Tag Archives: maythisbeofusetoyou

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


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






When The Student Is Ready The Teacher Will Appear

Yoda teacher alwayslearning

You know the old adage “when the student is ready the teacher will appear” well I’ve been waiting for my teacher for what seems like ages.  Evidently I must be ready because in the last week or so I’ve encountered so many materials from this one person that I’ve started to feel slightly hunted.  The Universe definitely has a message for me!  Cue my *happy dance* !  Whoop! Whoop!   Its. About. Freaking. Time.

Apparently Tony Robbins is my guru.  I have encountered (and bought) two CD courses, both the manuals (in perfect unused condition) and “Unlimited Power” by Tony Robbins. For the princely sum of NZ$30.  Whoever originally bought these would have paid hundreds.  I’ve long been a fan of Tony Robbins, having read “Awaken the Giant Within” years ago, and I’ve always wanted to attend one of his courses in person, but given the money involved and add on the travel and it’s out of my league right now.  But this is the perfect option as its cost me next to nothing and I can work through in my own time.

To continue to rebuild my life I need to change some of the associations I’ve held for too long, about money, exercise and work, something which I am determined to do.  I’m working hard on it and tracking my goals on a daily basis….Did you know that if you want to earn $100,000 in a year you need to be making $12.50 every single hour?  I didn’t either, but there you go!

So what have I learned so far?

  1.   I’ve learned what scares me
  2. What I get from not following through on those actions
  3. What it will cost me if I don’t follow through
  4. The benefits I will get by taking action on these scary things
  5. Some of the associations I’ve been making with things I have issues with e.g. Money is bad (ugh…. middle class 1960s NZ up-bringing showing through there)
  6. The reasons why I must change
  7. Ways to get myself out of those limiting associations.

For example I have always had a problem about money.  I was taught that it was bad, to want it was wrong and that anyone who had it “stood on other people’s necks” to get it.  You couldn’t get much worse associations than that.  No wonder I’ve always found myself in relatively poorly paid service type jobs.  Just ask a librarian how much they are paid;  take it from me, for the amount of knowledge and training involved it’s terrible.  Compared say, to an engineer especially.

Thanks to Tony Robbins I’m now learning some new associations to do with money – that it’s a power for good, it can be shared, it gives freedom, and control over one’slife.  It can be used to help others.  These are much better, more useful associations. I’m going to take these and use them to rebuild my life better and stronger and more powerfully.  I’ll keep you all posted as to how I get on.

May this be of use to you.


Why Am I Sharing My Life?

sharing social media blogging may this be of use to you

Because I’m horribly opinionated and I love to write, so this is an easy way to share my thoughts, feelings and opinions.  Lol.  But beyond that, I’m having to reinvent myself at age 55.  It’s not always been easy, in fact sometimes its down right difficult .  I’m learning to re-frame my redundancy into a great opportunity to carve out a life that is special, and perfect just for me.

I figure that if I’m going through all of this I might as well document it, in case my lessons are able to help others.  And, in the learning, if I teach others along the way, then the lessons might just stick in my head a little bit more effectively.  I’m having to turn a bunch of old beliefs and conditionings completely upside down, which is interesting to say the least.  In fact, now I’ve got so used to that,  that if something isn’t working I automatically “flip it” and try the opposite to see if that will be more successful.

I’m not always great at knowing what to write, some of these posts are a little rocky, a little rough around the edges, but in the words of Sheryl Sandberg “done is better than perfect”.  And that can be a little tricky for a librarian….I’m trying hard to post every day, even if it’s a bit lightweight.  Practice makes perfect, and if I haven’t got this blog format nailed yet, then I’ll have to tweak it.  Or permanently move to YouTube.  I’m not young, I’m not pretty, but I love Social Media and really want to maintain a significant presence here.

So I’m working on it all, and documenting madly with my two crappy pages a day,and hopefully on the way I’m helping others.

May this be of use to you.

On Meditation

meditation monk may this be of use to you

I truly believe that we all need to be a little bit kinder to ourselves.  Yes, we need to set goals and do the work and hustle, but  we also need to slow down, relax and get quiet with ourselves.  I’m sure Buddhism has a name for this, but I’m not a Buddhist so I’ll call it the do/not do paradigm.

Trees Meditation Nature Quiet

Most of us are incredibly good at the “do” part of the paradigm, but equally we need to sharpen our skills with the “not do” part.    And I don’t mean slobbing out on the sofa watching movies and eating chips.   I believe that what we need more of is the quiet of solitude, the quiet of being with our thoughts and breathing softly, of being in nature and observing.

meditation nature grass

So this post is a plea for a little more quiet, a little more contemplation and a whole lot more attention to  “not doing.”  In our lack of action we begin to find ourselves and then the “doing” part of the paradigm becomes so much more purposeful, beautiful and effective.  May this be of use to you!

Seven Ways To Raise Your Standards

7 ways to raise your standards


Here’s my take on some common ways that we can raise our standards:

  1. By  not allowing ourselves to be treated badly by other people
  2. Having only useful or beautiful objects in our homes
  3. Doing  the daily work on our goals
  4. By not listening to the fearful voices inside our heads
  5. Keeping a tidy home – if we can tidy it for visitors, then surely we can give ourselves the respect of keeping it tidy always.
  6. By not allowing negative people and talk in our lives
  7. By only wearing clothing that is a true reflection of our personalities – nothing dull, ugly or scruffy

By raising our standards we restore our self respect and attract better opportunities into our lives, otherwise we’re stuck with the same-old same-old.  In the words of Henry Ford “If you do the things you’ve always done, you’ll  always get what you’ve always got”  Right on Henry.


Got Goals? Do The Work

goals work reinvention writing twocrappypagesaday

Here’s where my two crappy pages a day come in.  It’s about doing the work.  Every. Single. Day.  And that’s where I’ve always gone wrong in the past.

Have you ever set goals every New Year’s but never made any progress towards them?  Have you ever wondered why you just seem to be treading water with your career/fitness/health/financial issues?  The hard truth of it is that you’re not doing the work.

It’s taken me years to realize this, but every year I set goals and every year I didn’t achieve them and I couldn’t figure out why.  It’s taken me until I’m 55 to realize that I simply wasn’t working towards them.

Yes, I would throw myself at my fitness or career goals in the beginning of the year, but I seemed to get nowhere fast and I couldn’t figure out why.

It’s just hit me that for starters I wasn’t choosing the right goals for me – they were societal “should have goals”  – like a fancy car or more money.  Goals need to personally resonate  or you’ll never have the daily enthusiasm to go and do the work.  Secondly I wasn’t consistent enough about my work and I wasn’t tracking my goals.  Now it’s all going on my wall calendar and in the notebook I use everyday for my lists, gratitudes and ideas.  Every morning and evening I read my goals and focus on moving towards each of them one tiny step at a time.  And some days it’s a really tiny step.

A lot has been said on the internet about GRINDING out the work  to achieve success.   I tried this for ages and it doesn’t work for me.  What does work is more like  lower-case-unbolded-grinding.  If things aren’t working out then back off.  Take smaller steps, but take them consistently, and track them.  Working towards your goals should be more about the joy of the process, than a miserable suffering towards the end point.   Enjoy each tiny achievement as it happens and then press on.

For me I get a buzz every time I press the publish button on WordPress, I get a buzz every time I can connect my thoughts and voice my opinion in the hope that it helps someone in the same boat as me, I get a buzz from being creative.  I would still be writing down my thoughts and figuring things out on paper even if I was the last person on earth.  Now there’s  a proper goal.


The Joy of Mindless Pursuits…or How I Get My Best Ideas.

I get it now.  Trainspotting.  Men in anoraks standing on cold railway platforms in the UK.  Its a kind of mindless pursuit, and its very easy to laugh.  But, I believe, everyone needs a mindless pursuit and there’s a lot of more conventional pursuits that could be considered mindless.  Many of us turn to fishing, knitting  or Sudoku when we are stressed.   Gambling in any form.  Baking anyone?   It’s no coincidence that the image at the top of this post is of wool and needles.   Knitting would have to be top of the list of my own mindless pursuits.

The beauty of a mindless pursuit is just  that.  It’s mindless.  The brain  is effectively switched off, out to lunch,  feet up and wine in hand.  Bliss……

So what are the requirements for a mindless pursuit?

I would argue that there are four essentials – Solitude, Silence, Repetition and Time.  Combine these four and there’s a potential for some free flowing brain action, and this is where the ideas come from.   Solitude and silence because the brain to go into autopilot mode, which it can’t do when we’re  busy multi-tasking.  Time because we need to “settle in” to whichever is our go-to activity, and repetition because this is what  helps the mind float free.  The body is busy, and because the activity is repetitive the mind doesn’t need to work hard to control it.  It’s almost like a moving meditation.

Ok, so what’s the big deal here?  Why bother?  Because, for me anyway, this is when the ideas arrive,  sometimes thick and fast. They may  be hopeless, but odds are that somewhere among the mess will be a gem.  And that’s the beauty of it.  Trainspotting anyone?