Sunday, January 17, 2010

My life tips

1. Change yourself.

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."

If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn't have - or maybe even have thought about - while stuck in your old thought patterns.

And the problem with changing your outer world without changing yourself is that you will still be you when you reach that change you have strived for.
You will still have your flaws, anger, negativity, self-sabotaging tendencies etc. intact.

And so in this new situation you will still not find what you hoped for since your mind is still seeping with that negative stuff. And if you get more without having some insight into and distance from your ego it may grow more powerful. Since your ego loves to divide things, to find enemies and to create separation it may start to try to create even more problems and conflicts in your life and world.

2. You are in control.

"Nobody can hurt me without my permission."

What you feel and how you react to something is always up to you. There may be a "normal" or a common way to react to different things. But that's mostly just all it is.

You can choose your own thoughts, reactions and emotions to pretty much everything. You don't have to freak out, overreact of even react in a negative way. Perhaps not every time or instantly. Sometimes a knee-jerk reaction just goes off. Or an old thought habit kicks in.

And as you realize that no-one outside of yourself can actually control how you feel you can start to incorporate this thinking into your daily life and develop it as a thought habit. A habit that you can grow stronger and stronger over time. Doing this makes life a whole lot easier and more pleasurable.

3. Forgive and let it go.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

"An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind."

Fighting evil with evil won't help anyone. And as said in the previous tip, you always choose how to react to something. When you can incorporate such a thought habit more and more into your life then you can react in a way that is more useful to you and others.

You realize that forgiving and letting go of the past will do you and the people in your world a great service. And spending your time in some negative memory won't help you after you have learned the lessons you can learn from that experience. You'll probably just cause yourself more suffering and paralyze yourself from taking action in this present moment.

If you don't forgive then you let the past and another person to control how you feel. By forgiving you release yourself from those bonds. And then you can focus totally on, for instance, the next point.

4. Without action you aren't going anywhere.

"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching."

Without taking action very little will be done. However, taking action can be hard and difficult. There can be much inner resistance.

And so you may resort to preaching, as Gandhi says. Or reading and studying endlessly. And feeling like you are moving forward. But getting little or no practical results in real life.

So, to really get where you want to go and to really understand yourself and your world you need to practice. Books can mostly just bring you knowledge. You have to take action and translate that knowledge into results and understanding.

You can check out a few effective tips to overcome this problem in
How to Take More Action: 9 Powerful Tips. Or you can move on to the next point for more on the best tip for taking more action that I have found so far.

5. Take care of this moment.

"I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following."

The best way that I have found to overcome the inner resistance that often stops us from taking action is to stay in the present as much as possible and to be accepting.

Why? Well, when you are in the present moment you don't worry about the next moment that you can't control anyway. And the resistance to action that comes from you imagining negative future consequences - or reflecting on past failures - of your actions loses its power. And so it becomes easier to both take action and to keep your focus on this moment and perform better.

Have a look at 8 Ways to Return to the Present Moment for tips on how quickly step into the now. And remember that reconnecting with and staying in the now is a mental habit - a sort of muscle - that you grow. Over time it becomes more powerful and makes it easier to slip into the present moment.

6. Everyone is human.

"I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps."

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."

When you start to make myths out of people - even though they may have produced extraordinary results - you run the risk of becoming disconnected from them. You can start to feel like you could never achieve similar things that they did because they are so very different. So it's important to keep in mind that everyone is just a human being no matter who they are.

And I think it's important to remember that we are all human and prone to make mistakes. Holding people to unreasonable standards will only create more unnecessary conflicts in your world and negativity within you.

It's also important to remember this to avoid falling into the pretty useless habit of beating yourself up over mistakes that you have made. And instead be able to see with clarity where you went wrong and what you can learn from your mistake. And then try again.

7. Persist.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Be persistent. In time the opposition around you will fade and fall away. And your inner resistance and self-sabotaging tendencies that want to hold you back and keep you like you have always been will grow weaker.

Find what you really like to do. Then you'll find the inner motivation to keep going, going and going. You can also find a lot of useful tips on how keep your motivation up in How to Get Out of a Motivational Slump and 25 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself.

One reason Gandhi was so successful with his method of non-violence was because he and his followers were so persistent. They just didn't give up.

Success or victory will seldom come as quickly as you would have liked it to. I think one of the reasons people don't get what they want is simply because they give up too soon. The time they think an achievement will require isn't the same amount of time it usually takes to achieve that goal.
This faulty belief partly comes from the world we live in. A world full of magic pill solutions where advertising continually promises us that we can lose a lot of weight or earn a ton of money in just 30 days. You can read more about this in One Big Mistake a Whole Lot of People Make.

Finally, one useful tip to keep your persistence going is to listen to Gandhi's third quote in this article and keep a sense of humor. It can lighten things up at the toughest of times.

8. See the good in people and help them.

"I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won't presume to probe into the faults of others."

"Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men."

"I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people."

There is pretty much always something good in people. And things that may not be so good. But you can choose what things to focus on. And if you want improvement then focusing on the good in people is a useful choice. It also makes life easier for you as your world and relationships become more pleasant and positive.

And when you see the good in people it becomes easier to motivate yourself to be of service to them. By being of service to other people, by giving them value you not only make their lives better. Over time you tend to get what you give. And the people you help may feel more inclined to help other people. And so you, together, create an upward spiral of positive change that grows and becomes stronger.

By strengthening your social skills you can become a more influential person and make this upward spiral even stronger. A few articles that may provide you with useful advice in that department are Do You Make These 10 Mistakes in a Conversation?
and Dale Carnegie's Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Social Skills. Or you can just move on to the next tip.

9. Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

"Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well."

I think that one of the best tips for improving your social skills is to behave in a congruent manner and communicate in an authentic way. People seem to really like authentic communication. And there is much inner enjoyment to be found when your thoughts, words and actions are aligned. You feel powerful and good about yourself.

When words and thoughts are aligned then that shows through in your communication. Because now you have your voice tonality and body language - some say they are over 90 percent of communication - in alignment with your words.

With these channels in alignment people tend to really listen to what you're saying. You are communicating without incongruency, mixed messages or perhaps a sort of phoniness.

Also, if your actions aren't in alignment with what you're communicating then you start to hurt your own belief in what you can do. And other people's belief in you too.

10. Continue to grow and evolve.

"Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position."

You can pretty much always improve your skills, habits or re-evaluate your evaluations. You can gain deeper understanding of yourself and the world.

Sure, you may look inconsistent or like you don't know what you are doing from time to time. You may have trouble to act congruently or to communicate authentically. But if you don't then you will, as Gandhi says, drive yourself into a false position. A place where you try to uphold or cling to your old views to appear consistent while you realise within that something is wrong. It's not a fun place to be. To choose to grow and evolve is a happier and more useful path to take.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quote of the day

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

"We measure performance not effort."
– Jamie Coulter

"Never, never, never give up."
- Winston Churchill.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to build trust

How to build trust :


T= Trust

I= Frequency of Interaction (times) Chemistry

C= Credibility (how much value someone receives from each contact)

R= Risk

Monday, July 6, 2009

My accounts on myspace, facebook and twitter

You can find me on Myspace

You can find me on Facebook

You can find me on Twitter

Friday, June 12, 2009

What’s the Big Idea?

The other day a friend of mine asked, “What technology do you think will have the greatest impact on our lives over the next 10 years?” I thought this was a great question. I’m in the habit of thinking about technology evolution in terms of four or five years, so ten years allows for two cycles and many more possibilities.
My immediate thoughts ran to exciting areas within clean technology, such as improvements in energy production—coal gasification, solar or even wind power; and to better drugs and non-invasive medical devices that will tackle diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, or other conditions I might face.
My friend asked, “But don’t you invest in IT?” Right, I was a bit embarrassed to admit that none of my immediate ideas were in the IT realm. After a few minutes of thought, my best candidate to compete with the amazing progress being made on the clean tech and healthcare fronts was the deployment of true mobile broadband computing and the capabilities it will enable.
Yes, people talked about mobile broadband ten years ago, but today there’s a convergence of technology and behavioral trends that will cause extraordinary changes in the way people think about and use wireless devices.
In my view, there are four trends that will accelerate the adoption and widespread use of mobile broadband.
The first is improved user interfaces and performance (computing power and bandwidth). The iPhone provides a powerful example of today’s possibilities and points toward what’s to come.
The second trend relates to affordability for service and bandwidth. Major U.S. carriers have just announced $100/month unlimited voice plans, but their secondary offerings, such as $20 unlimited data plans, will have an even greater impact. In ten years, most Americans will be able to afford unlimited consumption of the wireless broadband internet for any use.
The third trend, one we’re already witnessing, is a shift toward more open platforms for wireless application developers and users. Google set the bar with Android, and Apple just released its iPhone software development kit.
The last trend, influenced by social networking, is society’s shift toward greater trust and acceptance of sharing personal information—such as location, age, gender, lifestyle, and brand orientation—in exchange for valuable offers or the opportunity to build new relationships or become part of an affinity group.
All of these trends will translate into even more innovation when you consider the level of context that can be provided by personal mobile devices operating from dispersed, identifiable locations.
As Napster co-founder John Fanning recently told me, all internet businesses are the same—it’s just about moving data from one place to another while creating the highest possible value from the data. As privacy and security issues are addressed and personal information such as location is (selectively) available, the value of moving information in real time will increase dramatically. The ability for nearly anyone at any time to use rich media for communication, entertainment, selling, or simply sharing information will change not just how we do our jobs, but how we keep in touch and meet new people. Over the next ten years, the wireless broadband Web has the potential to surpass the wired broadband Web in terms of how it impacts our lives.
Virtual activities will become real activities as better information such as detailed product features or personal credibility is shared in real time. You may start a purchase in your car via a video conferencing session and end by meeting a salesperson who completes the transaction in person. Social networking will spill into the real world. Given the right set of conditions, you might be willing to meet someone in a quasi-serendipitous manner on a business trip or even a vacation. You’ll be able to know if one of your friends is in the gym or supermarket while you’re there and you’ll even know if he has time for lunch.
You may surprise your mother by sending a new video of your kids taken from your phone to the electronic picture frame in her living room or car console. On the other hand, you may or may not want to be notified by a video alert that your kids are hosting a pool party while you’re out of town. In either event, mobile broadband will help you stay connected to those things that are important to you.
And the best part is that new business models will enable much of this to be free. Although users will self-select plans that work for them, for many who are willing to participate in targeted advertising and lead generation programs, that participation will support their use of these services entirely. Naturally, many people will opt out of sharing personal information and for those people there will continue to be a cat and mouse game in which advertisers attempt to figure out their profiles and intentions. Wireless broadband will make even this matching problem more productive for everyone. The good news is that my wife (an active consumer) will get free service (as will my kids, who will be in their formative brand-adoption years). The bad news is that I will probably need to pay for my wireless device.
Bob Hower is a general partner with Advanced Technology Ventures and focuses on investments in the IT infrastructure and software and services sectors.

Monday, February 23, 2009

In Defense of John Fanning

Napster is back, but in name only. Back in April I linked to an excerpt from Joseph Menn's All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster, which includes a not terribly flattering portrait of Shawn Fanning's uncle John Fanning. John Chamberlain objects to the characterization in an email:

Hi Mr. Olsen, I noticed that in April you excerpted from the book "All the
Rave" that details John Fanning's role in the rise of Napster.

When I was a young man I was a close friend who worked for John at some of
his business ventures before he got involved with his nephew Shawn and in
some ways was the prototype for his later relationship with Shawn.

John Fanning was not only one of the best bosses I ever had, but the best
friend as well. He was uniformly and unconditionally supportive of me and
believed in me when noone else would have. He was incredibly generous not
only to me, but to everyone I ever saw him come into contact with. He gave
the shirt off his back to me and the others who worked for him at Cambridge
Automation and Multimedia Engineering. I got my first real job at Fidelity
because of John and my first hard core programming experience all on John's

I had a lot of advantages John did not. I came from a well-off family and
graduated from Princeton, yet I happily enjoyed working for John, cast as a
bankrupt drop-out from the ghettoes of Brockton by the book. Why? Because
he is one of the nicest, most honest and supportive persons I ever met.

I think the way Joseph Menn twisted the Napster story and blackened John to
sensationalize his work comes from the worst traditions of yellow journalism.

I think the way he quotes New York VCs calling John a "putz" and looking
down on him because he doesn't wear their $800 suits is particularly
despicable. Menn presents John as some kind of financial rapist and the all
the various VCs that came later as would-be saviours. What a travesty!
Where were all those VCs when Shawn was trying to pay his board and tuition
at Northeastern? Did they believe in Shawn and pay to feed him? Did they
drive him around and support him when he just a kid? Did they nurture his
ideas and show how to make those ideas work? No, John did. John has a heart
of gold and sense of honor. None of those VCs even hold a candle to him as
a man and I am deeply insulted by the way Joseph Menn puts snakes like them
above him.

To me John is a hero who exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that
built this country and whose devotion to his family and friends deserves
the highest admiration.

- John S. Chamberlain, Natick, Massachusetts

Fair and balanced we are.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Buying experiences, not possessions, leads to greater happiness

Can money make us happy if we spend it on the right purchases? A new psychology study suggests that buying life experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness for both the consumer and those around them. The findings will be presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting on Feb. 7.

The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality -- a feeling of being alive.

"These findings support an extension of basic need theory, where purchases that increase psychological need satisfaction will produce the greatest well-being," said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.

Participants in the study were asked to write reflections and answer questions about their recent purchases. Participants indicated that experiential purchases represented money better spent and greater happiness for both themselves and others. The results also indicate that experiences produce more happiness regardless of the amount spent or the income of the consumer.

Experiences also lead to longer-term satisfaction. "Purchased experiences provide memory capital," Howell said. "We don't tend to get bored of happy memories like we do with a material object.

"People still believe that more money will make them happy, even though 35 years of research has suggested the opposite," Howell said. "Maybe this belief has held because money is making some people happy some of the time, at least when they spend it on life experiences."

"The mediators of experiential purchases: Determining the impact of psychological need satisfaction" was conducted by Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and SF State graduate Graham Hill.