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With my mind on my money and my money on my mind. ……Snoop Dog

I don’t want to get all new age-y on you, but in a lot of ways money is energy.   You, or in the case of stocks etc, or somebody else did something for that money.  You could honor that energy or just throw your money away.  (Call me, and I will be downwind from you.  I will be the goofy guy with the butterfly net and the suit made out of fly paper. 🙂

Iknow.jp hooks me in with fun sentences and little pavlovian rewards for meeting learning goals.  It's a little mechanistic so I listen to Japanese youtube and limit using this web service to about five minutes a day.

Iknow.jp hooks me in with audio sentences and little pavlovian rewards for meeting learning goals. It’s a little mechanistic so I listen to Japanese youtube while I am using it and limit using this web service to about five minutes a day.

One of the ways I like to honor money is to use it to trick my mind to learn more.  Money can function like a timer, turning learning into a game.   See how much learning you can get with your money.  I remember in the old video arcade days that one of the advantages of getting skills was that you actually spent less money.  See how much you can get out of a service or product by keeping it in “play.”  I try to “make contact” with products and services that I’ve purchased to help me learn:

  • Iknow.jp:   hundreds of sentences read by native Japanese speakers.   The service can be come hypnotic/robotic so I only try to make a “target” of 30 minutes a week.
  • japanesepod101.com:   now that I have more language under my belt, I am appreciating the grammar and cultural explanations.  I switch between yojijukugo, beginner, video, lower intermediate, upper intermediate, and cultural lessons.  I listen on my way to work and switch to Japanese music or podcasts when I am done.
  • silverspoon/neutrino:   I am done with this but it was one of the most expensive pay by month services.   But it was kind of like going to a trainer who changes the way you think about exercise.  It seems expensive but the benefit, if you “play” it right lasts long.
  • jamplay.com:   this is a guitar learning website.   I like the teachers and the tracking tools so much I’ve put a link to it on the right.  However, as the time to renew (and pay) approached at New Year’s I beat myself up for not keeping up with it.  (Note:  don’t beat yourself up.  It hurts you more than you.)  I recently came across a whole stash of Julia Cameron quotes from back when I was “doing” The Artists Way book.  This is a gem:

Instead of thinking about conquering an art form, think instead of kissing it hello, wooing it, exploring it in small steps…sit down at the piano and touch the keys.  Five minutes a day is better than no minutes a day.

One of the nice advantages of paid learning services are tracking tools.  I was a lot more active on jamplay before and am easing back into playing. Part of the mental trick of practice is moving "the bars" of progress a little bit.  I do it with jpod, too.  I don't think of mastering the language but just moving the bars forward.

One of the nice advantages of paid learning services are tracking tools. I was a lot more active on jamplay before and am easing back into playing. Part of the mental trick of practice is moving “the bars” of progress a little bit. I do it with jpod, too. I don’t think of mastering the language but just moving the bars forward.

  • books:  get thousands of dollars of value out of books.  How?  First, enjoy the heck out of them.   (Check out ajatt’s article “If Your Played Songs The Way You Read, You Would Hate Music.“)Go to the parts that you like.  Skip around.  Read the book that you really liked again and again.  Read it backwards.  Read it fast. Read it slow.  Put the juicest parts in your samurai notebook.

 

Money is just a like the boundaries of a game.  Limits can frustrate you or they can force you to be creative and really play.   Become a pinball wizard.  Bend it like Beckham.  [insert sports or game metaphor here].  Put on some good tunes while you’re “doing it.”  Enjoy!

 

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