Understanding Body Language

body  languageThe effective use of body language plays a key role in effective leadership communication. Here are some tips I’ve learned and practised during the past three decades of teaching and mentoring students and consulting business leaders and their teams around the world:

To boost your confidence, assume a power pose

Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, “high-power” poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Try this when you’re feeling tentative but want to appear confident. In addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, these poses lead to increased feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. The study also found that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you’re saying.

To increase participation, look like you’re listening

If you want people to speak up, don’t multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention. It’s important to hear people. It’s just as important to make sure they know you are listening.

To encourage collaboration, remove barriers

Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team. Even during a coffee break, be aware that you may create a barrier by holding your cup and saucer in a way that seems deliberately to block your body or distance you from others. A senior executive told me he could evaluate his team’s comfort by how high they held their coffee cups. It was his observation that the more insecure individuals felt, the higher they held their coffee. People with their hands held at waist level were more comfortable than those with hands chest high.

To connect instantly with someone, shake hands

Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40th of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly.

To stimulate good feelings, smile

A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly. Most important, smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.

To show agreement, mirror expressions and postures

When clients or business colleagues unconsciously imitate your body language, it’s their way of nonverbally saying that they like or agree with you. When you mirror other people with intent, it can be an important part of building rapport and nurturing feelings of mutuality. Mirroring starts by observing a person’s facial and body gestures and then subtly letting your body take on similar expressions and postures. Doing so will make the other person feel understood and accepted.

To improve your speech, use your hands

Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking. Whenever people incorporate gestures into their deliveries, you will find that their verbal content improves. Experiment with this and you’ll find that the physical act of gesturing helps you form clearer thoughts and speak in tighter sentences with more declarative language.

To learn the truth, watch people’s feet

When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements. Feet will fidget, shuffle, and wind around each other or around the furniture. Feet will stretch and curl to relieve tension, or even kick out in a miniaturized attempt to run away. Studies show that observers have greater success judging a person’s real emotional state when they can see the entire body. You may not know it, but instinctively you’ve been reacting to foot gestures all your life.

To sound authoritative, keep your voice down

Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch (a technique I learned from a speech therapist) by keeping your lips together and making the sounds “um hum, um hum, um hum.” And if you are a female, watch that your voice doesn’t rise at the ends of sentences as if you are asking a question or seeking approval. Instead, when stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end.

To improve your memory, uncross your arms and legs

Body language researchers Allan and Barbara Pease report a fascinating finding from one of their studies: When a group of volunteers attended a lecture and sat with unfolded arms and legs, they remembered 38% more than a group that attended the same lecture and sat with folded arms and legs. To improve your retention, uncross your arms and legs. If you see your audience exhibiting defensive body language, change tactics, take a break, or get them to move—and don’t try to persuade them until their bodies open up.

If you follow these simple and powerful body language tips, you’ll surely increase your nonverbal impact.

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The Awakening

awakeningA time comes in your life when you finally get it. When, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your soul cries out… Enough ! Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your Awakening.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon. You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are, and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you – or didn’t do for you – and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and everything isn’t always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with. You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop manoeuvring through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that ‘alone’ does not mean lonely. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, and take more time to exercise. You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels the soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play. You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help. You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people… and you learn not to always take it personally. You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the Earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can. This is your Awakening.

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Wisdom from Japan

japaneseForeigners could probably talk about the mysterious and inscrutable nature of Japanese culture for hours on end. What is most fascinating and captivating about this country is, perhaps, the fact that despite its modernity and immense technological achievements, its people continue to maintain very strong links with their roots and ancient traditions. Perhaps, this is where the root of enlightenment is to be found. To give you a little more insight into the culture of this fascinating and deeply wise nation, here are some ancient Japanese sayings.

 If a problem can be solved, then it’s not worth worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, then it’s useless to worry about it.
 Having taken the time to think, venture to act. Once you’ve done so, stop thinking.
 Do not hold back that which is departing; do not chase away that which is arriving.
 Fast means going slowly without interruption.
 It is better to be the enemy of a good person than the friend of a bad one.
 There has never been a great individual who did not have ordinary people at their side.
 He who strongly desires to rise up will think of a way to build a ladder.
 A husband and wife should be similar to a hand and an eye: when one’s hand hurts, the eyes cry; and when the eyes cry, the hand wipes away one’s tears.
 The sun does not know who is right or who is wrong. It shines without purpose and provides warmth to all.
 A frog in a well does not know the greatness of the sea.
 A long journey always begins with a short one.
 He who drinks does not know the dangers of wine; he who doesn’t drink does not know its benefits.
 Even if a sword is only required once in a lifetime, it should be worn all the time.
 Beautiful flowers do not bear good fruit.
 Grief, like a torn dress, should always be left at home.
 When one is in love, even the scars left by smallpox are as beautiful as dimples on a person’s cheeks.
 No one has ever stumbled whilst lying in bed.
 One kind word can keep you warm for three months of winter.
 Always make way for fools and madmen.
 If you want to paint a branch, you have to hear the breath of the wind.
 Check seven times before ever doubting someone.
 Do everything that you can and leave the rest to fate.
 Excessive honesty often borders on stupidity.
 Fortune will always come in to a house with laughter.
 He who endures for just half an hour longer than his opponent can achieve victory.
 As soon as stones can swim, leaves will sink.
 Even monkeys can fall from their trees.
 Cold tea and cold rice are tolerable; what is intolerable is a cold gaze and harsh words.
 If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.
 If a woman wants something, she’ll climb a mountain to get it.
 Ask a question and you feel shame for a moment. Not asking and not knowing means you will feel shame for your whole life.
 A bad craftsman never made a perfect vase.
 The earth always hardens after the rain.
 The deepest rivers flow in silence.
 If you decide to set off on your own journey, you’ll find yourself alone for a thousand kilometers.

Wishing all my friends and readers abundance of health, wealth and happiness in the new year.

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Tips for Success in Life and Business

celebrate-successSometimes what helps us to be successful in our professional lives is not such a great idea in our personal lives — competition is a quality that comes to mind. At the same time, we all have a limited amount of time each day to do the things that we want to do. So, for the sake of saving time and energy, I’m sharing a few tips that will help you to be successful, in both, life and business. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does provide a good starting point. I would love to hear which of these tips you have found useful in life and business , in the comments section.

Add Value. No matter what you do and where you go, you can’t go wrong with adding value. Simply put value is anything that people are willing to pay for. In your professional life, the more value you can offer the more money you can make. In your personal life, more value translates to closer relationships and strong personal growth. The best way to add value is to find the intersection between what people are willing to pay for and what service or product you can offer that is aligned with your values, strengths and goals. How are you adding value to your employers and loved ones today? What can you do to increase your ability to add value?

Follow Your Passion. Reading biographies on great people and from my own personal observations and encounters, I’ve realized that those who achieve greatness professionally and personally follow their passion. The reason why great people are few and far in-between is because most people don’t even know what their passion is. For those that do figure out their passion, most of them don’t follow their passion consistently. This is one of the main reasons why people don’t reach their goals. Do you know what your passion is? If not, what are you going to do to find out? If you do know what you passion is, are you following it?

Be Extraordinary. If you do the same thing as everyone else, it’s hard to be successful. It is important to find the edge and then push past it. That is how you become noticed and get what you want. Whether it is money, meaningful relationships or a sense of personal accomplishment, the extraordinary person attracts them all. How are you extraordinary? If you feel just ordinary, what are you going to do to become extraordinary.

Start Now. There are many factors that go in to become a success in both your professional and personal life but the one step that is required is taking action. Most people miss out on reaching their full potential because they never start. They are always preparing, planning and waiting for the best time to start. The stars rarely align and you will never be completely ready so just start now and adjust along the way. Are you waiting for something before you start? What is your planning to doing ratio? What’s really the worst thing that can happen if you got started right now? If you are someone that’s just been waiting, stop reading this post and get started on what you have been wanting to do.

Hunt for Good Mentors. People who “make it” usually credit their success to a mentor or a group of mentors who really helped guide them to get to where they are. Mentors have gone down the road that you want to travel and can guide you to get to your destination faster than if you went at it alone. If you want to be healthy, you would find a mentor who is already healthy. If you want to be rich, then you have to find someone who is already rich. What surprises me is how rarely people engage in mentoring relationships and those who do usually find mentors in only one aspect of their lives. If you want to be successful, be active about finding mentors that will help you achieve what you want. Do you have a mentor in your life now? If not, ask yourself what barriers are preventing you from finding or establishing a mentoring relationship? If you do have a mentor, do you have one for the different aspects of your life (financial, health, professional, personal, spiritual, relationships, parenting , etc.)?

Build a Support Group. While mentors serve as a guide with whom you review your past actions and plan your next steps, a support group are your companions that help you with during the actual execution of your plan. This may be in the form of a mastermind group or accountability partner where you keep each other accountable for your goals and to help each other deal with situations that may arise while you are on your journeys. It is extremely helpful to have someone you know that is willing to listen to your frustrations and self doubt and to encourage you and remind you of how far you’ve already come. Who is in your support group?

Personally Know Your Finances. Numbers scare a lot of people. Start talking about assets, liabilities and net worth and people’s eyes just glaze over. If you are one of those people who run away from numbers, please stop running because you are hurting yourself. If you want to be financially independent, you need to know how to keep score. If you have your own business or want to successfully invest, finances tell you how well you are doing and reveal the health of a business. If you don’t understand finances, you have to learn. It’s easy once you get over the limiting belief that you are no good at numbers. For those interested in learning more, you may want to check out these personal finance resources. Do you know you net worth? If you are bad at numbers, what specifically makes you believe that? How can you improve your financial intelligence?

Get Help. I have a tendency to try to do everything myself and in some ways it is good and in many ways it is bad. It is important to know and understand all aspects of your life and business but that does not mean having to do all the tasks involved in maximizing your potential in those areas. It is true that we can always learn new things and become competent in them but what is also true is that we are only given 24 hours each day and to live full lives, it is more effective to do what we do best and to outsource tasks that we’re not good at to people who excel at them. Delegating effectively takes trust and the ability to clearly communicate what you want. How are you spending your time? Is it doing things you are awesome at? If not, what are you doing that you can outsource or delegate so you can devote more time doing what you’re great at? What’s stopping you from outsourcing or delegating?

Learn Sales. Many people cringe when they hear the word sales. “I would never be in sales, that’s a sleazy job.” It is exactly this type of thinking that stops people from being their best. Sales is nothing more than persuading someone or something. When you are looking to get a date, you are selling. When you are interviewing for a job, you are selling. When you are trying to persuade your spouse or kids to go to Europe for your family vacation, you are selling. In a professional setting, sales is paramount and the lifeline for any business. If you want to get the most out of life and business, learn the skills for effective selling. When you hear “sales”, what associations come to mind? Are they positive or negative? Do you know the how to sell effectively? If not, how do you plan to learn?

Be Resilient. Things rarely work out the way you planned and there will always be distractions and stumbling blocks that you have to deal with when you are on your road to success. The key point to remember is to persist and to develop the courage to move on even when everyone around you is telling you it is ok to give up. This does not mean stubbornly holding on to your original plan but rather continuing to pursue your goal as long as the reasons for doing so is still valid (Make sure you know the “Why” of what you want). When everything seems to be going wrong, keep in mind that “the road to success is paved with a thousand failures” so each failure actually brings you closer to where you want to be. How often to you quit because things got tough? Would you describe yourself as an unshakeable optimist? Do you view problems as opportunities or warning signs? How do you view failure and are you making sure that you don’t make the one mistake people make when learning from their mistakes?

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Inspirational Leadership Quotes

Leadership-Quotes-10No one can deny the power of a good quote. They motivate and inspire us to be our best. Here are some of my absolute favorites:

1. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” —Mother Teresa

2. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

3. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” —Henry Ford

4. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” —Vince Lombardi

Secrets of Really Persuasive People

5. “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.” —Charles Swindoll

6. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” —Oprah Winfrey

7. “Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

8. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” —Jimmy Dean

9. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” —Audrey Hepburn

10. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

11. “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” —Les Brown

12. “Do or do not. There is no try.” —Yoda

13. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” —Napoleon Hill

14. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

15. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” —Michael Jordan

16. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” —Albert Einstein

17. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” —Stephen Covey

18. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” —Henry Ford

19. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” —Alice Walker

20. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” —Amelia Earhart

Are You Emotionally Intelligent? Here’s How to Know for Sure

21. “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” —Aristotle Onassis

22. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

23. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” —Ayn Rand

24. “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” —Vincent Van Gogh

25. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray

26. “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” —Dalai Lama

27. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” —Albert Einstein

28. “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” —Bob Dylan

29. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” —Leonardo da Vinci

30. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” —Helen Keller

31. “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” —John Lennon

Habits of Exceptionally Likable People

32. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

33. “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” —George Addair

34. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” —Plato

35. “Nothing will work unless you do.” —Maya Angelou

36. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” —Theodore Roosevelt

37. “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” —Plutarch

38. “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” —Jack Welch

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Happy Diwali

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Live like a King , Die like a Legend

live-like-a-king-die-like-a-legend-1. Have a firm handshake.
2. Look people in the eye.
3. Sing in the shower.
4. Own a great stereo system.
5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
6. Keep secrets.
7. Never give up on anybody.
8. Always accept an outstretched hand.
9. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
10. Whistle.Miracles happen everyday.
11. Avoid sarcastic remarks.
12. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
14. Lend only those books you never care to see again.
15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
16. When playing games with children, let them win.
17. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
18. Be romantic.
19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
20. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
21. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
22. Be a good loser.
23. Be a good winner.
24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
25. When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
27. Keep it simple.
28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
29. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
30. Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets
31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
32. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
34. Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
36. Begin each day with some of your favourite music.
37. Once in a while, take the scenic route.
38. Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
40. Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
43. Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
44. Become someone’s hero.
45. Marry only for love.
46. Count your blessings.
47. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
48. Wave at the children on a school bus.
49. Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
50. Don’t expect life to be fair

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Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Greatest Inspirational Quotes

Wayne-DyerDr. Wayne Dyer passed away in his sleep on August 29th in Hawaii, and the world lost of one the most inspirational influences. Dr. Dyer is considered to be the “father of motivation” by his fans and was a pioneer in the field of personal development. In his career he wrote over 40 books, 20 of which were New York Times Best Sellers, and raised over $250 million dollars for public television through PBS.

Dr. Dyer has been a personal inspiration of mine and I highly recommend reading anything he has ever written. We are lucky to have had him shared his wisdom and be a part of our universe for 75 years of his life. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Dr. Dyer:

“Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it cannot be ignored. I’m going to follow my bliss and act upon this glorious sensation of joy.”

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy. ”

“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.”

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”

“You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.”

“You don’t need to be better than anyone else you just need to be better than you used to be”

“You have everything you need for complete peace and total happiness right now.”

“The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.”

“When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace”

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

“If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.”

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

“Conflict cannot survive without your participation”

“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”

“I am realistic – I expect miracles.”

“You’ll see it when you believe it.”

“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.”

“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.”

* * *

Destructive Faults in Our Thinking

thinkingThe human mind is wonderful and powerful, but it’s far from perfect. There are several common judgment errors that it’s prone to making. In the field of Psychology these are known as cognitive biases, or fallacies in reasoning. They happen to everyone regardless of age, sex, education or intelligence. Use the information in this article to pinpoint these destructive patterns in your own thinking, and break free from them before they send you spiraling down the wrong path.

• Negative self-fulfilling prophecies. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that motivates a person to take actions that cause the prediction to come true. This kind of thinking often tears relationships apart and causes people to fail at their goals. Here are two typical examples: 1.) A man believes that his relationship with his new girlfriend is “never going to last.” So he stops putting effort into the relationship, pulls away emotionally, and a month later the relationship fails. 2.) An intelligent undergraduate in the field of health convinces herself that she “doesn’t have what it takes” to become a doctor, so she therefore never completes the prerequisites for medical school, and thus never becomes a doctor.

• Only taking credit for positive outcomes. This destructive thinking pattern occurs when we take full credit for our successes, but deny responsibility for our failures. An example of this can be witnessed in school classrooms across the globe. When students receive a good grade, they often attribute it to their intelligence and their excellent study habits. But when they get a bad grade, they attribute some of their failure to a bad teacher, an unfair set of test questions, or a subject matter that “isn’t needed in the real world anyway.” The bottom line is that in order for a person to grow emotionally, they must be willing to take full responsibility for all of their actions and outcomes – successes and failures alike.

• Believing we are immune to temptation. We have far less control over our impulsive desires than we often believe. Sex, food, and drug addictions are extreme examples of this. Many addicts believe they can quit anytime they want, but in reality they are simply lying to themselves. But you don’t have to be an addict to be vulnerable to temptation. Lots of smart people end up impulsively giving in to temptation simply because it’s the easiest way to get rid of it. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. If someone wants to get rid of sexual desire, the easiest way is to have sex. If someone wants to get rid of hunger pain, the easiest way is to eat. Restraining from impulsive behavior in the face of temptation is not easy; it takes a great deal of self-control. So be careful, because when we have an inflated sense of control over our impulses, we tend to overexpose ourselves to temptation, which in turn promotes the impulsive behavior we want to avoid.

• Passing a broad judgment from an isolated incident. An inaccurate first impression is an example of this one. It’s about our natural human tendency to evaluate a person or situation from a bird’s eye view, and then presume to know enough to pass a reasonable judgment. This happens a lot in the corporate working world. A newer employee might show up late to work after experiencing legitimate car trouble, but their boss immediately becomes suspicious that they are not committed and responsible, and treats them as such for several weeks thereafter. The obvious solution here is to look at the big picture before you start pointing fingers or making assumptions.

• Believing we can control the uncontrollable. This thinking fallacy occurs when people begin to believe that they have some kind of direct influence or power over an external event that is completely random. It is especially evident in the minds of amateur gamblers; those who have had a recent string of good luck. For example, if you flipped a coin and asked someone to guess heads or tails, and they got it right ten times in a row, they might begin to believe that their good luck is confirmation that they have control over the outcome of each flip. But the truth is that there is always a 50% probability of their answer being correct, and their last ten guesses were pure luck.

• Ignoring information that does not support a belief. Psychologists commonly refer to this as the confirmation bias. We as human beings naturally tend to look for information that confirms and supports our beliefs, and we tend to overlook information that does not. We are selective in the evidence we choose to collect so that we don’t have to challenge our way of thinking, because it’s easier not to. This destructive thinking trap is very common, and it can have detrimental effects on our productivity when we make big decisions based on false information.

• Beginner’s optimism. Beginner’s optimism is the human tendency to underestimate the time required to complete an unfamiliar task. It occurs due to a lack of planning and research on behalf of someone who is excited about doing something they have never done before. In other words, when we get assigned a new task that we are anxious to get started on, instead of delaying the start time to accurately evaluate the level of difficulty and resources required, we simply guess and begin. Thus, our expectation of the workload is based on raw optimism instead past experience and reliable data. And it all backfires on us a little later when we find ourselves knee deep in work we were unprepared for.

• Rebelling simply to prove personal freedom. Although more common in children, this thinking fallacy can affect people of any age. It’s basically a person’s urge to do something they have been told not to do, for fear that their freedom of choice is being taken away from them. This person may not even want to do whatever they are doing to rebel; however, the simple fact that they are not supposed to do it motivates them to do so anyway. The tactic of reverse psychology is a commonly used method of exploiting this thinking fallacy in others.

• Judging a person’s capabilities based solely on the way they look. This happens thousands of times a day worldwide when one person assumes something about another person based on their immediate appearance. For example, someone might see a tall, well groomed man in his early fifties, wearing a business suit, and instantly assume he is successful and reliable, even though there is zero concrete evidence to support this assumption. Bottom line: You can’t judge a book by its cover.

• Trying to diminish losses by continuing to pursue a previous failure. Sometimes called the sunk cost fallacy, this is a thinking fault that motivates us to continue to support a previously unsuccessful endeavor. We justify our decision to continue investing in this failed endeavor based on our cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, starting today, of continuing to pursue it outweighs the expected benefit. The logical thing to do would be for us to cut our losses and change our course of action. However, due to the sunk costs we have already invested, we feel committed to the endeavor, so we invest even more time, money and energy into it, hoping that our additional investment will reverse the outcome. But it never will.

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We Are Punjabis

punjabisThe pinnacle of the power for any local Punjabi population came in the later part of the 18th century when Sikh Empire was established by Ranjit Singh who conquered almost whole of Kashmir along with modern day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and annexed it into greater Punjab region. The coalescence of the various tribes, castes and the inhabitants of the Punjab into a broader common “Punjabi” identity initiated from the onset of the 18th century. Prior to that the sense and perception of a common “Punjabi” ethno-cultural identity and community did not exist, even though the majority of the various communities of the Punjab had long shared linguistic, cultural and racial commonalities.

Traditionally, Punjabi identity is primarily linguistic, geographical and cultural. Its identity is independent of race, color, creed or religion, and refers to those for whom the Punjabi language(s) is the first language or recognizable language and those who reside in the Punjab region and associate with its population. Integration and assimilation are important parts of Punjabi culture, since Punjabi identity is not based on tribal connections or race. More or less all Punjabis share the same cultural background.

If you are not a Punjabi yourself, then get ready for a boatload of surprises. Getting married to a Punjabi? You will spend the rest of your life with, arguably, the happiest people on earth but with a few side effects. Just don’t bother to change them, because nothing done in the past has worked. Enjoy the ride and get used to these 16 things:

1. Everyone, almost everyone around you will talk loudly; get used to it. Even if you are standing just inches away from people at home, they will still shout out to you, as if you were standing a few blocks away from them.

2. Almost every day, there is going to be some sort of drama. The smallest things will trigger emotional outbursts. It may involve — you have been warned — crying and cursing, too. Just hold your ground, count till 100 if you are scared or bored and let it pass. Punjabis get back to their good-natured selves very soon.

3. Don’t forget to use the standard prefix “Ji” else you will be insulting everyone if you don’t do that. No matter what you call your mom and dad, when married into a Punjabi family, mummy becomes ‘mummy ji’, Daddy become ‘daddy Ji’, your sister-in-law becomes ‘Parjhai ji’ , and so on.

4. A Punjabi family is not big, it’s huge, and you’ve got to keep it like that. Relatives are going to be there in every part of the country, and the world. You will have to please them, whether they come from Bhatinda, Ludhiana, Chandigarh or Canada.

5. Kanneda ( Canada) and Amreeka ( America) are sacred places. Anyone who stays there is an important NRI relative. They are addressed as Kanneda wali bua ji, Kanneda wale Chacha Ji, Kanneda wale Phofa ji, and you must give them special attention, care and time.

6. Breakfast means Paranthas. And if the temperature outside is soaring, there’s Lassi too. Once married into a Punjabi family, forget about dieting. Firstly, they don’t like thin and lean people, and, secondly, they won’t let you go on a diet come what may. Don’t worry about variety. There’s aloo, gobhi, muli, daal, even egg ka parantha, which will always be served with a large dollop of butter and a glass of Lassi.

7. Don’t even think about saying “I don’t know how to dance”. It’s the biggest offence to not be able to dance if you’re in a Punjabi family. They don’t expect you to be professional or poised, as far as you can shake your legs a bit (wildly).

8. Forget about saving, only think about giving. Punjabis are the most generous people. Being generous runs in the blood of Punjabis.

9. Sometimes they show off a bit, but it’s all in good faith. Latest jewellery, big cars, big house, lavish weddings, huge meals; they are going to show off in every aspect of life, wherever it is possible to do so.

10. Don’t mind, but most Punjabis can’t converse without abusing.

11. Be ready for the family hug at every occasion. No matter if it’s a birthday party, anniversary or wedding, it remains incomplete without a BIG family hug.

12. Nothing will ever compare to the warmth and love of Beeji. Anything small or big, beeji (grandma) will always take your side and lend you unconditional support through thick and thin.

13. B is always for butter chicken.

14. All the despairs will be drowned in alcohol. Ask for as much as you want.

15. You cannot wear plain clothes; it is below the prestige of the family. And if you do, this is what you should expect from your mother-in-law.

16. And lastly, to qualify as a Punjabi bahu (daughter in law), you must know how to make perfectly round chapattis.If not, nothing else can compensate it! Self Confidence at its Peak!

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Wisdom in Wise Sayings

wisdom

1. Never take things personally.
2. Never end a relationship by text message
3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
4. Show up.
5. Always use “we” when referring to your home team or your government.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.
8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
9. Don’t dumb it down.
10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.
11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.
12. Never park in front of a bar.
13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.
14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car and first girl/boyfriend.
15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.
16. Don’t text and drive.
17. Never lie to your doctor.
18. All guns are loaded.
19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me they know.
20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.
21. Take a vacation off of your cell phone, internet and TV once a year.
22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.
23. A handshake beats an autograph.
24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.
25. If you do something, do it with passion or not at all.
26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for caricature.
27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.
28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires.
29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.
30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
31. Eat lunch with new kids.
32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.
33. It’s never too late for an apology.
34. Don’t pose with booze.
35. If you have the right of way. Take it.
36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.
38. Never push someone off a dock.
39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she is pregnant.
40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.
41. Don’t make a scene.
42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is the best.
43. Know when to ignore the camera.
44. Never gloat.
45. Invest in great luggage.
46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day too.
47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
49. Give credit. Take blame.
50. Suck it up every now and again.
51. Give your seat up to the elderly.
52. Don’t stare.
53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.
54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.
55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
56. Admit it when you’re wrong.
57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.
58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
59. Thank the bus driver.
60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.
61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
62. Know at least one good joke.
63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.
64. Know how to cook one good meal.
65. Learn to swim.
66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.
67. It’s ok to go to the movies by yourself.
68. Dance with your mother/father.
69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.
70. Always thank the host.
71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.
72. Know the size of your husband’s/wife’s clothes.
73. There is nothing wrong with plain t-shirt.
74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.
75. Keep your word.
76. Fight for what matters.
77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.
78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.
79. Don’t be the talker in the movie.
80. The opposite sex like people who shower.
81. You are what you do. Not what you say.
82. Learn to change a tire.
83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.
84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent.
85. Don’t litter
86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.
87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest but you can be the toughest.
88. Never call someone before 9 AM or after 9PM.
89. Stay in shape.
90. Make the little things count.
91. Always wear a bra at work.
92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.
93. You’re never too old to need your mom.
94. Count your blessings.
95. Know the words to your national anthem.
96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.
97. Smile at strangers.
98. Make goals.
99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.
100. Believe in your dreams and yourself.

* * *

Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet

Gibran KhalilKhalil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer of the New York Pen League. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. Born in Lebanon, as a young man he immigrated with his family to the United States, where he studied art and began his literary career, writing in both English and Arabic. In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is still celebrated as a literary hero. He is best known for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose.

I am sharing, below, with you some life changing lessons drawn from one of my favorite books, The Prophet.

• Be thankful for the difficult times. They have showed you how strong you can be. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

• Kindness is a quality of the strong.“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”

• There’s no such thing as absolute truth. “Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’ “I am ignorant of absolute truth. But I am humble before my ignorance and therein lies my honor and my reward.”

• It’s the small people who try to belittle and humiliate others. “To belittle, you have to be little.”The harm others do to you is easier to forget than the harm you do to others. “If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will always remember.”

• You might forget those who made you laugh, but you will never forget those who were by your side in your darkest hours. “You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget with whom you wept.” “Hearts united in pain and sorrow will not be separated by joy and happiness. Bonds that are woven in sadness are stronger than the ties of joy and pleasure. Love that is washed by tears will remain eternally pure and faithful.”

• It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary. “In the sweetness of friendship; let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

• Love is life and life is love. “When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.” “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”

• Put love into your work. “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.” “They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.”

• To understand the heart and mind of a person, look at what he aspires to be. “To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” “Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity.”

• True love can’t be possessed.“Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.”

• Seek to put up with bad manners pleasantly. “The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.”

• Love binds everything together in perfect harmony. “They say: ‘If a man knew himself, he would know all mankind.’ I say: ‘If a man loved mankind, he would know something of himself.”

• Always look on the bright side of life. “The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.”

• We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. “The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.”

• True love is the offspring of spiritual affinity. “It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”

• Let there be space in your relationship. “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

• If you pray when it rains, make sure you also pray when the sun shines. “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”

• When you give of yourself, that’s when you truly give. “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

• Real beauty comes from within. “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

• Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. “Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.”

• Every relationship should be free from bondage. “No human relation gives one possession in another—every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone.” “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

• Be thankful for both the good and the bad in your life. It’s all meant to teach you something. “I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” “When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

• Your attitude towards life will determine life’s attitude towards you. “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

• A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. “A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?

* * *

Earth Day 2015

earth day* * *

Quote

Life Changing Quotes from Buddha

gentle_buddha• “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” • “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” • “A jug fills drop by drop.” • “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” • “To understand everything is to forgive everything” • “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” • “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” • “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” • “In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.” • “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” • “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” • “Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.” • “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.” • “It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see once own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.” • “I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.” • “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” • “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” • “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” • “Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.” • “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” • “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself” • “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” • “To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others” • “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” • “Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”

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Most Useful Websites On Internet

100 most useful wesites

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Wise Sayings

data-to-wisdom

1. Never take things personally.
2. Never end a relationship by text message.
3. Don’t knock it until you try it.
4. Show up.
5. Always use “we” when referring to your home team or your government.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.
8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
9. Don’t dumb it down.
10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.
11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.
12. Never park in front of a bar.
13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.
14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car and first girl / boyfriend.
15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.
16. Don’t text and drive.
17. Never lie to your doctor.
18. All guns are loaded.
19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.
20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if its’ only once.
21. Take a vacation off of your cell phone, internet and TV once a year.
22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.
23. A handshake beats an autograph.
24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.
25. If you do something, do it with passion or not at all.
26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for caricature.
27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.
28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes.
29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.
30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
31. Eat lunch with new kids.
32. When travelling, keep your wits about you.
33. It’s never too late for an apology.
34. Don’t pose with booze.
35. If you have the right of way. Take it.
36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.
38. Never push someone off a dock.
39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she is pregnant.
40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.
41. Don’t make a scene.
42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is the best.
43. Know when to ignore the camera.
44. Never gloat.
45. Invest in great luggage.
46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day too.
47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
49. Give credit. Take blame.
50. Suck it up every now and again.
51. Give your seat up to the elderly.
52. Don’t stare.
53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.
54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.
55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
56. Admit it when you’re wrong.
57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.
58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
59. Thank the bus driver.
60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.
61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
62. Know at least one good joke.
63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.
64. Know how to cook one good meal.
65. Learn to swim.
66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.
67. It’s ok to go to the movies by yourself.
68. Dance with your mother/father.
69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially, at work.
70. Always thank the host.
71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.
72. Know the size of your husband’s/wife’s clothes.
73. There is nothing wrong with plain t-shirt.
74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.
75. Keep your word.
76. Fight for what matters.
77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.
78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.
79. Don’t be the talker in the movie.
80. The opposite sex like people who shower.
81. You are what you do. Not what you say.
82. Learn to change a tire.
83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.
84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent.
85. Don’t litter
86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.
87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest .But you can be the toughest.
88. Never call someone before 9 AM or after 9 PM.
89. Stay in shape.
90. Make the little things count.
91. Always wear a bra at work.
92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.
93. You’re never too old to need your mom.
94. Count your blessings.
95. Know the words to your national anthem.
96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.
97. Smile at strangers.
98. Make goals.
99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.
100. Believe in yourself.

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Colors of Life

unnamedIn 1923, nine of the wealthiest people in the world met at Chicago’s Edge Water Beach Hotel. Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the Government of the United States at that time. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth.

Attending the meeting were the following men:

1. The president of the largest steel company

2. The president of the largest utility company

3. The president of the largest gas company

4. The president of the New York Stock Exchange

5. The president of the Bank of International Settlements

6. The greatest wheat speculator

7. The greatest bear on Wall Street

8. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, and

9. A member of President Harding’s cabinet.

That’s a pretty impressive line-up of people by anyone’s yardstick. Yet, 25 years later, where were those nine industrial giants?

Let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later.

1. The president of the then largest steel company, Bethlehem Steel Corp, Charles M Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt

2. The president of the then largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane

3. One of the greatest commodity traders (wheat speculator), Arthur Cutten, died insolvent

4. The then president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail

5. The member of President Harding’s cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail just to be able to go home and die in peace

6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore committed suicide

7. The president of the then world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide

8. The president of the Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed suicide

9. The president of the largest utility company, Samuel Insull, died penniless

What they forgot was how to “make” life while they got busy making money.

Money in itself is not evil; it provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. Money is only a medium of exchange. We need two kinds of education: (a) One that teaches us how to make a living, and (b) that teaches us how to live.

There are many of us who are so engrossed in our professional life that we neglect our family, health and social responsibilities. If asked why we do this, we would reply that “we are doing it for our family”. Yet, our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come back home. Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone, to pursue their own dreams and their own lives.

Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face existential problems. What was once a means of living for the ship will now become a means of destruction. Similarly we live in a time where earning is a necessity but let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will surely become a means of destruction for us as well.

So take a moment and ask yourself, “Has the water entered my ship?” I hope not. Let’s hope this story will drive us all in a better direction in the New Year.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Traits of a Great Leader

leadership-traitsNo matter how much the world changes, there will be timeless truths about the best way to lead others to success.

Self-made industrialist Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man on the planet in the early 20th century and was a student of what it takes to achieve greatness. In 1908, he met with the journalist Napoleon Hill and decided that Hill would be the vehicle for sharing his strategies with the world. Their conversations became the basis for nearly all of Hill’s writings from that point forward, including his 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich,” which became one of the bestselling books of all time.

Hill collected and edited the notes from these initial conversations with Carnegie and published them in 1948 as “Think Your Way to Wealth.” At one point, Carnegie tells Hill that “successful leaders in all walks of life” exemplify a set of specific traits, with the best possessing all of them. These are summarized below:

1. They have a definite purpose and a definite plan for attaining it. Great leaders are always working toward an overarching goal.

2. They have a motive that continuously drives them. “Nothing great is ever achieved without a definitive motive,” Carnegie says.

3. They surround themselves with talented people who share their vision. Carnegie refers to the ideal team as a “Master Mind alliance.” “Great achievement always is the result of coordination of minds working toward a definite end,” he says.

4. They are able to be self-reliant. There are still plenty of times when a leader needs to act on their own initiative, effort, and judgment.

5. They have intense self-discipline. You can’t control others if you can’t control yourself. “There are no exceptions to this rule,” Carnegie says.

6. They are persistent. Great leaders don’t abandon plans at the first sign of opposition.

7. They are creative. “Able leaders must be eternally seeking new and better ways of doing things. They must be on the lookout for new ideas and new opportunities to attain the object of their labors,” Carnegie tells Hill.

8. They are decisive. It’s dangerous to be impulsive, but it is better to make an imperfect decision than none at all.

9. They collect all possible facts before making judgments. “Able leaders take nothing for granted without a sound reason. They make it their business to get at the facts before forming judgments, but they move promptly and definitely,” Carnegie says.

10. They are enthusiastic. Being overly enthusiastic can be just as off-putting as someone who is too dry or cynical, but effective leaders know how to transmit their drive to their team and use that energy toward a goal.

11. They are fair. Playing favorites or treating an employee you don’t like with disdain won’t yield positive results for long.

12. They have an open mind. “The man with a closed mind does not inspire the confidence of his associates. Without confidence great leadership is an impossibility,” Carnegie explains.

13. They go beyond what is required of them. “I have never known an able leader in business or industry who did not endeavor at all times to render more service than any man under his authority,” Carnegie says.

14. They are tactful. Great leaders know how to be graceful, serving as an attractive public figurehead for their team.

15. They listen more than they speak. The best leaders don’t use conversations as an excuse to feed their ego, but rather learn as much as possible from whomever they’re speaking with.

16. They pay attention to detail. Successful leaders are aware of the responsibilities and output of all their subordinates, but in a way that doesn’t lead to micro-managing.

17. They are determined. The best leaders bounce back from defeat, confident that they are now better equipped to achieve victory.

18. They can take criticism. “The man who ‘flares’ up with resentment when his work is criticized will never become a successful leader,” Carnegie says. “Bigness overlooks the smallness of criticism and carries on.”

19. They know when to restrain themselves. Leaders can lose the respect of their people if they indulge in excesses too often.

20. They are loyal. “Loyalty begins with loyalty to one’s self,” says Carnegie, referring to the dedication to one’s vision. Loyalty to your team and clients becomes an extension of this.

21. They know when to speak frankly. A diplomatic leader knows when to refrain from saying something that will be offensive or compromise their goals, but choosing to hide the truth through deceit is an easy way to develop a reputation for being untrustworthy.

22. They understand others’ motivations. Great leaders have the ability to step outside themselves and imagine the perspectives of both their subordinates and their competition.

23. They are exceptionally likable. People will give their all for a leader they love. “Sound leadership is based upon effective salesmanship, the ability to be sympathetic and to make one’s self pleasing to others,” Carnegie says.

24. They are focused. The best leaders hone their attention and energy on a single project at a time. “Concentrated effort gives one power that can be attained in no other way,” Carnegie explains.

25. They learn from mistakes. It’s just as important to learn from your own mistakes as it is from others’ mistakes.

26. They assume responsibility for the mistakes of their subordinates. “Nothing destroys one’s capacity of leadership quicker than the habit of shifting responsibilities to others,” Carnegie says.

27. They recognize the achievements of others. A great leader understands that an excellent performance should be commended, Carnegie says, since people are often more motivated by verbal recognition of their efforts than they are by solely a cash bonus.

28. They treat others the way they would like to be treated. Carnegie tells Hill that he places supreme importance on the Golden Rule, saying that it is a simple insight into the proper way to do business.

29. They are optimistic. Some people wear a pervasive cynicism as a badge of honor, but those who choose to be positive set themselves up for success and have better reputations.

30. They assume responsibility for the actions of their entire team. Even though Carnegie makes this point at the end of his spoken list to Hill, he says that if he could go back he’d list it as the first point due to its importance.

31. They are able to act without being guided by emotion. Carnegie finds that the best leaders have a degree of Stoicism about them, in the sense that they can separate themselves from their emotions when it comes time to make an important decision and see things objectively.
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This article published with the courtesy of Richard Feloni, Business Insider

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Myths About Introverts

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