Byron McNutt
Byron McNutt

About 15 years ago a colleague of mine came across a list of 20 ways to make our lives more pleasant. Some of them relieve stress, some are timesavers and all will lead you to a healthier, happier way of life.

The advice is good for people of all ages. Most are simple, common sense ways to face life’s challenges. See how many you can embrace.

1. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed on time.

2. Don’t rely solely on your memory. Write down when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc.

3. Don’t put up with things that don’t work right. If something is a constant aggravation, get it fixed or replace it.

4. Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full, keep a well-stocked “emergency shelf” of supplies at home.

5. Make friends with nonworriers. Stress is contagious.

6. An instant cure for most stress: 30 minutes of brisk walking or other aerobic exercise.

7. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 1,000 before doing something or saying anything that could make matters worse. Another way—write out your anger in the sand near the water’s edge.

8. Take your scissors to your credit cards. Wait until you can pay cash for things you don’t absolutely need.

9. Think of your next embarrassing situation as an episode on TV’s “Candid Camera.”

10. Every day, make time for some solitude.

11. Schedule a realistic day. Allow ample time between appointments so you don’t have to rush, worry and apologize for being late.

12. Talk it out. Discussing your problem with a trusted friend can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on problem solving.

13. Instead of doing something tomorrow, do it today; instead of doing it today, do it now. Hard work is simply the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have done them.

14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.

15. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.

16. Respectfully say “No, thank you,” to extra projects you don’t have the time or energy for.

17. Donate extra stuff to charity. Getting rid of what you don’t need makes what you do need easier to find.

18. Do nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.

19. Carry a duplicate car key in your wallet. Part B: Never leave your wallet in your car.

20. Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and erring—for sometime in life, you will have been all of those.


Headline writing takes skill. Doing it well is an art. The same is true for advertising copy writing. Sometimes you are on a deadline and copy needs to be written in a hurry, to fill a limited space. When that happens, the results can look pretty silly when read after the newspaper is printed.

As you read the following examples, ask yourself, “What were they thinking?”

1. Illiterate? Write today for free help.

2. Auto Repair Service. Free pickup and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again.

3. Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.

4. Our experienced mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals and smacks included.

5. Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel. Smokers need not apply.

6. Stock up and save. At these prices, Limit: One per customer.

7. Semiannual after-Christmas sale.

8. Mixing bowl set designed to please cook with round bottom for efficient beating.

9. Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion. Blue Cross and disability insurance included.

10. For Sale: Antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.

11. We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.

12. Vacation Special: Have your home exterminated. Get rid of unwanted aunts.

13. Used Cars. Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first.

14. Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.

15. And now, the Mega-Superstore—unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.

16. We will oil all your sewing machine parts, and adjust the tension in your home.