This post was originally called, Site Redesign, which makes it sound more involved than it actually is. It’s even a little out of date now, as it refers to the previous coat of varnish that I had aplied to cosmicjellybaby.com. But anyway, I was using the new WordPress default theme, twenty ten with a child theme called thirty ten to convert it to three columns a la the previous incarnation of the site. I’ve been playing around the edges to get it to look similar to the previous incarnation – same colours (ok, colors) for links, that kind of thing. I have been ably assisted by using the excellent XHTML / CSS book HTML Dog by Patrick Griffiths. He explains things in very simple terms, for very simple people like me. So much so that I have been able to rescue what may previously have been a terminal imperfection. If you look at the header, the bar with the page navigation in it lines up beautifully with the image below. This wasn’t always the case as in trying to put some white-space around the header box, I had managed to offset one from the other. But the Dog came to the rescue and showed me how to align the two elements with just a simple additional line in my style file. So there you go, HTML Dog helps dangerous simpletons such as I to come up with something halfway decent. It may not be cutting edge design, but it pleases me…
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Wow! This is such a simple concept. Jeff takes the idea about what the mind can achieve, the man can achieve and spells it out, with some very illuminating examples. He is also very keen to point out that your attitude must be back up by action. Reading the book and thinking that you can climb Mt. Everest won’t actually get you to the top of Mt. Everest. You have to get to Nepal for a kick off!
Wow! This is surely the Daddy of all Self Help Books. Written in 1936 its message is as relevant and crystal clear today as it’s always been. If you rub someone up the wrong way, it is extremely unlikely that they will do anything to help you. Get on their right side, by understanding what drives them and what they like to do, and they’ll more than likely assist you in anyway that they can.
In essence what Carnegie teaches is that, when you are trying to influence someone, you should subordinate your personal interests to those of that person. I made this mistake once, when a customer of mine was talking about his favourite football team – one that I happen to dislike. Instead of keeping my big gob shut, I had to wade in saying that his team was a bunch of ne’er-do-wells and vagabonds. Result, I nearly lost my customer.
Ladies and Gentleman, I give you How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
This is a great book. The acronym stands for Shut Up, Move On. Say it to yourself (or to someone else) when you’re thinking, and therefore behaving in a way that is likely to hinder our ability to succeed. The first part is the Shut Up bit. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘belt up and get a grip’ – you are allowed some time to wallow – it’s more of an opportunity to re-evaluate your postion, and then Move On.
This second element is the one that requires you to do something, i.e. it’s the action bit. Without action, you can re-evaluate to your heart’s content, but if you don’t change then why bother with all the re-evaluation? Actually, this is a very good point about this book, or any other self-help book for that matter. I used to think that just by buying a particular tome that all of my problems (whether real or perceived) would be solved, just like magic! Of course I was wrong – action is required.
Anyway, Paul goes on to describe how you can take control of your life and therefore fulfil your full potential. Perhaps the best chapter is the last one, with the rather quirky title – Ditch Doris Day. It’s not meant as a direct reference to Doris, more to her most famous song, Que Sera, Sera. Paul’s point being that life should be what you make it, not the chance outcome of a series of coincidences. He’s obviously more of a Talk Talk man it seems.
Photo credit, Natanahelio