tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-81450690600314223042012-06-28T02:59:06.056+08:00EB's Book LearningElayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.comBlogger17125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-44842532509233033012012-02-10T02:28:00.002+08:002012-02-12T01:24:14.554+08:00The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt<div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Hypothesis-Finding-Modern-Ancient/dp/0465028020" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: justify;" target="blank"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K0VcCOqEzj4/TzQR3-uLKNI/AAAAAAAACJU/pr77cNnZhHE/s200/f2a599bf4e51f30c52d4a2df244b6360.jpg" width="129" /></a><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">Happiness hypothesis combines philosophical wisdom and scientific research to understand the way we think and act. The author cites some of the elegant studies done in the field of psychology to give us some surprising insights. He shows how gossips, reciprocity, selfishness, sacredness, divinity, virtue, adversity, spirituality have shaped us through time. He finishes the book by attempting to help us through the process of answering the grand question, “What is the meaning of life?”.</div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The elephant and the rider</b></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">The author says that we are made of two different beings - <i>a rational self and an emotional self</i>. He explains this with the metaphor of a rider on an elephant.&nbsp;</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">The rider (our rational thoughts) can control the elephant (our emotional self) with the rein on his hands to turn, to run, to stop or to go, only as long as the elephant doesn’t have a will of its own. When the elephant wants to do something of its own, the rider is of no match to the elephant. What could possibly better illustrate this than these kids fighting to control their elephant?</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><object class="BLOGGER-youtube-video" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0" data-thumbnail-src="http://2.gvt0.com/vi/x3S0xS2hdi4/0.jpg" height="266" width="320"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/x3S0xS2hdi4&fs=1&source=uds" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <embed width="320" height="266" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/x3S0xS2hdi4&fs=1&source=uds" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed></object></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><a name='more'></a><div style="text-align: justify;">The author adds that most of the times, particularly in moral arguments, <i>the rider just becomes the lawyer for the elephant</i>, fighting in the court of public opinion to persuade others of his elephant’s point of view. When you see a painting, you instantly know if you like it or not. You then invent reasons on the fly to support your liking or disliking and latch on to the first argument that makes sense.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">The author points out that we have been paying too much attention only to the conscious verbal thinking. Because we see only a small part of our mind, and ignore our emotional being, we are surprised when urges, wishes and temptations seem to arise from nowhere. How many times have you been surprised by your own powerlessness to carry out your vows and resolutions?&nbsp;</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Do you believe in god?</b></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><b><br /></b></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">Let’s imagine for a moment that we live in a flatland. You are a square and I am a triangle. We have been living in this flatland forever. All we know to perceive are just length and breadth. We have never encountered an object with a thickness. Life goes on.</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">One day a sphere crosses our flat land. All you and I are able to see is a circle that appears from nowhere, appears to grow, shrinks in size after a while and then disappears. (Visualize the sphere being cut by a plane to form a circle). Something magical just happened in our flatland, that is beyond our ability to explain.</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: justify;"><img border="0" height="212" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UMvg1GHK8Fo/TzQP6Iv-NPI/AAAAAAAACI8/hhZ1K7tQLrc/s320/sun-light-from-above_1042.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">Say the sphere gives you some ‘special’ powers to lift you up to get a view of the sphere and our flatland.&nbsp;Now that you have experienced something like never before, you come back to the flat land and narrate your experience. All you can explain and all I can relate to are all sadly in terms of triangles, squares and circles - for I have never experienced a 3D world. Now I can do three things:</div></div><ol><li style="text-align: justify;">I can just reject your experience either as hallucination, or a story that was made up and blatantly reject the existence of the 3D world.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">I can blindly accept the existence of the 3D world even though it is beyond my understanding capabilities.&nbsp;</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Keep questioning and keep trying to find ways to experience the 3D world.</li></ol><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">So do you believe in god?</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Our misguided pursuits</b></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><b><br /></b></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">Let’s try this: What would you choose?</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><ol><li style="text-align: justify;">A job that pays you $90,000 a year and your co-workers earns on average $70,000 <b>or</b> a job that pays you $100,000 but your co-workers are paid on average $140,000? <i>(Most chose option 1 in a study)</i></li><li style="text-align: justify;">A job that offers you 2 weeks of vacation and your co-workers get 1 week of vacation <b>or</b> a job that gives you 4 weeks of vacation and your co-workers are given 6 weeks of vacation? <i>(Most chose option 2 in a study)</i></li></ol><div style="text-align: justify;">Most activities that cost a lot of money are things to do with people and most of the expensive material possessions are purchased to impress them. Activities connect us to others and objects separate us.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="241" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QVLMksXrsV8/TzQRi9PipLI/AAAAAAAACJM/ryd1GVYPnO8/s320/money-happiness.jpeg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Whoever said money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop.</i> We know where to shop – stop wasting money on conspicuous consumption, work less, earn less, accumulate less, and “consume” more family time, vacation and other enjoyable activities.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">And let’s also be warned it will be extremely difficult to follow for the elephant will always &nbsp;wrap its trunk around the precious material goods and plays to win the game of life – to impress others, gain their admiration and rise in relative rank.</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The bottom line:</b> Happiness is not something that you can find, acquire, or achieve directly. You have to get to the right conditions and then wait. Some conditions are within you and other conditions require relationships to things beyond you.&nbsp;</div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Quotes garden</b></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">If passion drives, let reason hold the Reins.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">I see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">The elephant cares about prestige and not about happiness.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Work itself is but what you deem it.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">A he-goat doesn’t realize that he smells.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Gossip paired with reciprocity allow karma to work here on earth, not in the next life.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">The world we live in is not really one made of rocks, trees, and physical objects; it is a world of insults, opportunities, status symbols, betrayals, saints, and sinners.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Asking children to grow virtues, looking only within themselves for guidance, is like asking each one to invent a personal language - a pointless and isolating task if there is no community with whom to speak.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Awe is the emotion of self-transcendence.</li></ul>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-47990173385054505992011-10-01T05:44:00.001+08:002011-10-01T05:57:47.153+08:00Change your questions, Change your life by Marilee Adams<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Questions-Life-Powerful/dp/1576752410" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" target="blank"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zaaU2ktbhHk/ToY3p3QUUKI/AAAAAAAACDo/gCrbYvvC690/s200/1576752410_large.jpg" width="129" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>What is the secret to a right answer? You guessed it right - a right question! This book is all about the powerful idea of asking the right questions. As a young graduate student, the author found herself in tears every time someone ruthlessly critiqued on her PhD dissertation. One day when her professor told her that her work was simply not acceptable, instead of breaking down in tears, asked “OK. How can I fix it?” This change is question enabled her to take become calm, confident and to take constructive action. Over the years she developed ways to inflict this deliberate change in questions to drive her results. In this book, the author explains the concepts through the story of Ben who is in a huge crisis at his work place and in a relationship mess with his wife.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The power of questions</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Long ago when the humans were still nomads, the intrinsic questions they asked themselves every morning were, “Where do I go to find food and water? How do I get there?” These questions kept them busy all day looking for food and water, moving from place to place. And these were the same questions that kept them as nomads for a long time.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Fed up with this hectic lifestyle, there was a community who simply changed their everyday question to “How do we make food and water to come to us?” And the answer was simply to dig canals and grow food, which changed everything then on. All this giant leap in our human history wanted was a simple change in the question!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The choice map</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>The judger path is where we usually react mindlessly when faced with challenges, tough situations and when feeling low. We tend to ask the usual reactive (and negative) questions and end up finding faults, pointing fingers.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="441" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GnEHdt00CcA/ToY37RqETmI/AAAAAAAACDs/Y614eFb-j-4/s640/choice.png" width="640" /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Download your copy of the choice map from here:&nbsp;<a href="http://inquiryinstitute.com/CM.pdf">http://inquiryinstitute.com/CM.pdf</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>However, the learner path is where we take a proactive and positive approach in the questions we ask ourselves. It is very evident that learner questions help us handle any situation elegantly. The author points out that it is natural to go down the judger lane time and again, and the key is to switch after realizing being in the wrong lane!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Q-storming</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>We are all familiar with brainstorming and have belonged to the brainstorming groups to generate ideas, answers and like. The author says the Q-storming is the same except that we look for questions not answers. And that this can be applied to get everyone in a team to get everyone to participate, to get everyone on the same pace, in innovation, in decision making, in problem solving and like. The Q-storming sessions are the perfect environment for a learner team.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Quotes garden</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div><ul><li>Question everything.</li><li>Change begins with the person who wants the change.</li><li>Blame keeps us stuck in the past. Responsibility paves the path for a better future.</li><li>Where you stumble, there your treasure is.</li><li>A question not asked is a door not opened.</li></ul><b>Bottom line: We are the questions we ask ourselves. Questions drive results.</b>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-67964505664847230032011-09-05T07:05:00.000+08:002011-10-01T05:58:15.273+08:00A Splendid Exchange by William J. Bernstein<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Splendid-Exchange-Trade-Shaped-World/dp/0871139790" target="blank"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C3_LSwcAN74/TmP9ZV2MIsI/AAAAAAAACBA/IdUn_5nLvrs/s200/A-Splendid-Exchange-9781400136698.jpg" width="150" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; color: #666666;">Your televisions from Taiwan, cars from Japan, vodkas from Russia, coffee from Brazil, your iPads from China, shirts from India, oil from Saudi Arabia are all so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget how recent such miracles of world commerce are. What better symbolizes the epic of global trade than an apple (the fruit :)) from the other side of the world, consumed at the same exact moment that its ripe European cousins were being picked from their trees? Millennia ago, only the prized merchandise - silk, gold and silver, spices, jewels, porcelains, and medicines - travelled between continents. The mere fact that a commodity came from a distant land imbued it with mystery, romance, and status.</span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>This book tells the magical story of how trade has been a dominant factor in shaping our world today. The author pans across the ancient silk road, the spice trade, the plague, the cotton, the slaves, the sugar, the coffee, the tea, the opium, the gold and silver, the wars, the pacts, the Portuguese, the Arabs, the Dutch, the English, the Chinese, the Indians, the Americans to narrate an fascinating story of how the simple age old urge to profit led to rise and fall of empires, wars, trade restrictions, and globalization as we know it today. Personally I think this book changes the way you look at the world and its history. Bernstein's rich and engaging narrative style makes the book fun all the way!</div><br /><a name='more'></a><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The rise and fall of empires</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GiQhKmF6At4/TmQAxTjVdFI/AAAAAAAACBI/x3aFUek2k64/s200/1239768_67898805.jpg" width="200" /></div><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>The world trade dawned with the trade of Silk and incense between Arabs and Romans. The romans were so obsessed with the incense that it is often said the power of the Roman Empire evaporated in a haze of incense. At the same time, the incense trade catalyzed the birth of Islam, whose military, spiritual, and commercial impacts transformed medieval Asia, Europe, and Africa. Arabs controlled the Indian Ocean and silk route trade dominating the world trade until Europeans took over in 15th century. As incense and silk became a thing of a common man (simple demand-supply principle), the world moved on to spices. The Europeans craved for spices that came from the mythical India, the Spice Islands, and the South East Asia. The spice trade encouraged innovations in sea trade, built financial institutions and led to the rise of the Portuguese and the Dutch (who were the then super power in 15th century).</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"></span><br /><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>As the spice trade began to fall, thanks to the increased supply due to easy navigation and transportation from India and South East Asia, the English began to consume a lot of tea from China and India. Along came the rise sugar (for the tea), coffee, opium, slaves (have been present from the start of the history of trade) and the cotton which gradually built the English empire and paved way to the industrial age. From the early 20th century, when all the things mentioned above became a thing of the commons, the oil and energy took over. We see a beautiful pattern of the world history emerging when we simply analyze the commodity that was hotly traded.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The story of Muhammad and of Islam</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>For me the story of the Prophet Muhammad had always been a fascinating one, for I believe, Islam, like any other religion is an institution set up for and by men like you and me.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>In 570 AD, an Abyssinian governor named Abraha established a rival empire on the Peninsula. Abraha, a staunch Christian backed by an army of elephants from Bab el Mandeb, attacked Mecca. However, the unfortunate elephants were not suited to the searing sands of Arabia and succumbed to disease and to the harsh climate, just outside the gates of Mecca.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="229" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cAuS8mK60X8/TmQBSNQki1I/AAAAAAAACBM/VyKROMxJIU4/s320/mecca+01.jpg" width="320" /></div><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>The Meccans have never seen such creatures and being unfamiliar with the basics of animal ecology credited divine intervention. The year 571 AD became known in Arabia as the "year of elephant" and is the same year as the birth of Prophet Muhammad. His arrival was imbued forever after by Muslims with the mythical elephantine event. Muhammad became, of course, a trader. Had Abraha succeeded at Mecca, Muhammad, had he born at all, might have wound up a Christian monk. Interestingly Muhammad's accounts of his life do not appear for more than a century following his death, and even these were distorted by the ideological needs of his early chroniclers. However, some basic facts emerge clear.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Muhammad probably spent his formative years observing and participating in his uncle's business, and there is no direct record of his early professional endeavors. Around the age of 25, he found himself employed by an older widow, Khadija, who ran a prosperous trading enterprise. Muhammad rapidly gained experience as her agent in Syria and impressed with the young man's competence and charmed by his personality, she proposed marriage and he accepted.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>In his travels, Muhammad encountered Jews and Christians—the "people of the Book"—and felt the powers of their seductive belief systems. The fact that both Judaism and Christianity were associated with hated foreign powers limited their appeal and drove Muhammad to seek his own path. By the late sixth century, many Arabs were moved by twin needs:</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>1.To create a single unifying identity in opposition to the two foreign derived monotheistic religions</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>2.To develop a political force to counter the wealth and corruption of the Quraish, the powerful merchant tribe.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>In this turbulent atmosphere, al-Llah, who emerged alone from the gods of the desert, delivered Quran through the angel Gabriel's voice to Muhammad on Mount Hira in 610. The dry tinder of religious fervor was now lit. The Prophet may have been born a trader, but he died a raider. Soon after he was expelled from Mecca in 622, he began making a living by attacking that city's infidel caravans. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="305" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O5JHH6hNgiw/TmQAgx_FeiI/AAAAAAAACBE/o4gAD1L-zXU/s640/world-muslim-population.png" width="640" /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>In a commercial sense, early Islam can be thought of as a rapidly inflating bubble of commerce; outside lay unbelievers, and inside a swiftly growing theological and institutional unity. Its lighting speed spread was due to the conflict between the new creed, which forbade stealing from fellow believers, but not from infidels, and the economic imperative of the Ghazu (raid). The new religion dictated that all the property of conquered nonbelievers was forfeit, with one-fifth earmarked for Allah and the umma—the people—and the rest divided between the victorious troops and their leaders. If a people converted peacefully, their property was spared. Thus, as more distant tribes converted, it became necessary to raid ever farther afield to obtain sustenance from resistant nonbelieving tribes accelerating the boundaries of Islam farther and farther from their starting point deep in the peninsula.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The forgotten city-state of Aceh</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>It is astonishingly easy to lose sight of places that once influenced the world like no other today. Imagine if London and New York simply vanished from our maps 400 years from now, losing their importance as the financial power houses of the world? The story of Aceh is of the same fate.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="112" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3vOLKM2P790/TmQDM2vgOWI/AAAAAAAACBQ/0YtaKznR6sU/s200/_50498171_aceh_indonesia_1210.gif" width="200" /></div><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>While the Portuguese were still battling to monopolize the spice trade through the sixteenth century, it is difficult to imagine that the Portugal's greatest single rival in the Indian Ocean was the city-state of Aceh in Indonesia. In the mid-1500s, it was a commercial powerhouse, the beneficiary of the seafaring tradition that had spread its Austronesian ancestors across most of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Asian vessels avoided Malacca and Goa, who were under the control of the Portuguese, as they would avoid any port ruled by a corrupt, grasping sultanate, and instead favored ports offering the merchant an honest deal. In the mid-sixteenth century, Aceh filled the bill perfectly.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Aceh was influential throughout the Indian Ocean and beyond. At the eastern end of its trading range, it competed successfully with Portugal in the Spice Islands and terrorized Malacca with repeated deadly raids mounted from swift oared craft. At the western end, Aceh's close relations with the Ottoman Empire froze the Portuguese with fear. Portuguese agents reported that "These Acehnese are those who most frequent this commerce and navigation," and that because of them, spice markets everywhere were glutted and prices were falling.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Aceh now is merely known as the remote, underdeveloped victim of Tsunami of 2004!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The bottom line:&nbsp;</b>Trade is an irreducible and intrinsic human impulse, as primal as the needs for food, shelter, sexual intimacy, and companionship. Our urge to trade has profoundly affected the trajectory of the human species. Simply by allowing nations to concentrate on producing those things that their geographic, climatic, and intellectual endowments best enable them to do, and to exchange those goods for what is best produced elsewhere, trade has directly propelled our global prosperity.</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-12124622778272443662011-08-11T06:08:00.005+08:002011-08-11T06:18:38.266+08:00Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ljHzkDuWf-c/TkL6u2TrSAI/AAAAAAAACAM/HKJgB-s3_Tg/s1600/never+eat+alone.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: justify;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ljHzkDuWf-c/TkL6u2TrSAI/AAAAAAAACAM/HKJgB-s3_Tg/s200/never+eat+alone.jpg" width="130" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">This book is about all about networking – not the usual cold and impersonal way, but connecting – sharing the knowledge and resources, time and energy, friends and associates, and empathy and compassion in a continual effort to provide value to others, while coincidentally increasing our own.<br /><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;">How do you turn an aspiring contact into a friend? How can you get other people to become emotionally invested in your advancement? Why are there some lucky people who always leave conferences with months’ worth of lunch dates? Where are the places you go to meet the kind of people who could impact your life? These are some of the questions that this book answers. If you are someone who is very shy (just like me :) ) to meet new people or if you are that networking ‘jerk’ (:P) who has a martini in one hand and just collects business cards on the other in a ‘networking session’, then this book is for you!</div><div><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b><br /></b><br /><b>We never get there alone</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author insists that to achieve our goals in life, it matters less how smart we are, how much innate talent we are born with, or even, where we came from and how much we started out with. Sure all these are important, but they mean little if we don’t understand one thing: We can’t get there alone. In fact, we can’t get very far at all. Ask any accomplished CEO or entrepreneur or professional how they achieved their success and it is guaranteed that you will hear very little business jargon. What we will mostly hear about are the people who helped pave their way, if they are being honest and not too caught up in their own success.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">And the real networking is all about finding ways to make other people more successful. It is about working hard to give than get.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Never, ever disappear</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Invisibility is a fate far worse than failure – a would-be Hollywood celebrity knows that. In building our network, the key is not to disappear at any point of time. The simplest way will be to reaching out to others, over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, whatever. Keeping our social calendar full, we must go an extra mile to remain visible and active among our ever-budding network friends and contacts.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">As an example, Keith got a chance to fly with Hillary Clinton (when she was the first lady of USA) in a C130 trooper for a political event. She was up at 5 in the morning for breakfast and phone calls back to the east coast. She gave at least 4 or 5 speeches, attended a few cocktail parties where she constantly reached out to score of individuals (remembering their names all along), and visited several people’s homes. She must have touched 2000 hands that day. At the end of the night, she got back on Air Force One, huddling her staff, and chitchatting with them about what all happened that day. After an hour or so, she went on to scheduling her next day.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">If it’s this rigorous for a first lady, we can imagine how meticulous we need to be in reaching out to our network and in meeting new people.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Be an interesting brand yourself</b><br /><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;">We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. Branding is nothing less than everything everyone thinks of when they see or hear our name.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The best brands, like the most interesting people, have a distinct message. Our personal branding message comes from our content/unique value proposition and from the process of self evaluation. Why not find out what’s really in our name? Why not identify our uniqueness and how we can put that uniqueness to work?</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Most people’s judgments and impressions are based on visuals – everything other than the words you speak that communicates to others what you are about. Being pragmatic – looks do count – so let’s better look polished, professional and just stand out. Similarly style matters – whether we like it or not, clothing, letterheads, hair styles, business cards, office space and our conversational style are noticed – big time. Why not buy some new clothes? Why not take an honest look at how we present ourselves? Why not redesign our letterheads and cards? Why not create a wow factor in everything we do? Why not create a personal web site to broadcast who we really are?&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Bottom line</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Quotes garden</b></div><div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Whom you associate with is crucial to who you become.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">As long as you’re going to think anyway, thing big.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Goal is a dream with a deadline.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Invisibility is a fate far worse than failure.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Success in any field is about working with people, not against them.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">A network is like a muscle – the more you work it, the bigger it gets.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">There is no better way to learn something, and become an expert at it, than to have to teach it.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Hell hath no fury like a person for whom you have promised the most intimate of help and deliver none.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">If 80 percent of success is just showing up, then 80 percent of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Preparation is – if not the key to genius – then at least the key to sounding like a genius.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Human ambitions are like Japanese carp; they grow proportional to the size of their environment.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">Always try to rub up against money, for if you rub up against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">The way you reach out to others is the way you eat up an 800 pound elephant: one small bite at a time.</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just attach it to a new wagon.</li> </ul></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>A personal note</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">If you catch me standing alone in the bus stop or see me eating alone in the canteen and like, I will greatly appreciate (and I'll be extremely happy) if you drop by to say a hi and give me company :) And expect me to do the same for you :)</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-72026860865720375992011-04-09T19:25:00.008+08:002011-04-09T19:39:15.177+08:00Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond<div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" target="blank"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4yWytxyjT1s/TaA8sDgB4LI/AAAAAAAABys/CAvNwFx9Es8/s200/guns-germs-and-steel.jpg" width="129" /></a>This book gives us a glimpse of what happened to us, our human society and its evolution in the past 13000 years. In the 13000 years since the end of the last ice age, some of us have ended up with literate industrial societies with metal tools, while some others only developed stone tools and non literate societies and rest of us remained as hunter-gatherers. This historical inequalities have long cast shadows into the modern world, for many of the literate societies with metal tools colonized, displaced or exterminated the other societies in the recent centuries.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">‘Guns, germs and steel’ was initiated by a simple question from a New Guinean named Yali: <i>“Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had a little cargo of our own?”</i> Jared Diamond attempts to answer why we evolved differently in terms of technology in different continents, with Europeans ending up colonizing most of the world and not vice versa. As he sails pasts our history of 13000 years he brilliantly clarifies how geography played the most important role to shape our evolution and refutes the belief that the Eurasian domination is due to any form of intellectual, moral or inherent genetic superiority.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>An extremely <i>short</i> (13000 years in a single post?) rundown of what gave Eurasians the advantage over the rest of the world:</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Success arises out of a steady accumulation of advantages</i></div><div style="text-align: right;"><i>-Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers</i></div><a name='more'></a><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Farmer power</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Around 8000 years ago, the futile hunter-gather lifestyle was failing in terms of reduced calorie gained per human hour due to possible over exploitation of large animal resources as food and the inland of Eurasia offered few large rivers which meant meager aquatic resources. Due to climatic changes at the end of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene" target="blank">Pleistocene</a>, there was an increase in availability of wild cereals in the Fertile Crescent.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4oiATRi4LfA/TaA9jXBINXI/AAAAAAAAByw/y_Cj--Uc0Uo/s200/488px-Fertile_Crescent_map.png" target="blank" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" ><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4oiATRi4LfA/TaA9jXBINXI/AAAAAAAAByw/y_Cj--Uc0Uo/s200/488px-Fertile_Crescent_map.png" width="162" /></a>The Fertile Crescent offers the <i>Mediterranean climate</i>, characterized by mild, wet winters and long, hot, dry summers. This climate favored ‘annual’ grasses (wild cereals) that pump most of their energies in producing big seeds (rather than making inedible wood or fibrous stems), which remain dormant in the dry summers and sprout when the rains come. This huge variation of seasons favored faster plant evolution that the Fertile Crescent ended up having 32 of the 56 potential domesticable wild grasses. In contrast, the food producing regions of Americas offered just 11 species, Saharan Africa just 4 and Australia none at all. Also the range of altitudes that the Fertile Crescent meant the then Eurasians could move up a mountainside harvesting grain seeds as they matured (plants at higher altitude produce seeds somewhat later than plants at lower altitudes) instead of being over-whelmed by a concentrated single harvest season.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Thus the conditions in the Fertile Crescent compelled the Eurasians to adopt farming really long before the rest of the world did. This most important advantage of having a head start in food farming shaped the rest of the world history.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Animal friends</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The to-be domesticated animal candidates must satisfy <i>all</i> these conditions to remain with humans all their life:</div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div><ul><li>Favorable diet <i>(to grow a 1000 pound cow needs 10000 pounds of corn say, to grow a 1000 pound carnivore will need 100000 pounds of corn)</i></li><li>Growth rate <i>(one that grows quickly unlike elephants which represent a lot of meat)</i></li><li>Problems of captive breeding <i>(like humans many animals like Cheetah that can be used as hunters don’t like to have sex under watchful eyes of others)</i></li><li>Nasty disposition <i>(not too largely capable of killing a human like grizzlies)</i></li><li>Tendency to panic and social structure <i>(no point building a fence around a gazelle)</i></li></ul><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">These strict conditions probably explain why Africa, despite known for its animal kingdom did not provide a single domesticable animal. Australia and Americas lost most of their potential domesticable candidates in a wave of Pleistocene extinctions and possibly due to human over exploitation.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The early onset of food production meant that the Eurasians could afford to feed the extra harvest to the animals that could be kept as livestock for food, muscle power and clothing. The big animals that were eventually domesticated are all unsurprisingly herbivorous (which fed on the extra harvest): Sheep, goat, cow, pig, horse, camel, llama, donkey, reindeer, buffalo, yak and mithan. And again these were spread unevenly around the world with Eurasians ending up inheriting 7 of the 12 domesticable species.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Thus Eurasia had its second advantage from the domesticated animals which were utilized for their muscle power and food.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>North-South VS East-West</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Although we would have seen the world map a number of times, we would have hardly realized this fact: the Americas and Africa are spread longitudinally (neglecting Australia for its small size), and Eurasia is spread horizontally.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kxb6s8ZvFzo/TaA_TNIpONI/AAAAAAAABy4/OCA-p__fZGk/s320/image008.jpg" target="blank" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="199" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kxb6s8ZvFzo/TaA_TNIpONI/AAAAAAAABy4/OCA-p__fZGk/s320/image008.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">This has far reaching consequences; the climate varies greatly along the longitudes while it is mostly the same along latitudes. Hence a plant or an animal domesticated elsewhere in a climatic region could be adopted without drastic changes along latitudes. This ultimately helped Eurasia to spread largely within itself the domesticated plant-animal packages than Americas and Africa. The narrowness of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Magellan" target="blank">Strait of Magellan</a> ensured that the North and South America remained virtually unconnected and the harsh Saharan region ensured the crops domesticated in Eurasia and North Africa do not spread to the rest of the Africa.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The ease of widely launching the domesticated plant - animal packages in Eurasia is the third advantage it enjoyed over the rest of the world.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Necessity’s mother</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The population size and density of a region is determined by the ability of that region to sustain its population. Eurasia with its highest population size and density due to its geographical advantages simply had higher candidates who would actively invent and innovate. The Eurasian farming and its population size also meant it could afford to raise non farmers who can get involved in specialized skills like weaponry unlike the fulltime hunter-gatherers. Also the settled farmers of Eurasia can produce a lot of good unlike the hunter gatherers who would have to carry the goods they produce all the time. And inventions self catalyzes itself driving the pace of the further inventions.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">On the other hand, Australia at its peak simply supported population of under 1 million and with its extremely low density of population offered very low number of potential inventors or innovators to start with. Interesting point is that with the invention and the spread of wheel, Eurasia ended up using it to move large quantities of food and people using its domesticated animal power (horses in particular) whereas the same wheel ended up as toys in Americas and Africa due to the unavailability of domesticated animals (except for the pack animal llama) to pull the wheel in the first place.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">These successive advantages again ensured Eurasia to invent most of the technologies including the wide usage of metals and guns.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Lethal gift of the livestock</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The five major killers of humanity throughout our recent human history - smallpox, flu, tuberculosis, malaria, plague, measles and cholera – are infectious diseases that evolved from diseases of animals. In epidemics, the rapid spread of microbes mean that everybody in the local population is quickly infected and soon thereafter is either dead or recovered and immune. The survivors are immune and the new generation inherits the immunity, until an infectious person (of the same microbe but with a mutation) arrives from outside to start a new epidemic.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WDx0Hm7mrTY/TaA-vlO1YII/AAAAAAAABy0/x_Rvyf01URo/s200/bacteria1.jpg" target="blank" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="126" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WDx0Hm7mrTY/TaA-vlO1YII/AAAAAAAABy0/x_Rvyf01URo/s200/bacteria1.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The Eurasian farmers who had the head start in farming and livestock herding were in close contact with the animals for a long time.&nbsp;Eurasians developed immunity to these diseases (expect for malaria which slowed their progress in colonization of South East Asia) long before the world and when they visited the uninfected communities around the world, they breathed the lethal germs and fell most of the societies.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">All those military histories glorifying great generals oversimplify the ego-deflating truth: <i>the winners of past wars were not always the armies with the best generals and weapons, but were often merely those bearing germs to transmit to their enemies.&nbsp;</i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>In all..</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Hence it can be seen that the success of a specific community has got to do more about the environment than about the people of the community themselves. Perhaps Alexander the Great and his army did nudge the course of western Eurasia’s already literate, food-producing, iron equipped states, but he had nothing to do with the fact that western Eurasia already supported literate, food producing, iron equipped states in the first place. Surprising similarities with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017922" target="blank">Outliers</a>!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Bottom line (and the answer to Yali’s question):</b> the striking differences between the long term histories of peoples of the different continents have been due not to the innate difference in the people themselves but to differences in their environment!</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-35087647615882660542011-03-07T20:31:00.002+08:002011-03-09T00:20:30.421+08:00Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Freakonomics-Economist-Explores-Hidden-Everything/dp/006073132X" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: justify;" target="blank"><br /><img border="0" height="200" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-a2OMLh86ej8/TXTPgvH-6lI/AAAAAAAABt0/J5TO2u0Wd94/s200/freakonomics.jpg" width="135" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Freakonomics is a book about making sense of a large volume of data using interesting questions. It is simply thinking sensibly about how people behave in the real world and as the author says, all it requires is a novel way of looking, of discerning, of measuring. This isn’t necessarily a difficult task, nor does it require super sophisticated thinking. The book has essentially tried to figure out what the typical gang member or sumo wrestler figured out on his own (although it had to be done in reverse).</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The effect of reading this book is this: You might become more skeptical of the conventional wisdom; you may begin looking for hints as to how things aren’t quite what they seem; perhaps you will seek out some trove of data and sift through it, balancing your intelligence and your intuition to arrive at a glimmering new idea. Some of these ideas might make you uncomfortable, even unpopular, just like the claim that legalized abortions resulted in massive drop in crime.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b></b><br /><a name='more'></a><b>Is your real estate agent working for your best interest?</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">All experts - doctors, lawyers, contractors, stockbrokers, auto mechanics, mortgage brokers, financial planners, all enjoy a gigantic informational advantage. And they use that information to help their customers get exactly what they want for the best price. Right? But experts are human, and humans respond to incentives. How any given expert treats a customer, therefore, will depend on how that expert’s incentives are set up.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author explains this with the help of a wonderful question: what is the real-estate agent’s incentive when she is selling her own home? Simple: to make the best deal possible, same as your incentive when you are selling your home. And so your incentive and the real-estate agent’s incentive would seem to be nicely aligned. Her commission, after all, is based on the sale price.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Usually, only 1.5% of the 6% commission of the purchase price goes directly into your agent’s pocket. So on the sale of your $300,000 house, her personal take of the commission is $4,500. But what if the house could be sold for $310,000 with a few more newspaper ads and a little more patience? After the commission, that puts an additional $9,400 in your pocket, but the agent’s personal share - 1.5 percent of the extra $10,000 - is a mere $150. If you earn $9,400 while she earns only $150, maybe your incentives aren’t aligned after all, especially when she’s the one paying for the ads and doing all the work. Is the agent willing to put out all that extra time, money, and energy for just $150?</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>How to get more clicks in online dating sites?</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author observes that of the many ways to fail on a dating website, not posting a photo of yourself is perhaps the most certain. A man who does not include his photo gets only 1/4th the volume of e-mail response of a man who does; a woman who doesn’t include her photo gets only 1/6th the response. A low-income, poorly educated, unhappily employed, not-very-attractive, slightly overweight, and balding man who posts his photo stands a better chance of gleaning some e-mails than a man who says he makes $200,000 and is deadly handsome but doesn’t post a photo. As in the case of a brand-new car with a for-sale sign without a photo, prospective customers will assume he’s got something seriously wrong under the hood.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Men who say they want a long-term relationship do much better than men looking for an occasional lover. But women looking for an occasional lover do great.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">For men, a woman’s looks are of paramount importance. For women, a man’s income is terribly important.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The richer a man is the more e-mails he receives. But a woman’s income appeal is a bell-shaped curve: men do not want to date low-earning women, but once a woman starts earning too much, they seem to be scared off.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Men want to date students, artists, musicians, veterinarians, and celebrities (while avoiding secretaries, retirees, and women in the military and law enforcement). Women do want to date military men, policemen, and firemen (possibly the result of a 9/11 Effect, like the higher payments to Paul Feldman’s bagel business), along with lawyers and financial executives. Women avoid laborers, actors, students, and men who work in food services or hospitality.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">For men, being short is a big disadvantage (which is probably why so many lie about it), but weight doesn’t much matter. For women, being overweight is deadly (which is probably why they lie).</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">For a man, having red hair or curly hair is a downer, as is baldness—but a shaved head is okay. For a woman, salt-and-pepper hair is bad, while blond hair is very good.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">In the world of online dating, a headful of blond hair on a woman is worth about the same as having a college degree—and, with a $100 dye job versus a $100,000 tuition bill, an awful lot cheaper.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Why do prostitutes earn more than architects?</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">As the supply-demand theory says when there are a lot of people willing and able to do a job, that job generally doesn’t pay well. Other factors that determine the wage are the specialized skills a job requires, the unpleasantness of a job, and the demand for services. The delicate balance between these factors can explain why the typical prostitute earns more than the typical architect although it may not seem as though she should.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The architect would appear more skilled and better educated (as the words are usually defined). But the girls don’t grow up dreaming of becoming prostitutes, making the supply of potential prostitutes relatively small. Their skills, while not necessarily “specialized,” are practices in a very specialized context. And their job is unpleasant and forbidding in at least two ways: the likelihood of violence and the lost opportunity of having a family life. And as for the demand, an architect is more likely to hire a prostitute than vice versa, let’s just say.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Bottom line:</b> An incredibly rich set of data—which, if the right questions are asked of it, tells some surprising stories.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Levitt, the genius:</b> The author proves that many sumo wrestlers are corrupt using a mountain of data from the real match scores. Officials from the Japanese Sumo Association typically dismissed any such charges as fabrications by disgruntled former wrestlers until <a href="http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20110210a1.html">recently</a>, proving the ingenuity of the author.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Quotes garden:&nbsp;</b></div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">If morality represents how people would like the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent, depending on who wields it and how.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Chemistry is best left to chemists.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Gun advocates believe that gun laws are too strict; opponents believe exactly the opposite. How can intelligent people view the world so differently? Because a gun raises a complex set of issues that change according to one factor: whose hand happens to be holding the gun.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">In a world that is increasingly impatient with long-term processes, fear is a potent short-term play.</li></ul>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-39247502666465417232011-02-07T19:13:00.005+08:002011-02-07T19:36:28.583+08:00Stop clutter from stealing your life by Mike Nelson<div class="separator" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; margin-top: 0px; text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Clutter-Stealing-Your-Life/dp/1564145026"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TU_SdNp7pEI/AAAAAAAABo0/kGQ3c9ozifg/s200/000ce8e7_medium.jpeg" width="133" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">This book deals with understanding the deeper reasons for your clutter, the inertia of getting rid of it, finding a balanced household and living, and filling our heart and soul with people and memories, not stuff. The author emphasizes the emotional why-do’s along with the practical how-to’s hoping to uproot the cluttering behavior entirely and not allowing it to grow back to creep into our lives. The author believes in slow and steady success than instantaneous and quick-fix solutions. After being abandoned by his wife, by many friends and after being kicked off from jobs, he realized the magnitude of the problems the clutter can cause in life. Being a successful de-clutterer himself, he supports his practical solutions and ideas with his own stories and testimonies from other de-clutterers like him. In addition, the quizzes for self evaluation, a de-cluttering diary to keep track of the de-cluttering success and like enhances the de-cluttering experience.</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">To find if you are a clutterer, click&nbsp;<a href="http://clutterless.org/TOC/Who/q_a.htm">here</a>.</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b>The de-cluttering diary</b></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">If you think you are a clutter, make a notebook as your de-cluttering diary. The purpose of this diary is to help see patterns in our cluttering behavior, and solutions to those patterns in our de-cluttering behavior. It is a map of the journey from living a cluttered life to learning to live clutter-less.</div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><a name='more'></a><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Spend some time before the daily 10 minute de-cluttering session (and be honest :D). Fill up the following:</div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><ul><li>Day: <u>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u> Time: From <u>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u>To <u>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u>. Total Minutes:<u> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u>. Session #<u>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</u></li><li>Before I started this de-cluttering session, I felt:<i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"><u>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u></span>e.g.: Overwhelmed because of xyz. Angry at xyz. Anxious about xyz.</i></li><li>My goal of this session:<u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none;"><u>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u></span>&nbsp;</u><i>Be specific about your goals for the next 10 minutes like clear off half the desk.</i></li><li>Type of clutter:<i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"><u>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u></span>e.g. Paper, clothes, emails.</i></li><li>When I start to deal with this, I feel:<u> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</u><i>What the heck is going on when you deal with certain things? Why are they there in the first place? Why are they still there? Why are they so hard to get rid of?</i></li><li>When I first bought (or was given) this item, I felt good because:&nbsp;<i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"><u>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u></span>I was down because I’d just had a fight with my boyfriend / spouse / friend / parent / bill collector, and this made me feel pretty / sexy / successful / rich.</i></li><li>When this session was over, I felt:&nbsp;<i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"><u>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</u></span>Good? Bad? Ugly? Tired? Energized? Stupid? Angry with myself?</i></li></ul><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Doing this over a period of our de-cluttering cycle, we’ll find that some types of clutter affect us in different ways. We’ll find our own rhythm for de-cluttering. Marathon or sprinter, the choice is ours. Most importantly, we’ll find out how we feel about different types of clutter, and then be able to change that behavior from the start. A ‘before and after’ picture of your de-cluttering success can help you feel good and encourage more de-cluttering.</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b>When we lose someone from our lives..</b></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">When someone dies, their things don’t die with them. The last things touched, the last things said, the last gifts given become so precious. The lipstick message on the mirror, the sound of a voice on the answering machine, the silly note stuck on the car seat becomes a treasure over night. Procrastination, feeling powerless and overwhelmed, compounded with the pain of loss makes letting go of their stuff harder. Many times people start filling in stuff as a shield around them to get a sense of protection.</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">While it is tempting to keep everything, it’s usually not wise. There is only so much we can see, touch and enjoy in our daily life and it is better to have one item that is dearly treasured than hundreds of items that are meaningless. The same applies to numerous gifts that we are presented with. The main reason for our inertia to get rid of it is the emotion attached with the things/gifts and that by discarding, we might hurt our loved ones.</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">To get rid of the stuff, Nelson suggests this as a way to get permission to discard things: Close your eyes, visualize your loved one, and say something similar to:&nbsp;<i>“Dear, you know I love you. I know that these possessions are not you. They are just stuff you had/gave to me. Some of it must have been important to you. But to me, you are important, not these things. They’re causing a blockage in my own life, and I know you wouldn’t want that. So I’m asking your permission to discard these items and make more room for the true memories of you.”</i></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b>My story</b></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">As I was reading the book, I had the opportunity of staying with one of my friends for about a month who owns a remarkable number of text books (right from Junior college) and lecture notes that wasn’t touched for the past 3 years. When he a found a room for himself, he had a lot of difficulty moving, thanks to his unwanted things which he refused to throw/give away to people who might actually make good use it. Affirming myself and feeling good after seeing his clutter, I started to de-clutter my own room and boy was I surprised to find an incredible amount of stuff that I had long forgotten I had possession of.&nbsp;</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">My room is cleaner than ever (Let me tell you, I used to have my room untidy as hell). I used to avoid studying in my room because it’s always jammed with junk but now staying in a cleaner room really feels good. Lesser things means lesser things to care about, lesser time needed to clean the room periodically and no shame in inviting my friends to my room anytime. Oh, and the number of emails in my inbox has been reduced from 7000 odd mails to just about 150!</div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b>Bottom line</b></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b><br /></b></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Cluttering is a serious problem than we never realize. Stopping it might make all the difference in our lives.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b>Quotes garden</b></div></div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Our stuff is part of us, but it need not define us.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Stuff is not as important in our lives as we make it. People are important. Family is important. Pets are important.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a long time.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">The vacuum law of prosperity: get rid of what you don’t want, to make room for what you do want.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Letting go of the stuff opens us up to letting go of the person.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">It’s like the elephant in the living room that everyone walks around, pretending not to notice.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Treating the stuff as the problem is like cutting the tops of crabgrass in your yard: Unless you get to the roots, it will come back.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Cluttering is about our feelings, not about piles of papers.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Of all the clutterers, I think 49% are depressed and 51% won’t admit it.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Things do not change; we change.</li></ul>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-75690949774611754092011-01-03T05:40:00.002+08:002011-01-03T06:10:09.753+08:00How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671723650" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TSD3jGW9VvI/AAAAAAAABZE/LfT9FHaFmsU/s200/carebooktr.jpg" width="126" /></a></div>This book gives very effective and doable principles on dealing with people with lots of examples and instances, and it delivers what it promises. Written by Carnegie in 1937 after extensive research, it is amazing to see the stated principles still holding true. The extent of his understanding the human nature simply shows. This is certainly a ‘oh yes’ book, and is very difficult to practice what it preaches. But as they say, Rome was not built in a day. There is room at the top, when you know how to win friends and influence people.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>What others want?</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Barbara Anderson was working in a New York bank and wanted to move to Phoenix in Arizona for her son’s health. So she wrote the following letter to 12 banks in Phoenix:</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Dear Sir,</i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>My ten years of bank experience should be of interest to a rapidly growing bank like yours.</i></div><i></i><br /><a name='more'></a><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>In various capacities in bank operations with the Bankers Trust Company in New York, leading to my present assignment as Branch Manager, I have acquired skills in all phases of banking including depositor relations, credits, loans and administration.</i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>I will be relocating to Phoenix in May and I am sure I can contribute to your growth and profit. I will be in Phoenix the week of April 3 and would appreciate the opportunity to show you how I can help your bank meet its goals.</i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Sincerely, Barbara L. Anderson</i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Unsurprisingly, 11 of 12 banks invited her to be interviewed. Why? Mrs. Anderson didn’t state what she wanted but wrote how she could help them. She focused on their wants and not her own. An increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of our career!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Compel to say ‘yes’</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Socrates is honored as one of the wisest persuaders who ever influenced this world. He asked questions with which his opponent would have to agree. He kept on winning one admission after another until he had an armful of ‘yes’es. He kept on asking questions until finally, almost without realizing it, his opponents found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Joseph Allison was a sales representative for an electric company. After 13 years of sales talks, his company had persuaded a customer to try their motors and if satisfied the customer would place a large order. The customer complained that the motors were too hot and did not want to place further orders. Joseph patiently listened to all the complaints the customer had to say and instead of arguing, he correctly struck the customer to say so many ‘yes’es before making the customer place an order for $35000.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Gift a smile</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: justify;">There were a room full of people waiting to have their pets inoculated at a vet’s place. No one was talking to each other and were thinking of things they would rather be doing than “wasting time” sitting in that office. &nbsp;A young woman came in with a nine-month-old baby and a kitten. She sat down next to a gentleman who was more than a little distraught about the long wait for service. The next thing he knew, the baby just looked up at him with that great big smile that is so characteristic of babies.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">What did that gentleman do? Of course, he smiled back at the baby. Soon he struck up a conversation with the woman about her baby and his grandchildren, and soon the entire reception room joined in, and the boredom and tension were converted into a pleasant and enjoyable experience.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">An insincere grin? No. That doesn’t fool anybody. We know it is mechanical and we resent it. It is a real smile, a heartwarming smile, a smile that comes from within, the kind of smile that will bring a good price in the marketplace.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">This book also gives ways to give constructive feedback, ways to criticize without hurting, the importance of showmanship and giving others their feeling of importance, and on being hearty in approbation and lavish in the praise. Certainly, there is room on the top, when one can completely master the principles from this book.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Bottom line</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">It’s not the wind’s fury and force, but the sun’s smile and gentleness that makes a man take off his coat.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Personal take aways</b></div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Ability to speak – raises above the crowd and is a shortcut to distinction.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Hearty in approbation and lavish in praise – we nourish the bodies, but not nourish their self esteem.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Remember and repeat names as many times possible – a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Give the brightest smile possible.</li></ul><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Quotes garden</b></div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Judge not that ye be not judged.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Once I did bad and that I heard ever, twice I did good, but that I heard never.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">He who threads softly goes far.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">A man without smiling face should not open a shop.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof, when your own doorstep is unclean.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">A great man shows his greatness, by the way he treats little men.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.</li></ul>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-24909027819982698072010-12-16T03:22:00.002+08:002010-12-16T03:29:21.852+08:00Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tuesdays-Morrie-Young-Greatest-Lesson/dp/0385484518" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TQkSCPc326I/AAAAAAAABYA/8YkH3Igxgw0/s200/tuesdayswmorrie.jpg" width="126" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">This book is jointly done by Mitch Albom and Morrie (as their final project together), told from Mitch’s perspective. It is about a student who meets his professor when the latter is slowing withering and dying from ALS. They both spend every Tuesday together and Morrie shares his views on the meaning of life, love, work, community, family, aging, forgiveness and finally death, all from his experience.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">A summary of Morrie’s ideas on..</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Self pity</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Morrie puts a daily limit on self pity. Every morning he sheds a few tears thinking about him suffering from ALS. He stops after a while and concentrates on all the good things that he is going to hear that day. Many people spend their waking hours feeling sorry for themselves bringing in so much negativity in their daily life. It is certainly useful to put a limit on self pity and move on.<br /><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Love and relationships</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Morrie says there is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for both parties, what they need, what they want, what they can do for each other and what they want their life to be like. In business, people negotiate to win. They negotiate to get what they want. Love is different. Love is when you are as concerned about someone else’s situation as you are about your own.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Family</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Morrie says there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. It becomes more evident when we fall ill. Sure, friends and associates would come to visit, but it’s not the same as having someone who will not leave. It’s not the same as having someone whom you know has an eye on you, is watching you all the time.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Forgiveness</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Morrie recounts how he never got to see his close friend who he never forgave. For many years, his friend never got in touch with Morrie. Although he always tired to reconcile, Morrie never accepted him. When his friend died of cancer, Morrie never got a chance to see him and forgive him. He learnt it hard that there is no point in vengeance or stubborn. Morrie also asks us to forgive ourselves because we cannot get stuck on the regrets of what we could have done.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Aging</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Morrie sees aging not as decay, but as growth. He says aging may be perceived negatively for you are going to die, but it’s more important to understand that you are going to die, and that you live a better life because of it. We always hear people say they want to be young again; it reflects their unsatisfied and unfulfilled lives - lives that haven’t found meaning. He believes that if one has found meaning in life, he/she doesn’t want to go back.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Death</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Morrie points out that we are all afraid of the sight of death. He says, in hospitals when someone dies, they put the sheets up over their head and they wheel the body to some chute and put it down. People act as if death is contagious. He says death is a natural as life; it is a part of the deal we made. He also points out that death may cause a life to end but not a relationship, or our feelings or good memories. We always live in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">In addition to all these, the idea of a living funeral where Morrie gets to hear all the good things that people got to say in his actual funeral, the idea of the little bird on the shoulders, the tension of opposites, the short story about the waves, his idea about his perfect day and how important it is to meet your teachers (at least whom we had promised to stay in touch) are all very interesting. Morrie was certainly strong enough not to buy the culture if it didn’t work.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>The bottom line</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Learn how to die, and you will know how to live.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Quotes garden</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">This is part of what a family is about, not just love, but letting others know there’s someone who is watching out for them.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Maybe death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">There is no such thing as “too late” in life.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Forgive yourselves before you die. Then forgive others.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Do I wither up and disappear, or do I make the best of my time left?</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Because with accomplishments, I believed I could control things, I could squeeze in every last piece of happiness before I got sick and died.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">You have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">You need someone to probe you in that direction. We all need teachers in our lives.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">We put our values in wrong things. And it leads to very disillusioned lives.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">There is a big confusion in the country over what we want versus what we need.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Love each other or perish.</li></ul></div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-84927308932295344622010-11-11T23:17:00.007+08:002010-11-13T06:35:52.202+08:00The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Greatness-Guide-Powerful-Secrets-Getting/dp/0061229881" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNwInCRsd3I/AAAAAAAABT8/ST9olPTI8Js/s200/images.jpg" width="129" /></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">This book is a compilation of ideas that are already known to us, yet they were never acted upon. Robin has put these ideas very elegantly and has shown that these ideas worked for him very well, that one gets inspired to constantly pursue them to reach the place called greatness. I definitely found this book incredibly useful and enjoyed reading every chapter. One chapter every morning would certainly supply the motivation needed for the day.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">There is something missing from my coolness!<o:p></o:p></span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Robin was out skateboarding with his daughter. The little girl looked like a pro with all her new accessories. Just as they were having fun learning to skate, she looked up to Robin and said, “Dad, there is something missing from my coolness”.</span></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 24px;"></span><br /><a name='more'></a>Awareness precedes choice and choice precedes results. With better awareness on what is missing from our lives, on what is limiting our self to reach for the greatness, on what needs to be improved in our life, on what needs to be thrown out from our life, we tend to make better choices. Better choices precede better results.</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Setting goals, getting better</span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Setting goals, aligning your schedule for realizing your goals, being the best in what you do, and striving to be amazingly successful to make a difference – many people think these as boring stuff; they think these go-getters are very tedious, taking life very seriously; they think these go-getters are incompatible with being compassionate, socially conscious, and a good person! Utter nonsense.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Setting goals makes one stay focused and promotes personal growth; Aligning the schedule shows they never betray themselves; And realizing a goal gives an immense sense of achievement; being the best in what you do gives the pleasure of personal satisfaction, a job well done; and being amazingly successful awakens joy, makes us feel that we have not walked the planet in vain. Of course, not everyone knows that these go-getters get goofy and play most of the time!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Settling for mediocrity has its own sad costs. And success is not a dirty word!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">The Mandela balance</span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"></span></span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">In the words of Nelson Mandela, “After climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk has not yet ended.”</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">As much as it is important not to take off our eyes from the summit, it is extremely important to enjoy the climb. Life is all about enjoying the climb.</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Get all that life wants for you<o:p></o:p></span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Robin says that the very thing we want to see more in our life is the very thing that we need to give away. A very powerful idea.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Want more credits for things you do? Be the one to give more credit. Want more loyalty? Be the most loyal person you know. Want more understanding? Be more understanding. Want more love? Give more love. Want more enthusiasm? Be the most enthusiastic person around.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="line-height: 150%;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"><br /></span></span></i></span><br /><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"></span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;">Give out what you most want to come back.</span> </span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Very powerful idea indeed!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">The bottom line<o:p></o:p></span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">We will get to the end of our life anyway — why not reach that place as an extraordinary human being?<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> </span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Personal take aways<o:p></o:p></span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"></div><ul><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">No ask, No get – it never hurts to ask.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Never leave your home without a book – Madonna used to bring a book to a nightclub to use the time reading when she wasn’t dancing!</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Make time to think – at least to ensure I climb the right mountain.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Learn to say no – “Yes men” and “yes” women never create anything great.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Think like a CEO – be a part of the solution rather than being a part of the problem.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Commit to first class – the best invest in the best.</span></span></li></ul><b><span style="line-height: 150%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Quotes garden</span></span></b><br /><div class="MsoListParagraph" style="text-align: justify;"></div><ul><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Remember, every great leader was initially laughed at. Now they are revered.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">The real risk lies in riskless living.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Never talk when you can nod.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second best time is today.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">It’s risky out on the limb but that’s where all the fruit is.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">If everyone was satisfied with themselves, there would be no heroes.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">The only place you’ll reach if you follow the crowd is the exit.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Remember that before someone will lend you a hand, you need to touch their heart.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #111111; line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">A mind once stretched by a new idea can never return to its original dimensions.</span></span></li><li><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 18px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">What gets measured is the very thing that is improved.</span></span></li></ul>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-45157442987230670122010-10-30T00:25:00.002+08:002010-12-10T02:21:20.592+08:00Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-War-Novel-Alexander-Great/dp/0385500998" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNbPbnY5k-I/AAAAAAAABSo/L4soBg-tBQY/s200/51pNSNBtMVL.jpg" width="131" /></a></div>The book is told from Alexander’s perspective to Itanes about his own conquest of his mighty empire, about himself, his companions and the lessons he learnt while leading his men in the battles. This is one of the books that I enjoyed a lot. The audio book reader Mr. John lee was brilliant beyond any measure.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />We all know that Alexander is one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever seen. In virtues of war, it can easily be seen why Alexander is Alexander the great.</div><a name='more'></a><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">Loves and respects the enemy.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Gives his companion and his relationship with them the highest priority.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Keeps everymen in his army under control.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Celebrates a lot.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Inspires his men every time the spirit goes down.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Understands his men and the enemy alike.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Gives credit to the contributors.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Does anything that it takes to achieve his goal.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Takes complete responsibility of his and his army’s action.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Communicates his command and intentions clearly.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Loves his companion Bucephalus.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Attacks than defend.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">Extremely strategic and visionary.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">And the most important: Why he fights the wars.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong><br /><strong>The storm and the sea</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />On a meeting with Alexander, Porus (porus is a title like raja/king, actual name being Amritatma) insists that Alexander is not a king, but a mere conqueror and that he should learn to be a king from Porus. He adds the analogy of this difference between the storm and the sea.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"><br /></span><br />Storm is always brilliant and terrifying, shows its complete power on its path and passes on. The sea remains calm, eternal and deep, absorbs thunders unmoved. This makes Alexander and his men angry; when they are about to leave with fury, porus insists the same saying – return to your lands you have conquered, make your people free and happy, render each man lord over his own household and sovereign over his own heart.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />Sheer brilliance – this broke my misconception on what being a king really is – he does not rule by terror and compulsion; leading/ruling by terror and compulsion is a state in which his ingenuity has been utterly reduced.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong><br /><strong>I outs have led Alexander</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />On the banks of Hydaspes, Alexander and his men decide to divert the course of the river in order to avoid crossing it. He consults his architects and his men on this. Throughout this process, he sets a vision, clearly communicates it and inspires his men towards it.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />The labor required to divert the river is simple – just dig and shore – once the head of the river is turned, the river takes care of the rest. The most interesting thing he does while his men dig and shore the banks is this: he strips his splendid clothes and join in the labor. This absolutely inspires the men to see their king toiling at their shoulder and perhaps who will not boast – “I outs have led Alexander”.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong><br /><strong>He is a king!</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />Alexander wanted to seize the ultimate glory by killing Darius, the lord of Asia, by himself personally. On the battle of Issus, Alexander closes in on Darius with his ‘cover and uncover’ principle. Minutes before he captures Darius, Darius goes missing. Alexander’s men tell him that the king has fled.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />Alexander is completely struck with outrage, not because the enemy king has stolen his glory by fleeing, but that he could flee at all! Do you understand? He is a king! He is a king, he must stand and fight! Further, Darius abandons the valiant hearts of his army, men who bleed and die even now in his name and for his honor.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br />And again - Alexander is completely struck with outrage, not because the enemy king has stolen his glory by fleeing, but that he could flee at all!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>In addition to the above, how Philotas announces in public his misbelieve on Alexander has perished, how each time Alexander takes no material but the glory at the end of every battle are indeed truly inspiring. I’m sure to watch the movie on Alexander and a 3 hour documentary on tracing his entire path to glory from Macedonia to India – the one I reserved to watch after this book.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong><br /></strong><br /><strong>Quotes garden</strong></div><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Because a thing has never been done, gentlemen, is no reason to say it cannot be. And, in my view, no reason not to try.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">"How do you wish to be treated?" I asked Porus when I had caught up in person. "Like a king," he replied, and like a king we honored him.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Bucephalus lay on his right side. I saw at once that his great heart beat no more. A thousand times in imagination I had rehearsed this hour, which I knew must come.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">An army needs something grand to capture its imagination. In Pericles' phrase, “Mighty deeds and mighty works."</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">What drives the soldier is cardia, "heart," and dynamis, "the will to fight." Nothing else matters in war. Not weapons or tactics, philosophy or patriotism, not fear of the gods themselves. Only this love of glory.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Men are hard in my country and women harder.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Only one thing keeps Hephaestion from being my equal. He lacks the element of the monstrous. For this I love him.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">He who would wake must cease to dream</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">The commander's options? In the end, he may lead his army only where it wants to go.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">One thing your victories have taught us, lord, is to see all foes as potential allies.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">That the enemy are better men than me only enlarges my pleasure.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">But we must do more, brothers, than overcome the enemy by might. We must show him that we are better men. Let no one dishonor himself in victory.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">What we show, we will not do. What we don't show, we will do.</li></ul><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">He had doubted my daimon and doubted my destiny. For this, I could never forgive him.</li></ul><div style="text-align: justify;">For review on this book see <a href="http://www.rohanrajiv.com/blog/?p=124">here</a>.</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-2449607595624750802010-09-13T03:30:00.002+08:002010-12-10T02:20:41.507+08:00A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/0767908171" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNbQp652LgI/AAAAAAAABSs/XfKft4GJUvE/s200/bryson+book.jpg" width="127" /></a></div>This interesting book is about general science and its history. It gives an overall picture of important moments in the record of science, inventions, its history, people, their hard work and their misfortunes. The author takes up events and the interesting people who are by far left out in our science text books.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Starting from astronomy, he goes on with physics, extensively about geology and paleontology, particle physics, to biology, and finally our own existence. By in large, he makes us feel very tiny and too insignificant when it comes to our universe, enlightens us on the great deal of things that we simply don’t know, a huge mess that we have created on things we know and appreciate our own existence. One interesting line <br /><a name='more'></a>that he highlights is, when an invention is made 1. The world completely ignores/discard it 2. The idea slowly sinks in and over throws the previous notions 3. The wrong people are credited for the invention.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The book largely contains interviews or original words from the scientists and inventors. One thing that excited me was 2 references from David Attenborough’s documentaries paleontology and the private life of plants – surviving; one about the oldest surviving foot print on the rocks of Scotland and the other about lichens. Why the excitement? I had watched both of the documentaries earlier =D</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>1) Everyone is not given the credit that they deserve.</strong></span></div></strong><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Patterson was the first who correctly defined the age of our mother earth. More importantly, he was the one who identified the destruction of ozone molecules by the aerosols and the complications due to lead levels in our atmosphere. Yet he is entirely forgotten and most of the text books manage to misspell his name! Crick and Watson are largely credited for finding the structure DNA. But their work is largely derived from a female co worker’s breakthrough in overthrowing the myth that DNA was a triple helix. Crick and Watson merely confirmed the fact!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>2) Yellowstone national park is the largest active volcano on earth and it is already overdue.</strong></span></div></strong><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The potential of the largest volcanic explosion already over due by 30000 years is overwhelming. The increasing level of geyser and seismic activities (3000 earthquakes occur in Yellowstone every year!) is a sign of the same. This was highlighted in the movie 2012 but I largely ignored it.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>3) Nature and Nature's Laws lay hid in Night/ God said, Let Newton be! and all was Light.</strong></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong><br /></strong></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;">For review on this book see <a href="http://www.rohanrajiv.com/blog/?p=154">here</a>.</span></span></div></strong>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-18036304313883415632010-08-30T01:34:00.011+08:002010-12-10T02:17:42.594+08:007 Habits of highly effective people – Part 2<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNwMejZhXcI/AAAAAAAABUA/3caOtf85Cg8/s1600/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People_Stephen_Covey_abridged_cassettes_Simon_Schuster.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNwMejZhXcI/AAAAAAAABUA/3caOtf85Cg8/s200/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People_Stephen_Covey_abridged_cassettes_Simon_Schuster.jpg" width="135" /></span></span></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">The seven habits:</span></span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">1) Be proactive<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">2) Begin with an end in the mind<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">3) Putting first things first<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">4) Think win/win<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">5) Seek first to understand, then to be understood<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">6) Synergize<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">7) Sharpen the saw<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></b><br /><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">3 Things I liked:</span></span></b><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><b><u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></u></b><br /><b><u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">1) Four generations of time management<o:p></o:p></span></span></u></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Just like in our social history, the agricultural revolution was followed by industrial revolution followed by information revolution, each generation of time management enabled people towards greater control of our lives.</span></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"></span></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a name='more'></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">The first generation was characterized by notes and checklists (recognition of the need), the second generation by calendars and appointment books (looking ahead). The third generation reflects prioritization, values, setting long/intermediate/short goals. Although the third generation was a massive step from its previous one, it proved to be counterproductive as it made one feel too scheduled. The fourth generation focuses on preserving and enhancing relationships and accomplishing results rather than on things and time i.e. maintaining P/PC balance. The author explains the 4 quadrants of time management and the importance of quadrant 2. To say yes to important Quadrant 2 priorities, you have to say no to the seemingly urgent things.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></u><br /><u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">2) Stewardship delegation<o:p></o:p></span></span></u></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Stephen explains the difference between the Gofer and stewardship delegation. The author explains how he was using ‘gofer’ delegation for the taking pictures to his wife during his skiing trip. The Gofer delegation is one-on-one supervision method.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">The author explains a better way of delegating – Stewardship. Focus on results than methods, giving people the choice of methods. The idea is simple and clear: Create a clear understanding of the goal. Clearly visualize the desired result. Have the person see it like you. State by when the goal is to be accomplished and within what parameters (very few - preferred). Explain the potential falls on the way. Explain ways of evaluation and consequences both good and bad. The author gives an example of this delegation through his son maintaining their backyard.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></u><br /><u><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">3) The emotional bank account<o:p></o:p></span></span></u></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Emotional bank account is simply the trust that has been deposited over time. It is extremely amazing how small ways contribute large deposits into the account. When the account reserve is very high, the communication is easy and effective. Many times simple and small ways of kindness is the key to the deposits into the reserve. However, everything you do should be genuine. If not the duplicity might lead to instant withdrawal from the reserve.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">6 major ways to deposit: Understanding the individual, Attending to the little things (the example how his son reacted for showing a little act of kindness to his little brother), keeping commitments, Clarifying expectations, Showing personal integrity, Apologizing sincerely when a withdrawal is made. The importance unconditional love is also emphasized by the author.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">If I were to consciously follow something from this book for sure, this is going to be my first of the things – showing personal integrity. While reading this part, I could clearly sense that I have not been manifesting loyalty to those who are not present all this time.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></i><br /><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Suppose in my effort to build a relationship with you, I told you something someone else had shared with me in confidence. "I really shouldn't tell you this," I might say, "but since you're my friend..." Would my betraying another person build my trust account with you? Or would you wonder if the things you had told me in confidence were being shared with others? Such duplicity might appear to be making a deposit with the person you're with, but it is actually a withdrawal because you communicate your own lack of integrity. (Original excerpt from the book)</span></span></i><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in; text-align: justify;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Lines I liked:</span></span></b><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;"><br /></span> </span></div><ul type="disc"><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Manage from the left. Lead from the right.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Private Victory precedes Public Victory. Algebra comes before calculus.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">To be trusted, it is said, is greater than to be loved.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Maturity is the balance between courage and consideration.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Diagnose before your prescribe.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things.... I am tempted to think...there are no little things.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #666666;">The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li></ul><div class="MsoNormal">For review on this book see <a href="http://www.rohanrajiv.com/blog/?p=432">here</a>.</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-53870258203255185282010-07-30T00:23:00.001+08:002010-11-10T23:47:29.871+08:007 Habits of highly effective people – Part 1<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People/dp/0671708635" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNbR1-2JHII/AAAAAAAABS0/wt9nCCBTJI0/s200/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People_Stephen_Covey_abridged_cassettes_Simon_Schuster.jpg" width="135" /></a></div>My book of the month is “7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author starts the book about the paradigm shift and its importance. Paradigm is the map to what we see and perceive. He gives an interesting example of a man driving and trying to find a place with the wrong map of a city. Changing his attitude and doubling his hard work simply makes him lost twice as faster until he refers to the correct map of the city. Another interesting example of a spontaneous paradigm shift is about a man and his children in a subway reacting to his wife’s/their mother’s death. This reminds me of a quote “we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intensions”. The basic idea of the book is that the solution to a successful life is not a quick-fix type but something that is infused into our habits.<br /><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">One interesting point I noted from the introduction part - A child learns to run starting from turning over, sitting up, crawling, walking and then running. Any step cannot be skipped. The same applies to any growth process be it learning a skill or a relationship or in work place. And when we tend to take shortcuts to achieve the end result faster and we fail. Admission of ignorance is the first step in our education. Similar to the Monday learning - Real learning starts after we learn to laugh<strong> </strong>at ourselves.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>Habit one: Be Proactive</strong></span></div></strong><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Being proactive simply means that we are responsible for our own lives and being proactive is a unique ability of humans. He explains how Frankl used the human power of self-awareness and imagination to choose his response to the stimuli (Nazi’s punishments). The author explains the difference between being reactive and being proactive. The reactive people are driven by the external environment. We have seen many people become dull just because it would be raining outside. Their attitude is based on the external environment where as the proactive people are driven by their values and not the emotional feelings, behavior of people around them and the physical environment.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author says that we should act and not be acted upon. He puts in an “R and I” (resourcefulness and initiative) for our every problem and for every complaint. The author brings in an appealing case of the business at a recession time to illustrate the difference in being reactive, thinking positively and being proactive. In a 3 day discussion, they concentrate on the stimuli on the first day, the second day on what’s going to happen in the future. On both days, the face extreme discouragement. On their third day they concentrate on the proactive question – how they can respond to the situation and with a new spirit of excitement and hope they close the meeting with very practical and doable things.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The key take away is ‘choosing your response’. Rather than having to do something, choose to do something after weighing the consequences.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>Habit two: Begin with the end in mind</strong></span></div></strong><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">While reading this, the first thing that came to my mind was the very first meeting of Sparkz. Rohan made us to clearly visualize the end result - the finals day of Sparkz. And the whole of 4-5 months we worked was all to realize this day and nothing else. The end product we wanted was very clearly defined. And yes, all things were created twice! Once in mind. And next the physical creation. This should explain it all!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author starts with the idea of attending our own funeral, anticipating comments from your family members, friends, work associates, and church people. He explains the concept of beginning with the end in mind. He states that approach a role with the clear destination in the mind. And with being proactive, you act by your values and not to situations and external factors. The author also notes the difference between a leader and a manager and the importance of their complimenting nature.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">He brings in the concept of the paradigm shift again saying that we act with the scripts that were already handed to us and that we need to re-script. He gives an example of overreacting to the children when he/she does something inappropriate. You react with all the authority and they submit themselves externally but rebellious inside. We concentrate on the short term effects and not the long term effects. We should try to win the war not the battles.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author explains the importance of mission statements - be it personal, family or organizational. The author was amazed by the level of service offered to him in a hotel at various levels – managers, receptionists, bellboy, cleaners and housekeepers. All were service-oriented and the important thing was that all these were done without any supervision and with sincerity. And the real key to the success of this hotel was the mission statement in which everyone at the every level had their participation. And it takes real patience to build it and follow it with dedication.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>Lines that i liked:</strong></span></div></strong><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">1) We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">2) Measure twice, cut once.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">3) Management is doing things right and leadership is doing the right things. The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, "Wrong jungle!"</div><div style="text-align: justify;">4) Succeed at home first.</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-63959160309514097112010-06-30T00:19:00.003+08:002010-12-10T02:16:23.680+08:00Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell<div id="_mcePaste" style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017922" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNbSPn4abAI/AAAAAAAABS4/Pouipgzljjk/s200/outliers.jpg" width="132" /></a></div>My book for the month is Outliers, The story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div id="_mcePaste" style="text-align: justify;">Three points that I liked:</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong>New meaning to the birth dates</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div id="_mcePaste" style="text-align: justify;">Starting with the Canadian hockey players, Gladwell explains the successive advantage for those who are born in the early months of the year. He also goes on to explain the perfect birth date for a successful lawyer and a software programmer considering the external factors like the changes in economy, population size etc. I found this very interesting for he is giving a new meaning to the astrology of dates. One saddening thing is that we cant go back to change our birth date nor can we change the generation that we are born in!<br /><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong>10000 hour rule</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">For one to be extremely proficient in anything, he/she needs to practice of 10000 hours. 10000 is no less number! Bill gates programming for long hours, Beatles singing for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week in a strip club, example of Mozart all lead to the the conclusion - simply put 10000 hours of practice and you will achieve international stardom.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Just smart enough</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Warren buffet once quoted that "Success in investing doesn't correlate with I.Q. once you're above the level of 125". The author explains that, just like there is a threshold level for the height of a basket ball player, there is a threshold level for smartness too. He explains this with the example of Langan who is extremely smart in terms of his IQ (195), yet not smart enough to convince his management for a scholarship renewal.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Some lines I liked:</strong></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><ul><li>Complexity, autonomy and a relationship between effort and reward in doing creative work</li><li>No one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone</li><li>Success arises out of a steady accumulation of advantages (Mattered a lot when I played chess!)</li></ul></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Overall, I liked the book. Liked the opportunity part than the legacy. "Accumulation of advantages" inspires me to try to consciously accumulate them. Tried the audio book for the first time. Took time to get used to it. I can see I need to concentrate more for i missed so many lines in between that I decided to listen it for the second time.<br /><br />For review on Outliers see <a href="http://www.rohanrajiv.com/blog/?p=445">here</a>.</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-59627735250472886042010-05-30T10:29:00.001+08:002010-11-10T23:48:40.850+08:00Law of attraction by Michael Losier<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Law-Attraction-Science-Attracting-More/dp/0973224002" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNbSwEEbOiI/AAAAAAAABS8/2N7FNakHnWU/s200/loabook.jpg" width="128" /></a></div>Law: The law of attraction will give you more of the same, both positive or negative.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author starts with the importance of the words we use. For, our thoughts are made of words and our feelings are influenced by our thoughts. And hence the words influence our vibes. His emphasis is on "So, what do I want?" rather than concentrating on what we don't need.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Three steps of the deliberate attraction formula:</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">1) Identifying the desire. (Asking "So, do I want?". Identifying what we need from what we don't need i.e. contrast)</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">2) Giving your desire the attention. (Two interesting statements: "I'm in the process of &lt;creating&gt;&lt;ideal condition&gt;" and the desire statement)</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">3) Allow it (Absence of doubt)</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /><a name='more'></a><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author asks us to note down the proof of the law of attraction acting on us, which will help us in appreciating how abundant we are.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">When I started reading the book for the first time it was very abstract for me. The book was not very attractive as my previous book'The alchemist'. So I tried for the second time and I realized I had done something without my knowledge during my 10th std. Before the start of my board exams, I scribbled on my study desk that I am going to score 480 on 500. Whenever I saw these words I will feel some urge to work towards it and I got a positive feeling whenever I sat to study. And I think it helped me a lot in achieving my target. After recalling this incident, the book made lot of sense to me.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">One more interesting thing I noted from the book was allowing money to come to you. The author says for example simply allow a friend to buy a lunch who offers to do it. Instead of saying "Ah its okay, you don't have to buy me lunch", say "thanks, I would like that". This is very interesting for me because every time someone offered something or some credit for doing something, I thought it was humble to say what I did was nothing great etc. But once, my friend Rohan told me to simply accept the credit whenever someone told things like you look handsome, you did a great job etc. As I am slowly changing myself to accepting these, I am seeing a good change in me. Thank you Rohan :)</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Off to the next book! :)</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8145069060031422304.post-86376872246439643962010-04-30T10:20:00.002+08:002010-12-10T02:14:53.825+08:00The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho<div style="text-align: justify;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Alchemist-Fable-About-Following-Dream/dp/0062502182" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_P6ZRtRgPnmU/TNbTCYcnb2I/AAAAAAAABTA/4dJpR5U0Zpw/s200/the-alchemist.jpg" width="125" /></a></div><b>Universal language:</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The author has given so many instances where we are all connected by one universal language, a language without words, a language which was understood by everybody long ago but already forgotten. From the start, as a shepherd, he understood his sheep very well without any verbal communication between them. The boy goes on to identify the presence of the same language in fear, in omens, in dreams, in enthusiasm, in the flight of hawks, in the safety of the desert and in love. "There must be a language that doesnot depend on words". Many times, we ourselves have listened to this language without realizing it, like we understand a person's mood by the expressions in his/her face. There is always an alignment between the caravan and the desert, which enables the caravan to cross the desert. Likewise, without any alignment among the team mates in a team, there will be very little success.<br /><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it:</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Santiago, the shepherd has been exceptionally persistent in realising his dreams. He does whatever it takes to get to what he wanted. Though he gets distracted at times like at the crystal shop, at the alchemist's place, he successfully manages to get to Egypt, to realise his dream of getting the treasure. The boy loved to travel wherever his sheep took him to. At every point of time when he was in need of help, he would find some form of it like the king in the square. When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. This line is my favorite of all. This has been my motivation line since i finished this book. Whatever i do, i keep thinking the whole world is behind me to help me. :)</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Listen to the heart:</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">(short incident) I have the habit of not waking up to attend my calls/sms once i doze off. 3 days back was my phone interview for my internship Autodesk at 6 pm. I dozed off at 3 pm (thanks to the nightouts) after making arrangements with 5 of my friends to wake me up at 5. As usual, i never picked their calls (14 calls in all). I woke up sharply at 5 50 to attend the call from my interviewer, as though i wanted to wake up only for her call. I have found out what my heart wants me to do. :)</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Travel a lot, meet lots of people:</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">It is the experience that matters. Santiago learnt a lot from his sheep, from the people he met, from more worldly experience than he would have learnt from his books.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Stepping out of comfort zone:</b></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">If Santiago had been happy and content with his sheep and had he not sold his sheep, he would not have got his treasure. If he had been like the thief, who dreamt of the treasure's location, he would not have gained anything.<br /><br />For review on the Alchemist see <a href="http://www.rohanrajiv.com/blog/?p=438">here</a>.</div>Elayabharathhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02449322734138539202noreply@blogger.com1