Sunday, October 29, 2017


Stay Active

‘Think of retirement as the opposite but equally unhealthy extreme on the other side of being in a perpetual state of high stress and anxiety. Just as it’s not healthy to overwork yourself, it’s also not healthy to not work at all.’
Linda Westwood, Healthy Habits, Vol 3

Studies have shown that working into old age is associated with higher well-being.  [17]

A study by Aquino et al. (1996) found that elderly people reported greater life satisfaction if they worked more hours in paid work; possibly because within the world of work they had status and identity, and higher levels of stimulation.

‘The Bucket List’

Some retirees find it satisfying to have a list of the things they want to do before the kick the bucket,” pass away. This helps give them a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

Re-entering Employment

About 29% for men and 35% of women re-enter the workforce. [18,]

Aquino et al. (1996) found that the number of hours worked at a paying job was positively related to life satisfaction in older workers. Although older adults may experience higher life satisfaction because of the social environment of a workplace, social support did not explain this relationship.

Make a Bit of Money Online 

Retirees are more and more comfortable with the Internet, the World Wide Web, and they can use it to generate some income for themselves.

On a March day in 2017, right after a blizzard hit the north-eastern United States, expert marketer Edison Guzman ( presented a webinar ( on ways to make some money online…legitimately.

In most cases, however, one does need to have established a popular web site or blog. Edison told his snow-bound audience that right from home they could work with one or more of the following:
· – their affiliate program gives those who join (free) 3-10% of the purchases from people who use a link the affiliates provide to purchase products from Amazon, which provides detailed training.
· – Another powerful affiliate program.
· – An affiliate program with a high commission (20-70%).
· -- An affiliate program with a high commission (20-70%).
· – They create apparel and other items with your logos and designs. You sell them at a higher price than they charge you.
· – Another generous affiliate program with a wide variety of products.
·      Google AdSense – If they accept your application, they will pay you for putting ads on your site that bring customers to them[A1] .
· – They post educational courses you create and they share the income.
· – This service and others like it allow you to present conveniently webinars (seminars or talks over the Internet), and you can use them to promote a business or can even charge for admission to the webinar.
· – They help you present and make money from educational or commercial videos.
Being a savvy marketer, Edison took the opportunity to remind the attendees of his free Internet magazine,

Finding Fulfilling Hobbies

Learning is not as stratified as it once was; no matter what your passion is, there are hundreds of equally passionate hobbyists taking pleasure in sharing their enthusiasm online, especially over YouTube.
Think of the most challenging hobby you can imagine, something with a steep difficulty curve - let’s say playing the violin. There are hundreds of people who have ‘taught themselves,’ or at least, they have been taught with the aid of books and videos.

Giving Back To Your Community

‘It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.’
Khalil Gibran

We are all sadly all-too-familiar with the word ‘anti-social’, but unfortunately we rarely hear its opposite, prosocial; but this term needs to guide us. Even from a purely selfish standpoint, altruism (giving to others) is a consistent way of improving our satisfaction. Active and goal-directed interaction with our social and physical environment has been found to have a positive effect on mood, whilst inoculating us against negative emotions [19, 20] (These two things are not always mutually exclusive.) 

We want, above all, for you to find satisfaction. And what can be more satisfying than changing the world around you for the better, even in minor ways.
Offer Your Wealth
Givewell estimates that the price of saving a child’s life through The Against Malaria Foundation is only $3,340 USD.  For inspiring reading in this area please consult Doing Good Better by William MacAskill.
Offer Your Skills
This gives you a way to stay sharp or to pass the torch, and you might be surprised by how much you actually learn taking your experience into another context. You’ve trained a team of business professionals, but can you train a group of fourteen-year-old’s to play basketball? You’ve been a copy-writer for years, but can you teach a group to do what you do?
Offer Your Time
Recently, the singer George Michael passed away, and it was revealed that he had been volunteering anonymously in a homeless shelter - I can’t think of a gesture more powerful than that. 
Offer You Attention
Kindness does not always take material form. Perhaps the easiest, financially but most difficult emotionally - Is giving a fellow human being the dignity of looking them in the eye and hearing their story.  Often even those who give time and skills are scared of giving attention - of listening to those in our society that are often neglected; the local homeless, poorly-integrated social groups. the aged, ( has a program in which you don’t even have to leave the house - Offering companionship to and elderly person in weekly telephone calls.) 

This is the continuation of a serialization of this new ebook on active retirement, by Ugandan Petero Wamala and American Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., which ebook is available through for $0.99: 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

FRUSTRATED WITH LIFE? A Quadriplegic's Story

Chapter 12:
Pulling the Rug from Under Me

Indeed, life can be frustrating. If I put my finger on the pulse of society, my guess is the top four things people get frustrated about are money, career, health or a relationship.  Remember, this is a guess, but I think I’m pretty close to being right. Perhaps not in that order.   Everyone is an individual.

Regardless of your circumstances, what matters is how you deal with the issue frustrating you. Why? Because that is what will determine your outcome.  Regardless the issue, we want our outcome to be the one that brings us happiness!  Nothing else is good enough. What’s all the fuss about life if we are not going to live it happy?

Allow me to relate. I have had a spinal cord injury for a little over 20 years. I was in a car accident when I was 21 years old that resulted in a broken neck,  a spinal cord injury, and paralysis from the shoulders down. No sexy details, just a true boring ole’ accident. 

For me, it felt as if the rug of my life had instantly been ripped from underneath. I was falling in midair with no parachute.   Prior to the moment I was injured, I had been on a magic carpet ride, you see.

I was 21 years old, sharing a townhouse with my girlfriend in Connecticut, and had just landed a dream job.  I had been working two jobs to make ends meet. One was as a “Girl Friday” (the person in a small office that does everything from making copies, brewing coffee, answering phones, picking up dry cleaning for boss, etc., etc.), the other as a weekend manager at a small Greenwich salon.

A woman came into the salon one weekend, and I offered her something to drink, as I would any client. We only spoke for literally a minute, but out of nowhere she hands me her business card and tells me to call her the following day.

I call, I make an appointment to see her, and she offers me a job.  As what?  A consultant on Wall Street. Or perhaps you’ve heard the not-so-nice term “headhunter.”  The financial package offered fantastic health insurance, educational expenses reimbursement, and enough money per week that I could quit both my jobs. Added to this was the commission I’d receive when I placed someone in a job.

She explained in general how the business worked and how she came to be where she was. I assured this woman I could learn anything, and what she proposed sounded not only interesting but exciting… my one problem was, I knew nothing about the position she was offering me!

She laughed and said she could teach me all I needed to know about stocks, bonds, mortgage-backed securities, etc. What she couldn’t teach was honesty, integrity, and tenacity. You had to work hard at this career, but never get so caught up in a commission you could make that you placed someone in a job you knew wasn’t in their best interest, but in yours. And she said she saw those qualities in me.

Her company was small, but her clients were big. I worked at that wonderful business, filled with hard-working, intelligent, good women for almost four months. I felt my life was the cherry on top of the sundae. I sang Frank Sinatra’s lyrics, “I’ve got the world on a string, sitting on a rainbow,” 24/7.  I had found my niche in the professional world.  I had arrived! Whoop! Whoop!

Then I broke my neck and became paralyzed for life. My physical independence, my financial independence, my independence in every aspect of my life was over. For an individual that had been on her own since she was very young, frustration took on a new meaning.

For a drink of water, to scratch an itch on my nose, getting dressed, eating, driving, and every tiny detail in between, I couldn’t do any of these on my own… there was nothing I could think of that I had control over. When you feel like you don’t have control over your own business, finances, relationships, etc., you feel frustrated. 

So what to do?  Hmmm… After digesting what it really meant to have a spinal cord injury, I realized I had something that only I could control, no one else.  No doctor, nurse, therapist, friend, family, or foe, could control the thoughts I put in my mind.  I made those up and put them there, nobody else.

It was as if a magical window opened in my hospital room, and I could see outside for the first time. Yet nothing had physically changed.  I simply shifted my perception, allowing my mind, my heart and my soul to open up and see the possibilities.

Once I did that, I felt like a different person. 

Frustration comes when we can’t find a solution or create a plan to change circumstances we do not wish to be in. Frustration comes from feeling out-of-control of our own destiny. I should be the driver of my life, no one else.

So if you are feeling frustrated, your first step is to recognize what you are frustrated about. Next, find one element in your circumstances you can control. It’s there, I promise. Just find one. That one element will lead you to find other elements you can control, and suddenly you have a plan to get you out of the circumstances you are in, and headed toward the life you wish to lead instead.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Norman Vincent Peale, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Amy E. Alexander


Excerpted from FRUSTRATED WITH LIFE? You Are Not Alone, ebook by  Edison R. Guzman and Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., available online from

Write your book with me? See my site. 

Basketball: Like Father, Like Son?

My Next Toastmasters Talk: A Family’s Basketball Highs and Lows - Like Father Like Son? Not quite.

He jumps. He shoots, swish! Another two points for the local high school basketball team. That was my boy, my step-son Phil Chiang, doing what I rarely had been able to do.

It took two generations to attain high school basketball glory in our family.
I loved playing basketball, but I was not very good at it. I tried to be like the pro-basketball player Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics point guard for over a decade, or one of the Harlem Globetrotters, perhaps Meadowlark Lemon. I was fancy, not soundly fundamental.

I dribbled well with my right hand, poorly with my left.

I shot only with my right hand, never with my left, even for lay-ups. I practiced hook shots that I’d hardly get a chance to use in a game.

My long shots were two-handed, not very accurate. My vision was poor, and I refused to wear glasses, so my depth perception suffered, and I was shooting at doubled rims.

I passed well, but sometimes passed behind-the-back, a bit erratically, surprising my teammates.

I was a tenacious defender, but not much of a jumper and a so-so rebounder.

I almost never got into a game as a junior varsity (JV) high school player, and I did not even try out for the varsity.

As a JV, I would scrimmage during week on the second string against the first string, then spend the actual game on the bench.

“Send me in, Coach” I would pray.

If we were well ahead or way behind, I might get some playing time, late.

Once, in my second year, I dribbled most of the way down the court, and took a shot from near the foul line. It went in. My only two points in two years of JV basketball. Thus, I averaged a point a year.

My last three years of high school, I played football as a skinny but determined defensive end, earning a varsity Valley Central letter my junior and senior year.

My son, Phil Chiang, from my wife’s first marriage, loved basketball, too. By sixth grade, he was a fine player, but short for his age. What to do? I advised him to work on jumping: 5’ 3” Muggsy Bogues, 5’ 9” Calvin Murphy both were NBA stars. Phil worked on it.

In junior high, he started to grow, and within a couple of years, he was one of the few kids his age who could dunk the ball. He was an excellent defender and rebounder and a good shooter.  There was no behind-the-back dribbling, no hook shots, just sound fundamentals.

He played in various youth leagues and then for the Ramsey, NJ, high school JV team, becoming first-string his second year. His last two years, he played for the varsity, and in his senior year they won their league, going almost undefeated. His coach offered to pursue getting him a college basketball scholarship for a Division Three college team, but Phil had other tuition support and did not request this be done.

Tina and I would go to most of his games all four years, even though she was in a wheelchair. We would sit at court-side, and occasionally, I would have to catch a ball that otherwise would have struck her. We had a great time.

I still remember a play that Phil made in one of his last games. The other team had shot, and the ball bounced off the rim and started to go out of bounds under the basket. Phil dove for the ball, caught it, threw it to teammate Steve Kupfer at mid-court, before hitting the end wall himself; an excellent shooter, Steve made a basket at the other end of the court. Beautiful and thrilling....for the parents, at least.

It took two generations, but we finally got our basketball star.

Phil had been almost three when he and Tina came to live with me, after our marriage. His Chinese father and I were both academics: professors with modest athletic ability. More athletic than academic, Phil eventually also did earn an MBA. 

Like father, like son? Not wholly so, but people who know us well say that Phil has my smile. I like that.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: Dan Lok's INFLUENCE! 47 FORBIDDEN…

Product Details

Businessman Dan Lok has written a succinct and helpful summary of 47 tactics advertisers use to get us to purchase their goods and services.  Many of these you will recognize, but some may be new to you. for each "forbidden psychological tactic" (and "forbidden" may be a 48th), Lok describes it, gives an example, explains how it works.

Here is my summary list of all 47 that Dan Lok calls out: popularity, exclusivity, superiority, storytelling, frequency, rationale, surveys, specifics, congratulations, teaching, honesty, show and tell, visualization, fun, skepticism, answers, mirroring, curiosity, celebrity, fear, challenge, herd, comparison, gimme more, exchange, commitment, similarity, strength, affection, questions, logic, ease, uniqueness, conformity, participating, difference, cheer leading, urgency, guilt, familiarity, currency, novelty, sex, icing, command, common ground, non-selling.

Granted, there's some overlap among these: "popularity," "conformity," and the "herd mentality" are close, and "superiority"  can mean any of several comparisons, "logic and "rationale" are kin, too. But you won't cavil about whether there are really 47 or 50 or 43 tactics. Rather, you will be glad to absorb the insights of this successful millionaire marketeer.

Here's one of Lok's 47; it's #37, BE A CHEERLEADER.  He starts by quoting Henry Chester, "Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. It is no more or less than faith in action." Who is Henry Chester? I looked him up: he was a nineteenth century "public servant." Well, I like what he wrote, as did Dale Carnegie, a "famous motivator" as Lok describes him.

The book was a bargain. Don't miss it. You can use these tactics or recognize when they are being used on you!


Available from Amazon as a Kindle ebook: