Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Removing toxic, negative thoughts, people, and habits.

I am not sure how I figured it out, whether it was epiphany like a bolt of lightening or a slow realization like water wearing away at a rock, but I realized that I was overly negative about everything in the world. And being that negative was keeping me from getting what I wanted.

How negative was I? I would use self deprecation as way to connect with people. My favorite saying to the question, "How are you?" was "Fat and Ugly, but I get by." It would get a laugh, but I felt myself dying a little bit each time.

Really? Why would one do that? Probably lack of confidence, and self-esteem. I don't say that anymore. Why? Because it was extremely negative to myself. I don't want to be negative. So why do it? I decided that I wouldn't any more. However habits and behaviors are hard to break.

Breaking a behavior is incredibly hard. Especially once you realize you are doing, you start to have this meta-cognitive thing going (thinking about your thinking). You start to see where you do it and when other people do it. If you "slip" and fall into the habit, you feel a bit bad. If it's being negative that's the bad habit, it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. And once you get yourself better at not being negative, then the harderst part is dealing with your emotions when you see or hear people you associate with being negative, or dwelling.

So what do you do? You remove the toxic, negative elements out of your life. I work on myself first. And I work on myself last. After all, you cannot change other people. All you can do is suggest, be the "guide by side".

Do know, your friends and family may not like the suggestion they are being negative. So work on yourself. As for people that won't change from being overly negative, remove them from your life. They become misery vampires. You can only work on yourself.

Sounds simple, right? It is really. Its got trials and tribulations, and you just need to deal with them in a productive fashion. Try to set a positive system for each negative habit you have. Set a positive system of counter suggestions to other people's negative habits (or remove or limit your interaction with them).

Some things that help are mindfulness, meditation, self development, and Emotional Intelligence (written before here).

Good luck.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Getting started for the ADD / ADHD mind using only strategies

Getting started. It's hard for someone with ADHD / ADD to do. If the task is not novel, interesting to them, or fun, the sheer will power to get started is ENORMOUS. Or as my 4 year old son says, "GINORMOUS"

And as anyone that knows me, knows I have mild ADD. Really, the schools suspected it when I was a kid and I finally was tested as an adult around 37.

That said, I cannot take any of the medications. NONE - the non stimulates give wicked headaches and I cannot take the stimulates because of a rapid heart rate.

That leaves me with strategies when I don't have the luxury of the task I need to do being "novel, interesting, or fun" (NIF).  So that being said, these are the strategies I have found that work the best for me:

  • Journal Entry to clear my Brain. Stream of consciousness writing if I cannot start tasks - it clears my mind. It's just want I am thinking, affirmations, and gratitudes.
  • Breaking down the task or project into smaller components. Then prioritizing the smallest/easiest task first to gain momentum. If I find I don't get momentum, repeating the process again. And again. I use a todo list in a Google Drive Doc Spreadsheet. I have 3 sheets in the document: 
    • one for my "right now list" that I only put 5 tasks at a pop, 
    • one for my giant list (of things I will eventually get to), 
    • and one for my week planning.
  • Meditation to slow down my brain - YMMV, but I find it stops the racing thoughts.
  • Planning a reward after the each task that matches the tasks weight. If folding clothes is the task, then the reward might be watching a TED talk.
  • Using I can put what I have done and it gives a sense of accomplishment.
Note: I have been looking at gamification to make the tasks fun (a spin on the reward tip), but I have found entering all the tasks into whatever system I am using "distracts me" and I lose momentum. Some you can try are SuperBetter and HabitRPG.

Let me know how you fair with the tips or the gamification.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Lifestyle Entrepreneur-ing at Kinetic Thoughts

This post is about some of my journey to become a life style entrepreneur at Kinetic Thoughts LLC (my company that focused on technology).

I was told early on, that my company had no focus and people could not figure out what it was doing. I was miffed and kept struggling on. It turns out they were right. I should have read the book E-myth sooner. I tried writing software for hire, but I couldn't sell the service to the customers I identified as my possible market. Then I tried selling web design services, and found the market was saturated with low ballers for the limited design skills I had, or I was brow beaten into low ball prices.

So I finally shifted gears for Kinetic Thoughts. We no longer focus on building software for hire, or doing websites. We turn people with ideas into technology entrepreneurs! It's a great gig, because it allows us to be on the revenue generating side of the equation, instead of the cost saving (or worse overhead) side of the equation. Having done several projects to help start up the tech of some Startups, I was able to correctly identify our target customer and what channels to reach them. We have also been experimenting and learning about how Start up's operate and are created. I would like to learn more about new venture creation, as well as equity bias, and other things we were not taught in the MBA.

I have also added the strategy of harvesting assets from each project that can be reused, resold on their own, or given away to build good will/ reputation within the technology community. I hope one day to create a repository of products that generate passive income for Kinetic Thoughts and our partners that contribute to each asset.

That said, one of the things most entrepreneurs do is keep a journal. I keep one in a Google Doc (so I can access it from any one of my computers or devices). It works well enough.

However I have been considering building an application centered around the Google Document that accounts for journal activities, such as dates, formatting, reminders if you forgot an entry, table of contents, etc. Think like a blog, but personal and can be exported to a PDF, Word Document, CSV, etc. Perhaps I will build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product in Lean Startup Speak - LSS) and release it for free with a survey of "wanted features" to test the waters. If the response is favorable, and based on the features selected, I will add them for a premium version.

My own little asset to fit a need.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Just when you forgive, the hypocrite doesn't disappoint

Years ago, back in the Paleozoic area - er high school, I had a friend I was 90% sure stole some money from that mom had sitting on the counter. It was only $20 bucks, but my mother is a type I diabetic and it's the money my father had left for her insulin. All my life, it had been indoctrinated into me that she needed her insulin to live and you didn't mess with that.

Well, over the years, I had thought about how I accused him of that, and eventually began to feel sorry for the guy. Perhaps I was wrong. And if even if I wasn't wrong, I decided I would forgive him.

Now I should say, he was part of a group of eight of us that ran around together. Well, three of which (besides myself) I drove to school each morning, the $20 thief being one. Fast forward years later, I am living in Florida and one of the "ride to school buddies" is down and wants to visit. The wife and I head over to see him (we will call him Ozzy Osborne, because he now looks like him). Upon visiting, Ozzy asks me if I had heard from the $20 thief. I told him not since that falling out over the money, other than on Facebook. Then he proceeds to tell me that he and the other guy had a gay/bi thing going on all through high school (Ozzy had since come out). Well, I NEVER KNEW.

Fast forward a couple of years. I get a call from one of the other guys in the eight. Lets call him "Sales Guy". Well Sales Guy likes to call me every now and again. Either for some advice on a project/product he wants to sell or when he is slightly tipsy. Well it just so happens he has made contact with $20-thief guy. He calls him on a 3-way calling feature. As we are talking about old times, laughs, fun etc., Sales Guy asks about Ozzy. Before I can say anything about seeing him, $20-thief says, I heard he was gay. Well. Calling the kettle black aren't we? I didn't say anything on the phone, but I should have. That is the one regret. I said I met up with him when he was down and what he was up too (he's not actually doing all that well).

Now I could give to shits about your sexual orientation. Hell, our 3 year old calls one of our good friends (that's coincidentally gay) Uncle D. I do mind when someone lies to everyone at the expense of someone else. The truly sad part is they are lying to themselves.

Anyway, to wrap it up, I felt it was pretty hipocritical of him to say that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back Again (me and the snowbirds)

For no particular reason I decided to pick up my blogging again. I have decided to turn this blog more into a piece about my local environment of South West Florida. Currently living in Cape Coral (the largest city by land mass in Florida) I have the honor of having a fairly geriatric population of neighbors, a large amount being snow birds.

Now being in the thick of snow bird season, I tend to think of them more and more. They are a double edge sword as any tourist town knows of seasonal visitors. Albeit ours stay for longer stretches than the typical American vacationer (which is 1-2 weeks at most, and ours stay 1-3 months). This leads to longer lines, need for bigger infrastructure of services (private and public) and general dislike from some locals. However, all and all, I don't mind the snowbirds (and my income doesn't depend on them either). They do bring vital income to area and some what of a diversity of character.

However, what I do mind is the homogenizing of local color. If you go to a place other than your home, do a few things, namely be respectful of environment, the peace of community you are visiting, and local traditions/customs. If things must be "how things are done up north", well frankly, just stay there. Likewise on bad behavior that would violate the peace of community. The phrase that comes to mind is "if you don't shit where you eat, don't do it where I eat". This little part of the rant stems from the seasonal bad behavior we witness year and year.

However, I must admit, I am thankful we don't live on the beach or in a full blown party town like Key West or Cancun.

All and all, snowbirds and tourists come for the same thing that drew many transplants here. The weather and Florida lifestyle. I cannot fault them for that.