Model A Ford motor car engine and changed the piston rings. I wonder which kids born into the Millennial generation could do that. (Even supposing you could find one of these cars to work on). I’d say None. Why would they even bother?

Millennials

Here’s the thing. The world changes. We move forward. Why should we make fun of someone who has never had to do the things we set them as comedic tasks? They will fail. We laugh. It is actually not funny.

Learning Opportunity

Failure is never a positive emotion. My favourite mantra is ‘there is no such thing as failure, only a learning opportunity’. What learning opportunity is this? The objects she was asked to manipulate are, in general, no longer available, at least not in general use, so what did we need to learn?

Oh yeah, history. Yep we should not forget where we came from, but I believe we must focus our eyes forward.

The Past is the Past

Let’s not demonize the past, but let’s not put it on a pedestal either. There is nothing wrong with the things that have happened historically, in a general sense (don’t take me too literally here, I am not talking war and the like), but the past should not be looked on as the best of times. Nor the worst of times for that matter. It is just the past. Nothing more - nothing less.

Tomorrow

I am once again reminded of the words of Google CEO (2001-2011) Eric Schmidt when asked what was the best day of his life. He was said to have answered, “Tomorrow.”

Tomorrow

 

 

 

 

Braving Change

Entitlement in Our Society Today

Braving Change – Colin Rochford

Braving Change - Colin Rochford

Reviewed By: Mamta Madhavan

5 Stars

Review Rating: 5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review!


Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite

Change is constant

Change is constant but there are many people out there who feel intimidated by change and find it difficult to accept change.

Braving Change: 5 Steps to Overcoming your Fear of Change and Facing Life with Joy (Change Series Book 1) by Colin Rochford gives an insightful view of the concept of change and gives confidence to readers to accept change instead of resisting it. The author delves deep into the concept of change and speaks about overcoming the fear of change, understanding the fear of change, what can be done, and how to move forward with a different outlook. It is a good book to help readers realize that the concept of change is not new and there is no need to be afraid of it.

Methodical

The author tackles a relevant subject methodically and practically, making it easy for readers to connect with his words as they navigate and welcome the changes in their lives. The book will give readers a way of understanding why change happens and will also tell them how often 'bad' changes can also have silver linings. It is definitely a good book to help one look at change with a new outlook and welcome it with an open mind.

Five Steps

The 5 steps to overcoming the fear of change are helpful when it comes to making change easier to accept. The author's style is simple and neat, honest and straightforward, making it easy for readers to understand and apply the advice in their lives. I am sure, like me, that readers out there must be waiting for Book 2.

Fear of Change eBook

Eat That Frog Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

A short book in the procrastination genre. Not to be missed.

One thing I notice as I read the many self-help books available out there is the fact that they are all as special as the people reading them.

Resonate

Some resonate immediately and qualify for the “Changed My Life” comment. Some you need to read again and again.

And some hit a note that you are absolutely sure you have heard/read before, but never seemed to quite hook onto.

Hook

This book was the hook for me. So simple, straightforward and beautifully crafted. Hardly a wasted word. He does repeat “Eat That Frog” a few times, but that was necessary. Well, it was for me.

You just need to keep right on reading each new book until one smacks you in the forehead as this one did for me.

OMG. Yeah. Now I get it. Why did I put it off for so long?

CANI

Then keep right on reading – because why would you want to stop learning? Continuous and Never-ending Improvement.

Thanks, Eat That FrogBrian. I get it now.

 

 

 

 

The Art of Art

The Art of Art

The Art of ArtWhat is art? I mean all kinds of art. Visual (including drawing, painting, sculpture), performing (including music & theatre, mime, statue etc), and design (including architectural, decoration) to name a few to start with.

Categories

And, of course, each of these very broad categories has so many layers below them we would not have enough paper to show probably half of the spreads. But the high-level question still remains. What is Art? Who decides and how does it (an idea) spring out of a mind and into the realm of ART?

Silly question? Perhaps? But it has been taking some energy from me lately, so I figure let’s get it out.

The difficulty here is to not be judgemental. Because that’s not it. I actually don’t have any vested interested in the perceived value (or not) of any of these creations. That is not the point. We all have our predilections and our current likes and dislikes. It is not up to me do have any input into that process at all.

Example

OK. I was in an airport the other day resting on a day bed during a long layover, and I was staring at a design feature on top of a column. It was a wide twisted white plaster (or plastic – I couldn’t quite tell from where I was) and it was about 20 meters long extending from the pillar out into the airspace above me. It wasn’t very wide, although the bit over the column was wider than the rest.

Hanging from this were a large number of rectangular plates of a golden colour (metal, or plastic – not sure). They were hanging from a wire or some such support, were all the same thickness and width, but slightly different lengths.

As I stared at it I wondered why it had been made like that. Why not different coloured bits of hanging stuff? Why not many different lengths or shapes? A zillion questions appeared to me and there were no answers. This is a piece of building design either commissioned by the airport building company or generated by an employee. It probably doesn’t matter. It had no purpose but decoration, at least as far as I could tell.

Decisions

But the point was many DECISIONS were made about how this would look. Even perhaps how it would sound or maybe even smell. How did these decisions get made?

The other week while watching a guitarist play some really great original music, I noticed his foot reach out and tap one of the many buttons on the switch array under his microphone. I am not sure if I heard anything change, but once again, my questioning mind asked, “What did he do? Why”. And, “How did the decision to do that and not something else or nothing at all get to be made”, I asked.

Of course, I am brushing over here, the strumming, finger-picking and fretboard work that generated the sounds in the first place. All the result of decisions relating to the art of music. Way beyond my understanding. But I usually like what I hear. Bugger. That is judgemental. Sorry.

Higher Artistic

Is this line of thought reducing the higher artistic to a low end simple, practical decision or series thereof? I guess it is. Your thoughts, please?

You are the Writer

You are the Writer

Something happened to me today that I have to tell you about.

Writer

WriterAfter my yoga class, a woman came up to me and said these words, “You are the writer? I’ve heard about you from a mutual acquaintance.”

I gulped and after a tiny but probably noticeably awkward pause, I said, “Yep. That’s right. I am.”

Pause

Why the pause? Why the awkwardness? I mean yes I have a chapter published for all to see in a book edited by a chap in England. (You can buy it at all good bookstores everywhere, and online – Amazon). In 3 days from this conversation, I will have published a book, ‘Braving Change’, written all by myself. At the time of writing, I am juggling a few final late edits (it just never stops – the ‘how long is a piece of string?’ syndrome). As you read this I believe that this book will be available for all to purchase.

But enough sales talk. The point of this is - we all (and I reckon ALL is not too strong a word), seem to put ourselves down in this way at least once or twice in our lives. Probably MUCH more often. Why?

Put Down

OK. It is not a positive ‘put-down’ like “I suck,” for example, but denying something or being awkward about admitting it is just as bad? Isn’t it?

Go back over the last 24 hours or 3 days or a couple of weeks and see if you can find a time when you did this. It could be to your children, your significant other, your boss, your mates, anyone. Think about it. Think hard.

Deny

We deny ourselves. All the time. If we fail to accept a compliment or fail to acknowledge something like being a writer for example, or a guitarist, an artist, sculptor, writer or many many other appellations others might give us, or we make an awkward pause before we accept, then we are DENYING ourselves.

Who taught us this was a good idea? Is this rather silly denying action serving us now? In our busy and confusing lives to be something or to be good at something to the point where another notices it and points it out to you is FANTASTIC.

Love Yourself

Don’t go ape over it, but don’t disavow it either. Be cool. Let it happen. Let it flow over you. Bask in its significance. Love it. Love yourself.

I teach positive thinking, change, life coaching stuff and I could not believe that I did this today. To myself. Why? This is such a crock.

Talents

All of us have talents, all of us can do things, the labels that society gives us for the good things we do or what we are, must be accepted, not diminished or worse still pushed away. And an awkward pause IS a pushing away.

Be proud. Stand tall. Admit that yes we are a writer. We are a great mother/father. We can play guitar well even though we are not yet in a band.

Accept

It’s not self-aggrandisement. It is not arrogance, (unless you crow like a rooster). It is humble acceptance of your own very special attributes.

Love Yourself

Love your self, and others will too.

Published Author

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Religion is The Opiate of the Masses

Religion is the Opiate of the Masses

Karl Marx

“Religion is the opium of the people”, wrote Karl Marx in 1843, often paraphrased as the ‘opiate of the masses’ as above.

I was reminded of this today while discussing life and other things with a friend whom I was visiting in the hospital.

Catholic

Not sure how the topic came up, but he was waxing lyrical about how religion was simply a means of controlling a population. This from a 78-year-old Irish Catholic.

I said that as far as I knew all religions had been created by humans and NOT a God of any variant.

A Drug of Addiction

Don’t we have here a drug, as can be construed by Mr. Marx’s comments, that we, as the people or the masses, are being hooked on by the pushers of this religious nonsense? I think so.

Suffering Does Not Last

We went on to discuss how in his early years in Ireland he was constantly disappointed, (NO read disgusted) by The Church’s exhortation that suffering was only temporary (an earthly thing since time in Heaven didn’t exist), and poor people, in particular, should remember that they will be rewarded in the afterlife. This, of course, kept them from trying to better themselves, because, why would they? This was temporary, the afterlife was forever – unending.

As the aforementioned poorer class of people was probably not very well educated, this belief was perpetuated; and the weekly gatherings that were forced upon the members of these groups by threats of missing out on the afterlife as well, if they didn’t attend, continued the travesty.

This was far from the beginning, though. These unsavoury tactics had been going on for millennia.

Religious Leaders

From the earliest of times, humans have created groups of men who have been designated as having greater significance in the scheme of things (the so-called religious leaders). Let’s look at this.

Religion - Defined

Religion is often defined as “, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs”. Man-made. Yes?

Wikipedia says:

Historical Perspective

“There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion”.

Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, the other two being Christianity and Islam. But the oldest form of religion would probably be Zoroastrian, sometimes called the official religion of ancient Persia.

Zoroastrian

Is one of the world's oldest surviving religions, with teachings older than Buddhism, or Judaism, and far older than Christianity or even Islam. Zoroastrianism is thought to have arisen “in the late second millennium B.C.E amidst semi-nomadic pastoralists in the Central Asian Steppelands,” according to Dr. Jenny Rose, a scholar of the religion. Its name comes from Zarathushtra, to whom the earliest texts of the religion (the Gathas, or “songs” of praise to Ahura Mazda) are ascribed. He was known to the Greeks as Zoroaster, hence the name we know today.

Do As We Say

Now have a read of this, “In Zoroastrian thought, good and evil are strictly divided. The deity Ahura Mazda (the “wise lord”) establishes everything good, whereas Angra Mainyu (the “destructive spirit”) is the source of everything evil, bringing chaos to the orderly world. The chaos and confusion of evil are spoken of as “the lie,” in contrast to the order, right, and truth of Ahura Mazda.

I mean isn’t this – the oldest known religion, just a system of man-made control? Do as I (we) say and all will be well. Or else chaos.

Comments, Please

Hmmmmm, So this bollocks is not new. Not at all.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

How To Overcome The Fear Of Change

How to Overcome Fear Of Change

FOC not FOMO, but Fear Of Change. It is a thing, and it even has its own word. Metathesiophobia.

Fear Of Change

Breakfast

We all like routine. Hell, I have the same 3 pieces of grain bread toast every morning. Lashings of ‘unhealthy’ butter, 2 slices with honey and one with vegemite. (Yeah, well I live in Australia – so sue me.)

The need to feel in control – and this is very often what routine is all about - is built into our physical and mental predispositions.

When you are finished changing, you are finished”

Benjamin Franklin.

And it is true. We need to accept that change is a necessary part of life. To not do so can lead to panic or anxiety attacks; it can become a full-blown phobia when it is irrational, persistent and intense.

FEAR

Someone once said to me that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. You have probably all heard it – it is almost a cliché now, but let’s look at it in a bit more depth.

False Evidence

This usually comes from stories we tell ourselves based on the flimsiest of grounds and in many cases not true, not logical and not even slightly constructive. We fabricate stuff and believe our own stories even when they are obviously not real.

Phones And The Younger Generation

Here’s an example. Those who are afraid that our children will fail to learn socialising skills because they are always on their phones and not talking to each-other. Yeah? You’ve heard that one? What do you think they are doing on their phones? Most of them are not playing games. They are messaging friends, often several at once, occasionally from many different towns, cities or even countries. Isn’t this communicating?

Different

Is it different from the way we used to do it? Yes, of course, but it is a good change? I think so. Wider communication networks, and an instant (not having to wait for weeks to send and receive actual mail) connection. They can even take pictures and share them with friends all over at the tap of a finger on a screen.

Social Media

Yes and what about social media? Is it good or bad? Guess it depends on what you mean by good and bad. We used to SHARE our opinions using letters to the editor columns in magazines and newspapers. Sometimes on talk-back radio. (that in itself was a change from earlier communications not available to us until radio was invented and came into general use). But we don’t talk about that now do we? We just say kids are doing it wrong.

NO. They are not. They are just using NEW technology to do things differently.

Like we did. All those years ago.

Appearing Real

Change is inevitable. Listen to the stories you tell yourself that Appear Real to you because you repeat them so often.

Sisyphus

It is a fact that the brain has great difficulty in differentiating what is real from what is imagined. Seems to be same. And if you tell yourself these false stories often enough you will believe them and then you will resist change, and you become like Sisyphus trying to push the rock up the hill. You will fail and be crushed in the process.

Book

I have a new eBook coming out at the end of September addressing this situation. It will be published on Amazon.

It is called: “How To Overcome The Fear Of Change”. And it will give you some in-depth reasons why we might be suffering from this affliction, and some practical ways to avoid this crippling state of affairs. It even includes a ‘Call To Action’ that everyone can use.

Fear of Change eBook

CHANGE – Cannot be Avoided

New Kind of Alarm Clock

New Kind of Alarm Clock

I’ve found a new Alarm Clock. I think. My bladder.

alarm clock

Backtrack

Let’s go back for a moment.

Recently I’ve been following my doctor’s orders (no mean feat in itself) and doing my level best to drink approx 2 litres of water each day. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately as you’ll see from what follows), I manage to finish the last 500ml only about an hour before bed at let’s say 11.00pm.

Right. Now to the point of all of this.

Bathroom/Toilet Call

At somewhere between 5.00am and 6.00am I awake, finding that I need to go to the bathroom/toilet.

Aside: I am a retired chap and don’t have to get up for a JOB, but I have so much to do, I really need to get up not much later than 7.30 to fit it all in.

Anyhoo.

I reckon if you are awake enough to go to the toilet at this time in the morning and not pee on the floor or in the closet, then you are awake. Go ahead and do your Miracle Morning routine (wash face, brush teeth, comb hair, use mouthwash etc) and get on with your SAVERS ritual. If you don’t know what this means, check out the links below.

Obviously, I am speaking as a guy here, I guess it’s not a whole lot different for the ladies amongst us – except for the floor, Oh yeah and the closet – but you get my meaning. You are awake enough to pee, you are awake enough to get up. Damn it, you are already up. Why wreck this and go back to bed?

No Alarm Clock

You won’t need an alarm clock stashed somewhere other than the bedside table, that you have to dash for before all hell breaks loose. You have been doing this (getting up for the bathroom), most of your life, so not waking up a partner is already taken care of.

Back To The Sack

What has been happening to me, until very recently, is that because it is not alarm time – I have headed back to the sack. What occurs about 90 mins later, when the alarm goes off, is the snooze button gets a workout and I end up rising at say 8.00am or 8.30am or something. A late start to my day. Sometimes VERY late and I feel washed out for most of what’s left of the morning.

Do It

Give it a try. Turn off the alarm, drink water about an hour before bed (visit toilet just before sleeping – a 2.00am call spoils the whole thing) and let your body/bladder be your NEW alarm clock. You’ll wake up when you need to; not at some arbitrary time decided by a noisy alarm.

How does that sound?

Give it a go for a few days/weeks and let us all know how it works for you.

Nanna Naps

We can talk about nanna naps another time.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning And Your Why

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

With apologies to David Bowie.
I have noticed (isn't it strange how things on our mind come to the fore in other parts of our lives?), a few videos on Facebook about change recently; Mel Robbins & Russell Brand to name just two. And also a large number of posts about life in the sixties and how different - read better, it was. These on Facebook too.

Changes

Green & Growing / Ripe & Rotting

I was reminded of the ‘We either are “green and growing”, or we are “ripe and rotting”. Change is inescapable’, quote (often attributed to Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame), which I first heard during my coaching training. The bell curve came to me. When we consider we are at the top or peak of our existence ie the 60’s - and we do nothing to keep growing (why should we? This is the best we've ever been?), then we begin to rush down the precipice. Down the slope of the curve. We begin to rot or at the very least not grow.

Best EVER

If the 60’s were the best - everything for the last 60 years has been down hill? Nothing that has changed since then has been worthwhile? Really? This is obviously not true but we often seem to think like this. Our ‘Change is ALWAYS bad’ mindset.

The Past

We can and possibly should, look back with nostalgia, reminisce about what we loved in the past; be excited about our lives and what we did. But we must realise that we only have NOW. The past, as wonderful as it was, (and we only seem to look at the really cool things like playing outside and billy carts for example, while not remembering the great sadnesses of the period), is not going to happen again. It can’t. Things are different now.

NOW

Yep, the past has gone, never to be seen again. The future is as yet unknown - it may never even happen. All we have is NOW. The decisions we make this very moment will decide what we will be, do or have in this future; and therefore, what happens to us for the rest of our lives - no matter how short or long that turns out to be. Check out “The Power of Now” by ‘Eckhart Tolle

Our Choice

We can decide now to be better - or do nothing. Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting. It is our choice to change if we are not happy, or stay where we are and rot.

CHANGE – Cannot be Avoided

Coffee as an Agent of Change

Nothing Changes By Sitting On Your Hands

The Ego & Positive Thinking

The Ego & Positive Thinking

Today I want to talk again about positive thinking. I've been reading ‘The Power Of Now’ by ‘Eckardt Tolle’ Egoand it is wonderful. He talks about the equality of opposites. What? He goes on - he mentions ego - quite a lot. In fact he maintains that “ego” which we know because of the band Skyhooks; is NOT a “dirty word” is, in fact, the be-all and end-all of our existence. It controls our life completely. If. We. Let. It.

  • The ego must feel good
  • It must feel in control
  • It must feel complete
  • It must have its own identity.

EGO in Control

Let's say you feel depressed. This might be a chemical imbalance in your body, but it might be your ego telling you it's not getting what it wants. This is probably not compatible with what you, the organs etc that make up your body, want or need; but it doesn't matter. The ego will make you unhappy because IT is unfulfilled.

And there is another side to this. If you make efforts, consciously, to be more positive (positive thinking), and to feel better, the ego goes into defensive mode. “Why are you doing this to me?” it says. “Firstly you deny my needs, and now you say you want me to be something different?”

Give up Its Identity

The EGO has identified (and it does this very quickly in most cases), with the depressed you. To become undepressed will require the ego to give up its identity. Of course, it will fight against this positive change you are attempting.

Positive Thinking

Therefore you will say. “Positive thinking doesn't work. I am still depressed. Why am I pretending that all is well when it obviously isn't? I need others to help me.” (ego again - because if others are helping or pitying, or empathising or worrying about me - then I matter) - the ego talking. You will remain depressed because the ego will make it so.

Positive thinking does not, of course, preclude the negative. It does not say, “If I think good thoughts the bad stuff will go away.” It (positive thinking) actually says, ”Learn from the setback whatever it maybe. Don't deny it, but don't dwell on it either.” Meet depression and anxiety head-on. Realize it is an ego issue and make plans to change it.

Two Sides of a Coin

Look at a coin. It has two sides. A coin cannot exist without two sides. One is the main side (the head) the other is the tail. Doesn't matter really, they are the one whole.

Cyclical Nature Of Being

And.

What about the cyclical nature of being. There are ups and there are downs. These just ARE what life is all about. The two sides of our coin. They are only good or bad depending on what your mind tells you. Summer is fantastic if you are a beach type but if you don't like the heat, it is a terrible thing. The worst season.

On the other hand the opposite Winter is fabulous if you are a skier. But a person may feel that the cold is so bad that they may not be able to enjoy winter at all. The worst season.

Wouldn't it be great if you could sunbathe in the cool or ski in the warm, without the extremes?

The cold and heat are two sides of the same coin. They are required. One part cannot exist without the other. Resistance is futile.

The heat and cold are necessary. They are only evil if you let them be.

It is a fact of life but most people's bodies can adjust to the temperature range we experience. That is not to say we enjoy this difference, but it is part of our physiology.

Accept What We Cannot Change

We can help this by being positive about the fact that we cannot change the situation. We could, of course, move around (different parts of the country or different hemispheres), and have continual summer or winter, but for most, that's not possible or practical.

So just let it be. Love where you are. Be positive. Think positive thoughts. Be grateful because, “this too shall pass.”

Ego – A Book Review: A New Earth: Create a Better Life – Eckhart Tolle

What’s it all about? We are in Control of our lives!

Powerful Words

Some Great Book Suggestions

Books to read that may CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Powerful WordsFriends, I read a lotta books, many in the self-help genre. Many of these have caused me to change my life in some way.

Some by doing something differently, some by stopping doing something, and a few by adding something to the way I live my life.

Have a look and see if any resonate with you.

Some Great Book Suggestions

Remember, when self-help pundits say you need a mentor, they are right, but it needn't be someone you know. You may wish to follow an author and read all or most of his/her books and take the ideas on board. That is mentorship at its best. I talked about this in a couple of articles referenced below.

Get A Mentor #1      Get A Mentor #2

Disclaimer / Disclosure

Miracle Morning For Writers

The Miracle Morning For Writers by Hal Elrod & Steve Scott

The Miracle Morning For Writers by Hal Elrod and Steve Scott

Sub-titled “How To Build A Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact And Your Income.”, this is a book for all budding writers.

Miracle Morning For Writers

I am more than ¾ through this wonderful book and have highlights on almost every page. Many pages I ended up tagging the whole page. So many gems. And Links? Did I say Links? Yep, almost every page has links to other resources you can use to add to the information included.

In The Beginning

The first chapter or two contains a run-down of The Miracle Morning SAVERS ritual as espoused by Hal in ‘The Miracle Morning’, and the different perspective is amazing. I thought I understood TMM, but this book gave me new insights, and I hadn’t at that time even reached the point where it actually spoke about writing. I wasn’t disappointed. It was the same only different as my daughter used to say many years ago.

Series

There is a whole series of these books based on different issues Hal figured needed to be addressed, and the best thing about ALL these books is the list of short, easy to follow steps that lead you, inexorably to the result that has probably been eluding you for so long.

Just follow the yellow brick road to success. Steps are logical, common sense, achievable, but they require faith in yourself and in the process, not to mention the extraordinary focused effort necessary to make sure the steps are understood and followed.

Summary

"The Miracle Morning for Writers" combines Elrod's global phenomenon with Steve Scott's proven writing habit techniques (which helped him get on the Wall Street Journal bestsellers list). You learn how to take charge of your morning and maximize "the rest of the day" for your writing efforts.

That is all you need. “Miracle Equation next on my list, then “Millionaire. Can’t wait.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod         The Miracle Morning And Your Why

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning Hal Elrod

The Miracle MorningI have lost count of how many books I reckon have changed my life. I guess they all have in a way, but none, not one, has had the effect The Miracle Morning The Six Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8.00am, has had.

Up at 7.00am

Imagine a book that has ensured retired gent is up at 7.00am most mornings even when there is no real reason to do so? I mean I have no JOB to go to, and very few meetings or appointments in the morning.

Of course, there is a reason, though, many of them in fact. They are all bound up with my WHY. What is my purpose in life and all the good stuff like that?

But this book, The Miracle Morning, and the routine or the 6 habits of the sub-title have resulted in a massive change in my lifestyle.

Early to Bed

Most evenings now, and for the last 60 days or so, I have managed to put myself to bed, to sleep, before midnight. (by about 11.30pm to be exact), and this in itself is a major change. I get about 7.5 hours of restful sleep and then up at 7.00am.

6 Habits

The 6 habits introduced in the book, defined by the acronym SAVERS, take me about 90 mins (adding in the initial glass of water, bathroom stop, face washing, teeth cleaning, mouth washing also included as necessary parts of the ritual in the book). Oh yeah, SAVERS stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. You can read about these in the book.

Then I am ready for breakfast and to kick start the day. I am so grateful for this book and the change already noticeable in my daily habits.

Late Riser

This has added some 2+ hours of useful time to each and every day I complete the routine. For a bloke who used to get up at 11.00am or so most mornings, this is epic. Add it up, my friends. Assuming 5 days per week and 48 weeks per year, that means for the next 20 years, (and at my age that might be all I have) I will be adding ONE extra year to my life. How cool is that?

Extra Bits

As well as the book, there are bonus worksheets, affirmation and visualisation suggestions, a Facebook support group and a book club to join. This book is one of a whole collection. Much much more. See it to believe.

I could go on. I won’t. Just get the book. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY

Miracle Morning Revisited

Miracle Morning and Why #3

The Miracle Morning And Your Why #2

The MIracle MorningThe Miracle Morning And Your Why #2

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and your WHY. Previously we spoke about the SAVERS routine and the fact that this is, or can become,  a 'way of life'. We looked at the difficulties and The Guilt involved in making it so.

Other Books to Consider

'Atomic Habits', a book by James Clear will help you with this. As well as 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller. That will also be very useful. They were for me. But 'Start With Why',  'Find Your Why' by Simon Sinek et alia might be the initial answer to your prayers. Have a look. See what you think.

Habits – What Hurts You

No habit can be created, no customs can become part of your new life, no beliefs can be entered into your heart mind and soul, without understanding the following: "Why am I doing this in the first place? What is the point? Where is this taking me? Is there a reason? Why?"

Some writers have even given these letters added information making the word an acronym. What. Hurts. You.

Pleasure and Pain

Let's look at this for a moment shall we? What hurts me? Since we are always looking to gain pleasure or avoid pain according to Tony Robbins, and avoiding pain is predominant, then that is a good place to start. What pain are we trying to avoid?  Loss is a big one. Job, possessions, loved ones, money. That's the Big 4 right there. There are others but we'll stay with these for the moment. Pick one. Loved ones for example.

Loss of a Loved One

To avoid the pain of a loss of a loved one either by death or separation, we need to accept the loss. We can understand this process by referring to the Kubler Ross model (the 7 stages of grief - shock, denial, guilt, anger, depression and finally reconstruction).

Savers and Loss

Let’s apply the SAVERS ritual to each of these stages.

Always starting with a Silent centering 10 minutes. I'll talk with you later about this one. But for now just focus on some physical things like breathing, listening - intently, noticing smells, relaxing parts of the body consciously one bit at a time etc, and the 10 minutes will fly by.

Your Affirmations, the A in SAVERS can positively address each of these 7 stages for one week at a time. Affirming that we understand each stage and that we are going to work out how to deal with it.

Visualising follows this; see and experience in your mind’s eye, a new 'way of life' without the person or people in it. Again, more in a later post. Next is doing some -

Reading about the particular stage with which you are dealing, and then

Scribing/writing for 10 minutes. I recommend this writing be about things for which you are grateful.

Oh. I missed Exercise. I do this myself, out of sequence, at the end, as it energizes me to get off my butt and into action for the day.

7 Weeks

This is a 7-week program for just one chosen WHY. What Hurts You. The loss of a loved one can be a huge WHY.

If you maintain this for let's say, only 5 days per week, we have 35 days of practice. Note I didn't say 'continuously - seven days per week' that is often not realistic. 35 days is just over halfway to establishing a habit. A habit using the newly minted Miracle Morning routine/ritual to bring you to a new acceptance of the grief you are experiencing.

Now repeat this for another 35 days and you will have finalised a new habit. Your Morning Miracle routine will be embedded into your lifestyle. And relating it to a big WHY - loss of a loved one - has given you a tool to use to help you come to terms with, in this case, 'grief'.

Long Term – New Outlook

The long term effects will be a new outlook on life. A new 'way of life' if you will. Life after grief.

Coffee as an Agent of Change

Coffee as an Agent of Change

Coffee as An Agent of ChangeI woke up this morning with my mind on fire. 6.30 in the am and nothing was going to keep me in bed today. The alarm wasn’t even due to crank out its unrelentingly, electronically shitful, but cheery, clarion call for at least 30 mins, however, I couldn’t wait.

My morning routine beckoned: glass of water (already beside my bed), bathroom, face-wash, clean teeth, mouth-wash, followed by silent meditation. A few other rituals ensued, then some personal development reading before my first writing exercise for the day. The latter at my desk. My computer began its waking up sequence about this time as well. Oh yeah, the writing was, in unreadable longhand, in my A4 project book with the 18mm dotted lines. A joy to behold.

By now I was getting excited about what I had prearranged for the day the night before. Spreadsheets to be filled out, emails to be written and answered, planning for a number of undertakings my crazy brain had served up for me during the night which I was now recalling. In great detail. Breathe.

OK. Pause.

It had been like this for a few months now, ever since I realised that there were only 20 years left. I mean, 20 years before this frenetic lifestyle I wished to lead might not be possible. I keep thinking of new adventures I want to have, new places I must see, new ideas I find continuously cropping up which beg to be explored. New music to listen to. New theatrical ventures to pursue and, yes, many new articles, blogs and even books I just have to write.

So much to do. So little time, goes the cliché.

Let us begin.

Oh My!

One of the issues with having so much going on in a brain, is where to start? What happens first? Sorting, culling prioritising – many tasks each seeming to have a mind of its own, calling out. Me first!

I started. It was a bit like pushing your hands into the balls in the Tattslotto sphere and pulling out a number. OK. That’ll do. Let’s make that the first one.

And so it continues.

You know when you meditate - how you seem to spend most of your time catching thoughts as they propel themselves across the sphere of your mind? How you struggle to keep the external world from ruining the moment?

It’s a bit like that with me and my mental madness. All attempts to keep a single focus fail. I start a task and another muscles its way onto the floor. “Too much”, I cry.

Another rumble in the nest of balls. Another idea to follow-up. What about this one? Oh yes! A new shiny thing. Something else to end up not completed. Another thread to catch as it flutters in the breeze of nothingness.

Suddenly, a loud insistent whistling sound permeates the air. I breath again, and to myself, I sigh. The realisation hits me. It is, finally, time for coffee.