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Mindconnection eNL, 2006-07-02

Past issues

In this issue:

  1. Product Highlights
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  1. Security tip
  2. Health tip/Fitness tip
  3. Miscellany
  4. Thought for the day

1. Product Highlights

Reaching an audience
What do you associate with speaking before an audience?

There are two standard answers to this question: Fear and failure. With our presentations course, you answers can be vastly different.

This course teaches you to present in such a way that your audience wants more. You will understand why most presentations are terrible, boring, and ineffective.

You'll learn how to eliminate the causes of those problems in your own presentations. You will be able to design and deliver presentations that gets your message across. You'll understand how to avoid inflicting people with "death by PowerPoint," to overcome your nervousness, and to connect with any audience.

So, take our course. Then:

  • Go land that major client.
  • Convince your bosses to give you a raise.
  • Give a memorable eulogy for a departed friend.
  • Start valuable relationships in your professional association.
  • Become a widely-recognized expert in your field.
  • Earn speaking fees.
  • Open new doors of opportunity for yourself.
http://www.mindconnection.com/product/CRS-HTGAWP.html


2. Brainpower tip

Have you ever felt totally frustrated by someone who is being argumentive, insulting, and accusatory? This happens frequently in relationships. If you try to argue the alleged point and the other person seems to be unreasonable and unlistening, you are arguing the wrong point.

You have some choices:

  • Continue the vain arguing in hopes of being understood by the other person. Result: the desired outcome will not occur.
  • Change the subject. This may merely provide another venue for more arguing. It can give you a break, but it may simply allow things to fester.
  • Dismiss the other person as an idiot. You might be making an accurate evaluation, but if you get in the habit of doing this you will run out of people to have any kind of meaningful conversation with.
  • Express anger. This makes the other person see you as unreasonable.
  • Spend the next few days trying to decipher the argument. This is a total waste of time, because there is no "there" there.
  • Answer the person's real concerns. Aha!

Usually (almost always) when another person expresses negative things about you, that person is sending you a message about himself--usually his own feelings of inadequacy. Note this is not the same as disagreeing with your opinion, asking you to change specific behaviors, or simply griping about something you did.

Clues to look for:

  • Use of the word "always." "You always try to make me look bad." What's going on: The other person feels trapped and is just lashing out.
  • Sarcasm. "Oh, you are always right. You are so perfect." What's going on (usually): The other person feels inadequate because you are informed and s/he is not. But it can also be true that you are a know-it-all who is exasperating others.
  • Character assassination. Digs at your character are, in reality, compliments. If another person says you are lazy and you know that's not true, do you defend yourself? Doing so simply highlights the other person's lack of accomplishment.

The basic test is this. If the statement is fundamentally unfair, the other person is talking about his/her own feelings of inadequacy and not about you. The problem is the other person feels you might not respect him or her, so the "fix" this person tries to use is to point out the "fact" (delusion) that you have the same problems this person has--only worse.

Rather than waste brainpower on engaging another person who is doing this, just say something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way about me. This certainly is not a mutual opinion." Then, mention something specific (and related) this person does that is positive or, in some other way, point out some strength this person has in this area.

For example, Bob is a television addict who does not read. Carla is television-free, and reads both voraciously and selectively. Naturally, Carla's store of knowledge will be huge compared to Bob's. And Bob's misperceptions and disinformation problems will be nearly crippling.

So one day, Bob starts ranting at Carla about something, because he feels like a dope. Compared to her, he is. Carla's challenge is to attack Bob's underlying assumption that she thinks he's a dope (probably, she knows this, not thinks it, given their difference in mental diets). Bob runs a continual of attacking Carla's intelligence. He does this because his ignorance makes him feel diminished. Will Carla score any points by arguing against Bob's accusations? No.

What she has to do, instead, is say, "Bob, I'm really sorry you're mad at me right now. I was just thinking about what the difference was between a fishing lure and a fishing flye, and it's got me stumped. I figured you would know that, but if you're too mad at me right now to explain it then I guess I'll just have to find someone else to ask."

Whoa. She is asking Bob a question? How will Bob respond to this? If she is prepared ahead of time and the question is appropriate for Bob, his feelings of inadequacy are going to start dissolving. Bob, no longer feeling hopeless, may very well cut back on television and spend some time finding things to study up on to impress Carla. This very reaction happens all the time.

If Bob is a spendthrift and Carla is a good money manager, there is nothing she can compliment Bob on during this argumentive phase. She will just have to absorb the abuse, recognizing what Bob is really saying ("you hate me for being a money-waster, and I wish I could be more like you). To overcome this, she'll need to ask Bob questions in areas where he is good. Maybe Bob is an expert golfer and she's not--she could ask him for help with her backswing. The point here is each person needs to respect the other person's strengths and delight in the differences rather than feeling threatened by them.

In both cases, Carla is looking past the rhetoric to see the reality.

Why is this piece in a section entitled "Brainpower Tip?" For a couple of reasons:

  1. The challenge of doing this is a brain-builder.  It requires you to listen accurately, rather than literally. People who "listen literally" don't think about what they've just heard. And that's why Democrats and Republicans actually get elected despite the fact folks backed by these parties have been been making and breaking the same tired promises for over 100 years.
     
  2. Doing this instead of getting your underwear in a knot in a pointless argument ultimately provides you with more time in which to apply your mental prowess to situations that provide a return on the effort. Engaging a person in an unfair argument has no payback for you. Freeing up that time allows you to put your brainpower to positive use.


3. Time Tip

Don't obsess over numbers. Some time management "experts" recommend so much regimentation that the very discipline that's supposed to save time actually wastes it.

When you make a schedule, you do so under certain assumptions. Many people tend to treat all time slots or activities equally, which is a huge mistake. Many of us do that during the schedule planning phase, and that's bad enough. Doing it when conditions change is just another way of wasting time.

Here's an example. I had slotted three hours for climbing at a climbing gym that's about a 30-minute drive from my home. I had other activities slotted for after that. I ended up extending my time by an additional two and a half hours--nearly doubling it. Why did I "blow my schedule" in this manner?

Well, I met some people I really liked and we climbed in a foursome. Two of them are far ahead of the third person and me in climbing ability, and they were helping us work on our own climbing skills. During that time, we ran into some other people who were just a hoot to be around. This made every minute I was there more valuable than I had anticipated.

Normally, this situation does not occur during a climbing session and sticking to that three-hour limit is thus normally good time management. But when there is such a thing as "making hay while the sun is shining."

Don't confine "time management" simple planning. It's also about managing the here and now.

 

4. Finance tip

Long-term Care Policies, Part One

Have you checked out the premiums for these policies, lately? The prices can make you gasp. The low-end, no-frills policies start at $2,000 a year. They can easily get up to $1,000 a month. And that's if you're under 70. Prices can hit $20,0000 per year, once you cross into the 70+ age bracket.

If you've looked at life insurance, you're aware that the cost of the policy rises as you get older. So, the younger you are when you sign up for the policy, the lower your premiums are. Long-term care works something like that. But there is a big difference, so don't let someone convince you these follow the same pricing model. They don't.

Long-term care premiums are "level." This means the premium doesn't increase as you age. What happens instead is the insurance company will increase the premium for an entire class of policies. You could suddenly find yourself unable to afford a policy you've been paying into for years or even decades, thus making all of those payments 100% wasted. To quote a line that lesbians throw at men who opine for their partners, the insurance companies can say, "It's not wasted on me."

How can you avoid this situation? About the only thing you can do is understand the cost factors and try to adjust to them. Your insurance company will have a list of such factors--ask them to provide it to you. As you review it, you will probably note you can't do anything about certain ones (such as the age you were when you took the policy out).

But you can scale back the policy. For example, you can choose reduced benefits, a reduced payout period, and so on. This is one approach.

A complete approach requires rejecting the common mindset that someone else is responsible for your actions.

The disease-nut lifestyle that dominates the culture in the USA, for example, is jacking medical costs out of sight and also creating vast waves of nursing home residents. If you disagree with this assertion, just look around. It is now normal in America to be obese. A full quarter of our population smokes. And Americans still vote for the same political parties that saddled us with the stress-mongering IRS and other government agencies that seem to exist solely for the purpose of making people miserable.

The basic assumption behind long-term care insurance is that people necessarily experience a long physical decline that will require them to have professional care for the last years of their lives. This is a morbid assumption, but it is accurate if one bases it on the normal behavioral patterns of people. Just look at all of the soda, hydrogenated oil products, and other garbage people put in their shopping carts. Look at the massive rear ends and other evidence of the disease-nut lifestyle. People who are examples of this lifestyle will need professional care over many years.

That is not to say everyone who winds up in a nursing home is there because of poor choices. But most of the people who long-term residents of nursing homes are there because of poor choices in diet and other lifestyle matters. Whether long-term care is in a specialized facility or it's provided on a visiting basis, the need for nearly all of it is generated by poor choices made when younger.

To reduce your long-term care needs (and thus the premiums), cast off the sound bite driven, immediate gratification, "I can be an adolescent forever, somebody will bail me out" mentality that substitutes for thought and maturity in our society. You will have a much more rewarding and active life by consistently making the right choices, and you will do so at much lower cost than the person who refuses to grow up.

See http://www.supplecity.com for free articles on taking care of your body so it can, in turn, take care of you and your finances in the long-term.

5. Security tip

Are your ISP and your mail domain the same? If so, you have a huge security hole (well, actually, multiple security holes created by the same mistake).

ISPs respond to this poor practice by using overly zealous e-mail filters. This means you don't get e-mail you should be getting.

Before I tell you how to fix this, let's step back a bit and define our terms:

  • ISP. Internet Service Provider. The job of your ISP is to provide you access to the Internet. Similarly, your electric utility provides you access to electricity.
  • Content provider. AOL calls itself a content provider. This concept has been outdated for over 10 years. You do not need a content provider. The Web has all the content, so a "content provider" adds nothing but spyware and resource drags.
  • E-mail account. This is something you set up independent of your ISP. Your ISP and your e-mail provider should never be the same company.
  • E-mail client. Don't let "client" confuse you. This is a networking term that indicates the e-mail program runs on your computer rather than on the server. Windows provides a decent e-mail client (Outlook Express) for free. It is orders of magnitude more functional than the piece of sh-- provided by AOL. For one thing, it doesn't send your e-mails upside down and in violation of normal e-mail protocol as does the AOL program.
  • Browser client. Windows Explorer is free. You do not need plug-ins from an ISP or anyone else to access the Internet.

If you don't have your own Website (and thus your own domain name), you can get a free e-mail alias (there are many providers of this) and use your ISP e-mail account. This is the cheapest way, not the best. It does get your ISP e-mail account address out of circulation, thus closing a major hole in security and spam prevention. It also allows you to change your ISP (60 times a day if you wish) and always keep the same e-mail address.

My ex-girlfriend has a free domain from yahoo, and what you see is her own name as the URL. I don't know the details of how it works, but it's very cool. I think you even get 20GB of storage with it.

A better way is to buy your own domain for dirt cheap and pay $5 or so a year for hosting just an e-mail acct. In either case, folks would see joeblow@mylastname.com or some such and never see the source ISP account information.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

One of our readers runs a supremely interesting blog, which you can see here: http://chezjacq.com/weblog/blogger.html

Jacq' had posted our soft drinks are unsafe article on this blog, and then asked me to write about coffee. Fair enough, Jacq'. Here we go.

Coffee is a complex drink. As with many things in life, it has its good points and its bad points. As with many things in life, the "experts" typically see only one side or the other. Meanwhile, we regular folks suspect there's more to the story. And in the case of coffee, we are definitely right about that.

Coffee defined

When I refer to "coffee," I am not talking about the formaldehyde-enriched varieties that doctors have been recommending for decades. This kind of coffee is so nasty that gardening experts advise against using the grounds for composting because the formaldehyde will kill your plants.

Normal coffee grounds make for an excellent composting addition, and you can buffer the pH by mixing those grounds with egg shells (from free-range chickens, not caged ones--there is a huge difference in shell quality). This adds a huge dose of calcium to your soil. If you are growing calcium-rich foods, as I do, you want to add this mix to your soil. What are calcium-rich foods? I don't know them all, but anything in the brassica family is a balm for your bones. My favorite used to be broccoli, but now I prefer kale.

Coffee drawbacks

Let's look at the downside of coffee since that's what we've been hearing about for years ad nauseum:

  • It contains caffeine (note to Howard--please bear with me for a moment). This is allegedly bad for you, because it raises your blood pressure (which is also allegedly bad for you).
  • One downside of caffeine is that it "consumes" B vitamins. Mindconnection sells a highly absorbable B vitamin supplement with a "get a second one dirt cheap" offer.
  • People who drink the entire contents of a 33-cup coffeepot twice a day while also taking diet pills and decongestants during times of stress tend to get the jitters. Many people get jittery without even drinking the coffee. It's not the coffee--it's the combination of things.
  • People who drink coffee before bed often have problems falling asleep.
  • Spilling coffee on carpet ruins the carpet.
  • Spilling hot coffee on your lap can result in people thinking you are a moron, if you subsequently sue McDonald's and win a huge settlement.
  • Drinking coffee (as opposed to bathing in it, I guess) gives you coffee breath. Think about that if you are drinking coffee before getting into close quarters with other people.
  • It stains your teeth. Brush, floss, and get regular cleanings.

Benefits of coffee

  • It contains caffeine.
  • One upside of caffeine is it boosts your metabolism. See notes below for more info on caffeine.
  • It's the most potent anti-cancer edible known to man (yes, that includes blueberries). This, alone, is reason enough to drink it. The great taste is a side benefit.
  • It's a diuretic. So, it reduces the intercellular water content of your skin. That can give you a tighter, leaner look. But take care not to overdo it and take care not to do it at all if you are going to run a marathon or engage in any other endurance event.
  • Hot coffee is a great weapon.

Caffeine notes

  • People's bodies get rid of caffeine at different rates. Some people are fast metabolizers who have no after effects a half-hour after they drink a cup of coffee. Other people require 12 hours until their bodies settle back down. Everyone metabolizes caffeine in the half-life method. That is, if it takes you 12 hours to totally metabolize caffeine, you will metabolize half of that in six hours. So, drink your coffee early in the morning if you don't deal well with caffeine.
  • Caffeine wakes you up. All of us have a "waking curve," which you can think of as "startup time." Some people take several hours to fully wake up, others take minutes. Drinking coffee in the morning allows you to wake up quicker, which is handy if you are going to be driving before you reach your natural wake-up point.
  • Caffeine is the most common ingredient in fat loss products. Most of these are simply stimulants. For an alternative, click here.
  • Caffeine is a drug, by definition. But that doesn't mean caffeine in itself is dangerous or harmful. How you use caffeine is what matters. Drugs can stack--that is, they can add up. So if you are taking any other stimulants, you need to account for that.
  • If you have a surgery scheduled, begin cutting back on coffee right away. You want to be off of coffee as your surgery date arrives so that the anesthesia doesn't have to interact with it. If you do drink coffee and have any surgery--including dental--scheduled, talk with your physician right away about this.
  • Coffee has something like 10X the caffeine green tea does.

Many years ago, I had a coworker who advocated coffee enemas. This may have explained why the coffee at that place even smelled bad. I refused to drink any of it, after learning of this guy's coffee/colon ritual. You just never know....

From the above points, we can conclude that coffee is fine if you drink it in moderation.



 

7. Miscellany

  1. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than any other time of day. But if you overeat, your butt will be too big all day. Think about it.
     
  2. Help U.S. Marines: http://www.mypersonalfitnesscoach.com/supportourmarines.html .
     
  3. See: http://www.mindconnection.com/main/specialoffers.htm. It has some great offers that are worth following up on--such asgasoline offers. I especially like this one: Free special offer for people who are tired of not sleeping. Visit QualityHealth to get your free special offer and get the sleep you need.
     

  4. We don't run ads in our newsletter. We do get inquiries from advertisers, all the time. To keep this eNL coming, go to www.mindconnection.com and do your shopping from there (as appropriate).
     

  5. Please forward this eNL to others.

8. Thought for the Day

The admonitiion, "Wake up and smell the coffee" has multiple meanings to those of us who know the health benefits of this aromatic bean.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection.com

 

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