Direct Your Mind: How Can I Prevent This From Ever Happening Again?

Here is a useful approach to the inevitable misfortunes that will come your way. It is a way to resolve your negative feelings and use the misfortune in a practical way.

When something unfortunate happens, you will naturally have it on your mind for some time. You’ll think about it. Often you will merely remember it and feel bad. If you caused it, you might feel guilty. If you didn’t cause it, you might ruminate on how you wish it hadn’t happened, or how upset you are at what the consequences will be.

As long as your mind is on it, you might as well take advantage of it and see if something useful can be gained by pondering it. The most direct way to do that is to ponder the question, “What could I do to prevent that from happening to me again?”

This is a way to direct your mind. You’re already thinking about it, but the way most people naturally think about misfortunes does not help. This question goes along with the impetus of your mind, but aims that impetus in a more productive direction.

After thinking about it you may conclude nothing you can do will prevent it from happening again, in which case, you can ponder what would be the best way to respond to it next time, or what you will do now to minimize the consequences.

Pondering these questions will satisfy your mind’s desire to think about it, will minimize how bad it makes you feel, and will help you learn something useful for the future.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Subscribe to AdamLiKhan.com via email for free. Fill out the form below (or click here) and have all new posts sent to your inbox:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

How Flex Fuel Cars Were Invented

Roberta J. Nichols was an extraordinary and distinguished engineer, specializing in internal combustion engines. Born in 1931, by the 1970s she was the leading researcher at Ford for "alternative fuel vehicles."

The timing couldn't possibly have been better. With the oil embargo in 1973 and the Iranian revolution, American leaders were perfectly clear that we needed an alternative fuel — ideally something we had more control over than oil. And at the time, air pollution was a hot topic too, so people were looking at methanol as an alternative fuel. It burns cleaner with fewer emissions than gasoline.

Nichols had grown up in Los Angeles and knew some of the right people, so she was able to convince California to launch a program to test the practicality of methanol as a fuel. Then she convinced Ford to invest in it.

In 1980, Ford bequeathed to the Californian government twelve Pintos that had been altered to run on methanol. Within three years, California had a fleet of over six hundred methanol cars.

The cars were a great success in many ways. The drivers loved them. Methanol is 105 octane, which significantly increased the effective horsepower of the state cars. After driving these methanol cars a total of about 35 million miles, they had lots of data. The emissions were low, the fuel-efficiency was good, everything seemed wonderful.  But there was a problem. California didn't have enough fueling stations for these cars. Because they were retrofitted regular cars, the gas tank wasn't big enough (methanol has a lower energy density, so needs more liquid per mile). They had a 230 mile range, but with so few methanol stations, that was sometimes not good enough.

In all of California, there were only 22 methanol fueling stations. And because there were only about 600 of these cars on the road, gas stations didn't really have much incentive to add a methanol pump. So the drivers had to really fret about running out of fuel.

And because of this, nobody else really wanted to buy one of these methanol cars. So California was in the same Catch-22 we are in today. The fueling stations want to wait until there are enough cars on the road that can burn an alternative fuel before they add a pump for it, and car buyers aren't interested in buying a car that can burn a fuel that hardly anybody sells.

At the time, Nichols and her team were not overly bothered by this. They wanted to test the cars with that fuel, and all the tests came out great, so their experiment was a success.

The car was a failure, however, but only because of the lack of infrastructure to support it.

But Nichols didn't give up on the idea. She realized that if her methanol car was ever going to be widely accepted, the car itself would have to solve the Catch-22 instead of relying on preexisting infrastructure (fuel stations) to bridge the gap. And to do that, the car would have to burn gasoline and methanol, so when drivers couldn't find a methanol station, they could get by with gasoline.

Creating a methanol-only car was not that difficult from an engineering standpoint. But a mixed-fuel car was something else. It would be easy if the car always had the same mixture, but to create an engine that could effectively deal with a mixture of changing proportions was a challenge. But they realized that's what they needed to do if a methanol car was ever going to enter the mainstream.

The car would somehow have to be designed to respond to whatever arbitrary mixture of fuels it was burning at the moment, and to change in response to changing mixtures. At the time, this was unheard of, and they didn't know how to go about it.

Their solution was to adapt an invention by G.A. Schwippert — a sensor that could determine the alcohol content of a liquid (using light refraction), and then connecting that changing information to the fuel injector. Then the fuel-to-air ratio could be changed on the spot, depending on the fuel mixture of the moment. It was brilliant and simple. And it worked. Nichols and her team invented the first modern flex fuel vehicle. Read the story in her own words here.

Ford made quite a few of these cars, and the other automakers experimented a little with them too, but it didn't catch on as quickly as Nichols had hoped.

The farm lobby, which was looking for a market for ethanol, helped keep the idea alive. They helped promote flex fuel cars, and that's why today most FFVs are designed to burn gasoline and ethanol, but not methanol.

Roberta J. Nichols died in 2005. But she left behind a legacy that could change the world.

Fuel competition cannot happen until a single car can allow the competition. Right now we have CNG cars (compressed natural gas) and electric cars, and gas-only cars. So it could be said we have competition. But drivers cannot choose between these different fuels every time we fill up. And since most of us cannot afford to have three different kinds of cars, and to drive the one with the cheapest fuel that day, there is no real competition.

What happens, then, is that people will buy the car that is least expensive and/or has the most available fuel. And that's what we have now. No competition.

But Nichols' invention will finally allow different fuels to compete in the marketplace, head-to-head every day.

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Direct Your Mind: What is the Best Use of My Time Right Now?

This is another in our series based on the book, Direct Your Mind. Here's how to use a question effectively: How to Direct Your Own Thoughts So They Work For You Rather Than Against You.

This is Alan Lakein’s question. Lakein is the author of the famous book, How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, and he’s the original expert on time management. This question is a good one for almost any situation. It can clarify your mind in moments and get you back on track. Lakein recommends asking it several times a day. 

First you need to know what your goals are. Then you can ask the question to your heart’s content. The way you use your time is — and always will be — an extremely important question. All you have is time, and what you have is limited. I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before, but you can’t hear it enough because it is human nature to take it all for granted, act as if we’ve got all the time in the world, “fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way” on stuff that isn’t important at all, and then be shocked and horrified when we suddenly realize ten years have gone by and we haven’t accomplished nearly what we wanted to. No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun.

As the Pink Floyd song says: “The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older. Shorter of breath, one day closer to death.” Not the sort of thing we normally like to think about, but time is running out for all of us. Courageously facing that fact head-on can really improve your motivation to use your time better. Lakein’s question can help.

Ask the question several times a day. And think about it. This is one question that deserves some time.

Adam Khan is the author of Direct Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of What Difference Does It Make?: How the Sexes Differ and What You Can Do About It. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

What An Open Fuel Standard Means

An open fuel standard would mean the end of the petroleum standard, which the world has been stuck with since the early twentieth century. It means the end of a one-fuel economy and the beginning of a free market for transportation fuel.

Many excellent fuels are available that cost less and burn cleaner than gasoline, but our cars were made in such a way that we cannot put these fuels in our cars. An open fuel standard would change this. With only a few small tweaks to the manufacture of a car, it would be capable of burning methanol, ethanol, butanol, and gasoline — in any combination or proportion. Each car would become a platform upon which fuels could compete.

The repercussions of real fuel competition would be enormous. When cars start rolling off assembly lines capable of burning multiple fuels, gasoline prices would have to come down to compete, new jobs would be created by companies scrambling to get a piece of the hundreds of billions of dollars Americans spend on fuel per year, less CO2 and other pollutants would spill into the air, landfills would have significantly less bulk, rural people in developing countries would raise their standards of living, women in oppressive OPEC nations would see the regimes holding them down begin to weaken, America's national security would improve without costing taxpayers any more money, and you, the consumer, would finally be able to have as much choice with your fuel as you do with your coffee.

Learn more on YouTube: What is the Open Fuel Standard?

Reliable, Unbiased News Sources — Episode 9, Season 4 of The Adam Bomb Podcast

Would you like to get news that hasn't been tainted with bias or exaggeration or hidden agendas? There are such sources available if you know where to find them. You'll discover where they are in this short episode.

Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxSH7k2tyfK7wSmkg91pE2PZ7iLwl2wV9
Apple Podcasts: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-podcasts/id525463029
Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9lNWVhZTMwL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz
Radio Public: https://radiopublic.com/the-adam-bomb-WdAE05
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/r6cddvxh
Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-adam-bomb
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/

Subscribe via email for free. Fill out the form below and have all new posts sent to your inbox:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Adam's Sustenance Bars

The following is a recipe for a granola bar. I started doing this because I wanted something I could take with me on hikes or to work that would be a quick snack with a significant amount of protein and fat, that didn't need to be refrigerated, that wasn't overly sweetened, and without artificial ingredients. There wasn't anything on the market like that, so I made up a recipe. It's very easy. And in my opinion, these "sustenance bars" are delicious. You need only four ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix it all together in a large bowl. 

Form it into bars and put on a cookie sheet. You don't need to oil the cookie sheet. They don't stick.

Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

That's it. Enjoy!

Mayans, Aztecs and OPEC — Monopolies Can Be Broken

I'm reading the book, Salt: A World History. It's more interesting than you might think. Because the primary method of preserving food for most of human history was using salt, it was the most important commodity on earth. Milk was preserved with it as cheese. Vegetables were preserved by pickling, which required salt. Meat and fish were preserved with salt. It was vitally important and became more so as time went on, right up until the Civil War, when other ways of preserving food began to become widespread (like canning and eventually refrigeration).

One of the things that surprised me was how many times and places in history someone tried (and sometimes succeeded) gaining a monopoly on salt production or distribution. It was such a vital commodity that tremendous wealth and power could be gained from a monopoly of salt.

As other ways of preserving food became available, salt lost its exalted status. Nobody cares much about who (if anyone) controls the salt market.

The new vitally important commodity is transportation fuel. Everybody needs it. And one fuel dominates. Almost all forms of transportation in the world — 95% of the trains, planes, ships, cars, trucks — run on petroleum. Other viable fuels are available, but the vehicles themselves are made to only burn one. It is a virtual monopoly.

On top of that, OPEC formed a cartel to illegally control the price of oil.

When a commodity is important enough, someone will always try to control it, monopolize it or corner the market in one way or another. The English did it with salt, the French did it, different cities did it back to ancient times, China did it, the Mayans did it, the Aztecs did it. Anyone in power wanted to do it or tried to do it. Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: A World History, wrote:

The earliest evidence that has been found of Mayan salt production is dated at about 1000 B.C., but remains of earlier saltworks have been found in non-Mayan Mexico such as Oaxaca. It may be an exaggeration to claim that the great Mayan civilization rose and fell over salt. However, it rose by controlling salt production and prospered on the ability to trade salt, flourishing in spite of constant warfare over control of salt sources. By the time Europeans arrived, the civilization was in a state of decline, and one of the prime indicators of this was a breakdown in its salt trade.


The same kind of thing can be found throughout history all over the world. It looks like a fact of life: Someone will try to gain and hold a monopoly on any important commodity. And if we (the people using the commodity) don't want to be the victims of a monopoly, it is up to us to stop it. But how?

Kurlansky wrote, "The Aztecs controlled the salt routes by military power and were able to deny their enemies, such as Tlxalacaltecas, access to salt." Before Europeans discovered America, a tribe in central America — the Tlatoque — refused to participate in the Aztecs salt monopoly. They deliberately avoided using salt.

Kurlansky wrote, "The Spanish took power by taking over the saltworks of the indigenous people they conquered. Cortes, who came from southern Spain, not far from both Spanish and Portuguese saltworks, understood the power and politics of salt. He observed with admiration how the Tlatoque had maintained their independence and avoided the oppression of the Aztecs by abstaining from salt."

We may not be able to abstain from oil, but as Korin and Luft argue in their book, Turning Oil Into Salt, we can certainly add enough competition to break the monopoly and strip oil of its strategic status and thus make the OPEC cartel no longer capable of controlling the price of transportation fuel.

We can become free of oil's monopoly by expanding fuel competition until oil is only one of many viable fuels used by combustion engines, just as salt is now only one of many ways to keep food from spoiling. Robust fuel competition can free us from the monopoly and its economy-smothering, national security-weakening, pocket-emptying effects.

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

We Just Want a Choice

This is a great little video to share with people who don't yet know what fuel competition could do for America. What problems can fuel choice solve? This video does a pretty good job answering that question in one minute, forty-nine seconds:



27 Years Alone in the Woods: A True Story -- Season 4, Episode 8 of The Adam Bomb Podcast

What would it be like to be by yourself in a natural setting for decades? Somebody has done it, and his story is remarkable. Get the condensed version in this episode.

Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxSH7k2tyfK7wSmkg91pE2PZ7iLwl2wV9
Apple Podcasts: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-podcasts/id525463029
Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9lNWVhZTMwL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz
Radio Public: https://radiopublic.com/the-adam-bomb-WdAE05
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/r6cddvxh
Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-adam-bomb
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/

Subscribe via email for free. Fill out the form below and have all new posts sent to your inbox:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

On Sale For One Week Only

Four of my books, in their Kindle versions, will be on sale in the United States and the United Kingdom, from January 10th until January 17th, 2021:

Slotralogy: How to Change Your Habits of Thought: On sale for 99 cents. Using one of the simplest self-help methods ever created, this small book shows you how to change the one thing that will change everything: Your habitual way of thinking.

Self-Help Stuff That Works: On sale for $1.99. This is a collection of short, easy-to-read, to-the-point articles on how to have a better attitude, how to do better at work, and how to deal with people successfully. The articles were originally published in a newsletter called At Your Best, where Adam Khan's column was voted the reader's favorite.

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): On sale for 99 cents. You know from experience that when you change your perspective on something that troubles you, it can sometimes quickly change how you feel and improve the way you deal with challenges. This small book explains how to change your perspective deliberately and reliably, which will make you feel good more often and get more of your goals accomplished. This is a short, practical, easy-to-read book on reframing the events in your life so you're more capable of dealing with them and better able to keep a good attitude.

Cultivating Fire: How to Keep Your Motivation White Hot: On sale for 99 cents. While it's true that sometimes you are naturally motivated, especially immediately after deciding on a goal, it is also true that you can cultivate motivation or let it do what it naturally does most of the time: fade. Motivation is a tremendous power. A highly motivated person can accomplish seemingly impossible things. In this tiny book, you will learn how to stoke your inner fire, to get and keep your motivation burning white hot. This not only makes you more capable of accomplishment, but it makes life more fun. Would you like to see what you are really capable of? Intense motivation can unleash it.

Hope Versus Determination

When things are going badly, people will tell you, “don’t lose hope.” But hope is not as valuable as most people think. Determination is a much more helpful feeling. What’s the difference? I’ll show the difference by telling you a true story of a rugby team. 

They were taking a flight to a rugby match when the plane crashed in the Andes mountains. The pilots had miscalculated their position. They thought they were on the other side of the highest peaks, but they weren’t. So they started their descent and flew right into the mountain. 

As they were about to crash, they radioed what they thought was their position, but they were wrong. As the plane came down, the tail section hit a ridge and tore off. The front end of the plane slid to a stop in the snow. Thirty-two people survived the crash. They were now in warm-weather clothes in very cold weather (the temperature was far below freezing at night). They assumed, of course, that the pilots transmitted their correct location, so they expected to be rescued. They lived on hope. 

They had a little transistor radio they listened to all the time, and they heard about the progress of the search for the missing plane. They held onto their hope with understandable desperation. 

Then one day, they heard the search had been called off. Many of them were crushed by the news, some weeping in despair. All hope was lost! But one man wasn’t crushed. All along, most of the others were fixated on getting rescued, but Nando was determined to get back to civilization, and didn’t like passively waiting for rescue. 

When they heard the news on the radio, Nando said, “We’d better go tell the others.” The person he was talking to said they can’t do that. People will lose hope. Nando replied, “What’s so great about hope?” 

To many of the survivors, the idea of saving themselves seemed impossible. They didn’t know where they were, how far away civilization was, or in what direction civilization lay. They knew Chile was to the west, but the way was blocked by enormous mountains. They were at an elevation that was permanently snowbound and they were ill-clothed for an expedition in these conditions. The air was low in oxygen and it exhausted them to hike. 

But Nando and a friend, Canessa, prepared for their hike, and then headed out. The hike over endless mountains in thin air, freezing in inadequate clothing, pushed these young men to their limits. At one point, Canessa said, “I can’t go on.” Nando replied, “You must go on.” 

Seventy days after the plane crashed, Nando and Canessa found civilization. During the ordeal, Nando lost fifty pounds, and he was a slim athlete to begin with. 

Later in his life, Nando said, “When I was at the top of an 18,000-foot peak with Roberto Canessa, looking at the vast scenery of snowy peaks surrounding us, we knew we were going to die. There was absolutely no way out. We then decided how we would die: We would walk towards the sun and the west.’ 

That’s determination. 

Hope is passive and relies on people and forces outside of yourself. Determination is active and self-propelled. Determination is different from hope. If you have a challenging goal, don’t rely on hope to keep you going. Decide what you are going to do, and keep moving toward your goal no matter what happens. 

When you feel disheartened, undemoralize yourself. It will keep your feet on the ground and determination in your heart. 

Read the full story of the Andes survivors: 

Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home 

Or watch the movie: Alive

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Subscribe to AdamLiKhan.com via email for free. Fill out the form below (or click here) and have all new posts sent to your inbox:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Fuel Competition is URGENT

In our book, Fill Your Tank With Freedom, we write, "Saudi oil billionaires have hired American law firms and lobbying organizations to promote their agenda within the U.S. political system. They keep these powerful groups on their full-time payroll. The Saudis alone have 100 lobbyists in Washington (just for comparison, the NRA, considered one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington D.C., has 28 lobbyists). According to OpenSecrets.org, the total number of lobbyists reported for the year 2012 who were working for the oil and gas industry is 736!"

(Find out here why we don't want Saudis influencing American lawmakers.)

The longer petroleum remains without serious competition, the more money oil companies can spend on lobbying, and the more influence they can exert over our political system. One of their main goals is to prevent any competitors from gaining a foothold in the transportation fuel market. 

Fuel competition is not only a good idea, it is urgent.

Here's what we mean by genuine fuel competition: Robust Versus Feeble Fuel Competition: A Key Distinction.