Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas

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I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones and family members.  I plan to eat as much as I can this year!  Most years I begin thinking about limiting my food intake about this time, but this year is going to be different.



Steve Jobs's Top 10 Rules For Success

Steve Jobs Wearing Blue Jeans
I watched a Steve Jobs's biography last night which was produced by the biography channel and when I saw this video in the draft's folder, I knew I had to publish it!  Although this post won't be entirely about the entrepreneur inventor, there is a video at the end of the text and before the video, Steve's 10 success rules are listed.

The funny thing is I came to this blog to publish another video.  Such is life.

We're always changing priorities at a moment's notice then we don't give it a second thought if the change makes us happier than the first item we wanted to accomplish.

Being able to change priorities and the ability to work on projects I want to work on is the main reason I remain self-employed.  It doesn't matter if I don't earn money in a particular week or if I earn enough to eat, what matters to me is being able to do what I want to do... when I want to do it.

Still Changing My Life and Growing Up at the Same Time


I launched this 'Trying to Change My Life' blog as a way to entertain myself and to have an outlet in which I could express myself.  This blog started out as a free Blogger.com blog, but I've since moved it to my own domain, which is, oddly enough, Original Press Releases.

A few months ago I launched OPR to attract more clients, but the irony is I haven't been able to finish the site as quickly as I'd like.  I made some decisions over this past week and I created a mind map to help me organize the work and decision making process.  One of the things that kept me from working on the site was an inability to make a couple minor decisions such as finding and deciding on a theme and deciding on which pages to write.

Luckily, those decisions are made!  The mind map helped me figure out how to make the website a static site then add a blog as a sub-domain such as http://blog.originalpressreleases.com  - which is what most clients in my industry would look for when they find a potential writer's website.  They look for a site with business information... then a blog with articles and how-to guides as well as information about the company's executive leadership.

At OPR, I'm the only executive. I'm also the only writer, typist and technical staff on hand.  That's okay. That's how I launched the OPR business in 2011 and it soon grew to a three person operation before I closed the business a few years later.  I hired two writers within six months and became an editor-in-chief.

Out of curiosity, I Googled the term editor-in-chief a moment ago and found this definition on Wikipedia which seems to fit what I'm writing about:

The editor-in-chief heads all the departments of the organization and is held accountable for delegating tasks to staff members and managing them. The term is often used at newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, and television news programs.

As I change my life completely, again, I want to hire five people within a year this time so I can promote someone to management in case I relapse again and won't be able to work.  My driving force is that it is an awesome feeling to pay someone a salary every week.  I've always engaged in tithing (which is one of the reasons I almost always have money) so I know what it feels like to give people money, but paying a salary feels a lot better.

Give Away Money if You Want to Increase Your Income and Change Your Life


To give you an idea of the power of tithing, I'll tell you my first experiences practicing the spiritual law.  When I began giving away ten percent of my income I was earning $10 an hour.  After approximately 3 or 4 months of tithing, I was fired from that job then quickly found another job paying $12 an hour.  Eventually I was earning $15 an hour in less than a year after I begain tithing.  It's powerful.

The beauty of tithing is that it doesn't matter who you give the money to or what your motives are while doing the deed.  What matters is the action.  The giving of the money.  I was totally selfish giving money because it felt good and because I knew that it'd come back in due time.  I'd tell people, you're helping me, take the money!

I'm Sure that's How Steve Jobs Felt about his Business


Steve appeared in the biography movie I watched last night and he briefly talked about his employees and his obligations to them as well as to the Apple Corporation and it's shareholders.  He was truly a great man!

His greatness was well rooted in an extremely positive attitude and a strong work ethic.  He didn't want to know why something couldn't be accomplished, he wanted to know how it could become a reality.

Steve Jobs’s Top 10 Rules for Success


1. Don’t live a limited life


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  – Steve Jobs

2. Have passion


If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.  With any job, there are aspects of work that are frustrating and difficult—even with the greatest dream job in the world, but being passionate about it will make you able to hold on when things get rough.

3. Design for yourself


“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs

I know it’s cliche, but this is so true, you are the captain of your own ship; don’t let anyone else take the wheel. Design life for yourself, you won’t receive a second opportunity to do so, so you either do it now, or you regret it on later in life.

4. Don’t sell crap


Sell only high quality products, while many would argue I would say that Apple products have always been top quality and that’s the reason why they are still at the top. They just provide quality products, and because of that they have loyal customers that are always willing to buy.

5. Build a great team


The people you surround yourself with, are the people that will shape your future. If you surround yourself with smart and positive people that share your vision, well then, you have a bright future ahead of you. Remember that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.

6. Don’t do it for the money


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Steve Jobs was worth 100 million dollars when he was 25 years old, but he didn’t do it for the money. He did it because he wanted to change the world, he was an innovator.

7. Be proud of your products


Create products that you can proudly recommend to friends and family, if your product is great, money will follow. Make sure your product is high quality and it’s something that people would love to use.

8. Build around customers


Customers tend to trust individuals who are serious about what they do, and willing to take the time to achieve a deep understanding of their craft. Take the time every day to learn more about your customers, their industry and their challenges.

Needless to say, gaining trust is only part of the equation. You must also have a product that customers want and need, and the ability to show how you’re adding value, solving problems, and so forth. However, if you don’t earn the customer’s trust, they’ll probably buy from someone else whom they do trust–even if the offering isn’t as good

9. Marketing is about Values


Have you ever seen a Nike advertisement where they share why they are better than Adidas and Puma? No, I know you haven’t, because what they do is they honor great athletes like Michael Jordan – that’s what they are, that’s who they are. So make sure your customers know what your company stands for.

10. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish


Never be satisfied, and always push yourself. Do (or be willing to keep trying) the things people say cannot be done.

I was fortunate to work for an engineer in my early corporate America career that enjoyed the same attitude.  He'd tell me, "Well, if you can't do it, who can I get?"  That made me think harder and I always delivered what he wanted.  I used the same approach to create a new filing system for our department which decreased the filing time and increased accuracy.

Years later at another engineering firm, I'd also changed the way we received information from one of our biggest clients which happened to be PG&E.  They'd send us hard copies of information then we'd hard-key the content into our system.  I thought, NO WAY!  We shouldn't have to go through this extra work.

My boss was a vice president so I had a little power to negotiate with my counterparts and we figured out how they could send us, via secure email servers, the information which was already entered into a computer system.  We'd get the information then begin working on it immediately without having to perform any data entry.


Monday, October 24, 2016

A Letter to My Doctor

I've been missing a lot of doctor appointments the past couple months and my doctor is becoming seriously concerned about that so I wrote her a letter this morning which I emailed a few minutes ago.  After I sent the email, I thought, well, I may as well use the content on the blog! 

Hi doctor,

I made it to your office on Friday. And as soon as I arrived I became ill. I felt so light-headed I had to sit on the pavement in front of a car in your building's parking lot for nearly a half hour before I could stand again.

My heart was beating fast and I was sweating so much it was running down my neck trickling on to my stomach! It's not the first time that's happened to me so I'm beginning to think my brain issues are stress related. I used to think it was because of the many brain injuries I received in street fights and in jail gang brawls throughout the years. I still get the electricity running through the back of my eyeballs some mornings, but it really occurs when I am stressed or when I become angry.

At any rate, the reason I decided to write this email is to thank you for understanding that my inability to make appointments is related to mental health issues and not because I don't care about my well-being [because I do]. I am taking better care of myself now than I ever have in my entire life. I've reduced the amount of drugs and cigarettes I smoke by more than half, and I make sure to eat every day... so there is forward progress.

The only evidence I have of behavioral changes is I've weighed the same for the last year which is a lot better than the year before when I dropped to 130 pounds and didn't care about anything but getting high and smoking cigarettes. I don't even drink alcohol anymore which is a small miracle for someone that consumed a half gallon of Vodka every day for many years.

I hope to see you on November 9th. Thank you again for your understanding and your help.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net YouTube Video Playlist

The video below is a playlist of Leo Babauta who maintains the extremely popular ZenHabits.net blog.  I've been reading the blog the blog for a few years and he really offers actionable steps which are life changing.

To give you an example, about a year ago I read a post which was meant to help his readers to take action by performing simple tasks.  Here's what he said,

If you have a lot of dirty socks on the floor, you don't have to place all the them in the hamper at once.  Just pick-up one sock.  Then the next day, pick-up another sock and do the same thing the following day until all the socks are off the floor.

I coupled that with what a therapist advised me to do.  The therapist said, "When you do something good for yourself, or when you perform a task you've been putting off, just sit with it for a few minutes."

Changing My Life from Within


The last post I published discussed how I am changing slowly, but surely.  It is those two things and a few other that are helping me change from within.  When I do some good I sit with it for a few minutes.

After a few months of practicing that advice, I stopped beating myself up as much to the point where today it is almost non-existent.  And if I begin to beat myself up, I know how to quickly change the thoughts!



Don't forget to view the video, 9 Ways to Become More Spiritual. And please bookmark this blog now so you can finish viewing the Leo Babauta playlist.  He really is an amazing teacher.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Still Changing My Life Slowly but Surely


Drugs are Sneaky
Hello Journal,

Long time no see!  I know I haven't written in a few months, but I have been changing my life so there's no need to worry as I'm still working on creating lasting change.

One of the the main things I have to report is that I am nowhere near where I was a year ago, or longer.  Today, I can remain sober for 3 or 4 days while some months I'll go an entire week without using drugs and I like it.  I'm slowly getting used to it and I'm hoping it'll stick since I'm not rushing it as I've done in the past.  Actually, I'm just going with the flow if that makes sense.

When I want to get high, I get high and when I don't I simply do not purchase drugs.  Today is Friday.  Wednesday and Thursday I remained sober.  Thursday night the thought of getting high entered my mind for a few minutes, but I simply said, "I don't want to get high" and that was the end of it.  The old timers at Alcoholics Anonymous say it gets easier with time and they're right.

It's no longer a big drawn out conversation with myself as to whether or not I'll consume drugs.  When I don't want to I simply say no and, for the most part, it's been working extremely well for me.  I've come a long way from the "Get Sober or Commit Suicide" frame of I maintained a year ago.

Maybe one of the biggest reasons for my change is because I did tried to commit suicide.  I injected a lot of heroin.  Enough to kill two men, but I woke up the next day.  I slept for the better part of three days and I was a little sick in the beginning, but I woke up.  Again!

I should be dead because I did more heroin than most people do at one time.  But here I am.  I've tried to committ suicide 3 or 4 times and every time I wake up the next day so I'm not going to try it again as it's better to be sober.  And life is more enjoyable sober!

Addiction is Cunning and Baffling and Works its Way In


I know how sneaky my addiction can be so I'm almost always prepared.  Don't get me wrong, I am not impervious to cravings for drugs.  Far from it.  I know very well that at any moment I could go back to consuming $100 or $200 a day and still want more.

There have been more nights than I can count where I consumed a couple hundred dollars worth of drugs then layed in bed wanting to get more.  But I just don't want that life any more.

In fact, I don't even hang out on the streets any longer.  I stay home!  It's not the life I want for myself, maybe because I am 50 years of age or because I simply don't want to walk the streets hustling money to get the drugs.  Something inside me has really changed and I like it.

At any rate, I'll write more next week :-)  The text below is an an article I just posted on ricoramiro.kinja.com.

Kinja oh Kinja! How do I like thee? Let me count the ways :-)


You are one of the best blogging platforms online. You’re so nimble and yet powerful. When I’m in your editor things simply go well as there aren’t any of the problems I usually encounter with those other ‘top heavy’ blogging platforms.

It’s easy to post content on Kinja.com as compared to the other blogging platforms available today.

It is simply too easy to post a quick article or picture on Kinja.com that I’m not sure why I perform the task once or twice a week! No more, saith ricoramiro.

From now on, I’ll grace your post editor at least once a week. I may even start another blog on this network and give up the SEO Content Writer blog I’ve been posting to on WordPress. That blog takes an extremely long time to load and to perform other functions.

Every time I have to perform a task such as install or uninstall a plugin or post content, it take a very long time because I have to wait at least 30 seconds between tasks while the browser finishes working on the taks. It’s a pain in the neck.

Today I was thinking I have to do something else because it doesn’t make sense for me to use 1/2 an hour to do something that should take only 10 to 15 minutes at most. Something has to give. I’m tired of watching the white of my screen while the browser performs it functions!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Free Document Readers from the California Secretary of State

Registered Voter
I just registered to vote in the upcoming presidential primary.  In excited because I haven't voted in nearly three decades.

At any rate, you can get free document readers by clicking on the link below.

Free Document Readers | California Secretary of State

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Video on Manifesting Your Soul's Purpose

I have read a few of Dr. Wayne Dyer's books and I must admit he has changed the way I view the world.  He also helped me get along well with others.

You'll learn something by watching the video below.  Please be sure to post a comment to let us know your thoughts.

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