7 – Timeless Lessons From Bill Gates’ Favourite Business Book

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Bill Gates recently revealed that his favourite business book is “Business Adventures,” a 1969 collection of New Yorker articles by John Brooks that illustrate the formation of the modern American corporation.

Gates says he asked Warren Buffett back in 1991 what his favourite business book was, and Buffett responded by sending his personal copy of “Business Adventures.”

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

Innovators need to keep innovating.

Gates writes that one of the most instructive stories in the book, especially when taken in a historical context, is the article with his favourite title, “Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox.” Brooks chronicles how Xerox recruited researchers to develop the product that would replace the mimeograph machine and change how offices worked around the world. After the Xerox 914 hit the mass market in 1960, “xeroxing” a document soon became office parlance. Five years later, Xerox brought in $US500 million in revenue.

Don’t release a product before it’s ready.

Xerox’s initial success is important to look at, as well.

Joseph C. Wilson, the company’s founder, inherited The Haloid Photographic Company in the late ’40s. After learning of the physicist Chester Carlson’s invention of an electronic printing machine, he made an agreement with Carlson and decided that his company’s future was in finding a way to turn the experiment into an easy-to-use office tool.

Wilson took the new name of this copying process, xerography, and renamed his company Haloid Xerox in 1958, while the xerography machine was still in development.

Wilson’s board grew anxious as he insisted on the years of R&D the machine required, and Brooks explains that even the researchers weren’t convinced they could create a marketable product. Wilson could have given customers a cumbersome product, but it likely would have bombed and then later improved upon by a competitor. But $US75 million later, the Xerox 914 made Wilson and his executive team rich and Xerox a household name.

Corporate culture matters.

Brooks expresses fascination with Wilson’s do-gooder rhetoric, concluding that it was genuine.

Today, many companies hype their compassionate corporate cultures, but it was less common in the ’60s. Wilson believed that it was his duty to donate millions of dollars to charities and universities and to have progressive hiring policies during the civil rights movement.

Though Wilson’s unorthodox ideas initially faced pushback, it’s widely accepted today that beyond just doing good for others, corporations with a charitable mission or flexible benefits like generous leave for new parents attract motivated employees and promote employee retention. And it’s good PR, too.

Don’t let egos trump research.

Another one of Gates’ favourite case studies in “Business Adventures” is the story of the Ford Edsel, which remains one of the most disastrous product launches in corporate history.

Ford’s executives decided that they would use research to develop the perfect car for middle-class Americans. Its designers and marketers spent two years gathering suggestions from the public and testing ideas on focus groups. But after all that research, Ford’s executives did what they wanted.

They also tried to please everyone instead of focusing the brand. Ford debuted the Edsel in 1957 in 18 variations, none of which seemed to target a particular audience.

As for the name, the chairman of the board decided at the last minute that the car would be named after Henry Ford’s son Edsel, dismissing the list of names that took endless hours to compile.

Don’t put yourself in a situation you can’t get out of.

Before the car was finished or even named, Ford began promoting teasers for the “E-Car,” which promised to revolutionise the automobile industry. Brooks says that the executives never even considered failure an option, creating an entire Edsel division and signing distribution contracts with dealerships before the vehicle was completed.

The stock market took a nose dive in the summer of 1957, and people stopped buying mid-priced cars. The Edsel was set to launch in 1957. Had Ford’s leadership acted more cautiously and avoided betting so much on the Edsel, they likely would have been able to avoid losing $US350 million.

If you fail, accept it, learn from it, and move on.

Despite the countless mistakes that Ford’s leadership made with the Edsel, Brooks found that no one would take responsibility for the failure and felt they had done everything right.

Edsel marketing manager J.C. Doyle even tells Brooks, “People weren’t in the mood for the Edsel… What they’d been buying for several years encouraged the industry to build exactly this kind of car. We gave it to them, and they wouldn’t take it. Well, they shouldn’t have acted like that.”

Managers must communicate clearly with their employees.

Brooks also tells the story of the 1961 price-fixing scandal among 29 electric companies. He looks particularly at the biggest party involved, General Electric, where employees worked on their own to profit from their illegal actions. So many people were lying or withholding the truth from each other that Brooks says it was “a breakdown in intramural communication so drastic as to make the building of the Tower of Babel seem a triumph of organizational rapport.”

Brooks writes that even after researching the case thoroughly, he couldn’t tell if the higher-ups were responsible or at least aware of the price fixing because GE had a culture where nobody seemed to communicate with each other. Multiple employees even testified that their bosses would often say things with a wink, making it difficult to ascertain if what they just said was what they actually meant.

Credit: Business Insider

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Money on my Mind – Money, Money, Money

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Why the FUCK not?!!! I always say…if you are creative, persistent, and hardworking, then you should get paid! Everyone deserves the American Dream!

The Pursuit of Happiness (Widescreen Edition)

Originally posted on Creating Your Life journey:

I actually think I would be happier if I was rich. They say money doesn’t buy happiness. But, because I understand that and have suffered for so long without any financial security I think I would be happier. I’ve learned how to be pretty happy without it. I understand that I’m in control of my happiness and it is not based around what I have and what I don’t have. I’ve come to realize life is more fun with lots of friends to spend my time with so it would be hard to move some place warmer. I also know that I’m quite possibly capable of making myself rich. However, just having financial security and being able to travel once a year would be enough, and I know someday I will have that. 

But… If I were rich, rich enough to never worry about money again, which I’ve thought a lot about, I…

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Trust your Spidey Senses – 7 Ways to Better Listen to Your Intuition

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“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” said Ivy Estabrooke of the Office of Naval Research, who is investigating the power of intuition which has helped troops make important and quick decisions during combat.

Whether it’s deciding which job to take, which direction to turn when you’re lost, or how to handle a conflict in your family, intuition sometimes knows better than the rational mind. The problem is that many of us have buried that little voice so deeply within, we have a hard time hearing or feeling where it is guiding us.

The good news is that your intuition is still there, you merely have to learn to hear it again.

The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness

To better listen to your intuition, try:

  1. Meditation:  Spend time in silence, simply listening.

  2. Commune with nature:  Aim to get at least sometime outside every single day.

  3. Creativity:  Tap into your internal artist by drawing, writing, painting, or making music.
  4. Learn to listen:  In general, listen to friends, families, silence, and yourself.
  5. Be body conscious:  Learn to appreciate the little signs and signals from your body, when it tells you it’s tired, joyful, in need of love, or getting sick.
  6. Let go:  Warm up to the idea that you don’t have to control everything. Life is going to happen whether you overthink it or not. Relax.

  7. Stay positive:  A 2013 study in the journal Psychological Science found that being in a good mood boosted participant’s abilities to make intuitive calls in a word game. So smile!

Working on becoming more intuitive requires you to adopt healthier habits and a healthier mindset. These are things that are good for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, no matter your end goal. And if cultivated regularly, they could lend themselves to better decision making and more happiness overall.

Credits: Elizabeth Renter 

Tre’s Kitchen – Smoken Chicken Wings with sauteed peppered carrots & Dirty rice with Andouille sausages.

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WRITTEN BY TRE SAUNDERS (UNCLE DUDES) FACEBOOK

Smoken Chicken Wings with sauteed peppered carrots & Dirty rice with Andouille sausages.

  • 1 pound chicken wings

  • Half cup of Worcestershire
  • Half cup Brown Sugar, reduces, then add
  • Half cup of rum reduces this again until it is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.

Smoke the wings until they reach 165 degrees.

Then drizzle with reduction.

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UNCLE DUDES

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TOP (Tres original productions)

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4 Best Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Meditation (Science is Awesome)

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1. MEDITATION SPEEDS UP BRAIN PROCESSING POTENTIAL

According to a research journal article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in February 2012, meditation can alter the geometry of the brain’s surface. There was a study done at the University of California in Los Angeles involving 50 meditators and 50 controls that addressed a possible link between meditation and cortical gyrification, the pattern and degree of cortical folding that allows the brain to process faster. This study showed a positive correlation between the amount of gyrification in parts of the brain and the number of years of meditation for people, especially long-term meditators, compared to non-meditators.

This increased gyrification may reflect an integration of cognitive processes when meditating, since meditators are known to be introspective and contemplative, using certain portions of the brain in the process of meditation. Despite articles written from this journal article, more research is still necessary to determining more in depth on this specific link.

2. MEDITATION LOOSENS OUR NEURAL PATHWAYS

Rebecca Gladding, M.D. explains in an article published in May 2013 Psychology Today, how the brain functions better with meditation, and the positive affects it has on the brain, the longer you meditate. Basically, Gladding explains how the brain can be molded by meditation. Specifically, the connection to our fear center and our “Me” Center (place where the brain constantly reflects back to you) wither away – by meditating on a regular basis.

This loosening up lessens our feelings of anxiety, because the neural pathways linking our Me Center to our fear decreases. The unhelpful feelings of anxiety become regulated, meaning, sufficiently ignored, which enhances better neural pathways to form. New neural pathways include improved assessment and empathetic responses. The important thing that Gladding also mentions is that to maintain the benefits of meditation, you must keep meditating because “the brain can very easily revert back to its old ways if you are not vigilant.”

3. MEDITATION REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE

A large cardiovascular study was done and published in November 2012, in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

There were 201 people with coronary heart disease given two choices. (1) Take a health education class promoting improved diet and exercise. (2) Take a class on transcendental meditation. Researchers studied these participants for five years and discovered something interesting. Those that chose (2) the meditation class had 48% reduction to the overall risk of heart attack, stroke and death. This was an initial study and again needs more research.

But it is promising, just the same.

4. MEDITATION CAN IMPROVE MEMORY RECALL

New research on meditation shows that meditation can further enhance the abilities of memory recall. Catherine Kerr is a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center. She has found that those that practice meditation could adjust their brains waves better. They could screen out distractions and increase productivity faster than those that did not meditate. Less distractions gives room for the brain to integrate new information. This slight change in brain adjustment can dramatically aid in memory recall.

Kerr explained more in an article called, Meditation’s Effects on Emotion Shown to Persist, published in June 2013 at psychcentral.com. ”Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” Kerr said. “Our discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.”

Credits: Soul Spot TV via The Spirit Science

It takes a second to show Kindness – Three German Students Surprise a Homeless Person

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This is an amazing video clip not only brought me to tears but encouraged me to take note of others around me.

The video below is of a German student who took note of a homeless man attempting to get money from those passing by.  He noticed that the man’s techniques were not very successful so he asks the homeless man to borrow his bucket. What happens next will literally drive you to tears…

We’re still Lost in Translation – Scarlett Johansson (Throwback)

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Scarlett Johansson (High School Photos)

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Trouble in the Middle East – Sometimes all you need is love…

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Music gives a soul to the Universe – Seven Ways That Music Benefits Your Health

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“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain .” – Bob Marley

Lets see the effect music can have on a physical/ mental and psychological level :

1-   Improves your visual and verbal skills

Early music education stimulates a child’s brain, leading to improved performance in verbal intelligence. This was suggested in a study among 4-to 6-year-olds who received only one month of musical training. It included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts, and this proved to have a “transfer effect,” enhancing their ability to understand words and explain their meaning.

Another study among 8 to 11-year-olds found that those who had extra-curricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training.

2) Affects the heartbeat, pulse rate and blood pressure

As Nietzsche, said, ‘We listen to music with our muscles.’ Studies have proved that music can not only strengthen the heart but also improve the recovery of patients suffering from heart disease.

No matter the genre of music, listening to one’s favorite music releases endorphins in the brain that improves the vascular health. (Opera, classical and other types of ‘joyful’ music were more likely to stimulate endorphins as opposed to heavy metal)

At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, men and women who listened to music soon after undergoing cardiac surgery were less anxious andreported having less pain than those who just rested quietly.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, a nurse-led team found that heart patients confined to bed who listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less distress than those who didn’t listen to music.

The rhythm, the melody and harmony, all play a role in the emotional and cardiovascular response.

3) Improves sleep quality in students

Young or old, we all face sleep problems, in some cases, regularly, in other cases, when we’ve had an overactive day. Listening to soft music is indeed relaxing, hence improving the quality of your sleep.

Research shows that music can help reduce several factors known to interfere with sleep (including stress and anxiety), promote physical changes that support more restful sleep (such as lowered heart and respiratory rates), and aid in treatment of Insomnia.

4) Makes you Happier

Music affects our emotional state, making you feel happy, ecstatic or even sad. According to a study, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, when you listen to tunes that move you. Sometimes you also experience feeling of shivers or chills while listening to a particular track, this shows that brain releases large amount of dopamine, that gives you happiness and pleasure. So listening to music gives us the same hit of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.

While another study shows that Music with a quick tempo in a major key, brought about all the physical changes associated with happiness in listeners. In contrast, a slow tempo and minor key led to sadness.

Even when we listen to happy music with the intention to feel happy, it always works as opposed to simply listening to music without attempting to alter our mood.

5) Boosts your immune system and reduce Pain

Music has been found to reduce the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which can weaken the immune system and is responsible for many illnesses. If you like to dance to uplifting music, then you are definitely on a path to better health. Scientists found that after listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting dance music, the levels of antibodies in participants’ bodies increased.

Different types of music might have different effect, but it also depends on your personal preference and what tunes resonate with your soul. What resonates with the spirit, does have a healing effect.

6) Reduces Depression and Anxiety

Listening to music has much more effect on the human mind and psyche. Researchers say that it can helpease anxiety among cancer patients, have positive effects on their mood, pain and improve quality of life. Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure levels and improved moods.

7) Keeps an aging brain healthy

Having musical training could help keep the brain healthy as people grow older. Any kind of musical activity in life serves as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain sharper and more capable of dealing with challenges of aging.

Even someone with brain damage or dementia can recover memories through listening to music. It is ingrained in our deepest core of being, no matter the language, the sound and the rhythm resonates deep within. Like Kahlil Gibran puts it, “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”

Credit MyBeatFix

If you’re still not convinced just listen below to Radiohead‘s Codex

Epic Fail of the Week – When Cannonballs go Wrong

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