"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him."- David Brinkley, Television Journalist
If you desire to be an effective leader, having a positive attitude is essential. It not only determines your level of contentment as a person, but is also has an impact on how others interact with you. To learn more about what it means to be positive, think on these things.
1. Your Attitude is a Choice - The average person wants to wait for someone else to motivate him. He perceives that his circumstances are responsible for the way he thinks. But which comes first - the attitude or the circumstances? The truth is that it really doesn't matter which came first. No matter what happened to you yesterday, your attitude is your choice today.
2. Your Attitude Determines Your Actions - Family life expert Denis Waitley addresses this issue: "The winners edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in talent. The winner's edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for success." Your attitude is crucial because it determines how you act.
3. Your People Are a Mirror of Your Attitude - It is amazing how many people display a poor attitude, yet expect their people to be upbeat. But the Law of Magnetism really is true - who you are is who you attract.
4. Maintaining a Good Attitude is Easier Than Regaining One - If you already have a positive attitude, you are encouraged to keep it up. On the other hand, if you have a difficult time expecting the best of yourself and others, don't despair. Because you choose your attitude, you can change it.
To improve your attitude, do the following:
- Feed Yourself The Right Food - If you have been starved of anything positive, then you need to start feeding yourself a regular diet of motivational material. Read books that encourage a positive attitude or listen to motivational tapes. The more negative you are, the longer it will take to turn your attitude around. But if you consume a steady diet of the right "food," you can become a positive thinker.
- Achieve A Goal Every Day - Some people get in a rut of negativity because they feel they are not making progress. If that describes you, then begin setting achievable goals for yourself. A pattern of positive achievement will help you develop a pattern of positive thinking.
- Write It On Your Wall - We all need reminders to help us keep thinking right. Alex Haley used to keep a picture in his office of a turtle on a fence post to remind him that everybody needed the help of others. As incentive, people put up awards they'e won, inspirational posters, or letters they've received. Find something that will work for you and put it on your wall.
Chris Evert, one of the greatest female athletes of all time commented, "The thing that separates good players from great ones is mental attitude. It might only make a difference of two or thrree points in a entire match, but how you play those key points often makes the difference between winning and losing." If the mind is strong you can do almost anything you want. Is your mind "conditioned" to win the key points ahead of you?
(From The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell)
“We haven’t faced a downturn like this since the Depression. Its effect on consumption, its effect on future lending attitudes, could bring us close to the zero line in terms of economic growth. It does keep me up at night.”
-Bill Gross, chief investment officer of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund.
Painting: Mark Harden's Artchive: Johann Heinrich (Henry Fuseli), The Nightmare, 1781, oil on canvas, 127 x 102 cm, Detroit Institute of the Arts
A recent AP article pointed to a surprising trend among children as they consume too little milk, sunshine and exercise. Parents' safety concerns– as well as TV and video games – contribute to the trend by keeping kids sedentary and indoors. The article calls it "an anti-bone trifecta," and the result is an ominous occurrence of something we haven't seen much of since the 19th Century: Rickets.
Here, in brief, is the solution:
The Associated Press
updated 4:49 p.m. ET, Mon., Nov. 26, 2007
Building strong bones takes a combination of calcium, vitamin D and exercise starting in childhood. Here are guidelines on how much youngsters need:
-Young children should consume about 800 milligrams of calcium a day. But between ages 9 and 18, when bone growth speeds up, that requirement almost doubles to 1,300 mg. That's about three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk plus additional calcium-rich foods, such as broccoli, cheese, yogurt, or calcium-fortified orange juice.
-Children and adolescents need at least 200 international units of vitamin D. Milk and orange juice often is fortified with the vitamin; a few other foods contain it. Sunlight is a major source. About 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure weekly is enough for many children, although skin pigmentation alters sun absorption so black children need more. The goal is to get just enough sun for vitamin D production while avoiding too much of its skin-damaging rays. Babies who are breast-fed only and older children at risk for vitamin D deficiency should receive supplements.
-Children of all ages need about an hour of physical activity most days, and 10 to 15 minutes at a time can add up. Weight-bearing exercises strengthen bone, anything from team sports like soccer to simply jumping rope or running around. The goal is for the arms or legs to bear all the body's weight.
-The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for calcium-deficit diets and too little exercise, to identify those whose lifestyles put them at risk for osteoporosis later in life.
Ten Minutes Of Talking Improves Memory And Test Performance
ScienceDaily (2007-11-01) -- Spending just 10 minutes talking to another person can help improve your memory and your performance on tests, according to a new study. The higher the level of participants' social interaction, researchers found, the better their cognitive functioning. This relationship was reliable for all age groups, from the youngest through the oldest. ... > read full article
Just when everyone thought it couldn't get any worse, the subprime mortgage crisis is now poised to do just that. In the next several months, interest rates will reset on adjustable rate mortgages valued in excess of $362 billion.
According to yesterday's Wall Street Journal, the majority of subprime mortgages that have contributed to the already high default rate "went bad in their first year or so, well before their interest rate had a chance to go higher." Ultimately, it's now evident that this was due to shoddy underwriting, steadily falling home prices--as well as rampant property speculation and a not-so-insignificant measure of fraud.
Most of the subprime ARMs that are now scheduled to reset are 2-28 loans, which carry a fixed rate for two years, then adjust annually thereafter. The number of mortgages now resetting is estimated to be 150,000 a month. This will certainly contribute to the estimated 1.35 million homes that will enter the foreclosure process this year and 1.44 million for 2008.
How will this affect you? Consider that foreclosed homes typically sell at a discount rate of 25%. Because these properties are on the banks' books, banks want to unload them quickly. This will have a potentially dramatic effect on the housing comps in a neighborhood.
I recall calling a realtor in Washington, D.C. about a property in 2005. When I told her I thought the price she quoted was too high, she quickly came back with the idea of getting a sub-prime mortgage that would "make it affordable." As tempting as it was, I recall at the time that it sounded too good to be true. But this was the beginning of the subprime rage that led us to where we are today.
That's always a red flag for me. When a something is described innocuously, and in terms that are too good to be true....
From T.V. Paul's excellent book: Power Versus Prudence: Why Nations Forego Nuclear Weapons, here is an executive summary of his chapters on Japan, Brazil and Argetina.
Thesis:Non-nuclear policies were adopted in order to maximize economic and security goals within the constraints imposed by asymmetrical security interdependence with allies and adversaries.
• Three Phases of Japanese nuclear policy development:
o 1945-1970: Strong domestic opinion against nuclear weapons. A defensive posture allowed Japan to concentrate on their economy. The U.S. security guarantee helped make possible the Yoshida Doctrine of 3 non-nuclear principles: no producing, no possessing, and no nukes on Japanese territory (no written agreement = deniability)
o 1970-1990: Japan ratified the NPT in June 1976 after receiving IAEA agreement to less intrusive safeguards and treatment equal to Euratom. Increased Soviet activity led to re-examination of nuclear decision. First and second strike capabilities explored; ineffective effective deterrent due to high degree of urbanization.
o 1991 and beyond: Japan's Low-posture defense to project an image of benign trading state. Japan's Prosperity and economic security became enmeshed in global web of financial, production, and trading interdependencies. Nuclear weapons would be viewed with intense suspicion by regional states, potentially worsening security environment.
• Japan possesses a latent nuclear weapons capability and could go nuclear under the following conditions:
o A Worsening of security environment following a loosening of U.S. security commitment – unlikely in short and medium term.
o Power and prestige – unlikely, development of defensive technologies is more likely
o Rise of China as military power and threatening posture towards Japan – deterrent capabilities, nuclear weapons, or strengthening of relationship with U.S.
ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL
Thesis:Perceived utility of nuclear weapons changed when Argentina and Brazil resolved their territorial disputes; changes in domestic power structures accelerated and reinforced the process.
• Both states opposed the NPT because its discriminatory nature and its alleged negative impact on their independent nuclear energy programs.
• At the time they signed the NPT, both states (especially Argentina) were advanced enough to fabricate a small nuclear force quickly.
Argentina's Motive: to reverse Argentina’s decline; bring back the grandeur of the past. Competition with Brazil drove military component of nuclear program. Wanted military equality with Brazil and preponderance over Chile; prevent politico-military alliances. After 1982 and Falklands/Malvinas War they realized they could not take on Brazil and looked to them as more of a trading partner, not a threat – result policy of cooperation.
Brazil's Motive: Power and prestige and competition with Argentina. Robust military nuclear program in all services. Decided to give up program due to fear of provoking arms race with Argentina, Argentina’s lead in completing the fuel cycle – result policy of cooperation. Mutual recognition that economic integration would not be feasible if military competition continued. Non-nuclear through a bilateral process of agreements, inspections, and confidence building measures with little intervention/help from the U.S. or IAEA.
A simultaneous transition to democracy in the two countries increased the pace of cooperation.
"Anyone can dabble, but once you've made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it's very hard for people to stop you"- Bill Cosby, Comedian
What makes it possible for people who might seem ordinarry to achieve great things? The answer is passion. Nothing can take the place of passion in a leader's life.
Take a look at four truths about passion and what it can do for you as a leader:
1. Passion Is The First Step to Achievement - Your desire determines your destiny. Think of great leaders, and you will be struck by their passion: Gandhi for human rights, Winston Churchill for freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr. for equality, Bill gates for technology. Anyone who lives beyond an ordinary life has great desire. It is true in any field: weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire creates little heat. The stronger your fire, the greater the desire--and the greater the potential.
2. Passion Increases Your Willpower - There is no substitute for passion. It is fuel for the will. If you want anything badly enough, you can find the willpower to achieve it. The only way to have that kind of desire is to develop passion.
3. Passion Changes You - If you follow your passion--instead of others' perceptions--you cannot help becoming a more dedicated, productive person. And that increases your ability to impact others. In the end, your passion will have more influence than your personality.
4. Passion Makes the Impossible Possible - Himan beings are so made that whenever anything fires the soul, impossibilities vanish. A fire in the heart lifts everything in your life. That is why passionate leaders are so effective. A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and no passion.
If passion is not a quality in your life, you are in trouble as a leader. The truth is that you can never lead something you do not care passionately about. You cannot start a fire in your organization unless one is first burning in you.
To increase your passion, do the following:
- Take Your Temperature - How passionate are you about your life and work? Does it show? Get an honest assessment by querying several coworkers and your spouse about your level of desire. You won't become passionate until you believe passion can be the difference maker in your life.
- Return To Your First Love - Many people allow life and its circumstances to get them off track. Think back to when you were just starting out in your career--or even farther back to when you were a child. What really turned your crank? What could you spend hours and hours doing? Try to recapture your old enthusiasm. Then evaluate your life and career in light of those old loves.
- Associate With People of Passion - It sounds hokey, but birds of a feather really do flock together. If you've lost your fire, get around some firelighters. Passion is contagious. Schedule some time with people who can infect your with it.
(From The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell)
While this article confirms what we already knew--that Alexander Litvinenko's radioactive poison originated from Russia--it demonstrates that the story will not go away as many Russian officials would have liked....
The radioactive substance used to poison Alexander Litvinenko was highly likely to have come from a Russian state-controlled plant, says a lawyer.
Russia has previously denied the poison had been stolen from the country.
The former KGB agent's widow Marina wants to put pressure on Russia and find out who killed her husband.
Speaking on the anniversary of his death, Louise Christian, acting for Marina, said the case has been taken to the European Court of Human Rights.
Ms Christian said legal papers were filed on Thursday accusing the Russian government of complicity in the murder and of failing to carry out a proper investigation into the death.
Scotland Yard has identified Andrei Lugovoi as the main suspect in the case but he has denied any involvement.
The British government wants him to stand trial but attempts to extradite him have been unsuccessful.
Mr Litvinenko died in London's University College Hospital after being poisoned by polonium-210.
At a news conference Mrs Litvinenko said she still hoped the Russian authorities would extradite Mr Lugovoi to face justice in London.
"I lost my husband and I want to know who was behind the killing.
"I promise we will find who is responsible for this. Without this knowledge, we just cannot feel we are safe," she said.
Louise Christian, who has represented the cases of Britons being held at Guantanamo Bay and relatives of the Potters Bar rail crash victims, said evidence from an expert's report showed the Russian Federation was "guilty of complicity or connivance" in Mr Litvinenko's death.
A UK-based professor of theoretical physics concluded it was highly likely the polonium-210 came from a Russian state-controlled plant, she said.
She cited the professor as saying he was "almost certain" the Russian government was involved in supplying the polonium used to murder Alexander Litvinenko.
Alex Goldfarb, a friend of Mr Litvinenko, said friends and family would keep up the pressure for those responsible to be brought to justice.
"It looks unlikely that diplomacy and legal processes will result in bringing the perpetrators of this murder to justice here in London," he told reporters.
Instead, he said supporters would begin to speak about the "culpability of the Russian government" and would step up their campaign on the international scene.
Last year Russia's nuclear chief rejected suggestions that the polonium-210 linked to Mr Litvinenko's death could have been stolen from the country.
Earlier on Friday Mrs Litvinenko was joined by supporters outside the hospital, where her husband died.
There was a reading of Mr Litvinenko's death-bed statement accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of being involved in his murder.
Mr Litvinenko, who was an outspoken critic of Mr Putin's leadership in Russia, died after drinking tea containing the poison.
Businessman Mr Lugovoi, who is running for a seat in the Russian parliament, claims the British case for his extradition has collapsed.
He rejects all charges and has just won a libel case against a prominent Russian newspaper.
In the wake of the Litvinenko affair there has been a deterioration in UK-Russian relations.
There have been tit-for-tat expulsions of first Russian then British diplomats, and a suspension of co-operation between security services, with no sign of either government inclined to back down.
BBC News security correspondent Frank Gardner says mutual suspicions are back close to where they were in the dark days of the Cold War.
Happy Thanksgiving! If you are looking for a way to give thanks for what you have this Thanksgiving, here is a great way to do it. I recently created this Squidoo Lens to assist St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the kids they help every day. The fundraiser is headed up by good friend Pixie Monroe, the daughter of Marie and Edward Petros--original founding board members of St. Jude's (interestingly, Ed Petros is a veteran of Wild Bill Donovan's OSS during WWII!).
Even if you can't make the big event on February 5th at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., this lens provides many other ways for you to contribute--all contributions are appreciated, big or small. In addition to helping sick kids, it's a great end-of-year tax deduction too!
Please feel free to send this lens to your contacts! Here is the link: