Being proactive, and learning to read


Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, explains seven habits which, except for the seventh habit, must happen in sequence for an individual to be effective.  He explains a maturity continuum where Continue reading

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Participatory Politics Foundation


In researching links to help people become more informed about laws that get passed, I was so impressed with a site one of my reviewers directed me towards: http://www.opencongress.org.  I wanted to know more to see what else they were doing.  It is run by Participatory Politics Foundation, and I am totally impressed.  For all those developer types out there (ahem most of my brothers ahem), please take a look and think about contributing your time to helping them out, especially with their latest big project OpenGovernment.org.

Republican Caucus meeting


My visit to the Republican Caucus meeting last night was almost as educational as my visit to the Democratic Caucus meeting.  It presented me with new opportunities for growth that I haven’t yet considered in my plan for the Free Commots.

First of all, the attendance for our legislative district was Continue reading

Democratic Caucus Meeting


In my effort to connect with the precinct officers of my voting precinct I decided, since the caucus meetings were so close that I would attend as many of the party caucus meetings as I could for my precinct.  Several of the minor parties are holding their caucus meetings at the same time as the Republican Caucus meeting, which is tomorrow night.  The only caucus meetings that did not have conflicting times were the Democratic and Republican caucus meetings.  Since they are the only parties that really have much say in what happens in Utah, where I live, those are the caucus meetings that I will be attending.  Last night was the Democratic Caucus meeting and I wanted to report on my experience there.

Having grown up in a mostly Republican dominated culture with both of my parents being registered Republicans, I have never attended a Democratic caucus meeting.  I found it an educational experience.

First of all, for those that don’t know, Utah has both a State House of Representatives and a State Senate.  It is the smaller districts (for the House of Representatives) that make up the legislative districts.  Both Republican and Democratic Parties have decided that instead of having precinct caucus meetings at someone’s home, all voting precincts within a state legislative district meet together at the same time and place to conduct general party business and make announcements that apply to everybody, and then separate into the voting precincts to elect precinct officers and delegates for the county and state conventions.

There were around 120 people attending from my legislative district, which consists of 24 voting precincts. By state constitution precincts cannot be more than 1,200 registered voters.  So out of about 24,000 registered voters, only about 120 associated with the Democratic party and felt it was important to attend their caucus meeting.  According to the people running the meeting, it was the largest attendance they had ever had.  They said they usually only have about 80 and they had set up chairs for about 100. There were about 20 people who didn’t have a place to sit for the general business.  My precinct had one couple and myself who were in attendance, and I didn’t see any precinct with more than about 10.

From the meeting I found that, like Republicans, Democrats and those who associate with them have both pleasant and grumpy people among them.  They have people who are passionate and people who only come out of a sense of being guilted into attendance. The general sentiment that I felt was more an attitude of “I hate Republicans” than of standing for any uniquely Democratic ideals.  In other words it wasn’t all that different from my experiences in the past with the Republican party, except that because the Republican party is so predominant in Utah, there has been less of an inferiority complex at their meetings.

I am curious to see what I will see when I attend my Republican caucus meeting tomorrow night.

Billion Clicks


I’ve read “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen who talks about the general effect that our thought have on the outcome of our lives;  “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale who talks about how important it is to think positively and approaching projects with the assumption that you will succeed; and “The Master-Key to Riches” by Napoleon Hill who speaks about the importance of a Positive Mental Attitude.

There are many other resources that deal with the effects and importance of maintaining a positive outlook on your goals and life in general, but my wife showed me one last night that impressed me and I thought I would share:

It’s a blog called Billion Clicks.  The basic idea is that the author of the blog started keeping track of how many negative thoughts she had for a week.  When the week was up, she felt discouraged, depressed and basically struggled with negative emotions, so she had an epiphany to experiment if the opposite would also be true.  So she started counting of all of her positive thoughts, to see it would have the opposite effect.

To read her story, go to her blog.

I really liked the idea of keeping a Positive Mental Attitude.  I know that in order to be successful at what I want to do with The Free Commots, I need to also keep a positive attitude about what I’m trying to do.

To some, this may sound a little paranormal, but I assure you I am not superstitious.  Part of my religious beliefs is that there are beings that exist only on a spiritual level that are influencing our thoughts constantly.  Many of these beings who are influencing the direction that our thoughts go are destructive and want to persuade us to achieve nothing in life and die with small or negative impact on those around us.

When we seek to start an endeavor that could potentially affect millions of people, the negative thoughts are going to increase so it is important to counter that with intentionally creating positive thinking.

Another source of how to handle positive and negative thoughts is a company called 3 Key Elements.  They teach about the importance of non-verbal communication, but also teach a method of identifying and managing both the positive and negative thoughts that we have.  They have you keep two journals, one for positive and one for negative thoughts.  For negative thoughts it is not just a matter of identifying them, but also combating them by intentionally coming up with the exact opposite thought and reinforcing the first positive with another positive.  In order to get the full effect, I recommend taking their “Building a Mind of Steel” training.  It is helping me to identify and effectively squash the negative thoughts that have kept me from accomplishing things in my life.

Whether you believe in the metaphysical explanation or not, I have had many negative thought come across my mind as I have started to blog about this idea of The Free Commots.  Journaling them and countering them with powerful positive reinforcement has helped me to gain an energy and dedication about it that keeps me posting my progress and working toward success.