This Blog's Purpose

The purpose of this blog is help people improve their Mind, Body, Soul (relationships) and their Money.

Monday, April 29, 2013

MMV: 5 Things you can do - instead of watch TV this week

Sunday, April 28, 2013

5+ Reasons to Smash Your TV in Right Now!

 ....or at least stop watching this week. 
The average American watches five hours of TV a day. 
It's not a good thing.

from flickr - the great 8 
However this coming week, April 29th - May 5th, is National Turn Off Your TV Week.

Here are 5 reasons you should Turn off your TV this week: 

1) It's not productive - In a recent 2012 study on multi-tasking from Ohio State found that those who tried to read a book while watching TV had a significant decrease in what they retained over those who focused solely on the book. Another fellow blogger, Zach Brunke, writes about how he improved his productivity here.

2) It entrances you (not in a good way) - If you've read up anything on brain waves you might be familiar with the fact that there are 4 main types of brain waves; Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Beta waves are typically in effect when we are awake, alert and thinking about something. Alpha waves are in effect when we are in a state of both physical and mental relaxation. TV actually switches the brain to Alpha waves. Good right? Well while your in that relaxed state your more susceptible to influence and messages... like advertisements

3) It lowers your self-image (if you look like me that is) -  An Indiana University study that focused on both black and white children found that after prolonged watching of TV, black children tend to have a lower level of self esteem since often black individuals are presented in a negative light. White children,  more specifically white boys, are typically shown to have higher levels of self-esteem after hours of TV watching as white males are typically shown in positions of power.

4) It may cause ADD - Numerous studies from Harvard and beyond have determined that large amounts of TV during early childhood can result in ADD or ADHD later on in life. Dr. Dimitri Christakis who has done a number of studies on the topic discussed it during this TEDx Rainier talk:

5) There are better things to do - There are a number of things you can do instead of watching TV and still be able to entertain yourself. Call a friend. Go on a walk. Check out a group. Read a book. Make a multi-step plan to get to your next goal (That's what I'll be doing anyway). If you live in the developed world you are someone blessed beyond what could be expected in the developing world - go outside and enjoy this life that you've been blessed with don't just sit on a couch watching your life pass away.

+)(Guys) It lowers your sperm count - I was just looking around on the interwebs and came across this article at the last moment. Another reason not to watch TV is because guys who watch little to no TV have almost double the sperm count of those that watch over 20 hours a week. If you're trying for a baby and not reaching success you may want to hide the clicker for at least a week.

I hope you'll join me in this semi-annual week focused on weaning people from the addiction of (at least one of) the glowing rectangular boxes in your life.

What do you think? Does TV have some positive qualities I haven't mentioned here? I'd love to hear from you in the comments box.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thought for Thursday - What is your Mantra?

What is your Mantra? 

 What do you repeat in your mind (or aloud) day in and day out? 
According to the Mayo Clinic what your "mantra" - or your daily "self-talk" has a definite impact on your health.

Does it sound like this:

"I'm so dumb"

"I'm so fat"

"Everybody's against me"

"What's the use?"

"Who's John Galt?"

Or does it sound like this:

"I'm so thankful for..."

"I'm so blessed because..."

"Life is great because..."

"I'll try again a different way"

"I've been through tougher tests than this"

It's easy to be convinced that nothing is working. It's difficult these days to see things in a positive light. 

However, if you take the time to acknowledge your thoughts and nudge them in the positive direction the benefits are overwhelming.  Those benefits include lower rates of depression, stress and you're even less likely to catch a cold. 

Take a moment and put your inner monologue in check. If that "voice in your head" is encouraging and tells you that you can achieve great things - let it continue. But, if it continues to downplay your achievements, discourages your ambition or even worst - insults you! Then decide today to change the monologue to something more positive.

What do you think? Do you have an inner monologue that pushes you forward or holds you back? Do you have a great inner mantra that you use on a regular basis? If so, share it in the comments below.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

5 Examples of why it takes 10,000 hours to succeed

In Malcolm Gladwell's now famous book Outliers, he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. For those unfamiliar with the theory - it is the idea that to become truly skilled at anything one must put in about 10,000 hours of hard work and effort to achieve the desired expertise.

The following are 5 examples of people who have put in the 10,000 hours

Thomas Edison - Has been famously quoted and possibly misquoted that he tried 10,000 different versions of the light-bulb before he finally succeeded. By the time he and his team unveiled the light-bulb in 1879 Edison had been tinkering with things and inventing different items for well over a decade.

Bill Gates -started playing with some of the first personal computers when he was in his teens.He actually cold called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) one of the leading computer companies at the time, to pitch a program to them at the age of 19. Gates and his partner Allen pitched it and struck a deal with the company when initially the code for the program wasn't even written yet.

Will Smith - Will Smith wasn't always the well known actor. once upon a time he was a rapper who made a million dollars and then proceeded to almost go bankrupt. He has always been a top notch entertainer though and stays at the top primarily due to his work ethic.

Tiger Woods - Got his first pair of golf clubs when he was under 2 years old. He beat his father for the first time at age 11. He scored a 70 for the first time at the age of 12. At the age of 20 he became the first golfer to win three consecutive golf titles.

Zach Galafianakis - Zach Galifianakis is now known for the movie the Hangover but prior to the mid 2000's he was virtually unknown. He had several bit parts in a number of shows but it took him over a decade to have a breakout success.

So How about you? Do you know of anyone who seemed like an overnight success but, ended up working 10,000 hours to achieve the success they've achieved? If so post it in the comments below.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thought for Thursday - EASY is a four letter word

"EASY" is a four letter word.

Many of us want our life to be easier. Our burdens to be less. We're obsessed with instant success. It's only after living a while that we realize that the 'easy' life is really just an illusion. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

Don't take my word for it though. Here are a few quotes to prove the point.

1- “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Theodore Roosevelt
2. -“Don't pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”
3. - "God doesn't believe in the easy way"
--- James Agee

WORK however, is a four-letter word worth striving toward.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 Most Motivational Youtube channels (2013)

 Here are a list of the most positive youtube videos I've come across so far.

1. Eric Thomas - aka ET the Hip Hop Preacher - this gentleman has really started to take off in the motivational speaking scene at least on youtube. Every Monday he hosts TGIM - Thank God It's Monday - an obvious spin on TGIF.. In every episode he gives viewers a reason to get excited about the coming week. Here's a recent episode:

2. Tony Robbins - Tony Robbins ,the reigning industry leader in the Motivational Speaker game is without a doubt a great motivator. He motivates Presidents, World-Class Athletes and Billionaires on a regular basis.
One thing I love about Tony is that although he is at the top - already -  he is constantly trying to improve his methods to coach people to bridge the gap between where they are now to where they want to be.Why is he #2 you ask? Because his official youtube channel (at least I think it is) updates on a fairly inconsistent basis:

3. Marie Forleo -Marietv I came across her channel while watching Tony Robbins as a matter of fact. She was being interviewed by him...I thought "who the hell is she?". Turns out she's a pretty good motivator in her own right. Not to mention funny. Her target market is definitely women but watching her Youtube her insights on business (she's a millionaire) definitely help if you're in the internet marketing game.

4. Jia Jiang - Rejection Therapy - Thank Goodness I came across a yahoo post on one of Jia's videos. Basically Jia's been on a mission to ask to do something impossible everyday of the week for 100 days. He started this experiement at the suggestion of his professor (I believe) as a way of getting over his fear of rejection. He's asked for everything from if he could sit on the Washington Monument's lap to random people to tell him a secret to asking for an Olympic ring shaped donut. He videotapes the whole thing of course to make sure he's not cheating. It's amazing how much his confidence has progressed from his first video to his more recent ones. Here's him asking to someone from businessweek if he can write for them:

5. TED - TEDtalksDirector - Ok this isn't just an individual but many individuals giving their best insights on just about everything. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Some of the world's greatest minds have been speakers from Bill Clinton to Stephen Hawking to Tony Robbins and even Jia. One of my favorite recent ones is a one on finding your purpose by Adam Leipzig:

How about you? Do you have any youtube or vimeo ...etc channels that you love watching on the internet because they make your day, week or month go better? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thought for Thursday - I am responsible

Several weeks ago,  I had been struggling with an issue with a close friend. I was very angry about this person not supporting me at times I thought they should and then I was reminded of something I saw on a video by Brian Tracy.

In fact - after thinking about it for a while - I realized that when I really looked back a few years ago that person had supported me until I did something that - if I were put in their same shoes would have caused me to lose my support as well.

I mention this only to say that there are certain times when we feel that someone else was completely at fault for a slight or insult or lack of support and we want nothing more than to put 100% of the blame on this person. However, if we step back and think about it - it turns out that we were likely responsible in at least some small way or even a big way. 

The next time you catch yourself complaining about your circumstances and how hard or difficult your current plight is due to someone's actions or lack thereof - think for a moment about if you are in any way responsible. You might find, like I did, that you are at least partially responsible. 

Take ownership and then move forward.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

3 Examples of Why Quality Trumps Price In the Long Run.

While attending Columbus' Monthly Gallery Hop yesterday, we passed by the Pearl - Cameron Mitchell's latest restaurant and I thought of something. 

After getting out of debt, I used to always look for the cheapest option. What I've started to learn though is sometimes the quality will save you the most money in the long run. 

1) There is Food and then there is Fine Dining -

The Pearl - Cameron Mitchell's latest restaurant
 Ruth Chris, Smith & Wollensky, Wolfgang Puck - if you've heard of them,  and been lucky enough to dine at any of these restaurants - all of these names instantly give a certain brand identity. If you're ever here in the Central Ohio area and come across the name "Cameron Mitchell" you'll learn that here, the name is synonymous for the highest quality restaurants and diners around town - typically with a price to match. 
Mr. Mitchell is obsessed with the quality of every last detail of his restaurants and this affords him the right to charge a decent price. What you get is a excellent meal, excellent service and usually a night you can tell friends about. You also get fed but that's about 10% of the experience.
You can get fed at McDonald's. However, you likely won't tell all of your friends and family about the experience you had, take pictures and remember the experience for weeks, months and possibly years to come. Also, you'd be hard-pressed to run a documentary on how terrible the food is at Cameron Mitchell's. In fact I feel I've committed some type of sacrilege by mentioning the Cameron Mitchell name and "terrible" in the same sentence. Please forgive me Mr. Mitchell - I was simply trying to prove a point. I feel a little dirty though. 

 2) There are Knockoff Headphones and then there are Quality Headphones.

I recently made the mistake of purchasing headphones at a big box retailer that I don't particularly care for because the big box retailer I do care for was out of the headphones with the feature I was looking for. 
In particular I was looking for headphones that came with a case that rolls up the cord.So as I went to the retailer I came upon a pair of roll-up headphones. They were a brand I had never heard of that at least looked OK from the outside.

Unfortunately as soon as I opened the case - I realized to my dismay that although the case looked like it rolls. It didn't roll up at all. My previous case (which broke after someone in my household - possibly female - dropped it on the hardwood floor) had a nice fluid movement that rolled up the cord in a matter of seconds. This case will actually break if you roll the cord in completely. It was a waste of time and money and I had to find new headphones - again.

3) There is 'affordable' furniture and then there is furniture that lasts a lifetime.

My Dad has a tendency to buy high quality things that are expensive, I however do not always follow his example- as evidenced above - but, sometimes a higher price not only implies a higher value sometimes it actually means a higher value.

One example of this is a dresser my Dad bought for me when I was around the age of ten and possibly in the single digits. It is one of the highest quality pieces of furniture that I have ever owned. 
I took the dresser to college, then to Chicago in my 20's and back here to Columbus in my 30's. It's stood the test of time. Other pieces of furniture I've owned have fallen apart in a matter of a year or so. The dresser from my childhood still stands. I wish I knew where he bought it from.

So what's the moral of the story? - Quality is King. Although I know this blog isn't of the highest quality, I'm striving to make it better.So I'm curious. What do YOU think about quality over price? Feel free to note it here in the comments section or send me an email. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thought for Thursday - Failure to submit

I came across a thought as I began to read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind:

If you fail to submit to anyone, chances are you will be forced to submit to everyone.

Submission, when you are learning is something that is necessary.

True masters never stop learning and thus they are in a constant state of submission to someone or something that knows a little bit more than they do.

They are perpetual beginners.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book's revews for March 2013


Spark and Hustle - By Tory Johnson

I really enjoyed this book.

Tory Johnson, a name I was unfamiliar with until I came across her book in the library is apparently a phenomenal businesswoman.

She has done PR for both ABC and NBC news and puts on different workshops and conferences across the country catered toward women. Had I known this book was intended for women I would've likely put it down. But, after reading the first few pages - packed with insight and inspiration I figured I had a duty to finish it.

This book is definitely meant for the person looking to start their own business as a bootstrapper. She gives quite a few tips on how to start a new business without going too deeply into debt and then peppers every other page with advice and insight from other entrepreneurs in other fields.

I can't really think of anything the author "needs to work on" in order to make this a better book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and may have to put it on my "oft-read" book shelf as opposed to my "why/when/how did I buy this?" book shelf.

And God Said - By Eric Ralph

This is a unique take on a funny love story from a deity's prospective. "And God Said" is a funny, quirky novel about God who becomes inspired to quit his job by a Wheel of Fortune contestant. The story only gets more interesting from there.

This is definitely a quick novel to be enjoyed by the Agnostic and Atheist crowd. However, I would NOT recommend this book to my Christian mother or mother-in-law due to their firm belief in the Holy trinity which this book pokes fun at.

If you're looking for a funny read with several pop culture references - "And God Said" is the book for you.

[full disclosure - the author is a friend - that being said the novel is really well written so buy the book!]


Now you See it - By Cathy N Davidson

So I just finished listening to Now you See it By Cathy N Davidson. Overall it was a good audio book that focuses on the science of attention. Professor Davidson goes into detail on how attention works today in several different arenas from online to the new corporate world to the NBA basketball court. Professor Davidson also goes on to ague how mutli-tasking can be a good thing despite recent studies that argue otherwise.

I enjoyed the book but, I would say there were two key areas that I didn't care for.

1) The audiobook is too long. The typical audiobook I pick up runs about 5-9 CDs long. This book was spread out over 12 CDs and a lot of the audio seems to be rehashing the same points. That being said it wasn't absolutely terrible to the point that I wanted to return it after hearing the first 2 CDs (which has happened before). The text is engaging but takes too much time to emphasize its points.

2) As someone who continues to try and narrow down my passions and focus on single tasks, the push in this book promoting multi-tasking rubbed me a little bit of the wrong way because of my own personal bias. That being said I've heard that women (such as professor Davidson) are typically better at multi-tasking in general then men (such as myself) so it's understandable if Professor Davidson has more enjoyment and productivity in her own personal experience with multi-tasking than I do personally.

Unfortunately this book was not read by the author.

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a bar - By Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

It was really funny and sounded great at first but 3 out of 4 CD's were irreparably scratched. [full disclosure - I did borrow this from the library]

No Matter What - Lisa Nichols 

Lisa Nichols - one of the authors/experts from "The Secret" fame talk about her life in order to help inspire others to live theirs.

 There were a couple of "driveway moments" - moments when I was done driving but kept the CD player running to hear what would happen next - on this CD as Ms. Nichols is an expert storyteller.
 I also could identify with a few of the instances from Ms. Nichols life - in particular the "superhero contest" she talks about during the beginning of the book - an experience that chronicles her early childhood going to a racially mixed elementary school.
 Overall I thought the book was great.
 My one minor critique would be that she gets a little happy with the "muscle" analogy to describe emotions and thoughts which she uses throughout the book. I was done with the analogy by the book's conclusion.
 One great thing though is unlike some motivational speakers she does read her own audiobooks - which is a great added touch.

If I had to choose a "Best Book" for this month I would say Spark & Hustle by a nose - edging out No Matter What by inches.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't be the Fool: 4 Perspectives from Comedians On How to Handle Hecklers

Since today is April Fool's day - I decided to ask some trained professionals on how to deal with a problem some public speakers have.

When you think about the biggest fears that people have "Fear of Death" is usually at the top and typically "Fear of Public Speaking" is not far behind. If you're one of many who would rather die than speak in front of a group, think for a second about not only speaking in front of a group but a group of people who feel they have the right to critique you and even insult you if you don't entertain them immediately.

Congratulations, you've stepped into the shoes of the standup comic. I asked several seasoned comedians about their experience dealing with hecklers - people (fool's really) who interrupt them as they try to tell jokes. I was fortunate enough to get feedback from four great comedians from across the nation on how to handle hecklers. I've also attached clips of their comedy and/or them handling the hecklers as they do their set. 

***WARNING: Some of these responses are NOT suitable for work.***

1. Marvin Lee -
Bio: Marvin is the winner of the 2006 Long Beach Comedy festival. Finalist for NBC's Last Comic Standing in Atlanta (season 1). One of the New York Underground comedy Festival's New faces for 2007. Only U.S. Comic Chosen for the Great Canadian Laugh Off" three years in a row (2007-2009). Featured performer for Funny Fest 2009 in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Featured performer for the 2007 "Charleston Comedy Festival". Finalist for the 2004 Laugh is Hope Comedy Festival." Finalist for the New Orleans Comedy Festival. Club pick for the Las Vegas Comedy festival.

Here's a clip of his act:

Marvin has taught a college course on how to handle hecklers and here are some of his insights:

"The three types of Hecklers:

1. The loud Mouth Jerk/a**hole-

This is what most people consider a heckler. This is someone who thinks is funnier than you and constantly lets you know it from the safety of the audience. VERY few hecklers are ever by themselves or just with one person.

How do you handle this type of Heckler?- Actually they are the easiest because as a professional comedian you have SEVERAL jokes, or comebacks to thwart them. Also a professional comedy environment will have people in place and code words that the comedian can say to the management to let the management staff that this person needs to be thrown out.
What most people don't know is that you have to get permission from the rest of the audience before you really light into the loudmouth jerk or risk the audience turning on you.

2. The Drunk Heckler:

This type of heckler is just that... drunk. A drunk heckler can also be a loudmouth/a**hole type too but can be a person who usually would never cause a problem when sober. (As a side note I see more women as the Drunk Heckler type since men in this scenario tend to get thrown out fairly quickly but even most management has second thoughts about throwing women out.) ... I once had a guy yell out right in the middle of my set: "I wanna have sex with a starfish!" This was such a crazy statement that it stopped me right in the middle of my set. Also keep in mind that I was not talking about sex, or starfish, or anything sea related at the time.

How do you handle this type of heckler? Usually you can make fun of how drunk they are and the possible dumb things they have done and will do being drunk. It's a playful way to get them to calm down but if they get worse then management needs to just throw them out.
3. The Positive Heckler
The positive heckler is by far the hardest heckler to deal with during a comedy show. This type of heckler can also be a drunk heckler too. What makes this heckler so hard to deal with is that he/she is agreeing with you and digging EVERYTHING that you are saying! But because of their zeal they continue to throw off your timing. For example: If you are on stage talking about something that women do that really makes you mad the drunk heckler will be the one going: 'YEAH!, YOU TELL 'EM! WOMEN ARE ALWAYS DOING DUMB CRAP LIKE THAT!'

How do you handle the positive heckler? This is hard and I still find myself tackling this one. Basically you have to take this on a case by case basis. Basically you acknowledge that they are digging your material and you might want to even give him/her a few high fives on the things you say from the stage. Then you very kindly ask them to calm down so that you can tell them 'OTHER' things that women do that make you mad.."
Please check out his site to learn more:

2. Steve Hofstetter:

Bio: Author, columnist, and comedian Steve Hofstetter is often called the hardest working man in show-business. With all due respect to the late James Brown.
Hofstetter's national TV debut came on ESPN's Quite Frankly, where Stephen A. Smith yelled at him for three minutes. Hofstetter has also appeared on CBS' "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson," Showtime's "White Boyz in the Hood," VH1's "Countdown," Sundance's "On the Road in America," and ABC's "Barbara Walter's Special," where he thankfully did not cry. Having appeared on networks from Boston to Miami to Denver, his local television appearances are too numerous to count, especially if you're using your fingers.
Here's a clip of him handling a heckler:

Steve says "The trick is to wait until the crowd hates the heckler more than you do. Once you're past that point, you can say anything and they'll be with you. I once told a woman I hope her husband leaves her and she dies alone, and the crowd cheered wildly."

Check out his website:

To check out his upcoming shows - click here

3. Rob O'Reilly:

  Bio: Rob is  a 28 y/o stand-up comic who's been on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing and the Tonight Show. He's  toured almost 300 colleges and was recently named one of LA Weekly's "Top 10 Comedy Acts to Watch in 2012" and one of Funny or Die's "30 Comedians to Watch Under 30."

Here's a clip of him handling a heckler:

Rob Says "When someone interrupts me, I usually ignore it at first and hope that it stops.   It's important to still seem likeable as a comedian, and if you get aggressive too early, you lose likeability.   But if the interruptions continue, I will usually interact with them.  And kind of tell them to stop, but in a joking tone.  Like I'm not upset, but you need to shut up.
There's two types of hecklers.  Those that like you, and think (incorrectly) that they are helping the show or trying to be funny themselves.   The other type of heckler is someone who doesn't like you and is intentionally messing with you or booing.  99% of hecklers are in the first category, and will shut up when you ask them to.  But when it's the latter, things can become aggressive. 

One time, I said I was about to get off stage, and this guy started clapping.  As in, he was happy I was leaving.  It was rude, and I'd had enough of him, so I walked off stage and knocked the hat off his head.  I asked him if he'd like to take it outside, but he cowardly shut up."
Please check out his site: 

For more about his upcoming shows - click here

4.  John Deboer:

Bio: Having appeared at comedy clubs, colleges, three federal penitentiaries, the Daytona 500 Experience, as well as on Comedy Central, XM-Sirius Satellite Radio, and in national TV commercials, with a brief (very brief, yet heartwarming) shot on Last Comic Standing, John DeBoer might be the funniest comedian you never heard of.

Here's a clip of him handling a heckler: 

"(One) time I had a guy right up front who was making trouble from the second I went on stage. I used every heckler line I could on him. We had a 'see who can piss each other off' contest, and I guess I won, as was obvious when he threw the beer bottle at me and told me that 'When the shows over, it's on outside bitch!' How was I to know his mother just passed away a month ago? Oops.

There are two ways that a heckler can ruin the show, and two types of heckler that do it.

One type of annoyance may be someone who is having a conversation with someone else at their table and doing it very loudly so as to interrupt the people around them and make a comedian lose their train of thought. The second type of annoyance is the person who will yell things out directed towards you.

Sometimes the heckler is just a little buzzed and doesn't realize that what they are doing is visible or audible to the other people around them. You address them, play with them a little bit, give them the attention that they seek, and with any luck you can make them your friend and get them to watch the rest of the show.
The second type of heckler is one who is so completely wasted and such an asshole that they are determined to ruin the show so that everybody has as miserable a day as their life usually is. You can find who these people are by going through the [aforementioned] steps and trying to get them to come around. But sometimes it just doesn't work. They are determined to ruin the whole show.
What I do now when I find that they have no intention of becoming a productive member of the audience, is ... announce to the crowd that I will be taking a five-minute break while these people get their check. This is usually followed by applause and people high-fiving me on the way off the stage. Yes, there is five minutes of awkwardness. But can have another 45 minutes to an hour of people actually laughing at your jokes.
I was doing a show at a weekend comedy club once, and there were two women upfront who were talking louder as I got louder. When I finished with the joke ... I very nicely asked them what [their] joke was? One of the women stood up and grabbed the microphone from my hand and said, 'I have no idea what the f*** you said because it's all about me!'

That being said, there is another commonality that all hecklers house. I have never met a sober one."
 Please check out his site:

For more on his upcoming shows - click here.

As a bonus - here's EXACTLY how NOT to handle a heckler: