Sunday, May 31, 2009

Be Happy – Keep Your Mind Away From Sickness

Yesterday, I was going through a story titled, “The Science of Voodoo: How Your Mind Can Make You Sick” by Helen Pilcher/ Source: New Scientist. The author was able to convince that a man can become ill if his mind is made to feel that he is ill. He can restore his health as soon as his thinking that he would die soon is removed through any therapy. I am reproducing the story for the sake of enlightenment to those who really need it.

Late one night in a small Alabama cemetery, Vance Vanders had a run-in with the local witch doctor, who wafted a bottle of unpleasant-smelling liquid in front of his face, and told him he was about to die and that no one could save him.
Back home, Vanders took to his bed and began to deteriorate. Some weeks later, emaciated and near death, he was admitted to the local hospital, where doctors were unable to find a cause for his symptoms or slow his decline. Only then did his wife tell one of the doctors, Drayton Doherty, of the hex.

Doherty thought long and hard. The next morning, he called Vanders's family to his bedside. He told them that the previous night he had lured the witch doctor back to the cemetery, where he had choked him against a tree until he explained how the curse worked. The medicine man had, he said, rubbed lizard eggs into Vanders's stomach, which had hatched inside his body. One reptile remained, which was eating Vanders from the inside out.

Doherty then summoned a nurse who had, by prior arrangement, filled a large syringe with a powerful emetic. With great ceremony, he inspected the instrument and injected its contents into Vanders' arm. A few minutes later, Vanders began to gag and vomit uncontrollably. In the midst of it all, unnoticed by everyone in the room, Doherty produced his pièce de résistance - a green lizard he had stashed in his black bag. "Look what has come out of you Vance," he cried. "The voodoo curse is lifted."
Vanders did a double take, lurched backwards to the head of the bed, then drifted into a deep sleep. When he woke next day he was alert and ravenous. He quickly regained his strength and was discharged a week later.

The facts of this case from 80 years ago were corroborated by four medical professionals. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is that Vanders survived. There are numerous documented instances from many parts of the globe of people dying after being cursed.

With no medical records and no autopsy results, there's no way to be sure exactly how these people met their end. The common thread in these cases, however, is that a respected figure puts a curse on someone, perhaps by chanting or pointing a bone at them. Soon afterwards, the victim dies, apparently of natural causes.

Voodoo nouveau

You might think this sort of thing is increasingly rare, and limited to remote tribes. But according to Clifton Meador, a doctor at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, who has documented cases like Vanders, the curse has taken on a new form.

Take Sam Shoeman, who was diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer in the 1970s and given just months to live. Shoeman duly died in the allotted time frame - yet the autopsy revealed that his doctors had got it wrong. The tumour was tiny and had not spread. "He didn't die from cancer, but from believing he was dying of cancer," says Meador. "If everyone treats you as if you are dying, you buy into it. Everything in your whole being becomes about dying."

Cases such as Shoeman's may be extreme examples of a far more widespread phenomenon. Many patients who suffer harmful side effects, for instance, may do so only because they have been told to expect them. What's more, people who believe they have a high risk of certain diseases are more likely to get them than people with the same risk factors who believe they have a low risk. It seems modern witch doctors wear white coats and carry stethoscopes.

The nocebo effect

The idea that believing you are ill can make you ill may seem far-fetched, yet rigorous trials have established beyond doubt that the converse is true - that the power of suggestion can improve health. This is the well-known placebo effect. Placebos cannot produce miracles, but they do produce measurable physical effects.
The placebo effect has an evil twin: the nocebo effect, in which dummy pills and negative expectations can produce harmful effects. The term "nocebo", which means "I will harm", was not coined until the 1960s, and the phenomenon has been far less studied than the placebo effect. It's not easy, after all, to get ethical approval for studies designed to make people feel worse.

What we do know suggests the impact of nocebo is far-reaching. "Voodoo death, if it exists, may represent an extreme form of the nocebo phenomenon," says anthropologist Robert Hahn of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, who has studied the nocebo effect.

Life threatening

In clinical trials, around a quarter of patients in control groups - those given supposedly inert therapies - experience negative side effects. The severity of these side effects sometimes matches those associated with real drugs. A retrospective study of 15 trials involving thousands of patients prescribed either beta blockers or a control showed that both groups reported comparable levels of side effects, including fatigue, depressive symptoms and sexual dysfunction. A similar number had to withdraw from the studies because of them.

Occasionally, the effects can be life-threatening (see "The overdose"). "Beliefs and expectations are not only conscious, logical phenomena, they also have physical consequences," says Hahn.

Nocebo effects are also seen in normal medical practice. Around 60 per cent of patients undergoing chemotherapy start feeling sick before their treatment. "It can happen days before, or on the journey on the way in," says clinical psychologist Guy Montgomery from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Sometimes the mere thought of treatment or the doctor's voice is enough to make patients feel unwell. This "anticipatory nausea" may be partly due to conditioning - when patients subconsciously link some part of their experience with nausea - and partly due to expectation.

The Nocebo "Virus

Alarmingly, the nocebo effect can even be catching. Cases where symptoms without an identifiable cause spread through groups of people have been around for centuries, a phenomenon known as mass psychogenic illness. One outbreak (see "It's catching") inspired a recent study by psychologists Irving Kirsch and Giuliana Mazzoni of the University of Hull in the UK.

They asked some of a group of students to inhale a sample of normal air, which all participants were told contained "a suspected environmental toxin" linked to headache, nausea, itchy skin and drowsiness. Half of the participants also watched a woman inhale the sample and apparently develop these symptoms. Students who inhaled were more likely to report these symptoms than those who did not. Symptoms were also more pronounced in women, particularly those who had seen another apparently become ill - a bias also seen in mass psychogenic illness.

The study shows that if you hear of or observe a possible side effect, you are more likely to develop it yourself. That puts doctors in a tricky situation. "On the one hand people have the right to be informed about what to expect, but this makes it more likely they will experience these effects," says Mazzoni.

Hypnosis Might Help

This means doctors need to choose their words carefully so as to minimise negative expectations, says Montgomery. "It's all about how you say it." Hypnosis might also help. "Hypnosis changes expectancies, which decreases anxiety and stress, which improves the outcome," Montgomery says. "I think hypnosis could be applied to a wide variety of symptoms where expectancy plays a role." Is the scale of the nocebo problem serious enough to justify such countermeasures? We just don't know, because so many questions remain unanswered. In what circumstances do nocebo effects occur? And how long do the symptoms last?

It appears that, as with the placebo response, nocebo effects vary widely, and may depend heavily on context. Placebo effects in clinical settings are often much more potent than those induced in the laboratory, says Paul Enck, a psychologist at the University Hospital in Tübingen, Germany, which suggests the nocebo problem may have profound effects in the real world. For obvious reasons, though, lab experiments are designed to induce only mild and temporary nocebo symptoms.

Real consequences

It is also unclear who is susceptible. A person's optimism or pessimism may play a role, but there are no consistent personality predictors. Both sexes can succumb to mass psychogenic illness, though women report more symptoms than men. Enck has shown that in men, expectancy rather than conditioning is more likely to influence nocebo symptoms. For women, the opposite is true. "Women tend to operate more on past experiences, whereas men seem more reluctant to take history into a situation," he says.

What is becoming clear is that these apparently psychological phenomena have very real consequences in the brain. Using PET scans to peer into the brains of people given a placebo or nocebo, Jon-Kar Zubieta of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, showed last year that nocebo effects were linked with a decrease in dopamine and opioid activity. This would explain how nocebos can increase pain. Placebos, unsurprisingly, produced the opposite response.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin Medical School in Italy has found that nocebo-induced pain can be suppressed by a drug called proglumide, which blocks receptors for a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK). Normally, expectations of pain induce anxiety, which activates CCK receptors, enhancing pain.

The Ultimate Cause is Belief

The ultimate cause of the nocebo effect, however, is not neurochemistry but belief. According to Hahn, surgeons are often wary of operating on people who think they will die - because such patients often do. And the mere belief that one is susceptible to a heart attack is itself a risk factor. One study found that women who believed they are particularly prone to heart attack are nearly four times as likely to die from coronary conditions than other women with the same risk factors.

Despite the growing evidence that the nocebo effect is all too real, it is hard in this rational age to accept that people's beliefs can kill them. After all, most of us would laugh if a strangely attired man leapt about waving a bone and told us we were going to die. But imagine how you would feel if you were told the same thing by a smartly dressed doctor with a wallful of medical degrees and a computerful of your scans and test results. The social and cultural background is crucial, says Enck.
Meador argues that Shoeman's misdiagnosis and subsequent death shares many of the crucial elements found in hex death. A powerful doctor pronounces a death sentence, which is accepted unquestioningly by the "victim" and his family, who then start to act upon that belief. Shoeman, his family and his doctors all believed he was dying from cancer. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Nothing mystical

"Bad news promotes bad physiology. I think you can persuade people that they're going to die and have it happen," Meador says. "I don't think there's anything mystical about it. We're uncomfortable with the idea that words or symbolic actions can cause death because it challenges our biomolecular model of the world."
Perhaps when the biomedical basis of voodoo death is revealed in detail we will find it easier to accept that it is real - and that it can affect any one of us.

Be Happy - You need to keep your mind away from the thoughts of being sick - if you do it, you will be able to restore your health quicker than the medicines can do for you.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Who does not want to be successful and rich in life? Everyone. None will ever like to be called a failed person. If you really wish to be successful and set up your leadership in every walk of life, you should think again where you could not achieve success, why you could not accomplish your target. You will have to take pains and stop failing by revisiting the causes of your failures. Once you are able to identify the reason, you will get rid of your mental stress. It will boost up your income, health, true love and availability of leisure time to enjoy with your family. If you are successful, you can manage your investments, industries, taxation and valuation properly. You will be able to improve your vision.

How? Only one failure can put you down, it can bring you to the brink of insolvency, you can loose your goodwill which was built up with sincere efforts put in by you, your family and/or your forefathers. If you have to face a series of failures, imagine what it would cost to you in terms of social fame and financial position. A lot! You need to take precautions before hand – you know! You should not do parenting your failures for a long time. Millions of people are there to take a bite in your slice; they won’t ask your permission, they forget the normal courtesy to do so. They may take away your rewards. They know how to be opportunist and take benefit of your weaknesses – they are already on watch when you commit some mistake in your chasing up your targets. They will damage your personality to that extent that you may be misunderstood by your near people as to what personality type you belong to. In this materialistic world, there are lesser people who value ethics and personal relationships. There is no need of any advertising campaign to make your failures known – they will come to light themselves.

Getting success is not so easy if we do not take our tasks seriously. Once we develop the attitude of taking every task seriously, all the matters will become so easy and enjoyable as we do with the colorful rainbow, birds chirping, flowers blooming, etc. You will feel yourself to be in some nursery home and you are being looked after as infants or you are able to follow your spirituality pursuits smoothly. This is the truth otherwise you will feel the garbage lies thrown everywhere if you don’t take any job seriously. When you are proposed to take up a job, you must consider first whether you have confidence to do it. If you have, you must take into account your resources, your competence, period and other factors essential for the success. If you feel everything is favorable, you can start but avoid the following. This is an essential therapy to follow for your sound financial health as well. Your working style should become your trade mark. I am sure if you do it seriously, you will be successful:

1. Company of Losers.

You will have to go through the list of those with whom you pass some of your time. How many are they, amongst the persons enlisted by you, who are successful in their respective fields. If majority of them are those who could not succeed, you will have to sort out and try to avoid further company with them. Otherwise, it's a guaranteed way to fail in life with this. Whatever you like to do, losers will just tell you it won't work and after some time, you will also become a loser. They can never inspire you to take risk or proceed ahead. Sometime, they do leg pulling also in name of saving you from further losses. You can expect any single word of healing from them if you are hurt anywhere.You need to separate yourself as soon as possible.

2. Uncertainty of What You Want.

You can meet every other one saying, "I want to be rich". It's fine with that generic goal but the problem is, how much riches do you want to acquire? Or what is the definition of being rich ? What are your methods to achieve them? Put it this way - the methods used to make a million and $3,000 are different. No wonder some people couldn't experience breakthroughs in life because they are playing small for big goals. If you want to make a million, you better put in that level of commitment and resources. Organize them. Just talking won’t solve the problem. Fix up what you really want, what you have, and how you would arrange yourself. If you have marketing communication, tape up new markets for your services and products. If you have other skills, sort out how you can use them best.

3. Getting confused if You Want Everything.

It's nice to have a lot of things but if you go chasing everything, you will get nothing. You know! You only have 24 hours a day and you've got to focus on your priorities. I know, you can hire others and so on but the fact is, you've got to want 'something' first to lead to another 'something', then to everything. Make sense? If you have got confused, list out your priorities and take up the tasks one by one. You can achieve something otherwise you will loose everything.

4. Lacking Self Confidence.

You are taking up every job without considering if you are able to do it or not. You feel eager to grab every opportunity, sit down and decide what to do. You will loose your goodwill in the eyes of those who assign you. You must have confidence to do the jobs you are taking up. Otherwise say a brave NO. If you don’t do, you are inviting your failures.

5. You Are Ignorant To Ascertain Why You Want Success.

Wanting everything is bad enough - but it gets even worse if you don't even know the reason why you're trying to do something. You do not have any goal to achieve. What's the deal? Without a solid reason, a compelling reason, where are you going to find the motivation and encouragement for you to overcome obstacles? You think it's going to be fun ride to success? Then you haven't been traveling - it's a rocky road. Most people failed to achieve their goals because they never complete the journey– they give up half way (or at the beginning) because they cannot see the worth of accomplishments.

6. You Are Not Thankful To Those Who Helped You Earlier.

The people who achieved success and never felt gratitude towards those who have helped them can never repeat their success. It can be your genetic habit. Improve it. You know! The earlier success will become a matter of chance if it is so hard to say thank you. The law of reciprocity is simple – you return favors to those who helped you in the past. And maybe, they'll help you again in the future. Remember this - it takes more than just you to achieve success, so don't be a jerk. You must be thankful to those who helped you. Otherwise you are going to close the avenues of getting help if you land into any emergency.

7. You Think You are Now Perfect.

The day you stop learning is the day you stop improving yourself, you will loose your fitness. If you don't want to fail in life, make you sure you stop acting as though you already know everything. The fact is, all successful people are people who continuously learn to be even more successful. They don't stop. Let me put it in this perspective - you don't know what you don't know, you must continue to learn new things. You must have eagerness to learn. Otherwise, you will continue to remain in a blind well.

8. You Listen To The Wrong People.

You have got those people around you who are not competent enough to assess what you really want. They can be selfish and wish to use you as their tools of getting benefits or they wish to chew up your resources to their interests. You will have to ascertain – it can be possible that in one or two deals, they may show their shortfalls or continue to have duplicity. You must examine it positively and negatively, from both sides. To his exercise is necessary whenever you are going to deal with anyone.

9. Short Term Working.

Many 'successful' people make a lot of money to lose it all. This probably because they became too comfortable and the other thing is, once you achieve success, you should ride on the wave when the momentum is there. When you think short term, you're only going after the instant pleasure. You must learn to master ‘delay gratification' so that you can enjoy your today's labor. You will have to ensure your brand management efficiently.

10. You're Blind To What Is Important In Life.

There are only two things that are important in your life – control of time and experiencing happiness. Money, love, big cars, diamonds, etc are the things that contribute to these two benchmarks of successes. For instance, if you have money, you don't need to work so that you can have more time to do the things you like. It's not the money that you're trying to get but what the money can do for you. If you have got money, do enjoy but simultaneously try to make the sources of your money stronger, more stable and long lasting so that you continue to have inflow of money to enjoy. If you are able to make savings, you can use them when you feel slow inflow. If you don’t make good investments timely, you may not get another chance to build up yourself.

Have some meditation and/or other yoga exercises. Think over and start! It's okay to fail and you should fail as many times as you can. That is how you learn but more importantly, you should never give up – each time you get kick dirt in your face, wash your face and ‘fight' back. Don't go crying like a sissy because Mum's not going to come cleaning your face always, you need to be mature enough to handle your affairs independently.

Be Happy – avoid your failures by redesigning your working style.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Be Happy –Increase Your Sales

For the survival of the trading activities, it is essential that the person or organization involved in trading activities should ensure continuous outgo (sales) of the goods, against sufficient consideration, they purchase for trading. In case the sales do not match with the purchases or production, the organization may feel short of liquidity or cash/funds inflow resulting into holding up of the purchase/production activities and that will come to stop. In a healthy economy, there is no problem in selling out the goods as the traders/manufacturers do have sufficient demand of their products but in slow-down, the inventory goes up and procurement/production has to be curtailed to reduce the inventory costs.

Generally, those organizations/persons who continue strenuously working for increasing the sales of their products/services, do care that their entity is well established and be known with some brand name with which the consumer may have confidence on account of quality and price factors. A brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers. Therefore, it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.

Around 1900, James Walter Thompson published a house ad explaining trademark advertising. This was an early commercial explanation of what we now know as branding. Companies soon adopted slogans, mascots, and jingles which began to appear on radio and early television. By the 1940s, manufacturers began to recognize the way in which consumers were developing relationships with their brands in a social/psychological/anthropological sense.

A well established brand ensures that it :
• Delivers the message clearly.
• Confirms your credibility.
• Connects your target prospects emotionally.
• Motivates the buyer.
• Concretes User Loyalty.

To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your efforts at every point of public contact. Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for sales intensifies day by day. It's important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all it is your brand that is the source of a promise to your prospects. It's a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.

Now that the economic downturn constraining growth for big brands in big markets is for a few years, possibly indicating a longer term change, some new thinking has entered the marketplace. Creative brand marketers are beginning to aggressively embrace what would have been deviation not so long ago: synergistic branding...the intention of borrowing and sharing equity with other brands to reach new markets, connecting emotionally and intellectually with consumers of your services.

A brand has become a distinctive name identifying a product or manufacturer. They emotionally motivate you to purchase the goods they represent. They are more than just a name; they are all that surrounds that name: brand and aura. Sometime, a good brand becomes so much popular that the people forget the original character of the commodity and personify with the brand. For example, Surf is a brand name of detergents. But people ask surf, not the detergents. Dalda is a brand name for vegetable oils. But here too, Dalda has become personified the vegetable oil. People ask for Dalda not the vegetable oils and shopkeeper understand that the customer is asking for vegetable oil.

Brands are provocative forces that can evoke empathy or hatred. While marketers have worked to ensure brand consistency around the world, the new information highway and individual points of view say that Pepsi, for example, cannot mean the same thing all across the globe. It depends on who you are and where you are looking from...and that's personal and local brand perception. What's associated with it-outside of it-helps determine the brand and its aura. Using Britney Spears in a Pepsi ad makes the brand hot in the USA, but not in the Middle East.

Establishing and knowing your brand not only in its home market but also how it resonates in markets and with individuals in local communities wherever you want to be is the new game. Consider what your brand is. You need to create an aura. Give some adjectives. Make sure they are clear in the name, your website, look and feel. Then, take a look upon the strategy as you are the target. What do you feel? Let's say you're a consultant. Whether you're selling to IBM or a sole proprietor, your personality must speak to them. Are you classic? Uptown? Downtown? Behind the scenes? Front row and center? Jeans or Celine? Whatever your personal brand, your logo, products, collateral presentations, and personal presence must harmonize, because if they don't, you'll lose your brand aura.

Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service. People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is, therefore, one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management.

Careful brand management, supported by a cleverly crafted advertising campaign, can be highly successful in convincing consumers to pay remarkably high prices for products which are inherently extremely cheap to make. This concept, known as creating value, essentially consists of manipulating the projected image of the product so that the consumer sees the product as being worth the amount that the advertiser wants him/her to see, rather than a more logical valuation that comprises an aggregate of the cost of raw materials, plus the cost of manufacture, plus the cost of distribution. Modern value-creation branding-and-advertising campaigns are highly successful at inducing consumers to pay, for example, 50 dollars for a T-shirt that cost a mere 50 cents to make, or 5 dollars for a box of breakfast cereal that contains a few cents' worth of wheat.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo), which it used in the logo for

Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic (see also brand promise). From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner.
Brand identity

A product identity, or Brand image are typically the attributes one associates with a brand, how the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand - and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's differentiation from competitors.

You need to set up a brand, maintain it and try to make it so popular that you and/or your products are started to be known by your brand name. As soon as you get such goodwill, you won’t need to make more efforts for increasing your sales. Your brand will itself pull the customers. You need to sustain its goodwill by ensuring the quality and services you may be known for.

Be Happy – Increase your sales as this approach is deciding factor for enhancement of your income, betterment of your living standards, education, health, pleasures and relieving you of your metal stress and fatigue etc.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Be Happy – Brand Yourself in This Recession

The threat of potential lay-offs is making many think about ways and means to survive in their respective jobs and remain valuable. By creating a unique identity through self branding an employee can stand out from the rest at the workplace and survive any potential threat. There are often times when an employee may wonder how he stands out in a team and experts say that by simply completing tasks assigned on time or working hard for longer hours may not necessarily be the answer. It takes more than just one’s work and job profile, to be outstanding. This is where the role of crafting your own brand comes into the picture.

Generally, a brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers. Therefore, it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem. Please treat your Employers as your customers to whom you sell out your services for a consideration to be paid to you in fixed intervals.

The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:

• Delivers the message clearly.
• Confirms your credibility.
• Connects your target prospects emotionally.
• Motivates the buyer of your services, i.e., your employer.
• Concretes User Loyalty.

To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your employers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your efforts at every point of public contact. Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.

A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for jobs intensifies day by day. It's important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all your brand is the source of a promise to your prospects. It's a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without. Now that the economic downturn constraining growth for big brands in big markets has worn on for a few years, possibly indicating a longer term change, some new thinking has entered the marketplace. Creative brand marketers are beginning to aggressively embrace what would have been heresy not so long ago: synergistic branding...the intention of borrowing and sharing equity with other brands to reach new markets, connecting emotionally and intellectually with consumers of your services.

In an organization which employs hundreds or thousands of employees, it is very much essential for each and every employee to try to stand out in the crowd. He must understand how he should nurture his skills further, especially for the tough times so that they are able to exceed or remain at least at par with other industries.This is the first step in the process of developing your brand strategy. By defining who your brand is you create the foundation for all other components to build on. Your brand definition will serve as your measuring stick in evaluating any and all marketing materials and strategies. You can begin this process by answering the questions below.

Here's How:

1. What services do you offer? Define the qualities of these services.
2. What are the core values of your products and services? What are the core values?
3. What is your mission?
4. What do you specialize in?
5. Who is your target? Who do your services attract?
6. What is the tagline? What message does your tagline send to your prospects?
7. Using the information from the previous steps create a personality or character that represents your products or services. What is the character like? What qualities stand out? Is your personality innovative, creative, energetic, or sophisticated?
8. Use the personality that you created in the previous step and build a relationship with your target market that you defined in Step 5. How does that personality react to target audience? What characteristics stand out? Which characteristics and qualities get the attention of your prospects?
9. Review the answers to the questions above and create a profile of your brand. Describe the personality or character with words just as if you were writing a biography or personal ad. Be creative.
10. You need to be a great team mate and a supportive colleague. It is essential to kill the competition from within.
11. You need to be a little more passionate about your job and make others know that you are excellent in your particular task-job.
12. Please finish the tasks assigned to you on time with exceptional quality.
13. You will have to be proactive and discuss your views on improving relations with your seniors.
14. Concentration on bringing about innovations into your project/tasks to make it more efficient would definitely bear fruits.
15. Assess your own brand value by asking yourself, “If I am not around, will I be missed by your team?” If no, you need more efforts to make them feel your absence.
16. Understand your strengths, abilities and use them to your advantages at the workplace.
17. Give up your ego and personal enmities and identify who can harm you. You need to maintain good relations and come closer to find out the weaknesses of your enemies.
18. Participate in cultural activities of the Organization openly. It will boost up your morale and help you in coming into limelight before your seniors.
19. You must question yourself if you are right in your doing, your etiquettes, your clothing, and your presentations. Your self introspection will help you improve to assume that your appearance is equally good and the people may like your association always.
20. Keep constant communication with every one you come into contact and evaluate how much that contact is valuable. Concentrate on the more valuable connections.

The above are some suggestions you can consider to act upon with optimistic approach after due examination in the light of the circumstances prevailing around you, after doing the necessary modifications if you deem proper. Sure, you would be happier again.

Be Happy - Brand Yourself in This Recession.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Be Happy – Prayer connects you with the Supreme (Part – 2)

Prayer is an act by which we beg for gifts or graces from God. In a more general sense, it is the application of the mind to Divine things, not merely to acquire the knowledge of them but to make use of such knowledge as a means of union with God. In prayer, we call up, intercede, mediate, consult, beseech and, very commonly, cry out to Him. The Fathers speak of it as the elevation of the mind to God with a view to communing, conversing and asking proper things. It is, therefore, the expression of our desires to God whether for ourselves or others. This expression is not intended to instruct or direct God what to do, but to appeal to His goodness for the things we need; and the appeal is necessary, not because He is ignorant of our needs or sentiments, but to give definite form to our desires, to concentrate our whole attention on what we have to ask Him, to help us. The expression need not be external
or vocal; internal or mental is sufficient.

By prayer, we acknowledge God's power and goodness, our own need and dependence. It is, therefore, an act implying the deepest reverence for God and habituating us to look to Him for everything, not merely because the thing asked be good in itself, or advantageous to us, but chiefly because we wish it as a gift of God, and not otherwise, no matter how good or desirable it may seem to us. Prayer presupposes faith in God and hope in His goodness. By both, God, to whom we pray, moves us to prayer.

Why do we pray for?

Like every act that makes for salvation, grace is required not only to pray, but also to aid us in determining what to pray for. For certain objects we are always sure we should pray, such as our salvation, resistance to temptation, but constantly we need guidance to know the special means that will most help us in any particular need. That there may be no possibility of misjudgment on our part in such an essential obligation, we must adjudge what we should ask for in prayer and also in what order we should ask it. We should ask for nothing unless it be strictly in accordance with Divine Providence in our regard. We ask also for temporal things, our daily bread, and all that it implies, health, strength, and other worldly or temporal goods, not material or corporal only, but mental and moral, every accomplishment that may be a means of serving God and our fellow- men. Finally, there are the evils which we should pray to escape, the penalty of our sins, the dangers of temptation, and every manner of physical or spiritual affliction, so far as these might impede us in God's service.

To whom may we pray?

Although God is mentioned in our prayer as the one to whom we are to pray, it is not out of place to address our prayers to the other Divine persons. The special appeal to one does not exclude the others. It is the individual choice of the person making prayer.

Who can pray?

There is no classification whether who is entitled to pray or who is not entitled to do so. The just can pray, and sinners also. Though there is no supernatural merit in the sinner's prayer, it may be heard, and indeed he is obliged to make it just as before he sinned. No matter how hardened he may become in sin, he needs and is bound to pray to be delivered from it and from the temptations which beset him. His prayer could offend God only if it were hypocritical, or presumptuous.

Effects of prayer

In hearing our prayer God does not change His will or action in our regard, but simply puts into effect what He had eternally decreed in view of our prayer. This He may do directly without the intervention of any secondary cause as when He imparts to us some supernatural gift, such as actual grace, or indirectly, when He bestows some natural gift. In this latter case He directs by His Providence the natural causes which contribute to the effect desired, whether they be moral or free agents, such as men; or some moral and others not, but physical and not free; or, again, when none of them is free. Finally, by miraculous intervention, and without employing any of these causes, He can produce the effect prayed for.

The use or habit of prayer redounds to our advantage in many ways. Besides obtaining the gifts and graces we need, the very process elevates our mind and heart to a knowledge and love of Divine things, greater confidence in God, and other precious sentiments. Indeed, so numerous and so helpful are these effects of prayer that they compensate us, even when the special object of our prayer is not granted. Often they are of far greater benefit than what we ask for. Nothing that we might obtain in answer to our prayer could exceed in value the familiar converse with God in which prayer consists. In addition to these effects of prayer, we may merit by it restoration to grace, if we are in sin; new inspirations of grace, increase of sanctifying grace, and satisfy for the temporal punishment due to sin.

Conditions of prayer

He listens to all without discrimination on the basis of caste, color, creed or anything, but we see certain conditions on which the efficacy of prayer depends. In the first place, its object must be worthy of God and good for the one who prays, spiritually or temporally. This condition is always implied in the prayer of one who is resigned to God's will, ready to accept any spiritual favor God may be pleased to grant, and desirous of temporal ones only in so far as they may help to serve God. Next, faith is needed, not only the general belief that God is capable of answering prayer or that it is a powerful means of obtaining His favor, but also the implicit trust in God's fidelity to His promise to hear a prayer in some particular instance. This trust implies a special act of faith and hope that if our request be for our good, God will grant it, or something else equivalent or better, which in His Wisdom He deems best for us. To be efficacious prayer should be humble. To ask as if one had a binding claim on God's goodness, or title of whatever color to obtain some favor, would not be prayer but demand. We may and should try to be sure that our conscience is good, and that there is no defect in our conduct inconsistent with prayer; indeed, we may even appeal to our merits so far as they recommend us to God, provided always that the principal motives of one's confidence are God's goodness and the merits of Christ. Sincerity is another necessary quality of prayer. It would be idle to ask favor without doing all that may be in our power to obtain it; to beg for it without really wishing for it; or, at the same time that one prays, to do anything inconsistent with the prayer. Earnestness or fervor is another such quality, precluding all lukewarm or half-hearted petitions. To be resigned to God's will in prayer does not imply that one should be indifferent in the sense that one does not care whether one be heard or not, or should receive; on the contrary, true resignation to God's will is possible only after we have desired and earnestly expressed our desire in prayer for such things as seem needful to do God's will.

Further, God does not wish that you should not work at all and just make prayers for getting your wishes accomplished. He asks you to work to your maximum capacity with full sincerity in heart towards your interests and without harming other interests ingenuinely Once a very poor person continued to make prayers, for getting a reward against some lottery, at whatever forum he got, repeatedly for a long period. When he was getting disappointed, he attempted to complain to Him that He did not listen to him so far. God was seeing all this. Being moved with his grievances, God asked him that He was pleased to see his devotion and considering him to reward him but at least he should have purchased a lottery ticket. For the purchase of ticket, the poor man would have to work, such prayers can not be granted.

Attention in prayer

Finally, attention is of the very essence of prayer. As an expression of sentiment emanating from our intellectual faculties prayer requires their application, i.e. attention. As soon as this attention ceases, prayer ceases. To begin praying and allow the mind to be wholly diverted or distracted to some other occupation or thought necessarily terminates the prayer, which is resumed only when the mind is withdrawn from the object of distraction. To admit distraction is wrong when one is obliged to apply oneself to prayer; when there is no such obligation, one is at liberty to pass from the subject of prayer, provided it be done without irreverence, to any other proper subject. This is all very simple when applied to mental prayer; but does vocal prayer require the same attention as mental,-in other words, when praying vocally must one attend to the meaning of words, and if one should cease to do so, would one by that very fact cease to pray? Vocal prayer differs from mental precisely in this that mental prayer is not possible without attention to the thoughts that are conceived and expressed whether internally or externally. Neither is it possible to pray without attending to thought and words when we attempt to express our sentiment in our own words; whereas all that is needed for vocal prayer proper is the repetition of certain words, usually a set form with the intention of using them in prayer. So long as the intention lasts, i.e. so long as nothing is done to terminate it or wholly inconsistent with it, so long as one continues to repeat the form of prayer, with proper reverence in disposition and outward manner, with only this general purpose of praying according to the prescribed form, so long as one continues to pray and no thought or external act can be considered a distraction unless it terminate our intention, or by levity or irreverence be wholly inconsistent with the prayer. Thus one may pray in the crowded streets where it is impossible to avoid sights and sounds and consequent imaginations and thoughts.

Mental prayer

Meditation is a form of mental prayer consisting in the application of the various faculties of the soul, memory, imagination, intellect, and will, to the consideration of some mystery, principle, truth, or fact, with a view to exciting proper spiritual emotions and resolving on some act or course of action regarded as God's will and as a means of union with Him. In some degree or other it has always been practised by God-fearing souls.

Your prayer may be for any truth or fact whatever concerning God or the human soul, God's existence, His attributes, such as justice, mercy, love, wisdom, His law, providence, revelation, creation and its purpose, sin and its penalties, death, creation and its purpose, sin and its penalties, death, judgment, hell, redemption, etc. The precise aspect of the subject should be determined very definitely, otherwise its consideration will be general or superficial and of no practical benefit. As far as possible its application to one's spiritual needs should be foreseen, and to work up interest in it, as one retires and rises, one should recall it to mind so as to make it a sleeping and a waking thought. When ready for meditation, a few moments should be given to recollecting what we are about to do so as to begin with quiet of mind and deeply impressed with the sacredness of prayer. A brief act of adoration of God naturally follows, with a petition that our intention to honor Him in prayer may be sincere and persevering, and that every faculty and act, interior and exterior, may contribute to His service and praise. The subject of the meditation is then recalled to mind, and in order to fix the attention, the imagination is here employed to construct some scene appropriate to the subject, e.g. the Garden of Paradise, if the meditation be on Creation, or the Fall of Man; Hell, the bottomless and boundless pit of fire. This is called the composition of the place, and even when the subject of meditation has no apparent material associations, the imagination can always devise some scene or sensible image that will help to fix or recall one's attention and appreciate the spiritual matter under consideration. Thus, when considering sin, especially carnal sin, as enslaving the soul, the similarity of the body to the prison house of the soul is imagined.

Quite often this initial step, or prelude as it is called, might occupy one profitably the entire time set apart for meditation; but ordinarily it should be made in a few minutes. A brief petition follows for the special grace one hopes to obtain and then the meditation proper begins. The memory recalls the subject as definitely as possible, one point at a time, repeating it over if necessary, always as a matter of intimate personal interest, and with a strong act of faith until the intellect naturally apprehends the truth or the import of the fact under consideration, and begins to conceive it as a matter for careful consideration, reasoning about it and studying what it implies for one's welfare. Gradually an intense interest is aroused in these reflections, until, with faith quickening the natural intelligence one begins to perceive applications of the truth or fact to one's condition and needs and to feel the advantage or necessity of acting upon the conclusions drawn from one's reflections. This is the important moment of meditation. The conviction that we need or should do something in accordance with our consideration begets in us desires or resolutions which we long to accomplish. It we are serious we shall admit of no self-deception either as to the propriety or possibility of such resolutions on our part. No matter what it may cost us to be consistent, we shall adopt them, and the more we appreciate their difficulty and our own weakness or incapacity, the more we shall try to value the motives which prompt us to adopt them, and above all the more we shall pray for grace to be able to carry them out.

If we are in earnest we shall not be satisfied with a superficial process. In the light of the truth we are meditating, our past experience will come to mind and confront us perhaps with memory of failure in previous attempts similar to those we are considering now, or at least with a keen sense of the difficulty to be apprehended, making us more solicitous about the motives animating us and humble in petitioning God's grace. These petitions, as well as all the various emotions that arise from our reflections, find expression in terms of prayer to God which are called colloquies, or conversations with Him. They may occur at any point in the process, whenever our thoughts inspire us to call upon God for our needs, or even for light to perceive and appreciate them and to know the means of obtaining them. This general process is subject to variations according to the character of the matter under consideration. The number of preludes and colloquies may vary, and the time spent in reasoning may be greater or less according to our familiarity with the subject. There is nothing mechanical in the process; indeed, if analyzed, it is clearly the natural operation of each faculty and of all in concert.

Meditation carefully followed forms habits of recalling and reasoning rapidly and with some ease about Divine things in such a manner as to excite pious affections, which become very ardent and which attach us very strongly to God's will. When prayer is made up chiefly of such affections, it is called Effective prayer, to denote that instead of having to labor mentally to admit or grasp a truth, we have grown so familiar with it that almost the mere recollection of it fills us with sentiments of faith, hope, charity; moves us to practise more generously one or other of the moral virtues; inspires us to make some act of self-sacrifice or to attempt some work for the glory of God. When these affections become more simple, that is, less numerous, less varied, and less interrupted or impeded by reasoning or mental attempts to find expression either for considerations or affections, they constitute the prayer of simplicity, of simple attention to one dominant thought or Divine object without reasoning on it, but simply letting it recur at intervals to renew or strengthen the sentiments which keep the soul united to God.

Some time prayers work a lot when medicines fail to cure some ailment, even some doctors of modern age advise the relatives of a patient when they see that the patient has reached to incurable stage and medicines and other efforts are showing results. Whatever our individual faiths be, we do make prayers in distress. In happiness, if we do it for others’ welfare, I believe that God will be happier.

Be Happy – Prayer connects you with the Supreme.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Be Happy – Prayer connects you with the Supreme

Our prayer to God is a reverent petition to God; it is an object of worship, sometime a part of spirituality related pursuit. You can say it is a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession. It is a call in specially worded form of asking a favor; an earnest request or entreaty; it is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. It is a beseeching the Lord; pouring out the soul before the Lord. Through prayers, you cry to heaven; you are seeking unto God and making supplication. This way, you are drawing near to God.

Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, His personal control of all things and of all His creatures and all their actions. It is presumed that acceptable prayer must be sincere, offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that He will fulfill His word. Just you ask sincerely, and you shall receive, it is believed.

Kinds of Prayer

Prayer is of different kinds, secret, social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary. Prayer may be done privately and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers. Prayer can be incorporated into a daily "thought life," in which one is in constant communication with a god. Some people pray throughout all that is happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. This is actually regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations, although enforcement is neither possible nor desirable. There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there, in fact, comes an answer. Some may experience audible, physical, or mental epiphanies. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random.

Rules of Prayer

Some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil; ringing a bell; burning incense or paper; lighting a candle or candles; facing a specific direction (i.e. towards Mecca or the East); making the sign of the cross and fasting.No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling, bowing and spreading out the hands, and of standing. Specific forms of this may include praise, requesting guidance or assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or an expression of one's thoughts and emotions. The words used in prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation or a spontaneous utterance in the person's praying words. Praying can be done in public, as a group, or in private. Most major religions in the world involve prayer in one way or another in their rituals. Although in many cases the act of prayer is ritualized and must be followed through a sometimes strict sequence of actions (even going as far as restricting who may pray), other religions, mainly the Abrahamic religions, teach that prayer can be done spontaneously by anyone at any moment.

Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, and reverent physical gestures. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer. Some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant mantras. Orthodox Jews sway their bodies back and forth and Muslims kneel and prostrate. Quakers keep silent. Some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Still others combine the two. These methods show a variety of understandings to prayer, which are led by underlying beliefs. These beliefs may be that the finite can actually communicate with the infinite, that the infinite is interested in communicating with the finite, that prayer is intended to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, rather than to influence the recipient, that prayer is intended to train a person to focus on the recipient through philosophy and intellectual contemplation, that prayer is intended to enable a person to gain a direct experience of the recipient, that prayer is intended to affect the very fabric of reality as we perceive it, that prayer is a catalyst for change in one's self and/or one's circumstances, or likewise those of third party beneficiaries, that the recipient desires and appreciates prayer, or any combination of these.

A variety of body postures may be assumed, often with specific meaning (mainly respect or adoration) associated with them: standing; sitting; kneeling; prostrate on the floor; eyes opened; eyes closed; hands folded or clasped; hands upraised; holding hands with others; a laying on of hands and others. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed. They may be said, chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence while prayers are offered mentally. Often, there are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance.

It is, however, believed that whatever the form you adopt for prayers, they must be with sincere heart. Once you do it sincerely, it is answered in due course of time. Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the person who should be wife to his master's son and heir. Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship. Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel . Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it. Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild Jerusalem. Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction. The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his death. Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while the thorn perhaps remained.

Significance of Prayer

Prayer connects us with the Supreme. Many situations and challenges in life help us realize that we are merely playing our role in the stage of life. Nonetheless, in our daily life, we consider ourselves to be the master of both our actions and the results thereof, but over our actions but not of the result. We wonder about the result even before any actions but not of the result. We wonder about the result even before any action is taken and thus lose focus. Prayer is an act of surrender to the Supreme; we stoop in order to be elevated; we bow with utmost reverence, exemplifying utmost humility to the Almighty. The power of prayer is tremendous and helps us overcome the toughest of challenges, hurdles and misfortunes. The principle in life is to put in the best in our efforts and surrender our actions to the Lord for He would take care of the rest.

A prayer is a most pious act. The sheer act of praying is associated with purity; we purify ourselves by praying. The sincerity and honesty, with which we pray, disappear after we end the prayer. We perform our daily duties routinely, very differently from the act of varying. Consequently we tend to become insincere to the religious principles. We get back from life what we give to life. Our life involves others also and many a time the helping hand extend to others is promoted by selfishness. The issue which bothers us is whether we have gained something and if so, how much, from any given situation. Prayer is an activity which gives immense satisfaction. While we pray, we feel content and satisfied, but the satisfaction dissipates fast enough. Generally, we pray for our well-being in terms of health, wealth happiness and peace. Many a time, we look beyond ourselves too. Since we are genuinely concerned about our near and dear one, we pray for their well-being also. However, we never apply this concept to the wider circle of people in our lives with whom we interact daily or even those we infrequently interact with.

Most often, we disguise our jealousy with superficial expression of happiness, a smile or a few words of appreciation when we learn of the happiness of others. Just as in a prayer, the principle in life is to feel and be truly happy in others happiness. Only then can we have a sense of genuine well-being and sustain the satisfaction. Traditionally, praying has been a ritual, being performed daily or weekly in most house-holds. It enriches the person, brings happiness and helps us to remain calm and contented in adverse conditions. A life well lived does not necessarily imply living a materialistic, consumptive life; it could also mean living a satisfied, happy, peaceful and enriched life. Thus, understanding the meaning and essence of life and setting right goals and priorities accordingly are essential. Prayer invokes religious sentiments and religious thoughts, reduce rates of cheating in games and increased trust between strangers.

Prayer Groups

A prayer group is a group of people that meet to pray together. These groups, formed mostly within Christian congregations but occasionally among Muslim groups as well, gather outside of the congregation's regular worship service to pray for perceived needs, sometimes within the congregation, sometimes within their religious group at large. However, these groups often pray also for the world around them, including people who do not share their beliefs.

Many prayer group meetings are held according to a regular schedule, usually once a week. However, extraordinary events, such as the September 11 attacks or major disasters spawned a number of improvised prayer group meetings. Prayer groups do not need to meet in person, and there is a vast array of single-purpose prayer groups in the world.

Be happy – We may do prayer for our happiness since it connects to the Supreme.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Be Happy – Outward Presentation Also Pays Well

Earlier, we discussed about the development of our personality. We agree that good personality plays a vital role. In development of good personality, we have to make an assessment of our existing personality in all respects and have to focus upon the weaknesses. We also agree that outward presentation of ourselves also pays well if we take up the process of our overall personality.

It is an old proverb that first impression is the last impression. It is true also to that extent that whenever you meet someone, he/she gets influenced with your appearance, your way of presentation of yourself. You may sometime think why you need to present yourself. You need it, you need it very much as success in every issue – whether that is a petty or significant one, whether that is your career or any thing else. It matters whether you are a student, on job, job-seeker meeting your prospective employer, you are a businessman, you are a household lady or working woman, you are an employer or top boss of a company/organization, leader, psychologist or a spiritual Guru. You are hunting for finance or any opportunity, your win in your life has a lot to do and that can be gained at least to the extent of fifty percent by your presentation only and the rest can be achieved by your performance thereafter.

If we see a woman checking herself in the mirror, we don’t need to pass a nasty remark. If experts are to be believed, being well-groomed and well-dressed are great investments for one’s career growth and a vibrant family life. While one need not be obsessive about one’s looks, a well-groomed personality is easy on the eye and on the mind. It gives a good vibe. In any profession, the first impression is built on the verbal and non-verbal transaction between individuals (or groups). To a great extent, body language, physical look and communication patterns from an ambiance that leads to success or failure. This holds true for both genders. If one is priggish and proper, it shows that the person is meticulous. Similarly, how one talks, smiles and greets people are important segments of that package, which one cannot ignore if he/she wants to climb the career ladder. In fact, this has a reflection on one’s social and personal life as well.

For success, there should be a basic reflection of grooming and etiquette in a person’s appearance as it instills a certain discipline. You know! First impressions are formed within the first 30 seconds, where 55 per cent is based on appearance, 38 per cent on voice and body language and seven per cent on what one says. The right way to smile, shake hands, greet, color and cuts of clothes, depending on one’s complexion and body type impress the others. If you feel such things are shallow and need to be dismissed, you must think again. We all admire colors; we all are buoyed by fragrance and fascinated by nature. Being well-groomed is just an extension of that appreciation of beauty.

When at office, you are well-dressed; you get appreciative glances which make you feel confident. But it is not just clothes, good manners are important too. It is important to look good to feel good, irrespective of where you are, home or office. None wants to have a sloppy and smelling personality sitting next to him. It is simple as that. At home even, if you remain well dressed, that makes decent impressions on your family members and the neighbors too. Your guests would also feel comfortable – you need to remain well dressed whatever be the occasion. The filthy dress invites filthy remarks and would affect your performance as well.

Style is an integral part of every professional’s life. Though it is not sex-specific, men have fewer style options compared to women. It is all the more important in the case of working women as style lapse is easily noticed. Grooming is fundamental to anyone’s welfare, men and women. If a person with undone nails, disheveled hair and crushed clothes gives a presentation, would you even look at him/her? Looking pleasant, smelling good, talking well and smiling enough are no longer cosmetic requirements alone. They go a long way in making one feel good while also ensuring better ratings in their performance record.

1. Your personal appearance has the transformation effect.

Your personal appearance makes a lot of difference in the thinking of the person you are going to meet. One of the powers of clothing is that it can transform an individual’s state of mind. Dress like a professional businessman and you are more likely to act like a professional businessman. Students too confirm that they perform better when they dress-up for an exam. When women feel sick in the morning or interested to feel afresh, they use the power of dressing-up to shrug off sickness. That is why most of the household women take an early bath and after finishing their household jobs, they take another bath to proceed to well dressing. The transformative effect is powerful and instantly effective; what is most amazing is that so few people use it.

2. Proper dressing improves self discipline in your team.

In armies, we insist for well dressing. Why? It is believed and recognized that sharp dressed soldiers are more disciplined than shabbily dressed personnel. Military dress inspections have persisted not because shiny boots win wars, but because the exercise teaches a military force to pay attention to the minute details of every action for winning the battles.

In the same way, a person who dresses professionally learns the value of self discipline. They learn that planning and allotting enough time are paramount for consistent results. They prepare for the day by thinking through it, anticipating their needs, and taking the proper steps to ensure they can meet the challenge. A disciplined dresser can arrange his outfit to meet his needs from 8AM to midnight, from office to presentation to drinks after work.

3. Proper dressing wins appreciation and respect.
It is true that properly clothing yourself takes time; shirts need to be ironed, shoes shined, and jackets brushed. Perhaps the greatest lesson this teaches is to respect the effort put forth by our fellow human beings. When you meet another well dressed man, you give him an extra measure of respect because of his outfit; you notice the perfect dimple in his tie and appreciate it because it took you 15 minutes and 5 attempts to perfect your own. Mutual respect between person to person is garnered when they recognize the efforts each has put forth.

4. The power of visuals is enormous.
Numerous communication studies have demonstrated the power of visuals in human interaction. With covering 90% of your body, your clothing plays to ascertain how you are perceived by others. If you wish faster & better service in a restaurant, you need to give impression that you have money and that can be evident from your dressing. If you wish to increase your chances on a college presentation you must care for your dressing. Similarly, if you wish instant credibility in a business environment, you must wear a suit when making the pitch or meeting with management.

5. You must value your first impression.
You know! The harsh reality is that we make decisions about people within the first 3 seconds of meeting them; we then spend the next 90 seconds trying to confirm our first impressions. This means that before you even open your mouth your image stands sized up and profiled. Knowing this, a person should always dress neatly, professionally, and appropriately. The fact is you never know who you are going to meet; at anytime you may run into a potential client, a future employer, or for those singles out there, the love of your life. And like it or not, they are going to form their initial impression of you based off of how you look. Made within a few seconds, first impressions are powerful and should not be taken lightly. We often observe a person before we speak with them, and being human we look to make sense of what our eyes are showing us. Using our personal experiences, we categorize individuals; we pick-up on a key feature that has meaning to us and then associate that person with it. If what you are wearing is doing all the talking for you, make sure it is sending the message you want.

6. You must choose the power of colors and patterns to suit the occasion.
Colors and patterns are very powerful; certain ones grab our attention, some accentuate our natural tones, and others affect our emotions. When choosing colors and patterns a person should first understand which ones work for him and which ones do not. Next, he needs to determine what message he wants to send. A person decked out in a pin-striped navy blue suit, blue shirt with white contrasting collar and cuffs, and a red tie screams power and authority. A person wearing a solid brown suit with an earth tone shirt and light colored tie signals trust and openness. Both men were wearing suits, but two very different messages were being conveyed. You must try to non-striking colors if you are going to attend some grieved gathering.

7. Your dress conveys influence and authority.
The men’s suit, whose heritage stems from military garb, was designed to highlight his strengths. When cut properly and made with a fabric that compliments the wearer, it signals authority and commands attention. When you deal with a policeman, an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer or some other professionals, and if they are professionally dressed, their garments assure us that the person we are dealing with is an authority in his/her respective field.

8. Your well dress gives positive assumptions.

Well dressed people are given a leg up in many respects. They are often perceived as being smarter, and more enjoyable to be around. Taking this a step further, dressing professionally can help you appear more important to the success of your company and may even help you hold onto your job. Assuming all other factors being even, the management lets go the technician who dresses well and can be put in front of a client or the guy who does not own a suit. In this current economic downturn, every small detail matters.

Every person is unique, and every person has his own individual style. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with marketing messages trying to tell us who we should want to be, how buying this will make us cool, how sporting this brand will improve our looks. You will have to form a foundation from which you will make your own personal style decisions. You need to create a hunger within you to discover your individual style.

9. You need not to follow up the whimsical winds of fashion.
Many men are confused by fashion trends, and for good reason. Unlike baseball or engineering, there seems to be no logic or set of ground rules as to how it operates. What’s fashionable today may not be liked next week, and what looks good on that tall athletic model doesn’t seem to compliment you or most the persons you know.

A person’s personal style should be influenced by three things:the physical characteristics, the environment in which he finds himself, and the personal preferences. I will address each of these separately.

I. The Foundation of your Personal Style is Your Physical Characteristics.
Persons come in all shapes and colors; some are light skinned, short, and thin as a rail while others are dark, tall, and heavy set. And just as every combination of physical attributes yields a unique appearance, every physical combination has a set of style combinations that best enhances it. Aesthetically speaking, there are certain colors, patterns, and clothing silhouette combinations that best compliment each and every one of us.

II. Your Environment also refines your Personal Style.
The second factor in determining your personal style is your environment. A banker in Orlando, Florida has very different needs than a teacher in Chicago, Illinois. Both men want to look professional, but each has different environmental and professional factors that affect their choices. Each man makes choices based off of his environment. If they are to switch places, both may have to alter their wardrobes. But in their respective locations, they will make solid clothing decisions according to the environment.

III. Your Wants and Desires make your Individual Style.
Finally, the most important factors in determining your personal style are your wants and desires. How do you want to appear to others? Creative, intelligent, a team player, all of these is possible. Although at this point we have narrowed down the range of clothing at your disposal, we have by no means stifled your choices. No, there is still an endless array of accessories, colors, patterns, and details that will take the menswear that best compliments you and make it yours.

Final Thoughts

You can wear whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want; you need to lay out a thought process so that you can dress yourself in a professional manner no matter who you are and where you may find yourself. These days, the economy is forcing even the biggest shopping-aholics to put the breaks on spending. And clothing may be one of the first things to go. Fashion diet? Yes. But it doesn't have to feel like starvation; Whether you're a high-powered exec or self-employed professional or a business person, you've probably found that as your responsibilities increase your shopping time has suffered. Before you resort to drastic measures like buying your clothes on the run at the same place you get your groceries, take advantage of strategies that can keep you well dressed in less time. Here are a few tips on how to dress gorgeously and save money while doing so.

• You must do shopping selectively

Some persons have a habit of splurging for items they don’t particularly need, whereas avoid splurges by shopping for just a half-dozen indispensable wardrobe items each year. You must prefer quality over quantity. Quality of life overall is very important.

French designer Anne Fontaine, known for her white shirts, says that "besides a beautiful blouse, every woman should have a great pair of jeans, black pants, a perfect skirt, a perfect little black dress and a jacket for each season." Consider this collection of basics a jumping off point--with a few accessories added in, there are endless outfit possibilities. A little black dress, for example, can be dressed up with fine jewelry for a formal event, paired with a jacket for a business dinner or worn with sandals having straps for a cocktail party.

• You must assess every Purchase

You must assess how often you will be able to wear every item you purchase. Please do not do just picking something because it is in fashion. You need to give more thought to it. How many times can you wear it? Is it versatile enough to go from day, to work, to cocktails? And will you want to wear it again and again? That sequined jacket may look great on a store rack but most likely it won’t be wearable at the office. A tuxedo blazer, on the other hand, can be paired with jeans for a casual look or with a satin shift for a formal evening event.

You must learn how to build a distinct wardrobe, buying only comfortable clothes that are made of high-quality fabrics like an Yves Saint Laurent blouse that you can always wear year after year, season after season, it may never seem to age.

• You can have Personal shopper.

It sounds like an impossible luxury, but the complimentary personal shoppers at larger stores -- department stores or specialty -- usually don't cost you anything to use. Not only can this be a huge timesaver, it's like a free session with your own stylist.

Your shopper will pre-shop the store before you get there according to your style, size and budget preferences. Then, you'll either be presented the choices in a private setting or in some cases the shopper can bring the choices to your home or office.

• You may opt for going high-end

At some of the premium stores you'll find not only personal shoppers, but excellent sales people who can help you one-on-one find what you need. In general, you'll find great service (always a timesaver) and even the extras like home or hotel delivery and an on-site tailor.

If better specialty and department stores are out of your price range, think about using them as a resource for end-of-season sales. You'll be able to buy better clothing at a more moderate price when the prices are slashed for clearance.

• You may think specialty.

Department stores are great when you have time to roam, but specialty stores -- retailers with a more focused lifestyle approach -- can offer a shopping experienced tailored to your taste. The trick is to find a specialty store that works and stick with it. You should find out which stores might work for you.

• Some time, Shopping at clubs and events can be enjoyed.

You may get in good with the gals to participate in a mega-sale of designer names that are slashed up to 80% off retail. The invitation-only event is held quarterly in New York and Los Angeles, but this national sample sale will give you the chance for total immersion shopping. You can even combine vacations with planned shopping by using a shopping tour service. Most regional apparel marts offer sample sale days when they open to the public. Check out your local apparel mart for details. They can provide good bargain too.

• You can buy in bulk.

Great jeans? Buy two of them. Perfect-fitting T-shirt? Get it in three or four colors. The secret to buying basics in bulk successfully is to find great essentials -- T-shirts, jeans, pants, - and pick up either two of the same exact item or the same item in different colors.
This type of "uniform" dressing doesn't mean your wardrobe has to be boring! By layering and accessorizing, you can make even the most boring essentials uniquely you. Buying in bulk means that your closet will always be stocked with the necessities and any extra shopping time can be spent on the accessories.

• You may use internet and catalog.

It may seem like a no-brainer to order 24/7 from the 'Net and catalogs, but if you aren't smart about your shopping, these can be a huge time drainer. If you are least bit hard to fit, mail order shopping can mean extra time with returns and tailoring. And if you don't have some idea of what you want, browsing the vast resources on the Web can take hours. You must make sure you know your size before shopping online or by catalog, and the best way to do this is to take measurements first through some experts or yourself if you are confident.

• You must skip the Trends

Instead of following trends, you may get loyal to the styles and colors that look best on you. After all, copying what’s on the runways isn’t for everyone. You must embrace your individuality. The manufacturers of garments/textiles use the magazines and celebrities to provoke the demand to wear, for increasing their business. Instead, you must choose and wear clothes that fit your personality. It is more about what feels right and looks good on you. Most of all it has to look effortless.

Be Happy - brush up your outward appearance. It also pays well.