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MONEY – Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

Click to get the book, ebook or audiobook

Paras note: First of all I recommend the book or ebook instead of the audiobook because of the diagrams and figures. Second, the book may sound like it’s focused more on Americans with the 401K but it still has some good views on things. Third, if it gets too much either start or skip straight to the interviews in Chapter 6. I think thats the best way to change your mindset first.

– Breaks down a number of fees when you go with the wrong people.
 
 
 
The National Debt and Federal Budget Deficit Deconstructed
  
– Provides formulas to calculate your financial freedom amount and variables like buying big things.
 
– If you choose to find your own fiduciary, below are five key initial criteria you may want to consider when selecting an advisor:
1. Make sure the advisor is registered with the state or the SEC as a registered investment advisor or is an investment advisor representative (IAR) of a registered investment advisor (RIA).
2. Make sure the registered investment advisor is compensated on a percentage of your assets under management, not for buying mutual funds. Make sure this fee is the only fee and is completely transparent. Be sure there are no 12b-1 fees or “pay-to-play” fees being paid as compensation.
3. Make sure the registered investment advisor does not receive compensation for trading stocks or bonds.
4. Make sure the registered investment advisor does not have an affiliation with a broker-dealer. This is sometimes the worst offense when a fiduciary also sells products and gets investment commission as well!
5. With an advisor, you don’t want to just give them your money directly. You want to make sure that your money is held with a reputable third-party custodian, such as Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade, which offers 24/7 online account access and sends the monthly statements directly to you.
 
– Talks about things like getting a filter instead of bottled water and finding cheaper things or even moving around the world to save more.
 
Investment options with low volatility such as:
1. Cash/Cash Equivalents (such as money market funds with checking privileges)
2. Bonds (such as TIPS, Treasury inflation-protected securities)
3. Market-linked CDs
4. Your home – An asset, but not an investment. This is your sacred sanctuary, so you shouldn’t be “spending” it!
5. Your Pension (if you’re lucky enough to have one)
6. Guaranteed Annuities (a good one!) 
7. Your life insurance policy
8. Structured Notes (One with 100% principal protection, purchased through an Registered Investment Advisor)
These grow slowly, especially at first, but the power of compounding means you can find investments with maximum rewards in a secure 
 
Example of 7 main asset classes to consider:
1. Equities – another word for stocks, or ownership shares of individual companies or vehicles for owning many of them at once, like mutual funds, indexes, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 
2. High-Yield Bonds (aka junk bonds)
3. Real Estate
4. Commodities (gold, silver, oil, coffee, cotton, etc)
5. Currencies
6. Collectibles
7. Structured Notes (anything without 100% principal protection)
 
The richest billionaraires pay ridiculous amounts of life insurance because income tax can’t touch it.
 
Living trusts – “The key benefit to using a living trust to own your core assets (your home, brokerage account, and so on) is that if you pass away, those assets will avoid probate—a costly and lengthy procedure of allowing the courts to sort through your assets (and make everything public record). But unlike a will, a living trust can also protect you and your family while you are alive. If you become ill or incapacitated, you can include an incapacity clause that allows someone to step in and handle your bills and other affairs. Don’t let experts tell you that a living trust costs thousands. You can get a template document for free by visiting http://getyourshittogether.org.
 
From Warren Buffet – “Indexing is the way to go. Invest in great American businesses without paying all the fees of a mutual fund manager and hang on to those companies, and you will win over the long term! Put 10% in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund. (I suggest Vanguard’s.) I believe the trust’s long-term results from this policy will be superior to those attained by most investors—whether pension funds, institutions, or individuals—who employ high-fee managers.”
 
Look up dollar cost averaging.
 
Contents
– Epigraph
– Foreword by Elliot Weissbluth, founder and CEO of HighTower
– Introduction by Marc Beniof , founder and CEO of Salesforce.comSECTION 1 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: THE JOURNEY BEGINS WITH THIS FIRST STEP
Chapter 1.1: It’s Your Money! It’s Your Life! Take Control
Chapter 1.2: The 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom: Create an Income for Life
Chapter 1.3: Tap the Power: Make the Most Important Financial Decision of Your Life
Chapter 1.4: Money Mastery: It’s Time to Break ThroughSECTION 2 BECOME THE INSIDER: KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU GET IN THE GAME
Chapter 2.0: Break Free: Shattering the 9 Financial Myths
Chapter 2.1: Myth 1: The $13T Lie: “Invest with Us. We’ll Beat the Market!”
Chapter 2.2: Myth 2: “Our Fees? They’re a Small Price to Pay!”
Chapter 2.3: Myth 3: “Our Returns? What You See Is What You Get”
Chapter 2.4: Myth 4: “I’m Your Broker, and I’m Here to Help”
Chapter 2.5: Myth 5: “Your Retirement Is Just a 401(k) Away”
Chapter 2.6: Myth 6: Target-Date Funds: “Just Set It and Forget It”
Chapter 2.7: Myth 7: “I Hate Annuities, and You Should Too”
Chapter 2.8: Myth 8: “You Gotta Take Huge Risks to Get Big Rewards!”
Chapter 2.9: Myth 9: “The Lies We Tell Ourselves”SECTION 3 WHAT’S THE PRICE OF YOUR DREAMS? MAKE THE GAME WINNABLE
Chapter 3.1: What’s the Price of Your Dreams?: Make the Game Winnable
Chapter 3.2: What’s Your Plan?
Chapter 3.3: Speed It Up: 1. Save More and Invest the Difference
Chapter 3.4: Speed It Up: 2. Earn More and Invest the Difference
Chapter 3.5: Speed It Up: 3. Reduce Fees and Taxes (and Invest the Difference)
Chapter 3.6: Speed It Up: 4. Get Better Returns and Speed Your Way to Victory
Chapter 3.7: Speed It Up: 5. Change Your Life—and Lifestyle—for the Better

SECTION 4 MAKE THE MOST IMPORTANT INVESTMENT DECISION OF YOUR LIFE
Chapter 4.1: The Ultimate Bucket List: Asset Allocation
Chapter 4.2: Playing to Win: The Risk/Growth Bucket
Chapter 4.3: The Dream Bucket
Chapter 4.4: Timing Is Everything?

SECTION 5 UPSIDE WITHOUT THE DOWNSIDE: CREATE A LIFETIME INCOME PLAN
Chapter 5.1: Invincible, Unsinkable, Unconquerable: The All Seasons Strategy
Chapter 5.2: It’s Time to Thrive: Storm-Proof Returns and Unrivaled Results
Chapter 5.3: Freedom: Creating Your Lifetime Income Plan
Chapter 5.4: Time to Win: Your Income Is the Outcome
Chapter 5.5: Secrets of the Ultrawealthy (That You Can Use Too!)

SECTION 6 INVEST LIKE THE .001%: THE BILLIONAIRE’S PLAYBOOK
Chapter 6.0: Meet the Masters
Chapter 6.1: Carl Icahn: Master of the Universe
Chapter 6.2: David Swensen: A $23.9 Billion Labor of Love
Chapter 6.3: John C. Bogle: The Vanguard of Investing
Chapter 6.4: Warren Buffett: The Oracle of Omaha
Chapter 6.5: Paul Tudor Jones: A Modern-Day Robin Hood
Chapter 6.6: Ray Dalio: A Man for All Seasons
Chapter 6.7: Mary Callahan Erdoes: The Trillion-Dollar Woman
Chapter 6.8: T. Boone Pickens: Made to Be Rich, Made to Give
Chapter 6.9: Kyle Bass: The Master of Risk
Chapter 6.10: Marc Faber: The Billionaire They Call Dr. Doom
Chapter 6.11: Charles Schwab: Talking to Chuck, the People’s Broker
Chapter 6.12: Sir John Templeton: The Greatest Investor of the 20th Century?

SECTION 7 JUST DO IT, ENJOY IT, AND SHARE IT!
Chapter 7.1: The Future Is Brighter Than You Think
Chapter 7.2: The Wealth of Passion
Chapter 7.3: The Final Secret

– 7 Simple Steps: Your Checklist for Success 
– Acknowledgments
– Anthony Robbins Companies
– About the Author
– A Note on Sources
– Index
– Permissions


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Deep Inner Game DVD Set – David DeAngelo featuring Dr. Paul Dobransky and Richard aka Billy

​Around 2005-2007 I was getting out of a bad place. David Deangelo and Dr. Paul Dobransky taught me something deeper than this. One of the few videos I’ve still kept for personal development. Deep Inner Game DVD 6 to be specific ;o)

Dr. Paul Dobransky

Self esteem: You (and groups) have boundaries and doors. Depending on what you’d like to open doors to e.g. win-win situations. You decide!

This picture shows Colleagues, Women, Family and Community as the boundaries and the doors to them.

When it comes to groups like a company you want to join, the company has it’s own boundaries and so do the individuals in the company. Together they have a set of shared ideas (mission statement). If the individuals have poor boundaries like anger, it will come on to you.

Here an innovator (R&D) of the company is pushing the boundaries and if it sits well, that is how much the company’s boundary will grow too.

This shows what happens if the innovator goes too far and tries to pull in others. They end up forming a cult which wouldn’t last too long.

When you have been doing things that are ethically wrong and you use your observing ego to see that it’s not right. You decide to close the door on yourself after raising your conscience.

Intention needs a right balance of the 4. Education, Intuition, Conscience, Experience. Fun fact: The literal translation for Sin in Aramaic is to ‘miss the mark’ which is much more forgiving than what the shame the preacher man makes you feel.

Wussy concept – Has a lot of holes in his boundaries and would rather get a woman/mommy/daddy to get come in and take over the decision making. For decision making: Conscience vs. Intuition. Intellect: Education vs. Experience. Emotional energy: Well-being vs. Confidence. (Paras note: The well-being/nurturing and courage bit really helped me as those are mother and father traits respectively and I needed to be my own parent to fix a lot of things – Personal story here).

Individuation is where you start going out on your own to figure things out after your parents have taught you (if they’re present or parent figures) as best as they can. You start to explore different groups and figure out your boundaries. Until you’re totally independent of your parents. Connected to all these groups but still separate and distinct. I hope the text explains what the images can’t and vice versa.

Richard aka Billy


Made his mind up to lose weight no matter what it takes and in turn helped his game with women. A lot of it is inner game stuff. I’m not sure if I can share the videos of these as his big is really funny so will try to include it. Otherwise I’ll just summarise the inner game stuff.

Click to get the book

People have made phenomenal changes just by changing their belief systems. E.g. A man had a lip growth and was told it’s a curse and will die straight after so his whole appearance changed over night, lost weight, hair colour changed, etc. Until his follow up with the doctor who removed it and just said it was scar tissue after which he recovered.

You made up who you are so you can go in and see if that is still what you want to create. You are not who you think you are and you can start architecting yourself. Your bring is constantly telling you you will fail so rewrite it and instruct it the way you want.

His favourite affirmations are – Things just work out for me in life. My life just keeps getting better and better everyday. I am strong, powerful, committed and driven. I adapt and overcome at lightening speed. I’m comfortable with hot women being attracted to me (pre-supposition). I am the power. Build your own that speak to you.

Trust your unconscious.

Make a mental note of where you have come from and how strong you are.

Quote from the movie Heat (paraphrased): Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner..

On Emotional Control and Building Status

Stop seeking other peoples approval. If you’re not on your journey for you and your life then it’s all BS.

Self appointment. If you don’t live for you others will decide who you are and what you’re about. The self esteem you get from this does a lot. Martial arts reference about being committed to the path and not the destination. Masters have masters and they have masters. Practice and fail to get better as more knowledge is gained from the failures. The reason you’re not successful enough is because you’ve not failed enough, fail more and faster (Robert Kiyosaki). You train over and over until you do it unconsciously. (Paras note: This part took me back to when I really got into fixing myself and I have to admit all this information has become pretty basic to me but I am very grateful for it and we could always do with a refresher.)

Gaining Leverage: When you get angry ask if it’s worth getting angry about and learn from it or use it in better ways. Is it really worth it. Acceptance vs. resistance. Decision vs. indecision. Victim/injustice vs. life student.

Goes with the attitude of him going through things no one will ever face, know what others are too ignorant to comprehend and may look dumb for a while but in this path he’s get stronger and much further down the path than others will ever go. Taking pride in the failures.

Mind being like a garden metaphor (I love this bit): Everyday you have to pull weeds. Maybe you go through a time where you’re pulling weeds everyday. Then you go through a time where you’re hoeing ;oP. And after you’re doing hoeing, it’s time to plan your seed. (Pull weeds, not pull YOUR weed ;op).

The greats reinvent themselves. You can too.

Develop a panic room in your mind. A safe spot where nothing can truly hurt you.

People do stupid things. It’s them not you. Don’t internalise it or take it personally.

Let yourself be human and forgive yourself. Nearly everyone has been through what you’re going through at some point in their lives. (Reads a nice part from the Emotional Resilience book).

Click to get the DVD program

David DeAngelo – Deep Inner Game – DVD 6 – Chapters
Total film length : 01:52:20:03
Chapter 01 = 00:00:00:00 – Politics
Chapter 02 = 00:13:40:00 – Group Boundaries
Chapter 03 = 00:21:27:50 – Ethics
Chapter 04 = 00:33:19:00 – Forgiveness
Chapter 05 = 00:39:34:00 – Wussy
Chapter 06 = 00:47:38:50 – Individuation
Chapter 07 = 00:52:16:50 – Introduction
Chapter 08 = 00:55:13:00 – Richard
Chapter 09 = 01:01:53:50 – Who You’re Not
Chapter 10 = 01:09:35:50 – The Mind Virus
Chapter 11 = 01:18:03:00 – Emotional Control
Chapter 12 = 01:24:05:00 – Gaining Leverage
Chapter 13 = 01:31:57:00 – Depression
Chapter 14 = 01:42:39:00 – Let Yourself Be Human


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Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma

Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma
Such a great talk with lots and lots of great info. Summary below for my future reference. * means that it blew my mind.

Terra Perma – Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup from Terra Perma on Vimeo.

– Pests and weeds have a beneficial ecological role. Pests attract good predators so let it happen.
– Analyse your site to see where the sun is passing. In summer a lot of intense sun will be bad so you can plan shady plants and trees at multiple heights. Same for winter, breeze/winds, etc.
– Where you walk past most often is where you can plant things that need the most attention. Think about design function in this way. Raised beds are easier to reach further in.
– Instead of the usual pets, why not chooks?
– Hi production plants like herbs are better in containers instead of crappy sand.
– TORK soil – Texture (sand/silt/clay), Organic matter like compost/mulch, Rock minerals, Kelp. Fill haft a jar with your soil and the other half with water, shake it up and let it settle. You’ll see the 3 textures so you’ll know what to add.
* Apples don’t just give us fruits. It comes along with birds and bees and beauty and and and!
* Annuals are when you plant something, it grows, then you grow it again after it goes to seed while perennials will be there for 3-5 years so more reward less effort. I’m sure I missed a part about the magic of deciduous trees that give a good shade in the summer and shed leaves in autumn/fall/winter so they are good as other plants get more light.
* SEED SAVING (this one really blew mine mind even though it was pretty obvious). You don’t only save seeds because they’re free or you keep on cycling but you save them because every generation will be stronger and more adapted to the soil. It changes genetically! (I’m so excited to learn this!)
– Talks about water tanks, clay in the soil to hold the same amount of water when it rains. Grey water or access to a bore. Tap water has chlorine which is antibacterial while the soil needs the bacteria so think about other options. Types of drippers. Wicking beds.
– Shade cloths are good pest solutions. Pests and weeds were all part of nature and human life. Also if you kill things like rats in a nontoxic way you can just put it under a tree and you don’t need to get blood and bone. I use a couple of facebook groups to know more about plants and animals. WA gardeners and Insects of Perth & South West Western Australia. So find out what the bugs and things are and then find out natural predators or solutions like getting frogs etc. – Benefits of ponds and Q and A to Z time.

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Excellent Talk on Negotiations – How Creatives Should Negotiate by Ramit Sethi

Excellent Talk on Negotiations – How Creatives Should Negotiate by Ramit Sethi

Click to get the book, ebook or audiobook

My Notes:
– Reframes negotiating as a good thing and you can use it anywhere! Gyms, credit cards, phone companies, etc.
– Gives you scrips you can good. Links with other goodies below.
– Build rapport by talking about how long you’ve been with them. Stay cool.
– Ask what else can they do or offer.
– What to do when others negotiate with you.
– Ask open ended questions not yes or no questions.
– In a job interview never answer salary requirements question.
– Women find it harder to ask but they also smile more which helps.
– How to take or turn down offers that are close to what you do like wedding photography. I don’t have the equipment right now, I’m not an expert but I’ll try.
– Don’t feel bad for charging what your worth is and first sell yourself to yourself. Creatives should not underestimate themselves. Don’t feel bad monetising your work. Don’t defend yourself, take it or leave it.
– Start of with an hourly rate and see what competitors charge.
– When you work for free tell them what your normal rate is and say you’re doing it because you want 3 referrals or whatever condition you decide because sometimes there are other things more valuable than money.
– Be prepared to answer ‘your greatest weakness’ question. Tell a good story as humans cannot stop listening to a good story.

Show notes from original post on Tim’s blog – http://tim.blog/2016/06/15/how-creatives-should-negotiate/
Optimizing your spending with credit card companies, cable and telephone providers, the gym — you name it. [07:46]
Ramit’s word-for-word negotiation script (tested with tens of thousands of people and multiple companies). [11:43]
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about negotiating. [13:01]
Mock negotiation (waiving a credit card late fee). [14:50]
The importance of rapport. [17:28]
Is rent negotiable? [18:50]
Negotiating even when you’ve already got the best price in town. [21:21]
How can you negotiate if you don’t have a perfect track record or the advantage of being a long-time customer? [22:28]
What to do when clients use your negotiation tactics on you? [23:18]
Are there gender differences in negotiation? [25:32]
How to answer the “What are your salary requirements?” question. [28:19]
The difference between theory and practice in negotiation. [31:21]
Your credit card was just sold to a new company. How long should you wait to negotiate with the new company? [31:55]
Can you negotiate insurance? [33:34]
Can you negotiate with monopolies? [34:32]
What Ramit learned by videotaping his negotiation style that changed everything. [35:43]
Why being “too busy” is a good problem for creatives to have. [43:08]
How to overcome the mindset of “I hate selling myself.” [43:53]
Understanding the needs of your client base, upping your rate, and justifying it (to yourself) without guilt. [50:25]
When you’re comfortable with your rates, you can be okay when clients say “No thanks.” [53:54]
Finding ways to overdeliver. [56:40]
How do introverts talk business? [57:47]
How much should you charge? [59:12]
Should you ever work for free? [1:00:40]
How to go from one client to many. [1:05:55]
How do you research what your competitors are charging when many of them don’t discuss it until they’re trying to close a sale? [1:08:10]
How do you handle price shoppers? [1:10:41]
For hourly consulting, is it better to price in packages? [1:13:22]
Do you have to tell a story to convey emotion every time you’re pitching a client? [1:14:52]
How powerful is a smile? [1:17:35]
How to answer, “What is your greatest weakness?” [1:20:56]
Reiterating the importance of storytelling. [1:26:44]
How to answer the “Among all candidates, why should I choose you?” question. [1:28:13]
How can you practice? [1:36:14]

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Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Difficult Conversations
I have tried to keep the notes as neat as possible. You can find another great summary here –
http://www.fscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Difficult-Conversations-Summary.pdf

Click to get the book or audiobook

– 3 Conversation
1. The “What Happened?” Conversation. Most difficult conversations involve disagreement about what has happened or what should happen. Who said what and who did what? Who’s right, who meant what, and who’s to blame?
2. The Feelings Conversation. Are my feelings valid? Appropriate? Should I acknowledge or deny them, put them on the table or check them at the door? What do I do about the other person’s feelings? What if they are angry or hurt? These feelings are not addressed directly in the conversation, but they leak in anyway.
3. The Identity Conversation. This is the conversation we each have with ourselves about what this situation means to us. We conduct an internal debate over whether this means we are competent or incompetent, a good person or bad, worthy of love or unlovable. What impact might it have on our self-image and self-esteem, our future and our well-being? Our answers to these questions determine in large part whether we feel “balanced” during the conversation, or whether we feel off-center and anxious.

– 3 fronts — Truth, Intentions, Blame
1. The Truth Assumption. As we argue vociferously for our view, we often fail to question one crucial assumption upon which our whole stance in the conversation is built: I am right, you are wrong. This simple assumption causes endless grief. There’s only one hitch: I am not right. They are not about what is true, they are about what is important. (Paras note: Something I say about relationships. Either one person wins/is right or the relationship wins/is right)
2. The Intention Invention. Did you yell at me to hurt my feelings or merely to emphasize your point? What I think about your intentions will affect how I think about you and, ultimately, how our conversation goes. We assume we know the intentions of others when we don’t. Worse still, when we are unsure about someone’s intentions, we too often decide they are bad. Sometimes people act with mixed intentions. Sometimes they act with no intention, or at least none related to us. And sometimes they act on good intentions that nonetheless hurt us.
3. The Blame Frame. Most difficult conversations focus significant attention on who’s to blame for the mess we’re in. We don’t care where the ball lands, as long as it doesn’t land on us. But talking about fault is similar to talking about truth—it produces disagreement, denial, and little learning. It evokes fears of punishment and insists on an either/or answer. Nobody wants to be blamed, especially unfairly, so our energy goes into defending ourselves. Talking about blame distracts us from exploring why things went wrong and how we might correct them going forward. Focusing instead on understanding the contribution system allows us to learn about the real causes of the problem, and to work on correcting them. The distinction between blame and contribution may seem subtle. But it is a distinction worth working to understand, because it will make a significant difference in your ability to handle difficult conversations.

– Why We Argue, and Why It Doesn’t Help. We think they are the problem. They think we are the problem. We each make sense in our story of what happened. Arguing blocks us from exploring each other’s stories. Arguing without understanding is unpersuasive.

– Move from Certainty to Curiosity. Curiosity: the way into their story. Embrace both stories: adopt the “and stance”. They can feel one thing and you can feel something totally opposite. Exceptions are I really am right (caught daughter smoking) and giving bad news (firing/breaking up).

– Disentangle Impact and Intent. Separating impact from intentions requires us to be aware of the automatic leap from “I was hurt” to “You intended to hurt me.” You can make this distinction by asking yourself three questions: 1. Actions: “What did the other person actually say or do?” 2. Impact: “What was the impact of this on me?” 3. Assumption: “Based on this impact, what assumption am I making about what the other person intended?” Share the Impact on You; Inquire About Their Intentions.

– Listen for Feelings, and Reflect on Your Intentions. When we find ourselves being accused of bad intentions — we have a strong tendency to want to defend ourselves: “That is not what I intended.” We are defending our intentions and our character. However, as we’ve seen, starting here leads to trouble.

– Listen Past the Accusation for the Feelings. Accusation about our bad intentions is always made up of two separate ideas: (1) we had bad intentions and (2) the other person was frustrated, hurt, or embarrassed. Don’t pretend they aren’t saying the first. You’ll want to respond to it. But neither should you ignore the second. And if you start by listening and acknowledging the feelings, and then return to the question of intentions, it will make your conversation significantly easier and more constructive.

– Be Open to Reflecting on the Complexity of Your Intentions. When it comes time to consider your intentions, try to avoid the tendency to say, “My intentions were pure.” We usually think that about ourselves, and sometimes it’s true. But often, as we’ve seen, intentions are more complex.

– Blame Is About Judging, and Looks Backward. Contribution Is About Understanding, and Looks Forward. Contribution is joint and interactive.

– Three Misconceptions About Contribution.
1: I should focus only on my contribution.
2: putting aside blame means putting aside my feelings.
3: exploring contribution means, “blaming the victim”.

– Four Hard-to-Spot Contributions.
1. Avoiding until now.
2. Being unapproachable.
3. Intersections.
4. Problematic role assumptions.

– Two Tools for Spotting Contribution. Role reversal. The observer’s insight.

– Map the Contribution System. What are they contributing? What am I contributing? List each person’s contribution. My contributions. His contributions. Who else is involved? Take responsibility for your contribution early. Help them understand their contribution. Make your observations and reasoning explicit. Clarify what you would have them do differently.

– Don’t Vent: Describe Feelings Carefully.
1. Frame feelings back into the problem.
2. Express the full spectrum of your feelings.
3. Don’t evaluate — just share. Express your feelings without judging, attributing, or blaming. Don’t monopolize: both sides can have strong feelings at the same time. An easy reminder: say “I feel . . . .”

– The Importance of Acknowledgment. What does it mean to acknowledge someone’s feelings? It means letting the other person know that what they have said has made an impression on you, that their feelings matter to you, and that you are working to understand them. “Wow,” you might say, “I never knew you felt that way,” or, “I kind of assumed you were feeling that, and I’m glad you felt comfortable enough with me to share it,” or, “It sounds like this is really important to you.” Let them know that you think understanding their perspective is important, and that you are trying to do so: “Before I give you a sense of what’s going on with me, tell me more about your feeling that I talk down to you.” Sometimes feelings are all that matter.

– Three Core Identities. Am I competent? Am I a good person? Am I worthy of love?

– Vulnerable Identities: the all-or-nothing syndrome. Denial. Exaggeration. We let their feedback define who we are.

– Ground Your Identity.
1: become aware of your identity issues.
2: complexify your identity (adopt the And Stance).

– Three Things to Accept About Yourself.
1. You will make mistakes.
2. Your intentions are complex.
3. You have contributed to the problem.

– Learn to Regain Your Balance. Let go of trying to control their reaction. Prepare for their response. Imagine that it’s three months or ten years from now. Take a break.

-Three Kinds of Conversations That Don’t Make Sense.
1: is the real conflict inside you?
2: is there a better way to address the issue than talking about it?
3: do you have purposes that make sense?

– Remember, You Can’t Change Other People. Don’t focus on short-term relief at long-term cost. Don’t hit-and-run. Letting go. Adopt some liberating assumptions. It’s not my responsibility to make things better; it’s my responsibility to do my best. They have limitations too. This conflict is not who I am. Letting go doesn’t mean I no longer care. Create a learning conversation.

– If You Raise It: Three Purposes That Work.
1. Learning their story.
2. Expressing your views and feelings.
3. Problem-solving together.

– Why Our Typical Openings Don’t Help. We begin inside our own story. We trigger their identity conversation from the start.

– Getting Started.
1: Begin from the Third Story. For example, in the battle between bicycles and cars for the streets of the city, the third story would be the one told by city planners, who can understand each side’s concerns and see why each group is frustrated with the other. When tensions arise in a marriage, the third story might be the one offered by a marriage counselor. In a dispute between friends, the third story may be the perspective of a mutual friend who sees each side as having valid concerns that need to be addressed. Think like a mediator. Not right or wrong, not better or worse – just different. If they start the conversation, you can still step to the third story.
2: Extend an Invitation. Describe your purposes. Invite, don’t impose. Make them your partner in figuring it out. Be persistent.

– “I Wonder If It Would Make Sense . . . ?” Revisiting conversations gone wrong. Talk about how to talk about it. A map for going forward: third story, their story, your story.

– What to Talk About: The Three Conversations (What Happened? Feeling. Identity). Explore where each story comes from. Share the impact on you. Take responsibility for your contribution. Describe feelings. Reflect on the identity issues. How to talk about it: listening, expression, and problem-solving.

– Listening to Them Helps Them Listen to You. The stance of curiosity: how to listen from the inside out. Forget the words, focus on authenticity. The commentator in your head: become more aware of your internal voice. Don’t turn it off, turn it up. Managing your internal voice. Negotiate your way to curiosity. Don’t listen: talk.

– Three Skills: 1: Inquiry, 2: Paraphrasing, and 3: Acknowledgment.
1: Inquire to Learn – don’t make statements disguised as questions. Don’t use questions to cross-examine. Ask open-ended questions. Ask for more concrete information. Create a learning conversation. Examples – can you say a little more about how you see things? What information might you have that I don’t? How do you see it differently? What impact have my actions had on you? Can you say a little more about why you think this is my fault? Were you reacting to something I did? How are you feeling about all of this? Say more about why this is important to you? What would it mean to you if that happened? Make it safe for them not to answer.
2: Paraphrase for Clarity – check your understanding. Show that you’ve heard. Create a learning conversation.
3: Acknowledge Their Feelings (Paras note: big one for me) – answer the invisible questions. How to acknowledge. Order matters: acknowledge before problem-solving. Acknowledging is not agreeing.
A final thought: empathy is a journey, not a destination

– Failure to Express Yourself Keeps You Out of the Relationship. Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated. Start with what matters most. Say what you mean: don’t make them guess. Don’t rely on subtext. Avoid easing in. Don’t make your story simplistic: use the “me-me” and.

Telling Your Story with Clarity: Three Guidelines.
1. Don’t Present Your Conclusions as The Truth.
2. Share Where Your Conclusions Come From.
3. Don’t Exaggerate with “Always” and “Never”.
“Always” and “never” do a pretty good job of conveying frustration, but they have two serious drawbacks. First, it is seldom strictly accurate that someone criticizes every time, or that they haven’t at some point said something positive. Using such words invites an argument over the question of frequency: “That’s not true. I said several nice things to you last year when you won the interoffice new idea competition”—a response that will most likely increase your exasperation.

“Always” and “never” also make it harder — rather than easier — for the other person to consider changing their behavior. In fact, “always” and “never” suggest that change will be difficult or impossible. The implicit message is, “What is wrong with you such that you are driven to criticize my clothes?” or even “You are obviously incapable of acting like a normal person.”

A better approach is to proceed as if (however hard it may be to believe) the other person is simply unaware of the impact of their actions on you, and, being a good person, would certainly wish to change their behavior once they became aware of it. You could say something like: “When you tell me my suit reminds you of wrinkled old curtains, I feel hurt. Criticizing my clothes feels like an attack on my judgment and makes me feel incompetent.” If you can also suggest what you would wish to hear instead, so much the better: “I wish I could feel more often like you believed in me. It would really feel great to hear even something as simple as, ‘I think that color looks good on you.’ Anything, as long as it was positive.”

The key is to communicate your feelings in a way that invites and encourages the recipient to consider new ways of behaving, rather than suggesting they’re a schmuck and it’s too bad there’s nothing they can do about it.

– Give Them Room to Change. Help them understand you. Ask them to paraphrase back. Ask how they see it differently — and why.

– You can reframe anything. The ‘you-me’ and (I can try to understand you and you can try to understand me). It’s always the right time to listen. Be persistent about listening. It takes two to agree. Gather information and test your perceptions. Say what is still missing. Say what would persuade you. Ask what (if anything) would persuade them. Ask their advice. Invent options. Ask what standards should apply. The principle of mutual caretaking. If you still can’t agree, consider your alternatives.

– Putting It All Together. (See below checklist for more details). 1: prepare by walking through the three conversations. 2: check your purposes and decide whether to raise it. 3: start from the third story. 4: explore their story and yours. 5: problem-solving.

– Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power. Orators need not apply. You’re entitled (yes, you). Failure to express yourself keeps you out of the relationship. Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated. Start with what matters most. Say what you mean: don’t make them guess. Don’t rely on subtext. Avoid easing in.

– Don’t Make Your Story Simplistic: Use the “Me-Me” And. “This memo shows incredible creativity, and at the same time is so badly organized that it makes me crazy.” In your attempt to be clear, you say, “Your memo is so badly organized it makes me crazy,” or worse, “Your memo makes me crazy.”

– Problem-Solving: Take the Lead. Reframe, reframe, reframe! You can reframe anything. The “you-me” and (“I can listen and understand what you have to say, and you can listen and understand what I have to say.”). It’s always the right time to listen. Name the dynamic: make the trouble explicit. Now what? Begin to problem-solve. It takes two to agree.

– Gather Information and Test Your Perceptions. Propose crafting a test. Say what is still missing. Say what would persuade you. Ask what (if anything) would persuade them. Ask their advice. Invent options. Ask what standards should apply. The principle of mutual caretaking. If you still can’t agree, consider your alternatives.

– Difficult conversation checklist
Step 1: Prepare by Walking Through the Three Conversations
– Sort out What Happened. Where does your story come from (information, past experiences, rules)? Theirs? What impact has this situation had on you? What might their intentions have been? 
What have you each contributed to the problem?
– Understand Emotions. 
Explore your emotional footprint, and the bundle of emotions you experience.
– Ground Your Identity. What’s at stake for you about you? What do you need to accept to be better grounded?

Step 2: Check Your Purposes and Decide Whether to Raise the Issue
– Purposes: What do you hope to accomplish by having this conversation? Shift your stance to support learning, sharing, and problem-solving.
– Deciding: Is this the best way to address the issue and achieve your purposes? Is the issue really embedded in your Identity Conversation? Can you affect the problem by changing your contributions? If you don’t raise it, what can you do to help yourself let go?

Step 3: Start from the Third Story
– Describe the problem as the difference between your stories. Include both viewpoints as a legitimate part of the discussion.
– Share your purposes.
– Invite them to join you as a partner in sorting out the situation together.

Step 4: Explore Their Story and Yours
– Listen to understand their perspective on what happened. Ask questions. Acknowledge the feelings behind the arguments and accusations. Paraphrase to see if you’ve got it. Try to unravel how the two of you got to this place.
– Share your own viewpoint, your past experiences, intentions, feelings.
– Reframe, reframe, reframe to keep on track. From truth to perceptions, blame to
contribution, accusations to feelings, and so on.

Step 5: Problem-Solving
– Invent options that meet each side’s most important concerns and interests.
– Look to standards for what should happen. Keep in mind the standard of mutual caretaking; relationships that always go one way rarely last.
– Talk about how to keep communication open as you go forward.

Contents:
Foreword by Roger Fisher
Acknowledgments
Introduction

The Problem
1 Sort Out the Three Conversations

Shift to a Learning Stance – The “What Happened?” Conversation
2 Stop Arguing About Who’s Right: Explore Each Other’s Stories
3 Don’t Assume They Meant It: Disentangle Intent from Impact
4 Abandon Blame: Map the Contribution System

– The Feelings Conversation
5 Have Your Feelings (Or They Will Have You)

– The Identity Conversation
6 Ground Your Identity: Ask Yourself What’s at Stake

– Create a Learning Conversation
7 What’s Your Purpose? When to Raise It and When to Let Go
8 Getting Started: Begin from the Third Story
9 Learning: Listen from the Inside Out
10 Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power
11 Problem-Solving: Take the Lead
12 Putting It All Together

A Road Map to Difficult Conversations
A Note on Some Relevant Organizations

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Mega 90’s at Metro City (Dr. Alban, Technotronic, The Real McCoy & 2 Unlimited) 17 March 2017

First of all the important bit. I finally got to meet one of my first heroes, my favourite producers and musical obsession DR. ALBAN! Has to be one of my most memorable days.

Now for the full story. My bro had gone to a previous Mega 90s event with other 90s starts like Haddaway, Corona, Blackbox etc. I just thought they were tribute acts so wasn’t too interested. Then find out it’s the real artists themselves! Oh well too late for that one and anyway it wasn’t Dr. Alban.

This time round it was and even though Prasheel insisted they weren’t tribute acts it took me a while to register. At first I was just going to book normal tickets until I saw the VIP option where you get to meet the star, 2 items autographed and photo op. OH YEAH! Back in the day I even mailed his studio to tell them I’ll leave everything even to clean their toilets if I get to be around the MD (Microphone Dentist).

Tickets booked an all but Oztix were pretty disorganised. Later on sending me an email saying that they’ll start at 8pm and on the day… LAST MINUTE sending an email staying the meet and greet will be at 6:00pm so be there by 5:30pm after artist finish their sound check. Had to drop everything I was doing to catch the busses and trains. Now where I live is pretty far and closer to farmland so had to wait a while for a bus. Usually the busses are small but since it was when kids finish school it was a bendy bus and packed full of school kids bringing the noise. My nose and throat weren’t doing too well since the day before so all the kids cooties made it worse. Oh well I can’t afford to get sick until after tonight!

I was still feeling bummed and Prasheel had opted for the VIP meet and greet to but he was going to be in meetings and all. Just before I got to Metro I blocked a van that turned into the back parking. Had a feeling it was the artists and IT WAS! Feeling like a groupie. I wanted to run in the back as I saw him come out! Anyway went to the front and looks like I was second there. Derrick in a wheelchair was there first to do a meet and greet with The Real McCoy. Now thats dedication. We chit and chat. More people come. Find out there are only 4 people up to see Dr. Alban which included 2 Russian dudes who just got to Perth that day. Reeking of vodka.

Gates open. I had planned everything I was going to tell Dr. Alban and instead of just pictures I’ll set the video on so it records a video and also whoever takes pics can capture that too. The non-english speaking Russian did a great job. Dr. Alban kept asking me which of his songs are popular in Perth but I was so gone I just saying the same thing. You can see his frustrated smile in the video. I was fanboying so badly! I even had to be reminded to get my 2 autographs so got my Straight Outta Kenya shirt signed. After the video was taken I just started jumping all over the place lol. Dude is still so built for a 59 year old.

Russian guys want to drink but it’s St. Patricks day so both the Irish pubs in Northbridge had queues. Take them to NBC for their drinks while I walk down to Utopia to catch up with the boys. I was still super early so go back to chill with the Russians and talk Ace of Base, Acapella, La Bouche etc. Back to Utopia with Vikas, Hems and Dilan (who by the way gave us the first Dr. Alban album… how perfect is this!?) Eat, drink, good company and chat. I’m still drying my underwear from the excitement.

Walk down to Metro. Meet Prasheel (we both used to chill and listen to these artists). The organiser told me he can get Prasheel to meet Dr. Alban before he performs so there was still hope. Prasheel gives me a tour or the stair maze that is Metro city. Chill and so glad Prasheel got his meet and greet. He requested Dr. Alban to play Let The Beat Go On.

Locals DJ Nick Skitz & MC James Spy get the party started. Did some awesome remixes of the 90s songs. Hard bass and live saxophone. NICE!

Dr. Alban is on first. He didn’t look too pleased with the sound and was pointing at the speaker a couple of times but otherwise best performance of the night and not only because it was Dr. Alban. Technotronic was next and as much as I want to support them for what they’re doing it felt like they were dragging that one main song for too long and then the other few bits not many people knew. The Real McCoy and MC Sar were next and MC still has that rough voice. They even got on the dance floor with the crowd. And finally 2 Unlimited with their dancers. The new lady singer reminds me of a skinny version of my crush LisaRaye McCoy. I thought the rapper Ray had gone to pursue his own rapping career but so glad to see him perform. Still so fast, live and gangsta!

All in all a great night with great company and I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve seen the inside of a club. The fact that I got to see these guys with the people I’ve shared these memories with from Dilan hooking my and my bro up with the music to seeing the artist with Prasheel who shares the same love since way back made all the magic. Oh and I got one of my longest wishes fulfilled, which incase I haven’t emphasised already…. ah you know it.

Doors: 8pm
Nick Skitz Set: 8pm
Dr Alban: 9pm
Technotronic: 9:30pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: 10:00pm
Real McCoy: 10:30pm
2 Unlimited: 11:00pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: following 2 Unlimited til Midnight
DJ TIMBEE – 90s Aftershow party – Midnight til late

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