Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2002-05-23

In this issue:

  1. Courses at Mindconnection
  2. Communication observations
  3. Finance tip
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day

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1. Courses at Mindconnection

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2. Communication observations

Have you ever noticed agenda-driven speech? We see this when someone is speaking with the purpose of getting something s/he wants--it may be sympathy, approval,  acceptance, or something else. Sometimes, an agenda-drive speaker wants to make a personal point--something sh/e disapproves of is wrong, bad, silly, stupid or in some other way "substandard." As these needs and personal points lace conversation, they crowd out substantive communication--trust me on this one, as I've done it many times!

Think of occasions when you have really enjoyed a conversation with someone. Most likely, that person asked you about you, or about something that truly interested you. During the course of asking, listening, and commenting, that person probably avoided the use of biting criticism or other negative commentary. By applying what you've learned from feeling good, you can ensure others are open to communicating with you. Otherwise, you are merely trading blows in a fight nobody really ever wins.


3. Finance tip

The economy isn't a homogenous monolith that some politician or banker can improve. It is a collective term encompassing all the financial transactions in an economic system. We all know the economy is ailing. What most of us don't know is that the economy has been ailing for more than a decade. 

China may take Japan's place as the economic engine in the next decade or so, thus supplying fuel for a recovery--but, there will be a housing glut at the same time in the USA and other regions because millions of baby boomers will be selling their homes. Compounding the glut will be the reverse mortgage situation because of reduced home values. A high percentage of homes will lose enough value that the mortgages will exceed the home values by an expected 30% or more. If you think the right answer to this is better management of personal debt, then you are thinking! Sadly, you are more like one of the "chosen" few than "the many."

We've passed the 10-year mark of economic mal-performance, but in the USA but there is no end in sight. The hype about how "good" the economy was in the late 1990s was complete fiction. I monitor layoffs--all the stock market stuff is irrelevant in measuring the condition of the economy, for many reasons. For example, "the Dow" consists of a small percentage of companies--they are very large and not very typical.

 We've had record layoffs every year since 1995, when official tracking began. Unofficial tracking shows 1990-92 were very high layoff years--exacerbated by Bush 41's enormous tax increase. Fundamentals slipped in 1993-94 with Clinton's anti-job/anti-wage policies and the underlying causes got worse.  

In the meantime, we in the USA hold on with white knuckles while the entitlement classes (those taking money out of the system--this means our military-industrial complex as well as "welfare mothers") and the insulated classes (mostly academicians and government workers, whose jobs are fairly secure) continue to vote for politicians who add fuel to the fire with tax increases and profligate spending. How can anyone claim to be a "representative" of our citizens when s/he makes 5 times the median wage and doesn't pay into Social Security? The nation could handle a bad economy if high taxes and heavy regulation didn't keep sending thousands of jobs overseas each month. Alas, the same formula is in place in other developed countries.

The solution? Maintain good relationships with winners (people who are taking care of their health, finances, and careers), pay down debt, and develop multiple streams of income.

Fast Company reported in their June issue that in the USA, 26% of the population is below the poverty rate. That is the highest of all developed countries. The USA also has the most millionaires and billionaires. How do we resolve this dichotomy? The answer is not more of the same over-reaching government that brought this on. The answer lies in each of us doing the following:

  • Demand lower taxes, at all levels of government and put an end to the IRS reign of terror that has little to do with tax collection and more to do with IRS employees terrorizing citizens, stealing computers, and shaking folks down for their own personal gain (see past issues of the Wall Street Journal if you don't believe this is going on).
  • Demand fewer "services" from the government--people built this country on rugged individualism, not dependency.
  • Demand fewer regulations--they simply choke businesses, which then move offshore and take their jobs with them. Intel, for example, is seriously considering moving huge chunks of its design and manufacturing to India.

Stop allowing the plundering of corporations by executives who think nothing of gutting a company of its best workers while taking home multi-million dollar compensations. Boycott Disney and let them know it's because Michael D. Eisner didn't deserve $830 million in a year when the Imagineers lost their performance bonuses to "financial conditions." If you are a shareholder, you and your fellow shareholders own the company. Speak up! Worth had an article in their May issue about a group that did just this and reversed the rape of the company by its executives.

The middle class is plummeting into poverty because tax rates are insanely high--don't be fooled into thinking that 28% is all you pay. There are 128 taxes on a single loaf of bread.A tax increase is actually a wage cut--how much less do you want to make next year? Hint: don't vote for tax and spend politicians.


4. Health tip

Eggs do not hurt you. Egg yolks do not hurt you. In fact, egg yolks from free-range chickens contain enough lecithin and Omega 3 to lower your cholesterol net. Please note: the stressed-out, improperly fed chickens in factory farms produce eggs that have little or no lecithin or Omega 3.

When in my late teens, I ate a dozen eggs a day for a couple of years. I added 8 inches to my height between my 16th and 17th birthdays. During this time, I also ate considerable amounts of sugar-free peanut butter (5 lbs a week), steak (4 lean NY strips a week), milk (2 gallons of 2% a week), and cheese (10 pounds a month). I credit the eggs with keeping my cholesterol low--it varied between 121 and 128 until the last time I had it checked in my early 20s.


5. Fitness tip

A wise person once said, "90% of life is showing up. " When it comes to fitness, however, showing up doesn't cut it. I know a guy who has been "working out" at the gym for the last two years. His body-fat exceeds 50%, he is obviously under-muscled, his shoulders are pronated, and he complains his legs are weak .Like 90% or more of gym rats, he has made no progress. Last week, I visited a gym while traveling. I saw a semi-fit couple "working out." She was doing lat pull-downs behind her neck--these are great if you like injury and reduced mobility, but other than that they don't do much for you. They have probalby been showing up at the gym for a long time.

The secret to attaining and maintaining fitness is to have a plan. You can't just show up. See the free tips at for some clues on what kind of things to plan for to achieve the outcome you desire.


6. Thought for the Day

Do you listen to pop music when you drive? Consider switching, at least on a partial basis, to recorded books (available for free at your public library). You can learn enormous amounts of history (which means you won't be doomed to repeat it), financial information, life skills, and so on--or just be entertained by a good novel, with recorded books. These are great while you are driving, (or working out, even if you are just showing up!). Use the opportunity to feed your mind something that will help it to grow. You know how houseplants get all spindly and diseased with the wrong kind of light. Shed the right kind of light on your mind, so it can be more lush and beautiful!


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola

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