Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dating to Save People from Hell



10 Christian Dating Tips for Effective Missionary Dating

1. If he tells your that you are hot...
> Tell him God made you hot.

2. If he wants to hold your hand...
> Give him a Bible.

3. If he tries to get closer...
> Tell him the Holy Spirit is wooing him.

4. If he asks to pay for dinner...
> Remind him that Jesus also paid a debt He did not owe!

5. If he reaches his arm around you...
> Tell him that nobody will ever be as close to you as Jesus is.
> (or ask him if you instead could "lay hands" on him in prayer)

6. If he tries to kiss you...
> Remind him that a kiss killed your Savior.
> (and you're not ready to "speak in tongues")

7. If he asks to come inside...
> Ask him if he has asked Jesus to come inside his heart.

8. If he tells you he loves you...
> Tell him that Jesus loves him.

9. If he gets angry that you won't put out...
> Clarify to him that W.W.J.D. does NOT mean "Who would Jesus Do."

10. After you dump him...
> Tell him that Jesus Christ will never leave or forsake him.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

All About Vitamins



Vitamins and minerals are substances that are found in foods we eat. Your body needs them to work properly, so you grow and develop just like you should. When it comes to vitamins, each one has a special role to play. For example:
  • Vitamin D in milk helps your bones.
  • Vitamin A in carrots helps you see at night.
  • Vitamin C in oranges helps your body heal if you get a cut.
  • B vitamins in leafy green vegetables help your body make protein and energy.
Vitamins Hang Out in Water and Fat

There are two types of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble.

When you eat foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins, the vitamins are stored in the fat tissues in your body and in your liver. They wait around in your body fat until your body needs them.

Fat-soluble vitamins are happy to stay stored in your body for awhile — some stay for a few days, some for up to 6 months! Then, when it's time for them to be used, special carriers in your body take them to where they're needed. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins are different. When you eat foods that have water-soluble vitamins, the vitamins don't get stored as much in your body. Instead, they travel through your bloodstream. Whatever your body doesn't use comes out when you urinate (pee).

So these kinds of vitamins need to be replaced often because they don't stick around! This crowd of vitamins includes vitamin C and the big group of B vitamins — B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), niacin, B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, B12 (cobalamine), biotin, and pantothenic acid.

Vitamins Feed Your Needs

Your body is one powerful machine, capable of doing all sorts of things by itself. But one thing it can't do is make vitamins. That's where food comes in. Your body is able to get the vitamins it needs from the foods you eat because different foods contain different vitamins. The key is to eat different foods to get an assortment of vitamins. Though some kids take a daily vitamin, most kids don't need one if they're eating a variety of healthy foods.

Now, let's look more closely at vitamins — from A to K:

Vitamin A

This vitamin plays a really big part in eyesight. It's great for night vision, like when you're trick-or-treating on Halloween. Vitamin A helps you see in color, too, from the brightest yellow to the darkest purple. In addition, it helps you grow properly and aids in healthy skin.

Which foods are rich in vitamin A?
  • milk fortified with vitamin A
  • liver
  • orange fruits and vegetables (like cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes)
  • dark green leafy vegetables (like kale, collards, spinach)
The B Vitamins

There's more than one B vitamin. Here's the list: B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin, and pantothenic acid. Whew — that's quite a group!

The B vitamins are important in metabolic (say: meh-tuh-bah-lik) activity — this means that they help make energy and set it free when your body needs it. So the next time you're running to third base, thank those B vitamins. This group of vitamins is also involved in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. Every part of your body needs oxygen to work properly, so these B vitamins have a really important job.

Which foods are rich in vitamin B?
  • whole grains, such as wheat and oats
  • fish and seafood
  • poultry and meats
  • eggs
  • dairy products, like milk and yogurt
  • leafy green vegetables
  • beans and peas
Vitamin C

This vitamin is important for keeping body tissues, such as gums and muscles in good shape. C is also key if you get a cut or wound because it helps you heal. This vitamin also helps your body resist infection. This means that even though you can't always avoid getting sick, vitamin C makes it a little harder for your body to become infected with an illness.

Which foods are rich in vitamin C?
  • citrus fruits, like oranges
  • cantaloupe
  • strawberries
  • tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • kiwi fruit
  • sweet red peppers
Vitamin D

No bones about it . . . vitamin D is the vitamin you need for strong bones! It's also great for forming strong teeth. Vitamin D even lends a hand to an important mineral — it helps your body absorb the amount of calcium it needs.

Which foods are rich in vitamin D?
  • milk fortified with vitamin D
  • fish
  • egg yolks
  • liver
  • fortified cereal
Vitamin E

Everybody needs E. This hard-working vitamin maintains a lot of your body's tissues, like the ones in your eyes, skin, and liver. It protects your lungs from becoming damaged by polluted air. And it is important for the formation of red blood cells.

Which foods are rich in vitamin E?
  • whole grains, such as wheat and oats
  • wheat germ
  • leafy green vegetables
  • sardines
  • egg yolks
  • nuts and seeds
Vitamin K

Vitamin K is the clotmaster! Remember the last time you got a cut? Your blood did something special called clotting. This is when certain cells in your blood act like glue and stick together at the surface of the cut to help stop the bleeding.

Which foods are rich in vitamin K?
  • leafy green vegetables
  • dairy products, like milk and yogurt
  • broccoli
  • soybean oil

When your body gets this vitamin and the other ones it needs, you'll be feeling A-OK!

Reviewed by: Heidi Kecskemethy, RD, CSP
Date reviewed: September 2007
Originally reviewed by: Mary Frances Picciano, PhD


Friday, February 22, 2008

Protect Your Yahoo Messenger Client



Yahoo Messenger is probably the most popular instant messaging client on the internet because it provides many more features than a single chat function. Yahoo’s downloadable application was improved several times with exciting and innovative abilities, allowing you to send files to your contacts, use emoticons and audibles, talk through VoIP protocol, communicate via webcam and even send your contact details to all your friends. At this time, Yahoo Messenger is
challenged by multiple other chat clients like Google Talk, Windows Live
Messenger or Skype, but Yahoo is continuously working on it to make it even more powerful.

Because I’m currently a Yahoo Messenger user, I decided to write the most useful tricks that help you protect your ID, as well as the chat client from viruses or other threats.
Some time ago, a lot of tiny tools that were exploiting a Yahoo Messenger flaw were available for download on a lot of websites although they were regarded as illegal utilities. At that time, there were some tricks that could block the malicious programs but only some clients used them.

Every time a user reports a problem with the Yahoo Messenger client, other "experienced" members advise him to install an antivirus solution bundled with a firewall or even reinstall the Yahoo application. Well, you should know that sometimes, it’s enough to ignore a malicious contact from your list and the problems are fixed. I prefer to use the "Ignore anyone who is not in my contact list" option because this way, I avoid attackers or other dangerous users that can perform nasty activities on my chat client.

Also, if you doubt anyone for attacking you, ignore him immediately and decline any file transfer request, photo sharing or other type of invitation. It can be also useful to avoid communicating with an unknown contact until you’re sure he’s not an attacker.

If you still think you’re vulnerable to attacks, you should install Y!Tunnel, a downloadable application that was especially created to improve the security of the Yahoo Messenger instant messaging client. "This easy-to-use application will provide additional features to Yahoo! Messenger including better connections to voice servers, endless ignore bin, enhanced privacy, font and style filtering and spam blocking. In addition to these enhanced features, Y!TunnelPro also provides the highest level of protection available against abusive and malicious chatroom activity," it is mentioned in the description of the service.

The Story of Ice Cream



The story of ice cream begins a long, long time ago in a most beautiful place. The story of ice cream begins over 3,000 years ago in China. Lots of cool things were invented in China. Umbrellas, glasses and fireworks were all invented in China but the tastiest and coldest Chinese invention is snow ice cream. The Emperors of China were the first people, we know about who were lucky enough to get to eat snow ice cream. Their cooks mixed snow and ice from the mountains with fruit, wine and honey to make a tasty treat for their rulers to enjoy when they wanted to relax.

How the Romans came up with the idea of making snow ice cream we do not know. But what we do know is that in 62 A.D. the Roman Emperor Nero wanted to eat snow ice cream so badly he sent slaves up to the mountains to bring back snow and ice so his cooks could make it for him. Nero's cooks mixed the ice and snow the slaves brought back with nectar, fruit and honey and then Nero ate it.

In 1295, Marco Polo, a great adventurer, returned from China to Italy with a new recipe for making snow ice cream. His recipe called for mixing yak milk into snow in order to make it creamy. The idea of mixing a mammal's milk into snow ice cream caught on and soon the rich people of Italy were enjoying frozen milk.

In 1533, Catherine de Medici of Florence, Italy became the Queen of France when she married the French king, Henry II. One of the things she took with her when she moved from her home in Italy to her castle in France was her recipe for making frozen milk. Soon many of the cooks in France were making the delicious treat. One French chef opened a shop to sell the tasty treat. He was the first cook to add flavors like chocolate and strawberry to the frozen milk.

When Charles I of England visited France in the 1600s, he was served frozen milk. He loved it so much, he asked the French chef who served it to him to sell him the recipe. Charles I took the recipe back to England with him and the rich people of England began to eat the delicious cold dessert.

In 1700, Governor Bladen of Maryland, who was from England, served ice cream to his guests. Seventy-six years later, the first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City.

Dolly Madison, the president's wife loved ice cream so much, she served it to her White House guests in 1812. In 1843, an American woman named Nancy Johnston invented the hand-cranked ice cream freezer, which made making ice cream easier. In 1851 Jacob Fussel opened the first ice cream factory in the United States of America in Baltimore, Maryland. He sold his ice cream from a wagon. In 1899, August Gaulin, who lived in France, invented the homogeniser. This invention helped give ice cream a really smooth texture. In 1902, August Gaulin invented a new kind of ice cream freezer that helped make ice cream freeze faster.

In 1903, Italo Marchiony, a man who sold ice cream from a pushcart he pushed through the streets of New York City, invented the ice cream cone and patented his idea. He invented the waffle cup because he was tired of people walking off with or breaking the glasses he used to serve ice cream from his pushcart.

A year later in 1904, E.A. Hamwi introduced the waffle cone at the St. Louis World Fair. People say he began making the waffle cones when an ice cream vendor at the fair ran out of bowls.

The closing of bars that sold wine and beer in 1919 led to the opening of many ice cream parlors in the United States. The more Americans ate ice cream the more they wanted to eat ice cream. This demand for ice cream led to the invention of the first chocolate covered ice cream bar. The first chocolate ice cream bar was called the I-Scream Bar but later its name was changed to the Eskimo Pie. You can buy an Eskimo pie at the grocery store if you want to find out what it tastes like. You can also buy a Good Humor Bar which was invented in 1920 and was the first ice cream sold on a stick. But if you're like me, you'll head to Baskin-Robbins, which first opened in 1946 in California, and buy a scoop of Cookies 'N Cream which is made with real Oreo cookies. This ice cream flavor was invented in 1983. Others like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough have been invented since 1983 but Cookies 'N Cream will always be my favorite. Of course, vanilla ice cream with honey on top is also very good. I'm so glad someone in China decided to mix snow and ice with honey and that now even poor people like me can afford to eat tasty frozen treats each and every day of the week, just like Mr. Baskin and Mr. Robbins intended.

By Cathy Mallare

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Window To Look Through



She watches through her window, her little girl at play. Memories flood back to her childhood, of her yesterdays

As she tucks her gift into bed, and kisses her precious face
She says a prayer of protection, "Lord keep my child safe."

And as days turn months into years, she sees her little girl grow
She begins to realize that a time will come, the time when she must let go

Suddenly she hears a gentle voice-- saying, "No greater love is this,
Than what you've done for your little girl, go seal it with a kiss."

"Honey I want to kiss your face, but I know I can't by phone
While looking through your bedroom window, I began to feel alone."

"So many days through this very window, I'd watch you laugh and play
And I can almost see you tucked in bed, on those nights we'd talk and pray."

"Mom," her daughter uttered, "There's something I want to say...
You may not know how many times, I saw you watch me play."

"That window that you're looking through, is the same one God looked in
He saw you by my bed each night, when you'd tenderly tuck me in."

"So mom please don't feel all alone, you know I'll always be there...
Just like God is with you now, no matter the time, or place or where."

Her mother paused and then replied, "Sweetheart I know you're right...
You're grown, married and have a child, that you now tuck in at night."

"Mom, I better go now, I have some things I better do."
Her mom replied, "I know it dear, you've got a window to look through."

* Dedicated to mothers and daughters and the unique and special love they have and will continue to share.

by Brian G. Jett ©-1999

Top 7 Questions to Ask as You Start Each Day Purposefully



Living with purpose and passion is based upon decision. You may choose to live day after day, one after another, in a completely ordinary existence. OR you can choose to greet each day with a possibility mindset. A purposeful mindset. A Passionate mindset.

Begin each day with these questions and be amazed.

1. Why is it important for me to engage myself in my work passionately and purposefully each day?

2. How will I choose to allow my attitude effect how I address stressful situations at work today? How can I be more affective and proactive in regards to stress and attitude?

3. When am I most likely too react with the most passion and purpose today? Meeting with clients? Working on my computer? Following up on a lead? Take note of what makes your passion come alive, so you can use it to better your work performance.

4. Where within the organization am I best able to express my passion and purpose? Is it working with my peers? My supervisors? Clients? Interdepartmentally? Where physically do I perform the most purposefully?

5. With whom do I need to spend time in order to maintain balance as I pursue my passion and purpose? Within the organization, who best supports me?

6. What choices will I make today that align my purpose and passion with the tasks at hand at work?

7. Who am I called to be today as an expression of my passion for living?

By Julie Jordan Scott

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Credit Card Security



This is the age of plastic money. It's not uncommon for the typical consumer in the western world to go weeks at a time without ever handling a coin or bill. Everything we need is available to us with the simple "swik-swik' sound of a credit card sliding through a reader. Supplies for the office, flowers for the wife, meals and drinks out, and an endless supply of useful products available for sale through the Internet can all be bought with naught a cent to be seen.

The big question is: "How safe is all this plastic?"

Cash has its obvious benefits. When you buy a sandwich for $2.95 and you hand the cashier a $5 bill, you know you haven't been ripped off when he hands you $2.05 right then and there. But when you hand your card to a waitress at the local chain restaurant, how do you know she hasn't taken a moment to sneak into the office and copy your card number and signature? You don't, and the implications of this question are having a serious effect on credit card companies and the merchants they do business with.

In response to these issues, the big credit card companies have developed more secure ways to do business. MasterCard International and Visa got together and came up with a set of guidelines called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This is a list of 12 guidelines that imposes strict regulations on all transactions taking place between the card company and the merchants it trades with. While these standards have been in place since 2005, merchants are taking some time to catch up to them. However, in the past year there has been marked improvement, and both credit card companies have stepped up their tactics to the point where merchants may be experiencing losses of service if they do not fall in line soon. (You can read the 12 guidelines and the details of this plan on the homepages of Visa or MasterCard.)

Discover Card has responded to the pressure for more secure methods with it's own program. They call it the Secure Online Account Number program. Anytime you use your Discover card to purchase a product online, their program will generate a random account number to "stand-in" for the one on your card. You then send this number to the merchant in place of the real number. When the number is verified with Discover Card, it will link to your account and the purchase is charged to you. The benefit of this system is that the merchant never sees your true account number. Only you and Discover Card have access to it. Once the transaction is completed the randomly generated account number is no longer valid, so any attempts to use it result in denial.

A security method that online merchants are employing is the requirement of a shipping address that matches the billing address on your credit card. This is to guard against thieves who may steal your account number but will have no access to your billing address. This way, if your card is stolen, it can only be used to make purchases that will ship to your address. Any prospective thieves will have to pick up their orders from your mailbox, not something the average anonymity-seeking thief will want to do.

There are also third party systems in place for ensuring online credit card security. VeriSign's SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology is the leader in the field. VeriSign will give each merchant it conducts business with 2 "keys" (like coding alphabets), a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt information, and the private key is used to decipher it. VeriSign's technology now offers this encryption in 128- to 256-bit encryption, which provides a nearly un-guessable number of possible combinations of codes.

Source: creditorweb.com

Sleep, Health and Fitness.



Sleep quality is reflected by the proportions of time we spend in different stages of sleep throughout the night and, more obviously, by the amount of time we spend without waking or being aroused. The proportion of time we spend in each sleep stage is represented by a sleep pattern that is common to the normal human population. However, our sleep patterns can vary as they are influenced by our sleep hygiene, daily level of physical exertion and the state of our physical and mental health.

Sleep hygiene refers to the way we chose to practice our sleep habits and is a very important aspect of health and fitness. Due to the circadian regulation of sleep, consistent bedtimes and sleep duration are of most benefit in order to optimize sleep patterns. Delayed bedtimes or early awakenings that result in partial sleep deprivation can affect mental and physical performance on the following day. Too much or too little sleep can also be counterproductive to daytime performance. Optimal sleep time depends on the individual and the level of physical exertion and stress.

Daily physical exertion increases the amount of time we spend in our deep sleep state. The deep sleep dominates the first third of our nights sleep and represents 10-13 % of the nights sleep in the normal population. Training individuals, especially those engaging in high intensity workouts, can have up to three times the amount of deep sleep, representing 25-35% of the nights sleep. Since growth hormone is facilitated by the neurophysiology of deep sleep it is important that training individuals do not compromise the first third of their nights sleep by delaying their normal bedtime or by sleeping in a potentially arousing environment.

The last third of the nights sleep is dominated by the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep stage. Unless physical exertion raises the demand for deep sleep our afternoon sleep is also likely to be dominated by REM sleep. Excessive amounts of REM sleep have been associated with depression and de-motivation and in the case of depression, pharmacological treatment results in a beneficial reduction in the amount of REM sleep.

Waking from the REM stage is the natural process of terminating the sleep cycle and waking in the REM state results in a greater feeling of re-freshness. REM deprivation has been shown to elevate exercise blood lactate on the following day and since higher lactates also result in higher levels of perceived exertion, a greater effort is required for the workout. While, consecutive nights of REM deprivation in rats has shown hyper-sexuality, increased aggression and in humans, impaired cognitive (brain) function.

In summary, to exploit the benefits of sleep on health and fitness, we must first assess what aspect of performance needs improving. When levels of motivation and mood are impaired, the amount of REM sleep may be excessive and reducing the amount of REM sleep can be easily achieved by limiting the amount of daytime sleep.

However, prior to maximal physical performance it is important to not be REM deprived, otherwise, the required effort for the performance is likely to be greater. It would also be beneficial to wake from the REM cycle, for both cognitive and physical morning performances. For maximising muscle recovery after training, the deep sleep time and growth hormone release can be optimised by taking a nap after high intensity sessions and by following consistent bedtimes.

Unfortunately, regardless of the good sleep hygiene practices, some people are unable to optimise their sleep patterns due to an underlying sleep disorder.


Sleep Respiratory Disorder, Health and Fitness.

It is estimated that a large portion of sleep disorders have gone undiagnosed in the general population. Although exercise has proved to be beneficial for some types of sleep disorders such as insomnia, most sleep disorders are more famous for having a negative effect on physical and mental performance. The most common form of sleep disorder is sleep apnoea and may affect up to 10% of the general population. The word "may" is used because it is believed many are living untreated with this condition, thinking it's just normal behaviour. This condition is most prevalent in the population of men over the age of 30 and is coupled with excessive day-time sleepiness and fatigue. The condition is caused by upper respiratory airway obstruction and many sufferers do not suspect this condition until they have been referred to a sleep specialist.

Respiratory infections, hay fever and other allergies all contribute to a less serious form of this disorder called increased upper airway resistance. Although snoring is a regular characteristic for the sleep of many people, it is also a symptom of increased upper airway resistance. Any form of upper airway resistance or obstruction can be responsible for a decrease in the amount of REM and deep sleep. This poor sleep quality will increase the levels of daytime fatigue and will slow down the muscle recovery process after strenuous physical efforts. Fortunately, both conditions of obstructive sleep apnoea and upper airway resistance can be treated. (If this sounds like you, please tell your doctor to refer you to a sleep/respiratory specialist.)

In the most serious case of obstructive sleep apnoea, a mask needs to be worn during sleep, to increase the air pressure in order to maintain the opening of the upper airway. In the less serious case of upper airway resistance, nasal sprays can be used over periods of respiratory infection or allergies. However caution should be taken in using certain nasal sprays as they are not designed for long-term use and can damage the nasal membrane. Sports competitors must also be certain that the sprays do not contain any banned substances such as pseudoephedrine.
Although sleep disorder sufferers are often skeptical about treatment and the processes involved, people who have been treated for sleep disorders can usually attest to becoming fitter and healthier individuals.

Tahnee Kinsman

Sleep Scientist
Australian Institute of Sport.

10 REASONS TO MAKE LOVE (A Healthy Sex Life)



Evidence points to the many health benefits of an active sex life. Sex Made Easy, an article published in Men's Health Magazine, gives 10 healthy reasons to hop into bed -- a reminder that making love is good for both body and soul.

  • Exercise. "Sexual activity is a form of physical exercise," according to Dr. Michael Cirigliano of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Making love three times a week burns around 7,500 calories in a year -- the equivalent of jogging 75 miles.
  • Heavy Breathing. A night of love can raise the amount of oxygen in cells, helping to keep organs and tissues functioning at their peak.
  • Strong Bones and Muscles. "Any kind of physical exercise is going to increase testosterone," states Dr. Karen Donahey, director of the Sex and Marital Therapy Program at Chicago's Northwestern University Medical Center. Testosterone is believed to help keep men's bones and muscles strong.
  • Lowered Cholesterol. Making love regularly can lower levels of the body's total cholesterol slightly, while positively changing the ratio of good-to-bad cholesterol.
  • Pain Relief. Sex can lower levels of "arthritic pain, whiplash pain and headache pain," according to Dr. Beverly Whipple, president-elect of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Hormones that are released during sexual excitement and orgasm can elevate pain thresholds.
  • DHEA -- Without Supplements. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a popular supplemental hormone, is released naturally during lovemaking. "Just before orgasm and ejaculation," Crenshaw says, "DHEA spikes to levels three to five times higher than usual."
  • Prostate Protection. Researchers say prostate trouble may arise or be worsened by fluid buildup within the gland. Regular ejaculation will help wash out those fluids. Be cautious when suddenly changing frequency -- sudden changes may also trigger prostate problems.
  • Stress Relief. "Sex can be a very effective way of reducing stress levels," Donahey told Men's Health.
  • Love Will Keep Us Together. Crenshaw says affectionate touch will increase levels of oxytocin -- the "bonding hormone." Oxytocin is a desire-enhancing chemical secreted by the pituitary. Regular oxytocin release may help encourage frequent lovemaking.
  • Hormones -- Naturally. "Regular lovemaking can increase a woman's estrogen level, protect her heart and keep her vaginal tissues more supple," states Donahey.

SOURCE: Men's Health (November 1997, p. 104-108)

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Power of Optimism



WebMD Feature from "body+soul" Magazine

By Larry Dossey


Even if you weren’t born with a sunny outlook, this pioneer in mind/body medicine argues that you can easily cultivate one

Years ago,while I was finishing my premed studies, I developed an acute pain in my abdomen. I reported to the student health center, where they scheduled me for an immediate appendectomy. Hours later, I awoke
in severe pain, alone, and worried. Then something quite ordinary happened. A nurse appeared, held my hand, and simply said, “Don’t worry, Larry. Everything is going to be just fine.” As she stood there, the pain vanished, along with my anxiety. Fear gave way to optimism that I’d make a quick recovery—and I did.

There’s no way around it: Whether it bubbles up naturally or is coaxed into materializing by another’s thoughtful gesture, our outlook on life shapes our well-being. Optimism means having faith that things will turn out well in a given situation—and often, they do. But even when they don’t, a positive disposition leads us to find the gifts that are hidden in any difficult challenge. By viewing the glass half-full instead of half-empty, as the cliché goes,we reap tangible rewards: Studies have shown that joyful types are more likely to lead longer, healthier lives than those who expect the worst.

In making an effort to cultivate optimism, we are “optimized,” or made capable of being and functioning at our best. It doesn’t matter whether or not you came into this world with a sunny outlook. You can foster upbeat thinking by shining the light on the positive at every turn. Practice optimism, using the following steps—and enjoy the happy consequences.

+Focus on the big picture. We’re blessed. We live in a modern democracy with the attendant rights and privileges. Most of us are well fed, clothed, sheltered, and protected. Our daily luxuries—clean water, air-conditioning, indoor plumbing, safe food—have become so commonplace that we cease to notice them. In the name of optimism, we should wake up to our abundance. Doing so will help gratitude arise as a natural response to being alive at our place in human history.

+Connect. Pessimists often make unpleasant company, and solitude leads to more pessimism. When you purposefully interact with others, you break the cycle of gloom and create an opening for optimism to take root. But choose your friends carefully—feelings are contagious. Want to be depressed? Hang out with depressives. Want to be happy? Make friends with happy people. Since both pessimism and optimism are catching, you’re more likely to feel optimistic if you surround yourself with optimists.

+Read about optimists. What makes them tick? Where do they get hope in hard times? I like Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston, an exploration of the friendship between two of the 20th century’s greatest optimists, Roosevelt and Churchill. Explore the lives of well-known optimists, and you’ll start to see how an invisible feeling can transform into visible deeds and accomplishments.

+Be generous. Give to charity. Tip well. Offer to help friends and family members in need. Work in a soup kitchen, with Habitat for Humanity, or for an AIDS project at home or abroad. Generosity opens the heart and anchors our identity in something other than the self. It’s an antidote to self-absorption and a door for optimism. When you bring more generosity into your life, you also invite its cousins, compassion and love.

+Go on a media fast. For a week or so, take a break from the steady stream of bad news. You may find it invigorating to sidestep the depressing effects of daily tragedy—and easier to have optimism about the state of the world.

If you fear that missing the news means ignoring genuine problems, remember that you won’t hurt the world by diverting your attention for a week. You can continue sending hopeful, healing thoughts to those people in need with an open-ended prayer such as “May the highest good prevail.”

+Immerse yourself in nature. The incredible complexity of living systems and the upward, evolutionary trajectory of life can stir optimism in anyone. I speak from experience when I say that spending time in nature can restore your soul, lift your spirits, make your heart sing, and keep you going in times of trouble. Take a wilderness retreat the next time you want to feel buoyant, recharged, upbeat, and ready to meet big challenges.

+Cultivate spirituality. Countless studies show that people who follow a spiritual path—it doesn’t matter which one—generally live longer and enjoy a lower incidence of most major diseases than people who don’t. Which approach should you choose? Be open. Let it choose you. You might find spiritual connection in a particular religion, a form of meditation, or a physical discipline such as yoga or tai chi. Connecting with the divine might also come through something completely different, like tending an herb garden, singing in a choir, or surfing Saturday mornings at dawn. Trust the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Tips For Job Promotions To Increase Your Salary



These tips for getting job promotions are ostensibly written for employees, but they are helpful also for managers and employers 'on the receiving end' of promotion requests, because the principles described indicate how to approach these issues of promotion and career advancement positively and constructively - by which employees can be encouraged to be more self-reliant, proactive and aspirational.

Getting promoted is an aim of many employees in organisations. But there there are far fewer vacancies than people who'd like to fill them.

So take a different approach.

While you are waiting for your dream vacancy to appear, make something happen for yourself.

Don't wait for a dead-man's shoes opportunity or vacancy to arise - applying for an internal advertised vacancy is often no more than a lottery - similar to getting a job in the first place. So why compete with lots of other people, all going after the same single vacancy, if you can instead make your own opportunities and build your own bigger area of responsibility?

Pay and position and job promotions are driven and defined by scale and effectiveness. The first three - pay, position, promotion - are very difficult to change for yourself in isolation. The latter two - scale and effectiveness - you can influence all you want by what you do and how you work. Raise the scale and effectiveness of what you do, and all else will fall into place quite naturally in time.

Rather than wait to be given the new job and new responsibilities, start looking for ways to become more valuable and effective in your organisation while performing your current role. In so doing you will almost inevitably create a promotion for yourself - in a job that you love, because you'll have defined it for yourself.

This means of course that you need to invest some time and effort. Most people don't do this because they don't want their employer to get something for nothing, but think about it:

It's an investment you'll be making mainly for yourself, for the increased experience and value you'll derive - which will make you more valuable to your employer - and any other employer as well.

Of course when choosing new additional areas to develop for yourself it makes sense to tell your boss what you are doing and why you are doing it. Not least so that when you've achieved some great things, and demonstrated that you work better at a higher level, you can ask for suitable recognition, promotion, reward - whatever - you've set your stall out, and now you've presented an irresistible case. Employers fight hard to keep people who do this sort of thing. They'll almost always offer you improved terms and promotion before you ask for it, because they'll worry about losing you.

So don't wait for a vacancy, carve out your own niche - irrespective of having formal responsibility or position to do so - develop your activities and level of operation into higher, bigger, more strategic, more productive areas. Anyone can do it, and you don't need a promotion or new job title first.

Let your boss know what you are doing - especially if you need permission or approval for new project ideas - and be open to advice, guidance and support, but (most bosses love to help people develop - you'll be a breath of fresh air).

If you see opportunity laying around pick it up

If you see a responsibility vacuum fill it.

Be mindful that most job promotions entail managing people. So ensure you start working on and demonstrating great capabilities in that area: develop a reputation as someone who helps others - in whatever way you can. Coach, encourage, thank, recognise, praise, give credit, listen to, and always be good to others. Essential responsibilities of good management are coaching and developing others, and helping them to do a better job. You can start doing that tomorrow if you are not doing it already. Now you have begun to promote yourself.

If you are in selling or account management, or buying, or any other role that directly relates to increasing revenues or saving costs - grow your activities and effectiveness (and results) to the point that you need assistance, and then it's easy to make a case for bringing a trainee in to work under your wing - now you are managing and training someone else - and you've created your own promotion where no opportunity 'apparently' existed, because the scale of what you are managing has increased beyond your original job responsibility.

Invest your own time, energy, commitment, enthusiasm in building your reputation as someone who is proactive, self-reliant, mature, tolerant, productive and self-motivating. Be the promoted person you want to become, and the formal recognition and reward will follow.

On which point, although financial reward and promotion generally follow good achievement, your biggest reward for doing great work and achieving good things is actually your increased experience and value as a person, not the pay or the promotion. It might not seem like it at the time, but this is a fact.

Think about how you can help the organisation to be better, in ways that you enjoy and are good at:

Identify activities which produce a high yield or great results from your effort - you are an expensive resource within your organisation - use yourself wisely.

Demonstrate that you have good strategic judgment by the way you manage your own time and priorities - if you demonstrate this it follows that you will be able to manage a larger scale of activities, and you will be seen by others as capable of doing so.

Act like the promoted person you want to be - start doing the things, and behaving in the way, that (good) higher level people do.

Where necessary seek approval of course for new initiatives that are technically outside your remit. Consider the implications carefully and help your boss to understand and agree with what you want to do.

Discuss other new ideas and projects with your boss. Agree aims and parameters. Offer to check back at key stages.

Seek approval for starting initiatives and projects - and choose things which demonstrate your ability to make good things happen for the organisation.

I repeat - you do not need to have the formal responsibility or title to simply get on with doing higher level things.

Imagine you are an external provider, who is contracted to take on new tasks wherever a significant and relevant opportunity arises - this gives you the attitude that the organisation is your customer - give them your best - more than they expect - and they will do almost anything to keep you.

Always be positive and constructive - become valuable to the team - coach and help others - lead by example.

Get involved in new things and initially do not seek additional reward - tell your boss what you are doing and that you are happy to do this because you are investing in your own future, and that you have a confidence that formal promotion will inevitably follow higher level achievements (or words to that effect), hopefully with your current employer, but if not, no hard feelings, with another employer.

Have the faith that reward and promotion always follow people who perform above their formal responsibility.

Expose yourself to greater responsibility, new learning, and higher level experiences because this will develop you for life, not just for your current employer - if your employer does not recognise and reward you for your increasing contribution and potential to manage a wider scale, then someone else out there will.

Make a difference - become indispensable - help to develop and encourage others.

Doing all this will generally create a pressure on your employer to promote you sooner or later- whether or not there is a vacancy.

As already mentioned above, your working life is a marathon not a sprint. Invest in yourself. By becoming more valuable you will irresistibly command a bigger reward and greater formal responsibility.

And what if your employer does not allow you to make a bigger contribution? Find one who does.

Or if your employer isn't interested in your coming up with creative ideas for making improvements? Find one who does.

Or if after achieving great things and carving out your own niche your employer refuses eventually to reward and recognise you for your achievements and value to the organisation?...

Are you not now in a much better position to go find one who will? You betcha.

So start acting promoted now. Seek greater responsibility. Help others. Improve the organisation. Make a difference.

And one way or another, promotion will follow.

Tips for a Good Night Sleep



Adapted from "When You Can't Sleep: The ABCs of ZZZs," by the National Sleep Foundation.

Set a schedule:
Go to bed at a set time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Disrupting this schedule may lead to insomnia. "Sleeping in" on weekends also makes it harder to wake up early on Monday morning because it re-sets your sleep cycles for a later awakening.

Exercise:
Try to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day. Daily exercise often helps people sleep, although a workout soon before bedtime may interfere with sleep. For maximum benefit, try to get your exercise about 5 to 6 hours before going to bed.

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol:
Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps people awake. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain relievers. Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal. Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep.

Relax before bed:
A warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine can make it easier to fall sleep. You can train yourself to associate certain restful activities with sleep and make them part of your bedtime ritual.

Sleep until sunlight:
If possible, wake up with the sun, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight helps the body's internal biological clock reset itself each day. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of morning sunlight for people having problems falling asleep.

Don't lie in bed awake:
If you can't get to sleep, don't just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading, watching television, or listening to music, until you feel tired. The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep can actually contribute to insomnia.

Control your room temperature:
Maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. Extreme temperatures may disrupt sleep or prevent you from falling asleep.

See a doctor if your sleeping problem continues:
If you have trouble falling asleep night after night, or if you always feel tired the next day, then you may have a sleep disorder and should see a physician. Your primary care physician may be able to help you; if not, you can probably find a sleep specialist at a major hospital near you. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively, so you can finally get that good night's sleep you need.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

WRITING IN THE SAND



 A story tells that two friends were walking
through the desert. In a specific point of the
journey, they had an argument, and one friend
slapped the other one on the face.
The one, who got slapped was hurt, but without
anything to say, he wrote in the sand:
"TODAY, MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME ON THE FACE,"

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis,
where they decided to take a bath.
The one who got slapped and hurt started drowning, and
the other friend saved him. When he recovered from
the fright, he wrote on a stone:
"TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE".

The friend who saved and slapped his best friend,
asked him, "Why,
after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you
write on a stone?"

The other friend, smiling, replied:
"When a friend hurts us, we should write it
down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness get
in charge of erasing it away, and when something great
happens, we should engrave it in the stone
of the memory of the heart, where no wind can
erase it"

SHARING INTERNET CONNECTION TROUGH WIFI



Connecting the ICS Host Computer to the Internet

Connect an Ethernet cable that leads to the Internet to the Ethernet adapter on the ICS host computer. In many cases, the Internet connection will provide automatic IP addressing. To utilize this facility of the Internet connection, the Ethernet connection in the Network Connections folder in Windows XP must be configured for automatic addressing. To configure a computer running Windows XP for automatic addressing, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the network connection that corresponds to the Ethernet network adapter attached to the Internet, and then click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the This connection uses the following items list.
  4. On the General tab, click Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically. An example is shown in the following figure.
  5. Click OK to save the changes to your connection's configuration.
If the Internet connection does not provide automatic IP addressing, you must manually configure an IP address configuration. To obtain an IP address configuration, see the network administrator of the network to which you are connecting. To manually configure a computer running Windows XP for an IP address configuration, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the network connection that corresponds to the Ethernet network adapter attached to the Internet, and then click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the This connection uses the following items list.
  4. On the General tab, click Use the following IP address and type the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway as instructed. Click Use the following DNS server addresses and type the IP address of a preferred and alternate Domain Name System (DNS) server as instructed.
  5. Click OK to save the changes to your connection's configuration.
Next, you must enable the Windows Firewall feature of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) feature of Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows XP with no service packs installed, or a third-party firewall to help protect the ICS host computer from malicious Internet users.

To enable Windows Firewall on the ICS host computer, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Windows Firewall.
  2. Click On, and then click OK.
To enable ICF on the Internet connection of the ICS host computer, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the Ethernet network connection that corresponds to the Ethernet network adapter attached to the Internet, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, select the Protect my computer by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box.
  4. Click OK to save changes to your connection.
After the ICS host computer is connected to the Internet, verify that you have Internet connectivity by using a Web browser such as Internet Explorer to view a few Web sites. To ensure that you are not viewing locally stored copies of Web page contents, refresh each Web page that you view.
When you are confident that you are accessing the Internet from the ICS host computer, proceed to the next step.


Enabling Internet Sharing on the Internet Connection of the ICS Host Computer

To enable Internet sharing on the Internet connection of the ICS host computer, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the Ethernet network connection that is used to access the Internet, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, select the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection check box and clear the Allow other network users to control or disable this shared Internet connection check box.
  4. Click OK to save changes to your connection.
  5. You might be prompted with a Local Network message box that explains how your computer's configuration is being changed. Click Yes to enable Internet sharing.

Creating an Ad Hoc Wireless Network on the ICS Host Computer

To create an ad hoc wireless network to share Internet access with the other WLAN computers on a computer running Windows XP with SP2 or Windows XP with SP1 and the WPA Wireless Security Update in Windows XP, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the wireless network connection, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
  4. In the wireless network adapter properties dialog box, click Add under Preferred networks.
  5. On the Association tab, type the name of your ad hoc wireless network in Network name (SSID). For example, you could name your wireless network AdHocInternet.
  6. Select the This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network check box and clear the The key is provided for me automatically check box.
  7. In Network Authentication, select Open.
  8. In Data encryption, select WEP.
  9. In Network key, type the WEP key. The WEP key should be a random sequence of hexadecimal digits or numbers, letters, and punctuation.
  10. In Confirm network key, retype the WEP key.
  11. Click OK to save changes to the wireless network.
  12. Click OK to save changes to the wireless network adapter.
To create an ad hoc wireless network to share Internet access with the other WLAN computers on a computer running Windows XP with SP1, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the wireless network connection, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
  4. In the wireless network adapter properties dialog box, click Add under Preferred networks.
  5. On the Association tab of the Wireless Network Properties dialog box, type the name of your ad hoc wireless network in Network name (SSID). For example, you could name your wireless network AdHocInternet.
  6. Select the Data encryption (WEP enabled) and This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network check boxes and clear the The key is provided for me automatically check box.
  7. In Network key, type the WEP key. The WEP key should be a random sequence of hexadecimal digits or numbers, letters, and punctuation.
  8. Retype the WEP key in Confirm network key.
  9. Click OK to save changes to the wireless network.
  10. Click OK to save changes to the wireless network adapter.

To create an ad hoc wireless network to share Internet access with the other WLAN computers on a computer running Windows XP with no service packs installed, do the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the wireless network connection, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
  4. In the wireless network adapter properties dialog box, click Add under Preferred networks.
  5. In the Wireless Network Properties dialog box, type the name of your ad hoc wireless network in Network name (SSID). For example, you could name your wireless network AdHocInternet.
  6. Select the Data encryption (WEP enabled) and This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network check boxes and clear the The key is provided for me automatically check box.
  7. In Key format, select a key format.
  8. In Key length, select a key size.
  9. In Network key, type the WEP key. The WEP key should be a random sequence of
  10. Click OK to save changes to the wireless network.
  11. Click OK to save changes to the wireless network adapter.
These instructions configure an encryption key for wireless communications on the ad hoc wireless network. You must tell the other users who want to access the Internet the WEP key. You can create an ad hoc wireless network without requiring encryption and an encryption key, but it is not recommended.


Connecting to the New Ad Hoc Wireless Network from the Other Laptop Computers

To connect each other laptop computer to the newly created ad hoc mode wireless network, do the following:
  1. Once the new ad hoc wireless network is created, Windows XP on other laptop computers should detect it and prompt you with a One or more wireless networks are available or Wireless networks detected message in the notification area of your taskbar.
  2. Click the notification message.
    If you are not notified, right-click the wireless network adapter in Network Connections and click View Available Wireless Networks.
    You should see the Wireless Network Connection dialog box (for Windows XP with SP2), a dialog box with the name of the wireless connection (for Windows XP with SP1), or the Connect to Wireless Network dialog box (for Windows XP with no service packs installed).
  3. For Windows XP with SP2, click the name of the new ad hoc wireless network in the list, and then click Connect. When prompted by the Wireless Network Connection dialog box, the WEP key in Network key and Confirm network key, and then click Connect.
    For Windows XP with SP1, click the name of the new ad hoc wireless network in Available networks, type the WEP key in Network key and Confirm network key, and then click Connect.
    For Windows XP with no service packs installed, click the name of the new ad hoc wireless network in Available networks, type the WEP key in Network key, and then click Connect.
Now that the laptop computer is connected to the ad hoc wireless network, you must configure it for either Windows Firewall or ICF and automatic addressing by doing the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the network connection that corresponds to the wireless network adapter, and then click Properties.
  3. For computers running Windows XP with SP2, click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings. From the Windows Firewall dialog box, click On, and then click OK.
    For computers running Windows XP with SP1 or Windows XP with no service packs installed, click the Advanced tab, and then select the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box.
  4. Click the General tab, double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the This connection uses the following items list.
  5. On the General tab, click Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically.
  6. Click OK to save the changes to the configuration of Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
  7. Click OK to save the changes to your connection's configuration.
    The laptop computer should receive an IP address configuration from the ICS host computer and have Internet connectivity. Test Internet connectivity by using a Web browser to view Web pages.


Restoring the Configuration of the ICS Host Computer

After the ad hoc Internet sharing is no longer needed, you can restore the configuration of the ICS host computer running Windows XP by doing the following:
  1. From the Windows XP desktop, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
  2. Right-click the Ethernet network connection that is used to access the Internet, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, clear the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection check box. If you are shutting down the computer to later connect it to a secure private network, such as an organization intranet and for which a firewall is not required, do one of the following:
  1. For computers running Windows XP with SP2, click Settings. From the Windows Firewall dialog box, click Off, and then click OK.
  2. For computers running Windows XP with SP1 or Windows XP with no service packs installed, clear the Protect my computer by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box.
  1. Click OK to save changes to your connection.
 

The IP address configuration of the wireless network connection is restored back to its original settings.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

THE MAYONNAISE JAR AND COFFEE




When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar... and the
coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with
golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar
was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once
more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous
"yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under
the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things - your God, family, your children, your health, your
friends, and your favorite passions - things that if everything else
was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The
pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,
and your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no
room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you
spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have
room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the
things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner.

Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and

fix the disposal."

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set
your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee
represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes
to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always

room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."