Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Giving Up Resistance Isn’t Easy


Ice Dec. 23 by the front door. Lethal driveway.

Pink, our pink flamingo in the arbor. Pink was last year's Christmas present from Daughter number 2 to me.The pink flamingo is our mascot for our Real Estate Brokerage which is called Vibrance Real Estate LLC. Oh, his little leg is drooping, but then, he's tired after holding it up for a year.


Resistance is the block that comes when you avoid something or bump into a wall. Steven Pressfield uses the word Resistance. I thought he was talking about Procrastination, but that’s not quite it.


Pressfield said that for years he had been avoiding his true calling. That was writing. However, finally, he sat down at his typewriter and wrote for an hour. “It was crap,” he said, but he got up and immediately washed the dishes that had been accumulating in the sink for a week. He had broken his resistance.


Let’s say you dream of starting a business. It’s a beautiful dream. You focus and plan, and it’s a fun adventure—the dreaming part. And then your business manifests. You have a business to set up, but now there is much to do. You have fees and dues and worry about how much it will cost. You have people to speak with and to hire. You need to market and get together materials. You become a doer. And you push and struggle, and it isn’t fun anymore. You say, “Well, it isn’t all fun, and it is necessary to work. And so, you push, you stay up nights, and that business occupies most of your waking hours.


Abraham, a teacher I listen to, says, “You have turned upstream.”


The dream, the planning, was downstream. You were going with the flow, and then you got into a struggle and turned upstream where the water was tumultuous, and rowing was tough.


But that’s the way it is, you say. It’s not all fun and games. It is necessary to do the work. Yep, that’s what schools, parents, and society teach us. 


And Boy, Howdy, that belief in hard work is hard to give up. There are monuments for people who have struggled, which tells us those people were important.


I’m not saying that overcoming a challenge isn’t satisfying. However, I agree with Abraham, who said, “Nothing you want is upstream.” (I think that College degree was. I wanted it. I did it. It was upstream.” I wonder, though, if there is a way to go with the flow while entangled in a system set up to make it hard?) 


That business analogy isn’t exactly my situation, but there is a ring of truth to it. I have struggled for the past month and got a simple website for our Real Estate Brokerage —that was the easy part. However, I’m still dealing with transferring domains, and with two people’s emails involved, and codes and all that. I think I got caught in a whirlpool.


It happens.


A few days ago, I picked up Aldous Huxley’s book, The Art of Seeing. Perhaps you remember I blogged about Vision Training in the blog post, Hello Beautiful, Check Your Eyeballs. Huxley commented that the eyes and the brain both like relaxation. 


The harder you scrunch down your brain, you try to remember something that has slipped away or find a lost object.


But eventually, you surrender. You let the severe concentration go—especially the anger at yourself for having lost or forgotten something. And, you sort of forget about it. You’ve turned downstream, and Viola’, it appears.


The eyes, like the brain, operate better when relaxed. You can feel it when you finally let go and allow the eyes to see and the brain to think.


There is much to learn in this life. I need to live another 1,000 years.


Wait, another 1,000? I haven’t lived the first 1,000 yet.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


Dear Ones,

This is December 21, the Winter Solstice. I thought of looking up why the ancients considered the solstices so important as to build monuments to celebrate or to mark them. Perhaps they were a timing device. Do you have any information on that?

And then I remembered that when I was seven years old my mother and stepdad got married on December 21. I played with the neighbor kids while they were gone, and they came home married. I guess they wanted to be alone. On their first anniversary Mom suggested that he and she not buy presents for each other to save money, but he had already purchased a stereo unit. So, they got a stereo for the solstice.

No matter if they scrimped on other things, Mom always made Christmas special for me, it was a year of presents and clothes all stacked up into one glorious day. Thank you, Mom.

Remember Christmas is the great high holiday of the year—a time of peace and merriment. One Christmas, during the second World War, a certain group of American GI’s, and German soldiers, took a day of peace and played ball together.

When I saw this card, I thought it said it all.

I wish you peace and the merriest of Christmases.

Love from Jo


Please click on the link to see this card.


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

How Are You Doing?


What can I say? My hands are freezing, so I can hardly type. The heater hasn't chased the night chill out of my office yet—I don't know where it will go—it's beautifully sunny outside, so maybe the sun's warmth will soak it up.


Sweetpea is happy, though. She's under my desk with the heater. I've been watching the Discovery channel's documentary about The Alaska Bush People, and I think some of their weather drifted down here. Those Alaskan people, The Browns, lived in the bush, off the land, hunted, fished, slept in sleeping bags, on the ground, in make-shift huts, cut trees to make shelters, scavenged items from dumps, and finally got a house built. The next thing was to create a bed for the parents. (There are nine in the family—seven kids.) They hauled the bed, which weighed a half-ton, for it was made of logs, up to the second half-story, and who was the first to hop on the bed? The dog.


Those kids aged 12 to 32 are well-spoken, well-educated, hard-working, inventive, with definite personalities and playfulness. And all were home-schooled. They know how to hunt, fish, build inventions like smokehouses, elevators (for moving meat up a tree to keep it away from bears), and a clothes dryer. And they often recite poems at night under the glow of a campfire.


They do find they bump into modern conveniences once in a while when one gets sick or injured, and then, there is the challenge of finding a mate.


This contrasts with billionaires who live in palatial mansions with more conveniences you can shake a stick at. (Ode to my mother, I still wonder what “shake a stick at” means.) I'm not saying one is better than the other physically. Instead, I'm curious about values, morals, and living instead of existing.


Don't think I'm longing for Alaska, though. I prefer warm climates, although my hands are still blocks or ice.


We tried living off the grid once—it could work with a few more solar panels, and you don't take all your worries with you when you go.


You know, I've talked about our time on the Big Island in the book The Frog's Song by Joyce Davis. I still honor Jamie Royal, CEO of Regal Publishing, for feeling it worthy of publication. Only some people find it worth buying, though. I need to learn marketing—for, with excellent marketing, people will buy books worse than The Frog's Song. 


And this week, I'm gradually learning some of the intricacies of the computer, for a new Real Estate website has yet to be made live. And I've screwed up my laptop, removed plug-ins, jammed things up, and put them back—it works better now. So I figure it's the storm before the calm.


It will come together.


Tell me about your week.



"Breathe in the sweet air of limitless possibilities and make life as rich as you know it can be." 





Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Stupid is as Stupid Does


Remember Chick-a-Dee?



She wasn't stupid. I'll get to stupid later.


In the meantime, I'm letting Chick-a-Dee do some decorating around here. She's in chicken heaven now enjoying her Christmas Margaretta—along with another of her favorite things-French-fries. Three years ago, I decorated her for Christmas. 


Chick-a-Dee has the job of spreading cheer. I did a double take the day after Thanksgiving when I saw people on our street putting up Christmas decorations—stupid me—I thought last Christmas happened only three weeks ago. One house has a blow-up Privy outhouse where Santa opens the door, peers out, then closes it again—only to repeat in-out. Poor Santa, how disrespectful. (Notice I didn't say stupid.)


Now, here's stupid:


Using AI to write blogs. I got another comment on my blog today suggesting that to save time, I let a robot do it.


Are people so desperate, lazy, or figure a blog is expected for business sites, or what? I bet they don't sound like Mark Twain.


Why do you think writers write? 


It's their expression. 


"Sound Like You!"


These words screamed at me last night.


If I sound stupid, at least it's my stupid.


Jason Fried's book, Rework showed up in an email dated Oct.12, 2017. It was a PDF version sent to me by my daughter. I am curious to know if it was a pirated version or what, but a CEO sent it. I missed her email. She forgot about it. Viola', it came to me. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." 


Fried's book is brilliant.


I'll try not to copy Fried's book too much. That's not nice, but I'll throw out a few of his concepts for you to chew on.



"Sound like you." That's from Fried.


Th's one of the things I objected to with Robot talk. another was taking our job away from us. But also:


What is it with businesspeople trying to sound big?" writes Fried.  


 This mask of professionalism is a joke. We all know this. Yet small companies still try to emulate it. They think sounding big makes them appear bigger and more "professional." But it really just makes them sound ridiculous. Plus, you sacrifice one of the mall company's greatest assets: the ability to communicate simply and directly without running every word through a legal and PR department sieve.


There's nothing wrong with sounding your own size. Being honest about who you are is smart business, too. Language is often your first impression--why start it off with a lie? Don't be afraid to be you."


My sentiments exactly. 


Daughter Dear once worked for a company that wouldn't let them use contractions in their email responses. And they had a monitor to catch them if they did. So many demerits, and you get written up. Sounds like school, doesn't it?


Now, that's stupid. Contractions are how people speak. 


"Don't talk about "monetization" or being "transparent;" talk about making money and being honest." 


About Mistakes:


"Learning from mistakes is overrated."--a Fried speak.


In the business world, failure has become an expected rite of passage. You hear all the time how nine out of ten new businesses fail. You hear that your business's chances are slim to none. You hear that failure builds character. People advise, "Fail early and fail often."


 With so much failure in the air, you can't help but breathe it in. Don't inhale. Don't get fooled by the stats. Other people's failures are just that: other people's failures.


Another misconception


You need to learn from your mistakes. What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don't know what you should do next."


Yeah, I've learned 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb but not how to get the best web template without spending a ton of money.


You know I've made websites—I have inundated you with them, but I've never made a powerful one for a Real Estate Brokerage that needs a plug-in for MLS house listings.


Four days, whoops, I think today is day five. I've made sites, lost them, had them crash and burn, tried to delete and refund only to have the one I wanted deleted as well. One thing works: "Pick a Plan. Pay here." I've made so many changes that PayPal is getting bulging muscles from all the exercises I'm giving it.


Fried's book was a breath of fresh air. 


I had to stop, for Fried makes so many excellent points, like Business meetings, GPAs, and Resumes, I was getting into a rant. Delete, delete, delete.


Go back to Chick-a Dee and let her give you a moment of calm.