Monthly Archives: February 2012

Aw, What a Cute Puppy!

Aw What a Cute Puppy! Have you noticed how many advertisements have those cute little lab puppies in them? You know why that is right? They are one of the cutest puppies around! Like everyone in my family I love cats and dogs. Growing up as a child we always had animals… cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, you name it! Would I have helped someone who was looking for their missing puppy? Just like any other kid I wanted to help, but we were always told to stay away from strangers. And be especially careful of anyone claiming to have lost an animal or offering candy. Naturally like any other good parent I have instilled the same values in my children, nieces, nephews, etc… So now let me tell you a story about my daughter’s best friend in school. Like with any BFF she went everywhere with us, including family vacations. She would get to hear all of the life lessons learned by kids traveling in a car on vacation. We treated her like our own and watched her just the same. Returning from one of our summer road trips we happen to stop at one of the popular fast food restaurants for a break and French fries (the diet of preteen girls). Like all kids, they didn’t want to wait for the parents so they rushed outside to the car. Needless to say I was shocked when I walked outside to find “the friend” leaning into the car next to us saying “aw what a cute puppy! I couldn’t believe it! The crazy thing is that the male occupant of the car didn’t stop her. Now maybe it was all harmless but I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Thinking about it now something didn’t seem right. An older man with a puppy on his lap sitting outside a fast food restaurant by the playground? Maybe I am being too suspicious, but wouldn’t you think that the person in the car would have discouraged her or reminded her about talking to strangers? That probably happened 8-10 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. Recently my daughter (now older) found a lab puppy. It’s absolutely adorable! Grandma who is an animal lover doesn’t have a dog so she was the first choice of who to give it to. Now here’s a lucky animal that receives royal treatment! Of course we promised to pet sit when she goes on vacation. Well grandma already had a vacation planned so we began our week of puppy sitting forAw What a Cute Puppy! Have you noticed how many advertisements have those cute little lab puppies in them? You know why that is right? They are one of the cutest puppies around! Like everyone in my family I love cats and dogs. Growing up as a child we always had animals… cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, you name it! Would I have helped someone who was looking for their missing puppy? Just like any other kid I wanted to help, but we were always told to stay away from strangers. And be especially careful of anyone claiming to have lost an animal or offering candy. Naturally like any other good parent I have instilled the same values in my children, nieces, nephews, etc… So now let me tell you a story about my daughter’s best friend in school. Like with any BFF she went everywhere with us, including family vacations. She would get to hear all of the life lessons learned by kids traveling in a car on vacation. We treated her like our own and watched her just the same. Returning from one of our summer road trips we happen to stop at one of the popular fast food restaurants for a break and French fries (the diet of preteen girls). Like all kids, they didn’t want to wait for the parents so they rushed outside to the car. Needless to say I was shocked when I walked outside to find “the friend” leaning into the car next to us saying “aw what a cute puppy! I couldn’t believe it! The crazy thing is that the male occupant of the car didn’t stop her. Now maybe it was all harmless but I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Thinking about it now something didn’t seem right. An older man with a puppy on his lap sitting outside a fast food restaurant by the playground? Maybe I am being too suspicious, but wouldn’t you think that the person in the car would have discouraged her or reminded her about talking to strangers? That probably happened 8-10 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. Recently my daughter (now older) found a lab puppy. It’s absolutely adorable! Grandma who is an animal lover doesn’t have a dog so she was the first choice of who to give it to. Now here’s a lucky animal that receives royal treatment! Of course we promised to pet sit when she goes on vacation. Well grandma already had a vacation planned so we began our week of puppy sitting for Snickers as promised and I found myself on the other side of “aw, what a cute puppy”! We took Snickers with us everywhere that she was allowed. I was completely amazed how many complete strangers walked up to us to play with her. We took her to a bonfire the first night and a woman actually swooped her up off the ground to snuggle with her. Remember, we teach women and girls how to escape from a potential attack so I was starting to feel funny when kids and young girls were walking up to play with Snickers. Obviously not because I didn’t want them to play with her, but because the parents weren’t around! I am a good person and I live in a relatively safe community but the parents had no way to know that. Over the weekend we were at an outside café and a little girl came up to pet Snickers. Her parents were inside. I told she needed to be with her parents and then she could play with the puppy. She could have been kidnapped before they knew what happened. It’s sad that as much as the world has changed, the oldest gimmicks are still around. Please make sure your children aren’t the victim of a missing puppy scenario. Remind your children that if an adult is asking for help they should go tell their parents, teachers, or another adult. Tracy Vega- Simple Self Defense for Women Snickers as promised and I found myself on the other side of “aw, what a cute puppy”! We took Snickers with us everywhere that she was allowed. I was completely amazed how many complete strangers walked up to us to play with her. We took her to a bonfire the first night and a woman actually swooped her up off the ground to snuggle with her. Remember, we teach women and girls how to escape from a potential attack so I was starting to feel funny when kids and young girls were walking up to play with Snickers. Obviously not because I didn’t want them to play with her, but because the parents weren’t around! I am a good person and I live in a relatively safe community but the parents had no way to know that. Over the weekend we were at an outside café and a little girl came up to pet Snickers. Her parents were inside. I told she needed to be with her parents and then she could play with the puppy. She could have been kidnapped before they knew what happened. It’s sad that as much as the world has changed, the oldest gimmicks are still around. Please make sure your children aren’t the victim of a missing puppy scenario. Remind your children that if an adult is asking for help they should go tell their parents, teachers, or another adult.

The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System – Two Week Follow Up and Second Application Info!

Are you curious what has happened over the past two weeks, since I initially brought you a feature about the Remington iLight Pro hair removal system?  Do you think I’ve got good things to say after two weeks?
WATCH THIS VIDEO UPDATE:
Honestly guys…this product really seems to be working great!
Can you imagine…6 months of NOT HAVING TO SHAVE your armpits or legs (especially during the summer)?
That means…we could limit shaving your legs, armpits, and other areas (bikini area) to only a few times a year!  OH MY GOODNESS…this could be the answer to ever woman’s prayers!
Seriously, check back in two weeks…when I bring my final update about my 3 application process with the Remington iLight Pro and I will hopefully be showing you pictures of my “ACTUAL” armpits…hair free and ready for SPRING!

PATIENCE AND THE FREELANCER

Like most careers, a freelance writing gig has its highs and lows. One of the biggest highs is working with many different clients. One of the biggest lows is chasing paychecks from all those different clients. Besides, putting a wrench in the budget, it just feels crappy to not get paid for work done well and on time.

Thankfully, chasing down clients doesn’t happen often. Usually I see payment within 30 days. Sometimes up to 60. Only once before, did it seem to take more than 3 months, but that company was reorganizing and I did believe that no one was in charge. And now there’s this…


Hey, look at me! I look like I am begging for… um…maybe a paycheck I invoiced 120+ days ago.
It was Day 107 when I started writing this post. And then I hesitated. Maybe it’s not the right thing to do, plus I had that idealistic “oh, it’ll probably come tomorrow” recording playing in my head.

On February 13th, approximately Day 120, I thought, “Hey it’s been 4 months since I sent that invoice.” I’ve been waiting an entire season for a paycheck. In other terms, I have been waiting the time it takes a baby to start solid foods. I got pissed, and resurrected the post.

I tapped on a few keys, then hesitated again. I wrote to the woman who hired me. Mortified that I was still waiting to be paid, she told me that some checks went out on Friday, and that maybe mine was with that bunch. Our fingers were crossed.

Then came Valentine’s Day — a day of love and perhaps…a paycheck! The only exciting thing in my mailbox, however, was a tiny lizard which scared the shit out of me. When I spotted it stationed on the last envelope, nearly white and trying so hard not to be seen, I screeched and threw all the mail in the air. As I collected the letters off the grass, a really cute Wheaton came over to sniff me and say “hello.” That was nice, but the absence of a check was not.

{Confession: I did not sign a contract with this company.}

The freelance gods are frowning upon me; I performed emergency proofreading duties in good faith. I know. I know — a stupid move which actually sometimes makes me think this massive delay is somehow my fault. I hate that that thought actually crosses my mind.

A good friend tells me his sister did a job for the same company, and that they took forever to pay. “But they paid!” he says, attempting to assuage me. I know this is supposed to make me feel better…. kind of like the forgotten 50 you find in a pair of jeans you haven’t worn in a very long time.

I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful, whiny freelance writer — and if you know me personally you know that I am so NOT a WFW, but in the event that I am coming off like one, I shall turn this negative situation into something positive starting….now!

Let’s play…

“GUESS THE NAME OF
THE VERY, VERY SLOW PAYER”

Just leave your answer in the comment section of this blog. If you are correct and the first one to be so (but you may not be a good friend to whom I may have already griped), you’ll receive an autographed copy of a “The Colorful Counting Book,” a short paperback kids book that I made a little too hastily on Lulu. But it’s the thought that counts, right? And it is kind of cute. Oh, I am eager to see the names you come up with, and I do hope you’ll play.

(o.k.- I’m really sorry that the prize is not a cool purse, or a spa service or anything of greater value, but remember, I haven’t been paid — and actually it is kind of cool especially if you have a kid or know a kid that is at the age of learning colors and numbers.)

It is February 15th, and still no check. Maybe tomorrow or the next day or the next or the next or maybe the next………….

Under My Skin

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When I’m in the mood to be traumatized, I usually just go bathing suit shopping.  Jeans shopping runs a close second.  But when I really want to be both traumatized and insulted, I can always count on the ladies at the make-up counter of the department store to help me out.  It would seem to me that in addition to whatever beauty schooling they get in eyeshadow blending and lipstick application, they would also benefit from some good old-fashioned sensitivity training 101.

“Can I help you?” asked the woman with dramatically-arched, drawn-on eyebrows that would have made Mr. Spock green with envy.

“Um, I’m looking for a moisturizer,” I said reluctantly.  I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted, but just out of curiosity, I thought I would check out the latest in anti-aging treatments like bat dung serums and placenta creams.

She studied my face for a moment and then reached out and tweaked my cheek.

“Ow!”

“Just checking your elasticity,” she said.

I rubbed my tweaked cheek.  She grabbed something from behind the counter and held it up to my face. A bright light shone into my eyes.

“Severe sun damage,” she pronounced loudly.

I tried to recall if I had willingly come to this counter or if evil aliens had captured me and deposited me here for some kind of dermatological torture session.

“Here’s something that will help with the fine lines around your mouth and the sagging skin under your eyes,” she said, swiping some foul-smelling cream under my eyes and around my mouth.  My eyes immediately began to burn and tear.

“This one is also non-comedogenic so it will help with those clogged pores on your chin,” she said as she swiped some orange goo on my chin.  It quickly hardened so the pained expression on my mouth froze in place.

“…And this one will help reduce the appearance of the deeper lines on your forehead that you get when you frown -  like you are right now.”

Imagine that, I was frowning.

The ironic thing was, before I came into the store, I wasn’t even aware that I had fine lines around my mouth, sagging skin under my eyes, clogged pores on my chin, and deep wrinkles on my forehead.  I just wanted to get a moisturizer for dry winter skin.

“I think you would benefit from these three creams,” she pronounced.   I studied the tiny little jars

“How much?” I asked, as though I hadn’t been horrified enough.

“This one is $130 for 1 ounce.  This one is $150, and this little one is $95,” she said non-chalantly.

I did the math.  “Three hundred and seventy-five dollars?!?!?”

“Plus tax,” she said.  My hardened jaw dropped.

“But in 6 to 10 weeks, you should notice a dramatic reduction in the appearance of all your fine lines and wrinkles!” she exclaimed.

“Yes,” I said, “But if I leave right now, I will immediately notice a dramatic reduction in the appearance of you.”

New Technology impacts Old Furniture Market

Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori

One of the most common pieces of antique furniture is the armoire or as it is called in Europe, the linen cupboard. They are beautiful storage pieces that have enjoyed a major place in the world’s homes since before the advent of the closet. Armoires have a varied history and have served as wooden storage lockers for everything from coats to coverlets since the age of the Renaissance.

Today, many people are sad to learn that one of their most beloved pieces of furniture is not worth as much as it once was. For instance, many antiques lovers purchased large scale armoires for big bucks in the 1990s, intended to use the piece in a bedroom. Many owners purchased armoires to hide an oversized tv set behind wooden doors. Now, the technological advancement known as the flat screen television has changed the face of the bedroom and has ushered out most oversized armoires. If you are like many other people, you may be thinking about how to make the most out of your antique, though still beautiful, armoire now that you don’t need it to store you old television.

Here are a few tips for those of you who would rather keep your armoire rather than lose money selling it in today’s market. Although the market isn’t paying top dollar for armoires anymore, the style and function of this versatile piece of furniture remains desirable in many rooms of the house.

Armoires in the bedroom are great for storing clothes, purses, accessories, hats, hanging shoe bags and other articles of clothing. If you want to hide unsightly objects in the bedroom as you enjoy that flat screen tv, armoires can keep your DVDs and CDs in order and out of sight.

Many people want to place a wooden armoire in the bathroom, but the moisture and humidity from the shower stall can damage the finish of the antique’s wood over time. Armoires are great for storing lightweight items like sheets, pillowcases, shams, and towels but, make sure that you place a barrier (shelf lining paper) between your linens and the wooden shelves.

I have seen armoires serving as baking pantries in kitchens, paper and file storage in home offices, and used as sports equipment storage in the playroom. Don’t over stack it and don’t store books in an antique armoire as the weight of the books can damage the integrity of the structure.

When it comes to interior design, armoires are large enough to act as room dividers and slim enough to be placed in a hallway or on a second floor landing area. These versatile pieces of furniture are simple, typically with a door or two and a security lock. Dress your armoire up with a dried flower or silk leaves on the top of the piece and a decorative tassel on the lock and key.

When technology changes and our homes are redecorated to make room for our changing tastes, consider new ways to use an old faithful piece of furniture, like the armoire. Don’t just take a beating on the sale of an armoire or linen cupboard, take a moment to repurpose it.

Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. For a full schedule of Dr. Lori’s antiques appraisal events, visit http://www.DrLoriV.com, http://www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call (888) 431-1010.


Armoire (Photo credit: http://www.DrLoriV.com)

10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success by Kelli Robinson

It’s estimated that 10 to 15 million Americans work from home. Many women, including a great percentage of moms, find the work-from-home opportunity the perfect fit for their lifestyle.

But working from home is hard work, especially with kids in the picture. Whether you’re contemplating a work-from-home opportunity or already heading to your in-house office each day, here are ten tips to help make the business adventure a success.

1. Get everyone in the house on board.
Without family support, your at-home business won’t survive. The kids must understand the times when mommy might be home but can’t be disturbed. Your spouse must step up to duties you might otherwise assume but can’t because of work. Share the household workload.

2. Create an office or work space.
Even if you can do your job sitting on the couch with laptop in hand, creating work space is important. Whether it’s an actual office with doors and a desk or a corner of the bedroom partitioned by a room divider, you need an area that’s off limits to the kids. Another bonus: Office space for an at-home business is tax deductible.

3. Establish a schedule — but work when you can.
Establish a base schedule: A set chunk of hours, certain days of the week, etc. where you perform the bulk of your duties. This is especially important if you have clients working traditional business hours at an office.

But embrace the flexibility working from home allows. Are you an earlier riser or night owl? What tasks can you complete late at night when the family’s asleep, or in the morning before everyone wakes up? Do quick tasks when the baby’s napping.

4. Take breaks.
Just because you’re already home doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a break. Take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break, long enough to stretch your muscles, do some breathing exercises, or make a quick personal call. Schedule a lunch hour and step away from the computer.

5. Don’t do laundry during office hours.
It’s so tempting to fold those clothes or unload that dishwasher, but you couldn’t do any of that if you were at an office building. Treat your at-home job as you would any other job, avoiding the temptation to do house chores during business hours.

6. Write a job description and keep track of goals and achievements.
Write a job description that highlights your duties and responsibilities, and track your goals. Doing so keeps you on target. Additionally, having an updated resume is essential when you’re working from home. Writing a job description makes the task simpler.

7. Multi-task wisely and organize.
If juggling multiple duties at once doesn’t come naturally, figure out a way to learn this all-important skill. Working from home affords flexibility, but with flexibility comes the need to do multiple duties. Organize your day. White boards and calendars become your new best friends. Also, check out Zoho.com, recently featured on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act. Zoho has organizational solutions, paperwork, productivity apps, and much more for professionals who work from home.

8. Utilize pre-school, child care, or sitters.
Ah, the joys of taking business calls with a tired toddler at your feet! Don’t confuse working from home with being at home. If your budget permits, consider preschool, child care, or other options during daytime hours. You’d do so if your office was downtown instead of downstairs, right?

9. Establish connections within the profession.
Join a professional association, attend conferences and seminars, and participate in online forum discussions. Networking and staying in tune with current topics within your industry are critical for your professional development.

10. Get out of the office.
Remember the idea of taking a break that was mentioned earlier? Make one break long enough to allow you time out of the house. Meet a friend for lunch, go to the gym, walk the dog. Yes, it’s your office, but it’s also your home. You’ll burn out and go stir crazy if you don’t find a change of scenery.

Working from home is a great alternative for many women wanting to balance their personal and professional life, as long as family support and the right mindset and tools are in place.

One Man’s Dog is Another Man’s Hissing Cockroachby lostinsuburbiablog


Occasionally I actually do some research for one of my humor columns to make sure that I am being factually accurate about something as scientifically complex as the half life of the average dog gas.
Such was the case recently when I was working on an animal column which, incidentally, was not about canine flautlence, and I stumbled upon one of those online, ask-any-question types of sites. As I scrolled down the page, I saw that there were some other questions unrelated to mine, listed under the heading of “Open Questions – Pets.”

That was when something caught my eye.

The question was: “Does anyone know if you have to have a special permit to own a hissing cockroach in Illinois?”

Really.

The official answer, in case you were curious, is “No.”

But the real answer is “EWWWWW!”

I say again.

“EWWWWW!!!”

I happened to have lived many years in a slightly cockroach-inhabited apartment in New York City and while the roaches were not of the hissing variety, they were plenty gross. If one were to add “hissing” into the mix, I surely would have run screaming back to my parents’ house in the suburbs, forthwith. To think that someone would actually want to bring some hissing cockroaches into their home in Illinois, willingly and with intent to own, not only completely baffles me, it makes me question the sanity of the entire population of Illinois.

Of course, I have a brother who willingly moved to a house in Malibu that is frequented by scorpions, tarantulas and rattlesnakes . But to the best of my knowledge, he was an unwilling participant in these visits.

In my house, we have a dog, a lizard, a chinchilla, a couple of fish, and several children. Although some of them do some nasty things on the rug occasionally, none of them hiss or hide in my utensil drawers and scatter when the lights come on. None of them hail from Madagascar, breed 300 offspring every 60 days, or will survive an atomic winter and repopulate the earth.

None of them is a hissing cockroach, but ONE of them, (lizard) would actually eat a hissing cockroach.

Good to know if we ever move to Madagascar…

or Illinois.

©2012, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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I'll Be "SHAVING" Far Less This Year…Thanks To Remington's New iLight Pro Technology!

 

SHAVING…it’s my enemy!  I remember when I got to shave for the first time (much to my humiliation), I took a huge chunk of skin off the shin of my leg…and thought to myself, “OUCH…was it really worth all the anticipation and excitement after all?”  Little did I know that shaving was something that would become a daily thing…and one that I really don’t enjoy doing all that much!
I know I’m not alone!  How do I know that?  Because companies are making products to eliminate the need for daily shaving.  Without the demand…these products wouldn’t be HUGE on the market like they are!
I was so excited when “The Balancing Act” sent me the new Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System to review (sent free of charge for this review/feature).  Why was I SOOOO excited?  Well, after the first initial removal (with the possible need for a couple follow up revisits), the need to shave or hair remove could be spaced out in (UP TO) 6 month increments.  AWESOME!  So much more appealing to me than shaving daily or even weekly (if you NAIR or use that type of hair removal product).
So, because I was new to this system…the DVD came in very handy…to get me started on the road to “AT HOME” hair removal.
I decided that my armpits were a good starting point.  Being blessed with naturally dark hair…my armpits are definitely a DAILY shaving area.  Even hours after shaving…it can appear that I didn’t shave that day!  I figured that if I could take care of that would be an excellent JUMPING OFF point. 
So, last night I shaved my armpits and made sure they were good and dry.  Then I plugged in the iLight Pro and got started in the process of hair removal.  I’m not going to lie…it gives a good zap (even on the lowest setting)…but in the long term of things, I would rather a little pain then the daily annoyance of shaving.  It didn’t HURT…but again, it was on the lowest setting and it was my first time using it too!
Listen to my VLOG about my experience:

Curious how much this system costs?  It’s under $250 and if you went into a salon to have treatments, it would cost far more.  Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own bathroom or wherever you are comfortable doing it.  You could probably even do it in front of the TV at night!

Don’t worry…I will be doing a follow up to this review…in a few weeks, to let you know the results of the whole system!  Will it be worth your investment??  I have a good feeling about it, but we’ll see.
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!  This feature will also be included on “The Balancing Act” website!

Overweight to Endurance Athlete


What is motivation and why do I not have it?
Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst, getting to the gym to get in shape, or reading a book to gain knowledge. The best, most applicable definition I found for motivation comes from Urbandictionary.com, “motivation is that thing in the back of your mind that drives you, no matter what seems to be stacked against you”. Well if that is in fact the case, then why do some people lack overall motivation and give up? Don’t we need to be motivated to survive? Does motivation give us the survival of the fittest?

According to psychologists, motivation involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behavior in all humans. In everyday usage, the term motivation is frequently used to describe why a person does something. Motivation has much to do with desire and ambition, and if they are absent, motivation is absent too. Often times when we perceive we are failing, we lose that desire and ambition subsequently losing our motivation. We now lack the push, the initiative and the willingness to take the necessary action. Hence why we give up on those actions; getting in shape, eating right, quitting smoking, no matter what the circumstances are, when we lose motivation we set ourselves up to FAIL!

Motivation becomes strong when you have a vision, a clear mental image of what you want to achieve, and also a strong desire to materialize it. You can materialize your motivation by giving setting yourself up for success, setting small obtainable goals for yourself to build upon. This guarantees your success and follow through. In this situation motivation awakens and pushes you forward, toward taking action and making the vision a reality. Motivation strengthens the ambition, increases initiative and gives direction, courage, energy and the persistence to follow one’s goals. A motivated person takes action and does whatever it needs to achieve his/her goals. A motivated person is a happier person, more energetic, and sees the positive end result in his/her mind.

Motivation is one of the most important keys to your success. When there is lack of motivation you either get no results, or only mediocre results and end up giving up. Whereas when there is motivation you attain greater and better results and overall achievements. Compare someone who wants to lose weight and get healthy who lacks motivation and who doesn’t eat right or do any physical activity, to someone who is highly motivated and who watches what they eat and portion sizes and devotes many hours to physical activity; they will get absolutely different results. It amazes me how often I hear from clients who have had bariatric surgery or are dieting that send me a food journal with things that clearly should not be consumed (fried chicken wings from KFC, diet coke, or M&M pancakes, yes these are real items found on food journals) and either workout very little or don’t incorporate any physical activity into their plan whatsoever and then can’t understand either why they are not losing weight or are in a plateau.

Components of MotivationThere are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as deciding to lose weight and get in shape. Persistence is the continued effort toward your goal even though obstacles may exist, such as incorporating a workout into your schedule when a significant investment of time, energy and resources are needed. Finally, intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing your goal. For example, one person might coast by without much effort and lose 5 pounds in a month, while another person will workout regularly, eat appropriately, and take advantage of meal planning classes and support groups.

Extrinsic Vs. Intrinsic MotivationDifferent types of motivation are frequently described as being either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivations are those that arise from outside of the individual and often involve rewards such as stepping on that scale and seeing weight loss; crossing the finish line of you first 5K, marathon, or Ironman; and social recognition or praise from friends and family. Intrinsic motivations are those that arise from within the individual, such as doing a complicated cross-word puzzle purely for the personal gratification of solving a problem. Which type do you rely most on? Do you do things for self-gratification or do you look for the motivation to come from others around you? What happens when those around you don’t support you or question you?

What can you do to enhance your motivation?Awaken the power that will push you toward accomplishing your dreams, small and big! Here are a few suggestions:

1. Set a goal. If you have a major goal, it would be a good idea if you split it into several minor goals, each small goal leading to your major goal. In this way, you will find it easier to motivate yourself, as you will not feel overwhelmed by the size of your goal and the things you have to do, and the goal would seem more feasible and easier to accomplish.
2. Understand that finishing what you start is important. Hammer into your mind that whatever you start you have to finish. Develop the habit of going to the finish line.

3. Socialize with achievers and people with similar interests or goals, since motivation and positive attitude are contagious. Associate with motivated people, who share your interests.

4. Never procrastinate anything. Procrastination leads to laziness, and laziness leads to lack of motivation.

5. Persistence, patience and not giving up despite failure and difficulties keep up the motivation to succeed.

6. Read about the subjects of your interest. This will keep your enthusiasm and ambition alive.

7. Constantly affirm to yourself that you can and will succeed.

8. Look at photos of things you want to get, achieve or do.

9. Visualize your goals with happiness and joy.

Remember, if a certain goal is really important, you need motivation to keep you going.

Posted by: exPHATRunner

Horse of a Different Color

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This story is a sort of part 2 to the last post. A, shall we say, escalation of the
nightmare. This story involves a 1961 Cadillac, which was minding it’s own business
when a couple of my customers spotted it in the driveway of a home they went to a
yard sale at. These 2 brothers thought they were very crafty when they offered the
woman a pittance to haul it away for her so they could rebuild it and sell it.
At the time these guys hadn’t met us yet and they searched online for someone who
worked on classic cars. The brought it to a shop and were given an estimate and
a request for $5,000 to start the job. In the 20+ years I’ve been in this business I have
never, ever asked anyone for that amount of money to start a job but it did need body
work as well as mechanical work so I might be inclined to give them the benefit of
the doubt. That is until they called 2 weeks later and asked for another $5,000.
Each time my customers went to the shop to hand over another check they could barely
see any progress but they figured the owner knew what he was doing.

This same process went on 2 more times in which these guys handed over $18,000.
Finally the call came that the vehicle was finished and they owed a final payment of
$7,000K. I’m assuming you the reader are as flabbergasted as I was on hearing this story.
I had a millions questions – “did you just keep handing it over?” ,“did they show you
where the money was being spent?”, “did you argue over the prices at all?”. They
really didn’t have a good answer, they just kept looking at each other and hanging their
heads.

Upon arrival that final day, they see the finished product. The body work was partially
done, the engine and transmission rebuilt, a job that we could have easily done
for $10,000. They weren’t thrilled with handing over another $7,000 and got into an
argument. Ultimately they did though, in the form of a check which the shop owner did
not want to accept, because they were just over it and wanted it to be done. They drove
out, went a few blocks and the car broke down. They were beyond annoyed at this point
and instead of going back to the shop they drove to an outdoor parking garage in another
part of town and left it there. They stopped payment on the check and pondered their next
move. About a week later they want back to the parking garage and the car was gone.
When they questioned the lot personnel they were informed that “the tow truck came
to take it back to the shop”. They were stupefied, this is New York City, how could the
shop have known where they parked it. To this day they still don’t have an answer for
that question but the shop came and took it because they had cancelled the last check.
In the end the shop owner got the car running and they negotiated a smaller cash
settlement.

Ultimately the car still never ran very well and it didn’t that great either. They used it
a little to try to get some bang for their buck but basically they wasted a huge amount
of money. Of course I had to berate then a little and they admitted they broke all my rules
for finding the right mechanic, staying on top of the situation and not using their instincts
and they are very embarrassed by it.

They brought the car o us recently to see if we knew anyone who might want to buy it.
I had them post it online and I called around to see if anyone wanted it.
In the end they did finally sell it…….for $6,000.
Even I couldn’t pick on them after that.

Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com