Friday, March 30, 2012
I am back... almost as promised. I am writing a little late in the day as I had errands to do today. I had thought of blogging last night, but an overlooked task required my attention. For now, my report of my week will be brief, only to say that it was amazingly productive. It's the end of the month, so in addition to evaluating the week, I must evaluate the month of March and set my course for April. I will be tending to that on Monday (April 1st). Then together, the tried and true, dedicated 19 of you - (thank you very much!), together we can evaluate my reasonable progress. Though interestingly enough, 12 additional readers joined in reading last weeks post. To those readers, I know you also are holding me accountable. And please, feel free to join in on the journey.
In deciding on this weeks topic, I kept coming back to wanting to share a particular inspirational message with you. Inspirational, but also fundamentally important. A message that all would do well to download to their mental hardware. So it's been decided - that's exactly what I am going to do. The message is called The Set of The Sail, taught by an amazing teacher - Mr. Jim Rohn. And though he is no longer with us, I am proud to consider him among the few select of my mentors.
So without any further ado, here is Mr. Jim Rohn's ... The Set of The Sail. After you listen to the message, go back and focus on this week's blog pic. Then imagine... first just imagine... then imagine the set of her sail... then imagine the set of your sail.
Enjoy you time going forward everyone. Until we meet again.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Well actually I'm three days late, a few dollars short and closer to 30 lbs overweight.
I said that I would report back on the 19th, and here it is the 22nd! If I had an employer, I would have been fired. I even thought about firing myself. But I couldn't do that.. You see, if I fired myself, that would be quitting or giving up...and we will have none of that.
How clear is it - the importance of accountability and to regularly check your progress? And by regularly, I mean both daily and weekly! For the 19 people who read my last post (and again, thank you), you may have noticed my questioning why it took me so long to finish a book that I was already more that half way through reading. Truth be told, I already knew the answer. I was almost more curious as to how obvious the answer was to you. Also admittedly, I think I was not quite ready to give up the negative habits. You see what is easy to do (read every day), is also easy not to do. But remember, that was is easy not to do (read every day), is also easy to do!
Last week as the week prior, I did attend classes, I did have meetings, I was working on my business and marketing plans, BUT those were not the reasons that it took me extra long to finish the book. Nor are those the same reasons that I am a day, opps...three days late with my blog post. Everyone has work, school, family and/or various other responsibilities; what makes the difference in accomplishing something great is doing what is hard, doing what is easy, after the work day and other responsibilities are done.
So let me share with you what happened exactly. For the entire previous weeks, either from being distracted, forgetful or busy - I did not track my DAILY activities. That is a crux in achievement of your goals; and remember our goals are simply our measured dreams. Every night you need to write out your plan for the next day. The benefit to following that course of action is immeasurable. First off, you become more efficient. At the end of day when you are writing the next days goals, you are also reviewing your successes for the day, allowing you to make whatever course corrections are needed to make.
Just as when a plane travels to the any destination, there is a set flight plan; but during he actual flight, 100's of tiny course corrections are made along the way enabling the pilot and plane to reach it's correct destination. Before the plane takes off, the arrival time at the intended destination has already been set. In order to meet that arrival time, it is calculated what time the plane will leave and at what speed it will travel
It was only a few days ago, that I realized that I had not decided on any specific goal for my reading plan. Did you know that if you read one book a week for 10 years, you will have read a thousand books. Can you imagine how your life would changed if you read a 1000 books? I am certain that one book a week is not currently a feasible goal for me considering my current schedule. But I am confident that I can read two books a month. So there, I have set my reading goal - 2 books a month.
I have already written my daily plan for tomorrow and I am committed to that being a daily effort. Oh, and the "negative" habits that kept me from doing the extra effort that my dreams require in order to be met. First allow me to preface that they are only negative in that they were distracting me from my supporting task. I incorporated a daily schedule that includes specific television watching time, it allows time for prayer, journaling, study and reading, along with those daily - can't get around them responsibilities. I eliminated playing Words With Friends, except for playing with my stepdaughter. And I have a specific bed time and a time to get up. So say I'm not sleepy, well the lights are out and I an read on my iPhone, not play games (except Words With Friends with my stepdaughter), but read; but no matter, I still have to get up at the scheduled time. As days go by, I'll soon be sleepy enough to go to sleep on schedule.
This may seem quite tedious, only because it is. But the great are so because they are willing to do for a short period of time, what others won't do, so they can live as others can't, for a long period of time. Oh, did I not mention that I am going for greatness?
When will I be back...looks like I better check in at the end of the week! So I will see you on Saturday, March 30th. And much, much thanks to my friend who is on my you know what, holding me accountable. Thank you.
Friday, March 9, 2012
We touched on that during the last blog entry, which by the way 13 people read, thank you very much. The reason I am bring it back up is because externally, it may be the most valuable lesson regarding money... is that you can't spend the whole dollar. And I am not yet talking about savings, just the non-spending.
If I had a penny for each time I spent the whole dollar, I am certain that I'd have at least one hundred thousand pennies! Do you know how much that is? You will if you do the math. Spending the whole dollar repeatedly, is that my own fault? Yes. Did my parents or anyone in my youth teach me NOT to spend the whole dollar? No. But, there were adults in my life who did. And I did read more than a handful of those, what I call "economic success principle books." Some of which were located in those free library's across the country; others I purchased at book stores, and I was even given a few!
I think many more than a few of us know not to spend the whole dollar. But it's how are our minds convey or interpret a dollar to many of us. The dollar becomes 100 pennies! Have you ever heard anyone say - "I'm down to my last cent?" On some level they believe that they have not spent the whole dollar! Don't we also all know that when we read $29.99 on a price tag, we reinterpret that to $20 something, not the actual $30 something it actually is. Doesn't your mind scrunch up when the cashier says "That'll be $32.91." It's because it's trying to figure out the leap that took you from $20 something to $32.91 (which is clearly not $20 something). The concept is actually part of what is called psychological pricing. But all fanciful research aside, you're still spending the whole dollar!
What happens when businesses and other organizations spend the whole dollar? The same thing that happened to me. They go broke! The principle applies to all...companies (cough, Kodak Eastman) countries, corner stores, a Borders Book Store, starving artist, young people, old people.
So how much of the dollar can you spend? 80 pennies or 79 if that sounds better. (Isn't that curious, it works in reverse as well)! But that's only if you're broke like me or a starving artist. For every dollar of income - 10 cents would go to tithing (or any charity or charitable endeavor) and then 10 cents toward saving (often referred to as paying yourself first). If you are not broke like me, then you get to pay yourself 20 cents on the dollar! That's your reward for having not messed up! When I get out of the red, then I too get to pay myself 20 cents from each dollar. But for now I have to pay my extra 10 cents to "someone else" (cough, MasterCard), (cough again, Visa)!
So for every dollar of our income, we get to spend 70% - 80% of it. And in this case, the smaller number really is better!
I saw that a few of those of you who are holding me accountable had checked tho see if I had yet posted today. Well the reason that this post is coming late in the afternoon is because of this accountability! You see, I woke up this morning still not having completed reading the book that I mentioned I was reading during my last post (oh yeah, and the one before that)! Now if I wasn't being held accountable and didn't have to report what measurable progress I had made in the last nine days, most likely, I would have put off finishing my reading of this book by today. Taking more than 18 days to read one (non technical/classroom) book is too long. That's not reasonable progress. How long do I expect to remain broke for goodness sake?
Will what did I do over the past nine days? I spent a considerable amount of time writing a proposal for an organization; which I did submit and we're going sit down next week and discuss. I made a preventative trip to the doctor which I have to mention because that is important and gets overlooked way too often. I attended 3 classes in a new (or extended) field of study. And I met with a mentor who is leading me in a critical study of the Bible. Who knows the concept of hermeneutics of suspicion? I do baby- that's who! Right on!
All great things, but that's not what took me so long to finish the book. So what do you think took up until this afternoon to finish a book that I was already half way through?
Okay accountability team, let's huddle! I'll answer any post and lets meet back here on Monday the 19th.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Hee, hee. We both know (well all nine of us that read my last blog post), but we both know that you don't go from broke to un-broke in 9 days!
But still, we all know how this is gonna turn out in the end!
In the interim, let's go on. But first I want to share exactly does it mean to be broke. Simply that you run out of money before you run out of month. It doesn't matter if your monthly income is $10,000 or if it's 1,000. If you earn $10,000 and spend $10,001...you are, or soon will be - broke. A mentor of significant wealth taught me (or told me) that lesson over ten years ago. Sometimes it takes awhile and experience to learn a lesson. But I digress, as I am want to do.
The huge contributing factor to being broke is to spend the whole dollar! Now what happens when you spend the whole dollar? You get the compound effect, but this time in reverse. Instead of compounding interest, you compound spending and eventually a lack of funds; which when compounded, results in debt. And if we extrapolate this understanding, we realize that the scenario of running out of money, before you run out of month would be avoided. Well Dandy Boy! How bout that! So what if we teach our children to never spend the whole dollar! If the candy bar cost 99 cents and he has a dollar, she doesn't have enough money to buy it; because he can't afford it. She needs more than a dollar to buy the candy bar, otherwise he would spend the whole dollar! (And yes I did just alternate pronouns!). Who has a niece, daughter, son, grandson, godchild that they can teach that lesson to?
And now - where we came in last week...being broke as a result of a cessation in our personal growth. Just as with our dwindling economic status, it most often happens over a period of time and goes unnoticed until it's the glaring, jarring realization that I had last week. It's rarely sudden; though it would most likely be best if they were...if the repercussions of our impassivity or perfunctoriness (that's right, look it up!) came hurling at us like an out of control meteor!
But since that not being the case, I had unknowingly -meaning I hadn't paid any attention to or realized that I had not saved in the last 6 six years, I had not taken any classes to learn new things or to improve my skills in the past six months; nor had I read any books in the last 90 days (or listened to any instructional, informational CD's) that were available to me to change my life, or to help change my future, develop any skills I want, earn the kind of income I want, have all the treasures I want, all the equities I want, the relationships with family and friends that I want. So having realized the error of my ways, my resolve became to un-mess my mess! I just want to add an interesting footnote... that this realization happened immediately after I decided to return to work.
So together, as I am being held accountable (having received today an email from a friend wondering where my blog post was) and I am certain, wanting to know what measurable results I have made in the reasonable amount of time of past 9 days...since my blog post that shared my resolve with the world (well 9 of you, and 3 of which who commented to me personally!)
My results - at the end of this month, February, one month earlier than I had anticipated being able to, I was able to save money. :) I am more that halfway through one book and have begun work in a second, a Napoleon Hill 13 Course Personal Instruction book! :) And though I don't have the actual numbers, I listened to well over 4 hours of audio on Success Principles (a term I coined) and lessons from an expert in my career field.:)
And lastly, I attended 3 classes in a new (or extended) field of study and I am scheduled for 3 more before we are due to talk again on March 9th. Oh yeah, I also attended a day-long conference, related to, but also an extension of my field.
Life simply asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time!
Monday, February 20, 2012
It’s still early in this new year and as such I am still putting various pieces of my plan for 2012 and beyond into play. Some of you may know that I just turned 50 this month; so as you can imagine, I really want get things together you might say. Well in doing so, I came upon a startling and jarring realization… that I have - MESSED UP! That’s right, I have - MESSED UP!
Well those of you who know me might be saying, “Whatta you mean Jaymes, you’re a good person. I don’t think you’ve messed up!” Well let’s take a look at where I am and what has been going on in my life. In the last six years, how much money have I saved and invested. The answer is Zero! In that area, I have - MESSED UP!
How many books have I read in the last 90 days. The answer is Zero! I call myself a reader and a life-long learner, but my answer is Zero! Wisdom of the world available, change my life, change my future, develop any skill I want, earn the kind of income I want, have all the treasures I want, all the equities I want, the relationships with family and friends that I want, and the wisdom of the world to get it, yet I haven’t read any books in the last 90 days! I have – MESSED UP!
In the last six months, how many classes have I taken to improve my skills or to develop new ones…to go for the dream, to become healthy, wealthy, powerful and influential. My answer is Zero! I have - MESSED UP!
Here is my life-changing lesson - I didn’t need to un-mess the country. I didn’t need to straighten out the perplexed. I didn’t need to do any of that stuff. All I needed to do was look within and let results teach me a great deal about my own activity, my own attitude and my own philosophy. I only need to make progress, to have results. Life simply asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time!
Well what does that mean? A perfect analogy that Jim Rohn once used was to ask the question - How many years would you expect your child to remain in the fourth grade – approximately? One, right. And if you discover that he or she is behind on that schedule then you will probably take action including applying legitimate pressure to help move them along. And how will you know that your child is behind on their time table of one year? You check their progress…through parent-teacher meetings, report cards, homework assignments and the like.
Just the same, to know if we are making measurable progress in reasonable time, we have to check. Some things we have to check fairly often, perhaps every day, some things we have to check at least by the end of the week. Doing so regularly gives you your results; giving you an indication that you can celebrate progress (your results) or that it’s time to fix what needs to be fixed in your philosophy, attitude, and activity -called discipline. That’s where the lesson in life-change comes in.
Now, I will share with you that just about two weeks ago, I began reading a new book. Also later this week I am scheduled to begin taking classes that will broaden my skill set. And in my budget for next month, there is an allowance for savings. So if I strrreeeeccchhhtttt the truth, I could have made pretend that my activities had been different; but then my results would have given me up!
Besides, what I need is to face my truth. It says in ancient text, that the truth will set you free…free to amend your errors and pick up new disciplines. My first truth is that I am broke…(when you read it, don’t cut it off; elongate it…I am brokkkeee!) Wait, that’s not the whole truth…I am 50 and broke! But there’s more…I live in America, I’m healthy, I’m intelligent, I’m creative, I’m talented, I have all my faculties and I’m 50 and broke! Somewhere, something went wrong. I MESSED UP!
So the only intelligent thing to do would be to fix what I have messed up. Now I am obviously doing this in a public forum. The reasons are that I have tried my hand at success over the years without any real accountability; and least I be insane, attempting the same thing over and over again, I now invite in as much accountability as my influence allows. The second reason that I have chosen to make this journey public is so that I may invite all who want to, to join me.
So whether you are encouraging me by holding me accountable or you are joining me on this journey, if next week comes and you don’t hear from me, I hope to hear from you.