- Product highlight
- Brainpower tip
- Time tip
- Finance tip
- Security tip
- Health tip/Fitness tip
- Thought for the day
1. Product Highlights
11 Habits of Highly Defective People|
We're getting close to that time of
year again--New Year's Resolutions. Traditionally, we make some resolution based
on what we feel guilty about or what someone's nagged us about.
But a really good resolution will be
based on thoughtful analysis. What one area can you improve in to get the most
results? This course explains the eleven most common habits that cause people to
fall short of their true potential. And, it explains what to do instead.
Click on the photo above and to the
right. Or use this link:
And remember: We are the sum of our habits. Have you examined your habits
2. Brainpower tip
Words have meaning, but you could hardly tell this by today's so-called
conversations. Literacy in America continues to plummet. Today, a literate
20 year-old is the exception, and not the rule. A big factor in this is the
collective body of shorthand-drenched "communications" by Instant Messaging
(IM) and similar annoyances.|
Not only are the words completely butchered,
the sentences incomplete, and the syntax mangled, but the alleged thoughts
are not cogent.
Take care that you don't fall into the trap of "shorthanding" your
communications. Doing so leads to a way of "thinking" that destroys the
ability to solve problems, analyze situations, filter information, or engage
in any kind of meaningful dialogue with others.
3. Time Tip
Many people believe a sense of urgency is essential to good time
management. That's true, when the sense of urgency is in its proper
But one of the keys to good time management is removing factors
that inhibit concentration and focus. And guess what one of those is?
The sense of urgency.
When you can be relaxed for half an hour and really focus on an
activity, you enhance your ability to proceed through it competently and
efficiently. But when you feel rushed, you are in an altered state that
inhibits your ability to think.
The sense of urgency needs to apply when you are:
- Planning. Which tasks should you combine, simplify, or postpone?
For example, you need to stop by the library, the bank, and the
grocery store. But you'd also like to check out the new
refrigerators because yours is making a noise. And you are getting
close to needing a haircut. This weekend, though, your kid is
performing in a play. You've got to make some choices, here.
- Scheduling. What items should be done first? For example, you've
got a major presentation to give four days from now and you've also
got that old comic book collection to sort through. Which item takes
- Doing gruntwork. Don't piddle. Move quickly. For example, you've
got dusting and vacuuming to do. You can make slow, deliberate
motions, or you can get your butt in high gear. Racing against the
clock makes sense, here.
- Doing "nonproductive" tasks. You see this every day at work. Joe
Schmoe, your neighbor in the cubicle farm, seems to spend most of
his day filing papers and processing correspondence. He doesn't get
much real work done. But you need to handle your snail mails and
e-mails quickly and ruthlessly. You need to save your filing for
those times you are stuck on the phone with someone you have to
entertain (a boss, a customer, that SOB upon whom you depend in Dept
ABC, or anyone who puts you on hold). If an activity isn't one your
company can charge a customer for and it doesn't take much real
concentration, then do that activity as though you just took a major
hit of speed.
Outside of these areas, there are few times when feeling the pressure
of urgency is helpful. Taking the time to think through a project,
rather than just diving into a flurry of activity, is nearly always the
most time-saving approach. Engineers know this from experience. It takes
less time to design something correctly than to keep going back and
trying to correct defects. You may have heard the saying, "Never
enough time to do it right, always enough time to do it over."
As you schedule your various tasks, allow enough time for you to be
able to immerse yourself into the task and do it well. Think in terms of
carving out "safe" blocks of time for specific tasks. Don't intrude on
that time with "multitasking," and don't feel compelled to answer the
phone or check e-mail during that time. Seal yourself off from the world
for half an hour and you will be amazed at the results. You can
call this the "sequestering method."
Here's an example to emphasize this concept. I once worked as a
magazine editor. In our work arrangement, there were two kinds of
editors--subject matter and production. I worked in the subject matter
area. Our edited pieces would then go to the production editors for
I always used the sequestering method. I could sit down with an
article for an hour, and produce a polished product that our managing
editor said needed no further work. That is, she could hand me a piece,
get it back later that day, and just plug it in.
She did an experiment (a few times) where she would assign a similar
piece to a co"worker" who never used the sequestering method. He was so
frantic in his approach, in his race to get it done, that he simply
stumbled over himself. It took him several weeks to turn the article
around and get it back into her. And when it came back, it needed
extensive work. Both his quantity and his quality were way, way, way
We tallied things up after my first year on the job. Here's the
- Total articles completed by me: 108; by him: 16. That's a ratio
- Total articles that needed no further work--mine, 108; his, 0.
So by providing myself with the time to relax and dig into the job at
hand, I produced 108 end products while my coworker produced zero. The
company could have hired 107 more people just like him, and I would have
outperformed the entire group.
That's not because I worked any faster. I didn't. I worked smarter,
and that's what saved me so much time.
4. Finance tip
I think Congress needs to officially acknowledge the real reason for the
Christmas celebrations--December 25 is Tax Freedom Day. That's the day
when you've finally worked enough hours to pay the current year's taxes
and you can keep the rest of your earnings for yourself.|
exaggerating, but not by much. Tax Freedom Day actually falls in October
for most people. For most of us, the federal income tax makes up a small
portion of our total tax bill. You also have a myriad of other taxes to
pay--such a mind-boggling myriad that few people are capable of even
listing most of them. To put this in perspective, there are 128
different taxes on a single loaf of bread. How many of these can you
list on a blank sheet of paper, right now?
The American Taliban is allegedly in charge of administering our
federal income tax (here in the USA). For some people, the federal
income tax so enormous that Tax Freedom Day never arrives--not even when
they die. That's because the AT can assess and collect for taxes never
owed, tack on outrageous interest and penalties, and laugh at any
so-called protections a victim might be deluded into thinking she or he
Making matters worse, Congress is now allowing the AT to hire
mercenary debt collectors. So in addition to dealing with the Borg in AT
Collections, you now have to deal with high school dropouts who work on
a percentage, have halitosis, and look forward to hurting other people.
So, you could be targeted by collections people who simply view you
as prey. While the AT will foist such mercenary bloodsuckers on an
allegedly free people, the AT isn't the only source of this pain. Just
as the AT drones delight in seizing people's homes and wiping out their
savings to collect on debts that never actually existed, there are other
groups that also collect on phony debts with a zeal that makes Hitler's
Gestapo seem rather accommodating by comparison.
In addition to this, dishonest stockbrokers (as opposed to the
majority, who are honest) and phony insurance sales agents are tricking
people into putting their homes at great risk. Lots of ripping and
tearing going on there, and it's not pretty.
In one common rip-off, a collection agency contacts you about an
unpaid consumer bill that a creditor has already written off as a loss.
You may not have actually owed such a bill, but that's irrelevant. Once
some idiot enters the wrong information about you, you owe. No
supportive facts needed.
The creditor sells a bunch of unpaid consumer debts for pennies on
the dollar. If you are listed as a debtor--rightly or not--you become a
target. The debt is what's called a "zombie debt." Your contract
(whether it existed or not) is with the original creditor, not with this
new one. But they don't tell you that.
Could be you had a store credit card, made a few charges, and never
got billed for one of them. You haven't given this a second thought, and
haven't used the card for 10 years. But now the interest has piled up
and you allegedly owe $7500. That makes you a very attractive
The debt collector hires a bunch of unskilled morons to handle
various accounts. So you start getting calls from a Joe Friday wannabe
who takes the attitude that you are a deadbeat and he's going to get the
money back. AT people work with this same attitude--they don't bother to
check their facts, they just treat you like a target in a video game.
These folks become hyper-aggressive, and are convinced that they are
some kind of last ditch champions in the war between good and evil. To
them, you are evil and any means of conquering you is justified.
If you've ever dealt with the AT, you know the folks in collections
tend to be young. That's because the AT managers know that the frontal
lobes--the seat of judgment--are not fully formed or engaged until at
least age 25. So they hire young, aggressive people with poor judgment
to go after their victims. This is how the typical collection agency
How do you defend yourself against the onslaught of abuse? First,
don't provide any information unless you absolutely have to. For private
collectors, you don't have to. Insist on proof of the debt--ask for
documentation. With the AT, this step doesn't work--they don't have to
prove you owe, you have to prove you don't (and until you do that, they
can proceed with collections).
- If you see that you do owe the money, check for the statute of
limitations for the expiration of that debt in both the state in
which you incurred it and the state in which you live (see
http://www,creditinfocenter.com for info on this). Note that for
the AT, the idea of a statute of limitations is a joke--they have
more ways around that than you can imagine.
- If the debt has expired, inform the collector of this and
provide substantiation. If the debt has not expired, consider
settling with the collector for a percentage of what you owe.
- If the amount is large, hire an attorney to help you with any
negotiations. This is an added expense, but may be well-justified.
Both the AT and private collectors are notorious for spreading
incorrect information about their victims. So, you'll probably need to
clean up your credit report--a process that will make you wonder why you
bother getting up some days. You will have to look in three places to
see what damage was done:
If the AT reported your "debt" to one of these bureaus even after you
proved you didn't owe it, there's not much you can do. Anything the AT
does is de facto legal, and if it's illegal they'll simply lie about it
and you have no recourse.
But if a private collection agency does this dirty deed, that agency
has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. And they have,
thus, committed a crime. File a complaint with the FTC
http://www.ftc.gov and then provide a
copy of that complaint to any bureau in which your records show this
5. Security tip
Here's a timely tip for those of us in the higher latitudes of the
northern hemisphere. We've got snow and bitter cold in some places, and
so we tend not to go outside much. But if you live in a single residence
home, duplex, or townhouse that has landscaping, grab a notebook and
Now with the foliage gone, you can clearly see the
structure of your trees and shrubs. We've all heard the advice to keep
these trimmed back, so they don't provide cover for criminals.
But simply hacking few limbs off can leave you with a bunch of
unhealthy plants, and worse, it can actually lower your level of
security by making your home look less cared for. What you really need
is a proper pruning. This provides several benefits, including:
- Reduction in the time spent pruning. By pruning structurally,
you reduce the time spent with repeated prunings.
- Healthier plants. Proper pruning results in plants that are more
resistant to disease, drought, and storms.
- Better aesthetics. Plants that are pruned structurally just look better.
- Increased security. Good landscaping makes a statement about
you. It sends a subliminal message that you spend time and home and
care about your home. Not exactly what a burglar wants to target.
So, take a walk around your place and make notes (and, preferably,
sketches) about each tree and shrub. Which branches should be cut back,
and to what point? Which plants should be relocated or replaced? Which
are too close to window or doors and must be relocated or removed?
If you don't have a knack for this kind of thing, contact a
landscaper to come out now (in the nonbusy season) and do the walk
around for you. Then, get the recommendations and form a plan. You'll
save time and money, but more importantly you'll have increased
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
Some people seem to never get sick. This isn't due to luck. In my own
case, it certainly is not due to luck. I have had an inexplicable immune
deficiency (low gammaglobulin) my whole life. According to doctors, I
should frequently be sick. Yet, I have not been sick since 1971. How do
I do this?|
You'll find a plethora of tips on
www.supplecity.com. But here are
- Go to bed early. Period. If you are setting an alarm clock, you
are setting yourself up for illness.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Eat plenty of green veggies. Concentrate on things like spinach,
kale, and broccoli.
- Trim the fat off your meat.
- Stay away from sugary foods. My mom offered to bake me a
birthday cake for my eighth birthday, and I said no more cake for
me. I have had one tiny piece of cake since then. Getting sick just
isn't worth it.
- Steer clear of tobacco in any form.
- Don't believe the lies that a small serving of alcohol each day
is good for you. It's simply better for you than a large serving is.
No serving is best. Alcohol is a poison. Why poison yourself, if
your goal is to stay well?
- Exercise religiously. Don't miss workouts, and make them mean
something. Note that it's much harder work to mow a lawn than it is
to run a treadmill. It's also better exercise. You can get fantastic
workouts outside the gym--the key is to get an intense bout of
exercise just about every day.
- Have a great sense of humor. A foul mood means foul chemistry in
- Have a reason to get up in the morning. Approach each day as
though it's an opportunity to do something important--because it is
Please forward this eNL to others.
Factoid #1: Only 7 per cent of the
population is left-handed. Schools actively discourage lefthandedness,
but they also discourage ambidexterity. Left-handed people are wired
differently, but so are ambidextrous people.
Factoid #2: Forty people go to the
hospital for dog bites every minute. This factoid is especially
interesting at this time, I think, because of the recent face transplant
for the female dog bite victim.
See: Special Offers (expired link now removed).
8. Thought for the Day
It's amazing how self-important some people are, as though
the universe rotates around them. But just remember this. The sun--small for a
star--is 330,330 times larger than the earth. And there are nearly 8 billion
people on the earth. That perspective can be humbling, can't it?
Wishing you the best,
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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