Another Experiment: The Car Cast

Learning, Observations No Comments

OK, here’s something new.  If you know me, you know that I am not a big fan of driving.  For one thing, I consider myself a below average driver, so if a competent driver would volunteer to tote me around I would be overjoyed.

But since that doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon, I try to find things to keep myself awake and engage while driving.  Long drives are a different animal, but the daily commute is a, well, daily challenge.

The radio doesn’t seem as effective as I’d like, although I seem to doze less than when I just sit in silence, I am trying a car cast which is just me rambling on as I tootle off to work.

Well let’s see if this even works:

Here’s a direct link to the audio:

Kelsey Car Cast Episode 001

And here’s an alternate way to stream it while on this page:

(It’s not working, yet…)

Gonna Run

Learning, Observations No Comments

No, this isn’t the beginning of a series on my critical need for some kind of physical fitness routine. This is about conflicting priorities.

I have to write an article for our church’s magazine. The deadline is looming and I have to determine if I should be pumping out words here or there? This goes back to what I just posted the other day. There are times when you make a conscious choice to skip, to take a break, to be inconsistent. As long as you are consistent about your reasoning, right? Am I wrong on this? Make up your own mind.

What Makes A Habit

Disciple, Learning, Observations No Comments

So now the weekend is here. I have family visiting, this is a busy, packed day ahead. All good reasons to take a break – or set a standard for a periodic Sabbatical.

The rules are – there are no rules. Hmm, that seems scary or intimidating to me.

In trying to develop foundational habits, when do you make an exception? I can think of two times. 1) When you must and 2)When you decide it’s OK to.

1) Don’t get so wound up in trying to start something that it becomes an obsession. For some an obsession is good – they might call it a passion, or even a hobby. But I have a compulsive nature, obsessions can steal away from essentials in life and also create an imbalance. Gaining a balance in life is important to me and so I temper my desire to “get up and going” with something with the desire not to destroy current initiatives or even relationships.

On the other hand, there needs to be a big enough desire, a big enough push to overcome the inertia of doing nothing that there should be no, er, few exceptions to the rule. The question has to be asked, “Are these circumstances that cause me to miss doing what, when I step back and think it through, I really want to be doing? Or, it this life’s surf crashing against my plans and I need to decide if my plans are valuable enough to build up a resistance?”

Well right now, I have a wee bit of momentum – for today, my Scriptures are read, oh – I still have some writing to do… I did leave that undone, but my lesson for latter this morning is prepared, and I’m blogging now. So this will be one wave resisted.

2) There are some habits that must be done to avoid physical ramifications (like eating and good breathing, and believe it or not regular vigorous exercise… we’ll tackle that one soon enough), and there are others that have embarrassment as a result – like deciding it’s not worth it to get dressed before heading out for the day. This might not only be embarrassing, but it might end up with civil penalties on most parts of the world.

While all that is true, there are some habits that it may never matter if you take them up or not. Writing is a great example. Many people don’t write. In fact many people give up reading anything longer than the first couple paragraphs of a news story or even street signs once they get away from any formal education. So taking up writing as a habit is definitely not necessary. You won’t physically suffer, you won’t even be embarrassed (unless, of course you’ve gone and told everybody that your novel is coming out soon and they start asking probing questions about the plot, the character, and how your spending that big advance from the publisher – making up fanciful stories to impress your friends is a habit you should get rid of. I’m talking about building habits, not removing them. Some other time).

These “non-essential” habits can make huge differences in your life though. They can break up monotony, they can be a foundation for new achievements and enable you to reach places you couldn’t otherwise (these are the kinds of habits I’m looking to build up here).

These are the habits that might go unnoticed if you don’t start them, but that people will surely notice once they’re established. So can you decide to take a break from them? At your peril! Well, let me back off from that a bit. It’s good to know you can take a break and get back to it. That’s a sign that the habit is engrained and you have developed a patter of behavior or skill. But the danger is the ease at which a building habit can be abandoned.

I guess I’m talking in theory here, but you should be able to hold your plans loosely enough that you aren’t reduced to a pile of tears and disappointment if you miss a day or an opportunity to continue your habit. I’m not there yet. So I will soldier on with today’s entry.

Hmm, can you till it was later in the morning and I was trying to hold two conversations while composing this? I can. See you tomorrow.

Tomorrow I want to talk about “To Do’s” vs. “Will Do’s”

A Devotional Life Sets the Tone

Disciple, Learning, Spiritual 2 Comments

A few questions for myself. If asked:

Do you pray? Answer: Yes, I pray often.
Do you study the Bible? Answer: Yes, yes I do.

Oh, that sounds wonderful. But let’s go a little deeper…

Do you pray and study the Bible consistently??  Oh, well, uh, er.  Easier said than done.

I mean, I go on weekend retreats where I’m expending tons of mental energy.  I have visits with family that make a normal routine impossible.  With meetings and activities that I’ve signed up to participate in, life gets very busy.  And I have a personality that tends to be easily distracted.

What does that sound like to you?  Reasoning?  Rationalization?  Excuses?  Maybe a few more questions would be helpful.  Do you clothe yourself regularly?  Yes, definitely, without exception.  Do you brush your teeth each day?  Sometimes more than once!  Do you shower daily?  With a few exceptions, but I would say for the vast majority, yes, regularly.  And do you regularly have a meal?  Um, check my waistline, I am not deprived – I make it to the table … regularly.

So the question isn’t whether a devotional life can be done, or if the busyness of life can be accounted for.  The question is on which list do these activities rest?  So reasoning aside.  Let’s get to taking action!

I have been using Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading Method since January of 2011.  I liked the nerdiness of it.  For me it required a spreadsheet to keep track.  You read 10 chapters a day from 10 different lists.  The goal isn’t to deeply meditate on the word, but to read it through and soak it in.  Let familiarity grow and gain insight from the ever changing combination of the chapters as they juxtapose themselves in the daily readings.

This method can take 45 minutes.  The goal is to get through, not to stop and think.  That is what made it difficult.  Not to mention my sporadic participation.  So I fell behind, and what seemed like a good system – and one that has worked better for me than any I’ve yet encountered (or so I thought)… Became a drudgery.

Then I had another epiphany.  A cousin of mine (once removed, technically) started posting on Facebook that he was reading a daily reading from I went and checked it out.  It’s pretty nice.  It has online Bibles and reading plans and it encourages you to share what your doing through Facebook or Twitter.  It’s not quite there yet, it takes about 5 clicks on their site to get to where I’m ready to read.  But it’s worth supporting (I gave them a link, as you see).

I found old Prof. Horner’s reading plan there.  So I signed up and got started.  I  didn’t make it too far, maybe a week?  Before seeing that a new tool doesn’t make a habit happen – the activity does.  A new pen, or a new laptop, doesn’t make you a writer – writing does.  That sage advice aside, I wanted a plan that was not fighting against me.  I wanted to study God’s word, not just read it.  So I started looking at other plans.

And that’s how I got to this post this morning.  I came across a devotional plan that I was introduced to back in 2003, or was it 2005?  I’m not sure (I should probably research that for my future biographers…).  But I remember Pastor Dean sharing his discovery with the elders.  It is the Life Journal Reading Plan from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro (he’s in Hawaii, how can you not praise God when you pastor there??).  But I’m on the plan and I want to share it with you – or at least share what I like about it:

  1. It is a plan for study, there is a daily reading assignment.  From the reading you focus in on a verse or passage – called a Scripture.  Then you write out an Observation and an Application of that scripture.  And finally you have a Prayer regarding what you’ve studied (and you write those four segments in a “Life Journal” S.O.A.P. << cleaning up an ungodly life 😉 ).  So you end up having a commentary in the Bible written by you!  That’s handy.
  2. There are only 4-5, or so chapters each day.  Much smaller and manageable.
  3. The plan completes the Bible in a year, so you don’t get the variety.  An a given date you will always be reading the same grouping of chapters.  But that gives an advantage too…
  4. It’s something you can share!  You can do together!  If, for some reason, you decided to join me – we would be reading the same verses each day.  If you saw me today you could say, “Ah Paul really polished it off there at the end of 2nd Corinthians, didn’t he?”  We’d smile, we’d wink, and maybe we’d talk about what impressed us today.  We could even share our journal entries and have a little impromptu study… I really like that possibility.

So with those reasons, I’m chugging ahead.  Join me if you like.  Who knows, I may even get a paper Journal and write with ink or something.  Now I’d have to be pretty inspired to try some kind of craziness like that!

What do you think?  Join me?  Not joining me?  Skeptical that I’ll keep up?  Tell me so in the comments – I love being motivated to create life changing habits … and when I’ve made it we can look back and comment that “I did it all … just to spite you!”  << that’ll be a post for another time.

Reviving an Abandoned Outpost

Disciple, Learning, Will Do No Comments

This site has been left to it’s own devices since I was in the hospital a year and a half ago. I’m thinking about re-branding this place, adding some curtains and changing the direction.

I need a place on the web to just splatter random thoughts. A public-private partnership (that just sounds so good… I think every endeavor should have a public-private partnership. It just would be so integrated) between hopes and dreams and actions and plans. The name is snappy, the URL is short. It definitely doesn’t roll off the tongue. It’s also not something you could give a shout out to on radio or in a podcast (hint, hint). But that’s not the intention. This is a place that you either “run into” by searching for all kinds of weirdness – or I let it slip to you that it even exists.

It’s an illusion hiding right in front of your face. It’s there in your browser, just one click away. Well, that’s the big idea.

So what kind of things am I expecting to go here?

I know that it’s always easier to have someone else hold you accountable, in fact that the way it should be. I just don’t have anyone who’s applied for that job at the moment. So this would be the place. I will make statements here, I will lay down markers here. And as they are reviewed – either commenters will hold me to account, or I’ll do it myself in some sort of review process. << oh, a review process... very needed by me. And if I can figure out a way to do it systematically I could share it with others to generally improve the world. Journaling
I continue to struggle with this. I thought that SetOfSail would be the place for this, but there’s a definite theme over there. I might cross post that way, but this would be where the sloppy 1st draft would go and then the polish thought would be shared there. So that wasn’t the place to put a mess like this.

Forbidden Topics
This is the one that will get me in all the trouble, and I know it. I am passionate about things that make people mad – specifically religion and politics. These are the things that people seem the most opinionated about and if you find that a person is on the other side of your cherished opinion, you have a tendency (a compulsion? hmm…) to judge and ridicule someone with a different viewpoint. I’ve been told, by a few, that I do better than most at seeing perspectives other than my own (maybe it’s because I’m a Libra << naw, that's worse than hogwash (what is hogwash, it’s surely got to have some serious stick associated with it…)).

So that being said, I will on occasion explore religious topics from my peculiar, and some would say fanatical, point of view. I will also be talking some political and economic trash. So, this is your warning. If you don’t like that sort of thing or you are afraid that you will think less of me after reading along, then don’t. But I would leave you with this thought on that. If you read an opinionated post on a taboo subject and you think differently of me because of it. Did I change, or did you? I had that opinion before when you liked me, so by reading it you have changed. Is that good or bad? I don’t know if it’s either. But I can say that you have more control over your thoughts and opinions than you think you do. So I would urge you to bring those thoughts front and center and be more self-aware. And if you wouldn’t mind, you could keep on thinking I’m more than the wildly random thoughts I produce. I still think you’re worth hearing from and by your choice the feeling can continue to be mutual.

Yeah, I can get a little down in the dumps sometimes. I am told I can be hard on people close to me. I am often harder on myself. That may show through, but this might just be how I wrestle through and come to grips with myself. So cut me some slack here. Hey, were you invited in the first place? OK, I probably did do that – but if I choose not to respond to every piece of advice understand that I’m not saying don’t bring it, I’m just saying I don’t have to buy it. Are we cool?

If I were organized…
I’ll end with a couple of things that I’d like to conquer daily (yeah, this is heavily influenced by my unfogettable five. Actually, that’s pretty much the list. If I could do that, or use this blog to hold myself to that – things’d be swell.

Let’s just see. (Am I doubting myself already?? )

The Week of Blogging

Disciple, Learning, Will Do No Comments
Time to try something new. Time to see about making things stick. Time to inaugurate a new ritual. Time to make the power of habits work for me instead of against me. Time to get going.

It would seem that 2009 was a bad year for writing to this blog. I stopped at the end of ’08 and now it’s late February in 2010! I haven’t decided if it matters much that I have older posts on here from my attempts at getting started as an Internet marketer. I think it’s quaint and if you see the history there – then you know I haven’t decided to nuke them.

Those old posts will stay for now mainly because I want this site to be a bit messy. I don’t want to get all up tight because it isn’t perfect, because I’m not perfect and I don’t want any of my internally voiced excuses to pull me down. It is what it is and I’m going to make incremental changes and improvements instead of trying to “unveil a masterpiece.”

I have created a blogging schedule and we’ll see how it maps out. Basically I’ll be writing something to publish on Thurs – Sun. So Mon – Wed is idea generation time and preparation time. It may be too big of a bite to handle. Maybe I should start small and master just one post a week for a while. Maybe I should get some momentum going.

Or maybe it’s just time to take action, to get started, maybe it is time to try something new.

Posted via email from Mykl Kelsey’s posterous

I want to have a social network using Joomla!

Learning No Comments

I’m trying to get a web site up and going. It has the potential to have definite social networking component to it. It’s running under Joomla! 1.5.7 (for now) and I’m looking for some extensions to really allow for interactivity.

Everyone recommends Community Builder. I guess I never figured that thing out. It just looks like a really fancy way to enhance user profiles. And without giving you extended group and private groups and all the things I wish Joomla! gave you out of the box. Maybe it does and I am a neophyte in the ways of CB. Then on top of that I guess I need to add FireBoard, something for media sharing, and something like GroupJive I guess for teams and such.

I have also tried to integrate with KickApps. It looked promising, except that would be splashing adds on my site. Not the end of the world, but not really desirable either. Plus I could never quite get the single sign on module to work. Again, I don’t think I understand how that is supposed to work. You have your users browsing back and forth between your site and the KickApps site.

Maybe I should just try to grow my community on Facebook or FriendFeed or Twitter or something… I just found out about a new alternative coming out from rmcStudio – it seems rather new and untested though.

Maybe there is something better suited out there. If I were really motivated, I could look into writing or contributing to an Open Source project to achieve this goal myself. I am not motivated.

Running the gauntlet

Business, Learning, Observations No Comments

These next 3-4 weeks will be pretty stressful for me. I’m in the process of having some software tested and released. Why is this stressful? It’s not complete to my satisfaction!

Here is a thought about projects. I’ve used it in the software arena, but it may be helpful to you in other areas of your life.

There are only three things you can change to get a project completed.

  1. You can change the due date and give yourself more time to reach completion (the most sane option in my opinion).
  2. You can get help!  Have people join in.  For complicated projects, there will be a ramp up cost.  Don’t forget that.
  3. You can sacrifice quality and just “deliver something.”

It has been the story of my life that I am rarely brave enough to use #1, I’ve never been wise enough to try #2 (although I’m eying that option very carefully), and I find myself time and again facing #3.

But the way I’ve handled things in the past is that I would rather just miss a deadline and not turn out anything, than the turn out something I’m not satisfied with.  This could tend toward perfectionism.  This may be why I haven’t blogged so consistently..  I want to have quality things to say.

I’m just wondering, but maybe life is better when you “just get something out there.” Let it face criticism and then hone and revise.  This would lead toward a satisfactory product instead of striving for something flawless out of the gate.

Something to consider – what do you think?  Are these the only three options for a project, or are there others?  Are you a perfectionist?  What do you think about the draft – revision cycle?  Is that how you really work?  What works for you and what are you doing currently?  Are they the same thing?

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Personal Development Partners

Learning No Comments

I was encouraged by a little nudge from Aaron over at Personal Development Partners to report on my progress from a committed goal of getting back to regular exercise in November.  Although the topic over there is very interesting, I would like to say a few words about the value of web communities.

People might wonder, “Why would I sit online and type short messages to people I may have never even met?”  Ok, for most other people they would be short messages – I don’t seem able to do that.  That’s neither here nor there; it’s not my point.  My point is that many people don’t see the point.  Get my point?

So I want to give you a few reasons why I feel that it is beneficial to find a community that you can join – and contribute to.  Just going and reading forums can be addictive – there’s a voyeuristic quality to it.  That’s why they call it “lurking,” as in lurking in the shadows.  So why participate in these communities.  Oh, oh, I feel a list coming on…

  1. You get to meet distant people.  Sure you can meet people in real life.  But from Australia?  From Guatemala (or Canada 😉 )?  Not much of that happening pretty much in the populational and geographical center of the ole’ U.S. of A. (actually that center is about 2 hours south and west of here, but close enough.)
  2. You can find people with similar interests.  This beats bar hopping!  I know people who have had romantic involvements with people that went really bad.  “Why did this happen to me?” they moan.  Well what did you have in common?  You both were willing to troll around in a smoky bar looking for love in all the wrong places.  Why not go where you can find people with the same mindset and interests as yourself.  I also know people who have met online and gotten married (well, only two off the top of my head – but that’s not insignificant!).  They knew (and loved) each other from the inside out.  Which brings me to my next point.
  3. You get to know people by their character and their thoughts and opinions – not just their looks.  One of the big advantages to online communities is you don’t have the problem of judging the book by the cover.  You are forced to at least skim the contents.  I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of an online community and then have a party were members came from near (mostly near – this was college days…) and far (like states away…) to meet in person.  It is a huge shock!  There was one guy who was a close friend online, but when I met him I thought, “If I saw him coming down the street my way, I’d cross to the other side for safety!”  Hey, King Zombie, if you’re out there drop me a line… I haven’t heard from you for forever!  — Elias  (sorry about that, but you never know what Google will dredge up…?)
  4. You get to have your own thoughts and assumptions about life challenged and stretched.  You can do this in person as well, but with such a high concentration of activity online – it is magnified and intensified.  There’s nothing like an advanced course in multiple perspectives that will open your eyes to how small your world view has been.
  5. Oh, come on, there’s got to be at least 5 reasons!!  Oh here’s one, “they’re always there for you.”  No not in the sense of emotional support, although that’s available in many places.  I mean that it’s a place that’s jumpin’ in all 24 time zones.  It doesn’t matter when your where you are – you can hop online and engage with others.

Well that’s a little starter for reasons to participate with others online.  Now I’m still learning all this social networking stuff (is that the same as Web 2.0? I don’t really think so…  Ok, don’t drift off – stay on target…).  So I’m going to take this opportunity to try to link this post over to the community mention in the title up there.  I’m also going to do what I see at the end of so many other blog posts – let’s see how this works…

So, how about you?  Do you participate in online communities?  Why or why not?  Do you have other reasons why you do(n’t)?  Leave a comment here and tell me, er I mean us, about it.

(not too cheesy was it?  I sure hope I have my comments functionality properly enabled.  That would be embarrassing wouldn’t it?  I probably should’ve checked before I posted.  No time now, if I don’t go exercise I’ll miss my window of opportunity and have to go on to work!)

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Andrew Nez gives his reason for quitting education and moving to iBusiness

Learning No Comments

Andrew was a veteran at the Thirty Day Challenge. And he has decided to pursue an online career. He gave this video as a rationalization for why. This is really something to think about.

I added this article thinking that you’d be able to see the video here, but I guess you would have to leave the site by clicking on “read more” below…  I would like a better solution.

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