Daily Archives: October 1, 2014

Add pattern to your walls and floor (and every where else)

Paint may be the easiest and cheapest way to change the look of your place (even if you are rich, getting a designer to do it is more work than you think…trust me). But paint shouldn’t be the only thing you try. Rugs are also an option. While they can seem expensive, places like IKEA have them for well under $100.

Paint and rugs aside, there’s wallpaper. You don’t have to cover the whole room: you can do a backsplash, a closet, a ceiling, even part of a wall. Also, wall paper is alot more varied both in patterns and material than you might suppose. You can get wall paper for any where.

If you are nervous about wallpaper, consider the paint rollers from The Painted House. You get beautiful patterns that you can apply as easily as paint, because it is painting.

That said, I would encourage you to try wallpaper. It definitely helps to have two people do it, as well as having patience. Try and make it a social event. The results are worth it.

Unconvinced? See this: Subtle Yet Striking: 5 Understated Ways to Use Wallpaper | Apartment Therapy.

Thinking and thinking better about scarcity (time, money, love, etc.)

We all suffer from scarcity. If you are poor, this is a given. But there are other types of scarcity too, including scarcity of time and even scarcity of affection. Regardless of the form it comes in, it affects you in ways you might not expect and prevents you from making the better choices. This book, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, explorers scarcity from all these angles, and it made me realize the effect scarcity has on me. People think they can rationalize in the face of scarcity, but as the authors argue, it is much harder to do than we think. I highly recommend it. (It comes across as a book in the business book genre, but it is much better than that.)

Part of the problem resulting from dealing with scarcity is that we adopt a scarcity mindset. I do that sometimes, either by choice or out of ignorance. (e.g. “You mean I have many choices? I thought I had only one choice?” If you ask yourself questions like that, you may have a scarcity mindset.) It would help if there were ways to dealing with this.

One way of dealing with it is in this article: From the Scarcity Mindset to the Abundance Mindset at The Simple Dollar. It gives you some ways to avoid the scarcity mindset and move towards a mindset of abundance. Try the article: you’ll be surprised, I believe, just how often you assume a mindset of scarcity. You will also have to work at having a mindset of abundance, but it is worth the effort.

Finally, I don’t mean to trivialize people’s real needs and lack of resources they have to fill them. I do think we often make matters worse because of the way we think about what we have and what we could have. This book and this article can help with this.

You can get the book from book sellers like indigo.ca.

How to give a great — exceptionally great — presentation?

Follow the steps that Marc Ensign outlines here: The Tale of Inspiration, Perspiration, Preparation and Celebration.

I am convinced that people who give a great presentation do it because they put this much into the presentation. For people who give so-so to good presentations, including myself, you likely just manage to get it done. For people who give great presentations, they do all the things that Marc outlines here.

If you are wondering is it worth it, I can say that it is. I have given a small number of really good presentations, and every time I have, they were good because I went through a process similar to Marc’s. What strikes me is that years later, I am still happy and proud to think of those talks that I gave.  That’s what makes me think it’s worth  doing all of the things that Marc talks about.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this advice and Marc’s piece. Bonus: he’s funny.

To know your name is to know your age

Well, not exactly. But as this article in fivethirtyeight.com shows, if you do know someone’s name and that’s all you have to go on, you can go along way to guessing their age.