Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for February 24th, 2009

Eating cheese can be heart healthy. Women who ate a serving a day (about the size of four dice) had higher HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad) than those who ate less, according to a study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Men didn’t reap the same benefits, possibly because they tend to pick cheeses with more saturated fat and salt.

Please your palate and your heart.
Please your palate and your heart.

To please your palate and your heart:

  • Stick to part-skim. Slimmed-down versions of mozzarella, Cheddar, and other cheeses have less saturated fat but just as much taste — and you don’t have to sacrifice good-for-your-arteries calcium and essential fatty acids.
  • Skip fat-free products. Most are loaded with sodium to make up for lost flavor, and the texture’s often rubbery.
  • Go gourmet. Specialty cheeses are high in fat — but their intense flavors are satisfying, so you can more easily stick to a small serving.

New research reveals foods that help protect against three leading age-related vision thieves:

Healthy Vision and Nutrition
Reduce the risk of glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Glaucoma. Just one serving a month of kale or collard greens or more than two servings of carrots a week reduced the risk of glaucoma by more than 60 percent in a UCLA study of 1,000 women. Scientists believe that high levels of vitamin A and other antioxidants in these veggies help protect crucial cells in the optic nerve.

Cataracts. Adults who regularly drink orange juice and also include C-rich foods such as red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli in their daily diet are 45 percent less likely to develop cataracts, according to new research from Australia. Vitamin C may help counteract the lens-clouding effects of light and heat.

Macular degeneration. Eating oatmeal, high-fiber cereals, and whole-grain breads cuts the risk of macular degeneration by about 39 percent, shows a recent study. Complex carbs prevent blood sugar swings that can damage delicate cells in the center of the retina.

From Reader’s Digest – February 2009

Empire builders like Bill Gates and Sam Walton aren’t just great businessmen. They are bona fide revolutionaries.

Self-made billionaires don’t dominate industries –they transform them and spawn new ones. That takes more than intelligence, courage and luck. It takes divine-like vision.

Billionaire entrepreneurs are “not working within the confines of the current market,” says Gerald Kraines, chief executive of the Levinson Institute, a business consulting firm in Jaffey, N.H. “They’re anticipating things much further afield. You have to see spaces that no one else sees.”

The world’s self-made billionaires certainly have vision in spades, spanning everything from how computers work to how people shop. But the ability to see around corners isn’t the only quality that separates the very accomplished from the stratospherically wealthy. To crack the $1 billion barrier, you need total, unwavering belief in your vision–and an immutable will to pull it off.

“[Billionaire entrepreneurs] need a deep passion and a point of view about the future,” says Peter Skarzynski, chief executive of Strategos, a Chicago-based consulting firm that advises global companies, including Nokia (nyse: NOK news people ) and Whirlpool (nyse: WHR news people ). “They fundamentally believe that they have a better way to solve a set of problems than how they’re being solved now.”

Billionaires also have a seemingly ravenous appetite for risk. It’s hard enough for many of us to muster the courage to abandon our cubicles and start a small company, let alone build an empire. And while the risks pile up as businesses expand, billionaires have a confidence bordering on arrogance that checks their fear and doubt, says Skarzynski.

Are you a born billionaire? Before you tackle a serious growth strategy and all its attendant hassles, ask yourself some hard questions at the outset, says executive psychologist Debra Condren, who has worked with big names like 3M (nyse: MMM news people ), Chevron (nyse: CVX news people ) and Hewlett-Packard (nyse: HPQ news people ).

The most important one: Why go big at all? Are you looking to cash out in a sale? Enamored of the thought of having your own stock ticker? Suffused with competitive desire? Whatever your reason, get a grip on it before you decide to kick your zealous pursuits into high gear.

Next, ask yourself if you are willing to make tough decisions for the growth of your company. If you have an intense loyalty to the small group who helped get things off the ground, understand that those folks may not be able to come along for the ride. If you’re not comfortable supplanting (or firing) them, stay small.

For entrepreneurs who prize their independence, ask yourselves how much of it you’re willing to give up. As the demands mount, both your schedule and decisions become less your own; worse, you may have investors and board members to appease.

“It becomes very hard for company founders to accept that they are no longer the real boss,” says Carl Robinson, a psychologist who works primarily with growing, middle-market companies.

Like holding forth in public? You’d better, because companies of any significant size need a public face. Entrepreneurs who thrive on public performances–weekly meetings, shareholder gripe sessions, even television interviews–have an easier time than those who shun the spotlight.

“You need to have the ability to fill a room and inspire people,” says Condren. If public speaking isn’t your forté, but you’re still hankering to grow, find a confident substitute who can sell your story.

Not only do you have to be able to communicate, you need a knack for building consensus. In most cases, the bigger your business, the more input you need from those around you–and that means being willing and able to marshal them to your cause. Have a my-way-or-the-highway mentality? Can your growth plans.

In the end, chasing billionaire status–and not crashing along the way–is as much about knowing who you are as it is about knowing how to nab new customers or manage inventory. Who knows? Maybe a modest $100 million might be a better fit.

Source: www.

If you’re worried about getting laid off, here’s some consolation: So is everyone else. Follow these do’s and don’ts to raise the odds that your job stays, well, yours.

DO take credit… but don’t “walk around with a big neon sign that says I’M GREAT,” says career coach Marie McIntyre. “Look for opportunities to let people know what you’re doing.” One good strategy: Create a paper trail by copying your boss on e-mail (selectively!). And periodically take the initiative to send a summary of what you’re working on.

DON’T ask for a raise or a promotion. Be patient, and be grateful for now that you’ve got a job.

DO volunteer for more work. Companies are making cuts, so someone needs to pick up the extra work. Do it with a smile, and you’re a dream employee.

DO arrive early and stay late. This is obvious and no longer optional. Make your commitment visible by pulling long hours. Also, lay off the text messaging or personal calls during business hours.

DON’T telecommute. “[Bosses] tend to fire people they don’t like or don’t know,” says Stephen Viscusi, author of “Bulletproof Your Job.” Working from home or part-time makes it harder for your boss to know you, so avoid it if you can.

DO chat up your boss and your boss’s boss. If you’re at the cafeteria, strike up a conversation. “Executives love to talk about business, and they’re often as uneasy talking with you as you are with them,” says McIntyre. Be ready with a question, like “I just read about something our competitor’s doing. What’s your take on that?”

DON’T be eccentric. Now’s the time to fit in completely. “Buy some Crest White Strips. Look like you belong there,” says career expert Stephen Viscusi. “Don’t wear perfume or cologne, because maybe you’re wearing the perfume of your boss’s ex-wife.”

DO feel your boss’s pain. If you feel as if you’re being marginalized, talk with your manager and find out what his or her priorities are these days. Ask your boss, “What are your biggest goals right now, and how can I help?”

DON’T be high maintenance. Even if layoffs are necessary, they can also serve as an excuse for companies to fire people they wanted to get rid of anyway. Why? The most frequent issue is attitude: People who are demanding, difficult, or whiny, or otherwise take up too much of their manager’s energy, are the first to go.

If you need something from your boss, there’s a right and a wrong way to ask. “Use the magic phrase, ‘I really want to make this work,'” suggests Deborah Brown-Volkman, a career coach who specializes in counseling financial services professionals. Be clear you’re committed to finding a solution that helps the company. “The worst approach is ‘I don’t have this, I don’t have that,'” Brown-Volkman says. Instead, show how your business will benefit from a fix. If you can’t, then let it go. And always be ready with a solution or two.

The bottom line: Make your boss’s job easier, not harder.

DO stay informed. Set a Google alert for your company so that you’re up on what’s going on. You’ll have a better sense for when layoffs are coming. Plus, smart employees know how their piece of the business fits into the larger picture of what’s happening at the company.

DON’T gossip about the company. It’s tempting to compare notes with co-workers, but obsessing about your fears will only distract you from being productive. “It’s a diversion of your energy, and whatever answers you’re coming up with aren’t that helpful,” says Haberfeld.

DO a self-review. Try this exercise: Imagine your boss, your boss’s boss, and the HR director all sitting in a room, categorizing people. What are they going to say about you? How much do they value your work?

DON’T panic! There may still be a way to save your job if your boss tells you you’re being laid off. “These are the words you always hear: ‘Listen, we have to let you go – it’s a numbers thing,'” says Viscusi. He suggests negotiating and offering to take less pay or work fewer days in the week.

“If they still say no,” he says, “now you’re calling their bluff, allowing yourself to open a bigger severance envelope.” That’s because if a company has trouble explaining why it fired you, there’s room for you to sue for wrongful termination. Some managers might decide it’s easier to throw some money in your direction now than risk losing more down the road.



1. Words of Affirmation

Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.”  Simple statements, such as, “You look great in that suit,” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.

Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement.  Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

2. Quality Time

Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on your mate. A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared.

Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. A good mate will not only listen, but offer advice and respond to assure their mate they are truly listening. Many mates don’t expect you to solve their problems. They need a sympathetic listener.

An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate with your mate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time with your mate.

Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future.
Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage.

3. Receiving Gifts

Some mates respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

If you want to become an effective gift giver, many mates will have to learn to change their attitude about money. If you are naturally a spender, you will have no trouble buying gifts for your mate. However, a person who is used to investing and saving their money may have a tough time adjusting to the concept of spending money as an expression of love. These people must understand that you are investing the money not in gifts, but in deepening your relationship with your mate.

The gift of self is an important symbol of love. Sometimes all your mate desires is for someone to be there for them, going through the same trials and experiencing the same things. Your body can become a very powerful physical symbol of love.

These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if your mate relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.

4. Acts of Service

Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. Just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed the feet of his disciples, doing humble chores can be a very powerful expression of love and devotion to your mate.

Very often, both pairs in a couple will speak to the Acts of Service Language. However, it is very important to understand what acts of service your mate most appreciates. Even though couples are helping each other around the house, couples will still fight because the are unknowingly communicating with each other in two different dialects. For example, a wife may spend her day washing the cars and walking the dog, but if her husband feels that laundry and dishes are a superior necessity, he may feel unloved, despite the fact that his wife did many other chores throughout the day. It is important to learn your mate’s dialect and work hard to understand what acts of service will show your love.

It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. A mate who does chores and helps out around the house out of guilt or fear will inevitably not be speaking a language of love, but a language of resentment. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.

Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both mates to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.

5. Physical Touch

Many mates feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse makes many mates feel secure and loved in a marriage. However, it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation. It is important to discover how your partner not only physically responds but also psychologically responds to these touches.

It is important to learn how your mate speaks the physical touch language. Some touches are irritating and uncomfortable for your mate. Take the time to learn the touches your mate likes. They can be big acts, such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. It’s important to learn how your mate responds to touch. That is how you will make the most of this love language.

All marriages will experience crisis. In these cases, physical touch is very important. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.

It is important to remember that this love language is different for everyone. What type of touch makes you feel secure is not necessarily what will make your partner happy. It is important to learn each other’s dialects. That way you can make the most of your hugging, kissing, and other physical contacts.

Author: Gary Chapman


The Hebrew word translated repent is nacham, which means to turn around, or change one’s mind. On the highway of sin, there is only one destination. Repentance takes us in the opposite direction, to the road that leads to life.
January 1, 2007

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February 2009


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