Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits - Wednesday Edition

Welcome to the Wednesday Edition of Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits.  As mentioned on the Monday blog, we are mixing things up a bit to see if we can add more spark to your work week.  Mondays are usually blue, and we had been striving to make them less so.  But Wednesdays have been so very tough lately, so for "Hump-Day" we are going to have some fun so you can get an early jump anticipating the weekend.

Do any of you remember when the earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet at 9:30 PM GMT February 9, 1986?  Did you know that on April 19, 1910 Halley's Comet made it's first  appearance since 1759.  Many people stayed home with their families expecting Doomsday the moment the earth passed through Halley's Comet's tail.   Glad to know we are still doing  OK (really???).  The next expected appearance of Halley's Comet should be July 28, 2061...some of us may still be hanging around...

In 1910, auto racer Barney Oldfield, 32, set a new speed record at Daytona Beach, FL, traveling a whopping 131.724 mph.  I can do that now on my bike on the freeway...(but I didn't....really...don't you believe me???)

Do you know what a spoonerism is?  It is switching letters in a sentence... for instance, saying "jag of Flapan" instead of "flag of Japan".

Here are some fun facts regarding the English language - there are only three words in the English language that contain two 'U's' back to back.  They are vacuum, residuum and continuum.

The only word in the English language that contains 3 back to back  double letter combinations is Bookkeeper....

A novel with 50,000 words, none of which contained the letter 'E' was written by Ernest Wright.  I wonder what the title of that tome was?

The letter 'Q' is the only letter in the English alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States.

For you scientists out there - Do you know what the science of Anthroppmetry is?  It is the measurement of the human body.  This science allowed factory-made ready-to-wear clothing to be bought by people for the first time in the mid-1800's due to the need to mass-produce soldiers uniforms in different sizes for the Civil War in the United States.

 How much do you fly?  Are you concerned about the safety of flying in an aeroplane?  Did you know that Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes?  So, if you are afraid to fly for fear of being in a plane crash, go ride a donkey.  If you survive that, odds are that you will survive a plane flight.  (we won't discuss the groping involved with flying now though..)

Keeping along the lines of planes for a moment - a Boeing 747's wingspan is longer than teh Wright brother's first flight.  That makes you sit up and think for a moment...

Lastly, for those of you who do minor home repairs, I bet you all have at least one can of WD-40 in your house to quiet those squeaky hinges, or to otherwise help loosen rusted screws.  Do you know what the "WD" in the name actually stands for?  It is an abbreviation for Water Displacer...

Hopefully you enjoyed your Wednesday Edition of Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits.  Monday will bring a return of some motivational ideas, and perhaps we will throw in an additional article next week, just for the fun of it. 

Continue to stay tuned... Until next week...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Motivational Monday

Well, this week we are going to mix it up a bit.  I have been posting the Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits on or around the first of the week for quite some time now.  I thought I would try Motivational Monday, (versus my Motivational Wednesday - rolls off the tongue easier...) for a week or two and see how it goes.  No, Fun Facts is not being preempted, it is just moving to Wednesdays.  Please feel free to let me know which you would ultimately prefer, fun on Mondays or motivation on Mondays....

On to the motivation....

Last week we covered more tips on how to either get motivated to accomplish a task or how to stay motivated to keep working towards a goal.  This week we are going to continue to explore how to remain motivated as you work towards your goals.

Many of you work for a living, you go to a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke), trade your time for their money, come home and just collapse.  Well, doing that day after day, year after year, will seriously wear you out.  Do you remember the first day you landed your first job?  You were MOTIVATED.  You had PLANS.  You were GOING PLACES and TAKING NO PRISONERS.  Now, most likely, you are just grateful to have a job, but it takes so much out of you that you have no more to give once you get home.

This is where the motivational tips I have been offering come into play.  No matter how tired you may be, in order to improve your circumstances or work towards financial freedom, you need to not only define your goals, but really believe in your goals.  Defining goals is relatively simple, the critical point it to not only believe in those defined goals, but to EMBRACE those same goals.  The goals you define should be what you wake up thinking about and should also be what you think about as you are falling asleep at night.

By embracing these goals, you will discover you are as motivated as you were when you got your first job.  But even with clearly defined goals, and you celebrating milestones towards those same goals, you will find over time that your motivation does begin to flag.  This does not mean that your goals are no longer worthy.  All it means is that you may need to find additional methods of motivation.  Every new idea creates excitement, but as you continue to work towards your long-term goals, you will find times where you are still lacking motivation.  This is natural and not a bad thing, all you have to do is to devise some additional motivational methods to keep moving through your 'slow' time.

One thing that will help keep your motivation fresh is to be sure that you ALWAYS make time for yourself.  If you do not take care of yourself, no matter how supportive your friends and family may be, nobody else will take care of you.  Remember to take time out for YOU.  Do not lose yourself in your goal, your goal may be a part of you, but you still need to take some time to rest.  Your mind and body do need this rest, even if you believe that you have to push through and continue to work.  Spend some quiet time each day with yourself.   This does not need to be hours at a time, it could only be 15 minutes to an hour, but remember to take time for yourself and keep in touch with who you are and why you are working for these goals.   You may not feel like you have to do this daily, and if so, at least make an effort once a week to take time out for you.  You don't have to sit in a tub with candles all over, it just means that you should do what YOU want to do for a little period of time.  It is amazing how rejuvenating it is to do something that YOU want instead of constantly working to do stuff for everyone else. 

After you have rejuvenated, do not forget to spend time with your friends and family.  After you have taken care of yourself, you may also find it is easier to help your friends and family with their desires.  It is critical to maintain a balance between work, goals, family and friends.  Without a good balance, you will lose motivation very quickly.   Strive to remember that your friends and family may not always be around for you to spend time with.  Hopefully your friends and family are also motivated and excited about the goals that you have set, and perhaps part of spending time with them includes you all working towards the same goal. 

Time is that commodity that once spent, cannot be taken back, so spend your time wisely.  Avoid those who may 'suck' time away from you, they don't have enough motivation of their own, and would rather use you and your energy to get them motivated.  This is personally draining, and you will find yourself losing that motivational drive again.   Try to align yourself with other motivated people, because their energy will help keep you going.  Then, if they start losing motivation, you are there to help them continue on.

Again, it is always very motivating to see your goals clearly written and posted in a public place.  That way, not only you, but your friends and family can continue to see what you are working towards.  As your motivation periodically lags, all you need to do is to catch a glimpse of your plans, and you will find that your motivation is rekindled.  

These are a few more tips to keep you driving toward your goals.  These tips may help keep you motivated even after a 10 hour work day, with dinner yet to be made and kids that still need help with their homework.  After getting all that done, you may still be able to keep that tiny little spark of motivation alive so that you can do one more thing that will bring you closer to your goals.  You will be amazed about how quickly you can get motivated when you can take tiny little steps toward your goal.  By doing just one little task before you call it a day, you can go to bed enthused because you are now one step closer to your goal.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that no matter how rough your day may have been, you still took one more step toward your dream.  That should always keep your spark of motivation alive.

Hopefully you found some of these tips and suggestions helpful to stay motivated.  Perhaps it will allow you to get through this week a little easier too.  Have a great Motivational Monday.  Wednesday we will pick it up and have some fun with the weekly installment of Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits.

If you are looking for other income opportunities, please feel free to check out our website for ideas.  We are always available for questions and even for bouncing ideas for other ways to find financial freedom.  

Until Wednesday...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits - Midweek

Happy Hump-Day one and all!  Tonight we are going to hopefully brighten your week up with some fun facts and trivial tidbits.  The focus here is to provide some fun, silly and sometimes useful trivia information to amaze or torment your friends and co-workers.  Wednesdays are typically difficult, it is the middle of the week, you may have managed to struggle through the first two days of the work week, and you are now looking at two more days to work through before you can relax (supposedly) and enjoy the weekend.

Last week we mentioned that September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day.  Initially it was a U.S. specific holiday, but is becoming more celebrated by bear lovers around the world.  That being said, how many of you know the origins of the name "Teddy Bear"? 

The name "Teddy" bear was based on U.S. President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.  More interestingly, do you know the story of WHY the bear ended up being named "Teddy"?  The name came about after a 1902 hunting expedition.  At the time, no game was found, so by the end of the day, someone brought out a baby bear and suggested that Theodore Roosevelt might like to shoot at it instead.  Roosevelt (understandably) felt that this was not sporting and refused the offer.  This was illustrated in a newspaper cartoon entitled "Drawing the Line".  A New York toymaker saw an opportunity and brought out a cute stuffed bear named "Teddy's Bear" and the rest became history.

Now on to some fun statistics - did you know that 81% of people say a "harmless lie" every day?
- Most people lie 3 time in 10 minutes of conversation (makes you really think about what you are talking about...)
- 2% of people think that lying is sometimes necessary (I can see that...)
- 65% of people think that it is often or sometimes OK to lie so as to not hurt someone else's feelings.
- 44% of people think that it is often possible to exaggerate the events of the story to make it more interesting (I know a LOT of people who do that....)

Along the lines of lying, did you know that 35% of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married?  YUCH!!!

Did you know that Walt Disney was afraid of mice?  Kinda funny, guess he worked this phobia out...

Do you know how they made the sound of E.T. (from the movie E.T. the Extra Terrestrial) walking?  It was made by a woman squishing her hands in jelly - makes you want to go out and try that....yeah, right...

Lastly, do you know who the voice of E.T. was?  Debra Winger.  Never would have guessed that... Now I have to go rent the movie again and take a good hard look and listen...

Hopefully this weekly edition of Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits was as much for you as it was for me.  Have a wonderful rest of the week, and we will chat more on Monday (or perhaps this Friday if I am feeling chatty...

Until later...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Procrastination -

Tonight is more a night for procrastination than for real work. We finally have another break from painful high temperatures, and I would rather be enjoying the cool evening air than sitting in front of the computer finding more obscure facts to entertain. You will get your Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits this week...just not tonight...perhaps...
  • Horses

    Tonight I should be helping you all laugh by providing my weekly installment of Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits. Well, I am not entirely thrilled with that prospect tonight, and have been procrastinating writing this weekly article tonight. Granted, I have loads of silly bits of information to entertain you with, but for some reason, I do not feel that this weekly installment is going to be that much fun, I am not feeling inspiration.

    Let's discuss procrastination instead... one of my favorite ways to procrastinate is to decide it is time to organize my desk. My desk periodically looks like a bomb hit it, even though I know exactly (well, almost) where every piece of paper really is. But, when I am not in a very inspired mood to do what I should do, that is the best time for me to straighten my desk.

    I guess you could say that my desk usually doesn't look too bad, but if it is consistently neat, then you know I am procrastinating....kind of like tonight...

    My next best method of procrastinating is to decide it is time to mend shirts, re-apply buttons, and darn really, how many people really darn socks anymore...if you are into procrastination...well, count me in...

    Lastly my best method of procrastination is to play with all the animals around the house. That includes the two dogs that keep me company, but lately, I have been spending quality time with my neighbor's horses...not for any particular reason except that it has been pretty evenings, and I didn't want to go inside and get any work done...

    I know, for those of you who read last week's Motivational blog on Wednesday, I talked about ways to get things done even when you don't want to do it. Well, as you can see, even though I have been procrastinating, I do still get done what needs to be done...just later than usual. Procrastination can be fun, so don't dismiss it out-of-hand.

    Think of all the mischief you can get into by procrastinating, especially if others would RATHER you get your chores/tasks done... Procrastination does have it's benefits, heck, my desk does get regularly cleaned, the animals get played with, and over-all, I have fun. After I get the procrastination out of the way, I find I become more motivated to complete the tasks that I had been putting off.

    So, the upshot is, some procrastination is good, but too much of it will get you in trouble.  Since I don't feel like getting into too much trouble, I better start working on the weekly Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits segment for either tomorrow or Wednesday. Stay tuned to see which day I end up posting...

    Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Motivational Wednesday

Well, here we are again, Hump Day.  Except that today for many of us is only the second day of the work week, not the third.  For many, we only have two more days left of work before the weekend, and we only had to work two days to get here.  Even still, after a 3-day weekend, you may already start feeling a tad less motivated than you did yesterday.  We are going to try to rectify that lagging feeling with another Motivational Wednesday.

Today is one of my less than great motivation days, I am tired, even though it is the second day of a 4-day work week, it has been a loooong 2 days.  Many of you are probably feeling the same way too.  Here are some things that I have done to get motivation back into my day:

Goal setting is very important.  If I hadn't told you all that I would be posting a blog tonight, odds are very high that I would NOT have posted anything tonight.  I set that goal yesterday because I KNEW I would need the motivation to get this weeks blog done.  There are days when writing is easy, the words just flow off my fingertips and onto the page.  Then, there are other days, like today, where it feels like you are fighting to put even one word on the page, let alone a cohesive sentence.  Knowing that I promised to write and especially publishing the goal made it a lot easier to be motivated to achieve the goal.

Keep your goals simple.  This is the next step to remaining motivated to work on your goals.  If you have a goal that is virtually impossible to achieve in a day, week, or month, your initial goal is far to complex.  That is not to say you need to have simple goals, but what is important is to have relatively easy to achieve small goals that will ultimately bring you to your biggest goal.  If you are standing at the bottom of a very large mountain and know that you have to get to the top quickly, it can be very disheartening.  A way to achieve your larger goals is to set many smaller, simple goals that will guide you on your way to achieving your main goal.  A great quote I have heard several times is:  "How do you eat an elephant? ...  One bite at a time". 

Set a date to complete the simple goals.  Set a specific date that you want to achieve these smaller goals.  Do not set dates for all your goals, it could very easily demotivate you again.  Set one or two dates for one or two of your simple goals, and focus on getting those completed.  Once you succeed in completing those goals on time, you could easily become naturally motivated to start completing the other goals.  Be sure not to try to complete all your goals at one time, it will not work, and then once you stop, you will not be motivated to start again.  How many times have you gone to the gym to work out after a long absence, only to end up doing far too much on your first workout?  You may feel OK that first day, but boy, on that second day, you may not want to look at a gym again. 

Lastly, celebrate when you do achieve a goal.  Get excited about your successes, no matter how small you  may think they are.  The fact is that you did succeed, celebrate that.  Don't focus on the fact that you may not have achieved your whole goal, that will come with time and practice.  Start small, celebrate each small step.  You celebrate your child's first step, why not celebrate your own personal first step toward your goals.  Rewarding yourself can be as simple as lighting a scented candle, taking a bubble bath, or even treating yourself to a cookie, but reward yourself for a job well done.  If you don't do it, nobody else will.  Don't let others bring you down, surround yourself with positive people and you will find your own attitude will also improve. 

If you want to find motivation to achieve something it is critical to define your goals, keep your goals simple, set reasonable dates and then to celebrate each accomplishment.  Once you do it, you will be amazed at how easy it is to remain motivated to complete the remainder of your tasks.

The hardest part is getting started.  If you are not sure what your goals are, start writing down everything that you may want to do.  Then from there focus on one item that really gets you excited.  You will find then that setting smaller goals to achieve that one task becomes easier.  Heck, your first motivational task might be to list what goals you would like to achieve.  Set a date to begin that task, and limit how long you will spend writing down goals.  By keeping your time short, you won't be overwhelmed with the task and you may be amazed at how motivated you become after you put just one goal down on a piece of paper.

So, stop reading and start your own motivational practices. 

Until next week...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun facts and trivial tidbits

Happy Tuesday everyone!!!  Hopefully you had a good Labor Day weekend.  Probably some of you did work, but hopefully you were paid well to labor on Labor Day.  This week's installment of Fun Facts and Trivial Tidbits will center around the month of September.  How much do you know about this month?  Some of us used to associate September with going back to school (yeah, really dated myself there..), and others probably associate early September (especially right after Labor Day) with the end of summer and summer vacation.

Did you know the origin of the word "September"?  It's root is in the Roman word "septem" which means seven.  This came about because in the Roman calendar, September was actually the seventh month of the year, not the ninth month as it is in our Gregorian Calenders.  The Anglo Saxons called this month "Gerst monath (Barley month) because this was when they harvested barley. 

Another interesting fact about September, is when Britain changed from the Julian Calendar (which is 365.25 days long) to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, we lost 11 days.  So, September 3rd immediately became September 14th.  Therefore time between September 3, 1752 and September 14, 1752 is the only time in British history where NOTHING happened...  Pretty cool information? 

Did you know that September 17th is Constitution Day (also Citizenship Day) in the United States of America?  The United States Constitution was ratified by the US Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Now that we have the serious facts covered, let's have some fun with September - did you know that September is National Chicken Month?  It is also Cholesterol Awareness Month right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. 

The poem, "Mary had a Little Lamb" was published September 1, 1830

September also has a National Teddy Bear Day and a National Play-Doh Day.  It seems like September is a great month to play in...

To wander off the subject of September for a moment, the interesting item about National Teddy Bear Day is that the United States has TWO National Teddy Bear Days, one in September and then another one in November.  The November event was created by the Vermont Teddy Bear Company in 2000 to celebrate the contribution the teddy bear has made to popular culture....Perhaps in November we will discuss how the Teddy Bear got it's name...

The U.S. Supreme Court was established in September 1789 as was the U.S. Treasury Department.

In Medieval times, September 24th is traditionally the start of  harvesting and Michaelmas Day (September 29th) is traditionally the last day of the harvest season. 

Hopefully you enjoyed these fun facts and trivial tidbits about the month of September.  There are a large number of celebrations and odd events that occur during the month of September.  Have fun with them.

Tomorrow being hump day, we will re-introduce our Motivational Wednesday information.  This way, you will stay motivated through the day tomorrow and then we can keep you motivated the remainder of the week.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day and other interesting things

Well, as you all are probably aware, I messed up on my days at the beginning of this week and I have yet to get re-calibrated. I was going to bring more motivational tips up, but realized that with tomorrow being Friday, you have more than enough motivation to make it the remainder of the week.

That being said, lets have some more fun. Since this upcoming Monday is Labor Day, I thought it might be interesting to cover some more facts about the origins of Labor Day and any other interesting things regarding this holiday.

Labor Day is currently celebrated in the United States as the first Monday in September. It was designed to celebrate the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of America.

It was first celebrated on September 5, 1882. On that day, some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City to participate in America's first Labor Day parade. The participants marched from City Hall, past the reviewing stands on Union Square, and then turned uptown to 42nd Street. At the end of the parade, the workers and their families gathered in Wendel's Elm Park for a picnic, concert, and speeches. This first Labor Day celebration was eagerly organized and executed by New York’s Central Labor Union, an umbrella group made up of representatives from many local unions. Debate continues to this day as to who originated the idea of a workers' holiday, but it definitely emerged from the ranks of organized labor at a time when they wanted to demonstrate the strength of their burgeoning movement and inspire improvements in their working conditions.

These celebrations in New York then spread across the country. It was the State of Oregon that became the first state to grant legal status to this holiday. In 1894, Congress passed legislation making Labor Day a national holiday.

Believe it or not, over 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Depending on where you research, some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co founder of the American Federation of Labor, first suggested a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

Labor Day has also been unofficially designated the end of summer. In some fashion circles, after Labor Day you can no longer wear white (shoes, purses, clothes) except for weddings.

Hopefully you all will partake of this long weekend, the last of the summer holidays and have fun. For many, this weekend represents the last "official" time for backyard barbeque's, summer clothes and the end of summer vacation from school. For others, this holiday could allow them to finish chores that were put off all summer long. For me, it will be a time to relax and enjoy some much-needed time off.

However you spend your Labor Day and weekend prior, have a great time and we will chat again on TUESDAY...yup, Monday is a HOLIDAY. Enjoy

Until Tuesday...