Archives for July 2011

Is It Always Good to Get What You Want?

You can personalise everything these days: music, tv programmes, films, ringtones, news stories… you need never read a word, see an image or hear a sound that you are not interested in or entertained by. But is that necessarily a good thing? To only be exposed to what you like?

I'm of the generation brought up in the UK with only three tv channels and limited radio programmes ( like Pick of the Pops and Two Way Family Favourites!). No internet. No 24 hour rolling news. What that meant was that in order to get to the 'good' bits, you had to be exposed to the stuff that you did not necessarily like.

That did two things. It made you even happier to hear your favourite song when you had waited a long time for it  - something like appreciating the sunshine more because of the rain if you know what I mean – and it exposed you to a variety of material that you would not have come across by choice. Some of that material would never be of interest (nothing could persuade me to like brass bands or Highland dancing), but some lingered and developed into a curiosity and then a genuine love.

Only giving people what they like is short sighted.  It doesn't allow for changes of taste or the possibility of persuasion, the chance spark of curiosity that could ignite a passion of interest. It is narrow and inward looking. It stifles imagination and weakens willpower.  

I guess things have gone too far now and it's a genie that can't be put back in the bottle. Personalised everything is here to stay. I just hope that sometimes people choose randomness and surprises instead of their tried and tested favourites, because it's  only then that you find out what you really like.

Six Ways to Speed Up Your PC

Sometimes my PC is so slow it drives me up several walls. I want to write and it freezes up. Over the years I have picked up a few tips and tricks about freeing up space and improving performance. Last week a friend emailed me to ask for help with her PC and I fired off an email to her with the ideas below. it then occurred to me that it might help others too, so here's what I wrote:


1 Start with your web browser. (I use three browsers  Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox). Open the browser, then tools and then delete all temporary files and cached stuff, cookies etc. 
 
2 Go to the desktop menu and go to 'Find' a file. Open the page and where it says 'insert name of file' cut and paste this exactly:
*.tmp,*.chk,~*.*
 
Look in hard disc C and then press advanced options and tick 'include hidden files', files of the system and temporary files. Then click "find".
 
It should come up with a very long list. Delete all the files you can. You can leave the ones you're not sure of.
 
3 Empty your trash file.
 
4 Delete all unwanted emails and empty the email trash file.
 
5 Delete all unwanted programmes by going to control panel : add/delete software and then go through and see what you don't use. Only delete what you are sure of.
 
6. Defrag your hard drive. Go to START – PROGRAMMES – ACCESSORIES _ SYSTEM UTILITIES –  DISC FRAGMENTATION UTILITY
 
This can take a bit of time so best do it when you're not busy.
 
Of course you can also buy software that helps you with this, but I always think with a little effort you can do quite a few things yourself on the computer!

 

Ten Ways to Get in a Good Mood!

 Having just come back from quite a difficult trip to the UK I find myself tetchy and  too hot as it's 33 degrees C here in la bella Italia!

 It's all too easy to get into a spiral of negative thinking and general grouchiness. So if you are feeling the same then here are some tips to help you out of the Slough of Despond!

1 Be Grateful. It sounds trite and simplistic, but it's been scientifically proven that regularly practising gratitude really works on all kinds of things including improved heart function and alertness. Take a look at a hugely popular site Three Beautiful Things and do likewise.

2 Have a Laugh. Personally I watch Youtube videos of Michael McIntyre, but the blog Pitching the World also has me crying with laughter. Read it from the very beginning to get the full experience. Ostensibly it's about a journalist who decides to pitch to all the magazines in the Artists and Writers Yearbook, but that isn't even the half of it… 

3 Finish Something. A tapestry,  a shed, a novel. If it's undone, then complete it. You'll feel absurdly proud of yourself.

4 Walk. Yes, take your sorry self out into the great wilderness and walk around a bit. Exercise is very cheering.

5 Sing. Find some songs that take you back or lift you up and then sing your little heart out. Oh yeah!

6 Shop at Your House. This is weird but very satisfying. When you get the urge to go out and buy something to cheer yourself up, stop.  Mindless purchases are not the answer you know! Why not try 'shopping' for it in your own attic, garage or  cellar? A rummage through your old stuff is a great mood changer.

7 Change something. Paint a room or cover a sofa. Add accessories from your 'shop' above!

8 Get Inspired. There are some really uplifting videos on Youtube or Ted Talks to shake you out of the blackest of moods. Try this one. No Arms, No Legs, No Worries. Or this one: Looking Past Limits.

9 Learn Something New. But not if involves buying a lot of stuff. (I'm on a bit of an 'Enough' kick this week as you can see!) Learning is part of our DNA and also comes in useful when conversation flags at parties.  Try  'Did you know I can find water with coathangers?' as an opening line.

10 Write. It has to be there on the list, doesn't it? You'll feel so much better when you have stopped worrying and spent a minute, an hour or a day creating a poem or a journal, a story or an article. Words equal immortality after all!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? THERE'S PLENTY MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM! READ MY CREATIVITY 101 SERIES HERE.

If you would like me to write for you, then why not CONTACT ME today?