Can You Afford To Retire?

Posted by Vipul Mistry Friday, May 30, 2008 0 comments

Looking to make investments for retirement always seems to be something that you think I'll do it in another few years. However, anyone thinking in this way couldn't be more wrong. It is vital that these days you start to think about that rainy day whilst still in your twenties and thirties because everyday you put it off could mean you have to work longer, and who really wants to work until they are in their seventies?

The way our country is today things do look pretty bleak for the future. The government is more involved with making money available to go to war than keeping the social security system in a healthy state. For many retirement seems to be fading into the distances - more of a maybe than a reality. So it is down to you as an individual whether you purchase IRS's or put your money towards the purchase of gold coins to safeguard your future, it is something that has to be done.

Really, I am not qualified to give you advice about investing for retirement. No one simply writing an article can explain to you what plan is right for your long term financial needs. The best way to learn how to invest for retirement is to talk to a qualified financial consultant. That way, you will get the opinions of an expert, custom tailored for your needs and your financial situation. Honestly, although everyone needs to think about investing for retirement, not everyone needs to go about it in just the same way, and so having a plan that is correctly made to fit your needs is the only sure way of doing it.

The best thing about investing for retirement today is that it will eliminate years of worry. Not planning for retirement is not going to make the problem go away, and the chances are that you will be concerned about the future whether or not you have an investment plan. If you can begin investing for retirement sooner, then that will be one more thing that you can get off of your mind, and cease to worry about. Your independent financial expert will be able to advise you on your individual circumstances and have it all taken care of for you, then you will be able to sit back and watch your savings grow at a steady and useful rate. There is nothing better than that.

Do-it-Yourself Retirement Plan

Posted by Vipul Mistry Wednesday, May 28, 2008 0 comments

For your retirement plan, do you have to rely on financial advisers? Or can you build your own retirement plan? Yes, it is possible to run your own retirement plan, and in many countries you are allowed to do so.

But building a retirement plan takes time and effort – it is no good just putting your money into one thing like a group of equities and leave them alone. You might scan the financial pages of the paper one day to find your retirement plan had lost 30-50% of its value!

To build your own retirement plan, you will need to spend, say, an hour a week managing it, and more time reading.

How does the Big Picture affect your retirement plan?

The reason you need to keep in touch with what is happening in the investment world is that you need to see the Big Picture well to make your retirement plan work. What do I mean?

You need to know:

1. Whether the economy is growing or flagging or in recession.

2.

What is expected to happen with inflation over the next two years or so – and keep getting it right.

3.

Is the stock market in an uptrend, going sideway, or going down – these trends can last from one to 10 years.

4.

How high are interest rates relative to inflation.

Here are some examples. If real inflation was zero, and interest rates were 10% - you might just stick bonds in your retirement plan. It would be that simple.

Alternatively, if you knew that the stock market had just embarked on an uptrend that would last ten years – then you might put good quality stocks in your retirement plan.

If inflation is growing, and likely to grow in the future, then you might want to put lots of property, gold and/or silver coins or bullion and collectibles in your retirement plan.

These are just extreme examples. However, life is rarely like that, while investment advisers – who are mostly salesmen – will tell you that the outlook is good for stocks whatever is happening. Generally, it is necessary to have some of your retirement plan invested in government bonds, some in stocks and some in property bonds. If the stock market is weak, then a Bear Fund may be appropriate.

If you are prepared to study the stock market, and follow the long trends, it may be worth managing your own retirement plan. However, you should seek professional advice whatever you do.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as investment advice, but is intended to show how things can behave differently at different times. Do not use this information as investment advice for your retirement plan or anything else – consult a professional advisor.

ChoicePoint: To Retire, Start Over or Hang in There?

Posted by Vipul Mistry Monday, May 26, 2008 0 comments

Baby boomers are a different breed from previous generations, and they demand different choices for retirement. Forty years and a gold watch won't work on a me-first, go-for-it crowd of free thinkers weaned on social change, pot and LSD. So what choices are boomers facing?

Prior generations retired after working at one company for 25-30 years, and after that stint, they then retire and get a pension plan. Retirees had a small house paid for, a nice Social Security check and a pension. Add to that a life expectancy of around 70 years, and you'll have a perfect retirement plan.

Nowadays it's a different reality for sure. Life expectancies are creeping up past 80, pension plans are quickly disappearing, and full retirement is no longer at age 65, but rather 66, plus we can expect that to change even more in the future. With the fact that many of us baby boomers are poorly prepared financially, and it's clear why the current retirement landscape ain't so rosy for boomers.

So, more and more, boomers are seeking entrepreneurial opportunities to help shore up their inadequate retirement savings.

But businesses can and do fail, often.

Think about the math of failure and recovery. If you start a business when you're 55, and it takes about four years to fail, how able will you be to start yet another venture when you're age 60?

Networking is hard both off and online. Handshaking and backslapping takes a lot of effort for offline promoters, and web cashflow takes entirely new techniques.

Being on your own means you set your own procedures and policies, serve as your own human resources, sales, marketing, payroll, tax and accounting departments, plus fax and phone answerer - the list goes on and on…

Prepare to work longer wherever you are. "Preparation" is the key word here. Some companies will allow you to consult, and many companies allow flextime for working from your home. If you do decide to start your own offline business, prepare to gather contacts from the network opportunities you have where you work now, For an online business, plan to invest for initial and ongoing education and coaching though networks such as Content Desk.

Regardless of how you envision your golden years, do plan now for possible long term care funding by researching appropriate long term care insurance coverage. Many people now get comparative rate quotes and personal coaching through online long term care insurance websites.

How To Retire Rich And Live A Happy Life

Posted by Vipul Mistry Saturday, May 24, 2008 1 comments

As many other teenagers, about 25 years ago, I thought about the future. From the very early point of my life I always enjoyed working, but I always wanted to have an option of not having to work. Twenty five years later, I find myself still working and enjoying my work, but I also feel that I am moving closer to my goal. My secrets are as following:

1) Select the type of work that you enjoy.
2) Be the best at what you do.
3) Spend less than you earn.
4) Education yourself about investment.

Select the type of work that you enjoy: This is very important. Most of us have to work for a living, so we might as well do what we like to do best. In my case that means working with computers and technology, while interacting with other smart people. If you are doing the type of work that you like, you might even feel a little guilty getting paid for it (do not worry - take the money). I recall letting my employer know a few years ago, that I would be willing to do the work that they were paying me for free, because it was a lot of fun and I was learning many new things in the process.

Be the best at what you do. If you decided to do the type of work that you enjoy you might as well be the very best at what you do. Regarding of your current role or position always act like the CEO. Make sure that you spend your time very focused on key value-added activities. Never just go through the motions, be very deliberate about your actions. That type of persistence gets notices and pays off big time in the long run.

Spend less than what you earn. I met people that earned six digit incomes year after year and they were always broke. Do not get me wrong, they owned nice homes and had fancy cars, but they really were not wealthy. They always managed to spend more than they earned. I also had a pleasure of meeting people that did not make a very high income, but they managed to always make saving a priority. If you can get yourself into a habit of spending less than you are earning (and investing the rest), you will find yourself not worrying about your financial future. That’s one of the sure ways to live a happy life. After all, who want to worry about their financial future all the time.

Education your self: We are lucky. Today we can get tons of free and almost free information. We have access to magazines such as Money, SmartMoney, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Bottom Line Personal, Forbes, and Forture - most of these cost $10 to $20 per year and are available in your local library. There are tons of blogs and financial websites, and the there are book and audio books. Education yourself using the resources above will help you generate more yield from your savings. After all it takes a lot of work to generate money, and even more work to get your money to work for you.

Good Luck!!!

Tax Tips for Early Retirees

Posted by Vipul Mistry Thursday, May 22, 2008 0 comments

No matter how you got here, congratulations, you've decided to take early retirement. Setting yourself up to live life as you see fit is one of the American Dreams.

A serious problem with retiring early (besides figuring out what to do with all that time) is that when you stop working before age 60, the IRS doesn't necessarily see you as a retiree. That's why you need to be tax smart about managing your retirement accounts. Here are some things to think about....

Should I Roll Over My 401(k)?

Yes. Rolling over your 401(k) almost always makes sense because why would you want your former employer overseeing your account? Taking control of that money will allow you to have a whole world ful of investment options. Your plan probably has at most 20 mutual funds to pick from. A rollover IRA will give you thousands of choices.

If you want some of that money immediately and you're over age 55 (but younger than 59 1/2) take the money out first and then roll over the rest of the account. Thanks to a convenient penalty exception for those who quit or retire between those ages, you can take payouts from company-sponsored qualified retirement plan accounts and dodge a 10% early withdrawal penalty. The amount will be taxed, but at least there is no penalty.

When Not to Roll Over: Company Stock

A rollover may not be the best option when your qualified retirement-plan account contains low-cost stock from your former company. If the current market value of the company shares is high in relation to their cost, you should strongly consider withdrawing the shares now and paying the resulting taxes.

THis will result in your tax bill being based on the (low) cost of the shares, rather than their (high) market value. If you're under age 55, you'll still owe the 10% penalty. Since the cost of the stock is low, the tax hit will probably be manageable even after the penalty. What's the purpose of this strategy? You are positioned to pay only the 20% capital-gains tax on the difference between the cost of your company shares and the selling price.

Here's of how cashing in your company stock could benefit you:

You bail out of your job at age of 52. Your company 401(k) account is worth $500,000. Of that, $200,000 is invested in company shares with a cost of $25,000. By following the advice, you'll roll over $300,000 tax-free into your IRA. Now withdraw the company stock and put the shares into a taxable account. You'll owe income taxes on $25,000, which is the cost of the stock. You'll also owe a 10% penalty (because you're not age 55 or older) on the $25,000. That makes the total tax hit including the penalty be 41% or $10,250 (.41 x $25,000).

The good news is your company stock is now considered a capital asset. This means that if you sell the stock for $200,000, you'll only owe the 20% capital-gains tax on your $175,000 profit. After tax and penalty you will have netted $165,000. In contrast, if you roll the shares over into your IRA, your profit will be taxed at regular rates when you start taking IRA withdrawals.

If you hang onto the shares for over a year as they appreciate, things will be even better for you as any additional profit will also qualify for the 20% capital-gains rate.

Cautionary note here: To be eligible for the favorable tax treatment, your company stock must be received as part of a lump-sum distribution from the qualified retirement plan or plans in which you participate. Check with your employee-benefits department to make sure your retirement-plan payout qualifies as a lump-sum distribution.

Tapping your IRA

Unlike a company-sponsored plan, IRAs for people between the ages of 55 and 59 1/2 receive no special treatment.. So if you tap your IRA before official retirement age, you will get hit with the 10% early withdrawal penalty. There are some penalty exemptions listed here:

* Annuity-like withdrawals taken over your life expectancy. The withdrawals must be taken at least annually for a minimum of five years or until you turn 59 1/2, whichever is later.

* Withdrawals to pay qualified higher-education expenses for you or your children.

* Withdrawals to pay deductible medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

* Withdrawals to pay for a qualified home purchase (there's a $10,000 lifetime limit on this exception).

* Withdrawals after death or disability.

Tapping Your Roth

Earnings in your Roth IRAs earnings can be withdrawn totally tax-free only if: (1) the account has been open at least five years, and (2) you are at age 59 1/2, or will use the money for one of the excepted purposes listed above. If you don't pass both parts of the test, the earnings are taxed when withdrawn.

For withdrawals before age 59 1/2, you'll also owe the 10% penalty on those withdrawn earnings unless you meet one of the penalty exceptions listed above. That penalty will also apply if you withdraw "conversion contributions" within five years of the conversion. Conversion contributions are those you made by converting a traditional IRA into a Roth.

On the other hand, you can generally withdraw Roth contributions tax-free and penalty-free. You shouldn't do it, though, because taking withdrawals mean you'll have that much less to continue investing on a tax-free basis. Also, if you need the money so badly that you tap your original contribution, you probably ought to keep working.

To Retire Rich, Save and Invest Early

Posted by Vipul Mistry Tuesday, May 20, 2008 0 comments

If you want to retire rich, start saving investing early. The most powerful tool when it comes to retiring rich, is compounding your returns on money saved when you are young. Through the power of compound interest, cash invested today has a massive impact on your wealth level when you retire.

Look at it this way, assuming a retirement age of 65 and an annual compounded rate of return of 10%.

* Bob is 40 years old and invests $20,000 a year for retirement.

* Jenny is 21 years old and invests $5,000 a year for retirement.

By the time they retire, Bob will have invested $400,000 and Jenny $220,000 respectively. But because of the power of compound interest, Bob will retire with half as much money as Jenny, despite investing twice as much!

* Bob would retire with $1.97 million

* Jenny would with $3.26 million

So, what's the moral of the story?

Stop robbing your future retirement income to pay for luxuries today.

Maximize your annual contribution to your IRA

When it comes to your IRA contribution limits, Uncle Sam’s motto seems to be “use it or lose it”. Workers that don't make the maximum allowable contribution to their Traditional or Roth IRA by the cut-off date, are plain out of luck unless they are in their mid-fifties and qualify for catch-up contributions.

Take advantage of your employer matching funds

Many companies will match up to fifty-percent of the contributions employees make to their 401k and other retirement accounts. If your boss will match your contributions, take full advantage of it, as it is money for nothing... literally free money!

Don't take your retirement cash out when you change jobs

The average American worker will change jobs several times in their career. When this occurs, the most foolish thing you could possibly do is to cash out of your retirement plan. What you should do is roll over the proceeds into an IRA or your new employer’s 401k plan. Besides avoiding significant tax penalties, you will be able to keep your money working for you tax-free.

Avoid IRA withdrawal fees

There are numerous ways to withdraw money from your retirement account in the event of an emergency. However, before you even think about doing so, make absolutely certain that you have done everything required to qualify, otherwise, you will get a quite a shock when you are hit with what could be thousands of dollars in fees and penalties.

Expand the Pie

Don't just cut expenses - find a way to make more money! Get part-time work, or turn your hobby into a business enterprise. You should create additional streams of income to help fund your retirement.Often this is an excellent alternative to cutting costs and scrimping, because it allows you to maintain your current standard of living, while providing for your future retirement.

The Laws of Men & Love - A Layman's Philosophical Analysis of the Law

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, May 18, 2008 0 comments
I know a lawyer, and today he said to me, “The law is everything. It is society.” When I heard this, my heart told me, “That is not true.” But I didn't know why.

When I got home that night, I went to sleep at midnight. I woke up at 4AM, and I remembered what the lawyer said, and what my heart said. My mind searched my heart and the world for the answer, and this is what I found:

The law does two things only: to limit what you can do to other people, and to establish the minimum of what you must do to other people. The law lives only in these two places - but love does not exist in either of these places.

For example, I can not say bad things about you, steal from you, hit you, or kill you – even if I think it will make me happy. These are the limits that the law sets as to what I can do to other people (in law books, maybe they are called restrictive laws). There are also laws that force me to do certain things. If I am a man, I have to pay taxes and serve in the army, and if I am a father, I have to give food to my son – even if it doesn't make me happy. These are the minimums the law sets as to what I have to do to other people (in law books, maybe they are called obligatory laws). But more than that, I don't have to do: I don't have to donate money to the government, or buy toys for my son if I don't want to.

The restrictive laws can be simplified into one rational principle: “You can do whatever you want as long as you don't hurt other people.” This is actually the way most people view their happiness and freedom. You are free to do whatever makes you happy as long as it doesn't get in the way of other people. The obligatory laws can also be simplified into one rational principle: “You have to do a few certain things to certain other people, but more than that you don't have to do.” This is actually the way most people view their responsibilities. Combine these two ways, and you see that this is how most people live their life – how they do the things they want, and how they do the things they don't want to do. According to the law, being a good citizen means balancing the pursuit of your own happiness with fulfilling your responsibilities to others.

But if I do nothing to you, that is okay too. When other people say bad things about you, or steal from you, hit you, or kill you, I can ignore you and it is not against the law. If I don't care about you, if I let you suffer and be unhappy, that is not against the law. This is how many people use the word “respect”: I won't bother you, so don't bother me. But this is not love. The same is true for the minimums: I have to pay taxes and serve in the army, but I do not have to love my country. I have to give food to my son, but I do not have to love him. The law does not teach you how to love or to have a heart – or tell you that you should have a heart. I can be a law-abiding citizen and break no laws, and yet have no heart. According to the law, it is legal to not care, to not love.

That is why listening to the law and the principles of reason teach you only how to think about yourself. Most of it tells you what you cannot take from other people. I cannot take your money, body, life, or privacy. When you take too much, the law speaks and comes alive, and seeks to punish you.

But the law does not teach you how to share with other people: if I am nice to you, say good things about you, help you, give you money, or love you, the law does not reward you. When you give more than is required by law, the law is quiet and does nothing - it is dead. The law does not exist in the places of love. When the heart is dead, the law is alive, and when the heart is alive, the law is dead. The heart exists in places beyond the law. Listen only to the law, and your heart will die.

Listen to your heart and the hearts of others, and give, and your heart will live. Happiness and love cannot exist when two people try to take from each other, or even if only one person gives and the other takes. The result is court – in fact, any time when someone goes to court, it's usually because they want to take something from somebody who doesn't want to give it. Happiness and love exist when two people or two sides give and go beyond the two rational principles of law – when they try to give and do more than is required. Two people who give stay outside of court, because they go beyond the laws of men – for they live from the heart through the laws of love.

Quit and Retire Three Years Earlier!

Posted by Vipul Mistry 0 comments

For most people, there is a direct correlation between how worried they are about retirement income, and how much they can actually do about it. This is because the more worried you are, the closer you probably are to retirement, and the less time you have to do anything – like save up. Effective ‘saving up’ requires time. Time so your money can grow. Save an extra $200 a month, three years before retirement (at age 62), and you’ll amass a grand total of $7,887 (averaging 6% growth). Not likely to have a big impact on your retirement lifestyle.

But what if you invested for retirement when you were NOT worried about it? What if you, say, quit smoking a pack a day at age 45 and took the money and invested that instead? (For the purposes of this illustration, let’s assume a pack costs $7.00 and you smoke a pack a day so you invest, for easy figure’s sake, $200 per month. Again, average compound rate of return is 6%.)

Instead of starting to save when you start worrying about retirement (at age 62), and amassing that grand total of $7,887 by age 65, you start saving when you’re NOT worried about retirement (at age 45 – by quitting smoking and saving that money) so you end up with, wait for it, --- $91,129 !

What will $91,129 do for you at age 65? It would provide you with $456 in additional monthly income for the rest of your life (continuing to average 6% growth), and you won’t have to touch your capital. Or, perhaps, you could choose to retire earlier!

Don’t start to worry, at age 62, and save a paltry $7,887 by 65. Instead, start saving $200 more a month at age 45, when you’re not worried, and have $69,892 by age 62! Then you could retire completely at age 62, by using both the principle and interest as income from 62 to 65. $69,892 would provide you with $2,100 in income for three years! Thus, quit smoking and quit working 3 years earlier!

Of course, most of us ‘act’ when we have the ‘urge’ to act. (Note how the words ‘urge’ and ‘urgent’ have the same root.). You will tend to act on your retirement plan when it is most urgent. But long term goals are, by their very nature, NEVER URGENT! Now, perhaps THAT is something to worry about.

Lessons for Life Love

Posted by Vipul Mistry Saturday, May 17, 2008 0 comments

Lesson Purpose: To show that love is a powerful influence in our life and is the cement that bonds families together.

The Lesson

"It is impossible to love and to be wise."Francis Bacon

"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therein." BIBLE, Proverbs 15.17

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." BIBLE, John 3:16

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." BIBLE, Mark 12:30

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." BIBLE, Math 22:39

Where did it all get started?

Here's a little poem I wrote to my wife:

Adam Said
To Pat on Mothers Day
Saturday, May 8, 1999

Adam said, Eve my dear,
You've eaten the forbidden fruit.
She looked at him and answered back,
Yes, I'm getting the boot!

He said to her, Eve my dear,
I like your skin and hair,
And I get a little tingle
When with those eyes you stare.

She said to him, I’ll miss you so
When Father kicks me out.
Now don't you ever think of me;
Never give a pout!

He answered back with some regret,
I’ll dearly miss you too,
If I didn't have a lot more ribs
I'm sure with you I’d go.

That's right, she said,
You do have ribs a plenty more to spare,
But won't you miss this little rib?
Won't you miss my stare?

She stared at him, he looked away,
Then rubbed his perfect tummy,
You know, he said, I have a pain,
I'm really getting hungry.

She bid him come and sat him down,
And put his lunch before him.
He ate the fruit and felt real good,
"I'm going with you, honey!"

What is love?

For our purposes love is a strong affection for another, or others, based on family ties, personal ties, or the affectionate ties of lovers.

Love may be admiration based on the qualities or common interest of others.

Types of love are: The love of a child by its mother. The love of God as the Benefactor of mankind. The love of a young man and a young women who are engaged to be married to each other.

Love is the basis of survival

Think about it. A child requires extensive care from the day it is born until well into the teenage years. If a mother got tired of caring for the child and had no love for it, the care of the child would be left to others. If others did not surface, the child would parish.

Unfortunately, some children are abandoned everyday. Fortunately, most children are not abandoned.

Back to Korea

My infantry company in Korea during an attack on the Chinese picked up two Soviet trucks manufactured under the World War II Lend Lease Program, two dogs that we had to watch over or they would be eaten by our Korean friends, and two young boys, brothers who had lost their parents.

We loved those Russian trucks. They were much more reliable than ours. They were exactly the same as General Motors trucks made during World War II. So what happened? The army took them away from us because they were not regulation issue. When we came down from the freezing top of Hill 1243, the highest mountain on the line, our US trucks had all been damaged by the freezing weather and Service Company had to take us off the line.

The two dogs disappeared and ended up in a ROK army kettle.

Yes, we lost the two boys too, now dressed in cowboy suits we got them through Sears and Roebuck. The American Red Cross found their grandparents. They took the boys from our dangerous combat area. The love of the American Red Cross workers for the Korean people and the love of the boys’ grandparents gave the youngsters the bond they needed for survival in an awful war.

War is the breeding ground for the alphabet soup of human indignities

I had five Korean soldiers in my infantry platoon. One day, Ree Tay Hee was very sad. He had reason to be sad too. He had lost his father and two brothers to the North Koreans. He assumed they were dead. His thirteen-year-old sister and his mother lived in Seoul, which had been flattened by the North Koreans, the American Army, the Chinese, and then the American Army again. In fact it was my division behind the Marines who did the last flattening when they executed MacArthur’s daring attach from the sea at Inchon.

Ree Tay Hee’s mother and sister were supported by his older brother who worked on the Korean Railroad. He fell under the train and was decapitated. Now mother and daughter were alone with no means of support except, possibly, prostitution.

The story doesn't end there

When I got home from Korea, I got a letter from a man named Chick. I believe that he was from Tucson Arizona and I would give anything to be able to find that brave man. Chick was a section leader and a forward observer for the 81 millimeter mortars. He replaced me as forward observer when our platoon sergeant was hit and I became Platoon Sergeant at age nineteen.

Chick told me in his letter that Ree Tay Hee had been seriously wounded in the Iron Triangle. The situation couldn't have gotten worse. I don't know what happened to that family. I only know that I still have a great love for them and wish I could have been of help over the years. Let's hope that someone cared and gave them the love and aid they needed.

There is a difference between the Korean People and Americans in regard to that War. When, I got home from Korea, nobody gave a hell of beans. Most people didn't even seem to know the war was on if you judged by their actions. Nobody but immediate family members and friends cared when American blood was spilled there. Even today, it's mainly the Korean veterans who care about the sacrifices made there.

But the Korean people have a great love for the men from many lands that saved them from the North Koreans and the Chinese hoards. I've been back to Korea twice since the war. The first visit back was a traumatic experience. My talkative companion who was in Vietnam remained quiet while we flew over the mountains on which I had fought. He knew what I was doing. I was remembering every detail of the war as I knew it.

I left the hotel in Seoul and took the shuttle down town. I went in to a shop and told them I had fought there. They showed me a ton of love and wouldn't let me take the shuttle back to the hotel. The owner got his car and drove me back. The Korean Government continually welcomes veterans back to their country, gives them a banquet and a special medal and helps them tour the old battlefields.

That's the difference. They care. And care is just another way to spell LOVE.

A poem dedicated to a loving man

I write poetry. You can read my poetry and see my photographs of the Korean War if you go to http://www.tjbooks.com. Here is a poem I wrote about an extremely brave machine gun sergeant who had love for his family and his men.

Machine Gun Sergeant
Saturday, April 2, 1999

Below the Wachon Reservoir,
We walked along the river,
And then across the fields.
Dieter said, "This is where
The air force caught the Chinese
With there carts and horses."

"That's the hill
Where the machine-gun sergeant
Climbed to help his men.
He was supposed to
Go home that day,
Not a war to win.

"The sergeant said,
'I know I don't have to fight,
I can stay back here and watch,
But my men are scared,
And their sergeant is new,
I’ll lead them one more time.'"

Dieter lowered his head
And then he said,
"The fire was very heavy.
They took the hill
That bloody day,
But the sergeant never made it."

We found a house
Still intact.
We were very much surprised.
An octagon with a center patio,
Where a family
Once cooked their meals.

This must have been
A happy place
Before the armies came.
Little children
At mother's knee,
An abundant life they had.

Dieter said,
"He has two kids."
I said,
"I thought him dead."

I looked at Probe,
His familiar name,
I said,
"Please tell me more."

I saw a tear run down his cheek,
It wasn't there before.

The sky was clear,
A glorious day,
And we walked the fields some more.
We found a can from Russia,
And Kowalski read the label.
"I know the town
Where this was made,
I know who made this ammo."

I looked at Probe,
He looked at me,
And this is what he said,
"The machine-gun sergeant
Was hit in the groin,
He said, 'I’d be better dead.'"

No workers toiled
In the beautiful fields,
The war had done its dirt.
I wondered where the families were,
Were they dead
Or hurt?

Tomorrow,
We go back on the line,
To Heartbreak Ridge they say.
I looked at Probe
And this I said,
"At least we've got today."

The sergeant
Didn't have to fight.
He'd done his job well,
But he climbed the hill,
And got maimed for life.
How could he think so ill?

When it's time to go home,
It's time to go,
To play with fate is bad.
"He's the bravest man I know,"
Said Probe,
"He did it to be right."

I said, "What about his
Wife and kids?
What about their plight?"

"He had no choice,"
Said Probe,
"He had to fight."

We walked along
The dusty road
That led us back to camp.
I thought,
"How brave he was!"
I think of him a lot.

Here's another little poem about that war.

967Saturday, April 3, 1999

Now, that's a lot of lemons
If your making lemonade,
But if your counting ants,
It would hardly make a parade.

How about watermelons?
It would make quite a pile.
You could go from May through February
If you ate three each day.

How many American men died
In the 17th Infantry
Regimental Combat Team
In Korea?

The many Korean boys that served with us and died were not counted. I don't have the count on the Nigerians either.

You can't believe the love that Korean veterans have for each other. Going through life's trials with another human being brings with it a tremendous love for that person. Probe Dieter and I can read each other's minds even though he is in New York State and I'm in Idaho. I went home to Utah one time and I said to myself, Probe Dieter has been here. When I got back to Iowa, where I was teaching engineering at Iowa State University, I picked up the telephone and said, "Hey, Probe! Have you been looking for me?"

"Yes," he said. "I was in Utah and I couldn't find you."

On several occasions, I've picked up the telephone knowing it was Probe on the other line.

What is the most traumatic loss in a person's life?

You probably know that it is when a person loses his or her spouse. The relationship grows from the initial infatuation, to the love of courtship and marriage, and the increased love that bonds them together from living through life's trials and joys.

Each child that comes into a home, brings with it an enduring, eternal love. A touch of pain enters when the child leaves the nest, but more love comes as grandchildren are born. It's a process that never ceases until war or devastation from nature destroys the family. We see that everyday now, don't we. Some family links die off because no children were born for various reasons. Fortunately for mankind, the process goes on.

"No greater love has any man than to lay down his life for a friend."

Here is another story of love from my Korean experience.

The love here was for a stepbrother. We had been in a firing mission. We fired white phosphorous recoilless rifle shells into Chinese positions and then fired the 81 millimeter mortars shells upon the scattering Chinese. A major from division had come up on the line and ordered the fire mission. It was not a pleasant experience to see the young Chinese soldiers toss bodies like cordwood out of the positions they were digging.

Finally, the major told us what a fine job of killing our fellow men we had done, and left.

Six or seven of us stood talking after the slaughter. A corporal from Oklahoma told us that he had orders to go home but that he was not leaving until his stepbrother got his orders to go home too. His stepbrother was in the same company, Company B, 17th Infantry Regimental Combat Team.

If the brother had been a full brother, he would not have been allowed in the same infantry company. We told the Corporal to go home. We were getting the heaviest concentration of enemy artillery fire during the history of the Korean War (according to "Stars and Stripes."). We told him he could be killed and that it was better to let his stepbrother catch up with him.

The Corporal said, "If I was going to be killed, I would have been killed by now. I'm staying!"

Now, infantry men have their degree of superstition. We told him to take back what he said. We told him anybody could be killed at any time. We also told him that it was not only bad luck to say that you wouldn't be killed but that it was even worse luck not to go home when ordered.

The Corporal had a great love for his stepbrother. He would not leave him. About two hours later, I was told that he was killed.I don't remember the Corporal as being arrogant or stupid. I remember him as having a tremendous love for his brother. I remember that he had the courage to continually face enemy fire until his brother could leave. He paid with his life. "No Greater Love."

For The Little Children

Once upon a time there was a young prince who lived in a great stone castle on a big green mountain. He was old enough to start looking for a bride, but he knew he would not be able to do that. He knew that his parents, the King and Queen, would choose his bride for him. He thought, They will find me a bride in a foreign land and she won't even speak my language!

The prince was very sad.

One day, the Queen said to the King, "I'm concerned about the prince. He was always so happy. There was always a smile on his face. Now, I often see tears in his eyes."

The King said, "I felt the same way when I was his age. But what can we do? It has always been the rule that the King and Queen select the bride, not the prince. Surely we have more wisdom in such things than he does."

"Yes, My King, but I'm afraid the prince will run away rather than have us select his bride for him. What can we do?"

The king thought and thought. The next day he came to the Queen and said, "Let's have a grand ball and carnival. It will last a week. We will invite all the young princes and princesses with their parents as chaperones. We will see which princess he likes. If she is suitable, we will make the arrangements for the wedding. Now, the young prince must not think that he is selecting his own bride. We must stick to the traditions of our fathers."

The Queen said, "That is a marvelous idea. I'll see that the staff prepares for the celebration."

The great carnival started on Monday and the ball was to be held Saturday night. The prince spent time with each of the princesses, but after, Wednesday, he only was seen with one, Princess Nijinska. When she was young she was not pretty like the other princesses. She was known as the ugly duckling of princesses. But she always had a smile on her face, was very smart, and she liked the same things the prince liked.

When the King heard that the prince was spending his time with Princess Nijinska, he said to the Queen, "Surely, the prince does not want her for his bride. Do you remember what she looks like? She was such an ugly child. What if he is just being polite to her. He never has been rude, and he might just be helping her to have a good time while she is here."

The Queen smiled at the King. "You have misjudged our son. Remember when he was young. He loved toads more than frogs, and snakes better than bunnies. Looks are not the main thing with our son. He has to evaluate everything for it's true worth. Why, you taught him that looks can be deceiving."

The King sat on his throne and said, "Our son is also very clever. Maybe he is up to something."

The Queen laughed. "Like what? Well, maybe we will have to wait for the ball. Let us decide now. Whomever he dances with the last dance, shall be his bride."

The king thought that was a good idea.

At the Saturday night ball, the prince danced with each princess once, but not twice. He danced every other dance including the last dance with Princess Nijinska.

The king said, "She is like a beautiful swan on the lake. She moves with such elegance. In fact, she looks different tonight."

The Queen laughed. "You remember the princess as a child. She is woman now. She has changed."

The King laughed, "You could have told me that!"

The Queen smiled, "What kind of a surprise would that have been"?

"Right you are, My Dear Queen," said the King. "You have always filled my life with surprises. But that is only one reason that I love you. I even loved you before the last dance of the ball before my parents chose you for my bride. You see, I knew what you were up to, My Queen."

Love vs Lust

Posted by Vipul Mistry Friday, May 16, 2008 0 comments

There is a great contrast between love and lust. Lust is more of a sexual or greedy feeling, while love is more of a secure and content filled feeling we get from giving and receiving. Lust does not have to be something sexual, it can be a greedy desire for more money and power, etc. But for this article, I am using it in its sexual context.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 sums up the common traits and variances of love and lust.

LOVE is kind = considerate, caring, giving, thoughtful, understanding

Lust is envy = jealous, greed, spite, resentment,

LOVE is not proud = humble, submissive, meek, modest

Lust is self-seeking = selfish, rebellious, rude, egotistical, hateful,

LOVE rejoices in the truth = God is love, Love is God = Wisdom, Holy Spirit,

Lust delights in evil = Satan, sin, wicked, iniquitous, immoral, dishonest

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1John 4:8AND

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to also love one another. 1 John 4:11

The world has a superficial and selfish view of love, which has contaminated our understanding of what REAL LOVE is. The culture believes that love is something that makes us FEEL good and that it's acceptable to sacrifice moral principles to obtain such love. But in doing so this culture IS NOT obtaining the love characteristic but the lustful ones.

Love involves unselfish acts. Faith is the foundation of God's message. By putting our complete faith in God gives us the freedom to love others completely.

Matthew 5:27-28 says, "You have heard that it was said, "do not commit adultery, but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right hand causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for you whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

When Jesus said to throw away you right hand or gouge out your eye, he didn't mean in the literal sense because even a blind person can lust. Jesus' thinking was that if that were the only choice, then it would be better to go into heaven with one eye or one hand then to go to hell with two hands or two eyes.

Acting out lustful desires is very harmful in four ways.

1. Lustful desires destroys marriage

2. Lustfulness is rebelliousness to God

3. Lustfulness always hurts someone

4. Lustful acts leads to premarital sex

Jesus said the desire to have sex with someone other than your spouse is mental adultery. Therefore, If lustful desires are in our thoughts, then they most likely will come out in our actions!

"For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34

In essence, it's in what we THINK. What we crave and lust for in life shows our values and morals. What we think in our heart and mind comes back out in our actions.

Lustful thinking can turn into

1. Adultery = divorce

2. Premarital sex = genital diseases = lack of sexual interest with spouse

3. Sin = death

Sexual immorality is a temptation we all must face on a daily basis. God doesn't forbid sexual sins just to be difficult. God knows its power to destroy people lives physically and spiritually. God wants to protect us from damaging ourselves with immoral sexual desires. Sex outside of the marriage relationship always hurts someone. It hurts God because it shows that we care more about our own lustful desires than Him.

Paul said in Corinthians, "Do you no know that your body is the a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price (Jesus Christ death freed us from sin). Therefore, honor God with your body" 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

Many people believe they have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. And they think this is freedom, but really, they are enslaved to their own lustful and sinful desires - they are in bondage and slave to their desires.

When we become Christian's (Christ ones) the Holy Spirit lives in us and fills us up, and we no longer own our own bodies, but we belong to God.

Do you love others like God wants you to love?

Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 1 John 2:10

Angie Lewis offers spiritual enlightenment tips for couples in marriage, and is the author of new release book JOURNEY ON THE ROADS LESS TRAVELED.

This unique book is about love, life, marriage, addiction, temptation, and understanding the power of spiritual awareness for your marriage.

In her book, Angie reveals her own journey of overcoming addiction and battling with her negative emotions that she allowed to embrace her life and marriage.

What's Love Got to Do With It? (MHM-Mental Health Matters)

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, May 11, 2008 0 comments

Hey I bet you are saying to yourself what does love got to do with it? That my friend is simple, it’s got everything to do with it! You can’t stand there and tell me or even sit there and tell me that love doesn’t have or play a huge roll in your life!

It has everything to do with you. You want to find a mate and be loved, don’t you? Say yes, because I know this to be true. Now why is it are primal interest to love and be loved? When Adam was alone in the Garden of Eden, he got lonely and God in his infinite wisdom, decide to make Adam a mate, from his own rib even.

Now why would Adam become lonely in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place? Now do you see were the very first love and be loved took place? That’s right with the very first person and God agreed with him, so he really must have been lonely and wanted to be loved!

Now we know for a fact that God loved Adam and perfectly I might add, but why was that not good enough for the human race? It’s simple he felt the need to be loved by another human to be complete.

Now do you feel that God made a mistake here? I mean he is the all knowing, the alpha the omega, the begging and the end, so it would seem that he knew it all, does that make sense to you so far?

Well if he knew already that Adam was going to get lonely, why wouldn’t he have created Eve at the same time? We’ve already stated he knows all, so why make Adam suffer all those years? Was it because he loved to see him in pain? I think not!

Now here goes another one of my crazy theories, God knew Adam would indeed get lonely, so this was no big surprise to him. What we don’t understand is why God didn’t make Eva right from the get go? Why not you may be asking, well that’s a very good question you asked and I’ll do my best to answer this question of yours.

It’s sort of like this God knew Adam would get lonely, but he also knew that we as humans built in his own image, would get lonely by ourselves and that we would need a mate. The two shall leave there home and become one. Now here is the tricky part of the whole thing! God knew that Adam and Eve would eat the so called forbidden fruit of good and evil, knowing this he created them anyway, not because he didn’t love them but because of the fact that he loved them.

Now here is were it gets heavy. The so called first sin was actually the first realization that we are part of God, the Holy Spirit will never leave or forsake you, and do you believe that statement? Well my friend Jesus himself said this and as far as I know he was the only sinless soul. Now would you agree with me on this?

Ok we have established that fact that we come from God and we have the Holy Sprit with us always. Has it ever occurred to you that we are collaborators in creation? What this means is God in his infinite wisdom, knew that Adam was incomplete and knew he needed a mate and he also gave us free will.

Now on ward this free will was not the first sin as we suspected, it was actually that we were human beings and connected to God. Yes God wanted it from the get go, for there to be a man and a woman. Why then was Adam lonely, it was God experiencing this, all of Adams feeling and this is why we are called collaborators in creation.

Now when God and Adam grew tired of being lonely and wanted another person to be with them, he created Eva, now adding a new dimension to the relationship, was two humans together both one with God, yet they were creating their time together and God was pleased and he was now exercising the joy of a complete human race.

So Adam and Eva feel in love in the human form and were collaborators in creation with God, that brought his understanding of the human relationship and how he was experiencing the relationship with them and all humans to come for generation and generations and it all started with the basics of love is all there is and when God felt that he needed more than the human races feeling, he then sent his only son The Jesus to earth to feel all that was left out with just human relationships.

He experienced love of the only true form and that would be Jesus, the only sinless soul, who would transform this thing we call death, which started when we first realized that we where part of God.

Now can you see how that love is all there is and God created us to love one another and the two shall become one and love thy neighbor as you love thy self, so yes love does play a big role in the workings of the whole universe and yes love is all there is!

Please pass this article around to whoever you feel it may help. Friends and family members, just keep the contact box below untoched and give proper credit to the author.

They are calling Arthur Buchanan's methods of recovering from mental illness REVOLUTIONARY! (MEDICAL COLLEGE OF MICHIGAN) 'Arthur Buchanan has given us a revolutionary blue print for recovery in these uncertain times, when Mental Illness at a all time high in the United States of America, yet if you follow this young mans methods, we assure you of positive results and I QUOTE 'If these methods are followed precisely, their is no way you can't see positive results with whatever illness you have' Dr. Herbert Palos Detroit, Michigan'

How To Keep Your Love Alive

Posted by Vipul Mistry Saturday, May 10, 2008 0 comments

Some believe that romance should just come naturally, and if it doesn’t, or if the original closeness that existed in a relationship starts to subside, it means that something is wrong. Nothing is further from the truth. Keeping love alive requires time, attention and the willingness to keep things fresh and learn how to constantly reconnect. Here are some steps that will help us reconnect with our partners, and keep the love alive.

Step 1: Give up dead routines

After the initial excitement of being together is over, many fall into a routine and begin taking one another for granted. They assume they know what their partner is feeling, that it doesn’t matter if they come late for a date, don’t look as good as they used to, or decide to spend more and more time out with friends. However, it is crucial to realize that there are many small ways in which we sabotage relationships. Unless two people feel cared for and valued by one another, it is easy for the feelings of love to fade away.

Break into routines. Snap out of ruts. Take time to plan exciting, romantic, delicious times to spend together. Even if it’s just for a little while. Dedicate time to the relationship that nothing can interrupt. This is a sacred time for the two of you, and during it do what makes both of you feel most fulfilled.

Step 2: Take Charge of How You Perceive Your Partner Each Day

The good feelings between partners are often heightened by the way in which they view one another. Do you view him as a hero? Someone you can look up to and respect? Or are you mostly dwelling upon his/her faults? After a relationship has gone on for a while it is easy to begin to view one another as ordinary. This is a sure-fire technique for putting out any fire that might exist. Remember, when you first fell in love, you only saw the best about that person and focused on how wonderful they were. If you want to keep the love alive, keep that going consciously.

Here are two exercises to do to help. Get a personal notebook to record your experiences and feelings in. Read it from time to time. Dedicated a certain time each day to the relationship and what is possible between the two of you.

Exercise A – How You See Your Partner

Take some time and write down a description of how you see your partner. Who is he/she to you now? How do you feel about him? Write this down without censoring your thoughts and feelings.

Then, write down how you saw him when you first met, and how you felt about him then. See how your feelings of closeness are affected by the way you are perceiving the person today. Realize that how you perceive a person is totally within your control. You can have the most beautiful person in front of you, but if you do not see it, it is of no avail.

Consciously view your partner in a way that is similar to the way you did in the beginning. They will feel the effects of this, and begin responding in kind.

Exercise B – Stop Pushing Him/Her Away

There are many, little things we do (consciously and unconsciously) that push our partners away. Many are afraid of intimacy and do a great deal to short circuit it. Take a little while to write down ways in which you push him/her away. This is not to blame yourself, but to become aware of the times when you are not actually inviting closeness, but putting on the brakes.

Now, decide to change the way you behave. Each day take one item on your list (the way you’ve pushed him away) and do the opposite. For example, rather than criticizing him in public, say nice things about him with friends. A few small actions can have huge effects. .

Step 2: Understanding Hidden Expectations

There is nothing that can cause us to disconnect from each other as much as expectations that have been unfulfilled. We all enter relationships with many kinds of expectations and dreams, some we are aware of, others not. There is nothing that causes more disappointment than our expectations which are not being met.

Take a moment to become aware of what you are expecting of your partner. Is it possible for him to fulfill these expectations Does he want the same thing from the relationship? More often than not, it is our unfulfilled expectations, not the other person, which make us upset. In order to feel close and satisfied in a relationship, a crucial step is making sure your expectations can be met. See how your expectations align with the person you’re with. Also take time to see if anyone can fulfill them? Are these expectations realistic or simply childhood dreams you are still carrying with you?

Exercise C –- Letting Him Fulfill Your Dreams

Become aware off which expectations of yours your partner does meet. Now see if you are willing to be satisfied with that. Can you find a way to feel grateful for what you are receiving? Sometimes just deciding that what your partner offers is good enough, can allow the love to re-ignite once again. Then, let him know that he’s making you happy. Most people have a deep need to know and to hear that they are meaningful to you.

Step 6: Re-Choose Your Partner

When these steps are taken, you will not only be more connected, but you will be with your partner because there is no other place you want to be. The relationship will not be one of convenience, but one of choice. The actual act of re-choosing our partners, of knowing they are the one’s we want to be with, is the culmination of the reconnecting and romance we’ve found.

Sometimes it is very beautiful to make this process conscious. You can write down and express the ways in which you wish to recommit to your partner, you can write down and express the aspects of them that cause you to feel this way. By doing this on an on-going basis, we not only keep the love and relationship fresh, but we keep ourselves aware of why we are with the person, what our part is in the relationship, and the joy and romance that is possible for us to have forever.

25 Easy Romantic Ideas

Posted by Vipul Mistry Friday, May 9, 2008 0 comments

1. Bury a time capsule together with trinkets and love letters to each other. Draw a map with an X marking the spot. Store the map in your safety deposit box or in another safe place. Dig it up in 10 or 20 years.

2. Create a music disk of love songs, fun songs or songs that remind you of each other.

3. Plant a post-it note or two in a book your love is reading. Write "I love you," I want you," or "XOXOXO."

4. Go to a photo booth at the mall together. Fool around while having your photo taken. Keep the photos in your car or at work for when you need a fun pick-me-up.

5. Plant a tree together and talk about how you will carve your names in it with a heart in 20 years.

6. Go to a coffee shop - just to sit together and talk. Or get coffee to go - go for a long scenic drive together.

7. Be naughty, play hooky together. Do whatever you want together.

8. Send your love at letter at work. Disguise it in a business envelope. Make it happy for a pick me up, loving for romance and naughty if you're planning a date that evening.

9. Heart shaped notes - use one at a time or 20 at a time. Plant little messages throughout the house or garage to add a thrill.

10. Pick up some dipping chocolate and strawberries or cherries at your local grocery store. This makes an incredibly romantic dessert for two.

11. Drive for an hour or two just to have a picnic or stop at a restaurant you've never been at.

12. Name a Star together. When you’re apart you can look up at your star and know someone is out there waiting for your safe return.

13. Use glow in the dark stars and a black light to create a romantic night sky inside.

14. Create a spa atmosphere at home. Candles, essential oils and burners, mood music and massagers or other relaxation products can be purchased at almost any department store or bath shop.

15. Godiva, the fine chocolate maker, has developed wonderfully tasting chocolate liquor. Use wine glasses to serve it for dessert.

16. On a special night, dim the lights and put on soft music. Then, undress leaving a trail of your clothes from the front door to the bedroom; just before your love is about to arrive home.

17. Sit by the fire together roasting marshmallows.

18. While your love is taking a shower, sneak in and write, "I love you!" on the steamed mirror.

19. Make a puzzle of a love letter or brochure for a surprise getaway. Send a piece to your love everyday until it’s complete. Or leave a piece on the table or dresser everyday.

20. Make a tape recording asking your love to meet you somewhere or tell them how much they are loved.

21. Next time you’re walking anywhere, grab your love’s hand or walk arm and arm.

22. Make a "Prescription for Love" on the computer. Fill it out using words like: take two doses of love and come see me now or take with kisses twice daily. Use an empty medication bottle without the label, inside you can fill with heart candies or erotic messages.

23. Plan a surprise anniversary party for your love.

24. Leave a Hershey’s Kiss where it will be found with a note, "I’m thinking of kissing you."

25. Just call to say, "I love you," "I’m thinking of you" or "I miss you."

Love, Lies, Betrayal, and Deceit - Why Do We Lie to Those We Love?

Posted by Vipul Mistry Thursday, May 8, 2008 0 comments

Why do husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, lie to each other?

Our romantic relationships are seldom what they seem. We all want a relationship that is built on openness, intimacy, and trust, but the truth is, our relationships do not always work that way. More often than not, our intimate relationships involve secrecy and deceit. In fact, if you want to look for deception and betrayal in your own life, the best place to start is close to home. Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, often lie about their true feelings for each other, the feelings they have for others, and their level of commitment. Indeed, it is safe to say that people save their biggest and most serious lies for those they love.

For better or worse, our romantic relationships are full of paradoxes which we try to overlook, downplay and ignore. For the most part, this strategy works well. Until the day comes when it doesn’t, and with little warning or preparation we have to confront face-on the reality that our close relationships are not exactly what they appear to be.

Eventually, almost everyone will catch a spouse or partner in one of their lies. Inevitably, we have a difficult time coping with what we have learned and dealing with the fact that someone close has betrayed our trust. We do not expect our partners to mislead us, nor do we have insight into how and why deception occurs.

In fairness, it should also be mentioned that it is just as likely that a partner or spouse will catch you in one of your own attempts to deceive. And ironically, we are just as unprepared to deal with this kind of situation.

Ignoring the paradoxes inherent in our romantic relationships turns out to be a costly strategy and most people pay the price for this decision, unexpectedly, and all at once. It’s not so much that coming to terms with the use of deception in romantic relationships will solve all of the problems you are going to encounter, but it will certainty help to reduce the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty that occur when deception eventually comes to light.

When it comes love and romance, most of the things we believe, turn out not to be true. Most people believe that all of their marital or relational problems can be solved through “communication.” We also believe that deception is difficult to achieve, that misleading a partner requires a lot of effort and thought, and that romantic partners can tell when a lover is lying, and so on. None of these widely held beliefs, however, are supported by the evidence. Rather, our romantic relationships are held together by a delicate balance of both candor and deceit. And both are critical to making our intimate relationships work.

Romantic relationships entail two important features which allow deception to flourish: abundant opportunity, as well as the need to deceive. As we get close to another person, we intentionally and unintentionally provide them with a great deal of information about who we are, revealing ourselves through both our words and deeds. Creating this kind of intimacy or shared knowledge is critical, as it serves as the foundation for a lot of important rewards. Through our close relationships, we create gains with respect to our health, wealth, and emotional well-being.

Because relationships provide so many important rewards, it should come as no surprise that people are inclined to view their romantic partners in a positive light. We place a lot of trust in our romantic partners. We think we know them well. But while our trust surely provides us with a sense of security and comfort, it also lays the ground for deceit. For as we trust our partners more, we also become more confident but less accurate at determining when the truth is being told.

Every relevant study attests to the fact that lovers are terrible at telling when their partners are lying. In fact, detecting deception with anyone is difficult to do, but lovers manage to take this general failure to a spectacular low. Again, as we become more confident that we can tell when a lover is lying, the exact opposite turns out to be true. This “truth-bias” or “blind faith” provides the perfect opportunity for romantic partners to engage in deception. After all, who makes a better victim than someone who is eager and willing to trust everything you have to say?

Not only do close relationships create a wonderful opportunity for deception to occur, they also create the need. While romantic relationships offer many rewards, they also tend to be overly constrictive. Most everyone has felt the constraints of a close relationship from time to time; quite simply you are no longer free to do what you want, when you want, and with whom you want. So intimacy provides tremendous rewards, but at an enormous cost – the loss of your freedom and autonomy.

Lying to a romantic partner helps us deal with the constraints that our intimate relationships impose. Quite frankly, deceiving a romantic partner turns out to be the most efficient and effective way of maintaining the rewards we get from our romantic relationships while pursuing extra-relational goals and activities behind a partner’s back.

How do we decide when to lie and when to tell the truth? Well, most of the time we do not intentionally think about misleading our partners. Rather such decisions are governed by our emotions and just seem to happen when the right situation presents itself. Often a sense of excitement, opportunity, and exhilaration can lead us down paths we had no intention of traveling. A sense of fear, loss, and trepidation, on the other hand, prompt us to cover-up what we’ve done and be more conservative in the short-term. Luckily our emotions are very good at reading situations and keeping our deceptive behavior within limits. Our emotions prompt us to regain some of our freedoms while also allowing us to maintain the benefits we get from our intimate relationships.

When you take a step back and put it altogether, the picture that emerges tends to be rather ironic. Because our romantic relationships are so rewarding yet constrictive, we are simultaneously more truthful and more deceptive with those we love. Additionally, we place the most trust in the person who is most likely to deceive us, just as we are most likely to deceive the person who loves and trusts us the most. These are just a few of the paradoxes that emerge when taking a close look at the use of deception in our romantic relationships. Most of what is uncovered runs counter to our most cherished beliefs about love and romance; that is, the idea that complete openness and intimacy are a central and defining feature of being in love.

Initially most people avoid looking for deception by a loved one. But as you begin to examine your own behavior more closely it becomes harder to dismiss the degree to which lies, betrayal, secrecy and deceit are ever present in our close relationships. Hopefully, you will take on a greater appreciation for the complexities of your relationships as well as a richer understanding of what it means to be in love. Regardless of the final outcome, taking a close look at deception in your life will change the way you view yourself and others.

How to Help Someone Fall in Love with You or at Least Like You a Lot

Posted by Vipul Mistry Wednesday, May 7, 2008 0 comments

Imagine, for a moment, your ideal partner. He or she may not have been part of any of the relationships you have experienced so far. On the other hand, the person you imagine may be your spouse or significant other. The "who" is not important for this exercise. Now imagine that ideal person’s face as you want it to look. Does it have a smile or a scowl?

If you said it has a scowl, make an appointment with me fast! And not because I wear a scowl, but because you need help.

Whom Do We Choose...And Who Chooses Us?

Most of us want the significant relationship in our life to be someone who genuinely smiles a lot, whose eyes sparkle, who is filled with fun energy, and who is someone we consider to be "good company". Of course, this is not enough foundation for building a lifelong healthy relationship, but it is a start. It is the ability to smile, to have fun and to involve others that help to attract the opposite sex.

Smiling Is A Vital Social Cue

Smiling is one of the first things we do as conscious humor beings – beings who are born with a sense of humor. An infant smiles, perhaps without knowing why, to say that it is non-threatening. It is a gesture of reassurance. It says "I will not hurt you, and you should not hurt me. I am of good humor."

What works for us as infants also works as adults. If men want to attract women, or women want to attract men, what is the first thing they do when their eyes meet? They smile – perhaps shyly, perhaps hardly noticeably, maybe it’s just a slight facial twitch. But the message is clear: "I like what I see and I hope you will like me." It is the initial tentative step in any friendly relationship.

Of course, one smile does not guarantee another in return. You might get a scowl. That’s a definite message to keep away. Smiles and scowls are primordial signals of encouragement or warning employed by all mammals and crossing all language barriers.

Take a dog, for instance. If it is pleased to see you, it has a grin from ear to ear and its tail wags crazily. Bared teeth, on the other hand, leave no mistaken impression that you are welcome. One false step and you’ll need a patch in your trousers. We don’t speak "doggish", though the language is clear. Smiles and scowls avoided fights to the death in prehistoric times – and sometimes do today.

Smiling Is A Precursor To Bigger And Better Things!

So you gaze across a crowded room, smiling for three hours? Clearly, the smile is just the beginning, the message that says: "I am safe to approach," and implicitly asks the question: "Are you?" An answering smile means at least that there is no danger. Now, you need to follow up in some appropriate fashion.

"I’m in love with you, will you marry me?" is clearly not appropriate. In this respect, we are not like dogs. There is a protocol or acceptable behavior to follow. The next step is to get the other person to like us, and to find out if we like them. Go back to what you want your ideal partner to be like. One of the things most of us want in a relationship is fun - and my special prescription, The Fun Factor is the best way to learn the fun attitude that attracts mates in droves!

That does not mean we want to listen to corny jokes all day. It means pleasurable activity, and the prospect of such activity in a loving relationship.

After the smile, that first approach needs to be relaxed and to relax the other person. Will talking about you do it? Hardly, if that’s how you open a conversation. Do this too soon and you could destroy a potential relationship before it even begins. Why should the other person be interested in you, what you do and what you think? Ask about the other person? That’s better. That person’s life is more likely to be of interest to them than yours is. And when the other person does the talking, they think you are a great conversationalist.

But it’s still too early for that. Starting with a serious conversation is usually a mistake, though it is frequently made.

Becoming Childlike Is The Key To Forming Lasting Healthy Relationships

Why should forming a new relationship be so difficult when it was so easy for us early in our lives? If you need proof of how easy it was, watch two infants able to crawl but not yet able to talk. Listen to the gurgles they make to one another, and the squeals of delight. They have not yet learned embarrassment, shyness, timidity, to be afraid of rejection. No one told them yet to fear others, that some would not be friendly or welcome them.

They can’t talk, but they already know how to have fun with each other.

Watch them when they are four. They will play together for hours, chattering away, inventing games with seemingly unlimited imagination. They form attachments and real friendships. No one taught them how. They just let their curiosity take over. They still have little experience with embarrassment. No one has explained relationships, they simply happen naturally.

You know what? There are no rules other than being natural and having fun. Only when a child enters school, where rules and discipline have to be enforced to maintain order, does innocence start to give way to the realities of a world in which not all is pleasant and fun. Only then, as a rule, are they taught not to speak to strangers because strangers can be dangerous.

The Key To A Great, Healthy Relationship...Become The Person You Desire

The same is true now. There is no cookie-cutter set of rules for attracting the opposite sex. What works for one couple does not work for another. But there are some constants. One of them is to use The Fun Factor to be a fun-loving person, remembering the simplicity and lack of deviousness of small children. An appropriate sense of fun and good humor can be the trigger for that magic spark that can turn into love.

When you have revealed a sense of humor that is attractive to the other person, you will have the opportunity to show that you are also a caring person, kind-hearted, loving, attentive, good parent potential, protective and all the other things in whatever combination is attractive to your potential partner. And you will be able to find out the same things about them. Then, you can become more committed.

But first, you will have to pass the fun test. Is there still a small child in you?

How Do You Know When You Are In Love?

Posted by Vipul Mistry Tuesday, May 6, 2008 0 comments

“How can I know when I’m really in love?” asked Ruby, a client of mine. “How can I know if what I feel for Jim is really love or just infatuation? How can I know if this feeling will last?”

Ruby and Jim had been dating for 11 months and were considering marriage. Ruby, 32, felt “head over heels” in love with Jim, but she had felt head over heels in love with Adam, as well as with Mark.

“That feeling didn’t last with Adam or Mark. How do I know it will last with Jim? How can you tell when it’s the real thing?”

“Ruby,” I told her, “the answer to this important question depends upon which part of you feels ‘in love’ and which part of Jim you are ‘in love’ with.”

I explained to Ruby that she can be in love from her ego, or as we call it in the Inner Bonding process we teach, her wounded self. Or, she can be in love from her true Self or core Self - her essence, her soul Self. If she is in love from her wounded self, it will be about external things and the love will not last. But if she is in love from her soul Self, it will be about internal things, and it is very likely that the love will see her through all the challenges that come up in relationships.

“Ruby,” I asked her, “What do you love about Jim?”

“I’ve been thinking about that a lot,” she answered. “It’s kind of funny some of the things I love about him. I love his walk and his smell. I love the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles, and I love his laugh. I love just being next to him. There is something about his energy - I don’t quite know how to talk about it – that I love being around. I love his touch. I love his kindness and sensitivity and his deep caring for people. Even though he would not be considered a handsome man, I love how he looks. There’s something about his mouth and the look in his eyes that just fills me with love. And I love the passion he has about both his work and his hobbies I love his playfulness. We laugh a lot together. ”

“How is this different than what you loved about Adam or Mark?”

“I think that with both Adam and Mark I was pretty much blown away by their looks – they were both hunks. Both of them were also very successful and very social. They took me to nice places and great vacations. Jim is not as financially successful nor as social, yet I feel much safer with him. I think that I also feel in love with Adam’s power in the world. He really seemed to have it together and his sense of power turned me on. But he wasn’t always nice to people, and he wasn’t always nice to me.”

“So it seems that with Adam and Mark, your wounded self was in love with their wounded selves – their more superficial qualities of looks, money and power. But it sounds like with Jim your essence is in love with his essence. The qualities you say you are in love with are qualities that won’t go away over time, because they are soul qualities. People can certainly lose their looks and their money, but it is unlikely that Jim will lose the qualities that you love in him, especially if you frequently express your appreciation for these qualities.”

“So I really am in love with Jim! This really is different than my other relationships. You know, I think I’ve finally grown up. The more superficial qualities just don’t seem to be so attractive to me anymore!”

Flower Power!

Posted by Vipul Mistry Monday, May 5, 2008 1 comments

Many fail to realize the power flowers have on our emotional well being. Flowers overwhelm our senses with exotic fragrances and beauty. They play on our need for belonging, attention and attraction and most of all; flowers remind us that we are somehow “special” to someone.

So why do so many people underestimate the simple sentiment of flowers?

Reasons people give for not sending flowers are that they do not know where to start and that not everyone appreciates flowers, especially men.

Locating a florist near you is simple. By searching through your local phone directory or by doing an Internet search for Florists you can easily access an extensive directory of florists that should be able to accommodate deliveries in your area, nation and world wide.

Locating a florist near you, that is suited to your needs, however, may be a little more difficult. Asking a florist if they have an active database that they use for their clients is always a helpful hint. Active databases store vital information about customer, such as past purchases, delivery information, preferences and needs and “special dates to remember”.

In addition, ask if the florist performs a client profile survey. This type of survey informs the florist of upcoming special occasions for each of their customer’s data via the database. Many of times, I myself have been “reminded” of my anniversary by my personal florist through a personal phone call or by a mailer. This act alone is one of the best indicators as to how good a florist’s customer service is. Choosing the right flowers can also be quite simple. If a client survey is performed and an active database is utilized a professional florist should easily be able to determine if a bouquet of Daisies is appropriate for your occasion or if the arrangement calls for something more sophisticated. If you are still uncertain, it is also helpful to visit the florist’s show room. This will enable you to better visualize the type of selection that will best convey your sentiment.

However, things to consider when sending a man flowers are his personal style, office décor, and personal hobbies. Most professional florists try to integrate this knowledge into the design and flower selection of the arrangement. For example; if the man you are sending flowers to is a golfer, your personal florist may want to add golf balls or tees to the arrangement. Men are also stimulated by color and are visually oriented, so it may be a good idea for the florist to use bright vivid colors as well.

Just as women love receiving flowers, it turns out, men do too. A survey, conducted by the Society of American Florists, showed that over 60% of men responded in favor of receiving flowers on special occasions and holidays, particularly Valentine’s Day.

As the need to exhibit personal gratitude, love, appreciation, and concern grows in our emotionally intellectual society it has never been a better time for people to stop and send some flowers.

Long Lasting Love Relationships

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, May 4, 2008 0 comments

Dating and establishing love relationships can be compared to choosing a vehicle. You pick out the make, model, year, color and features that you believe are best for you. After driving your vehicle for a couple of months, you realize that perhaps you should have purchased a larger car, or that maybe the leather seats would have been better, or on hot sunny days, the sunroof would have been nice. However, it is now too late so you choose to keep your car and accept the decision you made. It is the same for a marriage or couple relationship. Not everything will be perfect and there will be major obstacles to overcome but you have made your decision and now you choose to make it work no matter which marriage troubles you are experiencing.

Dating and marriage is different than it was thirty years ago. Today, more than 50% of all marriages fail for one reason or another. Just thinking about that makes “commitments” and marriage vows seem scary. It seems that when relationships are faced with challenges, people quit trying. Dating is more like a marathon, trying to date as many people as possible, instead of taking time to get to know someone on a deeper level. For married couples, divorce is not biased. Whether married for thirty years or eight months, the outcome can be the same.

The fact is that relationships, whether dating or married, are hard. Things do not always go perfectly, fighting does occur, and it takes a 100% commitment from both parties to make it a success. Often when people break off a relationship, they feel as though something is missing. The “spark” has gone, leaving one or both people feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. However, even though the odds are not very good, it has been proven by many people that healthy and long-lasting relationships are definitely possible. Look at Paul Newman and Joanne Woodard, Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman, or Nancy and Ronald Regan. What secrets do and did they possess? The answer is: work hard at the relationship. They made a decision of choosing to love their mate rather than relying on the “warm and fuzzy” feelings, which everyone knows will fade. By making love a choice, you are making a decision that even in the bad times, you stick it out.

There are hundreds of things you can do to build, strengthen, and enhance your relationship. You can find lots of relationship self help resources online. Remember, little steps taken every day will add up to big successes.

Do You Love Yourself?

Posted by Vipul Mistry Saturday, May 3, 2008 0 comments

Always feeling insecurity over your love relationship? So much so to the extent of even feeling suspicious, doubting your partner’s love for you? Well though it might not exactly always be your fault but still I must say, this is the beginning of a very unhealthy relationship. In the long run, it might even lead to an end of the relationship.

I should believe that you are having such thoughts because you really cherish this relationship? But well, perhaps cherishing it just a bit too much? Think about it, how would you feel if things were the other way round? Would you like it if your partner were to doubt your love for them instead? Always calling on you to find out where you are, whom you are with, what you are doing? Believe me, nobody like that. It is only negative and more negative feedbacks that I have got from friends that are having such encounters.

Some, who simply cannot stand it, initiated a break off.

Remember, trust between partners is one of the key criteria to a happy and fulfilling relationship. Without it, an ever-lasting relationship would never be possible.

But first of all, before we can built up this mutual trust, that is one very important thing you must achieve and that is, to trust yourself! If you don’t even trust yourself, how can you expect others, your very love to trust you? To have faith in the relationship?

You must believe in yourself, believing that there is this very special you within yourself. A very special you that make you well liked by friends and family, which of course also include your very love, loving this very special and unique you.

Everybody is unique in his or her very own way. That can only be one you and no more else in this world. Your friends and family like you for who you are. Your love, loves you for who you are. So when everyone genuine likes you, how can you yourself, don’t like yourself as who you are? Doubting your very own self? I don’t suppose you wanna lose your friends and that special someone whom you truly love?

Look into the mirror today and tell yourself, “You are great! I love you!” Yes, when you love yourself, you will naturally have this feel of confidence bringing out that very radiance in you. When you yourself are happy, others will naturally feel happy when being with you.

Remember, love is always a two-way communication. It takes two, a happy you and a happy him or her to complete the equation.