• PASword Express

Simplifying Life, Preventing Identity Theft and Taming your Computer.

Download PDF

Volume 18, Issue 3

A Year of Living Well: Simplicity

“Living  well” takes  on  a  different  meaning  for every person. A satisfying, fulfilling, purposeful life is  as unique  as  each  individual.  The path to achieving a life well lived is equally unique.  But there is one universal component unique.  But there is one universal component in  any  living  well  endeavor  and  that  is simplicity.

Simplicity   is   the   act   of   consciously   choosing which pursuits  align  with our  life goals an values,  while  letting go of those that don’t. Think of simplicity as “downsizing” the  various aspects of your life   in  proportion   to   their   contribution to  your  well-being.  Downsizing is an  ongoing   process.  Activities, possessions, time  commitments,  responsibilities,    thought    patterns, all  have  a  way  of  accumulating  in our  lives without our conscious awareness. We need to periodically examine those things and decide what to keep and what to let go.

Here are some areas that you might do well to consider as you try to simplify your life:

Responsibilities.   Are   the   responsibilities I have taken  on  consistent  with  my goals? Think in  terms  of  community  activities,  children’s  school  and  extracurricular  activities, church/temple  responsibilities,  responsibilities  to  extended  family,  optional  work-related responsibilities, and many others.

Time  commitments.  Sometimes people  want simply   make   time   commitments   to   social events,  favors  to  friends  or  family,  or  even  to busy  themselves,  with  no  real  thought  about how  they  contribute  to  their  overall  well-being.  This  is  where  saying “no”  is  important protect your own well-being.

Stuff.  There are people who choose to live with a minimum number of possessions. Minimalists  believe they are  freer to  live fully with  fewer  belongings.  While you  may  not  feel “called” to live a spartan life, are there things you don’t  need  and  don’t  use?  Is the  item  you contemplating buying really going to concentrate to your well-being, support your values  and  enrich  your  life?  Are your possessions requiring a lot of your attention to manage? Is clutter at home spilling into the rest of your life?

Housing.  The average house size has doubled since  the  1950’s.1  Do  you  have  extra  space that  requires  your  attention,  time  to  organize, clean  and  maintain,  but  doesn’t  contribute  to your  well-being?  Is a weighty mortgage payment  preventing  you  from  pursuing  other  financial goals?

History.   Sometimes our past an prevent us  from achieving balance,  reaching  our  goals  or living  purposefully today.  How much of your past is  still     defining your future, holding you back? What of your past should be resolved or discarded?  Are there    inaccurate    beliefs    you need   to   re-write   (such  as  “I never did have any athletic ability”, or ”I’m no good at math so I can’t manage my finances well”)?

Future. Planning appropriately for the future is wise. However, future-vision to  the exclusion of living mindfully in the present creates imbalance,  dissatisfaction  and  unhappiness. What needs downsizing  in how  you   think about your future?

Worry.  Planning for  the  future,  taking  care  of today’s  business,  problem-solving,  are  all  necessary  aspects  of  life.  But when we attempt to control  things  that  we  don’t  have  control  over, worry  and  fear  set  in.  Worry will not  change our future, but it does destroy today.  Do   you want to better  manage worry?  Refuse to focus on what is out of your control.

Perfection.  There is a difference between excellence and perfection.  And sometimes “good enough” really is good enough.  The stress that comes from unrealistic expectations of ourselves  affects  every  part  of  our   well-being. What    perfectionistic    expectations    can    you downsize?

There are so many simple ways to simplify life that will improve your sense of well-being, satisfaction  and  happiness.  Personal Assistance Services (PAS) offers many services that are well-being and achieve balance in your   life. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story. php?storyId=5525283

Simplicity is the act of consciously choosing which pursuits align with our life goals an values, while letting go of those that don’t.

The ABC’s of Identity Theft Prevention

Identity theft has made big news recently and its prevalence continues to rise.  Criminals have become  increasingly bold, savvy  and  sophisticated.  Overall, approximately 5% of all Americans experienced  identity theft  in 2013  alone.  Identity fraud caused by a data breach has more than doubled  since 2010,  but  some  fraud  still  occurs  in  low-tech  ways  (such  as purse snatching and dumpster diving) and by people we know–  everyone  from  friends  to  family  to  contractors  and  neighbors.

”An ounce  of  prevention  is  worth  a  pound  of  cure”  The  best way to address identity theft is to take action to prevent it. The steps to preventing fraud with your personal information are much less time consuming than working to recover from fraud after it has happened. Don’t despair, be prepared In spite of the apparent increase in fraudulent activity, there are still some simple things you can do to help protect  your identity:

  1. Keep your offline personal information secure. Remove mail promptly from your mailbox and take outgoing mail to post office collection boxes. Don’t have new blank checks delivered to your home mailbox unless it is locked. Limit the information you carry with you. Never carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet. Don’t share your health plan information with someone offering free services. Before sharing personal information, ask why they need it and what they are going to do with it.

2.Secure your personal information online. Be alert to impersonators and don’t respond to unsolicited emails, or click on links to internet sites from an email. Don’t give out personal information over the phone, via email or text unless you initiated the contact. Wipe personal information from your hard drive before disposing of the computer or hard drive. Remove personal information from a mobile device and SIM card before disposing of it.  Keep passwords private and don’t over-share on social media sites. “Look for the Lock” on your web browser before transmitting personal information online.

3.Secure your Social Security number (SSN). Keep your SSN private and ask questions if someone says they need it:  why they need it, how it will be used, how they will protect it, what happens if you don’t share your SSN. Sometimes you may have to share your SSN – for wage and tax reporting purposes, checking credit, getting a loan, or signing up for a utility.

4.Keep your devices secure. Use security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware) and a firewall.  Don’t respond to phishing emails, or click on links or attachments in emails sent by strangers. Be wise about wi-fi, especially in public places. The information you transmit may not be secure.  Lock up your laptop.  Don’t allow automatic login, and always log off. Read online privacy policies, even if they are long and tedious – you may find out that your information will not be protected.

Taming your Computer

Is your computer ruling your life?

Here are some tips to tame your computer and simplify your electronic life:

  • Eliminate unnecessary and spam email. Unsubscribe to any newsletters and promotional email that you don’t have time to read.
  • Don’t feel obligated to answer all your email right away.
  • Keep your inbox cleaned out.
  • Limit time-wasting activities online such as games and social media.
  • Take a regular computer sabbatical.
  • Set boundaries with social media and who you connect with through social media services.
  • Get enough rest; using the computer late into the night will affect your sleep ability.

Featured Service: Identity Theft Consultation

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation. Responding to identity theft is expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining.

PAS’ Identity Theft Consultation includes:

  • Access to ID Recovery Specialists who will advise you about preventing your identity from being stolen
  • Assistance and direction in reporting ID theft or fraud to the police.
  • Assistance in the notification of ID Theft to all “need to know” government agencies and businesses.
  • All required forms needed for the restoration of your identity and assistance in completing them.
  • Help replacing stolen documents
  • Advice about how to deal with creditors and credit reporting bureaus to get fraudulent entries removed.
  • Assistance with obtaining your federally mandated free credit reports.

A Service of Your EAP (800) 356-0845

PASWord Express © 2015 is published by Personal Assistance Services, 9735 Landmark Parkway, Suite 17, St. Louis, MO, 63127 -9968 (800) 356-0845. Material may not be reproduced without written permission.