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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-05-19

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In this issue:

  1. Brainpower tip
  2. Featured product: awesome sale
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  5. Security tip
  6. Career tip
  7. Health tip/Fitness tip
  8. Thought for the day

 

1. Brainpower tip

Many people, when faced with a large and seemingly complex problem, get that deer in the headlights look. This is why, for example, we still have the IRS. (For those of you in Russia, this is the equivalent of your Russian Mafia. Our Afghanistan readers--if we have any--just need to imagine a more powerful but insidious Taliban whacked out with greed rather than one whacked out with religion.).

Suppose you are trying to paint a 3,000 square foot house. The job seems a bit much, because all you have is that one gallon of paint. But, rather than trying to cover the whole house with a single gallon, cover one wall face at a time (a house that size typically has at least 12 exterior wall faces, not just four). Note that another name for a wall face is an "aspect." Problems also have multiple aspects. Try covering those one at a time, and you suddenly "become" much smarter than you were.

Look at one portion of the problem and say, "I can do this." When you stop trying to spread your paint (brainpower) too thin, you can do a right smart job of covering all of the surfaces. And as you tackle one wall face (aspect) at a time, you will have painted the whole house before you know it. Just be careful on that ladder....

 

2. Featured product

We have acquired a good quantity of brand-new Chinese language translators at a deep discount, and would like to pass the savings on to our readers (and/or you friends). If you're enterprising, you can buy 2 or 3 and sell them to Chinese restaurants in your area, at a profit. These normally retail for $149.95, but we have them on sale for just $109.97. If you are interested in more than one, contact Mark at this e-mail and I'll work with you on a volume discount. You can see these at:

 

3. Time tip

Here's a sure-fire way to save many hours a week: time segmentation. Simply allot X minutes to each task you have planned for the day. Be sure to specify a starting time and ending time, and stick to the plan. How does this save you time? Let me count the ways:

  1. Parkinson's Law says the amount of work will expand to fit the amount of time allotted to it. Therefore, open-ended tasks take more time than if the very same tasks had starting and stopping times.
  2. You avoid pacing yourself to a lower than "normal" energy output rate.
  3. You can actually raise your energy for the duration of the allotted time, rather than working at normal energy. A person in decent physical shape can sprint full-out for three minutes (please note, the average person cannot sprint full-out for even thirty seconds, but that is a different topic). But, asking someone to sprint "for as long as you can" will result in a lowering of overall effort.
  4. Your brain needs variety. By switching at predetermined stopping points, you get variety without sacrificing concentration.

This idea of focusing for a defined period is not some "new age crap." In fact, it is the basis for most of the martial arts, rock-climbing, competitive shooting, and advanced sports training techniques. It's been proven in venues far more demanding than the local latte shop.

By the way, if you know of any group that wants a speaker on the subject of time management, please point them to www.mindconnection.com/main/timemanager.htm. That'll make you look good, and it'll help them find a highly-rated speaker who has something valuable to present to them.

 

 

4. Finance tip

Did you get an income tax refund for 2002? If so, adjust your withholding so you pay in less. Many people realize too much withholding is simply giving a free loan (so the military can "lose" $9 billion in equipment or 4300 IRS employees can get free computers) to the government.  But, they see that refund as a "gift." Not logical thinking, and not patriotic!

Actually, the government doesn't like giving refunds--messes up their cash flow. So, do us all a favor and get the correct withholding. Worried you might accidentally put the money into the economy where it can do some good, when you'd rather have a big bonus in the spring? Simple cure: set up a small savings account and have the excess money that would go to buying personal computers for the private use of IRS employees to instead go that account. Tell the bank you don't want a passbook. Then, when summer vacation time rolls around you will have a nice little kitty to spend however you wish. Meow.

 

 

5. Security tip

We hear all the time about corporate corruption. What we don't hear much about is corruption within government agencies. That corruption just about makes Enron look like a Sunday School exercise by comparison.

Now, I'm not anti-government. Far from it. I am simply saying that some unelected government officials take great liberty with our liberties! From the 4300 computers "missing" from IRS offices in 2001 to the $9 billion in equipment "missing" from our military, the evidence is overwhelming that we have a very serious problem in this department.

To protect yourself, at least somewhat, here are some things to consider:

  • Do not provide personal information to government representatives, unless they just about force it out of you. Even then, make sure they really have a need for it. In a scam revealed in 2002, IRS employees were selling sensitive taxpayer information. Assume whatever information you provide will not be held confidential.

  • If you use a "one pass" for tolls, occasionally use cash. Ditto for video rentals, grocery purchases, etc. You don't want to leave a perfect trail--put some holes in it. Keep in mind that any transactions that meet certain criteria now get reported to the government. We don't know what these criteria are, but I can bet if you watch a lot of dirty movies and/or war flicks, you are on record as doing so. Ditto if you visit Websites that are on the watch list.

  • Do not vote for, approve of, or condone any further incursion into your liberties under the guise of "public safety" or "homeland security." One natural born American citizen has been held without being charged, without being able to see an attorney, and without being able to communicate with his family--for over 30 days. That is a direct violation of the Bill of Rights. We either have a nation of law, or we don't. If it's not a nation of law, who is controlling those who are making the rules? See the Bill of Rights at http://www.mindconnection.com/library/legal/billofrights.htm. How many of these 10 rights did you know you have? What do you think life will be like when they are all gone? If you don't know, just look to Germany in 1938 for the answer.

  • If you are tempted to cheat on your taxes, don't. The IRS focuses on small businesses, waitresses, and middle income taxpayers. Their rationale has nothing to do with the amount of revenue being dishonestly taken by folks in those categories--it has everything to do with the ability of those people to defend themselves. So, don't tempt fate.

  • If you are tempted to apply for government aid, be careful. Whether this is mortgage assistance, unemployment compensation, aid to dependent children, Social Security benefits, or some other program--there are always strings attached. Just read everything carefully, know the costs, and insist on your rights.

  • Keep your files locked up in a secure location. Bank vaults are not secure from rogue government agents, who frequently violate the Privacy Act and 4th Amendment rights to invade those vaults.

  • Remember that crooks are everywhere. While there are good people in government, there are some seriously (expletive)-up people who work in government and hide behind the power of their office. If you are made a victim by one of these folks, you may not be able to recover by the time you find out. So, always be alert. Report any irregularities to that person's supervisor and to the supervisors one and two levels up. When dealing with people who have access to the power of government, leave nothing to chance and trust no one.

 Gosh, this is a dark subject. But, life isn't all roses. What did that guy say on Hill Street Blues? Be careful out there.

 

 

6. Career tip

We all get training in the technical skills that we believe will entice employers to hire us. But, that training doesn't prepare us for the real world of career management--that is, getting raises and avoiding layoffs. This is especially true of folks who enter such quantitative fields as accounting, engineering, business, marketing (real marketing), statistical analysis (a major element in real marketing), computer science, and the trades.   

What we tend to be weak on are the soft skills, though most of us rate ourselves as "above average" in these. The truth is different from what most of us believe. Mindconnection has a Career Success Secrets course, now on sale. Check it out at:
http://www.mindconnection.com/product/CRS-CAREER-SECR.html

This course is based on the Mensa Jobkeepers Special Interest Group Newsletter, which ran for about a decade. Find out what the geniuses discovered about having a healthy career.

Oh, and here's your tip: edit your e-mails carefully. Write an e-mail, then set aside for a moment. Come back to it, and edit for clarity and brevity. Then, make sure you have nothing inflammatory in that e-mail. Remember, e-mail is a permanent record. If you are going to make a fool of yourself, do so verbally--not in e-mail. Trust me, I've done both and can tell you the verbal is the better way to go.



7. Health tip/Fitness tip

The Kansas City Business Journal recently had an article about a woman who went for some surgery that was fairly routine. The hospital overlooked the fact that she was diabetic, and she went into diabetic shock. They amputated her hands and feet, as a result. She lives in the state of Missouri, which has a malpractice cap of $250,000. She could not get an attorney to represent her.

We are now seeing 12-year olds with adult onset diabetes. I think you can connect the dots between that fact and the opening paragraph.

Adult onset diabetes is 100% preventable. It is 0% curable. If you don't understand what causes adult onset diabetes and how to prevent it, see the diabetes article at www.supplecity.com.

A friend of mine who was born with diabetes is waiting for a kidney. Earlier this month, I did a time management seminar for 35 or so Clinical Managers who all work for a string of dialysis centers. If you are unconcerned about diabetes, I know from their horror stories you should visit a dialysis center to see the results of eating the way 95% of the population eats.

BTW, I have a secret weapon for coming back from business trips at 7.5% bodyfat. It's called VitaPro. It tastes great, and it takes the place of those sugar-laden fat fests that pose as breakfasts at restaurants. In addition to keeping me healthy, a VitaPro shake saves me a good half hour of my precious morning. I can use the time for catching e-mail or whatever I want. If it works for me--someone who gains fat just by looking at food--it will work for you. It always travels with me. I also pack small plastic bags of nuts and carry some quality food bars.

You can see these at:
http://www.mindconnection.com/category/NTR-BARS.html

 Feed your brain, not your waistline. 



8. Thought for the Day

The other day, my neighbor was putting fuel in his weed whacker and changing out the string. It was getting close to dark, so I said, "Ray, isn't it a little late to start mowing your lawn?"

He said, "I'm not going to mow it today, just getting ready for tomorrow. I was going to mow it today, but my son wanted me to play baseball with him. "

I smiled at Ray, and said, "You didn't miss anything, bro, not a thing."

Are you missing precious moments by letting non-crucial tasks control you, or are you in charge of your life? We all make decisions.

 

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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