Showing posts from 2015

Practice Mindfulness, Be Happy

Mindfulness is the ultimate challenge and practice. It is a way of being, of living, of seeing, and of tapping into the power of your humanity. Mindfulness is enjoying your pleasant experiences without crying when they change (which they will) and bearing your unpleasant experiences without fearing they will last forever (which they won't). Living each day in such a way that makes mindfulness possible is life-changing. Guaranteed. Try these practical tips and watch the difference.

First, the secret to a healthy body with a healthy mind and a healthy soul is not to mourn the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment purposefully. Each of us, irrespective of everything else, is endowed with 86,400 seconds every day. As the seconds tick by, the balance is reduced till it becomes zero at the end of the day. Fascinatingly, another credit of 86,400 seconds is made as a new day dawns. This process continues as long as we live. Thus, how we make use of this precio…

4 Key Drivers of Innovation

Michael Ringel, Andrew Taylor, and Hadi Zablit of the Boston Consulting Group ( have just released the list of the most innovative companies of 2015. You can access the full list and report at

The interesting part of the report is the identification of key drivers of innovation. Speed is one of the major sources of differentiation for true breakthrough innovators. Speed often enables firms to realize first-mover advantages, lowers developmental costs, increases market share, and results in greater forecasting accuracy (since the concept to market cycle is shortened).

Speed has two dimensions - the rate at which companies develop new products and services, and the rate at which they deliver those products and services to market. Either way, organizations built for speed appear to have four things in common: adherence to the lean philosophy and lean processes, the use of prototyping…

How the Mighty Fall

Volkswagen prided itself on its quality by using the tagline “Das Auto.” In a span of just three months, the auto maker has been forced to admit that millions of its diesel cars were equipped with software that was used to cheat on emission tests.
Researchers at West Virginia University conducted on-road tests on Volkswagen cars and determined that when tested on the road some cars emitted 40 times the permitted levels of nitrogen oxide – a pollutant that can cause emphysema, bronchitis, and respiratory diseases.
The “cheating” comprised a software that sensed when the car was being tested and activated equipment that reduced emissions. The software turned the equipment off during regular driving, emitting pollutants far above the legally permissible limits, possibly to improve performance or to reduce fuel consumption. Globally, more than ten million vehicles (Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Passat, A3, and Porsche) are alleged to have been affected. The company, under pressure from regulators, h…

The 9 Types of Intelligence

When we think of intelligence, we tend to think of cognition as being uni-dimensional. In high school, we are told about the two hemispheres of the brain - one that processes logic and reasoning, and the other that processes creative thinking and abstraction. When you look at all the literature on the subject, you will find that most of us do not make use of even a fraction of our capacity. Sorry, it has little to do with genetics and a lot to do with practice - or more accurately, the lack of it.

The fact is intelligence has many dimensions. In his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner identified nine types of intelligence. Though some scholars have attempted to expand the concept further, we would do well to understand the nine types first. This insight is invaluable in appreciating the uniqueness of each individual and in explaining how and why some people are exceptional in certain fields of human endeavor.

1. Naturalistic Intelligence


10 Phrases to Avoid

1.That’s the way we have always done it.
Some people ask why; others ask why not; yet others are happy with the status quo.

2.I did what you told me to do.
The implication is that it is not your fault that you messed up something but that of your supervisor for not maintaining a constant vigil.
3.I’m not feeling well enough.
All of us go under the weather sometimes. A few have to live with genuine medical issues. However, using this as an excuse for inaction is the pinnacle of being unprofessional.
4.It is none of your business.
Really? This is the 21st century. Your competitors probably know your “secrets” better than your colleagues. Refusing to share relevant information is a hangover from colonial days.

5.That was my idea.
Ideas are great. How about some execution?

2015 Ig Nobel Prizes - "Celebrating" Improbable Research

“The Ig Nobel awards are arguably the highlight of the scientific calendar.” – Nature

This is the Nobel season. Awards for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, and Literature have been announced. I will write about the Nobel in another column. This column is about the Ig Nobel Prizes – awarded last month.
Founded in 1991 (and now in its 25th year) the Ig Nobel is about celebrating improbable research – research that makes people laugh and then think. Real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere, good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless, is collected, filtered, and the “best” (?) ones are chosen for the honor.
The award ceremony is held at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater, followed by public lectures at MIT.
Here’s the most improbable part of the event: Real Nobel Laureates present the Awards.
Here are the 2015 winning proposals with a brief description of the research. For details, references, and acceptance speeches, visit the official site: http://www.impro…

7 Ways To Reduce Stress

According to the American Psychological Association, a majority of Americans experience a high degree of stress ( More than half of it is work-related. The disturbing news is that most of these are not even diagnosed and hence are not treated (

Here are 7 ways you can reduce stress. These are based on scientific studies and the advice of experts.

1. Live the Moment, One Task at a Time

Look around you. Everyone seems to be in a hurry. Multi-tasking (even while driving) is the norm.

Slow down. Breathe deeply. Prioritize. Stick to one task at a time. Take a 7-minute break every hour.

Remember: Results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

2. Accept what you cannot control

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.&q…