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Monday, March 13, 2023

7 Don'ts for a better life, Frugal gardening tips



Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


 Seven don'ts for a better life

Stoicism has an interesting — and counterintuitive, in many cases — view on how to deal with this modern world that can assault our minds on multiple fronts simultaneously.

Trying to stay on top of everything, feeling the need to react, to control, to "stay in touch" and to do it all in real-time is a recipe for disaster, according to the stoic mindset.

The remedy, then, according to The Daily Stoic, is to adopt a few "Stoic Don'ts" for a better life. What are these lifesaving "don'ts"? Let's get right to them:

  1. Don't fear change — A study had a group of people view a painting that they were told was done in 1905. The next group viewed the same painting but this group was told that the painting was done in 2005. The 1905 group rated the painting much more aesthetically pleasing than the other group.

Why? Because we like that which has been around for a while. We like predictability. Our brains look for patterns and reliable interpretations... even predictable negative outcomes are preferable to our brains over uncertainty.

Neuroscience research has revealed that uncertainty registers in our brain much like an error does, and we only feel comfortable when that error is corrected. Some people also fear a loss of control that comes with changes. Simply realizing these fears exist is a good step toward overcoming a resistance to change.

You've heard the sayings "control is an illusion," and "and the only thing that's certain is change"? These exist for a reason. We need to overcome the inclination to read changes as an error in the program of our lives. Speaker and author Scott Mautz says that to overcome your fear of change, search for the certainties in your life: "Find your anchor and recall what the pending change won't change about your world that's important to you."

  1. Don't sweat the small stuff — Marcus Aurelius, in his Meditations (written in Written 167 A.C.E. — we like what's been around for a while!), wrote: "It is essential for you to remember that the attention you give to any action should be in due proportion to its worth, for then you won't tire and give up, if you aren't busying yourself with lesser things beyond what should be allowed."

Small stuff, should you fall into the trap of elevating its importance, will grow into larger "stuff." Recall the old Cherokee story that there is a war going on between the "two wolves" inside of us. One is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The one that wins is the one you feed.

  1. Don't value others' opinions above your own — We are quick to blame ourselves... but we should trust our own intuition more than we do. You should trust who you are and why you're doing the things that you're doing, even when we feel like the outcome is uncertain (but you no longer fear uncertainty, right?). Many of the most successful people failed many times before they ultimately were justified in sticking to what they believed in.

Author and consultant Matthew Biggins reminds us: "Living the life someone else expects may work in the short term, but will likely lead to pain in the long term. This is true for every relationship. It isn't fair. But we are likely to blame others for not doing what makes us happy. We don't want to take responsibility, so we point fingers. No one else made us do anything. Even so, we resent others when we choose not to follow a dream or passion. This is just easier than looking in the mirror and being accountable."

If you feel the absolute need to trust someone's opinion, value those whose opinions you value. Speaker and Life Coach TJ Guttormsen writes that these people are more likely to mirror the respect you have for them, and "should give opinions that are constructive and compatible with who you are as a person, rather than plainly critical and disconnected."

  1. Don't seek revenge — A stoic person does not need to "get even." Seneca said, "You never return a kick to a mule or a bite to a dog." The best revenge is, in fact, to not be like the people who wrong you and attack you.

One useful tenant to adopt comes from the book The Four Agreements, a compendium of the wisdom of the Toltec people. Author Don Miguel Ruiz explains that one of the agreements is "Don't take anything personally." Everyone lives in their own world, and whatever other people do to you is a result of their world and their situation and not you or yours... therefore, we should never take even the gravest insult or injury personally because it's not about us. It's a "them" problem.

  1. Don't start from behind — This is a symptom of the "connected" world... in that while we're sleeping we feel like we might have missed something, or that we need to be instantly up to date on everything that's going on or we are already behind for the day. Stop. The stoic mindset is not to make yourself an item on someone else's to-do list. You determine what you think, what you do, who you are, what is important to you, and what you will accomplish for the day.
  2. Don't be so reachable — This recommendation flows from the previous "don't." Since the stream of information we are subject to on a daily basis is ever-increasing, and we want to be involved and do not want to miss anything, it can feel like the world is demanding our time and we must be available. That is a demand that superimposes unneeded stress on our lives. Set boundaries on when you will look at e-mails (and remember, an e-mail from someone is not an obligation upon you to answer ASAP), and when you'll take phone calls or texts.

Experteer magazine reports that it takes about 18 minutes for our brains to focus on a task and concentrate on complex business matters. Studies in Germany reveal people reach for their mobile phones every 15 minutes. How can you get anything done, much less de-stress, if you need 18 minutes to truly submerge yourself in a topic, but are being constantly interrupted? The answer is, you can't.

  1. Don't have an opinion — Practice the art of not reacting to anything and everything that is brought to your attention. You don't have to let everything in. The Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh makes a direct connection between breezy clouds and our emotional involvement in things when he says, "Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky." The sky is not disturbed by the clouds passing. None of them are worth clinging to.

You can be an observer and not a participant. You are not apathetic or burying your head in the sand. And, it is evident that the requirement to have an opinion is detrimental and indicative of an attempt to control you. As Phillip Ellis wrote in Repeller, " is becoming increasingly evident that clickbait news and headlines designed to provoke outrage are conditioning us to enact a series of predetermined reactions. Reactions which function more as markers of our political inclinations ... than genuine upset."

Not everything is asking that it be judged by us.

Yours for the truth,

Bob Livingston
The Bob Livingston Letter®

Editor's Note: Researchers studied the brain of a Buddhist monk who practiced meditation every day for most of his life... they said it looked like someone's nearly a decade younger... here's the whole story.





A Simple Trick for Reducing Food Waste

Whenever I buy perishables that I am not going to use that day, I write the Sell by or Freeze date on my kitchen calendar. This has led to a lot less wasted food.

Here are some more simple steps to eliminating food waste and higher food bills.


8 Easy - but Often Forgotten - Ways to Save on Groceries

As grocery prices soar, don't forget about these simple ways to cut your costs.


Inexpensive Tools for Beginner Gardeners


How To Set Up An Affordable Hay Bale Garden

Hay bale gardening can provide the same labor-saving benefits as raised bed gardening, but with a cheaper price tag. We explore how to set up and care for a hay bale garden.

Create a Dream Garden on $100 Per Year

Do you imagine the beautiful flower garden or sustainable food garden you’d have if only you had the money to create one? Well, you can create your dream garden on $100 a year with these 15 tips*

* How to Grow Anything: Your Best Garden & Landscape DVD-Great Courses+Bonus

Declare your food independence!

Our food supply chain has repeatedly proven how fragile it is. Find freedom from the unstable food supply!

10 Garden Watering Mistakes You're Probably Making

You know your plants need water – all living things do – but how do you know when to water and how much to give them?

Although these seem like straightforward questions, watering a garden involves some nuances you might not expect. In fact, watering issues top the various lists of common mistakes all gardeners make.

To help you keep your plants healthy, we’ve put together a list of the top garden watering mistakes and how to avoid them...

10 Garden Watering Mistakes You're Probably Making

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How to Make Homemade Fertilizers


There's always marked-down produce at my local grocery store. You really can save a lot of money if you're willing to be a little creative!

Try this 4-step plan to put a stop to fresh produce waste.


Going Beyond Cheap Recipes to Reduce Grocery Bills

Cheap recipes aren’t the only way to reduce a grocery bill. While more affordable recipes can help keep costs in check, we explore other money-saving options that could save you more.


Emergency Preparedness on a Budget

According to FEMA, only about 10% of Americans are truly ready for a major emergency. Though more than half of all Americans have made some kind of plans for a disaster, most have stopped short of stocking up on things they may need in a crisis



Why do you need an emergency radio?


·         . Just 60 seconds of hand cranking provides more than 45 minutes of radio

Radios: Having a couple small, portable radios on hand is going to be a must. If there’s a disaster, you’ll need to listen to the radio to get news about what is happening around you….grab a TacRight Emergency Radio:


4Patriots Patriot Power Cell Solar Phone Charger

USE THIS solar gadget to survive an emergency! 

In 2022 alone there have been over 70 attacks on the power grid with reports of six in Florida, five in Oregon and Washington.

And according to national security experts, this trend is only going to continue.

As America's power grid comes under increasing attack and/or disruption…

THIS is your lifeline in a crisis.

It's peace of mind that you can...

·         Call family and friends in an emergency

·         Signal for help from first responders

·         Stay connected to critical weather updates





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Marv said...

As always-GOOD stuff!

Nancy said...

Great tips & gardening resources. We'll be adding a garden this year to combat inflation & have already started buying seed!

Fran said...

I'm frugal by nature & training-love this!

April said...

Cool information-looking forward to homegrown!

Luke said...

The Poor Man is among the most interesting & useful posts that I read....