30 Minute Lunch Break

So, what’s the deal with taking a 30 minute lunch break. I know that in the USA, lunch breaks are unpaid and if you take a 30 minute lunch, it allows a person to leave work 30 minutes earlier, but is it worth it?.

There are some semi enlightened employers who allow their employees to make their own choice on the length of lunch break that suits them, the choice is generally 30 minutes or one hour and the choice is strictly an individual option that only applies to that particular employee. I have worked in places that only have the 30 minute lunch option, only the one hour option and others that allow the employee to make an individual choice. When given a choice, I have always gone for the one hour lunch break because it allows me to get out of the work environment and eat at a relaxed pace. I have always felt more energetic and productive after a one hour lunch break. The 30 minute break annoys me, I feel rushed, the food has to be shoved down my throat as fast as I can shove it down. I feel that the 30 minute lunch break makes me less productive.

It definitely seems that it is a personal choice. Some people seem to do very well with only 30 minutes for lunch and others despise it because it is too short. This only applies to employees (wage slaves) of course. Self employed people do what ever they like regarding lunch and vary their lunch break day to day depending on how much work they have to complete and what they feel like on any given day.

The lunch break length has been studied and results indicate that a one hour break allows employees to be more productive in the afternoon. The break length also seems to be a very personal choice. My work experience began in Europe in the late 70’s. At that time, I always received an hour for lunch, and that hour was paid. I have talked with older Americans who said that they received hour long paid lunch breaks in the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s, so I suppose this current lunch break thing is a sign of the times, lack of any respect for employees.

I don’t care if I don’t get paid for lunch breaks but I prefer my hour. The best solution seems to be that the employer should offer each individual the choice of lunch break length, as it is unpaid.

I have noticed that in the last 30 years, there seems to be a desire by employers to move back to a Victorian era employment situation,  where they can have employees work for 15 hours a day with a 10 minutes (unpaid) lunch break. This isn’t surprising, as unions have been severely weakened and most are generally corrupt enough to accept “donations” from the people who employ their members.

What is the real solution? Do our best to employ ourselves, even though governments do their very best to make this almost impossible with their red tape and coronavirus restrictions ( that they seem to want to make permanent) that impact small businesses hardest.

 

Free “Art Of Woodworking ‘ Guide

wood-projects-collectionAs a woodworker, you may have realized that finding the right detailed plans to build some custom projects to meet specific needs can be very difficult. This is among the most common problems woodworkers face today, but luckily for you, this and other related problem shouldn’t bother you.

At Teds Woodworking, Ted Mcgrath, a certified master woodworker, trainer, and author gives more than 16,000 plans, with step-by-step blueprints for various woodworking projects.

So what’s Teds Woodworking all about?

Building complex projects or even the simple ones to meet specific needs can be very difficult even to experienced woodworkers especially when you can’t find a detailed plan. And most of the so-called “step by step” guides found online and in various magazines make building some projects harder than it should be. This is because the plans are sometimes not specific enough or their instructions leave out crucial information assuming that you have enough experience to know what to do.

In addition, often, such plans don’t have enough detail. For instance, some don’t include pictures or the pictures they have don’t match what they are telling you. Still, some don’t even include cut sheets, so you are forced to “guesstimate” materials.

Ted Mcgrath spent over 25 years studying these problems and finding solutions. He put together a comprehensive collection of wood-working plans. Tedswoodworking.com is his website which offers woodworkers solutions to various woodworking problems, especially those related to finding the right plans for various projects. The site has detailed plans for over 16, 000 projects. Every plan comes with a step-by-step blueprint to make it easier for you to create stunning, professional wood-working projects hassle-free, quickly, and easily.

Who is TedsWoodworking for?

If you are a woodworker looking for detailed plans to start building your dream projects, or if you want a variety of plans for various unique projects, then tedswoodworking.com has you covered. The website has helpful insights for both beginner woodworkers and the more experienced ones.

Why you should check this out

Occasionally, you are presented with a challenging project, for instance, a customer comes and wants something custom-made for them. Without having a detailed plan, it may be very difficult to build such projects quickly and be able to meet your customer’s needs. TedsWoodworking comes in handy, providing you with a variety of plans with complete easy-to-understand instructions.

You will also get new insights and learn new tricks of completing projects even if you do not have expensive tools or a large woodworking workshop. And given the wide range of projects and complete plans available on the website, you no longer need to spend days or months looking for someone to complete a project for you. You will build even the most challenging projects yourself.

Here are a few things the site has to offer:

  • Easy-to-understand step by step instructions; Every plan has simple “hold-you-by-the-hand” instructions that will assist you to complete your projects quickly.

 

  • Materials and Cutting lists ensuring that you get the right materials and make correct cuttings. This saves you a lot of money. 

 

  • You get sharp, colorful and detailed schematics. No guesswork is involved, you will know what to do and how to do it and complete your projects within the shortest time possible.

 

  • The plans give you views from all angles. You will see how everything should look like before you start building. The intricate details for every joint, angle and corner make sure you are not left guessing.

 

  • Various lists of plans (16,000+). In addition, you will also get new plans every month for free.

 

  • The plans cover all levels of competence and skills. You don’t have to be an expert wood-worker or have expensive tools and machinery to use the plans.

 

  • Whether you are a pro woodworker, an amateur, or a beginner with hand tools, you will find several projects suitable for you.

 

What You Won’t Like about Teds Woodworking?

Although Teds Woodworking has a lot of good things to offer, it has also some flaws. Since this contains thousands of plans, it takes time to download it, particularly if your internet speed isn’t up to mark.

Nevertheless, this advantage may be nullified if you choose the DVD version of Teds Woodworking. You’ll have every plan in a portable DVD and you don’t need to spend time in front of your computer to download the pack.

But, if you pick the DVD version, you’ll have to wait several days for the shipping. Aside from that, organizing a total of 16,000 plans isn’t a simple task. You do need to utilize the search option to locate the plan you’re looking for.

Why Should You Choose Teds Woodworking?

If you are planning to purchase 16,000 plans individually, it’ll cost you loads of money. However, Ted is offering everything for a limited Launch Price of Only $67.

Thousands of woodworkers are using his plans to create awesome stuff out of wood. It’s now you turn to get in on the action

So check it out with the links below:

Get the FREE Art Of Woodworking Guide PLUS 40 FREE Plans. 

OR……………………

Get Teds Woodworking, Containing Easy To Understand Instructions and 16,000 Plans.

Think And Grow Rich

One of the most reccommended self help books ever

The Napoleon Hill Foundation received many requests from people wanting the original, unedited, 1937 copy of Think and Grow Rich. To satisfy those customers the Foundation reproduced Napoleon Hill’s personal copy of the first edition, printed in March of 1937. The book has the notation, not to be loaned, and signed: Annie Lou Hill (the wife of Dr. Hill). This personal copy of Dr. Hill’s was given to me by Dr. Charles W. Johnson, Chairman of the Napoleon Hill Foundation and a nephew of Napoleon Hill. It was Napoleon Hill who sent Dr. Johnson to medical school, and today he is a practicing cardiologist. Charlie refers to Napoleon Hill as Uncle Nap, and will often makes the statement, Uncle Nap would be proud of the Foundation today. The original 1937 manuscript was written and edited with the assistance of Napoleon’s wife. In later years, the existing document was again edited by Dr. Hill. For example, the Foundation owns a 1958 edition that Hill edited personally. This did not lessen the books value in Hill’s judgment. Hill made the editing remarks in his own handwriting and the resulting 1960 edited edition has sold over 100 million copies making it the most read self-help book of all time. Think and Grow Rich sells more copies today than before Dr. Hill died in 1970. Now, a new and authoritative recording of this original, unedited, one-of-a-kind work, authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation is available. By purchasing this audio edition, you will be supporting the nonprofit Napoleon Hill Foundation. The entire philosophy of Napoleon Hill is based on the Golden Rule. The Foundation deeply appreciates the support of those of you who only purchase Napoleon Hill authorized books. You can identify these materials by the Foundation Logo and by looking inside for Napoleon Hill copyright.


Think and Grow Rich (1937 Edition)

The Law Of Attraction, Really?

Is the law of attraction real?. In basic terms, this theory states that if you think about your desire with enough concentration, it will eventually materialize. The subject is interesting and when you research it, a different perspective on life and reality is revealed. Some people believe that everything and everyone is basically made of energy vibrating at different frequencies, like radio waves and quantum physics seems to be heading in the direction of proving this theory. Maybe the alchemists were onto something. If this is true, then the Star Trek replicator could become reality one day. Of course, gold and oil would not be as desirable anymore.

 

The smallest known particle of matter is the quark, but the theory is that when matter is broken down as far as is possible, what we find is energy vibrating at a certain frequency and it is the speed of vibration that determines what we perceive to be different types of matter. This leads to the law of attraction theory because the energy or force is consciousness and all knowing. Some people call this god, others call it the universal field / consciousness and various other names. The theory is that a person’s thoughts have energy and power and the thoughts are sent out into the universe and must be made material in the end, because they are energy and this energy consciousness cannot determine reality from dream/desire. Many self help books and audio recordings have variations on this theme.

 

I don’t know whether the theory is correct but it does allow for experimentation. It certainly seems that negative thoughts do have a lot of power, all we need to do is think negatively in a concentrated manner and we get very negative results, and negative thinking comes naturally to most of us, almost as if it has been programmed into us. Many people can’t believe the theory because the concept is alien to everything that they have been taught, their whole lives have been based upon the idea that taking action is the only way to make something happen and action is the only thing required. I believe that positive thought does have a power, but concentrated thought leads to action which leads to materialization of the desire. There are some self help authors who state that thought is the primary force in making a desire materialize and others who state that action is most important. Some “gurus” state that thought /intention on it’s own will materialize your desires. I do know that without at least one or the other, no desire will materialize and it is fair to say that if negative thoughts have power, then positive ones do also.

 

The early 20th century self help author Napoleon Hill stated that “definiteness of purpose” was his first law of success, and this makes sense, as a person can’t make their desire materialize if they don’t have one. Concentrating on one desire as your definite purpose can, at the very least, go a long way to making it happen, so this seems to be a variation on the thought theory, although he does stress that action must also be taken. 

 

What I have understood so far from research is that in order to manifest your desires, you must….

 

  • Decide upon one desire and think about it in a positive manner as frequently as possible.

 

  • Believe that your desire has already been manifested. This means that initially, your desire must be believable to you.

 

  • Don’t be impatient, because you don’t want to give the “force” a deadline as this could lead to negativity.

 

  • Think positively as much as you can in general and be on the alert for negative thoughts, as they mess up the process.

 

  • When a good idea comes to you, in connection with your desire, take action on it.

 

  • Frame your desire in positive terms and never say negative phrases like “ I can’t afford” this or that etc.

 

  • Visualize yourself as the recipient of your desire ( in the present moment).

 

  • Reprogram your subconscious to think in positive terms.

 

  • Be grateful for the good things that you already have,  and say so every day.

 

The theory is that positive energy vibrates on a different and higher frequency than negative energy, and positive energy (your desires, good things etc) will only be attracted to other positive energy………those thoughts sending out a broadcast from your mind.

 

I’m no “guru”or expert and I am still studying the topic because I find it interesting. I have always wondered if “this” is all there is, “this” being the humdrum, tedious negative environment that most people exist in, so it is a novel concept to find theories that put forward the idea that we are creating this environment by our own thoughts. 

 

Try it out, it certainly won’t do anyone any harm. It can’t do any harm to think in a positive way.

Thinking Power

man facing sideways

Maybe you have heard of  affirmations. The word can conjure up several images in the mind but this post is specifically about self help and self improvement. The dictionary definition of AFFIRMATION is – The action or process of affirming something – A formal declaration by a person who declines to take an oath – Emotional support or encouragement.

 

This post is going to look at the type of affirmation used to improve or change a person’s thought process. The habit of negative thinking is unproductive and can become a habit, almost an addiction. Positive affirmations can be used to break the habit. The affirmations can be specific to a particular aim, or more general, such as “ I am always happy and contented”. The positive affirmations can be written, spoken or listened to and can be produced by the individual or another person.

 

Most people have similar aspirations, happiness, wealth, health, happy relationships etc. and so it is easy for one person to create an audio file with multiple affirmations that would be useful to many people. The one important point when using affirmations is to repeat them. Affirmations are also used by many business and sports people to improve performance in whatever field they may be involved in, sales, soccer, MMA, running etc. Sometimes they don’t even know that they are using the technique.

 

Subliminal affirmations work by bypassing the conscious mind and speak directly to the subconscious. I have found these are very good for changing habitual negative thought processes.The affirmations are usually embedded in music or other sounds and cannot be consciously heard by the listener. This allows the subliminal messages to access the unconscious mind in a powerful way.

 

Another method is to repeat the affirmations to yourself as as many times as you can throughout the course of the day. The theory is that the repetition will eventually encourage you to believe the message and embed the thought in your mind.

 

I have heard of people who place Post-It notes with a written affirmation in prominent places throughout their home so that they will read the message frequently every day.

 

It is the repetition that gets the message across to you. There is software that allows a person to write or create an audio file of positive affirmations that will play in the background on the computer while you are working or browsing. The text and audio is not noticable, it is subliminal and can be very beneficial if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen.

 

It could be seen as brainwashing yourself, (for positive effects of course). Some messages are paired with binaural sound beats for a more powerful effect. Binaural audio can be simply described as 3D hearing, binaural beats are basically two different frequencies,one to the left ear and one to the right.The brain will process the two frequencies and perceive the sound as one new third frequency. There are several frequencies that are said to allow the brain to accomplish things such as relax, concentrate, sleep, meditate etc. The binaural beat is thought to help the brain/mind absorb the message of the affirmation(s).

 

You can buy affirmation software which allows you to record your affirmations and then play them back to you throughout a session. To test the power of affirmations, there are plenty of free resources on sites such as YouTube, just search for the affirmation that you want and play it.

 

There is also the theory, mixed in with stuff like quantum physics, belief systems and the like, that suggest we all have the power to create everything that we need and want and that thought itself is the creating force. In general terms, it suggests that everything that exists is energy, or a frequency and that if we concentrate our thoughts on a particular outcome, item, wish and so on that we send out our intentions into the world, and because of this, the desired result must materialize. It is said that this takes a concentrated effort over time. It is also believed that what we think about most will materialize, so it is very dangerous to think negative thoughts all of the time because if this is true, you will ensure that negativity materializes.

 

Whether you think that this is all hippie nonsense or not, it is more healthy to think positive thoughts than negative, so experiment and see what happens. If you wonder why you see or hear the same advertisement over and over again on every TV  commercial break then you may now begin to see why. The same goes for political messages and more. People are attempting to influence us to take a certain course of action by repetition. The same is true of pop songs. The first time that you hear the song, it may sound unremarkable but by the time that you have heard it 50 times in the last 2 days, is begins to “grow” on you and you start to think that it is great, has that ever happened to you????.

 

Positive things can’t occur without action from the individual. Affirmations and positive intentions that are embedded in the subconscious tend to move a person toward taking actions that will lead to the desired outcome as stated in the affirmation, so there is a more down to earth element to affirmations that may be attractive to people who have no interest in anything other than what their senses convey to them.

 

As long as you are in control of your affirmations and intentions, and you make sure that they are positive in some way, there can only be 2 outcomes, either nothing or a good outcome. We are exposed to many influences and influencers in the world, some of these may not be too interested in improving us as a person, many just want to sell us something. Why not use these techniques to improve your life.

Naked Retirement

A Different Way To Earn

blackboard business chalkboard concept

Why would anyone want to downsize their job from full-time work to part-time?.

There are several good reasons: –

Less stress

Less time spent at work

More time to do things that you want to do

The career/job isn’t what it once was, disillusionment

Concentrate on building a business

More time for hobbies, (that may, or may not turn into a business)

The list can go on and on, and each person who takes this approach has their own reasons. Of course, there are also disadvantages, such as: –

 

Less money (at least initially)

Possibly starting a new job, including the application process and all that it entails

Less prestige, in certain professions

Loss of identity for people who have been in one field for a long time

Possible loss of benefits, such as medical/dental/vision

Loss of seniority, influence and authority

 

Sometimes, a career field that a person started in, changes so much over the years that it is no longer attractive. If you find that this is you, then consider doing something different. This is mainly written with the older person in mind, as a younger person doesn’t need to downsize, but rather completely change career tracks and  a younger person may not have the resources to consider downsizing anyway. It would still be wise for a young person to have more than one source of income though.

However you feel about money, you need it to survive in the world. Before downsizing from full-time to part-time, whether in the same field, a completely new field or just an easygoing part time job to supply a bit of cash and maybe some benefits, you need to evaluate your finances.

I went from a high prestige career to a part-time job and some online contract work. What enabled me to do this was mostly a pension that I could claim several years before the normal retirement age of most people.

I had an idea that I would move several hundred miles from where I was working, to a more rural area and continue in  the same field there, maybe with less pay, but I expected the pension to cover the shortfall. I succeeded in this, but not long after starting, I found that it was not what I thought it would be and I left. I then went to what would be seen as an unremarkable part-time job. This job however, was enjoyable in a strange way. It was simple enough, it required a reasonable amount of physical exertion and I could finish work every day without having to think about it anymore until I went to work the following day.

I am lucky enough to be in good physical condition and I like to work out, so the part-time job is an extension of my workouts with the added bonus of getting paid for it. The pay isn’t as much as I am used to, but the people who I work with seem to think that the pay is quite reasonable for the area.

I have found over the months that the amount of money flowing into my bank account from all sources,  equals and generally exceeds my previous full-time net monthly income. I haven’t quite got to the stage where I do exactly as I please, but it gets closer every day.

I have found that the loss of status is a minor issue and it does not bother me, but that is because I always knew that it was coming and I have prepared myself over the years. I have never really been one for completely buying into  an identity that has been manufactured for me by someone or something else. I once did when I was younger, but it was so difficult to re-adjust after leaving the job that I was determined never to allow it to occur again, and I have been successful in that.

If you have other resources to draw on and you feel that it is time to do something different, I would do it. Resources such as pensions, business income, contract work, investments, expectations of future pensions etc are very liberating. Nobody should rely on one entity for their income, it is very precarious, especially in today’s work environment. The world of work is not the same as it was in the 1950s, 60s, 70s or even the 80s. No employer has a duty to you. Many good employers do feel and act in a responsible manner towards employees, which is admirable, but sometimes they find that they have no choice but to let employees go. It is wise to not put all of your eggs in one basket, don’t rely on only one source for your income.

 

My income percentages from various sources is –

Pension – 46%

Part time employment – 31%

Online contract work – 15%

Business interests – 8%

 

Some of the income can be called passive, about 54% if you class a pension as passive. It is passive income now, but it has to be earned over time.

My aim is to increase the online work and business interest percentages to at least 70% and get the part-time employment and pension percentages down to about 30% of total income, and have at least 7 sources of income while investing as little of my time as possible. This will also result in more money flowing in.

 

A younger person can take this approach but will normally have to become an entrepreneur as opposed to working several low paid part-time jobs, because you still have to invest at least 40 hours a week total in your part time jobs to make a living wage. The whole goal is to generate as much money as you want,  but also minimize time spent working for someone else and maximize time spent on doing what you enjoy. Also, a younger person won’t generally have the bonus of a pension.

 

Work out your figures and see if it is possible for you. You don’t necessarily need to equal the money that you are earning at present (initially) if you are willing to make do with less, smaller house, cheaper car etc.

 

Let me know what you think.

Black Friday

group of people

Well, today is the day that many people have been waiting for, the day that the big box stores sell off their old stock at what appears to be huge discounts. My first experience of this day led me to believe that there were just too many people out there that were very easily influenced. People who could be enticed to sleep outside stores all night in order to grab the best deals, people who were willing to place themselves in the middle of large jostling, aggressive, greedy crowds just to “save” a few dollars on some shoddy electronic garbage that the don’t need anyway, people who love the chaos of the initial openings of these stores. I will not be partaking, I never have and I never will. I don’t like crowds and I don’t want to tempt fate by putting myself in a position that tests my patience. Cyber Monday is more my style, but it is very unlikely that I will buy anything on that day either.

 

It is interesting that there is a field of study called consumer psychology and the behaviour of some “bargain hunters” suggests some form of mind control to me. I don’t know the origins of this event but there is definitely some manipulation of public perceptions going on. I do believe that it is a chance for retailers to sell off their aging stock before they take delivery of newer updated products of the same type.

 

Maybe I am just not a good little consumer, but I would rather do my own thing on this day, even if it means that I miss the chance to buy some item at a discount.

I must admit that I don’t like shopping at the best of times and this could be a reason that I am not attracted to Black Friday. The whole affair is somewhat distasteful to me.

 

If you do enjoy Black Friday, I wish you well and hope that you get the deals that you hoped for but be nice and don’t compromise your character  just to save a few dollars.

The Credit Score

master card visa credit card gold

The truth of the matter is that everyone should strive to use as little credit as possible because credit equals debt. Having said that, most people find that they need to use credit on high ticket items such as vehicles, buying a house, home air conditioning systems, furniture, home repairs etc.

 

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S.A.  are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and the  Creditors and lenders will normally use one of these bureaus to check your credit rating when you apply for credit. The credit bureaus operate by collecting and continuously updating a consumer’s credit rating and then selling that information to businesses in a credit report. Each credit bureau operates independently and issues it’s own rating. Consumers normally know this as their credit score, one number that represents your reliability as a borrower.

 

Credit scores generally range from a low of 300 (poor)  to a high of 850 ( excellent) and the score has a major impact on your credit options. Each individual business has their own model of credit score generation but the final ratings usually fall within a few points of each other. A lower credit score will put you at a disadvantage. You will find that you have less credit options, and the options that are available to you will come with a high interest rate and normally give you less time to pay the loan off. I think that it is always a good idea to get as high a credit score as you can, because you never know when you may need it.

FICO

The Fair Isaac Corporation formulated FICO credit scores. They are an amalgamation of the information found in the major credit bureau files on you. These scores are used by more than 90% of lenders when it comes to granting loans. They are also used when setting the interest rates, monthly payments, terms of each loan and loan approval. The FICO score is something that is normally supplied to many credit card holders on their monthly statements.

 

How To Get And Maintain A Good Credit Score

The first thing you will need is a credit history. If you have never used credit, you will have no credit rating and you will probably find it hard to get a loan.

The easiest way to begin your credit history is by getting a credit card. My suggestion is to use the card and either make sure that you pay it off every  month or keep a low balance on it. The credit history uses data from you “on time” payments, use of the card and length of credit history. You normally find that if you pay off the whole card balance in full every month, you will not be charged interest, but that depends on the individual lender and you should read the small print on your agreement.

After you create a credit history, make sure that you make all of your loan payments by the payment “due date” and keep your debt to 30% or less of the total credit available to you.

The categories generally used to determine your credit score is:-

Payment History – 35%

Credit Utilization – 30%

Length of Credit History – 15%

Mix of Accounts – 10%

New Credit Inquiries – 10%

 

The two most important factors, according to the above figures are the payment history and the credit utilization. Payment history is self explanatory – pay on time, every time. Credit utilization is a calculation of the total available credit you have versus your total debt. If you can keep the ratio of debt to credit below 30% then you should be in good shape.

Example –   Total Available Credit = $30,000

                     Total Debt = $9000

                     Credit Utilization = 30%

 

You never know when you may need credit and it doesn’t hurt to build yourself a good credit score for potential use.

If you can build and maintain a good score you will be able to take advantage of the best offers, such as:-

0% interest  finance loans for several years with no prepayment penalties

18 month + 0% interest credit card offers

9% or less APR credit cards

4% or less mortgage loans

And more

 

People with bad credit can still obtain credit but the interest rates are normally extortionate. Unfortunately,  the people who pay the most interest on loans are the people who can least afford it, or the people who have neglected to cultivate their credit score.

I once saw a 70 point drop in my credit score due to one minor monthly payment that I forgot about. The minimum payment was so small that I could have easily paid the amount many times over. The payment was to a store type credit card, and I paid the forgotten payment the following month. I had been an account holder for several years, and I had used it, and got to a zero dollar balance several times over that time. This was the first time that I had missed a payment. This didn’t matter to the company. It took about a year to rebuild the credit score to a very good level. The company involved, was so fast to react to this one missed payment in my history of being a reliable customer that I payed off the whole thing the month after that and shredded the card, never to be used again. These things happen and it is inconvenient, try not to let it happen to you.

 

Yes, the system has the advantage. I am not advocating the system and I am not advocating borrowing money, but if we are diligent, we can use the special offers that are available to a person with an excellent credit score as a useful financial tool.

The 40 Hour Work Week

gray scale photo of gears

The 40 hour work week is not a permanent fixture.. Although it is now commonly accepted and people are so used to it that anything less is seen as part time when working for an employer, and  is penalized. Lower pay, no benefits, no sick time, no vacation time, no overtime pay and the list goes on.

 

The 40 hour work week came into being during the industrial revolution, when people were previously working up to 100 hours per week  on tedious, dangerous, repetitive tasks while being paid a pittance. The 40 hour week was seen as wonderful.

 

Before the industrial revolution, people worked a more nature based schedule, because many were involved in agriculture and there was also a lack of good artificial light. The work day would begin at first light and finish at last light. The work conditions were physically intensive, but at least people could work surrounded by nature rather than the miserable, dangerous, depressing and unhealthy conditions of the industrial revolution factories. When I read of the conditions that many people had to live and work in, “living death” is the only thing that I can think of.

 

There seems to have been a golden age of the employee, roughly between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. Well paid work was plentiful and while not always satisfying, it would offer a good lifestyle to many, one person could support a whole family of 4 or 5 on their pay and people seemed happier with the 40 hour work week model. I don’t know what happened, but that age is long gone. Real wages have been stagnant for a long time, while prices have risen and job security is a thing of the past. Something has messed up the benefits system where you now find that your employee medical/dental/vision insurance is becoming worthless but premiums have risen dramatically.

 

It seems that we have been in the tech revolution for a while now. Since the advent of computers, many jobs that were once considered industrial are now technology based and require fewer people and less or different skills. A good example is  the printing industry which was very labor intensive and was seen as a skilled and well paid occupation not so long ago. It required many people who specialized in different skills such as typesetters and book binders, machine operators etc. Technology has led to a 43% drop in print industry employment in the last 20 years alone. Part of this decline can be attributed to digital books and digital methods of communication, desktop publishing, where a person can now produce his/her own business cards at home, direct to press typesetting systems where a computer operator can design the print job on screen and then send the job direct to a printing press, cutting out several jobs in the process. The industry was very unionized, but even the powerful print unions couldn’t disrupt advancements in technology.

 

It seems that some time soon, we will be forced to rethink our relationship with work and the 40 hour work week. The technology to shorten the work week exists now in many areas of work but the issue is that in today’s society,  less hours mean less paycheck. Artificial intelligence and robots are developing rapidly and once an android type of machine like “data” in Star Trek can be built, it will be able to put a lot of humans out of work. There is already a lot of speculation about driverless vehicles, personal, taxis, trucks and the like. Some testing is already underway. One could speculate that a passenger aircraft could now fly itself but the public is not ready to trust such a machine yet. Pilots, don’t get too complacent and elitist about job security.

 

What can replace the 40 hour work week? What can replace work itself?.  It is not so much a question of what activities will replace work but what will allow us to earn money. Many European countries already have a less than 40 hour work week, generous vacation allowances of  a minimum 25 days and they still find that business can be profitable. A universal basic income is attractive in theory, but because humans are human, they will find a way to mess that up somehow for the benefit of a few, to the detriment of many.

 

The 40 hour week model is at least 100 years old now and probably needs to be revised. Most people dislike work and dislike being there, although there are plenty of people who can convincingly lie that they like their work, very few do. I haven’t got a solution yet,  but I think that earning money will not look like the current 40 hour week model 100 years from now. As for the androids, we will have to discover their limitations and exploit those limitations to earn a living.

 

I think that the two words that sum up the current trend is “greed” and “need”. The ones that “have” are greedy and the ones that don’t have, still need to earn that pittance in order to survive. It is up to the individual to find his/her solution to this. If you are waiting for politicians, (of any flavor) to find a solution for you, you will be waiting forever.

 

An additional thought, I acknowledge that the industrial revolution sweatshop system of production still exists in many parts of the world and I feel for them. Part of the blame is us in the developed world wanting and buying the products that are produced, and ignoring the fact that these companies have offshored their operations for only one reason, to maximize already record profits….are there any limits to greed?.

Manifest Your Desires, The 2 Cup Method

clear water drops

There is a method of manifesting your desires called the 2 cup method. The method is based upon the idea that we have many different parallel realities running at the same time and the idea that in quantum physics, a particle can be in more than one place at the same time.

There is also the strange situation that the outcome of a quantum experiment can change, depending on whether or not the person decides  to measure some property of the particles involved. This suggests that it is the observer that is exerting control over the behaviour of particles. Quantum theory also hold that an entity can be particle and wave at the same time.

 

Dr Masaru Emoto conducted studies on  water for a long time He published a series of photographs in his book which are said to be frozen water crystals that have been subjected to human intentions/thoughts, some positive and some negative. The crystals subjected to positive thoughts appeared attractive and intricate. The crystals subjected to negative thoughts appeared ugly, polluted and unhealthy. This finding led Dr Emoto to conclude that thought can affect matter.

 

I have seen several variations in the manner of conducting the 2 cup method. The consistent factors are:-

 

one should get 2 cups, fill one cup with water and think about your present situation regarding what you want to manifest.

 

One should then pour the water slowly and deliberately into the second cup.

 

Once the water is in the second cup, the person should then concentrate on what he/she wants to manifest regarding the situation.

 

Once a person thinks that they have projected the positive outcome into the water, drink it all in one go.

 

Other variations include writing the current situation on a sticky note and putting it onto cup number one. Write the desired outcome on another sticky note and put it onto cup number 2 and then continue as above.

 

If you are going to do this, I would suggest using glass cups and use spring or purified water. I haven’t found these suggestions mentioned, but it makes sense to me that if you want the best results, you should do your best to ensure that impurities in the water and the receptacles are minimized.

 

Does it work?

I have tried it once recently, and while the immediate result wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I did get a communication the following day,  that will lead to the desired manifestation. Without that communication, the manifestation could not hope to come true. I had been waiting for such a communication for several weeks. I can’t say for sure that the 2 cup method brought this about, but it certainly appears that way to me.

 

The information that I have seen on this method generally states that you shouldn’t expect immediate results, although it is possible that you could get them. Be patient and don’t keep repeating the 2 cup method too frequently, give it a few weeks to manifest first.

 

The theory is that by transferring thoughts of your current situation into one glass of water, and then pouring the water into another glass and stating your desired outcome of the situation, you have completed a shift into another parallel reality where your desire does exist, a quantum leap.

 

Make of this what you will, it won’t hurt to try it and the least you will get is a positive………one of your eight, eight ounce cups of water that you should be drinking every day for health.

Maybe we could try this for weight loss too!

Online Work

business cash close up commerce

I have been checking out Leapforce for the last 2 months to find out if a person can earn money from them online, and to top up my income of course. I have found that I can earn money from working on tasks for Leapforce. The initial step is to sign up as an agent for leapforce, you can register HERE

 

Once you are registered, Leapforce will show tasks that you are qualified for on their website and you can choose to work them. I cannot go into specific details of the project that I am working on due to confidentiality but it is one hour per day and pays $13.50 per hour. The hourly rate varies per project. The terms are that I will work one hour a day on the project with a minimum requirement of 5 days a week, although I can work all 7 days in a week if I wish. I have to keep a log of how long the daily task takes and enter that time on the invoice, which is found on the Leapforce website after I sign in. I have been honest and only entered the time that the task took. I can only claim a maximum of one hour a day, even if the task took me more than an hour, but I can enter less than an hour if the task took me less time, and I get paid accordingly. In general the daily task takes about an hour, give or take  a few minutes.

 

A Leapforce agent is considered a self-employed Leapforce at Home Independent Agent and U.S. based agents will need to submit a 1099-MISC for their earnings when they complete their taxes.

 

U.S. based agents can have payments for services deposited into a bank account. You will only be paid monthly, up to 30 days after Leapforce receives the invoice. I have been receiving my payments roughly 20 days after submitting my invoice which can only be submitted after the end of each calendar month.

 

The work is interesting and I don’t even notice working my one hour a day. I try to complete an hour a day, 7 days a week. The invoicing system may not suit someone who needs quick cash because of the payment system and one hour a day isn’t much, but it is in harmony with my theme of not putting all of your eggs in one basket ( meaning, don’t rely on just one source of cash) and I hope to get more work from this company. The hourly rate isn’t much either,  but since mid May, I have been paid $584 for roughly 43 hours of work. I have received the money, so I can verify that this is genuine……..complete the work and they will pay.

 

This is an experiment in finding independent sources of income outside of a traditional work environment. I don’t see this particular idea as ever making me wealthy but it does add some cash to the bank account. Going forward, I expect to make about $400 a month from this particular project until it ends, which will probably be in about a year. Before this project ends, I am hoping to be working on another couple of projects to keep the payments coming. The money is enough to cover payments for a new car, buy groceries etc, so it is useful and because I hardly notice completing the tasks, It feels like free money.

 

Interested?   Click HERE to register and read more about the company.

The Cost Of Living

grocery cart with item

The amount of money needed to live comfortably differs from City, State, country and region. I have been aware of this for a long time as I have traveled quite a lot, but I still haven’t managed to completely answer the question of why the cost of the same service or product differs so much according to location.

I remember travelling to Norway several times and the price of alcohol was about 6 times more expensive than it was in the U.K. When I first moved to the U.S.A., I could buy a carton of cigarettes in my State for less than the duty free price at the airport.

The most affordable State in the U.S.A. according to studies is Mississippi, followed by Indiana, and Michigan. Most studies use housing costs (rent and ownership), essentials such as food, healthcare and clothing. The studies also take taxes into account. The most expensive State to live in is Hawaii, followed by New York and California.

Unless you are independently wealthy or funded by other means such as pensions, self employment, passive income etc, then the amount that can be earned from work needs to be considered before moving to a more affordable State.

As a rough guide, the median household Income for the above States in 2015 was –

MS $40,593 (The least expensive State).

IN $50,532

MI $51,084

CA $64,500

NY $60,850

HI  $73,486 (The most expensive State).

A more in-depth study can be found HERE

 

The issue is that the same goods and services can differ in price, either higher or lower depending on each State, this difference adjusts the true national value of your household income. I understand that many people from the higher paid States move out to a State with a lower cost of living when they retire with a decent occupational pension, and this effectively gives them a pension raise. As house prices are usually in line with the cost of living, the new pensioner can sell a house which is probably paid for, or mostly paid for, take the cash and buy an upgraded house for the same price in the cheaper State.

 

People with more modest pensions can do the same, but the interesting thing is that these people would be even better off financially if they moved abroad. Some studies state that after looking at the cost of living in various countries, a couple with approximately $1200 per month pension could live a reasonably comfortable life in several desirable countries around the world, including some in Europe. A person could live very well on $1200 a month in the 3rd world but I doubt that this would be attractive to most.

Popular and emerging locations include Slovenia, Crete, certain places in France and Italy, Hungary, Portugal, and Malta. This is not an exhaustive list. All of the countries listed have been reported to be friendly to foreigners.

I find it interesting that a person on a modest fixed income from the U.S. could move to a desirable Mediterranean/ European location and live comfortably. I would think that learning the language would help with integration, especially in France as I have found that the French mostly know English but refuse to speak it. I suppose that is fair, as we expect people to communicate in English in the English speaking countries.

Why is there such a difference in the cost of living between countries and even our own country to a lesser degree?. I am still trying to figure this out,  I suspect that it may have something to do with control and exploitation, but i’m open to all opinions.

We are paying much more for the same services and goods in the U.S.A. than some other countries,  but we are still much better off price wise than Northern Europe and the U.K. in most respects.

We are lucky if we have independent funds, however modest, as according to studies the global median income is $1,225 per year and to make it into the top 1% of earners worldwide you only need $34,000 per year. This still doesn’t answer the price disparity question but it does give a lot of us more options than we originally thought that we had.

Freedom

white seagull flying on sky

 

What is freedom?

 

The dictionary definitions go something like this:

  • The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
  • The quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.
  • The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
  • A political right.
  • Absence of slavery.

And several similar definitions.

I don’t really think that anyone feels that they have 100% freedom. Freedom to me means a total absence of any type of pressure or influence that compels me to do, say or think anything against my wishes and the absolute ability to do anything ( that does not negatively impact any other being) that I wish to do. For me, there are three main components to freedom.

 

Total financial independence

I believe that this is the most important source of freedom in the modern world, and if a person has this, they are well on their way to achieving total freedom. Work, the traditional source of money, is not enjoyable for many people and although it is true that in the western world, everyone is theoretically free to choose how they earn their money, there are many barriers to actually working in the field that one loves, and if one loves their work, it isn’t really work as we have come to understand it. Barriers can include education, intelligence (which is not the same as education), temperament, childhood influences/indoctrination from many sources, the financial situation that one is born into, mental outlook and many more barriers and influences that have an impact to a varying degree. The ideal situation is to have a multi million dollar bank account, but I suspect that even multimillionaires would object to me saying this and that they would cite many reasons why their money does not give them freedom. The one thing that nobody can deny, is that wealthy people certainly have more potential to achieve freedom than people without money and if they can’t achieve a large degree of freedom by using their money then they are not using it wisely.

According to various recent studies, 50%-70% of people hate their jobs. Most people end up tying themselves down to a job or field of work by accumulating debt as soon as they begin to earn money. Once the person is in debt, they have to continue the work that they come to dislike or hate, in order to pay the debt off, while also supplying cash for everyday survival. They continue on, hating and resenting the job or jobs for their whole lives. My experiment with freedom began with downsizing my job so that I have more time and energy to explore more fulfilling methods of securing financial freedom. I believe that financial independence is the key factor to freedom. The saying that “you need money to make money” is very accurate. If you don’t believe this, then you have never attempted to generate money,  independent of a “job”.

 

Mental Outlook

The manner in which a person views the world plays a huge part in how free he/she feels. One person could feel trapped and imprisoned, yet another person can feel free and fulfilled in exactly the same situation. Some people feel doomed from their first remembered thought, others feel empowered. I don’t know why this is, but I believe that the less optimistic mind can be trained by the individual to become more productive. A negative mind attracts negative things. The law of attraction is real. Even if you don’t believe this, Wouldn’t it be better to think positive thoughts rather than negative ones?. Affirmations, meditation and manifestation techniques can be employed to set your mind free. Try not to watch the news, most of it is propaganda anyway. If you study news broadcasts, some form of agenda becomes apparent, and it is not healthy for a person to subject themselves to this. Take some form of exercise regularly, physical exercise is good for mental outlook and it also helps your body to function as an effective tool for personal freedom.

 

No Unwarranted Obligations to Others

This is a hard topic to balance properly. Any decent parents will always feel an obligation to their children, and rightly so, as they are responsible for bringing the child into being.  If the parents are lucky, the child will also feel an obligation to minimize those obligations for the parent. A person should not settle for a life of drudgery, misery or mediocrity because of any other person’s expectations or behaviour. I have always found that if mutual respect is present between people, that the weight of anything that can be considered an obligation is reduced considerably, almost to a negligible degree. A parent that attempts to forcefully mold their child into something that the child doesn’t want to be, especially where work or marriage are concerned, is basically claiming the child as their property. I do not consider wise advice as part of this, as advice is given freely and can be acted upon, or ignored by the recipient.  

People who are conscious in their efforts to restrict you do not have your best interests in mind and ways to free yourself from such people should be made a priority. Obligations to others are accepted by people constantly, and if you feel that your service is worthwhile and makes you happy then it is not the type of obligation that I am referencing here. The particular freedom restricting element can more accurately be called an imposition.

bullion gold gold bars golden
Freedom?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I most definitely consider the possession of enough funds to be free of the shackles of “work” to be paramount. When I use the word “work”, I am referring to a job as an employee that one does not want to do by choice, but is compelled to do, in order to pay the bills, buy food, survive etc. Money seems to be a dirty word for many people, probably because they don’t want to be considered a mercenary individual. The world is organized around money however, and the more of it you have stored away somewhere, the more freedom of choice you have.

A person could always just go to a remote area of the world and live off the land of course, and if this idea is attractive, you could possibly find freedom without money, but opportunities to live like this are not very abundant today and most people from the developed world would miss their gadgets and labor-saving devices, but It is a possibility.

 

Quotes

  • “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford

 

  • “The mind is everything. What you think you become”. – Buddha

 

  • “Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves”. – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

  • “The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit”. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

  • “No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free”. –  Buddha

 

  • “ A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”. –  Jim Morrison

 

  • “Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self”. – Nathan W. Morris

 

  • “Financial Freedom is less about Financials and more about freedom”. – Manoj Arora

 

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