Best Advice on How to Succeed!

Success is hard. If it was easy, everyone would be successful.

Most people don’t realise that the hard work happens behind the scene.

Watch this inspirational video. No one was born successful, everyone fought long and hard.

It’s what you do when you’re down that matters.

Life’s Obstacles

In the popular 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption, the character Andy is wrongly convicted of murder and is incarcerated in the notoriously harsh Shawshank Prison.

Shawshank redemption

Andy (left in picture) works in the prison library which has very few resources except for some old tattered books and magazines. he begins a campaign to improve and expand the library and approaches the prison wardens for funds.

The warden is reluctant to spend taxpayers money on luxuries for convicted criminals. Andy is not deterred and so he asks the wardens permission to write to the State Senate for funds. Despite believing Andy’s efforts are a waste of time, the warden promises to personally mail the letters.

Andy sets about sending one letter a week to the Senate, asking for assistance, believing that they can’t ignore him forever. It takes six years but to Andy’s amazement boxes of books are delivered to the prison, together with a cheque for $200. A note is attached from the Senate stating thet they now consider the matter closed!

Some of the prison officers are surprised that Andy’s persistence has paid off. Andy becomes even more determined and starts writing two letters a week! The State realizes Andy can’t be bought off with $200 and a few boxes of books. In the hope of silencing him, the State approves an annual payment of $500. Andy makes that $500 stretch as far as it would go. He did deals with book clubs and charity groups. The library was refurbished and it became the place to be. It was the best prison library in all of New England.

Despite the desperate situation, he found himself in and the many obstacles he faced, Andy never gave up. His determination, his persistance and his commitment was rewarded.

This is the same for all of us. Most of us are not as hampered as Andy. We are free. We can fight to live or we can give up, wither and die.

I happened to watch this movie when I was jobless and frustrated from applying for tens of jobs without any replies. When you’re down and out, it is so easy to give up in despair.  But what this movie teaches you is not to stop asking. Keep knocking on doors, several times if you must, until you find and get what you want. Persevere. Dont stop knocking until your last breath.

Persevere

When you’re down and out, it’s easy for people to tell to keep on persevering.

You feel like punching them in the face.

Don’t.

You feel like they don’t know how much effort you’re already putting in.

But all they are saying is that don’t give up.

Life is tough.

Life isn’t fair.

But when you have a goal and, more importantly, a desire to achieve it, even a disease won’t be an obstacle for you. Have you heard of Bill Porter? Even though Bill Porter has cerebral palsy, he wanted to work in sales. He achieved his goal, and later he became one of the best salesmen in America. The movie ’Door to Door’ is dedicated to his spirit, and it’s recommended for those who think something will hold them back from achieving the desired career.

Persevere.

Don’t stop knocking. You will never know which door will open.

Have faith.

Life is Never Fair

It took me around 40 years to realise that life is not fair.

You can work as hard as you want but there will be times when unexpected things will impact your life. Like working hard in a job and then one morning the boss comes to you and says you’re redundant because there is no more suitable work for you. (In other words, they can’t find any more high-end work for you or they need to save some cost because of the financial year end and you’re the scape goat).

You never saw this coming.
You take a moment to absorb this.
Your world stops.
How are you going to support your family?

Always remember that life is like a sine wave.

There will be up’s and down’s.

When things are going well for you, always remember to save money for the rainy and unexpected events.

When the chips are down, draw down on your savings so that you have enough time to find new work.

If you’re technologically savvy and think you can easily find work from the job portals, think again. When the economy is bad, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people just like you.

What will differentiate you from them?

I’ve learnt the hard way that the only way to find work is through your network. Only your friends and your network will help you find work during these times. They might know of someone who may need your skills.

When times are good, remember to be in touch with your friends. Dont go to them only when you’re in dire straits; they may be reluctant to help you.

How Hackers Can Hack You Using Social Engineering

Gone are the days when hackers use malicious code that you have to run on your computer for a hacker to get access to your machine.

Did you know that they can even watch you using your own web cam?

Watch how hackers obtain your personal information. This is from DEF CON.

Finding The Best Mobile Carrier’s Coverage Area

The next time you’re in a new place and looking for the mobile carrier with the widest coverage, head over to OpenSignal and they will show you the major mobile providers in the area and their coverage.

What is unique about OpenSignal is that it also relies on community generated maps of both WiFi and mobile receptions — which means you can now find out if your house is located in the black zone (i.e. no reception zone) between 2 carriers.

Other benefits – a speed test and also a compass signal to direct you to an area with better coverage.

Dont you just love the Internet!

 

OpenSignalMobilePhones

 

How to Lose Weight and Make Money Doing It

healthy-wage

Instead of paying others to help you lose weight (you’re still making all the effort yourself while your trainer just looks at you), how about getting paid to lose weight?

That’s the idea behind HealthyWage. I think they meant to say Healthy Wager.

HealthyWage works with researchers to find out what makes people lose weight.

How Does It Work?

Weight Loss Betting at Work

In a major real-world test of financial incentives, HealthyWage was commissioned by Optum Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Health Group (one of the largest health insurers in the world) to offer its employees the opportunity to make a weight loss bet.  Participants made a $100 loss bet and had six months to lose ten percent of their weight.  HealthyWage awarded $400 to each successful participant.

As with the academic studies, the results were outstanding.  Among the most impressive stats:  almost 2/3 of male participants achieved the 10% weight loss goal.

 

How Does It Work For You?

There are two ways for you to participate – solo and in a team.

When going for the Solo option, you set the amount of weight you want to lose and when you intend to lose the weight by and also set a monthly wager. For example, as shown below, you’ve given yourself 12 months to lose 100 pounds at a cost of $50 per month or $600 per year with a potential return of $1454 – $1743 with the higher wage being the prize money if you reached your goal quicker.

HealthyWageSolo

On the other hand, HealthyWage also has its team event. You get your friends together and try to lose as much weight a possible. The price money for the team event is a massive $10,000! Yes, that’s not a typo. The weight loss is counted as a percentage loss compared to when you start as teams size can vary and comparing y percentage is the only way to make it fair.

HealthyWageTeam

Check out their website – HealthyWage.com for more information.

Instead of paying people to lose weight, this is a chance to get some money for improving your health!

How to Protect Your Children From Accessing Explicit Sites on the Internet

girl on computer

Parents always worry about their children accessing explicit sites on the Internet in their absence. There are software’s that can be installed to block children from accessing explicit sites. However, these only work on laptops and not on mobile devices or tablets and when kids become older, they may find ways to circumvent the software.

Another option you may consider is a filtered DNS service. The benefit of using a filtered DNS service is that it applies to all devices in your home, including mobile phones and tablets.

[Okay, this will not stop your kids from accessing these sites on their mobile phone when they’re away from home. And eventually when they are older and start teaching you about technology, then this will definitely not work!]

So how does one use a filtered DNS? And what on earth is a DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name Service. It’s the phone book of the Internet.

When you type in a web address on your desktop, laptop or tablet, say www.yahoo.com, your devices sends the Yahoo address to your home router (also known as the modem – the black device with blinking lights connected to your telephone line) which then looks up the location of the phone book at your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and checks and sees what Yahoo’s IP address is and then goes and fetches data from Yahoo and send its back to your computer. Nearly all ISP’s have a copy of the Internet’s phone book which is usually refreshed every 30 minutes. And their copy of the phone book has nearly all the web address of all the websites in the world. [I say nearly all the addresses since some countries like China and in the Middle East block certain websites from the citizens.]

When you sign up for a filtered DNS service, like the one provided by OpenDNS, you are basically using a phone book which has been filtered for explicit adult sites, phishing sites, scamming sites, gambling sites and other sites deemed not appropriate for minors.

OpenDNS

Setting up a filtered DNS through services like OpenDNS is easy and free. OpenDNS has a family option which is free. And they provide eay setup guidelines for your devices.

As you can see from below, if your children have their own computer, you can setup the filtered DNS on their machine alone. Or if you prefer to have everyone covered, you can setup the filtered DNS on your home router. This protects everyone in your home from accidentally bumping into explicit adult content sites, phishing and scamming sites and online gambling sites.

OpenDNS Setup

There are other sites that also provide similar services, like Comodo Secure DNS, Dyn Internet Guide, FoolDNS, Greenteam DNS and many more.

I believe that filtering DNS at the router level is a more un-obstructive protection mechanism than at the computer level for young children. Children learn how to tinker with computers in school but I have yet to see a school which teaches them how to work their home routers 🙂

How to Stay Relaxed on a Plane

Despite the downturn in economy, people are still flying, more so in economy class rather than business these days. I read an interesting article on TED on how to stay relaxed when flying by Pico Iyer.

Pico Iyer is a British-born essayist and novelist of Indian origin, best known for his travel writing. He is the author of numerous books on crossing cultures including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul. He is also a frequent speaker at literary festivals and universities around the world, who delivered popular TED talks in 2013 and 2014 (ref ted.com ref) and has twice been a Fellow at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

What is unique about Pico is that he is one of the first writers to take the international airport itself as his subject, along with the associated jet lag, displacement and cultural minglings. He writes often of his delight in living between the cracks and outside fixed categories. Most of his books have been about trying to see from within some society or way of life — revolutionary Cuba, Sufism, Buddhist Kyoto, even global disorientation — but from the larger perspective an outsider can sometimes bring.

“I am simply a fairly typical product of a movable sensibility, living and working in a world that is itself increasingly small and increasingly mongrel. I am a multinational soul on a multinational globe on which more and more countries are as polyglot and restless as airports. Taking planes seems as natural to me as picking up the phone or going to school; I fold up my self and carry it around as if it were an overnight bag.”

Pico’s article on TED (click here) teaches you how to find solace in a busy world.