Make Your Bed Every Morning

(credit: Vania W. via Flickr)

(credit: Vania W. via Flickr)

I make my bed every morning. It takes me less than a minute, but it’s one of the most important things I do each day. I do this simple task as soon as I get up. I straighten the sheets, tuck in the corners, pull up the duvet, and then add the pillows. Voila, all is order and I’m ready to start my day.

Why do I think making the bed is so important? Good question.

Making the bed each morning teaches me to be consistent, set boundaries, and create order. Let me explain.

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Make Customers Feel Special

(credit: Paul Swansen via Flickr)

(credit: Paul Swansen via Flickr)

We all want to feel special, especially if we’re spending money for something, but that’s not happening much anymore.

Buying things, even those we really want, can be stressful, over complicated, and irritating. I just had a painful experience with an insurance company. What should have been an easy process was so ineptly handled, I lost my patience.

Scripts and cheery greetings aside — “What may I have the pleasure of helping you with today?” Argh — the execution was so inept, it was frightening. These people were servicing an insurance company!

I wasn’t asking for a claim, I was just trying to buy the policy. Let’s hope I never have a claim — imagine what that will be like.

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Do Away With the Drama

(credit: Keith Allison via Flickr)

(credit: Keith Allison via Flickr)

Other than Jeopardy, a couple of shows on HGTV comprise the only commercial TV I watch because, to me, commercial TV is not only a huge waste of time and energy, but actually can make me sick — and being healthy is critically important to me.

BBC America used to have some good programming — but, alas, no more.

I remember when A&E and Bravo aired great TV. That was years ago. Now most of the offerings are drivel.

I still watch House Hunters International, but the other shows on HGTV are so absurdly scripted and formulaic that they’re unwatchable.

The contrived drama would be amusing — do these people never learn from their experiences — if it wasn’t so trite. I’ve only had cable TV for the one month I’ve lived in my new home, but it’s on its way out of here. It’s way too expensive and the offerings are just awful.

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Perfect Attendance

(credit: Curt Smith via Flickr)

(credit: Curt Smith via Flickr)

When I was a youngster, students with perfect attendance for the year were named in the local newspaper and most every year my name was on the list.

At the time I actually thought it was rather silly and joked that my one award in high school was perfect attendance. But later I realized it wasn’t as silly as I thought then… and maybe it was just the right award for me.

Getting up, getting ready, and going to school each day was assumed in my family. I can’t even imagine not having done that, or making excuses to my parents to avoid school, or pretending to be sick when I wasn’t, or even imagining reasons for not going to school.

I found out later that in some families kids could decide they didn’t want to go to school that day for no reason, and it was OK. Even today I find that appalling and rather sad.

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Give Up Fear

(credit: dryhead via Flickr)

(credit: dryhead via Flickr)

I get emails from Oprah each day and the headline in today’s email was Dr Phil espousing that fear was the worse “four-letter F” word. I rarely pay attention to the articles — not because what they write doesn’t have value — but often it’s trite and obvious.

But then so is the notion that fear is bad.

Fear IS bad for you. But our culture is programmed to keep us fearful in every aspect of our lives. Fearful people rarely step outside the line.

When I was much younger and making my way in the world, it seems like life offered many more possibilities and was safer. (I write about this in “How I Became an Improbable Millionaire.”) While lots of “improbable” things happened to me along the way, there was so much more opportunity that I could tap into then exists as readily today.

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