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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-11-26

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In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

Just in time for the holidays, we're highlighting our Stress Management course.
Stress...The final frontier.

This course helps you chart your course, by sharing real-life experiences of extremely stressful situations and how the positive outcome was achieved. You'll get solid tips on how to reduce stress in your own life, and how to handle it when it comes. This course will have you laughing and thinking, and it will guide you to a higher plateau of being.

Stress Management

Click the photo, or, if you printed this out, type the following link into your browser:

You can further reduce stress with the various posters and prints we offer.


2. Brainpower tip

Establish a set of mentors for yourself. What exactly is a mentor? This is a person who will give you advice and perspective.

The mentor/mentee relationship is not a master/apprentice relationship. The mentor isn't necessarily more knowledgeable than the mentee. Some people refuse to have a mentor, because they are too proud (or arrogant) to admit they need help. They believe if they have a mentor, they are acknowledging some personal deficiency. The exact opposite is true.

A mentor may...

  • Be a cheerleader for you in some cases. "I know you can do this, because...."
  • Provide practical advice. "You will succeed, if you will first do X and Y...."
  • Stop you from taking the path of failure. "This really isn't your area of expertise...."

A tip about having mentors: You must also mentor. When your world focuses on you, others tend to draw back. Mentors like to give to people who are going to "pass it on," not to people who are self-absorbed. Another benefit of mentoring is you learn vicariously by helping another person.

I suggest visiting your local library (often!) and checking out a book on mentoring. You will very much benefit from this.

and buy a book on the subject. Or, if you want to help support bookstores in your local community buy a book there. The important thing is that you make a point of reading a book on this topic and do that soon. Then, identify three possible mentors and start those relationships. 

3. Time tip

Does it sometimes seem like it takes you forever to get a big project done? There's a reason why that happens. You see, we can be "in the zone" for only short periods. Depending on what you are doing, this zone might last 10 minutes or it might last 3 hours. For typical tasks, we can realistically expect a good 20 minutes of solid focus.

So, to maximize your personal productivity and therefore save time, break big projects into smaller chunks that you interlace with chunks from other projects. Schedule these, or just do them "by feel." Here's an example:

  • 0700. Joe arrives at the office, starts working on proposal to sell 15,000 widgets to Ajax Mfg.
  • 0730. Joe takes a break. Watches coworker pick nose, then goes through his e-mail for a bit.
  • 0750: Joe hits the proposal again.
  • 0820: Joe takes a break, takes a leak, fills up water container, gets yesterday's phone messages, returns a few calls.
  • 0840: Joe hits the proposal again.
  • 0900: Joe takes a break, eating a Ready to Drink Meal Replacement to nourish his mind and his body. He takes a short stroll, catches his boss in the middle of a major booger dig.
  • 0915. Joe is jazzed. He hits the proposal for the next 45 minutes.

The pattern here is that Joe keeps his energy level high, every time he is doing anything. He knows he can't expect to sit there all day until he gets one item done. You'll also notice that Joe did not begin his day by returning calls or going through e-mails. Starting the day with those activities sets a low-energy, non value-added pace for the whole day. Instead, Joe starts off with his most important project--that big proposal. And he hits the proposal with peak energy all day long.

Joe might spend 6 hours per day on that proposal, but a casual observer would at first accuse him of not "getting after it."

Gary might have worked on the proposal nonstop the first day, until his eyes got blurry. Then he'd have worked through the fog until he finally had to stop. By Day Two, Gary would already dread working on that proposal. He'd get in the habit of pacing himself and of doing other "essential things" (e-mail, phone calls, watching the boss dig boogers) that allow him to put off actually working on the proposal.

At the end of the first week, we could expect Joe to have done perhaps four times as much real work as Gary, and at a much higher level of quality.

Yet, most of us work the way Gary does. If that's you, try the other method. You will be amazed at the difference.

See our Time Management course to really put your schedule on steroids.


4. Finance tip

This tip will require some mathematical skills. If you haven't recently brushed up on your calculus, though, don't worry. As long as your math skills exceed those of people at the IRS (who have a penchant for mathematical stupidity), you will be OK.
  • Step 1: Open any closet in your home. Count the stuff that you don't use or haven't used in a very long time. Sobering, isn't it?
  • Step 2: To really jazz things up, estimate the cost of each item in Step 1, and keep a running tally.
  • Step 3: Go to the next closet. Repeat.
  • Step 4: Do the same thing for all closets, drawers, CD collections, etc.
  • Step 5: Add up the dollars and/or the raw item count. This is how much money you are wasting on junk you don't need.
  • Step 6: Calculate how many hours you had to work to pay for all that junk, how much time you spent standing in line to pay for it, and how much extra you pay each month to store it all. Note that many people have twice the square footage their parents had, because they "need the storage space."

Once you've completed these 6 steps, you will have taught yourself a valuable lesson about working for nothing. If you can then correct the behavior that got you to where you are, you can use the savings to pay off debt or to create a financial cushion for yourself.

You can donate all that junk to charity and take the tax deduction. Moving into a smaller home next year and reducing your mortgage by $200 a month is really going to help you, also. After all, you won't "need the storage space."

Here's something to consider. Television is a "buy more" brainwashing tool. If you want to improve your financial situation, unsubscribe from cable TV or whatever service you have. Move your television out of your living room or get rid of it completely. I personally have not watched television in almost 15 years and don't miss it at all. If you look at Mount Rushmore someday, just think of the fact that none of those men watched television. Sure didn't hurt them.

5. Security tip

Readers of this eNL know I don't speak highly of the IRS. That isn't out of some tax-protester leanings. Not at all. In fact, I despise tax cheats. My beef is with the fact that the IRS (a redundant taxing body) is basically a self-serving criminal enterprise.
  • This is an agency that has tons of personal information on each of us, which their employees sell for personal gain at no personal risk.
  • This is an agency whose employees nitpick our returns, but whose employees stole 4300 federal computers in 2001 alone.
  • This is an agency that questions whether our business is really a hobby, but whose employees, according to an investigation conducted by the federal government, spend over half their office Internet time surfing p*rn and gambling sites.

If you think for one minute these people are trustworthy, please contact me immediately for a great deal on beachfront property in Arizona.

So, here's a security tip for dealing with these morally bankrupt misfits until such time as we can get our so-called representatives to disband the IRS and turn the USA into a civilized country by so doing.

Don't let them into your home, and failing that, document everything.

It's as likely as not that all they want to do is case the joint. If they see something they like, you are going to be in deep, deep trouble as they begin hatching plans to get it. Senator Roth documented cases where IRS employees did exactly this. None of them have been brought to justice.

If IRS people come to your home, do not let them in. If they insist on entering the premises, tell them you want to see a warrant. If they won't leave, call your County Sheriff and ask for assistance. Tell the dispatcher you are being threatened by federal employees who are attempting to over-ride your due process rights. Ask for a deputy to "control the situation," as you feel you are being intentionally intimidated. Please note that I said Sheriff, not city police. But if the Sheriff won't support you then call the city and report the Sheriff's dereliction of duty to your local paper.

The only IRS people who can force their way into your home are agents--they have badges and guns. Politely ask to see their warrant that authorizes them to enter the premises. Tell all others they have no reason and no authority to enter your home and you will gladly meet with them at their offices.

You may be thinking that it's better to cooperate. Nonsense. These folks won't give you any credit for that. In fact, they see cooperation as a weakness. Firmly and politely insist on your rights.

These people have very limited authority, though they will never tell you that. Any time they demand anything from you, ask to see their authorization for that demand. This will put them on notice that they can't do "business as normal" and simply make up their own rules based on the idea that you fear them and don't know their limitations or your rights. It will also make them hesitant to engage in criminal behavior. If the Sheriff's deputy is there, you will have a witness they aren't going to be able to fool so easily.

Now, if they have a warrant and are doing things by the book, you can't legally bar entry. At that point, you will need to determine what it is they want. Ask them, and write it down. Make them repeat it a few times, as you do.

Grab your camera, and start taking pictures of them (if you don't have a camera, go out and buy a cheap disposable for just such an emergency). They will ask you not to do this, and they will ask you to surrender your camera. Tell them if they are doing nothing wrong they have nothing to fear from the photos. And be pleasant about it! Keep your camera. You can always say it belongs to your neighbor, and give it to your neighbor if you would otherwise lose it anyhow.

Document everything. Take pictures, and take notes. Ask, "What did you say? Please repeat that." And write down whatever they say. Now, you have turned the tables. You might even say, "I need this to be accurate for when the story goes online. What is the name of your manager?"

Keep in mind that you aren't helping yourself if you argue (state your position and ask theirs, but don't argue about it), threaten, or act rudely toward these people. They may believe they have a legitimate reason to visit you and may simply be carrying out their jobs. But, you have no way of knowing. So, tell them upfront you are simply distrustful of the IRS because the agency's record is not very good. Tell the agents this is nothing personal and you know they are only trying to do a difficult job. But remind them you are documenting everything and you expect them not to exhibit normal IRS behavior.

Remember, this is the same organization that held a group of toddlers at gunpoint at a Michigan day care center in 1985 and got away with it. The advice above isn't from personal experience, but is from a mix of sources. The only way to protect yourself from these kinds of criminals is with information. That is a very powerful protectant.


7. Health tip/Fitness tips

Don Brennecke, a long-time reader and cheerleader, sent me an article that is excellent. I won't steal the material. Instead, I will give you this link:

The information there may save you untold amounts of back pain.

8. Thought for the Day

In the USA, we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. To my way of thinking, we should be thankful every day.

And, we should plan for things to be thankful for. Are you setting goals that will put you in a position to be very thankful this time next year? If you are thankful for your loved ones, what are you doing to improve those relationships? If you are thankful for your health, what are you doing to take care of it?

It's not a bad idea to make a list of ten things you are thankful for, and then use that list as a guide to setting your goals for the next year. You might also want to list some things you wish you were thankful for, and think of how you might "make it so" by this time next year.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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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