From Bloomberg Businessweek
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June 7, 2013
June 5, 2013
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Dry Wall Raising
60th Birthday Party
Saturday, June 8th. from 11 am to 5 pm.
(Rain Date Sunday, June 9th)
My house (yellow house at the end of Peaceful Lane)
Please do not bring presents.
Rather bring prasadam dishes, drills (with phillips head bits), and razor knives.
Donations of 1 hour of dry wall raising: measuring, cutting, raising and screwing in drywall will help me complete my part in finishing this house.
Please let me know if you will be able to participate. Thank you very much.
Any questions about the details, please call me at 304-843-2334.
Gratefully, Sukhavaha d
April 28, 2013
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This sounds a lot like a serving attitude.
Jeff Haden for Inc.com April 3, 2013.
Professional success is important to everyone, but still, success in business and in life means different things to different people–as well it should.
But one fact is universal: Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships. Real success is impossible unless you treat other people with kindness, regard, and respect.
After all, you can be a rich jerk… but you will also be a lonely jerk.
That’s why people who build extraordinary business relationships:
1. Take the hit.
A customer gets mad. A vendor complains about poor service. A mutual friend feels slighted.
Sometimes, whatever the issue and regardless of who is actually at fault, some people step in and take the hit. They’re willing to accept the criticism or abuse because they know they can handle it–and they know that maybe, just maybe, the other person can’t.
Few acts are more selfless than taking the undeserved hit. And few acts better cement a relationship.
2. Step in without being asked.
It’s easy to help when you’re asked. Most people will.
Very few people offer help before they have been asked, even though most of the time that is when a little help will make the greatest impact.
People who build extraordinary relationships pay close attention so they can tell when others are struggling. Then they offer to help, but not in a general, “Is there something I can do to help you?” way.
Instead they come up with specific ways they can help. That way they can push past the reflexive, “No, I’m okay…” objections. And they can roll up their sleeves and make a difference in another person’s life.
Not because they want to build a better relationship, although that is certainly the result, but simply because they care.
3. Answer the question that is not asked.
Where relationships are concerned, face value is usually without value. Often people will ask a different question than the one they really want answered.
A colleague might ask you whether he should teach a class at a local college; what he really wants to talk about is how to take his life in a different direction.
A partner might ask how you felt about the idea he presented during the last board meeting; what he really wants to talk about is his diminished role in the running of the company.
An employee might ask how you built a successful business; instead of kissing up he might be looking for some advice–and encouragement–to help him follow his own dreams.
Behind many simple questions is often a larger question that goes unasked. People who build great relationships think about what lies underneath so they can answer that question, too.
4. Know when to dial it back.
Outgoing and charismatic people are usually a lot of fun… until they aren’t. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, still, some people can’t stop “expressing their individuality.” (Admit it: You know at least one person so in love with his personality he can never dial it back.)
People who build great relationships know when to have fun and when to be serious, when to be over the top and when to be invisible, and when to take charge and when to follow.
Great relationships are multifaceted and therefore require multifaceted people willing to adapt to the situation–and to the people in that situation.
5. Prove they think of others.
People who build great relationships don’t just think about other people. They act on those thoughts.
One easy way is to give unexpected praise. Everyone loves unexpected praise–it’s like getting flowers not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but “just because.” Praise helps others feel better about themselves and lets them know you’re thinking about them (which, if you think about it, is flattering in itself.)
Take a little time every day to do something nice for someone you know, not because you’re expected to but simply because you can. When you do, your relationships improve dramatically.
6. Realize when they have acted poorly.
Most people apologize when their actions or words are called into question.
Very few people apologize before they are asked to–or even before anyone notices they should.
Responsibility is a key building block of a great relationship. People who take the blame, who say they are sorry and explain why they are sorry, who don’t try to push any of the blame back on the other person–those are people everyone wants in their lives, because they instantly turn a mistake into a bump in the road rather than a permanent roadblock.
7. Give consistently, receive occasionally.
A great relationship is mutually beneficial. In business terms that means connecting with people who can be mentors, who can share information, who can help create other connections; in short, that means going into a relationship wanting something.
The person who builds great relationships doesn’t think about what she wants; she starts by thinking about what she can give. She sees giving as the best way to establish a real relationship and a lasting connection. She approaches building relationships as if it’s all about the other person and not about her, and in the process builds relationships with people who follow the same approach.
In time they make real connections.
And in time they make real friends.
8. Value the message by always valuing the messenger.
When someone speaks from a position of position of power or authority or fame it’s tempting to place greater emphasis on their input, advice, and ideas.
We listen to Tony Hsieh. We listen to Norm Brodsky. We listen to Seth Godin.
The guy who mows our lawn? Maybe we don’t listen to him so much.
That’s unfortunate. Smart people strip away the framing that comes with the source–whether positive or negative–and consider the information, advice, or idea based solely on its merits.
People who build great relationships never automatically discount the message simply because they discount the messenger. They know good advice is good advice, regardless of where it comes from.
And they know good people are good people, regardless of their perceived “status.”
9. Start small… and are happy to stay small.
I sometimes wear a Reading Football Club sweatshirt. The checkout clerk at the grocery store noticed it one day and said, “Oh, you’re a Reading supporter? My team is Manchester United.”
Normally, since I’m pretty shy, I would have just nodded and said something innocuous, but for some reason I said, “You think Man U can beat Real Madrid next week?”
He gave me a huge smile and said, “Oh yeah. We’ll crush them!” (Too bad he was wrong.)
Now whenever I see him he waves, often from across the store. I almost always walk over, say hi, and talk briefly about soccer.
That’s as far as our relationship is likely to go and that’s okay. For a couple of minutes we transcend the customer/employee relationship and become two people brightening each other’s day.
And that’s enough, because every relationship, however minor and possibly fleeting, has value.
April 17, 2013
April 4, 2013
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Amy Rees Anderson, Contributor Forbes Magazine
“Ideas are a dime a dozen. People who implement them are priceless.” What a great quote by Mary Kay Ash, and so true! The world is full of incredible ideas that never go anywhere because great ideas are useless without someone full of passion to implement them.
I realize that implementing an idea can be intimidating, but taking that first step forward is the most important thing you can do to get your idea off the ground. Analyzing an idea is an important pre-step, but one of the biggest stumbling blocks people face is the temptation to over-analyze in an attempt to solve for every potential problem they might face, even if it only has a .03 percent likelihood of ever happening.
Recognize that in the beginning stage of your idea there is no possible way to truly predict exactly what the future will hold because it is impossible to have every future fact you need to know. In the process of moving toward implementing your idea, variables around you will begin to change, and as they do, new facts will always be coming to light, which will help you to pivot your ideas in the right direction. Go into it knowing that your idea is going to morph and change drastically before it reaches its true fulfillment. All great ideas do, and that is what you want.
Great ideas are born by the minute. At some point you have to decide to stop talking about your ideas and take the first step with enough confidence to carry you through to the next step. With each step forward new doors will open and your idea will expand. Keep your eyes and ears open and never be afraid to share your idea with others to get feedback. Ideas grow best when they are exposed to a lot of other people’s ideas and input on a regular basis.
Never forget to stay passionate about your ideas. It’s that passion that will carry you through the difficult times that inevitably come along the path of implementation. Your passion will be contagious and it will draw others to you that can help you on your journey to becoming one of those priceless few who don’t just talk about it, they do it!
March 27, 2013
(Image: Gianni Sarcone, Courtney Smith & Marie-Jo Waeber)
At first, it looks like a pensive face in a Venetian mask (see photo above). But take a closer look at its features and you’ll see that it conceals a couple kissing. Aptly named Mask of Love, the illusion was created by Gianni Sarcone, Courtney Smith and Marie-Jo Waeber from Archimedes’ Laboratory in Genoa, Italy, after discovering the blurry photograph.
But why are we more likely to see one face rather than the kissing duo? According to Sarcone, our visual system tends to group objects by how we expect to see them. The contours of the mask’s ornate headdress together with the background make most observers overlook the kiss. Once you detect the two faces however, your brain will typically alternate between both versions of the mask. Ambiguous figures cause fluctuations in visual awareness because they offer alternative and contradictory interpretations.
March 13, 2013
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As India prepares to enter Phase II of its National Solar Mission (NSM), one of the world’s more promising solar markets finds itself at a critical juncture. Much uncertainty lingers in this young market: financing is still challenging, a trade dispute looms, and policy decisions now being hashed out at both national and state levels could swell the country’s market to its lofty goals — or just as easily undercut that momentum, according to a report from Mercom Capital Group’s Raj Prabhu.
India installed just shy of 1 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity in 2012 (vs. 190 MW in 2011 and just 35 MW in 2010), slightly lower than Mercom had predicted, but Prabhu forecasts another 1.3-1.4 GW for 2013.
A word frequently used in Prabhu’s report to describe the Indian solar market is “uncertain,” with a number of contributing factors. Chief among them is an antidumping investigation against China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the U.S. over imported solar cells, and subsequent pushback to the WTO about India’s own domestic content requirements. That’s making investors even more skittish than they already are. “It is surprising that a country with approximately 300-400 million people without power, about 9 percent power deficit and about 10 percent peak power shortage, has decided to go this route instead of an ‘all of the above policy’ to meet the power requirement goals,” he notes.
A draft Phase II policy would target 3-9 GW of solar power, with an “aggressive approach” to supporting domestic manufacturing and content requirements. Another new proposal, the Viability Gap Funding, could apply to many projects, which would cover the “gap” in funding (perhaps up to 40 percent of a project’s cost) between what developers estimate as their capital costs to set up a project and the necessary debt and equity.
“With borrowing costs in India in the 13-14 percent range and no technical requirement (anybody can bid) in India; banks consider most of these projects too risky to finance,” Prabhu explains. “The government now sees JNNSM as a public-private partnership. If the policy goes in this direction, solar in India will soon start to resemble other infrastructure/conventional energy projects that haven’t been so successful thus far.”
March 8, 2013
(From an email I got forwarded by Vishoka)
Blind man commands all inmates of Kali prison, you must all stare into a digital screen at every waking moment of the day. Those who fail to comply will be punished by imprisonment. You must never think for yourself.
At rising from bed, you immediately flick the TV on, what’s the latest disaster or mass killings of Kali?, then you go work, stare at smart phone screen as much as you can, it makes you smart, you have no intelligence of your own. You will think as we command you to. At work stare at computer screen all day, and read those trivial text messages all day too. All conversation around the cooler must be latest gossip on stars, sports, politics, who is having sex with who? Never think of god or morality, that is boring. Never read books, readers are boring nerds, our movies will tell you everything you need to know.
You must all worship the stars of Hollywood, you must meditate on them every minute possible. How is their marriage and sex life? Sex getting dull? There goes the marriage. Who is having affair? Who is gay? You must think of sex all day long, so that we never have to worry about independent thinkers.
Students, you must always text while sitting in class, pretending to listen to the boring teacher, they are paid baby sitters. Who is stealing who’s girlfriend? Who is having sex? Which nerd shall we bully today?
Poem by my good friend, Govardhana das
The Kingdom of the Blind – by Govardhana das
In the kingdom of the blind
the one eyed man is king
that’s the way he wants to keep it
won’t let the seers in
got so many vested interests
has to keep things as they are
never wants to give it up
his need for total power
He’ll put a shadow on you
a tag on everything you have
he keeps his slaves in paranoia
with a remote control
all a part of his passion
to get his clutches on your soul
Although he can barely see
he controls both you and me
because we’re as blind as we can be
without the spirit to set us free
The one eyed man is king
he’s only half aware
and we don’t even care