Friday, March 30, 2012

The Set of The Sail

Hello Readers,

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

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

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

You Can't Spend the Whole Dollar!

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.