The Cherokee Legend

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

- Author Unknown

Are You Leveraging Free Resources?

“You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”  – Good Will Hunting

Many goals require learning a new subject or skill. In the old days you might need to spend thousands of dollars on college courses. But now you can teach yourself online for free. You have access to hundreds of millions of dollars in free resources right now! It’s incredible when you think about it, but many people completely overlook the opportunity. You’ve likely heard of many of these resources below but are you making the most use of them? To retain the most knowledge from these resources,  I recommend taking notes just as you did in school.

Make a conscious effort to spend 30 minutes per day dedicated to teaching yourself a new skill. If you remain disciplined and stick to it, you might amaze yourself.

Libraries are a greatly underutilized resource. I prefer to call them the “information vortex” or “ideas bank”. It baffles me that more libraries are not packed wall to wall with people.  They have books on everything. I’ confident your library has a book that will excite you. Many libraries are now offering digital books too.

Book stores are useful in towns where libraries are underfunded. If you’re looking for recently published material,  books stores may be the way to go.

Free books can be found online. Copyrights to many pieces of older literature have expired. Many of these classics are now public domain. If you want free books online try a site like: Gutenberg.org

YouTube.com  has incredible instructional videos. I cannot emphasize enough how useful these can be.  But you’ll need to search for quality content. Want to learn how to build a website? Or learn how to perfect your hockey swing?  Reflect on your current challenges  and search for instructional videos on YouTube.

TED.com offers insights and inspirational ideas.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Source Project, Khan Academy  and edX provide free online classes.

Craigslist.org is great for meeting people, buying and selling.  Over the years I’ve met dozens of great people off Craigslist who have helped me accomplish my goals. When I needed 30 actors for the film I wanted to produce, I found most of them through Craigslist.  Need an apartment? Need help on a project or cheap furniture? Craigslist is the place to go. Just be careful, watch out for the occasional crazy people.

Google.com is the search engine that puts anything at the tips of your finger nails. Anytime you have a question about something, type it into Google. It’s usually a good way to start.

MeetUp.com is a great way to meet experts who can help with your challenges. Search the site to see if there’s a group relevant to your interest.

CNET.com has free downloads of many software applications.

 

Discovering Clues to Your Goals: How to Start a Vineyard

Over the years I’ve found little clues that have directed me closer to my goals. The goals are often sparked a random experience. Over time the solutions to attaining these goals become more clear. Such has been the case with grapes and my desire to someday have a vineyard.

Three years ago, as I was walking home I discovered a wild grapevine. I ate a fresh grape off the vine. It was fantastic. It packed more sweetness than a piece of candy. It instilled in me the dream of having my own grapevines and ultimately a vineyard – a goal which is consistent with my desire to live sustainably. The event prompted me to add growing grapes to my Top 100 Goals.

Then two years ago I first noticed a grapevine for sale at a plant nursery. The lone vine was $50. Ideally, I wanted to buy a several vines and at a lower price. I took note of this lone vine and in the months ahead I searched Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other local nurseries.

Then this past week, I discovered Home Depot was selling grapevines for $8 each. They had several dozen of them. I purchased a couple vines and have been keeping them in my kitchen. As the weather warms up, I’ll build a sturdy trellis and transplant them outside.

The grapevines I purchased at Home Depot

Candidly, my desire to grow grapes is not a top priority. But it is one of my goals in life. So when little windows of opportunity open, I seize them.

I currently know very little about growing grapes. So I’m starting small in this venture. I’ve commenced my due diligence by reading about best practices for growing grapes and watched some YouTube videos on grapes. I’ve also discovered a  book about growing grapes in New England and identified a regional wholesaler. When the time comes to buy in bulk, I can get  plants for as little  as $3.50 each!

By retaining a list of your Top 100 Goals, your mind will notice small clues to attaining your goals. It’s okay to spend several years to attain non priority goals. Some things in life are best left not rushed. But the key is that you are methodically moving closer and closer to their attainment. You are identifying the clues, conducting due diligence, and  seizing the opportunities.