Monday 15 November 2010

What I'm up to

I haven't been posting much here for a while. All my blogging effort has been going into Living Skillfully: Change Your Life, my personal development blog, and guest posting on other related blogs to build more traffic and subscribers. But it's time for a roundup of what's been going on.

I'm about to bring out another online course, Stop Procrastinating, Start Succeeding (there's a $20 discount offer if you sign up before 22 November 2010).

I also want to put together a small stop-smoking product before the end of the year, since cigarette tax goes up here on New Year's Day and that will stimulate a few more people to look around for effective ways to stop smoking. I'm approaching quitting smoking in terms of a personal development challenge rather than from a strict medical model.

I haven't just been writing about personal development, though. I'm doing some too. I've started getting up earlier to exercise, which is going well (I'm progressing through the Hundred Pushups challenge). Conveniently, this builds the same muscles that I use to paddle my new kayak, which is a lot of fun.

Starting in February, I'm doing a 10-week improv class. My day job may also pay for me to go to a public-speaking course run by Toastmasters.

Very slowly, I'm working on a Young Adult novel called The Y People, which is a bit of a hat-tip to the X-Men while being almost completely unlike it.

I've moved all my creative stuff over to C-Side Media at last, and I'm thinking about starting a new blog there (because I don't have enough blogs). This one will be about the process of self-publishing, basically how you can publish your book for free. It's a topic I have useful knowledge on and it would benefit other people, plus if I get people subscribing to it there'll be some splashover to my other projects. I'll announce it here as and when. (You can subscribe to get all C-Side Media updates on any of the several C-Side Media blogs.)

I'm also planning a podcast in the New Year on personal development, in which I'll interview other personal development bloggers. Steven Aitchison has agreed to be my first guest. It'll probably be monthly.

So there's plenty happening in my life in 2011. Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like to know more about any of it.

Thursday 4 November 2010

A couple of years ago, I posted on this blog:

Here are my three main worries about... Barack Obama:
  1. Despite the smooth running of his campaign suggesting that he can pick good staff, will pick the wrong people for the jobs that need to be done, as George Bush did in some - though not all - cases, and that this will, as with Bush, lead to his intended changes either being hijacked or failing to be executed properly.
  2. Will splash money around without accountability on how it is spent or control of the consequences. We're seeing, potentially, the first example of this with the bailout for the auto industry.
  3. Will disperse the goodwill and popularity he has by enacting radical policies that the electorate generally doesn't support.
Can I call it or what?

Not so much the first one, but the other two, definitely.

My other worry about him was that he was promising more than he could deliver, and this, too, has come to pass.

Still, President of the USA is a pretty thankless position these days. Whatever you do almost half the electorate will disagree with it, you're short of money, the economy and the environment have both been in trouble for years, internationally you're stuck in an unwinnable war and regarded with resentment even by many of your allies...

The whole US political model is overdue for an overhaul, but because of the way it's designed it's almost impossible to overhaul it. What kind of worked and was radical and cutting-edge in the 18th century is now an entrenched system which, while theoretically accountable to the people, in fact offers them no option that really represents their views in most cases.

It's a worry.