Category Archives: Practical

Lifehack: Phone trick

Read time: 60 seconds

I want to talk about a little trick I have learned that has helped me in several situations. When you are talking on the phone with someone, as soon as you say your good-byes, don’t hang up right away. Depending on the conversation and who you are talking with, you can gain valuable information. You would be surprised how many people talk to themselves or to someone they are with about you or what you were just talking about before they hang up the phone!

Here are some situations where it has benefited me:

  • When talking to prospective tenants on the phone during pre-screening, I wait after the good-bye and hear them say something that disqualifies them immediately.
  • When talking to a “friend” or acquaintance, after the conversation hearing them talk about me in either a positive or negative light
  • When on the phone with a business “professional” hearing them act very unprofessionally and make some downright rude comments that makes me reconsider even doing business with them.
  • When talking on the phone with a potential mate, gaining some valuable information after the call about her thoughts/feelings/etc.

I’m sure there are many other situations, but you get the point. As soon as you say goodbye, just sit and listen for awhile. You may be surprised what you hear.

TAN: Try this trick for all your phone conversations in the future. If you learn something by using this technique, comment below! 🙂

Edit 8/9/12: I used the phone trick successfully today during a negotiation with a lady who is selling a mobile home park.  After I said bye I heard her say, “Oh no no no no, God please…” which basically means she is desperate to sell and I’m her only prospect right now.  While I don’t want to take advantage of an elderly lady, recent info has come to light which makes the investment extremely risky, and the deal is almost off just because of it.  We’ll see if we can work something out though.

Ah-Ha Moments

Read time: <3 minutes

As I state in my about me section, I cannot change you for the better. Only you can change yourself. I am a firm believer in what I like to call “ah-ha moments” that can greatly alter your course in life for the good or bad. Something influences you, you have that ah-ha moment, and something inside of you changes that causes you to change your behavior. Let’s look at several different real-life scenarios.

I like to talk about health issues a lot with my wife, but oftentimes it can come across as lecturing or harping on her about things. Well she had an AHM one day while randomly watching tv and some lady basically said some of the same things I had been saying. My wife told me about her AHM and how she just needed to hear what I was saying from someone else. Anyway, the lady on tv was her inspiration to have that AHM, even though she knew all along what she needed to do.

Another example is a woman in a physically abusive relationship. I mean, she literally has visible bruises from the abuse. All her family and friends say she needs to get out of the relationship, and, clearly she does, but she decides to stay. One day, the guy breaks her arm during one of his episodes and she finally decides to leave. While extreme, it took that event for her to have her AHM and get out of the relationship, even though she had people telling her the exact same thing the whole time and it seemed obvious that she needed to leave.

I know this girl who smoked about a pack a day. I oftentimes would tell her that she needs to quit smoking/not smoke so much and she always says that she knows and whatnot. Then, she gets pregnant. After she finds out the news, she quits smoking cold turkey for the entire pregnancy. It took that outside event, the health of her unborn child, to spark the AHM in order for her to change. Unfortunately, as soon as the baby was born, she started smoking again, and in this case, the outside influence was the only thing that caused her to change. Once it was removed, she went right back to her old habit. Ideally, an AHM would spark internal change that would cause you to want to change for good.

I, personally, find that I have a lot of AHMs while reading books or even various articles on some of the blogs I follow. Various interactions with people also have been the source of many AHMs for me, specifically deep conversations, mentor situations, and even just having a drink with a friend.

There are many more examples, but one of my goals in life is to help people experience as many of these AHMs as possible. I find that living an extraordinary life and being an inspiration to others is one of the best ways to incite change within others. Whether we are talking health, wealth, relationships, bad habits, addictions, or various mental issues, a person will only change when they decide for themselves that they want to change.

Take action now: AHMs are worthless if you don’t act on that internal feeling of wanting to change. Once you have an AHM, you must change your actions or the moment is wasted.

Start by reflecting on some of the times in your life when you experienced an AHM. Perhaps it was a time you quit a bad habit or started a good one. It could have been when you had a realization in your job, relationships, spirituality, or physical/mental health and you changed your life due to that realization. Once you recognize a couple of AHMs in your life, narrow down the source of inspiration that caused your moment. Everyone’s source of inspiration to change will be different, but the goal is to immerse yourself in the situations that help you have the most AHMs. These sources could be through books, meditation, conversations, through service to others, even tv shows or movies. How about kylefromkansas.com? 😀

Remember you must act on these moments. AHMs without action are worthless. Find a group of like-minded people to support you in your new change. Meetup.com is a good source or even craigslist. Don’t let that AHM go to waste!

Mold infestation! Dealing with mold on the cheap

Read time: 90 seconds

The Haunted House had a decent amount of mold in the sheet rock, as you can see.  We cut out two foot tall sections of the entire infested walls.  I have read a lot of conflicting information out there, but would like to document my process and will see if it ends up working in the end.

First some basic facts on mold.  Almost every house has mold in it.  It’s just when the humidity gets above 60% for extending periods of time or there is some source of constant water, does the mold proliferate profusely.  The key to controlling mold is controlling the humidity/water.  This may be obvious, but I wanted to throw it out there.  This is also why it is very important to let your tenants know the importance of telling you if there is a water leak, whether from a pipe, drain, or the roof, immediately so your little problem doesn’t become a big one!

Also, not all black mold is the really bad kind.  In fact, the chances are in your favor that you don’t have the bad kind.  I have read conflicting information on whether bleach kills mold.  After reading about it, I am still unsure of its effectiveness, although I did use it to deal with the mold this time.

Basically what we did first was remove all the mold-covered sheet rock.  Before that I sprayed down the sheet rock with 100% bleach I put in a spray bottle (didn’t dilute it as recommended!).  We found out the mold was on the studs as well, so I did my best to clean it up.  I basically went to town on spraying everything and wiping up all the visible mold with paper towels.  I also got a “mold control” spray from Lowe’s and drenched all suspected areas with that solution as well.  After multiple rounds of spraying both solutions on all the suspected areas, we used a paint sprayer and sprayed oil-based kilz to seal in the mold in the studs.

I’m sure this is not the “correct” or recommended method by far.  I just wanted to document my findings and actions, and will update this post, perhaps years later, if the mold returns or doesn’t.  As I said before, the key is moisture control.  I am actually going to get a dehumidifier as well to make sure everything is nice and dry.  We need to do some landscaping outside, also, to prevent water from coming into the house from runoff from a nearby hill.

If any of you have experience with mold and have either removed it successfully or unsuccessfully, feel free to share your experience for everyone’s benefit! :smile:

Do you TAN?

Read time: 2 minutes

TAN = take action now, or TANgible action.

You may have noticed that I try to get my readers to take immediate action after reading my posts. Knowledge without action is useless. If you read a personal development blog or book, and do not take any action, you are reading for entertainment, not for self improvement. I find myself doing this from time to time and do my best to turn what I read into tangible action which positively affects my life.

One of the best ways to achieve this, is to have a journal or at least have your goals written down. There’s something magical about having your thoughts and goals down on paper that transforms them into action that achieves positive, tangible change in your life. There is also a therapeutic nature of writing down your issues in life. Studies (here, here p270-87, here p21-41, here) have shown that journaling is a more effective form of therapy than talking to someone about your issues, whether that be a friend or therapist. Save money, don’t see a shrink or talk to your friends about your issues, write about them! Also, when it comes to books, I will oftentimes write down the biggest points I want to remember in a word processor, so I can review it later. I have found this has helped me reinforce the main ideas of a book and ensures that I get the most from each book I read.

Another way I like to achieve tangible results from reading is to have affirmations of what I am currently achieving in my life. I truly believe that your thoughts can be very powerful and what you send into your subconscious can manifest in physical form in your life. Through positive affirmations, you can influence your subconscious mind for your benefit and well-being and see the tangible results happen in your life.

I have also achieved positive results through the use of 30 day trials. If you want to take immediate action in any area of your life you wish to improve, I definitely recommend this method and have achieved many positive, tangible results in my life through the use of various trials. You can search through my old blog as I have written in depth of several successful trials on there.

Take Action Now: Think about some of the things you read: blogs, books, the newspaper, magazines, etc. Are you reading these things for growth or pleasure? Try and take steps toward achieving your goals and avoid mental masturbation. While it is fine to read books or other things for pleasure, make sure you aren’t mistaking true growth for pleasure. Start a journal, read more non-fiction books, start a 30 day trial. Do something! Take that first babystep towards improving yourself; you won’t be disappointed!