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you were wondering why you didn't get The Oasis last week,
it's because I—or more specifically my computer—caught the
virus. It took me four days to get normal again. In fact,
I had to buy a new computer to get back in business.
I caught the virus after I opened a file attachment. Now
normally I won't open a file attachment UNLESS
it's from someone I know AND I'm
expecting an attachment from that person. Such was the case
with the offending attachment.
The MTX virus is particularly vicious.
This virus goes to work immediately by interfering with
Internet access and email. And if left untreated, it can
invade your email client and send itself to everyone in your
address book. Quietly. In the background. Without your
knowledge. This is what happened to my unsuspecting friend,
and how I was sent the virus in the first place.
Fortunately, no one in my address book was
sent the virus.
The really annoying part is that MTX is cunningly designed to
block installation of any anti-virus software. In fact, MTX
won't even let you go to any anti-virus Web sites to get file
updates or cleaning information. So I had to get faxed
instructions from the anti-virus software company I was using.
But that just made things worse.
The harder I tried to get rid of the darn thing, the more
messed up my computer became. Windows became more and more
corrupted to where it would barely function. Fortunately, I
back up my important files daily, but the problem was the
operating system itself. I ended up having to buy a completely
new system and reinstall everything.
The good news is...
I now have a state-of-the-art system that screams! I now have
two 30-gig hard drives, with the slave drive as a mirror image
of the primary drive. Never again will I have to worry about
my primary drive crashing. I can do a quick cable and jumper
change inside my box and I'll be back in business in minutes,
instead of days.
And my new computer came with an outstanding anti-virus app:
Unlike Norton Anti-Virus and McAfee Anti-Virus, PC-cillin is
smooth, transparent, and doesn't come with a lot of other
junkie-apps that I don't need.
Why this is important to you:
First, if you don't have and use an anti-virus app, you should
get one and start using it immediately. And be sure whatever
you get comes with a virus definition update service. Without
getting new virus definitions regularly, your anti-virus app
will quickly become useless (and may give you a false sense of
Second, DO NOT open file a
attachment from ANYONE unless you
scan it for viruses FIRST. Same
applies to downloaded files.
Third, back up your data files regularly. This includes your
email data file. For MS Outlook, the data file is
'outlook.pst.' Other files you might want to back up include
your browser bookmarks, application settings files, downloaded
Also, I recommend that you keep a separate folder and backup
disc (Zip or CD-RW) for all downloaded application files
(pre-install)—along with passwords, usernames, serial
numbers, etc.—just in case you have to install them again in
How this will help you in other parts of
As all this was happening to me last week, I kept saying to
myself, "Someone 'up there' is testing me. 'They' want to
see how I react in a crisis. 'They' want to see 'what I'm made
of' and whether I can keep my cool."
Then I got to thinking about why these kinds of challenges
keep happening to me. Was it something I said or did to
warrant this kind of "treatment?" Did someone put a
hex on me? Am I just unlucky?
Then it came to me.
The net result of my computer virus ordeal is that I have a
much better computer setup than I had before, and which I
needed anyway. I now have virus protection that I can trust
and that doesn't tax my system with needless extras. And I
have a reliable backup system.
In other words, the net benefits of getting the virus are that
I can work more productively, faster, with less Windows
crashes than before, and I have peace of mind knowing that I
am protected from viruses and loss of data.
Now let's take this to a higher level.
Why is it that some people seem to have more challenges to
overcome in their lives than other people? I believe it's
because they are doing more things
in their lives than other people are doing.
By that I mean, the more your do, the more chance there is of
something happening in a different or more complicated way
than you expected. (Some people call these things problems. I
call them challenges.)
Without challenges to overcome, how can we develop ways around
these and other obstacles? How can we become experienced in
dealing with life's difficulties? How can we grow as
It seems to me that one way to look at
life's challenges is to view them as opportunities for
How can this apply to business?
Whether you are an employee or independent entrepreneur, your
value to your boss or customers (really one and the same if
you think about it) is determined by your ability to solve
problems of one sort or another. If you are good at problem
solving, you'll get paid more than if you're mediocre or below
Therefore, if you welcome challenges as opportunities to
improve your problem solving abilities, you will increase your
value to the world over time. You will also become better at
everything else you do because your intuitive and reasoning
powers will become more focused and efficient.
How can you become a good problem solver
and make lots of money?
Seize every opportunity to solve any problem
that is related to your career advancement. If you are
employed, ask your boss for problems to solve, then find
workable solutions. If you are an independent entrepreneur,
think of the problems that your customers or clients have and
find ways to solve them using your products and services.
If you do this systematically, I believe you'll find that
something unexpected will start happening to you. You
will start getting unexpected rewards. Perhaps your
boss will give you a bonus or a raise or even a promotion.
Perhaps your customers or clients will see that you really
have their best interests in mind and will give you more
business, or will refer business to you.
These are the gifts that result from
dealing with challenges!
So the next time you encounter an unexpected
or difficult challenge in your life, think of it as an
opportunity to demonstrate your abilities. Think of it as a
way to improve your analytical and intuitive skills. Think of
it as a way to enrich your life with new knowledge and
experience. If you do this, you'll probably find, as I have,
that rich rewards will come your way from places that you
never dreamed of.