Rebel Zen http://rebelzen.com Break On Through To The Awesome Side Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:51:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 4 Tips for Success (And 1 Freakin’ Cool Dawg) http://rebelzen.com/2014/07/4-tips-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-tips-success http://rebelzen.com/2014/07/4-tips-success/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:58:17 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1893 I found these tips really inspiring today. They helped me get some clarity back in the old noggin after a busy week’s serving my various masters. Some juice with which to keep rockin’ on. Maybe … Read more

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I found these tips really inspiring today. They helped me get some clarity back in the old noggin after a busy week’s serving my various masters. Some juice with which to keep rockin’ on. Maybe they will help you too. Inspired by an author called Jim Collins (whose books, I admit, I have not read), via this article.

(Yeah I know, that link is some pretty dorky shit. You might like to forget about that and pretend instead that this freakin’ cool dog is the font from which the following wisdom did spout…)

tips for success dog

this is one wise tips-for-success dawg.

1. Plan to survive:

Eat well. Whole foods. Minimise sugar, wheat & dairy.
Drugs. Avoid them. Minimal alcohol & coffee. No smoke.
Sleep. Get enough. No laptops at night.
Exercise. Get enough. Mix it up.
Stress. Avoid it. Meditate.
Happiness. Be grateful. Serve others. Be mindful around people.
Keep the wolves from the door. Then shoot for the moon.
Persist. Stay clear about goals. Keep at it.

2. Focus:

Decide what is essential.
Just do that.
Stop doing other shit.

3. Build an awesome team:

Only the best people.
People who you love to work with.
People with talent and drive.

4. Never grow complacent:

Once something works to bring success, keep doing it.
Don’t let down your guard.

All sounds like good horse-sense to me… but the trick is following through!

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”

Michael Dell said that apparently. It’s my favourite quote.
Photo credit: WickedVT

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The Simple Truth About Getting What You Want http://rebelzen.com/2014/06/simple-truth-getting-want/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=simple-truth-getting-want http://rebelzen.com/2014/06/simple-truth-getting-want/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 07:04:03 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1876 More than ever I am convinced that success, or getting what you want, is very much about the ability to decide what you want, make a plan and then stop over-thinking it and just get … Read more

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More than ever I am convinced that success, or getting what you want, is very much about the ability to decide what you want, make a plan and then stop over-thinking it and just get busy making things happen – whether you feel like it or not.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”

This quote, by Michael Dell of Dell computer fame, is now my official motto. For too many years I have had a tendency to think and dream and plan and then re-think, re-plan. Sure, I eventually move, often in sudden bursts of enthusiasm, but really I think the true do-ers in this world are the ones that see real results happen for them.

get what you want

For example, when I look at bands or artists or actors or the like, it is very often obvious to me that it is not purely their talent that has helped them scale the heights of success but rather it is their drive, their determination and their bias for action. While it’s true that we need focus, that busyness in and of itself is not enough (without focus we tend to open too many fronts without making enough progress in any one area), it is also true that those who just have or find a lot of energy and get their hustle on are the ones who are most likely to get what they want.

Getting What You Want

And to some extent, life is about getting what we want. While your philosophical nature might lead you to want more than a life that is all about go-getting, even this sentiment is also a statement of what you want! In fact most “thinkers”, people (like me) who like to read and contemplate and chill, would say “yes” in a flash to a windfall of money because we imagine it takes away the stress of having to stop “just being” in order to go out and “just do”.

I think that is why it is so important to “just do” the things that we love to do, and that we are good at. I don’t particularly like doing bookwork, financial projections or anything to do with spreadsheets really – and as a result, I am hopeless at that kind of work. It’s not that I don’t have the raw mental horsepower to do the work – it’s that I don’t want to do it; I get bored and take far too long to get anything done. On the flipside, I really enjoy writing and can bash out a decent article in a couple of hours and a book in a couple of months.

Time To Sit Back And Think

A few years ago, after a very adventurous and exciting youth spent gallivanting all over the place having fun, working hard and generally running myself ragged, I “retired” to the Dandenong Ranges and began working from home, writing and bringing up some little kids and doing a lot more navel-gazing.

I have not been a complete hermit or anything and have certainly kept getting off the couch to go out and play gigs which is more than can be said for most musicians newly burdened with child rearing responsibilities. Not blaming them, it is a fucking hard thing, bringing kids up and the only SANE response is to drop as many superfluous responsibilities as possible to free up your energy. But I could not drop music, it is like water to me, I must drink or I die.

Time To Get Out There And Execute

But having said that, I have still not been madly executing at the rate that I could have been and this is now my focus, I am pushing myself to execute my ideas – not too many of them just the good ones – and to make them happen. I think the time spent contemplating, experimenting and going deep to discover what I really need in this life to be happy was not time wasted, I am very clear about what I want but now this introspection is not so important for me. I know what I want, I know where I am going and the thing to do is stay focussed on what it is I want, my best ideas for making these things happen and what needs to be done to make it so.

And that’s the crux of it, no matter what you want, you will always need to do things that you either don’t like doing much or that on any given day at any given time, you don’t feel like doing but you must push on and do it anyway. You must remember what your big picture desires are and put these above your little picture desires.

Big Picture Desires (BPD) Vs Little Picture Desires (LPD)

Our BPDs are the big goals, the big wants, the consistent things that you always come back to wanting.

For example in my life one of my biggest and most unflinching desires is to stand in front of big crowds again and sing my music with a band. This is happening; it is slowly coming true. Just this weekend past I stood before a crowd of 300 or more people with my band at a local festival as we rocked out our tunes. Two years ago I didn’t have a band to do this with! So progress is being made – but it takes the strength of mind to remember what my Big Picture Desire is whenever I get run down and tired, or whenever I want to do things that just don’t help the cause.

For example, it gets pretty damn cold up here in the mountains where we live and sometimes I hate the idea of going out after work into the cold and rehearsing of an evening when it is raining and I feel so very tired. But I remember that the LPD is to sit on the couch and chill, and that this gets me no closer to my BPD – and I get out and get to work.

Same goes for eating and drinking like a glutton. Truth be known I fight every day with a voice inside my head (the monkey mind) that says “Come on – let’s eat! Let’s drink! All the food! All the booze! Whoo—hooo!” – but if I did that I would be fat. And I don’t think being fat particularly helps any of my Big Picture Desires – not my music desires, not my desires to live long and prosper, not my desire to feel good in my body – so I try to remember my BPDs and eat sensibly.

Same goes for “executing” which is just a business corporate way of saying “getting the plan done for real”. It usually means a lot of work, it means getting it done when you would rather chill, it means just going with the plan instead of having fun inventing a new one. It means finishing things you start and not starting things that are distracting you from the path you decided to go down.

In closing, I think my opening paragraph bears repeating: More than ever I am convinced that success is very much about the ability to decide what you want, make a plan and then stop over-thinking it and just get busy making things happen – whether you feel like it or not.

So what are your Big Picture Desires? What are you going to make happen?

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How To Experience A Mind-Blowing Meditation Everytime http://rebelzen.com/2013/12/how-to-experience-a-mind-blowing-meditation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-experience-a-mind-blowing-meditation http://rebelzen.com/2013/12/how-to-experience-a-mind-blowing-meditation/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 05:54:25 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1831 If you want to enjoy a mind-blowing meditation that just feels amazing, here’s how… Firstly – why is it so hard for you to access this positive realm, this internal garden of joy and abundance? … Read more

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If you want to enjoy a mind-blowing meditation that just feels amazing, here’s how…

Firstly – why is it so hard for you to access this positive realm, this internal garden of joy and abundance? Why is it that you have tried but had little or no meditation experiences that you would describe as “mind blowing”?  Why do I find it so easy while so many people find it so impossibly hard?

How I Learned To Have Awesome Meditations

Is it a skill that I am just naturally good at like someone might just be good at playing the piano or fixing things around the house? Or is it that for some reason it was in my nature to try really hard at meditation until it worked for me, and since then I have just known how to access this awesome state?

It is true that back in my 20’s, for a year or two, I did work very hard at learning to meditate successfully. I like to learn by reading, and tend to avoid joining groups, so I read voraciously about meditation first. Eventually, I came to a point where I was like, “Ok, not going to learn much more by reading so better get into it and start meditating, start trying it out until it works for me”.

So I began practicing and I found it very difficult. I couldn’t sit cross legged comfortably (still can’t, I usually sit on an exercise ball). I found my mind racing and discovered that I had never realized that my body was riddled with pain, so low was my awareness of my own body.

Achieving A Blissful State

It was all very hard but I had nothing better to do, so I just decided to sit it out until I got there. I was chasing what all people who meditate chase, which is a sort of blissful state. That’s what we want really, we want bliss. I wanted to feel good, and all the books said meditation could deliver that, so I sat.

And I sat.

And I sat.

I had no kids, no girlfriend, no job.

So I just sat a lot, sometimes for most of the day and night. And for ages, nothing. But then eventually: Boom! I got there.

And boy, did it feel good!

And then I would come back and it would be real hard to do but I would eventually get there again. And, over time, I learned that I could get there if I applied gentle discipline to my mind. After an initial period of allowing my mind to sort of unwind by thinking a lot, I would quite my imaginative mind by just paying attention to whatever was happening, to whatever my senses were picking up on in real time. I learned to stop judging things as good or bad. And this is the secret, stop labeling things as good or bad and just “let go”, stop judging everything as either “like” or “dislike”. When you do this, it’s like you have passed the test and you are granted access and allowed to slip into this altered state of mind, where you return to the truth and remember that everything is cool, that life is wonderful, and that we are all one.

“We are all one” sounds so stupid and meaningless when you are just in a normal state of mind, but when you arrive back home, back to the Garden of Feeling Awesome, you sort of “know” what it actually, deeply means. In a wordless way, you can feel that it is true and that everything is just perfect.

And then you get up and go back to your day-to-day life and sometimes you’re a chilled out dude … and sometimes not! That’s life – but when you meditate successfully, regularly, you are definitely more of a chilled dude, more often than if you didn’t meditate.

If you want more info, there are two ebooks in my store that explain my personal method for meditating, both describe the same method, so whatever benefits you seek from meditation the books will help.

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The Power of Inconsistency http://rebelzen.com/2013/12/power-inconsistency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=power-inconsistency http://rebelzen.com/2013/12/power-inconsistency/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 10:04:07 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1820 I wrote earlier this year about the power of consistency. And I still believe this is a very desirable and effective trait in any endeavour. However… If you have an introspective nature and a commitment … Read more

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I wrote earlier this year about the power of consistency. And I still believe this is a very desirable and effective trait in any endeavour.

However…

If you have an introspective nature and a commitment to doing the Inner Work, you may become aware that you have, to some degree or another, an incredible propensity for inconsistency.

I sure know I have.

The thing is for many years, I beat myself up over this. I still do actually, but less so as I am learning three things:

  1. to recognise how I am habitually inconsistent
  2. to recognise when it matters and when it doesn’t
  3. to become more consistent where it matters

Inconsistency – Sometimes It’s A Good Thing

There is a trend in Silicon Valley type start-up culture to celebrate failure. Basically the idea goes that failing is a part of being a gung-ho entrepreneur in the making, so go and break things, and once you’ve failed a few times you might just go and win at something.

I kind of agree actually, especially as it applies to personal development. And I think the same applies to being inconsistent.

Inconsistency is Part of Being Creative

If you look back at the careers of your favourite artists, be they musicians, painters, whatever, it is very normal for their output to be easily categorised (according to taste and/or commercial success) on a sliding scale from Great to Shithouse. It’s actually kind of expected, in fact, that all great artists will be kind of inconsistent, if not in output volume then at least in quality.

Same goes for businesses – a good example being Google, whose product range and output has been huge over the last decade or so, and has included total duds and runaway successes.

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that a few months ago I made a bit of noise about rolling out a new commercial arm to the Rebel Zen website. I spent many, many hours planning and writing and reworking the website to integrate my marketing skills into the concept of the brand, catering to creative people. After knocking myself out getting it ready over an extended period of time, I launched. And I asked for feedback.

Most of the feedback I got was positive, but I got one email from a long-time reader, Manny, who gave me a blunt opinion that what I done made Rebel Zen seem like it had a split-personality and that this wasn’t a good thing.

I respectfully thanked Manny for the opinion, but kind of brushed it off.

But then over the next couple of weeks, now that I was able to look at the work with a little perspective (not being all caught up in delivering it), I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. It just wasn’t quite right.

To my horror, the feeling only grew stronger.

Eventually I came to agree with Manny’s comments. There was nothing unsound about the idea of helping creative people with their marketing –
but it just didn’t seem to belong as a part of Rebel Zen. It looked to me like an extra arm grafted onto an otherwise healthy body.

I left it a while to give myself time to think about it. Then I got really annoyed about it for a while and avoided it altogether. And then I pulled it. Just wiped it offthe site like it never happened.

And that’s ok. It was just a step in the creative journey.

The end result is that I feel really clear about what Rebel Zen actually is and is not going forward and about the importance of sending single, clear signals out there for maximum impact.

So You’re Inconsistent – So What?

Like I said, I used to bash myself up a lot about being inconsistent. But now I am more selective about the areas in which I focus on improving my ability to be consistent while allowing myself full licence to be erratic as I want to be in others, creative process being one of them.

In the end the things you’ve started that are worth finishing wait for you. The trick is to get them done of course, but eventually I do. And if I am a little inconsistent in my ways along the journey, well, I don’t think that matters – to an extent. Obviously if you are constantly erratic, never finishing anything at all, then this isn’t going to work out too well. But if you’re a creative person, then you’re not a robot. If you start five paintings (or songs or businesses) and only finish one – but that one is amazing, then does it matter?

Michael Jordan said that his secret for shooting so many points was taking more shots at the basket than anyone else.

I think it was him anyway, but I’m not sure … I quite consistently avoid all sport like the plague!

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How To Discover Your Super Power http://rebelzen.com/2013/11/discover-your-super-power/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=discover-your-super-power http://rebelzen.com/2013/11/discover-your-super-power/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:19:55 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1815 What if I told you that you are in possession of an amazing Super Power? A personal attribute naturally so highly developed in you that if you were to be conscious of it and wield … Read more

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What if I told you that you are in possession of an amazing Super Power? A personal attribute naturally so highly developed in you that if you were to be conscious of it and wield it effectively, you could move mountains?

Well, I believe you do have such a Super Power. I believe we all do – each and every one of us.

I believe that, on a sliding scale, we all have a big bunch of attributes that are very weak in us, and a lot that are very average in us. We also have a smaller group of attributes that we are much stronger in than most people.  Finally, at the top of the scale, we have one big daddy Super Power: a truly amazing personal attribute with which, if we identify and utilise wisely, we can realise our full potential and do great things in this life.

I have finally figured out mine, it’s taken me some time and a lot of inner work. Maybe the story of how I did will help you to figure out what your Super power is…

 discover your super power

discover your super power

“You Are Afraid Of Your Own Power”

I told a strange story a little while back, about how, after an intense massage administrated by a very New age hippy guy out in the suburbs of Melbourne, I had a trippy encounter with a group of extra-terrestrial / spiritual beings.

When I had the encounter, which took place in the shadowy realm where the divide between the imagination and the “real” become very blurred, the head-honcho alien, who I like to call Grandmaster Mu (for the sake of convenience and because the name tickles me) said something odd to me. Looking down at me as I lay on my bed, with his cohorts gathered around behind looking over his shoulder, he said something like: “You are afraid of your own Power.”

He and his mates then proceeded to give me a kind of “metaphysical tune up” while I slept (they asked my permission and started working as I drifted off), purportedly to fix the issue, mentioning to me that it would take some time and some work. In the years since they have revisited me during meditations or just before I sleep to continue the work.

 

OK … Umm … What Power?

This was all very well, but of course I have been mystified by what this wonderful “Power” that I supposedly possess is! I made a lot of guesses (see original Grandmaster Mu article), but they neglected to mention it by name. I now think this would be because when people discover insights about themselves and about life without being told directly, they realise them much more deeply.

In my Tarot work, I have also repeatedly received the Tarot card 4 of Cups in which a young man sitting under a tree in contemplation is being handed a magic cup, which to me always represented the opportunity provided by possessing a special gift or Power … but still … no idea what the super power specifically is!

Well, I’d been able to make plenty of guesses, without blowing my own trumpet I am not short on talents (or failings!) but I had the feeling the power in question underlies these technical skills, like singing or writing or what-have-you.

 

What Is Your 80/20 Super Power?

I actually haven’t spent THAT much time thinking about it, for while I may entertain visits from aliens here and there, I do actually live a functional life in “the real world” and accordingly spend most of my time happily and appropriately dealing with that. However I have recently been reading a lot of Richard Koch who writes about the 80/20 principal in some depth, as it applies not only to business but to life in general.

One thing that Koch mentions a lot is discovering your 20%; the “powers” or personal attributes that you possess that are so strong in you that when you leverage them you get far greater results than you do from the other 80% of attributes that are not as strong in you. I have spent some time thinking about this and it was not too hard for me to come up with a shortlist of my strengths and positive attributes. But one concept that sits inside the (very fractal) 80/20 principal is that within the 20% there is another 20%, and within that 20% there is another 20%, and so on.

So without getting too hung up on exact percentages, this logically leads you to think that out of a limited set of powers, there must be one power that we all posses which is our Super Power – that is to say, you are SO good at something, one thing in particular, that if you focus your energies on this you will surely hit some home runs.

We All Have A Super Power

So again this got me thinking: “What the hell is my Super Power?” I looked at my shortlist of Powers but it was not immediately obvious to me which one stood out above all the others. So I put it aside and went on with my life.

But the unconscious (or is it the sub-conscious? I am not sure which) is a powerful thing and a pro-active servant. While we sleep and drive and work and play and hustle and bustle and fuss the sub-conscious is busy mulling over things and searching through the vast databases of the brain and the even vaster Universal database – the primordial soup that we swim in – until it comes up with an answer. Then it patiently waits for an opportune moment when your conscious brain is having a rest to bubble the answer up for your conscious consideration.

And this is what happened to me recently when I was meditating. I hadn’t thought about the Super Power thing for a week or two, but on this particular morning, after meditating for just a couple of minutes – Pop! Up it came! The answer, if you please, on a silver platter!

Suddenly, I just knew what my Super Power is. Funny thing was, “it” wasn’t even on my short list, but as soon as I saw/heard the answer in my mind, I just knew. Of course! So obvious once I consciously knew!

I have no doubt that if I concentrate my efforts on this Super Power of mine then I will be able to exercise massive leverage in all my ventures.

Why I Was Afraid

It is now clear to me why Grandmaster Mu said I was fearful of my power. Looking back, I can see that I was for some time very fearful of my power, specifically due to a horrible, violent assault that I was the victim of some years ago. I always laughed it off (once I had recovered and was back on my feet) but in reality I can see it shocked me and caused me to be afraid.

But, even without knowing exactly what the issue was, I have been much less fearful since Grandmaster Mu and his gang did their “tune up” and have been unconsciously utilising my Super Power much more confidently. From here on, I know I will need to be careful not to abuse my power, but never fearful – fear is a dead-end.

Now, I apologise – you have read this far – but I am not going to tell you what my Super Power is! I am sorry if this disappoints you but we must not dilute our powers by blabbing about them!

However, I wrote this to encourage you to find your own Super Power. I can’t give you the exact formula for doing so, but I would encourage you to do a lot of deep conscious introspection to get the ball rolling. Then allow time and space for the unconscious mind to do its job.

Make sure you meditate and spend enough time relaxing and if possible, spend time in nature on a regular basis – not just barbecuing meat and drinking beer but walking, sitting and allowing your mind to settle without too much talking or activity.

It may take a long time, but keep searching, and the answers will come.

Good luck!

 

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The Yes Meditation: How To Empower Yourself To Be Awesome http://rebelzen.com/2013/11/yes-meditation-empower-awesome/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=yes-meditation-empower-awesome http://rebelzen.com/2013/11/yes-meditation-empower-awesome/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:42:56 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1809 During my meditation this morning, I tapped into an energy which was really empowering and blissful. I was sitting there, watching my mind, just being aware of my thoughts, waiting for them to settle down, … Read more

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During my meditation this morning, I tapped into an energy which was really empowering and blissful.

I was sitting there, watching my mind, just being aware of my thoughts, waiting for them to settle down, when I caught myself thinking negatively. And I was suddenly struck, not for the first time, by how deeply negative my “tapes” are sometimes (all the time? Not sure…). The truth is, even though I am a relatively positive-minded guy, certainly inherently optimistic, I still regularly think things and then just quickly negate them. I usually do this without being conscious that I am doing it.

Over the last couple of years, due to my work with Tarot and my meditation and personal development work, I have become aware of this and have made some inroads into catching myself playing these negative tapes in my mind and, when I do notice I’m doing it, transmuting the thought into its positive opposite. I think it has had a remarkable affect in my wellbeing.

But I have not yet completely quashed the bad habit, and today, as I was settling into a meditation, I suddenly caught myself thinking: “Oh no, I couldn’t do that, that’s not me. No, that’s not possible” in response to some creative thought that had popped into my mind just prior.

So to counter-act this I just started meditating in the energy of “Yes” and it was awesome.

How To Do The Yes Meditation

It’s laughably simple but it worked so well for me. All I did was start repeating: “Yes, I am…” and then filling in the blanks with whatever came to mind.  I kind of imagined I was in a meditation class – a really weird meditation class – where everyone in the circle was me! And our teacher had asked us to go around the circle repeating and finishing off the statement with whatever came up.

“Yes, I am … awesome”

“Yes, I am … capable.”

“Yes, I am … loveable.”

“Yes, I am … wonderfully successful.”

“Yes, I am … going to have a great day.”

Just whatever positive stuff came up. (Writing now, I wonder what would have happened in that imaginary class if I’d come up with something bummed out like “Yes, I am a total loser” but that didn’t happen.)

It was fantastically empowering. And I am going to do it regularly because I think we all owe it to ourselves to reprogram our negative sub-conscious programming. It’s not just self-help hocus-pocus, it’s a very real influence on our conscious state of mind and day-to-day experiences of wellbeing. It takes self-discipline and work to fix our minds, but we can do it.

The Yes Toilet Practice

So here’s the practice in two steps:

1 – Do the Yes Meditation regularly. But probably not on the toilet, refer to next step for explanation of the above toilet reference.

2 – Try and catch yourself repeating those subterranean negative programs, that limiting self-talk, and deliberately affirm the positive opposite.

A good time is when you are on the toilet.

I know that sounds weird but often it’s one of the few times we get any peace, and so when I enter the little room, I like to take a deep breathe and, you know, release, and sort of hear my own thinking. Often, I will then realise that I have been neurotically repeating negative bullshit thoughts to myself. When I this happens, I clock what it is I was saying, what negative thought I was affirming and I overwrite it by simply repeating the positive opposite a few times while I finish my business.

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Taming The Monkey Mind http://rebelzen.com/2013/10/taming-monkey-mind/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=taming-monkey-mind http://rebelzen.com/2013/10/taming-monkey-mind/#comments Wed, 02 Oct 2013 11:19:44 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1781 What is the Monkey Mind? The Monkey Mind is what stops you starting, finishing, succeeding. The Monkey Mind is what stops you – period. “Taming The Monkey Mind” is how to stop that. Free for … Read more

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What is the Monkey Mind?

The Monkey Mind is what stops you starting, finishing, succeeding. The Monkey Mind is what stops you – period.

“Taming The Monkey Mind” is how to stop that. Free for a limited time.

Buy Now!

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How I Turned My Family’s Finances Around In 5 Steps http://rebelzen.com/2013/09/how-i-turned-my-familys-finances-around/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-i-turned-my-familys-finances-around http://rebelzen.com/2013/09/how-i-turned-my-familys-finances-around/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:10:34 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1750 A year and a half ago me and my better half bought a larger, if still modest, house to fit our growing family in. The last place was tiny and we were going mad in … Read more

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A year and a half ago me and my better half bought a larger, if still modest, house to fit our growing family in. The last place was tiny and we were going mad in it so when we saw a really great house that we loved hit the local real estate market we jumped at it. We haven’t regretted it for a moment – it’s a lovely place and that extra bit of room has made all the difference.

However, with the bigger house came the mortgage. Our previous situation had been pretty easy to manage, so we had grown a bit complacent with our finances. We previously seemed to always save money just by being sensible, so we didn’t bother watch every cent. But one year into the new place, and rising (electricity, water, etc.) prices here in Australia, the writing was on the wall: we were going backwards quite rapidly. It was unsustainable and hard to fathom because we were living relatively modestly. We buy our clothes and cars secondhand. We don’t eat out much. We haven’t had an overseas holiday in 5 years.

Just five months later I am glad to say that we have totally turned our situation around and we are now saving a healthy little packet of dosh every month without fail. That’s been the case for four months now, and we barely changed anything. Here’s how we did it.

1. We Recorded Everything We Spent Money On

Using an app called YNAB we use our phones to track every cent we spend. After one month, this gave us a really great idea of what we roughly spend every month and on what. What was amazing to me was how much all those little expenses add up. It truly was death by a thousand cuts. The first month this was all we did different, just recorded our expenses in detail.

2. We Set A Budget

Oh God, I know, how boring. I have never been able to do this, but the YNAB app and accompanying desktop program, makes it so easy, and they have a really realistic, flexible philosophy which makes it simple to deal with reality not exactly matching the plan. (No, they are not paying me to write this.)

3. We Stuck To The Budget

More or less. As I said, it’s a flexible philosophy, but as long as everybody involved more or less sticks to the plan, and you adjust the budget when *ahem* sudden “accidental purchases” occur, it’s not too hard to do, especially if you continue to record your outgoings, which is important.

4. We Paid Close Attention To The Money

A man called Andrew Carnegie, long dead but once the richest man in the world, once said that the secret to success is to “put all your eggs in one basket and then watch the basket”. It’s not just that we track our spending and work to a budget, but I truly believe just paying attention the the money in a general sense, instead of being blase about it, makes a difference on a level that is harder to pinpoint. I guess it’s just hard for nasty surprises to derail your month when you’re paying such close attention.

5. I Worked Harder To Increase My Income

I’m not Bill Gates yet, don’t get me wrong, but I realised that I had been a little casual with regards to my business output and this was (unsurprisingly) affecting my income. So I worked out my cost base, what I had been earning, and what I would need to be able to pay myself each month to make our budget work. Because even the tightest budget doesn’t help if there just isn’t enough cash to live comfortably. Having said that, you shouldn’t think that this was all there was to it. It is so easy to just spend more if you earn a bit more, and still end up going backwards. So it cuts both ways.

By setting goals that were a stretch but not unrealistic, I didn’t have to overhaul my work life to achieve the income targets, I just had to keep my eye on the ball, check reality off against that and then hustle to make sure I brought the extra money in. I was amazed how easy it was actually, by simply focusing attention on what I wanted, I swear it just all kind of happened without me really doing anything much all that different. Well, maybe fifty-fifty: I have been definitely been working in a more focused way and taking action to bring in the extra income, but also jobs just seemed to materialise out of nowhere.

I reckon that’s the thing about the whole Law of Attraction thing. Yes, you need to put it out there, the things you want, but then you need to get moving and meet the Universe on the road.

So now we’re going on an overseas holiday this summer, paid for out of our savings. (To Tasmania – that’s overseas, right?)

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Work Hard to Get Your Thinking Clean http://rebelzen.com/2013/09/work-hard-get-thinking-clean/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=work-hard-get-thinking-clean http://rebelzen.com/2013/09/work-hard-get-thinking-clean/#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 05:33:21 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1743 “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move … Read more

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“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steve Jobs said that. And he was right, it is actually harder to think clean than to think messy. But if you make yourself sit down and do the hard work of thinking through everything until you remember what you actually want to do, then you rise above the fog of confusion that the Monkey Mind tries to scuttle you with and you start to get somewhere.

That’s what my new book, “Taming The Monkey Mind” is about. It’s out next week – meanwhile, why not check out the companion song: Monkey Mind. At the very least it’s always fun to laugh at a man in dress.

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Hope, Higher Energy, Healing http://rebelzen.com/2013/09/hope-higher-energy-healing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hope-higher-energy-healing http://rebelzen.com/2013/09/hope-higher-energy-healing/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:27:13 +0000 http://rebelzen.com/?p=1741 Hope Successful people attract people to them because their story gives people hope that they too can be successful, whatever success means to them. Higher Energy People are attracted to the higher vibrations of successful … Read more

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Hope

Successful people attract people to them because their story gives people hope that they too can be successful, whatever success means to them.

Higher Energy

People are attracted to the higher vibrations of successful people like moths to a flame. It is the energy that attracts them; they want to draw on this energy for themselves. They usually do not consciously know why they are attracted to successful people, but this is why: they want bask in that the Higher Energy that the successful person gives off, they want to soak it up for themselves. When the crowd goes to see the famous figure live, when they tune in to the TV to watch a celebrity being interviewed or when they read a success story it is pure energetic self-interest.

Self-interest explains away almost all of human behaviour, good or bad.

Healing

Tuning into this Higher Energy heals people’s wounds. And, via art (music, poetry, paintings, movies, etc) the expression of pain, conflict and difficult emotions (in the art) helps people to acknowledge and identify with their own emotional baggage.

Knowing and relating to other people’s pain helps us to feel better about our own lives. And for many of us, the different art forms, music especially, helps us to heal by expressing what we don’t fully know how to self-express.

Feel free to slurp on the higher energy in my new music video, Monkey Mind…

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