Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Neem the wonder plant

Always saw it around when growing up but never realized how useful it is. Here is an info graph, which summarizes it all.....

The best things are around us we only need to have an eye for them.....


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Problem With Positive Thinking

Recently this article by Prof. Gabriele Oettingen was published in NYT. I am in agreement with the author. Happy to see that there are people who think like me.

 Here I put an edited version.
"MANY people think that the key to success is to cultivate and doggedly maintain an optimistic outlook. This belief in the power of positive thinking, expressed with varying degrees of sophistication, informs everything from affirmative pop anthems like Katy Perry’s “Roar” to the Mayo Clinic’s suggestion that you may be able to improve your health by eliminating “negative self-talk.” But the truth is that positive thinking often hinders us. Fantasizing about happy outcomes — about smoothly attaining your wishes — doesn’t help. Indeed, it hinders people from realizing their dreams.

Why doesn’t positive thinking work the way you might assume? As my colleagues and I have discovered, dreaming about the future calms you down, measurably reducing systolic blood pressure, but it also can drain you of the energy you need to take action in pursuit of your goals.Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we’ve already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it. Some critics of positive thinking have advised people to discard all happy talk and “get real” by dwelling on the challenges or obstacles. But this is too extreme a correction. Studies have shown that this strategy doesn’t work any better than entertaining positive fantasies.

What does work better is a hybrid approach that combines positive thinking with “realism.” Here’s how it works. Think of a wish. For a few minutes, imagine the wish coming true, letting your mind wander and drift where it will. Then shift gears. Spend a few more minutes imagining the obstacles that stand in the way of realizing your wish.

This simple process, which my colleagues and I call “mental contrasting,” has produced powerful results in laboratory experiments. When participants have performed mental contrasting with reasonable, potentially attainable wishes, they have come away more energized and achieved better results compared with participants who either positively fantasized or dwelt on the obstacles. When participants have performed mental contrasting with wishes that are not reasonable or attainable, they have disengaged more from these wishes. Mental contrasting spurs us on when it makes sense to pursue a wish, and lets us abandon wishes more readily when it doesn’t, so that we can go after other, more reasonable ambitions.
Positive thinking is pleasurable, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Like so much in life, attaining goals requires a balanced and moderate approach, neither dwelling on the downsides nor a forced jumping for joy."


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Likability Matters More Than Ever at Work

Many times style overpowers substance - yes its true.....

Article taken from: WSJ

Is the workplace becoming more like high school?
"Likability" is becoming a bigger factor for success at work as social networks and videoconferencing grow. The impact goes beyond a high-school popularity contest. The ability to come across as likable is shaping how people are sized up and treated by bosses and co-workers.
Likable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others and have mistakes forgiven. A study of 133 managers last year by researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that if an auditor is likable and gives a well-organized argument, managers tend to comply with his suggestions, even if they disagree and the auditor lacks supporting evidence.
Likability is more important—and harder to pull off—on video than in person. Sometimes this can result in a style-over-substance effect. People watching a speaker on a videoconference are more influenced by how much they like the speaker than by the quality of the speaker's arguments, according to a 2008 study in Management Science. The opposite is true when a speaker appears in person. The use of personal videoconferencing is expected to grow 47% annually through 2017, according to Wainhouse Research, a Boston market-research firm.
Social networking also places a premium on likability. More employers track employees' likability on in-house social networks and chat services. They recruit those who are trusted and well-liked to spread information or push through changes. Some companies take these employees' social clout into account when handing out raises and promotions.
Listeners tend to like speakers who seem trustworthy and authentic, who tell an engaging or persuasive story and who seem to have things in common with them, says Noah Zandan, president of Quantified Impressions in Austin, Texas, a provider of communications analytics. On video, these qualities can be hard to convey.
Many people make a negative impression on video by becoming stiff and emotionless, or by exaggerating their points. "Overacting is rampant. It's easy to go Ryan Seacrest when the red light goes on," says Tim Sanders, author of "The Likeability Factor" and a lecturer on the topic.
Job applicants interviewed on video receive lower likability ratings and interview scores, and are less likely to be recommended for hiring, than candidates interviewed in person, according to a study published last year in Management Decision.
But coaches say that likability can be taught. "Likability isn't something you are born with, like charisma. It's something you can learn," says Ben Decker, chief executive officer of Decker Communications, San Francisco, a training and consulting firm.
The "big three" behaviors most important to a speaker's likability are making eye contact by looking into the camera, smiling naturally when you talk and varying your tone of voice to convey warmth and enthusiasm, Mr. Decker says. To show the importance of nonverbal cues, he has clients role-play on video the first few minutes of an imaginary conversation with a client—then watch themselves with the sound off.
Mr. Decker also urges clients to "really think about the listener" and figure out goals you two might share. The ability to find common ground is a cornerstone of likability.
Melissa Temple-Agosta has her salespeople take Decker training partly so they learn to come across as warm and engaging in training videos. Many were likable in person, but "when you put them in front of a camera, they froze," says Ms. Temple-Agosta, assistant vice president, education and training, for Urban Decay Cosmetics, Newport Beach, Calif., a division of L'Oréal. Employees learn to think less about their appearance and more about how to forge a connection with listeners.
Senior executives at Charles Schwab & Co. take the training partly because "making sure you come across as authentic and as someone who can be trusted becomes more important" when speaking to large groups on video or webcasts, says Jay L. Allen, executive vice president, human resources, for the San Francisco-based financial services firm. Managers also learn to speak with more enthusiasm on video, varying their tone, Mr. Allen says.
It is important to get to the point quickly on video, because viewers' attention span is short, Mr. Sanders says. Research shows that watching people on video imposes mental demands that make it harder to avoid distractions and process what is said.
Mr. Sanders suggests paying special attention to others' facial expressions in videoconferences, stopping the conversation to acknowledge their feelings if necessary. Empathizing with others' feelings creates a sense of connection.
A common mistake people make on video is to play the comedian. Mr. Sanders says: "If you insist on poking fun at someone, it has to be you." 

Lessons to implement:
- Authenticity: behave in natural and comfortable manner, rather than stiff or self-absorbed 
- Curiosity: show interest in others, make eye contact, and ask questions about others opinions and activities
- Expressiveness: Vary tones of voice and smile, and show enthusiasm about what you are saying - even more so in a videoconference
- Listening: Focus on what others are saying and show that you are listening carefully, rather than getting distracted
- Mimicry: Mirror the expressions or posture of the person you are talking to, in order to create a sense of familiarity 
- Similarity: Actively try to find topics of interest you share with a  listener, rather than talking only about what interests you

Good Luck,

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Green Goblin aka Kale, Spinach, Apple, Grape Smoothie

Here is a recipe for a smoothie I have been drinking lately. It takes me 15 min to prep, drink, and clean afterwards. A healthy drink for folks who want to start the day with a bang....

THE MACHINE: (Vitamix 750)


THE RECIPE: (Total time: 15 min tops [includes prep and cleaning])
Ingredients: (see the fig. above)

1. Wash everything :).
2. Dice the apples.
3. Put honey dissolved in water, followed by diced apple, grapes, lemon juice, ginger, spinach, and kale in the blender.
4. Add ice if you like it to be cold.
5. Using Vitamix 750 and smoothie prog. mode, blend the goodies.
6. Enjoy 


Drink it in the morning or anytime of the day -  its filled with nutrients and energy. 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas...

After a long time I celebrated Christmas in the U.S. Here is the story in pictures....

Top: Christmas tree I decorated, Left: Exotic Santa, Right: Angel Doll)

Santa's GIft for me.....Lets open it

Not bad....It actually had more stuff than I show....

Hey guys the food and wine are ready...

Lasagna Al dente....believe me it looked good and tasted excellent

Why do I get to eat kibbles and you guys have good stuff.....sorry buddy cheese no good for you

Served piping hot....lets dig in

Thank you Chef

Now everyone go home I need to work...

Merry Christmas and remember:

"You are the Christmas tree that points upwards with branches on all sides. At the time of year when other trees are barren, you are green with many gifts to offer. You bear gifts and lights not for yourself, but for others. Remember that all the gifts you are carrying in your life are for others. Anyone who comes to you, offer them your gifts". - Sri Sri 

Will catch you on New Years


Saturday, December 15, 2012

A beautiful song...speechless

2nd post of the day. I was suppose to finish some stuff in the morning, but found out that the power to the buildings is shut. Hence, I decided to put one more post. I took some pictures that were clicked by me (80%) and then used multimedia to compile the song and the photographs..

This is a song I found online, an amazing thing about this song is the sincerity of the singer. For me it is one of those songs you listen and you know that the composer and singer have put their heart into it. Makes me teary...