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Paul Has Fun

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Sep 6, 2018

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BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS-Robert Cialdini's 'Influence'


This book was tough to get through.   It felt like I was back in school and I was doing homework.    I did glean some useful information from here.    This material I feel is especially useful if you're in sales, a public figure working on attracting others to you(what I'm doing with this podcast), or being an everyday consumer and knowing when someone is trying to 'sell' you on something.   


These are some of my biggest takeaways from Robert Cialdini's 'Influence':


-'One favorite and profitable tactic of certain compliance professionals is to give something before asking for a return favor.' Page 49.   A great sales tactic!


-'Even though they had committed themselves under anonymous circumstances, the act of writing down their first judgments caused them to resist the influence of contradictory new data and to remain consistent with their preliminary choices.' Page 72.    This goes hand in hand with first impressions.


-'The general idea is to pave the way for a full-line distribution by starting with a small order...Look at it this way-when a person has signed an order for your merchandise even though the profit is so small it hardly compensates for the time and effort of making the call, he is no longer a prospect-he is a customer.'   Page 64.  


-'Oh, those 'harmless' concessions.   We've already seen how apparently trifling commitments can lead to further consistent behavior.   As a commitment device, a written declaration has some great advantages.'   Page 67.    I feel this also applies if you sign up online for an email list, a subscription as examples.    Signing up makes it real as opposed to committing superfluously.


-'No matter which variety of low-balling is used, the sequence is the same: An advantage is offered that includes favorable purchase decision.    Then sometime after the decision has been made, but before the bargain is sealed, the original purchase advantage is deftly removed.'   Page 85.    Sign up now at this discounted price for Verizon FIOS, it includes a year of Netflix.    But after a year you pay the full monthly, regular price.


-'What if physical appearance is not much at issue?    After all, most people possess average looks.    Are there other factors that can be used to produce liking?   As both researchers and compliance professionals know, there are several, and one of the most influential is similarity.   We like people who are similar to us.'   Page 148.    This is fascinating, it's from a chapter which also discusses how we are quicker to gravitate to someone selling to us, particularly if they are physically attractive.    But this gives credence to the fact that you don't have to have looks to make something happen.


-'A potentially effective strategy for reducing the unwanted influence of liking on compliance decisions requires a special sensitivity to the experience of undue liking for a requester.   Upon recognizing that we like a requester inordinately well under the circumstances, we should step back from the social interaction, mentally separate the requester from his or her offer, and make any compliance decision based solely on the merits of the offer.'   Page 172.    A great tip for everyday consumers.


-'According to the scarcity principle, people assign more value to opportunities when they are less available.     The use of this principle for profit can be seen in such compliance techniques as the 'limited number' and 'deadline' tactics, wherein practitioners try to convince us that access to what they are offering is restricted by amount of time.'   Page 225.


-'Although we all wish to make the most thoughtful, fully considered decision possible in any situation, the changing form and accelerating pace of modern life frequently deprive us of the proper conditions for such a careful analysis of all the relevant pros and cons.    More and more, we are forced to resort to another decision-making approach-a shortcut approach in which the decision to comply(or agree or believe or buy)is made on the basis of a single, usually reliable piece of information.'   Page 234.   I would say this being the case, especially in our present-day, short-attention-span society.


If you enjoyed this material, please support the author and myself by buying this book through the provided Amazon link.   Thank you!


Robert Cialdini's Influence 


Going Where the Wind Blows


After a day's work, I enjoy coming home, eating dinner and watching YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime on my iPad.   I'm always looking for something to watch.   I finally committed to watching Orange is the New Black.   From the beginning.   I barreled through five episodes(of the first season)in the two days.   The show was funny, smart and very entertaining with some drama.


Once I started to notice that a few of the storylines run together and that several episodes were self-contained(like the chicken episode), I decided to go straight to the three final chapters of the season, and it didn't seem like I missed much.    But where I really started resonating with the show was in one of Piper's characteristics(she is the main character).    She seems to go where the wind blows. People she cares about end up suffering because of this.   This spoke to me because I've done this often.


On this very podcast, I've stated numerous times that 'I've discovered this new technique, approach, skill and I want my world to revolve around it because it will give me some edge or I had a dream about my mother and I should go and move back in with her.'    I tell anyone who will listen to me about this new thing.   I'll try it for a bit, then drop it and go back to my regular patterns.   Some of these new ideas have stuck.    Most haven't


Examples being; gaining inspiration from the Scavenger Life podcast and listing an item every day on eBay.   I'd begin that for a week then go back to listing 3-4 things a week.    Another instance was watching YouTuber Casey Nesitat.   I thought I want to start vlogging because it seemed like fun.   Maybe I can get millions of YouTube views, make some money I thought!   I purchased a ton of video equipment.   Quickly I realized my bookbag is heavy enough and  I don't want to travel with all this gear.   


There are pros and cons to trying new things.   The ONE Thing book says you should put your time and energy into what you enjoy and already have some proficiency in.    On the flipside on a recent day off I listened to a combination of MWF podcast (episode 472), Marie Forleo's podcast interview of Jaclyn Johnson, and Tim Ferriss interview of Drew Houston.   The alphabet soup message I got from listening to these podcasts is to try many things and fail because you don't know what you are good at and can potentially love until you discover it.    


Also, straight quitting on something is a waste of time.   Because if you failing, you're learning.   Apply what you've learned on the second go round and continue growing/failing/learning from there.   But if you quit, you have truly wasted your time if the lesson learned from the failure isn't used.   So is trying different things a waste of time?    Does this take away from working on your main goal?    


When I pay attention to my patterns, I don't regularly do much of the stuff I discovered in a book, podcast, a video.   But now I'm starting to notice my time spent other than on my creative endeavors and it makes me feel guilty.    I spend 3-4 hours at night watching TV.    At work when I'm not 'working' I'm on the internet looking at entertainment news.    


I believe there is a time to procrastinate.    If I spent all my time documenting and creating, I'd get sick of it.    Even if I do so for little bits at a time, I dance, draw, write a little bit every day or every other day.    Weekly I work on the podcast.   Small actions done consistently make big things happen.


Piper Chapman is free-spirited and determined, and I like that.   Thanks to this fictional character for showing me my own indecision and going where the wind blows.    9 times out of 10 I believe many answers to my own questions exist within me.   I just need a reflection of myself in others, in a movie, in a book, in a podcast, to find it.



What is 'Orange is the New Black? 

The ONE Thing book 


You are Born with Love


I was listening to the audiobook version of Marianne Williamson's 'Return to Love' for the 3rd time.   Presently I'm highlighting sections of interest in the ebook on the Kindle app.    Using this new method will help create more content for the podcast.   Reading and now listening(more often)I'm completing more books.   My brain is getting bigger!!  


In the early part of the book, Mrs. Williamson talks about how we are born with love, how it is our nature.   Fear is something we learn. 

This is the quote here from page 4: 'Love is what we were born with.   Fear is what we have learned here.   The spiritual journey is the relinquishment-or unlearning-of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.   Love is the essential existential fact.   It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth.   To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others is the meaning of life.'


These next quotes come from 'Way of the Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman.   I will link the connection I've made to the previous quote right after.   This is on page 159.   'As a child, all this would appear before your eyes and ears and touch as if for the first time.   But now you've learned names and categories for everything:  'That's good that's bad, that's a table, that's a chair, that's a car, a house, a flower dog, cat, chicken, man, woman, sunset, ocean, star.'   You've become bored with things because they only exist as names to you.   the dry concepts of the mind obscure your direct perception."


"You now see everything through a veil of associations about things, projected over a direct, simple awareness.   You've 'seen it all before': it's like watching a movie for the twentieth time.   You see only memories of things, so you become bored, trapped in mind.   This is why you have to 'lose your mind' before you can come to your senses."


The mind is a powerful, multipurpose device.   According to these recent books I've read(including Eckhart Tolle's 'Power of Now'), it can be problematic when it starts going in all directions.    Unrelated thoughts to the task at hand, hang-ups from the past.   Worrying about the future.   

Jealousy, lack of focus, ego, envy.   This is my mind's wheelhouse when it starts running around the neighborhood like a dog off its leash.   Let's say a co-worker, I feel does not appreciate a small gesture of kindness which I've imparted.    My ego is hurt.   I start to think, 'next time I will let them earn my generosity, my love.'   This egoic sentiment is learned.   I wasn't born with this.   I, like so many of us, was born with passion, curiosity, no fear.   


There is a method to combat this(which I learned from the books mentioned above).   Basically to turn off your mind.   The times I notice when my mind is turned off; when I'm watching TV, listening to podcasts or when I'm drawing.   Now when my mind and emotions are all over the place, I gently tell myself 'Attention!   Be here now.   How's your breathing?    How's your body feeling, what's your posture like?'   It's not easy, it's tough.

In the past, I would knock myself for turning my brain off and going on auto-pilot.   I would talk down to myself, badly.    Listening particularly to Mrs. Williamson's book, it's reminded me how toxic this is.    When is it a good time to flip the switch and turn on my mind?    Solving issues, problems. Focusing.    At work, I've been making fundamental mistakes.    Like being late to work, or not crossing all the 'T's' or dotting the 'I's.'    I used my mind and came up with solutions. I started waking up 10-15 minutes earlier to prevent being late; I also started keeping a log of all my work, as a reference point to follow up on what I'd already done.


I'm happiest when I'm coming from a place of fearless love and generosity to my family, friends, co-workers.    I want to re-discover my childlike curiosity.    


Honestly, when my ego shows up, or out of fear I put up my defenses, I'm a lesser version of myself.   When I put someone down mentally or judge them, I'm putting myself down because how I see another human being, in essence, is how I look at myself.   This is a benefit of the negative emotions.    It shows me my capacity, where I need to show more love, forgiveness, patience, compassion or allow things to be.


I realize I've written these articles on all these beautiful lessons I learn through books, podcasts, and videos.   I want to try to incorporate many of these lessons.   Most don't stick unfortunately as I fall back into my patterns and behaviors.    But that doesn't control me.   I do.   I'm not perfect; I want to be better.   This lesson regarding the mind is one of the most impactful I've learned.   I want it to stay with me.


Marianne Williamson's 'Return To Love' 

Dan Millman's 'Way of the Peaceful Warrior' 

Eckhart Tolle's 'Power of Now' 




I saw this movie over Labor Day weekend.    To date, it has been the number one movie in the box office 3 weeks in a row.    On a budget of $30 million dollars, it has grossed over $110 domestically.    A sequel was already announced a few days after the film's release.    Several movie critics I trustingly follow praised this film.   The Rottentomatoes score is 93%.   I was curious and wanted to check this out.


This movie was only ok for me until it got to Colin and Araminta's wedding.    Up until this point, the movie was ho-hum, I felt the comedy was forced.    I wasn't really invested in the main characters.     But I now realize during that first half, seeds were being planted which would pay off by the film's end.


The movie takes place for the most part in Singapore.   What is shown of this country in this film is gorgeous.    The colors pop and are vibrant.   I started thinking, 'man I gotta go visit this country!'


As I mentioned above the movie really picks up for me after the wedding.   Nick's family acceptance angle with Rachel was great.   The romance kicked into the next gear with Nick and Rachel during the wedding scene.   This is first time(and not the last)where I got emotional.   When everyone was tearing up and Nick was mouthing 'I love you' to Rachel.   Colin is crying while Araminta is walking down the aisle.    Eleanor played by Michelle Yeoh watching all of this happen.   You know when you see her, she is not crazy about what's going down between her son and his girlfriend.    Good stuff.


The strongest performances in the movie were by Michelle Yeoh who plays Nick's mother.    She may come across wooden and emotionless but subtle things in the face or how she turns her head, or what she says delivers the point across nicely.   Showing how doing little can say so much.    Another great performance and familiar face was the beautiful Gemma Chan.   I remember her from the TV show Humans, where she plays a humanoid who has emotions.   I enjoyed her in that and binged two seasons of it on Amazon Prime.    


Ms. Chan's(who played Astrid)story, with her husband, the infidelity and accepting oneself as they are and not making excuses because of it I also thought was great.    I resonated with this especially when it comes to Nice Guy Syndrome.    You can found my articles on that and the related book here.


I started caring more about Rachel's character near the end section of the movie.   I thought the scenes with her mother and Eleanor at the mahjong game where fantastic.


This movie was labeled as a rom-com but I found it more drama/romance than comedy.   The comedy was fun but as I mentioned forced at times with Awkwafina and Ken Jeong(from the Hangover series).    I smiled and chuckled a bit but that's about it. 


A beautiful looking movie, nice romance.   I hope the sequel is even better.   


What is Crazy Rich Asians? 

Crazy Rich Asians book 

My Biggest Takeaways 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' 



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