Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The End is Nigh

As my time in Japan draws to a close with more goodbye parties than bowls of noodles at a sumo eating competition, I reflect back on the wonderful time I’ve had here for the last 3 years.

Too many memories to remember them all but I’ve got some photos to help jog things along when I get stuck. I haven’t posted any pics online in a while, as I’m still thinking long term about my digital footprint. You know this stuff will be studied when I reach Hollywood.

Not that I’m aiming for Hollywood, it’s just not that I’m not aiming for Hollywood, you follow? I understand if you’ve found all the book reviews boring, and I haven’t even gotten round to writing about half the things I’ve been reading.

Did I summarise Blink or Freakonomics for you? How about Effective Negotiation, The Automatic Millionaire, How Proust Can Change Your Life, Stumbling on Happiness, Three cups of Tea, The Warren Buffet Way, A Whole New Mind or The Long Tail? Really I’ve got to get round to summarising these at some point so I can remember anything at all a year from now.

It’s just that the knowledge within them has been far more interesting than the routine I’ve been living while saving up enough money for my next adventure. It's sad to be parting company with with so many JET companions this month and perhaps parting with this blog, but the next step will be amazing.

So what is the next step? Well I’ve told you before but I know you don’t listen so here it is:
  • Leave Japan on August 4th after 3 fantastic years teaching English in this amazing country.
  • Go to home from the 5th to the 15th August
  • Paris 15th - 18th. August
  • London 19th August
  • Tokyo - 20th August
  • Beijing - 21st
  • Things get fuzzy now, but I’ll be China for about 6 weeks, with one month of that at This Shaolin School learning Kung Fu, Chinese and how to kick your ass.
  • In October I’ll probably head to Laos and possibly Thailand for possibly some volunteer work, or possibly not. I’ve decided to leave this flexible and go with the flow, man.
  • After that, magic happens and I get to India. I end up at this Yoga School where I’m booked in on November 9th to start my month long Yoga Teacher Training course. That’s right, I’ll be a Yoga teacher by Chrimbo. Hopefully my hamstrings will have loosened up by then.
  • Fly home for Christmas, brimming with import-export-yoga-DVD-travel-supplement ideas to start my first online ventures in the Happy New Year.
I’m only really planning the next 6 months but I’ve got a rough direction and that's all I need. Should be an interesting journey anyway, it has been so far.

Bye for now.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don’t watch TV, Watch TED

TED - ideas worth spreading.

The reading slowed down this month (but nearly finished Atlas Shrugged), and this is pretty much what I have been doing.

It’s a series of short lectures and presentations (10-30minutes) from basically all the people who’s books you've read, or want to read. You’ve got Stephen Levitt - Freakonomics, Malcolm Gladwell - Blink, Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion, as well as entrepreneurs and leaders like the Google guys, Richard Branson, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Tony Robbins and scientists and charity workers, who might not be quite as famous. It’s everyone who’s got something important to say.

Since TED stands for Technology Entertainment Design, there’s a fair amount of that too, but to be honest I haven’t watched many on design. I challenge you not to find something interesting on this website.

I would post a video here for you to click on but youtube seems to be down.


Walden - Henry David Thoreau

A classic piece of American literature about the experiences of the author living simply for a year. It was published in 1854. Here are 5 quotes. You may notice I have already quoted it in the Vagabonding entry.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

To be awake is to be alive.

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.

...if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.


Friday, May 02, 2008

The Photoreading Whole Mind System - Paul Scheele

The 5 steps to photoreading significantly summarized.

  1. Prepare - Your purpose and mental state
  2. Preview - Survey, trigger words, reading goals
  3. Photoread - Photofocus, enter state, say affirmations, breathe.
  4. Activate - Incubate, probe, super read, dip and mind map
  5. Rapid Read - move rapidly through text without stopping.

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5 Online Automated Business Models and Entrepreneurs

  • http://www.brainquicken.com/ - Tim Ferriss. Before becoming the best selling author of The 4 Hour Work-Week (and my hero), Tim made $10,000 - $40,000 per month on his cognition supplement from 4-16 hour’s work (checking emails and payments). It took a lot longer in the early days but he learned how to automate and outsource.
  • http://www.yogabodynaturals.com/ Lucas Rockwood. Yoga teacher in Thailand, using the same formula as Tim Ferriss to sell flexibility supplement, except advertises on Facebook to people who have yoga listed as an interest or activity - i.e. pre-qualified customers. Monthly income unknown.
  • http://www.desperatebuyersonly.com/ Alexis Dawes makes around $2000 a week selling ebooks and information products to what she calls “motivated buyers”. She specialises in doing the work/writing once but getting paid automatically many times afterwards.
  • http://www.teflonline.net/ The Teaching English as a Foreign Language course I just took cost $200 for the course (information and worksheets), a few personal emails, and the certificate. It was exactly the same information and exam for my friends too. The company has global customers and is based in Thailand. $200 goes a long way in Thailand.
  • http://www.prosoundeffects.com/ Douglas Price’s “royalty-free sound effects library distribution, metadata services, turnkey sound library management systems”. He simply sends the orders he receives through his website to the manufacturer who ships the products directly to the customer. Makes around $10,000 profit with 5-10 hours work a month. He has several websites.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First Things First - Steven Covey

5 steps to take now for a better life from the author of this book and of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  1. Educate your conscience. Think deeper, and spend more time reading and studying.
  2. Personal leadership. Write your personal mission statement.
  3. Double the time you spend on important, none urgent tasks. Study, improving communication, getting feedback, preparation, planning, education, seizing opportunities, personal development and developing others.
  4. Rebuild one relationship you care about. Boss, spouse, child, parent or friend.
  5. Spend time on the physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects of your life every day.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

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Can a Robot be Human? - Peter Cave

5 of my favourite questions from this thought provoking philosophy book that I received from my big sister.

  1. Why are all the things the way they are? Metaphysics/God
  2. Can you sincerely want a more equal society while knowingly being wealthy? Politics/Ethics
  3. What makes me me, and continue to be me? Metaphysics/Selves
  4. Morally, ought you not kill one person to save the lives of others? Ethics/Politics
  5. Why vote? Politics/Rationality

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Vagabonding - Rolf Potts

5 quotes for long term traveling from this book, which its self includes many quotes.

  1. This book views long-term travel not as an escape but as an adventure and a passion - a way of overcoming your fears and living life to the fullest - Rolf Potts, Vagabonding
  2. My greatest skill has been to want little - Hendry David Thoreau, Walden
  3. A good traveler has no plan, and is not intent on arriving - Lao-Tzu, The Way of Life
  4. What I find is that you can do almost anything or go almost anywhere, if you’re not in a hurry. Paul Theroux, The Happiness Isles of Oceania
  5. And in the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know it for the first time. T.S. Elliot, Little Gidding

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