Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

Unfriending Facebook

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

I have been contemplating my life with and without Facebook. On a recent trip I got stranded in Denver for a day. Three flights cancelled. I ended up flying to San Francisco and driving back to Reno.

Several days later, I had a pop up on my iphone that showed me how much time I had spent on various apps. That day I was stranded in Denver – 8 hours on Facebook. When I looked at all the other things I could have done with that 8 hours – I realized, time to make some changes.

So I gradually started to look at all the ways Facebook had overtaken my life. I was a heavier advertiser on it for the business – spending over $200k in the past nine years. We evaluated was it really helping? No. The amount of money we spent on our advertising campaigns generated about five times the leads of our google adwords campaigns. Yet these leads were fifty times less likely to convert. Considering my sales staff was required to follow up with these leads – lets add in those costs as well.

Then let’s look at the scammers who are on facebook. Medusa Marketing weaseled $15k out of me before I pulled the plug on them after failing to deliver time after time after time. We found them through a Facebook ad and had retained them to run more effective ad campaigns on Facebook. They never even got the correct landing pages developed. I do have a complaint in with the Attorney General in Texas on this company. This company switched the main contact point for me no fewer than five times in three months.

But the last straw for advertising on Facebook wasn’t lack of performance, it was Facebook’s shady billing practices. I had stopped all my campaigns. Deleted all my payment methods. Yet a few days ago, I noticed on a card I had used several times on that account six months ago, charged $377 by Facebook. How could they charge that card and for an account that had no campaigns running? I went to check out the ad site and several event campaigns were running but there were still no cards associated with the account. I called the bank and cancelled that card.

I’m not one to buy into the big brother has all your data you better beware fear mongering about Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. I call it a “hiding in plain sight” strategy. However I am now rethinking this after the Facebook billing practice where they can go after a card I had deleted off the account. That wasn’t even showing up as a card associated with the account.

But it wasn’t just the billing practices – it was also what Facebook had turned my life into. Instead of connecting with life as it was presenting itself all around me, I was connecting with people who weren’t around me via Facebook. I did enjoy getting reconnected with friends from years gone by – like my French horn playing buddy from the High School Band. It was fun to see his life evolve, his work travels, his new wife – it was like as my brand strategist Carey Earle used to say “Voyeur View.” But what about the view from the seat where I was sitting right here right now – living where I am breathing in the present moment?

And then there was the shocking media stories that friends posted all slanted in the way their opinions slanted. Was I becoming one of the sheeples – following whatever line of thinking the loudest voices in my friend network were expressing? I think this is what is meant by the bubble. Where I started having negative thoughts about others who had ideas outside of what was in the bubble of views I had curated.

I have a great friend of over 25 years who is my neighbor – he has views that are outside of this bubble. Yet I listen to him and together we find common ground. In person, over tea, or when visiting each other’s gardens (this is literal, not metaphorical). A real connection with a real person, real time. We both leave these exchanges more uplifted rather than depressed or despondent – better able to deal with others with different ideas than our own.

That isn’t what happened for me with Facebook. I would read the threads on controversial posts and see the hate and venom about different ideas. I’d see friends get all in a lather about the “trolls” posts. My ire would be activated as well. I would unfriend or be unfriended by those who’s views upset me.

Was this the way I wanted to continue living my life? What would happen if I got off of Facebook all together? There is some good stuff on there. It’s the way this small community I live in stays connected. There is the Haines Buy Sell Trade – come to think of it I did get a plow truck off there but then I sold the plow truck as the maintenance on it was a hassle, it was just one more thing the caretaker was not taking care of (damaging it instead and using it when he needed to be using his own vehicle). I now have my neighbor plow my driveway. I can use Craigslist to unload stuff I no longer need.

I will miss seeing where my neighbors are traveling to when they are not in Haines. But then I can catch up with them at the Post Office or the hardware store or the grocery store when we are in the same town together. I can visit with them over a tea at the Mountain Market and we can share the pictures on our phones of our travels since we last connected. I’ve already had several people I haven’t heard from in a while reach out to me since I left Facebook. We’ve updated our phone numbers, addresses, and are having more meaningful dialog. Real connection, real time, real friends.

Goodbye Facebook – it’s been an interesting ride.

The Folly and Value of Chasing Money – January 11, 2018

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

It’s never about the money – it’s about the goal behind the money. I discovered this by actually focusing on the money.

On a recent road trip with my adventure buddy from Arizona to Nevada, we listened to an audiobook called “You are a Badass at Making Money.”  The author, Jen Sincero, is a life coach and had some very interesting ideas that could actually be applied to achieving any goal – yet most often there is a tendency to focus on the one measurement of success with our goals – and that is of making money.

I often play around with various manifestation ideas just to see what will happen. From listening to this book, I was inspired to set an aggressive goal to pull in $300k in two days – did what the book suggested and became like the crazed goats she talks about that broke into a home she was renting. The goats broke down the door when she was out running an errand and destroyed the place in no time flat in a way that only crazed goats could do.

I didn’t pull in the $300k in two days.  But what I did do was far more valuable. I got very clear on the reason for this other seriously out there goal.  Several years ago, I challenged myself to help 2 million people activate their innate genius, cultivate their talents and share their gifts with the world.  Can you imagine what this world would be like if we were all being the best versions of ourselves, generating consistently great results just by being yourself?

With my Cheetah Learning team, we created a 60 hour online self-paced program called the Cheetah Certified Project Manager to help people become the best versions of themselves.  It’s based on our two books Cheetah Project Management and Cheetah Negotiations and uses an accelerated learning technique we created called “Personality Based Learning.” The reason the program to help create a better world is about project management is that to change anything requires doing projects.  To create these beacons for a better world – the CCPM’s – they need to get great at picking the projects that are right for them.  They need to do those projects in a way that best leverages their innate genius making them very influential change agents.  And they need to engage other people to help them achieve their goals in a way that activates their best and highest good as well.  This is what people master when they become Cheetah Certified Project Managers.  So far we’ve had a whole wide range of people become CCPM’s – from high school students to people late in their career with advanced degrees.  We’ve even had retirees take the leap late in life to become the best versions of themselves to create a better world.

In the Badass book she suggests writing a letter to money – to get clear on all the associations we place on money that really are not about the money. For me, the money associated with achieving the goal of 2 million people becoming Cheetah Certified Project Managers is daunting.  In the past, we made significant sums of money with Cheetah Learning – it actually felt quite constraining.  It’s called the “trappings of wealth” for a reason.

I’m now far more excited about helping two million people become the beacons for a better world.  Something shifted for me in setting that aggressive goal of making $300k in two days.  It’s so not about the money for me – it’s about the goal, it’s about making a difference, it’s about creating a better world.  The money, well that is something I’m learning how to use for the betterment of the world as well.  I”ve shifted from it being a huge responsibility to it being a huge privilege. I feel more capable now to better answer this higher calling to create a better world.

Smart Phone Risk Management While Traveling

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

I’m on the road more than I am at home – which really is nothing new.   Making sure my smart phone stays working is one of the most crucial things I do to make sure my life stays sane.   Today was a classic example of the risk management measures – preventive and work arounds  – my smart phone fulfills.


Staying Charged – My iPhone is about two years old and half way through the day it is ready to croak.   I’ve gone through quite a few portable chargers over the years and right now, I’m using this small round charger I picked up from Brookstone.   Everynight this portable charger with my iPhone gets plugged in so it starts the day fully loaded.    Most days I’m on the go from early AM until well after dinner with engagements of all sorts with a wide variety of people.   And I still have to “answer the phone” on all types of issues related to running Cheetah Learning so staying connected is mandatory.

Staying Connected – I travel over seas from time to time and make sure when I go, I up my plan to the international option.   This also enables me to use my iPhone to handle all types of things that come up (see the work around section below).

Work Arounds

Getting Lost

Directions – my motto is if I’m not doing 8 u-turns a day, I’m not exploring enough.  The map app that came with the phone and the google map app are crucial for traveling.   Just today I used the map app on my phone to take a metro in Paris from where I was staying.   It gave me how many minutes the next metro was leaving towards where I was going based on if I was leaving to walk there right away.   It also gives me an idea if where I want to go is within walking distance or if I should consider a different way of getting there.   When I’m in a city – that can involve a taxi, a metro, a bike or walking.

Changing Plans in How to Get from Point A to B when Traveling

Bike Availability Near Me – I’m in Paris right now and they have this bike system where you can pick up bikes at one location and return the at another station near where you are going.    They have 20,000 bikes to rent located at 1800 stations.  I have an app on my phone that tells me what bikes are available at the stations closest to where I am and how many spaces there are to return a bike close to where I am going.  I was also able to use my phone to get a pass to use the bikes for the day.   Unfortunately today, when we were at the top of this very hilly area – there were no bikes up at the stations there.   I wonder what they do to get the bikes back up to the top of the hilly areas as it didn’t appear anyone wanted to ride them back up the hill to those stations.

Best Places to Bike – I first downloaded this app in Portland but have found it especially useful in Paris as there are specific bike lanes (with no cars or buses) all over the city.

Getting a Taxi – When we were up on top of this hill and our plans to bike down the hill were thwarted because there were no bikes at the bike stations, we looking into walking to our next location.   It was over 4 km away.  We had already walked 10 km for the day so that was not too appealing.  We had already walked up close to 40 flights of stairs so the thought of walking down 10 flights of stairs to take the metro and then back up those 10 flights of stairs at our destination did not appeal to any of us either.   We were thinking of asking the waiter at the restaurant we were at to call us a cab, but I found a great app for Paris called G7 that got us a cab and kept us informed when it would arrive.  Our host, Aidan at Holidays France Rentals stopped by and told us about the Uber car hire app – that is in the larger cities around the world.

Where you were going no longer exists

Finding the Right Place for a Meal – More than once a place someone I’ve been traveling with or was meeting suggested we go to restaurant that no longer existed.   Getting there and in a new city,  we had to find another suitable place quick.   In the US, I’ve grown to rely on an app called Urban Spoon to find the right type of restaurant in a new area.   Overseas, there are other apps, and some great ones by well known foodies for the area.   In Paris, I like the app by Patricia Wells “The Food Lovers Guide to Paris.”

Risks are an inherent part of travel and actually some of the fun of travel for those of us who spend our lives on the road.   For this techie, the smart phone makes a traveling lifestyle even more of a fun adventure than it already is.

From Pigtails to Poised

Monday, August 29th, 2011

I rounded the corner into the driveway at the end of my usual 4.5 mile run. The three cars were parked in their prescribed positions. The two cats perched in their ordinary look out spots awaiting my return and their evening meal. But one thing was very different. The gate of the Toyota was open and its contents announced the achievement of an important milestone.

Inside the trunk of the car were well organized and neatly stacked plastic containers filled with the essentials an eighteen year old needed to start a new phase of their life. Clothes, books, personal care items, small fridge and athletic equipment, you know the basics. It was the pair of boldly displayed bright blue Nikes that triggered the flashback and a moment to remember.

It was 1997 and a hot July 4th morning. Her big brown eyes were adorned with long lashes and always smiling. Two pig tails swept her blonde streaked hair to the top of her head and bopped with each step she took. Sporting shorts to just below her knees and a white imprinted t-shirt almost as long, she ran her first official road race. The race distance was about 100 yards, perfect length for a four year old. She gave it her all and walked away a winner.

It was also the day of my first official road race. Mine was longer though, two miles. I was able to complete the entire distance, mostly walking. Needless to say, I didn’t place in my age group, but I too walked away a winner because in the weeks that preceded this milestone, I had taken action to begin to improve my health and focus on becoming a positive role model for my daughter. It would be the first of many road races for both of us during the next 14 years.

Although I suspected my role modeling of healthy actions and choices would impact both of my girls, it wasn’t until several years later when they began to make their own sports and activity choices, the significance of the role modeling became evident. Healthy snacks preferred to junk food, after school clubs, involvement in sports and community activities chosen over hours of endless TV.

When I jogged around the corner on Tuesday and saw the car in the driveway packed with all her gear ready for the 750 mile road trip that would begin her college adventure, her imminent departure became a reality. But even as the lump in my throat grew and I swallowed hard to fight back the tears, I knew she was well prepared for the journey and ready to face new challenges. 

About the Author: Jill Hart, Project Management Professional (PMP) and owner of Brain Logic, LLC helps companies integrate the voice of the customer into their design products, technology and processes.  When she’s not focused on her business or family, she enjoys running, biking, blogging, teaching and cooking.

Energy of Emotions

Saturday, December 4th, 2010


Energy of Emotions – Power V. Force – Pages 68 – 69
Outside View Life View Level Emotion Process Drive Scale Energy of thought & emotion in vs., Benefit Out
Self Is Enlightment Ineffable Pure Consciousness Salvation of Humanity 800 1,000,000
All-Being Perfect Peace Bliss Illumination Good of all Mankind 700 100,000
One Complete Joy Calm Confidence Transfiguration Your Success is My Success 600 10,000
Loving Benign Love Reverence Revelation We can all be happy 500 1,000
Wise Meaningful Reason Understanding Abstraction We’re all capable of learning 400 100
Merciful Harmonious Acceptance Forgiveness Transcedence Others are inherently good 350 50
Inspiring Hopeful Willingness Optimism Intention Life is good. 300 10
Enabling Satisfactory Neutrality Trust Release The universe helps me survive 250 5
Permitting Feasible Courage Affirmation Empowerment I survive even if other’s don’t, won’t or can’t 200 0
Indifferent Demanding Pride Scorn Inflation I only survive if I help others survive 175 0.1
Vengeful Antagonistic Anger Hate Aggression I only survive if I can control you 150 0.01
Denying Disppointing Desire Craving Enslavement I only survive if you give me what I want 125 0.001
Punitive Frightening Fear Anxiety Withdrawl I only survive if you don’t survive 100 0.0001
Disdainful Tragic Grief Regret Despondency You don’t survive so I won’t survive 75 0.00001
Condeming Hopeless Apathy Despair Abdication Why does anyone want to survive 50 0.000001
Vindictive Evil Guilt Blame Destruction None of us need to survive 25 0.0000001
Despising Miserable Shame Humiliation Elimination Just get me out of here for good 0 0.00000001

The book Power vs. Force by David Hawkins, published in 1995 is about the energy of emotions.   Hawkins measured the energetic response of various emotional states and plotted them on a logarithmic scale.   The last columns from drive over to the right are columns I created based on my understanding of his work (I welcome debate as this as I am just exploring these ideas but find it a very good behavioral model).   The drive column is in what drives people to experience specific emotional states.   The zero value in the row starting with the term permitting is significant.  Any state of being above that line – for any energy you put to living in the respective state, provides you with a return shown in last column (based on his logarithmic scale for the energy of emotions).  My company Cheetah Learning operates at the drive level – Your Success is My Success.  By living at this level, we get a 10,000 times return on energy invested.   Anyone who knows my lifestyle and the lifestyle that we’ve created for the entire Cheetah team is probably nodding in agreement on this statement.

The issue is that most of us have been conditioned through our up bringing and the current state of our society to live below the line.  This means that by living in the emotional states below this line, the energy we put into our existence actually depletes us – we get less energy out than we put in.  For example, lets say that you are living at the vengeful level.  If the energy you put into that emotion was equivalent to $1.  For every $1 you put into that emotional state, you would get 1 cent return.   Sounds almost as bad as investing with Bernie Madoff.
We all get to deal with others who live below the line from time to time.    While we can empathize with their reality, we do not have to accept their reality as our own and live in their energy depleting states.  And we can sometimes get dragged below the line as well by our own conditioned responses to situations.   I’ve attached a model we’ve been teaching in our new courses called Conversational Akido that helps change conditioned responses so it’s far easier to live above the line as a matter of habit.   Also, by consistently living above the line – we can more easily bring people up to our level rather than going down to their level. When you set up embedded systems in your life at home and at work, it is easy to consistently live a much more energized existence above the line.
For those folks doing the Influencing strategies course with me I thought this would be insightful – as the work he is sharing in the book is at the highest level.

Join the Cheetah Learning Fan Club on Face Book

Friday, January 15th, 2010


Friday, January 1st, 2010

Blue Moon Rising at Dusk - 3:30 PM Alaska Time.

Blue Moon Rising at Dusk - 3:16 PM Alaska Time.

I am still in Alaska, enjoying the dark, ice skating to town, and risking future mobility everytime I step out the door.    I am happy to report the dog has recovered from DID or could it be that others in the house have adopted my more pleasant view of reality and we are no longer collectively manifesting DID?   As I have had ample time sitting in the dark to contemplate whether the ocean near me is an illusion that we have all agreed is real or really is real, I did observe something rather spectacular –   the full moon rising above the magnificent mountains on two crystal clear nights.   Now two full moons in one month is rare enough to have it’s own name – a blue moon.  What is even more rare, is that there were two cloudless nights in southeast Alaska where I could see the full moon rising over the mountains at sunset.   What is even more amazing, is I was here to observe it and it happened on New Year’s Eve.   In my reality, I am taking this as a sign from the universe that 2010 is going to be one heck of a year.   I am starting the new year by heading to Hawaii for a corporate retreat.   I figure if we’re going to do strategic planning, it may as well be somewhere coool (I mean warm).   But I rented a house near the rainy side of the Island (it was a bargain).   Stay tuned.

Virtual Reality Vs. Reality and Dog Poop

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

The Beautiful View (Sans DID) from My Loom

The Beautiful View (Sans DID) Through the Warp on the Loom

I just finished reading Busting Loose from the Business Game – the main premise is that everything in our life is a complete and total illusion and that as we realize this over time, we will find an infinite source of abundance for whatever we are choosing to do in the moment. We are simply players in a very big and grand game and it’s our expanded consciousness that has created patterns in the field that we are observing. Simply stop observing the patterns, choose to observe new ones and voila, your life is instantly changed. Easy enough – BTDT numerous times. Even created several t-shirts.

The premise of the book is that which you are experiencing, is only real, because you are choosing to observe it. And I thought my naivete of the world being the way I thought it was, was simply because I am not all that observant. I never realized living and observing reality the way I wanted it to be would come in so handy in this new type of game. Especially with the rule that if the dog poops in the house, and you notice it, you are required to clean it.

I was sitting at my loom and weaving, one of our Christmas guests came over to talk with me and immediately started wretching as there was a large pile of obvious dog intestinal distress (DID) less than ten feet from the loom. How could I not notice this? The offending pile, I swore did not exist until this other being entered into my playing field. As proof – look at my “warped” view from the loom.   No dog poop – just a beautiful view. Now being the nice hostess that I am – since she noticed it, and I was the hostess, NOT the guest, I decided to live in her reality for just a few moments and clean up her observed creation. She did not seem to think it was as amusing as I did that she manifested DID in the atrium and I did not. Shit happens (for others).

Come to think of it, I manifested another DID right behind my seat in a very small sports car on a recent road trip to California with her. Where again, she feigned disgust, and I had to clean. She needs to read the book and start playing a new game too. DID doesn’t exist in my virtual reality game when I’m in it with just the dog. At least not when I’m there to have to clean it.

Quantum Physics and Dog Poop

What I did on Winter Solstice in Alaska……

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Slept.   I would put in a picture of me sleeping, but I was sleeping so it was hard to take a picture.   Well to be totally honest, I did not sleep the entire day.   Being up in Alaska during the shortest day of the year, I have a rule – if the sun is up, so am I.   I am also enforcing this rule on my two college children home on their winter break.   Having once been in college myself, I understand the desire to sleep most of the time when you first show up back at home.   Partly so no one considers you available to do chores, but mostly to recover, from well, college.   Since I know the game, we have competitive napping going on here.   But I figure, we can all sleep for the 19 hours of the day the sun is not up.   I’m not sure if the sun is truly even “up” more than two hours because it only peaks over the mountains to the south for an hour or two – the rest of the time the area is washed in an eerie lightness.

To counter the winter blues, I have taken to making tropical drinks.   My latest “adult” non-alcoholic beverage is a no-hito mo-hito.   Upon my arrival in the land of perpetual o-dark-thirty, I stopped at the Juneau Costco and purchased a twenty pound bag of limes.   And then at the only florist shop in Haines, I found a lovely little lime mint plant.    With these two main ingredients, it was party time at the manor.    After the pucker punch of the first round, I scoured the cabinets and found a stash of agave nectar that makes the no-hito mo-hito a delightful, eye opening beverage.   We are now down to ten pounds of limes.   And no one will suffer from scurvy at the house.

I also purchased a case of pomegranites – besides staining all my clothes in little red splotches that has me even more in the Christmas spirit,  I’m still racking the creative synapses to figure out their mission this holiday season.   Maybe I’ll have to go back and take a nap to let the subconscious work on this task.

Bob – RIP Dec. 2006 – Dec. 2009

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Bob gets back in touch with his indigenous past.

Bob gets back in touch with his indigenous past.

My lovely little cheetah like cat – Bob used up the last of his nine lives today.   The fact that he lived this long is rather amazing considering his mother ate all his litter mates and he was rescued in the nick of time.   As Bob grew, he lived an eternal life as a kitten.   We learned over time why the Mama cat probably ate the litter mates – Bob was a few cards shy of a full deck.   He never quite grasped the litter box – thinking the front paws in the pan was good enough.   He used up many of his live’s taunting the resident eagles as he  lolled outside the front door rolling around on the front step appearing to just say – lets see if you can swoop down and get me.

Bob leaves behind his dear pal Spot.

Bob leaves behind his dear pal Spot.

Yes it is a miracle Bob lived three years.   We’re not quite sure what took him to the final resting place – the vet thinks it was anti-freeze.   We aren’t in the habit of leaving anti-freeze out inside the house so I’m not sure how that could have happened.   And as far as we know, Bob had no enemies.

Our deepest condolences are to his playmate Spot (another Ocicat) who was an absolute pest without Bob – the reason we adopted Bob in the first place.   I’ll miss him too – he and I spent hours studying the printer spitting out various drafts of my writings.   I think Bob brought down the IQ of everyone in the house – this was not a bad thing.