Archive for November 2006

Greatness Is Daring To Fail

November 30, 2006

An early morning chill pricked at Matthew’s lean muscular frame, as he stood contemplating the task that stretched before him.  A task, difficult in the extreme, and he shivered again as the realisation that he might soon be dead, began to gnaw at his forebrain like a dog persistently worrying a bone.

He felt slightly ill, as a whiff of porpoise oil rose to assault his nostrils, but as the morning light started its slow incremental climb to full intensity, he tried to ignore the butterflies in his stomach which had turned into cormorants diving headlong into the sea of his intestines.  He knew he must be going, but he had an irrational twinge of near hysteria and the sudden urge to turn and charge up the beach to the safety of the tiny cubicle.

He shivered yet again, but padded forward across the shingle and slipped into the cold unwelcoming sea.  Slightly ahead of him, he could hear the slap of the oars of the two man rowing boat as the first onrushing waves lifted its bow from the water, returning it just as suddenly to the following trough.

He concentrated on pressing on through the waves, determined to break through to the calmer and deeper water beyond, succeeding suddenly with a little start of surprise as his head and vision suddenly cleared.

The light was slightly brighter now, and the sounds of gulls wheeling overhead mingled with the crisp salt spray as the light wind lifted little petulant droplets from the tips of the waves callously tossing them skywards.  Matthew focused, his arms and legs assuming a mechanical motion almost of their own accord as he gradually slipped forwards trailing the lonely rowboat moving slowly across the miles of desolate water stretching to the horizon.

Time blurred, and his thoughts turned to firstly to his eleven brothers and sisters and then to his father, a doctor, a man of great respect in his home town of Coalbrookdale.  His father and mother though supportive of their son, had never really accepted or understood the driving ambition that drove their equally respected son, a Captain in the Merchant Navy and of the modern steamship ‘Emerald’ to such desperate lengths.  His constant compulsion to try something new, to excel, unbeknown to him, caused his dear mother many a night crying herself to sleep in the arms of her husband, and his father many a lonely night of contemplation.

The wind had picked up now, and the sky turned darker and angrier.  The little boat in front began to disappear and reappear as the sea commenced to heave and buck.  Somehow the sea seemed colder too, and Matthew felt the first pangs of fatigue nip at his limbs as he began to struggle to keep pace with the little rowboat.

His thoughts turned to what started him on this life of adventure, and to the time whilst serving as a second mate on the Cunard ship ‘Russia’ travelling the Atlantic between New York and Liverpool.  A man had fallen overboard, and he had dived into the sea in Mid-Atlantic in a valiant but failed attempt at rescue.

The man was never found, but Matthew suddenly found himself at the centre of the British Press with an award of £100 pounds, the Stanhope Gold Medal, and a notoriety, which frankly he suddenly seemed not to be able to get enough of.

He was still grinning when the slap of a particularly large wave brought him back to reality.  The sea was becoming really angry now.  The sky had darkened over and the wind had begun to howl like a demented demon.  Ahead the little rowboat had seen the danger and it had fallen back towards him.  In the lowering visibility Matthew could see the larger backup boat had now joined them, and that could only mean one thing, an abandonment of the record attempt due to the increasing strong winds and poor sea conditions.

Reluctantly he pulled himself up into the rowboat as it drew alongside him, and slowly and despondently the little rowboat headed towards its larger companion and to safety.  He had failed.

Two sharp stings rocketed Matthew’s thoughts firmly back to the present.  Today was the 24th August and the events of twelve days ago were still engraved into his brain.

Unfortunately, today was much better weather and he wasn’t tiring just as quickly, but in his daydreaming he had drifted into a shoal of jellyfish, and worse although he could see the shore, strong currents were preventing him from approaching Cap Griz-Nez.  If he didn’t begin to make some progress soon, he might be forced into another abandonment, and, it was beginning to get dark.

He gritted his teeth, pausing a moment to take stock.  The three chase boats with him on this attempt were also struggling with the current and were being pushed towards Calais.  Resigned now not to quit, Matthew turned and focused his attention on Calais, trying to ignore the numerous stings that were accumulating over his chest and limbs, each sting reinforcing his iron determination to succeed where before there had been only thoughts of failure.

Five hours later, and after a gruelling 21 hours and 45 minutes in the water, and in darkness, Matthew Webb staggered out of the water near Calais, the first person to swim the English Channel on the 25th August in the year of our Lord 1875.

Nothing great is easy, and Captain Matthew Webb had dared to fail.

This is a fictional account written from researched facts and I have taken liberties with the telling of the story.  This is an original work.  I hope you enjoyed it.

By Mark McGimpsey 


How To Continually Create Content Without Kicking Your Butt

November 28, 2006

If you are one of those people who feel trying to write an article is worse than a kick in the butt, then these simple tips may save you a pain in the ass.

‘Starburst’ your core topic by using a keyword checker to suggest areas of interest.  Also just sit for a few minutes and jot down ideas as they come to mind.  For example, ‘Horse’.  What do I like / dislike about horse racing, horse racing meetings, famous jockeys, horse racing tips, horse racing betting, horse racing results, online horse racing, horse racing courses, horse racing training, horse race training techniques….

Try to imagine what answers your readers need solved in your area of choice.  You can get a quick idea of this by dropping into some forums and see what questions are being asked, and what areas have a problem to be solved.

Once you have this done, take a break and relax for a while.  Go get a cup of your favourite beverage, and then when you are ready come back and start answering your questions and expanding on the ideas that you have written down.  A great help at this stage is just to make rough notes, keywords if you like to remind you of your train of thought as you address the items.  You could even use speech to text software or a PDA digital recorder at this point.

Next, you have a choice at this stage.  You can either move on immediately, or you can put this worksheet to one side to use later, and perhaps go on a make another worksheet on another article topic.

The reason for this suggestion is that Article Directories are not keen on an author submitting more than two articles a week, as this allows everyone to get their fair share of submissions in and ‘approved’ without too much delay.  In fact some of the top Internet Marketers only submit on average two articles in a month.  Taking this approach will always give you a few ideas in store, so when you do sit down to actually write your article; the most difficult part is done.  Sometimes you will find that you will be able to create two articles from the one worksheet.

When you come to actually write it, do so in a natural manner just as if you were talking to someone in front of you and advising them how to proceed in a step by step manner.  Use interesting and lively language where possible, especially in the first paragraph which is sometimes picked up by RSS feeds and included with the title on the publishing site.  Get keywords in there if you can, (though your lively introduction may not always allow you to make the best use of keywords).

Finally finish the article with a summary, or some words of wisdom and encouragement where possible, and check that you have at least 400 words written, (the minimum for most submissions).

It has been said that ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’, but with a little planning writing an article doesn’t have to be the mountain it appears to be.  I think it was Socrates who said that, “Action equals knowledge.”  Don’t major on the minors, just make a start.  You’ll arrive at the finish before you know it.

Article by Mark McGimpsey 

Submitting Articles for Publication

November 26, 2006

I’ve just been reading a short article relating to advice about submitting articles to online directories.  One point of interest is that each article should be at least 400 words.  But I found a nuggest of information, I didn’t expect.

It would appear that many of these directories are not keen on authors submitting more than two articles in a week, and the reason seems to be so that there are more than enough article submissions for everyone.

Consequently it would appear that ‘less is best’, and some top Internet marketers, choose to limit their submissions to one or two articles a month.  (The article also comments about writing eight articles in a month, quote, ‘for most people, that’s a lot of work.’)

I guess I get to take things a little easier.

Mark McGimpsey

Proof of Publishing

November 25, 2006

I thought I should include this as I am submitting these articles to directories and some of the directories that have accepted some of my articles, have requested links back to their sites.

As Featured On Ezine Articles – Free Content for your Web Site and Newsletters. – free articles for reprint

Be Thankful – Today Is A Great Day

November 24, 2006

Just a little something I wanted to share with you – It’s not mine but it is inspiring.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.  His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his room mate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.  The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.  Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.  Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.  Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it.  In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of  the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.  She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.  The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.  Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.  He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.  It looked out onto roof tops.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse responded that the man was blind, and said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.  Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the PRESENT.


Masterful Time Management Tips

November 24, 2006

Everyone has 24 hours to each and every day, so how come some manage to do more with their time than others?

The secret is simpler than you realise, it’s putting it into practice by eliminating distractions that is the greatest challenge.  The truth is everyone is challenged by managing their time.  It is not easy to juggle all your commitments, and everyone has their own challenges, be it business or personal.  Simply make an effort to change, and follow these simple tips, and you will immediately see a difference in your productivity.

Your priorities are in two areas, business and personal.  Unfortunately your personal priorities can change at a moments notice and impact on your daily plans, so expect this, and if possible make allowances and plan ahead.  It helps your stress levels.

Also you will find that your priorities fall into two distinct zones, immediate and accumulating.  Anything outside this is not a priority.  These other tasks are adaptable in that you can fit them in around your priorities whenever it suits.

Don’t rely on your memory.  It’s too easy again to be distracted and forget.  Carry a small hardback notebook, or a Personal Digital Assistant, and make notes of any ideas, or thoughts of importance before you forget.  How many times have you said, “I remember thinking I had to … but it slipped my mind.”

Each evening before you go to bed, empty your mind and spend a few minutes writing down and going over what you put in your notebook.

Now here’s the secret – Prioritise everything, and do your absolute best to dispose of your top priorities the following day.  Identify your accumulating priorities, and try to do something with them the following day, even if it is only a small amount of time.  For example, if you are a one person operation, consider allocating 5 minutes updating your accounts, rather than leaving them to turn into a top priority which requires days of addressing.  Do this each night and I guarantee you will sleep easier.

If you can, break down your tasks into areas, or modules, and delegate or outsource if you can.  Delegate or outsource as much as you possibly dare. 

If you can, schedule at least one 30 – 45 minute break somewhere in your daily schedule above and beyond timeout for meals.  Use this space for emergency rescheduling of appointments, working on your flexi-tasks, or simply as a stress buster break if you need it.  If your child is unwell going to school, perhaps that emergency break should be before noon that day.  As I said, try to plan ahead if you can.

Eliminate distraction, prioritise everything, and plan for the unexpected.  Time management is not easy, but it is relatively simple to take steps to make your day a more enjoyable and productive one.

Article by Mark McGimpsey

Borg Implants A Reality In Our Lifetime?

November 23, 2006

The University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom have developed an electronic switch based on DNA which provides a basic foundation for an interface between a living entity and a computer.

What are the implications?

History has proved with all great discoveries come great benefits and equally great hazards.

Possible benefits include artificial limbs powered by thought, new artificial organs, medical alert systems that may summon medical assistance automatically on detection of a life threatening situation, and automatic drug dispensing.

Direct brain links to information sources may also be possible, and here is where the ‘Dark Side’ of our natures may become our downfall.  Direct access to surveillance systems, monitoring hardware and software, virtual reality porn implants, and an eventual de-humanisation of our race.  Our combat soldiers and pilots may become something out of a science fiction movie.  The Cyborg may eventually become a reality.

We are already on the dangerous edge of cloning, are we now firmly on the road to Armageddon?

Article by Mark McGimpsey