Starting a Successful Blog when you have No Clue: Gundi Gabrielle – A Review

Starting a Successful Blog when you have No Clue: Gundi Gabrielle

Successful BlogThis book has been completely rewritten and it shows.

I have pages of notes and my new website (blog) is now close to being finished. The information contained in this book and the free video lessons make it an absolute winner.

It spans the gamut of newbie to seasoned user and is easy to follow.

I love it and you will too.

Double Jeopardy by Aime Austin – A Review

Double Jeopardy by Aime AustinDouble Jeopardy

There’s a new word in the lexicon.
Pantsfeelings.
Cool yeah? I won’t tell you any more. You’ll see when you read it. The book gives a new understanding to Double Jeopardy as well.
I enjoyed this story and the character of Casey Cort is so engaging. I love that she is a girly girl AND a blokey bloke. It is a refreshing vision.
A couple of issues from a previous book in the series were resolved and the ending is something I had not expected.
Great work. I’ll be chasing up more from this author.

On Writing by Stephen King – A Review

On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing

Recently I read an extremely cool little book by this famous author.

It covered a fair amount of biographical data that was very interesting, enlightening, educative, and insightful. Now that sentence probably violated many of the writing rules the other parts of the book covered.

But the book is well structured, easy to understand and entertaining, as you’d expect from ‘The Man’. But it is still a learning exercise. I found out about stuff I have not heard of before. Like: your tool box with 4 levels. Vocabulary in the top tray, along with Grammar.

Some examples: He advises against using the passive voice. Ever. Well hardly ever. Adverbs also fit into this, use them VERY rarely, category. And then there’s dialogue attribution. (If you don’t know about this; there’s a great reason to find and read this lovely little book). He notes that this later bit of construction when aligned with an adverb is called a Swiftie after author Tom Swift. And should once again NEVER be used in GOOD writing.

It is an amazing book. I loved it. Please find it and read it. Only takes an hour or so and your writing life will never be the same.

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.

Left Wing – Right Wing

Left-Wing – Right-Wing

Generally, the left-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as liberty, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform, and internationalism", while the right-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism". Wikipedia

Opposites

What If I Told You

Now it might surprise you but these can be seen as opposite sides of the same coin.

One can assume that there are as many of our world’s people on the left or the right. That would make sense. It is also sensible to assume, I reckon, that the edges of both of these move way out into radical airspace.

Outrage and Offence

That being the case there is the likelihood that outrage and offense can be, and will be taken when these outer reaches are breached in either direction.

Perhaps the left might be a softer option (a judgment call,) and the right more hard-edged (another judgment call) and perhaps the idea of hatred is more likely to arrive out of the right-wing camp? Do you think?

Seems likely to me.

Moderates

If we as (shall we call ourselves ‘moderates’ - those closer to the middle line between these two extremes), are going to avoid confrontation from either side, we would need to draw in the edges, somewhat, to remove the ‘radicalised’ tips of this continuum.

While I am no fan of anything that is too much left or too much right, nor am I an apologist for companies like Facebook, I am mindful that in our world where free speech is revered we must be aware that if we are to leave these edges as wide as possible maintaining a situation where most people are allowed freedom of expression – some WILL and MUST be offended. Goes without saying.

On both sides of the coin.

Skew

It can’t happen otherwise. If we skew our cutoffs because we say, “Oh the left is softer and doesn’t hurt people so much”, then we are making a mockery of free speech. This is free speech adjusted for the left. I don’t believe this is the way we need to go. Of course, the exact opposite is also true. If we restrict the right, the far-left community will be outraged, Albeit more quietly as is their want.

Therefore we have to assume while we live in this partisan, dichotomous, politicised society there will be issues. Some of them may have calamitous effects. We have to understand this and expect it.

FaceBook and Twitter

Social Organisations like Twitter and Facebook, for example, need to maintain the widest possible limits for their customers/members who provide ALL of the content for the platform, to fully cater for free speech, while cutting off at the edges, the most extreme violations of the human condition.

As it is, many more of the notions at the far boundaries of the right side may tend to spill over into offensive territory, than the ideas of the left.

My prejudices

Of course, that may just be my own prejudices showing. I guess I am way more left than right in my tendencies. No apologies for that. I have always been more open and ideas orientated than absolutes and authority driven.

Doing Its Best

I am sure FB is doing its best. As a money-making concern, it does not want to alienate ANY of its patrons in spite of thoughts and comments to the contrary. But it also has to take into account what is considered by law in all countries where it exists, as ‘common decency’ and adjust its policies to suit. However skewed that might seem to those affected.

What do you think?

The 60 Min Startup

The 60 Minute Startup: A Proven System to Start Your Business in 1 Hour a Day and Get Your First Paying Customers in 30 Days (or Less) by Ramesh Dontha 

60 Min StartupHave you ever had a book jump off the desk, put on it's running shoes, grab you by the arm and drag you along into its world? This one does that and at a frenetic pace too.

I worked with the agile methodology when I was still in that corporate world, and there were some things I didn't understand until I read this book. It is amazing.

I also love the way he started each chapter with an actual case study a name and what this person did or didn't do that illustrates the point of the following chapter. I couldn't wait to turn the page to see what the story was going to be this time.

If this does not change the way you view your life and your work, then I'm not sure where that leaves you. This is an exciting book.

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

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

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

Writing Everyday

Writing Everyday

WritingWriting, journaling or scribing as Hal Elrod calls it in The Miracle Morning, is the final task in the SAVERS morning routine.

Daily Thoughts

The idea is to put down on paper with an actual pen or pencil some thoughts, on a daily basis. Hal Elrod gives you a number of options in an attachment to his ebook, but the problem seems to be that many of his (shall I Call them disciples?) don’t seem to be able to figure it out. What to write, I mean. How to write for the 10 minutes the ritual calls for.

Not your Guru

I don’t profess to be any kind of guru, but I do not seem to have a problem with this task.

Now I reckon this might be because of a number of things that I have read and done, not because I am all that clever.

Write a Book

Firstly, a few years ago I started down a path to write a book. I had no idea what to write about; fiction or not, and not a single notion how to start.

Somewhere I read about a website where you write, electronically, 500 words of anything – often utter drivel - and publish it either in a folder on your computer, or if you were feeling brave on the website or Facebook group. I can’t remember now. I did a bit of both. But the idea was not to write anything of value, just to churn out 500 words (more or less) and leave it at that. Even the stuff published on the web was not to be read, just to prove that you had written it.

The Artist’s Way

Then, not that long ago, I found another really exciting book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. In this book, Julia extolled the virtue of what she called ‘Morning Pages’. The idea behind this again was to write in longhand ANYTHING. Yeah, there were some clues given, but the most exciting and most useful to me as a writer was the need to completely remove yourself as a person writing the material, from the actual result. It wasn’t easy. Took a lot of time to get it to happen consistently. Many mornings writing for a defined number of minutes. Many mornings missing out. But the whole process was just that. A process.

Writing as a Process

In earlier times when I was working, I was a process manager. What happened in any manufacturing process, was that if you put the correct bits and pieces in, carried out the same routines, each and every time, then a result would occur, that was very consistent. Nothing else to it. No emotion. No connection. Just input, action and output.

What am I saying here? Simple. Begin by sitting somewhere quiet and without any distractions, put pen to paper and write words. Don’t lift the pen or even think too much. It’s like meditation. You need to empty your mind of all thoughts and emotions and just let the moving finger write. You will end up with a result.

Raw

Don’t read it back. Don’t edit. Just put words down on paper and off you go. Next task for the day. Job’s done. This is the most important part.

Stuck

It has even been said that if you get stuck just write, “I am stuck. Do not know what to write.” and keep up that until something shakes out. As you are not reading it and there is no point to the writing, other than the actual act of writing, there is no loss, no foul.

No point to the Writing

You did it. Good on you. After some days, weeks, months of this, you might find you can give it some structure and actually write something like I am doing here. But it just flows. This is NEVER the point so don’t stress. Is there a time when structure should take over? NO. If it does. Cool. If not cool too. The whole point is to just write. Period.

Imaginative Story Writing

I did a bit of imaginative writing today – no gratitude, no journal, no diary – a story of sorts. I started with a sentence about dreams. My intent was to follow-up on a discussion I had been involved in the day before with a lady, from the paranormal arena. It didn’t down go down that path at all. It was a story about coffee and a new detective, and a new relationship and an exploding front door. Dunno why. But the same PROCESS was involved. Just the writing, nothing but the writing.

Reptile Brain

There is a direct link between the thinking conscious brain and the hand or keyboard. You need to break that and take the brain out of the equation. Write from the reptile part of your brain if you like. Straight from your hand to the page.

No connection to any actual thinking. After a while it is easy. Must be done every day, though, so as to keep up the momentum. Only 10 minutes. How hard is that really? Well, it is hard. But keep at it.

Writing today

I started writing this the same way. It is not literature but is over 800 words and most of it makes some kind of sense.

Writing Every Day – Journaling

The Teacher will Appear

The Miracle Morning

The Teacher will Appear

The Teacher Will Appear

When the Student is Ready the Teacher Will Appear – Tao Ti Ching.

Early Writing

For approx 50 years, maybe more, I have wanted to be a writer. When I was at teachers’ college in Dunedin N.Z. and we went on a family holiday to the resort town of Queenstown, for a lot of the time I stayed indoors much to the chagrin of my parents who had saved mightily for this holiday.

It was beautiful outside with the lake sliding off to the right below our holiday home and the magnificent range of mountains across the water, ‘The Remarkables’ changing colour and texture as the sun moved around.

But I was writing. A bit of a children’s story for a college assignment. Can’t remember what it was about, but I knew I was hooked on this writing thing.

Still Thinking

Many times since then I have thought about writing. Have a few chapters of a mystery novel set in Melbourne somewhere. I have the beginnings of a short story featuring a Sherlock Holmes of the like you have never heard. And, a few years ago, I had an article actually published as a chapter in a book edited by Kizzi Nkwocha. All through this time I have written stuff that has been published on websites I have owned, never to be seen again.

The Universe

As in everything, there is a plan to The Universe and a ‘way’ that cannot be subverted.

And our friend Tao Ti Ching above has it in one. My route started with a book called “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. I read this wonderful book and joined his Facebook group.

Making Sense

Suddenly things that had started in High School, Teachers’ College, and then University made sense.

Suddenly all, the self-help gurus I had seen, like Tony Robbins for example, and all the teachers I had met online or through their fantastic books, like Julia Cameron with her ‘The Artists Way’; all their teachings began to fall into place.

Daily Writing

I began to write daily 500 words or more each time and this became consistent. I sometimes even read back the result.

Many Teachings

I had been following many different teachers writing about how to write books, I have about 10 ebooks and at least 4 real books telling me how to do this, but not until I had my eyes opened up by Hal, did things begin to gel. I then read a book by Gundi Gabrielle and found a Facebook group lead by Emee Vida Estacio and that’s when the magic happened.

Follow The Plan

I began. I followed the plan, the process, and I now have a book. I am working on the final edits and I have a cover designed. In a week I will be ready to finalise formatting and organise a launch team – the book tells you how to do all of this and the support from the FB group is outstanding.

Before long I will be ready to press the go button and upload the whole shebang onto the Kindle Publishing site, set the promos running and Bob’s your Uncle.

I am so excited.

Book Sales, not the Reason

And you know the whole point of this was to become the kind of person who could write and publish a book. The actual result of this (the book) is not really important. If it sells, great. If it tanks, great. I will have achieved my goal whatever that particular result is.

Grateful

I am very grateful that the teacher appeared when I was ready to get the message. Took 50 years, but it was still worth it. Trust The Universe. Trust the process.

It can work for you too.

Success Unlimited – Mithra Publishing

Your Success book for Mithra Publishing

Kindle Best Seller Publishing

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

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results. A revolutionary system to get 1 per cent better every day

Atomic HabitsPeople think when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.

He calls them atomic habits.

In this ground-breaking book, Clear reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter.

These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life

My 5 take-aways

  1. Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the process that leads to those results. As a side note: There are no good habits or bad habits: only effective habits. Ask the question, "Does this behaviour help me become the type of person I wish to be?”
    1. If you want better results, then forget about setting goals, focus on your systems instead
      1. So James Clear says “Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves”.
      2. Create a system of ATOMIC HABITS. An atomic habit is a little habit that is part of a larger system.
    2. Outcomes are about what you get. Processes are about what you do. Identity is about what you believe.

I am focusing on creating a habit of writing. Focussing on who I wish to become. A writer. What about you?

  1. Every belief, including those about yourself, is learned and conditioned through experience
    1. What do you want to stand for? What are your principles and values? Who do you wish to become?

We need to take a deep dive into our psyche (might need a life coach?) to understand what this means for us. What/who do we believe we are? Start by completing the values questionnaire that you will find on this page. It is a great start to finding out what you believe about yourself. Some core values from Mr James Clear.

  1. The 4 laws of behaviour change are as follows:
    1. Cue (Make it obvious), Craving (Make it attractive), Response (Make it easy) Reward (Make it satisfying).

I won’t go into these in much detail. You’ll need to read the book, but suffice to say, you can use these 4 laws to guide you through the minefield of issues standing in the way of your success. Any success. Business, personal, emotional, financial – whatever.

Note that the inversion of each of these rules can be used to break ineffective habits.

  • Take the cue from something you WANT, really want, and make it, in your mind, really obvious that this is the way you need to go. Lose weight for example.
  • Then convert this into a craving. Make the whole deal attractive, ie kinda like WHY you want it. To be the best looking guy/girl on the beach. See it. Feel it. Smell it. Hear what people say. You know what I mean.
  • Respond to these feelings by taking action. For this to happen – it must be easy. No one will do anything for long if it is tedious. This is where small comes in. Start with having only half a glass of wine with dinner or half a serving of dessert. (If weight loss is your goal).
  • Finally, you need a reward. (Not another chocolate biscuit) Think of something you really like, say an extra hour in bed with a good book? Something that will make you feel good. Do it. Don't miss it. This is very important. That’s it.
  1. Use triggers to help you. If that happens- do this. Do things at a specific time each day. (I write 700 words each morning before breakfast. Doesn’t matter what I write it is the process that counts.) Then try stacking one habit upon another. After I do that – do this. Make the environment work for you. Put pill bottles next to your bed, for example, so you’ll get into the habit of taking your pills before you go to sleep.

Remember the 2-minute rule. When you start a new habit, it should take less than 2 minutes to do.

  1. Finally, Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. Have an accountability partner or mentor. This is a fundamental law of personal development.

There is much, much more. The book is full of lists, exercises, references and stories to which we can all relate. Look for the paper clip strategy for example, and see how it can work in your life. A strategy about habit tracking.

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can't manage what you can't measure.” Drucker means that you can't know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.

Check out the Goldilocks rule. What the? Yep, it's a real thing. Look for it in ch.19.

Summary

Make one small change and repeat it over time. A new habit will be formed, almost un-consciously. This is awesome stuff.
Read ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olsen and David Mann.

5 Key Take-Aways 7 Favourite Self-Help / Personal-Development Books

Fiverr

Fiverr

Fiverr

G'day.

Interesting. I just said the word Fiverr when I started this article which I read into Evernote; and Evernote knew to put the extra ‘r’. More about that in a moment.

Affiliate

Today I joined Fiverr as an affiliate. Now I don't know if this affiliate business is a new thing or not. Fiverr has been around since 2010, it provides an eBay like platform for entrepreneurs and/or freelancers to offer their services to customers worldwide.

Gig

You think you can do something? Provide a service? Then create a profile and upload a ‘gig’. (that's what they are called), onto the platform and someone may buy what you are offering. All gigs must charge $5 US or more. Hence the name Fiverr. The extra ‘r’, I'm told, is because, as you might expect, when they tried to use the name Fiver it was already taken. Much hipperr and coolerr anyway.

You can offer a service, or buy a service just like eBay. Of course Fiverr takes a small-ish commission (currently 20%) from every sale. Many people love it. “Hey, I got this cute tune I play on my guitar, can anyone think of some lyrics that might go with it?” Fantastic.
Or the reverse.
“I have this song, these lyrics, can someone write me a melody?” Or someone might be good at generating graphics or short (even long) writing pieces for advertising copy or blog posts. Stick em up on Fiverr and away we go.

Platform

It seems with the huge number of services listed (more than 5 million) it would be hard to make a quid - too much competition, but there are many people earning a full-time living using Fiverr and nothing else. Of course there are many complain that it doesn't work. Actually it doesn't. You have to work. Fiverr is just a platform.

I read about a guy who claimed he couldn't steal enough time from as full-time job to service his fibre clients properly. So he gave it up. (Fiverr that is not his job) and he complained that he couldn't make enough money from Fiverr. Fiverr’s fault of course.

On-Line Service

It's another one of these online services which have mushroomed over the last 10 or so years Uber Airbnb etc.

Clever idea. I seem to think I was a member a while back. Didn't know that you could join as an affiliate. What that means is that you (meaning me for the purposes of this article), promote the Fiverr platform on a webpage (this blog post), social media and anywhere else we can think of.

Awareness

This means making people aware of the platform - it's not a secret but, as with many things like this, it has a specialised audience.

These people may sign up as a buyer, or seller and perhaps even, if you are lucky, they buy a service you get a kick-back for this. Cool baby!

Fear of Change eBook

Time, I Don’t Have Enough

Time, I Don’t Have Enough.

Every time this excuse is given when a person is asked to do something – EVERY time, it is an excuse. It is worse – it is a lie.

I Don't Have TimeWe all have all the time in the world, as the saying goes, as many hours in any day as the richest busiest politician, or multibillionaire business person.

Recently I was told this lie by a person I know to be busy – on call 24 hours per day, a person I respect greatly. But not enough time? I was asking a favour that would have taken a total of 12 – 15 hours total, spread over a period of 2 weeks, and about almost 21/2 months in the future.

This was obviously something this person did not want to do. Either the task itself or for me? It is really irrelevant. Why did they just say, “Nope. Sorry. No can do.”

It would have been true and a straightforward answer.

We tell what my mum would have called ‘white lies’ these untruths, many times each day of our lives. Most of us, anyway.

It made me think.

Why do we put ourselves through these guilt trips? Are we of the opinion that it makes the let down easier, “Oh yeah, I know. They are very busy. It was a shot in the dark anyway.”

Hardly. Most, if not all the time the listener knows it not to be true. Sometimes, as in my case, the time commitment is very small and not actually limited to specific days. Well, most of it anyway. So ‘too busy’ doesn’t make sense. ‘I don’t really want to do it.’ does though.

In the end, the asker still has to find another volunteer. Nothing changes. So letting a person down easy as an excuse is not valid. A let down is let down. The asker can rant about it, moan and groan, react angrily and all of that, but at the end of all that negative reaction, the asker still has to find a new person to ask. So it hasn’t helped.

A thought, perhaps, if there was a reason why this person did not WANT to do the task, then a kind word explaining why the required task could not be done might be very useful. I can’t do it because what you are asking conflicts with my values, or I do not have the required skills to climb that particular mountain. (If that were, in fact, true) Or, perhaps, “I’m afraid, I don’t really want to work with you on this or any task for [insert a VALID reason here.]”

This way the asker can request said assistance from another with a greater chance of success, knowing a couple of reasons why one person said no.

We prioritise our time, for sure, but we can ALWAYS find time to chat on the phone, have a beer/smoke, or update social media, or be involved in work or other meetings. But we can MAKE time for something we want to do.

Think about your life over the last few days – week or so. I bet there have been a number of ‘white lies’ of this nature in your recent past.

Perhaps you have not really figured out WHY you do not want to do something, but there will be a really good and valid reason which relates to anything other than TIME.

Time is the age-old EXCUSE. You do have time, you just do not wish to do what you have been asked to do.

Think about it and be honest. Say, “Nope. Not this time, mate.”

And don’t offer the, “Perhaps another time.” comment. It will never happen. It is not, almost always, a matter of time anyway.

That is to say, as long as you are physically available/able to do the task and not for example away on an unalterable trip. Even then if the task is compelling enough, you will make time.

Be straight up-front and tell it like it is.

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

Fear Mongering

Fear Mongering

Fear mongering in particular on social media with a side serving of the news.Fear Mongering

Agenda

I think the main problem is figuring out what the agenda is for those were stirring up the fear. For politicians, it’s easy to understand. Fear will help them get elected and then they will have power and money. Powerful incentives to generate fear amongst the voters. “I will help you and ALL the others will make your life a misery.” Well, we don’t want misery, so we vote out of fear.

Not Politicians

But what about others? In an example I saw just the other day - What did the authors get out of writing about how we are being lied to, their words, by those in charge of our food production? And how these five (read any number here) foods are bad for us? What is in it for them I wonder? I am addicted to NOT being in fear, so I didn’t read any further. But later I wished I had because I wondered if there was a reason I wasn’t been aware of, from the heading, for this kind of story. What was their expected result? Was there any expectation or was this just fear-mongering for its own sake?

I guess a cynic would not believe what is being written without some kind of background info check but the ‘great-unwashed’ (you and me generally) well, we often just believe what is being spouted and fear raises its ugly head.

Fear is Fear inducing

It's fear of fear as Timothy Ferriss implies in his book “The 4 Hour Work Week”.

Ferriss, Timothy. (2011). The 4 Hour Work Week. London: Ebury Digital

We become afraid of fear itself even if we have no particular argument with the topic. Of course, you would have had to read the whole article, but I for one have better things to do with the 20 mins it takes to read. I mean if I don't eat the foods they are bashing why am I frightened? Not sure. But I am.

Doubt

Fear of fear again, I guess. The result is that we begin to doubt stuff in our lives, all kind of stuff. A bit like spooks around every corner and the Reds under the bed scare of the Cold War era and beyond.

Once we succumb to this fear of fear itself, positivity and our gratefulness for our lives are eroded and we are left in a sea of doubt, uncertainty, vulnerability and fear. No proof is needed. We are afraid.

That is really quite sad. Particularly if there is nothing to back up the stories.

Selling

Is the author selling us something? Other than his own insecurities? And his own unfounded fear? If you don’t question the likely truth, the background to the opinion, the credentials of the author, then you are letting yourself be sucked into the morass of fear.

I challenge each and every one of you. Next time you read an extremely negative story on Social Media or the TV or in a newspaper (online or onpaper) ask yourself the following questions:

TLC *

True – Is what you are reading true? I mean is there some proof? What are the FACTS behind the opinion piece? What are the credentials of the person making the claims? How can we verify the so-called facts? Are they really only trying to sell you something and not letting the truth stand in the way of a good story?

Once we have answered these questions we will quite possibly have to discount the article right there, If it's not true or can’t be verified. Then forget it.

LogicalDoes the whole thing make sense? Is it logical or perhaps just some sales pitch or wishful thinking. Do the arguments follow on from each other? Or is it only a disjointed series of pseudo-facts dressed up to look and sound good?

If our answers to these questions throw the logic of the comments into question, even if the ideas seem to be true as discussed above, then the article might not be worthy of any more of your valuable time.

Constructivefinally. Is the information constructive? By that I mean is it looking for the positives or focussing on mainly negatives? Nothing is wholly wrong. Right and wrong are two sides of the same coin. There are usually as many positive aspects of any situation than there are negative. If any article is not offering a way forward but is only tearing down an institution or person, or situation, idea or belief – even though it might be true (verified) and makes sense – it is again not worth time invested in it.

Think

Most information we consume does not follow the TLC regime. If something we are reading or being told fails ANY ONE of these tests, it is more than likely fear-mongering.

We really ought to keep these questions/answers in mind when we share, like or repeat the stuff we read, watch, or are told. We might be perpetuating fear instead of imparting useful information.

*The TLC acronym comes from a book I read and loved a short while ago.

Estacio, Emee Vida. (2018). Imposter Syndrome Remedy: How to improve your self-worth, feel confident about yourself, and stop feeling like a fraud! (Psychology in your life Book 2). California, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

The Imposter Syndrome Remedy

Fear of Change eBook

Writing Every Day – Journaling

Writing Every Day – Journaling

JournallingI find I don't think about my daily writing task all that much. I just start writing and it kinda flows. I don't have an agenda, although I sometimes, like today, reflect on a conversation I had a few days ago and wonder what I did/said that was capable of improvement. What that improvement might look like, and what I am going to do going forward to address the situation.

Sometimes I just talk to myself - often a bit like a teenage girl’s angst-ridden diary sorta thing (pretty cool from a 70-year-old gent). Often I do grateful stuff. Things I am grateful about today. You know, simple things like the sun is out. Often a bit deeper, like I am glad I am alive and can actually see that the sun is out.

Structure

There isn’t much structure about what I write. Sometimes it is rambling, sometimes an article I have been wanting to write, often a reflection on my day or days and occasionally even a kind of a loose planning session in my head for the days or weeks to come.

Every now and then I decide to write something directly from my imagination – a piece of pure fiction if you will. In this case, I make up, remember or am reminded of during my morning meditation, a word or phrase, and this becomes the beginning of the opening sequence of a story in the making.

An example might be, “I wonder what it would be like if the sky really did fall on chicken-licken?” Then off you go. Stream of consciousness.

The Artist's Way

“The Artist's Way” method I have read and often spoken about works. This is from the book by Julia Cameron and is a masterclass in discovering how to unlock your latent creativity in many areas not only writing, and how to make your dreams a reality.

Julia Cameron leads you through a program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity. It links creativity with spirituality.

Practice

It was quite some time ago that I figured if I was going to be a writer then I needed to practise the craft.

You see, you need to exercise this writing muscle of yours and it needs to be a daily occurrence. I work on doing it at approximately the same time each day, but as long as it has become a habit you will feel really bad unless you do it. And habits don’t really take that long to develop.

I always do it in longhand in a foolscap book, and once the pen hits the page it doesn’t leave until the time is finished. Oh, didn’t I say? I allocate 10 mins every day to this task.

No Overthinking

I never overthink this writing task. Nor do I read what I have written back. When that happens it shits itself and I can't continue. When the 10 mins I allocate to this each day is up. I stop. Just like that.

Published Author

What Did You Learn Today?

Downsizing Minimalist Approach

Downsizing – The Minimalist Approach

Recently, I have stopped (or am in the process of stopping) a lot of the things I have been doing around town. Not because I don’t enjoy them, but because with so much happening I was beginning to let people down. And this was a huge let-down for me.

DownsizingYou see, I LOVE to do stuff for people, but if I forget or run out of time or change my priorities, then things drop through the cracks.

It is VERY important to me to keep to my word. If I say I am going to do something then I WANT to do it, and I want to do it sooner rather than later, to over-deliver if you will.

Too Much

When I arrived here in paradise I took on anything and everything I could to get me out in the community and mixing with people. I loved it. Still do. But there comes a time in everyone’s life, I expect, when you have to take a hard look at things and decide what activities and which people are giving you the most enjoyment and excitement even. Then you focus on this part of life.

Stop Doing So Much

Keeping Promises

Sometimes this means taking a minimalist approach and downsizing.

I am better able to keep my promises (and we all I am sure promise much more than we can ever do in several lifetimes) if there are fewer of them stacked up.

My list of things to do is often overwhelming and never reduces to any manageable number. So it becomes necessary to chop. And chopping I have been.

New Challenges

It is sad to see some things go, but change is inevitable and we all have new challenges we want/need to follow. If we add them onto our already full schedules, something has to give. And the result of this is failing to meet the expectations you have put upon yourself and the rise in guilt and self-recrimination when deadlines and appointments are missed and people are let down.

Look After Yourself First

It is NOT selfish to sort out your life and your activities. Remember the airline: put your mask on first. If you are not in control of your own life you cannot offer any part of yourself to others, and this is certainly my aim in life. What’s yours?

Finding Yourself

Fear of Change eBook

“Fear of Change” eBook

Within the next 6 weeks or so I will be publishing my first full book. (I already have a published chapter in the book of which I spoke in an earlier post).

Change

All Me, Quotes and History

This will be just me. And a lot of quotes from, I guess you’d call then my mentors, (although I have not actually met any of them), and help from my Face Book friends.

This book will investigate change through the eras from the Stone Age through until today. Did you know Plato (428BCE to 348BCE) thought writing and books sucked? More About that in Ch 3.

Covering 50 Shades of Change

This book will look at many different types of changes, and the reactions of people of all ages, races, walks of life and all socioeconomic strata, to find out why we fear this change thing.

What is it we fear, and what can we do about it will be discussed.

Some options will be canvassed and further readings suggested.

I’m expecting it to be about 15-20K words and sell for about $0.99c. Should be a bestseller in no time?

Beta Readers

A lot closer to publication time, I will be calling on a few of my friends, colleagues and/or acquaintances to have a bit of a look as beta readers or whatever you want to call them, and provide me with some positive feedback (positive doesn’t mean feedback all has to be good – far from it, I will need all the help I can get, but “this book sucks” is not really very effective nor helpful feedback. Right?) Just sayin’.

Any Ideas?

While we are on the feedback thing, if anyone out there reads this and reckons they have some questions about Fear or Change or Fear of Change, let it all hang out. Hit me up with some stuff I can put in the book. You might even get your name in it. My Yoga instructor has secured a chapter heading quotation under her name. This could be you.

Anyhoo, you may think of something you reckon I ought to address in the book (what you see here is a very, very limited synopsis) send it in, and ya never know.

Published Author

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Coffee as an Agent of Change

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?carrot-egg-coffee

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high flame. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavour, to them?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

I have no idea where this came from, (so I can't give credit to the author which is a pity) but it was too good not to share.

Learning. What Did You Learn Today?

Depression, Anxiety & Compassion