Interesting Facts I Learned About Barbers and Barber Clippers Based on My Readings

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Barber clippers are primarily used by barbers and hairdressers.

Barbers and hairdressers are licensed usually in other countries unlike here in the Philippines where barbers can be found anywhere and cut hair without having any license.

In previous times, barbers are also surgeons and don’t just cut hair, they can also shave beard, trim hair, color hair, etc.. They previously act as dentists too. The red and white spiral color in the barber pole signifies their two crafts; red signifies surgery, and white signifies barbering.

It was during the war when the surgeons were paid more and given more emphasis than the barbers because of their importance for the health of those people in the ship.

Henry Martyn Leland invented the electric barber clippers, he also invented the Cadillac which is later bought by General Motors, and the Lincoln which is later bought by Ford Motor Company.

Nikola Bizumic is the one who invented the manual barber clippers in which is an alternative for scissors in cutting hair but is also operated by hand. The use of these manual clippers decreased significantly due to the emergence of electronic barber clippers. these manual clippers has not yet been phased out though for there are still users of these stuff throughout the world.

Matthew Andis built an electronic barber clipper that undergo a wide range of performance test, manufactured a large number of these electronic barber clippers, and he sold it to numerous barber shops throughout Wisconsin. Then after a year, he founded Andis Clipper Company that still operates as a family-owned business today. Andis became a famous brand for barber clippers even up to present.

There are a lot of brands that followed Andis and some has even improved Andis’s design flaws like the Wahl Clippers by Leo J. Wahl and the Oster Clippers by John Oster who owns the famous Oster Classic 76 clippers which is regarded for its durability and interchangeable metal blades or different sizes.

Wahl introduced the Trim and Vac, a beard razor that can be used without a cape since it has a vacuum that automatically absorbs the cut hair giving ease of use for the user.

There are also clippers used for pet grooming particularly dog grooming that has different sizes of blades used for trimming. Different blade sizes determines the length of hair that will be cut from dog’s body. You should not use a barber clipper (used for human) to a dog since pet clippers are custom designed for pets since they have thick fur to protect their body from hot or cold weather and other irritants. This is one reason why pet clippers use more powerful motors and torque than a regular barber clipper.

Barber clippers are widely used to cut human hair and it helps reduce a great amount of time in cutting hair. With faster results, it makes a barber shop businesses more profitable since you can serve more customers.

Professional hair clippers are more expensive than a regular one only because of its durability since it will be used extensively for commercial purposes compared to barber clippers intended only for personal use or home use only.

Barber clippers would usually cost about $25 to about $130 depending on the use of your clipper.

There has been a lot of innovations in the clippers from different companies and it has been really a slugfest between Andis, Wahl, and Oster for the hair clipper manufacturing crown. Sallybeauty.com has been a successful online store for beauty products including hair clippers and care kits for these clippers.

When a clipper is not functioning well, one reason could be that it has not been oiled properly or it has not been used for some time.

You can clean this by removing the screw and putting the blade into a bowl with isoprophyl alcohol.

Afterwards, clean and wipe off the rust or you can use a sharpening stone to sharpen the blade by scratching the blade to the stone going to one direction only.

If your barber clipper blade is cheap, professional sharpening is not advisable but if you have an expensive blade, you can go for professional sharpening for best results.

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When Managers Become Hamlets

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This alludes to the famous play “Hamlet” by Shakespeare. Hamlet was a character who was highly indecisive about what he wanted to do and always mulled over things while taking a decision and many a times avoided or delayed taking decisions. This could mean disaster if applied in case of a working manager as he has to be on his toes and take fast decisions. This is more relevant today when the whole world is a market and even a momentary indecisiveness could result in millions being lost in the trade.

Decision Making

We all make decisions of varying importance every day, so the idea that decision making can be a rather sophisticated art may at first seem strange. However, studies have shown that most people are much poorer at decision making than they think. An understanding of what decision making involves, together with a few effective techniques, will help produce better decisions.

What is Decision Making?

1. Making a decision implies that there are alternative choices to be considered, and in such a case we want, not only to identify as many of these alternatives as possible but to choose the one that best fits with our goals, desires, lifestyle, values, and so on.

2. It should be noted here that uncertainty is reduced rather than eliminated. Very few decisions are made with absolute certainty because complete knowledge about all the alternatives is seldom possible. Thus, every decision involves a certain amount of risk.

Kinds of Decisions

There are several basic kinds of decisions.

1. Decisions whether. This is the yes/no, either/or decision that must be made before we proceed with the selection of an alternative. Should I buy a new TV? Should I travel this summer? Decisions whether are made by weighing reasons pro and con. It is important to be aware of having made a decision whether, since too often we assume that decision making begins with the identification of alternatives, assuming that the decision to choose one has already been made.

2. Decisions which. These decisions involve a choice of one or more alternatives from among a set of possibilities, the choice being based on how well each alternative measures up to a set of predefined criteria.

3. Contingent decisions.

Most people carry around a set of already made, contingent decisions, just waiting for the right conditions or opportunity to arise. Time, energy, price, availability, opportunity, encouragement–all these factors can figure into the necessary conditions that need to be met before we can act on our decision.

Decision whether … select criteria … identify alternatives … make choice

The Components of Decision Making

The Decision Environment

Every decision is made within a decision environment, which is defined as the collection of information, alternatives, values, and preferences available at the time of the decision. An ideal decision environment would include all possible information, all of it accurate, and every possible alternative. However, both information and alternatives are constrained because time and effort to gain information or identify alternatives are limited. The major challenge of decision making is uncertainty, and a major goal of decision analysis is to reduce uncertainty. We can almost never have all information needed to make a decision with certainty, so most decisions involve an undeniable amount of risk.

Delaying a decision as long as reasonably possible, then, provides three benefits:

1. The decision environment will be larger, providing more information. There is also time for more thoughtful and extended analysis.

2. New alternatives might be recognized or created.

3. The decision maker’s preferences might change. With further thought, wisdom, maturity.

The Effects of Quantity on Decision Making

Many decision makers have a tendency to seek more information than required to make a good decision. When too much information is sought and obtained, one or more of several problems can arise. (1) A delay in the decision occurs because of the time required to obtain and process the extra information. This delay could impair the effectiveness of the decision or solution. (2) Information overload will occur. In this state, so much information is available that decision-making ability actually declines because the information in its entirety can no longer be managed or assessed appropriately. A major problem caused by information overload is forgetfulness. When too much information is taken into memory, especially in a short period of time, some of the information (often that received early on) will be pushed out.

The example is sometimes given of the man who spent the day at an information-heavy seminar. At the end of the day, he was not only unable to remember the first half of the seminar but he had also forgotten where he parked his car that morning.

(3) Selective use of the information will occur. That is, the decision maker will choose from among all the information available only those facts which support a preconceived solution or position. (4) Mental fatigue occurs, which results in slower work or poor quality work.

The quantity of information that can be processed by the human mind is limited. Unless information is consciously selected, processing will be biased toward the first part of the information received. After that, the mind tires and begins to ignore subsequent information or forget earlier information.

Decision Streams

A common misconception about decision making is that decisions are made in isolation from each other: you gather information, explore alternatives, and make a choice, without regard to anything that has gone before. The fact is, decisions are made in a context of other decisions. The typical metaphor used to explain this is that of a stream. There is a stream of decisions surrounding a given decision, many decisions made earlier have led up to this decision and made it both possible and limited. Many other decisions will follow from it.

As example, when you enter a store to buy a VCD or TV, you are faced with the preselected alternatives stocked by the store. There may be 200 models available in the universe of models, but you will be choosing from, say, only a dozen. In this case, your decision has been constrained by the decisions made by others about which models to carry.

It is important to realize that every decision you make affects the decision stream and the collections of alternatives available to you both immediately and in the future. In other words, decisions have far reaching consequences.

Acceptance. Those who must implement the decision or who will be affected by it must accept it both intellectually and emotionally.

Acceptance is a critical factor because it occasionally conflicts with one of the quality criteria. In such cases, the best thing to do may be to choose a lesser quality solution that has greater acceptance.

For example, when cake mixes first were put on the market, manufacturers put everything into the mix–the highest quality and most efficient solution. Only water had to be added. However, the mixes didn’t sell well–they weren’t accepted. After investigation, the makers discovered that women didn’t like the mixes because using the mixes made them feel guilty: they weren’t good wives because they were taking a shortcut to making a cake. The solution was to take the egg and sometimes the milk out of the mix so that the women would have something to do to “make” the cake other than just adding water. Now they had to add egg and perhaps milk, making them feel more useful. The need to feel useful and a contributor is one of the most basic of human needs. Thus, while the new solution was less efficient in theoretical terms, it was much more acceptable. Cake mixes with the new formula became quite popular.

Thus, the inferior method may produce greater results if the inferior one has greater support. One of the most important considerations in decision making, then, is the people factor. Always consider a decision in light of the people implementation.

A decision that may be technologically brilliant but that is sociologically stupid will not work. Only decisions that are implemented, and implemented with thoroughness (and preferably enthusiasm) will work the way they are intended to.

Approaches to Decision Making

1. Authoritarian. The manager makes the decision based on the knowledge he can gather. He then must explain the decision to the group and gain their acceptance of it.

2. Group. The group shares ideas and analyses, and agrees upon a decision to implement. Studies show that the group often has values, feelings, and reactions quite different from those the manager supposes they have. No one knows the group and its tastes and preferences as well as the group itself.

There are two types of group decision making sessions. First is free discussion in which the problem is simply put on the table for the group to talk about.

The other kind of group decision making is developmental discussion or structured discussion. Here the problem is broken down into steps, smaller parts with specific goals. Developmental discussion (1) insures systematic coverage of a topic and (2) insures that all members of the group are talking about the same aspect of the problem at the same time.

Some Decision Making Strategies

1. Optimizing. This is the strategy of choosing the best possible solution to the problem, discovering as many alternatives as possible and choosing the very best. How thoroughly optimizing can be done is dependent on

1. Importance of the problem

2. Time available for solving it

3. Cost involved with alternative solutions

4. Availability of resources, knowledge

5. Personal psychology & values

Note that the collection of complete information and the consideration of all alternatives is seldom possible for most major decisions, so that limitations must be placed on alternatives.

2. Satisficing. In this strategy, the first satisfactory alternative is chosen rather than the best alternative. If you are very hungry, you might choose to stop at the first decent looking restaurant in the next town rather than attempting to choose the best restaurant from among all (the optimizing strategy). The word satisficing was coined by combining satisfactory and sufficient. For many small decisions, such as where to park, what to drink, which pen to use, which tie to wear, and so on, the satisficing strategy is perfect.

3. Maximax. This stands for “maximize the maximums.” This strategy focuses on evaluating and then choosing the alternatives based on their maximum possible payoff. This is sometimes described as the strategy of the optimist, because favorable outcomes and high potentials are the areas of concern. It is a good strategy for use when risk taking is most acceptable, when the go-for-broke philosophy is reigning freely.

4. Maximin. This stands for “maximize the minimums.” In this strategy, that of the pessimist, the worst possible outcome of each decision is considered and the decision with the highest minimum is chosen. The Maximin orientation is good when the consequences of a failed decision are particularly harmful or undesirable. Maximin concentrates on the salvage value of a decision, or of the guaranteed return of the decision. It’s the philosophy behind the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Decision Making Procedure:

1.Identify the decision to be made together with the goals it should achieve.

2.Get the facts.

3.Develop alternatives.

4.Rate each alternative.

5.Rate the risk of each alternative.

6.Make the decision.

Risk Taking Metrics:

1. Only the risk takers are truly free. All decisions of consequence involve risk. Without taking risks, you cannot grow or improve or even live.

2.There is really no such thing as permanent security in anything on earth. Not taking risks is really not more secure than taking them, for your present state can always be changed without action on your part.

3.You are supposed to be afraid when you risk. Admit your fears–of loss, of rejection, of failure.

4. Risking normally involves a degree of separation anxiety

5.Decide whether the risk is necessary or desirable. Spend some careful thought before acting, so that you will not end up taking unnecessary risks.

6. Risk for the right reasons and when you are calm and thoughtful. Don’t take a risk because you are angry, hurt, depressed, desperate, or frightened. Don’t take risks just to get revenge or to harm someone else. Don’t risk when you are incapable of rational thought.

3. Have a goal. When you take a risk, have a clear purpose in mind so that you will know, after the fact, whether you succeeded or not. What will taking the risk accomplish?

4. Determine the possible loss as well as the gain. That is, know exactly what the consequences of failure will be. Unless you know pretty accurately what both loss and gain will be, you do not understand the risk. There is a tendency either to underestimate or to overestimate the consequences of risk. Underestimation can result in surprising damage, cost, setbacks, pain, whatever. But overestimation is just as problematic,

It’s a good idea in fact to list all the good expected effects of a successful outcome and all the bad expected effects of an unsuccessful outcome.

5. Try to make an accurate estimate about the probability of each case. Is the probability of success one in two, one in ten, one in a hundred, one in a million? This can be sometimes difficult to do, but usually you can guess the probability within an order of magnitude.

6. When possible, take one risk at a time. Divide your actions or goals wherever possible so that you are not combining risks unless absolutely necessary. Simultaneous risking increases anxiety, creates confusion, and makes failure analysis very difficult.

7. Use imaging or role playing to work through the various possibilities, successes and failures, so that you will be mentally prepared for any outcome. Think about what can go right and what can go wrong and how you will respond to or adjust to each possibility.

8. Use a plan. Set up a timetable with a list of steps to take. Use the plan as a guideline, but be flexible.

9. Act decisively. When you have evaluated the risk and decided that it’s worth it, act. Go for it. Don’t hesitate at the threshold or halfway through. Once you get going, be courageous. Grit your teeth and move forward. Don’t procrastinate and don’t act half heartedly.

10. Don’t expect complete success. You may get it, of course, but chances are the result of your risk will not be exactly what you had imagined and there will be more a degree of success than absolute success or failure.

Decision Making

The key take-away is that all of us, when making a decision, need to carefully think through what we absolutely need to know in order to make a good decision, rather than delaying decision making and leaning on the crutch of more time to gather………There where managers become Hamlets

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Paintings of Modern Art – "The Scream"

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If any single painting exemplified the concepts of modernism, and how the philosophy influenced art, it's "The Scream" by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The painting, which depicts an agonized figure against a blood red sky. There are those that say that the painting depicts the hopelessness inherent in modernism. Others call "The Scream" a symbol of modern man overtaken by an attack of existential angst, the moment in which the existential crisis occurs.

As a matter of fact, some people believe that the painting depicts some kind of mental illness, supported by the fact that Munch's own sister was hospitalized with what was probably manic depression at the time. Others insist that the painting depicts some kind of dissociative disorder, in which there's a feeling of distortion of the environment and one's self.

There have been all kinds of attempts to explain different aspects of the painting. The red sky, for example, could've been inspired by the weather conditions in Oslo during the time that Munch created it. There was a powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, and the ash that was ejected from the volcano left the sky tinted red in much of the eastern United States and most of Europe and Asia from the end of November 1883 to February 1884. dispute this theory, however, stating that Munch wasn't a descriptive painter and tended to not depict things literally.

Another theory that advances the depiction of mental illness in this painting is the setting of the painting itself. The landscape in the background of "The Scream" is Osloford, viewed from the hill of Ekeberg, near what's now Oslo, Norway. The bridge the subject is standing on happens to be nearby both a slaughterhouse and a mental institution. Munch very well could've gotten some existential vibes from both buildings.

At any rate, "The Scream" seems to be one of those modernist paintings that have captured the public, to the point that by the late twentieth century, it held almost iconic stature. In 1983 and 1984, pop artist Andy Warhol created a series of silk prints of Munch's works, including "The Scream," making it into a mass-reproducible object. It's now one of the most recognizable pieces of art, and has been used in cartoons, movies, and advertisement.

Munch created at least four versions of "The Scream," held by various individuals and museums all over the world. Two of them have been stolen. The first was in 1994, from the National Gallery in Oslo, the same day as the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. The four thieves left a note to replace the painting they stole: "Thanks for the poor security." It was recovered in 1994 in a sting operation. Another version, along with another of Munch's paintings ("Madonna"), was stolen in 2004, from the Munch Museum in Oslo. It was damaged, but was able to be restored after the police recovered it after a huge investigation.

"The Scream" by Edvard Munch, is an important piece of modern art. Many believe that it has garnered so much attention because it depicts not only the spirit of modernism, both as a philosophy and an art movement, but the angst and detachment of the modern world.

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Top 10 Films About Contemporary Art

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Visiting art galleries and reading art magazines and books is great. But sometimes you just want to lie on your sofa with a cup of tea and relax watching a good movie. Now that it’s winter, you might feel this desire more often. A movie can be an art form and when it is a movie about great artists and art, it’s like watching ‘art squared’, so to speak. So don’t miss out, give it a try – you won’t be sorry.

Here is a list of movies about contemporary art to get you started. Some are old, some new, but all are really inspiring. I have listed the movies alphabetically, and I haven’t given any of them a personal rating since as far as I’m concerned, all of them are worth watching. This is just to inspire you to watch these films, and perhaps move on to others afterwards.

Art School Confidential

Who said anything about talent?

IMDb rating: 6.3

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Production year: 2006

This movie is a comedy rather than drama, and it focuses on the story of an art student who had spent all his life dreaming about being a great artist. Although the film makes fun of the contemporary art world in many respect, it also shows its attractive side, and gives an idea of the dedication artists can feel to their work.

Basquiat

In 1981, A Nineteen-Year-Old Unknown Graffiti Writer Took the New York Art World by Storm. The Rest Is Art History

IMDb rating: 6.8

Director: Julian Schnabel

Production year: 1996

This is an absolutely unforgettable movie about American street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It gives you a deep view of Basquiat’s world, his life, friends, love and works. Julian Schnabel is an artist himself, and so has personal experience of the world he’s looking into, something that adds an unusual and meaningful level of validity to the movie.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

The incredible true story of how the world’s greatest Street Art movie was never made…

IMDb rating: 8.2

Director: Banksy

Production year: 2010

It is brilliant movie, which keeps you guessing and puzzling right through to the end. At first sight you may think that the film is about street art documentary filmmaker Thierry Guetta, but actually it is about world famous graffiti artist Banksy. I won`t be surprised if after watching this film you want to hit the streets with a spray can.

Factory Girl

When Andy met Edie, life imitated art

IMDb rating: 6.1

Director: George Hickenlooper

Production year: 2006

Although the movie is dedicated to the life of underground film star Edie Sedgwick, and this aspect of it is certainly interesting, much of the appeal comes from his explored relationship with Andy Warhol. Watching the movie will give you the a fairly comprehensive impression of the Factory, a place where artists of any genre met and created what became a game-changing part of modern art.

Frida

Prepare to be seduced

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Julie Taymor

Production year: 2002

This is a fantastic biographical story about the life and work of an extraordinary and immensely strong woman, the well-known Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The film is like her works: colorful, full of love, powerful and unique.

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

IMDb rating: 6.2

Director: Steven Shainberg

Production year: 2006

This is a sincere look at the iconic American photographer Diane Arbus and her real love for Lionel Sweeney, who helped her to become an artist who came to help define photography in the twentieth century.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Ben Lewis

Production year: 2009

This is an extremely interesting BBC production, by a UK art critic, Ben Lewis. It will take you on a journey into the contemporary art world, with all its secrets. You will visit world famous auction houses and galleries, and even the homes of art collectors.

How to Draw a Bunny

IMDb rating: 7.2

Director: John W. Walter

Production year: 2002

This is a documentary about Ray Johnson, who has been called “New York’s most famous unknown artist,” and is about the mysteries of his life and art, and of course his influence on the Pop Art world.

My Left Foot

A film about life, laughter, and the occasional miracle

IMDb rating: 7.8

Director: Jim Sheridan

Production year: 1989

This is based on the fantastic true story of Christy Brown, painter and author, who could control only his left foot. It is the only film in this list that won 5 Academy Awards, – Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker), Best Director (Jim Sheridan), Best Picture and Best Screenplay (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan). With that recommendation, how can you fail to give it a go?

Pollok

I thought I knew all the outstanding artists in New York and I don`t know Jackson Pollock

IMDb rating: 7.1

Director: Ed Harris

Production year: 2000

Wonderful movie about world famous American painter Jackson Pollock. This film demonstrates his great talent and difficult nature, and the way he tried to combine the two.

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Why Taekwondo Is So Popular

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First, let me set the scene. I am not a Taekwondo Master. Nor even a Black Belt. In fact, I don't have a belt at all. Indeed, I have never had a Taekwondo belt. So why, you are entitled to ask, am I writing an article about Taekwondo?

The reason is simple. In my day job at a leading UK team building company, a surprisingly large number of our wider event team members over the years are Taekwondo practitioners. Most of them are of black belt status and two of them have actually got on their martial arts CV that they have represented England. The reason for this is simple. One of the two is our Client Services Manager and she has roped in some of her Taekwondo friends. Basically, I feel qualified to write this through multiple third-party connections.

So here is what I have gleaned from them. In keeping with the majority if not all martial arts, Taekwondo offers a mixture of activity, self defense and approach to life in general – a philosophy if you will. One factor that mas made it so popular around the world and far from its Korean roots is that it is a very social activity, bringing together people from all walks of life and even generations. While it is an Olympic sport involving experts and watched by millions, it is also a very participative activity that can be enjoyed by all. The tenets of the art encourage camaraderie and even teamwork, so there's a link to my day job there!

So what is it? Well, it is a martial art that originated in Korea. Its literal translation is "the way of the foot and the fist", with Tae meaning to break with the foot, Kwon meaning the same but with the fist and Do supplying the way. Interestingly, it was born in the same year as me. 1955. It is certainly wearing its years better than me! Choi Hong Hi, a South Korean General and martial arts expert. I gather that Choi is something of a controversial figure within Taekwondo and not all factions view him as its creator, but I'm going with the local flow here.

When I say it was born in 1955, that isn't strictly true. It gained its name then, but actually it has been around for well over a thousand years. Back in that day it was called Taek-Kyon. Basically, the people who unified Korea from the original three kingdoms that existed managed to do so largely by force and the force in question had Taek-Kyon at its disposal. The martial art helped the relatively young (by age of its members) army of the Hwarang-Do unify Korea. Once they had achieved this, they began to spread the word and get people across the kingdom engaged with the marital art.

It survived a near extinction event when the Japanese occupied Korea in Yi Dynasty times shortly after the turn of the 20th Century (1910 to be precise) and really took off once the occupation ended in the mid 1940s.

As I write, Taekwondo is enjoyed in an organized fashion by people in almost 70 different countries. Including this one, of course. And if the spirit and camaraderie of my colleagues here is anything to go by, it isn't going away any time soon. So in answer to the question I raise in the title, it seems to me to be a martial art for all that engenders a great spirit among those who practice it together. Even those who have never taken a lesson in their lives can benefit from that if they know people who are already into it.

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My Take On David Allen’s Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress Free Productivity

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5:30 AM: As I sip a piping hot cup of coffee, I sift through the items to get done for the day, in the ‘tickler file’, those which can be done by ‘next action’ in ‘ 2 minutes’ get done immediately; those which cannot, go into the ‘delegate’, and ‘defer’ files for considering later. I sift through the ‘collection basket’, reflect on what it means, and use the ‘next action’ technique on each of the items – ‘do'(in 2 minutes), ‘delegate’, or ‘defer’. The items never return to the collection basket.

Next, the ‘projects’ (require not more than 2 steps for completion) which require attention, go into the ‘projects’ file, those that I am unsure of the action to be taken, go into the ‘maybe/someday’ file, waiting to be ‘activated’ later.

All the files undergo a ‘weekly review’ (maximum 6-8 files)- which happens to be now – so that nothing is missed, or for further activation/reflection.

This process encompasses every aspect of my life-professional, personal, hobbies and interests, tasks to do, errands, and relationships.

I sit back satisfied, at 8:30 am, having completed my tasks in 3 hours. I feel satisfied that each of my activities took less than 60 seconds for monitoring, since the files are so close by, and just have to be picked up, like one plucks low-hanging fruit from a tree. I have so much time and energy left during the day, to focus on the things that really matter.

I have just touched upon the practical applications of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system, which has stood the test of time. He states that open loops create tremendous amount of stress, and the human brain is not a wastebasket to store irrelevant information. His system aims at ‘getting things out of the brain’ onto physical storage devices, so that one can use the brain for more creative, useful tasks. It is akin to clearing the RAM of your computer of unnecessary files, with the additional benefit of freeing up a huge amount of stress, caused by mental junk.

In this system, you would need a minimum of 8-10 files stacked vertically in a file rack (you get cheap ones on Amazon these days), or if you are the computer savvy type, they could go into the folders set up for this purpose. In the 2015 edition of the book, David Allen explains in detail how to set up all these, and the tools required which are basically not expensive. (Can you imagine just some stationary could reboot your life!)

This is not a book you should read at one go, you would find yourself returning to different chapters repeatedly, to clarify/setup/and improvise upon the techniques you are already using. David Allen states that the things that can be done within 2 minutes, should be done then and there, because the time and effort to put them away would be more than to accomplish these tasks.

The 2 minute next action technique is one of the most effective techniques-so simple and effective, that you would have to pinch yourself that you did not think about it. Perhaps it is because the reticular activating system of the human brain does not feel threatened,rather feels it to be fun to do things which appear minuscule. You can do multiple 2 minute actions on critical tasks which appear too large or threatening;the sense of accomplishment would be immense.

David Allen says that your files should be accessible within 60 seconds, at your workspace-only then it becomes fun to use and your mind does not resist you-in other words, if you have your personal desk, just like I do, it would be useful to stack the files in a plastic vertical file rack, with the files labelled and easily accessible,so you could see them at a glance.

Some individuals prefer to use a cardboard carton resting on the desk,to place their files vertically, as a low-cost alternative – it still works.

As for reference materials, they do not need any action, hence they place no stress on the mind.

As I write this article, I realise, my wife’s birthday is approaching soon. My wife’s birthday reminder would go into the ‘tickler file’ in the corresponding ‘date slot’, with the reminder of the present to be bought 2 days prior to the event. I would like to learn French or German at a later date,however, I am not presently very keen on those projects, so they go into the ‘maybe/ someday’ file,for later review and activation.

I recall, I had read an article some years ago, by the famous copywriter who wrote under the pseudonym Micheal Masterson; how he had incorporated into his daily practice, maintaining an accordion folder- he had learnt about it from a famous and efficient publisher.Was he using a modification of the concept originated/popularized by Mr David Allen?

This system has made huge improvements in my life. I wonder why I did not stumble on it earlier.

Maybe I wasn’t ready then.

As the saying goes, “When the disciple is ready, the teacher appears,” and “when you streamline your life, life streamlines for you the most beautiful experiences.”

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Source by Sandeep Gopinath Menon

Ninja Training – Why Ninjutsu is Much More Than Just Another Martial Art!

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Are you serious about learning Ninjutsu – the martial art of the Ninja? If you are, then I'm sure that your reason is due to the amount and level of skills that the Ninja possess when compared to that of other martial arts.

In fact, to most people – including other martial artists – the Ninja is at the top of the proverbial "food-chain" when it comes to martial arts training. And yet, to look around the world at the way most students and teachers are practicing the art – the way most practitioners limit their training to Ninpo / Budo-taijutsu – the armed and unarmed self defense skills – it would appear that Ninjutsu is merely a martial arts choice, among martial arts choices.

And, nothing could be further from the truth.

If this were so – if ninjutsu was just another "style" of fighting and limited to the same blocks, punches, kicks, and other techniques possessed and used by others – the art would have died out long ago. And yet, here we are, over 10 centuries from the "recorded" origins of the art – and the art of the Ninja is still going strong in the 21st century! So, why is Ninjutsu more than merely another martial art? What gives it the ability to weather the winds of time to be just as strong today as it ever was?

In a word: "options."

The art of Ninjutsu is just more complete – has more skills sets, strategies, and tools – for handling the many faces of conflict that can arise.

Unlike the conventional martial systems, that seem to focus strictly on hand-to-hand combat, as though that was the only face of warfare (the word martial means "warfare"), the Ninja understands that danger, force, and harm can come from many different sources, and in many different forms. Not only is there the conflict inherent in conventional self defense against a criminal attacker, but there is also …

  • Deception, manipulation, and control from family, co-workers, and adversaries
  • Stress from work, school, and family obligations
  • The onslaught of manipulative messages from advertising, the media, special interest groups
  • Natural and man-made dangers like accidents, terrorism, and natural disasters
  • And others

And, often, these are more insidious and dangerous than the attacker on the street who's trying to punch, stab, or shoot you! These are the dangers that require more than an ichimonji no kamae ('defensive posture'), or some ancient kata to survive.

To be a Ninja is to be an "enduring person" aa human being capable of adapting to and dealing with anything that might cause harm. It is the ability to "ride the storm," physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – knowing when to act and when to conceal yourself until the time to act is appropriate and advantageous.

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Source by Jeffrey Miller

Her Most Famous Painting (Oriental Poppies) – Georgia O’Keeffe

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The American painter Georgia O’Keeffe (November 1887-March 1986) was a pioneering ‘Modernist.’ Her unique approach defied all the accepted norms of painting and gave a new definition to the ‘American Modern Art.’ Owing to her competence, American Art attained fame and recognition in creatively competent Europe. Flowers fascinated Georgia and they were her favorite subject on canvas. O’Keeffe painted “Oriental Poppies” in 1928. This stunning work was declared a groundbreaking, art masterpiece.

Georgia O’Keeffe described her painting as a product of what she perceived in her mind and felt in her heart. In “Oriental Poppies,” she depicts two giant poppy flowers. Measuring 30″ x 40″, this oil painting is an explosion of brilliant colors on a vast canvas, lending a mesmerizing effect. O’Keefe used dazzling red and orange as the main color of the petals. The hollowed centre and the inner contours of the flowers are painted in deep purple. The skillful shading and velvety finish of the petals accentuates the vibrancy of the flowers. “Oriental Poppies” almost looks like a close up photograph. O’Keeffe did not give any background to the painting, to artfully draw focus onto the flowers. The absence of context in the painting presents them in a new light as pure abstracts. “Oriental Poppies” exudes a startling pull, as if casting a hypnotic spell on the viewer.

Georgia O’Keeffe believed that due to the fast-paced lives people live, they merely glance at flowers, but never really observed their exquisiteness. She wished to give such rushing people experience and the feel of the true beauty of flowers. In her words, “If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.” O’Keeffe chose to paint on a huge canvas with an outburst of bold colors, to astonish the viewers and to introduce them to the wonder of nature. In her bid, she managed to capture the essence of poppies with eloquence.

Many art researchers believed that O’Keeffe’s “Oriental Poppies” was an answer to the zoomed in technique adapted by Alfred Stieglitz in ‘Modern Photography.’ The magnificent painting speaks volumes of O’Keefe’s talent and artistic vision. Georgia’s delightful representation of two ordinary flowers generated widespread admiration and was considered as one of her most memorable works. It is now a part of a collection at the University of Minnesota Art Museum, Minneapolis.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

Why People Are Engaged In Business

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The key to success in life and work is having the motivation and energy to get up each and every morning and actually 'do' something that contributes to the achievement of your goals and objectives. This means being fully committed to, and engaged with a role in life, or a job of work.

And that's where the challenge lies.

In 2010 the employee engagement situation in UK businesses looked like it needed attention with the latest Gallup Engagement Survey revealing that only 24% of UK employees are engaged with their jobs.

Also an online study of 2000 organizations by the Hay Group revealed that HR managers now rate employee motivation and engagement as their number one concern.

But there is also research showing that less than 20% of managers have received any training in engagement skills or how to bring out the best in their people.

So if this is where we are today even before things start to get really rough in terms of the business challenges ahead, what are we to do?

Let's look at what it means to be human and express yourself in life and work.

Communication between people involves four dimensions of behavior:

Physical – The health and fitness of our bodies and how effectively we are able to move and function in the world.

Emotional – Our feelings about ourselves and our own circumstances. Also how we feel about other people with whom we share our lives and the environment in which we live.

Intellectual – The knowledge and information we have acquired and refer to in order to live and work effectively.

Spiritual (or Motivational) – Our deepest values, drives, ideas and beliefs about ourselves and how we fit in the world we live in.

My understanding and experience has led me to understand that we function most effectively when these four dimensions are fully integrated. That's why I became interested in a recent survey by the CIPD in the UK measuring engagement.

Their research suggests that engagement has three components:

Cognitive engagement – focusing very hard on work, thinking about very little else during the working day.

Emotional engagement – being involved emotionally with your work.

and

Physical engagement – being willing to 'go the extra mile' for your employer and actively 'do' work over and beyond expectations.

In this survey only 31% of employees who responded were found to be cognitively (Intellectually) engaged, and 22% were / are actually disengaged.

Scores for emotional engagement were higher with 58% of people reportedly emotionally engaged with their work and only 6% emotionally disengaged.

And finally 38% of employees were physically engaged with their work, whilst 11% were / are physically disengaged.

So that leaves one component (or dimension) missing.

Spiritual (or Motivational) engagement – Our personal values, beliefs and drives that generate the energy to engage with life and work.

Arguably the most important dimension of all, as our motivation is indelibly linked with our emotions and the way we feel day to day.

Research into engagement has revealed that the emotional climate in an organization has a profound affect on employee engagement. In fact it has been suggested that 'Climate' (or atmosphere in the workplace) is responsible for 80% of the negative or positive effects on engagement.

Simply put, people enjoy working with and for people who have a positive attitude and who make their employees or direct reports feel valued, heard, involved and cared for.

This means open and honest communication between employees, managers and leaders in order to build rapport and allow people to share ideas, have them heard and maybe even rewarded.

This includes celebrating peoples successes however small, showing team members appreciation and ensuring people have the skills and resources required to achieve their expected professional targets and goals.

Sounds simple enough but tricky to implement when so few people in leadership positions (according to studies) are trained in the behaviors of engagement.

But there is a fairly straight forward solution.

A simple behavior of engagement that anyone can begin to develop right now is to increase your listening skills.

Most of us like people to listen to us if we have something to share, and if we are listened to we will automatically feel more 'engaged' with the person who is making the effort to listen.

Not only that but if the person actually hears our point of view and acknowledges the value in what we say our engagement quotient is likely to increase.

Taking listening skills to the next stage would mean an 'Idea Sharing' initiative across an organization and at all levels of the hierarchy. Creating an opportunity for everyone to be listened to and hopefully heard.

In fact I have been engaged in organizational listening through idea sharing for some time now in my work with creativity and innovation and have discovered that while people 'brainstorm' around a product or service, other issues nearly always emerge and reveal surprising insights.

For example: say you are looking to help a team develop a new product range that builds on something already existing.

The most effective approach is to begin with getting people to talk through the facts about the current product and overall context in which this product exists and into which the new product will potentially follow. This means taking a multi perspective look at the product idea and the context in which it will appear and this is when it is helpful to take the four dimensional approach.

The initial exploration will include all the Physical aspects like shape, form, materials used, packaging, texture, ingredients and ergonomics. Also talking through people's ideas and experiences of how the product physically moves through the business from manufacture to supply chain, then into the hands of the customer.

The next dimension is the Emotional impact of the product's branding for customers and employees alike. What types of emotions does it surface and how does it make people feel?

The Intellectual dimension – Where does it fit culturally, what immediate need does it meet technically and what other, unseen needs might it meet outside the obvious?

And finally Motivational – What value does it bring to people's lives and how, why, where, when and to whom will it become most important?

To do this my team and I will work our way through a number of processes we have developed that utilises several tools to surface 'values ​​driven' thinking styles. We work with the theory of Spiral Dynamics Integral (developed by Don Beck and based on the work of Clare W Graves) which means we are able to tap into the values ​​and drives of each person attending an idea sharing session in order to get a unique perspective on an issue. There is plenty of information on the internet about the theory of Spiral Dynamics or you can refer to my article 'Spiral Dynamics and Creativity' (also published on Ezine) for an easy to read breakdown of the theory.

What is interesting about this particular approach is that if you thoroughly explore an idea from a values ​​and drives perspective you will discover more than you expected about unexpected aspects of your business.

Occasionally during our sessions we discover that some people in organizations have ways of doing things that are perhaps unorthodox and occasionally break some of the rules. This would be described as 'Orange' value set behaviors in the SDi model and surface when there is a need for an individual to break away from the collective to creatively adapt to a given situation, in order to meet a need.

A person expressing 'Orange' will be focussing their energy on achieving results for material gain, status, success and recognition. However they are often forced into adopting these methods because the organizations organizations (systems and processes) impede or stultify their ability to achieve their targets and goals by following the rules. The surprising thing is that these 'unorthodox, rule breaking methods' often go unnoticed.

How is that possible?

Because of the high levels of disengagement and lack of four dimensional engagement in many companies today. In other words … too few people care enough to tell anyone!

But it is often in these improvised, unorthodox, Orange ways of doing things that future innovations can be found and it's becoming clear that what businesses today need are new and innovative ways of doing things.

The good news is that all the new ideas are in the hearts and minds of some if not all of an organizations people. But with up to 75% of employees disengaged at work how are these ideas ever going to be discovered?

A good start is to get people talking together about what they value and what drives and motivates them in all four dimensions.

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Source by Tom Bruno Magdich

Paint by Emotion: Edvard Munch's Struggle With Bipolar Disorder

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He was a man surrounded by death, and grief – the blackest sort of emotions and deepest kinds of sadness. When he died in the winter of 1944, he left over 20,000 pieces of his work to the city of Oslo, the place where he was born. Best known for his hauntingly beautiful painting, "The Scream", Edvard Munch was a man who likely had many things to scream about in his own life, not the least of which was his suspected bipolar disorder.

Once called "manic depression" (a term that is now seen as outdated), this brutal psychological condition manifests itself primarily through intense mood changes, severe depression, and swings in energy levels. These changes can disappear as quickly as they come, giving rise to the term "bipolar", literally opposite poles on the emotional spectrum. An exact cause for why bipolarism occurs is thus far unknown, and even less was understood about it during Munch's life. A person suffering from this condition often goes through cycles or periods where they experience abnormally large swings and changes in their moods, energy levels and depression. Some in the medical field feel that traumatic events and excess stress, especially during a patient's youth can greatly increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder, either at the time of the trauma or in the years following it.

In the first few years of his life after he was born in 1863, Munch watched as both his parents, a sister and a brother all died. As the years went on other siblings and close relatives would pass away, and another sister was diagnosed as being mentally ill. With so much death and sickness circulating through his young mind, it is almost too easy to see how and why this Norwegian artist would go on to create pieces of art that dealt less with somewhat cheery impressionism of the time, and more with capturing the essence of emotions and moods. Fraught by anguish and perhaps a sense of loneliness, Edvard decided to enrol in art school in 1881. With his life in tow Munch began going between Paris and Norway (and later Germany), studying the great artists and art movements of the era.

While not entirely macabre for the most part, in general Munch's work was far from the flower gardens and ballet dancers that top impressionist artists were painting by the cartful at the time. Instead, Munch wanted to convey more than just a scene; he wanted his paintings to be riddled with emotion, energy, deeper meaning and complexity. Yet even with that in mind his style of art would change several times (a theme that is also noted in other artists such as Picasso) as he dabbled in impressionism, synthetism, and other genres that were popular then. Borrowing techniques here and inventing others there, Edvard would go on to be a pillar in the creation of the German Expressionism movement. In Expressionism, Munch found a way to look beyond the perfectionism of realists and impressionists and starkly put forth emotion on canvas, wood or whichever of the many mediums he chose to work with. Just as Edvard Munch's work would take on a more optimistic aura in his later years, this gifted artist's moods and emotions changed sharply throughout his life, giving rise to the suspicion that he was afflicted with bipolar disorder.

Munch is not the only artist who is thought or known to have suffered from this condition; in fact some researchers tend to think that it can bring about deep forms of varied creativity. Famous names from Hans Christian Andersen to Virginia Woolf, Napoleon to Marilyn Monroe are but a few of the stars, icons and history makers who may have battled this psychological condition. Now, just as it was in Munch's lifetime, no failsafe treatment exists for bipolar disorder. With his memories as inspiration, and his moods as his medium, there may have been little else to do but turn to art in order for Munch to use his internal earthquakes of feeling, energy and depression to help him cope with his own bipolar disorder. Indeed Edvard Munch turned melancholy and mania into timeless art, and gave the world an incredible collection of creative, poignant work.

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Source by Jessica Cander

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