Here I am in my basement again for another episode.  This time I talk about the idea of trying to set out alone on a solo adventure.  How does that compare to working together with others, joining in community, banding together – give it a listen and chime in with your perspective.  Oh, by the way, I’m aware that I’m huffing and puffing … a windscreen of some sort needs to be my next acquisition.  Be forgiving and give a listen.

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I look forward to adventuring along side you.

In this episode I try to loosen up a bit and start sharing some of the obstacles I’m confronting at the moment.  Even though the things I deal with seem to circle back around and wallop me again, it doesn’t make it any easier.  But I should be more prepared, shouldn’t I?

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Let me know what you’re dealing with.  Do you have a strategy to succeed and overcome?  Or do you just let the waves of life wash over you and try to catch your breath when seas calm a bit…  I’d be interested in knowing.

Episode 3 is out! And you can get it through iTunes now. No, I don’t have a handy link button yet, but it’s comin’. Last time we talked about the environment of the water. This time we’re talking about the environment you bring with you wherever you go – your character, your skills, your knowledge, your force of personality. How do you accumulate those things?

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This is my first “basement-cast” because, at 4:00 in the morning you don’t want to be waking anybody up. Yeah, that’s right, I dream of podcasting … and it keeps me up at night. OK, that’s a bit of a stretch. If you’ve listened to it, and read this post, the only thing left for you to do is to leave me a comment and tell me what you really think. Not later, now. Thanks bunches.

This episode goes a little mobile with a new recorder. I wander through the house and see what’s going on at the time of recording. Then I settle down and talk a bit about how the world at sea has fundamental differences from the land lubber world we are so used to.

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So what did you think? Can you hear it clearly? Do I sound a little too sleepy (because I was)? Does this sound like it’s headed in directions that will interest you? Pass your thoughts along to me and share to encourage others to throw their thoughts into the ring.

This is my third attempt to get a post up onto the blog. My original topic has left my mind as I’ve been trying to figure out a way to accomplish this task.
There are many skills to be learned that can be an asset to us and serve us well in life. As I kept trying different things I came up with this idea, and I asked myself – can a person learn to be more resourceful? Or do some people have this as a trait and others don’t? In fact there are many abilities that could be considered traits of a person… but are they really?

Let me just think of a few of the top of my head: resourcefulness, leadership, decision making, empathy, enthusiasm, organization. These are all characteristics that we have or we admire in others if they have them.

But if you fall short in these things, are you just left on the sidelines resigned to the fact that you aren’t meant to possess them? I am of the opinion that there are many things that we assume just aren’t part of our nature and we will have to live without or compensate for. What do we base this assumption on?

I like to use piano playing as an example. I don’t play, but I’ve seen many people do it. Even great concert performers – it doesn’t look that hard, really. You just sit down and rub your hands over the keys. But when you try it, it doesn’t produce the sounds your expecting. I guess I wasn’t born with the piano playing trait.

But who is? It takes desire and lots of time practicing and the ability to play is only an ability because there was the investment in skill building. Now some people are gifted and start off with a bang and progress rather rapidly to mastery of the skill. Others (probably most) start off botching up the rudimentary exercises and sounding pretty pathetic. But with perseverance and maybe some help from a piano teacher or two, achieve a level of competence that would appear to be a trait or ability they naturally possessed.

There are many skills available to us that will make our life’s journey easier. The first step we need to take is to accept the fact that we can obtain these skills. They are not delivered in the DNA of some as a gift and just outside the reach of the rest of us. They are skills that can be acquired with the desire and the effort to go after them.

What abilities do you feel you lack? Oh and here’s a question for you to ponder – should we even focus on skills we lack? Are we better served to enhance our strengths, or to try to turn around our weaknesses? What do you think about our abilities being merely (merely?) trained up skills?

I’d love to enter into a discussion with you about this. Leave me a comment just below.

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Here it is!  The very first podcast episode!  It’s shorter that I planned, I guess I didn’t have as much to say as I thought I did…

This inaugural episode has some introductions, some welcomes, and a few audio artifacts that a windscreen could probably clear up.  I could’ve used those few imperfections as excuses to do yet another take (I think I did three in all).  But I decided against it.  I needed to get it out to you, warts and all.  Be gentile in your critiques and remember, I’ve got room to grow!  Take a listen:

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Hey, why don’t you leave a comment and tell me what you thought?  What could I improve?  Is there something specific you’d like me to talk about?  What might that be?

One of the biggest challenges with making a significant change is the committing to do it.  If you are like me, there are things you think you ought to do or things you think would be good for you to do.  Most of these tasks or ideas become wistful dreams.  They are never acted upon and often forgotten until one day when you see that someone else has done what you wanted to do and you say to yourself, “Oh, I was going to do that – they stole my idea!”

Can an idea even be stolen?  Think about that for a moment.  You can share ideas with others.  But whether or not you act on that notion and whether or not someone else does are completely independent of each other.  Neither of you could act, or both of you could.  Here’s where many people get tripped up.  They think that if they don’t tell other people about what they intend to do, then no one will ever think about it.

This just isn’t what actually happens.  In real life, people think similar thoughts and come up with similar ideas all the time.  (Many of our ideas aren’t original with us, remember?)

So how can you combat this?  If we aren’t going to act on a desire, decision, or idea then it really doesn’t matter.  But if you are going to act – keeping things to yourself really won’t matter.  Yes I am aware of the voice in your head telling you that if you share your brilliant idea that somebody else will take it.  I say let them take it, then you will actually have to act to take it back.

This actually happened to me recently.  I was thinking about what I wanted to share in this blog, and I mentioned to someone about this great book that I wanted to read with like minded people and share ideas from.  You know what he did.  He has started working through that very book on his podcast.

And he’s doing a great job!  So what do I do?  Whine about it?  Say he stole my idea?  Absolutely NOT!  In fact since he’s doing that I’ve made more progress here than I have in three or four years!  And next week I’m going to try very hard to move to an audio format.  Yes, I am sharing another idea.  I’m going to evolve this into a podcast.

I would’ve never thought of doing that unless I heard how possible it was by listening to my idea being executed already.  It’s motivating.  And who says we can’t do the exact same thing?  I could even comment on his comments!  The point is that putting the idea out there challenges me to either do something with it or get it into the hands of someone who will.  And if I think that I’m the only one who could take an idea forward, then my thinking is rather small.

And from these events, I have come out and committed to getting this podcast up and going.  Could somebody else take that idea?  Don’t you know that there are already tons of podcasts out there already?  It just doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I’m going to make the commitment.

I would love it if you followed along to see what happens here.

Multi-tasking … it almost sounds like a super-power, like telekinesis or water-breathing.  However recently I’ve started seeing blog posts and articles about how it might not be all that it’s cracked up to be.  This idea has come home to me recently as I’ve been trying to organize my online life / presence / identity.  You see, I have many different interests: online business, seeking to be the best I can be, to encourage others to get out of the rut and see their potential, religious considerations of all kinds, political punditry and opinions, desire to be a better father / husband / friend… the list could be much longer.  These are all areas that I’ve participated in forums and different online endeavors under a number of different labels and names.

But it seems that lately I’ve had a hard time keeping track.  It has been suggested to me to just pull it all together under one banner – just me.  However this doesn’t always work.  If I were to include my pointed partisanship or my radical religiosity it might make clients and business partners nervous (why?  Apparently having differing opinions can make people think you don’t like them as a person or that you can’t work, or co-exist even, with people who see things differently than you… I guess that’s a popular notion, I don’t know).

So I am left trying to identify some personal boundaries.  However in this I have decided to try to consolidate where I can.  Therefore, even though I’ve only just begun my efforts to share here at Set of Sail, I’m going to be broadening my focus a bit and include some things from a more personal blog.  This is going to become the home of many of my musings.  So it might be less focused than I first envisioned.  But that also means that it will probably get a little less tightly wound.  Using my nautical theme – I’ve decided to put out a few deck chairs, relax and put my feet up on the railing a while.  I hope you won’t mind – and if I get off track a bit, please don’t be offended.  If you do, there really isn’t much I can do about it.  Getting offended is your choice; for my part I’ll try not to be offensive.  I think I am generally unoffensive but I’m sure your mileage may vary.

So consider this a warning.  Also a bit of an announcement.  This is to hold me accountable.  Expect my next post to have some multi-media spice added to it.  Yup, I’m gonna try to go all podcast on you.  I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks, and I’ve been mulling around ideas in my head for longer than that.   So the challenge will be to go from dream to action and really put something out there.  I should probably say something here about having the courage to not be intimidated by the fact that it may not be superb, but that would only be for me to convince myself that I’m ready.

Well I’m not ready, but I’m just committing to go and grow along the way.  You want to come along?  I hope you get something out of it, because that would be my greatest reward.

You’ll be hearing from me (literally) soon!!  (… yikes.)

When talking about concepts and principles in life, if you listen for bits of wisdom, you just might find that many of these are similar. I’ve found this encouraging that certain thoughts have been highlighted by various teachers and philosophers in different circumstances and at various times. Even the idea that ideas aren’t original for the most part, isn’t, well, original.

  • Dave Ramsey describes many of his financial teachings as “nothing new, just packaged well.”
  • It sounds like the saying, “Everything Old Is New Again.”
  • Solomon would also add that there’s nothing new under the sun.

So, I’m starting to wonder if that thought is even original with Solomon… see what I mean?

One of the things I want to accomplish is to collect these threads of inspiration and highlight the nuggets of brilliance that run through them all.

I want to start off with one I’ve entitled:

Little and Often

This concept has been seen in many places, some are very old – like the saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Taking a single step isn’t that amazing for most of us. But that simple act of taking a step repeated faithfully over time will transport you to your distant destination.

In the area of exercise, I’ve appreciated Matt Furey’s concept of starting with “5 second abs.” Do you whine that you don’t have time to exercise? You’d look pretty silly to say you don’t have time for 5 second abs. But then the idea is that if you start consistently doing 5 second abs, you’ll start to realize it doesn’t take that much more effort to do 10 or even 15 seconds of exercise. You get that going on a regular schedule and you can expand to maybe a whole minute of physical activity. The point is to start ridiculously small and build a habit, then expand on the area you’ve already conquered.

My favorite time management guru, Marc Forester, uses the concept of little and often to overcome procrastination. When you have a document to write, you just schedule some time to get out the files you need to write or research the document, or even to open up the word processor. That’s it. Don’t commit to more than that. More times than not, once you’ve gone that far you will have enough inertia to actually get started.

I’m sure there are many more examples and areas of application for this principle in life. Just one more. Jim Rohn would say that this principle is the difference between success and failure. Failure is defined by him as a few errors in judgment repeated everyday. This is the principle of little and often used to your detriment. Success, on the other hand, is a few simple disciplines practiced everyday. This is the reward of little and often, it leads to success.
A similar concept to this is ‘ratcheting.’ But we’ll stop here for today.

So share. What small disciplines are you considering – or better yet, have you started recently? Do you think this would make a difference? Start a new habit by subscribing to this blog. Take a small action little and often to take that thousand mile journey. Let’s set our sails together!

It was at the end of December of ’99 when my father-in-law called me and told me I needed to pick up a book and give it a read. He thought I’d like it.

That book was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”

It’s not a particularly well written book. But the literary prowess of the author wasn’t the point. The point was that it challenged me in the way I thought about money, success, “the evil rich”, having a J-O-B… it often made me mad enough that I had to put it down for a day or two to cool off. But once I got into the swing, my mind had been reshaped – I started thinking bigger thoughts.

That book led me to other authors and thinkers. I’ve collected wisdom from at least 10 “gurus”. The decade that pretty much covered my 30’s was spent creating a life outlook or philosophy.

I’ve been soaking and marinating in some great information. I see the world much clearer. But after 10 years, I think I began to suffer from information constipation.

Now this December comes right up to the 10 year anniversary of the launch of this journey and one of the big thought leaders in my wanderings, Jim Rohn, passed away. I had always imagined that I would like to find a way to get to one of his seminars and just shake his hand and thank him for the wisdom he’s put out in the world. I told myself the next time he had a weekend event or something, I would find a way to get there.

Well, that’s not going to happen. My lack of initiative to do that has sparked a desire to take the next 10 years and make it a personal decade of revolution.

The theme from the last decade was “Be.” Who was I? What did I believe? It was the decade before that in which I found my way to my Savior and settled life’s biggest questions. But this last decade was to crystallize how I was to travel between the “here” and the “hereafter.”

This next decade needs to be dedicated to the proposition of “Do.” Words and thoughts are great, and I live for them. But actions speak louder.

I’m not a man of action. But by God’s grace let’s see where things stand in December of 2019. Will you even recognize me then? Will you be along with me for the ride? Maybe you will have played an instrumental roll in propping me up and shoving me out the door – who knows?

I am saddened by the passing of a mind that I was inspired to know, if only through his books and CD’s. But I quiver with anticipation at the possibilities of the future. I’m putting a stake in the ground and picking up the next one as a walking stick.

I am ready for action – but I know myself well enough to know that I need to learn to move from dream to done…
Yoda: “Will he finish what he begins?”
Luke: “I won’t fail you. I’m not afraid.”
Yoda: “Oh! You will be. You will be.”

I know there are lessons out there to learn. The lesson of failing quickly and often in order to get into the swing of picking myself up and dusting myself off. That is the path to success. But in order to do that, I have to do something.

I have started some personal disciplines that I am confident will have public fruit. But there needs to be a navigational chart, a road map, a blueprint, a battle plan.  I need to decide on the Set of the Sail!

I just wanted to put this tribute out there to those I’ve learned from in the past. I want to do their memory proud by showing that their ideas are worth pursuing.

I’m ready.