Reading Journal 2015 Week 10

Let’s listen to Glenn Miller for a minute.

You know what I wasn’t this week? I wasn’t in the mood for reading. In the novel Dune Gurney Halleck says “Not in the mood? Mood is a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset, not fighting!”

I love Dune. That’s one of those books I can read over and over. But, in spite of Gurney’s rebuke, I did little reading this week.

Oh, I read blogs like flipping through pages of a magazine but my week sort of just zipped past. My commute home on Friday took several hours longer than normal, I have a few projects going on at work….on and on the excuses go. It’s not that I’m emotionally down, it’s not that I’m burned out…it’s that I have allowed other options to consume my time. And maybe some of those options were less than optimal.

So yesterday I picked up a motivational book Julie read some time ago called Mach II With Your Hair On Fire: The Art of Vision and Self Motivation. Yes, this is one of those cheesy lightweight business motivational books. Yes, it’s a book about network marketing. But it was just what I needed. And I have more to say about network marketing later.

Let’s start with a quote from chapter 3. I hope this challenges you too.

Most people have goal setting confused with desire. People think that if you write down all the things you desire, that’s goal setting. It’s not. Everyone is a goal setter and a goal achiever, whether consciously or not. Goal setting only works when your goal becomes your MINDSET or EXPECTATION. If all you do is think of things you want and write them down, your “wanter” will be working really well, but your “getter” will still be asleep. Goals have to become beliefs and expectations. You have to believe what you want is actually inevitable.

He talks about his tendency to believe he would fail…he expected to fail. And he did fail. Now you, reader, know better than to believe in all this “attitude” mumbo-jumbo. You have read this stuff before. You don’t believe in it. It doesn’t work. Successful people are born to be successful. For example, I was recently told I am only successful because I am blonde, tall and male.

You are right.

Absolutely right.

You will never amount to anything – but not because of your sex or height or hair color – but because you are a victim. He talks in the book about it isn’t enough to want something, to work hard, to be good and to become educated. Those are great things for you to do but hard work and education do not always lead to success. The author says you have to factor in attitude. My critic focused all attention on envy and gave no attention whatsoever to opportunity…let alone reason.

He goes on in that chapter to talk about the importance of policing your thoughts. It’s easy to focus on negativity. It’s easy to say your idea will never work…and so you never try. And when you finally get enough energy and focus to start that project you have delayed…well…then what? Who would want to read a book I wrote? Tall people have insecurities too.

And those things you repeat to yourself become reality.

To the degree there is clarity, the mind does not distinguish between an actual experience and one that has been vividly imagined!

Prove it to yourself.

Have you ever cried at a movie?

Have you ever screamed at a movie?

Have you ever laughed at a movie?

For further emphasis he retells a story of a mild childhood embarrassment. The event happened once and caused no lasting injury but he has replayed that embarrassment over and over in his mind to the point that it has, effectively, happened to him thousands of times. That sounds familiar. In fact, it is worse than he says. As I relive each bad event I tend to make it worse than it was. Not only did the event happen once, it happened differently than I remember it. And I’m probably the only person who remembers it. I have it memorized. I can see it clearly at this moment. And I can tell you, it holds me back. But the truth is, there is a beautiful, supportive, intelligent woman who loves me. My 15 year old self could not have imagined that happening. I met her when I was 16 and still couldn’t see it. Honestly, it took me until I was nearly 30 years old to believe that she married me out of anything other than pity. I’m not kidding. Every day I thought she would realize her mistake and walk away.

That kind of held me back in our marriage. What is holding you back? What reality have you invented for yourself?

So here I am writing in my reading journal. As he points out in chapter 6 I have committed to something. I’m going to get it done. Even if I journal my reading of “The Little Red Hen”. I have a goal to read a book each week.

A commitment is a decision to do something, to be something, no matter the obstacles; no matter whether you still feel like it next week, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how many times you fail, no matter what results you are creating. A commitment pays no attention to the outcome, other than to refine strategy. Results do not alter the commitment to persevere.

So I am writing this post. Also, I am still married.

Bing will tell you all about it.

Let’s make up a new world. Let’s imagine something big. Something wonderful. Let’s imagine a Christmas surrounded by our parents and children and grandchildren in a warm home. Both ham and turkey have been roasted and smell wonderful. Presents are piled near the tree and the children can hardly wait. My children and I reflect on the year that has passed. We sold our first thousand calves in April and brought in enough money to meet our operating expenses for the year. The remaining calves, eggs, chickens and lumber sold from the farm were just extra. In fact, it’s time to expand again…this time we are going abroad. I sit at the table talking big but doing nothing. Julie looks beautiful even as she manages the work in the kitchen. She is always working. I decide it’s time to sneak up behind her and give her a kiss. The grandchildren blush and turn away…but they know I love their grandma. She asks me to wash the dishes. Oh well.

What do you see? As the book asks, what movie do you create in your mind?

Julie has a similar vision. She has it written on paper. Look man, don’t discount writing things down. Write the vision, make it plain so he that read it may run with it. It’s in the Bible, man. Not only has she written it, she listens to the audio of it each morning. I would love to share it with you but I can’t. Maybe she will but I can’t. It’s hers. And it’s quite personal. The point is, she has it on paper where we can see it and she plays it for herself each morning. That recording, though personal, is VERY POSITIVE. And that’s how she starts her day.

But she sees it outside of writing too. I have shared a portion of her vision board before.


It’s all over our house, man. Reminders of where we are going. And we are going up. It is inevitable.

In a way, as pointed out by the book, we are telling ourselves lies. But are you honest with yourself about your failures? His example is that someone may imagine themselves as a 150 pound person. When you lose 25 pounds you still see yourself as a 150 pound person…so you soon become a 150 pound person again. Even when 125 pounds was the truth, you couldn’t see the truth. We lie to ourselves…good or bad. What lie do you want to believe?

This is a powerful thing, man. Do you hate your job? Do you want to love your job? List out the positives of your job. Only the positives. Write out your ideal day. Every morning before work play out a movie while reading your list. Soon, your dream will come true. If you dwell on the differences in your marriage you will soon be divorced. If you focus on alignment, you will soon be aligned. That’s how it is. Go ahead. Tell her she’s fat and ugly and can’t cook 20 times each day. Tell her to her face and you’ll probably get slapped. Tell her in your mind and you’ll probably get divorced. True or not, your mind makes it real.

The whole book is summed up early on with one simple quote.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Now, concerning network marketing. We seem to have applied a negative connotation to the phrase. And, maybe, for good reason. But let’s network market some eggs. First, I give a free dozen eggs to a random lady at work. She says, “Um…thanks?” A week later she buys two dozen. She tells a co-worker. That co-worker buys two dozen. My network is spreading. Networking is good business. The issue we have is with pyramid schemes. Some central person at the top raking in the dough by setting up some tool at the bottom. I’m sure that happens. But sometimes, word of mouth is just a good business model. Pay commissions instead of paying for advertising makes for more targeted, personal advertising. Not that I’m here to sell you on a network marketing company. Just sayin’.

Thanks for taking time to read this today. I know I have lost focus on my farm blog…I tend to write more about life issues and video games. But I put a lot of myself into the blog. The cows are in the barn. Chicks in the brooder. Snow is melting and it’s muddy outside. We just can’t do much so our time is being spent in close proximity. And that’s cool. But it can’t help but bleed through on the blog.

Click here to see all entries in my reading journal.

4 thoughts on “Reading Journal 2015 Week 10

  1. Thanks for the refocus. I was talking to the baseball team this week about their “goals.” I led them to think that their goals were about success in the wins and loss columns. I should focus them about results such as hitting the ball hard and throwing a pitch to a certain location. If their goal is something such as that, then the game will take care of itself.

    • Well, Steve. You convinced me to rewrite the entire post. I’ll do this from two perspectives…maybe three but first I have to set it up. Ready?

      Some years ago, when I was younger and stuff, I decided to seek out some coaching to help with olympic lifts. Those are kinda tricky. I couldn’t seem to get them right. The coaching made all the difference in the world. There are several phases to each lift. Let’s focus, for now, on clean and jerk. Initially I have to stand with my feet shoulder-width apart and my shins against the bar. Then I reach down and grasp the bar with my thumbs in. I do not lift. First I pause. I look up and stick out my chest like a rooster preparing to crow. I also make sure I’ve got my butt sticking out behind me. Coach said – as only a coach can – “like I’m poopin’ in the woods.”

      I’m ready. Now I’m going to lift the bar, rubbing it against my legs like I’m trying to pull my pants up breathing out as I go. That’s a deadlift.

      Can you picture that? Is that clear?

      Next we have to get under the bar…we have to clean it. Let’s break that motion down into fewer steps. I’ll just include the detail that, to me, was absolutely profound. I don’t lift the bar with my arms. I jump the bar to shoulder height. If I am unable to power it up with a mighty leap I need to, instead, use my arms to pull my body under the bar. Gravity isn’t fast enough. My arm strength is not used to elevate the bar. Just to get me under it. Are we clear? Then, when I’m under the bar I catch it on the front of my shoulders, using my finger tips to balance it.

      That breakdown made all the difference in the world both to my max weight and to my overall safety. I could see it. I can write it. Being able to break down the movements into understandable language gave me a vision of what could be. And that’s what I see.

      I see me standing in front of a bar one second, then standing under a bar the next.

      You know what I don’t see? I don’t see the times I miss and fling the bar behind me or set it back on the ground to bounce away from my body. Those things have happened. But they are not a part of the vision of success.

      So let’s go to baseball. You are the coach. You have to break things down for your players. The pitcher falls down to accelerate the whip action of his arm. At the last second he catches his fall whipping his arm forward. The ball rockets over the plate right into the mitt. The batter didn’t stand a chance. You have to break down the movements. You have to make it clear. Help them see the action, not the failure. Ignore the failure. Sometimes your pitch goes into the dirt. Pitch again.

      Now let’s get into the heads of the players. Your players know the vision. The other team does not. Their coach focused entirely on drills. Fundamentals. Effort and reward. Strength. You have focused on the vision of success. Your batter steps up to the plate. He looks the pitcher in they eye. He digs in his left foot, digs in his right foot. Looks at the label on the bat, down at the plate, winks at the catcher and looks back up for the pitch. In his head he has seen what happens next. The pitcher throws the ball high and inside. He knows it is coming. Whatever. Next pitch we’ll just watch the bat hit the ball. No big deal. and if I strike out? I’ll see this pitcher again.

      What is the pitcher thinking? He is not ready for this. His folks are in the stand. He hasn’t been pitching well the last few games. Geez, what if he puts one in the dirt? There is a runner on second and everybody is counting on me. I can’t let them down like I did before. It would ruin my life! I can’t screw this up.

      Which team is going to win that game?

  2. Yes, that’s the idea. Other than the times a coach is talking strategy, we should be talking technique and the visualization of correct technique. We do a drill called Dry Run Hitting. It visualizing the 4 steps of hitting and then slowly going through the steps, just as you did with the clean and jerk.

    Thank you agin for the reminder and also the clean and jerk explanation.

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