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Story: Knowing where to tap

A giant ship engine failed. The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away.

The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

"What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!" So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill."

The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer.......................  $      2.00
Knowing where to tap.......................... $ 9,998.00

Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference

6 Tips for Resolving Conflicts

Resolving conflicts whether in office, in friends community or at home is a challenge. The situation sometimes get worst when nobody shows the flexibility on his/her stance. The below tips might help when you have been assigned (Or you assign it to yourself) to resolve  the conflict.

1-    Be fair regardless of your relation with different parties. Sometimes your closed one can be wrong. Hence make up your mind to be transparent and fair throughout. Judge people fairly.

Empathetic Listening is very important. Listen to all parties carefully. Put yourself in their shoes to understand their stance.

Carefully analyze the statements from each party. List down the pros

and cons of the stance from each party. Sometimes both parties are right and sometimes both are wrong. In your analysis you need to find the option which gives maximum benefit to everyone.  Article written by Junaid.Tahir

If the conflict is between two persons, consider a solution which neither party-A has proposed, neither B. Propose third solution which suits both persons. Consider Win-Win scenario where everyone gains something at the cost of compromise.

If you want to give advice to a party (which you think is wrong), give it privately. Don't do counseling when both are present. This will offend one party and may strain the relations further. Remember not to criticise. Article written by Junaid.Tahir

Sometimes youngsters are right and old ones are wrong. If the issue is not too serious, request youngsters to be flexible. It always pay off. Remember that we have learnt so much from our seniors (bosses, team leads, parents and other senior family members). So this is the time to pay back to make them feel proud about their teachings and to develop trust in relations.

Developing emotional intelligence is another approach to study people and understand them in depth. As per Wikipedia "Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups" Learn this technique to improve your mental powers. Google it.

Story: The Farmer, The Horse and The Goat

There was a farmer who had a horse and a goat..One day, the horse became ill and he called the doctor,
who said: - Well, your horse has a virus.
He must take this medicine for three days.
I'll come back on the 3rd day and if he's not better,
we're going to have to put him down.
Nearby, the goat listened closely to their conversation. 

 The next day, they gave him the medicine and left. The goat approached the horse and said:
- Be strong, my friend.Get up or else they're going to put you to sleep!

On the second day, they gave him the medicine and left.
The goat came back and said:
- Come on buddy, get up or else you're going to die!
Come on, I'll help you get up.
Let's go! One, two, three....

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine
and the vet said:
- Unfortunately, we're going to have to put him down tomorrow.
Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.
After they left, the goat approached the horse and said:
- Listen pal, it's now or never!
Get up, come on! Have courage!
Come on! Get up! Get up!
That's it, slowly! Great!
Come on, one, two, three... Good, good.
Now faster, come on...... Fantastic! Run, run more!
Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you're a champion!!!
All of a sudden, the owner came back,
saw the horse running in the field and began shouting:

- It's a miracle! My horse is cured.
We must have a grand party.
Let's kill the goat and serve the meet to all.
The Lesson: 
This often happens in the workplace.

Nobody truly knows which employee actually deserves the merit of success, or who's actually contributing the necessary support to make things happen. So it is your responsibility to market yourself if you are contributing to any task for which management is unaware of.

5 things about Attachments'' in Gmail

Posted by Arielle Reinstein, Product Marketing Manager

The more I use Google Docs, the less I have to deal with sending attachments back and forth. While attachments' days may be waning, they're still very much a part of most people's email experience. Here are five things you may not know you can do with Gmail to make sending, receiving, viewing, and finding attachments easier:

1. Drag attachments in
Simply drag files from your desktop right into the message you're composing and they'll upload from there. (Make sure you're using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox 3.6 for this to work.)

2. Select multiple attachments
Attaching multiple files one by one is no fun. Instead, just multi-select the files you want to attach by holding down the Ctrl key (or Command on a Mac) and clicking on each file you want to attach. Holding down the Shift key will select a continuous list of files.

3. Never forget an attachment again
Gmail looks for phrases in your email that suggest you meant to attach a file (things like "I've attached" or "see attachment") and warns you if it looks like you forgot to do so. Every day, this saves tons of people the embarrassment of having to send a follow up email with the file actually attached.

4. View attachments online
When you receive an attachment, sometimes you just want to view it and there's no need to download or save to your desktop. The Google Docs viewer allows you to view .pdf, .ppt, and .tiff files in your browser. Just click the "View" link at the bottom of the message.

5. Find that long lost attachment via search
If you're looking for an attachment someone has sent to you, Gmail's advanced search operators can help you find what you're looking for quickly and accurately.

A couple examples:

  • To find all messages that contain attachments:has:attachment
  • To find all messages from your friend David that contain attachments: from:david has:attachment
  • To find all messages that have .pdf attachments:has:attachment pdf
  • To find a specific attachment named physicshomework.txt: filename:physicshomework.txt

Story: Bad Temper

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.
His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all.

He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.

When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there.
"A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

5 Simple Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. According to Freud, the pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination; humans prefer to avoid negative emotions, and to delay stressful tasks. 
Procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt and crisis, severe loss of personal productivity, as well as social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. 


"How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'."
Martin Luther
"A year from now you may wish you had started today."
Karen Lamb
Procrastination is probably one of the most common problems people have in their day to day life. So find a procrastination solution that works for you.
Here are five of them. Try them out and see which one or ones that fit you the best.
1. Do the hardest thing first.
What this means is simply to do the hardest and most important task of the day first thing in the morning. A good start in the morning lifts your spirits and creates a positive momentum for the rest of the day. That often creates a pretty productive day.
2. How do you eat an elephant?
Don't try to take it all in one big bite. It becomes overwhelming which leads to procrastination. Split a task into small actionable steps. Then just focus on the first step and nothing else. Just do that one until it's done. Then move on to the next step.
3. Recognize that there is more pain in procrastinating than not.
If you have procrastinated a lot you might have discovered that you procrastinate to avoid doing something that is boring, hard etc. You want to avoid that pain. But after having some experience with procrastination you'll probably realise that procrastination itself causes your more pain than actually just doing what you were supposed to. Realising the true amount of pain in the two choices will make it easier to get things done.
4. Make a small deal with yourself.
Promise yourself that you'll work on something for just 5 minutes. After those 5 minutes you can do something else if you want to. But make a note in your schedule for when you will come back to the task and work another 5 minutes on it. No matter how unpleasant a task may be, you can often talk yourself into working 5 minutes on it.
I've found this one to be effective to make a dent in those tasks you have put off for a longer while. Because many times you will just continue working after those 5 minutes have passed. It is the first few minutes of getting started that is the hardest part.
5. Use my three step method for doing something even when you don't feel like it.
Mundane or routine tasks can be a bit boring. Maybe you have a lot or emails to reply to or phone calls to make. Batch them - do them all in row - to get them done quicker.
If you feel inner resistance and just can't get started try this three step method to be able to reduce that resistance, up your motivation and get going.
Step 1: Accept it.
When you feel resistance within towards doing something the natural instinct may be to try to push that feeling away. To brush it off. I have found that doing the opposite and just accepting that it is there can do wonders.
Tell yourself: "This is how I feel right now and I accept it".
This sounds counterintuitive and perhaps like you're giving up. However by accepting how you feel instead of resisting it you reduce the emotional energy that you are feeding into this problem. It then tends to just kinda lose speed like a car that runs out of fuel. And oftentimes it becomes so weak after while that it moves out of your inner focus and disappears.
This step may be all you need to reduce the negative feelings enough to be able to start taking action. If not, move on to the next step.
Step 2: List the positives.
After you have accepted how you feel list the positives of getting this thing done. Do it on paper, on your computer or just in your head.
When you don't feel like doing something it's very easy to get stuck and just focus on the negative aspects such as it being hard work or the risk of pain or failure.
So you need to change what you are focusing on to motivate yourself to take action. Making a list of positives like benefits and possible opportunities can be very effective for turning your focus around.
If you have problems getting started ask yourself questions that will empower you. Questions like:
- What is awesome about this situation?
- What is the hidden opportunity in this situation?
You can pretty much always find positives about anything. There are lessons to be learned about yourself and your world and opportunities to be found if you look at things the right way.
Step 3: Just do it.
You should now have reduced much of the resistance within and feel more motivated to start taking action and getting your thing done
It is at this point tempting to start thinking again. To reconsider and ponder. But I have found that if you do that then it easy to fall back into the same place where you began. You start to question doing this. Your focus starts to turn back to the negative aspects again.
So when I am at this point I usually just stop thinking and get my butt out of the chair. I get moving and I just do it.

Simple Ingredients Of Success Or Failure.

The Difference Between A Successful Person And Others is NOT That The Others Are Missing, Talent, Or Opportunity, Or Knowledge, Or Even Skills And Money...

The Difference Comes When One Person Makes A Decision To Succeed And USES HIS WILL At any Cost And The Other Makes A Decision But Looks For A Reason To QUIT.

There Are A MILLION Reasons To FAIL, You Have to Find That ONE REASON To Succeed And That ONE REASON Is YOU.

The Main INGREDIENT Of Either SUCCESS Or FAILURE Are Both You, You FAIL Because Of You And You Succeed Because Of You. The Decision Is Yours, The Rest Is God's Timing

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

8 Points to consider for Buying a Sofa Set

Routine shopping for groceries and home basic utensils does not require a lot of care since most of the products you purchase get consumed very quickly. Also the cost of such items are very less so in case you didn't buy the right thing this time, you will certainly buy it next time, however, there are things which are purchased for a considerably longer duration such as your car, sofa, refrigerator, bed set etc. For such things a little careful analysis is required so that you don't have to repent your decision for the duration you keep the items with you. 

As the name implies, this particular article is about purchasing of sofa set for your lounge, bed room, office or reception.  
Below are the points which I recommend you to consider:
  1. The Cost: Obviously, the most important factor. I suggest doing a quick Need Vs Want analysis before you step into the purchasing process. Once you have made up your mind, allocate the tentative budget and then stick to it. Locking your budget will help you focus on things which are in your purchasing limits which helps avoid wasting your time and energies.
  2. The Location: The sofa set for offices, for bed rooms and for lounges are entirely different in design. If you buy an office category sofa for your lounge, it won't look nice at all. Remember office/reception sofa's are mostly compact and are not too much comfortable. So search for the right sofa for the right location.
  3. The Color: The color should match with the existing interior of your lounge/room or in case you want a different sofa color then both should make a sense all together. Use this nice service to test different colors.  "Test Your Colors"
  4. The comfort: Small seating size usually do not result in comfort when sit for long times. Specially, the sofa for your lounge must be luxurious and comfortable since you spend hours and hours in your lounge. 
  5. The Size: you must take measurements of your lounge in order to decide 3 seater, 5 seater, 7 seater or more. People buy sofa by their instant liking and do not consider the size of their lounge and then repent later because either they buy more wider sofa than the lounge dimensions or the sofa design and layout don't match with the room layout.
  6. The Features: Sofa c-u-m bed, recliner sofa are some of the major considerations when it comes to features of the sofa.
  7. Leather or Fabric: Positive about Leather sofas is that they look very nice. Also it is easy to clean them when some liquid gets dropped. The con is that they are prone to getting damaged when anything with sharp edge touches, specially if you have children at home. On the other hand, fabric sofas have unique kind of attraction but hard to clean the milk or juice stains.
  8. The Shape: Consider L-Shape or Half round sofa instead of traditional 5-7 seater designs.

By the way, you might think, what is the purpose of sofa buying article on a wisdom blog? well, wisdom is defined as observing and understanding the things in real deep sense covering all aspects from multiple angles; hence the article's place on wisdom blog is justified J Further, if we keep observing things in real depth, our thought process is empowered and our analytical skills get strengthened.

Pause, Think, Act

For all the times you've found yourself in a sticky situation because you didn't think before you acted.... here's the antidote: PAUSE, THINK and then ACT. Insert a pause - a space. Then think. Look Before You Leap. Be aware of the consequences of your action and then act.

Make the Most of the Present

We usually blame our fortune when something goes wrong. We either feel it to be unjust or we tend to curse our past actions, which have brought us this fate. To curse past actions is to lose the present moment too. Instead of cursing our past actions, we need to make the most of the present. Whatever we do today, we get the fruit of it right now and for the future too. So we need to pay attention to do the right actions always and create the best fortune for ourselves.

Face Up To Your Weaknesses

For every weakness, every shortcoming in you,
you have an opposing strength. Never run from your weaknesses. Be a warrior & face them with strength.

Mold like Gold

We find ourselves getting very easily influenced with the negativity outside. Every incident and interaction has an impact on us, specially the negative ones. To get influenced is to take in lot of impurity from outside. This is like mixing alloy in gold and when we are coloured with the negativity within, we are not able to get molded easily. We need to keep ourselves free from the negativity that comes from situations and people. For this we need to develop our own inner positivity. It is like building a strong defense system from inside to protect a fort from being attacked. When we are able to maintain our own inner purity and positivity, we find ourselves becoming moldable.

Begin the Leadership Journey

by Junaid TahirIt's quite some time I have been pondering on what exactly is the meaning of True Leadership; How to define it and how to achieve it? In my curiosity to understand this concept in detail, I subscribed to several professional groups on LinkedIn / Facebook and read so many books and articles at different forums. As a result I have learnt that Leadership is to possess some unique and exclusive qualities in your character plus the consistent demonstration of such traits.

In this Leadership assessment guide I have tried to compile such qualities along with their basic elaboration so as to give you the bird eye view of each trait. The intention is to ease out the process of self-audit and eventually improve and/or acquire the skills which you do not have or which you lack in.

Leadership Trait

Aggression is to set the attitude to achieve the target as soon as it is brought into your notice or assigned to you. You must be consistently aggressive in doing that. This means to fuel the teams to produce extremely swift results. This means to set tough goals (BHAGs), stress on their importance and insist your teams in endeavoring to achieve them.

You must adapt yourself according to the situation by analyzing it fairly & Logically. Though you need to be tough when it comes to achieving goals, though flexible enough to tweak the strategies according to the market demands, circumstances, budget constraints etc.

You must consider positive, negative, emotional, financial, social, private and empathical angles while making decisions. Analyzing a situation also means to break big project into small tasks. Use the tools such as WBS, Fishbone, SWAT, Cause-Effect diagram and Excel Pivots for empowering your analytical skills.

You should be brave enough to face the circumstances once you have made a decision based on logic and fair assessments of the situation. Brave enough to protect the mistakes of your team members; brave enough to avoid emotional break-down to avoid any further damage to yourself, the team members and the project.

You must think out of box. New ideas of making things happen more swiftly will give you the edge on your competitors. Innovation is the key to success now a days. Considering millions of businesses already established and successful, you must have a unique product or service which makes you stand tall in the market

Unpredictable and unstable people don't fit in the class of true Leaders. You must be consistent in your habits and actions. Frequent Mood Swings are an indicative of your unstable personality which cuts your marks in your Leadership exams.

Once you decide something,  you have to make sure you complete it by all positive and logical and fair means. Committed people makes thing happen. A weak approach to any project means you are already half lost.

I am competent enough understand the role of each of my subordinates. Its your ability to complete the job with a set of behaviors which are positive, fair, logical and efficient.  Keep learning new things, keep observing other people, keep evaluating the market to become more and more competent.

Nearly all skills are closely linked with your communication skills. You can only make a convincing impact if you are a great communicator.  No matter how genius you are, you will only be successful if you communicate in effective way. Learn the art by watching relevant videos, reading forums and improving your vocabulary. Consider Barlos Model of Effective Communication

Deep Thinker
Deep thinking means considering the back-ground, stake holders impact, facts and figures and market study. Deep thinking will improve your analytical skills too.  Consider using Mind Mapping tools to enhance this ability

Emotionally Intelligenct
Winning people is highly important because they are your real wealth. Right skills without mental happiness of your team members will not generate fruitful results because of low efficiency although high availability of staff. You need to consistently judge the emotions of team mates to create an environment which promotes friendliness and high ethics and eventually ensures high potency success.

Focus means looking in the 'eyes of the target'. Running continuously in a direction without knowing the actual target will take you nowhere.

Shortcuts are short term gain but seriously long term pain. An honest approach will enhance your chances for long term success. If you are honest, I don't have to remember what you have said. Because you are transparent in what you say and what you speak.

Taking initiatives indicate your confident personality. Being confident is the major trait of your leadership character. If you are a deep thinker and and innovator, you tend to take initiatives with more confidence and trust in your abilities.

Knowledge gives wisdom, improves the thoughts process, enhances your horizon and gives you vision. I must learn the knowledge about different aspects of my work to make better decisions. I must learn something on daily basis

If you are not a good listener, you are on the risk of losing great advices from your well wishers. Empathic listening is the key to understand someone's perspective. Develop this habit.

Being organized avoids any mishaps, speed breakers. I must be organized from personal level to office level to company level.

Proactiveness gives you the luxury to plan things ahead of time. You must keep your eyes, ears and brain open so that you sense things well in advance in order to make appropriate decisions so as to avoid eleventh hour emergencies.

Passion is your deep desire to get something. Are you passionate about success? Do you strive for making things happen? Does your brain thinks about your target all the times?

Positive attitude
Thinking positive keeps you away from politics, helps you stay focused, avoids negativity hence encourages you to work on things which matter the most.

Problem Solving
Problem solving requires deep analytical skills. You must consider the associated stats of given situation, back ground, economical and humanity factors and WBS techniques to break down big problems into small problems and then address one by one.

Risk Taking
Successful leaders are risk takers. When I doubt, you can take next small step to determine if you are wrong or right. You can always undo if wrong else move ahead with your next task towards your destination.

While you are aggressive in nature being a great leader, you must have the patience to absorb, judge and fix any situation.  Being an explosive personality sometimes result in irreparable losses.

Responsibility means to understand your role and take it seriously. Your carefree attitude will generate a ripple effect of carelessness in your organization which will cause deficiency in the work and failure of the projects

Rewarding my team mates is like fueling them to go extra mile. I must have a fair approach to reward those who put their efforts in my cause. Employees are like batteries; Learn the techniques to charge and recharge them for maximum efficiency and throughput

Self Disciplined
Others will follow your legacy if you are self disciplined. Being organized and punctual are great traits of a true leader.

The quality of a good leader is to produce more leaders instead of more followers. This can be done with consistent teachability and spreading wisdom around yourself. You must be a knowledgeable person to develop this trait. For this you must learn a lot on daily basis. Dedicate some of your daily time to learn something.

Trust Worthy
Being trust worthy helps wining people. Winning people is more important than winning targets because people will ensure success in your next tournamnets not only the current one. Trust is developed by consistent honest, friendly, encouraging behaviors demonstration.

Team Player
At the end of the day, its not your success its 'ours' success. You have to make sure that each employee contribute to the cuase. You must have the ability to perform as a team member however when required, you should be able to work alone and still demonstrate excellence.

Judgment should be fair and not biased. Fair Judgment requires honest approach along with analytical skills covering all aspects of the situation. A lot of feedback, stats and background is required to be considered while making conclusions about projects or people.

If you are a fast running horse, you must ensure that you are heading in the right direction since several other horses are following you. Your success is their success and your failure is theirs. Being visionary also means that you can see and sense the future and strategize things to gain maximum benefits and reduce the tragedies to the minimum.

While I have made this guide, I truly understand that leadership is a huge sea full of knowledge, wisdom and experience; I being a young professional of 34 years of age cannot cover all aspects of leadership in true sense. Being a novice I have tried to make the foundation for learning the wisdom of leadership and improve the associated paradigms to become a great leader. I would highly appreciate your kind feedback on this guide so that I can improve myself and eventually the rest of the readers of my blog.

If you would like to receive the Microsoft Excel version of this guide which gives you the opportunity to evaluate yourself against all these traits and finally calculate the percentage of your Leadership index then drop me an email at mjunaidtahir – at – gmail – dot – com
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