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On Aliveness

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ON ALIVENESS:

What makes you come alive? What makes you want to dance, laugh, expand, take more risks and become

a fuller version of you?

Aliveness is passion in action. It is a flow of terrific life energy with a boundless quality. We need to become more alive. We need to move away from a stainless state where we let the hours go by without any meaning. Become Alive. How? You know. Inside you really know it, I know that. Now make that first step. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t or won’t be able to do it. Too much time is wasted on second-hand opinions. Be brave, even better be braver. Step 1 might not turn out to be perfect, but step 2 will be better and step 3 might just build you your new life.

Aliveness is love.

Show it.

Be generous with it.

The fastest way to freedom is to love fear.

Fear is joy. 

Invisible but not less profound.

Just because it is invisible doesn’t mean it is less profound.

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Recall some of the most important things we humans are naturally equipped with from breathing, thinking, setting goals, to our level of bravery. They are all invisible to the human eye. For progress to occur one has to work ferociously on all that is invisible.

Developing the invisible is more significant for becoming the person you have always wanted to be. Make the invisible your best friend. Cherish, grow it daily by feeding it the right amount of attention.

What can you do in an environment where you often get rewarded and/or noticed because of the visible? From buying the newest technological gadget to getting those 80 dollar diet pills which this time “guaranteed going to work.

  • Increase your willpower. How can one increase their willpower? The most effective way is to work on your level of imagination. Visualize how it will be when you are already in that state where you can easily say ‘no’ to the unnecessary.
  • Spend more time in nature. She has been around for billions of years and has developed this invisible system where all just works. Learn from her and indulge yourself in her beauty. If you become an excellent observer of nature you will develop a keen understanding of human psychology.
  • Develop your heart. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Nobody said it better than Antoine de Saint-Exupery. If you develop your heart more you will be less in need of the material. Don’t get me wrong we all need material tools to survive in this modern life, but don’t let the material get in the way of what is really important. Don’t listen with your ego or history, listen with your heart and present. Develop the heart so it becomes the compass to inner beauty.
  • Don’t rush. All that is essential needs an adequate maturation process. If you are not familiar then check out the famous marshmallows experiment led by psychologist Walter Mischel from Stanford.
    The kids that waited ended being more successful as adults later in their life.
  • Question the so-called obvious. Just because it is out there, common or conventional wisdom doesn’t mean it is true. Remember that the earth was once  flat 🙂 Question, ask deep killer questions and answer them with lateral thinking. Remember society hardly changes by a group. It changes by that brave individual who saw something else then others and acted on it.     Be that person.

 

How To Keep Independent Bookstores Alive!

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I have a big passion for books so recently I wrote these 11 tips on how to keep independent bookstores alive.

  • Have famous writers volunteer at your bookstore . Make it a marketing spectacle. You will reach all the lovers of this particular writer. Invite the press and make them excited too. Most journalists adore books. Create a one of a kind experience for your readers.
  • Don’t focus all your energy on best-sellers. Most likely people will buy those books online. Have unique books and go for a nice niche. Support local writers since everything nowadays has a big emphasis on local.
  • Have weekly book swamp events. Let people come in bring their books and swap their books out. Most likely while swapping they will buy another book or two.
  • Paid membership. Have a low paid membership where members have access to all the events in your store. They get to be seated first at special events. They get something to eat and/or drink at the events while the non-membership paying crowd has to wait a bit longer.
  • Layout. It has to be visually stunning. People are very nostalgic for the good old days. Think layout like “The Last Bookstore in LA” and “Bart’s Bookstore” in Ojai.
  • Have a well-know writer as your investor. Again, for marketing purposes this will strike gold. Think 18th street coffeehouse in Santa Monica with Bob Dylan as an investor (rumored).
  • Read and rent. People can read a whole book for a certain price tag without having to buy it. Most people who love books still love to hold them in their hands. You can charge a low price of let’s say $ 2.50. They are allowed to read for let’s say 4 hours maximum. Most will finish a book by then if they are fast readers.
  • Have passionate employees. People who LOVE and think about books all the time. Let them write hand-written notes for certain books with a personal recommendation. Think Amoeba with their music store in Hollywood.
  • Give a random book for free. You might get some from publishers for free if you approach them. Give a book free to every x person walking into the store. Let’s say every 100th person that comes in per day. This will create tremendous mouth to mouth advertising. The biggest and most effective tool in life is still giving to others.
  • Have a single night, a couple night, a day with parents with children, a LGBT night etc. You do the most powerful thing here and that is creating a community. People might even fall in love while coming to your bookstore. Weddings in your future bookstore? Will not add this as a separate suggestion here 🙂
  • Food/Drinks. The right food is so extremely important. You can have a dish or appetizer that goes with the featured writer/book from a certain country. The cafe could serve appetizers from that specific country. People love international foods more and more. Great food and great books are a killer combo.

5 Easy Ways To Increase Productivity While Working From Home.

1. Set time limits to specific tasks. For instance work from 9-11 am and then give yourself a half hour break. Don’t break your time commitment, so it is important to not make it too long. Your reward will come in a specific timed break. It will let you work more focused.

2. Social Media. Log out of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the others. Again in your half hour break (or less or more) you can go back and check everything you want. Most likely you will not want to log back during your precious break.

3. Phone(s) on silent or better turn off completely. If you give yourself for instance two-hour work limits then almost everything can wait for at least those two hours to be taken care off afterwards.

4. Mind chatter. Eliminate or decrease unnecessary mind chatter. You can tell your brain to stop thinking about all the great things you are possibly missing out on and tell it to just focus now for those two hours. You can after working your time frame go back to thinking, dreaming or anything else about your current/future life.

5. Breathing. The right breathing is crucial to productivity. Check your breathing on a regular basis. The right breathing will give you more focus, alertness and creates less mistakes.

Beauty and Resistance

How do you see beauty? It is an interesting phenomenon. Beauty is instant, truthful and free but there is something behind beauty and that is the conquering of resistance. Every time we see some exceptional beauty or hear or feel it, there was somebody behind it who went a few steps deeper than others to create it. That person became a master in conquering resistance. We need to cherish that journey one took to get there. A deeper look at beauty gives us so many more layers. More than is obvious.