Why I Don’t Like Zen Habits

July 13, 2008

Is your nose permanently stuck in self improvement books? Have you read every single post on Zen Habits at least twice? Or do you find any reading materials that tell you how you should be living your life just a tad irritating?

I was reading this post by Skellie and I was surprised to find myself admitting that although some of the posts on Zen Habits were good, I wasn’t keen on others - I found them repetitive. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Zen Habits, it’s Leo Babauta’s amazingly popular self improvement blog.

Later that day, I found myself pondering on why I didn’t like many of Leo’s posts. For a start, he’s an interesting writer and he covers many topics I enjoy. Plus, I prefer to read information that is repeated in varied and interesting ways, as repetition is the easiest way to learn. In fact, the most useful self help books I’ve read repeat the most important points throughout the book.

So there had to be another reason. And while I was reading this post, by Dr Cason, it finally dawned on me. The reason I dislike some of Leo’s posts so much is because they make me feel completely hopeless. It’s kind of irritating when some perfectionist rams their organised and healthy morning routine down your throat, when your average morning consists of 20 cigarettes and a dozen cups of coffee while you try to complete work you should have done last week. And it’s even worse when they remind you that you still suck at time management, even though you’ve read a dozen books on the subject.

My reading avoidance doesn’t just apply to self improvement. When I was going through a particularly unhealthy phase in my life, I began to avoid two of my favourite health blogs - Vegan Momma and The Fit Shack. I really enjoy the content but I could no longer look at pictures of Opal Tribble glowing with health, or read JoLynn’s motivational posts without feeling guilty. I was reading all this great advice and ignoring it, in favour of carrying on with my extremely unhealthy and dangerous ways.

Thinking about it, it would be far better to read less and do more, so no more self improvement books for a while. Oh, but first I have to read Steve Pavlina’s new book and I’ve been promising myself Eckhart Toll’s latest for quite a while.

Are you like me - do you read far too many self improvement materials and fail to use much of the advice to improve your life? Do you avoid reading things that you know would help you, because you feel guilty about the way you’re living?

Image Credit Cogdogblog

No More Bold Advice

July 11, 2008

When I started this blog around sixteen months ago, I concentrated on giving advice to build the type of business which would consume most of your waking hours and bring you rewards later.

Trouble is, as the blog readership has grown, so have I. And I’ve realised for some time, that it isn’t the way to go. The truth is, when you’re working 18 hours a day and weekends are not much different to weekdays, you don’t have a life - you have a business.

And while I don’t deny that you may have to work more than 40 hours a week to build your business, you reach a point when you become less productive. In fact, if you go too far, you reach the point where you become like the living dead - that’s what I did.

There’s been far too much focus on building your business now, so that you can enjoy life in years to come - not just on this blog, but in many business books and websites. But later may never happen for some of us.

I know many people who do work they hate, just so that they can enjoy a two week summer holiday each year. And that’s really sad - if they live for 70 years, that means they’ll only have enjoyed 140 weeks of their lives. That’s not even 3 years, so it means they’ve spent 67 years being miserable.

Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week went some way towards addressing that problem. Tim encouraged us to take mini-retirements. So instead of hoping you’d live long enough to retire, you’d take a few months out every year or so.

And while this sounds like a great idea for young singles, or people with grown up children, it isn’t really a good fit for the average person, with kids in school - unless you want to disrupt their education and spend most of your mini-retirement home educating them. So there needs to be a better way.

This blog won’t be closing down, but the tagline will be changing and many of you will have noticed that the focus has been shifting for a while.

What I hope to do, is to help and support you readers in building a business and lifestyle that is right for you. We’re not all the same - we don’t all want to live in the same place, we don’t all want to build the same type of business. Some of us are happy staying small, some of us want to grow huge and some of us want to freelance.

But I’m guessing that the one thing most of us have in common is that we want to enjoy life now - not wait until our summer vacation, or until we’re able to take one of those mini-retirements. And many of us also want the time and space to fulfil our spiritual goals.

I hope you won’t unsubscribe. And if you’re not subscribed already, why not click here to do it now.

And while you’re here, why don’t you share some of the amazing things I’ve come across recently:

The Millionaire Homeless Guy: Would you rather be a financial millionaire or a real one? Check out Jamie Harrop’s wonderful post and decide for yourself.

And if you enjoyed that moving and inspirational story, you’ll love reading - Reaching Back Through Time To Help A Single Mom Living In Her Parent’s Basement by Wendy Piersall.

Magic Happens: Want proof? Check out this post by Davina at Loving Pulse.

Talking of magic, Steve Pavlina’s first book, “Personal Development for Smart People” has reached the Amazon Top 100 already and it isn’t even out until October 2008. Now that’s what I call real blogging power. To learn more about Steve’s new book, check out this post by Hunter Nuttall. And if you’ve never read Steve’s blog before, you can find it here.

Are you hot? Most of us have had to sleep in a high temperature with no air conditioning at some point - and if you’ve done it, you’ll know it can be really uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be - if you check out Mrs Micah’s 5 Tips for Sleeping With No Air Conditioning.

And if you haven’t been sleeping well because you’ve been feeling down - Mare shares some brilliant tips for cheering yourself up: Create a Long List Of Ways For You To Feel Good.

Is Your Soul Damaged?

July 9, 2008

Image by Chefranden

Did you ever feel like you needed a repair job? Do you make the same mistakes over and over, or do you continue to do things, even though you know they’re bad for you? I felt like that for a while. Certain aspects of my life were lacking and some things were a struggle, no matter how much I tried. And I felt as though part of me was missing in some way.

So when Akemi Gaines suggested a Soul Reading, I jumped at the chance. And I was glad I did because Akemi actually discovered that I’d given part of my soul away in a previous life - no wonder I had that “missing feeling”. Lucky for me, Akemi has given me homework to repair any damage. And she could do the same for you. Let me explain a little bit about the soul reading process and how it works.

First, I gave Akemi some basic personal details, to enable her to access my Akashic records. And a few days later, we followed up with a telephone consultation, to share what she’d found and what I could do to repair any damage. This was quite amazing, as Akemi was able to find a couple of things in my Akashic records that I haven’t shared with another living soul.

Firstly, Akemi was able to accurately pinpoint specific aspects of my life that I struggle with, due to parts of my soul being damaged. She had also discovered that I had not been able to sleep well until my mid thirties and explained why this had happened. This was completely accurate - I was suffering from chronic insomnia until this time.

But what astounded me most about the reading was that Akemi discovered that I perform a particular service - usually for strangers. It’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember and I’ve never shared it with anyone. And I always had the feeling that I was supposed to provide this service for some reason, but I didn’t know why, or if I was even doing it properly. Akemi assured me that I was doing it correctly and I was actually doing it in the first place, because I’d volunteered to do so, before I came into this life.

I’ve always been a bit worried about this service that I carry out, because I didn’t understand how these strangers come to find me and I worried that I was unconsciously exerting some sort of power over them. But Akemi assured me that they seek me out subconsciously, because I’m the right person to come to.

Now, I can’t share what this service is, as it’s something I do on a voluntary basis. And I can only continue to do it for people who seek me out in the way described above. But there is no way Akemi, or anyone else could have known about it, unless they accessed my Akashic Records.

Akemi was also able to explain negative events in my past life and how they’re affecting me now. And although I don’t want to describe these events in detail, I can remember them in a sort of dreamlike way.

She was also able to tell me about events that have harmed me in this life - again, she was extremely accurate. And she was also able to tell me what my main purpose is in this life.

After the reading, Akemi sent me homework, to repair the damage to my soul. The homework will take 21 nights but that isn’t too bad when you consider we’re talking about several lifetimes of damage here.

I’m extremely grateful to Akemi for carrying out this reading. And I have great confidence that the repair work will make a huge difference to my life, as she was able to point out my problems and weakness with amazing accuracy.

Have you ever had a soul reading? Is it something you think you would benefit from? Do you have any questions for Akemi, or for me? Please reply in the comments section.

If you would like to learn more about Akemi’s Akashic Record Readings, click here.

Is Fear Stunting Your Growth?

March 31, 2008

Image by Chris Martis

No Fear

When we avoid trying different things, or accepting new challenges, in life or business, it is often due to fear of the unknown. But, if we don’t try new things, we don’t push beyond our comfort zone and we get stuck in a rut. It might be a comfortable rut, but it’s still a rut.

I’ll be the first to admit that the fear of trying something new bounces back at me time after time. For example, two of my favourite bloggers have asked me to guest post for them - Albert of Urban Monk and Kelly of She-Power. I was ecstatic that they asked me, as they both have brilliant blogs and I have a great deal of interest in the topics they cover.

But after the initial excitement, the doubts began to infest my mind. What if I make a hash of this? What if I write an awful guest post and readers fall out of love with these wonderful blogs because of me?

Then my imagination began to run away with me and I started seeing the negative comments and awful hate emails coming my way after writing the said terrible posts.

Almost as soon as the doubts began to creep in, I was able to stop myself. I knew that I’d been at this particular crossroads many times and I’d never been flattened by a truck. So why am I having such negative thoughts to begin with? Am I not learning from past experience?

The simple truth is - I don’t challenge myself regularly enough. According to Brian Tracey, in his book - Million Dollar Habits, we should try to do one new thing which makes us feel slightly uncomfortable everyday. This helps us grow as a person and gives us more confidence as we try new things.

Small things that make us “feel slightly uncomfortable” on a daily basis sounds a whole lot better than doing something death defying that scares us half to death each month doesn’t it? But - how on earth are you supposed to come up with a new challenge for every day of the year?

I think the answer is to make a list of all the things you’d like to do - things that would be beneficial to you, if you didn’t procrastinate on them.

And I’m guessing it would be best to prepare these lists a week in advance. Planning a whole year in advance would be fruitless. As you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, the things you avoid doing now may be no trouble to you at all in six months time. In fact, if you stick to your daily challenges, your goals will probably be a whole lot bolder by this time next year.

I’m going to begin the challenge this week - I’ll add something that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable to my to do list on a daily basis and measure my progress over a year. Are you willing to stretch yourself? Are you going to try this too? Or do you have other methods for reaching beyond your comfort zone that you would like to share?

In the near future, I’ll be writing more on overcoming fear and helping you achieve your goals. If you enjoyed this post, click here to subscribe in a reader and make sure you don’t miss it.

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