Monthly Archives: March 2014

LAOS: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

Laos Travel: Best Sights

Laos was not really thought of as a tourist destination until the 1990s, when people realized it had more to offer than just pachyderms and Buddhist monks. Even as elephants and religion continue to drive the country, there are also dramatic landscapes, ancient architectural ruins and much history to be discovered, making it a wonderful spot for the inquisitive traveler.

Laos: At a Glance

Experience the Best Attractions of Laos

  1. Royal Palace Museum in Luang Prabang, Laos Take a Walk: A blend of traditional architecture and urban structures, Luang Prabang is made for ambling around in. Make a stop at the Royal Palace Museum before heading on to discover the War Nong, Wat Sene, and Wat Khili temples. Chill for a bit at Dara Market, and later catch the sunset from the boat pier.
  2. Tiered Roofs of Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang Do a Temple Run: Visit one of the oldest temples in Luang Prabang—Wat Visounnarath, which is home to the incredible That Mak Mo stupa. However, the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang has to be Wat Xieng Thong, whose tiered roofs sweep low almost to touch the ground. The temple is considered a archetypal example of the Luang Prabang style of architecture.
  3. Street Food in Laos, including Fried Crickets A Different Treat: Jump straight into the native experience and try a serving of fried crickets. These crunchy snacks are available both at street-side stalls and in some cafes and eateries, and are best eaten hot, and with an open mind! Khop Chai Deu in Vientiane is a safe place at which to try crickets and other local delicacies.
  4. Buddhist Statues in Pak Ou Caves Buddha Says: The Pak Ou Caves are a short trip upstream from Luang Prabang. This network of caves at the convergence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers is where you will find hundreds of Buddha statues left by devotees over the centuries.
  5. long Kong Lor Buddhist Cave Explore Hidden Caves: The capital of the Khammouane province in south-central Laos, Thakhaek is a small municipality dotted with lots of lovely French architecture. However, its main draw lies in its limestone mountains—the site of hundreds of unexplored caves, including some that are believed to keep undiscovered treasures. How is that for adventure? The most well known among these is the 7.5km-long Kong Lor Cave. Also worth a dekko is the Buddha Cave, which holds, as the name suggests, rows and rows of gorgeous Buddha statues.
  6. Mok Pa: herbed fish steamed in banana leaves, Laos Take a Cooking Class: If you have fallen in love with Lao food, take a cooking class so that you can whip up some of your favorite dishes back home. Tamarind offers cooking classes that give you a crash course in Lao cuisine, followed by a visit to the market to pick out fresh ingredients. You can learn to make mok pa, a dish of herbed fish steamed in banana leaves, or laab, a minced-meat and herb salad, among other tasty treats.
  7. Wat Phu Champasak Temple Heritage up Top: Overlooking the Mekong River valley, the incredibly well preserved Wat Phu Champasak Temple complex is more than a thousand years old. Lined with jacaranda trees, this Khmer-styled temple was originally dedicated to Shiva, and later converted into a Buddhist temple. As you are walking around soaking in all the history and culture, keep your eyes peeled for the funny crocodile and elephant stones.
  8. Kwang Si Waterfalls, Laos Fun in the Water: Drive, trek, or hitchhike your way past forests, villages, and rice fields to the cascading waters of the Kwang Si Waterfalls. Dive in for a bit of a paddle, walk up for pretty views, and then dig into your picnic basket for a well-deserved meal. Remember to stop at the Asiatic Black Bear Rescue Centre that looks after bears rescued from poachers.
  9. Mount Phou Si, Luang Prabang, Laos Mountain Shrines: Bang in the heart of Luang Prabang’s old town, Mount Phou Si is a small hill of religious significance to the locals. It is sandwiched between the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, and offers great vistas over the city. Two shrines call Mount Phou Si home, namely War Phou Si, halfway up to the top, and Wat Chom Si, which sits at the peak.
  10. Lao handicrafts Night Owls: While Luang Prabang has no dearth of charms through the day, its night market is worth exploring, too. With what is possibly the largest collection of Lao handicrafts available for sale in one place, it is a great place at which to buy souvenirs to take home.
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Posted in Music, Arts, and Culture Travels and Journeys

Inspiring Quotations about Prison from Nelson Mandela from his Autobiography

Nelson Mandela's Prison in Robben Island

In the winter of 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island, off the coast from Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. It was here in a prison that Mandela would spend eighteen of his twenty-seven years of prison sentence before he would be freed just prior to the fall of apartheid in South Africa.

The racist regime in South Africa cramped Nelson Mandela to a small cell. The ground was his bed. He had a bucket for a toilet and he was forced to do harsh labor in a quarry.

Contact with friends, family, and well-wishers was limited: Mandela was allowed one visitor a year for thirty minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months.

Despite the trying times, Robben Island became the crucible which transformed him. Out of his intellect, charm, and decorous disobedience, Mandela in due course bent the most atrocious of prison officials to his will, took up to command his jailed comrades and developed into the master of his prison.

Eventually in the late 1980s, the South African President FW de Klerk and the African National Congress (ANC) initiated large-scale political reforms by relaxing apartheid laws and revoking the ban on black rights party. Nelson Mandela was freed on 11-Feb-1990. He emerged from the jail as a mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.

Inspiring Quotations from Nelson Mandela from his Autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”

'Long Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela (ISBN 0030565812) Here are seven inspiring quotations from ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Nelson Mandela‘s autobiography, which was recently made into a biopic with an inspiring performance from British actor, producer, and musician Idris Elba.

  • “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”
  • “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”
  • “Prison itself is a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is above all a test of one’s commitment.”
  • “I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man.”
  • “It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
  • “When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.”
  • “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Leaders and Innovators

Guy Kawasaki’s “Shopping Center Test” for Recruiting

Guy Kawasaki, Silicon Valley investor, business advisor, and author

Recruiting is the hardest part of a manager’s job. Many managers do not hire people who are better than they themselves are. It might be subconscious—managers do not want to be disgraced by one of their direct reports—or perhaps managers do not know how to identify talent.

How is a manager or recruiter to know in his/her gut that a particular candidate is an excellent person for a role, after an interview? Silicon Valley investor, business advisor, and author of twelve excellent books on business and entrepreneurship, Guy Kawasaki proposes the “Shopping Center Test.”

As the last step in the recruiting process, apply the Shopping Center Test.

It works like this: Suppose you’re at a shopping center, and you see the candidate. He is fifty feet away and has not seen you. You have three choices:

  1. beeline it over to him and say hello;
  2. say to yourself, “This shopping center isn’t that big; if I bump into him, then I’ll say hello, if not, that’s okay too;”
  3. get in your car and go to another shopping center.

My contention is that unless the candidate elicits the first response, you shouldn’t hire him.

For more on entrepreneurship, see ‘The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything’ by Guy Kawasaki. Also see this YouTube video of Guy talking about recruiting.

List of Books Authored by Guy Kawasaki

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Posted in Management and Leadership

16 Inspiring Quotes from Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom”

Nelson Mandela

'Long Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela (ISBN 0030565812) Nelson Mandela is celebrated around the world for his personal struggle against apartheid, a system devised by the National Party controlled by the minority white in South Africa to oppress the black majority. He led the decades-long struggle to replace the apartheid regime with a multi-racial democracy and advocated for reconciliation in spite of being imprisoned for 27 years.

After becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994, Mandela was the driving force behind the peaceful transition of one of the most racist societies in modern times to a nonviolent and democratic society where acceptance reigns and there were no recriminations. He was one of the world’s most respected political leaders of his time.

Nelson Mandela shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last white President of South Africa, “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”

Here are sixteen inspiring quotations from ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, autobiography of Nelson Mandela, which was recently made into a biopic with an inspiring performance from British actor, producer, and musician Idris Elba.

  • “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
  • “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
  • “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
  • “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
  • “A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”
  • “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
  • 'Long Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela (ISBN 0030565812) “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
  • “You may succeed in delaying, but never in preventing the transition of South Africa to a democracy.”
  • “The authorities liked to say that we received a balanced diet; it was indeed balanced—between the unpalatable and the inedible.”
  • “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
  • “A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
  • “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
  • “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
  • “Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”
  • “There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
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Posted in Leaders and Innovators

Nuts Make Better Snacks and Promote Better Health

Nuts Make Better Snacks and Promote Better Health

Studies have determined that regular consumption of nuts might lead to a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including heart and blood vessel disorders and Type 2 diabetes. These studies found that more often nuts were consumed, the less likely participants were to die of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Their death rate from any cause was lower during the years they were followed.

No, Nuts Are Not Fattening

Nuts Are Not Fattening Nuts are nutrient-rich sources of unsaturated fat and many nonfat constituents, viz., protein, fiber, plant sterols, small quantities copper and magnesium and other minerals. Nuts contain a reduced amount of cholesterol-increasing saturated fat than olive oil.

Studies have found that frequent nut consumers gained less weight than those who never ate nuts. Reasons:

  1. The fat, fiber, and protein in nuts suppress hunger between meals. Therefore, nut eaters may be less likely to snack.
  2. Your body may treat calories from nuts differently from those in other high-carbohydrate foods.
  3. Nut eaters are likely to be conscious of their health. Consequently, they might pursue a healthier lifestyle to burn more calories through exercise.

The Abundance of Nutrients in Nuts

Abundance of Nutrients in Nuts Botany teaches us that nuts contain provisions of biologically operational nutrients that could protect and promote health. Popular edible nuts are seeds contained in fruits and have the potential to germinate into a new plant. Nuts contain nutrients that support germination and initial growth. More specifically,

  • Some nuts, Walnuts for example, are particularly plentiful sources of alpha-linolenic acid, some of which is converted to heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Most nuts, and specially almonds, are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant.
  • Most nuts contain folic acid, selenium, magnesium, and several phytochemicals—these have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties.
  • Peanuts and pistachios are rich in resveratrol, which is being investigated for possible anti-aging effects.
  • The dietary fiber in nuts could reduce cholesterol and improve blood sugar and weight control.
  • Pistachios are rich in arginine, which gives rise to nitric oxide, a substance that improves blood flow and can help counter erectile dysfunction.

How to Consume Nuts

  • Use peanut butter as the protein source in a sandwich, and replacing a cookie snack with a one-ounce serving of mixed nuts.
  • Add nuts to hot or cold cereals, salads, stir-fries, and desserts.
  • Dole out nuts wrapped up in a wholegrain tortilla or multi-grain flat bread for a protein- and fiber-rich snack.

If you are worried about the fat content in nuts, read this. Nuts are a nourishing way to fill you up, but they can be high in calories. You do not need to keep away from them totally; just regulate your eating. The fat that nuts contain is mostly healthy unsaturated fats, and most nuts contain beneficial plant sterols, fiber, protein, vitamin E and L-arginine. Since nuts are so easy to snack on, and even though they contain the “good fat,” keep your nut-eating to a handful at the most.

Add nuts to your diet for the sake of your health and longevity.

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Posted in Health and Fitness

How to Write a Research Paper or Research Report

How to Write a Research Paper or Research Report

Introduction Section: “What you did” and “Why you did”

The purpose of the “Introduction” section is to present the reader with the motivation behind the work, with the intent of defending it. The introduction section identifies your work in a theoretical context, and allows the reader to identify with your objectives.

  • Summarize state of area prior to study.
  • Sketch study in broad outline.
  • State the experimental hypothesis (or hypotheses) and associated predictions

Method Section: “How you did it”

The “Method” section is the most important feature of a research report because it provides the information by which the readers will judge the validity of your research or study. You must provide an accurate and precise description of how you did your study or experiment, and the justification for the particular experimental procedures you chose.

  • Outline precise details of study.

Results Section: “What you found”

The purpose of the “Results” section is to present and illustrate your findings. Keep this section objective and save all interpretation of the results for the “discussion” section.

  • Present relevant data, together with outcomes of appropriate inferential statistical analyses.

Discussion Section: “What you think it shows”

The aim of the “discussion” section is to provide an analysis and interpretation of your results and support for all of your conclusions. The significance of findings, the inclusive and exclusive contexts in which the results could be meaningful. Interpret the information you have collected in your study or research in appropriate depth. Do not present just a cursory interpretation that essentially re-states the results. Bring to mind why results came out as they did and focus on the mechanisms behind the observations.

  • Summarize and interpret findings.
  • Assess implications for area
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Posted in Education and Career

Dutch House Rules: Etiquette for Shared Offices and Homes

Dutch House Rules: Etiquette for Shared Offices and Homes

Many people simply do not know how to behave in an office environment, in dormitories, or, broadly speaking, in any shared space. The “Dutch House Rules” is an informal set of rules for propriety in shared spaces.

  • If you open it, close it.
  • If you turn it on, turn it off.
  • If you borrow it, return it.
  • If you don’t know how to use it, leave it alone.
  • If you break it, fix it.
  • If you can’t fix it, report it.
  • If you make a mess, clean it up.
  • If you move it, put it back.
  • If it doesn’t concern you, keep it that way.
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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Advice to Entrepreneurs: Dell’s Michael Dell on Giving Customers Something They Truly Loved

Peter Drucker famously said that the fundamental purpose of a business is to create a customer—nothing else matters nearly as much to an entrepreneur as this. It is critical to understand that only customers that can pay for an entrepreneur’s products and services make his business viable. Here is advice from Michael Dell on giving customers something they truly loved. Michael Dell is the chairman and CEO of Dell, the computer technology corporation.

  • Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Experiment, and learn from those experiences.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect plan. Look for opportunities where you can truly bring a better offering forward to the customers and market yourself.
  • Following someone else’s lead is usually not the answer. Be unique to your customers and seize the opportunity to create value for them in a way that your competitors either don’t want to or cannot.
  • The greatest business successes of our time have always been about giving customers something they truly loved. This requires evaluation, transformation, and sometimes even radical change to stay relevant and ahead of your customers changing needs. That’s entrepreneurialism at its best.

'World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It' by John A. Byrne (ISBN 1591844509) Source: “World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It” by John A. Byrne. John A. Byrne is chairman and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media Inc., a digital media startup Byrne was previously executive editor and editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com and founding editor at Fast Company. Byrne is the author or co-author of eight books on business, leadership, and management, including Jack: Straight from the Gut with Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric. In “World Changers,” John Byrne presents potent advice on entrepreneurism and fascinating insights into what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs from successful business luminaries such as Apple’s Steve Jobs to HARPO’s Oprah, from India’s Ratan Tata to Brazil’s Eike Batista. John Byrne deduces that the three essential characteristics that help entrepreneurs succeed are the ability to see opportunities where everyone else sees problems, problem with authority and status-quo, and an astounding ability to live with risk and the prospect of failure.

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Business and Strategy Leaders and Innovators Management and Leadership

The Best Tweets by Career Coach Marty Nemko: Life Lead Well & Career Success

Marty Nemko is an Oakland, CA-based career coach, and author.

Marty Nemko is an Oakland, CA-based career coach, and author. Marty hosts the “Work with Marty Nemko” on KALW-FM, an NPR-San Francisco station.

'How to Do Life: What they didn't teach you in school' by Marty Nemko (ISBN 1467960705) Marty Nemko blogs about career, education, men’s and boys’ issues, the life well-led, and improving the world at martynemko.blogspot.com. A compilation of his articles and writings are at martynemko.com. His YouTube channel is at youtube.com/user/mnemko.

Marty also published a compilation of his articles in newspapers, blogs, magazines, and on his website in book chock full of wisdom: ‘How to Do Life: What they didn’t teach you in school’.

Here are the very best of Marty Nemko’s tweets from his @MartyNemko handle.

  • “Unefficacious people can’t or CHOOSE TO not bounce back—it’s a good excuse to avoid facing their inefficacy yet again.”
  • “To broaden your horizons, mix with people other than people from your own background (professional, cultural, social, academic, racial, ethnic, etc.) Most people prefer the company of other people from similar backgrounds. Birds of a feather do flock together.”
  • “If you have a clearly good idea, to avoid getting talked out of it, get input only on how to better execute it.”
  • “People see counselors when they could journal on their own. People take classes when they could read on their own. Why? They’re forced to act.”
  • “To boost self-esteem: accept you’re flawed like everyone, do what you’re good at, & accomplish: Even little wins boost self-esteem.”
  • “Good conversationalists choose a topic that enables each participant to contribute.”
  • “A clue to what career you should pursue: When you’re really comfortable, what do you love to talk about?”
  • “It’s easy to be liked: listen more than talk, praise often, and disagree rarely. The question is, is it worth the loss of integrity?”
  • “A resume rarely helps—it’s too filled with chemistry-inhibiting cliche. Write & tell the “resume” that’d reveal your true story & self.”
  • “Some people are nice as a way of compensating for their not being good.”
  • “Sometimes, a problem has both a rational and an irrational component. It may help to try to solve those separately.”
  • “Don’t confuse tact with cowardice. Sometimes, it’s wise to speak up boldly.”
  • “If your self-esteem is low, perhaps focus on finding work you can succeed at. Real self-esteem comes from accomplishment.”
  • “That a partner ‘gets’ you, this is what above all cements love: love as accurate (but still benevolent) interpretation.”
  • “Don’t give up prematurely. Your continued efforts will iterate, improve based on lessons learned from your past failures.”
  • “If you’ve been beaten up in Rounds 1-9, it’s hard to come out for Round 10.”
  • “Your goal must not be to impress but to accomplish. That usually demands bringing out the best in others.”
  • “Long-winded? Constantly ask yourself, “Does the person really need & want to know this phrase?” And keep utterances to <30 sec.”
  • “The desire to be right usually trumps the desire for truth.”
  • “Key to being liked: While retaining integrity, do more agreeing, amplifying, empathizing. do less arguing, one-upping, yes-butting.”
  • “Might you be wise to focus more on self-acceptance than self-improvement? That might even motivate you to self-improve.”
  • “Be tough where you must be, kind where you can be.”
  • “You can do everything right and still fail, not just once, but overall in life. Luck is more important than we acknowledge.”
  • “Most of us think ourselves bold, individualistic thinkers when in fact we’re tepid if not downright lemmings.”
  • “Successful, productive people fuel themselves with their work & accomplishment, unsuccessful people through recreation.”
  • “I even take care to tear-off single sheets of toilet paper. Because I’m cheap? No. Because it’ll help the environment? No. I just think wasting is wrong.”
  • “Many people can do well in school, even get PhDs, yet are unhireable in the real world. The degree is US’s most overrated product.”
  • “Just because you CAN prove someone wrong, doesn’t mean you should.”
  • “I fear we’ll make everything equal until everyone has nothing.”
  • “In managing & parenting, praise when you can, & when you can’t, try invoking guilt, e.g., “I know you’re better than this.””
  • “The key to a well-led life is maxing your contribution. Happiness, less key, is most likely found in simple pleasures.”
  • “I used to think most people are intrinsically motivated to work hard. But I’m finding that many if not most people need monitoring.”
  • “In your desire to stand out from the horde, beware of hyping yourself, your ideas, or taking inappropriately extreme positions.”
  • “For many people, before age 60, it’s business before pleasure. After 60, pleasure before business.”
  • “The only God resides within us: It is our our wisest attitudes and actions.”
  • “If you relentlessly pursue a big goal with laser-beam focus, you will likely like your life and be a most worthy person.”
  • “If the risk/reward ratio of taking an action is good, even if you may fail, it’s usually wise to follow Nike’s advice: Just do it!”
  • “Good, simple conversation starter, “What’s doing in your life?” or “Whatcha been thinking about these days?””
  • “A desire to “give back” needn’t imply giving to the neediest. It could mean giving to those with the most potential to benefit.”
  • “Far more of life’s pleasures are in the process than in the outcome. Be in the moment.
  • “It’s hard to change people’s work style: aggressive vs passive, hardworking vs moderate. So it may be wise to praise their status-quo.”
  • “If someone smiles at you with pursed lips, they’re generally forcing the smile—either because they’re shy or don’t like you.”
  • “Winners do not let themselves succumb to anything. They distract themselves by immersing themselves in their most engaging work.”
  • “What skill of yours has given you the must success? Use it more.”
  • “Where at all ethically possible, we must give others hope. Without it, a person figuratively or even literally dies.”
  • “To boost motivation: what’s your next 1-second task? It feels good to get even a tiny task done, make progress, and maybe learn something.”
  • “You’ll likely learn more of enduring value from an hour of wise googling than from any course.”
  • “We dun perfectionism, e.g., as causing procrastination. Yet haven’t your perfectionist efforts yielded the most good & satisfaction?”
  • “Talking too much is a career killer. Keep all utterances to less than 45 seconds &, in dialogue, speak a bit LESS than 50% of the time.”
  • “Before making an argument, ask a likely opponent to lay out the counterargument. Your argument can then incorporate that.”
  • “School can give a false sense of confidence or of loserhood. Too often, school success does not predict life success.”
  • “We hear stories of persistence rewarded yet for each of those, hundreds have pressed on only to end up broken and/or broke.”
  • “Part of getting older may mean having to accept that we may not make as big a difference in the world as we had hoped.”
  • “The most powerful motivator may not be fear—people go back to bad habits after a heart attack. Could it be proving themselves right?”
  • “Facing our parents’ aging forces us to confront our own mortality. It reminds us to appreciate and live each moment wisely.”
  • “A mantra to cure procrastinators: It needn’t be perfect; it needn’t be fun; it just has to get done.”
  • “If you want to lock in a new attitude or behavior, say and/or write that and why. Then keep paraphrasing, NOT reading it.”
  • “Scratch the surface of any thinking ideologue and you’ll find doubts. Ask, “Ever wondered whether the other side might be right?””
  • “No matter how brilliant you are, if your style is too intense, most people will dismiss you.”
  • “Why do so many people prefer a silly, manipulative, games-playing, selfish hottie over an ugly, intense, honest, kind person?”
  • “A clue to what career or avocation you should pursue is to inventory how you actually spend your discretionary time.”
  • “As we age, there’s a creeping bitter wisdom we accrue.”
  • “Ever get tired of being nice? Tempted to throw caution to the wind and say what you really think? If deserved, even yell?”
  • “There’s cost and benefit each time you criticize or suggest. Sometimes, it’s worth the price. Make the choice consciously.”
  • “Telling people I can’t lose weight may make me eat more—to prove myself right. Perhaps if I told people, “‘I’m gonna lose 20.””
  • “When you think you can nail someone with your argument, take a breath & see if you can phrase it as a face-saving question.”
  • “How feeble are we that we’re swayed more by dubious flattery than by valid suggestions.”
  • Teamwork is deified. Don’t forget the pluses of individualism: more motivation, bolder/less compromised solutions, speed.”
  • “Far better than a course is self-study + a tutor to get you past your trouble spots.”
  • “Giving advice makes the recipient feel less efficacious, so weigh that against the benefit your advice will likely yield.”
  • “The most valuable way to spend a dollar? A memo pad. Keep it with you at all times. Think of ideas. Write them down. Implement them.”
  • “It all comes down to this: Do good.
  • “When overwhelmed, after doing any needed planning, just stay in the moment and put one foot in front of the other.”
  • “To disagree without creating enmity: “I can see why you’d X. (explain.) And (not but) I’m wondering if Y. What do you think?””
  • “It worked for me, it can work for you books aren’t helpful because typical readers are less smart & driven than book authors.”
  • “Whatever bad awaits, don’t let it spoil the present moment.”
  • “If possible, slightly under-schedule yourself. That gives you the time to make your work higher-quality.”
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Posted in Education and Career Leaders and Innovators Philosophy and Wisdom

A Definitive Guide to Berkshire Hathaway’s 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meetings

Value Investing Conference and Genius of Warren Buffett Course

Shareholder Events on 02-May-2014, Friday

Cocktail Reception at Borsheim's Fine Jewelry for Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Tent at the Berkshire Hathaway Cocktail Reception

  • Cocktail Reception at Borsheim's Fine Jewelry for Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM: Cocktail Reception at Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry. Borsheim’s is Berkshire’s flagship jewelry retailer and the second biggest jewelry store in the world. This cocktail reception is exceptionally crowded. And Borsheim’s also sets a tent in the parking lot to accommodate the swarms of people enjoying the dinner buffet, open bar, and live musical entertainment, all complimentary. Vegetarians can get their fill of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and crackers. Location: Borsheim’s, 120 Regency Parkway, Omaha NE 68114 [map], (800) 642-4438.

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders' Meeting at CenturyLink Center, Omaha

Shareholder Events on 03-May-2014, Saturday

  • 7:00 AM: Doors Open at CenturyLink Center for the annual meeting. Shareholders, young and old, assemble hours before the opening of the doors to the CenturyLink center and, as soon as the doors are unlocked, run as quickly as they can to get the best seats in the house.
  • 7:00 AM: Complementary breakfast: free pastries and bottled drinks in the stands at CenturyLink Center.

Fruit of the Loom store at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Shopping

Challenge Warren Buffett in Newspaper Tossing Challenge at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders' Meeting

NetJets display of Signature Flight Support at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders' Meeting

  • 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM: NetJets Display. “Signature Flight Support” on the east side of the Omaha airport. Collect passes to the NetJets display at the NetJets stall in the shopping area. Shuttle busses leave the northwest corner of the CenturyLink Center. On display are a fleet of NetJets aircraft “sure to set your pulse racing. Warren urges, “Come by bus; leave by private jet. Live a little.”
  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM: Buy-your-own lunch at CenturyLink’s stands.
  • 3:30 PM to 3:45 PM: Recess / regrouping
  • 3:45 PM to 4:00 PM: “Official business” part of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting.

Berkshire Cookout at Nebraska Furniture Mart

Big Time Cookout at Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) for Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Shareholder Events on 04-May-2014, Sunday

Warren Buffett tries to soften up U.S. Olympian Ariel Hsing in Ping Pong at the Borsheim's Shopping Day

Throughout the Week: Shareholder Discounts and Shopping

  • At Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry, shareholder prices will be available from Monday 28-Apr-2014 through Saturday 10-May-2014. Borsheim’s is usually open 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Mondays and Thursday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on Saturdays. Borsheim’s is located at 120 Regency Parkway, Omaha NE 68114 [map]. Most of the items in Borsheim’s are discounted no less than 30% for Berkshire shareholders.
  • At Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM,) shareholder prices will be available from Monday, April 28th through Saturday, May 10th. Nebraska Furniture Mart is located at 700 S 72nd St, Omaha NE 68114 [map]. NFM is open 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays. Shareholder discounts are also available at Nebraska Furniture Mart’s stores in Kansas City and Des Moines (no furniture; just appliances, electronics, and flooring.)

Getting Meeting Credentials

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders' Meeting Credentials Meeting credentials are required to enter the CenturyLink Center for the Berkshire Hathaway meeting or the adjoining area to hit the stores of the many Berkshire subsidiaries. Meeting credentials are also required to get special shareholder pricing at Borsheims, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and other stores that might offer shareholder discounts.

Berkshire Hathaway meeting credentials are no more than a plastic identification card and an associated lanyard. The identification card is not personalized and does not contain the shareholder’s or attendee’s name.

Here’s how to get your meeting credentials:

  • If you are a shareholder, your brokerage will send you the annual shareholders’ packet along with a postcard to request a maximum of four passes for the Berkshire annual meeting. Fill this postcard and drop it in the mail. Berkshire will send you passes and lanyards.
  • If you are a shareholder, but do not have time to request the passes, did not receive the passes, or did not receive the shareholder packet from your broker, take proof of your ownership of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Take a statement of your holdings from your broker to the annual meeting at the CenturyLink Center on the Friday afternoon or Saturday morning of the annual meeting to get your meeting credentials.
  • Many years ago, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders started auctioning the annual meeting passes on eBay for a premium. To hinder this premium, Berkshire Hathaway started directly selling two passes for $5 on eBay, with free shipping. “We decided to sell them ourselves on EBay at a nominal price to keep people from getting stung. We hope nobody pays more than what we charge which is basically to cover mailing charges,” a Berkshire Hathaway representative had informed Omaha World-Herald. Buyers could provide a mailing address when you checkout or just collect their passes from the CenturyLink Center on the Friday afternoon or Saturday morning of the Berkshire meeting.
  • If you are straining at the leash to go to the annual meeting and don’t have passes, just show up early on Saturday morning at the CenturyLink Center. I have seen shareholders in the line obliging to requests for passes from devoted fans of Berkshire; this practice needs to be discouraged.

Recommended Reading: “The Oracle & Omaha, How Warren Buffet and His Hometown Shaped Each Other”

‘The Oracle & Omaha, How Warren Buffet and His Hometown Shaped Each Other’ by Steve Jordon, Omaha World Herald

'The Oracle & Omaha, How Warren Buffet and His Hometown Shaped Each Other' by Steve Jordon, Omaha World Herald (ISBN 0615793940)

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