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STUFFology 101 copies of Korean edition

WOWEEEE the Korean Edition of STUFFology 101

STUFFology 101 Box of books from Korea I had the pleasure of picking up a gift that arrived from South Korea, yesterday – a box of the Korean edition of STUFFology 101 – Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter.

As an author of nine books, I’ve had the pleasure of having books translated in German, Spanish, Korean, and Slovenian. It’s always a treat to see how publishers of different countries handle the design and translation.

STUFFology 101 copies of Korean editionThis is an exciting time for us. Imagine writing a book that people from around the world express interest in. I feel a little giddy with excitement imagining how my co-author, Eric must feel. This is his first published book, which became a top-selling title and it is now available in the Korean language. WOWEEEE!

What’s next?

There’s no telling what’s around the corner. As we wrote in the Unexpected Gifts chapter of STUFFology 101, if you keep working toward your goal, you never know which unexpected gift will come your way.

That’s what happened with this edition. We exhibited copies of STUFFology 101 at the Frankfurt Book Fair through the Independent Book Publishers Association. Although more publishers and agents expressed interest in this title than my previous books, the world’s economy remains tenuous and no deal was forthcoming. However, unknown to us, Cheombooks, a publisher in South Korea was searching for books on Amazon when they discovered STUFFology 101And here we are!

STUFFology 101 a peek inside the Korean editionAll we can do is focus on helping you and who knows what’s next.

How about a little serendipity? I opened the book and paged through until I found a nice image of the inside pages I could share. What did I choose? Chapter 17 – Focus on Doing One Thing.

In our demanding, multi-tasking, and fragmented world, the best road to success with S.T.U.F.F. is to Start, Trust, Understand, and FOCUS in order to Finish.

Will you JOIN us?

A-deep-fried-thanksgiving-1

ENCORE of an Unexpected Gift – A Deep-Fried Thanksgiving

Turkey Deep Fryer for an Unexpected Gift

 

ENCORE of an UNEXPECTED GIFT – A Deep-Fried Thanksgiving

When one of our possessions is not used, over time it distracts us and creates a feeling of clutter. When curiosity got the better of me and I just had to try a deep fried turkey, Eric let me use it and four families gathered to ENJOY a FUN ADVENTURE.

This unexpected gift inspired Eric and I to write the following poem:

It’s on clearance, what a deal!
A turkey deep fryer to cook our Thanksgiving meal.

Just season to taste with spices and such
A pinch here and there, not too much.
But it says some assembly required
How to do it? I’m too tired.
Years go by and it sits on the shelf
Taunting me like an underutilized elf
Waiting to be used for the big holiday feast
Bothering my wife not in the least.
We should use it when the family’s in town
But it’s still not assembled, I feel so down.

Brenda asks how a deep fried turkey might cook
I’m eager to try it, let’s have a look.
She says, “I have a smoker to offer in trade
For your turkey deep fryer unused for a decade
“No, the fryer is mine.”
“But if you wanna use it, I guess that’s fine.”
Plans are made to break it in right
With special oil and a bird that won’t fight.
The big day draws near, how will it go?
Without some experience, there is no way to know.

Family and friends arrive to see
How a Thanksgiving bird is cooked for free.
The oil is hot, ready at last
Keep the temperature steady to cook it fast.
Anticipation and laughter fill the air
As we wait anxiously for our Thanksgiving fare.
The turkey is cooked and ready to eat.
The glorious meal is crispy and neat.
Making for a mouth-watering display
A great way to spend Thanksgiving Day!

We invite you to view the one-minute YouTube video clips of HOW TO Safely Prepare and ENJOY A Deep Fried Turkey from START to FINISH.

 

Brenda-Avadian-in-Mexico-Drinking-leche-de-Coca-fresca

Most THINGS don’t Matter Unexpected Gifts Do

Life Lesson: Most THINGS don’t Matter Unexpected Gifts Do

Oftentimes, we are caught up with THINGS.

We collect things. We clean, organize, and display them. We feel a loss when things go missing.

Yet, if we let go of some of these things or even better, don’t bring them into our homes, we’ll receive unexpected gifts that may surprise us.

Brenda Avadian in Mexico Drinking la Leche fresca de CocoWhile on a trip to Mexico, my husband and I lived high on the hog, we also lived along the middle of the hog, and under the hog. Okay, I’m stretching the cliché a little.

We returned home appreciating that we had a shelter even though it was a fixer-upper. We questioned if we should proceed with remodeling.

Even now, in our information-rich world, the more things we acquire, we run the risk of creating physical clutter, which soon grows into toxic mental clutter that takes time away from what matters in our lives.

Ever ask a person a question and not get a straight answer?

C’mon, what is it? Yes or No?

It’s hard to decide with a clutter-filled mind.

Instead, when we declutter the various cluttergories in our lives, we feel lighter, more focused, and are more decisive.

At around 7 minutes in the video, you’re invited to do an exercise. Click on link for an overview of the STUFFology 101 Cluttergories. Print a copy and then write your notes (from the video) on the reverse.

And the hog?

We finally ate the hog, but carnitas are not part of this story except for an unexpected gift.

I crossed one item off my Bucket List—a goal I’d had since I read stories in the 5th or 6th grade recounting family gatherings in Mexico.

What was it?

Watch the end of the video for my unexpected gift.

Yours will be different, and that’s what makes these gifts unexpected.

ENJOY.

If the embedded video does not display below, click on http://youtu.be/ViA9Xdsvz2g

 

Unexpected-Gifts_Cut-Through-the-Clutter_05272015-Copy

Cut Through the Clutter

What unexpected gifts will unveil themselves to you when you cut through the clutter?

In STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter, we discuss the five categories of clutter, which we call cluttergories. They are physical, mental, digital, temporal and sensual. Clutter has an ebb and flow to it, just like life. How we define our clutter may change.

Recently my Dad has been making improvements to his home, discovering areas of clutter in the process. One hall closet in particular had several shoe boxes full of old pictures (remember the print kind?) that were stored at random. My daughter Maggie volunteered to sort them out and organize them for my Dad so the whole family could enjoy them.

We took all the boxes home for easier sorting, and to help cut through the clutter at my Dad’s house! My first unexpected gift came shortly thereafter. As Maggie went through each box of pictures she would stop to ask who or what was in a given photo. It is amazing what memories (my unexpected gift) came into focus as I answered her questions. Of course there were questions that neither I nor my wife could answer about certain photos. That’s not a problem because a sticky note to mark that photo will do the trick short term. Maybe my Dad can provide the answers.  Unexpected-Gifts_Cut-Through-the-Clutter_05272015 - Copy

His pictures are now neatly organized in new photo boxes. As he looks through them in the future he will enjoy a pleasant stroll down memory lane, an unexpected gift worth giving.

Maggie was inspired to review and sort the family photos at our house as a result of this project. Fortunately my wife keeps them in pretty good order already. This is when I received my second unexpected gift. The photos triggered pleasant memories for sure, but also motivated me to take action.

Looking at my skinnier self from years ago, coupled with some good-natured teasing from my daughter, motivated me to lose weight. Getting back in shape is something I have been working at half-heartedly for most of this year, with limited success. Pictures tell a tale that is difficult to ignore.

The physical clutter of printed pictures has motivated me to get in better physical shape. What cluttergories are impacting your life?  Cut through that clutter to unveil an unexpected gift that is unique to you.

2015_Trailer-2

Unload That Trailer

I would rather have and not need it than need it and not have it. My philosophy for garage items was not serving me well when it came to my utility trailer. As discussed in STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter , I rarely used it. Worse than not using it was the fact it had turned into a not so mobile storage area for stuff!

On the rare occasion I needed to use the trailer, I first had to follow a multiple step process to get it out of the garage. This entailed moving the items in and around the trailer out onto the driveway so I could maneuver the trailer out of the garage. Then all that stuff in the driveway went back into the garage temporarily while I used the trailer. Finally, I reversed the process to park the trailer in the garage again. Not a very efficient use of time or space. Talk about temporal and physical clutter!

A solution to my clutter conundrum eventually appeared in the form of my nephew, who asked if I’d be interested in selling the trailer. Ultimately I said YES, but not before agonizing over the answer for at least 30 seconds. I was not home when he came to pick up the trailer, so he and my daughter followed my multiple step process to get the trailer out of the garage.2015_Trailer-1

While it was nice not having to do that work, I also received some unexpected gifts. Letting go of the trailer inspired the family to finally sort through the many trailer items to keep, toss, or donate. Clearing out the garage clutter enabled us to find a few family treasures to display in the house. Those items we chose to donate were put to much better use by our favorite charity. What a wonderful feeling!

In addition, my nephew did not need the panels I had made for the trailer, so I turned that material into storage shelving for my garage. Much of my jumbled Christmas decorations now had an easily accessible home. Aaahhh, relief from Christmas clutter constipation.

Unloading the trailer provided me with another unexpected gift, family time. My nephew stayed for dinner the day he picked up the trailer and we had a nice visit. Sorting through the garage items from the trailer as a family provided a nice block of time to catch up with one another on a variety of things that might otherwise have been missed.

Clear the clutter from an area in your life and discover what unexpected gifts are waiting for you.

Grand Piano_Avadian

To Master the Art of Decluttering, Ask Magic Question 2

The art of de-cluttering is similar to any other skill or talent worth developing. If you want to play better piano, you need to practice, Practice, PRACTICE. If you want to be a better basketball player, you need to shoot hoops and practice moves on the court.

Whatever talent you wish to master, you need to respond vividly to the second of two magic questions.

The great masters, whether in music, sport, or any other talent, practice and use visualization to mentally finger the keys or take hoop shots.

Grand Piano_Avadian

We take it a step further.

Visualization is not enough when we have access to five senses.

Master the art of decluttering so that you may join us as STUFFologists.

In over 45 years of clearing the clutter throughout my life, I have found when I clear a physical space; it has a profound effect on how I think. For example, clearing a square foot area of clutter clears my mind and opens me up to unexpected possibilities. It goes deeper than this but I’m limited by two-dimensional expression.

Imagine what we can accomplish room by room in an entire home or office!

Clutter will never totally disappear. It’s part of our natural cycle of life. Just as you eat to digest the nutrients in your food, and then eliminate, there will always be a cycle of clutter in our lives. We accept this as the natural course of life; especially, while we’re focused on other tasks leaving clutter to accumulate.

We can control our clutter by answering the two Magic Questions.    

In Chapter 22 of STUFFology 101, we address the Two Magic Questions.

Eric Riddle wrote about the first Magic Question in Why do I have this?

This article invites you to step up the challenge of answering Magic Question 2: What would the area I am focusing on look, feel, smell, or sound like if I cleared the clutter? 

Your ability to feel the answer deeply will yield lasting success. In other words, visualize the area but go beyond to imagine using your other senses.

  • Do you notice how clean an area smells after you’re finished dusting?
  • Do you remember feeling a more open mind after clearing an area of a stack of papers?
  • Have you noticed after emptying a room of stacks of boxes, that you are able to hear sound more clearly?

Where do you begin?

Click to Start with S.T.U.F.F. Define an area you want to clear of clutter and get started. Focus on how you feel, what you smell, hear, touch, or see.

The more senses you involve, the greater your success.

Over time, like a virtuoso pianist or a star basketball player, you will master the art of decluttering.

And who knows?

In the physical, mental, digital, temporal, and even sensual space created, you may find an unexpected gift. There is no telling what it will be. That’s what makes it unexpected. I have found if I observe closely and keep an open mind, I usually find the answer to a question I’ve been mulling around awhile or a find a solution to a challenge I’ve encountered.

Giving up Television_Avadian photo

Letting GO to Welcome In

Giving up Television_Avadian photoLast week, I cancelled my satellite TV subscription.

Two years ago, I suspended service for two to three months. Since then, I wanted to let go of subscription TV but hit a roadblock—my husband.

When he suggested giving up TV completely, recently, I jumped and cancelled our service.

The following day, I received an unexpected gift.

When my neighbor and I walked the 0.7 mile down to our mailboxes, she received a postcard. An announcement about a play– Great Expectations. I got EXCITED, because Charles Dickens’ story of Pip and Miss Havisham was one of those childhood stories that left an impression on me. Time to see the play after reading the book several times and seeing the movie.

When ONE door closes, ANTHER DOOR opens.

Or, to using another cliché:

You can’t get to second base with your foot still on first.

In order to take a leap of faith, you must be willing to let go.

We don’t realize it: We watch more TV than we think we do.

Couch-Potatoes_AvadianI would have guessed that I watched only one to two hours, some nights, but the truth was,  I could watch three or more. After a hard day of work, I enjoyed being a couch potato. With all that TV watching though, this spud was going no where.

All those hours lost… watching TV

All those hours watching actors, actresses, news broadcasters, documentaries, and even some reality TV.

All those hours of distraction taking never-to-be returned hours from finishing the tasks that would give me peace of mind and reduced mental clutter.

Things I look forward to doing as I get used to this new schedule without TV—

  • Reading an hour
  • Walking an hour
  • Telephoning a friend
  • Catching up with emails
  • Catching up with some online reading
  • Making progress on the stacks of paperwork accumulating on my worktable, mail shelf, and desk

Saturday afternoon, while shopping, we bought a DVD and watched a movie that evening. Two hours of TV in five days. WONDERFUL!

Sunday night, instead of watching the line-up of shows, I took two-and-a-half hours to review the past minutes and Bylaws for one of the associations for which I serve as a board member.

Exciting, huh? Not really.

What’s worse is seeing the folder on my L-shaped desk over the past seven months. I realized if I review the papers again, after having served on the board for seven months, I‘d have a clearer context for our work going forward. I’ll need to devote at least an hour more before I can file the folder for future reference.

We have a choice.

We can spend our time in front of the TV or spend it catching up with the things that pile up in our lives.

If we take at least ONE hour each evening to catch up with reading, imagine what we will gain, in one month–thirty hours of knowledge and progress reading books and/or magazines.

I don’t suggest marathon reading.

Our brains won’t be able to use everything our eyes gloss over. Marathon reading produces similar results as overeating at an all-you-can-eat buffet. You’ll feel upset and won’t be able to use all the information/nutrition at one sitting unless you take time to reflect or digest.

Taking time away from TV to to sit and talk with your spouse during dinner, talking a walk, and reading an hour each day, will have a cumulative effect on your life. I’ve also noticed, I’m less distracted. It’s like my brain isn’t buzzing with thoughts. I can focus and see more clearly. Who would have guessed this as on outcome of giving up TV? Again, after only five days!

If you give up something similar, let us know how it goes.

We can all learn from one another.

It’s not easy to give up something we’re used to in our lives—but as the saying goes (cliché alert): If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Most often, getting what you’ve always gotten,  isn’t good enough.

For a related perspective, read, WISDOM of the AGES.

A-deep-fried-thanksgiving-1

A Deep-Fried Thanksgiving

A-deep-fried-thanksgiving-2

A Deep-Fried Thanksgiving

After Eric’s turkey deep fryer lay dormant for many years, he let Brenda use it. This unexpected gift inspired them to write the following:

It’s on clearance, what a deal!
A turkey deep fryer to cook our Thanksgiving meal.

Just season to taste with spices and such
A pinch here and there, not too much.
But it says some assembly required
How to do it? I’m too tired.
Years go by and it sits on the shelf
Taunting me like an underutilized elf
Waiting to be used for the big holiday feast
Bothering my wife not in the least.
We should use it when the family’s in town
But it’s still not assembled, I feel so down.

Brenda asks how a deep fried turkey might cook
I’m eager to try it, let’s have a look.
She says, “I have a smoker to offer in trade
For your turkey deep fryer unused for a decade
“No, the fryer is mine.”
“But if you wanna use it, I guess that’s fine.”
Plans are made to break it in right
With special oil and a bird that won’t fight.
The big day draws near, how will it go?
Without some experience, there is no way to know.

Family and friends arrive to see
How a Thanksgiving bird is cooked for free.
The oil is hot, ready at last
Keep the temperature steady to cook it fast.
Anticipation and laughter fill the air
As we wait anxiously for our Thanksgiving fare.
The turkey is cooked and ready to eat.
The glorious meal is crispy and neat.
Making for a mouth-watering display
A great way to spend Thanksgiving Day!

You can view the one-minute YouTube video clips of how we prepared this turkey before it passed our lips. These fourteen video shorts show A to Z how fun cooking a turkey can be … maybe not for the turkey.

Deep Fried Thanksgiving with friends and family at
https://www.youtube.com/user/BrendaAvadian/videos.