Saturday, July 8, 2017


I.C. Robledo ends his concise, informative Practical Memory: A Simple Guide... with, “Create the Life You Want to Remember.” This is like the philosophy of existentialists Sartre and Camus, who urged each of us to create a life we can be proud of, be pleased with. Robledo’s book has useful tips for remembering that life and using our memory to be more effective within it.

This author has written several monographs on improving the use of our minds. His emphasis is advice/techniques we can use, rather than theory, thus the title of this excellent book.

He starts with a catalog of general memory disrupters, having himself developed memory problems in graduate school, a most inconvenient time. A doctor alerted him to some basic memory inhibitors: inattention, lack of sleep, nutrition/medication problems, and stress. Each of these has specific steps that can remedy them.

Inattention is cured with mindfulness, active awareness. To help finding your keys, always put them back in the same spot. If you are not sure you’ll remember that spot, picture it in your mind as you put the keys there. To find them, picture what you were doing when you put them down.

Trying to learn something new, give yourself little tests.

Simplify and organize your working/studying environment to lessen distractions.

When traveling, before you leave the hotel or restaurant, put anything you fear you’ll forget, and cannot carry on you, right by your keys, so they all come with you.

To find your car in the parking lot, note the aisle letter/number or where the aisle begins or ends. Picture mentally how you entered the area and parked.

Maintain lists, like shopping lists. You may end up away from your list, yet within reach of the store, so use the first letters of the items to form a word or near-word to help you remember: Milk, Bread, prescriptions (Rx), Tape…MBRT could become “My BRaT” or “huMBeRT,” ignoring the lower-case letters.

Don’t just put a string around your finger: make the memory aid specific: if you need to buy another of an item, leave the empty container where you’ll see it, an “unforgettable cue.”
Putting a name to a face has two elements: remembering who the person is and what his name is. When introduced, try to note the association/relationship you have with him or with the introducer and try to find a way to remember him name as well.

For association, think where you met, who was there, why you were there, what happened when you were there…paying attention to these at the time will make remembering easier. You use the journalists’ litany: who, what, when, where, why, and how?

After being introduced, use his or her name several times as soon as practical, and then look for things to link it to: persons and places, words that sound similar. “Frank” reminds me of….

I remember that a new client, Cheryl B., is a retired RN, as is my old friend, Cheryl C.

A structure to link your memory to is the alphabet. Trying to remember his name, go through in order: Alan, Andrew,…; Bart, Bert,…; Carl….

You may lose your wallet and cell phone and need an important number. Some numbers should be memorized, as I had to do decades ago as a child. When you have your cell phone and some spare time, memorize crucial phone numbers.

Also, write down needed information; the Chinese say, “The palest ink outlasts memory.”

I.C. Robledo notes the Internet serves as a great technological repository of memories. I told a client about an intellectual who used comedy and laughter to fight his cancer…and succeeded. I couldn’t recall his name, but Google found it for me: Norman Cousins.

The last portion of this book covers techniques for recalling more of what you’ve seen and done while sight-seeing, useful for others, but not for me, as I almost never travel.

This book is a bargain. It will help you appreciate your life more and succeed well beyond your current performance level.

I.C. Robledo writes clearly on interesting topics. His books are bargains.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

RETIREMENT? NO, REFIREMENT! "Contagion," "Stress"

Communicating Illness

We can’t state this clearly enough; you can’t keep problems to yourself any more.

Even when we keep our suffering a firm secret, we tend to resent others for failing to read our minds. This is no time for that. This is a time for facts on the table. 

This might not seem, at first, to be an area that requires strategic thinking - but if this area of your life is mismanaged it can be exhausting, and failing to articulate difficulties will inevitably lead to complications - Innocent requests for help moving sofas!

One solution is to think of a stock explanation, that is easy to repeat, that hits on the vital points of your condition - your cans and cant’s - but cutting past the morbid, particularly worrying details that may bring a tear to people’s eyes or a lump to your own throat.

It can be rounded with positives - include how you’ve already begun dealing with the issue. (Also this might help shut-down well-meaning conversations about what people think you should be doing for your health, which could become tedious.)   

For example:
‘I’ve been having some minor health problems so my doctor advised me to take things easy - He’s given me some exercises to get on with, but basically told me not to do anything too strenuous. It’s given me a chance to get some reading done, so it’s not all bad.’   

Of course, some words there are already emotive to say aloud, no matter how much detail you strip from them. ‘Health problems’. And of course, people will worry. But it is a conversation that needs having.

If you’re having difficulty in bringing yourself to having the talk, the solution is simple - imagine it were the other way around.

How would you feel if those you loved kept a secret from you that could result in you neglecting them?


Retirement has been shown to result in a decrease in stress-induced headaches - And during the transition phase headache prevalence can drop 46%. [11]

Remember: stress can seep into empty areas of your life. Of course, at first you deserve a break - a time with nothing at all on your schedule, if the idea suits you, but that can’t become the new norm.

To keep stress at bay you have to:
Stay Engaged
Stay Active
Stay Connected


This is the continuation of a weekly serialization of this new ebook on active retirement, by Wamala and Cooper, which book is available through for $0.99: 

Monday, June 26, 2017


“If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss….”
Rudyard Kipling, “If”

“If you’re not happy with what you have, imagine not having it.”

MONEY Statistic

Pew Research Center (2014): Richer countries are happier, but only to a point. Germans, much richer than Malaysians, are only slightly happier.

Chapter 6:

“Money makes the world go around…” so went a popular song from the musical Cabaret. When you don’t have it, your world seems to come to a stop. When that happens, you have to do something, “by hook or by crook,” to make ends meet, to keep life’s wheels turning.

You get a job. Problem solved? Not quite. As #35 tells us, you turn 56 and get replaced by a 23-year-old. Or you lose your job as a Sales and Marketing Manager when the economy tanks, and, as does #469, you lament:

The question i asked myself is;
1.     Why was i born in this country?
2.     Why is life unfair to certain set of people?
3.     Does it mean i am not hard working enough?
4.     Does it mean i am not spiritual enough?
5.     Does it mean i am lazy?

To which we might answer:
1.     Luck. Would you be better off in Bangladesh?
2.     Bad luck. The day #38 did not play the lottery was the day his six-digit pick was chosen.
3.     Hard work helps but may not be enough. Luck can trump effort and talent.
4.     Spirituality may not improve your income, but it can improve your outlook.
5.     Only you know whether you are working as hard as is reasonable.

Just when #165 thought he’d hit rock bottom, his bank’s ATM took $200 instead of giving it.

They love their parents, but they are hoping to inherit…as soon as possible (#398).

It is often easier to save money than to earn it. The New England adage applies, “Make do. Do without. Use it up. Wear it out.” Still, we like to think of abundance rather than scarcity, in which case, one must ask oneself, “What can I do for others that they would pay me for?”

Do not take literally the advice of notorious bank-robber Willie Sutton, however. When asked why he robbed banks, he replied, “That’s where the money is.”

Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.

i have no money...

profiting from the misfortune of others will only create bad luck for you. for every person you profit from, bad karma pays back 10 times. the odds are against you, and you know who you are.

so tired of hearing people's sob stories about how broke they are because of xyz. Go get a job, start a business, do SOMETHING to fix your situation.

I was just replaced by a snot-nosed 23 year old right out of school. What can a 56 year old engineer do for a job in today's economy. Walmart hired me before, I hope they're hiring again.

After playing the same numbers 4, 7, 17, 40, 42, 44 every week in the ny lottery for 6 years, i miss one lousy day, May 25th. Guess what? FML!!!!!!!!!

I am frustrated because I am in sales and my manager always gives me false hope. She always convices me that if I work harder I will make a good living. Funny how she always skirts away from showing me all the sales she makes. I am just mad that I have a lot of time and gas money over her.

I have no idea how I'm going to make ends meet this month... I'm in some deep financial hell...all because of my girlfriend, whom I'm still uncertain if she was using me for the $ all along (alas, I love her). She always offers to help me with monetary affairs, but is never there to actually commit to the plan, leaving me with the whole burden.

My maxed-out credit cards? Charged for her sake. And when it came time to pay, she promised to help. NOPE. Now I've got creditors threatening arbitration on me.
Our smartphone plan together? She wanted to be on my plan because she thought her parents would stop paying. I told her to pay half of it. She agreed. NOPE. I've paid the WHOLE cell phone bill for 8 months.


I am so frustrated right now I feel like giving up on life completely. My boyfriend has managed to screw up all of our finances his wages are being garnished as well as being sued and I am left trying to struggle to make ends meet,and not doing a great job at only goes so far. I try talking to him and all he says is I know. I cant do this anymore I am drowning in anger and see no point in trying anymore with anything. It's like he is this bad luck charm and I am being punished for something. I cant even leave because I have no money to leave now and am stuck here.

First I lose my income for two and a half months and now my boyfriend has lost his job, leaving us almost entierly without money and not enough to keep us going. I’ve studied hard to get the grade I need so I may continue my studies later this year, but I am failing. I feel I am so stuck with my studies and everything else is just sucking away my energy. Then just generally one misfortune after another has struck us these past few months... Okay, Life, I get the point. I need to work harder... but PLEASE... give me a breather here, will you?

Its never ending ... The expenses,bills,credit card payments,instalments ... as tough this life is meant for continuously paying others when your own incomes are dwindling away along with savings and other possessions. soon I think everything will be finished with massive negative balance of payments. Only if somebody would run over me then this cycle would stop !!!

I work hard everyday! I’m 25 work two jobs and go to school. I don’t feel like there is a exact plane to getting rich. Go the school get a good job, and make money there has to be another way seriously. People can’t be this closed minded. At one of my jobs my manager doesn’t do anything all she does is get on Facebook, talk to men on her phone and get pay raises for the work that i do. She gets payed way more than me and doesn’t do a damn thing. I do all her work plus mine and the boss things she does work. I’m so sick of busting my ass to get a middle wage job. Has to be another way. I’m going to be rich one day i have the drive, I can see the door but theres no key to open it, I’m missing something important the separates the middle class hard workers from the rich, what is it. Im going to find it ASAP.

I’m frustrated!!! My health is good, I have a couple of good friends, but I’m broke as hell and see no end. I live in San Francisco and I was lucky enough to live in a building that was taken out of rent control so my crappy studio apartment went from $650 to $1100. I also had an emergency dental surgery that cost 7,000 so that threw me into debt hell from putting it on credit cards and when I worked two full time jobs, the IRS taxed the living hell out of me although I had $150 extra taken out. It’s all my fault but it does feel good to vent. Bill Gates help a brother out if you read this.

I am very honest and hardworking skilled in handle to all difficulties. Done all efforts without asking money. but with this nature, Everybody use me and after gaining more profit thrown me out why? at the end result I want to sucide or some time Killed them which are misbehave with me..

I am frustrated!! It seems as if money hates my guts and when it sees my coming it runs the other way. Or when I finally get a few dollars something needs to be fixed, or someone I owe money to from 30 years ago pops up. I dont know what the problem is but why is it that I have such huge money problems. I suffered paying all my money out the day I got paid. I had to wait two weeks to get paid again. I struggled, I mean I struggled for two weeks and finally my check was placed in my account. I got to the ATM machine to finally get my money out, the ATM machine took $200 from me! I went into hysteria!! I'm so tired of being in this bad bad bad financial situation. Someone had an accident with my car and then my insurance went up. I mean I am so tired!! This is why people lose it!! This forum aint gonna help because when I finish this comment Im goin right back to struggling again!! Im so tired, wearied, worn out, stressed, discouraged, etc.,etc., etc.,

I am frustrated with life where i feel so skilled 115k last year and no job in 3 months. Why . I am running out of money with a child in private Christian school and I am suffocating


Excerpted from Guzman and Cooper (2017), FRUSTRATED WITH LIFE? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! based on years of blog entries at The book is available in paperback at

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Diet almost needs no introduction; it’s so fundamental a building-block to our health and we all know that we probably need to make some changes, and often these changes require very little scientific insight.
Animal fats = Bad.
Processed food = Bad.
Alcohol = Bad
Vegetables = Good.

And actually thinking in this simplistic, macro-perspective isn’t so bad. Many popular ‘nutritionists’ promote the benefits of obscure, specific nutrients (chromium being an example.), perhaps as a rather cynical scheme to sell their own brand of supplement pills. There may be individuals in the world who suffer from strange deficiencies and who need to micro-manage their diets in this fashion, but for the most part, we need to paint with a broader brush.

But the evidence is that plants - and I want to make this clear - it’s not the ingredients in plants, it’s the plants. It’s not the beta-Carotene, it’s the carrot. The evidence is very clear that plants promote health. This evidence is overwhelming at this point. You eat more plants, you eat less other stuff, you live longer - not bad.
Mark Bittman, What’s Wrong with What We Eat. (TED talk)

It isn’t our goal to berate you in this chapter - we know that putting down the chips or wine glass isn’t just difficult in the moment, but it subtracts from a certain cheerful colour in life. We don’t expect (or want) you to become a calorie-counting master of self-control if that ultimately leaves you less happy than you were.

Instead we want to make sure you maximize the pleasure of each calorie.

And this means eating mindfully: empowering you as a consumer, so you don’t waste your health (and money) on products that aren’t worth the risk.

The problem in this is that often we simply don’t know what we’re putting into our mouths; harmful substances are packed liberally into processed foods, just below government guidelines, or what our taste buds can detect, but the effect they have on our bodies remains - delicious and insidious.
What, pray-tell is ‘mayonnaise’? What is pesto exactly? If you could extract the ingredients one by one and have them staring back at you, you probably wouldn’t feel compelled to ingest them!

A good rule of thumb is to only eat foods that you can list the ingredients of from memory:

‘Sugar. Err... E405… extract of vanilla…. Err…. it’s…’
‘It’s a pear.’  

A Diet Strategy

Any dietary strategy for need to have the following goals: [16]
     preventing excess weight gain and obesity
     preventing diabetes
     preventing cardiovascular diseases
     preventing cancer
     preventing dental diseases
     preventing osteoporosis

The recommendations from the World Health Organization [16], regarding diet in aging populations, is as follows: 

     Emphasize healthy traditional vegetable- and legume-based dishes.
     Limit traditional dishes/foods that are heavily preserved/pickled in salt and encourage the use of herbs and spices.
     Introduce healthy traditional foods or dishes from other cuisines (e.g., tofu in Europe and the tomato in Asia).
     Select nutrient-dense foods such as fish, lean meat, liver, eggs, soy products (e.g., tofu and tempeh) and low-fat dairy products, yeast-based products (e.g., spreads), fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, whole-grain cereals, nuts and seeds.
     Consume fat from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, olives and fatty fish. Where refined fats are necessary for cooking, select from a variety of liquid oils, including those high in ω-3 and ω-9 fats. Avoid fatty spreads.
     Enjoy food and eating in the company of others. Avoid the regular use of celebratory foods (e.g., ice cream, cakes and pastries in Western culture, confectioneries and candies in Malay culture, and crackling pork in Chinese culture).
     Encourage the food industry and fast-food chains to produce ready-made meals that are low in animal fats.
     Eat several (5–6) small non-fatty meals. This pattern appears to be associated with greater food variety and lower body fat and blood glucose and lipid levels, especially if larger meals are eaten early in the day.
     Transfer as much as possible of one’s food culture, health knowledge and related skills to one’s children, grandchildren and the wider community.


The leading cause of death throughout the world is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), and dietary fat has been shown, consistently, to have a strong causal link to CHD as well as other cardiovascular diseases. [16] 


WHO strongly recommends an increase in potassium intake from food to reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease in adults. Generally (as the amount may vary for certain individuals.) They recommend a potassium intake of at least 90 mmol/day (3510 mg/day) for adults.

Food Group
Appropriate Potassium Content (mg)
Beans and Peas
Cowpeas, pigeon peas, lima beans, African yam beans
Hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts
Green Vegetables
Spinach, cabbage, parsley
Root Vegetables
Carrots, onions, beetroot
Other Vegetables
Tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins,
Bananas, Papayas, dates
Source: WHO


The WHO strongly recommends a reduction in sodium intake in order to reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease in adults. They strongly recommend a reduction to <2 g/day sodium (5 g/day salt) in adults (strong recommendation).

Food Group
Appropriate Sodium Content (mg/100g)
Table salt, baking soda, baking powder
Bouillon Cubes, powdered brothers, soups, gravies
Soy Sauce
Snack Foods (e.g., pretzels, cheese puffs, popcorn.)
Sauces and spreads
Cheese, hard
Processed Vegetables
Butter, margarine
Cheese, soft
Processed fish
Cereals and cereal products (e.g., bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes, pastries.)
Fish, raw/frozen
Milk and cream
Vegetables, fresh, frozen
Fruits, fresh/frozen

Source: WHO


This is the continuation of a weekly serialization of this new ebook on active retirement, by Wamala and Cooper, which book is available through for $0.99: