Posts Tagged ‘Today’s’

The morning started out like every other morning, nothing different… the same ole blues, moaning about being tired and oh me another day. Quickly, well for me it was quickly, I put on my clothes and headed up stairs for the only good thing about a day, coffee. I filled my cup, sat in my chair and did what I do every day, glared out the window at another ugly day.

The above paragraph used to be my life but something changed. Depression had me wrapped up in a dark world of nothingness for many years. Today I am free. Today, and just for this day I don’t live in the dark world of depression. For years the, good ole doctors experiment with different drugs, different treatments, hospitalization after hospitalization but nothing seem to provide a lasting cure for my deep feelings of sadness and hatred of life.

I remember thinking God didn’t love me or even have time to listen to me. I did believe He existed but I believed He didn’t have much to do with those exiled to earth. I tried God on many occasion but that didn’t seem to help. What was I to do? I hate life and I had tried suicide more than once and that didn’t even work so what was I to do.

The solution wasn’t more medication or adding a different pills to the existing pills I was taking. Neither was it more group therapy, or reading positive affirmations every morning… though all this helped it wasn’t the answer.

Today, I started my morning the same way. I started my morning in the days of my deepest depression. I quickly put on my clothes moaned, yes I still moan about being tired. I headed up stairs for my cup of coffee, sat down in the same chair and stared out the same window but this time I saw the green leaves on the beautiful trees. Wow, what a difference; for three years, for the most part, I have been depression free. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments where the blues creep in but it is so different. I am free from all the medicine I used to take and I even exercise a bit. I work all day long and I am happy, for the most part.

Depression free is simply but it takes work. If it wasn’t simply I wouldn’t be free. If it didn’t take work on my part I would not be free. For me the combination of faith and work has been the simple solution.

I am going to list a few things I do on a daily basis that worked for me today. First, I pray when I sit down in my chair. I have developed a real faith in God’s power to set me free. I also make the decision to see the green in the trees and focus only on the good not the bad. I don’t devaluate anything, especially myself. I am a nice person and a good person. Depression in most cases, at least for me, came from three unhealthy thoughts or ideas. One, I was a bad person. Oh no, I am a good person. I might do a few bad things now and then but my heart has been changed by the power of a living God. Next, I don’t look at the future in a negative light. Depression says, “The future is hopeless.” No it isn’t. God has my future in His hands and I trust Him to do the right thing. Another thing or thought I had to change was about this day. I used to tell myself that today was horrible and it would never change. Wrong, this is a great day and I will live it to the fullest.

In reviewing my part in living a relatively depression free life I have to include a little exercise, no alcohol and the willingness to keep getting up in the morning and changing my thoughts. I also would include putting on my clothes, sitting in my chair, drinking my coffee, and looking out the window with the hope of; the hope…let me repeat that word, the hope of living one more day depression free. In addition, I must conclude that I owe my freedom to direct intervention from God. I know that sounds too simply but it is working and I pray it continues to work. I don’t care to live in the dark world and I don’t have to.

If you are suffering from depression, I hope you find the way out. You must never give up and believe me, suicide is never the answer. If you feel like you want to hurt yourself or anyone else, dial 911 and ask for help or call your doctor. I had to do that many times and it kept me from doing what I really didn’t want to do, die depressed.

Dr Bob Wilkerson is author of the book, “I Will Not Be Defeated Anymore”. He is dedicated to helping others recover from life altering circumstances. Dr. Bob is a motivational speaker/singer with a true life story of God’s power to change any individuals life. If you would like more information go to http://www.freewebs.com/bobwilkerson

Changing consumer behavior is being attributed, in large part to new consumer values. The emerging narrative is, quite literally, taking over the conversation between consumers and corporations trying to catch their attention. We are all familiar with the themes. Green, sustainable, community, connection, consciousness, globalism and so on. Sounds like we can all congratulate ourselves on being a more enlightened people but I’m having a hard time swallowing it.

What are these new values and what relationship do they really have with how we spend our money and develop brand loyalty? I think that values are self defined, self endowed virtues that we use to positively interpret our own behavior. Badges, as it were, invented by our aspirations and pinned, by our ego’s, onto our identities where they shine for all the world to see. The gap between the energy we are prepared to invest in defending our values and the effort we make actually employing them is so broad as to make it clear that values are both deeply important to us yet entirely optional from a practical standpoint. They are permissive and don’t carry the performance requirements of, say, principles which must always be applied to hold true. On a list of needs to wants, values would fall into the “nice to have” section.

By way of illustration, as if a good hard look at all of our own personal lives wasn’t enough, consider how enraptured we are with stories of self sacrifice and lofty deeds. This is because they are the heroic tales of values actually winning out over self interest and that is rare indeed. Values allow us to positively interpret our self interested behavior so it is no surprise that they have come to dominate the narrative between business and the consumer. What is surprising however is that more people don’t recognize that this narrative is somewhat of a “tea party conversation” that skirts the real, if less flattering, motivations behind our choices. That does not make the narrative any less useful as it pertains to branding, marketing and communications in general, but it does mean that it is only part of the picture. It makes sense for corporations to fill in the blanks if they want to address the real concerns and motivations of their customers.
So what are consumers experiencing right now? How do they feel and what are their new values an expression of? What do they need or want to hear from business to address the actuality of their lives in these highly volatile and transitional times? There are no definitive answers to these questions but they are the questions that companies need to be asking themselves if they want to engage in the values narrative with consumers in a way that also connects with their stronger, more basic motivations.

I think the values that are emerging are all, ultimately, based on a nation wide sense of uncertainty. To put it bluntly; Fear. Fear of what exactly? Grossly simplified; fear of scarcity and fear of threat. Scarcity (or the recognition of it, despite being the first law of economics, has only very recently shown up in the American consumer psyche. For the first time we are realizing that our consumption habits are unsustainable and do not support our long term, or even sort term, well being. Realization did not come in the form of enlightenment but in the growing cost of, food, fuel, housing and so on. The impact of climate change, water and air pollution and the growing prevalence of things like asthma, autism, allergies and so on in our kids has strengthened our grasp on the concept of scarcity. Our rational response is to conserve and ration. The value system that validates that behavior is environmentalism and sustainability. The values are very real but they are not our primary motivator. We are, on a much more primitive level, afraid of running out of the things that we rely on.

The second set of values are based are a response to perceived threat. A convergence of events has made us feel exposed and vulnerable. We have come under attack and lost our sense of security within our boarders. We have had to relinquish the moral high ground and seen our economic superiority threatened by the rise of India and China. Our economy went from very strong to very weak in an extraordinarily short period of time to the very real economic detriment of millions of Americans. Our, once again, completely rational response is to develop somewhat of a wartime mentality. To gather together and form communities. To be more tolerant and less arrogant towards our neighbors whose strength is growing relative to our own. The primary motivator is fear and the value system that it represents is all about relationships, engagement, diplomacy, tolerance, community, connectedness and globalization. Probably the best expression of this shift is the election of Barack Obama to be President. We put aside old prejudices and a value system structured around superiority and replaced it with one that fits better with conditions over which we have no control and no choice but to adapt.

So in conclusion, I would suggest that changing consumer values are the symptom and not the cause of changing economic, social and environmental conditions. Corporations seeking to connect with consumers today should absolutely engage in the values narrative but should do so with the understanding that it is the result of what amounts to fear and insecurity. How do you talk to a consumer who is fearful and insecure? You have the conversation with them about values that they want to have because it makes them feel comfortable and virtuous. You also acknowledge, explicitly or implicitly, the actuality of their experience and the challenges that they are facing. Without that, the narrative around values remains vaguely insubstantial and somehow fails to get to the heart of the matter.

Written by Sara Batterby
Brand and Messaging Strategist
http://www.akelventures.com

If you own a laptop computer, chances are very very good that it is probably powered by a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. This battery type has found application in a wide variety of consumer electronics, including PDAs and cell phones. They have gained widespread popularity due to economic and technical reasons, particularly their high charge to weight ratio.

Lithium-ion batteries have replaced the nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries that were first used to power laptop computers and the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries that superseded the NiCd laptop battery technology. They have dominated today’s rechargeable battery market for laptop computers because they are much lighter than the other types of laptop batteries, they retain their charge longer than the other technologies and because they do not suffer from the memory effect phenomenon. A typical lithium-ion battery has two times the energy density of a standard nickel cadmium battery. Additionally, lithium-ion batteries have a single cell voltage of 3.6 volts as compared to 1.2 volts per cell of nickel-cadmium batteries.

However, the disadvantages associated with lithium-ion batteries include: the possibility that a failed battery pack can ignite under adverse conditions, they are more sensitive to high temperature environments than the other battery technologies in their ability to retain their charge, they may fail if they are completely discharged, and the inherit chemistry of the battery leads to degradation with age as opposed to the stronger correlation between battery failures and charge/discharge cycles of the older battery chemistries. Lithium-ion computer batteries also require that protection circuitry be incorporated into the battery pack to monitor the battery charge and to provide safe voltage and current levels, as well as ensuring that the temperature of the battery remains in a safe operating range.

Cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells are generally tubular in shape, much like the shape of standard alkaline batteries. Several cells are enclosed in a plastic housing and the individual cells are connected in a manner to provide the proper output voltage and to maximize storage capacity (rated in milliamp-hours). Prismatic shaped lithium-ion cells are also available, but they are much smaller and are typically used in devices such as cell phones where weight and space is a prime consideration.

There are several things that affect the life of a lithium-ion laptop battery. Battery degradation is hastened by heat, so storing the battery in a cool environment will prolong its life. Manufacturers typically recommend a storage temperature of approximately 60°F for the long-term storage of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries, as stated previously, do not retain a memory from partial discharge cycles, so full discharge cycles are not required. In fact, partial cycling of the battery will help extend its life. Lithium-ion batteries do have a limited lifetime like the older battery technologies, but this is relatively independent of their charging cycles and is chiefly related to their age. A typical battery will last only 2 to 3 years. This is true even if the battery remains unused so it is important not to purchase a replacement laptop battery until it is ready to be put into service.

The author has established a website for replacement laptop batteries that provides tips and buying advice regarding cheap laptop batteries. An in-depth article on laptop battery ratings discusses the voltage and milliamp-hours specifications that are two of the chief considerations in the choice of a replacement laptop battery.