Follow by Email

Monday, March 30, 2015

PERSONAL SPECIAL................. Ways To Bounce Back After Disappointment

Ways To Bounce Back After Disappointment

Sad but true: Bad stuff happens to all of us. Relationships turn toxic and die, trips to the HR department end in pink slips and tears, loved ones become ill.
It hurts. It sucks. And a lot of times, it's unfair. You'd like to think that you're the kind of person who can suck it up and instantly recover, but the fact is, everyone reacts differently to disappointment and pain. "Let it go" may make for an inspiring (if irritatingly omnipresent) song lyric, but let's face it: Landing on your feet and moving on is a lot easier said than done.
But here's the thing: While none of us is totally in control of what happens in life, we can control how we react to heinous situations. We asked experts for their best strategies for moving on and bouncing back.
Follow these tricks and you'll not only be able to rebound from disappointments -- you'll actually end up a better, smarter, stronger person than before.
Pretend you're Serena Williams.
Think of any transition as a kind of major sporting event, says McGonigal. "Life is asking a lot of you, so take care of yourself in the same way that an athlete would prepare for an important competition," she says. "Think of it as self-care, rather than self-indulgence. By that I mean it should create health, help you sustain energy, or provide a true rest." Salmansohn opts for the second, tapping into the mind-body connection by reaching for the dumbbells. "It makes me feel empowered -- I'm like, Oh yeah!" she says. "There are studies that show when you're physically strong, you're emotionally strong."

Create a distraction.
One of the reasons we feel so upset when life throws us for a loop is because we feel out of control. "Distractions help you re-gain some of that control," says Salmansohn. Choose something that you're good at -- a signature strength or passion, she says -- then put it on your calendar and do it. "The more stuff that you can write down on your to-do list and cross off, the more you'll feel in control," says Salmansohn. "Think of it as a stop-and-swap: 'Well, I couldn't control that, but I can control this.' You were the person who got dumped or got fired; now you're the woman who's a killer tennis player or someone who has the coolest Pinterest page in the world. You've got stuff going on! The point here is to remind yourself that there are other aspects to you as a person."
Some of the best distractions, McGonigal says, are the ones that involve doing something positive and constructive (in other words, nix the Netflix binge). "Volunteer at a local charity, train for a 5K, even clean out your closet," she suggests. "Basically, anything that involves moving energy in a positive direction."
Pick up the phone.
Usually when we're going through a tough time or trauma, we tend to pull inward and push people away. Bad move. "You have to get yourself off that merry-go-round of not-so-merry thoughts," says Salmansohn. "When we're by ourselves, we tend to wallow and obsess. But studies show that people who seek out the comfort and safety of friends are the ones who recover fastest. Love does heal, so be around the people who love and support you." There's another good reason for reaching out, according to Gail Saltz, M.D., Health's contributing psychology editor: "Friends can help you recover by offering suggestions and advice that you may not have considered." And while you're at it, call home, OK? Scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that when women hear their mother's voice, it can reduce their stress hormones, producing an effect similar to a hug.

Reframe your identity.
Don't let a bad situation define you. Boost your self-esteem by changing your identity and getting out of that victim mindset: "Think of yourself as a victor, not a victim," says Salmansohn. "Reassure yourself that whatever happens, you are the type of person who can get through it. Make it a point to say a mantra of positive -- not pitiful -- words whenever a defeatist attitude starts to creep in: I'm going to be OK. I'm strong. I have it within me to get through this and get to where I need to be." Another trick to get you in a positive frame of mind: "Realize that life is full of curve balls," Saltz says. "Look back and recall how you handled every one of them. What you'll realize: You got through them, and you can get through this."

Give yourself a break.
Repair your ego by taking time for a personal -- and compassionate -- pep talk. "Focus on what's universal about your situation," says McGonigal. "Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone experiences rejection. Everyone knows what it's like to try and fail. All that your experience says is that you are human -- not that your life is uniquely screwed up." And stop projecting blame inward, Saltz says: "It's self-referential to think that the fault lies solely with you and not the other person. For example, maybe your relationship failed because your former partner was a commitment-phobe. You need to spot what someone else has brought -- or not brought -- to the situation."

Use the hurt.
Think of it as a kind of emotional adrenaline to make some changes in your life. "A lot of people are afraid of change or anything new and unfamiliar," says Salmansohn. "But when you're going through a crisis, suddenly the new and unfamiliar doesn't look as scary as the place you're in, so you're more open to change." Remember, the story of your life is a lot bigger than one single moment, "so imagine this moment as a turning point in the story that will propel you to something bigger and better," McGonigal says.

Re-write the story.
OK, it may sound a little hokey, but it happens to be true: As awful as your situation may be, there's something positive that can come out of it. McGonigal believes that "there's always an upside to change because it gives you an opportunity to make an intentional choice about what you want in life and who you want to be or become. Without major disruptions in our lives, it's easy to never really reflect on those things." Or, as Salmansohn says: "Ultimately, it's all about adopting a student mentality and searching for the good lessons. Happiness isn't about what happens to you; it's how you respond to what happens to you. Tell your story as a sad one and it will be a sad story; tell it as a happy one and it will be a happy story -- with a happy ending."

By Barbara Stepko



12.  Netflix
The announcement went out in the summer of 2011: "We will no longer offer a plan that includes both unlimited streaming and DVDs by mail." Subscribers would have to join two separate services—one of them ludicrously dubbed Qwikster—and pay $16 a month instead of $10. The ensuing backlash and exodus stunned investors; more than 800,000 customers fled Netflix in a single quarter, sending its stock plunging from $300 a share to around $65 by year’s end. Net­flix quickly scrapped Qwikster and apologized, but the company only truly recovered from the gaffe with original series such asHouse of Cards, which launched in 2013. Soon profit was skyrocket­ing, stock hit $400 per share, and Amazon and Hulu were working furiously to catch up.

13.    Disney Animation
Disney may be the best-known name in children’s entertainment, but its once-revered animation division began the 21st century in a major slump. After ’90s successes such as The Lion King, the ­studio started churning out duds like Hercules and Fantasia 2000. The result was a major downsizing in the early 2000s. But after Disney acquired Pixar in 2006 and Ed Catmull and John Lasseter took charge, the studio roared back with hits like Tangled and last year’s world-­­dominating Frozen.

14.   Burberry
Nobody expected the fusty Burberry to survive the storms of the modern fashion marketplace. Credit two American executives with reviving the British brand: Rose Marie Bravo and Angela Ahrendts (who now runs Apple’s retail division). As CEO from 1997 to 2005, Bravo brought in designer Christopher Bailey. He and Bravo’s successor, Ahrendts, took the turnaround from there, deftly blending updates of the old (that traditional trench coat, that familiar check) with an embrace of the new (social media, aggressive China strategy). That led to an unprecedented resurrection, record financial results, and acclaim for a fashion house that is once again a luxury trendsetter.

15.                       Lego
"Everything is awesome?" Not for the toymaker in the 1990s, when Lego was suffering due to the rise of video games and other competition. In 1998, the company lost money for the first time. Then Jørgen Vig Knudstorp stepped in as CEO in 2004, and things started to snap into place. Knudstorp cut costs and introduced soon-to-be-popular Lego lines like Ninjago. It worked: By 2013, Lego was the world’s most profitable toymaker.

16.                    Target
It used to be just another big-box value store, but in the 2000s, Target rethought its image, luring higher-end customers with surprising partnerships (Isaac Mizrahi, Missoni, Lilly Pulitzer) and slick ­marketing. That new ­strategy—matched with a rapid expansion—transformed Target into Tar-zhay: a mass-appeal retailer that could deliver everyday needs in style. By 2005, Target had reached $50 billion in annual sales.

TRAVEL SPECIAL ..................GUJARAT A tranquil trail

GUJARAT A tranquil trail

Setting out to visit the pilgrim spots that Gujarat is famous for? This Saurashtra Darshan, club your idea of peace and pleasure, as you visit some unmissable locales of the state

There are a number of reasons why one must visit the diverse state of Gujarat. Apart from the historic and cultural glories that the state holds, Gujarat is also known for its spiritual tourism. Saurashtra Darshan is one such tour that allows Hindus to visit temples located in the Saurashtra region (ancient Anarta). Dwarka, one of the places in this district, is known to be the capital of Lord Krishna's terrestrial kingdom.

Here's a look at how the must-visit places of the Saurashtra Darshan; and other activities you can team it with.
Relive the past
How to reach?:
By road:
Rajkot is well-connected by road to most of the major cities of Gujarat and other neighbouring states.
By rail:
Rajkot is a junction on the Western Railway Ahmedabad-Hapa broad gauge line. It is well-connected with important cities in Gujarat and India by rail.
By air:
Reaching Rajkot by air is quite a possible option as the city has a domestic airport linking it to Mumbai.
This city (also the former capital of the princely state of Saurashtra) is situated on the Aji River and sprawls with regal architecture. It also proudly boasts of its association with Gandhiji; the house where Gandhiji lived is now a museum. The district is also a handicraft and textile center. The towns of Wankaner and Morbi host beautiful royal estate, some of which have been convert into heritage hotels.
Bajana, a princely state in Rajkot, is famous for its royal safari camps to the Little Rann of Kutch, where one can watch the wild asses in the wildlife sanctuary. Another natural spread is that of the Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Historically-inclined? The Khambhalida caves, one that dates back to 4th to 5th century AD and are scooped out from the local limestone rock, have three caves, the central one being a ‘chaitya’ with a worn-out stupa.
Other sites to visit at Rajkot are the Ramkrishna Math, Rashtriyashala, Tankara, The Lang Library, Wankaner and Watson Museum.

Gir National Park
How to reach
Junagadh is perhaps the best approach to the park. The railway station in Junagadh receives trains from different cities like Ahmedabad and Rajkot and other major cities. Then, from here it takes approximately one and half hours to reach Gir National Park.
From Rajkot:
On reaching Rajkot Railway Station or Airport you can take a cab or bus and to reach a Limda chowk. There are a number of privately operated vehicles that go to Junagadh at frequent intervals.
Gir National Park attracts large number of tourists to witness the Asiatic lion, as this is the sole place all across the world where these creatures are presently found. Once extinct, numbers have been recovered owing to the conservation efforts. The Sanctuary is open for tourism from 16th October to 15th June every year.
One has a number of options when it comes to the type of tour package they are looking for. For more details, visit
In addition, you can also opt for a three-day safari or a weekend tour where you can explore the flora and fauna of the forest. In addition to the Asiatic lion, you can also spot cheetal (deer) in the reserve.

How to reach?:
By road:
Junagadh is 327km from Ahmedabad, 102km from Rajkot, and 113km from Porbandar, and is accessible by ST bus from each of these places, as well as from other cities in Gujarat by way of Veraval and Rajkot.
By rail:
Two express trains run on the Ahmedabad-Veraval line. Ahmedabad is 7.5hrs away by train. Junagadh is also on the Rajkot-Veraval line, with Rajkot 2.5hrs away, and Veraval 2hrs.
Junagadh is known for its beaches and religious sites. Visit Madhavpur, a scenic town situated on a sandy coastile and is endowed with coconut trees and fertile agriculture land. It hosts the beautiful Madhavraiji Haveli Temple in addition to the Rukmini no choro, which marks the place where celebrated with an annual fair held by the Mer community.Nearby are the ruins of a Shiva temple, probably from the 12th century. Another beach located at the border of Junagadh and Amreli district is the Sarkeshwar Beach. Wildlife enthusiasts can visit the Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary. The rugged ridges with the grasses and scrubs in Mitliyala are a safe haven to almost 11-12 lions. Even the Pania Wildlife Sanctuary is an ecological refuge and has been home to varied species of endangered and rare animals.
The heritage sites at this place are Adi-Kadi Vav (one that’s carved entirely out of hard rock) and Navghan Kuwo (a place partly hewn out of soft rock and partly built up structurally like other wells,) Buddhist Caves (three separate sites of rooms carved out of stone to be used as monks’ quarters) and the oldest part of Junagadh called Uparkot.

How to reach
By road: Bhavnagar is 56 km away and Ahmedabad, 215 km. Private and ST buses travel to Palitana from both of these cities as well as from several others around Gujarat and even from Mumbai.
By rail:
Palitana is on a rail branch line, with trains available to Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad and intermediate points.
By air:
The nearest airport is in Bhavnagar (56 km).
Along with Mts. Abu, Girnar and Chandragiri, Shatrunjaya is one of the most sacred places for Jains. Climbing the stairs of Shatrunjaya is, for a pilgrim, the ascent to greater knowledge along the path to liberation. For a visitor, it can be a day’s journey into the heart of the Jain spirituality, a passage through a new cosmology of total non-violence and devotion.
The climb up Shatrunjaya is no doubt the primary activity of a Palitana visit, for Jains and non-Jains alike. The hill is 3 kms from Palitana, and the 600 m climb over 3000 stairs to the top of the mountain is an unforgettable experience.
Several customs must be observed, as the entire hill is sacred to Jains, not only the temples. In keeping with the strict non-violence of Jainism, no leather products should be carried on the mountain. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are considered disrespectful. Permission must be obtained from temple attendants for photography.

How to reach?:
By road:
Dwarka is on the state highway from Jamnagar to Dwarka. Direct buses available from Jamnagar and Ahmedabad.
By rail:
Dwarka is a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha broad gauge railway line, with trains connecting it to Jamnagar (137kms), Rajkot (217kms) and Ahmedabad (471kms), and some trains that continue all the way down the coast through Vadodara, Surat, Mumbai, Goa, Karnataka, to the southern tip of India in Kerala.
By air:
Nearest airport is Jamnagar (137kms).
Dwarka is an important centre for Hindu pilgrimage since it is mythologically considered to be the home of Lord Krishna. Do not miss any of the other temples along the coast and the Ved Bhuvan, where Vedic principles are taught. Dwarka has some fine stretches of beach, and though crowded by pilgrims, you can always find a quiet spot to unwind. Shore birds gather in large numbers along the coast. Okha, north of Dwarka, is a jetty, from where you can get ferries for Beyt Dwarka,an island covered with temples. The eastern tip of the island to visit, for which you may need to charter an entire boat, has a lovely white beach, coral reefs and extensive marine life. Dolphins and porpoise can be seen surfacing to breathe, sea turtles inhabit the beach, octopus,star fish, sea urchins, etc., abound!

How to reach?:
By road:
Somnath is 79kms from Junagadh and 25kms from Chorwad. State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect various centres of Gujarat to Somnath.
By rail:
Somnath is located 6kms from the nearest railway station at Veraval.
By air:
Nearest airport is Jamnagar (137 kms).
A hub of beaches, museums and religious sites, Somnath is a must-visit when in Gujarat. While the primarly attraction is the sacred Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, there is a lot more you can do. One beach to go to when at Somnath is the Ahmedpur Mandvi, a lesser-known gem and finest piece of coastline in Gujarat. This beach also offers many water sport adventures and opportunities for dolphin sightings. Situated where Gujarat and Diu come together, Ahmedpur Mandvi provides a rich blend of cultures from Saurashtra and the Portuguese influence from Diu, in several lively fishing hamlets. You could also visit the Chorwad Beach, Somnath Beach or Veraval.
While at Somnath, don't miss the archaelogical museum here, one that preserves stone sculptures, inscriptions and pottery from several periods. It also has the remains of the ancient shrine reconstructed by the Chalukyan Maharaja Shri Mularaja Deva Solanki of Anhilvada Patan.

Apart from this, another historical site is the Sana Caves.
You can opt to visit the religious sites at Somnath as well: Bhalka Tirtha & Dehotsarg, Mai Puri Masjid, Somnath Mahadev Temple, Sun Temple among others.




"Indians are Better at Smartphone Usage"

Tim Owen founder and CEO, InstantRecall

Unless you have an eidetic memory, it's hard to remember details about the
 people you meet in your daily professional and personal lives. The thing
is though, those details matter. It matters when you need to remember the
name of your friend's spouse when you're meeting them after years.
It matters when you need to enquire about your business contact's children
by name. And it shows you in a good light when you remember small
details about your friends and extended family -like your uncle's favourite
wine and the name of your cousin's pet.
Normally, we use technology to make our lives easier, after all that's what
the smartphones, tablets and computers are for. But rather than just taking
notes about a person, a company called InstantRecall is here to help -with
a new Android app, which they think is perfect for India. In fact, the Boston-based
 company is coming to India first and admits that it's their most important market.
In a freewheeling chat with Hitesh Raj Bhagat, Tim Owen talks about
the company that he self funded and his future plans.
Edited excerpts:

What is InstantRecall and why would anyone need it?
InstantRecall is a note-taking mobile app that lets you remember everything.
You can record, recall and forever remember personal information about
someone you value. In a way, it acts like a memory enhancer.
Once you enter information [names, interests, education, achievements or
other important personal details], InstantRecall never forgets it. It also has
a voice mode which can be used to record and recall notes. You mentioned that
India will be the launch pad for the app and that it's also your most important
market. Why? It's true. India is our No. 1 and most strategic market.
For the initial launch, InstantRecall will be offered exclusively in India.
There are three key reasons: first, India is predominantly Android
[InstantRecall is Android only, for now]. Second, we believe that Indians in
general are more tech savvy and better at smartphone usage -they have a lot
more patience to use and explore an app com pared to other markets. Last,
but more important, India is a country that deep ly values relationships with
family, friends, colleagues and clients. As an Indian friend once told me,
“In India, relationships are treasured.“ The cul ture closely aligns with
our purpose of helping you deepen relationships with people you value.

Why is the app Android only? Are versions for other platforms on the cards?
We want to make the app so easy to use that you use it every day.
That means using voice and smartwatch technologies. To achieve this,
we needed an open platform that provided us with access to voice
recognition and smartwatch APIs [application programming interface].
We started developing
InstantRecall 18 months ago and Android was the clear choice.
The iPhone may be recognised for ease of use, but for what we wanted
to accomplish, Android provided the best user experience. We recently
completely rebuilt the interface based on Googles' new Android Material Design.
It provides a wonderful user experience that outshines Apple. I've used
an iPhone for many years so this statement surprises even me!
Finally, for those who are embracing Android Wear smartwatches,
there is a big advantage. Imagine you're at a social gathering and across
the room you see Jayesh and his wife. But for the life of you,
you just can't remember her name. Just discreetly say “Jayesh Shah's spouse“,
and the answer will be displayed on your smartwatch itself.

Will the app always be free? Are there any premium features?
Our intent is to always offer a free version which will be robust,
fully functional and without any ads. The key premium feature is
the ability to create unlimited notes. The free version presently allows
200 notes. Success would be if millions used the free version and found
it so valuable that they use it every day.If that happens, `monetisation'
will take care of itself at some point in the future.

Can notes be accessed anywhere on any device? What if someone changes
or loses the device?
At this time, InstantRecall can only be accessed from your smartphone or
smartwatch. Backup is a standard feature so you are protected if you
change or lose your device. The goal is for you to use it for decades,
so future plans include making the application available on other platforms
such as the computer and iOS.


Sunday, March 29, 2015



Slave to post-its? 10 easy lifestyle changes that'll make your memory razor-sharp

Any sort of sleep deprivation, even losing as little as an hour a night, can hamper memory. This is because when you sleep, a part of the brain called the hippocampus files away memories from the day. Missing out on sleep disrupts this process and can make you more forgetful. A comprehensive new US study even found that `banking' eight hours of quality shuteye a night in middle age could help avoid Alzheimer's in later life.

Mixing up everyday activities can keep your brain in good shape say experts at Harvard University in America. This can be as simple as brushing your teeth with the other hand, taking a new route to work or simply swapping your knife and fork around. These small changes force your brain cells to adapt and communicate with each other, giving them a good workout and preventing them dying off prematurely.

Can't recall where you left those keys? Shutting your eyes for a short time could help you remember, scientists at the University of Surrey discovered earlier this year. They found that participants in a test with their eyes closed correctly answered over 70 per cent of questions correctly, compared to only 40 per cent of those with their eyes open. According to lead researcher Dr Robert Nash, closing your eyes stops you being distracted and therefore frees up brain power. He explains, “It might also help people visualise the details of the event they are trying to remember.“

Over time, high BP can narrow the arteries, reducing blood flow to the brain and triggering episodes of forgetfulness. One study by the University of Alabama in America, found that people with high blood pressure were more likely to have memory problems -and higher the BP, the worse the problem. If you're over 40, or have a family history of heart disease, see your GP to get it checked.
A study by Toulouse University, France, found gaining weight can harm memory -the more overweight you are, the lower recall rate dips. Researchers think fat may clog arteries in the brain, preventing healthy blood circulation, just as it blocks those in the heart.

Need an excuse to treat yourself? Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina in America, have found that retail therapy can improve the memories of older shoppers. And it's all thanks to our love of a good bargain, which requires the use of an additional brain area. Why? We have to try to remember a lot of information to compare and contrast and pick the best deal.

Counting up how much you're spending as you put items in your shopping basket is another great workout for your grey matter. The mental challenge activates the `working memory' part of your brain, which is crucial for focus, concentration and planning. Studies show working memory decreases by up to 10 per cent each decade after 25, but training it in such ways can improve its function.

Eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O'Brien is a fan of the link method for remembering a list of words or shopping items. To do it, you simply make a link between each of the objects. For example, try remembering the fol lowing words: torch, grapes, a ring, sherry. Imagine shining a torch on a bunch of grapes. Inside one of the grapes you see a ring sparkling with diamonds. As you squeeze the grape, the ring falls into a glass of sherry.

Rich in the nutrient choline, chicken, along with eggs, fish and beans, can help keep the brain in top form. Researchers at Tufts University found that people who ate plenty of choline tended to perform better in memory tests and were less likely to display the brain changes that are associated with dementia And after the chicken snack, make sure you floss. Poor gum health could damage your brain.Studies have found people with gum disease tend to score lower in memory tests, which dental researchers say may be because infected gums release inflammatory by-products into the bloodstream that travel to the areas of the brain involved in memory. So as well as keeping your teeth and gums healthy, brushing and flossing twice daily could help keep your memory sharp.

From Paleo to Atkins, diets that ban carbohydrates are as popular as ever, but going without bread and rice can leave you fuzzy-headed and forgetful, according to a study by Tufts University, near Boston in America.This is because your brain runs on carbohydrates, so when you avoid them, you're depriving it of its main fuel. Wholegrain carbs are also rich in B vitamins, low levels of which can trigger memory loss. But don't skip eating protein either, as research shows lean meat, fish and dairy are vital for a good attention span.

Daily Mirror