Constraints on Participating in Leisure

In “Constraints to Leisure,” Edgar L. Jackson and David Scott provide an overview of the field of leisure constraints research as of the late 1990s. They point out that originally researchers in the field studies what was then called “barriers to recreation participation,” but the word “barriers” refers to what is now considered only one type of constraint – something that intervenes or prevents one from participating in an activity. But now other kinds of constraints are recognized, including one’s interpersonal and intrapersonal influences, which lead one not to take part in leisure. In additional, Jackson and Scott explain that the word “leisure” is used rather than just recreation, since it is a more inclusive term, and the word “participation” was also dropped, since leisure research doesn’t only involve whether a persona participates, but what they prefer to do, where, and what a particular type of leisure means to them.

Jackson and Scott also discuss the three major ways of looking at leisure that have evolved since the leisure constraints approach began in the 19th century. It began with considerations of “barriers to recreation participation and leisure enjoyment” based on the assumption that the main issue to address was service delivery, so that people would participate more if there were more services provided.

Then, starting in the 1960s, the focus shifted to looking at how particular barriers might affect the participation by individuals with different economic and social characteristics. Later, in the 1980s, the notion of constraints emerged, and the researchers realized that these constraints might not only be external, such as in the form of a facility or service, but could be internal, such as a constraint due to psychological and economic factors, or to social or interpersonal factors, such as a person’s relationships with his or her spouse or family.

Since the late 1980s, it would seem that three major concepts about the constraints affecting involvement in leisure activities have emerged, as described in a model proposed by Crawford and Godbey in 1987.

1) The structural or intervening constraint is one which affects someone from participating in some type of leisure, once the person already has indicated a preference for or desire to participate. As conceptualized by Crawford and Godbey, these structural or intervening constraints are “those factors that intervene between leisure preference and participation.” (p. 307). Research based on this conception of a constraint generally involves doing a survey to identify the particular items standing in the way of participation, such as time, costs, facilities, knowledge of the service or facility, lack of a partner for participation (such as a partner to participate in a doubles tennis match), and a lack of skills or a disability. The assumption underlying this approach is that a person would participate in any activity if not for these constraints, which seem much like the barriers conceived of when that term was in use. In looking for patterns and commonalities, using various quantitative methods such as factor analysis and cluster analysis, researchers found support for certain common structural and intervening constraints, most notably: “time commitments, costs, facilities and opportunities, skills and abilities, and transportation and access.” Additionally, the researchers sought to look at how different groups in society were constrained in different ways, such as women, or groups based on age and income, eventually leading researchers to recognize that most constraints are experienced to a greater or lesser degree depending on personal and situational factors.

2) An intrapersonal constraint is a psychological state or characteristic which affects leisure preferences, rather than acting as a barrier to participation once a person has already developed those preferences. For example, intrapersonal constraints which might lead a person not to develop particular leisure preferences might be that person’s “abilities, personality needs, prior socialization, and perceived reference group attitudes.”

3) An interpersonal constraint is one which occurs due to one’s interaction with one’s peers, family members, and others, leading one to think of certain leisure activities, places, or services as relevant or not relevant leisure activities to participate in. For instance, based on one’s understandings from interacting with others one might consider certain types of leisure to be inappropriate, uninteresting, or unavailable.

Although a hierarchical model was proposed by D.W. Crawford, E. L. Jackson, an G. Godbey to combine these three concepts into a single model, based on one first forming leisure preferences on the intrapersonal level, then encountering constraints on the interpersonal level, and finally encountering structural or intervening constraints, it would seem there is no such sequential ordering of these constraints. Rather they seem to act together in varying ways and orders, though Henderson and other researchers have sought to combine intrapersonal and interpersonal constraints together to become antecedent constraints.

Whether such antecedents constraints exist or not, another way to look at whether people participate in a leisure experience based on the way they respond to a perceived constraint. If they participate and want to participate, that would be described as a “successful proactive response.” If they don’t participate though they would like to do so, that would be considered a “reactive response.” Finally, if they participate but in a different way, that would be called a “partly successful proactive response.”

A good illustration of this response to a constraint approach might be a mountain climber who suffers a disability. The climber who gets a prosthetic and climbs the mountain himself might be considered to be showing a “successful proactive response.” The climber who decides to abandon the sport might be considered to be showing a “reactive response.” Finally the climber who is helped to climb the mountain by a team of other climbers might be considered to be engaging in a “partly successful proactive response.”

These ideas about constraints might be applied to how individuals get involved with some of the activities I have organized through several Meetup groups I run. These include an occasional Video Potluck Night, where people come to my house to see videos which I get at Blockbuster; feedback/discussion groups for indie film producers and directors, which might be considered a form of leisure, since most attendees are producing and directing films during their leisure time, often for free, and they have other paying jobs; and several teleseminars on writing, publishing, and promoting books, which is also more of a hobby for participants, since they hope to get books published, but have other jobs.

Structurally, some individuals who might attend these Meetup groups may be constrained because of the common structural problems that have been identified, including time commitments, costs, facilities and opportunities, skills and abilities, and transportation and access. Some people can’t attend any of these activities, because they have another event to go to at that time or they may have extra work to do, so they can’t spare the time to attend. Though there is no cost for the meetings, some people may be constrained by the cost of getting to my house, including the gas and toll from San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula, and the cost of contributing something to the potluck (which many people have to buy because they don’t have the time to make something).

Another constraint is that some people may be uncomfortable about going to an event in a private house. Some may not attend the discussion groups or teleseminars, because they feel their skills are not yet up to par, although they hope someday to become a produce and director or finish their book. Some may not attend because they have problems with access, since they have trouble getting to my house if they don’t have a car, because they have problems getting there by bus or BART (which are 1-3 miles from my house respectively), and they can’t get a ride. And if someone has a serious disability, they will have trouble getting into my house, which is not wheelchair accessible.

The intrapersonal constraint may come into play when some people decide not to come because they feel uncomfortable in large groups or meeting new people, such as to the Video Potlucks, since these not only involve socializing before the film over dinner but then sharing during introductions and in a discussion of the film after the showing. Others may not come because they fear opening up and showing the work they have done since they fear criticism.

The interpersonal constraint may occur when some people decide not to come because their friends or family may be doing something else or their peers may put down going to the activity. For example, their peers may be interesting in attending and discussing first run films in theaters, whereas my video potluck nights feature films on DVD from Blockbuster that come out about three months later than a theatrical release. Or their peers may discourage them from attending a director or producer discussion group, since they will be discussing their work with others who are similarly trying to break into the industry or producing and directing small films as a hobby. Their peers may claim they should only go to programs where they will meet people who are already established in the industry or convince them they don’t need any more feedback, since their project is already very good.

In short, these three concepts can be readily applied to understanding participation in the leisure activities I organize.

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What is the Nature of the Healthcare Industry?

The healthcare industry is composed of multiple segments pertaining to different practices in medicine that provide different services. These services deal with different procedures and methods that address a variety of medical needs.

The service may come in the form of a diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and other service. The services can be under the sector of pharmaceutical, dental, medical, nursing and many more. The services being offered are abundant that is why the amount of health care workers that are needed is so high. Millions of health workers are needed through out the world in different health institutions like hospitals and clinics.

Health services are offered at any time because different people may need them due to various or special reasons. Some health workers should always be available that is why they have people who are on call in hospitals and doctors offices. Health workers provide services on different people in different age brackets.

Why more health workers are needed around the world?

The average age for people in this world is getting higher all the time. It means that there are more people who are getting old while there are few who are born. The older people will out number the younger ones. This means that the availability of those who are qualified to care for the elderly is not nearly enough. This is critical since the older the people get, the more medical attention they need. Here is where the health care workers will enter, particularly the nurses and caregivers.

The technology now is capable of dealing with serious illnesses, injuries and accidents. When a patient undergoes some of these procedures, the patient will surely need some rehabilitation and therapy. Again, the need for nurses and therapists is present.

When researchers discover new ways of treating non-curable illnesses, they will surely need some medical practitioners to implement this. Facilities, equipment and hospitals are also needed to conduct the procedures. Since those materials and places will not operate on their own, manpower through health workers will be required.

What are the current trends in health care industry?

There are several innovations when it comes to procedures performed in surgery and in general medicine. Examples are in sophisticated surgical procedures, infection control for various diseases, gene therapy for cancer treatment, advances in reproductive technology and others. Gadgets in getting the patient’s data are also available now.

Examples are automatic blood pressure readings, automatic heartbeat counters and many more. Hospitals now days are also determined to secure their data in a more reliable and accurate way. This is through the use of a centralized database. The database will then serve to provide a patient’s records, bill and other medical data that may be needed by the doctor, accounting office or other authorized personnel.

Since the need for health workers worldwide is vastly increasing, there are plenty of programs that other countries implement to produce quality health care workers. These workers can then work in their own country or abroad.

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Starting A Business – What Steps Should You Take First – Part 1

When I started my business I looked at many items and hyped up make money now type things and found most were not what they said they were. I finally found the products I wanted to sell and signed up with the company. So now I'm ready to start selling my products right! WRONG. You must do more research.

Q1: What else do you need to research?

A1: What type of ownership are you going to use? There are several types such as sole owner, partnership, scorporation, corporation. You should research them and find which will work best for you. Depending on what type you choose to use determines what state agencies with which you will need to file.

A1: One thing about partnerships you MUST DO is ask yourself will your partner actually DO THE WORK! I tried several partnerships only to find out that my partners talked a good game but when it came to results there was always an excuse as to why something was not done. Needless to say those partnerships are no longer in existence. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if they are already making excuses for small things what will happen when a deadline MUST BE MET. No the odds are they will not get better at handling responsibility.

A2: What business name are you going to use? If you are using an assumed name such as jbf enterprises you need to register your assumed name with the state. In Illinois you have to register the name and put an ad in the local newspaper and run it for five days this will cost a few dollars and may vary. If you are using your real name you do not need to do this.

A3: You need to find out about sales tax. If you are doing an online business you may need to charge tax for items sold in your state but not in other states. DO NOT skip this step, if you do not collect tax and you were suppose to be collecting tax, you could LOSE the business you worked so hard to create. You will charge the customers the tax so PAY the government. You may also get a tax exemption on some of the items you buy for the business. If you are making a product, and buy a switch to go into the finished product the switch purchase may be eligible for a tax exemption. Ask your local tax agency they have great information and don't mind answering your questions. If you have an actual store then you will need to collect sales tax from everybody.

A4: I recommend a separate bank account for your business. Shop around there are different fees for different things such as credit card transactions, low balance, check fees, money transfer service charges and many more. One reason for a separate bank account is it makes tax time a whole lot easier. Another reason is It also makes it harder for you to take money out for personal use because you have to stop and think about it when you have to use a different checkbook. With the business and personal accounts together it is far to easy to say I'll pay it back later.

A5: Get some good accounting software and put everything in it. This makes tax time much easier. It should have a report manager and this can tell you many things like customer information, inventory and how much your spending on advertising and other controllable expenses. We tend not to look at the whole picture. We see $ 5 a week as not bad for advertising but at the end of the month we look at $ 20 dollars a whole different way. We begin to ask if we got our moneys worth. Remember a $ 1 here a $ 1 there adds up and a weekly or monthly report can shock you as to how much money you are actually spending.

A5a: The accounting software also helps keep track of tax deductible items. For instance rent of office space ex. I rent and my computer is in my apartment so I can deduct part of the rent. Same can be said for my phone if I use it for the business. My cable internet can be deducted as well as a percent of my utilities. Other items can include gas for the car, oil changes etc … Keep your receipts!

A6: I used an accountant at tax time no not h & r block or some service like that but an actual accountant. Talk to your friends and neighbors and find out if they have someone they use and like. No they're not that expensive I had my taxes done for about $ 110 dollars which was cheaper than when I had my personal taxes done the year before.

For help on promoting your online business read my other article. Website Promotion Services – for the New Online Business Owner it contains many free and useful tips on getting links to your website.

You can become successful if you do your homework. I've worked all my life and figure if I work as hard for myself as I do for other people then I CAN NOT fail. You can do it to! Thank you for reading my article and I hope it has helped you out.

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Confessions of a Bedroom Programmer

Sitting in the back of my brother’s car clutching my brand new Atari STE I happily declared I was going to be writing my first game soon. The Atari STE came with a selection of games I was keen to play but the image of STOS the Game Creator, a programming package which came with the STE, was the center of my dreams. The thought of being able to create any game I want, limited only by my imagination. Nothing in the world mattered to me at that very moment as I dreamed of hiding away with my copy of STOS Basic and creating my own games. Years later I have programmed countless pieces of code, a collection of popular games still displayed on various websites and wrote many articles on programming which I proudly display on my website to this day.

Programming can be highly addictive as I soon found out. I would come home from work and aim to be locked away with my computers as soon as possible. My mother would call up the stairs to tell me family members had arrived and I would reluctantly leave my babies just to walk to the top of the stairs to say hello. If they were lucky they would get my attention a bit longer if I came down for coffee. Times when I attempted a social life my conversation would be itching to come round to computers.

I ventured into the outside world in a desperate attempt to find an interest other than computers. I joined a karate class and actually started to enjoy the first year or so there, until visions of my babies started to occupy my mind and I started skipping lessons. Then one night in the club my Sensei read out a list of people who had the lowest attendance that month and mine was the lowest with just one visit. My Sensei glared at me with anger in his eyes and said: “If I want to go on my computer then get knotted” or words to that affect.

I have to confess that I am an addict when it comes to computers. It came to the point where I decided to leave karate class and spend more time at home hidden from the world – just me, my computers and endless cups of coffee which I would make just to have a reason to pop downstairs and see if my family are still there.

I discovered I had the programming bug at school when we learned how to type out simple programs on the BBC micro. Using drawing commands to draw simple shapes but it was enough to wet my appetite for programming. I got myself a Spectrum 48K and was soon learning basic commands, enough to write a small and simple adventure game.

Years later I was programming in STOS on the Atari STE and Amos on the Amiga 1200 and this became a big part of my life. My social life was at a minimum; often I had to push myself. I hated the idea of dealing with any situations outside of the bedroom. I was in danger of becoming a real loner who would happily shun the society and live in my own private world where people are pixels.

CONCLUSION

Thankfully I have improved over the years and have a better social life. However I found I am still happier being at home with my wife and my PC. I don’t have any regrets that I didn’t spend more time in the outside world. But I will still like to remind others that programming is a very addictive hobby and can lead to you become a sad git like me.

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The F A B Sales Method

This article discusses a proven sales technique that will be helpful to beginners and seasoned sales people alike – The F. A. B. Method.

Any seasoned sales representative will tell you that there are many components to the sales process. Among them are prospecting, getting the appointment, qualifying the prospect, identifying needs, making the presentation, checking for agreement and closing the sale.

Some would argue with me on this, but I believe that they are all equally important. You can’t get to step “B” without having successfully completed step “A”, and so on. That all important close would not be successful without first laying the groundwork, step by step.

Having said that, I would like to concentrate today on what many would consider the “meat” of the sales call – the presentation, specifically, a method called F.A.B.

Many well-intentioned sales people head out to the appointment without a clear plan of what they are going to say during their presentation. Perhaps they are new to the company and still learning the product line. Others might jump at the chance to enthusiastically rattle off all the many features of their product or service. While others, many who have been selling a long time, just like to improvise.

All of these approaches will produce hit-or-miss results, at best.

Salespeople need an organized approach. They need to present the product or service in such a way that the potential customer can readily see what’s in it for them. A long-standing, tried-and-true method to make sales happen is the F. A. B. approach.

F. A. B. stands for Features, Advantages and Benefits. It is a way of taking your prospects through the thought process of “so what does that mean for me?” After all, that is really all they care about.

Here’s the process:

During your meeting, after you have asked questions to determine what needs there may be for your product or service, tell them that as you understand it, they have a concern about how to save money (improve safety, or whatever) within their operation. It is important that the prospective customer knows you have been listening and understand their concerns. Tell them that you believe that your company can supply a solution to this concern. (I don’t like to say “problem” as many people don’t like to admit they have a problem.) Taking one feature at a time, starting with the one that will have the most impact, begin to discuss the features, advantages and benefits of your product or service.

FEATURE – A feature is a characteristic of a product or service.

Briefly discuss a feature of your product or service. I say “briefly” because you don’t want to take up a lot of time on this as the customer really doesn’t care about the feature at this point.

ADVANTAGE – The advantage is what that feature does.

You can spend a little more time talking about the advantage. You will get a sense of the gears going in your customer’s mind as s/he begins to realize what this means. Sometimes the sale is actually made in the customer’s mind during this time, long before you even discuss benefits or close.

BENEFIT – A benefit is how the advantage translates specifically to help that customer: Save time. Make money. Save money. Improve health. Provide peace of mind/security. Insure safety. Increase status.

Many people are under the mistaken impression that they are selling a product or service. What actually sells are the benefits.

Always sell benefits

Some FABs are obvious.

Feature: Our Credit Union members receive a free checking account.

Advantage: They are not charged a monthly fee.

Benefit: You save money every single month.

Feature: Our baby strollers have two safety latches: One on the wheel base and one on the handle.

Advantage: You can easily engage either or both safety latches.

Benefits: Two safety latches provide added safety for your baby and additional peace of mind for you.

Other times they are not so obvious and may not be of value to all customers.

Feature: We provide point-of-purchase displays and signage during this promotion for all distributors.

Advantage: You will receive the same selling tools as the larger stores, regardless of your purchasing volume.

Benefit: You will save time in that we are going to do the promoting for you and you will be on a level playing field with the larger distributors allowing you to make more money.

When talking about the advantages, and especially the benefits, always use the word “you”. This way, the customer can visualize himself actually using the product or service. It’s a great subliminal tool that no one really notices but does influence people.

Your product or service may have many features which translate into advantages and then into benefits. Please don’t make the mistake of telling your prospect everything your product has to offer. Studies show that the optimal number of presentation points are three. After that, people really don’t remember much. Besides, you may only need one FAB. That’s really all it takes.

Be sure to know as many FABs as your product or service has to offer. However, only present the ones (no more than three) that specifically address the concerns that your prospect has revealed during your questioning process. If they are impressed after the first FAB, by all means, ask your checking questions and go for the close.

The FAB method is a proven method for helping the potential customer realize the value of the products or services you are offering.

Learn it. It will serve you and your customers well.

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Understanding Opportunity Cost When Investing In Property

While most investors have got involved in property investing because they understand the opportunities to make money through leverage and capital growth or high yields, I still see and hear of many who do not fully understand opportunity cost.

Remember anyone that gets into property is usually in it to generate money or income – how many deals/properties you own is insignificant.

So what does opportunity cost mean?

Well according to the encyclopedia, “Opportunity cost is a term used in economics, to mean the cost of something in terms of an opportunity foregone (and the benefits that could be received from that opportunity), or the most valuable foregone alternative. For example, if a city decides to build a hospital on vacant land that it owns, the opportunity cost is some other thing that might have been done with the land and construction funds instead. In building the hospital, the city has forgone the opportunity to build a sporting center on that land, or a parking lot, or the ability to sell the land to reduce the city’s debt, and so on.”

So in property investing terms, if an investor decides to invest £50k in a property in for example Wales, the opportunity cost would be what he could have made by investing in Spain, Ireland or Dubai. Or similarly if an investor decides to keep equity of 50k in a property, the opportunity cost is what he/she could alternatively have invested this money in and the resultant value.

Now again this will depend on your specific strategy – and many people are not too concerned about opportunity cost, they are just keen to buy 1-2 properties that can hold onto for 15-25 years to use as a pension. That is fine if that is your strategy – but for me that is too broad a strategy, carries risks and is not maximising the opportunities available.

For me I have always had a philosophy, rightly or wrongly, that I should always be working my money hard. What does this mean? Well as soon as I feel my money has made a significant return and the returns are likely to drop off, compared to other possibilities, then I will look at realising my profits and investing elsewhere ie when I feel the opportunity elsewhere is greater than the current opportunity.

The great thing with property is this does not necessarily mean selling, as you can refinance, and invest money elsewhere.

This is no different to any other type of investing, such as buying stocks and shares – you make/lose your money depending on what price you paid, and what price you sold at – although clearly with property is good opportunity to earn a regular income as well – if hold onto for 15-25 years you should make money, but most likely will be a few scares along the way!

To be a successful investor, must know when to enter the market, and leave the market. And the people that do best buy low, and sell high!

I’ll give an example – while buying off plan has now got a bit of stick in the UK – I have done it successfully over the last few years – but the key is having a clear strategy.

For example, by doing all my due diligence I have managed to buy property at the right price in right location, but then sold on within a year of completion as I felt that was the period I would see the maximum returns in – and opportunities would be greater elsewhere over the next 3 years.

So to go through the numbers, I have just sold one that I bought off plan last year 12 months before completion. I bought at a price that was already £10k below market value based on my research in an area that had little buy to let competition. This was secured with only a £5k deposit. On completion, I put another £28k into deposit – so tied up £33k of my own money. There was no stamp duty in this area.

I then put on market on completion, now even with things slowing down in the area, I have just sold it for a £23k profit. So I tied up £5k for 1 year, and a further £28k for 6 months, to get back £56k.

Why did I sell? Did I consider refinancing?

My first choice would have been to refinance and let out, but the rental would not have stacked up. So while the rental would have stacked up at the price I paid for the property, I would have had 56k in equity sat not doing very much for me. So as I do not forecast huge capital growth in the area over the next 3-5 years, and the yield was not attractive enough for me it was best for me to release this equity and find another investment – ie I felt there were better opportunities for me to spend my £56,000 on, to generate more money.

Now clearly when are looking into the future is element of risk and speculation and are no definite answers – so you are having to forecast as well as you can with the data currently available ie how you forecast interest rates, buying/selling costs, supply and demand, employment, the overall economy and market sentiment over the next time period in the markets/regions you are investing/looking to invest in.

Although opportunity cost can be hard to quantify, its effect is universal and very real on the individual level. The principle behind the economic concept of opportunity cost applies to all decisions, not just economic ones, for example when Steven Gerrard decided to stay with Liverpool last summer, his home club and where he is captain, the opportunity cost was what he could have achieved if he had moved to Chelsea. It will be interesting to see what he decides this summer- he may now feel the opportunity cost is too great to turn down.

Hope this makes sense, and remember to consider opportunity cost when next making an investment decision.

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Best Homeowners Insurance Companies: What Perks and Benefits Do They Offer?

There are so many good things about owning a home: you can fix it up and sell it for profit, rent it out to someone else to earn income, or simply live in it yourself and never have to worry about rent. The downside is that there is insurance to consider. There is a variety of coverage options depending on where you live and what kind of house you own. What is it that the best homeowners insurance companies offer?

When shopping around for house insurance quotes, you need to know exactly what needs to be insured and what is included in the policy.

Some of the things you might need insurance for include:

• Protection for the dwelling itself, as well as any other buildings on the property like a storage shed or detached garage.

• Protection for the contents INSIDE the dwellings, like electronics, jewelry, furniture, appliances, etc…

• Protection from any possible hazard that can cause harm to your property and contents, such as fire, flooding, hurricane, mudslides, and so forth.

• Liability insurance in the event that someone gets injured on your property.

If you live in an area that is prone to hazardous weather, it might be a good idea to get insurance to cover additional living expenses should you have to move out and stay some place else while damages are getting repaired.

The best homeowners insurance companies will allow you to view a summary of your coverage and even provide you with a sample of a policy when you sign up, before making your final decision. You should be given the opportunity to edit your coverage and policy settings such as the start date and deductible.

Canceling Your Policy at the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies

You should also be able to cancel your policy at any time. Some companies will even issue you a refund for the remaining period you have paid for.

While some homeowners are inadequately insured, other homeowners make the mistake of paying for more coverage than they actually need. Make sure you get just the right amount of coverage you need by going through a policy section by section to determine whether each type of coverage adequately protects your investment. There is such a thing as “OVER-protecting”.

What about other people who live on you property? If it’s a roommate or tenant, you will need a different type of policy. If it’s blood relatives, however, then the best homeowners insurance policy will automatically cover all of the residents in the household who are related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption.

You can learn more about house insurance by looking into services by Lemonade. It’s definitely among the best homeowners insurance companies. Lemonade has a unique “Giveback” policy to its clients, which is one of the many perks of choosing this company for your homeowners insurance.

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How to Get a Millionaire to Fall in Love With You

So, you have met your millionaire match. Good work. No doubt you spent the night wining, dining and finalizing plans to spend the winter in Barbados together. He didn’t seem remotely interested in anyone else. He told you that his down-to-earth family roots have kept him grounded. He said you were amazing.

Having spent more time dating millionaires than I have brushing my teeth, I am going to tell you exactly how to make this man fall in love (instead of just “in crush”) with you. I will also tell you the things that you will inevitably do naturally that will make you lose your man.

1. Do not let your initial spark dampen by being too available. The first thing you are going to experience is unfaltering uphoria. The time you spent with him was undeniably magical. Between refills of crystal champagne, you both had laughs and chatted about how similar you are. On anyone’s account, the sparks were flying. The problem here is that you will feel “too comfortable” for your own good. Remember that this man is the hyperbole of desirable – and every other woman he meets feels exactly how you are feeling. Be busy! If you are not busy, pretend! Return his calls a day or two late. Don’t excuse yourself for being too busy…a woman such as yourself should be expected to be busy.

2. Do not enter into conversations about how much you two “clicked”. This is the typical maneuver of a playboy. If he wants to talk about your “connection,” do your best to change the subject to something more neutral. If you can, change the subject to something fun you have been up to lately. Never let him know you have been bathing in his words. Resist the urge, as much as he eggs it on. He gets that from everyone else.

3. Never, never, never talk about money. Never. Under no circumstance. If he brings it up, change the subject. He is either testing you or subconsciously testing you. Do not do it. Ever.

4. Kiss him passionately, but do not sleep with him. I cannot stress this enough. If you have already done so, you might as well stop reading this because you have given up your power. You are not wife material to him. You are now a future booty-call. If you need an excuse to leave early, make one up. Better yet, make up something that sounds interesting, like early skydiving lessons.

Now, for the sweet honey nectar. How to make him fall in love with you.

1. Be easily amused, yet not overtly impressed. Millionaires are used to meeting women who are gold-diggers and it is such a turn-off. They have become used to spotting women who want them for their money by their easiest give away: nervous/googly eyes. If he orders caviar for $2500, go ahead and be visibly excited (he will love that) but don’t shy away and act coy. Get thrilled and show it – then change the subject away from what he is buying and onto something meaningful.

2. Be silly. Never be in a bad mood. Do not act like a princess. Millionaires love spoiling women because of the attention but it will not make them fall in love with you. Be funny, be quirky. Don’t be a princess. Be the girl that you are when you are having a pajama party with your girlfriends.

3. Be financially secure. Whether you are or not, give the impression that you have life by the horns. (Just to reiterate, never actually talk about money.) You never want him to get the impression that you are trying to get him to pay for your bills (hopefully, you are not doing that anyway). Financial security is attractive, especially for millionaires.

3. Always get off the phone first. This is an easy one.

4. Get him to do something he has never done. Whether it is trying a new food or experiencing something in the city he would never otherwise do. Maybe even a walk through an undiscovered park. A millionaire is not used to being out of his element. And just like it is for you, new is always exciting.

Congratulations on your new find. Without a doubt, you can this millionaire fall in love with you. It is to your advantage that every other girl he is meeting is making the mistakes I mentioned above. Best of luck!

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The 4 Elements of Fitness

Most people want to be fit but that raises a question. What does it mean to be fit? The answer is fairly simple. To be fit, one must have physical capability in four areas: aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.

1. Aerobic Capacity. Aerobic capacity, which is also known as cardiorespiratory fitness, refers to the health and function of the heart, lungs and circulatory system. Simply stated, aerobic fitness is the ability of the cardiorespiratory system to deliver an adequate supply of oxygen to exercising muscles. As your aerobic capacity increases, your ability to participate in more intense and longer lasting exercise also increases (e.g., walking, running, swimming and bicycling). It can be argued that aerobic capacity is the most important of the four elements of fitness because of the health benefits it bestows. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, increased aerobic capacity leads to reduced blood pressure, decreased total cholesterol, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, decreased body fat, increased heart function and decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

2. Muscular Strength and Endurance. Muscular strength is the maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can generate during a single contraction. Muscular endurance is the number of repeated contractions a muscle or muscle group can perform without tiring. Both are important components of overall fitness because increasing your strength through various types of resistance training (e.g., weightlifting) leads to increased bone strength, decreased bone loss, decreased muscle loss, increased tendon and ligament strength, increased physical capacity, improved metabolic function (e.g., burn more calories at rest), and decreased risk of injury.

3. Flexibility. Flexibility is the range of motion within a joint. Increased flexibility provides a variety of benefits such as decreased risk of injury, increased flow of blood and nutrients to joint structures, increased neuromuscular coordination, decreased risk of low back pain, improved posture and reduced muscular tension.

4. Body Composition. Body composition refers to the relative percentage of body weight that consists of body fat and fat-free mass (everything other than fat such as muscles, organs, blood, bones and water). Generally speaking, the lower your body fat percentage the better because of the diseases linked to excess body fat such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and sleep disorders. I am often asked, “Can you be fat and fit?” The answer is an overwhelming NO. A significant element of fitness is the possession of a healthy body fat percentage because increased fat leads to decreased athletic performance and increased risk of disease (although it is possible to be overweight and healthy since health is merely the absence of disease or illness). According to the American Council on Exercise, the average body-fat percentage for men is 18-24%. For fit men the percentage is 14-17%. The average percentage for women is 25-31%; however fit women will be in the range of 21-24%. Body-fat percentages above 25% for men and 32% for women are considered obese.

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The Oath of a Kundalini Yoga Teacher

“The Oath of a Kundalini Teacher: “I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

I have a confession to make. I struggled with The Teacher’s Oath when I started my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. When I first heard it, I rebelled. What do you mean I’m not a woman? If I’m not a person than what am I? And if I am not myself, then who is me? I didn’t get it and it confused me immensely. Who was this guy to tell me that I’m not me? Can you say “resistance?” How about that for a great start?

In this article, I’ll explain about The Teacher’s Oath and what it means to me now compared to my first impression. I’ll also touch on the key ethical responsibilities a KY teacher has in terms of service to students, personal conduct, and roles. And finally I’ll bring in my relationship to the teachings and to the source of the teachings.

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, of Golden Bridge in Los Angeles, says that, “as Kundalini yoga teachers, [we] take this [Teacher’s] Oath. It sets the precedent as to why we are there and what we are to deliver: these sacred teachings. Our purpose is to deliver the student to himself-not to the teacher. We are there to inspire the students.”

How do I feel about The Teacher’s Oath now? It is about uplifting humanity! Yogi Bhajan gave the Teacher’s Oath as a reminder to keep our ego out of our teaching and to always respond with what is in the best interest of the student. He is trying to teach us to “shine the soul of the student,” not to shine our own egos. It is about being a messenger of the teachings; being a vehicle and letting it flow. The Teachers Oath reminds us to be the teacher and to uplift the soul of each student.

Hand-in-hand with the Teachers Oath are the ethical responsibilities a KY teacher has. These responsibilities are three-fold. First, is ethical responsibility in terms of service. As a KY teacher it is essential to keep the purity of the teachings and to teach them in a way that is selfless. It is the teacher’s responsibility to connect students to the flow of the teachings and to elevate the student to the awareness of the Infinite within them.

Second, is ethical responsibility in terms of personal conduct. This is about walking the talk and teaching by example. It is also about relating to the spirit, soul, and essence of a person, not their ego. Additionally, the teacher-student relationships are to remain professional. Personal conduct is to be of the highest caliber and always from a place of deep care, respect, and concern for others.

The third and final piece is ethical responsibility in terms of role. As a KY teacher you need to let go of your identification with your own success or failure. In this role, a KY teacher needs to identify with “being a teacher” as an infinite task. It is about being mindful of the students (ability levels, never being harassive, honoring all belief systems, and keeping confidences). In terms of the role as a KY teacher, choose right over wrong, ethics over convenience…these are the choices that measure your life (not just your teaching experiences). Travel the path of integrity…for there is never the wrong time to do the right thing.

To close off this discussion, it is important to bring in what my relationship is to the teachings and the source of the teachings.

My relationship to the teachings is one of respect, consideration, love, appreciation, gratitude, and service, always, at all times, regardless of my particular momentary feelings and opinions, because that is the attitude I need to have toward my very Essence.

As for my relationship to the source of the teachings, it was difficult in the beginning. As a pure Sagittarian, I am often desperately unhappy in regimented situations as I tend to become bored and restless, and I also resent authority. So, to come to this type of spiritual teaching that is based on the tradition of a guru transmitting the wisdom was an interesting choice. I know that, typically, people surrender to the guru to lead the way until you have the discipline of the pure teachings. It all shifted into greatness once I started to trust my teacher and surrender to the experiences. Now, KY is a proven step-by-step system to walk my own path. It is all LOVE…pure LOVE. I surrender my ego to my soul. I came to explore the knowledge and didn’t know that the knowledge would start to explore me. It was about the wisdom of yielding to, rather than opposing, the flow of life.

I get it now…just as Mark Ciaburri claims, “My whole being moves toward these teachings. I love what I am learning, and unlearning.”

©Copyright 2010 Kundalini Yoga With Sharlene Starr. All Rights Reserved.

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