Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The ideal remedy against discouragement (Part 4 of 4)


It was the story of a farmer who lost half of his herd every winter due to the extreme cold. In his poem, Hesiod noted the scarcity of sheep in the winter, their over-abundance in the summer, and how sheep prices oscillated with the change of seasons.

"I asked the oracle for an answer," recited Hesiod, "but he told me to look for it myself." At that point, part of the audience murmured their disapproval. Undaunted, the young poet questioned the public. "How should one react to winter scarcity? Should a man suffer passively the caprice of the Gods?"

Hesiod's poem was called "Work and Days." His conclusion was unmistakable. A wise man should buy sheep in the summer at a low price and wait for the winter's cold weather to bring back high prices and the opportunity of a profitable sale.

When Hesiod finished his performance, the audience remained silent. Half of the jury members were in favour of Homer, but Amiphidamas' preference allowed the young shepherd to carry the day. Hesiod's rhyme had been awkward and his presence on stage unexciting, but the judges had found his poem "highly instructive for ourselves and future generations."

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

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

The ideal remedy against discouragement
(Part 4 of 4)


It was the story of a farmer who lost half of his herd every winter due to the extreme cold. In his poem, Hesiod noted the scarcity of sheep in the winter, their over-abundance in the summer, and how sheep prices oscillated with the change of seasons.

"I asked the oracle for an answer," recited Hesiod, "but he told me to look for it myself." At that point, part of the audience murmured their disapproval. Undaunted, the young poet questioned the public. "How should one react to winter scarcity? Should a man suffer passively the caprice of the Gods?"

Hesiod's poem was called "Work and Days." His conclusion was unmistakable. A wise man should buy sheep in the summer at a low price and wait for the winter's cold weather to bring back high prices and the opportunity of a profitable sale.

When Hesiod finished his performance, the audience remained silent. Half of the jury members were in favour of Homer, but Amiphidamas' preference allowed the young shepherd to carry the day. Hesiod's rhyme had been awkward and his presence on stage unexciting, but the judges had found his poem "highly instructive for ourselves and future generations."

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

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

Monday, 30 August 2010

The ideal remedy against discouragement (Part 3 of 4)


Amiphidamas, who was the mayor of Chalces and the president of the jury said that he liked Hesiod's poem. "That shepherd has interesting ideas," he told the other judges of the contest. In a way, Amiphidamas' view was not surprising, since he owned the largest herd of the village.

In the evening, torches were lighted to illuminate the theatre. Peasants from surrounding villages had come to Chalces to see the poetry finale, which featured Homer against an unknown shepherd called Hesiod. The result of the contest was predictable and Perses bet heavily against his brother.

Homer recited a poem recounting the Trojan war and his performance galvanized the young. His strong voice and impeccable speech brought the audience memories of long-forgotten Gods and glories. When he finished his declamation, the jury nodded satisfied. Nobody doubted that Homer would come out winner.

Then the young shepherd Hesiod came to stand before the public. "How hard life is," he started, "and how recurrent our miseries." Puzzled by the unusual beginning, the audience held their breath to be able to hear better. What was this poem all about?

To be continued in Part 4

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

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

The ideal remedy against discouragement
(Part 3 of 4)


Amiphidamas, who was the mayor of Chalces and the president of the jury said that he liked Hesiod's poem. "That shepherd has interesting ideas," he told the other judges of the contest. In a way, Amiphidamas' view was not surprising, since he owned the largest herd of the village.

In the evening, torches were lighted to illuminate the theatre. Peasants from surrounding villages had come to Chalces to see the poetry finale, which featured Homer against an unknown shepherd called Hesiod. The result of the contest was predictable and Perses bet heavily against his brother.

Homer recited a poem recounting the Trojan war and his performance galvanized the young. His strong voice and impeccable speech brought the audience memories of long-forgotten Gods and glories. When he finished his declamation, the jury nodded satisfied. Nobody doubted that Homer would come out winner.

Then the young shepherd Hesiod came to stand before the public. "How hard life is," he started, "and how recurrent our miseries." Puzzled by the unusual beginning, the audience held their breath to be able to hear better. What was this poem all about?

To be continued in Part 4

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

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

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The ideal remedy against discouragement (Part 2 of 4)


In Ancient Greece, winning a poetry contest was a ticket to fame and opened the door to a political career. That year, competition was particularly fierce since Homer, the most famous poet of the time, had come to Chalces to take part in the contest.

On the eve of the competition, Perses asked his brother to which God he would be devoting his poem, as it was customary to do on such occasions. Hesiod smiled and shook his head. "My poem is not about Gods, it's about sheep." Perses stared at his brother incredulously, but did not make any comment.

At the beginning of the contest, the jury separated the participants in two groups, one for the morning session and the other for the afternoon. After that, the winners from both groups would face each other in the evening finale.

Homer achieved an easy victory in the morning competition, but the jury deliberated long before picking the afternoon winner. Who was this youngster Hesiod? It was the first time that anyone had ever heard a poem about sheep in the mountain.

To be continued in Part 3

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

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

The ideal remedy against discouragement
(Part 2 of 4)


In Ancient Greece, winning a poetry contest was a ticket to fame and opened the door to a political career. That year, competition was particularly fierce since Homer, the most famous poet of the time, had come to Chalces to take part in the contest.

On the eve of the competition, Perses asked his brother to which God he would be devoting his poem, as it was customary to do on such occasions. Hesiod smiled and shook his head. "My poem is not about Gods, it's about sheep." Perses stared at his brother incredulously, but did not make any comment.

At the beginning of the contest, the jury separated the participants in two groups, one for the morning session and the other for the afternoon. After that, the winners from both groups would face each other in the evening finale.

Homer achieved an easy victory in the morning competition, but the jury deliberated long before picking the afternoon winner. Who was this youngster Hesiod? It was the first time that anyone had ever heard a poem about sheep in the mountain.

To be continued in Part 3

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

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

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The ideal remedy against discouragement (Part 1 of 4)


Reading History is the ideal remedy against discouragement and dissatisfaction. During difficult periods, man can gain perspective by learning how his ancestors turned problems into opportunities. Past centuries have repeatedly shown how individuals with limited resources can face life's challenges and overcome extraordinary obstacles.

Hesiod, an Ancient Greek poet, recounted in the year 770 B.C. that "the world did not welcome me when I was born and each season brought nothing but problems and difficulties." The reason for such lamentations was that a court decision in favour of his brother, Perses, had deprived Hesiod of his inheritance at an early age, forcing him to earn his subsistence by working in other people's fields.

As a result of adversity, Hesiod soon acquired first-hand experience in all kind of farm labours and gained expertise in breeding goats and sheep. "Watching the sheep kindled my ambition," he recorded. "I realized that, unlike sheep, I had the capacity to take control of my future."

During the winter, Hesiod witnessed how the cold temperature in the mountains of northern Greece often culled herds by half. Later on, he would write that the destiny of animals, unlike that of human beings, is fully dependent on the weather. The young shepherd spent a long time preparing himself in the solitude of the mountains until, one spring, he walked to Chalces, a nearby village, and enrolled in the annual poetry contest.

To be continued in Part 2

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

[Image by Mara 1 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The ideal remedy against discouragement
(Part 1 of 4)


Reading History is the ideal remedy against discouragement and dissatisfaction. During difficult periods, man can gain perspective by learning how his ancestors turned problems into opportunities. Past centuries have repeatedly shown how individuals with limited resources can face life's challenges and overcome extraordinary obstacles.

Hesiod, an Ancient Greek poet, recounted in the year 770 B.C. that "the world did not welcome me when I was born and each season brought nothing but problems and difficulties." The reason for such lamentations was that a court decision in favour of his brother, Perses, had deprived Hesiod of his inheritance at an early age, forcing him to earn his subsistence by working in other people's fields.

As a result of adversity, Hesiod soon acquired first-hand experience in all kind of farm labours and gained expertise in breeding goats and sheep. "Watching the sheep kindled my ambition," he recorded. "I realized that, unlike sheep, I had the capacity to take control of my future."

During the winter, Hesiod witnessed how the cold temperature in the mountains of northern Greece often culled herds by half. Later on, he would write that the destiny of animals, unlike that of human beings, is fully dependent on the weather. The young shepherd spent a long time preparing himself in the solitude of the mountains until, one spring, he walked to Chalces, a nearby village, and enrolled in the annual poetry contest.

To be continued in Part 2

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

[Image by Mara 1 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 27 August 2010

How self-development actually takes place


"The principle is one, but its manifestations are many," wrote Chinese philosopher Cheng-Ha a thousand years ago. If we had to establish the simplest possible formula for maximizing happiness, it would probably contain just one instruction. In fact, a single word would suffice: growth.

Some define self-development as becoming more of what you are and reaching for more ambitious goals. In pure biological terms, growth implies dilatation or enlargement. Paralysis, most of the time, involves some form of pathology. Stasis is equivalent to death.

Increasing one's ability to live is the fundamental driver for animals and plants. For humans, extending our breadth and depth of experience is the only goal that can be all-encompassing. If you are looking for a permanent and comprehensive recipe to make the best of your life, growth is all you need.

The unpredictability of personal development is what makes it so difficult to pursue successfully. Growth frequently takes place in areas where it is least expected. On the other hand, concentrating all efforts on developing a certain skill might, paradoxically, constrain overall personal growth.

How does self-development actually take place? In which way can it be facilitated? Why must each man follow a different path towards personal growth? These questions have occupied psychologists for years. Here are two ideas that you can use.

* GROWTH IS SELDOM LINEAR. When you learn a foreign language, your knowledge does not increase following a precise pattern. By memorizing 20 new words per day, your ability to communicate does not expand at a fixed rate, for example, at 1% per day. Even with sustained study and practice, your progress will now and then stagnate. Sometimes, you will even forget words that you had already learned. Finally, after extensive effort, one day, you will reach a point where you can speak that language fluently.

* GROWTH IS NOT ALWAYS SYSTEMATIC. Still today, despite decades of research, there is no guaranteed method to achieve growth. Some focus on a limited set of skills and try to develop them to perfection. Others prefer to learn bits and pieces on various subjects and put them together in original ways. Using commonplace elements to produce unexpected combinations is a great development strategy. Breakthrough ideas result, on many occasions, out of curiosity rather than from the organized approach of research laboratories.

What experience seems to prove is that understanding the varying speed of self-development is a prerequisite of peace of mind. Pushing the human body beyond its capabilities does not tend to accelerate, but to hinder growth. Do not try to run too fast and make sure not to carry too much weight.

The important lesson is that taking daily steps in your chosen field is the best formula to make yourself ready for growth. When opportunities materialize, you will be able to seize them. Regular work and steadiness of purpose usually lead to a better life. There are many variations, but the theme is one.

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

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

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Selling is the most critical business function


Unrealistic scenarios and promises are counter-productive. When planning our future, we should think twice before trusting exaggerated positive statements. On the other hand, we should also refrain from painting all alternatives as dark and all attempts as hopeless.

Various approaches have been tried against poverty, with different levels of success. Living in an environment of deprivation can undermine a man's spirit and this is why he needs to figure out a feasible plan to improve his situation. What we know is that unrealistic expectations do not work.

If you happen to find yourself living in a poor district of town, you do not need to give up your hopes of a better future. If you are suffering from lack of formal education, becoming bitter is not going to improve anything.

What is needed is to take action to detect and seize available opportunities, but frequently, those can only be perceived when we look at the world realistically. When a man is unemployed or stuck in low-income occupations, he might develop a view of the world that prevents him from seizing his chances.

The conviction that nobody is going to listen to one's troubles does not necessarily correspond to reality. The perceptions that nobody is going to help and that no one cares are contrary to the fact that opportunities, although scarce, do exist.

The great news is that businessmen, generally speaking, like to grow their companies and that this creates sales openings in many areas. The way out of poverty involves the recognition that a man must often take whatever jobs are offered, even if he would have liked to do something else.

Sales work is available almost at any time, irrespective of the overall economic situation, since selling is the most critical business function. Taking a sales position is frequently the only way available to break out of poverty into fields of better opportunity, so here is my advice:

1. Go to the public library, borrow some books about sales, and study them.
2. Get a suit and a tie, even if they are second hand, so that you can go to interviews.
3. Forget about fixed-income jobs and look instead for a sales position.
4. Ignore those around you who criticize or ridicule your ambitions.
5. Watch the best-performing salesmen in your company and listen to their advice.
6. Keep on reading about sales and learn as much as you can about your industry.
7. Gain experience and become proficient in sales.
8. Move to a better sales job.
9. In the future, consider the possibility of starting your own company.

Taking the future in one's own hands might require discarding unrealistic ideas held in the past. The fact is that some opportunities exist and others are hard to come by. Experience shows that sales work can be the way to a better life, a path that many have successfully walked before.

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

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

Selling is the most critical business function


Unrealistic scenarios and promises are counter-productive. When planning our future, we should think twice before trusting exaggerated positive statements. On the other hand, we should also refrain from painting all alternatives as dark and all attempts as hopeless.

Various approaches have been tried against poverty, with different levels of success. Living in an environment of deprivation can undermine a man's spirit and this is why he needs to figure out a feasible plan to improve his situation. What we know is that unrealistic expectations do not work.

If you happen to find yourself living in a poor district of town, you do not need to give up your hopes of a better future. If you are suffering from lack of formal education, becoming bitter is not going to improve anything.

What is needed is to take action to detect and seize available opportunities, but frequently, those can only be perceived when we look at the world realistically. When a man is unemployed or stuck in low-income occupations, he might develop a view of the world that prevents him from seizing his chances.

The conviction that nobody is going to listen to one's troubles does not necessarily correspond to reality. The perceptions that nobody is going to help and that no one cares are contrary to the fact that opportunities, although scarce, do exist.

The great news is that businessmen, generally speaking, like to grow their companies and that this creates sales openings in many areas. The way out of poverty involves the recognition that a man must often take whatever jobs are offered, even if he would have liked to do something else.

Sales work is available almost at any time, irrespective of the overall economic situation, since selling is the most critical business function. Taking a sales position is frequently the only way available to break out of poverty into fields of better opportunity, so here is my advice:

1. Go to the public library, borrow some books about sales, and study them.
2. Get a suit and a tie, even if they are second hand, so that you can go to interviews.
3. Forget about fixed-income jobs and look instead for a sales position.
4. Ignore those around you who criticize or ridicule your ambitions.
5. Watch the best-performing salesmen in your company and listen to their advice.
6. Keep on reading about sales and learn as much as you can about your industry.
7. Gain experience and become proficient in sales.
8. Move to a better sales job.
9. In the future, consider the possibility of starting your own company.

Taking the future in one's own hands might require discarding unrealistic ideas held in the past. The fact is that some opportunities exist and others are hard to come by. Experience shows that sales work can be the way to a better life, a path that many have successfully walked before.

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

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

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The main factor that is holding you back


Do you know how to calculate the amount of fear holding you back in life? Take a pen and a piece of paper. On top of the page, write down your current age, for instance "34 years old." At the bottom, indicate how old you intend to grow before you die. "Death at 80" is a reasonable target.

Now comes the mathematical part of the exercise. Draw a
straight line connecting your current age with your death. That line represents the number of days that you have left on earth. In our example, the difference between 80 and 34 leaves you with 46 years, that is, almost 17.000 days.

The vertical line on the page divides your future in two areas. The last part of the game consists of deciding how you are going to use those 17.000 days. On the left side of the line, you can write down safe and commonplace goals. On the right side, difficult and disruptive ambitions.

Boring projects are easy to name and quantify. They include, amongst others, looking for better jobs (600 days), cleaning the house (600 days), and going on holidays (1000 days). The rules of the exercise allow you to list as many activities as you wish, provided that you don't run out of time to live.

On your left-side list, you should not forget mundane tasks such as working five days a week (5400 days), washing your car once per month (500 hours), getting a divorce (150 days) and shopping for new clothes (250 days). When your remaining term of 46 years is up, you are dead.

You only need to worry about the opposite side of the line if you have unused time, which is unlikely. The truth is that most people will allocate their complete lifespan to left-side tasks, including essential activities such as watching television (4000 days) and walking their dog (1000 days).

What about the right side of the line? Does anyone actually write down adventurous, risky goals? Are there people foolish enough to risk total failure in order to pursue their dreams? Is it not better to stick to attainable objectives? This is the type of activities that usually come up under the label "difficult and disruptive:"

1. Live in
Paris for a year (500 days, including preparation and removal)
2. Start up and grow a global business (3000 days)
3. Write twenty great books (3000 days)
4. Save and invest until you are able to live from dividends (6000 days)
5. Learn to cook according to good nutrition principles (300 days)
6. Lose weight and acquire habits that allow you to stay in good shape (500 days)

One could argue that this game is useless, since it has no winner and no loser. Since the same individual appears on both sides of the line, what is the point? What is the purpose of the exercise? The answer is that, paradoxically, the subjects on each side of the line are different persons.

One of them is boring, the other fearless. One of them is aimless, the other determined. One of them is predictable, the other exciting. The lesson is that, one day, the 46 years will be consumed all the same. At the end, results will be trivial or spectacular, meaningless or irreplaceable.

If you don't like the outcome of your calculations, take a blank piece of paper, draw a new vertical line, and start the exercise again. After a few times, you will get quite good at it. At one point, you will begin to fear boring activities more than risky ones. If you are already there, congratulations, now you know how to win the game.

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

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

The main factor that is holding you back


Do you know how to calculate the amount of fear holding you back in life? Take a pen and a piece of paper. On top of the page, write down your current age, for instance "34 years old." At the bottom, indicate how old you intend to grow before you die. "Death at 80" is a reasonable target.

Now comes the mathematical part of the exercise. Draw a
straight line connecting your current age with your death. That line represents the number of days that you have left on earth. In our example, the difference between 80 and 34 leaves you with 46 years, that is, almost 17.000 days.

The vertical line on the page divides your future in two areas. The last part of the game consists of deciding how you are going to use those 17.000 days. On the left side of the line, you can write down safe and commonplace goals. On the right side, difficult and disruptive ambitions.

Boring projects are easy to name and quantify. They include, amongst others, looking for better jobs (600 days), cleaning the house (600 days), and going on holidays (1000 days). The rules of the exercise allow you to list as many activities as you wish, provided that you don't run out of time to live.

On your left-side list, you should not forget mundane tasks such as working five days a week (5400 days), washing your car once per month (500 hours), getting a divorce (150 days) and shopping for new clothes (250 days). When your remaining term of 46 years is up, you are dead.

You only need to worry about the opposite side of the line if you have unused time, which is unlikely. The truth is that most people will allocate their complete lifespan to left-side tasks, including essential activities such as watching television (4000 days) and walking their dog (1000 days).

What about the right side of the line? Does anyone actually write down adventurous, risky goals? Are there people foolish enough to risk total failure in order to pursue their dreams? Is it not better to stick to attainable objectives? This is the type of activities that usually come up under the label "difficult and disruptive:"

1. Live in
Paris for a year (500 days, including preparation and removal)
2. Start up and grow a global business (3000 days)
3. Write twenty great books (3000 days)
4. Save and invest until you are able to live from dividends (6000 days)
5. Learn to cook according to good nutrition principles (300 days)
6. Lose weight and acquire habits that allow you to stay in good shape (500 days)

One could argue that this game is useless, since it has no winner and no loser. Since the same individual appears on both sides of the line, what is the point? What is the purpose of the exercise? The answer is that, paradoxically, the subjects on each side of the line are different persons.

One of them is boring, the other fearless. One of them is aimless, the other determined. One of them is predictable, the other exciting. The lesson is that, one day, the 46 years will be consumed all the same. At the end, results will be trivial or spectacular, meaningless or irreplaceable.

If you don't like the outcome of your calculations, take a blank piece of paper, draw a new vertical line, and start the exercise again. After a few times, you will get quite good at it. At one point, you will begin to fear boring activities more than risky ones. If you are already there, congratulations, now you know how to win the game.

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

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

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality (Part 6 of 6)


[12] Eat garlic: amongst its many benefits, garlic enhances our immune system and helps lower blood pressure. The effects of garlic to combat sickness were already known in antiquity. Modern studies have confirmed its powers to fight viruses and bacteria, as well as its ability to lower blood sugar levels.

Discard the idea that you are going to change your lifestyle overnight. Despite extraordinary success stories shown on television, almost nobody is able to do that. The key to improving your health is to acquire better habits. Fundamental transformation takes substantial effort.

From time to time, your progress will relapse and you will fall back on previous patterns. View those as opportunities to renew your commitment to change. Acquiring better habits is a strenuous undertaking that pays off handsomely over time.

One day, after you have rebuilt your life around a wholesome diet and regular exercise, your new routines will have become so ingrained that you won't consider living otherwise. Your increased vitality will be there for all to see and for you to enjoy, hopefully for many decades to come.

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

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

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality
(Part 6 of 6)


[12] Eat garlic: amongst its many benefits, garlic enhances our immune system and helps lower blood pressure. The effects of garlic to combat sickness were already known in antiquity. Modern studies have confirmed its powers to fight viruses and bacteria, as well as its ability to lower blood sugar levels.

Discard the idea that you are going to change your lifestyle overnight. Despite extraordinary success stories shown on television, almost nobody is able to do that. The key to improving your health is to acquire better habits. Fundamental transformation takes substantial effort.

From time to time, your progress will relapse and you will fall back on previous patterns. View those as opportunities to renew your commitment to change. Acquiring better habits is a strenuous undertaking that pays off handsomely over time.

One day, after you have rebuilt your life around a wholesome diet and regular exercise, your new routines will have become so ingrained that you won't consider living otherwise. Your increased vitality will be there for all to see and for you to enjoy, hopefully for many decades to come.

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

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

Monday, 23 August 2010

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality (Part 5 of 6)


[9] Consume tomatoes regularly: they are available at affordable prices in most areas and they are excellent for human health. Tomatoes, which are an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, contain a natural substance called lycopene that helps protect our cells. Studies have shown tomatoes to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

[10] Eat fibre every day: vegetables and legumes contain fibre, an element that cleans our digestive system and helps stabilize glucose levels in our blood. Fibre also plays a role in preventing diabetes, appendicitis, and colon cancer. Whole grains are an excellent source of fibre.

[11] Walk at least half an hour a day: you don't need to kill yourself with exercise in order to enjoy its benefits. If you are too busy during the day, try to find time in the evening to take a brisk walk.

This type of exercise does not require sophisticated equipment and can be practised in most places, even if your work requires you to travel frequently.

To be continued in Part 6

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

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

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality
(Part 5 of 6)


[9] Consume tomatoes regularly: they are available at affordable prices in most areas and they are excellent for human health. Tomatoes, which are an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, contain a natural substance called lycopene that helps protect our cells. Studies have shown tomatoes to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

[10] Eat fibre every day: vegetables and legumes contain fibre, an element that cleans our digestive system and helps stabilize glucose levels in our blood. Fibre also plays a role in preventing diabetes, appendicitis, and colon cancer. Whole grains are an excellent source of fibre.

[11] Walk at least half an hour a day: you don't need to kill yourself with exercise in order to enjoy its benefits. If you are too busy during the day, try to find time in the evening to take a brisk walk.

This type of exercise does not require sophisticated equipment and can be practised in most places, even if your work requires you to travel frequently.

To be continued in Part 6

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

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

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality (Part 4 of 6)


[6] Eat some nuts every day: they contain poly-unsaturated fats and selenium, which are both excellent for human health. Selenium, in combination with vitamin E, has been proven to strengthen our immune system. It helps combat viral infections and keeps our heart, liver, and pancreas healthy.

[7] Maintain a stable weight: this is extremely easy if you are a disciplined person and almost impossible otherwise. The best way to attain this goal is to have a scale at home and check your weight regularly. As soon as you see it deviate from your target, simply adapt your diet during the following week until your weight returns to the desired level.

[8] Set limits to stress: define in advance how much you are able to do. When your hours are full, you know that you cannot take any additional burden without first removing some item from your previous to-do list. Write things down and do not let problems linger in your head. As soon as you decide to drop an activity, cross it out from your list.

To be continued in Part 5

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

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

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality
(Part 4 of 6)


[6] Eat some nuts every day: they contain poly-unsaturated fats and selenium, which are both excellent for human health. Selenium, in combination with vitamin E, has been proven to strengthen our immune system. It helps combat viral infections and keeps our heart, liver, and pancreas healthy.

[7] Maintain a stable weight: this is extremely easy if you are a disciplined person and almost impossible otherwise. The best way to attain this goal is to have a scale at home and check your weight regularly. As soon as you see it deviate from your target, simply adapt your diet during the following week until your weight returns to the desired level.

[8] Set limits to stress: define in advance how much you are able to do. When your hours are full, you know that you cannot take any additional burden without first removing some item from your previous to-do list. Write things down and do not let problems linger in your head. As soon as you decide to drop an activity, cross it out from your list.

To be continued in Part 5

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

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

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality (Part 3 of 6)


[3] Minimize your sugar consumption: eating sugar, which is highly pleasurable, increases glucose levels in your blood. That phenomenon leads your pancreas to produce additional insulin and your liver to produce triglycerides, which cause your cells to age prematurely. Obesity, which has taken epidemic proportions in some countries, is often linked to excessive sugar consumption.

[4] Consume salt sparingly: Too much sodium in your diet has an adverse effect on your body because it tends to raise blood pressure. In addition, excessive salt consumption disrupts the sodium-potassium balance in your cells, leads them to multifunction, and accelerates ageing.

[5] Choose high-quality proteins and fat: fish, in particular oily fish such as salmon, contains first-class protein and fat for the human body. The benefits of abandoning red meat and, instead, consuming fish regularly can result, within weeks, in a better complexion.

To be continued in Part 4

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

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

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality
(Part 3 of 6)


[3] Minimize your sugar consumption: eating sugar, which is highly pleasurable, increases glucose levels in your blood. That phenomenon leads your pancreas to produce additional insulin and your liver to produce triglycerides, which cause your cells to age prematurely. Obesity, which has taken epidemic proportions in some countries, is often linked to excessive sugar consumption.

[4] Consume salt sparingly: Too much sodium in your diet has an adverse effect on your body because it tends to raise blood pressure. In addition, excessive salt consumption disrupts the sodium-potassium balance in your cells, leads them to multifunction, and accelerates ageing.

[5] Choose high-quality proteins and fat: fish, in particular oily fish such as salmon, contains first-class protein and fat for the human body. The benefits of abandoning red meat and, instead, consuming fish regularly can result, within weeks, in a better complexion.

To be continued in Part 4

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

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

Friday, 20 August 2010

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality (Part 2 of 6)


[1] Choose whole-grain products: The reason for this is that whole grains contain beneficial minerals, vitamins, and fibre that are not present in white flour.

Indisputably, white-flour products, such as pastries, look more inviting to the eye than those made of whole-grains, but the latter are much better for your health. Explore the shelves of your local supermarket and, in the next weeks, try different whole-grain products to see which ones you like best.

[2] Drink green tea: From all herbal infusions, green tea contains one of the highest percentages of polyphenol, a natural substance that helps combat bacteria and viruses. Apparently, green tea also has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system because it helps decrease low-density cholesterol.

To be continued in Part 3

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

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

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality
(Part 2 of 6)


[1] Choose whole-grain products: The reason for this is that whole grains contain beneficial minerals, vitamins, and fibre that are not present in white flour.

Indisputably, white-flour products, such as pastries, look more inviting to the eye than those made of whole-grains, but the latter are much better for your health. Explore the shelves of your local supermarket and, in the next weeks, try different whole-grain products to see which ones you like best.

[2] Drink green tea: From all herbal infusions, green tea contains one of the highest percentages of polyphenol, a natural substance that helps combat bacteria and viruses. Apparently, green tea also has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system because it helps decrease low-density cholesterol.

To be continued in Part 3

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

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

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality (Part 1 of 6)


Overcomplicated prescriptions discourage individuals from taking action to improve their lives. Through the years, I have read a large number of health books that offered unworkable advice.

The theories that they espoused were confusing and often contradictory. Their recommendations proved, on many occasions, too impractical or expensive to implement.

As a result, from each of those books, all that I retained were a couple of conclusions. The effort of reading hundreds of pages was not wasted, since I have implemented many of those ideas with good success.

The following twelve habits have served me particularly well. I like to think that I owe them, at least in part, the good health that I enjoy.

To be continued in Part 2

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

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

Twelve simple habits to enhance your vitality
(Part 1 of 6)


Overcomplicated prescriptions discourage individuals from taking action to improve their lives. Through the years, I have read a large number of health books that offered unworkable advice.

The theories that they espoused were confusing and often contradictory. Their recommendations proved, on many occasions, too impractical or expensive to implement.

As a result, from each of those books, all that I retained were a couple of conclusions. The effort of reading hundreds of pages was not wasted, since I have implemented many of those ideas with good success.

The following twelve habits have served me particularly well. I like to think that I owe them, at least in part, the good health that I enjoy.

To be continued in Part 2

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

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

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The tool to make fast and accurate decisions: philosophy


When you were a kid at school, you probably endured lots of preaching about the virtue of flexibility. Most likely, the moral speeches you heard were accompanied by fulminating diatribes against rigidity. Imprecise is right and exact is boring, you were told. Weightlessness is strength and fragility is solidity.

In terms of ethics, this approach leads to the enthronement of relativism as a moral absolute, which is of course absurd, since when anything goes, fuzziness is portrayed as sharpness, ignorance as information, and confusion as wisdom.

On the other hand, look at what happens when we turn our attention from theory to reality. When values and commitments lose their contours, life becomes chaotic. If you doubt my words, talk to anyone who has lived for a while in a country where basic principles have been abandoned:

* CONTRACTS ARE IGNORED. The stories that you read in newspapers about doing business in unstable countries only reflect a small part of the horror. Without people's willingness to keep their word, society simply disintegrates. Without enforceable contracts, all that remains are shady transactions and an extremely high cost of living.

* INSECURITY BECOMES DOMINANT. Once ethics become dispensable, life turns into a race of cheating and abuse. If people begin to question fair, well-functioning agreements that have been long established, everything is up for grabs. When psychological manipulation becomes the currency of the day, any sort of purchase turns into a nightmare.

* MISTAKES GROW WITHOUT LIMIT. Productivity is always the first victim of moral decay. Without honesty, agreements on time, results, and compensation lose all meaning. Reliability and credibility are the best cost-reduction tools in business. When those two disappear, the effort needed to complete any task grows exponentially

All this is, at the same time, bad news and good news. Even if some people advocate moral relativism, you are not obliged to adopt vagueness as personal philosophy. Even if someone persons around you behave dishonestly, you can decide to stay dependable and truthful.

A wise man seeks compromise in negotiations, but only when essential moral principles are left untouched. Reality is forgiving of innocent mistakes, but merciless with those who twist facts and corrupt their soul.

Your peace of mind and self-confidence depend on your rational principles. Stick to them and they will show you the way. For the sake of your present happiness and future health, reject temptation and pass the test. Your decisiveness will be enhanced and your results will improve.

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

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

The tool to make fast and accurate decisions: philosophy


When you were a kid at school, you probably endured lots of preaching about the virtue of flexibility. Most likely, the moral speeches you heard were accompanied by fulminating diatribes against rigidity. Imprecise is right and exact is boring, you were told. Weightlessness is strength and fragility is solidity.

In terms of ethics, this approach leads to the enthronement of relativism as a moral absolute, which is of course absurd, since when anything goes, fuzziness is portrayed as sharpness, ignorance as information, and confusion as wisdom.

On the other hand, look at what happens when we turn our attention from theory to reality. When values and commitments lose their contours, life becomes chaotic. If you doubt my words, talk to anyone who has lived for a while in a country where basic principles have been abandoned:

* CONTRACTS ARE IGNORED. The stories that you read in newspapers about doing business in unstable countries only reflect a small part of the horror. Without people's willingness to keep their word, society simply disintegrates. Without enforceable contracts, all that remains are shady transactions and an extremely high cost of living.

* INSECURITY BECOMES DOMINANT. Once ethics become dispensable, life turns into a race of cheating and abuse. If people begin to question fair, well-functioning agreements that have been long established, everything is up for grabs. When psychological manipulation becomes the currency of the day, any sort of purchase turns into a nightmare.

* MISTAKES GROW WITHOUT LIMIT. Productivity is always the first victim of moral decay. Without honesty, agreements on time, results, and compensation lose all meaning. Reliability and credibility are the best cost-reduction tools in business. When those two disappear, the effort needed to complete any task grows exponentially

All this is, at the same time, bad news and good news. Even if some people advocate moral relativism, you are not obliged to adopt vagueness as personal philosophy. Even if someone persons around you behave dishonestly, you can decide to stay dependable and truthful.

A wise man seeks compromise in negotiations, but only when essential moral principles are left untouched. Reality is forgiving of innocent mistakes, but merciless with those who twist facts and corrupt their soul.

Your peace of mind and self-confidence depend on your rational principles. Stick to them and they will show you the way. For the sake of your present happiness and future health, reject temptation and pass the test. Your decisiveness will be enhanced and your results will improve.

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

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

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The rational way to reduce stress and how to implement it


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. From those who try it out, some feel born again, others rejuvenated. Experience has shown however that many cannot cope with the freedom that the medicine brings.

The remedy is known under many different names. You may call it simplification or reduction, downsizing or streamlining, selection or choice, reshuffling, refocusing, elimination, or termination. In any case, the concept will be much easier to name than to implement.

In order to be able to concentrate our energies on the essential areas of our lives, we must first establish clear priorities. The latter, of course, is what makes some people shun simplification. What they dread, like mice running in circles, is to stand still for a minute and question their contradictions.

Rational decisions are impossible for those whose life lacks a sense of direction. Overloading one's days with senseless activities is a psychological defence mechanism against the terror of taking responsibility. Too much to do is an excuse to avoid facing indecision. A hundred random acquaintances cannot replace conversation with one true friend.

Newspapers often report of companies that collapse due to excessive debt. Stress is heavier for the soul than indebtedness for a business. Efficiency begins with clarity. Selection enhances results. Resources are limited in all endeavours, but the time of our lives is the most scarce resource of all.

* LESS COMPLEXITY RESULTS IN MORE ENERGY. Fruit growers prune their trees once per year in order to reinforce the vigour of the healthiest branches of each plant. Lean trees will produce more fruit than those whose moribund branches have not been cut off.

* CONCENTRATION IMPROVES RESULTS. Shepherds cull their herds at regular intervals to prevent contagious sickness to spread. We all are naturally reluctant to give up possessions accumulated in the past, but frequently, liquidating non-performing assets and reinvesting the proceeds is the best strategy.

* SELECTION FREES SPACE FOR PRIORITIES. Retailers put slow-moving items on sale or give them away for free in order to make space on the shelves for more popular goods. Are you investing endless efforts in a dead-end career? How can you reinvent your past and aim at a future that is spectacularly better than your present?

Productivity experts who advise manufacturers always start by asking workers to clear up the factory floor. It is only when misplaced tools and obsolete inventory are removed from the work space that people begin to see their own mistakes. Without visibility, there can be no transformation.

A cluttered agenda is a cage that houses paradise birds waiting to be released. Those birds are your best ideas, the ones that you have not formulated yet. It is high time to 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 Per Ola Wiberg under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The rational way to reduce stress and how to implement it


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. From those who try it out, some feel born again, others rejuvenated. Experience has shown however that many cannot cope with the freedom that the medicine brings.

The remedy is known under many different names. You may call it simplification or reduction, downsizing or streamlining, selection or choice, reshuffling, refocusing, elimination, or termination. In any case, the concept will be much easier to name than to implement.

In order to be able to concentrate our energies on the essential areas of our lives, we must first establish clear priorities. The latter, of course, is what makes some people shun simplification. What they dread, like mice running in circles, is to stand still for a minute and question their contradictions.

Rational decisions are impossible for those whose life lacks a sense of direction. Overloading one's days with senseless activities is a psychological defence mechanism against the terror of taking responsibility. Too much to do is an excuse to avoid facing indecision. A hundred random acquaintances cannot replace conversation with one true friend.

Newspapers often report of companies that collapse due to excessive debt. Stress is heavier for the soul than indebtedness for a business. Efficiency begins with clarity. Selection enhances results. Resources are limited in all endeavours, but the time of our lives is the most scarce resource of all.

* LESS COMPLEXITY RESULTS IN MORE ENERGY. Fruit growers prune their trees once per year in order to reinforce the vigour of the healthiest branches of each plant. Lean trees will produce more fruit than those whose moribund branches have not been cut off.

* CONCENTRATION IMPROVES RESULTS. Shepherds cull their herds at regular intervals to prevent contagious sickness to spread. We all are naturally reluctant to give up possessions accumulated in the past, but frequently, liquidating non-performing assets and reinvesting the proceeds is the best strategy.

* SELECTION FREES SPACE FOR PRIORITIES. Retailers put slow-moving items on sale or give them away for free in order to make space on the shelves for more popular goods. Are you investing endless efforts in a dead-end career? How can you reinvent your past and aim at a future that is spectacularly better than your present?

Productivity experts who advise manufacturers always start by asking workers to clear up the factory floor. It is only when misplaced tools and obsolete inventory are removed from the work space that people begin to see their own mistakes. Without visibility, there can be no transformation.

A cluttered agenda is a cage that houses paradise birds waiting to be released. Those birds are your best ideas, the ones that you have not formulated yet. It is high time to 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 Per Ola Wiberg under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Monday, 16 August 2010

Can you become an extraordinary salesperson?


Every town has a Saturday market, but in the whole of India, you will not find a tougher weekly market than the one that takes place in Shurasena. A dozen spice merchants compete to offer the lowest prices and, if you are planning to buy a camel, choices in Shurasena are more numerous than the hairs of a squirrel.

Like all philosophers, Krishna loved to go the market. In the morning, he traded his medicinal herbs for coins, and in the afternoon, he used those to purchase fish and salt. Every week, he did the same, and the path he walked to the market was the path he walked to return home.

One Saturday in July, after Krishna had bought a trout and an ounce of salt and was about to leave the market, he saw a kid, barely a man, sitting on the ground and weeping bitterly. "Crying makes birds fly higher," said Krishna to the kid, who stopped sobbing and lifted his head.

"Will you have a lemonade?" asked the boy with a trembling voice, as he got to his feet and pointed at a two-wheel cart next to him. Ripe lemons and mountain ice were lying on the cart, as well as six glasses and a tin jar. A banner on the cart read "Dhiren's Cold Lemonade."

The kid's question was as incongruous as misplaced hope can be, since ten yards away, there was a public fountain. "I am Dhiren," he announced shyly. "If I don't sell enough lemonade, tonight I will not have a room to stay." The whole scene was so pathetic that, if Krishna had had any coins left, he would have drunk several glasses.

"Would you sell more if you had no fear?" inquired Krishna. Dhiren nodded and explained that he had not sold a single glass of lemonade in the whole day. The ice on the cart was melting and Dhiren had been weeping because he had lost all confidence in himself.

"I have done my best," Dhiren went on sadly, "but there must be something wrong with me, since nobody in the world wants to buy my lemonade." Krishna smiled, for he knew better. In Dhiren's doubts, Krishna had recognized himself as he had been a long time ago and no longer was.

"Changing oneself is often harder than changing the world," commented Krishna, laying his hand on one of the wheels and signalling Dhiren to push the cart forward. The wheels squeaked as they rolled on Market Square and the narrow streets of Shurasena.

When Dhiren asked where they were going, Krishna just repeated his mysterious words about change. An hour later, they crossed the south port of Shurasena and, right outside the walls of the ancient city, they met a long caravan of pilgrims that had just arrived from the desert.

As soon as the pilgrims saw Dhiren's banner, they dismounted their camels, and walked to the cart. By the time all ice had melted, Dhiren had sold more glasses of lemonade than in the previous three months. With success, his smile and confidence returned to him.

When the day was over, Dhiren was a different man, sure of himself and fearless of the future. He searched long amongst the pilgrims, since he would have liked to express his thanks, but Krishna was already gone. The night fell and Dhiren found that, although the stars had not changed, he was living in a different world.

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

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

Can you become an extraordinary salesperson?


Every town has a Saturday market, but in the whole of India, you will not find a tougher weekly market than the one that takes place in Shurasena. A dozen spice merchants compete to offer the lowest prices and, if you are planning to buy a camel, choices in Shurasena are more numerous than the hairs of a squirrel.

Like all philosophers, Krishna loved to go the market. In the morning, he traded his medicinal herbs for coins, and in the afternoon, he used those to purchase fish and salt. Every week, he did the same, and the path he walked to the market was the path he walked to return home.

One Saturday in July, after Krishna had bought a trout and an ounce of salt and was about to leave the market, he saw a kid, barely a man, sitting on the ground and weeping bitterly. "Crying makes birds fly higher," said Krishna to the kid, who stopped sobbing and lifted his head.

"Will you have a lemonade?" asked the boy with a trembling voice, as he got to his feet and pointed at a two-wheel cart next to him. Ripe lemons and mountain ice were lying on the cart, as well as six glasses and a tin jar. A banner on the cart read "Dhiren's Cold Lemonade."

The kid's question was as incongruous as misplaced hope can be, since ten yards away, there was a public fountain. "I am Dhiren," he announced shyly. "If I don't sell enough lemonade, tonight I will not have a room to stay." The whole scene was so pathetic that, if Krishna had had any coins left, he would have drunk several glasses.

"Would you sell more if you had no fear?" inquired Krishna. Dhiren nodded and explained that he had not sold a single glass of lemonade in the whole day. The ice on the cart was melting and Dhiren had been weeping because he had lost all confidence in himself.

"I have done my best," Dhiren went on sadly, "but there must be something wrong with me, since nobody in the world wants to buy my lemonade." Krishna smiled, for he knew better. In Dhiren's doubts, Krishna had recognized himself as he had been a long time ago and no longer was.

"Changing oneself is often harder than changing the world," commented Krishna, laying his hand on one of the wheels and signalling Dhiren to push the cart forward. The wheels squeaked as they rolled on Market Square and the narrow streets of Shurasena.

When Dhiren asked where they were going, Krishna just repeated his mysterious words about change. An hour later, they crossed the south port of Shurasena and, right outside the walls of the ancient city, they met a long caravan of pilgrims that had just arrived from the desert.

As soon as the pilgrims saw Dhiren's banner, they dismounted their camels, and walked to the cart. By the time all ice had melted, Dhiren had sold more glasses of lemonade than in the previous three months. With success, his smile and confidence returned to him.

When the day was over, Dhiren was a different man, sure of himself and fearless of the future. He searched long amongst the pilgrims, since he would have liked to express his thanks, but Krishna was already gone. The night fell and Dhiren found that, although the stars had not changed, he was living in a different world.

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

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

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 6 of 6)


[4] Use of offensive or hurtful words: You meet a very attractive woman and begin to date her regularly. Her charms make her irresistible. You feel that you have met the woman of your life and start thinking of marrying her.

The only aspect that troubles you is that, from time to time, she gets disproportionately upset about problems or inconveniences. One evening, when you arrive late for dinner due to a traffic jam, she becomes enraged and attacks you verbally. You put the incident down to her having a bad day and forget about it.

However, after spending a weekend together, you inadvertently wash her blue dress with the white linen and she reacts furiously, shouting insults at you. As a result, you decide to stop seeing her and call yourself lucky for having detected the problem early enough.

Are these recommendations exaggerated? Should you always be on the watch for potential dangers? Only to a reasonable extent. Wise men know how to separate their desire to live in a perfect world from the reality of human experience.

When you detect an aggressive person, avoid exaggerated reactions and behave as prudently as you do in your everyday business dealings. Do not waste time trying to fix the problems of strangers. Instead, move on and seek out the company of benevolent, kind individuals, since those are the type of people that will make a positive difference in your life.

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

[Image by ed7929 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 6 of 6)


[4] Use of offensive or hurtful words: You meet a very attractive woman and begin to date her regularly. Her charms make her irresistible. You feel that you have met the woman of your life and start thinking of marrying her.

The only aspect that troubles you is that, from time to time, she gets disproportionately upset about problems or inconveniences. One evening, when you arrive late for dinner due to a traffic jam, she becomes enraged and attacks you verbally. You put the incident down to her having a bad day and forget about it.

However, after spending a weekend together, you inadvertently wash her blue dress with the white linen and she reacts furiously, shouting insults at you. As a result, you decide to stop seeing her and call yourself lucky for having detected the problem early enough.

Are these recommendations exaggerated? Should you always be on the watch for potential dangers? Only to a reasonable extent. Wise men know how to separate their desire to live in a perfect world from the reality of human experience.

When you detect an aggressive person, avoid exaggerated reactions and behave as prudently as you do in your everyday business dealings. Do not waste time trying to fix the problems of strangers. Instead, move on and seek out the company of benevolent, kind individuals, since those are the type of people that will make a positive difference in your life.

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

[Image by ed7929 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 5 of 6)


[3] Irrational rigidity of attitudes or views: In the factory where you work, the Head of Finance assigns you to take part in a project with several persons from other departments. During the first meeting of the team, a participant defends an untenable approach and opposes all sensible suggestions from colleagues.

That person, whom you have never met before, makes an overall impression of obstinacy and does not even allow other team members to finish their sentences. His stubbornness surpasses all tolerable levels and goes as far as threatening anyone who disagrees with him. Should you face him head-on and engage in a verbal confrontation?

Your best option is to try to have all important all decisions postponed and, as soon as the meeting is over, discuss the problem discreetly with a few team members that you trust. Then, together, you go to see the Head of Finance, tell him about the incident, and have the troublesome individual removed from the project.

To be continued in Part 6

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

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

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 5 of 6)


[3] Irrational rigidity of attitudes or views: In the factory where you work, the Head of Finance assigns you to take part in a project with several persons from other departments. During the first meeting of the team, a participant defends an untenable approach and opposes all sensible suggestions from colleagues.

That person, whom you have never met before, makes an overall impression of obstinacy and does not even allow other team members to finish their sentences. His stubbornness surpasses all tolerable levels and goes as far as threatening anyone who disagrees with him. Should you face him head-on and engage in a verbal confrontation?

Your best option is to try to have all important all decisions postponed and, as soon as the meeting is over, discuss the problem discreetly with a few team members that you trust. Then, together, you go to see the Head of Finance, tell him about the incident, and have the troublesome individual removed from the project.

To be continued in Part 6

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

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

Friday, 13 August 2010

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 4 of 6)


[2] Repeated involvement in fights: You hire a new recruit for your sales team, a young man who has made an excellent impression during the interview. He possesses considerable drive and ambition, together with first-class verbal skills.

The young man seems to be the right kind of person to represent your company. During the interview, he gave good answers to your questions and you feel confident that you have made the right choice.

However, on his second week on the job, you perceive details that no longer match the first picture. On Tuesday morning, he comes to work unshaven, wearing yesterday's ruffled shirt, with a ketchup stain on his tie and a bruise on his forehead.

Gently, you draw his attention to how important it is for a salesman to give a professional image, but he tells you that he has been involved in a bar fight. Two weeks later, a similar episode takes place.

You hesitate for a short while, wondering if he is going through temporary difficulties. That might well be the case, but you know that you shouldn't take the risk of having any kind of aggression against co-workers at the office. You summon the young man to your office and, regretfully, you fire him.

To be continued in Part 5

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

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

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 4 of 6)


[2] Repeated involvement in fights: You hire a new recruit for your sales team, a young man who has made an excellent impression during the interview. He possesses considerable drive and ambition, together with first-class verbal skills.

The young man seems to be the right kind of person to represent your company. During the interview, he gave good answers to your questions and you feel confident that you have made the right choice.

However, on his second week on the job, you perceive details that no longer match the first picture. On Tuesday morning, he comes to work unshaven, wearing yesterday's ruffled shirt, with a ketchup stain on his tie and a bruise on his forehead.

Gently, you draw his attention to how important it is for a salesman to give a professional image, but he tells you that he has been involved in a bar fight. Two weeks later, a similar episode takes place.

You hesitate for a short while, wondering if he is going through temporary difficulties. That might well be the case, but you know that you shouldn't take the risk of having any kind of aggression against co-workers at the office. You summon the young man to your office and, regretfully, you fire him.

To be continued in Part 5

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

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

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 3 of 6)


None of these factors is determinant by itself and each of them might denote other problems. Your goal, however, is not to pass judgement on strangers, but to protect yourself from danger. Aristotle considered prudence of crucial importance because this virtue ensures that you will be able to continue to play the game of life.

How should you react once you have identified a potential source of trouble? Trust your senses when it comes to detecting danger, but let your brains determine your course of action. Use your initiative and creativity to avert difficulties.

Ideally, you want to adopt cautious, discreet measures that spare you unnecessary conflict. Instead of confrontation, avoidance should be your preferred response. Here are some practical examples:

[1] Threatening movements: You are waiting at a queue to buy a cinema ticket and you see a man approach. He is walking exceedingly fast, bumping into passers-by, and he does not even stop to apologize.

His face shows a stern expression, his eyes are focused on the sidewalk, he is talking to himself and seems oblivious of his surroundings. He is headed to collide with people waiting in the cinema queue. For a moment, you think of calling his attention, but your prudence takes over. You take a step backwards and let him go through.

To be continued in Part 4

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

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

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 3 of 6)


None of these factors is determinant by itself and each of them might denote other problems. Your goal, however, is not to pass judgement on strangers, but to protect yourself from danger. Aristotle considered prudence of crucial importance because this virtue ensures that you will be able to continue to play the game of life.

How should you react once you have identified a potential source of trouble? Trust your senses when it comes to detecting danger, but let your brains determine your course of action. Use your initiative and creativity to avert difficulties.

Ideally, you want to adopt cautious, discreet measures that spare you unnecessary conflict. Instead of confrontation, avoidance should be your preferred response. Here are some practical examples:

[1] Threatening movements: You are waiting at a queue to buy a cinema ticket and you see a man approach. He is walking exceedingly fast, bumping into passers-by, and he does not even stop to apologize.

His face shows a stern expression, his eyes are focused on the sidewalk, he is talking to himself and seems oblivious of his surroundings. He is headed to collide with people waiting in the cinema queue. For a moment, you think of calling his attention, but your prudence takes over. You take a step backwards and let him go through.

To be continued in Part 4

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

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

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 2 of 6)


Approaching those persons and intervening is seldom advisable. The risk of your committing an error is too high. They might interpret your friendly words and gestures as threatening and increase their hostility. Take heed of my advice and keep away from dangerous persons.

An effective strategy for dealing with aggressive individuals comprises two elements, namely, detecting and averting them. When you walk into an unknown territory and find yourself surrounded by a crowd, how can you recognize signs of potential trouble?

No matter where you work, you should never trust available security measures blindly. There is simply no fail-safe way to exclude the troublesome 1% from a large group of people. It is up to you to stay alert and ensure your own safety.

How will you be able to tell who constitutes a threat? The following four signals are clues that you can use to detect dangerous individuals. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you should be able to remark these behaviours when they occur:
threatening movements, repeated involvement in fights, irrational rigidity of attitudes or views, and use of offensive or hurtful words.

To be continued in Part 3

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

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

Effective self-protection strategies (Part 2 of 6)


Approaching those persons and intervening is seldom advisable. The risk of your committing an error is too high. They might interpret your friendly words and gestures as threatening and increase their hostility. Take heed of my advice and keep away from dangerous persons.

An effective strategy for dealing with aggressive individuals comprises two elements, namely, detecting and averting them. When you walk into an unknown territory and find yourself surrounded by a crowd, how can you recognize signs of potential trouble?

No matter where you work, you should never trust available security measures blindly. There is simply no fail-safe way to exclude the troublesome 1% from a large group of people. It is up to you to stay alert and ensure your own safety.

How will you be able to tell who constitutes a threat? The following four signals are clues that you can use to detect dangerous individuals. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you should be able to remark these behaviours when they occur:
threatening movements, repeated involvement in fights, irrational rigidity of attitudes or views, and use of offensive or hurtful words.

To be continued in Part 3

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

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