Archive for August, 2008

Biltmore Estate by Kamoteus

You may be richer than you know. Want to find out? First, take a few minutes and list the top 10 things you want to purchase in the net year, i.e. big screen TV, a new car, furniture, a home theater system, the new Xbox or Wii, a fancy laptop, a new house, a beautiful painting or a cell phone with all the bells and whistles. Think about all the days of work, or even overtime it will take to get your prize.

Now think back and make a list of 10-20 things you’ve purchased in the last year that made you really happy. My guess is that one or several things on the first list is on your new list too. As you add each item, remember the anticipation and joy you felt with each new acquisition. Recall the planning, preparation and savings that went into each posession.

How often do use each item? Is it something you enjoy and utilize every day – or just another dust collector? It is useful, necessary, beautiful, or something that makes you smile each time you see it? Do you impatiently complain about the long wait for your next new toy while your past purchases lie unused nearby?

Many of us are guilty of this from time to time. We make a purchase on the spur of the moment and it isn’t what we really want. Or we buy something with the best of intentions; golf clubs, a new treadmill, or a gym membership, but then find ourselves too busy to use it.

Take another look at all you already have. Is there something you could rediscover that would negate the need for something new? Take the new gaming system for example. The graphics are great, and the sound and overall quality are top-notch. But each game contains a complicated storyline, with multiple levels, hidden secret weapons, or objectives that must be reached before you can advance. Whereas one of the old classics – the Nintendo, is simply a quick point and shoot system that requires much less time and is far easier to play. Perhaps with your schedule, purchasing a few more games for this old system is a better, money-saving solution.

Remember as well, that things don’t bring happiness. Attitude is the #1 thing that helps you find happiness. You can have a broken leg and still be happy. You can drive a 20 year old car and be happy. (Hey maybe it’s a classic red 1965 convertible mustang!) You can wear thrift store clothes and be happy. (Maybe you’re a 70’s style diva and that’s the best place to shop.)

Take Stock Tips:

  1. Evaluate. Do I need this? Can I pay for it? Do I have time for it?
  2. Re-use. Do I need to pay top dollar? Can I buy an older house for less and use the extra money to remodel it into my dream home? Can I trade my brother my treadmill for his punching bag set?
  3. Worth. Should I buy the item now or will the price come down in a few months? Will I use this daily, weekly, or monthly? Does this model have all the features and options I want? Is this the style, color and edition I like best?
  4. Stay Put? Are you happy with what you have now? Would delaying your purchase give you more choices or lower prices? Can you find it on Craig’s List, EBay or your local classifieds instead?

Pick something you don’t feel pressured and rushed to buy and try a few of these tips. Odds are taking your time will help you appreciate what you have already. The slower pace will help you match your choice to your style and personality, earning you years of blissful enjoyment.


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Into the sun by aussiegall

Many people feel like they don’t have a creative bone in their body.  “I didn’t get the creativity gene,” they complain.  “I’m not a musician, poet, or painter.”  Creativity is much more than that.

Any time you come up with a silly nickname for a friend, combine your clothes in a new fashion, or figure out a way to keep Uncle Bob and Aunt Brenda from fighting at Thanksgiving, you are being creative.

The key to being more creative is practice, practice, practice.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Close your eyes – it allows your mind to wander free and explore new possibilities.
  2. Flip through magazines but don’t read anything.  Just look at pictures and colors.
  3. Click through the TV with the sound off. How does it change the emotion conveyed by a television show or commercial?  What would you alter in its presentation?
  4. Bring a tape recorder when you exercise for recording those inevitable great ideas your workout generates.
  5. Brainstorm highly exaggerated solutions to help shake up your thinking and get you looking outside of the box.  Or circle.
  6. Watch or read something funny. Try comic strips, joke books, cartoons, sitcoms, or skim the newspaper headlines.  Even if it doesn’t increase brain activity, you’ll have a good laugh.
  7. Creativity gurus. Make a list of unrelated people – imaginary and real to turn to when you want a new idea.  What would Scooby Doo say?  Or the Dali Lama, Bruce Lee, and Maxine from those Shoebox cards?  Helps you see things from a different perspective.
  8. Do something new. Listen to music you’ve never heard before, learn tai chi, go rock climbing, learn a home improvement skill, or see if you can beat your kids at their favorite video game.  Shake things up a bit.
  9. Focus on something. Ever bought a brand new red sports car, and suddenly you’re seeing them everywhere?  They were there before, you just didn’t notice.  Pick a color, a sound, a texture or even an animal and see how many times you can find it.  Change them around each day or week.
  10. Relax. Don’t let being creative stress you out.  That blocks new ideas.  If nothing is coming to you, go do something else.  Or take a few deep breaths to unwind.  When you’re feeling good the ideas will suddenly start flowing.  Keep a pen and paper handy!

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Vitor by Maricy_vet

Are you one of those people who plans to get organized, but just can’t fit it into their busy schedule?  Do you start a project but forget about it halfway through and never complete it?  Do you enjoy taking a hearty mid-day or mid-evening nap simply because you can?  Don’t let others use these traits as a negative.  Here is a tip list of reasons that your weaknesses are actually strengths in disguise:

  • Taking fewer showers tells others know how environmentally friendly you are.
  • Not doing the dishes means you have more time for the emails, text messages and watching your favorite TV shows.
  • A slower gait reduces scuffs and abrasions to your shoes, making them last longer and saving you money.
  • Dusty tabletops are a convenient way to leave messages for family without need of paper or pen.
  • You are giving the economy a boost – someone has to keep the housekeeping industry going.
  • A clothing strewn floor helps prevent carpet stains.
  • Your un-mown lawn is now an eco-friendly environment for several species of birds and bugs.
  • When the paint on your house is peeling and the shutters are falling off you can turn your home into “The Cabin of Terror,” and entertain your neighbors on Halloween.
  • Your refrigerator mold can help lower the cost of penicillin.

Hard work pays off in the future.  Laziness pays off NOW!!

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Do U Dance?

So You Think You Can Dance by beesquare

Tomorrow night is the finale for “So You Think You Can Dance.”  I just discovered the show this year and I absolutely love it!  I’ve learned so much about dance and enjoyed learning about all the different styles.  Never before had I seen the “street” techniques of Krumping and Popping, or realized how hard it is to do a “simple” Waltz.

The show is entertaining, upbeat and totally captivating.  With top-notch choreographers, glamorous and funky costumes and great music, it is hot-hot-hot!  Seeing a hip-hop dancer perform the quickstep, or a contemporary dancer doing a Broadway routine is educational, impressive, and sometimes hilarious.  I’ve learned that dancing takes lots of practice and work.  But it’s also a ton of fun!

I love hearing the judges tell top dancers over and over, “With your lack of technical dance background, you shouldn’t be able to do this, but here you are!”  It’s like a motivational/inspirational jolt to see a guy or girl with little or no technical dance background end up in the top ten.  Watching them week after week keeping up with competitors who have years of additional dance education and experience is a reminder that none of us should give up on our dreams without at least giving it a try.  You never know what might happen.

This year’s favorites, Joshua and Katee, have performed numerous routines and styles of dance near flawlessly.  They are exuberant and energetic and make those difficult moves seem easy.  Until you try to follow along at home and end up stumbling over your feet and falling on your backside.

Of course that doesn’t stop me from following along and trying my best to get at least one or two moves down.  I doubt I’ll be entering any competitions myself, but I’ve found a new type of exercise that is far from boring, and gives me a better cardio workout than any aerobics tape I’ve seen.

Although this week is the final shows for the year, I look forward to watching the past three seasons on the Internet.  It’s been so enlightening to see the cool moves I’ve never seen anywhere else.  (Why aren’t these kinds of moves in more music videos instead of that booty-shaking junk?  I might actually watch a few if they had this kind of dancing in them.)

The great thing is that the judges say this year’s group of dancers are the best ever, so I’m really looking forward to next year.  (You know it’s a tight competition when you feel sad and teary-eyed when each round of dancers gets voted off.)  Check out the web site for more details and some of the hippest moves you’ve ever seen.

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