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The Art of Waste Management

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

So where is this train heading?
Am I going for the ride?
Two questions you should ask each day
and here's how to decide

First ask," What number train is this?"
"Have I taken it before?"
If chances are the route's the same
don't board until you're sure

Next, find a high perspective
so you can see far down the track
If it's not a place you want to go
no need for you to pack

For just one day of pointless travel
and you can kiss your dreams farewell
Spend your time instead on trains
bound for the place you want to dwell

For the train called opportunity
oft departs with all due haste
One last call, non-stop, now all aboard!
no time for you to waste!!

The Art of Waste Management involves being able to foresee the likely outcome of certain conversations, interactions, arguments, disputes, etc., and simply avoid having them intrude on the smooth flow of your life or business.

Once you start to see the patterns in how certain situations typically unfold, then with just a few questions prior to any engaging in any interaction or activity, you can predict where that "train" is heading, eliminating unnecessary wastes of your time, energy, thoughts, words and actions, and instead focus on the routes that get you where you want to go.

That's one reason I rarely get into political or religious discussions (read: arguments) with others. If the participants of such a discussion can all "agree to disagree", and if they simply want the mental stimulation of conversation, that's one thing. If, on the other hand, they're not able to see the inevitable outcome of being too attached to their individual viewpoints, then emotional involvement, escalating tension, hurt feelings and deterioration of good will is sure to follow.

In such a situation, I always ask, "how likely is it that this conversation I'm about to have will result in this person completely abandoning their position, adopting another, and relinquishing a belief system to which their very identity and sense of self is most likely attached? Is this a train I've been on before with a destination I already know? Do I need to exercise some waste management techniques here?

The same approach can save you time and energy in business and other personal affairs. There are certain people, processes, etc. that always seem to produce the same outcomes. It's been said that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results." Are you going down the same track day after day, year after year with the same people, situations and circumstances and expecting different results? That, my friend, in addition to being poor "waste management", is quite possibly insane!

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