Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Are you one of the five people you would want to spend the most time with?

Don't be surprised when you become the people you get your advice from. You have to seek out the people whom you admire and whose success you would like to emulate. In this same vein, are you someone that people would want to emulate?
As I pick myself back up and begin the journey back to a purposeful life, I am rediscovering the value of mentors and surrounding myself with successful people with whom I can relate. The Jim Rohn Quote really resonates "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with". 

I imagine a party of six hikers climbing a mountain. Each of us comes from a different place and carries something unique in our pack. Each of us will be called upon at some point to give the rest of the group a hand up. Each of us will share something of what we brought. Our common goal is to use our unique talents and resources to help the whole group get to the top of the mountain. 

Who are the five people you spend the most time with?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Work Wise - Adventures in Ambidexterity

Last week, I told you about my experiment with a Stand-up workstation. I've found that standing up while working has really changed my perspective. If nothing else, at least I'm not falling asleep at my desk...

Along these same lines, I'm always looking for ways to break up the monotony of the work day in corporate America. One of the ways I do this is by regularly switching the hands that control my mouse and dial the phone. I use my mouse for several hours each day and I dial between 125 and 200 calls daily.

I am naturally right hand dominant and it feels most comfortable using my right hand to dial a phone and guide the mouse at my computer. However, I have found that I can be much more efficient by using one hand to control the mouse and the other to dial the telephone. An interesting way for me to continually liven things up (and keep myself on my toes) is to periodically swap my phone and my mouse to opposite sides of my desk. On January 2nd of this year, I moved my phone to the left side and the mouse to the right. Friday of last week, I reversed them. I love doing this as it forces me to be present in the moment and concentrate on what I am doing.

I began doing this a few years ago after reading an article suggesting that you may potentially improve brain function by using your non-dominant hand to perform common, every day tasks. Several studies claim that new neural pathways are created when a "righty" goes "southpaw" a few studies argued that this change to your routine unlocks the creative potential of the right side of your brain.

I've always looked for ways to be artistic in everything I do (especially the banal, robotic routines of daily life). The notion that you could stimulate creativity or tap into your artistic right-brain more easily by simply using your left hand to move your mouse or dial the phone was incredibly appealing to me. 

My takeaway from this experiment is that it resembles the placebo effect: I find myself being more creative and artistic in my approach because I have the expectation that I am activating another part of my brain this way. If I am more creative or more artistic as the result of dialing the phone with my left hand, then it is irrelevant if science can prove that there is a correlation. 

Click here for a great article that goes into greater depth and explores some of the science and research that's been done on the topic.

What has been your experience? I'd love to hear from somebody who has tried this experiment. Or, maybe you're inspired to try it… Let us know how it goes.

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 30-Day-Challenge

Even though I'm still a little disappointed in myself for not completing the entire July challenge - no wait, scratch that - even though I'm disappointed in not completing EITHER of the July challenges, I'm happy that we've identified a challenge for August AND already done some really tedious and hard work to get it underway. Since our original plan for June was to begin cleaning out the future pub shed, but we were diverted into repairing the damage from the flood, we are back to our original June plan here in August.

Lucky for us the first day of the month was on a Saturday. And not just any Saturday, a Saturday that we were going to be home! (OK, not for the whole day - I had to work in the morning on the San Juan's and then we attended one of Big Lil's soccer games.) So as not to alter any positive cosmic mojo of this favorable coincidence, even though it was sweltering - at least by my standards - we got right to it when we got home.

First things first we needed to get all the stuff out of the future pub shed. The problem? Where to put it all. We moved all of my bins of party supplies, and holiday decorations, and canning jars, and random junk I can't seem to get rid of to the back porch where I could start going through it all. No sense in continuing to store things I don't want anymore, even if it would be easier for now. I sent my old business partner Brie'n a text to see if she wanted all of our old wedding planning paraphernalia. She agreed to go through it and keep what she wanted so I set that stuff aside for a trip on another day. The bins also needed a good washing. Years of being in a garage that is not airtight had done a number on a few of them. Needless to say there were many spiders, beetles and other varmits that are now homeless. We got a few more pieces of OSB for the attic to make room for better organization and easier access, as well as a more equalized weight distribution across the trusses.

We devised a plan to clear a lot of the stuff out of the well house. I chatted with the Wasbund about bringing over a few loads of stuff that has been sitting out there collecting dust (and mouse skeletons). Since he was cool with that we packed up the M4 and the Pilot with as much as they would carry. After one trip with both vehicles, another fill on the truck and additional trip over to drop it off, we decided we were done with that particular task for the moment. We had successfully moved enough stuff to make room for some of Myko's tools, some metal storage cabinets that had been in the future pub shed and the paint for the house.

While Myko cleaned out the cobwebs, sawdust and other gross stuff out of the wellhouse and started moving stuff over, I started going through my bins. I found stuff for little boys' & girls' birthday parties (think I'm going to give that away), a bunch of Easter baskets (really I should've taken a picture of all of them) and many, many other things I haven't seen in a long time. Some of it I decided to part with. The rest I want to keep. The house is big, and there's a good amount of storage. While I don't want to be labeled a hoarder by any means, I don't see the point in tossing something that I'm wavering on the decision to ditch or not. Might as well keep it and see how I feel the next time I see it. I found a few things that we decided would fit well on the new bookcases.

That more or less filled our weekend with the exception of a haircut for Myko, a couple of Big Lil's soccer games and some lunch. There is still a TON to do but we have made a tremendous amount of progress in only two days. We are feeling much more accomplished already. It's a great feeling.