The art of leading life.


“Time, not money, is the most valuable commodity of all”

We have proven track record of achieving extraordinary success in things, projects or big goals that we never imagine we can do it. Belief in attempting things that are beyond our imagination and achieving them enriches our lives with fulfilment and many times makes us famous and rich. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”.--Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

We are living in a very competitive era and we all have onus of making some impact with our way of living life on ourselves and the community around us. We should develop the habit of liking to be challenged, stay self-motivated in spite of negative pressures on us; take big challenges and try our best to accomplish them and people will start noticing you. There is a need for every one of us to make a difference in whatever we attempt to do.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”. —Aldous Huxley Novelist

We are known from what we achieve.  But our achievements have a shelf life. That means we cannot just stop improving ourselves and impacting others as role models.  World moves dynamically and age, values, knowledge, experiences are constantly progressing and where we stand is what matters. Taking risks and learning from setbacks and moving forward are the only way to stay relevant in this world. There are problems small to complex that needs to be solved and we have the capability of solving many of them.

Some examples are “Genetic sequencing of human genes that help in target medication for individuals instead of generalized prescriptions”.  Similarly we have global warming challenges to solve. We have challenges to reach Mars, Venus and colonize Moon. Our imagination is what matters the most.

There are people who are able to achieve some extraordinary feats such as  mimic human behaviors, experiences and creativity by using some complex machine learning techniques, Mathematical algorithms such as K-nearest neighbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbors_algorithm ) to analyze music , predict Hollywood movies whether they will be hits or flops even before starting on the projects ( http://www.epagogix.com/ ) and finally computers creating music (we don’t need music directors anymore)  http://geb.uma.es/melomics/melomics.html

But for a beginner in life like young students there is ample opportunity for you to start building your life and leading on the edge of achieving some extra ordinary things. Here are some basic principles of achieving some extra ordinary things.

  1. Ignore the Noise. Once you firm up your mind and motivate yourselves to start working for great achievements you will find naysayers around you all the time. They will try to pull you down. Just ignore them and slowly and steadily start building knowledge and experiences in what you really want to achieve that is beyond your imagination.

Do remember “It is not who is Right but what is Right” matters.

  1. Have clear objective. Start reading/learning diversified information. Today world needs people who are deep in one knowledge area but also very good in every subject matter that is not related to their fields. I wrote a blog on this https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

3. Stay focused: As you continue your journey of achieving great goals you may be distracted         by many events, circumstances, constraints, family pressures and many unknown   factors.            Coming back on track is very important. Doing regular Yoga and Meditation will help you to             regain focus.

                          “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.”

  1. Develop patience. Today digitally connected and instant gratification world is making young students to be restless and expecting instant results. But in order to achieve great things you have to be patient enough and continue your journey until you reach your goals.

                “There is no limitations except those we create for ourselves” ―Lolly Daskal, Thoughts Spoken From The Heart

  1. Watch your progress: we all make judgmental mistakes and sometimes it may be that we may choose a wrong direction. So occasionally checking where we stand in our achievements should be monitored and measured. Otherwise all our efforts may be ultimately futile .

 

  1. Not able to accept failure: We should never become possessive of our tasks, work or people we work with. Sometimes if things won’t work out we should be able to ignore our failures and continue on a new path. Possessiveness makes us Sad and creates mental distress and other health problems. I wrote a blog on this subject here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/failure-is-not-final/

            “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”                   .– Ralph Waldo Emerson Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

7. Question your acts: You should constantly ask why you are doing something in a                        particular fashion. By questioning your way of doing you will get a chance to do it much                better.  I wrote a blog on this

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

                  “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,                                 something to love, and something to hope for”.–Joseph Addison English                               Essayist, Poet, Playwright And Politician.

Good luck to you.

“Change yourselves and the world is a better place with You” –RK  This is my quote for you.

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Flow


After a gap I have gone back accepting global assignments in ERP consulting again. Iám also studying MBA under Andhra University.  I accepted part time work  so that I can spare time for my passion for teaching. I was once a Mentor for MSIT (Master in science and information technology,   under “Center for Higher learning”) course,   in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (USA) at JNTUK campus.  Juggling between global software project work , studying MBA and teaching needs proper time management schedules and I  follow a certain flow  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology) for doing my best. I  love getting to my peak performance at anything i take up  pretty quickly. In other word I want to get back to flow. It took a while for me to find the rhythm I needed. But I felt that I should share my experiences with my students and others  who read  my blog. While interacting with students I  found that many are struggling to get the best out of their day  and to find success in whatever they dream of doing.  But many are not able to focus on neither studies nor in other positive actions, that contribute to their success due to lack of willingness to work hard towards their goal, lack of focus ,concentration and the facebook effect  (https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/facebook-or-other-social-websites-are-harmful-to-you/ ) .  If you are building a new machine or developing  software games or you are a software coder you cannot achieve peak performance at your work with just a couple of attempts. It takes some time and good effort to find a rhythm and consistency at your work. If you want to become expert in one area , it takes ten thousand hours of practice to achieve perfection in whatever you do. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/on-luck-success-and-10000-hours.html Here are some ways of getting back to your peak performance of whatever you want to do.

  1. Yoga, Meditation is a proven way of getting back your focus. Try learning the right way of yoga/ meditation and practice it. Yoga improves your health tremendously, and Meditation brings peace and tranquility to a turbulent brain.
  2. Visualization .Imagination.  Many from sports use it. It is mental rehearsal. It enables them to find some way of achieving what they want to. More about it here. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/sport_psych/a/aa091700a.htm
  3. Try doing something that scares you,  for example presenting in front of audience. It is emotional feelings  that have to be controlled to bring the best out of you.
  4. Your study room matters a lot. Keep your table tidy. Remove the mountain of books on the table. The more clutter you find on your table the less you ware inspired to study. Otherwise find a serene place where there is good lighting. Well lit parks are good places for yoga,  studies and physical exercise .
  5. Moods matter a lot in whatever you want to do. If the mood is not good then listening to music and going to gym or parks is a good way of relaxing your brain.
  6. For some,  Coffee gives the relaxation they need but too much of coffee is not good for health.
  7. Visiting temples, church or mosque gives the peace of mind you need so that you can come back with peace and work on your assignments. Try that out.
  8. Finding the best time of the day for studies also helps to prioritize what you want to do at that time.
  9. Everyday exercise , morning or evening walks in parks  helps to tone up your body. Prayer, meditation helps your mind.
  10. Doing what you love the most is what matters. So from early stage of life try finding what you love the most and develop the skills you need and find success.

Inspiration is for amateurs, rest of us just show up and get to work


In the previous blog I mentioned that procrastination (postponing what is supposed to be completed )  is one of the major problems many face whether it is exams or work on hand for employees. This leads to stress and tension and also makes one to remain amateur with limited life skills.   Most of the sub optimal quality of the products we use , the quality of life citizens are living are due to the result of amateurs at work. They try their best to beat the system and remain at sub optimal levels delivering low quality service or products. This affects the quality of the whole society. Those who are reading this blog should understand that  

“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will – through work – bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art [idea].’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you [did] today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.” Chuck-close http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/12/27/chuck-close-on-creativity/

The title’s sentence is given by a legendary photorealist chuck close (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Close)

So if you want to achieve something great you should come out of your comfort zone and work towards your greater self.

Here are some tips, so you can organize your time for a greater productive life.

  1. A workplace/study place with minimal distractions. Put away your cell phones remove the plugs of the TV sets and make sure your room or work place is not having any kind of distractions so you can finish the most important task on hand to reach your goals.
  2. A Daily walk. Make sure while walking you are not just listening to songs. If you are having something to achieve/or have a problem to solve and need a plan then watch the people, watch the surroundings and watch your mind’s thoughts. Connect the events on the road with your thoughts to come up with something that can help to solve the problem you have on hand.
  3. Accountability metrics. Ernest Hemingway tracked his daily word output on a chart to mark his progress. Many genius people track their progress every day to make sure they are reaching their goals.
  4. Important work verses busy work.  We are so connected today that distractions are so many and confuse us what is important work verses what keeps us busy. Social websites such as Facebook and twitter keeps us busy but we have to make sure what is important for the progress of us not the progress of social website and not making their owners rich. We need to know what is important for us to reach our goals and prioritize that more.
  5. Make time to relax.  We should be able to stop when we are working too much; sacrificing our health and our social obligations with our near and dear. Workaholics and people who spend too much time on one task may become sick and may burn out early. A nice stroll in the morning, evening,visiting a holy place, a park,  a nice time spent with a friend are some examples of rejuvenating our energies for the big task next day.
  6.  A supportive partner. It would be wonderful to have one who understand yours needs, help you to reach your goals, provide the comfort you need when you are worried, reduce your stress and tensions and stand beside you in your life’s journey of sorrow to grandeur

So get back to work my friends and have a quality life, while I provide the inspiration to amateurs with more blogs to bring them to quality life too.

Please provide your feedback on this blog as comments Thanks

Simple tips for getting work done


While I talk to students there is one complain I hear, and that is  not having enough time in a day to learn something new  and they are always distracted by friends or TV or other activities. I always wonder what will happen to them when they start working in a very challenging work environment when they get hired. Modern work is very challenging and at the same time companies are trying to squeeze more work from employees in less time.  During the day you will be constantly distracted by emails from colleagues, friends and others. You will be called into meetings. You will be disturbed by people walking to your cubicle and chatting with you.You may be tempted to watch a new song or video online or shop for something online. Your friends want to go to a movie with you.  All these consume time , that otherwise you might be spending on finishing the work/studies  you supposed to finish that day.

When you are not prepared for that kind of environment then you will end up frustrated, ruin your health as tensions rise with approaching deadlines of finishing work on time. Also Many of us ignore the signals body sends as we get immersed in stressful work environment. 

In order to achieve what you planned to do you need to focus on that task only.

So let’s see how to be effective with time we have in a day and save ourselves from ruining our health or frustrated for not able to do enough in a day. In the age of distractions what research and one Harvard professor  said is that you should break your day time into intervals of 90/60/30 minutes with 5/10 minutes of break. For 90/60/30 minutes you should only focus on the most urgent work by not getting distracted from any kind of activities that distracts you. That 90/60/30 minutes you should have  patience, attention to details, concentration, and should have reverence for the moment.  Then take a break of 5 to 10 minutes go enjoy the nature or do yoga,spend time with friends,  play a instrument or take a walk or do something that won’t consume more than that 5 or 10 minutes and keeps your mind pleasant for the next 90  or 60 or 30  minute time slot work or studies.

There is no hard and fast rule that you should slot your day into 90 minutes schedules only. It can be 60 minutes of intense work/ studies and a 5/10 minutes break. Scheduling the time slots is up to you. If you can focus witout distraction for 90 minutes then you can do the 90 minutes rule. Without a doubt focus and concentration are the keys to productivity. It has been shown that when we come off a task or are distracted it can take a substantial amount of time to get back on task. You cannot really manage time, but you can manage yourself with this kind of planning.  This is especially helpful if you have several competing priorities and need to focus on one at a time.

With this kind of planning you can achieve 12 hours of work in 4 to 5 hours of time depending on what  kind of challenging work /studies you are involved in.

Here are the links for learning more on this techniques of time management   http://pomodorotechnique.com/ and

http://elembee.com/time-management-for-creatives/

https://forum.quantifiedself.com/thread-my-pomodoro-experiment

http://99u.com/articles/7032/a-day-without-distraction-lessons-learned-from-12-hrs-of-forced-focus

Your 5 to 10 minutes breaks can be used for improving health. Check this info http://www.escardio.org/about/press/press-releases/pr-11/Pages/Sedentary-time-EHJ.aspx

Measure your happiness, How your face looks at 60?


We all want to be Happy. Do you agree? Then read this and it will make you happy.

In this digitally connected world we are  becoming heavily busy and miss the opportunity to analyze and introspect ourselves and  what makes us happy .  Most of us are so busy checking our emails, socializing with friends on Facebook , twitter and other sites, spending time in movie halls or working towards our goals and don’t have time to take a snapshot of day’s events and judge how we reacted to each event or situation that happens to us during the day.

We have a choice to be reactive or be creative,  but most of the time we spend days, months and years in a reactive mode by attending to our daily chores. We don’t think much about the routine we perform everyday and get used to the daily grind. Due to that we slowly stop thinking that things can be done in a much better way and our day can be more productive by questioning our daily routine and how we perform it. We just need to become more creative and focus on improving our daily routine. The net result of improving our quality of life leads to some spare time so that we can use the same  to reflect inwards and check what actions, incidents and events during the day makes us Happy and which ones makes us Sad. By introspecting about our selves deeply,  helps us to improve our happiness levels for the rest of the life.

We have technology to assists us to monitor our day’s events, happenings , our moods and experiences towards such events and happenings. By tracking our everyday living we can get rid of things that makes us Sad or ignorant and improve and strengthen our practices that makes us Happy. Introspecting and self analysis of our behaviors helps us tremendously in improving our mental abilities and physical fitness.  Make sure you spare an hour everyday before sleep to analyze the day’s events and how you reacted.  Which action of yours made you feel happy , helped in enriching you and which one is neutral and which one made you Sad. By doing that everyday you will start finding a pattern about how well you are shaping your life.  Remember the saying

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

In order to help you monitor your day i’m giving you the links of some great self  data mining tools. Enjoy and remember that you can always have a “better life with best practices ” (Skillsnest tag line) and  a quote from Ben frankling to motivate you for a good life.    “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin

https://www.rescuetime.com/signup/solo/lite

http://runkeeper.com/  to measure how many calories you burnt during your workout

http://www.realidata.com/cgi-bin/rTracker/iPhone/rTracker-main.pl

http://www.quantified-mind.com/

http://quantifiedself.com/2013/07/ashish-mukharji-on-three-years-of-tracking-happiness/

http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/

http://quantifiedself.com/2013/04/konstantin-augemberg-on-tracking-happiness/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOETUvaOxDA&feature=youtu.be

http://anniemurphypaul.com/2013/07/how-daydreaming-can-help-you-pay-attention/

Want to know how you look when you are old?

You can also make your choices to be happy as you grow older. But no one gives a serious thought about aging until we reach a stage where the symptoms of oldness shows up in the form of body becoming weak and vulnerable to diseases.  There are websites that would show you how you look when you are 60 or how many calories you will gain in the future with your present life styles etc.

Click here to know how you will look at age 60 and beyond http://faceretirement.merrilledge.com/

http://www.futureme.org/

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

As you build your career you may want the world to know about you and your experiences , skills and expertise. There are couple of good websites that allow you to promote your selves such as follows

http://www.expertfile.com/

https://about.me/

http://zerply.com/about

Simple ways to become smarter


Remember the richest man on the planet Warren Buffet’s   philosophy   quoted by Mary Buffet and David Clark in ‘The Tao of Warren Buffet ‘, “You only have to do a few things right in your life, so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”‘Let see what few things can make you smart. 
  1. Walk. Instead of riding a motor bike or car and polluting nature try walking/Bicycling more if your work or studies are within 3 to 10  KM radius. While walking make sure you are trying to find something new on the route. Look at the sky, try listening to the sounds of  birds or focus to see if you can find rhythm in the noise around you, watch the shops, advertisement boards (bill boards) , people or anything that your eyes or ears can catch. Learn something new. Change the route. Don’t use the same route you take every day. By going on a new route you will be more attentive and can learn or feel something new. By not sticking to routine you can learn a lot and become much smarter
  2. Exercise: Physical fitness is very important factor.  Without a fit body or peaceful mind you cannot achieve success or reach your goals. The old saying “health is Wealth” has become so important in today’s digital world where millions of people are killing time and become obese (Fat ) and inviting disease by just sitting in front of computers browsing Facebook or YouTube videos for hours together.  By regular physical exercise, Yoga and meditation your brain is creating BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor )  that helps you to stay smart.
  3. Sleep: Maintain fixed times for when you eat and when you sleep. It is very important that your body gets the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep and make sure you have a fixed time for it. Half an hour before sleep think of the problem or a burning issue you have to solve that day and could not derive an answer. Our brains remain working while we are sleeping and by next day morning you may find a solution to your problem. So sleep will not only keep your body healthy but helps in solving some unsolved issues during the day and you are wiser today then yesterday.
  4.  Don’t stay in comfort zone.Look back at your daily routine.  We don’t use mind for brushing our teeth, taking bath or going to work or class because we are doing it every single day. That means we are in comfort zone.  That makes your brain dull since you don’t need to use your brain for daily routine whether it is work or going to class or doing daily chores. You should make sure you do something new on a given day. Learn to fix your bike, learn music , learn a new art. Never remain content with what you know. Share knowledge with others ; that forces you to learn new things to remain relevant. Make a promise to yourself that every day you will be going to learn something new. Make sure to keep your promise and you will be surprised with what you can do.  One example : want to learn English? Everyday learn 3 to 10 words;  build a sentence using the words and save the same in a word document. Next day just revise the previous words and continue with the new words you come across this day. One good habit you should get is reading English newspapers.  The habit of reading is a great asset. It helps in learning language and gives tremendous boost to your general knowledge on world’s affairs.  Recently one of the student took an adventure of bungee jumping and tested his nerves. The event will make him bolder and now he can carry the experience of that sport for life and do something more interesting in life leaving behind the comfort zone.  Here is the link of his adventure https://www.facebook.com/praneet.kandarpa/posts/384951774875430
  5. Trust yourself and your talents:  Many of us have hidden talents for something. Some may love playing a guitar, some love to race motor bikes, some are good in writing software code and love it, and some may be good in fixing a bike. Cultivate the habit more and more even in spite of hurdles from other. You may have an idea that many of your family or friends may call as stupid.  If you believe in yourself and in your idea then just go forward in spite of hurdles. Just focus in mastering what you want to achieve. The same people who ridiculed you , or laughed at you will come back to praise you once you succeed with your efforts.  Ultimately the focus is be smart and achieve great success in life by living a. healthy and happy life.

So now you know how simple it is to become smart.   If you are distracted by too many things or too much to do in a day then watch this funny video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc57X0j_UwM

If you practiced the above and achieved results please put a comment on this blog so people can get inspiration from you . Good luck and as always I love to hear your suggestions as a comment on this blog

Office manners


Bad manners can severely damage your reputation and effectiveness as an employee and can reflect poorly on your company.  In today’s culturally diverse workforce, the chances of saying or doing “the wrong thing” are much greater than ever before. Sometimes because of your behavior you may loose your job or may not get promotions until you fix your behavior.

The changing business environment demands that employees on all levels master the principles of etiquette as quickly and thoroughly as possible in order to avoid the serious ramifications of inappropriate behavior, poor judgment, or cultural insensitivity.  Here is the list of things you need to be aware off and change your habits.

  1. You are in an important meeting and you are always on your mobile and ignoring people around you. Technology, which was supposed to make our lives easier, has increased expectations on our productivity. Work load is very high and time given to you will be  shorter, and you are required to handle multiple situations and tasks but you should never ignore people around you who are expecting you to participate in the meeting.
  2. You have a loud voice and you are shouting to your peak in the mobile phone ignoring your colleagues who are working quietly.
  3. You use the office kitchen and don’t wash the utensils that you used.   You fill up the office refrigerator with your food and forgot to remove it after several weeks. The fridge smells bad and it reflects on your callous attitude.
  4. Forgetting a name of a person you just got introduced to within few minutes of introduction.
  5. Forwarding company confidential email to a wrong person or to wrong company, or outsiders and not able to realize about it. This one will bring you a lot of trouble if you are not paying good attention to whom you are forwarding or talking to about company affairs. Be very watchful when you talk about confidential information to outsiders or even your close outside friends.
  6. You are in a meeting and forgot to switch off your cell phone and it started ringing loudly disturbing the meeting.
  7. Your lunch which has onions or garlic or strong smelling ingredient  can cause bad smell in your mouth that  your co-workers are unable to bear.
  8. Be observant and ask questions.  When traveling internationally, notice how people act, dress, and treat each other.
  9. Think before you speak.  Avoid slang.  Stay away from controversial subjects like politics and religion, unless, of course, your host brings up the subject but be aware whether you are in business meeting or personal meeting. While on company meeting be polite and divert the attention back to work from politics or religion.
  10. Keep an open mind.  Be aware that something as simple as a handshake differs from culture to culture.  In some countries, eye contact may be kept to a minimum as a way of showing  respect.  And don’t be surprised if someone greets you with a kiss on the cheek.
  11. Never refuse hospitality when it is offered.  In most cases your international host will offer you water, coffee or tea.  Gladly accept their offer, even if you are not thirsty.  By not doing so, you run the risk of insulting him/her.
  12. Appreciate the differences.  Don’t compare living standards of your country. with those of your international hosts.  There’s nothing wrong with being proud of where you live, but boasting and comparing can be counterproductive to establishing a successful relationship.
  13. Be apprised of world events.  You don’t have to be an expert in international affairs, but it is helpful to know the basics, like what foods your visitors or hosts enjoy, what holidays are observed in their country, and a lot about rules of the country and their favorite sports.
  14. Learn a few phrases that connects you to your international friends and make them comfortable talking to you .  Learn at least a few common phrases before traveling abroad Your efforts will be appreciated.
  15. When on international projects or in a different country do mix with other nationals as much as possible and try learning about their culture and habits. You may end up  becoming best friends for ever.

Some ideas to rectify the problems  you may have noticed in your personality while reading some of the above points are as follows.

Return to Courtesy
When confronting a colleague about his or her annoying behavior, focus on solving the problem and maintaining the relationship rather than venting your anger or embarrassing the other person. Speak to them in private and sort out the matter as quickly as possible.

Ask the bad mannered employee if he/she was aware of the effect his/her actions had on others and discuss possible solutions.

Start viewing your actions from the perspective of those around you so that you don’t create the same trouble to others.

However, even the most self-aware person can have blind spots, so ask a trusted colleague or good friend if there are areas in which you can improve. If you’re the boss, get feedback via anonymous surveys from your staff. You might also consider hiring a coach to shadow you.

And quit multitasking. Not only is it insulting to others, but it doesn’t work–research has shown that multitasking reduces both your effectiveness and your efficiency.

Finally, make sure the words “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are a regular part of your vocabulary. Just saying “Thanks, great job” can make a world of difference and that brings smile to other person”s lips.

if you have any questions contact us via a comment on this blog. Keep reading the blogs just written for betterment of your life.