Archive | 2013

What If You Could Have Whatever You Think About?

I ran into a book by accident, called “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. I only read positive, life-Photo of a couple looking at the sky and thinkingchanging, books and I had already read everything that I have in my house. I needed some good books to read.

So I did the obvious. I resorted to a Google search to locate some good books. I performed a search on “self improvement books”, picked a selection from the Google SERPS, and found a list of 24 recommended books on self-improvement.

I didn’t recognize any of the titles or the authors. Nevertheless, I selected a book arbitrarily. “The Secret” caught my attention. I had never heard of it. But the title peeked my curiosity. I ordered it from Amazon and waited for it to arrive.

Opening a new book is like discovering treasure. Little did I know what I had got myself into. I had accidentally discovered the secret that I have spent at least 40 years of my life searching for.

The book was published in 2006 by an Australian author, Rhonda Byrne, and was later made into a movie for television in the same year. I don’t know what channel it aired on in the USA. But obviously I had missed the premier of the movie on TV. The movie turned out to be quite the rage with millions of viewers  around the world.

I often have the feeling that I am the last one to arrive at the party. By that I mean that things that excite me are old news to others and I have been late in discovering some novel piece of  information.

What I am going to teach you in this post is that YOU create your own life, daily. How? You do this by what you think about most. You have total control over what you think about. What you think about most will dictate the direction of your life.

But forget that for now because I’m going to show you how that logically happens. I don’t expect for you to accept that statement at face value.

The Secret Book and Movie

Some of you may know of “The Secret“. Others may have no idea what I am talking about. So before you proceed, take 90 minutes and watch the full-length movie made for television in 2006 titled “The Secret. Watch it now, right here before you proceed with this post.

Or if you are short on time, watch the trailer of “The Secret“. It’s pretty short. Before you hit the play button,

I should warn you that when I created this post, it was 14 pages long in MS Word. I need for you to learn “The Secret” so that you understand what I am trying to teach you in the next thirteen pages. Please press the play button now and come back to this at then end of the flick.

So what do you think about?  What are your dominant thoughts? Do you find that what you think about most comes back to you again and again only magnified?

I admit that I lead a rather sheltered, reclusive life. I live in the boon-docks. I love the outdoors so I spend most of my time immersed in outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, tent camping, canoeing rivers and snowmobiling in the winter. I don’t’ have much use for TV or the news as the majority of it is depressing and boring. I avoid depressing and boring as I prefer to maintain a positive attitude, which means that I filter out everything else.

So I was probably the last one to learn of the secrets that “The Secret” book and movie held because I don’t watch much TV to begin with.

If you read the book or saw the movie, than this post might be a bit redundant for you. But stick around as I do not intent to write a book review or a commentary on the movie.

I never take any new information at face value. I have to research new claims and theories. And by research, I mean months of research until I validate and understand every nugget of information that I read.

I admit, that the first few pages of the book, “The Secret”, caught me off-guard and left me feeling like someone had hit me over the head with a baseball bat.  Stunned.

How could there be a little known Natural Law of such magnitude that has existed since the beginning of time, and I have remained ignorant of that Law all my life?

I’ve been a philosopher all my life. I literally search for this type of information. And by philosopher, I don’t just mean someone who gets a kick out of theorizing about this and that. I mean that I’ve had a college B.S. degree in Philosophy since 1968. I’m well acquainted with the writings of ALL the philosophers from Aristotle to Plato, to the Existentialists, the New Thought writers, Kafka, Camus, Bacon, all of them.

But somehow I missed this Natural Law, which happens to be the most powerful Natural Law in the Universe.  You see, this law states that “like attracts like”. That’s it. It’s that simple. But then most Natural Laws are simple. The Natural Law of cause and effect says that when one object bumps into another object, it produces the effect of putting that second object into motion. Pretty simple.

Laws of Nature – What Are They?

When Newton discovered the Natural Law of gravity, he did so by observing an apple falling from a tree. Since the falling apple accelerated in speed as it fell, he concluded that something must be pulling it to the ground. He did the research and the Natural Law of gravitational pull was explained. Later the physicists explained that gravity occurs on Earth because of the rate at which the Earth is spinning produces a centrifugal force that draws everything (even other planets) to it. That is why we all don’t fall off the earth into space when the ground on which we stand is actually upside down.

Einstein’s research produced E=Mc2, which states very simply that everything is made up of energy. Our bodies are made up of organs. Our organs are made up of cells. Our cells are made up of molecules. Molecules are made up of protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are made up of atoms. And an atom is made up of pure energy. If you can split an atom (s), that energy is released. A good example of this is the atom bomb which is comprised of the energy that is released when you split an atom(s).

So if everything is comprised of energy, then our thoughts must also be comprised of energy. This seemed to be a far stretch that was first put forth by thinkers and authors over the last 200 years or so. Some of these authors were Napoleon Hill, Thomas Edison, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others.

Everything – Even Your Thoughts Are Made of Energy

Quantum physicists have always remained skeptical that thoughts were actually comprised of energy. But now this group states that the model of the Universe that they have been trying to build for centuries makes no sense at all unless thoughts are accepted as things – energy which is vibrating at certain frequencies. They hold that everything vibrates. Even the atoms of which your body is made vibrates at a certain frequency. The objects in a room vibrate at a certain frequency. The vibration is the glue which holds objects together and gives them their unique shape. Everything that we perceive is comprised of atoms (energy) vibrating at a unique speed.

So everything is made of energy.

Therefore, every time we create a thought, we are essentially releasing a thing whose energy is vibrating at a certain speed. Note the use of the word, CREATE. We are creators. We create thoughts. Thoughts comprise ideas. Some ideas become plans. Some plans become huge such as the plan to see if we can put a man on the moon. But remember that that plan started as just a thought – a person releasing a thing made up of pure energy.

So what happens to this thing – a thought? Does it die and go away? No. If it were to die and go away, quantum physicists would need to explain how that happens. And they can’t. So the conclusion is that thoughts (energy) are released into the ether (the Universe) where they float around (so to speak) and can be picked up by other minds who are circumstantially prepared to receive that thought.

The great inventor, Thomas Edison, used to sit in a dark, sound-proof room for hours in front of a notepad of paper and a pen. He placed himself in a relaxed, meditation and he would wait for thoughts from the ether (originating from somewhere else) to enter his mind, thus stimulating new ideas in his own brain.

The author and teacher, Napoleon Hill, believed that our brains were both broadcasting stations and receiving stations. We broadcast our own thoughts into the ether and when we are attuned and super-susceptible to receiving other thoughts, our minds become a receiving station. This is where new thoughts and hunches come from.

So what is important to understand is first, that we are creators – creators of thoughts which are living things comprised of pure energy. Your thoughts are not wasted but continue to take on a life of their own. Let me say that again – You are a creator, you create thoughts. That’s a big deal. You may consider it just thinking. But you are creating something that has a life of its own. It’s hard for us to stop thinking. We even continue thinking while we sleep. It’s hard to shut the brain off. And as long as we are thinking, we are creating something comprised of pure energy.

Thoughts Are Energy, But Lets Move On To “like attracts like

Now it’s time to bring the Natural Law of  “like attracts like” into the picture. We’ve already seen how thoughts are things. And thoughts are energy. Since they are things that you created, they don’t die once they leave your brain. They are energy like everything else and they go on living in the Universe.

A couple of things can happen to thoughts. We have already seen how Edison and others would place themselves in a meditation state in order to make themselves receptive to new thoughts. They were activating the receiving station portion of their minds. They wanted to receive certain thoughts in order to carry on their research with new ideas.

For now, we will NOT concern ourselves with the use of thoughts that are available to anyone who can and does prepare themselves to receive them. We WILL concern ourselves with thoughts that you release into the ether frequently – sometimes without even being aware of it. The reason why we want to concern ourselves with these thoughts is because YOU are a creator in this instance. Furthermore,  this is where the Natural Lawlike attracts like” comes into play. And we want to learn more about what that means.

Let’s summarize briefly, what was said earlier about the Natural Lawlike attracts like”. I’ll begin by pointing out that the book “The Secret”, and the associated movie by the same title, were both based on this little known natural law. But I did not explain what the phrase “like attracts like” actually means.

It’s impossible to talk about this Natural Law without first explaining what a thought is, how it comes into being, and what happens to it if it really is a thing. Fortunately quantum physicists  and certain laymen have helped us with that understanding as I have explained above.

Now, we can either go into the background of this Natural Law and trace its origins and impact on humanity or we can talk about how this Natural Law impacts us today. Let’s choose to talk about how this Natural Law impacts us today and put off the background until later.

So What Does “like  attracts like” Have To Do With Us?

You create a thought or thoughts. This often happens even when you are not aware of it since you are thinking all the time. “Like attracts like” happens when that which you think about most is released into the ether (Universe) and attracts other like thoughts. This causes that which you think about most to come back to you magnified (the Law of Attraction at work). Since the Law of Attraction is a Natural Law, we don’t have opportunity to question why this happens. It’s a Law of Nature. Why do we have this thing called gravity? Do we really need it? Who knows. Why is everything made of energy? Who knows. How come the weather is never consistent? Why is grass always green? Why is the sky blue?  Why does time go forward but never backward? We don’t have answers to fully explain all Natural Laws. They just are what they are.

So that which you think about most is created and released by you to the ether where it attracts other like thoughts and comes back to you. “Like attracts like” has certain peculiar characteristics which you need to be aware of. Let’s look at some examples.

If you tend to think about what troubles you the most, your problems and issues , those thoughts are broadcast to the ether, attract like thoughts and come back to you as more problems and issues.

If you are searching for your soul mate and think about that the most, those thoughts are broadcast to the ether, attract like thoughts and come back to you as more opportunities for finding a soul make.

If you are inundated with bills and you think, “I don’t want any more bills!” and that is what preoccupies your mind, those thoughts are released to the ether, attract like thoughts, and you get more bills. Have you ever noticed this? Exactly what you DON’T want is exactly what you get. A bad situation gets worse. This is one of the peculiar characteristics of the Law of Attraction that I mentioned. People tend to spend more time thinking about what they DON’T want instead of thinking about what they DO want. You should never do this. The Universe is perfect. Negativity does not exist in the Universe. So when you say I don’t want more bills, the negative (don’t) gets ignored and your thought becomes “I want more bills”. Think about what you DO want.

Let me interject at this point that sooner or later you are going to ask me, “If I can have whatever I want just by thinking about it all the time, wouldn’t I and everyone else be rich and happy?”  There are three reasons why this doesn’t happen. I already mentioned one. Here they are:

1) We as humans spend more time thinking about what we DON’T want instead of thinking about what we DO want.
2) There is a problem in receiving that which you are wanting. We’ll talk about this later.
3) The vast majority of people in the world know nothing of the Law of Attraction nor how to use it to their advantage.

Those are the three reasons why we are not all walking around rich and happy. Quite the opposite. If people are constantly thinking most about what they do not want, that is exactly what they are getting. That’s a formula for misery.

Do you see why I have been repeating over and over again that you are a creator because you create your own thoughts, which are things, that live and are released to the ether? Now let’s take that one step further. You are also the creator of your own LIFE. And I do not mean that you are the creator of your life on a grand scale. I mean that you create your own life on a daily basis and can change its direction any time you please by changing what you think about most.  Best read that statement again. You create your own life by that which you think about most. You can create your life to be anything that you choose. You already do that daily without realizing that your life is currently comprised of that which you think about most. So now that you know that you are unknowingly doing this, why not think about and create the life that you desire most?

Give that some thought. Think back over the years and ask yourself, what was on my mind during all those years? What was most important to me? What was I thinking about most at that time? Why didn’t my life turn out the way I expected? You should be able to prove to yourself that you did indeed receive exactly what you thought about most.

Does that mean you have to constantly monitor your thoughts to insure that you don’t get something back that you don’t want.  Not at all. That would eventually drive you nuts. Only that which you think about all the time, attracts other like thoughts and has a habit of manifesting itself in your life.

But you must realize that you have the ability to create your own life by thinking about most, that which  you WANT most. You can’t create for others. Only yourself.

You create your own life every day. Your life is that which you think about most. You attract more of what you think about most. Look back over your life for the last 20 or so years. Try and identify what you have been thinking about most over that time. Was it wealth? Was it poverty or a consistent lack of funds? Was it health? Was it sickness, disease, doctors, and medications? What was it? Try and identify what you were thinking about at a high level. I propose that you got exactly what you were thinking about.

Forget about destiny. Destiny is a coincidence. You are not destined to do or become this or that. You thought your life into existence. And you can change your life at any time just by thinking most about that which you really want. If you are a proponent of this “destiny thing”, then go ahead and create your destiny in what you think about most. Nobody is going to do it for you. If you feel you are destined to be healer in the medical field, you can do that. Just visualize yourself doing that daily. If you feel that you are destined to be famous, just visualize yourself as being famous at doing something daily and when you truly believe that, you will be famous.

You can disagree with me if you like. The sources of my information (in addition to personal experience) are too numerous to mention here. But if you are skeptical that what I am proposing is unfounded, prove me wrong. I’ll be more than happy to post a retraction to this post if you can prove me wrong. Use the resources and references that I’m going to give you at the end of this article and find a fault or contradiction in what I am saying.

But first understand that I regard my responsibility as getting you to think. I’m not trying to convert anyone. I’m just the messenger. And as you know, you should not shoot the messenger if you do not care for the message. I just want you to think about this stuff. And I mean, turn off the lights, remove all distractions, and spend some time really THINKING.

Do you have any idea how literally outrageous it is and how important it is to understand that you can CREATE YOUR OWN LIFE, HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, BE WHATEVER YOU WANT,  just by making those desires your primary thoughts? It’s a bit more complicated than that and I’m going to share with you every little detail. But first, you need to look at your life and ask yourself, “did I create this?”. Of course you did. You just need to convince yourself of that. I can present any number of widely accepted, well documented, highly respected, sources of information that will show this to you if you are willing to do the research. But I have already done the research for you and I gain nothing by lying to you.

 

But There’s a Problem – It’s Called Distraction

 Distraction is the Enemy Which Prevents You From Thinking

Ours is a world of distraction. No one would deny that the pace of life grows faster and faster every decade. There was a time when taking time to read, think, or talk about things that are important to you was perfectly natural, and rewarding. But today, everyone is flat out of time and totally distracted.

Distracted by what? For starters, just getting through the day can be a challenge. Add to that the distraction of television, TV’s that are capable of capturing five movies or more at once, phones whether they be in your home, in your car, in your purse or briefcase, on your desk or in your desk, computers, tablets, and smart phones, XM radio that allows you to listen to thousands of channels playing anything you can dream up in your car or any other place where you want to listen to music for enjoyment and distraction. People are so distracted by their e-mail and texting that they literally walk into walls or light posts as they traverse the streets. The government had to make laws just to get people with cell phones to stop staring at them and pay attention when driving. Music on iPods, on jump drives, or on your phone. Computer or DVD screens in your cars. The list goes on and on. Distraction. Anything is better than having to THINK. We intentionally distract ourselves so we don’t have to endure the silence that may require us to think.

We take whatever sleep remedy is handy to insure that we get to sleep as quickly as possible. Your mind never stops thinking, even while you are asleep. But if we can get to sleep fast enough, we can at least avoid being conscious that we cannot stop our minds from thinking.

Why do we do this? If we can literally think and visualize the things we want most into our lives; if we can create our lives on a daily basis just by thinking and concentrating on what is most important to us, why would we search for a distraction in order to avoid this?

So What Does the Author Do?

I don’t make any claims that I am any different, any smarter or any better than anyone else. But I enjoy that time that I can retreat from distractions and day-dream, think, and plan. I used to own a Droid X2 smart phone but got rid of it when I realized that I only used it to check my e-mail and take an occasional call. I never did use the browser on the phone because I find a 2×3 inch screen a bit awkward. I can type like the wind so I never had any patience for texting.

I have XM Radio in my car but seldom listen to it. So I think I’ll get rid of that too. I prefer chatting with my passengers or taking time to think and watch videos in my mind. I do have Onstar in my car for safety reasons and that includes a satellite phone. But it is rarely used.

There are no radios in my house. Stereo equipment has never been important to me. I have a small stereo in the living room and a ton of CD’s, but I rarely listen to any of them. The only TV in the house is a tiny thing that sits on the kitchen island counter for catching the weather report. The news is too depressing to watch.

My point is – I’m really not looking for distractions. I read a lot and write or do research on the computer.  Sometimes I go to bed early just so I can lay there in the dark and think about things that are important to me an hour or two before retiring. Did you know that the last thing that you think about before you fall asleep is likely to embed itself in your subconscious mind (if repeated often enough)? And what is on your mind before you fall asleep has a good likelihood of finding its way into your dreams.

Does that make me weird? I know that my habits are not the norm. But folks, it’s this simple. Either you are the captain of your ship and the master of your soul or someone or something else is. If the latter, that leaves you and your life merely on an abandoned ship that is being tossed by the wind and the waves in whatever direction it will go. I encourage you to take more time to think about those things which are important to you. What do you want for your life? Think about those things most.

How Do I Create That Which I Want Most in my Life?

 It’s not difficult. And before I get into the details of what I would do, let me throw this statement out there. If you are thinking, okay, I do my thing and somewhere down the long road of life, something that I was thinking about a lot actually occurs in my life before I become aged and kick the bucket.

No. That’s not what I’m talking about. Not even close. Once you master that which you think about most, you will see things begin to change in your life immediately but subtly. Remember, the Universe loves speed. If things are delayed, the fault lies with your RECEIVING that which you are wanting.  Your RECEIVING  is dependent on YOU and your willingness to BELIEVE that you will actually receive that which you want most. Let me use an example because I sense that I am loosing you.

A Very Explicit and Important Example

I want to be financially independent. I’m tired of making all my life’s decisions based on money. I don’t want money to be a consideration anymore when making decisions. If I want to spend February or March in the Caribbean, I just want to go. I don’t want to spend hours or days online looking for the best deal on the planet so I can save a few bucks. And I don’t ever want to hear the words “can we afford it” again.

I have some debt that I want to get paid off. But don’t you ever think about debt. If you think about paying off debt all the time, you will only succeed in attracting more debt.  Think about getting rich and forget the debt. Debt is something that you DON’T want. The Universe doesn’t care about what you DO NOT want. It only cares about what you DO want.

And my abode is a bit untidy because we built it ourselves and ran out of steam and money before it was finished. I want it finished. That is what I want. There is only one way to solve my issues. A big chunk of money. So my focus is money. Isn’t that a surprise. So how do I make that happen?

Now before I proceed I need to qualify some things. The following discussion will likely touch upon religious and spiritual beliefs. That’s normally a sensitive subject; primarily because not everyone believes in a Higher Authority. And if they do believe in a Higher Authority, the various religions of the world have different names for the Higher Authority. So I am going to stick with generic wording so that I do not offend anyone.

I honestly believe that what I am about to describe is not in any way dependent on your believing in a Higher Authority. The reason being, that a Higher Authority does not care whether you are an atheist, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or whatever. A Higher Authority accepts and loves you right where you are at regardless of whether you are a drunk, a drug freak, a whore, a trans-sexual, a homeless person, a member of an occult; you may be dirty, stink, foul or whatever. It just doesn’t matter.

So that’s my disclaimer. It is not my intention to preach to you or judge you in any way. So let’s get on with the example.

What I would do, having the previously stated wants, is to first get a clear and precise statement in my mind of that which I want to see manifested in my life. I would likely get it on paper where I can see it and review it. That is just my habit. I’m a visual learner. It is extremely important to be precise about that which you want. And though the list of what you want may be lengthy, you absolutely must focus on just one want at a time. Focus on your most pressing need and put the other wants aside for later.

Once you are perfectly clear and precise about that which you are wanting, you only need to present that thought to the Universe once. As soon as you do that, your request is answered IMMEDIATELY. That’s right, immediately. As soon as I formulate the thought that I want to be rich enough to eliminate financial considerations in my every decision and I want to live out the rest of my days in my current abode with it being complete to the last detail, that which I want is given. Actually, I need to be more precise than that. I need to state a precise dollar amount versus just thinking “rich enough to eliminate financial considerations in every decision.” So let’s say a million bucks will do the trick. That’s the figure that I see in my mind.

You say, “what do you mean it is given? How can that be? Nothing is ever that easy. Do you really expect your readers to believe that?”.  Let me explain.

THE PRIMARY REASON WHY YOUR LIFE HAS NOT TURNED OUT AS YOU INTENDED IT TO BE IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT SHOWN A WILLINGNESS TO BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN GIVEN THAT WHICH YOU ARE WANTING.

You see the hardest part of being a creator of our own life is that we  have all been sucked into this environment, society , laws, rules, morals, norms, education, expectations, call it whatever you want or call it all of the above. We are distracted 24 hours a day. And because our life’s experience has taught us that you can’t want a car and look out the window and find one in your driveway five minutes after wanting it, we believe that.  That’s probably a stretch for you. Let me take that back.

The Three Parts to Getting What You Want

The biggest problem in “like attracts like” is in the RECEIVING part, not in the ASKING part. The three parts to thinking that which you want into your life are:

1) ASK

2) ANSWER (the Universe does this part, not you)

3) RECEIVE

Deciding what you want is not hard. It’s not hard to make a precise definition of what you want. As soon as you know what you want, and get a clear mental picture of that, step 2 above takes place immediately.  The Universe loves speed. Remember that the quantum physicists tell us that the only place where time exists is on Earth. Take Earth out of the picture and time doesn’t exist anymore. The only thing that matters is NOW. That’s what the Universe knows. Everything is NOW. The Universe knows nothing of tomorrow, next week, or later. There is only NOW.

Let’s get back to the example. I’ve written down a clear statement of that which I want on a piece of paper. Once my draft is complete and states exactly what I want it to state, I sit back admire it, and the thought (which is my asking) takes place with no effort on my part and I’m  done.

Now, I need to prepare myself to RECEIVE that which I ASKED for. There are some tools for doing this. The next thing that I would do is to prepare a “vision board”. A vision board is like taping something that you like onto the refrigerator. Visualizing something in your mind is extremely powerful when you are trying to convince your mind that you have already received that which you asked for.  For that matter, you currently do nothing without first getting an image in your mind.  Think about that. When you start your day, don’t you, without even realizing it, see an image of the day’s events in your mind? Do you see yourself at the office or at the local mall? Do you see the items that you will need to put into your grocery cart before you even arrive at the store? Of course you do. That’s how you create your shopping list.

The Universe and the Higher Authority Needs an Image.

Run that video in your mind frequently. Visualize that which you are wanting. Do it while you drive. Driving from point A to point B is a total waste of time if that’s all you are doing is driving. Turn off the radio, sound system, or cell phone and spend the time visualizing what it will be like when you receive that which you are wanting. Your job is to convince yourself beyond the shadow of a doubt that you already have received that which you want. Once you do that, there it is.

On my vision board I would tape or pin anything that looks like a finished abode, with shiny hardwood floors, oriental rugs, fine cherry furniture (we have cherry furniture but it’s in storage), old-fashioned quilts hanging from the wooden beams (my wife is a quilter but the beams in the great room are not finished), etc. etc. I want to run that video in my mind at least a couple times a day. I want to take measurements in order to place furniture and draw a plan of each room and where things will sit.

I want to begin to act and feel like a man of substance who doesn’t give a rip about money. No decisions based on money any more. Just enjoy my life and the heck with money. Does that mean I act financially irresponsible? No. But I’ll trick my mind into believing I don’t care about money by making my bills look like checks to me after I add a few zeros. Or I’ll alter a one dollar bill to look like a $100K bill and pin that over my bed on the ceiling. Or I’ll print a fake check off the Internet and write that out to me for a million bucks and place it in my wallet. Do what you have to in order to get BELIEF. Everything is fair game as long as it’s within the law and doesn’t harm others.

Do you get the idea? I have to do SOMETHING to force myself to BELIEVE that my abode is complete to every detail and I don’t give a rip about money anymore. Once I have done that, I am ready to RECEIVE that which was given to me the moment I formulated the thought of that which I am wanting.  It may be weeks, it may be months, it may take years. It’s entirely dependent on ME and my ability to BELIEVE in something other than what my five senses tell me.

There are Some Rules – Here’s #1

Now here’s the part that the atheist will struggle with. In order to receive that which you are wanting, you must first have “an attitude of gratitude”. Take the time to write down for review, that which you already have for which you are grateful to a Higher Authority. Either you are pretty tickled about your soul mate, the wheels you have in the garage, the roof currently over your head and the fact that you’ll find three fine meals on your table every day, or you don’t give a rip. If you are feeling pretty satisfied with all these things, be thankful. Thanksgiving and the holidays are a good time to do that anyway.

Don’t bother to verbalize your feeling. The Higher Authority doesn’t listen to anything you say so you are wasting your time with verbalization. The Higher Authority is only interested in your primary thoughts and that’s all the Higher Authority hears. Have an “attitude of gratitude” and that which you want will come into your life that must quicker.

Now before you have a fit about my statement that a Higher Authority doesn’t care what you verbalize, let me make a disclaimer that will make you feel better about this. You can’t verbalize anything without first thinking about what you want to say. So verbalize if you want, but the thought comes first and Higher Authority receives the thought but not the sound your voice makes. Our Universe is all about thoughts and mental images but it’s pretty quiet out there in the Universe.

I solved the issue of gratitude by stealing an idea from a certain movie. I keep a stone in my right pants pocket all the time. I call it my “gratitude rock”. Every time I put it in my pocket or take it out, or if I put my hands in my pocket and notice it there, I think of a few things for which I am grateful. That’s not hard. I’ve had a pretty sweet life. Attitude of gratitude solved.

There is No Such Thing as Something for Nothing – Rule #2

As soon as you give over that which you are wanting to your dominant thoughts, that which you asked for is given to you. If you have no evidence of that, it is because you are not prepared or “ALIGNED” to receive it. Remember? Ask, Answer, Receive. The first two steps are pretty easy. Although some may find it hard to clearly define what it is that they are wanting, and form a mental image of that. Additionally, in order to do your part in acquiring this thing that you want, you must be able to work yourself into a white-heat of desire for it. You must “align” yourself (that which you do) with your goal. It would be silly to do otherwise.

Here’s an example. It makes no sense for someone who is sickly year after year to want sound health, and after making that want clear to the Universe, they continue to smoke and avoid exercise of any sort. That’s like riding two horses going in opposite directions. In order to “align” yourself to that which you are wanting, make a plan to quit smoking and incorporate a little exercise into your regimen.  As soon as you ask for that which you are wanting, the Universe begins to move the necessary parts of your answer in YOUR direction or TOWARDS you. You also need to move yourself TOWARDS your desire in order to not contradict that for which you are wanting. You don’t ever want to be sick again. Nothing; not even a simple cold. You’re fed up with it.

Now before you say, “Isn’t what you are describing a self-fulfilling prophecy? Wouldn’t this person become healthier anyway if they quit smoking and did some exercise?” Yes, they would become healthier. But would they eliminate illness from their lives for good? I doubt it. I have read of people who have never been ill for a day in their lives. How is that possible? I’m sorry to say that I have no idea. Unless, they have somehow tapped into the Law of Attraction.

Let’s pester this a bit more. Because I sense that you are not fully satisfied with that answer. Let’s take the example that I stated previously which describes that which I am wanting. Will I get a check for a million bucks in the mail so that I can hire some carpenters to finish my abode to my liking? And then I’ll never have to worry about money again? I don’t want to discount any solution to what I am wanting. But I would theorize, No; I will not receive a check for a million bucks.

But in order to receive that for which I am wanting, I know that I must “align” my thinking and activity toward the realization of that end. Does it make any sense for me to sit here with my arms folded and wait for a check to arrive? Absolutely not! So what am I doing to align myself with that for which I am wanting?

For starters, I moved all of my investments to one stellar investment management firm that will do a better job of increasing dividends and returns for my portfolio. I own a few properties that I don’t want. I put them on the market. I tightened up our budget a bit. I’ve created a new income stream. I keep my eyes and ears open for other opportunities.  Does that make sense? I have aligned my thinking and my actions to that which I am wanting. I’m moving closer to my goal while the Universe moves my goal closer to me. I expect new opportunities to present themselves simply because I took the time to test drive the Law of Attraction and see if I can, indeed, create my life just by thinking about that which I want.

Was that such a great effort on my part? No. Can you afford to ignore this post and this Natural Law and go your own way alone, not having the vaguest idea of what lies down the road for you and your life? Or would you rather create your life just the way you want it? I prefer the latter. I don’t expect something for nothing. There are no free hand-outs. But I feel that spending my time thinking about the things that are most important to me, taking the time to visualize those things, and taking action to make them happen; that’s likely the most important action that I will ever take in my life. And it causes me no additional hassle or pain.

So that’s it. To summarize:

1) Ask – formulate a precise definition of that which you want. (you can do this as many times as you want)

2) Answer – the Universe does this, nothing required on your part

3) Receive – the tough part because we as humans tend NOT to believe things we cannot feel, smell, hear,  see, or taste.

Use visualization, a vision board, fake money. If you want a Ferrari, go test drive one. Do whatever you have to do to convince yourself that you already received that which you are wanting. Go sit in a comfortable chair, turn out the lights, borrow a toy steering wheel from your kids and something to use for the shifter and drive that new car. Rip through the gears. See everything in your mind. Feel the adrenaline rush when you take that Ferrari up to 90 mph in a few seconds. Do that at least once a day until that image in your mind becomes more vivid. And then…….

A Story About How the Mind Interacts with Your Body

When training, personal trainers have track & field athletes run their race in the lab while hooked up to sophisticated monitoring equipment that records their thought impulses and their body’s muscle activity. The athletes close their eyes and run their race in their mind so that they see themselves on the track running in their “mind’s eye”.

The same monitoring had taken place previously when they were physically on the track and the athlete was actually running their race. The results of the monitoring, one set of stats recorded in the lab and the other set of stats recorded on the actual track, were then compared. There were virtually no differences in the brain activity or the muscles that fired in order to run the race, whether it be in the mind (while standing still in the lab) or on the track.

DON’T SHORT-CHANGE VISUALIZATION OR TRICKING YOUR MIND INTO THINKING THAT SOMETHING IS HAPPENING, WHEN IT IS NOT HAPPENING. YOUR MIND IS SO POWERFUL THAT YOU CAN COMMAND IT TO FIRE MUSCLES BASED ONLY UPON THE IMAGE IN YOUR MIND. Yet you are actually standing still.

Back to the Law of Attraction

There are people who have always known “The Secret” and have mastered what I have just explained to you. They have everything that they want. Is it a surprise to you that the people that I refer to can be found in less than 2% of the population? 98% of the available wealth is concentrated in less than 2% of the population. That’s a fact. Check the census figures. Now you know one reason why.

Don’t believe me? Now it is time to look at the historical foundation of “The Secret”. You may be hearing this for the first time. But It has been with us since the beginning of time. This Law of Nature has been hidden, protected, banned,  and suppressed for centuries. Why? Because it is the most powerful of the Laws of Nature. The Secret is called the Law of Attraction.  It’s also called the Law of Affinity or the Law of Love;  love being the most powerful force in the Universe.

Why is it that few of us have heard of this Natural Law? Think first of Natural Laws that you ARE aware of. Gravity was explained by Newton. The fact that everything is made of energy was discovered by Einstein. Natural Laws such as the changing of the seasons have been explained by meteorologists over and over again. Or the fact that the Earth rotates on an axis once every 24 hours and circumvents the sun every 365 days have been discovered and explained by astronomers, such as Galileo.

But the Natural Law of Attraction has not received much attention. Few know of its existence. Why is that? First of all, realize that there have been a handful of people who have known of this laws existence.  You can find references to it in written sources back through the ages. But it has escaped the public eye. Why?

The Law of Attraction was Hidden and Suppressed, Even Banned

Since you can create your own life simply by managing your dominant thoughts, that makes you a “creator”. You can bring things into existence simply by thinking them into existence. You cannot create for others. Do you think that is powerful? Can you see why those in a position of power and wealth would want to keep this information to themselves versus share it with “the little people”? Every day we learn in the news of things that the rich and powerful did not want us to know. Do you think that our modern society has a monopoly on secrecy?

I do not want to reiterate what is already documented in the book and the movie, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. If you are wondering, why the secrecy, you will find the answers that you are looking for there.

By the way, why is Rhonda Byrne in Wikipedia? She’s still living and is middle-aged. To my knowledge she only created one low-budget movie called The Secret. She has written several books all of which are on the subject of the Secret. She’s not a famous personality. Before The Secret, she was an unknown TV producer and broke. Just asking.

References Where You Can Find More Information

The Law of Attraction is a Law of Nature that has been with us, like all other Laws of Nature, since the beginning of time. “The Secret”  movie and book exposed this Law to the world in 2006. But I have researched further than this single source. And I will share some of that research with you. The authors who have written on this subject down through the ages are much too numerous to mention here. Again, Rhonda Byrne‘s book The Secret provides a wealth of references to other writings and authors. Follow them.

You will also find a wealth of information on The Secret website. One resource that is noteworthy on this website are thousands, maybe millions of letters from people all over the world who have tested and mastered the Law of Attraction and have written letters describing how their lives have changed.

There are a multitude of links between the Bible and the Law of Attraction, which means the ideas of this Natural Law are thousands of years old. Google “law of attraction and the Bible” and you will turn up over 2 million search results and you will find the Biblical references.

The first reference to the Law of Attraction is theorized to be in the Emerald Tablet of Babylon, circa 3,000 B.C.. Specifically, the engravings on the tablet say “As above, so below. As within, so without.”

Even Buddha referenced the Law of Attraction in 563 BCE-483BCE when he said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought”.

The movie, “The Secret” and book were based on the writings of Wallace D. Wattles, specifically “The Science of Getting Rich” which was written in 1910. Wattles wrote many books for the “New Thought” movement in the late 1800’s. The New Thought movement was a change in religious dogma from a Higher Authority of fire and brimstone to a Higher Authority of love, abundance, and giving. Your birth-right is abundance, plenty, and whatever you want. Read this book if you want to know why. It’s an eye-opener.

On the subject of how the brain works, Napoleon Hill wrote at length in 1937 about the brain’s dual function as both a sending station and a receiving station. His close friend, Thomas Edison, contributed to this discussion and verified that the information was true according to Mr. Edison’s own personal experiences. As an inventor, Edison acquired his best material by sitting in a dark room for hours waiting for thoughts originating from the ether to enter his own mind and stimulate new ideas. You’ll find this discussion in Hill’s epic bestseller, Think and Grow Rich, chapters 12-14.

Robert Collier (1885-1950) wrote “The Secret of the Ages”. Although he seldom mentions the Law of Attraction by name, it’s presence in his writings is evident. This book is a good read but be aware that his writing style is difficult at times. Robert was studying to be a priest but became a prolific writer instead. His books have religious content but he is not “preachy”. He coined the phrase, “See things as you would have them be, instead of as they are.”

Esther and Jerry Hicks book, “Money and the Law of Attraction” 2008 is 236 pages of an exhaustive explanation on how the Law of Attraction can be used specifically for solving financial distress issues. You’ll find it on Amazon.

Conclusion – Life is Meant to be Abundant!

This may be an abstract concept for many. It took me awhile to accept it when I was first exposed to “The Secret”, and I had to study and study the concept until I believed it myself. I still need to prove it out in daily experience. It goes against what many of us have been told or taught all of our lives. Whether you were raised in a family with a poverty mindset or grew up experiencing continuous financial issues or if you are currently still trading your time for money in your job as you try to pay off your debt. The truth is really that there is no such thing as lack or limitation. There is enough money in the world for all of us to be rich, wealthy, and prosperous. This is the truth for you even if it is not in front of you at this exact moment. If you do not believe this, you push against it and if you push against it then abundance cannot ever come into your life.

So mastering the secret to success and the ability to choose your results starts in having the mindset and belief that life is meant to be abundant and there is an abundance of opportunity for you! You were meant to have everything and anything that you desire. Learn to reject thoughts of scarcity, limitation, lack and poverty. Fill your mind with thoughts and images of wealth, prosperity, success and the luxuries of financial freedom. When you do, you will start the magnetic process of attracting wealth to you. You will magnetically attract resources, money, people opportunities that support you and provide you with everything that you need to live a life of abundance. You can start to realize a result of success and wealth. You can choose a result that is different than the one you currently have.

I used to think that wealth and prosperity belonged only to people that I considered exceptional or better than me. I grew up in a family with a  poverty, scarcity mindset, that there was never enough to go around. My parents used to say, go to school, get a job, work hard, and you’ll be happy.  The truth is, that none of those statements are true. They are purely excuses and limiting beliefs, a conditioning that was probably passed down to my parents from their parents or other external influences like schools, newspapers, television or society.

Life is meant to be abundant!!!! Endeavor to think it, believe it, and live it!

The Secret is the Law of Attraction. And the Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like“. Like thoughts attract other like thoughts which come back to you magnified and begin the process of creating belief in your mind. Once you truly believe that you have that which you are wanting, you are able to receive it, and there it is.

What Will You Do Now That You Know The Secret?

Test the secret for yourself. What will it cost you? It will cost you nothing in terms of physical labor or time. Your mind is always thinking anyway. Just think about what you desire most. Stop thinking about what you don’t want and start thinking about what you do want. Isn’t that the most important thing that you can think about anyway – your deepest desires? What do you risk? Nothing.

If you hit a dead-end, get a couple of the paperback books mentioned above and find the answers to your questions. Read some of the letters that others have written about their quest to master the Secret. You’ll find nuggets in their letters that will help you overcome obstacles. Consider your quest a challenge that just requires a little mental effort. But the rewards for finishing the quest are priceless.

3

The Testosterone Connection – Part III

Many of you have requested an update to the post, “Testosterone Connection Part II“. This series of posts began with the post, “Is “Sex Possible after Prostate Gland Surgery”. That post was followed by the post, ” Prostate Surgery and Sex – the Testosterone Connection” and  finally the post, “The Testosterone Connection Part II“.

The whole series is about my personal experience with prostate cancer – a subject that most bloggers would not touch because of the personal nature of the information. I was hesitant to write on this subject. The reason why I did write these revealing, personal experiences is because I wanted to do something to help eliminate the fear of prostate cancer that most men carry with them for the majority of their lives. Much negative and false information can be found on this subject on the Internet. I wanted to set the record straight and help others in the process. Besides, I have no fear of criticism by others. My life has always been an open book. I’ve been accused for most of my life of “shooting from the hip”. Some people find that abrasive while others appreciate my honesty. So I told the story as it happened, with no fluff and nothing hidden. And I’ll do the same in this post in order to bring you up-to-date.

What Has Been Happening Since Testosterone Part II?

So here’s an update on my experience with testosterone supplementation. It has been an interesting journey. As you know, once a man’s prostate gland is removed, he can produce precious little testosterone. So supplementation is necessary.

There is no other hormone in a man’s body that is as important as testosterone. A male simply cannot live without it. It regulates everything from your heart to blood pressure, mood, energy, and most other vital organ functions. Low testosterone levels will even shorten a male’s lifespan, make him prone to diabetes, depression, heart failure, organ failure, memory loss, and a host of other diseases and life-threatening conditions. Low testosterone, best known as Low-T, is not an option. You must maintain testosterone levels within a youthful range of 300-600 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter) if you are to have any hope of living a normal life.

Fortunately, there are several options for boosting Low-T . There are many prescription products available. But most if not all of them are new and enjoy brand status, which allows manufacturers to charge whatever they want for these products for at least 7 years after being introduced to the market.  At this point in time, there are no generic testosterone supplement products.

There are a number of plant and food extracts advertised on the Internet as “testosterone boosters”. Tribulus Terrestris is a plant extract that is popular among body builders. But all of these concoctions have been found in the test lab to be totally worthless for boosting testosterone.

Androgel and Axiron are two brand gels that are applied daily to the skin. They are expensive only about 20% of the product is absorbed through the skin, with the other 80% being wasted. A good medical insurance policy with a prescription drug plan, like mine, will let you off the hook for a $50 monthly co-pay for these products. Brand prescriptions carry the highest co-pay on any medical insurance policy. That would be $600/year for one prescription product,  like Androgel, where 80% of the product is wasted. I chose not to go this route.

How Did I Choose to Supplement my Low-T ? 

Testosterone can be injected into muscle mass using a syringe – normally your thigh or buttocks. This alternative cost nothing. Even though I visit my local clinic once per month to have a nurse inject testosterone into a buttocks cheek, I was surprised to learn that my visit and injection cost me nothing. I’ve never received anything free from my local clinic. So this was a shock.

You can be taught to self-inject if you choose. In that event, you will be mailed pre-loaded syringes and will deliver the testosterone into your thigh muscle (since you cannot reach your butt) once every 30 days.

I have self-injected before, but not testosterone. Once you lose your prostate gland and adjacent nerve bundles, a male can no longer get an erection. It’s the loss of the nerve bundles adjacent to the prostate gland that causes this. If the prostate gland is removed and the adjacent nerve bundles are left intact, there is no problem. But these nerve bundles are normally removed as a precaution since it is likely that they are cancerous.

That means that you either give up your sex life, or find an option that will produce an erection. I covered all these options in the post “Is Sex Possible After Prostate Gland Surgery?”. I chose to inject prostaglandin into the side of my penis prior to the sex act and watch the miracle take place. That option lasted for a couple of months and then I decided on an implant, which is also discussed in the same post. So needles don’t bother me.

And the Results of Testosterone Injections Monthly?

Injections are cheap. And visiting my local clinic once a month really is not a bother. My number one complaint with this option is that the results are inconsistent.  Since testosterone controls a man’s mood, demeanor, energy level, appetite, sleep, and just about everything else, consistency is important. What you do NOT want is testosterone highs and lows  that make you feel like a yo-yo with regard to the characteristics that I just mentioned.

This is what happened, and is still happening. Remember, that the normal range of testosterone in a man’s body is 300-600 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). My testosterone level was at 195 when I started the monthly injections. I was receiving 200 mg. injections per month.

When you first begin injections, the doctor does not test your testosterone level for about 3 months. Then a test of your resulting testosterone level is conducted. It’s a simple blood test. My first test showed that my testosterone level after three months of injections was a little over 300. That’s good. At least I was within range.

Two months later, a second blood test for my testosterone level was performed. This time my testosterone level was 110; lower than the 195 level that I had before I even began testosterone supplementation! These are the highs and lows that I referred to. They drive you nuts. Remember, that with my testosterone level swinging all over the charts, so is my demeanor, my mood, my energy level, and my appetite and sleep. That was a real problem and tough to deal with.

But there’s more. In order to achieve a more consistent testosterone level, the doctor raised my monthly dosage from 200 mg. to 300 mg.. I only received the 300 mg. dosage once. A blood test performed eight days after the injection showed my testosterone level to be 776. That’s way out of the normal range! They had inadvertently overdosed me.

My body didn’t like that. And what does the body do when it doesn’t like something that has been administered internally? It does whatever it can to get rid of the offending substance. Use your imagination here. It comes out the other end; violently. I had diarrhea and stomach cramps for a week and felt like I had the flu. It wasn’t fun.

So in his infinite wisdom, the doctor reduced my testosterone injections from 300 mg. to 250 mg.; 50 mg. less than the previous injection and 50 mg. more than what I originally started with.  I’ve only had one of those injections to-date. My testosterone level will be tested again on Tuesday September 17th. But I can tell you that one day after the injection of 250 mg. the same things happened that happened after the 300 mg. injection, although the sickness and diarrhea were of shorter duration.

So Now What?

The highs and lows of testosterone supplementation are not doing my body and demeanor any good. I’m done with the experimentation and I’m giving up on the injections. No more being a guinea pig. I do not recommend this option to other men.

I’m going to try the daily testosterone patch, which is just like the patch that folks use to stop smoking. It’s brand and it’s expensive, with a $50 prescription co-pay every month. And just like the testosterone gels, 80% of the product is not absorbed by the skin and is wasted. But it will smooth out the highs and lows of the injections and perhaps allow me to maintain a consistent level of testosterone that is within range. I’ll start those next month and report back to anyone who is interested.

My original statements in this long series of posts still hold true. Men have nothing to fear from prostate issues and cancer as long as the condition is discovered early via yearly PSA tests. The surgery is uneventful. Incontinence after the surgery is rare.  The best option for sex is to get an implant. They are very unobtrusive and convenient. Who else can “pump it up” whenever they like and for as long as they like? On the downside, the surgery is pretty tough. Swelling. Don’t plan on sitting down for a month.

The testosterone connection can be handled. There are many options. I do not recommend injections. If you do nothing for Low-T, you will die at an early age. This is not one of the options.

The references below, refer you back to the long series of posts that I have written on this subject in case you found yourself in the middle of the subject with no background information. There’s also a nice photo gallery.

The Testosterone Connection Part IV will be presented once I have some experience with the testosterone patch.  Hopefully, that will be the final solution and the end of the story. Until that time, I’ll answer the one question that you all are dying to know the answer to – the sex is still good. There, I said it. Are you happy now?

 

References

Is Sex Possible After Prostate Gland Surgery? – published 1/13/2013

Prostate Surgery and Sex – The Testosterone Connection – published 2/27/2013

The Testosterone Connection Part II – published 3/28/2013

Prostate/Surgery/Sex Photo Gallery

19

What’s More Important to You, Internet or Electricity?

This is not a trick question. Think about that question. I had no choice but to think about it, when I recently lost Internet connectivity on two unrelated occasions. And I didn’t like, what seemed to be, the obvious answer.

In this post we’ll take a realistic look at the Internet bandwidth at YOUR home, and figure out who ate the Internet. And then we’ll expand the discussion a bit and look at how fragile Internet infrastructure is on the world stage.

This Discovery Gave me the Creeps 

I’m sure that all of us take Internet connectivity for granted. After all, you can get connected to the Web from just about anywhere; at eateries, at the library, at hotel/motels, even at gas stations. When all else fails, we can simply pick up our smart phones or iPads and get connected via the nearest cell phone tower. Well, some of us can do that.

Now I don’t exactly live in the dark ages. But I do live in the  remote, sparsely populated area of far Northern Wisconsin. The best that you can do for Internet service in my area is to “get connected” via CenturyLink’s telephone wire which supports both our telephone service and our DSL Internet service. The DSL Internet service is 1.5 Mbps; hardly what I would call DSL. For comparison sake, DSL over a cable service in a metropolitan area, like Milwaukee, can be as fast as 50-60 Mbps. But the cable companies like Charter or Comcast Cable, do not have cables in rural areas. The population of rural areas are too sparse to make stringing cables over that distance profitable. Satellite Internet service is an option, but very expensive.

My 1.5 Mbps Internet service over a telephone line costs $40/month. Over Wildblue’s satellite service, that same 1.5 Mbps is $80/month. If I were to subscribe to Exede’s satellite service, I could get 12 Mbps for $65/month plus $10/month to lease equipment. For comparison sake, 6-8 Mbps Internet service in metropolitan areas normally runs $20/month.

I used to have a Droid X2 smart phone with a built-in hotspot. Reception was good in the winter but poor in the summer. Then I learned from Verizon that in order to use the hotspot (that was already built into my Droid) for my desktop computers, I would have to pay them another $25/month. I discontinued the service. They were already soaking me for $80/month, including $30/month for data, and I felt that I ought to be allowed to use the features of my Droid without additional cost. The phone alone, was not exactly cheap!

So I have three computers running on a 1.5 Mbps phone line. And that has served us well. That’s not blazing fast. But it’s not slow either.

And then it happened………………….

Spring had arrived and the “snow birds” were returning to their summer homes. Snow birds are local residents who choose not to spend their winters in northern Wisconsin. So they go south for the winter to some place warm. Sometime beginning in mid-May to Memorial Day weekend, they return. With the population of our little community increasing by 30%-40% in the spring and summer, more demand is placed on the bandwidth of the telephone lines which carry Internet services to our homes.

We watched each week as the speed of our Internet service dwindled from 1.5 Mbps to 1.2 Mbps all the way down to .23 Mbps.  Between 2 P.M.  and by 7 P.M., Internet response was so bad that we gave up and shut the computers off completely.

I had visions of all the kids in our community sitting in front of their laptops gaming on the Internet and downloading Netflix movies all afternoon which they would watch later that evening. Or worse yet, they were watching movies over the Internet using live, streaming video without having previously downloaded the movie. That would be like trying to push an elephant through a straw, considering that they were using the same 1.5 Mbps Internet service that I was using. After all, we have lived here since 1999 with no Internet issues at all until now – 2013. The problem had to be the “Internet hogs” that just returned to their summer homes from Arizona, Florida, California or wherever they went for the winter to find warmth. My Internet service was fine during the winter!

I put up with this for a couple of days. On the third day, the proverbial poop hit the fan. No Internet service at all. Just “Waiting…..” on the screen. That’s when reality hit me. I can’t live without the Internet. I felt angry, vulnerable, stressed out, worried. I couldn’t even get online long enough to pay my bills. Paying bills with “snail mail” is tedious and slow. There would be late charges and interest. Some accounts might bounce if I couldn’t get online to shuffle money between accounts.  I couldn’t check the weather. And the storms that we get off of Lake Superior and our 14,000 acre lake are nasty. I couldn’t get to my e-mail accounts or my websites. I was pulling my hair out.

That’s when it became painfully obvious to me. We depend on the Internet like we depend on electricity in order to live. I wasn’t sure which was more important. I think that I’d rather be without electricity. I don’t need electricity to access the Internet. I have a whole-house backup generator system that runs on natural gas. So why do I need electricity? With natural gas prices being so low, I can probably  generate my own electricity far cheaper than buying it from the power company. What hurt the most was that I was totally unaware that I had become so dependent on Internet access. That revelation hurt.

Time to Take Action!

I called CenturyLink, my Internet service provider, and tried to convince them that Internet bandwidth was exhausted in my neighborhood and they needed to do something about it.  I told them that the families that had just returned from warm places were gaming online all day and that they were streaming video at night in order to watch movies on their computers. After all, they probably assumed that our little 1.5 Mbps Internet connection was just as fast as the 60 Mbps connection that they had in Phoenix, or Orlando, or L.A. or wherever they spent their winters.  What do city people know about bandwidth? Right? I had it all figured out. I pointed out to the CenturyLink technician that I retired from a career as a network security analyst for a Fortune 100 company with a global network reaching into 225 countries.  I spent 25 years analyzing the bits and bytes that choke a network. I asked them to throttle down the streaming video and audio media “on the wire” so the rest of us could have some bandwidth. They refused.

I’m sure that they thought that I was crazy. Even with my daily calls and detailed explanations of what was happening, they still didn’t get it.

CenturyLink promised to add more bandwidth at some future date by running more copper phone lines to our community. At times our Internet service would return to normal only to crap out again once the weekend arrived. One week, I was doing some work on the computer in the morning and the Internet light on the DSL modem turned from green to red. No service at all. That was strange. It was the middle of the week. The weekends were the worst. I called CenturyLink support once again to find out what the problem was this time. A small tornado had passed through Mercer during the night and damaged the local CenturyLink building that pushes Internet service out to us. They expected my service to return around 9:30 A.M. the following day. Again, I was painfully reminded of our life-threatening dependence on Internet access. It was depressing. How did this happen? Why was I not aware of this uncanny Internet dependence until service was taken away?

As I pointed out earlier, I HAVE back-up equipment for when the power goes out. Do I need a back-up plan for Internet service as well? If we depend on Internet access like we depend on electricity, maybe we should have a back-up system; like both a land line and a satellite connection.

Am I Alone? How Dependent Are You on Internet Service? 

Have you ever lost Internet connectivity for any length of time? I can assure you that you don’t know what it really feels like to be “disconnected” from the rest of the world until it actually happens. After researching my own pathetic Internet service problems, I realized that the service denials that affected my access could happen to just about anyone. The fact of the matter is that the Internet access that we take for granted is in a very fragile state, and getting worse each day.

I think that, in the back of our minds, we all knew that once the Internet “went commercial” that this would happen someday.  Corporations and companies use the Internet as if it belongs to them. Sure, they pay a nominal fee for the access; but the infrastructure of the Internet does not belong to them. For that matter, remember the days when government assured us that the information highway, as it was called then, would always be free and be available equally to everyone? That didn’t happen. Business stepped in and gobbled up the majority of the bandwidth. Remember when Al Gore, then Vice-President to Bill Clinton, said that he would push Internet services out to all rural communities of the USA? That didn’t happen either. Again, if creating the new infrastructure to make that happen is not profitable for business, they won’t do it.

So Who Ate the Internet!

Why is Internet service so fragile? What could possibly prevent you from having reliable Internet access? Take a look at the illustration below.

Illustration of Internet bandwidth usage 2013

The answer to the question that I asked at the beginning of this post is, streaming video (primarily Netflix) ate the Internet. This diagram would not have looked the same last year at this time. Last year there would have been plenty of bandwidth available for browsing and other applications. Netflix talked about abandoning their use of ”snail mail” to send movies to subscribers, and replacing that business model by streaming 99% of subscriber videos over the Internet.  They replaced last year’s chatter with action this year. What is truly amazing about this whole thing is that Netflix gobbled up the majority of Internet bandwidth as if it belonged to them. And no one said a word. They didn’t bother to check with me. Did they check with you?

I’m not opposed to Netflix or streaming video over the Internet. Well… let’s just say I’m neutral on this subject. I realize that many folks love the Netflix service. They like to download and watch movies on their computers or whatever it is that they do. And that’s OK. Each to his own. My concern is – where do we go from here? If one solitary business in the world is able to grab that much bandwidth, then what do we do about the next company that wants to do the same?

I should mention that Netflix didn’t have to build any new data centers to distribute its 3.14 petabytes of video around the world (can anyone define a petabyte?). They rent Amazon’s distributed data centers. In fact, Netflix is Amazon’s biggest customer for data services. And they didn’t have to build any network infrastructure to get movies into 36 million households around the world either. The Internet was already there. It’s free. So why not use it?

It’s a little more complex than what I stated above. But we don’t want to get too technical in this post. Suffice it to say that there’s this throttle application that all large networks use called QOS  (quality of service). That application allows large networks to assign a specific priority (bandwidth) to specific applications and traffic on the network. That way, networks can guarantee that steaming video traffic will never push browsing traffic out of the equation. Because they have indicated, via the QOS application, that browsing will always get 5% (an estimate) of the total available bandwidth on the network.

A Tidbit of Background

In the 80’s the Internet used to be primarily for connecting educational institutions together; like colleges, universities, think tanks, libraries and such. The idea was to give everyone access to the world’s collected sources of knowledge. The Internet user base caught on and began developing applications and websites of their own; still for the primary purpose of sharing knowledge. In the 90’s blogging came on the scene and its primary purpose was, again, for the purpose of sharing new ideas and knowledge.  Commercial use of the Internet did not really blossom until the early 2,000’s. In the past thirteen years, commercial use of the Internet is poised to displace every other category of Internet use (see the illustration above).

So What Do We Do Now!

But you say, there’s a simple solution to this whole issue. Just build more Internet capacity as you require it and the problem is solved. Right? And the obvious answer is, it’s not that easy. Internet infrastructure is very expensive; about $27,000/kilometer for cables that span oceans. The whole world is connected via Internet infrastructure. You can imagine what the total bill must be to lay new fiber optic cables across oceans. Take a look at the illustration below, which will give you a clearer picture of how continents are currently inter-connected via Internet infrastructure.

Internet infrastructure for Africa, Asia, Europe

 

Why not use satellite and satellite dishes to transmit data between continents? Isn’t that easier and less expensive than laying cables on the ocean floor? No. Nothing carries data faster than fiber optic cable. Data on a fiber optic cable moves at the speed of light or 186,000 kps. There is no resistance on fiber optic cable. Data IS light on fiber optic cable.

Cables that cross the oceans in order to connect continents via the Internet have their own problems. We never hear about them. But there have been instances where entire continents have been totally disconnected from the rest of the world. In 2008, Europe was disconnected from Africa when a ship’s anchor cut through cables. Last March, the Egyptian Navy arrested three divers accused of purposely cutting a cable that provides data services to a billion people in Indonesia. Sharks are attracted to pulsating cables that carry Internet traffic across the oceans. How long do you think it will take for a terrorist organization to figure out that the best way to bring a country to its knees is to cut the cables that connect that country to the rest of the world?

The dotted yellow line in the illustration above maps out the plan for laying a new data cable on the ocean floor. If the plan is actually implemented, the new cable will be called the “freedom cable”. Freedom from what? Actually, freedom from Somalia where data cables sit on an active underwater volcano zone. And freedom from Singapore where no less than twelve data cables cross each other. If damaged, half the world could be disconnected from the other half.

Summing it all Up

The point of this discussion has been to answer the questions, who ate the Internet? Why is my computer getting slower? Why does my browser get slower and slower in the evening? Where is all the bandwidth going? And why am I so dependent on the Internet?

The illustration above tells the whole story. What will happen when commercial interests want more bandwidth in order to expand their reach into your home? I wish I had an answer to that question; but I don’t. I was incredulous when I first laid eyes on the illustration above. I still can’t believe that Netflix managed to acquire that much bandwidth without anyone expressing concern.

How fragile is your Internet service, your connection to the rest of the world which you take for granted? Very fragile. My personal opinion is that, barring unforeseen disasters, you will always have the necessary bandwidth that you need.  The fact of the matter is that if you are not on the other end of that wire, commercial interests have lost you as a customer. You are no longer a consumer of goods and services. And big business is not about to let that happen, despite their bandwidth needs. You may not have the speed in your browser that you cherish so much. But you’ll have connectivity.

As far as being connected to the rest of the world? Experts say that you don’t really need to cut one of the data cables that span the oceans in order to disconnect Internet service to a particular continent. Just applying pressure to one of those cables is enough to disrupt service. Now that is a really, really, scary thought. Give that some thought and you’ll understand how fragile your Internet service really is.

3

Who Is Living in YOUR House?

You don’t want anyone or anything living in your home except for family, right? But you may have uninvited guests living in your house, and you don’t even know it. That’s exactly what happened at MY house when the local bat population decided to move in make themselves comfortable for an extended stay. This post is a short story about our experience with bats in the house, what steps you must take to get rid of these pesky litter critters, and why you must understand how bats think in order to get rid of them. You can use their habits against them. If you do not know how a bat thinks, you will lose your “war on bats”, and over time, they will make your home uninhabitable.

Is Your Home in Danger of Bat Infestation? 

We had zero experience with bats. If you live in a large metropolitan area or in the “burbs”, you probably have no experience with bats either. Where do you find these pests literally “hanging out” (pun intended)? In rural areas that surround metropolitan areas and cities as well as areas like mine – a sparsely populated area in the far Northwoods of Wisconsin consisting primarily of lakes and woods.

Bats live primarily in the woods. But if they can find a building to live in, they much prefer that over living in trees and caves. If you live in the suburbs and have woods nearby, these uninvited guests may choose to visit your home and move into its comfortable accommodations.

Bats follow the hordes of mosquitoes that result from consistent heavy rain that creates the perfect breeding ground for them – puddles of stagnant water and water standing in wet fields. If you are in a rural area and the mosquitoes are particularly bad during any given summer, the bats won’t be far behind.

The summer of 2013 has been a particularly wet season all across the USA, causing the mosquito population to explode. With a particularly endless supply of mosquitoes, the bat population also explodes as they move in for the banquet.

Houses that Bats Love 

If you live in a new, tightly built house, you are still not safe from bats. Our house was newly built in 1999. It’s built of half-log, which means  ½ log on the outside, a 2″ by 6″ insulated wall in the middle, and ½ log on the inside. This is how log homes are built in cold climates. The walls are 13” thick with the 3 1/2″ thick logs comprising most of that thickness and the 2″ by 6″ insulated wall making up the rest.  The overall effect is to give the appearance of a full-log home but with tremendously more insulation and cold protection than you would find in a full-log home.

Log homes are tight, very tight. That is primarily due to the fact that water is a logs worst enemy. So every crack or gap between the logs are either caulked or chinked to keep water out. One would think that this extensive sealing would also keep pests out.

Older lap-sided homes are more prone to bat infestation. These older homes were not built as tightly as new homes are built. We thought that our home was impervious to bats. Not so.

What does this mean for you? If you live in an older home (pre 1970) AND live in the suburbs or a rural area, your home could be a target for the local bat population.  They are probably eyeing-up your house at this very moment.

Bat Exterminators are a Humorous Bunch of Folks

I’m getting a little ahead of my story, but I asked a bat exterminator where my bats would go once they were out of my house. He took a look at my neighbors houses. One neighbor’s house had a roof with a steep pitch. He said that pitch is preferred by bats. But he wasn’t quite satisfied. Then he looked at the neighbors house on the other side of our house. He got really excited. That neighbor had a metal roof on his house. He pointed to my neighbor’s house and with a devilish grin on his face, he said, “That is where they will go next. Bats can’t resist a steel roof”. I asked him, “what do you do, follow the bats from house to house in order to expand your business?” He said, “That’s exactly what we do. You might want to give that neighbor my phone number. Because that is where your bats are going next”.

Why Should You And I Worry About Bats? 

We asked ourselves that same question. Last summer, we thought it was pretty neat having bats around. They don’t bother people. And it was kind of fun sitting on the front porch at dusk watching them swoop back and forth as they consumed all the pesky mosquitoes around our house. Mosquitoes are a bats preferred diet. Bats can consume their weight in mosquitoes in one evening. Now multiply that by a dozen or so bats and your mosquito problem is pretty much handled. They are efficient mosquito killing machines.

But bats are not just occasional visitors to your home. We didn’t know that. We assumed that they lived in the woods. The fact of the matter is that they are not visitors at all. They lived in our house!

If bats are regular visitors to your house, it is likely that they are living IN your house. That’s where the problem comes in. If they are in your attic, they are hanging from your rafters upside down and building huge piles of guano (bat feces) under them.  They are a “fertilizer machine”. When they are not eating or sleeping, they are pooping. In fact, they poop WHILE they sleep. Several animals are particularly adept at making fertilizer. Guinea pigs and rabbits are two animals that come to mind that are particularly efficient at pooping incessantly. Bats also reside in that same category.

You don’t want piles of guano in your attic, in your walls, or in the soffits that form the overhang of your roof. Guano doesn’t have an odor unless it’s wet. And it’s unlikely that anything in your attic gets wet. But when bat guano gets damp, it grows a bacteria that is harmful to humans. If that bacteria is inadvertently inhaled, it can be fatal to humans and pets.

Bats also urinate in your attic insulation. They use the inside of your attic as their personal toilet. If you permit that to happen for a couple of summers, it will smell and the insulation will have to be removed and replaced by a professional at considerable cost.

Just like rabbits, bats produce litter after litter of little bats. So if your bat problem started with just a couple of nuisance bats, there will be more nuisance bats sooner than you expected. The bat population will increase rapidly because bats have large and  frequent litters.

Bats are destructive. Although they do not claw their way into areas of your house, and they do not destroy building materials by burrowing or gnawing their way through wood or sheet rock, attic insulation sticks to them. In their constant travels in and out of your attic, insulation is constantly being deposited on the outside of your home where it is useless.

Lastly, mosquitoes are well know disease carriers. Malaria and West Nile Disease are two of the most common diseases that they carry. Bats eat mosquitoes so bats are also efficient disease carriers. Unlike mosquitoes, bats don’t bite. In fact even though they are, how should I say this, “blind as a bat”, their efficient radar system allows them to avoid coming into contact with humans and other mammals. Nevertheless, do not touch bats and do not get near where they live unless you are protected from head to foot with gloves, cover-alls, respirator, hat and goggles.

Our Unwanted Guests Decide to Move In Permanently 

Photo of a typical shed roof porch

Photo #1 Shed Roof Front Porch

Getting back to that first summer when we thought that our mosquito-eating little friends were cute, winter came and they disappeared. That was good because we noticed that they were increasing in number and the bat droppings on our covered front porch (photo #1, click to enlarge) were getting to be a nuisance. The droppings started coming into the house on the bottoms of everyone’s shoes. Guano was on the front porch windows. It stuck to the outside log walls. Worse yet, it was all over my favorite porch swing. The situation was getting way out of hand.

So that winter, we decided it was time to do a little research and find out if we had a serious problem. Our favorite research tool – the Internet.

Bat Research 101, Study

There are 1,240 species of bats. That news was not encouraging. We needed to identify the habits of the species of bats that had their eyes on our house as a potential “bat hotel”. Bats are mammals. In fact they are the only mammal capable of sustained flight. There are only two broad categories of bats: micro-bats and mega-bats. Ours must be micro-bats since they eat insects while mega-bats are fruit eaters with a couple of species of mega-bats who eat blood from other mammals (vampire bats) or eat the meat of dead mammals. We narrowed down the field of bat species to a big brown bat or little brown brown bat since both bat species are common in North America.

What we really wanted to know is if they went away for the winter. Do they migrate or hibernate? We got the answer that we didn’t want. They hibernate. That’s just great. That means that the little buggers are likely in our attic space, hanging from the rafters and pooping and peeing up a storm.

The article that I had located on the Internet confirmed my suspicion when I read that bats are capable of getting into any crack or opening as small as ¼ to 3/8th’s of an inch. That was not encouraging news. Even though our house was new and tightly constructed, ¼” crack could exist practically anywhere.

So they don’t migrate, they seek out somewhere warm to sleep through the winter, and they can get into ¼’ crack. That’s just great. The more that I learned about bats, the more I sensed a battle commencing in the coming summer; us against them.

Chimney pipe and sonic bat device

Photo #5 Chimney pipe and sonic bat device

While doing the research, my mind started to drift back to the years when I helped the contractors build our house in 1999-2000. I recalled a chimney flashing that didn’t quite fit the chimney pipe that exited our roof (photo #5). As a matter of fact, I recalled that pipe passing through our shed roof over the front porch where the flawed flashing left a gap of about a half inch between the flashing edge and the plywood roof. Dam! That must be where they are getting into my attic!

Bat Research 102, Take Action

I thought I should confirm if we had unwanted guests living in our attic. After all, it was winter. If bats were in the attic, they would be sleeping while hanging from the rafters. My wife wanted to put it off. She didn’t want to know since, in winter, there was nothing that we could do about the situation anyway.

I forgot to mention one very important factor in this whole matter. YOU CANNOT KILL BATS IN WISCONSIN and many other states. They are protected by law. I couldn’t believe it. They are not protected because they are endangered. They are protected because of the vital function which they perform – killing unwanted insects. I guess that makes sense. If the bats didn’t kill mosquitoes, we would be back to using the carcinogen, DDT to kill them just like in the 1950’s when, as a kid, I would watch at night as the fogging tractor went down the street every week in order to keep the mosquitoes in check.

I wanted to find out if bats were living in my attic, regardless of how my wife felt. That way, If I had a problem, I could find a solution and be ready for action in the spring. If I didn’t have a problem, then we could go back to our “bat watching” in the spring and not worry about it. I lifted the attic shuttle slightly and shined a strong flashlight inside the attic. I quickly slammed the shuttle door closed. We have a problem. Dozens of little bats hanging upside down from our rafters with little cone-shaped poop piles under them. The war on bats would begin in the spring.

If Bats Live in Your House, How Do You Get Them Out? 

The rest of my research over the winter consisted of finding out how to get rid of them. I learned that getting bats out of your house is no easy job. The article that I was reading on the Internet said that the cost to have a professional get bats out of your house could easily run from $3,000-$10,000 and up, depending on whether you have a few bats or an entire colony of bats. Bat exterminators have to dress in sealed survival suits , rubber gloves, respirators, goggles, and helmets in order to protect themselves from coming into contact with potentially hazardous bat guano. I watched a bat exterminator in action on YouTube and realized that this was not going to be a simple, inexpensive job.

In addition to finding out how the bats are getting into your home and attic, bat exterminators  must use  canister vacuums in your attic in order to clean up the mounds of guano. The canister vacs also protect them from angry flying bats. They simply suck the bats up into the vacuum. But because they are not allowed to kill them, they drive to a remote area and release them. And, of course, they note where they release them because homeowners in the area will likely call them the following summer with a bat problem. This is a common tactic for bat exterminators. This is how they expand their business. No need for Facebook advertising in this instance.

Realizing that the cost of getting rid of our bats could be considerable, I called my home insurance agent to find out if this type of service is covered under my homeowner’s insurance policy. It was. But only the clean-up. Coverage did not include any building modifications to thwart bats in the future. The bat exterminator handled minor sealing of entry points. But our shed roof front porch would always attract bats unless it were redesigned.

The Clean-up 

Spring arrived and the first thing that we did in April was to find a bat exterminator. All the national services like Orkin or Terminix did not service our area. We finally found a local service called Diamondback Pest Control.

Diamondback’s  bat exterminator came out in April and inspected the outside of our house. I told them about the suspect chimney flashing gap and they agreed that was likely where the bats were getting into the attic. But we needed to find other potential entry areas, so that once the chimney gap was sealed, the bats would not be able to simply move their “front door entry” to some other location.

Photo of Typical Roof Ridge Vent

Photo #2 Typical Roof Ridge Vent

Continuous ridge vent on a home’s roof (photo #2) is a favorite entry point for bats. All houses have ridge vents for attic ventilation. However, if the ridge vent incorporates a two inch thick inner lining that looks like a giant Brillo pad, that is sufficient to keep bats from using the ridge vent for entry. My ridge vent DOES incorporate one of these Brillo-pad linings. I could see the disappointment on the bat experts face. He informed me that he employs five crews of men who do nothing but replace ridge venting on homes. That’s an expensive job. I could tell that replacing ridge vent was Diamondback’s bread and butter, as my bat man became quite animated and excited when talking about it. He wanted to replace my ridge vent regardless of its ability to thwart bats.

He found no other entry points for bats on the outside of my home. But, at this writing, it is late July and we are still waging war to keep bats out of our house. More on that later.

Before you can seal up any bat entry point into your home, you must first get them OUT. Use of the canister vacuum cleaner in the attic doesn’t ever get them all. What makes getting them out easier is the fact that they must come out every evening in order to eat bugs. The whole idea of getting them out of your house permanently is finding a way to keep them from getting back in once they are out for their dinner.

This is where you must know something about bat habits and how they think. The Diamondback bat exterminator draped and stapled a net from the chimney opening of our shed roof over our porch all the way down to the overhang of the roof. At the overhang, he left an area of the net loose. Then he explained to me that the bats would come out the chimney opening as they always have. They would encounter the net and seek a way out, which they would find at the bottom of the roof where they would simply drop out. However, on return to my attic, bats expect to fly in level to the area where they enter a house. Bats are blind and use radar to find their way around. Their radar in conjunction with their habits does work well on the concept of going DOWN in order to go UP.  So when they encounter the net, they will not think of looking further DOWN the roof for the hole in the net that they originally came out of, which leads UP to their house entry point. They’ll give up and begin their search for another entry point. Since the house was already inspected for additional entry points, they won’t find one. End of problem. Or at least, that’s what we thought.

Before I forget, here’s an interesting antidote. I know a lady in another area who used the screen theory above, at her house.  However, she was not impressed with the law that says that you cannot kill bats. She placed a five gallon bucket of water below the loose area of the screen at the bottom of the roof where the bats would drop out. The bats fell into her bucket of water and drowned. She didn’t have to worry about her bats finding another way into her house, for obvious reasons.

Two weeks passed and the bat exterminator came back to remove the net and seal the crack where the chimney enters the house. He also installed a sonic device on top of the shed roof porch that emits a sound that bats hate. This would keep bats from perching in the tiny dark crevice where the shed roof over the porch meets the houses’ primary roof. Or so we thought.

The sonic device (photo #5, the black box) emitted a sound that was audible to humans. It sounded like crickets on steroids. Very annoying. I saw warm summer nights of enjoying our cozy front porch and swing disappearing quickly. Fortunately, we were not able to hear the sonic device inside the house.

The sonic device worked for about a month. After that, we spotted two bats sitting right next to it, asleep, while the device made it’s annoying chirping sound. A month after that, the sonic device bit the dust and stopped working altogether. We took it down and deposited it in the garbage.

In June, the Diamondback Pest Control service figured that their job was done. So they sent me a bill for $765; no where near the $3,000 minimum that we expected. We were delighted with the low cost of getting the bats out of our attic. But we still had bats in the house. This time they were in the soffit or overhang of the primary roof, yet still in the area of our (and their) favorite front porch.

When Your Bat Exterminator Gives Up, Be Prepared to Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

I need to interject at this point that bats are next to impossible to get rid of. The are persistent. When you think they are gone, they find another way in. Once you address that new entry point, they find yet another way in. If you have a bat problem that has not yet turned into full scale war, it will.

Photo of boarded wall to prevent bat entry

Photo #4 Board at Top of Wall

The pesky little critters found a tiny crack at the very top of our ½ log siding where the logs meet the overhang, and they wiggled in there. We knew what they were up to, because we found little balls of yellow fiberglass insulation on our porch below their new “front door”.

We were frantic at this point and using poor judgment. We envisioned pulling an army tank up to the front of the house and blowing the front porch clean off the house just to get rid of the bats. We bought an over sized mosquito fogger thinking that if we could put a dent in their food supply (the mosquitoes), they would be forced to go someplace else in search of food.  That didn’t work. But it sure gave us some relief from the mosquitoes.

We boarded up the crack (photo #4), where they were getting in, temporarily, until we could make decorative moldings out of log material for permanent sealing. They responded by moving their “front door” to a ¼” crack that we didn’t even know about. The small opening was located where the beam, which supports the shed roof porch,  meets and passes through the primary roof.

We knew there were bats still hanging around. We could hear them chirping back and forth to one another as we sat on our front porch. But we couldn’t figure out how they were getting in. My daughter took the initiative one night and sat on the front porch with a strong flashlight to see what the bats were up to after dark. She saw them disappear into the roof behind the porch beam. Otherwise, no one would have figured this out; not even Diamondback, the bat exterminators.

Diamondback considered their job to be done. They weren’t coming back. Since I wouldn’t let them replace all the ridge vent on my house, they were off in search of more lucrative work. We had to tackle the remainder of the bat removal job ourselves. Since I had learned some important bat removal secrets from my Diamondback bat exterminator, I was prepared to do this. After all, we have been engaged in this bat war since April and it is now late July – 4+ months to get rid of our bats, essentially the entire summer!

Photo of screen to prevent entry of bats

Photo #3 Screen to Prevent Bat Entry

I draped some polyester screen (photo #3) over the entry point adjacent to the front porch beam, stapled it down securely and left it loose at the bottom for bats to drop out. They would not fly in to reenter since they could no longer enter their “front door” while in level flight. The screen would force them to go DOWN to the roof line and then UP to the crevice where they enter. They won’t do that since that is not their habit.

For some reason, that approach didn’t work. We adjusted the screen in several different configurations. But our determined bats seem to always find a way to get into that crevice. We lost our patience with them, after a couple of weeks, and then the crevice was sealed permanently.

The risk of sealing an entry point before all bats are out of your house is that they will die in your house if they are sealed in. If they die in your wall or your attic, they will eventually stink and attract other bugs like ants and flies. This war has been going on so long that I was willing to take that risk. As hot as it’s been this summer, I figure it shouldn’t take long for their little bodies to shrivel into a dried out potato chip size. And I can handle that versus spending another summer trying to get them out of my house.

While I was performing this one last act to bring the “bat” war to a close, I noticed that dozens of them had moved back into the crevice at the back of the shed roof where it meets the primary roof. The sonic device had forced these bats out of that area. But since the sonic device broke, the bats moved back in.

They chirped at me insultingly as I performed my work of sealing the crack adjacent to the beam. I looked at them in disgust and they did the same as if to say, “This is OUR home, not yours”. And then I lost it. I was tired of fighting bats all summer and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. I was mad. I grabbed the garden hose and a ladder, and turned the water on full blast. I blasted them out of that roof crevice and they went flying in every direction. The mounds of guano that they had deposited on my shed roof began to flow down the roof like a mud slide. It took me most of the afternoon to clean up the mess. The bats haven’t been back since. I don’t think that they care much for water and I soaked them pretty good.

But they’ll be back. So I ordered a better sonic device in preparation for their return. Were there bats in the crevice that I sealed next to the beam. I don’t know. I guess that we will find out one way or the other by fall. For now, the “bat war” is over.

So What Have You and I Learned from this Experience?

 

  • If you live in an urban or rural area and see bats near your house, there’s a good chance they are inside your house.
  • Bats are destructive. Bat feces is hazardous. Bats can make your home’s insulation useless.
  • Bats can enter a hole or crevice ¼ to 3/8” in size.
  • Inspect the outside of your house thoroughly if you suspect a bat issue. Better yet, get a bat exterminator to inspect your house for a nominal fee.
  • Do not allow a bat exterminator to replace your roof ridge vent unless they can show you where bats have been entering your attic. Bat droppings are the best proof of entry.
  • If you have bats in your attic, get an estimate from more than one bat exterminator. I’ve never met a bat exterminator that can be trusted.
  • Bat entry points should be sealed once the bats are outside; never while they are inside.
  • Allow bats at least a week to get out before sealing a point of entry.
  • Note how your local bat exterminator rigs a system for allowing the bats to get out, but not back in. There’s a good chance that you will need to do this yourself in the future. Bats don’t give up easily.
35

IMPORTANT – Website/Domain Name Change Coming Soon

Changes Planned for this Website

The website/domain name for this website will be changing soon. While this change takes place, the website may not be available for up to several hours. Do not be alarmed. We are not going anywhere. Just need to complete the change, iron out any bugs, do some basic testing, and make the website available once again.

Why Is the Website Name Changing?

To be truthful with you, I never did like the current website name. Four years ago, this website was intended to be an eCommerce website with local geographic interest. Those plans changed, but the website name remained the same. I feel that if the site is my personal blog, then it ought to carry my name. So www.thisIStheNorthwoods.com will be changing to www.ScottAlanReed.com.

You’ve seen this name under my photo for so long that the site name ought to be easy to remember. And it’s a more appropriate site name, considering the content of the site.

How This Impacts You

Favorites and Bookmarks

Your favorite or bookmark for www.ThisIStheNorthwoods.com will continue to work until December 7th, 2013. After that the domain name www.ThisIStheNorthwoods.com will expire. Before that time, you will need to create a new bookmark or favorite for www.ScottAlanReed.com. Both URLs will work from the time that the website rename takes place until December 7th, 2013.

RSS Feeds

I can’t guarantee you that your RSS Feed will continue working after the website rename. I doubt it. In technical jargon, the directory name for the feeds will be renamed with the new domain name. So I would assume that RSS will not know where to get its feed, since the name changed. Sorry about that. Once the website/domain name changes, you will have to create a new feed and delete the old one. ThisIStheNorthwoods.com will be Parked, which means it will point to this website until December 7th 2013. I know little of how Parked domains work with RSS and Atom.

After The Website Gets Renamed

There will be bugs. Be assured that my priority will be to test everything and get those bugs resolved as quickly as possible. If you run into one of those bugs, please do not feel that you need to bring the matter to my attention. If you run into a bug a week after the domain rename, then please bring that to my attention. Thank you for doing that.

Will Anything Else Change After the Rename?

Yes. Currently, I publish from this website to Facebook. After the rename is complete, I’ll be publishing to 23 more websites; most of them social. So you will be seeing me around more.

I’ll be adding one banner area for Google Ad Choices. As you know, I don’t care for websites that are plastered with ads. So I don’t use them. However, owning and maintaining a website does entail costs. And I’ve been “eating” those cost to-date. There are no plans for additional advertising.

I’ll be adding more video to the site.

A logon will be added to the front end of the website. But you won’t have to create an account or password on this website because the logon screen will include buttons that allow you to use Facebook or Twitter to logon. That logon information is not stored on this website. If you previously subscribed to this website and created an ID and password, just use that. The purpose of the logon is for my tracking purposes and to pre-fill most of your personal information when leaving comments. Your correct name, or at least your Facebook or Twitter name, will be used throughout the website without you having to type it multiple times.

On occasions, a quick survey will be presented to you. You will be able to skip the survey, but I hope that you don’t. The purpose of the survey is get your feedback on what topics you would like to see addressed in future articles and what topics you could care less about. Those who complete the survey will be permitted to see a compilation of results so you can see what everyone else said.

Finally

These changes should not be too painful. Thank you for every one of your comments and suggestions. I read them all. I will continue to create content that stimulates your thinking and helps you to get over or around that next obstacle in your life.

Scott Alan Reed

5

We Only Use 10% of Our Brain!? That’s a Bummer.

Confessions and Admonitions

I  frequently begin many posts with confessions or admonitions. I find the need to admit to certain personal character idiosyncrasies or flaws that explain why I’m writing about a particular subject. I find this practice of mine to be annoying. I think it’s a sign of poor writing skills and I think that is why it annoys me. But if I don’t “set the stage” for what it is that I want to post, then you will not have a good understanding of what I am saying. So I’ve learned to deal with this practice. Here are my admonitions for this post.

I have always had an overwhelming interest in the human mind and the way that we think. When I was a child, someone told me that we typically only use less than 10% of our brain capacity. I’ve heard the same claim repeated over and over again since the time of being a child. But what do you suppose happens when you tell a child that he can’t have the remaining 90%f of his brain capacity? It’s like telling a child that he can’t have candy. The child will want candy with a passion until he gets it. That’s just our nature.

So ever since I was told that 90% of my brain capacity is not used, I want that 90%. It’s mine, and I want it. So I have been preoccupied for the rest of my life with figuring out how to get it.

I have made significant progress. My wife thinks I’m nuts. Talking to her about this subject drives her up the wall. She’s content and happy with her life, while utilizing only 10% of her brain capacity and I don’t have a problem with that. My job as a husband and father is to make sure that the rest of the family is well provided for, content and happy. And I have accomplished that. Some people treat their lives as a never-ending learning experience and some don’t. That’s OK.

But I’m not content and happy until I find out how to utilize that missing 90% of my brain capacity. Tell someone they can’t have something, and that’s exactly what they will want; with a passion!

So I admit to being a fanatic about this. Some may find that characteristic of me to be boring. I apologize if that be the case. Quite frankly, I think that we all can do a better job of taking control of our minds and spending more time thinking about what is important to us, followed by taking action to make improvements.

What is important? That’s a good question because that question cannot be answered objectively. I can’t speak for you or the rest of the population of the world. So I’ll attempt an answer that is broad enough to represent the majority. What is important is whatever action is necessary to improve our lives and the lives of others in such a way so as not to violate the Golden Rule ie. “do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” I borrow that phrase from the Bible because there really is no better way to say, do whatever you want to improve your lot in life, but don’t step on anyone else’s toes when you do it.

Now this post is not about religion. As for me, I’m a God-fearing man and always have been. But I won’t push my beliefs off on you. The only reason I bring this up is because what I really want to share with you, could touch on spiritual beliefs. So I wanted to make it clear where I stand and assure you that my interests deal only with learning how to claim that 90% of my brain, that others say we don’t use. So this post has nothing to do with religious beliefs.

How I Accidentally Bumped Into Quantum Jumping

Now that I’ve pre-qualified everything, I can proceed. And my hope is that you are with me to this point, and understand where I am coming from. Although I’m certain that you do not understand, at this point, where I am going with this.

So I’ll just lay it out there. Forgive me if I arrived at the party late, but through a series of unrelated events today, I became aware of “Quantum Jumping”. I had heard that phrase before, but I thought it had something to do with jumping off a cliff in one of those flying suites that you see people wear on TV.

photo of burt goldman

Burt Goldman

I was viewing a video course on my computer about CPA marketing. The author of the course presented three examples of quality landing pages. I bypassed the first example and clicked on the second link for no particular reason at all. And there I was. On Burt Goldman’s home page on Quantum Jumping. When I don’t know anything about a particular subject that looks interesting, I normally “poke it with a stick” to see to see if there is anything there that is “warm and breathing”.

After initial examination, I’m guessing that Quantum Jumping was promoted by several Internet marketers in the self-improvement niche, back in the late 90’s. I say that because, being a CPA marketer myself, I noticed that all the bells, whistles, and hooks are all still in place from when the promotion was run.

Quantum Jumping is a phrase that Burt Goldman coined. If you don’t know of Burt, if you poke around his website, you’ll find his life’s story and how he ran into Quantum Jumping by accident. Quantum Jumping has a lot to do with being able to access that 90% of your brain capacity that has been denied to most of us since birth. And the reason I pre-qualified this post with certain admonitions is because this subject always gets my attention.

Why does it get my attention? You already know the answer to that question. It gets my attention because, as a child, I was told that I had no need for the other 90% of my brain capacity which most of us never use anyway. And I don’t like being told that I can’t have something that is already mine.

Here’s Some Background Info That Will Explain My Interest

Photo of Henry Ford

Henry Ford

Beginning in 2007, I spent 4 years researching why, upon retirement from a long and lucrative career with two Fortune 100 companies, I still did not have a feeling of successfully having accomplished anything.  I learned much about taking control of your mind and focusing it on your most passionate desires from authors like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Thomas Edison, W. Clement Stone, and others. This year I consolidated everything which I had learned from these authors into a multi-module video course of study, which I have yet to publish.  My goal is to share this information with others who have no idea how to achieve their deepest desires; or those who have attempted to reach for their desires or riches and have failed. Or worse yet, for those who have passionate desires and goals, but have given up on achieving them.

So you can see that I was “well primed” when, for no particular reason at all, the concept of Quantum Jumping spilled off my computer screen and onto my desk.

Remember the Old Short-Wave Radios? Pretend Your Mind Works Like One of Those

Let’s back up a bit and see how the research, which I had already completed, feeds into the

Photo of W_Clement_Stone

W. Clement Stone

concepts of Quantum Jumping. All of the aforementioned authors believed beyond the shadow of a doubt that our minds are both a receiving and a broadcasting station. Thomas Edison was particularly convinced of this. He believed that our thoughts are broadcast into the ether (air) where they float through time until they are picked up by someone else’s receiving station (or mind) via a sixth sense that most of us don’t know that we have.  Only those who have an open mind, a creative imagination, and are mentally alert would be aware of this sixth sense. Thoughts that come to us via our sixth sense usually present themselves to us as a hunch, an intuition, or an idea that seems to come out of nowhere. We all have these hunches and ideas at some point.

Thoughts are things. All things in our universe are composed of matter. Matter consists of millions of atoms. The science of atomic theory has taught us that atoms vibrate at varying speeds and frequencies and this vibration is what holds matter together and gives it shape. Thoughts inside your brain produce vibrations at varying speeds depending on how passionate you are about a particular thought. Thoughts which are important to you vibrate rapidly while thoughts involving mundane, routine tasks such as brushing your teeth or washing your hands vibrate more slowly since you are not passionate about these things. Brain activity such as this, has been monitored and graphed by physicians and scientists who study the brain and it’s associated activity.

The concept of telepathy or thought transference is pretty much the same thing as viewing our minds as both receiving and broadcasting stations. Telepathy has already been studied extensively  by science. But scientists cannot decide whether thought transference is real or imagined. Telepathy deals primarily with intentional and deliberate attempts to communicate via thought transference.  The theory states that what one person is thinking can be picked up by another person regardless of location. Thomas Edison and his peers took this idea a little farther and said that all thoughts from anywhere can be picked up by anyone whose receiving station (mind) is open, alert, and receptive to the information that they are receiving.

More on Mr. Edison

Edisonhimself claimed to have finalized his decades long search for materials that would produce an electric light bulb by

Photo of Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

allowing his mind to be receptive to ideas that were already floating around in the ether. Edison had a habit of taking a nap in the middle of the work day. Those who have studied Edison and his inventions believe that he used these naps to meditate and open his mind to fresh, new ideas. Use of a light bulb filament made of tungsten was the solution to producing consistent light from an electric light bulb. He claims to have come by this information while in a trance of thought.

The rare element tungsten was first discovered in 1783 by a scientist in Sweden. Edison received a patent for a light bulb using carbon filaments of tungsten in 1879; nearly 100 years later.

So where did the idea of using tungsten in the electric light bulb come from? Tungsten has the highest melting point of all known metals. Did Edison experiment with tungsten via a process of elimination of other substances? Edison himself claims that he pulled the idea out of the ether (the air). It had been there all the time, the idea having been generated by some other mind. But Edison was too intent on his own work to allow his mind to be receptive to this information. That is until he had tested other filament materials and had failed thousands of times to produce a bulb that would yield consistent light without burning up or blowing up.

Why the Concept of Alternate Universes is Important

Quantum Jumping takes Edison‘s ideas of pulling thoughts out of the air still further and says that quantum physics has proved that the location of an atom (the basis of all matter including thoughts) cannot be defined since the same atom can exist in multiple places at the same time.  That fact would seem to imply that our thoughts, since they too are a collection of vibrating atoms, can also exist in multiple places at the same time.

Quantum physics has theorized for decades that the concept of alternate universes is feasible; but not proven via conclusive testing. If our thoughts can exist in multiple places at the same time, Quantum Jumping takes that idea a bit further and states that multiple versions of YOU can exist in alternate or parallel universes. Think of a universe as a geometric plane. We live on this plane that we can all see and touch. There are multiple planes of existence that are parallel to ours. Which means that they reside in our living space but we never pay any attention to them since we cannot see and interact with them. But the super-computer of your mind, when properly prepared with instructions, can enter parallel universes. Quantum Jumping advises that observing these parallel universes is sufficient to acquire unheard of learning and energy. Interaction with these alternate universes is not necessary; nor advised. Observation is the rule.

The Mechanics of a Quantum Jump

A quantum jump goes something like this. With verbal guidance, you become relaxed, and shed the stress and distractions of this universe or plane. Eventually you reach the alpha stage of thinking; which is the stage your mind is at just before you fall asleep. Obviously, this takes practice, imagination, concentration, and an open mind.

While your mind is in this alpha state, your guide will verbally lead you to a door which leads to a parallel universe, while you  visualize this in your mind. Once you pass through the door and into another parallel universe, you will find another version of yourself. Which version? It depends on what you are seeking, since there are multiple versions of yourself in alternate universes.

Perhaps something you had expected and wished for as a child or while in your youth, didn’t turn out the way that you expected. And you want to find out why, so that you can correct that situation and realize a childhood desire. Maybe you envisioned yourself as an actress, or a stateswoman. Or maybe you saw yourself married, well-to-do with a house full of children and that’s not how things turned out. However, since you originated these thoughts as a child, that’s EXACTLY how things turned out for your other self in a parallel universe. And now you want to connect with that other you, who will willingly give you the knowledge and transfer the energy to you to set things right.

That’s really all you need. You don’t need to interact with your other self as in having a conversation. Keep in mind that this all happens in your mind using your ability to visualize events in your mind and using your imagination to fill in, where things that you are unfamiliar with, make no sense.

Let’s Look at Some Examples

If you have ever had a passion for playing the piano, like me (I can’t play a note but I can read music); through  meditation, visualization, and Quantum Jumping, you should be able to jump into another plane using your mind, where you are able to learn the piano from one of your “other selves”.  Furthermore, over time and with practice, you should be able to plant the teachings of that other self into your mind now, and play the piano without further instruction.

This is precisely what Burt Goldman did. As a boy, he had the passion to paint on canvas but never acquired the skill. Using Quantum Jumping, he met one on his other selves who taught him the skills necessary to paint on canvas. To his amazement, at 85 he began to paint and today his works are featured in art shows across the country. He had no previous instruction in painting.

Burt also wanted to author books and become an acclaimed author. He has multiple best-sellers in several languages in print. He claims to have acquired these skills through Quantum Jumping which allowed him to meet other versions of himself in different planes of existence, where he was able to claim those skills and plant them in his mind on this plane. Many of his students have accomplished the same with other skills and desires.

Why not? If science tells us that we typically only utilize 10% of our brain capacity, then what is possible if we have an open mind and push the envelope a little further? Are you able to prove that Thomas Edison and his peers; Napoleon Hill, Burt Goldman and their students are wrong? Where have they errored?

Everything that these men teach, as regards mind control, visualization, and imagination is consistent with both nuclear research, and quantum physics.

Introducing my Good Friend, Mr. Hill

Today I viewed an introductory lesson on-line  on Quantum Jumping. The video began by introducing an idea from an unnamed author who published his first book in 1937. I paused the video. I thought to myself, that’s ironic, Napoleon Hillpublished his first

Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill

book in 1937. I hit play. The video went on to explain that the author’s habit of using visualization to hold meetings in his mind with former heads of state, like Lincoln and Napoleon, was actually the impetus for Burt Goldman‘s coining the theory of Quantum Jumping. I paused the video again. What did Goldman just say!? I knew that Napoleon Hill wrote of meetings with an imaginary council that only existed in his mind. He considered this council to be his master-mind group. He feared publication of this in a book because he was afraid that the public would label him to be a nut and reject his work. Is Goldman saying that Napoleon Hill’s habit of meditating and entertaining ideas from dead men is what originated Goldman’s idea of Quantum Jumping? I started the video again and Napoleon Hill’s name appeared in the video in bold letters across the screen.

I almost fell off my chair. I admit that I know very little of Quantum Jumping. But I’m a scholar when it comes to the works and writings of Napoleon Hill. I have to admit that I was hesitant to pester Quantum Jumping in order to see if it offered anything of substance. I generally regard most transcendental stuff as nonsense. But I’ve read everything that Napoleon Hill has published. And then went on to read the biographies of the men that he admired, and regarded as being his mentors. So if Quantum Jumping is an expansion of the concepts that originated with Mr. Hill, that sounds pretty good to me.

Napoleon Hill was not just another self-improvement author. He came to believe that 98% of the population fell short of realizing their plans and expectations because they never learned how to THINK their way to success and achievement.

Photo of Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

In 1908, while he was a young man working for a magazine, he interviewed the steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. The two men hit it off well. Carnegie challenged Hill to spend the next 20 years of his life creating a treatise on what it takes to succeed by studying the success principles that the most successful and influential men and women of the time, lived by. Carnegie would provide letters of introduction to these people. Hill accepted the challenge. He published his first work in 1937 followed by dozens of books and treatises on how to achieve success.

Napoleon Hill was the FATHER of self-improvement. Every self-improvement  book that has been written since that time is just a restatement of the information that Hill had already researched and compiled.

And as I have already pointed out, Hill regularly meditated and used his imagination and visualization skills to conduct meetings in his mind with influential, historical men who had passed on. He claimed that his best ideas originated from these meetings.

Conclusion

So I’m going down the Quantum Jumping path. Call me nuts or naïve. It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t suffer from the fear of criticism. I’ve always been a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy with an open mind. And the timing is good. I’ve been in need of something new and interesting to sink my teeth into after a long and boring winter.

I hope that this post has given you pause for thought. That is my intention.

I admit that one must have an open mind in order to accept or even explore most of these ideas. But I find it hard to identify a theory or argument to refute these ideas at the outset. So I will explore this Quantum Jumping concept much further. Unlike many who are preoccupied with other priorities, I was ready to receive this new information. And my mind has always been open for a new challenge. I’m excited to explore what this is all about.

Realize that Quantum Jumping does not contradict any of the values or beliefs that you already hold. I did enough research on Quantum Jumping to verify that. The practice deals only with getting more in touch with yourself and your life by reaching deeper into your mind than conventional  thinking. If I can understand why I am the way that I am, or why I do the things that I do, than what harm can come of that? If I can become a better person or if I can find greater peace of mind, than that is reason enough to explore this phenomena.

If you wish to conduct your own investigation, check out www.quantumjumping.com and sign up for their free introductory course. I did. I have spent enough time on this site to guarantee you that you  will be challenged, and you won’t be bored for a second. See you in another universe.

One Final Thought

This is a highly controversial subject. What if the idea of Quantum Jumping is just a way of illustrating a very real phenomena. For example, what if you are not really jumping into another universe of endless possibilities; but Quantum Jumping is being used as a physical illustration which allows your conscious thought to recognize no limits, and permits you to focus on unrealized passions that already exist in your subconscious mind but have remained suppressed by society and your current environment? We rarely are aware of what resides in our subconscious minds. If we could somehow tap into that information (Quantum Jumping?), wouldn’t that be like meeting another version of ourselves with forgotten aspirations and information? Long-term memory is often tough to recall. Age makes recall even harder. Just a thought.

Author’s Update to This Post

I found this by accident recently on foxnews.com.

“Look past the details of a wonky discovery by a group of California scientists — that a quantum state is now observable with the human eye — and consider its implications: Time travel may be feasible.

The strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe — a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that traveling through time may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/05/freaky-physics-proves-parallel-universes/#ixzz2WDlVTPAR

 

 

 

 

14

I Don’t Get It. Who Can Tell Something About Stumbleupon.com?

This is NOT a trick. It is NOT a contest. And it is NOT a critique of Stumbleupon.com. It IS a perfectly legitimate question for which I need your input.

I visited Stumbleupon today for the first time. The application asked me what my interests are, so I picked five. Then it said that it would show me some pages based on my interests.

I like history. So after suggesting we start with history, I was presented with a short video that colored on a black map of Asia, Africa, and Europe in order to show me who conquered what geographic area and when. That was interesting. But what am I supposed to do with that? I thought that I was going to get something to read.

So I checked out self-improvement. That turned out to be a series of blog posts where each post was only a paragraph long. Each included some type of photo. Some blogs were written ON photos. But the information was so scant that I didn’t really learn anything. Below each blog paragraph was a little box that said something about the author.

I had to laugh. I’m supposed to publish to Stumbleupon. But if my posts are less than six pages in length, my readers yell at me to write more. Or they complain that there wasn’t enough information provided to answer all their questions. So I don’t publish short posts. Stumbleupon blog paragraphs sometimes end with, “that’s all for today…come back soon for part 2”. Do you think that I could get away with that?

So what is it? I choose my interests. Hit the Stumble button. And then something is presented; usually a photo or snippet of text. Then I use the thumbs up or thumbs down buttons to indicate whether I want more of the same or less of the same. Is that all?

I realize that I can leave a comment or share. But I didn’t encounter anything worth commenting on or sharing. I was primarily distracted by trying to figure out just what Stumbleupon is for?

One comment that was posted by a young fellow said that he had been cruising around Stumbleupon for two hours and had learned more in that time than he would have in a day at school. Is that what it is for? Kind of an on-line encyclopedia that presents information in various formats but not necessarily text?

Is it like Pinterest – all photos or mostly photo-based?

Is it for peaking your curiosity about something and then it provides a link to the whole story, which resides on another website? I  hovered over the blog photos to see if I could link to the entire blog post, but there was no link.

Help me out. What is Stumbleupon to you?

You can either leave your answer in the comment section under this post or drop me an e-mail to scott@Scottalanreed.com. That mailbox is empty now so your message won’t get lost.

And while you are doing that, I’ll do a bit of research and find out how I am to publish my posts to Stumbleupon. If just a paragraph and a photo, that won’t be too tough. But then, how do you finish the story? Oh, I’ll figure it out.

Tell me what you use Stumbleupon for. I’m really curious.

If nobody has an answer, I’ll assume that you haven’t figured out what Stumbleupon is for either. Or else you know, but you are too embarrassed to admit it.

Maybe Stumbleupon is good for just “vegg’in” out and poking around when you really don’t feel like doing anything else. Like watching some nonsense on TV.

 

 

 

47

Think Your Way to Success and Happiness

I got this thought-provoking snippet from Dan S. Kennedy, who is considered to be this century’s marketing genius. Think about where you might be in this scenario.

“Take any hundred people at the start of their working careers and follow them for forty years until they reach retirement age, and here’s what you’ll find according to the Social Security Administration: only 1 will be wealthy; 4 will be financially secure; 5 will continue working, not because they want to, but because they have to;  36 will be dead; and 54 will be dead broke – dependent on their meager Social Security checks, relatives, friends, even charity for a minimum standard of living. That’s 5 percent successful , and 95 percent unsuccessful.”

Obviously, we want to be one of the 5 percent. But how do you do that? I’ll be offering a detailed on-line course this summer on the complete formula for success and achievement. But in this post, I want to share the most important part of that formula which describes where the quest for success and achievement begins. You can begin using this part of the success formula right now and actually see results. Let me explain.

The first thing that you have to do is change you. Specifically, you have to change the way you think.

Why? Before I answer that question, let me share a personal experience with you. I’ve been, exactly where you might be right now. After a 25 year career working for two Fortune 100 companies and enjoying a comfortable living, I realized that I still didn’t have the feeling that I had been successful at anything.

Being a naturally curious person,  I spent the next 4 years researching why I felt that way. And I learned that I was the obstacle to my own success. I needed to change ME and the way I think about everything. The issue was not my chosen career, it was not where I lived, it was not my environment, it was not my work habits, nor my education, or anything else; but ME.

And here’s what I learned during my 4 year search to solve my issues with success.

Before I jump into this important topic, I want you to give this some serious thought. I want you to read a bit, take your hand off your mouse, and sit back in your chair and think about what you are reading and how this might apply to you. While you are thinking, I want you to roll that video player in your mind while you envision and begin to apply what you are reading, to your own personal situation. If you don’t see what I’m trying to share with you, then you are not ready to receive this information and change your circumstances. That’s OK. Just close this tab in your browser and come back to this post when you think you are ready to move on from where you are at today.

I’ve shared this information with my own children and many others. Some poked at it to see if it was alive but most let it go in one ear and out the other. They were not at a point in their lives where they were ready to receive this information. And that’s OK.

If you are still reading, then here’s the answer to why you need to change the way that you think in order to be one of the 5 percent who seek and find success beyond anything they imagined.

Think about when you were a child and what you learned when you were growing up. Who were your primary teachers? Your parents, right? What did they teach you? Sit back and roll that video player in your mind. Recall those times.

If you were like 99% of most kids in their maturing years, your parents taught you their beliefs and values. And their beliefs and values probably went something like this. Get an education, find a good job, work hard, work your way up the ladder, find a mate, get a nice house, have children, save your money, and your life will be complete and prosperous. Is that what you see in the video that you are watching in your mind? That’s what I was taught when I was growing up. And that’s exactly what I did. I followed that advice to the letter.

And that’s likely what you did also. Yet your life has been a tough road to travel complete with financial stress, worry, and a nagging feeling that your life is still not complete. You didn’t find happiness and financial security.

You did what your parents, your environment, and society taught you. And that’s the problem. You set limits according to what you were taught as a young boy. You created a comfort zone. You defined your box and your routine and you lived in it. That made you feel safe, secure and happy. What more could a person want?

If you are still in your career, or nearing the end of your career, or if you have been in your career long enough to realize that it has become a bore, you are probably asking yourself the same question that I did – what about success and affluence?

Success and affluence cannot be achieved once you set limits for yourself. Success and achievement resides “outside the box”, outside your routine, outside what others have taught you. You’ve heard this mantra many times; “think outside the box”. There are no limitations. Realize that the only limitations are the ones which you set up in your own mind. Once you eliminate them, you can achieve anything you want.

Success and affluence come to those who get outside the box that their upbringing defined for them. Success comes to those who take control of their minds and think for themselves, while recognizing no limits.

It’s not your fault that success and affluence somehow has passed you by. It’s not your parent’s fault either because their parents taught them exactly the same thing. It’s not the fault of the school’s you attended nor the teachers who taught your classes. You cannot learn success and affluence in school or college. Those institutions teach general knowledge. They don’t go any further than that and teach you how you can turn that general knowledge into success and achievement. You have to figure that out on your own.

The fault lies with the society in which we all live. We all learn that an education,  a good job, and work hard, and then harder, is the road to success and affluence. But it isn’t.

So now you need to start over again and change how you think. But relax. It won’t take forever and it’s easy; well not that easy. It’s hard. Changing the way that you think is hard; not hard as in blood, sweat and tears. But some folks don’t like to think. It pains them.

However, success and affluence are in your head. We just need to get it out, put together a plan and take action on that plan. As long as you have an open mind, are willing to learn, and ready to take control of your own mind instead of listening to what everyone is telling you, you have everything it takes to be successful and affluent.

Now shut everything else out of your mind and think about what you just read and saw in the video that you were playing in your head. Think about it for a day or so and then come back to this post and read on.

We’re going to teach you how to think. We’re going to teach you how to be successful at everything that you do. And with success will come affluence.

Here’s the most important part of the success formula and where everyone who seeks success should begin.

 

Step One – Decide What You Want

 

First you must decide what you want. What is your strongest desire? Do you want to be financially secure? Do you want to get out of a career that bores you yet still be financially secure? Is it wealth in general?

Heck when it comes right down to it, don’t we all want to be millionaires, have our own successful business, be our own boss, live where we want, do whatever we want, drive what we want, and vacation whenever and wherever we choose? That’s OK. I don’t want to influence your primary desire. I just want you to think. I included these ideas just to stimulate your thinking.

This is important. So take some time to think about what you desire. You must be passionate about this desire. It has to be something that you want so badly that you can whip yourself into a “white heat” of passion every time you think about this thing that you want.  When your desire becomes clear, write it down on a piece of paper.

Let me give you an example to aid your thinking. I want peace of mind. What is that? I don’t want to make every decision based on money and cost. If I want to spend my winters in the Caribbean.  I just want to go without having to consider cost. If it’s time to replace one of my autos, I want to do that without first thinking if I can afford it. I don’t want to worry about the cost of health care, or taxes, or whatever else the government may demand of me. I don’t have to be rich. As a matter of fact, I loathe greed. I just want to stop thinking about money and whether there will always be enough. Money is just a means to an end. It should be nothing more than that. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works in our society. Money is everything. And that perspective becomes more prevalent every day. Does that make sense?

I do want to mention that a desire or objective of peace of mind is rather broad. So I break that down into smaller pieces for clarity. This allows me to better measure progress towards my primary desire. For example, the smaller piece that I’m working on right now if to finish creating a half dozen on-line courses. By what date? I’ll get to that.

So write down your most passionate desire and allow yourself to think big.

 

Step Two – Money – How Much is Enough?

 

Everything in this life comes with a price. So how much money would be enough for you to achieve your desire and live comfortably without having to work for anyone besides yourself? Write that down and don’t hold back.

I know how much money per month it takes for me to maintain the standard of living which I now enjoy.  But my wife and I measure everything in terms of cost, and I don’t want to do that anymore. So, I’ll put that amount at $100K/month. Write down whatever you think will do the job for you and don’t be timid.

 

Step Three – Something For Nothing? Not Quite.

 

There is no such thing as something for nothing. So what will you give in return to accomplish this burning desire that you have, and receive the money that you want? Service? A new idea? A new venture to create a new income stream? Don’t say I’ll work harder at what I’m doing because parents and society say that will always work. The fact of the matter is, it never works.

I’ll commit to the principles of the formula for success and achievement, while seeking to study and master a new principle each week. And I’ll commit to creating and finishing the on-line courses that I’m working on and doing whatever else my mentor ask of me. And I’ll do all that while asking for nothing in return.

Write down what you will give in return for your most passionate desire and the money that you require to achieve it. You can revise this as your situation changes, as you acquire more knowledge concerning your desire,  and as more detail pops into your mind that will allow you to enhance this portion of your plan. Your plan doesn’t have to be flawless at this point in time. But before you are handed your burning desire, it will have been revised by you to the point of being flawless.

 

Step Four – Assemble the Plan

 

Now that you know what your primary desire, the amount of money that you need to achieve it, and what you will give in return to accomplish this desire, outline a simple plan of the steps that you will take to achieve this desire, acquire the money, and provide something in return since you can never have something for nothing.

You can revise your plan while acting upon it so that it is always up-to-date with new information and new ideas. Don’t labor over this part. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. Write it down on paper.

My plan is documented below as an example.

 

Step Five – We Need a Date!

 

Select a date by which you will have completed your plan, achieved your desire, provided something in return and received the money which you requested.  Write it down on paper. Write it on the same sheet of paper on which you have written everything else.

 

Step Six – The Power of Self-Suggestion

 

This is the most important part of achieving literally whatever you desire. Now you are going to program your subconscious mind. We never know what is in our subconscious minds except when some of that stored information is revealed to us in dreams. And then we forget those.

Science knows how the subconscious mind operates. But they don’t fully understand why it operates the way it does and when. Hypnotism is now used by law enforcement to reach into the suppressed thoughts of crime victims for new information that potentially resides deep in the subconscious mind. Medicine has technologies for reaching subconscious memories when seeking to help patients with unexplained pain or those who cannot sleep.

To our benefit, the subconscious mind can be programmed through repetition. I’m sure that you have heard of programs where an individual will place speakers under their pillow at night and play a tape or CD in order to teach them new information through repetition. They are programming their subconscious minds. The technique is called subliminal learning. The conscious mind goes to sleep. But the subconscious mind operates 24/7.

This programming is based on one little-known fact of human nature, which is not understood by science nor by medicine; but it is accepted and used by both. Whatever thoughts are dominant in the subconscious mind have a habit of translating themselves into their physical equivalent whenever those thoughts (or orders that you give it) are reinforced by constant repetition.

Nature has built man so that he has absolute control over the information and thoughts that reach his conscious and subconscious mind. That’s not to say that we use that control. Most of the time, we don’t.  But you can trick your subconscious mind into acting upon your deepest desires simply by handing over orders to it through repetition, coupled with belief (that becomes faith), and persistence. This takes practice. So don’t expect immediate results.

Have you ever heard the expression, you can’t become a millionaire until you first learn to think and act like a millionaire? Same concept. And the concept doesn’t just apply to millionaires.

Take the sheet of paper on which you have written your primary desire, the amount of money you will need to achieve that desire, what you will give in return for realization of that desire, the plan of action for accomplishing your desire and acquiring the money, as well as the date by which you will complete your plan, and recite aloud what is on the paper twice a day; once in the morning and once before you go to bed. If you are doing nothing else during the day, put that piece of paper in front of your face and go over it again. The more repetition, the better.

Concentrate. Remove anything that will disturb your concentration. Visualize in your mind, the steps being taken, the results coming to you, the money arriving in your mailbox or being handed to you. Visualization reinforces the details of your plan and plants those details firmly in your mind.

The subconscious mind readily accepts thoughts that are mixed with a little emotion. Your “white hot” desire to accomplish your objective can be that emotion. Faith and belief are appropriate emotions. The thrill that you feel in taking steps towards the accomplishment of your plan is a good emotion. Get excited. You are taking action on a desire that is extremely important to you.

Do this and once you have mastered this technique, you will begin to see results. The technique itself is often called self-suggestion or auto-suggestion. You have complete control over your mind. In fact that is the only thing over which you have complete control. Use that control to get what you want. Self-suggestion is powerful once you take action and master it to get what you want.

 

A Couple of Important Suggestions

 

There are a few characteristics that will sabotage what I have outlined in this post. You need to be aware of these. I won’t expand upon them in this post as it is getting rather lengthy. But I will address them in upcoming posts.

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is a must because you are going to need faith in yourself and faith in your plan in order to implement it and achieve your objective. Faith and a negative attitude cannot exist in the same place (your mind). They are contradictory. How do you develop PMA? It’s a decision. Just get the negative crap out of your life. Don’t speak it, don’t listen to it, don’t think about it,  and don’t watch it. Especially on TV which is loaded with negative information.

Fear, especially fear of poverty, plagues all of us. You may not know it, but it’s there in your deepest thoughts. Fear paralyzes you and negates faith. You have to get rid of fear, doubt, and worry. Getting rid of worry is easy once you realize that worrying about things that are outside your control is a complete waste of time. Push fear, doubt and worry out of your life. It’s a decision. It’s not easy. It will take some time and effort. But if you truly want to take full control of your mind, you will be surprised how quickly you can block these things from your thinking when they try and creep back into your thoughts.

 

My Goal Sheet as an Example

 

Here is an example of one of my goal sheets. As you can see, the plan is very simple at this point. Details will be filled in as that information comes to me.  This is what yours should look like.

 

Primary Desire – Peace of Mind requiring the elimination of money/cost as a major consideration for everything that I do.

Timeframe = by December 31, 2013

Amount of Money – $100,000/month

What I will give in return for the money

  • Commitment to, and application of the success formula.
  • Commitment to building an on-line coaching/mentoring business per <a private program> with <a private individual> serving as my mentor. (success in anything is unlikely without a mentor)

The Plan

  • Complete the success formula course by May 1.
  • Find 30-60 days worth of new ideas for new courses that will identify a common problem that people are facing, and provide a solution.
    • Find and Create the promotional, material that will reach potential students.
    • Define the traffic plan(s) that you will use.
    • Set up the campaigns, videos, and additional resources and run them.
    • Define a routine for yourself including exercise, reading, PMA, spouse support, in order to keep your life in balance.

Reminders (optional)

POWER  – See yourself (via faith) in possession of your objective above. Conduct your activity as if you already have your objective and the money in your possession. What is in your subconscious, your dominating thoughts, will translate themselves into their physical equivalent through repetition mixed with emotion. 

Expect failures and accept them  as a learning experiences. Failure is not an excuse to quit.

 

Keep fear, doubt, and worry, at bay as they negate faith. Fear of poverty must especially be avoided.

 

AUTHOR NOTE – The formula for success and achievement referenced in this post is a creation of the author. It represents the output of the authors four years of research into success and personal achievement. The success formula exist only in the author’s notes and thus cannot be included here as a reference.

Photo of Napoleon Hill drawing of the mind

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Social Signals – A Graph of What Readers Like Most

[loveclaw_graph]

Another Change at Google!?

Yes! Google changed the rules of the game again, but did not announce their intentions. What will give your websites the highest rankings in the SERPS today  is what Google calls “social signals“.

The graph above is a running total of how readers voted their like or dislike for posts on this blog website, and whether they shared any portion of the content. These totals are updated in real time. Want to know if there is anything worth reading on this website? Just click over to the graph above and see what folks think about the articles, and whether they are sharing posts with their friends.

So what are Social Signals?

Social signals are indications of how much time your readers spend sharing your content with others, the amount of time that they spend interacting with your content (time spent on page), and whether or not they are socially engaged with your content – as indicated by Facebook Likes, comments, and social votes. The more votes, likes, and shares there are, the more Google favors this specific site and the higher it will be rated in the SERPS.

What is truly shocking about all of this is that social signals are favored by Google even more than traditional SEO. SEO is tedious and time-consuming. Even the most intensive SEO often produces disappointing results. SEO has always been “king” with Google when it comes to rating websites and content. Not any more. If you are putting countless hours into SEO on your website, you are wasting your time and will receive very little payback from Google.

That doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. Google still expects relevant keywords, keyword highlighting in posts, and appropriate post format using h1, h2, and h3 headers. Backlinks are still important. But not as important as they used to be. If you are trying to improve the rankings for your website by buying backlinks or surfing the Web looking for blog sites where you can leave a comment and a link back to your website, your time would be better spent enhancing social signals on your site and engaging your audience to use them  and share engaging content.

How Does This Apply to Me?

If you have no opinion of the articles that I post and you really don’t care about sharing engaging articles with your friends, this information is of little value to you. If you do not own a website that you would like to see highly placed in the SERPS, than this subject likely does not interest you. But I would ask that everyone use the buttons below each post to express your opinion of the article and potentially share it with someone you know who would also be interested in that post. Why do this? Because I write and share with all of you and ask for nothing in return. And because I care.

After all, the Internet is a social network and is becoming more social every day whether we like it, or not. I’m not a proponent of spending endless hours on Facebook. But I can handle a quick share or like with little effort.

Here’s Social Proof

Chris Munch of Muchweb did a case study on the impact of social signals using a product that he created called LoveClaw. LoveClaw is the application that places the voting icons below each article on this website and handles the sharing as well as the tallying of all votes for display in the graph above.

So what about the social proof and the case study that Chris Much completed? He and his team created a test website that consisted of nothing more than a few engaging photos. Other than the photos, where was no other content on this website; just photos and some headlines and captions. No SEO of any sort had been performed on the website. They launched the website to see what would happen.

The site received a mediocre amount of web traffic and most visitors clicked on the Facebook Like button above each photo to indicate that they found the photo to be interesting and engaging. I confess that the photos WERE pretty interesting and funny.

Then the LoveClaw voting and sharing icons, like the icons at the bottom of this article,  were placed below each photo. The LoveClaw icons allowed visitors to indicate how they felt about each photo and to share their opinion and the photo with friends.

The mediocre traffic that the test website had been receiving began to grow exponentially as news (via sharing) of the photos rippled through the Internet. Google, who seems to have a way of being aware of everything that takes place on the Internet, began to take notice of the test website, even though the site had no content other than a few photos. But what the test website DID have was a spike in visitor traffic accompanied by massive social signals because most visitors were sharing the engaging photos with their friends.

The test website rose dramatically in the SERP rankings and the photos on the website wound up on Google page #1, even though there was no real text content on the website. Mission accomplished. The goal was to create proof that Google will highly rate a website with their decision solely based on social signals from a site,  in the absence of any other content or SEO.

One photo on the site showed a close-up of a cat sleeping on the back of a sofa. The headline reads, “Obama Wins!” and at the bottom of the photo it says “Cats still don’t care”. Cute cat. Great headline that made an interesting and controversial point. The photo is the thumbnail that accompanies this post. Click on it to enlarge it.

And the Conclusion Is?

I wrote this little snippet of an article because I wanted you to know what the new icons are, below each of the posts on this website. And I wanted you to understand the purpose of the graph and know that its results are tabulated in real time.

At the same time, I read all your comments and I know that the majority of you have websites or blogs of your own. The fact that Google highly regards social signals, even over standard SEO, is not widely known. So I wanted to inform you of that development.

About 25% of the comments that I receive for new posts mention that it is hard to find this website in the SERPS. Many just stumble across it by accident while looking for something else. Yet, I am always working on SEO in order to get this blog ranked higher in the SERPS. I already know that the Home Page text needs to be re-written. I need to get the websites policies in the page footers (a Google requirement). And I need to work on keywords for each page and article; all very time-consuming. I tend to put writing new content for your reading pleasure at a higher priority on my list of things to do. But the SEO work will get done.

Now YOU can move this website higher in the SERP rankings much faster than I can by addressing the SEO nuisances. How? By giving me your opinion of specific articles using the voting buttons at the bottom of each article. And by SHARING! Those actions both produce social signals, Google takes notice. and more visitors come to this site. And finally, Google responds by ranking this website higher in the SERPS, while I’m still twiddling around with other boring SEO tasks.

Interesting concept, huh? My own readers can take my website someplace else while I watch helplessly. The power that only I once held has now been passed to YOU.

Actually, I think that’s great that Google cares more about satisfying visitor’s needs than it does about satisfying the needs of website owners or bloggers. Those that surf the Internet SHOULD have more power to get to the information that they are looking for. And their searches should yield the best information, and not pages of advertising that no one wants to look at. So SHARE!

If you are a website owner or blogger and want to incorporate social signals into your site and boost your traffic and rankings, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Grab LoveClaw now while it’s cheap. It’s in the $35 range. A one-site license was at $25 the last time I looked. I recommend the BETA version which is sometimes called BETA T+. It’s $45 for a lifetime, multi-site license. What is also attractive about it is that it will be the first version of the plugin to receive new features. And as a BETA user, there will be no cost to you for those features. I know that you see this all the time in ads, but seriously, move quickly. LoveClaw will only be at these prices for a week or less. And then they will increase dramatically. Based on the “webbie” series that Chris Munch is doing now, I’m betting the discount prices will be gone when the “webbies” are done on Thursday April 25th. Just a hunch.

This is not a product review. But I couldn’t just drop the subject and leave you in the dark when the whole concept of social signals  starts to ring true in your mind. To find LoveClaw, just click on any one of the LoveClaw links in this post. And no, I do NOT receive any compensation for promoting LoveClaw or Chris Munch.

And I forgot to mention that when you click on any of the voting icons at the bottom of each post, you can share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Stumbleupon. Stumbleupon doesn’t work yet. Evidently, there is a weird requirement at Stumbleupon where  the page that you are sharing has to exist on Stumbleupon before you can share it to Stumbleupon. Does that make any sense? Anyway, I already publish to Facebook and I will be publishing to Stumbleupon also.

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