Perfectly Healthy Woman Panhandles As Car Accident Victim

NY bumWatched by news reporters, a perfectly healthy, woman, perhaps in her early 20s was caught panhandling.

How Did She Do It?

As her workday began, she would dress up as an old woman and hobble on a pair of crutches.  In fact, she was so bent over that her back was nearly parallel with the ground.  As she walked, she carried a paper cup in her hand for collecting cash donations.  By her appearance, pedestrians were quite convinced she was really handicapped.

This woman hung out on streets such as 5th Avenue in downtown New York.  She would only walk down avenues that contained eccentric stores as Gucci, Prada, Nieman Marcus, and Tiffany’s-locations where she knew that the more affluent and generous people shopped.

On busy days she would collect as many as 50 donations in one hour.  As she approached passer-bys she used lines as “Please help me” and those who gave, she thanked and said “God bless you.”

Confronted By News Reporters

She was secretly watched by a female news reporter for at least three days.  When she was finished begging for the day, she would commute on a bus out to Queens.  It was there where she parked her minivan and change into her normal clothes and then exited without the crutches.  She dressed in nice clothes and wore Ugg boots.

The reporter stated, “It’s a totally different looking woman that emerges when the van pulls over.  Why it’s a miracle, she is walking perfectly fine and the crutches are gone.”

Another reporter was told that she was paralyzed in a car accident.  He asked her “What happened?”  She responded, “Accident.”

The news team’s cameras recorded her crossing streets, meeting with friends, walking up stairs, and stopping as stores to shop as she carried a cell phone.  Finally the reporter confronted her and told her “We had been watching you for a few days and you don’t really need those crutches do you?  We saw you this morning walking perfectly fine.”

How did she respond to that?  She simply ignored the reporter and continued walking down the street.

My Advice

Remember this story.  Some bums are well-to-do people dressed up in costumes.

When approached by such a person, don’t be so eager to give them money.  If you see repeatedly see the same beggar hanging out in a specific location, this should raise a red flag.  If this individual approaches you, tell them you observed them numerous times and you are suspicious of them.  Suggest a place they can go for help.  Find out these locations.  If you’re able to snap a picture of with your cell phone, do so and submit it to local authorities.

For those who commute to work and back using public transportation, you should not have to be approached by panhandlers every day.  Downtown shoppers should also be able to shop without having to run into them.  Not only do they annoy people, but they hurt businesses in areas they hang out in.  By giving to a beggar, you’re only promoting such behavior.

OTHER ARTICLES BY CAN U IDENTIFY WITH THIS:

Mysophobia – About the Germ Fanatic

Gossiping Is Annoying and Immature

The Myths of A Compulsive Shopper

I Hate Overly Long CDs

Ten Ways to Become a Better Conversationalist

Mysophobia – Fear of Germs

"Wash Your Hands Often" - NARA - 514291

“Wash Your Hands Often” – NARA – 514291 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever known someone who had an extreme fear of germs?  Possibly, you know one who washes his hands compulsively, hates to be in public places where numerous people share objects (for example, libraries), dislikes eating food he didn’t cook, or refuses to shake hands with others.  Such a person is said to have mysophobia, a fear of germs.

Compulsive Hand Washing

I can relate to mysophobia because I consider myself to be mysophobic to an intermediate degree.  I am a compulsive hand washer.  Every little thing I do that may moisten or soil my hands in the littlest ways, I have to wash them immediately afterwards.  In fact, up until now, I loved antibacterial soaps until I heard they aren’t all they are cracked up to be.  Since I wash my hands several times a day, they feel overly dry, too warm, and a little coarse.  Maybe I should use hand moisteners instead.

It is mostly when I eat or handle food that I must wash my hands.  Every time I go out to a restaurant, I have to wash my hands before and after I eat.  Not only to destroy the potential of spreading salmonella bacteria, but to rid myself of the annoyance from soiled or greasy hands.  It makes me feel so unclean and like…gross.

What bothers me is when people eat then handle everyday objects without washing their hands.  Even though their hands might be perfectly dry, they’re spreading food bacteria onto things steering wheels, remote controls, door knobs, furniture, cell phones, computer equipment, and every other thing they fidget with.  I try to avoid doing this whenever possible.

Then there’s the real biter: not washing your hands after going to the bathroom.  I’m sure you’ve all seen people taking dumps in public restrooms and walking out like nothing happened.  C’mon people, what the hell is the matter with you?  How hard could it be to turn on a faucet and scrub your hands with soap and dry them off afterwards?  It only takes a minute or two!  To each his own!

Just think, the meal you order next time you eat out could have been cooked by someone who’s done this?  So much for the: “Attention all employees!  Wash your hands.  Dirty hands spread diseases.” signs.  They might as well be wall hangings as far as I’m concerned.

I guess that’s why they say, what you don’t know can’t hurt you.

Finally, what is really bothersome is having stinky hands, but no access to a sink.  I would go absolutely bonkers if I walked around or even lied in bed with sweaty or smelly hands.  It would totally distract me.  I wouldn’t even touch my remotes.  I could never get involved in any activity or even watch TV knowing that my hands were extremely unsanitary.  I wouldn’t even want to talk to others all the while.

And most of all…when I’m in public I always would like to wash my hands.  I hate sinks that don’t work, especially the motion detector type faucets that refuse to restart, making you try another one.  Restrooms without soap are just as bad.  Worse is when people who use the public restrooms trash them.  I just have a fetish about washing my hands and if I can’t find a sink, I’ll get upset.

Going to Other Peoples’ Houses

I often dread going to into other peoples’ homes if I don’t know whether they’re clean or not.  With people I know, that’s fine, but those houses I’ve never been to before, I must approach with caution.  I don’t mind clutter such as scattered books or papers so much but what I hate is odors and dirt stains, especially from pets.

Also, I dislike sitting on other peoples’ upholstered couches and chairs, especially if they’re smelly or soiled.  Leather furniture is best since it is nonabsorbent.

Having dinner at someone else’s house turns me off, unless I know them.  I hate to eat something not knowing if it’s cold or if it was cooked under unsanitary conditions.  When I am invited out, I’ll just try to ignore my fear and eat there anyway, but still, I’d rather hit a restaurant instead.  If I must eat over, I’ll come out and ask to use the microwave and usually people don’t think I’m a pain in the neck for doing so.

The worst I’ve seen is when someone leaves plates of food on coffee tables for hours or perhaps overnight.  I’ll turn my nose up to dirty countertops and tables.  Dirty microwaves are spooky too.  Piles of dirty dishes in sinks, especially if they’re partly submerged in murky water, makes me want to lose it.  If I see pieces of food and wrappers or food containers with light remains of sauce in them lying around, I’m like out of there!  I don’t care if I have to be rude.  I WON’T TOLERATE IT!  I hate lingering food odors.

Public Places

Of course there are numerous public places as shopping malls, libraries, airports, schools, and facilities that provide various types of equipment for use by the general public.  Job seeking agencies enable unemployed individuals to come in and use their computers while libraries offer books, CDs, DVDs, and computers for those who want to spend an hour online.

Most of the time, this equipment is a bit tattered and maybe abused.  Using public electronics is a big turn off, especially since you can never tell who has handled it and how dirty their hands were.  This is especially true of ATMs and pay phones.  All you can do is pray that the computer’s keyboards and mice are fairly clean and maybe you can bring some sanitary wipe cloths or rubbing alcohol just in case.

Hotels often receive a bad rap.  Along with TV remotes, the bed spreads are really unsanitary.  You never know was doing what on your comforter before you came; maybe a mother was changing her baby’s diapers.  Obviously, they’re not washed as often as the bed sheets.

Shaking hands with people you meet can seem creepy.  Likewise, you never know how clean their hands are and what they handled since they last washed them.  Still, I feel it is rude to refuse to shake hands, though I sometimes think of it as an unsanitary gesture.

Still, there’s another thing that’s extremely unsanitary: money.   As for dollar bills and coins, you don’t know how old they are and how many hundreds or thousands of hands handled them.  Some coins are found in dirty places like on floors or the ground.  However, when it comes to cash, we’re so happy to have it that we never stop to think about how unclean it really is.

Keeping My House Sanitary

I spend a great part of my time keeping my house sanitary.  When I watch TV in our den, I want to make sure that the chair I am sitting on doesn’t have any fowl odor.  Therefore, I keep a bottle of Lysol to freshen it up.  I just can’t pay attention to what I’m watching if I don’t even do anything about the slight odor.  I’m just can’t sit still until the room smells fresh.

Some days, I’ll wipe the remotes off with a soft dry cloth and rubbing alcohol.  I never eat in there.  I heard that the dirtiest things you can touch are remote controls.  Believe it or not, they’re more unsanitary than a flushed toilet.

My computer system is also my private domain.  I never eat while sitting at my computer because I would hate to put my moist, greasy fingers on the keyboard and mouse.  I keep them clean too.  Even the sight of fingerprints on smooth surfaces makes me think of germs.  Speaking of fingerprints, iPads and tablets have a nasty way of showing fingerprints.

Finally are my counter tops and tables.  If I see a food stain, crumbs, or a spot of food, I have to clean it off immediately.  Like some people are driven crazy by a slightly crooked picture on the wall, I can’t tolerate crumbs or spots.  I use a clean dish rag every day.

I mop the floor in my kitchen at least twice a week because I can’t stand to have my feet stick to the floor.  Once I find even the smallest stains, I have to wash the floor promptly.  Never would I let a dirty floor sit overnight.

Please Comment

If there are little things that drive you crazy, I would like to know about them too.  A few minutes of your time greatly attribute to my success on WordPress.

OTHER ARTICLES:

Atelophobia – Fear of Imperfection

Technophobia – Fear of Technology

The Myths of a Compulsive Shopper

People That Eat Too Fast

Those Who Are the Center of Attention

Ten Ways to Become a Better Conversationalist

Conversation by Patrick Bohnen

Conversation by Patrick Bohnen (Photo credit: Kraemer Family Library)

Doesn’t it seem like some people have lots of friends and others have very few.  You might say that it’s unfair.  However, you may have found some people are more fun to hang around with than others.  Why is that?  Well, it may be personal chemistry or the fact that they’re positive, upbeat people.  There may be many other reasons for this, but the one factor that I would like to zero in on is conversation skills.  Conversation skills often make or break potential relationships and may help or harm existing ones.

Why?  One who is fluent with words and can confidently express their feelings or insights on a specific topic and at the same time, entertain their audience, is a good conversationalist.  Such a person attracts people and makes friends easily.  Not only are they interesting to listen to, but knowledgeable on what subject they speak about.  Also, once one realizes they are good listeners, she is likely to turn to this person again and again for advice or feedback.  People will seek out that great conversationalist time and time again.

Before we can understand what makes a great conversationalist great, we must focus in on the poor conversationalists.  I would like to categorize poor conversationalists into two groups: the quiet and the blabbermouths.

Quiet People

The quiet person typically has nothing to say.  He just sits there silently and may or may not pay attention to what is being said.  Rarely, if ever does he have anything worthwhile to contribute to a conversation and when he speaks, his responses are usually monosyllabic in nature (“yeah” or “no”) or single sentences.  They usually speak in a monotone voice.

Getting this person to speak is a big challenge.  He’s like the “are we having fun yet?” type of person.  He appears to be apathetic and may be thought to lack intelligence.  It seems like he has no opinion about anything.    He often annoys people in one-on-one situations because he leaves it up to the other person to make all the effort in keeping the conversation going.  Such an individual is often a loner with few, if any, friends.

Usually, the quiet type is not too sociable.  If they see someone they don’t know or care for, they won’t stop and say “hello.”  Many of them are introverted.  Since they lack self-confidence, they feel it’s best just to remain quiet.  Some are shy and unwilling to volunteer to help others in need.  Likewise, if they see something that is going wrong in a public environment (such as a mechanical failure in the workplace), instead of reporting the problem to authorized personnel, they assume someone else will.

Blabbermouths

Then there are the blabbermouths.  Blabbermouths dominate conversations.  They are dying to get noticed by others.  Likewise, they don’t like to listen and may not care how you feel.  They talk and talk and talk whether you care what they’re saying or not.  At the same time, they go into great detail on subjects sometimes to the point where you want to tell them to shut up.  Some go on and on and don’t care if you get a word in edgewise.  Once you finally respond back, they interrupt you before you can finish.  Most of them can’t seem to express all of their thoughts fast enough.

Usually these people are extroverted and are rarely, if ever afraid to say what’s on their mind.  Such people are typically sociable and crave attention from others.

Blabbermouths can be subcategorized:

First are the whiners/complainers.  They just have to complain about something and in the meantime, assume you want to hear their personal beefs.  Most likely, they want you to feel sorry for them.

Second are the know-it-alls.  These are people with overinflated egos who want to convince you that whatever you know about any particular subject, they know even more.  Any experience you have lived through, they lived through a worse one.   Any place you’ve been, they’ve been there too and seen more than you did.

Third are the gossipers.  In order to gain recognition and approval by personal acquaintances, they put others down.  I cover them more in my article: Gossiping Is Annoying and Immature.   Unlike the other blabbermouths, they are willing to listen, hoping they’ll learn more about the people around them.

Fourth are the self-lovers (for lack of a better term).  Like the know-it-alls, they have false, overinflated egos.  While they like to go on and on bragging about themselves,  but deep down inside they feel insecure or unhappy.  They must justify that by trying to get others to notice them.  They are often annoying and don’t want to hear about others.

My Social Anxiety as a Poor Conversationalist

Up to my late 30s, I have been the quiet type.  Trying to find things to say was typically next to impossible.  Afraid of making a fool of myself, I remained motionless and quiet.  In social situations I seldom contributed to conversations.  Although I dreaded personal gatherings, felt too antisocial if I missed them.

While sitting at a table with others I was usually the only one with nothing to say.  This was especially true when coworkers would go out for lunch or drinks after work.  Work meetings were unpleasant for me as well.  I would listen to others and noticed everyone there had things to say, but not me.  As a result, I would become sweaty and shaky and turn red in the face.

I later realized I had a form of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).  Not only did I feel inferior in front of groups of people, but also felt that if I did one little thing wrong, I would be adversely judged by them.  I had a low self-esteem because it seemed like I had very few if any friends.  I have had jobs working in offices where I noticed coworkers stopping at each others’ desks and talking, but never stopping to talk to me. I was worried that people thought I was a boring person.

I remember going out on dates in my mid 20s.  On some dates, making conversation was difficult.  It’s like I let some potentially great women slide through my hands because neither one of us knew what to say to each other.  One woman even constantly fidgeted with her straw wrapper because she became bored.  Needless to say, we had only one meeting and that was it.

How to Improve Your Conversation Skills

Being a good conversationalist is a valuable personal art indeed.  This is one component of humanity that makes a person popular and successful.  Still, no matter how prosperous and well-liked people are, most everyone has room for improvement.

Making great conversation isn’t always easy because people have different lifestyles and interests.  Why some may be extremely compassionate about a particular subject, say astrology, others will find it absolutely boring.  Hence, there is no one formula for making great conversation, but there are tactics that can make a discussion more fulfilling.

Imagine that you see someone you don’t know but would like to get acquainted with.  How do you approach him or her?   Say you see someone of the opposite sex you might want to take out on a date, how do you strike up a conversation?   Or when you’re alone with someone you know and want to pass the time away talking.

As you already know, strangers are not willing to talk to others unless they have to.  Making small-talk or chatting about the weather never leads anywhere (unless perhaps, there was a bona fide storm in your community).

Here are additional tactics:

  1. Speak with emotion – Have some vocal variety in your voice.  Speaking in a dull monotone voice will never get you anywhere.
  2. Talk about something you have a genuine interest in – The more knowledgeable you are about a specific topic, the more prepared you are to talk about it.  Don’t pretend you know about something you don’t and don’t make assumptions.   After all, you don’t know who you’re talking to.  If you make a guess on how something works and the other person realizes that you’re “dead wrong”, you’ll look like a big horse’s ass.  For example, when CDs first came out, I guessed how sounds were transmitted by the players.  Though the signals are composed of only 0s and 1s, I thought every digit from 0 to 9 was used.   Little did I know, I was talking to a computer engineer.
  3. Present an object – If you have something in hand that people like to look at such as magazines, photographs or souvenirs, this is a good place to begin.  People love touching and looking at things, even the not-so-talkative folks.  If you do present an object to a stranger, keep it in good taste.
  4. Tell a story – People love to hear stories about tragedies, mishaps, or controversial subjects.  Likewise, they love to talk about things pertaining to their personal interests.  Nobody wants to hear about matters they can’t relate to or ordinary life stories.  They love to hear about setbacks or troubles one has experienced.  Such examples may be traffic accidents, run-ins with the law, or terrible mistakes one has made.  Subjects as politics and sports are great providing the other person has an interest in them and you remain neutral.
  5. Ask questions — By asking a question, you can solicit a response from the other person.  Such questions may start out with: “How do you feel about…?”, “Did you know that….?”, or “What if…?”   Ask only open-ended questions.  Yes or no questions drop a conversation dead in its tracks.  If you have trouble coming up with a question, ask someone something that you already know just to hear what they have to say.  If you want to know more about something, ask questions, but not unless you “get the ball rolling.”
  6. Follow the topic — If the person starts talking about another aspect of the subject, talk about that aspect too.  If you don’t know much about it, gently sway them back to the original subject.
  7. Be polite – Talk as if you’re talking to someone at a formal occasion such as a wedding or funeral.  Don’t use profanity or make sexist, racist, or any other negatively opinionated remarks.  Even though a subject may upset you, don’t get emotional, especially if they say something you strongly disagree with.  If you already know the person, you are free to them in their own language.  Don’t get sarcastic or run down people in other walks of life.
  8. Stay positive – People would much rather talk to an optimist rather than a pessimist.  By bringing up the positive side of an aspect, you give them a better impression of you.
  9. Don’t interrupt — Never, ever cut a person off before she is done talking.  After all, they would like to get their point across to you just as much as you would like to get your point across to them.  Interrupting them is a sure sign that shows you don’t care about what they have to say.  Also, never try to dominate the conversation.
  10. 10. Keep them entertained – Don’t bore a person with long, uninteresting details or technical jargon they’re not familiar with.  Talk only about things that are likely to affect them directly.  Use some humor, but keep it in good taste.

Join Toastmasters

If you’re an extremely poor conversationalist or you just want to improve your speaking skills, you may want to join Toastmasters International.  For those of you not familiar with this organization, they are simply a group of members who get together once a week to sharpen their skills on speaking in public.  This club helps its members overcome their fear of speaking in front of audiences while helping participants further excel in their professional careers.

Here you will give five to ten minute speeches, evaluate other speakers, or participate in table topics.  Table topics are random subjects each member speaks on for about one minute, but nobody knows what their topic will be until they are given it.  This teaches members to speak effectively “on their toes.”  Sometimes, you’ll be assigned to evaluate a speaker.  Best of all, people learn to speak by watching others and learning from their mistakes.  This is a great club and everyone has fun attending it including myself.  It has helped me sharpen my conversation skills.

Toastmasters Int. is a worldwide organization with clubs in most all major cities and suburban areas.  With a little research, you can find one in your community.  There is a fee to joining, but it is about $50 a year or less.

Learn, Learn, Learn

The more you learn about life and the world you live in, the more you’ll know.  The more you know, the better a conversationalist you will be.  Keep up on the news in your town and current events.  If you want to know more about a particular subject, research it or seek advice from those who know it well.  It goes without saying, the internet is a great source of information with social media sites (as Facebook) and libraries of articles.  Finally, listen to how good conversationalists talk and try to follow their examples.

Other Articles:

Gossiping is Annoying and Immature

Speaking In Front of an Audience/Brave Rooney

The Damaging Remark

Thou Shalt Not Compare

Small Ways to A Happy Life

People That Eat Too Fast

A typical fast food stand on Blackpool promena...

A typical fast food stand on Blackpool promenade. Ohhhhh this picture was used in one of my fave blogs – the ever lovely lifehacker!🙂 lifehacker.com/5332352/what-to-eat-and-avoid-at-chain-res… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us eat too fast.  How many?  That’s hard to say, unless you can find a study done on the subject, but there isn’t any as far as I am aware.  However, the total percentage of all people may be far greater than you might think.   In this post, I would like to alert my readers the dangers of wolfing down your food.  I feel like a hypocrite writing such an article, because I’ve done it all of my life.  I don’t know!  Maybe I was born with this habit.

Why Do We Eat So Fast?

Eating fast is a bad habit and one that many of us have developed over time.  But why do we do it?  Since I’ve done it for so many years, perhaps I could tell you.  There are several reasons:

  • We’re constantly busy –  That goes without saying.  Nowadays, most everyone is busy, especially parents that raise children, attend college, and work full time.  We’re constantly on the go and are trying to juggle multiple duties at once.  Even those that only do one or two of the above three things experience stress in their everyday lives.  If it isn’t our basic responsibilities, it could be activities we engage in outside our homes.  Say if we belong to clubs, like bowling leagues, this adds to our busy schedules, leaving us even less time to relax.  This is especially true for business men on the go who work long hours each day.
  • We’re activity-oriented –  Whether we raise families, go to school, or work over 40 hours a week, or perhaps do none of these things, many of us are still workaholics.  Whatever it is, we have something that we feel is extremely important to do.  This may mean maintaining our homes, building an online presence for ourselves (like blogging or making YouTube videos, etc), operating a home-based business, keeping up on the latest video games, etc, these things make us workaholics as well.  Anything we feel is an absolute must for us, it is our number one priority to make the time for it, even if we must skimp on our feeding time.
  • We must fit in a meal while running errands –  While this might overlap with the first two reasons, that is not always the case.  At times when we must do two or more errands under tight time restrictions, we may lack time to sit down and eat a decent meal.  This may be true for those who try to fit in scheduled appointments as getting a haircut, seeing a doctor, shopping for urgently needed items, picking the kids up from school, or any combination of duties requiring one to keep preset appointments or get things done by a certain time.  Although skipping lunch may seem like the thing to do, some of us can’t function so well when we’re hungry.  This is when we fit a meal in on-the-fly.  This is especially true when we’re running behind schedule.
  • We’re doing something else in the meantime –  Many of us eat while watching TV.  Other eat while driving, playing video games, solving puzzles, reading the news, etc.  During such activities, there are moments that require us to be extra alert and act quickly.  We might get cut off in traffic or some dramatic thing happens on TV.  Such events may make us want to quickly swallow that last bite so we can respond appropriately.  By finishing our food quickly, we can attend to our activities with clear minds.
  • We find eating too cumbersome or time consuming –  Those who eat fast aren’t always necessarily busy.  They just don’t have the patience to sit and chew food for minutes between bites.  Eating slowly seems so boring or a real big waste of time.  It’s like they believe they have something better to do, not always knowing what that is.  This is true for me.  Even though I’m not under any time restraints, I fool myself into thinking I am.
  • We anticipate what’s next –   Maybe it’s been several hours since we last had something to eat.  Possibly, it’s a particular food they have long anticipated to receive such as the arrival of a pizza they ordered over the phone.  Being in an environment where great varieties of appetizing foods are offered as a buffet or picnic brings great anticipation to big eaters.  Some can’t wait to finish what’s on their plate so they can move onto something else.  This may be true during food-sampling events.  It’s like: “Once I chomp down my steak, I want to try some of those desserts!”
  • We fear our food will get cold –  Just like coffee, food gets cold in a hurry.  Well it seems to anyway.  For some of us, there is nothing worse than eating cold food.  Yuck!   By gulping down our food, we can minimize the chances that it will.  Better yet, if your food gets cold, reheat it.  Most every house these days has a microwave.  Even if you’re eating at someone else’s house with a large group of people, it is much more polite to ask to use their microwave than to gulp down your food in front of them.
  • It’s a “learned behavior” –   Eating fast isn’t always associated with being busy.  Sometimes we just don’t have the patience to eat slowly.  This is especially true for those who live and/or work alone.  Since nobody sees them eat most of the time, they are free to eat in whatever manner they’re comfortable with.  After doing this for so many years, it’s become a habit and hence, we do it unconsciously.  It’s just like being a “led foot” on the accelerator of your car.  Remember, bad habits have a nasty way of hanging on.

 

I’ve Always Been a Fast Eater

Yes, I’ve developed a bad habit of eating fast since my early childhood.  Most everyone that I would come in contact with would be surprised or shocked because I would eat so fast.  They’re like: “How can you do that?”  I’m like: “You really think I ate that piece of food fast?  I don’t think so!  That’s my normal eating speed.”  My mother would always say, “You eat like you’re going to a fire?”

Why I eat so fast?  I don’t always know.  For me, it’s become a “learned behavior.”  It’s just the way I’ve always consumed food and I see nothing wrong with it.  A great deal of the time I can attribute it to all of the reasons above, but always making excuses for doing it becomes a cop-out and a way to convince myself that it’s OK and I need not change.   Still, a few people have complained about me eating too fast.

Finishing my food before others wasn’t so pleasant either.  All I could do is just sit at the table until everyone else was done.  In some cases I could excuse myself early, but I feel doing that all the time is uncouth.

I have a strong urge to wash my hands immediately after I eat.  That means, I pick up a piece of food and gulp it down so I could get rid of the wrapper or container it’s in right away and rush off to the nearest sink to wash up.  I hate eating and then handling something like a remote control or computer keyboard while my fingers are oily or soiled with food.  It’s just not sanitary.  Hence, instead of sitting down to eat something, I just make it a part of my walk around the house.

Bad Impressions Fast Eaters Create

However, eating too fast is just plainly uncouth.  “Inhaling” your food is bad manners and might give other the impression that you’re a pig.   Those who live with you may not think too much about it since they’re used to seeing you do that.  On the other hand, eating too fast in front of a perfect stranger might scare a potential friend away.

Whenever you want to win the approval of someone you don’t know (such as a date or business client) and you decide to discuss matters at a restaurant, you must not eat fast.  If your potential acquaintance observes that you gulp down your food without chewing it, they’ll get the impression that you only care about stuffing your face and are not concerned so much about them.   As a result, they’ll lose interest in you and will want to put a quick end to the meeting.

Eating fast might lead to sloppiness.  By shoving too much food into your mouth at once, you may end up dribbling it down your chin or spilling it on your shirt.  Neglecting to cut your food into bite sized pieces may cause bits of food to hang out of your mouth while trying to chew.  Not only are you being sloppy and gross: your attention is suddenly diverted away from the person who’s speaking to you.  If you happen to make a mess of yourself, as spilling food down the front of your shirt, you are suddenly under fire to clean it up.  As you do, you ignore what that person said and they’ll realize that you just weren’t listening.

If you want a second meeting with your new acquaintance, please, don’t eat so fast!  Not only will you gross them out, but you may shock them as well.  They might think you’re unscrupulous, selfish, and childish.  It’s like “Hey, this guy has no class whatsoever!”  If they find you’re a sloppy eater, they may doubt your competency in all other aspects of this potential relationship.

Health Problems Associated with Eating Too Fast

Apparently, eating too fast is very unhealthy because:

  • You tend to overeat –  This is because it takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to inform your brain that it is full.  The communication process between your brain and stomach is vital in controlling your appetite.  Hence, by gulping down your food, you’re sending a massive amount of calories into your body-a lot more than it really needs.  Imagine you’re ordering a pizza.  You are famished and want it delivered ASAP.   Would you call every pizza delivery service in town to ensure you receive one promptly?  Of course not!  You would end up with more pizzas than you can possibly eat.  Eating too fast has this same effect.
  • You risk indigestion and weight gain –  Now you have an excessive amount of food in your stomach, making the digestive process more difficult than it needs to be.  Your natural hunger and fullness signals have been delayed, leaving you to depend on your desires and emotions to tell you when it’s time to quit.  This often leads to indigestion and excessive weight gain.
  • Frequent bowel movements –  By eating too fast, you are putting more food into your body than it needs.  What does your body do with the excessive food?  It sends it out as waist.
  • Heartburn and acid reflux –  Anyone who eats too fast is prone to developing gastro esophageal reflux disease or GERD.  Excessive acid from the stomach splashes up into the esophagus which leads to heartburn and chest pain.
  • Flatulence and bloating –  If you shovel down your food, you are also swallowing excessive air with each bite.  Not only are you increasing your chances of getting heartburn, you now have a large quantity of food in your stomach forcing it to expand.  Meanwhile, your body needs a way to get rid of that extra air.  This is when flatulence occurs.

This is just an analogy of eating too fast.  Imagine you’re working on an assembly line assembling florescent lights and your job is to insert the light bulbs (you are the stomach).  Once some fixtures reach your station, you discover the light sockets are not securely in place or the wiring is coming undone (the poorly digested food).  This is because the guys ahead of you (the teeth and the saliva) aren’t doing a very good job inserting their parts (chewing the food).  Before you can insert the bulbs, you must fix their negligent work.  Needless to say, you are becoming fatigued and overworked (indigestion) unless you return the faulty work to those responsible.   How would you feel about your job?

Do you still want to continue to eat fast?  If not, keep in mind that digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach.  Your teeth need to do their share of the work to make further breakdown easier for the small intestines.

Conclusion

It is best to make each meal last for 20 minutes.  Again, this is the amount of time it takes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full.  Simply, lay down your fork or piece of food (such as a hamburger) between bites and take some extra time to chew thoroughly.  Take sips of water between bites.  This way you can savor and enjoy your food more.   Also, don’t do anything else when you’re eating.

Gossiping Is Annoying and Immature

English: Gossiping Taken from the churchyard. ...

English: Gossiping Taken from the churchyard. This group of riders chatted for a good ten minutes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever we find out that something has gone wrong in someone’s life or someone made a big mistake, we all would like to know all the details about this.  Also, some of us strive to find out everything we can about coworkers, family members, or friends by becoming extremely observant, or nosy, should I say.  I like to refer to these people as “fault sniffers”, commonly coined as gossipers.

My Foster Mother Was a Gossiper

I was raised in a foster home of 8 children.  Our mother was very critical about every one of us and our flaws.  It was like, if one of us developed a problem, even at 4 years of age, we would more likely have that problem for the rest of our lives.  If there was something we were not so good at or if we made some kind of silly mistake, she would blab about it to the rest of the family and to even her relatives.  Even if you were just a young kid, say under 10 years old, every little stupid thing you’ve done was treated as if it were a traffic violation or crime that went down on your record.  Mom was evil, critical, and would deliberately do things to cause friction and humiliation within the family.

Even as we reached adulthood, our mother would never stop gossiping.  She felt that since she raised us, she indefinitely owned us.  After we had all left home, she would come and visit us frequently.  Whenever she was over, she would ask us lots of questions and poke around through every room in our homes just to see what she could find.

Surely enough, each one of us has made some kind of decision that she disagreed with.  For me, I had purchased my first home in 1988 and decided to have a young couple move in with me as tenants.  Because they were not so wealthy I allowed them to live there for $150 per month, especially since they agreed to do most of the work around the house.  Mother felt that I was being taken advantage of and told me I should charge them $300 per month, which was more than they could afford.   She told me how I should handle all my affairs including groceries and utilities.  I stood firm on doing what I thought was right.  So what did she do?  She circulated this news among the entire family.

She was the ultimate news source.  I would hear all kinds of interesting news from her as she criticized decisions others had made.  For example, if someone purchased a large ticket item she thought was lucrative (like a TV, etc), she would tell everyone about it.  One of my sisters sold every piece of furniture they had so her husband could fly down to Texas.  She had to tell everybody about that.

Finally, with everyone my mother had met including our spouses and friends, she had to find out as much about them as possible.  As for my biological sister’s boyfriend, she would ask me numerous questions about him, where he was from, his lifestyle, etc.  It’s like she had to know everything about everyone who crossed her path.  She was hoping to discover something extremely unusual or wrong with them.  I saw this as a sign of insecurity or inadequacy on her part. By finding fault in others, this may have made her feel better about herself.

Why People Gossip

Why do people gossip?  It surely doesn’t take a PhD in psychology to answer this question.  Not only must we satisfy our yearning to find about others’ mishaps, but to also justify for our inner feelings of inadequacy.  The more we can find out about our everyday atmosphere and the people in it, the greater the sense of power we feel we have.  Once we gather a great wealth of information, we can’t wait to share it with everyone in our social circles.

Through gossiping, some people acquire a false sense of self-esteem.  By finding out as much as they can about what others are doing and what’s happening in their neighborhoods, communities, and workplaces, some feel they have an edge on everyone else.  Once they pass on the pertinent info they discovered, they get a great feeling inside as they believe they won the approval of others.  To them, it is an assurance they’ll strengthen their casual relationships and be recognized as a knowledgeable person.

Our Natural Curiosities

We like to find out as much as we can about our neighbors.  So we do things like listen for noises going on outside our homes, observe how people keep up their yards, gaze in the windows of homes after dark, or scope out other peoples’ possessions as cars, boats, etc.  Once we gather some info, we chat about it with others to see how they feel and hopefully, find out even more.

Like we observe our neighbors, we love to find out what goes on in our community.  It all begins with watching other drivers on the road.  Some of us love to gaze in the windows of moving vehicles to see what other drivers are doing (like talking on a cell phone) or who is driving.  If we see a motorist whom was pulled over by the police, we would like to know the details of what exactly happened.  Traffic accidents raise our level of curiosity even more.  We have the tendency to slow down and inspect the scene to see what vehicles were involved and what damage has been done.  Oh how we wish we could have seen the accident when it happened.

Not only do we observe drivers, but we look for enviromental changes too.  Construction sparks our curiosity as well.  For example, if we see a building going up, we’d like to know what it will be.  As for road construction, we’d like to know why they’re tearing up the road.

No matter where we are or who we’re with, we have a strong desire to find out unusual things about somebody.  Now, I mean some extremely weird things!  The more unusual these things are, the greater it sparks our curiosity.  It may begin with witnessing a street fight, seeing someone knock over a shelf of things in a grocery store, or sighting someone who just got pulled over the by police.

This natural curiosity dates back to our grade school days.  If someone has an usual mental of physical disability, we would like to know as much about it as we can.  If one or more of our peers failed miserably in school or even flunked a grade, this sparks a great amount of curiosity as well.

It continues on throughout high school and into our working years.  Most everyone has a natural curiosity towards their coworkers, the amount they earn, and their lifestyles.  Most of all, workers poke their noses towards their managers and everyone else above them.  They’re curious to know as much about the upper management levels of their employer and how their company is doing.  These workers will poke their noses everywhere they can and find out as much as they can through observation.

We would like to know how well others’ perform their jobs, their work habits, and their lifestyles.  So what do we do?  We observe the behavior of others and listen hard to the things they say.  Also, there are some people that attract our attention more than others.  Maybe it’s because we really like (or dislike) their appearance, we hear things from or about them that excite us, or maybe it’s just a sense of personal chemistry.  If there’s someone that you’re extremely curious about, chances are you’ll find out things about them without poking your nose at them.

Although they would like to be on one of the top rungs of the ladder, getting there often requires a lot more skill and expertise than they believe they have.  Since this is true, instead of envying those above them, these coworkers look for ways to cut their superiors down, just to make themselves feel better.  This is why employees group together and go out to lunch or congregate after work, someplace off the employer’s premises.  Many will hit a bar after work just to have a few drinks as they are more inclined to share what is on their minds.

It all boils down to one thing: coworkers wish they could have as much authority and earn as much money as their superiors.  For those coworkers who feel they’re stuck in a hopeless rut, they’ll find any way possible to demean those above them.  Through gossiping, workers seek social approval from their friends.

Covering Up for Our Inadequacies

Everyone has an inadequacy of some kind.  Whether we want to admit it or not, there have been some things we have done or some things that happened to us that we are not too proud of.

Such examples are having a troubled childhood, getting a DWI, being fired, becoming a victim or rape or robbery, finding out our significant other is cheating on us, losing money on a scam, and the list goes on and on.  Maybe it was a big mistake we made resulting in a large loss or great damage, such as making a bad investment.  Negligent acts that were our fault or embarrassing mishaps betray us as well.

Likewise, it may be a personal weakness, a fault or flaw, or physical defect we have that causes us to feel insecurity.  It may be an attention deficit, behavioral disorder, depression, unmanageable anger, recklessness, or habitual negligence.  Possibly, one is unhappy about their appearance making them insecure.  One may feel inadequate become she doesn’t have many friends or has nothing to say during a social gathering.  Maybe, there was a situation where one was treated unfavorably because of a flaw he has.

How do we cope with our imperfections or misfortunes?  We like to find out about others who have experienced the same things or possess the same flaws we have.  Hearing about mistakes others have made makes us feel better.  This is because we realize we’re not the only one who has had this happen to.

A great number of people are humble.  Whatever happened to them, whether it was their fault or not, they are willing to share their stories.  Even if it is a quirk they have or something stupid they did, or an incorrect conclusion about something, they’ll openly talk about it.  For them, it is a great way to get what is bothering them off their chest.  Expressing these things also arouses the interest of those they speak to.

However, there are times when we never find out what others have experienced.  This is where gossiping comes in.  Gossipers have the natural tendency to phish for information by asking people questions or eavesdropping in on them.  In some instances, people discover flaws of others without even trying.  For instance, one may witness a celebrity or an authority figure doing something really stupid.  Once they capture some sensitive facts, they can’t wait to share them with their friends.  Not only is this a feeling of gainfulness, it is a search for approval from them.  Hence, gossiping serves as a way to gain a social boost.

Spreading Rumors

What is a rumor?  As defined in the Webster dictionary, rumor has more than one meaning:

  1. Talk or opinion that is disseminated to others with no discernible source.
  2. A statement or report made without a known authority to verify its truth.

Why do people start rumors?  I have read many stories about classmates or coworkers spreading rumors throughout the school or workplace about someone, especially untrue stories.  All these stories boil down to one thing: jealousy.

The main reason rumors are started is to raise some kind of excitement.  Maybe it’s because they can’t find something else better to do.  Most of them would like to see something in particular happen, usually something bad or negatively arousing (such as a business going under or somebody getting fired, etc) and they’ll try to get others stirred up at the same time.  They will in turn make up some type of story stating that it’s really happening.  At the same time, they love to observe peoples’ reactions to their story.

Let’s pick two fictitious characters: Jill and Sue.   Jill, who is struggling in algebra, realizes that Sue is a math whiz.  Jill then becomes envious of Sue and seeks out a way to cut Sue down.  As a result, Jill might make up a story about how Sue cheats on a math test in order to get a passing grade.  By spreading a rumor about Sue, Jill hopes she will boost herself image and raise herself into the social spotlight.

Rumors might be used to sabotage the goals of others.  Once someone finds out that another is attempting to make a positive change, like seeking a promotion or marrying a certain person, this person may pass a rumor against the goal seeker(s).  More likely, the one who starts the rumor wishes he could do the same thing, but has no prospects.  Out of jealousy, he may attempt to derail the other person’s goals.

 

Speaking In Front of an Audience / Brave Rooney

Only Rooney is the only student who  has the courage to read his poem in front of class.

Only Rooney is the only student who has the courage to read his poem in front of class.

Brave Rooney, written by Gerry Renert and illustrated by Barry Gott, is a book for children based on a story how a boy without superhuman powers voluntarily performs a task that those with such powers refuse to do.  The book is 50 pages long with easy to read text and colorful, animated drawings.  This online publication was merely written to persuade its readers, children under 6 years of age, they must not fear speaking in front of an audience.

Children are naturally self-conscious when having to get up to speak in front of class. This is just an in-born fear of being made fun of that kids can learn to overcome. Rooney shows his bravery by volunteering, without being told to do so.  The point conveyed in the story is that talking before an audience is never as hard as it seems.  In fact, once you’ve presented your personal story before others, people are more likely to like it rather than criticize it.  In the end, Rooney proved that he had one power that even the Caped Crusaders lack: bravery.

Every day, children do dangerous things just to prove to themselves and to others how brave they really are.  Gott illustrates examples of such perilous stunts undertaken, as shown on page 9, which are: 1) a child that flies up into storm clouds, 2) a girl attempting to stop the driver of a motorboat who just ran over a kid, and 3) a girl who climbed to the top of a nearby tree just to blow out a forest fire.  While these illustrations are unrealistic and grossly exaggerated, they are so to emphasize their meaning of courage.  This raises a question:  If children have the natural tendency to engage in very dangerous activities, why are they too afraid to get up and speak in front of a group?

This story intends to set a fine example for children to follow.  Although Rooney could have attended an ordinary school, he chose to attend the Captain Majestic Memorial School instead.  Not only is Rooney commendable for being brave enough to recite his poem, but has taken the initiative to do so, even though his teachers are absent.  Children must learn the value in what they are required to do and do it willingly, without having to be told.  Doing more that what’s required is a great virtue that children can possess.  If an ordinary human being (whom needs a nurse) can present his poem aloud, why can’t those with superhuman powers do the same thing?

Brave Rooney is a book that can be found in the children section of most any library.  It can also be read online for free by visiting the MagicBlox site where other free books are offered to children of all ages.

The Myths of a Compulsive Shopper

English: DC USA, Best Buy, Black Friday

English: DC USA, Best Buy, Black Friday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I absolutely love shopping.  In fact, I once was a compulsive shopper until I was swept over the dam with credit card debt.  Shopping, especially for non-food items can become habitual and even addicting.  As for some, it can go way too far, even posing as a severe financial endangerment to those who can’t control themselves.

Although, not every compulsive shopper is exactly the same, there are common modes of thinking that bring on this habit.  Having been one myself, I have written this post to bring its readers deep into the ecstatic world of the compulsive shopper, the way I see it anyway.  As the expression goes: “It takes one to know one” and I was one (and deep down still am)….so I should know.

Just a head’s up, this post is rather long but well sectioned off.  Therefore, you are free to read the whole thing or just the parts that interest you.

Why We Shop

Shopping serves as a vehicle not only to obtaining more possessions, but also as an enjoyable pastime.  It is believed to be a means of filling many of the voids that make our lives seem unpleasant or unfulfilling.  By having all the nice things we long for, some of us tend to think we will attain an eternal happier standard of living.  Some of us may be convinced that having more will make us quite powerful or more socially acceptable.  To some, by having more, we can overcome the blues and maybe even eliminate the harsh blows life deals us in the future.  Still, others are deeply set into changing trends or styles and feel the need to keep up.  Shopping can be an attempt to “keep up with the Jones.”

The real truth is….shopping doesn’t really change our lives at all.  In fact, it may make our lives worse, especially if we go deeply into debt.  Those with the strong urge to shop compulsively refuse to see the financial damage it can do to us, especially if we must use credit cards to support this evil habit.

My Compulsive Shopping Experience

I loved shopping in the 1980s.  I would mostly shop for CDs or clothes.  Whenever a good album would come out, I just had to get it as if I don’t get it now, I never will.  Having superb audio and video equipment was nice.  I would go into Best Buy and other electronic shops, even when I didn’t need anything urgently.  When shopping for clothes I would look through any store that I could get to conveniently by bus such as Woolworths, Target, K-mart, Sears, JC Penney’s, etc.  I would go through racks of shirts, pants, or jackets imagining that having these clothes would make me a much happier person.  None of these things really changed me whatsoever.

Finally, with my urge to shop came the denial of potential financial trouble.  I figured since I had a steady job and have always made my payments in the past, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to pay my bills on time in the future.  Wrong!  Now I say that going into debt is like consuming too much alcohol.  You never see it coming, but eventually builds up whether you feel it or not.  The next thing you know, you’re totally out of control.

Following are some myths compulsive shoppers might create:

Myth 1:  I must shop to be happy.

Just think of your previous shopping experiences.  Most likely, most, if not all of them were enjoyable:

  • Maybe you were just happy to get out of the house.
  • Driving around your community and investigating any changes was interested you.
  • Walking down the halls of the mall just to see what stores were currently there.
  • Observing the holiday decorations and being a part of the atmosphere.
  • Finding great deals on things you want.
  • Comparing different brands of the type of item you’re looking for.
  • Expecting good deals on days like Black Friday or the day after Christmas.
  • Sorting through racks of clothes and finding some you really like.
  • Discovering products that you didn’t know existed.
  • Watching other shoppers to see what they’ll do.
  • Coming home late in the day with the great feeling that you really accomplished something.
  • Opening your newfound treasures and using them right away.

Past joyful experiences encourage shoppers to shop even more in the future.

However, if you hate traffic and shuffling your way through crowded malls, shopping online may be the thing for you.  Although shopping online lacks the tangible experience of traditional shopping, it is still fun in its own ways because:

  • You never have to leave your home.
  • You need not have to bring your children along or find a sitter for them.
  • You can find the best deal by browsing several retailers sites-all in a matter of minutes.
  • You can read reviews on various products before making a purchase.
  • The feeling of satisfaction you get once you’ve placed your order.
  • You can anticipate the arrival of your new product soon.

If you spend a great deal of time on the internet, most likely, you have certain sites that you love to buy from.  From sites as Amazon and eBay, you anticipate great deals and can find almost anything under the sun without going from store to store.  At the same time, you can shop for items you cannot afford now, but expect to in the future.

Even if you only shop online, you still can be a compulsive shopper, especially if past online shopping results were fantastic ones.  It can be habit forming all the same and some do it continuously because they always have.  Online shoppers are no different when it comes to their wants and needs and the feeling of accomplishment they get from shopping.

Myth 2:  Shopping will make my life more pleasurable.

Shopping brings on a temporary state of bliss.  By having many of the newest and niftiest gadgets around, your home life is likely to be a happier one. For example, you have a stereo where you can plug an iPod into, a Karaoke machine, an Xbox 360, and perhaps some dazzling new lamps to brighten up the living room.  Now your household is a much more pleasant atmosphere and it will be from now on.

It’s now a dream-come-true or a story that ends with the line “and they lived happily ever after.”  The truth is, that one day the thrill of these new household additions will be gone, perhaps long before the bills are paid.

Myth 3:  Shopping might improve my social life.

So maybe you want to make your home more cheerful and charming so when people come over, they’ll truly enjoy themselves too.  Maybe by updating your wardrobe, you’ll give your coworkers and friends a better impression of you.  And if you’re into the latest movies, books, or music, you’ll have something to talk about at work.

For example, a woman can browse through a rack of “cocktail dresses” and be amazed at how nice some of them are.  She will then get the strong urge to buy a few as she envisions herself going to parties or on cruises while wearing them.  The truth is, if she rarely if ever goes out, her fantasies will never come true.  These dresses won’t magically make that happen.

Deep inside, you may have this urge to “keep up with the Jones” to convince family members or friends that you are just like them and once they see that, you’ll win their approval.  The real truth lies not in what you have but who you are.  If you feel you don’t fit in with society as well as you’d like to, having a lot of the latest things won’t make any difference.

Myth 4:  Shopping can make me a better person.

BULL!!!

Most, if not all of us, would like to take on a new hobby, learn a new skill, or become more educated about a particular subject.  These days, there are lots of books, videos, and kits that encourage learning or developing skills.  All of these products come in shiny, new boxes with fancy, eye-catching artwork on the covers as a means of convincing shoppers that using their product is easy, fun, and will promise them instant success.  All you need to do is follow their simple instructions and “presto”, you are now an expert at whatever it is the manufacturers or publishers aim to teach.

For example, a woman sees a new food processor and believes she could cook like a chef with this new utensil.  If she always wanted a food processor, such a purchase would most likely benefit her.  On the other hand, if she never used one before nor ever needed one, this appliance will collect dust in her cupboard.

Another example may be a man who stumbles upon an iPad while shopping at an electronic store.  Though he never had the use for one, he can’t pass up this irresistible deal.  Maybe it could help him keep up to date with the newest gadgets on the market or make browsing online handy when he’s not at his computer.

Yet another example may be a mother who wants to teach her children more about animals, so she buys them educational videos on these subjects.  If her kids lose interest, these videos will add to the closet clutter.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great do-it-yourself tools and media packages out there, but they won’t change your life.  Only you can do that.  Doing so means dedicating long, hard hours with a great amount of perspiration, but even then, there’s no guarantee that this product will be a total success.  Not too many people realize this and therefore lose interest in them fast.  Sooner or later, these once glittering, shiny products end up sitting on closet shelves losing their luster and collecting dust.  Exercise equipment is another great example, especially if these contraptions can be handily stored under beds.

Myth 5:  I only want a few more things and I’ll be totally satisfied.

I’ve told myself that over and over again over the years, but something seems to keep coming up that makes me want to purchase something else.  Maybe it’s a new MP3 player, a particular shirt, a new computer printer, or what have you.  You’re thoroughly convinced that you need absolutely need this thing NOW or you won’t be totally satisfied.  Next thing you know, you’re out shopping for it and stumble upon other dazzling things on the way.

Sometimes it’s best to creatively make do with what you have rather than opt for the next best thing.  However, if you should buy this “thingy”, whatever it is, your need has been sated but soon you might realize you didn’t really need it after all.  Maybe it isn’t quite what you expected but you feel you have no legitimate reason to return it.  Next thing you realize, your budget is running low and you regret making that extra purchase.  Now what?  If only you held off a little longer, you could have gotten it when you could really afford it.  Remember, more than likely this extra thing you need will still be there a month or a year from now.  You can always get it then.

18 signs you may be a compulsive shopper:

  • The main reason you get the daily paper is to see the ads.
  • You shop frequently on lunch breaks.
  • You’re never satisfied, you always want something more.
  • You turn to shopping because you’re bored or depressed and there’s nothing else to do.
  • Keeping up with the latest styles in anything is of utmost importance.
  • You love to impress others by showing them things you’ve recently purchased.
  • You arrange time to browse through stores while running errands.
  • You continuously observe what others have and become envious of them.
  • You’re not totally happy about your life and dream a lot about the type of person you’d like to be, or the lifestyle you like to live.
  • You measure your self-worth on what kind of possessions you have and judge others by things they own.
  • You’re very materialistic.
  • You continuously compare yourself to others.
  • Making the most of the holidays is extremely important to you.
  • Just to get the best deals, you’re willing to wake up as early as 5:00 am.
  • Standing in long lines for something doesn’t bother you.  If you must camp outside a store, you will.
  • Collecting complete sets of things is a big priority for you.
  • Your house is so cluttered it’s hard to walk around.
  • Clipping coupons and comparing prices in flyers seems to be a bigger priority to you than anything else.

Thank you for reading and I do appreciate your comments.  If would like to leave me a comment, tell me what you liked or disliked about this article.  If there’s something I left out or you disagree with, let me know.

HAPPY READING!!!!

I Hate Overly Long CDs

Cover of "Saturday Nights"

Cover of Saturday Nights

Growing up in the 1970s I used to listen to a countless number of records.  That’s the time when albums were short and sweet.  Almost all albums we had consisted of well-crafted songs that you would never suspect were made just to help fill up an album.

Songs on the more finely made albums seemed to have a common theme, like they all were meant to fit together.  For example, Elton John’s 1970s albums such as Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player, Honky Chateau, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Captain Fantastic, etc. each seemed to have their own unique setting, uniformity, or subject matter.   Hence, a song from Don’t Shoot Me… wouldn’t seem appropriate if it were on Honky Chateau or vice-verso.

Many artists’ albums seem to have their own theme as well. That’s the way I saw it anyway.  Maybe that was my imagination.

The Thrill of Buying an Album Disappeared

Buying or receiving record albums as gifts was such a thrill back in my teens.    Whenever I’d see a thin, square-foot item wrapped up with my name on it, or even just in a plain, brown, shopping bag, it was obviously a record.    When shopping for an album, especially a big seller, it seemed like I just had to have that album, as if it would change my life drastically for the better. If I didn’t get it right away, it was like, I never will in my whole lifetime.  I couldn’t wait to tear it open and play it.  And it was like I didn’t want to wait to hear it any longer than I had to.

During my teens, I spent a lot of time listening to records.  I liked music so much that I drove my siblings, mother, and friends crazy.  Yes, my brothers and sisters would razz me about the excited behavior I would display when getting an album.  Not only was listening to an LP fun, but checking out the artwork. Sometimes an LP would have a pleasant unique smell of its own, as if it was the cardboard or the inks used to make the pictures.  Following along with the lyrics was great, especially when you come upon a line that made you stop and say, “Is that what they’re saying there?”

Now, it is no big deal.  Why?  I feel this was a thrill I’ve outgrown.  Today, an album is just an album and you have to have some patience and open-mindedness to get to enjoy it.  No album will ever change my life, no matter how good it is.

LP’s Once Dictated an Album’s Content

Before 1985, most albums were still predominantly available on LP.  As we all know, the typical record holds up to 45 minutes worth of music or less, but sometimes a little more.  While some albums had as little as 28 minutes, the average I would say was between 33 and 36 minutes in length.

In the days of LPs, each artist had to have enough songs to fill whole disks-either produce a single album or a double album, but not an album and a half.  On some releases, a band might have had about an hour’s worth of songs, which was too many for one album and not enough for two.  Either the artists must ditch a few these songs or create more to fill a second disk.

When mixing greatest hits albums, the limitation of the LP created difficulties for some artists. For the more popular bands, a single album was barely long enough for all the material they wanted to include, but a double album was like, so long that they would have to throw in extra songs from somewhere just to fill it up.  Buying a 2 record set often meant paying almost twice as much as a single album, and the higher cost alone may lose many fans’ interest.  Therefore, many greatest hits releases crammed in almost an hour’s worth of music onto one LP, causing them to omit tracks and/or make shorter versions of their popular hits.

I could think of a few albums where time was a limitation.  For example, when Led Zeppelin released In Through the Out Door in 1979, the group had to leave out some songs.  Those excluded songs appear on their much later Coda album.  That same year, the Eagles released The Long Run which they wanted to be a double-album, but did not have enough songs.

Still, somehow, Deep Purple managed to make their release: The Deepest Purple (a greatest hits album) that clocks in at almost 64 minutes.  This was a single LP of 12 songs that held over an hour’s worth of music.  I never thought they could fit that much music on a single LP.  Add an extra three minute track to the Deepest Purple album and it will have a total running time similar to the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street album (approx 66 min on a double LP set).  Strange huh?

Since the late 1980s, albums have expanded greatly in length.  Since the LP was dismissed, artists were free from its time limitations, especially since cassettes and CDs could hold more material.  Now, an album could be any arbitrary time length and can include exactly as many songs as the band chooses without major time restraints.  Still, this is not necessarily more entertaining for music listeners.

Short Albums Vs. Long Albums

However, the shorter albums had one little downfall: once a side of an album ended, it was time to flip it over.  Although each side typically held 15 to 25 minutes of music, the music seemed to last only a few minutes.  That meant that a listener had to stop whatever he/she was doing and flip the LP or tape over and continue playing the other side.  What an inconvenience that was.  Those who had record changers could listen to six albums at once, but before the days of auto reverse cassette decks, tape listeners had to stop to reload their players.

Over the last three decades, rock music has phased out as it has been replaced by R & B, rap, alternative, heavy metal, etc.  Without the restrictions of the LP, artists have been free to make their albums as long as they desired.  Since the 1990s longer albums have become a popular trend amongst musicians.  Hence, single albums over 25 years ago usually contained 8 to 12 songs, rarely ever more.  Now a typical album rarely contains less than 15 tracks and has an average playing time of 50 to 70 minutes.

Modern-day, long albums usually suck.  Just listening to one band play for over an hour becomes monotonous.  Trying to listen to some of these albums (or CDs), all in one sitting can seem to be torturous.  It’s like, if you want me to listen to an entire album you’ll have to tie me down to a chair.  The total material on some of these newer albums seems to be watered down and extra long.  When it comes to content, more is not necessarily better.

On the other hand, when you’re playing a game, working on a project, doing chores around the house, or what have you, you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you’re less likely to pay total attention to the music.  While that may seem to be OK with old albums, that still doesn’t justify the boredom and monotony of newer releases.  Instead of well-crafted tunes, some of these post 1990 albums contain some songs that were haphazardly thrown together with mediocre melodies and excessive instrumentation.  Even though you’re really busy, this music will tend to drive you nuts sooner or later.

Examples of Over-Long Albums

I don’t like to do any finger-pointing to upset my readers, but I feel the need to provide some examples.  In 2008 I purchased the Counting Crows Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings CD which rambled on for about an hour.  Toooooooooooo long.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the Counting Crows, but this album didn’t measure up to their earlier material.  I could never listen to that whole album in one sitting.  That’s just mental torture.

What’s with all these long albums anyway?  Does one musician make them just because all the others are doing it?  Are record companies motivating their bands to make long albums?  Is there a specific ploy somewhere that an album must contain over 55 minutes of music (if that’s what you wanna call it)?

Along with long albums in the early 1990s came another silly perk: 10 minutes of silence.  That means right before the last track begins, there is a long period of nothing, no sound at all.  I’ve had two CDs with this nifty little feature: Nirvana’s Nevermind and Cracker’s Kerosene Hat.  OK, I get to what I thought was the last song and instead of stopping, the CD continues spinning on and on.  Did the CD player not know the CD was over or is something wrong with the disk itself?

So I inserted Kerosene Hat into my portable CD player.  It gave me a listing of 99 tracks at 72 minutes and 51 seconds.  What?  Ninety-nine tracks?  Its label only says 15 as songs 13 and 14 are silent.  Whew, this CD has almost 73 minutes of music on it, but what’s with the 99 tracks?  Actually, there are only 62 minutes of material here, but that is still long.

What’s with the 10-minute silence before the last track?  Apparently, this has been done on other releases from the early to mid 1990s.  It’s just one of those perks that tells the listener something like, “Hey, there’s a hidden track at the end of the CD.  If you’re patient enough to wait for it, you’ll get to hear it.”  So what do you do during these 10 minutes?   Well, you can flick the track advance buttons or play something else in the background as you wait.

It’s like saying, there’s an extra room linked to your house that you may not know about.  The only catch is, you have to walk 10 miles underground to get to it.

OK, I could have made this post 10,000 words long but I didn’t.  I could have included a lot of petty details about excessively long albums and rambled aimlessly, repeating myself.  Would that make this article more interesting?  Absolutely not!  Who wants to read a ten page insert whose subject matter could be covered in two?  Nobody!  That’s how I feel about overly long albums.

The Damaging Remark

Have I Offended Someone?

Have I Offended Someone? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As humans we love to laugh or do things to just for kicks, but sometimes we take our silly efforts just a little too far.  When we don’t mean to offend the person we aim our toy dart at, we take it for granted they realize that we’re only kidding.  Unfortunately, what I’d like to refer to as the insultee (the target of the insult) isn’t always on the same page the offender is on.

Sometimes we would like to give another person feedback, but expressing the right words can be challenging.  Though we mean no harm, the recipient of our message may take what we say the wrong way.

In either case, our innocent little chat turns into a destructive insult.  Once the “blow” has been delivered, taking back what we said becomes nearly impossible, unless the offensive comment was dealt because of a misunderstanding.

Why?

People are basically sensitive and insecure to some degree.  Most everyone is likely to take everything they hear seriously.  Everything you say to someone is taken as nothing but information.  Also, we respond to all comments we hear as if they were commands.  We naturally try to do what we should do to make people happy and avoid offending them.  Because we truly want to do right all of the time, we take everything we hear seriously.

Delivering a carelessly misfired comment can seriously damage a relationship.  I heard it said, a friendship is created by many acts but destroyed by one.

Why We Insult Others

We crave excitement –   Doing the same thing day after day and behaving properly all the time becomes mundane.  Though we’ve been conditioned to always do right and mind our manners, we know that by being good or nice all the time will not reap us a reward in the end.  By giving others a “hard time” we can create a little excitement for ourselves and them too.

We become fed up  –  There are a countless number of things we dislike in others.  Examples of such things may be: the way people dress, poor hygiene, different personality types, cultural behaviors, others’ attitudes, habits, selfishness, smoking, those with physical flaws (as obesity), and the list goes on and on.  People think and act differently than we do which sometimes is hard to accept.  When we become fed up with differences between us and them, we emit insults just to vent the way we feel.

We seek approval from others – This is especially true in the workplace.  Some feel that to prove that we are worthy to their peers, will put others down to win their approval.  This is where gossiping comes in.  By acting as an information source, we aim to boost our own self-worth and make people believe we are on top of everything that is going on.  Once we earn others’ approval, this entices us to do it more and more.

We love to laughLaughing brings us excitement.  Making others laugh makes us feel clever.  We also feel better about ourselves.  Also, we tend to laugh about annoyances  in our everyday lives such as doing poorly on tests, getting chastised by superiors, lying about our bad habits, the destruction pets or children do, cultural behavior, etc, etc, etc.  Laughing is a free form of entertainment and an assuring way to brighten our day.

Why We Get Offended

There are numerous reasons why people get offended by some comments.  Each individual has their own unique collection of past experiences that shape their current ways of thinking along with unique personality traits.  Likewise, we had to deal with certain people who have their own flaws and quirks.  We’ve all made some really bad mistakes that often resulted in crucial damage.

Considering all these factors combined, we all have developed our “trigger points” or things that set us off.  In time we accrue a big collection of misfortunate events that when added together sum up to a negative image of ourselves.  When people say or do things that remind us of our misfortunes or faults, we then become offended.  That’s because the negative traits we learned about ourselves have been reinforced.

I can state numerous examples.   Girls who were molested and raped as kids are likely to become easily offended by others who act like their predators even in minor ways.  Children who were abused by their parents may be ashamed of their childhoods and be easily insulted by comments pertaining to child abuse.

People Are More Sensitive Now Than Ever Before

Over time, we’ve become a society that is quite eloquent at being sarcastic. Now there are even more idioms or figures of speech used to express specific types of people or certain kinds of events commonly encountered than ever before.  We’ve nearly modified the English language with a big collection of slang expressions and truncated words that adversely describe people or things.

We are also living in a society of declining morals and values.  People have become ever more freely inclined to express their inner feelings and desires.  Manners and respect for others have diminished greatly.  Respect for authority figures as the government, lawyers, or the police force has turned into combativeness or defiance.

As I see it, we are becoming a tired and overworked society that is fed up with others who benefit through their own greed or laziness.  Rather than making an honest living, some have developed unscrupulous strategies to become rich.  One great example is computer hackers.  They make using cyberspace tougher every day and ruin our peace of mind.  Sometimes we are tempted to do similar things to get ahead.

Unfortunately we can’t get ahead.  So what do we do?  We develop resentment towards those at the top, or the wealthy class in general.  We look up to them in jealousy, envy, and even hatred.  As a result, we feel insignificant and seek out ways to fight back.  One great example is insulting celebrities.  So we don’t have the musical talent or looks they do so what do we do?  Insult them.

At the same time, we live in a materialistic society where we can have whatever we want if we know how to get it.  We’d all like to become rich with as little as effort as possible.  We’ve been spoiled by all the modern-day conveniences and often refuse to live without them.   We’ll do anything to improve our standard of living.  Such examples may be cheating on our taxes or hurting retailers through stealing or deceptive merchandise returning tactics.  Everyone else does it, why can’t we?

Most of all, respect for our contemporaries has diminished.  We become selfish and inconsiderate.  Some cheat on their spouses while others take advantage of their employers.  Children defy parents or school authorities and may react in violence.  Sexual desires are more openly express now than ever before.

We freely speak our minds and act how we want to.  We are more inclined to put others down and do so on impulse.  It’s like, we aren’t happy unless we are constantly bashing someone, either in our minds or out loud.  As everyday life becomes harder for us, we tend to hurt the ones we love as a means of venting.

What does this all boil down to?  A ruthless, cutthroat society!   Because of this, insults are being flung around more than ever and people are treated rudely or unfairly.  Such behavior only leads to trouble.

With our quest for revenge and our thirst for wealth, many of us turn to the legal system, especially those who feel they’re potential targets of unfair treatment.  Women, senior citizens, the handicapped, and minorities have commonly been victims of discrimination and unequal treatment.   Adding sexuality into the equation, there has been an increased level of sensitivity in our society.

More than ever before, employers must carefully adapt policies to prevent abuse. People must be more careful about what they say and do to prevent offending others.   Advertisers and retailers must be careful on how they word their ads so there are no sexual or racial implications.  Those who feel they are likely to be maliciously treated become overly sensitive to things people around them say and do.

Emails have also become an offending means of communication.  Each message conveys a certain tone.  Although the sender of the message did not mean to be sarcastic, solemn, or angry, the recipient may believe it was meant to be. The two are definitely on different wavelengths.  Relationships at work have been damaged because of this.

If you must send someone an email, put in a few positive lines like, “How are you doing?”  or add a line of good news.  Tell the person that you appreciate their effort.  Just find something positive to mix in with your message.

Mopping Up the Mess

The damage we do to others is often far greater than we realize.  Though we only meant to make a funny or sarcastic remark, we see it in our minds that what we said was simply that.  Nothing more.  We assume the recipient of the comment will see it the same way, but that is not always so.

Typically, the recipient feels flattered or hurt by the remark.  The insultee will feel guilty as if she failed to deliver on an obligation.  She will also and believe that the person who made the remark see her as inferior.  She is then convinced that the offender intentionally meant to be cruel.  Her past experiences and flaws are likely to add to her anguish.  Her self-esteem will take a great blow as well.  The damage can penetrate far deeper than the insulter will ever know.

OK, the insulted party can be a male as well.

If the remark is not incident-related but about herself in general, she will become even more insecure than before.  She will wonder what she did or said that gave the insulter the negative impression.

After the damage has been done, it’s usually too late to say “I’m sorry.”  That doesn’t always get it. “I’m sorry” often sounds like flattery.  It’s kind of like being ignorant to the laws.  The worn out phrase, “I didn’t know….” will not likely let the offender off the hook.

If the insultee is a loved-one, the insulter can often make good on the situation, but there will be a period of resentment between the two that will take time to heal.  If the insulter admits he was wrong and attempts to make good, that serves as a great gesture.  Still this may not totally fix the damage caused.

OK, the insulter can be a woman too.

If the remark was made to a friend, relative, coworker, or other acquaintance, the damage may be worse.  Even if the offender resolves the problem satisfactorily, the hurt will not be entirely gone.  The offended will get over it, but their relationship may never be as strong as before.  This is especially true if the insultee never believed the insulter would ever do or say such a thing in the first place.  From now on, the offended will only act with caution to prevent this same situation from happening again.  She will brace herself from getting hurt again.  However, the bitter memory will always be there.

Practicing Damage Control

Think before you speak.  Plan to say what you need to say in a way that it won’t be taken offensively.   If you really want to tease someone just for a laugh, make it clear that you are only kidding.  You can do this by adding a chuckle to your comment or talking in a humorous tone.  Think about how your remark would affect one if really meant it.

Other damage prevention tips:

  • Limit your humor and kidding to someone you know will tolerate it.  If you have a good friend or family member that you both kid around with each other, then it’s OK.  If the person is a BS’er and loves to give you a hard time, you both can exchange silly remarks, but even then, try not to cut too deep.  If the person you’re bullshitting recently done something hurtful or embarrassing, like got a DWI, filed for divorce, got fired, etc,  avoid kidding about this subject.
  • Don’t kid people about personal flaws or bad habits, such as obesity or alcoholism.
  • Limit your kidding to your time at home or at a casual social event.  Refrain from kidding at family gatherings, special interest events, school, or work.
  • Kid only those that you personally don’t have anything against.  Make sure they know you would never deliberately say something to them to be cruel.
  • Try to be tolerant of others and don’t look down on them just because you disagree with something they do.
  • Don’t kid casual acquaintances unless you know they can take it.  When around relatives or coworkers, act politely and keep quiet about their flaws.
  • Don’t gossip or talk behind peoples’ backs.  If this kind of talk catches up with them, it could spell trouble for you and possible ruin a good relationship.  The offended party may no longer feel they can trust you.
  • Finally, remember the person you would like to razz is not necessarily on the same wavelength as you.
  • Don’t make derogative remarks about famous people, the president, races, religion, trends, peoples’ habits or behaviors, etc, especially in front people you don’t know.

Practicing good damage control techniques can save relationships and lots of grief.  Also, it can save you from singing the blues later.

COMMENTS ENCOURAGED.  Hopefully that covers it.  If there is anything I said wrong or left out please let me know.   Don’t tell me this post is good or bad, but why it is.   Thank you.

 

Positive Thinking – Part 4: Fine Tune Your System

English: Jack Dorsey and Barack Obama at Twitt...

English: Jack Dorsey and Barack Obama at Twitter Town Hall in July 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning:  This is a very long post, but well sectioned off.  If you have limited time, just read the sections that interest you.

I’ll say it again; it’s hard to think positively when you have problems in your life.  Carrying on day after day can become hectic, especially when working, going to school, and raising a family can tire you out.  Life seems so hopeless because whatever you try to do, you never can seem to get ahead.  Each day, you’re struck with more bad news and the more you hear, the less likely you are to be happy.  Trying to save enough money to pay your bills and save for what you really enjoy seems virtually impossible, especially when things keep breaking down.

It is likely you feel hopeless and trapped in a stagnant world, however, I don’t blame you for feeling that way.  Is the atmosphere out there polluted or are you looking through a dirty window?  While you can’t clean the outside air, you can wash the window that you peer at the world through.

Instead of feeling hopelessly strapped down, you can do a little “spring cleaning” in your life.  Here is where you get creative.  Figure out some new strategies to make your life run more efficiently.  Try something new.  Find contemporaries you can associate with that are having the same problems as you.  Change the way you handle your daily routines.

Learn Something New

Learning something new is great, even if the newfound skill or info doesn’t improve your everyday life.  We all lack skills or knowledge in one area or another.  As we become aware of this lack or deficit, we may not feel good about ourselves.  Rather than allowing this black hole to handicap us, we can find a way around it.

For me, such a subject was breeds of dogs and cats.  I could look at numerous cats and dogs, but I can’t identify their breed.  Although this was a subject that never interested me whatsoever, I thought it would be great to know more about them.  I would just feel stupid if I came across such an animal and couldn’t tell you what it was.

As a means of becoming acquainted with the various breeds, I purchased a dog book and wrote a blog on several types of dogs.  I even posted poems about each breed on my Publish N Prosper blog, hoping this would attract more readers and educate myself as well.  It’s only been a year now and before then, I never heard of half of these breeds as the Basenji or the Whippet.

The point is, my knowledge about cats and dogs was below average.  Just by studying these breeds, I am now familiar with an area I knew next to nothing about.  So, if there’s a skill you lack or a certain subject you’re totally in the dark about, you need not feel self-conscious about it.  All you need to do is find a book or search the internet on that subject.  Take at least 15 minutes a day to review this topic. Talking to those who are knowledgeable about it can help greatly.

Becoming bright in a once-dark subject will make you feel better about yourself.  You’ll be able to function well in related activities.  This in turn promotes positive thinking.

Polish a Finer Skill

Now focus one of your stronger areas.  We all have a particular skill or knowledge base in one area or another.  So, your gifted asset has helped you launch a successful career or has made an admired member of a social network of others who share that same interest.  No matter how skilled we are in a specific area, there is always room for improvement.  Either it can be an aspect of that trade you never really cared about or changes in trends affecting your trade.  Find ways you can polish your strong suits even more.

My greatest skill is writing.  Although I feel I do it well, I can always do better.  Not only must I write well, but I must make my articles interesting.  Hence, I must find subjects that are sure to inspire my audience.  This means staying current with the news and reading articles others have published.  Keeping in touch with the outside world and changing trends of writing will ensure better quality articles on my behalf. By seeing how others write, I can improve my method of blogging as well.

Not only must I find great subjects, but keep my writing style sharp.  Learning and using new vocabulary words may convince my readers that I am quite intelligent.  Embedding up-to-date concepts into my articles shows my readers that I am up with the times.  For example, this may be “tweets” as in Twitter, “likes” as in Facebook, “dashboard” as in WordPress or other copycat applications, etc.  Polishing up on grammar and punctuation will sharpen my posts as well.

Whatever you do, don’t let your finest skill go to your head.  So, up to now, you’ve seemingly attained undefeated success.  That doesn’t mean you’re a god in your trade.  No matter what area you excel in, there are always going to be new trends or methods of doing things.  It is up to you to stay current with the changes.  What was considered a superb job in the 1970s and 80s is most likely worthless today.

My father worked as a carpenter in the 1960s and 70s.  If he was still alive and in good health, I’m sure he would continue to remodel homes.  The only thing: he would use the same building techniques now that he learned back then.  Why?  He felt that his methods were the best since they always worked fine.  For example, drywall and boards that were once fastened by nails are now fastened with screws and/or glue.  He would laboriously hammer nails rather than use a power driver.  It was like he thought, “I am so great at carpentry, I have the world on a string”.  You couldn’t tell him differently.

No matter how well you do something, be open to constructive criticism.  Never think that your shit doesn’t stink.  Don’t adhere to the ways you learned to do things.  Be open to changes and you’ll do even better.  Network with others that share your same interest.  They can teach you great things.

Polishing a fine skill will impress others and keep you competitive in your hobby or trade.  Being sharp and on top will help you land a good job and/or win people over.  This in turn promotes positive thinking.

Keep Your Living/Working Environment Clean and In Order

More than likely you’ve been in peoples’ homes or workplaces and found things strewn about and unorganized.  Some people just hate cleaning.  They figure that since they know where everything is, why tidying up the area?

Having a cluttered and disorganized living space only makes things worse.  If you allow things to pile up into a system only you can figure out, sooner or later, you’ll pay some kind of price for your sloppiness.  One day you’ll need a particular tool or a specific document and wind up spending hours tearing the place apart looking for it.  So you thought you knew where that “whatchamacallit” was?  Guess again!

Those who live in chaotic, messy homes often have low self-esteem.  They abhor getting up in the morning and facing their messy house.  Worse yet, they despise the thought of taking the time and effort to clean up the place.  To them, it’s just a chore and they hate to work.  Others may fear that cleaning up a messy place will only uncover other problems as dealing with unwanted paperwork, fixing broken doors, etc.  Overall, they become tired of looking at their mess and might feel hopelessly trapped within it.

Office workers with messy cubicles may set themselves up for problems on the job later.  They may dread coming into the office in the morning and looking at a huge pile of paperwork.  From their point of view, it’s just going to be another hectic day.  As a result, they’ll lug themselves through the day the best they can and hope that time will fly by quickly.  Not to mention frustration on the job and a negative image they’ll develop.

Disorganization will cost you time and money.  It can seriously handicap your work efficiency.  It will also give others a negative impression of you.  Also, it will make you less happy and not so proud.   There are no two ways about it.

I’m not saying I’m a neat freak, but I try to be.  Sometimes I let papers accumulate in piles, but I don’t let these piles grow too big.  Other times, I’m searching for a tool because my system of tool organization is not totally consistent.  Worse yet, I allow things to pile up in drawers and cabinets.  As a result, I might buy something I already have, because I forgot I still have it, such as a bottle of aspirin.

Once I had to fix a clogged drain in the kitchen.  This of course meant removing all of the contents from the cabinet below.  I pile so many things under there (including shopping bags I intend to reuse) to a point where the cabinet space is packed.  Upon cleaning out the cabinet, I discovered there were four boxes of detergent for the dishwasher, all unopened.  Needless to say, I was spending money on things I already had.

Cleaning up your living and work space will make you feel better about yourself.  Waking up to a clean house will make you feel good.  You will be convinced that all your chores will be done and today will be another fulfilling day.   Reporting to work with a clean office will boost your confidence and make you feel prepared to handle any problem that comes your way.  You may dread the thought of cleaning the place at first, but you’ll enjoy it once you have begun.  The time out and effort required will definitely pay off.

Best of all, having a clean living and work space might even give you the feeling of living in a brand new home or working in a new office building.  This in turn promotes positive thinking.

Fix Something That Is Broken

Finally, fix anything that is broken.  This may be a poorly working faucet, a door coming off the hinges, an appliance that makes strange sounds when it’s running, etc.  A lot of people dread the thought of doing repairs on something they know little or nothing about.  Some fear they’ll only make the situation worse so why bother?  Others may worry about what it may cost to have a professional fix it.

Living with nearly inoperable devices only causes aggravation and inconvenience.  Knowing something doesn’t work right only makes one feel worthless. Likewise, it gives others a poor impression of you.

Owning a house, I have dealt with a number of repairs.  I have fixed clogged drains, leaky faucets, minor electrical problems, and a conglomeration of other things.  Although I wasn’t always successful, I learned a lot from my attempts.  A great amount of what I learned came from hardware owners or clerks from building supplies stores.

There is a bright side to this.  Even if one fails in his attempts to repair something, he will always learn something about the broken down…whatever it is.  While attempting repairs, one thing leads to another and sought out advice is easily found.  Even novices learn valuable things from trying to repair things, even if they do not succeed.  Eventually, one will find a way around his problems after seeking out the expertise of others.  Once a breakdown is repaired, the owner will feel good about his success.  This will give him confidence in fixing things in the future.

After a broken device is fixed, in the end you will feel great about it.  You no longer have to live with the drudgery of putting up with the inconvenience from it.  Most of all, you won’t feel worthless because this “thingy” is not working right.

That in turn promotes positive thinking.