Sunday, December 25, 2005

Little Secrets

Little Secrets

Little secrets can be useful. An example is knowing that hotel mattresses are less worn and more comfortable on the side away from the phone. Or knowing that listening to Mozart's sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes can raise your IQ 9 points.
They can also be just interesting. Did you know that the furthest point from the center of the earth isn't Everest, but the top of Mount Chimborazo, in Ecuador (due to the bulge in the planet near the equator)? Here are some little secrets that are a little of both.
- Find money in bibles. Hotel owners report that visitors tuck money in the bedside bible, and forget to take it with them. Check those bibles!
- Find treasure in hotel rooms. Treasure hunters have found that businessmen take off and hide their wedding rings in hotel rooms, before they head to the bars. They sometimes forget them when they check out. Where would you hide something? There may already be something there.
- Reduce debt with a letter. In a truly tough situation, write a nice letter to creditors, asking them if they would accept 30% (or 50%, or whatever) of your balance as payment in full, if you can raise the cash before filing bankruptcy. They know they'll get nothing if you file. I have seen more than one person eliminate a large chunk of their debt in this way. A lawyer or "representative" can write it for you, and they may pay more attention.
- To always have something interesting to say, train yourself to look at things from other perspectives. What would the Buddha say about this? How would a Martian view it? What's the opposite perspective? The point is to see what interesting ideas result. Do this until it's a habit, and you'll always have something interesting to add to a conversation.
- Book two flights to save big bucks. When I was going to Ecuador, I checked several websites that claimed "cheap international airfare." The cheapest from Traverse City, Michigan (where I lived at the time) to Quito, Ecuador, was $1720. Out of curiosity, I checked Miami to Quito: only $404. Traverse City to Miami: $299. $703 total! Book two separate flights and save more than $1000! The discount sites aren't set up to check in this way for you, so you have to do this on your own.
- If you have good credit, you don't have to pay annual fees on credit cards. Call and ask for the fee to be removed. I first did this years ago. On three out of four cards, they dropped the fee. For the fourth, I dropped the card. In fact the threat of closing the account is what got the fees dropped on the others. There are many of these little secrets that credit card companies don't want you to know.
- An energy transfer motivation secret. Talk about anything you're passionate about, and then transfer the energy created to what you need to work on. If talking politics gets you going, for example, do that, and then work on your goal. It's even more effective if you can connect the two in your mind. If making money is your goal, for example, you could tell yourself, "With more money, I can find ways to change things politically."
- In a book of little health secrets I read that tee tree oil might remove a growth I'd had for ten years on my nose. I applied a drop to the lump each day. In six weeks, the lump was gone. Coincidence? I don't think so. I later had a larger growth on my neck. Unfortunately, for several years, I couldn't remember what I had used the first time. When I finally found my old notes, I used tea tree oil again, and the lump was gone in about six weeks. There are reasons that doctors don't tell us these little secrets.


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