Saturday, 30 July 2011

John Goddard's Life List

At 15 years of age, John Goddard overheard his grandmother saying " If only I had done more when I was young" and decided he was not going to say those words and regret over things he could have done. So he sat down and wrote in detail 127 things he wanted to do and committed it to memory.

He had accomplished 109 of it. He had climbed 12 of the highest mountains, conducted 14 major expeditions into remote regions, traversed 15 of the worlds most treacherous rivers, visited 120 countries, studied 260 primitive tribes.

That is not all, he had also learn to speak French, Spanish and Arabic, explored coral reef  much much more that. You can visit his website and check out his accomplishments here.

Few of us are ever going to have 127 goals and commit to memory, but the story of John Goddard in an inspiring one. It is a story about goal setting and living one's life to the fullest.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

About a Movie

I was watching a movie starring Bradley Cooper, carrying the title Limitless.  It is about how a jobless man gains popularity and wealth by popping a pill which maximizes his mind power.

The main character in the movie Eddie Morra gains focus, observes everything, sees patterns in chaos, becomes fluent in several language and possess a host of other capabilities that is often associated with utilizing maximum brain capacity.

Though the movie is a work of fiction, the capability of the human mind is limitless. It is fantastic what the human is capable of achieving with proper training and cultivation of good brain habit, the many abilities of the mind can be unlocked.

I believe we must have a basic understanding of the brain first and also the kind of diet that makes it functions at his best. My personal experience is that, the simple recipe for healthy living, like good diet, exercising, having enough sleep and generally feeling positive and ethusiatic helps me in learning and acquiring new skills.

Another important thing is to learning to be simple. This unclutters the mind and an uncluttered mind is a better mind.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

How To Make a To-Do-List

Here is an article I wrote some time ago on creating a to-do list.

Frank Tibolt in his classic book, A Touch of Greatness call making a list the mind sharpener. He describes how a yard master in a steel factory rose to become its president by doing this over and over again.

Making a list is probably the best time management tool ever. There is no need for fancy software or a three day seminar that costs a fortune. Making a list is easy, simple and direct.

Here are some tips on how to make a to-do list at work.

1. Set aside a few minutes early in the day or before bed at night dedicated to list making. I find it the best to make a to-do list the next day just ten minutes before I sign-off from my work.

2. Know your peak and down times. We all have a biological clock inside of us and during the course of the day, we will have our peaks and slumps. Usually people are at the peak in the morning before energy running low in the afternoons and peaking again in the late afternoon or evening. It is important you know yours so that you can schedule your tasks accordingly.

3. Start with the most important and urgent task and go down, with each item down the list becoming less urgent and less important. Another way is to list and easy task after a difficult one, to keep you motivated. But I prefer getting the difficult ones settled first. There are no hard and fast rules regarding this, choose what suits you. What is important is that you finish the tasks in your list.

4. Remember to set aside time for breaks, meetings and other routine items that will crop up during the course of the day.

5. Break down your list into smaller sub-list. Assign time slots.

Apart from a to do list, you can list about almost anything. The list below is inspired by what appeared in A Touch of Greatness. I call it The Kaizen List. It is a list that can be used to achieve daily improvement.

1. How can I improve some part of my job?
2. How can I do this differently?
3. How can I increase productivity?
4. How to reduce the cost?
5. How to increase profits?
6. How to save time?
7. How to avoid delays?
8. What other ideas from a different area can be applied to this?
9. How can I express initiative?
10. How can I simplify this?

If you find it difficult to win over a prospect, why not make a list of all the things in your favor. If you are going to the boss to ask for a raise, wouldn’t it better if you go there with a list of all your accomplishments?

The power of making a list is that it clears your mind. It removes the mental block. We all have a thousand things going on in our head all the time, and putting it down in a list helps to figure out things more efficiently.
And making a list is the best time saving tool there is.

Liar Liar

What makes a good liar? What traits makes them get away with the things they say?

Read this article by Scientific American that lists 18 attributes of highly efficient liars

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Lucas Leiva of Liverpool FC.

On 24 May 2011, Lucas Pezzini Leiva  or simply known as Lucas, was Liverpool’s Player of the Season. Now, if you are not a football fan, you may ask what is so special about this. Every season in every club of any professional game, they will be a player that stands above his teammates. But Liverpool FC is no ordinary football club and Lucas is no ordinary footballer.

Signed from Gremio of Brazil on 26 July 2007, he arrived in Liverpool as a 21 year old and the youngest player to be given the Bola de Ouro or Golden Ball as the best player in the Compeonato Brasilero. No mean feat considering legends such Zico, Falcao and Romario are among the winners.

You would expect the best player in the Brazilian football league to easily take the English League by storm. That did not happen. After a fairly average first season with Liverpool, Lucas endured a horrible second season. Repeatedly booed by home fans and heavily criticised by the British media, Lucas’ game dropped, but only temporarily.

He returned to pre-season training 0n 2009/2010, not only more determined but physically tougher. And from that day onwards Lucas has kept on improving and along the way won over Liverpool fans and slayed his critics. Today he is pivotal to his club and country and is tipped to be a future captain of both. Lucas has  come a long way. Here is an article about his journey.

It is not easy when you are 21 years of age and publicly ridiculed. It takes mental toughness and self-confidence to keep believing in yourself and working towards your goals.And if you find yourself in such a situation, remember Lucas.

Friday, 8 July 2011

A Word on Strategy

"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved, ' wrote Winston Churchill, one of the greatest statesman of the previous century.

There are always are set of strategies that must be followed to achieve anything that is worth achieving, Let us say you are playing football, to win the game you will have to play a certain way. There must be a strategy. You just cannot walk into the field and start kicking the ball all over the place and hope to win. 

The same goes to running a marathon, decorating your house or writing a report. To successfully complete this or any task, you are following a set of strategy, either consciously or subconsciously.

The same applies to the matter of achieving your destiny. You have to have a set of strategy to achieve it.There are certain skills you might have to learn, certain values to adopt, certain attitude to nurture. You might even have to change your sleeping habits, your diet, your clothes.

First identify what it takes to achieve your destiny, then have a strategy to execute it.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A Greener United States and What The Rest Of The World Can Learn From It

The U.S. has over the years been reducing its dependence on fossil fuels by investing into cleaner renewable energy sources. Read what are her long term plans and what the rest can learn.