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…)

Everyday is a Busy Day

Observations No Comments

It seems like one of the biggest excuses, at least in my circles, is being too busy.  Busy or not, we all have the same amount of time in our day.  We get to choose to fill it up with busy activities or to relax, or to just be a bump on a log.  But we choose busy because we think busy gets us where we want to be.  Most of us don’t know where that is.  So as I have heard said before, “I don’t know where I’m headed – but I’m making good time.”

Activity isn’t achievement.  We have to put some thought into where it is we want to be in order to have our busyness count for something.  For it to be effective in moving us in that direction.

Some of this busyness we bring on ourselves, but some of it is just a fact of life in our modern world.  I guess I’m saying you may be able to reduce it, but I am skeptical that, short of heading off to live in the woods, you won’t be able to eliminate it.

So the key will be to reduce where you can and rise above where you can’t.  Accept that you will have some measure of busyness and you still need to do something to move in the right direction.

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”

The Tip of The Spear

Observations No Comments

OK, here we go – or is it here we go again?  I have been simmering on some seemingly random thoughts lately and I’ve wanted to put them down someplace.  This site is dedicated to my silly, undisciplined thoughts and ideas.  So, this may be just the place to go.

I’ve been thinking about where I want to go with my business ideas and how the gap between where I am and where I see myself appears just too far to jump across.  But I read in e-zines and different articles on the Internet that this very gap is not nearly as far as it seems – so take a run at it!  OK, I’m hearing that.  But just like jumping into a pool for those of us with sensitive nerve endings, there is a little bit of courage that must be screwed up first.  To be honest, this journey began for me in December of 1999…  it’s almost 2009!  I mean jump or else head on down the same drudgery road your on!

So maybe with that introduction, you are in the same place that I am.  This brings me to the tip of the spear, or “what’s the point?”  Why, exactly, am I wanting to start these ventures?  Or why should I buy one more “program” (for between $17 and $497) that is going to put the last piece of the puzzle in place?  I obviously don’t have a big enough “why” in my mind.  So here’s the “why” I’m operating under:

“I want to be able to have a venture that can sustain my family, that can give me time freedom to pursue passions and ministries that may not have a financial reward, and to build a legacy of action and a pathway that my children and others who are interested can follow.”

Now there may be some logical and motivational holes in that proposition.  For instance, maybe I should find a way to turn those passions and ministries into the sustaining venture.  Ok, point taken.  This is where I am right now.  I’m needing to see some sort of financial recompense to help me see through the hype.  (Don’t you think a decade of hype is long enough?)  I’ve seen enough plans that for just a few hundred bucks they can get me around that corner.  Um, to borrow a movie phrase, “Show me the money.”  As opposed to “here is my money.”

So I have set out my why as the tip of the spear, now the forces behind that would include areas of emphasis – these may not make sense to you, dear reader, but they do to me so skip this list if you like…

  1. Family & Friends
  2. Reconciliation
  3. The sailing catch-all
  4. Local ministry

These sum up my entire on-line empire as I envision it.  I have started on 1 & 2, I have big ideas for 3, and I am holding my own on 4.  I need to get a ground game to push these ahead.  So here is another list that I’ve been holding in my brain for weeks and haven’t recorded anywhere – this one may interest more casual observers.  I call it “steps to conquer”.

  1. Monetization foundation (i.e. getting my PayPal accounts straightened out)
  2. Correspondence funnel (e.g. response channels, e-news formats and frameworks)
  3. Established sites (I have 3/4 of this done or, well, established at least)
  4. Find the right help (I may have to hold this one off until further down the line)
  5. Churn, churn, churn. (i.e. Taking bold and unequivocal action!!  The biggie. Does this post count?)
  6. Get the word out ( this is where the iMarketing world finally makes sense)

Wow, staring me in the face I feel like there should be 10-15 steps that I’ve forgotten.  That looks pretty short.  This is exactly why writing out your goals, dreams, and ideas comes so highly recommended.

Well, my goal was to just get it out of my head and recorded.  If you read this post by accident, I’m afraid your insurance won’t cover you.  But stay tuned, because this is where the “change” will be recorded.

Oh!  That reminds me!  Speaking of change.  I have set myself a goal to have this online endeavor earning me a 5-figure income by Nov. of 2012.  If I can make that kind of shift in these kind of times… well, let’s just say there’s a story in there somewhere.

Heading Into the Fall of 2008

Observations No Comments

Notice I didn’t say the crash of 2008, because that’s a different topic. One thing I’ve picked up recently – the way people are acting about this latest crash, tells me very clearly that trickle down economics works. People complain that improvements in the economy cannot come from freeing up those at the top to achieve.

But when times are bad, people sure complain that the pain is coming from those at the top.  The shortages and pain sure trickle down.  So it would seem that the trickle down philosophy does match the reality as people see it.

15,000 days

Observations No Comments

Today was my 15,000th day since being born.  It’s a great time to ask, “And what have you done with 15,000 chances?”

I have decided that taking action is what needs to be done in the next 15,000 days.  So stay tuned to see just what’s going to happen.  (Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it?)

Global Warming and What is Truth?

Observations No Comments

I read an article this morning about how there are macro (100,000 year, 41,000 year, and 23,000 year) temperature cycles based on our planets orbital irregularities.  And that there are also micro (1,500 year) cycles based on variations in the sun’s – a.k.a. the ‘ultimate’ cause of all global warming – cycles of activity.

There was also a little bit about the famous “hockey stick” of a long period of tame temperatures and then a big spike at the end proposed by a Dr. Mann.  And how his poor statistical analysis makes even random numbers introduced into his calculations come up with this kind of alarming curve.

This is all well and good.  I tend to think global warming is overblown.  If it’s true, I’m looking forward to milder winters and hot summers aren’t so bad.  I just haven’t been convinced by hysteria that man is what’s causing it and that if we wold just breath less – or eliminate others who keep exhaling these toxic fumes like Carbon Dioxide – we would save the world.

The article is here if you want to read it yourself… CONSERVATIVE CORNER: Global warming “” right on schedule

What did catch my attention was a statement made about Greenland and it’s example of these mini temperature cycles – here’s a quote:

Greenland (aptly named at the time it was settled by Eric the Red) became a thriving Viking colony, known for its fertile coastal farmland and bountiful ice-free waters — that is until the Little Ice Age turned it into an ice-covered wasteland, surrounded by pack ice. Yet Greenland’s ongoing recovery from the Little Ice Age is treated as an enigma today.

Now this is not what I was taught in elementary school!  I was taught that those tricky Vickings didn’t want to share the good stuff with everyone so they named Greenland because it was all icy and they named Iceland to keep people away from the little paradise they had discovered.

Now I’m reading that Greenland was green before this ”little ice age” between 1300 and 1850.  What are the facts?

My point is this: we need to be very careful about what we believe just because we are told it.  Or at the very least we need to keep in mind that we could always be wrong.  Not only does this keep us humble, it also keeps us from looking like a fool when the rest of the data comes rolling in to contradict what we so vehemently defended.

Does this mean we should never stand for anything?  Of course not!  Just be willing to look like a fool for doing it.  And that’s alright by me! 

Set of Sail towards 2008

Observations, Will Do No Comments

I haven’t posted at all through December. But I don’t want the current to slip by without making some mention of where I’m going. My last post mentioned some musings I was having about direction. I’m settling down to something more concrete. For one thing I’ve decided on just one book to work on for starters. Focus… focus. The working title is Set of Sail.

I’m working on consolidating some other goals. I currently have a list of 12 for 2008. I’m trying to decide if I can live with such a deluge or whether I should try for 10, 7, 5, or maybe just 3. You’ll know in just a few days – because I will post back here before the end of the year (this is why I added the Will Do category to this post).

I’m also getting some experience with audio and video on blogs from our family blog over at thekelseys.  Hopefully this will translate into a more media savvy web presence in general and ultimately a stream of income from putting together an audio or video package of helpful information.

Laura’s headed off to the grocery store and I better get ready for my last day of “in the office” work this year (tomorrow is my last “work from home” day for the year).

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Thoughts toward annual goals – 2008

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I’ve been putting some time into thinking about setting some goals for next year. I’ve been concentrating pretty hard on my “day job” as we head into testing and prepare for an impending release – ready or not. As an aside, software development schedules are so ridiculous – with all these smart people, you would think that common sense would enter in somewhere.

Anyway, enough about them; let’s talk about me.

Take the technical trek?

One of the biggest issues I’m working through is what kind of projects I want to concentrate on over the coming months. I really want to put together a book. In fact I have two and a half ideas for content. One on a religious topic and one and a half on life skills and personal improvement topics. I thought I would do the religious one first – but now I’m thinking that one would not provide the benefit for the effort extended. Most of the concepts I would cover are already adequately addressed elsewhere. Do I really need to have the same thing only my way?

That brings me to the second (and a half) book(s). Here again, I wouldn’t be presenting anything shockingly new. However, I am going after a different audience and I will be packaging the information in a new and, hopefully, meaningful way. So I think I’ll put my effort there. More on this soon. I want to break this task down into manageable bite sized pieces. Well see what happens.

With respect to software development – I don’t believe this is part of my long term vision for my life. But to transition out will take some serious planning and commitment. I am able to support my whole family from my current arrangement. If I’m going to replace that, I’m going to have to really get creative. If this is indeed my decision, I am going to lay out a ten year transition plan to make the switch. What? Is ten years too long? Should I shoot for five, or three? I’m not that confident yet – so I’m more comfortable with ten.

If that is my direction, I am not going to be able to dig into PHP and frameworks and try to become a web development guru. It’s not my path, it’s not really my passion, and it’s a diversion of tons of time and thought. In my line of work there is always the “build versus buy” decision. I’m deciding to buy instead of build. What are the ramifications of this?

  1. I’ll have to depend on others to get the results I want. I may even have to pay for something I could “just do myself.”
  2. I’ll have to collaborate, share, and work with others more. The ‘Lone Ranger’ strategy isn’t a winner here.
  3. I’ll have to give up on trying to solve technical issues myself as my knowledge becomes more generalized.

Those will be some things will take some swallowing. On the other hand, what technical knowledge I do keep up with will have to relate to my current “hold the fort” work.

Aligning with a vocation

So if I’m not going to be a technical nerd – what am I going to do?

  • Conflict resolution, mediation, coach counselor
  • Life coach
  • Financial counselor
  • Author
  • Web site manager
  • eMarketer
  • Tutor / teacher / educator
  • Minister

How do I take those options and coalesce them into one direction? They all generally relation to teaching or counseling others. The eMarketing comes in with including the Web as a venue for activity. Helping people in their situations, financial, relational, or spiritual are all underlying motivations. This needs more definition, but it also need some sort of monetization model. Do I write materials or a book and offer that as a product? Do I sell my time for coaching or to give presentations? I don’t want to sell time – that’s what I’m currently doing. There has to be a better way.

Shoring up the underpinnings.

I also want to focus on the fundamentals. My physical improvement, my mental growth, strengthening my family, and becoming organized and proactive. These are all areas that can only improve by small incremental victories gained over a sustained period of time. But without a plan, these little victories aren’t planned or won. Here are some areas that I would like to focus on:

  • Family relationships – making plans as a family. Becoming the best family we can be. Setting complementary goals.
  • Physical exercise – not to reach a weight, but to gain energy and improve my quality of life as I age.
  • Financial tracking – testing and tracking personal and business accounts is the baseline for improvement.
  • Processing information once, whether paper or electronic. Putting things in their proper place.

I know many of these things are pretty vague – but I still have some time to further define these things. I’m just putting these here so they are somewhere. If you would like to add your thoughts or reflections – feel free!

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