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December 2013

Thoughts for today- Emotional Intelligence

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Your emotional intelligence has a lot to do with how physically healthy you are. Emotional health results from optimizing your innermost feelings, from dealing with conflicts, and from viewing difficulties as opportunities, not disasters. The following six actions are excellent good habits to possess.

  1. Accept yourself. Deal with the world without constant inner battles. Not every battle is worth winning.Accept what you can't change. When you find something that can and should be changed, accept that responsibility.
  2.  Accept others. Dealing with others' faults is a test of one's maturity. Accepting others helps you deal with their faults and allows you to criticize without venom. Not getting along with people is a sign your emotional health needs work.
  3. Keep your sense of humor and use it as a plane to shave off the rough edges of life. Your humor reflects your attitude toward others; don't joke at the expense of others.
  4. Appreciate simple pleasures, no matter how often repeated. Stay excited over things even if they seem ordinary to others.
  5. Enjoy the present. Although you can provide for the future, you cannot control or foresee it. Venture fearlessly into new projects and new places.
  6. Learn to have fun rather than living in a state of constant resentment. Sometimes if I take sometime and play with my son, it feels great to play with him with all the innocence and wonder than watching a movie/TV.

Denis Waitley noted that scientists are discovering that disease is not necessarily caused by gems and viruses acting alone. All people have germs, but not everyone becomes ill. In addition to hereditary and environmental factors, there is strong evidence that the cause of many illnesses is closely linked with the way an individual reacts to life.

16 year old Melissa Anderson knows how to react to life and injuries. After being struck by a motorcycle, Anderson was rushed to UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. When doctors removed her ruptured spleen and repaired her damaged liver, they weren't finished. The accident punctured her lung, broke her collarbone and right leg, and caused her brain to swell. Doctors expected Anderson to be hospitalized for months.

When she regained consciousness, Anderson had other plans: She wanted to go home. Twelve days later she did."When I want to do something, I just go for it. I worked on getting out of there," she explained. Her doctor,Dr.Lekawa, said Anderson's "attitude and willingness to get up and move around despite pain speeded her recovery and prevented side effects such as pneumonia, embolisms, or kidney failure." He added, "The will to recover causes hormonal changes in the body that encourage healing. I absolutely believe that a strong attitude to do well and survive helps you out."

Researchers claim that your right attitude is a medicine and they can back up their claim. Physical and emotional health are interrelated; a person with good emotional health can work, love, and play without much internal stress.But things have a way of getting tough, and when they do your emotional intelligence determines your ability to cope. Emotional health is as important as physical health because it helps you visualize, imagine, and anticipate full recovery from illness. You also can reward yourself for recovering. Good emotional health should be a goal in your life. Activities such as hobbies, reading, enjoying nature, gardening,or listening to music can help your emotional health.

Saturday night live!- Quiet reflections about risks

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."

-John F. Kennedy.

What is short term and what is long term is a function of the rate of change. At a gradual pace, it may be reasonable to concentrate predictively on circumstances five or ten years out. But in rapidly accelarating environments, the best one might be able to do is to define actions six months or a year away. In both cases, leader is thinking as far ahead as reality dictates is reasonable. He/she is predicting the fallout of short term decisions, weighing, assessing and leveraging in favor of long-term benefit. Successful risk takers are always attempting to limit the risk. They are grounded in reality and do their homework. Contrast this with my four year old, who at one time last year dove off head first from table (in the Park). Thankfully I was able to reach the pavement beneath him just before he did. He too, was a risk taker,  but he had an incomplete grip on reality and had no idea of the consequences of his actions. Leaders make mistakes. Some are large, obvious and embarrassing.But they never make the mistake twice. And their capacity to learn, to evolve, and to catapult off of a poor showing helps establish their mystique. They are human enough to try new things and willing to demonstrate vulnerability.But they have the uncanny ability to move from naive student to master teacher in a single step. Their willingness to risk failure simply reflects their knowledge that success will surely follow.

Thoughts for today! Attitudes

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Earl Nightingale, said, "Attitude will always affect your success, and you'll know it affected your success when you take credit for your success that's the good side or you blame somebody that's the bad side."

Leadership Guru Dr. John C. Maxwell tells this story about taking responsibility for attitude. After seeing how-to-improve-your-attitude books in his father's briefcase during a vacation, Maxwell said, "Dad, you're 70 years old. You've always had a great attitude. Are you still reading that stuff?".

Melvin Maxwell looked his son in the eye and answered, "I have to keep working on my thoughts through out my life. I am responsible for having a great attitude and for maintaining it. My attitude does not run on auto pilot."

So, we not only choose our attitudes, but they are also a continuing choice. TV anchor Hugh Downs defined a happy person not as someone with a certain set of circumstances, but with a certain set of attitudes.

Merry Christmas!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a Merry Christmas! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement throughout the year.

I would also like to wish you and your family all the best in the coming year. My prayer for you is that you will be blessed with good health, be surrounded with loving family and friends, and that you will continue to grow and reach your full potential and destiny.

Today's thoughts: Dreams

Karthik Gurumurthy

Our dreams are our invitations to perform the dance we have been gifted with. Dreams are full of purpose. They mean to inspire us, acting as markers along the paths to our destination. If we had no dreams, we would quickly lose the will to live.

The twenty-four hours ahead will be filled with dreams as well as actions. The actions we take today are no doubt inspired by yesterday's or last week's dreams. Dreams help us to image that which our souls desire us to do. This imagery is powerful, helping us to be prepared for any situation that requests our involvement.

Through our dreams we feel the pull of the inner self - that center we have that knows our needs, talents, our proper course and destination. My lifeline to tomorrow is through today's dream. I will respect its call and take the action necessary to make it come true.

Thoughts for today! Acting first..

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Things are always created twice, first mentally and then physically. Act like the person you want to be and that is what you become. Once you start doing something, such as standing stall, maintaining eye contact when you talk to people, and speaking distinctly with energy in your voice, motivation kicks in and helps you keep doing it. Acting as if may seem difficult the first time you do it, but like anything else, the more you act as if, the better you become. Acting as if gets the chemistry moving in the right direction. Don't wait for motivation to tap you on the shoulder. Instead act first and motivation naturally follows to keep you going in your chosen direction.

Thoughts for today: Integrity

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Socrates said that persons with integrity were in reality what they expressed to be. This makes complete sense because before we can achieve the kind of lives we want, we must think, act, talk, walk and conduct all of our affairs as if we were the persons we wish to be. Integrity is both who we are and what we do.

Galileo Galilei was a man of integrity whose actions supported his beliefs. While teaching Mathematics in Pisa around 1589, Galileo would drop rocks off the Leaning Tower in his spare time. He discovered that a 2-pound rock and a 10-pound rck reached the ground at the same time. When he demonstrated this to the scientists of his day, they said that would not happen because everyone knew that weight affected speed. So Galileo offered to repeat the experiment.

Less than two decades later, Galileo announced that the earth was not the center of the universe; but again, everyone knew differently. Galileo's statement of fact caused him to be condemned in life in prison. In addition, Italian printers were forbidden to print anything he wrote. Although his sentence was commuted, Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest. His struggle exemplified scientists' need for freedom of inquiry. Today,  most people think of Galileo as a pioneer of modern physics and telescopic astronomy, but he is a perfect example of man of integrity.

Thoughts for today: Risk

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The story is told of a man living near the Holy Ganges river in India. A farmer like his father and Grandfather, Ram staunchly believed that God would always take care of him. Life was good; Ram's crops flourished and his animals were healthy. 

When the Ganges began rising, Ram thought to himself, God will take care of me. As water covered the first floor of his farmhouse, Ram picked up his farm animals ans moved up to the second floor. Watching things he barely recognized swirling past his house. Ram marveled at the river's power. The next day when neighbors rowed up to his bedroom window to take Ram to higher ground, he refused to leave because he believed God would provide. Water rose over the second floor and Ram reluctantly moved into the top floor, Volunteers yelled through second floor window, pleading with him to get into their boat, yet Ram steadfastly refused. The following morning, water began seeping into the second floor and Ram wearily moved onto the roof; certain that God would provide, he refused to climb into neighbor's boat. As water covered the roof, Ram exhausted by his ordeal, feel asleep and was swept away by the rising water.

While a helicopter crew was recovering his body, Ram was asking to God in heaven with a disappointed note, "Why didn't you take care of me?". God answered, "Well, I sent three boats and a helicopter- What were you waiting for?"

Like Ram, we often hope for divine intervention rather than take the leap of faith and the risk to move on.We doubt our own judgment, we love our safe comfort zones and hate uncertainty. It is also the fear factor. Fear can be Finding Every Acceptable Reason not to do something or False Evidence Appearing Real. Successful have the tendency to believe latter and make the first move which makes all the difference.

Thoughts for today- Fear of Failure

-Karthik Gurumurthy

One of the biggest things that keeps people from achieving what matters most to them is this kind of fear.

I have had these thoughts come in my mind several times.

Suppose I really identify what matters most to me. Then I will have to come face to face with what I am not doing about what matters most to me, and I may see that as failure and I don't want to fail.I don't want to go through the ugly feelings that failure can sometimes bring.Therefore I won't take take the time to sit down and go through any of this stuff because knowing what matters most to me is going to open up the possibility of failing.

Fear like that can extinguish the human spirit.Don't let it immobilize you in your quest to do something about the things that matter most to you. Failure is part of growth and is how we learn. Another thing which is associated is the fear of change.

In the wonderfully motivating book "Release your Brakes", James Newman talks about comfort zones, those places and conditions we gravitage to by the paths of least resistance, usually by default.Leaving our comfort zones can be difficult unless, as Newman counsels, we realize that doing so can be an adventure, a rejuvenating and exhilarating experience. If we can consider leaving comfort zones as adventures, then we won't be afraid to fail and can understand that we might fail many times before we eventually succeed.

There is a wonderful story about a very successful entrepreneur who was asked why he was so successful. His response was "Good decisions." The second question was"Well, how do you make good decisions?" The response: "Experience." And then the final question: "How do you get experience?" And the response: " Bad decisions."

We learn by our experience. We learn by mistakes. We learn by failing. We learn by attempting something. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but we find the better way. It is important to do whatever it takes to get the fear of failure out of your system.

Thought process: Laughter- The best medicine

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Scientist Lee Berk brought laughers into his laboratory at Loma Linda University in California. Half of the subjects watched a video of a stand-up comedian while the other half, or control group sat quietly in another room. Blood samples were drawn every 10 minutes from both groups. The control group showed no physiological change. The subjects who watched the video showed decreased levels of cortisol, a hormone that suppresses the immune system, and "significant increases in various measures  of the immune function." This means laughing activates:

  • T cells that battle infection.
  • B cells that produce disease-fighting protein.
  • Natural killer cells that attack tumors and microbes.
  • Immunoglobulin- antibodies that patrol the respiratory tract.
  • Gamma-interferon that is key immune system messenger.

Berk concluded that "laughter creates its own unique physiological state with changes in the immune system opposite to those caused by stress." He summed up the benefits of laughter this way: "Blessed are those who laugh, for they shall last." Dr. Stanley Tan and Dr. Berk have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, increases muscle flexion, and triggers a flood of beta endorphins- natural morphine -like compounds.

Dr. Derks and his colleagues mapped the brain activity of subjects while they listened to jokes.Having discovered that the entire outer layer of the brain is involved when people laugh, they believe it could boost the immune system.

The bottom line to all this research is that laughter increases disease-fighting cells and proteins in the blood and increases our immunity to infections. Even common sense tells us that no one can be anxious and tense while laughing. It is important that we develop the ability to find humor in life.