SERENITY

Serenity

 

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.  It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control.  Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought, and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.

The calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn from him and rely upon him.  The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good.  Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is equable.

The strong, calm man is always loved and revered.  He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm.  “Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life?  It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm.  That exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul.  It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold—yea, than even fine gold.  How insignificant mere money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life—a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of the tempests, in the Eternal Calm!”

“How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of character, and make bad blood!  It is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness by lack of self-control.  How few people we meet in life who are well balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character!”

Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt.  Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him.

Tempest-tossed souls, wherever you may be, under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this—in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming.  Keep your hands firmly upon the helm of thought.  In the barque of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep; wake Him. Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.  Say unto your heart, “Peace be still!”

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Dalai Lama Quote

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

 

“Fate is how your life unfolds when you let fear determine your choices. A path of destiny reveals itself to you, however, when you confront your fear and make conscious choices.” 

 

“I am convinced that the deepest desire within each of us is to be liberated from the controlling influences of our own psychic madness or patterns of fear. All other things—the disdain of ordinary life, the need to control others rather than be controlled, the craving for material goods as a means of security and protection against the winds of chaos—are external props that serve as substitutes for the real battle, which is the one waged within the individual soul.” 

 

Dalai Lama

Our lives are entirely up to us

“To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.” “Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we’re thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin’, no matter what.” “The amateur dreads becoming who she really is because she fears that this new person will be judged by others as “different.” The tribe will declare us “weird” or “queer” or “crazy.” The tribe will reject us. Here’s the truth: the tribe doesn’t give a shit. There is no tribe. That gang or posse that we imagine is sustaining us by the bonds we share is in fact a conglomeration of individuals who are just as fucked up as we are and just as terrified. Each individual is so caught up in his own bullshit that he doesn’t have two seconds to worry about yours or mine, or to reject or diminish us because of it. When we truly understand that the tribe doesn’t give a damn, we’re free. There is no tribe, and there never was. Our lives are entirely up to us.”

 

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Meerut braveheart fights goons single-handedly, onlookers click pictures

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Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In a road rage incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut city, a brave woman single-handedly fought off goons who were misbehaving with her husband in broad day light at a crowded place.

And shamefully enough there were several onlookers at the scene yet none came forward to help the couple.

The feud started when the goons, driving a Santro car, hit the couple on bike while they were on their way back home.

What more horrible was that the people present at the moment instead extending a helping hand towards the fighting couple were seen clicking pictures.

The woman later told several news channels that while fighting goons she and her husband sought help from the people present at the scene but no one came forward to help them.

The victim and her husband somehow managed to escape the goons, saving their lives.

In some of the photographs taken by the bystanders a policeman can also be seen who apparently didn’t come to the rescue of the woman and her husband.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested one assailant and the hunt is on to nab the other two absconding attackers.

Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar applauded the Meerut braveheart’s courage saying, “Good on her for single handedly fighting them off. Well done lady..(sic)”

This Guy Tracks Everything About Himself And Puts It Up Online For Everyone To See

Software developer and designer Anand Sharma started tracking everything about himself in March, including how many steps he takes in a day, the distance traveled, how he traveled there (bike, walking, plane, etc) and even how many GitHub commits or Instagram uploads he’s made throughout the day.

The idea seems to have been bubbling for a while. Sharma left his job as the design director at Quizlet in April. As he tells it, 104 days, 9 countries, 60 cities, 1280 commits and 14 burritos later, April Zero, the site he built to track everything about himself and display it to the world, was born.

Sharma uses various apps on his phone such as Nike+, FourSquare and Moves to track it all. He even made an illustration of how it’s laid out and put it up on April Zero so we can see how he organizes. As he says on the site, “I’ve measured my heart rate 494 times and typically it beats 69 times per minute. In the past 130 days, I’ve pushed 1,494 commits to this site, gone on 32 runs & eaten 15 burritos.” The man loves his burritos.

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Everything he tracks for health on a daily basis:

  • Steps walked every day
  • Latest runs with speed, distance, map
  • Rock climbing
  • Heart rates throughout the day
  • Weight
  • Bodyfat %
  • Blood levels

Everything else he’s tracking about himself every day:

  • Github commits (number of files and lines of code changed, commit message)
  • Photos on Instagram
  • Tweets

Things he tracks that are not up for public display just yet:

  • Things I do on my computer/phone (what websites I go to, # of emails read and replied to, activity in Photoshop, etc.)
  • Sleep
  • Food & drink
  • Mood
  • Scuba diving (location, depth, species seen, etc.)

Sharma was enjoying a little R&R in Arkbar when I reached out to ask just why he would go to the trouble of tracking all of this and displaying it up on the web for the world to see. He told me candidly, “Knowing that my activity is being tracked and published to the world has been a really great motivator to do interesting things or try harder. Especially for things like whether to go running, or how fast/far I go. If no one else was watching I might cut corners, but now I feel like I’m being held accountable, like I’d be letting down my visitors and friends otherwise. I also found myself going out a bit more, and to more interesting, diverse places. Earlier this year I would go to the same burrito place 5 times a week; it was delicious. Now I find myself trying to mix it up for the benefit of the historical record.”
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He also said it was helping him to make overall better decisions. Sharma illustrated this with how he’s been tracking his vitamin level. “My Vitamin D is low right now, so I know I need to spend more time in the sun and not forget to take my vitamins. I think I’m so used to seeing things on digital interfaces that it has become the way I most easily think and process information. And seeing it change in response to things I do creates a great feedback loop,” Sharma told me.

He says the visuals and daily tracking work better because data is often a bit different from our memory, which is much more selective and limited.

“Finding the right balance in a world where there is never enough time and everything is trying to get your attention is really hard, and this helps make it a bit easier.”

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He also looks at and tracks all the locations he’s been to, travel between those places (walking, driving, flying, boat, etc.), how long it took, how far he went, and even the route he took to get there.

“My location is the biggest thing I track and the backbone for all the other data,” says Sharma. “It gives everything context where otherwise it would just be a bunch of disconnected stats.”

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All that is well and good for one man, but Sharma hints of a bigger plan down the road. He’s building something he calls the Gyroscope.

“Basically Gyroscope is version 2 of what I’ve made already,” Sharma says. “Since launching [April Zero] I’ve gotten hundreds of messages from people asking how they can get their own, many of them not in the Valley, wanting to pay money for it. After seeing it in action and playing with live data I think a natural response has been “Oh yeah, I need this.”

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He tells me the actual implementation will be very different for most people. “Most people don’t care at all about rock climbing. Many people don’t code or have Github commits. These were things that made sense for me specifically,” says Sharma.

The underlying vision for him — to measure, visualize and understand the things you personally care about — applies to everyone. “No more needing to go out and buy a 100 dollar bracelet or something to get started. It’s a much better experience to tell people to instantly download a free app than buy something and wait a week for it to come,” he tells me.

Sharma still needs to figure out a few things like privacy and security while he builds the Gyroscope. “I’ve made all of my info public to the whole world, but of course I don’t expect others to do that,” Sharma says.  But he also believes in the power of sharing personal information, like he did. “Imagine some of your friends were easily able to see what you did yesterday or whether you’ve been in a good mood lately. I want to make tools to be able to easily share with trusted friends while still maintaining privacy, especially for the more medical and sensitive stuff.”

The timeline from April Zero will be one of the core components of Gyroscope, according to Sharma. He also hints at the inclusion of more diverse and interesting data options. A little something that could be customized to everyone, individually perhaps? Some things are still in just the ideas phase for now, it seems. In the meantime Sharma plans to continue updating us with the latest in his resting heart rate, last dive pic and where in the world he swung his kettle bell last. Looks like he’s now in Tokyo, according to the site.

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Road Workers Found This Mysterious Box Underground. They Decided To Look Inside And…

Road workers in the eastern China were given the task of widening a road in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province. They were digging about 6 feet below the surface when they came across something completely by chance that no one was expecting to find. They hit something solid while digging and after a bit of research they realized that they had actually hit buried tomb. It was time to call in professional archeologists to unearth and reveal this mystery. They found that the chamber was over 700 years old.

Here is the tomb after it was unearthed. A team worked together to open the box without disturbing the contents.

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Here the team prepares to see what was inside for the first time after 700 years.

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Encased in the stone tomb was a wooden box.

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After opening the box they found that the contents were rare silks and linens lying in some sort of brown liquid.

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They discovered a mummy of a woman under the layers of fabric.

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They were amazed to see the body and contents in near perfect shape for being underground for over 700 years.

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They think the mummy was a high ranking member of the Ming Dynasty.

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She was adorned with beautiful jewelry from the time period.

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The team carefully moved the woman out of her tomb for the first time.

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She was wrapped in many rare layers of fabric that would have been common for a high ranking member of the Ming Dynasty.

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Whatever she was preserved in was remarkable. She even had her eyebrows still attached.

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This close up of her shoes shows how well preserved her corpse was.

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This is a rare find and with advancements in archeology today she will stay preserved in a museum.

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What an incredible find to just stumble upon. This find will answer many questions about the Ming Dynasty and the forbidden city in China. After excavating the site, archeologists found 2 other coffins that they are researching now. Im sure we will see more on this story as time passes and data is analyzed. Only time will unearth the beautiful secrets from the past.

If Kennedy, Eisenhower, Alexander the Great Et Al Were Leaders in Finance

The world of finance can sometimes resemble a war zone; it takes a special set of skills to successfully negotiate the chaos, pressure and personalities. So, when you think about it, the most renowned world leaders would probably fare well in this environment. Let’s look at past world leaders, their strengths and weaknesses and how they would measure up if they were to work in finance today. Could success on the battlefield or in the White House translate into success in the boardroom? Read on to take a look at where these famous personalities might have found a niche in the corporate world.

John F. Kennedy – Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Sales

The scion of not one but two influential families, Kennedy was groomed for some level of notable power and fame, if not the presidency itself, from birth. (The untimely war death of the original Kennedy presidential hopeful, Jack’s older brother Joe, created a vacancy.)

It’s a general rule of human relations that ceteris paribus, people are genetically predisposed to buy their goods and services from the charismatic rather than from the dour. More than any leader on this list, Kennedy had an abundance of charisma and photogeneity, which might sound superficial but which became vital qualities for a world leader in a new age of mass media, television, and eternal campaigning. And if any president was a natural salesman, it was the man who convinced a prosperous nation of 180 million that a 43-year-old could make a viable presidential candidate.

Marketing and sales executives at major multinationals have job requirements that differ in kind, not merely in degree, from their smaller counterparts. A successful worldwide VP needs to be fluent in other cultures, literally if not figuratively. Kennedy was educated in the United Kingdom, and traveled extensively throughout France, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Egypt and what are now Israel, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Germany and the Czech Republic before the onset of World War II. He then spent 4 years on the other side of the world as a naval officer, commanding sailors and earning medals while fighting the Japanese in the Pacific Theater.

To reach untapped markets, a competent senior vice president of worldwide marketing and sales needs to be ready to adapt to any contingency: the job requires skills that go far beyond taking orders and ensuring that the widgets are delivered on time. And no president dealt with more unexpected and varied crises in a shorter period than did Kennedy. It takes someone supremely confident and organized to invade a neighboring nation (albeit unsuccessfully), thwart Communism both in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and contain a bellicose Soviet Union without causing global conflagration – all while expanding civil rights back home and setting into motion man’s first journey to the moon.

A VP of worldwide marketing and sales is directly responsible for increasing revenue, ever on the lookout for greater streams from multiple sources. To the extent that the analogy carries into political leadership, Kennedy had a greater hand than almost anyone in developing the contemporary American “brand” and advocating for its growing use and acceptance around the world.

Dwight D. Eisenhower – Director of Financial Planning and Analysis
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. He came up through the Army ranks as a specialist in logistics and supply, authoring mobilization plans for the military prior to the outbreak of World War II. During the war, Eisenhower impressed military colleagues and U.S. and international political leaders with his leadership and diplomatic abilities while leading the military effort composed of different nations and often difficult personalities (such as General George S. Patton). A huge military campaign became a coherent one, increasing the likelihood of success.

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) directors often spend many years in a financial-planning capacity, and in the course of carrying out these responsibilities, become highly acquainted with the various businesses of the company. They are often next in line for the job of chief financial officer (CFO). If they do assume this executive role, they will have to develop relationships with Wall Street – just as Eisenhower had to work with and coordinate America’s wartime efforts with the political and military leaders of its allied nations.

FP&A involves extensive amounts of historical analysis, but also forward-looking assessments of the organization and the industry in which that entity competes. Several high-level and smaller-scale drivers and variables are reviewed to help management with short-term and long-term financial and operational forecasts for the business. If the company is large enough, the FP&A director may be tasked to coordinate reporting functions with the various finance managers or controllers of the different divisions within the company – if he has the sufficient skill and respect. Otherwise, the chief financial officer may have to do it himself (and the director’s time in that role may be limited as the CFO searches for an appropriate replacement).

Alexander The Great Director of Mergers & Acquisitions / Corporate Development
Alexander the Great led Macedonia into one of history’s largest campaigns of conquest. Tutored and mentored by Aristotle, Alexander integrated many foreign armies into the Macedonian army as their drive for expansion continued. The Macedonian empire extended from southern Europe, through portions of the Middle East, all the way to western and northern India. While integration of conquered kingdoms was practiced, Alexander also displayed military viciousness in executing residents of local towns and forts that resisted his army. Some historians consider him more of a general than a statesman, although Alexander also made large attempts at cultural and social integration of East and West by encouraging intermarriage and the adoption of foreign customers.

 

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) directors, along with senior members of management within a company, analyze several areas:

  • Capabilities, strengths and improvement areas for the organization
  • The strategic and competitive landscape
  • Key product and service providers within the industry
  • The capital markets

A company may offer core products beneficial to its customers, but may not manufacture accessories or replacement parts critical for the smooth operation of its clients. Or the company may have strong branding and quality products, but may have a weak sales and marketing team. If the company has sufficient cash and robust prospects – and debt is available in the capital markets – M&A directors can champion a merger with another well positioned company and/or acquisitions of smaller companies to improve the organization. The company will have paid for, and secured, benefits that allow it to more aggressively compete against its competitors.

In military terms, if an army is comprised mostly of infantry and archers, and that same army conquers a competing military outfit (and its kingdom) that uses ballista (artillery-like weaponry), triremes (small naval fighting vessels) and cavalry (horses), the added capabilities will boost the overall strength of the victorious army as these new weaponries are integrated into the infantry and archer units. Alexander the Great combined two important traits for an M&A director: the ability to conquer and overtake other entities and the softer skill of promoting integration between the acquirer and the acquired.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Managing Director of Private Equity
Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. An educated man from a privileged background, Franklin Roosevelt attended Harvard University and became president of The Harvard Crimson daily newspaper. He secured work experience as a corporate lawyer on Wall Street, as New York state senator, as assistant secretary of the Navy and as New York governor. When Roosevelt became president in 1933, he championed the New Deal, a series of programs that aimed to tackleAmerica’s Great Depression (where nearly one-fifth of the labor force was unemployed) and social instability.

Among the massive initiatives included in the New Deal were the following:

  • Creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps – 250,000 unemployed men were hired to work on rural projects
  • New financing availability for farmers, railroads and the industrial base
  • Creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate Wall Street
  • Creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority to build dams, power stations and other infrastructure
  • Establishment of the Works Progress Administration, which employed more than 2 million workers
  • Establishment of Social Security, which aimed to provide economic security for the elderly, poor and sick

Partners and managing directors at private equity firms raise pools of investment capital from high-net-worth and institutional investors, which is used to acquire and invest in companies. Private equity partners supervise the engineering effort to improve the companies (and increase their value) while their fund’s capital is invested in them. Managing directors, in partnership with the portfolio companies’ management teams, use a variety of strategies and approaches to increase the value of their organization. Similarly, Roosevelt demonstrated the skills necessary to implement wholesale changes to improve the financial lot of the country.

When a private equity firm acquires a company, several initiatives can follow suit:

  • Managers can institutionalize process improvements across the different divisions and within the corporate function.
  • The company can acquire related companies to enhance the parent organization’s capabilities as well as product and service offerings.
  • Stronger managers and employees are put in place to run the business better.

When portfolio companies are sold, investors earn a return on their investment, and the private equity firm earns a hefty payday. For Roosevelt, his investments in the U.S. economy and infrastructure helped steer the country out of depression.

Henry Kissinger Investor Relations
Henry Kissinger served as national security advisor and secretary of state for President Richard Nixon and continued as secretary of state for President Gerald Ford. Kissinger played a dominant role in U.S. foreign policy, including handling delicate (and often highly tense) relations with China, the Soviet Union, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. Kissinger led the policy of détente with the USSR, which aimed to relax tensions between the rivals. Kissinger also helped to form closer ties between China and the United States (to put pressure on the Soviets), and negotiated a settlement ending the war in Vietnam. He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.

A director of investor relations is the key company representative that interacts with the organization’s shareholders, Wall Street, the financial community and securities regulators. The responsibilities held in this role integrate finance, marketing, corporate communications and compliance, so this position is generally held as an integrated member of the management team. The management of public companies holds periodic earnings calls with the financial community each quarter to discuss the performance of the company. Investor relations serves as the key contact with the shareholder and financial community as well as securities regulators, and facilitates the informational exchanges between the company and outside parties. A master negotiator like Kissinger would surely be an asset in this position.

The director of investor relations allows the company to provide a unified and common message to external and investor constituents regarding various issues. If you have several messengers, sooner or later you will see conflicting answers and incoherent responses. Consolidating corporate communications within a single function is an effective and efficient way of providing important information when a lot is at stake.

The Bottom Line
While it’s anyone’s guess how the world would be different if Alexander the Great had traded world domination for corporate takeovers, the financial landscape would certainly be interesting. Aspiring financial gurus could take their cue from these historical leaders and apply principles of political or military success to their chosen careers.

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