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.


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.