Saturday, August 27, 2016

Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

Do you serve a customer to make money? Or do you serve a customer to serve a customer? Do you wash dishes to get them clean? Or do you wash the dishes to wash the dishes? 

Here's a story from Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, about 'washing the dishes to wash the dishes' and the difference between mindful and mindless:

"In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest... Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we've finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else. 

One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, "Go ahead, but if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them." Jim replied, "Come on, you think I don't know how to wash the dishes?" I answered, "There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes." 

Jim was delighted and said, "I choose the second way-to wash the dishes to wash the dishes." From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the "responsibility" to him for an entire week. If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not "washing the dishes to wash the dishes." 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ten Sure Signs Of Diabetes

Diabetes is horrible for 347 million reasons. But it doesn’t have to be a death sentence—or even daily insulin shots. It starts by knowing the warning signs. Here are 16 of the most subtle yet vital warning signs to know that could save your life.

1. Excessive Thirst
When glucose levels in the blood are high, it ultimately leads to water being absorbed out of the bloodstream. This brings on thirst, which in itself, might seem like a minor nuisance. However, the underlying reason for the dehydration can be very serious. The immediate effects of untreated diabetes-related severe dehydration can include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fainting, coma, organ failure or even death.

2. Frequent Urination
The average person urinates about seven times in 24 hours. People with diabetes go more frequently. The reason is the increased glucose (sugar) in the blood. Glucose is meant to be absorbed into the body’s cells, but in diabetics this absorption does not happen, leaving the sugar to build up in the bloodstream. The extra glucose in the blood causes the kidneys to go into filtering overdrive, forcing the pair of organs to store more fluid—and make more urine. Frequent trips to the restroom lead to other effects.

3. Fatigue
Frequent trips to the “john” are not reserved just for daytimes. Waking up in the middle of the night to urinate disrupts healthy sleep patterns. Enough interruptions (possibly even one!) can leave a person tired long after the alarm goes off in the morning. Another reason fatigue is a symptom of diabetes is more biological. The glucose in the blood is failing to give the body’s cells energy because there is not sufficient insulin to allow the glucose to enter the cells. When the cells are deprived of energy, fatigue follows. But that’s not all. . .

4. Excessive Hunger
As the glucose fails to feed the cells the energy they need, the cells begin to starve. And so does the person. Hunger accompanies blood sugar level spikes and drops. In the case of a drop, the body thinks it has not been fed. It craves more glucose, i.e. food.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

3 Dangers of Working with Smart People

Why we do what we do is a fascinating science. The brain has interesting ways to interpret the world around us and spur us into action. Knowing the brain drives our behavior, you would think those with high intelligence would have the upper hand in making good decisions. Studies have shown, however, this is not the case. In many ways, intelligence can lead smart people to make dumb decisions, creating problems due to their self pride.

Three Dangers of Working with Smart People:
A recent article on the Big Think brought up some interesting points about why this is true for smart people, which include the following:

  1. Intelligence breeds hubris: Smart people can make dumb decisions because they develop excessive pride or self-confidence  (hubris) in their decision-making as a result of their intelligence.
  2. They tend to develop a superiority complex: Not only do they have a high opinion of their intelligence, but also they develop a low opinion of those around them. Because of these feelings of superiority, they assume they make better decisions than their fellow man and don’t check in from time to time to see if this is true.
  3. They overlook how bias affects their thinking: We all have biases that affect our ability to interpret the world accurately. These biases are the result of our brains’ systems of thinking, which don’t always access the “intelligent” side of our experience.

What Matters the Most in Making Decisions
Our intelligence is an important part of how we make decisions, but it isn’t the only part contributing to our success. Other important factors include what kind of thinking we use to arrive at a conclusion, self-awareness of our natural biases, and a healthy dose of humility. Let’s take a quick look at each of these factors.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Profitability Does Not Necessarily Mean Good Cash Flow

Cash flow is not the same as profitability. A profitable business can still be unable to pay its bills. Similarly, just because a business is meeting all of its financial obligations, doesn't mean it's profitable.

Profit is an accounting term, which really only exists on paper. Measuring profit is a very specific way of looking at a business. It doesn't tell you a whole lot about how the business is getting by day-to-day. 

Improving cash flow is a smart move for any business.

It doesn’t matter how great your business model is, how profitable you are, or how many investors you have lined up. You won’t survive if you can't manage your company's cash.

In fact, one study found that 82% of businesses fail due to poor cash flow management skills. If you're looking for one area to focus on that will have a dramatic impact on your business, this is it.

Getting good at managing cash flow is one of the best things you can do for your business. Not only that, it's a skill you can carry over into other businesses, as well as your personal finances.

Calculating Profit

Profit is typically calculated in two steps. The first is to take your total revenue and subtract the cost of the goods sold. The difference is your gross profit.

Revenue — Cost of Goods Sold = Gross Profit

For example, if you sold $100,000 in rocking chairs, and the chairs themselves cost you $50,000 wholesale, your gross profit would be $50,000.

Of course,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

10 Behaviours of Genuine People

Whether you’re building a business, a network, or friendships, you always want to look for people who are genuine. After all, nobody wants to work or hang out with a phony. On the flipside, that goes for you, as well. Bet you never considered that. 
Image credit: Eli DeFaria |
In case you're wondering, genuine means actual, real, sincere, honest. Genuine people are more or less the same on the inside as their behavior is on the outside. Unfortunately, it's a tough quality to discern. The problem is that all human interactions are relative. They’re all a function of how we perceive each other through our own subjective lenses. 

Being genuine is also a rare quality. In a world full of phony fads, media hype, virtual personas, positive thinkers, and personal brands – where everyone wants what they don’t have, nobody’s content to be who they are, and, more importantly, nobody’s willing to admit to any of that – it’s becoming more and more rare all the time.  

To help you identify this rare breed -- in yourself, as well -- this is how genuine people behave. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

5 Unexpected Downsides of High Intelligence

You know that phrase, "Ignorance is bliss"? There's a reason it's stuck around all these years. Because having the upper hand in intelligence might give you an advantage in some areas, like crossword puzzle solving and quantum physics-ing, but it also might just screw up your life forever. For instance, if you're smart ...

5. You're Probably a Night Owl -- And That's a Bad Thing

Recently, scientists discovered a quirky side effect to having a high 'IQ' You tend to stay up until later hours and get up later in the morning. That's right -- the more intelligent are also much more likely to be night owls. Which isn't such a surprise when you consider that intelligent people are infamous for burning the midnight oil to cram for tests, write papers, touch up those earnings reports, etc.

And spending reports.

It appears to just be evolution -- the more intelligent members of a species are, in general, the first to change habits (their big brains are wired to seek out novelty). Since humans have been day-dwellers during most of their existence, it's primarily the smarties who prefer to habitually stay up until the wee hours and to do the types of tasks that are easier to accomplish when you don't have the day-dwellers hanging around and distracting you. Stuff that requires concentration, in other words.

So let the early birds keep their measly worms. The nights owls get to feast on the juicy field mice of accomplishment!

So What's the Problem?

Well, being a night owl does have some negative side effects. And by "some" we mean, "You're pretty much screwed."

For starters, studies have found that "eveningness" is associated with a high degree of emotional instability. That means you tend to be less agreeable and conscientious than the average Joe. Oh, and you don't just make others' lives miserable. Thanks to your late-night habits, likely brought on by high intelligence, you're also three times more likely to suffer symptoms of depression.

And the fun doesn't end there, geniuses!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

9 Warning Signs You’re in Bad Company

It is better to be alone than in bad company.
A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with.  Sometimes luck controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let stay, who you pursue, and who you let walk back out.

Ultimately, you should surround yourself with people who make you a better person and let go of those who don’t.  Here are some warning signs you’re in the presence of the latter:

1.  They only make time for you when it’s convenient for them.

It’s obvious, but any relationship without regular interaction and communication is going to have problems, especially when there’s a lack of commitment.

Don’t waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it’s convenient for them.  You shouldn’t have to force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they truly care about you they will gladly create space for you.

Being in a relationship with someone who overlooks your worth isn’t loyalty, it’s stupidity.  Never beg someone for attention.  Know your self-worth, and move on if you must.

2.  They hold your past against you.

Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved past them.  They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you.  Do not help them by acknowledging their negative behavior.  Keep moving forward.

Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose in creating a better day today.  If someone continuously judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to repair your future by leaving them behind.

3.  You feel trapped.

Healthy relationships keep the doors and windows wide open.  Plenty of air is flowing and no one feels trapped.  Relationships thrive in this kind of unrestricted environment.  You can come and go as you please, but you choose to stay because where you are is where you want to be.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Want To Be Mentally Tough? Stop Doing These Five Things

Image Credits:

There are a lot of ways to get stronger. Adding more resistance, adversity, or stress is one way, learning how to adapt to the challenge is another, and adopting dialectical thinking (see blog post 9/23/14) is another. Yet for all of these ways to get stronger, without removing the obstacles in our own approach to adversity, we will see little gain. So if you want to get stronger mentally, here are five things to stop doing right now.

Stop Off Loading Responsibility. Mentally strong people know what is their responsibility and what is not. What they take responsibility for is their behavior, thoughts and feelings. They have long since let go of the idea that anyone is going to make things better for them. While they know that sometimes things happen that are out of their control, they know that they — and only they — are solely responsible for how they respond to these things. You will never see them pointing a finger, blaming anyone else for “messing up their day,” “making them feel bad” or “making them angry.” Instead they simply take responsibility and accept their responses as their own, aware that these are choices they are making — and if they don’t like them it’s no one’s fault but theirs.

Stop Taking Things Personally. Those who get through setbacks and come out stronger know that these things are not personal. Whatever those around them do, they recognize is a reflection of that person’s character, and only that. Mentally tough people do not believe that anyone “has it out for them,” or “that the world is against them.” Instead, they recognize that what happens to them is

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