Saturday, 30 November 2013

Effective Meetings

Conduct effective meetings. Use LEADERSHIP
Look after your audience’s comfort. The room – refreshments – visual aids must all be in good order

Explore the needs of your audience. Ask what they expect and need from the meeting

Arrive early – Turn up at least ten minutes and welcome others

Decide to start meeting on time. Respect those who came in early

Explain the purpose of the meeting and ask there are any other points

Read your papers in advance. This clears your thinking and creates a sense of good leadership

Stick to your time schedule as far as possible

Handle emotions and hidden agendas and address conflict as it arises.

Involve everybody. Ask people what they think has been decided

Prepare your audience for action by checking with them.  You cannot do this af the audience is too large.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

10 Ways Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

  It was reported in the online edition of Borneo Post that 1 in 3 Malaysians aged 18 and above suffer from high blood pressure.

Usually medication is prescribed but this has its own effects. Here are list of things you can do to naturally lower your blood pressure.

1. Workout - Get a good cardio workout for at least 30 mins a day. Exercise causes the heart to use oxygen more efficiently,so that it does not have to work harder.

2. Get potassium rich food into your diet. Eat bananas, raisins, prunes, melon. Drink orange juice.

3.Know your salt. Read the labels of processed food. Watch out for the word sodium.

4. Cut out alcohol. If find that difficult at least reduce its intake.

5. Avoid tobacco and second smoke. Nicotine can raise your blood pressure for up to an hour after you smoke.

6. Eat dark chocolates. It contains flavanols take make the blood vessel more elastic.

8. Drink tea. Hibiscus tea are known to lower blood pressure.

9. Breathe. Yes, breathe deeply, from your belly. Do this early in the morning and before going to sleep. 

10. Take it easy. Enjoy your life, feel grateful that you are given this life to live. Listen to music, look at the skies. Go to the movies, read a good book. Laugh . 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Information Filtering

This is a wonderful time to live. You can learn almost anything. And that, without leaving your house and for free. 

You get to know people from all over the world and realise that we have all the same fears and hopes and everyone needs to go the toilet.

You can look at photos of other people's house, lawn, pet. Sometimes they even let you see them having sex.

You can search for anything and everything. You have no excuse to be bored, ever.

But do you really need all the information? Do you really need to know that in 1859, 24 rabbits was released in Australia and within 6 years the population grew to 2 million.  What good is that piece of information to you?

There are too much useless stuff. You can survive well without them. You don't need to know all that is happening out there.

Filter out information that you do not need and you will be more productive

Friday, 9 August 2013

Book Review - The Art of Thinking Clearly

 I love this book. I have read it once and I am going to read it again and again and again. Written by Rolf Dobelli - a bestselling Swiss writer - this book is  sheer delight.

What started as a list for his own use which he compiled as an reminder how he can be mislead has grown and is now a best selling book.

Here is its opening :

 "This is not a how-to book. You won't find "seven steps to an error-free life...Although this book may not hold the key to happiness, at the very last it acts as insurance against too much self-induced unhappiness...If we could learn to recognize and evade the biggest errors in thinking...we might experience a leap in prosperity."

This book will entertain, surprise and most importantly educate.

I don't usually recommend books unless they are really good.  And this is one of the best I have read this year.

Go here to read the what others have to say about this book.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

This Is Inevitable

Sitting in the lounge of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport a few years ago, waiting for our flight number to be called, my colleague was describing all the possible scenarios that can go wrong in a flight. He said he did not want to die, I told him neither do I and added that eventually we all will die. After I said the possibility of dying that night is real and that the airplane crashing is just one way of the countless ways we can lose of lives, he stopped talking and distanced himself from me.

We did not crash that night or the trip back. But the possibility of dying is as real and true today as it was on that day  for him, for me and for all who are living. It is inevitable, isn't it? However it is one eventuality that many of us refuse to accept. In some culture it is taboo to talk about dead. Some think talking about dead somehow increases the possibility of dying and if that is true, talking about money should then increase the possibility of getting wealthy.

I believe thinking about dead is a good thing. It gives us a whole new perspective about living. Accepting that we will die regardless of our station in life will make us all the more eager to seize our living moments and be grateful for our time on earth.

It will makes us appreciate those around us. Make us realize that nothing should be taken for granted. We will learn to give more and complain less.

Accepting the fact that we will be dead will makes us think of the legacy that we want to leave behind.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rich People Think Differently

“The very rich, are different from you and me.”  ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Steve Siebold, who spent nearly three decades talking to millionaires around the globe to find out what separates them from everyone else and author of " How Rich People Think" listed 21 ways rich people think diffrently from the rest of us.

 1. Average people think MONEY is the root of all evil. Rich people believe POVERTY is the root of all evil.

2. Average people think selfishness is a vice. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue.

3. Average people have a lottery mentality. Rich people have an action mentality.

4. Average people think the road to riches is paved with formal education. Rich people believe in acquiring specific knowledge. 

5. Average people long for the good old days. Rich people dream of the future. 

6. Average people see money through the eyes of emotion. Rich people think about money logically. 

7. Average people earn money doing things they don't love. Rich people follow their passion. 

8. Average people set low expectations so they're never disappointed. Rich people are up for the challenge. 

9. Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich. Rich people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

10. Average people believe you need money to make money. Rich people use other people's money. 

11. Average people believe the markets are driven by logic and strategy. Rich people know they're driven by emotion and greed.

12. Average people live beyond their means. Rich people live below theirs.  

13. Average people teach their children how to survive. Rich people teach their kids to get rich.

14. Average people let money stress them out. Rich people find peace of mind in wealth. 

15. Average people would rather be entertained than educated. Rich people would rather be educated than entertained.

16. Average people think rich people are snobs. Rich people just want to surround themselves with like-minded people. 

17. Average people focus on saving. Rich people focus on earning. 

18. Average people play it safe with money. Rich people know when to take risks. 

19. Average people love to be comfortable. Rich people find comfort in uncertainty.

20. Average people never make the connection between money and health. Rich people know money can save your life. 

21. Average people believe they must choose between a great family and being rich. Rich people know you can have it all. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A Thought on a Sunday Morning

We are quick to make heroes for ourselves and then when they fall short of our expectations we destroy them.

The case Lance Armstrong comes to the mind. We celebrated him, we made him our inspiration. He was a cancer survivor that went on to conquer his sport. We rooted for him and many of us  wanted be like him.

That was then. Now he is, for want of a better word, a pariah.

We are good at this. We create and destroy heroes and after that we look for new heroes and before long we destroy them too.

We want to be inspired and we want to be like our heroes. Our lives are sometimes so empty on the inside that we need something from the outside to inspire us. We follow trends and get caught with consumerism to fill this void inside of us.

Most of us a living lives scripted by marketers and advertisers. Buy this and you would  be like that. Buy that and you would be like this. Use this perfume and you  be like Serena Williams. Wear that underwear and you are going to bend it like Beckham.

We need to pause and reflect everyday of our lives.  Take time to ponder who we are and enrich ourselves mentally, spiritually and physically. Then we do not have to look outside for inspiration, we can look on the inside.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

10 Quotes That Can Change Your Life

Below are 10 quotes from the late  Zig Ziglar that have the power to completely change the direction of one’s life.

1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”

8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

10 Traits of Successful People

This article recently appeared  in Investor’s Business Daily  on what makes people successful. IBD spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life and put together a list of the ten traits which, when combined, can turn dreams into reality:

  1. How you think is everything. Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

  2. Decide upon your true dreams and goals. Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

  3. Take action. Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started. As Nike says, “Just do it.”

  4. Never stop learning. Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.

  5. Be persistent and work hard. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

  6. Learn to analyze details. Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

  7. Focus your time and money. Don’t let other people or things distract you.

  8. Don’t be afraid to innovate; be different. Following the herd leads to mediocrity.

  9. Deal and communicate with people effectively. No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

  10. Be honest and dependable. Take responsibility. If you don’t, numbers 1-9 won’t matter!

Monday, 4 March 2013

10 Lies and Misconceptions Spread By Mainstream Nutrition

By: Dr Mercola
There's no shortage of health myths out there, but I believe the truth is slowly but surely starting to seep out there and get a larger audience. For example, two recent articles actually hit the nail right on the head in terms of good nutrition advice.
Shape Magazine features a slide show on "9 ingredients nutritionists won’t touch,"1 and listed “11 of the biggest lies of mainstream nutrition."2
These health topics are all essential to get "right" if you want to protect your health, and the health of your loved ones, which is why I was delighted to see both of these sources disseminating spot-on advice. I highly recommend reading through both of them.
Here, I will review my own top 10 lies and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition—some of which are included in the two featured sources, plus a few additional ones I believe are important.

Lie # 1: 'Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease'

As recently as 2002, the "expert" Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:
"Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet."
Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends adults to get 45–65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is an inverse ideal fat to carb ratio that is virtually guaranteed to lead you astray, and result in a heightened risk of chronic disease.
Most people benefit from 50-70 percent healthful fats in their diet for optimal health, whereas you need very few, if any, carbohydrates to maintain good health... Although that may seem like a lot, fat is much denser and consumes a much smaller portion of your meal plate.
This dangerous recommendation, which arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming your health and that of your loved ones for about 40 years now.
The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally. They also act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.
In fact, saturated is the preferred fuel for your heart! For more information about saturated fats and the essential role they play in maintaining your health, please read my previous article The Truth About Saturated Fat.

Lie # 2: 'Eating Fat Makes You Gain Weight'

The low-fat myth may have done more harm to the health of millions than any other dietary recommendation as the resulting low-fat craze led to increased consumption of trans-fats, which we now know increases your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease—the very health problems wrongfully attributed to saturated fats...
To end the confusion, it's very important to realize that eating fat will not make you fat!
The primary cause of excess weight and all the chronic diseases associated with it, is actually the consumption of too much sugar -- especially fructose, but also all sorts of grains, which rapidly convert to sugar in your body. If only the low-fat craze had been a low-sugar craze... then we wouldn't have nearly as much chronic disease as we have today. For an explanation of why and how a low-fat diet can create the very health problems it's claimed to prevent, please see this previous article.

Lie # 3: 'Artificial Sweeteners are Safe Sugar-Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss'

Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they’re diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The amazing irony is that nearly all the studies that have carefully analyzed their effectiveness show that those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight than those who consume caloric sweeteners. Studies have also revealed that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.
In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain, far more so than regular soda.3 On average, each diet soft drink the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years, and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several potential causes for this, including:
  • Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content.
  • Artificial sweeteners appear to simply perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced—leading to further problems controlling your weight.4
  • Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body's natural ability to "count calories," as evidenced in studies such as this 2004 study at Purdue University,5 which found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids.
There is also a large number of health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners and aspartame in particular. I've compiled an ever-growing list of studies pertaining to health problems associated with aspartame, which you can find here. If you're still on the fence, I highly recommend reviewing these studies for yourself so that you can make an educated decision. For more information on aspartame, the worst artificial sweetener, please see my aspartame video.

Lie # 4: 'Your Body Cannot Tell the Difference Between Sugar and Fructose'

Of the many health-harming ingredients listed in the featured article by Shape Magazine—all of which you're bound to get in excess if you consume processed foods—fructose is perhaps the greatest threat to your health. Mounting evidence testifies to the fact that excess fructose, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is a primary factor causing not just obesity, but also chronic and lethal disease. In fact, I am convinced that fructose is one of the leading causes of a great deal of needless suffering from poor health and premature death.
Many conventional health "experts," contend that sugar and fructose in moderation is perfectly okay and part of a normal "healthy" diet, and the corn industry vehemently denies any evidence showing that fructose is metabolically more harmful than regular sugar (sucrose). This widespread denial and sweeping the evidence under the carpet poses a massive threat to your health, unless you do your own research.
As a standard recommendation, I advise keeping your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. For most people it would also be wise to limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams or less. Unfortunately, while this is theoretically possible, precious few people are actually doing that.
Cutting out a few desserts will not make a big difference if you're still eating a "standard American diet"—in fact, I've previously written about how various foods and beverages contain far more sugar than a glazed doughnut. Because of the prevalence of HFCS in foods and beverages, the average person now consumes 1/3 of a pound of sugar EVERY DAY, which is five ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose.
That's 300 percent more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc. Remember that is the AVERAGE; many actually consume more than twice that amount. For more details about the health dangers of fructose and my recommendations, please see my recent article Confirmed—Fructose Can Increase Your Hunger and Lead to Overeating.

Lie # 5: 'Soy is a Health Food'

The meteoric rise of soy as a "health food" is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake about it, unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, and can be equally troublesome for men and women of all ages. If you find this recommendation startling then I would encourage you to review some of the many articles listed on my Soy Index Page.
Contrary to popular belief, thousands of studies have actually linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.
Not only that, but more than 90 percent of American soy crops are genetically modified, which carries its own set of health risks.6 I am not opposed to all soy, however. Organic and, most importantly, properly fermented soy does have great health benefits. Examples of such healthful fermented soy products include tempeh, miso and natto. Here is a small sampling of the detrimental health effects linked to unfermented soy consumption:

Lie # 6: 'Eggs are a Source of Unhealthy Cholesterol'

Eggs are probably one of the most demonized foods in the United States, mainly because of the misguided idea implied by the lipid hypothesis that eating egg yolk increases the cholesterol levels in your body. You can forget about such concerns, because contrary to popular belief, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat and they do not have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels. Numerous nutritional studies have dispelled the myth that you should avoid eating eggs, so this recommendation is really hanging on by a very bare thread...
One such study7, conducted by the Yale Prevention Research Center and published in 2010, showed that egg consumption did not have a negative effect on endothelial function – a measure of cardiac risk – and did not cause a spike on cholesterol levels.
Choose free-range organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs.

Lie # 7: 'Whole Grains are Good for Everyone'

The use of whole-grains is an easy subject to get confused on especially for those who have a passion for nutrition, as for the longest time we were told the fiber in whole grains is highly beneficial. Unfortunately ALL grains, including whole-grain and organic varieties, can elevate your insulin levels, which can increase your risk of disease. They also contain gluten, which many are sensitive to, if not outright allergic. It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin levels -- especially those who have the following conditions:
  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Protein metabolic types
In addition, sub-clinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, which can also wreak havoc with your health. As a general rule, I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains as well as sugars/fructose from your diet, especially if you have any of the above conditions that are related to insulin resistance. The higher your insulin levels and the more prominent your signs of insulin overload are, the more ambitious your grain elimination needs to be.
If you are one of the fortunate ones without insulin resistance and of normal body weight, then grains are fine, especially whole grains—as long as you don’t have any issues with gluten and select organic and unrefined forms. It is wise to continue to monitor your grain consumption and your health as life is dynamic and constantly changing. What might be fine when you are 25 or 30 could become a major problem at 40 when your growth hormone and level of exercise is different.

Lie # 8: 'Milk Does Your Body Good'

Unfortunately, the myth that conventional pasteurized milk has health benefits is a persistent one, even though it’s far from true. Conventional health agencies also refuse to address the real dangers of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in conventional milk. I do not recommend drinking pasteurized milk of any kind, including organic, because once milk has been pasteurized its physical structure is changed in a way that can actually cause allergies and immune problems.
Important enzymes like lactase are destroyed during the pasteurization process, which causes many people to not be able to digest milk. Additionally, vitamins (such as A, C, B6 and B12) are diminished and fragile milk proteins are radically transformed from health nurturing to unnatural amino acid configurations that can actually worsen your health. The eradication of beneficial bacteria through the pasteurization process also ends up promoting pathogens rather than protecting you from them.
The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is raw milk, which is an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and enzymes, and it is, in my estimation, one of the finest sources of calcium available. For more details please watch the interview I did with Mark McAfee, who is the owner of Organic Pastures, the largest organic dairy in the US.
However, again, if you have insulin issues and are struggling with weight issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or high cholesterol it would be best to restrict your dairy to organic butter as the carbohydrate content, lactose, could be contribute to insulin and leptin resistance. Fermented organic raw dairy would eliminate the lactose issue and would be better tolerated. But if you are sensitive to dairy it might be best to avoid these too.

Lie # 9: 'Genetically Engineered Foods are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods'

Make no mistake about it; genetically engineered (GE) foods may be one of the absolute most dangerous aspects of our food supply today. I strongly recommend avoiding ALL GE foods. Since over 90 percent of all corn grown in the US is GE corn, and over 95 percent all soy is GE soy, this means that virtually every processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label likely contains one or more GE components. To avoid GE foods, first memorize the following list of well-known and oft-used GE crops:

Fresh zucchini, crookneck squash and Hawaiian papaya are also commonly GE. It’s important to realize that unless you're buying all organic food, or grow your own veggies and raise your own livestock, or at the very least buy all whole foods (even if conventionally grown) and cook everything from scratch, chances are you're consuming GE foods every single day... What ultimate impact these foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects. The first-ever lifetime feeding study also showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan.

Lie # 10: 'Lunch Meats Make for a Healthy Nutritious Meal'

Lastly, processed meats, which includes everything from hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and pepperoni are rarely thought of as strict no-no’s, but they really should be, if you’re concerned about your health. Virtually all processed meat products contain dangerous compounds that put them squarely on the list of foods to avoid or eliminate entirely. These compounds include:
  • Heterocyclic amines (HCAs): a potent carcinogen, which is created when meat or fish is cooked at high temperatures.
  • Sodium nitrite: a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor to processed and cured meats.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form.
  • Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
This recommendation is backed up by a report commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund8 (WCRF). The review, which evaluated the findings of more than 7,000 clinical studies, was funded by money raised from the general public, so the findings were not influenced by vested interests. It's also the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is "safe." A previous analysis by the WCRF found that eating just one sausage a day raises your risk of developing bowel cancer by 20 percent, and other studies have found that processed meats increase your risk of:
  • Colon cancer by 50 percent
  • Bladder cancer by 59 percent
  • Stomach cancer by 38 percent
  • Pancreatic cancer by 67 percent
Processed meats may also increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you absolutely want or need a hot dog or other processed meats once in awhile, you can reduce your risk by:
  • Looking for "uncured" varieties that contain NO nitrates
  • Choosing varieties that say 100% beef, 100% chicken, etc. This is the only way to know that the meat is from a single species and does not include byproducts (like chicken skin or chicken fat or other parts)
  • Avoiding any meat that contains MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavor or artificial color
Ideally, purchase sausages and other processed meats from a small, local farmer who can tell you exactly what's in their products. These are just some of the health myths and misconceptions out there. There are certainly many more. The ones listed above are some of the most important ones, in my view, simply because they’re so widely misunderstood. They’re also critical to get "right" if you want to protect your health, and the health of your loved ones. For more great advise, please review the two featured sources.
[-] Sources and References

Hi Again

Hi there.

 To those who follow this blog, I would like to say thank you. This is my first post for the year and the first since November of last. I didn't decide to take a break, it just happen that way.

In December of last year, after a month on non-writing, I did contemplate about stopping for good. I don't have anything new to say on self improvement. I believe I have covered all the important points. And there are thousands of website dealing in this.

I decided to continue after I realised that this is the one avenue where the common man can reach the masses. To have a voice no matter how small and distant is important. I need that.

I will be posting more articles about health and nutrition. I will also write more on achieving financial freedom and living the simple life.

You are welcome to comment. Thanks again for reading