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Muppets, Puppet Shows & Living Your Dream

December 13th, 2014

I’m friends on Facebook (and in real life) with several people from high school and college. Not LOTS of them, but a select few. One of my FB friends is a girl I dated in high school and who went on to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. When I first learned that she had made the choir it made my heart sing (pun intended), because I knew that it was a dream she had held since before I ever met her. I love seeing people achieve their dreams. I love success in all its myriad forms, and so often success is mentally linked with money when in fact, that is almost never how success is actually measured.

Success is, by definition, forward progress toward a goal. If you have a goal and you are moving toward it, you are being successful. So when I learned that Deby had been accepted as part of the choir, I couldn’t stop smiling. Imagine having a dream as a child, never letting go of that dream and then ultimately realizing that dream. Who wouldn’t wish that for every human alive? So, first off, let me make it abundantly clear that for the past few years I’ve really held her in high esteem. Even though we only dated for less than a year and that was almost three decades ago, it still makes me overly proud to see her achieve a lifelong dream.

That being said, I can tell you that THIS WEEK my admiration for her doubled. You see this week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing with the Sesame Street Muppets. That’s right, my old girlfriend from high school is performing ON STAGE with REAL Muppets! Don’t get me wrong, living your life’s dream is great and all, but to do it with Ernie and Bert is infinitely better! And Count VonCount, and Big Bird, and even Abby Cadabra! Hey, I get to do puppet shows all the time. That’s what I do, magic puppet shows…dream come true and all that. So, yeah. I’m not trying to name drop, but that girl on the second row from the bottom, middle section, third from the left…yep. I know her.

Goal Setting, Just Personal, Success

Conspiracy Theories

May 6th, 2011

I’m a skeptic. I also love a good conspiracy theory. As a professional storyteller, I really appreciate the intrigue and drama that a good conspiracy theory entails. I respect the battle of “good” and “evil” and the mystery of which is which in these stories.

But most of the time, conspiracy theories tend to overlook the obvious: reality is usually much simpler than the involved conspiracies would dictate.

It’s been less than a week since President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden and already there are so many accusations being made on all sides. From questioning whether or not OBL was actually killed, questioning whether he was killed recently or several years ago, and even whether or not the Pakistani government knew where OBL was living (since he was reportedly staying in a mansion just a few miles from the capital of Pakistan).

Even the most level headed politicians are getting in on this last one.

“How could they NOT have KNOWN Bin Laden was living there? It’s a huge mansion with no telephone service, and high walls topped with barbed wire! It’s just miles from the capital! The government HAD to have known!”

Really?

There was a story last week about a family that kept their daughter in a cage and fed her two pop-tarts a day. They lived in a mobile home in a mobile home park. They kept the kid this way for months or years and no one noticed until someone came knocking about an unrelated case and just happened to see the kid in the cage.

I know who lives in every house on our block. But there is no way that I can tell you if there are OTHER people also in there hiding in a spare bedroom or the attic. I see people come and go, but I can’t see the people who DON’T come and go. Unless I go through every room in every house, Osama Bin Laden could have been living next door to me…or you. Unless you’ve systematically checked every room in all of your neighbors houses. It’s not likely.

As for Bin Laden’s death, there have been suggestions that the timing was conveniently close to the release of Obama’s birth certificate. But c’mon! When, in ANY presidency has there ever been a time that WASN’T involved in some sort of controversy?

Political leaders that get things done face opposition. Always. And political leaders that don’t get things done face controversy for not doing anything. No matter when OBL’s death was announced people would have noticed that there was some controversy going on at the time.

Why didn’t we capture him? We could have gotten good information from him.

Look, we’ve been hunting this guy for ten years. He’s slipped through our fingers by just hours on many occasions. Clinton missed his chance and caught hell for it. OBL got away a few times during the Bush administration and Bush never lived it down. Now Obama finally has the change to finish the job. Can you imagine what would have happened if, while trying to capture or transport OBL the guy managed to escape? Everyone would have been screaming “Why didn’t you just KILL him?!”

The job of a president is never easy. You are always having your decisions scrutinized. And no matter what you do, there will be people from the other political party who will work to undermine your efforts and minimize the importance of your successes. This is true for Democrats and Republicans.

So good leaders make decisions and move forward and start getting more things done.

And then conspiracy theorists invent interesting alternative motivations and stories that I love to hear, but just can’t really sink my teeth into.

Getting Things Done, Just Personal, Success

Treasure Hunting

April 2nd, 2011

I walk my dog at least once a day and I take him through a park right next to the house. We go past two practice baseball fields and a sand volleyball court to a gazebo where we loop around and make our way back home. The whole trip is just half a mile.

But I don’t think I’ve ever gone for a walk and not found SOME little treasure during my walk. Generally speaking, I’m not a collector of things, nor a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, one of my faults is throwing away valuable things to avoid clutter.

But I’ve started a collection of sport goods based on all the loot I’ve found in the park. In less than a year I’ve added to the collection:

  • 3 basketballs
  • 2 footballs (one foam “Nerf” style, one leather)
  • 7 baseballs
  • 5 regulation golf balls
  • 2 practice golf balls (“woofle” balls)
  • 1 child’s wooden baseball bat
  • 20+ tennis balls
  • 2 Frisbee disks
  • 1 boomarang

In addition to the sport goods, I’ve also found:

  • 6 brand-new (in the box) tea light candles
  • 18 slightly used tea light candles
  • 6 emergency candles (someone apparently likes to spend time in the gazebo by candle light, but never cleans up their mess when they leave!)
  • A medium pepperoni and Canadian bacon pizza with only 1 slice missing (I threw it away after letting my dog eat some of the meat)
  • Countless aluminum cans and plastic drinking bottles that I take home and add to our recycling bins
  • Hundreds of pounds of paper litter that I drop into one of the dozens of trash bins located all over the park (why do people throw trash on the ground RIGHT NEXT to the trash can anyway?!)

All this discovered without any metal detectors of course. I wonder what I might find if I take the metal detector out. Hmmm.

Just Personal

I’ve given up hope…

March 27th, 2011

 Hope is so overrated.

 

I keep hearing all my friends talk about it, tweet about it, and blog about it like it’s the next great thing.

 

Let’s face it…if “hope” is your last best strategy, you are a cataclysmic failure. Hope is all fine and good in the right context, but when you really lay it all out on the table, hope is about the crappiest guidance system you could ask for.

 

Nothing in life is guaranteed. As my CFP constantly reminds me: Past results do not predict future outcomes. But let’s get real for a little bit. There is not a better indicator of future outcomes than past results. None.

 

The abusive boyfriend is the one MOST likely to hit you again. The aggressive driver is the MOST likely to get in an accident. They guy with perfect attendance at work is the one MOST likely to show up first thing tomorrow. Past performance doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a pretty good place to start.

 

Hope has nothing to do with it. You can “hope” until you are blue in the face, but it won’t do you any good if your day-to-day, minute-by-minute actions are out of synch with how the world really works.

 

Here’s an idea that won’t sit well with many of you: Make decisions (especially the important ones) based on real-world, proven patterns and leave “hope” out of it all. You don’t marry someone and “hope” they’re the mate for you. You date them, question them, talk to them, watch movies with them and then TALK about the movie you just watched so that you KNOW what they think and you KNOW how they act and you KNOW what they want in life and you KNOW what they are willing to do (and what they are absolutely NOT willing to do) to attain their goals. You don’t “hope” their goals and dreams and aspirations and boundaries are in synch with yours. If you do, you’re in for disappointment unless you are decidedly lucky.

 

The problem with “hope” is that it leads to false conclusions. It leads us to ignore legitimate evidence that undermines our position of hope, and leads us to find and even create false evidence in our minds that supports our position. Hope is the mirror image of paranoia only worse. When we worry (paranoia), we set up defenses. A worrisome person works to protect themselves from danger, and often from dangers that don’t really exist.

 

The potential loss from “worry” and “paranoia” is significant, but limited: a little time, a little money, an little joy. But the losses that can amass from false “hope” can be monumental. With hope you can bet it all and if your hope is unfounded, you can lose it all. With hope you can very quickly make decisions that will have consequences that linger long after the hope has faded. Because hope is not rational, it can rise quickly and fade just as fast. And because hope is not at all linked to reality, it can result in horrible consequences.

 

Over the last two weeks I’ve spent twelve days in a series of state parks around Texas that have a reputation for interesting mountain biking trails. I always wear a helmet because (as a former special education teacher) I know all too well the results of a traumatic brain injury. I am not paranoid about this matter, but I am consistent in wearing the helmet. I would never ride and “hope” that I’ll be fine, nor would I sit in my camper too fearful of the trails to get out and enjoy life. Neither extreme is healthy or productive.

 

Instead I look at the risks, mitigate them with rational safety precautions, and then enjoy myself to the fullest extent possible.

 

Every time I head out to the woods I set up a few automatic stock trades that might or might not fill while I’m out on the trails. I have a few buy orders if the price drops low enough and a few sell orders if the price jumps high enough. No matter what happens I’m going to win. I either pick up a good stock at a great price if the market drops significantly, or I sell a stock at a great price if it jumps significantly. And if it chugs along at an even level, then I’ll collect the dividends and interest. But I never have to “hope” the market does anything!

 

I fully expect the market to swing up and down like it always has. I will capitalize on that consistent pattern. But I do not make financial decisions by “hoping” that my decisions are accurate. Instead I base them on patterns that have proven true over time. That means I’m wrong quite often since these patterns are never 100%. I miss opportunities from time to time. But I never suffer traumatic losses, because I never allow “hope” or “fear” to guide my decisions.

 

If you have nothing else going for you, then by all means, “hope” for the best. But if you are in a position where you have ANYTHING worthwhile to lose, please, base your decisions on something more substantial.

Getting Things Done, Success

Giving it all away

February 8th, 2011

Gather around children and let me tell you a story about life a very long time ago. This was before DVDs and MP3s and MOV files and even before the internet. It was before cell phones and laptop computers. It was back in the day when cameras used film instead of digital technology to store their images. It was a time when news was delivered printed on paper and the only way to find your current location was with a compass, a map, and a sense of direction.

In this dark and scary time (known as the “Mid 1970s”) a brilliant company named Sony developed a fantastic medium for recording, storing, and watching video. They called it Betamax and it was amazing. A movie could be stored on a single casette reel of tape small enough to almost fit in your back pocket (very impressive in those days). But Sony kept their Betamax format exclusive and allowed no one to create tapes other than Sony.

So JVC came out with a new format called Video Home System (VHS) and allowed others to manufacture the tapes. The result was that a flood of tapes became available at no cost to JVC. One of the primary reasons people want video players is to watch videos (duh!) So in no time at all VHS dominated the market even though the tapes were almost twice as large as Betamax and the quality was noticably poorer.

Before you dismiss this brief history lesson as archaic trivia, let me remind you that for more than twenty years video tape technology was the ONLY way to record and rewatch television shows. It was the ONLY way to inexpensively record home movies. It was the ONLY way to record audio and video together in an inexpensive format, and it was the ONLY way to watch movies of your choice in your home. And for more than twenty years VHS dominated the market; a market worth more than a trillion dollars over that time period.

During those two decades I was a young lad raised on Macs (back before Macs even existed I was working on Apple II, Apple II+ and Apple IIe). After college (Apple IIgs) I owned one of the first and very smallest laptops ever (Macintosh Powerbook Duo 230) and eventually I got a Macintosh LC and after that upgraded to an iMac which I kept for years.

But before you think this is an article from another Mac-evangelist talking about how Steve Jobs can walk on water I have to confess that several years ago I traded the Mac platform and became a PC owner and user.

That’s not the normal trend. Generally people are raised on PCs and move to the simpler, more user-friendly Mac platform. But I was tired of the decades of never having access to software. Software writers just wouldn’t write programs for Mac and if they did they didn’t support them.

The same was true for hardware. Anytime you’d buy something that was supposed to work on both Macs and PCs it was great having a Mac because things almost always worked exactly like they were supposed to straight out of the box. But if not, you might as well hang it up because finding a tech support person who understood Macs was harder than finding a music store that still sold eight-track tapes.

My timing is horrible however, as Jobs has clearly learned this lesson. Upon opening up the platform for software developers to create and sell applications for the iPhone, he quickly made a fortune for his company as well as for the monoply carrier notorious for dropped calls: AT&T. Once again proving that people will take usable variety over quality of service.

But remember that the variety didn’t come from Apple or Steve Jobs and it definitely didn’t come from AT&T. It came from their collective absence. It came from them stepping back and just allowing others to create on their behalf. It came from releasing the stranglehold of opportunity. When you are willing to let others make a little money when you make money it’s amazing how many people will line up to partner with you.

Uncategorized

How to Make Christmas more Memorable than Ever

December 26th, 2010
Without spending any more than you had planned
This year my 8 year old daughter asked for many things but several of them were “spy” related (walkie talkies, secret book safe, etc.). Other items on the list could also be grouped into the “spy” category even though they were not really espionage items per se (lap top computer, camera, etc.)

So this year I decided to incorporate two important psychological principles into our Christmas ritual. The first was the fact that children have a better time remembering and recalling events that are unique rather than comprehensive. That is, a child will remember the year they had the firetruck birthday cake and visited the fire house on their birthday MORE than they will remember any of the string of five birthdays where they had a moon bounce and a pinata. The idea is to create a “theme” so that the child has an emotional hook upon which to hang their memories.

The second principle we tapped into this Christmas was the idea that a big build up deserves a big finish. Weeks of hype leading up to Christmas can only lead to let down when all the gifts are opened in less than 30 minutes.

But how do you prolong the opening of the gifts?

The idea came to me when I realized that my daughter wanted spy related gifts. So I’ll share with you what I did. This plays well with a spy theme, but can easily be applied to any childhood holiday theme. Think treasure hunt meets Amazing Race. Here’s how our morning unfolded.

At 4:25 my daughter woke us up to open gifts. She asked for some spy gear and a notebook among a few other gifts. Under the tree there was a pink spiral notebook and an invisible ink pen. That’s it. Nothing else. Some gifts from grandparents wrapped off to the side, a stocking of fruit and candy, and a notebook and pen. Rather anti-climactic, eh? She’s not upset, but she knows something is up. She insists that we open a gift from her and we do. Then she flips through the notebook and discovers a page with symbols on it. She recognizes it as a cipher from a book on codes and ciphers I gave her for her birthday last May.

She has to remember about the book, find it, then decipher the message. When she does it reads: “Look in the big brown treasure chest”. I was actually surprised at how long she searched the house before realizing that our coffee table is in fact, a big, brown chest. She opened it to find a single walkie-talkie and a manual.

“What good is ONE walkie-talkie?” she asks.

“Exactly!” I say. But she doesn’t get the clue and decides to abandon the trail and check her stocking for more gifts. She finds a few little things, some fruit, a few mechanical pencils. Not much. A dead end. So she flips through the notebook again, then looks at the walkie talkie and begins thinking.

“There’s got to be another walkie talkie…” she says thinking out loud. “Wait! I could talk into this one and hear where the other one is!”

This is not exactly the outcome I had hoped for. I wanted her to read the manual, learn to use the “Call” function and use that to locate the other walkie-talkie. But I like solutions to problems and all of us enjoyed seeing her creatively solve each level of the mystery all by herself. It was very empowering to her. Using her method she was able to track the other walkie talkie to its location in the guest bedroom. It was sitting on a charger on top of a box with a bow on it and her name in big bold letters.

She found the walkie talkie but was so focused on finding it, she didn’t even see the package. Instead she looked at us. “Now what?”

I shrugged and asked “Have you noticed any patterns?”

She thought deeply. “Um…each present sort of leads to the next one.”
“Yes, so…”

“So these walkie-talkies should lead me to the next present?”

“Maybe they already did.”

“Huh?” Then she began looking around and laughed when she saw the gift literally under her arm. “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I didn’t even see it! I am going to have to keep my eyes open better!”

She opened the box to discover a lap top computer! (one of the items on her list and since it was refurbished it cost less than $200). She was ecstatic. She doesn’t notice or care that it is refurbished. She gets the power cord, plugs it in and opens it up. We sort of expected her to watch streaming Netflix (which she does instead of television) but by this time she knew there was probably another gift waiting if she could find the clue the laptop represented.

She opened the computer, found a folder on the desktop with her name on it, opened it to find a folder labeled “Spy Stuff”. She opened that to find a photo clue. It was a spread of groceries on our kitchen counter with the caption “Something is wrong with this picture”.

Again, I thought it would take her some time to figure it out, but it was less than two minutes before she said “We don’t eat THAT brand of food item! I gotta find it!” and she ran for the kitchen pantry.

In the pantry she found the jar, opened it to discover it was a secret hiding place. Yes, I visited a “head shop” and bought my 8-year-old an item that most people use to hide illicit items. I suppose that when she’s in college she’ll recognize what she got, but I hope she doesn’t figure it out BEFORE then. Right now it is “spy equipment” not “drug paraphernalia”.


She opened the container (that will remain unidentified so that she can effectively use it to hide espionage data from my Facebook friends and blog readers and possibly pot from her RAs once she goes to college) to discover a USB SD card reader and an encrypted message. The message says “Use code #11” and so she pulls out her birthday code book to begin deciphering the message.

She spent about 5 minutes deciphering the message which told her to check in the ottoman for the next gift. She wasn’t sure what an “ottoman” was so she got on her computer and did a Google search.

She figures it out and she finds a digital camera (one of the big items on her list) that we have had for years. We recently bought a new one and even more recently upgraded our cell phones to machines that have better cameras than any that we own. So we were happy to give her an old, used, digital camera with all the accessories. And she was ecstatic to have it and use it.

Again, we thought she would begin taking pictures with it and get sidetracked for a while, but by this time she recognized the pattern: “one gift leads to the next”. So she almost instantly says “Can you show me how to look at the pictures that are already on here. I’ll bet there are some clues.” And of course there were. A string of pictures that were a sort of visual map leading to a single CD on a spindle in the office. The CD was homemade and labeled “Lady Gaga Music”.

“I’ll bet there’s not even any music on this thing” she said and I thought, She’s going to get through this whole thing in less time than it took me to set it up!

“Dad, can I put this in the CD drive in my computer?”

“Yes.” She did and sure enough, there was no music, only a text file that explained about fonts and how to change them. There was then a sample of various fonts including a very long passage written in a font of symbols which made it totally unreadable. So she re-read the instructions on how to change fonts, did so and was able to read the passage.

The passage was a set of instructions about how an SD card can be used to store more than just pictures from a camera. It can also be used to store documents, movies, and other computer files. It went on to tell her that there were hidden files on the SD card in her camera and that she was going to have to use the SD card reader to access them.

So she excitedly got three of her previous gifts (lap top, camera, SD card reader) and used them together to find a video file of me acting like a secret agent hiding something in a book safe and putting the safe on a shelf in our home library.

After laughing hysterically at her crazy dad and the lengths he’ll go to, she ran to the library, located the giant book safe and withdrew the next gift along with another message (not enciphered this time!). The gift was a craft project (she LOVES crafts) to build a book safe. The note said to look for a book gift in the library.

“There’s a million books in this room! How will I know which one it is?”

“What do gifts normally look like?” I ask

“Wrapped in paper.”

“Okay.” And in less than 4 minutes she found a book wrapped in Christmas paper. She ripped it open to find a copy of “Harriet the Spy”, the story of a young girl who wants to be a spy and writes her thoughts down in a notebook. “This is just like ME!” she says.

Now, for some reason, at this point she sort of dropped the ball. She set the book down and decided to begin playing with some of her stuff. Don’t get me wrong, her and her mother had been communicating everything through the walkie talkies all morning even though they never left each other’s side. But now this was different. She had reached a point where she just paused for a while. She didn’t want or need any other presents just yet. She wanted to go back and absorb what had happened so far. And with good reason. At this point she had been awake solving mysteries, deciphering messages, and finding hidden presents for more than two hours straight.

Annie started to prod her and I gave her a look that said “NO!” We had a pact to let this unfold naturally. And it did. After about a 15 minute “rest” she came to us and wondered out loud if there were any other presents. Then she announced that she was going to start looking for any more. Five minutes of random searching led me to ask her “How did you find the other gifts?”

“Oh, yeah…each one leads to the next. What was my last present?” She rushed back to the book, flipped through it three times before finding the folded note inside. It was coded in an interesting way. Each word in the note was a string of 3 numbers. The first is a page number, the second is a line number, and the third is the number of the word on that line. So I had to go through and find all the words in my next clue INSIDE the book in order to write the note.

There was no word “pink” in the entire book, but fortunately there was a character named “Pinky” which worked close enough.

It took her just seconds to locate the USB flash drive in the shape of a pink pig that had been hanging on our tree unnoticed for days. She almost immediately realized that the nose came out and knew the USB would fit into her computer.

On the drive was another text file in a strange font. By this time she knew exactly what to do and the next clue told her to check the hall closet for a present wrapped in plain white paper.

She ripped it open to discover a secret agent fingerprint kit. She wondered for about five minutes how she was going to use the fingerprint kit to find her next gift and I realized that she was losing the trail so I cheated a bit. “That’s weird that all your gifts were wrapped in Christmas paper except for this one. Just plain old white paper. Normal old regular paper. Nothing special there.”

“Wait a minute!” and she ran back to her growing pile of spy gear to get the invisible ink pen that was originally waiting for her under the tree. Using the UV light she flashed it on the shredded wrapper and saw that there was writing on it. So she had to carefully reassemble the pieces and then read that she could find her LAST gift in the garage. It was a remote controlled helicopter that she had wanted.

A little over two and a half hours of active searching before she was able to get down to playing with it all! Of course the search was as much fun or more fun than the toys. More importantly, it created a THEME upon which her memories will hang forever.

There are three Christmases we experience every year (and also 3 birthdays, 3 vacations, etc.). The first is the ANTICIPATION of the event. The planning, the dreaming, the hoping, the list making, the talking about it all with friends and family, marking days of the calendar, etc. This buildup is powerful before any major event, but it seems that when it comes to Christmas it has been really blown way out of proportion. That’s not good or bad, but it is important to recognize.

The second holiday is the ACTUAL experience itself. Opening gifts, realizing you got just what you wanted, the delicious treats, the funny coincidences when someone get you the same gift you got them, the tree falling over, the regifting, all the sharing and laughing and joy and disappointment and everything else that comes with experiencing the actual holiday (whether it’s Christmas, a vacation, a birthday, or whatever).

Lastly, is the MEMORY of the event. When we look back and recall the funny things that happened, and the joy we felt during the holidays.

The fact is that for most of us, the third holiday (the memory) will be the one that lasts the longest and yet it is often the most neglected. Our brain is just not evolved to remember lists of gifts or specific dates. We do better recalling themes and categorical events. So when you give your holiday a specific and unique theme your brain has a much easier time storing the memories of what happened.

I don’t think that the spy chase I created for my daughter increased or decreased her anticipation of the event since she had no awareness of it prior to Christmas morning. I think it probably added a little bit of fun to the event itself. I’ll be the first to admit that opening gifts is fun no matter what and putting the gifts into a scavenger hunt sort of gauntlet won’t dramatically change any of that. It won’t make crummy gifts magically more desireable. It won’t make 3 gifts seem like a room full of presents. It won’t save you any money or remind anyone of “the true meaning of Christmas” whatever that might mean to you.

All it really does is set up a mental and emotional peg upon which my daughter will be able to hang the memory of this year (“The Spy Christmas”). Twenty years from now she will probably not remember the helicopter, the fingerprint kit, or maybe not ANY of the specific gifts. But she will always remember HOW she found them. She will always remember the chase from one clue to the next. The specific gifts become less important as time goes on and the theme becomes more critical in the remembering process.

Uncategorized

Simple, Powerful, and Inexpensive

June 15th, 2010

“Burn The Thoughts, Beliefs and Attitudes of the Happiest, Most Effective People Into Your Mind and You Will Feel How They Feel, Do What They Do and Get The Same Results They Get!”

Two weeks ago I told you about a product that has changed my life and many of you have decided to take a step in investigating what might be the transformative missing link in your own success.

Whether you are working on health and fitness goals, financial goals, relationship goals, productivity goals or all of these, I am confident that you will find a solution in the next 90 seconds.

First, a promise.

I promise that you have never seen ANYTHING like what you are now going to learn about. These Accelerated Success Conditioning Programs are a radical enhancement to traditional self-help.

These programs are not “how-to” lecture based advice. They make “how-to” information and self-help advice work better.

These programs don’t attempt to teach you WHAT to do. You may know what to do already – but can’t get yourself to do it. Anybody have books on their shelf filled with good advice that hasn’t yet been implemented?

They don’t explain how to get motivated… that wouldn’t last.

And they can’t show you how to eat, how to get more done, how to be more persuasive or how to feel happy or get rid of fears. Those are habits that can’t be acquired through lecture. These Accelerated Success Conditioning Programs are thought and behavior modification Programs, and as a behavior modification expert with two decades of experience in the field, I can tell you that the science is sound and I can attest that the product works. I own ALL of the systems and use them because they are so easy to implement.

So unlike mere advice or information, they literally alter your unsupportive thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotional habits you’ve developed over a lifetime to be more like the people who get the results that you want to get.

Imagine being able to:

• Hit your ideal weight and stay there forever without feeling
     miserable

• Exercise like a maniac and LOVE it

• Be free of depression no matter how severe or how long
     you’ve suffered

• Explode your personal sales and fall in love with prospecting

• Get rid of your panic attacks and stop obsessive behaviors

• Live every single day with passion and purpose no matter
     what your age

• Have more money than you could ever need

• Quit bad habits for good – and not miss them one little bit

• Become a goal achieving machine

• Feel great about who you are, happy to be you

Until now there has been no simple, easy and fast way to permanently change the little voice inside your head, to change how you think, to let go of your past, to release unsupportive emotions.

• No “how-to” book will insert the motivation to get up
     after you keep falling down

• No lecture or seminar can implant unstoppable
     determination to do whatever it takes to succeed.

• No punishment you could endure would guarantee that
     you’ll stop doing what you’ve done most of your life.

• No exercise equipment can force you to take the time
     to use it. 

• No patch, powder or pill can alter your behaviors. All
     they can do is suck your bank account dry and leave
     you no more able to succeed on your own than you
     were before you got hooked on them.
 
Until now, there has been no way to predictably eliminate the mental patterns that make fear jump up and stop you and install all the qualities it takes to make a dream life.

But now there is…

Check out this affiliate link to what I believe is one of the most powerful and definitely one of the least expensive methods to reprogram your brain that I’ve ever found.

Simple, inexpensive, and powerfully effective: This deserves your investigation.

Think Right Now or if you are curious, you can go see my own results from using one of the systems by visiting www.JulianSpeaks.com/bragging but be warned, there is a photo of me without a shirt on so view it at your own discretion.

Fitness, Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Success

My “secret” Little Business

June 7th, 2010

I’m lazy.

 

No one believes me, but the reality is that I am really lazy and get a lot done because I’m a believer in systems. I like to set things up and let them run on auto pilot for as long as possible.

 

I’ve got more than 35 little “businesses” that I run, most of them secret, and most of them involve absolutely NO EFFORT on my part. Today I’m going to share with you ONE of those secret little businesses with you.

 

For sure, you have to accept that none of these little guys are making me five or six figures annually, but I promise you that they aren’t taking up ANY of my time, so even if I only make a few thousand dollars, or even a couple of hundred bucks every year, it’s all gravy.

 

So here’s the super simple business I’m sharing with you today:

 

I don’t know much about computers, but I have a lot of geek friends who don’t know much about business. We talk, they share their geeky ideas, and then I figure out how to make money with them. All of us end up better off.

 

CASE IN POINT: When you visit a web page that has been removed, altered, renamed, misnamed, or you just did a typo while entering the URL, you get a very common error message.

 

Try this: go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fksldfkj and you will see a typical error page.

 

Now go to your own domain name and enter a non-existent URL (ex: www.YourDomainName.com/blah-blah-blah )

 

They look rather similar, right? You’ve probably seen these error pages before, but you probably didn’t know that you have control over the error pages that show up on your own domains.

 

Not sure? Visit a fictitious page on any of my sites. (ex: http://JulianSpeaks.com/blah )

 

Pretty cool, huh?

 

Now, here’s where it gets cooler. I’ve put together a short, step-by-step description of exactly how to create your OWN 404 Error pages that you can use to keep people on your site, AND to sell whatever you think they might want.

 

This is what I normally sell on my own error pages (as you can see when you attempt to visit a fictitious page or a broken link on my site), and it has a normal retail price of $27.77 but for this week I’m slashing the price by $20 so you can have it all for just $7.77.

 

Because it is an instant PDF download you pay no shipping charges, so when I say $7.77 that’s exactly what I mean. That’s crazy cheap!

 

But here’s where it gets even better. I like things to be automated. This particular business of mine is completely automated. I don’t have to actually send you anything. Instead it is all powered by The Amazing System (an integrated shopping cart, database, digital product delivery system, broadcast email system, and autoresponder system). That’s why I can offer this so cheap. I don’t do any work.

 

(FYI: Even this email and a matching blog entry were both written weeks ago and scheduled to go out while I am currently in front of an audience).

 

I’d like to expand my automated business and help YOU join me on this particular model that involves no work and no marketing on your part. So, if you purchase the system and decide you’d like to re-sell it to people on your own site who stumble across YOUR error pages, I will set you up as an affiliate and waive all affiliate set up charges.

 

You start an online business in which you do NOTHING and it costs you NOTHING to run or maintain. All you have to do is set up your own error pages which is something you should do anyway and I teach you exactly how to do it for less than you will spend on coffee today.

 

Imagine having a sustainable business that will work for you forever knowing that you spent less than $8 to get it all going.

 

To get started just visit any fictitious page you can imagine on any of my web sites and then purchase the product for a 72% discount. The instructions for becoming an affiliate are included in the INSTANT pdf download.

 

Your automated business could be up and running before your next meal!

 

http://JulianSpeaks.com/dkweo460f346jv8kg4edc

(or any other string of random letters after the “/”)

Uncategorized

As Your waistline gets smaller, your wallet gets FATTER

June 4th, 2010

I’ve often pointed out the relationship between a person’s financial success and their level of fitness. I’m not the only behavior change expert who recognizes the correlation. Countless success gurus have pointed out the direct correlation between physical fitness and “fiscal fitness”. The more a person is worth financially, the more likely they are to be healthy and fit.

As a behavior change specialist I find it fascinating to discover the myriad reasons people either take action or avoid taking action. One of the most powerful discoveries in human behavior (and it probably won’t shock any of you) is that we often do things that are NOT in our best interest and we repeat these patterns for no recognizable reason.

A few years ago I realized that I had gotten almost 50 pounds overweight and my cardio vascular endurance had plummeted. I was determined to get back into shape but just couldn’t seem to find the time (sound familiar?)

But something quite simple changed in my life and within a few months I had lost ALL the weight and was in the best shape of my life. That was more than three years ago and any of you who have seen the before and after pictures or who have known me for that length of time can attest to the recognizable differences in my physique.

Those differences are still here. I’ve kept the weight off and in fact have gotten in even better shape over the last year and will continue to get stronger, faster, and leaner as I continue to age. These differences are irrefutable and obvious when you see me or see pictures of me.

What you CAN’T see are the other, more meaningful changes that have taken place. Because my endurance is up it is easier for me to get more work done in less time. I feel stronger and more confident. My relationship with my wife has gotten much better. Because I am more efficient in the things I do, I actually have more free time and have taken up a few new hobbies including geocaching which is like a world-wide, 24/7 Easter egg hunt that often involves some pretty serious hiking.

So what was the little something that happened to me three and a half years ago? When researching human behavior modification techniques, I came across what I believe is one of the most powerful tools for a person to be able to literally hypnotize themselves into becoming exactly who they would like to become.

The CD system is really quite simple and it is NOT subliminal programming. Rather it is based on proven scientific principles that have definitely worked in my own life.

If you are interested in losing weight, developing higher self-esteem, getting more organized, becoming a better leader, controlling your smoking habit, setting and reaching your goals, or any of the other patterns that ThinkRightNow has available, I encourage you to visit their site through the affiliate link below and at least investigate what has clearly worked for me and many others.

If you purchase 3 systems, you get a fourth system tossed in and each system is less than $35.

If you’ve been thinking about doing something to regain the health you deserve but you’ve been putting it off because it would be too difficult or you don’t know where to start…Then I recommend you add the “End Procrastination” system to your cart  :)

Check out ThinkRightNow and see if you are willing to put them up to their 6 month money back guarantee.

You have nothing to lose but unwanted weight and bad habits!

Fitness, Getting Things Done, Goal Setting, Success

Results from a Mastermind

May 11th, 2010

Last week I got back from a five day mastermind session with a few of my very intelligent friends. We spent the week in Dallas, Texas where we rented an executive suite and stayed up until 3am every night, which was quite different for me since I normally rise at 4:30 am.

We had several very serious discussions on trends we saw over the past twelve months and how we might be able to capitalize on them. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of what we discussed and discovered, so stay tuned for those emails.

But in addition to conceptual and the strategic planning that went on, we also took time to engage in the tactical. We spent time each day in the gym working out. We spent time on the computer implementing ideas to test our new theories including some new Amazing System Autoresponder campaigns, some new Google Adwords campaigns, and a few other actions that we agreed would remain exclusive to our group.

But there is a reason I’m sharing this with you.

We scheduled our mastermind session in Dallas to coincide with a marketing conference that overlapped our group session by 3 days. During that time it became clear that success falls on a continuum. At one end, inability to pay bills and at the other end complete financial freedom and everything in between…well, in between!

When looking for the commonalities we were hoping for something revealing. Smart people at one end, dumb people at the other end. But that was not true. Friendly at one end, rude at the other? Not particularly true. But across the board we noticed that implementation seemed to be a distinguishing factor.

Smart, nice people who failed to take action were overshadowed by dumb, ugly, rude people who consistantly implemented the tactics that supported their goals.

What lingering ideas have you been thinking about but have failed to act on? Choose THREE of them (no more) and work on them until they are fully functioning. You’d be surprised what you can do with just a few working tactics.

Getting Things Done, Success