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Archive for July, 2012

Think Positive: Seven Easy Ways To Improve A Bad Day!

Had a lousy morning?   Things looking grim?

Not to worry. The rest of your day need not be a disaster. It can in fact become one of your best, providing you take these simple steps:

  1. Remember that the past does not equal the future. There is no such thing as a “run of bad luck“. The reason people believe such nonsense is that the  human brain creates patterns out of random events and remembers the events that fit the pattern.
  2. Refuse to make self-fulfilling prophesies. If you believe the rest of your day will be as challenging as what’s already happened,  then rest assured: You’ll end up doing something (or saying) something that will make sure that your prediction comes through.
  3. Get a sense of proportion. Think about the big picture: Unless something life-changing has happened (like the death of a loved one), chances are that in two weeks, you’ll have forgotten completely about whatever it was that has your shorts in a twist today.
  4. Change your threshold for “good” and “bad”. Decide that a good day is any day that you’re above ground. Similarly, decide that a bad day is when somebody steals your car and drives it into the ocean. Those types of definitions make it easy to be happy–and difficult to be sad.
  5. Improve your body chemistry. Your body and brain are in a feedback loop: A bad mood makes you tired, which makes your mood worse, and so forth. Interrupt the patterrn by getting up and moving around. Take a walk or eat something healthy.
  6. Focus on what’s going well.  The primary reason you’re convinced it’s a bad day is that you’re focusing on whatever went wrong. However, for everything going badly, there are probably dozens of things going well. Make list, and post it where it’s visible.
  7. Expect something wondrous. Just an attitude of doom and gloom makes you see more problems, facing the future with a sense of wonder makes you alive to all sorts of wonderful things that are going on, right now, everywhere around you.

This originally appeared in: Inc.

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  • How To Get Started
  • How To Find Great Products
  • How to Make Your Business Profitable Right From The Start
  • How  to Price Your Business or Service for Biggest Profits
  • Secrets of Creating Winning Mail Order Ads
  • 14 Sure Fire Check Off Lists That Guarantee Profits
  • and included in this newly revised edition is up-to-date information on:

  • How To Use The Internet to Super-Charge Your Mail Order Business.

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15 Simple Rules For A Healthy Happy Life!

REVEALED!  THE UNLOCKED SECRETS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF MIND.

Suffering, he said, arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable.

Epictetus was his name. Born a slave in Rome in 55 AD and lived there until he was banished. He spent the remainder of his life in Greece where he taught philosophy as a way of life. Suffering, he said, arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable. He strongly believed that human beings have a duty to care for all fellow human beings. The person who follows his precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind.

It is not known how he attained his freedom but he began teaching his philosophy and founded his own philosophy school in Rome until 93 AD when he and all philosophers living there at the time were banished.

Lame since childhood, he lived his life with few possessions and great simpilcity. For much of his life he lived alone but in old age he adopted a friends child who would otherwise have been left to die and raised him with the aid of a woman. Not much more is known about him other than his 15 RULES FOR A BALANCED LIFE. He died around 135 AD.

His philosophy became known as Stoicism. It is a philosophy grounded in accepting everyday reality. While some believe the term refers to numbness,  his original followers known as Stoics sought to maintain a balance between life’s highs and lows.

The philosophy of Epictetus is well known in the American military through the writings and example of James Stockdale an American fighter pilot who was shot down during the Vietnam War. In his book Courage Under Fire, Stockdale credits Epictetus with helping him endure seven and a half years in a North Vietnamese military prison—including  torture—and four years in solitary confinement.

The philosophy of Epictetus plays a key role in Tom Wolfe’s book A Man In Full. His philosophy is also mentioned in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man; also in Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger and is referred to in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.

Psychologist Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy credited Epictetus with providing a foundation for his system of psychotherapy and last but not least his philosophy is an influence on the acting method introduced by David Mamet.

EPICTETUS ANCIENT SECRETS TO A LONG, HEALTHY BALANCED LIFE!

  1. Know what you can control and what you cannot.
  2. Make full use of what happens to you.
  3. Seeking to please is a perilous  trap.
  4. Approach life as a banquet.
  5. Avoid adopting other peoples’ negative views.
  6. Never supress a generous impulse.
  7. Character matters more than reputation.
  8. Self-mastery depends on self-honesty.
  9. The virtuous are consistent.
  10. Be suspicious of convention.
  11. Widsom is revealed through action, not talk.
  12. No shame, no blame.
  13. Pursue the good ardently.
  14. Treasure your mind, cherish your reason, hold to your purpose.
  15. Disregard what doesn’t concern you.

Do Human Beings Carry Expiration Dates?

On June 9, the Wall Street Journal carried the following story under the heading Mind & Matter written by Matt Ridley.

After celebrating her 60th year on the throne in style this past week, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II can now look forward to breaking some more records. She is already, at 86, Britain’s oldest monarch (were she to die now, her son would be the 12th oldest). On Sept 10 2015, she would pass Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history. To beat Louis XIV (who succeeded to the throne at the age of 4) for the longest reign in European history, she would have to live to 98.

Elizabeth II is still going strong, but the maximum human lifespan isn’t rising at anything like the rate of average life expectancy, which is rushing upward globally at the rate of about three months a year, mainly because of progress against premature mortality. Indeed, we may already have hit some kind of limit for maximum lifespan—perhaps because natural selection, with its strict focus on reproductive success, has no particular need to preserve genes that would keep us going to 150.

The oldest woman in  the world, Besse Cooper, a retired schoolteacher in Georgia will be 116 on Aug. 26, according to the Geronotology Research Group, an organization that studies aging issues. That’s a great age but it’s a hefty six years short of the record: 122 years and 64 days, set by Jeanne Calment of France in 1997. In other words, if Mrs. Cooper can get there, Mrs. Calment’s record will have stood for 21 years; if she can’t, maybe longer.  That’s a long time considering that there are now nearly a half million centenarians alive in the world. That number has been going up 7% a year but the number of those over 115 is not increasing.

If Mrs. Cooper does not take the record, there are only two other 115-year olds alive to take on the challenge,and one of them is a man: Jiroemon Kimura, a retired postman from Kyoto. He’s within seven months of beating the age record for his sex, set by Christian Mortensen, who died in 1998. But Mr. Kimura is less likely than a woman to make 122, and there are fewer women over 115 today (two) than there were in 2006 (four) or even 1997 (three).

At least two people died after their 110th birthdays in the 1800s, if you’re willing to trust the birth certificates. So the increase of 12 years in maximum life expectancy during the 20th century was just one-third as large as the increase in average life expectancy during the period (36 years).

In 2002, James Vaupal of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, startled demographers by pointing out that every estimate published of the level at which average life expectancy would level out has been broken within a few years. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illionis, however argues that since 1980 this has no longer been true for already-old people in rich countries like the U.S.: Official estimates of remaining years of life for a woman aged 65 should be revised downward.

Thanks to healthier lifestyles, more and more people are surviving into old age. But that is not incompatible with there being a sort of expiration date on human lifespan. Most scientists think the decay of the body by aging is not itself programmed by genes, but the repair mechanisms that delay decay are.

In human beings, genes that help keep you alive as a parent or even grandparent have had a selective advantage through helping children thrive, but ones that keep you alive as a great-grandparent–who likely doesn’t play much of a role in the well-being and survival of great-grand children–have probably never contributed to reproductive success.

In other words, there is perhaps no limit to the number of people who can reach 90 or 100, but getting past 120 may never be possible, and 150 is probably unattainable, absent generic engineering–even for a monarch.

Whatever your age or the age you plan on reaching, I have a FREE offer for any of my blog readers who have an interest in starting a business of their own. Denny Hatch, a friend and mail order guru has developed 22 Rules for Internet Success and with his permission I would like to send you a copy. It’s yours for the asking; Just shoot me an e-mail: Send me a FREE copy of Denny Hatch’s 22 Rules for Internet Success

Suffering for Science – Sign up for a One-Way Trip to Mars

HOW ABOUT SELF-INFLICTED SPIDER BITES? or…  WOULD YOU LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A NUCLEAR TEST DUMMY? A weird few answer the call! The Pleasures of Suffering for Science!

HOW ABOUT SELF-INFLICTED SPIDER BITES? or…  WOULD YOU LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A NUCLEAR TEST DUMMY?

Alex Boese is the byline on this article from the Jun. 9 Wall Street Journal. Mr. Boese is the author of “Electrified Sheep: Glass-Eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiment.”

LAST WEEK, a private Dutch company, Mars One, announced that it hopes to send a four-person crew to Mars by 2023. To keep costs down, it will  be a one-way mission. Mars will become the astronauts’ permanent home.

It’s not clear whether this will be a scientific mission so much as a reality TV show, since the company plans to finance the operation by airing the entire  thing live, with commercial sponsors. But the scheme echoes similar plans  that bonafide members of the scientific community, including physicists Paul Davies and Lawrence Krauss and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, have been lobbying for since the 1990s. If humans do land on Mars any time soon, it could very well be on such a trip.

Mars offers a barren, inhospitable environment. The temperatures are freezing and the atmosphere is toxic. The crew of such a mission should expect their experience, and therefore the rest of their lives, to be at least somewhat unpleasant. Given this, who in their right mind would volunteer to go?

Interestingly enough, quite a few people.

When the Navy conducted its atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946, more than 90 people volunteered to man the ships stationed in the target area, so that scientists could gather data about the biological effects of the blasts. Navy researchers admitted that human test subjects would be “more satisfactory than animals”, but they worried about the public-relations aspect of using people, so all were turned down.

There’s also a long history of seemingly rational scientists who were willing to sacrifice their physical comfort, as well as their lives, for the sake of knowledge. Some are remembered as genuine heroes, such as the researchers led by Walter Reed who in 1900 let themselves be bitten by mosquitos carrying yellow fever, to prove that the insects carried the disease.

Other cases of suffering for science are regarded more as historical curiosities. In 1933, University of Alabama professor Allan Walker Blair induced a female black-widow spider to bite his hand. He allowed its fangs to stay in him for 10 seconds, so that he could get a full dose of venom, and then spent several days writhing in nightmarish pain at the local hospital. The attending physician said he had never seen “more abject pain manifested in any other medical or surgical condition”. A fellow entomologist had conducted the same self-experiment 12 years earlier, but Mr. Blair apparently felt the need to experience the sensation himself.

Then there was the Japanese pediatrician, Shimesu Koino, who ate 2,000 eggs of an intestinal roundworm in order to study the life cycle of the organism firsthand. His infection became so severe that he began to cough up the worms from his lungs.

Two London based doctors, Herbert Woollard and Edward Carmichael, earned a dubious place of honor among the ranks of sufferers for science by stacking weights on their testicles in order to examine how the subsequent pain spread throughout their bodies. Even mathematics offers an example of physical self-sacrifice, through repetitive stress injury. University of Georgia professor Pope R. Hill flipped a coin 100,000 times to prove that heads and tails would come up an approximately equal number of times. The experiment lasted a year. He fell sick but completed the count, though he had to enlist the aid of an assistant near the end.

This history suggests that something about suffering and self-sacrifice appeals to to the scientific mind. To paraphrase President Kennedy, scientists do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. 

But one has to wonder, at what point does the sacrifice cease to have any value for the advancement of sicence and simply become the pursuit of hardship for its own sake.

With respect to a manned, one-way mission to Mars, I suspect such questions will fall on deaf ears. Opponents of manned missions have long argued that everything to be gained by going to Mars can best be done by robots. But if Mars One is televising the whole thing, that would at least be good for ratings, allowing the company to earn enough money to send more teams out there. The suffering could become a self-perpetuating end in itself.

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