Monday, 30 November 2009

Short-cuts towards a better physical condition (Part 2 of 3)


Human beings are essentially logical. We can be fooled for a while, but ultimately, we come around and begin to ask tough questions. We want to make sure that we are advancing on the right track. We want to experience short-term progress in our long-term endeavours. We want to see beneficial results from our commitment.

Low-cost food substitution should be the preferred short-cut to losing weight and improving our health. Forget about purchasing costly exotic vegetables. Don't bother with high-ticket packaged products that promise magical results. Instead, make inexpensive changes in your lifestyle, little by little.

Acquiring healthy habits at your own speed is more powerful than making radical lifestyle changes that cannot be sustained. You may for instance begin by replacing high-fat meat by simple fish, such as trout or halibut. Pick up a sort of fish that is readily available at your local supermarket and whose taste you enjoy.

Another short-cut to a better health is replacing prepared desserts, such as apple pie or ice cream, by simple fruit. Eating a modest apple for dessert instead of chocolate cake is a low-cost habit that anyone can acquire without much difficulty. You may for example peel the apple, cut it to pieces, mix it with low-fat yoghurt, and sprinkle it with cinnamon. This is easy to do and delicious.

When you replace prepared desserts by fruit, choose varieties that are abundant and inexpensive in your area. Keep always some fresh fruit on your office desk, in case you feel the need to have something to eat between meals.

A third short-cut to a better health is drinking water instead of carbonated drinks. In many areas of the world, drinking mineral water is safer than tap water. See if you can purchase your mineral water at the local supermarket in discount packs and save some money.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by A Girl Next Door under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Short-cuts towards a better physical condition
(Part 2 of 3)


Human beings are essentially logical. We can be fooled for a while, but ultimately, we come around and begin to ask tough questions. We want to make sure that we are advancing on the right track. We want to experience short-term progress in our long-term endeavours. We want to see beneficial results from our commitment.

Low-cost food substitution should be the preferred short-cut to losing weight and improving our health. Forget about purchasing costly exotic vegetables. Don't bother with high-ticket packaged products that promise magical results. Instead, make inexpensive changes in your lifestyle, little by little.

Acquiring healthy habits at your own speed is more powerful than making radical lifestyle changes that cannot be sustained. You may for instance begin by replacing high-fat meat by simple fish, such as trout or halibut. Pick up a sort of fish that is readily available at your local supermarket and whose taste you enjoy.

Another short-cut to a better health is replacing prepared desserts, such as apple pie or ice cream, by simple fruit. Eating a modest apple for dessert instead of chocolate cake is a low-cost habit that anyone can acquire without much difficulty. You may for example peel the apple, cut it to pieces, mix it with low-fat yoghurt, and sprinkle it with cinnamon. This is easy to do and delicious.

When you replace prepared desserts by fruit, choose varieties that are abundant and inexpensive in your area. Keep always some fresh fruit on your office desk, in case you feel the need to have something to eat between meals.

A third short-cut to a better health is drinking water instead of carbonated drinks. In many areas of the world, drinking mineral water is safer than tap water. See if you can purchase your mineral water at the local supermarket in discount packs and save some money.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by A Girl Next Door under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Short-cuts towards a better physical condition (Part 1 of 3)


When it comes to health, evil is watching you closely at least three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nevertheless, the truth is so hard to accept that few people want to make the effort to change direction.

Although millions of books about weight-loss and dieting are sold every year, have you observed improvements in the health of people you know? Pricey organic items have become popular in supermarkets, but have you witnessed those products having a positive effect on someone's health?

A large number of men and women endure the cost and inconvenience of medical prescriptions for losing weight. How many friends or family members do you know who have followed such treatments successfully? Chances are that you will be unable to name many cases.

The reality is that most people's health-improvement attempts are fraught with waste and disappointment. Despite great intentions and strenuous effort, the tangible results are often negligible. Do most weight-loss plans and prescriptive diets fail because they are unnatural and expensive?

Artificial lifestyles create stress and anxiety. What is unnatural goes against the grain. Trying to push people into radically new habits disrupts their psychological stability. On top of that, prescriptive diets often prove impractical and time-consuming. No wonder that many men and women give them up after a while. Who wants to lead an unpleasant and constrained life?

Take heart and stick to your objective of getting in better shape. There is a better way to achieve that goal, a more effective approach that takes into account the psychological aspects of self-transformation. The method that really works is called rationality.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by belgianchocolate under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Short-cuts towards a better physical condition
(Part 1 of 3)


When it comes to health, evil is watching you closely at least three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nevertheless, the truth is so hard to accept that few people want to make the effort to change direction.

Although millions of books about weight-loss and dieting are sold every year, have you observed improvements in the health of people you know? Pricey organic items have become popular in supermarkets, but have you witnessed those products having a positive effect on someone's health?

A large number of men and women endure the cost and inconvenience of medical prescriptions for losing weight. How many friends or family members do you know who have followed such treatments successfully? Chances are that you will be unable to name many cases.

The reality is that most people's health-improvement attempts are fraught with waste and disappointment. Despite great intentions and strenuous effort, the tangible results are often negligible. Do most weight-loss plans and prescriptive diets fail because they are unnatural and expensive?

Artificial lifestyles create stress and anxiety. What is unnatural goes against the grain. Trying to push people into radically new habits disrupts their psychological stability. On top of that, prescriptive diets often prove impractical and time-consuming. No wonder that many men and women give them up after a while. Who wants to lead an unpleasant and constrained life?

Take heart and stick to your objective of getting in better shape. There is a better way to achieve that goal, a more effective approach that takes into account the psychological aspects of self-transformation. The method that really works is called rationality.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by belgianchocolate under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Effective methods for minimizing stress (Part 2 of 2)


Simplification, the opposite of complexity, results in more energy. Fruit growers prune trees once per year in order to reinforce the vigour of the healthiest branches. Lean trees produce more fruit than those loaded with moribund branches. In the same way, stress is minimized when we make rational choices and discard activities that waste our time and bring little satisfaction.

Concentration improves results in business and private life. Shepherds cull herds to prevent contagious sickness to spread. By nurturing only healthy sheep, they ensure an optimal result. The benefits of concentration also apply to human affairs. Minimizing stress involves abandoning wasteful activities and focusing our time in areas of importance.

Selection frees up time for what really counts. Every man should aim at a future that is better than his present. Know your priorities and reaffirm them at every opportunity. Clever retailers sell slow-moving items at low prices in order to make space for more popular goods. In order to minimize stress, we need to make clear decisions and abandon unattainable goals.

Individuals succeed in reducing stress when they acquire a rational approach to living. Anxiety disappears from our lives when we follow logical and consistent principles. Thinking long-term allows man to identify his goals and priorities. Thoughtfulness allows man to gain visibility and increase his efficiency.

Productivity experts advise workers to clear up the factory floor in order to allow them to see their own mistakes. It is only after misplaced tools and obsolete inventory have been removed that people figure out how to improve and change their ways. Without visibility, there can be no transformation. Without choices, there can be no progress.

Setting priorities and making rational decisions constitute the best way to reduce stress in our lives. A cluttered agenda is a cage full of paradise birds waiting to be released. Those birds are your best ideas, the ones that you have not yet formulated. Simplify your life and sharpen your ambitions. The birds are ready to fly. Open the cage door and set them free.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by dalbera under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Effective methods for minimizing stress
(Part 2 of 2)


Simplification, the opposite of complexity, results in more energy. Fruit growers prune trees once per year in order to reinforce the vigour of the healthiest branches. Lean trees produce more fruit than those loaded with moribund branches. In the same way, stress is minimized when we make rational choices and discard activities that waste our time and bring little satisfaction.

Concentration improves results in business and private life. Shepherds cull herds to prevent contagious sickness to spread. By nurturing only healthy sheep, they ensure an optimal result. The benefits of concentration also apply to human affairs. Minimizing stress involves abandoning wasteful activities and focusing our time in areas of importance.

Selection frees up time for what really counts. Every man should aim at a future that is better than his present. Know your priorities and reaffirm them at every opportunity. Clever retailers sell slow-moving items at low prices in order to make space for more popular goods. In order to minimize stress, we need to make clear decisions and abandon unattainable goals.

Individuals succeed in reducing stress when they acquire a rational approach to living. Anxiety disappears from our lives when we follow logical and consistent principles. Thinking long-term allows man to identify his goals and priorities. Thoughtfulness allows man to gain visibility and increase his efficiency.

Productivity experts advise workers to clear up the factory floor in order to allow them to see their own mistakes. It is only after misplaced tools and obsolete inventory have been removed that people figure out how to improve and change their ways. Without visibility, there can be no transformation. Without choices, there can be no progress.

Setting priorities and making rational decisions constitute the best way to reduce stress in our lives. A cluttered agenda is a cage full of paradise birds waiting to be released. Those birds are your best ideas, the ones that you have not yet formulated. Simplify your life and sharpen your ambitions. The birds are ready to fly. Open the cage door and set them free.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by dalbera under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 27 November 2009

Effective methods for minimizing stress (Part 1 of 2)


There is a cure for stress. It is not a drug and it is not a fantasy. It won't cost you money, but it is not for free. Many people who try it out feel born again, others rejuvenated. The remedy is known under many different names. You may call it simplification or streamlining, reduction or selection, focus or elimination, logic or rationality.

An efficient approach to living is easier to name than to implement. Minimizing stress requires man to concentrate his energies on the essential areas of his life. This is a goal that can only be achieved by establishing priorities. Eliminating stress results from making choices and embracing simplification.

Why are so many people reluctant to set priorities in their lives? Why do they prefer to run in circles rather than follow a straightforward path towards their objectives? Individuals affected by stress frequently lack consistent criteria to make decisions. Men and women who live in anxiety often fear standing still for a minute and questioning their own contradictions.

Overloading one's days with senseless activities is a psychological defence mechanism against the fear of taking responsibility. Rational decisions are impossible for people who lack a sense of direction. On many occasions, having too much to do is an excuse to avoid facing indecision. Small talk with one hundred acquaintances cannot replace a deep conversation with one close friend.

Stress is to the human soul what indebtedness is for a business. Both are problems that compound with time unless a workable strategy is adopted. Intelligent choices enhance professional and private results. Efficiency begins with clarity.

Resources, in particular time, are limited in all human endeavours. We minimize stress when we apply simplification, concentration, and selection to make the best of what we have available. Those three elements constitute the rational approach to eliminating anxiety and maintaining a healthy psychological balance.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by chimothy27 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Effective methods for minimizing stress
(Part 1 of 2)


There is a cure for stress. It is not a drug and it is not a fantasy. It won't cost you money, but it is not for free. Many people who try it out feel born again, others rejuvenated. The remedy is known under many different names. You may call it simplification or streamlining, reduction or selection, focus or elimination, logic or rationality.

An efficient approach to living is easier to name than to implement. Minimizing stress requires man to concentrate his energies on the essential areas of his life. This is a goal that can only be achieved by establishing priorities. Eliminating stress results from making choices and embracing simplification.

Why are so many people reluctant to set priorities in their lives? Why do they prefer to run in circles rather than follow a straightforward path towards their objectives? Individuals affected by stress frequently lack consistent criteria to make decisions. Men and women who live in anxiety often fear standing still for a minute and questioning their own contradictions.

Overloading one's days with senseless activities is a psychological defence mechanism against the fear of taking responsibility. Rational decisions are impossible for people who lack a sense of direction. On many occasions, having too much to do is an excuse to avoid facing indecision. Small talk with one hundred acquaintances cannot replace a deep conversation with one close friend.

Stress is to the human soul what indebtedness is for a business. Both are problems that compound with time unless a workable strategy is adopted. Intelligent choices enhance professional and private results. Efficiency begins with clarity.

Resources, in particular time, are limited in all human endeavours. We minimize stress when we apply simplification, concentration, and selection to make the best of what we have available. Those three elements constitute the rational approach to eliminating anxiety and maintaining a healthy psychological balance.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by chimothy27 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Thursday, 26 November 2009

How to develop self-confidence as an investor (Part 2 of 2)


Magic formulas are not a good way of making plans. Reason and realism constitute a superior approach to making investment decisions. If you want to develop self-confidence as an investor, you have to remind yourself every day to have patience. Forget about short-term volatility and look at the big picture. Ask yourself where the world economy is headed for in the next five years.

Move your focus beyond the next quarter and see what the whole year will look like. Look for companies with a strong international presence. Even in periods of generalized gloom and doom, many countries continue to grow at good rates.

Rational investors tend to prefer enterprises that operate in stable markets, in particular if their dividend is maintained or increased. At the same time, risks can be minimized by investing in corporations, such as pharmaceutical multi-nationals, that have world-wide distribution for their products. These enterprises often purchase rights to new drugs from small laboratories and universities in order to distribute those medicines internationally.

How can you increase your confidence in making the right financial decisions? You do not need to know everything in order to become a good investor. Aim at identifying well-managed companies whose shares are priced attractively. If their products meet fundamental human needs efficiently, chances are that those businesses will do well.

Problems that you know nothing about might come up next week and make your shares go down. This is part of the game for better or worse. A claim of infallibility is something that you should leave to those who believe in magic formulas. Accept that you will make mistakes and do not fall into endless self-recrimination.

Make your investment decisions on the basis of reasonable expectations and stop worrying about the future. If you diversify your portfolio and buy shares of companies that operate in countries with good prospects of economic growth, you should be able to profit from the increasing prosperity around the world.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by closelyobserved.com under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to develop self-confidence as an investor
(Part 2 of 2)


Magic formulas are not a good way of making plans. Reason and realism constitute a superior approach to making investment decisions. If you want to develop self-confidence as an investor, you have to remind yourself every day to have patience. Forget about short-term volatility and look at the big picture. Ask yourself where the world economy is headed for in the next five years.

Move your focus beyond the next quarter and see what the whole year will look like. Look for companies with a strong international presence. Even in periods of generalized gloom and doom, many countries continue to grow at good rates.

Rational investors tend to prefer enterprises that operate in stable markets, in particular if their dividend is maintained or increased. At the same time, risks can be minimized by investing in corporations, such as pharmaceutical multi-nationals, that have world-wide distribution for their products. These enterprises often purchase rights to new drugs from small laboratories and universities in order to distribute those medicines internationally.

How can you increase your confidence in making the right financial decisions? You do not need to know everything in order to become a good investor. Aim at identifying well-managed companies whose shares are priced attractively. If their products meet fundamental human needs efficiently, chances are that those businesses will do well.

Problems that you know nothing about might come up next week and make your shares go down. This is part of the game for better or worse. A claim of infallibility is something that you should leave to those who believe in magic formulas. Accept that you will make mistakes and do not fall into endless self-recrimination.

Make your investment decisions on the basis of reasonable expectations and stop worrying about the future. If you diversify your portfolio and buy shares of companies that operate in countries with good prospects of economic growth, you should be able to profit from the increasing prosperity around the world.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by closelyobserved.com under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

How to develop self-confidence as an investor (Part 1 of 2)


During adverse economic periods, many people are afraid of buying shares of any company. Fresh memories of crashing stock markets test the nerves of local and international savers, who often prefer to hold cash rather than take any risks.

Exaggerated fear is, more than not, a mistake. If you act prudently, every period can be good to make financial commitments. When bad news and pessimism reign, those are times of great opportunity to purchase shares of solid companies at low prices.

Stories of financial collapse reported by the media succeed in terrifying many people out of the stock market. At the time of writing this, you can hardly turn on the radio or open a newspaper without learning about one more company on the brink of bankruptcy.

However, in investing, like in everything else, realism triumphs over anxiety and pragmatism over worry. Gloomy reporters seldom look objectively at facts. On many occasions, share-holders would be better off if they keep a cool head and avoid liquidating their stocks at fire-sale prices.

The first step to develop self-confidence as an investor is to realize that nobody possesses the ability to predict exactly when shares are going up or down. There is no magic formula for successful investing. The best you can do is to strive to keep well informed and make rational decisions. Those two are the factors that will improve your financial results and increase your self-reliance.

After a period of inflation or deflation has begun, some people will claim that they had predicted what was going to happen, but these are often the same persons who had previously made many wrong predictions. A broken clock gives you the right time twice per day, but cannot provide you accurate time information.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Chuck Nhorus under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to develop self-confidence as an investor
(Part 1 of 2)


During adverse economic periods, many people are afraid of buying shares of any company. Fresh memories of crashing stock markets test the nerves of local and international savers, who often prefer to hold cash rather than take any risks.

Exaggerated fear is, more than not, a mistake. If you act prudently, every period can be good to make financial commitments. When bad news and pessimism reign, those are times of great opportunity to purchase shares of solid companies at low prices.

Stories of financial collapse reported by the media succeed in terrifying many people out of the stock market. At the time of writing this, you can hardly turn on the radio or open a newspaper without learning about one more company on the brink of bankruptcy.

However, in investing, like in everything else, realism triumphs over anxiety and pragmatism over worry. Gloomy reporters seldom look objectively at facts. On many occasions, share-holders would be better off if they keep a cool head and avoid liquidating their stocks at fire-sale prices.

The first step to develop self-confidence as an investor is to realize that nobody possesses the ability to predict exactly when shares are going up or down. There is no magic formula for successful investing. The best you can do is to strive to keep well informed and make rational decisions. Those two are the factors that will improve your financial results and increase your self-reliance.

After a period of inflation or deflation has begun, some people will claim that they had predicted what was going to happen, but these are often the same persons who had previously made many wrong predictions. A broken clock gives you the right time twice per day, but cannot provide you accurate time information.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Chuck Nhorus under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The place where you want to be (Part 3 of 3)


[5] Find a bird that can fly: Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase an existing business often explore dozens of possibilities before they finally make a deal. They are not looking to buy just any company. Their interest is attracted only by businesses with high growth potential which also match their personal taste. They want to catch a bird that can fly.

In the field of personal relationships, you should be willing to discard what doesn't work. Don't hang around someone who is not a good match for you. You are looking for an individual who will make you happier than you already are.

If you are serious about finding a love companion, single-mindedness will move you closer to the place where you want to be. You can never predict the moment when the opportunity for a great relationship will come across your way. Search persistently and keep your eyes open.

In business, love, or friendship, discard speculative advice and choose the wisdom of rational action. Your personal initiative is the decisive factor to enhance your well-being and improve your prospects for the future.

Let others debate if the world should be this or that way. Focus on specific actions that you can carry out to ameliorate your own situation. Make a pause from time to time, assess your progress, and correct your mistakes. Move on and redouble your attempts to reach the place where you want to be. Personal initiative is the key to achieve more in life. Let your actions speak for themselves.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Allie_Caulfield under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Monday, 23 November 2009

The place where you want to be (Part 2 of 3)


Avoid in particular comparing yourself to someone whom you might consider luckier. The world is made of all sorts of persons. If you are looking for love, all you have to do is find one good match for yourself. Shrug your shoulders at comparisons and look for the type of person that suits you best.

Your time on earth is limited. You only have one life to live. Move forward with it and don't get stuck in pointless arguments. Let people have their own opinion, but choose what you consider optimal for yourself. Opt for what is rational, even if that alternative lacks popular support.

[3] Decide how you want to play: When it comes to developing an active social life, our century offers infinite possibilities for meeting people. If you live in a mid-sized town, there are clubs you can join and entertainment locales you can visit. The internet is, of course, the largest venue of all.

Ignore fashion and follow your own values. For your search of companions, select times and places that match your interests and disposition. Your background and constraints are unique. Your present course of action should be in line with your vision of the future. Never rely on chance to solve your problems. Take action from which success can be expected.

[4] Run the race you have chosen: Do not let discouragement hold you back from taking action. Make entrepreneurship a habit in business and personal relationships. Stay alert and seize opportunities as they come along. Change the way you think. View life as a market that offers infinite possibilities.

No matter how you decide to play, you will increase your chances of success if you do it regularly. You might have to invest many hours to develop a satisfactory social life. Meeting people, making friends, and dating are similar to looking for a job. First, you have to detect the opportunity. Then, you have to seize it.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by cortomaltese under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The place where you want to be
(Part 2 of 3)


Avoid in particular comparing yourself to someone whom you might consider luckier. The world is made of all sorts of persons. If you are looking for love, all you have to do is find one good match for yourself. Shrug your shoulders at comparisons and look for the type of person that suits you best.

Your time on earth is limited. You only have one life to live. Move forward with it and don't get stuck in pointless arguments. Let people have their own opinion, but choose what you consider optimal for yourself. Opt for what is rational, even if that alternative lacks popular support.

[3] Decide how you want to play: When it comes to developing an active social life, our century offers infinite possibilities for meeting people. If you live in a mid-sized town, there are clubs you can join and entertainment locales you can visit. The internet is, of course, the largest venue of all.

Ignore fashion and follow your own values. For your search of companions, select times and places that match your interests and disposition. Your background and constraints are unique. Your present course of action should be in line with your vision of the future. Never rely on chance to solve your problems. Take action from which success can be expected.

[4] Run the race you have chosen: Do not let discouragement hold you back from taking action. Make entrepreneurship a habit in business and personal relationships. Stay alert and seize opportunities as they come along. Change the way you think. View life as a market that offers infinite possibilities.

No matter how you decide to play, you will increase your chances of success if you do it regularly. You might have to invest many hours to develop a satisfactory social life. Meeting people, making friends, and dating are similar to looking for a job. First, you have to detect the opportunity. Then, you have to seize it.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by cortomaltese under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The place where you want to be (Part 1 of 3)


“If you are looking for love,” wrote the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC-17 AD), “you should spend your time in the stadium and the theatre, since it is in public places where you are most likely to find a companion to your taste. Bees know that, for making honey, they need to keep close to the flowers.”

Two thousand years have gone by since Ovid composed The Art of Love. The world looks different now, but human beings have remained essentially the same. Ovid's compilation of amorous advice has passed from generation to generation, proving its effectiveness through the ages.

The details to reach the place where you want to be have changed, but not the principles. Today, as in Ancient Rome, personal initiative generates opportunities. The following five points summarize the teachings of The Art of Love. These are the sort of recommendations that each of us can apply. These five steps may improve our relationships in any environment or situation.

[1] Make up your mind about what kind of social life you want to have: Your determination will greatly contribute to your success. In this sense, meeting new people, making friends, or dating are like any other venture. If you have gone through divorce, have you decided that you are going to start looking for a new partner? Make a firm resolution and give it the priority that it deserves.

[2] Ignore negative comments and unfair criticism about your ambitions: You can always find reasons not to do something. If you let people, they will name you more obstacles than you can ever imagine. Life is already difficult enough without paying attention to discouraging remarks, so don't.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by cliff1066 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The place where you want to be
(Part 1 of 3)


“If you are looking for love,” wrote the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC-17 AD), “you should spend your time in the stadium and the theatre, since it is in public places where you are most likely to find a companion to your taste. Bees know that, for making honey, they need to keep close to the flowers.”

Two thousand years have gone by since Ovid composed The Art of Love. The world looks different now, but human beings have remained essentially the same. Ovid's compilation of amorous advice has passed from generation to generation, proving its effectiveness through the ages.

The details to reach the place where you want to be have changed, but not the principles. Today, as in Ancient Rome, personal initiative generates opportunities. The following five points summarize the teachings of The Art of Love. These are the sort of recommendations that each of us can apply. These five steps may improve our relationships in any environment or situation.

[1] Make up your mind about what kind of social life you want to have: Your determination will greatly contribute to your success. In this sense, meeting new people, making friends, or dating are like any other venture. If you have gone through divorce, have you decided that you are going to start looking for a new partner? Make a firm resolution and give it the priority that it deserves.

[2] Ignore negative comments and unfair criticism about your ambitions: You can always find reasons not to do something. If you let people, they will name you more obstacles than you can ever imagine. Life is already difficult enough without paying attention to discouraging remarks, so don't.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by cliff1066 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Techniques for reducing investment risk (Part 3 of 3)


[5] Protect your assets with reasonable stop-loss orders: Professional investors also make wrong decisions, but they possess enough flexibility to admit their faults. If they purchase shares of one company and the price goes down, they usually prefer to sell them at a small loss rather than wait to see if their price climbs back to the previous level.

A stop-loss order is an instruction to liquidate your investment when its price reaches a certain level. Some investors are willing to take a loss of 10% before admitting that they have made a mistake. Know your limits and establish a clear strategy to protect yourself from catastrophic losses.

[6] Save regularly, monthly if possible, in order to ensure that you will also invest during periods of pessimism. Psychologically, it is easier to place your money in the stock market when prices are rising than when the world seems to be falling apart. Nevertheless, periods of economic misfortune tend to be the best to purchase assets at a low price.

This last principle is the most difficult to apply, since it requires enormous self-discipline. If we overreact to painful past experiences, we will overlook great investment opportunities. When the stock markets of the world go through a difficult period, the low prices can offer excellent possibilities for the future. If you adopt the habit of investing regularly, you will be able to make profitable decisions when few are willing to take any risk.

The essential principles of risk reduction will not provide you absolute protection, but they can help you keep your losses to a minimum. Whatever your strategy, check facts for yourself and never trust anybody blindly.

Times of economic adversity are often the best to rebuild an investment portfolio. As Lao-Tzu observed twenty-six centuries ago: “Truth is often paradoxical. Don't make the mistake of believing that you know what you don't know.” Making risk reduction a part of your financial plan can help preserve your peace of mind as much as your savings.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Athena's Pix under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Techniques for reducing investment risk
(Part 3 of 3)


[5] Protect your assets with reasonable stop-loss orders: Professional investors also make wrong decisions, but they possess enough flexibility to admit their faults. If they purchase shares of one company and the price goes down, they usually prefer to sell them at a small loss rather than wait to see if their price climbs back to the previous level.

A stop-loss order is an instruction to liquidate your investment when its price reaches a certain level. Some investors are willing to take a loss of 10% before admitting that they have made a mistake. Know your limits and establish a clear strategy to protect yourself from catastrophic losses.

[6] Save regularly, monthly if possible, in order to ensure that you will also invest during periods of pessimism. Psychologically, it is easier to place your money in the stock market when prices are rising than when the world seems to be falling apart. Nevertheless, periods of economic misfortune tend to be the best to purchase assets at a low price.

This last principle is the most difficult to apply, since it requires enormous self-discipline. If we overreact to painful past experiences, we will overlook great investment opportunities. When the stock markets of the world go through a difficult period, the low prices can offer excellent possibilities for the future. If you adopt the habit of investing regularly, you will be able to make profitable decisions when few are willing to take any risk.

The essential principles of risk reduction will not provide you absolute protection, but they can help you keep your losses to a minimum. Whatever your strategy, check facts for yourself and never trust anybody blindly.

Times of economic adversity are often the best to rebuild an investment portfolio. As Lao-Tzu observed twenty-six centuries ago: “Truth is often paradoxical. Don't make the mistake of believing that you know what you don't know.” Making risk reduction a part of your financial plan can help preserve your peace of mind as much as your savings.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Athena's Pix under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 20 November 2009

Techniques for reducing investment risk (Part 2 of 3)


[1] Choose shares of solid companies, preferably those that pay regular dividends: Unless you are a professional investor, it is advisable to avoid speculative stocks of small enterprises whose future is dependant on one single product or customer. During periods of economic adversity, well-established companies whose products fulfil fundamental human needs tend to fare better than small undertakings.

[2] Never place more than 5% of your savings on a single investment: Even if you make a correct decision today, circumstances continuously change. The easiest way to minimize risk is to spread your savings into many different assets. The rule of 5% implies that, over time, you should aim at having at least 20 different types of investments.

If you save money every month, it will take you less than two years to achieve this target. Risk reduction is worth the effort of researching 20 different investments. Some of them will turn out to be outstanding places for your money, while others may deliver negative results. Since you cannot know in advance, you will be better off by spreading your money.

[3] Diversify your assets amongst different sectors and countries: You have no control over what problems will affect specific industries or countries in the future. Those negative events are, to a great extent, unpredictable.

Follow the example of professional investors and spread your savings amongst different types of assets. If you diversify internationally by placing a good part of your savings in stable countries around the world, your financial future will be less affected by problems in any particular territory.

[4] Understand that nobody can predict with certainty when markets hit bottom or are about to crash: You should never act blindly on someone else's advice, no matter how brilliant their track record is. Everybody makes mistakes and, as a general rule, it is better to trust facts than opinions. Listen to wise individuals, but always check things for yourself.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by chimothy27 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Techniques for reducing investment risk
(Part 2 of 3)


[1] Choose shares of solid companies, preferably those that pay regular dividends: Unless you are a professional investor, it is advisable to avoid speculative stocks of small enterprises whose future is dependant on one single product or customer. During periods of economic adversity, well-established companies whose products fulfil fundamental human needs tend to fare better than small undertakings.

[2] Never place more than 5% of your savings on a single investment: Even if you make a correct decision today, circumstances continuously change. The easiest way to minimize risk is to spread your savings into many different assets. The rule of 5% implies that, over time, you should aim at having at least 20 different types of investments.

If you save money every month, it will take you less than two years to achieve this target. Risk reduction is worth the effort of researching 20 different investments. Some of them will turn out to be outstanding places for your money, while others may deliver negative results. Since you cannot know in advance, you will be better off by spreading your money.

[3] Diversify your assets amongst different sectors and countries: You have no control over what problems will affect specific industries or countries in the future. Those negative events are, to a great extent, unpredictable.

Follow the example of professional investors and spread your savings amongst different types of assets. If you diversify internationally by placing a good part of your savings in stable countries around the world, your financial future will be less affected by problems in any particular territory.

[4] Understand that nobody can predict with certainty when markets hit bottom or are about to crash: You should never act blindly on someone else's advice, no matter how brilliant their track record is. Everybody makes mistakes and, as a general rule, it is better to trust facts than opinions. Listen to wise individuals, but always check things for yourself.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by chimothy27 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Techniques for reducing investment risk (Part 1 of 3)


“Does the future look as black as they paint it?” This is a question that you should ask yourself when you read troublesome economic predictions. On most days, the prevalent opinion in newspapers is a mixture of distrust and hesitation. Is there a way to make solid decisions about where to place your savings and minimize financial risk?

In investments, like in most things in life, it all boils down to using the right methodology. How can we determine what is true? What facts are relevant? Which predictions make sense? Can we figure out the future by applying principles extracted from experience?

“If you intend to climb a high mountain, always choose the smoothest path,” wrote Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu in the year 520 BC. In times of economic adversity, investing becomes the equivalent of climbing the Swiss Alps bare-handed in the middle of the winter.

After suffering the negative results of wrong financial decisions, many individuals are reluctant to place any money in the stock market. Are those fears justified? Making mistakes is inevitable in any human endeavour. A wise man must be willing to accept occasional errors and use them as stepping-stones for building a better future for himself. Why should we not view the stock market in the same way?

The main lesson to be drawn from past financial mistakes is that, when it comes to investing, methodology is everything. More careful research can help us make better decisions in the future. A more disciplined approach can minimize losses. Taking appropriate measures to reduce risk should prevent us from making the same faults twice.

The following principles of risk reduction have endured the best and worst of times. Use them to your advantage to build a prosperous financial future. From time to time, your decisions will not be correct, but if you adopt a prudent strategy, you can keep your losses under control at the same time that you let your profits grow.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by carulmare under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Techniques for reducing investment risk
(Part 1 of 3)


“Does the future look as black as they paint it?” This is a question that you should ask yourself when you read troublesome economic predictions. On most days, the prevalent opinion in newspapers is a mixture of distrust and hesitation. Is there a way to make solid decisions about where to place your savings and minimize financial risk?

In investments, like in most things in life, it all boils down to using the right methodology. How can we determine what is true? What facts are relevant? Which predictions make sense? Can we figure out the future by applying principles extracted from experience?

“If you intend to climb a high mountain, always choose the smoothest path,” wrote Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu in the year 520 BC. In times of economic adversity, investing becomes the equivalent of climbing the Swiss Alps bare-handed in the middle of the winter.

After suffering the negative results of wrong financial decisions, many individuals are reluctant to place any money in the stock market. Are those fears justified? Making mistakes is inevitable in any human endeavour. A wise man must be willing to accept occasional errors and use them as stepping-stones for building a better future for himself. Why should we not view the stock market in the same way?

The main lesson to be drawn from past financial mistakes is that, when it comes to investing, methodology is everything. More careful research can help us make better decisions in the future. A more disciplined approach can minimize losses. Taking appropriate measures to reduce risk should prevent us from making the same faults twice.

The following principles of risk reduction have endured the best and worst of times. Use them to your advantage to build a prosperous financial future. From time to time, your decisions will not be correct, but if you adopt a prudent strategy, you can keep your losses under control at the same time that you let your profits grow.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by carulmare under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Stop worrying, take action, and start making money (Part 3 of 3)


Economists speculate all the time about next year's rates of unemployment, inflation or deflation. For your personal investment decisions, you don't need to wait until the exact figure is known. On most occasions, knowing the general trend is enough to make rational investment choices.

If newspapers are discussing whether next year's inflation is going to be 6% or 7%, that tells you as much as you need to know. Take swift action and reflect about how to structure your finances to deal with such price increases. Worrying is essentially a waste of time. Although you cannot reshape the world according to your taste, nothing prevents you from taking measures to minimize trouble.

Discard anxiety, learn to face problems in the best possible way, and become a rational investor. Your financial and philosophical sharpness will grow together. Your personal effectiveness will increase and you will become more tolerant and self-reliant.

Never place all your savings on a single investment. If you acquire the habit of diversifying your investments amongst different types of assets, chances are that you will be much less troubled. If you purchase shares of solid companies around the world, your portfolio will tend to be less affected by problems in specific countries.

Learning to deal with the world's problems is a better approach than being paralysed by them. Wisdom is the process of learning what a man can achieve and what he should rather let go of. Becoming a rational investor will make you a better human being and help you overcome whatever financial fears the day may bring.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by CoreForce under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Stop worrying, take action, and start making money (Part 3 of 3)


Economists speculate all the time about next year's rates of unemployment, inflation or deflation. For your personal investment decisions, you don't need to wait until the exact figure is known. On most occasions, knowing the general trend is enough to make rational investment choices.

If newspapers are discussing whether next year's inflation is going to be 6% or 7%, that tells you as much as you need to know. Take swift action and reflect about how to structure your finances to deal with such price increases. Worrying is essentially a waste of time. Although you cannot reshape the world according to your taste, nothing prevents you from taking measures to minimize trouble.

Discard anxiety, learn to face problems in the best possible way, and become a rational investor. Your financial and philosophical sharpness will grow together. Your personal effectiveness will increase and you will become more tolerant and self-reliant.

Never place all your savings on a single investment. If you acquire the habit of diversifying your investments amongst different types of assets, chances are that you will be much less troubled. If you purchase shares of solid companies around the world, your portfolio will tend to be less affected by problems in specific countries.

Learning to deal with the world's problems is a better approach than being paralysed by them. Wisdom is the process of learning what a man can achieve and what he should rather let go of. Becoming a rational investor will make you a better human being and help you overcome whatever financial fears the day may bring.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by CoreForce under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Stop worrying, take action, and start making money (Part 2 of 3)


Achieving a positive result in your bank account will allow you to devote your gains to helping others, if that is your wish. For each disruptive event, there is an investment strategy that can help you make a profit. Rising share prices represent the easiest situation to deal with because most people can figure out that there is plenty of money to be made if you borrow at 6% interest and invest at 12% return.

What makes rational investment difficult is our psychological resistance to letting go of worry, recognizing past mistakes, and taking practical action. In addition, a wise man must accept that an investment method that proves successful in one environment frequently becomes unsuitable when the context changes.

Real estate and gold coins may be great investments during inflationary periods, but tend to be lousy places for your money when the curve turns and prices begin to fall. You certainly don't want to be caught with a huge mortgage at a fixed rate of 8% when the price of residential properties has fallen by 20% and you can borrow money at 3%.

It is up to you in each case to take sensible measures to profit from the situation or, at least, to minimize its negative consequences. As individuals, our best strategy consists of letting go of anxiety and viewing inflation, deflation, or unemployment just as problems to be handled.

From this perspective, those phenomena are similar to the influenza virus that marks the arrival of winter every year. Exaggerated concern seldom improves anything. Instead, individuals should identify the path that minimizes trouble and, if possible, allows to profit from it.

Whenever you hear that inflation or deflation are coming, ask yourself how you can structure your finances in order to benefit from the situation. Can you link your income to a product whose price is likely to increase or decrease at the same pace as the overall economy? Can you reduce the amount of cash that you require to live and invest the remainder in assets that will profit from upcoming economic changes?

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by anna carol under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Stop worrying, take action, and start making money (Part 2 of 3)


Achieving a positive result in your bank account will allow you to devote your gains to helping others, if that is your wish. For each disruptive event, there is an investment strategy that can help you make a profit. Rising share prices represent the easiest situation to deal with because most people can figure out that there is plenty of money to be made if you borrow at 6% interest and invest at 12% return.

What makes rational investment difficult is our psychological resistance to letting go of worry, recognizing past mistakes, and taking practical action. In addition, a wise man must accept that an investment method that proves successful in one environment frequently becomes unsuitable when the context changes.

Real estate and gold coins may be great investments during inflationary periods, but tend to be lousy places for your money when the curve turns and prices begin to fall. You certainly don't want to be caught with a huge mortgage at a fixed rate of 8% when the price of residential properties has fallen by 20% and you can borrow money at 3%.

It is up to you in each case to take sensible measures to profit from the situation or, at least, to minimize its negative consequences. As individuals, our best strategy consists of letting go of anxiety and viewing inflation, deflation, or unemployment just as problems to be handled.

From this perspective, those phenomena are similar to the influenza virus that marks the arrival of winter every year. Exaggerated concern seldom improves anything. Instead, individuals should identify the path that minimizes trouble and, if possible, allows to profit from it.

Whenever you hear that inflation or deflation are coming, ask yourself how you can structure your finances in order to benefit from the situation. Can you link your income to a product whose price is likely to increase or decrease at the same pace as the overall economy? Can you reduce the amount of cash that you require to live and invest the remainder in assets that will profit from upcoming economic changes?

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by anna carol under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Monday, 16 November 2009

Stop worrying, take action, and start making money (Part 1 of 3)


The world is plagued by problems of all sorts. During your lifetime, chances are that you will go through periods of inflation, deflation, unemployment, rising share prices and stock market crashes. Newspapers report these problems with regularity and it seems that some of them will remain unresolved in the foreseeable future.

At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, most economists agree that increased consumer prices are coming, although nobody can tell precisely when this will happen. If you live on a fixed income, as it is the case of most pensioners, you should view inflation as a cause of a serious concern.

When the media mention that a loss of purchasing power might take place within months, danger is already looming in the horizon. If you do nothing, inflation will catch you unprepared. If you take appropriate measures, that will not be the end of the story either. As soon as inflation is under control, the next problem will come to haunt us, possibly another stock market crash.

Even if you occupy a position of influence, your possibilities of changing society remain minuscule for the simple reason that millions of people out there don't care about what you think and never will. Major changes in History ultimately result from ideas held in high regard, rightly or wrongly, by significant segments of the population. Those beliefs evolve through generations and change very slowly, even in the era of the internet and the global economy.

As an investor, you will be much better off if you realize your impotence to bring fundamental changes to society and stop worrying about it. An effective strategy to help other people, which is by all means a laudable intent, is to focus your efforts on a restricted field where your contribution can really make a difference.

Adopting a rational investment philosophy involves giving up unrealistic expectations and concentrating on what is feasible. You cannot prevent inflation or deflation from taking place, but if you play your cards well, you can make money from them. Instead of worrying about the disadvantages of rising or falling prices, why don't you figure out how to use each financial phenomenon for your personal profit?

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by geopungo under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Stop worrying, take action, and start making money (Part 1 of 3)


The world is plagued by problems of all sorts. During your lifetime, chances are that you will go through periods of inflation, deflation, unemployment, rising share prices and stock market crashes. Newspapers report these problems with regularity and it seems that some of them will remain unresolved in the foreseeable future.

At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, most economists agree that increased consumer prices are coming, although nobody can tell precisely when this will happen. If you live on a fixed income, as it is the case of most pensioners, you should view inflation as a cause of a serious concern.

When the media mention that a loss of purchasing power might take place within months, danger is already looming in the horizon. If you do nothing, inflation will catch you unprepared. If you take appropriate measures, that will not be the end of the story either. As soon as inflation is under control, the next problem will come to haunt us, possibly another stock market crash.

Even if you occupy a position of influence, your possibilities of changing society remain minuscule for the simple reason that millions of people out there don't care about what you think and never will. Major changes in History ultimately result from ideas held in high regard, rightly or wrongly, by significant segments of the population. Those beliefs evolve through generations and change very slowly, even in the era of the internet and the global economy.

As an investor, you will be much better off if you realize your impotence to bring fundamental changes to society and stop worrying about it. An effective strategy to help other people, which is by all means a laudable intent, is to focus your efforts on a restricted field where your contribution can really make a difference.

Adopting a rational investment philosophy involves giving up unrealistic expectations and concentrating on what is feasible. You cannot prevent inflation or deflation from taking place, but if you play your cards well, you can make money from them. Instead of worrying about the disadvantages of rising or falling prices, why don't you figure out how to use each financial phenomenon for your personal profit?

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by geopungo under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The high cost of short-term romantic involvement (Part 2 of 2)


The text of Casanova's internet dating profile would have been well crafted. Most likely, he would not have mentioned many details about himself. Instead, he would have written what potential romantic partners want to hear. His internet chatting would have consisted of witty and flattering remarks. Empty words are as effective with the foolish today as they were two centuries ago.

We can also be sure that, in his internet dating, Casanova would have remained a relentless liar driven by short-term benefits. In the 18th century, he was a manipulator bent on immediate action. His tactics consisted of assailing preys with flowers and jewellery until the battle was won.

Would he have found contemporary romantic films too slow? Possibly. The real Casanova was as fast in charging as he was in retreating. His objective was to win and deplete the confidence of his victims. His effectiveness was measured in days. His purpose would not accept any delays. Even in the worst of times, few men possess Casanova's callousness.

Finally, we can also assume that Casanova's house of cards would have inevitably collapsed in a contemporary context. Romantic attraction without substance can never be sustained for long. If we trust literature and History, human nature has not fundamentally changed in this respect.

Extreme short-term orientation involves high psychological costs and deprives man of the possibility of attaining real affection. Being focused only on immediate benefits starves the spirit and destroys the soul.

Looking for a life's partner is an exercise in self-knowledge which needs just the time it takes. Remain true to your rational nature and learn from Casanova's mistakes. Discard a short-term approach to human relationships. It generates disproportionate costs and inevitably results in failure.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by SearchNetMedia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The high cost of short-term romantic involvement
(Part 2 of 2)


The text of Casanova's internet dating profile would have been well crafted. Most likely, he would not have mentioned many details about himself. Instead, he would have written what potential romantic partners want to hear. His internet chatting would have consisted of witty and flattering remarks. Empty words are as effective with the foolish today as they were two centuries ago.

We can also be sure that, in his internet dating, Casanova would have remained a relentless liar driven by short-term benefits. In the 18th century, he was a manipulator bent on immediate action. His tactics consisted of assailing preys with flowers and jewellery until the battle was won.

Would he have found contemporary romantic films too slow? Possibly. The real Casanova was as fast in charging as he was in retreating. His objective was to win and deplete the confidence of his victims. His effectiveness was measured in days. His purpose would not accept any delays. Even in the worst of times, few men possess Casanova's callousness.

Finally, we can also assume that Casanova's house of cards would have inevitably collapsed in a contemporary context. Romantic attraction without substance can never be sustained for long. If we trust literature and History, human nature has not fundamentally changed in this respect.

Extreme short-term orientation involves high psychological costs and deprives man of the possibility of attaining real affection. Being focused only on immediate benefits starves the spirit and destroys the soul.

Looking for a life's partner is an exercise in self-knowledge which needs just the time it takes. Remain true to your rational nature and learn from Casanova's mistakes. Discard a short-term approach to human relationships. It generates disproportionate costs and inevitably results in failure.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by SearchNetMedia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The high cost of short-term romantic involvement (Part 1 of 2)


We can learn a great deal from History. The details in old stories awake our curiosity. Knowing what has happened in the past gives us perspective. Trying to figure out explanations renders us thoughtful; comparing sources, insightful. Theories unconfirmed by facts prompt a man to stop, not to move. Doubts make us reflect and yearn for proof.

Giacomo Casanova's autobiography is an outstanding literary achievement that has elevated its author to the prototype of perfect seducer. Few novels or essays have equalled his vivid depiction of the best and worst in human nature. His portrayal of vanity and foolishness has remained fresh through the centuries, providing evidence of how little the world has changed.

Does Casanova's romantic advice still apply in the age of instant messaging and on-line dating? Are there practical lessons that we can draw from his experience? Would Casanova (1725-1798) have proven an effective seducer also in the era of mobile phones and blogs?

My answer might surprise you, but I am convinced that on-line dating would have not modified Casanova's results. His story would have been repeated, sequence by sequence, only faster. He would have become extremely successful in the short term, but eventually, as it did happen, he would have ended up in loneliness and financial ruin.

Despite the fact that Casanova was not particularly handsome, we can be sure that, if he lived today, he would have placed a fantastic photo on his internet dating profile. Through clever grooming, lighting, and composition, he would have managed to portray himself as irresistible.

Most people who date on-line don't take the trouble to do that, since they prefer to be themselves. They opt for looking as they usually do even if that makes them less popular.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by gnuckx ccO under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The high cost of short-term romantic involvement
(Part 1 of 2)


We can learn a great deal from History. The details in old stories awake our curiosity. Knowing what has happened in the past gives us perspective. Trying to figure out explanations renders us thoughtful; comparing sources, insightful. Theories unconfirmed by facts prompt a man to stop, not to move. Doubts make us reflect and yearn for proof.

Giacomo Casanova's autobiography is an outstanding literary achievement that has elevated its author to the prototype of perfect seducer. Few novels or essays have equalled his vivid depiction of the best and worst in human nature. His portrayal of vanity and foolishness has remained fresh through the centuries, providing evidence of how little the world has changed.

Does Casanova's romantic advice still apply in the age of instant messaging and on-line dating? Are there practical lessons that we can draw from his experience? Would Casanova (1725-1798) have proven an effective seducer also in the era of mobile phones and blogs?

My answer might surprise you, but I am convinced that on-line dating would have not modified Casanova's results. His story would have been repeated, sequence by sequence, only faster. He would have become extremely successful in the short term, but eventually, as it did happen, he would have ended up in loneliness and financial ruin.

Despite the fact that Casanova was not particularly handsome, we can be sure that, if he lived today, he would have placed a fantastic photo on his internet dating profile. Through clever grooming, lighting, and composition, he would have managed to portray himself as irresistible.

Most people who date on-line don't take the trouble to do that, since they prefer to be themselves. They opt for looking as they usually do even if that makes them less popular.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by gnuckx ccO under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 13 November 2009

Rational values are the basis of great relationships (Part 3 of 3)


Rational values embody principles that are common to all thinking human beings. Those values are distilled from reality by means of observation and logic. Irrational people cannot establish steady relationships because their behaviour continuously clashes with the demands of the world.

The law of cause and effect, the fundamental principle of existence, governs the relations between men and women. The relationships that you build today will determine how your future plays out. Your choice of friends and spouse will play a key role in your happiness.

Reason tell us how to lead our lives, whom to befriend, and who is worthy of our love. Let reason establish your ambitions and priorities also in the field of human relationships. Fashion and imitation provide the short-term contentment that comes from conformity, not real happiness.

Superficiality adds much expense to you detriment and brings little worth to your experience. Shrug your shoulders at unrealistic advice. Ignore invitations from irrational people, either as friends or love companions. You will spare yourself enormous costs and trouble.

In your choice of spouse, never pay attention to fashion or cultural expectations. Do not sell yourself short by exchanging your rational values for the worthless pleasures of conformity. Adopt logic and consistency as your only criteria for love and friendship.

Happiness calls for steady purpose and continuous action. Choose the way of reason and adopt consistent values. Developing relationships with other rational individuals can be a slow process, but it is extremely rewarding. It will enable you to lead a successful life and enjoy the company of the best of humanity.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by tvol under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Rational values are the basis of great relationships
(Part 3 of 3)


Rational values embody principles that are common to all thinking human beings. Those values are distilled from reality by means of observation and logic. Irrational people cannot establish steady relationships because their behaviour continuously clashes with the demands of the world.

The law of cause and effect, the fundamental principle of existence, governs the relations between men and women. The relationships that you build today will determine how your future plays out. Your choice of friends and spouse will play a key role in your happiness.

Reason tell us how to lead our lives, whom to befriend, and who is worthy of our love. Let reason establish your ambitions and priorities also in the field of human relationships. Fashion and imitation provide the short-term contentment that comes from conformity, not real happiness.

Superficiality adds much expense to you detriment and brings little worth to your experience. Shrug your shoulders at unrealistic advice. Ignore invitations from irrational people, either as friends or love companions. You will spare yourself enormous costs and trouble.

In your choice of spouse, never pay attention to fashion or cultural expectations. Do not sell yourself short by exchanging your rational values for the worthless pleasures of conformity. Adopt logic and consistency as your only criteria for love and friendship.

Happiness calls for steady purpose and continuous action. Choose the way of reason and adopt consistent values. Developing relationships with other rational individuals can be a slow process, but it is extremely rewarding. It will enable you to lead a successful life and enjoy the company of the best of humanity.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by tvol under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Rational values are the basis of great relationships (Part 2 of 3)


Rational values constitute the alternative to unsatisfactory relationships. If you embrace logic, you won't need to spend your days wondering which sub-culture leads to less dismay. Wisdom consists of identifying principles of human relations inspired by reason, applying them in our daily lives, and correcting our mistakes.

Seeking out thoughtful persons as friends or spouse plays a crucial role in attaining happiness. Sound choices are the result of man's rational evaluation of people and events. Achieving individuality requires our deep involvement with human beings who respect logic and consistency.

In order to develop happy relationships, we must allow our mind to filter out the noise of culture and fashion. We need to stop believing in myths. Neither specific clothes, nor gadgets, nor living in a specific location can provide the basis for good personal relations. Only people who share rational values are really able to communicate, understand, and appreciate each other.

Large number of men believe in arbitrary moral standards, but you are not obliged to imitate their foolishness. The idea that things can be done only in one specific way is false. The expectation that people must accept imposed values is unworkable. If you have ethical questions, look around until you find logical and consistent answers.

As friends or spouse, seek out exclusively individuals who can think for themselves. Abandon contradictory goals. Never get involved with persons whom you know to be dishonest, since they are unable to maintain good personal relationships. Deceit is synonymous with inconsistency. False ideas conflict with facts and with each other.

Anxiety is the mark of those who move at random, without destination. Animals do not need perspective, but humans do. In order to achieve great personal relationships, you need to determine your direction. A wise man cannot be satisfied with short-term relationships. Superficial personal bonds take a disproportionate amount of time and cannot provide the pleasures of deep conversation.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by SearchNetMedia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Rational values are the basis of great relationships
(Part 2 of 3)


Rational values constitute the alternative to unsatisfactory relationships. If you embrace logic, you won't need to spend your days wondering which sub-culture leads to less dismay. Wisdom consists of identifying principles of human relations inspired by reason, applying them in our daily lives, and correcting our mistakes.

Seeking out thoughtful persons as friends or spouse plays a crucial role in attaining happiness. Sound choices are the result of man's rational evaluation of people and events. Achieving individuality requires our deep involvement with human beings who respect logic and consistency.

In order to develop happy relationships, we must allow our mind to filter out the noise of culture and fashion. We need to stop believing in myths. Neither specific clothes, nor gadgets, nor living in a specific location can provide the basis for good personal relations. Only people who share rational values are really able to communicate, understand, and appreciate each other.

Large number of men believe in arbitrary moral standards, but you are not obliged to imitate their foolishness. The idea that things can be done only in one specific way is false. The expectation that people must accept imposed values is unworkable. If you have ethical questions, look around until you find logical and consistent answers.

As friends or spouse, seek out exclusively individuals who can think for themselves. Abandon contradictory goals. Never get involved with persons whom you know to be dishonest, since they are unable to maintain good personal relationships. Deceit is synonymous with inconsistency. False ideas conflict with facts and with each other.

Anxiety is the mark of those who move at random, without destination. Animals do not need perspective, but humans do. In order to achieve great personal relationships, you need to determine your direction. A wise man cannot be satisfied with short-term relationships. Superficial personal bonds take a disproportionate amount of time and cannot provide the pleasures of deep conversation.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by SearchNetMedia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Rational values are the basis of great relationships (Part 1 of 3)


Culture and fashion call for conformity. You will be told to go with the flow and not to swim upstream. If it doesn't float, let it sink, you will be urged at every step. Read the writing on the wall, you will hear more often than you want. Accept what everybody knows. The trend is your friend. Nobody ever got anywhere by stepping out of line. There is only one truth and it corresponds to the majority view.

Relinquishing individual thinking and embracing a standard lifestyle brings enormous advantages. For instance, it will save you time when making decisions. It will also spare you embarrassment when it comes to hiding the truth. However, irrationality and conformity cannot provide the basis for good relationships.

The opposite side of the psychological spectrum is filled by non-conformity, which often boils down to blind loyalty to some other style. For instance, non-conformists prefer to practise dangerous sports instead of spending their holidays on the beach.

Their hobbies might include playing exotic games instead of watching films. They seldom go for a walk in the park, but they might spend a fortune on a tour in the tropical forest. The clothes of non-conformists, instead of clean and well ironed, tend to be messy and torn.

Whether you choose conformity or non-conformity as basis for your relationships makes little practical difference. In both cases, your years will be filled with more or less colourful souvenirs, not with happiness. Imitating distorted pictures is not the way to create great paintings.

Adopting values that make no sense will not move you towards success and happiness. The exaltation of inconsistencies will not render your feelings more intense. Walking a downtrodden track leads to a dejected spirit. In the field of love and friendship, thoughtlessness is not a path you want to take.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by kelvin.schafli under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]