Thursday, January 22

A small step is also a big step | Motivational Lessons

Look Inspiration in the Eye

by Rodrigo Silveira

America…, today I write so I can say I’ve taken the first step in achieving my most important personal development goals for the year. Actually, I only have two of them in this category. I have many goals, and I try to fit them into different categories. The self development category has a bunch of sub-categories, one of which is “things to produce.” And in this category I have two goals: 1) Write the first edition of my book (probably not a releasable version yet, but I’ve been dreaming this up since 2002, so I better do one thing about it), and 2) regularly publish meaning financial/economic articles.

After shaking my professor’s hand last week at the end of my Microeconomics class, I remember walking to my car feeling like I had the world sitting on my right hand. I couldn’t wait to get home and write down the main ideas that were going through my mind, so I pulled out a little notepad that I keep in my car and started writing things as I drove. Somehow I managed to see both the road and my paper, and I captured the essence of whatever inspiration possessed me. Here are some concepts I still have fresh in my heart from last week:

“The greatest value in life is not a bank account or a house to live in.
The key to greatness includes living well, participating in a purpose greater
than yourself, and filling your life with the loving company of other

“80% of American millionaires reported to shop with a ‘middle-class
mindset,’ meaning they clip coupons and shop sales.”

“Don’t compromise your character when chasing your dreams.”

“The only way to progress and succeed is through effective leadership.
The only way to become an effective leader is through education.”

“Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you
a fortune.”

You may have noticed that the above five points are in quotations. I’m not sure why I did that, except for the last quote, which was uttered my Mr. Jim Rohn. However, since those concepts were formulated in my mind and written however my fingers formatted them, I guess technically I didn’t need the quote marks… Anyways, I think this is good enough for today. Tune in tomorrow for my first mini article…

Friday, January 2

If you can't beat us, buy us | Success Story

Success Story

by Rodrigo Silveira

I have just spent a few hours working my Scofield Magic, calculating my Bowman Matrix, and releasing my Isathmuts Metaphores... With that, I feel like throwing this one down before the pumpkins return home at the strike of the arm... Briefly, so I can celebrate my triumph, let me tell some of you about Sound IKE... You see, not everybody cares about morals, theories, and philosophies... Mainly because most such people never experienced a big break in society, or in their personal accomplishment lists... So for the rest of us, if you agree with me that paying for your music is the way to go, then this post is for you. If you download your MP3's for free, and are still reading this, then I hope to have you converted by the end of the text...

Here's a text, and I quote:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. - Matthew 19:16-22

Now, here's the moral of the story the young prince taught us all those years ago... Though you may be a great person, if you feel so bad about giving up a collection of music you never really even paid for, then you're missing out on a great opportunity to become a better person. But, if you can go to bed and convince yourself that you have a clear conscience, and that what you do isn't bad at all, and that you really don't need to pay for your music, then that's all you. But here's this: I downloaded and burned over 300 movies, and close to 2700 songs. If I can change, you can change...

And speaking of change..., and paying honestly for music... with that whole sermon I'm not sure why I preached..., here's !!! There's no such thing as a referral system, so I'm not profiting whatsoever for advertising their service. I just do it because it was a good first step in the process I'm going through of stopping downloading stuff for free and pay for it instead.

At Sound IKE you only pay $0.15 (15 cents) per song! The way it works is that you fill your account with a certain amount of money (the website claims they accept PayPal, but they don't right now), then you download songs (buy them) until you run out of money. They have different options that give you a better deal if you pay them more, obviously. For instance, if you load your account with $25, they give you another $25 as a bonus... Or in other words, they basically give you a 50% discount on those 15 cents per song... But if you load your account with $50 bucks, they give you $55 bucks of free downloads... That's a bit over 50% discount, but still, $55 bucks makes it seem like they're giving you a million free songs...

The only bad thing about it is that they don't have a whole lot of songs (they do, but there's so many they don't), and their search engine isn't the best. You might have to do several different searches to find a specific song you like, but nothing too bad. Also, you can't just put $5 bucks in your account. You can only do $15, $25, or $50. Not bad, though, because it's so cheap, you can load it with $25 and download music (honestly pay for it) for a while... That would be some 333 songs for $25 bucks. That's quite the savings there, compared to iTunes or something like that, where you pay $0.99 per song...

Also, if you buy a whole album, they give you 20% off what it would have cost you to buy each song individually. So if an album has 100 songs, it would have cost you $15 for the album. BUT, with their super awesome deal, it only costs you $12 bucks to buy 100 songs! Also, when you sign up you get two songs free, without having to buy anything or load your account with any money. I've used their system for about two weeks now, and they only charged my credit card once, and for the right amount. So far they have my trust...

Now, here's the magic... If you buy songs until January 4th (this Sunday, or rather, tomorrow), each song will only cost you NINE CENTS! You still get the 20% off a whole album... So you can buy 100 songs for $9 bucks, or an album of 100 songs for $6 dollars... I thought that was a pretty cool thing, there, my comrads...

Where does fate come from? | Short Motivation Poem

Questions to think about

by Rodrigo Silveira

I'd like to ask you to answer me this: What will happen in your life in five days? Do you know? Do you have any power whatsoever to change or prevent whatever is coming at and to you? How connected our we all to each other? Never mind, don't answer me any of these questions...

So here's a pattern I've recognized recently: Opportunity and oppression; chance and challenge; struggle and triumph... That's what life is all about. There's very little we can do to truly minimize one and maximize the other. Things like these can't be found, they just happen. And when it does, we can either embrace them or ignore them, neglecting the very reality or such phenomena.

But here's something I want to share to illustrate the drama of the miracle process... You cannot find yourself until you lose yourself. Let me expound... A few days ago I had an incident with a certain someone that caused the adrenaline to run at high levels. My failling voice served as evidence of my close encounter with tragedy for a good ten days. I thought it was meant to be... each moment in the last 15 minutes before I was innevitably faced with that situation makes me believe that there was nothing I could have done to avoid it, even if I had seen the future and tried to stop it.

Only a few hours later, another event caused me to think about guardian angels... A very starnge and unusual event took place, and I was rescued by the most unexpected thing you could think of. And on and on, day after day, hour after hour, weird things kept happening around me. The more I gave it my attention, the more I realized there must have been something going on. Just when I thought there was a door closing right in my face, and right as I decided to seize the forthcoming  strangness, a bizarre event would happen opposite to what was going on. I was metaphorically on the edge of a cliff financially, when after my last reasonable effort to savage myself from the fall, a strong wind of independence broght me up and away from danger.

Then just now, the event that drove me home to my laptop so I could blog this series of singular occurances, was that I was on my way to the plasma center, when the thought came to me that maybe, perhaps, I could ask the manager of the place if he would award me a $20 dollar bonus for having refered someone to his joint over a year ago. After the needle was out of my left arm, I simply went straight to the cashier lady, told her of my referal, and walked out of the place with $75 bones in my pocket. The snow that greeted me outside oddly turned to rain as I approached the I-80 westbound... I somehow knew that something peculiar was about to come forth. Believe you me, my loyal blog readers, as I took my slick tired 2007 Aerio SX down a one lane street, there were three cars about 40 feet in front of me that in less than 5 seconds came to a complete stop. Though I was going only some 20 miles per hour, my car wouldn't stop. Now, here's the irony... This whole thing about weird stuff happening to me started about two weeks ago, when I was driving in the rain right after a big snow storm. The snow took control of my car and I wasn't able to stop in time to avoid a mild, yet aggravating collision. Now this whole thing was flashing before my eyes as I went up 3500 South, with three stoped cars waiting for me to high five them. There was a car coming towards us in the lane to my left... A curb and a wise side walk on my right trapping me in my despair. The weird thing tonight was that I calmly turned off my radio (I was listening to my Portishead album that only cost me $.79 from, and let go of the breaks. I'd been applying the breaks slowly, pumping it, and yet the car kept sliding forward and a little sideways on the backside. I swear, people, I kidd you not... I must have been less than 10 feet away from the white car in front of me, when suddenly I threw my car to the right, expecting to hit the curb hard, bounce off of that to smash the car in front of me with my door, possibly throwing him to the car in front of him. I kept my eyes opened and my mouth closed. The windshield wipers seemed to have increased in loudness and the fast-moving rubber outpaced the wet snow, producing an intense noise of disgraceful horror. Somehow, for some reason, the street expanded into a two lane road, with my car fitting precisely right into the angled opening, allowing me through unscathed. Nobody got scratched, not my car, not the curb, not the cars in front of me. 

It's been two hours now since the latest creepy thing has happened to me. So far I'm still alive. Still enjoying the awkward things I'm experiences, and I totally look forward to whatever may come next. Since the last snowstorm I have lost some blood, hurt my social life a bit, felt some pain in my coronary area (symbolically), and magically enough, saw nothing but green arrows in the piggy region... If only you people knew what I'm talking about...