How to Stay Focused with the “Five More” Technique

Today I’d like to tell you how to stay focused with The “Five More” Technique.

I learned this simple yet very powerful tip from self-help guru Sam Horn. Here it is in a nutshell:

The next time you’re about to get off task,
say mentally or aloud to yourself, “Just Five More.”

What does this mean?

Ah, come on. It’s simple.

Continue to work for five more minutes on whatever you’re working on.

Jog for five more minutes if you’re getting your daily exercise.

Write five more sentences if you’re bogged down composing a blog entry.

It’s that simple, and this technique works because it builds persistence.

So every time you’re about to get unfocused or about to give up on something, just Do Five More, okay?

Don’t Have Time to Meditate?

For today’s meditation, let’s approach things a little differently by examining a comment by Jack London, author of “Call of the Wild, “Sea Wolf,” and many other fine novels and short stories. London correctly observes…

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

We’re looking at this rather aggressive comment today because there are so many people who don’t spend a few minutes focusing on their breathing at least once every day because they feel they don’t have time to meditate.

Well, make time, by golly.

As Jack London so correctly observes, you have to go after what you want in life. He says to do it with a club, which is a bit much for me, but I agree that to get what you want in life (even if your goal is to eventually want nothing at all), you have to act.

You won’t get what you want (or what you don’t want) by complaining that you don’t have time.

So get up twenty minutes earlier, go to bed twenty minutes later, or turn off the darn boob tube for twenty minutes every evening and make meditation a daily part of your life!

Do it.

Do it today!

Seriously, you can make time for meditation, no matter how busy your schedule. Just be creative and carve out 20 to 30 minutes each day to get in touch with yourself.

After a month of daily meditation, I guarantee you’ll join me in considering your meditation minutes the best and most productive time you spend each day.

That’s it. No more harping or yelling from me on this topic for at least six months.

Supermarket Specials

Yesterday the supermarket down the street from our house had five apples entombed in a styrofoam and cellophane container with a “Today’s Special” sticker touting the nice price of $1.99.

Since the cheapest apples at this store usually go for a minimum of $1.89 a pound, my hand suctioned up this deal the way a hungry frog’s tongue curls around a fly.

You’re perhaps wondering if there was a catch to this nice price for five apples wrapped up tighter than a plastic surgeon’s $3,500 tummy tuck.

Well, heck, I’d bet a dime to a donut you know as well as I do that any produce with a “Today’s Special” sticker on its styrofoam and cellophane container probably has a problem.

And this special offer did have a problem.

You see, even though these five apples were encased upside down, I could tell one of them was a bit long in the tooth because it had wrinkles all over it; wrinkles, as you may or may not know, often being a result of too much time in cold storage. This fact, of course, holds true for apples as well as for Golden Agers Like Me Struggling to Live Sanely in Modern Times.

Speaking of my fellow Golden Agers Struggling to Live Sanely in Modern Times… no, wait, we best not venture down that twisty road today.

So, yeah, anyway, one of the five apples carried sufficient wrinkles to pass for a prune if it had been 85% smaller.

From previous experiences with reduced price produce, I knew this wouldn’t be a great apple but I also sensed that the wrinkles weren’t yet deep enough to disqualify it from consumption.

And the other four apples looked just fine.

I mean, seriously, a buck ninety-nine for five apples. Who could turn down such a deal?

So, at this point, I’m thinking… Hmm, four of the apples look like Fuji’s, but I’m not sure about this wrinkled one. It’s bigger than a Fuji and thumping it suggests crispness, but I can’t count on that satisfying solid sound since thumping on a Red Delicious often suggests crispness too, when, in reality, biting into one of them is akin to chomping down on half-cooked pork belly.

Hmm, I’m pondering, really wracking the old brain cells now, pushing my cognitive powers to the limit, what kind of apple might this be?

Still maintaining much of my mental acuity (I was having a good day!), I turned the package in multiple directions but much to my annoyance couldn’t find a little identifying sticker.

Then, whoa, revelation strikes me with the force experienced by Paul on the Road to Damascus.

Wait.

Wait a second.

I think Saul traveled that road, didn’t he?

Or was it Paul?

More intense brain wracking, neurons transmitting so intensely that sparks may well be flying around in my skull box.

Finally, as my cerebral matter settles down to a crawl and finishes its fiery review of Acts 9:1-19, I recall the correct name: yes, yes, it was Saul.

Hmm, that particular name has the potential for a writing project, doesn’t it?

Maybe even a TV series?

Better call my agent.

Oops, that’s right. My agent dropped me after my second novel flopped in 1989, and I no longer have a New York representative to take 15% of any money I make from dipping into my endless river of words.

Well, so, let’s put that TV series idea on the rear burner for another day, too.

Back to identifying stickers.

I know, I know… now I have the explanation — it’s the two produce guys, and they’re dressing up their jolly times at work by messing with me again!

You see, both of the two chaps who man my local supermarket’s produce section have good senses of humor as well as perhaps traces of sadism because they far too often hide (or even remove!) the tiny identifying stickers that now mar the natural skin of most produce.

(Note: though I see some utility to planting identifying stickers on produce to help high school students who — warning: PC word change for Modern Times coming — wo(man) the scanning technology at the check-outs, the cynical old fart in me wants to know why so many young people in Modern Times can no longer tell the difference between an avocado and an artichoke. I mean, seriously, what’s being taught in homes and schools these days?)

Anyway, back to the apples entombed in the styrofoam and cellophane container. At least for now, I’ll spare you my rant about how annoying it is to have a seventeen year old grocery bagger — who looked me up and down as if I were Bob Dole drooling over Brittany Spears in that 1998 classic erectile dysfunction television commercial — ask me if I need help carrying out my order.

Containing the ex-boxer in me, the urban legend fighter who allegedly once sparred eight rounds with Pee-wee Herman, I politely reply, “Thank you, no,” the look on my face implying that I still retained sufficient physical prowess to get a single grocery bag containing five “Today’s Special” apples entombed in a styrofoam and cellophane container and a bottle of “Easy Go” laxative out to my car without dropping it or tripping and landing on the asphalt of the parking lot and then having to push the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button on my Life Alert bracelet.

He smirked at me.

I happily report that I didn’t respond by smacking him aside the head with the bag containing those five “Today’s Special” apples entombed in a styrofoam and cellophane container and a bottle of “Easy Go” laxative!

Yes, age does help one learn to contain oneself, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s not really true.

You see, as I ramble around in my 70’s, I find it harder and harder at times to contain myself… this narrative being a perfect example, as you’ve no doubt already noted to yourself with a long sigh and a tsk-tsk to remind yourself to write sharp prose instead of wandering rants whose destinations might well even elude upcoming AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms.

Speaking of wandering, the other day when I was having trouble finding my way home after my morning walk, I got to thinking about how hikers can use the sun and their wristwatches to determine direction and thus properly navigate their way. So I looked at the sun and then at my wrist, but, damn it, my digital watch lacked hands and was thus no help at all.

At that point, because I wasn’t watching where I was going, I almost tripped on an apple core that some fool had tossed out of his car window while driving through our neighborhood.

Ah, yes, speaking of apple cores, I did manage to find my way home from the grocery store (thanks to a technological marvel that I do admire rather than despise — a GPS system) and promptly took into the kitchen my little bag of groceries containing the “Easy Go” colon product and the five apples entombed in their styrofoam and cellophane container.

With great anticipation, I tore open the cellophane, grabbed the wrinkled apple that didn’t look like the other four nice Fuji’s, turned it right side up and found the little identifying sticker!

This was a tremendous surprise because the sticker ID-ed this apple as a PINATA.

A pinata!

What the hell?

I thought a pinata was a painted paper-mache representation of an animal or person or some other thing containing toys or candy or Mardi Gras beads or some other kind of cheap crap that kids hit with baseball bats until it broke open and they could then push and shove each other to get at the goodies. Kind of like Halloween when rabid children push doorbells until old grumps like me are ready to cut their own throats with butter knives just to get a little peace and quiet while we’re trying to watch old Lawrence Welk reruns on the Aged Fart streaming service.

But, I digress.

Back to the kitchen and the pinata apple, which I sliced with my favorite knife… ah, it sliced like a crisp apple should slice, with a firm white flesh (no, I’m not thinking about the Bob Dole commercial again), an apple flesh that suggested a terrific eating experience soon to come.

So I took a big bite out of that first nice slice.

Hmm, not bad, I thought.

Almost as good as a Fuji.

But then, alas, I noted an aftertaste that I didn’t care for.

I can’t adequately describe that taste, though gargling with Listerine mixed with garlic Hollandaise sauce comes to mind. As you no doubt know from reading the Wikipedia entry, “Hollandaise sauce, formerly also called Dutch sauce, is an emulsion of egg yolk, melted butter, water and lemon juice. It is usually seasoned with salt, and white pepper or cayenne pepper. Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine.”

Anyway, I didn’t care much for the taste of the aged pinata apple.

I mean, honestly, I didn’t gag or puke or anything, but I’m not going to write home about the taste, either.

Of course I ate the entire apple because, after all, I’d paid close to 41 cents for it, and here at CasaDay, where we live on a fixed income, the still beautiful Ellen Schoenberger Day and I don’t waste 41 cents.

I mean, seriously, 41 cents goes a long way these days.

Think of all the things you can buy for 41 cents…

Hmm, the only thing I can think of are my five apples no longer entombed in their styrofoam and cellophane container.

Anyway, speaking of apples, that reminds me of the time before I fell head over heels for the lovely Ellen Schoenberger Day, a time when I dated a girl named Eve (whose father owned an orchard in Washington state) who caused me all kinds of problems… but I’ll save that story for another day.

P.S. Check out my novels at https://amazon.com/author/chetday

Two Wake Up Tips

This week I’m sharing two easy but very useful tips you can use to shake off the sleepy blues and pop out of bed happy and alert.

I don’t know if you realized this or not, but the human mind can get so used to certain sounds that you’ll no longer even be aware of them.

With that fact in hand, you can now see why it’s so easy to sleep through or even ignore the familiar ring of an alarm clock you’ve had for years.

So, for the first tip for waking up refreshed, buy at least two more alarm clocks and then switch between them every week.

Even better, purchase one of the new digital alarm units that feature sounds from nature, as well as music.

Sounds that differ from what you hear every day are going to wake you up much better than hearing the same awful buzz most mornings of your life!

The second tip you’re probably familiar with, though you also probably never do it.

Try this tip because it works…

After you drag yourself out of that warm bed, jump start your body by moving it.

That’s right… move.

You don’t have to drop to the floor for twenty push-ups, either.

Instead, stand by your bed and start swinging your arms up and down and then in circular motions.

Wiggle your torso.

Lift those legs up and down a few times.

You’ll be stunned at how well this technique works, even when you think you’re exhausted from not getting enough sleep the night before.

And those, Dear Reader, are the two “wake up refreshed tips” I have for you today.

A Lao-Tzu Meditation

For today’s meditation, we turn east to Lao-Tzu, who tells us…

A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

Most of us during these crazed Covid days are easily injured or even broken because we don’t bend the way we should.

For this week’s meditation, breathe in, hold for a few seconds, relax and breathe out and let go. Repeat several times until you feel your awareness shift into a more peaceful space.

Now, breathe in a tree whose branches are covered with ice. The limbs are bent so dramatically, it’s hard to believe the very tree itself doesn’t topple over to the earth.

But, instead, the limbs bend, they bend gracefully and painlessly and carry the weight of the ice until it melts in the afternoon sun.

The tree, unburdened of its limbs encrusted with heavy ice, once again stands tall and at peace.

Unharmed.

Bent, unbent, never broken.

It’s that easy.

Just breathe in the bending, hold, relax and let go.

Ahhh, peace!

The Pickle Juice Cold and Flu Remedy

A reader of one of my newsletters wrote me the following letter in the winter of 2003:

Chet, I haven’t had the flu, or even a cold, in 30 years because I consume two tablespoons of cold dill pickle juice each morning when I get up.A doctor told me to do that 30 years ago. I haven’t had any problems since I started the daily ritual.

Well, this is the kind of simple, elegant, natural cold and flu remedy that I enjoy sharing with people, so I hope you’ll add two tablespoons of dill pickle juice to your morning routine in the near future.

I also hope you have the same experience as my reader and spend the next 30 years without a cold or flu.

While researching this home remedy on the Internet, I learned that people also use dill pickle juice for upset stomach, and, interestingly enough, hangovers. So this might be a good addition to your health routine, especially if you’re still drinking alcohol.

The Pickle Juice Cold and Flu Remedy is said to be an excellent treatment for early onset of a cold or flu, and works even better when used in combination with other common natural remedies.

Here’s to staying healthy with natural remedies for summer colds and winter flu.

How Chicken Used to Taste

I have a confession to make.

I turned 73 a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t had a decent chicken dinner since the late 1950’s when my dear old Mom used to fry up a batch for our Sunday meal. Man, that chicken tasted great… in fact, it tasted so good it tasted like… well, like chicken.

And now, here it more than sixty some years later, and I’m actually drooling, thinking about how real chicken used to taste.

Today, shoot, an epicure like me can’t even find a frog leg that tastes like real chicken. Indeed, even the expensive “pasture-raised” fowl taste like cardboard and aren’t worth wasting a skillet of Crisco on. (Not that I fry with Crisco, but my dear mother did back in the daze when I walked seven miles to school after milking the cows and feeding the hogs so I still have fond memories of the nasty stuff.)

As for beef, shoot, the last time I had a steak that tasted the way tenderloins are supposed to taste I had to shell out $100, not including a side of broccoli with a slice of cheese on top that added another $15 to the ridiculous bill. And the cynic in me figured the steak tasted great not because it was beef raised the way we used to raise ’em back on the farm but because clever food scientists who concoct “natural flavors” for a living had most likely developed some kind of marinade to trick old fools like me.

As for genetic engineering to explain why chicken and beef now taste like old apple cores… now, that’s a topic that vibrates the hair on the back of my neck, but I’m already deep in babble mode so I’ll exercise restraint and not wander down that path today.

Speaking of apple cores, we get some great apples here in our neck of the North Carolina woods. You see, every fall we drive west and come back with a big bushel or two of a nice variety of apples freshly picked from the trees in a place aptly named Apple Valley, which is close to Lake Lure (where Dirty Dancing was filmed a zillion years ago, for what that’s worth. Gosh, that reminds me of the times back in the day when I was known for my ability to cut the rug with a variety of lovely young lasses. That of course was before I met my beloved late wife Ellen Schoenberger Day. But let’s save those sweet memories for another time).

And each fall when we visited the Lake Lure area, we always bought a gallon of fresh apple juice, too. Fall, you see, is my favorite time of year here in NC… when we’re not dealing with tropical storm force winds and rain, of course. Happily, I recently made it through our second intense weather event without having a tree fall on our house or intaking water from the creek adjacent to CasaDay when another big storm roared through like a banana slipping its skin.

Speaking of bananas, I confess that I consume one on a daily basis, not because I like them that much, but because they sell for an incredible 38 cents a pound at our supermarket. I wonder every time I buy another half dozen how bananas can continue to sell for such a cheap price, given how far they have to come to reach the U.S. And that’s not to mention the fungus that could attack the Cavendish variety of banana that’s sold in America should that fungus (Panama disease I think it’s called) ever reach South America, where our bananas come from. Still only thirty-eight cents a pound in 2021. Remarkable.

Finally, friends, if I’m overdoing it with these occasional ramblings, don’t bother telling me because it’s not going to do any good. I get this way when I’m close to putting the final words to another novel. For some reason, the more I write the more I want to write, and it’s just plain wonderful as a retired dude to finally have the time to sit and flood this old keyboard with the endless river of words that runs through me.

And yes, for those concerned, one of these daze I will look into seeing a counselor for hypergraphia.

P.S. Check out my novels at https://amazon.com/author/chetday

Stereo Espresso – a Wake-up Fast MP3

Is getting up in the morning Hell for you?

Well, if it is my StereoEspresso MP3 is a wake-up tool you’ll never want to be without.

If you’re living in our awful Modern Times (and if you aren’t, you’re either dead or in a position to not have to get up in the morning anyway) and count yourself as the average overworked, over-stressed man or woman, getting started in the morning is torture.

For instance, your alarm goes off and you can’t believe it’s already time to get up because you’re as exhausted as a hung-over grad student who stayed up all night to finish a paper.

So what do you do?

If you’re like the average Joe or Jane, you stumble to the kitchen to pour the day’s first of many cups of coffee.

You may even have an espresso machine.

And I also bet you’ve set the autotimer on your caffeine machine to have hot brew ready and waiting for you as soon as you get out of bed every morning.

Then you swallow that dark, stimulant-laden beverage — either loaded with sugar for an extra energy boost or black as coal if you really need to jump-start your body.

After a shower and another cup of Java — sipping that one on your drive to work, am I right? — you eventually start feeling like you may be awake enough to survive to the first coffee break.

You know as well as I do that the above routine is NOT a healthy way to start your day and to live your life.

Well, my free StereoEspresso MP3 is going to help you wake up every morning without the jitters and bad breath associated with coffee and caffeine.

Here’s one good way to use this amazing audio tool:

Program your bedroom MP3 player to blast this track to coincide with your alarm clock. You’ll have jacked the volume the night before, and, boom, you’ll burst wide awake to a fun, uplifting tune that’s layered with powerful brainwave entrainment technology.

This MP uses audio technology that stimulates beta brainwave activity, which is associated with improved emotional stability, as well as productive energy levels, attentiveness, and concentration.

Click here to download a zip file containing use instructions and this ABSOLUTELY FREE and powerful MP3.

How to Stop Farting with Sequential Eating

Do you suffer from gas or fart like there’s no tomorrow?

Does your tummy bubble and groan, tumble and moan every time you sit down to eat?

Do you pop a Rolaids or Tums after half your meals?

If any of the above apply to you, then you’re one of millions of other human beings who aren’t properly digesting their foods.

If you’ve plagued by digestive problems, today’s your chance to try sequential eating, a technique I learned from the late Dr. Stanley Bass more than twenty years ago.

This sequential eating technique may sound weird, but it works beautifully for a lot of folks.

Here’s what you need to do to eat sequentially

Instead of eating a forkload of beans and then a forkload of potatoes and then a forkload of salmon, eat all of one food first and then go on to the next item on your plate.

For this to work properly, you MUST eat the least dense food first and the most dense last.

For example, say your dinner consists of salad, green beans, boiled red potatoes, and salmon. (We’ll ignore the fact that this is a bad combination and that for best digestion starches and proteins shouldn’t be eaten at the same meal at all.)

To practice sequential eating, you’d eat all of each item in this order:

Eat all the salad.
Eat all the green beans.
Eat all the potatoes.
Eat all the salmon.

If anyone happens to comment on how you’re eating, just tell them your doctor told you to do it and then they’ll leave you alone.

To repeat the key principle:

You MUST eat the least dense food first and the most dense last.

I had one man write and tell me his 50+ year indigestion problems resolved in two days after he started practicing sequential eating.

Try sequential eating. I’m betting your farting days will be a thing of the past.

How to Overcome Fear

For this week’s meditation we turn to my favorite Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, who reveals…

I fear nothing. I hope for nothing, I am free.

Wow, that says it all, doesn’t it?

I mean, seriously, most (if not all) the problems that plague each of us as human beings come from fearing something or hoping for something.

Well, for the next seven days, try this meditation to let go of both fear and hope…

To begin, take several long, slow deep breaths until you’re clear and still.

Once you’re focused, breathe in something that you’re afraid of. During the still pause between the in-breath and the out-breath, notice the nasty feeling in your body as your fearful thought reveals its power in you.

Now, as you start to slowly exhale, let go of that fearful thought. Just breathe it out slowly. As you’re breathing out and letting go, you’ll notice a feeling of bliss has replaced the icky feeling of fear.

If several things are causing you fear, repeat the exercise with each one.

Work with fear today.

Tomorrow, repeat the exercise but instead of fear, breathe in something you’re hoping for. Hold the hoped for thought for a second and note the feeling. Exhale slowly and totally release whatever it is you were hoping for.

As you’re breathing out, you’ll again notice a feeling of bliss.

Wow, fear and hope both shackle us.

Let go of what you fear as well as what you hope for, and, guess what?

You’re free!