Pausing to read The 4-Hour Work Week

Church building at cemetery grounds

I ran into a disagreement, a stumbling block, but made a decision.

 

One of my uncles called me out a week ago Wednesday for posting to our Facebook business page at a level above what he felt was my comprehension.  I guess I was insulted, but maybe what he was getting at was true–I decided to make good on the advice and to straighten out what I’m doing on Facebook–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Church building at cemetery grounds
Louth United Church, St. Catharines

Being a very small page on Facebook is a hard bargain–to be competitive requires strong content, and there isn’t a lot of money to spend to drive it.

 

So, in the several days, I revisited The 4-Hour Work Week for the third time.

 

It’s a 2007 book by Timothy Ferriss that is a how-to on putting together a life of travel and wealth, particularly in light of opportunities afforded by the Internet.  This is about getting past the need for a fulltime job.

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I realize 2007 is a long time ago, but some advice in the book holds true, and it is an inspiring read if you the reader are reflecting on what you’re doing in the course of your career that might be unsatisfying for you.

 

I was holding down a job the second half of 2007, which is when I was feeling comfortable but uninspired.  4-Hour Work Week author Timothy Ferriss recounts how he never could keep a job, although he is well-known for doing all kinds of amazing activities, including writing the bestselling book that I read again these past two weeks.

 

Admittedly, I am comfortable volunteering at the cemetery which puts a few dollars in my pocket, owing to its continued interest by visitors who have loved ones resting there and who find the tendered grounds a suitable destination for introspection and solace.

 

However, I did again to my delight find 4-Hour Work Week an impassioned read.

 

Ferriss argues for the importance of the spirit of independence.  This is instead of job security, Ferriss arguing that work for the sake of work is a pointless grind and that you would be better traveling across the world.  That, he affirms, is a far better investment of time and resources, than being buried, you could put it, in the demands of what might be eighty hours of work a week.

 

Some of the ideas Ferris had for the book remain relevant, like targeting ads with Google to create product sales to get you out of the gate and in charge.  Ads like those remain a profitable activity for people to make money at when they have a product niche and a matching headspace that’s geared to online sales with the Internet.

 

Ferris refers in his book to Pareto’s Law, the concept that 20% of your efforts achieve 80% of the results you get.  It is a quirky theorem that is popular in self-management circles.  For example, Ferriss thought of ways that 20% of his interactions with clients produced 80% of the sales he needed–and invented methods to bring down the time spent chasing the 20% without sacrificing the 80% payoff.

 

While possibly hard to measure, you could tap into Pareto’s Law in areas of your own life that need expansion, while synchronously cutting back on activities that only mean spinning your wheels.  Ferriss in the book explores how.

 

Ferriss’ ideas include avoiding calls by getting people to email you rather than to call, and to check email only twice a day, at noon and at four.  This gets the most important communications done instead of letting them control too much of your time.  I don’t know if that would actually work in a work setting, but if you have the fervor of Timothy Ferriss, I think it could.

 

Most important, Ferriss finds that a life away from the office should never be about getting back to work.  He believes in automating as much as possible, and you probably already know that automation is a vital time-saving strategy to everybody who’s pressed for time.

 

In the first few chapters, Ferriss recommends a five-day information fast–no more news sites, magazines, or books, and only an hour of television viewing in the evening instead of the several that he says most people watch.  Five days of this with the help of his book and you’re on your way.

 

He also illustrates a Dreamline and points out some ways you can reduce your present list of expenses so that you can readily find the money to tick off some of the items you have on your bucket list.

 

It is a pleasant dream to think of a life like that.

Skitter Photo
Photographer: Skitter Photo

If you need some tips to deal with a job that’s turned out to be soul-crushing, this book is a good source of inspiration.  The writing is both insightful and easy to digest.  What we do with our time is what we are, and a bit of fun and freedom might be the ingredients you need to reconnect with your purpose outside of work.

 

I thought I would write of it here, as I haven’t posted anything in a long time, and I felt like getting back down to it.  I am illustrating this post with a shot I took of my copy of the book and also a photo of Louth United Church, on the cemetery grounds where I work in an operations capacity.

 

And, please, you are more than welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

2018-06-17

I have become aware of new information about taking donations on Facebook.  While there was already Facebook features to take financial help through your business page, now you can receive recurring monthly donations thanks to an addition Facebook has recently introduced.

 

I probably shouldn’t have overlooked the existing structure for receiving donations when I published this post.  I meant to say that we don’t presently ask for donations on Facebook, because we are only a small page and we don’t have much of a budget with which to work–I am the SMM, which I do on a casual basis and to the best of my ability.

 

Perhaps in the future, we could bring onboard someone younger to help with carrying out our operations with the help of Facebook, but at the present I am aware of the mess Facebook has run into owing to its exposed dealings with Cambridge Analytica and what that has done to Facebook’s credibility as a social media platform and to its use for small business.  I want to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve their situation and remain effective as a tool for small business.  I am optimistic that it will remain a good idea to publicize our not-for-profit on Facebook.

 

Now is almost certainly not the best time to try to begin raising funds on Facebook, as the bad publicity is undeniable, I feel, but with Giving Tuesday still ahead in November I do want to keep my hand in the game in case the situation changes for the better.  A little more money could certainly serve our needs.  I am more concerned that Facebook will continue to grow to mean that the business page for our not-for-profit remains useful… https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Updated 2018-08-03

Source

Facebook Fundraising Tools Now Allow Monthly Giving

Dimensions: 5000 x 3334
Photographer: Rawpixel.com

I am involved with a small not-for-profit.  We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.

 

This blog is nominally tied to it, and also a hobby of mine.  I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.

 

I am the junior member of the nonprofit, and I help with grounds keeping.  I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here:  www.maplelawncemetery.org).

2018-06-17
Peter and Linda

The senior operator is Peter.

 

Occasionally other volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work.  We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.

 

We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time.  The not-for-profit is a small cemetery, which means that there aren’t very many funerals, just a few.  We aren’t unlike volunteers, for a few reasons.

 

To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits.  LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.

What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought to post today about making donations.

 

  1. One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity.  In Canada, only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit.  This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.

 

  1. This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters.  We can’t return the favor of a donation with a deduction.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations.  Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
2018-06-13
Abstract expressionism
  1. Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations.  If all goes well, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November this year (like last year).

 

  1. I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy.  Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday.  We’re operating a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others.  As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery.  That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.

 

  1. CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations.  They work with thousands of charities.  They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.

 

Source

Charitable Donations: Top Ten Canadian Tax Tips

 

David McConkey found inspiration in the pages of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, by Bill Clinton.  Three points specifically raised that David McConkey emphasizes are explained below.

 

  1. Most people on Earth live in a democracy.  Bill Clinton emphasizes that involvement in civil society is quite accessible to more people now than ever.

 

  1. Globalization and technology have made the fortunes of powerful millionaires and billionaires, Clinton writes.  These same individuals are frequently prominent philanthropists.

 

  1. The Internet is certainly steadfast in the opportunity to make civil action. Together, small donors can have a huge impact.

 

Source

Review of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

 

Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working at this until any set point in the future.  I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church.  I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.

 

Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them.  I invite you to visit us on Facebook.  You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.

Dimensions: 5304 x 3531
Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help.  I appreciate that you took the time to visit and I hope that you had a terrific Father’s Day this June.

 

To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a stock photo intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose.  Thank you for bearing with me.

May 30 Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

Saturday‎, ‎August‎ ‎24‎, ‎2013

Like everybody else participating in the weekly photo challenges from WordPress, I also got the word that the challenges are finished.  Naturally, people reacted.

It was part of my day-to-day life.  I was drawing quite a bit of inspiration from the weekly essays intended to spark inspiration for bloggers taking photos.

I looked through photos I’d taken and picked a few favorites.   It is the very last challenge.

I liked to write something to go with a photo.  The photo challenges have been served up since 2011.

I only made it a hobby in the last few years.  It has been fun.

I am sure others were far more dedicated to the hobby, but I am pleased I did as much as I did.

It was worthwhile to join in while the fun lasted, I think.  It provided a little joy to be part of something like that.

I am not sure what to do next, but I know I will think of something.  I’ve written it before, but my blog is tied to the operations I do at a local cemetery in a not-for-profit capacity.  It is chiefly a hobby, but I am aware many businesses of all sizes utilize blogging to publicize what they do.

One photo I took, that I always liked, is a photo I took August 24, 2013.  I haven’t shown it much at all, but it is the interior the church as it stood in the first several months we were working there.  I liked how it turned out, and I haven’t taken that many inside the church proper.

 

Saturday‎, ‎August‎ ‎24‎, ‎2013
Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery, Saint Catharines, ON

Another photo of the interior of the church I took October 11, 2013.  There was something soothing about the peace of the church, and these two photos are the ones I like best of the ones I took there.

 

Friday‎, ‎October‎ ‎11‎, ‎2013
Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery, Saint Catharines, ON

The cemetery where I work has a small Facebook page.

www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

 

Some of the photos I took where with done with the possibility they would fit into the space we have on Facebook for the not-for-profit.  I learned photography “on the job” as I carried out my photos on a “trial-and-error” basis.

The end of 2017 I capped the experience I gained with the free ten-day Developing Your Eye I.   The course suggested ten days of photos on specific themes, similar to the weekly photo challenges, which I was already pursuing.

Expertise is a hard road to master, and I learned a little about photography and a lot of what doesn’t work.  Still, enough of the photos were pleasant such that they merited a look, I feel.

The Developing Your Eye I course helps break you out of your comfort zone, a touch, and teaches a little more clarity about the matter of taking photographs.

As I got the weekly photo challenges tackled I got included in posts curating people’s output for the photo challenges en masse.  There were dozens of links to bloggers demonstrating photos put together by people who wanted the best out of their participation in the photo challenges.  That was always a pleasure.

Some very talented people participated in the photo challenges.

I’d say I’ve been left better by the experience.  It was a surprise to see this week that the challenges have ended.  it is nonetheless interesting to possibly view the change as an opportunity to do something new that was never anticipated at all.  I guess time will tell.

Thank you for showing support to this endeavor.

It was, I suppose, bittersweet to read this week’s photo challenge by Krista Stevens

The Good, The Great and the Ugly

Assigning guilt:  I think of an enforcer.

 

Today’s WordPress prompt is the word guilty and it is enticing because so many concepts of “guilty” can be elaborated upon and it is a theme that affects everybody who is human.  I mean guilty in the sense of bearing an emotional hardship.  That is, the state of mind that can afflict one after a wrongdoing.

 

When my maternal grandmother was alive, in her golden years, her daily ritual was to rise at seven in the morning and to read the local paper.  If she hadn’t been able to sleep enough, she rose at that hour regardless, not one to shirk from duty.

 

She said my late grandfather often told her she had a “guilty conscience,” that was keeping her from a good night’s sleep, but, she said to me candidly, there was nothing she’d done to be feeling guilty.  It was a joke between them.

 

You might think of guilty thoughts for not showing enough kindness to your mother, for example, or for acting in a manner disconnected from your values or moral code, if you have such a thing.

 

Dimensions: 5184 x 3456
Photographer: Daniel Petersen

My favorite ideology of the “guilty” is the enforcer’s code of pursuing the guilty, as in the police procedural shows on television and which find people who cross the line of good conduct into being “guilty” of wrongdoing meeting unforeseen fates, typically in handcuffs.

 

It is curious to look at “guilty” in that sense of having done wrong defiantly, for gain, as it was for my grandmother to watch evening television of that kind, the actors playing enforcers and criminals together, unfolding typically in the course of one evening of entertainment.  It will always be a choice pastime, I believe.

 

Today’s WordPress daily prompt is a gift, I think; there are simply so many ways to explore the weight of being guilty that I should think there will likewise be a wealth of posts highlighting the idea.

How Is It We Came Across This?

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word awkward. Here are a few words to the effect that being caught awkward is a compelling reason to rush a catch-up.

What catches me most off guard, most frequently, is the “brain fog” I get from being overwhelmed with too many new facts and figures. It is always a hard measure to make that new information could require a say so, or if it is better to sit back and let the storm take it course.

Dimensions: 4813 x 3213
Photographer: Nao Triponez

That’s the essence of demonstrating research skills–judgments about the usefulness of info that is easy to slip up on when nothing but smooth sailing was expected. It can resemble trial by fire.

The most significant decision is whether the new info is only a time waster, or if it does benefit you to react. Coming up with an appropriate reaction is the hardest decision to make in the whole process. It’s awkward because sometimes there is a sense of damage having been done.

When new facts are discomfiting, while I surely believe that a lot of people get angry in the face of trouble, I don’t find matters to be very easily resolved by simply getting mad and responding with contempt. It is necessary to see a positive in every negative scenario.

I belong to a not-for-profit operated by family and in the course the work I do occasionally experience unexpected problems which demand physical, real-world responses. The trouble of the “data science” variety feels a bit slimy in that you don’t know if the impact of what’s become apparent is going to have a measurable impact on your efforts. I am trying to candidly address the problem of being found awkward in the professional sense and to give a few thoughts on handling it.

Those are the most stressful times I encounter. Prompt is the word awkward.

May 9 Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

1/250 sec. f/5.6 16.2 mm

It’s a small town here, but not so bad.

Not everything is working out at the moment–however, a hobby like blogging photographs in the spirit of the weekly photo challenges from WordPress is a welcome diversion. After a couple of false starts, the iced coffee I was drinking started to work its magic and I began thinking what I could photograph to represent myself online, on either Facebook or WordPress.

Something funny occurred: I was seated at a favorite bus stop of mine when traffic was stopped, mostly in the direction I needed to walk, to get home.

An older lady, the age possibly of a younger grandma, called out to the traffic ahead of her: “Hey! I’m taking a picture!” She raised her camera and I suppose she took the shot.

I was immediately inspired. Whether she was remotely aware of me seated at the bus stop as if I were headed in the opposite direction, I don’t know, but I thought that if she wants a picture here, then so should I. I was already thinking of taking a photo there as I enjoy that spot in town and in addition it gives an inkling of where I live.

1/250 sec. f/5.6 16.2 mm
Queen Elizabeth Way

Next time I am working up the courage to take a photo among strangers, perhaps I should try the same tactic. I don’t know if I have it in me, but it certainly would be nice to have that kind of gumption.

The car bumper I caught in the photo as the line of traffic moved on isn’t her vehicle, but one moving in the same direction behind her. Kind of an oversight, but it adds a wee bit of flavor to the other details I captured with the lucky shot.

Erica’s essay on doing a location reveal Wednesday is an article in the ongoing weekly photo challenges that are a dear hobby to many WordPress bloggers.

April 11 Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

2592 x 1944

My dad and I began work on our not-for-profit venture in the year 2012 (a year widely prophesized to be the very last of life on Earth). 2012-2013 was our formative year as a nonprofit.

I took photos that helped define what we’re doing. This week’s photo challenge from Jen at WordPress is an essay on awakening. I thought I would show a formative photo from Louth United Church, which disbanded in 2006, when it came into our hands and how it was that first summer we were there.

2592 x 1944
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 1:41 PM

In the summertime what’s probably our chief task is to keep the grass cut. I try to fill other roles to illustrate to my dad, who’s senior in our operation, that I’m worth keeping in the picture, shoes like SMM and web designer. None of it is too hard for me, but not everybody would want to involved keeping care of a little cemetery. There are numerous of them everywhere.

It is extremely disheartening what’s happened with Facebook and the latest privacy scandal, and even the nonsense on Twitter is likely discouraging. It is as if the only resort is prayer.

I have heard of the Christian adage, “Everything is as it should be.”

I am game to look at some of the posts other bloggers do in response to the WordPress essays on photography. Some of them are devastatingly good! It is an invigorating hobby.

Businesses require blogs, but I am only nominally tying this blog to the practical operations we do at the cemetery. I am mostly held accountable to my dad. I realize we should be both transparent and authentic, and I feel we are, but also genuine in a touch of passion for our venture. It is pleasing for me to share a look at it with the outside world.