That’s what Steve Martin said in The Jerk when he anxiously awaited to be listed in the new phone book because that meant, “Now I’m somebody!” Anyways, a new class list is in for a list of Master Classes that The Learning Club is offering in July. This is so exciting to have MATH classes – Make N Take Hours or Money and Time Habits. There is a mixture of craft classes with money organization classes. Check out www.50statesclub.net/GoalsStore.html for details on the classes and to sign up for any classes. Or, email me at email@example.com to get any questions answered. Happy learning!
Sometimes people admonish sensitive people to get a thick skin. However, what most don’t realize is that sensitive people can be keenly aware of their surroundings and can know things without understanding the source of that knowledge. Sensitive people know how to assess situations and to read subtle clues to know when reality is different than the words used to describe the situation.
Traditional ways to greet people are with the question, “How are you?” But, traditional ways also dictate that the only acceptable answer is, “Fine.” It is a ritual you have to begin to get to the heart of a conversation. However, rarely is a person just fine. Even if everything is going well, fine just doesn’t give any information. I will be so bold as to say that the beginning of most conversations is a tradition of lies. Sensitive people know that the fine answer is wrong, and they usually can sense what the real and more accurate adjective is.
The Learning Club would like to start a new tradition of greeting. Instead of asking how someone is, try greeting anyone – friend or stranger – with the question, “What are you reading?” W.A.Y.R. is the acronym and can be pronounced like WHERE. Unless your book is one word, a one word answer is just not going to suffice. If you are not reading anything, the shame of your repeated, “Nothing” answer may be just the incentive to get you reading. Your current book(s) answer will begin the conversation by spreading learning (instead of perpetuating a lie) and will hopefully help your enhance your conversation. It will get the conversation off to the right start.
This summer may be my best summer yet, one for my history’s books. One of the best God gifts of time that I’ve received this summer has been my own form of meditation. The volumes of material on the benefits of traditional meditation still have not helped me to meditate effectively. Similar to the traditional, “How are you?” greeting ritual, I have had to adapt traditional meditation methods to what works for me. This summer I found the value of being each day by reading. It started out as 15 minutes of reading in the morning, and now I’ve allowed myself the guilty pleasure of an hour. I never thought I’d even rise early to get my quiet time reading! I have found a magical formula of reading 3 books at one time. I begin with a daily lesson book, a book designed with one chapter of a few pages each day. I then read a chapter of a personal growth book. The end of the magic time is spent reading a fun book. A personal growth book,P, a daily book, D, and a fun book, F make up my own PDF. It is a fabulous way to start every morning because the rest of the day is spent digesting my new treasures of knowledge.
A man once told of a workshop he attended that began asking the participants to stand after being handed 3 tennis balls. The teacher asked the participants to then juggle. No one was successful. He thanked them and then began the workshop. After the 8 hours of instruction in the workshop, the teacher then handed out the 3 tennis balls again, and he asked them once again to juggle. Everyone could juggle. Did the participants look up how to juggle at lunch? No. Did they practice during breaks? No.
Those 8 hours of workshop training were just enough to give the brain time to figure out how to juggle. The brain needed downtime or alone time to work out the problem of juggling. Once the participants gave their brains enough time to be alone with the problem, the mystery training was completed. That is how it is when we’ve read something… anything. Our brains need time to digest the material and make it our own.
So, what are you reading?
(In case you are interested in my 3 current books, the P is The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown, the D is T.D. Jakes’ Destiny, and the F is The Tea Bird of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See.)
If you are a frequent reader of The Learning Club posts, you’ve deduced by now that the themes in The Wizard of Oz bring lots of inspiration to these posts. WHYLD is the new spelling for wild. It asks the question that we should be asking ourselves repeatedly on the road of life. “What Have You Learned, Dorothy?” After all, as the name suggests, The Learning Club’s focus had better be learning.
A review of this past week leads us to these lessons learned:
– You might be turned off just by a sign advertising Fermented Tofu, but if you are close enough to read the sign, you learn that the gross name doesn’t come close to the smell of the experience.
– A class (or in Saturday’s case 2 classes) in a field of study that you LOVE is just about the best experience where time totally disappears.
– Every day spend some time being creative.
– Find enjoyment out of life that has nothing to do with food, and watch how you only eat to nourish your body instead of feeding your emotions.
– Feed your mind with TIME, or Three Intellectual Meals Everyday.
– You know it’s a good book when you are constantly saying Jo MC – Just One More Chapter!
– Time spent with a friend, in a garden, at a book signing, with the author’s incredible speech makes one the richest person in the world.
– Know how valuable you are. An experiment was once done where a famous violinist, who gets $100/ticket at concerts, started playing for tips in a subway. After hours of playing, he only earned $32 in his tip jar. Kids who wanted to listen to the music were whisked away by parents. When something is given for free, it is assumed to be worth what is paid.
– Wake up every day SO happy with how you took care of yourself yesterday.
What great lessons came from last week. Who knows what gems will be found this week!
I know of an accountant who asks potential clients two questions. 1. Where did you go to college? and 2. To what charities do you contribute? Your first reaction, which is totally normal, may be very put off by these two questions, but really, his thinking is unique and kind of refreshing. First of all, this accountant wants to work with people who are challenging and improving themselves and who are givers. I don’t think he necessarily cares where you went to college but that you went to a college. (The question of where takes it to a different level because it is harder to lie about going to a specific college than if you went at all.) Then, he wants to make sure that the person isn’t so absorbed with themselves and their money that they don’t give to the community. Again, he doesn’t care where you give but that you do give.
OK, for anyone new that I meet including potential clients, I also have two questions but two different ones. 1. What are you reading? and 2. How are you getting BETTER? I want to see that you are on a path (I call it your yellow brick road) to becoming your fullest and best self. I want to see that you are learning the lessons God gave you to learn in this life. I would LOVE it if the question, “How are you?” was replaced with, “What are you reading?” You will get an honest answer (instead of just, “Fine” when you are miserable). I’m not necessarily concerned with what you are reading, but I want to surround myself with people who are exploring new worlds and enjoying the journey.
How are you getting better is my question to see if you have a plan. We all should be in control of our plan. If you don’t have a specific, written, daily plan for becoming your truest self, then you are a slave to someone else’s plan. You should be in the driver’s seat of improving yourself. You want to make sure the bus is going forward and not in reverse. Make a plan. If you need help, work with me, and I’ll help you get your own plan. Reach out to me through firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me how I can help you to be your best self.
Jerry Seinfeld has a story about his problem with the silver medal in the Olympics. You win the gold, and you go down in history. If you win the bronze, well, at least you won something. But, instead of thinking of it as 2nd place, that silver award is like saying, “No one lost better than you did. You are the biggest loser.”
For the longest time, when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie coined the term BFF, I had no idea what it meant. Then, when I found out it meant Best Friend Forever, my soul searching began. I am always fascinated when someone introduces one friend to another as their BFF. It is done in the same tone of voice when a girl introduces her boyfriend to a group of girls. The undertone is BACK OFF. This person is mine. In a way, I can understand the boyfriend introduction for those who honor the girl code because it’s a way of saying this area is a no fly zone. But, why does one girl want to hurt another girl’s feelings by introducing another friend as their BFF? It is as if they are saying, “No matter how good of friends we will become, I have a BFF who is closer to me.” What is up with that?
In my life, I don’t think I can really say I have had a BFF. I have great friends that I cherish, but I’m pretty positive each one of my friends can identify a BFF that isn’t me. That’s not because I haven’t wanted one, but it’s because the story of my life is kind of the number 3. I’m always the 3rd wheel, 2nd place (if I’m lucky). If I meet 2 other people in a situation and we all don’t know each other, chances are that the other 2 are going to get closer than to me. While I have struggled with this for a very long time, I’m realizing that this is happening to me for a good reason. I might not have a BEST friend, but I can be a BETTER friend forever, and what I put out in the world comes right back to me.
Move over Paris and Nicole, because there is a new sheriff in town. I officially proclaim BFF to stand for Better Funded Future! The Learning Club’s focus if officially on how to make a better future for yourself. There will be lots of tools and training offered soon to see how to make your future your best.
If you want to get started today without the official program in place here, you can do 2 things. You can start by doing 1 thing, or if you are super motivated today, you can do both. Here is your map to your BFF’s house:
- Open a savings account at your regular bank or online. Even if you already have a savings account, open a new one. Title it your BFF or Better Future Fund. You are going to be making regular deposits to this BFF, and so it has to be easy to transfer money either through your ATM or online. This is a savings account and not a checking account. We want to make it kind of a hassle to take money out of this account, and you want to earn some interest.
- Get some kind of tracking software that works for you to track your expenses. My personal preference is Quicken, but Quicken is not in the cloud and is just desktop software. But, it is the most comprehensive tool for tracking your money. Even though I’m a CPA and use lots of other sophisticated software packages, I still use Quicken for my personal books. I am going to soon be offering tutorials in Quicken (and Excel for those who don’t want a full system) for tracking your expenses. Part 2 of this step is to estimate how much money you spent last month on your food. Then, calculate how much you actually spent on your food. In that calculation, include your ATM/cash use for food, your restaurants and tips, and groceries from your bank accounts and credit cards. How far off was your estimate from your actual spending? If you are shocked at how much you are spending just on food, this is an indication that you could benefit from some money planning tools. The Learning Club will soon be offering very many tools to making a better future for yourself, but here are the first baby steps on traveling to your BFF’s house. Happy travels!
Hello, fellow learners. For most learners, especially me, there is nothing better than a great seminar. I went on one today. The criteria for judging a seminar as great comes down to one ingredient: it makes me better. There are all sorts of ways to get better – in our habits, in our careers, in our service, in our personal lives, in our finances, in living out our missions, and in our families’ lives. I’m pretty sure this work seminar had all of those components even though it was technically an accounting seminar. They told us numerous inspiring books to read, they gave us breakfast and lunch free (my stomach, heart, and brain have strong connections), they made us laugh, and they gave us powerful tools to make our own businesses incredible. WOW. Now, I need time to implement these great ideas. This same seminar every week wouldn’t end up being so amazing after awhile. We have to have the right mix of business with business development. But, every day we should be getting better in some way. Try writing down what you did each day to make yourself better. This habit can be life-changing because you’ll be inspired to get more done just to put it in your notebook. Take your calendar, a journal, a few index cards, or a notebook and jot down each day what you did to become BETTER.
It feels un-American. When I think of America, I think of everything that is done well and right. I am happy when I purchase something with the label “Made in America,” because I know it is a quality item. But, I just don’t think that Wilbur and Orville Wright imagined that their flying machines would transport people in this way. My flight yesterday was very safe, very uneventful, and got me from one coast to another. (It wasn’t comforting though while I was waiting for my flight to watch on the overhead TV how a passenger was reduced to tears and how an employee assaulted another passenger.) I couldn’t help but think the way I got to the other coast was just un-American. I paid over $500 to sit in a VERY tight seat next to a stranger who had to sit in the middle of three seats. Since he had even less room, he needed to use the arm rests, but the area was so tight that his arm extended into the side of my body. Yes, a total stranger had his elbow into my side. The woman at the window lowered her window shade, and so my only light to read and needlepoint was at one angle where my neck quickly became knotted. My legs had to do gymnastics if I dropped anything, which I did frequently because the tray table was so tight. I got a hot cup of tea as my beverage and had to juggle the cup’s contents with my book, dinner, and needlepoint with turbulence. Whenever people walked by or the flight attendants pushed a cart, there was little room for error to not bump my arm with hot tea. I won’t even go into the logistics of going to the bathroom while suffering from severe OCD after tons of strangers have visited the very same bathroom. And, like I just said, this was a good flight. It just is un-American.
There has got to be a better way. So last night I decided that one of my goals is to find alternatives to traditional methods of flying. Are you with me? I am an accountant in my 50’s with zero engineering abilities, but I am gong to put together a team to help us find some answers on how to fly better. I am going to take my love of Superman and his ability to get wherever he wants, without any frequent flyer points, and on his own. We should be able to fly on our own. I ask again; are you with me?
For anyone who knows or has heard the famous Les Brown, you know that his mantra is, “You’ve got to be HUNGRY.” He draws out the word HUNGRY and almost growls the word in a deep, low voice. You can catch me saying it outloud but to myself frequently during the day. He says this because his theory is that you will go above and beyond to get food when you are hungry. If you don’t know where, when, or how you are going to get your next meal, you’ll search for creative and productive ways to get food. Plus, you’ll also be so focused on your goal to get food that your brain has little time to think about anything else. If you are HUNGRY in your business, you’ll be singly focused on creative ways to get to success. Just like you put on the air mask before helping your kids, you can’t focus on your to do’s until your basic needs are satisfied.
My take-off from Les is that you have to be THIRSTY. I know what it’s like to be hungry, but when I am thirsty, my focus to take care of my basic needs is taken up a notch. I have really been working on drinking more water in my life. I drink way too much Diet Coke, and so I rarely feel thirsty. But, on the occasions when I am feeling very thirsty, the only thing that satisfies that thirst is water. Diet Coke actually makes it worse. But, they say that we should never get to the point of feeling thirsty. We should be hydrating ourselves way before we get to a point where our brains tell us we need water. You are very dehydrated if you are feeling thirsty.
So, stay with me on this one because it’s a bit of a stretch. Thirsty in Spanish is sed. S.E.D. is my acronym for a Story Every Day. There is nothing that teaches a lesson better than a story. A good storyteller captivates his/her audience and creates a mental picture of what is to be learned. I love, love, love stories that are uplifting, inspiring, and help me to be a better person. I get stories from watching people, from reading, from movies and TV, and from life in general.
So to quench your thirst for being better at whatever you strive for, listen to six stories. Beginning April 17, 2017, subscribers to TheLearningClub.net will get an email each week for 6 weeks that has a story and a call to action (homework). Nothing is being sold with these stories, but it’s just a way to focus on quenching our thirsts to be our best selves. Why 6? Why not? Six weeks is just a way to focus on one thing for a bit, and then there will be new opportunities to get better. Check out the right side of this website page, become a subscriber by providing your name and email, and let the story begin. One upon a time…
Hello, friends. Well, I told you earlier that the Word of the Year 2017 is PREPAY, and the Number of the Year 2017 is 1. But, I thought the #1 would work with me and not against me! My email service just sent me an email today about their survey and wanted to know how many email subscribers I have. I should have gotten out my calculator and totaled the number of spam emails and subtracted that from my total emails to be very accurate. But, I am an accountant and am able to do some math in my head easily, and so I emailed them that my number of subscribers is ONE! And, to be even more pathetic, I am the sole email subscriber. Yes, you read that right, I haven’t yet had anyone subscribe to get emails from me or my website. But, instead of being deflated, I am now aimed to double my email subscribers every day for the next week. I figure I only need to get one subscriber today since I don’t technically have any.
So if you would like to receive information on how to track and improve the numbers in your life, please sign up as an email subscriber to the right of this post. The mission of the Learning Club is to learn something new every day on how to make your life better. The posts are dedicated to positivity, inspiration, and ways to be constantly growing. And, The Learning Club has also created a new program to show the value of a good story. Storytelling is not only an antique art form, but it also is the best way to learn lessons. Jesus knew the value of a story by showing us life lessons through parables. The Learning Club is offering a new story every week for 6 weeks, beginning April 17th. To sign up to receive the stories, subscribe in the form at the end of this post or at the lower right hand side section of this website.
Happy travels on the road to learning life’s lessons!
Hello, fellow learners. Today is the last day of March, and I don’t know why exactly, but I have a feeling that April is going to SAIL by us. Let’s make sure we are extra prepared finance-wise. Take a look at your spending over the month of March, and look at what expenses you know are different for April. Some things to consider are:
1. Property taxes in CA are due by April 10th to avoid any penalties.
2. Even if you don’t file your taxes by April 18th this year, you still have to pay the total amount due by then!
3. What other expenses are due in April that are one-time or irregular to April?
I have devised a system of creating a “Pie,” a pie chart with 10 different categories of spending. More to follow on that, but let’s just start with the category most in your control. Food.
First, estimate how much you think you spend on food each month. Then, add up all of the food expenses for March. Make sure to include your ATM withdrawals if you usually spend all of your cash on food related items (if not, allocate a portion). Include tips at restaurants, all dining including fast food of course, and all groceries. How does that compare to your estimate?Be on the lookout for my system of tracking your spending in these 10 different categories. Do a little planning ahead today to make your April your best month yet!