Friday, November 30, 2007

"Kicking over the traces" isn't easy - but it's something your intuition says you must do...

Spent this week just cranking out some products and posting them on Lulu. I was simply editing some PLR and public domain works and getting them up.

This was off an inspiration that if I was going to get more sales from Lulu, I simply needed to publish more. Lulu has an internal network which does buy new stuff, but this falls off after a month or so. Lulu is an Internet child, and its community mostly buys downloads, and wants new, fresh content. Bestsellers are mostly programming books - so there is "geek" aspect to everything.

Now editing is hard work. It isn't simply putting someone else's writing up with your name on it. Not that it doesn't go quickly when you get started, but you have to stay at it and "git 'r done".

- - - -

The subject today is about frustration. This comes from having a goal but not making it fast enough - and having blocks in your way which you yourself put there.

You got that right - you put your own blocks there.

Now you had a great deal of help from the life you lead, the schools you went to, the friends you've hung out with, your parents, the government, the books you read, the magazines you've subscribed to, the TV shows you've been watching...

For all these build in your patterns, your habits. And these are what you base your decisions on. Along this line, you've been very carefully trained not to listen to your intuition, or "voices in your head". Most people are trained not to be creative.

Essentially, we've been trained to work in a factory or a cubicle for a 40-day week. And meekly submit to the overtime tasks we're assigned. Part of this is to use our credit cards and build up our debt so that we can't simply live off our savings for awhile - or make our living with our own hands, marketing for ourselves.

We've more or less been trained to be wage-slaves. And that is where the "traces" in the above comes in. Traces are part of the harness to connect an animal to your wagon.

What I want to do (and have been working this out for you, too) is to get out of these shackles which we've accepted and start living for ourselves - to be truly free. I cover this mostly in Go Thunk Yourself, S'more! - and have more on this in various blog posts. But the core principle is that you've accepted various patterns from the people around you and you can change them if you want to.

Not all of these patterns are bad - manners is a set of good habits, which always need polishing.

But the habits which get in your way, which hold down your ability to be creative - or any of your abilities at all - those habits are the ones you have to confront and change.

The key habit most of us have is this 40-hour-week mess.

Practically, people used to work much longer, with no overtime pay - until they passed a law about it (the same people who passed a law which takes your taxes out before you ever see them - and then doesn't pay you interest when you get your refund...)

What you see around you is a rigged system. It is a system because it works if you agree with it and apply it according to the rules. It's rigged, because it's not an easy system to break out of - our entire economy is based on it and it's reinforced by all the media around us.

However, once you see it for what it is, you can quite easily break out of it - but it's going to take some hard work on your part.

There's probably an ebook in here somewhere, but for today, let's look at the broad view:
  1. Turn off the TV. Start spending some time with yourself.
  2. Pay off your debts. Quit using credit cards for credit - pay them off.
  3. Start doing what you've always wanted to do, what you like to do, what's fun.
  4. Cheer people up around you and help them live their own lives.
Taking those step by step:

Turn off the TV - start spending some time with yourself.

This isn't really all that hard - you think. But you really have to get this influence out of your life. OK, maybe you should turn it on to see what the weather is, and maybe the sports scores, but you can also get these from the Internet. And also turn that Internet off - unless it's making you money already as part of your job - but you want some free time, so when you're not working, turn that computer off. TV, computer, radio - everything off.

What you're working on here is to get part of your life back and start thinking for yourself.

Once you start taking time to really find out what you yourself are all about, then you can see where you want to head to.

Pick up a book like Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, or anything by Earl Nightingale. Something on achievement, personal success. That's the fire you want to stoke - you want to start finding out what you've always wanted to do, be, or achieve. Listen to motivational tapes, like Brian Tracy, or Wayne Dyer on your way to work instead of the radio.

Get this into a regular schedule for yourself. FOR YOURSELF.

Pay off your debts. Quit using credit cards for credit - pay them off.

Credit cards charge you as much as they can legally and would be perfectly happy having you pay only the interest for the rest of your life if they didn't legally have to make you pay off your bill.

You already know how much you make each week. Learn to live within that budget. Quit buying anything on credit that you can't pay off that week with money you already have in the bank.

One tip on this is to get a debit card and transfer all your monthly bills to it. In that way, you don't continue to stack up debts.

Now, once you're able to live in what you make, start taking one dime out of every dollar you make and put in into savings and leave that strictly alone. If you did this from the first job you ever had, you'd have over a million dollars in reserve by the time you got too old to work anymore (what they call retirement). But it would be your money, not the government's.

There are ways to make it become more than a million or two, but for now, let's just set up a savings account that no one touches and you can't get to it except in a dire emergency.

Now, back to those credit cards. It's OK to use them as long as you can pay them off that week or by the end of the month. You don't want to ever have a standing amount there.

How to get rid of that standing amount? First, quit adding to it. Second, pay more than what they ask for - that rate is designed to keep you paying for about 30 years or more. Third, get some more income from another source to pay this debt down.

I tell people to start a business. For some, it would be simpler to get another job and then use all that extra income to pay down that debt. Once all your credit card bills are covered, quit that extra job. That next day.

You are working to get your own life back. You need to spend more time on yourself, your family.

Start doing what you've always wanted to do, what you like to do, what's fun.

Most people don't listen to themselves very well. All around you are hints to what you've always liked to do, what makes you happy, what lightens up your day.

Those are the things you were put here to do. You probably won't find them by listening to radio or watching TV or reading popular magazines or newspapers. Because what you really want to do isn't particularly popular. It's personal. Personal to you.

But the whole point is that you start listening to yourself and finding what you want to do with your own life.

There's a certain amount of faith in yourself, and a fair amount of appreciating the serendipitous events that surround you. In this day and age, a new word - synchronicities - has shown up. Both really mean that various circumstances have conspired to bring you a realization about yourself, or a chance to improve your life, or something you can learn about yourself or others. Two or three things, not normally related, occur in the same time and space. Circumstance - you know, happens while you're standing around; or happens around you wherever you are standing. Something like that.

At any rate, you have to start listening to and observing the world around you to get your clues. What you are looking for are things that make you happy, that cheer you up. When you start pursuing these motivation points, you start finding your purpose in life - or, as Wayne Dyer states, you let it find you.

As you find this and refine it, you can start getting rid of the stuff in your life which doesn't support your dreams and life-purpose. You don't have to do it all at once, but you want to keep working in the direction of what makes you happiest in life - you want to start being the person you've "always wanted to be", to do the things which will help you accomplish or acquire the things you've always wanted.

Cheer people up around you and help them live their own lives.

I've included this as this is the only effective way you are ever going to get on purpose in your own life - help others get on-purpose in theirs.

Means you are going to have to help them find out for themselves what cheers them up and works to improve their lives. They probably won't know. But the best way to help them figure it out is to get them off their bitches and gripes and start to make the world around them better because they are more cheerful about it.

People who constantly have their attention on how bad things are only see the bad things around them. They don't have time to look for the nice things that are happening to them, they don't know how to look for their own purpose.

The underlying reason for this is as old as the oldest texts and legends we have on this planet - The Golden Rule. If you want people to help you, you have to help them - first. If you want more pleasant people around you, start smiling and complimenting them for the good things they do.

That rule has been in place in all the great religions of this planet, all the philosophers have known it, all legends tell of its use (or misuse). Modernly, they call a version of it the "Law of Attraction". But it works the same way regardless of what you call it - as long as you know how it works, you can make your life anyway you want it, you can be, do, achieve, or acquire anything you want.

The trick is in helping others achieve what they want. First. Earl Nightingale pointed this out in his gold recording, "The Strangest Secret". He correctly observed that you earn money by first providing a service to others. The greater your service, the greater amount they want to pay you. But your service is first.

The shopkeeper has to offer good-quality items for sale, he also has to rent or buy a storefront and keep it open when people are around to buy from him.

The manufacturer has to create products and then sell them to shopkeepers - they have to be of good quality and affordable.

Computer factories like Dell seem to get this backward, but actually, they have a great system in place with customer service and online sales networks where you can place your order and they build your system to spec - after they recieve your order. By not having to keep a large amount of stock on hand, they can actually produce exactly what you want - faster and at a lower cost. Most of the time you are waiting for your order is in the regular shipping, not in the 24 hours it takes to build and test your computer. (I've worked in warehouses and know it can take two or three days or more to get your order filled and onto a truck to begin the shipping process - so having a company who can build your product in less than the time it takes for someone to pull it is a much better deal.)

So it's being successful first and then the money follows. What's success? Knowing what you really want to accomplish in life and then steadily achieving your plans and goals toward that end. The only real failures are those who gave up in ever working out what their purpose is and what they want to do in their lives. They started being someone else in order to let someone's company pay for their living. The factory, the office, the warehouse - these are filled with people who are just spending their lives on someone else's dime.

But I'm talking here to you - someone who wants something better in life. And there are damned few of you (and me) to go around. It's always been this way. But as we continue to work at achieveing our own freedom, our own individual purpose, the bulk of society comes around - slowly and by painful degrees.

You can have a much better life than you've lived to date. You can achieve what others say is impossible. You can be happy almost all the time - and have around you a life and belongings which are just the way you like them.


Because you gave up following the pack and kicked over your own traces to start finding the life you've always wanted.

So start today, now. Turn off the TV, turn off the Internet, go take a walk around the block or in the countryside, or a large park. Listen to yourself, to your heart. And start to sing the songs your intuition has been trying to teach you for so long...

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