Monday, 30 December 2013

Stop being a Glass, Become a Lake

Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he had a very sad life and asked for a solution. The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” – The Master asked. “Terrible.” – spat the apprentice. The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake. The old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?” “Good!” – 

remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” – asked the Master. “No.” – said the young man. The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. 

The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the ‘pain’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.” Stop being a glass. 

Become a lake.”


Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
On Line Assistence :

Saturday, 28 December 2013

How to Develop Positive Thinking Techniques

How do you develop positive thinking techniques? A lot of times, someone will just say think positive. You just need to be more positive and things will be better. That is true, however, some people are more natural at it than others. An effort has to be made, I believe that. People can't continue to expect the worst in situations. You have to learn to take a grain of salt and be grateful with what is there. Positive thinking techniques can be learning how to visualize the things that matter. You see these things, let them transpire into your mind. The goal is to keep them there, so you can establish a better and healthier thinking process. Also use them as ways to motivate yourself for the things that matter and mean something to you.

We all want to be positive, have peaceful thinking, and develop happy thoughts. I don't think anyone sets out to be miserable. Although we are the ones that are typically responsible for it. You got to learn to not to expect too much, and be thankful for the things you have in life. You can't make excuses and blame others. Take moments out of your day to see others who don't have what you do. We have a habit of wanting what we can't have, and take for granted what we do have. What if we reverse that, would it make us positive thinkers? Would we look to take advantage of more opportunities, rather than develop self pity and fear? Putting yourself and mind into better situations can help with positive thinking. It requires strength and willpower within yourself as well. Being positive when things are going bad can be tough to do.  

Instructions :

Change things in your life. I feel new scenery helps trigger new thoughts into your mind. Positive thinking can come down to the individual, and how they decide to see things. However, I think it helps to have change in your life. Change provides ways to think and see things differently. It helps develop new interests in your life. A lot of what you do and how it effects you can trigger the kind of attitude you have. Being involved in stressful situations, and the same routines become mentally draining. Even things you've once liked can become tiresome in your life.

Try new things and stay active. Staying active and doing things new will help develop positive thinking techniques in your life. When you try new things, especially something you find enjoyable, it gives you positive energy. You gain more confidence and gain some peace of mind. You learn to forget about your troubles, since you don't have the time to dwell on them. Staying active is important because it doesn't allow you to think too much. When we think too much, we then tend to think about the past. Regrets from the past can influence your thinking. Regrets bring you down and you can't change your past. You can dictate your future, by staying active keep yourself focused on what's ahead.

Give everyone, or everything a chance. If you've never tried it you can't deny it. Well, unless it's drugs, violence, or anything else that is destructive. Experiencing things, and people are great ways to learn more about life. It's a nice way to teach you about different things and helps develop more character. A lot of the relationships we meet in life help shape who we are today. Sometimes there are bad relationships that change us for the worst. Until you can learn to give trust in trying new things, or giving people a chance, you'll continue to struggle to find positive aspects in life. You got to give people a chance, if they've never done anything to not deserve one. You owe it to yourself to give different opportunities a chance. It helps you from remaining pessimistic. Another person's actions, or specific things that have gone wrong doesn't relate to the present. Different people, different things, mean different circumstances.

Learn more about yourself. A lot of times you're just limiting yourself and your full capabilities. Maybe what you're currently doing isn't for you. Maybe the things surrounding you in life isn't brining you happiness. You're not establishing the things you need, it's taking away from you full potential in the world. Take a moment to think about the things you need in your life. Try to distant yourself from the things that's causing you stress, depression, and anxiety. To learn more about yourself, you got to distant yourself from your problems. You'll begin to see more of what you need.

Face the things that scare you. Fears have the ability to create doubt in our minds. Doubt leads to negative thinking. Once you start facing the fears in you life, you develop more confidence. You gain positive energy as well. You start to look at problems at solutions, rather than thinking about the worst in each situation. It's a challenge facing your fears. If you end up with enough fears, all you're left with is doubt.

For every negative thing that pops into your mind, look for a positive alternative. Try thinking of numerous positive aspects to match the negative problems at hand. No matter what is happening, you can't dwell on the bad. Thinking constantly about the problems doesn't help solve them. You can't assume the worst. The way you think and handle things will determine the results you have in life. It can be frustrating when things go wrong. Sometimes you need to just have a short memory about things. You want to learn from mistakes, but not dwell on them. When we dwell on problems, we're left with a pessimistic outlook. Positive thinking techniques can be something we all struggle with. Just look for the things that give you peace, happiness, and love when things are bad. Embrace those things until you feel reborn with a new way of thinking.


Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

If you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked

Thinking "Out of the Box"

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry the Daughter. Both the merchant and his Daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her Father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed Girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. 

He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the Bag.
What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The Girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The Girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.
"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. 

"But never mind,

If you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the  Money Lender dared not admit his Dishonesty,

the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way.


Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Concrete Example of How To “Really” Think “Out-of-the-Box”

A common axiom that both educators and employers are currently encouraging is to “think out-of-the-box”. Frankly, this axiom is also used to measure intelligence: not monkey see, monkey do, but rather challenge the norm and think differently, unconventionally, and from a new perspective. History has proven with geniuses’ of the past such as   Einstein, Thomas Edison, and a copious list of other innovators of current truisms and creators of ingenious inventions or theories that most “out-of-the-box” thinkers were ridiculed in their day; yet, they are the fathers of innovation that have literally changed our world forever.

Consequently, you might often be asked to do this in your job as a developer or designer. You’re often asked to “push the envelope” and create something that’s never been done before. The great majority of the time what you end up doing is pushing your comfort zone only enough to find another comfort zone. Is that “really” thinking out-of-the-box? Do you really feel comfortable forging ahead and blazing new trails?

Let me give you a concrete example of out-of-the-box thinking by explaining how my team at my company approached a project recently. The project requirements were to build a touch wall for Nike Basketball to be presented at The World Basketball Festival in New York City. One of the key requirements was to assist the target demographic (i.e. males, ages 14 to 35) connect with the history of basketball.

First of all, the notion of “history” of any kind in most ideation processes is going to include a timeline. Timelines, however, are inherently boring. It was unambiguous that my team had to think out-of-the-box and conceive a more intriguing version of a timeline, without copying some other overly-used design metaphor like the carousel. The conundrum my team faced was how do we “really” abandon all conventions ever used and create a user interface so unique and engaging that it would give the targeted demographic the “wow-factor”. Below I will describe three points that enabled my team to build a really sexy User Experience (in this case, all about the history of basketball). 

Emotional Connections
One of the biggest problems most User Experience professionals have is understanding their users. Most of the time, although you’ve been told who the target demographic is, you don’t try to get into their heads to then create what they would think is awesome. Recognizing the fact that you might not, as a team, given sufficient consideration to this is a real good start to out-of-the-box thinking.

The dilemma this now poses is once you think you understand them, how do you know that’s true? I would proclaim that once you think you understand them, know that you don’t; a group people are diverse, and each individual is always changing. Therefore, don’t stop getting to know them.

A good analogy is an actor studying a character for a movie. Although the actor is studying one individual, this methodology can be applied to groups as well. An actor “becomes” the character; he knows the characters personality, quirks, likes and dislikes. It’s then that the actor can know and understand the character at the deepest level.

Once you connect with your target demographic like an actor studying his character, continue to connect emotionally to them so you can better cater to them. This gives User Experience designers the basis for building a UX that takes that experience to the next level. You can then authenticate how well you understand your users and then gage how well your out-of-the-box ideas will be appreciated. The user then is the judge of your ideas and not your preconceived notions about them.

When you are building User Experiences it’s vitally important to keep this process of creating emotional connections with your users, because how well you connect will be the foundation upon which your ideas will pass or fail. I cannot emphasize this point enough: to really get out-of-the-box thinking, this emotional connection is critical.  Once you’ve accomplished this first objective with success, it will help you with the next two points I’m going to talk about.
Communication, Communication, Communication
It’s crucial to confirm that when building an awesome UX, that you are not the only participant. With my team, it helps for us to think of ourselves as a single unit. It’s definitely not the developers vs. the designers. This single unit is comprised of the designers, the developers, the information architects, the UX architects, the project manager(s), as well as the customer and target demographic representatives. It’s all of us working together. Anyone familiar with group or team dynamics knows the bottom line of success is always communication. It’s important that this communication allows ideas to flow freely, in a positive, non-critical way. No idea is a bad idea – it’s the degree of awesomeness that matters. The outcome of this type of brainstorming always results in superior and extraordinary ideas. This type of communication coupled with understanding the business goal, the return on investment (ROI), the technology, the information and the content with a group of people who are truly passionate about their jobs results in perfect team synergy that produces exceptional results.

In regard to the Nike touch wall project I mentioned earlier, the type of brainstorming previously described was key to this project’s success. In connecting emotionally with our target demographic, our team knew they were passionate about many different aspects of basketball. These aspects fit into two separate categories for us to present. One category is the history of basketball, which included the history of shoes, stories, etc. and the other category included the athletes and their signature moves. During one of our brainstorming sessions, someone in the room (not a developer or designer) suggested “Why don’t we use two timelines, one for each category?” Initially, most of the team scoffed at the idea, but ultimately it turned out to be the most unique idea – there was no reason not to at least try it.

We created a prototype application using the dual timeline which would expand and enhance depending on which elements were of interest to the user. When we tested this application by putting it in front of the target demographic, we were surprised at how well this concept worked! When we made the final application, we added a slight bit of gratuitous movement which made it easier for users to understand the content and the way the dual timeline worked, making an element of interest to the user easier to discover. 

Let the Users Decide
Putting the Nike touch wall prototype in front of the users was pivotal in the applications success. Oftentimes, developers and designers jump to conclusions about the users; however, nothing works better than putting the User Interface (UI) in front of your target demographic and let them decide how cool the UI/UX is, or not.

One reason for putting your UI ideas in front of your users is for your team to verify that they’ve emotionally connected to the target user successfully. One fundamental tool my team finds efficacious is to have virtual people that personify your typical user. This method makes it easier to help your team understand the target user and subsequently assists in finding a real life version of the user. Even informal UX testing with the user helps tremendously; in fact, with our project we used informal UX testing initially and then additionally used more formal UX testing at all phases of the project to let the user guide our creativity and thinking. This allowed us to focus on what worked best and ultimately discover that our out-of-the-box idea really worked.

In summary, letting ideas flow and putting at least the most unique ideas – if not all – in front of users can help expedite out-of-the-box thinking. Involving your entire team to brainstorm and leaving no idea untested by your users facilitates success.

The reason thinking out-of-the-box is essential is that this is how you’ll find “the next best idea”, and through that idea and the emotional connection with your user, the more likely your UX will be a masterpiece.

Indeed, getting your team well versed in “communication” and “brainstorming”, as well as getting their enthusiastic involvement will take time, like any new technique. However, don’t let that deter you, for this methodology is proven to accomplish “real” out-of-the-box ideas, which is vital in creating compelling and exciting user experiences.


Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
On Line Assistence :

Friday, 20 December 2013

Techniques for Thinking Outside of the Box

Here's a simple formula for finding new solutions and new ideas when addressing a particular problem or subject:

1. Identify as many assumptions as possible that you and others are making.

2. Write these down on a piece of paper or in a new computer file.

3. Challenge each one, looking for ways to prove them wrong and-or replace them with other assumptions.

It can be difficult to actually identify all the assumptions being made, because some are so deeply imbedded in our thinking. For example, if you wanted to design a new motorcycle you might begin by writing down the obvious things that are often assumed, like "speed matters," and "it has to run on gas." These might be good places to start, because, for example, there might be demand for a new kind of electric motorcycle, and speed might not be the only thing that riders value about performance. But you might overlook the assumption that a motorcycle must have two wheels, and this could be very important, even if the result (perhaps a three-wheeled electric vehicle that can more easily accommodate the weight of batteries) is not called a motorcycle.

The point isn't to challenge assumptions because you expect to prove all of them wrong, but to do so because it can lead to creative possibilities. What other assumptions are made about motorcycles? They are for only one or two people at a time. They don't keep you out of the weather. They need wheels. They need foot and hand controls. They are more dangerous than cars. The front wheel is the one that has to turn. You can probably add to this list, especially if you own a motorcycle (I don't).

You can also get your thinking out of the box by making absurd assumptions. This can be either a fun or annoying exercise depending on how open-minded you are. The idea is to start making absurd assumptions about your subject and then start finding ways to make sense of them. One way to facilitate this process is to ask a lot of "what if" questions. It is time for another example or two.

We will suppose that you own a carpet cleaning business. You want to brainstorm some new ways to do business, so you ask "What if my carpet cleaning business was better off with half as many customers?" That assumption implied by that question seems absurd, but you decide work with it for a while, and the thoughts go something like this:

It would be less stressful to have fewer customers.

But losing half the customers means losing half of my income... or does it?

If each customer was worth two or three times as much as now I might make more money.

How could that happen?

From which customers do I make the most money?

Commercial jobs with large, easy-to-clean spaces (theaters, offices, convention halls) generate more money in a day than cleaning houses, and with fewer headaches.

If I focused on getting those accounts, and stopped soliciting new house-cleaning accounts... hmm.

That could be a better way to make the same or even a higher income - not so absurd.

It is perhaps easier to apply these techniques to business situations (or maybe that's just me -- I also spend a lot of time writing about ways to make money). But they can be applied to any area of life. For example, in a piece for my personal blog I challenged a common assumption about the military by asking why can't soldiers can't their jobs like other employees can. The assumption is that they must be forced to stay, but there is less evidence for that than you might think, and there are other ways to have a stable workforce in the military, even in times of war.

Where else can we apply these creative kinds of questions? We might generate some great ideas for creating peace if we seriously challenge the general idea that war is necessary. We assume that an economy must grow for people to do well, but is that the truth? We assume we need to throw people in jail for using plants we don't approve of. but is there a better way? We assume that we become part-owner of a country by being born in it, but is that assumption entirely valid? For that matter we assume we know what a country is, but do we really? We make assumptions in every area of life, and challenging those preconceived notions might lead to some great ideas.

Here's one final thing to try. Literally do your thinking outside of the box, as in out of the house or office building. Get out into the streets. Look around. Notice how others are doing things, and ask yourself how you can apply that to your own problems. In Ecuador, salesmen get on the bus and put a product into everyone's hands. They let them hold it while they do a sales pitch, after which you have to give back what feels like "your" product or pay for it. It's very effective. Is there some way you could you use the principle in your own business or for "selling" your ideas to other people?


Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Think Out of The Box - Interview Reply

Below are the Interview Questions, which were asked in HR Round..... 

No one will GET second chance to impress.... 

Very very Impressive Questions and Answers..... ... 

Question 1: 

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, 
it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see  three people waiting for a bus: 

An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. 

An old friend who once saved your life. 

The perfect partner you have been dreaming about. 

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that 

there could only be one passenger in your car? 

This is a moral / ethical Dilemma that was once ac trually used as part of a  job application. 

* You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus 

you should save her first;

* or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and 

this would be the perfect chance to! pay him back. 

* However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again. 

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming 

up with his answer. Guess what was his answer? 

He simply answered: 

"I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams." 

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought  limitations. Never forget to "Think Outside of the Box."

See Video 


Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
On Line Assistence :

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Building Your House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by. 

The carpenter was shocked! 

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. 

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career. 

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."



Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
On Line Assistence :

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Thinking Outside the Box - How to Do It

The idea of out-of-the-box thinking is to find creative ways to solve problems and new ways to look at things. You have probably heard the expression in various forms many times, but how do you actually think outside of the box? You can start by understanding what the "box" consist of, and then you'll be more able to consistently get outside of it.

What is the metaphorical box that everyone talks about? It is the normal way of looking at things and doing things, and, most importantly, it is all the assumptions that we normally make when thinking about a particular problem or subject. So your best way to start thinking outside the box is to identify all the assumptions that make up the box, and then challenge them one-by-one, replacing them with other assumptions or ideas, in order to come upon new ways to approach the matter at hand. Of course, this is something that becomes much clearer with an example, like the one that follows.

Many years ago a particular brand of liquor was faltering, and the maker couldn't seem to boost its sales. The usual "in the box" solutions included doing more promotions, lowering the price, and getting better shelf placement in the stores where it was sold. These strategies didn't work very well. Finally someone in the company's marketing department challenged the assumptions that these "normal" solutions were based on, including the idea that people are more likely to buy the product if the price is lower.

He asked the question, "What if we just raised the price?"


The price was raised as an experiment, and sales soon started to climb. For some products a lower price might increase sales, but price is also seen as an indicator of value. A higher price for some types of products makes people think they are of higher quality. Also, some types of liquor are often bought as gifts. These customers don't want to buy the most expensive one, but they also don't want to seem cheap, so they won't buy it if it doesn't cost enough. You might have felt similarly if you ever bought a bottle of wine to bring to a party -- you don't want to get the $30 bottle, but you also don't want to show up with a $3 bottle.

Imagine what happens to your profit margins when you raise the price, which increases profit margins significantly, and the sales go up. That's the power of thinking outside of the Box. 

Surbhi Maheshwari [MBA Fin / Mktg ] 
Manager Finance
On Line Assistence :

Exactly what is 'Thinking Outside the Box

Exactly what is 'Thinking Outside the Box'?

See Video Here

A reason I often hear for the need for innovation training is to get "our team to think outside the box."

This may come from the person at the top who feels that the quality of solutions or ideas is not great. This stems from frustration. It also comes from people working in teams who feel that the contribution of others is not helping find new and original solutions to the challenges they face.

If you have ever been in this situation, you will know how hard it is to deal with. Perhaps it is best to start with what this term actually means. I don't know of an official definition for "out of the box" thinking, but here is my perspective starting with "in the box" thinking.

Inside The Box :

> Thinking inside the box means accepting the status quo. For example, Charles H. Duell, Director of the US Patent Office, said, "Everything that can be invented has been invented." That was in 1899: clearly he was in the box!

> In-the-box thinkers find it difficult to recognize the quality of an idea. An idea is an idea. A solution is a solution. In fact, they can be quite pigheaded when it comes to valuing an idea. They rarely invest time to turn a mediocre solution into a great solution.

> More importantly, in-the-box thinkers are skillful at killing ideas. They are masters of the creativity killer attitude such as "that'll never work" or "it's too risky." The best in-the-box thinkers are unaware that they drain the enthusiasm and passion of innovative thinkers while they kill their innovative ideas.

> They also believe that every problem needs only one solution; therefore, finding more than one possible solution is a waste of time. They often say, "There is no time for creative solutions. We just need THE solution."

> Even great creative people can become in-the-box thinkers when they stop trying. Apathy and indifference can turn an innovator into an in-the-box thinker.

In only one case is in-the-box thinking necessary. This comes from a cartoon: a man talks to his cat and points to the kitty litter box. He says, "Never ever think outside the box!"

Outside the Box :

Thinking outside the box requires different attributes that include:

> Willingness to take new perspectives to day-to-day work.
> Openness to do different things and to do things differently.

> Focusing on the value of finding new ideas and acting on them.
> Striving to create value in new ways.
> Listening to others.
> Supporting and respecting others when they come up with new ideas. 

Out-of-the box thinking requires an openness to new ways of seeing the world and a willingness to explore. Out-of-the box thinkers know that new ideas need nurturing and support. They also know that having an idea is good but acting on it is more important. Results are what count.

This is What Exactly what is 'Thinking Outside the Box'.

Preeti Bagad [BE(CS)] 
SW Engineer Cum Blogger

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A Heart With a Knife by Shriya Arora

A Heart With a Knife by Shriya Arora