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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Observations about life

  • Do the 'Right Thing'. If can't figure out what the 'right thing' is, pretend you had to tell your parents or your favorite teacher about your decision. If you would feel uncomfortable telling them, it is probably not the 'right thing'.
  • Surround yourself with people that challenge you. Surround yourself with creative people.
  • "You know what you know and you dont know what you dont know; that is knowledge" - Confucius. 
  • "The true test of intelligence is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we dont know what to do," John Holt
  • The person who doesnt know much , is usually not humble. The person who knows a lot, is always humble.
  • Do what you love. Life is easier when you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.
  • Change is good.
  • The 2 biggest reasons that businesses(or any other endeavor for that matter) fail are ego and greed.
  • The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  • You dont learn by talking; you learn by listening. Corollary 1: The meanest thing you can do to someone is to not listen when they talk. Corollary 2: There are at least 2 sides to every story. Don't react until you hear all sides. Corollary 3: Overreacting always causes mistakes.
  • If you never consider failure, you will always succeed. Corollary: It is not a failure to not reach goals; it is a failure to give up on them. The biggest risk is not taking a risk.
  • It is not the mistakes that define the person, but the recoveries.
  • You are only as good as the pack you run with.
  • Save 10% of your salary. If you can't, you are living beyond your means.
  • Every successful person (regardless of how success is defined) has a mentor. Find a person that you respect and trust and emulate them.
  • Life is journey marked by good and bad events. There are births, weddings and graduations, but there also deaths, divorces and job losses. We yearn to have period of relative calm and certainty, during which there is no change and we have the opportunity to get into a groove and enjoy life, concentrating on the here and now. But we dont get them. If all we got were good events, that would be fine, but we also get plenty of bad, and they rattle us, tire us and make us yearn for calm.
  • The sky is not falling. "This is just a test; if this were a real emergency, you'd be dead." God.
  • Most people are inherently good. If you look for the bad in people, you will surely find it, at the risk of never being able to - nor wanting to - see the good. It is a self - fulfilling prophecy.
  • You can't automate a process you cant do manually.
  • People will work harder to fix a problem if they take part in recommending and implementing a solution.
  • Much of life is happenstance.
  • Luck is the best thing you can have in a life. I'll take good luck over good management any day. The hard part is recognizing and taking advantage of good luck. Corollary: You make your own luck.
  • Spread good karma. Greet all people with a cheerful face. Do good deeds for anyone and everyone.
  • Be positive. Smile a lot - it makes everyone else around you feel better, and you'll feel better, too. Do good deeds for anyone and everyone.
  • "Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." - Hellen Keller
  • "All happiness comes from the desire for others to be happy. All misery comes from the desire for oneself to be happy." - Shantideva, (7th Century), India.
  • Visit other countries and cultures. It will increase your understanding of other people and yourself.
  • "As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life." - Buddha
  • "If you think too much, you get all mixed up," John W. Pratt, Harvard Business School Professor.
  • Never work just for money or for power. They wont save your soul or help you sleep at night.
  • You can't tell a book by its cover.
  • Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
  • The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
  • Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
  • Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.
  • Always communicate.
  • Confront conflicts (but rationally)
  • Dont let money determine all of your life decisions
  • Care about other people
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt
  • First impressions have the largest impacts
  • No matter how many people agree on a solution, there is almost always a better alternative.
  • You cant successfully sky dive without the support of a parachute
  • Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Honesty is the best policy!
  • Set expectations right(be it in personal life or professional). Know what you expect from others, from the job/relation and what others expect from you.
  • When in doubt, be simple, frank and communicate.
  • Do onto others what you would expect others to do unto you!
  • Take care to be kind to those that are in positions supporting yours, i.e. secretaries, IT staff, doorman, valets etc.
  • "I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating" is a quote by Sophocles which I think implies a lot.
  • Creativity will always help in some way.

15 Steps to Fulfilling Your Wildest Dreams

According to Bill Gates there are 3 keys to success in any new venture:

  1. Being in the right place at the right time. (You could well be already there!)
  2. Have a vision of where the industry/business you're working in its going!
  3. Taking massive and immediate action! (It is time to act!)
"The future belongs to those who believe in the quality of their dreams." Was it Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, the famous German poet and philosopher who said those wise words?

Here are the 15 steps to fulfilling wildest dreams...

1) Know Yourself
Know and accept your weakness and faults (we all have them), but even more so your strengths, abilities and gift. Build on your strengths and try to minimize or improve on your weakness. An honest, objective analysis of yourself is the first step in preparing you for success and realizing your dreams. Celebrate you for just being you, a unique creation.

Aim for mental clarity about what you most want out of life. Think about it and write it down. If it's happiness, what do you mean by happiness: a sense of belonging, recognition, independence, love, money or security? If you don't know where you are and where you want to go with your life, how will you ever get there? Aim at nothing and you're sure to hit it.

2) Get Passionate
Don't apologize for getting passionate. What excites you the most? If you are not enthusiastic and excited about what you're doing, your path in life, you'll never get others to share your dream. Once you find your passion, you will have found your POWER, MEANING and PURPOSE in life.

3) Surround Yourself With Positive Passion
Always be aware. Negative people will poison your dream faster than anything else. Motto: "If you can't be positive, shut up!" Try and stay positive ... even in the face of negativity.

4) Accept From The Start That You Wont Please Everyone
You're going to be misunderstood, misquoted, hurt some feelings, perhaps even lose some friends (for the time being). Motto: "What other people think of me is none of my business!" Repeat this statement to yourself, especially when you doubt or feel discouraged.

5) Always Be Yourself
To thine own self be true. (Shakespeare's "Hamlet", act I.3.) This is supremely important, no matter what the world may think of you. The masses are conditioned to mediocrity and other people's success can make them not feel inferior for their own insignificant little lives. Accept yourself. Learn from others -- but don't be intimidated by them, or pretend be someone you're not; because ... "We are most effective when we're being ourselves."

6) Dont Be Scare Of Making Mistakes
The only real mistake is one from which you learn nothing. Motto: "Far better to try something and fail, than try nothing and succeed!"

7) Accept That It Will Never Be Easy
Realizing your dream may be the hardest, most uphill thing you'll ever do. A truth... "You can't coast uphill." The key ingredient in success is never giving up. Keep on keeping on with your quest. It has been said that "success is 99% made up of failures."

8) Stay Humble (No matter how successful you may be)
Dont ever think you've made it and arrived -- there's always a lot ahead, more to do, higher mountains to climb. Motto: "The greatest way to do our thing has yet to be discovered!"

9) Dont Underestimate Yourself
There is incredible power in yourself (in the form of the unique human mind), but far more so in the forces of the Universe. Make them work for you by living your life in harmony with these natural forces. Like positive energy attracts like. Enough "spiritual" thoughts! Back to the "real world" and you. Avoid developing an inferiority complex (Who am I, a "nothing?"). Don't be filled with feelings of self-pity ("nobody likes me"), or think "I cant do it." These thoughts will steal your dream.

10) Have Fun
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems -- don't get to solemn, or serious or too downcast when things go wrong (as they surely will from time to time). Take a lead from Thomas Edison's book: "I never did a day's work in my entire life: It was all FUN!" Laugh at life's funny moments... and there are plenty of them. "The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does." - J.M. Barrie

11) Develop 'The Will To Live"
There will be plenty of times when you'll face the death of your dream. When failures, disappointments, and criticisms come you need the will and faith to keep going. Remember: We learn far more from our failures than our successes, because failures show us what doesnt work. So, failure is just one step closer to ultimate success. Often the difference between failure and success is trying just one more time, picking yourself up off the canvas after being knocked down time and again.

12 Develop "The Will To Help And Serve Others"
Success on its own (i.e., for its own sake) will pollute and corrupt you -- it's dead end street unless you have meaning in your life. The years of struggle breed fortitude and character. The gold may be an inch away from the saem, where your fellow miners have given up. You need to succeed for a reason, a purpose, a cause that's bigger than you! and IF (a very big if) you've fulfilled all the above requirements... 

By the time you finish reading this you will realize its just 12 steps and not 15

Stress Free in 10 Minutes

1. Do Nothing
At least once during the day, take 5-10 minutes to sit quietly and do nothing. Focus on the sounds around you. Your emotions and any tensions in your neck, shoulders, arms, chest, etc.

2. Laugh Out Loud
Keep something handy that makes you laugh. It could be a collection of your favorite comic strips, of a funny email from, say, your child or a friend. You could even take a few moments to think watching your favorite comedy serial. Turn to this every so often during your day.

3. Tune In
When you face a daunting task, playing soothing music - be it classical, county or jazz. AT work you can use the CD drive on your computer to keep the music at the ready.

4. Think Happy
Focus on someone or something you care deeply about for anywhere from 15 seconds to 5 minutes. Or picture a scene from a peaceful vacation. A phrase that makes you feel positive about yourself and the world can also work.

5. Hit The Road
Get up from your desk, the couch - wherever you may be - and take a 10 minute walk.

6 Breathe Easy
For 5 minutes, slow your breathing down to about 6 deep-belly breaths a minute. In other words, inhale for about 5 seconds, exhale for about 5.

7 Rise Relaxed
Right before bed and after the alarm goes of in the morning, take 5 minutes to relax your entire body. Start by tensing your toes; consciously relax them. Move on to the muscles in your feet, and then your calves, upper legs, move upwards until you end by scrunching up and then relaxing the muscles in your face.

Funny Anecdote - You are always in my thoughts

An old man lived alone in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison. the old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation:

Dear Son, 

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I wont be able to plant my potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting time.

I'm just getting too old to be digging up the garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if you werent in prison.


Shortly, the old man received this telegram:
"For Heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up the garden!! That's where I buried the GUNS!!"

At 4 a.m. the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the garden without finding any guns.

Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asked him what to do next. His son's reply was: "Go ahead and plan your potatoes, Dad... Its the best I could do for you from here"

No matter where you are in the world, if you have decided to do something deep from your heart you can do it. It is the thought that matters not where you are or where the person is.

Know your ABCs

Avoid negative sources-people, places, things and habits
Believe in yourself
Consider things from every angle
Dont give up and dont give in
Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may not come
Family and friends are hidden treasures seek & enjoy their riches
Give more than you planned to give
Hang on to your dreams
Ignore those who try to discourage you
Just do it!
Keep on trying. No matter how hard it seems, it will get easier
Love yourself first and most
Make it happen
Never lie, cheat or steal. Always strike a fair deal
Open your eyes and see things as they really are
Practice makes perfect
Quitters never win and winners never quit
Read, study and learn about everything important in your life
Stop procrastinating
Take control of your own destiny
Understand yourself in order to better understand others
Visualize it
Want it more than anything
eXel at doing your best
You can do anything you set out to do
Zero in on your target and go for it!

Demotivators - by Tom Hopkins

If you are one of the millions of people who never seem to get what they really want in life, the reason may be a few simple attitudes you have acquired that I call "demotivates." In my experience training thousands of professional sales people, I've found four demotivators common to all of us, which we must overcome to attain our goals.

The first demotivator is the fear of losing our security.
We are so afraid of losing the security we have, that we won't give it up to get the greater security we seek. I truly believe that there is no such thing as security we seek. I truly believe that there is no such thing as security other than the security we build within ourselves. We are only secure to the extent of our ability to cope with the struggle called living, and we cannot be more secure than our capabilities of handling insecurity allow us to be. This means we have to give up what we have, to get what we want. If we refuse to give up anything, where will the space, time, money, and energy for new achievements come from?

The second demotivator is fear of failure
How many times have your refused to try something, because you were afraid you'd fail? Isn't it sad how many of us doom ourselves to mediocre lives rather than accept the momentary rejections that success demands? We must challenge our fears, and conquer each fear forever. Soon, you will find that every time you conquer a fear, the easier it will be to beat the next one. Remember: Do what you fear most and you will control that fear.

The third demotivator is self-doubt
When we're gripped by negative conviction, we believe everything we do will be wrong. When you're thinking like this it is likely that everything we do fails, and ultimately, we fail. Instead of looking at what you did wrong, look at what you did right. Keep an "up" attitude, overcome rejection and keep trying. Soon, you'll start to win. The wins will start to pile up until they smother all self-doubts under a mountain of positive conviction.

The fourth demotivator is the pain of change.
We resist the change because it means that part of our old self must die, and a self that is unknown to us, is born. We mourn the loss of the familiar as we labor through the birth of the new. To overcome this attitude, we should make a habit of trying new things when we dont have to, so we can keep the best of the old in our lives as a strong emotional foundation. Remember, there is an element of pain in all change, but those you put into motion yourself are far less painful than ones thrown at your by others.

Setting Goals

Set Goals (and Objectives)
Goal setting is the art that makes everything else possible. It adds aim to energy, focuses efforts and, for some, structures time. Surveys show that people who plan ahead are much more successful over the long term than those who plunge in without knowing where they are going or how they'll get there. You wouldnt take a long road trip without a map so it makes good sense to have a compass (and roadmap) for your fitness objectives.

Goals should be SMART

  • S = Specific: Saying "I'll go to exercise class," is not specific. I have clearer picture when I write, "Next week I will attend boxing class at 9:30AM Monday, Wednesday and Friday."
  • M = Measurable: Set goals that are measurable in quality and quantity. Measuring body fat percentage, hip to waist ratio or journaling and record keeping of diet intake or workouts achieved or increases in heart rate reserve are powerful and motivating tools to assure a new habit  becomes a long term behavior. Instead, make plans for an individual workout that nurtures you. Many folks find that they are committed to measurable goals if they report to a friend or colleague willing to monitor their progress.
  • A = Attainable: In the moment of enthusiasm we often make promises that are difficult to keep when enthusiasm wanes. If you are looking for a magic bullet chances are you will end up shooting yourself in the foot. Realizing that change doesnt happen overnight will help you set realistic goals you can achieve. It's the SMALL changes that are key to lifestyle change. For example, if you are trying to lose weight you should avoid the painful rebound of crash dieting by planning to lose no more than one or two pounds per week.
  • R = Realistic: Goals should be reflective of your values and compatible with your lifestyle. If not they can be source of distress. Success is about how to customize the activities to find the right fit for you. For example, if you don't enjoy working out with others it's unrealistic to join an aerobic class.
  • T = Timely: It is not smart to plan too many changes at once. It's too threatening to your internal sense of balance. Before your begin be certain that you can identify other areas of your life that might be stressful and prevent you from "doing what you want to do"
Write down your goals
It is important to put goals in writing. Written goals are tangible signs of a promise that you intend to keep. They can remind you of the promise when time is short or if other priorities become pressing. Written goals will also help you track your progress, make your accomplishments more obvious and help you identify problem areas that need more attention.

Identify supporter and saboteurs
Some of us can be a lone ranger, but most people need coaches, cheerleaders and people whose belief in support of us reminds us of commitment to change. The friendship and support of others will make it easier for you pass through the sometimes difficult transition from old to new behaviors. Identify the people who will nurture you and help you maintain your well-being, as well as those who don't see your point of view. Those supporters will help you maintain your commitment during period of stress.

Plan for unexpected
Lack of time is the most frequently mentioned reason for discontinuing a fitness program. Life is filled with surprises so include strategies that assure you will make time for maintaining your commitment in the face of changing schedules, unexpected mini-crisis and external forces like long meetings, extra traffic, changes in car pools -- you know what I mean!

Affirm your behavior
Affirmations are powerful. Many people find that repeating certain sayings to themselves helps them accept things. they discover they are programming their sub-concious to new beliefs.  Affirmations should be positive such as "I am," "I have" as opposed to "I would like" or "I will try". Remind yourself daily, "I am healthy person making changes in my lifestyle so I can live in the most healthy way."

Reward your success
Set up a reward system so you can reward yourself for changed behaviors. Each of us have different values for measuring success. Yours should be structured to satisfy you, not others. That reward should make you hum from head to toe!