Breakthrough

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Watch this show, it’s fantastic! I hope it inspires you.

Shoot The Sacred Money Cows

July 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

My Favorite– Go to College and Everything will be OK:

Go to School from Rich Dad on Vimeo.

Get a Job:

Get a Job from Rich Dad on Vimeo.

Work Hard:

Work Hard from Rich Dad on Vimeo.

401Ks:

Invest for the Long Term in a Diversified Portfolio from Rich Dad on Vimeo.

Inertia

July 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

Inertia… the tendency of something unmoving to remain unmoving.

Inertia is a scientific (physics) term… but metaphorically it applies to our psychology as well.   In other words,  when we have a habit of being sedentary, we tend to stay sedentary…  and to change to an active lifestyle requires a big effort in the beginning.

Sad to say… but over the past 4 years I’ve become more sedentary than at any time in my life previously.   The process of launching and growing my online business served as a convenient excuse for spending hours and hours in front of a computer screen.   Gradually I spent more and more time in my apartment… less and less time outdoors.

Maybe it was necessary… though probably not.    Regardless,  this year I realized that I was spending most of the hours of my day sitting on my ass…. staring at screens (computer, DVDs…).

I decided to change that.

And… because I know the power of inertia,… I knew that small gradual actions would likely fail.    I knew that I needed MASSIVE action.

And that’s how the Shikoku hiking trip was born.  I was sitting in a coffee shop, thinking about my sedentary life…  and the idea to do an outdoor challenge came to my mind.  I remembered the Shikoku 88 Temples route.. and immediately decided to hike the whole 650 mile route–  not next year, but in just a few months.

What’s more, I also know that there’s a danger that I’ll finish that big hike and immediately relax back into a more lazy life.  And so, I have decided to do a bicycle tour of northern Italy in the Spring.   And after that?   Probably a 1-2 month hiking trip in Patagonia.

What I’m doing is trying to build momentum.  Because the second part of the “law” of inertia is that objects in motion tend to stay in motion.   In other words,… once we do establish a vibrant, active lifestyle… we tend to keep it.

Put another way… it takes a lot of energy to change… but once you make the change… it takes much less effort to sustain it.

So my strategy is to be SUPER-active for the next 12 months…  stacking one tough, physical, outdoor challenge on top of another… until an extremely high level of activity and energy becomes my normal default lifestyle.

This is the best way to transform your life… in any area:  business, finance, relationships, health, fitness, etc..

If you are in a rut…  and have been for a long time… then small steps probably won’t be enough to break your old pattern.  You probably need some powerful, massive actions…  BIG massive changes at the beginning.

Once you break the old pattern,… and establish a new one… it’ll take much less effort to keep it 😀

Good luck to you… whatever you hope to achieve.

Just get out there and live my friends!!   😉

Disc Golf

July 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

disc golf

A boy and his disc ;)

I started playing disc golf many years ago…   when I was a poor social worker 😉   It’s a great game!

Basically, disc golf is golf played with a frisbee.   Instead of “holes” you have baskets.   Your goal is to get your disc into the basket using the fewest possible throws.

Like regular golf, each “hole” in disc golf has a par…   usually all “holes” (baskets) are par 3.   This means the “average” number of throws needed from tee to basket is three throws.   If you only use 2 throws, you get a “birdie”.

To my mind, disc golf has all of the benefits of regular golf, and none of the drawbacks.

It’s a casual game, played outdoors,… with lots of walking in woods and fields.  I love this aspect of the game.. getting outdoors in the park.

Because the pace is relaxed, disc golf is also a very social game.   It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours with friends.

And unlike regular golf, disc golf is almost always free.   No memberships, no green fees,.. no country clubs.   There’s no status attached to disc golf… which I like.   The people who play are usually very friendly and very relaxed.

And so… today I’m going to play disc golf again with my good friend Joe.  We play at the course in Golden Gate Park.   And since we have the advantage of being Hobopoets with flexible schedules… we can play on weekdays when the course and the park are not crowded.

I have many fond memories of playing this game… in South Carolina,…  in Athens, Georgia (actually Elberton),… and here in California.

Why not give it a try yourself?

Find a course near you on the PDGA’s Course Director!

Power Walking

July 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

My daily walks have now increased to 3.5 hours each.

Of course, I’m getting physical benefits from the walks.  I’m feeling more fit and healthy and energetic.  That will increase as the walks get longer every week.  My goal is to be doing 7 hours a day before I go to Shikoku for the 88 Temple pilgrimage.

While the physical benefits of the walks are great… I’m also experiencing mental benefits.   I find that LONG walks are great for clearing my mind.

Usually, during the first hour and a half, my mind is racing with thoughts and ideas.   However, as I walk, I pay attention to my breathing… and to my environment.   And what happens is that my mind gradually quiets as I walk…  so that walking becomes a form of meditation.   By the end of the walk my mind is calmer and clearer.

Another nice thing about the long walks is that I am often learning while walking.   Sometimes I listen to a Tony Robbins speech,  or to Tomoe’s Japanese podcast….  and in this way feed my mind and strengthen my body at the same time.   At other times I’ll think of new ideas for my life or my business… and I find that I think more creatively when I’m moving (instead of sitting on my butt).

I’ve even begun to think about the goal of running most of my business from a smart phone (like an iPhone)!  Honestly, I HATE being stuck indoors! And with phones rapidly becoming little computers… it’s becoming possible to do many business tasks just with the phone.  I can give quick answers to emails…  I can email, text, or call my assistants…   I can add posts to my business Facebook account.

I like the idea of “working” while I’m walking,…   creating while I’m walking…  learning while I’m walking…. meditating while I’m walking!

I’ve had enough of sitting indoors in front of a computer.

My office is the whole wide world 😉

Italia

July 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

I watched a Roberto Benigni movie two nights ago…  and it brought back memories of my one trip to Italy…  many years ago.   That was a package tour that my grandmother won in a contest.   She gave the tickets to my sister and I.

I enjoyed that trip, but not the overly-organized package tour method of travel.    At that time, I swore I’d return to Italy independently some day.

Well, I’m now thinking of going to Italy next Spring.    I’m thinking of renting a villa for a month…  as a kind of work retreat.   I’d plan new VIP lesson sets…  and I’d also dabble in sketching, writing for pleasure, reading, and Italian.

After a month of doing that, Id then bicycle around (northern) Italy for another month… then return to San Francisco.  I’d spend the first month in Italy training for the bike ride..   which should be enough so long as I maintain my general fitness level from the Shikoku hiking trip.

Fortune Favors The Bold

July 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

From Tim Ferris,  The 4-Hour Workweek:

There are two types of mistakes:  mistakes of ambition and mistakes of sloth.

The first is the result of a decision to act– to do something.  This type of mistake is made with incomplete information, as it’s impossible to have all the facts beforehand.  This is to be encouraged. Fortune favors the bold.

The second is the result of a decision of sloth- to not do something- wherein we refuse to change a bad situation out of fear despite having all the facts.   This is how learning experiences become terminal punishments, bad relationships become bad marriages, and poor job choices become lifelong prison sentences.

Tim is right on the money.  I find that most people are terrified of making mistakes of action… and therefore end up making continuous, horrible, soul-crushing mistakes of inaction (sloth).   People fear change far too much.

Most people will, for example,  waste years (even decades) in a job they hate…  simply because they fear making a “mistake of action” by quitting.   They imagine horrible possibilities if they quit,…  and neglect to imagine all the wonderful possibilities.  And so they stay in that same boring job year after year after year….   dying inside long before their body dies.

I have found that in my life, decisiveness itself is incredibly powerful…  even when I make lots of “bad” decisions.   In fact, “bad” decisions don’t scare me… because as soon as I realize the decision was bad… I quickly make another decision to rectify or improve the situation.   In this way, negative effects are quickly corrected… while positive outcomes grow, gain momentum, and multiply.

Inaction is the great killer of souls.   Staying with a boring job is always far worse than quitting.   There are always other jobs…. (and sometimes you can even go back to the old one if you leave nicely and stay in touch– something I’ve done in the past). There are also other lifestyles, other ways of living.  Too many people create a lifestyle (mortgage, car payments, etc..) and then let it become a prison and an excuse for doing nothing.

But you can sell or walk away from the house.  You can sell or abandon the car.   You can get rid of most of your possessions.. if you want to.  There are always options.

The point is to stay true to your vision for a magnificent life and never ever quit on it.   Never “settle”.  Never!

And any time you feel you have lost your way, that you’re not living (or at least moving towards) your magnificent life– make an immediate change.  Do something!  Don’t fear a mistake… because the biggest mistake of all is doing nothing.

This is your life….

Get out there and live my friends!

Walking

July 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

According to research cited in the book “Brain Rules”,  the human species evolved to walk 12-25 miles PER DAY.   According to anthropologists and biologists, ancient humans walked this amount every single day.  That’s 4-8 hours a day of walking.

Compare that to the activity the average “modern” human gets… and it’s easy to understand why so many people are fat and unhealthy (of course, their food is terrible too).

Most people sit on their butt for most of the day.   Some stand (in one place) much of the day.  We sit on our butts in front of computers.  We sit on our butts in front of TVs.  We sit on our butts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We sit on our butts while socializing.  We sit on our butts in cars, buses, trains (or occasionally stand).

We are, to be perfectly honest, a pathetic shadow of our ancient selves.

Forget all of the diet books and complex exercise programs.  The simplest and easiest solution is to walk a lot (and eat fresh vegetables as much as possible).    Walking is the most natural and effortless human activity.  No special equipment is required.

I have always loved walking,… but I’m now discovering the wonderful benefits of doing long walks every day.   It’s amazing.   As part of my training for the Shikoku, Japan hiking trip… I’m now walking three hours every day.

Yesterday I walked from my apartment (in The Mission district) up Haight Street through the Haight area,…  and into Golden Gate Park.   It was a chilly windy day, but I had a great time.   The more I walked, the warmer my body got.

And the more I walked, the more energized my body became.   My mind became energized (yet calm) too–  and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the trees, people, and city as I strolled.

This is one of the sublime simple pleasures of life– to stroll outside, breath fresh air, take in the sky, clouds, trees,…. it’s meditation in motion.

As the weeks go by, I will be adding more time to my walks.. and soon I’ll be matching those ancient humans– doing 12-25 miles a day.

I highly recommend this kind of walking as the basis for health and fitness.

The Real World

The beauty and tranquility of the old-growth forests, the vistas that stretch for miles over unbroken treetops, the waterfalls and rivers, the severance from the noise and electronic hallucinations of modern existence, becomes, if you stay out long enough, a balm to wounds. It is in solitude, contemplation and a connection with nature that we transcend the frenzied and desperate existence imposed upon us by the distortions of a commodity culture.  –Chris Hedges

One of the reasons for my upcoming hike around the island of Shikoku is stated in the above quote:  “severance from the noise and electronic hallucinations of modern existence”.

It is amazing to me that the vast majority of people seem to live their whole lives lost in the “electronic hallucinations of modern existence”.  In other words, they live their whole lives focused on the bullshit presented by TV, radio, movies, etc…   They believe that this electronic hallucination of human society is the sum total of “life” and “the world”.    They live according to the programming presented to them.

Most modern people are asleep.. hypnotized by media.

Luckily, there is a cure..  a sure way to wake up…  and Chris Hedges points it out:  Nature.    There is a reason that saints and holy people throughout human existence have left human society… and gone into the wilderness.   They needed to escape the bullshit of human conditioning and get to the essentials of life and existence.

When you go into nature, the bullshit and programming and fake drama quickly fade away.  You quickly gain a wider and wiser perspective on both your own life, and on human society as a whole.   Your mind clears.

Nature is healing.   Compared to it, human society is insignificant.  It’s important to remember that..  because you are bombarded every day with manufactured dramas to entertain and distract you.   To be sane and healthy and whole, you must unplug.

Unplug from the TV.  Unplug from movies.  Unplug from music.  Unplug from newspapers and magazines.  Unplug from books.  Unplug from the internet.

Return to the direct experience of your life, now.

The best way to do that is to put on a backpack, and walk into the mountains.  Or the desert.  Or the forest.  Or sail into the ocean.

That’s where you’ll discover what is real, what is essential… and who you really are.

Femi Kuti

July 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Here’s the musician (and his band) that I’m going to see tonight… the great Femi Kuti:

Next Page »