Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paying it forward....

I have mentioned this term in a number of other places, but the concept, Paying it Forward, is such a simple yet hugely worthwhile theology, it deserves another mention.

Some could call it Karma, and although they are closely related, they aren't the same. Karma can have both positive and negative influences on your life, some even life changing (you would have heard the term "bad karma").

Paying it Forward can only have positive influences on your life... starting with the feel good lift in your day. Let me explain... how may of you have done something nice to someone unknown (you know, perhaps held a door open to a complete stranger), and the other person said thank you and smiled. How did that make you feel? Now, unless you were that engrossed in your thoughts about you and your day, the feedback would have warmed you... albeit perhaps briefly. You have just Paid it Forward.

So, it's clear to say that most of us at some stage or another, have Paid it Forward. It's not that difficult.

Paying it Forward comes from the heart and your roots in common decency, with perhaps a touch of gallantry thrown in for good measure. It doesn't have to be an awe inspiring good deed, and definitely not contrived.

By assisting someone else, who is known, or unknown to you, Paying it Forward empowers the other person to continue on their journey of life, along a path smoother than before. This may / may not allow them to be in a position where they too can Pay if Forward to someone else. And as the process of Paying it Forward goes about its journey, what goes round, does come round. Someone may actually Pay it Forward to you, when you least expect it, but maybe in a time of most need.
I am absolutely certain I have been the fortunate recipient of Paying it Forward and I have been hugely blessed as a result of the timely assistance from left of field. Just when you felt life was at its darkest, and there was no hope, something happened, or someone came along and gave a helping hand. And I know that at no stage could any of it have been planned.

I have found twitter (http://www.twitter.com/) a shining example of global Paying it Forward. Sure, it is a social and business networking tool, but I have seen many examples whereby someone has supplied a helpful tweet to someone in need. Nice one!

Life does move in mysterious ways... be a part of the positive side of the mystery... Pay if Forward.
What do you have to lose?

My thoughts and twitters for now,

Thomas








Friday, November 21, 2008

Two ears and one mouth...

Recently this old saying has surfaced in a number of conversations and presentations that I have been privileged to be a part of. I thought I should share my thoughts here, and share the love of this age old saying.



You have two ears and one mouth, and that's the proportion you should use them.



How many times in the past have you been in an important meeting, and when concluded, only to find that you appear to have missed some key, critical information? It has certainly happened to me on a number of occasions. Until, that is, someone shared the love of this old saying to me.



If you can actually resist opening your mouth, and therefore not talk, but more importantly, concentrate on what the other party is discussing, the chances of you absorbing what they are trying to say (whether directly, or indirectly) increases exponentially... to your favour.



And this is the point, by gaining the direct and indirect insights (ie. the world according to the other party), you are leaps and bounds of someone else (perhaps your competitor).



But this doesn't just apply to business dealings.... again, how many times have you had a conversation with your loved one, and later, could not recall what he / she was really drilling down to from within the conversation? Its happened to us all, and will continue to do so, if you don't zip it.



Of course, verbal acknowledgments do assist the non verbal signs, confirming the simple fact you are listening, but that's just the point.... two ears and one mouth.



So the next time you are sitting with someone (business or pleasure), give it a go, and let me know what the outcomes were.



My thoughts and twitters for now,



Thomas

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mobile technology... the third party software application

I love technology, plain and simple. Whether or not I actually understand it, or can fully utilise, well that's a whole other question.

I love reading Stuff magazine (http://stuff.tv/) where I get my monthly dose of gadgets, technology, and of course mobile phones, or rather the increasingly popular smartphones.

I use a BlackBerry Bold and try to "really use" it's capabilities, but its the aftermarket, the third party, applications that really personalise your BlackBerry into something more than the standard smartphone. What follows is a list of a number of key third party applications that I use on my Bold, and which also make life a little more interesting.

twitter:

Starting off with the obligatory question "What are you doing?", you can post your response in a short (< 140 characters) but concise message. You can follow people (keeping the theme going @StuffTV) and people can follow you. Great site for social and business networking. Go to http://www.twitter.com/ and sign up. For BlackBerry users, go to http://www.orangatame.com/ and download the application so you can twitter to your heart's content from your handset.

BerryReview:

A great site for BlackBerry specific applications, updates, whispers, reviews, etc. They have a fabulous BerryReview Store where you can download free applications, or purchase software and hardware. A great feature is there reminders when your purchased software is eligible for an upgrade, usually free. Go to http://www.berryreview.com/ and for BlackBerry users, you can download an icon to your home screen to take to your BerryReview whenever you need to.

Handango:

Another great site for software for a large range of smartphones, whether BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, etc. Like Berry Review, you select the type of mobile you are using, and it will list the eligible software options for your consideration, ranging from free, up to premium priced software. A mobilised Handango application can be downloaded onto your handset, simply by visiting http://www.handango.com/ from your handset. This mobilised version has a great weather function, where you can enter 3 of your favourite places (and yes, works perfectly for Australian, Indian and Fijian locations).

Viigo:

A useful and very well respected RSS feeder/reader, Viigo brings all your interesting websites to one location. You have a large range of stored RSS sites (covering a vast range of topics) to choose from, or you can simply add your preferred ones to the Viigo list, simply by adding the correct url address. Go to http://www.berryreview.com/ on your handset, go to their OTA section, and simply download Viigo. Add BerryReview to your list of RSS sites, and off you go.

A few applications for your consideration, which can add to your smartphone (in my case, BlackBerry) experience.

My thoughts and twitters,

Thomas

Starting dating again, after a divorce (from a male perspective)

An interesting thing happened while I was at the hairdressers (which normally happens every three weeks)... I was sitting there enjoying a head massage when I was asked to join a conversation between three ladies. The subject... when should a person re-enter the dating arena after a divorce; more specifically, a 35+ lady with a 2 year old daughter. I was asked from,would you believe it, a male's viewpoint.

Well sure, being a divorced male with a couple of relationship trainwrecks in his past, but getting closer to remarrying (and boy,am I the lucky one), I did have a little experience, and it was obvious this lady was hurting (her ex had quickly found another; it only took a month), so I thought why not.

Couple of things important for everyone to know:
  1. Give it some time: Don't force a relationship to happen; they need time to develop and to be nurtured. It's not a race to find someone, anyone, but time may be needed to find the right someone.
  2. Don't hide things like children from your date: Why hide someone so special from a potential partner? Remember,if that initial date turns into something much deeper, and you have held back critical detail of that significant other person in your life, what does that say about your belief in the strength of the new relationship? And if he doesn't want/like children... why would you string him on?
  3. It's not a competition with your ex: Just because he jumped out of one relationship, and virtually straight into another (not allowing himself time to recover and learn from the previous relationship) certainly does not mean you should to (refer back to point 1.).
  4. Create a small personal card: This may sound a little contrived, or even a little snobbish, but creating a small personal card, showing your name, a secondary email / twitter address, and a short one liner, but NOT a mobile number, may be an easy way of allowing contact after the date to occur, but without having to disconnect your mobile phone, as a result of a relationship gone south.
  5. Meet a blind date in public, during the day: Normally, a date during the day is a lot less easier to extract yourself from, than compared to one during the evening. If the date isn't going according to plan,you can always exit stage right, with an excuse of an appointment / meeting / tweetup, where as a night time date has less escape options.
  6. Your life doesn't have to be put on hold just because you have a child: Sounds harsh but in 0 - 18 years or more, that child will have grown up and perhaps moved on. Can you really afford to put your life on hold for that long. If your child is such a big part of your life, then let your life move forwards with your child.
  7. See a psychologist: Any momentous change in your life,certainly needs an amount of support to assist with the recovery,and a psychologist is perfect and quite subtle. And really, anything more than three months (unless there were some major issues) with a psychologist, is consdiered to be a waste of time and money.
This is by no means the definitive list, and I am sure anyone could add something here, but it's a starting point, and I certainly hope someone, somewhere, will take advantage of this information.

My thoughts for now,

Thomas

Friday, November 7, 2008

It must be getting close to Christmas.... all the mobile phone shops are packed!

Well after getting a lot of my music sorted so that I can grab what I need and place onto my BlackBerry Bold's micro sd card, I was going let's say a little stir crazy, and needed to get out and about.



I certainly needed to eat some lunch, so my local (shopping centre) was the obvious choice, and I pick a particular car park where I know I will always get a park... well, let's just say I got one, but it wasn't as straightforward or easy as normal; clue number one.



Now I currently have a 2 gig micro sd card for the Bold, and seeing as I wanted to add more music onto my BlackBerry, I thought a bigger micros sd would be a great option (I see there is a 16 gig out now).



So off I trundle into the mad mass of weekend shoppers, weaving my way in and out, and a common trend was spotted.... not one phone shop / kiosk was anything but jammed packed with customers. And with so many different options for mobile phones now flooding the market, why wouldn't you update your, or your loved one's mobile phone.



So, what about the micro sd card? I think I will enjoy my sandwich (chicken schnitzel with barbecue sauce, salt and pepper on white thank you very much)and coffee, finish typing this blog, and go home for some gardening. I will have a look for one when I am in Melbourne this week.



And no, I normally don't use the BlackBerry's keyboard for long emails / blogging.... rather, I use this...



http://twitxr.com/image/120995/

Freedom Universal Bluetooth Keyboard.... good piece of gear this.

That's my thoughts and twitters for now.



Thomas

BlackBerry: master of communications

Upfront, I will admit to being a BlackBerry fan... even go as far to say a CrackBerry addictwas, so upfront you know I am biased.

I am on my fourth BlackBerry... from a 7100, drifted to the "dark side" with a Nokia E61 (BlackBerry connect,of course), then back on track with a 8100 Pearl, 8300 Curve and now a 9000 Bold. And each one has been a forward step forward... well, the Bold was more of a leap forward,but you get the picture.

Now standard, the Bold has email (upto 10 separate email addresses), phone, sms, mms, BlackBerry messenger... now add a couple of third party applications, and you add to your communications arsenal: instant messaging, twitter, flickr, voice assistance, and Voip / Skype.

So really.... something for everyone's taste... whatever your communicating requirements, the BlackBerry Bold appears to have it covered, which lends the Bold well for both the traditional role of a business SmartPhone, and that of a SmartPhone for the technologically savvy personal user.

And the really good thing... not all my friends / clients / peers prefer the one type of communication means, which means I have choices to suit each one.... and I can also actually sit down with any of them and just talk.

www.BlackBerry.com/Bold

My thoughts for now.

Thomas

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The power of your 6th sense (your higher self)

We have all been there at some stage or another. You know what I am talking about... finding that desired car park, stopping suddenly for no apparent reason (and missing the child who steps onto the road), run someone for no particular reason (but they needed to talk)... and the list goes on and on.



Is it luck? I think not. Rather it is put down to you tapping into (or listening to your 6th sense), and then acting on it. In layman's terms.... your gut feel, your instinct, or flying by the seat of your pants.



The mind is such a potent device, and yet we take so much for granted. Not only that, we think we know it all. In a way, yes we do, or rather, our mind does. It has the ability to process more data than what we can consciously absorb. This and the simple process of being acclimatised to our surroundings, guided by our morals, upbringings, beliefs, culture, peer pressure, and our previous experiences, further dulls our clear decision making abilities. We are lulled into an autopilot type decision making process... but sometimes this is very much the wrong path.



How do we know when the 6th sense has kicked in? To the uninitiated, normally the first glimpse of acknowledging your 6th sense is when you get that frustrating sense of "I knew that" or "I was going to do that". However, your mind previously told you the right decision / action to take... you just decided to ignore it.



What to do? When you get that sometimes uneasy feeling of a decision that is "felt" to be right, but your rationalising has come up with another direction to take... take the former. In most cases, your mind has already worked out the correct answer, and hasn't taken your conditioning into the equation.



Trust your mind... it knows more than you will ever know ;)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Working Sm@rter

During this time of general unrest towards financial stability and security, a lot of companies, corporations, government bodies, and organisations are considering employee reductions as a viable solution to counter slowing cashflow.


But is this the answer... maybe, but also, possibly not. Perhaps the solution is working smarter, increasing productivity, whilst not increasing costs. And Priority Management has the inside, intimate knowledge of time and workload management training... who else can free up on average 74 minutes per day per graduate of these programs?


Whether your email platform is based on Outlook, Lotus Notes or GroupWise, there is a training program that will enable you to work smart... and no additional software is required.

The training is based on the revision of the basic default view, in a way that puts your time back into your control, and not you being controlled by the inbox. Sounds too good to be true, and far to simple? But its the simplicity of the training that produces such profound differences to your day, and the increases in your effectiveness.


So, instead of culling your team, why not consider training as part of your solution, and be rewarded by more effective, higher productivity?


For more information on the programs offered by Priority Management, visit


My thoughts and twitters,

Thomas