Saturday, 30 April 2011

How to Motivate Yourself Forever

Just as willpower is an essential factor in achieving success, at some point in time, discouragement and lack of motivation may hinder you from reaching your objective. And it is up to you, and you alone to devise techniques that will help you keep that drive within afire.

It is helpful to have visual goals. whatsoever that is you are working towards, make it visual. It maybe something material like a car, or a vacation you have been looking forward to for the longest time.

Take or cut out a picture of it and post it at a conspicuous place at work or at home where you can see it often. So that when you feel discouraged, this will remind you of your goal and will help you keep your spotlight.

Make a contract with oneself. According to motivational researches, people who write down to-do-lists are far more triumphant in achieving their intended goals than those people who just keep mental lists instead.

Putting something in writing somehow makes it more powerful psychologically speaking. This may also be the basis why most cultures have such a high regard in honoring contracts. In the contract, you may also include a certain reward that you will give yourself once you have accomplished the task.

After all, everyone likes to be rewarded for completing a good job. Even a simple pat on the back, “good job”, or “thank you” may do the trick to give the person the additional push to carry on, but unfortunately, these may not always be readily available. Considering that these are also essential in keeping oneself motivated, you must learn to find a way to get that encouragement on your own through pleasing yourself.

Abusive people lower your self-esteem and bring you down. Get these negative people out of your life. Surround yourself with positive people. Imitate their example. Smile amply and think happy thoughts.

These will give you a brighter outlook and lets you see a clearer picture of what you really want and a fresh mind to know what steps to take to get there. Rather than wait for things to happen, try to be proactive and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Inactivity idles the brain and stagnates your potential to reach your goals.

Read inspirational books and literature. These will help you improve your attitude and heal your mind. A book of success stories also proves to be encouraging. You will not only learn from others' experiences and derive confidence boosting insights from them but the story will be instrumental in motivating you to go for your goal and move ahead with your plans. If this still seems to falter, get training or education.

Oftentimes, not knowing how or where to start is frustrating. Knowledge is power. Having a clear understanding of how and where to start is empowering and it will provide the extra drive needed to hit the mark you are aiming at and follow it through.

Having enumerated all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel lacking that much needed drive, there is one last thing that you must try.

Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal. Divide and conquer is the key.

Break down the apparently unattainable activity to small doable steps. Not only does it become less overwhelming, but seeing the "in the meantime" results will further your confidence that it can indeed be done.

Lack of motivation happens to us all, but if you do not encourage yourself to accept opportunities and be challenged, no one else will. It is most important to keep your eye on the goal, find ways to keep going, and in no time, you shall reap its benefits.

And if at the beginning you were just doing it for the material reward, you will also learn to realize that the fulfillment, satisfaction and self-achievement you derive from reaching your goal is a much enjoyable high that will keep the drive within constantly burning.

10 inspirational quotes than can improve yourself

"Life With Woody" 10 inspirational quotes than can improve yourself

It might take a little coffee or probably a few rounds of beer or any other booze you could get your hands on when it comes to relaxing after a hard day's work. Well, yeah I'm guilty about that one as well, unless I'm caught dead wearing a lampshade over my head after a few rounds of vodka… half-naked! Okay, bad example and I apologize to everyone reading this after getting nightmares about me in that state of drunken stupor.

Just don't ask how it happened, please.

But what's really interesting is that how do people go through the usual part of life when faced with vein-popping stress? I mean, the new age thing like Zen or yoga is one of the good things and it actually works. Is there room for the intellectual side of people who can actually smell the roses-in-a-can while on the move? It kind of had me thinking that there really must be something in this 'mind-over-matter' thing.

Humor is indeed the best medicine there is whenever you are. I mean anyone can pay good money to listen to a comedian just to make you wet your pants after laughing so hard. Despite of what's been happening, and to those who has gone though the ordeal, it's better to just laugh while facing the troubles with a clear mind than anger with a clouded vision. One of my favorite celebrities of all time may have to be Woody Allen. Now this is one guy who gives you the in-your-face bluntness that he pulls out with gusto, even without even trying. You can talk just about anything with a man, and he's bound to mock the subject and you'll end up laughing rather than being upset about it.

Woody Allen has this to say:

1. "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." It sounds good to me, I mean the practicality of all things does involve money but it doesn't have to take an arm and a leg to get it.

2. "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government." 'Nuff said.

3. "There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" This happens to be one of the classic ones. I mean the issue about life's little problems isn't all that bad, until 'he' shows up.

Sure, relationships can get complicated, or does have its complications that probably any author about relationships is bound to discover it soon. We follow what our heart desires, unless you're talking about the heart as in the heart that pump blood throughout your body.

4. "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." And if you want more, just keep on asking!

5. "A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'." It sounds, 'practical', I think.

And when it comes to everyday life, he really knows how to make the best out of every possible scenario, and it doesn't involve a lawsuit if he strikes a nerve.

6. "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." I never had a boat in my bathtub before. Just staring at it while soaking in hot water makes me seasick already.

7. "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." If it rains, it pours.

8. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It could get worse when you're guzzling on beer… or mouthwash, and it happened to me once!

9. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." At least he doesn't smite us with lightning, and I'm thankful for that.

And despite of what may happen to all of us in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I guess we all have to see things in a different kind of light and not just perspective. I can't seem to imagine life without any piece of wisdom that could guide us. Whether we're religious or not, it takes more courage to accept your fears and learn how to deal with them is all that matters when it comes to even just getting along.

And to sum things up, here is the last nugget of wisdom to go by… however, whenever, and wherever we may be.

10. "The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."


Friday, 29 April 2011

10 Secrets for Success and 11 Rules for the life of Bill Gates

William Henry Gates III was born in the U.S. Seattle 55 years ago. Humanity Bill Gates is known as the richest man in the world, earned capital to their own mind.
However, success overtook him at once. At school, he had serious problems with grammar, citizenship and other subjects, which he considered banal. For bad behavior in elementary school, Gates was sent to a psychiatrist.
In his memoirs, he explained this computer mania. All his spare time he has been programming. Each week, Bill spends 20-30 hours in the computer lab. One day, his access was blocked by a password, which was then stolen. As a punishment he had without a computer all summer.
Failure to comprehend and Harvard University - Gates was expelled from the second year. Trouble turned to subsequent success. Future billionaire, has begun to devote more time programming. Two years later the company was founded Microsoft.
Two decades later, Bill Gates has earned more than $ 50 billion, employing more than 78,000 people in 105 countries.
The secrets of success that has developed by Bill Gates are:
1. Study the competition. Gates has turned into a daily morning ritual of visiting the same sites of its competitors.
2. Be firm. Superior quality manager faces up to even the bad news. Keep calm, and then every problem will be resolved quickly. First, always try to learn the bad news, then good.

3. Focus on the Internet. For him the future. In coming years, there remain only two types of companies: those who are in the network and those who graduated from a business.

4. Do not pay attention to success. He is deceptive and changeable. Having achieved one goal - not sitting on the ground, immediately take a new one. Competitors are not sitting idly by.

5. Create conditions for development. The purpose of an experienced manager to create a good environment for their own subordinates. They reciprocate.
6. Start today. If you have something not happy at work - create your own business. Bill Gates has started a business in the garage. Take time just for what you really interesting.

7. Think. Several times a year, hop off the familiar environment to reflect the decision of accumulated problems.

8. Afraid to fail. Doubt the correctness of their actions before the commission, and after - make your conclusions.
9. Rely on new technology. Electronic information is capable of performing miracles.
10. Hop off the crowd. It is not always the right direction. Always choose the way of development.
And now the rules for life:
1. Life is not fair - get used to it!
2. The world does not care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
3. You will not receive $ 60,000 a year right after school. You will not be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn them.
4. You think your teacher is tough? Wait until you get a boss.
5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.
6. If you mess up, it's not the fault of your parents, not hnychte, learn from mistakes.
7. Before you were born, your parents were not as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you start to save the world from your parents' generation, clean the toilet in your own room.

8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. It has nothing to do with real life.
9. Life is not divided into semesters. You do not get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Look at your expense!
10. TV - this is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to go to work and not sit at the coffee shop.
11. Be nice to nerds. It is not excluded that you will soon be working for one of them.

5 great investing lessons from Warren Buffett

In no chairman's annual statement to his shareholders will you find attached a letter from the chairman's grandfather to his uncles. This is what makes Warren Buffett's letter so unique.
Every value investor eagerly waits for this annual letter from Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, a group with a market cap of $208 billion. It holds companies in industries as diverse as insurance, airlines and candies.
We picked up Buffett's most recent letter to his shareholders and highlight just five lessons from this letter, though every line of it has something to teach.
Lesson 1
The market value and intrinsic value will converge, though it could take years. Stick to the rule of picking stocks below their intrinsic value.
Margin of safety: The doomsayers have suggested that in a 'new normal world,' future stock returns would not replicate past averages. But Buffett emphasises: "Market price and intrinsic value often follow very different paths -- sometimes for extended periods -- but eventually they meet."
Many academic research papers say the same thing, but coming from a practitioner who himself has made billions of dollars from stocks, it should instil your faith in equities.
However, note that deciding factor of stock returns is 'intrinsic value.' Buffett's philosophy in picking stocks is he buys 'a dollar bill at 40 cents'.
Here, 'a dollar' is the intrinsic value, and if you buy a stock worth a dollar at 40 cents, you can hope to make profits. The huge discount at which you are buying the stock is called 'margin of safety.'
But how do you find the intrinsic value of a stock? Buffett measures the performance of his company's stock using 'book value' (we guess he must be using similar tools to measure the performance of many of his other investments too).
Combine the two things and it suggests that you could make profits if you are able to pick a stock trading below its book value.
However, you should use book value selectively. In some cases, book value is not a good proxy to the company's value, for instance, in IT companies whose main resources are humans.
Lesson 2
Derivatives are not all that bad. But they can be 'weapons of mass destruction', if not understood properly.
"Derivatives are weapons of mass destruction." Buffett has been quoted saying so in the aftermath of the credit-led financial crisis of 2008. Some of his critics believe this is misleading, as Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway itself has forged many derivative contracts.
The latest financial statement of the company reports 203 of them. But there is something very unique to them.
His company has 39 'equity puts' on global indices such as S&P 500 and FTSE 100. This means he has sold insurance to investors who fear against the fall in these indices.
Obviously, looking at the present uncertainties, the odds of these indices falling is significant. But the duration of these contracts is as long as 10-15 years, highlighting Buffett's belief that equity delivers in the long term.
Assume a slack period for equities through this new decade and that the S&P 500 and FTSE 100, after 10 years, remain at the level where they are today.
Buffett would lose absolutely nothing. In fact, Berkshire would make a huge profit. The company raked in a premium of $4.2 billion from selling these puts.
If the indices remain at the same level, Berkshire would lose $3.8 billion, which is the settlement value of the contract. The net gain is, therefore, $400 million!
Berkshire also designed the contracts to its advantage, in such a way that it does not have to pay any collateral for these contracts.
Can you do the same? First, let's admit that very few of us properly understand the risk when we enter into derivatives contracts. It's true for companies too.
Hexaware Technologies and Ranbaxy Laboratories suffered huge losses due to these complex instruments.
Also, you can't take such a long view in India. Contracts are of shorter duration, and you can only roll it over, further complicating the matter. Also, in derivative contracts, you pay margin, which can ruin your wealth if the value of underlying asset moves in an unexpected direction.
Lesson 3
Management matters. It decides how the company will use retained earnings. If a company's stock can't deliver return higher than the index, you are better off holding the index.
Management is important
Buffett benchmarks the performance of his company to S&P 500. If stocks of Berkshire are not able to deliver a return higher than S&P 500 consistently over the long term, the shareholders would be better off investing in an index fund.
Buffett says managements "should establish performance goals at the onset of their stewardship. Lacking such standards, managements are tempted to shoot the arrow of performance and then paint the bull's-eye around wherever it lands."
You carefully go through press releases of Indian companies and transcripts of analyst conferences after every quarterly result, and quite often you would observe this phenomenon.
But firms with good management, like Infosys Technologies, give some guidance on their future performance, even though it's for the short term.
Lesson 4
Avoid companies with large debt. Debt woes can bring a company to its knees.
"Life and debt." Debt can magnify losses as much as it can magnify gains. Buffett has another reason to worry about. He cautions: "Leverage is addictive."
It's worth mentioning that the analogy Buffett draws: "And as we all learned in third grade -- and some relearned in 2008 -- any series of positive numbers, however impressive the numbers may be, evaporates when multiplied by a single zero. History tells us that leverage all too often produces zeroes, even when it is employed by very smart people."
Lesson 5
Maintain liquidity. It cushions you in bad times and gives you chance to buy aggressively when others are down.
The simple message in Buffett's grandfather's letter to his sons was to save cash. Every year, he added some money to a corpus till it amounted to $1,000, which his children could use when they needed it quickly.
Buffett and his company follow this message religiously. He either keeps cash or buys US Treasury Bills. This helped his firm after Lehman Brothers collapsed.
It also gave him the chance to buy when others were down.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Why Should You Set Goals?
Wonder why some people could not even achieve an inch of what they dream of becoming? Blame it on pure dreaming and lack of setting goals for achieving their dreams.

Setting goals is a very significant part of success and positive accomplishments. It is like scaling a 20 feet building and marking early on what feet you would like to reach at this specific period.

People who set goals literally create a map of their target achievements in life, marking where they should begin, where to pause, where to delve a bit, and where and when to stop. Once this map is created, it allows the map drawer to check where he is in the scheme of things and whether or not he is making some achievements that will take him closer to his goals.

By setting goals, people will know how they are doing and what they should be doing to achieve their targets or dreams in life. They will know if they can relax or if they have to double their efforts when they are falling short of what is expected of them.

Goal setting means a person is proactive in dealing with challenges that may affect his plans. Being proactive means one is able to outline possible difficulties that may occur as well as the solutions to these difficulties. By doing this, a person is not easily scared or defeated when challenges occur because he has already prepared for them. He knows they can happen and he has prepared a solution or strategy when that time comes.

Setting goals will enable people to track their progress in whatever endeavor they have set out to do. It will help people become more confident in themselves and more motivated to achieve their plans.

However, goal setting is not enough, as this should be accompanied by a positive outlook and self-discipline. A person may have a blueprint of where he wants to go, but if he does not have the necessary discipline to carry out the plan, then nothing will come out of it.

To be successful in goal setting, the goals that one has set for himself should be realistic and based on his capabilities, as well as selected and important external factors. Being too ambitious in setting up goals can make the goals unrealistic and difficult to achieve. However, do not also set goals that are too low because this might discourage one’s vision instead of achieving it.

It is also necessary that the person setting the blueprint for his direction should also include a time frame within which the goal will be achieved. This way, he is able to determine if he has to fast track his strategies or to slow down a bit. Goal setting will also help a person check if he is performing within his plans or if he is doing things towards the achievement of his plans. 

Once you have achieved something, even a little of what you hoped to achieve, then you should always give yourself a pat in the back to keep you motivated. But do not be too complacent with any little achievement, as this may cause you to backslide.

Setting goals can be used in any aspect of one’s life - from one’s personal or family life, to his career and finances.  Goal setting can be as simple as setting a target weight when you wish to lose pounds or something big, like earning your first million.

When setting goals, it is always important to set standards that would suit your present situation, your capabilities, and other factors that may influence the achievement of your goal.

How To Use Creativity To Improve Your Life

“Are there still original ideas in the world?”
“They beat me to that bright idea; what else can I do?”
“I’ve failed many times before that I can’t think of anything else to solve this problem anymore.”

These statements reflect the thought of an individual who has given up on creativity. Sadly, a lot of people share this way of thinking. They never viewed creativity as a very useful tool to improve or improvise in life in all its diversity.

A situation that requires a solution can be approached in a variety of ways. There isn’t a single way fix to a problem. Being creative opens new horizons and can deliver many benefits. Creativity can sometimes be mistakenly interpreted as an obstinate attitude. Some people think that insisting on doing things in a different way is a sign of stubbornness.

Never hold back a good idea. Everyone is free to interpret his own unique way. Any interpretation by itself is creativity at work. A person who enjoys creative thinking can easily come up with innovative solutions for situations that require a quick fix.

For instance, your car got stalled on a deserted highway due to a leaky rubber hose on the cooling system. Tough luck! Of all places, it had to happen in the remotest places.

If you have some chewing gum in your pocket, it just might be a handy fix. Start chewing the gum and patch it on the leak. To keep the gum in place, tie it with a piece of rag. This quick fix might do the trick so you can drive several miles without an overheated engine, until you get to a service station to have the leaky hose replaced.

There used to be a television series entitled “MacGyver.” The main character is an extremely creative and crafty guy. Whenever he finds himself in a tight fix, he tries to find a way out of it with his quick fixes utilizing available materials around him.

In a way, creativity is a never-ending learning process. From learning, you gain untold benefits, which you can use in real life situations.

Being creative might require you to think out-of-the-box, venturing your mind into the uncommon. You can never be sure of your ideas until you try them. As long as there is no perceived danger involved, it is always worth a try.

Inventions are products of creative minds. The field of science, in whatever branch you may touch on, is invention itself. Without creative minds, science would have been a forlorn field of knowledge.

It must be noted that most adaptations to improve or improvise are aimed at improving current conditions. Upon analyzing honest applications of creativity, the ultimate intention is to achieve good for all and the will to build lasting peace. After all, this intention is what counts most.

Erich Fromm spelled it out clearly, “The conditions for creativity are: to be puzzled, to concentrate, to accept conflict and tension, to be born everyday, and to feel a sense of self.”

Menu for an Upbeat Life

Just like set menus from restaurants wherein different kinds of foods are served - from appetizers, to main dishes, to desserts - life also has its menu for an upbeat life. Different people have their own individual menu that makes them cheerful and optimistic. Find out what they are; they may help to keep your life meaningful, enjoyable, inspiring, and interesting. Consider the following:

Help the needy, the poor, the handicapped, the ailing, the broken-hearted, the homeless, the lost, and the environment. The list can go on. When you help the needy - in services, monetary value, or other forms (lending a shoulder to cry on or an understanding ear to listen to other people’s problems) - the returns are ten folds over. However, don’t expect anything in return. Just the contentment you experience in your heart is an incomparably satisfying feeling. Giving something wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return is divine. Imagine yourself as the person on the receiving end. You can’t wait to return the favor once you get the opportunity to do so.

Another way to enjoy life is to listen to music. Play your good old favorite songs and sing along. Sing your best. Sing carelessly or out of tune - whatever it takes to make your heart contented and whatever makes you laugh. Just hum the tune if you don’t remember the words. Sing until you laugh heartily. The idea is to cheer up. Do this in private with your close friends or relatives though. You don’t want to annoy your neighbors.

The sound of nature is also music. The sound of river flowing, the gust of wind on a tree branch, waves on the seashore, and birds chirping are as natural as nature can be, and the way music should be. The sound of nature can make you optimistic because it is a beautiful and serene sound.

Let’s face reality. Life has its share of troubles, disasters, and misfortunes. Bad news exists and it disturbs the mind. Totally ignoring it may not always be the answer to approach life in a realistic manner. However, you can always find ways to avoid being affected by it to maintain the dominance of life’s beauty.

A party without humor and laughter is a dull one. The same is true in real life. Fill your life with lots of humor and laughter to keep it upbeat. The more spontaneous a humorous situation is, the more natural it is, and the better it can liven up your spirits.

Look at the lessons that can be derived from misfortunes. Mistakes allow you to learn and see opportunities hidden behind adversities. Always find meaning from every event in your life. See through the shell game and value every lesson that you learn.