Tag Archives: Goals

My Brain To Your Brain

Are You Sick Of Emotional Fast Food?

The human body is a pretty impressive system.

We are capable of living in some very harsh environments.

This was BEFORE we invented anything like hot water, electricity, or plumbing.

One of our body’s functions is to regulate our body temperature.

When we get cold, we shiver, which generates more heat.

When we are hot, we perspire, the breeze hits our sweat, and we cool off.

A natural thermostat.

Our energy needs are similarly self-regulating.

When we are low on “fuel” we get “hungry.”

This compels us to find something to eat.

When we finish eating, we get sleepy.

This is not only the safest time to sleep (it will be a while before we need to look for food again), but it gives us more energy to digest the food.

One of our under-appreciated systems that regulates our social behaviors is the ego.

It’s very similar to our hunger (which keeps us with enough energy) and our temperature regulation system.

But much like our hunger, it has no idea what to do with modern society.

Our hunger, obviously, is going CRAZY in our modern world.

It’s like those crazy WWII soldiers who lived in the jungle for decades, thinking the war was still going on.

Our hunger instinct STILL THINKS that food is scarce.

So it makes us eat way more than we need to.

Our ego, the collection of social instincts, is the same.

It is getting misfired all the time.

But unlike our hunger, our ego KNOWS the difference between healthy ego food and fake ego food.

The unique problem with our is unlike hunger, it’s nearly impossible to know when it’s “feeding.”

But the good news is that once you learn to recognize when you’re feeding your ego “junk food” it’s very easy to switch.

Because the ego (unlike our hunger) HATES junk food.

So when you take the time to re-train it, life will be MUCH easier.

No more rejection, no more social anxiety, no more social worries.

Learn More:

Ego Taming

Only She Knows What's Really Up

Are They Stealing Your Future?

There’s a somewhat common scene in comedies.

Often it’s when one guy is trying to poison another guy.

The guy suspects he’s being poisoned, and switches glasses.

But then he wonders if the other guy knew he would do that, and put the poison in his own glass.

So the guy switches back.

But then he wonders if the other guy anticipated THAT as well, and switches them back again.

There are other ways of presenting this slapstick style comedy.

Out-anticipating the other guy who is also trying to out-out-anticipate the first guy.

I know you know, but do you know that I know you know I know?

Despite how goofy this over-used routine is, most people rarely plan ahead.

And unfortunately, the powers that be like it that way.

Politicians and advertisers don’t like it when we are capable of thinking into the future and making rational choices.

Often times short term choices will add up to long term detriments.

But if we carefully plan our short term choices, so they add up to long term benefits, we can live longer, happier, more resourceful lives.

However, if we choose wisely, instead of impulsively, idiot politicians won’t get our votes and manipulative advertisers won’t get our money.

Here’s an interesting mind experiment to do next time you are shopping.

Imagine two ways of buying stuff.

One way is you’re carrying around your life savings in cash.

And not just cash, but silver. Like in the old westerns.

And every time you decided to buy something, you could physically feel your life savings get a little bit lighter.

The second way is the way we commonly buy stuff.

Even when paying with cash, it doesn’t feel like it.

Everything’s direct deposited and debited.

But if you actually felt your savings decrease by spending silver, you might think twice before deciding to buy something.

Of course, it feels good to buy stuff.

Especially when the cost is minimized. Swiping a plastic card and then getting a real thing, especially when a cute sales clerk smiles and says, “Thanks!” is a good feeling.

But whatever choices you DO make, they add up.

The billion dollar question is WHO are they adding up for?

Your benefit, or somebody else’s?

Fortunately, making tiny shifts in your daily behaviors WILL add up to a MASSIVE future.

Paradoxically, to create a big future with healthy happy relationships, you don’t need to do extraordinary things.

Just do very simple, very small things.

Do them every day.

And slowly take back your future.

Get Started:

Seven Disciplines

Social Confidence

Create A Group of Admirers

Social Confidence

We like it when things make sense.

When something happens that we don’t expect, it can be pretty confusing.

Once I was at a friends house, hanging out after dinner in their living room.

There was five or six of us, and we’d kind of drifted into two separate conversations.

Three in one, three in another.

But one person in each group, in each conversation, said, “No way!”

And everybody stopped for a second, heads spinning.

The two completely different conversations having overlapped in those two words was pretty cool. Then we all laughed and went on with whatever we were talking about.

This is kind of the idea behind the famous “handshake interrupt” from NLP.

Since most people think of a handshake as a single event, when you start talking in the middle it kind of trances people out.

When unexpected things happen that are BETTER than we expect, it’s almost like magic.

Like if you’re sure you failed a test, the teacher hands them back, face down, and you turn it over slowly, and are happily surprised to see you got a 92.

People can be the same way.

I once had this calculus professor. Super serious geek type. But then on Halloween he came in dressed in a goofy outfit and sang part of an Italian opera.

One way to impress people is how you handle the conversation.

Most people go around trying to “compete” with one another. Trying to tell the best stories, trying to be the “wittiest” guy in the conversation.

But when you start asking questions about the other person, and sit back and let them be the “cool one,” something interesting will happen.

If you walk up and tell an awesome story, they’ll remember you. But it will be conscious. They’ll clearly associate you with your stories, and you’re not-so-covert attempt to impress them.

But when you lay back and let them be the star, they’ll feel good, and they’ll SUBCONSCIOUSLY associate that good feeling with you.

If you make this your “go-to” conversation style, pretty soon everybody you know will really feel good when they think about you, and they won’t quite be sure why.

But you’ll know.

Click Here to learn more.

How To Stay Focused For Automatic Success


Once a long time ago I took a drive with a friend of mine. We started in Los Angeles, and our only goal was to make it to some city in New Jersey within a certain amount of time. I think it was something like five days. That’s about three thousand miles over five or six days, which is a lot of driving each day.

We had the route planned out, and our destination was clear enough, and the math was all figured out. Our basic plan was to wake up at six every morning, and start driving. We didn’t even figure on mileage per day, we just figured if we drove for twelve hours a day, with a minimum of stopping, we’d make it in time.

Sounds like a good plan, right? Only there was one thing we neglected to take into consideration. While this small detail didn’t affect the overall outcome of the trip, it made it a little bit more troublesome than we’d anticipated.

I had a friend once that really enjoyed math, and so he majored in math in university. He never really knew what he was going to do, he only knew that he liked math. He ended up being a high school teacher, but for a while he was a bit worried. When he graduated, he started looking through the want ads, and going to job seminars, and even went as far as to sign himself up with a few headhunters.

The thing about a degree in math is that by itself, it’s not all the applicable to very many industries. If you studied some kind of applied math like statistics, or actuarial science, you can do pretty well for yourself. I remember even reading several years ago about some huge ranking a major newspaper did on different jobs, using all kinds of factors like salary, working conditions, opportunities for advancement, etc. And an Actuary was ranked number one.

But my friend didn’t study any applications, just basic math theory. I think they called it foundations. Most people who focused on that aspect of math usually went on to get their PhD’s or something. Which was why my friend was a bit worried.

He figured just by doing something that he liked, that would be enough. Luckily, he really enjoys his teaching job, and he graduated when there was a severe shortage of math teachers in the public schools, so he could pretty much choose any school he wanted. But had he majored in something like history, or art or something, he wouldn’t have been nearly as lucky.

My other friend was much more specific. He studied a specific branch of electrical engineering. And when he was only halfway through university he already had talked to several different companies, and knew exactly what kind of people they hired, and what kinds of extra curricular backgrounds they liked for their fresh graduates. Needless to say, he was much more focused, and when he graduated he already had several offers lined up. And they were all for quite a bit of money. That must have been a pretty good feeling at graduation ceremony.

I went to this seminar once on goal setting. It was one of those local things they have every now and then down at the learning annex. This guy was saying that there are two kinds of goals. There are directional goals, and milestone goals. He said the directional goals are like walking toward the horizon. You will always walk in the same direction, but no matter how far you go, the horizon will always be a fixed location way off in front of you.

So long as you pick a point off in the distance, you’ll keep walking in the same direction. But if you only have a directional goal, it’s easy to get discourage, as you will never seem to make any progress. It’s tough to stay focused through will power alone.

On the other hand, there are milestone goals. Like if you pick something specific, and you know exactly what will happen when you achieve. Not only will you have something solid to look forward to, but you’ll also have evidence that you’ll collect along the way.

But if you only have a bunch of milestone goals, you could very well end up walking in a circle, so to speak. Each time you achieve your goal, you could pick another one, but if may take you back toward where you started. It’s easy to fall into a trap of oscillating back and forth between two extremes.

The best is to have a combination of the two. When you choose a solid directional goal, and several milestone goals that are lined up in the same direction, it would be like walking toward the horizon, and achieving several significant goals every so often along. These will be enough to keep you motivated and keep you going, and the horizon will always be there beckoning you to keep going. If you keep this up, pretty soon you’ll be accomplishing some pretty fantastic stuff, as they will tend to increase in size along the way.

The easiest way is to pick something way off in the distance, and then work your way backwards until you have several small pieces of achievements laid out in front of you just waiting for to start walking along your path and scoop them up along the way.

The funny thing that happened to us on the way to New Jersey was we’d get to six or seven at night, and figure we’d done enough driving. So we decide to stop for the night, only to look on our map and find that the next town wasn’t for another hundred miles or so. And when you’ve been driving for twelve hours, and you’re about ready for a cheeseburger and a couple beers, and a soft bed, another hundred miles is a long way.

But at least it was a hundred miles in the right direction. I’d hate to imagine what it would be like to realize we made a mistake and had to turn back for a hundred miles. That would be devastating.


To learn how to easily set, and achieve both short term and long-term goals, click below to learn some powerful NLP secrets:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Everything Is Temporary

Endless Horizons

I have a friend that lives in Korea. He’s never been to any other countries, and he told me the country he’d like to visit most is the United States. Not move there to live or anything, just to visit. I asked him why, and he gave me a rather peculiar answer, but it made sense after I thought about it for a while. And after he told me of his answer, I never looked at the world the same.

I remember when I was in third grade, when we first learned about plate tectonics. How all the continents are like giant pieces of an ancient jigsaw puzzle that used to fit together snugly, as one large mass of land. And of course, due to the structure of the Earth, the land can float around, albeit extremely slowly, at least according to human standards.

I remember asking my teacher how that was possible. She said that even though the Earth appeared to be a solid object, we can walk on the surface without falling through, it’s really liquid underneath. Really hot liquid, and the surface is really sort of floating around. She described it as a giant pie that’s cooking in the oven. The top is solid, or becomes solid while it cooks, but the inside is always liquid, especially if it’s an apple pie. And if you look at one of those time elapsed movies of an apple pie cooking, the surface will seem to expand a little bit, and move around.

There are many metaphors that are based on the “solidness” of the earth. Solid as a rock, immovable as a mountain etc. But these metaphors only hold true when compared to the attention span of your average human society, which isn’t nearly as long enough to appreciate the fluidity of a mountain range. The English language has only been around, in various forms, for a few thousand years at most. A mere blink compared to plate tectonics.

I remember once I was taking a sales course in handling objections. We learned many different ways to overcome a client’s reason for not buying our product or service. These are pretty handy techniques, and can be used in a variety of situations. One of the presuppositions of being able to out frame somebody’s objection is nobodies objection is ever set in stone.

They might not be able to buy today; right this second, but they will someday, or at least they think they will someday, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking to you. (Unless you happen to be a really aggressive door-to-door salesperson).

Whenever they give an objection, or a reason, or an excuse or whatever, you just say:

“Yes, but for how long?”

That usually throws them for a loop, and gets them thinking outside of their small “now” frame of not being able to buy. Once they start thinking in terms of some time in the future, when they will be able to buy (and their objection is no longer valid), you simply bring that feeling into the present.

“I can’t afford it.”
“Yes, but for how long?”

“I’m not sure I like the color.”
“Yes, but for how long.”

“I’m just shopping for now, kind of looking around.”
“Yes, but for now long.”

Unless you’ve done something wrong and they’re ready to kill you, they won’t usually answer with “Forever!” before stomping off.

A flip side to this is to say a variation of “No yet?”

“I don’t really like the color.”
“Hmm. Not yet, huh?”

“I’m not sure if I can afford it.”
“Yea, not yet?”
(Note: for you conversational hypnotists, they won’t be sure if the “not yet” applies to them not being sure, or them not having any money)

If you have good rapport with your client/target/mark, these simple questions will get them out of right now, where all their problems are, and get them thinking in the future, when their problems have already been solved. Then they can take that feeling of already having solved their problems back to now, and the current situation will look a lot more doable.

Obviously, you can use this in any kind of conversation, for any kind of intention, so long as you have a win/win outcome in mind. Sales, therapy, seduction, getting your kids to clean their rooms, whatever.

So when I asked my friend why wanted to visit the states, it was for the simple reason to be able to look out toward the horizon, and see nothing but flat earth. Korea, being a pretty cramped peninsula, has many mountains, and no matter were you are in Korea, no matter which direction you look, (unless you are looking out over the sea) you don’t have to look for to see mountains.

But in the United States, there are plenty of areas with nothing but flat ground, and open sky. He wanted to be able to look out his window, or whatever, and see nothing but uninhibited views of the ground stretching flat seemingly forever until finally meeting up with the sky. And look to the right, and to the left, and see a perfectly flat horizon, endlessly expanding in both directions.


To gaze out into your future without seeing any obstructions, take a look what’s on the other side of the link below:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

The Ritual Of Adulthood


Once there was a group of kids that had been sent on a mission. They were not to come back unless their mission was successfully accomplished. To do so you not only mean obvious failure, but also would indicate their lack of ability to take on further missions. They had been charged by the elders of their tribe, and had been on the road for some time. After they had set out, it had been quite for a while. None dared to speak, lest they violate the silent tension that clung relentlessly about the group.

At first the silent tension was troublesome. It gave rise to thoughts and anxieties of failure and rejection. But then the tension became accepted, then comfortable, and finally like an unseen security blanket that bound the group together. They would all fail or succeed together. To speak would snap the tension, and likely destroy any chance of success. Or so they thought.

Pain is an interesting thing. Biologists tell us the body evolved an inability to grow resistant to pain, as to do so would certainly not lead to reproductive success. Any creature from any species that had the ability to grow accustomed to pain may become injured, and not take reconstructive efforts. A bleeding animal wouldn’t lick it’s wounds and give it self the anti-bacterial effects of it’s own saliva. It would slowly remove itself from its own gene pool, and after only a few generations, any individual within the group with this “ability” would be extremely rare.

Other sensory input, on the other hand, that doesn’t require immediate attention can easily be temporarily ignored. Hunger, thirst, smell, slight discomfort due to outside ranges in temperature.

But emotional pain is a completely different ballgame. Neuroscientists are only just beginning to understand the role that emotions play in everyday human life. And even then the input they have is still a mystery. From a scientific perspective, emotions are nearly impossible to measure. You can’t very well hook somebody up to an emote-o-meter (unless you are a scientologist) and see what effects the different emotions have on physiological and biological functions of the mind/body/nervous system.

Until very recently, most scientists believed that emotions played on part in decision-making. Emotions were viewed from the Vulcan standpoint of getting in the way of logical thinking. It was believed that without emotions, we could always make the best choices, and never make mistakes.

Then a couple of surgeons had the opportunity to test this theory out during a particularly interesting brain surgery. The portion of the patient’s brain that was thought responsible for emotional feelings was temporarily “disconnected,” and since brain surgeries can be performed with an awake patient, they figured they ask him a couple difficult questions (like the kind you find in a high school ethics book). They were stunned to find out that he couldn’t even make the most basic decisions without the input of his emotions.

If you break everything down into either a pain or pleasure emotional response, and assume those are the drivers behind every decision, it makes sense. Your brain has this amazing capability of imagining several future outcomes of every single decision, usually unconscious, and checking to see what would produce the most pleasure, and the least amount of pain.

Luckily, through millions of years of evolution, things that keep us alive and safe, as well as propagate the species generally give us the most pleasure. Like good food, good sex, and a nice safe place to sleep at night. Things that put us in danger tend to give us emotional pain, like high places, loud noises, and tigers.

It can get complicated when our rational minds know that one particular choice is a good one, but it goes against our hard-wired programming from millions of years of evolution. No matter how scientifically sure you are that it’s probably not a good idea to have one more bowl of ice cream, it can be near impossible to squash your desire through willpower alone.

Of course, if you successfully avoid the ice cream enough times, you’ll build up a resistance to that evolutionary drive to continually eat whenever there’s food available. And pretty soon you’ll get used to expending emotional energy to suppress your million years old biological urge. So much so that when you do have an occasional bowl of ice cream, the “guilt” associated with it, which is really a temporary release of that emotional discomfort that you’ve grown accustomed to, is enough to mess up your pleasure of eating.

Of course, if you are trying to lose weight, this isn’t so bad. For many, to lose their craving and taste for something rich and calorie dense like ice cream would come as a blessing.

But what about more complicated things? What if you make a decision, one that requires some conscious willpower and faith in the face of unconscious resistance, but you aren’t nearly as scientifically sure as you were when you avoided the ice cream? When you put up with the emotional discomfort long enough, it’s easy to start to question your decision that you made earlier; no matter how sure you were when you made it.

It can be extremely helpful to set up some good anchors and targets to stay focused on, if you expect those tough times to come. Figure out exactly why you are embarking on your mission, and what the specific pay off will be when you get there. So when you do come across those rough patches, you’ll have something to focus on to pull you through. If you make a decision that isn’t really in your best interests, either because it’s not really your goal to begin with, or you aren’t sure what outcome you’re after, it’s extremely difficult to stay on track.

Make sure you take enough time to build your target, and make it as compelling as possible before starting on your operation.

When the group boys finally returned after a successful mission, they were given generous accolades from their tribe. They hadn’t known it, but this was a ritual performed on young boys to ease them into manhood. This had been passed down for generations immemorial, and in previous generations had been used to prepare young boys for the life and death struggle of the daily hunt. In recent times however, the ritual had gradually taken on a symbolic meaning, as the tribe had slowly evolved into a successful agricultural community, and hadn’t needed to hunt animals for many years. Nevertheless, they found it useful to send the boys on a quest, to give them a taste of setting their sights on something far off in the distance, going after it, getting it, and bringing it home.

To make your own life the most successful mission possible, click below:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Goal Achieving Machine

You Are Hunter

I was sorting through this old stack of books I have, in order to see which ones I want to keep, and which ones I want to get rid of. I’m getting ready to move in a few days, and I don’t want to bring too much extra junk with me.

I found this interesting book I bought a couple years ago called “Why Men Don’t Listen And Why Women Can’t Read Maps,” by Barbara And Allan Pease. I remembered reading it and was amazed at some of the cool things I learned. It was basically the differences that exist between men and women, differences that go far beyond basic plumbing.

It all stems from our evolutionary past. While men would be out hunting every day, women would take care of the cave. And taking of the cave meant keeping all the kids together, protecting them from predators, and finding whatever edible roots and other foods they could find.

Humans existed this way for hundreds of thousands of years. We’ve only been living in agricultural based societies for about ten thousand years or so, so we are still carrying around our basic programming and wiring.

One of the ways that manifests itself today is how we communicate. Women had to learn to communicate on many different levels at the same time, while men never evolved such a skill. Since women were taking care of kids, they developed an ability to read facial expressions much better than men. An interesting study, which was cited in the above book, showed this pretty convincingly. They showed a bunch of women a bunch of kids’ faces, and then had them guess at their mood. The women came up with several different descriptions, and combinations thereof. The men, on the other hand, either said “happy,” “sad,” or “angry.”

Another interesting thing was how our respective vision evolved. Since men were out hanging all the time, males developed vision that was really good at seeing things far off in the distance, but crappy at seeing things up close in our peripheral vision. Women, on the other hand, have much better peripheral vision, but not such great vision for looking at things off in the distance. That’s why sometimes men can’t see things that are literally right in front of them, to the exasperation of their partners or spouses.

That’s another reason why men rubber neck so much when we’re at the mall, and we see something in our peripheral vision that may or may not be an attractive female. We actually have to turn our heads in her direction to see. Women, on the other hand, are capable of checking out every guy in the place, including evaluating their fashion sense, without even moving their eyeballs.

There are tons of other really interesting and eye opening (get it?) revelations in that book. If you are at all interested in scientifically recognized differences between men and women (many of them politically incorrect), I highly recommend that book.

One thing that struck me was that in our evolutionary past, it seems that humans spent their days in two different “modes” of operation. Hunting, and resting. The whole day, if you were a man, was spent out hunting and finding food. Once the sun started to set, you’d head back to the cave and stare into the fire for a few hours, and then sleep. If you were a woman, the day was spent foraging around looking for things to eat, and watching over the kids. When it became dark, and nocturnal predators came out, it was time to head back to the cave, and keep everybody safe for the night.

It seems that even in our modern society, we can break down our activities along those lines. We are either hunting, or trying to achieve some goal, or resting, or recovering, or taking a break until we can get back in the game and go after the prize, whatever that may be.

It seems that humans were built specifically to hunt, or seek. Resting isn’t nearly as rewarding unless it’s after we’ve achieved some goal. If you’ve read Psycho Cybernetics, then you know that Dr. Maltz compares the human mind to a self-correcting missile. Choose a target, fire away, and correct your course based on the feedback you get.

The interesting thing is that no matter what you do, it will always be directed at some goal. For many people, that goal is chosen by somebody else. Your boss, your company, your commanding officer if you are in the military.

Of course, as in the cave example, these goals can frequently overlap. Many times our main goal is to get enough resources so that we can effectively rest and recuperate when we need to, so that we can get out and achieve more goals.

If you are going after a goal that’s not really your choice, this can quickly seem like a vicious circle. You go to work go make money to pay for your house and your necessities so you can get enough rest every night in order to go to work so you an make money to pay for your house etc etc.

These can seem like a relentless treadmill if you are always making money for somebody else. But when you take the time to choose a goal that is really important to you, and you make consistent progress, there’s not much that feels better.

It would seem that the human mind was designed to feel enormous pleasure to see a goal on the horizon, chase after it, track it down, and kill it. We were built to hunt, built to achieve.

Of course, it can be difficult to hunt completely for yourself. Even in our past we had to form groups and alliances and sometimes give our efforts to the achievements of others. Getting to the point in life where most of your efforts are toward your own personal goals and choices can take a lifetime of effort. But if you only start small, choose small goals that are important to you, and only you, you can slowly build on your successes. And once you get a taste of the kill, there’s no going back.

To find out precisely how to get exactly what you want out of life, click below to get started:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

The Road, The Inn, And The Psychotic Jazz Musicians

Where To Now?

Once, many many years ago, I took a road trip with a bunch of friends from college. Not really friends, although we referred to each other as friends at the time. More like contextual friends. Dorm friends. As soon as we moved out of he dormitory (at my particular school, they only let you stay in the dorms one or two years) we kind of drifted apart.

Groups are kind of funny like that. They can form for a specific purpose, and so long as that purpose exists, everybody can get along great, hang out during off times (off times from whatever the group was formed for), and even meet up with each other’s families on occasion. But once the purpose for the group goes away, so does the group.

I saw this once in action when I got a book signed by a famous author of a cooking show on TV. In order to get his signature, you had to wait in this long line, twice. Once in the morning to get your particular number, and then later in the afternoon, when you came back to get in line based on your number.

So the people you stood in line in the morning were the same people you stood in line in the evening. And both times the waiting was quite lengthy, giving everybody ample time to start conversations beyond mere politeness. And having everybody leave and then come back in the afternoon was another factor that added to the feeling of “closeness.”

The people I was standing next to in line had formed this small “group” of about six or eight people. In the two hours or so we spent together, we became like best friends. Exchanged emails, showed each other family pictures, the whole deal. But as soon as the purpose for our group vanished, (we got our books signed) the closeness and feelings of camaraderie vanished as well. Boom. See ya.

That was kind of like the group I went on this road trip with. The purpose for our group lasted much longer, two full semesters, but it vanished just as quickly as the book-signing group once the reason for the group’s existence.

But while we hung out together, it was fun. We shared common enough interests (music, alcohol, girls) and disinterests (school, studying) that it was enough.

So it seemed like a great idea to take a road trip when there was a holiday on a Monday, giving us three days to goof off. One of the guys had recently bought this big van, and we talked him into driving somewhere. We didn’t know where, only that we wanted to go on road trip.

Since we were all pretty broke, we figured we’d have to sleep on the ground, instead of staying indoors, so our only requirement was that we would end up at some open place or campground where we wouldn’t get into too much trouble with our music other loud noise. The problem was that none of us were quite sure where that was.

We knew that in three out of the four possible directions we could go in would lead us to pretty large areas with no houses, but beyond that we didn’t have a clue. So we started driving, not knowing where we were going. Only that we had three days to kill before we got there and back, wherever there turned out to be.

One of the guys was majoring in Jazz, and he was telling us about this period in Jazz history where it was all the rage to play completely extemporaneous music. No notes, no predetermined set of beats or melody (I’m not sure if that is even the right terminology). Just four or five guys playing whatever they felt like playing. Sometimes it would coalesce into something that sounded pretty cool, but most of the time it would sound like utter nonsense, according to this guy.

He said that period in Jazz didn’t last long, as least they didn’t produce a lot of records, because nobody bought them. A few people that were really into the scene thought it was cool, but he explained that it never caught on big enough for that to be any musician’s main playing style.

He did bring a tape for us to listen to, and I have to agree it sounded pretty awful. Not really awful, but like completely nonsensical. Nothing you listen to music for, to relax, to be inspired, to pump up your emotions, would be satisfied by listening to a bunch of guys completely out of sync. It sounded like that brief second or two they sometimes leave on the record when an orchestra is warming up, just before the conductor takes over and leads everyone to play some masterpiece together.

It’s kind of cool, as it adds a sense of so many different people with so many different instruments out there, that suddenly come together and play as one entity. But a whole album of that stuff? No thanks.

We found out that without a specific destination, the novelty quickly wore off. Pretty soon finding a destination became our destination. Our requirements became less and less restricted, and any place that was flat. At first we wanted a place with a nice fire ring, so we could have a fire, but as it got later and later, we just wanted to get out of this guys van. It was one of those vans that didn’t have any chairs or windows in the back, so we were all sitting on the floor.

Pretty soon we just pulled off to the side of the road, sat on the ground, drank our alcohol, and fell asleep.

When they say that the road is better than the inn, I think it’s a given you have to have a pretty decent inn that you are going to. Otherwise the road can be a pretty boring and pointless journey.

The funny thing is, is that you really never even have to get to the inn. So long as you have a solid idea of where you’re going, that’s good enough. But without a known destination, it can get pretty boring, pretty quickly.


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Success with NLP

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Eyes On The Prize


Once I had this friend of mine that came in to stay with me from out of town. I never really understood this guy, as he had quite a bit of money, but whenever the traveled, he would stay at friends’ houses. You’d think a guy like that could afford hotels. I know that I much prefer staying at hotels than with friends, but that’s just me. You never know when you are going to get yelled at for raiding the fridge in the middle of the night. At least at a hotel, you know the price of everything on the inside.

The reason this guy was in town was that he was at this inventor’s convention. It was a convention for people that were struggling with getting their inventions the patent stage and into the production stage. Most people think that getting a patent is a great milestone, but it’s not really that complicated. All you have to do is prove that it’s a new idea, and you were the one that thought of it. It depends on the country, but usually showing something written down in a notebook is sufficient to show originality of an idea.

And the kind of originality is pretty staggering, and not in the way you’d expect. If all bicycles happen to be made with a certain metal in the chain, and you come up with an idea for a new chain with a unique metal, then that is enough to warrant a patent. I used to work for this biomedical engineering company, and the smallest changes in plastic molded parts that warranted their own patent was mind-boggling. Before, I though that getting a patent was some kind of genius level milestone. But if you can change the angle slightly on a barbed connector for medical tubing and get a patent for it, there can’t be much to it.

Some companies use patents strictly for marketing purposes. They get as many patents as they can, useless as they may be, just so they can use them in their marketing literature. Product X has seventeen patented parts that you won’t find anyplace else.

There’s even companies that have a business model of creating ideas, and filing patents for simple household items, and then doing nothing except to wait for another company to independently come up with the idea, and start selling the product. Then the original company simply has to show that it was there idea, sue them, and forever collect a percentage of the profits.

It would seem that there is more to it than simply building a better mousetrap and waiting for he world to beat a path to your door. I suppose if the world you happened to live in was infested with disease carrying mice that ate your eyeballs while you slept, and your particular idea for a mousetrap would guarantee a mouse free house with little cost, then maybe you might have something. But when you come up with a patent for the new design for that little plastic thing that goes on the end of your shoelaces, then you’ve got some marketing work ahead of you.

Which was basically the gist of the seminar my freeloading friend was going to. It was primarily for people that came up with patents that they thought were marketable enough to invest some time and money in, but hadn’t picked up any kind of corporate sponsorship. Even if you come up with the greatest idea since sliced bread, you’ve still got to figure out a way to market it and manufacture it on a large scale.

If you have a product that is very similar to other products, and it is an improved version, like a bicycle tire that will never go flat, then it may be a little easier to sell. All you’d need to do is create some fliers, mass mail them to bike shops, bicycle manufacturers, etc, and hope they buy enough of your product to make it worthwhile. If you can get enough pre orders to pay for your production, so much the better.

But if you come up with a new environmentally friendly way to cook bacon, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

My friend has been doing this for quite a while, and he does pretty well. He has about twenty patents, three of which were picked up by large manufacturers. Two of them he got paid a nice lump sum, and the other one he got a really good deal where he gets a certain percentage of every sale. This of course gives him plenty of motivation to keep thinking and trying to figure out how to come up with new ideas.

He said that the hardest part is the time when he has an idea, that he is sure will eventually make money, but he’s been working on it for a while, and poured in a significant amount of time and money, and hasn’t seen anything yet for his efforts. He said that all three of his big money makers were like this. He had a great idea, asked a few of his friends, and asked a few people in the particular industry he was targeting, and they all enthusiastically agreed that he had a winner. But each one took more than a year of effort, and lot of time, money, and many, many rejections.

But he said that once he gets one that works, and a company either buys it outright, or pays him per sale, it’s all worth it. He said that is the biggest cause for failure among all the other inventors he meets at these conventions. They all have great ideas, but they give up way to easily, and way to quickly. If they would only try a few more weeks, or even days, they might get a break that would make all the difference. But he said that most people still believe in that old mousetrap myth. They think just because they have an idea, somehow the population at large should get some telepathic message from the gods, and each send them a dollar or something. They don’t understand that coming up with a good idea is not good enough. You’ve got to come up with a good idea, and then convince everybody else that it’s a good idea.

I asked him how he was able to push through those early days when all he had was an idea, and no money, and he said it was his imagination that pulled him through. He would imagine himself in the future, already successful, and looking back on his tough startup times with fondness. He created a vision of the future, and focused on it above all else, and never let anything distract him.

Maybe that’s why he likes staying at his friends’ houses instead of hotels, because it keeps him grounded or something. Because he is as creative and energetic as ever. Every time he visits, he talks about his new ideas as if they are his first one, and he is as hungry as ever. You would never know by this guys clothes that he’s worth several million dollars, but I guess that’s what it takes to keep pushing ahead.

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The Road, The Inn, And The Flowers Along The Way

Will That Be Cash Or Charge?

So the other day I was down at the gardening shop. It’s a pretty new shop, and they have some nice displays out in front, so I’d been meaning to go in and check it out. I pass by it a couple of times a week on my way over to that other place that I normally go to for those things that I need. The interesting thing about my desire to go into the gardening shop is that I don’t have a garden, nor do I have any plans of creating a garden in the future. Of course, you don’t have to have a garden per se to find items of interest in a gardening shop.

You can have a simple lawn, and I’m sure they sell plant food for all of your household plant needs. But I don’t have any plants, any lawn, and the only organic material in my possession is the mold that is growing on that hunk of cheese that I forgot I had. That of course, doesn’t require any gardening tools or supplies, only a trash can that has been lined with a sturdy trash bag to keep the trash juice from leaking all over my kitchen floor.

But the thing about this new gardening shop is that have it the front set up that really draws your attention. And not just gardening enthusiasts, I’ve seen lots of people that don’t look like the gardening stopping to have a gander. Something about the colors, or the way the things are arranged. It’s like it is a mixture of being aesthetically pleasing, yet inviting at the same time. For example, if you look at a nice flower, it’s usually enough just to look at it. Sometimes you might want to lean over and have sniff, but usually looking is enough.

But they way they designed the front of this combines that desire to look and admire you get from a natural flower, along with something else. Something I can’t quite describe. Like when you see something, and this catches your eye, and you feel yourself just a little bit curious. Maybe not curious enough to come inside right now, but somehow this stays in your mind, so that later on today when you are off doing things, you’ll remember this and wonder what it was that made this so interesting.

And even if you do forget, when you stop by here every day, you’ll remember that sense of interest that you had, and each time it becomes a little stronger, until you find yourself making a conscious decision to really come inside and look around, just to satisfy that vague curiosity.

When I went inside, there was really nothing other than what I expected. They had the normal stuff, arranged where you would expect. The fertilizer was over there, and the pots and hardware were around there. The registers, of course, were all up front, and they had several people walking around helping out people that seemed to be lost, or seemed to have a question, but were too shy to ask.

And they did have all of those knick-knack things they place strategically, those things you usually buy on a whim. This in and of itself surprised me, as you would think that people that went to a gardening store are there for a specific purpose, to buy something specific, and aren’t prone to wander around with their shopping cart, throwing various things in that look good. Of course there I was, not having any garden to speak of (if you don’t count my cheese) wandering around with one of those hand held baskets. You never know what tools you might find that can be used for something other than what they were intended for.

It’s common knowledge that supermarkets are carefully designed to get people to buy all kinds of things that they had planned on. Even if they go in there with a list, they’d have to wander around the whole store looking for everything, and in the process pass by carefully designed displays to grab their attention and their money.

It seems that a lot of marketing is designed to take advantage of the simple fact that most people wander through life without a solid plan. If you went to the store to buy eggs, and only eggs, and you only brought enough cash to buy eggs, then you’d likely buy only eggs. Now I’m not sure if not having a solid plan is a result of not taking the time to create goals and objectives, or just that it’s entirely possible to go through life and enjoy the experience without really worrying about where you’re going. I’m sure a strong case can be made either way.

On the one hand, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there, failing to plan is planning to fail, but on the other hand, according to the old Spanish proverb, the road is better than the Inn.

I suppose you could combine the two. Have a specific goal, and also have a goal of enjoying the path as much as possible. With unlimited time and resources, this can be easy. If you were rich, it wouldn’t be a problem to fill up your shopping cart with all kinds of exotic snack foods every time you went shopping, but most of us aren’t rich. At least not yet.

There has to be some kind of balance between time, money, resources, and the maximum amount of fun and results we can get out of life. I’m not sure if buying a whole basketful of gardening stuff that I didn’t even know existed, let alone realized I needed is going to get me any closer to that, whatever it is.

But it sure is fun to buy stuff.

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Success with NLP

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