Random Phrases. My week. Lateral thoughts

  1. Under Your Nose Meaning: Missing something that should be really obvious. Yes. I obviously missed it. It was long time coming. Should have gauged and anticipated some responses. I tried to keep my nose clean, kept looking beyond my nose on my way forward and missed something right under my nose. It was a terrible mistake. 
  2. Mountain Out of a Molehill Meaning: One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems. Doesn’t this sound very familiar.  Especially in relationships where you get involved and emotionally invested and the professionalism melts away and gives in to sentiments which cloud judgement. The flip side is when the other person manipulates and makes mountain of molehill and you do not have any lateral means to save the relationships.  
  3. Down For The Count Meaning: Someone or something that looks to be defeated, or nearly so. It was a bad sight. All the plans of an ex-mentee went awry by their own design and attitude and mindset. False pride, a deep need of entitlement and gratification did not result in Catharsis and the plot which thickened – did not yield into plans being achieved and inspite of giving full space – failure could not be averted. 
  4. Know the Ropes Meaning: Having a familiarity or understanding of how something works. I have become wiser and more informed, more in-sync now with the Speaker business and enhancing my skills and nuanced learning with the new mentors and evaluators. The Udemy courses I did are wonderful. The interaction with the Writing and Speaking instructors most valuable and fun. 
  5. Jack of All Trades Master of None Meaning: Having suitable skill in multiple things, but not being an expert in any of them. I remember once getting a couplet Quote “Jack of all trades. Master of many. Jay of tall crusades. Blaster unlike any.” in my praise perhaps.  And a poem
    “We cant see them.
    Their existence is questioned by us.
    Though if by some unfortunate stroke,
    they cross over into our world,
    they are cheap,
    filthy and dangerous.
    But our world is more them,
    than us.
    We cant see this.
    Our existence is questioned there
    Though if by
    some unfortunate stroke,
    we cross over
    into the real world,
    we are unfit, scared
    and dangerous.
    It is about the so-called
    Elite class and the
    so-called Classless” End Quote.  I loved it then. I now realise that it was only a momentary praise – not even skin deep.  I choose to live and die as MASTER OF NONE and attain Mastery in Servitude – Service Attitude – which helps me serve the Humanity .
  6. Mouth-watering Meaning: Delicious; something that looks or tastes appetizing.  What a spread of Sweets and goodies my wife made for past 3-4 days for Diwali. Just mouth watering. And I am almost breaking my Diet Regimen to taste the savouries.  Wish I had also learnt to make some – though I did dabble and disturb for some time to keep her motivated and give her company.  The Smile was my reward. 
  7. Like Father Like Son Meaning: Resembling one’s parents in terms of appearance or behavior. My daughters – the loving / doting daughters at times display the same behaviour – the appearance is more mother like but mannerisms and logic, the anger, Temper, the drive, grit, determination – much like me =- I pat myself for having great daughters and don’t regret not having a son. 
  8. Ring Any Bells? Meaning: Recalling a memory; causing a person to remember something or someone. A Birthday triggered a memory and I wrote a confession in a post and sent it to the person I had hurt. When words hurt – the pain and wounds take longer to heal so I did not expect any response and predictably there was none.  
  9. Give a Man a Fish Meaning: It’s better to teach a person how to do something than to do that something for them. I am looking for a Fish or a Fishing Rod for 7.5 years post retirement secretly but yet to find it.  Post Heart attacks when the revenue stream dried and dependence on passive income grew – there was no will left to monetise and I continued with my pro-bono work wholeheartedly – All In mentoring. 
  10. Greased Lightning Meaning: Very fast or quick. It still remains my top strength to come to a decision with Lightning speed. It is more now with NeoCortex than the Neo-limbic and that’s even better. 

Thank you for reading.

Time Management : LIfe of Productivity newsletter.

I originally wrote the piece below for the Globe and Mail, but wanted to share in case you find it valuable! Enjoy, and have a great week!    — Chris

Time management isn’t the problem – our attention span is

Walk through your local bookstore and you’ll find dozens of books devoted to time management. Ironically enough, most of them are probably a waste of your time. You’ve likely already mastered two important elements of the topic: You can show up to meetings when you’re supposed to, and are fully capable of keeping your calendar on track. Most of us are pretty good at managing our time. What we’re not as good at is managing our attention.

One study found that when we’re working in front of a computer, we focus on one thing for an average of just 40 seconds before switching our attention to something else. A lot of these distractions come from other people in the form of e-mails and instant messages, but research shows we’re actually responsible for 50 per cent of the distractions that sabotage our focus.

Most of the time, we get back on track quickly. But we don’t fare as well when we’re interrupted completely. In fact, when someone interrupts us, it takes an average of 29 minutes to resume our focus. We fare only a bit better when we distract ourselves – in these cases, it takes us 22 minutes to get back on track.

To put it simply, we’re distracted a lot. At the same time, we rarely choose where we direct our attention – the world decides for us. A new e-mail notification slides onto our screen and instantly halts us in our tracks. We receive a text message in an important meeting and turn our attention from the people in front of us to our phone instead. Focusing on a project in the office, a co-worker stops by to flag an emergency, which interrupts our focus for another half an hour.

Think back to your most productive day. Chances are you weren’t tending to a new distraction every 40 seconds. Perhaps you were on deadline. When distractions came your way, you eschewed them infavour of paying attention to what was actually important. On these days, you entered a mode I like to call hyperfocus, where you brought your full, deliberate attention to one important thing, which let you accomplish in an hour what might normally take an afternoon. On days such as these, you are the master of your attention.

I get distracted a lot, and recently embarked on a project to get to the bottom of why this is – and what we can do about it. I pored through hundreds of research papers and talked to dozens of experts about the state of our attention. Here’s what I discovered along the way:

  • Being distracted isn’t our fault (it’s the way we’re biologically wired).
  • Deliberately letting our mind wander is one of the best ways to become more creative.
  • When our attention is at rest, we think about our goals 14 times as much as when we’re focused.
  • We accomplish our intentions more often by taming distractions ahead of time. A few ways to do this: Use your phone’s greyscale mode, which turns your screen black-and-white and makes apps far less engaging; enable e-mail notifications for VIP contacts only; and have no-phone dinners with your family.

The most significant idea I encountered was a simple one, but with profound implications: The state of our attention determines the state of our lives. The moments in which we’re distracted accumulate – day by day, week by week, year by year – to create a life that feels distracted and overwhelming.

On the other hand, when we focus for longer periods on what’s productive and meaningful – important conversations, big work projects and experiences with loved ones – our lives improve by virtually every measure. We get more done, dive deeper into our experiences and notice more meaning around us, because we process the world with greater intention. We stop allowing our devices to interrupt us every 40 seconds. And we feel more in control of ourlives, because we take control of each moment.

Time management is a topic that has been studied and scrutinized to death. But while we’ve been managing our time better, we’ve grown more distracted than ever before. It doesn’t matter how well we manage our time if we can’t focus our minds on what we want to accomplish.

In a world of constant distraction, it’s time for a new focus: attention management.

Happy Diwali to all my Readers and BFFFs.

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Not to give up under any circumstances should be the motto of our life: we shall try again and again, and we are bound to succeed. There will be obstacles, but we have to defy them. So do not give up, do not give up! Continue, continue! The goal is ahead of you. If you do not give up, you are bound to reach your destined goal.”

On the day of  Festival of lights in India, let me wish you all a very Happy Diwali.

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is Slowest Marathon in History Day? In 1986, Vietnam veteran Bob Wieland crossed the finish line of the New York Marathon four days, two hours, 48 minutes, and 17 seconds after beginning. His was the slowest time ever for a marathon. He was also the first person to run a marathon without legs. Wieland has completed six marathons on his hands. Amazing!


Millennials are more likely to share their salary than Baby Boomers | Ladders

via Millennials are more likely to share their salary than Baby Boomers | Ladders

This is quite true. I worked in companies where the moral code of conduct dictated that we should not discuss salaries with other employees. In some, it was  sackable offense for leaking official secrets 🙂

A Script for Firing People. – Better Humans

Fire Them
Do this first thing without any small talk.

Joe, we’ve decided to let you go. Today is your last day. Thank you for the work you’ve done here and I want to leave on friendly terms. I have some logistics to go over with you. Afterward I can answer your questions.
The strategy here is to:

A. Deliver the news quickly and definitively.

B. Fill in whatever bullshit pleasantries you feel like you need here. They just got fired! So they won’t hear or believe anything nice you say. But almost everyone feels like they need to say something. Some things to try: “I really appreciate the work you’ve done here,” “I feel like we’re parting on good terms” etc.

C. Pivot the conversation to logistics, which takes the pressure off of the person to respond.

via A Script for Firing People. – Better Humans

RAK Movement – Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Old laptop or mobile lying around? Donate it
  2. Google ‘survey for charity’ and complete one. They receive money for every one you fill out!
  3. Someone wronged you? Forgive them
  4. Save water – take a shorter shower today
  5. Surprise your parents with flowers
  6. Fight climate change – go vegetarian for today!
  7. Visit a friend who’s sick
  8. Volunteer your time for a good cause
  9. Write a complimentary note for someone
  10. Recycle 3 things today

From the Ground Floor to the C-Suite | Longitudes

via From the Ground Floor to the C-Suite | Longitudes


From the Ground Floor to the C-Suite

She responded to an advertisement for a receptionist – now she’s calling the shots.

Editor’s Note: October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and here at Longitudes, we’re putting the focus on entrepreneurs who are getting big results out of their upstart companies. This is part four of an ongoing series of interviews with women small business owners. You can read part one here, part two here and part three here.  

Maria Mendillo knew she found her professional home as soon as she walked through the door.

Sure, it was an entry-level position. But it just felt right, and her faith paid off – now she’s CEO.

Pullquote share icon.ShareMaria Mendillo knew she found her professional home as soon as she walked through the door.

Maria’s company, FarraTech, specializes in IT solutions like servers, laptops, monitors, laser printers, copiers, toner, software, service and repair. But more than that, FarraTech runs on its employee-owned culture.

In the interview below, Maria looks back on her ascent to the company’s top position and what the journey taught her about how to lead in today’s business environment.

Longitudes: Can you talk about your rise to CEO at FarraTech?   

Maria: I was a 27-year-old mother working as a bartender, not making a lot of money, and the hours weren’t good. With no experience and no education, I answered an ad for a receptionist.

I interviewed with the sales manager and founder and told him: This is the last company I’m ever going to work for. They only had five employees, but I just had a feeling this would be my home. That was 28 years ago.

I worked hard and John Farra, a mentor of mine – as well as the company’s founder – believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. He would say, ‘You’ve run this company from the day you walked in here.’

He created an environment where I could learn everything I needed to learn, and he promoted me through every position within the company. When he retired in 2007, I became president and CEO through an employee stock ownership program. Joining the company was the best decision I ever made.

Maria Mendillo rose from an entry-level position to CEO of FarraTech. 

Longitudes: How was the transition?

Maria: There were a ton of growing pains in the beginning (and still are), but John said that I was smart and advised me to believe in myself and work hard. So I set my mind to learning everything I could.

I paid close attention to our industry and all the changes that were happening. We were very small when I took over the company.

I didn’t have management experience when I took over the company so I went back to school and got an MBA (I had dropped out of high school in the ninth grade but graduated at the top of my graduate school class). An accountant founded the company so I had to learn a lot about accounting. This was a huge challenge.

Longitudes: You talk a lot about instituting an employee-owned culture. Why?

Maria: The most rewarding aspect of this job is watching the company and the employees grow to places you never dreamed they could. This company is 100-percent ESOP (employee stock ownership plan), which enables this culture from the bottom up.

My favorite day every year is the day I give the ESOP statements to the employees. The look on their faces is priceless. They have more money set aside then they could have ever dreamed.

Longitudes: And how does that culture affect day-to-day operations?

Pullquote share icon.ShareIt is our responsibility to worry about our people as individualsand not just employees.

Maria: This culture is a blessing. About 70 percent of employees have been here 10 years, and we are a family, including three of my own family members. They are the glue to this company. They have passion for the company and its customers and the drive to make us the best at what we do.

Our founder also believed it is our responsibility to worry about our people as individuals and not just employees. That’s always been our philosophy and culture. We do anything we can to make sure our employees enjoy their quality of life. We pay for every employee’s personal cell phone coverage, host family lunches and even offer interest-free loans. We also went to four-day work weeks.

Longitudes: How do you expect e-commerce to change your business?

Maria: E-commerce will be the only way we do business in the future. We started in e-commerce at the request of our largest customer. The employees were already well versed in digital commerce so it was an easy transition.

Many customers find it a hassle to deal with that part of their job so we try hard to remove that frustration and make it easier for them. We are always available for the customer by phone, in-person visits or emails. We provide all the information on the items they need to make it an easy process.

Longitudes: What macro trends have most affected your business, and how have you responded?

Maria: The original equipment manufacturers, for years, have taken steps to combat the recycling of toner cartridges. Though they have mostly stopped the lawsuits against companies in our industry, they make technical and component changes to cartridges to make it difficult for small companies like ours to affordably reproduce the cartridges.

But the industry has also evolved to the point where large national companies with great resources produce most recycled cartridges. This evolution enabled us to recently outsource the production of recycled cartridges to a multibillion-dollar player in our industry who manufactures and ships to our specifications and improves our profit margins.

Longitudes: How does logistics factor into your business?

Maria: To be honest, in the 20 years we have been using UPS, we really haven’t had any problems with logistics. Years ago, we needed a reverse logistics solution for our largest client, and we didn’t have a clue what to do. Our UPS Customer Solutions representative not only came up with a solution, Returns on the Web, but scaled it to be a significant part of our business we still use today.

Our customers were going to office supply stores and were charged two to three times more for toner and printers. Returns on the Web provided a portal for them to print a label and return the printer cartridges and printers to us.

Pullquote share icon.ShareIn the 20 years we have been using UPS, we really haven’t had any problems with logistics.

We receive the item, scan the serial number, create an order with a shipping label – and it goes right back out. So our customers only have to print a label and not think of anything else. We used to have six people handling those accounts, but now we only have one. We started with our largest customer, and we’re now using it with most of them. It completely got rid of the problem.

Longitudes: What’s next?

Maria: As our business evolves, we as a company must evolve with it. We are now expanding our revenue streams, products and services.

We stay in tune with the market, and we adjust our revenue and product offerings to remain ahead of the curve. We have started selling IT products and software to capture new revenue. It’s exciting to see where this business is heading.

You can learn more about UPS small business solutions here and also begin saving now on your shipping.

Maria Mendillo is President and CEO of FarraTech. She has more than 28 years of experience in the toner and printer industry. Starting up front as the receptionist, she showed how hard work and determination can pay off, taking over the company’s top position in 2007.Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author. RSS Feed

Don’t worry Be Happy

Worry Curtails The Joy Of Life—

Moral courage and self-confidence should be accompanied by freedom from worry. There are very few things in the mind which eat up as much energy as worry. It is one of the most difficult things not to worry about  anything. 

Worry is experienced when things go wrong, but in relation to past happenings it is idle merely to wish that they might have been otherwise. The frozen past is what it is, and no amount of worrying is going to make it other than what it has been. But the limited ego-mind identifies itself with its past, gets entangled with it and keeps alive the pangs of frustrated desires. Thus worry continues to grow into the mental life of man until the ego-mind is burdened by the past. 

Worry is also experienced in relation to the future when this future is expected to be disagreeable in some way. In this case it seeks to justify itself as a necessary part of the attempt to prepare for coping with the anticipated situa- tions. But, things can never be helped merely by worrying. Besides, many of the things which are anticipated never turn up, or if they do occur, they turn out to be much more acceptable than they were expected to be. 

Worry is the product of feverish imagination working under the stimulus of desires. It is a living through of sufferings which are mostly our own creation. Worry has never done anyone any good, and it is very much worse than mere dissipation of psychic energy, for it substantially curtails the joy and fullness of life.

Discourses vol3, e-book, p126

By Meher Baba 

Copyright: AMBPPCT 

Photo Courtesy AMBPPCT

Twisted Poetry – Jay Rambles…

Assistant in the town hall
False accusations in an underground pit
Celebrity in an underground pit
Creature of heaven
Bully of a fjord
Three wishes in the royal palace
Marriage in a construction yard
Humility in a forgotten bunker
Horrible choice in the streets
World record in a future world

Secret life of a demon
Making three wishes with your husband
Gifts from a pretentious snob
Reality show with a queen
Day at the park with the in-laws
Identical twin of a knight
Inside the mind of a wise old (wo)man
Cooking with a horse
Sleepover with an elephant
Break up of a scientist

Stay Away from These Two Phrases When You Speak to a Customer | Longitudes

via Stay Away from These Two Phrases When You Speak to a Customer | Longitudes

Stay Away from These Two Phrases When You Speak to a Customer

You might not realize how condescending you sound.

There’s a straightforward rule of customer service – never make your customer feel like an idiot. This might seem obvious, but if you’re not careful, it’s pretty easy to send this message unintentionally. Sometimes, all it takes is a single word.

Pullquote share icon.ShareTwo of the most offensive phrases for customers involve invisible language.

Over the years, I’ve observed and critiqued hundreds of customer service interactions. Many of them have been phone calls to our clients’ services or technical support departments. We use these calls to help develop training programs.

As you may imagine, many of these discussions include customers with a problem.

The thing is, not all of these “problems” involved angry or upset customers. Most of them began in a quite civilized manner. But it was not unusual for some calls to escalate to an unpleasant level with customers becoming angry, sometimes very angry.

Here’s what’s interesting: When listening to these calls again, we could pinpoint the precise moment when a customer’s emotional state changed. In most cases, the trigger had far less to do with the issue at hand and everything to do with how the employee responded.

Upon digging deeper, we discovered similarities in words and phrases that created a negative response. Two of the most offensive phrases on the list involved “invisible language”– words that aren’t necessary spoken but that the person heard. Here are two examples:


“Actually” was the most common culprit, and it’s something we are all guilty of saying from time to time. Alone, the word “actually” is harmless. But when you use it at the beginning of a sentence, its impact significantly changes.

When someone starts a sentence with actually, we know what’s going to follow. We are about to be corrected. We are about to be told we are wrong. We’re about to feel like an idiot.

“Actually” is one of the hallmarks of serial contrarians – people who can’t seem to stop themselves from correcting others. When you comment that something is light green, they respond with “actually, it’s mint.”

As a long-reformed serial contrarian, I can attest in seeing a difference in my ability to connect with people when I stopped this behavior.

“Like I told you before”

Pullquote share icon.ShareThe validate-clarify-continue technique presents correct information without triggering negative emotions.

Here is another guaranteed customer service killer: “Like I told you before.” This phrase only serves one purpose: to vent your frustration and make the other person feel stupid. There are no benefits whatsoever to this phrase. None.

Sure, maybe you have already said this to a customer. Perhaps even many times. Sure, it’s frustrating. But this is where rule No. 1 comes in: Never make your customer feel like an idiot.

This rule holds true no matter how much of an idiot you perceive someone to be.

What to do if you have to correct someone 

Of course, there are times when correcting a misunderstanding is the right thing to do. But there is a way to do it without being condescending.

Stop and ask yourself, what’s the benefit? Is it important? Does the benefit of the correction outweigh the risk of making this person feel stupid? If there isn’t any benefit, you’re better off biting your tongue.

You can also use what’s called the “validate-clarify-continue” technique. This is a language strategy that helps you present correct information while minimizing the risk of triggering negative emotions.

For example, instead of saying “Actually, the entrance is at the back of this building,” try something like this:

  • Validate their belief: “It would make sense for the entrance to be at the front wouldn’t it?”
  • Clarify: “For some reason, the entrance here is at the back.”
  • Continue with a question to move the conversation forward: “Do you know how to get around there?”

The payoff of getting customer service right 

Focusing on language might seem trivial, but these little things make a big difference, particularly in today’s digital world. Just think about the impact of someone talking about terrible customer service via social media.

recent study by New Voice Media estimates that U.S. companies are losing $62 billion each year due to poor customer experience.

Pullquote share icon.ShareFocusing on language might seem trivial, but these little things make a big difference.

Of course, service failures and negative situations are inevitable in any business. But these are precisely the moments when companies need to step up their customer service game. If you get it right, people will start talking about you in a good way.

2016 study identified that 72 percent of positive “wow” experiences – experiences that customers are likely to share with friends family and on social media – stem from difficult situations. When customers feel that you care and take ownership of a negative situation, they remember it.

When you know a product inside out, and a customer tells you something about it that you know is wrong, it’s tempting to point out their error. But remember, in customer service, your job is not to prove to them that you’re right.

Your role is to help them fix whatever problem they’re having with your product and make them feel like you care. That’s not going to happen if you make them feel like an idiot.

This article originally appeared on Fast Company and was republished with permission.

BJP Zunheboto unit holds executive meeting

BJP Zunheboto unit holds executive meeting
By EMN  /  November 5, 2018  /  Comments Off on BJP Zunheboto unit holds executive meeting

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Dimapur, Nov. 4 (EMN): Zunheboto unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held its 7th district executive meeting on October 30 with Khevishe Sema, state secretary, and Hokaito Zhimo, co-incharge of Zunheboto district, as special guests.
Khevishe Sema, who also represented Zunheboto district to the state party office, expressed gratitude to the party members for electing him to represent the district. He assured all possible assistance to have better coordination in moulding the party.

Khevishe Sema has elaborated on various programme/ schemes that are being implemented by the BJP government at the centre. Stating that BJP is a disciplined party, he called upon the workers to be disciplined.

Hokaito Zhimo has emphasised on developmental activities that is taking place in the state particularly with reference to construction of four lane Dimapur-Kohima highway. Stating that BJP alone could bring development, he encouraged the party members to work with confidence.
Respective mandal and morcha presidents presented their activities reports.

Shikuto Sema, district president, delivered the presidential address and introduced new members who have been given various assignments in the state as well as in the district levels.

The meeting was presided by Er. (Retired) Yekuto Zhimo, president of kisan Morcha, and recorded by Mrs Mughatoli, general secretary. Mrs. Inatoli Yeptho, president of mahila morcha, delivered the vote of thanks.

via BJP Zunheboto unit holds executive meeting

Lust is not love

Nowadays lust is taken for love. The subtle difference is missed. There is a very subtle difference between love and lust, but it is quite clear.

Lust is nothing else but the desire for self-happiness. Love is desire for the happiness of others.

Love is the reaching out of spirit. In lust there is excitement. In love there is tranquility.

Lust seeks fulfillment, Love experiences it.

Lust is dissipation, Love is rejuvenation.


[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]