Thursday, December 18, 2008

Caring for your customers in Web 2.0

Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of WineLibraryTV, posted this video on caring for customers. I thought he touched a very important point that is difficult for many to grasp today; caring for one's customers. When I say this, I do not mean it in the generic way. I mean truly having a genuine concern for the experience of users of your product or viewers of your content. This is rare and I think few people today truly grasp what that means. He therefore earned a posting on my Great Talks blog because of his understanding of the sacrifice necessary to be successful. Listen to what he has to say, truly LISTEN.

He does not only say this. I actually bought two bottles of wine from his web store and sent him a twitter message complimenting him on the great service the store provides, and he actually sent me a thank you message back. A simple gesture like that, I believe, truly makes a difference. Who knows, maybe I will recommend this site to some of my friends and bring in more business to him. That's the effect of caring.

You all have a good day. Enjoy.
Check out his website: WineLibraryTV

Interested in purchasing wines or even reviews on them before sampling,
check out the wine store: WineLibrary Store

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Napoleon Hill | The Power of the Mind

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve, regardless of how many times you have failed in the past or how lofty your aims or hopes may be."

A friend recommended that I check out a site that contains some interesting material. I came across this video which is simply amazing. I transcribed the content below for you to read. This is very profound and true. The mind has amazingly ability once its energies are directed appropriately. It is truly the greatest gift we inherited from God. I would love to hear your thoughts. I know that it is important to state clearly what it is you want from the Universe, therefore writing it down puts that energy out there. What I love about it as well is you have to clearly state what you are willing to give in return as well. I think many people are not aware of this. For the Universe to give to you, you have to be in a state of 'givingness' as well. Only then will the energies start to flow back to you. And of course, saying it on a regular basis reinforces it and allows you to hold it in mind. And as you know, what you hold in mind has a tendency to manifest. Read what he says below. Great stuff.


Let me call your attention to a great power which is under your control, said Mr. Carnegie. A power which is greater than poverty, greater than the lack of education, greater than all of your fears and superstitions combined. It is the power to take control of your own mind and direct it to whatever ends you may desire. This profound power, Mr. Carnegie continued, is the gift of the Creator, and it must of been considered the greatest of all of his gifts to man because it is the only thing over which man has the complete and unchallengeable right of control and direction. When you speak of your poverty and lack of education, Mr. Carnegie explained, you are merely directing your mind power to attract these undesirable circumstances because it is true that whatever your mind feeds upon your mind attracts to you. Now you see why it is important that you recognize that all success begins with definiteness of purpose, with a clear picture in your mind with precisely of what you want from life. And then Mr. Carnegie continued his speech, with a description of a great universal truth which made such an impact upon my mind, that I began then and there to give myself a new outlook on life and I setup for myself goals so far above my previous achievements that it shocked my friends and relatives when they heard about it. Everyone, says Mr. Carnegie, comes to the Earth plane blessed with the privilege of controlling his mind power and directing it to whatever ends he may choose but, he continued, everyone brings over with him at birth, an equivalent of two sealed envelopes. One of which is clearly labeled, The riches you may enjoy if you take control of you own mind and direct it to ends of your own choice and the other is labeled, the penalties you must pay if you don't take control of your mind and direct it. Now let me reveal to you, said Mr. Carnegie, the contents of those two sealed envelopes. In the one labeled riches is this list of blessings:

1. Sound health
2. Peace of mind
3. A labor of love of your own choice
4. Freedom from fear and worry
5. A positive mental attitude
6. Material riches of your own choice and quantity.

In the sealed envelope labeled penalties, Mr. Carnegie continued, is this list of the prices one must pay for not taking control of his own mind:

1. Ill health
2. Fear and worry
3. Indecision and doubt
4. Frustration and discouragement throughout life
5. Poverty and want
6 And a whole flock of evils consisting of envy, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred and superstition.

Now my mission in life is to help you and everyone who needs my help to open up and use the contents of the sealed envelope labeled riches. And the starting point from which you must take off if you wish to write your own ticket from here on out for the remainder of your life, I will describe for you in these simple instructions.

1. Procure a neat pocket-sized notebook, and on page one write down a clear description of your major desire in life. The one circumstance or position or thing which you will be willing to accept that your idea of success.  And remember before you begin writing, that your only limitations are those that you set up in your own mind or permit others to set up for you.

2. On page two of your notebook, write down a clear statement of exactly what you intend to give in return for that which you desire from life and then start in where you stand right now and begin giving.

3. Memorize both of your statements, what you desire and what you intend to give in return for it and repeat them at least a dozen times daily. And always end your statements with this expression of gratitude for the blessings with which you were gifted at birth.

"Oh Divine providence, I ask not for more riches, but more wisdom with which to accept and use wisely the powers that I was given at birth in the form of the power to control and to direct my mind to whatever ends I desire."

If you are not too successful or self-satisfied to express this profound prayer, if you accept it and express it in the same spirit of humble sincerity in which I pass it on to you, a new and a better world will reveal itself to you; a world in which you will see reflected, the circumstances and the things in which you yourself have created.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama's Victory Speech | Historical moment

History does not repeat itself, it rhymes...

If you were not alive to see Martin Luther King Jr's speech, listen to Obama's speech.

Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama

(as prepared for delivery)

Election Night

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Chicago, Illinois

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

This is one of my favorite Obama compilations online, Vote for Hope.
It talks about the oneness of us all.

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

"Change begins when we believe
in a brighter day a better way to succeed.
Together we can make it better, you and me, so we can be...
Safe, Prosperous and Free.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Will Smith - The Keys to Life

Will Smith, one of the most respected actors and family man in Hollywood talks at a Nickelodeon Awards to children about the keys to life. I have always respected him as a person; he is a man of integrity and character and a role model to many.

He speaks about the keys to life; running and reading
What he said about running is so true. It does take a level of will power (no pun intended) to run long distances. If you are not only able to run, but to go beyond your personal limit, you will achieve greatness in other aspects of your life and truly understand the meaning of perseverance.  Many long distance runners would tell you that in preparing for a marathon there is more mental preparation needed than anything else.

He then talks about reading. This I fully relate to. I am not much of a runner, but I do get the idea. Reading, however, is very important at a certain level. It opens up the mind to ideas and as he said, all solutions are already out there. Increasing one's capacity to think critically and develop one's own ideas is probably the most important thing one can do for the mind. Only then can you be free. "Knowledge is power when it releases you from ignorance." Read as much as you can and create your own perspective and opinions. Old ways of thinking are just that; allow yourself to open up to new ideas that adapts to the new times. Free yourself by freeing your mind.

Well done Will Smith.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Final Lecture

Alternative Video:
Achieving your childhood dreams

"If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself; the dreams will come to you. If you live properly, the dreams will come to you." ~ Randy Pausch

If this is not the epitome of inspiration, I do not know what is. Most lectures that I listen to always has an idea that resonates with me at a profound level. The quote that I opened with did just that. As soon as he said it, my mind delved into a moment of contemplation where that thought was the main focus.

I think life is not always as complicated as it seems and once you live a life of integrity, be truth and honest, kind and loving, then everything else will take care of itself. We have all spent long hours thinking about the meaning of our lives and why we are here. I had a discussion with a friend the other night about this and thought to myself "Does the why we are here really matter?". The fact of the matter is that we are here now, and we have a choice to exhibit a certain character or not. We have a choice to view the world or process situations a certain way. I had a thought that nothing caused us to be here, but we are merely a manifestation of Divinity in a physical realm and by virtue of our very nature, conscious beings, we aim to return to the very source we came from; we strive to realize our true Self.

Randy got me thinking of what my last lecture would be. I think it would be a reflection of all the valuable lessons I learned in life thus far. I do not know exactly how I would express those words, but I know that they will be an expression of love, peace, inner serenity, forgiveness, compassion and integrity. These are all virtues I believe are very important in living one's life that would lead to the ultimate realization of who we are. There is no separation between us all; we are all one with the Source of All. You may call that Source God, Allah, Buddha, The Divine, Krishna, The Great Spirit, Yahweh. It truly does not make a difference what the Source of creation is called. All that matters is a knowingness that we are all one with this spirit. Chief Detroit, a Native American, knew it at a very fundamental level when he would ask the deer for forgiveness before taking its life, knowing that it is giving up its own life to sustain him. He understood the oneness and connectedness of all things. This is truly an advanced state of consciousness. It would be a lesson I would love to leave on this Earth as well.

Based on where you are in your life currently, if faced with a similar situation, what do you think your last lecture would be about? I am truly interested to hear.

WHO IS HE? (courtesy: Wikipedia)
Randolph Frederick ("Randy") Pausch[2] (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Columbia, Maryland. Pausch received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Brown University in 1982 and his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in August 1988. Pausch later became an associate professor at the University of Virginia, before working at Carnegie Mellon University as an associate professor.
He gave his "The Last Lecture" speech on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon. Pausch conceived the lecture after he learned that his previously known pancreatic cancer was terminal.[3] The talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk", with a topic such as "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" The talk was later released as a book called The Last Lecture, which became a New York Times best-seller.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech

Steve Jobs speaks to the Stanford graduates at Commencement ceremony in 2005. Steve Jobs is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. and founder of Pixar animation.

A feeling of amazement always comes over me whenever I hear of such success stories, and the accomplishments of Steve Jobs is truly that. It is a manifestation of courage, perseverance, strength and intelligence. He talks a lot about the challenges he went through in life, and how he overcame them. Most importantly, he understood that it is always difficult to "connect the dots" in the midst of the situation, but we have to trust that all will work out. This excerpt from his speech stuck out to me the most.

"You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You have to trust in something; your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And that will make all the difference."

This really emphasizes that we must trust that things will work out. It is always difficult to see the end result in the midst of the journey, but with each step we take we get closer to the ultimate goal. All that is necessary at times is to focus on each step, focus on the very moment and know that they will ultimately lead us to that place we desire in our hearts.

What part of the speech stood out greatly to you?