“Future Friday” for 5/17/2013

Everyone’s looking forward to the weekend, so on Fridays I focus on the future…


Block Friday

LightThe guys over at the Minimalists have this thought to share:

This Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. Retailers prepare months in advance for this dark day—preparation that’s meant to stimulate your insatiable desire to consume: Doorbuster sales. New products. Gigantic newspaper ads. TV, radio, print, billboards. Sale, sale, sale! Early bird specials. One day only! Get the best deal. Act now! While supplies last.

The Minimalists would, however, like to shed some light on this darkest of Fridays. It’s important to understand that consumption is an unquenchable thirst. Retailers and advertisers and manufacturers know this too well. And thus, they’ve invented an entire day designed to take advantage of your insatiable desire to consume.

The pernicious aspects of Black Friday are not few. The pandemonium of this day is a synecdoche for our consumer culture as a whole. On this day, people consume gluttonously without regard for the harm they’re inflicting on themselves. On this day, greed becomes ravenous. On this day, people live without real meaning, buying gifts to fill a void that can’t possibly be filled with material possessions.

Sadly, people participate in the rapacious nature of Black Friday in the name of a holiday, as if buying gifts was an ideal way to celebrate Christmas. But thankfully, you have options.

Instead of embracing Black Friday, you can Block Friday. You can refuse to buy material items for people to display your love. Rather, you can showcase your love, caring, and affection through daily actions—every day, not just holidays.

If you want to give gifts, why not gift an experience—a nice meal, tickets to a concert, or a sunset on the beach? After all, the best, most loving gift you can give someone is your time and undivided attention.

Will you join us? Will you opt out of Black Friday? If not, why not?

Source: Dark Friday | The Minimalists

I will opt out! I hate what Christmas has become and the stress that it causes by all the false expectations it creates. Give me Thanksgiving with family, food and gratitude and I’ll see you next year…


My baby’s back…

My wife has returned safely from Italy — thank God — and on Friday we took a little time off to head up to Door County and get reconnected…

A little wine and spirits tasting at Door County Winery and Door County Distillery and Simon Creek Winery and a little stroll at Cave Point made for a beautiful day!

Click image to enlarge…

We still need to get up to Sister Bay to use our Cheesecake groupon but a high pollen count on Friday made it a little unenjoyable to be outside…

Decluttering your mental clutter

Minimalist Mac OS X Desktop

Good stuff from Ryan Nicodemus at The Minimalists

Those voices inside your head won’t be quiet. All you can hear is your boss telling you to have those reports done by Friday or your daughter reminding you that there’s soccer practice this Saturday or a parent’s voice telling you that they’re going to need you to help them drop off their car at the mechanic’s.

Most of us have somewhere to be each day, not to mention the everyday fire drills we get put through at work or at home. It can feel very overwhelming, and our minds can get noisy. Some of us even have echoes of voices from experiences of many years ago.

How do you deal with all of that internal mental clutter?

Mental clutter is something I’ve worked on my entire life. I used to feel like, no matter what, I constantly had some sort of mental clutter—I always had something going on in my mind. If it wasn’t something new causing that anxious cluttered feeling, it was something from the past creeping back into the present to haunt me. Some days were worse than others, but it was there every day.

And then, after fixing several other parts of my life, I was able to cut down on the mental clutter…

Source: The Minimalists | Decluttering Your Mental Clutter

Go to the source if you want to know more about the parts Ryan fixed. Me? I am a huge fan of David Allen and his “Getting Things Done” principles and I use a tool called Evernote to get things out of my head and into a foolproof system where I will never lose them. You can read my take on these ideas over at my business blog…

Related articles from http://e1evation.com

Friday the 13th Book icon
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Cute! Heidi Cohen has 13 ways social media scares marketers for Friday the 13th. The first one comes up in every social media class and preso her in Northeast Wisconsin…

Social media is scary for marketers. Used to controlling their brand and messages, they feel most comfortable using one-to-many media for distribution. By contrast, social media allows for multi-directional socializing and interaction.

As a result, marketers only control one aspect of the current communications ecosystem while consumers and the public have media platforms that provide low cost content creation and distribution.

Here are thirteen ways social media instills marketers with fear and actionable marketing tips to help your firm overcome it.

  1. People can say bad things about us. With social media, every consumer has a media platform, a built-in audience and a megaphone to amplify their message. A disgruntled customer can use his smartphone to capture an incident and quickly distribute it. Actionable Marketing Tactic.  Use social media’s public forum to engage customers and determine how to improve your offering, gather insights for future improvements, and provide additional service where needed.

Source: 13 Ways Social Media Scares Marketers | Heidi Cohen

Go to the source if you want the other 12. Comment, call or ‘connect’ so we can talk about how this applies to you and your organization…

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Financial fears

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...
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The following is from Melody Beattie’s ‘The Language of Letting Go’…

“I sat in the car, looking at the sign on the door of the food shelf office: “Closed until Friday.” It was Wednesday. I had two hungry children and myself; I had no money. I laid my head on the steering wheel. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had been so strong, so brave, so trusting for so long. I was a single parent with two children, recently divorced. I had worked so courageously at being grateful for what I had, while setting financial goals and working at believing I deserved the best. I had put up with so much poverty, so much deprivation. Daily, I worked the Eleventh Step. I worked so hard at praying for knowledge of God’s will for me only, and the power to carry it through. I believed I was doing what I needed to do in my life. I wasn’t lollygagging. I was doing my best, working my hardest. And there just wasn’t enough money. Life had been a struggle in many ways, but the financial struggle seemed endless. Money isn’t everything, but it takes money to solve certain problems. I was sick of “letting go” and “letting go” and “letting go.” I was sick of “acting as if” I had enough money. I was tired of having to work so hard daily at letting go of the pain and fear about not having enough. I was tired of working so hard at being happy without having enough. Actually, most of the time I was happy. I had found my soul in poverty. But now that I had my soul and my self, I wanted some money too. While I sat in the car trying to compose myself, I heard God speak to me in that silent, still voice that whispers gently to our souls. “You don’t ever have to worry about money again, child. Not unless you want to. I told you that I would take care of you. And I will.” Great, I thought. Thanks a lot. I believe you. I trust you. But look around. I have no money. I have no food. And the food shelf is closed. You’ve let me down. Again I heard His voice in my soul: “You don’t have to worry about money again. You don’t have to be afraid. I promised to meet all your needs.” I went home, called a friend, and asked to borrow some money. I hated borrowing, but I had no choice. My breakdown in the car was a release, but it didn’t solve a thing—that day. There was no check in the mailbox. But I got food for the day. And the next day. And the next. Within six months, my income doubled. Within nine months, it tripled. Since that day, I have had hard times, but I have never had to go without—not for more than a moment in time. Now, I have enough. Sometimes I still worry about money because that seems to be habitual. But now I know I don’t have to, and I know I never did. God, help me work hard at what I believe is right for me in my life today, and I’ll trust You for the rest. Help me let go of my fears about money. Help me turn that area over to You, God. Take away the blocks and barriers in my life to financial success.”

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 336-337). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

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