One of the great bonuses of “temporarily retiring” is that I have had a lot of time to think about where I want to be in life, where I am now, and how to get from here to there.
Really, I wouldn’t trade this period of reflection for anything. I have come up with great business ideas. I have learned Internet marketing and blog-writing skills that have helped me to grow this blog from 2000 unique visitors per month a few months ago to nearly 10,000 this month. I have been able to commit serious time to writing about beliefs I am really passionate about.
The one thing I want to do before I jump back into the business world, though, is to do something seriously personally challenging. I did start working out three times a week, which is good, but not challenging enough by itself. I wanted something that made me cringe to do it… and would have significant opportunities for my personal growth, as well.
Picking a challenge
Recently I got the inkling that I should go back and read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker again. You may have noticed I put several business books I recommend on my left sidebar. There are little page numbers at the bottom of the widget — flip through them to see all the books I recommend. I recommend Secrets of the Millionaire Mind because, even though Harv pitches his seminar all the way through it, the book contains a lot of outstanding advice.
When I first read the book in December, I put Harv’s budget recommendations into effect and created a personal budget for myself. I now track my spending down to the dollar, and as a result, have saved several hundred dollars a month on things like food. It has an added benefit that I think about what that negative number will look like to my budget before I spend on anything, which has dramatically decreased my “splurge” spending.
That was an excellent tip in and of itself. Intuitively, though, I knew there was more I could learn from the book. Sure enough, when I went back and read the book again today, one sentence jumped out at me: “Complaining is the absolute worst possible thing you could do for your health or your wealth.”
Complaining as humor
Doh! I like complaining. I think it’s because when I was growing up, I’d see my father, with his dry, sarcastic sense of humor, make people laugh. I always wanted to make people laugh, too, so I adopted my dad’s sense of humor. Although I love my dad’s sense of humor, it invariably involves a lot of complaining. My challenge during this 7 days, then, is to continue the funny part of the humor, but leave the negative, complaining aspects out entirely. I know I can succeed at not complaining for 7 days, but attempting to be funny without complaining is what makes this challenge extremely difficult for me.
Another challenging part of complaining is that it is infectious. Everybody loves to chip in about how bad they have it, too. Another difficult part of the next week will be to resist getting into the complaining “fray”. I’ll have to really watch for this.
Tracking my progress
Of course, I won’t do this alone. Richard (my boyfriend) can help by pointing out when I am complaining. I am sure some of my other friends will volunteer to spot, too. I will be at the BIL Conference this weekend, so that will add an additional level of difficulty to the challenge — I won’t just be able to hide out at home and not talk to anyone!
I am sure this will be incredibly eye-opening for me. I complain multiple times a day now, though I mostly do it in a humorous fashion. My last complaint was 8 hours ago, about wiki software I am installing on this server for a couple projects I am working on. Trying new things, for me, always results in a round of complaints and some eye-rolling. That won’t be happening this week!
I will start the clock at midnight tonight. That means I won’t be able to complain until Wednesday, March 5. It covers the BIL conference, the announcement I plan to make this week about a project I am working on, the next monthly payment for the company I sold last year, and paying most of my monthly bills. In other words, there will be plenty of opportunities to complain.
If you want to watch my progress in real time, follow me on Twitter. Of course, I will post back here with, at the very least, a wrap-up at the end of the 7 days. This should be, uh…never mind.