Sep 27, 2007

K' Personality

Kratos is a destructive, amoral and self-centered character, driven constantly by his rage and pride. In God of War, he blames the original God of War, Ares, for tricking him into killing his wife and child while ensnared by blind fury. Likewise, in God of War II, he swears revenge on Zeus for deceiving and killing him, destroying his home-city of Sparta, exterminating the army that Kratos had led to Rhodes, and destroying The Spartans.

Kratos does display feelings of guilt or sorrow occasionally, (mostly for his family) but these emotions are often converted to extreme rage (such as when Kratos accidentally stabbed Athena, mortally wounding her). Kratos also showed respect for the Spartan warriors he leads, and compassion for his home-city of Sparta along with her residents. Unable to cope with the memory of his own misdeeds, Kratos has attempted suicide on two separate occasions (and faked a third suicide attempt to trick Zeus into letting his guard down).

Kratos is stubborn and prideful. He believes that his fate, and his life belongs to him and him alone. He has shown this multiple times by doing things beyond his place, such as slaying Ares and the Sisters of Fate thus controlling his fate (something even Zeus had not been able to do). After becoming a god Kratos holds great anger for the gods, for forcing him into a position he did not want to be in, and not accepting him as a God of Olympus. During the course of the 2nd game Kratos repeatedly announces that he serves no one and nothing, be it a mortal, immortal, or destiny.

Kratos Biography

Kratos, born in Sparta, became the captain of a rapidly growing Spartan army. However he and his Spartan army were no match for the barbarian tribes. Being outnumbered and overpowered, his army was losing the battle. Kratos, about to be killed by the barbarians' leader, pledged himself to Ares, the God of War, in exchange for victory. The god accepted and wiped out the barbarians, giving Kratos the Blades of Chaos as a sign of his servitude and used his weapons to slay the barbarian leader.

Kratos served Ares loyally for some time. However, Ares later tricked him into killing his wife and child and as a result was cursed to wear their ashes for all time, labeled the "Ghost of Sparta" soon after. Grief-stricken, Kratos was afterwards haunted by terrible nightmares of the deaths of his family. However, the Gods offered Kratos forgiveness and immortality for his deeds in return for servitude to them, carrying out their commands for ten years.

After killing the sea monster known as The Hydra, Kratos got his chance to seek his revenge on the God of War and finally be free of the terrible nightmares that haunted him when Athena told Kratos that the gods will forgive his past if he prevents Ares from destroying Athens, ordered by Athena to seek out Pandora's box in order to help him destroy Ares. Following an Athenian Oracle's instructions, Kratos traversed the Desert of Lost Souls and found Pandora's Temple atop the back of the Titan Cronos. He made his way through the temple and retrieved Pandora's Box. Ares, sensing Kratos' success, hurled a huge pillar towards Pandora's Temple. The pillar impales and kills Kratos sending him to Hades. During the fall to the river Styx, Kratos is able to lay hold on some bones and then escapes the clutches of Hades. Kratos escaped from Hades and returned to Athens, killing Ares with the power of Pandora's Box. Although his past was forgiven, the gods could not relieve Kratos of his nightmares. Kratos attempted suicide, only to be stopped by Athena as she gave him Ares' place on Olympus as the new God of War.

As the God of War, Kratos continued his conquests, resulting in Sparta's campaign over Greece. Zeus, weary of Krato's impertinence, tricked him into relinquishing his godly powers by sending down the Blade Of Olympus and telling him to drain his powers into the sword so he would then be powerful enough to kill the colossus of Rhodes. Kratos entered the Colossus and destroyed it from the inside. As it collapsed he escaped and boasted of his victory to the gods but the hand of the colossus crashed down on him injuring him greatly. Kratos realized that draining his power into the blade had made him mortal once more. He attempted to retrieve the blade and with it his godly power,it was then Zeus came down claimed the blade and demanded that he swore his loyalty to him. Kratos refused and thus Zeus killed him and his Spartan army. As he lay dying Kratos swore vengeance on Zeus for his betrayal.

Kratos escaped from Hades with the help of the Titan Gaia, who told him to seek out the Sisters of Fate so that he may have his revenge on Zeus. After a brief visit to Typhon's lair, Kratos safely arrived on the island. After encountering numerous adversaries and allies, Kratos met in to the Sisters of Fate, desposing of them one by one when they refused to aid him. He used their mirrors to return to the moment of his death. Before Kratos could kill Zeus, Athena intervened and took the blow instead. Dying, she revealed the truth of Zeus' intentions, explained that Zeus is Kratos' father, and told Kratos that Zeus must live for the sake of Olympus. However, Kratos did not heed her wishes, saying that the time of the Gods has come to an end.

Kratos traveled back in time to the Great Titan War and took the Titans back to the present. As the game closed, he led them on an assault on Mount Olympus.

Sep 22, 2007

Make Your Haters Your Motivators

Diversity is important in all areas of life. A great financial portfolio has a diverse set of assets so it can profit in any financial environments. A great carpenter carries a diverse set of tools so every construction need can be met. A great business employs a diverse group of people who can understand, no ? feel, the diverse needs of every corner of its customer base. Similarly, people who have great success require a diverse set of skills.

The greatest among us live on a mission, committed to getting better every day despite or, better yet, because of all the challenges they will face. Sure, we would all rather play all of our games ‘at home? on a familiar field surrounded by stands packed the fans that show us the most love. However, we often must play the game of life before hostile crowds. Just like the carpenter needs the screwdriver and the hammer equally, your success plan needs to thrive equally on love and hate. You need to be able to make your haters your motivators.

A hater is someone who gets joy from witnessing your failure. Said differently, a hater does not enjoy seeing you have success. Because haters get their joy from seeing you fail, playing on their terms is a no-win situation for you. Your haters will only be happy if you are failing, pleasing them is obviously self-destructive. This is not nearly as self-destructive, however, as keeping haters on your ‘home team? and succeeding despite them. In this case, your haters will be forced to step up their hate game until they end your season for good. A hater is a threat to any and every positive move you make toward success because your success threatens his or her joy.

Further, it is not always easy to spot ‘hater-ation,? as Mary J. Blige would say, because sometimes it comes at you by surprise. Hate sometimes appears in your life as a monkey wrench in your engine thrown by ‘friends? and even family members. Naively, many people feel that they can simply avoid or ignore those who mean them harm. In their time of indecision, these people find their plan for haters is no plan at all, which often leaves them wide open to their haters? attacks. Haters, if you let them, will make themselves at home in your mind, keeping you stuck in self-doubt and far from success. And yet, you must make your haters a part of your success plan. What? A carpenter would not go to the job without a hammer because their may be nails there that need pounding. In the same fashion, given that haters are an inevitable part of life, you may need to lay the hammer yourself, making your haters a part of your success rather than your demise.

In order to reach your highest potential, you have to get and stay motivated every day. Some days, the work of greatness will come easily to you. You will be so enamored with the worth of your mission that you will be able to push forward with ease. Some days, however, your motivation will wane, your step will drag, and your courage will weaken. These are the days in which you may need to use every trick in your book to stay motivated. These are the days in which haters are the most useful to you. Your haters are waiting for you to quit, waiting for you to admit that they were right all along about you. Will you let them have the satisfaction? Your haters are on standby waiting to stand over you after you’ve fallen from the mountain up which they were too frightened or too lazy to climb. Will you sit still for the diss? Your haters are trying to take food off your table and give you a backhanded slap on the way out. Will you stand for it?

On the days when the thought of your righteous mission is not enough to amp you up, think about your haters. They’re not right about you! They have no business standing over you dissing your game! And if they try to take what yours, you’ll take it back, ’cause it’s like that! Use your haters to get back on your game. Steal your haters? joy by staying on a winning path.

No one wants to think about haters. We would all rather ignore them and go about our business. However, if you love your greatness, you will make sure that nothing ever stands in your path. Don’t get caught being the carpenter without a hammer in his box. Though you should never, ever have haters as a playbook-carrying member of your squad, but be sure to use them to keep your mind right for success. Put all that hate to good use!-(

Sep 18, 2007

Thirteen Tricks to Motivate Yourself

For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, this article isn’t for you. But for the rest of us humans, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move us along.

How to Avoid Motivation

The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

* Passion. Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.
* Habits. You can’t put everything on autopilot. But I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day. Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.
* Flow. Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part. Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

Motivation Tips

Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started. Here are a few:

1. Go Back to “Why” - Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing. If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

2. Go for Five - Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

3. Move Around - Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude, but it works.

4. Find the Next Step - It’s impossible to work on a project. All you can do is focus on the next immediate step. Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable.

5. Find Your Itch - What is keeping you from working. Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem. Are you unmotivated because your tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry. Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet.

6. Deconstruct Your Fears - I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed. Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident you can handle the worst case scenario.

7. Get a Partner - Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

8. Kickstart Your Day - Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

9. Read Books - Not just self-help or motivational books, but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion, so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

10. Get the Right Tools - Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation. Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

11. There are No Small Problems - The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration. Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones, or they will kill any drive you have.

12. Develop a Mantra - Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster, or just a few words to tell you what to do. If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is, “Do it now!”

13. Build on Success - Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut. There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.-(l.hack)

Sep 7, 2007

Do Anything: Three Steps for Success

1. Be Happy
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. — Hugh Downs

I don’t mean listen to that irritatingly catchy song. If you start a task happy then you are coming from a position of strength. You’ll feel more energetic, more calm and be able to handle anything that life throws your way. People want to be around relaxed, happy people. You’ll have better relationships with friends and co-workers. You will be more aware of the chances and opportunities around you.

I’m not going to give you platitudes about how to find your happiness. There isn’t any one answer that suits all situations. Recognize that no one in your life can make you happy except for yourself, and if you don’t start from a position of happiness then everything else becomes so much harder. Irritation and constant complaining are the little yellow canaries in the mineshaft that you’re losing hold of your happiness. Keep hold of your happiness, it is the best asset you have.

2. Know What is Important
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their life — Leo Tolstoy

Any advice on time/life management can be broken down to this essential idea: focus on what is important to achieving your goal and ignore all else. Stuff in your house you don’t use? Get rid of it. Features in your app that aren’t going to land the customer? They’re only adding complexity and tying up your developers. Cut unnecessary time sinks and distractions out of your life mercilessly and suddenly everything else becomes much more manageable.

Doing less as a way of achieving more is quite simple, the really hard part is figuring out what you want to accomplish, and then identifying what is truly important to get there. Don’t confuse urgency with importance. In any task only 20% of the activities around it are truly important, the other 80% are trivialities that can be ignored. One of the most important skills you can have in life is figuring out which is which.

3. Be Disciplined

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. — Jim Rohn

When you know what your goal is, and you have identified the 20% of tasks that are important, then it is only a matter of execution. Discipline, like patience, is more a muscle than a skill. You gain discipline by exercising that muscle, instead of letting it atrophy by following distractions and procrastination. The greatest productivity comes from achieving flow. Exercising your discipline is the road to being able to enter flow at will.

Like Chuck Jazdzewski says, programming is fun but shipping is your job. It doesn’t matter how much work, time and effort you put into something if your don’t achieve your goal. Discipline helps you always be closing on your goals.

Time and resources can play a big factor in success, but they are external factors. If you start from a position of strength (happiness), identify what gets you the most bang for your buck (know what is important), and execute (be disciplined) then you will always achieve the results you are looking for.-(lifehack)

Sep 1, 2007

3 Keys to Have Authentic Happiness

In today’s time it may seem like authentic happiness is not possible. However, if the truth be told, authentic happiness is much easier to have then most people may think. The key to having authentic happiness is knowing how and where to look for it. Here are 3 keys to have authentic happiness.

1. It must be internal.

Authentic happiness is only possible if it is something that is internal. If you are trying to find happiness in external things you will find that this kind of happiness is short lived. The reason why is external things are always changing. You might be happy today but things may change tomorrow and then you won’t be happy. True happiness must come from the inside.

2. Know what makes you happy.

Have you ever sat down and really thought about what makes you happy and why? If you haven’t it will be almost impossible to have authentic happiness. Think about it. If you don’t know what makes you happy you will never be able to work towards it. You will just be chasing a feeling that will end up making you empty handed. Once you identify what makes you happy you will finally stop chasing smoke and focus on what is real.

3. Change your rules for happiness.

What rules do you have to make you happy? You might say that to be happy you will have to a millionaire or be in love. The thing about this is that you have made it difficult to be happy. If you change the rules so that it’s easy to be happy you will find authentic happiness much faster. For instance, you could make it a rule that you feel happy because you are alive. That makes it pretty easy to feel happy.

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