Blog Archive

The Two Seeds


​​

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile spring soil. The first seed
said, "I want to grow!" I want to send my roots deep into the soil
beneath me and thrust my sprouts through the earth's crust above me. I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!"

And so she grew?
The second seed said, "I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don't know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me, I may damage my delicate sprouts. What if I let my buds open, and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe."
And so she waited?
A yard hen, scratching around in the early Spring ground for food,
found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

Moral: Those of us who refuse to risk and grow get swallowed by life.


A New Ending
 
No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

There isn't promise of days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but can promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards. Don't stay on the bumps too long. Move on! When you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight, and be happy.

There's a purpose to life's events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard. You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, and the rest is up to the person to realize your worth. It's better to lose your pride to the one you love, than to lose the one you love because of pride. We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.
Never abandon an old friend. You will never find one who can take his place. Friendship gets better as it grows older



90+ Activities To Reduce Stress
100 Rules for Project Managers
Shiny Distractions
60 Great Quotes
Becoming a Better Judge of People
Your Life is Your Balance Sheet
6 Leadership Styles and How to Use Them

Maintaining Positivity


When someone is behaving negatively towards you, it's a challenge not to mirror their attitude or behaviour. 
Challenge yourself to look beyond the negativity, look for the positive in them and then create positive thoughts and feelings for them.  Your positive attitude allows them to reconnect with their own positivity. Even if you don't see any effect, maintain your attitude and not only will you feel more positive, but you'll also deal with that person more positively.


10 Tips to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Happiness
10 Tips to Stay Mentally Healthy
10 Ways to Get Lucky in Life - How To Be Luckier
100+ Inspirational Stories
11 Great Ways to Reduce Stress
11 Tips to Improve Self Confidence
12 Ways to Stay On Top of Stress
22 Things to Keep
25 TIPS FOR MANAGING #STRESS

What is Assertiveness?



Assertiveness is the ability to directly and honestly
express your opinions, feelings, attitudes and rights.  

It is to do so without anxiety and in a way that doesn't
infringe on the rights of others or violate another person's integrity

It's not aggressiveness, it's a middle ground between being a bully and a doormat.

It's dependent on a feeling of self-efficacy. a sense that if you behave in a certain way, something predictable will occur

Story: The Power Of Prayer



Poor Couple lived in a Small Village in India.


They had only 1 Son.

They gave him the Best Education.

Son Graduated as an Engineer in the nearby City

Eventually He got Married to a Rich Girl.

Initially, They Lived with His Parents in the Village.

Soon the Wife got Tired of Village Life Persuaded Her Husband to Move to the City Leaving His Old Parents in the Village.

As Time went,the Husband saw an Ad in the Newspaper about a
Job Vacancy in U.S

He  Successfully  Lived in U.S for 20 Years with His Wife.

Regularly, He used to Send Money to His Parents

Eventually with Time, He Stopped Forgot about His Parents whether
They ever Existed.

Every Day He Pray Immediately after each Prayer He used to see Someone telling Him
in a Dream that his Prayer is not Accepted.

One Day, He Related this Story to a 'Pious Aalim' who Advised Him to go Back to India to Visit His Parents.

The Man Flew to India Reached the Boundary of His Village.

Everything was Changed over there.

He could not Find His House.

So He asked to the Head of the Village about the Whereabouts of His Parents.

The Head of the Village directed Him to a House said: "In this House, Lives an Old Blind Lady who Lost Her Husband a Few Months Ago. She has a Son who Migrated to
US 20 Years back Never came Back again. What an Unfortunate Man."

Son enters that Home
Finds His Mother on the Bed.

He Tip-Toed as He did not want to Wake Her up.

He hears His Mother Whispering or Mumbling Something.

He gets Closer to Hear His Mothers Voice.

This is what His Mother was Saying: "God !
I am now Very Old Blind.
My Husband just Died.
There is no One to Lower Me in My Grave when I Die. So please Send My Son to Fullfill
My Last Wish".

This is the Ending of a Story where the Prayer of a Mother is Accepted.

A Human Body can Bear only 45 Del (units) of Pain.

But at the Time of Giving Birth, A Mother feels upto 57 Del (units) of Pain.

This is similar to 20 Bones
getting Fractured, all at the Same Time.

This is just to tell U the extent, to which a Mother Loves Her Child.

So, Love Ur Mom till the End of Ur Life.

The Lady with whom U Fight almost Everyday, Suffered so much Pain
just to give U a Beautiful Life.



Story: The Gossip Girl
Story: The Two Falcons
Story: Presence of mind
Story - Stress Management
Story - The Cute Student Counts the Apples
Story - Everyone is unique
Story - The Perspective Understanding
Story - The Millionaire and the 3 Person
Story - The Lawyer and the Farmer :)

Easy Time Management tips


Good time management is essential for coping with the pressures of modern life without experiencing too much stress.

If you never have enough time to finish your tasks, better time management will help you regain control of your day.

Good time management doesn't mean you do more work. It means you focus on the tasks that matter and will make a difference. Whether it's in your job or your lifestyle as a whole, learning how to manage your time effectively will help you feel more relaxed, focused and in control.
"The aim of good time management is to achieve the lifestyle balance you want," says Emma Donaldson-Feilder, a chartered occupational psychologist.
Here are her top tips for better time management:

Work out your goals

This first step towards improving your time management is to ask yourself some questions. "Work out who you want to be, your priorities in life, and what you want to achieve in your career or personal life," says Donaldson-Feilder. "That is then the guiding principle for how you spend your time and how you manage it."
Once you have worked out the big picture, even if it's quite general, you can then work out some short-term and medium-term goals. "Knowing your goals will help you plan better and focus on the things that will help you achieve those goals," says Donaldson-Feilder.

Make a list

A common time-management mistake is trying to remember too many details, leading to information overload. A better way to stay organised and take control of your projects and tasks is to use a to-do list to write things down.
"Try it and see what works best for you," says Donaldson-Feilder. She prefers to keep a single to-do list, to avoid losing track of multiple lists. "Keeping a list will help you work out your priorities and timings, so it can help you put off the non-urgent tasks."

Work smarter, not harder

Good time management at work means doing high-quality work, not high quantity. Donaldson-Feilder advises concentrating not on how busy you are but on results. "Spending more time on something doesn't necessarily achieve more," she says. "Staying an extra hour at work at the end of the day may not be the most effective way to manage your time."
You may feel resentful about being in the office after hours. You're also likely to be less productive and frustrated about how little you're achieving, which will compound your stress.

Have a lunch break

Many people work through their lunch break to gain an extra hour at work, but Donaldson-Feilder says that can be counter-productive. "As a general rule, taking at least 30 minutes away from your desk will help you to be more effective in the afternoon," she says.
A break is an opportunity to relax and think of something other than work. "Go for a walk outdoors or, better still, do some exercise," says Donaldson-Feilder. "You'll come back to your desk re-energised, with a new set of eyes and renewed focus."
Planning your day with a midday break will also help you to break up your work into more manageable chunks.

Prioritise important tasks

Tasks can be grouped in four categories:
  • urgent and important
  • not urgent but important
  • urgent but not important
  • neither urgent nor important
"When the phone rings, it seems urgent to pick it up but it's not necessarily important," says Donaldson-Feilder. "It may be more important to continue with what you were doing rather than be distracted by a phone call. When it is appropriate, it may be more effective to let your voicemail pick up the message."
Donaldson-Feilder says people with good time management create time to concentrate on non-urgent, important activities. By so doing, they minimise the chances of activities ever becoming urgent and important.
"The aim is to learn how to become better at reducing the number of urgent and important tasks. Having to deal with too many urgent tasks can be stressful," says Donaldson-Feilder.

Practise the 4 Ds

We can spend up to half our working day going through our email inbox, making us tired, frustrated and unproductive. A study has found that one-in-three office workers suffers from email stress.
Making a decision the first time you open an email is crucial for effective time management. To manage this burden effectively, Donaldson-Feilder advises practising the 4 Ds of decision-making:
  • Delete: half of the emails you get can probably be deleted immediately.
  • Do: if the email is urgent or can be completed quickly.
  • Delegate: if the email can be better dealt with by someone else.
  • Defer: set aside time at a later date to spend on emails that require longer action. 
nhs.uk




60 Great Quotes
Becoming a Better Judge of People
Your Life is Your Balance Sheet
6 Leadership Styles and How to Use Them
How Are You Feeling?
Accepting Yourself
What Stress Actually Does to You and What You Can Do About It
Robin’s 73 Best Business and Success Lessons
Think Get Paradigm - The Law of Attraction

Story: My Parents Traveling by AIr


​​

My parents left for our native place on Thursday and we went to the airport to see them off. In fact, my father had never traveled by air before, so I just took this opportunity to make him experience the same. In spite of being asked to book tickets by train, I got them tickets on Jet Airways. The moment I handed over the tickets to him, he was surprised to see that I had booked them by air.. The excitement was very apparent on his face, waiting for the time of travel. Just like a school boy, he was preparing himself on that day and we all went to the airport, right from using the trolley for his luggage, the baggage check-in and asking for a window seat and waiting restlessly for the security check-in to happen. He was thoroughly enjoying himself and I, too, was overcome with joy watching him experience all these things.
As they were about to go in for the security check-in, he walked up to me with tears in his eyes and thanked me. He became very emotional and it was not as if I had done something great but the fact that this meant a great deal to him. When he said thanks, I told him there was no need to thank me. But later, thinking about the entire incident, I looked back at my life. As a child, how many dreams our parents have made come true.
Without understanding the financial situation, we ask for cricket bats, dresses, toys, outings, etc. Irrespective of their affordability, they have catered to all our needs. Did we ever think about the sacrifices they had to make to accommodate many of our wishes? Did we ever say thanks for all that they have done for us? Same way, today when it comes to our children, we always think that we should put them in a good school. Regardless of the amount of donation, we will ensure that we will have to give the child the best, theme parks, toys, etc. But we tend to forget that our parents have sacrificed a lot for our sake to see us happy, so it is our responsibility to ensure that their dreams are realized and what they failed to see when they were young. It is our responsibility to ensure that they experience all those and their life is complete.
Many times, when my parents had asked me some questions, I have actually answered back without patience. When my daughter asks me something, I have been very polite in answering. Now I realize how they would have felt at those moments. Let us realize that old age is a second childhood and just as we take care of our children, the same attention and same care needs to be given to our parents and elders. Rather than my dad saying thank you to me, I would want to say sorry for making him wait so long for this small dream. I do realize how much he has sacrificed for my sake and I will do my best to give the best possible attention to all their wishes.
Just because they are old does not mean that they will have to give up everything and keep sacrificing for their grandchildren also. They have wishes, too..
Take care of your parents. THEY ARE PRECIOUS.
KEEP THIS MESSAGE GOING BY SENDING IT TO YOUR FRIENDS As I Did.........


Story – The Monkey and the Wooden Apple
Story - Knowing where to tap
Story - Glass, Lake and Salt
Story - Socrates - Triple Filter
Story - A story you may like
Story - Ask Yourself "Why"
Story - The Truck Driver and The Tyre

Story: The Carpenter



A highly skilled carpenter who had grown old was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire.
The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed to this proposal but made sure that this will be his last project. Being in a mood to retire, the carpenter was not paying much attention to building this house. His heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the job was done, the carpenter called his employer and showed him the house. The employer handed over some papers and the front door key to the carpenter and said "This is your house, my gift to you."

The carpenter was in a shock! What a shame! If he had only known that he was building his own house, he would have made it better than any other house that he ever built!
Label: Short Story


Story - The Rat and the Maze
Story - My Father and the Biscuit
Story - The Woman and the Parrot
Story - The Powerful Relationship
Story - Invention of Microwave Oven
Story - The Two Patients
Story - The Truck Driver and the Tyres
Story - Love and Care of My Brother

Things which Stops You from Being Positive




There are many reasons that make it difficult to produce and hold on to positivity in your mind and attitude. The external information we receive is mainly negative, and our thoughts and conversations are based on this information.

Other causes include:

Self-doubt;

Being egoistic;

Having low self-esteem;
Lacking self-confidence;
Being frustrated or irritated;
Lacking clear objectives in life;

Keeping the past in your mind;

Comparing yourself with others;
Not believing you are a positive person;

Other people's negativity rubbing off on you;

Other people's criticisms influencing you;
Not having recognized your true qualities, virtues and values;
Lacking flexibility or tolerance with people or situations, etc.




The 10 Habits Of Happy Couples
The 7 C's of Happiness
The Echoes of Happiness: Belly Laughs
The Guide to Stress Management for a Happier Life
The Lady and the Salesman
The Last Lecture
The Power of Not Looking Back
The Power of Words
The Secret to Managing Stress
The Seven Step Plan For Success
The Story Of Two Wolves

 

Story: The Girl with Her Grand parents



About ten years ago when I was an undergraduate in college, I was working as an intern at my University's Museum of Natural History. One day while working at the cash register in the gift shop, I saw an elderly couple come in with a little girl in a wheelchair.

As I looked closer at this girl, I saw that she was kind of perched on her chair. I then realized she had no arms or legs, just a head, neck and torso. She was wearing a little white dress with red polka dots.


Story - Do You Treat People Fairly ?
Story - Mr. Educated and Mr. Wisdom
Story - Art of Living without recognition
Story - Which employee type are you ?
Story - The Family Picnic and The Traffic Signal
Story - The Wow Approach

As the couple wheeled her up to me I was looking down at the register. I turned my head toward the girl and gave her a wink. As I took the money from her grandparents, I looked back at the girl, who was giving me the cutest, largest smile I have ever seen. All of a sudden her handicap was gone and all I saw was this beautiful girl, whose smile just melted me and almost instantly gave me a completely new sense of what life is all about. She took me from a poor, unhappy college student and brought me into her world; a world of smiles, love and warmth.

That was ten years ago. I'm a successful business person now and whenever I get down and think about the troubles of the world, I think about that little girl and the remarkable lesson about life that she taught me.
Source: Submitted by a Writer of AL-Islaah Publications.


Story - The Truck Driver and the Tyres
Story - Love and Care of My Brother
Story - Lamborghini and Ferrari
Story - The Dog In The Well
Story - The Manager and The Worker

10 Things that you can Control in your life



Are you controlling them or vice-versa?

We humans spend much of our time trying to control every aspect of our lives.
Unfortunately, too often we try and control things that are simply beyond our control.
The list of what we can control is quite short, but once you know these 10 things you will be able to take control of your own life.

1.
What you do: Your actions are yours alone.
You choose to make them or not make them and you are responsible for the effects of those actions.

2.
What you say: Likewise, the words you speak (or write) are also consciously chosen.
Like actions, they have an impact on your life and the lives of those you contact.

3.
What you think:  Yes, there are some subconscious thoughts that you can't control.
But the things that you really think about, your beliefs, your ideals, etc. are concepts you have chosen to accept and believe in.

4.
Your work: Many people like to overlook this one, it being much easier to say, "Oh, I'm! trapped in my job because I don't have a degree, experience, etc."
That's simple a way of denying one's responsibility in having chosen the job in the first place.
It's your job and you chose it.
If you stay (or go), that's a choice as well.

5.
The people you associate with:  There's a famous T-shirt that states: "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys."
Colloquial is very often correct!
Your friends can either lift you up or bring you down.
You make the decision which type of friends you wish to have.

6.
Your basic physical health.  Much about our health is a factor of genetics, environment, and exposure.
Much more of our health is simply a matter of the decisions we make about our health, such as: diet, exercise, drugs, sleep, routine physicals, check-ups, etc.

7.
The environment you live in:  Your house, the condition of your home, the town you live in, the amenities available to you are all things you can control, although some to a lesser degree (i.e., you decide to tolerate them or move someplace else).

8.
Your fiscal situation: Having or not having enough money is a factor of what you make versus what you spend.

9.
Your time: You choose how to "spend" your time and how much of your time to give to various activities.
You'll never get more time than the 24 hours your given each day.

10.
Your legacy: All your actions, words, and knowledge that you share while you are living become the gift that you leave when you are gone


How to Overcome Fear
Memory Improvement Tips
7 Psychological Tricks That Make You A More Persuasive Person
10 Self Improvement Activities You Must Consider
Self Empowerment
Who is Blocking you - Inspirational Message
180 Words to Describe Yourself
Some Realities of Today's Life

10 Best Positive Words





 

Positivity is perhaps the most desired of feelings. We feel unhappy because of all sorts of matters, but little do we realize that we're missing out on something very minor, but extremely profound. It is not only important to be aware of the words we speak, but all the more the ones we don't.  Add the following positive words to your vocabualry and you will see how they are actually the simplest words you will ever need to remember.



A sense of community forms a large proportion of our overall cause of happiness, and how much we cherish it depends on our actions. When you're in public, there's no harm in smiling at people and saying a simple "Hello", when it's possible. By doing this, you will be prolonging your social bonds rather than neglecting them.
 

No one knows what the future holds, but hope is the only thing we have that connects us to it in the most positive way possible. Once we have that, we are more trusting of whatever comes our way, and people will see your optimism shining through from the inside. This also creates good vibes with the people we meet, hence spreading more positivity. Don't forget to use this word as a key for giving good advice.


Remind yourself that there IS a solution to everything. Nothing is as bad as you think it is - if it diverges from your expectations, it doesn't mean you won't work your way through it. Using "good' or "great" enhances your sense of positivity, and besides, they surely sound better to people's ears rather than a frank "but".

​There's nothing wrong in wondering about stuff. Having thoughts and questions popping up in your head is absolutely normal. Asking "how" means that you are interested in something, you want to learn, and you want to challenge yourself. As long as it is used for good intentions and in reasonable frequencies, this word can make you seem that you're taking the initiative in something positively, as in for instance: "How does this work?" or "How can I help?".
 
10 Positive Words You Should Be Using More Every Day-
Things can not simply be good, they can be much more than that! In this situation, we would want to express our excitement about what is turning out to be great in whatever we are doing. This is why words like "awesome" and "excellent" are vital for one's daily vocabulary. Remember that everything can be excellent, if we rightfully decide it is so!
 10 Positive Words You Should Be Using More Every Day-
Show that you can give a "yes" now and again. This doesn't mean you should accept everything you come across, but adopting a 'yes' attitude towards life and its opportunities will make others realize you have a strong and reliable character. Avoid too much of 'no' and 'I don't know' in your answers and decisions - look at the bright side and open your mind to other options - there's always room for a 'yes'.
 10 Positive Words You Should Be Using More Every Day-
Where has your enthusiasm gone? Have you forgotten how to be awed at something? Idealism is a nasty tendency that blocks the possibility for a meaningful "wow". Don't keep looking into how much better something can be, appreciate that it's already amazing enough and that what is yet to come is something thrilling! Look for the opportunities that make you say 'wow' - you'll realize how many of them we come across every day but never notice. 

10 Positive Words You Should Be Using More Every Day-
We sometimes forget to say the most profound word of all. Let people know how important they are to you by saying the special three-word sentence - "I love you". Very often, we know it deep down but we fail to say it out loud. Love is something that grows, but also something that can be lost terribly quickly. So before you regret it, spread the incredible feeling within you with your friends, family, and partner in life, not only in words, but also in actions.
 10 Positive Words You Should Be Using More Every Day-
Appreciation and gratitude are the greatest gifts of fulfillment you could ever give to anyone. Nothing beats a kind feedback like areward and letting someone know they have done something special. When you use "thanks", people will feel more significant and respected when around you. Maybe you might realize there are some people in your life to whom you owe a big thank you. Let them know this now before it's too late, and make sure you put a smile on their faces. You will feel lighter and happier yourself upon doing it.
 10 Positive Words You Should Be Using More Every Day-
Finally, don't forget "me". Remember: it's ok to think of yourself a little more often. Think of how you are feeling and what makes you feel better. When we reflect with ourselves, we like to look at our flaws. Rather than doing this, create the opportunity to feel good about yourself, observe your improvements and know what your skills and talents are. No one will ever know them better than you do. Apart from this, never forget that in order to make other people happy, you need to find happiness within yourself.
 Radiate your happiness now, by sharing these positive thoughts with your dear ones.


   

Is Your Leader Visionary? Read This Story

The young boy asked the old man, "why a fast running horse is better than the slow running horse"? The old man said, "it has developed the habit to produce more power so that it can run up to ten times faster than the slow horse" The youngster said, "and what if the horse is running in the wrong direction"? The old man smiled and said, "then definitely it has the appropriate factor to waste his efforts ten times quicker than the slower horse" The young man said, " and what if other horses are following him too" The older man said, "off course it will mislead all those horses too!" "Then why all other horses follow the faster one" "Because that attracts them but all that glitters is not gold sometimes"


Associating this analogy with our daily life, you notice that you are surrounded by mixture of slow and fast pace personalities. Some of them are really genuine leaders and some of them are being followed blindly. Overall, here is the summary of the concept of Visionary Leaders which I suggest you to ponder:


1-   If you have a slow attitude towards life (slow running horse) then you must develop the habit to produce more power in your character. You must be aware of your real goals. You must develop analytical skills, Empowered Relationships, Proactive approach and other personality traits such as Commitment, Courage, Communication Skills, Focus, Competence and Passion. 


2-  If you have a faster response to life and  quick decision making then you must audit yourself on whether you are heading in the right direction? Not having clear goal will take you nowhere regardless of your speed and efficiency. Remember, Only hard work doesn't guarantee the success. , the vision and strategy are the most important ingredients of the success which is acheived through consistent, productive and effective efforts in the right direction.

3-  Are you following a leader? Are you sure you have a true leader? Are you sure you will not end up on the blocked road? Remember, U-turns are always possible before the dead end but consequences of U-turn will be more harsh if you don't evaluate the situations on time and delay it to the eleventh hour.

While you ponder about the concept of Vision in Leaders, you may want to read these personality building articles too:

Your Health Rests on These 4 Things





Dr. John Mandrola, MD
 
You might think a cardiologist would spend his time with patients discussing technical things with complicated medical words. But in reality, I spend most of my time talking about the four legs of a table: the table of health.
I explain that their health is like a table. And just like a sturdy table, it has four equal and strong legs. If one is shorter or longer, the table wobbles, and eventually breaks.
 
Here are the four "legs" that keep our health steady:
 
1. Diet. 
My main piece of advice on food is to be mindful of it. Think. Getting heart patients to think about food is the first step. Recently, while I was examining the belly of an obese man, I asked "What is this?" I meant his huge abdomen. The wife said, "It's cheese and crackers." Okay, I thought, that's progress. We talked about reducing empty calories; we discussed comfort eating. I asked him to think about cutting back on junk food. The next visit, he had lost weight. "I shouldn't have been eating that much junk food," he said.
When you start thinking about what you're eating, healthier choices start to become normal. When you cut back on salt, for instance, it's not long before salty restaurant meals, which you once enjoyed, don't taste good to you anymore. It's the same with sweetness and portion size.
 
2. Exercise. 
Study after study has demonstrated the benefits of regular exercise. Note that that I used the term "exercise"—not physical activity. Exercise is a sustained activity that makes you breathe hard and sweat. I've started writing EXERCISE on my whiteboard in the exam room or on a prescription pad. I tell my patients they need to consider exercise like a drug; take it every day.
 
As a lifelong exerciser and bike racer, I have learned some tricks about exercise. One is to choose exercise that you'll stick with. Most middle-aged or older people aren't going to sustain a Boot-camp-like regimen. Another thing I prescribe is to carve out a protected time in your day for exercise. That means exercise is not extra, say, if I have enough time, but rather, it is my time for health.
 
3. Sleep. 
When I ask my healthy patients how they sleep, they all tell me they maintain good sleep patterns. Pattern being the key word. Good sleepers keep a schedule. They plan. They go to bed at a set time and they don't have media screens in the bedroom. Good sleepers consider sleep as a daily prescription for health. A great deal of research lately has tied sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea, to many common diseases, such as high blood pressure, depression and heart disease. More and more, before recommending cardiac procedures, I screen and refer patients for sleep disorders.
 
4. Attitude. 
Recently, a patient with a heart rhythm problem told me during his yearly checkup that his symptoms were gone. When I asked him what he had been doing differently, he said, "I decided to change my attitude." I asked him what he meant. "I changed how I approach stress. I decided that being angry and worried was killing me. I cut back on my work; I took time for exercise and I forced myself to see more of the positive in things. It took about a month and my heart problem resolved itself." Could it be that every angry blow-out is like putting another jellybean in the jar? Eventually the jar overflows.
 
I don't mean to suggest achieving mental health and happiness is easy. But I am suggesting the brain-heart connection is important. We aren't just treating a physical heart; we are treating a human heart. Although drugs and devices dominate the field of cardiology, I'd put generosity, kindness, grace, and love high up on the list of heart-healthy treatments.
 
Notice one common thread with each of these legs of the health table: Each of them require an action plan. Humans lucky enough to live in wealthy nations have easy access to an abundance of rich food, convenient transportation, and incessant distraction. We must have a plan to overcome these luxuries. Health, like the construction of a sturdy table, requires an action plan.
 

Technology: Multiple IP Addresses: Why and How Many?


Whether you're new to sending email in bulk, or an experienced mailer switching from an ESP to your own mail server, there are several things to consider regarding the IP addresses associated with the servers you'll be sending mail from.

I'm often asked: How many IP addresses do I need? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some basic factors to consider in choosing the proper number of IP addresses.

Why do I need multiple IPs?
The first question you need to ask yourself is: WHY do I believe I need new, more, or multiple IP addresses?

In my opinion, there are really only two legitimate reasons for adding new IP addresses: Volume (as it pertains to time), and having multiple e-mail channels or mail streams.
  1. Volume (as it pertains to time): A large volume of messages being sent, in-and-of-itself, does not necessarily justify using multiple IP addresses. I have worked with clients who send over 2 million emails a day from just one IP address and reach the inbox on a consistent basis.  However, if your messages are time sensitive or need to be delivered in a certain timeframe, then it may be necessary to use multiple IP addresses to send the total volume of email needed in the timeframe required. As an example, say you are sending a campaign to 2 million emails at 8am, and the campaign needs to be delivered by noon. If it normally takes 12 hours to deliver 2 million emails from one IP address, then in order to deliver all 2 million emails by noon (4 hours), you would need 2 additional IP addresses (12 divided by 4 = 3 IPs). The amount of time it takes to send out 2 million emails is unique to your situation and will depend on a number of factors, including infrastructure, software, and your current deliverability reputation (as many ISPs will limit and throttle email based on your sending reputation).
  2. Multiple e-mail channels or mail streams: Using different IP addresses segmented based on particular mail streams is another legitimate reason for using multiple IP addresses.  Since each IP address will maintain its own deliverability reputation, segmenting each mail stream by IP address will keep the reputation of each mail stream separate. Some examples of segmenting by mail streams are:
  • Transactional messages
  • Marketing messages
  • Newsletters
  • Addresses derived from "Forward to a Friend" campaigns
  • Reactivation campaigns
  • Less-active or inactive addresses
  • Different brands for each of the above
Why do I not need multiple IPs?
A common reason I hear for wanting to add additional IP addresses is that the sender is not getting the reputation or the inbox deliverability they'd like on the IP addresses they're currently sending from.

This is NOT a good reason to add additional IP addresses. Your reputation will follow you. ISPs are very sophisticated in tracking a sender's mailing patterns and reputation. A lot of this is tied to the IP address, but not all. Many other factors are tracked, such as sending and link URLs, patterns of sending, addresses sent to, and content and engagement, just to name a few.
It is much better to determine the causes of your deliverability reputation woes and fix them, rather than getting new IP addresses to try to run from them. While this process will likely take longer, in the end the results will provide better long-term inbox deliverability.

How many IP addresses are right for me?
If there is a legitimate reason to add or use multiple IP addresses, then here are a few factors in determining how many you need:
  • Budget: In obtaining new IP addresses, each IP address that you acquire comes at a cost.There is an incremental charge for each actual IP address you obtain. This cost will vary. If you are getting an IP address from your ESP, then this could be expensive and result in additional monthly costs. Even if you are using your own MTA and mailing software and obtain your IP addresses directly from your service provider, the setup and installation associated with each IP address (including setting up feedback loops and configuring authentication) have incremental costs.
    However, just because your budget allows for the purchase of additional or multiple IP addresses does not necessarily mean that it's a good idea to use them.
  • Deliverability Reputation: As I mentioned above, if your delivery reputation is poor, switching to new IPs will not solve the issue, and in fact can exacerbate it (more on this below). However, reputation can play a role in determining how many IP addresses to use.If your current deliverability reputation is causing your messages to be throttled, it may make sense to utilize two to three different IP addresses to allow for your messages to be delivered in a timely matter. This needs to be addressed with caution, however. It is a temporary solution for those with a fair to good reputation in the process of improving to a great reputation. It is not a substitute for fixing the issues causing the less-than-great reputation. You can check the ISPs' postmaster pages to see if they publish throttling rates, or you can use past mailing logs to get an understanding of the rate at which your mail is being delivered. Another deliverability reputation factor involved in determining the number of IPs to use is related to segmentation based on mail-stream, as discussed in detail above. If the mail stream or data segment you are about to send to could negatively affect your overall sending reputation, then it may make sense to separate that mail stream from your normal IP address that sends to your most critical list, and instead send it from a different IP address.
  • IP Warm-up Time: When adding or using new IP addresses, you will need to properly warm up the new IPs by sending a smaller amount of email at first, and then slowly increasing the volume over time to avoid appearing as a spammer in the eyes of the ISPs. This process takes time – anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month or more. This time frame should factor into your decision to add new IPs. More information about the IP warm-up process can be found in my previous article titled "Your New IPs Need to Learn to Walk Before They Run".
  • Risks versus rewards: Using too many IPs or switching to new IPs can come with risks.
Here are a few things that ISPs look at that may raise a red flag and get you blocked or placed in the Junk Folder:
  • Snowshoeing – Spammers will try to spread spam output across many IPs and domains in order to dilute reputation metrics in an attempt to evade filters. When an ISP sees that the same message is being sent across multiple IP addresses, it raises a red flag to them that the sender may be a spammer. A basic rule of thumb for good deliverability is to "not look like or act like a spammer". Use only enough IP addresses to meet the requirements of your mailings.
  • Waterfalling – Similar to snowshoeing, waterfalling is when multiple ESPs are used, each ESP having a different IP address range. For each ESP and IP range, the mailer will burn the new IP addresses in the process of cleaning up bounces, complainers and even non-responders. Then they take the new set of good data and move on to another ESP, and they repeat the process like one waterfall flowing into the next, all to avoid high negative delivery metrics on one set of IPs. This is a common practice used by gray mailers and spammers.If, as a legitimate email marketer, you switch to or use different sets of IP addresses, the ISP may see a similar pattern as those used in waterfalling. Again, this may mean you "look like, or act like a spammer."
  • IP Hopping – Jumping from one IP to another, or rotating through a set of IP addresses, can also be seen as suspicious behavior by ISPs. After a few days of this, the IPs get "soiled" and will likely get blocked by the ISP. New IP addresses need to be warmed up properly. It takes time to build up a good reputation. Keep in mind that spammers are notorious for changing IP addresses often.
There are good and not so good reasons for using multiple IP addresses. Determining if the use of multiple IPs is right for you greatly depends on your particular needs and current situation