Fingerprints

Oprah Winfrey said, “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” I completely agree. However, it’s not always easy. We think life is going one direction, and it suddenly changes course. If the world would just let us be the nice people we really are and let us make our mark! If we do 99 things right and one wrong, we tend to focus on the one we screwed up! The truth is, you bring things to the world no one else does. When you walk into a room, the room is different because you are there. I just finished the book, The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It’s a book written for people like me who want to influence others in positive ways by writing and speaking. But I found their conclusion to have universal appeal. Brogan and Smith wrote the following that I thought was worth sharing as you begin yet another week of your brief but significant life. “The curtain opens, you have your moment in the limelight, and you say your lines. The audience applauds during your solo, there’s a love interest side story, and everything ends up happily ever after. Unfortunately, almost nothing happens this way. This is life, not a movie. So there are no credits that roll after a crisp, simple ending. In fact…your life is messy. Not everything fits in quite right. There are mistakes, missteps and mispronunciations. Thankfully, as long as you’re doing at least something right, almost no one will remember them. Instead they will remember your home runs and big hits. They’ll remember the work that helped them achieve a breakthrough, reach many other people, or make a million dollars. Along the way...

Save Real Money Online Apr22

Save Real Money Online...

I like to shop online. It’s convenient; saving time, gas and money. There a many tools to help you shop, like aps and website that compare models, prices, and offer discounts. It’s a great way to save a ton of money! Just in the past two days I saved more than $51! I need an electronic ball valve (really). Locally they are almost $400. So I decided to look around online. First I did a simple Google search for the part and found websites that compared models and prices. I was able to find comparable product for $185 at a particular online store. Upon checkout, I decided to Google “discount codes” for the store I was buying from. Sure enough, I found a code for $25 off from another website. I plugged it into my cart and VOILA! I saved $25, bring the price down to $160! Then I needed to order something else at Lowe’s. At checkout I decided to try another Google search, this time for “Lowes promotional codes.” And SHAZAM! I found a code for 10% off my order. That translated to 26 bucks! Seriously, 26 bucks! So without trying very hard, I saved $51 in hard cash and even more if you consider what shopping around did for me. Whether or not you like to shop online, if you GO online, doing a little research can help you save more of your hard-earned money. It just takes a little tenacity and belief that you can get the best deal if you try just a little! (I’m amazed at people who never shop around. Ugh!) The following lists are a some great sites, though only a drop in the bucket. As I mentioned, a simple online search using Google, Yahoo or...

Serving

Serving sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s tempting to think that servants are somehow lower than the people they serve. It’s just not so.

DEATH And Taxes

They say they’re the only two things you can count on. We don’t like to talk about either; but they are inevitable. Few of us voluntarily sit down and think about what will happen when we die. It’s just not a comfortable scenario to consider. And yet death is the one certainty we have; preparing our ‘estate’ (no matter how small or big) is the right thing to do. Taking care of all your stuff can be a real pain for others if you haven’t expressed your wishes. I like what Dave Ramsey says, “To die without a will is just plain rude!” Do it for the people who care about you. You don’t have to hire an expensive attorney; you can download a form from Internet sites like legalzoom.com. But making a will is only one thing that should be on your list. At the time of this posting, you can get a will from U.S. Legal Forms for only $15. In preparing for the (someday) inevitable, you might consider the following questions: How will I leave my earthly affairs? Would my loved ones be scrambling to find out know how to handle my physical remains? Would they know how to deal with my bills? Less dramatic than death might be a critical illness or robbery. If I fell ill, would those around me know my doctor and insurance company? If my home was broken into, would I know what items were taken? These are unsettling questions to consider when things are going well. But if we don’t, we end up dumping a huge responsibility and hassle on our loved ones at the time when they are dealing with grief. When my dad suddenly passed away, we were so thankful that he had created a system so we could locate his critical information. So the question then is, What information do I need to gather or create so my loved ones have peace of mind on how to manage my affairs? How old do I need to be to start this process? The answer is NOW no matter what your age; if you start now, it will be easier as your life becomes more complex. (For a little encouragement not to procrastinate, see the article on getting A Round Tuit.) If you have ANY assets, you should at least write up a simple will and sign it in front of a notary public and a couple of witnesses. But there is other information you should collect. Here’s a starting list. It may seem daunting at first but if you get started now with just one item, you will eventually collect everything you need. Emergency contact info Last Will and Testament Durable Power of Attorney Living Will (dictating the kinds of heroic measures you would or would not like to be take for you) Health Care Power of Attorney Primary Doctor and other health care professionals Health/life insurance Donation of body/organs after death Immediate Action Steps after death Funeral/Burial plans/Obituary information Other notifications (work, school, clubs etc.) Investments and banking info Credit cards and outstanding loans Real Estate holdings and mortgages Life insurance/pensions Income tax info Passport/driver’s license and other certificates Family contact information Passwords (see Dr. Deb’s blog of Sept, 14, 2013) Inventory of valuables Contents of Safe box or location of critical information If the list seems overwhelming, just think of how confusing it would be for your family or friends to track down this information without you. If you are married, think about the peace of mind you would have knowing that if something would happen to your spouse, you would know what to do and where to find critical information. I would suggest beginning with things you already have such as credit card and bank information and collect it all in one place. The program I’m using to collect my passwords also has a place...

Contemplative Doodling...

What tools do you use to focus your mind and overcome adversities? Do you walk, pray, listen to music? Below is a guest article by my friend Shini Abraham. Shini has medical conditions that cause her to be in pain all the time. She has discovered that doodling is therapeutic and deeply spiritual; others are finding it helpful for their own...

Volunteer

It’s National Volunteer Week in the U.S. It is set aside to recognizing and inspire people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. “It’s about demonstrating that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.” So states the opening paragraph on the Points of Light website about the week. The week was established by American President Richard Nixon to highlight the importance of volunteerism in making society better. It’s a fact that many organizations could not even exist without volunteers. These include hospitals, soup kitchens, non-profits working to improve individual and corporate lives, neighborhood associations, relief and development organizations, and many, many more groups. In fact, volunteers are the most valuable resource many community and international non-profits have. Volunteerism is good for everyone. It helps people in need, builds community and improves the lives of real people. It also helps those who volunteer. It’s a great way to get your eyes off yourself and your problems, help you have unique experiences, build new friendships (and social skills), and gives you the satisfaction and fulfillment from doing something that matters. It can strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence, combat depression, and help you be physically fit. The truth is, THE WORLD NEEDS YOU. SO DOES YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOUR COMMUNITY. Think you’re too busy? Think again. Don’t know where to start? There are multiple organizations in your area looking for help. There are thousands of websites with ideas on how to get started. There are probably millions of possibilities, from folding newsletters to babysitting to building houses to delivering meals. As retired surgeon Ben Carson said, “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we...

You Are Contagious

Most of the world has an identity that is tied to their group. Africans, Asians, Latinos and Middle Easterners have a sense of connection; they know they need each other, so effort is put to the common good. However, those of European descent tend to have a very individualistic view of life. Self-identity tends to be self-contained; we like our independence. Science is beginning to back up the non-Western view of life, that we are all connected in ways that we are only beginning to understand. I recently watched the documentary, I AM, that journals Tom Shadyac’s search for meaning. He is a successful filmmaker whose credits include Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor and Ace Ventura. After a head trauma that limited his his life, Shadyac set out to find true significance. In searching for what’s wrong with the world, he actually discovered much of what’s right. His film contains interviews with remarkable men and women who work in science, philosophy and faith (including Bishop Desmond Tutu). One unlikely finding is the extent to which we’re all connected. Really. You may think you’re an island, but you’re not. You are connected to other people, atoms, plants, people, and even yogurt. Yes, he showed one experiment that registered the effects of his thoughts and emotions on YOGURT! The thumbprint of a common designer is on everything in our world. And it seems to be our heart that drives us, not our brains. Did you know you have heart intelligence? Shadyac learned that cooperation, not competition, is in our DNA. And the world operates better when cooperation is in full-blown action. The film’s website says, “I AM shows consensus decision-making is the norm amongst many species, from insects and birds to deer and primates.  The film...