Features of MS Excel 2003


MS Excel can be customized in a way that suits a user to achieve his goal. It is extensively used in financial organizations. The features of MS Excel are as follows:

Workbooks: A document in MS Excel is called a workbook. Each workbook contains sixteen worksheets by default. A user can change this number by resetting the default options. Worksheets within workbooks make it easy to bind files of related information. When a user opens a workbook, he can use all the worksheets to perform a task. To create a workbook, a user will have to select the New command from the File menu. To open an existing workbook, a user will have to select the Open option from the File menu. A user can insert a worksheet between two worksheets by choosing the Worksheet option from the Insert menu.

Using keyboard: The following table provides different keyboard shortcuts for selecting a row, column, current cell, worksheet, etc.

To Select Keyboard Shortcuts

Current Cell Enter

Entire Column CTRL+Spacebar

Entire Row hift+Spacebar

Entire Worksheet CTRL+SHIFT+Spacebar

A user can perform various kinds of entries in a cell. He can enter text, number, data, and time in a cell. He can also enter some special characters such as $ % + – / ( ). He can also enter date and time in a cell. He can select different formats for date and time according to his own requirements.

Entering Data in Series: A user can fill a range of cells either with the same value or with the series of values. This can be done using the Autofill handle (small square on the bottom-right corner of the active cell).

Cell References: MS Excel provides three types of cell references: relative, absolute, and mixed. Relative references refer to the cell relative to the given position. Absolute references refer to the specific cell irrespective of the position of the formula. The ‘$’ sign is used to denote an absolute reference. Mixed references are a combination of both relative and absolute references. It has one absolute co-ordinate and one relative co-ordinate. $CI and C$1 are both examples of mixed references.

MS Excel allows fast searching and instant replacing of data. To search or replace the data entered by a user, he can use the Find or Replace command from the Edit menu.

Inserting or Deleting Rows and Columns:

MS Excel provides the facility to insert rows or columns into the existing worksheet. Inserting a row of data shifts the rest of the rows down and removes the last row of the worksheet. Similarly, inserting a column shifts the rest of the columns to the right and deletes the rightmost column. This occurs because the total number of rows and columns remain the same in any case.

MS Excel provides several formatting features that enhance the appearance of the data, which is presented in the worksheets. Some of them are described as follows: MS Excel allows setting up a page before printing. To set up a page, a user will have to open the File menu and click on the Page Setup. The Page Setup dialog box will appear that will allow the user to set the paper size, orientation of the data, scaling of the area, set the left, right, bottom, and top margin, set the header and the footer, etc.

MS Excel provides the autofit selection that adjusts the width of the column according to the widest entry in that column. A user can hide or unhide certain rows or columns. He can also provide the default column standard width.

MS Excel allows a user to align the characters in different ways by using the Alignment tab page of the Format Cells dialog box. The dialog box provides a number of alignment options.

Horizontal Alignment options:

General: The text is left aligned and the numbers are right aligned. This is the default status.

Left: Aligns the contents to the left of the cell.

Center: Aligns the cell contents to the center of the cell.

Right: Aligns the contents to the right of the cell.

Fill: Fills the selected cells with the single character.

Justify: This option is selected with multiple lines of text as it wraps the contents from left to right.

Vertical Alignment options:

Top: Aligns the text at the top of the cell.

Center: Places the text in the center of the cell.

Bottom: Aligns the text on the bottom of the cell.

Justify: Wraps the text from top to bottom.

MS Excel provides a facility of viewing the same worksheet simultaneously in more than one window. This is accomplished by selecting the New Window command in the Windows menu. A user can also create more than one window to arrange the workspace to promptly access the information needed. Using MS Excel, a window can be arranged in different ways by using the Arrange command from the Windows menu.

If a user wants to move between different windows, he can do so by pressing Ctrl+F6 to go to the next window or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F6 to go to the previous window. He can temporarily hide or unhide windows by choosing the Hide command in Window menu to hide the active window or by choosing the Unhide command in the Window menu to unhide the hidden window.

When a user works on a very large worksheet with row and column headings, the row headings scroll off to the left when he moves towards the right. Similarly, when he moves down to see the data, the column headings scroll up. To overcome this problem, he can split the active window into two, with row or column headings in one window and the data on the other window.

Controls: The controls are the special objects, which enhance user interface and facilitate user input. MS Excel provides several custom controls such as list boxes, check boxes, and dialog boxes, etc. A large number of toolbars are found in the View menu. Users can add a toolbar or a number of toolbars into the working document depending upon the work involved and use different controls in their documents.

Functions and formulas: The built-in formulas are called functions. MS Excel provides analyzing data and manipulating text by using different functions. Users can easily calculate percentage, interest, average, etc. by using built-in functions. This can be done either by typing in the function-based formulas or by using function wizards. Formulas are widely used in simple computing (such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and advanced computing. They provide the power to analyze data extensively.

Auto-calculation: MS Excel spreadsheet allows a user to automatically recalculate the whole worksheet every time a change is made in a single cell. There are basically two kinds of recalculations.

Automatic: In this type of calculation, the change in the value of the cell automatically recalculates the whole worksheet.

Manual: In this type of calculation, the recalculation of the complete worksheet is performed by pressing the F9 key. This option can be selected on the Calculation tab page of the Options dialog box, which is opened by choosing Options from the Tools menu.

Charts: One of the most important features of MS Excel is a chart. MS Excel allows users to view data entered as tables in a graphical form as charts, which helps a user to easily understand, analyze, and compare data. Excel allows its users to create either two-dimensional charts or three-dimensional charts. A user can enhance the chart by adding chart items, such as data labels, a legend, titles, text, and gridlines. He can also do formatting on these items by using colors, alignment, fonts, and other formatting attributes. MS Excel also allows users to view charts along with the data by using embedded charts. These charts are included in the worksheet and can be copied, moved, and resized in the same way as can be done with any other graphical object.

Database: Data are raw facts, information is processed data, and a database is an organized collection of information. Every organization heavily depends upon databases to store, retrieve, and maintain different kinds of data. MS Excel provides all this in the form of its database feature. In MS Excel, database can be created in two ways:

Enter the data in the form of table in the worksheet.

Use the Data Form command

Records can be inserted, deleted, and sorted by using the Data menu.

With the above-described features of MS Excel, users can perform almost all the operations they want in a very efficient and easy way. Its advanced features have made it the first choice for professionals working in a financial organization to perform their lengthy tasks in an easy way and in a quick manner. Therefore, MS Excel has become the most preferred choice for most of the users as well as professionals throughout the world.


Bubbles, a Blindfold and a Breakthrough


If one’s significant other sends an SMS at 4pm saying ‘Have an idea. Bring home champagne’, this is one of those few occasions in life that I recommend immediate, absolute and unquestioning obedience. Which is why, a few hours later, (kids having been put to bed) I found myself blindfolded, in a carefully prepared room of candles and well, um, not wearing much. The details are unimportant here, interesting as they may be. Suffice to say my husband’s plan involved champagne, honey and a whole lot of pleasure. And that’s where the trouble started.

After a few minutes of utterly loving, tender attention I began to feel a bit choky and teary. I attempted to ignore it and focus on receiving. But the receiving was hard – really hard – and I’m sorry to say that within no time I had broken into choking, wheezing and decidedly unattractive sobs. This was really not what the poor man had in mind but, being who he is, he just held me and let me cry it all out right there on the lounge floor.

It was clear to me after the initial emotions had abated that my overwhelming feeling was, in fact, fear. How ridiculous, I can well imagine you thinking, to feel scared of something so loving. But here’s the combination of factors that pressed my buttons:

• Being completely passive (blindfolded, not part of planning the event etc)

• And, most importantly, not being able or allowed to give anything to the other person

I’m okay with receiving things (I receive a lot, I think) as long as I know for sure that I have given in equal, or surpassing amounts. As long as I know for sure that I have paid my way, earned it properly and am not receiving more than anyone else, that is fine. But when a situation was set up for me where I was so blatantly the bigger receiver it felt incredibly dangerous to me.

This tells me, of course, that I base my worth, my day-to-day okayness, on making sure I am the bigger giver. I know this is egotistical, a form of staying in power. Even if on the surface it appears to be altruistic, it is coming from a fear, which of course is always coming from a wound. In my case, the wound in question is a series of events in which I did receive something significant (an honour, a prize, recognition, awards etc) and then got severely cut down by someone close to me afterwards. This is why it appears dangerous to me to be in a position where I am clearly the bigger receiver – it feels like I am about to get really, really hurt! And so I avoid that by being devoted to my clients, obsessed with giving gifts, a stickler about paying my way and diverting all forms of high reward (money, recognition and so on) in another direction rather than letting it really ‘land’ on me, like my husband’s massage was doing.

I realised with such astounding clarity that night that the things I can possibly do that are ONLY about my reward and no-one else’s (e.g. exercising, saving, growing my brand) are the things I procrastinate on and resist, but hand me an opportunity to help or give or improve someone else’s lot and I will have all the energy and persistence in the world.

Does this mean I should change careers, no longer give gifts and stop paying my way? Not at all; that would be inauthentic. There is very real and pure joy for me in all those things. I simply need to face that pattern of pain and muscle up to my fear of being criticized and accused for doing really well.

This kind of inquiry is the essence of Shadow Work, and many other self-awareness techniques. I share my story here to show the very real possibilities of uncovering your own shadow within your everyday life, as long as you are very willing to go there. It’s not always pleasant but the relief opens up a vast new sky of options and means you can use your life to run towards what you love instead of to constantly run from what you fear.

Oh, and trust me, my husband was well rewarded.


A Gem


In everyone’s life, if they take the time to think about it, there are gems. The gems I am referring to are the people who slip into our lives somewhere along the way and add that special depth of beauty that only a precious gem possesses. My life is no exception, and I like one who has been bestowed such a thing of beauty am compelled to show any who would desire to see. Hopefully through the telling of how their seemingly ordinary, extraordinary lives intertwined with mine, you to will recognize priceless beauty. As a side note it is interesting to me how that just as a diamond cannot form with out time and pressure the people that I regard as gems were older when I met them and were no strangers to the weight of the world.

My first little gem appeared when I was 8 years old entering third grade at Memorial school. This was quite a pivotal year for many reasons. First being that it was to be my first year in a “town school”, having come from a tiny three-room country school surrounded by grass and trees to a three story building surrounded by black top. Secondly this would be the first year that my identical twin sister and I would be in different classrooms. And thirdly and possibly the most important, this was to be the year that a determination was to be made as to whether I would be placed in a Special Education class. Which in the 60’s was I believe much more significant than now, in that once a child was placed in the class there was little if any movement out again, and the small classes were only for the most severe.

The reason or reasons I preformed so poorly in school are hard to know for sure. I had had some emotional trauma before entering the first grade but my twin sister had been exposed to the same events with seemingly no affect, in fact she was performing well above her grade level while I was failing miserably. The other explanation may have been that even though I was a “sweet” little girl and minded by choice all most all the time, I learned early on that if I didn’t want to do school work, no one reeealy made you do it. Or there may just have been too much going on in my little life. Whatever the reason, there I was; town school, no sister, unable to read or write even close to what was required for third grade. In fact years later I used to kid about myself that I was able to sing my alphabet, and that truly was about it.

I recall the first day of that school year when I saw my teacher Mrs. Ware. I am now embarrassed by my first impressions of this dignified little woman. She was as previously stated a little woman with black and gray somewhat unruly hair, dark piercing eyes and very thin and to a little third grader very old. She also walked with a cane and with all of these factors put together the only logical conclusion to a frightened eight year old was that she was a real live witch. Being young and immature I did the only thing to do…I cried, and cried, and cried. It’s been too many years to remember exactly how often I cried in school but it was so much so that this well seasoned veteran teacher called the principal to our classroom more than once to try and settle me down. This went on well into the year, but by Christmas break I remember being excited and happy about the gifts Mrs. Ware had given me.

So somewhere in the first half of the year my feeling toward of my teacher changed, how it was that I started to thrive in that class, I myself don’t know but I do know I grew to love her and felt safe in her classroom. Like the blind man of the Bible the scales fell from my eyes revealing a beautiful face that looked on me with such love and kindness. That firm love and kindness kept me in at recess to work one on one, consequently my success in school grew. So much so that by the end of the year I had gone from last in the class to close to number one. You might think that this was a joint effort between home and school, but that was not the case in1967, there were no flash cards sent home, no list of words to be memorized, no required reading books. My parents were working hard to pay bills for our family of seven. No this was all one little crippled woman, who loved teaching children.

That is my side of the story, but about ten years later after I had already graduated from high school I was to hear Mrs. Ware’s story. I had wanted to talk to her and to tell her how she had changed the course of my life. I had heard that she was in the hospital and went to see her. When I arrived at the hospital she looked the same as I had remembered her, except that her dark brown eyes had dulled somewhat, and yet I was amazed at how they still could light up with an inner sparkle. Much to my delight she remembered me all those years and students later. She told how my sister and I upon entering our new school were the talk of the entire faculty. She said she was told her that she had the dumb twin. She then told me a story, how she had been a teacher at a parochial school when she was very young, but had met a man and gotten married and that at that time the catholic school had a policy that after a woman got married her “job” was to take care of her husband and get busy and have children. She left that teaching job and never had any children of her own. Having been a young married devout French Catholic girl in about the 1920’s who had such a heart for children I can’t imagine that she choose to have no children.

I don’t know how long she tried to have a child of her own or the pain endured by such a tender woman. But I do know that she told me that when she reentered teaching in the public schools she made a deal with God that every child that came into her classroom she would teach and love as if he or she were actually her child. And she did. She went on to say that she was not happy with the “dumb twin” label and was out to prove that wrong. I am no brain surgeon, but after third grade I sailed through school with no more difficulty. As a teenager and maybe even more so as a forty something adult I am reminded by Mrs. Ware’s life how the hard times we endure and our greatest sorrows in life can be the pressure that make us into the precious gems that glisten and reflect so beautifully the love of God to others. The memory of Mrs. Honorade Ware will always be treasured in the corner of my heart that can only be viewed through the eyes of a grateful child.


The Confidence – Humility Paradox


“You know what you need? To be more confident–remember, you are special and extremely valuable!”

“You know what you need? To be more humble–remember, it’s not about you!”

And there you have it–the two most basic instructions we are ever given in life, when you really boil it down…how confusing.

For anyone who’s ever tried to live a good life, these two instructions can keep us conflicted, even tormented at times.

You want to excel at your work, so you strive to do better than everyone else. At some point, the guilt kicks in: “Oops–I’m getting too self-centered. I need to settle down and be more humble.”

So, to compensate, you downplay your strengths and try not to draw too much attention to yourself–you know, be more humble. But then someone notices you’re not living up to your potential, and in the spirit of encouragement says, “Why are you devaluing yourself? You have so much to offer the world!”


Maybe it’s a balance…maybe if I’m just excellent enough to do a good job, but plain enough that I don’t seem arrogant, that will do the trick! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Welcome to the world of in-between living. Is that balanced, or is it wishy-washy?

I’m thinking the latter.

You can’t point your life in two directions at the same time! I wrote in “Slavery is as Slavery Does” that you have to serve somebody…which way are you headed? On the road to excellence, or the road to obscurity?

Much of our entire culture is deeply conflicted about this–business, social life, even religion. We know confidence is a good thing, and we know humility is a good thing. How do you do both?

Here’s a thought. What if confidence and humility were essentially the same thing?

The word confidence comes from the word that means “trust” or “reliable.” When we have confidence in something, it means that we trust it. What if God gives you an ability or a gift to use? Is it right for us to trust in the power of that gift? In other words, should we have confidence that we can do a certain thing, because God made us that way, or is it better to just say “Well, no, I really can’t do that, because I don’t believe in the way God made me.”

In it’s purest form, confidence is simply trusting that God gave you the ability to do something well. To deny that is not humility–it is cowardice. You are afraid it may not work every single time, or that people will think you’re arrogant. If you were really good, you might lose some friends.

How about humility? It is related to the word “humus”, which refers to earth, or “dirt.” It’s a classic religious virtue–not just in Christianity, but in the other major world religions as well. Now of course, true humility is a beautiful and godly thing. But on the other hand, it is also a very powerful way that religion has tried to keep people guilty and compliant. Hmm…what’s a well-meaning person to do?

As usual, Jesus is the best example of confidence and humility–of authority and self-sacrifice. The perfect ruler, and the perfect servant–awesome. But I think it’s important to understand that this was not because Jesus had a split personality! There was not one Jesus that was confident and another that was humble; or one Jesus that was the King of kings, and one that gave Himself as the sacrificial Lamb.

Somehow, Jesus managed to be the highest authority and under authority all at the same time. How was this possible?

My thought is that maybe, just maybe, confidence and humility, in their purest forms, are the same thing!

Consider this:

Confidence comes when you realize you are a creation of God, formed from dirt but breathed into by God crafted into a masterpiece! When a person really gets this (emphasizing the “masterpiece” part), confidence appears, and accomplishment, overcoming, and greatness are the result.

But humility comes when you realize you are a creation of God, formed from dirt but breathed into by God, and crafted into a masterpiece. When a person really gets this (emphasizing the “dirt” part), humility appears, and forgiveness, mercy, and servanthood are the result.

Did you see the common theme? Both confidence and humility are the natural result of realizing we are a creation of God, formed from dirt but breathed into by God, crafted into a masterpiece. Depending on which part of this truth you dwell on, either confidence or humility results.

Even better, what if we really “got” both sides of this truth at the same time? Those two sides being:

1. I am a creation, formed from dirt.

2. I have the breath of God and am therefore a masterpiece.

“Created for This” tends to emphasize the “masterpiece” side of this truth, because there are already plenty of voices trying to convince us we won’t amount to much because we’re too screwed up. I’m here to remind people that grace gives us the ability to live a great life, even if we have screwed up.

But we never forget that all this comes from God, not ourselves. We were “Created For This”–we are not “The Creator”!

When we really get this, we are living on the cutting edge–the paradox of confidence and humility. If we tip too far to one side, we’ll either start worshiping ourself, or we’ll start devaluing ourself–neither one is right.

Where are you at today? Which part of this paradox do you need to embrace today? The best life is the life of confidence AND humility.


The Only Option is to Succeed


With the end of the year fast approaching, now is a great time to take stock of 2004. It is likely that your company set specific goals at the beginning of the year. As you review the past year, the question that must be asked is, “Have I achieved my goals? Has my company achieved the outcomes we set?” If your answer is yes, congratulations! If not, what stopped you?

There are always unplanned occurrences that prevent us from accomplishing all the goals we set. However, our roadblocks are often as simple as getting caught up in the day to day activities of running our business.

Without constant reminders of our vision and goals, they probably won’t materialize. It’s as simple as that.

The difference between those who achieve a desired outcome and those who don’t is evident. The most common causes of failure in achieving a desired outcome are a lack of goals and focus, lack of direction, lack of appropriate action and lack of being willing to risk – and risk big. On the other hand, those who seem to get the desired result have specific goals, clearly visualize what they want, have clear direction, take massive action and are willing to take incredible risks.

One of my goals for 2004 included writing and publishing another book by year’s end. In creating my newly released book, 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door, this goal was accomplished.

As my co-authors and I were in the initial planning stages of the project we all expressed our desired outcomes or goals. First, the book had to convey quality to the art of selling. Second, we wanted it to be unique, like nothing else currently on the market. Lastly, we wanted to have little, if any, out-of-pocket expenses on what is normally an extremely expensive proposition.

With these goals clearly stated, we set out to create something from the seed of an idea. We were all confident we could achieve the first two goals based on our over 100 years of combined sales knowledge.

It was the goal of achieving as close to a debt free product that would add even more excitement to an already high energy project. The fact is, once we made a public announcement of our book release we had to figure out how to make it work. We did what many high achievers do – we gave ourselves no option but to succeed. We would have to figure out a way to make it work.

Although there are people who would buy simply because they know us, that was not our objective. Our objective was to reach multiple markets where we weren’t necessarily known.

In a moment of high creativity, we decided to sell the book before it was published. We knew if people were willing to buy the book sight unseen we either had to deliver on our promise or lose all credibility in the marketplace and with clients who trust us.

We had to develop an incentive for buying the book before it was printed. As an information products specialist, I know that people value great information. My co-authors also know this to be true. Based on this information we decided to host a complimentary bonus training session for anyone who bought the book before it was published.

The response we received was more than we anticipated. Right from the start the bonus session created quite a few sales. This helped us to pay for a portion of our production costs up front. It also forced us to stay within our stated timeframe for delivery. After all, we couldn’t very well promise hundreds of buyers they would have something on a specified date and not deliver it. Our reputation and credibility was at stake.

With these clear goals, focus, creativity and action, 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door was released on December 2nd. I’m proud to say we achieved all our goals.

As you review the past year, what accomplishments are you extremely proud of? What would you have done differently? What roadblocks got in your way?

The New Year is right around the corner, and with that the opportunity to focus on your personal and business goals. What are the outcomes you truly desire for 2005? Are you willing to give yourself no option but to succeed?


Smoking Kills – Part Two


If you are a smoker, you are contributing to other people’s illness. If you smoke around other people, you are dishing out second-hand smoke to their lungs–against their will. They have no choice but to be poisoned by your second-hand smoke. And remember that the second-hand smoke is the MOST damaging kind of smoke there is in the world.

When you smoke, you are polluting your own lungs and polluting someone else’s air. Your own air is already polluted the minute you light the cigarette. Do you smoke around babies and children? If you do this, you are contributing to their illnesses and could be causing serious lung damage to them at the same time. You are setting an example that it is okay to smoke, and it is NOT okay to smoke. I write this article to urge you to quit smoking for your own health and for the health of those around you.

Smoking is a way of committing suicide. The only reason that you will not get arrested for this kind of suicide is because it is a slow death. This is a slow suicide. You cannot kill yourself from smoking in just one day. You simply jump on the bandwagon if you think that someone’s smoking is out of hand. The smoker needs to make the decision himself or herself. Society can only stand by and wonder how everything is turning out.

Here are things you can do instead of smoking:

  • Have an apple or some other piece of fruit, even if you do not want one. It is probably a physical impossibility to smoke a cigarette at the same as eating an appple, orange or other piece of fruit.
  • Put your cigarettes away or throw them away and go read a book, listen to some music or something like that.
  • Call a friend, co-worker or relative and ask to have lunch, arrange to meet them in person.
  • Remember as you put that cigarette to your mouth, you are hurting other people around you, so just quit it.
  • Make a decision to quit smoking and stick to your own decision.

What bothers me most about smokers is that most of them, (not all, but most of them), are totally inconsiderate of other people’s health. They refuse to recognize the health risks of smoking because to do so means they would have to admit that they are harming others by smoking around other people. I am glad that someone finally passed some laws about smoking indoors. I actually had to quit a job once due to the next person’s smoking. I became very ill from the smoke. I had the job for two years and could not stay. The employer, at the time, permitted smoking. So I left.

No one should have to quit their job due to another person’s smoking. Even today, there are some corporations and companies who still violate the non-smoking rules and regulations. Smoking is bad; smoking is unhealthy, and smoking is so very expensive, even to those of us who do not smoke. Have a heart, safeguard your own heart and your family’s heart, quit that cigarette!

Article created May 27, 2008.


How to Get the Most Out of Running


We have been running our entire lives, mentally and physically. Ironically, running away from a situation is exponentially easier compared to actually exercising. If you’re reading this article, the assumption is you just started running, want to start running, or have been running a bit but need increased results. Over my experience in running I have discovered three methods of increasing efficiency. This is NOT a magical solution or revolutionary regiment, losing weight and getting in better shape is hard work, this will simply give you the rewards you deserve from such work.

One – Adjusting

The majority of running routines I tend to see is something that looks like what I call a “straight line”. My definition of a straight line is running a consistent pace at a specific distance; once it becomes too easy they increase how far they go. This isn’t a bad running plan at all, but if this is all you’re doing – let’s just say it isn’t the best way.

Running a specific distance is a very accepted and common way of training, but it underestimates the body’s ability to learn. Every muscle will become familiar and perform the task easier, which is a good thing at first, until you hit a plateau. To avoid this, trying running for a specific time instead of distance, that way you can discover new routes and keep the same duration of exercise everyday.

Two – Intervals

Let’s be hypothetical, we will pretend you run the same amount of time or distance at the same pace for 5 days, then take a two day break. This is the consistency quite a few plans follow and it does work well, unfortunately, running the same pace every time every day can halt your progress. Keep the runs that remain the same speed throughout, except remove some to get a few days of interval training. An example of interval is sprinting 2 min then jogging 5 and repeating for the desired number of maximum duration. With a few hours on any search engine you can figure out an interval program that will suit you. This helps to confuse muscle groups and incorporate high intensity into your training to keep you moving forward.

Three – Weights

If you are a woman and reading this, you may think that weight training will give you too much muscle, resulting in looking unattractive. This is not true, with the proper amount of research, you will discover that unsightly muscle gain in women is mostly a myth – unless their goal is to build a ton of muscle (female body builders). It is much more difficult for women to build muscle and moderate weight training will tone your body, not build. This is a common misconception and a huge hindrance with beginning women athletes.

Weight training allows you to work your muscles anaerobically (without oxygen) and increase gains. All you need is 15 minutes every other day minimum and it is an improvement. The number one rule of weightlifting is to never, ever, weight lift twice in one day. Your muscles need time to rest and relax, except the leg muscles. These are the exceptions, they can be worked everyday as much as you want, they recuperate quicker.

The two methods you should use for weight training are these:


Push and pull is exactly what it sounds, one day do all weight exercises that does a PUSH motion for 15 min, rest a day, work your legs, rest another day, then do all exercises with a PULL motion next. If you look up Push and Pull work out routines in a search engine of your choice you will find many helpful articles.

-Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders, Chest and back, Lower body

Work bis, tris, and shoulders one day, rest a day, chest and back another, rest, then lower body. Last day serves as a break day. This is one of the most popular methods to weight lifting and is recommended for complete beginners.

Weightlifting is a must if you are looking to get into your best shape. Make sure to check your ego at the door and be realistic, if you can’t lift a ton of weight and are embarrassed, don’t be. You can work your way up to that only if you are safe and persistent.

Concluding, all three of the methods described will definitely help increase your benefits. It may also renew enjoyment in your regiment as they get dull after awhile. Exercising is better than not and will give you a healthier, happier life – here’s to hoping you reach your fitness goals.


My Husband Makes No Attempt To Understand My Feelings


The vast majority of people that I hear from do not feel understood or heard by their spouse. I find that many folks do not comprehend just how serious of a problem this might be. Sure, no one is perfect at communicating or at reading someone else’s clues. And sure, all marriages can withstand a few misunderstandings. But if you go through your life, and through your marriage, for any significant period of time feeling constantly misunderstood, this can’t help but have a huge impact on your marriage and how you feel about it. This can be true even if your spouse is sincerely trying to understand, but just can’t. But it’s even more true if your spouse appears to be making no effort whatsoever to try to understood you. It can make you question if he thinks that you are not important enough or not even worth the effort.

For example, I wife might think: “why doesn’t my husband even make the slightest effort to understand me anymore? When we were dating, it was like he was fascinated at what made me tick and what contributed to my happiness. But today, he acts as if I am overly complicated rather than unique and fascinating. I am trying to make some positive changes in my life. And my husband is totally resistant to this because all he can see if that the changes might be putting him out or inconveniencing him some. But what he doesn’t seem to get, or remotely care about, is that the changes are important to me. He doesn’t understand that I need to tweak some things in my life in order to be authentically happy. But he doesn’t take the time to try to analyze my thinking or ask himself what I need in my life. He acts as if I’m only trying to inconvenience him instead. So I’ve tried to explain myself, but I’ll find myself passionately talking about something and I will look over, only to find that my husband is giving me a blank stare. His eyes are sort of glazed over and he is almost slumped down, as if even listening to me is a heavy task for him. It’s so discouraging. It makes me think that he doesn’t care about me at all. Am I wrong in thinking this? Why else would a husband not even make the slightest effort to understand his wife?”

You’re right to be concerned. When you start to see this type of apathy and indifference toward you (or toward what is important to you) it can be sort of warning sign. Not always, of course. But sometimes, it is. That’s why you can’t ever be too careful. I can think of a few reasons that you might be seeing this behavior. I’ll list some of it below. And I’ll start with the most benign and then work my way up down to the most troublesome.

You’ve Caught Him At A Bad Time Or On An Occasion Where He’s Preoccupied With His Own Issues: Sometimes, we just catch our spouse’s at an inopportune time. We all have times in our lives where it’s just not feasible to give someone our undivided attention. How do you know if this is the case? Well, you can ask yourself if this is an isolated incident or if you’ve noticed him tuning you out or not treating you with importance more than this one time lately.

He Doesn’t Really Understand Your Thought Process, So He’s Just Trying To Appear As Attentive As He Can: This one is actually pretty common, especially when we are talking about emotions that are not as natural to men. When we start to discuss deep or emotional thinking, men do tend to tune out a bit, because this is just not how their own brains work. They can’t relate and so they might be staring at you (or looking at you when you’re having a conversation,) but their wheels aren’t necessarily turning. It’s the same with me when my spouse tries to discuss sports. I try. I really do. I even enjoy some sports. But I don’t have the depth of understanding that my husband does, so I try to nod in the right places, but I’m sure my face looks kind of blank. The thing is, I don’t think my husband cares too deeply because, although he love sports, they aren’t vitally important to him – in the way that your authenticity is to you. And, the more important something is to you, the more you want your spouse to “hear” you and to “understand” you. So this was a topic that was already charged for you, but your husband may not have realized it at the time.

He May Be Acting Indifferent To You Because He Is Starting To Lose Connectedness To And Empathy Toward You, Which Is A Warning Sign: OK, I’m only mentioning this because I wish someone had given me the “heads-up” when I was going through something similar. If they had, perhaps I would not have ended up separated. By no means am I saying or suggesting that this is the case with you. I can’t possibly know that. I’m just saying that it’s never a bad idea to take an honest look at your marriage and evaluate this. Because when couples are deeply connected, they at least try to make an effort to understand one another, especially about things that matter in the way that this matters to you. Granted, I glaze over when my husband talks about sports sometimes. But if his voice talks about something that I know to be quite important to him, I sit up and take notice.


Randy Cohen The Ethicist


Emma is just 2 years old, she is suffering from a very rare and aggressive childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor cancer which spreads rapidly. Emma has the N-myc gene amplification which means it a lot more aggressive then “normal” neuroblastoma. Emma’s cancer is stage 4, this means that cancer has already spread to more than one place in Emma’s body. Shehas only been given a 20% chance of survival.

Is it ethical to order food for delivery during a thunderstorm? If I’m doing it to avoid going outside and getting wet or struck by lightning, isn’t it wrong to have somebody else (with little agency to refuse) do it in my place? – James J. Stranko, New York

PodcastRandy Cohen, Times Magazine columnist, answers readers’ questions on ethical issues each week.? How to Subscribe | All Podcasts? Download an MP3 Version

As someone who seldom mines his own coal, I’m in no position to condemn those who consign difficult, dangerous or simply miserably uncomfortable jobs to others.

Here is how you can do so ethically: by ensuring, or at least supporting those who strive to ensure, that workers in such jobs toil in decent conditions with their health and safety protected, earn decent wages and receive the benefits we all want and many of us expect in our wealthy nation: medical insurance, a pension, a vacation now and then. You can’t always know such things, but you can make some effort to educate yourself about those you employ, and you can tip generously – lavishly – when someone works for you under unusually rough conditions.

My two college-age daughters are traveling to France. Each was required to pay half the cost. Daughter No. 1 used money she earned at a part-time job. Daughter No. 2 used money she received by subletting her apartment, for which her dad and I pay the rent. Daughter No. 1 thinks this is unfair. Is it? – Linda Fletcher, Long Beach, Calif.

It is. Daughter No. 2 made her money by renting out something that wasn’t hers to sublet. Before pocketing any profits – before there are any profits – she must repay what you and her dad spent on rent. You could allow her to retain what a rental agent would, say 15 percent of the sublet money, and apply it as her French contribution (a phrase that sounds like a euphemism for something saucy but is not).

I admire Daughter No. 2’s ingenuity but not her flouting what I take to be the spirit of your demand: the character-building experience of working for something she wants. On the upside, you can be grateful that she didn’t rent out the family car or sell your living-room couch.

UPDATE: The parents returned Daughter No. 1’s money.

My college newspaper ran an opinion article supporting a professor who had not been rehired. The article now appears at the top of any Internet search of the professor’s name. Hoping not to discourage potential employers, the professor asked us to remove the article from our archive for two years. Should we? – B.B., New York

You should not. If the article met your standards for publication – and it did – you may not purge it. Helping even a worthy professor’s career is not sufficient reason to falsify by omission the historic record, even so modest a record as back issues of a college paper. (Similarly, Napoleon no doubt wished that whole Waterloo business excised from the record, but historians have been reluctant to comply.)

In any case, there would be little practical value in your acceding to the professor’s request. His departure from your college is bound to come up in any job interview.

UPDATE: Members of the editorial staff decided that in a conflict between journalistic ethics and the good of the school community, they would give priority to the latter: they redacted this piece in the archive.

Send your queries to ethicist@nytimes.com or The Ethicist, The New York Times Magazine, 620 Eighth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018, and include a daytime phone number.


Fire-Walking, Karate and Sweat Lodges


A few years ago, I remember hearing an item on the radio, as I was driving home, about several people who were being treated for burns following a fire-walk ceremony at some self-improvement retreat. I remember thinking that at the time that, despite what they may have been told at the event, it was probably a very foolish thing to decide to walk across those red-hot coals.

Many people do manage to complete their fire-walks without any injury whatsoever and the reason they can do it has absolutely nothing to do with their mental powers. It is simply a fact that you probably won’t get burned provided that you stay in motion at a fast enough rate. I remember an expert being questioned about it on TV here in the UK. The TV program asked him if he was prepared to ‘put his money where his mouth was’ so to speak. He duly walked across a bed of red hot coals without any mental preparation at all.

This kind of experience is designed to get people to think about what they believe they can and cannot do. Fire-walking is a tactic that has been used by, amongst others, Tony Robbins and his view is that if you can walk across fire, it can change your thinking about what it is possible for you to achieve. You are supposed to start asking yourself what else you can achieve that you previously thought was impossible for you – that’s the basic idea.

People might naturally think that they cannot walk across red-hot coals or that they cannot karate chop a thick wooden board into two pieces without any formal training or that they cannot swim beneath a boat in an ice-cold loch. I have seen all of these tactics used by people who purport to teach motivation. Whilst the understanding that our own beliefs can be a significant obstacle to achieving success is an important lesson, my own view is that you simply don’t need to expose yourself to danger in order to reach that understanding.

In fact, I did actually karate chop a board into two pieces myself on one occasion. It was when a so-called motivational expert visited the company I worked for at the time. He had a number of people come out to the front to break the boards. The first two people managed it without any difficulty; the third person tried three times without success and so I volunteered to break the board. It was not difficult. What did it prove? In my opinion: nothing! The boards they use are designed to break. The reason the lady before me was not able to break the board was a simple matter of leverage.

That brings me to the case of James Arthur Ray. You may be aware that this fellow was an advocate of using extreme experiences in a slightly different way. His idea appears to have been to get people to endure something genuinely dangerous in order for them to feel a kind of rebirth experience when they had successfully emerged. It is, as I understand, a technique that certain religious groups have also used in the past.

One notorious experience favoured by Ray is the sweat lodge. Loosely based on some ancient Red Indian ceremony, participants endure a kind of extreme sauna in which they are subjected to a prolonged period of intense heat. Sadly, some of those people who were looking to improve their lives paid with their lives. At one of these sessions, in October 2009, two people died and another person subsequently died after being comatose for a week! In addition, 18 other people suffered burns, dehydration, breathing difficulties and kidney failure.

For his part, Ray was convicted of three counts of ‘negligent homicide’. It adds insult to injury to learn that those who participated in the sweat lodge had fasted for 36 hours before the event, had spent a night alone in the Arizona desert during a ‘vision quest’ and – get this – had paid up to $10,000 for the privilege.

You might say that nobody forced those people to do what they did. It’s also true that I have no first-hand information on what tactics might have been used to suggest that this extremely foolish undertaking might be somehow beneficial. But these deaths are a stark reminder to us all that some things never change. People are always looking for a leader to follow, convinced that someone else knows better than they.

It may be easy for us, separated from the situation by time and perspective, to clearly see the folly of these methods. If you feel repulsed, shocked and perhaps even a little angry at the idea that there are people engaged in doing this kind of stuff, just be sure you remember that feeling. Carry it with you for the rest of your life and anytime someone suggests something that seems a little dangerous to you as a route to achieving some greater level of insight into who you are and what you need to do to make some kind of progress in your life, recognise that you are dealing with someone who is, at best, misguided.

You don’t need to fire-walk, you don’t need to break boards and you don’t need to swim under boats in a cold lake. You don’t need any kind of extreme experience to discover who you are, why you are here and what you should be doing with your life. And you certainly don’t need some self-proclaimed guru telling you otherwise.