The theme for 2018 is… FLUSH!

Toxic Termination Techniques – An Occasional Series

1. Flush

Warning: those of a sensitive disposition might find this technique somewhat indelicate and unconscionable.

Getting a toxic person (hereafter referred to as ToXiC) out of your life can be challenging and time consuming. Sometimes the process works at a number of different levels. You need to discharge them both physically (you no longer want them around you) and psychologically (you don’t even want to think about them).

Telling them to go (and keeping them out of your life) is one part of the complex equation. Getting them out of your head, especially if they’ve had residence there for too long, might require additional focus and determination.

Here’s one short, sharp technique that you might find handy as part of your anti-ToXiC armamentarium. It’s especially useful if your ToXiC is a water sign, though it will work well with all the other elements.

It requires minimal planning and can be wonderfully spontaneous and exhilarating, a complete release of unwanted energy and weight. A bit like if the ToXiC says they want to lose a couple of stone of ugly fat (they usually want you to disagree with them if they are fishing for compliments) and the word decapitation spontaneously forms in your mind.  Or you can do a minimal amount of planning to add to the finality. You could think of it as an exercise in banishing or even exorcism if you see them as being a bit like Pazuzu.

A seven step programme follows, but you can omit the more obvious steps if you have the urge to perform this technique immediately after reading this article. Hell, you might want to reread the article during the performance. It really is that simple, and maps on to your daily activities, so you don’t really need to make time for it or inconvenience yourself in any way.

The chosen venue is a comfortable and well appointed water closet.

This can be in your house, a friend’s dojo, a public building, office, college, restaurant etc. A conventional or squat toilet works fine, an outside latrine is recommended for those who prefer to perform such activities al fresco and synchronise their bowel movements with the eternal rhythms of nature.
If you are into ecology, a lavatory that converts your waste product to humanure is a rather fine choice as the malodorous ToXiC ordure is employed for a useful purpose – to grow things that look or taste nice and sustain life (unlike the ToXiC, you might cynically think).
Alchemists attempted to transmute base substances into gold, so if you are of a metaphysical persuasion, this might work for you.

Methodology:

1. Approach the toilet with a feeling of expectation and a pleasant experience. If you have had a large or spicy meal (curry or chilli con carne for example) that suddenly requires a rapid and immediate voiding, all the better. You may wish to have the toilet roll ready in the fridge if the food was especially hot. Ensure the extraction fan is on and suggest to subsequent users that leave it for at least ten minutes before using the facilities.

2. Perform the required defecatory action and visualise the ToXiC being expelled from your mind and body.

3. Relish each bowel movement as if you are conducting a symphony, appreciate each splish and splash as route marks on the journey to getting rid of your ToXiC. You can emit a series of ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’, if the auditory urge takes you.

4. If you are summoned by the creative muse, write the name of the ToXiC on the lavatory paper you will be using to complete the paperwork part of the process. You might even draw a little picture or cartoon of them.

5. If the ToXiC has previously gifted you something that is water soluble and won’t block the system, you may consider adding this libation like prior to the final movement.

6. Once the evacuation is complete, perform the clean up operation diligently and thoroughly. Examine the contents of the bowl if that is your thing.

7. Flush – visualise the ToXiC being flushed away, never to be seen again. Say, ‘ToXiC begone’ or ‘hasta la vista’ at the sound of the final flush. You might want to do this under your breath if someone is waiting. This is the ToXiC’s death rattle. You may finish off by adding some Ajax to the bowl to make it more pleasant for the next user. You could see this as sprinkling salt on the remains of a burnt down haunted house, if you wish to add a dramatic flourish.

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Another clue

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A clue to this year’s theme

polar bear cartoon

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Top Ten Resolutions You Need To Make In Order To Fast-track Your Career

This is an article that I wrote twelve years ago but which is just as valid now as it was then, so I’m republishing it here for those of you who might find it useful.

Top Ten Resolutions You Need To Make In Order To Fast-track Your Career

It’s that time of year again when we have to reevaluate our jobs, determine what our next move will be and where we want to go next. The holiday season allows us to reminisce and think about everything from our family, to our pet dog, to our job.

Whether your resolution for the upcoming year is to land yourself that well deserved raise/mega bonus, get that coveted corporate parking spot or boldly become the company’s next CEO, you need to come up with a killer strategy. Now’s the time to make a promise to yourself… and actually keep it.

While it’s extremely tempting to wallow in cynicism and just see the New Year as yet another rendition of half-hearted resolutions doomed to failure, you should make this your chance to get things done. Following is a list of career resolutions that have probably been trotting in your mind for the past 365 days, and that should now acted upon.

1.    Re-evaluate your career.

This one really should top your list. Before you vow to make any other changes or improvements, you should sit back and take a look at your present career situation. In order to learn where you’ll be happiest, take this opportunity get to know yourself. Take some time to assess your skills, aptitudes, likes and dislikes.  If this exercise makes you feel as if you are a square peg in a round hole, sit down and draw up a strategy to land yourself a new job. Do remember to be realistic as having goals and aspirations is a great tool in itself, but with limitations. Setting unrealistic goals and aiming too high can often result in a crash landing after continuous failures to meet your objectives. So aim for the sky, but don’t expect to reach it right away.

2.    Continue to improve yourself.

This can mean different things, from continuing your education to keeping up-to-date with the latest news in your industry. Keeping on top of what’s going on in your industry is vital to furthering your career, but we often don’t take the time to do this. This New Year, resolve to read professional publications or attend conferences or workshops in your field. Check out the business section of newspapers and magazines. They are filled with information about new trends. Another good way is to learn a new language. Especially if you wish to take on a new position with an international feel, requiring travelling and much socialising with other cultures.

3.    Manage your time.

After the busy holiday season it will probably become painfully apparent that you need to learn to schedule your time and develop methods to become more efficient. So, add this task to your resolutions for the new millennium. Think about what you want to get done. Sit down in a quiet moment and make a list of all the things you want to get done this year. The list can serve as a motivational tool that will keep you focused when you feel blurry about where you want to go next professionally. In others words, don’t waste your time and energy chasing an internal promotion, if you plan on moving to another city and starting over.

4.    Put the extra effort into your work

Even if we always say we do our best at work, this might not always be the case. So why not spend those extra hours working late on those projects your boss needs done by the end of the week? This doesn’t mean cramming more work onto your already full plate, but rather taking initiative and doing something extra. The added benefit is that it will make you feel good and proactive, and your boss is likely to notice your hard work, especially in this festive time of year.

5.    Listen to feedback, learn from experience and maintain your reputation.

This year, make a vow to listen to what people at work are saying to you. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about how people perceive you. Then work to make changes or–if the feedback is very positive–keep doing what you are doing. Also, try to learn how to take feedback, is not as easy as it seems. If the feedback is positive, accept it by replying with a simple ‘thank you.’ if the feedback is negative remember not to become defensive. Hear it out. If you believe the feedback is not accurate, ask for examples. If you see it as legitimate, respond with appreciation for having this pointed out to you. If you disagree with it, calmly and confidently state your position. Don’t argue or become upset. A reputation can take a lifetime to build yet mere moments to destroy.

6.    Establish your worth.

You only need to do this every few months, and the New Year is the perfect time to benchmark your worth. Once you do it, you will be able to determine how it is changing and what you need to do to grow it. Research into similar positions in your own company, or a related one, will quickly reveal the financial worth of your own position. Don’t forget to factor in the length of time that you have been with your current employer. This is a frequently overlooked value in spite of most us understanding the core reasons for staff retention initiatives. When you realise that your worth gives you favour in the eyes of your employer, you might be able to negotiate a raise or a more advanced position.

7.    Build good relationships with other professionals or network, network, network

The holiday season is the perfect time to build and nurture relationships. So why not extend this and make it one of your career resolutions? Remember, though, to be supportive and open with those you work with, and never spread rumours or gossip.

Make an effort to network with other professionals outside your company. This is probably the essence of marketing yourself as a professional asset. No matter how many people you meet, conferences you attend, or business luncheons you make fashionably late appearances to, you can always do more. But remember to follow through on your leads by calling them up and asking for information on some topics. It’s important to ask for advice rather than for a job. Don’t forget this. You would much rather help out a fellow individual that requested some info about a position, rather than simply begged for a job. In order to become an excellent networker you need to:

8.    Work on your people skills.

Building relationships may also require you to work on your people skills. While this would make a book in itself, I’ll restrict myself to giving you a few very basic tools. Those of you who are salespeople may find this a little too basic, if so please move on to the next paragraph! Be known for your firm handshake and smile. Warmly and sincerely greet people you see every day, only occasionally, or think you may never see again. Learn to be assertive and open as being assertive is a healthy, positive reaction to any situation. This attitude is respectful both to yourself and to those around you. It lets you state your needs and thoughts on an ongoing basis without offence while allowing others to do the same. It creates an environment of trust and respect.

9.    Keep an up-to-date resume on standby and go for interviews occasionally…

Although you should be extremely discreet about it, keeping your options open is the best career move you could make — even if it’s just to hone your interview skills and practice your impromptu responses.  As for the resume part – remember that, even as you’re being hired and things seem to be going well, you never now when you’ll find yourself out of a job, so doing an annual or biannual touch up of your curriculum vitae is a great initiative.

Working on your c.v. when you lose your job is probably not the best time to do so, especially when you should be out there applying for new positions. You can also make an extra list of your accomplishments for yourself, so as to keep a running tab on what you have been accomplishing over the last year; good and bad. If nothing else this list will make great ammo when it comes to asking for that pay rise and a superb confidence booster too. If your accomplishments look at little lacklustre then at least you’ll be alerted to the need to take a little corrective action.

10. Get a life

What, I hear you say, what on earth has that got to do with career resolutions? Everything – balance is essential to a person’s well being. I’m not talking about dividing your time equally between friends, family and work etc, merely saying that if your satisfaction levels are high (preferably equal) for each area of your you’re your far more likely to be happy and productive.

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For those of you planning a leap this year!

For those of you planning a leap this year!

Thinking About It

Hitting the Heights

Taking Action

Hitting the Heights

Success

Hitting the Heights

Final Step (for cats only!)

Summon cat serf to get you down from roof!

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Ram Cat’s New Year Resolution

Allow cat serf to groom me!

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Motivation, Motivation And Motivation – Compilation Posts

Motivation, Motivation And Motivation – Compilation Posts

Realtors and estate agents always talk about location, location and location when it comes to property values. When it comes to likelihood of success I tend to talk about motivation, motivation and motivation. So with this in mind I’ve done a compilation post on how the different Sun signs can keep themselves motivated with the proviso that keeping yourself motivated is rather easier if you pick the right goals!

Sun Sign Motivation

Aries And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re An  Aries

Taurus And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Taurus

Gemini And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Gemini

Cancer And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Cancer

Leo And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Leo

Virgo And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Virgo

Libra And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Libra

Scorpio And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Scorpio

Sagittarius And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Sagittarius

Capricorn And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Capricorn

Aquarius And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re An Aquarius

Pisces And Motivation – How To Keep Motivated If You’re A Pisces

Bonus Posts

Elements

Earth Signs And Motivation

Air Signs And Motivation

Fire signs and Motivation

Water Signs And Motivation

Qualities

Cardinal Signs And Motivation

Fixed Signs And Motivation

Mutable Signs And Motivation

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One for New Year’s Eve

dead mouse cartoon

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Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might The Different Star Signs Regret?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might The Different Star Signs Regret?

While many people will be partying on and welcoming in the New Year in a hedonistic fashion others will be brooding on past mistakes and vowing never to make them again. They may even be wondering how to put things right, if this is indeed possible.

If each of the Star Signs were to brood on past mistakes what, if anything, might they be brooding on?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might Aries and Taurus Regret?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might Gemini and Cancer Regret?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might Leo and Virgo Regret?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might Libra and Scorpio Regret?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might Sagittarius and Capricorn Regret?

Regrets, I’ve had a few … What Might Aquarius and Pisces Regret?

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Caturday – the interior designer takes a well earned rest!

Caturday – the interior designer takes a well earned rest!

We’ve given up on getting it repaired as he just trashes it!

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