2 March

ayflAnxiety is caused by fear in most cases. It could simply be a fear of failure. You can find the linden method tells you how a step-by-step approach can redefine your thinking. It tells you that you can reprogram your mind to address the cause of such fear that may lead to panic attacks. The best part of the linden method according to one linden method expert is that it works with the cause of anxiety. It reaches your mind to program the immediate reactions to fear or what your mind perceives as a threat. There are a number of videos and CDs that are available. There is also long-term support from various professionals to help you through the process. Reading a linden method review can only give you the facts that you need before you buy into this approach. The rest will always be up to you.

In most cases the linden method review tells you that a person has tried many different methods over a period of time in order to reduce his levels of anxiety. However, with the linden method, this same person has found that specific approach that did not require any other form of cure.

Practice Routines On How To Get Rid Of Panic Attacks

Can someone else show you how to get rid of panic attacks? Or is it something that has to come from within? It is impossible to make a clear decision. However, what is abundantly clear is that you can take charge of your life as well as all related issues. This will bring forth an understanding that you need to fully participate in how to get rid of panic attacks. This will ensure that it is not only theoretical knowledge that you have gained.

Whether it is breathing exercises you have to do or vitamin supplements you have to take, it is only you that can do it. One can only take the horse to the water but cannot make it drink. This sounds like the cliché that it is. But, it is true in human beings also. Finding a yoga instructor is never going to be enough to know how to get rid of panic attacks. Practicing yoga on the other hand will be end of your problems with anxiety. Similarly, being prepared for panic attacks is the first step. Next comes having some tricks on hand to employ so that you may be able to ward off the attack even before it begins. This is the most effective solution for most panic attacks. Once you are in the grip of an attack, it will become more difficult to overcome.


18 October

sbpNow that I am getting older, I have to start caring for my body better. I have started going to the gym and have been eating a lot healthier. I can remember back in college, when I was able to eat anything and didn’t have to worry too much about my health. I now have to see the doctor regularly to get checkups to make sure I’m doing alright. One thing that I have been trying to keep healthy is my prostate. I have noticed that I been having to pee more, which is one of the sides of having an enlarged prostate.

The doctor I see told me that I could take some Super Beta Prostate pills to help cure it. I never heard of the pill before, so when I go home I typed into Google, Super Beta Prostate Reviews.

I was more skeptical than most people, I’m sure, but that’s only because I’ve used herbal supplements before and have found that frankly, a lot of them are simply snake oil sold by FDA-unmonitored companies that will pretty much sell anything.

But, once I read the review at my favorite site, Allholistichealth.com, I was convinced that Super Beta Prostate was the absolute business. There is simply no better supplement out there for men with prostate problems.



9 May

Keeping your eyes open in life is huge, especially when it comes to your community. I think the recent story of the three girls found in a Cleveland house really speaks a lot to caring about your community. Charles Ramsay, crazy character that he is (if you get a chance to Youtube his post-rescue interview – it may in fact be the best interview in Television history), did keep his eyes open when it mattered the most. The result was that three girls who had previously attempted to call 911, but of course ended up with their pleas ignored, were rescued, and had not only their lives saved, but also potentially years more of torture and rape.

Helped... because someone kept their eyes open!

Helped… because someone kept their eyes open!

Those girls were in there for 10 years, and one can only imagine the horrors they experienced. But this blog is really not about just keeping your eyes open in your community. Nope, for those that volunteer, this is generally not the biggest problem in their lives. Just dealing with your community in a positive way everyday means that you’re contributing, and can certainly see if there is anything wrong. Where high-achieving volunteers and community contributors often fail, however, is when it comes to their own problems – often when you spend so much time working for and with others, you tend to forget about the home front. I’ve seen it happen a million times, and recently it happened to me!

Sleep Apnea? Just What Is That?

Recently, I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping. But what’s worse is that my boyfriend has had far more difficulties than I have had. Why is that the case? Well, it turns out that I snore. Like alot. Previous boyfriends never really said anything about it, but I will admit that most had been pretty heavy sleepers.

The bad thing about snoring is that you don’t really notice until you’re with someone. Someone who sleeps light. And it wasn’t until I had my boyfriend get a video of me sleeping (I asked him, believe me!) that I realized just how crazy it was. I mean, I was ceasing to breathe! It was absolutely crazy. I knew, right away, even before seeing a doctor, that I should do some research.

So naturally, as anyone would, I went to the web looking for a site that would tell me how to stop snoring (it’s funny how sometimes the site you’re looking for has the right domain name!), and basically help me figure out how to get good sleep again. The site itself was an amazing reference, frankly, and I basically discovered that there are really just a few key reasons why you snore in the first place.

Anyway, after reading the balance of what was a pretty great authority on a problem that so many people suffer from, I realized I was a pretty great candidate for a snoring mouthpiece; definitely something I had no idea about. But once I had a mouthpiece (as goofy as it looked, my boyfriend says he’ll still sleep with me ;), I noticed a real difference in my day and a lot of energy that I really didn’t know was missing before. It’s great that I was able to help myself, which in turn helps me to help others.

Keep Your Eye on Yourself

I think staying abreast of your own health issues is always going to be key. Remember that the more you give of yourself, the more likely it is that you can get worn down, and potentially experience illness, or just find yourself with a condition you hadn’t even considered (like snoring!). Remember to take some time to relax, eat the right foods, and just take a step back and really look at your personal condition once in a while. It’ll make everything so much better.


27 March

When I joined my first not-for-profit board, my college art museum, almost thirty years ago. Why? Because, frankly, I was flattered to be asked. Plus, I was truly interested in art and had begun collecting pictures, one of which I had lent to an exhibition at the museum. In other words, they already knew I was interested.

laydeezSince then, I’ve served on many other boards, and I still join for the same reasons–I know the institution and have an interest in the work it does. The difference is that today I ask some questions before I join. I know that there has already been a behind-the-scenes discussion by the other trustees as to whether I would be a suitable candidate, how much I would be likely to contribute and how much I would be able to raise. So now it’s my turn to see if I want to give my time and money.

Basically, it’s a bit of a mating game–you have to get to know and like each other. My friend Pat de Bary, a fabulous fundraiser who serves on many New York City boards and whose advice about philanthropy I often seek, says that she “likes to join a board only after having been an active volunteer. You need a depth of familiarity to know if that’s where you want to put your heart and mind.” I couldn’t agree more. But nowadays it’s not uncommon to be asked to join a board with which you’ve had little affiliation. In that case, I investigate. I find out who is on the board, and I usually find someone I know and ask him or her for the inside scoop–who really runs the show, how policy is decided. If he or she doesn’t give a rave review, that’s a bad sign. In addition, I like to see the annual report for the past few years, and I especially look at the budget. Is there a deficit? How well is the endowment being managed?

My own interests are as a collector, and as a writer about personal finance. When I am on a board I tend to be on acquisitions and investment committees, so I would look at those committees in particular to see who else serves on them. If it’s an art museum, do I like the most recent acquisitions?

When I am asked to join a board, I like to be told what is expected financially. A young and small organization in a small city might expect board members to give $5,000 a year; with bigger boards in bigger cities, the price soars. I also know that I am expected to buy tables at fundraisers or at least recruit my friends for such events. (And of course I understand that any friends I approach will soon be soliciting me on behalf of their own favorite charities.) Organizations never seem to have enough money, so I also expect that sooner or later there will be a capital campaign–and this means a large one-time contribution, in addition to my annual gift. I never believe anyone who tells me that fundraising isn’t expected; in the end, boards operate according to that old rule: give, get or get off.

An equally big consideration is time. I don’t like to join a board unless I know I can be active. Whether it’s just three to four board meetings a year (that’s about the minimum) or one or more a month, I like to attend most of them. Michael Bloomberg tells me that he spends at least one full day a week in his job as chairman of the board of the Johns Hopkins University. That’s on the high end (as was his donation of $100 million to the institution), but when you’re considering joining any board, remember, it will probably take more time than you initially thought it would.

Because every board has its own way of working, I suggest sitting quietly for the first few meetings. I learned that the hard way: as a new board member I once asked about the budget, only to discover that-board members never asked questions at board meetings; questions were always asked in committee meetings or in private chats. I also try to come to meetings prepared, by reading the materials that are sent beforehand. But by carefully considering ahead of time whether I want to join a group or not, I’m that much further along in the real work that begins once I say, “Yes, I’d be delighted to join.”


3 March

The good that you enable your employees to do through volunteer programs can pay dividends for your company.

Sporting a T-shirt bearing her firm’s name, snacking on company-donated doughnuts, and occasionally kidding her co-workers, Heather Alford was enjoying her weekend away from the office-hammering nails at a construction site to help build a house for a needy family.

Alford, a purchasing assistant at a computer firm, was lending a hand with a Habitat for Humanity project in Phoenix. And as she applied her carpentry talents to help others, she was also developing organizational skills and helping her company, based in neighboring Scottsdale, express its commitment to the Phoenix area.

typicAlford’s employer, PAR Technologies, Inc., manufactures computer-memory and related products. It also sponsors a volunteer program for its 65 employees, enabling-though not coercing-them to choose from a variety of projects.

Alford says her PAR-sponsored volunteer work has been “a really great experience,” and she adds that “it makes you feel good to be working for a company that is so connected to the community.”

Although there are no statistics on the prevalence of company-sponsored volunteer programs, anecdotal evidence suggests that volunteerism is gaining in popularity among companies of all sizes.

Interest in community-service programs rose steadily through the 1990s and spiked after a highly publicized presidential “summit” on volunteerism in Philadelphia in 1997, says Jeff Hough, vice president for corporate affairs at the Washington, D.C. based Points of Light Foundation. The nonprofit organization promotes company volunteer efforts, and Hough says inquiries have been rising every month.

Volunteer programs cover the spectrum of community needs and reflect the range of firms’ specialties and employees’ skills. Projects may benefit various nonprofit, tax exempt, and charitable organizations as well as social-welfare agencies such as schools and government programs. Activities may include creating World Wide Web sites, cleaning up roadsides, mentoring atrisk youths, and stocking food banks.

Volunteer programs help promote employee teamwork, loyalty, pride, and morale, advocates say Such programs, they add, can help employees develop management and other workplace skills, can help attract high-quality applicants, can enhance a company’s image and raise its profile in the community, and can even enable a firm to showcase products and services.

Further, some business owners say community-service programs can distinguish a company from its competitors and underscore its reputation for trustworthiness with vendors and customers.

Caveats And Commitment

Creating a volunteer program that runs well often requires considerable time, effort, and commitment by the firm, and there’s no assurance that the benefits to the sponsor will be visible or measurable. Before undertaking a volunteer program, a company should consider a variety of issues. For example:

* It can be difficult to get increasingly time-squeezed employees to volunteer. But if the firm directly or indirectly coerces employees to volunteer, the pressure could create an inhospitable work environment.

* By sponsoring volunteer projects and encouraging employees to participate, a firm could increase its exposure to litigation for employees’ actions in the program.

* The program should reflect the proper mix of corporate and employee interests and community needs.

* The business must have the right reasons for supporting a volunteer program.

“As a profit-seeking firm, you should not get involved in volunteer activities simply out of altruism,” says John Hood, author of Heroic Enterprise: Business and the Common Good (Simon & Schuster, $25). “You want to use your volunteerism and charity to attract and build a productive work force and raise your community profile, not to get your charitable jollies, because that distracts from your fundamental task, which is to make money.”

A firm may simply serve as a clearinghouse or referral agency for employees and retirees to volunteer for projects. Or its effort may be more extensive, such as when a company complements its philanthropic donations by creating and managing group employee projects, perhaps building in employee-development and image-enhancing activities.

(Volunteer programs differ from sponsorships, though the two confer similar benefits. They also may complement each other as when a firm financially sponsors a nonprofit fund-raiser and supplies company volunteers for the event. See “And Now, Some Words About Sponsors,” Page 38.)

Benefits To The Firm

Company owners embrace volunteerism for a host of reasons. ‘We’ve been in the community 30 years,” says Steve Fuller, owner of Fuller Plumbing, a five-employee firm in Chula Vista, Calif. “I felt I should give back to the community after everything it’s provided me.”

Joel Barthelemy, president and CEO of PAR Technologies, says: “Both my parents have ‘servant hearts,’ and I may be influenced by that. … Volunteering also makes me feel good; it’s more than just what’s in it for Joel.”

Besides personal reasons, there’s often much for a company to gain–some call it enlightened self-interest–from having a volunteer program. Some firms believe employee volunteerism adds to a community’s vibrancy, which they say can in turn stimulate business opportunities.

In a 1992 survey of 454 U.S. corporations conducted by the Conference Board, a New York City-based business-research organization, nine out of 10 respondents said they actively encouraged their employees to take part in volunteer programs. The survey also showed that the “overwhelming majority” of corporate volunteerism involved education, including helping youngsters with their studies and career plans.

“The business community is compelled to invest in the education of its future work force,” the Conference Board report stated, “because of its continuing dependency on the availability of responsible and welltrained workers.”

Many companies know the public generally favors socially responsible firms. According to the 1997 Cone/Roper Cause Related Marketing Trends Report, three-fourths of Americans likely would switch to a company involved in a good cause if its prices and product quality were equal to those of a competing company without such involvement.

The study was done by Boston-based Cone Communications, a marketing agency, and New York City-based Roper Starch Worldwide, a consumer-trends consultancy.

Fuller Plumbing has discovered that its community standing and name recognition have been enhanced by its practice of doing plumbing repairs for the needy during the firm’s slow periods. And after articles on those efforts appeared in San Diego newspapers, the company received calls from prospective new customers.

Besides generating publicity, community-service efforts can influence other firms to promote volunteerism. The efforts at PAR Technologies made a strong impression on ComTrans, Inc., a customer in Phoenix. At PAR’s request, ComTrans joined PAR employees in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, says Neal Thomas, ComTrans’ president.

“All things being equal, I sure would rather work with a firm that is giving something back to the community,” says Thomas, who now asks his vendors to join ComTrans in volunteering.

At Cougar Mountain Software, a 57-employee firm in Boise, Idaho, managers are discovering that community-service projects attract managers from other firms, offering informal opportunities to forge business contacts, says Dave Lakhani director of sales and public relations.

Helping The Work Force

Beyond enhancing community image and improving ties with customers and vendors, a volunteer program may also help attract high-quality applicants and help keep good employees on the payroll.

In a survey of 2,100 job-seeking MBA graduates, 83 percent said that if they were weighing two otherwise-equal job offers, they’d lean toward a company with a reputation for social responsibility. The 1996 survey was done by Mark Albion, founder of You&Company, a career-management firm in Boston.

A volunteer program “adds to a better quality of life,” says Lakhani. “And the happier and more fulfilled employees are, the longer they’ll stay and the more productive they’ll be.”

Carol Cone, CEO of Cone Communications, which has 60 employees, is convinced that her company’s volunteer program-which lets employees use four hours of company time per month for volunteering-is one reason that her firm’s employee turnover rate is far below the industry average.

Other firms believe community service contributes to improved interdepartmental communication. Says PAR’s Barthelemy: “When we were building walls for Habitat [for Humanity], walls were being broken down between departments. No longer was sales the enemy of accounting, credit, and collection. When everybody is pitching in like that, you build enormous team spirit and respect.”

Impact Skills Development

According to the 1992 Conference Board survey, volunteering employees improved their skills in areas such as communication, problem solving, organization, time management, leadership, planning, budgeting, and getting along with others.

In addition, those who took part in the survey said the experience of volunteering taught them more about government policies and regulations, handling responsibility, and appreciating fellow employees and work-force diversity.

For some firms, volunteerism can even outshine workshops and seminars in helping train employees, interns, and apprentices. At Fuller Plumbing, an apprentice plumber learns technical and customer-service skills during company-sponsored community-service work.

Launching a volunteer program, says business author Hood, takes time, effort, and sometimes your firm’s materials-if, for example, you donate your company’s products or other goods for a volunteer activity. It can require cash outlays, too, for items such as refreshments and T-shirts.

Another cost arises if employees are allowed to do at least some of their volunteer work on company time.

Be mindful also that although you may be able to tally media coverage of your community-service efforts, you probably won’t be able to assign an exact value to that publicity or to improved morale.

Also sounding a cautionary note about corporate volunteerism is Elizabeth Levang, a Minneapolis management consultant who wrote her doctoral dissertation on corporations that coerce employees to volunteer. Her 1991 research indicated that three-fourths of the employees felt some coercion from their companies. Coercion, Levang said, can contribute to feelings of hostility and aggression.

Says Barthelemy: “We make it very clear to employees that you may volunteer if you can and want to. You won’t be looked at any differently on the job if you don’t.”

Clearly, a volunteer program offers many potential benefits. Just as clearly, however, small firms should do their homework to make the best use of volunteerism and avoid its drawbacks, says Susan Ellis, president of Energize, a Philadelphia-based training, consulting, and publishing firm specializing in volunteering.

“Don’t go into [volunteerism] thoughtlessly,” Ellis advises. “It’s not that simple. And remember-you’re playing around with things employees hold dearly, like their free time. It’s like any management issue: If you spend a fair amount of time planning it, you’ll have fewer problems and more success.”


16 February

Companies should take a systematic, go-slow approach when they’re considering launching a community-service program, say experts on employee volunteerism.

volunteerpowerFirst, ask what might be gained and lost by creating a program whereby your company promotes and organizes employee volunteerism. Establish priorities among the advantages-presuming they outweigh the disadvantages.

Volunteer efforts should take into account your corporate’ culture, values, and strategic goals, which should help engender respect, attention, and resources for the program. As much as possible, choose volunteer projects that offer multiple benefits-for example, morale-building activities that also augment employees’ job skills while enhancing your firm’s image with recruits, customers, and the community.

Your firm should steer its community-service intiatives but seek input from employees and retirees on their volunteer interests, skills, and experiences.

A company wide advisory committee, perhaps working with public relations, human resources, or community relations, can disseminate information on volunteer projects. Committee members, who might serve as point persons for specific projects, should be rotated regularly to ensure freshness and to spark participation.

One way to jump-start a program is to encourage employees already volunteering to perform those same services for the company ‘That way you have built-in momentum,” says Jeff Hough, vice president of corporate affairs at the Points of Light Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that promotes and assists corporate volunteerism.

Your corporate and employee volunteer interests should align with community needs. Hough says those needs can often be supplied by a local-government unit, the United Way or a volunteer center.

Consider working with a reputable nonprofit organization that you like and that has experience coordinating volunteer projects of strategic interest to your firm.

In discussions with a nonprofit organization, make clear what you want and don’t want-for instance, that you want employees to interact with one another and other volunteers rather than work alone; that you want workers to develop new skills; and that you want certain of your company’s products or services and not others included in publicity.

Start with small volunteer projects, particularly ones that produce readily identifiable results, Hough says. “You and your employees are likely to feel better about the project if you can see the fruits of your labor at the end of the day.”

Upper management should volunteer with the rank and file, experts say to show commitment and inspire camaraderie.

Other ways to encourage participation are to recompense volunteers for their time and transport them to projects.

The Points of Light Foundation recommends regular evaluations-perhaps through surveys-to determine a programs impact on employees, the company and the community.

Recognize employees for their volunteerism. Tout their efforts in company newsletters, community newspapers, lobby displays, employee e-mail, and annual reports and communications with customers and vendors. Consider supplying refreshments and company T-shirts to employees who volunteer and honoring them with gifts and award programs.

Finally strive for continuous improvement by consulting with companies that have achieved sustained success with their volunteer programs.


21 January

“What do you want to do as a volunteer at the hospital?”

That was a legitimate question for the volunteer services coordinator to ask. It’s not an easy question to answer, but it definitely warrants asking. I have multiple sclerosis so my options are limited. I use a massive electric wheelchair and have limited use of my hands. What I can do is talk but to do that, I must depend on an electrical device since I don’t have a voice. One heaven-sent gift I do have is my faithful service dog, Francine, a ten-year-old golden retriever. I wanted to volunteer with Francine and show that we could make a difference – something that might bring a smile to someone’s face.

superweird“I would like to visit patients with my service dog, Francine. I think the patients will enjoy her,” was my response. I did not mention “therapy” since that’s not what we would set out to do. Any positive effects or “therapy” would just be added benefits that would occur on their own.

After we were given an assignment as volunteers, our first step was to get our volunteer identification badges from security. They turned the camera around in the small area to take my picture. Next, we needed to get ‘Francine’s picture taken for her I.D.

“You’re kidding, right?” was the chief of security’s response as I handed him the volunteer services form which I assured him was no joke. It was also verification that Francine and her job here were finally being taken seriously.

“This will be a first,” he chuckled as he lowered the camera to take Francine’s picture with her big smile.

The following week, we picked up our identification badges on our way to our first day of work. We were eagerly greeted by the director who welcomed and encouraged us in our new position.

Now when I wheel into a patient’s room and introduce myself, I usually receive a “hello.” But upon seeing Francine, the patient’s eyes light up and they often start talking, sometimes about their pets – past and present – and often directly to Francine. Some patients give me the impression they’d be just as happy if Francine came to visit and I stayed home.

One day we thought Bill, who has cancer, wasn’t aware of his surroundings. He surprised us. His wife was feeding him ice cream. Usually he only eats one or two bites at a time so she was surprised when he asked for another. Upon questioning, he was adamant that, yes, he wanted more. After feeding him the additional bite of ice cream, Bill immediately put his hand to his mouth. He removed the ice cream and offered it to Francine who quickly licked his hand clean. This happened so fast it was like Francine knew what Bill was going to do. Her head was between the rails of his bed in anticipation of a treat. Bill was obviously more alert that day than we thought.

As Francine goes to different rooms being petted by different patients, I still maintain control of her. I shake my head and point to show her where to go. At times I command Francine to put her front paws on the patient’s lap or bed. Occasionally, I even “release” Francine, giving her leash to the patient to “be in control” to pet, hug and love Francine for awhile. The attention Francine has been getting from the patients has not been a problem with her other work as a service dog. I see it, and I think she does too, as just another aspect of her job. I’m sure she considers this to be one of the best duties she performs as a service dog.