04-APRIL 16-2021

No Holiday ... No BreakGood morning.
Retail sales came in with a blowout number, sending stocks to all-time highs and reversing a pre-market drop.  The reason is thanks to the last round of stimulus payments.  While earlier rounds made their way into the stock market, Bitcoin, or paying down a credit card, it’s clear from the retail numbers that many are spending.
Governments and central banks are also likely noticing the impact as well.  If inflation numbers don’t materially rise and stay higher, the lesson may be learned that money can be created seemingly infinitely, as long as it’s designed to be spent.  Like anything that sounds too good to be true, there will eventually be consequences for massive spending… but so far, that day of reckoning remains far in the future.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

How One Federal ‘Stimulus’ Program Cripples Small Businesses, Boosts Monopolies –Kenneth Schrupp,FEE
At the same time that our nation is struggling to fund record budget deficits, our politicians have decided to incentivize millions of Americans to remain on welfare…. [Read Here]

Uh Oh: Consumer Price Inflation Heating Up Fast 
March’s half a percent inflation monthly means 6% annually.  That’s sufficient to rob savers of nearly half their purchasing power in just 1 decade.  And when we dig deeper into the data, it gets even worse… [Read Here]

April 16, 2020

Oh sure, I can talk nowGood morning.
While it may not be hitting home yet for many of the public, it may finally be starting sink in with economists and stock analysts how much damage has been done to the economy with all of the closures.
With bank earnings dropping, oil  inventories   surging and  data collapsing, it is becoming increasingly clear that we’re already well beyond 2008.  We’ll see how analysts adjust EPS expectations in the coming weeks as the earnings season can’t be stopped.

April 16, 2019

How to Rise from a Rut… you are capable

We’ve all been there.  Feeling like we’re trapped in the same, boring routine and there’s no way out.  Ruts are generally accompanied by low energy, bad mood, and a sense of helplessness.  If you’re anything like me, they also involve a good bit of self-loathing, strawberry licorice, and pizza.  Ruts happen to all of us.  Just looking at the word is exhausting.  Why?

Ruts are mental quicksand.  It seems like the harder we try to get out, the more we fall back in. 

So, what’s the best way out?  Ruts, like quicksand, are almost always more of an emotional challenge than they are physical.  Slows your movements, slow your thought process, then assess your choices, gradually make a course of action, and recognize when to ask for and accept help.  Don’t get so lost dwelling on past “should’ve” and “could’ve” moments that you forget about your current choices, panic, and dig yourself further.

Truth be told, we may not always like our options, but they do exist!  Every day we have the choice to either be our best friend or our worst enemy, and what makes a rut so awful and exhausting is that we accidentally choose to be the latter.  Know that you can either choose to look in the mirror and say, “it’s been a rough month, and I’m going to celebrate what my body can do by taking it for a walk” or “you’re so out of shape you couldn’t even run one mile like you should’ve been doing for the last month”.  Try to catch yourself in these negative patterns, and slow yourself down!  Use the moment to re-examine and ask yourself: gnarly ruts

    1. Where am I at in this situation?
    2. What are some realistic options I could do right now?
    3. Which of these options is most reasonable and requires the lowest effort?

Then, take action on the lowest effort option you’ve selected!

Start small and build on each task, addressing the smaller, lower energy items first.  My favorite first task when getting out of a negative pattern is making a list of my past successes and things I enjoy.  It not only leaves me feeling more positive, but it reminds me of what I’m capable of.

Just like when getting out of quicksand, a series of small efforts building upon one another is going to be FAR more successful than taking a big leap.  And if you’re getting close to meeting your goal but feel like you can’t quite make it – ask for help!  Find an accountability partner to throw you a rope, or someone to lift you up with moral support.  Know when to ask for and accept help – we all need it from time to time!

Choose to be your best friend, not your enemy,

Change That Up!

April 16, 2018

Life-Long Learner

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a word shoshin, which means beginner’s mind, which is an open, receptive mental state of learning.  Having a beginner’s mind means that no matter what you already know or how much experience you have, you show up with an open mind, pretending that you don’t know anything.

This means you:

  • Stay receptive and open, treating each idea as fresh
  • Review familiar ideas as if it were the first time you’d seen them
  • Let yourself struggle and make mistakes as you experiment and learn
  • Notice where your brain is taking shortcuts, skimming and/or dismissing ideas with “I already know all of this”

When you have a beginner’s mind, this open, curious mindset will help you:

  • Learn more effectively and quickly
  • Connect better with others
  • See opportunities, solutions and possibilities more readily
  • Feel calm, comfortable and aware, even in difficult or uncertain situations (rather than anxious, embarrassed or frustrated)
  • Accurately assess what is unfolding here and now

Another way to approach this is to think of yourself as a “line cook”.  In a restaurant, a line cook is the foundation of food preparation.

They make sure ingredients are ready, recipes are made to specifications and the kitchen is clean and orderly.  They follow a trusted process to create delicious food consistently.

They don’t (yet) have the experience, mastery or experimental freedom of the head chef, nor (yet) the vision and creative genius of the restauranteur.  They can’t (yet) improvise or create their own culinary masterpieces from scratch.

Only after years of practice and following someone else’s recipes do they experiment with new ideas.  Great cooks are confident in their own creations, but it’s only because they have mastered the fundamentals.

Being a great entrepreneur, a great coach, a great teacher, a great parent, a great athlete or what have you, is just like being a great chef – it takes a lot of practice.  Not just months – years.  Future mastery requires being willing to follow a recipe, a series of steps or formulas – all with a beginner’s mind – before riffing off new ideas.

No matter where you are in your journey, embrace a beginner’s mind, practice acting like a line cook and follow a trusted recipe.

How to never stop learning!

April 16, 2017

Lemon and waterI was going through my assorted jackets, deciding if any would be suitable for my Maritime Vacation.  The weather can change quickly, around open water, especially in September, so wind and water are considerations.  Anyway, some of the items I tried on must have “shrunk” in storage.  For me losing weight is doable … dieting is not.  Then I heard of a new diet plan!  I got to say, “it’s destined for failure.”  Here it is for the interested…

“They told me to have lemon and water in the morning, a cup of tea for lunch, and a sensible meal for dinner.  Sensible?  I’m thinking, “How sensible will I be after starving all day?”

REW

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Come From Aways, Do You?

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