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Speak No Further

Aside from mob-like and Marxists groups, periodically it seems as if the U.S. is a linguistically authoritarian society

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Every single day in America, the verbal fascism of groups such as Antifa, BLM, and the Left in general is on full display: In some professions and in some circles, unless you employ the exact words and phrases that they approve, be on guard.

Nevertheless, aside from these mob and Marxists groups, periodically it seems as if the U.S. is an authoritarian society. Although each of the following statements otherwise seem perfectly acceptable, my personal experience confirms that you’d better not utter them.

Do Not Mention Job Offers

I received unemployment compensation only once in my life, in between my first and second job. When I was asked by an unemployment office agent if I had been looking for jobs in the last two weeks, I replied yes.

In fact, I volunteered, I even received an offer, however the offer was from a company quite far from my residence and for far less salary than I had been earning years ago. So, I had to turn it down.

With that, on cue, the agent became indignant. Bzzzz! Wrong answer. Was this the moment for which she lived? She emphatically informed me that I’d receive no further unemployment compensation. I had violated the rules.

The rules, apparently, encompassed having to accept a job offer even if the job paid far less than you are accustomed to be earning, represented a hardship in terms of the distance involved, and was not truly in your field.

I was 25 years old, with no savings, barely making my way in the career world. I labored for another eight weeks to finally land the right job; I surely could have used the unemployment compensation during that time. Lesson learned, I’ll never volunteer that kind of information again.

Don’t Talk About IRS Procedures

Years later, I brought coins to a show and was seeking to sell them to a particular dealer. In the back of my mind, I recalled that if you deposit too much cash in the bank on any given day, you might flag the IRS. Never mind that I was seeking to sell coins that I purchased with money which I had earned, and upon which I had already paid taxes. Never mind that I was selling the coins at a slight loss.

Harmlessly (I thought), I asked a coin dealer, “What is the amount that triggers IRS scrutiny?” With this question, the dealer went gray, clammed up, and told me, “I can’t discuss that with you.” Huh?

“Otherwise, I am potentially colluding to violate IRS rules.” I said, “What? I’m simply asking if you know what the sum happens to be.” He clammed up even further. I could see this conversation was going nowhere, so I stopped on a dime.

The Internal Revenue Service used to be called the Department of Taxation. Funny, I’m not sure where the ‘service’ aspect of their activities kick-in. In contemporary America, why can you not ask a simple question related to the laws of our nation?

Don’t Cite Your Reasons

I’ve been donating blood for years. It is helpful to me and it is helpful for those in need. The need presumably is urgent: I continually receive messages from the Red Cross every few days, even after I’ve already donated, asking me to donate again. For health and safety, one is asked to wait at least eight weeks between donations.

So, one day, I’m at a local Red Cross chapter, donating blood, as I do every eight weeks. During an encounter with the nurse on hand, I mentioned that one of the reasons I donate blood is that I have a high iron count. Donating blood helps to keep it in check.

At that point she bristled, then regained her composure, and told me I should not mention my reasons. Donating blood for purposes of lowering your iron count, which has some technical name, gets you thrown out of the system.

Oh, excuse me!

On that very same visit, because I have a blood type that is in demand, I was asked by someone else if I could come in more often to make other kinds of transfusion donations?

So, they want me to visit more often to donate what they need. Yet, if I seek to make a donation that benefits both the Red Cross and myself, I am violating Red Cross regulations? Guess who is going to seek someplace place to donate blood, other than at the local Red Cross?

Such Deadly Words

The above scenarios are tame and lame compared to the ridicule, employment termination, career destruction, physical attack, or death that might fall you if you have the temerity to state in public, or in a public forum, “All Lives Matter,” “All Black Lives Matter,” “White Lives Matter” “All Baby Lives Matter,” “All Victims Matter,” or, God forbid, “Blue Lives Matter.”

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

Provocative Questions to Get You Moving

What would make you pause and think about what’s really important?

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Suppose I asked you four questions to make you pause, think about what’s really important, perhaps take some action steps, and get you moving in a positive direction. What might I ask?

Here are four such questions:

* What would you do if you truly only had six months to live?

* What would you read if you could only pick six books for the rest of your life?

* If you could return to any age what would it be?

* If you could live anywhere other than here, where would it be?

 

By way of example, here is each question with my own answers to help stimulate your thinking:

What would I do if I truly only had six months to live? I would visit everyone who ever mattered to me one more time; visit all my childhood haunts; visit three or four tourist destinations in the world that I’ve wanted to see; eat like an incredible pig; parcel out my assets carefully and accordingly, safeguard my daughter’s financial future and well-being to the best of my abilities; and donate many items to charity.

If I could only read six books for the rest of my life, they would probably be The Timetables of History, Childhood’s End, The Call of the Wild, The One Hundred, From Dawn to Decadence, and The Culture of Celebrity. Runners-up would be The Demon-Haunted World, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, MacBeth, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The World of Our Fathers

If I could be any age what would I be: 38, because at that age I had the optimal mix of capabilities and faculties, unbounded potential, and unbridled enthusiasm. My career as an author was beginning to bloom and amazingly I hadn’t yet been on my first of 45 cruises.

If I could live anywhere other than here, where would it be and why aren’t I there? The places I could settle include Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Monterrey, CA; Sausalito, CA; Tucson, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; Paris, France; Vevey, Switzerland; Montreux, Switzerland; Bruges, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden, and any place where it is spring, birds are chirping, and large lakes invite you to swim.

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Life

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 3)

Even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable

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Here is the final set of seven ways the people who have attained work-life balance set themselves apart from the rest:

15) The typical person is easily distracted by daily noise and interruptions. Those with work-life balance monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.
* carry ear plugs
* sound proof your workspace
* find alternative work locations and spaces, such as a picnic table or park bench * visit www.yogasleep.com

16) The typical person focuses on finishing the workday in order to drop back and relax. Those with work-life balance are productive at work and have a life for the rest of the day after work.
* leave work at a reasonable hour
* reduce TV watching and web surfing
* employ your den as a mini-gym
* engage in invigorating leisure

17) The typical person engages in inactive leisure, i.e. watching TV, web surfing. Those with work-life balance employ leisure for novel experiences, learning, and physical activity.
* live closer, not farther from work
* rediscover hobbies
* join group activities
* peruse local event notices and attend

18) The typical person intermittently invests in his or her own well-being. Those with work-life balance strategically purchase goods and services that support their well-being.
* buy in multiples when all supplies will eventually be used up
* make strategic purchases…
* if it saves one hour a week
* if it takes up little space, is portable, expandable, flexible, can be traded in

19) The typical person longs for the good old days when the pace of life was slower. Those with work-life balance recognize that even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable.
* acknowledge and accept the world as it is
* seek to change aspects of your personal environment over which you have control
* consider the 80-20 rule and ignore low-payoff tasks and activities
* emulate the role models in your industry, organization, or profession

20) The typical person over-collects work-life balance tips hoping that such information will rub off on them. Those who have work-life balance ingest the insights of others, and ultimately follow the beat of their own drum.
* put what you learn into motion
* adopt new behaviors until they become habits
* establish new personal systems
* develop rewarding rituals

21) The typical parent passes their hectic lifestyle on to their children. Those who have it teach their children what is needed to continually experience work-life balance
* remember: children learn most from observation
* exhibit behaviors that you want them to emulate
* include them in activities, ask for their opinion
* act accordingly: actions speak louder than words

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