Tim Johnson's blog
- Less Talk, More Action “Well done is better than well said.”
- Don’t Procrastinate “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
- Be Prepared “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
- Don’t Fight Change “When you're finished changing, you're finished.”
- Get Moving “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”
- Avoid Busywork “Never confuse motion with action.”
- Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”
- Act Quickly on Opportunities “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
- Continue to Grow “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
- Keep Going “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
- Know Yourself “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.”
- Don’t Self-Sabotage “Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?”
- Don’t Give Up “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
- Wise Up “Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
Since I am constantly striving to improve myself I do a lot of reading. I want to share with you an ebook I found recently which I find to be very helpful. It has 101 quick and simple tips for staying healthy and fit. Some are simple, but most are quite informative and insightful. I thought my readers would be able to get something out of this book, so here are a couple examples of tips on how to stay fit:
This book is straight-forward and to-the-point. Any reader of this blog will love this book because of it's simplicity and accuracy. You can start learning from this book in just seconds and implement life changes or small adjustments to your routine immediately. I guarantee you will love this book. It's got lots of things I hadn't thought of before and it's something that I flip through fairly often for more ideas on how to stay healthy and fit.
This book is normally sold at 17.95, but I worked out a deal with the distributor and I can offer it to you today for only 9.97!
Living a happy, resilient and optimistic life is wonderful, and is also good for your health. Being happy actually protects you from the stresses of life. Stress is linked to top causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.
One of the better things ever said is - 'The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change', and in our life we have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too will change.
Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem unavoidable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along with well with
Happiness is actually found in everyone, increasing it is a way to make a life more wonderful and also more healthy.
To be happy is relatively easy, just decide to be a happy person. Abraham Lincoln observed that most people for most of the time can choose how happy or stressed, how relaxed or troubled, how bright or dull their outlook to be. The choice is simple really, choose to be happy.
There are several ways by which you can do this.
Being grateful is a great attitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows. Also thank the mailman for bringing you your mails, thank the policeman for making your place safe and thank God for being alive.
News is stressful. Get less of it. Some people just can't start their day without their daily dose of news. Try and think about it, 99% of the news we hear or read is bad news. Starting the day with bad news does not seem to be a sensible thing to do.
A religious connection is also recommended. Being part of a religious group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations foster inner peace.
Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste. Time management can be viewed as a list of rules that involves scheduling, setting goals, planning, creating lists of things to do and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire.
Laugh and laugh heartily everyday. Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -'Laughter is the best medicine'.
Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions. Try not to keep pent up anger of frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt to anyone.
Working hard brings tremendous personal satisfaction. It gives a feeling of being competent in finishing our tasks. Accomplishments are necessary for all of us, they give us a sense of value. Work on things that you feel worthy of your time.
Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday. Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future.
Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.
Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.
These are the few simple things you can do everyday to be happy.
And always remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln, he says that, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
It's a talent that everyone has, yet they think they don't. The power of innovation. If you've ever marvelled at somebody's creative prowess, guess what, you can create and innovate too. It just takes time. Everyone is born creative. The box of crayons in kindergarten were not limited to those who possessed potential; because the truth is, everybody has potential.
You know how long it took to learn to ride a bike or drive or to never commit the same mistake again? It's the same with innovation. It takes a bit of practice and a lot of time before this mind function comes easily when called. This article will teach you a few tips on how to bring innovation into your life.
1. Don't listen to what other people say. Follow the beat of your own drum. Allowing for the input of other people will only bring cacophony to the music you are trying to make. If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand. They won't. And the help you will probably get comes in the form of negative feedback. If all those geniuses listened to their peers, we would probably still be living in the middle ages.
2. Spend time on it. I cannot stress that enough, although, please do not mistake this tip to tell you to quit your day job entirely. Do not. This involves some tricky time management but with a little discipline you'll be able to squeeze both in.
3. Exercise. Take a walk. Run a mile or two. Send all those endorphins coursing through your veins. Exercising certainly clears and relaxes your mind and allows for anything to pop up.
4. Record your dreams. Aren't some of them just the craziest things that your conscious mind would never have thought of? If you've had these dreams before, and I'm sure have, this only shows you the untapped innovative power you have lying within. So jot down those notes. Those dreams may just create an innovative spark in you.
5. Find your own style. You can always tell a Van Gogh from a Matisse. You'll know Hemingway wrote something by the choice of words on the paper. So it is the same with you. People will appreciate your innovation more because it is uniquely yours and that no one else would have thought of what you were thinking. That will let people see how valuable an asset you are.
6. Don't hide behind nifty gadgets or tools. You don't need the most expensive set of paints to produce a masterpiece. The same way with writing. You don't need some expensive fountain pen and really smooth paper for a bestseller. In fact, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series on bits of tissue. So what if you've got an expensive SLR camera if you're a crappy photographer? Who cares if you've got a blinging laptop if you can't write at all? The artist actually reduces the number of tools he has as he gets better at his craft: he knows what works and what doesn't.
7. Nothing will work without passion. What wakes you up in the mornings? What keeps the flame burning? What is the one thing that you'll die if you don't do? Sometimes people with talent are overtaken by the people who want it more. Think the hare and the tortoise. Ellen Degeneres once said that if you're not doing something that you want to do, then you don't really want to do it. And that's true. Sometimes you just want something so bad you become a virtual unstoppable. And that is passion. Passion will keep you going.
8. Don't worry about inspiration. You can't force it; inspiration hits when you least expect it to, for those unpredictable yet inevitable moments you should prepare. An idea could strike you on the subway, yet alas, you poor unfortunate soul; you have no sheet of paper to scribble down a thought that could change the world. Avoid these disasters. Have a pen and paper within your arm's reach at all times.
I hope this article has helped you bring more innovation into your life. Keep in mind that you're doing these things for your own satisfaction and not anybody else's. But soon enough they will notice, and everything should snowball from there.
2012 is the year of the Dragon! Do you have an idea for a product that you've been dying to create? Something you know people would love but you don't have the know-how or the capital to even dream about beginning? Well... guess what? You live in the 21st century so you don't need know-how OR money! One of the latest methods of raising private money for your projects is a concept called "crowd-sourcing". Basically, if the idea is a good one you can create a summary of your idea, with a video, put it out there for the world to see and offer people rewards (that you will give them in the future) or allow them to pre-order a product before it's made in order to raise enough money to make the product come to life. One of the most popular websites out there that supports this type of fund raising is www.kickstarter.com. They have developed a platform that allows people to create "campaigns" for any sort of artistic project or product with any monetary goal for whatever it is you need money for, and people can become "backers" for your idea. They put up a little bit of money and are allowed to pre-order something or they get some other sort of kick-back from becoming a sponsor.
I have recently created a campaign for a dual-language children's book that I am writing and I am offering it on Kickstarter. The books are not printed, but as soon as I reach my goal (of $2400 for publishing) the books will be printed and shipped to all of my backers. Other rewards include things like a kids' puzzle with some of the illustrations on it, a printed book tote bag, a mousepad with the book character on it, etc. But if I don't reach the $2400 goal, all the money is returned to the backers and I don't get to print the book!~ Take a look at this video I made and if you know anyone who might be interested, PLEASE forward it along to them! The campaign has been on the website for about a week and a half now, and I have already raised over $700 toward my goal.
So if you have a project that you've been wanting to get underway, I would strongly encourage you to check out this website for your own benefit. Take a look at what is on the site now, get a feel for the things that are being successfully funded, and try to figure out how your product could succeed in this type of campaign. There are also other crowd-sourcing websites out there like: www.indiegogo.com
I studied Capoeira for some time and before and after every class we would repeat in unison, this phrase in Portuguese:
"Cada dia que pasa, estou melhor em tudo que faso."
It translates to: "Each day that passes, I am improving everything that I do."
So simply put that it leaves no more to be said. In every facet of your life, if you live by this mantra, you have no option but to succeed. It doesn't matter who you are, what your goals are or where you are in life. If you are alive, you have daily actions that you do to survive, and if you strive to do them better, you will be improving who you are in increments that are perfectly suitable and attainable by you. Whether you are a gymnast, a pirate, a bingo caller, a business owner or a rockstar, this phrase is relevant to you and you can immediately apply it to improve your life and improve your health.
How are you sitting right now? Is your posture correct?
How much time have you spent in front of the computer today? Too much?
What is your typing speed? Think you can make it faster?
Who was the last person you hurt? What it necessary or could you have used a better tactic?
What did you do for your health yesterday? Have you done it better today?
These are just a few of the questions you can apply to your actions to push you toward becoming the best human being you can be. I've mentioned "being all you can be" several times in this blog, and I've never served in the Army, but I believe that the fact that we're here on Earth is an amazing gift and we should all be making the best of it. Fundamentally speaking, if we want to make the best of our lives, we should first be the best person we can be.
Another interesting benefit of applying this mantra to your daily life is the fact that in order to successfully apply it, we first have to be AWARE. We need an awareness of our personal limits and we need to fundamentally understand what it will take to improve those limits.
Everyday, I try to workout a little bit harder than I did the day before, give more of myself, learn something new that I can apply to my life goals, or understand a new concept or strategy relevent to my current project.
What will be the next step to improving your daily life?
Our greatest instrument for understanding the world—introspection . . . . The best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbor is to know ourselves. Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)
So you go about your daily life and might not think too much about your every action. In martial arts we say that "He who conquers others is strong, but he who conquers himself is mighty." In order to really understand the world around you and make it work for you, you must first understand - and conquer - yourself. Conquer your fears, answer your own questions, find truths that are critical to your existence and understand them.
Easier said than done? Indubitably.
In my last post I suggested that you "question everything". And didn't really explain it. Sorry about that. What I mean is:
- Question the answers you're given even if it is from a "reputable source". No one is perfect and if the world is to be your oyster, you must be the one to understand the answers. If that requires that you create your own answers then that is the best way.
- Question your own capabilities. At first this will lead to doubt --> then understanding --> then confidence.
- Question your own solutions to problems. How did you come up with that solution? How were you influenced?
- Question your own subconscious actions. Why do you sit in a certain place at your dinner table?
- Get out of your routine. Take a different route to work. Read something that you would normally be put out by.
- Keep an objective attitude. Don't be put out by anything. Don't fall back on reactions you would normally use. Treat each moment as if it is entirely new and create responses to situations as if you had never experienced them before.
- Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Erase all of your notions of someone you interact with and create entirely new notions as if you were THEM observing YOURSELF. Watch yourself objectively as you proceed to live your life. Notice the details of your movements, your thoughts, your reactions.
Question yourself like you question others. Forgive others like you forgive youself.
It's only when you understand why you do the things you do that you will start to see better ways. Be open minded and take influences for problem solutions from anywhere you can. Don't let pride get in your way - immediately admit when you are wrong, or when you start to question yourself. No one is perfect, so learn from your surroundings.
Man has come a long, long, long way over the process of evolution and development of our kind. From communication to simple tools to building large structures, creating and adhering to political infrastructure, creating currency, creating and supporting new businesses, venturing into outerspace, etc etc… Through all of this, it would be pleasing to think that mankind, by nature, has “good” intentions overall with respect to life and the universe on a broad scope. What that means exactly, I’m not sure, but I’m fairly certain that it’s false.
Over the course of evolution in any species, beings tend toward actions and behavior that best contributes to their individual survival or the survival of their family, loved ones or species. Currently, the speed of our technological development (otherwise known as “physical impact and modification to life and the universe”) is increasing very rapidly. Currently we are at a very volatile juncture in our development. We are at the “knee” in the curve, or the turning point where population, technology, knowledge and impact will be increasing far more rapidly than ever before. If we can see the errors of our ways and look beyond our own personal prosperity and look beyond the prosperity of our species, we will be able to identify a better way to live life that is less impactful to the universe and will make us a stronger more intelligent species in the long run.
Developments have been made over the millennia that, if gone unchecked, could mean the downfall or worse yet, the corruption or our species. Below, I’ve listed some of these developments and ways that you can address them in your life in order to take control of your part of the universe and the development of your offspring.
- Blind faith in technology. Don’t use or support a product until you know everything about what it does and how it works. This includes how it was made, who will be impacted by its use, who was impacted by its development and construction, negative impacts to yourself when using the product.
- Reliance on others. Due diligence means finding your own solutions to problems and personally making sure that all of the details have been covered in a manner that is satisfactory. Relying on others’ choices, products, opinions means that you have made the assumption that you agree with all of their beliefs.
- Question everything.
- Find your own answers to every question. Don’t be satisfied with an answer you’ve been given even from a trustworthy source.
- Write down the elements of humanity that are important to you. Writing them will solidify them in your mind and they will emerge in your actions.
- Keep yourself physically and mentally healthy in order to be able to make clear decisions and also be able to act on them.
- Acknowledge a major personal flaw. There's got to be ONE! Personality traits, over-eating, violence, lying, cheating, sub-optimal performance, etc... Acknowledging a flaw is an absolutely critical step to take in fixing it. Once you have acknowledged it, you will find it immensely easier to make realizations on how to fix it.
- Never take anything for granted.
- Whatever you do, act as if the whole world was watching.
- Always aim for improvement
- Double check all actions against your ethical beliefs. You may be in the habit of doing something that is contrary to your ethics, and not even realize it. Double check your every move and you'll most likely find things about you or your actions that you would just as soon change.
Everyone has the choice to enjoy every single day as it comes. No matter how you’re feeling or what your circumstances are; no matter what has happened or what is happening in the immediate future or immediate past, as a human being, you have the privilege to make the choice to appreciate the present moment.
When I was about 16 years old, I realized that I could make a choice at any given moment that would determine whether I was content or unhappy. If I made the right choice, I would be absolutely content with myself and my surroundings no matter what. If I made the wrong choice, each moment of anger and misfortune would be compounded on one another as the day went on. I would be more prone to hurting myself, breaking things, making mistakes, etc. I never really knew what the “choice” was, or how to define it but, with practice, I knew that it was as easy as flipping a switch.
I stood in the parking lot this morning stretching in the cool morning mist, as I like to do after the commute to the office, and as I took a nice long breath of fresh air, a van came careening into the parking lot and pulled into a spot right beside me. Even thought there was no one else in the parking lot, the van still missed the spot and had to pull out and pull back in. Then I listened as the front bumper crunched up onto the curb and was dragged off when the driver pulled back.
He got out of the car and shook his head, saying to me “It’s gonna be one of those days, isn’t it?” Then proceeded to walk quickly toward the building with his briefcase in hand and head down at the sidewalk. He walked past this:
Had he not noticed what a gorgeous morning it was? What was he thinking about so hard that took his attention so far away from his surroundings (not to mention his driving…)? Always thinking about the previous mishap, misfortune, or feeling, he was never present enough to prevent the next. I can imagine what kind of a day he is having today (although I’d rather not).
To this day, I continue to practice flipping this switch. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but it comes more easily every day. And I can often see this turning point in others’ days as well. A point at which, if they closed their eyes, wiped the chalkboard clean of all the past misfortune and anguish, took out a fresh piece of chalk and opened their eyes, that they would be able to start fresh from this moment on.
It is man’s natural state to be content, it requires only attentiveness.
There will always be discomfort in your life. On some level, in some facet, either physical, mental, social or otherwise, discomfort will always be a part of our lives. Is discomfort uncomfortable? By definition... yes. Does it have to be all bad? No. Here is a list of items that will hopefully help you to keep your eyes open and see some of the benefits that your discomfort can provide you.
1. Learn about the world around you.
Where does it come from? When did it begin? What are all of its constituents? Can you learn anything on the basis of observation alone?
2. Ponder interconnectedness.
What is the direct and indirect impacts of this discomfort on you? What is its impact on others? Is this discomfort caused by others? Is it caused by you?
3. Realize how your accommodations can improve.
Look around. Are there other methods or strategies that could be implemented that would not require the problem to be solved, but rather would render the situation non-existent?
4. Practice awareness.
Practice bringing attention to the situation in order to really understand it before trying to rectify it. Bringing your attention to a particular sensation and avoiding other thought patterns can help you to isolate the problem. The sensation of having a rock in your shoe is far different than the thoughts of "Why do I always get rocks in my shoe?" or "I really can't afford a better pair of shoes".
5. Understand your tolerance for pain.
This can apply physically or mentally. Ask yourself. "Okay, how much is this really bothering me?" See Pain is Only What You Make It.
6. Increase your tolerance for pain.
While pain is a signal to your brain that your body is in danger of being damaged, it often overcompensates. After understanding what your pain tolerance is, make it a personal challenge to ride that line and accept it as a simple indicator to your brain.
7. Brainstorm a solution.
What can you build/make/modify, to rectify the situation? Think about the items at your disposal. Try to challenge yourself to come up with an inventive and unique solution. By patching the problem with a carelessly thought-out solution or something that won't quite work, you're only giving yourself something to complain about and fix again later.
8. Practice "creative experimentation"
Example: There's a painful wart on my foot. How can I change my stance, foot placement, stride, etc to ease the pain? Are there other objects nearby that I could be supporting some weight on to take it off of my foot? How many helium balloons do I have to hold to alleviate the pain? This will help you with creativity, as well as take your mind off the situation and it may also provide a reasonable solution.
9. Practice acceptance
Harboring "The serenity to accept the things you cannot change" is a very powerful skill. You may need to find something, a phrase or thought, to constantly remind yourself of the goal of being more accepting to avoid getting frustrated with the practice.
10. Harbor compassion
Somewhere out there, there is someone with the same discomfort as you. Somewhere else, there is someone far worse off than you.