Saturday, June 26, 2010

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"... I can see now how every successful start-up business is one that has quickly & correctly answered two very simple questions:

1) what is the most effective way of attracting customers?

2) what is the best way to keep these customers buying from you?

When problems arise - no matter what they are - the solutions must add one or both of two objectives:

1) lowering the cost of acquiring new customers;

2) increasing the lifetime value of each existing customer;

Even the stickiest problems in business - which are always people problems - can be analysed effectively by considering possible outcomes against these objectives... "

~ from the book, 'Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence', by business builder Michael Masterson;

[In a nut shell, his six steps, which require hard work & diligent efforts, are as follows:

1) Face the Facts — know what you need to do to put yourself on a path that will allow you to live well & retire comfortably;

2) Plan to Become Wealthy;

3) Develop Wealthy Habits;

4) Radically Increase Your Income via real estate, investing & othe rproven financial vehicles;

5) Get Richer While You Sleep via a steady stream of residual & passive income that will automatically flow into your pocket;

6) Retire Early;

By the way, to subscribe to Michael Masterson's free thought-provoking e-newsletter, 'Early to Rise', just visit http://www.earlytorise.com/.]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I refuse to treat diverse subjects as specialised areas of investigation, because it inhibits my ability to think intuitively, independently & comprehensively."

~ Planet Earth's friendly genius R Buckminster Fuller;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Wouldn't it be great to turn my failures not just into learning experiences, but into great moments?

THE ART OF NOW: SIX STEPS TO LIVING IN THE PRESENT

I have found the following beautiful piece of writing about 'living in the present' by Jay Dixit in Psychology Today.

Quoting Dr Ellen Langer at Harvard University, & author of 'Mindfulness':

"Everyone agrees it's important to live in the moment, but the problem is how... When people are not in the moment, they're not there to know that they're not there."

As Jay Dixit puts it at the beginning:

Overriding the distraction reflex and awakening to the present takes intentionality and practice.

Living in the moment involves a profound paradox: You can't pursue it for its benefits. That's because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come. There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it...

In a gist, here are a few strategies to help you along...

1: To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).

2: To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savoring).

3: If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).

4: To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow).

5: If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).

6: Know that you don't know (engagement).

I like the epilogue, which I reckon sums up the essence beautifully:

"... Mindfulness isn't a goal, because goals are about the future, but you do have to set the intention of paying attention to what's happening at the present moment. As you read the words printed on this page, as your eyes distinguish the black squiggles on white paper, as you feel gravity anchoring you to the planet, wake up. Become aware of being alive. And breathe. As you draw your next breath, focus on the rise of your abdomen on the in-breath, the stream of heat through your nostrils on the out-breath. If you're aware of that feeling right now, as you're reading this, you're living in the moment. Nothing happens next. It's not a destination. This is it. You're already there."

Readers can go to this link in Psychology Today to read the blogpost by the author in its entirety.

Friday, June 25, 2010

7 HABITS OF REALLY HAPPY PEOPLE

Here are seven habits that can be found in people who are always really happy. If you can practice these and turn them into habits you’ll be just as happy as them.

1. Don’t care what others think

They don’t care what others think or have to say. If they did, they wouldn’t let themselves free and be happy because of the possibility of scrutiny.

Really happy people also never let negative people and their attitudes get to them. Whatever the negative people say or do just rolls off the backs of the happy people.

2. Always looking at the bright side of things

No matter what situations are thrown at a happy person, they look for the bright side. Everything that is negative has a positive side to it. Negativity wouldn’t exist without positivity. Happy people know this and have practiced looking for the bright side so much that now it has become a habit. And even if a happy person can’t find the bright side of something, they’ll create it.

3. Being friendly

Happy people are always looking to make friends. They don’t care what you look like or what background you come from, they just want someone new to laugh and be happy with. And by default happy people are friendly; everyone wants to be happy as well and are drawn to them.

If you know a friendly person who is always making fun of others to bring them down, then they aren’t truly happy person. There’s something inside of them that they are insecure about.

4. Laugh & Smile

This habit goes along with being friendly. I have NEVER seen a happy person not smile or laugh. It just isn’t physically possible. However, a really happy person smiles so much that they turned it into a habit. You might even see them smiling for no real reason, it’s that natural to them. Laughing is another mandatory habit of really happy people. If you or they aren’t laughing, then there’s no true happiness.

5. Live in the moment

Really happy people make the most of every minute and day they have. They aren’t going to wait to have fun; they’re going to create fun now.

6. Push aside their troubles

Even if a happy person can’t find or create the positive side of a situation, they do the next best thing, they push it aside. They forget about it and move on because they know it’s only temporary and they know they can make their troubles leave even sooner.

7. Laugh in the face of fear

Just like the rest of us, really happy people have fears. Most of the time they just don’t display it. Happy people make jokes to lighten the mood and to make others feel more relaxed so they will too.

[Source: LYVED ~ LIFE & LIVING IT!]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"We live in the age of distraction. Yet one of life's sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present."

~ Jay Dixit, writing in his blogpost in Psychology Today, 'The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment';

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

How can I live more in the moment?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What ordinary moments do I love to treasure?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

PANAROMIC VIEWS OF THE SOUTHERN RIDGES: Alexandra Arch

[continued from the Last Post: Hilltop Walk & Forest Walk]






[to be continued in the Next Post: Floral Walk]

PANAROMIC VIEWS OF THE SOUTHERN RIDGES: Hilltop Walk & Forest Walk

[continued from the Last Post: Faber Trail & Henderson Waves]


















[to be continued in the Next Post: Alexandra Arch]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

“Whatever we are waiting for - peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance - it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”

~ Sarah Breathnach;

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"For innovation to occur, something more than the generation of a creative idea or insight is required: the insight must be put into action to make a genuine difference.

Putting ideas into action requires communication and strategic alignment.

The lack of organisational alignment and therefore the absence of communication around strategic goals and ideas is the single biggest reason initiatives are not successfully executed within organisations. What is required is a method of linking goals to activities, and making this information available and engaging."


~ StrategyBlocks.com, a new web-based software service, designed to help organisations successfully implement strategies;

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"It is more important to do what is strategically right than what is immediately profitable."

~ marketing guru Philip Kotler;

Monday, June 21, 2010

PUT A SHARK IN YOUR TANK & SEE HOW FAR YOU CAN REALLY GO...


While taking the cue from my good friend, Dilip Mukerjea, & with the help of my faithful Copernic Agent Pro, I have managed to trace the following fascinating story about sustaining aliveness in our life on the net:

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades.

So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.

To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.

However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish also brought a lower price in the market.

So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste.

The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan .

How did they conquer the crisis?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks, but with a small shark in each of them. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state.

The fish in the tank are constantly challenged, and hence, are always on the move in order to stay alive.

Transposing to the humankind: Have you realized that many of us are also living in a tank, but most of the time feeling bored, tired and spiritless?

So, we need a shark in our life to keep us mentally agile and kinesthetically mobile.

Basically in our mundane lives, sharks are the new challenges to keeping us in a lively state.

If you are steadily dealing with challenges, and tackling problems, you are on the ball. You think of your challenges and problems, and you get agitated & stay nimble. You are excited and eager to try out new solutions.

You have fun. More importantly, you are alive!

Don't create success, and revel in it in a state of "active inertia" (Thanks to Don Sull of the London Business School). You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a big difference.

Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go...

[By the way, do readers recall the classic advertising campaign of ESSO, now EXXON OIL, during the mid-sixties ~ 'Put a Tiger in Your Tank'?

The idea was that ESSO gasoline was so good & powerful than even your ramshackle car would roar like a tiger with "the tiger in your tank", so to speak!]

UNDERSTANDING PREDICTION

1. “Trying to predict the future based on research is like trying to drive a car by looking in the rear-view mirror.” (Marshall McLuhan)

2. “Prediction by analogy – creativity – is so pervasive we normally don’t notice it.” (Jeff Hawkins)

3. “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” (Niels Bohr)

4. “The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.” (Milton Friedman)

5. “Economists give their predictions to a digit after the decimal point to show that they have a sense of humor.” (Anon)

[Source: The Value Engineers: Quotation Quotient]

MARKETING DEFINED

1. “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” (Chartered Institute of Marketing)

2. “The purpose of marketing is to earn profit by adding the maximum value at minimum cost.” (Colin Milner)

3. “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.” (American Marketing Association)

4. “Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you.” (Jon Jantsch)

5. “Marketing is the art and science of chossing target markets and building profitable relationships with them; it’s the art of demand management.” (Philip Kotler)

6.“Marketing is the art of meaningful differentiation” (John Lederer)

[Source: The Value Engineers: Quotation Quotient]

MORE TIME TO READ MORE BOOKS, from Steve Leveen of Levenger

Here's are some wonderful suggestions - though belated - about leading a well-read life from Steve Leveen, founder & CEO of Levenger: Tools for Serious Readers.

No. 1: Read at least one book electronically

No. 2: Make your personal library of favorite books virtual by uploading your titles into one of the social networking sites for booklovers

No. 3: Interact with readers online

No. 4: Make at least one an audiobook

No. 5: Relish the reverse boovie: Watch the movie first, and then read the book. ier-than-air flying machines.

No. 6: Visit a library and take prisoners

No. 7: Visit a bookstore and take note of a changing landscape

No. 8: Read a book with a friend

No. 9: Read a book aloud to a loved one, or have them read to you

You go to this link to read the original blogpost from which the foregoing has been extracted. You can also refer to my earlier blogpost.

FINDING YOUR MOJO & GETTING IT TO WORK

According to Marshall Goldsmith, who is widely recognized as the world's leading authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting change, "mojo" is the moment when we do something that's purposeful, powerful, & positive and the rest of the world recognizes it.

Putting it in another perspective, "mojo" is that positive spirit- towards what we are doing - now - that starts from the inside - & radiates to the outside.

Mojo is at its peak when we are experiencing both happiness and meaning in what we are doing and communicating this experience to the world around us.

I reckon "flow" or "in the zone" is probably another way to express it.

Marshall Goldsmith also asserts that our professional & personal "mojo" is often impacted by four key factors, as follows:

1) IDENTITY ~ WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

2) ACHIEVEMENT ~ WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY?

3) REPUTATION ~ WHO DO OTHER PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE & WHAT HAVE YOU'VE DONE LATELY?

4) ACCEPTANCE ~ WHAT CAN YOU CHANGE & WHAT DO YOU NEED TO JUST LET IT GO?

Something worthwhile to ponder.

[Source: 'Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It', by Marshall Goldsmith]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"You cannot transcend what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself."

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Indian spiritual teacher & philosopher;

INSIGHT MINING FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS

According to marketing creativity expert Doug Hall, insight mining initiatives can start with spending more time with your customers.

He offers some great suggestions:

1) Observe how they use - or abuse - your products & services;

2) Hold a conversation about their likes/dislikes/frustrations;

3) Ask penetrating questions like:

a) What would be such a WOW that you'd willing to pay more $ for it?

b) If you could wave a magic wand, other than low price, what would you wish our products & services did for you?

[Doug Hall is the author of 'Jump Start Your Brain', 'Jump Start Your Business Brain', & 'Jump Start Your Marketing Brain'. He is founder/CEO of the training/consulting outfit known as 'Eureka! Ranch'.]

Sunday, June 20, 2010

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Have I learned something from a book that I thought I could learn only from personal experience? How was it?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices we make. In the long run, we shape our lives, & we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt;

CREATIVITY FREEBIES FOR READERS

Here are some freebies from the net:

From the corporate website of creativity expert, Charles 'Chic' Thompson, also author of 'What a Great Idea!' (1992 & 2007), readers can go & download the following e-Book as well as e-Posters:

[Readers can go to this link to read the first chapter of the foregoing book, which I had already reviewed in an earlier post.

The book contains an interesting - though belated - interview with Japan's inventor extraordinaire, Dr Nakamats.

More interestingly, Harvard Business School had actually conducted a case study on the work of the author.]

"Yes, but..." :

This is an e-book of lighthearted cartoons & idea strategy tools you'll need to bulletproof your great ideas.

Top Ten Killer Phrases &
Top Ten Empower Phrases:

These visual reminders, in the form of e-Posters, will help you create a mindset of collaboration & big ideas.