THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: WHAT ONE PERSON CAN DO

“A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark.” —DANTE

He knew he must stop them. With a mere $800 in his pocket, Sam LaBudde drove across the Mexican border, stood on the fishing docks of Ensenada, and waited for his opportunity. Toting a video camera to get some “home movies” of his excursion, he posed as a naive American tourist and offered his services as a deckhand or engineer to each captain who docked his boat in the harbor.

He was hired on the Maria Luisa as a temporary crew member, and as the Panamanian tuna boat pulled away from the Mexican coast, La-Budde began to secretly film the activities of the crew. He knew that if he were discovered his life would be in jeopardy.

Finally it happened: they were surrounded. A whole school of dolphins, known to many as “water people,” began jumping and chattering near the Maria Luisa. Their friendly nature had drawn them to the boat; little did they know that they were also being drawn to their death. The fishermen trailed the dolphins because they knew that yellowfin tuna usually swim below the playful creatures. With coldblooded calculation, they lay their nets in the path of the dolphins, not noticing or even caring what happened to them.

Over the course of five hours, LaBudde’s video recorded the horror. One after another, dolphins became entangled in the nets, unable to free themselves and come to the surface for the oxygen they needed to stay alive.

At one point the captain bellowed, “How many in the net!?”* As LaBudde swung to capture the slaughter on video, he heard a crew member yell, “About fifty!” The captain ordered the crew to haul in their catch. Numerous dolphins lay strangled and lifeless on the slippery deck as the crew separated them from the tuna and discarded their sleek, gray bodies. Eventually, the corpses of these magnificent animals were tossed overboard as casually as sacks of garbage. LaBudde’s footage gave clear-cut evidence of what others had claimed for years: that hundreds of dolphins were regularly being killed in a single day’s fishing expedition. Estimates are that over six million dolphins have been killed in the last ten years alone. Edited down to an eleven-minute format, LaBudde’s video stunned viewers with the heart-wrenching reality of what we were doing to these intelligent and affectionate beings with whom we share our planet. One by one, outraged consumers across the nation stopped buying tuna, launching a boycott that only gained speed as media attention became more pointed. Just four years after LaBudde first captured the tragedy on film, in 1991 the world’s largest tuna canner, Starkist, announced that it would no longer pack tuna caught in purse seine nets. Chicken of the Sea and Bumblebee Seafoods followed suit, issuing similar statements just hours later. While the fight is not over—unregulated foreign tuna boats still kill six times as many dolphins as did the U.S. boats—LaBudde’s day on the Maria Luisa has served as a catalyst for major reform in the American tuna industry, saving countless dolphin lives and undoubtedly helping to restore some balance to the marine ecosystem.

“Every man is an impossibility until he is born.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON

So many people feel powerless and insignificant when it comes to social issues and world events, thinking that even if they did everything right in their own personal lives, their welfare would still be at the mercy of the actions of others. They feel beset by the proliferation of gang warfare and violent crime, perplexed by massive government deficits and the S&L crisis, saddened by homelessness and illiteracy, and overwhelmed by global warming and the relentless extinction of the other species who live on this planet. Such people fall into the mindset of thinking, “Even if I get my own life and the lives of my family in order, what good will it do? Some nut in a position of power could accidentally push the button and blow us all up anyway!” This kind of belief system fosters the feeling of being out of control and impotent to create change at any significant level, and naturally leads to the learned helplessness typified by the phrase, “Why even try?”

Nothing could be more crippling to a person’s ability to take action than learned helplessness; it is the primary obstacle that prevents us from changing our lives or taking action to help other people change theirs. If you’ve come this far in the book, you know without a doubt my central message: you have the power right now to control how you think, how you feel, and what you do. Perhaps for the first time you are empowered to take control of the Master System that has unconsciously guided you until this point. With the strategies and distinctions you’ve gained from reading and doing the exercises in this book, you have awakened to the conviction that you are truly the master of your fate, the director of your destiny.

Together we’ve discovered the giant power that shapes destiny—decision—and that our decisions about what to focus on, what things mean, and what to do are the decisions that will determine the quality of our present and future.

Now it’s time to address the power of joint decisions to shape the destiny of our community, our country, and our world. What will determine the quality of life for generations to come will be the collective decisions we make today about how to deal with such current challenges as widespread drug abuse, the imbalance of trade, ineffective public education, and the shortcomings of our prison system. By fixating on everything that’s not working, we limit our focus to effects, and we neglect the causes of these problems. We fail to recognize that it is the small decisions you and I make every day that create our destinies. Remember that all decisions are followed by consequences. If we make our decisions unconsciously—that is, let other people or other factors in our environment do the thinking for us—and act without at least anticipating the potential effects, then we may be unwittingly perpetuating the problems we dread most. By trying to avoid pain in the short term, we often end up making decisions that create pain in the long term, and when we arrive further down the river we tell ourselves that the problems are permanent and unchangeable, that they come with the territory. Probably the most pervasive false belief most of us harbor is the fallacy that only some superhuman act would have the power to turn our problems around. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life is cumulative. Whatever results we’re experiencing in our lives are the accumulation of a host of small decisions we’ve made as individuals, as a family, as a community, as a society, and as a species. The success or failure of our lives is usually not the result of one cataclysmic event or earth-shaking decision, although sometimes it may look that way. Rather, success or failure is determined by the decisions we make and the actions we take every day.

By the same token, then, it is the daily decisions and actions of each one of us, taking responsibility on an individual level, that will truly make the difference in such matters as whether we are able to take care of our disadvantaged and whether we can learn to live in harmony with our environment. In order to bring about massive and far-reaching changes, both in our individual and joint destinies, it is necessary to commit ourselves to constant and never-ending improvement, to the discipline of CANI! Only in that way can we truly make a difference that will last in the long term.

THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION

What do you suppose is the one common element in all the problems facing us today as a nation and as a world? From soaring numbers of homeless people to escalating crime rates to huge budget deficits to the slow strangulation of our ecosystem, the answer is that every single one of these problems was caused or set in motion by human behavior. Therefore, the solution to every one of these problems is to change our behavior. (This requires changing the way we evaluate or make decisions, which is what this entire book is about.) We don’t have a drug problem; we have a behavior problem. Teenage pregnancy is not the result of a virus. It is the consequence of specific behavior. Gang warfare is a behavioral problem. Even nuclear war is ultimately a behavioral problem! Our decisions built the bombs, and our decisions will eliminate them. All of these problems are the result of actions that people have chosen to take.

For example, when an individual becomes a gang member, that single decision sets in motion a whole series of behaviors and problems. With this new gang identity, he will hold himself to a very specific code of behavior which places utmost value on such things as loyalty to the group, and out of that flows a whole system of characteristic rules and behaviors. A global example of the long-term effects of our decisions is the chronic famines and food shortages that take the lives of so many around the world. The World Health Organization has proven that it is possible to feed every man, woman, and child on this earth, yet every day, 40,000 children die of starvation. Why? Obviously we have the resources, but something has gone terribly awry, not only with the way food is distributed, but with the way our resources are used.

What’s great about all of this? The good news is that once we realize that the root of all problems is behavior (and the decision-making process we use to initiate it), then we know that we are the ones who can change it! As you’ve learned in this book, the one thing we have absolute control over is our internal world—we decide what things mean and what to do about them—and as a result of our decisions, we take actions that impact our external environment. There are actions each and every one of us can take in our own homes, our own businesses, and our own communities that will initiate a chain of specific positive consequences. With our actions, we communicate our most deeply held values and beliefs, and through the global influence of our mass media, even the simplest actions we take have the power to influence and move people of all nations.

While this sounds encouraging for the human race, you may be asking yourself, “What can one person do to truly make a difference in the world?” Virtually anything.’ The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment. The history of the world is simply the chronicle of what has happened because of the deeds of a small number of ordinary people who had extraordinary levels of commitment to making a difference. These individuals did little things extraordinarily well. They decided that something must change, that they must be the ones to do it, and that they could do it— and then they summoned the courage to persist until they found a way to make it work. These are the men and women we call heroes.

I believe that you and I—and everyone we’ll ever meet—has the inborn capacity to be heroic, to take daring, courageous, and noble steps to make life better for others, even when in the short term it seems to be at our own expense. The capacity to do the right thing, to dare to take a stand and make a difference, is within you now. The question is: When the moment arrives, will you remember you’re a hero and selflessly respond in support of those in need?

“It was involuntary; they sank my boat.” JOHN F. KENNEDY, when asked how he’d become a hero

-Tony Robbins

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Tips For Taking Great Underwater Photographs

1. Safety first

The first rule of underwater photography is safety – you’re dealing with an entirely different set of issues as soon as you step off dry land and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself and the wildlife around you safe.

Richard Carey is a certified PADI diving instructor and an award-winning underwater photographer. He says that buoyancy control is key, and that diving skills are more important to learn than photography skills, at least in the beginning. “You will need to get close to your subjects without touching and harming marine life such as corals, so learning how to hover is a good start.”

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2. Start with simple gear

All of the photographers we interviewed agreed that you don’t need the most expensive gear to start with. A simple compact camera with manual settings in waterproof housing will be enough for your first foray into underwater photography. If you already have a camera, using something you’re familiar with can make all the difference. Photographer Matt Draper says that just because professionals are using gear that costs more than US$10,000, it doesn’t mean you have to.

3. Pack the right lens

Lens wise, it’s important to know what you want to shoot. You’ll need a wide angle lens for larger subjects and a macro lens for the small stuff as distortion in the water means that the closer you are to your subject, the clearer the shot. Waterproof housing means you’ll be unable to switch out lenses, so know you’re photographing and what shot you want before you get in the water.

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4. Know your camera’s settings

Getting settings that work for you underwater is a personal preference. Some photographers prefer to set their aperture first, and others shutter speed. One thing to consider is not only how fast your subject will be moving, but how much you will be moving in the water as well. Aperture priority mode is not your friend if you’re shooting a fast-moving subject.

In terms of colour settings, many underwater photographers will use Auto White Balance settings and correct their RAW files later. This will work in certain circumstances, but Helen Brierley cautioned photographers: “When shooting in ambient light this may not be the best choice.”

5. See the light

Water acts as a massive filter that eats up the entire spectrum of reds. The deeper you go, the more blue your shots will be. To maintain the correct colour tones of your subject, you’ll either need to be close to the surface or use external lighting.

Many underwater photographers lean heavily on strobe or flash lighting, which helps to bring the colour back into the photograph. “Strobes will only light the foreground so in order to achieve the black background seen in so many great macro shots, ambient light needs to be excluded by using a small aperture and fast shutter speed,” Helen Brierley says.

Also remember the further you are away from the subject, the more particles the strobe will pick up increasing the haze of your shot.

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6. Know your dive zone

How you dive is up to you. In some places you’ll be able to simply walk into the water from the beach, but other locations will require you to dive from a boat. Check in with local underwater photographers and divers if you’re in a new location to find out about the safest places to dive. Remember, reading about a location and diving there are two different things – talking to someone with experience is always best.

7. Time it right

When budgeting time, not only will you need to consider your oxygen levels and dive capabilities but that every element of photography takes longer. Framing, adjusting your settings and dealing with wildlife will always eat up more time than you’d anticipate. Benjamin Von Wong advises to budget at least three times longer than you usually would to get things done. “Normally takes you 30 minutes to nail a shot? Don’t count on it when playing underwater,” he added.

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8. Get to know your subject

If you’re going to be photographing animals in any setting you need to do your homework. Know what kind of creatures are lurking beneath the surface, how they behave, and how much of a risk they pose to your safety. Each animal will behave differently, some are timid and will shy away from you, others you’ll be able to get close to without difficulty.

Knowing the difference between a manta ray and an eagle ray will will not only help you get better shots, but it will also keep both parties safe. Matt Draper warns to never sneak up on an animal and added: “If I feel unsafe I always take myself out of the water.” We recommend you do the same.

9. Stay comfortable

Don’t forget yourself. As important as your shoot may be, being comfortable will make your job much easier. Staying warm in the water can be a challenge, for example, and shooting while your teeth chatter isn’t fun. Your best bet for staying comfortable is to invest in an entire scuba kit. If that’s out of your budget, you can rent a wetsuit to stay warm, as well as some fins (or flippers) to increase your mobility, making it easier to grab the shot you need.

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10. Be unique

Depending on the type of creature, there will already be thousands of images of them. Matt Draper recommends trying to capture a feature of the animal that hasn’t been seen before. To do this you’ll need to research the animal and as Pier Mane says: “At the end the day creating really outstanding images is really difficult because they need to be innovative. All subjects have been photographed so finding a unique perspective is key.”

Remember that getting the shot isn’t enough, David Doubilet adds that you also need to be tough on the editing. “I look back in the archives and say “What the hell – Why did I keep that frame?”. Be ruthless so you can find the best shots in 10 years with ease.

Copyright is also a big issue, Doubilet explained: “stay on top of paperwork – copyright – cross the t’s, dot the i’s.” You don’t want it getting out of hand. It’s also worth making sure your metadata is complete and you have a way to search and store photos.

Take these tips into account, do your own research and just keep swimming.

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Article Referred By : Digital Rev

Best Camera For Underwater Photography

1. Olympus Tough TG – 6

2. Nikon Coolpix W300

3. Ricoh WG-60

4. Fujifilm XP130

5. GoPro Hero 8

6. DJI Osmo Action

7. Sony RX0

8. GoPro Fusion

THE POWER OF A CRISIS -How Leaders Create Habits Through Accident and Design – Part 3

Philip Brickell, a forty-three-year-old employee of the London Underground, was inside the cavernous main hall of the King’s Cross subway station on a November evening in 1987 when a commuter stopped him as he was collecting tickets and said there was a burning tissue at the bottom of a nearby escalator.

King’s Cross was one of the largest, grandest, and most heavily trafficked of London’s subway stops, a labyrinth of deep escalators, passageways, and tunnels, some of which were almost a century old. The station’s escalators, in particular, were famous for their size and age. Some stretched as many as five stories into the ground and were built of wooden slats and rubber handrails, the same materials used to construct them decades earlier. More than a quarter million passengers passed through King’s Cross every day on six different train lines. During evening rush hour, the station’s ticketing hall was a sea of people hurrying beneath a ceiling repainted so many times that no one could recall its original hue.

The burning tissue, the passenger said, was at the bottom of one of the station’s longest escalators, servicing the Piccadilly line. Brickell immediately left his position, rode the escalator down to the platform, found the smoldering wad of tissue, and, with a rolled-up magazine, beat out the fire. Then he returned to his post.

Brickell didn’t investigate further. He didn’t try to figure out why the tissue was burning or if it might have flown off of a larger fire somewhere else within the station. He didn’t mention the incident to another employee or call the fire department. A separate department handled fire safety, and Brickell, in keeping with the strict divisions that ruled the Underground, knew better than to step on anyone’s toes. Besides, even if he had investigated the possibility of a fire, he wouldn’t have known what to do with any information he learned. The tightly prescribed chain of command at the Underground prohibited him from contacting another department without a superior’s direct authorization. And the Underground’s routines—handed down from employee to employee— told him that he should never, under any circumstances, refer out loud to anything inside a station as a “fire,” lest commuters become panicked. It wasn’t how things were done.

The Underground was governed by a sort of theoretical rule book that no one had ever seen or read—and that didn’t, in fact, exist except in the unwritten rules that shaped every employee’s life. For decades, the Underground had been run by the “Four Barons”—the chiefs of civil, signal, electrical, and mechanical engineering—and within each of their departments, there were bosses and subbosses who all jealously guarded their authority. The trains ran on time because all nineteen thousand Underground employees cooperated in a delicate system that passed passengers and trains among dozens— sometimes hundreds—of hands all day long. But that cooperation depended upon a balance of power between each of the four departments and all their lieutenants that, itself, relied upon thousands of habits that employees adhered to. These habits created a truce among the Four Barons and their deputies. And from that truce arose policies that told Brickell: Looking for fires isn’t your job. Don’t overstep your bounds.

“Even at the highest level, one director was unlikely to trespass on the territory of another,” an investigator would later note. “Thus, the engineering director did not concern himself with whether the operating staff were properly trained in fire safety and evacuation procedures because he considered those matters to be the province of the Operations Directorate.”

So Brickell didn’t say anything about the burning tissue. In other circumstances, it might have been an unimportant detail. In this case, the tissue was a stray warning—a bit of fuel that had escaped from a larger, hidden blaze—that would show how perilous even perfectly balanced truces can become if they aren’t designed just right.

Fifteen minutes after Brickell returned to his booth, another passenger noticed a wisp of smoke as he rode up the Piccadilly escalator; he mentioned it to an Underground employee. The King’s Cross safety inspector, Christopher Hayes, was eventually roused to investigate. A third passenger, seeing smoke and a glow from underneath the escalator’s stairs, hit an emergency stop button and began shouting at passengers to exit the escalator. A policeman saw a slight smoky haze inside the escalator’s long tunnel, and, halfway down, flames beginning to dart above the steps.

Yet the safety inspector, Hayes, didn’t call the London Fire Brigade. He hadn’t seen any smoke himself, and another of the Underground’s unwritten rules was that the fire department should never be contacted unless absolutely necessary. The policeman who had noticed the haze, however, figured he should contact headquarters. His radio didn’t work underground, so he walked up a long staircase into the outdoors and called his superiors, who eventually passed word to the fire department.At 7:36 p.m.—twenty-two minutes after Brickell was alerted to the flaming tissue—the fire brigade received a call: “Small fire at King’s Cross.” Commuters were pushing past the policeman as he stood outside, speaking on his radio. They were rushing into the station, down into the tunnels, focused on getting home for dinner.

Within minutes, many of them would be dead.

At 7:36 P.M., an Underground worker roped off entry to the Piccadilly escalator and another started diverting people to a different stairway. New trains were arriving every few minutes. The platforms where passengers exited subway cars were crowded. A bottleneck started building at the bottom of an open staircase.

Hayes, the safety inspector, went into a passageway that led to the Piccadilly escalator’s machine room. In the dark, there was a set of controls for a sprinkler system specifically designed to fight fires on escalators. It had been installed years earlier, after a fire in another station had led to a series of dire reports about the risks of a sudden blaze. More than two dozen studies and reprimands had said that the Underground was unprepared for fires, and that staff needed to be trained in how to use sprinklers and fire extinguishers, which were positioned on every train platform. Two years earlier the deputy assistant chief of the London Fire Brigade had written to the operations director for railways, complaining about subway workers’ safety habits.

“I am gravely concerned,” the letter read. “I cannot urge too strongly that … clear instructions be given that on any suspicion of fire, the Fire Brigade be called without delay. This could save lives.”

However, Hayes, the safety inspector, never saw that letter because it was sent to a separate division from the one he worked within, and the Underground’s policies were never rewritten to reflect the warning. No one inside King’s Cross understood how to use the escalator sprinkler system or was authorized to use the extinguishers, because another department controlled them. Hayes completely forgot the sprinkler system existed. The truces ruling the Underground made sure everyone knew their place, but they left no room for learning about anything outside what you were assigned to know. Hayes ran past the sprinkler controls without so much as a glance.

When he reached the machine room, he was nearly overcome by heat. The fire was already too big to fight. He ran back to the main hall. There was a line of people standing at the ticket machines and hundreds of people milling about the room, walking to platforms or leaving the station. Hayes found a policeman.

“We’ve got to stop the trains and get everyone out of here,” he told him. “The fire is out of control. It’s going everywhere.”

At 7:42 P.M.—almost a half hour after the burning tissue—the first fireman arrived at King’s Cross. As he entered the ticketing hall he saw dense black smoke starting to snake along the ceiling. The escalator’s rubber handrails had begun to burn. As the acrid smell of burning rubber spread, commuters in the ticketing hall began to recognize that something was wrong. They moved toward the exits as firemen waded through the crowd, fighting against the tide.

Below, the fire was spreading. The entire escalator was now aflame, producing a superheated gas that rose to the top of the shaft enclosing the escalator, where it was trapped against the tunnel’s ceiling, which was covered with about twenty layers of old paint. A few years earlier, the Underground’s director of operations had suggested that all this paint might pose a fire hazard. Perhaps, he said, the old layers should be removed before a new one is applied?

Painting protocols were not in his purview, however. Paint responsibility resided with the maintenance department, whose chief politely thanked his colleague for the recommendation, and then noted that if he wanted to interfere with other departments, the favor would be swiftly returned.

The director of operations withdrew his recommendation.

As the superheated gases pooled along the ceiling of the escalator shaft, all those old layers of paint began absorbing the warmth. As each new train arrived, it pushed a fresh gust of oxygen into the station, feeding the fire like a bellows.

At 7:43 P.M., a train arrived and a salesman named Mark Silver exited. He knew immediately that something was wrong. The air was hazy, the platform packed with people. Smoke wafted around where he was standing, curling around the train cars as they sat on the tracks. He turned to reenter the train, but the doors had closed. He hammered on the windows, but there was an unofficial policy to avoid tardiness: Once the doors were sealed, they did not open again. Up and down the platform, Silver and other passengers screamed at the driver to open the doors. The signal light changed to green, and the train pulled away. One woman jumped on the tracks, running after the train as it moved into the tunnel. “Let me in!” she screamed.

Silver walked down the platform, to where a policeman was directing everyone away from the Piccadilly escalator and to another stairway. There were crowds of panicked people waiting to get upstairs. They could all smell the smoke, and everyone was packed together. It felt hot—either from the fire or the crush of people, Silver wasn’t sure. He finally got to the bottom of an escalator that had been turned off. As he climbed toward the ticketing hall, he could feel his legs burning from heat coming through a fifteen-foot wall separating him from the Piccadilly shaft. “I looked up and saw the walls and ceiling sizzling,” he later said.

At 7:45 P.M., an arriving train forced a large gust of air into the station. As the oxygen fed the fire, the blaze in the Piccadilly escalator roared. The superheated gases along the ceiling of the shaft, fueled by fire below and sizzling paint above, reached a combustion temperature, known as a “flashover point.” At that moment, everything inside the shaft—the paint, the wooden escalator stairs, and any other available fuel—ignited in a fiery blast. The force of the sudden incineration acted the explosion of gunpowder at the base of a rifle barrel. It began pushing the fire upward through the long shaft, absorbing more heat and velocity as the blaze expanded until it shot out of the tunnel and into the ticketing hall in a wall of flames that set metal, tile, and flesh on fire. The temperature inside the hall shot up 150 degrees in half a second. A policeman riding one of the side escalators later told investigators that he saw “a jet of flame that shot up and then collected into a kind of ball.” There were nearly fifty people inside the hall at the time.

Aboveground, on the street, a passerby felt heat explode from one of the subway’s exits, saw a passenger stagger out, and ran to help. “I got hold of his right hand with my right hand but as our hands touched I could feel his was red hot and some of the skin came off in my hand,” the rescuer said. A policeman who was entering the ticketing hall as the explosion occurred later told reporters, from a hospital bed, that “a fireball hit me in the face and knocked me off my feet. My hands caught fire. They were just melting.”

He was one of the last people to exit the hall alive.

Shortly after the explosion, dozens of fire trucks arrived. But because the fire department’s rules instructed them to connect their hoses to street-level hydrants, rather than those installed by the Underground inside the station, and because none of the subway employees had blueprints showing the station’s layout—all the plans were in an office that was locked, and none of the ticketing agents or the station manager had keys—it took hours to extinguish the flames.

When the blaze was finally put out at 1:46 A.M.—six hours after the burning tissue was noticed—the toll stood at thirty-one dead and dozens injured.

“Why did they send me straight into the fire?” a twenty-year-old music teacher asked the next day from a hospital bed. “I could see them burning. I could hear them screaming. Why didn’t someone take charge?”

To answer those questions, consider a few of the truces the London Underground relied upon to function:

Ticketing clerks were warned that their jurisdiction was strictly limited to selling tickets, so if they saw a burning tissue, they didn’t warn anyone for fear of overstepping their bounds.

Station employees weren’t trained how to use the sprinkler system or extinguishers, because that equipment was overseen by a different division.

The station’s safety inspector never saw a letter from the London Fire Brigade warning about fire risks because it was sent to the operations director, and information like that wasn’t shared across divisions.

Employees were instructed only to contact the fire brigade as a last resort, so as not to panic commuters unnecessarily.

The fire brigade insisted on using its own street-level hydrants, ignoring pipes in the ticketing hall that could have delivered water, because they had been ordered not to use equipment installed by other agencies.

In some ways, each of these informal rules, on its own, makes a certain amount of sense. For instance, the habits that kept ticketing clerks focused on selling tickets instead of doing anything else—including keeping an eye out for warning signs of fire—existed because, years earlier, the Underground had problems with understaffed kiosks. Clerks kept leaving their posts to pick up trash or point tourists toward their trains, and as a result, long lines would form. So clerks were ordered to stay in their booths, sell tickets, and not worry about anything else. It worked. Lines disappeared. If clerks saw something amiss outside their kiosks—beyond their scope of responsibility—they minded their own business.

And the fire brigade’s habit of insisting on their own equipment? That was a result of an incident, a decade earlier, when a fire had raged in another station as firemen wasted precious minutes trying to hook up their hoses to unfamiliar pipes. Afterward, everyone decided it was best to stick with what they knew.

None of these routines, in other words, were arbitrary. Each was designed for a reason. The Underground was so vast and complicated that it could operate smoothly only if truces smoothed over potential obstacles. Unlike at Rhode Island Hospital, each truce created a genuine balance of power. No department had the upper hand.

Yet thirty-one people died.

The London Underground’s routines and truces all seemed logical until a fire erupted. At which point, an awful truth emerged: No one person, department, or baron had ultimate responsibility for passengers’ safety.

Sometimes, one priority—or one department or one person or one goal—needs to overshadow everything else, though it might be unpopular or threaten the balance of power that keeps trains running on time. Sometimes, a truce can create dangers that outweigh any peace.

There’s a paradox in this observation, of course. How can an organization implement habits that balance authority and, at the same time, choose a person or goal that rises above everyone else? How do nurses and doctors share authority while still making it clear who is in charge? How does a subway system avoid becoming bogged down in turf battles while making sure safety is still a priority, even if that means lines of authority must be redrawn?

The answer lies in seizing the same advantage that Tony Dungy encountered when he took over the woeful Bucs and Paul O’Neill discovered when he became CEO of flailing Alcoa. It’s the same opportunity Howard Schultz exploited when he returned to a flagging Starbucks in 2007. All those leaders seized the possibilities created by a crisis. During turmoil, organizational habits become malleable enough to both assign responsibility and create a more equitable balance of power. Crises are so valuable, in fact, that sometimes it’s worth stirring up a sense of looming catastrophe rather than letting it die down.

-Charles Duhigg

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MASTER YOUR TIME AND YOUR LIFE – DAY SIX

Your Outcome: Learn how to use time to your advantage rather than allowing it to rule your levels of satisfaction and stress.

If you’ve ever felt stress —and who hasn’t?—chances are excellent that it’s because you felt you just didn’t have enough time to do what you wanted to at the level of quality to which you were committed. You could be feeling this frustration, for example, because you’re focusing exclusively on the demands of the moment: present requests, present challenges, present events. In this stressed and overloaded state, your effectiveness is rapidly diminished. The solution is simple: Take control of the time frame you’re focusing upon. It the present is stressful, then become more resourceful in dealing with your challenges by focusing on the future and the successful completion or resolution of the tasks before you. This new focus will instantly change your state and give you the very resources you need to turn things around in the present.

Stress is so often the result of feeling “stuck” in a particular time frame. One example of this is when a person keeps thinking of their future in disempowering ways. You can help this person or yourself by getting them to refocus on what they can control in the present. Or some people, when they’re called upon to take on a challenge, begin to focus exclusively on their past poor performance. As they remain in the past, their stress increases. A shift to the present, or an anticipation of a positive future, could instantly change their emotional state. Our emotions, then, are powerfully impacted by the time frame in which we’re operating at the moment.

So often we forget that time is a mental construct, that it is completely relative, and that our experience of time is almost exclusively the result of our mental focus. How long is a long time, for example? It all depends upon the situation, doesn’t it? Standing in line for more than 10 minutes can seem like an eternity, while an hour of making love can pass all too quickly.

Our beliefs also filter our perception of time. For some people, regardless of the situation, twenty minutes is a lifetime. For others, a long time is a century. Can you imagine how these people walk differently talk differently, look at their goals differently, and how stressed they might be if they were trying to deal with one another while operating out of completely different frames of reference? This is why time mastery is a life skill. The ability to flex your experience of time is the ability to shape your experience of life.

For today’s exercises, let’s briefly review and apply three “time-saving” tips.

I. THE ABILITY TO DISTORT TIME

After you’ve mastered the ability to change time frames by changing your focus, you’re ready to move on to the second major skill of time mastery, and that is the ability to distort time so that a minute feels like an hour, or an hour like a minute. Haven’t you noticed that when you become totally engrossed in something, you lose track of time? Why? Because you no longer focus upon it. You make fewer measurements of it. You’re focused on something enjoyable and, therefore, time passes more rapidly. Remember that you’re in control. Direct your focus and consciously choose how to measure your time. If you are constantly checking your watch, then time seems to crawl. Once again, your experience of time is controlled by your focus. How do you define your use of time? Are you spending it, wasting it, or killing it? It’s been said that “killing time is not murder; it’s suicide.”

II. A MATTER OF IMPORTANCE

The third, and perhaps the most critical distinction of all, is an understanding of how urgency and importance control your decisions about what to do with your time, and therefore your level of personal fulfillment. What do I mean? Let me ask you this: Have you ever worked your tail off, completed every single thing on your “to do” list, but at the end of the day still felt unfulfilled? That’s because you did everything that was urgent and demanded your attention in the moment, but you didn’t do what was important—the things that would make a difference long-term. Conversely, have you ever had days when you got only a few things done but at the end felt that this was a day that had really mattered? These are the days when you’ve focused on what’s important rather than what urgently needed your attention. Urgency seems to control our lives. The phone rings, and we’re doing something important, but we “have to” pick it up. After all, what if we missed out on something? This is a classic example of handling what’s urgent—after all, you might miss out on a high-powered phone conversation with a computerized surveyor! On the other hand, we buy a book that we know can make a difference in our lives, yet put off reading it time and again because we “just can’t squeeze it in” between opening the mail, filling the gas tank, and watching the news on TV. The only way to truly master your time is to organize your schedule each day to spend the majority of it doing things that are important rather than urgent.

III. SAVE YOURSELF YEARS

The most powerful way I’ve learned to compress time is to learn through other people’s experience. We can never truly master time as long as our primary strategy for learning and mastering our world is based upon trial and error. Modeling those who’ve already succeeded can save you years of pain. This is why I’m a voracious reader and a committed student of tapes and seminars. I’ve always seen these experiences as necessities, not accessories, and they have given me the wisdom of decades of experience and the success that results from it. I challenge you to learn from other people’s experiences as often as you can, and to utilize whatever you learn.

“We have time enough if we will but use it aright.” JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

Today’s Assignment:

1. Throughout this day, begin to explore changing time frames. Whenever you’re feeling the pressures of the present, stop and think about the future in ways that are empowering. For example, think of goals that compel you, and become fully associated to them. Visualize the image, listen to it, step into it and notice how it feels. Put yourself back into the midst of a treasured memory: your first kiss, the birth of your child, a special moment with a friend. The more you develop your capability to quickly change time frames, the greater your level of freedom and the range of emotions you will be able to create within your at a moment’s notice. Do this enough until you truly know you can this change in focus to instantly change your state.

2. Learn to deliberately distort time. For something that normally seems to take a long time to complete, add another component that will not only speed up your perception of time, but allow you to accomplish two things at once. For example, when I’m running, I’ll don a pair of headphones and listen to my favorite music. Or I’ll watch the news or make phone calls while I’m on my StairMaster. This means I’ll never have an excuse not to exercise, not to do what’s important: working out and I returning my calls.

3. Write a “to do” list that prioritizes according to importance instead of urgency. Instead of writing down zillions of things to do and feeling like a failure at the end of the day, focus on what’s most important for you to accomplish. If you do this, I can promise you that you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment few experience. Of course, we must always take time to …

-Tony Robbins

REST AND PLAY: EVEN GOD TOOK ONE DAY OFF! DAY SEVEN

Your Outcome: Achieve some balance.

You’ve worked hard and you’ve played hard. Take a day off to have some fun! Be spontaneous, be outrageous, do something that takes you outside yourself. What would create the most excitement for you?

“The great man is he that does not lose his child’s-heart.” MENCIUS

Today’s Assignment:

1. Either plan something fun and stick to it, or do something on the spur of the moment. Whatever it is, enjoy it!

Tomorrow, you’ll be ready to explore . . .

-Tony Robbins

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Tips For Taking Cool Vintage Photographs

1. Study Old Film Cameras to Recreate Their Style

soft focus photo of a roll of vintage photography film

Take a look at the limitations and expectations of the cameraslenses, and even filters used in the past. You need to know this to replicate their look with your current equipment.

Film cameras had a natural softness to them and lacked in contrast. They also didn’t have great low light capability. The images tended to have a lot of grain in them.

Another important aspect of vintage images is resolution. The cameras used to create square images rather than our habitual rectangular photographs.

The lenses were far more advanced than the cameras themselves. Lenses tended to have wide-open apertures and produce images that had quite a bit of contrast. The focus was also on the softer side. But it was still relatively clear for what it was.

The most common millimeters used were the 50mm and the 35mm. Other lenses that didn’t create much distortion were also common.

Today, you can use any camera to capture vintage photography. But the older and less expensive the camera, the easier it will be.

For even more accuracy, head to your local pawn shop and see if you can find an actual film camera and lens! There are still some chains, shops, and companies that develop film.

Buying film is fairly simple with access to the internet.

2. Choose a Theme to Keep Your Vintage Photos Consistent

black and white vintage portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Photography may not be as old as other art forms, but its short history still has distinct styles.

You can choose to create an old 19th century-style portrait. Or go for a more modern and dramatic 1920s group shot, complete with flapper costumes.

Sticking with one theme will add consistency to your photoshoot, and make your pictures stand out.

3. Shoot Classical Compositions for a Vintage Feel

an outdoor still life of antiques such as a bicycle, leather bags and photos - vintage photography tips

Composition refers to the arrangement of elements in a frame. The composition makes or breaks an image.

But composition has the added bonus of being nostalgic and reminiscent. Capturing compositions similar to how photographs were taken back in the day will help your image look vintage.

For the most part, there wasn’t a huge amount of experimentation in photography until much later in the craft’s history. Classic compositions include very clear vertical and horizontal axes and the image plane parallel to the subject.

Don’t try for compositions that are too off-beat, odd, or ‘edgy’. The Golden Rule and Rule of Thirds were developed in photography’s classical years.

4. Take Overly Posed Spontaneous-Looking Images for a More Fun Shoot

black and white vintage portrait of Elvis dancing

If you hadn’t already noticed from a quick Google search on vintage photography, there are only two extremes. The subject is either very candid or very posed. There is a reason for this!

Once upon a time, cameras had very slow shutters. The slower the shutter, the more motion blur in an image if the subject is moving in any way. As a result, portraiture was static or posed.

Most of the time, the subjects would look grim or have a resting face. Holding a smile for several minutes is difficult!

Your subject doesn’t need to sit still for several minutes anymore. But keeping a rigid and overly static pose is more in-tune with classic photography.

When cameras became more versatile and the technology improved, the shutters got much faster. Cameras also got much smaller and more portable. A lot of photographers were really into capturing more candid and unexpected moments. They finally had the technology to do so!

So the other extreme is very candid and spontaneous portraiture. Direct your subject to be a bit more silly and spontaneous. That burst of emotion and personality is what’s going to nail your vintage photographs.

5. Get Creative and Change the Depth of Field

a still life of antiques black and white photos - vintage photography tips

Depth of field is a versatile setting you can adjust to change the feel of your vintage photos.

From Ansel Adams’ f/64 narrow aperture to the bright and wide apertures of f/1.4. Experiment with all of them to find a vintage photography style that suits you.

6. Imperfections Will Make Your Vintage Photos More Authentic

black and white vintage photography of a group of men and boys standing around a broken down vintage car

The beauty of vintage photography is that it isn’t perfect. They didn’t have Photoshop or Lightroom back then. There were some things you could fix in a darkroom with a paintbrush as you’re developing. But not to the extent you can do now with a computer program.

There is no guarantee or certainty with film. Films get damaged, and you would never know it until the photograph gets developed. Those imperfections add so much character and life to a photograph. Even when the photo is something as simple as a portrait of a vase.

If you are using a digital camera, remember to allow the image to be imperfect. If a solar flare or light leaks into the frame, let it be! Some dust on the lens? Just fine!

You can even replicate some film damage via photo editing software. This includes color bleeds or a significant amount of grain.

7. Why a Soft Look Is Great for Vintage Images

Color toned vintage photography of a female factory worker

Much of the appeal of vintage photography is the softness of it. Film cameras and lenses weren’t as sharp as modern equipment.

Everything tended to have a little bit of a matte finish to it. This was also due to the paper used at the time, there was never any deep contrast to it.

Lowering the contrast and adding some matte filters can create a very vintage-like feel to an image. As well as this, achieving perfect focus isn’t always a necessity. Traditional lenses were all manual.

It wasn’t always possible to achieve the most perfect focus.

8. How to Post-Process Vintage Photos

black and white vintage portrait of a male model

Unless you’re using an actual film camera and developing the film either yourself or at a shop, post-processing will be a necessity. Cropping, altering colors and overlaying textures are just some of the techniques you’ll be using.

The industry-standard editing programs are Photoshop and Lightroom, but these programs can cost a significant sum of money. For free alternatives, you can try GIMP or Snapseed.

With Photoshop and Lightroom, you can download presets or actions to replicate a vintage photography look with just a click of a button. Some of these are paid, but there are many free resources as well.

9. Shoot Black and White or Sepia-Toned Images

black and white vintage portrait of a female model posing outdoors

There was a limit to the inks and how the inks could be used in vintage photography work.

Most vintage photographs tended to be black and white. Black ink was easiest to create (and cheaper to use).

As for colors, up until a certain point in history, photographs had to be colored by hand. Film was black and white. Photographers would take a paintbrush and paint on the print.

This caused the colors to look more muted and monotone, despite being actual colors. Desaturation will be your friend in post-processing as you alter the colors to match the time period.

Sepia filter is another very popular vintage photography color scheme. Sepia is a reddish-brown color associated with monochrome photographs of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Contrary to popular belief, photographs were not sepia due to the passage of time. They were actually colored that way on purpose.

Sepia was used to increase the longevity of the photograph, since prints decay. Modern papers may not decay for hundreds of years. But the original prints from that time period decayed at a much faster rate.

Sepia records light in a single color or wavelength. This coloration is achieved through a chemical process called toning. This is carried out on silver-based photographic prints. This toning is believed to slow down decay.

10. Make the Most of Vintage Clothing and Locations

How you stage a scene tells the deeper story. Taking photographs in locations with a vintage look can help you sell a vintage photography story. Historical districts are a great idea for this.

Props and styling can also add to the feel of the image. Look for vintage clothing, furniture, and even vintage makeup and hairstyling. Avoid anything that could be a dead giveaway to modern times.

This includes contemporary cars, facial piercings, smartwatches, cell phones, and other such things.

Much of vintage photography is playing around with textures. Whether it be textured printing paper or textures within the photograph, this was a true love of traditional photographers.

Even grain in and of itself is a texture!

a black and white still life of an antiques typewriter - vintage photography tips

Article Referred By : Expert Photography

Best Camera For Photography Beginners

1. Nikon D3500

2. Nikon D5600

3. Canon EOS 1500D

4. Canon EOS 200D

5. Sony Alpha A6000Y

THE POWER OF A CRISIS -How Leaders Create Habits Through Accident and Design – Part 2

When An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change was first published in 1982, very few people outside of academia noticed. The book’s bland cover and daunting first sentence—“In this volume we develop an evolutionary theory of the capabilities and behavior of business firms operating in a market environment, and construct and analyze a number of models consistent with that theory”—almost seemed designed to ward off readers. The authors, Yale professors Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter, were best known for a series of intensely analytic papers exploring Schumpeterian theory that even most PhD candidates didn’t pretend to understand.

Within the world of business strategy and organizational theory, however, the book went off like a bombshell. It was soon hailed as one of the most important texts of the century. Economics professors started talking about it to their colleagues at business schools, who started talking to CEOs at conferences, and soon executives were quoting Nelson and Winter inside corporations as different as General Electric, Pfizer, and Starwood Hotels.

Nelson and Winter had spent more than a decade examining how companies work, trudging through swamps of data before arriving at their central conclusion: “Much of firm behavior,” they wrote, is best “understood as a reflection of general habits and strategic orientations coming from the firm’s past,” rather than “the result of a detailed survey of the remote twigs of the decision tree.”

Or, put in language that people use outside of theoretical economics, it may seem like most organizations make rational choices based on deliberate decision making, but that’s not really how companies operate at all. Instead, firms are guided by long-held organizational habits, patterns that often emerge from thousands of employees’ independent decisions. And these habits have more profound impacts than anyone previously understood.

For instance, it might seem like the chief executive of a clothing company made the decision last year to feature a red cardigan on the catalog’s cover by carefully reviewing sales and marketing data. But, in fact, what really happened was that his vice president constantly trolls websites devoted to Japanese fashion trends (where red was hip last spring), and the firm’s marketers routinely ask their friends which colors are “in,” and the company’s executives, back from their annual trip to the Paris runway shows, reported hearing that designers at rival firms were using new magenta pigments. All these small inputs, the result of uncoordinated patterns among executives gossiping about competitors and talking to their friends, got mixed into the company’s more formal research and development routines until a consensus emerged: Red will be popular this year. No one made a solitary, deliberate decision. Rather, dozens of habits, processes, and behaviors converged until it seemed like red was the inevitable choice.

These organizational habits—or “routines,” as Nelson and Winter called them—are enormously important, because without them, most companies would never get any work done. Routines provide the hundreds of unwritten rules that companies need to operate. They allow workers to experiment with new ideas without having to ask for permission at every step. They provide a kind of “organizational memory,” so that managers don’t have to reinvent the sales process every six months or panic each time a VP quits. Routines reduce uncertainty—a study of recovery efforts after earthquakes in Mexico and Los Angeles, for instance, found that the habits of relief workers (which they carried from disaster to disaster, and which included things such as establishing communication networks by hiring children to carry messages between neighborhoods) were absolutely critical, “because without them, policy formulation and implementation would be lost in a jungle of detail.

But among the most important benefits of routines is that they create truces between potentially warring groups or individuals within an organization.

Most economists are accustomed to treating companies as idyllic places where everyone is devoted to a common goal: making as much money as possible. Nelson and Winter pointed out that, in the real world, that’s not how things work at all. Companies aren’t big happy families where everyone plays together nicely. Rather, most workplaces are made up of fiefdoms where executives compete for power and credit, often in hidden skirmishes that make their own performances appear superior and their rivals’ seem worse. Divisions compete for resources and sabotage each other to steal glory. Bosses pit their subordinates against one another so that no one can mount a coup.

Companies aren’t families. They’re battlefields in a civil war.

Yet despite this capacity for internecine warfare, most companies roll along relatively peacefully, year after year, because they have routines—habits— that create truces that allow everyone to set aside their rivalries long enough to get a day’s work done.

Organizational habits offer a basic promise: If you follow the established patterns and abide by the truce, then rivalries won’t destroy the company, the profits will roll in, and, eventually, everyone will get rich. A salesperson, for example, knows she can boost her bonus by giving favored customers hefty discounts in exchange for larger orders. But she also knows that if every salesperson gives away hefty discounts, the firm will go bankrupt and there won’t be any bonuses to hand out. So a routine emerges: The salespeople all get together every January and agree to limit how many discounts they offer in order to protect the company’s profits, and at the end of the year everyone gets a raise.

Or take a young executive gunning for vice president who, with one quiet phone call to a major customer, could kill a sale and sabotage a colleague’s division, taking him out of the running for the promotion. The problem with sabotage is that even if it’s good for you, it’s usually bad for the firm. So at most companies, an unspoken compact emerges: It’s okay to be ambitious, but if you play too rough, your peers will unite against you. On the other hand, if you focus on boosting your own department, rather than undermining your rival, you’ll probably get taken care of over time.

Routines and truces offer a type of rough organizational justice, and because of them, Nelson and Winter wrote, conflict within companies usually “follows largely predictable paths and stays within predictable bounds that are consistent with the ongoing routine.… The usual amount of work gets done, reprimands and compliments are delivered with the usual frequency.… Nobody is trying to steer the organizational ship into a sharp turn in the hope of throwing a rival overboard.

Most of the time, routines and truces work perfectly. Rivalries still exist, of course, but because of institutional habits, they’re kept within bounds and the business thrives.

However, sometimes even a truce proves insufficient. Sometimes, as Rhode Island Hospital discovered, an unstable peace can be as destructive as any civil war.

Somewhere in your office, buried in a desk drawer, there’s probably a handbook you received on your first day of work. It contains expense forms and rules about vacations, insurance options, and the company’s organizational chart. It has brightly colored graphs describing different health care plans, a list of relevant phone numbers, and instructions on how to access your email or enroll in the 401(k).

Now, imagine what you would tell a new colleague who asked for advice about how to succeed at your firm. Your recommendations probably wouldn’t contain anything you’d find in the company’s handbook. Instead, the tips you would pass along—who is trustworthy; which secretaries have more clout than their bosses; how to manipulate the bureaucracy to get something done—are the habits you rely on every day to survive. If you could somehow diagram all your work habits—and the informal power structures, relationships, alliances, and conflicts they represent—and then overlay your diagram with diagrams prepared by your colleagues, it would create a map of your firm’s secret hierarchy, a guide to who knows how to make things happen and who never seems to get ahead of the ball.

Nelson and Winter’s routines—and the truces they make possible—are critical to every kind of business. One study from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, for instance, looked at routines within the world of high fashion. To survive, every fashion designer has to possess some basic skills: creativity and a flair for haute couture as a start. But that’s not enough to succeed. What makes the difference between success or failure are a designer’s routines—whether they have a system for getting Italian broadcloth before wholesalers’ stocks sell out, a process for finding the best zipper and button seamstresses, a routine for shipping a dress to a store in ten days, rather than three weeks. Fashion is such a complicated business that, without the right processes, a new company will get bogged down with logistics, and once that happens, creativity ceases to matter.

And which new designers are most likely to have the right habits? The ones who have formed the right truces and found the right alliances. Truces are so important that new fashion labels usually succeed only if they are headed by people who left other fashion companies on good terms.

Some might think Nelson and Winter were writing a book on dry economic theory. But what they really produced was a guide to surviving in corporate America.

What’s more, Nelson and Winter’s theories also explain why things went so wrong at Rhode Island Hospital. The hospital had routines that created an uneasy peace between nurses and doctors—the whiteboards, for instance, and the warnings nurses whispered to one another were habits that established a baseline truce. These delicate pacts allowed the organization to function most of the time. But truces are only durable when they create real justice. If a truce is unbalanced—if the peace isn’t real—then the routines often fail when they are needed most.

The critical issue at Rhode Island Hospital was that the nurses were the only ones giving up power to strike a truce. It was the nurses who double-checked patients’ medications and made extra efforts to write clearly on charts; the nurses who absorbed abuse from stressed-out doctors; the nurses who helped separate kind physicians from the despots, so the rest of the staff knew who tolerated operating-room suggestions and who would explode if you opened your mouth. The doctors often didn’t bother to learn the nurses’ names. “The doctors were in charge, and we were underlings,” one nurse told me. “We tucked our tails and survived.”

The truces at Rhode Island Hospital were one-sided. So at those crucial moments—when, for instance, a surgeon was about to make a hasty incision and a nurse tried to intervene—the routines that could have prevented the accident crumbled, and the wrong side of an eighty-six-year-old man’s head was opened up.

Some might suggest that the solution is more equitable truces. That if the hospital’s leadership did a better job of allocating authority, a healthier balance of power might emerge and nurses and doctors would be forced into a mutual respect.

That’s a good start. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough. Creating successful organizations isn’t just a matter of balancing authority. For an organization to work, leaders must cultivate habits that both create a real and balanced peace and, paradoxically, make it absolutely clear who’s in charge.

-Charles Duhigg

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10 Rules For Business Beginners | Business Guide

Million Dollar Morning Routine | Best Morning Motivation Video 2020

13 Income Producing Assets

BE IMPECCABLE: YOUR CODE OF CONDUCT

Your Outcome: Is it possible to have great values, to have all your rules aligned to support them, to be asking yourself the right questions, and not to be living your values in the moment? If you’re being honest with yourself, you know the answer is yes. All of us at one time or another have let events control us, instead of controlling our states or our decisions as to what those events mean. We need a clear-cut way to ensure that we consistently live the values to which we’ve committed ourselves, and a way of measuring whether or not we’re actually achieving that value on a daily basis.

The young man had achieved enormous success by the time he was twenty-seven years old. He was very bright, well-read, and he felt like he had the world by the tail. But one day he realized something: he wasn’t very happy.’ Many people disliked him because they perceived him as haughty and overbearing. He felt that he was no longer in command of his life’s direction, much less his ultimate destiny.

He decided that he would take control of his life by setting a higher standard for himself, developing a strategy to achieve that higher standard, and creating a system so that he could measure his results daily. He began by selecting twelve “virtues”—twelve states that he wanted to experience every day— that he felt would take his life in the direction he wanted. Then he took out his journal and wrote down all twelve states, and next to this list he created a grid of all the days of the month. “Every time I violate any one of these virtues,” he said, “I will put a small black dot next to that value for that day. My goal is to have no black dots on my chart. Then I will know I am truly living these virtues.” He was so proud of his idea that he showed his journal and explained his system to a friend. His friend said, “Great! Only I think you should add humility to your list of virtues.” And Benjamin Franklin laughed and added the 13th virtue to his list.

I remember reading this story from Ben Franklin’s autobiography in a beat-up hotel room in Milwaukee. I was on an intense schedule, facing the prospect of doing several radio and television talk shows, a book signing, and a free guest event. The night before meeting all these obligations I decided, “Okay, you’re here, so make the best of it. At least you can feed your mind.”

I had very recently come up with the idea of values and their hierarchies, and I had created what I thought was a great list of values for myself, one that I felt good about living. But as I reflected upon Ben’s list of virtues, I told myself, “Yes, you have love as a value, but are you being loving right now? Contribution is one of your top values, but are you contributing in this moment?” And the answer was no. I had great values, but I wasn’t measuring whether or not I was truly living them on a moment- to-moment basis. I knew I was a loving person, but as I looked back, I saw a lot of moments when I wasn’t being loving!

I sat down and asked myself, “What states would I be in if I were my highest and best? What states will I commit to being every single day, no matter what? Regardless of the environment, regardless of whatever challenges break loose around me, I will be these states at least once every day!” The states to which I committed myself included being friendly, happy, loving, outgoing, playful, powerful, generous, outrageous, passionate, and fun. Some of these states were the same as my values, and some of them weren’t. But I knew that if I truly lived each of these states every day, I would be living my values continually. As you can imagine, it was a pretty exciting process!

The next day, as I appeared on the radio and TV talk shows, I deliberately put myself into these states. I was happy, loving, powerful, funny, and I felt that what I said and did made a contribution, not only to my hosts, but to the people who were listening and watching. Then I went down to the local shopping mall for a book signing. When I got there, the manager approached me with a distressed expression and said, “There’s a slight problem, Mr. Robbins . . . the announcement that you’re going to be here signing books is coming out in tomorrow’s paper!”

Now, if this had happened before I’d read about Ben Franklin’s list, I might have reacted in a rather unique way. But with my new list in mind I thought, “I’m committed to living in these states no matter what. What a great test to see if I’m truly living my personal code every day!” , So I walked over to the book-signing table and looked around. Nobody was there; only a few people were strolling through the mall. How could I create excitement where none seemed to exist?

The first thing that popped into my mind was outrageousness. After all, one of the states on my list was to be outrageous. So I picked up a copy of my book. Unlimited Power, and started reading it and making all kinds of interesting noises: “Ooooh! Aaaah! Wow, is that true?”

Soon a woman walked by, was attracted by my enthusiasm for what clearly had to be a brilliant book, and stopped to see what I was reading. I raved to her about this incredible book, and pointed out all of the best stories and techniques. Someone else stopped to see what all the hubbub was about, then a few other folks joined us, and within around twenty minutes, about twenty-five to thirty people were crowding around me to hear about the great book I had found.

Finally, I said, “And you know the best thing of all? I happen to be a good friend of the author!” The first woman’s eyes lit up: “Really?” I held up the book jacket with my picture on the back and said, “Look familiar?” She gasped, and laughed, and so did all the other people. I sat down and started signing books.

That afternoon turned out to be a terrific success, and all of us had fun. Instead of letting events control my actions and perceptions, I had consciously chosen to live by what I now call my Code of Conduct. I also had the tremendous sense of satisfaction of knowing that by living in these states—by being who I truly am—I was meeting my values in the moment.

“Go put your creed into your deed.”

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Ben Franklin and I aren’t the only people who have Codes of Conduct. What do you think the Ten Commandments are all about? Or the Boy Scouts’ Oath? Or the American Serviceman’s Code of Conduct? How about the Optimists’ Club Creed? One way to create your own code is to review codes of conduct that already exist. . . .

OPTIMISTS’ CLUB CREED

Promise yourself…

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something of value in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit presence of trouble.

When John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach, graduated from grade school at age twelve, his father gave him a seven-point creed. John says this creed has been one of the most powerful influences on his entire life and career. It’s a creed he still lives by every single day:

JOHN WOODEN’S SEVEN-POINT CREED:

“MAKING THE MOST OF ONESELF”

1. Be true to yourself.

2. Make each day your masterpiece.

3. Help others.

4. Drink deeply from good books.

5. Make friendship a fine art.

6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.

7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” OLIVER GOLDSMITH

Today’s Assignment:

1. Make a list of the states you are committed to experiencing every day in order to live in accordance with your highest principles and values. Make sure the list is long enough to give your life the richness and variety you deserve, yet short enough that you can truly be in these states every day! Most people find that anywhere from seven to ten is optimum.

What states would you like to be in on a consistent basis? Happy? Dynamic? Friendly? Connected? Cheerful? Grateful? Passionate? Balanced? Adventurous? Amusing? Outrageous? Generous? Elegant? Some of these states might be the same as some of your moving-toward values, and some of them might be things that you feel will lead you toward living your values every day.

2. After you have compiled your list, write a sentence next to each one describing how you will know you are doing it—in other words, your rules for these states; for example: “I am being cheerful when I smile at people”; “I am being outrageous when I do something totally unexpected and fun”; “I am being grateful when I remember all the good things I have in my life.”

3. Make the commitment to yourself to genuinely experience each of these states at least once a day. You might want to write your Code of Conduct on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet or on your desk at work or by your bed. Every now and then, during the course of the day, take a look at your list and ask yourself, “Which of these states have I already experienced today? Which of them haven’t I had yet, and how am I going to accomplish it by the end of the day?”

If you truly commit to your Code of Conduct, imagine how incredible you will feel! You’ll no longer be controlled by events; you’ll know that, no matter what happens around you, you can maintain your sense of yourself and live up to the vision you’ve created. There is a tremendous pride that comes with holding yourself to a higher standard and knowing that each day you alone will determine how you feel, that you will conduct yourself only at the highest level.

Wayne Dyer recently shared a great metaphor with me relating to how people blame the way they behave on the pressure they’re feeling. He said, “Pressure doesn’t create negative behavior. Think of yourself as an orange. If an orange is squeezed, if all this pressure is being applied from the outside, what happens? Juice comes out, right? But the only thing that comes out when the pressure is applied is what’s already inside the orange.”

I believe that you decide what’s on the inside by holding yourself to a higher standard. So when the pressure’s on, what’s going to come out is the “good stuff.” After all, you cannot always count on easy sailing. It’s up to you to live by your Code of Conduct and commit yourself to the principle of CANI! in order to keep a true bearing on your course. Remember, it’s who you are every day—the small actions as well as the most grandiose—that build your character and form your identity.

One of the most important actions you can take is to learn to…

-Tony Robbins

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