Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sphere: Related Content Autographs Written by Richard Reynolds Commentary from Richard Reynolds At birth every person has a clean slate with the ability to do something great. Some people would say that there are social and economic factors that prevent a person from achieving great things. I believe just the opposite that one can add value to their name through the life that they live. Last summer, my son and I participated in the Southeastern Conference Football Media Days at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham. "Participating" may be stretching things because it was more like asking for autographs and allowing my son the opportunity to meet some famous and not so famous sports leaders. At that time the season was just starting with great promise for every team, every coach and every institution. Every autograph, one could say, had equal value and what made the difference in the value would be the coming performance of each individual. Isn't that like life? We each start out on equal footing given a name at birth. The value of that name is determined not by what our parents or grandparents did but will be determined by the legacy of the life that we live. What is your name worth? Here the term "worth" has no relationship to money but has the connotation of the value of one's life because of the good that one has contributed to this world. What have you contributed , what are you contributing to this world and what will you contribute in the future? Above is a column written by Richard Reynolds the writer of this blog. It is posted at www.claynews.net The small paper uses this as an avenue to compete with the larger papers with news in between its editions.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Sphere: Related ContentTips for Completing an Employment Application Gone are the days that you clean yourself up, make a trip to the downtown corporate office and complete the employment application with paper and pen, hoping to make a great impression on the receptionist so she will tell the recruiter how sharp you looked and how wonderful you sounded. Things have definitely changed. No more paper applications or resumes printed on white paper, or early visits to the company’s recruiting office. Now, we have to impress companies on-line with our computer skills. So if you have just found yourself in the job market again or maybe it is the first time you have ever completed an application, you will want to start to think about some of the things listed below: 1. It is time to gather facts. Write information down so that you will have it available each time you complete an application. Some things you will want to write down will be:Employment history including company names, addresses, telephone numbers, managers’ names and dates of employment.Volunteer work history with professional or community organizations including the organization’s name, address, telephone numbers, dates of service and the names and contact information of some of the organization officers with whom you worked.Personal and professional references including names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.Personal information such as education. 2. Decide which companies you want to work for, do some internet research and get to know what those companies have to offer, and then decide what you can offer those companies. Many people say there are lots of jobs “out there,” but there is still a great deal of competition for the really good jobs. Your job is to explain clearly why you are the best candidate for their jobs. 3. Check the names on all your email accounts to be sure they sound professional. When you were in school it may have been fun to have a cute email account name. But employers will not be very impressed by some of the names that were cute to you in school. Remember, you are trying to convince the company that you are the best professional employee they can find. 4. What does your blog or other networking sites say about you? Like it or not, more and more companies are researching your blogs to learn more about you. Some comments and pictures will not be the sort of things you want a future employer to see. 5. Read the instructions on the application carefully and follow them exactly. Not only do the hiring managers use the employment application as a means to find out employment information, they are also seeing how you work. If you have many words misspelled, use poor English, or don’t complete the application thoroughly, then they may think that is how you will do the work if you come to work for them. 6. Be neat and thorough with your answers, and be honest. 7. What you put on this application will be the first time the recruiter has a look at what you have to offer and will decide if you are a good match for the position you are applying for. 8. If you are allowed to attach a resume to the application do that also, because sometimes the resume will give more information than you put on the employment application. 9. Complete the application in detail. The hiring manager may not look at your resume or call you if they are not impressed with your application. Avoid saying “see resume” because the recruiter may just skip to the next application. Make the recruiter’s job easier if you want to get the job of your dreams!
Sphere: Related ContentThe Department of Education reports that between 1994 and 2004, the number of English language learners (ELLs) increased in the United States by 65 percent. With the U.S. Census projecting the country’s population to swell to over 415 million by 2050, the number of ELLs will rise.
January 17, 2008 from wvgazzette.com Unions suggest path to safer schools By Davin WhiteStaff writer West Virginia teachers and bus drivers are no longer safe on the job, and lawmakers should work to correct dangerous school environments, union groups say. The American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia and the state School Service Personnel Association on Wednesday recommended ways to fix discipline problems, based on a recent survey of service workers and teachers. More than half of those surveyed said they have felt intimidated by a student’s behavior while on the job. Staffers also said the problems are worst at middle and junior high schools. Of those surveyed, 83 percent agreed there needs to be stronger discipline policies or better enforcement. The problems extend beyond the classroom, officials say. “It’s also a problem on our school buses, in our cafeteria, in our hallways,” said Bob Brown, executive secretary of the service personnel group. Judy Hale, president of AFT-West Virginia, said federal law also leads to weak reporting of a school’s discipline problems. No Child Left Behind, the law that guides public schools, flags schools with recurring discipline problems, leading school administrators to underreport real problems, she said. Delegate Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh, has been a school bus driver for nearly three decades. He said that almost any problems he has on the bus could be handled with the child or the parent. “It’s the student that is constantly, every day, doing things” who causes the most problems, he said. The union leaders have four recommendations. Students should be exposed to a bill of rights and responsibilities that outlines what is expected of them. State lawmakers should urge or require that local school districts hold at least two town hall-style meetings a year to draw solutions from parents, students, school employees and others. Also, the unions want principals and school administrators held accountable if they fail to follow the law regarding student discipline. Teachers and service workers would have oversight of a principal’s performance. In place of habitual, off-and-on suspensions for disruptive students, the unions want more alternative schools or placement options to help correct a student’s behavior problems. With the last recommendation, Hale asked lawmakers to dedicate some new money. Gov. Joe Manchin noted in his State of the State address that he wants a commission to determine how best to correct school discipline problems. Lara Ramsburg, a spokeswoman for Manchin, said the commission would have one main objective: “How do we change [the situation] to be the most effective and really make a difference?” The commission also will look at new alternative settings, which Manchin said last year he supported. In November, he heard directly from teachers at an education forum at the Charleston Civic Center. Teachers from across the state sounded off about their dangerous classrooms and failed discipline policies. Manchin also wants to revoke the driver’s license of students who do not maintain a “C” average. Hale said that won’t help in middle schools. To contact staff writer Davin White, use e-mail or call 348-1254. Click to Search for Related Stories in our Library Talk Back: [write to the editor] Sphere: Related Content
Sphere: Related Content New York Times January 17, 2008 Urban Schools Aiming Higher Than Diploma By SARA RIMER BOSTON — At Excel High School, in South Boston, teachers do not just prepare students academically for the SAT; they take them on practice walks to the building where the SAT will be given so they won’t get lost on the day of the test. In Chattanooga, Tenn., the schools have abolished their multitrack curriculum, which pointed only a fraction of students toward college. Every student is now on a college track. And in the Washington suburb of Prince George’s County, Md., the school district is arranging college tours for students as early as seventh grade, and adding eight core Advanced Placement classes to every high school, including some schools that had none. Those efforts, and others across the country, reflect a growing sense of urgency among educators that the primary goal of many large high schools serving low-income and urban populations — to move students toward graduation — is no longer enough. Now, educators say, even as they struggle to lift dismal high school graduation rates, they must also prepare the students for college, or some form of post-secondary school training, with the skills to succeed. In affluent suburbs, where college admission is an obsession, some educators worry that high schools, with their rigorous college preparatory curriculums, have become too academically demanding in recent years. By contrast, many urban and low-income districts, which also serve many immigrants, are experimenting with ways to teach more than the basic skills so that their students can not only get to college, but earn college degrees. Some states have begun to strengthen their graduation requirements. “This is transformational change,” said Dan Challener, the president of the Public Education Foundation, a Chattanooga group that is working with the area public schools. “It’s about the purpose of high school. It’s about reinventing what high schools do.” What is required, educators say, is nothing less than revolutionizing schools built for another century, when a high school diploma was a ticket to social mobility in a manufacturing economy, and students with only basic skills could make it into the middle class. But the task is daunting, and the outcome uncertain, experts say. “We don’t know yet how to get everyone in our society to this level of knowledge and skills,” said Michele Cahill, a vice president at the Carnegie Corporation, which, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is financing many of the new efforts. “We’ve never done it before.” Although federal studies show that most students yearn for a college degree, each year tens of thousands will not even make it through high school. In New York City, for example, roughly half the students complete high school though the new small high schools have shown substantial improvement in graduation rates. Of the 68 percent of high school students nationwide who go to college each year, about a third will need remedial courses, experts say. For various reasons, from financial to a lack of academic preparedness, thousands of low-income students drop out of college each year. Fewer than 18 percent of African-Americans and just 11 percent of Hispanics earn a bachelor’s degree, compared with almost a third of whites, ages 25 to 29, experts say. Of families making less than $25,000 a year, 19 percent complete an associate degree or higher, compared with 76 percent of families earning $76,000 per year or more. The innovations range from creating high schools that offer an opportunity to take college courses for credit, to devoting senior English classes to writing college application essays, and holding parties to celebrate students who complete them. New York City has a $10 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation to develop extensive college counseling and connections with higher education institutions at 70 small high schools and three redesigned large ones. Although affluent suburban schools have been increasing academic rigor in recent years, many large urban schools have been organized around the same low academic expectations for nearly three decades, experts say. When these schools opened their doors about a hundred years ago, relatively few teenagers even went to high school, education historians say. Enrollment in high school was not universal until the end of the 1950s. By the 1970s, academic standards were being lowered to make it easier to move large numbers students of different abilities toward the diploma that was considered sufficient education for most, the historians say. Today, however, some states are putting in place more rigorous high school exit exams, and students understand that a diploma no longer provides entry to the middle class. Over the past two decades, the percentage of low-income students who say they want a four-year degree or higher has tripled, rising to 66.2 percent in 2002, from 19.4 percent in 1980, according to federal statistics. And parents are stoking their children’s hopes. “Parents are coming home every day and saying, ‘I’m working and sacrificing so that you can do better than me,’ ” said Melissa Roderick, a co-director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. “Parents want the same thing parents in the past wanted,” Professor Roderick said. “They want their kids to be middle class. The problem is that the economy has changed, so doing better now means going to college. And someone has to help them figure out how to do this because the parents don’t know themselves.” John Deasy, superintendent of public schools in Prince George’s County, said that he wants the students in his overwhelmingly low-income and minority district to have the same academic advantages as students in, say, Greenwich, Conn. So the district has added eight Advanced Placement classes to all 23 high schools, including some in schools that had never offered one. The one high school that has drawn students from the upper middle class already had 26 A.P. classes. “For a long time we believed in the ‘some kids’ agenda,” Dr. Deasy said. “Some kids will go to college, some kids will go to the work force, some kids can go to the military. That’s garbage. We believe that every kid can learn at a high level and that college is for every child.” He added, “If a student chooses not to go to college, that is O.K.” Many of the new efforts involve building close relationships with local higher education institutions. North Carolina, for example, is creating 70 new “early college” high schools, where students can take college classes. A new ritual in Boston schools is College Month, which culminated last fall in “Represent Your Alma Mater Day,” when teachers from kindergarten to high school wore their college T-shirts to work. At Brighton High in Boston, for the first time this year, John Travers, the head of counseling, and his staff visited every freshman English class to begin mapping out the steps toward college: Maintaining a high grade point average. Taking tough classes. Building a résumé. After Mr. Travers’s pitch, 14-year-old Katherine Nunez, who juggles her homework with helping her Dominican immigrant parents at their convenience store, said she was determined to make the honor roll. “My parents talk about it every day — the economy, money makes the world go round,” she said. “If I want to be successful, I have to go to college.” In 2005, 74.2 percent of the graduating seniors went on to post-secondary education: of those, 56 percent went to four-year colleges, 33 percent to two-year schools and 11 percent to advanced training, Mr. Travers said. The colleges at the top of the list: Bunker Hill Community College, the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Massachusetts Bay Community College. Mr. Travers leads students on trips to colleges many of them pass every day on the “T” to high school, but have never visited. “We all went to Bentley on the bus together,” said Rashell Wilson, 18, vice president of Brighton’s senior class. “We had a beautiful tour.” Ms. Wilson and her classmates ride the T over an hour after school to nonprofit programs where they get extra help with tutoring, and with their college applications. They take free SAT prep classes at night. Ms. Wilson is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Her mother is a nursing assistant. Her father works in maintenance. “My parents instilled in me from Day One, ‘You’re going to college,’ ” she said. But her parents, she added, have not been to college and so cannot help her figure out how to get there. So she has enlisted the help of her guidance counselor and teachers, her co-workers at the Boston law firm where she has an internship, and any other college-educated adult she can find. She has spent hours researching college admissions on the College Board Web site. “I want a whole lot more,” Ms. Wilson said. “I want to be financially stable. I don’t want to be struggling on $30,000 a year.”
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sphere: Related ContentLeadership Networking: Relate, Collaborate, and Get Things Done- Second in a series...Relationship Skills Can Be Learned Effective relationships allow leaders to accomplish more than they can alone. So what can you do to build and improve relationships at work? Here are ten behaviors that will make a difference. Choose the positive. Good relationships are based on handling problems in a positive way. Avoid creating adversarial relationships or alienating others. Be a diplomat. Negotiating, giving feedback, sharing news and making decisions all require good timing and common sense. Be mindful of the whole picture and make your points at the most appropriate time. Find common ground. Shared goals, similar challenges or areas of agreement are great starting points for accomplishing work and building relationships. Work to find common ground when dealing with conflict or complexity. Keep cool. Can you handle an unfair attack from peers with poise? Are you steady when tensions are high? Keep your cool and avoid being defensive or counter-attacking. Avoid isolation. Don't limit your associations and relationships. Learn to relate to all kinds of individuals tactfully, from shop floor to top executives. Find ways to talk with staff members who are older or more experienced than you, as well as those who are younger. Expand your view. Strive to understand others' perspectives and needs. Listen. Active listening is essential. Listen carefully to different peoples' needs at all levels in the organization - both when things are going well and when they are not. Share information. Communicate well and communicate often. Keep people informed of future changes that may impact them. Involve others. Encourage direct reports to share ideas and information. Involve others in the beginning stages of an initiative or decision. Work to gain commitment of others before implementing changes. Your relationships will improve when people are motivated to work together. Be realistic. Recognize that every decision has conflicting interests and constituencies. Good relationships won't prevent conflict or disagreement. However, with strong relationships, you can work through challenges from a platform of cooperation, trust and respect. Keep It Simple When it comes to relationships, sometimes a small change makes a big difference. You can begin to build more effective relationships if you choose to: Be aware. Start paying attention to how you interact with coworkers. When you start to look at your relationships, you can begin to see the effect your behaviors have on those around you. Be present. Don't stay in your world and wait for people to come to you.Walk around, shake hands and get to know people. Ask them what they are working on or how they are doing. Be human. Listen to people and engage them on a personal level. Be genuine and open with others by sharing information about yourself.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Sphere: Related ContentYoung Son Of Birmingham Radio Host Drowns In Swimming Pool Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 - 07:32 PM By Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The 2-year-old son of a popular Birmingham radio personality has drowned in a residential swimming pool in Shelby County.In a statement, Sheriff Chris Curry says the child, William Bronner Burgess, the youngest son of Rick and Bubba Show co-host Rick Burgess, was pronounced dead last night at Children's Hospital.Shelby County 911 received a report at 7:24 p.m. Saturday of a possible drowning, according to the sheriff. Deputies and North Shelby Fire and Emergency Medical personnel responded to a house on Indian Crest Drive in Indian Springs Village.The sheriff says a preliminary investigation indicates that this is a tragic accident and he extended "deepest sympathy" to the Burgess family.
Sphere: Related Content We use words and phrases without realizing what we saying many times...how many cliches do you use? Or how many "buzz" words do you use which have long ago lost their effectiveness and meaning? Today's post is short with the point of allowing the words to penetrate the grey matter between our ears. Notice that it is not the length of the words but the quality of the words used that matters! For the quality to be there the brain must be activated...is yours activated or is it on "cruise control?" Read these and see the impact that a few well chosen words can have... The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense." --Thomas Edison,inventor and businessman One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you're perceived to be by others." --Edward L. Flom,CEO of Florida Steel Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. " --Eleanor Roosevelt,former first lady and American political leader If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?" --Steven Wright, comedian, actor
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sphere: Related Content Bellicose (BEL-ih-kohs) adj. - belligerent, ready to make war Example: The jeering, BELLICOSE crowd demanded the coach's retirement.
Sphere: Related ContentPodcasting...What's all the Hype? by Tammy Munson Podcasting . . . . What's all the hype? Well, podcasting can get confusing easily, that's for sure. However, really it's a lot simpler than one thinks in the beginning. Podcasting is simply a means by which to distribute audio or video files. Podcasting actually came from the words broadcast and Ipod because of the popularity of the Ipod and this being a new way that information and music was being broadcast to the world. Podcasts are dispensed over the Internet. These can be radio shows or video productions. The podcasts are placed online where they can be downloaded or listened to via a virtual player such as a multimedia player either on the website itself or on a person's personal computer. Many people also download the files and then transfer them to a MP3 player such as an Ipod. It is really quite easy and can be done without your having to do much of anything the computer and the Ipod recognize each other and actually sync up on their own. Podcasts also give you the ability to subscribe to them and in some cases can even be downloaded automatically on a schedule through a podcast feed. One of the ways to do this is with a program such as Itunes. Itunes gives you the ability to search their database of podcasts and find something in your area of interest to download. You then subscribe to the feed and automatically get a new file when the podcast feed is updated. There are podcasts out there on virtually every topic from parenting to car repair. Most podcast are done by ordinary people on topics that they are passionate about, many podcast are talk show style but there are also music podcasts out there as well. Many well-known people are now also using podcasts to advertise and promote themselves, their platform or even their products or services. It is much easier than one might think to record and create your own audio podcast. If you have a low end, inexpensive microphone you can easily record digital audio via your personal computer. A recording software is also useful, and there are free versions such as Audacity available online for download. This software allows you to quite easily edit the audio and then to save it and export it as an MP3 file for use elsewhere. If you already have a website you might also already have server space available or you can purchase space to house your audio files on a website such as Audio Acrobat. Finally, an RSS feed is created for the files and a download link is made available where others can download and/or listen to the audio online. Podcasting a fast growing phenomenon that almost anyone can take advantage of...and that's what all the hype is about! Filed under: Entrepreneurship , Internet Website Profile About Tammy Munson Tammy Munson, owner of New Media VA, is a work at home mom to 2 girls, ages 9 and 6, and proud Army wife to her husband SPC Munson. She and her family reside near Alexandria, VA. She is co-owner of Business and Learning and co-organizer of the WAH Expo. To find out more information about her, please go to www.tammymunson.com
Thursday, January 3, 2008
From Teachers Magazine January 3, 2008 Published: January 2, 2008 Parents Are From Mars, Teachers Are From Venus Sphere: Related Content I had a great idea the other day. I figure that if someone can make millions by writing a book attempting to explain the complex inner workings of the relationship between men and women, I can make a mint trying to explain the equally complex relationship between parents and teachers. Right? So I wandered over to the Self-Help section of the local bookstore and spent a few minutes browsing through the classic Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus looking for ideas. The first thing I noticed was the book's subtitle: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships. How perfect is that?! Teachers and parents across America will flock to the shelves if I can somehow help them to "get what they want" out of one another, right? And isn't communication the hardest part of the school-child relationship that we share? I've never met a teacher who hasn't been mystified by the actions of a parent at least once a year, and I'm pretty sure that parents can say the same about teachers. Let's face it: We're two of the most complicated groups of people to understand—and for $29.95, I'm willing to be your guide! As part of a new partnership, teachermagazine.org publishes this regular column by members of the Teacher Leaders Network, a professional community of accomplished educators dedicated to sharing ideas and expanding the influence of teachers. After browsing witty chapter titles like "Men Are Like Rubberbands," and "Women are Like Waves," I found what is going to be the title of the first chapter in my book: "Scoring Points With the Opposite Group." My publisher—i.e., the guy down the hall with the only working printer in his room—tells me I should share some of my ideas here to "prime the marketplace." He seems to believe that my book will spread like wildfire through a word-of-mouth, grassroots buying campaign after y'all get a taste of what I've got to offer. So here's an early draft of the key ideas in my first chapter. Scoring Points with Parents (Target Audience: Teachers) Parents rarely intend to be the red-eyed, flame-breathing creatures that you see in your nightmares. There are several things you can do as a teacher if you are hoping to have a positive working relationship with the parents of your students. Begin by: • Recognizing that parents are valuable partners. Do you realize how much collective knowledge parents have about their children? They have spent years nurturing and supporting the students that you've sometimes just met! Yet teachers often overlook parents during the course of the school year. Make an attempt to involve parents in meaningful ways in the education of their children. Ask for their thoughts and advice. Empower them to help make important decisions. Recognize them as experts and treat them as respected equals. Not only will you score points, you'll learn valuable information that will help you to do your job better. • Communicating early and often. All parents are passionate about their children. They want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. They want to know what is being learned in class and what assignments need to be completed. They want to know how to extend and enrich learning at home, yet often the only source of information is a cryptic conversation with a distracted twelve-year-old—or worse yet, picking through the pile of papers in the bottom of a backpack. (It's grungy down there!) Work diligently to communicate with the parents of your students in meaningful ways. Send e-mails, create Web sites, and host parent nights. Make phone calls—to express concerns and celebrate successes—and you'll surely score points with parents. • Admitting your mistakes. Teachers make thousands of split-second decisions every single day. Who was pushing in the lunch line? Was a child being honest? Did students have enough time to complete their tests? Were the directions for assignments clear? Was I too harsh? There will be times when you make the wrong decision—after all, you're human and this job is hard! There is nothing more damaging to your relationship with parents than to deny this reality. When you make a mistake, apologize and move on. You'll retain the trust of your parents and your own integrity at the same time. Scoring Points with Teachers (Target Audience: Parents) Teachers are rarely the incompetent, bumbling scatterbrains that you see in your nightmares. There are several things that you can do as a parent if you are hoping to have a positive working experience with the teachers of your children. Begin by: • Recognizing that teachers are professionals. The old adage, "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach," is not only insulting—it is inaccurate. Teachers are generally highly trained professionals with a deep understanding of the content they teach and the instructional methods to make that content approachable for students of different ability levels. While you may not always understand the decisions made by teachers, in the vast majority of cases you can trust their training and experience. You'll score points with your child's teacher by providing him or her the professional respect that you expect to be given in your workplace. • Giving your child's teacher the benefit of the doubt. There are going to be times each year that your child comes home distraught over the actions of a teacher. In any setting where human beings are together for six hours a day, there are bound to be disagreements. When this happens, begin by giving your child's teacher the benefit of the doubt! Make an appointment to hear what happened from the teacher's perspective. You'll sometimes find that your child's version of events was not a "complete disclosure" of the situation, and together you can work out a set of next steps to keep future misunderstandings from happening. • Saying thank you. Teaching is demanding. Imagine spending hour after hour alone in a room with 20 to 30 children who all have different academic, social, and emotional needs. And then imagine working in those conditions year after year with little recognition or praise. Like any profession, the critics of education are often louder than the supporters—and teachers take these criticisms to heart. It can be terribly discouraging to work long hours with little pay in difficult conditions and then to hear only about failures. Take a few minutes each month to thank your child's teacher for something that he or she has done. Your kindness will remind teachers that their efforts are appreciated—and score you serious points! So, what do you think? Does my book have potential? Should I quit now and make a bid for a late afternoon talk show on national television? Watch out, Oprah, here I come! Even if I don't make it big, I hope some of my ideas make sense to parents and to teachers. Anything that I can do to improve the parent/teacher relationship is worthwhile, I figure. After all, we're counting on each other, aren't we? Actually, I'm wrong—it's the children in our schools who are counting on us! Bill Ferriter teaches 6th grade history and science in the Wake County, N.C. schools. A North Carolina regional teacher of the year in 2006, Ferriter writes frequently on education topics. His blog, The Tempered Radical, was named “Best Teacher Blog” in the 2007 EduBlog Awards competition.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Sphere: Related Content http://clauschronicles.blogspot.com/ Santa Claus Blog The above link provided the following creative use of imagination. What limits us and how we help others is the lack of imagination and creativity that we have...read the following noticing the creativity, the imagination and how the ordinary comes to life on the page! Then think about your use of imagination and creativity in your life or the lack of the use of it! Periodic Updates From North Pole, Inc. Chairman & CEO Santa Claus Thursday, December 27, 2007 Food Poisoning I am pretty sure it was the raisin pie I had in Greece. I thought I had made it through this year without any problems but it started to hit me last night, shortly after I posted my blog entry. Yep... "stomach issues". Nothing major I am sure but I am having some fever spikes and stomach cramps. About once every 5 years or so, I end up eating something that has "gone bad" during my Christmas Eve travels and I find myself with a bout of mild food poisoning. Frankly, I am a little surprised I don't end up with it every year. Don't worry though, I am drinking plenty of fluids and following doctors' orders.The silver lining is that its a good excuse for laying on the couch all day. I've been able to do nothing but read the papers, watch TV, surf the internet, email & text old friends, and catch up on my sleep. Not a bad day from that perspective. As long as I'm healthy in time for Mrs. Claus & I to leave on our annual Hawaii vacation in a couple of days, I am not going to worry about it or complain.My energy is dropping a little so I'm going to cut this short for now. Wishing you a safe and HEALTHY new year! at 9:07 PM 2 comments Wednesday, December 26, 2007 The Day After What a lazy day! I am almost ashamed to admit I did very little today. I slept in until after 10am and then went for a run. It was snowing heavily but it felt good to shake off the grogginess of a full nights sleep. Mrs. Claus met me with a full breakfast and a steaming hot pot of Christmas Blend coffee when I finished. We took our time over breakfast to talk... it seemed as though the first time we've really talked since last month given that we've both been burning the candle at both ends to get ready for the big Christmas Eve operation.After breakfast and a warm shower, I did go into HQ to meet with my extended leadership team for a couple of hours. We conducted a full debrief and after action review of the Christmas Eve operation. We do that every year.. and we try to do it as soon as possible... in order to capture our learnings (i.e. What went well, want could have been improved, and what was missign) and start to build a plan to apply them for the next year. Given the world's population growth, our margin for error is shrinking exponentially each year. So even though this year's operation went really well, we have to be even better next year.Other than that meeting, I didn't do much. I returned after the meeting and took a long nap on the sofa next to the fire while Mrs. Claus read. She said it had been about 30 days since she had a chance to read but that it felt like 30 years. After my nap, I tuned in to a few of the English Premier League Boxing Day matches. I am very excited my ManU club is back on top of the tables after Ronaldo put away the penalty kick. This evening, after Mrs. Claus and I had dinner with some friends we haven't seen since mid-November, I took a walk down to the Starbucks in the Village Square. It was as empty as I have seen it since the same time last year. The vast majority of elves and reindeer left by mid-day on vacations to sunny locales or to visit family during this Holiday season. Those that are still here are staying close to home so they can re-connect with their loved ones after working most of the waking hours for the past 30 days. I sipped my Egg Nog Latte... probably my last of this Season... and enjoyed the still and quiet of the Village Square at night. It was beautiful with the Christmas tree lit and snow lightly falling. We all work hard but it is times like those this evening in the Village Square that I realize I might just be the luckiest man on this planet. I hope all of you can find that same peace and contentment this Holiday season.Well... these lazy days are not going to last long. Nor would I want them to. But since they are here, I'm going to call it a night for now. Good night, everyone! at 11:37 PM 11 comments Tuesday, December 25, 2007 Christmas Night I hope it was a wonderful Christmas for all of you. I think this may have been my best overall.My Christmas day started about four hours after we landed back at the North Pole. Mrs Claus and I had to wrap up the Operations before we headed home for our traditional Christmas brunch. For some reason, having a nice, leisurely-paced breakfast with Mrs. Claus after the long night and even longer Christmas Eve preparations seems like a luxury. I really start to relax. As I always do, I took a quick nap after breakfast. But not too long... my senior staff came over for a Christmas Day celebration. Its an intimate little gathering... just 20 or so of us (including guests), good food & drink, and a Holiday-season's worth of stories to tell on each other. In past years, I have stepped away to give phone interviews but not this year. I decided this year to completely shut down until Mrs. Claus and the rest of the North Pole team were in bed.After everyone left, I fell asleep on the recliner as I do each year, next to a roaring fire, watching NBA basketball (Blazers vs. Sonics... I hear the Blazers won their 11th in a row). Mrs. Claus woke me up in the early evening hours so I wouldn't sleep the night away. We went for a walk, hand-in-hand, around the Village to enjoy the lights and the lightly falling snow. When we got back from our walk, Mrs. Claus made hot chocolate while I brought in more wood for the fireplace. Once we got settled, with the fire once again roaring and the hot chocolate in our mugs, we exchanged gifts. Last year I seemed to get every gift for Mrs. Claus wrong... things didn't fit or it was the wrong color or it was something. But this year I got it right. Everything was spot on. Yes, even I have problem giving gifts to my spouse! So don't feel bad if you find yourself in the returns line tomorrow morning.Well, Mrs. Claus has retired for the evening. I'm pretty tired but I wanted to check in with you before I take a 10 or 12 hour nap for the first time in a few months and wish you a very Merry Christmas before the day is over. I hope you have some time this week between Christmas and New Years Day to relax and re-energize for the new year ahead. If you do, take the time to focus on your blessings. If you find you are truly blessed... as I believe you will... make a point to share those blessings with someone else during these last days of the Holiday season.Merry Christmas, everyone! With Love, Santa at 11:59 PM 31 comments Merry Christmas ...and to all a Good Night! The last presents have been delivered, the last cookie eaten, the last glass of milk consumed, and the last stocking filled. Once we get the "all clear" signal from the North Pole Command Center, we'll point the sleigh due north and return home. I hope everyone has had as much fun this Christmas Eve as I have had tonight. Tomorrow is going to be the best Christmas ever!Good night, all! I will not update my log until late in the day to day as I plan on enjoying Christmas brunch with Mrs. Claus and taking a nap."And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21 at 2:23 AM 48 comments Aloha! I just left Nome, Alaska. Talk about cold! Brrr. But the best news is that I'm headed south to the Hawaiian Islands. I'll make a few stops between but I can shed the jacket for a few minutes and swap out my Starbucks Christmas blend coffee for some 100% Kona coffee. At least while I'm cruising through the Islands. Love it down there. Mrs. Claus and I will be back in the Islands for our annual vacation in a little more than a week. Can't wait!To all of you now awake across Europe, Asia, Africa, & Australia/Oceania... Merry Christmas! at 1:08 AM 7 comments Monday, December 24, 2007 Stuffed Thank you all for all of the snacks that you have left out! I have had some tremendous food this evening. I believe these are some of the best cookies, milk, egg nog, pie, etc. that I've ever had. There was some cheesecake I had in Vermont that was unbelievable. I had to call Mrs. Claus and tell her that I think someone finally outdid her on cheesecake. Until tonight, I didn't think it was possible. But.. wow!The reindeer also want to make sure that I pass on their thanks for all of the carrots, apples, and oats.Well... for you kids along the Pacific seaboard of North & South America, you need to be in bed. I'll be in your neighborhood very soon. at 10:05 PM 5 comments A Lot Like Home I am currently delivering presents in northern Canada. We are not too far from home but we still have a long ways to go tonight... about another 4 hours. The reindeer definitely feel much more at home in these environs. Though they were spooked briefly at a house a few minutes ago when they got the scent of a polar bear. We were airborne again though by the time we actually spotted the bear. at 9:01 PM 2 comments The ATL Merry Christmas, North America!I am currently just outside Atlanta, Georgia. We are running a little behind schedule as air traffic control at Hartsfield unexpectedly re-routed us. But you kids along the eastern seaboard of the US should go ahead and be getting to bed. I'm working my way north and will be at your house before you know it.All is well so far. The reindeer are doing well. Everyone is past their bout with air sickness and we're feeling good. See you soon! at 7:15 PM 7 comments Turbulence I am over Europe right now. We are back on schedule. This is despite a little turbulence we ran into earlier this evening. It was severe enough that Comet & Dasher both got air sick. Not a pretty sight! The elves washed them down at the last replenishment stop and they were able to eat and drink with the other reindeer. The turbulence also spilled coffee all over me. I had just poured a cup of steaming hot Starbucks Christmas blend. It's cold up here and I needed the coffee to stay warm & alert. I should have known better but I didn't put the cup back in the cup holder while I was closing up the thermos. Sure enough... that's when we hit the first big bump. Coffee went everywhere. Fortunately all the gifts were in my water-proof sack. Just as fortunately, I'm wearing thick clothing... no coffee burns. The legal folks at Starbucks can rest easy.Ok... all you kids across Europe, get to bed! at 1:56 PM 13 comments India Merry Christmas, Everyone. I am running a little behind schedule. Nothing to worry about though. We are currently in Indian airspace. We'll be setting down at our replenishment station in just a few moments. From there we'll cover the much of India & central Asia before stopping in the Middle East for yet another replenishment before heading down into Africa.We have been experiencing some communication issues. We are now using our back-up communications systems that I normally use to post blogs as the primary channel back to North Pole Flight Operations. As such, some of my posts may experience a bit of delay.Just a side note to the folks that called out the issue between the spelling of Donder vs. Donner (also, there is a Blixon vs. Blitzen debate). Donder & Blixon are the Norwegian spellings. Donner & Blitzen are the typical British & American versions. at 11:53 AM 6 comments Older Posts
Sphere: Related Content MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE OF THE DAY"Always bear in mind, that your own resolution to succeed is more importantthan any other thing."—Abraham Lincoln
Sphere: Related Content Hi! I thought you might be interested in reading this great article. Click on http://www.nightingale.com/Newsletters/288_v2.aspx?promo=INLACx288v2 to read it.... Below is part of the article but to listen to the information you may need to go to the original link above plus there is additional information with the link that you might be interested in... The 80/20 Principle: Detonating a Time Revolution By Richard Koch © 2007 Nightingale-Conant Corporation If you’re like most people these days, you don’t need another time management system; what you need is a time revolution. If you’re interested in detonating a time revolution, how do you do it? I’ve got seven steps here to help you do just that. The first of these, and the most fundamental, is to make the difficult mental leap of dissociating effort from reward. They’re two entirely different things. And yet it’s very, very difficult to do this sometimes. Get Started Now! YOUR RESOLUTION: “This year, I'm going to focus on what's most important to me.” YOUR SOLUTION: A system of techniques that will program your mind to automatically accomplish your goals. Listen to "80/20 Principle" You know, the protestant work ethic is so deeply engrained in everyone, people of all religions and no religions, that we need to make a conscious effort to extirpate it. The trouble is that often we do enjoy hard work or at least have the feeling of virtue that comes from having done it. What we must do is to plant firmly in our minds that hard work, especially doing it for somebody else, is not an efficient way of achieving what we, ourselves, want. Hard work leads nearly always to low returns. Insight and doing what we ourselves want lead to higher returns. It’s useful to conjure up your own patron saints of productive laziness. Mine include Ronald Reagan and Warren Buffett. Reagan, after all, made an effortless progression from B film actor to darling of the Republican right, governor of California, and eventually an extremely successful president. Now, what did Reagan have going for him? Yes, good looks, a wonderfully mellifluous voice, which he deployed instinctively on all occasions, some very astute campaign managers, old-fashioned grace, and a Disneyesque view of America and the world. Reagan’s ability to apply himself was limited at best, his grasp at conventional reality perhaps tenuous. But his ability to inspire America and destroy Communism was ever more awesome. To maul Churchill’s dictum, “Never has so much been achieved by so few with so little effort.” The key to Reagan was that he had three things that he was really interested in, and he wasn’t interested in anything else. He was interested in cutting taxes, he was interested in cutting inflation, and he was interested in countering what he called the evil empire. Everything else unconnected with those, Reagan just didn’t care about. And, therefore, by focusing on these three goals, he was actually able to achieve great things. Warren Buffett became for a time the richest man in America, not by working hard, but by investing smart. Starting with very little capital, he has compounded it over many years at rates far above stock market averages. He’s done this with a limited degree of analysis but basically with a few insights that he’s consistently applied. He started his riches rollercoaster with one big idea, that U.S. local newspapers had a local monopoly that constituted the most perfect business franchise. This simple idea made him his first fortune, and much of his subsequent money has been made in shares in the media, an industry which he understands. Buffett is very economical with his energy. Whereas most fund managers buy lots of stocks and churn them frequently, Buffett buys few and holds them for ages. This means there’s very little work to do. He pours scorn on the conventional view of investment portfolio diversification, which he’s dubbed “the Noah’s Ark method.” He says, “One buys two of everything and ends up with a zoo.” His own investment philosophy borders on lethargy. When I’m tempted to do too much, I recall Ronald Reagan and Warren Buffett. You should think of your own examples, the people you know personally or those in the public eye who exemplify productive inertia. Think about them often. The second way to detonate a time revolution is to give up guilt. Now, giving up guilt is clearly related to the dangers of excessively hard work. But it’s also related to doing the things you enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no value, actually, in doing things that you don’t enjoy. So make a list of the things you like doing, and try to make them your job, make your job them. Nearly everyone who’s become rich has had the added bonus of doing things that they enjoy. This might be taken as yet another indication of the universe’s 80/20 perversity. Because 20% of people not only enjoy 80% of wealth, but also monopolize 80% of the enjoyment to be had from work. And they are very often exactly the same 20% of people. That old puritan, John Kenneth Galbraith, has drawn attention to a fundamental unfairness in the world of work. The upper classes not only get paid more for their work, they have more interesting work and they enjoy it more. They have secretaries, assistants, first-class travel, luxurious hotels, and actually much more interesting working lives, too. In fact, you’d need a large private fortune to afford all the prerequisites that senior industrialists now routinely award themselves. Galbraith’s advance of this revolutionary view is that those who have less interesting jobs should be paid more than those who have jobs that are more fun. But I say, “What a spoilsport.” Such views are thought-provoking, but no good will come of them. As with so many 80/20 phenomena, if you look beneath the surface, you can detect a deeper logic behind the apparent unfairness. In this case, the logic is very simple. Those who achieve the most have to enjoy what they do. It’s only by fulfilling one’s self that anything of extraordinary value is created. Think, for example, of any great artist in any sphere. The quality and quantity of their output are stunning. Van Gogh never stopped; Picasso ran an art factory long before Andy Warhol because he loved what he did. Or revel in Michelangelo’s David, the dying slave, the Laurentian Library, the New Sacristy, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Pieta in St. Peter’s. They’re all miraculous for one individual. He did it all not because it was his job or because he feared the pope or even to make money, but because he loved his creations. Now, you may not have quite the same drives, but you will not create anything of enduring value unless you love creating it. This applies as much to merely personal as to business matters. Now I’m not advocating perpetual laziness. I think we should recognize that work is a natural activity that satisfies an intrinsic need, as indeed the unemployed, the retired, and those who make overnight fortunes rapidly discover. Everything has its own natural internal balance, the rhythm of the optimal work-play mix. And most people can sense innately when they’re either being too lazy or too industrious. 80/20 thinking is most valuable in encouraging people to pursue high-value, high-satisfaction activities in both work and play periods, rather than simply exchanging work for play. But I suspect that most people try too hard at the wrong things. The modern world would greatly benefit if a lower quantity of work led to a greater profusion of creativity and intelligence. If much greater work would benefit the most idle 20% of our people, much less work would benefit the hardest-working 20%. And such arbitrage would benefit society both ways. The quantity of work is much less important than its quality. And its quality depends on self-direction. The third point is that we should free ourselves from obligations imposed by others. In fact, it’s a fair bet that when 80% of time yields 20% of results, that 80% is being undertaken at the behest of other people. It’s increasingly apparent that the whole idea of working directly for someone else, of having a job with security but limited discretion, has just been a transient phase lasting two centuries in the history of work. Even if you’re working for a big corporation, you should think of yourself as an independent business, working for yourself, despite being on Monolithic Inc.’s payroll. The 80/20 Principle shows time and time again that the 20% who achieve the most either work for themselves or behave as if they did. The same idea applies outside work. It’s very difficult to make good use of your time if you don’t control it. It’s impossible and even undesirable to take my advice too far. You’ll always have some obligations to others, and these can be extremely useful from your perspective. Even the entrepreneur is not a lone wolf answerable to no one. He or she has partners, employees, alliances, and a network of contacts from whom nothing can be expected if nothing is given. The point, though, is to choose your partners and obligations extremely selectively and with great care. The fourth of the seven clues to detonating a time revolution is to be unconventional and even eccentric in your use of time. You’re unlikely to spend the most valuable 20% of your time in being a good soldier, in doing what’s expected of you, in attending meetings that everyone assumes you will, in doing what most of your peers do, or in other words observing the social conventions of your role. In fact, you should question whether any of these things are necessary. To avoid the likelihood that 80% of your time will be spent on low-priority activities, adopt unconventional behavior or solutions. So a good exercise is to work out the most unconventional or eccentric ways in which you can spend your time. How far could you deviate from the norm without being thrown out of your world? Now, not all eccentric ways of spending time will multiply your effectiveness, but some or at least one of them could. Draw up several scenarios and adopt the one that allows you the most time on high-value activities that you enjoy. Who amongst your acquaintances is both effective and eccentric? Find out how they spend their time and how it deviates from the norm. You may want to copy some of the things that they do and some of the things that they don’t do. Fifth, actually try to identify the 20% of time that gives you 80%. About a fifth of your time is likely to give you four-fifths of your achievement or results and four-fifths of your happiness. Since this may not be the same four-fifths, where there’s usually considerable overlap, the first thing to do is to be clear about whether your objective is achievement or happiness. You can go through the exercise doing it for achievement first and then for happiness. For happiness, identify what I call your happiness islands. A happiness island is a small amount of time that contributes to the amount of your happiness. So, take a clean sheet of paper, write “happiness islands” at the top, and list as many of them as you can remember. And then try to deduce what is common between all or some of these happiness islands. Then repeat the procedure for your unhappiness islands. These will not generally comprise the other 80% of your time, since there’s often a large no man’s land of moderate happiness between the happiness and the unhappiness islands. Yet it’s important to identify the most significant causes of unhappiness and ask if there are any common denominators between them. You can then repeat this whole procedure for achievement. Identify your achievement islands. Those are the short periods of time when you’ve achieved a much higher ratio of value at a time than during the rest of your week, month, year, or life. So, have a clean sheet of paper with achievement on it and list as many of them as you can, if possible, taken over the whole of your life. Try to identify the common characteristics of these achievement islands. List separately your achievement desert islands. These are the periods of greatest sterility and lowest productivity. Try to work out what they have in common, and now act accordingly. The sixth approach is to multiply the 20% of your time that gives you 80%: When you’ve identified your happiness and achievement islands, you’re likely to want to spend more time on these and similar activities. When I explain this idea, some people say to me that there’s a flaw in my logic because spending more time in the top 20% may lead not to another 80% of output, but perhaps only to 40%, 50%, 60%, or 70%. When people raise this objection with me, I’ve got two replies. First, since it’s impossible to measure our effectiveness with anything approaching precision, the critics may well be right in some cases. But who cares. There will still be a marked increase in supply of what is best. But my second answer is that I don’t think this point that the critics make is generally correct. My recommendation is not that you duplicate exactly what it is that you’re doing today that is the 20% yielding 80%. The point of examining the common characteristics of your happiness and achievement islands is to isolate something far more basic than what has happened. It is to isolate really what you are uniquely programmed to do best. It may well be that there are some things that you should be doing to realize your full potential or happiness that you’ve only just started to do imperfectly to some degree, or even that you haven’t started to do at all. For example, Dick Francis was a superb steeplechase jockey but he didn’t publish his first racing mystery until he was 40. Now his success, money earned, and possibly personal satisfaction far exceed those from the former career. Richard Adams was an unfulfilled middle-aged middle civil servant before he wrote the Watership Down bestseller, which has now sold more than 7 million copies. It’s not at all uncommon for analysis of happiness or achievement islands to allow individuals insight into what they’re best at—what is best perhaps for you, what enables you to spend time on totally new activities that have a higher ratio of reward to time than anything you were doing before. There can therefore be increasing returns as well as the possibility of diminishing returns. In fact, one thing that you should specifically consider is a change of career and/or lifestyle. Our basic objective when we’ve identified both the specific activity and the general type of activity that takes only 20% of time but yields 80% of happiness or achievement should be to increase this 20% spent on those or similar activities by as much as possible. A short-term objective usually feasible is to decide to take the 20% of time on the high-value activities up to 40% within a year. This will tend to raise your productivity by between 60% and 80%. The ideal position of course is to move the time spent on high-value activities from 20% to 100%. This may be possible only by changing career and lifestyle. If so, make a plan with deadlines for how you’re going to make these changes. The last of the seven routes to time revolution is to eliminate or reduce the low-value activities. For the 80% of activities that give you only 20% of results, the ideal is to eliminate them. You may need to do this anyway before you can allocate more time to the high-value activities. Now, first reactions from people are often that there’s little scope for escaping from low-value activities. They’re said to be inevitable parts of family, social, or work obligations. If you find yourself thinking this, then think again. We normally have great scope to do things differently within our existing circumstances. Remember what we said before: Be unconventional and be eccentric in how you use your time. Don’t follow the herd. Try your new policy and see what happens. Since there is little value in the activities you want to displace, people may not actually notice if you stop doing them. Even if they do notice, they may not care enough to force you to do them if they can see this would take a major effort on their part. But even if dropping the low-value activities does require a radical change in circumstances, such as a new job, a new career, new friends, or even a new lifestyle or partner, form a plan to make the desired changes. The alternative is that your potential for achievement and happiness will never be attained. To sum up here, I am now going to list my top 10 low-value uses of time. You can only spend time on high-value activities, whether for achievement or enjoyment, if you’ve abandoned low-value activities. So I invite you to identify your own low-value uses of time. To check that you’ve not missed some, I’m now going to list the 10 that I think are most common. First of all, things other people want you to do. Second, things that have always been done this way. Third, things that you are not unusually good at doing. Fourth, things you don’t enjoy doing. Number five, things that are always interrupted. Sixth, things that few other people are interested in. Seventh, the things that have already taken twice as long as you originally expected. Eighth, things for which your collaborators are unreliable or low quality. Ninth, things that have a predictable cycle. And my number ten low-value use of time is answering the telephone. Be ruthless in cutting out these activities. Under no circumstances give everyone a fair share of your time. After all, don’t do something just because people ask or because you receive a phone call or a fax or an email. Follow Nancy Reagan’s advice in another context and “just say no,” or treat the matter with what Britain’s George Brown called “a complete ignoral.” Now what about the other side of the coin? What are the top 10 highest-value uses of time? Here is my top 10. First of all, things that advance your overall purpose in life. Number two, things you’ve always wanted to do. Number three, things already in the 20/80 relationship of time to results, 20% of time, 80% of results. Things that are already producing superproductive results. Fourth, innovative ways of doing things that promise to slash the time required and/or multiply the quality of results. Number five of the best ways of using time, things other people tell you can’t be done. Number six, things that other people have done successfully but in a different arena. Number seven, things that use your own creativity. At number eight, the things that you can get other people to do for you with relatively little effort on your part. Number nine, anything with high-quality collaborators who’ve already transcended the 80/20 rule of time, who use their time eccentrically and effectively. And number ten, things for which it is now or never. When thinking about any potential use of time, I suggest we ask ourselves just two questions. Number one, is it unconventional? And number two, does it promise to multiply effectiveness? I believe it’s unlikely to be a really good use of time unless the answer to both questions is yes. What time revolution implies above all, I think, is that we live in the present. The present moment actually is vital. Enjoy living in the present moment—don’t live in the past or the future. Time does not run out; it doesn’t run from left to right. As the round clock tells us, time keeps coming ’round. Time enjoyed in the past is still there. Our achievements and our good deeds still stand. The present is real and precious, regardless of how long or short our future will be. We can be proud of our past and we can hope for our future, but actually we can only really live in the present. This 80/20 view of time makes us more relaxed and more connected. Relaxed because time gone is not time used up. We’re more connected to what is going on now and to other people. We have the precious gift of life today being enjoyed and experienced how we like. Each moment of life has the quality of eternity because it has the stamp of our own individuality, because we experience it in our own way. When we say that time stands still, what we mean is that we are totally absorbed in the present. We are everything, and we are nothing. Time is both fleeting and eternal. We’re happy, and life has meaning. We’re part of time; we’re also outside of it. We don’t notice time going. Time revolution can bring us more joy in less time. When the present moment has meaning, time is one seamless whole; it’s valuable and yet it’s inconspicuous. The rush is over. Anxieties recede, and bliss can balloon. We can be intensely happy in no time at all. When we’re one with life and the universe, we step outside time, and we basically reach the highest form of more with less. Subscribe to a weekly AdvantEdge Newsletter by clicking on http://www.nightingale.com/EmailSubs_Subscribe.aspx?promo=INLACx288v2
People are confused about what each candidate believes and what they actually think while not just relying on what others say they think...spin currently in the practice of the day! It happens so muc that it makes one wonder how modern day politicians remember what they have said that they believe so that they can repeat it a second and third time. As a tool use the following link to help you know more about the candidates running for the top leadership position of this country. Why would this be used on this website or blog that is about providing opportunities? If we do not have the right leader how chances for providing opportunities in education for students as a whole and in particular special needs students will be tremendously hampered. Pass this resource along and use it as just one tool in your toolbox that you will use to help you in making the choice of who you will support for the next President. God-o-MeterThe God-o-Meter "scientifically" measures God-talk effectiveness.http://blog.beliefnet.com/godometer/rss.xml
"Money and success don t change people; they merely amplify what is already there." - Will Smith Zig Zigler states that one needs to feed the mind to be successful. He goes on in his writings and training to state that one needs to feed it with the right type of things so that one will be prepared for opportunities that will present themself everyday. One can not "get" ready for what comes every day. One must be "ready". Below is a blog posted on Idol Chatter http://blog.beliefnet.com/idolchatter/2007/12/hitler-meant-well-will-smith-s.html It addresses something in the news and the talk shows currently. As with other "Thoughts for the Day" this is not about agreeing or disagreeing but about learning about how the use of words and communication is such an uncertain science and must be something that is continuely worked on by everyone. No one is immune from saying something that "could have been said better." As I always have said ,"I love to eat but the one thing I hate to eat is my words.!" Read below and see the linguistical gymnnastics that are being done by people over Will Smith's words. What do you think he meant? How could he have said his thoughts better? Then notice at the end what some of the postings are and how the semantical word games continue... Power Word for today: Pusillanimous (pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs) adj. - cowardly Example: Gary's robbery of the Orphans Fund was a PUSILLANIMOUS act if there ever was one. Here is a quote from Will Smith. The words are well chosen here...but any time and any place either we can say the wrong thing or be misunderstood... Money and success don t change people; they merely amplify what is already there." - Will Smith Log in Category: Celebrities Hitler Meant Well: Will Smith Speaks and We Wish He Didn't Oy vey. Every time actors speak I find myself holding my breath and hoping that what they'll say will resemble one of the moving, well-written speeches that they deliver during the roles they've taken on in their lifetime. As it turns out, those speeches are crafted by experienced people (I believe they're called "writers," or at least they are when they're not striking) who know how to turn a phrase, and directed by other experienced people who are called "directors." Or sometimes, those emotional moments are brokered by a James Lipton or Barbara Walters or Oprah or Ellen, to get actors to discover the wonderful inner workings of their own minds, to entertaining effect for the audience. Often, these celebrities become spokespeople for wonderful philanthropic causes that help people all over the world, and they should be praised for devoting part of a significant fortune and pulpit to good works. But woe, alas and alack, sometimes it might have been better if the celebrity had said nothing at all. For instance, a recent combination of Will Smith+Scotland=a possible boycott of "I Am Legend," when the former fresh prince made the following opinion known. Smith says he doesn't believe, quote, "Hitler didn't wake up going, "let me do the most evil thing I can do today," adding that Hitler was trying to do what he thought was good, though his mind used "a twisted, backward logic." Do I believe that Will Smith is an anti-Semite? No. Will I never look at his movies the same way again, like what happened in the wake of Mel Gibson's trip to Crazytown? No. Will I insist, as the local JDL is, that Hollywood "shun any future projects involving Smith." Clearly not. But do I find it surprising that Smith would invoke Hitler, the most hated, and most acknowledgedly-evil human to have walked the planet (at least in recent memory) through a haze of attempted comprehension? Uh-huh. The report continues that "Smith himself is angry at the way critics have interpreted his words" [I bet he is] "saying there's no way they should be read to imply that he believes Hitler was anything but "a vile, heinous vicious killer." Good. We all agree. Let's move on. And please, celebrities...whether you yell at Matt Lauer for the evils of meds-prescribing psychologists or try to understand Hitlerian logic, even as an intellectual exercise that challenges the concepts of good and evil, I implore you: think before you speak. Comments (22) Now notice the some of the semantical workings on Smith's thoughts and the commentary on them...go to BeliefNet for more postings... http://blog.beliefnet.com/idolchatter/2007/12/hitler-meant-well-will-smith-s.html Below are some of the 22 comments already posted about the above blog:I really feel for Will Smith right now. I often have my beliefs interperted incorrectly also. But thankfully, mine aren't usually distorted in front of the whole world.He never once said he agreed with or condoned Hitler's actions. He only took the time and wisdom to look at the situation a little deeper. It's very very easy to say that Hitler was pure evil and that's just that. I believe there was an unbelievable amount of evil working in Hitler's heart. But I do not believe he was born that way. I don't know what happened, but something happened. Now before you say "We all have bad things happen to us, and we don't go out and commit genocide." But that's a very simplistic view. Many people are molested as children. Some grow up to be child molestors themselves, and some grow up to be childrens advocates. There is no black & white cut & dry answers to things like these. I will probably get blasted for this, but I believe the real spiritual leaders of our world (Jesus, Ghandi, etc.) would find forgiveness for him. You can forgive and try to understand people and horrific situations without condoning reprehensible (sp?) actions or suggesting that their actions should not have consequences.Acid destroys the container it's kept in. Meaning, forgiveness is always the path to emotional and spiritual freedom. Furthermore, the acid inside Hitler will do more damage to him than anything anyone else could inflict upon him.Namaste'. Posted by: Melanie December 27, 2007 10:26 AM I would be very interested in a definition of Good from Will Smith. I have never been that impressed with the intellect of celebrities and this comment reaffirms my belief that intelligence is not a requirement for working in film. Perhaps Will should read a history book, a dictionary might be helpful. Posted by: beth December 27, 2007 10:27 AM I agree. The Comments aren't shocking, and actually are corect. Hitler didn't wake up and decide to be evil, and didn't see himself as evil. Will Smith didn't say Hitler wasn't evil, he just said Hitler was in his own mind, not evil. So choose your words and choose how you use them by working each day to feed your mind... Richard Reynolds M.Div., M.Ed. ,Ed.S. ...give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach him to fish feed him for a life time...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. Herm Albright (1876 - 1944)
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas Alva Edison
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. William James (1842 - 1910)
A good conscience is a continual Christmas. Benjamin FranklinFear does not have any special power unless you empower it by submitting to it. Les Brown, Communication Bulletin for Managers & Supervisors, June 2004
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