Monday, November 17, 2014

Habit Formation: The 21-Day Myth

The habits of highly successful people allow them to consistently perform behaviors that breed success. Everything from eating well to responsible spending to task completion and beyond requires habits that make such behaviors part of our daily life. Michael Jordan spent his off seasons taking hundreds of jump shots a day. Cy Young award-winning Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay routinely does a 90-minute workout before practices. The young Venus and Serena Williams would wake up at 6:00 am to hit tennis balls before school. Highly successful people have learned to develop good habits, and it takes discipline, courage and hard work on a daily basis to keep those habits in place. It makes perfect sense to adopt habits that will facilitate success, yet, why are some so difficult to adopt?

Most people believe that habits are formed by completing a task for 21 days in a row. Twenty-one days of task completion, then voila, a habit is formed. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. The 21-day myth began as a misinterpretation of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s work on self-image. Maltz did not find that 21 days of task completion forms a habit. People wanted it to be true so much so, however, that the idea began to grow in popularity.

Tom Bartow, who successfully started advanced training for Edward Jones and has since become a highly sought after business coach, developed the following model of what habit formation really looks like:

The 3 phases of habit formation:

This phase of habit formation is characterized by the feeling of “this is easy.” As all married people will tell you, at some point even the greatest honeymoon must end. The honeymoon phase is usually the result of something inspiring. For example, a person attends a highly motivational conference, and for the first few days after the conference the individual is making positive changes in his or her life.


Inspiration fades and reality sets in. A person finds himself struggling with the positive habit completion and old habits seem to be right around the corner. The key to moving to the third phase of habit formation is to win 2 or 3 “fight thru’s.” This is critical. To win the fight thru, use the following techniques:
RECOGNIZE: Recognition is essential for winning the fight thru. When you have entered the fight through, simply say to yourself, “I have entered the fight thru, and I need to win a few to move past this.” Winning each fight thru will make it easier to win the next. Conversely, when you choose to lose a fight thru, you make it easier to lose the next one.
ASK 2 QUESTIONS: “How will I feel if I do this?” and “How will I feel if I don’t do this?” Bring EMOTION into the equation. Let yourself feel the positive in winning the fight thru and the negative in losing.
LIFE PROJECTION: If the above 2 techniques haven’t moved you to action, then imagine in great detail how your life will be in 5 years if you do not begin making changes. Be totally honest with yourself, and allow yourself to feel what life will be like if the changes are not made.

Entering second nature is often described by feelings of “getting in the groove.” Once in second nature, the following are 3 common interruptions that will send a person back to the fight thru:
THE DISCOURAGEMENT MONSTER: An individual allows negative results discourage him or her into thinking, “This isn’t working, and there is nothing I can do.”
DISRUPTIONS: An individual experiences significant change to his or her current pattern (e.g., vacations, holidays, illness, weekends).
SEDUCTION OF SUCCESS: An individual begins to focus on positive results and begins to think, “I’m the special one. I have finally figured out how to have great results with not so great process.”

If a person experiences an interruption that sends him or her back to the fight thru, winning 2 or 3 fight thru’s will bring him or her back to second nature.

Most people want positive habits to be as easy as brushing their teeth. HELLO…LET’S BE ADULTS HERE…being great isn’t easy. In fact greatness requires sacrifice. It requires doing things that others won’t or can’t do. GREAT HABITS ARE FORMED DAILY. Truth be told, good habits require consistent commitment. Highly successful people have learned to develop good habits. Make the commitment to make it past the fight thru, no matter how many times you go back to it, to reach new levels of success.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions

Several years ago we came up with a great idea for a new leadership-development offering we thought would be valuable to everyone. We had research demonstrating that when people embarked on a self-development program, their success increased dramatically when they received follow-up encouragement.  We developed a software application to offer that sort of encouragement. People could enter their development goals, and the software would send them reminders every week or month asking how they were doing, to motivate them to keep on going. We invested a lot of time and money in this product.
But it turned out that people did not like receiving the e-mails and found them more annoying than motivating. Some of our users came up with a name for this type of software. They called it “nagware.” Needless to say, this product never reached the potential we had envisioned.  Thinking about the decisions we had made to create this disappointing result led us to ask the question, “What causes well-meaning people to make poor decisions?”
Some possibilities came immediately to mind – people make poor decisions when under severe time pressure or when they don’t have access to all the important information (unless they’re are explaining the decision to their boss, and then it is often someone else’s fault).
But we wanted a more objective answer. In an effort to understand the root cause of poor decision making, we looked at 360-feedback data from more than 50,000 leaders and compared the behavior of those who were perceived to be making poor decisions with that of the people perceived to be making very good decisions. We did a factor analysis of the behaviors that made the most statistical difference between the best and worst decision makers. Nine factors emerged as the most common paths to poor decision making. Here they are in order from most to least significant.
  1. Laziness. This showed up as a failure to check facts, to take the initiative, to confirm assumptions, or to gather additional input. Basically, such people were perceived to be sloppy in their work and unwilling to put themselves out. They relied on past experience and expected results simply to be an extrapolation of the past.
  2. Not anticipating unexpected events. It is discouraging to consistently consider the possibility of negative events in our lives, and so most people assume the worst will not happen. Unfortunately, bad things happen fairly often. People die, get divorced, and have accidents. Markets crash, house prices go down, and friends are unreliable. There is excellent research demonstrating that if people just take the time to consider what might go wrong, they are actually very good at anticipating problems. But many people just get so excited about a decision they are making that they never take the time to do that simple due-diligence.
  3. Indecisiveness. At the other end of the scale, when faced with a complex decision that will be based on constantly changing data, it’s easy to continue to study the data, ask for one more report, or perform yet one more analysis before a decision gets made. When the reports and the analysis take much longer than expected, poor decision makers delay, and the opportunity is missed. It takes courage to look at the data, consider the consequences responsibly, and then move forward. Oftentimes indecision is worse than making the wrong decision. Those most paralyzed by fear are the ones who believe that one mistake will ruin their careers and so avoid any risk at all.
  4. Remaining locked in the past. Some people make poor decisions because they’re using the same old data or processes they always have. Such people get used to approaches that worked in the past and tend not to look for approaches that will work better. Better the devil they know. But, too often, when a decision is destined to go wrong, it’s because the old process is based on assumptions that are no longer true. Poor decision makers fail to keep those base assumptions in mind when applying the tried and true.
  5. Having no strategic alignment. Bad decisions sometimes stem from a failure to connect the problem to the overall strategy. In the absence of a clear strategy that provides context, many solutions appear to make sense. When tightly linked to a clear strategy, the better solutions quickly begin to rise to the top.
  6. Over-dependence. Some decisions are never made because one person is waiting for another, who in turn is waiting for someone else’s decision or input. Effective decision makers find a way to act independently when necessary.
  7. Isolation. Some of those leaders are waiting for input because they’ve not taken steps to get it in a timely manner or have not established the relationships that would enable them to draw on other people’s expertise when they need to. All our research (and many others’) on effective decision making recognizes that involving others with the relevant knowledge, experience, and expertise improves the quality of the decision. This is not news. So the question is why. Sometimes people lack the necessary networking skills to access the right information. Other times, we’ve found, people do not involve others because they want the credit for a decision. Unfortunately they get to take the blame for the bad decisions, as well.
  8. Lack of technical depth. Organizations today are very complex, and even the best leaders do not have enough technical depth to fully understand multifaceted issues. But when decision makers rely on others’ knowledge and expertise without any perspective of their own, they have a difficult time integrating that information to make effective decisions. And when they lack even basic knowledge and expertise, they have no way to tell if a decision is brilliant or terrible. We continue to find that the best executives have deep expertise. And when they still don’t have the technical depth to understand the implications of the decisions they face, they make it their business to find the talent they need to help them.
  9. Failure to communicate the what, where, when, and how associated with their decisions. Some good decisions become bad decisions because people don’t understand – or even know about — them. Communicating a decision, its rational and implications, is critical to the successful implementation of a decision.
Waiting too long for others’ input. Failing to get the right input at the right time. Failing to understand that input through insufficient skills. Failing to understand when something that worked in the past will not work now. Failing to know when to make a decision without all the right information and when to wait for more advice. It’s no wonder good people make bad decisions. The path to good decision making is narrow, and it’s far from straight. But keeping in mind the pitfalls can make any leader a more effective decision maker.

 by and

HBR Blog Network

Friday, June 20, 2014

Get Your Karma Right

In Sanskrit, Karma means action. It has the same meaning as that of Newton’s third law of motion which states that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. Our thoughts, words and actions trigger a reactive force. It is possible to change, modify, or suspend this reactive force, but it is not possible to eliminate it. This cause and effect law should not be made use of for punishing people, but used for imparting education and learning. There is no escape from the consequences of our actions, but we will suffer only if we make the conditions conducive for our suffering. Irrespective of whether the man or universe has created the laws, ignorance is not an excuse. If you want to know as to how you can do away with fear and feel empowered, please read on.

As they say, what goes around, comes around, so follow these 12 laws of karma and you will change your life forever.

#1: Great Laws
• Another cause and effect law is “As you sow, so shall you reap”.
• What you give to the Universe is what you get back.
• If you want love, happiness, peace and friendship, then you should be loving, happy, peaceful and a true friend to others.

#2: Creation Laws
• Life does not happen just like that, your participation is essential.
• Both inside and outside, we are a part of the Universe. We get clues for our inner state from whatever that surrounds us.
• You can be yourself. Surround yourself with those things that you badly want in your Life.

#3: Humility Laws
• Whatever you refrain from accepting will have to continue for you.
• If you look at someone as an enemy or as having a character trait which you think is negative, then you are not focusing on higher levels of existence.

#4: Growth Laws
• If you continue to carry the thoughts about your past actions, you will have to deal with them for life.
• If you want to grow, you must change. It is not the people, things or places around you that is to be changed.
• In our lives, the only given thing is ourselves. We have control only over ourselves.
• As we bring about a change in ourselves from within as to who as well as what we are, our life will also change.
#5: Responsibility Laws
• If something is wrong with my life, then something is wrong with me.
• The universal truth is that we mirror what surrounds us and vice versa.
• We must take the responsibility for what we have in our lives.
#6: Connection Laws
• Some things that we do may seem to be inconsequential, but it is important that it is done because in this universe everything is linked.
• One step leads you to the next one and it goes on and on.
• Someone has to initiate the work to get the job done.
• Both the first step and the last step are equally important. They are essential to complete a task.
• Our past, present and future are all connected.

#7: Focus Laws
• It is not possible for you to think about two things at a given time.
• When we focus on spiritual values, we cannot entertain lower thoughts like greed or anger.

#8: Giving and Hospitality Laws
• We will be asked sometime in our lives to demonstrate what we truly believe in.
• It is here that we actually practice whatever we claim to have learned.

#9: Here and Now Laws
• If you look backward to examine the problem, you cannot be totally present here and now.
• If you entertain old thoughts, patterns of behavior and dreams, then you cannot have new ones.

#10: Laws of Change
• History repeats itself till we learn the lesson that we have to take a different path.

#11: Patience and Reward Laws
• Initial toil is essential for all rewards.
• Toiling patiently and persistently helps you to get lasting rewards.
• True joy comes to us when we do what we are supposed to do and wait for rewards to come by themselves.

#12: Significance and Inspiration laws
• What you get back from anything is what you have given to it.
• The direct result of putting intent and energy into something is realization of its true value.
• Each and every personal contribution adds to the whole contribution.
• Lackluster contributions do not impact the whole. They are also not capable of diminishing it.
• Contributions made with love do not only bring life to the whole, but also inspires it.

How many of these karma laws do you follow?

Genius Awakening

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Time We Gain our Independence

Independence Day is Fast Approaching, it is time you take back your freedom. Here are 12 declarations you should say loud and proud.

It's a good time to reflect on the masterful way our founding fathers and mothers took control of their own destiny.

We may not have the British with which to contend, but there are plenty of oppressors in our lives that keep us from the pursuit of happiness. Even if the oppressors are sometimes ourselves.

On this Independence Day , take the opportunity to free yourself of those who stand in your way. Stand up and loudly declare independence.
  1. Declare Independence from people who whine and bring down your day.
  2. Declare Independence from those stuck in mediocrity, who force it upon others.
  3. Declare Independence from those who criticize you without consideration.
  4. Declare Independence from family members who do not support you.
  5. Declare Independence from that which keeps you from being confident.
  6. Declare Independence from that which keeps you ignorant.
  7. Declare Independence from that which makes you unproductive.
  8. Declare Independence from that which makes you unhappy.
  9. Declare Independence from that which makes you unsuccessful.
  10. Declare Independence from that which makes you uninspired.
  11. Declare Independence from that which keeps you from being an amazing boss.
  12. Declare Independence from that which keeps you from being an amazing employee.
 And now that you have declared your independence, it's time to execute.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Five Anti-Resolutions for New year

Every year, countless numbers of my optimistic peers will write a list of New Year's resolutions. These lists will include lofty ambitions such as "get a promotion" as well as easier goals like "go to the gym." Regardless of the goal, most resolutions will be forgotten faster than New Year's confetti.

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I do have a list of goals, both personal and professional, that I regularly update throughout the year. At New Years, I instead focus on what I call my New Year's "Will Not Do" resolutions. This is not a reverse To Do List ("I will not eat unhealthy" versus "I will eat healthy"). It is a list of challenges and behaviors that are distracting me from achieving my goals.

Like the first step in any twelve-step treatment, you first have to admit you have challenges before you can overcome them. Below is my list for 2013. Hopefully you can relate and derive a little usefulness from it.

1. I Will Not Make Any More Excuses
Guilty. It's easy to make a list of things to accomplish. It's infinitely easier to find excuses to not do them. While it may seem you don't have enough time, money, or energy to do something, remember that nobody does. And yet the most successful people in the world seem to find the necessary resources to accomplish their goals.

2. I Will Not Cheat
Guilty. Shortcuts can be good, but one often leads to another and eventually leads you down a path to the dark side (I've been watching Star Wars recently). Taking shortcuts professionally leads to poor and embarrassing performance at work. Taking shortcuts personally can lead to poor relationships and poor health. Apply yourself, do your best as often as you are humanly able, and take shortcuts only when you have exhausted all other alternatives.

3. I Will Not Use (Waste) My Time On Useless Activities
Guilty! Since the introduction of the smart phone and the proliferation of data networks, I have developed a mild case of A.A.D.D. (Adult Attention Deficiency Disorder). Too many news feeds, podcasts, blogs, social media networks, documentary movies, college football games and apps (Scramble with Friends anyone?) consume the little precious time I have that could be dedicated to achieving my other goals. Indeed, I have often been astonished at the productivity achievable with the rediscovered time and focus I have after turning everything off.

4. I Will Not Get Frustrated
Guilty. It is incredibly easy these days to get stressed. Things are going poorly at work. The world is flush with war. Georgetown basketball is falling in the rankings. Regardless of the impetus, getting stressed and frustrated puts a significant strain on your work, your personal relationships, and your health. More important, it leaves you with less energy to focus on your goals. Learn to deal with stress, refocus your energy, and move on.

5. I Will Not Cast Blame
Okay, I'm not so guilty. As the co-founder and CEO of Wild Creations, there is nobody I can blame for bad business decisions or poor performance, unless I write a complaint letter to myself. I often meet and see, however, people who constantly blame others for failures. These are the "Can't People" ("I can't do this because..." or "It can't be done because ..."). Remember, you are the one and only person who controls your destiny. Once this becomes clear, you can look past failures, stop feeling helpless, and focus on goals and the future.

Like me, you are probably guilty of one or more of the issues on this list. Nobody's perfect, but when you limit the distractions in your life, you'll be better prepared to follow through with your New Year's resolutions. At the very least, maybe you'll make it to the gym a little more often.

What are some of your resolutions for 2013?


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rasa Theory and life

"na hi RASAdrite kaschidarthah pravartate"

Bharata Muni very emphatically states in the Rasadhyaya of Natyashastra that
 "no meaningful idea is conveyed if the "Rasa" is not evoked."

There were eight Rasa's at that time.

Sringaram-  Love, Attractiveness. Presiding deity: Vishnu. Colour: light green.
Hasyam- Laughter, Mirth, Comedy. Presiding deity: Pramata. Colour: white.
Rudram- Fury. Presiding deity: Rudra. Colour: red.
Karunayam- Compassion, Tragedy. Presiding deity: Yama. Colour: grey.
Bibhatsam - Disgust, Aversion. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: blue
Bhayanakam- Horror, Terror. Presiding deity: Kala. Colour: black
Viram- Heroic mood. Presiding deity: Indra. Colour: yellowish
Adbhutam- Wonder, Amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow

Abhinavagupta suggested a ninth rasa when only eight were accepted and it had to undergo a good deal of struggle, before it could be accepted by the majority of the Alankarikas, and the expression Navarasa (the nine rasas), could come into vogue.

Shantam- Peace or tranquility. deity: Vishnu. Colour: blue

In addition to the nine Rasas, two more appeared later (esp. in literature):
Additional rasas:

Vatsalya- Parental Love
Bhakti- Spiritual Devotion

However, the presiding deities, the colours and the relationship between these additional rasas have not been specified.

Rasa Imbalance
On seeing these Rasa's one can experience a few and not some of them. But to be a proper individual , you have to experience, feel and be able to display all the Rasa's(Emotions). Otherwise you are a deficient individual. Any behaviour or Emotional state towards or aginst a rasa or some of the rasa creates a imbalance. When we are born, we are not biased towards or against any Rasa's. But our external condition and internal responses creates these imbalances. To remove imbalances, we should become aware of all the rasa in us(All Rasa's exist in everyone of us). In our lives, all these Rasa's will arise. The Intelligence is not blocking or avoiding or overplaying any rasa but handling them in a wise manner. Your response is the key.

Positive and Negative Rasas
There are positive and negative rasas according to us. One which bring happiness is Positive and one which bring sorrow is negative. But actual truth is there is no positive or negative rasa. Some positive rasa(according to you) can become negative rasa. At first glance shringara rasa can be really positive one. But if one overindulges in that, it becomes negative rasa as it ruins life. So we have to treat each rasa without bias that is without fear or favour. So attachment to any Rasa or opposite is not healthy. The Intelligence is to concentrate on Karma (Action) not on the Rasa(Emotion), eventhough being aware of Rasa.

Awareness of Rasa
Being aware of the Rasa's is key to success. When we are aware of the Rasa, we know what we are feeling. So we don't have to take automatic programmed route that Rasa directs. We are programmed to respond to a rasa in a particular way through our evolution from childhood. When we are aware of the Rasa, then we can respond in correct way, then respond in a programmed way.

Ride the Rasa
Think rasa as wave that comes. You can use the rasa to ride to someplace or get toppled by it. This of course requires lot of intelligence , skill and tact. But practice makes perfect. Using Rasa's to your advantage is the best way to build your life. Because Rasa are like life or life's energy. See and interpret how to deal with rasa's.

All the Rasa make our head pain. So instead withdraw from all the emotions and observe. Become a audience to your Rasa's. So you can see how they play out. You can see how the rasa comes and how you respond. So next time you know what to do and when to do.

Think like a Dancer
As a dancer you should be able to display all your Rasa(Dificient in one rasa makes you imperfect). Displaying the Rasa is not the key, conveying a particular thought process is the key. Story the dancer conveys is the key. For conveying the story the dancer uses Rasa. Similarly in life you should use rasa to meet a particular end, not get used by the rasa. Good luck

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life is your Goal

Bhagavat Gita says  "The Journey is your goal"
That is Life you live or the Journey is your goal. There is nothing beyond it. No Heaven, No Hell. The Hell and Heaven are right here. So Concentrate on what you do. How you live. On being inspired by this motto. I am writing this article on Achieving things in life.

a)Your response to life
There are two types of Approach
2.Away From
The former involves moving towards a desired place, so positive.
The latter involves desperate attempts to distance oneself from or get away from. So negative
The towards approach lasts longer and is empowering since you are concentrating on what you want, not what you don't want. This step is fundamental to what kind of life you lead.  If you have towards approach then you are a Active person. Setting goals and achieving them. If you are Away from person, you are reactive and reacts to the situation you are in. You are always running away from the  situation that you are in.  Well nobody can be purely Towards or Purely Away from persons. But if  you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

b)Aware of your Wants
You should know what you want. Then it becomes easier to work towards it. This Want is exact opposite of what you don't want. Be positive and declare what you want, rather than what you don't want. So once you know what you want. The job is half done. You also in this way tap into your unique person. Something others are not aware of , so most advice given by them will not work.

c)Sub Goals
You should have series of Sub goals.Which is necessary for you to keep track of progress towards goal. Whatever task is given divide into a series of sub goals. And see to it that the sub-goals help in progressing towards the goal. It is like the old story of breaking the Bundle of Logs. If you take them one by you can easily break the whole bundle in no time.

d)Focus on progress
Always fight towards progress. Don't get disheartened , Don't get Disturbed. Like Shark going towards the prey cling to it. Don't leave until you get prey. Like the Shark attacking the distance between the prey and itself and gradually reducing the distance. You should focus on moving towards to the goal, however insignificant the progress is. Sometimes you may feel, you are galloping towards the goal, sometimes you may feel you are not moving at all. The trick is taking those tiny improvements towards the goal. Avoid actions which do not help in progress.

e)Get Started
You can think all you want about achieving goals, you can plan sub goals. But nothing happens until you start. You can monitor your progress only if you start. So Start running.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keep Yourself Sharp

Everybody wants to sharp, Let us see how we can become sharp. 
Nobody can remember everything,so don't beat yourself
Nobody can remember everything, so relax if you don't remember something. Don't blame yourself and put down yourself. You have to use variety of things to remember everything. They include simple note taking to recording the conversation. Daily make a list of things to be done and keep ticking them as you do them. You will also feel something accomplished at each tick and once you finished the whole page, you can treat yourself.

Challenge yourself
Ordinary is just plain boring. You can start to do things in a better way be it your job or talking to your kid. Try set some impossible goals. Try to do things deliberately in a different way. It sharpens you mind. Solve problems on Logic, Problem solving, Mental orientations and corrective thought process.

Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
Take care of your Health, Healthy eating, Exercise , Sufficient Sleep help to keep one sharp. If you fall ill your sharpness and productivity decreases sharply. Drink plenty of water.

Express Yourself
Be Forthcoming with your thoughts, Emotions and actions. This makes your mind the effort and thus make you sharp and active.

Never old to learn
Whatever be the age you can learn, Lenin learnt Bycycling in old Age. Many of the Businessman learnt their techniques of business very late and became successful. So it is never late to try and learn new things. Learn some skills and Management to do things well.

Complement Yourself.
Treat yourself as you treat others. Some of us can set very high standards and become biggest critic of our actions and results. Always compliment yourself regardless what others say about your successful actions. You can divide large projects into small projects and complement yourself of achieving every mini goal you have set to achieving the larger goal.

Clarify your thoughts and set your goals., Know what you want to become in life. Especially clarity on the purpose of each action you undertake, thatway you bring clarity to your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Self Esteem
Always look for positives, just not the negatives. That is count your blessings or keep a bragging journal, that way your can improve your self esteem. Self esteem is essential for analyzing the situation dispassionately and thus making you sharp.

Slave to Technology
Cut the tech, use your mind more. That should be more. Man is very smart in making tools that substitute the work he does that is why we are the most intelligent compared to other animals. But the flip side is decrease in sharpness. Cut the technology and use yourself more. Make calculations by hand, Call on people than leaving a message etc.

Your own Master
Make your decisions, Keep your own agenda , not set by others. Some can be doing the agenda set by others, which leads to disinterest in what we are doing and why we are doing. So decide for yourself what you are going to do and do it at your own time, not set by others.

Take a Break, Relax to your hobby. Dont always pushing for things. Take hobby not related to your profession and enjoy.

Work = Life
Make your every action a journey, not a task.  Like it is said in Bhagavat Gita :Path is life. The Path you undertake is life. That Journey is your life. Dont focus too much on the result. Enjoy the process.

Sleep enough and well. Sleep recharges your body and refreshes your brain. Brain organises the days information in the night. So sleep is as essential as the work you do.

Eat Healthy
Ayurveda Says you are what you eat. So eat what is good for you and your body. Eat in proper quantities and proper proportions in healthy nutrients. Eat to your work need.

Cut Bad Habits and Cultivated Goods habits. Habits is what gives us consistency and ultimately defines Us. A Man is what is habits are. So Develop healthy successful habits.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to Avoid Heart Burn

This is an article based on  experiences around me  then any great amount of research on the topic in a academic way.

Steps to combat Heart Burn

1. Eat Early 
Eat Early , and give sufficient time before you go to bed. Heartburn  is easier to manage when you are awake and sitting then when you are half asleep. This technique also saves next day from ruin  as you sleep well and you sleep well to wake up fresh.

2, Avoid Milk before Bed
Milk is not ideal before going to bed. Many health mandarins will say a warm glass of milk enhances your night sleep. My experiences will Heartburn is milk is composed of  lot of fat and many substances which takes  a long time to digest. So your digestive system does is very active. So avoid milk or any fatty intake before bed.

3. Avoid Oily Foods
Avoid oily substance like poison especially in the evening times. The oily food is digested over a period of long time, which means your heartburn can hit you any time with oily food. Oily substances are not water solvable, so the body secretes a substance to bind and is absorbed directly to blood stream , a complex process so easily can cause problems.

4. No Fruits before Bed
Why avoid fruits,  they are supposed to be help in digestion. Yes the fruits helps in digestion, but they also produce lot of gases which create their own problems. Especially the acidic ones like lemon , orange, tomato etc.

5. Exercise , Go for a walk
Going to a walk or exercise helps in better digestion, but this should be done before you eat. The evening walk definitely helps.

6. Avoid water
Avoid water particularly more than a glass just before or after dinner. Your Stomach miscalculates the amount of gastric juice needed to digest and misfires. The result is heartburn. Leave at least two to three hours to elapse before drinking large quantity of water.

7. Avoid Caffeine
Avoid coffee , Tea , Cola in the evening times. Coffee and tea makes you thirsty and also sometimes upsets stomach. So avoid  after four of clock in the evening , better restrict your intake to two cups a day.

8. Large meal
Avoid large meal at night , it makes the stomach to work hard and long. Have the Full meal in the morning or evening when you need the most. Follow the popular adage, Eat like a king in the morning, Pauper in the afternoon and like a beggar in the evening.

9.Count your bites
Most of the heartburn is caused by eating fast or not eating properly. You have to chew the meal slowly , so that the stomach has the work easy. Swallowing large pieces of food makes the stomach miscalculate the amount of gastric juices to be secreted and hence heartburn

10.Reduce weight
Keep the body weight to optimum

11.Avoid Sugar
Avoid all types of sugar items like candy, chewing gums to sweets , chocolates,desserts.

12. Consult a doctor
you may have GERD, You can treat GERD  if found early.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Software recommendation list

 The Softwares I use for my personal use not projects and useful to everyone, I have no problem in recommending to you. Most of them are free.
  1.  Avast  Avast Free Antivirus is a full-featured product, with the same antivirus and anti-spyware scanning engine used in our premium products. Leaner and meaner version 6.0 provides even faster protection than its predecessor and offers a web-reputation browser extension as well as virtualization technology. Accurate threat updates via avast! CommunityIQ technology ensure worry-free downloading, surfing, social networking, and gaming--for over 140 million registered users (and over 120 million active user
  2. 7 Zip  (  Zips and Unzips almost anything.)
    • 7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio.
    • 7-Zip is open source software. It is Free.
    • High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
    • Supported formats:
    • Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    • Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z.
    • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
    • Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
    • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
    • Integration with Windows Shell
    • Powerful File Manager
    • Powerful command line version
    • Plugin for FAR Manager
    • Localizations for 74 languages
  3. Adobe Acrobat Reader
      Adobe Reader software is the global standard for electronic document sharing. It is the only PDF file viewer that can open and interact with all PDF documents. Use Adobe Reader to view, search, digitally sign, verify, print, and collaborate on Adobe PDF files. It is Free.
  4.  Cowan Media Centre - Jet Audio  After the Songbird became a big nuisance switched to Cowan  Media Centre and Jet Audio. It is Free and  Its Features are                                                      Supports All Major File Formats
        Video Conversion
        Audio CD burning
        Tag Editing
        Multi-channel sound ouput
        Internet CD Database
        Convenient album management & Playlist
        Remote Controller   
        Media Center Window
        Audio Conversion
        Audio CD Ripping
        Internet Broadcasting
        Various sound effects
        Speed Control
        Synchronized Lyric (Karaoke)
        Alarm & Timer
        Superb Crystal-Clear Sound
        Toolbar mode
  5. EverNote
      Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use. For free.
    • Capture Everything - Chances are, if you can see it or think of it, Evernote can help you remember it. Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot. Evernote will keep it all safe.
    • Organize - Everything you capture is automatically processed, indexed, and made searchable. If you like, you can add tags or organize notes into different notebooks.
    • Find Anything Fast - Search for notes by keywords, titles, and tags. Evernote magically makes printed and handwritten text inside your images searchable, too.

  6. Firefox
    I like firefox from the start and it has remained so that is the secret of the success. There is a better one in Chrome ,but I need all the privacy I can get. Checkout the Addons I use. It is Free

  7. Free Download Manager
    What is Free Download Manager? It is a powerful, easy-to-use and absolutely free download accelerator and manager. Moreover, FDM is 100% safe, open-source software distributed under GPL license. No spurious pumping of data. It is Free
    • Increase your download speed and resume broken downloads
    • HTTP/FTP/BitTorrent support
    • Flash video download
    • Enjoy easy file sharing
    • Enjoy safer and more rewarding downloading 
  8. Google Desktop
    There are lot of things Google Desktop can do, but the main use is to find info wherever the data is hidden on your desktop. It is Free
    • Search your computer as easily as you search the web with Google
    • Find and launch applications and files with just a few keystrokes

  9. Google Earth
    Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others. The Main use is to find routes and addresses. It is Free

  10. Money Manager Ex 
    Money Manager Ex is the Baby Bear of financial managers--not too big, not too small; not too hard, not too easy. It is just right. For anyone whose finances are big enough to need frequent attention but not so large as to need a constant accountant, Money Manager Ex tracks money as it comes in and goes out. It'll let you know how much your investments have earned, when the bills are coming due, and if your cash flow is flowing down the toilet.
    While the program can import Excel spreadsheets and produce reports that let you examine your finances from a choice of viewpoints, you cannot pay bills, or make bank deposits or withdrawals, or calculate your taxes. But then, if it could do all that, it would start looking like Papa Bear and you'd wind up hiding from all the work it would try to get you to do. Money Manager Ex is free
  11. Nero
    The easy and complete solution for creating, burning, back up, and more! It comes with your DVD drive.

  12. OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. Forget MS office.

  13. RednoteBook  
    It includes a calendar navigation, customizable templates, export functionality and word clouds. You can also format, tag and search your entries. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.  It is the best Dairy Application
        Spell Check
        Format your text bold, italic or underlined
        Insert Images, files and links to websites
        Links and mail addresses are recognized automatically
        Automatic saving
        Backup to zip archive
        Word Clouds with most often used words and tags
        Export the journal to PDF, HTML, Latex or plain text
        The data is stored in plain text files, no database is needed
        Translated into more than 20 languages
  14. Rescue Time
    • Automagical time tracking. RescueTime measures which application, site, or (optionally) document name is being used and automatically ignores idle time.
    • An easy and powerful reporting tool allowing you to identify problem spots and trends.
    • The ability to pause tracking for some privacy, or even delete bits of your own time (but they can't add productive time that didn't happen!)
    • Access to your data via API: have an intranet, or business intelligence platform? Reuse your RescueTime data as you please!
      It is Free for Individual use.
       it gives the time lost in meaningless pursuits. If you starts using the time tracking application, you will be shocked to see how much time is wasted.
  15. SpyBot
    Spybot - Search & Destroy is an anti-malware application designed for on-access and on-demand scanning and removal of various kinds of malware, including spyware, adware, hijackers and trojan horses.

  16. VLC Media Player
    VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Media Player is used for all the Videos. It is Free.

  17. Yahoo Messenger
    Yahoo Messenger is the only messenger I use and it has simple and good at what I need it for communication. Chat, Talk and now Video calling. It is free.

  18. Zimbra Desktop
    After the Thunderbird start crashing too often. I have to switch to Zimbra and it takes forever to start and once it starts then there is nothing to beat Zimbra. It is email client , Calender application,Collaboration suit.
    • Email, contacts, calendar, and documents all in one application
    • Syncs Zimbra, Yahoo! Mail , Hotmail, and Gmail email, contacts and calendars
    • Read email from any POP or IMAP email account including AOL, Hotmail or business email
    • Works on Windows, Apple, or Linux desktop computers
    • No limit to the size of your email storage
    • It works online and offline
    • Available in 20 languages
    • Now Twitter, Facebook and Dig on the client.
    • RSS reader and Much more
    • Tasks
    • BriefCase
  19. Plugins  Firefox
  • ReadIt Later
  • Adblock
  • Evernote Clipper
  • FlagFox
  • Free Download Manager Plugin
  • Minimize to Tray Plus
  • Search Preview
  • InterClue
  • TabMix Plus
  • WOT

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brain Rules

The brain is an amazing thing. Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know. Dr. John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist gives his 12 Brain Rules

#1: Exercise boosts brain power.

The human brain evolved under conditions of almost constant motion. From this, one might predict that the optimal environment for processing information would include motion.

Exercise improves cognition for two reasons:

  • Exercise increases oxygen flow into the brain, which reduces brain-bound free radicals. One of the most interesting findings of the past few decades is that an increase in oxygen is always accompanied by an uptick in mental sharpness.

  • Exercise acts directly on the molecular machinery of the brain itself. It increases neurons’ creation, survival, and resistance to damage and stress.

#2: The human brain evolved, too.

  • The brain is a survival organ. It is designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable outdoor environment and to do so in nearly constant motion (to keep you alive long enough to pass your genes on). We were not the strongest on the planet but we developed the strongest brains, the key to our survival.

  • The strongest brains survive, not the strongest bodies. Our ability to solve problems, learn from mistakes, and create alliances with other people helps us survive. We took over the world by learning to cooperate and forming teams with our neighbors.

  • Our ability to understand each other is our chief survival tool. Relationships helped us survive in the jungle and are critical to surviving at work and school today.

  • If someone does not feel safe with a teacher or boss, he or she may not perform as well. If a student feels misunderstood because the teacher cannot connect with the way the student learns, the student may become isolated.

  • There is no greater anti-brain environment than the classroom and cubicle.

#3: Every brain is wired differently.

  • What YOU do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like – it literally rewires it. We used to think there were just 7 categories of intelligence. But categories of intelligence may number more than 7 billion—roughly the population of the world.

  • No two people have the same brain, not even twins. Every student’s brain, every employee’s brain, every customer’s brain is wired differently.

  • You can either accede to it or ignore it. The current system of education ignores it by having grade structures based on age. Businesses such as Amazon are catching on to mass customization (the Amazon homepage and the products you see are tailored to your recent purchases).

  • Regions of the brain develop at different rates in different people. The brains of school children are just as unevenly developed as their bodies. Our school system ignores the fact that every brain is wired differently. We wrongly assume every brain is the same.

  • Most of us have a “Jennifer Aniston” neuron (a neuron lurking in your head that is stimulated only when Jennifer Aniston is in the room).

#4: We don't pay attention to boring things.

  • What we pay attention to is profoundly influenced by memory. Our previous experience predicts where we should pay attention. Culture matters too. Whether in school or in business, these differences can greatly effect how an audience perceives a given presentation.

  • We pay attention to things like emotions, threats and sex. Regardless of who you are, the brain pays a great deal of attention to these questions: Can I eat it? Will it eat me? Can I mate with it? Will it mate with me? Have I seen it before?

  • The brain is not capable of multi-tasking. We can talk and breathe, but when it comes to higher level tasks, we just can’t do it.

  • Driving while talking on a cell phone is like driving drunk. The brain is a sequential processor and large fractions of a second are consumed every time the brain switches tasks. This is why cell-phone talkers are a half-second slower to hit the brakes and get in more wrecks.

  • Workplaces and schools actually encourage this type of multi-tasking. Walk into any office and you’ll see people sending e-mail, answering their phones, Instant Messaging, and on MySpace—all at the same time. Research shows your error rate goes up 50% and it takes you twice as long to do things.

  • When you’re always online you’re always distracted. So the always online organization is the always unproductive organization.

#5: Repeat to remember.

  • The human brain can only hold about seven pieces of information for less than 30 seconds! Which means, your brain can only handle a 7-digit phone number. If you want to extend the 30 seconds to a few minutes or even an hour or two, you will need to consistently re-expose yourself to the information. Memories are so volatile that you have to repeat to remember.

  • Improve your memory by elaborately encoding it during its initial moments. Many of us have trouble remembering names. If at a party you need help remembering Mary, it helps to repeat internally more information about her. “Mary is wearing a blue dress and my favorite color is blue.” It may seem counterintuitive at first but study after study shows it improves your memory.

  • Brain Rules in the classroom. In partnership with the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, Medina tested this Brain Rule in real classrooms of 3rd graders. They were asked to repeat their multiplication tables in the afternoons. The classrooms in the study did significantly better than the classrooms that did not have the repetition. If brain scientists get together with teachers and do research, we may be able to eliminate need for homework since learning would take place at school, instead of the home.

#6: Remember to repeat.

  • It takes years to consolidate a memory. Not minutes, hours, or days but years. What you learn in first grade is not completely formed until your sophomore year in high school.

  • Medina’s dream school is one that repeats what was learned, not at home, but during the school day, 90-120 minutes after the initial learning occurred. Our schools are currently designed so that most real learning has to occur at home.

  • How do you remember better? Repeated exposure to information / in specifically timed intervals / provides the most powerful way to fix memory into the brain.

  • Forgetting allows us to prioritize events. But if you want to remember, remember to repeat.

#7: Sleep well, think well.

  • When we’re asleep, the brain is not resting at all. It is almost unbelievably active! It’s possible that the reason we need to sleep is so that we can learn.

  • Sleep must be important because we spend 1/3 of our lives doing it! Loss of sleep hurts attention, executive function, working memory, mood, quantitative skills, logical reasoning, and even motor dexterity.

  • We still don’t know how much we need! It changes with age, gender, pregnancy, puberty, and so much more.

  • Napping is normal. Ever feel tired in the afternoon? That’s because your brain really wants to take a nap. There's a battle raging in your head between two armies. Each army is made of legions of brain cells and biochemicals –- one desperately trying to keep you awake, the other desperately trying to force you to sleep. Around 3 p.m., 12 hours after the midpoint of your sleep, all your brain wants to do is nap.

  • Taking a nap might make you more productive. In one study, a 26-minute nap improved NASA pilots’ performance by 34 percent.

  • Don’t schedule important meetings at 3 p.m. It just doesn’t make sense.

#8: Stressed brains don't learn the same way.

  • Your brain is built to deal with stress that lasts about 30 seconds. The brain is not designed for long term stress when you feel like you have no control. The saber-toothed tiger ate you or you ran away but it was all over in less than a minute. If you have a bad boss, the saber-toothed tiger can be at your door for years, and you begin to deregulate. If you are in a bad marriage, the saber-toothed tiger can be in your bed for years, and the same thing occurs. You can actually watch the brain shrink.

  • Stress damages virtually every kind of cognition that exists. It damages memory and executive function. It can hurt your motor skills. When you are stressed out over a long period of time it disrupts your immune response. You get sicker more often. It disrupts your ability to sleep. You get depressed.

  • The emotional stability of the home is the single greatest predictor of academic success. If you want your kid to get into Harvard, go home and love your spouse.

  • You have one brain. The same brain you have at home is the same brain you have at work or school. The stress you are experiencing at home will affect your performance at work, and vice versa.

#9: Stimulate more of the senses.

  • Our senses work together so it is important to stimulate them! Your head crackles with the perceptions of the whole world, sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, energetic as a frat party.

  • Smell is unusually effective at evoking memory. If you're tested on the details of a movie while the smell of popcorn is wafted into the air, you'll remember 10-50% more.

  • Smell is really important to business. When you walk into Starbucks, the first thing you smell is coffee. They have done a number of things over the years to make sure that’s the case.

  • The learning link. Those in multisensory environments always do better than those in unisensory environments. They have more recall with better resolution that lasts longer, evident even 20 years later.

#10: Vision trumps all other senses.

  • We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65%.

  • Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. That takes time.

  • Why is vision such a big deal to us? Perhaps because it's how we've always apprehended major threats, food supplies and reproductive opportunity.

  • Toss your PowerPoint presentations. It’s text-based (nearly 40 words per slide), with six hierarchical levels of chapters and subheads—all words. Professionals everywhere need to know about the incredible inefficiency of text-based information and the incredible effects of images. Burn your current PowerPoint presentations and make new ones.

#11: Male and female brains are different.

  • What’s different? Mental health professionals have known for years about sex-based differences in the type and severity of psychiatric disorders. Males are more severely afflicted by schizophrenia than females. By more than 2 to 1, women are more likely to get depressed than men, a figure that shows up just after puberty and remains stable for the next 50 years. Males exhibit more antisocial behavior. Females have more anxiety. Most alcoholics and drug addicts are male. Most anorexics are female.

  • Men and women handle acute stress differently. When researcher Larry Cahill showed them slasher films, men fired up the amygdale in their brain’s right hemisphere, which is responsible for the gist of an event. Their left was comparatively silent. Women lit up their left amygdale, the one responsible for details. Having a team that simultaneously understood the gist and details of a given stressful situation helped us conquer the world.

  • Men and women process certain emotions differently. Emotions are useful. They make the brain pay attention. These differences are a product of complex interactions between nature and nurture.

#12: We are powerful and natural explorers.

  • The desire to explore never leaves us despite the classrooms and cubicles we are stuffed into. Babies are the model of how we learn—not by passive reaction to the environment but by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. Babies methodically do experiments on objects, for example, to see what they will do.

  • Google takes to heart the power of exploration. For 20 percent of their time, employees may go where their mind asks them to go. The proof is in the bottom line: fully 50 percent of new products, including Gmail and Google News, came from “20 percent time.”


Brain Rules

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Real estate - Complications

Traditionally real estate in the form of the house that we live in has been the single largest investment for most of us. This is seen not only in India but across the world. Let us now apply the metrics that we attribute to investments in general to real estate and see the answers that come up.

Current income

If the investment is on the house that we live in ourselves, there is no current income. This is one of the main negatives about the house that we live in. In a financial cash flow perspective given by Robert Kiyosaki, it is not an asset. Because the house is cash flow negative owing to the maintenance activities and tax that we have to pay for it.

Rent from a house or commercial property is a good source of current income. Although at current bank rates the rent from a house is generally only about ½ of the loan EMI, the catching up happens only after the loan is closed. A 1000 square feet house will cost conservatively about Rs 2500/- per square feet (in B class cities like Coimbatore, Kolhapur, Guntur, etc) leading to the house value of Rs 25 lakhs. A loan for 80 per cent of the value (Rs 20lakhs) at current interest rates (9 per cent) and 15 years term will require an EMI of about Rs 20,300. The rent for the same house in the mentioned cities may not top even Rs 10,000.

If we had 5 per cent yearly increment on the rent as part of the agreement with the tenant, the rent will be equal to the EMI in the 14th year.

Another aspect of the real estate property which requires attention is that the cost of maintenance also keeps growing. For example, Akash had to spend Rs 35,000 for a sump rework in a house build by his grandfather. The original cost for the construction of the house itself was only Rs 30,000 including the compound wall, and a fountain in 1967.

So a fully paid up rental property is an asset with good current income otherwise financially it is a liability.

Capital appreciation

Real estate appreciates in capital - particularly the land. The building generally depreciates. Recently the National Housing Bank launched the Residex, an index which will track the capital appreciation of real estate house properties. The data is updated for 3 years now. Over a period of time, the index can be used as a good measure for the capital appreciation of housing properties.

A key aspect of the capital appreciation is that, it can be realised only when it is sold. And generally the house that we live in is the last of the assets that we sell. This has to be factored in before we make the house the largest investment in our lives.

The capital appreciation of the house can favorably be used in the form of a mortgage loan for business purpose or in the form of a reverse mortgage post retirement. The land that cost Akash's grandpa Rs 100/- per cent, is today worth Rs 600,000/- per cent. This is at a compounded annual growth rate of 23 per cent. Other property locations (grandsons) may or may not be so fortunate.


The risk with real estate is that it can go down sharply. The current worldwide economic turmoil is because of real estate prices dropping more than the expectation. The other risk is related to its liquidity itself.

Real estate prices in India do not have a formal/scientific basis for quoting. Brokers are the key pins holding the structure together. The same property may be quoted at different prices by the same broker for selling and for buying. The difference in amount goes to the broker this, apart from their consulting fees. The pity is that often the difference is more than the profit for the owner of the property itself.

The other risk is that only a portion of the sale price may be registered, the rest is paid as 'grey or black money'. Accepting such deals are counter-productive when we go for the selling as we have to bear the brunt of extraordinary capital gains.

The situation is changing but very slowly for comfort.


Real estate is probably the most illiquid of all common investment avenues. If there is an urgency to sell a property the value could drop drastically. Selling at 'market price' is counted in number of months not days.

Tax treatment

Real estate attracts capital gains tax. The advantage is that we can use indexation benefits to our advantage. The indexation index is announced every year by the Income tax department. This is a number which links the inflation to property values. By using indexation, we can estimate the true appreciation of the real estate after adjusting for inflation.

The tax on the sale of the only house or agricultural property can be brought down to zero by reinvesting the sale proceeds in a new house or agricultural property. The capital gains can also be invested in low interest yielding capital gains bonds.


Real estate has a low level of convenience. It requires a large corpus for investment leading most of us to take up loans. Here are a few smart marketing companies that sell land in installments. However the overall cost for such deals is very high compared to one time payments.

The decision after buying a property cannot be reversed quickly or economically. The cost for registration, brokerage charges and taxes prevent us from getting rid of a wrong purchase quickly.


Traditionally, real estate has been the major investment avenue across the world. The trend is not due for a change as the capital appreciation is good. However the points to be thought about are that:

Capital appreciation can be enjoyed only when the property is sold or when the value is unlocked through a mortgage loan or reverse mortgage.

The house that we live in is not a financial asset as it has negative cash flow.

Rent proves to be a stable and reliable source of income especially in Bangalore. This however is only applicable to properties that are free from loans.

Overall convenience is low for real estate


Friday, November 20, 2009

Formation of Perceptions

In the Yoga Sutra Pattanjali dedicates one whole section to the mind. This section deals with the concept of perception. It suggests that we see an event and create a perception. This then becomes our reality, however, we may well have deceived ourselves in the view we took to gain that perception. Yet although we may perceive an event quite incorrectly, these impressions in the mind can be very difficult to change.

Perceptions become unconscious responses to events. They run our lives, sabotaging relationships, businesses, health and success.

The Yoga Sutra acknowledges that all we see, hear and think in our mind is real—there is no difference between reality and imagination: all combines to make up our perception of life. These perceptions of life, whether experienced in reality or in our imagination, are not differentiated. We are therefore run by perception.

There are two levels of perception, the external and the internal. One from the mind or subconscious and the other from a deeper place. The goal of Yoga is to clear aside the surface perceptions of the subconscious mind long enough for the inner perception to become clear. This inner perception is referred to as truth, inner knowing or higher self. It creates certainty, knowing and fulfilment in our lives.

Four main elements create our outer perceptions.
  • The ego, or comparative perception, which always wants to be better than another.
  • The demanding perception which seeks pleasure, wanting to re-create good feelings and pleasurable situations
  • The avoiding perception which tries to keep away from pain. Stems from a belief that something bad has happened and tries to avoid it ever happening again. This causes us to reject things we know little about.
  • The fear perception which is afraid that we will be judged, may be wrong, will grow old, or may miss something. This all culminates in a feeling of uncertainty and doubt.
We fear only the future, we have guilt only of the past. Yoga’s objective is to bring us into
the moment where we are fully present. In this state, neither fear nor guilt exist.

When we act on the basis of these outer perceptions we will make moves that do not come from our heart. It is called unconsciousness, or being in the head or out of the moment, i e not present. Such action creates chains of events which eventually bring us to question the basis on which we are making decisions and living our lives, and this leads us eventually back to our heart.

When we see and feel from within we experience no tension and no agitation. We feel calm and unmoved; our heart can stay open and we are therefore free to be fully present. We are, in that time, our true self.

Try Yoga it helps.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Art of Talking

Talking is such a natural act we tend to take it for granted. But when you think about it, this life skill is crucial to the development and maintenance of strong and healthy relationships. Our talking habits can also be very revealing of our personality. Some people talk too much - they are the kind of people you try to avoid at a party. Others avoid talking when actually it would help quite a lot.The following are a few suggestions for getting the right balance between being a talkative bore and a shy recluse.

When We Talk Too Much

Nervousness / Insecurity
Sometimes we talk out of insecurity and nervousness. We feel it is our obligation to fill any silence with conversation - even if it is mostly meaningless and conversation just for the sake of it. Often, if we lack a sense of inner poise, we cover up by nervously chattering. But if we have nothing interesting, worthwhile or important to say, we should not worry about keeping quiet. Don’t feel obliged to force conversation; be at peace with yourself and allow conversation to be natural.

Talking About Yourself
Talking about yourself is the biggest mistake people tend to make. There is someone at work who is terrible at talking about himself and his activities. If you go to ask for a paper clip, you will have to endure several minutes of hearing about his recent camping holiday. Do matter how much you fidget and signal that you are completely bored - he won’t stop his monologue. All you want is a paper clip, but you have to endure the tedious exploits of an Englishman camping in Provence.

The general rule for talking is that we talk to serve others not ourselves. When talking we should be offering something to the other person such as humor, information, consolation, entertainment… basically anything so long as it is worthwhile for the other person. But, if we talk only about ourselves and feed our ego, we might as well just be talking to ourselves.
Hint, look at people’s body language. If they are trying to make an exit, if they have their head in their hands, if they are staring off into the distance, or if they keep trying to butt in, it means they are bored with your monologue on your recent camping holiday. You can rest your vocal chords.

Talking about people’s bad qualities, perhaps even exaggerating their mistakes and foibles, is a bad habit. It is unfortunate that social and work situations often lead to people gossiping about others. However, just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean we have to join in. The problem is that we often get sucked in to criticizing others when inwardly we would rather not join in. This is a situation where there is no harm in keeping silent. People will respect someone who can remain aloof from gossipy situations. If you criticize others at the earliest opportunity you will not be trusted, but gain a reputation as an unreliable friend. It is in situations like this where there is a great dignity in maintaining silence.

Running Commentary Watching TV / Video
Sometimes a good film can be spoiled by a ‘know it all’ who feels obliged to offer a running commentary. One of my favorite films - Lord of the Rings part II was ruined because two friends had a running argument about whether it was true to the book. “But, Gandalf’s horse wasn’t white in the book….” “Yes, but, I’m sure the Elf’s ears weren’t as pointy as that.” Does it really matter? Do everyone a favor and let us enjoy the film. One other example: the last football world cup was painful enough with England playing badly; but, it was made infinitely worse because my good friends persistent and repetitive criticism of the 4-5-1 formation. When things go badly, it is not necessary to repeatedly point them out, it only makes our suffering worse.

When You Have Nothing Good To Say
My Mother used to say. “If you can’t think of anything good to say about someone, then say nothing.” Useful advice, but, how many people put it into practice?

When We Talk Too Little

Ignoring Newcomers Because it is Too Much Effort
It is easy to become insular, we want to only talk to people whom we know. We tend to ignore newcomers because it requires extra effort and it requires us to step out of our comfort zone. However, this is a case where it is good to make an effort. Newcomers will appreciate our effort to extend a hand of friendship. By not talking to new people we become more self absorbed in a small circle of people. We should be willing to talk to new people and make them feel welcome.

In How to Resolve Conflicts in Your Relationships, one suggestion I made was that it is a big mistake to bottle up resentment about other people. If we have grievances about someone else it is often helpful to talk, even if it is not about the problem directly. Talking often helps to clear the air and realize that small misunderstandings are just that - misunderstandings and not a reason to develop a dislike of the person. As long as we talk with a good attitude, without anger and resentment then talking will help to alleviate many situations.

Sometimes we feel almost too proud to talk to some people. We have a subtle feeling of superiority that prevents us talking to people ‘lower’ than us. For example, would you talk to the company cleaner, and get to know them by name? It is a mistake to be aloof because of different social position.

Some people think that shyness has a certain cuteness. However, shyness often prevents us from expressing our real personality and from talking people we would like to. Shyness springs from insecurity and fear about saying the wrong thing. But, this is the wrong approach; as long as we are true to our selves we should not worry about saying the wrong thing. We shouldn’t feel obliged to try and impress others. Don’t let shyness be a barrier to talking to people.

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Tell Me about Yourself

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

8 body pains you should not ignore

No one wants it, yet it's the body's way of getting your attention when something is wrong. There is pain that is tolerable and that you can work through, perhaps the result of moving furniture a day or two before, and then there is body pain that you need to sit up and listen to. A person should know that minor pains that are constant could be a sign of something serious. Millions of people out there don't always stop to listen to what their body is saying and end up suffering adverse consequences later.

Learning the difference, and especially knowing which more common pains you need to be on guard for, will ensure that you will not regret having missed the signs when you develop a more complicated condition later on.

Here are the pains you mustn't ignore:

1. Worst and occasional headache

It may be a sign of brain tumour or brain haemorrhage which require an immediate medical attention. If the headache is accompanied by a cold, it might be a sign for a sinus headache. In either case, it's always better to get it checked out. You're also advised to check your thyroid.

Perhaps most people get headaches at some point in their lives, so this is not a definite sign of brain tumours. You should mention it to your doctors if the headaches are: different from those you ever had before, are accompanied by nausea/vomiting, are made worse by bending over or straining when going to the bathroom.

2. Pain or discomfort in the chest

Pain or discomfort in the chest may be a sign of a heart attack or pneumonia. Many people with chest pain fear a heart attack. However, there are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are mildly inconvenient (such as heartburn, reflux, GERD etc), while other causes are serious, even life-threatening. Take note that heart conditions are typically linked to discomfort in the chest, but not pain. The discomfort associated with heart disease could also be in the upper chest, throat, jaw, left shoulder or arm, or abdomen and might be accompanied by nausea.

Too often people delay because they misinterpret it as heartburn or GI distress. Because of the risk of a heart attack, seek emergency professional medical attention immediately for any type of chest pain or chest tightness.

3. Pain between shoulder blades or in lower back

Although pain between the shoulder blades may signal that there is something wrong with the tissues, joints, ligaments or muscles around and within the shoulder region, it is not however always the case. Pain between shoulder blades or in lower back may indicate severe medical problems or conditions in the other organs of the body. It may be a sign of arthritis, heart attack or abdominal problems. Gallbladder disease may also manifest in the form of pain between shoulder blades or under the right shoulder blade. This may oftentimes be accompanied by vomiting. It may also be caused by liver cancer and oesophageal cancer (cancer in the oesophagus) due to an abnormal growth of cells.

4. Severe abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. Abdominal pain causes can range from extremely severe life-threatening conditions (such as acute appendicitis, abdominal aneurysm), to various less serious conditions (such as heartburn, reflux, gastroenteritis etc). Any symptom of abdominal pain needs prompt professional medical advice.

Severe abdominal pain may be a sign of intestinal blockages, stomach ulcers or pancreas and gallbladder problems. Intense attacks in your abdominal part, turning your face very pale, accompanied by vomiting, sweating and nausea could be due to stones in the gallbladder.

5. Repeated back pain

Repeated back pain may be a sign of a spine problem, internal organ problems, or a preliminary sign of slip disc.

6. Calf pain

Calf muscles are located at the back of lower leg. Calf pain is generally self-induced and is caused due to too much of exercise or lack of following proper methodology in exercise, especially related to stretching. However, sudden calf pain can be a sign of arterial insufficiency. This means that the arteries can't supply the calf with enough blood. Sometimes, this means you may have atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which needs close monitoring and sometimes medication.

One of the lesser known dangers is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that can occur in the leg's deep veins. It can be very serious if the clot breaks away from the calf and travels elsewhere causing pulmonary embolism (a clot in the lungs), which could be fatal. Sometimes there's just swelling without pain. If you have swelling and pain in your calf muscles, see a doctor immediately.

7. Burning sensation in feet/legs

A burning foot may be mild and local and easily treatable or it may indicate a more serious general medical problem that needs further investigation. In some cases, the problem may be so painful that it interferes with a person's sleep.

Burning feet can occur simply because of mechanical overload at the end of a long day, especially in those who are on their feet all day or are overweight. Infections, such as athlete's foot or fungal infection, also can cause burning feet. These problems can be easily remedied. But burning feet can also be a preliminary sign of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), perhaps due to diabetes or exposure to toxins. In these cases, burning feet require prompt medical attention.

8. Painful urination

Painful urination (dysuria) describes any pain, discomfort, or burning sensation during urination, usually felt in the urethra (the urinary outlet of bladder) or perineum (the area surrounding genitals). It is most often caused by an infection somewhere in the urinary tract, especially in women. In men, urethritis and prostate conditions are more frequent causes of painful urination. The location of pain or burning during urination is important to distinguish urethral pain from bladder pain or kidney pain.

The pain and the blood in your urine are also symptoms of bladder cancer, the fourth most common cancer in men. There's a 90 percent chance of fixing it if this disease is caught early.

The aches and pains are not the only problems that a person should notice. Experts also advise to never ignore petty things like fatigue or shortness of breath. Every time you encounter an abnormality in your health, talk to your doctor immediately.