Wisdom From Books

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One of the solutions towards calm mind and less stressed state of life is meditation. There are many ways to practice meditation and people around the world who practice meditation provide their own ways and means. Almost all forms of meditation need to have two ‘Cs’ for completeness. These two ‘Cs’ include:

  1. Concentration – focus; and
  2. Clarity

Some techniques may have one aspect or both, depending upon the objective for which that technique is being used. ‘Mindfulness’ meditations are good examples which consist of both of these Cs i.e. Concentration and clarity.

Andy Pudddicombe, in his book: Headspace guide to meditation and mindfulness claim that ’10 minutes’ can make the difference in ones life and those 10 minutes is the time one use for mindful meditation. This technique can be applied anywhere even when you are at work or travel or else where – all you need is dedicated 10 minutes in which you are not disturbed by outside forces.

The technique which I am sharing here is from the book of Andy Puddicombe, the book recommended by Bill Gates. Technique is called ‘Take 10’ and is being summarized below:

1. Find a place to sit down in a relaxed manner with straight back.

2. Set time for 10 minutes in which no one should disturb you: Idea: Turn off the cell phone!

3. Close your eyes and take five (5) deep gentle breaths: in through the nose and out through the mouth.

4. Focus on the physical sensation of the body – arms and legs

5. Scan down through the body and notice which parts feel comfortable and relaxed, and which parts feel uncomfortable and tense.

6. Notice how you’re feeling—i.e. what sort of mood you’re in right now.

7. Notice where you feel the rising and falling sensation of the breath most strongly.

8. Notice how each breath feels, the rhythm of it—whether it’s long or short, deep or shallow, rough or smooth.

9. Gently count the breaths as you focus on the rising and falling sensation—1 with the rise and 2 with the fall, upward to a count of 10.

10. Repeat this cycle between 5 and 10 times, or for as long as you have time available.

Allow your mind to be as busy or as still as it wants to be for about twenty seconds and then bring the mind back to the sensation of the body. Open your eyes and stand up when you feel ready.

 

In the book, Andy says: “In the moment you realize that you’ve been distracted, that the mind has wandered off, you’re no longer distracted. So all you need to do is gently bring the attention back to the physical sensation of the breath and continue to count. If you can remember the number you were on then just pick it up from there and, if not, simply start again at 1. There are no prizes for making it to 10 (I’m sorry to say) and so it doesn’t matter whether you start again at 1 or not. In fact, it can be quite funny in how difficult it is to make it to 10 each time, and it’s okay to laugh if you feel like laughing. For some reason meditation can look very serious and it can be tempting to start treating it like “serious work.” But the more you can bring a sense of humor to it, a sense of play, the easier and more enjoyable you’ll find it”.

Headspace_guide_meditation

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A person who is engaged by Bill Gates to provide personal coaching session to him and his family on mediation – A person who was former Buddhist Monk and now, running his own multi million pound company – Headspace .A person who turned Bill Gates from being a skeptic to a person practicing mediation – Meet Andy Puddicombe – currently the only clinical meditation consultant in the United Kingdom cleared for private practice. Andy got extensive training in meditation for 15 years, all around the world.

He has set up the Headspace organization with one simple aim in mind: to demystify meditation and make it accessible and relevant to as many people as possible.

His book “The headspace guide to meditation and mindfulness” is a treat to read. In very simple manner, he has explained about training one’s mind to be calm and peaceful in different stressful situations. Three areas to train one’s mind include: i) Approaching the subject of meditation ii) Practicing meditation and iii) Integrating meditation to daily life.

While I shall write on the three areas in a separate blog post, ten suggestions from the book on living more mindfully are:

  1. Perspective—choosing how you see your life: “For meditation to be effective it doesn’t really matter how you view your life. But it can be useful to acknowledge the general theme, because that way you can be more alert to the tendency to slip into negative patterns of thought”. Its not what’s happening outside of ourselves that causes us the most difficulty, but rather what’s going on inside our own minds—which, thankfully, is something that can change.
  2. Communication—relating to others: There is no use of taking out own frustrations on others.
  3. Appreciation—smelling the roses: Be grateful and notice small things in life which provide you happiness and be appreciative.
  4. Kindness—toward both yourself and others – When you are kind to others, it will provide you a peaceful feeling; try it and see for yourself.
  5. Compassion—in the shoes of others; Put yourself in shows of others. Thinking from other’s perspective and putting yourself in others’ shoes will help avoid picking up fights with other people.
  6. Balance—Life is like a sea; full of ups and downs. Fluctuations are part of life. Mind’s training through meditation can help develop a balanced approach.
  7. Acceptance—Notice the moments of resistance in a day and start becoming aware of the what cause resistance. Let it go and accept life.
  8. Composure—letting-go of impatience. Meditation is not about getting results. It is about becoming aware.
  9. Dedication—sticking with it; Practice will make things happen.
  10. Presence—living life skillfully; This means have presence of mind and not to say something spontaneously on which you will have to regret later. Have the strength and stability and don’t respond impulsively.

Looking forward on learning more on mediation and how to mediate? Feel free exploring more from https://www.headspace.com/meditation-101/what-is-meditation

Headspace_guide_meditation

Many people will tell you may rules for success. So, the first question: ‘Is there any ‘rule’ or are there any ‘rules’ for success’?

Every one interprets the term ‘success’ differently. For many people, success is material wealth. For many people, success is peace of mind.

Whatever perception people have, Brian Tracy, author of the book ‘Eat That Frog‘ suggests a very interesting rule for success. The rule is: Think on paper. Write down your goals. Review them daily and track your progress.

text on shelf

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Eating the frog means identifying your most important task and tackling it with single-minded focus until it is completed. Brian Tracy tells us that only 3% people put their goals on paper….. Surprising, isn’t it? Are we among 3% people or are we part of the 97% ?

Here is food for thought when you plan to move towards success:

i. Decide precisely what you want

ii. Write the goal on paper

iii. Set a deadline to achieve

iv. List what you will need to achieve the goal

v. Turn the list into the plan by putting priority and sequence

vi. Take action immediately – Do anything. ‘Do’

vii. Take some small action towards your goal every day.

Simple – isn’t it?

Practice is the key – Try it!

self motivation

self motivation

coin tossI recently came across a very interesting story from the book: Zen Stories to tell your neighbors. The story is about destiny. Can we create our circumstances? If you are a person who has to motivate others or you are a person who considers that you are master of your destiny, this is a motivating story for you. Here it goes:

During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, “I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If tails, we shall lose. Destiny will now reveal itself.”

He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed. It was heads. The soldiers were so overjoyed and filled with confidence that they vigorously attacked the enemy and were victorious. After the battle, a lieutenant remarked to the general, “No one can change destiny.”

“Quite right,” the general replied as he showed the lieutenant the coin, which had heads on both sides.

So, is destiny in our hands?

destiny

 

Are you working very hard? Are you getting struck in what you are doing and you are not able to get what you want?

Take a pause. Think more.

Here is a story which I read in the book: Chicken Soup for the soul and simply loved it.

The contributor to the story, Price Pritchett says that trying harder may not work always. We may need to work totally different at times to achieve greater levels of success. We need to get out of our comfort zones and do something which breaks our old habits and we achieve our results by doing something different, something better. “If you keep on doing same thing again and again, you are doing to get same results, again and again”. Here is the story:

The author is sitting in a quiet room at the Milcroft Inn, a peaceful little place hidden back among the pine trees about an hour out of Toronto and listenirg to the desperate sounds of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away.

There is a small fly burning out the last of its short life. The fly is trying to move out from the  glass of the windowpane. Trying harder and harder to cross the window pane. But it is not working. The fly will not survive and will not be able to cross the window pane. The struggle is part of the trap as its leading no where. It is not possible for the fly to break the glass. The fly will give up life to break the glass. It will keep on working hard but nothing will happen. The fly moves out of the room by breaking the window pane.

Image result for fly on window pane

“Across the room, ten steps away, the door is open. Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could reach the outside world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self-imposed trap. The breakthrough possibility is there. It would be so easy”.

Why is the fly not trying the other way: something totally different? Why does fly not choose to move ten seconds and get out of the door? Less efforts, logical move – but different!

Image result for open door

“Trying harder isn’t necessarily the solution to achieving more. It may not offer any real promise for getting what you want out of life. Sometimes, in fact, its a big part of the problem”.

 

Everyone has issues, challenges and problems in life. Everyone is trying to face those challenges and find ways to solve problems.

People are playing by the ‘rules’ of the game which are seldom challenged. Here is a short story from the Greek literature which brings a very interesting moral: ‘There is more than one way to solve any problem in life’

Here is the story:

In ancient Greek mythology, Gordius, who was King of a state, gave a challenge to the people.

He declared that whoever could untie the ‘knot’ was destined to become ruler of all Asia.

People came one after the other and tried their level best to open the knot. No one was able to untie or open it fully. Puzzle remained where it was – the knot was still tied.

Then came Alexander the Great. He too tried his hand at the task but like others, he was also unable to get the knot untied. He got impatient.

He tried again and again with both hands to open the knot. However, knot was tied in a manner that he was unable to untie it with his hands. Impatience started growing.

Finally, he pulled out his sword and smashed it down on the knot, cutting it in half!.

Instead of using hands, he used his sword to cut the knot.

The king saw this and told the audience that his challenge was to untie the knot.

Though Alexander has used unconventional way, he has achieved the results. Alexander was awarded the prize and he became ruler of all Asia.

So, the moral of the story: There are more than one way to look at a problem. Unconventional ways may help at time! We might need to think more, re-frame the problem and think out of the box to find the solution.

Note: The above story is from the book: Tales for Coaching by Margaret Parkin

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

A beggar was sitting on the road side for thirty years. A stranger was passing by. The beggar asked him for some money.

The stranger responded: I have nothing with me. But I notice that you are sitting on a box. What is inside this box?

The beggar responded: I don’t know. There is no use of knowing it either. There is nothing in it.

The stranger said: Open this box and see if there is any thing. When the beggar opened the lid of the box, he found gold in it!

We all have gold inside us, yet, we are not aware about it.

The above is from Eckhart Tolle’s book: The Power of Now!

Those of you who are looking for spiritual enlightenment must go through this small book which was one of the New York best sellers.

Another important point which I found in the book was the strong verdict that a person is himself or herself creator of pain or pleasure. One need to live in present without fear of past or any tension of the future. This is the path to the enlightenment and what do we mean by enlightenment?

Enlightenment has been defined as: The absence of all sufferings!

Are you worried? Do you have many ‘what-if’ thoughts?

Our mind keeps on creating imaginary fear and imaginary future which we never see in our life – Those are just our thoughts!

Another interesting point was to know that we are all ‘waiters’. We are waiting for good times. We are waiting for promotion. We are waiting for success. We are waiting for money and in all this process, we are not living in the present moment. The key to joy is to enjoy the present moment. To realize harmony with the universe.

So, let’s enjoy the present!

Your thoughts?

When success is concerned, people are not measured in inches, pounds or in term of their family background or wealth, people are measured in term of the size of their thinking. The bigger people think and act, more successful will they be.

The question is: How can we think Big?

In this blog post, I will share ideas from David Schwartz book, The Magic of Thinking Big!

A practical exercise

Here is a practical exercise which is used in certain motivational training workshops by David Schwartz which can be used by us too:

1. What are our five chief assets or qualities? We need to list them down.

We can take help of any our our friend or some one who can assess us. Those qualities may include our education or a particular skill or appearance or home life or any other item.

2. We need to write down names of three people who don’t have any of those assets but are still successful in life. (We need to look around and think hard on this but believe me, we will find some people who don’t have the qualities we have but those people are still successful)

David Schwartz says that once we complete the above exercise, we will realize that we outrank many people in life!  We have certain qualities and certain assets which are not available with many successful people. If this is the case, we can be successful too.

Big Thinker’s style of talking:

Big thinkers are able to create a positive picture in minds of other people even when there is no good news to tell e.g. Instead of saying: We incurred a big expense, big thinkers say: We made a big investment!

Or, instead of saying that: We are afraid to report that we failed, big thinkers say: We need to make another attempt.

Let’s think of the situation when a person comes to us and say that we face a big problem.

This will create an image of despair and gloom. Instead this can be phrased as: We have a challenge to deal with.

In order to be a ‘big thinker’, we need to create positive mental pictures – all the time!

We need to look at things not as they are in the present but what could those things be in the future.

An architect visualizes a house which is not built yet. An entrepreneur visualizes a successful business when there is no business plan on paper. A painter constructs a master piece in mind first before putting it on paper.

Why can’t we visualize success when it is yet to come?

Let’s try this: Whenever we have an issue or challenge, let’s use the words which create a positive picture and not a negative one.

Your thoughts?

If you want to know your past, look at your present conditions

If you want to know your future, look at your present actions – Buddhist saying

Many educated guesses are being made about the future. There are numerous books, articles and websites on this subject. However, these days, I am reading a book named: Future Files. Here are some ideas from the book about five trends that will shape science and technology in future:

1. Nanotechnology

Gone are the days when we used ‘floppy disks’ and ‘magnetic tapes’ for storing data. Now, there are USBs, flash drives and what not. This will shrink further. It may happen that there will be a small ‘chip’ for mobile phone and that smallest chip will be connected to fingers for dialing numbers. That is one of the examples of ‘nano’ technology. This technology will affect all industries. However, we will see public debate only when some ‘major’ nano-event happens!

2. Biotechnology

Genetics will be the talk of the world in next 20 – 25 years. People will be impacted by genetically enhanced humans! Biotechnology will be used for benefits of society but like every technology, it will be the brains behind the technology which will determine the use of the technology.

3. Emotionally aware machines

We might see cars with sensors. Those sensors will sense the ‘mood’ of the driver. Online retailers will tailor their pages according to the customers’ need and so on. Seems unbelievable? Once upon a time, flying in air was impossible too!.

4. Robotics

We may see small scale robots working all around, carrying bags, doing repetitive task and helping us in complex tasks. However, to see robotics on a vast scale, we might have to wait for 20 to 25 years!

5. Ethics

With the advent of digital era, privacy is long dead. The only way to maintain privacy is not to use any form of social media or mobile phone which are becoming necessities of life. Hence, debate on ethical use of technology is going to continue in time to come.

Note: The above ideas are from the book: Future Files by Richard Watson.

Your thoughts? You may read about Thomas Friedman’s book: The World is flat from: http://wisdomfrombooks.com/?p=879

Note: I have moved to my own website www.wisdomfrombooks.com . You may visit the website and book mark the same. Thanks

A few weeks back, based on my experience, I wrote an article on ‘7 tips to pass an exam’ (you may visit:http://wisdomfrombooks.com/how-to-pass-exams-7-useful-tips/) which was greatly appreciated by the readers.

I was thinking to write something on techniques for better and effective learning and this post comprise of some ideas towards better learning. A few days back, I was watching Paul Mckenna’s lecture on accelerated learning.

He advised about a few techniques which can be used by us to learn effectively in less time. Here are few tips:

1. Concentration span: A person’s concentration span is generally 18 minutes. While reading course material, one should read for 18 minutes and then take a 4 minute smaller break and again study for 18 minutes.

2. Visualization: One should try to ‘visualize’ learning in the home environment.

Read more from: http://wisdomfrombooks.com/?p=1094

Welcome to the website – why to visit this website regularly?

Greetings!

This web site comprise of ideas and thoughts from various international management, business, self help best selling books. It is meant for all those who are interested in self-help, self growth and learning. If you are one of those who intend to read good management, business or self help books but have little time, this website is for you.

Also, if you read good books and want to share your thoughts and experiences with others, this web site is for you too......

This website is for every one who intends to learn, grow and contribute!

You can contribute your thoughts and share your ideas by making comments.

This website is updated around twice or thrice a week and hence, you may opt to subscribe when this website is updated. Welcome to the journey of learning!

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