Some Monday Inspiration

Oct 21, 2013 by





TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s: 


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Best thing you’ve ever done

Jun 23, 2011 by

You know when you have those things you do that after you do them you stop and think,

“why didn’t I do that years ago?”

Its those things that each time you use it, or look at it think,

“I am so happy I did this!”

I have a few of those things and I will share them with you, but I also want to learn from yours. What awesome thing have you done that has become one of your Best Things Ever that you did?

Let’s spread the joy and knowledge and share those with the world.

I’m going to break this out into a series of posts so we can get specific advice/projects in different areas, but please send me any and all projects/ideas etc that you consider your Best Thing Ever.

I’ll get this started with the kitchen. I love my kitchen and I love to cook.

Here’s the Best Thing Ever I did for my kitchen.  What about you?  Any good kitchen projects that you are happy with?

Please share in the comments or drop me a note and let me know so I can feature it here on TrulySimple.


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I have no idea what I’m doing…but its working

Jun 8, 2011 by

 A  new neighbor moved in across the street.  Nice couple with a young kid.  They asked me about my garden as its huge and takes over my entire front yard.  Since they have moved in she has started a garden of her own in their front yard and has come over to ask for advice.  My answers have been filled with  a lot of this.

I have no idea what I’m doing…but its working

I’m good at figuring things out.  Its probably one of my best skills.

Quick story: When I was really little I found a small piece of gray plastic on top of our piano.  It was a few days before Christmas and I stared at that piece of plastic for a few minutes and then I walked up to my mom and dad and proclaimed, “I know you got me the Millennium Falcon for Christmas”

They had indeed bought  and assembled the Millennium Falcon and had this extra tiny piece that they left out thinking nothing of it.  I had found it and was able to figure out that this was the piece that held on the radar onto the ship and thus discovered ruined my Christmas present early.  I was very happy with myself that day.  My parents, not so much.

I can jump into a project and not know what I’m doing, but figure it out and make it work.  It doesn’t always work out perfect, but those times are few and far between.  Most times it works out really well and I learn a lot in the process.

My garden is one of those adventures for me.  My grandpa had a garden that I barely remember from when I was little and thats about the extent of my gardening knowledge.  I know to grow anything you need dirt, sun, water and some luck.  I am lucky that I live in southern California where we have a lot of the sun part of the equation so its very easy to grow things.  But for the rest I’m learning and making it up as I go along. And its working

I pulled out a HUGE  zucchini yesterday I didn’t even know I had in my garden.  It was hidden below the big leaves of the zucchini plants, where it sat among a lot of other zucchinis growing.  This thing was giant so I chopped it up and made a big double batch of zucchini bread, my favorite, and gave it away to the neighbors.

I’m working on starting a few businesses right now and its been very frustrating lately at the pace in which they are moving.  I had hoped to launch one several months ago, but its been delayed by technical difficulties and working with outside vendors.  I am very tech savvy and that only leads to huge frustration when I can’t figure out a technical problem.  The flip side of that is when I do figure it out, and I always do, it feels amazing.  A huge sense of accomplishment comes when I figure it out, make it work, and learn something in the process.

A lot of people don’t start things because they think they don’t know what they are doing.  They don’t know how to grow a garden, so they won’t try.  They don’t know how to start a business so they won’t try.

My advice, is just try.  You don’t need to know everything about everything.  You will learn as you go.  You will figure it out. And you will come out on the other side with a huge sense of accomplishment, you will have learned something and you can use that knowledge and inspiration to help others do the same.

What are you afraid to try right now?  Go do it.


p.s.  I still have half of this huge zucchini left so if you know of any good recipes for zucchini, let me know.


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Giving up fear for lent

Mar 13, 2011 by

This year I’m giving up fear for lent.

I’m not Catholic, but I like the idea of lent.  Each year my wife and I usually give up some of the same things as in years past; soda, TV etc.

This year I thought more about it as I already don’t drink soda, and the TV is always a nice thing to do without to reset for a while, but I was searching for something else.  Something bigger…

So I’m giving up fear…


I told my wife this, and she chuckled, “but you aren’t afraid of anything!”   And thats true for a lot of things, but its not 100% accurate.

In 4 days I’ll be without a job.  I’ve been winding down my work with a great company, and as of the 15th I’ll be unemployed.  Well unemployed in the technical sense.   This time I’ve decided to take this opportunity to start my own businesses.  Yes, plural; multiple businesses.  And that is really scary.

I can easily overwhelm myself with the amount of details and minutia that comes along with choosing that path.  But for the next 40 days I’m giving all of that up.

I won’t let fear paralyze my progress.

I won’t let fear stop me from pursuing this dream.

I won’t let fear tell me that I don’t know what I’m doing.

I won’t let fear stop me.

And the thing is, as I write these words and look at the list above its clear to me that its all bullsh*t.   I know I’ll be fine. In fact I know I’ll be much better than fine.  Without fear I’ll move forward.  Without fear I’ll figure it out.  I always do.

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.
Japanese Proverb

So the next 40 days are all mine to live without fear.


What is fear holding you back from today?  What would happen if you just gave up that fear and pushed forward?



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Why we don’t work

Aug 7, 2010 by

Opportunity is missed by most people because
it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
–Thomas Edison

I recently went on vacation to Mexico.  It wasn’t my first choice of places to go, but my wife wanted to get away and “just lay by a pool”.  So we did.   We went to Cabo,  we stayed at a beautiful resort, and we laid by a pool.

I hated it.


OK, I didn’t “hate it” hate it, but I was bored out of my mind immediately.  I made the conscious decision to not bring my laptop and not work while I as there.  I decided I would be present in the moment, and take the time to do nothing and just recharge my batteries.  Turns out my batteries don’t recharge when I’m doing nothing.

My batteries charge up when I am doing what I love, and I love to work.  I love building things.  I love fixing things.  I love finding simple solutions to complicated problems.  I love working with smart creative passionate people all day and then coming home getting my hands greasy tearing apart an engine in my garage.  I love remodeling my house.  I love taking something old and restoring it to new. I love growing food in my garden. And  I love being inspired by others doing great work.

Work and our view of work has gotten a bad name in our culture.  A lot of people don’t want to work.  There’s a thousand get rich schemes out there, and lately the “start your own business and work from anywhere” fad has caught on and promises freedoms to travel the world and work only 4 hours a week.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like Tim Ferriss and I love the idea of ROWE.  Our 2010 idea of work needs to catch up and move past the old industrialized history it still holds on to, but we still need to do great work.

We should want to work hard.  We should take pride in the work we are doing.   We should try to do the best job we could in every job we do.  How and where we do this work is negotiable and its not the point. The point is the ethic of work.  Its the satisfaction of knowing you gave your all into the project.  Its the pride of seeing the job completed and enjoying the fruits of your labor.  No where in our culture is that message being said or taught.

We need to get back to the idea that work is good.  Everyone should take pride in working hard at something and then should also enjoy the results of that work.

What I’m not saying is that everyone should work 100 hours a week, sacrificing time with family and friends to make more money. You’ll notice that nowhere above did I mention making money.  Work isn’t about money.   Work is about creating something great.  You may be a farmer, a CEO of some high tech company or someone who makes candles out of their garage.  The point is to make the best product you can and enjoy the work you are doing.

This wonderful TED video of Mike Rowe from the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs inspired this post.  I highly recommend watching it.  Mike knows how to tell a story.

What do you think of work?  Love it, hate it?  Let me know in the comments


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