03/13/2017 – Stop Talking & Start Doing

I heard today that only 1% of the population are doers.  The remaining 99% simply talk about it.  We hear someone explain a new idea to us or we read and listen to motivational or self help interviews, podcasts, TED talks etc and get excited, but not excited enough to take real action.  We need to start doing.  We need to become practitioners.  Balance is super critical and we seem to be out of balance.  If you want something you need to get after it.  You need to put in the work, and not just the 8 hour work day we have adopted.  Do the work that others resist and at the vary least you can talk from your experience vs talking about what someone else has done.  For me I need to write things down.  I need to place everything on my calendar so I can set my day on auto-pilot.  If I do not I get distracted or will end up doing things that do not serve me.  For me it is all about the prep.  If I set my week up for success I generally get it.  If I am simply hopeful for a successful week I fail.  It is not a one size fits all approach for sure, but find what works for you and DO it!

02/24/2017 – Thoughts on Balance

It has been too long since my last post.  I have been from the Newport on the east coast in one week to the Newport on the west coast the following week, only to follow up the tour with a 3 day training event back at the home office.  The normal work load was really piling up.  This led to an unbalance in other areas of life.

I have been trying to find time to start including more fulfilling activities into my day and life.  I hear from many sources that meditation is so good for us and have been trying to incorporate this into my mornings, well it has been a struggle.  I already get up early and arrive to work by 6, excuses I know, but I want to get this burned into the daily schedule.  I also want to be reading more in the evenings, but I have been exhausted from the work load … again more excuses.  I need to find a way to achieve more.  I think the key to much of this is energy and the source of that energy is probable lacking due to a poor nutrition plan, which for the most part has not been a plan but rather a reaction.  Even getting this down and published is helping me realize where I need to focus up.  Wish me luck on getting back on track.

02/01/2017 – Minimize

Minimize:  What it means to me is removing all things that do not serve me.  It will create a better focus on what matters in life.  Let us look at the icon for minimizing windows or apps.  I set it as the image on this post.  It is a square with 4 different arrows all pointed towards the center.  This to me is the focus.  Removing the things that aren’t needed, used, or do not provide value or utility will result in things that do matter.  Shoes, clothes, TVs, and most of what we collect throughout our lives end up in the landfill.  The simple answer is to stop making impulse buys and selling off what is not needed.

Minimizing helps in many areas of life.  Obvious and already touched on here is the physical or material.  Let us now think about the verbal and thinking realm?  Have you ever said too much and not been listening enough?  I know I am guilty of both.  I  will be working on saying as little as possible to convey only what is relevant or important.  I too often get caught up in conversations waiting for my time to speak or share.  In all reality it is not helpful to the conversation and comes across as being selfish or self interested instead of really listening and being present in that moment.

01/25/2017 – Thoughts on Gratitude

It is my experience that the majority of Americans have a narrow to non-existent relationship with gratitude.  Tending to focus on a few things in their lives that is going wrong rather than being happy and thankful for the things in their lives worth celebrating is a recipe for depression, resentment, and all the other feelings we over medicate to combat.  I will do my part to focus on the good.

01/23/2017 – Thoughts on Division of Labour

Definition from Wikipedia – “The division of labour is the separation of tasks in any economic system so that participants may specialize. Individuals, organizations, and nations are endowed with or acquire specialized capabilities and either form combinations or trade to take advantage of the capabilities of others in addition to their own.”  While this definition is true, I think that it is being spun in an overly positive direction.  “Take advantage of” is of particular interest and where my focus will be on today’s observation.

I often think about how the have’s view their engagements with the have not’s.  My experience in professional settings is that the have’s look down on the have not’s and for the most part do so unconsciously.  An example of an experience I encounter frequently…  Upper management is working on a project.  They (the have’s) bring in the help and assistance of one of their employees (the have not’s).  Then together, they work on the project and discuss openly the ideas and desired outcome of the project.  Before they know it lunch time is upon them.  Upper management acknowledges the time and calls for a break.  They discuss what they should do for lunch and decide on going to the local deli.  This takes place in front of the employee as if the employee is all the sudden invisible.  They all go to lunch, Upper management in one direction and the employee in the other.  After lunch they all join back up and continue on the project.  Does it not occur to anyone else that perhaps an invite to the employee would be beneficial?  To continue to discuss and create the environment where all are respected?  I think the benefits from removing the division of labour in this scenario far out weigh any negative consequence.

I believe if we took the time to think about how we are interacting with one another we could improve moral for all.  It comes across to many I question about this scenario that management looks at the employee as nothing more than a pencil or pen (commodity).  They feel like they are simply another tool in the box.  You will never get someone to give their all if you approach them with this mindset.  And what is possibly worse, management has no idea and is unaware of how they are coming across.  There is fear of retaliation if the employee is to bring it up with human resources or with management directly.  Not to sound like a snowflake, but in the spirit of getting more out of someone and making the best possible environment for the growth of the company.

Something to think about possibly the next time we find ourselves in these situations.

01/20/2017 – Thoughts on Double Standards

Why is it that we hold a standard for others and yet we fail to hold ourselves to it?  This question crosses my mind daily when I see people doing things, acting in ways, or saying something they would attack if done by someone else.  The whole do unto others philosophy goes right out the window.  While I am not innocent of these situations or occurrences, I certainly try to learn from and improve upon the experiences.

My desire is to figure out a way to communicate these double standards to others when I see them in a positive way.  Is it best to be blunt and call a spade a spade or should we take the approach of asking questions that will shine a light on the double standard.  I have to assume it is not going to be a one size fits all approach, but I do think it is important to expose and educate when you notice a double standard taking place.

A few of the major ones I see daily would include:

  • How we drive – tailgate others.  Do we want people to drive like that behind us?  I doubt it.
  • The way we speak to one another.
  • Expecting people to drop what they are doing when want their attention.

The list could go on forever.  I will be doing my part to notice when I am failing and work to correct it, be more aware.  Also, to share with others when I notice it in them.  If we all make an effort we can make life much more enjoyable and limit the expectations not being met.  I guess like most problems, communication is at the root.  An obvious solution is to lower expectations, but I rather work towards lifting others up to the expectation.

 

 

01/12/2017 – Thoughts on Coaching

Have you ever wondered why …?

I had this thought on my way into the office today, “Why do so many of our goals fail to materialize?”  As I thought deeper on this subject I realized it was obviously more than a single reason behind this pattern of failure.  There is the problem of a  lacking will power, dedication, and motivation for many.  But there is also at times, a lack of skill.  As I continued to ponder, it hit me.  We lack the proper coaching or have none at all.

Once we get past the problem of getting started or taking the first step how often do we eventually give up or fall back into our old ways?  For most it happens far more frequently than we would like.  I would be willing to make a bet that a common factor in these failures is a lack of coaching.   We start a diet, but how many of us are nutritionists?  We start to exercise, but who among us are certified trainers?  And even if you are a certified trainer, it is not possible to see your full form in a squat without filming yourself and reviewing the problems in your form or technique.   My point that I fear I am belaboring is we all need a little help, i.e. a coach.

Sure we can all achieve our goals if we stick to it, but the time it takes to achieve a goal or desired outcome can drastically be reduced with the help of a good coach.  We all need coaching, every great athlete and most successful CEO’s or our political leaders have or continue to have a coach in their lives.  It is not enough to roll out an initiative with a single exposure to the goal.  All talk, no walk right?  Want to improve on your 3 point shots, foul shots, or lose some weight or learn sometime new like a language?  You need someone that has mastered these things to watch you and coach you where you need it along the way or you will never get where you are going or it will take you so much longer to get where you want to be.

In the business world I see this more than I would like and attribute the failures to a lack of coaching, training, and follow up.  When we put forth a new strategy, we do not train and coach the workforce to ensure success.  We explain what we want the result to be, but leave the employee to figure out the how.  I believe that with coaching anything is possible.  If you need change in any area of your life, seek out a great coach.

Quotes, Notes, & Ideas

Quotes:

“24 Months of eating shit to be able to eat caviar for the rest of your life” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“You’re supposed to take A Red Pill, not the whole bottle” – Michael Malice

“Education is what people do to you and learning is what you do to yourself” – Joi Ito

“You are not stuck in traffic.  You are traffic”

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – Jorge Santayana

Reply or Respond, do not React! – Unknown

Do not justify your goals or dreams, execute them. – Gary V

“If you’re dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Being an expert means being as little as one step ahead of someone else.

 

When trust is destroyed, it can be rebuilt only if the following two steps happen:
1) the trust-breaker admits the true values that caused the breach and owns up to them
2) the trust-breaker builds a solid track record of improved behavior over time.

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.

Notes:

education-without-the-state  Free eBook by Tom Woods.  This is a great eBook of the interviews Tom has had on his podcast.  If you have a child this is even more important to read.  6 small chapters of great information, total pages of reading ~ 45.

Does it make sense to hire for an open position that you have no real experience in?  Another way to ask this; would you want to have your financial analyst hire someone for the recruiting manager role?  Why have someone hire a marketing director if they themselves are not knowledgeable in that field?

Ideas:

Podcast menu in iPhone needs to be able to sort and categorize the podcasts you subscribe to.  Like iTunes, we need genre and groupings to separate thought and learning from entertainment.  Priorities on what you listen to and when.

Self Sabotage:  Stop Playing Catch Up – Start Playing Your A Game!

  1. Eliminate distraction
  2. Change environment
  3. Use timers for scheduled breaks
  4. 2 minute rule – if a task will take less than 2 minutes to complete just do it

Free Netflix or Hulu type of video streaming with ads every 10-15 minutes?  Like Netflix lite.

_________________________________________________________________

THE FOLLOWING WAS AN EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH RUTH CHANG – http://ruthchang.net/

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your note. I just heard the podcast – it got a bit garbled. Here are the 5 steps:

  1. Figure out what matters in the choice. 
  2. Assess the pros and cons of each alternative relative to what matters in the choice. 

Lather, rinse, repeat, and stop if one alternative rises to the top. 

This is where current thinking about decision-making stops. I add 3 more steps.

  1. Recognize that the alternatives are on a par and that you face a hard choice.
  2. Commit to one of the options. There is a long story here about what commitment is and how to do it. It’s not just telling yourself that you will go for the one. And desires — what you most want — isn’t important here. 
  3. As a consequence, you will make your identity – you can create reasons by committing, thereby making yourself the sort of person who has most reasons to go for X rather than Y. Someone else facing a similar sit might commit differently than you and thus make themselves into a different sort of person. Aside: it is also rational to DRIFT. This is intentionally choosing one of the alternatives without putting your will or agency behind it. Drifting also makes us who we are. 

That is the recipe in a nutshell! Or you can read about it in a popular book I’m in theory writing. 

All best wishes,

Ruth

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4/17/2017

Strengths – Not what you like to do, but what you are talented at.  What were you good at as a child?

Leadership, Courage, Planning, Helping, Creative, Observations, Curiosity …

Don’t spend time on weakness, double down on the strengths.

Give what grows.  You can’t give what you don’t have.  Trying to be something you’re not results in burnout.  Check feelings, no positive feedback?  Is it serving me?  Fueling the fire?  Do not be distracted by others success stories.  Their process is not your process.  Do not fear asking others what you are good at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading List

  • Steven Pinker
  • Ron Paul
  • Peter Schiff
  • Noam Chomsky
  • Ayn Rand
  • Nelson Nash
  • Nick Bostrom
  • Tim Ferriss
  • Sam Polk
  • Jeb Kinnison
  • Thomas Sowell
  • Johnathan Haidt
  • Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer – The Gardens of Democracy
  • Hans Hermann Hoppe
  • Henry Hazlitt
  • Sir Ken Robinson
  • Robert Caro
  • Christopher Voss
  • Good to the Core – John Blumberg
  • Shoe Dog
  • Ray Dalio
  • Walter issacson
  • Choose yourself – Jame Altucher
    The first 90 days – Michael watkins
    360 leader
    born digital
    grown up digital
    21st century skills
    “Moral Elevation” – Being uplifted by an act of uncommon goodness.

Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America Hardcover – February 14, 2017

Democracy: The God that Failed, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Just read it. Trust me on this.

The Quest for Community, by Robert Nisbet. Here is a graduate course in political philosophy. Except in this one, the state is not the glorious summit of civilization and the indispensable source of human flourishing. As the new edition explains, “Nisbet argued that the rise of the powerful modern state had eroded the sources of community—the family, the neighborhood, the church, the guild. Alienation and loneliness inevitably resulted. But as the traditional ties that bind fell away, the human impulse toward community led people to turn even more to the government itself, allowing statism — even totalitarianism — to flourish.”

The Left, the Right, and the State, by Lew Rockwell. Lew (who of course runs the indispensable LewRockwell.com) did the world an incalculable service with the founding of the Mises Institute, but he is grossly underrated as a thinker in his own right. He has extended Rothbardian thought in numerous ways, and has influenced my own thinking more than almost anyone in the world.

The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays. Features essays by Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Gottfried Haberler, and Murray N. Rothbard. An effective introduction to the Austrian theory of the business cycle, which anyone who wants to understand the real causes behind boom and bust must know.

Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays, by Murray N. Rothbard. The quality of the essays in this book is astounding. You will not think the same way ever again after reading “Anatomy of the State” and “War, Peace, and the State,” to name just two.

After you read these, I recommend the following:

A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Hoppe’s books put everything together for me.

The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. This book blew me away when I first read it. Its title makes it sound dull. It is one of the most intellectually exciting books I have ever read.

Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles, by Murray N. Rothbard. This one, and the two that follow, are for the especially ambitious. This is a systematic exposition of Austrian economics. The sheer elegance of the Austrian system is on impressive display here.

Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, by Ludwig von Mises. (Some disagree with me, but I favor beginning with Rothbard before moving on to Human Action.)

Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, by Jesús Huerta de Soto. Here is the Austrian theory on money, banking, and business cycles, presented in systematic fashion, and compared with the Chicago and Keynesian alternatives. I have a friend who was so impressed by this book that he learned Spanish so he could pursue his Ph.D. under the author in Spain.

This list will be ever growing.

Think Small: The Surprisingly Simple Ways to Reach Big Goals

Completed List for 2017

  1. Animal Farm by George Orwell – Week 51 of 2016
  2. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – Week 52 of 2016
  3. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – Week 1 of 2017
  4. What Has Government Done To Our Money? by Murray Rothbard – Week 2 of 2017
  5. The RQ Factor by Todd Bagley & Mike Brenhaug – Week 3 of 2017
  6. Education Without The State by Tom Wood – Week 4 of 2017
  7. Hegemony Or Survival by Noam Chomsky – Week 6 of 2017
  8. Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt – 3/12/2017
  9. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes, by Peter Schiff – 3/16/2017
  10. The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul – 3/23/2017 (Audible)
  11. Why Salespeople Fail…and what you can do about it!, by Sandler Training – 3/23/2017
  12. The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip Zimbardo – 4/30/2017
  13. The Time Paradox, by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd – 5/06/2017
  14. The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek – 5/21/2017 (Audible)
  15. Your Facebook Friends are Wrong About Health Care, by Tom Woods – 5/22/2017
  16. The Honorable Relationship Myth by John Lee  6/21/2017
  17. Subtle art of not Giving a F – M.M.
  18. Tipping Point – Gladwell
  19. The Sandler Rules
  20. Extreme Ownership – Jocko
  21. Start with Why – Sinek
  22. Leaders Eat Last – Sinek
  23. Give and Take – Grant
  24. Think Differently – Bible Study
  25. Originals – Grant
  26. The Charge – Burchard
  27. Option B – Sandberg
  28. Deep Work – Newport
  29. Originals – Grant
  30. David and Galieth – Gladwell
  31. PIG – American History – Thomas Woods