Category Archives: Arts

The Veblen Effect – Control the context and you control the mind.

At 23, Julius Caesar was a junior politician on the way up. But he had an advantage: confidence and brain.

While sailing across the Aegean Sea, he was captured by Sicilian pirates. They demanded a ransom: 20 talents of silver – That’s about 620kg, worth about $600,000 in today’s value.

Caesar told them they were being ridiculous. He couldn’t possibly allow himself to be ransomed so cheaply. The pirates hesitated, they were confused. Caesar insisted the ransom must be raised to 50 talents of silver – that’s around 1,550kg, worth about $1.5 million.

Now, the pirates didn’t know what to make of this. Normally, their captives tried to escape as cheaply as possible. They didn’t understand what was going on. But if he said he would double the ransom, why argue?

They let Caesar’s men go back to Rome to raise the money. And in Rome, in his absence, Caesar suddenly became very famous and well known. No-one had ever been ransomed for such an enormous sum ever before.

He must be very special, he must be incredibly important. Consequently, the demand for such amount of silver for ransom put Caesar on the political map and made him famous.

He had just invented the Veblen Effect. Although Thorstein Veblen wouldn’t give it that name for another 2,000 years.

Interestingly, the Veblen Effect is an effective psychological strategy that has being in use for thousands of years and generations. The best part is that despite the availability of so much of knowledge, technological advancement and information, The Veblen Effect refuses to let go.

The Veblen Effect is when consumers perceive higher-priced goods to be worth much more, simply because they cost more.

Like Rolex, Cartier, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Harrods, Cristal Champagne.

None of them may be actually any better than their cheaper alternatives, but the price alone makes them seem more desirable.

Caesar effectively made himself a Veblen brand. He placed a much higher value on himself than anyone in Rome. But, as far as anyone in Rome knew, it wasn’t him who had done it. It was an independent valuation. So it must be true. And because Caesar was now so highly valued, his men had little trouble raising the ransom. They returned to the island and freed him.

But Caesar wasn’t going to allow the pirates to keep that sort of money at all. As an important and famous man he had become, it was easy to raise a huge force which he used to hunt down the pirates and took back all the money, plus everything else they had pillaged, then executed all of them.

Thus, Caesar became both very rich and very famous.

And in time, with that same combination of confidence and brains, he became ruler of all Rome. And he presided over the golden age of the Roman Empire.

Expanding it from Spain to Germany, from Britain to the Middle East. Because Caesar knew that reality begins in the mind.

So the most important piece of real estate in which to stake a claim is the human mind.

How you stake a claim in the mind is by creating a perception. And how you create that perception is by controlling the context.

Control the context and you control the mind.

Control the mind and you control reality.

A good example of Veblen effect is Johny Walker Double Black!

JW Black is labelled at least 12 years aged scotch. But JW Double Black has no age statement!

JW Double Black is sold at a higher price than JW Black with a perceived notion that ‘double black’ should be much better than just ‘black’, especially since Double Black is pricier than Black! That is how the human mind works.

In reality, no one knows what is so special in Double Black, except that the label claims it to be very smooth, without actually saying it is smoother than Black!

Many believe that this is simply a marketing strategy to pass off un-aged scotch at a much higher price, through the Veblen Effect!

That’s how the Veblen Effect is a highly successful marketing strategy when correctly done.

Be Informed

Be Inspired.

The Sweet Spot: Passion, Profit, and Value!

The Sweet Spot – The Intersection of Passion, Profit, and Value

Passion, profit, and value is the key to sustainable results:

  • Passion.  Your passion is your fuel for making things happen.  In today’s skill-for-hire economy, one of your most important assets is your passion.  It’s you’re staying power, and your get up and go, especially when you get knocked down.  It’s how you get up again.  Passion is also a proxy for your values, strengths, and purpose.  Strengths can be skills, but in this case, I’m also thinking about your natural strengths … the stuff that comes easy for you, but might be tough for others.   We tend to love what we’re awesome at, and, our passion tends to help us get awesome to begin with.
  • Profit.  This is about how much you can make.  Just because you create tons of value, doesn’t mean you can make a profit, especially in an economy where free is the new price, and your competition gives away what you try to sell.  How do you know what’s making a profit?  You ask.  This is where your network comes in.  Also, your friendly neighborhood accountant might be the perfect source for knowing what’s making money, and what’s not.
  • Value.  The idea here is that if you’re creating value, you have a better chance of getting rewarded.  Value is in the eye of the beholder.  This means staying aware of what the market values and knowing that the market doesn’t always drive the right thing.  This also means being aware of intrinsic vs. market value. Intrinsic value is what something is really worth, while market value is what people are willing to pay, which could be wildly inflated.  Personally, I like to optimize around providing value for basic needs, and I’m cautious when market value and intrinsic value are out of whack … market corrections can be painful.

To give you an example of the passion, profit and value intersection, I have a passion for making others great.  There’s a certain market value to that.  I already do it for free, but if I wanted to profit from it, I would take on certain clients.  For example, if the President wanted me for his results coach, I’d give him my special presidential discount, but I would still expect to profit from the value I create.

OK, fine, I’d do it for free, so it’s not a great example.

Cutting Questions to Find Your Path

Here are some cutting questions to help find and test your paths …

  • What would you do for free?
  • What’s the minimum you need to make?
  • What’s your minimum and ideal life style?
  • How much do you need to fund your ideal life style?
  • Who has the job that you want that you can model from?

Guideline for Getting Results

Some guidelines for results …

  • Find the intersections of your passion, profit, and value.
  • Passion, profit and value are sliding scales … this gives you a lot of flexibility as well as trade-offs.
  • If you’re creating all value, and no profit, that’s a charity, and that won’t pay your bills.
  • If you’re playing to your passion, but creating no value, that’s a hobby.
  • If you do what you hate, you’ll suck your life force dry.
  • Find the job you love, or love the job your with.
  • You can love the job you’re with, by by changing your why or changing your how. 
  • Some hobbies can be turned into profit, if they create value.
  • Sometimes the key to unleashing your profit potential, is simply finding the right channel or platform.
  • Be careful what you get paid for, because if you externalize your reward, you can kill your passion.
  • Knowing the market demand and the profit potential can help you follow the money.
  • Money is a means, not an end.   When you’re below the line, it means everything.  Once you’re above the line, happiness is doing what you love and service to others … you know, the stuff Maslow taught us.

One important point here is that life’s not static and neither is the market.

One strategy is to follow the growth.  This includes following the growth in the market (think biotech, green, … etc.) as well as following paths that lead to your own personal growth.

It’s one way to keep the skills that pay the bills.

THE LEADER WITHIN US

Sooner or later we will discover the Leader within us. A good leader is someone who is in Control, gives Directions, Guidance, Headship, is an excellent Listener and has good management skills.

L – Listener

E – Effective

A – Ability

D – Direction

E – Extraordinary

R – Responsibility

Endurance

The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervour, live for it, and if need be, die for it – Alfred North

Educators take something simple and make it complicated. Communicators take something complicated and make it simple – John Maxwell

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example – Benjamin Disraeli

Perseverance is not a long race it is many short races one after another – Walter Elliot

Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure – Edward Eggleston

Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all – Dwight Eisenhower

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting –Johann Von

Rule your mind or it will rule you – Horace

Slump, and the world slumps with you. Push and you push alone – Laurence Peter

To win without risk is to triumph without glory – Pierre Corneille

Tough times never last, but tough people do –Robert Schuller

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being – Von Goethe

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan – John Kennedy

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit – Conrad Hilton

Successful leaders have the courage to take action while others hesitate – John Maxwell

The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses – Napoleon Hill

The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associated smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting thins and are willing to pay for such talents – Amos Parrish

The best leaders of all, the people know not they exist. They turn to each other and say, we did it ourselves – Zen Saying

Of all the properties which belong to honourable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character – Henry Clay

The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged – Ovid

The same hammer that shatters the glass forges the steel – Proverb

One man with courage makes a majority – Andrew Jackson

Nurture you mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes – Benjamin

One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life – Edward Butler

One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this – Don

One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire – John Foster

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency – Arnold Glasgow

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down – Mary Pickford

You must be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might – Henry Thoreau

You must play boldly to win- Arnold

Your opinions are limited only by your fears – Joseph Jambu

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor – James

It is no use for a leader to surround himself with ten yes-men – Nelson Mandela

Goals

When the solution is simple, God is answering – Albert

It is the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative actin, that man finds his supreme joys – Antoine

Whenever I get to a low point, I go back to the basics. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” It comes down to passion – St. James

If you follow you bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else – Campbell

Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence – Bernard

There are one hundred and ninety nine ways to get beat, but only one way to win; get there first – Willie

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience – Joseph Jambu

Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission – ZigZiglar

The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through – Harry

The Jack of all trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim – Napoleon

There is no use whatever trying to help people who do don help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb himself – Andrew

There is only one way……to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it – Dale

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing their inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives – William

Rather fall with honor than succeed by fraud – Sophocles

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal – Ralph

The great thing in the wold is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving – Oliver

Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there – John

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them – John

Leadership is the ability of a single individual through his or her actions to motivate others to higher levels of achievement – Rodgers

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions – Harold

Management is nothing more than motivating other people – Lee

Management works in the system; leadership works on the system – Covey

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it – Lou

Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example – Edward

Moral courage and character go hand in hand…..a man of real character is consistently courageous, being imbued with a basic integrity and a firm sense of principle – Martha

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it – Dwight

Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty. Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense – Churchill

When you are in a valley, keep your goal firmly in view and you will get the renewed energy to continue the climb – Denis

You are the person who has to decide. Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside; you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you’ll lead or will linger behind. Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are – Edgar

The successful men of today are men of one overmastering idea, one unwavering aim, men of single and intense purpose – Orison

Honesty and Humility

Cherish your human connections: your relationship with friends and family – Bush

Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customer. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships – Ross

How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you – Dan

Developing excellent communication skill is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a massage across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter –Amelio

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself – Anna

A big man is one who makes us feel bigger when we are with him – John

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing – George

You can’t do everything at once, but you can do something at one – Calvin

A real leader faces the music, even when he doesn’t like the tune – Joseph Jambu

You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too – Sam

I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occassions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why…. I succeed – Michael Jordan

You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself – Gene

No executive has ever suffered because his subordinates’ were strong and effective – Peter

No man is capable of self-improvement if he sees no other model but himself – Conrado

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history – William

The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has – Confucius

The cynic says, “One man can’t do anything”. I say, “Only one man can do anything” – John

The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people – Woodrow

The tallest trees are most in the power of the winds, and ambitious men of the blasts of fortune – William

We have the high salaries and we are living in luxury: that destroys our capacity to speak in a forthright manner and tell people to tighten their belts – Nelson Mandela

Leaders

Leaders are problem solvers by talent and temperament by choice – Harlan

Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal – Vince

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be – Carter

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership – Dwight

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things – Niccolo

Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader – Newcomb

Remember, what you get by reaching your destination isn’t nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals – what you will become is the winner you were born to be! – ZigZiglar

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant – Max

The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive – Joe

The function of the leader is to produce more leaders, not more followers – Ralph

The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players – Lee

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it – Dwight

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd – Max

Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing – Albert

Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better – Harry

No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair – George

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self – restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it – Theodore

Warriors take chances. Like everyone else, they fear failing, but they refuse to let fear control them – Ancient

If people are coming to work excited… if they are making mistakes freely and fearlessly… if they are having fun… if they are concentrating doing things, rather than preparing reports and going to meetings – then somewhere you have leaders – Townsend

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity – George

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself – Edward

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn – Waldo

When leaders have the honesty to criticize their own mistakes and their own organization, then they can criticize others – Nelson Mandela

It is important to surround yourself with strong and independent personalities, who will tell you when you are getting old – Nelson Mandela

You have to play the mother chicken which provides refuge for everybody. You must be a tower of hope, a model and a motivator. It also takes patience as one has to take all the insult and intimidation because a lot of people will say that you are too assertive – Sarah

Women must rise above being good managers – of the man, the home, the children and all things spicy and sweet – and boldly step out into the visionary leadership – Lucy

Born or made we all have the leader within us, no matter you colour, race, or gender – Delno

Positive thinking

There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life – Booker

He who has done his best for his time has lived for all times – Von

The first rule of holes; when you’re in one, stop digging – Molly

What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things – Mead

There is in true beauty, as in courage, somewhat which narrow soul cannot dare to admire – William

There is no substitute for victory – Douglas

Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything – Billy

It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him – John

Knowledge is the most democratic source of power – Alvin

You can’t measure the heart of a champion – Joseph Jambu

A brave man thinks no one superior who does him injury; for make himself superior to the other by forgiveness – Pope

A leader is a dealer in hope – Napoleon

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices – William

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way – John

You have within you, right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you – Brian

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through – Rosalynn

You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give – Joseph Jambu

The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality – Quincy

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish – Sam

Part of being a champ is acting like a champ. You have to learn how to win and not run away when you lose. Everyone has bad stretches and real successes. Either way, you have to be careful not to lose your confidence or get to confident – Nancy

The mind, ever the willing servant, will respond to boldness, for boldness, in effect, is a command to deliver mental resources – Norman

There is no substitute for guts – Paul

There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability – Robert

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them – Shaw

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self – Joseph Jambu

Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve permanently happy spirit – Norman

Quality begins in the inside… and then works its way out – Bob

Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so – Charles

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises – Demosthenes

Realize that true happiness lies within you – Lucian

Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader – Tacitus

The first step is to fill your life with a positive faith that will help you through anything. The second is to begin where you are – Norman

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around – Leo

Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes – Kenneth

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man – Elbert

You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and delicatest ways, improve yourself – John

Your aspirations are you possibilities – Samuel L. Jackson

Those who wish to sing, always find a song – Joseph Jambu

Valor

 

The following excerpt is from one of my favorite movies “Act of Valor”

at the very end of the movie are the timeless words of wisdom which if we abide  by, would make our world a better place to live in.

But first let’s go back to the ABC’s and get the definition of this symbolic noun.

Valor by definition means: courage, fearlessness, courageousness, braveness, heroism, boldness, gallantry, daring, fortitude.

“Live your life such that the fear of death can never enter your heart

trouble no one about his/her religion

respect others and their views and demand they respect yours

love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life

seek to make you life long and of service to your people

when your turn comes to die,

be not like those whose hearts who are filled with fear of death

so that when the time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way

sing your death song

and die like a hero going home.”

My favorite definition of Valor is Fortitude which in simple terms means Strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage.

May you have that mental toughness to live your life with Valor.

TIMELESS LOVE QUOTES

 

Love is so many things: gentle, liberating, warm, and timeless. Love is the binding that seals our very existence. Love keeps us whole and encourages us to share the adoration we feel for others, and even to cherish ourselves. It you feel love is hiding from your surroundings, know that you can always find it within, because it is never out of reach.

  • ‘To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.’
  • ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.’
  • ‘Love is like wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.’
  • ‘A loving heart is the truest wisdom.’
  • ‘There is no remedy of love than to love more.’
  • ‘Love is the greatest refreshment in life.’
  • ‘Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.’
  • ‘Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
  • ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged cupid painted blind.’
  • ‘Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.’
  • ‘Nobody has ever measured, not even poet, how much the heart can hold.’
  • ‘Love is the voice under all silence, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun more last than stars…’
  • ‘Love having no geography knows no boundaries.’
  • ‘When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.’
  • ‘Love is of all passions that strongest for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the sense.’
  • ‘When there is love there is life.’
  • ‘Who, being loved, is poor?’

 

 

 

D’is Thursday

Smell the roses!
Smell the roses!

I just don wanna fuss
just 4 today
4 no reason but just becoz
lift my hands in D’ air
smell the wind blowing thru
careless, carefree
stupid, aimless, foolish
call it what U may

I just don wanna fuss
impulsive, spontaneous
liberty, freedom,
no limit, no restrictions
crazy, breaking D’ norm
living the dream, raising D’ bar

I just don wanna fuss
arising 2 D’ occasion
feeling myself, loving thyself
impersonating thee, celebrating thy own
indulging thy pleasures
enjoying the present, ignoring the worries
no more wishing, wondering, waiting
its now or never

I just don wanna fuss
grateful for this beautiful life
it’s all how U see it i guess
choose hope, choose to dare
live simply, indulge more
a toast 4 U achieving beyond UR wildest dreams!

love
Jambu

An Inspirational Short Story

image


How I Made My Millions

I was working all day and took a break for my supper. I was flipping through the channels and just happened to come across a local TV program, How I Made My Millions. I snickered when I saw the title of the program thinking, oh this must be one of those info commercials that promises to make you millions and most of the time you end up spending lots of money and making nothing.

The program came on and I was truly motivated by watching and listening. These were ordinary people, like you and me, with good ideas. They not only talked about their idea, they took action and persevered even though many people laughed at their idea. The last laugh is, of course, on those who originally laughed. The people featured on this show are now millionaires, and they persevered and took the steps necessary to achieve their success. Yes, they had setbacks, and rejection, but that did not deter them from continuing. And, it truly paid off for them.

So often we have a good idea but we don’t take action. Or, we are discouraged at the challenges that face us. We give up far too easily, we don’t persevere.

 I can’t tell you how many times I read the saying on my desk – “persistence prevails when all else fails:. I am now generating a good income – I am not a millionaire – yet – but I continually learn and push the envelope.

The purpose in sharing this story with you is to encourage you to take action on your ideas, and to persist! Learn from your failures, overcome the challenges; and, as Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

 

Exuberating Confidence

My Mentor
My Mentor

Top 10 Confidence Quotes

  1. “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd
  2. “Knock the ‘t’ off the ‘can’t.’” — Samuel Johnson
  3. “Life marks us all down, so it’s just as well that we start out by overpricing ourselves.” — Mignon McLaughlin
  4. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anaïs Nin
  5. “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  6. “The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  7. “They can do all because they think they can.” – Vergil
  8. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”— Henry S. Haskins
  9. “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.” — Joe Namath
  10. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” — Henry Ford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiring Shipments by Ivana

this is a post from a special person i hold dear for the depth of knowledge that she has shared to the masses and on a personal level because she inspired me to start blogging some two years ago.
thanks Ivana.

Inspiring Shipments (#IS) by Ivana Sendecka

Hi hi hi my dear SCG,

believe it or not, on 17th September 2012  this blog reached another milestone on its journey. Three years ago was the first time I have posted a blog post in this digital space. Naive,   enthusiastic , fearless, driven,  a bit “I know it all”,   “let me save the world” Ivana  posted a video about quitting my job and with title “End, which got me to begin.” Indeed in 2009, closed a door on security, on predictability, on the beaten path of a 9 to 5 job  walked by too many before me.  I have jumped with a bliss of  ignorant  beginner into the world where those who really do the work  meet,  create and collaborate. I have learned how little I know about myself , about human nature and about the world out there.  It is three  years since I set…

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How To Think Like Bill Gates

bill gates

10 Ways to Think Like Bill Gates
While I don’t think Bill will lend you his brain, you can do the next best thing. You can take some of this thought patterns and practices for a test-drive. Here are ten patterns to get you started:

  1. Prioritize. “What’s the next best thing you should be thinking about?” It starts here. Time is your most limited and precious resource. This is about asking whether the problem is even worth your time. Before you throw cycles at it, figure out whether it’s worth it. Is it significant? How much time should you spend on it? For an example of how Bill Gates figures out how to prioritize.
  2. Ask smarter questions. If you want better answers, ask better questions. Rather than getting stuck in one line of questioning, such as “what’s wrong with this?” or “what’s right with this?”, you can explore your thinking more deeply, by asking a range of questions. One of the skills we learn at Microsoft is Precision Questions / Precision Answers. In this approach, there are 7 categories of precise questions: 1) Go / NoGo – Do we need to talk about this? 2) Clarification – What do you mean? 3) Assumptions – What are we assuming? 4) Basic Critical Question – How do we know this is true? 5) Causes – What’s causing this? 6) Effects – What will be the effects? 7) Action – What should be done?
  3. Make data-driven decisions. This is one of the toughest switches to make. By default, most people make emotional decisions and then find data to support the decision. This means asking questions like, “what’s the data say?” This means getting informed, before you make your decision. This means evaluating the sources of data. It’s an extreme exercise in emotional intelligence to pause your emotional response, while you check your logic and critical thinking.
  4. Divorce your ego. This is where you separate yourself from the problem. This is also about separating yourself from the solution. Instead, you hold the problem or solution out in your hands and inspect it from different angles. Rather than focus on whether you’re right, it’s about whether the solution is right. It’s about being able to beat up the thinking, without taking it personally.
  5. Frame the problem. Framing a problem is simply how you look at a problem, just like how you frame a picture. It’s about choosing what to focus on, what’s in and what’s out. When you frame the problem, you bound it. Framing also helps you get a better perspective on the problem, as well as share the problem more effectively with others. Some questions to help frame a problem include: Who’s the customer? What are their needs and priorities? What’s happening in the market? What are competitors doing? What are our options for responding? How do we differentiate? How is technology changing and what possibilities does it offer our customers? What are the priorities for our business?
  6. Get perspectives on the problem. This means being able to switch your perspectives. Rather than see the glass half-full or the glass half-empty, you should see both. Challenge yourself to switch back and forth from finding flaws to finding opportunities. If you only know how to play the Devil’s advocate, you have a limited view. Like a mulch-faceted diamond, you should be able to look at the problem from different angles. This also means being able to broker in experts and get other people’s perspective on the problem. Problem solving is a team sport. It’s also about leveraging smart people without domain expertise. For example, you can take a dev manager in consumer devices and have him/her move into the enterprise or business applications.
  7. Model the problem. By abstracting the problem into a model, you can think about it in simpler ways, without being bogged down by the implementation details. One of Bill Gate’s favorite tools is his whiteboard. A whiteboard makes it easy to sketch out ideas and visualize them. A whiteboard can help whether you’re trying to map out the problem or draw a solution. Keep in mind that George Box taught us that, “all models are wrong, but some are useful.”
  8. Think of the system and the ecosystem. Bill Gates has an engineering mind. He can see the problem as a system. You can map out the system by asking yourself questions along the line of, what are the bits and pieces? … How does it work? … How do the bits and pieces work together? … what’s the flow through the system? … what are the inputs and outputs? After you have a handle on the system, you can ask yourself about the ecosystem or the system of systems.
  9. Think of the problem over time. It’s easy to look at the problem and just see it as a static snapshot. The challenge is playing out the problem or your solution over time. Time can dramatically change what it looks like. Consider the impact of trends. Consider sustainability. Some things that look good only temporary, and really break down when you apply time to them. Sometimes time is on your side. You might find that there may be better windows of opportunity.
  10. Think strategically. Strategy guides your actions. You can think strategically along different lines. Consider the core of what you do (mission, vision, values, and goals.) Consider internal analysis (strengths and weaknesses, resources and capabilities, and benchmarking.) Consider external analysis (competitive analysis, opportunities and threats, and industry conditions.) Consider the organization design (structure, controls and incentives, culture and people.) Consider execution (roles, responsibilities, resources, action plans, measurement, and accountability.) Consider functional strategies (marketing and sales, operations, human resources, and R&D.) Consider strategic choices (corporate strategy and business strategy.)

Here’s to the crazy ones-a tribute to Steve Jobs

 

Here’s to the crazy ones. 

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,

disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They invent.    They imagine.    They heal.

They explore.    They create.    They inspire.

They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

 

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail.  The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle.  In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep  more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve.  As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential.  People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit.
Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty.  Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs.  Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point.  In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it.  People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have.  If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong.   As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed.  Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Difficulties in Life

There are few positions in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered. These difficulties are, however, our best instructors, as our mistakes often form our best experience. We learn wisdom from failure more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do. My dad used to say that he had become all the better acquainted with the country from having the good luck sometimes to lose his way. Great thoughts, discoveries, inventions have very generally been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow and established with difficulty.

Outlook

Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sheer
Wherever you may meet it.
Remember every kindness done
To you, whatever its measure.
Remember praise by others won
And pass it on with pleasure.
Remember every promise made
And keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid
And be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness
That comes your way in living.
Forget each worry and distress;
Be hopeful and forgiving.
Remember good, remember truth,
Remember Heaven’s above you,
And you will find, through age and youth,
True joys and hearts to love you.

It Isn’t Costly

Does the grouch get richer quicker than the
friendly sort of man?
Can the grumbler labour better than the cheerful
fellow can?
Is the mean and churlish neighbour any cleverer
than the one
Who shouts a glad “good morning,” and then
smiling passes on?

Just stop and think about it. Have you ever
known or seen
A mean man who succeeded, just because he
was so mean?
When you find a grouch with honours and with
money in his pouch,
You can bet he didn’t win them just because
he was a grouch.

Oh, you’ll not be any poorer if you smile along
your way,
And your lot will not be harder for the kindly
things you say.
Don’t imagine you are wasting time for others
that you spend:
You can rise to wealth and glory and still pause
to be a friend.

 

Grammar

Live in the active voice, rather than passive.
Think more about what will happen than what is happening to you.

Live in the indicative mood, rather than in the subjective.
Be concerned with things as they are, rather than as they might be

Live in the present tense, facing the duty at hand
without regret for the past or worry over the future.

Live in the singular number, caring more for the approval of your own conscience
than for the applause of the crowd.

Time to Breathe

If you only knew the reason, For the sudden change in season. For the trouble that was caused, And the life you put on pause. Halting this life in such a way, Made it hard to see a new day. Burning this day in my skull, Made it hard to reach even for a pull. Almost losing all of my grasp, Not much to grab on to nothing to clasp. And in the end the message is clear, With much to lose but nothing to fear. Even though at times with nothing to see, Strong perseverance will set you free.

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.


Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quitting,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.


There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.