Bookmark and Share

Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2004-01-19

Please ask someone else to sign up for this eNL!

In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

Project Management Courses
Mindconnection has a complete series of project management courses. The image at right is for the Risk Assessment and Reduction course. Obviously, you would not want to be in the same position that diver is in--yet many of us put ourselves in a similar position anyhow! This course is the answer. Project risk assessment and reduction: How to weigh and reduce project risk.
To see what other project management courses we offer, go to and click on the Project Management link at the top.

Now, keep this in mind. Everyone can work more productively (read, work to better stay employed or even get a raise) with this knowledge. But, people whose job title is "Project Manager" will be in short supply as the demographics kick in and today's senior project managers retire over the next 5 years.


2. Brainpower tip

Do you want to maximize your retention of written material? The proven technique for this (according to a stack of authoritative books about 9 feet high) is this:
  1. Browse the material, reading the headings, so you understand the framework.
  2. Read the material, highlighting or otherwise marking the salient points. Be sure you read in small manageable chunks of time--stop when your mind wanders.
  3. Go back and re-read what you highlighted or marked.

Why this works:

Step one: When you first read something, your mind has no frame of reference. But, when you provide it with a frame of reference, then it organizes information as you read. 

Step two: Physically acting on the material causes you to concentrate on it. Many people start to lose focus when they read. This prevents that.

Step three: For cultural reasons, most books contain about 90% filler so they get the thud factor that sells books. This means that for every hour you spend reading the typical book, you will spend only 6 minutes of that reading anything useful. After you note what's useful in Step two, you can focus your attention on what really matters without all the other obfuscation that would otherwise go with it.

3. Time tip

Eliminate special trips. Many people already do this, to an extent. For example, you may "stop for milk on the way home from work." But you are still making an additional stop and doing the travel to get there. This isn't as wasteful as making a special trip from home and back. But, you can improve on this.

Simply planning your trips will do the job. It needn't be complicated. Think of your main trip. But, rather than think of all the other stops you can make on the way, think about what you need to do or buy while you are out--plus what you should do or buy while you are out.

Using the stop for milk example, you should have picked up that milk on your last trip to the grocery store. Now, you "need" to make an extra stop. Could you just skip milk until your next trip to the grocery store (for health reasons, yes--only 5% of the world's population can drink milk without some ill effects, even ones you don't notice or attribute to milk)?

And that "doing without until next time" brings up another time tip--don't be a slave to habit. Take a look at your routine, and you'll find all kinds of opportunity to recover and repurpose wasted time.


4. Finance tip

Change your furnace filter(s) often. This time of year, homes are closed up and furnaces are running. In the typical home, that furnace is pumping out all kinds of dust mite excrement, dead skin, and other yucky stuff directly into the air you breathe. If you find dust on your flat surfaces, you are looking at mostly dust mite excrement. If you remove the dust and can see another layer the next day, this means you are most likely using inadequate filters and not changing them frequently enough.

Think of how much cheaper your healthcare bills might be without putting all that junk into your sinuses, mouth, and lungs each day--or sleeping in it each night.

Dirty filters also destroy furnace systems while increasing their operating costs. A good filter replacement program pays for itself in lower electrical costs alone. But, get this. The cleaner air also means your carpets, furniture fabric, bedding, and other materials that make your home soft and inviting will last longer. You'll spend less money on cleaning supplies, too.

If you haven't been using a 3M Filtrete high-rating filter or equivalent and changing it often, you will still have these problems even if you do correct the filter deficiency. That's because the filter is on the furnace input and prior to the correction you were pushing dirty air through all of your ductwork. You can get your ducts professionally cleaned for a couple hundred dollars--a paltry investment, considering the benefits. 

5. Security tip

As mentioned in an earlier edition, income tax filing time is coming up, here in the USA. Where does your tax return go? To people who work for an organization that provides no supervision and protects its employees from prosecution for criminal and civil violations. Big red warning light, here. Remember, IRS employees stole 4300 computers from their own offices in 2001.

To avoid drawing the attention of these miscreant criminals to yourself, fill out your return carefully and then set it aside. Review it later, for errors in everything from spelling to math. And, make sure you signed it!

If there are discrepancies, explain them upfront. For example, if your W-2 or 1099s don't match your actual numbers, attach a note explaining why. The IRS wants you to fill out a special form that triggers an automatic audit. Don't do that. A returns reviewer, seeing your note, has the authority to approve the discrepancy and get your return through the system. If you show from the start that you document things, IRS employees are far less likely to mark you as a target.

If you are cheating on your taxes, you are giving fuel to the misperception that there is actually a need for the IRS in the first place. You can help everyone by not cheating on your taxes. If you don't like our punitive tax rates, vote against candidates who vote to increase taxes, government spending, or regulation and let your legislators know enough is enough.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Don't you hate it when another person cuts you off in traffic? What a moron, right? That person deserves lights in the mirror, some horn honking, some yelling, and the middle finger from you, right?

Let's think about this. Why did that person cut you off?

Sometimes, people cut others off intentionally. They do this out of a misguided sense of their own importance. And you want to give them even more attention? Not smart.

Sometimes, people cut others off because they aren't paying attention. And now you want to give them even more distraction? Hmm.

Sometimes, people cut others off because those others are driving in their blind spot or doing something else that affects the situation. Think about it.

Other times, well, it's a numbers game. You make how many thousands of decisions while driving? Don't you make mistakes? Cut the other person some slack.

So, we have no reason to get all worked up over  a slight in traffic. A short tap on your horn can alert the other person to the error. That's really all you need, if that much. An understanding smile will also get your message across, if the other person sees it. And that message will be heard. Giving someone the finger just makes them think you are the one out of line.

Having some intelligent understanding of other people while you are driving means fewer flared tempers, and less chance of aggressive or even violent behavior directed toward you. Further, you aren't pumping out stress hormones and damaging your own self with this approach. You remain in control--and that has all kinds of benefits.

The next time someone "cuts you off"--which seldom costs you anything--don't view it as a personal affront to your territory. You'll likely live longer and healthier as a result, but the immediate benefit is you aren't letting another person or event poison the minutes you are living now.

7. Thought for the Day

The recent actions against ephedra defy logic. What fuels such insanity is the "victim mentality." This kind of thing didn't go on when The Greatest Generation defeated Hitler. They stepped up to the plate, made the needed sacrifices, and solved the problems they faced. Today, too many people want to blame someone or something else for their problems. Think about the power that is within you, and use it.


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.

To change your e-mail address, offer your own tidbit, tell us how much you love this eNL, or to (gasp) unsubscribe, write to This e-mail link

Let other potential readers know what you think of this e-zine, by rating it at the Cumuli Ezine Finder:

Articles | Book Reviews | Free eNL | Products

Contact Us | Home

This material, copyright Mindconnection. Don't make all of your communication electronic. Hug somebody!