7 Tips For A Bright Day

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Every morning marks the beginning of a new chapter of our life. Once we get to work in our busy life it is easy to get caught up with the routine and the stress it brings along with it. To fight this stress and make our day bright it’s important how we set tone for the day right in the morning.

1. Rise early

Yes, for all the night owls out there these days, it is very difficult to rise early but if you give it a try I am pretty sure you won’t go back to your old routines. Getting up early, say at around 5 A.M. will allow you to get so much more done as it is so refreshing, peaceful and calm at that time. With birds chirping and sun rising you feel so fresh and naturally motivated. You have sufficient time at your hand to plan the day in advance. Rising early will give you a head start.

2. Think Positive

Morning is the time when there is no chaos and in this calm you can meditate for peace of mind. Think positively to strengthen and align your mind, body and soul. Practice gratitude and feel privileged to be alive. We get lost in thinking about the past or worrying about the future. We long for all the things we don’t have without realizing the precious worth of all that we have. Develop this habit to think positive and see how your days turn out bright and cheerful.

3. Exercise

Once you get out of sleep your body requires to improve the circulation and stretching for a few minutes, even if it be. Stretching helps to improve posture and eliminates rigidity, aches and pain that sleeping may cause in joints. You may also try yoga if you are so inclined and get ready to face the day. Do some mindful breathing and experience the surge of energy in the body.

4. Eat Healthy

Start your day with some warm water and lemon. It will be easy on the body and will wake up the internal organs and systems. It helps in rehydration as your body has gone without fluids for a long time during sleep. You can add honey also in this which will also have an additional benefit of weight loss. It also helps in flushing out the toxins accumulated in the body.

Take a breakfast that is healthy and rich in nutrients. Try to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals. Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it gives you energy for facing the hectic day ahead and also has been linked with reduction in obesity and reduction in high blood pressure.

5. Read More

A 15 minute reading of something that is inspirational can be a great tool for uplifting your mood. Successful people have this habit cultivated in their morning schedule. Listening to some audio book or upbeat music also helps in conditioning the mind and brings it to top motivated state right in the morning.

6. Relax

As soon as we wake up, our mind starts running in all directions and relaxing our mind by relieving it from stress and filling it up with positive and inspirational thoughts is a top priority. In addition to meditation and practicing gratitude as discussed above taking a shower will give you a feeling of relaxation and freshness. Once you allow the relaxing and warm flow of water on your body, your mind will ease up.

7. Work with Focus

When you prepare to go out of home for work ensure that you have your goals list for the day ready and written with you. Don’t leave home without it. In your goals list mark top 3 tasks for the day and in the morning time when your productivity is at peak straight away immerse yourself in completing these tasks. Leave anything that does not fall in this list for sometime later, do them only if you finish your top 3 for the day.

When we wake up from sleep our body is rigid, internal organs slow, mind trying to figure out what is happening and what to do. In this vulnerable state to start for the hustle of the day and prepare ourself for the upcoming challenges, it helps if we follow the things and methods discussed above. Keep it simple, try some other ways and make them your own. Go out and enjoy the day.

5 Keys for Effective Communication

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One of the most essential and vital skills to possess is effective communication. All leaders and managers require to master this skill for success in their career. Communication is a two way process and you need to develop mastery in both speaking as well as listening to be a good communicator. As you go on to improve your communication skills, you will be able to improve your rapport with the other person. In this article we share some of the key communication skills:

1. Practice the Pause

Pauses in speech can add huge impact on your statement. It brings the attention of the person to the conversation and builds up anticipation. Before you give an answer pausing will give a short time gap that will ensure that you are not interrupting the other person in their speech. You don’t want to be speaking at the same time as the other.

Another advantage of pause is that it gives us a short time to consider what we are going to say. Speaking slowly and pausing in between will enable you to come up with best words and avoid the controversial topics or words.

As we know that communication is a two way process, a pause between the lines or before a reply will allow you to hear better, and not only better but also understand better.

2. Question for Clarity

Powerful and skillful communication is possible when you use many questions. If you question someone like what do you want or what is your opinion, the other person feel more important and valuable, and is encouraged to speak. Use of open ended questions opens up the other person and they are inclined to give longish answers or views or may be their stories. It brings out the secrets on which you can then build up your conversation.

When you ask open ended questions like ‘do you have a morning ritual’ or ‘what are you looking forward to this week’ the other person will not be able to give you short reply and will start talking. This allows you to connect with them at a much deeper level and your conversation is much more productive and effective.

But you need to bear in mind not to overdo questioning, otherwise people will see it as nagging and intrusion into their privacy.

3. Paraphrase Speaker’s Word

Another key communication skill is if you paraphrase the speaker’s words. Paraphrasing means to repeat the same thing that the other has said in your own words. It is not just repeating or parroting what the other person has said instead first listen to the basic message and understand the feeling behind it. It is a powerful tool to enhance your understanding and bonding with the speaker. It allow the speaker to hear their own thoughts and give them the confidence that you are serious in your attempt to understand them. When paraphrasing refrain from giving your own opinions or ideas.

4. Listen Well

Careful and attentive listening is another key element to effective communication. When you listen you make the other person feel important and they develop trust in you. Trust is the most important cornerstone of personal relations.

When you listen attentively, it increases the self esteem of the other person. They realize how much importance you are giving them. Careful listening also helps you to focus and concentrate your mind on the topic being discussed otherwise your mind will be running in thousand directions.

5. Non Verbal Communication

Non Verbal Communication like your positive body language and eye contact also makes your communication very effective. When you make eye contact with the other person it reflects your confidence and genuineness to them. You come across as more warm and friendly person and strike a good rapport.

Good communication remain a key to success in life, work and relations.  Some people are born good communicator and it is a great asset to them. If you are not very good at communicating remember it is a learnable skill and you must work on this craft as no other skill can be as helpful as effective communication skill. It will increase your social circle of influence and will take you to great heights of success in life.

Related Article: Communicate to Connect

9 Tips for Good Health

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Health is not only absence of disease but a state of complete physical, mental and social well being. As much as it depends on the individual genetic makeup, the lifestyle choices you make also affects your health quite a bit. There may be environmental factors also, over which we have little or no control. Mentioned below are few factors controlling your health

1. Avoid Empty Calories or Junk Food

Empty calories means calories that our body get from food which otherwise offers little or no nutritional values. These are usually food with lots of sugar or solid fats. Food like soda, carbonated drinks or food full of trans fats are main culprit of these empty calories. Avoiding empty calories can go a big way in keeping us healthy. Try to replace the junk food with food which is more rich in nutrients and fiber.

2. Exercise

Benefits of exercising on our health is no secret. It is a great way to feel better and improve health.  A simple walk for half an hour a day can be beneficial for heart. Aerobic exercises and weight training help prevent any excess weight gain and a quick session in a gym can make us even more energetic. Another advantage will be in form of better sleep quality.  Exercise also helps us to get a quick mood lift and make us happy. Also see benefit of exercise in 8 Ways to improve your Mood

3. Water

A great health tip is to maintain your fluid balance. Our body is majorly composed of water, which serves many important functions like maintenance of body temperature, transportation of nutrients among others. Water balance in body is maintained by kidneys by absorbing back or excreting in form of urine, so if your intake is adequate, it will be beneficial for your kidneys also. If you want to lose some weight, water intake can be helpful in doing so. Refer Steps to Easy Weight Loss and the role of water in it. Water will also greatly benefit your bowel movements and keep your skin young and healthy.

4. Green Tea

Green tea is practically calorie free but very rich in antioxidants. Green tea consumption is said to be associated with reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. It also increases the metabolic rate and can be helpful for weight loss. Caffeine contents in green tea act as stimulant. Some studies have also related it with inhibition of virus and bacteria thereby lowering the risk of infections. A cup of green tea daily will go a long way in improving your health and immunity.

5. Mental Break

Beside physical health your mental health is also of paramount importance. In your daily routine take some time out for yourself and the activities you like. Keep in mind the age old wisdom ‘all work and no play makes jack a dull boy’. Not getting mental breaks during your days will be a big reason for stress and if you don’t control stress in your life, it can make you ill. Include consciously some time for relaxation in your daily schedule.

6. Gratitude

We humans are emotional creatures and one of most powerful emotion is gratitude. Thanking God for all what you have can have a magical effect on your physical and emotional health. Studies have shown gratitude reduces stress and help overcome trauma. Practicing gratitude is also highly motivating and fills you with positivity and energy. Being thankful to your relations or co-workers makes you more social and improves inter-personal relations.

7. Laughter

As is said laughter is best medicine. A hearty laugh relaxes your body and relieves stress immediately. Body experiences ‘endorphin rush’ when we have a good laugh, and endorphins are feel-good chemicals having natural pain and stress fighting capability. Laughter boosts immunity and improves your resistance to diseases. Besides physical benefits, laughing also has mental health benefits like lowering tension and improving mood.

8. Meditation

Best practice for our mental health and feeling of peace is meditation. Even when we are resting, our mind is always preoccupied with one thing or other. Meditation is taking back control of our mind and thoughts. Meditation makes the mind calm and provide inner strength. It gives a sense of comfort and stability.

9. Sleep

Adequate sleep is of paramount importance for healthy lifestyle. Healthy brain function and emotional well being are closely related to proper sleep. Sleep deficiency makes decision making and problem solving very difficult and is linked to depression. Sleep is responsible for healthy immune system. As far as physical health is concerned sleep deficiency may cause hormonal imbalance, increases risk of obesity and heart diseases.

Achieving and maintaining health is an ongoing process and there could be various other means to stay healthy and fit. Follow these few practices or find some others, those which serve you better. Keep in mind, no amount of money or possessions will be able to make you happy but only your health and fitness.

Golden rules by Warren Buffet

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Warren Buffet or Oracle of Omaha is an American investor, businessman and philanthropist. World over he is famous for his value investing principles and has ranked number two on the famous Forbe’s list for 15 continuous years. Despite having so much wealth he is famous for his frugal living and donating for charities. Even for his children he once said “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.” He has inspired a whole generation of investors and enterpreneurs with his philosophy of life and work ethics. We have listed here a few Golden rules as given by Warren Buffet

1. Find your passion

You need to find something you like, something you are passionate about and earlier you find it, better it will be. You will find that you are gifted in doing the work you are passionate about. Buffet says he started investing starting at the age of 11 when he sold coke bottles and with the profit he bought his first shares. It came so naturally to him even at such young age because he loved investing. It was never a job for him rather a fun.

2. Hire People with Integrity

If you are in business you naturally have to depend on a formidable team to get the job done. So hiring well become one of the most important component of your work. You don’t want to hire somebody who is lazy but one who has a spark of energy and takes initiative, one who has drive. Buffet advises to hire some body with integrity, intelligence and energy, but he says the first quality is indispensable, if somebody doesn’t have integrity then don’t go ahead, such people will never be an asset to the company.

3. Find Your Sweet Spot

Don’t bother if people disagree with your way of working. Everybody has their own circle of competence and one doesn’t need to be good at various things rather they need to be fully aware of their strong points and then to stay around that sweet spots. To be successful you need to be real good at one thing and that will be more than enough.

4. Read a Lot

Develop a habit of reading books because the knowledge that you get from the books will be more valuable than any thing else. Books are able to mold our mind in some most unimaginable ways. Reading a good book and learning from it may save many years for you in what you plan to do.

Also read 7 Inspiring Books to Read

5. Keep a Margin of Safety

Stay well below limits, people usually in haste of doing things, take unreasonable chances and many time loose a lot. This is true about all things in life but more so in the matter of money. People invest recklessly and to gain a little they put a lot on stake. Buffet advises here not to test the depth of water with both feet inside it.

6. Have a Competitive Advantage

In a very competitive environment we are living today, others come to take advantage and offer better deals. They will be able to take away your business if you are not fully alert and don’t offer any competitive advantage. At the same time love your way to be productive, everyone has his own way to work and you will be able to give maximum productivity if you be your own and remain original rather than imitating somebody else.

7. Study Failure

Competition is everywhere and there will be time when you fail but don’t be afraid rather Embrace Discomfort for Growth . Study failure and find ways to overcome it. Have no complacency and be restless. Always be on move and try to figure out what new value you could offer your customers and don’t simply rest on your laurels.

8. Have Role Models

One very important way to grow is to have role models. A role model can offer so much value to you if you study them. What your role models might have learnt over years, you can get to know those things by simply following them.

9. Give unconditional Love

Power of unconditional love is unbound. Whatever you do, do it with love towards others. Be a better human.

Beside being a super successful investor, Buffet has also been a good writer. He has written several articles and has many scholarships to his name. Buffet has time and again advised that the best thing they could do is to develop good habits. And as per him kindness, generosity,modesty and good humor remain the most important qualities in people.

8 Time Management Tips

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Time is one of the most expensive assets that we have. All of us have been provided with 24 hours in a day and still we find that some people are able to do so much in a day while we struggle all through. The secret of this could be the difference in time management by these people. Time management is the planning and allocation of time to various activities one does to increase the efficiency and productivity. Time management encompasses the professional as well as personal works. If you are also one of the persons who are struggling with increasing your business efficiency, and work and personal life balance, read on the various manner how you could best utilize your time.

1. Set Goals

When thinking of goals, generally people think of long term goals but one needs to have ultra short term ‘day goals’ as well. As Jim Rohn said, “Never start a day without planning”, goal setting will go a long way in judicious use of your time. 10 minutes of planning could save you at least two hours in the day when you have all the required work organised and planned with you. Key is to write down your goals for the day and to go through this written goal’s list many times during the day. An unwritten goal is a sure recipe for failure.

2. Break into smaller steps

Break your tasks into smaller sub tasks and plan them meticulously in your planner. One, it will cause you to focus on the task to be completed, secondly once even a small task is completed it gives you a sense of accomplishment and provide you the momentum throughout the day. Different components or sub tasks can be delegated to other team members for maximum efficiency.

3. Prioritize

To prioritize your tasks is one of the very important time management skills. In your day list or week list you will be having a lot of tasks to be completed and the most common tendency is to start with the smallest and easiest tasks right in the beginning. In place of this a better strategy would be to start with the most important and difficult tasks right in the beginning of the day or the week. Reason is that usually 80 percent of our results would be because of 20 percent of tasks, which may be difficult but of high significance. So always prioritize. In the planner always mark your ‘must’ items and face them head on at the start.

4. Make To-Do Lists

Today in the time of technology you have a lot of tools available to streamline your jobs. A To-Do list is a must for every person and prioritization and reminders can be done through these lists. Every task that is to be done should be on this list and each time you complete a task check off the same. To-Do list makes your day organised. Apart from this, To-Do list also maintains a calendar where long term appointments and reminders could be added.

5. Avoid procrastination

Best time to do something is now. Procrastination is the biggest single reason of failures in accomplishment of one’s goals and resultant stress. Usually people procrastinate because they attach more pleasure to other things and see the work at hand as pain. They don’t realize if left unattended the same task will cause bigger pain in future and reflect poorly on your performance and results. Most often if you start a task, even if expecting various difficulties in the beginning you will get the means to complete those tasks. As they say, “To complete a journey of thousand miles, take a first step.”

6. Avoid interruption in work

Always try to work in an atmosphere where you can work without any distractions and interruptions. It has been proved that a slight break in your concentration even for a minute will break your momentum and you will find it hard to regain your concentration. These interruptions can be in form of somebody dropping by at your cubicle or a beep of your mobile. Technology was developed for our use and make our life convenient whereas today it is very common to see that people are distracted maximum by their gadgets. Turn them off or at least keep them on silent.

7. Develop Positive Habits

It helps if you have some positive and healthy habits of doing various things like waking up early in the morning and retiring to the bed at the designated time. This helps in maintaining your body clock and those who respect their body clock feel much more energetic and focused than those who don’t follow these simple things. Try to do at least a mild exercise, take time out for some sort of meditation and have some personal time to think about the day and how you fared through it.

8. Delegate

For a person working in supervisory or managerial capacity, delegating work to be done is as important or even more than your own planning and will become a great time management tool. Delegation of work is leveraging your resources for better productivity. Build a better and efficient team and give them a free hand. It may also bring a fresh perspective and a new way to do the job at hand. Another advantage of delegating is that it creates more free time for you, which can be used to do even more important tasks.

With better time management you will be able to improve your quality of life and add value to all the work that you do. It takes away or reduces the stress component in your life. You become more happy and healthy, and achieve better results. Remember being busy and productive are two entirely different things. Purpose is to become more productive and less busy so that you get more time for yourself, that is ‘Smart Working’ and one of the most important elements of smart working is Efficient Time Management.

Embrace Discomfort for Growth

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In today’s world we all want to be comfortable and have access to all the things that help us lead a life of content and happiness. Common perception is that we will be happy if we are comfortable, but what comfort does is that it makes us lazy, bored and actually discontented. We fail to realize that real happiness comes from progress and growth, that  it is the real inner desire of all. But can growth happen in a comfortable environment? What about the age old wisdom: NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

So we need to understand, what makes us comfortable can ruin us and only discomfort can make us grow continuously. Take the example of any athlete: Can they grow their muscles without the pain and discomfort of rigorous training, which stretches their capacity and grows them into world class athletes?

A gold fish is very safe in a small fish bowl but can it grow like the fish in pond. Safe environment can be a very limiting environment. So how exactly does this work? Let’s see.

In a limiting environment there is always stagnation and many of us can find comfort in this because stagnation has a sort of feeling of order. Order does offer comfort but there is no growth. Now whenever there is changed order it leads to complexity and that is the root cause of discomfort.

Old wisdom tells us that to grow against established players and norms, we need to cause a massive disruption. This will cause changed order, may be chaos in the beginning but ultimately will take us into the trajectory of growth.

I feel there can be 3 ways this disruption or challenge to existing order is caused:

1. Can be Forced upon us

This is one of the main triggers for most of the people. We remain glued to the comfortable and safe environment that we are accustomed to. We don’t see how much better we could become with change. And then one fine day when we are least expecting it, something happens that throws our life in a tizzy. Take example of vinyl record industry for music. The industry was there for a century when compact disc (CD) came and almost overnight the entire vinyl record industry was wiped out. What happened to the people involved in that industry? Well, after initial discomfort most of them were able to re-tool and adjust in the different environment and grow in the modern times with the new format getting higher sales volume and better quality.

2. Someone helps you get there

Another trigger could come when someone else helps us get there. I will give my own example here. I was comfortable in my sales job in a big company. Though the package was not very healthy but I was happy as there was not much job pressure and as it was a big company with dominant market presence we were always able to make sufficient sales and commissions. It was here when this nudge came from my wife encouraging me to look for some higher and challenging responsibilities. Now as my existing job didn’t offer that because of saturation, I started looking for other opportunities and started my own business. It was very tough in the beginning. The customers who I thought were my main strength didn’t feel interested in my new products and were wary of being associated with a new company which was just a startup. First two years were very uncomfortable, to say the least. I had to work double hard and still not get the results that I took for granted in my earlier job. I saw my earlier colleagues still happily working in old company. Many friends started questioning my decision but then slowly things started to change and my new small company started growing. This time changed me entirely and now in hindsight I feel, has broadened my vision. Today I thrive on challenges and look for new opportunities.

3. You trigger it yourself

Another change in order could be triggered by yourself. Take the example of Mahatma Gandhi. Think what would have happened if he had not opposed his racial treatment in South Africa while travelling in train or if he had not started the satyagraha and Civil Disobedience Movements against the oppressive regime in India. He also had the choice of accepting what was norm at that time like others did. He was a barrister and had a comfortable and high paying practice. He could have remained happy like others lived. But then the whole change in order would not have happened world wide. He looked beyond his personal comfort and figured out the real meaning of happiness. There are many such examples world over of people themselves embracing discomfort for growth. These are the people who change the world by accepting discomfort and bringing growth to the society.

It is true that we like to avoid the change, because change is uncertain and brings chaos. But during that period of chaos we look for the solutions. Our mind expands. We look for the methods previously unexplored. Our capacity to think, work and visualize expands. Strength which so far was unknown to us comes to our rescue. We find our purpose and become an individual we always wanted to be.

I would say this change, this discomfort is the seed of our growth and development. As an old saying goes “Change can be scary but you know what is scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving and progressing”

Abraham Maslow also said “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety”

So shun the safe and the limiting environment, embrace discomfort, look for growth and the glory awaits you.

 

7 Chakras and Health

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In Hindu philosophy and yoga system Nadi is an important concept. Nadis are said to carry life force known as prana. These are channels for so called cosmic, mental and intellectual energies. There are 3 important Nadis: ida – lies left to the spine, pingala – lies to the right of the spine, and sushumna – runs along the spinal cord in the center and passes through all the 7 chakras of the body.

The chakras are formed at the junctions of these nadis and there are seven fundamental chakras in the body. Each chakra is related to one organ or system of the body and provide the energy for it’s function The flow of energy through these chakras determines our health.

1. Root Chakra – Muladhara

It is located at the base of spine in perineum region, between anal outlet and the genital organ. This is your foundation and whatever grounds you to stability. This includes your basic primal needs like food, water, shelter etc. Root chakra is believed to be linked to adrenal medulla responsible for fight or flight response and thus regulate mechanisms for the physical survival. If your energies are dominant in muladhara, then dominant factors in your life will be food and sleep. If there is imbalance in this chakra then you may experience anxiety disorders, fears or defensiveness. Simple physical activity like walking or dancing helps to balance the Root chakra.

2. Sacral chakra – Swadhisthana

It is located just above the genital organ and below the navel. Sacral chakra corresponds to the sex hormones responsible for reproductive functions. Our outward awareness of others and feeling of other people are through swadhisthana. This chakra is associated with sense of abundance, pleasure and sexuality. If your energies are dominant in swadhisthana, then pleasure will be dominant in your life. Blockage of this chakra may cause emotional problems and guilt. Hip opening exercises, dancing and learning to let go of the things will be having beneficial effects on the sacral chakra.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipuraka

It is located just above the navel. Manipuraka is linked to islets of langerhans in pancreas, which play important role in digestion and energy production. Emotions, personal power, self worth and self-confidence are related to this chakra. If your energies are dominant in manipuraka, you are an action oriented person. Imbalance in this chakra makes you angry, frustrated and directionless. Keeping the digestive fire healthy by eating only adequate quantity of non spicy food and consuming water at room temperature will be beneficial.

4. Heart Chakra – Anahata

It is located at the center of chest just above heart. This is the bridge between our lower and higher energies. Anahata is said to be associated with thymus, which is responsible for disease prevention. This chakra controls our feeling of love and inner peace. If your energies are dominant in anahata you are a creative person. Blockage of heart chakra manifests as one being in-compassionate and lacking moral or principled behavior. To heal the Anahata chakra practice gratitude and have a change of perspective focusing on the positive things in your life.

5. Throat Chakra – Vishuddhi

It is located at the pit of the throat. This chakra control our expression of feelings, that is communication. Thyroid gland which is responsible for growth is associated with this. If your energies are dominant in vishuddhi you will become very powerful. Dishonesty or lack of communication may be caused if there is imbalance here. Hip opening exercises, water consumption and singing could help but more importantly all chakras from heart chakra and above could be balanced only by way of mindful meditation.

6. Third Eye Chakra – Ajana

It is located between the eyebrows and is the seat of intuition. Imagination and wisdom are related to this chakra. It is at this chakra that the ida and pingala terminates merges with the central nadi sushumna and philosophically signifies the end of dualities of nature. This chakra is linked to pituitary gland. If your energies are dominant in ajana then you are an intellectual person. If this chakra is blocked then lack of forward vision and mental rigidity will be there.

7. Crown Chakra – Sahasrara

It is located at the top of the head. As the name implies thousands, Sahasrara is also called Brahmarandhra or the door to God. It is from this chakra that all other chakras emanates. Radiance of all other chakras fade in comparison with this chakra. This chakra represents the highest level of consciousness and enlightenment. The element of sahasrara is Adi Anadi, meaning without beginning and without end. Our spirituality and connection with higher self is possible when energies flow through this chakra. If your energies are dominant in sahasrara then you become very ecstatic and in highest state possible.

The path of progression through the chakras by the process of yoga, meditation and changing thoughts and consciousness is not an easy task. One need to leave many old habits and way of living for finding one’s purpose and union of the soul with the super-soul. Most important thing is that this spiritual progression is possible with complete devotion, faith and dedication to God, Super-Soul or Universe, whatever you call him.

 

Communicate to Connect

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Everyone communicates to express or exchange information, ideas or thought. Good communication skills are essential in all aspects of life whether they be family or business relations. As world renowned leadership expert John Maxwell says Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. He says connecting is “The ability to identify and relate with people in a way that increases your influence with them.” 

For effective communication you need to connect with the person and make him feel special and if you are able to connect effectively with others then you can reach your full potential.

Effective communication is a learnable skill, which help in personal, professional and family relationships. Here is our list of some to do’s to improve your communication skills.

1. Focus on others

If you want to have a meaningful connection then remember it is all about others. You need to develop the attitude and habit that you give priority to the needs and requirements of the other person. Try to know what you can do for them. Lot many times we see that people, especially those in sales focus entirely on their product and the center of their presentation is they themselves. If you talk about yourself then nobody will be interested instead to develop a rapport, be a good listener and genuinely take interest. More you get to know about the other person more you will be able to offer them best of your service as per their liking.

As Dale Carnegie said “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

2. Be Genuine

Take genuine interest in their family, work or hobbies and the person will open up like never before and you will be able to connect with them. But most important point is to be really genuine because people are able to differentiate between true and fake appreciation and interest. You will be able to have bonding if the other person sees you warm and friendly.

3. Be Helpful

Don’t think about what I can get, think about what I can give. As an old saying goes help people get what they want and they will help get what you want. We humans are emotional creatures and have a sense of returning favors. So if you do any favor to someone they will be more than happy to help you. Highest form of maturity is when we realize that we are here to serve and help others.

4. Connecting requires energy

Connection always require energy, if you don’t bring liveliness and energy to the presentation, people won’t feel anything. If you wish to connect with someone then know about them, it helps if you have information about them. Invest time beforehand in learning what really matters to them.

5. Look for common ground

For connecting with people you need to find a common ground and then work for your mutual benefits. Common ground means finding common values and benefits. Work to create win-win situations, because if people feel they are not at same level as you then they will become defensive and close their mind to your views.

6. Body Language

Communication is not all verbal but the positive and confident body language also convey your message. A genuine and bright smile will open more doors than any amount of convincing.

As you acquire these skills you will see that developing communication skills help you enhance your personal and professional relations and help lead a fulfilling life.

8 Ways to improve your Mood

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Mood by definition is a temporary state of mind or feeling. One can be in either positive or negative mood. Among the factors affecting mood, various brain chemicals like Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphin are responsible for your happiness. Good news is you can intentionally cause them to flow by any or all of the below mentioned factors:

1. Family

When you are feeling down, spend time with your family and surely your mood will brighten up. Your family members are the ones who are always there for you in the thick or thin of the things. Family members know us best and their company itself is very comforting. The affection and support that we get from family members is simply unmatched. The calm or experience of your parents, unconditional love of your spouse, caring of your siblings or reservoir of energy in your children could be great remedy to your bad mood.

2. Books

Books are your friends. Reading can transport you from from your stressed out reality to another world. Books which are spiritual or realistic in nature give you many other real life lessons and make you realize, how your problems are so insignificant. The good effect of the books on your mind lasts for a long period even after finishing reading.

3. Meditation and Gratitude

Bad mood, stress and anxiety in short term increases heart rate, blood pressure and induce release of hormone cortisol. Mindful meditation is a way that helps you to connect with your internal self and help the mind to quieten and lift your spirits.

Gratitude practices are reminders and mental pictures of all the good things you have experienced. Lot many times it is very common that one takes for granted what they have in life and don’t mindfully appreciate their blessings. Gratitude is thankful appreciation of what one has in his life. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions and good experiences, thus instantly uplifts the mood.

4. Exercise

Exercise is another sure remedy for your bad mood. Exercising releases several different chemicals like serotonin and endorphin in brain. Serotonin is a chemical that affects mood, sleep and appetite. At the same time meeting even small exercise goals can boost self confidence. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce perception of pain. More importantly exercise will divert your mind from negative thought to your present work out and lift your spirits in a very healthy way.

5. Friends

Friends are your strong backup in life. You become friends with like minded people so they will be able to relate more to your problems and bring you out of the trap. Spending time with friends will help you defeat unhappy thoughts. One can talk openly and candidly with friends on any issue and simple sharing of your problems will lower their burden. A simple reminder of all the happy time spent with friends is enough to bring a smile on the lips even on a bad day.

6. Community Service

Community Service or volunteering provides you with a sense of purpose in life. it is not only helpful to the people serviced but also immensely beneficial to you that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. With community service you connect with other people and bring fulfillment to your life. It has been scientifically proven that the more we give, the happier we feel. The sense of accomplishment, pride and identity we feel on doing good to others is simply unmatched and highly uplifting.

7. Music

Several studies have found that listening to music can relax you and boost your mood. Music has power to connect with your inner self and change your attitude. Music has a therapeutic effect on your mood.

8. Sleep

Sleep and mood are interconnected. Your mood is first thing to be affected when you don’t get adequate sleep. Long term sleep deficit increase the risk of mood disorder and anxiety. On the other hand if you are anxious, you will have difficulty falling sleep. One simple step could be to improve your sleep habits by improving the quality and quantity of sleep.

Given the complex link between our environment, mind and body relaxation can be very challenging but above factors influence your each moment and you can control them significantly by changing your lifestyle habits.

8 Golden Rules by Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs born February 24, 1955 was an American inventor and businessman who co-founded Apple, Pixar and Next. Though he never completed his graduation from college but he was a learner all his life. Steve Job’s philosophy and his passion for providing quality and life changing products to his customer is legendary. Though he made many valuable contributions to the world, we have compiled a list of some of the golden rules as laid down by him.

1. Don’t live a limited life

People usually live life as is expected of them within the societal frame work and as is dictated to them by others. But Steve Jobs used to say life as it is around you is made by people who were no smarter than you and once you realize this you too will be able to challenge the various notions of life as it is and change it for the betterment of the world and have your influence on it.

2. Have Passion

Any new job or challenge is very difficult for any person to bear and usually, on facing difficulties, people quit . Only those who genuinely love their job and have a strong passion persevere and continue on the path, which for common people would be insane. As he once famously quoted: Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do.

3. Build a great team

Most of the people have enough intelligence that they don’t require to be managed at every single step of the job. The job of the leaders is to articulate the vision properly to his people and bring them on a consensus and a common ground, after that they will themselves look after what is to be done and will not require to be managed at all. So the primary job of a great leader is high quality recruiting, and make his team a cohesive unit with clear vision. A great manager needs to be a great individual contributor.

4. Don’t do it for money

Steve jobs used to say, “Don’t do it for money.” Money, he said, is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things and implement your ideas but besides that if you do it for money only, then the company and products will not make you feel more passionate and you will make decisions only on commercial considerations which may not be good for your products or company in the long run.

5. Be proud of your product

Premium product or services should remain the focus of your company and you should set such high standards for yourself that you feel proud of your product. Do not offer a stripped down version of your products just to compete on price with competition. Work on adding value to your product and there will be even bigger markets opening up for you. Work on making your product so superior that even if you were not part of the company, it would have been your first choice to buy.

6. Build around customers

Start with the customer and work backwards toward technology and not to focus on technology, and then figure out where to sell your product. Just figure out what benefits you can give to customer who should remain at the center of your product design strategy. Always ask yourself the question, whether what we are doing is useful and compelling for our customers or not.

7. Marketing is about values

Today markets are so crowded and competitive that we will not get much chance to get people to remember much about us so be very clear what you want your customer to know about you. Your marketing strategies should convey your values to the customer in very clear terms. You should think beyond the product, beyond money and more towards something higher. Why your product should be customer’s choice, how it helps them in emotional bonding and satisfaction of their desires.

8. Stay hungry, stay foolish

A lot of things happen in  your life which you are not able to understand at that time but as time passes their significance dawn on you and you could connect the dots looking backwards. Believe in destiny and all will work out well. Sometimes life will hit you on the head but keep going and do what you love, keep looking and don’t settle.

Remembering you are going to die soon is one of the best ways to not fall in trap of thinking you have something to loose. You have no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die and still death is the destination that we all share and no one has ever escaped it which means that our time is limited so don’t end up living somebody else’s life, don’t let the other people’s opinion drown down your own inner voice and have courage to follow your heart. As Steve Jobs famous words were, Always stay hungry, stay foolish.

In 2003 Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which took a lot of toll on his life but he still remained active and very much involved in designing new products and promoting his philosophy. On October 5, 2011 Jobs  died after making his contributions to this world.

His life will always be remembered and remain a source of continuous inspiration to million of people who want to make their mark.

Also read: Success Rules By John Maxwell