From The Ridiculous To The Practical
I have been all around the world and have seen a lot of things. I used to make fun, if not openly at least privately of a lot of the things I saw. I am certainly older now and I hope wiser. I don't make as much fun of things anymore. I try to think, where is the practical in the ridiculous?
Take Meditation. Visual Imagery. Crystals. Howling at the moon. Things like that.
Imagining sitting on Mars and drinking tea with talking vegetables may work for you, it may be a way for you to get off your blood pressure medicine, but it isn't my cup of tea. However I realize it could be the next hit Saturday morning children's television show.
Meditation is one of those things that can be ridiculous or practical.
Meditation is basically thinking and thinking is pretty much the process of asking yourself questions and coming up with answers. We think on the conscious level and we think on the subconscious level.
Since meditation is thinking, when someone says they would never meditate I realize they probably don't understand what the definition of meditation really is or in some cases I just agree with them and say, "You know, I can see that in you."
If I were to sit around meditating on my navel I would probably start wondering if I had navel lint and if navel oranges were popular in the Navy when they figured out citrus prevented scurvy and why we laughed at the Naval Air Force joke when everyone knew it had nothing to do with forcing air through your naval.
On the other hand, meditation has a practical side.
First we hear people say that meditation isn't Christian. That is a big objection I hear. In the big picture mediation is really just thinking and no one is going to convince me that true Christianity is against thinking. As a matter of fact, the bible tells us to meditate on scripture. There are plenty of interesting and practical lessons in the bible, not to mention principles and teachings, so thinking on the bible turns out to be pretty practical.
Then there are your problems. You really can't escape your problems. Recovering alcoholics know this. When they sober up their problems are right there where they left them and they usually have brought friends. You can't really escape your problems, because after all they are your problems, sort of like a faithful dog that follows you around and chews your slippers, but you can deal with them.
It is popular to tell people not to meditate or you might say dwell on your problems. I think that is good advice in general. What we think about tends to expand. Think about buying a certain new car and all of a sudden they are everywhere. On the other hand, if what we think about tends to expand or grow or become part of our life, then why not think on not our problems, but solutions for our problems?
Take Facebook, there is something that can be ridiculous or practical. Globally on average I see statistics that say people active on Facebook spend an average of 50 minutes a day on Facebook and that number is growing. It turns out that it is popular to say you are spending less time on Facebook, but studies show people are spending more.
The figures are in for September of 2016, if you can believe them, Facebook has had a little of a statistic scandal lately, but the numbers are 1.18 billion people were active daily that month on Facebook.
Get out an envelope and your pen, scribble a little and close one eye and you will find that means almost a billion human hours in one month were spent on Facebook. Since the number of people online is going up and the trend for usage is up, we can easily say we are looking at a billion hours a month going forward.
So how big is a billion? If you spent a thousand dollars a day ($1,000) how long would it take you to spend a billion dollars? Well, you can't, you won't live that long unless you know something I don't. If you started spending a thousand dollars a day at the time of Christ and Nero and Julius Caesar and Cleopatra and all of that group (yes, I know they didn't exactly live at the same exact time, this is just to get a rough idea of things) you still wouldn't be done. It would take you 2,740 years to spend those dollars at a thousand a day. So that means a thousand people spending one hour on something a day would take 2,740 years to spend a collective billion hours.
So here is my point. If we took half of those hours spent on Facebook and people spent them working on their problems what would happen? A half billion hours a month spent on people meditating and working on their problems, not just thinking problem, problem, problem, but on solutions to their problems,
Remember, you are in the world, your problems are the world's problems.
Well, I don't expect people to trim their Facebook time globally or for me to start a revolution, but what if I got you to just spend 20 minutes a day, half thinking on the solutions to your problems and half working on them using the answers you come up with? What would happen?
Try it and let me know.
Scott Hogue CChH
What Would You Do?
Today a little exercise that just might change your life.
I often work with people in my practice that are in a rut. I am not talking about the staff, I mean some of my clients. When you are in a rut it can be difficult to get out. Our ruts can grow very deep. Some people are jarred out of their ruts by traumatic life changing events. People don't come to me to have a car wreck, lose their job, have a serious illness or get a divorce, so I have to come up with something else. I use a lot of little tricks and exercises. Just for fun, play along with me and I will show you one of the exercises.
Imagine you are home on your day off after a pretty rough week. You slept late. You are wearing your lazy day clothes, maybe still in your pajamas. You are just starting to think, do you want breakfast or just wait and try for lunch when you hear the doorbell ring. If you don't have a doorbell you hear a knock at the door. Just work with me here. You think, “Did I really hear that?” when you hear it again and decide you will have to deal with it.
You open the door and see a man in his late forties, maybe early fifties. He is wearing a suit that costs more than a first class air ticket to Hawaii. You can see your reflection in his shoes, he has an expensive looking watch and what appears to be a diamond tie pin. The man also has a briefcase, a very expensive looking briefcase. You are thinking “This man has the wrong address,” just when he says your name.
Your thoughts change to, “Could I possibly be being sued?” and the man says, “My name is Charles Miller and I represent the Freewater Foundation. I have a financial matter to discuss with you. May I come in or is this an inopportune time?” You pause a moment and think, “Could I have inherited some money?” Then, you realize you are keeping the man in suspense outside at the door and you invite him in.
You motion for him to sit down and he proceeds… “The Freewater Foundation is a very private and well funded foundation, I would be surprised if you have heard of the Foundation,” and he hands you his card. Charles Miller, Freewater Foundation and a phone number on thick, crisp, white card stock printed in glossy raised ink.
“I am sure that if I could mention the names of the board members there would be a least a few you would know from the news and certain publications, but I will have to ask you to trust me on that, they are very private about their connection to the Foundation and the work they do. It makes things much easier that way. One of the things they do is to endow certain selected people to do their life's work, which brings me to you today.”
“You have come to the attention of the board and I am here to offer you two million dollars a year to do your life's work. Here are the terms:
1. You must quit all other work for payment, financial reimbursement or compensation. Any charity work you are doing or would do in the future is exempt from restrictions.
2. In this briefcase there is a quarter of a million dollars for a retainer and a blank sheet of paper. If you accept the offer I will leave the briefcase and the money, a quarter of a million dollars which is about all I could get in the briefcase in smaller bills. I will return in 48 hours with another briefcase with another quarter of a million dollars which I will exchange for that sheet of paper.
3. On that sheet of paper you will have written two things. The first is what you will do for your life's work and the second, how it will benefit mankind. Think of it as our receipt.
4. In three months I will return with another briefcase containing another quarter of a million dollars and another blank sheet of paper.
5. I will leave the briefcase and contents with you and return in 48 hours with another briefcase containing another quarter of a million dollars in exchange for that sheet of paper.
6. On that sheet of paper you will write in a few sentences what you did in your work the last three months and how it will benefit mankind, again, as our receipt.
7. This will continue as long as you wish to continue under the terms aforementioned, with the total amount paid to you being two million dollars a year as long as you abide by the agreement.”
He opens the briefcase and sure enough there is a blank sheet of paper sitting on top of a lot of money.
What would you do?
Do you have any resistance or hesitation?
Are you clear on what your life's work is or would be?
Could you explain how it would benefit mankind?
If you have resistance or hesitation it is usually one or both of two reasons.
1. You have a problem receiving, which isn't a good problem to have in life. It is sort of like locking your mailbox and then complaining that you never get any mail and believe me, you will complain in time if you aren't allowing yourself to receive in this world. There are things you will need from the world to travel through the world.
When I studied Kung Fu, my teacher taught me the lesson of the seven cups. The teacher has the pot of tea to pour out to the students, but some have their cup turned upside down and cannot receive what is being poured out to them. The tea represents what the world has to offer, knowledge, experience, relationships, wealth, many things. In the lesson of the seven cups, only one of the cups is turned up and in position to receive. What is the position and condition of your cup?
2. You aren't clear on what you want to do with your life and how it fits into the rest of the world. This is a common problem and one you can often use some help with.
I think one of the great secrets to having a happy, rewarding and fulfilling life, even a life full of wealth, is to understand that you can have anything you want in life if you only help enough other people get what they want. Find a way to help people get what they want that you enjoy and you are on your way to great success and happiness.
There is also a third reason people hesitate when they do this exercise. They are afraid. Perhaps they feel undeserving or don't know what to do with the money and they are afraid to proceed. They believe the money will cause problems. They feel secure in their struggle, which may sound odd, but I assure you it is common. People go to school for years and years, work at a job for years and years, they are just used to being told what to do. Being free is a strange thought and experience to them.
I had a friend that kept his dog in a dog pen all day and when he came home and opened the door to the pen he had to drag the dog out. The dog was comfortable being confined. People often become comfortable with their confinement, the limits on their lives. When they come to my office for help they need something they can't find in their confinement and one way or another I have to drag them out into a larger world so they can have what they need.
Most people believe that there are people making millions of dollars a year doing what they want to do in life, they just don't believe they can be one of those people. If you don't believe you can be one of those people than I have to ask you, Why?
That Why is keeping you from the life you desire and deserve and I am betting that Why won't hold water. Figure out how that Why is wrong and full of holes and you will take off like a rocket.
Why not start the process of trading your job for your life's work?
When you do you will find it is a lot like our little story. You can exchange what you do for mankind for wealth and satisfaction. It may not come in briefcases, but when it comes you can buy all the briefcases you want.
If you need some help with that contact me,
Scott Hogue CChH
We seem to collect tablets around here. Most of the old ones work just fine, but the screens are bigger and better now, so are the memory and operating systems for the newer tablets. With today being Thanksgiving and seeing we are blest with old tablets, I was thinking of what you can do with an old tablet. Here are ten suggestions you might find helpful:
1. Donate it to someone that could use it.
Family members and children come to mind, but don't forget nursing homes and veteran organizations. A tablet in hand can open the world up for a shut in.
2. Keep it in the car for a GPS.
If it has a satellite and GPS function, just pick your favorite travel and mapping program, throw in a car adapter and you are through or at least on your way.
3. Make it a GPS/Car entertainment system.
You could Bluetooth to your car system if your car is Bluetooth capable or you could throw in some portable speakers. A radio transmitter connected to the tablet would allow it to access your old fashioned car radio and speaker system. Not only would you have GPS, but you could play your favorite car tunes. They make a number of tablet holders for cars these days.
4. Put it by the bed for a number of uses.
I have a tablet by the bedside that I made a wooden stand for. I am a bit of a hobbyist. I use the sleep mode clock on low brightness, I Bluetooth connect to my stereo speakers. I have one of those personal assistant apps I bought before Google and Apple and now Amazon got into the act. The app isn't a rocket scientist, but it can read you the weather, the news and set an alarm for you.
I also have Amazon Prime which comes with a version of Audible. The tablet can play any of the channels available for prime members, including news, sports, science and business updates. There are a number of audio books available too. A tablet by the bedside gives you plenty of reasons to stay in bed.
5. Make a picture player out of it.
If your tablet didn't come with a slide player program to play picture content, then there are plenty in the apps stores to choose from. We have a little bamboo easel really made for recipes, cookbooks and such, that we place a tablet on from time to time to show pictures of the grandchildren in slide show fashion.
6. Dedicated Video Phone.
After watching the slide show of grandchildren's pictures you will want to get in touch with them. Does your old tablet have a front facing camera and enough computing power to run skype, facetime or Google hang outs? We have a granddaughter that lives in another state. It is nice to just pick up a tablet that is set and ready to go for when we want to video visit.
7. Make a radio out of it.
One of the drawbacks of living near the lake here in Tennessee is although the scenery is beautiful, the mountains and valleys make it hard to pick up radio stations. In any case, no matter where you live there are more radio stations on the internet than you can pick up with your average radio. Even police, fire and plane calls. Pick your radio app or why not pick a few?
I am an old time radio buff and I like the mysteries, Sherlock Holmes and other programs of long ago. There are a number of OTR or Old Time Radio apps in the app stores. We listen to the Chiquita Banana Christmas special of 1942 every year as we near Christmas.
8. Big TV in your hands.
If you can mirror your screen to your TV then you can play content and do your work on the big screen. I did that with the widescreen in the bedroom one day and was almost overwhelmed by the size of the display. My wife came in and said, "What is that?" I told her it was my email King Kong version.
Youtube mirrored to my TV screen actually plays better than the smart TV youtube app.
9. Instead of taking it to school, take school to it.
Udemy and other online training is pretty popular these days. There are people that report they like studying courses on their desktop or laptop because they aren't as interrupted by email and messages as on the tablets. Get rid of those other programs and just put your training on the tablet to put school in your hands. Some companies are loading up tablets with training for their employees and passing them out to keep them up to date, so training by tablet is both popular and effective, if you can get away from facebook long enough to finish a lesson.
10. Financial Assistant
Having a dedicated tablet on your desk can be pretty handy. There are all kinds of calculator apps from financial to scientific. With programs like Mint you can keep up with your expenses and account balances. Walmart has a savings catcher program where you can scan your receipts and it will check for lower prices at competitors and refund the difference to an egift card.
11. Child's travel entertainment
I like going the extra mile, so here is an eleventh idea. Load it up with children's movies and games for times you will be on the road with a youngster. Wifi doesn't travel with you and hotspots can be pretty spotty. Cell phone signals and cell internet isn't available in a lot of areas where we travel, so a tablet loaded up with Peppa the Pig and children's games can take the misery out of travel boredom.
12. Okay, an even dozen. Sleep machine.
Noisli is a sound machine app with sounds like rain, thunder storms and even trains. Very customizable. I use it when I need to sleep and the background noise from the minecraft wars are a bit loud..
Remember, before you give your tablet away you want to reset it to factory settings wiping the memory and disconnecting any accounts you have.
It would be a good idea to do this even if you are keeping the tablet and want to use it for one of the purposes we discussed. It will clean out the memory and let you start fresh.
With Christmas specials I have seen decent, but not great tablets selling for as little as $34. You just might want to buy a low powered tablet to do one of these projects.
Happy Thanksgiving for all thankful people around the globe,
Scott Hogue CChH
With Black Friday backing up to Thursday for some businesses and Christmas now getting close, a lot of people are buying things online. Here is something a bit disturbing and some suggestions to work around it.
Yes Virginia, it is true, many online stores are charging different amounts for the same merchandise. It can depend on your location (reported by your internet provider) or whether you use a mobile or desktop device. It can even depend on your cookies.
It turns out that Victoria's Secret was she had different prices for people depending on their location and other factors. Once that secret was out, it wasn't long until we found out that many other companies do the same.
How do you get the lower price and maybe even treated a bit more fairly?
Here are some tips:
1. Try pricing the same thing from the same business online with both a desktop and a mobile device. You may see a real difference in price.
2. Keep your browser open to the page with your item and price, so if you do this you won't lose that price if it is lower and then clear your cookies and open another browser tab and check again. You might see a higher price, but you could see a lower price.
3. If you have a VPN, a virtual private network, then try going to the online store through that. It frustrates the location pricing strategy for the company.
4. Check with a friend's computer or mobile device or even have a friend or relative living in another state check the price.
5. Clear your cookies and try at a different time of day. Yes, some stores have different prices for different days and different times of the day.
6. Before you buy, google promo codes and see if you can find a promo code to lower your price or get free shipping that you can use when you check out. There are many promo code sites on the web now. Some good, some not so good. I don't like giving them information to get the codes, but you might consider using a throw away email address if you see something you want on one of the websites that require you to sign up.
Scott Hogue CChH
I have a not so smart, smart tv. The picture is great. The screen is big. It is from one of those name brand companies that make things that blow up. But the problem is, the apps. In fact even the internet is a problem.
When I first got it in no time it was locking up and you had to repeatedly turn it off and restart it. A call to tech support found an app failed to update and it was the problem. Then the internet settings were no longer compatible. I had to change them. Then some of the apps quit and I was told that was normal. That they just are no longer supported on your television. What about upgrades, updates and firmware revisions? Not applicable for my apps. I was "orphaned."
After another 45 minutes today trying to get the thing online so I could watch tv during breakfast, which was pretty cold after that, I decided to make a move...
I will be getting a streaming box for my smart television and bypassing the "smart" functions. It turns out you can save some money doing that. You can buy a nice old dumb television with a really nice picture and then for $29 to $129 buy a streaming box, even with gaming to hook up and be the smart box for your dumb, but with pretty picture television.
Amazon has one that comes with a gaming controller and good reviews and roku has several solutions for the cord cutters leaving cable tv. I still have an old roku on one of my televisions. We went for the Friday prime special and got it for $79 with the shipping and other perks. I think I will get the Amazon streaming box with gaming, my grandson is a master crafter at mindcraft.
And if that streaming box locks up....well if you are interested, the box will be in my garbage can.
best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
You may have heard the saying that A students in school work for the C and D students in the world. It turns out that in a lot of ways that is true.
Angela Duckworth, the author of "Grit" tells us that just because people learn quickly and easily, that doesn't mean they will use that ability in the real world to excel. When things come easy to a person, they may not learn how to persist and work through their struggles. They may not develop "Grit."
West Point, the Marines, troubled high schools. even sales organizations, all have tried to figure out who will make it and who will not. School scores and grades, IQ tests, personality tests and more have not been helpful. It turns out the missing link is the "Grit" Quotient, not their Intelligence Quotient.
A students can develop a sense of deserving and if things don't go their way they can feel life is unfair. On the other hand, students that have had to fight for every grade point, letter grade and grade level often develop a "Grit," a stick to it ness that keeps them on the job long after others have quit.
When they asked Isaac Newton how he came up with his amazing insights and ideas, thinking he would say he had a method or some magical system, even that he had powers that others didn't have, he said, "I think about these things an awful lot." Newton stuck to the problem long after others said, "let's get a bite to eat and try again Monday."
Newton even missed meals, almost starving himself when working on the physical and mathematical problems he was obsessed with.
It turns out that "Grit" is a better factor to use when predicting success than any other single factor we currently have. The good news is "Grit" is largely a decision.
"Grit" is deciding to stay with something no matter what and see it through.
"Grit" is deciding that the status quo is not acceptable and doing what it takes to change it.
"Grit" is keeping the reward in front of you, the prize before your eyes.
"Grit" is knowing the alternative is worse than the effort needed to change.
"Grit" is realizing we are only here a little while and making that little while count.
The funny thing about "Grit" is if you don't have it, you can get it from yourself.
best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
Jim Rohn said he had pennies in his pockets, no money in the bank and was behind on his bills until he figured this one thing out: What was holding him back?
Then he took off like a rocket and became a young millionaire.
I have traveled all around the world and I am persuaded that our greatest limits in life are our self limits or self limitations.
We live in a Cause and Effect world. You do the same things someone else does and do them in the same way and you have to get the same results.
People argue with me on that and I don't look down on them. We are raised and exposed socially to a lot of superstition. If your neighbor or Bill Gates or the CEO of Union Exxon planted corn they would get corn in return, If you planted corn you would get corn in return just the same, not tomatoes, beans or radishes. Believing otherwise would just be supersitious.
That means if you aren't where you want to be you aren't doing the things that took other people there. You may have some good reasons and I certainly won't judge you, but you can have excuses or results. You can't have both.
So what is holding you back?
Some say knowledge, they don't have the knowledge they need. We live in the information age. Not knowing is not a valid excuse. You can find out. If you don't know what you need to know, the first step is to find out. Get that knowledge!
The truth is we know what really holds people back. The top two things in surveys are:
1. Fear based on a lack of belief in their own ability.
2. Overwhelm, people just don't know where to start.
How do you overcome the fear? Several ways, find a mentor, someone that is doing what you want to do and work with them. Look around and see people that are not as gifted as you doing more than you do and realize you have the ability. If they can succeed you can succeed. Listen to motivation and inspirational material, read success books, crowd out the negative with the positive. Have more "can do" in your life than "can't do." Feel the fear and do it anyway. Do this a few times and the fear just goes away.
Try this to change your life in a week and if you do it, see if you aren't on a new track in just seven days.
1. Figure out what you want in life.
2. Figure out what is holding you back.
3. Deal with the issue that is holding you back in baby steps everyday. Just take some action to overcome it everyday.
I suggest people keep a journal. I think I lived the same year over five times before I started journaling and learned how to move on and not repeat one day over and over again for five years. Review the day, count your progress, plan tomorrow based on today, build on today and get from the day, not just try to get through the day, but get from the day. Get knowledge, experience, progress, hope, rewards, ideas, feelings, life.
Check yourself in a week and see if you don't feel differently about yourself, your goal and your progress.
best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
Here is how to get into a business that is successful, satisfying and profitable. Nut Shell Version (NSV)
Six Steps To A Satisfying and Profitable Business:
1. Understand that business is about helping people.
2. Figure out who you are.
3. Figure out how the ideal YOU can help people and enjoy it.
4. Figure out how to trade that help for money.
5. Find or create a platform for that exchange.
6. Promote that platform.
The sad secret is that there are two things you must know to succeed in business:
1. The thing you are doing to help people.
2. How to promote that thing, in other words marketing.
There are millions and probably billions of people that have some skill, knowledge, point of view, story, or other resource that people would buy and benefit from if they only could. The sad thing is these people know or have their "Thing," but they don't have any marketing skill or knowledge so they struggle in life and people are not helped.
If you want to help people and you want to make money, study marketing. I see people that are too good or too "holy" to lower themselves to marketing, they have more important and more valuable things to do than learn marketing. The problem is without marketing they will only reach a fraction of the people they could reach and help with good messaging.
That is it in a nut shell.
I will try to expand on it in the future.
best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
What do you do better than anyone you know?
Bake a cake, teach a child to tie their shoes, fly vintage aircraft, paint windows, perform a martial arts move, read a stock report, set up a computer network, write a blog on a specific subject, organize a room, coach little league baseball, organize a car pool, make sand castles, create reports at work for management decisions, set up an iphone, coordinate clothing and outfits, pour concrete, explain algebra, run a marathon, find the best price on items, match people for relationships, create graphics that convey messages, train dogs, narrate books, catch catfish, arrange flowers, balance a check book, plan an event? What is your Super Power?
Here are three important points that apply to you and your Super Power:
1. People want to do things.
2. They need help.
3. They will pay for someone to help them.
When I found out that Shoe tying coaches that teach children to tie their shoes make $50,000 or more, I realized that everyone knows something, can do something or has an interest that can make them money.
I have a friend that loves horses. How do you make money loving horses? He does it by taking people on trail rides and tours on horse back in his business. He will be retiring soon, but he is keeping the horses. He loves his work so much that he is taking the horse into retirement with him.
Did you know you can make money writing a book on how to bake cakes when your oven doesn't work? I heard of a woman that did that. She barely got by with her bills by baking and selling cakes when her oven went out. She didn't have the money to fix it or get a new one. Somehow she got the idea she could write a book about cakes and sell it online. Soon she was back in the money and had a new oven. This time she not only baked cakes, but went into the cake baking teaching business.
I know several people that lost their job due to downsizing that went on to become consultants in their industry. Losing their jobs was the best thing that could happen to them. One man said that his company kept all of his work when they fired him, but they couldn't keep any of his knowledge.
Here is what it comes down to. Honest business is about helping people. Figure out who you are, where your interests are and what you either can do or are interested in learning to do. Then make a business helping people with that.
Some things are more in demand than others, but there are meditation coaches that make very good livings and hair stylists for cats and not just any cat, but Persian cats only and they make a good living too. Tell yourself that if you can make a good living by styling the hair on Persian cats, then you have plenty to offer the world to make your living!
Somebody wants to know how to do what you know to do or have the benefit from what you do. Find them and you are in business!
best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
Scott Hogue is a Strategic Life Coach, an Author and a Certified Christian Hypnotist.