Tag Archives: alwayslearning

What I’m Reading: Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

THIS BOOK HAS ALREADY SAVED ME WHAT IT COST TO BUY AND MORE!

How often do we read books, get all fired up about them, think to ourselves how awesome they are, but then somehow never use the techniques proposed within to radically change our lives, as the claims on the cover would have us believe?  This is one book that will change all that.

If, like me, you have struggled with negotiation and sales in the past then  Never Split the Difference: negotiating as if your life depended on it  by Chris Voss really will change your life.  Voss is an ex cop from Kansas City turned senior FBI hostage negotiator, and now freelance consultant.  The techniques he learned in the course of his career have been distilled into nine principles we can all use when negotiating purchases, pay rises, and relationship issues over the course of our personal and professional lives.  As Voss would have it, life is one big negotiation.  Voss’s techniques are quite different to the traditional Harvard style negotiation, which I’d been taught in a previous life (and which I struggled to apply).  They are far more intuitive and behaviour based – about really getting inside your counterpart’s head and understanding where they are coming from.  There’s a lot of listening involved.

So just how did this book save me money?  I needed to return a purchase and the store were being particularly staunch about their returns policy – unreasonably so, I felt.  After two unsuccessful visits and a bunch of headbanging I remembered I’d bought this book.  I re read it, returned to see the manager, using my “late night DJ voice” and some careful open ended questions until we had a “that’s right” moment and she caved. A refund ensued.  There was only a little bit of high fiving as we got to the car park!

So buy it here – and yes I’m an Amazon associate so I do get a small commission, but I wouldn’t recommend anything I don’t absolutely love.

Live with heart

Robx

 

 

 

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How To Recognize Your Wealth Wounds

money wounds money tree

Now that I’m back in the groove again, I want to start out right away and ‘fess up that writing this post is truly buttock-clenching.  I am sharing in the hope that anyone in the same situation as me might find some encouragement to deal with their money issues.  I have some beliefs around money that are seriously limiting me and I’m going to be writing a series about what I’m doing to heal myself of these.

So what exactly IS a wealth wound?  It’s a negative belief associated with wealth.  I’ve got Tony Robbins to thank for recognizing these, which I might add are many and varied.  You name it, I’ve got it when it comes to wealth wounds and so in the name of naming, shaming and ultimately healing here’s my list.

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees
  • There’s not enough to go around
  • It’s too expensive
  • We can’t afford it
  • Money is dirty
  • Money is shameful
  • It’s greedy to want more than the absolute minimum
  • You have to do bad things to get it
  • People who have lots of money are shallow
  • I am not worthy of financial abundance
  • You have to work hard and sell your soul to get money
  • Money is the root of all evil
  • People who have lots of money “stand on other people’s necks to get it”

Now that they’re all written down and not spinning around in my head causing chaos they’re laughable.  And conflicting.  That last one is outstanding –  I can remember being told that quite clearly and evidently it’s hung around doing no good whatsoever.  Clearly these beliefs are not serving me well and it is TIME FOR THEM TO BEGONE!

For many,  especially us baby boomers we absorbed these lessons in childhood either consciously or unconsciously and we’ve been carting them round behind us like heavy luggage ever since.  Well its time to drop those bags!

So how do we recognize our wealth wounds:

  1. Gather together your ingredients – a pencil, lots of paper and half an hour of uninterrupted time
  2. Set a timer for ten minutes and write down any beliefs you have associated with money.  If you’re finding it hard to get into the groove start with positive beliefs and  eventually the negative ones will crawl out from where they’ve been hiding.
  3. When time is up, corral all the negatives on to one clean sheet of paper.
  4. Read them and laugh – aren’t they absurd when written down?  And frequently conflicting.
  5. Now that you’ve recognized them, take some big deep breaths (because if you’re like me this would have been painful) and give yourself a massive pat on the back.  Congratulations!  You’ve taken the first step.

May this be of use to you.

Robx

 

I’m On A Mission: Money Should Be Fun

Right.  I’m going to confess.  I am sh** at money, at finance, investments and all those worthy subjects that other, proper grown up people know all about.   It’s the major obstacle between me and my ideal life.  In the past I would rather have stuck forks in my eyeballs than spend any time learning about money.

BUT it is the one thing standing between me and my ideal life….which includes flying first class on Emirates and plenty of travel.  That’s not coming cheap!    So I’ve decided that I need to get an education and fast.  And if I’m struggling with this stuff then I’ll bet that plenty of other people are too.  What’s more it shouldn’t be rocket science, after all I’m the proud possessor of two degrees I should be able to figure this stuff out.  And it shouldn’t take two degrees anyway!

Even more this stuff should be fun!  Life’s too short  to waste time studying something that isn’t.  For something that’s so essential to all of us money/finances/investment has been hijacked by  white middle class males into a boring inaccessible subject.  Well I’m on a mission to remove the snore factor.

If you feel that  your financial education has been sorely lacking until now join me, I’ll be sharing my journey to get a financial education by posting about it once a week on this blog.   So follow me!   Tell your friends.  Let’s set the world on fire.  Money should be fun!

May this be of use to you

Robx

Personal Brands: Why You Should Have One

adventuresbeforedementia #heart“Happiness is when you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”       Mahatma Gandhi

And the Mahatma should know ’bout that stuff..

I have spent a truck load of time working on my personal brand in the last year or so.  My personal brand is #heart, and that’s my logo up above.   Behind this a credo which is the guts of it all.  For me living with #heart means acting with courage, intuition and love – this is my credo.  I’ve written about it before here, and about being authentic in my previous post here.

Working through all this took a great deal of time and I’ve written about it here but its been the most worthwhile exercise I’ve probably ever done, because it forced me to get to the heart of who I am and what I stand for, and because of this it now enables me to truly live my values. A personal brand says to the world “this is who I am” and more importantly “this is what I stand for”  As an individual it is incredibly important to me to live my values and what’s more its brought far more harmony to my life, and consequently more happiness.   It’s a wonderful feeling when all the parts of you are heading in the same direction.  Does that sound odd?  I used to feel scattered, with bits of me all over the place.  This process has enabled me to metaphorically gather myself back together and progress.  I imagined all those scattered little pieces tied to me with tiny ropes and all pulling in different directions, not a helpful image. But now I’m whole.  Phew!    The Mahatma was spot on with that quote at the beginning of this piece.

Figuring out my personal brand then made it  super easy to design a logo with the help of a professional.  It took about an hour of her time all up.  Instead of messing round with a bunch of random ideas I’d done 90 percent of the thinking before I even got to the designer, so I saved money.

Here’s why you need your own brand.

  1.  Decision making is easier because you filter it through your credo which is values based.
  2. You save money on products because you already know what is going to be in alignment with your values – 90 percent of the hard work is done when you work out your brand.
  3. You can apply your brand to your online presence – it becomes your image to the world.  People immediately know what you’re all about.  It doesn’t take a whole heap of effort on their part.
  4. Being able to stand up for what you believe in gives an amazing sense of self respect.
  5. Life is so much more efficient when you’re not fighting against yourself all the time!

I really really recommend going through this process, most of the work involved is thinking and that costs nothing.

May this be of use to you

Robx

 

On Being Authentic

I had what Oprah calls an “aha” moment this morning during meditation.  It concerned the theme of my life.  You know how we all seem to have one overarching issue in our lives which keeps recurring until we deal with it?   For some it’s addiction,  for others it’s maintaining a long term relationship, or dealing with ill health.  Well for me it’s being true to myself.  And the myself that’s been showing up for a large part of my life has not been authentic.  It’s been the 1960’s white middle class female that I was brought up as.

Which would have been fine if it worked for me, but it didn’t.  All that good girl stuff about not being a tomboy, speaking quietly (well THAT didn’t work out!), being “a lady” whatever-the-hell-that-is.  I realized I’ve spent far too long fitting in, shutting up and shutting down.  Being quiet, not owning my feelings, my voice.  The recurring theme of my childhood was a parent saying ” you just have to be different don’t you?”  Ending up in a very conventional step-family didn’t help.  I seemed to be in trouble without even trying, just because I thought differently.  And being shamed for it.  Sadly, the result was that I tried so hard to fit in when I should have been running the other way.  Fast.  I always felt that there was something wrong with me.  I didn’t measure up and was somehow less worthy than everyone else and full of shame because of it.  And then to top it all off I became a librarian, how much more conventional can you get?    It’s getting harder and harder to stay in that box of conventionality where I’ve been all my life – the sides are bulging and the lid’s about to explode off.

After some fast walking and vigorous housework (always therapeutic!) today I decided game over.  End of. Caput. Fini.  The hell with fitting in.  I’ve finally grown up.

I chose my hashtag heart logo for this site because I wanted to live with heart.  All of my best decisions have been the ones where I’ve followed my heart and I’ve been authentic.  Now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and actually do it.  Be creative, live life to the full and be the real me,  and on the way encourage others to do the same.  Life’s too short for anything else.

May this be of use to you

Rob

How to: Get Unstuck

Move your body, dance

This one is a major for me and I’ve only just discovered it.  Sad but true.  If I’m stuck I now MOVE.  And that means stuck with anything, life, writing, finances, any kind of problem, I move.

Moving means just that – it doesn’t have to be fancy, do whatever floats your boat.  Jiggle in your chair if you can’t do anything else.  If you don’t believe it works watch this video of Jesse Shand and be incredibly inspired.  It’s 21 minutes but worth the time.

Some of the things I do are:

  1.  Dance to music in my head, and not just in the privacy of my own home.  One of the beauties of being over 50 is that you being to not give a sh** about what other people think.  It’s incredibly freeing.
  2. Put some real dance music on and go for it.  LOUDLY!
  3. Short bursts of high intensity exercise – burpees, press-ups, star jumps, anything.
  4. Go for a run or a good long walk.

Whatever happens I come back refreshed and often with a solution, or at the very least I feel a whole heap better about the situation.  My non-scientific explanation for this is that it gets you out of your head and back into your body and for some reason this really WORKS.  Scientists would probably say that it’s something to do with the movement revving up endorphins in the brain.  Who cares.  Just try it.  It really freakin’ works!

May this be of use to you

Robx

 

 

How To: Do The Best You Can With What You Have

ingenuity do what you can with what you have

This image looks like the stuff that gets confiscated at airport security!  The point of this post is that all of us have unused resources and untapped abilities.  We are far deeper and more capable than we ever realize and when we look, really look we have so many more resources at our disposal than we realize.  Loads and loads and loads.

Ask anyone running a social service and I’m sure that the universal response will be that there’s never enough funding to support the level of service that’s required. In an ideal world there are always programmes that should be or could be run to improve outcomes for users.   One of the most meaningful lessons I learned from running a public library was to do the best you can with what you have right now.  It has been one of my most valuable life lessons, and I’ve really taken it to heart.  To quote General Patton:

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”

In this less than ideal world this is so true, having a little pressure put on us brings out our creativity.  We begin to look at the resources we have at our disposal in a different way and often the simple solution we arrive at is frequently the best one anyway.

Not that there’s anything wrong with money but sometimes spending it is taking the easy way out.    Yes many of us need more of the stuff, but until we increase our level of abundance we’re going to have to use our ingenuity to get where we want to go.

Here’s what I do :

  1.  Be organized.  This is crucial – if you don’t know what you’ve got at your disposal then you’re sunk before you start
  2. Store like with like, not all over the house.  Once you’ve done this you’ll realize just how abundant you really are, and if you ever forget just look at the pile of ballpoint pens you’ve accumulated!
  3. Get rid of the real junk – you’ll know what it is and if you don’t then read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and you’ll get the idea.
  4. Now the fun begins – get creative – what can you sell, upcycle or repurpose? If you’re stuck check out Pinterest and tap into a community of ingenuous people.

Once you get the hang of it this approach becomes addictive.  Living on a tight budget is not all bad, it’s definitely brought out my creative side.  Now if I go to buy something I ask myself a) if I really do need it? and b) is there something at home I could use instead?  Nine times out of ten there is.  Recently I needed something to keep kitchen scraps in until they got put out on the compost heap to avoid making ten trips out there a day – especially in a southern winter.  I eventually found a spare stainless steel casserole dish I was no longer using.  It works perfectly – stores  a day’s worth of scraps and the lid keeps the flies off and better still it cost me nothing.  We ALL have these types of solutions at our fingertips.

May this be of use to you

Robx