Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Obsessions: Things You Might Feel or Say

By Eric Hartwell

Obsessional thoughts and actions can be highly disruptive and unpleasant. They can range from mild symptoms to ones that are so powerful that they affect everything the sufferer does, says and thinks.

Some of the types of thoughts sufferers may have include:

"I think I will catch something from someone else"

"I'm afraid of getting infected"

"I think if I do something it will cause harm to someone else"

"I'm afraid that I have missed something important"

Obsessions can rule lives. The fear of contamination can lead to ritual and compulsive hand washing and cleaning. Even door handles need to be washed - or avoided. Worktops and surfaces need regular inspection and cleaning and personal contact with others is often prohibited.

Understandably, this can lead to social isolation and a complete disruption of the daily routine.

Some obsessive people fear that they may do ham to someone - for example, attack them with a knife or with their bare hands. The feeling is overwhelming. At other times, people may feel that they have left gas taps on or fires turned up. This leads to a ritual checking routine which can often include partners and other family members. Despite checking, the sufferer is never satisfied and the ritual simply begins again.

Everybody with such feelings experiences them in a different way. No two people are alike and no obsession manifests itself in the same form. There are recognizable patterns, though. With help and perseverance, the symptoms can lessen and full recovery is not always impossible.

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Never Allow Fear to Over Take You

By Paul Van

Why is it that Tiger Woods can be trailing in a golf tournament and come back to win? Tiger does not have any fear of his game because he practices to keep it at the championship level.

After glimpsing the Buick Open recently I observed the fear factor in the leaders prior to the final round of the tournament. Two golfers were seemingly ahead to stay, however a tiger was lurking in the shadows waiting to over take them.

People making observations about Tiger Woods say, "He is too good or he is lucky." Tiger Woods is a great golfer because he faces his fears.

What do I mean by this? Tiger has flaws just like any other golfer on the PGA tour, the difference is he consistently works on his flaws and in times when he needs to call upon his weaknesses to be a strength, the consistent preparation pays off time and time again.

You are no different, albeit your game may be that of an accountant or a banker. The philosophy is the same, if you consistently work on your weaknesses, in moments of trials or tribulations you have prepared yourself accordingly and will succeed because you don not fear the outcome, rather you dictate the outcome of a business venture.

Once you begin to understand the importance of preparation your skill level increases exponentially. Never allow fear to over take you. The bottom line is your preparation will make a world of difference in your life and that of others.

Paul Lawrence Vann is an international speaker. He hold two master degrees, one in acquisition management and the other in business. He transitioned from the USAF in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and became founder and CEO of Laurel Wreath Communications Incorporated located in the metropolitan Washington, DCa area. Learn more about this media savvy speaker and author at http://www.paullawrencevann.com or call him at (800) 476-8976.

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Sex Slaves in America

By Paul Davis

Sex slaves
Statistics in the USA
A nation gone astray
We chase "evildoers" abroad
Yet at home ask God
To "bless America"
While we disregard
The girls within our country
Being brutalized and abused
Raped and economically used
Driven into impoverishment
Gross darkness and enslavement
Beaten, pimped, and dumped
Without a bed, left for dead
Where is dear Big Brother?
How abut dear old Dad?
Why is such violence tolerated
And with it how come we're not mad?
Why do we disregard the helpless
Carry on in a state of ignorance
And bury our heads deep in the sand?
What has become of this land?
Destitute, corrupt, and vile
Full of pimps, prostitutes, and pedophiles
Men who lie, cheat, and beguile
The innocence of tender young girls
Taking them captive for a devilish whirl
Around the dirty old block,
As they aggressively stock
Seek to seduce and reduce
A little one's self-esteem
After which they can control and be mean
Demean, demoralize, and realize
Their evil, gratuitous aims
As they seek to manipulate and tame
The fight for right within
If necessary drug and than sell them
Threaten murderously to kill them
If they dare to talk or walk
Away from such a polluted environment
Easier said than done
Once a derelict has made you
His someone with whom to have fun
To jeopardize your future
Tell your family
Betray your trust
To gratify his own lust
Then to sustain his ongoing greed
Beyond his fleshly needs
Oh dear God, what has become of us?
God Almighty come quickly to help us!
Liberate us from ourselves and sin
Free us from the enemy within
From the tormentors and oppressors
Making prey of young girls
Both here and from afar
Be they from the ghetto
Or the big cities like Tokyo
Countries enslaved beyond comprehension
Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Ukraine
Police involved in duplicity just the same
Allowing pimps to pay them off
Be it monetarily or sexually
This is the plight of humanity
From the basements in Brooklyn
To the strongholds Latin
From Costa Rica to Nicaragua
America to Australia
England to Russia
The devil has his emissaries
Working viciously and tirelessly
To toil and spoil young ladies
Before they can mature and blossom
Be the powerful princesses
They are called to be
To discover their identity
Impact and influence society
Marry and make a family
Sadly most never escape
Neither get this opportunity
Devastated and broken within
They feel incapable to win
Incapacitated and powerless to escape
Therefore we must go and boldly take
Them out of the sex slave prisons
With a vengeance and passion
To provide them new life
Before we are overtaken
By sick, perverted men
Who use, abuse, and sell them
61% of all rape victims
Are younger than 18.
This is beyond mean!
90% of young women
Involved in prostitution
Were sexually abused as children.
80%-90% of young women
In the criminal or juvenile justice system
Have been physically or sexually abused.
This is justice abandoned and misused.
The average age of entry into prostitution is 12.
There are between 100,000 and 3 million adolescents
Involved in prostitution annually in this country.
As long as they are, let us not think we are free!
Young women now account for
24% of all juveniles in detention facilities.
What have become of our liberties?
Such bondage cannot be legislated away
For these girls we must fast and pray
Aggressively drive the pedophiles away
Seek to show compassion in action
Help, rescue and save them today
Before the Johns come out to play.
African-American young women comprise
Almost 50% of all young women
In secure detention, while Hispanics
Make up 13%. The result of fathers absent.
The juvenile female offender of the 1990s
Is likely to come from a single-parent home,
Lack appropriate social and work related skills
And is also likely to be under age 15.
Life in America is not as it seems
Their is a dark culture behind the scenes
Demolishing, and destroying our daughters
While we kick back on the couch and watch TV
What than will you do for your country
To uphold the cause for freedom and liberty?
Don't sit back and attack, pointing the finger
Saying che sara sara, whatever will be, will be
Get up, hit the streets, demand change!
Cry out as a voice of righteousness and rearrange
The mishaps in society by which girls are estranged
From beloved family and friends,
As their lives are brought to a bitter end.

Paul Davis is a FL real estate professional, life coach (relational & professional), worldwide minister, and change master.

Paul is the author of several books including Breakthrough for a Broken Heart; Adultery: 101 Reasons Not to Cheat; Are You Ready for True Love; Stop Lusting & Start Living; Waves of God; Supernatural Fire; Poems that Propel the Planet; and God vs. Religion.

Paul's compassion for people & passion to travel has taken him to over 50 countries of the world where he has had a tremendous impact. Paul has served in many war-torn, impoverished and tsunami stricken regions of the earth. His Dream-Maker Inc. is building dreams, breaking limitations & reviving nations.

Paul's Breakthrough Seminars inspire, revive, awaken, impregnate with purpose, impart the fire of desire, catapult people into a new level of self-awareness, facilitate destiny discovery and dream fulfillment.

Contact Paul to minister, speak at your event or for life coaching: RevivingNations@yahoo.com, 407-284-1705.

For additional info: DreamMakerMinistries.com CreativeCommunications.TV

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Helping You Make a Healthy Choice

By Kevin Hinton

As a teacher I not only expect my students to ask questions but I expect them to check the truth contained within the answers.

To accept any bit of information without query denotes:

• understanding,

• blind trust or

• a lack of interest.

And as you read from ‘thehealtheducator.com’ - regarding matters of ‘health education’ - you should be very cautious as to what I say and how I say it.

I am guilty of making enormous statements that border on sacrilege and heresy – according to some.

I denounce the present-day concept of ‘disease causation’ followed up by the administration of some form of medical / pharmaceutical intervention.

• germs do not cause disease.

• there is no specific germ for each disease.

• And if you do believe in the ‘Germ Theory” - then don’t hold your breath – waiting that someday, somehow, somewhere, maybe… the pharmaceutical world will produce an inorganic, lifeless chemical cocktail that will “cure’ the weird and wonderful litany of symptoms that they promote as being antagonistic to life.

I state unequivocally that the present medical theory – based on the practise of ‘treating the symptom’ all the while ‘disregarding the cause’– is wrong in all ways – always!

I can honestly state that in my twenty-five + years of study and practise in the health field that I have never seen or heard a satisfactory answer to the question:

• “What causes:

- colds and flu’s,

- headaches and blocked up sinuses.

- arthritis, arteriosclerosis, asthma and Alzheimer’s - and on and on and on it goes – from A-Z and back again.

No answer, that is, from the medical fraternity and it’s associated arms.

However, should you wish to hear an honest appraisal of this question from a health standpoint, you could do no better than to read:

- 'Tell Me Simply' and 'What is Nature Cure?' - available from: http://thehealtheducator.com/books.html

Choice is one of the cornerstones of our society.

Making choices that satisfy our needs, is in part, based on acquiring knowledge that sets us free..

Unfortunately, the medical profession seems to be content to keep the truth about health in the ‘dark ages.’

You see, when you expose ‘disease’ to the light of truth – it heals itself at little or no cost.

All the best in sorting out ‘the sheep from the goats.’


Kevin Hinton has been teaching the art of Natural Living and Natural Healing for over 25 years. He is recognized as one of Australia's leading health educators. For more information on how to improve your health - go to: http://www.thehealtheducator.com and while there, sign up for your free world class health newsletter.

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How To Use A Tanning Bed For Great Results

By Jon Arnold

People generally love to have a great tan. That bronzed look says to many that you have time to spend in the sun, relaxing, gathering rays, which is turn seems to say “success” to many because you have the kind of leisure time to do that. A good even tan makes you look healthy. But is a tan really healthy? It CAN be but it needs to be done correctly so that underneath that killer tan you are not doing damage to your skin.

Tanning occurs when the skin produces additional pigment (coloring) to protect itself against burn from these ultraviolet rays. Natural sunlight and the ultra-violet lamps in tanning beds produce these UV rays. With tanning beds you can avoid sun’s harmful effects from the mildest ones to the harshest such as wrinkles, freckles, skin discolorations, and even skin cancer.

In reality, a tan indicates a skin “problem”. There is still the opportunity to be concerned about skin damage when using a tanning bed, but there are several steps you can take to minimize that risk. You don’t want the trade-off for a great tan to be premature aging of the skin or wrinkles, but the proper use of a tanning bed with knowledge of what you are doing can minimize (although not eliminate) the hazards and risks.

The UV rays used by the tanning bed lamps have been found to enforce the production of vitamin D in the skin. This works in the same way that direct exposure to the sun’s rays will. The UV rays, particularly the UVB type, are responsible for stimulating the production of melanin, which is a naturally occurring skin pigment.

The type of tanning bed that you typically see in both residential and commercial places like a tanning salon are horizontal tanning beds. These range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on various factors such as the intensity of the UV lamps, and extra features such as a fan to keep you cool while you are tanning, and even a radio or CD player so you can listen to music while you use it.

Whether a commercial or residential model, tanning beds emit a mixture of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation to produce a bronzed look on white skin. In other words, the ultra violet light used by the UV lamps in a tanning bed is almost exactly the same kind of ultra violet light that comes from the sun. What this means is that the same risks can occur. Yes, without proper protection, you can get a sunburn from tanning bed use, and it will be every bit as painful.

For optimal results, your best bet is to talk with the professional at the tanning salon, or for a residential model, read the owner’s manual from front to back before you even plug the unit in. Understand the proper usage and the proper length of time to use it. You can maximize your tanning efforts by the use of various tanning lotions, which also have the added benefit of helping to protect your skin to the maximum level possible.

Jon is a computer engineer who maintains web sites on a variety of topics based on his knowledge and experience. You can read more about Tanning Beds at his web site at Tanning Beds Tips and Advice.

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To Weed Or Not To Weed-That Is The Question!

By Ena Clewes

When I first started my present garden, it had been totally farmland and therefore, it was full of weeds. It had no shape. It was like a typical farmers field, bumpy ground and obnoxious weeds. At first I felt rather daunted and overwhelmed by the job of creating this nightmare into an English Cottage garden. As I have lived in England, I knew what I wanted my garden to look like. I just was not sure that I had enough physical energy and determination to get the job done.

I have learned in life, that if you tackle a large project one step at a time, rather than look at a project in its entirety, you are more likely to achieve your goals. I had to think, just what do I want from my garden? Was it to be a place where I could relax, or a place to have wild poolside parties, or a place where I could lose myself in time? While weeding and creating, I chose the latter, but it is important if you are starting from scratch to know what kind of garden you want. Gardens are never made by accident. Whether it’s a sterile plot or a space filled with plants, someone decides the precise arrangement they want and are prepared to maintain.

I broke all my own rules about planning and detail before getting started. I just went ahead and by instinct knew what I wanted. As my garden covers 2 acres of land, I really could not financially employ anyone to help to dig it all up and renew the soil, so I had to go it alone with my trusty spade and garden fork and my aching muscles and tubes of liniment!

I like rounded edges in my flowerbeds, not straight sided. I think rounded edges add softness to any design, but I had to angle the edges from the grass to stop the weeds from growing into the flowerbeds. I thought that would work, but I soon found out differently. I think some of the weeds I encountered had roots going down 50 feet! As soon as I would dig them out, they just came back. This was very discouraging and backbreaking, but I was determined to go ahead.

Weeds grow either from seed or they reproduce from their roots. The roots grow outward from the parent plant and produce new plants, springing up from lateral roots, creating more parent plants and the process just goes on and on and the weeds thrive. We must remember that weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place. They need water, sunlight and nutrition to survive.

The easiest of these essentials for a gardener to control is sunlight. Before mulching, remove all vegetation from your planting area and, using a hoe, undercut the roots and remove the plant, roots and all. Then turn the soil by hand. You may decide to turn it again after a few days have passed. This brings the roots that were left in the soil to the top and the sun will dry them out and make them less viable. It also disturbs the weed seeds that have started to germinate, which makes them less viable. The longer you continue this process, the more weeds you eliminate from your garden.

Before mulching, place newspaper (about 8 layers thick) over the soil and place the mulch on top. The newspaper blocks the sunlight from reaching the soil, which keeps weed growth to a minimum. As it decomposes, it will not affect the appearance of your garden. After 6 years of battling with my own weeds, I am not sure who is winning the battle, but I am determined to win the war!!

I hope you will be able to reach your own goals and realize that nothing is impossible when determination and creativity are your partners.

Ena Clewes is a transplanted Scot, living in Ontario, on a farm where she has an English garden. She is a writer and speaker with a passion for gardening.

Please visit my new garden Forum, I am always looking for gardening questions to answer, so I will look forward to meeting you there!

Ena Clewes Master gardener and creative writer. I have just started a new garden forum, and I would love if you would meet me there, and ask any questions you may have about your own garden. http://bMrsGreenthumb.runboard.com

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Is Sin Causing 'Global Warming'?

By Charles Crosby

Mankind in his 'cleverness' thinks his every day physical 'mismanagement', 'misuse' and 'abuse' of the earth's resources is or are the reason(s) that our global climate is changing. In particular the burning of fossil fuels. In turn mankind has made use of nuclear power, as an alternative, and many people believe that nuclear tests, leaks and accidents at power stations are and have been a major contributory factor in the increase of cancers and tumours in the human anatomy, and most likely there is much truth in this reasoning.

Fossil fuel by-products are now universally used in fertilizers, pesticides medicines, cosmetics, plastics, you name it and these by-products are in there somewhere. This has resulted in what many would say is a comprehensive poisoning of our environment, including the food we put on our tables. This alleged poisoning also includes meat products fattened and reared with the use of chemicals, antibiotics and hormones.

Here in the UK, organic food is now very much in demand and its popularity is increasing at an amazing rate. People are now saying what a Frankenstein monster the science lobby has become, a monster they have helped to create and encouraged to grow since the 1960's, but now have no control over. With GM (Genetically Modified) foods, the latest addition to science's nursery, things can only get worse according to those who have turned and joined the Green/Eco lobby. In the UK, GM foods are literally called Frankenstein Foods by the media.

From a Christian perspective the issues are these: If mankind 'cleaned' up his act in terms of material physical pollution and general abuse of his environment would it bring an end to climate change? I don't think so. Are all these physical and material activities of mankind the cause of the problem, or just the symptoms or outward behavioural signs of another problem; the symptoms of a deeper and more serious malaise in the hearts of men and women? The real question here is this: Is the 'Global Warming' - 'Climate Change' problem, call it what you will, a Spiritual problem rather than just a physical material problem?

As a Christian and believer in an all mighty powerful God, I know that planet earth, our solar system and all the stars in the heavens are held together in perfect harmony by the Power of God - The Holy Spirit. God's Power, His Holy Spirit, controls everything and I also know that sin grieves The Holy Spirit. Furthermore, there is a limit to which God will allow His Spirit to be grieved before He takes action. Now, as if this were not important enough, there is also the permanent damage element of what rampant sin does to mankind. A level of damage caused by sin from which there is no return. How do I know this? Easy, let's go to Genesis and we will quickly find out how I know.

Genesis 6:5-6 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented (filled the Lord with sorrow) the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved (cut or carved) Him at his heart. (Brackets mine) Here we can plainly see how man's evil activities i.e. his sins, affected God, grieving His Spirit and cutting Him to His heart. This meant man gave God no pleasure at all, just as a human father would gain no pleasure from watching his son go wrong and end up in prison and/or on death row!

Notice, the thoughts of the heart of these people were causing them to do only evil continually - non stop evil and nothing else - 24/7 and Genesis gives us more detail:

Genesis 6:11-12 The earth (the creation or in secular terminology - the environment) also was corrupt (in a state of ruinous decay) before God, and the earth was filled with violence (for unjust gain). 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way (walking a decaying ruinous vile path) upon the earth. (Brackets mine)

Here in Genesis The Lord gives us some stark parallels with our world today, with man's sinful ways being the direct cause of ruin to himself and God's creation. His sins were directly affecting his environment through grieving his Creator and the only answer The Lord had left was to rid the earth of these people, not just for punishment but for their own good. They were so far gone that they were near to the point of no return and they had more or less created Satanism on earth. The Lord had no alternative but to destroy them all.

The Lord then sends the flood and redeems Noah and his family, but the point many people miss in this story is the cataclysmic climate change that comes with the flood - don't forget, a flood caused by sin. What people have missed are the differences between the two worlds. The differences in what the pre-flood world must have been like compared to the post-flood world. Holy Scripture leaves much unanswered on this subject but what evidence it does leave is revealing if we apply that evidence correctly.

One of the first things that hit us about the pre-flood world is the great ages or life spans of the people mentioned in Scripture - some are over nine hundred years old. Now many 'clever' people have dreamt up all manner of hypotheses to explain these life spans away, including myself before I was called, but never any explanations to support them as being fact. Of course, we all know why they do this, to discredit the Holy Bible as much as they can. So let's go now to the Scriptures and see for ourselves what they do reveal about this world shattering event. Please note the flood was a global event, not localised as some would have you believe.

Genesis 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Here we have evidence that the pre-flood world never had rain. It never had rain because the rainbow was now a sign in the clouds to remind mankind of God's covenant with Noah. The rainbow was a new phenomenon and Noah and his family would never have seen it before. The rain, that part caused the flood, was the first rain to fall upon the earth, so the next question is where did all this water come from? The Bible tells us:

Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament (a sky) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament (the sky), and divided the waters which were under the firmament (the sky) from the waters which were above the firmament (the sky): and it was so. Here, Holy Scripture tells us that there was water above the sky and water below the sky. Now this water barrier was a solid permanent feature above the sky that completely covered the earth and it was most likely in the upper atmosphere. We are not talking about clouds here which come and go at will and are often found at ground level, this was something completely different from what we know about our atmosphere today. Noah saw clouds for the first time after the flood. The sky in pre-flood times divided the waters so they were completely separate!

OK, back to the 'puzzle' of the great ages and life spans of pre-flood people. If, as I have said, these great ages are true how did they achieve them? Again this is simple and it's all tied up in that water barrier in the upper atmosphere. It filtered out all the harmful rays of the sun which any scientist will tell you are what age us - UV and any others that may be harmful. These people lived in a near perfect environment when compared to ours. My guess is that there was no weather and no seasons. Weather and seasons only started after the flood. Are you saying the earth moved on its axis - very likely? Sheer speculation on my part but then I do not underestimate nor do I limit God in what He can do to achieve His will.

We know from the fact that the rainbow was seen for the first time by Noah and his family and that rain was a new phenomenon, so the disintegration of the water barrier was the cause of the flood, but only in part. The fact that the pre-flood world had no rain must mean they obtained water from elsewhere and of course they did - vast underground aquifer springs which in turn when they broke out, contributed to the flood. The waters that caused the flood came from two sources - above and below.

Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Here we have evidence of the underground aquifers, here called fountains of the great deep. These aquifers were deep underground and they broke out with great force. This breaking out would have been a cataclysmic event with massive geological upheavals to the earth's crust. Geologists today puzzle and scratch their heads over these faults and anomalies as they study rocks and rock formations, never realizing they are looking at the evidence of damage caused by the great flood.

So to return to my original question: Is sin causing Global Warming or Climate Change? I would say it most definitely is. The acts man needs to clean up are not so much his polluting acts, as God can deal with them with the click of His fingers, but rather his sinful acts. The question is: Will he? Answer: Not in this age as he incapable of doing so, but he will in the next!!

Charles Crosby.

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The Ingredients for Success

By Tristan Loo

What’s the difference between those people who build successful lives and those who often fail? What do those successful people have that’s different from everyone else? Is it luck? …Or is it something else? I have spent the last eight years of my life engaged in heavy research on the lives of those who excel at what they do and also those who fail miserably at life. This unique perspective was gained during my five-year tour of duty as a police officer, working the tough streets and engaging people who for the most part we don’t see because we choose not to see them. I used my street experience to compare and contrast those people who suffered through life versus those who excelled, and I came up with six simple ingredients that have repeatedly produced success in peoples’ lives.

Success is a Whole Lot Like Cooking

Being a food lover and self-proclaimed amateur chef, I’ve had the experience of going to a barbeque cook-off contest when I was visiting Texas not so long ago. The rules were simple: meat + heat + seasoning. More than 150 contestants spent countless hours over the grill to produce that winning flavor, but only one was selected as the grand champion.

I got to thinking that this event was really a microcosm of life success. You see, at the beginning of this competition, each competitor had to cook a piece of meat that was preinspected to be nearly identical to all the other entries. Meat was the constant. All of the barbeque grills were also inspected to ensure that they were all on the same page. So the heating agent was also a constant. The only thing that was left up to the chefs’ imaginations and creativity was the seasoning and basing methods that they used. Each one of these chefs guarded their secret seasoning recipes, but when you really look at it, most of the seasoning recipes consisted of mostly the same ingredients as well.

Just as the BBQ competitors all started off with the same piece of meat to cook, I’ll make the claim that in life, most of us start off pretty much the same in terms of human potential. Yeah, there are those who are geniuses, or have the genes to play pro basketball, but in general, most of us are the same. All of us have our own strengths and weaknesses to deal with. Throughout my experiences with the successful and the not so successful, I’ve discovered that successful people are able to take their raw abilities, strengths, and weaknesses and through their own motivating force, transform their dreams into concrete reality.

Ingredient #1: Be Willing to Pursue Your Passions

I’m going to share with you a story about a really good friend and fishing buddy that I have. John is one of the most intelligent people I know. He graduated from UCLA medical school at the top of his class and became a prominent doctor in his hometown. Anyone would say confidently that John was a model of success for anyone to follow. I certainly thought so. Here was I, getting hit and spit at by criminals and risking my life for unappreciative victims, while John was raking in a mid six-figure income and looked up to by men, women, and children. Well, there was just one problem to that equation. John didn’t feel like he was very successful at all. He hated being stressed out at work, the long hours in the hospital, and although he was highly intelligent, his passion for medicine just wasn’t there to begin with. As it turned out, his jump into the medical profession was never his dream at all, but rather it was the pressure and expectation of his parents to become a doctor because they saw a doctor as being someone who made a lot of money and was someone to be respected.

John and I went out on our usual fishing trip to the Columbia River in the beautiful Pacific Northwest one weekend. I was always envious of John’s skills at fishing because he’d pull in the biggest steelhead that you’d swear was in the river. As jealous of his skills—I called it luck—as I was, I had to admit that I learned a great deal about how to catch fish from John because fishing was his primary passion in life, or at least I thought so because that’s all he would talk about most of the time.

When we got back to the cabin, John sat down on the wooden kitchen chair and sighed, “Tristan, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life anymore.”

“What do you mean?” I asked curiously. I knew John was going through some work-related stress lately, but I couldn’t fathom why he would be so unhappy. After all, he had a lot more material things than I had and he was always the popular one between us both.

“I don’t know what I am doing with my career. Each day I go into work, I end up hating it even more. I spent over 15 years building up my career, so why isn’t it working for me? Why am I not happy? I’m asking you because I know you are good with these kinds of things. What should I do?” John looked desperate for some kind of answer from me.

“Were you ever passionate about medicine, or being a physician?” I asked.

John sat there for a good five minutes in silence over that question. I could tell that he was having an internal battle over whether to tell me the cosmetic “ego answer” or the genuine answer from the heart. After what seemed like an eternity of silence, John broke down in tears. “No. I never liked being a doctor. It was a family thing—you know. Not my own.”

We talked for most of the night about his situation and I learned some things about John that I never knew before. His stress level was becoming so great that he was taking far too many painkillers than was good for him to deal with his constant migraines. In his search for a cure to get rid of his stress, John had even gotten into buying cheap sex from call girls and using street drugs. Needless to say, the path my friend was on was leading to a quick demise.

I remembered something that my dear mother had taught me and I gave John those same words of wisdom that were entrusted to me—that success is not found in a title, or riches, or in material possessions, but rather in reaching your own self-fulfillment and being true to yourself.

I was used to always listening to John and his vast library of knowledge that he held in his head, but that night, I gave John a lesson in something that he had never learned from either his parents or from his schools and that lesson was how to listen and speak to his own heart. I told him that passion can’t be forced into your life. It just doesn’t work that way. Passion must be sought out and acquired by doing the things that you love. If you love doing something so much that you would gladly trade the rest of your days doing it, then not only will you be good at what you do, but you will attract wealth and success along with that passion. I told him that his true adventure begins when he leaves this cabin and goes back home because he will begin his first quest to find his passion in life.

About a month later, John called me. He sounded like he had just won the lottery. He told me that he had just quit his job at the hospital and was going to pursue his real passion—that’s right—fly fishing. He was going to open up his own fly fishing shop in Montana, where he always dreamed of living. And you know what? To this day, John has never been more happy about life, and I have never known anyone else who has as much passion for what he does as a career. John found his passion in life, and it wasn’t being a doctor.

John’s story outlines one of the most important ingredients that all successful people have in common—a passion for life and a passion to pursue their interests. Their passion becomes their motivating force that eventually draws them to their own personal success. Therefore, in your quest to find your success, forget about finding your success. That is conceptually impossible to envision. Instead, find your passion in life. Find that which you love to do. If you find that and hold on to it tight, then that passion will pull you toward that success.

Ingredient #2: “No Give Up”

“No give up” was actually a motto of a Japanese martial arts Sensei of mine, pertaining to surviving an encounter with an opponent who outmatched you in every way possible. I would have long practices in the dojo lifting weights, practicing offense and defense, and sparring. Near the end of each workout, I would be so tired that I could barely stand, yet my Sensei would always throw me back into the ring for another sparring session with some new guy who had just walked into the gym. I was ready to just give up and collapse because my arms were so tired that I couldn’t even protect myself anymore. I mean, here I was in my fourth hour of intense training, having to fight some guy who was fresh and full of energy. Every time I was at the point of giving up, my Sensei would yell at me with his Japanese accent—“No give up.” As tired and bruised as I was, I followed his orders. I went for another round of intense abuse.

Several years later while on patrol, I encountered a subject who was high on PCP. Now this guy was about 6’1” and over 250 lbs. I was 5’5” and barely 165 lbs. Now those of you who don’t know, PCP, or phencyclidine, has the effect of making the person not only paranoid but extremely violent and it also impairs their ability to feel pain while also increasing their strength tremendously. Well, I was in the fight of my life with this person and he was tossing me into cars and banging my head into the concrete. I was semi-conscious and ready to quit, but then I heard those familiar words of my Sensei, “No Give Up!!” These words motivated me to go another round with this lunatic and not just hand over my life to be taken by this guy…After all, if he got my gun after he finished me off, then who knows who else would be next? I couldn’t give in. I could feel the blood dripping into my eyes, and I was sure it was mine. With the last bit of strength that I had, I performed a shoulder throw on the guy and got him into a rear leg lock and I just held him to the ground with all my strength. It seemed like hours, but then my cop buddies arrived and saved me.

So looking back on that moment, I realize that I could have died that night. I could have handed my life over to that idiot and I would not be here today to share this story with you. What I did was not give up so easily in the face of incredible odds; and because I chose to go that extra round against impossible odds, I am here alive and healthy and successful today. I truly believe that while not all of us will ever be in a life-or-death fight like my own (and I pray that you never have to), I also believe that each one of us encounters at least one seemingly impossible challenge in life, whether it be financial, relationship, personal growth, or anything else that impedes our way toward our dreams.

It’s the successful people out there who hear something similar to the words of my Sensei, shouting at them to “No give up!” Successful people are willing to go that extra round against an impossible opponent and to hold on till the end. From my interviews with unsuccessful people, I have learned that all too often, the opportunity was there for them to become successful and in some cases, there were quite a few good opportunities for them to achieve their dreams, but then their life opponent, whether it be external or internal, stepped in their way and instead of fighting for their dream, they ran the other way, farther from it.

Ingredient #3: The Thirst for More Knowledge

Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, regardless of formal education, all have something in common—the willingness to continue learning and enhancing their core competencies. Knowledge is the most valuable investment that you own, and we’re not talking about some university lecture. Knowledge can come from any variety of sources. I hated going to boring lectures in college, and I passed all my courses just by reading the materials. Books were and still are my passion, and I devour them like crazy. This is the same way with many successful people out there. They find ways of learning that suit their learning style.

One of the problems of traditional schooling is that people often do what it takes to get the degree, as I did, but they don’t invest the time towards actually getting the education. After the degree is received, people get relaxed and think that their learning is finally over. They go out into the world and find that they spent four years of their life learning nothing that can be applied to the real world. Heed my words, to be successful in life requires a commitment towards life-long learning. The people who are successful realize that their learning will never stop. They find the way that they enjoy learning and pursue it passionately, always looking for opportunities to enhance their knowledge and invest in their own personal growth.

Follow your passions by developing and enhancing your core competencies—the things that you are great at doing. Figure out what kind of learning method suits you best and then immerse yourself in that learning environment. Learning is much like working out at the gym: You have to practice it regularly and make it a rule of health to do it consistently. If you are following your passion, then learning will also be a passion for you.

Ingredient #4: In Order to Grow, You Must be Willing to Take Risks

Successful people are not afraid to take calculated risks in life. This does not mean that successful people are reckless with their futures and do things out of mere impulse, but simply that when the opportunity comes around for them to take one step toward their dream, they are not afraid to take that step.

In 2000, my good friend and Mentor lost his good job with an engineering firm when they went bankrupt. Most people I know would have panicked and jumped right into another nine-to-five job, but not my friend. He had a vision of owning his own company and he was willing to risk being financially unstable for several years before he could make his dream come true. You see, my friend had a product that he invented—a technology he developed for the home theatre enthusiast that translated audio sound into stereo movement directly into the couch. He sent his product to all the big trade magazines and he got rejection after rejection. After all, no one wanted to take his homemade gizmo seriously. I know that many other people would have taken those rejection letters personally and just give up, but my friend persisted. He didn’t see it as another rejection for himself or his product, but rather a rejection on the publisher for missing out on the latest and greatest thing to hit the home theatre world. I watched him pinch the pennies and cut out all the vacations and extraneous things from his life, but his persistence towards his dream never failed. Five years later, Crowson Technologies is one of the biggest producers of high-end audio equipment for home theatre enthusiasts, with distributors located world-wide. My friend was willing to risk it all for those five years and the payout for him was huge.

We are all faced with similar opportunities on a regular basis. It’s our fear of change, our fear of the unexpected, that prevents us from taking those steps toward our dreams. When the possibility for a better future comes along, don’t be afraid to take on the burden of uncertainty, for life itself is an uncertain thing. It’s only our minds that seek solidarity and consistency. Break this mold and you will be one step closer to personal success. Don’t be afraid to take risks in life.

Ingredient #5: Be Flexible to Changes in Life

I don’t mean that all successful people practice yoga. What is meant here is that life is dynamic—meaning that it always changes and it’s unpredictable. Successful people realize that even the best plans can fall through the cracks because of unexpected things that might occur. Successful people have the ability to be flexible with their plans and to adapt and overcome challenges and obstacles that come their way.

My life-long hero, Bruce Lee, the father of Jeet Kun Do and mixed martial art competition, said that the most powerful element on this earth is water. Water can trickle gently or it can crash with tremendous force. Water is shapeless by nature, yet it can conform to the shape of any container it sits in. You cannot hurt water if you try to strike it. Water is power, so you must be like the nature of water when you are fighting. This has been the driving force of my philosophy, not only with my personal life, but with the Synergy Institute and my teachings as well. When you go through life, be like the nature of water and be flexible enough to conform to any situation that comes your way. Be impervious to attacks. Be able to handle situations with gentle care and other situations with tremendous force. Be like the nature of water.

Ingredient #6: Only Those Who Take Action Make Dreams Come True

I teach my students that the most valuable thing around is time because we can never replace the time that we have here. Unfortunately, too many of us waste that time by not taking action. Action delivers results. I was talking to a buddy of mine several years ago about a system of conflict resolution that I had developed. My friend was impressed and said I should write a book on it. I kind of chuckled and told him, “Sure, sure.” At that point, I didn’t even believe that I had what it takes to write a book. Then several years later, I decided to take my work seriously and commit myself to writing that book, even if I didn’t know how. I decided to take action and I admit, there were mistakes and hang-ups along the way, but all of those things were valuable learning lessons for me for my own personal growth. And now I have a book that I have written myself that sells quite nicely to the business leaders I targeted it to. Did the book exist in me before I started writing it? Yes, the book was always there in my head, but I manifested it into the real world by taking action—by picking up that pen and paper and transferring my thoughts into writing. I took action to make it something real.

I heavily subscibe to the “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach. What this means is that if you took the traditional approach of “Ready, Aim, Fire,” most people spend far too long aiming and never firing. Successful people on the other hand, will fire first, check how far off they are from their target and reposition their rifle a second or even a third time till they hit the bulls-eye. Aiming is like dreaming. Most of us spend far too long dreaming and never taking action. Successful people take action, even though their action might be in the wrong direction, but nevertheless, they are able to learn from their error and fine-tune their aiming for success.

Tristan Loo is a life management consultant, trainer and author. He is the founder of the Synergy Institute, a personal development company based out of San Diego, California. Tristan is the author of Street Negotiation: How to Resolve Any Conflict Anytime and writes for numerous magazines and publications. Visit Tristan's website at http://www.synergyinstituteonline.com

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Lower Your Cholesterol For A Healthier Life

By Dawn H Robertshaw

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that the body needs to function normally. Your body uses cholesterol to produce certain hormones and make vitamin D. It also produces bile acids that digest fat. But your body only needs a small amount of cholesterol to perform these functions. Too much cholesterol in your bloodstream will start to adhere to the artery walls and form blockages. These blockages are the cause of heart attacks and strokes.

It is important that you keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. While high cholesterol can be hereditary, a lot of our cholesterol problems come from the food we eat and lack of exercise.

The best way to lower your cholesterol is to lose weight. Being overweight interrupts the body's metabolism causing the body to hang onto too much fat. Following a low fat, low cholesterol diet and getting more exercise will help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol.

Here is a guide on what foods to eat and what foods to limit:

Food you should eat:

* 5 servings per day of a variety of fruits and vegetables.
* 6 servings per day of whole grain breads, rice and pasta. Oatmeal is especially beneficial.
* 2 to 4 servings of fat free or low fat milk products.
* 6 ounces of lean meats or skinless poultry per day.
* Beans and peas.
* Nuts and seeds in limited amounts.
* Unsaturated vegetable oils. But limit the amount of margarine and spreads made from them.

Foods to Limit:

* Whole milk, creams and ice cream.
* Butter, egg yolks and cheese.
* Untrimmed fatty meats and organ meats.
* Processed meats such as Bologna, hot dogs, salami and sausage.
* Bakery goods made with saturated fats and egg yolks.
* Coconut oils, palm oils and palm kernal oil which are saturated fats.
* Solid fats such as shortening, partially hydrogenated margarine and lard.
* Fried foods.

Lowering cholesterol does not mean that you cut out all the fats. You just exchange them. The above guidelines should help you determine how to do this.

There is a lot of focus on cutting back on the fats in the food we eat but did you know that there are beverages that can help lower cholesterol? Studies have shown that green tea has a lot of powerful antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and can even lower blood pressure.

Orange juice contains folic acids that help lower homocysteine levels in the body. High homocysteine levels can cause cholesterol to change into oxidized low density lipoprotein which can damage the arteries. It can also make blood clot easier and increase the risk of blockages.

Grape juice is loaded with certain antioxidants that help prevent red blood cells from clumping together to form clots.

Research has proven that having 1 to 3 ounces of wine a day can lower your risk of heart attack. But do not drink it if you have an alcohol dependency problem or high blood pressure.

Keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level takes some effort on your part. Lose weight, exercise, quit smoking and eat healthily. This may seem like a lot to some but you only have one heart. It is your responsibility to take good care of it.

Dawn Robertshaw has written numerous articles and ebooks on coping with life in the 21st century. For more free articles, tips, advice and a range of health and relationship targeted information products in written and audio form for immediate download visit us at http://www.InThe21stCentury.com

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Sorry Service vs. Thankful Service

By Scott Ginsberg

Imagine you’re waiting in line at the airport.

A really LONG line.

BAD NEWS: you’ve missed your connecting flight. There’s no way you’ll make it to your meeting on time.

After about twenty-five frustrating minutes, you finally approach the counter. You throw down your luggage, put your hands on your hips and exclaim, “You know, I’ve been waiting here for nearly half an hour!”

And the first words out of the front desk agent’s mouth are, “I’m sooooo sorry. See, what happened was…”


You don’t want to hear “Sorry.”

Sorry doesn’t cut it.
Sorry doesn’t make you feel better.
Sorry doesn’t put the delicious Triscuit crackers in your stomach, now does it?

NEW RULE: customers don’t want to hear the word “Sorry.” Certainly an apology never hurts, and I'm not suggesting you eliminate the word "Sorry." But remember:

It’s negative.
It’s usually followed by excuses.
It’s focused on the wrong person. (i.e., NOT the customer)

A great suggestion is to replace (or at least combine) “Sorry” with “Thanks.”

Thanking (instead of apologizing) just sounds better. And it demonstrates empathy and concern. What’s more, it immediately puts a positive spin on an otherwise negative encounter.

Let’s go back to the airport example for a minute. Which one of the following phrases would you, as the customer, rather hear?

1. “I’m sorry you’ve been waiting such a long time, sir.”
2. “Thanks for putting up with the long line, sir!"

My money’s on number two. And here’s why.

“Sorry” is problem-oriented. It sucks the positivity out of a conversation. In fact, it’s such a negative word that it actually elicits more of the same.

Here, I’ll prove it to you. Stop reading this article for a sec and say aloud (in your best customer service voice), “I’m so sorry you had to wait…”

Kind of hard to follow that phrase with a positive comment, isn’t it?
Kind or hard to articulate that phrase with a smile, isn’t it?

In most cases, “Sorry” is followed by more apologies, more excuses and more complaints. No good.

On the other hand, “Thanks” is solution-oriented. It plasters positivity into a conversation. In fact, it’s such an optimistic word that it actually elicits more of the same.

Once again, let me prove it to you. Stop reading this article for a sec and say aloud (in your best customer service voice), “Thank you for waiting…”

Aha! Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

Kind of hard to follow that phrase with a negative comment, isn’t it?
Kind of hard to articulate that phrase without a smile, isn’t it?

See, in most cases, “Thanks” is followed by more solutions, more positives and more focus on the customer.

So, instead of apologizing, here’s a quick list of ways to thank your customers:

“Thanks for waiting.”
“Thanks for your patience.”
“Thanks for telling me that.”
“Thanks for pointing that out.”
“Thanks for coming in tonight.”
“Thanks for putting up with us.”
“Thanks for bringing that to our attention.”

In closing, let’s explore Sorry Service vs. Thankful Service in a completely different context: dating.

Let’s say you’re on a hot date.

It’s almost midnight. Fearing that you will morph into a pumpkin, your new squeeze drops you off at home. And as the two of you approach the front door, he or she says one of the following things:

“I’m so sorry you had to go out with me tonight. I know I was late, and the dinner kind of sucked. And I swear to God that’s the first time I’ve ever run over someone’s cat before!”


“Thanks for going out with me tonight. I had a blast. We really connected! And I would love to do it again sometime.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS... Which one would you want to hear?

Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy," is the internationally recognized author of three books and a professional speaker who helps businesspeople make a name for themselves - one conversation at a time. To book Scott for your next association meeting, conference or corporate event, contact HELLO, my name is Scott! at 314/256-1800 or email scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Focus on Quitting Smoking

By Jason D

In 1999 Hatsukami, D. Mooney wrote an article, “Pharmacological and Behavioral Strategies for Smoking Cessation”, that stated, “the more intensively you focus on quitting smoking, the higher your odds of quitting.” Could this be true? Merely by focusing on quitting smoking isn’t really quitting smoking so how could it increase your odds of quitting?

As I contemplated this and reflected on the last time I quit smoking I discovered that what Mooney stated carries a lot of weight. It also occurred to me that focusing on quitting smoking was one of the top reasons why I was able to quit smoking when I did. The more I thought about it I saw just how much I was focusing on quitting smoking months before I even quit. It started out with simply searching the Internet on smoking and methods to quit smoking. Considering what would work best for me. I even tried a couple products that claimed to help people quit smoking only to fail, no fault of the product I just wasn’t ready. This only fueled my passion to quit smoking.

Next, I started to look into the many health risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting. I was excited to see that much of the damage I have been doing to my body all these years was for the most part repairable. And that there were immediate benefits of quitting smoking and that millions of people have successfully quit smoking.

For two months before I actually quit smoking I focused intently on quitting. I look back and remember the pamphlets, brochures, websites, and forums. I thought about quitting smoking every time I had a cigarette. I felt I was always thinking about smoking and looking for information on how to quit. I was mentally priming myself to actually quit smoking and by focusing on it daily even though I had not quit was instrumental on the day I actually quit. If you are considering quitting smoking I would suggest you do the same thing, focus on quitting. Surround yourself with literature, visit informational websites, and even visit quit smoking forums and get involved. Read how others quit and when you feel comfortable start posting yourself. This too helps on focusing to quit smoking by introducing a level of accountability.

Visit Jason D's website for additional information on the Quit Smoking Programs and Effective Ways to Quit Smoking.

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Triple Approach to Making Goals

By Evelyn Cole

At the beginning of every year you see far too many articles on how to keep resolutions and set goals you can make. Oh, such good advice!

One article shows you how to set one big goal for the year and then break it down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily segments. Furthermore, it tells you to write all that down as well as your accomplishments each day regarding your daily segment.

You do that for each of your goals. Let's hope you don't have more than two goals and then decide you want to lose ten pounds.

That is the conscious, left-brained approach.

Another article tells you that you need to program your subconscious mind to put it in synch with your conscious desires and goals. I've written several of these. This can be done through hypnosis, self-hypnosis, directed writing, and, above all, repetition. It works like subliminal advertising and can even motivate you to write down all that stuff the left-brained guys tell you to do.

Those trained in neuro-linguistic programming echo my thesis that goal setting and accomplishment needs the cooperation of the subconscious mind. To the concept of repetition they emphasize adding the appropriate emotion so the programming will take hold. For example, if you set a goal to complete a degree by a certain date in order to make more money but do not have a passionate interest in the coursework, the programming won't hold.

Or, if you have a goal to save enough money to quit your lousy job but don't have another job or business in mind that really attracts you, no matter how strong your negative feeling is your subconscious won't help. But, when you add a strong feeling toward something you want badly, your subconscious will help you get it.

Unless, of course, you get caught in psychological reversal. That's called PR in some circles-not marketing ones.

Psychological reversal means some part of your psyche does not want you to have what you consciously think that you want. That part of your psyche was drummed into you through repetition years ago and is lodged in your body. It can be uncovered and released through a combination of specific affirmations and tapping acupressure points.

This is the third approach. So, if you have not yet met your monthly goal or have given up setting goals, you can find out why. Meanwhile, forgive and accept yourself every day. Why not?

© Evelyn Cole, MA, MFA, The Whole-mind Writer, http://www.write-for-wealth.com, evycole@hughes.net

Cole’s chief aim in life is to convince everyone to understand the power of the subconscious mind and synchronize it with goals of the conscious mind.

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Tips to Prevent Wrinkles

By Alex Fir

There are lots of reasons why you may get wrinkles. However, you will continue to get more wrinkles and they can even expand if you do not take measures early on to prevent them. There are numerous types of wrinkle products available. Cosmetic surgeries and home remedies can help you to reduce the wrinkles. But, you should know that there are also many different resources available to help you to prevent even more wrinkles from showing up.

- Stay out of the sun. Using sunscreen anytime that you go outside is the best way to keep age spots and wrinkles at bay. Although the largest part of people does not realize it, sun is one of the worst factors for your skin. It sucks out the moisture and the UV light can cause much more grave conditions then just wrinkles, such as skin cancer.

- Have a daily routine. Having a good cleansing routine will also help to keep your skin healthy and glowing. There are lots of ways to do this, but you should keep in mind several key things. Use a cleanser that will remove make up and dirt from your skin, without drying it out. If your skin is dry, apply a moisturizer. You also want to include an exfoliating product into your treatment because this will help to remove the top layers of dead skin.

- Have a diet rich in antioxidants. This can help you to remove the wrinkles that you already have. A diet that is rich in vegetables is the ideal place to begin. Eat deep colored vegetables for the very best results.

Alex Fir provides proven tips on how to get beautiful, glowing skin. Find out more about how to stay wrinkle free here: anti wrinkle cream.

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How To Prolong Your Apple iPod Battery’s Life?

By Ricky Lim

The Apple iPod is the most popular portable mp3 player today. Like many users, I have been thinking of ways to prolong the lifespan of my Apple iPod battery. Here are 5 tips that will help to improve your Apple iPod battery lifespan.

Before I start, it is important to update your iPod firmware to the latest version. For example the iPod firmware version 1.2 provides better power management features for your iPod battery.

1. Backlight Settings

You can set the iPod backlight timer setting to minimum. I have set mine to 3 seconds. That means when there is no activity for 3 second, the iPod will turn off the backlight automatically. You can even switch it to off if you are using the iPod in bright areas.

2. Brightness Settings

For Apple ipod firmware version 1.2 and above, you should be able to access the brightness control. You can go then iPod Menu, then select Settings and lastly Brightness. By reducing the brightness, it can help to reduce the power drain from the iPod battery.

Unless you are watching videos on your iPod, I usually reduce the brightness to about 40 percent when listening to mp3.

3. Charging Your Apple iPod Battery

Try to avoid frequent full discharges because this can cause strain on your iPod battery. There is no harm in charging a battery even if is is not totally drained.

4. Keep Your iPod Battery Cool

Heat is the most common reason for the short life span of iPod battery. Try to avoid putting your iPod in the sun for long periods of time.

Always remember to put your iPod in sleep mode when you are not using it. This helps to save battery life.

5. Avoid Frequent Changing of Tracks

Since the iPod uses the same type of technology to store data as your computer, frequent changing of tracks means the iPod has to continuously access the internal iPod hard disk. In this case, the hard disk has to be continuously spinning and can reduce battery life.

By implementing these 5 tips, you can help to prolong the lifespan of your Apple iPod battery.

Ricky is an avid iPod fan who runs an iPod newsletter. Visit his site for more ipod information such as the apple ipod shuffle review.

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Top 10 Mistakes Homebased Business Newbies Make

By Britt Phillips

Sure there are countless home based business opportunities. There are multi level marketing programs, nutritionals, one up and two up plans. There are many niche based opportunities with something to appeal to anyone looking for where they fit in.

The enticement of course for most is the income they can generate as a result of the work at home program they sign up in. However joining a business opportunity in and of itself is not going to ensure your success. Here are ten very common mistakes most people make when getting started with a business opportunity.

1) Not carefully interviewing the company representative or sponsor prior to sending the money to sign up. This is where many future problems can be avoided before they even start. There are several important questions that should always be asked.

2) Buying in to hype without asking to see any proof of success. Does it really make any logical sense to sign up with anyone in any type of business opportunity that isn't having any personal success they can show?

3) Signing up with any type of program that requires a monthly fee or balancing act in order to qualify to earn money. Again, it makes no logical sense. In this scenario the only people who make money are the people who set up the program.

4) Signing up with a program or person that does not have a clearly defined marketing plan. This one is critical. Marketing is a key factor. And unfortunately 99% of the people pushing any type of MLM or business opportunity are totally clueless as to what it really takes to market online effectively.

5) Not having the right Internet Marketing tools. There are some really inexpensive and yet incredibly effective marketing tools available today. Unfortunately most people have not taken the time to prepare a list of tested marketing tools to pass along to their team to help ensure their overall success. This is not something you should have to find on your own. If you sign up with someone who has their act together they will already have these tools in place. They will be able to point you in the right direction.

6) Not taking full advantage of technology. Today there are remarkable ways to automate much of the sales process. It is insane not to tap in to what is available.

7) Listening to people who make it up as they go because it's all they know. There are many who fall into this category. Learn to use your common sense and BS detector to combat this.

8) Buying Leads!!! Buying leads has got to be one of the top mistakes the average person involved with any opportunity makes. Lead and list brokers will lie and have absolutely zero problem doing it. The only way to be sure the leads you get are fresh, targeted, and qualified is to generate them yourself. And even if you don't know how to effectively generate leads yourself, the person you interview should be able to show you their proven system that does not require you to purchase leads from a company or individual that is in the sole business of selling leads.

9) Idle promotion. By this I mean sitting back and waiting for the site traffic and sales to come. Many simply do not understand their is effort required to have success.

10) Laziness is last but far from least on this list. It's very simple. Those who put in the effort and put away the excuses are who will realize their dreams.

This is a short list. It's also a very accurate one. It's not meant to discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams. It's meant to paint a very realistic picture. Never give up on your dreams. Never let anyone talk you out of your dreams. And never talk yourself out of them either.

Britt Phillips is a self-made millionaire and one of the all time top income earners in the history of the Coastal Vacations business opportunity. Britt has been teaching students on his success team for eleven years. Britt devotes the time, energy, and effort into his team and works with them to ensure their success. To contact Britt Phillips call him direct at 804-897-2274 or visit computermillions.com

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David Copperfield - Still the Man!

By Dion Semeniuk

The Team at This is Magic had the pleasure of going to go see David Copperfield live on stage this past week performing his Intimate Night of Grand Illusion. All we can say is, WOW! David Copperfield if the man!

Where do we begin? Oh, how about the beginning of the show, that’s a good place. When you’re David Copperfield, you need to make a grand entrance and that he did. Out of no where, in front of the stage, in the blink of an eye, he appears in the flesh sitting on top of a motorcycle with his trademark looks and smile. From there on we know we are all in for one hell of a night of illusion and entertainment.

What made this show so great was his interaction with the audience. He would routinely throw out frisbees or large inflated balls at random to pick members from the audience to participate in his next effect so you knew nothing was pre-planned.

There were so many great tricks that he did and the comedy to go with it kept the audience in stitches. Who new David Copperfield was so funny? To keep this short we’ll highlight some of the standout routines from the night.

Body Through Steel

He dazzled us with him giving the illusion that he could pass his body right through a thick piece of steel (sort of the same illusion of him walking through the Great Wall of China). Very cool, and no idea of how he pulled that off.

Lottery Number Predictions

This effect had a lot of build up and story behind it. The story being about his grandfather not speaking to him because he wanted to grow up as a magician which his grandfather did not approve of. He did not talk to his grandfather for many years and he ended up passing away. But David remembers doing his first show at 15 years old and thought he saw his grandfather at the back of the room watching but was never sure. When he passed away, they found the ticket stub from that show in his grandfather’s home so he knew he was there to see him succeed. He then described how his grandfather always played the lottery and only owned 2 cars and kept the license plates of them and that he always dreamed of owning a Green Lincoln but never did. So he goes ahead and picks at random members from the audience to pick numbers between 1 and 50 and he sprays paint them on a big sheet on stage and as well asks them to tell them something personal about themselves as well and writes that down as well (there was a lot of comedy into that part as well).

During this whole presentation there was a case hanging above the stage that no one has touched and it was lowered down and opened up by an audience member which revealed a cassette tape and predictions in a bag. Of course, he plays the tape which has him speaking and rattling off the numbers the audience members chose and the papers reveal the personal stuff that the audience had told him.

And last but not least, he revealed the two license plates that his grandfather kept and of course the numbers on them matched the numbers written down as well. And for the kicker ending, he made the Green Lincoln car appear out of no where in seconds on the stage.

Transport Audience Member to Australia

Another grand illusion. In a nutshell, he took an audience member who apparently has not spoken to her father in years who had moved to Australia and wanted to reunite with him. No problem for David. He had someone sign his arm, someone take a picture of the audience members on stage holding a board that had a random picture on it and signed so that they could take that photograph with them to prove they were really in Australia on the beach by the ocean. Away they went into a booth above the audience, and poof, next thing you know they have a live satellite feed showing them on a big screen appearing out of no where showing her running around the beach and into the ocean. She then shows the picture of the audience members they had taken and David shows his arm with the same signature. Unbelievable and we know the writing of this trying to explain what happened does not do this effect justice, you need to see it to believe it. Then David leaves the beach and magically appears in the middle of the audience!


There were many other effects that we won’t touch on in depth but were just as worthy mentioning. Like the duck in barrel routine, very funny. The duck would disappear from a box and reappear in a barrel held by an audience member. Then he would do it in slow motion to show how the trick was done but not really. Another effect was in theory getting a girl pregnant without touching her, another comical routine. Also, having a scorpion pick a card from deck of cards that was the card selected by an audience member. And many others that we could go on and on about.

All we can say is if you ever get a chance to see David Copperfield live, go! You will not regret it as it is worth every penny! We had two standing ovations for him before he left the stage.

Dion Semeniuk is part of the team at This is Magic that continue to follow the current events in the magic community. For free magic tricks, please visit their Magic Trick Store website.

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SEO and the Fold

By Halstatt Pires

Most discussions about seo focus on getting into the top 10 of the rankings for a particular keyword phrase. In truth, the discussion should be about the fold.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It means the task and art of getting a site ranked highly under appropriate keyword phrases on Google, Yahoo, MSN and smaller search engines. For example, assume you have a site offering cruise ship booking services. With seo, the goal would be to get the site ranked under keyword phrases like “cruise trips”, “cruise bookings”, “cruise packages” and so on. The exact phrases would be determined by your keyword research.

Whatever the subject of your site, the search engine optimization efforts can lead to some dissatisfaction if you don’t understand something. People will slave over their sites or pay someone like myself to do it for them. The seo effort goes on and on for months. One day, your site pops to number 8 on Google for one of your major keyword phrases. Ah, finally! While you are browsing for your new Ferrari, you happen to notice you aren’t seeing massive sales. Furthermore, your traffic is up, but not as much as you had expected. What is the problem? It all has to do with the fold.

The fold is one of those terms that derive from the short attention span of we humans. Simply put, we tend to be lazy. This applies in a particular way when we search for something on the web. Go ahead and open another window next to this article. Now search for something. Now notice that you can only see three to four of the natural rankings returned by the search engine for your search. These rankings are above the fold. Anything you have to scroll down to see is below the fold.

The seo goal of being in the top 10 is somewhat misleading. Yes, a top 10 ranking will result in more traffic to your site. The real goal, however, should be a ranking above the fold. This means you need to be in the top three to four positions. A vast majority of people searching for something on Google, Yahoo and MSN will not scroll down to look at anything below the top three to four listings. If you can get your site listed above the fold, then it is time to start shopping for your Ferrari!

Halstatt Pires is with Marketing Titan - providing internet marketing services.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

American Idol’s Top 7 Lessons for Job Seekers

By Bonnie Lowe

The Fox network’s hit reality show American Idol (AI) is watched by millions of viewers. Whether or not you’re a fan of the show, it has some valuable lessons if you’re in the market for a new job.

After all, an audition is very much like a job interview, and the panel of judges are like hiring managers--some are encouraging, sensitive and polite, while others can be negative, insensitive and downright mean. (Fortunately, most hiring managers are more like AI judges Randy Jackson or Paula Abdul than judge Simon Cowell.)

Here are seven lessons job seekers can learn from AI:

1. Determine whether you’ve chosen the right career path.

Many of us fantasize about being a rich and famous pop star or rock singer. Very few of us actually decide to pursue that as a serious career path.

During the second episode of the 2007 season of AI, Simon said to one contestant, “This is not the career path for you.” That was actually kinder than most of his rejections, but he made a valid point. As with any type of job, just fantasizing about doing it is not enough. Even wanting it more than anything in the world is not enough. You have to be right for the career, and the career has to be right for you.

See related Lesson 3.

2. Research the position and the company.

This season a contestant told the panel he’d seen only one or two episodes of AI and wasn’t a fan. That’s like saying during an interview, “I haven’t bothered to read the job description or research your company. But I think this place sucks.”

Many contestants are shocked at Simon’s scathing comments. Haven’t they ever watched the show? They should not only watch it, they should record every episode and study every comment and decision made by the judges!

Doing research about the position and the company is one of the most important—and most often ignored—steps you can take to boost your chances of success. With the world of information available on the Internet, there’s no excuse for not doing such research.

3. Know your strengths and make sure you have the right skills for the job.

This is probably more difficult for AI contestants than regular job seekers. Some are clearly delusional about their singing talent (or lack thereof). But many are encouraged to compete by their friends, family members, and even singing coaches who rave about their abilities!

One female contestant who had been rejected by all three judges refused to accept their apparent failure to recognize her talent. “I’ve had 10 years of formal singing lessons!” she argued. “My coach says I have great talent!”

Don’t rely on opinions from family or friends -- or paid coaches whose motive is to suck your money by encouraging you to keep trying (and keep paying them).

If doing an accurate self-assessment would be difficult, try to get honest opinions from people who have no reason to spare your feelings, nor incentive to lie.

Discover your true strengths—and your weaknesses. Compare your strengths, talents and skills to those required for the position, and make sure they match.

4. Anticipate likely questions; prepare great answers.

“Why are you here?” and “Do you really think you can win?” are questions often asked of AI contestants. All should expect those questions and be prepared to answer them.

As with many job interview questions, they seem unnecessary because the answers should be obvious, right? But even with such simple, basic questions, the answers will vary quite a bit—and often give the interviewer good insights into the personality of those giving them.

Taking the “Do you really think you can win?” question as an example and compare these actual answers:

Contestant One: “Yes.”
Contestant Two: “Absolutely! I’ve been an AI fan since the beginning. I know what you’re looking for, and I’m going to rock your world!”

While some may think that second answer is a bit much, it made Simon and the other judges visible sit up and pay close attention—quite an accomplishment when you consider the volume of excruciatingly bad auditions those exhausted judges had already endured that day!

What you say is very important; but so is how you say it.

5. Personality matters.

The winner of AI is rarely the best singer. That’s simply not enough. He or she must also have a personality that fits the image of an idol; one that people will love.

Likewise, the winner of a job interview is not necessarily the person with the best skills. Personality matters. An interview is no place to be timid or low-key… or arrogant and loud. People want to hire people they like. Let your likeable (yet professional) personality show.

6. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get the job.

The odds of winning the AI contest are astronomical, even for extraordinarily talented singers. Yet many contestants are heartbroken, shocked, or outraged when they find out they won’t be receiving the “golden ticket” that allows them to advance to the next round. Some swear at the judges and even look ready punch someone (usually Simon) in the face (no wonder beefy security men are lurking just out of sight of the cameras)!

AI fans may remember William Hung. He was virtually laughed off the stage during his audition. But despite being unanimously rejected, he became sought-after and famous (for a while) in his own right. This would never have happened if he’d shown anger, disgust, or arrogance at not “getting the job.”

For every available job, there are likely dozens of highly qualified applicants. Accept that the odds are usually against you.

Disappointment is natural. But becoming angry at the decision maker will do you absolutely no good. Remain professional, receive feedback graciously, and think about how to improve your chances of winning the next job. You never know what other opportunities you may be sabotaging if you show negative behavior!

7. Don’t give up on your dreams.

Can you imagine if former AI contestant (and current successful singer and Academy Award nominee) Jennifer Hudson had given up on her dreams after being voted off the show during the third season?

Persevere! If you truly have the talent, skills, and passion to fulfill your dreams, and you’ve accepted the lessons of this article, don’t let anyone discourage you.

Go forth and live the life you’ve imagined!

Bonnie Lowe is author of the popular Job Interview Success System and free information-packed ezine, "Career-Life Times." Find those and other powerful career-building resources and tips at her website: http://www.Best-Interview-Strategies.com

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Beating the Dow with Bonds!

By Don Heggen

Beating the Dow with Bonds, is 1/3 of an extremely successful asset allocation strategy outlined in a book by the same name.

Numerous financial studies conclude that proper asset allocation, which is another name for money management, is responsible for more than 85 percent of investment portfolio results. Specific investment selection (buying one particular stock or bond over another) accounts for less than 15 percent.

In 1991, Michael B. O'Higgins, one of the nation's top money managers, revolutionized the investment industry by asserting that investors could beat the pros 95 percent of the time by putting 100 percent of their money into the "dog" stocks of the Dow. His book, Beating the Dow, became a bestselling investment classic and spawned an industry of websites and mutual funds, elevating the theory to legendary status.

In 1999, with equities dangerously overvalued and stock prices at an all-time high, the author turned his attention to bonds, providing a proven system for achieving the lowest risk, highest returns in, not only the then current chaotic stock market, but in any market.

Requiring less than five minutes per year, investors with as little as $5000 could beat the pros 95 percent of the time, regardless of market conditions.

Utilizing a simple, proven method for mastering the market by determining the best asset allocation investment choices among stocks, bonds, and riskless cash equivalents, the Beating the Dow with Bonds method provides a safer, more reliable way to beat the Dow, and outperform the pros, even when stocks go south.

A wake-up call for the equity obsessed, and an invaluable guide for the rational investor.

Because No One Cares More About Your Money Than You


Good trading,

Don Heggen

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How to Prepare for Your New Puppy

By Terence Roberts

One of the most exciting events for a family or an individual is bringing home a new puppy. Unfortunately, many people don’t organize themselves or their home for the new arrival. There are several things that can be done to make your puppy's first few hours in its new home pleasant and enjoyable. Most of the activities are very simple and will just require a few minutes of time and attention to complete.

Having the right supplies

The following items should be purchased and set up prior to the puppy's or puppies' arrival:

* Stainless steel or rigid plastic non-tip food and water bowls

* Crate of the appropriate size

* Soft, washable bedding for inside the crate

* Variety of chew toys and play toys

* Leash or lead and collar of the appropriate size

* Food that is the same as the puppy or puppies are currently being fed (same brand, flavor, etc)

In addition, depending on your house or puppy room area, you may also need to get some baby gates to contain the puppy in a specific room or to prevent them from going up or down stairs.

Safety considerations

Puppies are a lot like small children: they will want to investigate everything. Puppies learn by chewing and mouthing as much as they learn by looking and smelling. By spending a bit of time puppy-proofing your home you can be assured that your puppy will be safe. The following are puppy-proofing tips:

* Remove all electrical cords from the puppies' reach. This means that they may have to be disconnected from the wall and the appliance moved. Puppies may chew on the cord either at the wall or the appliance end so it is easiest to remove the appliance to protect the cord and keep the puppy safe if the wire is plugged in.

* Remove or pull up all hanging items such as tablecloths, floor length curtains, curtain or blind pulls, hanging plants or other items that dangle temptingly in the puppies' reach. Curtain and blind pulls are especially dangerous as they can easily become wrapped around the puppies’ neck.

* Remove all houseplants. Many common houseplants are poisonous to dogs. Unless you know for sure that the plant is not poisonous remove it from the room. Most puppies will naturally chew on plants, so if you want the plant to remain intact removing it's the best idea.

* Remove all shoes, backpacks, leather items, remote controls, cordless phones, children’s toys, stuffed animals, throw pillows or anything else that could potentially be fun to play with.

Remember that while puppies are very energetic, you don't need to puppy proof the whole house, just the rooms that he or she will be in unsupervised. Crate training is a great way to minimize the amount of puppy proofing that needs to occur to keep your new arrival safe and healthy.

Be sure that the puppy is allowed to settle into the area and that they're given appropriate times to go outside to relieve themselves. Puppies usually will need to go outside at least every three hours, and usually within 20 minutes of eating or drinking. After napping or after playing they'll also need to be taken outside. By allowing lots of trips outside and positively praising them for relieving themselves in the right area, you'll find that housetraining is not difficult.

Special care for puppies involves a lot of prevention. Be sure to get down on the floor and look around at what might be fun for a puppy to chew on or might pose a safety hazard. Have the food, water, toys and crate ready when your puppy gets home and you and your puppy or puppies will be off to a great start together.

Terry Roberts is a professional translator and linguist, with a wide range of interests. To read more about preparing to welcome your new puppy - and about dogs in general - visit his website http://www.livingwithadog.com

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