How Are You Using Your Time?

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

I’m not as productive as I’d like to be. Who is?

I spend a good amount of time reading.

And I’ve been writing. Drawing. Painting.

I go for the occasional walk.

Pretty productive.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with my boys. That’s always good.

Not all my time is spent so wisely, though.

I spend hours sitting and thinking.

Spending too much time in the past.

It’s good to learn from the past.

But not to live there.

I need to get out and do more.

“Only Say Positive Things”?

I knew it was extreme. I set an extreme goal on purpose.

I’m not trying to set a realistic goal. I’m trying to stretch myself.

Explaining my present situation may help.

I’m usually alone in the mornings. I write, do my mirror work, listen to uplifting music, read uplifting books, list things I’m happy about/grateful for, etc.

It’s easy to be positive during those times.

Most days I see my boys. This is one of the things I’m most grateful for.

They and their mother live with their grandparents.

These are not positive people. Not by a long shot. These are angry, bitter people, who have no interest in improving themselves.

By the time I leave I’ve been taken down a few notches. It’s worth it to spend time with my boys. I love seeing them, and they love seeing me. I hope my efforts are helping them.

I’m looking forward to meeting super positive people. People who will be a bigger influence on me than the negative people in my life.

Until then, I do what I can.

Quarantine Blues

This whole quarantine thing is really getting to me. I’ve had so many ideas for things I could do to improve. But those ideas are thwarted by the current situation.

I want to join some organizations I think will help me. Specifically, I want to join Toastmasters and a Cash Flow Club. I might do more than that, but I think those will be a good start.

I seriously need to improve the influences in my life. Reading good books helps, but it isn’t enough. Right now I’m spending way to much time around angry people who have no interest in improving themselves, and not enough time around happy people who want to be better.

Reprogram Your Brain

Ninety-five percent of what we do is habit.

Run by our subconscious.

Changing those habits is tricky.

You can read books all day long. That knowledge is only accessible to your conscious mind.

To change your habits, you need to make changes to your subconscious mind.

You need to reprogram your brain.

But how?


I thought I was just indigestion. So I didn’t get out of bed.

Then I realized it was more than that.

I got up. Got dressed. Climbed the stairs. Walked to the bathroom.

I didn’t quite make it.


“I deserve better than this.”

Then I realized.

If I believed that, I wouldn’t be here.

Wouldn’t have settled for the life I have right now.

I keep buying books. I read them, but my reading has become sporadic.

Apart from reading, I haven’t done much to improve my life.

Starting this blog was one step. It only took a year and a half to do that.

It’s time to start doing what I’ve been reading about.

I need to practice what I preach.

Your Top Five

Top Five

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Jim Rohn

Who do you spend most of your time with?

Who are your biggest influences?

Do you want to be like them?

How are they doing…


  • Do they pray morning and night?
  • Do they go to church regularly?
  • Do they read the Book of Mormon daily?
  • Do they pay their tithing?
  • Are they temple recommend holders?
  • Do they attend the temple frequently?
  • Do they “Seek first the Kingdom of God”?
  • Are they humble?
  • Are they really trying to be their best selves?


  • Do they push themselves?
  • Are they lifelong learners?
  • Do they spend a good amount of time reading?
  • What kinds of books do they read?
  • Do they find other ways to learn?


  • Do you feel good when you’re around them?
  • Are they positive?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they generous?
  • Do they complain a lot, or are they full of gratitude?


  • Are they healthy?
  • Do they have any addictions?
  • Do they eat to live, or do they live to eat?
  • Do they exercise regularly?


  • Do they have a lot of consumer debt?
  • Do they have more money coming in than going out?
  • Are they entrepreneurs?
  • Are they savvy investors?

Maybe not all these areas are important to you. Maybe other areas are more important to you.

Not everyone you spend time with has to be a 10/10 in every area. They should be doing their best and trying to improve, though. If not, you may find your life going downhill.

Who influences you the most? Make a list.

Does that list need to change?

Reading isn’t enough

Some people start reading books, and never move on to doing. Then wonder why nothing changes.

Or they get stuck in the planning stages.

Planning is safe. Planning doesn’t require taking risks.

Doing is the scary part.

I spent a couple of years reading books, not doing anything. Not sure what to do.

I got stuck in “analysis paralysis”. Planning on doing one thing, then getting scared and changing my plans. Then getting a little braver and changing plans again. Over and over.

Finally I got tired of waiting. I jumped.

Starting a blog probably doesn’t seem like much of a jump. Maybe it isn’t.

But it’s a start.

Are you still planning? Planning is good. But eventually you have to make that leap.

If you wait until you’re one hundred percent ready, you’ll never do it.

Make yourself a deadline. Stick to it.

Then jump.

Question Everything

Question marks galore!

“Why, ” you ask?

Oh, you’re off to a good start!

Time after time in General Conference speakers have said, in essence, “Don’t take my word for it. Pray to know the truth for yourself.”

Don’t believe me? Good. Look it up.

General Conference talks aren’t the only thing you should question, though.

Question the things you were taught in school. Question the things you hear on TV. Question the things you read on the internet. Especially from bloggers.

Many of the things we’ve been taught our whole life are lies. Most people just assume what they’ve been told is true. They base their whole lives on false assumptions and lies, then wonder why they have so many problems.

If you don’t know there’s a God, start there. If you don’t know the Book of Mormon is true, ask (read it first, though). I didn’t do that until I was 26, despite being raised in the church. I know it’s true, but find out for yourself.

It’s a lot easier to be lazy and believe everything you’re told, I know. But you’ll have more success in life if the information you’re using is actually reliable.

Or will you?