I recently wrote a critique of Dr. Ken Cooper’s “12 Steps to Good Health.” One reader suggested that I offer my own 12 Steps to Good Health.
So I did. Enjoy.
1. The WELLNESS REPORT
Subscribe to the AWR and read a total of 12 editions. This should not be difficult. Subscriptions are free and all 763 previous editions are readily accessible, electronically. It won’t matter which twelve you choose – any combination will set you on the path toward a REAL wellness mindset. If you doubt this, look into the eyes of veteran readers, notice how they carry themselves, their ease and harmony, their effervescent vapors and comportment valves, their self-poise, independence, candor and free spirits. Don’t overlook their embrace of reason, love of exuberance, enthusiasm for athleticism and love of mental as well as physical freedoms.
2. Reassess Your Mindset
This is especially critical if said mindset is not an original.
No matter how comfortable you may be from having gone along to get along, it could be that your ideas really suck in the grander sense of things and, most vitally, do not enable the enlightenment or level of happiness you might otherwise enjoy. Of course, maybe your mindset, regardless of beliefs in impossible things and ludicrous rules, are just dandy per your way of seeing things. Either way, you still might be better off on the whole if you take a close look at what you were told about life’s persistent questions, to borrow a phrase from Guy Noir, Private Eye, the fellow who once inhabited the 12th floor of the Acme building on many a dark night in a city that knew how to keep its secrets.
(In case you’re puzzled by this reference, it’s a famous line from regular skits featured on Garrison Keillor’s much loved “Prairie Home Companion” radio show.)
3. Minimal Exercise
Beginning today or, if it’s late at night and you need your sleep, tomorrow, go out and exercise for at least 20 minutes with no fewer than five pace pickups, raising your heart rate for 30 seconds to a minute. Do this daily for the rest of your life. Doesn’t matter if you walk, run, bike, swim, row – whatever, just do it every day. Naturally, best if you mix it up, make it fun, dress appropriately for the activity and find others to join you, if socializing while exerting appeals – whatever it takes to keep a commitment to a daily exercise regimen.
4. The Best Diet
Experiment with and, if you can pull it off, become a vegan, or as much of one as you can manage. Only a relatively few (6% of Americans at present) so disposed can pull it off, myself not included. I’m a mostly-vegan who caves now and then to the lures of gruyere cheese, egg whites, shellfish and cream in coffee. Ecotopia is not the goal. A vegan diet is great for your health (e.g., weight control), there are unlimited yummy possibilities and, most important, it’s essential for a better environment. The extent of animal cruelty alone warrants giving veganism an earnest attempt; so does slowing global warning via reductions of emission-heavy animal agriculture. The appetite-whetting possibilities will excite and delight your taste buds.
5. Heroism, Your Style
Perform a heroic act. There is no official definition of a heroic act. I use the term to describe an epic and triumphant experience. In order to accomplish such an experience, that is, moments in time when, after a period of months of disciplined preparation, you complete that which was challenging, special and meaningful, in your eyes, and celebrate the fine-tuned state that you’ve managed, with a little bit (or a lot) of luck, and with support from special aiders and abettors and much hard work via energies wisely expended. The possibilities are rich and varied. A heroic act has only a few criteria and these are but suggestions – you of course can set your own standards. I recommend the heroic act be something physical, that it requires at least three months of preparation, that it’s difficult but possible and even enjoyable in some ways (besides when successfully completed) and that it not be a one and done deal. That is, once you have completed one heroic act meeting these criteria (or your own), follow up with another – once a year, every two years or whatever feels right.
Don’t be tempted by or lured into extreme quests, such as racing non-stop up the Empire State Building, finishing an Ironman triathlon, climbing Mt. Everest or playing in the NFL or NBA. For most of us, such quests would be unrealistic. Choose something possible, but arduous and demanding, yet within your range.
Just know that, to accomplish heroic acts, you’ll have to do a lot of what it takes to land a gig at Carnegie Hall. (Hint: practice, practice, practice.) Good luck.
6. Conscious Meaning Re Life
Ponder and decide on the MOL, that is, the meaning of life or, alternately, the meaning and purposes of your life, at the present time, until new information and insights come along. There is value in bringing to conscious awareness what you believe about why you’re here, if indeed you decide there is anything more to your presence than improbable good fortune, or not such good fortune, depending on how you feel about living.
In “Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder,” Richard Dawkins writes that the fact that we are going to die makes us the lucky ones. Here’s an excerpt wherein he makes this case for this claim:
“Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.”
So, buck up folks. Suppose you are too rational to accept the idea that a sky god put you here for a purpose. What then? Let reason be your guide – adopt a set of purposes for your life that will keep you going in good spirits. Maybe you’ll decide, like Ingersoll, that there is meaning and joy contributing to the happiness of others. Perhaps you will find ways to nurture and express your talents, thereby “reaping your greatest reward in being loved by those whose lives you have enriched.”
The possibilities for human flourishing via personally satisfying, challenging forms of meaning and purpose based upon your unique character, talents, personality and circumstances are nearly unlimited. It’s up to you.
7. Healthy Models
Surround yourself to the extent possible with others who seem to have embraced wellness mindsets, that is, people who take good care of themselves, are positive and kind, cheerful and realistic. Also favor those who are optimistic, embrace the common decencies and look after their families, friends and associates. Oh, and also be partial to making friends with people who carry on in ways consistent with reason, exuberance, athleticism and liberty.
In the midst of such company, having and sustaining good intentions will be much easier.
8. Daily Learning
Invest time and energy, more so than ever, in learning and exploring. Pursue education and new activities that broaden your perspectives. Doing so is invaluable at all ages, but more important than ever in the later years. This is a time that too often invites slowing down as important body parts and organs become trouble spots, to put it mildly. Thus, renewed gusto should be summoned and directed at creative ways to sustain and even escalate the vitality that a REAL wellness mindset invites. Think of the possibilities out there as if the world were (for it actually is, sort of) a massive museum. Check out the vast collections on offer, and be a traveling dilettante experiencing the kaleidoscope of arts, history and culture, science and nature – so many choices.
Live it up – you can’t take it with you, since you’re not going anywhere when you die. Be courageous and don’t shy from looking realities in the eye. Keep in mind that you will soon enough become infirm, your mind will expire before the rest of you and you’ll become a burden on everybody, though few will let on. By putting the fact of death out of mind as much as possible, it becomes too easy to take life for granted, to get caught up in jejune concerns and waste precious moments.
Laugh more often, unless your days are already filled with more crackups than a roller derby. Ingersoll suggested that “no one should fail to pick up every jewel of joy that can be found in his path.” Instead of looking for trouble (or love in all the wrong places), look for ways to laugh more often throughout the day, every day! It’s good for your demeanor. By enjoying more of it, especially good old fashioned belly yuks – the kind that bring tears to your eyes. Humor will boost your health status and nearly everything else (social relations, work satisfaction and bodily functions) will improve, as well.
Opportunities for humor are everywhere – you can’t escape it. Humor is more popular than porn, and much more socially acceptable. Best-seller books and TED talks celebrate the power of laughter in business and personal relationships; humor conferences (CEU credits available!) address the science of comedy, as do learned medical journals.
Humor takes many forms, including satire, absurdity, mischief, incredulity, surprise, awkwardness, puns, mockery and affectation, to note a few. You can have a ball with more humor in your life. Make a conscious effort to look for it – you can’t wait for it to seek you out or opportunities will be missed.
However, exercise a measure of caution if you decide to be the one spreading humor. For starters, know your audience. Humor is subjective in the extreme and can be hazardous. While nearly everyone loves to laugh, what is experienced as funny is highly subjective. A gut-busting joke or situation explained with surprises and wit can crack one person up but make another want to crack a bottle over your head. For example, you would not want to make fun of certain people, like Kim Jong Un. What’s amusing to some is definitely offensive to others. Forget jokes about blonds, ethnic groups or even lawyers. (Why don’t sharks bite lawyers? Professional courtesy.)
So, look on the bright side with a few more laughs daily than you otherwise might if not looking for such opportunities. There’s little danger of an overdose or adverse side effects.
10. Effective Thinking
Fine tune your decision-making skills at every opportunity. Not only is the media filled with fake news (and this is not a reference to media reports Trump doesn’t like) but con artists, bogus healers, Russian hackers, get-rich hucksters, slick prosperity gospel preachers, lonely hearts seeking long walks on the beach with generous soul mates, and other charlatans on the prowl as never before – and they all want your money! So, consider this: whatever they’re selling, it probably doesn’t work, you don’t need it anyway, the claims are likely untrue and you shouldn’t fall for any of it. Skepticism, doubt and wariness will stand you in good order until you’ve had time for due diligence.
Learn as much as possible about the three-pound wonder that constitutes the real you. Our brains are naturally attracted to simple explanations of complexity, therefore, we are easily seduced by pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, absurd dogmas and superstitions, quackery and other forms of deception. Religions are another reason for faulty thinking because they teach obedience, not critical thinking. Religions frown on skepticism, doubt and wariness, vital tools for functioning in rational ways that enable better choices.
Ingersoll, a promoter of effective decision-making regarding religions, acknowledged that “reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, blown and flared by passion’s storms -and yet it is the only light. Extinguish that, and naught remains.”
In the modern world (with our much-evolved but not entirely well-adapted two million year-old brains), reason is indeed a small and feeble flame, but still the only light. Guy Harrison, author of half a dozen books on reason, including “Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier and Wiser,” recommends such skills “be elevated to a moral issue – because an epidemic of poor reasoning looms as humankind’s great unrecognized crisis.”
11. Service to Others
Expect nothing in return. Seek no credit. Do it for someone or many in need, to advance a great principle (e.g. separation of church and state), to help a community, promote animal welfare, save the bloody planet – possibilities for selfless service are inexhaustibly diverse.
While personal rewards are not the point or purpose, service to others invariably brings a bounty of healthful and satisfying returns. Doing good, over time, adds to your sense of worth, purpose and the like, even if nobody notices.
Studies sponsored by the folks who gave us International Good Deeds Day (April 15 this year) suggest that such endeavors decrease stress, increase life expectancy, promote happiness and feel good, due to the fact that such service sparks the release of endorphins, the brain’s pleasant mood chemicals.
A 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that thinking about times you’ve helped others make you want to help again. Service to others is self-reinforcing. The research indicates that reflecting on your past good deeds makes you feel selfless and motivated to do more. What a deal – personal health gains for you and help for others – a good deal for all concerned.
12. Beyond the Pale Blue Dot
Keep ever-present in mind the ultimate, fastest-acting stress management technique – thoughts about the cosmos. Who cannot at least diminish for a spell the unpleasant emotions associated with grudges, worries, fears, jealousies and/or upsets after only a few minutes, even seconds, thinking about space and time? What’s the big deal about life’s spilled milk equivalents – if you remember this advice from the Monty Python classic, “The Meaning of Life:”
“Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown, and things seem hard or tough, and people are stupid, obnoxious or daft, and you feel that you’ve had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough… “
(Thanks, Eric Idle, for the “Galaxy Song” – a wonderful stress release song.)
This reliable stress reliever involves shifting your mind, just briefly, to the fact that there are hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy – which is but one of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. And don’t get your hippocampus in a knot struggling to sort out how many planets are out there, each revolving around its own special star. Perhaps there are planets somewhere in the misty deep teeming with inhabitants, most of whom have also been led to believe that they are the center of the universe, and the highest purpose of some grand design.
All the best. Stay weller than well.
Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?
Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program
Direct Sales Agents
Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.
Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.
Colleges and Universities
Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.
Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.
Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.
Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions
There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.
The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.
Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.
Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them
The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.
The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?
Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.
Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.
Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:
Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon
First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.
Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:
- 2006 – Prices hit the Top
- 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
- 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
- 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
- 2020 – Prices hit the Top
- 2020 to? – Prices Decline
*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.
The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.
Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound
Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.
Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.
Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.
To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.
Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care
If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.
However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.
Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.
This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”
Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price
This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”
However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.
Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.
Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.
Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price
Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.
Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.
Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.
During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.
The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.
Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission
Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction
Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.
For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.
The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.
Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.
In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.
By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.
Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer
Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:
1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers
If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.
2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer
It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.
3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part
Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?
4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer
It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.
5) Brand is important
Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider
If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.
Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?
Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them
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