Sunday, November 30, 2008

Help for Email Cowards: Face Your Fear

Email cowards are not afraid of email; they're afraid of facing people.

Surely you know the type -- the people who are too lazy or scared to tell you something to your face, so they email what is probably intended as constructive criticism, and end up alienating themselves and creating an unproductive stream of more messages explaining "what I really meant to say." Don't do it!

The problem is, the more you hide behind email, the harder it is to face people. And because these scaredy cats are forgetting how to disagree with people without being disagreeable, they take refuge ever more often behind your computer screen. It's not a pretty picture, but it is a pretty common one.

That tendency, is great news for us "communication experts" who come to companies to help them retrain (remind) their employees how to talk to someone face to face. One strategy is to introduce "Email Free Fridays" where employees are encouraged (strongly) to talk to people either on the phone or in person, rather than emailing information.

Now that business is slow for many companies, it's a great time to build up relationships for the future and email is NOT a tool for this task. Call someone to have lunch, or maybe just a coffee or tea.

And, as a refresher for you to send to those who need it, this is the formula for effective criticism:

1. Show sincere appreciation for this person.

2. Explain what needs to change and why, the actions and the consequences.

3. Show sincere appreciation for this person.

It's quick and a lot less painful than exacerbating yet another email drama. If you've got something a bit negative to relate to someone, pick up the phone, or walk to their office next door and tell them. Nicely.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Caring Leadership for Real People

Dwayne J. Clark is the CEO of a company, Aegis Living, that manages assisted living and other facilities for senior citizens, with annual revenues of around $180 million. He has a fascinating approach to dealing with the relationships between management and front line employees - most of whom earn $11 hour caring for the elderly.

It started with an intention. According to this article about him in the November Inc. magazine, when he started the company with a partner in 1997, he pledged to improve employees' lives. Wow, caring about the people who work for you, that's an idea!

Clark credits inspiration from Oprah's ability connect emotionally to her viewers and bring them help via access to leading experts in different fields. Here are the things his company does to build really a sense of community at his company:

1. He brings speakers like Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Wayne Dyer, Christopher Gardner and Linda Biehl to management's annual meetings. These meetings are focused on "the human spirit and personal improvement" (49), rather than sales, profitability, and the state of national healthcare. The theme of the 2007 meeting was "Overcoming Extreme Adversity."

Before heading home, managers submit plans to Clark that spell out their strategies to share what they have learned with their staffs.

2. The company negotiates with the suppliers to get them to provide employee benefits. Examples of these benefits include free checking accounts and discounts on groceries. Suppliers also help fund these top speakers at the annual meetings, and in exchange send their own people to attend parts of the meetings.

These practices, stemming from Clark's intention to serve his employees, have lead to a more positive and caring corporate culture that benefits monetarily from a much-lower-than-average turnover rate: 25 to 43 percent, rather than the industry average of 70 percent.

One last point: with all the emotional support and personal development the company offers, sometimes employees get inspired to start their own companies. And they do so with Clark's blessing. In his words, "Then, I have accomplished what I set out to do, getting people to pursue their dreams" (50).

The lesson is profitability is not the opposite of caring for the human spirit of your employees. Happier employees mean happier customers, and if you get enough other things right, higher profits.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Project

We got lucky -- we're invited to share Thanksgiving with friends. And for that invitation, we are exceedingly thankful. To commemorate this day, this year, we've made a poster that reads:

The Mixon-Rodriguez Thanksgiving 100

The four of us will fill up the list with 100 things for which we're grateful.

All happiness starts with an attitude of gratitude. I think Thanksgiving Day is one contribution our country has made to the world, that all Americans can be proud of. It you think about it, having a national holiday to give thanks is a revolutionary idea.

Among countless blessings, Mixonian is grateful for all her readers and visitors and wishes you all warmth and wonder.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why Gratitude Makes You Happy and Wealthy

By Christine Kane

Gratitude is more than being thankful one day a year. Gratitude is a practice. For some, it's a way of life.

Why do some people swear by this practice? Why do these people seem to live happier and more abundant lives than everyone else?

Because gratitude is about presence.

It's about waking up in this moment and being here - really being here - and noticing what's around you. Most people are so busy thinking about the next thing, or about their horrid past, that they don't wake up and look around at their present moment - the only moment there is.

Because gratitude is about honoring your life.

Do you ever compare your life with someone else's? Do you ever wish your life were better and more like [Insert Famous Person's Name]? Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we "measure up" to some standard set by our families or by the media. Comparison is the mind killer. And the antidote is gratitude.

Gratitude requires you to validate your own life. (And you really don't have any other life, do you?) It forces you to say YES to the gift that is you. The choices you've made and the changes you've gone through - they have brought you here. Even if here is a place that needs a little adjustment, that's okay. There are always gifts in any present moment.

Because gratitude is about attracting.

It's difficult to attract abundance and joy if you are constantly saying "no" to what IS. You say no each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment.

Attraction is about saying Yes. When you say Yes, you shift.

Gratitude says, "Yes, I love this!" And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you're focusing on.

Because gratitude is about choice.

How you translate any situation is the situation. What you choose to see is the truth (for you).

This isn't proposing that you live in denial or phoniness. It's reminding you that your translation of any life situation is your own choice. We've all heard stories of people who have ignored others' translations of their talent, their projects, their art, their looks, their lives. These people chose their own translations and succeeded. You always have a choice when it comes to how you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude.

Because gratitude is about wisdom.

I think people believe they're being smart if they criticize, complain, and focus on the problems of the world around them.

Smart? Maybe.

Clever? Sure.

But not wise.

It is wise to look for and find the knowing place in your heart. It is wise to choose joy. It is wise to honor your riches. It is wise to focus on and grow the blessings of your life.

Because gratitude is about recognition.

Use your power of focus to hone in on beauty and on what makes your heart sing. Recognize the spirit in your life. It's all around you waiting to be noticed. In the words of Franz Kafka, "It will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

Because gratitude is about receptivity.

Gratitude makes you receptive. It makes you concave. It makes you a vessel, waiting to be filled.

I carry a tiny notebook with me everywhere I go. In it, I write down song ideas. I write down quotes I hear. I write down ideas for stage stories. As I do that, I become more receptive, and more ideas and songs come to me. It's a tool that says to my subconscious, "Send more my way!" And the subconscious always responds.

Gratitude is the same way. It says, "I am receptive! Send more!" And more arrives.

Because gratitude is about creativity.

Creativity is really all about attention. (So is genius.)

When I write a song, I build a relationship with that song. I spend time with it. I get to know it. I pay attention to it. Artists do the same thing with drawings. They spend time in rapt attention and the drawing is born.

Gratitude is how we Live Creative. It is a creative act to notice and pay attention to the moments of your life. Some days it's an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful.

Start today.

And have a Thanksgiving of presence, creativity, and gratitude!

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Etiquette and San Diego

I just got back from making my presentation to the political communication subset of the National Communication Association Convention in San Diego. It was a small, international and enthusiastic group. Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts -- the presentation was a success.

In case anyone's interested, the title was something like, "Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution: A Cultural Critique." It was suggested that I have my post-dissertation book published in Europe rather than in the U.S., which should provide a wonderful opportunity to get back to the Old Country for a visit.

While en route, I pulled out a relatively recent Vogue magazine (October, 2008), to get in the right frame of mind for an academic presentation (insert laugh track). Well, I found some interesting advice on modern manners, in an article by William Norwich. It's about asking for favors and declining favors.

About asking for favors:

First of all, you don't begin by saying, "I need such and such." For example, if you need to borrow $10,000 from your cousin, you start off by saying, "It is perfectly all right to say 'no,' and if you can't, I would love to know what you think I should do."

This way you extend the opportunity for someone to help you, but without so much pressure.

Now, about declining favors, Norwich makes an excellent observation:

...when you are asked for help, saying "yes" but harboring any resentment, isn't granting a favor -- it is a prison sentence.

Some of you may want to reread that part.

He continues to make these other highly relevant points about declining extra commitments:

1. You have no obligation to explain or justify or provide evidence for your not accepting what's being asked.

2. He offers this incredibly graceful way out, I think we should all practice this in front of the mirror, "I am sorry to say 'no,' but let's think who else might you ask."

This way you offer support and keep the conversation moving, but away from committing yourself.

3. Alternate explanation: I'd love to lend you [fill in the blank], but I simply can't for insurance reasons. Isn't that a bore? (182)

I'm not sure if #3 will get me out of the bake sale, but it's worth a try.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How to Make the Right Decision

As someone who loves to agonize over making certain choices, I'm reproducing sage advice from Chellie Campbell. The truth is, many times you cannot know what is the best next step is to achieve your goal. You just have to try something. The following advice comes from her book, The Wealthy Spirit:

Pick anything. Make a list of possibilities that interest you and just pick one. Then go for it. You might not write a book today, but you can write a page. You might not be ready to sail around the world, but you can take a sailing lesson. Dream of stardom? Audition for the local community theater. Take a step in a new direction. You don't have to make the right choice, just make a new choice. Get in the habit of choosing your life.

Not choosing is a choice to choose what you've already chosen (151).

By the time you read this, I'll be at the National Communication Association Convention, getting ready to talk about a paper I wrote on Hugo Chavez. I wrote the paper three years ago, and it ended up shaping the dissertation that I'm writing now. I didn't know it at the time, but the choice to write this paper for my rhetoric class set me in motion to write this dissertation on the same subject, using essentially the same theoretical structure. Next, the book, and then maybe a blockbuster movie.....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What's Really Annoying

I think one of the most annoying things to deal with is having your kids spout back everything you've told them when you're not in the mood for positive thinking.

It's a trap. You see, what's easy to see is that other people need to lighten up. But, if I'm having an ogress moment or two, it's for a good reason.

First of all, there are certain people who can trigger the inner ogre or ogress. It most cases, it's someone very close to you, say, someone you were even married to. While all is forgotten and forgiven, those triggers are still out there, sparking negativity. Be aware.

Second, it can be a delicious feeling when the "bad guy" offends you. You can feel all sorts of validation and self-justification. It feels so good, you don't want to let go, even if you're really only hurting yourself. A nationally-known marriage counselor told me that people can love that feeling so much, they prefer that to repairing their own marriage. I didn't get it at the time he told me, now it makes sense.

Third, then there are the "evil" companies out there that randomly wreck your life, say, by changing your airline reservations at the last minute to a new schedule you do not like. At all. That opens the opportunity to enjoy feeling oppressed by greedy capitalistic monsters. But it doesn't change your flight schedule.

Finally, the icing on the cake: you're grumbling about these obviously unfair things that are happening to you, and your children have the nerve to tell you to find the good side of things.

Offspring: Gee, Mom, now you're a real business woman, travelling to San Diego.

Mom (GRUMBLING): Yeah, but real business women don't have to pay their own way and fly all night in a crowded plane, for cryin' out loud.

Offspring: It'll be a great adventure for you. You'll have fun.

Mom (GRUMBLING): I probably won't even eat while I'm there.

Offspring: Great! You'll lose weight!

So, what's good for the readers is good for Mixonian. Back to you on Tuesday.

P.S. I added a new blogfriend today, "I will teach you how to be rich." Ramit is a financial expert and I know Mixonian readers are into wealth building. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Boost Your Happiness Bank Account

By Marci Shimoff

How can I be happy when my home is losing its value, my 401k is going down, and the price of everything else is going up?

That's a question I hear a lot lately. It seems that as the economy becomes more depressed, so do we.

So what can you do about it? How can you build your happiness bank account amidst tough economic times?

Top happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener shared some new insights with me during a recent conversation. While writing Happy for No Reason, I often called upon Robert for his expertise. Known as the "Indiana Jones of positive psychology," his research has taken him to the far corners of the earth -- from the Masai in Africa to seal hunters in Greenland to the poor in Calcutta.

Robert and his father, Ed Diener, one of the preeminent scholars in the field of positive psychology, maintain in their wonderful new book, Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, that our net worth is comprised of much more than our bank accounts. It includes our psychological wealth, our spiritual connection, our health, and the quality of our social networks.

One surprising finding of Robert's research is that the homeless in Calcutta are happier than the homeless in America, simply because they have stronger networks of social relationships, which help buffer them against the dire effects of poverty. We get more happiness dividends from our relationships than we do from our dollars.

While the value of the dollar may be in flux, the value of your personal relationships and spiritual connection can always gain equity -- if you take the time to nurture them. Robert says the way you spend your discretionary money -- and time -- affects your happiness level.

Here are two things you can do to add equity to your happiness account:

1. Whenever possible, choose experience over material things. Investing $100 to take Tango lessons with your partner will provide more bang for your buck than spending that same money on a new pair of shoes.

2. Spend your money on social activities rather than solitary ones. If you’re going to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks or splurge for a pedicure, do so with a friend rather than by yourself. Researchers were surprised to find that even introverts are happier when they’re in social situations.

My parents thankfully understood the importance of these concepts. For instance, they have taken our entire family (three generations) on annual vacations together for the last 20 years. I have memories galore of these fantastic holidays -- from watching my parents (in their 80s) play a hilarious game of ping-pong for the first time in 50 years to all of us careening through the jungle on zip lines.

Like the TV commercial says, experiences like these are "priceless"…and they add immeasurable equity to your happiness account.

Marci Shimoff is a celebrated transformational leader and #1 New York Times best-selling author. To learn more of her powerful techniques for establishing deep and authentic happiness and well-being, visit

Friday, November 21, 2008

Message from Mark Cuban To PE Obama

Normally Mixonian avoids politics but this message is too good not to pass along, especially since so many Mixonian readers are entrepreneurial in deed and/or in spirit.

This is what Mr. Cuban had to say:

It's great to see President Elect Obama aggressively taking on the economy prior to his taking office. Unfortunately, the economic advisory team that he has put together looks more like a semester’s worth of great guest speakers for an MBA class than an economic advisory team that can truly help him.

There are a lot of great minds on the list.

Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Laura Tyson, who served as Clinton’s top economic adviser; former Fed Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson; Time Warner Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson and Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Officer Anne Mulcahy. Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Roel Campos, an ex-SEC commissioner, and Warren Buffett are also on the advisory board.

Notice anything missing ?

Not a single entrepreneur. Yes Warren Buffett started a business, but he will be the first to tell you that he “doesn’t do start ups”. Which means there isn’t a single person advising PE Obama that we know of that knows that its like to start and run a business in this or any economic climate. That’s a huge problem.

If we are going to solve our current economic problems, our President needs to get first hand information on the impact his proposed policies will have on real Joe the Plumbers. People who are 1 person companies living job to job, hoping they get paid on time. We need to know what the impact of his policies will be on the individually owned Chrysler Dealership in Iowa. The bodego in Manhattan. The mobile phone software startup out of Carnegie Mellon. The event planner in Dallas. The barbershop in LA. The restaurant in Boston.

Entrepreneurs that start and run small businesses will be the propellant in this economy. PE Obama needs to have the counsel of those who will take the real risk inherent in creating companies and jobs. Those who put their money and lives on the line with their business.

Without it, the rules of unintended consequences of any economic policy could hit you in the mouth in ways you never expected. Things like forcing companies from being taxpayers to the underground cash economy, or forcing new hires to be independent contractors to avoid having to pay their insurance or higher matching social security amounts. Your current group has no one with 100pct of their networth on the line. I promise you that the possibility of losing it all will provide a completely different perspective than any of the “knowledge” the esteemed, learned members of his current advisory team offer.

PE Obama, I’m always available to help, but my recommendation would be to randomly go through the new incorporation filings and ask for volunteers to give feedback. Ask the people who are actually starting new businesses what they need.

Entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess. Talk to them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What You Should Know About Relationship Marketing

I learned a new type of marketing strategy from my cousin Michael last spring when I stayed with him and his family in Savannah. He works in all aspects of real-estate: selling, buying, building, developing, planning, drawing, stamping, fixing and so forth.

The traditional marketing strategy is made up of the 4 Ps: price, product, placement, promotion. In other words, what product for whom, and how do you advertise it and get it to this target audience.

Now I'm going to tell you Michael's highly successful marketing strategy. It really falls under the "relationship marketing" umbrella and works especially well for service providers. This type of marketing revolves around these two simple questions:

Potential Customer: So, what does your company do?

You: What do you need to be done?

Potential Customer: How much does it cost?

You: How much money do you have?

And voila: a happy customer-client relationship emerges.

You've probably realized that traditional media marketing is going out. Relationship marketing is in. Take someone to lunch today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

D-I-Y Medici Effect

Given the fallout from the financial mess around us, it's time to take action. I'm not really sure how the government's commitment to spend more money is going to help, I mean where is that money coming from? While waiting for Washington to resolve things, I'd prefer do what I can on the home territory.

This is a time when the need for creativity becomes noticeably more apparent, if not urgent.

A few years ago Frans Johansson wrote, The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures. As you might expect from the title, Johansson promotes the idea of cross-fertilization of ideas from different disciplines to create new ways of seeing and thinking.

So how does one create a Medici effect at home, the D-I-Y (do it yourself) way?

The answer is simple: over lunch.

You want to talk to people outside your field. Healthcare can talk to Advertising who can link with Education, and maybe Science and Art can contribute, too. Usually before any breakthrough happens, the Medici people have to feel comfortable with each other. That's why you have lunch often. It's not a meeting to exchange business cards; it's a meeting to have fun, challenge and tease each other, and innovate.

If you saw Seth Godin's presentation on Tribes I linked to about ten days ago, you may remember this tidbit: The person who had the idea to transform Target from a dusty K-mart wannabe into a top-design-for-less powerhouse was not a top executive, or creativity consultant. She was a mid-level employee who thought it would be cool to get a designer like Phillipe Starck to design stuff, meaning normal household tools like measuring cups and toothbrushes, their customer base could afford. Look at the change one person brought to the planet.

Create more. Communicate better. Connect abundantly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making Authentic Connections

Have you networked this week? Does the word, "network" give you the creeps? Does the image of desperately needy people exchanging business cards come to mind? Do you remember ever talking to someone who's looking over your shoulder for someone "better" to talk to? Do you remember ever getting caught into a conversation that was 100% about the other person, where you served as some sort of ear for the other, and that was the extent of the conversation?

Well, that is not what the "connecting" part of Mixonian is about.

If you're like most readers, you want to connect with people, help them in their ventures, and maybe get a hand in your own. But, in the end, you want to be doing business with friends.

If you watched the Ted Brown presentation in Saturday's post, you may recall Brown mentioning that Ideo's co-founder wanted employees who were his best friends as well.

Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, has some germane thoughts on this subject. In following Mixonian's advice for week-end activities, I found this helpful book at the local library.

To begin with, the first chapter starts with this excellent quote:

Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. -- Margaret Wheatley

I've also heard it said that everything that comes to you, comes through someone.

Ferrazzi defines connecting like this: sharing my knowledge and resources, time and energy, friends and associates, and empathy and compassion in a continual effort to provide value to others, while coincidentally increasing my own. Like business itself, being a connector is not about managing transactions, but about managing relationships (8).

How does one set about to connect better?

The usual way, it's one person at a time, being generous, seeking to help and not being afraid to ask for help. Go and invite someone to lunch today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Shocking Truth about Multitasking

Last Thursday, I got on to one student for reading the newspaper while I was teaching, and another for text messaging. They both swore on everything that's important to them that of course they were LISTENING. Yeah, right. It's pretty apparent that it doesn't truly work, what's more challenging to figure out is why multitasking is so popular. Read on and discover.

This is what Jim Loehr, professional sports trainer and author of The Power of Story, argues that being fully engaged in what you're doing is the polar opposite of multitasking. He writes:

It bears noting also that one's memory of, and joy in, accomplishing the multiple tasks that make up multi-tasking can never, cumulatively, compete with the memory of and joy in fully engaging in onthing alone....A distracted artist will not produce anyting of real worth. An entrepreneur with scattered thoughts will not come up with solutions superior to the competition's (155).

And this is what Atlanta-based healing chiropractor Guy Gunter wrote about it in his latest monthly newsletter:

A point of pride among us these days is MULTI-TASKING. I find that those who are a bit younger than I (like almost everyone), are positively addicted to multi-tasking. They brag about driving and texting, even using laptops and now that cellphones have become internet/entertainment devices there is even more to do at the same time. College students are writing papers online, doing research, studying a foreign language and emailing their buddy-list friends at the same time.

I found some interesting studies in October that confirm what us older people had intuited: multi-tasking dramatically reduces your efficiency and eliminates any long term memory of what you just did. In fact, driving while using a cell phone produces a driver whose reaction time and driving judgement were the same as if they were legally drunk. And yes, dialing is the most dangerous activity you can perform while driving, except for texting. The study did not include texting because the researchers did not believe people would attempt it when they began the study. It was added later from motor vehicle collision data. Another somewhat comical image came from Emergency Room physicians who have seen a dramatic increase in walking-while-texting accidents. Their recommendation? Stand still when using your phone.

So doing more than one thing at a time is neither more effective or more successful than linearly performing tasks one at a time. So how did this become so de rigeur? It stimulates your dopamine receptors. Just like alcohol, drugs, sex and laughter, multi-tasking gives you a high. In our pedal to the metal, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes adrenalin junkie society, multi-tasking is a mind-altering high that is drug free and provides the illusion that one is being productive.

In order to survive by being efficient, the answer is not multi-tasking. The secret lies in organizing.

Perform you tasks in order of priority as determined through organizing your activities, but do them one at a time. It takes less time to get all of them accomplished, your work is of higher quality and once they are finished you can feel the high of a job well done. Then you can linearly and with intent and focus go get a beer and get high as God intended.

Dr. Guy T. Gunter BS, MS, DC. You can access his website here. He's based in the Roswell part of Atlanta.

As the erudite expression goes, "Git 'er done." One thing at a time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Putting Fun Back into DysFUNctional

Friends are God's way of apologizing for your relatives. -- Wayne Dyer

You can never remedy a bad relationship by condemning it. -- Wayne Dyer

There is this ever-appealing myth that our family supports us through good times and bad; they're the people you can always count on. Well, sometimes that's true, and sometimes it's not.

It's a fact of life that family members, and actually everyone on the planet, has their own imperfections, which may include being insanely jealous of you, criticizing you, rejecting you, making fun of you, ignoring you, putting you down, and any number of other unsupportive activities and attitudes.

It's not your job to win their approval, or make them love you. It's your job to get over it. As J. K. Rowling said in her moving commencement address to Harvard's graduating class three or four years ago, "There is an expiration date on blaming your parents." Surely she meant your other relatives, too, even the ones who married into your family.

If you're like most people, if asked you could spout out a litany of ways you were treated unfairly by family members, people who are supposed to be on your side.

Don't bother. Get over it and determine what attitudes and actions you want to take on to design your own creative and connected life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Great TED Talk on Creativity and Play at Work

The fantastic Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen has posted a wondertalk by Ideo's Ted Brown. Ideo clients include Google and Pixar. It's only 28 minutes long and Brown (who happens to be handsome and sports a delightful accent) compares creative development to play and how it works in the design business. He also talks about having symbols of creativity, which Mixonian tossed out for your consideration last month.

To see the talk, click here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

9 Fantastic Things to Do This Week-end

1. Go check out some books or CDs from your local library about something you've always been curious....quilting, Russian composers, climbing Mt. Everest...

2. Bake holiday goodies and freeze them for December -- don't eat them now!

3. Make another list of 10 tiny changes you would like to see in your life, your home, your work space...and get started on that.

4. Have someone over for dinner. Fortunately a new Mixonian friend already had that idea and I'm invited! ; ) With or without guests, you could try a new recipe.

5. Decide what you're going to do about Christmas cards. And do something about it.

6. Clean out some stuff and take it to Goodwill, or your local homeless shelter.

7. Get crafty. Sally and her sister are stamping Christmas tags tomorrow.

8. Try yoga.

9. Take a walk on a new path, maybe try to extend your route a bit more than what you usually cover.

Last week-end Anne picked left-over sweet potatoes at a local farm. We have enjoyed the fruit of that week-end activity every day since she brought them over on Saturay.

In any case, life is short, enjoy your week-end!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Year I Discovered How Clutter Blocks Success

by Christine Kane

I looked at my phone in horror. "You want me to what?" I said into it. "It's time, Christine. You've been talking about that basement for weeks now. It's time to deal with it."

I had been working with my coach for months at this point. And even though I had reached certain levels of success in my career, I kept getting stuck in the same old ruts. I was about to record my fourth CD, and I was ready to move to a higher level.

Thom was doing what good coaches do: listening carefully, seeing clearly - and of course, pushing me to take conscious action. So, he encouraged me to start small and completely clear out the junk in my basement. Thirty minutes a day.

One section at a time. Building momentum as I went. Each week, during our call, I'd report back on my progress. Each week, I had a new reason why I simply could not let go of some clutter-y item. "But I spent so much on it!" "I might need it someday!" "I could gain weight and need this again." "I paid such a good price for it!" To my credit, I did pretty well at letting go once Thom talked me through these old mindsets. Then came the week I had to face one particularly significant section of the basement.

It was where I stored various pieces of furniture I had gotten at the Salvation Army and at local flea markets when I first began my songwriting career. A bookcase, a kitchen table, a dresser, and a few shelves. I no longer liked or used this furniture because my tastes totally changed. I had begun to cherish beauty and opulence in my surroundings. I wanted to fill my home only with items that I loved.

"So, Christine," Thom asked. "Why don't you want to let these things go?" I was embarrassed. But I told him the truth. "Well, here's the thing. If my music career doesn't work out, I might need them one day. If I fail, and I don't have any money, I might wish I had kept these things." Long pause. "So, you'll be on the street - but at least you'll have that bookcase?" I laughed.

Thom sighed. And what he said next has been a core lesson of creating my success and happiness. He said that everything in our lives has energy. Everything has our thoughts and emotions embedded into it. Old furniture is no exception. In essence, what I was saying to the universe and to my subconscious, creative self was this:

I believe so deeply in my own failure that I'm holding onto physical things that represent that possibility. Every time I walk by these items in my basement, I will be reminded of my inevitable failure. Every moment I'm in my house, my subconscious will know that in the very foundation of my life (my basement), there are items that prove I don't believe in my own success. That week, I called Goodwill, and scheduled an appointment to have the old furniture taken away.

I'd love to report that I smiled and waved as the old clunky furniture was carried away. But the truth is I was terrified. I was letting go of my Plan B. I was saying to the Universe: "I thoroughly believe in my own success." I had never done that before in such a concrete way!

As I wrote earlier, I began recording my fourth CD "Rain & Mud & Wild & Green" as I was clearing out the basement. That CD went on to sell five times more than any of my other CD's. It received rave reviews. Border's Books featured it on a listening post that year, and named it the top CD of the year in my category.

Now, even though I know this success wasn't ONLY about letting go of my old flea market furniture, I have become a firm believer that we each need to pay attention to the energy of the stuff that surrounds us. We need to pay attention to what we are telling our subconscious minds when we hold on.

Now you. What are you holding onto? What thoughts and beliefs are you putting out into the Universe by clinging to it? Are you telling yourself you don't believe in the inevitability of your own success and prosperity? Or that you don't believe you can expand and create better things in your life? Pick one thing - just one small thing - and let it go. Today!

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your Sisyphus Paradigm

One thing for which you can be grateful today, and every day, is that your parents did not name you "Sisyphus."

Taking a look back at Greek mythology gives us an interesting view on human nature - the part of us that hasn't changed over the last few millenia or so.

To refresh your memory, Sisyphus was a clever, but uppity and unscrupulous Greek god; he was also the first king of Corinth. He got into trouble numerous times but finally when he tried to blackmail Zeus, he got into really big trouble. In the end, he was punished by having to push a huge boulder up a mountain. Once he reached the top of the mountain with his boulder, it rolled back down to the bottom and Sisyphus would have to start all over again. This term for this punishment, by the way, was eternity -- no time off for good behavior.

I used to struggle with the feeling that cleaning up the house, or teaching a course was rather....Sisyphean. You work sooooo hard, finish the task, and then you have to start right back over again. So many things in life are like that!

That's why we have to focus on the journey, and not the destination. Ten-year-old Christina made a little sign for me above my kitchen sink (in my dishwasher-free kitchen) that says "work with joy."

Easy for her to say. But she is right.

A friend in Atlanta wrote me yesterday, not too happy about having to read two phone books' (referring to length) worth of new IRS code (tiny print he assures me). I'm sure as soon as he finishes getting those tax reforms down, the IRS will deliver a new, bigger, tinier-print book of even newer changes.

You can see it as drudgery. Or you can just see it as stuff that needs to be done. As least your parents didn't name you "Sisyphus"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Other People and You

If you don't make a total commitment to whatever you're doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket

I was glad to find this quote from ECU's football coach, Skip Holtz' father. This blog is produced in Pirate territory, but even Alabama fans are allowed to read it. ; )

The point can't let other people bring you down, discourage you, or nitpick your work.

There are some people who just don't get you. It doesn't matter how hard you try to explain yourself, they will remain skeptical. As Christine Kane taught me, in looking for new business (but this could be new job, new contact, new friend), some will, some won't, so what? Don't knock yourself out trying to convert people.

In a class discussion about this very subject, one student, Tony, brought up the possibility that once you stop trying so hard, sometimes the other person will make more of an effort to understand you. In my experience, that sometimes is true, but not always.

We all have the same number of hours in a day. You'll be better off with the guys who are already on your side, or at least open to your message. Leave the others alone; it's their loss.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Karmic Lunch

A few weeks ago, my friends Joe and Elizabeth asked me if I would like to help feed some homeless people. Of course I would.

Then a couple of days ago I found out I was supposed to fix lunch for 75 people. That's quite a bit more involvement than I had intended. I told myself, "Self, this is going to work out for the best." But I was a bit nervous about it.

Having agreed to help out stretched my comfort zone, again. I asked for help, and got abundant, cheerful assistance from two friends.

You won't be surprised to know that random, or unexpected acts of kindness raise the levels of seratonin in the person receiving the act of kindness. Seratonin is what makes you feel good; many anti-depressants act to fake seratonin levels in the body, to make the person ingesting the pills feel better. This "happiness effect" also impacts the person doing something kind. And, any observers feel better, too. Furthermore, everyone involved gets a boost to their immune system.

So, I'm feeling great, and had fun with my friends.

We split up the work among 4 people, and several kids helped to serve. One over-zealous cook, who shall remain unnamed, actually put 8 pounds of ground beef into her two lasagnas; fortunately it was as well received as the more tastefully-prepared lasagnas.

We were most definitely engaged in serving lunch to around 70 people. And it was exciting to have people ask for seconds...and thirds! And the home-made chocolate chip cookies Elizabeth made for dessert flew - I didn't even get to try one.

It turned out well. Everyone's got too much to do, but taking time to do something nice for someone else, is only helping you in the process.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chunk-Down that Goal and Get Out of Overwhelm

by Jack Canfield

Sometimes our biggest life goals seem so overwhelming.

We rarely see them as a series of small, achievable tasks, but in reality, breaking down a large goal into smaller tasks—and accomplishing them one at a time—is exactly how any big goal gets achieved.

After you have decided what you really want, with specific deadlines, the next step is to determine all of the individual action steps you will need to take to accomplish your goal.

How to Chunk It Down

There are several ways to figure out the action steps you will need to take to accomplish any goal. One is to consult with people who have already done what you want to do and ask what steps they took. From their experience, they can give you all of the necessary steps as well as advice on what pitfalls to avoid.

Another way is to purchase a book or manual that outlines the process.

Yet another way is to start from the end and look backward. You simply close your eyes and imagine that it is now the future and you have already achieved your goal. Then just look back and see what you had to do to get to where you now are. What was the last thing you did? And then the thing before that, and then the thing before that, until you arrive at the first action you had to start with.

Remember that it is okay not to know how to do something.

It’s okay to ask for guidance and advice from those who do know. Sometimes you can get it free, and sometimes you have to pay for it. Get used to asking, “Can you tell me how to go about...?” and “What would I have to do to...?” and “How did you...?”

Keep researching and asking until you can create a realistic action plan that will get you from where you are to where you want to go.

What will you need to do? How much money will you need to save or raise? What new skills will you need to learn? What resources will you need to mobilize? Who will you need to enroll in your vision? Who will you need to ask for assistance? What new disciplines or habits will you need to build into your life?

Another valuable technique for creating an action plan for your goals is called mind mapping.

How to Use Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a simple but powerful process for creating a detailed to‑do list for achieving your goal. It lets you determine what information you’ll need to gather, who you’ll need to talk to, what small steps you’ll need to take, how much money you’ll need to earn or raise, which deadlines you’ll need to meet, and so on—for each and every goal.

When I began creating my first educational audio program—a breakthrough goal that led to extraordinary gains for me and my business—I used mind mapping to help me “chunk down” that very large goal into all the individual tasks I would need to complete to produce a finished product.

To mind‑map your own goals, follow these steps as illustrated in the example:

1.) Center circle: In the center circle, jot down the name of your stated goal—in this case, Create an Audio Educational Program.

2.) Outside circles: Next, divide the goal into the major categories of tasks you’ll need to accomplish to achieve the greater goal—in this case, Title, Studio, Topics, Audience, and so on.

3.) Spokes: Then, draw spokes radiating outward from each mini-circle and label each one (such as Write Copy, Color Picture for Back Cover, and Arrange Lunch.)

On a separate line connected to the minicircle, write every single step you’ll need to take. Break down each one of the more detailed task spokes with action items to help you create your master to‑do list.

Next, Make a Daily To‑Do List

Once you’ve completed a mind map for your goal, convert all of the to‑do items into daily action items by listing each one on your daily to‑do lists and committing to a completion date for each one. Then schedule them in the appropriate order into your calendar and do whatever it takes to stay on schedule.

Do First Things First

The goal is to stay on schedule and complete the most important item first. In his excellent book, Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, Brian Tracy reveals not just how to conquer procrastination but also how to prioritize and complete all of your action items.

In his unique system, Brian advises goal‑setters to identify the one to five things you must accomplish on any given day, and then pick the one you absolutely must do first. This becomes your biggest and ugliest frog.

He then suggests you accomplish that task first—in essence, eat that frog first—and, by so doing; make the rest of your day much, much easier. It’s a great strategy. But unfortunately, most of us leave the biggest and ugliest frog for last, hoping it will go away or somehow become easier. It never does. However, when you accomplish your toughest task early in the day, it sets the tone for the rest of your day.

By chunking down your goals, and then taking daily action on them, you create momentum and build your confidence, both of which move you farther and faster toward the achievement of your goals.

Now go take some action!
© 2008 Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Seth Godin and Tribes

This morning I watched Seth Godin's presentation related to his latest book, Tribes. If you have any interest in marketing at all, which you should (!!!), click through the link on the right for Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen website and see or listen to it. It's long, over an hour, but it's cutting edge material.

You can also find it at

Back to my fabulous dissertation.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christine's #1 Favorite "No-Big-Deal" Creativity Tip

by Christine Kane

Creativity isn't a big deal.

It's like our breath. It's just a part of who we are.

Everyone knows this truth, but most people pretend that Creativity (with a capital C) is something special. People who say, "Oh, I'm not Creative," or "I don't have a Creative bone in my body," sound like they're trying to convince themselves of something, rather than telling themselves the truth. They make Creativity a BIG DEAL because, by doing so, they keep it safely out of reach. It then requires nothing of them, except to occasionally utter the phrase, "Oh, I'm not Creative!" These people are often a little disappointed when I teach them what they pretend they don't already know:

· Creativity isn't a big deal.

· Creativity is not an event.

· Creativity doesn't so much happen, as it is allowed.

This is boring. It's unimpressive. And it's also why so few people Live Creative. It requires presence and practice and allowing. And really, these aren't very exciting things. (Unless you've experienced them! Then you know they are!)

Canine Creativity Class

When I found my dog, she'd been badly abused. I was walking on a gravel road, and she was watching me from a mound of dirt in an old churchyard where she'd been dumped. She started to follow me. Each time I turned around, she'd stop dead in her tracks. When I tried to walk towards her, she'd tuck her tail under her butt and slink away from me. But when I just continued along my way, she followed me. She eventually got closer and closer. Ultimately she followed me home. This is how I experience Creativity.

If I try to turn around and catch it, it turns away. Living Creative is not about willing it or grabbing it. In fact, Creativity rarely takes to announcements like, "Today I'm gonna be Creative! I'm gonna write a novel!" It's a process. It's a way of being. And though it can't be forced, it can be cultivated and allowed. It thrives when you're already open, and your mind is receptive and quiet. There's almost a joyful laziness to it.

So, in the spirit of making Creativity a No-Big-Deal part of our lives, here is my #1 favorite no-big-deal Creativity Tip... Christine's Favorite Creativity Tip: Carry a Tiny Spiral Notebook

Get some tiny spiral notebooks. Carry one in your car. Carry one in your purse. Bring one along in your back pocket. Keep one next to your bed.

Songwriters call them Hook Books. It's a place to write down lyric ideas, especially the "hooky" song titles. But you don't have to be a songwriter - or even a writer - to use this tool. Here's why:

We all have great ideas. We all hear funny comments worth remembering. We all notice breath-taking moments. When we actually take the time to jot them down in our tiny notebooks, then we're honoring these ideas and these moments. We are essentially telling our subconscious mind that our creativity matters enough to take action on it. And we're letting it know that it's no big deal. Our subconscious mind gets the message, and begins its work of noticing new things and generating new ideas. When we keep a tiny notebook, we are training our minds to Attract Ideas.

Each time we put an idea or a moment on paper, it's like shouting "Yes!" to our Creativity. It doesn't matter if we DO anything with the note or the hook or the idea. It's easy for your logical brain to step in and say "Yea but will it pay the bills? Will it lead to a novel?" (In other words, will it be a BIG DEAL?) Maybe. But there are some definite things that this practice will do:

· It will teach you how to be an "Idea Magnet."

· It will show you that there are many solutions inside of you.

· It will train you to recognize what delights you and brings you deep joy.

· It will build your relationship to your Creative Self.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this tip. Over time, you'll begin to feel the profound effects it has on your life.

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What the Election Really Means

Gene Healy is a young author of The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power. I read the transcript of a speech he made to Cato University (a Libertarian group) last July and this quote grabbed my attention:

If we need heroes in our lives, we shouldn't go looking for them among professional politicians, for God's sake.

It was in September when Mixonian posted an article on heroes and what they tell us about ourselves. The same goes for our presidential choices - they show us what a president should look like and act like, according to the majority of voters.

Since it's easier to see things in another culture than in one's own, I saw this first with utmost clarity in my study on Hugo Chavez. He is the embodiment of what a president should be like - to a significant number of Venezuelans. He is like what we would call a "good ol' boy" in our culture, but one who is exceedingly brilliant a master of public speaking. His appeal is similar, but not identical, to Bill Clinton's.

In a country as multicultural as is the U.S., it's not surprising that there are conflicting images of what a president should look like...remember the Gore versus Bush debacle. In a country that supports individuality as much as ours does, that disparity in political ideals is no surprise.

If you're like me, neither of the candidates really personified what I think an American president should look like. So you vote for the candidate who is closest to your ideal.

Now that it's over, what does the election really mean?

1. Barack Obama represents the ideal president to a significant number of Americans. They believe he can fix things to suit their picture of what a government is supposed to do.

2. If Barack Obama does not represent your idea of what a president should be like, remember that such is the price of living in a democracy: your candidate doesn't always win. The U.S. will continue to be the land of opportunity for the foreseeable future.

It's time to leave the campaign behind us and get back to tending our own gardens.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

7 Thrive Strategies For You and Your Family

Little Amber may not know what a stock market is, but she certainly knows if Mom and/or Dad is feeling more stressed out than usual.

Many families are suffering from lost jobs, and many more are downright nervous or scared about the upswell of doom and gloom reports on the daily news. However, every diversity carries within it the seed of opportunity, and this can be a great time to strengthen your family.

These seven tips are guaranteed to allow your family, not only to survive, but to thrive during this economic downturn.

1. Extreme self care. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money, but ruthlessly carving out some time for goofing off can do more for your family than thousands of dollars in psychotherapy. Even in the best of times, parents tend to overextend themselves. Do whatever it takes to get some additional hours to yourself.

2. Attitude of Gratitude. No matter how bad things seem, you’re better off financially than most of the rest of the world. Make it a family project to find things for which to be grateful. Make a gratitude poster and let everyone add to it. Last year, I felt that my youngest child was too picky about everything, nothing ever seemed to please her. I bought a stencil set and had her make a small poster that read simply “Attitude of Gratitude.” On occasion, I ask her to read what’s on that poster. Recently, she caught me complaining and said, “Mom, try to focus on what is working.”

3. Strategic Spending. Telling your kids or yourself that you “can’t afford that” usually makes everyone want it more and feel sorry for themselves. Transform your thinking about not spending into strategic spending. Give an alternate explanation for not purchasing something: I don’t want to spend money on that right now.

4. Simplify. Saying “no” to others can be saying “yes” to your own family. Take this opportunity to stop doing so many things. Make a list of the family’s activities and arrange them in order of importance. Chop off the bottom fourth of the list. No need to explain more than, “This isn’t a good time for me to take on this additional responsibility.”

5. Play games. Replace one hour of television with games. Apples to Apples is my current favorite, bunco is good, all card games are fun, and your children probably have several games in the closet they haven’t looked at in months. Playing a game gets everyone focused on the same thing, and worry is out the window.

6. Sleep more. One night a week, put yourself in bed before 9 p.m. Even if it takes a while to get to sleep, just lay there and relax.

7. Professional help. If your family is struggling with debt or losing a home, get professional help to deal with creditors.

Remember, this too, shall pass. Focus on the present and find the good stuff around you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A $40,000 Lesson in the Power of Words

What you're about to read is worth a lot of dinero -- I say that because it's one of the most impactful fruits of the more than 40 grand I have invested (so far) in my doctorate in Communication Studies. It's a lesson from political discourse, but there's value for the rest of us in it.

The lesson comes from a man named Murray Edelman, who wrote the influential book most likely you've never heard of, called Constructing the Political Spectacle. While we all know that winning politicians tell the people what they want to hear, Edelman shows how they frame our realities, with their language choices. And it happens even if you don't listen to their speeches. Enough people do, especially journalists, so what leading candidates speak affects us in a very real way.

You may remember how one U.S. presidential candidate put homelessness on the front page. All of a sudden it seemed like homeless people were everywhere, then, just as quickly, they disappeared from the news. What remains an open question is what actually happened to our country's homeless, did they actually get any help?

What Edelman does in this book is explode the myth of the informed voter. There is this American ideal, the citizen who listens to speeches, watches the news, maybe even attends political rallies, and rationally decides which candidate offers the most tenable course of action to remedy our current problems. What most people don't realize is that the very national problems you are perceiving, and the solutions you are contemplating, have been presented to you as objective reality, when in fact, you are confronted a situation that is constructed for you by politicians and their wordsmiths.

This is how Edelman put it:

The spectacle constituted by news reporting continuously constructs and reconstructs social problems, crises, enemies, and leaders and so creates a succession of threats and reassurances. These constructed problems and personalities furnish the content of political journalism and the data for historical and analytic political studies. They also play a central role in winning support and opposition for political causes and policies (1).

Consider this. Not for centuries, but for THOUSANDS of years, poverty was considered a natural state of existence. It was not until the Industrial Revolution that intellectuals began describing income inequality as UNnatural, rather than normal, as it had been considered up to that time.

What's in this for you? You can realize that your language, the way you talk about your life, your problems, your situation, is either reinforcing or transforming. If you are worried about something, consider that it may be the way you're thinking and talking about "the problem" rather than a real threat to your health and happiness.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Maximize Your Holiday Productivity

It's now November, and the holidays are right around the corner. It is a wonderful thing that we get an extra hour of rest before crunch time. Everyone's looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, making memories and catching up with loved ones....or not. Holiday time also strikes fear in the heart of many brave souls-- there are so many more things to do.

The time to get ready is now.

You know you have more shopping, more decorating, more food preparation, more correspondence, more cleaning, more driving, more socializing, more shopping ahead. That usually means less rest, less exercise, more overeating, and more stress.

It doesn't have to be a fitness freefall.

This is the time to throw the pass/fail dichotomy out the window. Keep the big picture in mind and forget about holiday perfection.

Mixonian gives you permission to do the following between now and the end of the year:

- You are allowed to decline certain party invitations.

- You are allowed to buy gift cards instead of gifts.

- You are allowed to schedule someone else to clean the house this month and next.

- You are allowed to buy take-out for Thanksgiving.

- You are allowed to put off certain clients/projects until January.

- You are allowed to go to bed before 9 pm one evening per week.

- You are allowed to walk instead of jog.

- You are allowed to eat just fruit for supper one night a week.

- You are allowed to schedule extra time to goof off.

Remember when you push yourself too hard and too long, burnout is almost inevitable. This year's holiday theme is "Sharing Our Imperfect Love While Having Fun."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Online Tools Improve Writing Skills

(I copied the websites this article recommends to keep them handy.)

- by Jim Edwards
(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved.

Traditionally, every serious writer has kept several books on writing as well as at least one excellent dictionary close at hand.

As our world changes and the Internet and email become part of more people's lives, good writing skills rate extremely important for effective communication.

Thanks to the 'Net you don't have to worry about maintaining a personal resource library any more.

Now you can find some of the best writers' resources available free right online.

Words and phrases - A rhyming dictionary for poetry or songwriting (enter a word, click a button to receive words that rhyme). This resource rates very simple to use and comes in handy when you need it most. - A database of thousands of acronyms and abbreviations. Also search bykeywords to find the perfect or correct abbreviation for a word or phrase. - Search through over 60,000 acronyms, their abbreviations and meanings. Did you know there are 11 meanings for "PDQ" and over 20 for "ASAP"? - Choose from over 3,300 cliché s to illustrate points and paint vivid images in your readers' minds. This site will keep you "busier than a one eyed cat watching two mouse holes!"

Great Quotes - Nothing sets the tone for any written work quite like a stirring quote from a famous person. Finding such quotations often took hours of searching - until now!
Now you can quickly search the database of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations to find that perfect quote virtually in minutes.

You can also find more quotes a t

Dictionaries and Thesauri - Webster's hypertext dictionary. - Roget's Online Thesaurus along with a number of other useful reference tools. - Interesting tool thattransforms any web page into easy convenient links to definition and word lookups in dictionaries or thesauruses. Terrific time saver if you see a web page with lots of words you don't understand.

Why are some people getting rich selling their ebooks?Jim Edwards & Joe Vitale have created the *ultimate* guide - "How to Write and Publish your own Outrageously Profitable eBook... in as little as 7 Days!" FREE Details: ==>