Sunday, January 31, 2010

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory (Part 7)

The Roman Room System is another tool for improvement of our memory. This tool enables us to remember grouped information. We can associate some thing with some object lying in our room. That object may remind us about the incident or the matter as had been associated with.

Remembering Grouped Information

The Roman Room technique, also known as the Method of Loci, is an ancient and effective way of remembering information where its structure is not important. As an example, it serves as the basis of one of the powerful mnemonic systems used to learn languages.

How to Use the Tool:

To use the technique, imagine a room that you know, such as your sitting room, bedroom, office or classroom. Within the room there are some objects. Associate images representing the information you want to remember with the objects in the room. To recall information, simply take a tour around the room in your mind, visualizing the known objects and their associated images.

The technique can be expanded by going into more detail, and keying information to be remembered to smaller objects. Alternatively you can open doors from your room into other rooms and use the objects in them as well. As you need them, you can build extensions to your rooms in your imagination, and fill them with objects that would logically be there.

You can use other rooms to store other categories of information.

There is no need to restrict this information to rooms: you could use a landscape or a town you know well, and populate it with memory images.

The Roman Room technique is just one way of representing your cognitive map of the information in an easily accessible way.

See the introduction to this chapter for information on how to enhance the images used for this technique.


For example, I can use my sitting room as a basis for the technique. In this room I have the following objects:

Table, lamp, sofa, large bookcase, small bookcase, CD rack, telephone, television, DVD player, chair, mirror, black and white photographs, etc.

I may want to remember a list of World War I war poets:

Rupert Brooke, G.K. Chesterton, Walter de la Mare, Robert Graves, Rudyard Kipling, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, W.B. Yates

I could visualize walking through my front door. Within this image, someone has painted a picture on it showing a scene from the Battle of the Somme. In the center of the picture is a man sitting in a trench writing in a dirty exercise book.

I walk into the sitting room, and look at the table. On the top is RUPERT the Bear sitting in a small BROOK (we do not need to worry about where the water goes in our imagination!) This codes for Rupert Brooke.

Someone seems to have done some moving: a CHEST has been left on the sofa. Some jeans (Alphabet System: G=Jeans) are hanging out of one drawer, and some cake has been left on the top (K=Cake). This codes for G K Chesterton.

The lamp has a small statuette of a brick WALL over which a female horse (MARE) is jumping. This codes for Walter de la Mare.

Key points:

The Roman Room technique is similar to the Journey method. It works by pegging images coding for information to known things, in this case to objects in a room.

The Roman Room technique is most effective for storing lists of unlinked information, while the journey method is better for storing lists of ordered items.

Be Happy – We may improve our memory by applying one or more tools as and when found feasible.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory (Part 6)

In continuation to my earlier posts discussing about the tools for improvement of memory, I may mention that as we are aware, memory is the most important asset in our active life. Many tools have been invented but their efficacy depends upon us how sincerely we apply them to achieve our target of better memory. Life is a running cycle of incidents – our mind notes every thing and those matters which are not relevant immediately, go in record in our sub-conscious part of our mind and come up whenever there is an opportunity of flash-back. Some time we have to put pressure upon our brain by searching out different clues how to recollect a particular incident and finally, get success. I feel if we aptly apply some methods to keep remembrance of certain matters, we can refurbish ourselves very smoothly. The Journey System is one of those methods which can help us in improving our memory.

The Journey System
Remembering Long Lists

The journey method is a powerful, flexible and effective mnemonic based around the idea of remembering landmarks on a well-known journey. It combines the narrative flow of the Link Method and the structure and order of the Peg Systems into one very powerful system.

How to Use the Tool:

You use the Journey Method by associating information with landmarks on a journey that you know well. This could, for example, be your journey to work in the morning; the route you use to get to the front door when you get up; the route to visit your parents; or a tour around a holiday destination. Once you are familiar with the technique you may be able to create imaginary journeys that fix in your mind, and apply these.

To use this technique most effectively, it is often best to prepare the journey beforehand. In this way the landmarks are clear in your mind before you try to commit information to them. One of the ways of doing this is to write down all the landmarks that you can recall in order on a piece of paper. This allows you to fix these landmarks as the significant ones to be used in your mnemonic, separating them from others that you may notice as you get to know the route even better.

To remember a list of items, whether these are people, experiments, events or objects, all you need do is associate these things with the landmarks or stops on your journey.

This is an extremely effective method of remembering long lists of information. With a sufficiently long journey you could, for example, remember elements on the periodic table, lists of Kings and Presidents, geographical information, or the order of cards in a shuffled pack.

The system is extremely flexible: all you need do to remember many items is to remember a longer journey with more landmarks. To remember a short list, only use part of the route!

One advantage of this technique is that you can use it to work both backwards and forwards, and start anywhere within the route to retrieve information.

You can use the technique well with other mnemonics. This can be done either by building complex coding images at the stops on a journey, or by linking to other mnemonics at each stop. You could start other journeys at each landmark. Alternatively, you may use a peg system to organize lists of journeys, etc.


You may, as a simple example, want to remember something mundane like this shopping list:

Coffee, salad, vegetables, bread, kitchen paper, fish, chicken breasts, pork chops, soup, fruit, bath tub cleaner.

You could associate this list with a journey to a supermarket. Mnemonic images could be:
1. Front door: spilt coffee grains on the doormat
2. Rose bush in front garden: growing lettuce leaves and tomatoes around the roses
3. Car: with potatoes, onions and cauliflower on the driver's seat
4. End of the road: an arch of French bread over the road
5. Past garage: with its sign wrapped in kitchen roll
6. Under railway bridge: from which haddock and cod are dangling by their tails
7. Traffic lights: chickens squawking and flapping on top of lights
8. Past church: in front of which a pig is doing karate, breaking boards
9. Under office block: with a soup slick underneath: my car tires send up jets of tomato soup as I drive through it
10. Past car park: with apples and oranges tumbling from the top level
11. Supermarket car park: a filthy bath tub is parked in the space next to my car!

Key points:

The journey method is a powerful, effective method of remembering lists of information, by imagining images and events at stops on a journey.

As the journeys used are distinct in location and form, one list remembered using this technique is easy to distinguish from other lists.

To use this technique you need to invest some time in preparing journeys clearly in your mind. This investment pays off many times over by the application of the technique.

I hope that you enjoy this system too.

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory (Part 5)

In the earlier four parts, I made mention about some tools how to improve the memory. Continuing the sequence, we may have look upon the Alphabet Technique for remembering Simple Ordered Lists which is a popular peg word system.

The Alphabet system is a peg memory technique similar to, but more sophisticated than, the Number/Rhyme system. It is a good method for remembering longer lists of items in a specific order, in such a way that you can tell if items are missing.

It works by associating images representing letters of the alphabet with images you create for the things to be remembered.

How to Use the Tool:

When you are creating images for the letters of the alphabet, create images phonetically, so that the sound of the first syllable of the word is the name of the letter. For example, you might represent the letter 'k' with the word 'cake'.

Tony Buzan, in his book “Use Your Perfect Memory”, suggests using a system for creating vivid images that you can reconstruct if you forget them. He suggests taking the phonetic letter sound as the first consonant, and then, for the rest of the consonants in the word, using the first letters in alphabetical order that make a memorable word. For example for the letter 'S' (root 'Es') we would first see if any strong images presented themselves when we tried to create a word starting with 'EsA', 'EsB', 'EsC', 'EsD', 'EsE', etc.).

This approach has the advantage of producing an image that you can reconstruct if you forget it. You might, however, judge that this is an unnecessary complication of a relatively simple system. In any case it is best to select the strongest image that comes to mind and stick with it.

We can stipulate the image scheme like:

A - Ace of spades, or apple
B – Bee, or bear
C – Sea, or cat
D - Diesel engine, or deer
E – Eel, or elephant
F – Effluent, or Flag
G – Jeans, or girl
H - H-Bomb, itch, or House
I – Eye, or Ink pot
J – Jade, or jug
K – Cake, or kite
L – Elephant, or leg
M – Empty, or monkey
N – Entrance, or nest
O – Oboe, or owl
P – Pea, or parrot
Q – Queue, or queen
R – Ark, or rat
S – Eskimo, or son
T – Teapot, or tank
U – Unicycle, or umbrella
V – Vehicle, or vase
W – WC, or window
X - X-Ray or x-mas day
Y – Wire, or yolk
Z – Zulu, or zebra

If you find that these images do not attract you or stick in your mind, then change them for something more meaningful to you. Once you have firmly visualized these images and have linked them to their root letters, you can associate them with information to be remembered, and after you have mastered this technique you can multiply it using the images.


Continuing the mnemonic example of the names of philosophers, we will use the example of remembering a list of modern thinkers:

A - Ace - Freud - a crisp ACE being pulled out of a FRying pan (FRiED)
B - Bee - Chomsky - a BEE stinging a CHiMp and flying off into the SKY
C - Sea - Genette - a GENerator being lifted in a NET out of the SEA
D - Diesel - Derrida - a DaRing RIDer surfing on top of a DIESEL train
E - Eagle - Foucault - Bruce Lee fighting off an attacking EAGLE with kung FU
F - Effluent- Joyce - environmentalists JOYfully finding a plant by an EFFLUENT pipe
G - Jeans - Nietzche - a holey pair of JEANS with a kNEe showing through
H - H-Bomb - Kafka - a grey civil service CAFe being blown up by an H-Bomb etc.

Key Points:

The Alphabet Technique links the items to be remembered with images of the letters A-Z. This allows you to remember a medium length list in the correct order. By pegging the items to be remembered to letters of the alphabet you know if you have forgotten items, and know the cues to use to trigger their recall

Try the above tool too. It may help you improve your memory.
Be Happy - Improve Your Memory.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory (Part 4)

In continuation to my submissions about the tools for improvement of memory, I would like to mention that the success of these tools very much depends upon our application method. If we are sincere and do it repeatedly, we may succeed. We must do it as sharp memory is always a good asset. The following is another good tool in this direction.

The Number/Shape Mnemonic
Remembering Simple Ordered Lists

The Number/Shape system is very similar to the Number/Rhyme system. It is a very simple and effective way of remembering a list in a specific order. It is another example of a peg system based on peg word images.

How to Use the Tool:

The technique works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which the numbers are represented by images shaped like the number. You can then associate these with the things you want to remember using striking images.

One image scheme is shown below:
1. Candle, spear, stick
2. Swan (beak, curved neck, body)

3. Bifocal glasses, or part of a "love heart"

4. Sail of a yacht

5. A meat hook, a sea-horse facing right

6. A golf club

7. A cliff edge

8. An egg timer
9. A balloon with a string attached, flying freely

10. A hole

If you find that these images do not attract you or stick in your mind, then change them for something more meaningful to you. As with the Number/Rhyme scheme, link these images to ones representing the things to be remembered.

In some cases these images may be more vivid than those in the number/rhyme scheme, and in other cases you may find the number/rhyme scheme more memorable. There is no reason why you cannot mix the most vivid images of each scheme together into your own compound scheme.

We can use a list of modern thinkers to illustrate the number/shape system:
1. Spinoza - a large CANDLE wrapped around with someone's SPINe
2. Locke - a SWAN trying to pick a LOCK with its wing

3. Hume - A HUMan child with BIFOCAL glasses
4. Berkeley - A SAIL on top of a large hooked and spiked BURR in the LEE of a cliff
5. Kant - a CAN of spam hanging from a meat HOOK

6. Rousseau - a kangaROO SEWing with a GOLF CLUB
7. Hegel - a crooked trader about to be pushed over a CLIFF, HaGgLing to try to avoid being hurt

8. Kierkegaard - a large EGG TIMER containing captain KIRK and a GuARD from the starship enterprise, as time runs out

9. Darwin - a BALLOON floating upwards, being blown fAR by the WINd
10. Wittgenstein - a HOLE with a WITTy GENeral in it holding a STEIN of beer.
Key Points:

The Number/Shape technique is a very effective method of remembering lists. It works by linking things to be remembered with the images representing the numbers 0-9. By using it in conjunction with the Number/Rhyme system, you can build potent images that can make very effective mnemonics.

We may follow some more tools in the next posts.
Be Happy – Improve Your Memory.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory (Part 3)

Yesterday, I submitted a tool named ‘The Link and Story Method’. In this post, I may put up another tool for improvement of memory. It is

The Number/Rhyme Mnemonic System :

In this system, we may take up for Remembering Simple Ordered Lists through a popular peg system.

Peg System

The Number/Rhyme technique is a very simple way of remembering lists in order. It is an example of a peg system using – a system where information is 'pegged' to a known sequence (here the numbers one to ten) to create pegwords. By doing this, you can ensure that you do not forget any facts, as gaps in information are immediately obvious. It also makes remembering images easier as you always know part of the mnemonic images.

At a simple level you can use it to remember things such as a list of English Kings or American Presidents in their precise order. At a more advanced level it can be used, for example, to code lists of experiments to be recalled in a science exam.

How to Use the Tool:

The technique works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which you represent numbers by things that rhyme with the number. You can then link these pictures to images of the things to be remembered.

The usual rhyming scheme is:
1. Bun
2. Shoe
3. Tree
4. Paw
5. Hive
6. Bricks
7. Heaven
8. Gate
9. Line
10. Hen

If you find that these images do not attract you or stick in your mind, then change them for something more meaningful. Link these images to ones representing the things to be remembered. Often, the sillier the compound image, the more effectively you will remember it – see the introduction to this chapter to see how you can improve the image to help it stay clearly in your mind.


For example, you could remember a list of ten Greek philosophers as:
1. Parmenides – a BUN topped with grated yellow PARMEsan cheese.
2. Heraclitus – a SHOE worn by HERACLes (Greek Hercules) glowing with a bright LIghT.
3. Empedocles – a TREE from which the M-shaped McDonald's arches hang hooking up a bicycle PEDal.
4. Democritus – a PAW print on the voting form of a DEMOCRaTic election.
5. Protagoras – a bee HIVE being hit by an atomic PROTon.
6. Socrates – BRICKS falling onto a SOCk (with a foot inside!) from a CRATe.
7. Plato – a plate with angel's wings flapping around a white cloud.
8. Aristotle – a GATE being jumped by a bewigged French ARISTOcrat carrying a botTLE.
9. Zeno – a LINE of ZEN Buddhists meditating.
10. Epicurus – a flying HEN carrying an EPIdemic's CURe.

Try either visualizing these images as suggested, or if you do not like them, come up with images of your own. Once you have done this, try writing down the names of the philosophers on a piece of paper. You should be able to do this by thinking of the number, then the part of the image associated with the number, and then the whole image. Finally you can decode the image to give you the name of the philosopher.

If the mnemonic has worked, you should not only recall the names of all the philosophers in the correct order, but should also be able to spot where you have left them out of the sequence. Try it – it's easier than it sounds.

You can use a peg system like this as a basis for knowledge in an entire area. The example above could form the basis for knowledge of ancient philosophy. You could now associate images representing the projects, systems and theories of each philosopher with the images coding the philosophers' names.

Key Points:

The Number/Rhyme technique is a very effective method of remembering lists. It works by 'pegging' the things to be remembered to images rhyming with the numbers 0-9. By driving the associations with numbers you have a good starting point in reconstructing the images, you are aware if information is missing, and you can pick up and continue the sequence from anywhere within the list.

Some other tools may come up in my next posts.

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be Happy – Improve Your Memory (Part 2)

In continuation to my post of yesterday, I may mention that there are a number of tools developed for improvement of the memory. One amongst them is the Link and Story Method. We may have a brief look upon this tool.

Link and Story Method
Remembering a Simple List

The Link Method is one of the easiest mnemonic techniques available. You can use it by making simple associations between items in a list, linking them with a vivid image containing the items. Taking the first image, create a connection between it and the next item (perhaps in your mind smashing them together, putting one on top of the other, or such like.) Then move on through the list linking each item with the next. The Story Method is very similar, linking items together with a memorable story featuring them. The flow of the story and the strength of the images give you the cues for retrieval.

How to Use the Tools:

It is quite possible to remember lists of words using association only. However it is often best to fit the associations into a story: Otherwise by forgetting just one association you can lose the whole of the rest of the list. Given the fluid structure of this mnemonic (compared with the peg systems explained later in this section) it is important that the images stored in your mind are as vivid as possible. See the introduction to this section for further information on making images strong and memorable. Where a word you want to remember does not trigger strong images, use a similar word that will remind you of that word.


You may want to remember this list of counties in the South of England: Avon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, and Surrey. You could do this with two approaches, the Link Method and the Story Method:

Remembering with the Link Method

This would rely on a series of images coding information:
An AVON (Avon) lady knocking on a heavy oak DOoR (Dorset)
• The DOoR opening to show a beautiful SuMmER landscape with a SETting sun (Somerset)
• The setting sun shines down onto a field of CORN (Cornwall)
• The CORN is so dry it is beginning to WILT (Wiltshire)
• The WILTing stalks slowly droop onto the tail of the sleeping DEVil (Devon).
• On the DEVil's horn a woman has impaled a GLOSsy (Gloucestershire) HAM (Hampshire) when she hit him over the head with it
• Now the Devil feels SoRRY (Surrey) he bothered her.

Note that there need not be any reason or underlying plot to the sequence of images: only images and the links between images are important.

Remembering with the Story Method:

Alternatively you could code this information by imaging the following story vividly:
  • An AVON lady is walking up a path towards a strange house. She is hot and sweating slightly in the heat of high SUMMER (Somerset). Beside the path someone has planted giant CORN in a WALL (Cornwall), but it's beginning to WILT (Wiltshire) in the heat. She knocks on the DOoR (Dorset), which is opened by the DEVil (Devon).
  • In the background she can see a kitchen in which a servant is smearing honey on a HAM (Hampshire), making it GLOSsy (Gloucestershire) and gleam in bright sunlight streaming in through a window. Panicked by seeing the Devil, the Avon lady screams 'SoRRY' (Surrey), and dashes back down the path.
Key points:

The Link Method is probably the most basic memory technique, and is very easy to understand and use. It works by coding information to be remembered into images and then linking these images together. The story technique is very similar. It links these images together into a story. This helps to keep events in a logical order and can improve your ability to remember information if you forget the sequence of images. Both techniques are very simple to learn. Unfortunately they are both slightly unreliable as it is easy to confuse the order of images or forget images from a sequence.

I may mention some other tools in the following post.

Be Happy – We may improve the memory.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Be Happy - Improve Your Memory (Part 1)

Can't find the car keys again? Don't remember where you left your eyeglasses? There is a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than locating your wallet? Sometimes these annoyances are just that -annoying. Other times they make you late for that really important meeting or picking up the kids from soccer practice on time. It's a classic situation - you meet someone new, and then moments later you've forgotten their name! Names, passwords, pin and telephone numbers... the list is endless - with so much to memorize is it really possible to improve how much you can remember? Sometime, your attention to a number of things or matters at the same time makes you bewildered in the net of facts and figures and you forget to take action timely, you forget your priorities. It is the result of the lack of memory.

In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing the memory. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century put memory within the paradigms of cognitive psychology. In recent decades, it has become one of the principal pillars of a branch of science called cognitive neuroscience, an interdisciplinary link between cognitive psychology and neuroscience

A UCLA research study published in the June 2006 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that people can improve cognitive function and brain efficiency through simple lifestyle changes such as incorporating memory exercises, healthy eating, physical fitness and stress reduction into their daily lives.

The International Longevity Center released in 2001 a report which includes in pages 14–16 recommendations for keeping the mind in good functionality until advanced age. Some of the recommendations are to stay intellectually active through learning, training or reading, to keep physically active so to promote blood circulation to the brain, to socialize, to reduce stress, to keep sleep time regular, to avoid depression or emotional instability and to observe good nutrition.

While tofu consumption has been linked with worse memory in the elderly, tempeh (a fermented whole soybean product) was independently related to better memory, potentially due to its high folate levels.

Apart from healthy life styles, some brain exercises do help you improve your memory levels. Just like every muscle in your body, the adage "use it or lose it" applies, so the more you exercise your brain, the more you will remember. There are some tools which can help you both to remember facts accurately and to remember the structure of information. I may classify those tools into two sections. First, the memory techniques. Second, how to use them in practice to remember peoples names, languages, exam information, and so on.

As with other mind tools, the more practice we give ourselves with these techniques, the more effectively we will use them. These can be those techniques being used by stage memory performers. With enough practice and effort, we may be able to have a memory as good. Even if we do not have the time needed to develop this quality of memory, many of the techniques are useful in everyday life.

'Mnemonic' is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: A very simple example is the '30 days hath September' rhyme for remembering the number of days in each calendar month.

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November:
All the rest have thirty-one:
Except February,
it has twenty-eight we find,

Unless it's leap year,
then it has twenty-nine

The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember.

Our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, structures, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, positions, emotions and language. We use these to make sophisticated models of the world we live in. Our memories store all of these very effectively.

Unfortunately, a lot of the information we have to remember in modern life is presented differently - as words printed on a page. While writing is a rich and sophisticated medium for conveying complex arguments, our brains do not easily encode written information, making it difficult to remember.

Using Your Whole Mind to Remember

The key idea is that by coding information using vivid mental images, you can reliably code both information and the structure of information. And because the images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them. The techniques explained later on in this section show you how to code information vividly, using stories, strong mental images, familiar journeys, and so on.

You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable:

· Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones
· Use vivid, colorful, sense-laden images - these are easier to remember than drab ones
· Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures.
· Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions.
· Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image
· Use humor! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones.
· Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget!
· Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.

Designing Mnemonics: Imagination, Association and Location

The three fundamental principles underlying the use of mnemonics are imagination, association and location. Working together, you can use these principles to generate powerful mnemonic systems.

is what you use to create and strengthen the associations needed to create effective mnemonics. Your imagination is what you use to create mnemonics that are potent for you. The more strongly you imagine and visualize a situation, the more effectively it will stick in your mind for later recall. The imagery you use in your mnemonics can be as violent, vivid, or sensual as you like, as long as it helps you to remember.

is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a way of remembering it. You can create associations by:

* Placing things on top of each other
* Crashing things together
* Merging images together
* Wrapping them around each other
* Rotating them around each other or having them dancing together
* Linking them using the same color, smell, shape, or feeling

As an example, you might link the number 1 with a goldfish by visualizing a 1-shaped spear being used to spear it.

gives you two things: a coherent context into which you can place information so that it hangs together, and a way of separating one mnemonic from another. By setting one mnemonic in a particular town, I can separate it from a similar mnemonic set in a city. For example, by setting one in Wimbledon and another similar mnemonic with images of Manhattan, we can separate them with no danger of confusion. You can build the flavors and atmosphere of these places into your mnemonics to strengthen the feeling of location.

Some other tools in my next post!

Be Happy - Improve Your Memory.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Be Happy – Wisdom Can Be Gained Through Proper Education.

Education in its broadest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another.

Teachers in educational institutions direct the education of students and might draw on many subjects, including reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. This process is sometimes called schooling when referring to the education of teaching only a certain subject, usually as professors at institutions of higher learning. There is also education in fields for those who want specific vocational skills, such as those required to be a pilot.

A step further in the process of education is gaining wisdom through proper education. Wisdom is a deep understanding of people, things, events or situations, empowering the ability to choose or act to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time and energy. Wisdom is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results. Wisdom is comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action.

Education can radically transform society by getting individuals into the habit of learning. If we learn something sincerely, it is an essential source of wisdom to us. It makes a great difference to society. In absence of proper education, you would not be able to pursue your profession as per your aptitude. Your aptitude plays an essential role in your success. Since proper education provides you wisdom to apply your knowledge towards accomplishment of your dreams.

If you wish to transform the society, first you will have to transform yourself by educating yourself properly. Proper education means that you are getting education to enable you to translate your capabilities into action by further grooming yourself up under the guidance of your competent teachers. How would you find competent teachers? It depends upon your target – what target do you have to achieve? How would you like to achieve? What are the sources you have got to invest in the process? But it is sure that once you determine to get proper education, your search would continue to locate out a good Guru for yourself. Until then, you may not be feeling ease.

If you aim at educating inhabitants of a backward village, you may have to understand their basic needs, win their confidence and redirect them to the mission you have determined. In the process, you may get some opposition either from those who might have got some vested interests to keep them uneducated under the impression that once the inhabitants are educated sufficiently to understand what is right or wrong and their illicit interests may not be served thereafter, or the inhabitants may not willing to devote their time in gaining education instead of investing their time to earn something more to meet their basic needs. Therefore, it is required that you must study the basic needs and then, the need of education how that would meet their basic needs first.

In the primary stage, the knowledge of reading, writing and understanding makes miracle in the lives of a poor person. You may not kindly donate him some amount on regular basis – Teach beggars to earn something by doing something fruitful. This experiment got tremendous success when some time ago, in a small village whose adult population was alcoholic till four years ago and 95% of the children did not go to school but roamed the streets, four teachers joined hands to educate the inhabitants of the village to underline a basic truth – educating children is more about undertaking a mission for improvement of your next generation than pursuing a profession for their own livelihood.

Today, the entire village is transformed. When the educating system was started, there was just one concrete house in the entire village; now, most huts have become good houses; many parents no longer drink the way they did; most children go to school and some even talk about becoming doctors or engineers. This is what learning can do to a community and to society as a whole. The results would hardly be different were the model to be replicated in any other remote, under-developed village.

But for this to happen, we have to start with teaching the teachers. Teaching is generally not a well-paid career. For some it was the very last career option because other doors had shut in their face. Teachers may be demoralized by financial difficulty and a perceived lack of prospects. Too often, they feel as if they can do little to shape their students future. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to infuse self-confidence in teachers and ensure they realize the mighty mission they have undertaken.

When we were at school, our teachers said, “Relax and study, it’s very difficult to fail.” Consequently, we were so relaxed we never failed. Till Class X, not a single student in our batch failed to make it to the next level. Obviously, the teacher has an enormous role to play in giving students the confidence to sail through exams.

In all those countries which have got freedom very recently, educational systems have not undergone major change whereas there has been a lot of advancement. The systems need overhaul to suit to the individual circumstances of each country. As is often said, they are churning out ‘lettered’ rather than ‘learned’ young people. I can best explain the difference by recounting my experience of being taught moral science at school. I was five years old and had been given a small diary to record one good deed I performed every day. But because I had never really been told to do the things I wrote down, I would ask my family every day for suggestion on what to say in the diary. My aunt would say, “Write that you helped an old man cross a road, or that you gave a coin to a destitute man.” I would oblige. But today, it is painful to realize that I was taught such an important subject in so frivolous and uninterested a fashion. I was not instructed to undertake such good deeds myself – just I was filling in the gaps.

History teaching is case in point. Many consider history to be a boring subject and wonder why we need to remember the date certain wars broke out. Or facts about the lives of a handful of people who had nothing to do with us. I used to think this way and always derided history’s importance. It was only much later that I began to take an interest I history. This, because my mentor explained that history was actually the story of man – a story started ages ago, flows through all of us and will never end. This is why we need to know what happened, so that we know what may happen. The way we teach badly needs to be upgraded to suit changing times. Technology can be harnessed to boost visual learning. It may be boring to read about a black hole or craters on the moon, but imagine how interesting it would be for students to see real-life images of such things.

The most important task at hand is educating our underprivileged children, who lack access even to basic schooling. If we started with such disadvantaged children, we can expect that the majority of our young people to know how to read and write five years from now. The future will be one of revolutionary progress in science and technology but if most of our children are not educated enough, they will remain unskilled and unemployable. For real change to come to the society, we must ‘create’ inspired individuals who are ready to educate the most disadvantaged children. Many people have a strong desire to give something back to society but they cannot do so on their own. They cannot do so on their own. They need some organization support, some infrastructure and a banner to do the work they want to.

If we educate our youths properly, they would be able to get proper employment anywhere in the world. This may remove their fear that their share is being taken away by the outsiders. The outsiders always come inside when the people living may not do the work or may not like to do or may not have the essential caliber to do the work – it occurs due to lack of education or improper education if ever the local youth might have got. We must try to change our education systems in such a way that the youths get employment at the place they live. It appears that local hatred, racial discrimination and other evils take place when there is less opportunity being equally enjoyed by all the inhabitants and those coming from outside. We should improve our education system to bring about wisdom, to understand what is right and what is wrong, to understand why something is right and why something is wrong and to understand further how a wrong can be converted into a right action without depriving someone of his deserving slice of bread.

Be Happy – Wisdom Can Be Gained Through Proper Education.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Be Happy – Miracles Can Happen Anywhere

A miracle is a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature, such that can be attempted to be explained by divine intervention, and is sometimes associated with a miracle worker. Some suggest that God may work with the laws of nature to perform what we perceive as miracles. A miracle is often considered a fortuitous event: compare with an Act of God.

Many folktales, religious texts, and people claim various events they refer to as "miraculous". People in different cultures have substantially different definitions of the word "miracle". Even within a specific religion there is often more than one of the term. Sometimes the term "miracle" may refer to the action of a supernatural being that is not a god. Thus, the term "divine intervention", by contrast, would refer specifically to the direct involvement of a deity.

When mainstream physicians try to explain medical 'miracles' that come cloaked in religious symbolism, or that were inspired by rituals of superstition, the self-described atheists among them sometimes find themselves challenged by a personal crisis of faith in their own ultra-rationalist belief system.

In an article headlined "Can miracles happen?" for the British Medical Journal in 2002, a British physician Richard Westcott confessed to confronting this dilemma. He related the story of an astonishing recovery by one of his patients who had been diagnosed with an incurable type of cancer. This patient, who Dr. Westcott identified only by the first name of Jim, had worked as a submarine engineer and as a consequence, had come into contact with asbestos commonly used in pipes. He developed a swollen right breast and several biopsies established a firm tissue diagnosis of mesothelioma, which contact with asbestos is known to cause.

The tumor had grown quickly until it was working its way through Jim's chest wall. Such malignant tumors were invariably fatal. "Radiotherapy hardly checked its progress," reported Dr. Westcott, "and Jim was deteriorating badly." Not knowing how much longer he had to live, Jim's wife, Sally, a retired nurse, bought the two of them tickets for a vacation on the Mediterranean island of Kefallinia. While touring the island they visited a monastery where an elderly nun had, as Dr. Westcott related, "abruptly singled out Jim" and inquired about his illness. Sally was unwilling to say much, but told her that he had cancer.

Dr. Westcott continues the story: "They were met by a priest, who asked Jim to go down into a cave where a holy man used to live. Jim was too weak to negotiate the steep narrow steps. Then they found themselves inside the church. The priest opened what seemed like -- and smelt like, added Sally -- a sarcophagus. There was a confused business of kissing of old rags, sprinkling of water and mumbling, and then after an uncertain time they were outside again. This time, Jim was surprised to find he could go down the steps, and climb back up again. Since then, each day he had just felt stronger and better."

Jim and Sally returned to Britain and Dr. Westcott examined him and discovered, to his shock and consternation, that Jim's cancer had undergone "a sudden and deep remission." What particularly perplexed him, as Dr. Westcott explained to his fellow physicians and journal readers, was that Jim and Sally "are both pretty hardboiled, and not religious. Here was no believing couple: they had little faith in general." Both of them admitted to Westcott how they were "gobsmacked," as Jim put it, and unable to comprehend what had happened inside the church, or how something they did not believe in could have affected the course of Jim's disease. But none of these unbelievers, Westcott included, could scoff at what the doctor called "such an undeniable, positive result."

Even if Jim's sudden turnaround turned out to be a temporary remission from cancer and not a cure, Westcott still marveled at how this too, constituted a sort of miracle. He had no other terminology, no other frame of reference, with which to describe a phenomenon so contrary to his training and to his rational belief system, so he promptly "took refuge in my role as a clinical scientist, talking about things like the body's remarkable and unpredictable powers, spontaneous remission, the delayed effects of therapy, and the benefits of a well timed holiday."

Yet, at some level of awareness, these explanations -- or rationalizations -- must have felt to Westcott like his own peculiar form of denial, since he eventually chose to express his need to share this experience with his profession by writing the report as a sort of inquiring confession, as if addressed to a therapist… or a priest. "Can miracles happen if you don't ask for, or expect them, let alone believe in them?" asked Dr. Westcott. "How do (or should) I, an atheist doctor, respond?"

An outpouring of responses

His journal report generated numerous letters to the editors of the British Medical Journal and these observations by fellow physicians, writing from six different countries, proved almost as interesting as the original case study. They were surprisingly and overwhelmingly supportive of the idea that 'medical miracles' can and do happen outside the parameters of known science. "Some things can't be proved by random double blind controlled trials or other scientific proof," wrote Susan E. Kersley, a retired British doctor. "There are miracles which can happen to each of us if sometimes we allow our 'inner voice' to connect with others and listen to unspoken messages… Yes, miracles happen. Listen and look from our hearts rather than our heads to see them."

A dermatologist from Massachusetts, David J. Elpern, wrote to say that science studies tend to exclude patients like Jim, but "it is from these individuals that we can learn the secret for beating the odds… Many years ago, I witnessed a similar remarkable recovery of a young woman with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma… by not investigating the 'miracles' we are losing an opportunity to really understand them." A similar theme was echoed by Judy C. Pellatt, a clinical trials practitioner at a hospital in Portsmouth, England, who reminded readers that "anyone familiar with Lourdes will know that 'miracles' do happen… however, to associate Lourdes only with physical cures is to miss the point. It is overwhelmingly a place of spiritual awareness and development, and that is much harder to define and quantify."

There were also doubters who raised some provocative questions. An official with Britain's Leukaemia Research Fund, Kenneth Campbell, pointed out how the 66 accredited miracle cures associated with Lourdes represent a tiny percentage of the millions of visitors to the shrine, especially given that most of them may have prayed, if not for their own recovery, then for someone else's cure and recovery. "If these cures are truly miraculous," wondered Campbell, "can anyone propose by what criteria such a miniscule percentage are chosen by God to be favoured above other, seemingly equally deserving supplicants."

Is religion just a placebo?

Retired London physician Anthony Campbell found the dialogue surrounding Westcott's article so compelling that he wrote a well-reasoned essay and posted it to his website. "Skeptics who are confronted with cases of this kind generally take refuge in two kinds of objection: either the original diagnosis was wrong or the cure was due to the conventional treatment the patient had received previously. Neither of these seems likely to apply in the present case, nor in a number of others. So does this mean that we must accept that divine intervention, or at least paranormal healing, is a reality? Do miracles really occur? Cases like that reported by Dr. Westcott certainly provide food for thought, but before accepting them as proof positive of the miraculous, I think we need to look a little more closely at what they actually tell us."

After examining 15 relatively recent medical journal reports about spontaneous cancer remissions, Campbell concluded that such cases are "well authenticated outside of a religious context." He further observed that cancer cures "are not necessarily miraculous. They lie within the boundaries of the natural world." What would be genuinely miraculous, from his point of view, would be the re-growth of an amputated finger or limb, or if eyesight were restored in a person who lost their sight from glaucoma.

"If as seems likely the immune system is involved in spontaneous remissions of cancer, the known influence of the nervous system on the immune system could explain why the patient's beliefs and emotional state might on occasion bring about a remission," commented Campbell. "The fact that a patient had no conscious expectation of cure (as in the case reported by Dr. Westcott) does not negate a possible influence of this kind. A believer in miracles could argue that even apparently spontaneous remissions are really miraculous. Perhaps God works his miracles through 'normal' physiological pathways rather than by suspending the ordinary laws of physiology, and perhaps he refrains from curing glaucoma and regenerating amputated limbs in order to keep us guessing, or because he does not want to force our belief. This is logically possible but unverifiable and so can be neglected in a scientific context."

Where that leads me is to the suspicion that one does not need to believe in a particular religion or spiritual tradition, or even in the existence of God at all, for miraculous cures to occur, as Mitchell May's experience (recounted in a previous column) and countless others probably demonstrate. But there is evidence that possessing strong faith can amplify a healing signal. Even if religious faith turns out to be proven some day as nothing more than a placebo, it remains an effective and powerful tool for recovery, providing wondrous advantages should the human will or spirit otherwise prove deficient to the healing task.

Be Happy – Miracles Can Happen Anywhere.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Be Happy - Enjoy Life Fully

Many times, we often make ourselves unhappy by forgetting to celebrate the things that are most important because they are so much with us. Just we do not attach deserving attention to them. You have many more reasons to be joyful than you might think. You are alive, which is probably pretty basic, but all too often we don’t realize that it is the most basic things that bring us the greatest joy. Why isn’t everyone dancing with the sheer joy of being alive? Everything we do celebrate is a celebration of life, whether it is a birth, a wedding, or an anniversary. We celebrate religious festivals as represented by the attributes of the deity, or the passage of some event of our lives. What we need to do is remind ourselves to consecrate every day, take time out at least once a day to quietly experience being alive. And the simplest way to that is to just pay attention to our breathing, which is another wonderful reason to be joyful.

Breathing is the key to life and almost every spiritual discipline starts and ends with it, as does life itself. Every moment we are meditating. With every breath, we are partaking of all the mysteries of the universe. Just for a few minutes pay attention to a gentle in-drawn breath. Within that action is the key to sustaining our life. How does that happen? Whenever I think I need a miracle just to keep going, I stop and pay attention to one or two breaths. Each breath feeds the fire of the heart. Amazing.

Moreover, most of us don’t eat gourmet food three times a day, but we are blessed with sufficient food, and I don’t just mean enough to provide the basic calory intake to keep us alive. We are blessed with all the associations of a loving mother that comes with the taste of some food, the memories of discovering new wonderful tastes every time we eat them again, and the love that we imbibe with food made by those who care enough about life to prepare good food, a spouse or a friend. I believe that food made by people who love to feed people has special nutritional properties.

If you think that nobody cares enough about you to prepare delicious food, let me invite you to go and get a banana, and pay attention to it. What a marvel of packaging, flavour and nutrition. I am not implying that particular banana was grown just for you as an act of love, or may be I am. It grew, it made its way to you and it will sustain you. Now I can hear you arguing that it was provided by a chain of commerce. What if that chain was forged to that banana to you with out any of the links being aware of the chain’s purpose? Might be, and even if it isn’t, the banana is still pretty amazing in its colour, utility, taste and ability to keep us alive. I once knew a man named Henry who only ate bananas, all different kinds and he was very healthy. And think about bread. I know that it is not much more than grain, salt and water but think about what that means. Bread, naan, chapatti, tortilla, or whatever you call it provides us with the elements of the earth. The process of growing, threshing and milling the grain transforms the earth into a form that we can use. What is the beauty! We never feel tired of eating but sometime it is necessary for our survival too. But we do not celebrate it.

Almost every spiritual tradition uses the fruit of the earth to impart spiritual nourishment along with the calories, whether as communion, Prasad, dates at Iftar or Karah Prashad in Gurudwara. I would invite you everyday to take a few minutes to pay attention to the joy that is food. Find something simple to eat, maybe a piece of fruit and take time to eat it with focus, eat it slowly, pay attention to the color and texture than the smell, and the smell, and the taste. Many persons do not do anything while they eat; not listen to music, watch television, or read. I think they wish to experience the transformation of one form of life to another. What a wonderful lesson!

All of us have got enough to drink and wish that everybody enjoys at least one drink a day as much as I enjoy the first cup of tea. Throughout the day we enjoy a wide variety of things to choose from: tea, coffee, lassi, juice and a whole lot more. But how often do we appreciate the miracle that is the liquid we drink? We are 70% water. Without a steady supply of water we would only live a few days. Having access to water is really reason to be joyful, throughout the day. We do not attach due importance to water, the basic element of our life. We waste it many times. Sit in a comfortable chair with a large glass of water and take a small sip of water. Notice something about the water as you swallow. Feel it with you, feel the water’s presence. Take more small sips, noticing different about the water each time until you drink one third of the water. Now take more small sips, this time noticing something about yourself each time. Keep sipping and noticing until two thirds of the water is gone. Now spend time with the remaining third of the water, notice its relationship with the glass, its relationship to you and your relationship to other things in the room.

So, there are a number of really elemental reasons to be joyful. Celebrate them everyday. Is this simple? Yes, but that doesn’t mean easy. We are all too often caught up in the drama of the day, our pain, the effort of work, the demands of family and friends to be full of joy. Yet, we each have a few minutes to celebrate the fire, earth and water and remind our selves to dance.

But there are more than elemental reasons to be joyful. You are reading these lines, that means you know English and most likely at least one other language. Every language is the key to wisdom that only that key can open. Whole worlds are yours to explore, and I don’t just mean Shakespeare or the Vedas, you also have the keys to the Marx brothers and humour in Hindi, Marathi, Kanada French or whatever language you might know. You must smile, you must laugh in all the circumstances, it may reduce your tension and make you live your life joyfully.

Be Happy - Enjoy Life Fully.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Be Happy - Nurture Beautiful Relationships

With the advancement of civilization, we started to develop our relationships with one another, giving different names with different people. Whatever be the nature of the relationship, the fundamental aspect is, you have a need to nurture them. The process may involve physical, psychological, emotional, social, financial or political elements. If those needs and expectation are not nurtured, relationships will go bad.

In course of time, such needs come up because of a certain sense of incompleteness. People form relationships to experience a certain sense of completeness within. Life is a complete entity by itself. So why is it feeling incomplete? And, why is it trying to fulfill itself by making a partnership with another piece of life? Because we have not explored life in its full depth and dimension. Besides, there is a complex process of relationships as such. There are too many expectations at each level of relationship. The parents nurture the relationship with their children as they feel a part of their duty to groom up them to become independent later on as well as provide themselves necessary helping hand whenever there is a need so in their old age or emergency.

However, it is true that every expectation can not be fulfilled but that can be cared for in due course of time. Someone has to make compromise somewhere. Especially in the man-woman relationship, the expectations are so unrealistic that even if you marry a god or a goddess, they will fail you. but if you understand what the source of these expectations is, you could form a beautiful partnership. People’s expectations are changing as their perception and experience of life is changing, but they are not changing at the same pace. Relationships become a source of great conflict. More conflict is happening with in homes than anywhere else.

If you try the management approach there is no way you can gauge it 100 per cent. If you try to mind-read the other person and constantly try to fulfil expectations, you will become a wreck. You too will have to care for your capacity to make your efforts. Fundamentally, you are seeking a relationship because you want to be happy, joyful. Or you are trying to use the other as a source of your happiness. If you are forming relationships, trying to squeeze happiness out of somebody and the person is trying to squeeze happiness out of you, this is going to be so painful.

But if your life becomes an expression of your joy, not a pursuit of happiness, then relationships will naturally wonderful. Shifting you life from the pursuit of happiness to an expression of joyfulness is what is needed for relationships to really work. Right now, your body, mind emotions and on a deeper level, your very energies are made in such a way that you still need relationships. If your body goes in search of a relationship, we call this sexuality. If your mind goes in search of relationships, we call this companionship. If your emotions go in search of relationships, we call this love. If your energies go in search of relationships, we call this yoga. All these efforts are just to become one with something else, because somehow being who you are right now is not enough.

Suppose you are very joyful or loving and your life energies feel very exuberant, you feel a certain sense of extension. What does it mean? First, what is it that you call as ‘myself’? What is the basis for you to know ‘this is me and this is not me’? Right now, whatever is within the boundaries of your sensation, you experience as ‘myself’.

Yoga is about this for the word itself means ‘union’. Whatever is the longing behind any relationship, you will never really know that oneness. But if you experience all this life around you as a part of yourself, the way you exist here will be very different. Relationships will only become a way of looking towards the others’ needs, not about your own because you have no need of your own anymore.

Once there are no compulsions within you and everything that you do becomes conscious, relationships will become a true blessing, no more a longing, no more a struggle.

You need to nurture your relationships at every level so that they may prove long lasting with happiness. Be Happy- Nurture your relationships not to the maximum but to the fullest extent.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be Happy – Say No to Undue Stress

It is logical that when a material is subjected to a load, the material gets stressed. The induction of stress in the material is proportionate to the stress and as long as it is within the elastic limit, what is referred to as tolerable strength. Students of engineering would be familiar with these concepts. In mathematical terms strain is equal to stress/elasticity. Strain can be reduced either by reducing the adverse effects of the sources of stress and increasing the strength of the material, or we can take both actions.

Every one of us has to face stress sometime in our life. How successful you are in coping with stress depends on how you prepare your system – body, mind and soul – to meet with challenges in a way that it is within you tolerance power. You need to understand stress and find ways to overcome it. The sources of stress are at work, home and society. Lifestyle plays an important role. Temporary relief could be obtained by drinking alcohol or coffee, using tobacco, or eating favourite foods. However, they might eventually add to the problem. Stress could induce depression, withdrawal and anger. Diseases like peptic ulcers, asthma, diabetes, are also the outcome of stress.

Sometimes what we consider as energy and time-saving measures actually add to our stress. Stress is the combination of psychological, physiological and behavioural responses to events that challenge us. There is also positive stress we face before an examination, game or sports event. Sometime, that in fact boosts morale and induce increase in the performance. There are techniques and technologies available to increase the strength of materials. What are the techniques we can apply to ourselves to guard against undue stress?

We should strengthen ourselves to change our values, habits, attitudes and behaviour to suit our resolve to beat back stress. We should create a sense of awareness and subject yourself to a reality check to identify what contributes to stress in your life. This is a positive approach as opposed to blaming others or expecting others to solve your problems. You must take responsibility for your actions and try to explore the best way to deal with stressful situations.

Practice of yoga and meditation enables the development of equipoise. Yoga promotes evenness of mind both in adverse and favorable conditions. You will be able to face any situations with composure. Krishna’s Bhagavad Gita advocates practice of yoga. Follow the three super virtues advocated in the Upanishads: self-discipline, compassion and selflessness. Gradually, you start developing a positive disposition, and you are better equipped to check anger and depression. You gain self-confidence.

Prayer is one of the ways by which you could cultivate greater inner strength. Humor is a therapeutic outlet that relaxes and unburdens. Regular physical exercise, too, helps tone today and mind. Meditation leads to greater reflection and peace. It stimulates the subconscious. All these methods help you unwind, and in the process stress is shown the door. To remove stress from your system, you must cultivate health-promoting habits like daily exercise, breath control, meditation and eating the right food. Moderation is good but avoiding tobacco use could have long-lasting positive effects.

You may try to control your system instead of the system controlling you. You can enrich your work with continuous learning. Please have clear goals and base your relationships on mutual trust and support. You are required to face life’s trials and tribulations with courage and determination. And the most important, you need to keep in touch with family and friends. You will be happy once the stress is over or you do not let it control you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Be Happy – Ask Freely What You Wish For

You must ask freely what you wish for. Amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they've asked for it! It is probably the most underutilized tool in the world. Majority of us do not feel free to ask freely even for those things which we deserve rightfully. You know! Good things come to those who ask without any hesitation!

Whether it's money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true. They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word ‘no’, they're already saying it to themselves by not asking! Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You're not any worse off by hearing ‘No’ than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked and you still don't, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only you hold yourself back. When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things. You may just need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

How to Ask for What You Want

There's a specific science to asking for and getting what you want or need in life. And while I recommend you learn more by studying The Aladdin Factor, here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Ask as if you expect to get it.

Ask with a positive expectation. Ask from the place that you have already been given it. It is a done deal. Ask as if you expect to get a "yes."

2. Assume you can.

Don't start with the assumption that you can't get it. If you are going to assume, assume you can get an upgrade. Assume you can get a table by the window. Assume that you can return it without a sales slip. Assume that you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, that you can get tickets at this late date. Don't ever assume against yourself.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you.

Qualify the person. Who would I have to speak to, to get…Who is authorized to make a decision about…What would have to happen for me to get…

4. Be clear and specific.

Who wants more money in their life? I'll pick someone who raises hand and give a quarter, asking, "Is that enough for you?" "No? Well, how would I know how much you want? How would anybody know?" You need to ask for a specific number. Too many people are walking around wanting more of something, but not being specific enough to obtain it.

5. Ask repeatedly.

One of the most important Success Principles is the commitment to not give up.Whenever we're asking others to participate in the fulfillment of our goals, some people are going to say "no." They may have other priorities, commitments and reasons not to participate. It's no reflection on you.

Just get used to the idea that there's going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the brass ring. The key is to not give up. When someone says "No"– you say "NEXT!" Why?

Because when you keep on asking, even the same person again and again…they might say "yes"… on a different day

when they are in a better mood
when you have new data to present
after you've proven your commitment to them
when circumstances have changed
when you've learned how to close better
when you've established better rapport
when they trust you more
when you have paid your dues
when the economy is better
and so on.

Kids know this Success Principle better than anyone. They will ask the same person over and over again without any hesitation.

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you'll get very good at it! You'll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and start asking. Remember, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE… if you ask freely!

Be Happy – Ask Freely What You Wish For.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Be Happy - Touch Money and Get Relief From Pain

You know! Physically handling money is like a painkilling drug, researchers say. Money can't buy you love but it can relax your tensions. "The Symbolic Power of Money” named research paper published in the journal Psychological Science asserts it. Like any best friend forever, money demonstrates its ability to soothe us, reduce our sense of social exclusion and even lessen life's painful moments. It acts as a substitute for another of life's pain buffers: love. It is not buying the subjects more friends or a soothing cream; it is only psychologically helpful to majority of people, like any best friend forever.

Let’s have an experiment on the lines the researches did. If you tell some people that they may participate in a test of finger dexterity and give one group a stack of currency to count and thereafter, they may keep with themselves, while another group be given blank pieces of paper. Once the counting is complete, the test subjects be asked to dip their fingers into bowls of water heated to 122 degrees -- roughly the temperature of a very hot bath. Result? Those who count money are likely to report less pain than those who are to do with blanks. Subjects can also be surveyed about their feelings during the session. Those who handle actual money would likely to report feeling stronger even 10 minutes after they put down the cash.

Combined with previous experiments, the findings can confirm what researchers have long suspected, that money acts as a general panacea in the brain, giving us social self-confidence when it is lacking and relieving physical pain without having to spend a dime on aspirin. Money can't buy you love, but apparently, it can hold your hand.

It accomplishes this through a subconscious process called priming, in which our mental or emotional context leading up to an event can affect our perception of it. In this case, the positive association with having and holding money "reduces distress over social exclusion and reduces the physical pain of immersion in hot water." It may help explain why people are willing to push so long and hard to achieve monetary gains.

Could the results be somehow skewed by cultural or economic differences from place to from? No, it is not so. Money has the same importance for an American as well as for an Indian. Its effect does not have anything with reference to a particular country. People all over the world use money and experience pain; it's a very basic effect. Even keeping Credit Cards like Visa, MasterCard, AmEx and Discover cards in pocket does not have the same effect as the currency notes do influence you because they are scary for most, and they in fact represent debt in many ways.

The findings could have an interesting trickle-down effect in the business world, where recent trends have been to issue non-monetary rewards and bonuses instead of what was thought of as "cold, hard cash."

Next time, when you give incentives to your staff, you may give them hard cash instead of depositing the same into their accounts, it may play wonders to increase their productivity. They may please be allowed to touch the money of incentives; they may forget their tiredness.