Want to Build Better Resiliency? Try These Easy Mental Shifts

These simple strategies can help you build resiliency during difficult or uncertain times.

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO

2020 Meaning of Memorial Day

Hello to all –

This is for sure a unique holiday given all the recent events. Even with all the chaos and uncertainty, there is an abundance of gratitude for all we have, no more so than our families, friends and supportive co-workers.

As we embark on another Memorial Day weekend let ’s be sure to say a Thank You to the honored people for whom the holiday is dedicated.

Below are some “Amazing Facts” regarding the Tomb of the Unknowns and a brief history of Arlington National Cemetery, a good read for our children and grandchildren.

Have a fun and safe weekend!

Namaste, C-

Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee‘s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a great grand-daughter of Martha Washington. The cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 2″ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.” Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery . A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.


In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington , DC , our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!” Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

6 tips from a wellness expert that will help your brain focus better

Let’s face it, it is a weird time in life, and focusing on our work is difficult right now. In fact, since February, there has been a 300% increase in people searching for “how to get your brain to focus” on Google. The main reason for this is our prefrontal cortex, which is primarily responsible for our ability to focus, shuts down, and lets our more primal, cavemen brain functions take center stage when we are in immediate physical danger. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we aren’t exactly in immediate danger (hopefully) but we still feel threatened and that we have lost control. So our prefrontal cortex is reacting to that and hindering our focus capabilities so we are dealing with that on top of all the stress of this situation.

And it may stay like this for the foreseeable future. Luckily Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, founder of Melissa Wood Health, a digital wellness lifestyle platform that concentrates on meditation, yoga, pilates, and healthy eating, shared some of her best tips for getting more focused with Ladders.

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO

Masiello Group company meeting with Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Updated: May 4, 2020

BHGRE, CEO Sherry Chris joined our company last week for an interactive call with our own CEO, Christopher Masiello to review the current market under the strain of Covid-19 and gave us guidance to navigate these new waters.

Make sure to catch the replay here;

Reset Your Marketing Campaigns In The Wake Of Coronavirus

It is no surprise to anybody that we are living in a different business climate in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. In the last few weeks, many of us have seen customer demand fall, revenues decline, free cash flow dry up and the stock market crash. Which means, we need to find every penny we can, to keep our businesses afloat. I am sure many of you have already cut your payroll expenses, based on the record unemployment filings in the last couple weeks. But, you may not have given your marketing expenses the attention it deserves during these troubling times. This post will help you “reset” your marketing campaigns, to help ensure they are contributing positive cash flow again . . . as most likely, they are not today!!

Reset Budgets

Marketing is typically your highest expense outside of payroll. In normal markets, you are spending around 10-30% of your revenues in sales and marketing related investments. Which is fine in good markets, as it is mostly likely driving you a healthy bottom line profit (or at least breaking even). But, let’s say revenues just fell 50%; if left unchanged, your marketing investment just doubled to 20-60% of revenues, which most likely is going to result in huge losses for your business. So, you are going to have to reset your marketing budget to “right size” the investment, in light of the reduced revenues. In this example, you most likely need to cut your marketing spend in half.

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO

100+ Fun Things to Do at Home Right Now, From Virtual Tours to Animals Cams and More

It’s safe to say things are understandably weird right now. As the world reacts to the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the planet are staying home, quarantining, and practicing social distancing as an effort to slow — and hopefully stop — the spread of coronavirus. Though staying home is totally necessary right now, it means many of us have found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. If you’re struggling to figure out how to keep yourself occupied beyond your usual at-home hobbies of Netflix and chill, you’re not alone.

For us, we’ve taken this time to really lean into the leisure side of Travel + Leisure, and help our readers around the world realize that we’re all actually a lot closer than it feels right now. If you’re like us, the idea of not being able to get outside to explore is difficult, but we’ve found that virtual travel is not only fun and exciting, it’s helping us see and understand places we’ve only dreamed about going. From the comfort of your couch you can explore the depths of Carlsbad Caverns and other national parks before “jetting off” to a virtual tour of the Louvre in Paris. Afterwards join an online cooking demonstration from a world-famous chef before sitting down to a breathtaking performance from New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. The world’s the limit — really.

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO


In light of reports about COVID-19 consuming the news cycle and our thoughts, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with worry, stressed, fearful, or depressed. So if there’s ever been a time to adopt new and effective self-care activities, it’s now. That said, not every person will feel uplifted and refreshed in the same ways. For example, all Myers-Briggs types enjoy different self-care activities and methods for rejuvenation.

ISFPs like to explore their individuality in new ways, whereas ISFJs like to feel comfortable and supported, while ESFJs thrive when their social muscle is engaged by fun with friends, and ENTPs feel a boost when a challenging daily project moves their mental energy toward a healthy outlet. Clearly, variability for the type of self-care activities deemed fulfilling really depends on the person and their specific personality.

So below, find some ideas for taking care of yourself, no matter your MBTI type. (Still haven’t learned your Myers-Briggs yet? Find out more here. And if you want to take a deeper dive, check out our guide to the cognitive functions.)

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO

5 TED Talks That Will Help You Manage Anxiety and Build Resilience

Get inspired to learn some new ways to practice mindfulness, and manage your emotions.

With lives, businesses, and the entire global economy being upended due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy for anxiety and worry to set in. These are stressful times for everyone.

If you’re looking for coping strategies, here are a few TED talks from speakers that include a Harvard professor and psychologist, a Buddhist monk, and a resilience researcher.

Click here to view videos


Christopher James Masiello, CEO

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any situation. With concerns of a global recession on everyone’s minds today, it’s important to take an objective look at what has transpired over the years and how the housing market has successfully weathered these storms.

1. The Market Today Is Vastly Different from 2008

We all remember 2008. This is not 2008. Today’s market conditions are far from the time when housing was a key factor that triggered a recession. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today. Rest assured, housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place.

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO

6 habits to increase your energy

Energy is the key thing we all need to consistently do our best work — it’s the basis for getting things done.

For many people, working around the clock and wearing multiple hats at once is the only way to consistently deliver results — their daily habits define their energy levels. When you are feeling exhausted all the time, you are prone to be distracted by almost anything.

The modern world has changed our lifestyle and our habits are draining us quicker than ever before. If we want our bodies and brains to have the required energy to do modern work, we have to take care of ourselves. Taking good care of your body is the sure way of getting the required energy to maintain a focused and high-performing brain.

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Christopher James Masiello, CEO