VANTAGEPOINTS
ON LEARNING
AND LIFE

Finding Learning Opportunities in Everyday Life Situations

by
Kevin Eikenberry

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Issue 10.2 - Rules of the Game

In our house, games are a common Christmas gift. And this Christmas was no exception. My sister Paula and her family sent us a game called Kazink. The game includes a board, cards and chips and plays a bit like three dimensional tic-tac-toe - each player is required to get stacks of their chips in contiguous rows in order to win.

The first time I played the game was with my seven-year-old daughter Kelsey. I scanned the rules quickly to understand them, and we began to play. Most plays are very straightforward - the card in your hand relates to a space on the board where you can place a chip. There are several special cards, and after a quick read, I understood how they were used - or at least I thought I did.

Kelsey and I enjoyed the game, and I chose to take it on a quick trip to Michigan so others could play it too.

When playing the game with Paula and my dad, I reread the rules for them. Upon this closer reading I noticed a couple of nuances regarding the use of the special cards that I hadn't noticed when playing with Kelsey. These nuances made the game more interesting and changed the strategy significantly.

A couple of days later when playing the game yet again, questions about the use of certain cards came up, and further clarification was made. Again these changes made Kazink a more fun and interesting game. While I enjoyed the game with my limited understanding of the rules, it improved dramatically with the options the rules clarifications provided.

New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve six of us gathered to play a card game called Tripoley. While everyone at the table had played before, it had been a long time so we reviewed the rules before getting started. Sandy, the player with the most game experience recalled that a couple of the rules were different from her recollection.

Upon reviewing the rules again, we found that her memories were suggested variations to the basic game. We decided to play the game as we had originally planned for awhile, then changed to play the new variation. The game was fun in both versions. But by having two versions to play, we were able to modify our strategy and give us a change of pace. The change reinvigorated the game and made it more fun.

Life in Middle School

Parker is an eighth grader. In this year preceding high school, school is changing, with more subjects, different teachers, and more complexity. While I believe that getting good grades is an indicator of academic success achievement, I also realize that getting good grades is a game. My advice to Parker, has been and will continue to be, to learn the material and rules of the game. I assure him that he will have more success and more fun when he does both.

As he learns more about how the game of school is really played, he is able to be more successful.

The Rules of our Lives

Life may not be a game, but it does have rules. And much like my experience with Kazink and Tripoley, or Parker's experience at school; when we better understand the rules of the game, we have a better chance to be successful.

Our lives don't come with a rulebook that we can review any time. But by observing others, reviewing our own experiences, and consulting those we admire, where we would like to succeed, we can better understand the rules of the game of life.

It is our job to learn the rules, examine them carefully and use the rules to our greatest advantage - allowing us to serve both ourselves and others more fully.

Different than most games though, we must be willing to challenge the rules of the game, much like Sandy did New Year's Eve.

Questioning the Rules

Laws are rules that we are better off to following. But there are many other rules in our lives that we follow because we assume them to be rules. Because Kazink seemed to follow patterns of other games I knew, I didn’t initially read the rules as carefully as I should have. If I had never played the game with anyone but Kelsey, I’d still be playing under those limiting rules.

And that happens to us in life all the time.

It is our responsibility to question the rules to see if they are real - and if they are working. Most great accomplishments and advances in human history have come from people questioning the written or unwritten rules. It is our privilege and responsibility to continue to do the same. Remember though that we cannot question the rules until we understand them. So, it is our task as a human to learn, understand, then question the rules.

The rules we play by will determine the results we achieve.

It's time to think about the rules and how they relate to your results

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Permanent Link

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New Monthly Essays

The book Vantagepoints on Learning and Life was born from my monthly Vantagepoints essays. Starting this month, after I send our subscribers the new essay, I will post it here.

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Permanent Link

0 comments


A Media Room Page

We have added a Media Room page to help the press and bloggers in contacting and working with me in relationship to the book.

Check it out here.

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Permanent Link

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Bloggers That Helped and their Posts

We had many great collaborators that provided bonuses for our campaign (they can still be seen HERE.), we also had a number of bloggers say some very nice things about the book on or around the January 12th promotion day.

Here are a list of those great folks. Click their names for their great blogs, and the post link to view the actual post.

Phil Gerbyshak post
Ken Partain post
Dick Richards post
Rosa Say post
EM Sky post
Lisa Haneberg post
David Rothacker post
Bernie DeKoven post

If you haven't visited these blogs, please do. Each of these people write great blogs and much more important than that they are cool people.

One of the best things that has happened to me because I blog is the people I have been exposed to and the friendships I've made. I count each of these people as friends, though to this point, I've only met two of them, and haven't even talked to a couple of them yet on the phone.

Don't visit because they are my friends though. Visit because you'll benefit from what they write.

I guarantee it.

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - Permanent Link

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Reviewing The Promotion

My plan had been to blog every hour or so during the day on January 12th as we tried to get to the top ten on Barnes and Noble.com.

That, obviously didn't happen.

And while the hourly blogs didn't happen, we did sell books - quite a few of them. The graphic tells you we made it to #12, that doesn't tell the whole story.

As I said, we started the day hoping to get to top ten status on Barnes and Noble, and here is how the climb went, with some commentary beside each number...

4:30 am 129,406 (it seems like there is a long way to go)
7:30 am 129,406 (alot of emails have gone out...crossing my fingers)
8:30 am 805 (We have a start - and it seems like a good one)
9:24 am 100 (some might say this makes you a bestseller - but not by my standards)
10:23 am 57 (this is getting fun)
11:30 am 28 (we are going to get there!)
12:30 pm 25 (we are slowing down...but I know it gets harder the closer you get to the top)
1:30 pm 21 (we are still moving up...)
2:30 pm 15 (almost there...and it seems there is more momentum again)
3:30 pm 12 (I can't wait for 4:30!)
4:10 pm Nothing

At 4:10 - Barnes and Noble.com says you can no longer order our book. After a moment of panic, knowing that there could be books ordered, we knew this problem wasn't going to be fixed in the short term. So while our publisher got on that mystery, we changed all of our promotion pages over to Amazon.com. Our goal had been to drive all traffic to BN, in order to get our top ten. But with our peak at number 12, we started giving Customers to Amazon.com

At 4:30 am we have been at 1,133,082 on Amazon... here is what happened, starting at 4:30 pm, after the switchover...

4:30 pm 98,021 (we obviously had gotten a few sales there AND were moving up quickly)
6:30 pm 110,981 (I thought maybe we were done)
8:00 pm 6,149 (While I know we aren't going top ten on Amazon, this is getting fun again!)
11:00 pm 2,054 (cool!)
12:45 am 650 (yes, I was up looking)
1:15 am 764
4:30 am 449 (the peak)
6:30 am 505

While I won't bore you with more of the numbers (I have probably done that already), later that day we were ranked as high as #9 on the Amazon Self-Help/Motivational Best Seller list.

So, did we make our top ten goal for BN? Not quite. But had the glitch not occurred, we would have easily made top ten - and likely top 5. Which makes me very pleased.

We learned a lot, and were able to work quickly through the glitch. And we set ourselves up for success on February 28.

What is February 28th you ask?

The day we go for #1 on Amazon (a much harder task!)

As of now five days after the campaign, you can, again buy the book at BN.com (sales rank 2,230) and the Amazon # is still better than 10,000.

It was quite a fun day... and I'm already looking forward to February 28th!

To those of you reading this who were our partners or who bought the book, I thank you very much.

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - Permanent Link

0 comments


The Link to My Recent Interview

I recently did an interview on WBAA (920 AM West Lafayette, Indiana) about the book. I blogged about it here and promised a link when I had it.

Now we have it!

You'll find the interview linked on this page.

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - Permanent Link

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In Bubble Wrap

Want a chance to get a copy of Vantagepoints on Learning and Life for free?

If so, go to InBubbleWrap today!

This is one of the coolest sites on the internet and today 24 lucky registrants will win a copy of the book. I recommend you check it out and sign up - not just for today, but for the chance to win great books five days a week.

p.s. the description written there wasn't written by me - but one of their staff - which makes it extra special to me.

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - Permanent Link

3 comments


Help for Bloggers

If you blog, are reading this and want to post about the book, or the bestseller promotion, you can read this page, to get more info and even copy that might help you write a post.

If you want to post one of the chapters on your site, you can find it in pure text, ready to cut and paste here.

If you DO post about the book, please let me know. :)

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - Permanent Link

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Bonuses for Existing Owners

When we finished Vantagepoints on Learning and Life, we knew we would be doing a "best Seller" promotion, and we wanted to give those who already had a copy of the book a chance to benefit from some of the bonus gifts.

So...

If you have a copy of the book, go to page 201 and follow the instructions (and the link!) As of this writing not all of the bonuses are updated there (they will be soon) but when there you will be directed to the page where all of the gifts can become yours!

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - Permanent Link

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Time is Getting Close . . .

I haven't been actively posting to this blog, but that is about to change.

Thursday (1/12/06) we are runing a promotion to make Vantagepoints on Learning and Life a best seller on Barnes and Noble.com.

There will be lots of news in the next couple of days, and I will post as I can. I also will post the links for you to be able to get at 43 bonus gifts (worth over $1,400) when you purchase your copy.

I also plan to post updates of progress throughout the day.

p.s. I'll also let past purchasers know how they will also be able to get these bonuses.

Stay tuned.

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - Permanent Link

0 comments


On The Radio And Your PC!

I'll be interviewed today between 2:30-3:00 pm on WBAA Radio on 920Magazine. You can listen in on your computer to a streaming feed HERE.

Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - Permanent Link

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