June 9, 2018

The addictive Dopamine rush of Goals achieved

Why we must have short term goals, and why PlayToday™ features goal setting, and the Next Steps that get you there...


June 4, 2018

The Combat Fighter Pilot and The Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur and the Combat Fighter Pilot have a lot in common. It is recommended that you take a few moments to consider this deeply. Here are a few lessons in the form of quotations from successful (killers who were not killed) combat fighter pilots.

Success flourishes only in perseverance — ceaseless, restless perseverance.
— Baron Manfred von Richthofen

Fight on and fly on to the last drop of blood and the last drop of fuel, to the last beat of the heart.
— Baron Manfred von Richthofen

Of all my accomplishments I may have achieved during the war, I am proudest of the fact that I never lost a wingman.
— Colonel Erich 'Bubi' Hartmann, GAF

The wingman is absolutely indispensable. I look after the wingman. The wingman looks after me. It's another set of eyes protecting you. That the defensive part. Offensively, it gives you a lot more firepower. We work together. We fight together. The wingman knows what his responsibilities are, and knows what mine are. Wars are not won by individuals. They're won by teams.
— Lt. Col. Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski, USAF, 28 victories in WWII and 6.5 MiGs over Korea

In every squadron there were, perhaps, four or five pilots who exuded confidence. They knew that they were going out to shoot. The rest knew sub-consciously, that they would make up the numbers, mill about, and get shot at.
— Lynn Garrison, quoted in Fighter Command Air Combat Claims, 1939–45 (2003) by John Foreman

The most important thing in fighting was shooting, next the various tactics in coming into a fight and last of all flying ability itself.
— Lt. Colonel W. A. 'Billy' Bishop, RCAF

In nearly all cases where machines have been downed, it was during a fight which had been very short, and the successful burst of fire had occurred within the space of a minute after the beginning of actual hostilities.
— Lt. Colonel W. A. 'Billy' Bishop, RCAF

You must take the war to the enemy. You must attack and go on attacking all the time.
— Major Willy Omer François Jean Coppens de Houthulst, Belgian Air Service, 37 victories WWI

When one has shot down one's first, second or third opponent, then one begins to find out how the trick is done.
— Baron Manfred von Richtofen

I put my bullets into the target as if I placed them there by hand.
— Capitaine René Paul Fonck, French Air Service, 75 victories WWI

Fighting spirit one must have. Even if a man lacks some of the other qualifications, he can often make up for it in fighting spirit.
— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF

I never went into the air thinking I would lose.
— Commander Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, USN

Speed is life.
— Anon., popularized by Samuel Flynn, Jr., USN

Aggressiveness was a fundamental to success in air-to-air combat and if you ever caught a fighter pilot in a defensive mood you had him licked before you started shooting.
— Captain David McCampbell, USN, leading U.S. Navy ace in WWII

The air battle is not necessarily won at the time of the battle. The winner may have been determined by the amount of time, energy, thought and training an individual has previously accomplished in an effort to increase his ability as a fighter pilot.
— Colonel Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington, USMC, 26 victories, W.W. II

He must have a love of hunting, a great desire to be the top dog.
— Sergei Dolgushin, Russian Air Force, 24 victories WWII

If you're in a fair fight, you didn't plan it properly.
— Nick Lappos, Chief R&D Pilot, Sikorsky Aircraft

A squadron commander who sits in his tent and gives orders and does not fly, though he may have the brains of Soloman, will never get the results that a man will, who, day in and day out, leads his patrols over the line and infuses into his pilots the 'espirit de corps.'
— Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell, USAS

Everything I had ever learned about air fighting taught me that the man who is aggressive, who pushes a fight, is the pilot who is successful in combat and who has the best opportunity for surviving battle and coming home.
— Major Robert S. Johnson, USAAF

There are pilots and there are pilots; with the good ones, it is inborn. You can't teach it. If you are a fighter pilot, you have to be willing to take risks.
— General Robin Olds, USAF

The man who enters combat encased in solid armor plate, but lacking the essential of self-confidence, is far more exposed and naked to death than the individual who subjects himself to battle shorn of any protection but his own skill, his own belief in himself and in his wingman. Righteousness is necessary for one's peace of mind, perhaps, but it is a poor substitute for agility … and a resolution to meet the enemy under any conditions and against any odds.
— Major Robert S. Johnson, USAAF

To be a good fighter pilot, there is one prime requisite — think fast, and act faster.
— Major John T. Godfrey, USAAF

We were too busy fighting to worry about the business of clever tactics.
— Harold Balfour, RAF. W.W.I fighter pilot and British Under-Secretary of State for War

The ordinary air fighter is an extraordinary man and the extraordinary air fighter stands as one in a million among his fellows.
— Theodore Roosevelt

He who can handle the quickest rate of change survives.
— John Boyd, last line of his New Conception For Air-To-Air Combat, 4 August 1976

To become an ace a fighter must have extraordinary eyesight, strength, and agility, a huntsman's eye, coolness in a pinch, calculated recklessness, a full measure of courage—and occasional luck!
— General Jimmy Doolittle

The most important thing for a fighter pilot is to get his first victory without too much shock.
— Colonel Werner Moelders, Luftwaffe. He got his first victory, and 114 others

I gained in experience with every plane shot down, and now was able to fire in a calm, deliberate manner. Each attack was made in a precise manner. Distance and deflection were carefully judged before firing. This is not something that comes by accident; only by experience can a pilot overcome feelings of panic. A thousand missions could be flown and be of no use if the pilot has not exchanged fire with the enemy.
— Major John T. Godfrey, USAAF

If he is superior then I would go home, for another day that is better.
— Colonel Erich 'Bubi' hartmann, GAF

The heavens were the grandstands and only the gods were spectators. The stake was the world, the forfeit was the player's place at the table, and the game had no recess. It was the most dangerous of all sports and the most fascinating. It got in the blood like wine. It aged men forty years in forty days. It ruined nervous systems in an hour.
— Elliott White Springs, 13 victories WWI

Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best. — Flight Lieutenant Adolphus G. 'Sailor' Malan, RSAAF, August 1941

Source: http://www.skygod.com/quotes/combat.html

May 21, 2018

Lead vs. Manage

If you want to build a ship, 
don't drum up people to collect wood and 
don't assign them tasks and work, but rather 
teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. 

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Dear Startup CEO

Sometimes, we just need to hear it again: 

Inspire & Motivate

May 19, 2018

New home for PlayToday™, aka: EZchecklist™, The System™, TheChecklist™, etc

The product I've been working on for 3+ years has finally got its own web URL.

For all future information on these products, go here:


May 15, 2018

PlayToday™ V.11.1

Introduction to version 11.1
So many improvements it needed a new version number!

New name
As the product evolves, so does its name.
Introducing PlayToday

Because the great game of Life can only be played one Today at a time.
And you can't win if you don't play.

New features and improvements
Goals driven, new tab to state your Goals, where are you going today?
HELP!! new tab added with resources to help you get where you want to go.
Coaching help is highlighted, and books, videos, courses, +++
Dashboard all new, greatly expanded, 
Many new graphs and charts, etc.
Publish your Dashboard to the Web, share with friends, coach
Scoring improved
Streaks! and special bonus points for Streak Improvements
Checkboxes to speed status changes, and data entry.
Simplified in many ways
Financial KPIs 
Gamification enhanced 
Big Points for Next Steps and Goals achieved
Game Over timing
Game Number
Notes galore, popups to guide you. Delete the Notes when you "Got it".
Navigation enhancements
Shortcuts tab, to get you where you want to be
Viewing Options, at top level menu, Focus made easy.
Metrics section improved
Reliability improved with many internal improvements

Learn More
1. Watch a live example
click here for my Live checklist, View Mode (just for you, don't share)
(will direct you to request access the first time)
2. Read the User Guide
Yes, I know you would prefer to skip reading and jump right in, but this User Guide is all new with lots of pictures, easy to read and learn.
3. How to Start with your own PlayToday™:
After you have completed the 2 steps above,
and you're ready to dig in,
email me and I'll set you up with your own copy. 

About bugs

Allow me to lower your expectations.
Software is an imperfect science.
Some would call it an art.

In either case, I am human, 
and my software has been known 
to create unexpected results occasionally.

I relentlessly pursue perfection,
and get close, sometimes,
but it always seems to be one more bug, 
one more cosmetic glitch.

And of course, one more Big Idea is right around the corner.

But software needs to be published
even knowing that it may have flaws.

If you find one,
I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience,
but please let me know,
so i can fix it and we can both
save another person the frustration.

Thank you for your understanding, and your help.

With these new super powers you become Invincible!

🙏Thank you for the opportunity to be of service! 🙏

May 2, 2018

Success is...

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

R. Collier

April 17, 2018

Ten point one

Great news...

surprise major upgrade, free, for EZchecklist™ users.

with features that give you super-powers!

Version Ten was a huge advance.

You've come to expect innovation from DoubleM Systems.
We delight in delivering it.

It's more than that with us, really...
we are relentlessly driven to improve
as we have been doing for the last 3 and a half years
of daily using and improving the system.
When Drive finds Inspiration and good timing,
nothing can hold back the tides of productivity. 

Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo

That's the long way of saying that we are now at Version Ten point one
Ten.1 for short.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.V 

What could possibly improve an already amazing app?

Behold, forthwith, below, and Rejoice, for it is here.

Ten.1 gives you super-powers!

1. Streak counts!

     Once you're on a streak, you don't want to break it. EZchecklist™ counts the number of days you've been on a streak, by activity. Displays to the left of each activity. under that Great Ball of Fire!

2. Goals!

    Most people have no written goals. 
    People who do have written goals will succeed in achieving their goals with greater certitude, faster, and with less stress, than those without written goals.*

    Now that we have the sermon out of the way, let's get to how this new version works with Goals. First, there's a whole new sheet, called "Goals" of course. This is where you write your goals. Easy. Look how easy:

     A Goal is usually achieved after performing a series of Next Steps. Each Next Step can have a target date, and if a date is selected, the number of days remaining is also shown. This helps a lot with planning and prioritizing.

     You can have many Goals, and each Goal can have many Next Steps.

     The first 3 Goals shown at the top of this Goals sheet are automatically imported to a special Goals section of the main checklist. Additionally, the first 3 Next Steps for each Goal are imported.

     The idea is to look your Goals in the eye every day, and have on your checklist the 3 Next Steps to do. 

     Is it just me, or does that seem like a powerful plan?

     Of course you have to actually write your goals.

     Short term goals will deliver best results, less than 6 months, definitely not more than a year. You can write those goals here too, but the best results from Goal achieving is a focus on a short term.

    When it comes to Next Steps, select from the handy drop-down menu, or enter your own.
    Prioritize simply by moving the rows around. The top 3 get put on the Checklist.

    Add a couple of minutes to your "Plan the Day" activity to review your Goals, prioritize, add/delete Next Steps, and visualize each step playing out successfully. This is an activity with great power to energize your imagination, and commitment. 

    There are interesting possibilities for having Goals that can be put into position for Today Only, or for just this afternoon, or when I'm on vacation. Lots of potential with this new feature, but of course it can only serve you if you use it... and the more you use it the better it gets.
Goals? Or Systems? Read another perspective and see why EZchecklist™ is an excellent combination of Goals, Systems, Activities, Analytics, Accountability, and Graphics, with touches of Gamification!

3. Sleep Time! 
      Now calculating and charting your Number of Hours of Sleep each day.
Finally. Celebration time is here!

4. But wait, there's more!
     Of course there's more, but there will always be more. Have patience and all will be revealed quite soon. Meanwhile, check the User Guide, now updated with more graphics and info on the latest version. 

5. Mikie Likes It
     I have been using these features as well as other cosmetic improvements, for almost a week, debugging and improving. I like what it is, and what you can do with it. Thank you in advance for your feedback. 

 6. The Future

     Based on usage data and user feedback, it's time to move to native mode apps. The spreadsheet format has been a convenient prototyping framework, but it comes with limitations. So much more will be built into the system as it evolves into native apps.

7. Thank You!
🙏  Thank you for the opportunity to be of service!  🙏


March 30, 2018

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

This article is a blatant ripoff from the neuroscience-based blog "Barking Up The Wrong Tree" which has become my new favorite after spending considerable time reading a lot of their content. Check it out, enjoy, learn, thrive!

How To Make Your Life Better By Sending Five Simple Emails

How to make your life better? All you need is email.
I’ve covered a lot of research on how to make your life better but many people struggle with implementing changes because it seems like a major undertaking. It doesn’t have to be.
You can make strides in 5 fundamental areas by just sending 5 emails.


Every morning send a friend, family member or co-worker an email to say thanks for something.
Might sound silly but it’s actually excellent advice on how to make your life better.
There’s tons and tons and tons of research showing that over time, this alone – one silly email a day – can make you happier.
Via Harvard professor Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage:
This is why I often ask managers to write an e-mail of praise or thanks to a friend, family member, or colleague each morning before they start their day’s work—not just because it contributes to their own happiness, but because it very literally cements a relationship.


At the end of the week, send your boss an email and sum up what you’ve accomplished.
They probably have no idea what you’re doing with your time. They’re busy. They have their own problems.
For your boss, this let’s them know what you’ve been up to without having to ask and saves them from wondering and worrying. They’ll appreciate it and probably come to rely on it.
For you, it’s proactive and shows off your efforts, which Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer says is the key to success in any organization:
…you should make sure that your performance is visible to your boss and your accomplishments are visible. Your superiors in the organization have their own jobs, are managing their own careers, are busy human beings.  And you should not assume that they’re spending all their time thinking about you and worrying about you and your career.


Once a week email a potential mentor.
Doesn’t have to be related to your job. Who do you admire that you could learn from?
As I’ve blogged about before, mentors are key to success.
Any person lucky enough to have had one great teacher who inspired, advised, critiqued, and had endless faith in her student’s ability will tell you what a difference that person has made in her life. “Most students who become interested in an academic subject do so because they have met a teacher who was able to pique their interest,” write Csikszentmihályi, Rathunde, and Whalen. It is yet another great irony of the giftedness myth: in the final analysis, the true road to success lies not in a person’s molecular structure, but in his developing the most productive attitudes and identifying magnificent external resources.
This is one of those things everyone seems to know but nobody does anything about.
It’s the age of the internet, folks. If you have Google and half an ounce of resourcefulness it’s not that hard to find almost anyone’s email address. If they have a website, their email is probably listed on it.
What do you write? Try Adam’s method or Tim’s method or Ramit’s method.
(More on the power of mentors here.)


Email a good friend and make plans.
What does research say keeps friendships alive? Staying in touch every 2 weeks.
Got 14 friends? Then you need to be emailing somebody every day.
And what should you email them about? Make plans to get together.
The results were unequivocal. “The greater the proportion of face-to-face interactions, the less lonely you are,” he says. “The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are.” Surely, I suggest to Cacioppo, this means that Facebook and the like inevitably make people lonelier. He disagrees.Facebook is merely a tool, he says, and like any tool, its effectiveness will depend on its user. “If you use Facebook to increase face-to-face contact,” he says, “it increases social capital.” So if social media let you organize a game of football among your friends, that’s healthy. If you turn to social media instead of playing football, however, that’s unhealthy.


Send an email to someone you know (but don’t know very well) and check in.
These “weak ties” are the primary source of future career opportunities.
From Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:
In fact, in landing a job, Granovetter discovered, weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong. Many of the people Granovetter studied had learned about new job opportunities through weak ties, rather than from close friends, which makes sense because we talk to our closest friends all the time, or work alongside them or read the same blogs. By the time they have heard about a new opportunity, we probably know about it, as well. On the other hand, our weak-tie acquaintances— the people we bump into every six months— are the ones who tell us about jobs we would otherwise never hear about.
“But I don’t know what to say.”  Do any little thing that benefits them, not you. Try Adam Rifkin’s 5 minute favor.
Or just send them a link they might find useful.
Still stuck? Okay, send them the link to the post you’re reading right now.
If this has helped you with how to make your life better it can probably help them too.  ;)
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