What's Important Now? Get the WINning Edge

Comments (20)

What's Important Now? Get the WINning Edge

By: Kathy Paauw

"I thank God I live in a country where dreams can come true, where failure is sometimes the first step to success, and where success is only another form of failure if we forget where our priorities should be."

- Harry Lloyd

Over the past decade I have noticed an increase in the number of clients who report that they have ADD -- Attention Deficit Disorder. Although some have been officially diagnosed with this disorder by a medical professional, I suspect that others have read about ADD and identify with one of the key indicators: difficulty maintaining focus. We have so much stimulation around us that it becomes difficult not to get distracted. I wonder how many people truly have ADD and how many simply lose focus because they're feeling pulled in too many different directions.

As a productivity consultant and a life coach, I don't get hung up on the labels. (That's not to suggest that I make light of this diagnosis, as I know that ADD can create tremendous challenges for some.) Whether you have ADD or not, I'll bet there are times when you feel unfocused and off purpose. I certainly do!

I have incorporated two acronyms into my life that help keep me on purpose.

* WIN: What's Important Now? It's amazing how asking such a simple question can help when you're feeling overwhelmed and unfocused. Another version of this question that I sometimes ask myself is, If I say yes to this, what will I be saying no to? Asking these questions help me snap my focus back on what's most important.

* ERO: When I feel out of control or like a victim, I think about this powerful equation:

E + R = O (Event + Response = Outcome)

Although I was never very good at math, I do remember that what precedes the equal sign is called a variable, and what follows the equal sign is called the quotient. In order to change the quotient (the Outcome), you must change a variable. Often you cannot change one of the variables -- an Event that happens in your life -- but you can choose your Response to that Event. By choosing your Response, you will affect the Outcome.

These two acronyms are related to each other by one factor; they both require self-management.

Principles of Self-Management

"In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves...self-discipline with all of them came first."

-- Harry S Truman

Valentine's Day is around the corner. It's a bittersweet day for me; 24 years ago my father had a heart attack and died on that day. He was 47 years old. He did not practice self-care very well - a factor that contributed to his untimely death. For me, Valentine's Day serves as an important reminder to practice three fundamental principles of self-management: (1) Focus on what you want; (2) know yourself well; and (3) create structures to support you.

1. Focus on what you want.

"The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions."

-- Alfred Lord Tennyson

There are three elements to consider when thinking about what you really want in your life:

  • Your Purpose - the core of who you are and what you uniquely have to offer.

  • Your Vision- a compelling image of an achievable future.

  • Your Mission- what you will do to perpetuate your vision.

    The clearer your vision, the greater your chances of achieving your goals. Having a clear vision and purpose will also keep you in touch with the motivation behind your goals, which is essential for sticking to any plan. (For more about motivation, read Getting Motivated to Get Organized.) Here are some top New Year's resolutions and examples of how you could visualize them more clearly:

    • Lose Weight: In addition to imagining yourself thin, visualize having the energy to do an activity you've wanted to do for a long time, visualize attracting your ideal life partner, or whatever losing weight will enable you to do that you are not doing now.

    • Save Money: Visualize what you will be doing when you having enough money saved to achieve your long-term goals -- going on your dream vacation, living in your dream home, taking early retirement, taking a year off to work as a volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about, attending your kids' graduation from college, or whatever saving money represents for you.

    • Get Organized: Visualize yourself enjoying an environment and a schedule that enables you to work, play, and live exactly as you want to.

    When we focus on what we want, we are more likely to attract it into our lives. Rebecca Hanson, author of Law of Attraction for Business, describes the Universal Law of Attraction: "We attract whatever we choose to give our attention to -- whether wanted or unwanted. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions and moods emit vibrations (similar to sound waves) that draw to us people, places, things and events that match our own vibrations." If you can't relate to the idea that you 'put out vibes,' perhaps it's easier to imagine how you regularly signal others thorugh your own body language and demeanor.

    Here's a perfect example. My friend and colleague, Patty, shops at the same grocery store all the time, and usually she is very warm and friendly with the employees. She may enter the store and hear them grumbling about how the management overworks them and never shows appreciation...but by the time Patty leaves, they have a smile on their faces and seem happy to be there. Their entire mood shifts when Patty shops there. Why? If you met Patty you'd know why. She's one of those "feel good" people to be around! I love spending time with her -- or even talking with her on the phone -- as she always lifts my spirits. Patty recently shared a story about how she was having an "off" day and was in a bad mood. That day as she entered the store, she was very quiet and did not smile. She ordered something from the deli. She recounted to me later, "The deli clerk filled my order, but he wanted to drop me like a hot rock...so unlike the way he usually is with me. He didn't smile or ask how my day was going, like he usually does." As she recalled this experience, Patty realized just how much her own signals and body language affected others.

    What are you visualizing? What are you giving your attention to? What vibes or signals are you emitting? Does this reflect what you want and choose to attract into your life? Whatever you focus on may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, do you know people who often say, "I always have the worst luck!"...and it seems like those people have a black cloud following them everywhere they go? Energy follows thought.

    For more information about the power of visualization, read the incredible story about Olympian Marilyn King in my article, Are You an Olympian Thinker?


    2. Know yourself well.

    "Self-disciplined begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don't control what you think, you can't control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward."

    -- Napoleon Hill

    Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral style. Do you tend to be an over-doer or an under-achiever? Are you more subjective or objective? Do you focus on the details or the big picture? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Assessment tools can help you learn more about your own behavioral style. You may also be interested in reading my article, Discovering Your Strengths.

    Beware of self-sabotage. You probably know yourself well enough to anticipate the pitfalls that could sabotage your best intentions. Example: you were doing great on your diet until your family started complaining about what you've been fixing for dinner. In frustration, you gave up and went back to your old meal preparation habits. To be more healthy and energetic, you'll need to make a fundamental choice to live as a healthy person would. You'll need to counter negative self-talk -- " Why bother to eat healthy when my family doesn't think it's important! " - with positive self-talk -- " I choose to be healthy, regardless of how my family feels. " Is your self-talk saying I should ... , I have to ... , or is it saying I choose to ... ?

    Don't let your emotions rule. This is where E + R = O becomes such a powerful tool to use! Do you allow your emotions to determine your commitment level to achieving your goal? Focus on what you want and choose ... not how you feel at the moment. Example: you've made a commitment to yourself to clear your desk before leaving the office each day ... and at the end of the day you feel really tired and not in the mood to put things away. You just want to get home, have dinner and relax. Here's how E + R = O works:

    Event: It's the end of a workday and your desk is a mess.

    Response #1: You decide to leave your desk the way it is and go home.

    Outcome: Tomorrow morning you come into your office and feel defeated before the workday even begins. As you look at what is on your desk, you feel overwhelmed, distracted, stressed and out of control.

    Event: It's the end of a workday and your desk is a mess.

    Response #2: You spend your last 10 minutes in the office filing things away and you drop the outgoing mail in a mailbox on your way home.

    Outcome: Tomorrow morning you come into your office and sit down at a clear desk. You spend the first few minutes planning how you will focus your energy and time for the day. You feel calm and in control.

    3. Create structures to support you.

    "We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."

    -- Anne Sophie Swetchine

    Have a Plan. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! If you focus on an entire project, it may feel too big and impossible to achieve. Break it down into smaller steps and create a schedule or timeline. In other words, eat one bite at a time. This will get you closer to your goal than all the best (but unrealized) intentions. Many people never get out of the starting gate or get stalled out in the early stages because the project or goal seems too big and unattainable.

    Build in feedback, encouragement and accountability to help you stay on track. Develop whatever support systems you need to achieve your goals. My own life coach serves as a great support to me. Once a week we meet by phone and I have an opportunity to receive feedback and encouragement. I also use the time for accountability check-ins. When things don't go as I wanted them to, my coach provides a safe, non-judgmental environment to examine what happened and harvest the learning that I gained from the experience. Then I can try something different in the coming week, choose to postpone or delegate it, or determine that I am not committed to doing it so I can move on to something else.

    Identify structures you need in place to keep you on target. For example, weekly meal planning may provide the structure you need to ensure that you have healthy and nutritious food on hand to choose from. If " getting organized " is one of your New Year's resolutions, read about some of the tools I recommended in my article last month at http://www.orgcoach.net/newsletter/jan2005.html#tools

    About The Author

    This article was written by Kathy Paauw of Paauwerfully Organized. Kathy's web site offers a comprehensive resource devoted to helping busy professionals and small business owners de-clutter their schedules, spaces, and minds so they can focus on what's most important. Kathy is an organizing & productivity consultant, certified business & personal coach, and speaker. Contact her at mailto:kathy@orgcoach.net. For free resources and valuable productivity tools visit http://www.orgcoach.net.



NONAME 09.07.2008. 22:34

Has anyone ever actually won a football in the Mars promotion? I dont particularly eat a lot of chocolate,but every wrapper that my family or I open reveals a "sorry,no win this time".

Jeez! its only a football that probably has "Mars is delicious" stamped all over it.

What exactly is the rate of wins?

More important cutting edge questions coming soon.


Admin 09.07.2008. 22:34

No not won one. I could have bought a sport shop full of footballs the amount of mars bars i've eaten recently! I'm 32wks pregnant and LOVING mars bars xx


Joseph P 06.12.2008. 03:44

Why is controlling the clock so important in football? Why is controlling the clock so important in football?

Joseph P

Admin 06.12.2008. 03:44

All the things posted above me are true.

I'd put it this way.

The offense controls the clock. They determine when the play will start. A good QB will milk the play clock if his team is ahead, or rush the play if his team is behind on the scoreboard.

And, as long as the offense of one team has the ball and control of the clock, the other team can't score. The defense can call time outs, but that's limited to 3 per half.

Controlling the clock is not the same thing as having an edge in time of possession for a game. But controlling the clock when the game is on the line is often why a team wins.


Sting has come to save Y/A 20.01.2009. 19:36

Would you rather win the RoyalRumble or the MiTB ladder match? I know what your all thinking, the RoyalRumble, which gives you a shot at the Champ at Mania. But if you win the MiTB, you get a shot at the champ at anytime you want. Edge, & Punk capatalized on this before. So does this mean the MiTB is a more important match to win?

Sting has come to save Y/A

Admin 20.01.2009. 19:36

MiTB no question.
Because it is what it says it it.
Money in the Bank.

Only 70% on the RR winners have actually gone to WM and won a title.
All 4 guys who've Held/Won MiTB have cashed in and won world titles.

Winning the Rumble may be a higher honor , but MiTB is a sure thing.


The All American 12.05.2009. 00:12

If the Cold War war turned into a real war who do you think would win?How long would it last? I think if it did it would of gone from the 60's and ended somewhere in the 80's and that no one would have won and both would have had fallen and would be called different names today, what do you think?
I definitely think that Russia had the edge with artillery but America would have decimated with air power.

The All American

Admin 12.05.2009. 00:12

Well if you're talking no-nukes, then you're most likely correct at least on the air power thing. The US had and still has the most powerful Air Force in the world, and also a vastly superior Navy- we were able to keep tabs on the locations of almost every Soviet submarine because their "silent motors" were actually relatively easy to detect. Also, the technology comparison goes without saying that the US would win in a tank battle, as was proven in the 1991 Gulf War when Saddam's Russian-supplied T72 and T62 tanks were massacred by the Abrams used by the US.

Even with artillery, Russia wouldn't have had much if any dominance, and any batteries they had would've been crushed by the US Air Force and Navy before it could be deployed against ground troops.

Once again, it goes without saying that the US troops are much better trained, equipped and organized, while the Soviets relied on sheer numbers.

The time period is extremely important. Neither country would have started a war at least until the late 70s and early 80s, mainly because that period was when the US was considered weakest due to its failure to continue supporting South Vietnam and the economic problems of the Carter administration. However, the Soviets' embarassing defeat in their attempt to occupy Afghanistan crushed their world influence and was likely a notable reason the Cold War didn't break out.


Rachel 17.04.2008. 18:42

Do you think the Tag Team division has become less important over the years? Tag Team Titles used to be fought over in Ladder Matches and Table Matches. Now, they are won at house shows(London and Kendrick) and are barely defended. What happened to the good teams like Edge and Christian and the Hardys? How do you feel about this?

Bonus: If you could bring back one team from the past and have them win the Tag Titles, who would it be?


Admin 17.04.2008. 18:42

It really insane that they have done this to the tag team division. Tag teams has ALWAYS been really popular and have brought in a lot of money in merchendise. I dont get it, it blows my mind. Only reason I can think of is because wrestlers dont want to share the spot light anymore but I REALLY doubt thats it. There are plenty of wrestlers and tag teams that would love to bring tag teams back into the spot light. Just so you know, TNA has a deceant tag team division. LAX is insanly good and so are the Motorcity Machine Guns. Tomko and Aj are good and they also have Team 3D. The tag team division is not used very well, but at least they have one and they have really good tag teams. WWE is really lacking in this area.

I would bring back the Steiner Brothers. I really like their wrestling style and performace. Edge and Christian is a close second only because they are SOOOO freaking funny.


Travel Guy 14.12.2012. 18:12

What is a good place to get started to learn how to count cards? I do know the basics of coutning cards, but I heard there are different variations of it, and I want to know of any good websites/books I can read and learn it. I also wanted to know if it is possible to still count cards today? I see that a lot of casinos will have 6 or 8 decks of cards, but shuffle when there is 40% still left. Does this make counting cards no longer an edge?

Travel Guy

Admin 14.12.2012. 18:12

Good morning Travel Guy,

I hope you are having a good morning. I started counting cards in the early seventies (70?s). I HAVE NEVER LOSS PLAYING BLACKJACK.

I read a book by Professor Edward Thorp. Seven (7) of my friends read the book. We were all Stock Brokers in the same office. We practiced for about 2 months with nickels, dimes, and quarters. Then we flew to Las Vegas. All seven of us returned with extra money in our pockets. We got very very good and real serious. It was all a learning experience for us.

We started flying to Vegas every Tuesday and Thursday. It was easier to count on weekdays with less people at the table. VERY IMPORTANT, we also learned to play in pairs at a table. You will lose count. When this happens your partner can flash you the correct count.

Because of our full time jobs and counting cards as a part time job, three of the seven moved to Las Vegas. They all own very successful businesses with employees. I stopped working twenty (20) years ago.

From being on Yahoo Answers, I have learned that most people have NO idea what counting cards is about. Plus they are not serious. Counting cards is nothing more than straight basic Blackjack strategy. Counting cards is the money management part of the game. A player bets more when the deck is ?rich? (in your favor). It is that simple.

As for your question Travel Guy, casinos have done everything possible to take away the edge for a card counter. Casinos know that keeping an ACCURATE COUNT is the key for card counters. YES, breaking the deck at 40% is one method casinos use. In the past we beat casinos so bad, the pit boss would come over and tell the dealer to reshuffle after every deal. Yes, your edge is gone. Do not play at this table.

Secondly, because Vegas and other casinos use multiple (shoe) decks, the decks will only get "rich" (in your favor) about every third shuffle. The waiting time is way too long between the reshuffling of these multiple decks. The money is way too slow. This is the main reason card counting falls out of favor for new players. The combination of multiple decks and breaking off the decks at 40% leaves a player with NO edge.
Therefore, through the years I have learned, developed, modified, or added to my method of counting cards.

I live within driving distance of at least twenty casinos not including Las Vegas. I ONLY go to casinos that still have a few tables which use a single deck. The downfall is the casinos see you coming. Again in the past, I have been asked to LEAVE a few casinos.

My advice: Play blackjack and counting cards for the long haul. I do not try and win thousands every time I visit a casino. I settle between fifty to two thousand dollars (average approx. $500) at each visit. I have also learned to play a combination of counting cards and signs of hot and cold dealers. I ALWAYS watch for a ?cold dealer? before sitting at a table. If the dealer gets ?hot?, I collect my money and move on to another table or casino (if I am in Las Vegas), no harm and no foul.

Travel Guy, if you are serious, you must practice. You watch television at night, so do I. I watch television and continuously deal out blackjack hands at the same time. I concentrate on both the television program and the card count at the same time. The sounds from the room and the television help create a casino type environment. I have been doing this for YEARS. After dealing out half the deck, I can tell you every card that remains in a single deck. No one, especially Vegas, gives away money. You have to earn it.

I also guarantee that NO ONE, I repeat, I guarantee no one can count cards for more than 2 hours. Your mind turns to "mush" after two (2) hours of counting cards. I don?t care how good you are. I have been there many times.

Counting cards is not cheating nor is it illegal. Many people claim that counting cards does not work. Then why will casinos ban a card counter or tell, not ask, them to leave their casino?

Because of card counters, many casinos are spending millions to install continuous shuffling machines. These machines will make card counting useless.

I would recommend you learn the Hi-Lo system to start out. This system is easy to learn for a new player. After a few months you can learn a more advanced system. Sorry, I have not read a book about card counting in forty years. In fact, I could write my own ADVANCED book. The website below can get you started and maybe help you find a good book, ?buy a book?.


Card counting is not easy. A child can do it if they can count to ten (10). But you must learn to treat card counting as a part time JOB. I am always more than happy to share years and years of knowledge.

You and your family have a great weekend. Peace, from Los Angeles.


Matt Swagger aka Michael Kaid? 27.06.2009. 19:10

How much credibility has the wwe title lost since the world heavyweight championship was introduced? Okay once the whc got introduced that makes it two top prizes within the wwe that a wrestler can win now which means instead of having one world title reign you now have two at a time, so it makes it easier to win a world title now.

So how much credibility has the wwe title lost?

Matt Swagger aka Michael Kaid?

Admin 27.06.2009. 19:10

Credibility is not lost due to having more than one champion.....oh no credibility is lost due to poor booking. Such as the case of there being no actual advancement of talent in the promotion or brand if you will. Now how can the fans get excited about a title match if its going to be HHH vs Orton part 98347 or Cena vs jabronie or Batista vs HHH etc. There has to be buildup and excitement about the championship belt and the chase is the most important thing about gaining credibility. Now Smackdown has done a good job at this with the introduction of adding Jeff Hardy and CM Punk into the title chase and Edge as the top heel.

Raw has been nothing but Evolution guy vs Evolution guy for the past 4 years and if its not that its Cena vs somebody who doesn't belong in the main event.


IEgooner 26.10.2009. 18:03

So the all important pass to la liguilla for Chivas can come down to only one game? Chivas vs Atlas jornada 16 en juego de 6 puntos as they call it. Whoever wins that match might wrap up second place in group 2 and get an automatic pass to la liguilla. If it indeed comes down to that, who has the edge?

Serious answers from you chivistas pls... if your going to answer with an insult like fagista luis i suggest you dont cause i wont even look at it.


Admin 26.10.2009. 18:03

San Luis has a way better squad and is playing way better than Chivas and Atlas. dont be suprised that in the top 3 Queretaro will be involved 3-0 in their last 3 games, that's were Reinoso's work starts coming in and so is Isaac Romo


Lever 03.12.2010. 00:34

Should our military be funding for more powerful weapons than we already have? Is it important to keep up to date on the latest technologies in weaponry?


Admin 03.12.2010. 00:34

Our edge cannot be maintained by not modernizing our weapons, systems and tactics. China is building a massive offensive force including an enormous Blue Water Navy. They have a much larger population than we do so we can never match their numerical superiority. We have to have better weapons, systems and better trained personnel to use them.

It would make a lot more sense if Obama spent for new ships, planes and systems and raised the wages and benefits of troops than whatever he squandered the Stimulus funds on. It would have given us actual value for our money and created a load of American jobs. Remember, these things have to be manufactured right here in the USA for security reasons. That would have created ship building, airplane building, electronic systems building, engineering and assembly jobs. Work for programmers, test engineers and millions of tangential industries to support them.

The net result would be an increase in employment that could not be outsourced and had to be done by American Citizens who pass background checks. Increased employment for truckers, warehouse workers, electronic component manufactures, machining work, factory and shipyard construction and all the tangential industries that support them as well.

Then, after we spent that money on military equipment, we would enjoying more than just the benefits of better security, we would also enjoy lower unemployment, more taxable income, more economic activity from the employed workers as well as new technology that will eventually trickle into the domestic market enabling new and better gadgets and other high tech industry development.




Andy Andy 29.03.2011. 21:47

How do casinos maintain the "Odds favor the house" formula when it comes to the blackjack table? In any other form of gambling in the world, the odds favor the house, not the player. But in this one particular game, blackjack, the winner is the one with the highest value not exceeding 21.

So unless the casino is card-fixing, the winning hand either comes up in the dealer's favor, or the player's favor, 50-50 chance either way.

How does a casino take that 50-50 and turn it into the "odds always favor the house" scenario?

Andy Andy

Admin 29.03.2011. 21:47

It's not an easy task determining the blackjack odds when pitting a player against the house. There are many theories on who actually has the advantage and holds the edge in a game of blackjack. It all depends on who you ask - the casino or the player. With that in mind, lets assess an important and often overlooked consideration that may determine the outcome in a game of blackjack. For more information you may get reference from here http://www.onlineblackjacklist.com


Write a comment

* = required field





* Yes No