Choices: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Choices Must be Based on Good Data

In my continuing quest to make better choices (a la Do the Thing) I need data. You probably need it, too. Let’s talk about some things you need to know to make those improved choices.

I got quite a blow last week. The tax bill came due and, after too long at the accountant’s, the hammer fell. It turns out I need to pay twice as much to the government as I expected. In the past the tax bill has been an annoyance but not that big a deal. This is a big deal. Time to alter a few things!

First, what would help? Tracking things more closely and getting the spreadsheets to the accountant earlier in the year would have helped somewhat. Here we are in mid-May and pretty far along the path to paying the next tax bill. Alarming, isn’t it?

What now?

Besides tracking income and outgo, I have to reevaluate what I’m doing and where the time goes. Aside from running a podcast about stress management, I have several income streams to cobble together an income. Some streams are better than others but that’s not all about the amount of money coming in. It’s also about the amount of time invested to get to that income, the hassles thereof and the dependability of each stream.

Tough Choices

In coming weeks, I expect I’ll need to alter my career path to reflect new goals. Inertia isn’t a choice, it’s just coasting on inertia. One of the tenets of Do the Thing is a bit of wisdom that’s no less true even though it is well-word: That which is not measured is not changed. I think my answer will be found in cutting down an income stream that takes more time but pays less. I’ll also have to cast about for office space that is less expensive. I’m not enthused about changing my office space but much of what I do feels like one step forward and two steps back. 

I’m sharing all this not to whine but to encourage you, too, to be evaluative about what’s working and what’s not. What choices are worth your time and what’s not? Time, income, energy expenditure. It’s not just about income and outgo. 

Long-term, my plan is to depend on writing full-time. Passive income is what I need to retire on. I can’t continue to do manual rehab work forever but I can write for a long time yet. 

Recommendations:

For more on the importance of financial tracking, check out my article at ChazzWrites.com: “Real” Writers Don’t Just Write.

For the comedy: The 40 Year Old Boy Podcast with comedian Mike Schmidt.

For the shout out, my love and appreciation to Driftglass and Blue Gal of The Professional Left Podcast. Thanks for buying and enjoying my time travel novel, Wallflower

For making the income bigger than the outgo, be an entrepreneur. Also, read Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen.

Speaking of Income Streams…

If you’d like to contribute to this podcast and get rewards, please do click the Become a Patron button on the main page at AllThatChazz.com and see what your generosity could buy!

~ Robert Chazz Chute wrote a book called Do the Thing! It’s about managing stress, time, energy and pain. He also writes about zombies, time travellers, robots, guys with guns and heroic women with swords. Grab yourself many hours of entertainment (in ebook and paperback) at AllThatChazz.com. There are no bad choices there.

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Sensory Deprivation

Sensory deprivation tanks and more


If you have ever wanted to float on your back in the Dead Sea or get out of gravity and become an astronaut, you’re going to love today’s podcast. Sensory deprivation tanks are slowly growing in popularity again. If you can get to one, or if you are Joe Rogan and are lucky enough to have one in your basement, it might help you with stress, sleep disorders or even chronic pain.

On today’s podcast I discuss my experience using sensory deprivation tanks. I also want to say little bit about stress relief, vegging out and watching old movies. Finally, I have an update on the latest addition to the SleepCycle app.

Sorry for the delay releasing this ep of the All That Chazz Stress Relief Podcast. Between some issues with technology and broadband costs, I could not publish a podcast last week. To contribute to this podcast, please click the “Become a patron” button at AllThatChazz.com. There are various rewards for sponsorship from free books to advertising.

Catch Phrase Contest

This podcast is still desperately in need of a catchphrase to finish the show. Send me your suggestions at expartepress@gmail.com. The winner will get a free paperback copy of Do the Thing!

Here is the obligatory disclaimer:

Do not take medical advice from a podcast. If you need medical attention or if you are not sure whether you need medical attention, get medical attention.

The obligatory come on:

On this podcast I discuss a variety of topics related to reducing pain and stress while better managing time and energy. For more on these topics, I suggest you pick up my book Do the Thing, available on Amazon in paperback or e-book. Do the thing and start managing your life better right away. It is the last stress busting book you will ever need.

Life management skills.

Do the Thing! Get your copy today.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is primarily a science fiction writer. He also writes crime thrillers, urban fantasy and some nonfiction. From May 4 to May 6 you can pick up his time travel novel, Wallflower, for free on Amazon.

 

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Vacations: Problems, Solutions and More Questions to Consider

Is it time for your next vacation? What if you can’t afford a vacation. Pop quiz, hotshot! What do you do? What do you do? (I love me a very dated reference from the movie Speed. Such a dumb, fun movie! Also, it was the last time Jeff Daniels was badass in a physical way.)

Sorry for the delay in releasing this podcast. After updating my software, my computer is screwing up in a huge way! Onward!

On this week’s show, we consider your alternatives to a tropical vacation. Staycations are, of course, an option for many. But maybe you can’t afford that, either. When tax season rolls around, I’m cranky for just that reason: I have to work harder to make sure I can pay the government’s bill on time.

Here’s the vacation information we cover on this show:

  1. Cheaper alternatives (camping, staycations and day trips.)
  2. Enjoying what you’ve got (be a tourist in your own town.)
  3. Don’t vacate and save the stress.
  4. Vacating might mean more work and more stress. Make your work more pleasant instead.
  5. Get a new job, retire into part-time work, seek fulfillment or wait for a universal minimum wage.

Finally I discuss the value of work and The Dirty Jobs conundrum. (Host of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe, is the name that escaped me as I was recording this podcast. Sorry to Mike and his fans.) There’s the work we have to do, the work we want to do and the work in between the extremes. It’s a lot to cover in 15 minutes or less!

Catch phrase Contest

This podcast needs a catch phrase. Got a suggestion for the All That Chazz Stress Relief Podcast? Snd your suggestions my way at expartepress@gmail.com. If I choose yours to end the show each week, you’ll get bragging rights, a shout out and I’ll send you a paperback of my time travel novel, Wallflower, or a hard copy of Do the Thing! Your choice!

Want more Reward Choices?

Check out my Patreon page to see all the rewards that sponsorship gets you! Just click the Become a Patron button at AllThatChazz.com and see what you can get for being cool.

Not everybody has the money to give money so please leave a review wherever you picked up this podcast! Cheers!

The Obligatory Disclaimer

I wrote Do the Thing! for anyone interested in better managing their time, pain, stress and energy. I podcast each week for the same reason. However, don’t take medical advice from a podcast. For that, you need in person help from a professional. If you’re in doubt as to whether you require assistance in person, ask your doctor in person. No podcast can replace a proper professional health consultation. So there.

Do the Thing! is Robert’s book about many facets of better life management. It’s packed with tons of helpful ideas and points to ponder on the toilet. Available in ebook and paperback. 

A former journalist, Robert Chazz Chute is a manual therapist with 24 years experience helping people ease stress and rehabilitate pain issues. He’s also the author of many books of fiction. Check out his sci-fi, crime thrillers and apocalyptic epics at AllThatChazz.com.

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Death: How to Deal

Death is a fact of life but we’re generally not very well equipped to deal with it. In fact, most of us ignore it as long as possible. It’s not a satisfactory long-term strategy. Death comes for us all. I got quite a surprise in this regard this week and I want to share how I dealt with it. We’re going on a little field trip and I hope you will find the journey useful.

Stress, Death and Grieving is No Joke

If you’ve lost someone or are dealing with serious physical or emotional issues, a podcast or a book isn’t going to solve the problem. Seek professional help in person and do take care of yourself.

Today’s recommendations

If you missed my blog post about my favorite sleep hack, you’ll find it in the post previous to this one at AllThatChazz.com. If you want a lot more ways to get a better night’s sleep, I share lots more tips in my book, Do the Thing! Find it on Amazon under my author name, Robert Chute or click the link.

The quote I read today was from The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. It has a disorienting style that I’m liking more than On the Road. If you read the 50th Anniversary Edition, I recommend you don’t skip the introduction. Very worthwhile.

Looking for fiction to distract yourself from stress?

Check out my suspense, sci-fi and crime thrillers at the links down the right hand side of the page at AllThatChazz.com. As a fiction writer, my pen name is Robert Chazz Chute.

Hey, I still need a catch-phrase for this podcast! 

Please send me your suggestions to expartepress@gmail.com. If I use yours, I’ll send you a free paperback copy of Do the Thing!

Want more rewards?

Click the Become a Patron button at AllThatChazz.com and you’ll find your rewards for sponsorship on my Patreon page. Special thanks to RF Kacy for contributing to this podcast. You can sponsor the podcast, too, and get stuff! Check out the reward levels and find your comfort zone to help with bandwidth costs. 

Not everybody has the money to contribute money or buy a book so please leave a happy review wherever you pick up this podcast. Thanks!

~ Robert Chute is a former journalist and has been a massage therapist for 24 years. He works with clientele in need of stress and pain management and injury rehabilitation. For more on his practice in London, Ontario, go to MassageTherapyScience.com.

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One of my favorite sleep hacks

Unless you’re a cat, you need to sleep more.

I have a sleep disorder but I manage it most nights pretty well. There are plenty of ways to improve your snoozing (and I cover more in my book Do the Thing! so please do pick that up and enjoy.) It’s important to sleep. We need rest and very few of us get enough.

Here’s one of my favorite sleep hacks:

  1. Use your alarm clock but not in the way you’re thinking.
  2. Set a bedtime, just like when you were a kid. Make it the same time every night and make it early enough that you get more time in bed to sleep.
  3. Set your alarm to tell you when to get ready for bed.
  4. When the alarm goes off, go to bed.
  5. If you set your bedtime early enough, you won’t need your alarm clock to wake you up. Waking up to an alarm is a terrible way to wake up anyway! Who ever thought that was a great idea? Unless you’re a firefighter, waking up to an alarm makes no sense.

For these and many more tips on stress, pain, energy and time management, go read Do the Thing! now.

And go set your alarm before you forget!

~ Robert Chute writes visionary science fiction, apocalyptic epics and violent crime thrillers. When he’s not doing that, he’s a biomechanic who helps people with stress and pain management. Check out his weekly podcast to help with your life management issues.

Want a time travel thriller to read before bed? Check out Wallflower, the only time travel book that features Kurt Vonnegut as a character (unless you count Kurt Vonnegut books.)

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The Big Calorie Lie and a Powerful Visualization

Visualization Makes a Better Day

A good diet is not as simple as calories in/calories out. The kind of calories (and the hormones released are variables, too.) On today’s show, I talk briefly about the big lies nutrition labels tell us. Then, to ease your stress, we dig into a powerful visualization designed to make your life easier.

Start with the key: a deep breath brings and an easy visualization slows your nervy nervous system and brings your mind back to the present moment.

On Sponsor, Patrons, Rewards and Advertising

This show is brought to you by my book, Do the Thing! I don’t cover everything in the book on the podcast. This is more of a complement to that. For a ton of ideas to improve your life and achieve a higher degree of productivity and success, go pick up Do the Thing!, available on Amazon in ebook or paperback.

Would you like to advertise your product or service on the show, get a poster or your name in my next book? Patreon rewards are for you! Find out more on my new Patreon page.

Your support helps cover bandwidth costs. I really need this podcast to pay for itself so if you’d like to support the show and earn rewards for your patronage, check out the treasures by clicking here or hit the orange Patreon button on the Home page at AllthatChazz.com. Thank you so much!

Extra special thanks to my first patron, RF Kacy!

Not everybody has the money to give money. If that’s you, no worries. Please support the podcast by giving it a happy review on iTunes, subscribe, tweet it and tell your friends! Sharing is caring. Cheers!

The disclaimer I stole from Tim Ferriss’s blog (because he’s so good):

“The material on this blog is for informational purposes only. As each individual situation is unique, you should use proper discretion, in consultation with a health care practitioner, before undertaking the protocols, diet, exercises, techniques, training methods, or otherwise described herein. The author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained herein.”

Robert Chute is a massage therapist with 24 years experience who works in stress, pain management and injury rehabilitation. A former journalist, Robert is also the author of many books, ranging from non-fiction to science fiction, horror, fantasy and crime thrillers. If you’re interested in his fiction, you’ll find his books under his pen name, Robert Chazz Chute.

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William Shatner did a lot of things but he’s forever Captain James T. Kirk: A question to ponder

Today, a special question. Normally this would be a podcast day. However, I’ve run out of storage space on my Libsyn plan for this month. (New podcast next week!) I have a piece for you that’s crowd-tested and audience-approved. I posted the question below on Facebook this week and I got so much love for it I decided it’s podcast-replacement worthy! 

FYI: To help out with bandwidth costs, please consider reaping the rewards of sponsorship or click the Become a Patron button to see your rewards.

And now, a little life story and a question to ponder…

On my mother’s first day of school she was called to the front to tell the class her name. She was too shy and refused to move from her seat. The teacher decided to make an example of her and tried to beat her with a leather strap. Then the fight began. “It took two teachers to do it” she said. “Two adults against one little girl on her first day of school.”

Mom smiled when she told that story because she came out right and righteous, a fighter. She didn’t frighten easy. She feared for her children. For herself, she kept anger close by and fury to spare in her pocket.

My mom’s birthday would have been a few days ago. Interesting life. She saved many lives, first as a lifeguard and then as a nurse. She wanted to be a psychiatrist but the times and circumstance stood in her way. Hers was the only Irish Catholic family in town when that was a big deal. They were poor and she stayed poor for a long time. Her mother died when she was five and that loss seemed to define her though she never expressed how. As a nurse, my mother saw many terrible things. Later, she traveled the world and saw many wonderful things. She took the good and bad in each hand and neither weight was heavier. She took it all for what it was (a skill I never learned. Bad weighs heavier with me.)

She married, had three children, became a businessperson, a small town politician and, in her later years, a successful investor. Her stock broker called her for tips. As she hung up on him, she said, “What are you calling me for? I’m just a little old lady!” But she was never “just” anything.

Her favorite car was an old Army Jeep. She hated showing any weakness. She lost a toe to a lawnmower. She giggled a lot. A mysterious tropical virus robbed her of her athleticism and the full use of one leg. She read to me a lot when I was little but I don’t remember that. When I became a teen we fought, almost constantly it seemed to me. We didn’t agree on much, ever. When I made her laugh hard, tears escaped her eyes. I do the same when I laugh really hard. I can hold a burning hot grudge, just like mom, too.

The last time I saw her alive she seemed furious that she was dying. Lung cancer. She hated smoking and had never smoked. Fifteen percent of lung cancer patients suffer the punishment without ever tasting nicotine’s pleasure. She hated the unfairness of that.

We never talked about her looming demise. To acknowledge the end would make it real. The whole family stood by our unspoken agreement to never admit she was mortal. I hope she arrived at peace with it. I like to think so. With her last breath, she waved goodbye.

Six thousand, three hundred and sixteen people die each hour. I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I believe what we do matters while we’re here and that’s pretty much all we have. I curse the days I fail to make a day count for something. When what I do matters, in some small way, Edith Chute’s parade marches on.

I wasn’t there for one of her most shining moments. She didn’t back down when a local minister arrived at her doorstep to try to shut down free speech, freedom and art. I’m most proud of her for that one moment above all others, I think. In my mind’s eye, I see her: tiny, feet planted, hands on hips and jaw set in defiance. Nobody would ever bully her, not a self-righteous minister or two teachers with a leather strap.

Funny how one moment can define us, isn’t it? Terrifying, too.

Out of a whole life, the people who know and love you will remember you most for one thing.

What will your one thing be?

 

 

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