Nov 23, 2010

- 7 Timeless Principles of Achievement

The knowledge required today is vastly different than the knowledge you needed 20 years ago and in 5 years time most of what you know today will be obsolete.

Through all this there is one thing that is constant. One thing we can trust. That is the principles that drive achievement. The keys of success never change because people don’t. Noah Bennet in the TV-series Heroes puts it well “Things change, but people do not.”

As long as people control the world, the principles that set the successful apart from the regular will remain the same.

When playing baseball as a kid I noticed these principles at work. We used to play a pickup game every day after school. As in every group some of the kids had a knack for baseball and others didn’t. What was interesting to watch was how the group evolved. Some of the kids would improve at a faster rate then the rest, they seemed to improve in everything quicker than average. Both in school and sports.

I saw the same thing happen again and again when working in sales. Some of the salesmen hired just did better than others, even though at the outset they might have been much worse.

The reason is that all these people either actively or instinctively followed these 7 principles.

1. It isn’t how much you work, but how you work that makes the difference

Being at the office for 10 hours straight doesn’t mean you got the most done and, what is more important, it doesn’t mean that you brought the most value to your employer.

If you are going to be successful it is important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Make sure you are always working on your highest value task, bringing value to your employer and yourself.

Working on time management skills that make you able to produce more in less time is a shortcut that will boost you on your path.

2. Hard work pays off

With step one understood, hard work does pay off. Spending an hour more at the office than your colleagues does mean that you get more done. Working the whole day, instead of taking breaks by the coffee machine, makes you a lot more productive. And being the first into the office every morning so that you have time to plan your day will give you the ease of mind you need to produce.

3. The only thing holding you back is your imagination

We can do anything, as long as we set our mind to it. I want to give you an example from the movie “A Knights Tale” with Heath Ledger. When Heaths character, William, is a young boy he is apprenticed to a knight. His dream was to become a knight himself, something that should have been far out of reach as he wasn’t of noble birth, which was required to compete.

His father tells him that he can, if he believes. If he believes it so strongly and works with all his might, it will happen.

As it turns out, he becomes a knight and his dreams are realized.

Of course this is a story, but the moral of the story is based on fact. If you believe something powerfully enough, you will find a way to make your dream reality.

4. Leading a balanced life is the key

A trap many fall into is that they don’t find balance in their life.

You are not successful if you aren’t successful in all 4 major areas of your life: finance, career, family and health.

Succeeding in one doesn’t compensate for failure in another. Spend time on all 4 areas and the synergy effect will help you become more successful in each area as well.

5. Improve every day

Constant improvement is crucial to your success. If you are to become the best you have to continuously improve. Life is a race and if you aren’t running, someone else will pass you.

6. It isn’t your genes that determine your level of success

This was at first hard for me to grasp before I understood it. It isn’t what you are born with that determines how far you will go. It is your discipline, your motivation and your hunger that will make you successful.

Just like I saw with my friends, the only one of us to make the minor leagues was the kid we used to stick out in right field because he could neither throw, catch or run.

7. Be proactive

Always be in charge of your own life. Be in the driver’s seat. Don’t let the circumstances you find yourself in, the stimuli thrust upon you, control you. Control the circumstances and create your own brakes.

Conclusion

By following these principles you have the basis on which you can form your success, the foundation on which to build and realize your dreams. Never give up because whatever and whoever you want to be, you can succeed, if you chose to.



(lifeoptimizer) 

Oct 13, 2010

- The 5 Stupidest Management Fads of All Time



 (1) Business Process Reengineering

  • The theory: Analyze the workflows and processes within your organization and rework them to achieve a defined business outcome. Set up cross-functional teams in order to re-engineer separate functional tasks into complete cross-functional processes. Integrate a wide number of business functions through enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, yada-yada-yada, etc., etc.
  • The reality: Forget about redesigning processes.  Reengineering is all about layoffs.  Top management uses the idea to justify firing people in order to make it seem like they’re actually doing something logical, rather than just temporarily boosting the stock price so that their short term stock options pay off big.
  • The result: A string of layoffs, followed by the total collapse of your company.  Probably sooner rather than later.
  • My opinion of the fad: The whole idea is terminally idiotic.  Massively changing a corporation while it’s operating is exactly like trying to redesign and retool an automobile while you’re driving down the highway. In any case, reengineering assumes that corporations fail because of lousy processes, when it’s almost ALWAYS the result of lousy management.
  • Likelihood you’ll run into it at least once: 65%
  • Your strategy if you do: If your company announces that it’s reengineering, update your resume.  Start networking like crazy and line up your new position in another company as soon as possible.  Even if you’re well positioned to survive the layoffs, you won’t want to work there after the reengineering has been going on for a while.  Trust me on this.
  

 (2) Matrix Management

  • The theory: People with similar skills are pooled for work assignments. For example, all engineers may be in one engineering department and report to an engineering manager, but these same engineers may be assigned to different projects and report to a project manager while working on that project. Therefore, each engineer may have to work under several managers to get their job done.
  • The reality: An endless, debilitating turf war.  Each manager fights to be considered the “real” manager of the personnel.  They do this by forcing everybody to attend required “staff meetings” and by finding extra hoops to jump through and extra rocks to fetch, in order to prove that that they’re the ones who are really in charge.
  • The result: All productive work grinds to an immediate halt.  Management becomes completely consumed in arguments over who will do what and when.  Because the system creates more managers, the organization quickly becomes top heavy.  Eventually, top management figures out that this is a terminally bonehead idea and puts one person in charge.
  • My opinion of the fad: I actually worked in an organization that had matrix management.  Everyone reported to three managers, and each manager insisted upon having a mandatory 3 hour meeting every week (no agenda).  Their manager also required everyone to attend a one hour mandatory meeting every week — to “facilitate communication.”  That was 10 hours — 25% of the work week — wasted in nonsense.
  • Likelihood you’ll run into it at least once: 10%
  • Your Strategy: Make sure you can access the Internet inside your company’s conference room.  During the unending turf hassles, you can answer emails, surf the web, play games, etc.  Otherwise, you have to wait this one out.  It won’t last for more than a year.


 (3) Management by Consensus

  • The theory: Important decisions should be made with the agreement of everybody in the group.  Proposals are  collaboratively developed, and full agreement is a primary objective.  Consensus management is usually seen as an alternative to “top-down” decision making common inside hierarchical organizations.
  • The reality: Since everybody has a say in the decision, anybody can effectively veto any decision.  As a result, only decisions that are completely innocuous and support the status quo are ever made.  Difficult decisions — ones that might ruffle feathers — get quietly shunted aside.
  • The result: Forget the wisdom of crowds.  Crowds are so stupid they can’t even figure out what the crowd is thinking. Specifically, consensus decision-making often results in what’s called “the Abilene paradox,” where a group will unanimously agree on a course of action that no individual member of the group desires because no one is willing to go against the perceived will of the group.
  • My opinion of the fad: Management by consensus like swimming in a pool of quicksand.  Because important decisions never get made, the entire organizations flounders and sinks.  BTW, consensus management sometimes happens accidentally when groups have managers who are afraid to make decisions because somebody who works for them might be offended.
  • Likelihood you’ll run into it at least once: 35%
  • Your strategy if you do: Volunteer to keep minutes of the meeting.  Make the decisions yourself and then pawn them off as consensus.  Nobody will notice unless you get too ambitious, like claiming that the consensus was that everyone should wear their underwear inside out.

 (4) Core Competency

  • The theory: Focus on the one thing that your firm does better than anyone else.  That will make your strategy difficult for competitors to imitate and keep your organization from wasting time doing things that they’re not very good at.
  • The reality: Most organizations, like the managers that run them, are about as self aware as a turnip.  As a result, they seldom know what they’re really good at.  In many cases, organizations think they’re good at something but are actually successful for some completely different reason.
  • The result: Core competence generally ends up as a kind of myth that keeps a company locked into doing what it was successful at doing in the past.  As a result, companies that focus on their core competence soon find that they have competitors running rings around them.
  • My opinion of the fad: Like all management fads, this sounds like a great idea, but it must be implemented by corporate managers, which means that even if it were the most brilliant idea in the world, they would still bollix things up beyond all recognition.
  • Likelihood you’ll run into it at least once: 85%
  • Your strategy if you do: Get involved in the committee that’s suppose to determine the core competence.  Make sure that whatever you do is the company’s core competence.  If you fail, transfer to the group that did win the discussion.


(5) Management By Objectives

 
  • The theory: Define objectives within an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they are in the organization. Then compare the employee’s actual performance with the standards set and agreed upon.
  • The reality: Everyone spends hours making plans for the future.  When the future actually happens, it ends up looking nothing like it was originally expected.  As a result, everyone ends up either doing something that might have worked a year ago or doing something that wasn’t in the original plan and then spends extra effort making it look as if they were performing to the plan.
  • The result: Lots and lots of out-of-date planning documents and precious little to show for it.   Success rate in the typical company is supposedly around 6% percent.
  • My opinion of the fad: There’s nothing wrong with having goals and making sure you know what you’re supposed to be doing, but MBO becomes a fad when it’s just part of the same old review process.  Worst case, it turns into a paperwork nightmare that strips flexibility from an organization.
  • Likelihood you’ll run into it at least once: 90%
  • Your strategy if you do: Try to be as vague as possible about your objectives and have multiple ways to get measured, so that no matter what happens you still look like you’ve fulfilled the objective. Above all, don’t feel guilty about gaming the system, because your boss is probably gaming it up the chain anyway.


(bnet) 

Oct 8, 2010

- 4 Reasons to Give Up On Your Dream Career


 
  • The Path Changes. Many people have told me the path to their dream career looked nothing like what they expected. They took non-traditional roads and explored uncharted territory to get there. It seemed for a while that they were off course. And then, amazingly, they were able to guide their current path in the right direction.
 
  • The Destination Changes. I’ve known many people who tell me they woke up one day and realized they were in their dream career, and it was nothing like what they thought it would be. The job they had taken to make ends meet on the way to another destination turned out to be more than just a stop along the road.


  • The World Changes. I couldn’t have envisioned my career ten years ago. Even five years ago, the technology I use on a daily basis was only just being developed. The world is constantly changing and growing and, with it, new careers are emerging. In the future, technology we can’t begin to understand will become a part of the mainstream and it will shift our society in ways we can’t predict. Our limits are ever-expanding, and our career possibilities are growing each and every day…. What will be available in another five years? How will it impact our business world? How will it change your idea of a dream career? No one knows.
 
  • YOU Change. You’re not the same person you were yesterday. Our dreams are fluid. What once might have seemed like a dream career may no longer suit you. Be willing to let your dreams change and not feel guilty or that you’ve failed. Sometimes, you have to let go of old dreams to let the new ones in. That’s not “giving up.” It’s growing up.


(bnet)
 
 

Sep 4, 2010

- Office Nut Cases: A Field Guide - (part 1)

If you’ve been around an office for any time at all, you’ve run into one of those certifiable nut cases who makes you (and everyone around you) miserable. Not to worry.  Identifying a nut case is half the battle, because then you can avoid, ignore or neutralize.  Knowledge truly is power.


NUT CASE #1: THE SUPER-ACHIEVER *
 

Super achievers must excel at everything that they do… to the point of obnoxiousness.  Not only do they achieve every conventional measure of career success, but their families must look picture perfect.  “Happy” is not a word used by super achievers; the only word that matters is “successful.”
Super achievers see themselves as special and they want to be treated as such.  They continually inflate themselves often at the expense of others.  Super achievers hate criticism and will endlessly defend, explain or justify in order to prove that they are right and others are wrong.
If the super achiever is a peer, no matter how competent you are, you’ll walk away from an encounter needed to shake off an uncomfortable sense of incompetence.  If you report to a super achiever, one of two things is bound to happen.  Either you will sit at the feet of the star or you will be constantly told that your ideas are second rank.  If you oversee a super achiever, expect underhanded maneuvers to get you fired.
Super achievers breed fear and resentment. Everyone begins to guard ideas and an uncomfortable sense of paranoia grows.  Initially, a super achiever will charm certain individuals who look as if they can be the best stepping stones.  But over time a slew of bruised egos accumulate and by the time the rest of the team what realizes what has happened, the super achiever has been promoted.



NUT CASE #2: THE REBEL *
 
The rebel is a born fighter.  Their animosity is almost always against authority figures, social protocols, or company rules and regulations.  Rebels come in wearing jeans on a Tuesday when the casual day is Friday.  They miss deadlines or arrive late to work just to prove they don’t have to follow the rules.
Rebels do these things because they thrive on negative attention, seeing it as the only way to get noticed. Rebels often strike colleagues as emotionally closed and hyper vigilant. Rebels claim to strive for change yet they have not done their deeper homework.  They will take on a cause without really understanding the implications of their actions.
If you have a classic rebel on your team, watch out!  About the only thing he or she loves more than throwing gasoline on a smoldering fire is getting others to do the same.  The moment rebels hear of discontent, they will go to great lengths to convince others they should go to HR or get legal advice.
Most companies cannot tolerate rebels for very long which is why rebels are often sent to communication programs or anger management seminars. Rebels also get fired or quit their jobs, typically leaving with a tremendous amount of fanfare.  Rebels are willing to prove a point regardless of consequences and this can easily damage communities, teams and companies.


NUT CASE #3: THE PROCRASTINATOR *
 
Procrastinators always say yes to deadlines but fail to follow through.  They then become indignant or evasive when held responsible.  As deadlines approach, procrastinators cannot be found by cell phone, e-mail or carrier pigeon.  When the work is finally turned in, procrastinators often go on multiple mini vacations to “recuperate from the stress.”
While perfectionism plays a part, most procrastinators lack self-confidence and are unsure whether they can actually complete a task. There also appears to be a link between impulsiveness and procrastination.  Impulsive people tend to value living in the moment and thus attribute no real meaning to deadlines.
For businesses the cost of procrastination includes time spent counseling tardy employees, making sure the postponed work gets covered, managing disappointments and handling the conflicts that are bound to occur when teams are waiting for a solitary individual to produce his or her part of a project.
Procrastination costs are hard to measure as one can hardly plot out all the possible alternative scenarios and all the missed opportunities.  One thing is certain, a procrastinator on a project virtually guarantees that it will either be late, or that other people will end up doing extra work in order to get it in on time.


NUT CASE #4: THE OFFICE CLOWN *
 
Office clowns are extroverts who love to divert others with their jokes and witty banter.  They know every detail of a trivial issue and give their own two cents just to get a rise out of their colleagues.  Often the jokes are offensive insensitive and downright embarrassing.  Clowns can get folks involved in a contest of one-liners that may begin in good taste but end up as HR nightmares.
Office clowns often display an uncanny ability to break up a tense situation with a joke. They can pick up on the unsaid anger in the room and become heroes by speaking the unspeakable, even if it’s not productive to focus on that aspect of the situation.
Having a sense of humor is certainly not the same as being an office clown.  Research indicates that laughing benefits the immune system and activates endorphins, the good stuff that makes us feel more contented.
However, coworkers sense that office clowns aren’t just trying to be funny and that there’s something else going on.  Privately most coworkers regard office clowns as bozos, smart-asses, and motormouths.  Not surprisingly, such clowning can be subversive rather than helpful, giving rise to shared negativity rather than anything constructive.


(bnetleadership) 

Jul 23, 2010

- 5 Things to Do When the Boss is Wrong

  1. Say, “Great idea Boss! We’ll test it.” This comes directly from Jim Sterne who introduced the term to me through my BNET colleague, Sean Silverman. This gives you some time.
  2. Test with an Open Mind.  So, it turns out that some of those people at the top of the food chain got there because they are smart.  Just because it seems stupid to you, doesn’t mean it’s stupid.  So, test the HIPPO’s idea.  You may be surprised.  But, if you’re not and it’s a bad, bad, bad idea then…
  3. Document, Document, Document. A casual stop by the CEOs office to say, “So, Sally, we looked into that rubber-snake-designer-jeans idea you had and, well, nobody likes it.  See you later!”  will not fly.  Actual numbers will.  Focus group data that says, “Gee this antenna problem is a BIG DEAL” is much more convincing.  Make sure you have your data and present it professionally.  But if the HIPPO still wants this solution then…
  4. Don’t Whine, Problem Solve. In my experience, HIPPOs want what they want, dang it, and sometimes they just won’t listen.  So, figure out how to solve the problem.  So, you’ve tested it and the results show problems.  It’s time to problem solve.  CEO and BNET writer Margaret Heffernan has a rule that all complaints must come with a solution.  So, don’t complain.  Come up with a solution and be prepared to present all the costs involved in the solution.
  5. Get on board. Unless the HIPPO’s idea is illegal or immoral (in which case you should blow the whistle), you’ve made your case and now you need to get on board. You’re being paid to work for the HIPPO, so after you’ve done your best, you need to do what he or she wants.  I know it’s unpleasant, but it’s the reality.   If it’s just so terrible that you can’t support it, then it’s time to leave the company.
   (bnet) 

Jun 24, 2010

- Know Your Body's Cooling Spots

You've probably heard that you can pour water over your wrists or neck to cool off quickly, but we've got the lowdown on all the body's best cooling spots, as well as the most effective ways to use them.



Get Acquainted With Your Body's Pulse Points

The reason this remedy works is because your wrist and neck both contain pulse points—essentially, areas where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Because they are so close, however, you can also cool off your blood and body temperature by getting the area in contact with cool water.
However, your neck and wrists are not the only pulse points on your body (though your neck is arguably one of the most effective). The insides of your elbows and knees are two other common pressure points, as well as the tops of your feet and insides of your ankle (near the area where your ankle bone sticks out). There's also a pulse point on your inner thighs. And, while the forehead is commonly used as a cooling spot, the pulse point on your head is actually closer to your temple and the area just in front of your ear. There are a few more, of course, but these are the most convenient for the purpose of cooling yourself.

Adjust Your Cooling Method to Your Activity

Obviously, not all of these pulse points are going to be convenient to cool down all the time. There are a number of different ways you can go about cooling them down, and you'll need to use the ones most convenient to you at the time. For example, if you're out exercising in the heat, wrapping a damp bandanna (or better yet, a specialized homemade cooling scarf) around your wrist, elbow, or neck (when you can) is an easy way to keep cool.
If you're just sitting on the couch in a hot box of an apartment, though, you'll be able to take advantage of your feet, ankles, knees, or thighs in addition to the others. If you're not moving around, you can use the other popular method of using ice cubes wrapped in a cloth, rather than just a wet bandanna. Some recommend putting the towel-wrapped ice on your pulse points for a minute at a time, but there isn't a ton of consensus on the subject—just do what feels comfortable for you, and make sure it's "cool" and not cold. Don't use just ice; make sure it's wrapped in a towel or something similar (the same rules apply to the water-soaked scarf as well; cool, not cold).

Keep in mind this isn't necessarily the end-all, be-all of cooling techniques. Attacking your pulse points should cool you off slightly (depending on your situation), but don't expect it to be a 100 percent cure for the heat. Make sure you're still doing everything you can to keep cool, like running your air conditioner if you can, finding a comfortable, air-conditioned space, trying alternatives to air conditioners, generating less heat in your living space, and, of course, staying hydrated and out of the hot, beating sun.


(RexxS/lifehacker)

May 18, 2010

- Research finds leadership skills inadequate to meet current and future demand

A comparison of the leadership strength from the research contrasts existing leadership skill levels with what skill would be required in the future the results are illustrated below.





The research identified the following seven competencies as most critical for success, now and in the future:
  1. Leading people: directing and motivating people.
  2. Strategic planning: translating vision into realistic business strategies, including long-term objectives.
  3. Managing change: using effective strategies to facilitate organizational change.
  4. Inspiring commitment: recognizing and rewarding employees’ achievements.
  5. Resourcefulness: working effectively with top management.
  6. Doing whatever it takes: persevering under adverse conditions.
  7. Being a quick learner: quickly learning new technical or business knowledge.




The interesting thing to note from this research is that only resourcefulness is a current top ten skill! All the others rated as important for success in the study are not skills that leaders have mastered today. This means that today’s leaders are not meeting the demands of their organisations. The CLL call this the “Leadership Gap”, referring to the huge gap that exists between the leadership skills organisations have today and the skills they will require in five years time.

(thepracticeofleadership) 

Apr 6, 2010

- GOW III - Kratos may still be alive!




Starting straight after the events of God of War II, Kratos ascends Mount Olympus on the body of Gaia, followed closely by the other Titans. After slaying both the Leviathan and Poseidon, Kratos confronts Zeus at the top of the mountain palace, only to be blasted off. Gaia then betrays him as they both tumble down, causing Kratos to fall straight into the River Styx, losing all his abilities in the process. Shortly after arriving, Kratos meets with the spirit of Athena, who gives him a new set of chain blades called the Blades of Exile, now seeking the destruction of Zeus as well. Told to seek the Flame of Olympus, the source of all the gods' power, Kratos slashes his way through the land of the dead, encountering the banished Blacksmith god Hephaestus and killing its lord Hades in the process, and eventually murdering Hephaestus as well after traveling through Tartarus in his second visit. Arriving upon Olympus once more, Kratos continues on his quest for vengeance, killing both Olympian gods and Titans alike, each of their deaths affecting the world. 

Along the way, Kratos meets Pandora, Hephaestus' daughter, who holds the key to the flame and unlocking Pandora's Box, revealed to still exist and containing the power to kill a god within it still. At the top of the mountain, Kratos engages Zeus in battle as Pandora sacrifices herself to allow him access to the power within, only for Kratos to discover the box empty. Continuing their fight, Kratos manages to gravely wound Zeus with the Blade of Olympus and kills Gaia, however he is nearly killed by Zeus' spirit, and he mentally retreats within himself. 
After searching within himself and finally forgiving himself for his past actions, Kratos unleashes the hidden power of hope and then brutally beats Zeus to death with his bare hands. 
With the world left in ruin by his actions, Athena appears and asks that Kratos relinquish the power of hope that he had taken, only to realize that he had it from the first time he opened the box, and that the evil powers that were contained as well had actually gone forth and corrupted the gods. Refusing, Kratos takes the Blade of Olympus and impales himself, unleashing hope into the world and allowing humanity to have free access to it, not to be controlled by any god. 
Smiling in triumph, Kratos lays among the ruins of Olympus, blood flowing out of him. 
However, in a post-credits scene, Kratos' body is no longer present, only a trail of blood leading out of the Olympian ruins, indicating that Kratos may still be alive.

Mar 13, 2010

- Green Tea & Kidney Stones

Drinking green tea may help prevent painful kidney stones. A new study shows compounds in green tea extract make it more difficult for certain kidney stones to form.
Kidney stones affect about 5% of the world's population. They occur when abnormally high concentrations of minerals, such as calcium, accumulate in the urinary tract and clump together to form crystals and potentially painful stones.

Most kidney stones contain calcium, and the most common stone type is calcium oxalate. Chinese researchers found that green tea extract bonds to calcium oxalate and makes the resulting crystals a different shape, which makes them less likely to clump together and form large kidney stones.

The smaller crystals and stones are then passed harmlessly through the urine.
In the study, published in CrystEngComm, Xudong Li of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, and colleagues examined the effects of green tea concentrate on calcium oxalate crystallization using a variety of advanced scanning and imaging techniques.
The results showed that as the amount of green tea extract applied increased, the calcium oxalate crystals became flatter and flatter.

Researchers say flatter crystals form less stable kidney stones that break up more easily.


- Plavix -- Warning Again

Genetic Test IDs 'Poor Metabolizers' of Plavix but Time, Cost Are Issues
March 11, 2010 - The FDA has put a new "black box" warning on the anti-clotting drug Plavix, the second best-selling drug in the world.
The new label warns that normal doses of Plavix have a potentially deadly lack of effect in 2% to 14% of patients.

Such patients are so-called "poor metabolizers" who carry a variant CYP2C19 gene affecting the enzyme that converts Plavix into its active form.
A less strident warning about poor metabolizers first appeared on the Plavix labels in May 2009. Based on new information from a drugmaker-funded study and other research, the FDA has now strengthened the warning.

A genetic test can tell whether a person is a poor metabolizer. The test costs about $500, according to Courtney Harper, PhD, director of the FDA's division of chemistry and toxicology devices. But cost isn't the only issue.
"The time to get a test result varies. It may be a few hours to a day or two, or other labs may take a few weeks," Harper said at a news conference held to discuss the FDA action.
For many patients at risk of a second heart attack or stroke, time is of the essence, noted Robert Temple, MD, director of the FDA's office of medical policy.

"Unfortunately, waiting to see if Plavix will work isn't easy. This drug is to keep you from having a heart attack or stroke or dying, so waiting is not a good idea," he said at the news conference. "And this drug is used acutely, when a person is having angioplasty. So you really can't wait for the test results in that case. But for people who had a heart attack some time ago, they might want to wait for the test."
Different races are more or less likely to carry the CYP2C19 gene that makes them poor metabolizers.

"The frequency is about 2% of Caucasians, 4% of blacks, and 14% of Chinese," Mary Ross Southworth, PharmD, deputy director for safety in the FDA's division of cardiovascular and renal products, said at the news conference.
People carry two copies of each gene. Those who inherit two copies of the CYP2C19 gene are poor metabolizers of Plavix, and those with one copy are intermediate responders. There is also a variation of the gene that makes a person a "hyper-responder" to Plavix.
The FDA wants doctors to discuss Plavix options with patients. Right now, those options include using Effient, another anti-clotting drug that is not affected by the CYP2C19 gene. Another option is to use a double dose of Plavix.

"The data are not clear. There is more uncertainty than we wish we had about exactly what to do for these patients," Temple said.

Plavix, from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Aventis, is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It's particularly useful in preventing deadly blood clots in patients who have received stents to reopen blocked arteries.

Mar 9, 2010

- Five Rules for Life - Cont'd


1.) Follow your passion.
Nothing great has ever been achieved without passion! Passion is what gives you the strength to overcome the obstacles which block success. Passion is the fuel that will take you to your destination. Every successful person has discovered their passion, and they’re following it.

2.) Never give up.
Nothing worth achieving is ever going to be easy. To become your best is going to take commitment, discipline, dedication, hard work, and a "no-give-up" attitude. So never give up - through perseverance the turtle reached the ark.

3.) Have faith.
You must believe in your ability to succeed. The famous poem is true, "If you think you’re outclassed, you are, you must think high to rise, you must be sure of yourself, before you will ever win a prize." You must be the biggest fan in your fan club; you must believe in "you" more than anyone else.

4.) Visualize your success daily.
Napoleon Hill said "whatever the mind can conceive and believe, you have the ability to achieve." You must see your success in your mind daily. If you can consistently hold thoughts of success, you will begin to believe that it’s possible for you. Once you believe it’s possible, you will begin to take the actions that will make those thoughts a reality.

5.) Keep a balanced life.
Success in life means having a balanced life. Always keep your life in balance, don’t work so hard on your career that your family falls apart. Define what success is for you, and be sure to work towards that image, every single aspect of that image, from financial success to family success.


(fiverulesforlife) 

Feb 26, 2010

- Inner Peace

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
Marcus Aurelius

 
“Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake.”
Paramahansa Yogananda

Finding peace within is a wonderful but also a difficult thing. It is easy to go looking for it in the wrong places.

So here are 5 timeless thoughts to help guide you to the places where you can actually find it.

1. Simplify.
“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.”
Peace Pilgrim

Making thing simpler has certainly brought a lot of inner peace to my life. So, a few of my favorite suggestions on how to simplify your life:
  • Use a limited to-do list. Only 2 or 3 of the most important things.
  • Set limits. Set limits for daily checking of inboxes. I do it only once a day. Set time limits for small decisions and make them within seconds after you have thought about them to avoid procrastination and overthinking. Set time limits for tasks such as 15 minutes each day for answering emails or for using Twitter. Set a limit for commitments and say no to be able to feel less stress and produce better results.
  • Remember to “keep things extremely simple”. I have written down that sentence on my white board and it is a daily and constant reminder that helps me when I lose my way.
2. Accept.
“Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs, bring you an inner peace and tranquility – instead of anger and resentment.”
Unknown

When you accept what is you stop feeding energy into resisting what is. You don’t make a problem more powerful and sticky in your mind. Instead, somewhat counter intuitively, when you accept what is it loses much of its power. It just is.
And you feel stillness inside. Now, accepting what is doesn’t mean to give up. It just means that you put yourself in a better position take action if necessary. Because now you can see more clearly, you can focus your energy towards what you want and take the appropriate action to change your situation.

3. Forgive.
“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.”
Gerald Jampolsky

By accepting what is it is much easier to let go of things and to forgive what has happened.
Forgiveness is important because as long as you don’t forgive someone you are linked to that person. Your thoughts will return to the person who wronged you and what s/he did over and over again. The emotional link between the two of you is so strong and inflicts much suffering in you and – as a result of your inner turmoil – most often in other people around you too.
When you forgive you do not only release the other person. You set yourself free too from all of that agony.
One thing to keep in mind is to not just forgive others but also yourself. By forgiving yourself – instead of resenting yourself for something you did a week or 10 years ago – you make the habit of forgiveness more and more of a natural part of you. And so forgiving others becomes easier too.
Also, what you think is a question of forgiving others you may sometimes – after some time and inner struggle – discover is just as much, if not more, about forgiving yourself rather than the other person.

4. Do what you enjoy.
“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
Roger Caras

When you do what you enjoy there is a natural peace that arises within. You are in alignment with your outer world. This also leads to a lot more success than if you have a lot of inner turmoil and really don’t care that much for your work.
One of my favorite tips for finding things you enjoy or love doing is simply to explore life. To be curious and try things out and see what you think of them. This can bring many insights both about yourself and about how things really are when you do them rather than when they are just theories floating around in your head.
If you have read my ebook The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness then you know that there is a whole chapter in it about finding and doing what you love with exercises and tips for further reading. So if you haven’t checked out the book yet, go to this page for instructions on how to get you own free copy.

5. Be careful with your inner peace.
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
St. Francis de Sales



(positivityblog)

Feb 21, 2010

- Five Rules For Life (updated again)

1.) Think big.
We are capable of far greater accomplishments than we realize. Had I known as a much younger man what I could have been or accomplished in this lifetime, I would have worked even harder and dreamed even bigger. Shoot for the stars, if you fall short you'll still finish beyond your wildest expectations!

2.) Play hard.
If it's worth doing, it's worth your best efforts. I was never the fastest, strongest, quickest, biggest, smartest or most talented. But I always made the first team in sports and succeeded in business because I played harder than those around me and put my guts into every play, every effort, and every challenge I took on.

3.) Be true to your heart.
It's a hollow victory if you know in your heart you didn't play by the rules. Winning at any cost isn't winning anything - it will come back to haunt you. Be true to your heart, play by the rules, never compromise your values or your ethics - you will not only succeed, you'll sleep at night and revel in the satisfaction and happiness of having done it the right way.

4.) Never give up.
Sumner Redstone said it best - "Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe." Nobody always gets it right the first time or succeeds immediately. Everything in the universe must balance out. There are only so many "no's" until the "yes's" start to follow. Failure is your friend because if you keep pushing, success is just around the corner. The winner in most endeavors is the person who just won't give up - no matter what!

5.) Whether you think you can or you think you can't...you're right.
Nothing in the real world materializes until you've thought about it first! You create your own reality in this existence by having seen and thought about it in your mind's eye before it ever comes into being. Negative self talk will only give you negative results. Treat that little man or woman inside as the strong, smart, kind, successful being he or she truly is. Create those positive images and positive feelings of having already achieved your goal, and it will come to pass.


(fiverulesforlife)

Feb 20, 2010

- Acai Berry Diet Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam?

Acai berries are the latest weight loss fad. These so called Super Foods that you take as a supplement to lose weight have been getting a lot of international attention. And like you have probably already seen; they are all over the internet in blogs and success stories of people who have apparently used the pills and lost a ton of weight. But we here at News 7 are a little skeptical and aren‘t sure that we‘ve seen any real proof that these pills work for weight loss. So we decided to put these products to the test. What better way to find out the truth than to conduct our own study?
To get started, I volunteered to be the guinea pig. I applied for a bottle of the Acai Advanced. While there are ton's of Acai berry ads online, Acai Advanced is one of the most credible and trustworthy suppliers on the market. It included the free* trial of the product and it did not try to fool me into agreeing to additional hidden offers. Another reason why I chose Acai Advanced is because it is the most concentrated and purest acai products on the market. This would give me the most accurate results for my test.

Here is what Acai Advanced claimed on their website...
  • 4 Times More Weight Loss Than Diet And Exercise
  • Boosts Energy
  • Rich in Antioxidants
  • Promotes Cardiovascular and Digestive Health
Were pretty skeptical, but wanted to find out for ourselves if this product could actually do everything that it claimed. Most of the success stories talk about combining Acai berry with colon cleansing products to achieve maximum weight loss. I decided to do the same. The idea behind combining the products is that while the Acai Berry encourages weight loss and increases energy, the colon cleanse helps rid your body of toxins and allows your body to work and burn calories more efficiently. I chose Colocerin to test.
Here is what Colocerin claimed on their website...
  • Helps Eliminate Bad Toxins that have Built Up Over the Years
  • Removes ‘Sludge‘ from the Walls of the Colon
  • Helps Get Rid of Gas and Bloating
  • Helps to Regulate the Metabolism
And the Colocerin, like the Acai Berry, had a free* trial with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and had no hidden offers.
Putting Acai to the Test
Both the Acai Advanced and Colocerin arrived within 4 days of having placed my order online for the trials.
The bottles I received held a month‘s worth of pills which worked out perfect as I was to follow the supplement routine for 4 weeks time and document my progress throughout
My Test 4 Week Acai Berry Diet: Acai Advanced + Colocerin
My Results
Week One
After one week on the diet using both products I was surprised at the dramatic results. My energy level was up, and I wasn‘t even hungry, an apparent side effect of the Acai Berry which curbs the appetite.
I honestly felt fantastic.
And I didn‘t even change anything about my daily routine. On day 7 I got on the scale and couldn‘t believe my eyes. I had lost 9 lbs. But I still wasn‘t convinced as they say you lose a lot of water at the beginning of any diet. I wanted to wait and see the results in the upcoming weeks. But it sure was looking up! I now weighed under 140 pounds for the first time in years!
Week Two
After two weeks of using both supplements, I started the week off with even more energy and was actually sleeping more soundly than before. I was no longer waking up during the night and tossing and turning because my body was actually able to relax (this is a result of getting rid of the toxins I think). Plus I still managed to lose another 3 pounds, putting me at an unbelievable 16 lbs of weight loss, in just 2 weeks.
I must admit that I‘m starting to believe that this diet is more than just a gimmick.
Week Three
After 3 weeks all my doubts and skepticism had absolutely vanished! I am down, 2 full dress sizes, after losing another 2 pounds. And I still have a ton of energy. Quite often, around the third week of other diets, you tend to run out of steam. But with the Acai Advanced and Colocerin diet my energy levels don‘t dip, but remain steady throughout the day. I no longer need that cat nap around 3pm in the afternoon! And I am even noticing that my stomach is digesting food so much better. No bloating or embarrassing gas after I eat!
Week Four
After the fourth week, my final results were shocking. I lost an unbelievable 25 lbs since starting the Acai Advanced and Colocerin diet! Actually everyone at News 7 is kicking themselves for not having volunteered to be the guinea pig. Using the Acai Advanced and Colocerin in week 4 I lost 2 more pounds. But to be honest I really didn‘t have much more than that left to lose. And I am definately going to continue taking the Acai Advanced afterwards because it has so many antioxidants and vitamins that makes my skin look unbelievable.
I couldn‘t be any happier with the results.
I Lost 12lbs in 4 Weeks, No Special Diet, No Intense Exercise
Conclusion Like us, here at News 7, you might be a little doubtful about the effects of this diet, but you need to try it for yourself; the results are real. After conducting our own personal study we are pleased to see that people really are finding success with it (myself included :) ). And you have nothing to lose. Follow the links to the free* trials I have provided and know that you are getting a quality product that works; no strings attached!
Good Luck with your weight loss


(news7daily)

Feb 7, 2010

- The Five Rules of Effective Leadership: [The Leadership Code]

Rule 1: Shape the Future
Leaders that shape the future answer the question “where are we going?” and make sure that those around them understand the direction as well. Strategists figure out where the organization needs to go to succeed, test their ideas pragmatically against current resources (money, people and organizational capabilities) and work with others to figure out how to get to the desired future. The rules for Strategists are about creating, defining, and delivering principles of what is possible.


Rule 2: Make Things Happen
Leaders that make things happen focus on the question “how will we make sure we get there?” Executors translate strategy into action and put the systems in place for others to do the same. They understand how to make change happen, assign accountability, make key decisions and delegate others, all while ensuring teams work well together and keeping promises to multiple stakeholders. The rules for Executors revolve around the discipline for getting things done and the technical expertise for getting them done right.


Rule 3: Engage Today’s Talent 

Leaders who optimize talent answer the question “who goes with us on our business journey?” Talent Managers know how to identify, build, and engage talent to get results now. They identify the skills required, recruit talent, engage them, communicate extensively and ensure that employees give their best effort. Talent Managers generate intense personal, professional, and organizational loyalty. The rules for Talent Managers center on resolutions to help people develop professionally for the good of the organization.

Rule 4: Build the Next Generation
Leaders who mold the future talent pool answer the question, “Who stays and sustains the organization for the next generation?” Talent Managers ensure shorter-term results through people, while Human Capital Developers ensure the organization has the long-term competencies required for future strategic success; ensuring the organization outlives any single individual. Just as good parents invest in helping their children succeed, Human Capital Developers help future leaders be successful. Throughout the organization, they build a workforce plan focused on future talent, understand how to develop that talent and help employees see their future careers within the company. Human Capital Developers install rules that demonstrate a pledge to building the next generation of talent.


Rule 5: Invest in Yourself
At the heart of the Leadership Code–literally and figuratively–is Personal Proficiency. Effective leaders cannot be reduced to what they know or what they do. Leaders are learners; drawing on lessons from successes, failures, assignments, books, classes, people and life itself. Passionate about their beliefs and interests, good leaders spend enormous personal energy and attention on what matters to them. Effective leaders inspire loyalty and goodwill in others because they act with integrity and trust. Decisive and impassioned, they are capable of bold and courageous moves. Confident in their ability to deal with situations, they can tolerate ambiguity.


Through our work, we have also determined:
All leaders must excel at Rule 5. Without the foundation of trust and credibility, you cannot ask others to follow you. While individuals may have different styles (introvert/extrovert, intuitive/sensing, etc.), any individual leader must be seen as having personal proficiency to engage followers. This is probably the toughest of the five domains to train and some individuals are naturally more capable than others. All leaders must have one towering strength. Most successful leaders excel in at least one of the first four rules and are predisposed to one of the four areas. 


Effective leaders must be at least average in their “weaker” leadership domains. It is possible to train someone to improve in one area by identifying and developing behaviors and skills in each domain to be mastered. The higher a leader rises within an organization, the more he or she needs to develop excellence in more than one of the four domains.

If the government is going to bail out toxic assets, it must also encourage and assess effective leadership to ensure the long-term sustainability of an organization. Financial stress tests should be coupled with leadership audits. Leaders should be encouraged to build on the basics and held accountable to live by the Leadership Code.



(UOMichigan) 

Feb 5, 2010

- The Roots of Violence

Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality,
Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principles.

Jan 20, 2010

- Overcome Anything (The Crisis)

The Crisis


Shock
A shock can leave you stunned, absorbed, and unable to focus on anything else. When shock is profound, it can be hard to return to life as you once knew it. The case of Duncan S. illustrates this point.
It was a late Friday evening and Duncan was relaxing after a hard day at work. The doorbell rang, and when he opened it, two police ocers waited to talk to him. They sat him down and told him that his wife and two year old son had been killed in a car crash. Later he said:
“I couldn’t say anything. It was as if I was falling down a black hole. I couldn’t breathe properly. At that moment, I couldn’t imagine ever finding a meaningful life again.”
After this terrible moment, Duncan went through a dark patch. He emerged numb and bitter. It was only later, after he asked for help and completed the five steps of healing, that he found new meaning in his life. I saw him again, some years after he had initially come to me for help. His hair was prematurely grey, but he seemed to be at peace. He told me that he had left his job at the stock market and now works with disadvantaged children.

“My life has changed so much,” he said. “I married again last year and we’re expecting a baby.” He adjusted his designer glasses. “I will never forget Lana and little Stephen. I am still overcome with pangs of grief now and then—they just come out of nowhere. But my life has got a new meaning now and I’m at peace. I feel I’m making a dierence in the lives of others. Maybe I’ve learned to be less selfish and a bit kinder.”
Loss
Crises are usually about loss. It can be the loss of health, loss of a loved one, financial loss, or losing a job. With loss, life changes forever. Imagine life as a map. The most important areas of our life take up space in the centre, whereas aspects that are less important are at the periphery. With loss, a major part of our life-map is ripped out. Grieving means coming to terms with the empty areas of one’s life. This coming to terms is a process of integration and we gradually change our life-map so that other aspects begin to fill in the empty space.
Trauma
The Latin word for injury is trauma. It applies to injuries of body and soul. An injury to the body can be seen, but wounds and scars of the soul are hidden. Unfortunately many people remain stuck in trauma without integrating it. Symptoms of being stuck include anxiety, weight gain, sleep disorder, lack of motivation, and alcohol or drug abuse. Remaining stuck in a traumatic experience can even result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People who have suered ordeals, such as violent assaults, disasters, accidents or military combat often suer from PTSD. They face ongoing frightening thoughts, invasive images and emotional numbness.
The body and mind are self-healing organisms. Just as a wound has a tendency to knit together, the soul also heals in time. As Peter A. Levine points out in his book Walking the Tiger, healing from trauma is a natural process. We can access healing through gentle awareness of the way the body reacts to shock, grief, stress, anger, and the many other responses to trauma.
Stress
A crisis triggers stress. The body readies for fight or flight. The signals sent out by the brain through the central nervous system start a chain reaction in the body. The adrenal glands begin producing hormones that cause the heart to beat faster. Muscles in the body tense and the pupils dilate. Digestion is slowed and blood is shunted to the major muscle groups. This gives the body a burst of energy to enable it to either stand and fight, or flee from danger.
After the threat has abated, the body systems return to normal via the relaxation response. However, it is possible to get stuck in a condition of chronic stress. Symptoms of chronic stress are numerous, ranging from memory impairment to depression. It can cause and aggravate inflammation and weaken the immune system, as well as make us vulnerable to heart disease. Sleep and eating disorders, alcohol and drug dependency and anxiety disorders can also be part of the overall picture of chronic stress. As the following story of Danny L. illustrates, it’s sometimes dicult to spot chronic stress as the cause of ill health.
Danny was in his late forties. Good living and a love of Chardonnay had put some extra rings around his waist and high colour on his cheeks.He worked as an electrical engineer. When he got a new boss, he started having trouble at work. He missed out on a promotion and felt increasingly unhappy and alienated.
One Saturday afternoon, he was mowing the lawn when he experienced a sharp pain in his chest and collapsed. Next thing he knew, a medic was pressing an oxygen mask to his face and he was being rushed to hospital. There, they performed a whole battery of tests upon him. But all were inconclusive. Back home again, Danny began to experience other health problems. He couldn’t sleep at night and had recurring flu-like symptoms. A nagging pain in his abdomen worried him.
After a year of ill health, Danny went to a naturopath to get some advice. She pointed out that Danny might be suering from chronic stress. A year later he said to me:
My life has changed so much in the last year. I hardly recognise myself! I was beginning to feel like an invalid, but now I feel great. I look forward to each day!”
“What changes did you make?” I asked.
“I changed my job. The work I’m doing now isn’t as well paid, but it’s much less stressful. I spend more time with the wife. We’re getting on better now. “He bit his lower lip. “You see, when I was stressed I wasn’t performing that well in bed and she was getting frustrated.”

He took a sip of water.
“And I’ve stopped drinking. “He shook his head. “I tell you that was bloody hard! And I’m a lot fitter. I go swimming and do some jogging.”
I looked him over. He’d lost weight and his eyes were clear.
“What turned your life around, Danny?”
“You asked me to go to counselling. At first, I hated it because I’m not used to spitting things out. But then, I got more relaxed. Finally, it was as if a huge weight had lifted o my shoulders.”
(goodlifezen) 


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