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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-02-24

In this issue:

  1. Brainpower tip
  2. Time: friend or foe?
  3. Security tip
  4. Computer tip
  5. Finance tip
  6. Career tip
  7. Health tip/Fitness tip
  8. Thought for the day

 

1. Brainpower tip

Don't take newspaper reports at face value. One of our astute readers pointed out toward a newspaper article that described my public testimony about crimes being committed by employees of the IRS. The article twisted that around to the following:

He also contends that some IRS employees have been abusive and arbitrary in their efforts to collect money from the fraud victims, and he urged the panel to look for ways to curb those abuses.

"It is my hope that you can and will do something meaningful about these issues," Lamendola said.

I never contended anything. I never mentioned the word abuse. At least the newspaper got it write and didn't say I was indicting the IRS. Far from it. I was pointing out how the IRS was a victim of crimes committed by its own employees--such as the 4300 computers stolen in 2001 and the $103 million stolen in the Hoyt fiasco. I also mentioned he 1985 kidnapping of several children at a Michigan day care center--an occasion that resulted in an armed standoff between IRS employees and the Michigan State Guard. The IRS employees claimed ignorance of the law (they didn't know kidnapping was illegal) and they walked. The crux of my testimony was that there is no accountability in the IRS and many of its employees treat the agency as their private wealth-making machine. I also said citizens have no  recourse when these employees engage in criminal actions.

Though I explained my points very carefully and was precise in my word choices, the truth did not make it into print. The lesson here is you cannot trust news sources like newspapers and television. These are politicized sources. The truth is not their first priority.

 

2. Time: friend or foe?

"Use time as your ally." This is a mantra that I started using over 20 years ago. Let's look at some ways to do this.

  • Look long range. Everything from "start saving now" financial practices to your health practices comes under this concept. Many things in life are cumulative. Even love is that way, so take care what you say to those around you. A little barb here or there may not seem like much, but over time those add up. So, then, do kindnesses. Use time as your ally to build your relationships through small kindnesses over time.
     
  • Understand lead times. For example, you may need to buy something for a trip. Waiting until the day before means you might not have it in time--perhaps the store is out of stock. I operate one manufacturer's largest online retailing presence: http://www.easytranslators.com. Folks often are leaving on Monday and they want a translator shipped to them before the go--and they order on Friday. Ain't gonna happen. And, even if it go there, what if it had a problem? The lesson here is to predict the "baking time" various items need and then schedule them accordingly. In electrical projects, it takes about 9 weeks to build the gear for new power to a large facility--if you are on the fast track. So, ordering that gear a couple weeks before starting means you will be starting 7 weeks late. If you had to bring a cake to a party, and you started mixing the ingredients 10 minutes before you had to leave, it doesn't matter how hot you get your oven--that cake will not be done in time. Baking time--important concept. And not just literally.
     
  • When coordinating projects with other people in a "I do this, then you do that" fashion, do your "turnarounds" as fast as possible. Then, give the other party a shortened "deadline" for response. This gives you extra time you would not have otherwise had.
     
  • Understand what you can multi-task and what you cannot. I put clothes in the wash while I am doing my weight training regimes. The washer does its thing while I go off and do something else. Most folks probably catch this one, but occasionally I hear someone say, "I have to stay home and do the laundry." Well, if you let the clothes wash while you are answering e-mail, making and eating a meal, cleaning house, reading a book you need to read, or whatever--such a statement need never cross your lips.
     
  • When something is coming up, start preparing for it in little pieces. For example, suppose you are going on a trip. Start getting trip itineraries in spare moments, jot notes, keep an area just for trip items. When I do these eNLs, I often do one section at a time over several days. Then, when I am ready to publish, I go through the whole thing--but much of the work is done. This is far less stressful for me than trying to cram it all in just before the due date, and the product is noticeably better than it would be with a rush approach.

 

3. Security tip

Keep at least one firearm in a pouch or "gun rug," so you can get at it quickly. Also keep hearing protection and eye protection with it. If you have small children in the home, make your bedroom off-limits and keep this home protection kit locked up any time the children are unattended. You might consider carrying a small holstered weapon on you at all times when you are home, if there has been unusual criminal activity in your area. Remember, the police are not your private bodyguards. It's up to you to protect yourself, your spouse, and your children. Calling 911 is adequate for reporting a crime, not for preventing it.

 

4. Finance tip

 I'm still getting phone and e-mail inquiries from readers with financial "situations." The most common problem is difficulty keeping up with loan payments. Mindconnection has an inexpensive course, "Best Ways to Get Out of Debt." It's only $9.97, which is quite a bargain when you consider the benefits.

See: http://www.mindconnection.com/product/CRS-DEBTRED.html

To get started, make a list of your debts. Note the amount remaining, interest rate, payment size, and tax deductibility. Then, purchase the course and see how to improve your situation. The results will improve your life. 

 

5. Computer tip

 Not long ago, I sent out an e-mail about how to remove the searchex Trojan. You can read more free computer tips at the free Mindconnection online library: http://www.mindconnection.com/library/. Just click on the Computer link.

 

6. Career tip

Mention the sport of climbing, and what do people think of? Falling! What protects you when you fall? The rope. Jobs aren’t all that different. When we think of jobs today, we think of layoffs. What can protect you? A metaphorical rope, whose fibers consist of your skills and whose knots consist of your attitudes.

A climber needs to trust that rope to overcome the fear that would otherwise make climbing unenjoyable, if not impossible.

As a worker, you need to trust your metaphorical rope for the same reasons. All the way back in the first issue, and in some issues in between, I mentioned that the workplace is an insane asylum. It’s full of people acting out their insecurities.

Whether you are climbing or working in an office, you need a rope you can trust. A climber goes through a 7-point safety check. Three of those points are on the harness alone. One those safety checks involves 5 sub-checks on the knot—you check it at 5 points.

For another safety check, you turn the knot over and do the same 5 checks.

What about a 7-point check for your career, so you can hang on to that job in these layoff-prone times? You may come up with your own list. Let’s take a look at one I came up with—one I use even as a self-employed person.

Point #1. Check your attitude. Some of us have a Puritan work ethic, and some of us have the attitude someone owes us a job. Neither of these attitudes is ideal for staying employed. The key here is negotiation. Your attitude needs to reflect your position. You offer value to your employer, which in turn offers you some income and benefits. Your attitude should be that each of you benefits the other. Any attitude but that tends to reduce your chances of staying with that company.

Point #2. Check your relationship. In the traditional employment relationship, you are selling your time. This leads to a lot of non-value-added activity that makes you as much of a commodity as a wastebasket—and you are likely to be treated the same way. If, instead, you are selling your services, then you focus on how to provide value that your employer can truly appreciate. Yes, the old complaint that doing a good job is like wetting your pants in a dark suit (nobody notices) comes to mind. But, that brings us to the next check point.

Point #3. Check your PR and marketing efforts. Are you making a planned and consistent effort to provide decision-makers with the information they need to decide to keep you?

Point #4. Check your network. Inside your company, do you have solid contacts who might be able to hire you into their department or division if the bottom falls out of yours? Do you have contacts who can help you make a project succeed? What bonds and relationships are you forming toward job security? Now, answer the same questions for your network outside your company.

Point #5. Check your skill set. A lot of older people complain, "They let me go and hired someone younger, just to save money because I was making so much." Sometimes, this is true. But, it’s also true that a manager gets tired of an employee who doesn’t supply new ideas, doesn’t obtain new skills, and just doesn’t seem to be interested in doing the job better, faster, or cheaper. As Stephen R. Covey says, "Sharpen the saw." As a bonus, if your employer doesn’t value your new skills, you have that much more of an edge if you lose the job. I am perhaps a poster boy for that concept, so I really believe in it.

Point #6. Check your image. Subtle impressions count in not so subtle ways. You don’t need a perfect body type or the latest fashions to have a good image. You do need good posture, good grooming, good hygiene, and good taste. This extends beyond just your person. Keep your office clean and professional. If it looks like a dump, remember that people don’t like living next to a dump. What about your car? You don’t need a fancy car for the boss or a coworker to ride in. You do need a clean car. What about entertaining someone in your home? One of our early subscribers lives in a tiny apartment, but she keeps it amazingly well-organized. By so doing, she sends a positive message about herself. If you look like you care about yourself and your belongings, the natural conclusion is you care about your job and the company.

Point #7. Check your happiness. If all else is right, but you aren’t happy in your job, the unhappiness will send the wrong vibes one way or another. If you are unhappy, don’t grumble about it. Take some time to identify what makes you unhappy. Is it lack of promotion? A dippy boss? The smell and noise you put up with from a nearby coworker? Once you identify what the problem is, make a list of solutions. Then, put an asterisk by the ones your boss would probably approve of. Think about how these solutions could work and what it takes to implement them. It might be more training for you, a special project, or whatever. Then, talk with your boss and see what kind of support you can get.

In my last job, I wasn’t happy because of a series of broken promises and a lot of mistreatment. So, I started my own business. While at the office, I didn’t let the situation get to me, because I was building my "escape vehicle." When the layoff came, it was no big deal to me.

Do these "safety checks," and you can trust your rope.

Check out our Career Secrets course, available now for only $17.97. You'll be thankful for it when you get your next $2,000 raise while watching co-workers pack their personal effects into boxes. See http://www.mindconnection.com/product/CRS-CAREER-SECR.html

 

7. Health tip/Fitness tip

 A new class of "weight loss" products has hit the market. These are "low carb" substitutes for flour-based items as pasta, cakes, bread, etc. The concept is flawed. The problem with standard carbohydrate sources is not that they are carbohydrates. It is that the flour is damaged by the processing and hydrogenated oils are added. These new products use protein sources instead grains. The effect is still the same, because the same damaging processing is employed. Thus, you will get the same insulin rush, fat storage, and dose of toxic hydrogenated oils as you would with a grain-based product.

You need carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These macronutrients work together. Avoiding any one of them won't produce the results you want. To be leaner, restrict portion size and eat foods that have had minimal processing. For the best dietary information, see the free articles at www.supplecity.com

 

 

8. Thought for the Day

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
--John F. Kennedy

Be sure to hold your elected officials accountable. More importantly, make sure they hold unelected officials accountable This is the only way to ensure a peaceful society--something we don't have today because our elected officials let unelected government employees treat the citizenry with contempt. Let's all work for peaceful revolution--taxcuts, rollbacks of regulations, and downsizing of government. See www.mindconnection.com/hoyt for an example of extreme abuse and resources for contacting officials. Americans should study http://www.mindconnection.com/library/legal/amendments.htm to be familiar with the Bill of Rights.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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