Personal Directions: There’s a lot to
building a Positive Personality …
By Christina Dodd,
Following on from last week, here are a few more guidelines (from
Shiv Khera) to building a positive personality that we all seem to know
about, but from time to time need reminding of.
Step 4: Don’t criticize and complain
“When I talk of criticism I refer to negative
criticism. Why should we not criticize? When a person is criticized, he
becomes defensive. Does that mean we should never criticize, or can we
give positive criticism?
A critic is like a back-seat driver who drives the
Positive criticism What is constructive criticism?
Criticize with a spirit of helpfulness rather than as a put-down. Offer
solutions in your criticism. Criticize the behavior, not the person,
because when we criticize the person, we hurt their self-esteem. The right
to criticize comes with the desire to help. As long as the act of
criticizing does not give pleasure to the giver, it is okay. When giving
criticism becomes a pleasure, it is time to stop.
Receiving criticism There are many times when we
are criticized, justly or unjustly. The greatest people in the world have
been criticized. Justified criticism can be very helpful and should be
taken positively as feedback. Unjustified criticism is really a compliment
in disguise. Average people hate winners. When people are not successful,
critics have nothing to talk about.
The only way you will never be criticized is if you do
nothing, say nothing or have nothing. You will end up being a big nothing.
An inability to accept constructive criticism is a sign of poor
self-esteem. A person with high self-esteem accepts positive criticism and
becomes better, not bitter.
Complaints Some people are chronic complainers. If
it is hot, it is too hot. If it is cold, it is too cold. Every day is a
bad day. They complain even if everything goes right. Why is it not a good
idea to complain? Because 50% of the people don’t care if you have got a
problem and the other 50% are happy that you have got a problem. What is
the point of complaining? Nothing comes out of it. It becomes a
personality trait. Does that mean we should never complain or invite
complaints? Not at all. Just like criticism, if it is done in a positive
way, complaints can be very useful.
Step 5: Put positive
interpretation on other people’s behavior
In the absence of sufficient facts, people
instinctively put a negative interpretation on others’ actions or
inactions. Some people suffer from “paranoia”; they think the world is
out to get them. That is not true. By starting on a positive note, we have
a better chance of building a pleasing personality resulting in good
For example, how often have we put through a call and
not gotten a reply from the other party for two days and the first thought
that comes to our mind is, “They never cared to return my call” or
“They ignored me.” That is negative. Maybe:
* They tried, but couldn’t get through
* They left a message we didn’t get
* They had an emergency
* They never got the message
There could be many reasons. It is worth giving the
benefit of doubt to the other person and starting on a positive note.
Step 6: Be a good
Ask yourself these questions. How does it make you feel
when you wanted somebody to listen to you and
* They did more talking than listening
* They disagreed with the first thing you said
* They interrupted you at every step
* They were impatient and completed every sentence you
* They were physically present but mentally absent
* You had to repeat the same thing three times because
the other person wasn’t listening
* They came to conclusions unrelated to the facts
* They asked questions on unrelated topics
* They were fidgety and distracted
* They were obviously not listening or paying attention
All these things show disinterest in the person or the
topic and a total lack of courtesy. And the following words perhaps best
describe the feeling of not being listened to:
Neglected, rejected, dejected, let down, unimportant,
small, ignored, belittled, annoyed, stupid, worthless, embarrassed,
Now let’s reverse the scenario. How does it make you
feel when you want someone to listen to you and they
* Make you feel comfortable
* Give you their undivided attention
* Ask appropriate and relevant questions
* Show interest in your subject
Do the following words describe the feeling of being
Important, good, satisfied, worthwhile, cared for,
pleased, happy, appreciated, encouraged, inspired.
Listening shows caring. When you show a caring attitude
toward another person, that person feels important. When he feels
important, what happens? He is more motivated and more receptive to your
Step 7: Be enthusiastic
Enthusiasm and success go hand in hand, but enthusiasm
comes first. Enthusiasm inspires confidence, raises morale, builds
loyalty, and is priceless. Enthusiasm is contagious. You can feel
enthusiasm by the way a person talks, walks, or shakes hands. Enthusiasm
is a habit that one can acquire and practice.
Live while you are alive. Don’t die before you are
dead. Enthusiasm and desire are what change mediocrity to excellence.
Water turns into steam with a difference of only one degree in temperature
and steam can move some of the biggest engines in the world. That is what
enthusiasm helps us to do in our lives.”
If you would like to write to me or contact me further
about any of our personal or business skills programs, then please email
me at Christina. [email protected] .com I’d be very happy to
hear from you.
Until next time, have a wonderful week!
The Doctor's Consultation: Osteoporosis and how to avoid it!
by Dr. Iain Corness
Rule Number One - be a man! Yes, ladies, this is one of
those conditions like breast cancer, where it’s not all that much fun being
a woman. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones lose their density and
thus become very much easier to fracture. This is particularly prevalent in
later life, and the statistics would indicate that 30 percent of women
reaching 90 years old will suffer from a hip fracture by that age, as the
result of osteoporosis.
Now this does not mean that older men don’t get
fractures, but the majority to suffer in this way are women, because bone
density is very much related to female hormones, amongst other factors.
So let’s look at which factors are involved in winding up
with low density (and weaker) bones. Begin with advancing years! This is an
increasing problem throughout the civilized world (I include Thailand, despite
misgivings at times) as modern medicine is getting people to live much longer.
Long enough to fall over and break something! Or even just getting compression
fractures of the bones in the spine with 25 percent of all women over 70
showing this problem.
Another major factor is inactivity, or lack of exercise.
Immobilization after a fracture, or bed rest after major surgery, can cause
more fractures through the decrease in bone density caused by the bed rest.
Lying in bed can be dangerous, as many young ladies have found out!
Another important factor is calcium. This element has a
major role in building and maintaining bones. An adequate intake of calcium is
necessary to build up the strength of the bones during the growing phases in
childhood, and then to maintain that strength during adult life. The daily
intake should be between 800-1,500 mg, which is best taken in the normal diet.
Dairy foods are also the best source of easily absorbed calcium and items such
as 35 gm of cheese, 250 ml of milk or 200 gm tub of yoghurt will supply
between 200-400 mg of calcium. If you aren’t into dairy foods then tinned
sardines, salmon, mussels, oysters, almonds and tofu have good quantities of
calcium as well.
Now here’s where being a woman has its downside.
Oestrogen levels need to be kept high, as this hormone plays an important part
in producing new bone. When oestrogen levels decrease after the menopause (or
following surgery to remove the ovaries) then women become at risk. This is
one of the ‘good’ arguments behind hormone replacement therapy. Other
causes of decrease in oestrogen levels can be through anorexia or even very
intense exercise, such as occurs with female marathon runners, for example.
Lactating mothers also lose their calcium, as it goes preferentially to the
milk supply for baby.
Another factor towards giving you less dense bones is my
old friend - smoking. Really, with so many ill effects caused by smoking, I
find it difficult to understand why any intelligent person continues. I can
fully understand the addiction process, but not the continuation in the face
of all the evidence process - but then I suppose some people just like their
family to be able to claim early on the life insurance policy.
Excess alcohol on a regular basis also weakens the bones,
as well as other weakenings, such as Brewer’s Droop.
So do you have weak bones? The way to find out is via Bone
Densitometry, a non-invasive screening process. Ask your doctor about it next
time - especially if you are a post-menopausal lady!
I am at my wits end. How do you get hold of a tradesman here, or even an
“odd job” man, such as you can get in the UK? They can’t speak
English and the workmanship is terrible. Where do I go to find someone?
It’s not as if I want them to build the Taj Mahal or anything like that.
Even just putting in a new light in the kitchen seems to be an impossible
Home Improvements Henrietta
Dear Home Improvements Henrietta,
Your problem is a very common one, I am afraid, but does relate in part to
the language situation. As you correctly point out, “they can’t speak
English” but you should not forget, my Petal, that you are living in
Thai-land and the language the people speak here is called Thai! It is
unreasonable to expect tradesmen to accommodate your lack of local
language. There is a way around the problem, however. If you scan the
Classified sections of the paper, you will find that English speaking
tradesmen do advertise, and if you ask around in any of the local ex-pat
organizations, they will be able to give you the names of some reliable
people. But you should always remember that in any country, even English
speaking ones, getting a good tradesman that can do everything is like
rocking horse poo. Very difficult to find.
My father (a 70 year old widower) is coming over to Thailand to see my
husband and I next month. He gets along very well with my husband and
already hubby is making noises about taking Dad out to some of the places
that he wouldn’t see at home and that he wouldn’t take me to, for
example. How do I convince my husband that these places are not suitable
for my father, and he should be more discreet with where he takes him? As
I have a busy schedule with organisations and charity work, I cannot be
with both of them all the time as a chaperone.
Dear Dutiful daughter,
It is a father’s role to look after his daughter during her growing up,
not the other way around after she has grown up, my Petal. Particularly
when Dad is now 70! Sure, help look after his needs, but that is all. I am
sure that if you leave your two boys together they will be able to get by
some evenings, complete with discretion. Is that the important factor?
Being discreet? By this stage, I would imagine that your father
understands your position fairly well with the organizations and charity
work and will not embarrass you. He doesn’t need a chaperone. Let him
enjoy his twilight years. Hubby has the best ideas. Dad will soon say if
he is enjoying himself or otherwise.
This is a real estate problem, but I am hoping you can help me. Last
summer I rented a small apartment for six months, from a Thai lady I met
socially. She asked me for a deposit equal to two month’s rent, which I
paid, because I think that’s a standard thing and she said I would get
it back at the end of the contract. When it was time for me to go back to
the UK she would not give me the deposit back because she said she was
waiting for the bill for the electricity and water and telephone and had
to deduct those amounts first. I wrote to her from the UK and asked for
the remainder from the holding deposit, but she never replied. When I came
this time I went looking for her, but nobody seems to know where she has
gone. This has really annoyed me and I was wondering how I can stop this
happening again? Have you any suggestions, Hillary?
Roger the Lodger
Unfortunately my Petal, you went into the rental contract with your eyes
shut and your brain in neutral. You might have been the lodger, but now
she’s the dodger! This is not the UK. There are no agencies over here to
help people get their unwisely spent money back. Just learn from the
experience and next time rent through a reputable real estate office,
which will hold the deposit in trust and credit your account after all the
bills are paid. As for last year, put it down to experience. It’s not
the end of the world!
My friends wanta (sic) know how old you is reely (sic) and would you come
out with us one night? There are four of us who go regular to the bars and
we said it would be fun to have you come along with us. Are you game
enough for four young guys? Or are you just a stay at home and tell people
what to do type of person?
Oh you young boys with the excess circulating hormone problems! You’re
all too young for me, pretty Petals. When you’ve grown up send me
another letter. In the meantime learn to spell. After that I’ll tell you
what to do, but you would probably wouldn’t take my advice anyway.
Camera Class: Grandma Moses and photography for ‘phailing’ eyes
by Harry Flashman
we get older, there are some pursuits that begin to be restricted to the young.
Septuagenarian motorcycle racers would be fairly rare; however, photography is a
pursuit that can be followed by just about everyone, irrespective of age. In
fact, much of photography is actually more suited to the elderly than the young.
Let’s face it, who is able to get up early for those
classic early morning sunrises, or has the patience to wait for the late
afternoon sunsets? Only retirees who have their time freed from the daily grind.
It is thought, in the general community, that to be a good
photographer you need 20/20 vision. Not any longer! Just because you have to
wear glasses shouldn’t stop you, because modern technology is here to help
you. Today’s cameras can solve this problem. Provided you can point the camera
in the right direction, the camera will do the rest. Welcome to the wonderful
world of Auto Focus (AF). AF cameras work by moving the lens in and out
electronically to focus on the subject in the middle of the viewfinder, just as
if you were doing it yourself. They do this quickly and accurately and some
cameras will even give an audible ‘beep’ to let you know the focus has been
Another problem often associated with aging is stiffening of
the fingers. Today’s cameras take care of this as well. Technology has
developed the easy load system for you. Just drop the film cassette into the
camera, pull the film across a couple of inches (about 50 new fangled
millimeters) and close the camera back. The camera will automatically wind the
film on and stop ready at frame number 1. It will even indicate if the take up
is not successful, and will not operate until the film is in correctly. Nothing
could be simpler or more fool proof.
While still on stiffening fingers that don’t like fiddly
little jobs - remember those dreadful fiddly pull up handles to rewind the film?
The tiny button under the camera you had to push at the same time? Try using
those with arthritic fingers. Now you don’t have to, with Auto Rewind as well.
When the last shot has been taken, the film automatically rewinds into the
cassette. This is just getting too easy.
Is it just too much of a hassle these days to walk up to
distant objects to get close-up details? Zoom lenses save you having to go the
distance. The zoom lens will do it for you. With a zoom lens it is no problem at
all to get a close-up, a wide angle and a distant shot from the same camera
position. Maybe an autofocus compact camera with a zoom lens is just the camera
for you. Just push a button to make the zoom bring the subject closer or farther
Flash without being arrested. These days forget struggling
with flash guns and working out complicated guide numbers and all that
scientific tommy twaddle. Today’s camera manufacturers have taken the tears
out of using the flash too. Most new cameras have their own in-built flash which
comes on when the light levels are too low, will set their own flash power and
give you perfectly lit indoor night shots every time. You don’t have to worry
about doing anything. The camera’s brain does it all.
So there you have it, Grey Power. There are cameras available
now which can get you back into photography again. If you once had the
‘photographic eye’, then that ability is still there. All you have to do is
get the equipment to let you use and enjoy it again. All the camera stores these
days will stock cameras with all the features mentioned above. An autofocus
compact with built in zoom, auto load and auto flash will set you back less than
Remember the famous Grandma Moses who began her painting career very late in
life. You can start your photographic one.