A Better You – Revealing My Personal Method for Learning Anything, Anytime, Anywhere

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot

So you want to be a better you? What would you say if I told you I know of a method available to you right now as you read this that enabled you to have knowledge on practically any life enhancing subject piped directly into your brain – while not lifting a finger, and not making any change to your daily routine or lifestyle? Sounds like someone has been watching too much of ‘The Matrix’ right!?

But as if that prospect wasn’t enticing enough, imagine that before this information was transmitted into your psyche someone would go out and dedicate their whole life into finding out everything they can about the subject. They would put in years of experience, countless empirical studies, anecdotal observations, all the science behind it and the expertise on how and when to apply it…..BAM straight into your noggin.

This is not science fiction, this technology exists. In fact I have personally been using it for the last three years and no exaggeration – it has enriched my life. It has inspired me to go and climb mountains in faraway lands, learned to speak new exotic languages, improved my social skills, my confidence, I have became spiritually more centred, acquired a more fulfilling job, increased finances, the list goes on…

So what is this miraculous technology I’m describing that’s going to make a better you? Audiobooks. Yep you read that correctly, audiobooks (and I’m not talking Harry Potter) played through an MP3 player.

Now the description leading up to that anticlimactic revelation may have sounded like sensationalist hyperbole (which it was) but is that not what we are now conditioned to respond to? Quite frankly this information age has spoilt us. We are in fact spoilt to such an extent now that we struggle to see the incredible opportunities we are blessed with, unless some smug marketing guys wrap it up in a ‘brand’ and tell us it’s cool. We need to be convinced it’s the latest thing or be bombarded by a Hollywood style advert to take an interest in the possibilities technology brings us.

Assimilating information from books is nothing new. We have been doing it for thousands and thousands of years and it has served us just fine, so why am I here hailing audiobooks as a revelation and key to building a better you? Well from my own personal experience the convenience they offer makes them an unrivalled personal development tool. This modern age where we barely have time to stop, makes spare time an increasingly valuable commodity. Learning this way slots right into your life. Your walk to work, the train commute, picking up the kids, doing the washing up – you are squeezing more value out of your already predetermined way of spending that time!

The convenience this remarkable format offers does not end there though. I hold a personal library of over 25 classic and contemporary self improvement books right on my tiny 15GB MP3 player – technology is truly awesome! This allows me to hold books on a wide range of subjects with all kinds of powerful and intriguing titles that give you the ultimate personal toolkit for building a better you:

  • The Power of Now (will literally transform your life. Listen with eyes closed before bed)
  • How to Argue and Win Every Time (A noted attorney teaches you to use the power of words as a weapon)
  • Psycho-Cybernetics (will modify your self-image and limiting beliefs, and reprogram the way you think about yourself)
  • Awaken The Giant Within (inspiration to achieve something amazing in your life)
  • The 48 Laws Of Power (become an expert in the dynamics of power and influence)
  • How To Win Friends & Influence People (Master the techniques in this book and be prepared for ‘jedi like’ people skills.)

(To think this covers about 20% of my collection on a device that fits in my pocket!)

I have found there are also other less obvious benefits from learning through spoken word. It gives you a real feel for what the author is saying by hearing it read aloud. You get a better understanding of the tone, you get emphasis on certain words and the level of enthusiasm for what is being read can be both infectious and inspirational. Also if learning a new language interests you, then the benefits of hearing the pronunciation and inflections spoken out loud speak for themselves. I should also give an honourable mention to the more ‘out there’ uses for this technology for the more open minded among us. Hypnosis audio programmes are ever increasing in popularity and then there is the relatively new technology of ‘binaural beats’ designed for stimulating brainwaves and while I can’t necessarily advocate it, it does demonstrate the diversity of learning in this format

So what are the direct benefits of regular listening to self improvement audiobooks? How exactly will they put you on the path to being a better you? Well listening to one of the programmes will not reward you with something as tangible as a graduate degree or some kind of fancy qualification certificate, but what I have found is that they can act a catalyst for profound personal transformation. For example I have found that by getting into the habit of listening to a programme during the 30 min commute to work, provides me with an empowering mindset for the rest of that working day and over time the newly learned habits and beliefs will become fully internalised and lead to permit all kinds of permanent behavioural changes. (Remember this is with no changes to my lifestyle, does not infringe on my leisure time and I haven’t lifted a finger!)

In closing I would like to leave you with a famous NLP adage:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

Ultimately if you want to be a better you, you have to start doing things differently – and here I have presented to you with the most effort free tools conceivable for building that better you. The most important point to make is that you can no longer hide behind any excuses. It is no longer valid to say “I don’t have the time” or “I don’t like reading” or “I can’t afford it.” If your brain starts coming up with creative rationalisations as why this isn’t going to work for you, just remind yourself that you haven’t even tried it yet and this is as easy as it gets! If sticking in a pair of earphones and just listening sounds like too much effort, then I would suggest you need personal development audio more than anyone else.

Ensuring Your Victory: Your Morning Strategy of Success

There are largely two types of people who navigate Vicodin recovery. The first group spends a large percentage of their time swimming through Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), rising out of bed each morning with the sole intent on making it through the day without relapsing. This was how I lived my life in early recovery before relapsing multiple times.

Then there are the other folks. These are the ones you see on television, radio programs, in churches and running marathons. They are often the recovering addicts that run our outpatient support groups and it isn’t until they share their story that we realize that they lost everything to addictions at one time. They say they are happier now and you look at them and it is obvious they mean it. It’s in their clear, bright and focused eyes. Not only do they serve as an example to others on how to live a joyous life, but they often coach and mentor others who never even experienced painkiller addiction (we all know it isn’t only people in recovery trudging through life). What they have is something everyone wants: happiness and strength from within and a voracious appetite to appreciate life, set goals and serve others along the way who haven’t caught the gift yet, but will with the right mindset. If you aren’t already one of those who “get it”, you will be. Trust yourself.

There is one time of day when the table is set and the meal that will be your day is served: Morning time. You can have your day served on an aluminum T.V. dinner tray month after month while you play out the same inner dynamic ad nauseam. Or you can truly feast on a different lifestyle, a medley of various tastes and textures each and every day. You are the one setting the table. At no other point in the day is your path more fully determined than when you first arise in the morning. Sure, you can correct course along the way if faced with destructive attitudes, but it is much more difficult once your mind is already populated with wrong thoughts if that’s what it was fed first thing in the morning. Your mind is a crisp and clean vessel just waiting to receive its marching orders for the day. This crucial point in the day can be summed up perfectly:

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Luke 11: 24-26

This passage is brilliant in the manner in which it applies to opiate addiction. As we know, addiction is progressive, usually each relapse worse and more devastating than the first. After the initial stage of recovery, the physical withdrawal, often one is left with a vacuum of sorts, an empty void which was previously filled with the obsession explained in my “What is the 4th Voice?” link: Obtaining the Vicodin and having it close to you at all times, the attempt to function on it in various doses, the running out and fear of the dreaded opiate withdrawal, etc. Once those time-consuming activities no longer fuel your entire thought process, the task at hand is to fill that inner void and with a mental landscape quickly but with quality energy, so when you find yourself in the midst of a moment of weakness, you don’t relapse. However, if you do, you will have the mental fortitude to get the heck back up right away and keep going, lest you relapse “seven times worse than the previous time”:

Let’s take a look at the following two scenarios:

Alarm goes off: Waking up, Gabe warily takes stock of how he feels physically and takes a mental note: no headache, upset stomach or achy joints, all systems seem to be in working order. To be on the safe side, he reaches over and hits snooze twice before he is sure it is safe to get up, taking in those precious few moments. Arising precariously, Gabe looks around and wonders when this Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is going to end, as it has been 4 months of sobriety and he still moves slowly, in a slight fog and spends most of his days just “getting through”. The threat of relapse hangs in the shadows. He makes a note to call his therapist as soon as he gets to work to talk more about his problems and whatever is still getting me down.”. He has his coffee and watches the news, noticing the nice weather outside.

Walking out of the door 45 minutes later, Gabe grabs a $5 bill off the table and checks his watch, planning to go through the drive-through at Dunkin Donuts to grab a bagel and a coffee. Still focused on his problems, he quickly walks by the elderly neighbor who has been widowed for years and while giving a quick smile, he prays the senior citizen won’t want to chat him up about the day’s weather or talk about his dog again. Maybe sometime he will have time for the guy, but not now. There is simply no time.

I also experienced that emptiness and decided if I was ever going to get through this without relapsing again, I was going to have to change what I was doing. Here is what I did:

Refusing to be jarred out of bed another day, I changed my clock to the type that had tropical sounds, ocean waves, or for those who are deep sleepers, chimes or really anything you like. That’s what they made volume for. Adjust it according to how you prefer to be woken up. Clocks are an inexpensive but overlooked tool, as it is literally the very first sound we often experience each day. Then, to ward off that early morning headache that haunted me even months after acute physical withdrawal, I had a piece of wheat toast or anything healthy that my stomach could handle that delivered glucose and minimal calories to keep me light for my walk. I had this along with my morning cup of coffee, which I must admit, I will never give up, as I enjoy a great cup of coffee tremendously. Then I had some water to get ready for my walk or filled a water bottle if it was warm and off I went with my iPod.

I got in the habit of starting my day early with a 30 minute walk. Unless the weather was miserable outside, in which case I stayed in and started my day reading or enjoyed the extra half hour of sleep, I looked forward to a walk every day. I listened to my iPod that I had loaded with interesting talks, sermons, psychology, meditative music and anything else uplifting and spiritual. The trick here is to start the day this way and I consider it key to setting the tone for the day. So many wonderful podcasts I enjoy on my device are all free and downloadable on i-Tunes. If you do not have an mp3 player or money is an issue, amazon.com has some good refurbished ones for little money that work perfectly for your goal. Refurbished is the way to go for our purpose here; you just need an iPod that will handle a few hours’ worth of listening.

In just 30 minutes you have aided your body in synthesizing depression-fighting vitamin D, got some exercise, kick-started your metabolism and put your mind in a state that handles situations better and is less reactionary. Some quiet mornings after that first snowstorm or a beautiful warm and peaceful a.m., perhaps you may find yourself having a quiet walking meditation in order to visualize your goals or just listen to the early sounds of an awakening world. Listen to that inner voice and follow its lead now that you have begun to start your days in alignment with God and create your own plan according to what works for you.

After 30 minutes I came home showered or if you were prescribed Vicodin like I was for severe joint pain, a hot bath on the weekends for muscle stiffness will do wonders. In order to aid the endorphins, I added Capsaicin Topical Cream. Just a quick mention: if you are not familiar with this medicated cream for joint pain, you must read the instructions very carefully, or you will find yourself with an extremely uncomfortable burning sensation. Although it may burn the first few times you apply it, eventually it doesn’t cause much discomfort at all, in my opinion.

After a quick shower on a work morning, 15 minutes with another coffee and my Bible and beautiful cats sealed the deal. My day was all set. Of course, it would be out of boundaries to say your 15 minutes must be the Bible. Enjoy whatever it is you like to read that is uplifting, preferably spiritual and continues to fortify your peace, keeping your inner voice front and center before you commence with your daily routine. Avoid newspapers, celebrity magazines, violent literature, anything that lowers your spiritual level or emotional intelligence and pulls you away from the goal of inner peace in the morning. The rest of the day is open if that is what you choose to do. At times if I had more time or it was a weekend I always watch someone like Joyce Meyers on television. What works for me won’t always work for you, but the effect should be the same…morning inner peace.

Like Gabe above, in the early days of recovery, saying hello was sometimes an effort. But looking others in the eye and petting their dog with a big smile even if I was in a rush didn’t mean I had to stop and dissect the Middle East peace process. It just asserted the humanity and courtesy among citizens and continued to set the positive tone for my day. On my drive to work I always had at least one good audiobook to listen to so I was engrossed in something interesting for my ride and my mind wasn’t wandering toward Vicodin, where it definitely didn’t belong. Simply Audiobooks is the audiobook club I belong to, but there are many to choose from. There are audiobooks about mysteries, philosophy, health, thrillers, political, spirituality, psychology and some of the best motivational speakers of our time like Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins and others. Again, if finances are tight for you, there are libraries that have large selections. There is no reason to channel surf and listen to mind junk any more! Most towns and cities belong to a network so you have a good selection. Books on tape used to be poorly narrated and highly abridged, making it a bit of a lowbrow experience. That is not the case now, they are almost always exactly the same as the book, just in audio format.

Bagels, donuts and anything like that was tossed from my breakfast menu. Those foods don’t belong in our diet because they don’t aid in our input of clean, quality energy into our systems. Luckily, I have always had good eating habits, so this was not hard to do. I would have something on the order of nuts mixed with dried cranberries and spring water for the drive up for a healthy light feel versus something heavy and void of nutrition. For those who try to avoid overuse of plastic bottles, it is also something I try to avoid, so I just had tap or filtered water in a tall travel cup. Very simple and served its purpose of hydration, protein, fiber, nutrition and portability for convenience. So there I was enjoying my morning wake up and also my morning ride in. The vessel in pristine working order.

It may sound like this strategy takes a long time to accomplish in the morning, but it doesn’t. It shouldn’t take much more than an hour or so. Alternatively, much time is wasted hitting snooze three times each morning to avoid waking up to boredom and dread. Since my mind was engaged most of the time with rich and dynamic stimuli, I had less time to focus on what in my life was still unsatisfactory to me. There was still plenty that needed to get ironed out in my world. But, to my delightful surprise, the journey really wasn’t half bad and I built a lot dignity, wisdom and character along the way that propped me up many times over the next year during many trying times. Certainly, we do have to focus on what factors drove us to our Vicodin abuse, but it isn’t necessary (counter-productive actually) to spend so much time mired in the negative that you disregard the powerful blessings you do have. As the cliche goes, “It’s the journey, not the destination” The void often felt during those first months of recovery was there, sure, but I had an ally finally: Myself. I was a notoriously cranky person in the morning but no more, I actually love most mornings. They are not always easy at first, recovery is tough those first few months, but the difference is profound and make no mistake, being grateful for the open vessel you have each morning to live in victory is absolutely priceless in our walk in recovery.

How To Learn Ojibwe With Audiobooks

The language Ojibwe comes from the Ojibwe Native American tribe. These people were and continue to be intriguing in both tradition and language. For those who have an interest in learning the language, for any reason, they now have lots of options available to them.

Perhaps one of the most popular ways of learning Ojibwe is to get a downloadable audio book.

Downloadable audio books provide a resource to people that do not want to be tied to a book. Through these audio books, anyone is able to take an Ojibwe language course from the comfort of their own audio device. You can put these audio books on any mp3 player, CD player, I-pod, or other music playing device.

There are many benefits to learning Ojibwe this way.

The secret to this revolutionary method is that the audio you hear is scientifically sequenced to lock language into your brain… instantly. This really confirmed what I had read sometime ago about the power of listening. No wonder God gave us 2 ears and just one mouth. This means just listening is powerful enough to learn virtually any language also Ojibwe.

Language learning materials are available in a variety of formats. Audiobooks are very popular and help you practice speaking and listening skills while in the car, at home, or wherever it’s convenient.

The library has many audiobooks on cassette and CD that can be checked out for 3 weeks, and range from introductory sessions to intermediate and advanced for some languages.

This means that you are getting an instant product that you can then put on a CD or other MP3 playing device.

With instant access, you no longer have to wait for the product to arrive in order to start learning Ojibwe. You can start right now! There is no shipping charges associated with such purchases either. Both of these reasons are why downloading language courses from the web have become such a popular thing to do. The faster you start, the faster you will learn the new language.

So if you always say that you don’t have time to learn Ojibwe, now you’re out of excuses. Go get yourself a cheap mp3 player and look for downloadable language course, or get them for free from your public library, and start enjoying the wonderful world of downloadable audio books.