Sunday, August 31, 2008

Away till early Oct'08 - Azara Feroz Sayed

Blog offline for Ramzaan Sabbath

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where there is no God, then everything is permitted - Azara Feroz Sayed

Came across this interesting article in today's 'The Bulletin', Local newspaper in Philadelphia

We are constantly reminded about the destructive consequences of religion - intolerance, hatred, division, inquisitions, persecutions of "heretics," holy wars. Though far from the whole story, they are, nevertheless, true. There have been many awful consequences of religion.

What one almost never hears described are the deleterious consequences of secularism - the terrible developments that have accompanied the breakdown of traditional religion and belief in God. For every thousand students who learn about the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials, maybe two learn to associate Gulag, Auschwitz, The Cultural Revolution and the Cambodian genocide with secular regimes and ideologies.

For all the problems associated with belief in God, the death of God leads to far more of them.

So, while it is not possible to prove (or disprove) God's existence, what is provable is what happens when people stop believing in God.

1. Without God there is no good and evil; there are only subjective opinions that we then label "good" and "evil." This does not mean that an atheist cannot be a good person. Nor does it mean that all those who believe in God are good; there are good atheists and there are bad believers in God. It simply means that unless there is a moral authority that transcends humans from which emanates an objective right and wrong, "right" and "wrong" no more objectively exist than do "beautiful" and "ugly."

2. Without God, there is no objective meaning to life. We are all merely random creations of natural selection whose existence has no more intrinsic purpose or meaning than that of a pebble equally randomly produced.

3. Life is ultimately a tragic fare if there is no God. We live, we suffer, we die - some horrifically, many prematurely - and there is only oblivion afterward.

4. Human beings need instruction manuals. This is as true for acting morally and wisely as it is for properly flying an airplane. One's heart is often no better a guide to what is right and wrong than it is to the right and wrong way to fly an airplane. The post-religious secular world claims to need no manual; the heart and reason are sufficient guides to leading a good life and to making a good world.

5. If there is no God, the kindest and most innocent victims of torture and murder have no better a fate after death than do the most cruel torturers and mass murderers. Only if there is a good God do Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler have different fates.

6. With the death of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many Westerners believe in little. That is why secular Western Europe has been unwilling and therefore unable to confront evil, whether it was Communism during the Cold War or Islamic totalitarians in its midst today.

7. Without God, people in the West often become less, not more, rational. It was largely the secular, not the religious, who believed in the utterly irrational doctrine of Marxism.

It was largely the secular, not the religious, who believed that men's and women's natures are basically the same, that perceived differences between the sexes are all socially induced. Religious people in Judeo-Christian countries largely confine their irrational beliefs to religious beliefs (theology), while the secular, without religion to enable the non-rational to express itself, end up applying their irrational beliefs to society, where such irrationalities do immense harm.

8. If there is no God, the human being has no free will. He is a robot, whose every action is dictated by genes and environment. Only if one posits human creation by a Creator that transcends genes and environment who implanted the ability to transcend genes and environment can humans have free -will.

9. If there is no God, humans and "other" animals are of equal value. Only if one posits that humans, not animals, are created in the image of God do humans have any greater intrinsic sanctity than baboons. This explains the movement among the secularized elite to equate humans and animals.

10. Without God, there is little to inspire people to create inspiring art. That is why contemporary art galleries and museums are filled with "art" that celebrates the scatological, the ugly and the shocking. Compare this art to Michelangelo's art in the Sistine chapel. The latter elevates the viewer - because Michelangelo believed in something higher than himself and higher than all men.

11. Without God nothing is holy. This is definitional. Holiness emanates from a belief in the holy. This explains, for example, the far more widespread acceptance of public cursing in secular society than in religious society. To the religious, there is holy speech and profane speech. In much of secular society the very notion of profane speech is mocked.

12. Without God, humanist hubris is almost inevitable. If there is nothing higher than man, no Supreme Being, man becomes the supreme being.

13. Without God, there are no inalienable human rights. Evolution confers no rights. Molecules confer no rights. Energy has no moral concerns. That is why America's Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed "by our Creator" with certain inalienable rights. Rights depend upon a moral source, a rights giver.

14. "Without God," Dostoevsky famously wrote, "everything is permitted." There has been plenty of evil committed by believers in God, but the widespread cruelties and the sheer number of innocents murdered by secular regimes - specifically Nazi, Fascist and Communist regimes - dwarfs the evil done in the name of religion.

As noted at the beginning, none of this proves, or even necessarily argues for, God's existence. It makes the case for the necessity, not the existence, of God. "Which God?" the secularist will ask. The God of Israel, the God of America's founders, "the Holy God who is made holy by justice" (Isaiah), the God of the Ten Commandments, the God who demands love of neighbor, the God who endows all human beings with certain inalienable rights, the God who is cited on the Liberty Bell because he is the author of liberty.

Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Be a Woman Not a Nice Girl - Azara Feroz Sayed

This post is based on the book "Nice Girls don't get the Corner Office - 101 Unconscious mistakes that women make that sabotage their careers" by Dr Lois Frankel.

It is a good and fast read. Thanks to the very efficient organization of the book - even those who are fighting for time can get to it in couple of hours. The first chapter has questions to identify the 'Nice Girl' like behaviours that we might be indulging in due to lack of knowledge - holding us back professionally. Using the score in one of the seven areas (see below) - we can move to the chapter where we have scored less and within that chapter too we can skip those items from the 101s that we are comfortable with. I would recommend using this approach incase you are short of time. The stories and the guidelines provided for each of the 101s are insightful so a quick review of all would be good.

My score was high in Play and Act - while I was answering the questions - I was grinning at some of the questions - These were some of the Qs that I was doing well due to Feroz's constant push.

The "Nice Girl" beliefs related to work that help us be a "good worker" are not good enough to move up the ladder and would hit a plateau because of those is the message I could get from the book. I consider time spent in discussing personal stuff, politics etc as waste of time which was good while I was a team member but certainly not helpful in building relationships and growing in the career - Dr. Lois requests to waste time!

I intend to write down sometime soon (before I return the book) the action items for each of the 101s that I found interesting.

Do enjoy some of the Videos that I found where Dr Lois talks about
Importance of Brand Building

Talking about football is not wast of time - it is building relationships

Every time you open your mouth its a presentation

Dr Lois interview in Today

Being professional is not acting like a man or aggresively - its about stepping into full adult woman from Nice Girl
1. How You Play the Game
Unfortunately, women are not as trained to participate in competitive sports. It is only recently that women started making their marks in this field. Thus, most women do not know the rules of the game of business. They simply do not know how to play it—and more importantly, how to win it. Some of the common mistakes women commit as they play the game of business are:
1. Pretending it isn't a game
2. Playing the game safely and within bounds
3. Working hard
4. Doing the work of others
5. Working without a break
6. Being Naive
7. Pinching Company Pennies
8. Waiting to be given what you want
9. Avoiding office politics
10. Being the conscience
11. Protecting jerks
12. Holding your tongue
13. Failing to capitalize on relationships
14. Not understanding the needs of your constituents

2. How You Act
Being successful in the world of business is not only dependent on your knowledge of how to play it. It is also important to know how to act, professionally. Dr. Frankel enumerates some unlikely behaviors in the workplace that can be hard career busters.
1. Polling before making a decision
2. Needing to be liked
3. Not needing to be liked
4. Not asking questions for fear of sounding stupid
5. Acting like a man
6. Telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth (so help you God)
7. Sharing too much personal information
8. Being overly concerned with offending others
9. Denying the importance of money
10. Flirting
11. Acquiescing to bullies
12. Decorating your office like your living room
13. Feeding others
14. Offering a limp handshake
15. Being financially insecure
16. Helping

3. How You Think
Changing the way you think can greatly impact a change in your career. Note the beliefs and thought patterns you learn early in girlhood that you need to reconsider and then eventually forget. Some of these are:
1. Making miracles
2. Taking full responsibility
3. Obediently following instructions
4. Viewing men in authority as father figures
5. Limiting your possibilities
6. Ignoring the quid pro quo
7. Skipping meetings
8. Putting work ahead of your personal life
9. Letting people waste your time
10. Prematurely abandoning your career goals
11. Ignoring the importance of network relationships
12. Refusing perks
13. Making up negative stories
14. Striving for perfection.

4. How You Brand and Market Yourself
Marketing oneself is as important as marketing a specific brand. Think of yourself as a brand that’s needs to be marketed effectively. Alongside these come some important points that women need to particularly remember. The following are some mistakes to avoid in marketing yourself:
1. Failing to define your brand
2. Minimizing your work or position
3. Using only your nickname or first name
4. Waiting to be noticed
5. Refusing high-profile assignments
6. Being modest
7. Staying in your safety zone
8. Giving away your ideas
9. Working in stereotypical roles or departments
10. Ignoring feedback
11. Being invisible

5. How You Sound
Put special attention to your choice words, tone of voice, speed of speech and thought organization process. These usually matter more than the content of your speech. An articulately delivered speech will help you be branded as knowledgeable, confident and competent. Remember, how you sound comprises 90% of your credibility. Take note of these common mistakes:
1. Couching statements as questions
2. Using preambles
3. Explaining
4. Asking permission
5. Apologizing
6. Using minimizing words
7. Using qualifiers
8. Not answering the question
9. Talking too fast
10. The inability to speak the language of your business
11. Using nonwords
12. Using touchy-feely language
13. Sandwich-effect
14. Speaking softly
15. Speaking at a higher-than-natural pitch
16. Trailing voice mails
17. Failing to pause or reflect before responding

6. How You Look
There is this common notion that “the best and the brightest are rewarded with promotions and choice assignments.” This is entirely wrong. Those who are competent enough, sound and look good are the ones who move forward in their careers. Statistically, research shows that 55% of your credibility comes from how you look; 38% from how you sound; and, only 7% from what you actually say. Carry yourself properly by avoiding these mistakes:
1. Smiling inappropriately
2. Taking up too little space
3. Using gestures inconsistent with your message
4. Being over- or underanimated
5. Tilting your head
5. Wearing inappropriate makeup
6. Wearing the wrong hairstyle
7. Dressing inappropriately
8. Sitting on your foot
9. Grooming in public
10. Sitting in meetings with your hands under the table
11. Wearing your reading glasses around your neck
12. Accessorizing too much
13. Failing to maintain eye contact

7. How You Respond
It is important to know how to respond to the ways others treat you. And some of the common pitfalls women do as a response to a certain gesture are as follows:
1. Internalizing messages
2. Believing others know more than you
3. Taking notes, getting coffee, and making copies
4. Tolerating inappropriate behavior
5. Exhibiting too much patience
6. Accepting dead-end assignments
7. Putting the needs of others before your own
8. Denying your power
9. Allowing yourself to be the scapegoat
10. Accepting fait accompli (irreversible or predetermined decisions)
11. Permitting others' mistakes to inconvenience you
12. Being the last to speak
13. Playing the gender card
14. Tolerating sexual harassment
15. Crying
Women need to be advocates for themselves by playing up their strengths - like being nurturing, accommodating and good listeners - while also adding complementary behaviors. "You don't have to be like a guy to get ahead in business, but you do have to be an adult woman," said Frankel.

One common mistake Frankel sees women make is couching statements as questions. By doing that, women hand over the power of decision-making to someone else, like the boss.Instead of using phrases like, "Would it be all right if . . .," she suggests saying, "I just want to let you know ..." or "I've got this great idea that I'd like to move forward with, and I want to give you the heads-up on it."

Women, who tend to react more quickly than men, need to instead take some time to think about how to best handle a situation, said Maureen McCormick, director of the learning and development unit in the human resources department at the University of Iowa.

Frankel's other suggestions for women include: - Don't explain ad nauseam. Women look for clues like "mmm hmm" and head nods to ensure that the message they're trying to convey is getting through. When women don't get that reinforcement, "We make our point, we make it again, and make it again," she said. "The more words you use, the more you soften a message."

Don't use minimizing words. If someone compliments you on a job well done, steer clear from saying, "It was nothing," or "I was really lucky." Instead say, "Thank you, I'm proud of what I achieved."

Do go to meetings. Women often think that poorly run meetings are a waste of time, and that they can skip them in lieu of doing more productive tasks, Frankel said. Instead, meetings should be seen as a place to network and build relationships that can benefit you in the future.

Don't apologize for other people's mistakes or misdirection. The boss gave you minimal instructions for a project. Once you've completed it, the boss says that it wasn't what he had in mind. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry," and minimizing your position, Frankel suggested, "Well, the instructions weren't clear to me. Tell me how you want it."

Do get involved in office politics. Replace the word "politics" with "relationships," Frankel said. "That's what politics is - it's about building a relationship before you need it."

Create the word on the street. A routine exercise we do in leadership classes is to ask participants to write a twenty-five-word vision statement of how they want to be described, then list the behaviors needed to get them there. You can do the same. Write down what you want others to be saying about you, then follow it up with specific actions to make it happen. In short, accept the responsibility of adulthood.

Ask for feedback. If you're worried that you are in some way acting inappropriately, ask a trusted friend or colleague for feed-back. Avoid asking a yes-no question (such as, “Did you think I was out of line?”). Try asking an open-ended question that will give you insight into how you are perceived (such as, “Tell me what I did in that meeting that helped me or hindered me from achieving my goals”).

Don't aim for perfection!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Opposites Don't Attract - Azara Feroz Sayed

Thought about putting this down as I posted last time on building relationships - I remembered these words about the importance of building relationships from the book "Unlimited Power" by Anthony Robbins People are your most important resource. No matter what you want in your life, if you can develop rapport with people, you'll be able to fill their needs, and they will be able to fill yours. There is someone else who can help us accomplish our goals more quickly and easily by providing us their expertise and assistance.

Below site has the summary for 'Unlimited Power' - I used the contents from Chapter 13 ( The Magic of Rapport) for this post

If we remember a time when we met someone for the first time and we were completely in Sync. If we go back and try to think what it was about the person that made us feel so attuned to him/her. Chances are that both of us thought alike, or felt the same way about a movie, book, experience or had similar beliefs, or maybe our beliefs or background were same. The common-ness between two people creates instant bond - rapport!

According to Anthony Robbins, "Opposites attract", Like most things that are false has an element of truth. When people have enough in common, the elements of difference add excitement to things! I couldn't agree more when I think about my relationship with Feroz. As Anthony says, Feroz sees the world much the way I do and even adds to my perspective.

For "Opposite attract" to be true, we never think of the person we can't stand and say, "He thinks just like me". Anthony Robbins questions, "Why would we spend time with someone who disagrees with us on everything","Do people form clubs of people who are different from them" or "Why do most americans feel better about English than Iranians". Americans and English have the same religion, same justice system, same language etc. The problems results from the way the Americans and Iranians are different. When we have problems it is due to people focussing on "differences" rather than similiarity. The way to go from discord to harmony is to go from concentrating on differences to concentrating on similiarities.

One of the most important things we can do in interpersonal communications is to learn how to build excellent rapport. The basic premise of rapport is that people like people who are like themselves. The more two people have in common, the more likely they are to hit it off. Achieving rapport goes a long way towards establishing friendships, enhancing relationships, closing sales, and even getting along better with the in-laws.

Rapport is the ultimate tool for producing results with other people by building a bond instantly. Since we know that we get along well with people who are like us. We build rapport by discovering what the other person is like and changing ourselves to match them. This process is referred to in NLP as "mirroring" or "matching."

When rapport works, we feel totally in sync with the other person and the conversation flows effortlessly. Achieving excellent rapport is much more enjoyable than fidgeting awkwardly with hands in pockets, avoiding eye contact and talking about the weather. Rapport is about establishing an environment of trust and understanding, to respect and honor the other person’s world. This allows the person the freedom to fully express their ideas and feelings and know they’ll be respected and appreciated. Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened and responded to, even when we dis-agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world. When we are in rapport with another person, we have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from; and as a result, enhance the whole relationship. The magical bond that unites people and makes them feel like partners.

We know that only 7% of what is communicated between people is transmitted through words, 38% comes through the tone of voice, 55% of communication, the largest part, is the result of physiology (NLP Term for body language). We know that physiology - the facial expressions, the gestures, the quality and type of movements - of the person delivering a communication provides us more information than the words do by themselves. We laugh when Eddie Murphy talks - it not the words that matter as much as the delivery-his tonality and physiology-that makes you laugh. Arshad Warsi is one of Feroz's favourite in this regard since Munnabhai and for me it is Dilip Prabhavalkar who can't beat anyone.

Mirroring is about "discovering" these three aspects (words, tone, physiology) of other person's communication and mirroring them for building rapport. While the words are working on a person's conscious mind, the tonality and physiology are working on the unconscious. Their unconscious is where their brain is thinking, "Hey, this person's like me. (S)he must be okay." And because it's unconscious, it's even more effective. We're not aware of anything but the bond is formed.

Mirror favorite words or phrases or jargons used by the other person.

Mirror the tonality and phrasing, the pitch, how fast (s)he talks, what sort of pauses the person makes, the volume.

Mirror posture and breathing patterns, eye contact, body language, facial expressions, hand gestures, or other distinctive movements. Any aspect of physiology, from the way a person plants their feet to the way (s)he tilts their head.

As part of the "Mirroring" process, we need to understand the person's representation system and mirror the same in our response to their communication. is a very good article on representation systems . The example below is from the article. Many relationships have been affected due to communication failure due lack of understanding the representation system. A woman who said "My husband doesn't love me. He never brings me flowers, takes me to movies, or looks at me in that special way." Her husband replied, "What do you mean, not love her...Of course I do. I tell her I love her three or four times a day!"She felt loved when she was shown visually. He thought he was loving when he told her so auditorially. He was satisfied by hearing the words "I love you," and as we all do, assumed she did too. If he had listened to the words she used to determine which Representation System she was thinking in, he would have heard the visual words and realised his declarations of love were 'falling on deaf ears.' Then he could have adapted his language and behaviour to show her he loved her, and they both would have been satisfied.It is that simple -- to listen for the Representational words which indicate in what sense the person is thinking, and to adjust your communication style to match.

The below verbal clues can be used to understand the person's representation system
GENERIC - I understand you, I want to communicate something to you, Do you understand what I'm trying to communicate, I know that to be true, I'm not sure about that, I don't like what you're doing, Life is good
VISUAL - I see your point, I want you to take a look at this, Am I painting a clear picture, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that is true, That is pretty hazy to me, I take a dim view of your perspective, My mental picture of life is sparkling and crystal clear
AUDITORY - I hear what you're saying, I want to make this loud and clear, Does what I'm saying sound right to you, That information is accurate word for word, That doesn't really ring a bell, That doesn't resonate with me at all, Life is in perfect harmony
KINESTHETIC - I feel that I'm in touch with what you're saying, I want you to get a grasp on this, Are you able to get a handle on this, That information isas solid as a rock, I'm not sure I'm following you, What it boils down is that what you're doesn't feel right to me, Life feels warm and wonderful

The person who is talking about "how this looks" to them (visual) will probably be breathing high in the chest, speaking rapidly with shallow breathing, might be pointing, and may have hunched shoulders and an extended neck, while auditory people will more resonant voices and their breathing will tend to be more even and deep, coming from the diaphragm or the whole chest, and will have balanced muscle tension, and may fold their arms, and tilt their heads slightly to one side. Kinesthestic people speak in a slow tempo, will take long pauses between words so they can get a feel for what they're saying in their low, deep tonalities. Much of their body movement will tend to indicate tactile or external kinesthetic accessing. They often have upturned palms with arms bent and relaxed with a solid posture with their heads sitting squarely on their shoulders.

In "mirroring", it is important to observe and understand the other person's representation system - for us to provide our response in the same representation system as used by the other person - to build rapport.

If we mirror everything about another person? People feel as though they've found their soul mate, someone who totally understands, who can read their deepest thoughts, who is just like them.

We don't have to mirror everything about a person to create a state of rapport. If we just start with the tone of voice or a similar facial expression, we can learn to build incredible rapport with anyone.

We need to look for things that we can morror as unabstrusively as possible. If we mirror a person who is asthamatic or terrible twitching - instead of achieving rapport, we will lead him to think we are mocking him.

Mirroring is a natural process of rapport. We already do it unconsciously - Mirroring provides us a way to build rapport anytime we wish, with anyone, even a stranger. When we are mirroring, we get the benefits of another person's feelings and experiences and thoughts.

If we are using rapport as a tactic to manipulate another person to our way of thinking, at some level they instinctively know it and they will not respond positively. However, if we have mastered the art of rapport and our intention is to hear and be heard, to achieve win-win solutions or create genuine friendships, we will become a powerful and trusted communicator.

An "mirroring" example that Anthony talks about in the book
Robbins was relaxing in Central Park, New York, and noticed a man sitting across from him. Without really thinking about it, Robbins began to subtly copy the man's behaviour. At first he sat in a similar way to the man, breathed the way he was breathing and swayed his head a little as he did. The other man was throwing breadcrumbs to the birds and Robbins did this as well. Before long the man came over to sit beside Robbins and struck up a conversation. Robbins continued to mirror the man's physical actions and his voice tone and phrases he used in speech. After a few minutes the man told Robbins that he seemed "very intelligent" and that he felt he knew him better than some people he'd known for 25 years.

As Anthony Robbins says, The meaning of our communication is the response we elicit and the responsibility of communication rests upon us. Rapport is the most accessible skill in the world not needing a book or course to learn. The only tools we need is close observation and flexibility to match other person's world. We are always communicating and interacting. Rapport is simply doing both in the most effective ways possible. We can use rapport at the grocery store, job, home, job interviews etc

The below article has exercises to practise building rapport

Monday, August 11, 2008

Make me feel Important - Azara Feroz Sayed

Came across this as a form of NLP model

As you walk around and interact with others tomorrow, hallucinate a big sign above their head that says: “Make Me Feel Important!”

Feroz tried to impress on me this by saying 'Even God expects us to make him feel important'. All our prayers begin with praising God and then asking him for blessing us with the things we desire. We mortals certainly need to feel important too to drive to action!

Make people feel important is the "good finder" that Zig Ziglar talks about.
Look for the good in others - you will find the good in others- Compliment the good that you see in others. In short, when dealing with people, give them lots of encouragement, but don't lie or mislead them by telling them they are doing well when they are not. Sincere Compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivations methods in existence. Compliments may seem so much air, but like air we use to fill tires in our automobiles, they can really ease us along life's higway!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wedding Anniversary - Azara Feroz Sayed

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary! I couldn't help remembering our last wedding anniversary which we marked by 'watching our first film together in a theatre'.

We watched one of Feroz's favourite movies - Bourne Ultimatum. On our way back, we were fooling about what our 'code under duress' should be. Infact Bourne Identity happens to be the first movie we watched together. I was never into action films - Feroz converted me to a Bourne movies fan!

Feroz wouldn't mind spending money on the DVD to see it in leisure on the home projectorTV system. This allows him to irritate me by playing some of the dumb dialogues again and again! Moreoever I think one more reason is - this allows him to read the names of the people contributing to the film by pausing and going thru the list of names - I love to see him read the names with such fervour! I say to myself - if a person can be excited to know about people contributing to a movie - he will always find something to keep his heart & mind fresh with learning - Life will never be a drudgery for this person - Amen!

As I mentioned in the earlier post, 'The Secret', that Feroz is an embodiment of all the things that I said 'that is nice' in my heart - I would admire the few people waiting after the movie was over to read the names and thank (token of thanks) the many people contributing to the making of the movie. I don't know how it all happened - was it law of attraction as definded in the 'The Secret' or something else! Whatever it is - God has been very kind to get Me and Feroz - two complete strangers - together! Pray his blessings continue on us for the rest of our lives - Amen!

Anniversaries always make us reflect on our life and for me, my life with Feroz transformed me from mediocre person - playing it safe - not wanting much from life - to a individual taking risks, making decisions - to enjoy the many things that life has to offer! And equally important, kindling in me the desire for sharing with others the importance of taking decisions - to enjoy life to the fullest!!

Pray Me and Feroz grow in each other's love for the rest of our lives!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Suzuki Learning Philosophy - Azara Feroz Sayed

I read about Schinichi Suzuki in Zig Zilgar's See You at the Top book. Though there are many programs in Japan using Suzuki's style for learning especially music. There is a school in Atlanta following Professor Suzuki's style of learning.

Schinichi Suzuki is an unusual japanese scientist who performs what many people consider to be one of the miracles of our time. He takes babies a few weeks old and starts playing beautiful, recorded music next to their beds. He plays the same tune many times and after about thirty days he repeats the procedure with another recording. He continues this process until the infant is about two years old. At that time, he starts about three months of music lessons for mother, with the two-year-old as an observer. Next he puts a minature violin in the hands of the child, who begins to get the feel of the instrument while learning bow movements. This first lesson lasts only two or three minutes. From there they gradually build up to an hour. By the time the child is old enough to learn that the violin is supposed to be difficult to play, he has already mastered it and is having fun in the process. Professor Suzuki conducted a concert with some 1,500 of these japanese children performing. Average age of the children was about seven and they played the classics-Chopin, Beethoven, Vivaldi etc. Significantly, Suzuki emphasizes that the vast majority of these children had no "natural" misucal talent. However, he believes every child has talent that can be developed by following the same procedure we use in teaching children to speak. A baby is around older people who constantly talk, so the first step is "exposure". Next, the baby tries to talk, which is "imitation". Friends and relatives brag on the baby, which gives "encouragement" and motivates the baby to try again. This is the process of "repitition". Then the baby starts adding words and tying them together into phrases or sentences. This procedure is "refinement". At age three or four, the child has quiet a vocabulary and still can't read a word. Professor Suzuki maintains that virtually anything can be learnt by the same method.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reticular Activating System - Azara Feroz Sayed

The excitement for knowing about NLP was created by the many references to the NLP material in Tony Robins books.
Below are some interesting ideas on "Why goal setting/visualizing/empowering beliefs and values are important". We need to provide information to our brain - to know what to focus on - to know what to filter in and what not to filter out - what is important and what is mundane - to avoid losing the crucial information being filtered out by the brain. Goal Setting/ Visualization/ Empowering Beliefs and Values provide the focus and direction necessary for our mind to know what is important/"moral". The ideas below are from "NLP for Dummies" book by Romilla Ready and Kate Burton.

Interesting ideas about our Unconscious Mind
1. We know that Conscious mind is that part of the mind which has awareness of things around and within us at any given point of time. The conscious mind is the short-term memory which can hold thoughts from minutes to hours. The rest of our memory is unconscious or subconscious mind.
2. We also know that Conscious mind excels at logic, analysis, processing sequentially etc while unconscious is better at creativity, strong memory, intuition, emotion etc
3. Our unconscious can't process negatives making it very important to have positive goals. It interprets everything we think as a positive thought so if we think, "I don't want to be poor", our unconscious mind focuses on 'poor' and because it doesn't processes negative, the thought becomes, "I want to be poor". Being poor then becomes the goal in your unconscious mind and like a yound child, desperate to please, it helps to behave in a way that will keep us poor!
4. Our unconscious mind needs direction - what next to work on, necessitating meditation to connect the conscious and unconscious mind
5. Unconscious mind stores all our experiences, including all the repressed memories (unresolved negative emotions), which are presented to us for examination to release trapped emotions - e.g. childhood memories of hurt being presented in our mid life etc - the timing for surfacing the trapped emotions to us by the unconscious is a surprise!
6. Unconscious mind needs to be fed with new experiences all the time. Lest it gets busy with unconstructive addictions, we can engage it in activities which will keep us mentally fit like reading, puzzles etc which cause our brain cells to grow more physical dendrites (branches of brain cell)
7. Unconscious behaves like a highly moral being. Our unconscious mind will keep us on the straight and narrow path of whatever morality it has learnt (our beliefs - our version of truth - not necessarily the "truth") - by enforcing its morality on us - even if society judges that morality wrong. A terrorist will kill and destroy without qualms because his moral code teaches him to be a freedom fighter. He is made to believe by the unconscious that he is actually being a moral person in fighting against a criminal society. On the other hand, if our unconscious mind decides that we need to be punished for some of our actions, which doesn't fits its moral code - even though there are no specific social laws for those - we will be wrecked with guilt and exihibit behaviour to punish ourselves. This necessiates feeding the right content to our unconscious to build the right moral code of conduct for our unconscious - a good self image, goals. At the same time it is important to understand and work with guilt emotions presented to us by the unconscious.

Reticular Activating System (RAS)
There are approximatey 2 billion pieces of data comin in throught our five senses every second. Only miniscule of the information we receive through our five senses is filtered and lodged in the brain. Our antenna RAS recieves the information that is of interest to us. The information filtering critirea for RAS is
1. If the information is important to our survival. For e.g. if we are jay walking and in a day dream, we will be alerted to traffic bearing down on us
2. If the information has novelty value. When we decorate our house, we start noticing the changes we made but slowly we start ignoring those changes as the novelty value reduces.
3. If the information has high emotional content. A mother will be alert when the baby's breathing changes but will sleep throught husband's snoring.
4. If the information is above RAS's threshold of observation. Anything below this threshold is mundane, routine. Novelty value (visualizing goals everyday), our empowering beliefs (believing "I am lucky and an oppurtunity will come by soon" helps us see oppurtunities and achieve goals) and values determine RAS's threshold of observation - determines the information captured and not filtered out and lost.

Goal setting/Visualizing/Empowering Beliefs and Values help us set the right focus for RAS which in turns provides us the info needed to achieve success. Is RAS the reason for the success of "Law of Attraction" (refer earlier post "The Secret") has examples of RAS specifically for the sales person is the tip wherein if a customer says "not interested" they mean to say "not interested at this time"

This article links the ideas mentioned in "Luck Factor" to RAS - apart from importance of action - the people with Midas touch know what to focus on - putting the RAS to work View the short video by James Ray which introduces how our beliefs and RAS are connected is a 9 part posting on how the working of subconsciou with lot and lot of examples
- How we perceive the world based on "our version of truth" our beliefs and how our beliefs in turn influence the filtering mechanism of RAS
- The blindspots created by our mind (missing on counting 'F' is a very good example of this) . Count Fs in
read article for answer. How many other such blind spots would be stopping us from achieving success by not focussing on the right things (by not having goals). Our RAS would be junking stuff that would be important to us.
- The thermostat of our mind that measures every experience and kicks on the heater or cooler based on the picture or "beliefs" or "our version of truth" that we have set as thresholds. If we "know" that we are not good in math, then if we do well on a math exam, we will suffer anxiety because doing well is "not like us." Our Censor then will correct for the error of success and we will do poorly on the next exam. We can program our subconscious by changing the pictures or "beliefs" or "our version of truth". Tony Robins refers beliefs as lies as they can be changed.
- Each time we come upon an experience, our conscious mind perceives, associates, evaluates, and decides what to do. If we perceive something slithering in the grass and we hear a rattle. We associate that with our experience and memory--a rattlesnake. We evaluate it. This is not good. A rattlesnake can bite and poison us and so we decide to run away.
- Subconcious mind is the repository of habits(e.g. driving or typing in auto mode without thinking about driving or typing) , attitudes (e.g. our continous like or dislike of something) created based on our beliefs or "our version of truths" and values
- The blind spots are created by our subconscious mind to reject information that doesn't fits "in our version of truth" i.e. when we declare "My keys are nowhere to be found." Immediately, our Censor builds a blindspot against our actually seeing the keys. Why? Because we would appear foolish (insane) after having made our statement. So then someone else finds them (in an obvious place where we had looked several times). The knowledge of blindspots applies when we judge others too. We judge others based on "our version of truth" - ignoring all their talents and good work they are doing.
- Subconscious minds will help us solve problems by providing the necessary drive, creativity - which is what we do when we set our goals - we give our subconscious mind a problem to work on
- You don't get what you want in life; you get what you picture i.e. we get what we focus on. When we learn to ride a bicycle as a child we learn a simple fact very quickly. If there is a rock in the road, we don't focus on it. If we do, we end of hitting it. The harder we try to avoid the rock, the more we are drawn to it. To avoid the rock, rather than focusing on the rock we focus on the path around the rock. This is why in disaster training, airplane pilots do not practice crashes, they practice recoveries.

Some interesting facts
- Women have thicker corpus collosum than men, which enables them to multi task better

Thursday, July 31, 2008

See You At the Top - Attitude - Azara Feroz Sayed

Attitude is the fourth step on the Stairway to the Top

Ziglar introduces this step by saying our attitude is more important than aptitude for being successful. We can alter our lives by altering our attitudes. The difference between accomplishment and failure is having the right mental attitude.

Unfortunately, only 10% of our education is directed at our "feelings" or attitudes while 90% of our education is directed at acquiring facts and figures. The 10% too is directed at athletic events such as band, pep, squad, cheerleader etc. A Harvard study revealed that 85% of the reason for success, accomplishments, promotions etc. were because of our attitudes and only 15% because of our technical expertise i.e. we are spending 90% of our educational time and dollars on developing that part of us which accounts for 15% of our success. We spend 10% of our time and resources in developing 85% of our success.

Feroz's college in India was the only college that I had heard of offering soft skills trainings starting from graduate levels. I had heard about the founder of the college, Mr Doreswamy, being a visionary and these programmes as part of student development activities just put a stamp on it.

View Ziglar's video on attitude

To illustrate how attitude affects in our life, Ziglar says, If we study for grades, we will get them. If we study for knowledge, we will get even better grades and considerably better knowledge. If we strive to make a sale, we will probably make it. Strive to make a sale in such a way that we build a career, we will sell more and will build our career in the process. If we work for salary, we will get one. If we work for the betterment of the company we represent, we will not only get a bigger salary but will also get personal satisfaction as well as respect from our colleagues.

Attitude is contagious like flu. If we want to catch the right mental attitude, we have to go where the right attitude exists. Starting with right people. If people are not available then use a book, exciting seminar, recording of a dynamic speaker. Our mind is like a garden. Between planting and harvesting there is a tremendous increase in the number of beans. Whatever is planted - it is multiplied. Every action we take and every thought we put into our mind is going to have its effect. Ensure we make positive deposits in our mind. Whatever we put into our mind is going to come out of it. A positive attitude will have positive results. Or history teaches us how people fell victim to the idealogy that was forced on to their mind by one man!

Ziglar refers "Hardening of the attitudes" as the most deadliest disease (attitude issue) that sends more people to an early grave, creates more drug addicts, alcholics, breaks up marriages, causes more unemployement and causes more crime than all other attitudes put together. There is a vaccine available which is free, painless and provides additional benefits (such as raise from the boss for protecting himself and his fellow workers from this highly contagious disease, improvement in mental and physical health, zest for living, improves relationships with all even with strangers, improvement in job performance etc). With so many benefits to reap, it is difficult to understand why anyone would not take the vaccination against "Hardening of the attitude" i.e. to work on developing the right mental attitude. Failures think successful people are positive because they earn $250,000 a year. The reverse is true, Successful people earn $250,000 a year because they have the right mential attitude.

#1 - Developing Enthusiasm for all that life has to offer is step towards developing right mental attitude. Psychologists have long known that we will be enthusiastic if we act enthusiastic. If we assume a trait of characteristic - then eventually it will grab us - we will possses it. e.g. Singing (in the shower - bath right) - we do not sing because we are happy but we are happy because we sing. We can't be negative at the top of our voice. On the same lines, we do not stop working and playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop working and playing. Develop alternative signs, symbols for negative things like "go light" for "stop", "red", "traffic" light - when we use them - we will smile at ourselves and our attitude will change while we are waiting at the light. Refer "having cold" with reference to "having warm on other days", Refer "weekends" as "strong end" - a few tips to help us change our attitude. A day is a miniature lifetime, and with lot of good days, we have a good life. The difference between a good teacher and great teacher, good mother and great mother, good speaker and great speaker is enthusiasm. Real enthusiasm is not a "put on" or "take off" to fit the occasion. It is a way of life. It is an outward expression of an inner feeling. Loudness is not necessarily an indication of, enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is "on call" 24hrs a day for us, we will have to use it! An attitude of enthusiasm, provides an effective frontal assault on one of man's greatest stumbling blocks in the climb to the top of the stairway, namely, procastination!

#2 - Always keep in mind, Success is not about comparing with other's success. Success is, measured by comparing, what we could have done with the ability God has given us

#3 - Learn to laugh at self as the person who can't laugh at self can't tolerate someone else laughing at him. It is a sign of emotional maturity and stability to be able to laugh at self.

#4 - Set your sail for Success, be prepared to make minor adjustments in the course, if there are any - Our direction determines our destiny. On our way to success, there are going to be numerours diversions and occurences over which we have no control. We can't predict for certainity what things stand between us and our destination. When something throws us slightly off course, it isn't necessary to go all the way back to the original departure point, make a slight adjustment and proceed towards the destination.

#5 - Satisfy Mental Hunger - From our neck below, very few people would make more than a few hundred dollars a week. From the neck up, there is no limit to how much an individial is worth. We feed the part below the neck everyday. We need to feed our minds, the part that has no limit to its value, earning and happiness potential. Instead of feeding to happen accidentally, occasionally due to the excuse of "lack of time", we need to take time-off to feed the part which has no ceiling to its potential as we take time-off to feed the rest of our body. We need to spend time and money of dressing the "inside" of our head.
Giving the analogy of greens to bring out the importance of attitude of learning, Ziglar says, as long as the vegetables are green, they are growing, but when they get ripe, they start to rot. As Peter Drucker expressed, "Knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly or it vanishes". Our production capacity will go down if we don't sharpen our axe.
In every field of endeavour - those who are headed for the top are the ones who regularly show up fo seminars at their own expense. They read books. They deliberately seek information to grow. They transform "dead" time that is spent in fighting traffic to "live" time by listening to educational audio information that will give the mental and emotional advantage in today's competitive world. Ziglar refers to this learning as learning in "Automobile University". The learning that happens on the drive from home to work will help you start your day with energy as your brain's neurtransmitters are in action already. When you are moving - listen. When you are seated - read. Our mind like the body must be constantly nourished. Nourishment must be physical, mental, spiritual
Ziglar brings about an interesting idea, the Indian didn't have the word "stutter" and so there was no Indian who "stuttered" as there was no way an Indian could picture "stuttering". Research has proved that bigger a person's vocabulary, the bigger the income. Try to improve your vocabulary conscioulsy. Refer earlier post "Donate Rice to Improve your vocabulary". Remove the word "hate" and replace with "love". Don't think about "prejudice". We need to change our mental diet and eliminate negative input.
#6 - Use the power of subconcious to strengthen our attitudes - We know that whatever we learn, we learn consciously. But when we do it subconsciously, we do it well - like learning to drive a car consciously - to driving a car subconciously. Learning to Type conciously and Typing unconciously. Every musician, went through the process of painfully learning consciously (people avoided listening to them) when the musician plays instinctively, subconciously - then everyone wants to listen to him. Once we learn to do something consciously, we can move it to the subconcious and do it well. The subconcious has unlimited potential and storage capability for all the information that we feed it. Since the subconscious mind never sleeps, we have extra learning and motivation time while our conscious mind sleeps. "Don't take your problems to bed", is wrong, as we go to sleep, we should thank God for all the blessing and turn the question to him. Let the unconscious mind work on it. Instead of doodling - start writing "I Can, I Can, I Can..." and then spell out specifically what we can achieve or write "I will, I will, I will..." and then spell out the goals - these will be etched on the subconscious - making sure we are sailing in the right direction. Once our right mental attitudes are in auto mode, we will instinctively and automatically react positively to the negative situations (diversions on our course to Success) we encounter in life.
The changes we bring in ourselves could have one of the following motivations
- "fear" - fear of losing something - e.g. losing a job". This motivation will work only in specific situations where there is fear of losing something.
- "carrot" - reward for accomplishment - e.g. a bonus. This motivation won't work once the participant moves into "comfort zone"
- "internal" - Motivation by changing the way we think about ourselves and our circumstances.
The "internal" motivation for developing the right mental attitude and embedding the right mental attitude in our subconcious will help us react positively all the time!

Most of the men who were moving to the top were not "paying a price". They worked hard becuase they truly enjoyed their careers and the work involved. The top people in any field get involved in what they are doing, become engrossed, dig in, and their success comes because they love what they are doing. They choose to spend those hours at their work. They have a job but most importantly their job has them. In short, they have a tremendous attitude, which often changes a job from drudgery to pure joy.

For our employer to pay us more, we need to make ourselves more valuable to him - by extra effort - extra loyalty - extra enthusiasm - extra hours and by assuming extra responsibilities. These steps gaurantee job in hard times and raises and promotions during bad times

We can't tailor-make the situations of life but can tailor-make the attitude to fit the situations in life in face of "hopeless" situations. The only people who do not have problems are those in cemeteries. If we have problems, it simply means we are alive and the more problems we have we are more alive!
Step 1: Most of us let our conditions control our attitudes instead of using attitude to control conditions. If "things" are good, our attitude is good. If "things" are bad, our attitude is bad. If we have a strong attitude foundation - our attitude will be good inspite of how good or bad "things" are. How we handle negative situations like "Kicking the Cat" (refer earlier post on "Managing Relatioships") will largely determine our success and happiness in life. We should be like the leaky tire. A defeat should take something out of us and deflate us a bit. If we don't deflate, it is a strong signal that we didn't mind losing but also that we weren't emotionally involved in wanting to win. Remembering that - if we learn from defeat we haven't really lost - will ensure we move closer to being the winner - as each attempt of defeat teaches us - "what will not work".
Step 2: There are seldom, if ever, any "hopeless" situations, we lose hope in face of some situations.
Step 3: We have to remember that the "hopeless" situations are temporary
Step 4: Set the time-limit on how long we plan to stay down. The reason in when we are down, we are likely to reject many valuable ideas. When we are down in dumps we are more likely to concentrate more on the problem than on the solution.
Step 5: Get up! We are once again emotionally up and riding high. Our imagination will be in high gear and we are considerably more responsive to positive suggestions of our capability. We are solution conscious instead of problem conscious. We will be specialist who isn't overwhelmed with the problem and is interested in finding solutions. We are responsive to good ideas and more likely to act on those ideas. And our performance will soar!

Some interesting points
* Smile is one little curve that sets lot of things straight
* Good things happen to people who expect good things
* We ourselves can use our potential - what a responsibility!
* It is not the situation, but the way we react to it that's important. It is the attitude shown in unpromising or negative situations in life. It is shown in the attitude of two men who had polio. One became a beggar and the other Franklin D Roosevelt. What happens to us is not the most important thing - with discipline, dedication, determination and desire, we can respond positively and enhance our chances of victory.
* Failure road is cluttered with people - trying to explain to anyone willing to listen - why something cannot be done
* Successful people capitalize on "What they are" rather than "What they are not" and the positive qualities of patience, humility, dependability, confidence, understanding and belief
* Our major problem is not lack of resources but lack of resourcefullness.
* Happiness is not pleasure it is victory!
* Desire is the ingredient that enables a person with average ability to successfully compete with those who have far more. Desire is the "extra" that makes the little difference and the little differences make the big difference in life. Desire is the difference between the average performer and champion
* Success is determined by taking the hand you are dealt with and utilizing it to the very best of our ability
* Less than our best efforts has us saying "If Only"
* Doing our best is more important than being being the best
* Rewards in life are due more to our behaviour than our birth
* When we sow an action, we reap a habit; when we sow a habit, we reap a character; when we we sow a character, we reap destiny
* Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there
* Success and happiness are not destinations. They are exciting, never-ending journeys.
* If we build our people, our people will build the business
* Give employees the reason for doing things - they will feel they are part of the project and not just employees following orders. Results would be better.
* We acquire the characteristics of the people we associate with on a steady basis but we also become immune and desensitized to the noise and odors or our environment
* All bad habits, trends etc start slowly, quietly and apparently harmlessly. Before we know we have the habit, the habit has us. A slight concession in habits leads to bigger concessions until eventually the bad habits become a way of life
* When a 200 pound craves for cigarrete (1/10th ounce) - wish we were creatures of logic instead of emotion
* The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken
* We build our character from the bricks of habit we pile up day by day
* When we acquire "tough" habits, they become "fun" habits, especially when we remember that doing the tough things today will prepare us to do the big things tomorrow
* Get any good habit and you get an automatic bonus in form of additional good habbit due to the discipline and confidence that you have gained in the process of building one. After some time we will not be working for the habits but the habits will work for us.
* Good habits are hard to acquire but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to acquire but hard to live with
* Parents feed children - love, obedience, faith, integrity etc
* Teacher feed children - honesty, patriotism, persistency, attitude etc
* Professor feeds - goal setting, character, co-operation etc
* Employer feeds - loyalty, total effort, dedication etc
* "Carrot motivation" - In the picture of the donkey pulling the cart. In this picture, the carrot is dangling in front of the donkey. When the donkey walks towards the carrot, he pulls the cart. There are several factors that must be present for this motivation to work. The cart has to be light enough, the stick holding the carrot must be short enough, and the carrot enticing enough to get the donkey to do the job. Experience teaches us that we must permit the donkey to take an occasional bite of the carrot in order to keep him from being discouraged.. Otherwise, he's going to feel he is involved in an excercise in futility and will quit trying for the carrot. When the donkey gets the bite of the carrot, he satifies his appetite. When he's no longer hungry, some adjustments must be made. For example, the stick must be shortened, the carrot sweetened, and the load lightened if the donkey is to be motivated into action. Eventually, the process reaches a stage where it becomes impractical. The rewards or incentives are so high that the profit is removed from the picture and the program grinds to a halt or in the occassion the participant reaches a "comfort zone" and doesn't need - or want - more comfort or carrots. The internal motivation is a lasting motivation - Work on getting that ignited for self and others!

See You At The Top - Goals - Azara Feroz Sayed

Goals is the Third Step on the Stairway to the Top

J.C. Penney's words, "You give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I'll give you a person who will make history; but you give me a person without those goals, and I will show you a stock clerk.", brilliantly bring out the importance of Goals. We don't "pay the price" for acheiving goals we enjoy the benefits of acheiving goals exactly like we don't pay a price for good health but we enjoy the the benefits of good health. We don't pay the price for success, we enjoy the benefits of success. We pay the price for failure!! Also, important to remember is, What we get by reaching our goals is not nearly as important as what we become by reaching them.

Ziglar talks about series of experiments with some "processionary" caterpillars, so named because they follow each other in a procession. They lined them around a flower pot until they formed a never-ending circle. And they started going round and round and round. In the center of the flower pot was some pine needles which is one of the foods of the "processionary" caterpillar. 24 hours they went round and round, then 48 hours, then 72 hours, on and on they went. For 7 full days and 7 full nights they went round and round until they literally dropped dead from starvation and exhaustion. With an abundance of their favorite food 6 inches away they had starved to death because they confused activity with accomplishment. Many people make the same mistake and as a result reap only a small fraction of the harvest life has to offer. Despite of the fact that untold waelth lies within reach, they acquire very little of it because they blindly, without question, follow the crowd in a circle to nowhere. They follow methods and procedures for no other reason than "it's always been done that way". Unless we have definite, precise, clearly set goals, we are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within us. We will never make it anywhere in life as a "wandering generality". We must be "meaningful specific". - Has three part video of Ziglar on Goal Setting. The ideas mentioned in the videos are not covered in this post. Don't miss it!

As always, Ziglar talks about a interesting story to introduce a beautiful way for managing our time effectively, to help us work on our goals - since lack of time is an excuse that is used often for not working on Goals. Imagine we receive an offer to take a three-day all taken care of trip for two to Acapulco - and the trip starts tomorrow. Since we don't want to let this offer go by, we list down tasks and prioritize tasks that MUST get done in the next three days. We delegate those responsibilites. And we are ready to take the trip next day. If we want anything badly - we must make it our goal and work towards getting to it. Why don't we go to Acapulco everyday? Why don't we list down the things that we need to do in the next three days. Then act as if we had only one day to do three day's work. This will also force us to put our "Thinking Cap" on. We will use our mental capacity to think, plan and delegate before we start working. Our life will have a direction. It is not lack of time but lack of direction which is the problem. We will move from a "wandering generality" to a "meaningful specific". Ziglar implores on each of us to use this tactic to do more in the next 24 hours than we normally would do in the next several days. We should be arrested for murder for "killing time". Though Goals need to be Long Range, to help us overcome any short range frusterations, Our daily objectives are the best builders of character. This is where dedication, discipline and determination matter. Here we take the glamour of the big, long-range goal or dream and get right down to the nitty-gritty of foundation building that will help make certain that our dream becomes our destiny. Daily habits build a solid character foundation which supports all significant long-term success. Everybody's daily goals should be to do the best they can today while preparing for better tomorrow. The future is the place where we are going to spend rest of our life.

The reason only 3% of American people commit their goals to paper is
1. They have been told about Goal Setting but never been "sold" on the benefits of Goal Setting.

2. Lack of knowledge on the process of Goal Setting. To bring out the importance of setting specific goals Ziglar gives this wonderful analogy. If on the hottest day in the world, we take the most powerful magnifying glass and some newspaper clippings. If we hold the magnifying glass over the newspaper clippings, even though we magnify the power of the sun through the glass, we will never start a fire - if we keep the glass moving. However, if we hold the glass still and focus it on the paper, we harness the power of the sun and multiply it through the glass and we can start a fire. No matter how much power, brilliance or energy we have. If we don't harness it and focus it on a specific target - we will never be able to accomplish as much as our ability warrants. "Lot of maney", "nice house", "high paying job", "more education" are general targets and not specific goals. We need to have clearly defined, specific goals. has a template to use for goal setting. has things to keep in mind while goal setting.

3. Fear of not reaching their goals - F-E-A-R means False Evidence Appearing Real. Several years ago a young Cuban hijacked a plane to Cuba with a bar of soap. Was all he had. He put the soap in a box, he said to the captain of the aircraft, "This is a bomb, let's go to Cuba." They went to Cuba. The evidence was false, but it appeared real and consequently they acted accordingly. Now, tomorrow morning I get on a plane as I do an awful lot of the mornings and I'll be headed to Dallas, Texas. Now, I recognize the fact that when I get aboard that plane there's a certain amount of danger involved; as you know, some planes do come down an awful lot faster than they go up. There's a certain amount of danger for that plane. But let me tell you something fascinating. There's even more danger for that plane if it stays of the ground. Did you realize that an airplane will literally rust out sitting on the runway faster than it'll wear out flying in the air? That's what airplanes are built for. You see, there's a certain danger in setting goals; but there's an even greater danger if you do not set those goals. Many years ago, Oliver Wendall Holmes, who was a brilliant writer, a very famous jurist, an inventor, an unusual man, put it this way: "The greatest loss in our society is not the waste of our natural resources, though that is great." He said, "The great loss to society is the waste of our human resources simply because we do not recognize our own ability and then aim that ability in a specific direction." Yes, there's a certain amount of risk in setting goals, but there's even more risk in not setting them. The risk comes from the fact that, truthfully, you might not reach your goal and then where are you going to be? You might be a little embarrassed about it; but let me say it again, the risk is infinitely greater if you do not set them because you will be unable to use the incredible ability which you have.
It is safer for a ship to be in a harbor or a plane to be on ground but that is not what a ship or plane is meant for. The Ship or Plane would rust much faster if they stay in harbor or on ground. The risk is greater when we don't set goal. Just as ships are meant to sail in seas and planes to fly, we too are created for a purpose. We are here for a reason. Goals enable us to do more ourselves and others.

4. Poor Self-Image. They don't think they deserve the good things life has to offer, so why bother write down. The way we see life will largely determine what we get out of it. Take a bar of iron and use it for a door stop and it's worth a dollar. Manufacture horse shoes from that bar and they are worth 50$s. Take the same basr of iron, remove the impurities, refine it into fine steel, manufacture it into mainsprings for precision watches and it is worth a quarter of a million dollars. The way we see the bar of iron makes the difference. The way we see ourself and our future makes the difference. We need to have a big goal. Booker T Washington said, "Measure the size of accomplishment by the obstacles that had to be overcome, to reach the Goals".

Goals can be negative if one of the three conditions exists
1. If we don't believe that we are the architect of accomplishment and that "luck" is not involved
2. If Goals are unrealistically big
3. If they are outside our area of interests

A Goal properly set is partially reached because it is strong statement of our belief that we can and will reach it. Success is easier after we believe! Once we have arranged our goals in the order of their importance, we should list the obstacles that stand between us and our objectives. If there wasn't anything between us and our Goals, we would have already achieved our Goals. After we have listed our obstacles, we can formulate a plan to overcome them and set a time schedule. As we all know, if we have properly identified a problem, we have it half solved. Overcoming the obstacles becomes easier and faster once we have identified them. As we overcome obstacles on our way to one goal, the obstacles on the way to other goals become easier based on the confidence gained due to overcoming the obstacle. Confidence is the handimen of success.

If we keep our eyes on the goal, the chances of reaching the goal are immeasurably better. A Goal casually set and lightly taken is freely abandoned at the first obstacle

Ziglar talks about a saleman who planned and met his Goal of being the best performer in the company. Ziglar mentions that he acheived this by working harder and smarter. The saleman applied the principles of Goal Setting and Goal Reaching

  • He maintained records to find out where he was
  • He committed to paper the goals he wanted to achieve on a yearly, monthly and daily basis
  • He was very specific in defining his Goals ($104,000)
  • He set the goal big - but reachable - to create excitement and challenge
  • He made the goal long range (one year) so he would not be overcome by daily frusterations
  • He listed obstacles between him and goals and formulated a plan to overcome the obstacles
  • He broke the goals into daily increments
  • He was absolutely convinced he would reach his goals
  • He visualized himself as already reaching his goal. If we want to reach our goal, we must "see the reaching" in our mind before actually arrive at our goal.
  • He organized his time and learned the value of a minute. He found that 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there soon add up to one to two hours per day. This was eight to ten hours per week. 400 to 500 hours a year! He discovered that everyone doesn't have 60 minutes in an hour, 24hrs in a day, or seven days in a week. Each man only has as many minutes, hours and days as he uses.

To illustrate the importance of "Defining Goals" and "Believing" and "Visualizing" them, Ziglar brings out the analogy of torpedo. When the torpedo was aimed at the target and fired, it would establish a "fix" on that target. If the target moved or changed directions, the torpedo would change its direction. Interestingly enought the torpedo was designed after the human brain. Inside our brain there's something that enables us to "zero in" on a target. Even if the target should move, or we should be side tracked, once we have gotten our "fix", we will still hit the target.

Similar to the ideas mentioned in "Law of Attraction" (refer earlier post "The Secret"), Ziglar says that once we define, believe and visualize our goals, the unseen forces inside of us start "putting it all together" and propel us towards destination.

We need to be flea trainers - the flea trainers are not influenced by the SNIOPs (Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People) of life. You can request for the "Flea Training Certificate" by sending a request along withan 8 1/2 x 11 self-addressed envelope stamped with two firsr-class stamps to : Ziglar Training Systems, 2009 Chenault Dr., #100, Carrolton, TX 75006.

We need to "practice without pressure" will lead to better performance when there is pressure

Ziglar refers our ability of not knowing what we cannot do and so going ahead and doing it as "Intelligent Ignorance". Our gift of Intelligent Ignorance leads us to success. Henry Ford didn't believe that we wouldn't be able to build a V8 and insisted on his team to build one for him. His team was sure that it couldn't be built but Henry Ford insisted all the time on having one.

Some interesting ideas in the book
* There ain't no free lunch
* Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you will always be able to see farther
* With definite goals you release your own power and things start happening
* Make no small plans for they have no capacity to stir men's souls
* There are rich educators and there are poor educators. There are rich lawyers and there are poor lawyers. The oppurtunity lies with the individual first and then with the occupation. The occupation provides the oppurtunity only if the individual does his part. It is not the occupation or the profession that makes you succeed or fail. It is how we see ourself in our occupation that determines success or failure
* The oppurtunity for greatness doesn't comes cascading like a torrential Niagara falls, but rather is comes slowly, one drop at a time
* Pleasure (eating too much or eating the wrong foods) is very short-lived, but happiness (being pleased with our slimmer, healthier, extended life five to twenty years longer) is of much longer duration
* Reviewing the list of skills and objectives that need lot of our effort (sweat and tears) are the ones that bring the real satisfaction and rewards
* Work on your goals with the bull dog tenacity and persistence - success is just over the will or around the corner
* If we want to create a cripple, just give a man a pair of crutches for a few months. Give a man a "free lunch" long enough for him to get in the habit of getting something for nothing - we take away his resourcefulness.
* When you give a man a dole, you deny him his dignity, when you deny him his dignity, you rob him of his destiny
* The steps on the stairway to the success are there to rest our foot long enough to step higher and not to stay there. We become champion by fighting one more round
* We are often told to strike when the iron is hot. We are however not told that we need to strike to make the iron hot.
* There is no such thing as lazy person; He is either sick or uninispired
* Success family has Work as the father and Integrity as Mother. If we can get along with the parents, we won't have trouble with the rest of the family
* The most practical, beautiful, workable philosohpy in the world won't work - if we won't work! * Education can cover lot of ground but can't cultivate any of it
* We can gaurd against losing our shirts by keeping our sleeves rolled up
* Success is dependent on "Sweat" glands
* When the going gets tough the tough gets going
* 80% of the people go to work reluctantly and that explains the second rate and third rate merchandise
* In Casinos there aren't any clocks as Casino owners don't want gamblers them to be reminded of time
* Two Fleas discussing if they should walk down the hill - or take a dog? One of my friend was known for this PJ she started and the way she would say that was awesome. We would ask her to repeat it everytime there was a new audience

Monday, July 28, 2008

See You At The Top - Managing Relationships - Azara Feroz Sayed

Step 2 of "See You At The Top" is Managing Relationship with Others

Notes from the book on Managing Relationship with Others

Ziglar introduces by stating the analysis done on 100 self-made millionaires - one thing came out to be common - All of them were "good finders". The could see good in other people and in every situation.

To drive this point, Ziglar narrates an interesting anecdote about Walter Haley - how successfully he managed his Warehouse Insurance business using the 'art of managing relationships' for maximizing loyalty and productivity.
Well, I met Walter Haley, and we just hit it off and started chatting. He said, "Zig, I've got to take you and let you see one of these mammoth warehouses." Well, we walked in. I didn't know there was that much food in the world much less under one roof. It was colossal. As we walked in the front door, Mr. Haley siad, "Excuse me for a moment, Zig." He went over to the switchboard operator; and he said, "You know, I just want to tell you what a delight it is for me to dial this number. You always answer so enthusiastically. I get the feeling that you're just there waiting for me to call." Well, the lady smiled very broadly, and said, "Why, thank you, Mr. Haley, I really appreciate that comment." He walked on through the door leading into the major portion of the warehouse and as we walked down one of the corridors, he said, "Excuse me Zig, I haven't met this gentleman." We stepped into this little office. Walter Haley stuck his hand out, and he said, "I'm Walter Haley, I know who you are, but we haven't met. I also know what you've been doing. Since you took over this department we've not had the first complaint. I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am with the job you're doing." Well, the man was very pleased. He said, "Why thank you, Mr. Haley, I do the very best I can." And Walter Haley said, "Well, that is excellent, just keep it up." We walked upstairs. He walked into his office, and he walked over with me to his secretary, and he said, "Zig, I want you to shake hands with the greatest secretary who ever sat behind a desk. My wife thinks she hung the moon and can take it down whenever she wants to. So, I'm asking you right now, please don't do it, I love the moon right where it is." Well, the secretary obviously beamed broad and said, "Well, Mr. Haley, uh, you sure are kind to say that and I obviously love your wife, an thank her for me too." We walked on into his private office iand there sat one of his men. And Walter Haley said to me, "Zig, shake hands with one of the greatest life insurance men to ever put on a pair of shoes." And the salesman said, "Aw, Walter, you're always saying things like that. And of course, since they're true, I obviously love hearing you say those things. Keep it up." The whole trip tooke about five minutes. But I'm here to tell you that there were four people who were dramatically affected that day. Now, let me share something with you which is critically important, and that's this. Walter Haley is a very sincere man. He is a very observant man. The compliments were from his heart; he ws not making small talk. He was communicating what he felt. When you do things like that, I can absolutely guarantee people will respond, and they will respond in a very positive way. When you talk about building relationships there is a magnificent way to do it. It's absolutely true. You can have everything in life you want if you'll just help enough other people to get what they want. Now what did Walter Haley want? He really wants those people to be friendly, and loyal and more productive. But had he been a conniver, had he said, "Well, now I can manipulate them by bragging on them and then they will be more productive." Let me tell you something. I'm talking about a philosophy. If you can use it as a tactic, I can absolutely guarantee you it will not work. If you think you can do something for somebody else and then later they'll do something for you that is ugly, that is manipulative, it absolutely will not work. But if you look for the good and find the good and compliment the good because it is true and because you're sincere, you will build a tremendous amount of loyalty. It's a philosophy. it is not a tactic. Be a good finder.

If we are looking at reaping the most reward in all areas of life - we should look for the good in every person and in every situation and adopt the golden rule as a way of life. We also know that we treat people as we see them i.e. to find "good" or "ability" in a person we have to look for it. Once we find the "good" or "ability" in the other person, we treat them better and he performs better. And after we have "found" the good, we must ensure we spread the word. "The way we see them is the way we treat them. The way we treat them is the way they often become". If we take a man as he is, we make him worse than he was, but if we see him as being the best person possible, then he, in fact, becomes the best person possible. This is true with every one - a smarter assoiciate, spouse, kids etc - everyone improves and we make progress with them too. The self-made millionaires knew - it is important that we "see" others properly.

Sincere Compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivations methods in existence. Compliments may seem so much air, but like air we use to fill tires in our automobiles, they can really ease us along life's higway. A wise man said, "A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could". The greatest good we can do for anyone is to share their own wealth with them - inspire them to develop the "good" inside of them - as they will seldom see the talent in themselves. We should command "best effort" from everybody and the anyone on the team should feel bad about failure only if they haven't put in their best effort.

In the earlier post "Our Legacy How Much Backward Can We Go", we saw Helen Keller attributed her achievements to her teacher Anne Sullivan. Her teacher saw Helen Keller as one of God's special person. She treated her as she saw her, loved her, disciplined her, played, prayed, pushed her and worked with Helen Keller. Making it possible for Helen to influence millions! We get the best of others when we give the best of ourselves.

One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interest. If we build people mentally, morally, physically and spiritually, they will build the business on the same foundation. People need loving the most when they deserve the least.

Ziglar talks about how his daughter learnt to be the "Happy Girl" once they started introducing her as the "Happy Girl" to everyone.

Ziglar mentions about requiring his children to refer him and his wife as "Sir" and "Ma'am" as the children would feel more secure to have someone to respect as a parent rather than just a buddy. Feroz too strongly feels that parents should not be friends with their children but should behave as parents - to discipline them - as the children have many friends. Ziglar mentions many time about the need for discipling children. Will have a separate post on this.

Ziglar brings forward dozens of stories where people have been consigned to mediocrity by someone who "saw" them in an inferior light and treated them accordingly.

We need to look for the total ability of the person, develop more patience, compassion, firmness in dealing with them. Be analytical of what the person does and not so critical about the person. Criticize the performance - not the performer. We need to understand that an individual can do a lousy job or an individual can do a bad thing, but that does not mean the individual is a lousy individual or a bad individual. Failure is an event and it's not a person. Yesterday ended last night. Remember just because and individual did not do a good job on one thing, that really has no bearing on their value as a person. And if we can retain that value as a person in their minds, then their performance will become better and better.

In short, when dealing with people, give them lots of encouragement, but don't lie or mislead them by telling them they are doing well when they are not. Encourage them by letting them know that they can do better work. That their performance is not up to "their" standards. When their image changes so will their performance. Convince them they can meet "their" high standards of performance and they will!

Ziglar mentions about the need to mark the offender's account "paid in full" - if after breaking the law the offender pays the fine for his offence. This will help them restore their self-confidence. This is a problem with our society where even after the law offenders paid for their offence by "spending time in jail", we still look at them as law offenders - not trusting them . With the way we treat them, we forces them to - go back to breaking laws and "spending time in jail".

It is so true that our actions affect others either for good or bad, positively or negatively - many of whom we will never know. It is important to maintain a proper perspective and good attitude towards others.. We play a role in the life of each person we touch. As a matter of fact, at times, we may very well hold the key to other's future.

As per Ziglar, "Blind Loyalty" between couples is the key in managing martial relationships.

In the chapter on "Attitude" Ziglar narrates an anecdote relating to "Kicking the cat" which is very important in managing relationships

But Mr. B's a little different story. Mr. B. called a meeting, had all of his people together, and he said, "Now, this is a great company we have here. It can be even greater. What I'm going to do is I'm going to start assuming more of a leadership role by setting the correct example. I'm going to start coming in early; I'll start taking reasonable lunch hours; I will stay until the office is closed. In short, I'm going to be the role model that you need to follow." Oh, it was a wonderful speech. But, you know, sometimes how those speeches go, after a period of time you kind of forget all about it. The excitment and enthusiasm dies down just a bit, and that's exactly what happened.
Mr. B. was out for lunch one day; he forgot all about the time. Suddenly, he looked at his watch and he thought to himself, "Oh boy, I'm supposed to be back to the office in 10 minutes." He hopped up, ran out to the parking lot, hopped in his automobile, scratched off, burned rubber, doing about 90 miles an hour down the freeway and the long arm of the law entered the picture, gave him a ticket. Now, you're talking about somebody who was furious, Mr. B. was absolutely furious. He said, "This is absolutely ridiculous. Here I am a peaceful, tax-paying, law-abiding citizen, minding my own business. Maybe I was going a little too fast, but, they ought to be out here looking for robbers and murderers and reaaly the bad guys -- leave us peaceful, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens alone." Aw, he was really upset.
When he got back to the office, he was about 45 minutes late. And he did what some people have always done when they get their hand caught in the cookie jar, so to speak, they point yonder, so nobody will look at them. In a loud voice he called for a sales manager. He said, "Come in here, I want to talk to you about the Armstrong account. All I want ito know is a simple yes or no. Did you make the sale, or did you miss the sale?" And the sales manager said, "Mr. B. I, I hate to tell you this. I thought it was a done deal. I thought we had it signed, sealed and delivered, but at the last minute something happened. It came unglued. No, I did not get the sale."
Now, if you think Mr. B. was upset before, you should have seen him now. He just hit the ceiling. He said, "This is really something. here we had a chance to get this big account. We desperately needed that money to expand our product line, and I've been depending on you as my sales manager. You've been here 15 years, and you have a chance to really make a mark, and what do you do, you blow it. Well, let me tell you something. Just because you've been heres 15 years does not mean that you've got a lifetime contract. Now, you're going to replace htat business or I'm going to replace you."
You're talking about upset, Mr. B. was furious. But if you think he was upset you should have seen the sales manager. He walked out of the room, slammed the door behind him, muttering under his breath, "This is really something. For 15 years, I've been running this company. If it had not been for me, we would have gone broke years and years ago. And here, just because I miss one sale, he uses a cheap lousy trick to threatening to fire me. This is not fair." Aw, he was upset.

Called his secretary in. He said, "You remember those five letters I gave you to get out this morning? Have you gotten them out or, are you going to give me some lousy excuse for not having them out?" And she said, "Well, no, don't you remember, you told me that the Hedrick account took precedence over everything else? That's what I've been working on." If you think the sales manager was upset before, you should have seen him now. He just hit the ceiling. He said, "You've been here eight years, and you apparently think you've got lifetime security. Well, I want to tell you something. You get those letters out, and if you don't get them out, I'll get me somebody who can." Aw, he was really upset.
But if you think he was upset, you should have seen that secretary. She goes storming out that room. She slams the door behind her. She said, "This is ridiculous. Eight years I've been here, just because I cannot do two things at once, all of a sudden he gets upset with me, threatening to fire me, and I'm the only one who knows what's going on aroung here. Hadn't been for me, this company would have gone under years and years ago. And as far as him firing me, as much as I know about him, who does he think he's kidding?!" Aw, she was upset.
She went out to the switchboard operator's desk. She said, "I've got five letters, I want you to get them out. Now, I know ordinarily this is not your job, but you don't do anything anyhow but sit around out here and occassionally answer the telephone. I want these letters out and I want them out today. And if you can't get them out today, let me know. I'll get somebody who can." Aw, she was upset.
But if you think she was upset, you should have seen the switchboard operator. She about hit the ceiling. "This is ridiculous. I'm the only one around here who does anything -- who understands what's going on. They don't do anything in the back but gossip, drink coffee, every once in a while do a little work. The minute they get behind they come out here. They put it on my desk and they say, "Now if you don't get it done, we're going to fire you." And I'm the only one that understands that operation. Hadn't been for me, the company would have gone uder years and years ago." Aw, she was upset. But she got the work out.
She got home, walked in the front door, slammed it behind her. First thing she saw was her 12 year old son lying there on the floor watching television. Second thing she saw was a great big rip right across his trouser leg. She said, "Son, how many times have I told you, when you come home from school, put your play clothes on. Mother has a hard enough time as it is supporting you and paying your expenses and getting you through school. I told you to do it before and because you have disobeyed me, you're going upstairs right now. There's going to be no dinner for you this evening, and there's going to be no television for the next three weeks." Aw, she was really upset.
But if you think she was upset, you should have seen that 12 year old boy. He hopped up running out of his room, muttering under his breath, "It was an accident. Could have happened to anybody. I was doing something for my own mother, she doesn't even give me a chance to explain." Aw, he was really upset and about that time his tom cat walked right in front of him, which was a mistake. The boy reaches down, he gives the tom cat a big old boot, and he said, "You get out of here. You probably up to some no good yourself."
Now, let me ask you a question. Wouldn't it have been so much better if Mr. B. had gone directly from his lunch to the switchboard operator's house and kicked that cat himself? He'd have left all of those other people out of the deal.
Have you ever had a magnificent day? You get home an hour and a half late, you walk in the front door, whistling and singing and call our for your mate, "Hi, Hon, how you doing?" And your mate screams back at you, "How come you're so late? If you'd been putting up with what I've been putting up with during this day you wouldn't be so enthusiastic and excited. Now tell me, where have you been?" Can you understand it's got nothing to do with you? Somebody's been kicking your mate's cat all day long.

Don't be a cat kicker. Think it through. What kind of an impact will this have not ony on the person I'm dealing with, will that individual go down the line kicking cats, and affect the productivity of everybody else.

The "Dream Employee" is completely dependable, totally honest, always on the job, completely willing to follow instructions, extremely brilliant and capable, very pleasent and agreeable, and more than willing to work for room and board on a lifetime contract. The performance of the "Dream Employee" depends on his treatment. If we are courteous and thoughtful, he will work long and hard. If we are rude and inconsiderate, he grows stubborn and grows stubborn and rebellious. Brag on him; tell him how bright he is and he will perform brilliantly. Call him lazy, stupid or irresponsible and he will rebel. Tell him you love and respect him and he will stay up all night solving your problems. Fuss at him and tell him you don't love his and he becomes so frusterated he can't give you the time of day.

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