The Secret to Getting Better at Something

In most cases, people think there's some type of trick or process that's involved in getting better at something, but the truth is I believe you get better at most things by practicing.

That's really the bottom line.

I've heard it said that practice makes perfect and in some ways that may be true, but perfect practice makes perfect.

Now, in some cases, you may have situations where you may not be able to get better because of a physical limitation.

If you're planning on being able to dunk a basketball and you're out of shape and you've never done it in life, it may be hard for you to pull that off.

What I'm talking about is things that are everyday efforts such as creative work in the forms of writing, singing, etc.

If you've considered writing a blog or book, the way you get better at it is to put pen to paper or to put fingers to the keyboard and punch it out.

Over time, you simply get better.

As you read more things that are written better than you write, you can be exposed to things that pull out the best in you.

As you continue to write, you get better at writing.  If you're a singer and you actually do have talent, the way you get better is to sing and exercise those vocal chords.  You may get some coaching, but what is the coach going to have you do? Sing.

If you have aspirations to be a speaker, what do you have to do to become a better speaker? You speak.

This has become much more visible in the release of my podcast lately.  I feel that as I'm doing the podcast process and I'm trying to create value for listeners, I'm getting better at speaking and I can put my thoughts together faster and in a more concise way.

There are so many techniques that you can use to get better at things, but at the end of the day, whether you get coaching or read books, the main way to get better is to put it into practice.

Question:  What are some of the things you have gotten better at as a result of "doing the work" to make it happen?

Speaking a Book on the Way to Work

Over the next month or so, in additon to speaking some of my blog posts on my way to and from work, I plan to record myself speaking paragraphs or chapters of an eBook that I've been wanting to write for a while. 

I'm on the highway anyway and it's really as simple as opening the voice recording app and talking instead instead of having the radio on and listening to other people talk.

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Why We Have So Many Accidents

If you've been driving for more than about 5 years, you've likely noticed a big difference in what you see when you're riding around on the road.

People are texting and driving. They are Facebooking and they are driving.  They are Tweeting and driving. 

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A Good Reason for a Hiatus

Sometimes in life, we have desires and passions that lead us toward goals that we really want to reach and we'll do what it takes in order to reach those goals.

One of the goals that I had recently was to launch a podcast and to actually learn from people who are successfully podcast and also to study what it takes to have a podcast.  I wanted it to be available on iTunes, Stitcher, and some of the apps that I use to listen to podcasts.

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Cool Ways We Get Food

People often ask us about some of the creative and interesting things we do in our effort to feed our growing family.  In this post, I plan to share two of the things we do.

One of those things has gotten a lot of attention lately since our local newspaper, The Advocate, did a feature article on it and my picture was at the top of the page.

During our pick-up last month, a photographer from the paper came out and talked to several of us and I was pictured on the truck helping the driver unload boxes to the other customers.

Azure Standard

We're a part of a local food co-op that allows us to pick up our orders once a month from a company called Azure Standard.

The way it works is pretty simple.  It involves the following steps

1)  Go to AzureStandard.com and create an account.

2)  Add items to your cart and place an order by the deadline

3)  Pick up items on the drop date and help unload the truck

There are thousands of items. Not just food items, but household items as well.  Some are better priced, some are better quality, and some of the same quality that you would get at a local store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or something along those lines.

Some of the food comes from a farm in Oregon and the trucking company actually picks up our orders and delivers them once a month.

The picture from the paper (and above on this post) is actually a picture of us picking up our food from the truck.

There are produce items, household items, and you can also get frozen items.  The truck is refrigerated to help transport perishable items and there is a freezer area for the frozen items.

During the pickup, the way it works is we each have a sheet with our name on it and we use clipboards that are laid out in alphabetical order (usually it's close but some are out of order).  After the clipboards are down, everyone lines up at the back of the truck and each person grabs a box that is labeled with the customer's name.  You find the clipboard with the person's name and then place the box behind the person's name.  After that, you get back in line.

Given the number of people and families who participate in our co-op, it really doesn't take long to unload the truck, maybe 30-45 minutes.  After that, you can pack up your boxes and leave.

You have the option of paying for your items online when you place the order or you can do Cash-On-Delivery and pay the driver when you pick up the order or you can call them before the pick-up to pay by phone.

The best part is if something is wrong with your order (moldy produce/damaged product), you can call the company and they will promptly give you credit for the bad items and make it right.  We have had to do it a couple of times and it wasn't a problem.  It was an inconvenience because we didn't get the items, but at least we were credited.

 

Zaycon Foods

In addition to our food co-op, we also order our chicken from a company called Zaycon Foods.  They actually come to this area around twice a year and they also go to nearly all 50 states as well.  They make delivery of things like chicken, ground beef, bacon, pork sausage, pulled pork, and other items like wings and fish filets.

Mostly in this area, we're able to get the chicken breasts and meat items.  You're able to buy this in bulk (chicken comes in 40lb boxes) and you're getting a great price with no preservatives or harmful chemicals in the food.  You get something of high quality but it's actually not bad on the price. I've seen the price of the chicken breasts range from $1.69/lb to $1.89lb (the price for the current pick up)

You can go to www.devindabney.com/zaycon to sign up.  It doesn't cost you anything sign up and you can get points toward orders if you use a referral link to notify other people about the company.

They'll notify you when an event is coming to your area and all you have to do is place an order at the most convenient location that is listed.  On the pick up date, you simply pull up to the truck, pop your trunk, and let them load the food and you're done in about 2 minutes.

Since it comes in cases of 40lbs, you might want to split it with someone or, in our case, we freeze it and use it for lots of different recipes.  It lasts us until the next time they come, which is about 6 months.  That helps you avoid getting chicken from the store for a long time and you can have it on hand when you need it.  

Sign up and you'll find all the information you need.

7 Free Places to Store Your Files

Computers and technology can provide us with great convenience every day (when it's all working right).  These days, there are so many ways to use technology — from desktops to laptops, phones to media players and tablets.

When we want our technology, we want it right then and there. 

But, what happens when there is hardware/software failure or you get a virus?  Would you lose your most important files?  The papers you're working on for school.  The pictures from last year's vacation.  The copies of your tax returns. The video of little Johnny's first steps.  Your client's contracts.

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How to Easily Create Blog Posts Throughout the Day

If you have a smartphone that has a voice recorder, it's pretty easy to create blog posts throughout the day.

Being an "ideas" person, I always have a ton of ideas for blog posts and if you're the same way, it's a good idea to get those ideas out of your head and into a digital format.

Whenever you get a free second during the day, you can take out your phone, start your voice recorder or recording app and talk about the topic for a few minutes. 

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Don’t Type Emails While Driving, Do This

By now, we all should know the effects of texting/tweeting/Facebooking/emailing and driving, but why do so many people still do it.

Several police officers I know have said that it is the cause of many of the accidents they see.

I was on the way to work yesterday morning and I saw a young guy who was so into his cell phone that he kept swaying in the road and since he was driving so slowly, I was boxed in behind him until the other lane cleared.

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Make a Home Inventory Today

As a technology enthusiast, I'm always looking for ways to make things easier or to do things that would be beneficial for myself and my family and for others who we know.

With so many natural disasters and unexpected occurrences happening all of the time, it's important to know what items are contained in your house and to have a general idea of what is contained in each room.

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