Keeping your Brain Active

Free Gift Membership to “Learning to Earn” see below.

If you’re approaching retirement age and wondering what you can do to enjoy a long and healthy life in your golden years then consider adopting the attitude of a lifelong learner. Most people think of lifelong learning as being confined to academic endeavors however the lifelong learning approach covers all areas of life including spiritual, social, academic and physical.

Lifelong learning is based on an attitude of constantly growing and evolving in various areas of your life. The old saying that whenever anything is not growing it is decaying could be just as true for us as humans. No matter what a person’s age there are great benefits to be gained by challenging yourself in the different areas of your life, physical, mental and self-deveopment.

Physical challenges must be appropriate for your level of fitness, but regular exercise of some kind will leep your body healthier and your brain healthier too. Mental challenges do not have to be academic study, they can be a new hobby or interest, a new caring or chrity venture, more involvement with family. The most growth in personal development will come when you take on something that is currently outside your comfort zone (nasty words those, aren’t they? How we love to stay in our comfort zone, even when it isn’t all that comfortable really).

Lifelong learners live by the motto “you’re never too old to learn” and this attitude is a big part of the reason that people who approach life with this mindset are seen to perhaps live longer but definitely enjoy a better quality of life – is the so-called law of nature known as the “use it or lose it” true?

It does seem to be the case that those who are considerably inactive develop mobility problems as they age, whereas those who are quite active do not develop these mobility problems. A similar effect takes place with anyone who takes no part in any mentally challenging activity or pursuit. After years of mental inactivity

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What Are the “Must” Questions to Ask Before Joining a Business?

Work from home based business opportunities are being researched by many people due to the nature of the economy. Many would be entrepreneurs are looking to find the right business on the internet as there are literally hundreds to choose from.

However, to avoid failure, especially if an opportunity seeker is looking to make money from a network marketing opportunity, it is important to ask what kind of training/system is in place so reps can become successful sooner rather than later. If distributors are not able to earn money within a couple of months from the income opportunity, they will become frustrated and quit.

Therefore, before one signs up on a company’s agreement dotted line, here are some crucial questions to ask:

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Have a Go at Selling on eBay

There’s something undeniably entrepreneurial about selling on eBay. It is true that there are eBay millionaires and there are also successful backroom eBay stores run by people with no more skills than the desire to make money under their own steam and it is the nature of selling on eBay that makes it possible for them and also makes it possible for you. A ready-made audience, instant search engine listings, ready payment systems and the ability to get started with no more than a product, a computer and a desire to succeed all combine to make very low barriers to entry.

The more sophisticated a business selling on eBay becomes, the more opportunity it represents. The scale of the marketplace is immense, for example a pair of shoes is sold on average every 3 seconds. Billions and billions of dollars are transferred every year from buyers to sellers.

There are constantly new niches and opportunities to exploit. Part of selling on eBay is to understand the marketplace and identify exploitable niches within your area of expertise. While there are many bargains to be had on eBay for buyers, it is also possible to achieve a higher price than that paid in shops for some of the items you sell, especially when you start with a low initial price, as this encourages bidding. Everyone loves to get a bargain!

When starting out selling on eBay choose a single, low value product to work with. It makes the whole learning process easier and less painful. Conquer that product before exploring other avenues of revenue. The experience that comes from actually doing it, along with the adrenaline and excitement when you finally make some money from the process is exhilarating. This is normal and healthy, but don’t get carried away. Keep it simple until you feel confident in approaching another market. More competitive markets will be harder to break into, so go for something you know about and feel you can realistically compete in.

Selling on eBay may not require a payment system or a website, but it does require all the other elements of a regular business. You need to be seen to run a professional outfit and to provide a professional service or customers will not return for a repeat visit. Worse than this, one of the features of selling on eBay is that users will leave feedback after their purchase.

Negative feedback can be the kiss of death to your business. Buyers are cautious not to trust their money in the hands of merchants who have provided poor experience for previous buyers and once you have negative feedback it will be seen by all of your prospective customers. Often, with so little to differentiate yourself from your competitors it is vital that you have as good a seller rating as is humanly possible.

A core component to maintaining good feedback when selling on eBay is accurate item descriptions and prompt delivery. The most common reason for poor feedback is slow delivery, although stock control issues, slow customer response times and bad packaging are all very important in order to maintain a good seller rating.

So, give it a go. Have a bit of fun! You’ll never know until you try just how this opportunity might turn out for you.

Best wishes
Trish

For e-Cards with a difference try Ojolie.com

If you are looking for some high-quality, imaginatively clever eCards, take a look at ojolie.com. Their moving works of art capture the sentimentality and creativity so often missing from the free eCards that abound on the net. Although they don’t have as wide a range of cards as the free sites do, the quality more than makes up for that.

Ojolie is pronounced as O-Jolee. The name “Jolie”, as in Angelina Jolie, means cheerful and pretty in English and beautiful in French. The site is run by Frederikke Tu, the Artist and her husband Timothy Tu, the IT guy. Their e-cards are artistic and moving with very tasteful music. Frederikke says “the inspiration for my animated e-cards is largely drawn from my passion for wildlife and the abundant beauty of nature”.

Of the cards I have viewed so far, my favourite is called “Love Dance” which is based on the graceful dance of the Japanese Red Crowned Cranes. It is a great choice for weddings, valentines, anniversaries or simply to say “I love you”. If I had to pick a second best, it would probably be ” Paper Snowflake” from the Christmas/Winter collection, but there are so many excellent cards that choosing any kind of “best” is not an easy task.

This is a membership site but very affordable at US$10 for a year’s worth of access to high quality cards. Alternatively, you can save with a two year subscription for US$15. With Christmas approaching, you might consider giving a membership to Ojolie.com as a gift with a difference – one that is sure to be appreciated all year long.

eCards are easier and cheaper than buying cards at the store and they help the environment by reducing paper waste, but the real reason to go to Ojolie.com is because their cards are different from the usual run of the mill freebies and certainly well worth taking a look.

To give you an extra incentive to visit, Timothy has very kindly offered one year’s free membership to the first five subscribers to this blog who sign up for membership using a special promotion code.

Just go to http://www.ojolie.com click on membership, join now and enter the coupon code 2008FINDLAY (it is case sensitive) at the top, complete your details and if you are one of the lucky first five to claim the bonus membership, the total will come to zero.

Happy eCard viewing!

Using E-Cards Safely

If you send or receive e-cards (electronic greeting cards), you may not think too much about whether they are safe for your computer or not. They are free and fast, making them a popular and convenient alternative to traditional greeting cards.

To send an e-card, you simply go to an e-card site, choose a card from a number of different categories, and then send it off to your recipient with a personalized greeting. Some of the more well-known companies are Hallmark, 123Greetings, American Greetings or Blue Mountain, but it’s worth doing a search as you’ll find many great e-card sites specialising in topics such as sports and nature & also charity e-cards.

Receiving an e-card is fun too. Often, these cards come equipped with short video or music clips. Millions of people receive e-cards for special days like Christmas, Easter and personal birthdays every year.

E-cards are created the same way Web sites are; they’re built on the Internet just like this page. So when you send someone an e-card, you’re actually giving them a link to click, which takes them to the online greeting card you created for them.

Not all e-cards are harmless cards, though; some may contain viruses, spyware, adware, phishing attacks or spam. At best, this is annoying and can involve pop-ups, lots of unwanted junk mail, or other minor disturbances. At worst, these viruses can crash your system or hack into your email contacts.

There are a number of ways you can protect your computer from unwanted surprises that come in the form of e-cards. The following are some tips for online safety for e-cards.

Know what to look for:

The best way to be safe from online viruses is to keep your eyes out for anything suspicious. A good indication an e-card is not legitimate includes:

  • There are misspelled words or names. The inclusion of non-letter characters such as * @ # $ % , if your name is misspelled, words are spelled with letters in the wrong order such as “Best Wsihes” or are misspelled in other ways, there is a possibility that it is spam or a virus.
  • Make sure you recognize the sender’s name before clicking on any links. The sender should always be recognizable, either in the subject line or the e-mail itself. People don’t normally send e-cards to strangers, so you should probably avoid opening e-cards from anyone you don’t know.
  • The e-card has an attachment. Most e-card companies that are legitimate don’t put their e-cards as attachments. Rather, they have a link you follow to the company’s website that takes you directly to the card. By downloading attachments, you can unknowingly be downloading a virus or other type of unwanted intrusion onto your computer.
  • Be cautious. If you have any suspicion that the e-Card you have received is fraudulent do not open, and do not click on any links within the e-mail if you do. Legitimate e-mails will always give you the option to pick up the e-Card by typing in the address of the Web site, rather than clicking on the link.
  • Preview a link’s Web address before you click it. If the link doesn’t show an address, move your mouse pointer over a link without clicking it to see where the link goes. (The address should appear on the bottom bar of your Web browser.)

Keep your anti-virus & firewall etc software up to date.

You should also have anti virus software, a firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware installed on your computer to help to detect threats and protect your. In most cases you can get all these programs free, but they do need to be updated and run regularly to give you the best protection. Spyware and adware not only compromise your computer’s security, they will often slow your system down.

Read fine print and terms of service.

If you receive an e-card that has a check box saying you agree to their terms of service, be sure to read the fine print. If you are like most people, you simply check the I Agree box without even looking at the print. This can be a big mistake, because with spam e-cards, you might be agreeing to have them download spyware or adware or even to have access to your computer’s address books.

When in doubt, delete.

If something doesn’t look right, such as the name of the sender or vague subject lines, just delete the card. It’s better to safe than sorry.

E-cards are fun to receive and send, as long as you’re careful when doing so. The above tips will help you be safe online with e-cards.

Handy Hints 1

Beginner Level

How many times have you wondered how to do a particular task on your computer but didn’t know how? How about things like create a new folder or copy and paste some text into notepad? These are simple but often a lost skill with many of the computer users on and off line, so here’s a refresher.

Computer Tip #1

Copy and paste is one task that every computer user will find they are using many times per session for many useful tasks. Say you wish to copy a portion of text into a file in which you are creating a report or project, even an article or your website content? This too is a simple skill to learn with a little practice you will be an ace at it and wonder how you ever got along without it. To copy something you must first highlight it using your left mouse button with your index finger.

You will want to start at the beginning point of the text you wish to copy and place your mouse cursor then by clicking your left mouse button. Now when you do this DO NOT let go of the mouse button which you are holding with your index finger and while holding that mouse button down simply move your mouse over the text until you reach your stop point then let go of your index finger.

Now simply move your mouse into the center of the highlighted text and then using your ring finger to press the right mouse button. This will bring up a menu with the copy selection. Use your index finger, otherwise called the left mouse button; click on “COPY” from the menu that comes up. You have now successfully copied the text and are ready to paste it into your project or a new notepad text file.

Place your mouse cursor in the blank notepad or project and then using your ring finger press the right mouse button to bring up the menu. From the menu select “Paste”. If you successfully completed the copy process your text should appear in the new text file or your current project. If not go back and try again. With practice you will find it becomes second nature to you and your speed will increase as you use it more and more.

Once you have mastered the copy and paste process this way, there’s an another very good way to do it (and my preferred method). Once you have highlighted the text you wish to copy, hold down your control key (Ctrl) and the “C” key at the same time, very briefly. This is written as Ctrl-C and does the same function as the right mouse click ‘copy’. Now move to the new area as you did before and do Ctrl-V (hold down the control key and the “V” key at the same time).

With copy and paste you end up with your text in both places. Sometimes you won’t want that, what you really want is to move it from one place to another, so instead of using copy and paste, you use cut and paste. And yes, there is a shortcut key combination for ‘cut’ too – it is Ctrl-X.

There are times when the cut, copy & paste options are not available on the right mouse menus, but Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V & Ctrl-X will still work. Practice and see which method works best for you. There are always lots of ways to do everything with Windows, Office and other programs , so you just use the one that seems easiest for you. Good luck!

Computer Tip #2

Have you ever downloaded a piece of software from the internet and couldn’t find it later? It happens to thousands of people all over the world every day! An easy way to find it later is to first prepare a landing zone or a place where you know you can always find it.

Some people use the My Documents of Windows but after downloading many files you may find it hard to find the latest file. One simple fix is to create a new folder on your desktop. The definition of your desktop is where you see icons of folder; files and you’re able to see your favorite picture as the wallpaper for your desktop.

To create the new folder is easy. First find an un-crowded portion of your desktop and then using your ring finger click the right mouse button to bring up the context menu for the desktop. There in the menu you will find a selection called “New” Then Click on “Folder”.

This will create a new folder on your desktop. You can name it something that will help you find the downloaded files. The first time you create a new folder, you will notice that the folder naming text is highlighted. To rename the folder to something more to your liking simply start typing and the highlighted text will be replaced with what you wish to type in. A good folder name would be downloads or my new files or even the month and year which will make it much easier to find those files in the future.

Now once the folder is created simply remember when you download the next file to save it in that folder on your desktop for easy and fast access.

I hope you found these tips useful; there are others I think you’ll find handy that will appear as time goes on. If there is anything you want to know about or some topic you’d like to have covered in a post, leave a comment or send me an email.

Computer Use by Seniors May Help Their Mental Health

Seniors who become adept at and use a computer appear to have fewer depressive symptoms than those older adults who aren’t so technologically connected.

That’s the finding of a research study, Depression and Social Support Among Older Adult Computer Users, presented August 18 at the 113th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.
The data regarding computer use and depressive symptoms was collected as part of the latest wave of an ongoing longitudinal study that is designed to determine the changes over time in physical health, mental health and social activity of older adults living in lower Manhattan.

Called VOICES (Villagers Over 65 Independent Living Challenges and Expectations), the research is being sponsored by Village Care of New York, a not-for-profit long-term care provider. “Villagers” refers to persons living in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and environs, representing the core group of individuals being followed over the course of the study, which began in 1998.

The computer use study was conducted by Edward Cisek, PhD, and Kathleen Triche, DSW, CSW.

Triche, who presented the study’s findings at the conference in Washington, D.C., said that the researchers decided to look into the impact of the growing use of computers by seniors on the hypothesis that those using computers would report fewer depressive symptoms than non-users.

Through observations at one of Village Care’s senior information centers in New York City, which Triche directs, computer use there seemed to give older adults a greater connection with the world around them.

“Given the social and informational nature of older adults’ computer practices – e-mail, chat rooms and health information gathering, for example, it seemed likely that this would be beneficial to an individual’s overall mental health,” Triche said.

In the computer study, it was determined, after controlling for a number of background characteristics, that seniors who were computer users reported significantly fewer depressive symptoms than their counterparts who do not use the computer.

Researchers also found that computer users tended to be among the younger members of the study group and have higher annual household incomes, while also reporting higher functioning in activities of daily living than the rest of the seniors in the study group.

“Clearly, those older adults in this study who use computers report fewer depressive symptoms, regardless of how many hours per week they use the computers,” Triche said, cautioning, however that these findings are among a generally highly educated group residing in a limited geographic area.

Future research in this area should include more diverse populations and use other measures of social connectiveness.

Participants in the survey included an urban community sample of 206 adults over the age of 65 (with a mean age of 80) that was randomly selected from three zip codes in lower Manhattan.

Reprinted from “Medical News Today” Article Date: 22 Aug 2005
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/29466.php
VILLAGE CARE OF NEW YORK