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Best Rules for Financial Success

Live below your means.

Invest, but do so conservatively, in things you know extremely well.

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One Reason to Worry about the Future of The United States

In a recent conversation between Susan Jacoby, the author The Age of American Unreason, and Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason Magazine, she related an incident that occurred soon after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  She was walking from her job at the New York City Public Library to her apartment in lower Manhattan. Along the way, she stopped in a bar to have a drink, and overheard a conversation between two well-dressed mid-thirties investment banker types. One said to the other that what had just happened must have been like Pearl Harbor. The other asked what Pearl Harbor was, and his friend responded it was when Vietnam bombed one of our harbors and led to the War in Vietnam.

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Lying May Pay but at a Very High Price

Many people have the ability to lie well. While they fool people with their deception, they also find it nearly impossible to have a truly close relationship with another person. People who are honest tend to have close friends. Those who live by deceit and manipulation are loners.

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Why We Get Fat & How To Get Thin

As humans we have spent most of our million year history facing challenges finding edible plants and hunting animals for our next meal. As a , we were programmed to eat large, high calorie meals, since the time for our next meal was far from certain.

Modern man has little problem eating whenever he feels even slightly hungry, and usually sets aside time for three full meals every day. Combining our recent abundance of high calorie foods with our biological conditioning, it is little wonder that obesity is a huge problem today.

One of our best hopes in curtailing this trend is to eliminate processed foods in our diet and replace them with food that is more natural to our body’s biological needs, such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. During most of human history, these foods composed more than two thirds of our diet.

One other method we can employ to control our overeating is to override our impulses for high calories foods through willpower, and create a rewarding experience in our minds by eating natural healthy foods.

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The United States Will Remain Dominant in the World Economy

The United States has 37 of the top-rated universities in the world; China its main economic rival, has three.

Twenty of the top fifty companies in the world are American. China does not have one.

52 of the top brands in the world belong to American companies. China does not a single brand in the top 100.

The United States spends more proportionately on research and than any other country.

Half the patents issued each year in the world are to U.S. companies. Chinese registration of patents is exceptionally low.

The United States is the number one exporting nation in the world. (Exports are up more than 13% this year.)

Even though the United States has a huge import trade deficit, more than two-thirds of its imports come from companies producing goods for an American company, which means much of the profit on those imported goods goes to U.S. companies.

If you think Europe might be a significant challenge to the U.S. economy in the future, the following fact is indicative of the coming generation of Europeans. A recent poll showed that 70% of American high school students hope to start their own companies someday. In France 70% of high-school students hope to get a government job.

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The Secret of Life

"One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

Lewis Carroll

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Real Magic To Get What You Want

As long as you know what it is you desire, then by simply affirming that it will be yours -- firmly and positively, with no ifs, buts, or maybes -- over and over again, from the minute you arise in the morning until the time you go to sleep at night, and as many times during the day as your work or activities permit, you will be drawn to those people, places, and events that will bring your desires to you.

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How to Have a Meaningful Life

by Charly Mann

Just living is not enough. Decide what things are important to you and pursue them passionately. Without passion life is boring. Be serenely and joyously aware of the world around you. Continue to ask questions throughout your life, even if you cannot find all the answers. Friendship, conversation, and work should be among your greatest joys. Having children and raising a family is usually the most fulfilling and meaningful thing one can do with their life. If you want to change the world, the first place you should start is by seeing if you can change yourself. Then enjoy the world as you improve it. Feel the sunshine and always do the best you can. Our time in this world is very short.  Do things in it that you will remember fondly in the next.

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How to Save the Lives of One Billion People

by Charly Mann

At current smoking rates one billion people will die because of smoking tobacco in the 21st century. More than ten people die every minute from smoking related diseases.

Almost one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking related.

50,000 Americans die each year from secondhand smoke. That is about ten times as many Americans killed in the War in Iraq. It is also about the same number of Americans killed in car accidents every year.

1.2 million Chinese and 650,000 Europeans will die this year as a result of smoking.

Around 100 million people died from tobacco use in the 20th century. This is nearly three times a many as the number of people killed in combat in all the wars and revolutions of the 20th century.

So I say let us focus even more on eliminating this terrible scourge from the face of the earth, and save this lives of one billion fellow humans.

For each person who quits smoking right now the positive results are almost immediate.

Twenty minutes after you have your last cigarette your blood pressure, pulse rate, and the body temperature of your hands and feet return to normal.

Eight hours after you quit the carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood are back to normal.

Two days after you cease your nicotine habit your ability to smell and taste are greatly enhanced.

Within nine months your energy level will have greatly increased.

After a year your risk of developing a coronary heart disease is cut in half.

In five years your chance of dying from lung, throat, or mouth cancer is reduced by 50%.

At the ten-year mark your risk of lung cancer is the same as someone who had never smoked.

After fifteen years your risk of coronary heart disease will be the same as a nonsmoker.

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One Life Can Make A Difference

George Washington (probably the greatest man who has ever lived)

One SONG can spark a moment
One FLOWER can start a dream
One TREE can start a forest
One BIRD can herald spring
One SMILE begins a friendship
One HANDCLASP will lift a soul
One STAR can guide a ship
One WORD can frame your goal
One VOTE can change a nation
One SUNBEAM will light a room
One CANDLE wipes out darkness
One LAUGH can conquer gloom
One STEP can start a journey
One WORD can start a prayer
One HOPE will raise our spirits
One TOUCH can show you care
One VOICE can speak with wisdom
One HEART can know what is true
One LIFE can make a difference.

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Falling Down And Dying Is More Common Than Murder

Your chance of dying in the United States by falling down is 1 in 246, while your chance of being murdered is 1 in 325. Falling deaths usually result from slipping on ice or tripping over household clutter or uneven surfaces. We will all meet our fate someday and fortunately less than 0.3% of us will meet our doom by being shot by another person.

You are much more likely to die by the one of the following means:

Heart Disease 1-in-5
Cancer 1-in-7
Stroke 1-in-23
Car Crash 1-in-100
Suicide 1-in-121
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Life is Great at 35 and then Gets Better

Most people do not feel economically or emotionally comfortable until they reach 35, and then for the next half of their lives things continue to improve. Studies have shown by the time we reach our mid 30s most of us are finally confident about who we are and our abilities. This is the stage in life when almost everything has become routine enough for us to truly relax and enjoy what matters. From this point on life is much more calm, and we are less prone to anger and upset because we have reached emotional and mental maturity. This is also when we are able to put a lot of things into perspective and determine what is relevant in our lives. This is when we become certain about our place in the world, and have a clear idea about what we want to accomplish in life. This is also the start of the time that we continue getting happier until we reach our happiness peak at about 69.

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We May Be Living In A Simulated World

What is reality? Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrum is fairly certain that nothing in our world is real. In fact he claims we are all part of a computer simulation.

How is this possible? Well based on trends in computer processing power, many experts contend that within fifty years we will have computers where people will be able for entertainment or research purposes, create worlds and universes where “people” like us would even have simulated consciousness. If this is the case, then there are probably millions of perceived universes. In them real people are creating worlds with their simulated ancestors to see how they would progress under an array of various circumstances. This is much like how scientists now built computer models for predicting weather, or a bit like a super advanced version of the popular computer game called The Sims.

So what may be happening, as you worry about the economy or love life, is that there is an advanced civilization in a real galaxy that is controlling our world. If this is true the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be somebody’s evening hobby. 

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The Top Ten Most Important Skills of Self-Reliance

Self-reliance is the most fundamental skill people need to have a happy and successful life. Our top ten basic skills of self-reliance are:

1. The ability to interview well for jobs

2. Knowing how to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver

3. Learning how to live below your means

4. Knowing how to change a tire

5. The skills to be a great parent

6. The ability to manage your time well

7. Knowing how to parallel park

8. Knowing how to listen

9.  The ability to jump-start a car

10. Being able to see things from other people's perspective 

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There is a Lot More Good News Than Bad News

by Charly Mann

By almost every metric the world is a much better and safer place to live in now than in the past. In the last 20 years the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half. Smallpox, a disease that killed 500,000,000 people in the 20th century, has been eradicated. (That is more than all the people killed directly or indirectly in all the wars and insurrections from 1900-2013.) And incredibly in the just the last 150 years the human lifespan has more than doubled from 35 years to almost 80. 

The business of news is to attract viewers and readers, and the news media knows negative stories get far more attention than positive ones. They select stories to cover which will attract the most attention and have the best storyline for keeping people hooked. Important news such as violence is declining throughout the world and we are currently experiencing the most peaceful time in human history, gets no coverage at all.

Less than 1% of the news reported by mainstream media is useful in helping us make better decisions or relevant to our lives. It is filled with sensationalized events that are usually taken out of context to make us believe that most of what is going around us is bad. As a result most of us feel helpless and depression is on the rise. While it is sad that a few hundred people died in a plane crash, or hundreds of homes were destroyed by a hurricane, how does this affect us as individuals? Because we live in a world of 7.5 billion people, the law of large numbers means that bad things are always going to be happening. It is important to remember that bad things are actually happening far less frequently than at any time in history, and our economic well-being, health, and safety have never been better.

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