Personal Directions: Building a Positive Personality
By Christina Dodd,
This week I would like to introduce you to some ideas by Shiv
Khera on Steps to Building a Positive Personality. I have mentioned his
work to you in the past and he has a very clear way of expressing his
viewpoint on subjects such as personal growth and development. This
particular subject is one of the most written about subjects with a
zillion books out there on the bookstore shelves, but Shiv Khera is quite
down to earth about it all. Hope you enjoy it.
Step 1: Accept
“Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can
shoulder them.” When people accept additional responsibility they are
actually giving themselves a promotion.
Responsible behavior is to accept accountability and
that represents maturity. Acceptance of responsibility is a reflection of
our attitude and the environment we operate in. Most people are quick to
take credit for what goes right but very few would accept responsibility
when things go wrong. A person who does not accept responsibility is not
absolved from being responsible. Our objective is to cultivate responsible
behavior. Responsible behavior should be inculcated right from childhood.
It cannot be taught without a certain degree of obedience.
Stop the blame game. Avoid phrases such as:
* everyone else does it
* no one does it
* it is all your fault
People who don’t accept responsibility shift the
blame to their parents, teachers, genes, God, fate, luck or the stars.
Johnny said, “Mama, Jimmy broke the window.” Mama
asked, “How did he do it?” Johnny replied, “I threw a stone at him
and he ducked.”
People who use their privileges without accepting
responsibility usually end up losing them. Responsibility involves
Pettiness causes us to ignore our responsibilities.
Think about it. Petty minds are busy passing the buck rather than doing
what needs to be done.
Social responsibility. Ancient Indian wisdom
teaches us that our first responsibility is to the community, second to
our family and third to our self. A society starts degenerating when this
order is reversed. Social responsibility ought to be the moral obligation
of every citizen. Responsibility and freedom go hand in hand.
The price of greatness is responsibility.
- Winston Churchill
Societies are not destroyed by the activities of
rascals but by the inactivity of good people. What a paradox! If they can
tolerate destruction by being inactive, how can they be good? The question
is, are they discharging their social responsibility?
For evil to flourish, good people have to do nothing
and evil shall flourish.
- Edmund Burke
Step 2: Think win/win
A man died and St. Peter asked him if he would like to
go to heaven or hell. The man asked if he could see both before deciding.
St. Peter took him to hell first and the man saw a big
hall with a long table, lots of food on it and music playing. He also saw
rows of people with pale, sad faces. They looked starved and there was no
laughter. And he observed one more thing. Their hands were tied to
four-foot forks and knives and they were trying to get the food from the
center of the table to put into their mouths. But they couldn’t.
Then, he went to see heaven. There he saw a big hall
with a long table, with lots of food on the table and music playing. He
noticed rows of people on both sides of the table with their hands tied to
four-foot forks and knives also. But he observed there was something
different here. People were laughing and were well-fed and
healthy-looking. He noticed that they were feeding one another across the
table. The result was happiness, prosperity, enjoyment, and gratification
because they were not thinking of themselves alone; they were thinking
win/win. The same is true of our lives. When we serve our customers, our
families, our employers and employees, we automatically win.
Step 3: Choose your
A person who says what he likes usually ends up hearing
what he doesn’t like. Be tactful. Tact consists of choosing one’s
words carefully and knowing how far to go. It also means knowing what to
say and what to leave unsaid. Talent without tact may not always be
desirable. Words reflect attitude. Words can hurt feelings and destroy
relationships. More people have been hurt by an improper choice of words
than by any natural disaster. Choose what you say rather than say what you
choose. That is the difference between wisdom and foolishness.
Excessive talking does not mean communication. Talk
less; say more. A fool speaks without thinking; a wise man thinks before
Words spoken out of bitterness can cause irreparable
damage. The way parents speak to their children in many instances shapes
their children’s future and destiny.
Spoken words can’t be retrieved. A farmer
slandered his neighbor. Realizing his mistake, he went to the preacher to
ask for forgiveness. The preacher told him to take a bag of feathers and
drop them in the center of town. The farmer did as he was told. Then the
preacher asked him to go and collect the feathers and put them back in the
bag. The farmer tried, but couldn’t as the feathers had all blown away.
When he returned with the empty bag, the preacher said, “The same thing
is true about your words. You dropped them rather easily but you cannot
retrieve them, so be very careful in choosing them.”
These are just a few steps that have been highlighted
in this week’s column and if you are interested in reading more of Shiv
Khera’s thoughts, his international best-seller is titled “You Can Win
– A step by step tool for top achievers”. It’s great reading.
If you would like to write to me or contact me further
about any of our personal or business skills programs, then please email
me at [email protected] asiatrainin gassociates.com I’d be very happy to
hear from you.
Until next time, have a tremendous week!
The Doctor's Consultation: Your Appendix. Singular or plural?
by Dr. Iain Corness
With the Crown Prince recently having an Appendicectomy
(Appendectomy if you are American) it reminded me that it has been a while
since we mentioned Appendicitis, a very common ailment. It is generally the
first operation that a young surgeon does for a solo (and it was for me too -
a Russian seaman in Gibraltar - and I still wonder if he’s doing fine!).
The condition that leads to the Appendix being removed is
called Appendicitis (remember that “-itis” at the end of the word usually
means inflammation). The initial symptoms include abdominal pain, at first
around the navel, but then moving out to the right side of the lower abdomen.
There can be nausea and sometimes diarrhoea as well. The symptoms can also
rapidly progress - the “hot” appendix, or slowly lessen, the so-called
So just what is the Appendix, and is it singular or plural
(I have heard patients tell me many times that they “have had them
removed”)? The appendix is a little “finger” shaped appendage that hangs
off the bowel and connects with it. Ruminants such as cows have large ones, if
size really matters! For us, it is also one of those cute “vestigial”
organs which has no apparent functional use these days, but can give us lots
of problems if things go wrong. And things often do go wrong, with
appendicitis being experienced by about 1 person in 500 every year. Males
suffer from this more than females and it can strike at any age, though under
two is exceptionally rare. The most affected age group is between fifteen and
So what causes Appendicitis? It is a form of infection
which is generally from the food passing through the gut and can be bacterial
or even viral. Sometimes the poo (nice medical term) in the gut gets jammed
into the appendix and causes the initial problem. Just for the record, we call
it inspissated faeces, just to make it sound grander than it really is.
While the signs and symptoms of Appendicitis are
straightforward, the diagnosis is not so easy as a number of other abdominal
conditions will mimic the symptoms. From my medical student days I can even
remember one item in the differential diagnosis being the Abdominal Crises of
Porphyria! I must admit that in 35 years of medicine I’ve never met one!
There are some laboratory tests which can be done,
especially a blood test to see if the White Cell count has gone up, and some
centres will perform ultrasound to try to differentiate what is going on
inside the belly.
The definitive “cure” is to whip out the offending
organ. You don’t need it. My old surgical boss always told me to make sure
the skin incision was as small and as neat as possible, because that was all
the patient had to go by to judge one’s competency. It didn’t matter what
went on inside - just make sure the outside looked good! This was particularly
important with young females and a 1 cm scar level with the top of the bikini
bottom was the ideal.
Post-operatively the vast majority of patients do well and
are up and about in a few days, happily living without their appendix, but if
you’re having some grumbling gut pains, perhaps you should let the doctor
cast his practiced eye over it. It might be time to have “it” out!
Your disinclination to slip into a rubber suit has caught me by surprise.
I imagined that Aunties were always ‘up for it’. Never mind, Postman
Pat and his little black cat are on their way with a tube of Smarties (Nit
likes red ones) and a bottle of Babycham. Wicked, yes/no?
As always it is you who is confused, my wilting Petal. Note I used
‘wilting’ and not ‘willing’. It is uncles who are, as you so
delicately put it, “up for it”. If a tube of Smarties (sans red ones
for Nit) ever arrives, I shall drown myself in the promised Babycham, with
extreme shock. That’s about all that should be done with bottles such as
that, though I believe it does help unblock drains and others have told me
it is a good cleaner for alloy wheels. Wicked? No. Trying to wriggle out
of your promises? Yes!
I am about to retire, and after many visits to Chiang Mai have decided it
is the place I want to spend my golden years. Surfing the net to find
property for sale in Chiang Mai is not a problem and the sites are very
well put together. But, try and find a used car dealership on the net that
is in Chiang Mai is impossible. I have been trying for days with no luck
whatsoever. Do you know of any domains that will help with my quest? There
could be a bottle of Krug in this for you, not to mention the Belgium
Thank you, Snowflake, you are the ‘real thing’. You understand. You
talk Hillary’s language. For a bottle of Krug I’m yours, my Petal. Not
like the “kee nee-oh” (stingy and mean) Mistersingha and his current
offer of Babycham. Unfortunately, the used car business, like the used car
businesses all over the world, have a tendency to be like nomadic hill
tribes - here today and gone tomorrow. Or perhaps it is “Slash and
Burn” - slash your wallet and burn the contents! Websites for such
(auto)mobile businesses are few and far between. Most come under the
heading of “Midnight Motors” as they’re gone the next morning. You
could try clicking on http://splash.handii.com/thailand_cars.htm and this
might give you some links to try. However, I have a better thought. When
you come over, we could go looking for your dream car together, I’ll
bring the ice bucket, you bring the Krug. And don’t forget the Belgian
I have not been in Thailand a very long time, but the men’s barbers get
me in a pickle. Every time I go to get the golden locks shortened, the
barber wants to give me a good thumping on the back half way through the
haircut, and then at the end I get my arms bent every way and thumped from
hands to shoulders. Last time one barber attacked me with some sort of
vibrating electric motor strapped on his hand, tilted the chair back and
began to try and massage my legs! I have no complaints about the haircut
or the price, but all I want is a haircut. I am worried about what part of
my body will be attacked next. What do I do?
What you are experiencing is the normal service for a local Thai barber
with local customers. You should feel honoured at being accepted! However,
if you really can’t stand the free massage, then you have several
options, depending upon your linguistic skills. You can politely say (in
Thai), “haircut only” (Dat pom yang diow), but if you are not
confident enough to say that, then you can always visit the much more
expensive barbers in the big shopping centres whose staff do speak English
and will be happy to accommodate you as a cut only, but really, my Petal,
you should be brave and relax and enjoy the ‘value added’ services.
One of the girls in my regular bar was trying to read a letter from a
farang boyfriend and asked me to explain a couple of sections for her. It
was the usual boyfriend abroad to girlfriend in Thailand letter and in it
he said he was looking forward to coming back to Thailand next month. When
I asked her who he was, she said she couldn’t remember! Hillary, why do
these girls act like this? Surely they must remember, or was she just
playing with me?
Back of the bar, Bob
Dear Back of the bar, Bob,
She was not playing with you (even though you may have wanted her to), the
simple fact is that the only person playing with your head is you! These
girls are in the business of making overseas tourists feel as if they are
the one person in the world that they have been waiting all their entire
life for. Unfortunately for the individual tourist, they play that role
every evening, so it should not be surprising that they don’t know which
particular tourist is writing to them. Particularly if their name is
something common, like Bob, even if he is ‘back of the bar’.
Camera Class: Photographing
glamour fronts and its unglamorous back side!
by Harry Flashman
was reminded of this the other day when a photographic friend asked me to
comment on a couple of shots he had taken of a young model in lingerie. Nice
photos of a nice lady - but - (there’s always a ‘but’ as the sheep once
said) there were some problems to be overcome, and there’s no harder judge
than the viewer of glamour photography. Or someone who made a living out of it.
The first problem is the model herself (or himself, I should
hasten to add). All models have an image of themselves in their minds, and if
the shot does not convey that image, the photographer has a problem straight
away. Having shot more than one aspiring model, I have also to report that I
have had to destroy more than one set of negatives of young ladies who were so
shocked at what they really looked like, that they gave up all thoughts of the
cat-walk and glamour calendars immediately. And guess who bore the costs of the
destroyed film and my time? (You’re reading him!)
Taking photographs of people is always difficult compared to
taking photos of still lives. The plate of food does not complain that its eyes
look ‘funny’. One Asian gentleman asked that I not make his eyes look too
‘Asian’! About the only way round that problem would have been to photograph
the back of his head! It’s that ‘image’ thing again.
Another huge problem is that the girl who looks a complete
knock-out in the flesh (so to speak) may not come out well in a photo - and the
reverse holds true too - girls you wouldn’t give a second look to can come out
brilliantly on film. The answer to this conundrum is called the Photo Test. For
a glamour calendar shoot, this is how it goes.
Every day the studio was host to the hopefuls. Similar
glamour calendars were shown to the models and they all signed a piece of paper
(the Model Release) to say that they were over 18 and had no objection to being
photographed topless. Now this test should have just been a quick film exposure
of personal exposure and wait for the results. Nothing is ever that easy! Some
girls would come out from the (un)dressing room in dressing gowns and stand in
the stage set and then freeze. One girl even asked me to stand with my back to
her - this would certainly have made it very difficult to focus and did not
augur well as to her future as a glamour model! One hopeful (hopeless) girl came
three times and stumbled at the final hurdle every time.
Even then, you can have a problem with the models. On one
calendar shoot, this involved a large piece of road-laying equipment, with the
model walking beside it, as it trundled down the road. 72 exposures were done,
using fill-flash. A stylist was on the shoot to make sure the lingerie was
fitted correctly. The road-layer had its driver and side-kick. And all these
people were paid. The shoot took around three hours. When I got the shots back,
the model had closed her eyes in every frame! 72 shots of clearly focused
eyelids! And guess who paid for the re-shoot? You’re reading him!
Even when you have got to the stage of having a bevy of
well-trained models who can keep their eyes open and don’t worry about looking
as if they have ‘Asian’ eyes, that is not the end of your woes. On one very
big budget glamour shoot for a glossy calendar, on the day of one young lady’s
shoot she came down with the measles. While the client’s colour was pink, pink
spots on the model did not enhance the company product. At very short notice we
had to hire another professional model to do the shoot. And guess who paid for
the new model? You’re reading him!
“Glamour” photographic work may sound glamorous, but it is difficult and
fraught with problems. Embarrassed would-be models is the smallest of these!
Dr Byte's Computer
By Dr. Byte, Citec Asia
Q. Dear Dr Byte
My problem is I went to a web site to check out some music
downloads and everything went wrong from there. The site would not load
completely, sometimes showing what I think is coding of some kind and any site
links I would click, just sat there and stared at me. I have talked with my ISP
customer service and it just became a futile finger pointing exercise. I
on my IE and I just do not know where to turn next, if at all.
Any help or guidance you could provide, sure would be
A. While its no consolation, you’re not alone. A
lot of sites / software offer security “enhancements” of questionable value
that end up getting in the way of valid/useful web features. It’s analogous
to spam filters that throw out legitimate mail. For example, one of the most
common “security” tweaks is to try to prevent popups by disabling or
limiting scripting. The popups go away all right - but so do all but the
simplest web sites. My guess is that your problem lies in this area because
The fix may involve either removing overzealous security
tool(s), and/or adjusting your browser security settings yourself.
You might start by removing or uninstalling all your
security add-ons; then set all IE security settings to default, and then
restore just the firewall. You’re using Zone Alarm, which is fine: Let it set
itself up from scratch, and let it automatically pre-configure what it can.
Try some known-safe test sites: For example Microsoft’s
update pages, and a few other sites that are not likely to harbor hacker code.
If your browser is now OK (my guess is it will be) you can then improve on the
default IE security settings: http://langa.com/u/3z.htm provides some advice
about this. After each tweak, return to your test sites to make sure that each
change you make doesn’t break your browser again; undo any changes that do.
PC Pitstop has some free one-click fixes for IE - little
scripts that can adjust many security options at once into “known safe”
settings. It’s definitely worth taking the diagnostic test there, and
checking any suggestions the site makes: http://www.pcpitstop.com
When everything’s working again, carefully restore any
other security-add-ons you want one by one. For example PopupStopper. Again
visit the test sites to see what effect each add-on has, and rein in or remove
any too-aggressive tools that stop your browser working. If any browser changes
can’t be undone, or if things are too badly messed up for the above to help,
try: http://www.google .com/search?q=ie+repair or if your fed up trying to make
the changes your self, take your PC to any reputable computer maintenance or
Q. Dear Dr Byte
You have mentioned spyware cookies a few times and I decided
to turn them (cookies) all off. As in gone completely never again. Part of me
said Ahah! gotya ya buggers. I was a happy vegemite until a couple of weeks
when I tried to do some shopping on a website in Australia and was unable to.
Should I turn cookies on again? What about those bad cookies
I keep hearing you talk about?
A. Most cookies are harmless. A few are downright evil.
Here’s how to spot the ones that represent a threat to your privacy.
“Per-session” cookies. Keep these helpful cookies.
They’re the safest cookies of all, because they store information only as
long as your browser window is open and are automatically deleted when you
close the browser window. E-commerce sites often use per-session cookies to
keep track of the contents of your Web shopping cart until you’re ready to
check out. This is the sort of cookie your shopping web site was using and
which allowed the web site to know who you were and what you were ordering.
“Stored cookies” for sites you visit regularly. Keep
these cookies, too. They’re typically used to log you into a site and store
your preferences. They can only be read when you revisit that site, so they
can’t be used against you.
“Third-party cookies” are served by sites that are
supported by advertising. Ads are often served by companies other than the ones
that run the site. The most notorious is DoubleClick, but there are literally
dozens of third-party ad servers on the Web today. You don’t need third-party
cookies, as even DoubleClick will admit.
Third-party cookies are the ones you should be concerned
about, because they can be used to track your actions as you move between Web
sites. That information can be stored in huge databases and if you disclose any
personal information about yourself (by filling in a contest entry, for
instance) the third-party site can begin building a dossier about you.
The questions is how to block bad cookies, and how do the
two leading browsers stack up when it comes to their cookie-handling smarts?
Neither one is perfect.
Netscape browsers. If you use Netscape Communicator or
Navigator, you can completely block third-party cookies. Choose Edit,
Preferences, click the Advanced category, and then check the “Accept only
cookies that get sent back to the originating server” option. You’ll still
see banner ads, but you won’t pick up any cookies from ad servers.
Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s older
flagship browsers do nothing to protect you from third-party cookies. Using the
Tools, Internet Options menu, you can click the Security tab, choose the
Internet Zone, and click the Custom Level button to check boxes that disable
all stored cookies while keeping per-session cookies. Internet Explorer 6
offers much better cookie-handling tools. If you use IE, several readers
suggested CookieWall, a free add-in that lets you put good cookies on a Keep
list and bad cookies on a Kill list. I’m impressed.
Mac users should take a look at WebRoot’s MacWasher, which
costs $30 but reportedly does an excellent job of managing cookies.
Toss those third-party cookies, and the only Cookie Monster
you’ll have to worry about is the lovable, silly Sesame Street character.
Dr Byte appears in Chiangmai Mail every 2 weeks and if you
have any questions or suggestions you would like to make, you can contact me at
Dr Byte, Chiangmai Mail.