Saturday, 30 January 2016

January, 2016

Dear all,

It's the new year and there's so much to look forward to. All my studies for the year are done and I'm now able to focus on the website and the new features and sections coming. Are they huge? Maybe, but they are going to wet your appetite to experience more in this broad world of ours, or find a new contribution on today's community.

January is all about new starts and new goals. Did you do your New Years resolutions? I did. Some of mine were continuation of last year's resolutions, but amazingly, I got a few tasks ticked off for last year. It's been a while since I've done that. The new year for me is going to be full of twists and turns, which I'm excited about while being nervous too. But they say nerves is normal and good luck. If we're not nervous, it means we don't care enough about whatever we might be facing.

I wanted the January edition to be all about new starts, so much of this month's issue is about new beginnings or improving how you've done things until this point. Quite a few articles about self-improvement, and the real potential you could find within.

Alarm Clocks: Help, Hinder or Need Upgrade?
I read this rant someone had that alarm clocks were ruining their life and it made me wonder, is it really true? Psychologically and biologically, are they disrupting our natural order? The answer is yes. Studies show that being awoken by the wrong type of alarm clock can cause drunk-like states of mind which could remain for two hours after waking. They also caused stress responses in the body which resulted in low mood and inertia. So what are the options? Introducing new ways to use your alarm more effectively, along with a few amazing inventions such as Bacon clock.

Life Code: Book Review
Dr. Phil McGraw has written this book, which is coined the new rules for today's world. Has the world really changed? In his opinion, yes. We are more hungry for success, but so are others, and have created what McGraw calls BAITERS (Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters and/or Reckless people). His book aims to arm people against them by understand them and the Evil 8 signs to identify them. He also includes their tricks, known as the Nefarious 15. The book has been seen as a book suitable for Chicken Little, over-catastrophising social ocassions and professional connections, but are we in a world where careful is a waste?

The Power of Demanding Reciprocation
This article was inspired by a situation I was involved in, where it made me ask the questions, "do we always hold people accountable enough? What is accountable enough?" I sought to discover the truth for myself and wanted to share my thoughts with others. There is no definitive answer of course, only methods of analysing what you consider your expectations of others, and what level of respect you demand from them. What do you determine as suitable reciprocation? What can pure reciprocation afford you?

Kidnapped for Christ: The Documentary
New beginnings are sometimes found in behaviour modification programs. Katie Logan was studying Christian programs when she found she had stumbled onto something much more when she researched Escuela Caribe. Ex-students of the facility had gruesome stories to tell, and the current students seemed to be hiding something. The documentary looks at how the students of Escuela Caribe lived daily life while Logan lived on the grounds, as well as asks viewers to determine what is expected of these programs, and when they become torture instead of turning a new leaf.

What Would Judy Say? 
Judge Judith Sheindlin, known for her television show, Judge Judy, is a role model of mine. She always has wisdom to share and 72 years of collecting it. So what does the world's most popular judge want to tell us about life and profession? A great deal. This free e-book shares her advice and wisdom about the changing world we live in, in hopes she can inspire the next generation of professionals to hold onto functional traits and lessons that will serve them.

Craiglist Joe
Joseph Garner sought out to understand how well the Internet can serve us, and how the community works together in today's society. Armed with only his clothes on his back, his laptop and phone, his passport and his toothbrush, Garner challenged himself to travel 31 days across America, surviving only on deals or contacts he made over Craigslist. How far would he get? The journey includes the people he met, their stories, and how they helped him on that leg of the journey. He was not to pay for anything -- only struggle with what he could barter or earn for himself via Craigslist.

BNC210: The New Era of Anti-depressants?
A new start can sometimes be a medical break-through. BNC210 is the new compound that functions as an anti-depressant, only does not have the side effects currently found in other medications. It would mean a new start for many people if the drug continues to impress in clinical trials. The world would change for anti-depressant users, the drug being proven so far to be non-addictive, more rapidly affective with panic attacks, and doesn't impose biological and neurological side effects such as sedation, addiction, memory impairment, body movement effects, and potentially drug overdosing. So how far has this drug come so far and when is it going to be available?

I hope this month starts the new year off suitably and happily for everyone. If you haven't written up New Years resolutions yet, consider it, as they can be great motivators. If you have a goal and fall off the wagon, think about why you did, then consider a contingency plan. What can you learn from it to gain more success later? What could you change to make your goal more measurable or realistic? Remember, when writing goals, make sure they are SMART (Specific Meaningful Action-oriented Realistic Timely) goals!

(If you're unsure about what SMART goals really mean, see

It's the key to creating goals for yourself that you're more likely to achieve. An example would be:
a) I want to quit drinking       NOT SMART
b) I want to quit drinking by June, 2016.       SMART!
c) I want to cut my drinking down to 75% of what it is currently by February 28th,  2016.     SMART!

B and C are more effective because they can help us create small goals that are manageable. They are specific so you know exactly how or when you want to work towards quitting drinking. They also explain the action you want to achieve (cut down by 75%)and they are timely because they have a time-line to work through and give you a sense of planning and a little urgency. Finally, make sure your goals are meaningful and realistic. Ask yourself, how important is this for you and why? Also, how realistic is the goal? Can you do it by the due-date? If not, change the date to reflect a better plan. Goals with due dates are always most effective!

Happy January!
The Editor.