Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: The Power of Focus

The Power of Focus: How to Exceed Your Own Expectations in Life, Love, Health, Career, Spirituality, Finances, Recovery, Attitude and More, by David Essel is about a simple formula, an extremely unique goal achievement system, that if followed, one will be finally able to exceed one's own expectations in every area of life. 
The book begins with an exhortation from the author. "Slow down and focus. Focus on what we desire. Focus on what is meaningful in life." Next chapter is about the power of focus, which points out the gains of not spinning five thousand plates simultaneously, the benefit of clarity, and that of a sharp mind. The need to focus on one goal at a time is elaborated next, where a new approach called 'one thing theory' is explained. The concept of having an accountability partner and using that leverage to propel one to exceed one's expectations is then discussed.
Manifesting one's goals in a focused way needs three keys, the author says. Intention, gratitude, and concrete action steps, and how these can help, are then described. A chapter about 'karma' then follows. Which elaborates its definition, that “Every thought, every word, and every action that you do or have goes out into the universe and returns in kind.” What comes thereafter is a collection of key tips to stay focused, and few tips about how to avoid wavering thoughts, especially about one's sworn ambitions. The book ends with some final thoughts, author's ideas to prevent one from falling off the path of focus and, accomplishment, joy, success, and happiness, and back into our old way of living. A list of resources and courses is also provided, which can help one to maximize one's potential, exceed one's expectations, and move forward in life at lightning speed. 
This is a short book about great jumps. It constantly discourages one from shooting for less and, finds fault with the belief that “it is better to give than receive.” In reality, it is the best of both worlds, to be able to give and receive; which is what this program is all about.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: The Magical Eye

The Magical Eye, Text by Violet Lim Zi Yan amd Illustrations by Violet Lim Zi Yan, is about a telescope that can help children to learn about the alphabet. This is the one and only one in the world, of this style, says the author, and is called by the name Magical Eye. When one looks through it, quite a magical transformation happens to the picture, the whole scene being presented as a variation of alphabets from 'A' to 'Z', each occupying one whole screen. And can see each alphabet embedded in every bit of our natural surroundings, like shapely clouds, random leaves, flowers, or parts of a street.

This book was written with the objective to develop out-of-the-box thinking, imagination, and creativity of both children and adults. Children can further their involvement by giving color, and by highlighting or circle marking the letters of the alphabet that they find.
Also, this can encourage children to create simple drawings from the alphabet. On the whole, this book will make one's alphabet learning fun and interesting!
I found this an excellent idea, and a unique approach in introducing alphabets to children. Encouraging creativity and imagination at the outset itself, I think this book can mass produce geniuses. This book is a collection of some brilliant sketches, both as intuitive illustrations, and as accompanying prose. See for example, what happens to letter 'B'.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: A Cynic Looks at Life

Book Review: A Cynic Looks at Life by Ambrose Bierce
The one purpose of every sane human being is to be happy. No one can have any other motive than that. There is no such thing as unselfishness. We perform the most "generous" and "self–sacrificing" acts because we should be unhappy if we did not. We move on lines of least reluctance. Whatever tends to increase the beggarly sum of human happiness is worth having; nothing else has any value.
Author begins with the first question, "Does civilization civilize?" "No", says the author, "For every mischievous or absurd practice of the natural man I can name you one of ours that is essentially the same". And the author regards criticisms low, as criticism is nothing but "a universal human weakness to disparage the knowledge that we do not ourselves possess". Many books, author says, 'are bad reading, though may have been good hearing". And comes up with a line I liked, except for the "Literature by which the reader is compelled to bear in mind the producer and the circumstances under which it was produced".
Further reflections on death penalty, immortality, mind, etc., give a wealthy collections on cynical notes. "A strong mind is more easily impressed than a weak; you shall not so readily convince a fool that you are a philosopher as a philosopher that you are a fool."
This is an informative book, it gave me many new ideas about how to act cynical. One of the best is this, "Nothing is more logical than persecution. Religious tolerance is a kind of infidelity".

Monday, October 16, 2017

About Future

So there's a lot of valid concern these days that our technology is getting so smart that we've put ourselves on the path to a jobless future. And I think the example of a self-driving car is actually the easiest one to see. Well, a recent study in this regard predicts that 25 million jobs might disappear over the next 10 years, where, even the smartest, highest-paid people will be affected by this change. The rate of change today suggests that we may only have 10 or 15 years to adjust, and we need to react fast. 
If we start taking steps right now to change the nature of work, we can not only create environments where people love coming to work but also generate the innovation that we need to replace the millions of jobs that will be lost to technology. I believe that the key to preventing our jobless future is to rediscover what makes us human, and to create a new generation of human-centered jobs that allow us to unlock the hidden talents and passions that we carry with us every day.
we still hold on to this factory mindset of standardization, We still define jobs around procedural tasks and then pay people for the number of hours that they perform these tasks. We've created narrow job definitions like cashier, loan processor or taxi driver and then asked people to form entire careers around these singular tasks. Unfortunately, such jobs will be the first to be displaced by robots, because single-task robots are just the easiest kinds to build. 

One suggestion I saw in TED is this. We have to start creating new jobs that are less centered on the tasks that a person does and more focused on the skills that a person brings to work.  We need to stop asking people just to come to work and do your job. we need to realistically think about the tasks that will be disappearing over the next few years and start planning for more meaningful, more valuable work that should replace it. We need to create environments where both human beings and robots thrive. 
 If we really want to robot-proof our jobs, we, as leaders, need to get out of the mindset of telling people what to do and instead start asking them what problems they're inspired to solve and what talents they want to bring to work.  "Jobs of the future will come from the minds of people who today we call analysts and specialists, but only if we give them the freedom and protection that they need to grow into becoming explorers and inventors. If we really want to robot-proof our jobs, we, as leaders, need to get out of the mindset of telling people what to do and instead start asking them what problems they're inspired to solve and what talents they want to bring to work." 

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Book Review: DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE by KEN PIERCE. The book begins with an intelligent observation which looks obvious once it is expressed. We have people with different behavioral traits that are quite apart. In nature all these would have been of helping us to survive and so had a useful purpose. In short, an annoying behavior need not be annoying to all, and may be even of help to some. 
The book the talks of the need to focus both externally and internally to understand what is going on with people and organizations. How that will affect respect, trust, resentment, relationships, productivity, and a host of other parameters are examined next.
How to amalgamate nature's laws with the findings so far, is the topic covered next. While analyzing people and their motives, the book introduces choice theory, especially to guide difficult people to their gifts of inspiration, loyalty, leadership, etc. Seven principles which will provide the basis for communicating effectively with difficult people is covered next. Knowing them will give an understanding of why people are perceived as difficult and using them will enable one to deal with such people much more easily.
The last chapter, The Best Way to Deal with Difficult People, talks of the three ways of communicating with people, namely, carefully, carelessly, and in a caring way. In this book, caring communication is suggested as the way to follow. A summary then follows, which presents the essence of this discussion, in the form of twenty one keys to be kept in mind.
I think this a helpful book, not only to those engaged in managing personnel, but also to all who would like to be rational.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: 500 Words To Save The World

'500 Words To Save The World' by Stephen S. Nazarian, is author's idea of a community where like-minded people could discuss challenges and solve problems together. In the beginning itself, the book attacks a serious issue facing any society - unemployment. Author comes with a classic response: why not redefine unemployment rate as labour under-utilization rate? It then becomes the responsibility of those governing to see that things are utilized properly.
The next one is about the much bloated government bureaucracy, how to replace it with a door on which anyone can knock. A one about encouraging all to fix things by oneself, and another one extolling the virtues of diversity, then follow.
The conclusion of the book brings its title to focus - it encourages one and all, in five hundred words, to start actions in the desired direction, without waiting for all the answers.
This short book bring to focus, the power of little things, and more importantly, how the cascading effect of the insignificant, can solve big things.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Book Review: Truth of Writing

'The Truth About Writing' by Michael Allen. I wish I read 'Truth about Writing' before my first book, the world definitely would have been free of one writer. For the book opens with a loud declaration that 'writing can lead to bitterness and a realization that a writer is someone who is genetically abnormal! 
The book begins by listing the possible rewards of writing, fame and money, and goes on to describe the freedom of expression that accrues from it. Maintaining however, the unlikelihood of someone actually getting those rewards! The author narrates a bunch of stories from the publishing world where the author earned handsomely, but follows it up with a greater bunch of stories where  authors found it difficult to make ends meet. Another benefit of writing is then examined (which I am after!), fame, where he puts it rather bluntly, 'the desire of fame is from ones deep seated sense of inferiority!'
If ambition still exists to become a writer, further chapters of this book offers a blueprint, how a prospective writer can keep his dreams alive. Here, after giving an academic introduction to  the workings of the publishing industry, that too with special attention to much of the practical problems a writer may face. If notwithstanding all the advices someone wants to create literary works, the next few chapters offer valuable advice regarding selling ones work. This  problem  is  'normally glossed over by those who write about writing. They tend to imply that it  is  simply  a matter  of  putting  a  typescript into  an  envelope  and  sending  it  off  to  a  publisher  or producer, who will open it, read it at once, and weep tears of  gratitude  that  you  should  have  chosen  her  as  the recipient  of  your  wonderful,  fabulous,  incomparable masterpiece.'

 Final chapter of this book contains what every purchaser of a book on writing is looking for: the secret of success. In this case  the  secret  of  success  is  expressed  in  mathematical terms!
I found this quite an interesting book. It offers good advices to writers, like, while writing a thriller and if in doubt, 'have someone walk in with a gun in hand'. Advices on how to find time to write, how to remain energetic, what diet is good for writers, as well as the importance of setting goals are some of the related issues discussed in this book. The humorous touch of the author is continuously visible in the book. For example he proclaims, 'the  degree  of  success  experienced  by  a  writer  will  vary according  to  circumstances and  the  definition  of  circumstance is: everything that the writer cannot control, or even influence'. Or, 'most publishers can recognize a bestseller, but only when it was  published  two  years  earlier  and  they  have  the  sales figures in front of them'. 

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