New ideas ~ A good book ~ And, writing appetizers
This past weekend the cool weather rolled in, and Meine Mann and I finished a landscaping project. We prepared in advance. Figured out the supplies we’d need and calculated the cost to budget for them.
The Second New Year’s Day
As of last night, I sipped my tea and admired our hard work. For some reason all this got me thinking… September - the cool weather, the change, the fresh start – is like another New Year’s Day. Here’s what I mean . . .
Our ancestors created a calendar to structure time and mark its passing. There is a Day One – The New Year’s Day. And, there are prep days in November and December leading up to The New Year’s Day.
It is the time when you visit family, celebrate holidays, buy gifts and new things, and make resolutions. But, it is also a time to reflect on the past and plan for the start of The New Year.
September is the start of The New School Year for youngsters. And, like December, parents, teachers, and kids spend August preparing to go back
to school. They think about the past, wonder about the future, plan, prepare, and move forward.
Parents buy new clothing, books, pencils, paper, lunch boxes, and any number of other things. (Just like Christmas.) Teachers prepare their classrooms too. Everyone in the community prepares mentally for the changes, anticipating something new, whether it’s Grade 5, Senior Year of College, or more traffic.
September is also my birthday month. Perhaps that is why it’s a “New Year” beginning for me. I start the next year of my life.
The cool weather brings relief from the hot Texas sun. And just like those school kids, I prepare for my next year of life.
It is interesting that this past weekend I also finished reading Michael Masterson’s book, The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an Abundant Life (Agora Series, 2010). It definitely helped me to prepare for today – The September New Year’s Day – in a way that has profoundly changed me.
You can read more about it below in my Recommended Book section.
All the Best,
Master Your Time
. . . with Masterson
In the copywriting world, Michael Masterson (pen name for Mark Ford) is well-known – and well respected. I’ve heard him speak and read some of his other works, but this book changed my life!
The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an Abundant Live
(By Michael Masterson)
His book is divided into parts. And, those parts are divided further into shorter 500-word essay style sections with an enticing headline that keeps you reading. This makes the book very easy to read, easy to follow, and very difficult to put down.
He begins by telling you how to create this master plan, which involves so much – too much to include here.
But, particularly memorable ideas include thinking about your future funeral, organizing your day, and allowing nothing to interrupt your focus. Then Masterson walks you through how to write it. And, once you have your master plan, you begin immediately.
Some shockers to watch out for . . . he suggests answering emails at the end of the day (instead of first thing in the morning). He says, doing so forces
you to stay focused and work during the prime morning hours.
Masterson says when you answer emails at the end of the day, you’re compelled to keep emails short (so you can go home!). If you have staff, answering their emails later encourages them to solve their own problems – without interrupting you.
Masterson is not a big fan of the usual “positive thinking” approach to achieving your goals, but he explains why – and it makes sense. He also shares some personal information about his dancing skills, mistakes he’s made, and his love of jujitsu.
You also will be shocked by his two minute shower suggestion. However, I tried it myself. It is definitely doable and did shorten my morning routine by 15 minutes – and will probably save $10-15 on my monthly water bill.
You may notice some repetition as you continue reading. However, I realized that he brings up a topic again to talk about it from a different angle. When I recognized that, it
didn’t bother me. But, at first I wasn’t sure how things would play out, so I kept reading. And, that’s what you’ll want to do! Because by the end, you’ll feel like you can conquer what-ever-it-is-you’ve-always-wanted-to-do-in-your-life, essentially… be happy, and feel peace.
If you are a doer and you actually buy self-help, nonfiction books to use and apply the material to your situation, you may find yourself acting and changing your life well before you finish the book. In fact, I personally started changing before I reached the 40% mark (Kindle).
This is a life changer, if you let it. But I have no doubt, it will be one of the best books you’ll read. (Thanks Mr. Masterson!)
Whet Your Writing Appetite
with these . . .
HOT and FRESH Writing Appetizers –
Here are three writing appetizers to get you thinking and writing:
(AKA: Writing Prompts)
1. You don’t know what you don’t know. Write about a time when you learned something that changed your life - something you never would have known to do so without the help of someone or something or some event.
2. What is the one thing you most definitely want to accomplish before you pass on?
3. In honor of Mr. Masterson, write your own obituary today . . .
Note to New Subscribers: The writing prompts can be used in the classroom or for creative free writing. Enjoy and be creative!
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