Why A Recession Can Present A Fantastic Opportunity For Property Investors

Jul 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When it comes to a recession, this can actually present fantastic opportunities and rewarding avenues for investors in many different ways and we take a look at some of these below.

With interest rates remaining so low, as at the time we write this they continue to be 0.5%, this is helping to keep the cost of financing residential buy to let property really quite low, because although low interest rates are bad news for savers, for investors looking to finance investment property they are actually really good news. If the cost of borrowing is low and the rental income medium to high, then you can quickly see why low interest rates really are fantastic news for any property investor.

We pretty much all know that The Bank of England has once again confirmed that the UK is back in recession, and it is fair to say that whilst this may not seem a great thing for most of us, it can be for the rental market. This generally means that tenants are more likely to be more financially aware about their decisions and will generally stay in the same property for a longer period of time. This makes renting our properties even more of a safe bet for investors, especially when the rental demand for properties is so high during a recession anyway.

According to various industry reports, rental yields increased by around 0.4% in May 2012, which means that the average rental income is around £700 per month. Of course, this is just an average, but there can be no doubt that rental income across the board has continued to rise, because as with anything in life, when the demand is greater than the supply, you can often set the prices that you want to achieve.

With more and more people turning to renting, especially families that 5 years ago would of probably landed a mortgage no problem, owning properties that you can rent out is now a total winner for investors, especially if you have a decent sized portfolio that all chip in a few hundred pounds a month in income. It also means that rental tenants are staying longer as we mention previously but if you do lose a tenant, there will be many more just around the corner meaning that your property shouldn’t stay empty too long.

Although investing during a recession can have its negatives, it is important to realise that no matter how bad things are, you should still be able to make some decent money as an investor, especially if you make the right choices from day one.

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Going Full-Circle by Mathematically Patterning Sand Drifts and Erosion Past, Present, and Future

Jul 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When you think about it it’s truly amazing how far humans have come in their planning when it comes to building their cities and infrastructure. Today we have GPS GIS systems telling us elevations and where the big flood zones are or where they might appear. Generally speaking this works pretty well, and he gives us a really good idea of what is coming in the future helping us predict the 50 year flood, or the hundred year proverbial flood. Knowing this information we know how to build runoff channels diverting the water away from structures in areas where people live.

Not only are we doing this here but they are doing it in places around world, sharing our technology and information in this regard. No, not every civilization listens and there is always some crony capitalism going on and things are built where they shouldn’t be or the warnings go unheeded. Nevertheless things are working out fairly well, but I’d say it’s time to take this to a whole new level, up the ante, and know the future of where the water will go, where the flooding will occur, and how the patterns of erosion will change in that regard.

There was an article in Science Daily on August 11, 2012 titled; “NASA Conducts Airborne Study of Colorado Landslide,” which brings up a very interesting concept that I don’t believe NASA has considered. Let me explain.

It is my contention that we can use fractal mathematics, Stephen Wolfram mathematics, and the NASA studies of erosion patterns, along with satellite photos of the Earth and Mars to develop a relevant predictable set of rational probabilities of future erosion patters, delta river outlet patterns, and in doing so, we can predict where mineral deposits are, and reconstruct the past to such an accurate point as to see it all without time – and easily model the past, present, and future. I am so sure of this that I had to tell you about it.

Being able to do this might help us determine where and how to build a Mars space colony, where the safest place to build a village at the foot of a mountain might be, and use this forensic mathematical data to know those realities without regard to the variable of time. In doing this and using these strategies we will save lives, save money, and save ourselves a world of headache during a natural disaster such as a big flood. Indeed it is my hope that you will please consider all this and think on it.

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Plan How To Decorate for Christmas Early So You Can Buy Now and Have More Money for Presents Later

Jul 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Decorating for Christmas really is not as hard as it looks. But, there are some basic rules to follow in order to make it easy and worry free.

The living room, dining area, and guest rooms are the main areas you should be concerned with decorating for Christmas. If you focus on these then you will only need to put Christmas Cards up in one area of the house that you haven’t decorated either by tacking or taping them on a wall or back of a door that you normally keep closed. Over the season, be sure you always have Christmas cookies on hand in the kitchen and a Christmas welcome wreath or decoration on the outside of the door where people will arrive. This will alleviate stress when the unexpected Christmas visitor comes.

You have probably heard the saying “Less is More.” Well this is because it is better to have a few quality items rather than a whole bunch of junk everywhere. Stay away from overdecorating, it will prevent clutter and makes tidying and cleaning simpler.

The best time to start decorating for Christmas is around Halloween. So if you start early planning what your theme and color scheme will be, you will have enough time to buy what you need before the end of October gets here. Decorating early for Christmas puts you and your loved ones in the festive mood early on and leaves plenty of time for fun and family for the actual holidays.

The earlier you start shopping for the decorations that you want and need, the bigger variety you will find. And, in most cases, the better the prices will be. Make a list of the rooms you will decorate. Think about your theme and colors. Now start making a list of what you need for each room to have the perfect room or area. You may not know exactly what you want, but you have some idea. For example, you need new hand towels for the bathroom, but without looking around you do not know what’s available. You do, however, know what your color scheme is so you can start looking for hand towels with that color in them.

If you work with a decoration theme along with a color scheme when doing your Christmas decorating, it will pull everything together. Using consistent items from room to room will help. For example, if you use red and green garlands throughout the house this will allow you to keep a feeling of consistency.

Other theme ideas: nautical, kitchen, Victorian, patriotic, music, and nature. I have also seen people pull off Disney, winter wonderland, snowmen, and of course there’s Santa and his reindeer.

By starting early, I am sure that you too can find and buy at a fraction of the cost your own unique decorations to create a special theme and color scheme for the holidays leaving you plenty left over when it comes time for buying Christmas presents.

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Having Your Commercial Space Clean Helps Present The Right Image

Jul 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Having your office professionally cleaned helps you present the right image of your firm. It doesn’t matter whether you own a small shop, or a large multinational company as people form impressions very quickly. If they come into a poorly cared for area with overflowing rubbish bins and a stale smell they may quickly decide they don’t want to do business with you.

Who could blame them. If the working area isn’t properly looked after and kept clean and fresh it will not inspire confidence in anyone. It automatically creates the kind of image you don’t want to have.

In contrast a beautifully kept area will show it really matters to you that everything is clean and neat. It creates an image of a well organized and professional company. In other words the type of organization people want to do business with as they automatically feel safer trusting them to deliver services or products on time.

Keeping everything nice and hygienic will also help you get the best out of your staff. Let’s face it, they are not going to be inspired to work hard in a dirty environment. It doesn’t create the right atmosphere for working in.

Hiring a professional firm will ensure everything is done on time and at regular intervals. The staff will have been trained to provide excellent standards. Work is more likely to be monitored at regular intervals to make sure it is always as the customer expects.

Cleaners can come in at any time of the day and night, and deep cleansing sessions frequently take place very early in the morning. This ensures there is no disruption to the working day. You will almost certainly find your cleaning company can provide you with janitorial supplies at competitive costs.

Everything is done properly so the correct documents are kept and everyone is properly insured and trained. If a place is cleaned at regular intervals a manual is likely to be kept on site and can be requested by the client at any time.

There are numerous different services available, ranging from office, and window cleaning to deep cleansing kitchens. In addition there are a number of other specialist services available, including sanitizing telephones.

Professional office cleaning is one of those things that people often take for granted. This is until the service fails to turn up or lets you down in some way. Then people realize just how important it is in keeping places safe to work in.

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FM Radio: Hot Favourite Among the Present Generation of Hyderabadis

Jul 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Radio is now back again as the centre stage of entertainment in the Hyderabad city. Justifying the popular saying ‘Old is Gold’, radio, with the advent of FM, became the hotspot again. FM radio has made its comeback in to the mechanical life of Hyderabadis at the right time. The diverse variety of entertainment programs aired by different FM radio channels is one of the key aspects that obliged people to consider radio as one of the important entertainment media.

Hyderabad is a cosmopolitan city; people from different cultures and traditions stay and work in Hyderabad. Entertaining this diversified group of people is not that easy. But with the unique range of programs tailored to meet the tastes and interests of different people, FM radio became popular within a very short span. Let us drill down into this topic further and look at different factors which swayed Hyderabadis to tune into FM radio.

Availability of portable and affordable FM radio systems:

Besides, being available in pocket radios and small compact boxes with built-in speakers at an affordable price as low as Rs.100, FM radio is also available as an add-on application in every model of mobile phone, even in basic models. Thus, the availability, portability, and affordability made it popular among different groups of people. From housewives, small business owners, petty shops, students, to employees, all are frequent listeners of FM radio.

Radio is part of daily routine for many small businesses and households in the city.

Once tuned in, the owners of petty shops like hair cutting saloons, tailoring shops, beauty parlours, vegetable shops, etc., and also the drivers in APSRTC buses, cabs, and autos continuously listen to different programs until they log off from their jobs. Even for many housewives it is a favourite past time. For many students and employees who commute by city buses and personal vehicles to their workplaces, it is like a mobile entertainer. They listen to it on the way to their destinations and enjoy their journey.

Unique features of current gen Hyderabad FM radio:

Latest technology, quality of service, interesting programs, reaching a wider range of audience distinguished FM radios from the old ones. Now, let us see what the unique features of current generation FM radios are:

• Best company during long distance traveling!

Be it students or professionals, no one can escape long and tiresome journeys in Hyderabad. With most engineering colleges situated in the city outskirts, students have to spend more than 2 hours on their to and fro journey. Hence, it is quite common to see many students hooked on to their mobiles, listening to FM radio, during their journey. Even their college buses, can’t do without radios.

With most companies being situated near to the outer ring road, commuting for work takes not less than 3-4 hours, especially if the people are moving from one corner to the other corner of the city – Dilsukhnagar or Medchal to Hitech city. Hence, the only entertaining and lively company one can expect during such long distance traveling are the FM radios.

• Not just entertainment, functional and live updates too!

Traffic updates! Hyderabad traffic woes are atrocious – this is why most of the Hyderabadis even in their busiest schedules or in their serious mood will not forget to tune to FM radio. Traffic updates every 30 minutes are surely of great help to divert and take the easiest possible way.

Apart from the traffic updates, many of our FM channels offer a quick wrap up on different events, programs (schedules), the list of most important events and their venues in the city, news updates, score updates during cricket seasons – perfect to plan your day or weekend. Besides, there are news updates at least once in a day. Also, to know any sudden political update or important news, these FM radio stations are great sources to keep you on toes.

• Programs in sync with local flavour and with a touch of international and national flavour!

Any show that is just not a typical Urdu-Telugu mix-up, is hard to get noticed by Hyderabadis. Though, Hyderabadis are fans of all kinds of music, the conversations in a typical Urdu-Telugu-English mix slang appeal to Hyderabadis a lot, and importantly they reflect the cosmopolitan culture of Hyderabad. Besides Telugu, English and Hindi songs are also played.

Few shows like ‘Full to Bindaas’ in Red FM is purely dedicated to Hyderabad audiences who enjoy the native slang (Telangana Urdu-Telugu mix) of the RJ Prathika. Other shows such as, ‘Gabbar Sher’ in Radio City, which is a compilation of funny shayaris inspired from Hyderabadi Muslims, is a great hit equally among Hyderabadis as well as non-natives.

• Reaching out to listeners personally!

Participation of audience is always part of radio culture, but only the way they participate has changed now. Phone calls, e-mails have taken the place of letters. To request their favourite song or to comment on a topic or to have a casual talk with their favourite RJ, people find the direct interactive phone-in programs highly interesting.

Some of the popular shows:

Many innovative, entertaining as well as informational programs with unique concepts are being aired these days. If a few shows are a hit among the public for their concepts/ideas, few are because of the RJs. The following are successful in entertaining the Hyderabadis.

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Presentation – It’s Not About Being Posh

Jun 14 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When I watch the chef contests on television, I am sometimes amazed that they score as highly on how the food is presented on the plate as on how it tastes. At first that may seem odd and it may even give the impression that presentation is about being posh (snotty for my American readers). We may think of presentation only in terms of fine restaurants or fancy dinner parties. But I have discovered a secret… presentation is another way of saying ‘I care about you,’ and of taking pride in what we do and make.

I will not forget a couple for whom I was their birth doula (it was their first baby and mine…as a doula anyway). After a wonderful birth that occurred late at night, the midwives and I stayed to get the beautiful new family settled. Any woman that has given birth can tell you, it is hard work and leaves you hungry. They did not want a full meal in the middle of night, so I prepared a plate of toast and biscuits. It was a simple snack, but I took the time to quarter the toast and arrange it all on the plate before serving them. She made the comment that she had eaten at many fine restaurants, but that she would remember this plate. Something that had taken me only a couple of more minutes to do had made this couple feel special on their special night as a new family. And it made me proud of my work.

In a previous article I talked about re-defining ‘Let’s Celebrate’ to be more home centred. A big part of that is how we present the food we prepare. Now you may scream…I don’t have time for all this crap. I can empathise. But the truth is that presentation takes seconds or at most less than five minutes to complete. At our big family celebration, I took the time to set the table…semi-formal to be exact. But I added unique family touches as well; such as my daughter’s Mr Men plates, bowls and cups. I also used the opportunity to spend time with her and teach her about knives, forks and spoon. In the end, she sat her own place at our family table. Like her mummy, she too took pride in doing this simple thing. The total time to set the table and plate the food elegantly was less than five minutes, even with our little lesson.

Another night I served duck leg in hoi-son sauce with rice on a plate of stir fried greens. It may sound terribly fancy, but it was simple. It took me five minutes to prepare the greens and layer them on the plates. I scooped a serving of rice on top and grated a tad of raw carrot. I then placed the duck leg on top and drizzled sauce over it all. The total time for presentation was less than two minutes. I also served shortcake with double cream and fresh fruit. But to make it a tad more special, I used a glass to press the cake into circle shapes before plating; it only took an extra minutes to make plain cake appear special.

So let’s rate this one against our Frugal Family core values:

Family first. Of all the things, this one may rank the absolute highest on this. Not only is it another way of saying ‘I love you’ to your family, but as with my daughter it offers learning opportunities.

Saving money. At the very least, presentation is something that you can do to make everyone feel special without spending money. But if you use disposable serving dishes, then it is also a chance to save money.

Environmentally friendly. Using our ceramic plates, bowls and glasses instead of paper or plastic is always a more environmentally friendly option.

Healthier. By taking the extra time to present our food, we are encouraging our families to slow down their meals. This allows for better chewing and ultimately better digestion. Not to mention the mental health improvements of being treated like the special people they are to us.

I know in the age of ready-meals and take-out it is easy to just grab food on the go or throw something on the plate. And I am not advocating making every meal into a formal dining experience, but I challenge you to once a week or so spend the few extra minutes it takes to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. You may be surprised, especially at how it can encourage picky eaters to enjoy the adventure of food.

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A Guide to the Most Effective Use of PowerPoint to Improve Your Presentation

Jun 13 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Presenting an effective talk to a big audience is an art and a very powerful skill. This skill does not have to be one you are born with and can be mastered with the right attitude and practice. Any presentation can be made more interesting with the use visual materials. One example is the use of PowerPoint to improve your presentation. With the help of PowerPoint you will be able to hold the attention and interest of your audience more effectively, and help your audience have a clearer understanding of the subject.

Using PowerPoint to improve your presentation: Use Limited Text per Slide

PowerPoint presentations are one of the most popular tools for all kinds of presenters, and it is used to make their talks more interesting and colorful. To be effective a slide should not include too much text. It should include key points and a summary of what you want to talk about. This will help the audience stay focused. Use bullet points to highlight the points you want to make. Bullet points will make it easy for the audience to remember your most important points.

Using PowerPoint to improve your presentation: Create Interesting Slides

Since the role of PowerPoint is to improve your presentation it is very important to keep the audience alert and engaged. Spice up your slides by using a variety of colors and images that help emphasize your key points to make the topic more understandable for the audience. This can include pictures, graphs and charts. Having visuals will help the audience better understand what you are talking about.

Using PowerPoint to improve your presentation: Audience Involvement Is Key

When you are presenting any topic to your audience, the role played by PowerPoint to improve your presentation cannot be over emphasized. Getting your audience involved will sustain their interest in your presentation. Calling on volunteers to comment on a certain slide will give the presenter additional information about what else needs to covered or how to share the information more effectively.

By doing this you are establishing two-way communication which is important in whether or not the presentation was a success or a failure. Involving your audience in any way will also give them the impression that they are important and that the presenter is establishing rapport with them to ensure a positive outcome.

Simply put, the use of PowerPoint to improve your presentation is important. It provides the needed visuals to emphasize a point, give further details and to establish the essential message of your presentation.

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Proper Posture and Professional Presentation for Singers, Public Speakers and Actors

Jun 12 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Before we can Breathe, Sing, Speak or just walk around, we need to create good posture in our body. Good posture is demonstrated when your body is standing straight up with no “hunch back.” Imagine standing or walking while balancing a book on your head and this will create the effect I am talking about. This type of posture provides a few positive things for you. The most important result is an open Lower Abdominal Cage so you can consistently inhale a full breath and an Erect Stance that communicates to others that you are Confident and Positive.

Posture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The word “posture” is derived from the latin verb “ponere” which is defined as “to put or place.” The general concept of human posture refers to “the carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of the limbs (the arms and legs).”

Good posture is the stance which is attained, “when the joints are not bent and the spine is aligned and not twisted.” In this position, a person is thus able to completely and optimally attain balance and proportion of the body mass and framework. Good posture optimizes breathing and affects the circulation of bodily fluids. Padmasana or the Lotus Position is a central stance in yoga which
is used to enhance breathing through good posture. The word padmasana is a combination of the sanskrit words padma (lotus) and asana (posture).

During my 26 years of private coaching Singing Voices in all styles, directing Choirs, working with Rock and Pop vocalists and coaching Public Speakers and Actors, here is one simple physical attribute which is often lacking and can easily be improved. That is the performance of Correct Posture. When I make mention of the need to improve to many students when I see they have bad posture, I often get that “look” like “are you kidding?”

No, I am not. How often do you see people when you are out and about walking around that are walking, sitting or standing with dropped shoulders, a slouched back and a dropped chin with the head tilted forward? Be honest about how you perceive somebody like this. Does this person appear confident, happy, interesting, important, friendly or approachable? Are they somebody you would like to get to know? Probably not. How about taking a personal inventory of yourself, because maybe you are doing the same thing. When was the last time that you watched yourself walk, stand or sit. I suggest that you do and if your posture is not good, make some changes. Because, if this condition is unchanged, it can become a permanent condition as we age.

For Singers, Speakers and Actors, it is even more critical that the body perform good posture. It is not only for the prior mentioned important reasons; it is also because it is more difficult to breathe properly when our abdominal cage is compressed and not erect. Try this. To breathe correctly, you should know that the style of “belly breathing” is the correct one. This is when your lower abdomen is extended when you inhale oxygen. Try to do this with slouched posture. You will find that you can’t extend your abdomen as far. If you straighten up, you will be able to. As you will learn in my book “Singing and Speaking on the Edge of a Grunt,” the amount of oxygen we breathe in and the position of our abdomen prior to coordinating our abdominal muscles to expel the air in a controlled and power manner is probably the most critical aspect of singing of speaking properly.

Let’s first define good posture. Do you remember the old technique that was used by models to work on their posture as they were told to walk while balancing a book on their head? The truth is that this “old” technique is still a “great” technique. Try it. Stand in front of a full-length mirror, put a book on your head and try to stand and walk. It’s a real challenge, isn’t it? While you are doing this, look at how your body responds and creates good posture. Don’t you look great? Sure you do. The trick is to file away this memory into your subconscious so that it becomes an automatic way of presenting yourself and not a conscious way that you always have to think of. That can only be accomplished through dedicated practice.

What is good posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.

Proper posture.

1) Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.

2) Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.

3) Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.

4) Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.

5) Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.

6) Prevents strain or overuse problems.

7) Prevents backache and muscular pain.

8)Contributes to a good appearance.

What contributes to bad posture?

1) Bad attitude

2) Obesity

3) Depression

4) Lack of Confidence

5) Pregnancy

6) Weak muscles

7) High-heeled shoes

8)Tight muscles; decreased flexibility

9) Poor work environment

10) Poor sitting and standing habits

Let’s review the negative aspects of performing poor posture.

1) You look ill

2) You look depressed

3) You don’t appear confident

4) You do not appear approachable

5) You look shy

Let’s review the positive aspects of performing good posture.

1) You look confident

2) You look happy

3) You look approachable

4) You look healthy

Correct posture is obviously a very important part of presenting yourself. Think of all the things we do that will be affected.

1) Talking with your boss or co-workers with personal power.

2) Speaking to one person or a group with confidence.

3) Singing or performing in general with confident energy.

4) Standing or walking with confidence.

5) Communicating to others that your are approachable.

And what does it cost you to receive all these incredible benefits? Nothing! It is entirely free. But, it will take a lot of practice and hard work to change old habits.

I hope that you will begin today to improve your image with such a simple thing as improving your posture.

For more information, watch my latest YouTube video on Correct Posture by clicking below.

Thank you again for reading!

Jonathan Morgan Jenkins

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Presentation Skills – Don’t Take Chances With Your Speaker Introduction

Jun 11 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Imagine your are about to give a speech. You’ve done months of research. The meeting room is filled to capacity. You wait anxiously as the Master of Ceremonies (MC) begins to introduce you.

The MC says, “Ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce our next speaker. I don’t know much about him. But, I think his speech has something to do with public speaking skills.”

Imagine how you feel as the speaker. What might be going through your mind as you take the stage? How do you think the audience feels? Does it make a good first impression?

The words used during your introduction need to create a positive first impression.

Don’t leave that introduction to chance. Take control and write a powerful introduction for your speech. By writing a proper introduction, you make it easy for the Conference Organizer or Master of Ceremonies to introduce you.

The purpose of an introduction is to give the audience a few key points about yourself, and create enthusiasm for your presentation.

A speaker’s introduction is not a “bio.” It shouldn’t tell your entire life story. I once saw an MC tell several humorous life stories about their friend, the speaker. By the time the MC was done, there was only 30 minutes left in the speaker’s original 45 minute time slot. But worse, the MC used several stories the speaker was planning to tell for himself!

A speaker’s introduction is also not a “resume.” I once saw a speaker submit an “intro” filled with every company, every degree/designation and every minor award, they had ever earned. It was five minutes long. Worse, it basically told the audience, “I’m smart. Your dumb. Listen to me.” That hardened the audience against him, before he even took the stage.

Here are 7 key tips (and some bonus advice) for writing an effective speaker’s introduction:

1) Your introduction should be written word for word to make it easy for the MC to read

2) It should be less than 1 minute long (that’s less than 120 words)

3) It should start with your name and speech title

4) Include how to pronounce your name, if it’s difficult to say

5) Briefly list a reason why you have credibility on your topic. For example, “Author of…”, “Experience in….” or “Past clients include…”

6) Briefly list one personal item about you. For example, “Mike recently got married to the woman of his dreams.”

7) End with your name again, and speech title. For example, “It’s my pleasure to introduce Mike Aoki, who will give us secrets to, ‘Designing and Delivering Persuasive Presentations.’”

Bonus advice:

8) Send your intro to the MC in advance so they can study it ahead of time

9) Take a copy with you, in case the MC forgets their copy

10) Ask the MC to read it word-for-word from your printout. That will avoid any awkward or unnecessary ad-libbing by the introducer

Use these tips to create a great first impression before your next speech.

© Copyright 2010 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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Seizing the Day – How to Achieve Mindfulness to Enjoy the Present Moment

Jun 10 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

How many of us are letting life whiz by? How many of us are letting irretrievable time pass us, as we continue to look over the horizon, waiting to live for that magical wonderland which is to come? How many years will be wasted before we are enlightened and realize that our waiting-to-live is such a tragic farce?

Stephan Leacock’s Famous Quote

An explosive illustration of the above can be seen in this quote by Stephan Leacock: “How strange it is, our little procession of life! The child says, ‘When I am a big boy.’ But what is that? The big boy says, ‘When I grow up.” And then, grown up, he says, ‘When I get married.’ But to be married, what is that after all? The thought changes to ‘When I’m able to retire.’ And then, when retirement comes, he looks back over the landscape traversed; a cold wind seems to sweep over it; somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone. Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.”

Life is a Movement We Must Capture

Life must be captured in its movement. Life lies in its progression, not after the fulfillment of goals, because once all goals are fulfilled there is no more life.

Enjoyment is the Core Concept of Life

Implicit within the concept of life is its central purpose: enjoyment. Every activity a human being engages in is goal-oriented consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, everything one does should be either potentially or immediately directed to enjoyment.

Life’s Panoramic Journey

Life is like a trip on a train. We either look out the window and enjoy the colors, sights and panorama of the landscape as we pass them by, or we sleep throughout the entire ride, only to awaken at the end of our road. Is it that the trip is as important as the reaching of the destination?

Savoring Life Moment by Moment

Life is like an exquisite and sumptuously prepared banquet placed before us. The individual who races through the appetizers and entree, to be able to quickly get to and finish with the dessert, has overlooked that the pleasure of the banquet, and that life is in the savoring of it, bite by bite, each and every part of it. We cannot listen to a completed piece of music – all at once; we can only enjoy it as it moves through us – note by note. Fulfillment should not be exalted to the near exclusion of the progression. Progression and fulfillment should be considered as one on an ever intensifying continuum, that is, fulfillment is progression at its highest and most glorious stage.

Present Moment Living

We should try to approach life as a never-ending progression of enjoyment. We should think more of the present moment. We should begin to live more within the present moment. Since the progression or movement toward a goal is usually longer than the experience of its fulfillment, then one should be aware of and try to experience the joy of the progression as well as the fulfillment.

The Concept of Stimulus Variation

An important concept to the understanding of enjoying the progression of life lies within the concept of stimulus variation, or simply “experience”. In 1954, a group of scientists, by the names of Benton, Heron and Scott, did an experiment at McGill University where college students were paid $20.00 a day (a lot of money in 1954) to do absolutely nothing.

The Benton, Heron and Scott Experiment

For 24 hours a day, the participants of the experiment laid on comfortable beds in a room kept at an even temperature. Their eyes, ears and hands were shielded to minimize stimulus variation. Whereas some individuals chronically complaining of the drudgery of having to get up and go to work every morning would consider this situation a Utopian means of making a living. The fact was that under the conditions of the experiment, few subjects could endure more than 2 or 3 days! The craving for stimulus variation was overwhelming!

What is Stimulus Variation?

Stimulus variation is anything that can be experienced. It could be eating an ice cream cone, being depressed through a love lost, attending a church revival or meditating on life. Stimulus variation means experience. Experience is the synonym for life, for living implies experiencing. Life should be a continuum of achieving higher and higher levels of experience. Variety is indeed the spice of life, and stimulus variation is necessary for the emotional satisfaction and happiness of the human organism. Inertia is anathema. One is happiest when he is vitally absorbed in something which interests him. Even pain can deepen and mature, sometimes opening consciousness to a more profound understanding of life.

A World Without Problems?

I often thought that a world completely without any problems or needs would be Utopia, but now I wonder. If there are no problems or needs, there can be no goals. If there are no goals, there is no life, activity or stimulus variation toward its fulfillment. If there is no stimulus variation, as was noted above, there will be no emotional satisfaction, therefore no enjoyment, therefore no happiness. Is then suffering, pain and problems a reflection of the infinite intelligence and benevolence of the universe?

To Enjoy Your Work is to Enjoy Your Life

Since absorption and activity are so vital to the emotional well-being of the individual, we are naturally led into what forms the core of all our activity: our daily work. Alas, far too many people find their daily “work” a less-than-enjoyable or just a very unpleasant experience. As I once read: “Nothing is really work, unless you would rather be doing something else.”

How Do You Choose Your Life’s Work?

Too many jobs are ill-chosen on the basis of the salary alone. Sorry is the man or woman who lives only from payday to payday at a job which he or she despises. The majority of our lives are spent on the jobs or in the careers we have chosen. Can we really afford such a waste? For all we know the life we have may end tomorrow.

Sporadic Living is Not True Living

I find that sadly too many of us live sporadically and in pieces by finding life only when we “go out and have a ball” instead of also living, enjoying and experiencing life – right now.

What Price Success?

A happy gardener who enjoys the jokes, laughter and conversation of his co-workers, the beauty of the landscape and has the appreciation in his heart of being able to express his joy through his work is much more “successful” in life than the pressured executive who has gone for the third time for the treatment of his stress-induced ulcers.

Mindfulness of the Present Moment is the Key to Enjoyment of Life

So let us stop putting off the living and loving of life, for living and loving and enjoying life can only be in the present moment. Let us capture it. Let us awake from our stupor. Let us at last silence the echoing laughter of the tyrant Time, who devours our lives as endlessly wait for him to bring us into an impossible experience of the receding future.

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