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Know what your strategy is. Take a few days to plan

Know what your strategy is. Take a few days to plan. You need a path to change the situation you’re in. Yes, the journey to start somewhere and end up somewhere else can be thrilling, but do you want to remain thrilled or out of this situation? The short answer is to be conscious of your goal and allocate steps. They may need repeated revisions, but it’s better to have to regroup than to just stumble around and hope.

Improvisation is fantastic, but not foolproof. I’ve intermittently improvised over the years on everything I’ve done with relatively okay results, but strategy and planning with a map to guide what I’m intending on doing has more often than not proved beneficial.

Corny as it seems my motivation finally dawned after a miscellaneous spousal argument and the epiphany finally dawning. A strategy is necessary. As the movie trope went, I looked into my own eyes and told myself, “I’m going to change my life today for the next year and my future.” That audible pronouncement prompted me to take things further.

Without a strategy you will continue to just get by and go in circles. I’ve done so for nearly two decades. The time drips away, don’t allow that. Develop your specific plan and move forwards.

J.R.: [demonstrating] Now look, this powder is fine.
He opens the lid and angles it forward to reveal to David.
J.R.: And this milk is too.
Turning off the lid, he tilts the bottle to David’s viewpoint.
J.R. mixes the two and takes a sip.
J.R.: If anything were wrong, I just committed suicide. Now do you trust me or not? If you want some, nod. If not stay still.

David meekly nods.
J.R.: But if I hear a word out of you when the gag is removed, the gag goes back in. I’m not fucking around.
With great apprehension, J.R. removes the gag.
David remains silent.
J.R. angles the nozzle to gently allow David to drink. Within seconds the entire shake has gone.
DAVID: Thank you.

J.R. awkwardly smirks and looks away. He then reluctantly places the gag back into David’s mouth, who doesn’t struggle.
J.R., unable to look at David closes the closet door. David’s eyes whimper, he’s thankful but still extremely afraid.
Sighing, J.R. slowly turns around, heading back into the bedroom.
INT. BEDROOM
KAREN: [seated] Baby I can’t do this. I’ve got to leave.
J.R. pauses and tilts his head in question.
J.R.: Where?

KAREN: I don’t have a clue. [beat] I just can’t handle this. I’m not going to jail.
J.R.: Okay…
KAREN: Yeah, so… That’s it.
J.R.: And?
KAREN: And nothing. I’ve got to go.
J.R.: That’s kind of bullshit.
KAREN: I’m sorry.
J.R.: Look, if we properly dispose of Elmar, I’m sure we can sweep this away.

KAREN: Dispose of him?
J.R.: He can’t stay in the living room much longer.
KAREN: This is the worst week of my life.
J.R.: What am I going to do then?
KAREN: You’re the man, you’re supposed to keep cool and handle things.
J.R.: Yup, okay. So I will. Of course.
Karen goes into her bedroom closet and pulls out a suitcase. She puts it onto the bed and opens it up.

J.R.: What if we fake a suicide for Elmar? Write a note or something? What then?
KAREN: Far too sick — [beat] — and complicated. I want out.
J.R. restrains himself from yelling “But you’re the one who fucking killed him!” He internalizes the resentment of the position she has put him in.
Karen begins packing clothes.

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You need a product and a good one at that

You need a product and a good one at that

Pipedreams about things just going your way or that lottery ticket that you’ve purchased 400 weeks running coming up are just naive. You need a business and a product. It can be a service or something tangible, but in today’s economy, it isn’t limited to just those two parameters. What you must ensure though, is that whatever you’re selling, it’s worth buying.

Reasons:

How:

My goal is to have myself leap out of debt and see every country this world has. It may never happen, but I’ll try for it to become a reality.

J.R.: Karen, if we lose our heads, we’re over with. No more life, we either face imprisonment or kill ourselves. So if you’d be so kind as to ease up, maybe we can find a way of getting our way out of this mess.
KAREN: I know, I know, I know. Look, I’m sorry. [beat, teary] I love you with all my heart and I didn’t do this on purpose, I’m just beside myself.

J.R. brings Karen in for a hug, he strokes the back of her head.
J.R.: We’ll get through this, we will.
KAREN: Promise?
J.R.: Yes.
INT. LIVING ROOM
J.R. comes in from the balcony and picks up the bottle, he then heads back towards David, bottle in hand.

INT. HALLWAY
J.R. stares at the handle. There isn’t a sound coming from the closet.
INT. LIVING ROOM
He continues on into the living room and sits on the couch, placing the bottle on the table. After looking around for a while and wondering, he gets up, taking the bottle off of the table.
INT. KITCHEN
J.R. empties the bottle’s contents into a glass, grabs the protein powder and milk again from the fridge, and also grabbing the bottle he heads back to the closet.

INT. HALLWAY
Putting the objects on the floor, J.R. stares the handle again.
Apprehensively he opens the door.
INT. CLOSET
David is over the moon, excited to see J.R. He remains fixated on the bottle, but quickly notices the ingredients before him. David grunts and smiles. His eyes welling up.

“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive
energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it.” Stephen Covey

“If you change nothing, nothing will change”

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Take 5 months off for leisure or because of injury

Take 5 months off for leisure or because of injury

In our younger years we like to assume we’re invincible and we also like to take all advice with a pinch of “Yeah, right, old man.”

But what if you got injured

You need a real and smart contingency plan, especially if you’re in any form of debt!

6 months. Could easily take that to recover from some broken bones and issues

INT. BEDROOM
KAREN: So he wouldn’t take it?
J.R.: He’ll starve if we don’t sort this out.
KAREN: So go back and feed him.
J.R.: Fuck, it’s —
He continues in thought “– you that should be doing this.”
J.R. heads out onto the balcony and beckons for Karen to follow.
EXT. BALCONY
The two look out at the view, appearing to barely recognize the other’s presence.

J.R.: [calmly] Why do I always have to be the one who sucks everything up? You want us to be equal but do you? I’m having to endure this, you started all our drinking, but I feed him? We can’t just escape this now… We have to see it through.
KAREN: [offended] You honestly think I wanted all of whats happened to happen?
J.R.: No, but, you’re not dealing with reality. David is how he is, but we don’t need to do something drastic.
KAREN: I think we do, I don’t see any other option.
J.R.: We’re not killing him, we’re not murderers. Well I’m not anyway.

KAREN: Lovely. What a way with words you have.
J.R.: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that like that.
KAREN: What did you mean to say?
J.R.: That we need to deal with David, and killing him isn’t us. That’s not how we do things, we’re better than that.
KAREN: So solve it David, I promise I won’t use my “natural” talent and off him myself, what will you do to make this all hunky dory?
J.R.: Blackmail, bribe, ask? Get him to sign something… Something else?
KAREN: Sounds pretty feeble.

J.R.: Fuck, well you go on and find one. Have a helpful idea, just one. You’re more creative than this…
KAREN: What if they were responsible for the other break-in’s? Huh? They could have been living off our shit for ages. And that’s fine, that’s acceptable? You said what you’d do J.R. You said.
J.R.: I was upset. And they said it had to do with Sam.

KAREN: Like I care if it did or not, she’ll get hers. But don’t change the subject, you said if anyone did that to us again you’d, and I quote [making inverted commas] “Fucking kill those thieving assholes!”
J.R.: It was a figure of speech.
KAREN: Everything with you is, year in, year out. Empty words. Now I’m meant to rely on you.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. One who
lives life fully is prepared to die at any time.” Mark Twain

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Know your opposition, know your competition and work out how to beat them

Know your opposition, know your competition and work out how to beat them

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This is the year everything changes – because I’m going to make it so.

This is the year everything changes – because I’m going to make it so. This concept requires more than reminders. It requires actual action and a conscientious discipline that maybe you’ve been relaxed over in the past.

“So what?” response approach.

He looks at the bottom of the tub to check the expiration date. It expired two years back.
J.R.: Ah well, it’ll do.
He decides on the protein powder and grabs some milk from the fridge before assembling a protein shake.
J.R.: [opening drawers] Do we have any of those straws left?
KAREN (O.S.): No, I don’t think…

J.R. sighs.
J.R.: I’ll have to use my gym bottle.
INT. HALLWAY
J.R. emerges with a gym bottle which has a nozzle, the bottle is filled with the protein shake. He tries to hand over the bottle to Karen, but she waves her hand and shakes her head.
KAREN: No, no, no, no, no, no, I’m not seeing him, touching him or anything. No. I can’t.
J.R.: [sighing] Okay.
He twists the door handle and opens the closet. Karen leaves before the door is fully opened.

INT. CLOSET

David reacts to the light, his eyes bloodshot from not sleeping. He doesn’t look submissive though, he appears angry.
J.R.: Now look David; I don’t want you dead. Please, I’ll take the cloth out. Don’t shout, I want to give you this.
J.R. cautiously removes the gag.
DAVID: [livid] You’re worse than us. You killed Elmar, and if you kill me too, you’re gonna have a lot to worry about. You think we don’t have friends or family? People will look for us… Sam will point them here.
J.R.: [motioning with his hands] Calm down. It was a mistake.

DAVID: That cunt killed my friend, mistake or not.
J.R.: Watch it.
DAVID: I’m not lying! That bitch did it!
J.R.: Look, drink this, it’s a protein shake.
DAVID: [at the top of his hoarse, dehydrated lungs] Help! Help!
J.R. desperately shoves the gag back in.
J.R.: Yell again and I can’t feed you. Don’t do this David, you’re hurting yourself more than me. I’m trying to help here.
He attempts to follow the same process, and removes the gag. As the gag is removed, he pushes the nozzle near David’s mouth who moves backwards, refusing the drink.

DAVID: [angrily but not loudly] You kill Elmar and now I’m supposed to trust this is good for me?
J.R.: I can make it in front of you. Make another I mean.
DAVID: You can taint anything. I want the police involved. Prosecute me, go ahead, but she’s going down too.
J.R.: Not gonna happen. You want this?
David glares.
J.R.: [fed up] Cool.
He shoves the gag back in and closes the door, in closing the door David’s face shows a visible plea for help.

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Let go of the past

Let go of the past

They walk together, slowly, solemnly. J.R. reaches for Karen’s hand, but is rejected. He reacts flailing his arm.
J.R.: Fine.
KAREN: I don’t want to be touched right now, okay?
INT. BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

They sit on opposite sides of the bed, a significant distance apart, both glancing around searching for an answer in their mind’s.
KAREN: We have to kill the other one too.
J.R. shakes his head.
KAREN: What? He’s not going to keep it to himself. I murdered someone babe, I actually killed someone. How am I going to get passed that?

J.R. looks away.
KAREN: Don’t ignore me! I was defending us! I was defending me and our stuff. I didn’t mean to do it, what else could I have done?
J.R.: I’m not acting like you’re a cold blooded killer, I’m trying to work this out… Find a solution.
KAREN: That’s the only one. There’s no way we can let him go.
J.R.: [exploding with sarcasm] And the bodies? What do you propose? Shall we put them in big black bags and dump them in the ocean? Line the bottoms with rocks and just let them sink only to be discovered later? Do you want to cut off all their finger tips, remove their teeth, drain their blood? I mean what’s your clever plan baby? What exactly do you think we could do to make this all better and go away, huh?
[beat] Maybe we should carve them up into smaller pieces, put them in bags and then spread them around the city. Or we could find a farm, offer them to pigs.

Karen begins crying.
KAREN: It’s not my fault!
J.R.: Well it’s certainly not fucking mine and I am not only an accessory, but an accomplice. So you’re right, you’re fucked and so am I too. Terrific. Nicely done.
KAREN: Stop blaming me! This isn’t something I would expect from you…
J.R.: No of course n— [beat calming down] I’m sorry. I didn’t expect this… I’m clueless, helpless. Got no idea how to resolve it.

They continue wondering.
KAREN: We could look online?
J.R.: Yup, let’s Google or search Yahoo for, “How to properly dispose of a dead body without getting caught.” I’m sure there will be tons of results where we won’t be tracked, our IP won’t leave a trace etc. Great one.
KAREN: [screaming in J.R.’s face] FUCK OFF! I don’t know what to do here either, it’s not something I planned!
CUT TO:

TIME LAPSE MONTAGE
J.R. and Karen tire themselves out, running around, scanning the internet. Talking, sitting, fighting. Leaving home and coming back. All the while David remains in the closet. J.R. keeps walking up to and staring at Elmar, Karen never lets her vision meet him.

INT. CLOSET
David, fuming, bangs his head against the door.
INT. HALLWAY
Karen stares at the sound David’s making from the banging.
J.R. approaches her.
J.R.: He’s going to end up dead too.
KAREN: He won’t. Just feed him again.
J.R. heads to the kitchen.
INT. KITCHEN
J.R. examines the cupboards, looking for something easy to feed David. He finds a tub of protein powder at the back of the cupboard, that hasn’t been used in years.

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How to be patient with your work if you’re extremely impatient

J.R.: Certainly, let’s just cut him up. What on earth are you saying?
KAREN: I don’t know. Shit, I don’t know. I don’t know. [sobbing] I don’t know Jay!
J.R.: [sighing] Okay, ignore him for now. [beat] What about David?
KAREN: What about him?
J.R.: We can’t leave him there.
KAREN: I can’t deal with his eyes on us. Lets go through this first, then whatever we need to with him.
J.R.: Lets sit for a second.
J.R. heads towards the kitchen table, Karen doesn’t follow.
He yells to Karen who remains out of sight in the hallway.
J.R.: Are you coming?
KAREN: You want me to go there?
J.R.: Yeah, where else?
KAREN: Let’s talk in the bedroom.
They walk together, slowly, solemnly. J.R. reaches for Karen’s hand, but is rejected. He reacts flailing his arm.
J.R.: Fine.

KAREN: I don’t want to be touched right now, okay?
INT. BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS
They sit on opposite sides of the bed, a significant distance apart, both glancing around searching for an answer in their mind’s.
KAREN: We have to kill the other one too.
J.R. shakes his head.
KAREN: What? He’s not going to keep it to himself. I murdered someone babe, I actually killed someone. How am I going to get passed that?

J.R. looks away.
KAREN: Don’t ignore me! I was defending us! I was defending me and our stuff. I didn’t mean to do it, what else could I have done?
J.R.: I’m not acting like you’re a cold blooded killer, I’m trying to work this out… Find a solution.
KAREN: That’s the only one. There’s no way we can let him go.
J.R.: [exploding with sarcasm] And the bodies? What do you propose? Shall we put them in big black bags and dump them in the ocean? Line the bottoms with rocks and just let them sink only to be discovered later? Do you want to cut off all their finger tips, remove their teeth, drain their blood? I mean what’s your clever plan baby? What exactly do you think we could do to make this all better and go away, huh?
[beat] Maybe we should carve them up into smaller pieces, put them in bags and then spread them around the city. Or we could find a farm, offer them to pigs.

Karen begins crying.
KAREN: It’s not my fault!
J.R.: Well it’s certainly not fucking mine and I am not only an accessory, but an accomplice. So you’re right, you’re fucked and so am I too. Terrific. Nicely done.

KAREN: Stop blaming me! This isn’t something I would expect from you…
J.R.: No of course n— [beat calming down] I’m sorry. I didn’t expect this… I’m clueless, helpless. Got no idea how to resolve it.
They continue wondering.

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You can change yourself and that’s it. Deliver advice, but don’t expect anyone to listen.

You can change yourself and that’s it. Deliver advice, but don’t expect anyone to listen.

ELMAR: I don’t… David does.
J.R.: (to David) You’re David? The David? The one who always advised her to… [beat] I should kick your fucking teeth in right now.
DAVID: Don’t blame me, I was helping a friend.
Elmar slumps, his head drops to his chest. Nobody really notices.
KAREN: By robbing us?

DAVID: Look —
ELMAR: Yeah, well…
KAREN: [close to tears] How could she do this?
J.R.: I told you that piece of… I told you we should have stayed far away from her. [fixated on David] Right, I want to know what she did. Exactly.
Elmar’s head is now buried deeply in his chest, J.R. catches a glimpse of this and pays attention.
J.R.: What now?
J.R. picks Elmar’s head up by his hair.
J.R.: We’re in the middle of something…
Elmar remains limp. He’s dead.
J.R. stares for a while.
J.R.: Hello? [beat] Elmar? [beat] Elmar! El? Elmar? Hello? Respond!
J.R. turns to Karen, then back to Elmar. He checks his pulse on his neck.
Turning back to Karen, J.R.’s face turns pale.

Karen looks mystified, she believes she knows what J.R. is trying to convey, but refuses. She shakes her head slowly.
KAREN: [in a low tone] No…
DAVID: [stunned] You’re fu — No — I…
J.R. swiftly grabs the gag cloth and forces it into David’s mouth. As the gag is being shoved David yells and fidgets trying to prevent it, but J.R.’s force proves too strong.
David keeps yelling but is muffled by the cloth.
Karen and J.R. stay silent. They pace, stare, tense up and breathe heavily, every now and again glancing back at Elmar.
J.R. pulls Karen aside, out of the living room space and David’s view. J.R. appears deceptively calm as Karen’s body clearly starts to show her fear of the current situation.
J.R.: Now?

Karen, panicking, shrugs.
Neither know what to do and as thoughts rush through their heads, Karen peers at David who’s beside himself.
KAREN: Follow my lead.
Tugging at J.R.’s arm, she pulls him towards David. The two reach him in what seems like a second and Karen begins lifting him.

J.R.: What are you doing?
KAREN: Getting him out of sight.
J.R. looks quizzically as if to say, “Why him?”
KAREN: [struggling] Follow my fucking lead, please!
J.R. helps Karen lift the still gagged and tied David to his feet.
They poorly move him, almost dragging him close to their front door.
KAREN: Keep him propped up.
Karen lets go of David and opens their closet/pantry door.
KAREN: In here.
J.R. is baffled, but does as he’s told. She helps him dump David in the room and shuts the door.
P.O.V. David – Darkness.
J.R. (O.S.): What are you doing?
KAREN (O.S.): I can’t have him looking at me. Not right now. No.

INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS
David screams through his gag inside the closet while J.R. moves away to be able to view Elmar.
J.R.: Right, so what now. What now? What do we do with that?
KAREN: How the hell do I know!
J.R.: We have to get rid of him.
Both stare at each other, waiting on the other’s next instruction.
KAREN: [flippantly] Shall we cut him up?

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Epiphanies can linger if you let them

Epiphanies can linger if you let them. Again, as we all will have and will endure, I suffered a great and sudden loss. A woman I grew up with, a second mother type figure, passed away today. She was a lot younger than anyone should be content with dying at and she wasn’t known to be suffering from any life threatening illness until one day she was diagnosed with a developed stage of cancer and within three days (ending today) she was dead.

Now the past few days have hurt. I’m thousands of miles away in another country, I can’t go to her side and even if I could she was comatose and so whether she heard me or not would have been debatable. She knew I cared for her and my family loved her but repeating that message would serve me more rather than her. She had more goals, more aspirations, more hopes… But the metaphorical plug was pulled and that was that.

Epiphanies can linger if you let them

As with everyone’s experience, when a death occurs you realize and understand how finite and short life is. A friend of mine texted me back with “It can be” when I stated that. No, it’s not can, it is. Immortality is fiction. We are here for just a blip and yes, it’s what we do with that time that matters, but if you’re me or billions of others, that epiphany exists for a short period around such tragedy. We then revert back into our routines of behaviour, habit, hope and insane repetition, always hoping for a more rewarding tomorrow but never quite pushing the areas that need that extra shove and stagnating at the hope until the epiphany repeats itself with another example of our ticking clocks, only to forget them again.

I’m not interested in forgetting this epiphany, I intend to wallow in it. Forever. I don’t want to keep reaching that “Ah ha! Oh yes, I forgot” moment, I want to utilize it to force myself into shape and I’m doing so. Now. Today. You can too. Remember the pain of what you lost and find ways to make the here and now as amazing as they can be. Never withhold telling someone you care for them or love them that you do. One day it will be too late and then you won’t have the opportunity to do so.

Remember the cliche, which has plenty of truth, “Give people the flowers while they’re still around to smell them.” And carpe diem. Todos los días.

Also, remember the fantastic quote attributed to Sam Harris; “Wisdom is taking your own advice.” That means if you’re always complaining about someone or something, you know what to do. Action a change. Time is finite.

Death serves as a reminder for you to utilize your time here, not squander it arguing. Use it to propel you to get where you want to go.

Daily quote:

“Kindness is as important as knowledge.” Megan Smith

*** Like most things online it’s hard to say whether these quotes originate with the person they’re attributed to. Regardless, they’re a tool to hopefully inspire you and so does it matter as much as the point the words convey?

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Branding matters, even if not fully fleshed out.

Branding matters, even if not fully fleshed out.

Think it through

The value of a brand and importance of quality control, Breka, Wella etc

KAREN: Baby… What is this?
J.R.: [covering up] Good morning sweet cheeks, it’s breakfast. I felt like some bacon, about to put on the toast. Making it nice and crispy just like you like it.
KAREN: [pointing] Why has he got a mug on him?
J.R.: It’s a cold remedy baby.
KAREN: Why?
J.R.: …He has a cold.
KAREN: Don’t you dare patronize me, you’re giving people who tried to rob us cold remedies and bacon?
J.R.: How do you know I’m giving them bacon?
Karen stares at the four plates lined up.

KAREN: There’s four plates right there.
J.R.: Ah, well, yeah. I was thinking we could work this out, and we can sober up too.
David and Elmar stare at one another sporting facial expressions that best describe the phrase, “Shit.”
KAREN: Oh, of course. How could I not see it that way, and your solution? Your bacon filled, cold remedy dispensing solution is?
J.R.: Elmar is about to make a deal, apparently. [turning to Elmar] Aren’t you El?
David glares at Elmar.

Karen picks up a small steak knife and comes closer to Elmar.
KAREN: I’m all ears. [turning to snarl in J.R.’s direction before returning to Elmar] Friend.
J.R. begins serving the bacon in the kitchen.
Elmar shrugs, “apologizing” to David.
ELMAR: [to David] She’s not MY friend, Dave. [beat] Sammy put us up to this.

David closes his eyes, looks down and sighs.
KAREN: Sammy?
J.R.’s attention leaps to the conversation.
ELMAR: Yeah, Sammy. She set this up. It’s all her.
J.R. yelps as he burns himself on the frying pan, hastily putting it down.
KAREN: Who’s Sammy?

In seconds he’s inches from Elmar’s face. He closes his eyes and angles his ear directly in line with Elmar’s mouth.
J.R.: Repeat that for me, if you would.
ELMAR: Sammy set this up.
J.R.: Sammy? [beat] Sammantha Bell?
Elmar nods, gritting his teeth at the same time trying to endure the pain.
KAREN: Sammantha put you up to this?
J.R.: What the–
KAREN: Tha– That bitch… [beat] It was from–
J.R.: — How do you know Sammy?
ELMAR: I don’t… David does.