Sachin Tendulkar Hair Raising Story

Sachin Tendulkar looks different these days. And no, I am not talking about a change in his batting style, or a drastic change of mood reflected on his face- no! I am actually referring to his hairstyle. Yes, while Rahul Dravid is making headlines these days owing to the news of his retirement, another great cricketing legend is painting the gossip columns red with his surprising new haircut. Sachin's always flaunted his trademark bouncy curls that co-existed peacefully with his boyish charm. To imagine a Sachin without those curls is like visualizing a Ronaldinho who had braces as a child. He has straightened his locks and slicked it back, leaving a few strands caressing his forehead and swaying in the wind.

This stylish new hairdo that made an appearance during the Wimbledon match between Serena Williams and Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova is apparently garnering praises from the so called hairstyle aficionados, who I think, are grateful that Sachin finally decided to break away from his hair and style monotony and do something different altogether. It needs to be acknowledged that transformation is a result of some really cool hair products and is no way associated with hair transplant, hair weaving or hair extension related procedures.

People are going over the limb to appreciate and adulate Sachin Tendulkar profile. Sachin's fans have even gone to the extent of sporting similar hair-do while cheering for their 'Little Master'. "He looks younger," they said. "He looks suave and stylish," they quipped. Well, it just goes to show you that Sachin's fans would follow him to the end of the earth, if they have to. Since the hair style has very little effect on Sachin Tendulkar statistics, he can shave his head to make it shine like a polished marble and still hit a sixer that is going to leave you mesmerized.

When asked about why he opted for a more metro-sexual look, Sachin, bless his soul, confessed he was opting for a hairstyle that would make him look younger but unfortunately or fortunately, it didn't quite pan out as he had planned. He adds that he had experimented with makeovers in the past (read a french beard that he sported a while back) and while this might have been a little drastic, it is till his choice to make and he doesn't regret his decision. Well said Sachin Sir; it is in fact your life, your hair and your whimsy. Sadly, Sachin Tendulkar caricatures won't be the same, ever again.

Going Solo

Is it better to travel with a companion or not to travel with a companion in Japan?

I'd say firstly, it depends on your attitude and level of Japanese. Also, it depends a lot on how you typically travel. For instance, if you travel an average of once or twice a year then by all means bring someone with you for good company and to enhance the experience. But, if you are cataloging your experiences, and spending a lot of your time immersed in writing and photography then in my opinion going it alone is far better than with someone, unless you are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or going on a dangerous expedition somewhere.

The soloist is a guy who isn't looking for the romantic get away spot. He/she is in search of information and contact with other people. He wants an intimate experience with his surroundings only. I want to feel my camera in my hands. I want to feel and smell every single tiny little blade of grass I walk over. I want to get a feel for the whole of nature while totally caring nothing about anyone else. That's the soloist.

The soloist is the type of guy/gal who can linger around in a hot spa for ages and not be pressed for time, because of dinner appointments or scheduling complications. He or she can also spend as much time doing absolutely nothing at all and not offend anyone else while doing it. The soloist remembers what was eaten for dinner because it was the food that was communed with, and not necessarily with a stranger who would rather talk the experience away with redundant question about where I am from. The soloist has muted his anxieties from the constant stairs from the packs of elderly who sees him or herself sitting in golden silence and wonders why and how someone could achieve such a peaceful state of bliss. There is nothing as wonderful like existing in such a peaceful state.

I learned this from Mr. Takayama-san years ago. He and I had absolutely nothing in common. Whenever he took me out to a natural hot spa he rarely spoke to me. He was a man of few words and never wasted his time on gossip or adult related topics. He would just look over at me and say " that is low energy!" I began to pick up a lot from him because he was the lone traveler who showed me the way. In modern societies most people would rather settle for the conveniences of home rather than going out to stay in a hotel. This is a natural consequence of modernization. In other words, people have forgotten why people go out anymore and this is not good. There is just simply no comparison with your home bathing unit to a natural hot spa spring in nature.

The purpose of this post should not be taken to mean "you should travel alone." I just feel I need to lend some perspective on travel from a guy who travels solo sometimes, for the sake of clarity if anything. Being a soloist can sometimes be dangerous like when I drove through a snowstorm from the Tokachidake Mountains of Hokkaido to Sapporo and my GPS was out and with no visibility and on an unmarked road.

In another instance is when I got stuck up on a mountain at midnight and saw howling wolves encircling my perimeter from the headlights. I was able to clear just enough room on the road from a fallen tree to edge my car through and made it to safety. I haven't blogged about that experience until now I think.

What you have to take from life's lessons is that time waits for no one. You have to make your own moves and then people will help you along the way. Not " I'm going to wait for people to show me the way." Maybe for some people. At any rate, to solo or not to solo is a decision that you clearly have to make based on your needs, and what your purpose is. If you are the carefree type that's not too caught on travel and need a companion then by all means bring a buddy or two. I have travelled in groups and have enjoyed myself immensely.

What you need to bring with you if you do decide to travel solo is good dictionary, travel guide, extra batteries. At every station I like to check and recheck that I have everything I need. If you bring a laptop, then a good USB connector for it is a must if you need to charge your phone. Most convenience stores carry generic chargers, but are very poorly made and do not charge your electronic devices sufficiently.

Try not to feel overwhelmed by your surroundings. Keep a cool head and always act as if you are an experienced traveller, and try not to look like someone who has never travelled in his/her life. Looking stoic is better than appearing totally lost. It's because you do not want to attract the wrong kind of attention, unless of course if you are really in need of help then that's another story.

I find the Japanese people to be warm and hospitable, and very accommodating. Some have a reasonable command of the English language whereas others absolutely none. In another experience, when I was visiting South Korea, I went into a Korean BBQ restaurant by myself and was refused entry based off of how I looked, so I thought. The lady says "Japanese only." "But this is Korea!" I answered back. What she was really trying to say to me was that in her restaurant they only service customers who either speak Japanese or Korean, in which case I speak Japanese. After conveying this to her she seated me and provided me with excellent customer service; the food was great too. It was the language barrier she was afraid to confront which is what I find in many countries I have visited, in that it is not so much about how you look, but what language you can communicate in. English is not entirely the key to unlock all doors.

When travelling solo, I highly recommend having a reasonable understanding of the host country's language, or at least bring a language book. A nice smile wouldn't hurt either. People are generally kind in many east Asian countries, even to the soloist.

When travelling in Japan you will also find that the Japanese are very open, and are more than willing to accommodate you whether it be at a hotel or a restaurant. However, I do not advice visiting the red light district because these areas are exclusive 'Japanese only' establishments ran by the mafia, and other seedy organizations.

The thing to remember here is that even though Japan is relatively a safe country, you still need to avoid areas where you suspect there may be danger. Other then that, enjoy your trip to Japan. There is a plethora of information on Japan on the internet, and you could literally spend hours wading through recommendation after recommendation as to where to eat and go. In the end, I recommend following your best judgement and enjoy your stay in Japan.

6 Things You Should Do If You Want Your Ex to Feel Inner Desire For You Yet Again! Know This Now

Use one or more of these easy mind tricks to get your ex back fast. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain!

o Be polite...Act as if it all happened for good: When you run into your ex - and it's obvious you will eventually - be polite. Let them see you are the better person. Don't make a scene or blurt out the ugly and sarcastic remark that's on the tip of your tongue.

By showing your best manners you are letting your ex know that you aren't holding a grudge. They will really appreciate your level of maturity and will surely begin to wonder if they did the right thing when they left you.

o Look your best...As if you already have someone else to entertain: Put on the sexiest and classiest outfit you have. If you don't usually have these type of clothes then go out and get some.

Your ex will be totally blown away when they see you with that fashionable suit or dress and the hip new hairstyle. They will feel their eyes have been opened and will fall back in love with you.

o Don't talk trash about them: When you are out with friends or coworkers the inevitable question will come up: "Why did you break up?"

Use this opportunity to show everyone that you are mature and respond calmly. Do not start babbling about how they mistreated you or that they are just crazy and stupid.

Let everyone see that you have only good things to say about your ex. That is sure to be news to them - and they will definitely find out soon enough. They will wonder if they misjudged you and will start to make a move to get in touch with you again.

o Don't settle for "just friends": Once you are on speaking terms with your ex, make it clear you are in it for keeps. No settling for "friends with benefits" or "just friends".

If you give your ex the chance to be only friends they will have the pleasure of your company without the responsibilities or duties of a real couple. If they get used to this, you will become a toy and they will never commit. Don't go there.

o Flirt, flirt, flirt: hit the dating scene again and start flirting with other hot singles. Watch your ex squirm in their seat as they watch you dance the night away with someone else!

o Have a lot of patience...Things don't change overnight: Remember, it's like starting over again. So, be patient and wait for your ex to react and realize there's no one better than you for them.

Why the Real Estate Market Downturn Hasn't Got Me Down

With all of the doom and gloom in the news I don't read the paper as much as I used to, but when I finally picked up a few articles I had flagged to read, I was delighted to find this one in the Vancouver Sun:

Real estate downturn no big deal for homeowners

Sales dropped 35 per cent last year to the lowest level since 2000, and the price of a typical home in Metro Vancouver fell by 15 per cent from its peak.

But before you pull out your calculator to figure out how much equity you've lost, reflect on the reasons you bought your home. Did you buy it to flip it and make a big profit in a hot market?

Or did you buy it because it had a fenced yard for the kids, a deck for summer entertaining, large windows that let the sunshine in, beautiful hardwood floors, a gourmet kitchen, the right number of bedrooms for your growing family, a playroom in the basement and a fireplace in the living room?

Finally, someone is making some sense in the media!

When our friends and family ask us how we're doing with our investments, concerned that we've lost everything in the downturn, we shrug it off.

We don't try and figure out what our property is worth everyday (like some people do with their stocks). The thing that's important to us is that we have renters in each unit that are paying their rent and covering our costs. If the property drops in value this year, it means we aren't growing our equity that can potentially be used to buy other properties, but otherwise it's not a big deal. We're certainly not going to panic.

As long as the reasons we bought the property still exist, we're happy.

That is, as long as the area the property is in hasn't changed fundamentally from when we bought there and we're still achieving our goals on the property (which is usually just as simple as having neutral or positive cashflow from the property), then we are happy. We will keep holding that property and wait until the day arrives where the market is doing better, and we want to cash out (by either selling or refinancing to pull equity out).

I cheered when the article went on to say this:

In Richmond, prices are down 4.8 per cent over a year, but up nearly 58 per cent over five; in Port Coquitlam the one-year decline is 4.8 per cent and the five-year gain is 64 per cent; in Maple Ridge the year-over-year drop is 9.7 per cent, the five-year advance is 31 per cent; in Burnaby prices are down 14 per cent for the year, but up 47.5 per cent over five; and in New West the one-year drop is 10.4 per cent, while the five-year gain is 59 per cent.

It is clear that real estate has held up far better than stocks, which have seen price declines of 40 per cent from the peak on average. To be sure, real estate sales are down, listings are up and prices are falling. But the market will recover - yes, it will - so owning your own home continues to be a sensible financial goal.

I sometimes sound like I'm anti-stock investing - and I know I am about to again. But, I just don't get why real estate investing scares so many people more than stock investing does. Do you ever really know what is happening inside of a company? Not really. But, with your property, if you are doing a good job of being an investor, you always have a good idea of what is happening. And, you have the control to improve things that aren't quite going as well as you'd like them to.

I'm not anti-stocks, but I haven't done that well with the investments I've made. I know I just never took the time to properly research and select the stocks I purchased. I spend a lot more time researching my real estate. So, for me, it's good to see it stated that real estate values have held up so much better than stock prices in the last 12 months.

Real estate investing is not an easy way to get rich quick, but it is a wonderful way to create massive wealth over time. I think that some people forgot that in the craziness of the last few years, and started to believe that real estate will always go up. When, in fact, it won't.

So make sure you buy properties that are in solid areas that WILL recover from downturns, and buy investments that will bring in enough revenue to cover the costs, and then hold on to them! Don't panic when the rest of the world is... remember why you bought the property in the first place, just like the Vancouver Sun article says!

How to Get Away From it All Without Really Getting Away

When you're trying to think of great gift ideas for her, one of the first things likely to come to mind is a romantic trip away just for the two of you. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible. While getting away for a while would be a great way to spend some quality time together, it's just not always feasible to do so. Maybe you're both career-oriented people and you can't take the necessary time away from your job. Maybe you just simply can't afford a long vacation. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that the reason you want to get away is to get closer to each other. The good news is you don't HAVE to get away to enjoy that. It's possible to "get away from it all" without really getting away at all. If, in the end, you end up closer to each other, isn't that the whole point?

For many people, present ideas are difficult to come by. This is because they get locked into one idea and refuse to entertain alternatives. However, if you really want to be able to get closer to your significant other (in all the ways that matter), then you're going to need to be flexible (in all the ways that matter)!

For instance, maybe you imagined going away for a long vacation and staying in a fancy hotel while you were there. Perhaps you envisioned leisurely mornings of the two of you lying together, reluctant to get out of bed and ordering room service. If simply being alone together is one of the main draws of your planned vacation, then consider that you can do this close to home as well.

You could arrange to spend the weekend in a romantic chateau close to where you live, and then you could get away without having to take any time off at all. You could still enjoy all the amenities of a spa-type resort and get to spend some quality time with each other as well. Isn't that what it's all about?

You can even turn a weekend at home into a "get away" of sorts as long as you get away from the usual routine of your life and devote your time to something unique and different. Consider what a weekend at home might be like if the two of you made plans to not leave the house and instead spend all your time together. Spice up the proceedings with a few luxury items like chocolate and wine, or even some elegant and exciting lingerie. That might just take you some places you've never been before!

If you really need an outside experience to seal the deal, however, there are plenty of memorable things you can do close to home without having to arrange for a long vacation. How about a picnic in the countryside with a surprise gift basket filled with her favorite things? Or a hot air balloon ride at breakfast?

The main point is, if the two of you really want to "get away from it all", you can find a way to do so that works for the two of you. Even if you can't literally get away for a long period of time, you can still spend some refreshing quality time together if you're willing to use your imagination!

How To Tell If You've Been Friend Zoned

For those of you who are not sure if you are in the friend zone, here are some helpful hints. Don't be in denial about being in it either. The sooner your realize it, the sooner you can escape the friend zone.

1. Know the language

What does this mean? She wants to set the boundaries of her connection to you by letting you know that you are a friend, a bro, or a bestie. She is neutral with her language which could be intentional or non-intentional. She might like you but she does not want to risk the friendship in which she is very comfortable in.

It can be complicated to understand the language of women when it comes to friendship and romance. They sometimes are very subtle and some times, quite vulgar and will make you feel that you do not stand a chance with them on a romantic relationship.

Learn how to listen to the cues. If a woman calls you a best friend, a good friend, buddy or other terms of endearment that are neutral or similar to what she calls her brother, then you should take the hint.

She always makes it neutral when she talks to you or when she talks about something romantic, it is always about another person, a movie, a novel or some other thing except you. When she talks about romance, you might feel awkward and confused, and often times, that is just how a guy in the friend zone often feels.

2. Too comfy to tell about issues at work, or worse, other men

She has become too comfortable with you about the most random things and she is not willing to be romantic with you. She could still get attracted to you but she is not willing to open Pandora's Box. She might also have another love interest and is oblivious about your feelings.

She might be interested about talking to you about many things: in fact, far too many things. Some discussions could be nice discussions over tea or lunch, or even a snack, but never discussions worthy of being discussed over dinner or breakfast. She talks about the bitch at work or at school, or if she found a nice piece of furniture or a handbag.

She is also more than happy to spill some beans about some family gossips. In the most blatant case of friend zone, the girl might even talk to you about other men.

She is very neutral when it comes to discussions about relationships. She talks about men opposite your qualities and she deviates from discussions that could pertain to both of you getting romantically linked.

3. She becomes way too comfortable

There is too much comfort, meaning no sexual tension between the two of you. She is not challenged by you mentally and emotionally. She became too comfortable since you did not set boundaries as to what your friendship actually meant.

You made her unreachable on her friendship pedestal that she could not get out of that mentality. You have set the boundaries by giving in to her wants and needs and that left you with nothing more but the friendship that you cherished too much.

  • She is willing to invite you to her home or apartment with your friends and family knowing about it. You are her best friend, and you will definitely not do anything crazy or weird. That is what she thinks, and what others think.
  • She does not mind if you see her face half made up or her hair in rollers. She does not mind that she is not yet perfect for the occasion and she sees you. It is not that she does not care about her looks. She just does not care how you would react anyway.
  • Nevertheless, she also does not mind getting praises from you. She wants you to see her in her dress before she gets out of the house for the night out.
  • She also does not mind telling you that she is grumpy because she has her period and would appreciate if you would hang out and accompany her while she vents her emotional drama. You are her "friend" anyway so you are obliged to be her best friend during the hormonal moments of her life.
  • She invites you to a movie night and sits at the other end of the sofa or the other end of the room. She likes you around, but not too close for you to think of some crazy thing.

4. She cares too much about the friendship

She feels like you have been a precious person to her life equal to that of a best girlfriend. She is not willing to shift her feelings since her perception of you might change.

  • When you bring up your emotions or she is getting a hint of what you want to tell her, she brings up the friendship statements.

  1. I don't want to risk our friendship
  2. You are like a brother to me
  3. You are such a precious dear friend and I would never want that change ever.

  • She makes you feel like are always part of the group and that means she is not interested about being intimate. She also dismisses jokes and laughs about it in front of you.

5. She could be just leading you on

This is common amongst attractive and charismatic women. She looks beautiful and you might think that she is attracted to you since she is being nice to you. When a pretty woman becomes too nice to you, a man might feel that she is trying to reach out to him in a much deeper level when in fact, she might just be very nice or sympathetic about you.

In certain cases, they do this to boost their ego or just have a little fun which is not fair to those guys who might be really feeling something much deeper than that. If you are in that situation, it would be best to move on. To find out how to turn the tables, you can always try and make her jealous, this might work for your situation.

6. You become the stereotypical "nice guy"

Women pass up on men who are easily controlled and are too giving. How can you give them any emotional or sexual tension if you do not set boundaries? If you give too much and offer it to that girl like she is the only woman in the world, she will easily get bored and unchallenged.

Being a nice guy is not a bad thing, but always keep a layer of mystery and appeal so that if you approach a woman, she will feel that she needs to know more about you way beyond the friend zone.

The friend zone is something that men experience every now and then but it can get difficult to get out of that rut if you are too attached to your emotions for that person. You should not feel like you are a loser if you have been friend zoned.

Sometimes, it just happens. You have to learn from your mistakes and experiences and become more aware about what women desire from a man whom they want to get serious with. It is always about the tension, the push and pull, giving something, but always leaving a mystery. Being nice, but also hinting a more interesting for her to explore. Sharing, but not giving everything to her.

Travel Writing Article - Latest Targeted Secrets to Supercharge Your Travel Articles

I was reading a blog this morning about 10 people from the United States who quit their jobs to travel the world. The truth is, every one of us is secretly wishing that we can do the same, right? The idea of visiting other places on a regular basis is really mesmerizing. However, for those people who do not have the time or the money to travel, they contend themselves in reading relevant articles.

These are the people who you will be writing for when you create travel articles. It's important that you're able to capture their attention and that you can sustain their interest so you can get them to read your articles until the end and leave them well-informed and entertained.

Here's how you can supercharge your travel articles:

1. Use visuals. Don't just tell your readers the things that you've seen during your trip instead show them! I suggest that you invest in getting a high-end digital camera that will help you capture dramatic pictures that will help in engaging your readers. Post as many pictures as possible on your articles so your readers will get excited in turning each page. These pictures can actually help in promoting further reading.

2. Offer tips and secrets. These are what usually travel enthusiasts are looking for when they read travel articles. As they want their trip to be perfect, they read relevant travel articles ahead of time. Help them out by giving them tips that can help them make the most out of their adventure. Recommend the best places to stay and the best restaurants to visit for example.

5 Benefits of Gardens & Gardening

Life was created in the Garden of Eden. Since then 'we' have always had infinity with the environment in which we surround ourselves.

1 Nature's Teachings:

The teachings and experiences gained from our gardens are manifest. We enjoy the sense of expectation and excitement as we prepare the soil, plant the seeds, perform the watering, nurture the seedlings to growth, harvest the crops and then taste the delights at our tables. The dedication to these actions teaches us fundamental elements that are necessary in our everyday lives discipline, responsibility, patience and reward. Thus, providing an environment to enable our children to assist us in the garden has many benefits all round.

2 Exercise:

Whether you are physically able bodied or disabled there are many activities for you in the garden. Gardening offers physical exercise in many forms to all ages. Calories are burnt at a much faster rate than people think whilst gardening, thus our bodies are nurtured towards greater physical fitness.

3 Diet:

By choosing what to grow in our gardens and how to grow it, can enhance our dietary well being. Home grown produce has been shown to provide us greater nutritional value to our diets than those foods shipped from afar.

Remember also, you will be receiving the necessary Vitamin D synthesis whilst out in the sunshine which is an added bonus! Always remember to apply sunscreen through.

4 Psychologically:

Gardens and gardening take us away from the hustle and bustle of our hectic lifestyles, providing us with relaxation and enjoyment. Research has shown that stresses can be reduced with time spent in the garden. Blood pressures have been recorded lower and depressions lifted, even children with ADD have been shown to have more spent more time concentrating following time spent in a garden.

5 Social Connection:

Our gardens provide us with a place to entertain or share with our families and friends. The possibility of joining a group of people with the same interests, the ability to share accomplishments i.e. that extra large pumpkin!

With the state of the economy at present, communal gardens and victory gardens are on the rise within local communities who are banding together in the pursuit of attaining greater yields of produce through shared labors. So why not check out your local area for information and consider joining a loca group of likeminded individuals.

5 Tips You MUST Do to Realize Your New Year's Resolutions

It is New Years, 2013, and 'tis the season for resolutions. And the season for breaking them. How many people do you know that have kept a resolution past January 31? Not many, I bet. Here are 5 things you must do to make your resolutions stick more than 30 days:

1. Verbalize your goal and make a plan to achieve it. Some people confuse the desire for change with actual change. They think, "I want to... (get a gym membership, start my own business, eat less and lose weight, etc.) Just talking won't get the results you want, but it helps to verbalize your goals. Write the goal down and post it where you will see it often.

2. Make positive goals, not negative ones. Your brain responds better to positives than negatives. Focus on what you want to do rather than what you want to stop. A positive goal is "I will put all my paperwork away after I'm finished with it." A negative goal is "I won't put all my paperwork in a pile." A positive goal is "I will go to the gym twice a week." A negative goal is "I'll quit being a couch potato."

We naturally want to accomplish things, so we will do "I will" things better or more often than "I won't" things. "I will" goals give a feeling of accomplishment, whereas "I won't" goals seem to leave an empty spot in our life.

In my paperwork example, it is easier to figure out a filing system to immediately file papers, rather than figuring out what to do with that pile of papers at the end of the workday when you want to go home.

3. Visualize the end from the beginning. What will you feel like or look like when your goal is accomplished? If you are going on a diet, put a photo of the new dress or swimsuit where you will see it constantly. If you want a raise, think about being praised by the boss for your good work, or getting the "Employee of the Month" award. If you are saving money for a new gadget, get a photo of the gadget to remind yourself. If you want to go on a cruise, put a seashell on your desk. Just have something that will remind you and motivate you to complete your goal

4. Devise an easy-to-do, step-by-step plan to achieve your goal. This may seem hard at first, but do it this way: Write down your goal. Under that, write down the last thing you would do before you achieve the goal. Under that, write down the next-to-last thing you would do. Continue until you are at the point you are today, when you make the resolution.

This will give you a 'road map' of easy steps to reach your goal. When you look over the list, if you find a too-big step, break it down into smaller, more easily achieved steps. Now you have a series of easily achievable steps to reach your goal. Remember how to eat an elephant: One bite at a time! As you complete each step, it will increase your motivation ("I'm getting closer") and confidence ("I can do this!") to take the next step.

Look out for stumbling blocks in your path to your goal. If you want to lose weight, don't put ice cream in the 'fridge. If you want to impress your boss, don't gossip at the cooler. Remember to plan "I will" ideas rather than "I won't" ideas. Put low-fat yogurt in the refrigerator or bring bottled water to keep at your desk.

5. Write it down! Use feedback to your advantage. Record your progress or lack of progress in a journal or log. You may find an unexpected distraction to avoid or a great motivator to use in the future. Writing things down inevitably leads to change in the behavior you are logging.

You must be honest in your log. No 'forgetting' to document failures. Your log will initially have positive and negative entries, but later on, it will have more positive notes than negative ones. If this is not true, you need to review your plan, find out why it is not working, and modify it to overcome the obstacles.

Perhaps a temptation is too big to handle. Get an accountability partner to help you through the tough spots. Are your surrounding contributing to your negative entries? Is there a way to modify your environment, or get out of it entirely?

These steps will make your resolutions more achievable. Set the proper positive goals, rather than negative ones. Visualize the goal completed using a physical object or a photo. Devise a simple plan to reach your goal. Keep a log of your progress.

Then, when you achieve your goal, have a celebration! Make it a memorable event, so that you will remember the emotions when another challenge comes along, and you will have a head start on completing the next goal!

How Dell Product Managers Stole Christmas

Q: How can you tell when a Product Manger drops the ball?

A: When there is an article in the Wall Street Journal with the title "As Holidays Approach, Dell Lags In New Products"

Man, talk about having your failures broadcast to the whole world! In the consumer space in which Dell sells some of its PC and notebook computers, the end of the year Christmas holidays are the key to a company's survival. The sales that occur during this time generally account for 30% - 50% of Dell's annual consumer PC revenue. Miss this revenue train and you're going to be standing around waiting for the next opportunity for quite some time!

Where did product managers let Dell down? One place is in an ambitious mini MP3 player that Dell was planning on introducing. Way back in 2007, Dell bought a company called Zing in order to get access to their entertainment software. However, now Dell has decided not to launch this product before the holidays. Ouch! What this means is that the folks who would have bought this product will now go out and buy iPods and, maybe, Zunes. Once they do that, Dell is probably flat out of luck - once you've loaded your iPod up with $200 worth of songs, you sure don't want to change players.

Interestingly enough, Dell product managers are not just falling down in the cutting edge new product area, they also seem to be dropping the ball in their bread & butter areas such as notebooks. So far this season, Dell has only released two netbooks (low end laptops, good for web surfing and emails) and some new paint schemes for some existing notebooks. Remember, they are playing in a highly competitive market - Apple just cranked out that very cool all aluminum Macbook and even Acer has released a bunch of new notebooks computers that have fancy styling and built-in access to 3G networks. What's going on with those Dell product managers?

Michael Tatelman is Dell's retail chief. He has been forced to tell the press that "You'll see some very sexy products coming out of Dell", though they may come out after the holidays. Double ouch!

Way back in the Fall, Michael Dell had told investors that Dell would "focus on killer products..." and they they would have a "shorter development cycle" that would allow them to get products out "40% to 50% faster". Hmm, missing the Christmas season sure makes it seem like that is not going to happen.

This isn't the first time that the Consumer products division of Dell has missed a great opportunity. Back at the start of the school year they had to hold back on introducing their first netbook because of keyboard problems and so they missed most of the back-to-school selling window. That probably explains why the consumer products division failed to make a profit in the last quarter and why Dell just got done laying off 9,000 of its workers.

What's going on here? As product managers we are all probably quite familiar with the problems that Dell is facing. It sure looks like their new product pipeline, which is the lifeblood of Dell's consumer division, has a friction problem - products are not traveling through it quickly enough. A product manager can't fix a problem like this by his / herself. However, it is our responsibility to get the various folks who can fix it together and knock some heads in order to get it solved. Since this problem has existed since the start of the school year, clearly there is a lingering sense of a lack of momentum at Dell.

What should the Dell product managers be doing? They need to start with a calendar and determine when they need to have new products in order to match up with their customer's buying cycles. Once they have this, then they need to start with a with the finished product and work back. What should the next product look like and what features will it have? Once this is nailed down, they need to determine how that product can be available by that date. Very basic stuff, but it sure looks like this is not happening. If a product can't meet a date, then you need to determine what functionally can be dropped to still meet the date. If too much would have to be dropped, then and only then should you start to move dates around.

Dell can recover from these blunders, but it's going to require that their Product Mangers step up and take responsibility for fixing the system.

California - The Life of United States

California is the third largest area-wise and the most populated state of the United States of America. It shares it's boundaries with Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Baja California and with the Pacific Ocean. It also houses the four largest cities in US including San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles. The state is known for its diverse features.

This diversification is even seen in the geographical feature of the state. From the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the Mojave Desert, the state has both the extremes. The state also has a thick Fir forest called the Redwood-Douglas forest. California has the most productive agricultural spot of the world called as the Central Valley. The state also boasts of the Highest and the lowest point of the whole of the United States of America.

Added to the United States in the year of 1850 as the 31st state, California has a glorious history attached to it. In the early 19th century, the state became the center of the Gold rush bringing about a boom in the economic situation of the state. By 20th century, Los Angeles developed into the vortex of the country's entertainment center. The State now has heavy contributions to the country's tourism, agricultural, information technology, aerospace and petroleum industries.

California has a diversified climate too. The state has climates ranging from Mediterranean to subarctic temperatures. The coastal areas have rather balmy climates, while the inland state experiences the extreme of the climates. The northern part of the state experiences heavy rainfalls whereas the eastern part housing the Mojave Desert is the driest part of the state. Also the desert of Death Valley is the hottest location in whole of the North American continent.

The diversity is seen in the cultural practices of the state too. It is basically a melting pot with lots of immigrants from East Asia and Latin America. With no uniform religion and with alternative lifestyle being practiced, California is regarded as the more liberal state of the United States of America. The Gold rush of 1900s not only brought the nickname Ć¢EURoeThe Golden State to the city but also a new bloom in the technological, economical and social state of California. The state has about 58 counties and 480 cities. Sacramento is the first city of California followed by San Jose, San Diego and Benicia. The states population lives in the major cities of the state.

San Francisco is the major hot spot of California because of it unique landscape. The joy of visiting this city lies in the travel across the roads enjoying the landscape. Los Angeles with its gastronomical fare and world's richest nightlife is the commercial capital of the state. Universal Studios and Disneyland ensure that most of the visit to California is taken up by these two places. The Napa Valley with its world's best wineries is a paradise for wine lovers. If one wants a glimpse of Hollywood stars, one can always take a walk along the Santa Monica beaches.

What Every Guy Should Know About Attracting Women At Work

If you are considering asking out someone that you work with you are not alone. In a recent study conducted by the It was found that almost 60% of those surveyed had participated in some form of workplace romance. Because you are around your co workers all day, often is situations that require trust and co-operation, it is not surprising that romance blossoms. There is also something irresistibly intriguing about the possibility of sleeping with someone that you have seen every day at work.

A word of caution office relationships can get you in trouble. The last thing you want is to find out that you are being investigated for sexual harassment. A good rule of thumb is that if the woman you are hitting on is at the same level or senior to you its probably going to be OK. Problems typically occur when the woman you ask out reports directly to you. With women increasingly obtaining senior positions this should still leave you with plenty of opportunity, and hey, it might help your career!

So if you have decided that are going to turn up the heat in the office you will want to be good at it. Here is what every guy should know about attracting women at work.

Don't Surprise Her

The last thing you want to do is after Monday morning meeting say "Guess what Lisa, I think you're hot, want to go out with me sometime?" This is a recipe for disaster and rejection. Instead you need to make sure that you slowly build up the sexual tension. When you do get to the point of asking out, she should be expecting something to happen.

Develop Secrets

One of the things that unites people is the idea of Us vs. Them. If you think about your friends or past lovers you will know this to be true. You will have in jokes where you only need to say a couple of words for the other person to get the joke. You need to develop the same sort of relationship with the woman that you want to ask out. The workplace is rife for opportunities to create in jokes and harmless gossip about some of your other co-workers stranger traits. And try passing notes, it may seem a little childish, but it helps reinforce the idea that you two have secrets.

Get Her Out Of The Workplace

Workplaces are generally not particularly sexy environments and not the kind of place she will associate in her mind with romance. Before you make a move you need to change up the environment. This is not as hard as it sounds. Next time you are going out with your other co-workers for drinks after work, ask her to join you. Or if you over hear that she is going to be a certain club that weekend you could "accidentally" run into her.

Change Locations

OK, so now you have her out of the workplace, but what is your next move? You need to move her to another location where the two of you can be alone. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly it will give you a chance to make your move. Secondly there is a psychological shift that goes on her mind when they two of you go somewhere else. Now you are in date mode. An easy way to do this if after you have met her at the club or bar say something like "It's really noisy here, I know this cool little bar/cafe near here, I think you would really like it" You should have of course this place planned ahead of time.

Asking Her Out

Now that you have her alone you can do one of two things. If you feel she is responding well but perhaps not ready to get physical you can suggest something else that you could do together sometime, like going to a photo exhibition or a cool Japanese fusion place you know about. Then ask for her phone number if you don't already have it. However if you have had a few drinks, and the feeling is right, go for the kiss.

Of course there is the possibility something will go wrong and she might turn you down. But better to take your chance and fail than to be left wondering what could have been.

What I Learned About Roofing Contractor Marketing From a Ski Expo

This past weekend my wife and I and some friends went to a local ski expo. When we arrived and saw the place we thought we would be in and out in an hour. Four hours later we were leaving with smiles on our faces. What made it a great experience and how can roofing contractors make their home shows more productive and fun?

I have been to many home shows, worked a number of them and helped roofing contractors prepare for them. However, I have never been to a home show that was nearly as much fun as the recent ski show I went to. Now you are probably thinking "of course a ski show is going to be more fun than a home show." Why? Are skiers more passionate about their hobby than homeowners? No, I don't think so. People are just as passionate about their homes, and they spend a lot more money on them than they do on skiing. However, we in the industry tend to think that having fun is not part of the sales equation. I think when it comes to home shows we should try to make it more exiting and entertaining for the homeowner. How?

Here are some of the things vendors were doing to attract attention and have a little fun.

1 - One vendor had a Plinko game going (you know, like the "Price is Right") Fill out an info card and get a try to win prizes ranging from nothing to a cheap keychain to a free lift ticket.

2 - Another had a snow chain installing contest where the fastest installer won a free lift ticket. I am proud to say I won a free lift ticket!

3 - One creative and inexpensive game was a beer pong set up with small prizes like chap-stick or soda can insulators for getting the ball in the cup.

4 - One company had a "horse race" where each person got a number on a horse and they had a kid from the group roll dice and move the horse forward one slot each time the number was rolled. My wife was excited to "win" a $20.00 off coupon.

5 - Many vendors had drawings for prizes if you signed up.

When I have worked home shows in the past I hated how people would come by and just look for the freebie to take without even talking to me. These vendors had games that engaged the customer and we spent a lot of time talking and listening when we probably would not have otherwise.

We also found that winning a chap-stick was a lot more fun and satisfying than just picking it up off the table. So, how can roofing contractors incorporate this into their marketing efforts at home shows? Try to incorporate something fun, a golf putting contest for a free roof inspection, or that key chain or coffee mug that you were going to give away anyway. Something to get the customers to stop and talk instead of snatch and run. I'll bet you'll be the hit at the next home show if you are the only roofing contractor marketing himself in a fun and unique way. Give it a try, you and your future customers will like it!

World of Online Dating for Big Beautiful Women

As a safe haven for big and beautiful women you won't have to worry about any judgments and criticisms from close minded people. You won't have to worry when looking for the man of your dreams. By joining in a community of like-minded women where you can browse for men who love women with a body and a full figure, you are sure to find someone for either that special serious relationship you are looking for or that fun night of passion with someone.

No room for skinny women when it comes to BBW online dating, because this is a world where big is in and skinny is not pretty. Online dating sites for the big and the beautiful can serve up a man for you in just a click of a button.

Create your own profile and show the world that big is beautiful. Show off your curves by attaching a photo of you on your profile to let the people know what's sizzling, in no time you are sure to catch the attention of some full-figure-loving men. Let the BBW online dating world know who you are by writing your very own personal ad so that people will know who you are and what you are looking for.

Embrace your curves and let your inner diva shine by joining in chat rooms for people who want to talk about anything under the sun - whether it is sharing tips and tricks in life or exchanging gossip. But when you do find the man who could possibly be the one, why not have a private conversation with him through a one on one chat?

Tired of hanging around in bars to find the right guy for you? Simply join BBW dating site and search for that special someone easily. You can search for guys near your vicinity or you can find one across the country - the choice is yours! And if you really want to find someone you are compatible with do a quick search on your interests and find a man who shares the same likes and goals as you have.

Big, beautiful women no longer have to worry about dating and finding love. You should never have to go through life alone just because you are curvy. Being plus-size beautiful is plus-size fabulous and you have the right to find your own love story. So embrace those curves and find love online!

BBW dating online will change your life. Find a man to have fun with or to spend your whole life with. Don't waste your time looking for Mr. Right in bars when he is online looking for you!

Buying a 32 Inch Widescreen TV Comes With Too Much Jargon - Discover What It All Means

When you come to buy a new 32 inch widescreen TV, new terms are thrown around like they are going out of fashion! Discovering what they all mean could save you from making an expensive purchasing mistake.

So here, for your viewing delight (maybe!) is a list of features commonly called out by manufacturers of modern TV's.

  • HD - High Definition. Bigger, faster, better than old-style telly, right?
  • HD Ready - An indicator that the tv is capable of the lowest high resolution standard. This is also commonly referred to as 720p, see below for what this means in itself.
  • Full HD - A higher resolution standard than 720p, supported by many of the newer 32 inch widescreen tvs. This can be either 1080i or 1080p, again see below for these definitions.
  • HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) - A connection standard. This is one of the ways to get a signal into your tv from other sources, like DVD's, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players. This connection standard defines what cables you will need and provides a better quality, digital connection than earlier cable types like SCART. Some TV manufacturers are using this connectivity to all home devices to be controlled by one handset - so the more you have, the less likely you are to be caught out!
  • Dynamic Contrast - An LCD TV can show a range of brightnesses from light to dark, but the maximum available in most devices is a range of 1:1000 (the brightest is 1000 times brighter than the darkest). Unfortunately, the human eye can cope with a much bigger range (something like 1:20,000) and so TV images don't look as rich as the real thing. Manufacturers try to get round this by working out if the picture is mainly light (or mainly dark) and moving their 1:1000 "window" of brightnesses up or down that bigger scale. This helps to give better results for the human eye.
  • High Refresh Rate - An LCD screen needs to have the picture sent to it many times a second to get the appearance of a moving image. The problem comes when the "pixels" that make up the picture fade away very slowly compared to how the image is changing. This produces a kind of blurring. Screens with high refresh rates have pixels that turn on and off very quickly, helping to eliminate that problem.
  • High Frame Rate - Related to the previous point. An image is usually only updated 50 times a second (or 50Hz) on your screen. For fast-moving action, this might mean that a Ball (for example) has moved many pixels in the time in between - giving a jerky feel to the flow. TV's offering a high frame rate try to cheat this limitation of the signal. They slide extra frames in between the normal 50 a second and cleverly calculate where the ball will have gone half-way between the normal frames.
  • Freeview - Free to air broadcast of channels. This will replace the normal aerial-based channels - but still provides all the channels most people are used to, while expanding the choice.
  • FreeSat - Similar to Freeview. FreeSat delivers its signal through a satellite dish and this is an extra cost in setting up this kind of TV. True High Definition channels are already being sent through this method.
  • Optical Audio Output - A way to get the audio signal from your TV to a larger home-entertainment system. Audio purists will use this method to get a very clean signal.
  • 720p - The lowest HD standard. Provides a screen picture which is 1280x720 pixels (that is, the height of the image is 720 pixels). The "P" stands for "Progressive". This means that the image is built in one continuous flow of pixels from top to bottom one line at a time with no gaps between
  • 1080p - Regarded as Full HD. In this case, the image is 1920x1080 pixels. The "P" version is the same as that for 720p. If you see 1080i, this means "interlaced". This works the same way as an old style TV, where every other line is sent to the screen then the others are sent, interleaving with the first ones. Your eyes see this as a solid picture, but many regard it as an inferior picture standard to 1080p
  • LED TV - These newer models are actually still LCD televisions but they use white LED light to shine through the LCD to provide the brightness. They bring significant power savings and better localised contrast to the screens. They are also thinner than normal 32 inch widescreen TVs.
  • OLED TV - Very rare so far. These are true LED based televisions, where every pixel is actually an LED that can turn on or off for itself. They provide extremely high contrast levels and even more power savings.

Old Time Radio Downloads Are Now Possible

With the advancement of technology, you can now listen to your favorite Old Time Radio programs by downloading them and listening to them in the comfort of your home. Technology is really offering wide ranges of benefits to us as time goes. It seems that people are becoming more and more creative in their ideas to bring more innovations. With technology, you can bring back the good old memories of the past and relish it today. One of which are old time radio downloads whose programs were enjoyed during the 1930s up to the 1950s.

Old time radio programs are not limited to dramas and other stories. There are also variety shows that include singers and also comedy shows, all of which can be downloaded easier than ever. Great talents of radio programs have also gained popularity during the onset of movies and television; however, the foundation of radio programs is truly their priceless and worthwhile listening experience.

Statistics have shown that in the United States, a lot of citizens are enjoying in listening to various radio programs. For every 100 Americans, there were 82 who are avid radio fans. Listening to the radio is really inevitable during those times because it is the main source of leisure in every household. Radio was the leading form of media during those days. People who would want to know about what's hot and what's not would refer to the radio. Local and foreign news was also broadcast on the radio and can be downloaded today for nostalgic pleasure. The prime source of information was mainly the radio. That time was even called the Golden Age of Radio because of its massive popularity. It was really a major hit back then.

If you lived in the 1950s, you are probably missing the good old days when radio was still the ever popular entertainment and media provider. A lot of good programs are also worth listening to again. Thanks to the advancement of technology, you can now re live the good days of radio programs through old time radio downloads.

Work From Home On Your Computer: Numerous Possibilities

The internet has made it possible for you to conveniently work from home on your computer daily. There are so many online jobs available today that provide the opportunity for people to earn huge incomes by working online.

You can work from home on your computer from any location in the world and take advantage of the numerous money-making avenues that the internet provides. You can work from home on your computer for clients all over the world and get paid through internet banking systems. Indeed the world has become a global village because of the web.

You can work from home on your computer and earn your total income or even just a part of it any day and at anytime. This article will show you easy online jobs that you can do to earn huge income regularly.

These jobs do not require any technical skill that cannot be learned on the job. For this reason, anyone who is genuinely interested in making money by working online can achieve this with ease.


Blogging has become a huge financial opportunity today. You too can take advantage of the financial opportunities that blogging presents and start earning the money you want.

You can start a blog with any domain name of your choice and start producing informative and engaging content for your blog. Many bloggers prefer to stick to a particular niche when blogging so that the blog appears organized and attracts a unique audience. You must endeavor to update your posts regularly so that your readers can find new information each time they visit your blog.

The great thing about blogging is that you can choose any topic you love to blog about. It could be news, celebrity gossips, sports, fashion, education, religion or health care.

Any niche you find interesting could be the center of your writing. As you keep generating relevant and unique content that provides useful information and entertainment to your readers, your readers will definitely increase and your blog becomes popular. This is when you can start earning real income.

Earn Money from Traffic

The visitors to your blog are collectively called traffic. The more traffic you generate, the more you increase your earning potential. You should strive to increase the number of visitors to your site daily.

You can achieve this by following the steps given below:

4 Ways to Generate Traffic

1. Provide Unique Content

Originality is very important in blogging. Don't just copy and paste content from other people website and expect your readers to grow overnight. Generate your own unique content in a particular niche so that your readers can recognize you as an authority in that field and keep coming back to you for more information.

2. Regular Updates

You should try as much as possible to update your content daily. This should be easy since you work from home on your computer. Your readers will keep coming back if they find fresh content on your site each time they visit.

3. Forums for Interactions

It is important for you to get regular feedback from your readers about your content. This will help you to improve on your blogging skills and it will also make your readers to feel like part of a community. You can provide avenues for readers to leave comments and interact with each other. You can also leave replies to their comments when appropriate.

4. Use Social Media for Exposure

You can share your content on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and encourage your readers to do the same. This will generate exposure for your blog.

The ideas discussed in this article are practical and can help you earn good money as you work from home on your computer. Don't waste any more time. Begin to work from home on your computer by blogging and enjoy the financial benefits that follow.

2010 FIFA World Cup - South Africa, to Be Or Not to Be?

I love football. Football is life. Football is the beautiful game. I am getting rushes of adrenalin to the head already just thinking about the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In 2010 the entire pumped-up and emotive football world will descend in a riotous show of bliss upon majestic South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Will South Africa be ready for them?

In 2006 FIFA chief Sepp Blatter made it very clear that there was to be no doubt about the 2010 FIFA World Cup being held in South Africa: "Plan A... Plan B... Plan C is that the 2010 World Cup will be staged in South Africa". The only contingency plan that would see South Africa not host the cup would be due to a natural catastrophe. In the same year, on behalf of Blatter in an address to the South African Parliment FIFA communications director Markus Seigler reinforced the notion that South Africa is doing just fine: "You are absolutely on schedule, you're absolutely on track. You're even more advanced than the Germans were four years ago...Any doubts are completely unfair. This country - and I know this country - is absolutely capable." Seigler capped it off with acknowledging that the previous host, Germany, had also faced adversity and added: "At least South Africa's economy is growing - Germany's is not."

In 2008 the rumour mill has not stopped churning out doubts about whether South Africa will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Word on the street is that the 2010 World Cup preparations have been plagued by a host of problems that could compromise vital deadlines. Stadium construction delays, striking workers, security fears, transport problems and the possibility of power outages are running rampant.

Port Elizabeth stadium is one of the main venues in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is yet to be completed. Next year's Confederations Cup, a precursor to the competition for the World Cup, was slated to take place in the stadium but has since been pulled out of the Cup.

In an interview in Die Welt newspaper published on Monday July 14th, 2008 Franz Beckenbauer confirmed the event would be held in South Africa: "We in the FIFA executive are doing everything to have the World Cup take place in South Africa, even if we have to shut an eye every now and then. But I am sure that the World Cup in South Africa will take place."

However, Beckenbauer was out of the loop when it came to any knowledge about FIFA chief Sepp Blatter's actively searching for countries that would be ale to host the championship in the case of a natural catastrophe. In an interview with Sky News Beckenbauer explained: "Honestly, it was a surprise for me. I myself sit in FIFA's executive and even I don't know who are Blatter's candidates."
Whether the public is getting a load of double-speak about the whole affair is debatable. But on the bright side, it has been announced that vuvuzelas will not be banned.

Vuvuzelas, sometimes referred to as 'lepatatas' are air horns approximately one metre in length made from plastic and commonly seen at football matches all over the world. The name is said to originate from the Zulu for "making noise" although this is hotly disputed. Others say the name originates from the fact it makes a "vuvu" sound when blown, or even comes from the township slang related to the word for "shower".

Kaizer Chiefs supporters' spokesperson Saddam Maake who is credited with popularising the instrument was overjoyed to hear that the vuvuzela ban had been lifted: "When we got the message that vuvuzelas were going to be banned, we were disappointed. We knew it had become part of our culture and offered free entertainment during matches. I felt over the moon when I heard about the lifting of the ban."

Critics of the instrument feel that the noise detracts from the game, but Maake explains that people need to be educated about how to use the vuvuzelas correctly: "They have to know that you cannot blow it during moments of silence and when they blow it during the game they should do it to make rhythmic music."

The first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930 and has gained strength from year to year for every four years, halted only twice in1942 and 1946 by World War II.

In the eighteen FIFA tournaments that have been held seven nations have won the title. Brazil has the most World Cups team, having won the tournament five times. The current World Champions, Italy, follow with four titles, while Germany holds three. The other former champions are Uruguay (winners of the inaugural tournament) and Argentina with two titles each. England and France hold one title each.

The most recent World Cup Finals were held in Germany, where Italy was crowned the champion after beating France in the final.

We're already half way there. Those two long years are going to creep up on us and we will be looking for cheap ticket deals and packages to South Africa sooner than we think with our hearts pumping like they were shocked by 10,000 volts in anticipation of the spectacular event that the 2010 FIFA World Cup is going to be. Bring on the joy.

Country Music Singers: Paying It Forward

Country Music Singers:

Personal Lives and Paying It Forward

Country music singers can appear one way to the outside world, and another way to those with whom they have close relationships. As fans or country music lovers, it is easy to forget that the artists we see on the TV screen in our family rooms, or the "big screen" at the movies are people just like us. There is one exception-they "scored it big" with their talents, but humanly, they have the same hurts, pains, likes, dislikes or loves as everyone else. In many instances, the country music songs they sing tell the world what is going on in their souls. Listen and you will hear!

Just as we enjoy touching the lives of people in a positive way, so do country music singers. Having this awareness is the focal point of this article. It takes a look at the personal lives of artists, who they were before, during and after fame and fortune, and how they use their wealth, knowledge and connections to impact the lives of others.

Personal Life Defined

How does one describe an individual's personal life? Wikipedia says, "In modern times, many people have come to think of their personal lives as separate from work. Work and recreation are distinct; one is either on the job or not, and the transition is abrupt." The definition makes a distinction between being on the job and not being on the job. Being on the job seems to dictate one method of behavior, while off the job signals another. Once the job is clearly known, the behavior when one is there should be different from the behavior when one is not there.

Personality, on the other hand, defines the core of a person's being-his individuality. Unless he is especially clever in deception, observation of habitual patterns and qualities of behavior give a glimpse of who a person really is. Watch the attitude! Check out the physical nuances, and soon, the real person shines through.

Society equates financial success and prestige with good character and sound moral values. One has nothing to do with the other. A DUI for a country music singer should not make the headlines if a DUI for "Joe Blow" does not make the headlines.

There are those who would argue "That's the price you pay for fortune and fame," or "Fortune and fame are only placed on broad shoulders, wear them carefully." The flip side of that argument is "As long as I give you great music, what I do outside of that, is my business and not your concern." Should character, conduct and motives be private? Such a question is food for thought and not the focus of this article.

The underlying principle that governs what one does on the job, should govern his motives and actions outside of the job. There are consequences for all actions-famous or non-famous, rich or poor.

Paying It Forward

The phrase "paying it forward" is tossed around in today's conversations like a basket ball in a "play-off" game. What does it mean? How does it apply to country music singers?

I read several definitions before writing this article, and the one many readers chose was: "When something, usually good, happens to you, you turn around and do something good for someone else. Instead of paying something "back" you are paying it "forward" on to the next person."

The writer is simply saying one kind act done to you, deserves your doing a kind act to someone else, not necessarily the person who did it for you. It is simply the Golden Rule jazzed up a bit. Now that we are all on the same page with the meaning, the question arises, "Do you believe country music singers pay it forward?" This article takes the position that they do. Millions of fans pay it forward by buying the artists' CDs and DVDs. How do the artists respond?

Five Ways Country Music Singers

Pay It Forward

1. Support of numerous of charitable organizations.

2. Promote and help other struggling artists achieve success.

3. Become role models for youth in deprived communities.

4. Share personal failures in their lives so that others may avoid the same mistakes.

5. Develop networks that help others to establish the core values that bring happiness and success.

6. Use songs and ballads to inspire thoughtful ways of "paying it forward."

Examples of Artists Paying It Forward

Country music artists have a unique way of telling a story--a story that digs deep and pulls the strings of your soul. The song The Chain of Love by Clay Walker spells out the essence of this article. It says, "A kindness extended to you should be passed on to someone else." Here's how he said it:

"THE CHAIN OF LOVE" by Clay Walker

He was driving home one evening,

In his beat up Pontiac

When an old lady flagged him down,

Her Mercedes had a flat

He could see that she was frightened,

Standing out there in the snow

'Til he said, "I'm here to help you ma'am,

By the way my name is Joe"

She said, "I'm from St. Louis,

And I'm only passing through

I must have seen a hundred cars go by,

This is awful nice of you"

When he changed the tire,

And closed her trunk

And was about to drive away,

She said, "How much do I owe you?"

Here's what he had to say

You don't owe me a thing, I've been there too

Someone once helped me out,

Just the way I'm helping you

If you really want to pay me back,

Here's what you do

Don't let the chain of love end with you

Well a few miles down the road,

The lady saw a small cafe

She went in to grab a bite to eat,

And then be on her way

But she couldn't help but notice,

How the waitress smiled so sweet

And how she must've been eight months along,

And dead on her feet

And though she didn't know her story,

And she probably never will

When the waitress went to get her change,

From a hundred dollar bill

The lady slipped right out the door,

And on a napkin left a note

There were tears in the waitress's eyes,

When she read what she wrote

You don't owe me a thing,

I've been there too

Someone once helped me out,

Just the way I'm helping you

If you really want to pay me back,

Here's what you do

Don't let the chain of love end with you

That night when she got home from work,

The waitress climbed into bed

She was thinkin' about the money,

And what the lady's note had said

As her husband lay there sleeping,

She whispered soft and low

"Everything's gonna be alright, I love you, Joe"

Another artist named Brian Asselin actually made a CD entitled Pay It Forward. It has been described by some listeners with these superlatives: "Amazing! World Changing! Awesome!" and "Fate in Humanity Restored!" I am not sure I agree with all of them, but what I can agree with, is that he suggests clearly that man's humanity to man needs an adjustment. His version of paying it forward just maybe the answer. Find it at iTunes.

In 2000, a movie called Pay It Forward establishes that "when someone does you a big favor, don't pay it back," by doing something helpful for the same person, but pay it forward by helping someone else. You may find that that person needs it more that the one who bestowed the favor on you.

Supporting charitable organizations is another way country music performers pay it forward as seen in 2009 by Brad Paisley. He attended a fundraiser for the Shjon Podein Children's Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota. The organization supports charities that help to improve the lives of children in many situations and conditions. He also donated an autographed guitar for the auction.

Finally, in 2010, an online program called Not Alone used country music artist Craig Morgan as its new spokesman for soldiers suffering from combat stress. Morgan, once a soldier himself, understands the hardships military life places on individuals and families. The purpose of Not Alone is to offer confidential counseling and support to military personnel dealing with depression, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are a few examples of artists paying it forward.

Most country music singers who achieve success do not get there without many human sacrifices. These sacrifices help to mold and shape their personalities, define their ideologies and determine their core values.

Behind the glitter of stardom, many have fragile souls that are ripped apart by gossip, headlines and unthinking individuals who have not learned what it means to "pay it forward" themselves. Money has no power to heal the pain and mend the broken-hearted. It simply allows one to purchase "things."

Pious Conviction With Marginal Information is NOT Your Friend

Pastors and Preachers who use the radio to reach the masses are a special breed of human being. Piously convicted and yet very often, marginally informed, they use the airwaves to invade the mind and draw others unto mostly themselves. Radio preaching, or shall we just say, preaching is one of the only places where a normal human being can loose his mind, act out and both speak and reason in ways that would get him or her kicked out of every other work environment in the world.

The radio preacher is on his own. He can say and do and express himself in just about any way he chooses and we are all conditioned to tolerate the sincere, no doubt we can hope, foolishness that assaults our senses and at times, tickles our funny bones.

Recently a radio preacher informed his audience the reason Bathsheba, who seduced horney King David, was named thus was because she was taking a "Bath." Argh, Argh and Half and Argh! I wrote and asked if she had been taking a shower, would we then call her "ShowerSheba." No response.

Also recently, I listened to a very astute, yep probably one of the most scientifically ignorant men on the radio, make a sincere effort to convince the audience that the story of Jonah surviving three days and three nights in the great fish, while he got to consider whether he wanted to obey God and become fish vomit, or disobey and become fish poop, was literally true. It's not literally true. My sense of being swallowed by a large ocean going predator would end in being suffocated or drown relatively soon after and digested beyond repair rather soon after that. Pinocchio sitting on a three legged stool at a small fire in the belly of the whale waiting for a solution to the dilemma just seems contrived, yet also seems to have captured the imaginations of preachers.

He cited the amazing story of a sailor named James Bartley who was swallowed by a sperm whale off the Falkland Islands. About thirty-six hours later his fellow sailors found him, unconscious but alive, inside the belly of the animal. The story is bogus. It never happened and ranks as one of America's earliest urban legends. However, in the world of radio preaching, emotional convictions, and men who refuse to do their homework first, this pastor once again used it to convince others of a literalism in the Bible that was never meant to be taken as such. Ministers in general, like the writers of the New Testament, are adept at making a scripture mean what it never meant. What would never work in a college term paper, works just fine in many religious writings. They called it Midrash. A critical thinker would call it dishonest and misleading.

At any rate, I sent the information on the urban legend nature of his story to the pastor because I just knew he'd want to know. Wrong.... After a brief comment about him noticing an Obama ad on the article which right there seemed to give him an out, and that the material was obviously from the "secular web", he simply said he'd check it out but didn't like my attitude. I'm pretty sure he'll find the confirmation for his view on the "religious web," but I had done my part.

Radio preachers LOVE the Book of Revelation! Well they all do actually. Now there is a money maker for them if ever there was one. Full of Vials, Plagues, Trumpets and Trombones, it can easily be updated to fit the times that anyone lives in. It is easy to filter out the words "to show unto my servants (2000 years ago) the things which must SHORTLY come to pass," along with an ending that assures the reader, "behold I come QUICKLY."

Preachers, (or was it the writers of scripture?) learned long ago that fear, guilt and shame sell and certainly motivate and control. You can grow a church well in the manure of hard times and fear mongering. Our day and age is the perfect time to start your own church or grow a complacent one. However, pious conviction, as I said, coupled with marginal information and spread with raw emotion and threats of eternal judgement is also a great way to breed down the road disillusionment and anger.

We can over look the fact that the Book of Revelation is an already failed early Jewish Christian rant against the great Beast of the Roman occupiers of Jerusalem in the early first century. Perhaps between January and September of 70 AD to be exact. We can ignore that the False prophet against whom these rabid Jewish Christians were raging against may well have been the New Testament's star performer, and ardent foe of Jewish Christians, the Apostle Paul.

It is Paul that wretched the Jewish Jesus out of all their hands and twisted him into a Cosmic, somewhat Pagan Christ. It was Paul, most likely that Jesus was praising the Ephesian Church in the Revelation, for taking to task, as an Apostle of Jesus and found him wanting. After all, Paul lamented that "all in Asia had forsaken him," and Ephesus, a Church Paul said he was an Apostle to, is in Asia. As with most Apostles, Priests and Kings, Paul was able to blame them for the problem and not himself. It never seems to dawn on some that when "everyone" forsakes you, it might not be the "everyone else" that has the problem.

The Religion of the Occident by Larson sums up the failed nature of the Book of Revelation about as well as anyone could.

"Revelation was the swan song of Militant Jewish Christianity. When Jerusalem was destroyed, when Rome waxed greater and more powerful, when the False Prophet (The Apostle Paul to Jewish Christians and the one found wanting in the letter to Ephesian Church in Revelation) gained more and more followers, when the book itself was proved totally false within two years , when it became evident that the Jewish messiah-Christ would not come, the Hebrew Christians lost their virility and their cult faded under the combined assault of orthodox Judaism and of Gentile Christianity." (Religion of the Occident. Larson. Page 479.)

This information about the nature, origin and ultimate failure of the Book of Revelation to come to pass as it was meant to, due to the unexpected and utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in the Fall of 70 AD is too hot to handle for those so inclined to read the book, to this day as a newspaper. One will not hear that the Book of Revelation is a failed first century Jewish Christian rant against the Apostle Paul and his Gentile and pagan views of Jesus, the Cosmic Christ, , who he never personally met in his life, ever quoted in his writings or spoke of any real life events of any earthly Jesus that died just a few years earlier in his hometown.

With Paul being such an ardent persecutor, as Saul, of "that way," we can hardly imagine this Pharisee of the Pharisees would pass up a shot at confronting the real Jesus in his own city. However, the Gospels never heard of any Saul the Pharisee evidently.

The Jesus of Revelation, not to be confused with the Jesus of the Gospels, summed it up rather nicely in the Letter to the Ephesian Church found in Revelation.

Paul to the Ephesians: "I am an apostle of Jesus"

The Ephesians to Paul: "No you're not."

Jesus to the Ephesians Church in Revelation: "Well done!"

Today, whether through religion screamed, yelled, panted, wheezed or shouted over the airwaves, or in the fundamentalist pulpits every week across the planet, ignorance is promoted. Pious conviction with marginal information. I'm speaking of those who feel they have the right to tell everyone how it all is and yet have little background in the very book they claim to know so well.

Many are mere Bible readers and able to tell the stories and proclaim their truths very well. The how and why of Bible story origins escapes them or does not fit into their own paradigm of what it is all about, however. This ignorance hurts others in the long run. Actually it can hurt in the short term as well!

Take Judaism, Islam and Christianity out of the news and world peace would break out tomorrow. From the most silly and entertaining antics of ministers and lone spiritual masters, to the most hideous and bizarre beliefs, demands and practices of those who follow, religion is a long way from making human beings better for it all. Christian soldiers just have to stop that "marching as to war" stuff.

Religion is what others pour into your head and usually requires one to be at certain places at certain times, hold a group belief, marginalize, attack or kill those that don't hold that belief and, of course, give ten percent of your income to the proper Deity. Spirituality however, is an inside job. It requires no one yelling at your from either your radio or pulpit to bring you inner contentment and peace. It has no demand that you show up somewhere once or twice a week to show you are on track with the group, and it certainly does not ask you for your money so the guy who gave you the information can buy a big house, new car or Rolex, so he can do "the work of God."

When assaulted by the fear, guilt and shame of radio preaching or even that from the pulpit, always ask if this pious conviction, for which we can't fault anyone, mixed with marginal information is true. Is it correct? Am I being given proper information on which I am supposed to make lasting decisions in my life? We have never lived in a time where checking out that which is meant to motivate us to adopt the views of others can be so readily checked out and other explanations considered. Frankly, the Internet is the bane of most fundamentalist preachers and any 15 year old in the congregation with a computer can give the Pastor hell over the views he affirms are literally true and just how the Deity sees it all too. A local fundamentalist college just down the stree here in Greenville, SC only allows select Internet access on the college system. Looking outside the Internet box will get you in big trouble. Sad isn't it?

Remember, if someone endeavors to convince you about the truth of Jonah by being piously convicted that the story of Jonah just has to be literally true, yet does it by promoting a false tale using marginal information, you might have to ask what else in this story each week may be suspect.

Pious conviction with marginal information is not our friend.

Do It With Passion

We all want to be popular. We all want to be idolized or admired by the people around us because it uplifts our lives and it greatly boosts our confidence. There are helpful tips which you can add to your list as your guide on how to earn popularity.

What are characteristics of the popular boys and girls and what do they usually do? Most of them are athletes, class officers, artists, advocates, television personalities, and those who were planning to be professionals someday. In order to be like them, you should open up yourself to people from all walks of life. This is also one of the best methods in order for you to easily adjust yourself and be approachable. There is always the good side and the bad side but the good side lasts a lifetime to be given the recognition of being popular. Learn to listen to their fears and to what they know. If they think that they are inferior, then give them the best advice that you can give for them to become better.

Don't limit this opportunity that you have only in your place or only to those people who knows you. Learn to reach out and influence them to be like you since you have the capability to do so, and because they will surely listen to you. Don't keep your abilities to yourself for it will be the reason of your slow progress and it will pave the way to make people hate you.

Don't have one set of manners for the people you want to make time with and another set from everybody else. It may cause favoritism towards the other who will be given less time and less opportunity. Think of ways to make others feel important. Don't spoil a certain person with your attention. Balance your time and if possible, set a schedule to avoid having conflicts with others.

Learn to admit your mistakes. There is nothing admirable than the person who can accept his or her failures or mistakes because it proves that the popular person knows how to be humble and could accept rejection or failure. Don't laugh at other people and place yourself in their situation. If you have an exclusive group, know how to love each one of them and don't do some expulsion. Let your friends know that you are always there for them. Make compliments towards others for it is the surest way to uplift them.

Work or volunteer on various community projects and institutions in your place or in your country. You may not only get the popularity but you will also definitely enjoy the pleasure of helping other people and being part of the various communities.

Learn to fight without losing your dignity. If people continues to bash the sensitive issues in your life like your religion, your family, your studies or your whole life, do not be afraid to fight for it without being violent or aggressive. Get out of the mentality of winning or losing. Know how to defend yourself properly to be respected. Be a sport. You should accept your fate and you should not assume winning in every battle. Through this, you will be prepared to either lose or win as if you're used to it.

Learn to play some musical instrument. If you are a member of a band or an orchestra, then it adds up to your popularity points. People love music and they will surely admire those who play or compose it.

Don't be afraid to start a fad or fashion. If you are a fan of the fashion industry, then walk out there and show the world what's new and what's not. Be it weird or not, at least you followed your passion and had contributed your ideas for the invention of new fashion trends. On the other hand, others also admire people who dress out as simple but elegant for some finds it intimidating for fashionable people to get along with.

Always think positive and act as if you're always having a good time. This advice is for you to avoid too much stress and to produce good or satisfying results in everything that you do. Make a list of bad habits and try to overcome them. Doing this will also help you realize what are the activities that you should continue or eliminate in your schedule. If it causes you too much stress or it isn't that helpful in your development as a brilliant individual then it is already time to erase it your list.

Be strong and independent. This is a difficult thing to do for most people. Learn to live life on your own and you will surely realize that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. As early as possible, be a good problem solver and train yourself on what you wanted to be someday without the assistance of the people who cares for you for they are always there but you can never learn. No man certainly could live alone but this time, make it sure that you know how to handle yourself for every popular person should possess this trait.

Know sports and cars. A lot of teenagers are fond of playing sports like basketball, volleyball, swimming, and etc. They are also a fan of cars especially sports cars. Be familiar with these things and you're on the right track to meet its fans.

Showcase your talents. Do not be afraid of what others might think of you. Stand up and let the world know what you've got. God has given you wonderful talents and skills to be shared to other people. You may think that you're still not good enough but at least you've tried your best. Nobody is perfect and we all have flaws. People will come to appreciate you if you do appreciate them also and continue doing your passion at its finest. Get in the stage and sing or dance like crazy and be yourself.

Make compliments towards others. Don't forget to appreciate them no matter how crazy or weird they are. It will surely change their world and it will make their days look great. They will develop positivism towards themselves and they will be motivated to look and feel better.

Don't pile on make-up an inch thick on your face. As much as possible, wear it only if needed. Boys are scared with all that junk. It will make you look better but wearing it all the time will cause some damages in your skin and it may easily be the reason for fast aging.

Practice good manners and etiquette. People will judge you with how you act whether you are graceful or not. They will respect you if you possess good manners and right conduct in all situations. You can do a lot of good things but a single rude or disgusting action would ruin it all. Read books that will keep you inform about proper etiquette in speaking, eating, greeting, and others.

Don't brag and gossip. People dislike people who talk behind their backs. Be a true friend who is honest and trustworthy. Be humble and don't be arrogant with your achievements or what you have and others don't. Everybody is unique and so it is just to be silent no matter how huge you have grown or how popular you are. Do not do to others what you don't like them to do to you.

Study hard because people are impressed with brains. Educate yourself with a lot of things. Balance your time and improve your study habits. Sophistication contributes a lot to popularity.

Be proud of your parents and introduce them to your friends. This will improve your relationship towards them and people will be inspired at you for had been a good son or daughter to your parents. You will become a role model to your friends and to your fellow youngsters.

Look prim and proper at all times. Arrange your things properly and also yourself. If you have time, help your family with the household chores and clean your house. People will imitate this amazing habit of yours and will serve as an exercise for you at the same time.

Don't be trying hard to please anyone. The best way to impress other people is to be you. Everything should come out naturally from you and people will appreciate your outer and inner beauty. Show to everyone what you've got but just do your own thing and as much as possible, it is still better to not set a goal to impress anyone. It is the best way also to prove if they are being faithful to you or not. You will know who your true friends are and others will accept you for who you are.

Bringing Your Net Worth to the Light - How to Budget Your Time AND Finances

"A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life"

Charles Darwin

I'm no expert on budgeting of ANY kind however; I came across a scripture today that inspired me to write this post. 1 John 1:5-6 "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth".

God IS light. We as humans have tendency to walk in darkness when we do not have to. A part of walking in darkness is being constantly consumed by the unproductive things of this earth, hence wasting our time. Daily trips to social media sites (Facebook, twitter, gossip blogs, etc... ) and spending hours browsing material that is in no way related to our goals or productivity can easily lead us into believing that there aren't enough hours in a day. How well we manage and use our time is directly related to how much fulfillment we experience in life.

Make it a habit to plan your time. List daily goals (at least five every morning) and prioritize to accomplish important tasks and improve your productivity. Spend less time "thinking" on what to do next. It's a good idea to use an online calendar or even a smartphone if you have one to record important events and manage daily tasks as well.

Do you ever wonder how some people manage to accomplish so much in a short time period? Successful people to do not have any more time than the rest of us, we are all given the same 24 hours in a day to work with. There's no secret, some people just use their time more wisely. How you use your time will continue to determine the state of your life. Are you healthy, wealthy and wise?

Let's face it; most of us have too many meaningless activities taking up our time. We need to simplify our lives and use our time in meaningful ways. Indulging in activities that lead to procrastination are a major NO ---> "Procrastination is the thief of time". Edward Young


A simple statement, yet so true, procrastination is the number one time thief and comes in many forms of disguise. Checking emails frequently throughout the day, repeated trips to the grocery store, watching television, internet surfing, etc... are all excellent examples of time-wasting activities that cause us to put off things that we should be doing. Set aside time for checking emails, for example (every two hours) and respond to them promptly. Keep web surfing to a minimum. Allocate time to shop for groceries and have a list on hand for weekly meals. You will be AMAZED at how much time you save by doing these simple things.

Finances... Finances... Finances.

The amount of money you make is not as important as how you spend it. If you spend your money wisely you will be able to get out of debt, save, and pay monthly obligations on time.

Let's begin by cutting some costs...


Wash clothes at a cooler temperature, set your heating/cooling thermostat a little lower, and unplug appliances that are not in use.


Buy store brands of your favorite items, buy in bulk, have a list ready before you go to avoid spending on unneeded items.

Saving money while on a tight budget may seem hard but it is possible if you are focused and have goals in mind. No matter how much you make save a portion of your earnings each pay period. Consider doing something you love to earn extra cash (teaching a music class, tutoring a favorite subject, selling homemade crafts) there are tons of ways to earn extra cash so get creative! Last but certainly not least, create a budget. It may seem hard but, with planning and determination, it is possible to create a guilt free budget and stick to it!

God desires for us to live life and to live it in abundance, we can do this if we would only follow his plan. It is not his will for us to live in darkness, shame, or guilt in regards to our personal lives. We have all the tools we need to take control of our time and finances; it is up to us to use them. Pray and ask God for guidance, seek mentors or agencies that are experts in financial planning and time management. I've listed a few reputable ones for you below.

Live in light, love, peace and on purpose!