50 Cheap Valentine's Day Gifts to Romance Your Sweetheart (without Looking Cheap)

  1. Create an indoor picnic with available props, ie, picnic tablecloth, paper goods. Share finger foods and favorite trees along with a glass of wine. Spice up "dessert." Enjoy your picnic on the living room floor or in bed. Play card games, board games, or make up your own.
  2. Decorate a unique-looking jar or box with craft items. Write numerous love notes on small pieces of paper and fill the jar with them. Present the jar to your sweetheart.
  3. There are many local and national Valentine's Day giveaway contests with great prizes. Enter as many as you can and maybe you'll get lucky.
  4. For young couples with kids, get them involved in an all-family fun Valentine's Day dinner at home. Mom can prepare a dessert for two and light the candles while dad puts the kids to bed.
  5. Since Valentine's Day is on a Saturday, celebrate with a day full of low-cost activities you both enjoy doing (depending upon your location and weather). Do something with your significant other that he / she rarely has time to do, but loves.
  6. Take a 2-hour, one-time salsa or tango dancing lesson together. Or, identify some other interest you share and find a place to give you one-time extended lesson on Valentine's Day.
  7. Gals … Make the entire day full of his favorites: the breakfast of his dreams, the dinner of his dreams, TV that is his favorite, his music, etc. Do not say anything about it, surprise him all day long.
  8. Take the person you love to experience something spectacular in nature: a sunset, a sunrise, the calm of the beach, share an evening walk gazing at the moon.
  9. Create a framed group of photos that put your relationship in chronological order of events, by months or years (depending on how long you've been together).
  10. Create a CD with songs that make you think of your sweetheart, and give it to him / her.
  11. Choose specialty foods, such as wine, cheese, fresh bread / dessert from a favorite bakery. Enjoy in front of your warm, toasty fireplace.
  12. Create an at-home spa day for your mate. Deliver the gift in a basket filled with inexpensive candles, bubble bath, rose petals, facial mask and scrub. Then give your mate time to enjoy it. When he / she is done, heat up towels in the dryer for drying off.
  13. Give each other long-lingering back rubs or head-to-toe body massages. Invest in luxurious lotion or oils.
  14. Create a favorite drink together. Try all kinds of ingredients. Enjoy taste-testing. Be sure to record the ingredients, so you can make the "your" drink again on Valentine's Day year after year.
  15. Watch an old movie at home together, with popcorn and soft drinks and candy – movie-theater style.
  16. Share a scrumptious dessert and latté at a local patisserie or bakery.
  17. Pick a few household chores your Valentine usually does and surprise them by doing it before they get a chance, ie, making the bed. It does not sound romantic, but the thought will most certainly count.
  18. Walk around a favorite part of town, stopping at a nice locale for a glass of wine and appetizers.
  19. On Valentine's Day, place three pair of sexy undies on your bed and let your mate pick out which one you should wear. It's your secret!
  20. Write a "Top 10 Reasons Why I Love You" list.
  21. Since Valentine's Day is on Saturday, if you're a member of a wholesale club (like Sam's or Costco) have fun eating all the free samples! Then fill in any empty holes left in your stomach by going out to lunch. (That way you will not spend a lot of money at a restaurant!)
  22. What's a new activity you've both wanted to try that's low cost? Do it. Or, how can you creatively modify it to make it low cost? Do it.
  23. Leave a note on your mate's pillow expressing how special you think he / she is. Place a couple of mints on the pillow, too (or a single rose) … all to be discovered at bedtime.
  24. Guys … If you want to cook dinner, remember, she does not care what you make. There are many easy recipes on food web sites that look like you spent hours in the kitchen. Be imaginative and set the table special. Play romantic music softly while you dine. Leave the clean-up until morning!
  25. Guys or Gals … When you make that special dinner … Just like when you go to a fancy event and a "dinner menu" is put on each plate describing each food item, do something similar. For example, on your menu, write "Spaghetti & Meatballs, made with passion to be with YOU." Do not forget to give your "event" or "restaurant" a name at the top of the menu.
  26. Make a simple dinner at home, then go out dancing or to listen to live music at a jazz club.
  27. Buy two champagne flutes for use on Valentine's Day only to already toast your love. Keep them in a visible location as a year-round reminder of how special you are to each other.
  28. Play a sport together that you have not played in awhile, or that you rarely get a chance to enjoy. Before you start, determine what the "winner" gets (making it something to do with caring, loving, etc.).
  29. Leave a "racy" picture on your mate's cell phone. Text a romantic message at a time of day when you know things get hectic.
  30. Present your Valentine IOU coupons: I will make dinner; I will do the laundry; I will take care of the kids one day a month for the next year; I will clean the kitchen for a week; I will serve you breakfast in bed.
  31. Together, go "shopping" at a sex-toy store without spending any money. It'll give you ideas and get you "in the mood."
  32. The tough economy has lured many upscale restaurants to have high-end early-bird specials. Find out what's available in your area.
  33. Some volunteer fire departments use holiday fauna to create flower and rose bouquets as a fund-raiser. Prices are reasonable; Just get there early.
  34. If she loves chocolate … Take her on a chocolates tour. Find your hometown chocolate purveyor and ask for a behind-the-scenes tour. Next, go to a restaurant that serves her favorite chocolate dessert. Return home to snuggle with a cup of hot chocolate.
  35. Use a bar of soap to draft a love note on your bathroom mirror. Or, if you shower first, write a love note to your sweetheart in the steam on the mirror.
  36. Write "I love you because …." notes and insert them into balloons. Blow up the balloons, and spread the balloons through your bedroom for your Valentine to pop and capture each message.
  37. Many drug stores with photo departments offer a variety of Valentine's Day specials to make gifts from photographs. Use a good picture of the two of you together.
  38. Make homemade chocolate-covered strawberries: 1) Melt a package of chocolate chips in a double boiler and add a small amount of oil; 2) Remove from heat and quickly dip the strawberries into the chocolate; 3) Place on wax paper and refrigerate for several hours until chocolate is firm.
  39. Guys … If you want to order flowers for your gal, supermarket florists are generally half the price of the stand-alone or on-line stores, but the trick to for seeing real savings is to order two weeks or more in advance and Pay for the flowers up front … Another trick to save money, get other guys who want to order flowers to join you and place your orders to the same florist all at once. The florist may give you a "bulk" discount. Again, important to plan ahead.
  40. Plan a scavenger hunt. Write clues and place them in envelopes, and place the envelopes around town. Make the final clue a doozy of a destination.
  41. Get a small radio and take your partner dancing at a romantic hideaway, such as the woods or riverfront or ocean.
  42. Use fabric paint to decorate a Valentine's Day pillowcase for your loved one. Check arts-and-crafts web sites for other easy-to-make gifts.
  43. What did you do on your very first date? Repeat it.
  44. Create a year-long calendar with photos of just the two of you above (top page) each month. Office supply stores will insert the spiral / binding for you.
  45. Have a progressive dinner. If you're single, appetizers at his place. Entrée at her place. The middle course, dessert, after-dinner cordials … map it out a few days ahead. If you're married, one course at home, one course at her office, his office, etc. Use your imagination to set locations!
  46. Write new "updated" wedding vows, both serious and humorous, and share them with each other over a glass of wine in a candlelit room.
  47. In the morning, tuck a love note in his pocket or her pocketbook or other certain-to-be-found spot. Jot down some meaningful words on a piece of paper – "Can not wait to wrap my arms around you tonight!"; "What's for 'dessert'?"; "You make me happy every day!" – and tuck it in a conspicuous location to be easily discovered during the day.
  48. Have a 15-minute kissing session and try some new ways and places to kiss. The same old smoocheroo can get boring. Use your imagination … and sometimes a little whipped cream, chocolate syrup, etc.
  49. If you do not have a special sweetheart, focus on bringing a smile or laughter to everyone you come in contact with on Valentine's Day.
  50. What are your mate's quirks and habits that irk you? Do not nag about any of them the entire day. Then try to extend the no-nagging effort to every day of the year. Remember, you're never going to change the other person.

Source by Sheryl Kurland

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Five Character Traits for Commitment

When it comes to commit, there are five types of character visits

1. Cop Out

No goals, No commitment, No leadership – just excuses.

2. Drop Out

The road paved with good intentions leads to a warmer climate. Do not drop out. Pave your way with good actions, commitment, follow-up and follow-through.

3. Hold Out

Afraid of commitment, afraid of failure or afraid of success. 90% of the things that most people worry about never happen, if you worry that you worry too much, it's time to stop worrying and start doing.

4. Sell Out

Easily traveled. You can only claim commitment if you take personal ownership of the purpose and direction, as well as the goal.

5. All Out

This is true commit. Pour out your passion, energy and enthusiasm in your endeavors. If you are passionately committed then you will experience success regardless of the outcome. If this seems contradictory to you, then you have not yet experienced passionate commitment. If you are nodding your head in agreement that you have tasted sweet success even when the income was different from originally planned, then you are a leader with the heart of a lion.


Words of Wisdom

"He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times."

– Johann von Schiller, Playwright

"Look at a day when you are extremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."

– Lord Acton

"Perseverance is the strength and the will to fight all obstacles.

– John Mehrmann, Executive Blueprints Inc.

Source by John Mehrmann

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Public Speaking: Great Speeches Are Biased

Each member of the audience has biases, habits, and beliefs that strongly control his or her daily life. You have your own set of biases, habits, and beliefs. You must be aware of and address both their biases and yours when crafting and delivering a speech. This article presents a speech that will be a chapter in my upcoming book, Speak the Audience's Mind, Not Just Your Own . The book will consist of an alphabet of sentences, each one dealing with a different aspect of public speaking. You are free to use this speech as it is or modified if you find it of value.

B Is for …

We think of ourselves as conscious, rational beings; Logical, deductive, problem solvers, deliberate, one step at a time. We think of ourselves as Mr. Spock.

But to a large degree we are controlled by our emotional brain, our subconsious, impulsive, forward to form and follow our biases, beliefs, and habits. The part of our brain that we are not really aware of. We are Dr. McCoy.

B is for bias.

Normally, we think of bias as a bad word, a bad personality trait, a harboring discrimination against ethnic and racial groups. But our brains are designed to be biased. To learn and apply rules, in order to react quickly to danger, to adapt immediately to a situation, to anticipate our needs, to jump to conclusions. If we did not have these biases we could not hope to survive.

Learning is teaching your subconscious a set of rules. Biases help us to deal with the constant bombardment of information. But since the mind is designed to use logic to support our beliefs rather than change them, biases can steer us wrong. For example:

Confirmation Bias: We prefer and carefully look for information that agreements with and confirms our existing beliefs. We reject, without true examination, information that disagrees with our biases. In fact, we will distort new information to make it fit our existing preferences.

Example: Last speech. Positive mental attitude is good because I feel that it is. Confirmation Bias leads to inattentional blindness: We do not see what we are not looking for.

Example: Self-Attribution Bias: We attribute good outcomes to our skills. We blame bad results on something or somebody else.

Example: When a stock in my portfolio goes up, it is because of my research, my stock selection techniques, my genius. When a stock goes down, it is the fault of the hedge funds, the Federal Reserve, the weather.

This is coupled with over-confidence: We use confidence as a proxy for skill. Confidence gives us an illusion of knowledge. We prefer people who sound confident.

Introspection Bias: We see others' behavior as a demonstration of their underlying nature. We see our own actions as driven by circumstances.

Example: When someone else passes a beggar without dropping some money in her can, it is because they are naturally selfish. When you pass by and fail to give money, it is because you do not have any spare change, you are late for a meeting, you will come back.

Ability to Predict: We think we can predict the future. When it does not work out: If – only. I was almost right. It just has not happened yet. Everybody can be wrong once. This is coupled with Hindsight Bias: Once we know the output, we tend to think we knew it all the time.

Example: I knew Peyton Manning was going to have a let-down. I knew that horse was going to win but I did not have time to go to the window.

What does all this mean? When faced with a new situation, a new problem, an important decision, we should override our biases and not jump to conclusions. We should stop and think. Make a conscious effort to be rational and consider all available information.

What does it mean to us as Toastmasters? We should be aware of our biases and beliefs and how different audiences will react to them. We should be aware of the biases and beliefs that audiences have in common and make sure our message reacts with them. They will be bored by facts and subconsciously reacting to what we say, constantly relating it to their experiences, their gut reactions.

Remember those biases when you speak.

Source by Charles J Wilson

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Frequently Asked Questions – The Child Custody Visitation

• Do all the ex-partners have the visitation right?

Normally, the ex-partner who does not have physical child custody has the legal visit right. However these rights can be denied if the evidence can be brought further providing that it is in the best interest of the child not for the ex-partner tenderness (examples: excessive drinking of alcohol, physical or verbal abusiveness). Timing and number of visits is given in the final agreement.

• What should I do if my child does not want to see me?

This is a very difficult situation, especially if the child is very young. In all fairness, I hope the custodial parent is not manipulating the child. It depends on the child's choice to see the alienated parent. This is not happening very often, so to combat this situation can be a real uphill battle.

• Can we change a visitation schedule?

Visitation is often defined as a testing procedure. Each ex-partner does not know what the future will insure as far as their parent and child relationship will grow. In general, the visitation schedules can be changed and there is no need to use the court, but it must have the court make a decision if an ex-partner is being displaced of visitation rights.

• How do I make the most of the time with my child?

Make sure to explain and answer questions to the child as much as possible. The most of alienated parent will try to compensate or spend money on the child in weekend. This is probably the best attitude to have, but should not involve it with irresistible acting because children grow up they began to misunderstand the power of money and used it to manipulate people.

• How can I develop a relationship from a distance?

Usefully, a phone call at the appropriate time is sufficient for developing a relationship. Most high schools and colleges allow their students to correspond to the private email or cell phone usage in school but your calling does not interrupt the school hours.

• What can I tell my child again?

During a separation, it can really hurt relationship with your ex-partner. Sometimes the rebuilding process with your child can be prolonged. Do not expect it will happen overnight, and effort to make things that will conduct you closer. Try communicating with your child brings a friend on an adventure along the weekend; This can help the child more comfortable.

Source by AK William

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How Father Time Can Make You A Fashion Icon

Time really does fly by and often it brings about certain psychological peculiarities in the fashion realm. Years ago I remember my elder's talking and showing me their iconic fashion pieces such as their leather jacket, suit, coat, sunglasses, wallet, etc. Mentioning them as a matter of fact or sometimes with boastful pride that they've had these items far longer than I was as alive at the time. And because they were from a different era, they only had one signature piece that they wore regularly. These pieces were fashionable and functional, and still remained so decades after they bought them. Whether it was a question that the clothes matched the middle age person or if it was the clothes themselves as a stand-alone were the main attraction it's a matter of opinion based on emotion.

Fashion houses today produce hot & trendy stuff which are quickly forgotten in the next season, stuff which include replicas of those traditional Americana pieces. Despite their vintage designer label how many people will actually keep these items as long as their grandsparents – the Real McCoys of yesterday? Ironically these Americana replica items are now made overseas because of cost controls (aka cheap labor), not in the USA where the originals were made.

Additionally our elders were able to keep these items much longer not just because the quality was superior but their hard-working blue collar lifestyle kept them from becoming obese. Nowadays people must discard or donate their clothing every so often because of a sedentary lifestyle. Gramps could still fit comfortably into his leather jacket when he bought it when he was a whipper-snapper.

Now that I'm older I realized that there are several items which I bought in the 20th century, made in the USA, that are durable, functional and continue to be stylish including rugged goose-down jackets when they were first introduced and leather jackets Made of thick horsehide that is so heavy that it almost bullets bullet-proof.

When we realize and admit that you're becoming your father or mother it's certainly true in the fashion sense for a particular generation. So what does this all mean? It means that Father Time has passed the torch to you and now you represent that era when great clothes made the man and woman, a walking promotion that iconic symbols of what luxury is all about: class, functionality, durability and, of course, stylishness .

Source by Albert Goldson

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Spanish Schools

Going to a Spanish school will help you learn the language quickly and it will help you learn it effectively. However, we do not always have the time or the means to get an institution, and even less if we have a tight schedule. There are international Spanish courses where you can go to study. In my opinion these programs are the best since you're in direct contact with the language and you can use it everyday.

Schools are sometimes also expensive, which does not help when you are on a budget. These combined reasons, including time, money and place, make it sometimes hard to attend such classes. When I first started learning the language, I looked around but in the end I settled on a home study course instead of school.

Taking classes is a very good choice if you can fit it in with your lifestyle. A very important fact when you are trying to learn a language is your motivation. If you do not want to learn the language, then you will not apply effort and your learning will not be very effective. With the added stress of having to attend Spanish school, you may lose interest in learning Spanish and find it boring.

Learning it is not very hard, and you can accomplish it simply by doing sessions at home with the proper Spanish course. When I first wanted to learn Spanish, I started out with a course called Rocket Spanish. I had done my research and everyone suggested that one since it was, to their knowledge, the best one. Today I can speak fluent Spanish and I did not even attend Spanish school.

If you want to learn the language, then you can simply do like I did. I was able to learn quite well from Rocket Spanish, and if I was able to do so you will be too. Rocket Spanish is a series of audio files and audio games which help you learn Spanish. When I was using the course, all the Spanish people I would talk with would tell me how good I was in speaking and in accenting my Spanish. This is the result of Rocket Spanish.

I'd really love it if you would hear about my experience learning Spanish with Rocket Spanish. I'll tell you what worked for me and why, and I'll also analyze Rocket Spanish with you.

Source by Chris Tremblay

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Psychosocial Factors That Promote Successful Aging

There are several psychological and social factors that have been linked to increased individual life expectancy and quality of life in older adults. While the majority of attention in the life extension and successful aging field has focused on physical factors such as exercise, diet, sleep, genetics and so on, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that psychological and social factors also have a significant influence On how well individuals age (Warnick, 1995).

Warnick (1995) believes that adjusting to the changes that accompaniment late adulthood and old age requires that an individual is able to be flexible and develop new coping skills to adapt to the changes that are common to this time in their lives. Aging research has demonstrated a positive correlation between someone's religious beliefs, social relationships, perceived health, self-efficiency, socioeconomic status, and coping skills among others to their ability to age more successfully. The term successful aging has been defined by three main components: "low probability of disease and disease related disability, high cognitive and physical functional capacity, and active engagement with life" (Rowe & Kahn, 1997).

Baltes and Baltes (1990) suggested that the term successful aging appears paradoxical, as aging traditionally brings to mind images of loss, decline, and ultimate death, whereas success is represented by achievement. However, the application of the term, successful aging, they argument forces a reexamination of the nature of old age as it currently exists. "An inclusive definition of successful aging requires a value based, systemic, and ecological perspective, considering both subjective and objective indicators within a cultural context" (Baltes & Baltes, 1990).

With medical advances and improvements in living conditions people can now expect to live longer lives than ever before. But, the prospect of merely living longer presents many problems. This fact has led researchers to investigate the psychological aspects of aging, with a goal of making the additional years more worth living. There is a great deal of information that leads us to be hopeful about the prospective quality of life in late adulthood and old age.

Religious beliefs, spirituality, and church participation have been the focus of numerous studies involving older adults. Various studies have associated religiousness with well-being, life satisfaction or happiness (VanNess & Larson, 2002). Although it will be necessary for future research to further clearly specify which dimensions of religious participation are beneficial to which outcomes (Levin & Chatters, 1998), it appears that certain aspects of religious participation enables older people to cope with and overcome emotional and physical problems More effectively, leading to a heightened sense of well being in late adulthood.

It is commonly known that suicide rates are higher among older people, and there is evidence that persons who engage in religious activities are more than four times less likely to commit suicide (Nisbet, Duberstein, Conwell, et al .: 2000). The inverse association between religiousness and suicide rate in elderly individuals may be due to the fact that religious beliefs help older people cope with or prevent depression and hopelessness, which are established risk factors for suicide (Abramson, Alloy, Hogan, et al., 2000) . The relationship between religiousness and successful aging is an extremely complex one. This makes it difficult to pinpoint which factors of participation in a religious organization lead to the increased sense of well-being, satisfaction, and happiness. It is possible that religiousness exerts its beneficial effects by creating positive emotions that stimulate the immune system. Or, it may provide access to social and psychological resources that buffer the impact of stress and aid ones ability to effectively cope (Ellison, 1995).

Membership in religious organizations also provides older individuals with a social network from which to draw emotional support and encouragement, while enhancing one`s ability to adapt to change and buffer stress (Levin, Markides, Ray, 1996). Research has shown that social networks, such as those commonly found in religious organizations are associated with positive health outcomes in older adults, including lower risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and functional declination (Seeman, 1996). The relationships that are fostered within the church or religious group serve for many as a replacement for the social groups that they engaged in at work before retirement. In addition, the attitudes that are learned from religiously committed individuals may benefit ones health through encouragement of healthy behaviors and lifestyle lowering the risk of disease (Levin & Chatters, 1998).

One of the common threads that has been found to correlate with successful aging is the individual's socioeconomic status, particularly in education and income levels (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). The relationship between education level and subjective well-being has been demonstrated consistently. Meeks and Murrell (2001) found that education did have direct effects on negative affect, trait health and life satisfaction. Their research concluded that higher educational attainment is associated with lower levels of negative affect, which is related to better health and increased life satisfaction (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). This may be due to the fact that "individuals with higher education levels benefit from the opportunities and resources related to educational attainment that produce accumulated success experiences and contribute to superior functioning in later life" (Meeks & Murrell, 2001). It is also possible that more educated people develop superior methods for problem solving and coping with change. Higher education levels have been shown to provide individuals with better occupational opportunities and social status through adulthood and greater financial stability during the transition to retirement. This establishes education level as ones foundation for successful aging (Meeks & Murrell, 2001).

Material wealth and income have been shown to have a direct relationship to subjective well-being (Andrews, 1986). For many, the sense of well-being is especially affected by their feelings of income adequacy as they move into retirement. Many individuals face retirement with great anxiety due to the lack of sufficient savings to replace their income. The reality of living on a small fixed income limits the lifestyle and ability to adapt to the changes of late adult medical needs for many elderly people. People with greater resources at retirement have access to greater variety of opportunities and activities (Jurgmeen, & Moen, 2002). In addition, the access to surplus income allows for more recreation and less stress from financial concerns. This notion that wealth and well-being are related is also supported by a microeconomics theory that states that an increase in the income level of a society would lead, other things being constant, to greater well being (Easterlin & Christine, 1999).

However, it is important to keep in mind that increases in individual income levels are relative to the changes in one's reference group (Lian & Fairchild, 1979). Increases in income are considered to be relative. In other words, if an individual's gains in economic status outpace the gains of the reference group then the individual will likely experience a greater sense of satisfaction. On the other hand, if their gains are equal to the average in their reference group, there will likely be no change. If the increases are less than the reference group than the result will be less satisfaction. Therefore, it may be important for many older adults transitioning to retirement to have adequate savings or other income in order to maintain or exceed their previous financial status.

The relationship between education and income to successful aging is a complex one that involves numerous external variables. But it sees that there is a comprehensive evidence that both education and income levels help to prepare an individual for the changes that they will face in old age and "influence on their ability to view aging as an opportunity for continued growth as opposed to an experience of Social loss "(Steveink, Westerhof, Bode, et al., 2001).

One of the most important aspects of how well individuals age is related to their ability to develop and maintain strong relationships and social support systems (Rowe & Kahn, 1998). It is also important to mention that solitude, or a lack of social interaction, is considered a major health risk factor (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al., 1999). Recent studies suggest that the effects of social ties on the risk of physical decline in elderly are greater in men than women. These studies also report that there is a strong relationship between social support or social networks to the probability to cardiovascular and all cause mortality for men (Berkman, Seeman, Albert, et al., 1993).

This gender difference could be explained by the fact that women devote a greater portion of their lives caring and developing friendships, so they are more accredited to building and utilizing social networks. While men, in contrast, have devoted a greater portion of their lives to their careers, therefore, they have not developed the social networks or skills to utilize these networks that most women have (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al., 1999). In addition, social ties appear to be most important among older individuals with less physical ability (Unger, McAvay, Bruce, et al., 1999). It seems that people with physical disabilities have a greater need to develop friendships and support networks to assist them in coping with the limitations caused by their conditions. Friends and family provide them with a means to continue participating in social activities and complete the tasks of everyday living that they may be unable to accomplish on their own. This provides support for the belief that establishing strong social networks may increase not only quality of life, but quantity as well.

Social relations and social support systems serve as protective factors in many ways (Bovbjerg & McCann, et al., 1995) (Krause & Borawski-Clarke, 1994). They benefit individuals by enhancing self esteem, providing encouragement, and promoting healthy behaviors. It is also possible that social networks may provide more tangible assistance such as food, clothing, and transportation. This type of assistance enables an elderly person to remain socially active even though they may not have the means to do so on their own. It is also important to differentiate the difference between receiving support and assistance from friends or relatives as opposed to agency assistance.

Possibly the most important source of social support comes from the family, which provides self-system mechanisms which increase an individual's subjective impression of life satisfaction. In addition families provide a system of support and interaction that may not be available from outside sources for some older people. All of these types of networks may prevent the degree of social isolation in old age, that is associated with depression and other psychological problems (Krause, 1991).

With all of the physical and psychological changes that people face in late adulthood ie, decreases in vision, hearing, memory, etc., the ability to adapt to life circumstances that force aging individuals to move from one living style to another is an integral part Of successful aging (Warnick, 1995). Simply maintaining the ability to perform the everyday tasks of living is not necessarily considered successful aging. Successful aging requires the maintenance of competency involving cognitive, personality, material, and social resources (Baltes & Lang, 1993). Adapting to these changes requires the use of flexible strategies to optimize personal functioning (Baltes & Baltes, 1990).

The strategies that one may employ to cope with the changes that accompany the aging process may be limited not only by the individuals ability to utilize a new strategy, such as learning sign language or walking with a cane, but also by their perception of their ability To do so. Many elderly people will avoid using new tools to adapt to change if they believe that they are unprepared to make such an adjustment (Slagen-DeKort, 2001).
Perceived self efficacy is defined as "peoples jurisdiction of their capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to attain designated types of performance" (Bandura, 1986). People who believe in their ability will set higher goals for themselves and expect that they will be able to achieve these goals. Self efficiency has been found to influence the adaptive strategies used by older adults (Slangen-DeKort, 1999).

There are two dispositions near perception of self efficiency that influence individuals ability to cope, these are flexibility and tenacity (Slangen-DeKort, 1999). Tenacity is defined by an individuals persistence with which they are able to remain focused upon their goals in the face of obstacles. Flexibility refers to ones ability to readjust goals based on new information. The research of Slangen-DeKort et al (1999) concludes that self referent beliefs regarding personal competency influence adaptive behavior and the choice of adaptive strategies. "The direct effect, which is stronger, implies that even if a person appreciates a certain adaptation as the most optimal one, this adoption may not be adopted when this person perceives that the required efforts exceeded his or her personal competency In this case, A less optimal alternative strategy will be embraced. " (Maddox & Douglas, 1973).

Given the immense number of variables that are involved in determining how well an individual will age, it is impossible to point to one factor as being the most important. But, it is safe to say that ones ability to successfully age is determined to a great extent by their attitudes toward growing and growing old. These positive and negative attitudes will be the result of how effectively an individual is able to adapt to the physical, psychological, and social changes that will take place through adulthood. If someone is able to accept the changes of life and look forward to the challenges that they present with hope and desire to change, then they will be better prepared to face old age. In addition, the relationships and beliefs that are developed across the life span will be relied upon in old age as a resource for support and assistance in coping. Upon examining research on successful aging, it seems that many of the concepts that are applied to earlier development stages are equally important in old age.

For example, change, adaptation, personal growth, and cognitive function are aspects of development that may be as important in old age as they are in childhood development. In conclusion, it seems that the present and future of aging research may be used to develop medical and psychological interventions that will provide a more positive aging experience and well-being in old age.

References and Resources:

Abramson, LY, Alloy, LB, Hogan, ME, et al .: (2000). The Hopelessness Theory of suicidality, in Suicide Science: Expanding the Boundaries. Norwen, MA., Kluwer Academic Publishers

Baltes, PR, Baltes, MM, (1990). Successful Aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press

Binstoek, RH. & George, LB (Ed.) (1996) Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. San Diego: Academic Press

Bovbierg, VE, McCann, BS, Brief, DJ, Follette, We, Retzlaff, BM, Dowdy, AA, Walden, CE, Knopp, RH., (1995). Spouse support and long-term adherence to lipid-lowering diets. American Journal of Epidemiology, 141,451 – 460

Bosworth, HB, Siegler, LC., Brummett, BH, Barefoot, JC, et al; (1999). The relationship between
Self-rated health and health status among coronary artery patients. Journal of Aging and Health, 11 (4), 565-584

Easterlin, RA., (1995). Will raising incoming of all increase the happiness of all? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations. 27, 35-48

Ellison, CG, (1995). Race, religious involvement and depressive symptomology in a Sontheastem US community. Social Science and Medicine, 40, 1561 – 1572

Ford, AB, Hang, MR, Stange, KC., Gaines, AD, et al; (2002). Sustained personal autonomy: A measure of successful aging. Journal of Aging and Health, 12 (4), 470-489

Glover, RJ, (1998). Perspectives on aging: Issues affecting the latter part of the life cycle. Educational Gerontology, 24 (4), 325-330

Jungmeen, KE., Moen, P., (2002). Retirement transitions, gender, and psychological wen-being: A life course, ecological model. The Journals of Gerontology, 57B (3), 212-222

Krause, N., (1995). Religiousity and self-esteem among older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 50B, 236 246

Krause, N., Boraski-Clarke, E., (1994). Clarifying the functions of social support in later life. Research on Aging, 16,251 – 279

Le Bourg, E., (2002). Are stress and longevity reaIIy linked in normal living conditions? Gerontology, 48 (2), 108-111

Levin, J., Markides, KS., Ray, LA, (1996). Religious attendance and psychological well-being in Mexican Americans. The Gerontologist, 36,454 – 463

Levin, JS, Chatters, LM, (1998). Religion, health, and psychological well-being in older adults: Findings from three national surveys. Journal of Aging and Health, W (4), 504-53 I

Meeks, S., Murrell, SA, (2001). Contribution of education to health and life satisfaction in older adults mediated by negative affect Journal of Aging and Health, 13 (1j, 92-119

Mitchell, BA, (2002). Successful aging: Integrating contemporary ideas, research findings, and intervention strategies. Family Relations, 51 (3), 283-284

Nisbet, PA, Duberstein, PR, Conwell, Y, et aJ: (2000). The effect of participation in religious activities on suicide versus natural death in adults 50 and older. Journal of Nerve Disorders, 188: 543-546

Parker, MW, (2001). Soldier and family wellness across the life course: A development model of successful aging, spirituality, and health promotion. Military Medicine, 166 (7), 561-574

Rowe, JW, Kahn, RL., (1997). , Successful Aging. New York: Pantheon

Ryff, CD, Marshall, VW (Ed.) (1999). The Self and Society in Aging Processes. New York: Springer Publishing

Seeman, TE, (1996). Social ties and health. Annals of Epidemiology, 6, 442 – 451

Slangen-Dekort, YAW, Midden, JBC, Aarts, B., Wagenberg, FV (2001). Determinants of adaptive behavior among older persons: Self-efficiency, importance, and personal disposition as directive mechauisms. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 53 (4), 253-274

Simonsick, EM, (2001). Measuring higher level physical function in well-functioning older adults: Expanding familiar approaches in health ABC study. The Journals of Gerontology, 56A (lO), 644-670

Steverink, N., Westerhof, GJ, Bode, C., Dittman-Kohli, F., (2001). The personal experience of agjng, individual resourses, and subjective well being. The Journals of Gerontology, 56B (6), 264-373

Tanaka, E., Sakamoto, S., Ono, Y., Fujihara, S., Kitamura, T., (1998). Hopelessness in a community populiltion: Factorial structure and psychosocial correlates. The Journal of Social Psychology, 138 (5), 581-590

Unger, JB, McAvay, G., Bruce, ML, Berkman, L., Seeman, L. (1999). Variation in the impact of social network characteristics on the physical functioning in elderly persons. The Journals of Gerontology, 54 (B), 245-251

Van Ness, PR, Larson, DB, (2002). Religion, senescence, and mental health: The end of life is not the end of hope. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 10 (4), 386-399

Warnick, J., (1995). Listening with different ears: Counseling people over sixty. Ft. Bragg CA, QED Press.

Source by Douglas Galligan

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The Best Referral Marketing Network Should Be Yours

If you are in business then chances are you are in business to make money. Referral marketing is one of the most cost effective and best ways to increase your profits without spending a fortune. Almost every business has some form of referral network. With just a little bit of effort and concentration there is no reason that you should not be able to develop your own referral network into one of the best. People have contacts and connections. It is people who buy our products and services and people who make up any referral marketing network. Many business people have contacts and connections and believe these contacts and connections make up a referral network. Many of these same business people fail to cultivate the relationships they have with these contacts. It is those relationships that become the foundation for a powerful referral network. Without relationships the contacts and connections become stale and eventually the people lose contact with each other all together.

Referral marketing is a time tested proven method to increase your profits and grow your business. If your referral marketing efforts are not producing the results you want, you're not doing something right.

It's All About People People People

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Give and you will receive. If you are not getting any referrals from your contacts or you do not feel your referral contacts are working for you, then ask your self some questions. Do your contacts know who you are and what you do? Are you giving referrals to others? Are you communicating with your contacts? Are you really interested in what your contacts are doing? Do you show interest in your contacts? Are you someone your contacts trust? If you are only interested in helping yourself, referral marketing will never work for you.

Educate Your Contacts

If you want your contacts to give you referrals you need to keep your contacts up to speed on what you are doing, how you are doing and what you are going to be doing next. You must keep all your contacts informed as to your latest products and services. Take interest in your contacts; Ask them for updates on what they are selling and what they are doing next. This exchange of information is not only important from an knowledge standpoint but it is essential to cultivating the relationship as well.

Communicate with your contacts often. Provide them material that helps them understand and promote your business. Ask them for informational material about their business. Informational material, websites, business cards are all great for passing referral information to prospective customers.

Never Assume Anything

In our society it is very easy to prejudge people before we know anything about them. Be careful not make assumptions about anyone before you have a chance to evaluate the potential for relationship development over a period of time. You never know who could turn into a regular, loyal client or a great contact. You never know who people are or who they may know or talk to about you. Treat each person you meet as a prospect with the same customer care and thoughtfulness you give your best client. You will reap great rewards later.

Educate Yourself

Knowledge is power. Your knowledge can directly affect who you know and how you interact with them. What you know about referral marketing will have as big an impact on your referral marketing efforts. Your knowledge of the products you sell and services you provide is important to your customers and your referral network contacts. If you have a database of contacts that you consider unqualified or have deducted as useless you have probably underestimated the power and potential to exponentially grow the number of buyers you have to sell to within your own network. Each one of your contacts has their own contacts and each one of those contacts has contacts as well.

The power of the Internet and the tools available to communicate and disseminate information makes your ability to further develop relationships with people you already know not only very possible, but very likely if you put a little effort into the process.

When you educate yourself about the tools and techniques available to dissect your own information and then put that knowledge to use you not only set the tone for your business but you take control of your marketing efforts. Use the many tools at your disposal to help communicate your message. Be sure to demonstrate your competency and integrity. Share your knowledge about referral marketing and how you can refer people to your contacts as you teach them how to refer people to you. The strength and effectiveness of your referral network will depend on the strength and quality of the relationships you develop.

Referral marketing networks provide a unique opportunity to increase your profits virally with minimal monetary expenditure. The success of your referral marketing efforts depends on your ability to consistently evaluate your own efforts and your relationships. Effective referral marketing is always a two way street. You may develop close relationships with emotional connections and social interests with your contacts. Only individuals who can accept this responsibility, be accountable for their own actions and respectful of others will be able to make the whole referral marketing process work successfully.

Source by Jim Merrick

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Man Commitment Issues – The 7 Common Commitment Issues in Man

Man commitment issues are under the influence of fear as their commitment is being removed from their vocabulary. Their fear can be related to fear of compromise, financial damage, loss of freedom, and loss of privacy. Nonetheless, there can be a lot of justification when men faces commit issues, but whatever justifications to give, the reality tells us that all women involved in a relationship should have a certain requirement and obligation to know if the person is ready for a commitment or Not. This is very significant for all the persons involved in a relationship especially those who are not aware of commitment issues, and who still are not trying to ask their men if they are into it or not. Do men have more commitment issues than women? According to a reliable source, out of 10 guys that you date, 8 turn to have a fear of commitment.

The most horrible thing in the world of love is falling in love and devoting oneself to a person who does not have any plan to commit without you knowing it. If heartbreak is painful, so is love without commitment. The most painful part is when you thought you will be forever as married couple yet issues facing men on their commitment drive them away without giving you warning.

A fulfilling relationship, as they say, always requests for a nurturing from both men and women. However, when your men are fearful in terms of problems that will come on their way during the relationship. Once they get into it, they feel like being frozen, trapped and find their way out, then you need to find ways on how men with commitment issues can overcomes it and can ever say "will you marry me?".

Although you are facing with such dilemma, it is important to note those men commitment issues that hinder them to bravely face the relationship until the end.

  • Loss of Dating More Than 1 Woman – Men accept the fact that they love dating multiple women and would even go after them. As such, when commitment is established, then dating times are to be removed. It is a must to focus only to one woman whom he is committed with. That's the time that men feet trapped and controlled causing them to leave the woman.
  • Scared From Other Married Men's Stories – Men usually hear this at work from co-workers who tell stories that their married life force them to do things that they never wanted to do before. They even emphasize on unpleasing things in marriage, their newly adopted life and the new responsibility attached to it. Men hearing those stories make them step back and would stay only on a dating-dating relationship without strings attached.
  • Mama's Boy – We can not erase the idea of ​​men becoming so close to their mother to the point of listening more on their mom than to the girlfriend. When their mother talks of commitment issues and facts about marriage (pleasant and unpleasant), then men are discouraged to commit in a long-term relationship and fear deeply of the responsibility.
  • Financially Unstable – Men's ego plays an important role in this issue. As men, they are responsible to support their soon to be family financially. If they think they can not support them at this time, then commitment is a NO for them.
  • Dependent – The idea of ​​commitment for men are to be independent in deciding and problem solving. When men are dependent, they are more likely on a home where they can ask whatever they want and are just going with the flow. Entering into a commitment for them can change them whole, and that is one of the reasons why they fear saying I LOVE YOU or WILL YOU MARRY ME.
  • No Firm Decision – There are women who believe that their men are honest when they say they want to be in a committed relationship, and somewhere in the relationship men change and decide that a fully committed relationship is not for them; Frustration, hurt and depression happen in women.
  • Emotional Damage – This is more likely an effect of the past bad experiences men had on their relationship. They may have a hard time getting over with it and they can not afford to trust anyone especially in a relationship.

Issues like these simply that men are truly afraid of commitment. When women who are finding a long-lasting relationship with men, who have all those issues and can not afford to commit, can only give them unhappiness and frustration. On the other hand, it is important for women to decide firmly whether to stop or continue getting hurt. It is for every women's perspective on how they can solve the problem and get through with men commitment issues, and it is also for every men's perspective on whether to commit or not. However, issues call for responsibility, independence, maturity, firmness and stability should be faced by men and not to be disregarded. When men are afraid of responsibility, they should start becoming responsible. When will they start being one? When they are too old enough? When men are not prepared for independence, then start deciding simple and basic things. You can not learn to take control of your life when you do not allow yourself to be one. When you are not firm on your decision, then make it a habit to say YES or NO all the way. It takes weeks or months to form a habit, so do it daily as you can. When men are unstable, and then learn to control money wasting. Stop buying those unnecessary things and save for rainy days. As such, issues must not hinder men to commit. Remember, you could not ask for more when you get into a relationship with the desire to be forever happy with him / her.

Source by Johnny Wayne

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The Importance Of Feedback In Communication

Communication plays a very serious role in an organization. In fact, communication is the reason for human existence. There are different forms of communication through which the intentions of people and animals and even plants alike can be passed across to another. Without communication, life will be very difficult and in fact, it will be full of chaos.

Feedback makes communication meaningful. It is the end-result of an idea and makes communication continuous. In the process of communication, the originator first gets the idea to be passed across and then think of how to get it across via exclusive channel or medium. After the coding and distribution, one expects the decoder after receiving the information or idea to give response. The response that given is called the response which may be verbal or non-verbal, that is, in words or mere smile, glance, clap, etc.

While feedback could be instantaneous as in the case of verbal conversation between two people standing or on telephone conversation or internet instant message, it could have been delayed for sometime before the response is given to allow the receiver to think what he Is given. While the former is common to an informal communication, the latter goes with formal communication via letters, memo, etc. Feedback could also be in written form in or form form or even both. It could also be in form of demonstration eg body movement, paralanguage, gesture, posture, etc.

At one time or another, people are seen being frustrated as a result of the refusal of another person to give response to their message or letter. Some got so mad that delay in such could result to minor measures or insubordination especially in a formal setting. To lovers, it means life itself. Refusal to communicate one's intentions may mal the whole relationship of a thing. All these explain the importance of feedback in communication.

The following are some of the importance of feedback in communication either in a formal or informal setting:

1. It completes the whole process of communication and makes it continuous.
2. It sustains communication process
3. It makes one know if one is really communication or making sense
4. It is a basis for measuring the effectiveness of communication
5. It is a good basis for planning on what next to be done especially statistical report
6. Communication will be useless without feedback
7. Feedback paves way for new idea generation

These points are few in number. The basis being established here is that feedback is the livewire of communication as communication is the livewire of human existence and interaction. Thus, feedback should be carefully considered before being put forward due to its significance.

Source by Oluwanisola Seun

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