DWD: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” -Tim Duncan

Thought of the day – Decision making
Today I want to share a story from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I love this little book and have read and re-read it more times than I can remember. Every time something speaks to me in a different way. Do you ever “punish” yourself for what you consider under-performing or not doing as well as you think you should? I think we all have these moments, most probably when we expect our best yet are not feeling our best. Why would we expect the same level of performance when we as energy beings have different levels of energy and live in a world where conditions are sometimes not conducive to the same level of performance every time. The Fourth Agreement is “Always Do Your Best”, under any circumstance. Do your best, no more, no less. Thus if you are sick your best will not be the same as when you are ignited and vibrant. We often get stuck holding ourselves to some high expectation of perfection in all conditions, but life is not like that. Just like the ocean there are high and low tides and we need to learn to be kinder to ourselves. Don Miguel Ruiz tells the story of a man who wanted to transcend his suffering. He visited the Master at the Buddhist Temple and asked how long it would take him to transcend if he meditated four hours a day. The Master answered, “If you meditate for four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in four years.” Eager to speed up the process the man asked how long it would take if he meditated for eight hours a day. He was surprised when the Master replied, “If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty years.” When asked why it would take longer with more meditation time rather thanless, the Master replied, “You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy, and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead, you will only grow tired, miss the point, and you won’t enjoy your life. Do your best, and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love and be happy.” How would it feel to “let go” of striving for perfection in every circumstance? What if the expectation of perfection was replaced with the vow to “always do your best, no more no less?” Imagine the freedom it would create in your life to commit to going with the flow and just doing “your best” rather than fighting the tides of life. As Don Miguel says, “Always do your best…Today is the beginning of a new dream.

Source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/doing%20your%20best

Brain teaser of the day
A traveller comes to a fork in the road which leads to two villages. In one village the people always tell lies, and in the other village the people always tell the truth. The traveller needs to conduct business in the village where everyone tells the truth. A man from one of the villages is standing in the middle of the fork, but there is no indication of which village he is from. The traveller approaches the man and asks him one question. From the villager’s answer, he knows which road to follow. What did the traveller ask?

Answers for the last riddle is: The son of the man who was studying the painting

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

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DWD: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” -Tim Duncan

DWD: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen” – Harley Davidson

Thought of the day – Decision making
If you incorporate the following metrics into your decisioning framework you will minimize the chances of making a bad decision:

Perform a Situation Analysis:
What is motivating the need for a decision? What would happen if no decision is made? Who will the decision impact (both directly and indirectly)? What data, analytics, research, or supporting information do you have to validate the inclinations driving your decision?

Subject your Decision to Public Scrutiny:
There are no private decisions. Sooner or later the details surrounding any decision will likely come out. If your decision were printed on the front page of the newspaper how would you feel? What would your family think of your decision? How would your shareholders and employees feel about your decision? Have you sought counsel and/or feedback before making your decision?

Conduct a Cost/Benefit Analysis:
Do the potential benefits derived from the decision justify the expected costs? What if the costs exceed projections, and the benefits fall short of projections?

Assess the Risk/Reward Ratio:
What are all the possible rewards, and when contrasted with all the potential risks are the odds in your favor, or are they stacked against you?Assess Whether it is the Right Thing To Do:
Standing behind decisions that everyone supports doesn’t particularly require a lot of chutzpah. On the other hand, standing behind what one believes is the right decision in the face of tremendous controversy is the stuff great leaders are made of. My wife has always told me that “you can’t go wrong by going right,” and as usual, I find her advice to be spot on. There are many areas where compromise yields significant benefits, but your value system, your character, or your integrity should never be compromised.

Make The Decision:
Perhaps most importantly, you must have a bias toward action, and be willing to make the decision. Moreover, you must learn to make the best decision possible even if you possess an incomplete data set. Don’t fall prey to analysis paralysis, but rather make the best decision possible with the information at hand using some of the methods mentioned above. Opportunities and not static, and the law of diminishing returns applies to most opportunities in that the longer you wait to seize the opportunity the smaller the return typically is. In fact, more likely is the case that the opportunity will completely evaporate if you wait too long to seize it.

Bonus – Always have a back-up plan: The real test of a leader is what happens in the moments following the realization they’ve made the wrong decision. Great leaders understand all plans are made up of both constants and variables, and that sometimes the variables work against you. Smart leaders always have a contingency plan knowing circumstances can sometimes fall beyond the boundaries of reason or control – no “Plan B” equals a flawed plan.

Brain teaser of the day
A man walks into an art gallery and concentrates on one picture in particular. The museum curator notices this and asks the man why he is so interested in that one painting. The man replies, "Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son." Who is in the painting?

Answers for the last riddle are:

1. A hole

2. Night

3. Noise

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

DWD: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen” – Harley Davidson

DWD: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

Thought of the day – Find happiness
Aristotle once wrote that” happiness is a state of activity.” In other words, whether you are seeking lifelong satisfactory or a few months of good cheer, you’ve got to move forward. We’ve surveyed the experts and found five steps to take toward a sunny disposition:

1. VALUE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Over a 30-year period, University of Illinois researchers asked nearly 120,000 people how income, education, political participation, volunteer activities, and close relationships affected their happiness. Reported Newsweek’s Sharon Begley on the findings, “The highest levels of happiness [are found] with the most stable, longest, and most contended relationships.”

2. EXPRESS YOURSELF

Singing aloud, talking to a stranger, raising your hand: All may increase a feeling of well being, according to a study from Wake Forest University. Participants tracked their moods for weeks and reported feeling happier when they were more outgoing and less happy when reserved or withdrawn.

3. SPEND MONEY ON OTHERS

The editors of forbes.com gave $5 or $20 randomly to 46 strangers. Half the group was told to spend the money on themselves, while the other half was told to spend it on others. Those who’d shared wealth felt much happier at the end of the day than those who’d spend it on themselves. There was no difference in happiness between those who spent $5 or $20, suggesting that it’s not how much money you spend, but how you spend it, that can boost the spirit.

4. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

Studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center show that downcast people who wrote down three good things that happened to them each day for six months reported an improved outlook.

5. HYDRATE YOURSELF

Drinking water really can help you buoyant. A small 2012 study from the University of Connecticut suggested that even slight dehydration compromised the moods of its female participants.
Source: Reader’s digest May edition.

Brain teaser of the day
1. What has no content yet you can see it?

2. What falls but never breaks?

3. What is it that goes with an automobile and comes with it; is of no use to it, and yet the automobile cannot move without it?

Answer for the last riddle is: A candle

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

DWD: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

DWD: “To experience peace does not mean that your mind is always blissful. It means that you’re capable of tap ping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” – Jill Bolte Taylor

Thought of the day – Find Inner Peace in 10 Ways
Don’t you find life to always be filled with stress? Doesn’t it seem like there is always something that happens which encompasses our entire attention, and thus drain our positive energy? As our society grows more and more complex, finding true peace becomes more like trying to find an oasis in the desert. My life is a busy one as well, as running a company and all of the stress & demands that comes with it, definitely takes its toll over time. Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the methods that I use in my life to find peace and disconnect from the daily routine:

Accept what is
There is only so much we can affect. What we cannot change, what we cannot influence no matter what, should not be a concern to us. This is what I notice with so many people, in that we focus and linger on things which we have no control over. Why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they are actually thinking? Once you open the blinds to this fact, and start accepting what is that you cannot change, you automatically relieve yourself of a mountain of stress and anxiety. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Taking this path is following a road towards peace.

Meditate
If you do not meditate yet, you are missing out on a very important activity that can change your life. Meditating for 20 minutes daily can have an enormous impact in all areas of your life. Take a look at this post I wrote 100 Benefits of Meditation. If that doesn’t convince you to start meditating, I don’t know what will! If you have a lot on your mind and you feel like your thoughts are driving you crazy, meditation can help you find peace. Simply close everything, sit back, close your eyes, and clear your mind of every single thought. Focus on the emptiness. You will be surprised what a mere 20 minutes of meditation can do to turn things around for you. If you have trouble meditating, I would suggest getting a professional guided meditation CD, which will help you get used to this level of peacefulness

Spend time in nature
We spend so much time confined in buildings of steel and concrete and bricks that we quickly forget where we come from. It is natural for us to be in nature, and this is why it feels so good and it is so peaceful when you take a walk in a park or bike on a trail in the forest. As I am typing this blog, I am looking out my window to this gigantic tree in front of my house. Watching its stillness, with the wind blowing through its branches calmly, it is a sight that not only inspires me, but that I find peace within it. I have blogged before about how I enjoy biking and one of the reasons is that it brings me closer to nature. It is something you just can’t experience in a car. If you feel overwhelmed, take a stroll outside where there are tons of trees and far from the city. Be there and just enjoy the sights, the sounds, and the peace.

Learn the power of a smile

Whenever you are laughing or smiling, something interesting happens. Not only does something happen on a chemical level to make you feel better, but it also stops all stress and negativity from entering your psyche. A simple smile can make such a difference. For example, the other day I mishandled a dish and it fell on the floor, breaking into pieces, creating a big mess. Now, I could have been angry with myself for being clumsy and thinking “here’s another reason why life sucks!”. But I did the opposite. I began to smile and kind of make fun of myself for not being able to hold on to that plate properly. As I cleaned up the mess, there was no bitterness or anger. As a matter of fact, I did it with a smile on my face…I did it with peace. So whenever you find yourself in a similar predicament, just think of the silver lining, and don’t be shy to poke fun at yourself. You will quickly realize that peace finds its way much more easily to you when you smile.

Think outwardly
What I mean by this is that most of the time, we are so consumed within our own problems that we can no longer see the forest from the trees. Therefore, it helps to remind ourselves how big the world is. Take a moment and read up about some other countries, cultures, and the likes. Be aware that the world does not revolve around your problems. I find that when I hear about a tsunami or an earthquake killing hundreds of thousands of people on the other side of the world, my problems aren’t really “problems”. Looking beyond ourselves is very important in finding peace and it leads me to my next point.Care about others

You will never find peace by being self-consumed and only worrying about your own needs and wants. When you begin to genuinely care about other people, so much goodness comes right out. This only helps into solidifying your inner peace. It can be people close to you or pure strangers, but any act of kindness and goodwill eases your way towards peace. When I help other people, I stop focusing on my so-called problems and realize that my life isn’t so bad after all. This rids my entire being of all the stress and feelings of overwhelm. There is great peace and wisdom in thinking and caring about other people, which we are blind to when we are too deep within our own selfish ways.

Never lose hope

Hope is something you can never afford to lose. With hope you always have a path towards peace. Whenever we get too stressed out and overwhelmed within our own life, we forget that hope. We forget that the sun always shines after a rainy day, and that this is merely a bump in the road. I find immense peace in just knowing, deep within my heart, that everything will be ok. With hope, I know that whatever is seemingly terrible, is only temporary and that soon enough, things will be just fine. This lifts off all of that negativity from my entire being, and I feel better pretty much instantly.

Embrace your beliefs

I am not one to pick or favor one belief system over another, so whatever it is that you believe in, embrace it with your entire being. Be within your faith 100% and peace will find its way into your heart. Now, we may all disagree on each other’s beliefs but one thing we must all agree on is that having a solid, healthy faith is crucial in founding a proper conscience that helps into guiding us towards peace and wisdom. There is a reason why research has shown that people that are deeply devoted to their faith have a higher life expectancy and are less likely to have diseases such as cancer. This is because they experience more inner peace, which is important if you want to increase the quality of your life.

Keep learning
One thing that provides us with much stress in life is the fact that we always worry about not having all the answers. Just accepting that you do not know everything, and that you are open to always keep learning is a tremendous step to take towards achieving inner peace. I find great joy in learning all kinds of different things, and just being aware that I am growing as a person each and every day provides me with great feelings of peace. Accept that life is one big journey of never-ending learning and you will find yourself closer to experiencing true peace within yourself.

Live in the present moment

Most of the time, what we worry about is relating to something either in the past, or something that hasn’t happened. Living in the present moment erases all such thoughts. Why worry about something in the past that we cannot ever change? (see point #1, accept what is). Why worry about something that we are not even sure will happen or not? This is why in the present moment, you find true inner peace. In the present moment, there are no problems and no concerns. There is only stillness, and it is within that stillness that you can uncover peace. I used to be such a person that worried all the time, to the point where I had trouble sleeping. Once I learned to live in the present moment, I stopped thinking about the past and any potential future, and just worried about being ever-present in each and every moment. My life is definitely more peaceful since then!

Source: http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/05/find-inner-peace-in-10-ways/

Brain teaser of the day
My life can be measured in hours,
I serve by being devoured.
Thin, I am quick
Fat, I am slow
Wind is my foe. Who I am?

Answer for the last riddle is:

1. What can you catch but not throw? A cold
2. I’m the part of the bird that’s not in the sky. I can swim in the ocean and yet remain dry. What am I? A shadow

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

DWD: “To experience peace does not mean that your mind is always blissful. It means that you’re capable of tap ping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” – Jill Bolte Taylor

DWD: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams

Thought of the day – 10 lessons from Dhoni’s leadership
1. One should be a performer and demonstrate the same to our team. Performance is itself the most effective communication.

2. Leader has to be humble in a way and consider himself part and parcel of the team and not above the team.

3. Give genuine respect and trust to the team members.

4. Allow them to experiment and take risk.

5. In case of failure, encourage him / her to introspect and do it next time with more vigor and better planning.

6. Make everyone in the team feel that, even though we are leaders, we are just one among them.

7. We should also believe in the ones who failed in the Team. At crucial times a team member who was not able to deliver might do miracles.

8. As a leader, be calm in extreme situations and lead the team from front.

9. Share the credit of success with your team members and praise them in public.

10. Above all believe in every member in the team.

Brain teaser of the day
1. What can you catch but not throw?

2. I’m the part of the bird that’s not in the sky. I can swim in the ocean and yet remain dry. What am I?

Answer for the last riddle is:

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

DWD: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams

DWD: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” – Stephen R.Covey

Thought of the day – The Importance Of Listening
In these modern times we as people are very busy. We have multiple distractions. Distractions such as cell phones, computers, Ipods and 24/7 television. We are constantly talking. Even when we are listening we are continually chattering in our brain. Formulating an answer, or reacting to what is being said. We all want to talk, but so few wish to listen. We hear what is being said but are we really listening? What is listening?

To go into this question we can begin with what it is not. Maybe from there we can discover its quality. Listening is not a reaction. Listening is not talking. Listening is not thinking. Listening is not what someone tells you it is. What I mean by that is. You and I could describe it, but that is not listening, that is merely its description. I could describe water to you, however the description of water will not quench your thirst.

When a person is listening there are no reactions. There is no thinking. There is no talking. Listening is not judging. Listening as I see it is a very humble quality. There is no me. There is no what I want to say. Listening is very revealing. Listening to your own thoughts or what others say can be very informative.

These days we lay so much emphasis on the intellect that we close our hearts and remove the beating moment to moment of life, because we are no longer listening. We have filled our lives with knowledge, beliefs, opinions, which lead to prejudgments.

The importance of listening is this. When you are not listening you are not learning. When you are not listening you are preventing opportunity. The fact that you do not listen reveals the reality that your mind is closed. When you are not listening you are preventing intelligence. When you are not listening there is nothing new, there are only your reactions. If you wish to live life to its fullest, then listening is vital
Source: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/3638/1/The-Importance-Of-Listening.html

Brain teaser of the day
Can you move just 2 matches to create 7 squares?

Answer for the last riddle is:

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

DWD: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” – Stephen R.Covey

DWD: “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” -Zig Ziglar

Thought of the day – Importance of failure
We all want our children to succeed, don’t we? What many of us overlook, however, is that allowing them to fail is an important part of any future success. London 2012 saw Team GB achieving remarkable success but among the medal winners were those who failed to live up to expectations (both theirs and ours).

Athletes, however, are more able to handle failure than the schoolchildren studying for exams in the high-pressure environment of compulsory education. This is perhaps in part due to the massive commitment world class athletes need in order to stay at the top of their game, but is also down to the work carried out by sports psychologists, who played an important role in the success of British athletes. The difference is that top athletes are often as familiar with their mental states as they are with their physical capabilities.

Note that I have no issue with the use of the oft-derided term fail, for without failure there would be no success, would there? Fail is not a popular word in education, even if you have failed your A levels you will still be awarded an unclassified – it’s as if the word itself would make failure inevitable. Of course athletes know how to deal with failure because they have a greater understanding of their own personal psychology, which in turn leads to greater mental strength (to add to their obvious physical strength) and a higher level of psychological resilience.

Many of us (both pupils and those involved in education) remain relatively ignorant of the link between psychology and success, assuming that, for example, our intelligence is of fixed, innate and unchangeable quantity. In fact, adolescent intelligence (as measured by IQ scores) fluctuates considerably, leading Angela Duckworth (an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania) to conclude that academic success is more to do with

.

Abilities are therefore flexible rather than fixed. Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck believes that success and failure are determined by what the individual understands about himself or herself, dividing the world into those who have fixed mindsets and those with growth mindsets.

Fixed ‘mindsetters’ are of the opinion that success and failure are somehow genetically programmed into us so that the child who believes themselves to be unintelligent will never be able to succeed academically; more worrying is that those teachers with a fixed mindset employ their own preconceptions and prejudices and transfer them onto those who fulfil the requirements of the successful student or the failure.

Contrast this with the growth ‘mindsetter’. Dweck found that teachingyoung children about the way in which the brain learns actually made them more likely to succeed in academic tests. A growth mindset allows us to believe that our intelligence is a fluid entity and we have great control over how intelligent we are and how successful we can be. Those with a growth mindset view failure as a temporary stop on the way to success, in the same way that an Olympic cyclist views missing out on a medal as an opportunity to assess, improve and get that gold medal next time around.

If success is within our personal control then the way in which we praise pupils should reflect this view. Praising innate abilities ("You’re very clever") leads to a fixed mindset (as does telling a child that they provided a very good answer even if the answer was completely wrong), praising the effort, on the other hand, makes success about hard work rather than something that is given. Pointing out how and why failure has occurred should be seen as part of the learning process, rather than an end in itself. Failure should be seen as an opportunity to grow and should never be brushed under the carpet in order to conceal our embarrassment or shame.

So, let’s hear it for failure. You’re just one more step on the road to success.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/2012/aug/16/a-level-student-success-failure

Brain teaser of the day
Can you remove three matches to leave three squares?

Answer for the last riddle is 2. Adding the four numbers in the center of each side results in 20. Similarly the sides should be summed up to 20.

Have a great day!

Regards,
Prasanna

DWD: “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” -Zig Ziglar