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November 2007 archive

From one Conehead to another* … thank you.

Last night I was especially inspired by a man called Don Morgan who after spending 20 odd years developing his lifesaving “Conehead” bicycle helmet finally received the recognition he deserved last night when he won the New Inventors Grand Final on the ABC.

While somebody was always going to win the competition and while the other inventions were all frankly brilliant, the heartwarming thing about Don’s win was that he presented the human face of the downside of the struggle to achieve and of what is sometimes a curse that cannot be shaken – Unrelenting Vision.

I was so moved by his win, and I would like to openly thank Don here (not that many people read this but anyway it’s the thought that counts) for reaffirming in me the belief that if you just stick at your dream for long enough and keep working hard, you massively increase your chances of reaping the rewards you seek.

I could go on for hours about this, but I must get to work myself, but I’ll just close by pointing out the interesting fact that in order to acheive something brilliant, Don focussed – for twenty years – on Just One Thing.**

May the Force be with Don as he takes his worthy invention (literally) to the streets.

*Actually I used to be a conehead (bong smoker) but not anymore! But if I buy one of these helmets I can reclaim the title!

**Incidentally this links to a story about ANOTHER Don but that is just a fluke … or else it’s just a day for Dons, you tell me 😉

Don’t Fight the Work

I recently realised that being lazy – of which I am very guilty – is actually harder work than being diligent.

This might sound nuts to all you fellow couch potatoes out there, but really, it’s true. Here’s how it works:

1) You see something that needs doing.

2) You either do it, make a specific time to do it later, or roll your eyes and hope it will go away.

3) The first two options are not examples of being lazy, but rather of diligence (as long as you follow up on that appointment you made with yourself). You do the job and it’s done and either that’s it’s own reward or you have therefore avoided something unpleasant or you actually receive some kind of reward for your efforts.

4) Or you roll your eyes and hope the task will disappear – but it never does. So you end up wasting a lot of energy thinking about the task, being nagged about the task by others, watching the job get bigger (think mowing the lawn or doing the dishes) and generally putting a lot more time and energy into the task than you ever really needed to.

And this, by definition, is harder work than just doing the job at the first possible opportunity. It wastes far more energy.

Still, even though I know this, I have a lifetime habit of procrastination which I am yet to fully overcome 🙂

To help myself, I have a new mantra that has been working quite well for me over the last couple of months:

“Don’t fight the work; don’t fight the work”.

It reminds me that getting the work done ASAP is in fact less effort than procrastinating and so motivates me to get off my hairy bum and get to it!

NB: I would however like to point out that there is still and always will be room in my life for SOME laziness. I wouldn’t want to turn into some kind of a stress head. After all I am the guy who wrote the new anthem for the return of Slacker Culture.

How to Stand Up and Be Counted … Episode One

We all have to stand up and be counted.

This weekend many people stood up to be counted here as contenders in the Australian federal election.

Some won, some lost. But all of them put themselves through a big, public challenge to be the best they could be.

Two people stood up and put it all on the line at the Sydney Opera House last weekend.

Every day people stand up and stare down their fate in all manner of ways.

For some time now I have been feeling like I need to do something similar. Not run for office (heaven forbid) but to choose a challenge, make it public, and – knowing that I might ‘win’ or ‘lose’ – just go for it.

Give up? Me? Yeah Right!

Despite the joy of the birth of my beautiful, wonderful first child, and the excitement of going to Europe, I have been feeling frustrated. Not in a over-bearing life-debilitating way, but in a slow-burning, gnawing at my insides way. I have been thinking about that famous quote that goes something like “most men live lives of quiet desperation”.

I don’t want to end up like that, and I can see how easily it could happen.

As I have gone about my business day to day, responsible adult that I now am (or at least try to be), I have been happy with the people in my life but not with my own efforts. I have been struggling from a lack of “flow”, which silly as it sounds, is actually a technical term.

And then, when my new, gorgeous little daughter was asleep and I was staring at her “all ga-ga about the goo-goo” I thought to myself:

“what am I going to tell her?

That I turned thirty and just gave up?”

Fuck that.

So I have been doing some (more) intense soul-searching and have over the last two weeks come to come some very definite decisions.

Stay tuned … oh breathless masses … for no matter how it turns out, I intend to stand up and be counted.

Maybe we can get together and encourage each other a long the way … build some kind of “stand up be counted challenge” website or something …

Because life about living your dreams, not settling for the safe option.

More on Getting High Without Drugs

Psychedelic Meditation

Now despite the fact that there are very few comments at this previous post: How To Get High Without Drugs I still know thanks to the magic of my web traffic counter thing that this page is being viewed about two or three times a day by people Googling “How To Get High Without Drugs” or very similar.

Now in that post I mentioned the two ways I use to get high without drugs. The first way is performing my music on stage (or in my bedroom for that matter). I also mention that your version of “playing music” might be something else, like for example, racing Galapagos tortoises, or turtles or terrapins or whatever they are correctly referred to as. The point is: lose yourself in an activity that effectively pushes the right buttons for you so that you get high, need I re-iterate, without any drugs.

The second is meditating. I was going to post more about that but got kind of distracted, but it is half finished on my hard drive so I might as well piff it up online bit by bit and hopefully it will help people.

Now I know i could sell this information but at this stage I think I will roll with making it available for free for now. More very soon…

Monomaniacs Unite!

As I was riding my bike to work today I was yet again dumbfounded by just how many friggin’ people there are on this planet. And this is in Melbourne, Australia which is busy and all but hardly the most over-populated place on Earth.

I truly had to do about a quarter of the ride at half speed in order not to bump into people or cars.

And what of it? Well, I suppose there are all the usual implications that could be waffled on about, doomsday stuff, but I might as well leave that to everybody else (because it is my belief that it is unhappiness that causes people to bugger this world up, not pure selfishness for it’s own sake, but that’s another story) and talk about one of my personal obsessions: success, more specifically, career success.

The chances of standing out in this world and being handsomely rewarded for it – or in other words becoming wildly (career) successful – are slim. And why? because there are just so many people to compete with.

There is a glimmer of hope, a method of hugely increasing your chances. But it will come at a cost, and the cost will probably be high.

Here it is: the best chance you have of becoming wildy successful is to apply Curly’s Law* and be totally obsessive about both your chosen skill and about being successful at building a career on top of this foundation skill.

I repeat – you have to be a monomaniacal obsessive. Period.

*If you read this and want to know what happened next then go here.

Getting Down with Furry Dudes

Whoops, just posted another tune. Here’s a fascinating excerpt of my “the making of” prattle that accompanies the mp3

” … a spider that was hanging around our lounge room at the time (normal stuff in Australia, and we are talking a big, hairy dude too!). Of course, he was just doing nothing much, as Hunstmen spiders do, and I admired him for this.

This was around the time I was first reading about meditation and Eastern Philosophies like Zen and the like, so I guess this was reflection of that… “

Click here too listen to the tune “Get Down” and lose yourself in the incredible rollicking tales of rock glory!

New tune for you … (actually it’s really old)

Poo Bah is an old tune I wrote back in the nineties.

It is in fact part of a large bunch of recording I did in ‘98 (thanks to my good friend John Elkins who had the foresight to sit me down and record the tunes that were all floating around in my mind. I am so glad we did that because I’ve forgotten many of them by now).

It borrows it’s title from the Pulp Fiction line by Eric Stoltz that goes something like “don’t be bringing no fucked-up Poo-Bah to my house”, …

… Read the rest and listen to the tune by clicking here …

Stupid Marketing

Here’s an example of ill-thought out software marketing from Mac. It was on the flyer in an official Mac store in Melbourne:

1) “Logic Express 8 delivers everything a musician needs to write, record, edit, mix with unmatched quality, speed and ease: $249″

2) “Logic Studio delivers everything a musician needs to write, record, edit, mix, and perform in the studio and on the stage. $598”

Given that most of us dear sweet musicians are usually broke, you think they would try a little harder to explain why I would spend over twice as much for Logic Studio. I mean why the hell would I take my software package to a gig? And how?

And anyway, if Express 8 delivers “everything a musician needs” why would I spend more? On “wants”? Which ones?

Assumption – the Mother of all F#$* Ups

I get to work this morning, am trying to check emails and RSS, phone rings, I grumblingly pick it up:

(Female) Client: “Good morning, I would like to (conduct business).”

Me: “Ok, no worries, can you give me your phone number so I can look you up on the database?”

Client gives me number, I bring up the record.

Me: “Ok, now this says here that this number belongs to Jason but obviously that isn’t you; can I get your name for the record?”

Client: “What makes you say that?”

Me: “What makes me say what?”

Client: “That I’m not Jason?”

Looooong silence as it dawns on me what I have done….

Me: “Err, because you sound like a woman?”

Thankfully at this point Jason laughs and says: “It’s ok mate, I get it all the time, I have a high voice, it’s true!”

Me: “Jason, I apologise profusely…”

Client: “No seriously it’s ok, I’m used to it. The funny thing is, I am really quite, y’know, big…

What a morning!

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