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  • Best Way To Deal With Poisonous People, , heading 5
    Best Way To Deal With Poisonous People


    Toxic people have always been a drag, but research shows they can physically harm your brain. In this, we show you how to keep your gray matter safe.

    Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife and, worst of all, stress. Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain.

    Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

    Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your nonprofit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.

    Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs. The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance.

    TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize toxic people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep toxic people at bay.

    While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when dealing with toxic people, what follows are 12 of the best. To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.


    Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary.

    Think of it this way: If the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the secondhand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.


    Successful people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.


    Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it—their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix? The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps.

    Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.


    Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so. Think of it this way: If a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight.

    When you find yourself with a co-worker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.


    This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to rise above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.

    You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.


    When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them.

    While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain: You’re never as good or bad as they say you are.


    Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress. When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you.

    Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.


    Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Successful people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.


    Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.


    Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re surprised in the hallway by an angry co-worker.


    I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed.

    Your self-control, attention and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.


    It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person.

    Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

    Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you’re going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

  • 21 Secrets To Become Rich, , heading 5
    21 Secrets To Become Rich


    There is nothing on earth that you cannot have once you have mentally accepted the fact that you can have it.

    Robert CollierTHE TRUTH ABOUT YOU

    You are a thoroughly good person.You deserve a wonderful life, full of success, happiness, joy, and excitement.You are entitled to have happy relationships, excellent health, meaningful work, and financial independence. These are your birthright. This is what your life is meant to include.

    You are engineered for success and designed to have high levels of self-esteem, self-respect, and personal pride. You are extraordinary; there has never been anyone exactly like you in all the history of mankind on earth.You have absolutely amazing untapped talents and abilities that, when properly unleashed and applied, can bring you everything you could ever want in life.

    You are living at the greatest time in all of human history.You are surrounded by abundant opportunities that you can take advantage of to realize your dreams. The only real limits on what you can be, do, or have are the limits you place on yourself by your own thinking.Your future is virtually unlimited.

    How did you react to the preceding three paragraphs? You probably had two responses. First, you liked what they said, and your fondest wish was for them to be true for you. But your second response was probably one of skepticism and disbelief. Even though you deeply desire to live a wonderfully healthy, happy, prosperous life, when you read those words, your doubts and fears arose immediately to remind you of reasons why these dreams and goals may not be possible for you.Well, join the crowd!

    This is exactly how I felt many years ago. Even though I wanted to be a big success in life, I was unskilled, uneducated, and unemployed. I had no idea what I could do to improve my situation. I felt trapped between big ideas on the one hand and limited resources and opportunities on the other. Then I discovered a series of remarkable principles that have been responsible for all the great successes and achievements of the ages, and my life changed forever.

    After proving these laws and principles in my own life, I began speaking, and training others to apply the same ideas. Since then, I have given more than two thousand talks and seminars as long as four days in length, in 24 countries, to a total of more than two million participants. Most of them were also skeptical when they first heard these ideas of optimism and possibility, until they learned what you are going to learn in the pages ahead. It changed their lives, as it will change yours.THE GREAT PRINCIPLE

    Perhaps the most important mental and spiritual principle ever discovered is that you become what you think about most of the time.Your outer world is very much a mirror image of your inner world.What is going on outside of you is a reflection of what is going in inside of you.You can tell the inner condition of a person by looking at the outer conditions of his or her life. And it cannot be otherwise.THOUGHTS ARE THINGS

    Your mind is extraordinarily powerful. Your thoughts control and determine almost everything that happens to you. They can raise or lower your heart rate, improve or interfere with your digestion, change the chemical composition of your blood, and help you to sleep or keep you awake at night.

    Your thoughts can make you happy or sad, sometimes in an instant. They can make you alert and aware, or distracted and depressed. They can make you popular or unpopular, confident or insecure, positive or negative. Your thoughts can make you feel powerful or powerless, a victim or a victor, a hero or a coward.

    In your material life, your thoughts can make you a success or a failure, prosperous or poverty-stricken, respected or ignored. Your thoughts, and the actions that they trigger, determine your whole life. And the best news of all is that they are completely under your own control.

    You are a complex bundle of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, desires, images, fears, hopes, doubts, opinions, and ambitions, each of them constantly changing, sometimes from second to second. Each of these elements of your personality affects the others, sometimes in unpredictable ways.Your entire life is the result of the intertwining and interconnecting of these factors.

           Your thoughts trigger images and pictures, and the emotions that go with them. These images and emotions trigger attitudes and actions.Your actions then have consequences and results that determine what happens to you.

           If you think about success and confidence, you will feel strong and competent, and you will perform better at whatever you attempt. If you think about making mistakes or being embarrassed, you will perform poorly, no matter how good you really are.

    Pictures and images, from your imagination or from the external influences, produce ideas, emotions, and attitudes that correspond to them. They then trigger actions that bring about certain results and outcomes.The thought of a person or situation can cause you to instantly feel happy or sad, elated or angry, loving or lonely.

    Your attitudes, positive or negative, constructive or destructive, lead to corresponding images, emotions, and actions that affect your life and relationships. Your attitudes, in turn, are based on your previous experiences and your basic premises about how things are supposed to be.

    Your actions trigger the emotions and attitudes that go with them. By the Law of Reversibility, you can actually act your way into feeling in a manner consistent with the action. By acting as if you were already happy, positive, and confident, you soon begin to feel that way on the inside. And your actions are under your direct control, whereas your emotions are not.

    In and of themselves, the outer aspects of your life are neutral. It is only the meaning that you give to them that determines your attitudes, opinions, emotions, and reactions to them. If you change your thinking about any part of your life, you will change how you feel and behave in that area. And since only you can decide what to think, you have the ability to take complete control over your life.

    The Law of Belief says: Whatever you believe, with conviction, becomes your reality.You always act in a manner consistent with your deepest and most intensely held beliefs, whether they are true or not. And all your beliefs are learned. At one time, you did not have them.

           Your beliefs largely determine your reality.You do not believe what you see; you rather see what you already believe. You can have life-enhancing beliefs that make you happy and optimistic, or you can have negative beliefs about yourself and your potential that act as roadblocks to the realization of everything that is truly possible for you.

    The most harmful beliefs you can have are your self-limiting beliefs. These are beliefs about yourself and your potential that hold you back. Most of them are not true. Most of them are the result of information you have accepted without question, often from early childhood. Even if it is completely untrue, if you believe yourself to be limited in areas such as achieving wonderful health and happiness and earning a lot of money, that will become your truth. As the author Richard Bach in his book Illusions wrote, ‘Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.’

    The Law of Attraction says that you are a ‘living magnet’ and that you invariably attract into your life the people, ideas, opportunities, and circumstances in harmony with your dominant thoughts.

    When you think positive, optimistic, loving, and successful thoughts, you create a force field of magnetism that attracts, like iron filings to a magnet, the very things you are thinking about. This law explains why it is that you don’t have to be concerned where your good is going to come from. If you can keep your mind clearly focused on what you want, and refrain from thinking about what you don’t want, you will attract everything you need to achieve your goals, exactly when you are ready. Change your thinking and you change your life.

    Bertrand Russell, the English philosopher, once said, ‘The very best proof that something can be done is that others have already done it.’ In the New Testament, Jesus taught the way to measure the truth of any principle: ‘By their fruits, ye shall know them.’

    In other words, the only question you need to ask about any idea is, ‘Does it work?’ Does it bring about the results that you desire? Milton Friedman, the Nobel prizewinning economist, said, ‘The only true measure of a theory or idea is your ability to make accurate predictions of the future based on it.’

    The good news is that the ideas and principles you are about to learn have been tested and proven in the lives and experiences of millions of people. In themselves, like any principles of nature, they are neutral. Nature plays no favorites. Nature treats everyone alike. Whatever seed you plant in the ground, nature will grow.Whatever thought seeds you plant in your mind, nature will grow as well. It is entirely up to you.

    Successful people are those who think more effectively than unsuccessful people. They approach their lives, relationships, goals, problems, and experiences differently from others. They sow better seeds, and as a result they reap better lives. If you learn to think and act like other successful, happy, healthy, and prosperous people, you will soon enjoy the kind of lives they do. When you change your thinking, you change your life.

    Nature understands no jesting. She is always true, always serious, always severe. She is always right, and the errors and faults are always those of man. The man incapable of appreciating her she despises, and only to the apt, the pure, and the true does she resign herself and reveal her secrets.

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    So start your journey of success from now and keep reading this Books


    1. While losers are pitying themselves and complaining, winners are working hard to build their dreams.
    2. Those who act entitled do less, look at the world negatively, and accomplish less.
    3. Dream-building is an athletic, strenuous activity.
    4. The world isn’t fair, and that’s okay. The world isn’t trying to screw you over. You’re not that important.


    1. Even for the lowliest of positions or occupations you have to take (unpaid intern or janitor)
      1. ““If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” -MLK
    2. Napoleon Hill spent his life studying the richest people in the world in person. He found this to be a key trait in rich people.


    1. See The Power of Habit Book Summary
    2. The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
    3. Humans are creatures of habit.
    4. The younger you form them the better. The older you get, the harder it is to form and break habits.


    1. This doesn’t mean to have an extreme, unrealistic optimism at all times. You can have a dose of realism. It means staying positive when times are tough so you can persevere.
    2. Another Napoleon Hill success pattern.


    1. Do unto others as you would them do until you.
    2. In the modern world of digital transparency, your reputation follows you around. You can use this to build a massive brand people trust or one people run away from.
    3. Be NICE to people. Be friendly. Be positive. Having a pleasing personality is huge.


    1. When pursuing your goals, you can’t let your fear of people disliking you from stopping you from making the moves necessary.
    2. Ray Dalio tested some of the world’s top leaders, like Bill Gates, with a personality test. He found that all of them scored high on being willing to have people dislike them to achieve their goal. Along the journey, you will inevitably find people who don’t like you and that’s okay.


    1. You can’t get somewhere efficiently if you don’t care where you’re headed.
    2. Write down your goals. Writing burns them into your subconscious.
    3. Napoleon Hill says your purpose should be as definitive as possible. Sometimes, I feel you can’t have everything figured out and your purpose or career in life may not be crystal clear. However, you can still make your goal clear. For instance, my goal can be to test things out and find out what industry and career path if I don’t know what that is yet.


    1. As long as it’s not a big, unethical failure, such as one that lands you in jail or destroys your reputation, it’s fine. Do not fear failure or rejection. Don’t be so paralyzed you don’t act. 
    2. Many types of failure have very small bad consequences. We blow it out of proportion. Failure is often times useful and necessary to get to where you want to go. They are learning experiences to guide you. Many successful people have failed many times whether it was in business ventures, ideas, products, or computer programs.
    3. “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” See Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset book for more details.
    4. One of the greatest problems is comfort of the mediocre. It is not so bad that it prompts you to take action and so you sit there doing nothing.
    5. Most of the most successful people in the world (Usher via MasterClass, Seth Godin via Tim Ferriss podcast, and many billionaires) have failed 10x more than the average person. That is what increases their chances of success. They try more. 


    1. Richard Branson found opportunities with no downside and massive upside. For example, he struck a deal to return his first airplane at no cost if his airlines business didn’t take off after the first year.
    2. Napoleon Hill and Henry Ford both found that those who were unable to make a fast decision after all the resources were there usually failed to follow through and succeed in life.
    3. Some people know what to do but don’t take action. Some people accomplish nothing by never taking action on what they’re told. They believe they have but they’re not.


    1. Patience in how long it takes you to achieve your goal, even if it’s several years or decades.
    2. Perseverance separate winners and losers. If the front door is opened, try the window, then the back door, then sneak in with the pizza delivery guy.
    3. The moment losers give up (which is usually after repeated failures) and winners persevere is the beginning of success.
    4. Steve Jobs says he kept going when any rational person would’ve given up. Loving what you do helps you persevere. Find your bliss.
    5. A lot of people give up when times get tough. As Steve Jobs said in the one interview he had with Bill Gates, if you love doing something so much, you will keep going even though everyone else has quit because it is logically insane to keep going. And that’s when the breakthroughs happen. Persist. Persevere when others don’t.


    1. “If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.” -Stephen King
      1. Passion helps you persevere
    2. Ideally, you want to get to the point you are excited and jump out of bed to go do the work. There will be tough days for any job though.
    3. You want to consider how competent you are at this work or skill. If your potential for competence will never be there than this may not be what your calling is.
    4. I suggest listing out things you like and dislike about careers you test out to move towards things.
    5. Look for the alignment between something you enjoy, something you have the potential to be very competent at, and something that can pay you (to accomplish this last point and really squeeze the juice out of this, you may have to be very creative and/or very entrepreneurial)
    6. It makes it a lot easier to not give up because you enjoy it so much. You will keep going when others quit when times get tough.


    1. This requires Self-control (willpower).
    2. While some activities will be fun because you’re passionate about them, you will still run into activities that you dread or despise. Going through the pain and putting in the hard work will pay off because others are unwilling to do so.


    1. Doing the bare minimum will give you minimum results and growth.
    2. While you may slide by in the short-term, it cuts off your long-term potential.


    1. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates say this is the number one thing. Focus on your craft and perfecting your skill is key. Warren and Bill focused intensely on computer programming and investing/accounting for years, which is what they say got them to where they are.
    2. The more you focus, the faster you get good because you spend more time on it.


    1. The founder of Nike says great things are done by a team. You can’t do it alone.
    2. Even Will Smith has a massive team he’s been with for decades working behind the scenes for him, including a business partner.


    1. Simple but more important advice to build wealth.
    2. The more you save, the more money you have to use to make more money.
    3. Avoid spending money on items that don’t make more money. Clothing and cars generally rust and deteriorate in value.


    1. Take care of your body. You only get one.
    2. Nutrition – eat healthy foods. This is fuel for your body. You already know what’s generally healthy. It’s common sense. Fast food and sugars in excess aren’t good for you.
    3. Sleep – get as much as you need. Sleep deprivation destroys performance and focus.
    4. Stress – eliminate as much as you can. This is partially mindset too. I am striving for a personality that cannot be stressed out or knocked. This is how some of the longest living people are like.
    5. Exercise – I try to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic/cardio workout every day. This is key and this is what everyone needs to get to at the very least.


    1. Learning doesn’t stop when you finish school. Go to bed at least a little better every day than you woke up.
    2. Do this in a few key areas: Wiser (more knowledge), healthier (exercise/nutrition/etc.), and Richer (more money)
    3. Billionaire Charlie Munger has said you do this for being wiser. Kevin O’Leary has said you do this for more money.If you have the fortune of living to an old age, these investments compound. Every small piece of knowledge grows to something huge overtime.


    1. Work and practice on your craft every day for hours. WORK ETHIC IS HUGE. If you can outwork your competition you are ahead. If you’re working while they’re sleeping or partying, you will get ahead in the long run even if you’re equally talented.
    2. Will Smith, Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk have all admitted how they work 3x harder than their competitors. When you’re taking a break, they’re working.


    1. The more value you give out, the more opportunities you’ll get. Sometimes, it’ll take years for you to see the return because you want to build goodwill rather than one-for-one transactional exchanges. Eventually, you’ll get the opportunities to ask for something back.
    2. “You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” -Zig Ziglar
    3. Give your music, give your craft, give your services, give your time, give your energy, etc. In time, the more competent you get at something, it will come back to you in one way or other, whether it is growing buzz about you or through connections.
    4. People can sense when you have a hidden agenda to get something back immediately for something you gave for “free.” This turns them off.


    1. We all have a number of assumptions or beliefs that are often not true.
    2. If you don’t believe something is possible, you won’t even try. Without trying, your chances of success are the closest to 0% as possible.
    3. Find your limiting beliefs, eliminate them, and you stop them from holding you back.
    4. People thought artificial light, airplanes, and wireless communication were impossible and fairy tales not that long ago.
  • How to Discipline Yourself With 10 Habits

    Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.” — Haile Gebrselassie At the heart of any successful person, is self-discipline. Whether it’s success in their personal lives or their professional lives, it all starts with an inherent ability for self-control through discipline. Your thoughts. Your emotions. Your behaviors. And your habits. All of them must be kept in check.

    If you want to achieve those lofty goals you set, understanding how to discipline yourself is a key ingredient to the success recipe. But self-discipline isn’t something new. In fact, self-discipline has been a topic of discussion for thousands of years, and it’s been championed by some of the world’s most successful people.

    Referring to our ability to succeed in life at any endeavor, Aristotle once said, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” Those good habits can’t be formed without having a handle on our ability to discipline our actions and behaviors.

    Theodore Roosevelt once said, “With self-discipline most anything is possible.” More recently, Jim Rohn claimed “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” And Robert Kiyosaki asserted that “Confidence comes from discipline and training.”

    What successful people have come to understand is that discipline is the gateway to the achievement of their goals. They learned how to use discipline in their lives to achieve their dreams. They leveraged the art of self-discipline by creating a foundational set of good habits that helped them to see things through.

    And so can you.

    But how is discipline created or formed? What allows one person to wield what seems like total and full control over their behaviors and their actions, while others falter and fail? How can one person be so conscious of what they do on a daily basis, while others simply throw caution to the wind?

    The answer to those questions lies in our habits. Since 40% of our behavior is habit-driven, if you want to control your ability to be self-disciplined, you have to control your habits.

    In particular, there are 10 habits that help you to discipline yourself. If you can instill these 10 habits into your life, you can create the foundation for achieving your goals. Without these habits, you’ll just be stabbing around in the dark. Habits: The Pathway to Self-Discipline Considering that so much of what we do on a daily basis is habit-driven, developing the right habits will help to instill the right amount of discipline into our lives.

    But where do habits come from and how are they developed? And why is that when we try to change our habits by either breaking bad habits or building good habits, we only follow through for so long before we give up and revert to our old ways?

    The biggest problem, especially with habits that we’ve had for years and even decades, are the neural pathways that have been etched in our brains. Neural pathways help to link up neural networks to perform a particular function such as walking up the stairs, smoking a cigarette, or preparing a cup of coffee in a certain way.

    Neural pathways help to automate behavior that’s constantly repeated in an effort to reduce conscious-processing power in the mind. This allows the mind to focus on other things that might be going on. This stems from our early days as humans, and is part of our genetic makeup, allowing for a more efficient mind that can be used towards many other things rather than the mundane.

    However, it’s the supposed mundane behaviors that are repeated, which work to hold us back in most cases. We tend to have more bad habits that are detrimental to our lives than good habits that help to move us forward. Considering that those neural pathways get etched deeper and deeper over time, it becomes harder and harder to break bad habits or make even to form good ones when the bad ones get in the way.

    But, if you can instill the following habits into your life, you’ll find that disciplining yourself, becomes far easier. It won’t happen overnight. Remember that habits take time to form and to break. But, if you start small, and build, you won’t be wondering how you can discipline yourself any longer, since you’ll embody the particular habits that promote self discipline in life.

    1- Gratitude We spend far too much time wanting things. The habit of gratitude helps move us away from constantly wanting what we don’t have, and towards appreciating what we do have. When we do this, some remarkable shifts begin to occur.

    The effects of gratitude are far-reaching. From improving our mental health, to our emotional wellbeing, and our spirituality, gratitude can do so much. But most importantly, it helps to move us away from a state of lack and towards a state of abundance.

    When we live in a state of lack, it becomes downright impossible to focus on being disciplined and achieving our goals. We spend so much of our mental capacity on worrying about what we don’t have and living in a state of fear, that we forget about what we do have.

    The state of lack translates into physical ailments. It produces stress and releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, which impacts a number of systems in our body. When we stress, our digestive, reproductive, and immune systems are all adversely affected.

    Spend 10 minutes every day writing out all the things that you’re grateful for. Even if you feel you have nothing to be grateful for, find something. Seek and you shall find.

    2- Forgiveness When we spend a large portion of our days in a state of anger, regret, or guilt, we create more problems than we do solutions. Hate and anger consumes far more energy than love and forgiveness. When we forgive, we learn to let go of certain things.

    Without the habit of forgiveness, we couldn’t achieve self-discipline. We’re too worried about how someone wronged us to even focus on discipline or achieving our goals.

    If someone hurt you, learn to forgive them. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forget. Just forgive and release that negative energy back in to the universe.

    By forgiving, we let go of negativity that zaps our ability to be self-disciplined. If you want to learn how to discipline yourself, forgiveness is surely one major avenue. While it might not seem like a discipline habit at first glance, it’s one of the most important ones that exists.

    Think about all the people that you’re angry with or that have wronged you, and write down why you forgive them. Try to put yourself in their shoes. What would you have done in their situation? Try to find some humor in it. Try to find a lesson learned in all that transpired.

    I know firsthand just how hard it is to forgive some people, especially those that have really wronged me in life. But it wasn’t until I let go of all those feelings of hurt and animosity before things really started to improve. I was so busy worrying and stressing, that I wasn’t really pushing forward.

    3 – Meditation Meditation helps to put our minds at ease. It provides us with a spiritual centeredness that acts as an avenue of growth. When we meditate, we cancel out the noise, so to speak, and realize that we’re just one of very many connected beings in this universe.

    Meditation also has a big impact on our ability to be self-disciplined. It clears the mind’s palette, and sets the right tone for the day. It helps to improve our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health all at once, allowing you to reap some of the biggest results for minimal time invested.

    Meditation doesn’t take long. It can be done in 10 or 15 minutes. Keep your mind still and don’t let it wander. When it starts to wander, reel it back. Feel your energy grounded in the earth, open your palms to face the heavens, and really feel the air as it moves in and out of your lungs.

    Meditation is about aligning our physical bodies with our spiritual or astral bodies. When we can align the two, we can live a more focused life by not, worrying about the common things that tend to weigh us down. It helps to lighten our load, so to speak.

    4 – Active Goal Setting If you’ve followed along with my blog, you know how much I believe in active goal setting. This is different than passive goal setting. With passive goal setting, you set goals in your mind. They’re passive because they lack concrete details. You haven’t properly defined them so they live in the abstract.

    Active goals are different. With active goals, they’re written out. They have a profound meaning. They’re specific and measurable. And you have a plan towards their attainment. When we set long-term goals in this manner, and we also engage in active goal setting on a daily basis, it’s far easier to achieve our dreams.

    Active goal setting instills discipline because it gives us direction. It also helps us to avoid distractions by seeing just what needs to be done in a given day. Without active goals, we’re left like a ship without a sail stuck in stormy waters.

    To set active goals, first you must set some long-term goals. If you have long-term goals, then you need to engage in monthly, weekly, and daily goal setting and planning. And you also have to actively track your progress towards your goals.

    With tracking and analysis, you can see how far you’ve come, where you are, and how far you’ve left to go. It’s far harder to get distracted because you can see the results there before your very eyes. And your subconscious mind will find less ways to lie to you or help you cover up the truth.

    Every morning, create some daily goals for yourself and identify the most important tasks that need to be done in the day, and then, chase the frog, so to speak.

    5 – Eat Healthy What most people don’t realize is that the human body spends a large portion of its energy processing and digesting foods (10-25% of it). When the diet is rich in carbohydrates, fats, and even proteins, the body is using more energy to process that food, some of which is largely useless to us.

    Raw foods and fruits offer the biggest boost for energy because they require less energy to process and provide more energy for usage after the fact. This is also known as an enhanced Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) or Dietary Induced Thermogenesis (DIT).

    The amount of energy we have plays a large role in how focused we are. When we’re focused, we can approach our goals with discipline. When we’re too comatose from the food that we’ve eaten, this is far harder to achieve. We spend most of our time feeling too sluggish to get anything done.

    It’s important to not only eat a healthy breakfast, but to eat healthy throughout the day. To do this, you have to plan your meals and break some bad habits. If you eat fast food every day, you’re not going to have the energy to approach your goals with enthusiasm or have the discipline to follow through.

    Food can change the neurochemical makeup of the brain, and has a large influence on the mind-body connection. Opt for raw, healthy, and organic foods when you can and limit your intake of junk.

    6 – Sleep Sleep is directly connected with our ability to discipline ourselves. And getting the proper amount of shuteye is a vital prerequisite to getting anything done. When we don’t get enough sleep, it affects our mood, ability to focus, our judgement, our diet, and our overall health.

    When we talk about chronic sleep deprivation, the type that affects many individuals, things get even worse. Studies indicate that people who are deprived of the proper amount of sleep on a regular basis are at a greater risk for certain diseases. The lack of sleep has a great impact on our immune system.

    It’s important to get at least 6 hours of sleep, no matter what. Try not to drink too much caffeine at least 5 hours before bedtime so that you don’t interrupt your natural sleep cycle. Stay away from too many toxins throughout the day such as alcohol, cigarettes, or prescription medicine, if it can be avoided.

    Overall, the, benefits of getting enough sleep are far-reaching. Aside from helping you to be more disciplined, it will improve your memory, curb inflammation and pain, lower stress, spur your creativity, improve your grades, sharpen your attention, help you avoid depression, and limit your chances for accidents.

    7 – Exercise Exercise is a keystone habit. It acts as a cornerstone to a life filled with good and positive habits and free from bad habits. Want to know how you can truly discipline yourself? Instill the keystone habit of exercise into your morning routine.

    I can’t begin to express the benefits of exercise. I’ve talked about it several posts and books that I’ve written. But, then again, many people extoll the great benefits of exercise. Yet, not everyone makes exercise a priority in their lives. So why not?

    While many people are busy running around, trying to get things done in the day, they’re failing to take the bull by the horn when they don’t exercise. Many people think that they can’t build up this habit or they have too much to do to worry about, rather than exercising. Well, that’s where many people are wrong.

    By instilling the keystone habit of exercise, not only can you become more disciplined, but you can improve your life in a number of ways. First, exercise reduces your levels of stress and pain by releasing endorphins and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

    Second, exercise improves health by increasing blood flow and oxygenation of the body’s cells, helping to fight off diseases and boost the immune system. And, of course, exercise increases our ability to focus on the task at hand, allowing us to lead a more disciplined life.

    To instill the habit of exercise in your life, start small. Begin by walking around the block for 5 minutes in the morning. Just 5 minutes. Do that for one week. Then, increase it to 10 minutes and do that for a week. And continue with this pattern. Eventually, exercise will become a full-blown habit.

    8 – Organization To be self-disciplined and achieve our goals, we need to be organized. Organization is a habit that needs to be wholly embodied, not only in your professional life, but also in your personal life. This includes organizing the items in your home and office along with the items in your mind.

    An organized life is a disciplined life. Start small if you label yourself as completely scattered. Begin by organizing one small space each day. For example, start by organizing your desk drawer. The next day, move onto organizing your medicine cabinet in your bathroom. And so on.

    Do one small thing a day to improve your organization. That’s all it takes.

    Like all the other habits, the habit of organization can be slowly built up over time. It requires some effort and attention, yes, but it will pay off enormously in the long run. When the physical space around you is organized, your mind becomes more relaxed, stress free, and able to focus.

    In turn, you can be more self-disciplined when your life is more organized. This includes keeping lists along with organizing your drawers. When you’re done using something, put it back into the place where it belongs rather than just leaving it out.

    It’s the little things that we do on a daily basis that have a large impact on the quality of our lives. Pay attention to the small stuff and you’ll reap large benefits.

    9 – Time Management Most people that know me know that I’m a big proponent of time management. When you’re running 5 separate businesses, you almost have no choice but to effectively manage your time. Without the habit of time management, it would be virtually impossible for me to get anything done.

    When we can properly manage our time, we have room for the stuff that matters. Namely, we have room for the activities that will help us achieve our goals. In order to achieve our long-term goals, we have to perform actions that might not be urgent, but are most certainly important.

    In time management, they call this, the Not Urgent but Important quadrant of activities, also known as Quadrant 2. However, where most people spend their time is with the Not Urgent and Not Important activities, also known as Quadrant 4. Also known as the time-wasters.

    However, our ability for self-discipline is largely derived from our ability to effectively manage our time. The prominent time managers of the world are also some of the most successful people in their respective fields. Why? Because they use time as a benefit rather than a detractor.

    Since we all have the same amount of time in the day, we can’t waste it. It’s the great equalizer. 10 – Persistence Of course, no set of discipline habits would be complete without persistence. Persistence is that certain habit that helps us to not give up. Even when we do fail, it allows us to get back up again. Without the habit of persistence, self-discipline would be largely impossible.

    Why? Because achieving our goals is hard. Getting discouraged is easy. And giving up takes far less effort than continuing to push through, especially towards something that inflicts a lot of pain before it provides us with any pleasure.

    But that’s just what it takes. What we need to do is realize that even the most famous people who succeeded in life have failed many times over. Failure is an important stepping-stone in life. Without failing, and failing big, we couldn’t achieve the lofty goals that we set for ourselves.

    There are certainly many ways to instill this habit, but the best way is to really come up with some profound reasons as to why you want the things in life that you do. When our reasons are strong enough, they can get us through just about, anything.

  • Affiliate marketing, Edit box, Heading

    Affiliate marketing

    Affiliate marketing is not just as easy as picking a product, slapping up a website and hoping you will get sales and commissions. There is actual work involved in developing an affiliate funnel. You will not only want to drive traffic to your affiliate offers, but you will want to build out a list (both e-mail and social) in order to maximize your earnings.
    You will not only need to set up quality content, but drive traffic to that quality content as well. You will want to have a Facebook group tailored to your niche, where you will OCCASIONALLY post helpful products and services related to the niche you represent. The actual content versus affiliate offer information should be about 1:3 for e-mails, and about 1:7 for social media.

    So here’s what a typical funnel might look like:

    Your Website (with articles related to the niche with calls to action to landing pages)
    Landing pages (These landing pages will have calls to action to sign up to your list, or social groups and redirect to the actual affiliate offer)
    Social Pages (You will rely on these to build a strong authoritative community based on the niche you have selected and pump out USEFUL content that people will read)
    Newsletter/Mailing List (You will use this to send your blog updates with articles, and also occasional offers that will appeal to your list)
    Once you have your articles written you will then go about marketing in an organic way, or a paid way.
    An organic way is to distribute your articles via forum post footers, blog comments, youtube comments, youtube videos, calls to action from Wistia videos on products and the like.
    Be patient, and realize that building an affiliate empire is not going to happen overnight.. Unless of course you are willing to put the required advertising budget into it to get a boost on those followers and traffic.
    This is a very basic, basic overview of what you do to get started 🙂
     Image source: Google Images

    For the beginning, let’s say that affiliate marketing is amongst the most frequent types of online marketing. Founder of the term affiliate marketing is William J. Tobin, owner of the PC Flowers&Gifts, and the person that popularized it is Amazon’s, Jeff Bezos.

    What Is Affiliate Marketing?

    Let’s answer the question “what is affiliate marketing” more detailed. It includes promoting products and services from companies. Those products and services one can promote using banners, videos, pictures, texts, links, or e-mail campaigns.

    What is affiliate marketing and what it represents?

    Affiliate marketing represents the relationship between the company that sells its products or services and a company that promotes them on its website. About 80% of affiliate programs worldwide operate on a commission-per-sale basis, 19% on cost-per-action (CPA), and the rest on methods such as cost-per-click.

    How money is made?

    Affiliates refer customers to a specific web site to buy products or services that the web site contains. If the customer buys some of the goods from the recommended site, the affiliate partner will receive a commission. You can earn money in more than one way using affiliate marketing, and the most common one is to represent the partner’s links on your website. Every sale that was made through that link will generate commission. The commission percentage is usually defined in advance. To make the highest commission possible, you should concentrate on promoting quality products and services or the ones related to your business.

    Things to take note…

    Another important thing is to be moderate when making promotional content. Also, make sure to use the social network for advertising. Forced advertising won’t be well-received as incredible by probably everyone. It is essential to approach affiliate promotion naturally and authentically. Recommend your partner as the solution we believe is best for the reader. This type of marketing offers an affordable way for small and medium-sized internet businesses and influencers on social networks to experiment with product advertising.


    And the final answer to question what is affiliate marketing is patience. You must be patient when it comes to achieving goals using affiliate marketing strategies. Want to get training on how to profit from affiliate marketing and what to promote, take a look and read my bio.

  • Why Having Fun is Important in the Workplace

    Many people have found themselves in this same situation where we worked all year round for the paycheck and never bothered to focus on what’s just as important- having fun and deriving excitement from their efforts.

    Yes, there are bills to pay, but you owe it to yourself to take pleasure and delight in your job, as this would help you increase your productivity at work, you’ll become more relevant. And there’s a saying that “a happy spirit is like medicine to your mental and physical health.”

    Why You Need A Fun Working Environment
    When some people think of the word “fun” in the workplace, it almost always seems like you’re about to introduce some unneeded distractions. But luckily, big brands like Google and Facebook have incorporated fun activities into their work environment- Such that while working there, you have access to facilities and structures that help you loosen up a bit when you really need to.

    Other Benefits include:

    It reduces stress and keeps people energized

    An enjoyable workplace is actually the new trend because there, people can produce more results without constantly feeling burned out. Likewise, a fun environment promotes productivity at work and creates the right energy among the teams. It also improves mental alertness.

    It inspires people to think more creatively

    Have you observed that some of your best ideas come when you move on to something more fun and exciting? Creativity is inherent in every one of us, and as little kids, it felt so natural to try new things while playing, even if we failed at it.

    Having an enjoyable workplace can help workers become more creative, and most times, that moment of interacting with others, playing games, etc could be all you need to allow your mind to accommodate fresh thoughts and ideas.

    It Strengthens Relationships

    People who sit at the desk till the close of work are not allowing themselves to relate with others; While some have an excuse for their introverted nature, others probably have a challenge starting or sustaining a conversation.

    But this can change when the workplace is fun and enjoyable. People will feel more at ease with each other, and teams will achieve better results.

    How Can You Create A Fun Work Environment?

    1.Condition The Environment

    A workspace where there’s so much positive energy among team members is more likely to make progress than one that breeds discord and negativity. Hence, the first step would be to create positive vibrations in the work environment by encouraging team members to share their meals and get to know each other better.

    You could also encourage them to introduce themselves to other team members; that way they’ll at least know the names of those they work alongside. Make it a fun and exciting time.

    1. Use Humor

    Things could get really heated in the workplace, and there could be so much pressure that makes it seem abnormal to smile or laugh, even when people need these emotions to relieve them of some of the demands. As a team member, you can use humor during these tense times to minimize the tension in the room and get workers to cooperate.

    1. Organize Fun Activities

    What fun team activities have you ever been a part of, and how did that make you feel? Maybe you teamed up with some members of your family against your friends to win a football game or beat your partner to it in your home swimming competition.

    Whatever the case may be, you may have said, ‘wow! That was fun; let’s do it again when another opportunity presents itself.’ Now imagine bringing that same energy to work!

    Team building activities in the workplace can include challenges like sand sculpting, kayaking, and lots more.

    On a final note, every organization needs to have a plan, structure, and facilities in place for fun activities at work, and workers need to know that having fun at work is not abnormal. This will foster the right relationship, strengthen creativity and help people be their authentic and productive selves at, work.

    Companies that do these always have undeniable, results.

  • Chapter 01: Be Around Positive People , selected

    Chapter 01: Be Around Positive People


    Surround yourself with successful and positive people. It’s astonishing how the influence of other people can impact and touch on our own personal energy. Positive individuals will energize and urge us to grow in our belief that we can achieve what we set out to do. Head off negative individuals who will ultimately dismantle any progress you make.

    The Right People

    Positive individuals seem to have a supply of energy that never seems to let them down, and they accomplish the great goals in life that they want and dream about. They can help you remain on track and energize you toward your own goals. A lot of times these successful individuals share the same goals you have and are frequently very generous about passing on their wisdom and their strategies.

    So how do you discover these positive, like-minded individuals?

    Here are a few tips to help you find them, network with them, and glean useful info and advice:

    1. Smile. Though it may sound ridiculous, smiling can immediately draw individuals towards you – particularly other positive individuals. Having and showing a good perspective of life’s ups and downs makes others want to be around you. It’s often hard to stay positive day in and day out, so individuals are often seeking a way to be more optimistic. If you’re a friendly welcoming individual, and you show that to the world with your smile, people will see you as an optimistic go-to individual.

    You’ve in all probability heard it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown, so not only will you be beaming positivism to the world, you’ll as well be saving energy.

    1. Convey Positively. Although we all have rocky days when nothing appears to be going right, the last thing you want do is sound off and whine ceaselessly. No one likes a bellyacher, right?

    For instance, if somebody were to ask you, “how are you today?” don’t crank back that “life stinks” or that you’re just “alive” or something to that impression. Rather, take a minute – and a breath – and then reply with optimism, even if you’re having a hard day. After all, positive individuals don’t waste their time or energy on bellyachers or negative individuals.

    It can be truly difficult to feel positive in the face of life’s challenges, and I’m not advising that you suppress your emotions. So either clean out the stuff that’s difficult to deal with using a tool like EFT, or choose to center on what is working.

    Even if you’re not feeling all that positive, by staying optimistic in your outlook you’ll still draw in positive individuals to you.

    1. Think Positively. Thinking positively – even through letdowns – will help you to see the good in every state of affairs and attract the positive individuals who share this vision.

    Even if you don’t truly subscribe to these positive thoughts at the start, or you discover positive thinking hard, catching yourself in negative self-talk and asking ―what do I want alternatively‖, will help you think positively and produce new patterns of positive thoughts in your brain. Over time positive thinking will get easier and more innate.

    We’ve all got energy inside us and we have the option to use it constructively or destructively. Pay attention to the positive individuals in your life and you’ll notice they try to be cheerful and optimistic, even during hard times.

    1. Behave Positively. It isn’t adequate to smile, communicate, and think positively when going after your goal. You must as well take action!

    For instance, maybe you thought you could get a promotion in the past, but then sat idly by while somebody else snapped it up. This time your new positive thinking will have metamorphosed you into a positive individual who takes positive action!

    Showing your boss and colleagues that you’re proactive and positive will set you up for more successes.

    1. Extend. Lastly, reach out to individuals at your work, in your circle of friends, or even to individuals on the, street who seem to live positively. Ask them what it is that helps them remain positive and achieve their objectives.

    Looking for positive individuals will give you useful information to help you reach your goals and help you become successful; it will help you establish a network of positive friends and role models.

    Being positive and exemplifying positivism draws in other people. After all, like attracts like.

    Individuals enjoy being around other people with like attitudes and, by sustaining a positive outlook, you’ll surely lead yourself to those successful individuals you seek.

    , In, pager

  • what is spirituality?

    What is spirituality?

    A Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature. Spirituality means knowing that our lives have significance in a context beyond a mundane everyday existence at the level of biological needs that drive selfishness and aggression. It means knowing that we are a significant part of a purposeful unfolding of Life in our universe. Spirituality involves exploring certain universal themes – love, compassion, altruism, life after death, wisdom and truth, with the knowledge that some people such as saints or enlightened individuals have achieved and manifested higher levels of development than the ordinary person. Aspiring to manifest the attributes of such inspirational examples often becomes an important part of the journey through life for spiritually inclined people. The spiritual journey involves first healing and affirming the ego so that positive states are experienced; with secure self-esteem, belief in self-worth and a capacity for love and generosity, a person becomes less constrained by ego defences. An opening of the heart is an essential aspect of true spirituality. In this regard one may question the spiritual nature of masochistic religious practices such as selfflagellation, which is based on a belief in the wickedness inherent in the body rather than on any real connection with, and therefore compassion for, the body. This illustrates the fact that religion does not always serve the progress of spiritual development but may get side-tracked into practices that create pride, feelings of superiority etc. or else lead to a person becoming bogged down in unworthiness, guilt and shame – all of which emotions are commonly suffered by psychiatric patients. In short, religion will be taken up by a person in a way that inevitably reflects their own level of development and maturity. The development of spirituality is generally recognised as requiring some sort of practice or discipline in order to make ‘progress’. This can involve the aspirant in paradoxes such as non-striving, the gateless gate, or coming home to oneself. Contemplative practices such as prayer and meditation are the common denominator of many religions and the foundation of spirituality. Without them, personal growth is much slower and haphazard. A teacher or mentor is usually recommended. Spiritual development often involves spontaneous happenings that cannot be accounted for scientifically and that may be attributed to an external force, for example: grace, or angelic or divine interventions. The conversion of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus is one such dramatic example. Development may not 2 necessarily be an instantaneous event but can happen more gradually as when going through an experience of severe illness, or a terminal diagnosis, when the fragility of life is revealed and a person re-evaluates the meaning of their life. Whether there is any objective reality to the beliefs of spiritually inclined people is an area of debate and controversy, often taking place in the arena of philosophy as a discipline independent of the beliefs that supposedly taint the intellectual capacities of those who are spiritually inclined. As a sociologist friend said when he was studying the devotees of Prem Rawat, who founded the Divine Light Mission in the early 1970s: ‘If you are inside the group you don’t have the objectivity to study the phenomena, but if you are outside the group you don’t really know what it is you are studying.’ So research often stays in the safe arena of behaviour, which is superficial and can be uninformative or misleading. A documentary film was made for television about the Rajneesh commune in 1984, showing people in Dynamic Meditation jumping up and down in noisy catharsis, with their eyes shut, some with eye-masks on. The presenter of the film failed to convey anything about the purpose of this active form of meditation and did not enquire at all about anyone’s internal experience, remaining content to sensationalise an appearance of weirdoes doing something outlandish that looked ridiculous without appropriate explanation. Religion formalises certain aspects of spiritual awareness into a coherent belief system that can be taken on trust, even if the person has no direct experience of the Divine: for instance, a person might believe that Jesus is the son of God because that is what the Bible teaches whereas another person may have had a vision of Jesus in person telling him/her that he is the son of God. Direct experience of truth as opposed to intellectual knowledge is considered key in mystical experience. The belief systems of religion extend beyond the individual’s experience to his/her role in society and morality-based rules are formulated to govern relationships and activities. Usually religion is manifest as a collective through church, mosque, synagogue or temple, and is involved with community as much as with individuals. This provides a real framework through which the ‘greater than me’ can start to be experienced. The debate about the status of spiritual beliefs such as the existence of God, the meaning of life, the absolute existence of moral laws, and many more such, typically appears to reach an impasse between mature spiritual seekers and the sceptics. To the spiritual person the sceptic appears like a blind man trying to say something about sight when it is absent in himself, and the spiritual person appears to the sceptic as a vulnerable person motivated by emotional needs to find some delusional area of comfort or support. For a believer there is no need to prove in any rational way that God exists as his existence is self-evident in his creation. For others, while the evident order within the universe at macro- and micro -levels is sufficient to demonstrate that there is an intelligence at work much greater than the human mind, this does not justify naming it as God. Since neither side can understand the other, the debate will no doubt continue indefinitely. It isn’t clear why some people have a spiritual dimension to their lives and some simply don’t. Certainly it is not something that can be reduced to a cognitive belief system. The core experience is of not being alone, of being somehow connected to 3 something greater, or of being in relationship with a higher self, higher beings or God. Spiritual or transcendent beliefs can refer to a benevolent or to an indifferent force. The Christian ethos reinforces the benevolence of God and as such signally fails to explain the place of suffering in the grand scheme of things. The abuse suffered by innocent babies and children has no relationship to the concept of an all knowing, all powerful, wise and benevolent God, and to my mind completely destroys the internal consistency of the Christian faith. When I asked a fundamentalist Christian how he could explain that God allows abuse and torture and extreme suffering, he could only answer that ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ which seemed to me an abrogation of his own intelligence. But perhaps he was simply saying that the real meaning of the opposition of good and bad in human experience was beyond his understanding, as it is mine. It is often a conscious appreciation of the ultimate mystery that is life, the universe and everything in it, that characterizes the spiritual seeker. The sceptic confines himself to rational enquiry while the spiritual person knows there is more to understanding than logic and reason; in fact he knows that true understanding goes well beyond logic and reason into the deeper truth of not knowing. In the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha explains how human nature generates suffering and how to transcend the inevitable misery of unconsciousness and come to a place of wisdom, serenity and acceptance. The Eightfold Path delineates a realistic way to achieve the happiness we all desire through consciously dropping unhelpful patterns of resistance and attachment. Buddhists like to speak about ‘skilful’ actions or behaviours; this leads us to the crux of the spiritual life – there is a drive for self-improvement, to rise up out of unconsciousness and the misery it generates to a state of greater illumination; to think and behave skilfully rather than randomly or immaturely. The means to achieving this come through accepting things as they are instead of being driven to emotions and actions by the forces of attraction, repulsion or indifference. Suffering is defined as the result of not accepting reality as it is. In outlining a way to overcome reacting to the world limited by our self-preserving instincts and prior conditioning, the Buddha gave spirituality a direction that surpasses the confines of religious doctrine and as such may be perhaps part of the fundamental definition of spirituality. Hesitantly, I offer my own definition consistent with the Buddha’s path: spirituality is the indefinable urge to reach beyond the limits of ordinary human existence that is bounded by unconscious forces and self-interest, and to discover higher values in ourselves and to live them consistently in our relationships and roles. It involves developing practices that aid us in rising and expanding, perhaps beyond the merely good to the transcendent, in the process of looking inwards rather than outwards for our own morality and guidance. Above all, it means becoming a more loving and compassionate human being, in thought, word and deed. What are the implications for mental healthcare? Patients consumed by anxiety or dulled by depression have little scope to cultivate a spiritual path when they are under the sway of distorted thoughts endlessly being repeated over and over in their 4 minds. These thoughts are mistaken for facts. Spiritual development requires successive degrees of freedom based on the realisation that thoughts are not facts but simply transient mental phenomena, as indeed are our emotions. Increasing numbers of patients are discovering this through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which in bringing a person to the here-and-now creates the mental climate in which this deep spiritual insight can help relieve anxiety and depression. Neuroscientific research is showing that with the practice of mindfulness, the cortex of the brain literally grows, with an increase in grey matter and more gyrification. Could this be the next evolutionary step for humanity, with meditation opening the doorway to changes and developments that we currently term spiritual but which may in future be deemed normal, even basic>

  • Master Self Discipline in Life

    The word discipline, for many, is associated with unpleasant things. But if we recognize its benefits and embrace it, discipline can become the best choice we can make.

    It doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish. You will need some degree of discipline to do it. We can only learn by trying, practicing, and being consistent. Whether you want to write a book or become an artist or get a better job, you will need to make a habit out of your work.

    From the outside, things seem easy. It’s only through work that we learn the true effort required for a goal, and there is no real shortcut.

    When you adopt a discipline, be it a work routine or something else, you have to confront the hard questions. Why are you doing this? What are you doing? Is it worth it?

    Being able to answer these questions is a precious thing in itself, but it can also help you connect time and again with your true motivations and desires.

    There are few guarantees in life. However, one thing is certain. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. But if you try, you are certain to get better. You are certain to achieve success, to some degree.

    There is no way of getting a goal without work. Whether you want money, fame, good relationships, a thriving career, you will need to apply yourself for this objective.

    Discipline is the best practice. Whatever you want, you will be able to get it with enough effort, by doing everything that depends on you.

    Being consistent will help you see results. It’s not enough to do something every once in a while. Consistent effort, however, is always going to pay off, one way or another.

    Whatever you want to achieve, you will need discipline. Discipline relies on your choice and the habits you decide to build. However, the great thing about it is that anyone can cultivate discipline.

    Start working on discipline today. The results are sure to leave you satisfied.

  • How small changes make a big impact

    What can happen in one moment? A lot. What impact can a small change bring? Huge. Most of us dream a lot, but we do not achieve them as we are not ready to make big changes. But what if I tell you that small and consistent efforts over time can bring substantial results? We often ignore the power of a small step that can eventually take our life to a higher scale.

    Remember, “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction can be the biggest step of your life.”

    To illustrate, I will tell you the story of Jadav Payeng, the Forest Man of India. He started planting a tree every day, a small step, you may say, but he continued for 30 years and created a forest of more than 1360 hectares. He single-handedly transformed the area and saved Majuli Island.

    A step a day

    The secret to success is taking the first step and keep moving towards the goal. Even if you are making little progress, over the years, it will have a huge impact on your life. Be it eating healthier or exercising more every day, doing 1% more will ensure 37% growth in a year.

    Always remember that success is a process, and you have to be persistent to achieve it.

    Keep up the pace

    Most people find big changes overwhelming, and hence their goals remain unachieved. However, if you start small and keep on working hard, your goals will seem easy to accomplish. Break up your target in small chunks and bring small changes to achieve them. If you are persistent with your efforts, very soon you can see your dream materializing into reality.

    Celebrate your success

    How do you ensure giving your best? By celebrating your success. Maybe you are successful in waking up 30 minutes early every day or exercising 10 minutes before heading to the office.

    Celebrate the small changes you are making to increase the momentum. As you applaud your efforts, you will feel motivated, and bringing more changes will become easier.

    A small step out of your comfort zone will open a new world of opportunities for you. Don’t deny yourself that pleasure. One day you will witness the result and feel proud for taking that first baby step.

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  • The 4 Habits You Need to Be Successful, 9 of 32

    The 4 Habits You Need to Be Successful

    The most successful people in this world maintain and master good habits. They realize what they do on a daily basis and where they direct their energy deeply matters when it comes to reaching their goals.

    The habits you have picked up over the past couple of years is a reflection of where you are right this moment.

    The sad news is that most people don’t have very good habits. The great news is if you are unhappy where you are at in your life you can gradually change the trajectory by altering what you do daily. To achieve high levels of success, you must start to develop the habits of the highly successful.

    Below you will find four habits that will help you maximize the results you have been producing and live the life of your dreams.

    1. Focus your energy. Learning how to direct your energy towards your most rewarding tasks is crucial for achieving high levels of success. One of the biggest mistakes that many people make is directing their energy towards low-valued tasks. Take a look at everything you have going on right now in your life.  Pay close attention and ask yourself what the high-valued tasks are — the ones that have the potential to bring the most reward to you and your business.

    2.  Ability to prioritize. Think of what is your most important goal right this moment. If you had to pick one goal that would make everything else in your life tick, this is it. High achievers never lose sight of what their major goal is. Every day, do something that will inch you closer to the achievement of your main goal.

    3. Can project and complete tasks. Being able to start something and follow through until it’s completed is a key to long-term success. 

    Picture yourself completely finishing your projects and tasks. Take note of how you feel visualizing yourself getting the job done. The more you can picture yourself following through and completing important tasks, the more determined you will be to actually do so. 

    1. Having a PMA. To be successful, you need to have a positive mental attitude or PMA. If you do nothing about negative thoughts, chances are you will be settling for average. Instead, you need to continually feed your mind with positive thoughts. 

    A great percentage of successful people have all experienced some sort of setback or failure. They could have just stopped their journey right there and called it quits. Instead, they had a positive mental attitude about themselves and their abilities, which gave them the power needed to continue along and reach their goals. Creating this sort of attitude could be one of your most important habits that you end up incorporating on a daily basis. 

    No matter where you are in life, there is always more to reach for.  When you constantly strive to become a better person, refine your skill set and invest in your future daily, you become more as an individual. When you become more of an individual, your value increases.  The more your value increases, the more successful you will become — and it all starts with your habits.

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  • Tips From The World Most Successful People, 8 of 32

    Tips From The World’s Most Successful People

    No matter how old you are, where you’re from or what you do for a living, we all share something in common—a desire to be successful. Each person’s definition of success is different, however, as some may define success as being a loving and faithful spouse or a caring and responsible parent, while most people would equate success with wealth, fame, and power.

    We all want to achieve success so we could live a comfortable life—have financial freedom, drive a nice car, and live in a beautiful house. However, although success can be achieved, it does not come easy.

    There are a lot of tips and strategies out there on how to be successful in life, but I am still a firm believer that there is no better way to succeed than to follow that footsteps of those who have already done so. Here are 13 success tips from some of the world’s most successful and renowned people:

    1.Think big.

    From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

    2.Find what you love to do and do it.

    From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul: “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

    1. Learn how to balance life.

    From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.: “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

    1. Do not be afraid of failure.

    From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

    1. Have an unwavering resolution to succeed.

    From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC: “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

    1. Be a man of action.

    From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius :“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

    1. Avoid conflicts.

    From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

    1. Don’t be afraid of introducing new ideas.

    From Mark Twain, Famed Author: “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”  

    1. Believe in your capacity to succeed.

    From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

    10. Always maintain a positive mental attitude.

    From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

    1. Don’t let discouragement stop you from pressing on.

    From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America: “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

    1. Be willing to work hard.

    From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.: “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

    1. Be brave enough to follow your intuition.

    From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

    , In pager

  • 10 Small Steps To Improve Your Health

    Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighborhood health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.

    “Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”

    Here are 10 to try:

    1. Stop gaining weight. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
    2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
    3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, top Whole Grain Total with fresh fruit slices and low-fat or fat-free milk.
    4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. If you’re like the average American, you eat less than one whole grain serving a day.
    5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
    6. Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses, use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter.
    7. Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight.
    8. Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat.
    9. Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
    10. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.

    Mindy Hermann

    Note to Editors: This is Series V-16 of 26.

  • 10 Possible Causes of the Obesity Epidemic

    It’s well accepted that reduced physical activity and fast food are linked to obesity. But the evidence that these are the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial. To stimulate debate, experts suggest 10 other possible causes of obesity, outlined in the International Journal of Obesity.

    1. Sleep debt. Getting too little sleep can increase body weight. Today, many get less shut-eye than ever.
    2. Pollution. Hormones control body weight. And many of today’s pollutants affect our hormones.
    3. Air conditioning. You have to burn calories if your environment is too hot or too cold for comfort. But more people than ever live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.
    4. Decreased smoking. Smoking reduces weight. People smoke much less than they used to.
    5. Medicine. Many different drugs including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.
    6. Population age, ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.
    7. Older moms. There’s some evidence that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child’s risk of obesity. Women are giving birth at older and older ages.
    8. Ancestors’ environment. Some influences may go back two generations. Environmental changes that made a grandparent obese may “through a fetally driven positive feedback loop” visit obesity on the grandchildren.
    9. Obesity linked to fertility. There’s some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.
    10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women tend to marry obese men, and if obesity has a genetic component, there will be still more obese people in the next generation.

    These other contributing factors deserve more attention and study. Even more explanations include: a fat-inducing virus; increases in childhood depression; less consumption of dairy products; and hormones used in agriculture. What do you think can be attributed to the epidemic?

  • 10 Diet Rules You Can Break

    There are actually diet rules out there that are meant to be broken? Yes, recently many dated diet guidelines and myths are up for speculation. Youve probably heard all these silly rules before, but experts weigh-in on the worthiness of these supposed truisms – most of which won’t help you lose weight or make dieting any easier.

    10 Food Rules You Can Ignore:

    1. Eating at night will pile on the pounds. The total calories you consume over a 24-hour period or over a week is what causes you to gain weight, and when you eat these calories doesn’t matter.
    2. It’s best to eat at the same times every day. Eat when you’re hungry, not when the clock says it’s time to eat.
    3. Dieting with a buddy always makes weight loss easier. Common goals may pay off but weight loss is a personal journey.
    4. Dietary fat keeps you feeling full longer, so you’ll eat less. Fat does take longer to digest, but it will not help you control your appetite. Foods likely to fight off hunger the longest are protein foods, followed by carbohydrates, then fats.
    5. When you blow your diet, you might as well wait until the next day to get back on track. Nothing could be farther from the truth- always try to get right back on track with your next meal.
    6. Refusing food at a party or when visiting is rude. Turning down food that you know will blow your diet is socially acceptable.
    7. Skipping a meal every now and then will help you lose. Skipping a meal means you will be so hungry at the next meal that you are likely to overeat. This can also help lead to a slowdown of your metabolism.
    8. Bread is fattening, nuts are fattening, pasta is fattening. Whole-wheat bread/pasta is a great source of nutrients, and it won’t make you gain weight more than any other food with the same number of calories.
    9. All calories are equal. This is somewhat true, however; you’ll get more nutrients from a 100-calorie apple than from a 100-calorie portion of white bread. Choose healthier items if you are losing weight, or controlling your hunger.
    10. If you don’t clean your plate, you’re wasting food. If you just don’t feel right leaving the table until you’ve cleaned your plate, underestimate your hunger and put less food on your plate to begin with, or you may overeat.

    Dont believe everything you hear! Much of it is just superstition. Now you can tell your friends the real truth. In the end, nutrition experts say, many of the food and dieting rules we hold dear are meant to be broken – without guilt!

  • Your Vegetarian Baby

    Most of us have to make a transition from a meat eating diet to a vegetarian one. And while the outcome is one you are happy about, that transition is sometimes difficult. And once you have made the conversion, its easy to regret the years you were a meat eater. So if you were able to maintain a good vegetarian diet throughout pregnancy, you are in the position to start your child off in life as a pure vegetarian with no previous exposure to meat at all. What a wonderful gift.

    Now whether you decide to breast feed is very much an individual choice and may be driven by your ability physically. If you do go that route, you can continue the higher vitamin levels that your pregnancy in your diet. By keeping your diet pure and of a high vitamin content, you are continuing to pass that good quality vegetarian diet on to your baby each week he or she depends on you for breast milk.

    Your vegetarian grocery or market will be a huge benefit to you in finding formulas and baby foods to turn to when the time to wean the baby comes along. Soy formulas are a great way to keep the protein and vitamin quality high in baby’s first foods and still stay away from anything animal related. In addition to your vegetarian market, the internet is full of great information about how to supply your baby with great vegetarian formulas early in life. Combine that with the advice you can get from other vegetarian mothers who have gone down this path before you and you have great resources to draw on to give your baby just what she needs in these first months.

    You may get some advice from those who are not in touch with the vegetarian lifestyle to put the child on cows milk as a next step from breast milk. But be sure you hold your ground because this transition is a critical one and your plans to raise your children in a pure vegetarian or vegan house depend on keeping to your plans and not going to cows milk in the little one’s infancy.

    Also do not allow too much iron in your babies diet. The higher iron in your system helped your infant be born with a surplus so you can ease off on that level of vitamin content during the first months of life. This is why soy formula is a good choice because the vitamin content is a good fit to what your baby needs. However do not give the baby soy milk but stick with customized baby products for the first year. Soy milk is not designed for newborns.

    Around six months of age, you can start to give your baby vegetable based cereals. Rice cereal is a great choice as it is the right consistency for a little one to digest. Again, you can find good nutritious baby foods to use for the first year in your vegetarian market or you can get good with your food processor and create your own baby foods for her from fresh produce. That is the best way because all of the nutrition is there right out of the food processor.

    You already have a good feel for the best combinations of foods from your own vegetarian diet and the diet you have your children on if they too are vegetarians so you can adapt those recipes to fit what you prepare for baby. But dont neglect to continue your education by finding vegetarian based baby books about introducing all natural foods to your child as each month goes by.

    By being careful, there is no reason you cannot take your baby from birth through toddlerhood using all natural, vegetarian recipes all the way. The little one will develop a natural love of vegetable flavors and he or she will be off and running on lifelong love of foods that are not from the meat food groups at all.

  • Your Vegetarian Baby

    Most of us have to make a transition from a meat eating diet to a vegetarian one. And while the outcome is one you are happy about, that transition is sometimes difficult. And once you have made the conversion, its easy to regret the years you were a meat eater. So if you were able to maintain a good vegetarian diet throughout pregnancy, you are in the position to start your child off in life as a pure vegetarian with no previous exposure to meat at all. What a wonderful gift.

    Now whether you decide to breast feed is very much an individual choice and may be driven by your ability physically. If you do go that route, you can continue the higher vitamin levels that your pregnancy in your diet. By keeping your diet pure and of a high vitamin content, you are continuing to pass that good quality vegetarian diet on to your baby each week he or she depends on you for breast milk.

    Your vegetarian grocery or market will be a huge benefit to you in finding formulas and baby foods to turn to when the time to wean the baby comes along. Soy formulas are a great way to keep the protein and vitamin quality high in baby’s first foods and still stay away from anything animal related. In addition to your vegetarian market, the internet is full of great information about how to supply your baby with great vegetarian formulas early in life. Combine that with the advice you can get from other vegetarian mothers who have gone down this path before you and you have great resources to draw on to give your baby just what she needs in these first months.

    You may get some advice from those who are not in touch with the vegetarian lifestyle to put the child on cows milk as a next step from breast milk. But be sure you hold your ground because this transition is a critical one and your plans to raise your children in a pure vegetarian or vegan house depend on keeping to your plans and not going to cows milk in the little one’s infancy.

    Also do not allow too much iron in your babies diet. The higher iron in your system helped your infant be born with a surplus so you can ease off on that level of vitamin content during the first months of life. This is why soy formula is a good choice because the vitamin content is a good fit to what your baby needs. However do not give the baby soy milk but stick with customized baby products for the first year. Soy milk is not designed for newborns.

    Around six months of age, you can start to give your baby vegetable based cereals. Rice cereal is a great choice as it is the right consistency for a little one to digest. Again, you can find good nutritious baby foods to use for the first year in your vegetarian market or you can get good with your food processor and create your own baby foods for her from fresh produce. That is the best way because all of the nutrition is there right out of the food processor.

    You already have a good feel for the best combinations of foods from your own vegetarian diet and the diet you have your children on if they too are vegetarians so you can adapt those recipes to fit what you prepare for baby. But dont neglect to continue your education by finding vegetarian based baby books about introducing all natural foods to your child as each month goes by.

    By being careful, there is no reason you cannot take your baby from birth through toddlerhood using all natural, vegetarian recipes all the way. The little one will develop a natural love of vegetable flavors and he or she will be off and running on lifelong love of foods that are not from the meat food groups at all.

  • Will Vegetarianism Change the World?

    We all fear change. And when we see a “movement” start to get momentum in society, its easy to fear it is being imposed on us by some sinister force out to ruin our way of life. That instinct to fear change at a social level goes way back. But the truth is that society does change and evolve and often for the better.

    The anti smoking movement of the last three decades is a good example of positive social change. When the move to eliminate smoking from our national life first started, many people feared it was the work of radical left wingers who wanted to take away our rights. But as more and more discussion of the good of eliminating smoking from peoples lives occurred, it became obvious that smoking was not something good people should have a right to engage in any more than getting a dread disease is a right and a natural part of culture. So smoking has slowly been eliminated from public life and we are a healthier people as a result.

    As the move toward more healthy ways to live has continued to be part of our cultural discussion and in the last decade or so, vegetarianism has taken center stage. As before, many fear the natural evolution of society away from meat consumption and toward a natural way of eating as vegetarians is a sinister plot of the radical left to deprive us our right to eat meat and so take away one of our freedoms.

    This is far from the truth. But that doesnt mean that vegetarianism is not going to change the world and become more the norm than the unusual. That is because becoming a vegetarian is a natural step for many of us who are concerned about weight loss, long life and health. The national obsession with weight loss and avoiding sickness is so strong that its impossible to ignore. Part of the reason for that is that a lot of companies are making a lot of money selling us ways to live healthy and lose weight.

    What these companies dont want you to know is that you dont need pills or expensive programs. You can live a healthier life and lose weight naturally by simply becoming a vegetarian. But as that truth becomes more well known, the movement will pick up momentum and more and more people will see the good in eliminating meat and meat byproducts from their diets. If that happens the answer is yes, vegetarianism may very well take over the world.

    What should be our response to the rapidly growing social momentum toward vegetarianism? Should we buy guns and retreat to the hills to fight a final battle with the vegetarian zombies who want to rob us of our lifestyle? Not at all. Putting the vegetarian movement into context with the move to reduce the negative impacts of smoking on our lives helps give us perspective of what to expect.

    If you once smoked and have quit because it has become so socially unacceptable to smoke, you no doubt are glad by now that you did so. Why? Because you are more healthy, happier, more energetic and you will live longer. That good change may have been imposed on you by society but you benefited from the change.

    If society moves more toward vegetarian living because of the common sense of living a healthy way that is in concert with ethical treatment of animals, organic living and living green, it will change the way we work as a society. It is easy to look down the road to a time when eating meat is unusual and there are more vegetarian restaurants and markets than any other kind.

    But this is not a social change to be feared. Yes, when you join the vegetarian revolution, just as it was when you quit smoking, it may be difficult and you may resent it. But when you have made the change, you will find yourself healthier, happier, slimmer and living longer as a result. And even if you hated seeing vegetarianism change the world, in the final analysis, we all will be better people if it does.

  • Vegetarians are NOT Crazy

    One of the things that often holds up a lot of people from considering a lifestyle of vegetarianism is a negative stereotype of vegetarians that is really not at all accurate. Of course there are extremists in any discipline and the same is true of vegetarians or vegans. Its good to dig a bit deeper and put any preconceptions on hold that might be holding you back from what would be a wonderful lifestyle choice.

    It is true that the vegetarian way of life can be part of a larger spiritual discipline as well. But you can get a lot of good from a life of vegetarian eating even if it is not part of your religious or moral life. So if you are hesitant to explore making a switch to a vegetarian diet, you dont have to also join a new religious or social community to get just as much out of it as anyone.

    When you begin to explore the work of vegetarian disciplines, you will find a wide variety of types of people who enjoy the lifestyle. The vegetarian “community” is a diverse population with cultures of people who are at various levels of commitment to the vegetarian lifestyle. There is not reason to have guilt or fear that if you wish to start out slowly. In fact, starting out just easing into a vegetarian way of life is a good way to find out where in the discipline you feel comfortable.

    The first myth about becoming a vegetarian to overcome then is the idea that as soon as you make a commitment to start cutting meat from your diet, you will necessarily become part of some strange eastern cult that will change your beliefs and your way of life. The huge majority of people who make a vegetarian lifestyle their own are normal people just like you.

    It might surprise you if you found out that its very likely that many of your neighbors and coworkers are quietly enjoying a lifestyle of vegetarian living. And becoming a vegetarian does NOT “turn you into” some kind of obnoxious wild eyed religious fanatic. In fact, you can enjoy all the benefits of being a vegetarian and live happily among others who are not following your diet choices. And you can be a vegetarian and develop a reasonable diet that still allows you to get your protein from cheese, fish and other traditional sources as you cut out the more conspicuous sources of protein such as beef and chicken.

    Just as its a good thing for you to get over the idea that becoming a vegetarian is some kind of strange or “bizarre” idea, you should discard quickly any fears that you will be seen as odd or peculiar when you inform your friends and loved ones you have made this lifestyle choice. There is no “coming out of the closet” to becoming a vegetarian. As long as it is as natural as switching to low fat milk from whole milk to you, it will be natural to your friends and loved ones.

    The people you know well will watch your behavior closely to see if there is any reason to worry about you in making this change. If they detect you are going to be angry at them for not following you into vegetarianism or that you are going to become “an evangelist” for living without meat, then they will become nervous and avoid you, especially at meal time.

    But if your vegetarian lifestyle is a choice you can make without disrupting the lives of others and one you can live in harmony with others who are not vegetarians, you will demonstrate to them that it is no problem that you just eat different things than they do and that above all vegetarians are NOT crazy.

  • Vegetarianism the Easy Way

    “Make it easy on yourself.”

    I like that phrase. And its a good motto for learning a new skill or going through a big life transition. When you decide to explore becoming a vegetarian, it is very easy to get scared off by what appears to be a difficult road ahead. But the truth is, there is an easy way and a hard way to become a vegetarian. So in keeping with our motto of the day of “make it easy on yourself”, lets discuss vegetarianism the easy way.

    First of all along with learning a new way to eat, you are also giving up something you probably have loved to eat for years. So to reduce the difficulty in going through this transition, dont try to accomplish the entire transition in one day. We have a mistaken concept about vegetarians that the conversion is instantaneous as though one day the person was eating all the meat he or she could find and in a flash they became a robe wearing, mantra singing vegetarian. But that is complete myth. Most successful vegetarians found there way into the discipline in stages and gave up meat slowly.

    You might take on your vegetarian transition one meal at a time. First give up eggs and bacon for breakfast and switch to grain cereals or pancakes. Dont try to give up cheese and milk at first. Select specific items you will eliminate from specific meals and just accomplish that for a week or so. Then once you have conquered that step, add lunch and then much later add dinner. And dont throw your hands up and give up if you have a moment of weakness and have a hamburger one day. You wont be drummed out of the vegetarian society for one mistake in your program. Just get back with it and keep on keeping on.

    Find ways to see some success by being reasonable and sensible about how you approach your meal planning. If one of your goals for switching to a meatless diet is to lose weight, dont substitute sugars and sweats for the meat. If you find yourself eating without meat but each day you have a big bowl of fruit drowned in sugary additives, you won’t lose the weight and you might mistakenly think your program failed you. Think about what you eat so you dont sabotage your own diet.

    One of the things that scares a lot of people away from trying vegetarianism is the idea of having to learn to eat exotic and expensive new foods such as tofu, and tempeh. So make it easy on yourself and eat the foods you know. By doing your shopping in your own grocery store and buying more food from the produce section than the meat section, you will be working with foods like carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, celery and cabbage and that familiarity will make the transition to becoming a vegetarian easier to take. Also by shopping where you are comfortable and eating “normal” foods, you eliminate the sensation that you are joining some bizarre cult.

    Now make it fun. Yes it can be fun to be a vegetarian. You can start shopping at farmer’s markets instead at the boring grocery store and select very fresh produce and vegetables for your next cooking experiment. Not only are outdoor markets more fun, you will find them cheaper so instead of seeing your food budget go up because of becoming a vegetarian, it goes down. Then by working as a family to find fun vegetarian recipes and working together to make them, everybody gets in on the act discovering how delicious vegetarian meals can be. And when you are having fun, you may forget entirely that you dreaded this transition. Before long, you are a vegetarian and it didnt hurt a bit!

  • Vegetarian on a Budget

    In many family budgets, one of the biggest food expenses is often meat. So in theory at least becoming a vegetarian should be an outstanding financial maneuver. In theory, if all you ate was rice and vegetables, you should be able to live for very little.

    But theory and reality are often far apart from each other. Because the culture of vegetarian living has developed so many high quality foods to fill the gap left behind by a good steak or a plate of barbeque ribs, you can spend as much or more on your vegetarian lifestyle as you did when you were a meat eater. The high cost of living as a vegetarian is not entire attributable to gourmet foods however.

    The truth is if you are going to live in day in day out and month in month out on a vegetarian diet, not only do you need some high quality foods to substitute for taking a whole food group out of your diet, you need variety. The quality is needed because its your health on the line if you dont get the proper nutrients. The diversity is needed because if you get bored with the vegetarian lifestyle, you may quit and give up. And nobody wants that.

    Another reason that the cost of vegetarian eating is often higher than a “normal” diet comes from the fact that vegetarians are still in the minority. So prepared vegetarian foods and vegetarian only restaurants are rare. And to be able to make a profit, these specialty stores must charge a lot because they are specialty stores. Unfortunately, even though we see the vegetarian community as a supportive one, if you are going to be able to afford the vegetarian lifestyle, you are going to have to learn to cut costs.

    Cutting costs means eliminating shopping at “boutique” vegetarian markets and no more eating out. Or at least it means cutting down on the eating out significantly. You can buy fresh vegetables and fruits at farmers markets or grocery stores that are just as valid as vegetarian options as any you get as a specialty store. Using a good food processor and other means, you can chop, dice, boil and puree just about any kind of vegetarian meal that you might be able to imagine getting in a restaurant. And at a much lower cost. Not only that but the leftovers can go into a compost pile to make fertilizer for your garden when you can grow your own vegetables next spring.

    That “grower to consumer” market that often surfaces as a farmer’s market is a great way to save lots of money also because you are buying your produce directly from the farmer and you cut the grocery store out of the loop entirely. One way to make sure you capitalize on every opportunity to buy inexpensive produce is to work as a community. Get about a dozen vegetarian families working together to always be on the lookout for a great buy. One might find a small farmer’s market or roadside stand that is selling produce far below grocery store prices. Another might find a farmer who will basically give his food away just to clear the field. With some coordination, you could field an army of vegetarians to grab those bargains while they are fresh and stock everybody’s kitchen with low cost fresh produce.

    These are just a few of many ways you can find to save money on your vegetarian groceries and still have just as much quality but without as much cost. By shopping smart and shopping for bargains, you can live the vegetarian life and feel good about it because you are not only healthy, you are smart.

  • The Vegetarian Quality of Life

    It is unfortunate that many people are not very understanding of why it is difficult for people who are not exposed to the vegetarian philosophy cannot understand why living without meat in your diet is not only a better way to live, it is a better way to eat as well. but unless you were born a vegetarian and raised that way, there was some point when you went through that transition. You may be able to remember thinking that vegetarians were nutty and when you could not imagine a meal that did not have a meat as its core ingredient.

    Society doesnt help us evolve toward a meat free world. For one thing, there is an entire industry devoted to keeping us hooked on meats. While that may not be as sinister and frightening as industries keeping us hooked on cigarettes, it does mean that these industries must thrive on raising and selling meat so there is no “understanding” coming from these powerful lobbies. Restaurants often are also not helpful when 90% of their menu offerings are meat based and when they do serve the meals, they are such large portions that their guests naturally eat too much and the wrong things at that.

    Fortunately the vegetarian way of life is becoming more common and more understood every year. As more and more people see the value of becoming a vegetarian and how much their quality of life will improve, the vegetarian culture continues to grow. And as the population moves in this direction, business will follow and we will see more and more businesses and restaurants wanting to serve a growing vegetarian population. When you see McDonalds offering salads and vegetable alternatives as they have done in the last few years, you know that the vegetarian quality of life is getting to be more well known.

    Its good for those of us that can plainly see that the difference in quality of life as a vegetarian compared to before the transition is as different as night and day to be able to have some understanding for our cultural bias toward meat eating. After all, civilization has been meat based for a long time. Perhaps as far back as the caveman days, the male urge to hunt meat for food is deeply ingrained in us as a species. So to switch to becoming a culture that hunts for vegetables rather than meats is going to be a difficult transition at a cultural level and it is going to take some time.

    We should take heart from other large scale changes to how culture works because as a people, we can change. The migration away from smoking is a great example. Just a scant 20 or so years ago, smoking was considered a natural way of life and almost everybody smoked. As the dangers of smoking became more evident and as the quality of life nonsmokers enjoyed became more clear, slowly society responded.

    This is not to say the change came easy. Giving up meat may be as difficult for some as giving up cigarettes is. But we now live in a world where public smoking is rare and the percentage of smokers to nonsmokers in society is small. That is progress and we can use that movement as inspiration that we too can bring society around to understand that giving up meat as the heart of our national diet will result in a higher quality of life for everyone.

  • The Vegetarian Mom to Be

    Whether you are already a vegetarian and have learned you were pregnant or you are adopting the vegetarian lifestyle along with your pregnancy, its important to be aware of the special needs of your body and the body of that infant inside you so you supplement your diet appropriately for a healthy pregnancy.

    For obvious reasons, calcium is one of the biggest concerns for your diet if you are taking meat out of your meal planning. If you have not already eliminated milk and cheese from your diet but are at the level of vegetarian meal planning of just eliminating meat, it might be wise to leave those other items in your diet for the course of your pregnancy so you have a natural and abundant source of calcium and protein in those diary products. But there are other sources of calcium you can draw on from your diet including tofu, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and others.

    Next to Calcium, Vitamin D is a big need for the development of your pregnancy. Rather than resort to pills, there is a natural source of plenty of vitamin D – sunlight. By getting about twenty minutes of good sunshine each day, you will natural absorb the vitamin D you need. But be sure you go out in a weak sunlight without sun block so you get the good of your time outdoors but dont get a sunburn. If you cannot get direct sunlight one day due to weather or other hindrances, you can get some Vitamin D from cereals and milk if that is allowed in your diet.

    B12 can be a problem on a vegetable diet because it is not abundant just in plants. You can get B12 from soy milk or using vitamin enhanced cereals that will give you the levels you need. Just remember when reading the vitamin ingredient panel on cereals that the minimum daily requirements listed there are not for pregnant women. You will have to dig a bit deeper to know what the actual values of B12 requirements are and how much you need to supplement your diet to continue a healthy pregnancy. So consult with your doctor to know exactly what to do to keep your nutrition levels up. Your doctor can also help you modify your vegetarian diet plan to accommodate the extra vitamin needs of a growing baby inside you.

    Iron is a big requirement for women in any stage of life because of the increased demand during menstruation. But during pregnancy, that need is even more critical and the levels of iron your body needs are much greater, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Good sources of iron include beans, molasses, seeds, leafy vegetables and nuts. Some cereals and breads are also iron supplemented but as before, make sure the levels are what you need nutritionally. And if you are not getting a full compliment of iron each day, dont be shy about turning to vitamin supplements.

    Any vegetarian diet must be balanced so you get enough protein in your system because for most of us, meat, cheese and milk are our primary sources of protein. But because that little one is growing rapidly inside you, your need for protein is even more important. You can get plenty of protein if your vegetarian meal plans are well rounded and includes soy milk and other natural sources of protein. But be aware of the need and organize your daily diet accordingly.

    Zink is another vitamin that often gets overlooked and the need for it in vegetarian diet supporting pregnancy is great. So put some thought into making sure you get your Zink from whole grains and other forms of natural foods.

    You may become a bit of a nutritional expert during your pregnancy but if you do, thats a worthwhile area of knowledge. Early in your pregnancy, consult your doctor about vitamin supplements to keep on hand. While it is preferable to get your nutrition from your foods and you want to enjoy as natural a pregnancy as possible, dont hesitate to turn to these supplements if the need comes up.

  • The Teenage Vegetarian

    Because the younger generation is often more in touch with world culture than adults, teenagers are in general more attuned to the environmental movement, to issues involving organic farming and with the reasons for becoming a vegetarian. So as more and more teenagers experiment with vegetarianism, the better informed they are about what it really means to live meat free, the better. Then even if they do not continue their lifestyle as a vegetarian, their experience was an educational one and they will be well informed should be chose to continue as a vegetarian in later life.

    For parents of teenagers who wish to explore the vegetarian lifestyle, there are more reasons to celebrate than worry. There are numerous health benefits to developing a vegetarian diet and if their new passion reduces the amount of fast food and junk food they eat, that’s a good thing. You will naturally worry if your teenager is getting enough protein if they forgo the eating of meat. By helping them learn about a well rounded vegan or vegetarian diet, they can derive all of their nutritional needs from natural foods and realize the many benefits of a vegetarian life along the way.

    A basic level of knowledge your teen should become educated about early on is the various scales of severity that they can “go for” in their move into a vegetarian lifestyle. Many times a teenager just wants to be able to stake the claim to being a vegetarian. In that case, simply giving up meat may be sufficient. It is possible to design a program like that and still enjoy cheese, eggs, fish and diary and the transition to such a diet is not as extreme.

    Another word of caution that your teen may take to heart if they seek adult counsel about trying a vegetarian lifestyle is the difficulty of making the transition. Teenagers are naturally impulsive and extreme so they may just “go vegetarian” in one day so they can go to school and lay claim to the title. But they can still have that reward and plan to ease into a vegetarian discipline and avoid the problems that an extreme change of diet can cause, especially for active teen bodies. For example, even if the new teen vegetarian just excludes meat from one meal, that still counts as starting their path toward a meat free life. And if that is not sufficient for your youngster, just cutting meat out of lunch and dinner may be enough.

    One of the biggest concerns that you should help your teen be ware of is their vitamin needs in any new diet program. While a switch to a total vegetable diet will have many positive influences, you should make sure they are getting enough protein and other essential vitamins that they used to get from meat in their diet. Calcium, B12, zinc and iron are all essential vitamins especially to young people that must be found elsewhere if they decide to stop eating meat. You can help your teenager enjoy a successful exploration of the vegetarian lifestyle and not face health risks by just being aware of their vitamin needs and making sure they get those vitamins in pill form until their food replacement program gets them way they need.

    Its a tricky walk to guide a teenager through an interest in a vegetarian life because it is possible that many of the new foods they will have to get used to may not have the right tastes which will tempt them to give up the program. While as a parent you can have an influence over making their home life vegetarian diet a success, you may need to help them understand that their choices are limited when eating out so they are prepared to make the sacrifice for the sake of staying within their vegetarian guidelines.

    Even though teenagers are compulsive and extreme, deep down they do not want to get sick or eat the wrong things. Its a balancing act to allow they to try things like becoming a vegetarian and for us as parents to both do all we can to make it a good experience but also to bring the wisdom they count on their elders for so they can explore the vegetarian, lifestyle fully and then walk away form it if they wish and have learned a little bit about vegetarians along the, way.

  • The Social Vegetarian

    Whenever you make a major change in your lifestyle, having a strong support group around you is crucial. And the decision to become a vegetarian is definitely a major change of lifestyle. So one of the best ways you can ensure your success in making this transition is to build a strong support structure around you for support, friendship and advice. This does not mean you are not going to continue to maintain your existing friendships and relationships.

    But our friendship network is always going to reflect our values. And when you make the change to a vegetarian way of life, your values to reflect the new priorities in your life. So you will want to be able to spend time with people who not only understand your reasons for becoming a vegetarian but know the ins and out of the lifestyle you are learning. So making it an ambition to find new friendships in the vegetarian community makes good sense.

    The vegetarian movement is closely tied to the “green” and organic movements so you can find “haunts” around town where these kinds of people gather. Natural food stores or even clothing stores that focus on organic materials will also have a clientele that are no doubt vegetarian. Vegetarianism is also popular on college campuses and in the bohemian parts of society so you may find a good resource of new friends in those caf’s and coffee houses. And these populations will provide you with very colorful and fascinating people as to build a support group around as well.

    While you are visiting these local “hang outs” where the vegetarian community shops or dines, keep an eye on the public bulletin boards or other announcement resources. There you will find lecture series, clubs, vegetarian cooking classes and schools and other social events where the vegetarian community will gather. Any costs associated with being involved with these kinds of organizations and taking classes that further your knowledge of the vegetarian lifestyle will pay off. Not only will you learn a lot, you will come out of such events with plenty of new friends you can use to build your new vegetarian social world around.

    The larger vegetarian world is a rich source of information for you about your new lifestyle. By subscribing to newsletters and researching vegetarian issues at the library or your local public library, you are going to be drawn to the local vegetarian subculture as well. By being proactive in finding new social contacts, your support group will grow quickly.

    The internet is another rich source of new friendships and vegetarian social contacts that you can explore entirely online but might open up new contacts for you locally as well. Message boards, newsletters, email lists and chat rooms that are devoted to the vegetarian lifestyle. These online sources will also point you to local events and new groups forming up based on the vegetarian way of life. But you can take the initiative and build an online community that you then sponsor social gatherings.

    By having your new vegetarian friends over to share recipes, enjoy a dinner and talk about vegetarian, green and healthy living issues, you not only make new friends that understand you, you are making the vegetarian community stronger for the next person who might come along after you who will also need the support and friendship of you and others in your local setting to encourage their big step into this lifestyle.

  • The Rules of Being a Vegetarian

    Becoming a vegetarian is not like joining a club or enlisting in an army. There is a lot of freedom and leverage to how “deep” you go into the vegetarian lifestyle and how intense and limiting you make your diet. So while there really are no “rules” for becoming a vegetarian, there are some scales of severity to be aware of so you know where you wish to enter the vegetarian world and how much you want to limit your diet. And there are some guidelines for how to be successful in your quest for a healthier and more ethical way of life.

    The first thing to be aware of is that the extremes of vegetarian diets have a lot of variety to them. You can considered a vegetarian by eliminating only beef, chicken and animal meats from your diet. This approach to vegetarianism is the easiest place to start because you can still get your protein from eating fish, cheese, eggs and other dairy products so you dont feel so deprived at first. Then if you are successful in eliminating animal meats, you can then consider going further into the vegetarian lifestyle.

    Its good to be educated about the varieties of vegetarianism because you may be talking to an enthusiast in the lifestyle that is of a “camp” that is not right for you. The cultures or genres of vegetarianism include

    • Lacto vegetarianism – this is a nice next step from just eliminating animal meats from your diet because you add eggs and dairy to your list of things to avoid. Many people who are interested in vegetarianism for ethical reasons because of their desire not to cause suffering to animals like this approach because eating eggs and dairy encourages those industries to continue to victimize chickens and cows.
    • Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is the formal name for the very basic kind of vegetarianism we started our discussion with where you can continue to enjoy diary and egg products. Most vegetarians can be comfortable with this approach because you get many of the health benefits from eliminating animal meat from your diet and you are doing something to help the animal rights cause without going extreme
    • Ovo-vegetarianism is another variety of vegetarians that eliminates meat and dairy but allows you to have eggs as a staple of your diet to continue to get protein from your morning omelet. Its another compromise but a nice step to a next step if you want to move on to more restrictive diets as you get used to each step along the way
    • Veganism is not a religion but it is the most restrictive form of vegetarianism because you eliminate meat, all dairy and even honey and become a pure vegetarian. For many this is too extreme or maybe a goal for the future.

    If you were to attend a class on “how to become a vegetarian”, the rules for being successful would be the same most of the time. Those rules call for you to resist the urge to get radical about your diet and to start day one at the Vegan level after eating meat for most of your life. The impact on your body can be extreme and you do not give yourself time to learn how to eat in a healthy way to replace the nutrients and vitamins in meat with natural vegetarian substitutes.

    It is highly advised you take it slow and ease into your vegetarian program. If you are too extreme, vitamin deficiencies can leave you open to disease. And if you get sick from a too aggressive approach to vegetarianism, you may give up and miss out on the many benefits the vegetarian lifestyle has for you. And that would be a tremendous tragedy.

  • The Passion and the Hobby of Vegetarianism

    It is going to take some effort to make the transition to a meat free lifestyle and to be able to proudly say “I am a vegetarian.” But instead of feeling intimidated by that prospect, what is called for is for you to not only make living healthy and without meat your passion in life, make it your hobby.

    The distinction between a passion and a hobby is important. Your passion in life is what drives you to learn all you can about your new lifestyle of vegetarianism. When you first make the transition or are preparing for the transition, it is natural to become obsessed with not only the reasons for becoming a vegetarian but the lifestyle you will enjoy when you finish making the change. You should allow yourself to let being a vegetarian a true passion of yours.

    Its also easy to let your vegetarian lifestyle be a passion when you start to spend time with “die hard” vegetarians. Their enthusiasm is contagious and their devotion to what they are doing is apparent. Not only are the health reasons for making this change enough to make a zealot out of any of us, the ethics of not eating animals and the morality and even religious rationales for eliminating meat from your system can make your vegetarian lifestyle as important to you as love of family and devotion to God.

    Now everybody who becomes a vegetarian gets to the zealot stage. But it is a lifestyle that is so full of rich culture and the fun of exploring that culture as well as learning to cook and eat the vegetarian way can become something that you want to think about all the time. When you get to that stage that you are living and breathing vegetarianism and that you are actually having a lot of fun learning about your new culture and lifestyle, then you will have gained the momentum to make the leap into a vegetarian life that will carry you to success.

    A hobby is like a passion and many of us get very passionate about our hobbies. But along with allowing your new meat free life to be your passion, make it a hobby. The difference is that over time you can sustain your devotion to a hobby but at a more steady and measured pace. Think of other hobbies like model building or bowling. Devotees genuinely enjoy the time they spend in their hobby. And for the most part that hobby is something they probably will be involved in for life. But it isn’t all they live and breathe. It is part of life not all of life.

    Over time, your vegetarian lifestyle will move from a passion to a hobby. But it should be such a integral part of your life that it can be a great hobby and one you go back to weekly if not daily to enjoy partaking in your lifestyle. There is a lot of diversity in the vegetarian lifestyle that will keep you fascinated for months and years.

    Between the shopping for great ingredients for your next dish to the cooking, preparing, presentation and dining experience to the quest for the next great recipe to the time you spend with other vegetarians, it really is a lifestyle as well as a diet choice. So let it be a great hobby as well as your passion in life because the life of vegetarianism will make such a huge contribution to your quality of life that it will be worth your devotion to it.

  • The Lifestyle of a Vegetarian

    One of the biggest injustices that the vegetarian movement has endured is that in popular culture, the image of a vegetarian is that of a fanatic hippy or cult member who is “off the deep end” and cannot think about anything else besides “saving a cow” and pushing vegetarianism on everyone he meets. The truth is that the lifestyle of a vegetarian is not that different than everyone else in the culture. In fact, the odds are that somewhere in your social circle at work, school, church or in your family and friends network, you already know several people who are quietly enjoying the lifestyle of a vegetarian. So to help us get over the negative stereotypes to understand how a vegetarian actually lives, lets examine what is different about a vegetarians life.

    The most significant difference in how a vegetarian lives is obvious because it is in how he or she eats. You will not find any meat in a vegetarian’s kitchen. Now this doesnt mean that a vegetarian cannot live in a family and be at peace with meat eaters. If the home has one vegetarian but others who are not, you will be able to tell from the presence of soy and perhaps more fruit and fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. But the idea that vegetarians cannot be around meat eaters is false. If anything vegetarians are peace loving and can live their lifestyle around others who are not of their belief system very well.

    Grocery shopping with a vegetarian is an eye opening experience and one that is quite different in more ways than you would suspect. Being a vegetarian isn’t just about what you don’t eat in that you don’t eat meat. It is also about a completely different approach to diet and foods. So you will not see a vegetarian buying food in the same way most people do. There will be much more time spent in the fresh produce section of the grocery store. The checkout basket of a vegetarian will give him or her away every time because it will be overflowing with fresh foods.

    But shopping for food with a vegetarian means shopping in other places than the local grocery store. It means buying grains and beans in bulk at a warehouse store because that is one way that a vegetarian maintains health by replacing the protein and other nutrients that the rest of the world gets from meat and replacing it with proteins from beans and other natural foods. It also means shopping in farmer’s markets and even shopping in a vegetarian specialty store for some high nutrition meat substitutes like tofu.

    The vegetarian movement is in harmony with many of the earth first movements such as the organic movement and the green movement. So a vegetarian kitchen will have more organic foods on hand to reduce the presence of harmful pesticides and other substances in the diet. Also vegetarianism affects the lifestyle beyond just the refrigerator and the pantry. You will not find leather clothing in a vegetarian’s closet and you wont find fur there either. That is became for the most part vegetarians are sensitive to animal rights and they don’t want to see the skin of animals used in their clothing.

    The house of a vegetarian will also be a recycling house to do all that is possible to cut down on waste and to be earth friendly. Along with recycling bottles and cans as you might expect, a vegetarian recycles a lot right at home. A recycling home will often have a compost pile in the yard for food waste and it will also support a good sized garden to use that compost to grow at home organic foods to supplement a healthy diet.

    For obvious reasons, a vegetarian will have vegetarian friends and belong to social groups and attend functions that support the vegetarian lifestyle. Eating out with a vegetarian will mean going to more ethnic food restaurants and you will see a lot of creativity in how to order foods in a restaurant. But contrary to popular opinion, vegetarian eating is more flavorful and diverse than the normal diet.

    Just spending a day with a vegetarian will reveal to you a more, harmonious lifestyle that is sensitive to the environment and at peace with itself. It is a healthy and happy lifestyle and one that should be attractive to all of, us.

  • The How of Vegetarianism

    Sometimes the real obstacle of making that big change in your life to becoming a vegetarian is not the “why” of making this big change in your lifestyle but the how. Its not hard to find good reasons to eliminate meat from your diet. There are moral reasons, spiritual reasons and above all health reasons that make the change a perfect fit for where you are in life right now.

    But what really stops a lot of people from making this very positive change in their personal lives is not knowing exactly how to make the transition. So its a good idea to think through what it will mean to become a vegetarian so we can remove the mystery from what you are about to do.

    There is no sugar coating the fact that a significant change in diet such as you will experience switching to a vegetarian lifestyle is going to take some getting used to. It is also going to call for some self discipline on your part to make the transition. Yes, you will be more healthy and probably feel better ethically when you can honestly tell the world, “I am a vegetarian”. But the transition can be a challenge.

    That is why one of the big steps in making the change is to be well in touch with your priorities and reasons for becoming a vegetarian. This is the most important in the first weeks of your new lifestyle as you get used to the diet and the health effects on your system. And since most vegetarian diets go through an adjustment period as you assure you are going to get enough protein and vitamins, you will have a lot of new sensations and things going on inside that will take some patience to get through.

    So be sure of your motivations and go back to that “mantra” of why you decided to make this change in your life in the first place. And like any great goal, if you truly believe in what you are doing, you will push through the rough patches because you want to live right and enjoy the benefits of eating and living in a way that is harmonious with the environment and with your own bodily needs.

    Sometimes the reason we hold back from taking the plunge on becoming vegetarians comes from a fear that is grounded in lack of information. So the obvious solution is to learn all you can about your diet and what to expect as you begin living the life of a vegetarian. The top priority in your new education program is how to create a diet that meets your nutritional needs as well as provides you with sufficient variety to be satisfying without the presence of meat. The good news is that there are a huge variety of web sites and books you can use to learn how to supplements your diet so you get what you need nutritionally to begin your life as a vegetarian.

    A big decision to make and one you should think through before you start your path to the life of a vegetarian is how you will make the transition. You may be enthusiastic and want to go “cold turkey” or a very harsh vegetarian regimen. But is not advised as it will increase the chances you will experience more severe reactions to cutting out so much of your diet. Remember your body is used to a certain level of eating. So make changes slowly one at a time and ease into your new vegetarian lifestyle.

    If there is any question about whether a vegetarian diet is right for you, seek medical advice before starting to make such a big change to what you eat each day. Your doctor can help you make sure you are getting enough vitamins for ongoing health and that you are planning meals that give you sufficient protein and nutrients so your active lifestyle is not hurt by your new eating discipline.

    By begin smart, consulting with your doctor and being aware of your nutritional and vitamin needs as you start to change your diet and lifestyle, you will gently ease into a vegetarian life. And as you do so, you can celebrate that you are not just moving away from a bad diet but moving toward one you will enjoy and one that will benefit your health for a long time to come.

  • The Good of Vegetarianism

    Sometimes the only thing really holding you back from making the big step of becoming a vegetarian is to come to a firm grasp of what good you will get from it. Too often we see eating right and cutting meat from our diet as a drudgery and something we “should do” but we dont want to. But becoming a vegetarian is a big life change and one that you should make with every intent of remaining a vegetarian for life. The only way to make that kind of life change “stick” is to have some concrete and desirable positive outcomes that you will realize from the change. If there is “something in it for you” besides being seen as a good person because you “should” do it, you will embrace the change more enthusiastically.

    One big advantage that a vegetarian lifestyle can bring you is that it is a lot less fuss to life as a vegetarian and it is far less expensive. It doesnt take a very extensive trip to the grocery store to realize that even a small slab of steak or a pound of hamburger is far more expensive than a head of cabbage or a bunch of carrots. Your food costs can plummet if you simplify your life and eat only meatless dishes. And your food will last longer in storage.

    One advantage that many new converts to vegetarianism notice but that dont get much coverage is how much better their digestive systems will work without the heavy load that meat places on your insides. Not only will you digest your food more easily, you will not feel that “heavy and sluggish” sensation and you will sleep better and even have better sex. That is because the negative impact of animal muscle on your intestines will disappear. You will also notice it in your lower intestines and your elimination. In every way, the functioning of your internal mechanisms will be much smoother when you only give it meatless meals to live on.

    The health benefits are probably the motivation that convinces most people to adopt a meat free diet. The simple fact is that science has proven that humans are not natural meat eaters. Yes we can live on meat but our systems are not well suited to digest the heavy food that meat represents in your digestive system.

    Many of the most chronic national health problems can be traced to meat consumption. Everything from obesity to cancer to heart disease to aging seems to be linked to the consumption of meat. Because meat is so much more difficult on our internal systems to digest, utilize and eliminate, the impact on your insides is devastating. Vegetarians do not suffer with as high an incidence of colon cancer, heart disease or obesity.

    As many high priced weight loss programs as there are, there may be no more effective one and one that can be done for virtually no cost is to just stop eating meat. You rarely meet a fat vegetarian because there is just not very much in a nonfat meal to become fat. Vegetables quickly convert to energy, deliver vitamins to your systems and the remnant leave your system without difficulty so your metabolism will naturally speed up so you lose weight.

    The moral, ethical and spiritual reasons for becoming a vegetarian are also well known. Many religions call for a diet of no meat and frequent fasting. A vegetarian diet gives you much greater control over your appetite so you can observe religious disciplines that call for physical denial for a short time and get all of the spiritual good from them.

    Besides the spiritual values, more and more people are becoming aware that eating meat is unethical or immoral. It is not “kooky” or crazy to see that the raising of animals for us to kill and eat seems barbaric for an evolved culture such as ours. It is easy to find horror stories of the gruesome ways that animals are slaughtered to become our food. To become part of the solution rather part of the problem is appealing to many people who have a conscience. And vegetarianism is part of the solution that if all of us embraced vegetarianism, it would be a better world for everyone.

  • Soup Skills of Vegetarians

    If anything could be considered the heart of great vegetarian cooking it would be the soup. Because soup gives the cook so much freedom to combine various vegetables and herbs, the variety of tastes and consistencies is virtually endless. And because soups capture almost all of the nutrients of the cooking process in the soups stock, it is a dish that meets the highest of nutritional standards will being delicious, hearty and satisfying at the same time.

    Another great thing about basing your vegetarian diet plan on soups and stews is that it fits so well with a busy modern lifestyle. Just because you are a vegetarian, you still are busy with work, family and social responsibilities. But with a big crock pot, you can put together a soup for the family that is just as good as if you had labored over it for hours. And when everyone has had their fill of soup, there is no waste because every drop of the excess can be refrigerated for another meal later or frozen be on hand down the road. All of these aspects of soups fill perfectly with the vegetarian way of life.

    Creativity should become the guiding principle of your soup planning particularly if you are going to make soups every week for your vegetarian family. Naturally you will have your favorite recopies that everybody will clamor for each week. But every so often, start with a basic soup stock and then get creative from there. You can use as a foundation for y our soup the basics of onions, garlic and the base vegetables such as carrots or celery. But many vegetables will serve well as “surprise guests” in your soup of the week that will not show up every week. Such vegetables as potatoes, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes and many more can add tremendous variety to your soup tastes and keep the soup concept constantly new and fresh as a staple of your vegetarian family meal planning.

    One cooking skill you should invest some time in to become a top notch vegetarian soup cook is to know your spices. A soup can get pretty bland even with the best of ingredients but the wise and clever use of spices can make a soup come alive with flavor. Each soup ingredient interacts with spices differently. And you can change the very nature of a soup with nothing more than the addition of a few spices. With the addition of cumin and chili powder, a routine tomato soup becomes vegetarian chili. With the addition of Mexican spices, a run of the mill bean soup becomes vegetarian taco soup that can be as spicy as you want it to be. So learn to experiment with spices and get to know what kind of personality different spices like oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon extract, cilantro and parsley can add to your soup.

    Soups are also a wonderful way to blend in lots of different ingredients that your family might not otherwise eat. And since a big priority in vegetarian meal planning is to assure that your family gets the proper nutrition from each meal, you can add beans, rice, tofu and other staples from the vegetarian pantry to expand the nutritional value of your soup so it not only is delicious, it is filling and very healthy as well.

    It is possible that at times your family may grow tired of soup after soup. So you might want to experiment with thickening the soup so that by the end of the preparation process, you have a stew that is just as good as soup but has much less liquid broth to present to your hungry vegetarians. Many cooks use cornstarch or flour to turn the broth into more of a paste before serving. Another clever device is to use instant potatoes that are sold in packages of flakes. By sprinkling a package into your soup, the flakes will soak up the soup and add that rich potato flavor to your stew.

    Have fun with your soup creations and always be on the lookout for new and interesting soup recipes. The vegetarian web sites and blogs are a constant source of new innovations on the standard soup idea. But by being creative and vigilant in keeping your soups always, new and fun, you can use the basic concept as the cornerstone of your vegetarian cooking for many, years.

  • Low Fuss Vegetarian Cooking

    “I can’t become a vegetarian because I don’t have the time to work up complicated vegetarian meals.”

    That is a common misconception about what it means to life the lifestyle of a vegetarian. Oh yes, it is possible to become a fanatic about exotic vegetarian meals or to become so extreme about limiting not only meat but anything but vegetables from your diet that meal planning and preparation has to become the only other thing in your life other than work, school or taking care of your family. But as is true in any area of life, there are the extremes and the fanatics and then there is how the rest of us live.

    Most vegetarians are not full time devotees to their desire to live meat free. So these hard working friends and coworkers of yours who have “gone vegetarian” have found ways to prepare good wholesome meals with little fuss so they can work a healthy diet into an already busy lifestyle. We can learn a lot from how they do it so we don’t let the alleged “fuss” of being vegetarian stop us from enjoying all the benefits this lifestyle can bring.

    In truth, vegetarian eating should by its very nature be easier than preparing meals with meats because few of us eat raw meat but most of us can eat raw vegetables and enjoy them. So with some well thought out grocery shopping, you can keep the basics on hand so the vegetarians in your household can come home and put together a fast vegetarian meal with very little difficulty.

    Many vegetarian families take a weekend afternoon and go to the store together to stock up on things they know they will turn to for meals throughout the week. By making sure you keep wholesome breads, fresh fruit and vegetables and cereals around all the time, your family can grab a quick breakfast of toast and cereal which will serve them well all day long. That night, anyone in the family can combine fresh vegetables and lettuce or spinach into a salad quickly and dine like a gourmet in a matter of moments. Remember to keep the little extras that make a salad special on hand such as nuts, shredded carrots, cheese if your diet permits it and a good variety of low fat salad dressings so you always have a salad to fall back on for a quick and easy evening meal.

    The crock pot is the savior of many a working family and the same is true for vegetarians. Few vegetables do not go together well in a soup or a stew. So with a little planning, you can put together a delicious blend of vegetables, beans and spices in the crock pot in the morning and have a steamy and delicious meal waiting for you when you walk in the door after work. And with a couple cups of water, you create a rich and nutritious stock that goes well with the meal or can be used afterwards as the base for rice or another dish and that carries all the nutrients of the original crock pot soup with it with each new meal.

    The microwave oven can also do a lot to help your vegetarian cooking be easy to do. With a little low fat cooking spray, you can saut onions, peppers, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients that can come out of the crock pot ready to be used in a simple dinner recipe. A fall back for easy dinner cooking is to prepare a good sized bowl of freshly warmed or sauted vegetables and combine that with two cups of brown rice cooked in vegetable broth (from a previous soup) and a can of low far soup. The result is a fast stew that will be gobbled up by your family.

    There is no reason to avoid the vegetarian lifestyle because you are a busy family. If anything by embracing vegetarianism, you are embracing a more simple way of life that works very well with an active work and family life. And you will be eating healthier as well which benefits everyone along the way.

  • Living With Meat Eaters

    Sometimes the biggest obstacle you face when you make a decision to become a vegetarian is not adapting to your new diet. It could be that an even bigger challenge is how to deal with your relationship with friends, family and coworkers as you make your new devotion to a vegetarian lifestyle known to them. So its a good idea to think through the issues you may encounter so you can smoothly integrate your new passion for vegetarian living with your lifestyle in general.

    When someone who is not a vegetarian learns of your decision, their first reaction may be shock and confusion. You may remember when you first learned of the vegetarian way of life, there are a lot of misperceptions that becoming a vegetarian means you are converting to a strange religion and that you are no longer the same person you used to be. You may see that reaction in the eyes of your family, friends or coworkers and mixed in with a concern that you have “gone off the deep end” is a worry that you will no longer be able to enjoy meals with them or, worst case, you will become pushy that they too join you in your new diet and belief system.

    The best way to make sure your relationships with others is not adversely changed by your new lifestyle is to think out how you will tell others and how to manage their reactions. Much of how you craft the way you present your feelings about becoming a vegetarian will reflect your reasons for adopting this new lifestyle. If you are interested in vegetarian eating primarily for diet purposes, its natural we all have our own diet preferences.

    A diet driven vegetarian regime is something that should not cause any uneasiness in those you are close with. The key then is to present your decision to become a vegetarian so they know it is primarily a health and diet choice. If they know that there are not large ethical or religious issues in your decision, that will take much of the “stigma” of becoming a vegetarian out of your time together, even during meal time.

    Your openness about your diet decisions will be very important to the ones in your life who buy the food and prepare it. If you can find recipes that can be integrated with the meat eaters recipes so the cook (even if that is you) doesnt have to prepare two full meals, that takes a lot of the overhead out of living in a house of meat lovers and still maintaining your vegetarian standards.

    If your reasons for becoming a vegetarian are ethical or religious, then the more you foster open communication will make all the difference. First of all, decide where you stand on being with others who do not share your views. After all, deciding to become a vegetarian out of your desire for ethical treatment of animals is a noble cause. But we all have to deal with the fact that not everybody shares our views. So if you are avoiding meat for that reason and a close friend or relative orders the steak at a restaurant, it really is more your responsibility to deal with that than it is for the meat lover.

    Naturally you want to share your ethical or religious values with those you are close to. But you cannot do that if you make them uncomfortable or make them feel like that want to distance themselves from you. So be patient. First help them accept your new lifestyle. Then as they come to accept this part of you and they relax knowing you that you accept them in the same way you want to be accepted, they can express curiosity and you can share your feelings and values. That is the best way to share your feelings and to help others understand what being a vegetarian is all about. And who knows, you might even win some converts is you use an open and patient approach to showing others how you feel.

  • Little Secrets Vegetarians Know

    Most people who dont know anything about the vegetarian lifestyle think that is must be pure drudgery being a vegetarian and giving up meat. That is a misconception because even though meat is not a part of a vegetarian diet, it isn’t about what you are going without, it is what is in your diet and in your life that makes a vegetarian lifestyle work so well. If you actually interviewed a vegetarian, the last thing they would say is that they are all about not eating meat. Instead they are about living in healthy way in a way that is at peace with the environment and with their own bodies.

    The body of knowledge about vegetarians that most people dont know is pretty astounding. Most people do understand the basic three reasons someone becomes a vegetarian which are health, animal rights and spiritual or moral reasons. But there are a number of side benefits and little secrets only vegetarians know that if they became popularized, the flood of converts to vegetarianism would be overwhelming. Some of those little secrets include

    • Vegetarians are not depressed as much as others because they know some secrets to overcoming depression naturally.
    • Vegetarians do not struggle with weight issues as much as others.
    • Vegetarians are better informed about nutrition and know how to make the most of what they eat.
    • Vegetarians sleep better, are more energetic and need less sleep than meat eaters.
    • Vegetarians have a much reduced incidence of cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders.
    • Vegetarians live longer than meat eaters.

    One secret vegetarians know that gets almost no press is the power of walnuts. There is a little known chemical in walnuts called serotonin that is a powerful antidepressant. Now you can get your doctor to prescribe an artificial anti depressant which can cost you a lot of money and put you at risk for chemical dependency. Or you can make a nice hot cup of tea with walnut as part of the mix. About half a walnut shell mixed in with your regular tea brew fills the drink with serotonin. Taken regularly, you will feel the effects of a chemical pick me up that can combat depression very effectively.

    Another little secret of vegetarians runs against the normal rules of dieting to get the full value of nutrients you might expect from eating a salad. Diet theory would have you use no salad dressing or at very least a zero fat or low fat salad dressing. Vegetarians who are more in touch with the effects of foods in their bodies know that the real value of eating salad are the natural nutrients in leafy vegetables called carotenoids. But science has shown us that the best way to pull cerotenoids from green vegetables is to use a higher fat salad dressing. So enjoy that fatty dressing because your vegetarian lifestyle will deliver plenty of weight loss value to you even with this small indulgence that can do you so much good.

    Speaking of tea, green tea is often a staple of a vegetarians diet because of the little health secrets buried in this amazing drink. Green tea has powers to help your digestive system, help combat depression and to accelerate weight loss that ancient cultures like the Chinese and India have known for centuries. Vegetarians have caught up on this secret of health knowledge ahead of us so its time well learned from their wisdom.

    These are just a few of the wisdom of the ancients that have been rediscovered by the modern vegetarian “craze”. But it really isn’t a craze because once you start living a healthy life cashing in on these many benefits a vegetarian lifestyle will give you, you will never want to go back.

  • Life Without Meat

    Becoming a vegetarian is about a lot more than just a change to your diet. It is a lifestyle choice that influences many aspects of your life separate from just what you put into your body for food. This is why the path from when you first considered taking on the life of a vegetarian to when you are finally ready to make that transition may be several weeks or months. The journey to that moment when you are ready must not be rushed. Because not only is it a physical journey toward a physical change of diet, it is a spiritual, ethical and emotional journey as well.

    Life without meat will mean a new approach to meal preparation that means new recipes and new ways to shop for the foods you need. This becomes additionally complex if you are living with those who have not made the choice to become vegetarians. If you are charged with meal preparation, that means two menus per night. If someone else is the primary cook of the house, that means you will need some accommodation so you can have a vegetarian meal while others are eating meat. That is going to take some relationship building and some tolerance by you and by the meat lovers in your home so everybody can dine in peace.

    Being a vegetarian in a world of meat eaters may be one of the biggest adjustments you may have to make. But be prepared for some cravings for meat as well. At first, it might be wise to ease into vegetarianism so you still get some protein from meat while your body gets used to a lowered intake of that food group. This is also important because it will take a few weeks or longer to find a diet that has adequate substitutes for the nutrients and vitamins you are taking out of your body because of your new diet. By leaving meat in your eating schedule for a short time, you are less prone to feel run down or endure vitamin deficiencies during the transition to a full vegetarian eating regimen.

    Many times a vegetarian lifestyle is part of a larger change of life which may also incorporate yoga, meditation or other spiritual activities. If your sole reason for becoming a vegetarian is related to health, this may not be as much of an issue. But if you are feeling drawn to a vegetarian life without meat because of ethical, moral or spiritual reasons, your desire to embrace vegetarianism is no doubt part of a larger spiritual quest or renewal that you are going though. This is healthy and the more you fully embrace your new interest in this side of your personality and soul, the more your desire to be a vegetarian will fit a total change of life.

    But one of the most delightful surprises you will enjoy when you embrace the lifestyle of a vegetarian will be the number of others who will join you in your quest for a cleaner and more spiritual way to treat your body. The vegetarian community is a large one and it will welcome you warmly with community, support and all the help they can provide. But even from the community of those who are not vegetarians, you will often find friends and loved ones very supportive of the change of life you are going through and they will seek to help you all they can.

  • Its a Diet AND a Community

    Becoming a vegetarian is about a lot more than just changing what you eat. That said, there is no question that making the transition to vegetarian eating is one of the most positive things you can do for your body from a diet perspective. It will take some adjustments to make sure your vegetarian diet includes items that provide replacements for the proteins and vitamins that will no longer be part of your food intake when you stop eating meat. But there is an abundance of help in the vegetarian community that can help you tailor your diet to meet all your vitamin and nutritional needs and taste good too.

    The community aspect of the vegetarian lifestyle is one of the things that sets your decision to become a vegetarian apart from any other “diet” decision you could have made. That is because vegetarianism is about more than just diet, it is about community and it is about lifestyle. Its good for you to be aware that as you begin to explore your new life as a vegetarian, you are by far not alone and there is an entire subculture all around you that can be of help in what you are trying to do.

    It is appropriate to call the community of vegetarians a subculture because, like any culture, there are various levels and “tribes” of vegetarians usually organized around the motivation for being a vegetarian in the first place. Naturally, we know that many people start living a vegetarian lifestyle because of the health benefits. But even without a lot of teaching or group activities to reinforce it, this one change to your diet is very likely going to change lots of aspects of your life that you might not ordinarily associate with diet.

    There is a purity and a naturalness to the vegetarian way of life that generates health from the inside out. Not long after you have gone completely vegetarian and you no longer are eating meat of any kind you will notice your sleep is deeper, you are more alert during the day and your digestion and elimination systems are far more effective and untroublesome. It is well known that the physical body and that side of you known as the soul are linking so as you purify your body, you will find your ability to focus on spiritual or intellectual things more powerful as well.

    When you find your life changing for the better in such unexpected ways, you will have joined millions who have discovered the “hidden benefits” of a vegetarian life. And that huge subculture is one of the most encouraging and nurturing cultures in the world. As you strive to perfect your vegetarian program, you dont have to work on it alone. By simply reaching out to the large vegetarian population locally, you will find encouragement, help, advice and support to help you “make it” through the transition from a life of eating meat to the purer approach to diet that is what being a vegetarian is all about.

    The vegetarian community and culture is a rich one where you can enhance your new lifestyle with an amazing library of reading material, with an constantly expanding supply or recipes and with a address book full of phone numbers of new friends and groups who meet regularly to be together in their quest for a better physical, mental and spiritual life through vegetarianism. It will be a natural thing to seek out new friendships in these communities. And you should feel free to explore and enjoy them fully. These cultures will help you, encourage you and make your commitment to a vegetarian diet a lifelong one.

  • Is It Time for an Intervention?

    “Guess what mom and dad, I’m a vegetarian!”

    If those words would strike terror in your heart if it came from your child, this article is for you. While we all are aware that vegetarians walk amongst us, when someone we love becomes a vegetarian, its easy to fear they have fallen in with some strange eastern cult and that we should start looking into organizing an intervention before they go off the deep end and go to South America to disappear forever into a commune or follow some cult leader to doom because.

    But before mom goes into hysterics or dad puts the kid in a padded room, lets have a reasonable discussion about what it means when your loved one becomes a vegetarian and what you can do to make sure they are safe and still the same person you always have known and loved. And the heart of being able to cope with the conversion of a child or a loved one to vegetarianism is knowledge and understanding.

    The truth is you have not lost your child to a cult or to another religion if they become a vegetarian. In fact, you can still take them to church and they can be the same religion they always were and also be a devout vegetarian at the same time. That is because their decision to not eat meat is primarily a dietary decision and it doesnt have to mean anything severe or odd about the one you love.

    More and more normal and healthy people you already know have made the move to a vegetarian lifestyle and it doesnt change who they are. There are primarily three reasons the one you love may have decided to become a vegetarian or a vegan.

    1. For health reasons. Eliminating meat from your diet is good for you and it is an outstanding way to diet. If your loved one just wants to eat more healthy, there is no reason to organize an intervention to put a stop to that.
    2. For ethical reasons because your loved one is upset about the cruel and unethical treatment of animals who are raised for slaughter to provide the meat industry with food to feed us. Even if you disagree with this ethical position, eliminating meat from the diet is not a radical thing to do. It is just a different lifestyle and a healthy one at that.
    3. For spiritual reasons. Most religions encourage some form of fasting or limitation of excess in eating. Perhaps your loved one is going through a time of greater religious devotion and not eating meat helps with times of contemplation and prayer. Anyone would see that as a good thing to be encouraged and supported.

    Notice before the list we used the word “vegan”. Dont be afraid of that word. If your child calls from college to say, “Guess what mom and dad, I’m a vegan”, that just means your child has become a vegetarian but is following a culture of vegetarianism that is more extreme than others.

    Instead of overreacting and putting your loved one into an intervention, the best response to learning he or she has become a vegetarian is to learn more about it and encourage the move. Your loved one can be a life long vegetarian and have nothing bad come of it. If fact, he or she will live better and longer because of the decision. Do some reading about what it means to live a vegetarian lifestyle and be supportive in how you prepare meals or in what restaurants you chose when spending time with your loved one.

    Then be open to hear why your friend or family member made this change in their life. Will they try to “convert” you to become a vegetarian also. Perhaps. But by engaging in an open discussion of what it means to be a vegetarian, you can express support for your loved one without becoming a vegetarian yourself. And when you make their decision normal and approved of as part of your family life, it can enrich your loved ones life and yours too. Because becoming a vegetarian is a very healthy step for anyone.

  • How to Not Miss Meat

    Even if your reasons for turning toward a vegetarian lifestyle are moral, ethical or religious, it is common to miss the taste of meat especially when you first start your walk as a vegetarian. The first rule to enforce is not to feel guilty about that. Just loving meat doesnt make you a bad thing. After all, most of us are raised eating pork, chicken, beef and other meats and if our parents did not have scruples about meat consumption, you have that as part of your upbringing.

    The good news is there are lots of substitutes for meat and wonderful recipes you can use so you can eliminate meat from your diet and not feel like you are “going without”. The added benefit is that vegetarian eating is much healthier for your body than a diet where meat is a common ingredient. Meat carries such a higher incidence of calories and fats that are harder for your body to digest and assimilate that you are doing your body a big favor switching to a meatless lifestyle.

    One way to still enjoy some of the aspects of meat but eliminate the actual animal part is to go with meat substitutes in traditional meat meals. Many restaurants serve veggie burgers where you get the good taste and familiar meal that we all like about hamburgers but you are still staying totally vegetarian. By shopping at markets and groceries that are supportive of the vegetarian lifestyle, you can often find other traditional meat meals prepared entirely without actual meat to help you get past missing that source of protein.

    A staple of vegetarian diet planning is Tofu. Tofu is made from Soya beans so it is totally natural and a good fit to your vegetarian meal planning. But it is full of proteins and it is a very flexible ingredient for vegetarian recipes because it reflects the flavors of other foods and herbs and it works well in dishes that use sauces so it can almost be mistaken for a meat dish.

    As you set about building your library of vegetarian recipes that are designed to take meat out of the equation, you will often find Tofu as one of the ingredients. That is because it works so well in lots of different recipes and responds well to grilling, baking or any other preparation method. Just be sure you take the time to dry your Tofu by putting it on a towel and removing the excess moisture before using it.

    If your commitment to vegetarian living also meals the elimination of animal products such as milk and cheese, soy milk has become increasingly popular in the last few years with vegetarians and meat eaters alike because if its health and diet benefits. Not only is it delicious to drink as a beverage, it can replace milk in recipes just as successfully.

    To eliminate animal based cheese from your diet, you might try a product called Tofutti. They offer many varieties of vegan chesses including cheddar and mozzarella so you can enjoy that flavor with a clear conscience. You can even find good substitutes for yogurt that is made from tofu or soy milk so you dont have to cut popular tastes from your diet entirely.

    Tofu is such a great meat substitute and an outstanding nutritional source that you can even use it in traditional egg dishes such as quiches, custard, omelets or any other meals that would emphasize an egg taste. If you mix pureed tofu with your recipe, you could virtually serve an egg dish even to a meat lover and they would not be able to tell that you had them eating vegetarian.

    As you continue to explore vegetarian cooking, there are a number of other meat replacements that do well in various cooking contexts. Tempah comes from a soy bean that has been fermented. Tempah works well once you braise it in a sauce for about an hour. Once prepared it can be fried in flower and served with a sauce for flavor and be very satisfying.

    One of the big projects of making the change to a vegetarian lifestyle is learning ways to substitute healthy alternatives such as we have discussed to take meat and meat products out of your diet. It will take some, learning but that learning can be fun as you reinvent cooking and shopping to fit your new passion for vegetarian, eating.

  • Getting Restaurants in on the Act

    Its one thing to move into a vegetarian discipline when it comes to preparing your meals at home. But things get more complicated when you go out to eat because you must be prepared to order appropriately at a restaurant so you get good foods but foods that are in line with your vegetarian way of life.

    The first order of business that should rank high on your priorities early in your vegetarian career is to find and try all of the vegetarian restaurants in town. This list will come in handy when enjoying some social time with like minded vegetarians or to eat on the run or from work. Also these will be the kinds of restaurants where you can learn what kinds of recipes to look for and what you like in a vegetarian order.

    But you won’t take all your meals with other vegetarians. If you are like most of us, you share your life with friends, loved ones and coworkers who are not part of the vegetarian lifestyle. So learning to find good vegetarian alternatives in all of the restaurants is one of the skills you will become adept at the longer you remain a vegetarian which is hopefully for life. One trick is that if you have a vote in the kind of restaurant to choose, go for Chinese or Italian. Chinese restaurants often have some great meatless offerings already on their menu so you can order vegetarian and not even raise anyone suspicions.

    Similarly because you find so many dishes in an Italian restaurant that are pasta only, you can order a veggie pizza or just pasta with a nice sauce or maybe some broccoli and enjoy a fine dinner that is totally in step with your vegetarian rules. Any restaurant that already has a good selection of meatless dishes that are not set apart as vegetarian are a good choice because you can dine with your non-vegetarian friends and family members and not call attention to the differences between you and them. And since most restaurants have a good salad menu, that is always a fall back in any restaurant situation.

    If your vegetarian regimen is vegan so you must also avoid milk, eggs, cheese or anything cooked in chicken or meat stock, you will have to kick your vigilance up a notch. The good news is that the vegetarian movement has become so large and wide spread that many restaurants want to accommodate their vegetarian customers.

    By letting your waiter know of your diet restrictions, he or she can guide you to the items on the menu that fit your requirements. It is not uncommon to see the manager or chef of the restaurant come to the table to help you make a choice. Restaurants are in the business of satisfying customers so they want to make sure you are happy with their menu offerings. And by enlisting the aid of your restaurant staff in a cooperative and friendly way, you send a positive message to your dining companions that you can live a vegetarian lifestyle and still be a happy member of the community in which you live.

    Most of us have a short list of restaurants that we frequent often. But every restaurant you go to wants to be on that short list and make you a valued customer. So network with your vegetarian friends and do your homework up front to find out which restaurants do well at accommodating the lifestyle of their vegetarian or vegan customers. Then develop your strategy for handling any situation where you find yourself eating out so you can come out of that experience with a good meal that fits your lifestyle and not miss out on the great social times that we associate with the eating out experience.

  • But What if Your Sweetheart Loves Meat?

    The vegetarian culture is one that fosters a certain “snootiness” because of our insistence on pure foods. It is also easy to get a superior attitude because vegetarian living is clearly a superior way to live from a health perspective and because so often our reasons for becoming a vegetarian is grounded in moral, ethical or religious values. And this is all well and good as long as you are functioning within the vegetarian community exclusively.

    But what if your sweetheart is a meat eater? If the one you are dating, engaged to or even married to is not a vegetarian, that can lead to some pretty delicate moments. The last thing the vegetarian movement is about is hostility. So we have to have some guidelines on how to live in peace and harmony if your romantic partner has not joined you in your the vegetarian lifestyle.

    Of course, one resolution is for your sweetheart to become a vegetarian with you. You could go with the argument of, “well if you loved me you would give up meat.” But forcing someone to join the vegetarian community out of guilt is a terrible reason to make that change of life. Your sweetheart will just resent giving up a food he or she loves and will probably cheat and eat meat when not around you. That kind of tension, resentment and deception is no grounds for a long term love affair.

    A better way is to come to terms with your differences, find ways to live with them and then see if down the road, your sweetheart might convert of his own free will. The first step, as is true of any conflict in an intimate relationship, is to talk about your differences openly. Sit down and talk about where each of you is on this issue. Agree to disagree. But also agree to find compromises and not to hold the other in contempt or to mock the other for the life choices he or she has made. By reaching a loving agreement, each of you can allow the other to be who he or she is and the romance can continue as the dietary dispute is resolved peacefully.

    Together you can look for restaurants that offer both vegetarian dishes and meat dishes so each of you can get what you want. Now you dont have to go to a restaurant that shouts in its advertising “We Serve Vegetarians!” All a good restaurant needs is a few good menu entries that are meatless and you can find what you want while your sweetheart enjoys a meat dish. Most good restaurants offer a tempting salad offering that you can customize so any meat, bacon bits, boiled eggs or even cheese are left out. By working together to build a good list of restaurants both of you can enjoy, you have a compromise for date nights that will last a long time.

    Finding ways for both of you to enjoy your diet of choice is a good long term step. But your loved one may have a misconception that vegetarian food can’t taste good. So make a deal that he or she might try it one night. Then you can put your best foot forward by preparing a sumptuous vegetarian meal that nobody can resist. But be aware that if you do try to make such a deal, you might have to agree to let your sweetheart try to convert you back to the meat eating world with a sumptuous home made meat based meal. If that is not ok with you, dont make the deal.

    Above all, dont mock or look upon your sweetheart’s choice of diet with distain or disgust. Dont make the “eww” face each time your date has a hamburger or a hot dog. Come to the point that you can live with meat eaters and not feel repulsed when others eat the foods you dont approve of. After all, you would not your date to make the “eww” face when you had a tofu burger or a big plate of steaming vegetables instead of meat. So treat each other with respect and love. Over time that approach will result in the best long term love affair and maybe even see you come to a time when he or she sees the light and joins you in the joys of vegetarianism.

  • Be a Good House Guest and a Good Vegetarian

    When you are learning the ropes of your new lifestyle of being a vegetarian, every aspect of life will be affected. From work to home life to eating out, you have to have a strategy for how to maintain your vegetarian discipline and still enjoy these different situations of life that are important to you. One of the situations we all find ourselves in, albeit perhaps infrequently, is when you are a house guest of a friend or relative. In that situation, you are going to find yourself under the hospitality perhaps of a person who is not a vegetarian. So you have to find a way to keep your diet healthy and proper and still be a good house guest.

    While your desire to live a life free of the eating of meat and perhaps a meat byproducts like eggs and milk is not a eating disability, it is an eating limitation. If you had a food allergy, perhaps to shell fish and you were going to stay as a house guest with someone, you would not feel any guilt letting them know your problem. If you can put your vegetarian lifestyle in that context and prepare for your visit accordingly, there doesnt have to be any “stigma” or guilt or problems bringing up your dietary needs with your host.

    Your host, after all, naturally wants you to enjoy your stay in their home. Anyone who is hosting has a natural instinct to make your stay comfortable and perfect. You can capitalize on that instinct and be polite about the desire your host has to make your stay go well but working with your host to let him or her know about your vegetarian diet and how it might impact food planning.

    When you get the invitation to come for a stay, that is the time to discuss what you can and cannot eat in your vegetarian discipline. If you just avoid meat and not dairy and meat byproducts, it is very likely your host or hostess can prepare their regular meals but also put together a small main dish that fits your diet needs. And you can enjoy the vegetable side dishes all you want so by working with your hosts, you can easily integrate how you eat into their meal planning and not disrupt the visit.

    But also be aware that there are items that your host may not supply that you may wish to bring with you or go get after your arrival. If you need soy milk because cows milk is not part of your diet regimen, by all means bring that in so your hosts are aware you are taking care of your own needs. Just let them know what you are providing for yourself and if the communication goes well, you can be accommodated and your hosts will be grateful that you did not see it as their job to provide for every aspect of your vegetarian program.

    The other side of being a good house guest and not letting your vegetarian way of life be a problem is to be both open about your discipline and not judgmental or “preachy” to others about the fact that they have not made the same diet decisions you have made. In fact, you might even offer to prepare an entirely vegetarian meal for the host family and your own one night just to demonstrate to them just how delightful and tasty meat free eating can be. You may be surprised just how interested and fascinated your friends and family are about your diet and why you are a vegetarian. And by being friendly, open, loving and easy to talk to, you make the visit more interesting, fun and warm and you may even be able to educate your hosts and maybe your own family about why your vegetarian way of life is a good one.

  • Role of Vegetables in Human Nutrition and Disease Prevention

    Role of Vegetables in Human Nutrition and Disease Prevention
    Vegetables are important for human health because of their vitamins, minerals, phytochemical compounds, and dietary fiber content. Especially antioxidant vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E) and dietary fiber content have important roles in human health. Adequate vegetable consumption can be protective some chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, as well as improve risk factors related with these diseases. In this chapter, basic information will be given about the classification of vegetables, preparation and cooking, and their effects on food content of vegetables and effects on health and diseases (diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer).

    vegetablesdiabetesmetabolic syndromecardiovascular diseasescancercooking methodsphenolic compoundsantioxidantsfiber
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    1. Introduction
      Vegetables are annual or perennial horticultural crops, with certain sections (roots, stalks, flowers, fruits, leaves, etc.) that can be consumed wholly or partially, cooked or raw [1].

    Vegetables are important for human nutrition in terms of bioactive nutrient molecules such as dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and non-nutritive phytochemicals (phenolic compounds, flavonoids, bioactive peptides, etc.). These nutrient and non-nutrient molecules reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain cancers, and obesity [2, 3].

    In recent years, consumers began to change their eating patterns with the growing interest in the effect of foods in staying healthy and maintaining health. “Western” type diets are characterized by increased intake of calories, sugar, saturated fats and animal protein, and reduced consumption of vegetables and fruits. When this type of diet is combined with lack of activity, the prevalence and frequency of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular pathologies also increases [3]. In healthy diets (Mediterranean diet model), eating plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes and nuts, replacing butter with healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil, using herbs and spices to add flavor instead of salt, limiting red meat to several times a month and eating fish and poultry at least twice a week are recommended. Evidence from epidemiological studies and clinical trials shows that the Mediterranean diet is associated with many positive health outcomes such as reduced risk of various chronic illnesses, reduced overall mortality, and increased likelihood of healthy aging[4].One of the most important features of these diets is the high consumption of vegetables, and therefore fiber, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, sulfur compounds, phenolic compounds such as monoterpenes and bioactive peptides, which have positive effects on health [3]. In this chapter, basic information will be presented on the classification of vegetables, their relation to health, and the effects of preparation and cooking on nutrient content of vegetables.


    1. Classification of vegetables
      There are approximately 10,000 plant species used as vegetables in the world. Classification of these species can be done by considering a common set of features. It is important for food researchers, dietitians, and nutrition educators to subcategorize vegetables by taking into account health and nutrition. This sub-categorization will be more useful if it is based on similarities in food composition [5]. Vegetables can be classified according to the part of the plant used for nutrition and the specific nutritional value [6].

    2.1. Green vegetables
    2.1.1. Leaf vegetables
    This group includes spinach, lettuce, curly lettuce, chard, purslane, chicory, etc. These are important minerals (iron and calcium), vitamins (A, C, and riboflavin) and fiber sources.

    Young, fresh leaves contain more vitamin C than mature plants. The green outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage are richer in vitamins, calcium, and iron than white inner leaves. Thinner and greener leaves are more nutritious and usually have lower calories.

    2.1.2. Stalk vegetables
    The best examples to be given to stalk vegetables are celery and asparagus. They contain minerals and vitamins in proportion to the green color. Asparagus is a particularly rich source of folic acid.

    2.1.3. Fruit and flower vegetables
    Broccoli, cauliflower, and artichoke are frequently consumed flowering vegetables. Broccoli is a good source of iron, phosphorus, vitamins A and C, and riboflavin. Cauliflower is also a good source of vitamin C. The nutritional value of the outer leaves of cauliflower and broccoli is much higher than the flower buds. They can be consumed raw in salads or cooked. Artichoke is a good source of minerals, especially potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, and has high dietary fiber content. Tomatoes and peppers are the most common fruit vegetables. Both are rich in vitamin C. Other fruit vegetables include cucumber, zucchini, and eggplant. A dark green or yellow color indicates high β-carotene content. The darker the yellow color, the higher the content of β-carotene.

    2.2. Root vegetables
    2.2.1. Root, bulb, and tuber vegetables
    Carrot, beet, turnip, fennel, onion, radish, and potato are examples of this group of vegetables. Yellow and orange varieties are rich in β-carotene, which is the precursor of vitamin A. Onion is an extraordinary example of root vegetables and contains moderate levels of vitamin C.

    2.2.2. Legumes
    This group includes legumes, peas, and soya beans. This group is rich in saponin and soluble fiber [6].

    Subgroups may differ from country to country and classifications in nutritional guidelines are based on nutritional content in different countries. For example, the basic food guidelines used in the United States (Basic 7 and Basic 4 Food Groups and Food Guide Pyramid) are focused on dark green leafy and dark orange/yellow group vegetables for beta-carotene and citrus fruits for vitamin C. Later on, 2010 USDA MyPyramid food guide identified dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli, other leafy vegetables, legumes, unique vegetables (dark orange, tomato, allium vegetables, etc.) and additional vegetables [Table 1]. In the guide prepared by Turkish Ministry of Health (Turkey Nutrition Guide 2015), vegetables have been classified as Dark green leafy vegetables (Mediterranean/salad greens such as spinach, chard, quince, blackcurrant, vine leaf, curly, lettuce, spinach, purslane, parsley, cress, arugula, mint, sorrel, radish, dill, radica, and curly-chicory (chopped or in salads)), other green vegetables (broccoli, okra, fresh beans, fresh peas, green zucchini, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, varieties of pointed or stuffed peppers, cucumber, and iceberg lettuce (chopped or in salads)), Red—orange—blue—purple vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, red pepper, radish, winter squash, beet, aubergine, and red cabbage), white vegetables (onion, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, leek, mushroom, ground apple, turnip), and starchy vegetables (potatoes and fresh corn) [7].

    Vegetable subgroups Important sourcesa Contributesb
    Dark green leafy vegetables
    and broccoli Vitamin C
    Vitamin K
    Lutein + zeaxanthin, flavones Iron, copper, manganese
    Vitamin B6
    Other leafy vegetables Vitamin C
    Vitamin K
    Anthocyanidins Phytosterol
    Vitamin B6
    Lutein + zeaxanthin
    Legumes Copper
    TAC Dietary fiber
    Magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese
    Vitamin B6
    Unique vegetables Vitamin C
    Alpha-carotene lycopene Vitamin B6
    Vitamin K
    Manganese, copper
    Additional vegetables Flavonoids Vitamin C
    Vitamin K
    Table 1.
    Summary chart for food ingredients in 2010 my pyramid vegetable subgroups [5].

    aProvides >25% DRI or highest mean concentration of component per 100 g.
    bProvides >10% DRI or second or third highest concentration of component per 100 g.
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    1. The effect of vegetables on some disease
      3.1. Effects on diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome
      Diabetes mellitus (DM), obesity, and the metabolic syndrome (MS) are increasing health problems in recent years in parallel with the increase in unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy living behaviors. One of the most basic aspects of the control and management of the disease in individuals with these health problems is the regulation of eating habits. In medical nutrition therapy applied to these individuals, it is important to meet the energy and nutritional needs of individuals, as well as including foods with functional activities against the complications of these diseases in the diet. Phytochemical compounds (carotenoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, and phenolics), which are secondary compounds found in vegetables, are thought to be protective against these diseases.

    3.1.1. Root, bulb, and tuber vegetables
    Onions and garlic, thanks to the volatile oils, organosulfur compounds, and flavonoids in their content, are among the vegetables thought to be protective against DM, obesity, and MS [8]. Organosulfur compounds such as S-methyl cysteine and flavonoids such as quercetin in these vegetables exert a functional effect by regulating the activities of some enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, increasing insulin secretion and sensitivity, and increasing NADP+ and NADPH activities [9]. In addition, these vegetables inhibit the enzymes α-glucosidase and α-amylase, inhibiting the formation of D-glucose from oligosaccharides and disaccharides and delaying the absorption of glucose from the intestines [10]. Onion and garlic are especially protective against dyslipidemia and oxidative stress, which are seen due to DM and MS.

    Kumar et al. found that obese patients with Type 2 diabetes who used garlic tablets in addition to metformin had significantly higher fasting blood glucose (FBG), postprandial blood glucose, total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), C-reactive protein (CRP), and adenosine deaminase levels compared to those of patients using only metformin [11]. In dyslipidemic individuals with Type 2 DM, the use of garlic tablets for 12 weeks significantly decreased TC and LDL levels, while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) levels were significantly increased [12]. Although there are similar studies suggesting that garlic has positive effects on blood glucose level and plasma lipid profile in the presence of DM [13], garlic was also found to increase antioxidant enzyme activities in DM and reduce bioactive aldehyde levels [14].

    It was found that garlic consumption increased adiponectin levels in MS patients [15]. Considering that adiponectin has antiatherogenic and antiatherosclerotic effects [16], garlic consumption in MS patients is thought to be protective against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In addition, it has been determined that garlic has a positive effect on insulin resistance in rats with MS induced by high fructose content feed [17].

    In obese rats induced by high-fat diets, garlic supplemented animal feed reduced TG and TC levels, as well as body weight and epididymal fat accumulation [18]. Similarly, in obesity induced rats with a high-fat diet, garlic reduced visceral and epididymal fat accumulation while reducing atherogenic index and cardiac risk factors [19].

    It was reported that onion powder added to animal feed in experimental diabetic rats induced by aloxane or streptozotocin had a hypoglycemic effect [9, 20]. In a study comparing the efficacy of glibenclamide, which is an oral antidiabetic drug, with onion application at different doses in DM rats, it was reported that 300 mg/kg of onion extract application reduced fasting glucose levels by 75.4%, whereas 2.5 mg/kg glibenclamide reduced fasting glucose levels by 76.4% [21].

    Studies investigating the effects of onion consumption in the presence of DM on antioxidant enzyme levels such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) showed that onion consumption increased the levels of these enzymes [22]. In these studies, it was also found that onion reduced bioactive aldehyde levels such as malondialdehyde (MDA) formed by the decomposition of lipid hydroperoxides.

    It was reported that onion reduced insulin resistance and improved FBG levels in MS Zucker type rats [23]. It was shown that onion extract reduced weight gain, epididymal fat accumulation, and serum TC levels in BALB/c mice that were made obese with a high-fat diet [24]. It was reported that a daily onion consumption of 100–120 g significantly decreased TC and LDL cholesterol levels of obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome [25].

    3.1.2. Leaf vegetables
    Purslane and chard are green leafy vegetables thought to have functional activity against DM, MS, and obesity. Purslane shows a functional effect due to free oxalic acids, alkaloids, omega-3 fatty acids, coumarins, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, anthraquinone, α-linolenic acid, and active compounds in its composition [26], while chard shows its effect via phospholipids, glycolipids, fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acid), folic acid, ascorbic acid, and pectin in its composition [27]. Purslane, described by WHO as one of the most used medical plants, is also called “global panacea” [28].

    In studies investigating the effects of the use of purslane extract on anthropometric and biochemical changes in Type 2 DM patients, it was found that consumption of purslane extract significantly reduced HbA1c levels [29], TG, TC, LDL, FBG, and post-prandial blood glucose, body weight and BMI, whereas it significantly increased HDL levels [30]. In another study, consumption of purslane extract significantly increased glucagon-like peptide-1 concentrations, which has positive effects on beta cell proliferation and insulin secretion, in individuals with Type 2 DM [31].

    In rats fed high-fat diets, it was seen that purslane decreased TG, TC, and LDL levels [32] and similarly it decreased TC and TG levels in hypercholesterolemic rats [33]. In rats with DM induced by streptozotocin, it was shown that purslane had hypoglycemic [34] and antioxidant effects [35].

    In Type 1 diabetic rats, chard extracts were shown to reduce blood glucose levels and improve beta cell regeneration [27], while significantly decreasing adenosine deaminase levels [36]. It was also found that chard decreased elevated MDA levels due to diabetes and increased antioxidant capacity [36]. In Type 2 diabetic rats, chard extract was also shown to be effective in increasing insulin secretion and lowering blood glucose levels by increasing GLP-1 and acetylcholine levels [37]. It was also found to have a hypolipidemic effect in high fat diet-induced rats [38].

    3.1.3. Fruit and flower vegetables
    Broccoli and cauliflower are vegetables thought to have protective effects against many diseases thanks to glucosinolates and indole-3-carbinol they contain [39]. Indole-3-carbinol given to obesity induced mice by a high fat diet was shown to reduce epididymal fat accumulation, body weight, insulin, leptin, and blood glucose levels, increase adiponectin levels, and improve glucose tolerance [39]. Similarly, in Type 2 diabetic rats fed with a high fat diet, indole-3-carbinol reduced blood glucose levels, and HbA1c levels, thereby reducing thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, lipid hydroperoxides and conjugated dienes levels, and increased levels of SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px [40]. Positive effects of broccoli on impaired lipid profile due to high fat diets were detected [41].

    3.1.4. Legumes
    Leguminosae family peas and vegetables such as peas and soybeans inhibit alpha-amylase enzyme, and show antidyslipidemic and antioxidant effects thanks to phytosterols such as B-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol, and linoleic acid they contain [42]. Studies conducted by Helmstädter revealed that different plant extracts of this family improved glucose tolerance and glycosuria [43]. Consumption of different species of this family such as Pinto beans, Great Northern beans, Navy beans, and Black beans have been reported to reduce the risk of obesity, MS, and DM [44].

    3.2. Effects on cardiovascular diseases
    CVDs are the primary cause of death and illness in the world. The Global Burden of Disease Study reported that 29.6% of all deaths in the world were due to CVDs [45]. The main factor in these deaths is the increase in unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. Most of the risk factors associated with CVDs are reversible risk factors and non-pharmacologic measures such as healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyle changes may help control the risk factors for the disease. Increased consumption of vegetables, which are an important part of a healthy diet, has been shown to reduce CVD-related mortality rates [46] and improve risk factors [47]. Vegetables are protective against CVD thanks to low content of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and being rich in bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, phytoestrogens (lignans, coumestran, isoflavones, resveratrol, and lycopene), organosulfur compounds, soluble dietary fibers (β-glucan, pectin, and psyllium), isothiocyanates, monoterpenes, and sterols (sitostanol, stigmasterol, and campesterol) [48].

    3.2.1. Root, bulb, and tuber vegetables
    Epidemiological studies indicate that there is an inverse relationship between garlic consumption and CVD development. Studies in the literature reported that garlic and garlic components show cholesterol and lipid lowering effects by inhibiting key enzymes involved in cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis (monooxygenase and HMG-CoA reductase) [49], antiplatelet effect by inhibiting cyclooxygenase enzyme activity [50], and fibrinolytic effect by inhibiting lipid peroxidation and hemolysis in oxidized erythrocytes [51]. It was also reported that onion and garlic had a blood pressure lowering effect by inducing intracellular nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide production and inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme activity [52]. It was also shown that garlic reduced the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of CVD and increased antioxidant capacity [52].

    Although epidemiological studies investigating the relationship of onion consumption and CVD risk and CVD-related mortality rates are limited, a study conducted in Finland found that CVD-induced mortality was lower in individuals with high onion consumption than in those with low onion consumption [53]. Similar to garlic, onion also improves cardiovascular health through the sulfurous compounds, and especially flavonoids such as quercetin in its content. By cutting an onion, S-alk(en)yl-L-cysteine sulfoxides are converted into thiosulfinates and copaenes via the enzyme alliinase and these compounds inhibit platelet aggregation [54]. Since platelet aggregation is an important risk factor for the development of coronary thrombosis and atherosclerosis, onion consumption may be beneficial in individuals with risk factors for CVD. In addition, it was reported that onion consumption in hypercholesterolemic rats reduces CVD risk by decreasing the elevated inflammatory biomarkers associated with high cholesterol diet and by increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes [55]. Onion also eliminates risk factors by correcting the dyslipidemia seen in some chronic diseases such as DM [9].

    3.2.2. Leaf vegetables
    Green leafy vegetables increase antioxidant capacity through minerals, vitamins, pulp, and phytochemical compounds in their content and protect against oxidative stress which is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of CVD [56]. In traditional diets where consumption of green leafy vegetables is high (Mediterranean and Japanese traditional diets), the rate of CVD is lower, and average life span is longer [57]. Moreover, in vegetarian individuals, mortality rates due to ischemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases were also found to be lower than in non-vegetarians [58]. In another study, it was found that paralysis rates were significantly lower in individuals with higher consumption of green leafy vegetables than in individuals with less consumption of green leafy vegetables [59]. The incidence of coronary artery disease was also reported to be lower in individuals with higher green leafy vegetables consumption [53]. Individuals with more than three portions of green leafy vegetable consumption a day were found to have an ischemic heart disease incidence of about 60% less than those consuming less than 1 portion per day [60]. Furthermore, green leafy vegetables such as rocket, spinach, and lettuce also reduce blood pressure, inhibit platelet aggregation and improve endothelial dysfunction due to their rich inorganic nitrate content [57]. Some studies suggest that high nitrate content in the vegetables in this group is transformed into nitrite, nitric oxide, and vasodilator-tissue protective secondary compounds through symbiotic bacteria in the oral cavity, thereby maintaining cardiopulmonary function by lowering blood pressure [61].

    3.2.3. Fruit and flower vegetables
    The vegetables in this group are rich in sulfur-containing glucosinolates, flavonoids, anthocyanins, coumarins, carotenoids, antioxidant enzymes, and terpenes [62]. However, indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which is a hydrolysis product of glucoraphanin, are thought to be the main bioactive compounds that are protective against CVD [63]. In experimental animals, sulforaphane protects against ischemic damage to the heart through induction of Nrf2-related phase-II enzymes such as SOD, CAT, and hemoxygenase-1 [64]. Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane also protect against inflammation by inhibiting cytokine production [63]. In some epidemiological studies, it has been argued that consumption of vegetables in this group may reduce CVD-related mortality rates [65, 66]. It has been reported that anthocyanins extracted from red cabbage have protective effect on blood platelets [67], while broccoli sprouts decrease TC and LDL levels and increase HDL levels [68].

    3.2.4. Legumes
    The vegetables in this group are protective against CVD due to their high saponin and soluble fiber content. Another reason why legumes are beneficial for heart health is their low sodium and high potassium, calcium, and magnesium content [69]. The soluble pulp reduces the levels of TC and LDL by inhibiting the absorption of bile acid from the intestines and enabling the formation of short chain fatty acids, particularly propionic acid, that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol [70]. It also improves heart health by inhibiting platelet aggregation [71]. In long-term observational epidemiologic studies, increased legume consumption has been reported to reduce CVD-related mortality and may protect against these diseases [69, 72, 73].

    3.3. Effects on cancer
    Cancer occurs as cells grow and proliferative without control [74]. Cancer occurs, progresses, and spreads as a result of abnormal signals in the body due to genetic or epigenetic effects [75].Cancer is among the main causes of death in the world. On average, 16% of deaths occur each year due to cancer [76]. Lifestyle and many genetic and environmental factors can cause cancer. Smoking, consumed foods, solar radiation, and carcinogens in the environment are among these factors. The most important step in the treatment of cancer is the prevention of cancer. In particular, it is important to use health-related preventive practices in the communities and individuals at risk [75].

    Consuming plant-based foods, especially increasing the consumption of vegetables, reduces the risk of cancer [74]. The antioxidants in vegetables help reduce the risk of cancer by preventing oxidative damage to the cells in the body [77]. Vegetables have protective effects against cancer due to the vitamins, minerals, pulp, and phytochemicals they contain [78]. About 14% of deaths worldwide due to inadequate vegetable consumption are caused by gastrointestinal cancers [79].

    In a meta-analysis, the effects of vegetable consumption on cancer incidence were examined. Fruit and vegetable consumption were found to decrease cancer risk independently of each other and it was found that an extra portion of vegetables consumed daily resulted in a 3% reduction in cancer incidence [80].

    A study investigating the relationship between vegetable and fruit consumption and epithelial ovarian cancer included 500 cancer patients and 500 control subjects. Cancer patients were found to have significantly lower average amounts of vegetables and fruits consumed per day than the control group [81]. However, in a cohort study investigating the relationship between vegetable and fruit consumption and pancreatic cancer, no significant relationship was found [82].

    3.3.1. Root, bulb, and tuber vegetables
    Vegetables in this group exert their protective effect against cancer through inositol, flavonoids, lignans, polyphenols, protease inhibitors, saponins, steroids, triterpenoids, isoflavones, phenolic acids, protein kinase inhibitors, sphingolipids, allicin, aline, and allyl sulfides [78].

    Onions prevent tumor formation and cancer cells from spreading in many kinds of cancers such as stomach, ovary, breast, and colon cancer [83]. It has been shown that onion extract has apoptosis-inducing effects in MDA-MB-231 cells that cause breast cancer [84].

    Compounds such as thyroallyl found in garlic are effective in preventing cancer. Such compounds in garlic have antioxidant effects that prevent and reduce carcinogens in DNA. They are also effective in reducing free radicals, inducing apoptosis, and stimulating the immune system [85, 86]. In a meta-analysis, the relationship between all cancer types and garlic consumption was investigated and it was concluded that garlic consumption was protective against gastric and intestinal cancers [87].

    A controlled study investigating the relationship between onion and garlic consumption and gastric cancer included 759 cancer patients and 750 control subjects. As a result of the study, both onion and garlic consumption were found to have a negative relationship with cancer [88].

    Carrot, which is a good source of flavonoids, polyacetylenes, vitamins and minerals, and carotenes, is also effective in protecting against cancer. Carrots have antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, and immune system enhancing properties [89]. In a study, it was determined that carrot consumption was negatively related to prostate cancer [90]. In another study conducted on rats, carrot consumption was shown to have protective effects against cancer due to the high content of carotenoids found in carrots [91].

    3.3.2. Leaf vegetables
    Green leafy vegetables reduce the risk of cancer due to phytochemicals, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin A they contain [92]. The phytochemicals in these vegetables strengthen the immune system, protect against carcinogenic substances, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that causes cancer, reduce DNA damage, prevent the growth of cancer cells, inhibit angiogenesis that is effective in tumor growth and regulate hormones [78, 93]. It is thought that these effects are exerted especially in cancer types such as breast, skin, lung, and stomach [78]. The main phytochemicals believed to be protective against these cancer types are isothiocyanates [92]. Apart from these phytochemicals, green leafy vegetables are protective against cancer, especially gastrointestinal system carcinomas, due to high pulp content [93].

    In this group, spinach shows protective effects against cancer by reducing oxidative stress in the body thanks to vitamins A, C, and E, carotenes such as beta carotene and lutein, flavones and flavonoids it contains [94, 95].

    Broccoli is another vegetable that is effective in protecting against cancer. A number of epidemiological studies have associated broccoli to low incidence of cancer. Sulfurous compounds found in broccoli are cancer preventive agents [96]. In addition to sulfurous compounds, there are carotenes and other antioxidant vitamins in broccoli. But the most effective compounds in preventing cancer are the sulfurous compounds in broccoli. These sulfurous compounds inhibit cancer formation by reducing free radicals and preventing cell damage [97].

    3.3.3. Fruit and flower vegetables
    Tomato, a good source of beta carotene and lycopene, reduces free radical damage in the DNA that causes cancer and prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells just like green leafy vegetables [78]. Lycopene is especially protective against prostate cancer [78, 98].

    In an epidemiological study, consuming tomato and tomato products was found to be associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer [99].

    Results of a study investigating the relationship of tomatoes and tomato products with cancer revealed that the consumption of tomatoes and tomato products decreased cancer risk [98].

    In another study, lycopene in tomatoes was shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells in lung cancer by reducing oxidative stress and inducing apoptosis [100].

    Another vegetable in this group associated with cancer is pepper because of the capsaicin it contains. Capsaicin is thought to prevent cancer cells from growing, developing, and spreading [101].

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    1. Effect of preparing and cooking methods on vegetables
      Vegetables are one of the most important components of human diet and are rich sources of β-carotene (provitamin A), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamins E and K, minerals (such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and selenium), antioxidants (such as carotenoids, polyphenols, and glucosinolates), and fiber [102].

    Preparation and cooking methods can greatly affect the nutritional content and acceptability of vegetables. There is no consensus in the literature as to what is the best way of preserving bioactive compounds while preparing and cooking vegetables [103].

    Some vegetables are subjected to peeling in order to remove their shell or skin and make them more digestible. Minerals and other nutrients are affected by peeling. This can also cause severe loss of certain vitamins. It is known that peeling before boiling increases the loss of ascorbic acid, folic acid, or other vitamins of group B. Chopping vegetables can also change the bioavailability of bioactive compounds such as vitamins, carotenoids, polyphenols, and flavonoids [104].Thawing, cutting, and crashing citrus vegetables can also disrupt antioxidant glucosinolates due to the presence of myrosinase enzyme found in these vegetables [105].

    Cooking improves the flavor of vegetables and enables the nutrients in the vegetables to be more easily used by the digestive system. However, cooking results in some physical and chemical changes in vegetables [106]. The effect of cooking procedure may vary depending on the various factors such as cooking technique, temperature, leakage into the cooking environment, solvent used for extraction, surface area exposed to water and oxygen, and pH [107]. In addition, each food matrix contains different compounds; therefore the same cooking technique may have different effects depending on the type of vegetable [108].

    The most commonly used cooking methods are steaming, roasting, boiling, frying, sautéing, sous vide, microwave, and pressure cooking [109]. Cooking techniques affect polyphenol content and antioxidant activity levels in vegetables. Heat treatment can lead to a change in the chemical structures of vegetables, leading to the breakdown of cells and the degradation of some phenolic compounds from biological structures, the release of phenolics from the food matrix, and the conversion of insoluble phenolics to more soluble forms [110, 111]. In addition, the phenolic compounds are soluble in water. Thus, water-based cooking techniques often lead to loss of phenolics by leaking [103].

    It has been reported that food processing has negative effects due to oxidation dependent losses in carotenoids and positive effects as it provides increased bioavailability [112]. Among the causes of increased carotenoid concentration in heat treatment may be greater extractability, enzymatic breakdowns, and incalculable moisture losses. Heat treatment also causes inactivation of enzymes and degradation of structures in the food matrix leading to increased bioavailability [113, 114].

    The losses of minerals during preparation and cooking stages of vegetables are closely related to their solubility. Minerals are generally stable against a large number of conditions encountered during cooking, such as heat, oxidation, acidity or alkalinity. Potassium is an abundant mineral found in vegetables, and because of its high solubility in water, it is easily lost by leakage during cooking. Calcium and magnesium are usually present in an attached form in plant tissue and are therefore not easily lost by leakage. The loss of vitamin C is due in part to oxidative degradation during preparation and cooking and partly due to the leakage of the vitamin into the water used for cooking. The amount of vitamins degraded during cooking may be quite small compared to the amount lost due to leakage [115]. Due to its solubility and reactivity, folate is susceptible to potentially large losses during food processing and storage. The chemical stability of folates in plant-based foods may be adversely affected by heat, oxygen exposure, and light intensity. Since folate is highly soluble, its losses occur by leakage through the water used for washing, boiling, and cooking [116].

    4.1. Root, bulb, and tuber vegetables
    Onion is the richest source of quercetin, which is a flavonoid, and it is most widely used source in diet. Gennaro et al. found a 21% reduction in total quercetin uptake after onion peeling [117].

    In another study on onions, the effects of boiling, microwaving, frying, and warm holding onion at 60°C for 1–2 hours on flavonoid amounts were investigated and peeling and boiling were found to decrease flavonoid levels in onion by up to 50%. It was found that other cooking methods and warming treatments did not have a significant effect on flavonoid amount [118].

    Regarding the effects of cooking on onions, Lombard et al. found a 7% increase in flavonol concentration when sautéed, a 25% increase when oven baking, and an 18% decrease when boiled. They also stated that less than 5 minutes of cooking can result in retention of more than 80% of flavonols [119].

    Potato contains various phenolic compounds, mainly chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. There are several studies showing that cooking reduces [120], does not affect [121] or increases [122, 123, 124, 125] phenolic compounds in potato. The reason for the increase in phenolic compounds during cooking is attributed to the increase in the extractability of these compounds from the cellular matrix of potato due to the textural changes in its starch structure during cooking [122].

    Carrot is one of the important root vegetables rich in bioactive compounds such as carotenoids and dietary fiber. Bembem and Sadana investigated the effects of different cooking methods (boiling, steaming, pressure cooking, microwaving, and sautéing) on total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), total carotenoid and β-carotene content and antioxidant activity, and found that sautéing was the method that increased total carotene, β-carotene, and TPC the most. They reached the conclusion that sautéing and microwaving were the most appropriate ways of cooking carrots [126].

    When the effect of boiling and steaming of frozen carrot on phenolic compound content was investigated, it was determined that phenolic content of carrot was significantly decreased at the end of the boiling process, whereas there was an increase in the steaming method [127]. The decrease during boiling may be due to the leakage of phenolic compounds into the boiling water.

    4.2. Leaf vegetables
    In a study investigating the effect of different cooking methods (boiling, steam cooking, and microwave cooking) on phytochemical content and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of cabbage and black cabbage, which are part of the Brassicaceae family and are rich sources of vitamins and phytochemical compounds such as carotenoids and polyphenols, it was found that the best method in preserving the nutritious quality of vegetables was steam cooking. It was also shown that fresh vegetables preserved phytochemical compounds and TAC better than frozen samples [128].

    Chang et al. studied the losses in nutritional value of several green leafy vegetables including Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis var. Cephalata), swamp cabbage (Ipomoea aquatica), spinach (Spinacia oleracea), Ceylon spinach (Basella rubra), red spinach (Amaranthus gangeticus), white spinach (Amaranthus viridis), and Tapioca sprouts (Manihot utilissima) when they were treated with boiling or deep frying for 4 and 8 minutes, and found that frying reduced lutein content in all vegetables by 8–89%, and boiling reduced lutein content by 0–428%. When 8 minutes boiling procedure was compared with the 4 minutes procedure, β-carotene retention in vegetables other than Chinese cabbage and spinach changed between 18 and 380%, whereas in the frying procedure β-carotene retention increased by 2–3 times except spinach [129]. The difference in cooking conditions (time and temperature), the type of vegetables, and the interaction between cooking methods and vegetable type may be the cause of differences observed in carotenoid composition.

    4.2.1. Fruit and flower vegetables
    Alvi et al. investigated the effects of peeling on tomato, which contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as various phytochemical compounds including lycopene, and found a reduction of 18.3% in fiber, 25.4% in calcium, 32.6% in magnesium, 6.4% in phosphor, 2.9% in potassium, 28.9% in ascorbic acid, and 17.2% in folic acid after peeling [130].

    Dolinsky et al. found that the cooking method that maximized the polyphenol concentration and antioxidant capacity of tomatoes was steaming, and that microwaving significantly reduced the polyphenol content in tomatoes, and recommended microwave cooking less than other cooking methods (boiling, steaming, and pressure cooking) [131].

    Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is considered to be an excellent source of antioxidants and is very rich in ascorbic acid and other phytochemicals. In a study conducted with six species of pepper, three different cooking methods were used (frying, boiling, and microwaving) and antioxidant properties of peppers after cooking procedures were evaluated. Reductions in radical scavenging activity (RSA) and total phenolic contents (TP) were observed after all cooking procedures, but the reductions after frying and microwaving were not statistically significant when compared to the initial RSA and TP levels. After a 5-minutes boiling, a 77% reduction compared to initial RSA levels was obtained, and when the boiling time increased to 30 minutes, the RSA totals decreased significantly compared to raw peppers. Significant reductions were also observed in TP after 5 and 30 minutes of boiling [132]. Based on these results, it can be said that the most suitable heat treatment method for peppers are microwave use and frying. If boiling is to be performed, shorter cooking time, less water usage, and consumption of cooking water can also reduce the amount of antioxidants that can be lost.

    Artichoke, which is characterized by a complex antioxidant profile, contains many bioactive compounds such as glycosides and phenolic compounds, especially caffeicinic acid. Ferracane et al. applied boiling, frying, and steam cooking methods on artichoke and found an increase in overall caffeicinic acid concentration due to the formation of different dicaffeicinic acid isomers in cooked artichokes compared to raw ones. However, a higher increase in the concentration of dicaffeicinic acid was observed in steamed and fried artichokes compared to those boiled. In addition, flavonoid concentrations were reduced in all cooking processes and this reduction was largest in frying [133].

    In a study comparing vitamin C content of raw, boiled, and microwaved broccoli and cauliflower, significant reductions in vitamin C contents were found after cooking processes. Boiling process caused more vitamin C loss compared to microwaving. After 6 minutes of boiling, vitamin C levels decreased by 64.5% in broccoli, by 70.7% in white cabbage, and by 66.8% in cauliflower [134]. Based on the results, it can be said that microwaving may be preferred instead of boiling to reduce vitamin C losses.

    Yuan et al. investigated the effects of steaming, microwaving, boiling, frying, and boiling followed by frying processes on vitamin C levels in broccoli. At the end of the study, it was found that in all procedures except the steaming method, loss of vitamin C was significant compared to initial levels and the highest loss was obtained in boiling followed by frying (38%) and boiling (33%) [135].

    When we look at other studies conducted with broccoli belonging to the Brassicaceae family, it is also seen that steaming is the best way to preserve nutritional quality of broccoli [107, 136, 137, 138].

    It is known for a long time that loss of nutrients in vegetables occurs during the preparation and cooking stages. Knowing the conditions that cause these losses can help limit the losses and increase the nutritional quality of the foods.

    1. Conclusion
      Numerous preclinical studies carried out in recent years have identified beneficial protective and enhancing effects of vegetables on health, resulting from the nutritional and non-nutritional phytochemical contents of vegetables. These phytochemicals have the ability to modify the cellular function by modulating transcription factors and altering gene expression, cellular metabolism, and cellular signaling. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends daily intake of 5–8 portions (400–600 g) of fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of micro nutrient deficiency, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, cognitive impairment, and other nutritional health risks.

    In order to make optimum use of the nutritional content of vegetables, choosing the right methods of preparation and cooking is as important as the consumption of adequate amounts of vegetables. To minimize nutritional losses, vegetables should be chopped right before cooking, if possible by hand or by metal tools while making the minimum contact possible, each vegetable should be cooked with the method and time that is most appropriate for that vegetable, and consumed as soon as possible.

  • Article title:Current Article: How to Build a Great Relationship with a Mentor

    How to Build a Great Relationship with a Mentor The research on the power of mentorship is pretty clear: People with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster, and even experience more work-life satisfaction. And mentors benefit, too. After all, “to teach is to learn twice.” Despite all these benefits, and even though 76% of working professionals believe that a mentor is important to growth, more than 54% do not have such a relationship. The problem is often that people don’t know how to find a mentor or establish a relationship. The following eight steps can help. 1. Define your goals and specific needs. Get out a pen and paper, and write out your career goals. Make sure they are SMART. Then, list out some of the biggest obstacles to achieving them. This specificity will help you decide what type of mentor you should be looking for. Maybe you need to develop new skills, expand your network in a specific sector, or build confidence to have some tough conversations. By first understanding where you want to be, as well as the biggest opportunities and gaps to getting there, you’ll identify how a mentor can truly be helpful to you. 2. Write the “job description” of your ideal mentor. Equipped with your goals and what you need to help achieve them, think through how a mentor can help. Write out the type of mentor that can help you seize your biggest opportunities and/or navigate your challenges. Be specific here. Perhaps you need someone that can help you accomplish a project, make introductions to people at a certain level within a specific industry, or coach you through a tough negotiation. In your job description, make sure to also include the “why” – just like companies want potential hires to understand the bigger purpose of their firm, explain why mentoring you will tap into something bigger. Make sure you include this job description when you reach out to potential mentors, so they know why you’re asking for a mentor and are more willing to help (covered in the 4th and 5th steps). 4. Make the ask (and keep it simple). Asking someone to be your mentor the first time, second time, and even third time is a little awkward. It’s likely you’ve never been asked to mentor someone else, nor taught how to make the ask for yourself. Embrace the uncomfortable feeling and be vulnerable. There is no harm that can come from asking, but take it slow. Ask someone for a first conversation to learn more about their work and interests. Once you learn more about each other, if there is an alignment, then make the bigger ask for mentorship. Asking someone cold to be a mentor with a long email is too much to take in. Make it easy for the person. Go to a location convenient for them, have a coffee (or tea) waiting, come prepared, and make the meeting no-pressure and comfortable. Spend time getting to know the person. You probably want to talk less than 30% of the time. It’s okay to ask for small favors out of the gate. In fact, it might even help you build the relationship. Make a clear ask: “I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. Would it be okay if I followed up with you again in one month after I make some progress towards my goals?” Say thank you, and then follow-up again over email to say thank you again. 7. Create a structured accountability process with a mentorship agreement. After you have a simple conversation or two, try making a more formal ask: Would the person be willing to sit down with you once a month for the next six months until you achieve your goal or solve your problem? If so, then consider creating a simple one-page document outlining what you will accomplish in those six months together. While it might seem a bit overkill, it will help add clarity to you and to your mentor by helping share the goal of the relationship. It will also help you set a clear agenda for each meeting. You can suggest it by saying: “I truly appreciate your time, and I really want to make sure I’m making the most of it. I was thinking that I could prepare a simple document that would share my goals with you, my commitment to you, and what milestones I hope to achieve in the next three months. I think it will help hold me accountable to come prepared to our conversations. Would you be okay with that?” {{quota.remaining}}/{{quota.limit}} REMAINING REGISTER You’ve read all of your free articles. Subscribe and never run out again. You’re out of free articles for this month. Need help getting access? Contact Customer Service: 800.988.0886 (U.S./Canada) 617.783.7500 (International) We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

  • Things You Should Quit Doing To Be More Successful, 7 of 32

    Things You Should Quit Doing To Be More Successful

    If you haven’t seen it, I’ll describe it for you. In a now viral video, writer Marina Shifrin turns the camera on herself at the office around 4:30 a.m. She then proceeds to dance herself out of a job. Throughout the video, words splash across the screen explaining her reasons, then at the end we read, “I quit.” Then one more time in caps for good measure, “I QUIT!” 

    You know what I thought about as I watched the video? I wish more people did this.

    We humans (that means me included) often get stuck in a hamster wheel of habit. We do things that aren’t good for us, remain where we shouldn’t and put ourselves through voluntary suffering all in the name of comfort. We don’t know these things are damaging because it’s normal to us.

    But a rare few, like Marina, snap out of it and quit before it’s too late. Here are six things you should quit doing today before it’s too late.

    Quit Stopping 

    I’ve completed six half marathons (13.1 miles) over the past few years and each one has been an emotional experience for me. Here’s how it usually goes…

    The gun goes off: “This is great! Today is gonna be a personal record, I just know it.”

    Mile 5: “Am I sane?”

    Mile 10: “You want this, ouch, you want this, ouch.”

    Mile 13: “Where’s the dang finish line 4 Exclamation mark”

    Finish line: “That. Was. Awesome. When’s the next one?”

    They say that at the very moment you want to quit, you’re actually almost there. It’s the stupid human in us…we go so far and then our brains take over and tell us it’s too hard. When did we get the memo that life was supposed to be easy all the time?

    Think right now about something you keep stopping. You committed to it, but then you suddenly quit because it started to require a little extra elbow grease. A project at work, a relationship, a fitness goal. Remember why you started it, then push onward. Because the more you stop and think about quitting, the longer it’ll take to get to your desired result. Or worse, you’ll never know what it feels like to reach the finish line.

    Quit Saying Tomorrow

    You know the saying, “Yesterday you said tomorrow?” Seriously, stop that! Delaying or procrastinating around something that you think is important means one of two things. You’re either scared to start because it means your life will change or you want it for the wrong reasons (i.e. someone else is encouraging you to do it).

    So yes, that new healthy eating thing you want to do will be very difficult and possibly unpleasant. But every day you wait to start is another day you’re not helping yourself. And you keep telling yourself that you’ll wait until the kids are a certain age before you finish your degree, but is that really the main reason you’re waiting? Or is it because studying is not nearly as exciting as all the other options you have right now? And while you’re at it, why are you donating free money to the gym? They haven’t seen you in months.

    Quit Being A Victim

     When people tell me they’re doing something or making certain choices because they have “no choice,” it makes me want to bang my head on the table…and then put that on repeat. You have a choice in everything you do. Barring a few really crazy exceptions, no one holds your hand to the fire on anything. And if you’re choosing to remain in a place that isn’t positive, you’re victimizing yourself.

    You are not so worthless that you have to keep dating that person. Obama and the economy are not forcing you to stay in that career. There are other places you could live. And it’s not your schedule that prevents you from being healthy.

    Our social groups are great for complaining. We all discuss our problems with our friends and that’s ok. But there are limits. Everyone gets a few opportunities to complain about a particular hardship, but if you seek advice and respond with “but I can’t” (said in whiny voice) too many times, you officially become a victim. Eventually, you’ll have to, ask yourself whether you even want to fix the problem.

    Quit Saying Yes

    My yoga instructor, Angela Wagner, reminded me recently that anytime we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. So when you say yes to a happy hour, you’re saying no to . When you say yes to a crappy review from your boss, you’re saying no to getting acknowledged for the great work that was overlooked. When you say yes to watching pointless reality TV shows, you’re saying no to doing the dishes. Or if you say yes to staying late at the office, you’re saying no to your relationship.

    It could be you don’t need to entirely quit saying yes. You may just need to analyze when you’re saying yes and what you’re trading for it. You might find yourself saying yes to things you don’t even care about and no to things that could make your life better in some way.

    Quit Expecting 

    I got an email the other night from someone looking for advice after reading this article. He told me that he’s been working for the same company for his entire career, rising through the ranks and loving it. But recently he realized he’s hit a wall – he’s had many reviews and each time he meets with management, they’re not giving him the promotion he knows he’s ready for. My question to him was, “Have you asked for it?”

    It’s very rare for a company to proactively promote someone at a fast pace. Especially true in older organizations, if you expect your company to promote you when they feel you’re ready for it, you’ll be sitting around waiting for about 10 years to reach the next level.

    Your boss is like your significant other. Don’t expect them to read your mind. They’ll only know what you need when you tell them. If you really have your heart set on something (like a promotion), you must be vocal about it. If you don’t speak up, you’re leaving the translation up to them. Expect at your own risk.

    Quit Avoiding 

     Suck it up. We all have things we don’t want to do, but we have to do them because we’re adults. (Should I have started the paragraph with, “Dear Congress”?)

    I once managed a team responsible for a corporate-wide project with a lot of moving pieces. There were some majorly miserable elements to that project and there were some really sexy parts (i.e. things you put on your resume) too. As I sat with my boss reviewing progress one day, she asked why I hadn’t finished one particular task (a task that couldn’t be delegated). I responded with, “It’s boring me!” Her response was, “Your point?”

    Yeah, life doesn’t work that way. You can’t pluck the fun parts out and leave the tough parts on the table. You take all or none.

    If we didn’t have to work hard to reach success, we wouldn’t appreciate it. If there’s something you’re putting off because it’s boring you, it’s hard, physically demanding or tiring…just get up and get it done. Quit avoiding it. There will be rewards along the way and there will be a great sense of accomplishment at the end.

    , In, pager

  • Dr apj abdul kalam

    Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s Top 48 Qoutes

    1. One best book is equal to a hundred good friends, but one good friend is equal to a library. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    2. I am not a Handsome guy, but I can give my hand-to-some one who needs help. beauty is in the heart not in the face. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    3. We have no ability to be equal to all have opportunities equal to their ability lane. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    4. You have to dream before the dream comes true. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    5. Thinking Should become your CAPITAL ASSET, no matter Whatever ups and downs You Come across in your Life. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    6. You cannot change your future, but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    7. Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    8. Success is when your signature turns into your autograph. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    9. Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    10. Look at the sky. we are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    11. Man needs difficulties because to enjoy the success that they need to. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    12. LIFE and TIME are the world’s best Teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of TIME and TIME teaches us the value of LIFE. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    13. Confidence and hard-work is the best medicine to kill the disease called failure. it will make you a successful person. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    14. Love Your Job but don’t love your company, because you may not know when your company stops loving you. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    15. It is very Easy To Defeat Someone, But it is Very Hard To Win Someone. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    16. The essence of a happy life and a peaceful society lies in one sentence – What can I Give? ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    17. Your Best Teacher is Your Last Mistake. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    18. Thinking is progress. Non-thinking is stagnation of the individual, organization and the country. Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action converts adversity into prosperity. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    19. Books are my favorite friends and I Consider my home library, with many thousand books, to be my greatest wealth. Every new book, based on some new idea inspires me and gives me a new thought to ponder. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    20. Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    21. Dream, Dream, Dream, Dream transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    22. To succeed in your mission, You must have single-minded devotion to your goal. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    23. Not success stories read to get him you just send a message failure stories to read … that you’ll Idea. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    24. Is to reach the summit requires strength, whether it is the peak of Mount Everest or your profession. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    25. Science is a beautiful Gift to humanity; We should not distort it. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    26. You were born with wings. Don’t Crawl. Learn to use them to fly and fly. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    27. All Birds find shelter during the rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    28. We Should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Quotes
    29. All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    30. Thinking is the capital, an enterprise is a way, and hard work is the solution. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    31. If you want to shine like a sun, First burn like a sun. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    32. The best brains of a nation may be found at the last benches of the classroom. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    33. For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    34. Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    35. The dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    36. You have to DREAM before your DREAM can Come True. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    37. Learning gives creativity Creativity leads to thinking Thinking provides knowledge Knowledge makes you great. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    38. Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just Luck. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    39. Every pain gives a lesson and every lesson changes a person. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    40. The bird is powered by its own life and by its motivation. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    41. Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    42. Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    43. Can not fail without its beginning you can not be successful and then you go if you feel. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    44. Knowledge with action converts adversity into prosperity. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Quotes
    45. If a country is a corruption – free and beautiful, to make the land of those who mind, I firmly believe that these three prominent members of society: father, mother, and Master. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    46. Yesterday natural resources were power, today knowledge is power. Yesterday hierarchy was the model, today synergy is the model. Yesterday leaders commanded control, today leaders empower and coach. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    47. Don’t read success stories, You will get the only message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
    48. All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents. ― Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • NVDA Commands Quick Reference

    NVDA 2020.4 Commands Quick Reference

    Getting started with NVDA

    NVDA Touch Gestures
    To toggle touch interaction support, press NVDA+control+alt+t.

    Touch Modes
    To toggle touch modes, perform a 3-finger tap.

    Basic NVDA commands
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Starts or restarts NVDA
    Starts or restarts NVDA from the Desktop, if this Windows shortcut is enabled during NVDA’s installation process. This is a Windows specific shortcut and therefore it cannot be reassigned in the input gestures dialog.
    Stop speech
    2-finger tap
    Instantly stops speaking
    Pause Speech
    Instantly pauses speech. Pressing it again will continue speaking where it left off (if pausing is supported by the current synthesizer)
    NVDA Menu
    2-finger double-tap
    Pops up the NVDA menu to allow you to access preferences, tools, help, etc.
    Toggle Speech Mode
    Toggles speech mode between speech, beeps and off.
    Toggle Input Help Mode
    Pressing any key in this mode will report the key, and the description of any NVDA command associated with it
    Quit NVDA
    Exits NVDA
    Pass next key through
    Tells NVDA to pass the next key press straight through to the active application – even if it is normally treated as an NVDA key command
    Toggle application sleep mode on and off
    sleep mode disables all NVDA commands and speech/braille output for the current application. This is most useful in applications that provide their own speech or screen reading features. Press this command again to disable sleep mode – note that NVDA will only retain the Sleep Mode setting until it is restarted.

    Reporting System Information
    Report date/time
    Pressing once reports the current time, pressing twice reports the date
    Report battery status
    Reports the battery status i.e. whether AC power is in use or the current charge percentage.
    Report clipboard text
    Reports the Text on the clipboard if there is any.

    Navigating with NVDA

    Navigating with the System Focus
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Report current focus
    announces the current object or control that has the System focus. Pressing twice will spell the information
    Report title
    Reports the title of the currently active window. Pressing twice will spell the information. Pressing three times will copy it to the clipboard
    Read active window
    reads all the controls in the currently active window (useful for dialogs)
    Report Status Bar
    Reports the Status Bar if NVDA finds one. It also moves the navigator object to this location. Pressing twice will spell the information. Pressing three times will copy it to the clipboard

    Navigating with the System Caret
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Say all
    Starts reading from the current position of the system caret, moving it along as it goes
    Read current line
    Reads the line where the system caret is currently situated. Pressing twice spells the line. Pressing three times spells the line using character descriptions.
    Read current text selection
    Reads any currently selected text
    Report text formatting
    Reports the formatting of the text where the caret is currently situated. Pressing twice shows the information in browse mode
    Next sentence
    Moves the caret to the next sentence and announces it. (only supported in Microsoft Word and Outlook)
    Previous sentence
    Moves the caret to the previous sentence and announces it. (only supported in Microsoft Word and Outlook)
    When within a table, the following key commands are also available:
    Move to previous column
    Moves the system caret to the previous column (staying in the same row)
    Move to next column
    Moves the system caret to the next column (staying in the same row)
    Move to previous row
    Moves the system caret to the previous row (staying in the same column)
    Move to next row
    Moves the system caret to the next row (staying in the same column)

    Object Navigation
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Report current object
    Reports the current navigator object. Pressing twice spells the information, and pressing 3 times copies this object’s name and value to the clipboard.
    Move to containing object
    flick up (object mode)
    Moves to the object containing the current navigator object
    Move to previous object
    flick left (object mode)
    Moves to the object before the current navigator object
    Move to next object
    flick right (object mode)
    Moves to the object after the current navigator object
    Move to first contained object
    flick down (object mode)
    Moves to the first object contained by the current navigator object
    Move to focus object
    Moves to the object that currently has the system focus, and also places the review cursor at the position of the System caret, if it is showing
    Activate current navigator object
    Activates the current navigator object (similar to clicking with the mouse or pressing space when it has the system focus)
    Move System focus or caret to current review position
    pressed once Moves the System focus to the current navigator object, pressed twice moves the system caret to the position of the review cursor
    Report review cursor location
    Reports information about the location of the text or object at the review cursor. For example, this might include the percentage through the document, the distance from the edge of the page or the exact screen position. Pressing twice may provide further detail.

    Reviewing Text
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Move to top line in review
    Moves the review cursor to the top line of the text
    Move to previous line in review
    flick up (text mode)
    Moves the review cursor to the previous line of text
    Report current line in review
    Announces the current line of text where the review cursor is positioned. Pressing twice spells the line. Pressing three times spells the line using character descriptions.
    Move to next line in review
    flick down (text mode)
    Move the review cursor to the next line of text
    Move to bottom line in review
    Moves the review cursor to the bottom line of text
    Move to previous word in review
    2-finger flick left (text mode)
    Moves the review cursor to the previous word in the text
    Report current word in review
    Announces the current word in the text where the review cursor is positioned. Pressing twice spells the word. Pressing three times spells the word using character descriptions.
    Move to next word in review
    2-finger flick right (text mode)
    Move the review cursor to the next word in the text
    Move to start of line in review
    Moves the review cursor to the start of the current line in the text
    Move to previous character in review
    flick left (text mode)
    Moves the review cursor to the previous character on the current line in the text
    Report current character in review
    Announces the current character on the line of text where the review cursor is positioned. Pressing twice reports a description or example of that character. Pressing three times reports the numeric value of the character in decimal and hexadecimal.
    Move to next character in review
    flick right (text mode)
    Move the review cursor to the next character on the current line of text
    Move to end of line in review
    Moves the review cursor to the end of the current line of text
    Say all with review
    3-finger flick down (text mode)
    Reads from the current position of the review cursor, moving it as it goes
    Select then Copy from review cursor
    Starts the select then copy process from the current position of the review cursor. The actual action is not performed until you tell NVDA where the end of the text range is
    Select then Copy to review cursor
    On the first press, text is selected from the position previously set as start marker up to and including the review cursor’s current position. If the system caret can reach the text, it will be moved to the selected text. After pressing this key stroke a second time, the text will be copied to the Windows clipboard
    Move to marked start for copy in review
    Moves the review cursor to the position previously set start marker for copy
    Report text formatting
    Reports the formatting of the text where the review cursor is currently situated. Pressing twice shows the information in browse mode
    Report current symbol replacement
    Speaks the symbol where the review cursor is positioned. Pressed twice, shows the symbol and the text used to speak it in browse mode.

    Review Modes
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Switch to next review mode
    2-finger flick up
    switches to the next available review mode
    Switch to previous review mode
    2-finger flick down
    switches to the previous available review mode

    Navigating with the Mouse
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Left mouse button click
    Clicks the left mouse button once. The common double click can be performed by pressing this key twice in quick succession
    Left mouse button lock
    Locks the left mouse button down. Press again to release it. To drag the mouse, press this key to lock the left button down and then move the mouse either physically or use one of the other mouse routing commands
    Right mouse click
    tap and hold
    Clicks the right mouse button once, mostly used to open context menu at the location of the mouse.
    Right mouse button lock
    Locks the right mouse button down. Press again to release it. To drag the mouse, press this key to lock the right button down and then move the mouse either physically or use one of the other mouse routing commands
    Move mouse to current navigator object
    Moves the mouse to the location of the current navigator object and review cursor
    Navigate to the object under the mouse
    Set the navigator object to the object located at the position of the mouse

    Browse Mode
    Toggle browse/focus modes
    Toggles between focus mode and browse mode
    Exit focus mode
    Switches back to browse mode if focus mode was previously switched to automatically
    Refresh browse mode document
    Reloads the current document content (useful if certain content seems to be missing from the document. Not available in Microsoft Word and Outlook.)
    Pops up a dialog in which you can type some text to find in the current document. See searching for text for more information.
    Find next
    Finds the next occurrence of the text in the document that you previously searched for
    Find previous
    Finds the previous occurrence of the text in the document you previously searched for
    Open long description
    Opens a new window containing a long description for the element you are on if it has one.

    Single Letter Navigation
    The following keys by themselves jump to the next available element, while adding the shift key causes them to jump to the previous element:
    • h: heading
    • l: list
    • i: list item
    • t: table
    • k: link
    • n: nonLinked text
    • f: form field
    • u: unvisited link
    • v: visited link
    • e: edit field
    • b: button
    • x: checkbox
    • c: combo box
    • r: radio button
    • q: block quote
    • s: separator
    • m: frame
    • g: graphic
    • d: landmark
    • o: embedded object (audio and video player, application, dialog, etc.)
    • 1 to 6: headings at levels 1 to 6 respectively
    • a: annotation (comment, editor revision, etc.)
    • w: spelling error
    To move to the beginning or end of containing elements such as lists and tables:
    Move to start of container
    Moves to the start of the container (list, table, etc.) where the caret is positioned
    Move past end of container
    Moves past the end of the container (list, table, etc.) where the caret is positioned
    To toggle single letter navigation on and off for the current document, press NVDA+shift+space.

    The Elements List
    Browse mode elements list
    Lists various types of elements in the current document

    Searching for text
    Find text
    Opens the search dialog
    Find next
    searches the next occurrence of the current search term
    Find previous
    searches the previous occurrence of the current search term

    Embedded Objects
    Move to containing browse mode document
    Moves the focus out of the current embedded object and into the document that contains it

    Reading Mathematical Content

    Interactive Navigation
    Interact with math content
    Begins interaction with math content.


    Braille Input
    Pressing dot 7 erases the last entered braille cell or character. Dot 8 translates any braille input and presses the enter key. Pressing dot 7 + dot 8 translates any braille input, but without adding a space or pressing enter.

    Content Recognition

    Windows 10 OCR
    To recognize the text in the current navigator object using Windows 10 OCR, press NVDA+r.

    Application Specific Features

    Microsoft Word

    Automatic Column and Row Header Reading
    Set column headers
    Pressing this once tells NVDA this is the first header cell in the row that contains column headers, which should be automatically announced when moving between columns below this row. Pressing twice will clear the setting.
    Set row headers
    Pressing this once tells NVDA this is the first header cell in the column that contains row headers, which should be automatically announced when moving between rows after this column. Pressing twice will clear the setting.

    Browse Mode in Microsoft Word
    To toggle Browse mode on and off in Microsoft Word, press NVDA+space.

    The Elements List
    While in Browse mode in Microsoft Word, you can access the Elements List by pressing NVDA+f7.

    Reporting Comments
    To report any comments at the current caret position, press NVDA+alt+c.

    Microsoft Excel

    Automatic Column and Row Header Reading
    Set column headers
    Pressing this once tells NVDA this is the first header cell in the row that contains column headers, which should be automatically announced when moving between columns below this row. Pressing twice will clear the setting.
    Set row headers
    Pressing this once tells NVDA this is the first header cell in the column that contains row headers, which should be automatically announced when moving between rows after this column. Pressing twice will clear the setting.

    The Elements List
    To access the Elements List in Excel, press NVDA+f7.

    Reporting Notes
    To report any notes for the currently focused cell, press NVDA+alt+c. In Microsoft 2016, 365 and newer, the classic comments in Microsoft Excel have been renamed to “notes”.
    To add or edit a certain note, in a focused cell, press shift+f2.

    Reading Protected Cells
    To allow moving to locked cells, switch to Browse Mode by pressing NVDA+space, and then use standard Excel movement commands such as the arrow keys to move around all cells on the current worksheet.

    Microsoft PowerPoint
    Toggle speaker notes reading
    When in a running slide show, this command will toggle between the speaker notes for the slide and the content for the slide. This only affects what NVDA reads, not what is displayed on screen.

    Report remaining time
    Reports the remaining time of the currently playing track, if any.
    Report elapsed time
    Reports the elapsed time of the currently playing track, if any.
    Report track length
    Reports the length of the currently playing track, if any.

    Miranda IM
    Report recent message
    Reports one of the recent messages, depending on the number pressed; e.g. NVDA+control+2 reads the second most recent message.

    Report Comments Window
    Reports any comments in the comments window.
    Report notes for translators
    Reports any notes for translators.

    Kindle for PC
    You can manually turn to the next page with the pageDown key and turn to the previous page with the pageUp key.

    Text Selection
    Once you have selected text, press the applications key or shift+f10 to show the available options for working with the selection.

    When in the table view of added books:
    Opens the selected book.
    Context menu
    Opens the context menu for the selected book.

    Windows Console
    The following built-in Windows Console keyboard shortcuts may be useful when reviewing text with NVDA:
    Scroll up
    Scrolls the console window up, so earlier text can be read.
    Scroll down
    Scrolls the console window down, so later text can be read.
    Scroll to start
    Scrolls the console window to the beginning of the buffer.
    Scroll to end
    Scrolls the console window to the end of the buffer.

    Configuring NVDA

    NVDA Settings

    Speech Settings (NVDA+control+v)
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Punctuation/Symbol Level
    This allows you to choose the amount of punctuation and other symbols that should be spoken as words.

    Select Synthesizer (NVDA+control+s)
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Audio Ducking Mode
    On Windows 8 and above, this option allows you to choose if NVDA should lower the volume of other applications while NVDA is speaking, or all the time while NVDA is running.

    Synth settings ring
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Move to next synth setting
    Moves to the next available speech setting after the current, wrapping around to the first setting again after the last
    Move to previous synth setting
    Moves to the next available speech setting before the current, wrapping around to the last setting after the first
    Increment current synth setting
    increases the current speech setting you are on. E.g. increases the rate, chooses the next voice, increases the volume
    Decrement current synth setting
    decreases the current speech setting you are on. E.g. decreases the rate, chooses the previous voice, decreases the volume

    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Tether Braille
    This option allows you to choose whether the braille display will follow the system focus / caret, the navigator object / review cursor, or both.

    Keyboard (NVDA+control+k)
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Speak Typed Characters
    When enabled, NVDA will announce all characters you type on the keyboard.
    Speak Typed Words
    When enabled, NVDA will announce all words you type on the keyboard.
    Speak Command Keys
    When enabled, NVDA will announce all non-character keys you type on the keyboard. This includes key combinations such as control plus another letter.

    Mouse (NVDA+control+m)
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Enable mouse tracking
    When enabled, NVDA will announce the text currently under the mouse pointer, as you move it around the screen. This allows you to find things on the screen, by physically moving the mouse, rather than trying to find them through object navigation.

    Review Cursor
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Follow System Focus
    When enabled, The review cursor will always be placed in the same object as the current system focus whenever the focus changes.
    Follow System Caret
    When enabled, the review cursor will automatically be moved to the position of the System caret each time it moves.

    Object Presentation (NVDA+control+o)
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Progress bar output
    This option controls how NVDA reports progress bar updates to you.
    Report dynamic content changes
    Toggles the announcement of new content in particular objects such as terminals and the history control in chat programs.

    Browse Mode (NVDA+control+b)
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Use screen layout
    This option allows you to specify whether content in browse mode should place content such as links and other fields on their own line, or if it should keep them in the flow of text as it is visually shown.

    Saving and Reloading the configuration
    Desktop key
    Laptop key
    Save configuration
    Saves your current configuration so that it is not lost when you exit NVDA
    Revert configuration
    Pressing once resets your configuration to when you last saved it. Pressing three times will reset it back to factory defaults.

    Configuration Profiles

    Basic Management
    • NVDA+control+p: Show the Configuration Profiles dialog.

    Supported Braille Displays

    Freedom Scientific Focus/PAC Mate Series
    Scroll braille display back
    topRouting1 (first cell on display)
    Scroll braille display forward
    topRouting20/40/80 (last cell on display)
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Toggle left wiz wheel action
    Move back using left wiz wheel action
    Move forward using left wiz wheel action
    Toggle right wiz wheel action
    Move back using right wiz wheel action
    Move forward using right wiz wheel action
    Route to braille cell
    shift+tab key
    tab key
    upArrow key
    downArrow key
    control+leftArrow key
    control+rightArrow key
    rightArrow key
    home key
    end key
    control+home key
    control+end key
    alt key
    alt+tab key
    alt+shift+tab key
    windows+tab key
    escape key
    windows key
    space key
    windows+d key (minimize all applications)
    Report Current Line
    NVDA menu
    For newer Focus models that contain rocker bar keys (focus 40, focus 80 and focus blue):
    Move braille display to previous line
    leftRockerBarUp, rightRockerBarUp
    Move braille display to next line
    leftRockerBarDown, rightRockerBarDown
    For Focus 80 only:
    Scroll braille display back
    leftBumperBarUp, rightBumperBarUp
    Scroll braille display forward
    leftBumperBarDown, rightBumperBarDown

    Optelec ALVA 6 series/protocol converter
    Scroll braille display back
    t1, etouch1
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move to current focus
    Move braille display to next line
    Scroll braille display forward
    t5, etouch3
    Route to braille cell
    Report text formatting under braille cell
    secondary routing
    Toggle HID keyboard simulation
    Move to top line in review
    Move to bottom line in review
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Report title
    Report status bar
    shift+tab key
    alt key
    sp2, alt
    escape key
    tab key
    upArrow key
    downArrow key
    leftArrow key
    rightArrow key
    enter key
    spEnter, enter
    Report date/time
    NVDA Menu
    windows+d key (minimize all applications)
    windows+b key (focus system tray)
    windows key
    sp1+sp2, windows
    alt+tab key
    control+home key
    control+end key
    home key
    end key
    control key

    Handy Tech Displays
    Scroll braille display back
    left, up, b3
    Scroll braille display forward
    right, down, b6
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    shift+tab key
    esc, left triple action key up+down
    alt key
    escape key
    tab key
    enter, right triple action key up+down
    enter key
    esc+enter, left+right triple action key up+down, joystickAction
    upArrow key
    downArrow key
    leftArrow key
    rightArrow key
    NVDA Menu
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Toggle the braille cursor
    Toggle focus context presentation
    Toggle braille input
    space+b1+b3+b4 (space+capital B)

    MDV Lilli
    Scroll braille display backward
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    shift+tab key
    tab key
    alt+tab key
    alt+shift+tab key

    Baum/Humanware/APH/Orbit Braille Displays
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    For displays which have a joystick:
    upArrow key
    downArrow key
    leftArrow key
    rightArrow key
    enter key

    hedo ProfiLine USB
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Say all

    hedo MobilLine USB
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Say all

    HumanWare Brailliant BI/B Series / BrailleNote Touch
    Key assignments for All models
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    Toggle braille tethered to
    upArrow key
    downArrow key
    leftArrow key
    rightArrow key
    shift+tab key
    tab key
    alt key
    space+dot1+dot3+dot4 (space+m)
    escape key
    space+dot1+dot5 (space+e)
    enter key
    windows key
    alt+tab key
    space+dot2+dot3+dot4+dot5 (space+t)
    NVDA Menu
    space+dot1+dot3+dot4+dot5 (space+n)
    windows+d key (minimize all applications)
    space+dot1+dot4+dot5 (space+d)
    Say all
    Key assignments for Brailliant BI 32, BI 40 and B 80
    NVDA Menu
    c1+c3+c4+c5 (command n)
    windows+d key (minimize all applications)
    c1+c4+c5 (command d)
    Say all
    Key assignments for Brailliant BI 14
    up arrow key
    joystick up
    down arrow key
    joystick down
    left arrow key
    joystick left
    right arrow key
    joystick right
    enter key
    joystick action

    HIMS Braille Sense/Braille EDGE/Smart Beetle/Sync Braille Series
    Route to braille cell
    Scroll braille display back
    leftSideScrollUp, rightSideScrollUp, leftSideScroll
    Scroll braille display forward
    leftSideScrollDown, rightSideScrollDown, rightSideScroll
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Move to previous line in review
    Move to next line in review
    Move to previous character in review
    Move to next character in review
    Move to current focus
    leftSideScrollUp+leftSideScrollDown, rightSideScrollUp+rightSideScrollDown, leftSideScroll+rightSideScroll
    control key
    smartbeetle:f1, brailleedge:f3
    windows key
    f7, smartbeetle:f2
    alt key
    dot1+dot3+dot4+space, f2, smartbeetle:f3, brailleedge:f4
    shift key
    insert key
    dot2+dot4+space, f6
    applications key
    dot1+dot2+dot3+dot4+space, f8
    Caps Lock key
    tab key
    dot4+dot5+space, f3, brailleedge:f2
    shift+alt+tab key
    alt+tab key
    shift+tab key
    end key
    control+end key
    home key
    dot1+dot3+space, smartbeetle:f4
    control+home key
    alt+f4 key
    leftArrow key
    dot3+space, leftSideLeftArrow
    control+shift+leftArrow key
    control+leftArrow key
    shift+alt+leftArrow key
    alt+leftArrow key
    rightArrow key
    dot6+space, leftSideRightArrow
    control+shift+rightArrow key
    control+rightArrow key
    shift+alt+rightArrow key
    alt+rightArrow key
    pageUp key
    control+pageUp key
    upArrow key
    dot1+space, leftSideUpArrow
    control+shift+upArrow key
    control+upArrow key
    shift+alt+upArrow key
    alt+upArrow key
    shift+upArrow key
    pageDown key
    control+pageDown key
    downArrow key
    dot4+space, leftSideDownArrow
    control+shift+downArrow key
    control+downArrow key
    shift+alt+downArrow key
    alt+downArrow key
    shift+downArrow key
    escape key
    dot1+dot5+space, f4, brailleedge:f1
    delete key
    dot1+dot3+dot5+space, dot1+dot4+dot5+space
    f1 key
    f3 key
    f4 key
    windows+b key
    windows+d key
    control+insert key
    alt+insert key

    Seika Braille Displays
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Say all
    NVDA Menu
    Route to braille cell

    Papenmeier BRAILLEX Newer Models
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    Report current character in review
    Activate current navigator object
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Report title
    Report Status Bar
    Move to containing object
    Move to first contained object
    Move to previous object
    Move to next object
    Report text formatting under braille cell
    upper routing row
    escape key
    space with dot 7
    upArrow key
    space with dot 2
    leftArrow key
    space with dot 1
    rightArrow key
    space with dot 4
    space with dot 5
    control key
    alt key
    control+escape key
    space with dot 1 2 3 4 5 6
    tab key
    space with dot 3 7

    Papenmeier Braille BRAILLEX Older Models
    Devices with EAB:
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    Report current character in review
    Activate current navigator object
    Report title
    Report Status Bar
    Move to containing object
    Move to first contained object
    Move to next object
    Move to previous object
    Report text formatting under braille cell
    upper routing strip
    BRAILLEX Tiny:
    Report current character in review
    Activate current navigator object
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Move to containing object
    Move to first contained object
    Move to previous object
    Move to next object
    Report text formatting under braille cell
    upper routing strip
    Report title
    Report status bar
    BRAILLEX 2D Screen:
    Report current character in review
    Activate current navigator object
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Report text formatting under braille cell
    upper routing strip
    Move braille display to previous line
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to next line
    Move to next object
    Move to containing object
    Move to first contained object
    Move to previous object

    HumanWare BrailleNote
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    NVDA menu
    space+dot1+dot3+dot4+dot5 (space+n)
    Toggle braille tethered to
    Up arrow key
    Down arrow key
    Left Arrow key
    Right arrow key
    Page up key
    Page down key
    Home key
    End key
    Control+home keys
    Control+end keys
    Space key
    Tab key
    space+dot2+dot3+dot4+dot5 (space+t)
    Shift+tab keys
    Windows key
    space+dot2+dot4+dot5+dot6 (space+w)
    Alt key
    space+dot1+dot3+dot4 (space+m)
    Toggle input help
    space+dot2+dot3+dot6 (space+lower h)
    Following are commands assigned to BrailleNote QT when it is not in braille input mode.
    NVDA menu
    Up arrow key
    Down arrow key
    Left Arrow key
    Right arrow key
    Page up key
    Page down key
    Home key
    End key
    Control+home keys
    Control+end keys
    Enter key
    Backspace key
    Tab key
    Shift+tab keys
    Windows key
    Alt key
    Toggle input help
    Following are commands assigned to the scroll wheel:
    Up arrow key
    Down arrow key
    Left Arrow key
    Right arrow key
    Enter key
    centre button
    Tab key
    scroll wheel clockwise
    Shift+tab keys
    scroll wheel counterclockwise

    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell
    Activate current navigator object
    Switch to next review mode
    Move to containing object
    Switch to previous review mode
    Move to previous object
    Report current object
    Move to next object
    Move to focus object
    Move to first contained object
    Move System focus or caret to current review position
    Report review cursor location
    Toggle braille tethered to

    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward

    Eurobraille Esys/Esytime/Iris displays
    Scroll braille display back
    switch1-6left, l1
    Scroll braille display forward
    switch1-6Right, l8
    Move to current focus
    switch1-6Left+switch1-6Right, l1+l8
    Route to braille cell
    Report text formatting under braille cell
    Move to previous line in review
    Move to next line in review
    Move to previous character in review
    Move to next character in review
    Switch to previous review mode
    Switch to next review mode
    Erase the last entered braille cell or character
    Translate any braille input and press the enter key
    insert key
    dot3+dot5+space, l7
    delete key
    home key
    dot1+dot2+dot3+space, joystick2Left+joystick2Up
    end key
    dot4+dot5+dot6+space, joystick2Right+joystick2Down
    leftArrow key
    dot2+space, joystick2Left, leftArrow
    rightArrow key
    dot5+space, joystick2Right, rightArrow
    upArrow key
    dot1+space, joystick2Up, upArrow
    downArrow key
    dot6+space, joystick2Down, downArrow
    enter key
    pageUp key
    pageDown key
    numpad1 key
    numpad2 key
    numpad3 key
    numpad4 key
    numpad5 key
    numpad6 key
    numpad7 key
    numpad8 key
    numpad9 key
    numpadInsert key
    numpadDecimal key
    numpadDivide key
    numpadMultiply key
    numpadMinus key
    numpadPlus key
    numpadEnter key
    escape key
    dot1+dot2+dot4+dot5+space, l2
    tab key
    dot2+dot5+dot6+space, l3
    shift+tab key
    printScreen key
    pause key
    applications key
    f1 key
    f2 key
    f3 key
    f4 key
    f5 key
    f6 key
    f7 key
    f8 key
    f9 key
    f10 key
    f11 key
    f12 key
    windows key
    Caps Lock key
    dot7+backspace, dot8+backspace
    num lock key
    dot3+backspace, dot6+backspace
    shift key
    dot7+space, l4
    Toggle shift key
    dot1+dot7+space, dot4+dot7+space
    control key
    dot7+dot8+space, l5
    Toggle control key
    dot1+dot7+dot8+space, dot4+dot7+dot8+space
    alt key
    dot8+space, l6
    Toggle alt key
    dot1+dot8+space, dot4+dot8+space
    ToggleHID keyboard input simulation
    esytime):l1+joystick1Down, esytime):l8+joystick1Down

    Nattiq nBraille Displays
    Scroll braille display back
    Scroll braille display forward
    Move braille display to previous line
    Move braille display to next line
    Route to braille cell

    BRLTTY command
    Scroll braille display back
    fwinlt (go left one window)
    Scroll braille display forward
    fwinrt (go right one window)
    Move braille display to previous line
    lnup (go up one line)
    Move braille display to next line
    lndn (go down one line)
    Route to braille cell
    route (bring cursor to character)

  • Keyboard Shortcuts for JAWS

    Article Contents
    Reading Text
    Voice Rate
    Regions, Headings, and Lists
    Moving within tables
    Table reading
    The following list of keyboard shortcuts should be helpful to a wide array of individuals and can be used as a quick reference guide. First, this guide will help JAWS users navigate within Internet Explorer. Second, this guide will be helpful to increase the awareness of web content developers regarding keyboard shortcuts that would conflict with JAWS. Finally, programmers will find the keyboard commands typical for JAWS user a helpful reference.

    Portions of this resource are adapted from the Web Axe list of JAWS Keyboard Shortcuts.

    Reading Text
    Command Description
    ← Say Prior Character
    → Say Next Character
    Num Pad 5 Say Character
    Num Pad 5 twice quickly Say Character Phonetically
    JAWS + ← Say Prior Word
    JAWS + → Say Next Word
    JAWS + Num Pad 5 Say Word
    JAWS + Num Pad 5 twice quickly Spell Word
    ↑ Say Prior Line
    ↓ Say Next Line
    JAWS + ↑ Say Current Line
    JAWS + ↑ twice quickly Spell Current Line
    Alt + ↑ Say Prior Sentence
    Alt + ↓ Say Next Sentence
    Alt+Num Pad 5 Say Current Sentence
    JAWS + Home Say to Cursor
    JAWS + Page Up Say from Cursor
    JAWS + Home twice quickly Spell to Cursor
    JAWS + Page Up twice quickly Spell from Cursor
    JAWS + ↓ Say All
    → Fast Forward during a Say All
    ← Rewind during a Say All
    JAWS + 5 Say Color
    Num Pad 5 three times quickly Say ASCII or Hexadecimal Value
    JAWS + F, twice quickly Say Font
    Ctrl + JAWS + ↓ Start Skim Reading
    Ctrl + JAWS + Shift + ↓ Skim Reading dialog box
    JAWS + Windows Key + ↓ Display Skim Reading Summary
    Voice Rate
    Command Description
    Ctrl + Alt + Page Down Decrease Voice Rate
    Ctrl + Alt + Page Up Increase Voice Rate
    Page Down Decrease Voice Rate (when using SayAll)
    Page Up Increase Voice Rate (when using SayAll)
    Regions, Headings, and Lists
    Command Description
    R Regions Quick Key
    Q Main Content Quick Key
    H Headings Quick Key
    1-6 Headings level 1-6
    JAWS + F6 List of Headings
    L List Quick Key
    I List Item Quick Key
    Moving within tables
    Command Description
    T Table Quick Key
    Ctrl + Alt + → Cell to Right
    Ctrl + Alt + ← Cell to Left
    Ctrl + Alt + ↓ Cell Below
    Ctrl + Alt + ↑ Cell Above
    Ctrl + Alt + Home First Cell
    Ctrl + Alt+END Last Cell
    Ctrl + Alt + Shift + ↑ First Cell in Column
    Ctrl + Alt + Shift + ↓ Last Cell in Column
    Ctrl + Alt + Shift + ← First Cell in Row
    Ctrl + Alt + Shift + → Last Cell in Row
    Table reading
    Command Description
    Ctrl + Alt+Num Pad 5 Say Current Cell
    JAWS + Shift + ↑ Read Current Row
    JAWS + Shift + Home Read from Start of Row
    JAWS + Shift + Page Up Read to End of Row
    JAWS + Shift+Num Pad 5 Read Current Column
    JAWS + Shift + End Read from Top of Column
    JAWS + Shift + Page Down Read to Bottom of Column
    Command Description
    F Form Quick Key
    B Button Quick Key
    Enter (in a form element) Enter Forms Mode
    Tab Navigate to Next form Control
    Shift + Tab Navigate to Previous Form Control
    Spacebar Select and Deselect Checkboxes
    Alt + ↓ Open Combo Box/Jump Menu
    Ctrl + Shift or Ctrl + Spacebar Select Multiple List Items
    Ctrl+ \ Unselect All But Current
    ↑/↓ Select Radio Button
    ↑/↓ or the First letter Select Element in Combo Box
    Enter (in forms mode) Submit Form

    • key Exit Forms Mode
      JAWS + key Exit Forms Mode
      JAWS + F5 List of Form Elements
      Command Description
      Tab Jump from link/Form element next one
      Shift + Tab Jump from link/Form element next previous one
      Ins + F3 Bring up a list of links within the page
      U Unvisited Link Quick Key
      V Visited Link Quick Key
      Command Description
      Ctrl + Tab Move from one frame to the next frame within the page.
      Ctrl + Shift + Tab Move from one frame to the previous frame within the page.
      Ins + F9 Bring up a list of frames that are present within the page
      Other Commands
      Command Description
      Ctrl + F Search for a word or a phrase
      Ins + Esc Refresh Screen, i.e. repaints all the currently displayed items on the screen
      Ins + F5 Reformat documents, i.e. reformats multiple column pages to be more readable with speech.
      JAWS + F1 Help with current element
  • (no title)

    italki’s been working for me, use my link and give a go!

  • “ What is Meditation ? ”

    “ What is Meditation ? ”
    Meditation is the grand portal to the Kingdom of Spiritual Wisdom
    and it revolutionizes our spiritual growth.
    In simple language.. Meditation is “ total cessation.. or ending.. of
    the restless, useless, wasteful thought-stream of the mind ”. A
    state, free from all stray and idle thoughts, meditation is the grand
    gateway to obtain cosmic energy and cosmic intelligence that
    surrounds us.
    With regular and deep practice, we do reach altered states of
    consciousness or higher frequencies and experience bliss quite
    Anyone can practice Meditation without necessarily holding on to
    any religious or mystical philosophy.
    Meditation means making our mind ‘rather empty’. Once our mind
    is more or less empty, we have a tremendous capability of receiving
    cosmic energy and cosmic information surrounding us. This leads to
    good health and absolute clarity in thought processes leading to a
    joyous life!
    “ Meditation is Very Very Easy ”
    Breathing should be natural, without any effort on our part. There
    should not be any holding or stopping of the Breath. Whenever the
    mind wanders, one has to consciously cut the “ stray thoughts ” and
    bring one’s attention back again and again to the natural rhythm of
    breathing. Relax, and become the grand ‘ observer ‘ of the Breath !
    Meditation is very, very easy to practice.
    Being conscious of the normal breathing process means, no
    unnecessary thoughts are allowed to occupy our mind ; unnecessary
    thoughts distract us and scatter our SOUL’s energy.
    ‘ Apana ‘ means ‘ Out-Breath ‘
    In “ Anapanasati ”.. one needs to maintain normal breathing. Breathe
    calmly ! The task on hand is to consciously observe the naturally
    happening Breath.
    In ‘ Pali ‘ language,
    Stray thoughts should be brought to a halt as and when they keep
    arising. “ Observation ” means, we are not influencing the Breath in
    any way with any of our material senses or thoughts; we are simply
    observing it.
    It is so very simple. One should immediately begin with the practice
    of ‘ Anapanasati ‘ in which one needs to be mindful of one’s Natural
    Gautama Buddha taught this technique of meditation two thousand
    and five hundred years ago.
    ‘ Ana ‘ means ‘ In-Breath ‘
    ‘ Sati ‘ means ‘ Observe ‘
    In .. .. the beginning, it is of course useful to meditate in the presence
    of Senior Masters. They have higher energy levels and the energy
    flows from .. .. them to the beginners who, of course have lower levels
    of energy.
    One need not go to any particular ‘ashram’ or a ‘holy’ place and give up
    our normal activities as a house-holder to be an Anapanasati
    We must carry on with our normal .. .. life be in our normal conditions
    and see how the power of meditation transforms us and helps us to do
    better in every sphere.
    The Science of Meditation is the science of energy-maximization
    and the science of the activation of our ‘ extra-sensory perception ‘
    or the ‘ third-eye ‘.
    Meditation .. .. in the beginning means making the worldly-mind
    calm. Soon, a deep spiritual restful-state is attained. When the largely
    inconsequential worldly-mind becomes rather empty, a huge amount
    of cosmic energy begins to flood into the physical body. As we keep
    on meditating, newer and newer vistas of profound experiences
    enfold us and we reconnect with the cosmic consciousness.
    Meditation means entering into a world of wonders awaiting to be
    experienced. The more we keep practising meditation, the easier it
    “ Science of Meditation ”
    “ Science of Meditation ”
    One can meditate at any time of one’s choosing according to what
    suits one’s convenience. However, it is important to practise
    meditation regularly .. every day .. that is all that is needed.
    Meditation is the greatest gift, which can be given by our own efforts
    to our own lives. Spiritual Health is a very important and integral part
    of the Holistic Health needed in human beings. Spiritual Health is the
    root and Physical Health is the fruit.
    The important thing is to just meditate, ignoring the ‘ how ‘ and ‘ why ‘
    of the matter ! Everything else will fall in place once we begin this
    timeless practice of the ancient Rishis and all current Living Masters.
    Once we learn the “ Anapanasati Technique ”, there is no need to be
    in the presence of a Master or “ Guru ”. We may practice Anapanasati
    at will, on our own. However, one needs to practise meditation on a
    regular basis. Consistency is the name of the game. Initially, there
    will be some resistance as we strive to tame our’ monkey-mind ‘, but
    it gets easier and easier with repeated everyday effort.
    “ Three Grand Happenings ”
    The First Happening : When we are with the normal and natural
    flow of the BREATH, the mind becomes rather empty.
    The Second Happening : When the mind is rather empty, a huge
    amount of cosmic energy gets flooded into the physical body.
    The Third Happening : When sufficient amount of cosmic energy
    enters the physical body, the result is a reasonable amount of
    activation of the ‘ third-eye ‘.
    Though the different stages in meditation cannot be clearly
    earmarked from one another with any definitive boundary line, for
    our own understanding, here are “ Three Stages ” or “ Three Grand
    Happenings ”.
    As a meditator begins his meditational journey, he/she is able to
    observe his/her thoughts and the truth objectively.
    The culminating result in meditation is the activation of our ‘ inner
    senses ‘ or ‘ extra-sensory perception ‘ or the ‘ third-eye ‘.
    He/she then starts traveling from grosser truths to subtler truths and
    finally witnesses the Ultimate Truth. This grand voyage in
    consciousness can only be done by exploring the reality within
    “ Anyone can Meditate ”
    While sitting down for meditation, concentration comes to children
    quite easily. Adults have to try a little harder to tame their ‘ monkey
    mind ‘ that jumps constantly from one thought to another.
    In fact, children take to meditation faster and in an easier way
    compared to adults as children have such simple minds.
    Irrespective of one’s creed, color or religion, one should practice this
    universal art every day .. at a time of their own choosing. ..
    “ Posture for Meditation ”
    To meditate, we can sit in any comfortable posture. Feet should be
    crossed or legs folded; hands should be clasped. And, eyes should be
    closed.. because eighty percent of the stimulation to our brain
    happens only through our eyes. Closing our eyes will restrict the
    ‘ outward ‘ flow of 80% of body’s energy.
    The objective of meditation is to stop all the routine and useless
    wanderings of the mind. Simply observe your breath, instead of
    spending too much time thinking about ‘this and that’, and let your
    journey begin.
    Meditation .. is the ability to have clarity untainted by feelings,
    attitudes, memories, negative .. thinking while not allowing other
    irrelevant thoughts to enter our mind. Once this is accomplished, we
    are in control of our thinking and we are firmly on the road to develop
    spiritual powers at will !
    “ Meditation .. for How Long ? ”
    It is ancient wisdom that one can vitally recharge every cell of the
    body by taking to meditation and by the exercise of will to tap the
    cosmic source of energy.
    One can meditate at any time of the day according to one’s own
    convenience. If a 50 year old wants to break up his meditation
    .. session into two sessions of twenty five minutes each during the day
    it is ‘okay’ initially.
    One very natural query is, “ For how long should one sit for
    meditation ? Is there any thumb-rule that works for everyone ? ”
    Yes .. there is ! !
    Meditation is the first step towards controlling our material mind
    and outward .. senses. While meditating deeply, time passes quickly
    so do not be surprised if fifteen or thirty minutes in meditation seem
    like five !
    Meditate for a minute corresponding to every one year of your
    age. So, if you are 20 years of age, start with twenty minutes of
    meditation in a day; if you are 40 years of age, you need to meditate
    .. for forty minutes and, if you are 60 years of age, sixty minutes of
    meditation in a day is sufficient.
    Any struggle to keep eyes closed and keep thoughts away is only in
    the initial stages. Once you are into deeper levels of meditation, you
    .. tend to lose track of time as it is only in the material world that we do
    have a sense of time. In meditation, the Soul/ Self gets connected to
    “ Experiences during Meditation ”
    l A’ whirling sensation ‘from within
    l One may ‘ see ‘ colours, one or more of them
    l A .. feeling of mild to severe ‘ pain ‘ especially in the lower back
    Depending on the intensity of our meditation and our particular
    evolutionary needs, initially, we may get many custom-made
    experiences. For example, a beginner in meditation may experience
    one or more of the following:
    l A .. feeling of ‘ lightness ‘ in the physical body as if the body is
    l Afeeling of’ heaviness ‘ in the head or any other part of the body
    l One may feel as if one is ‘ floating ‘ in the air or flying like a bird
    l Clear and ‘ vivid visions ‘ may be seen of natural scenery or of
    places of worship or of deities or gurus etc. These are known as
    ‘ third-eye visions ‘
    “ Exchange of Experiences ”
    We can also self-assess or evaluate our progress by exchanging our
    experiences with other senior meditators. Everyone benefits from this
    simple and magnificent ancient Art and Science of “ Anapanasati ”.
    As we proceed further in our spiritual journey through more and more
    regular meditation, we begin to understand each and every physical
    experience and this will lead to a greater transformation within.
    All experiences experienced in the process of meditation should
    readily be shared with other meditators. We must not be judgmental
    or entertain any doubts about these experiences.
    “ Benefits of Meditation ”
    Benefits of taking to Meditation are manifold :
    µ Thought power gets tremendously boosted Ability to discern ..
    .. ‘ right’ from ‘wrong’ gets sharpened
    µ All work gets done with greater efficiency ..
    µ Sleep-time requirements get reduced ..
    µ Mind always stays in a peaceful and joyous state ..
    µ Wasteful habits die a natural death ..
    µ Healing happens naturally ..
    µ Memory power increases ..
    µ Relationships become more meaningful and fulfilling ..
    µ Purpose of life is better understood ..
    “ Benefits of Meditation ”
    µ Reduced Sleep Time :
    µ Joyous Mind :
    Life is full of failures, insults and pains for any given person.
    However, for a person with spiritual knowledge and spiritual energy,
    .. life becomes always peaceful and joyful in spite of all the failures,
    insults, and pains.
    µ Enhancement of Memory Power :
    The abundant spiritual energy gained in meditation helps the brain to
    work more efficiently and to its maximum capacity.
    Meditation enhances memory power tremendously. Meditation is
    absolutely essential for all students, both at the school level and at
    the university level.
    µ Increased Work Efficiency :
    In the presence of abundant spiritual energy and spiritual wisdom, all
    work .. be .. it physical or mental gets done with greater efficiency.
    Abundant spiritual energy is obtained in meditation. Only a fraction
    of that energy is obtained during sleep. Half-an-hour of deep
    meditation is equivalent to six hours of deep sleep, in terms of rest for
    the body and energy for the mind.
    “ Benefits of Meditation ”
    µ Power of Thought :
    µ End of Wasteful Habits :
    For a spiritually mature person, there are no dilemmas about making
    the Right Choices.
    There are several wasteful habits like over-eating, over-sleeping,
    over-talking, over-thinking, over-drinking etc., etc. With spiritual
    wisdom and spiritual energy obtained from meditation, all wasteful
    habits die naturally.
    µ Healing Happens Naturally :
    Again, all diseases exist primarily because of prior negative karma.
    Until and unless the negative karma is neutralized, the disease will
    not vanish. No medicine will ever be of any help to clear the negative
    karma. Through meditation, when we get abundant spiritual energy
    and spiritual wisdom, the intellect automatically becomes spiritually
    mature. By and by, all mental worldly worries cease and all physical
    afflictions disappear. Meditation is the only way to heal all diseases,
    at the fundamental level.
    µ Right and Wrong :
    Thoughts need power to reach their particular targets. In a restless
    state of mind, thoughts are produced with least power. Therefore,
    they don’t reach their respective targets. However, in the presence of a
    restful state of mind, thoughts acquire greater power and all intents
    get dramatically actualized.
    All physical afflictions are because of mental worries. All mental
    worries exist primarily because of intellectual immaturity.
    Intellectual Immaturity exists because of lack of spiritual energy and
    lack of spiritual wisdom.
    Lack of spiritual wisdom is the only reason why inter-personal
    relationships lack qualitative engagements and are so unfulfilling. In
    the presence of spiritual wisdom, all inter-personal relationships
    become more meaningful and more fulfilling.
    µ Purpose of Life :
    We are all born with a particular purpose, with a particular mission, with
    a particular design and with a particular plan. Only the spiritually
    mature can understand and be aware of their particular purpose,
    mission, design and plan in their lives.
    In meditation.. the Soul / Self breaks out of the cocoon of spiritual
    ignorance. More meditation leads to newer and newer personal
    experiences and the grand understanding of the infinitely expansive
    reality of the Cosmos. This is ‘ Enlightenment ‘. Anyone can meditate.
    This most .. .. important practice is for everyone children youth and
    adults !
    µ Qualitative Relationships :
    “ Benefits of Meditation ”
    “ Meditation and Enlightenment ”
    You are your own Guru; no one can make you enlightened .. nor can
    you give enlightenment to others.
    By practising .. regularly Anapanasati meditation and by constantly
    refining and fine-tuning all our intellectual concepts through right
    spiritual reading and by seeking the right spiritual company, one can
    easily realize the ultimate truth in this very life-time itself.
    Enlightenment is ‘ awareness ‘ that everybody is potentially divine
    and infinite.
    One has .. to walk this path by oneself for one’s own self. One is born
    on this Earth exclusively for one’s spiritual growth. Hence, the
    spiritual choices he/she makes are of utmost significance.
    “ Is Meditation alone Enough ? ”
    “ Swadhyaya ” involves reading all spiritual books written by all great
    masters that exposes us to all the wise concepts enabling us greatly to
    cultivate the power of discrimination. Our intellect gets immensely
    nurtured by reading good and meaningful spirituo-scientific books.
    Meditation prepares a person .. for Swadhyaya and Sajjana-Sangathya
    and they in turn act as a dam against the ocean of ignorance that is the
    hallmark of every ordinary human.
    Keeping good .. .. spiritual company “ Sajjana-Sangathya ” helps us
    in so many ways. We learn from the enlightened experiences of other
    masters and we learn to hasten our progress tremendously in the path of
    spiritual growth.
    “ Sajjana-Sangatya ” really is not just socializing in spiritual circles to
    escape the monotony of everyday worldly-life ; it is the gathering of
    precious gems of spiritual wisdom from everyone in the field.
    By doing meditation, a meditator will become basically enlightened ..
    but that alone is never enough! Alongside meditation, ‘ Swadhyaya ‘ or
    “ study of spiritual books ” accompanied by ‘ Sajjana-Sangatya ‘ or
    “ getting into intimate company of enlightened masters” is a must !
    “Additional Tips for Meditation ”
    µ Remove your eye-glasses/spectacles, if you are using any
    µ It also helps to wear crystals during meditation ; crystals have the
    power of receiving and distributing cosmic energy
    µ It helps to wear loose, comfortable clothes while sitting for
    µ Sit in a calm, cozy place
    µ It helps to drink some water before meditating. A gap of half an
    hour or so after food may be helpful to some
    µ It helps to darken the place as much as possible wherever one is
    meditating .. .. switch off the lights, draw the curtains ward off
    unnecessary stimulation
    µ It helps to cross your feet, if you are sitting in a sofa or a chair. An
    unbroken flow of energy .. is maintained in this manner with your
    eyes closed, fingers interlaced and feet crossed
    µ It helps very much if we meditate at the same place and at the same
    time, everyday
    µ For .. the best possible results initially, keep a fixed routine as far as
    To facilitate good and proper meditation…
    “ More Powerful Meditation ”
    µ Full-Moon Meditation (meditation done on a full-moon day) is
    three times more powerful than ordinary non full-Moon
    µ Nature Meditation (meditation done in natural surroundings like
    mountaintop , lake side etc.) is three times more powerful than
    ordinary “ inside the four walls ” meditation
    µ Music Meditation is again three times more powerful. You can
    listen to your own favourite classical instrumental music
    µ Pyramid Meditation (meditation under a pyramid) is three times
    more powerful than ordinary “ no-pyramid ” meditation
    µ Group Meditation is three times more powerful than
    “ Individual Meditation ”. It is even better if the group
    comprises of Senior Meditators
    “ Pyramid Energy ”
    This is the reason for their being the store-houses of energy drawn
    from the universe. The power of the Pyramid is obtained through a
    blending of the radiated cosmic energy with that of the gravitational
    force of Earth.
    A Pyramid .. has to be aligned to perfect cardinal directions North,
    South, East and West. Cosmic Energy gets accumulated most at 1/3rd
    height from the base of the Pyramid. This place is known as
    “ King’s Chamber ”.
    Pyramid is a geometric energy amplifier.
    Any material can be used to construct a pyramid. It is enough if we
    know the base measurement alone for the construction of a Pyramid.
    When an object is placed inside the Pyramid, it receives amplified or
    stronger information about itself. This frequency raises the potential
    of the element and charges it. It makes no difference what is put into
    A Pyramid is the most stable structure, and one which receives the
    highest Cosmic Energy on this Planet Earth.
    Pyramids, when built, angled in a way according to the great
    Pyramids of Egypt i.e., to their golden angle of inclination of 51 50’
    and cardinal directions alignment, have been observed to be
    receiving the highest amounts of Cosmic Energy.
    The Pyramid puts things back the way they are supposed to be; it
    makes things more perfect.
    “ Pyramid Energy ”
    u There is a continuous flow of energy in the Pyramid. Irrespective
    of the number of people present, everyone receives equal energy
    from the Pyramid
    u When we drink water stored in a Pyramid for a minimum of three
    days, the universal energy reaches all parts of the body
    u Memory power and concentration improves for students who
    wear Pyramid caps while studying
    u When the Pyramid energy is absorbed regularly, the body’s
    immunity increases significantly
    u The power of our will (and what we think) increases
    under/inside a Pyramid
    u Quality of sleep and clarity of dreams improves under a pyramid.
    We can calculate the dimensions of the pyramid with the following
    Side of Pyramid = Base x 0.951
    Height of pyramid = Base x 0.636
    Height of King’s Chamber = 1/3 x Height of pyramid
    “ Pyramid Meditation ”
    Meditation done inside or underneath a pyramid, is called
    “Pyramid Meditation”.
    Most people, who have experimented with Pyramid Meditation,
    describe themselves as experiencing a total relaxation of their body,
    followed by a shutting out of all unnecessary external stimuli and
    irrelevant thoughts and finally achieving an altered state of
    consciousness which allows them to attain deeper inner levels.
    The use of a Pyramid in meditation will accelerate the relaxation
    process, bringing feelings of calmness, well-being, and a more open
    and positive attitude. Many users have attested to the increased
    memory recall, sharper visions of past incarnations, greater amount
    of telepathic communication and a general improvement in momentto-moment awareness.
    Pyramids provide the most effective high-energy environment for
    all beginners of meditation.
    Meditation done inside a Pyramid is “ three times ” more
    powerful than ordinary “ no-pyramid ” meditation.
    Pyramids help to reduce the level of stress and tension in the
    physical body. Out-of-body experiences are easily obtained when
    meditation is done inside a pyramid. Dreams become clearer and they
    take the quality of a normal wakeful state.
    “ Pyramid Valley .. International ” home for India’s first largest
    Meditational Pyramid .. (160’x160’at base) is an International
    Meditation Center serving individuals, societies and organizations in
    their quest for self-realization and spiritual wisdom and helps them
    unlock their hidden potential.
    The “ Pyramid Valley International ” has been set up with the core
    objective of providing a common platform for all world spiritual
    masters, to collaborate for achieving a peaceful and compassionate
    Planet Earth in the shortest possible time.
    Objectives of the Centre : To spread the concepts of Science of
    Meditation, Vegetarianism, and Pyramid Power to one and all, and to
    serve as an International Meditation Centre for all sincere and
    serious meditation seekers and to serve as the central nucleus for all
    activities of Pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement.
    “ Pyramid Valley International ”
    at Kebbedoddi, near Harohalli 30 km from Bengaluru
    ( )
    About 6,000 people can meditate at a time inside this Pyramid.
    The huge King’s chamber alone can seat 500 meditators.
    “ Maheshwara Maha Pyramid ” was constructed as part of a unique
    cosmic design, by Pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement.
    Dimensions: 180′ x 180′ length and breadth and height 113.60′.
    Compares at 1/20th size of the famous Giza Pyramid perfectly
    aligned to True North. It has been built with granite, steel and lime
    “ Maheshwara Maha Pyramid ”
    at Kadthal, 30 km from Hyderabad Airport
    “Sri Omkareshwara Ashtadasha Pyramid Meditation Centre”
    constructed by ‘The Pyramid Spiritual Society Trust ®’ to spread
    spiritual education at free of cost. This centre is located near
    Achampet, (Telangana state) which is around two hours drive from
    Hyderabad International Airport.
    To enlighten all kinds of people in meditation and spiritual
    knowledge and make them spiritually educated. The training for
    them will be under the guidance of experienced Pyramid Masters.
    For the first time in the world, 18 pyramids of size 18’x 18’have been
    constructed in “OM” shape. About 1,000 members can sit and
    meditate in these pyramids.
    “ Sri Omkareshwara Ashtadasha
    Pyramid Meditation Centre ”
    at “ Omkarapuri ”, Brahmanapalli Village, Near Achchampet, Hyderabad-Srisailam Road
    “ Mind Miraculous ”
    “ MIND ” .. is the “ seed ” “ LIFE ” is the “ tree ”
    Particular inner intents invariably manifest as particular outer lifesituations.
    “ Mind = Life ”
    “ MIND ” is a complex phenomenon woven out of a huge bundle of
    thoughts/ desires/ intents/ purposes/ goals.
    “ coming out of childhood-conditionings ”
    As we sow, so we reap.
    In child-hood, parents/social environment provide for the growing
    thought/intent/cultural patterns of the child’s mind.
    At any given moment of time, we could always say ‘ no ‘ to a previous
    negative .. thought pattern of the mind and give birth to a new positive
    thought pattern of mind. The ball always is in our own court.
    However ..
    , as the child grows and as the child is becoming an young
    adult .. the onus falls on the young adult to give birth to a positive
    frame of mind. For the young adult, the time absolutely comes to
    begin to choose consciously all the socially useful and spiritual
    thought-patterns of mind.
    “ LIFE ” is the great tree of creation that is issuing forth out of the seed
    of the Mind.
    We are the CREATORS of all our on-going and continuous stream of
    intents and we are equally the sustainers / destroyers of our particular
    intent patterns of the mind.
    “ Mind Miraculous ”
    There are many, many thought-patterns of mind and it would be wise
    to choose the best pattern of them all. Basically, there are four main
    thought-patterns of human psyche.
    I. Mind Disastrous II. Mind Negative III. Mind Positive IV. Mind
    Now, if a person, he/she, possesses a “ disastrous ” thought-pattern of
    mind .. he/she will say :
    With such a thought-pattern of mind, if a person starts driving, an
    accident will of course happen .. because .. he/she has actually said
    “ accident may happen ”.
    II ) Mind Negative :
    “ I am driving for the first time into the downtown. I don’t know what
    will happen.. may be, .. I will have an accident may be, I will not have
    an accident ..I don’t know. ”
    I ) Mind Disastrous :
    Now ..
    , in a similar situation a second type of person a rather negative
    minded person .. he/she, in a similar situation, would say :
    “ different thought-patterns of different Minds ”
    Suppose a person is driving a car or a bike .. .. for the first time and
    he/she is driving into the downtown…
    So, with such a thought-pattern of mind, somehow, he/she will just
    avert a disaster.
    “ Since I am driving for the first time into the downtown, I am terribly
    afraid that an accident may happen. ”
    “ Mind Miraculous ”
    But, he/she will .. land into some problem like parking in a wrong
    place, going in a wrong by-lane etc. In this case there would be no
    “ disaster ” as such but there may certainly be “ a problem ”.
    Coming .. .. to the third type of a person a positive minded person
    he/she, is in similar situations, prone to say : “ Although this is the
    first time that I am driving my car into the downtown, it will be
    perfectly all right. Nothing untoward will happen. ”
    Although it is the first time, he/she is going into the downtown, he/she
    will certainly manoeuvre himself/herself beautifully and return
    safely. There will certainly be no accidents and there will be no
    “ problems ” .. too like going into wrong lanes etc.
    Different wordings emanating from the mouth are sourced out of
    different patterns of mind. Souls at different levels of evolution have,
    of course, different thought-patterns of mind.
    IV) Mind Miraculous :
    The final .. .. .. the fourth type of a person “ the MASTER ” is a person
    who maintains impeccably a pattern of mind that is called a
    miraculous one. He/she is also driving into the downtown for the first
    time. Yet, he/she is sure to say :
    III ) Mind Positive :
    “ I will reach the targeted place comfortably and come back in twenty
    minutes. ”
    So, even .. if it is the very first time, one can still set a target a
    challenge .. for oneself. That is the constant state of a master’s
    miraculous mind.
    “ Mind Miraculous ”
    For example, Jesus Christ’s mind or Gautama Buddha’s mind .. you
    don’t call .. such minds as “ minds positive ” they are “ minds
    miraculous ”.
    “ flow of life follows goals set ”
    As we .. set our specific mind- level goals, we give specific directions
    .. to our lives. If we don’t set a specific goal our lives will, naturally,
    drift and aimlessly wander. If we do not set a definite target, then,
    LIFE cannot know in which direction it has to GO and GROW. In
    such cases, LIFE cannot go, literally, anywhere.
    We are always ..
    .. therefore required to give specific directions to our
    physical, material lives through maintaining a specific pattern of
    mind .. at .. the minimum, a “ positive mind ” and at the maximum, a
    “ miraculous mind ”.
    “ goals miraculous ”
    .. If we want our lives to be miraculous we will have to cultivate a
    mind miraculous .. and we will have to set goals miraculous !
    .. If we have a disastrous mind a disastrous life will automatically
    .. follow. If we have a negative mind a negative life will automatically
    .. follow. If we possess a positive mind a positive life will
    automatically follow. And, if we consciously cultivate a miraculous
    mind .. a miraculous life, again, automatically follows.
    As .. the mind of a person is so is the whole pattern of life that
    flows out of that person.
    Intense Anapanasati meditation assures us that we always have such
    a state of miraculous mind.
    “ Being a Vegetarian ”
    Albert Einstein
    Ching Hai
    Thomas A. Edison
    Gary L. Francione
    “ Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing
    anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself
    that comes from embracing non-violence and refusing to
    participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable. ”
    “ Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our
    nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can
    change the destiny of humankind. ”

    “ The more we exert our loving kindness and protection
    towards all beings, the greater we will be in the world. ”
    “Could you look at an animal in the eyes and say to it ..
    ‘My appetite is more important than your suffering ? ‘ ”

    “ Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the
    goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other
    living beings, we are still savages. ”
    “ Vegetarianism is a conscious effort .. a deliberate effort
    .. to get out of the heaviness that keeps you tethered to
    .. the, Earth, so that you, can fly so that the flight from
    the ‘alone’ to the ‘Alone’ becomes possible. ”
    John Robbins
    Paul Mc Cartney
    Dalai Lama
    Pino Caruso
    Tim Shieff
    “ Being a Vegetarian ”
    “ Animals do not ‘give’ their life to us, as the sugarcoated lie would have it. No, we take their lives. They
    struggle and fight to the last breath, just as we would
    do if we were in their place. ”
    “ Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just
    as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one
    wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. ”
    “ If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would
    be vegetarian. ”

    “ People eat meat and think they will become strong as
    an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass. ”
    “ My nutrition approach is based on intuition, logic,
    science and experience. All four of those led me to the
    truth that a low-fat, high-carb, mostly raw vegan lifestyle is the optimum, not only for my health, but most
    importantly for the wellbeing of the planet. ”

    Pope Francis
    Russell Brand
    Drew Barrymore
    Anthony Kiedis
    C O M P A S S I O N
    L O V E
    “ Being a Vegetarian ”
    “ Our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures
    of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we
    mete out to other human beings. ”
    “ I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so
    you can have a snack. ”
    “ I’ve been a vegetarian for years and years. I’m not
    judgmental about others who aren’t, I just feel I cannot
    eat or wear living creatures. ”

    “ I’ve been vegetarian since the 80’s and, lately, even
    vegan. And, I once happened to witness the slaughter
    of a cow. What atrocity must undergo an animal to
    satisfy the appetite of those fat men who eat
    hamburgers ! ”
    “ Recommended
    New Age Spiritual Books”
    Justin O’Brien Walking with a Himalayan Master
    Eckhart Tolle A New Earth ; Stillness Speaks ;
    The Power of Now
    Bill Schul & Ed Pettit The Secret Power of Pyramids
    Eddie & Debbie Shapiro Be the Change ; Meditation for Inner
    Peace ; The Unexpected Power of
    Mindfulness & Meditation
    Frederick Lenz Surfing the Himalayas ;
    Snowboarding to Nirvana
    Gary Zukav The Seat of the Soul
    Jerry Hicks / Esther Hicks Ask and it is Given ;
    The Law of Attraction
    Jon Kabat-Zinn Wherever You Go There You Are
    Deepak Chopra Ageless Body-Timeless Mind ;
    Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
    Anodea Judith Chakras – Wheels of Life ;
    Eastern Body – Western Mind
    Dan Millman The Way of Peaceful Warrior ;
    The Journeys of Socrates
    Don-Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements ;
    The Fifth Agreement
    Mary Olsen Kelly Treasury of Light
    Jack Kornfield Meditation for Beginners ;
    A Path with Heart
    Judy Satori Sunshine Before the Dawn
    Author/s Books
    “ Must Read New Age Spiritual Books ”
    Neale Donald Walsch Conversations with God 1, 2, 3,4 ;
    Home with God
    Michael A. Singer The Surrender Experiment :
    My Journey Into Life’s Perfection
    Mikhail Naimy The Book of Mirdad
    Paramahansa Yogananda Autobiography of a Yogi
    Peter Richelieu A Soul’s Journey
    Ram Dass Journey of Awakening
    Richard Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull ;
    Illusions ; One
    Richard Gerber Vibrational Medicine
    Robert Schwartz Your Soul’s Plan ; Your Soul’s Gift
    Ruzbeh N. Bharucha The Fakir ; The Fakir .. the journey
    continues ; The Last Marathon
    Shivkrupanand Swami Samarpan Yog of the Himalayas :
    parts I to V
    Sonia Choquette Trust Your Vibes ; Soul Lessons &
    Soul Purpose
    Swami Sivananda Bliss Divine
    Thich Nhat Hanh Breath You Are Alive ;
    Transformation & Healing
    Vera Stanley Alder From the Mundane to the Magnificent ;
    The Fifth Dimension
    Robert E. Svoboda Aghora : parts – I,II,III
    Will Tuttle The World Peace Diet
    Swami Rama Living with the Himalayan Masters
    “ sit for meditation ”
    It is only when we sit down for meditation that we can analyze
    ourselves seriously without pretence.
    “ see yourself as you really are ”
    Then the concept of a ‘ SELF ‘ or ‘ EGO ‘ disappears. We see only a
    conflux of mind and body void of any permanent entity, any core or an
    indestructible ego. Looked at from this point of view, we are neither
    oriental nor occidental, neither man nor woman. Life is just a process
    that goes beyond the boundaries of caste, colour, creed, race and
    “ Mindfulness ” prescribes the technique for mental culture. It
    shows us how to get beyond the intellect to the actual experience of
    life itself, to discover the deeper universal maladies of the human
    mind and .. to work for its deliverance supreme security from
    “ mindfulness ”
    So try to be straight, transparently straight with yourself, your
    feelings and thoughts. Try to see yourself as you really are and not as
    you appear to be.
    Without it the beginner cannot lay the foundation on which the
    superstructure has to be built. And as truth is a personal and individual
    concern, neither information nor instruction can inspire a meditator
    unless he is trained in the methods of self-inquiry. Meditation,
    therefore, is vital because it is through meditation that the secrets of
    the mind can be unlocked.
    “ Anapanasati Meditation ”
    Mindfulness of In-breath and Out-breath
    “ Anapanasati ”
    The method known as “ Anapanasati ” or “ mindfulness of
    in-breathing and out-breathing. ”
    This is a well-known meditation liked and practiced by many the
    world over, a universally applicable method for concentrating and
    calming the mind.
    It was used by the Bodhisatta, Siddhartha Gotama, when striving
    for enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, and the Buddha himself was
    emphatic on the importance of practicing it.
    “ not a breathing exercise ”
    This meditation is described as peaceful, sublime, unadulterated,
    happy living
    It must, however, be noted that “ Anapanasati ” is not a breathing
    exercise for physical vigour and is not similar to pranayama.
    For this meditation, one needs the sitting posture. Sit erect with
    legs crossed, but not stiff and rigid ; be mindful and alert. You may
    sometimes feel uncomfortable if the legs are interlocked, or if sitting
    on the hard floor interferes with your concentration.
    ( santo ceva panito ca asecanako ca sukho ca viharo ).
    Then you can adopt a posture that does not bring discomfort. You
    .. .. should sit comfortably but without lying back otherwise you may
    become sleepy.
    “ Anapanasati Meditation ”
    The normal flow of breath should be noticed, observed.
    Breathing calms down the body and prepares it for deep meditation.
    Psychologists have recognized the value and importance of mindful
    breathing as tending to ease the tension of body and mind. This
    meditation is, therefore, a really practical occupation, therapeutic in
    the best sense of the word. It is not for mere intellectual understanding
    but to liberate oneself from mental defilements and to attain purity and
    peace of mind.
    The in-breathing and out-breathing, we know, is automatic.
    Normally no one tries to breathe consciously or mindfully but when
    practising breathing meditation it is essential to breathe mindfully and
    to be aware of the breath.
    Keep the body as motionless as possible, the mind alert and
    keenly observant. Body and mind alike must be as well strung as a
    bow, and as well-tuned as a lyre. Meditation is really a practical
    occupation. Try to do your meditation regularly and if possible, at the
    same time, every day because these psychological factors make for
    the success of meditation.
    “ in-breathing and out-breathing ”
    “ Anapanasati Meditation ”
    The meditator breathes in and breaths out mindfully with full
    awareness. He is mindful of the BREATH and not of himself. His one
    and only aim is to focus the mind on the breath to the exclusion of all
    other thoughts and to fix the mind there. When you practice
    MINDFULNESS on in-breathing and out-breathing, fix your
    attention at the point where the moving air strokes the nostrils or the
    upper lip.
    “ being mindful of the breathing ”
    Relax utterly, leave the world of stress when you sit down for
    meditation. Start your meditation on mindfulness of in and-outbreathing ( Anapanasati ). Your breathing should be very natural and
    effortless. Breathe calmly. There should not be any effort to control
    the breath. Merely allow the breath to ebb and flow freely in its own
    natural rhythm under the light of full awareness.
    In this “ breathing meditation ”, the most important thing is to be
    mindful of the breathing. It is essential to be mindful, to be aware
    (sati), and attentive and observant ( Anupassana ) in all the four types
    of meditation on mindfulness.
    Note your BREATH as it goes in and out, but do not follow the
    breath into your lungs or out into the air. There should not be any
    holding or stopping of your breath. It should be quite natural without
    any effort or force on your part. Keep your focus at the nose breath.
    “ focusing mind is attention on the breath ”
    “ Anapanasati Meditation ”
    You may also get mental images produced by memory or
    imagination, such as light, colour, figures, etc. Do not be deceived by
    them thinking that this is a mental development. Far from it, they are
    hindrances that retard progress.
    Become aware of these images without getting mentally involved
    in them ; bring your attention to your BREATH. One needs much
    patience and effort to get away from these by-products and to get busy
    with the real task of practicing.
    [ Source : “ The Spectrum of Buddhism ” by Piyadassi ]
    Whenever your mind wanders to other thoughts, be aware of
    them, but do not get involved in them emotionally or intellectually ; do
    not comment, condemn, evaluate or appraise them, but bring your
    attention back to the natural rhythm of your breathing.
    “ patience and sincere efforts ”
    “ Anapanasati Meditation ”
    Remove the presence of any electronic gadgets except may
    be a device to play soothing music while you meditate inside the
    “ Find the Pyramid ”
    Doesn’t the word ‘pyramid’remind you of Egypt? The threedimensional triangular sides with broad bases and tampering tops are
    bound to appear in your head! These structures are storehouses of
    energy as they are build to incline towards Earth’s magnetic field and
    are perfect receivers and transmitters of cosmic energy. Meditating
    under such a structure is called ‘Pyramid Meditation’ and it gives the
    best results !
    It is simple as that. You either go to one of the pyramid centers
    that have cropped up across the city or build a basic three dimensional
    geometric structure at your place.
    “Pyramid Meditation”
    “ Keep Away electronic Gadgets ”
    Loose and light clothing will make you comfortable and
    better receptive to energy. A clean and odourless space will make it
    hassle-free for you to meditate.
    Miraculous Benefits of
    Pyramid Meditation
    Sit down on comfortable mat in either the east, north-east
    direction and start your meditation by exhaling and inhaling deeply
    and feel your breath while you do so. Do this with composed mind set
    and be assured of feeling positive vibrations.
    “ Benefits of Pyramid Meditation ”

    1. Improves Eyesight : Pyramid meditation can help you
      improve and correct you vision. There are courses available on this,
      which help in strengthening the eye muscles as well as shaping the
    2. Improves Hearing : There are a couple of hearing
      problems, which can be improved and sharpened by using the energy
      derived from pyramid meditation.
      “ Meditation ”
    3. Reduces High Blood Pressure : High blood pressure is
      called hypertension. This can be significantly lowered if pyramid
      meditation is practiced every day. You can get relief from all kinds of
      stress and enjoy life to the fullest by practicing this form of
      Miraculous Benefits of Pyramid Meditation
    4. Treats Insomnia :There are millions of people all over the
      world who suffer from insomnia. Pyramid meditation can help in
      soothing the brain and relaxing the legs. People who have slept in the
      pyramids have seen a significant level of improvement in their
      sleeping habits.
    5. Heals Sores and Broken Bones : One of the most unique
      and amazing benefits of pyramid meditation is the healing of sore and
      broken bones. Those who have strenuous lifestyle can definitely opt
      for pyramid meditation.
    6. Removes Acne and Zits : You can get rid of all kinds of
      acne and skin problems with pyramid meditation. Keep a jar of
      Vaseline inside a small pyramid and allow it to be energized. Just rub
      it all over the pimple or white head and watch it vanishing.
    7. Offers relief from Arthritis : Pyramid meditation is an
      ideal remedy for all those who suffer from arthritis. Even back can be
      eased if your practice this meditation every day.
    8. Pyramid for Students : Pyramid meditation is very
      popular among students and teachers. It helps sharpen their memory
      and increase the confidence level as well. One can easily prepare for
      Miraculous Benefits of Pyramid Meditation
      their exams without feeling extra stress and anxiety.
    9. Offers relief from IrregularPeriods :Women who have
      slept in the pyramids have reported improvement in their
      menstruation cycles.
    10. Provides relief from Headaches : If you suffer from
      migraines or headaches, you can definitely consider practicing
      pyramid meditation. This will help you find quick healing.
    11. Improves Cognitive Abilities : Pyramid meditation
      improves the function of the mind. it increases intelligence and
      concentration level. It also maintains emotional equilibrium.
    12. Balances Hormone Levels : Pyramid meditation
      improves the functions of the thyroid gland, which produce
      hormones. Thus, it balances the hormonal levels in the body.
      Pyramid meditation is an interesting, beautiful and simple
      way of bidding farewell to all your health problems, Once you make
      this a part your life, you will start seeing a difference sooner than you
    13. Provides fresh Energy : Drinking water that has been
      charged with pyramid energy is a better source of energy.
      Miraculous Benefits of Pyramid Meditation
      DrII Deepak Chopra
      “ Myths of Meditation ”
      Meditation has entered the mainstream of modern culture; it is
      prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business
      executives, artists, and scientists to students, teachers, military
      personnel, and, on a promising note, politicians.
      Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing
      misconceptions about the practice are a barrier that prevents many
      from trying it. Here are seven common meditational myths
      A teacher will help you understand what you’re experiencing, move
      past common roadblocks, and create a nourishing daily practice.
      Truth No. I
      One reason why meditation may seem difficult is that we try too hard
      to concentrate, we’re overly attached to results, or we’re not sure we
      are doing it right.
      The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath.
      Myth No. I
      This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as an esoteric practice
      reserved only for saints, holy men, and spiritual adepts. In reality,
      when you receive instruction from an experienced, knowledgeable
      teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn.
      “ Meditation is difficult ”
      “Myths of Meditation”
      When .. .. thoughts arise as they inevitably will we don’t need to judge
      them or try to push them away. Instead, we gently return our attention
      to our object of attention.
      .. .. In every meditation, there are moments even if only microseconds
      when the mind dips into the gap and experiences the refreshment of
      pure awareness.
      “ You have to quiet your mind in order to have a
      successful meditation practice ”
      Sometimes referred to as ‘ the gap ‘, this space between thoughts is
      pure consciousness, pure silence, and pure peace. When we meditate,
      we use an object of attention, such as our breath, which allows our
      mind to relax into this silent stream of awareness.
      Myth No. II
      We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much
      attention to give them. Although we can’t impose quiet on our mind,
      through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the
      space between our thoughts.
      Truth No. II
      This may be the number one myth about meditation and is the cause
      of many people giving up in frustration. Meditation isn’t about
      stopping our thoughts or trying to empty our mind .. both of these
      approaches only create stress and more noisy internal chatter.
      “Myths of Meditation”
      The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term.
      Myth No. III
      “ It takes years of dedicated practice to receive
      any benefits from meditation ”
      Truth No. III
      For example, a landmark study led by Harvard University and
      Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of
      meditation not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and
      greater feelings of calm, it also produced growth in the areas of the
      brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress
      You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to
      meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific
      studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the
      mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice.
      “Myths of Meditation”
      While .. some people do try to use meditation as a form of escape as a
      way .. to bypass unresolved emotional issues this approach runs
      counter to all of the wisdom teachings about meditation and
      mindfulness. In fact, a variety of meditation techniques have been
      developed to identify, mobilize and release stored emotional toxicity.
      Truth No. IV
      Myth No. IV
      The real purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and “ get away from it
      all ” .. but .. to tune in and get in touch with your true Self that eternal
      aspect of yourself that goes beyond all the ever-changing, external
      circumstances of your life.
      As you practice on a regular basis, you cleanse the windows of
      perception and your clarity expands.
      In meditation, you dive below the mind’s churning surface, which
      tends to be filled with repetitive thoughts about the past and worries
      about the future, into the still point of pure consciousness. In this state
      of transcendent awareness, you let go of all the stories you’ve been
      telling yourself about who you are, what is limiting you, and where
      you .. fall short and you experience the truth that your deepest Self is
      infinite and unbounded.
      “ Meditation is escapism ”
      “Myths of Meditation”
      There are busy, productive executives who have not missed a
      meditation .. in 25 years.. and if you make meditation a priority you
      will do it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that
      even just a few minutes of meditation is better than none.
      Our breathing and heart rate slow down, our BPlowers, and our body
      decreases the production of stress hormones and other chemicals that
      speed up the ageing process and give us the subjective feeling that we
      are running out of time.
      Myth No. V
      “ I don’t have time to meditate ”
      Truth No. V
      In meditation, we are in restful alertness that is extremely refreshing
      for the body and mind. As people stick with their meditation ritual,
      they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less.
      Instead of struggling to achieve goals, they spend more and more
      .. time “ in the flow ” aligned with universal intelligence that
      orchestrates everything.
      We encourage you not to talk yourself out of meditating just because
      .. it’s a bit late or you feel too sleepy. In life’s paradoxical way when
      we .. spend time meditating on a regular basis we actually have more
      time. When we meditate, we dip in and out of the timeless, space less
      .. realm of consciousness the state of pure awareness that is the source
      of everything that manifests in the universe.
      “Myths of Meditation”
      Myth No. VI
      experiences in meditation ”
      Truth No. VI
      Some people are disappointed when they don’t experience visions,
      see colours, levitate, hear a choir of angels, or glimpse enlightenment
      when they meditate. Although we can have a variety of wonderful
      experiences when we meditate, including feelings of bliss and
      oneness, these are not the purposes of the practice.
      The real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of
      the day when we’re going about our daily lives. When we emerge
      from our meditation session, we carry some of the stillness and
      silence of our practice with us, allowing us to be more creative,
      compassionate, centered, and loving to ourselves and everyone we
      “ I’m supposed to have transcendent
      “Myths of Meditation”
      Truth No. VII
      “ Meditation requires spiritual or religious beliefs ”
      Myth No. VII
      [ Source : ]
      Some meditators have no particular religious beliefs or are atheist or
      agnostic. They meditate in order to experience inner quiet and the
      numerous physical and mental health benefits of .. the practice
      including lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep.
      Meditation is a practice that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the
      mind into stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual
      belief, and many people of many different religions practice
      meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs.
      The immediate purpose of meditation is to train the mind and to use it
      effectively and efficiently in our daily life.
      The Practical day to day benefits of meditation can be
      summarized as follows :
      µ “ If you are a busy person ” meditation can help you to get rid ..
      of tension and to find relaxation.
      µ “ If you lack self-confidence ” meditation can help you to gain ..
      the self-confidence which is the secret of success in life.
      µ “ If you have fear in your heart ” meditation can help you to ..
      understand the real nature of the problems that are making
      you afraid then you can overcome the fear in yourmind. ..
      µ “ If you are a worried person ” meditation can calm you and ..
      help you find peace of mind.
      µ “ If you are a person who has endless problems ” meditation ..
      can help you to develop courage and strength to face and
      overcome them.
      Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda
      “Practical Benefits of Meditation”
      “ Practical Benefits of Meditation ”
      µ “ If you are a poor man ” meditation can help you to develop ..
      contentment and not to harbor jealousy towards those who
      have more than you.
      µ “ If you are always dissatisfied with everything and nothing in life
      seems to be satisfactory ” meditation can give you the chance ..
      to develop and to maintain inner contentment.
      µ “ If you are sceptical and uninterested in the religious way of life ”
      .. meditation can help you to go beyond your own scepticism
      and to see some practical values in religious guidance.
      µ “ If you are a rich man ” meditation can help you to realize the ..
      nature of your wealth and how to make use of it not only for
      your own happiness but also for others’happiness.
      µ “ If you are a young man at the cross-roads of your life .. and you
      do not know which way to turn ” meditation can help you to the ..
      right path to reach your chosen goal.
      µ “ If you are frustrated and heart-broken due to a lack of
      understanding of the uncertainty of life and the world ” ..
      meditation can truly guide and help you to understand the
      fleeting nature of worldly conditions.
      “ Practical Benefits of Meditation ”
      µ “ If you are strongly influenced by emotions ” your emotions ..
      will have no chance to mislead you.
      µ “ If you are an elderly man who is fed-up with life ” meditation ..
      can bring you to a deeper understanding of life; this
      understanding in turn will relieve your pains and increase
      the joy of living.
      µ “ If you are a narrow-minded person ” you can develop ..
      understanding that will be beneficial both to you and your
      friends and family to avoid misunderstanding.
      µ “ If you are jealous ” you can understand that negative ..
      mental attitudes never contribute anything for yourbenefit.
      µ “ If you are hot-tempered ” you can develop the strength to ..
      overcome the weakness of anger, hatred, and resentment to
      become a more calm and soberperson.
      µ “ If you are addicted to drinking or to drugs ” you can ..
      overcome the dangerous habit which has enslaved you.
      µ “ If you cannot reduce your craving for sense-desires ” you can ..
      learn how to become the master of your sense-desires.
      “ Practical Benefits of Meditation ”
      µ “ If you suffer from certain disorders such as nervous
      breakdowns and mental disturbances ” meditation can ..
      activate the positive forces in your mind and body to regain
      yourhealth, especially if they are psychosomatic problems.
      µ “ If you are a weak-minded person or one who maintains an
      inferiority complex ” meditation can strengthen your mind ..
      to develop courage to overcome yourweaknesses.
      µ “ If you are a wise person ” meditation will lead you to ..
      supreme wisdom. Then you will see things as they are, and
      not as they appear to be.
      The mind is the key to happiness, and also the key to misery. To
      understand the mind and to use it well is a task that transcends a
      peaceful and contented life.
      [ Source : “ Meditation.. the Only Way ” by Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda ]
      It is the official website of the Pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement (PSSM) .
      Since its launch in the Year 2004, the website has been drawing increasing number of
      visitors who find it as a comprehensive source of spiritual knowledge, guidance on
      Anapanasati Meditation and update on PSSM activites.
      So far, this WEBSITE has been brought out in twenty languages.
      It is the official website of Pyramid Valley, home for First Largest Meditational
      Pyramid, Pyramid Valley is an International Meditation Center near Bengaluru serving
      individuals, societies and organizations in their quest for self realization and spiritual
      wisdom and helps them unlock their hidden potential.
      It is the official website of Maheshwara Maha Pyramid, Kadthal, near Hyderabad. The
      pyramid is built primarily for Meditation and 6000 members can meditate at a time.
      This website archives the history and activities of PSSM from the 1980s to the current
      This website illustrates various pyramids constructed across different parts of India
      and rest of the world, a commentary on pyramid powers, and their uses and designs
      are also contained in the website.
      This website documents the meditational experiences of Pyramid Masters across the
      This website is a data bank containing details of Ancient Masters to current Living
      Masters with their profile, biography, book images, publication details, website
      information, etc.
      This is an informative website about Vegetarianism and depicts work carried out by
      PSSM in this area.
      PSSM Websites
      Brahmarshi Patriji realized the power of meditation
      through his profound experiences early in his life and
      attained enlightenment in the Year 1979. Starting
      from a simple background as an executive in a
      Fertilizer Company in Andhra Pradesh, Patriji’s
      mission has been to promote Meditation and
      Vegetarianism to people all over the world.
      His approach has been completely scientific and
      secular without invoking any religious symbolism.
      Patriji has founded the Pyramid Spiritual
      Societies Movement in the Year 1990 with the
      objective of spreading the message of spiritual and
      vegetarian living to all humanity !
  • Put Your Energy in Motion

    What does putting energy in motion mean? I means taking charge of your emotions. Emotions are nothing but energy in motion. If you want to succeed, it’s not just enough to have energy, but it’s also important to put your energy into motion. You need to understand that positive emotions correspond to positive actions and negative emotions cause negative actions.

    You must be like a pendulum that doesn’t stop – just keep moving and moving with positive energy. Have you chosen the correct emotion? Do you have energy? Do you have inspiration? Do you have a power within? Unleash it, make it move and that power will pull you towards success.

    Fill your life with positive emotions of love, joy, hope, courage, faith, trust and courage. Look at successful people, and you will realize that they were simple people who chose positivity, put their energy into motion and became successful! Just beware that your energy in motion is not negative.

  • Redoing, 6 of 32


    Be persistent. You’re going to fail — that much is a given. Never hesitate to be a failure, since life gives many chances. What will define you is how you pick yourself up after you’ve fallen. Don’t give up. If your first attempt didn’t work, don’t quit.

    ·        Don’t let failure define you. When asked about his 10,000 failed attempts to develop a storage battery, the prolific American inventor Thomas Edison responded: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

    ·        Don’t make excuses. Don’t rationalize your failure by placing the blame on someone or something else. Accept when something is your fault. This will help you identify what you need to change to get better. An excuse for failure is a refusal to make the situation better.

    ·        Learn from your failures. Each failure is an opportunity to learn. If you make a mistake and refuse to learn, odds are you’ll make that same mistake sometime down the line. If you make a mistake and learn from it, you won’t waste your time making the same mistake again.

    Accept that life is unfair. It’s a fact. You can moan about it and wish that it were different, or you can go out there and do something about it. So stop wasting time about the unfairness of it all and think how to use the situation for your benefit. Newton could have complained about the apple falling from the tree and hitting his head. Instead, he identified the law of gravity and is now known as the father of physics.

    Remember that success does not guarantee happiness. Success is equated with achieving a goal, but don’t assume it will always bring happiness. Many people make the mistake that if they accomplish this or that, they’ll be happier. Fulfillment and satisfaction have a lot more to do with how you approach life than with what you do in life. Keep that in perspective.

    ·        Don’t burn bridges along the way. A lot of life is about personal relationships, so don’t forsake them. If you’ve invented a cheap, efficient way to make nuclear fission, but everyone dislikes you, you have no spouse, and no friends, will it be worth it?

    ·        Value experiences over objects. Humans can be extraordinarily obsessed with money. It’s strange, too, because scientists think that our memories of our experiences make us happier than objects we can buy with money. Focus on making great memories with great people along the way, and you should be happy.

    Remove fear and doubt from your way of thinking. Focus on staying positive in every situation. You will be surprised how effective you can be when your thoughts are guiding your actions, not the other way around. If you fail, don’t be fearful about starting over; be happy that you’ve been given a chance to be even more successful.

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  • Execution


    Execute your small objectives, focusing on your main objective. Don’t find reasons to procrastinate. Jump headfirst into the challenge and start chipping away. You never know what problems will present themselves before you step into the arena.

    ·        Break your goal into small steps. Does the goal of starting a technology company seem impossibly unattainable? Break it down into smaller goals. Focus on streamlining your idea; then focus on getting funding; then move onto building a prototype, etc. If you have the vision to attack your goal piece by piece, it’s easier and less daunting to execute.

    Stay away from distractions as much as possible. Distractions are either the spice of life or the forbidden fruit, depending on your perspective. But let’s be clear: it’s almost impossible to be 100% focused on your task 100% of the time. Distractions are okay in low doses. But when your goals start taking a backseat to petty distractions, it’s time to banish them.

    Surround yourself with other people who are successful. When you’re surrounded by people who are highly-driven, it’s encouraging. You can bounce ideas off people, and they can even connect you with other people. Surrounding yourself with driven, successful people is a way to create a culture of success.

    ·        Study successful people. Look around — who has the success that you envision for yourself? What are they doing? How do they approach life? Ask them for advice. Model some of your approaches around theirs, if possible. Knowledge is as free as it is powerful.

    Trust other people to do their job. It’s hard to be successful if you don’t trust the people around you. You’re constantly micro-managing everything, leaving yourself spread thin and the others miffed about you not giving them a chance. Being successful is partly about assembling an able team around you. If you can’t trust others enough to let them do their job, you probably won’t succeed at that.

    ·        Trust in people because trust can be an incredibly motivating factor. If you trust in someone, they’ll want to do well because they want to reward your trust in them. This is a powerful motivator.

    ·        Trust in people because you need to. As John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island.” What he meant by this is that no man works alone, entirely independently, however much he thinks he does. We depend on other people, whether we like it or not. Placing trust in other people is a necessity, not an option.

    Find a mentor. A mentor is someone, usually with a bit more experience than you, who knows the trade, offers advice, and helps you in your pursuit. Behind many successful people are mentors. Mentors get satisfaction out of knowing that their guidance has literally bred success.

    ·        A mentor will help you:

    ·        Network. Networking is making connections with people who have connections. Contrary to popular belief, networking is mutually beneficial. You offer expertise, opinion, or opportunity to someone in exchange for something back.

    ·        Troubleshoot. Troubleshooting is learning about how to make ideas or applications even better. Your mentor can help you figure out what you need to change in order to make your idea(s) even better.

    ·        Strategize. A mentor will probably have more vision than you because s/he’s been in the game longer, with more successes and failures. You can draw on their legacy of experience to strategize about the future.

    Gather as much information as you can. Listen. Study. Understand. Learn. Repeat. Humans are amazing creatures because we can look at the world, make intellectual connections, and use those connections to make our lives better (or potentially worse). This is what information allows us to do. Never turn your “learning switch” off. You never know when your flash of insight will come!

    Look at what the numbers are telling you. Did you ever have an idea about something but were afraid that the numbers (i.e. metrics) wouldn’t, back it up? That fear is normal, but it’s a good idea to let the numbers give you guidance. Better to be wrong and adapt than to stubbornly insist you’re doing it right when the numbers don’t back that up.

    ·        For example, in 2011, the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, tried to convert the successful DVD-renting business into a streaming-only enterprise, provisionally called Qwikster. Hordes of Netflix devotees ended their subscription. Netflix’s stock price dropped nearly 80% at one point.

    ·        Instead of blindly continuing his vision for the company, Hastings reconsidered. He apologized for his actions, redoubled his efforts to focus on content, and temporarily shelved Qwikster. Hastings let the numbers — and the people — tell him what to do.

    Take calculated risks. Step out of your comfort zone. Successful people think big and act big. Don’t wait for opportunities to fall in your lap. Sniff them out. Successful people make big investments (in their careers, in their businesses, in their education) and all investments involve risk. Study your risks, make sure the odds are in your favor, and take a leap. Be bold. Three calculated risks to consider:

    ·        Partner with a competitor. Whether you’re a long distance runner or rolling out back-end solutions to technology giants, partnering with the competition may help you pool your resources, motivate you to work harder, and build new relationships.

    ·        Lead, don’t follow. Leading the way can be dangerous. You’re taking on the headwinds literally, perhaps, or you’re banking on an idea — like Facebook or Google — that someone has already tried before. Summon up the courage to do something different.

    ·        Hit singles and doubles, not home runs. Of course, hitting a home run isn’t a bad thing at all! It’s just that you can’t rely on them to win the game every single time. Try letting singles and doubles add up to the same value as home runs.

    Solve problems. People who are successful encourage progress by solving problems and answering questions. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, look around and try to think of ways you can contribute. What are people struggling with or complaining about? How can you make life easier for them in an effective way? Can you re-design or re-organize some aspect of the situation so things run more smoothly? Can you create a product or provide a service that fills a critical gap?

    ·        Which problems are you motivated to solve?

    ·        Social problems. Facebook reinvented the way we interact with one another. Can you think of a similar social problem that needs reinventing?

    ·        Technology problems. Companies like Dell design smaller and more powerful computer processors that help our user experience line up with our expectations. Can you help people do with technology what they already want to do?

    ·        Strategic problems. Consultants like IBM help other companies and individuals become more productive, profitable, and prudent. Can you help someone else solve a strategic problem?

    ·        Interpersonal problems. Psychologists and marriage counselors help other people navigate the complex web of personal relationships that make up our lives. Can you help people better get along with one another?

    Use technology, don’t let it use you. Technology can be incredibly powerful; it connects us with people around the world in the blink of an eye; it computes algorithms accurately and quickly; it makes mundane tasks, like data entry, easier and less painful. But technology can be a burden if you let it. It can sap your energy and productivity, leading to wasted opportunity. The beauty and the bane of the internet, specifically, is that TED Talks can turn into watching Ted the movie quicker than you can say “ADD.”

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  • Photo from Pentareddy

    Hi there! Join me on the LazyPay app and both of us can win up to ₹1000 LazyCash once you sign up. Hurry, the offer expires soon! Available only on this unique sign up link:

  • Planning for Success, selected

    Planning for Success

    Start with a positive and fresh mind. Imagine becoming successful. Einstein said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. The more vividly and accurately you imagine your success, the easier it will be for the rest of yourself to follow through. The same way engineers first imagine a bridge and then build it, you can be the engineer of your success, too.

    ·        Dedicate a few minutes every day to imagining your success. Imagine yourself in a movie in which you are successful. What are you doing in the movie? What is your success like? Savor the feeling of your success, and use it as motivation to stoke your fire.

    ·        Cultivate a healthy motivation when imagining your success. Successful people all believe in themselves and their missions. At the same time, you do not want to alienate other people with extreme narcissism. Understand that other people want to be just as successful as you do; your goal should not be to trample over them to get what you want.

    Find the purpose or goal of your life. Identify the things you love to do, the things that give you satisfaction. Once you identify what you love to do, use this information to find the purpose of your life or the objective of your life.

    ·        Finding what you love to do will give you motivation along the way. Imagine being forced to do a triathlon when your true passion is chess. Pretty difficult, huh? Now imagine the opportunity to participate in a chess tournament. It’s much, much easier to persistently chip away at your goal if your goal is something you enjoy doing. Write what your motivations and goals for yourself are.

    ·        How do you figure out a purpose or goal in life? It’s different for everyone, and for some it’s difficult, but there are several ways you can try to figure it out:

    ·        Talk with a career coach or visit a good psychologist.

    ·        Try out several different careers, remembering that even a less-than-fulfilling job can help you learn.

    ·        Try making a career out of something you love. Whether it’s brewing beer or advising on art, you’re more likely to be successful doing something you know you love.

    Define the meaning of success as you see it. You cannot have success if you do not know what it means for you. Everyone views success differently and using someone else standard for success is like eating another person’s lunch and expecting to love it. Set clear goals and be realistic.

    ·        How will you know when you have achieved your goals? Your standards should be quantifiable, or else you could spend your entire life chasing after a vague goal.

    ·        For example, let’s say you want to be good at your job. You get a promotion, you get a raise, but you still haven’t reached your goal because you could always do better, right? You could always get promoted even further, or make even more money. Whatever you have will never be enough.

    ·        Instead, create benchmarks: “My goal is to increase my productivity by 30% and only be late for work five times per year, at the most.” These are quantifiable goals that when achieved, give you a sense of satisfaction and completion, making you feel successful and confident.

    Selectively lower your confidence. You read it right: lower your confidence. It’s a truism in business that you need to have the high self-confidence to get things done. But some people think, and for good reason, that lower self-confidence makes people more successful, for these reasons:

    ·        Lower self-confidence makes you pay attention to critical feedback and helps you be more self-critical. If you’re convinced you’re God’s gift to engineering, you probably won’t be receptive to feedback. Nor will you be able to criticize yourself effectively. Successful people do exactly that.

    ·        Lower self-confidence makes you work harder and prepare more. If you’re not convinced you’re going to nail your presentation next Monday, you’re likely to spend more, time practicing and going over your numbers. This is a great habit.

    ·        Lower self-confidence makes you less narcissistic. Less narcissistic people are respected more by co-workers, and happy co-workers make a more successful team. It’s no secret that respect will make you successful.

    Set a timeline for when you want to achieve your objective. If you don’t know when you will achieve your objective by, then it’s hard to know whether you have failed. Give yourself a timeline that is difficult but doable. Winning a Tour de France from scratch in two years is not reasonable, but booking a comedy gig in front of at least 20 paying customers probably is.

    Identify the things/skills/material needed to achieve your objectives. If you want to be a famous speaker, for example, you need a broad vocabulary, subject knowledge, speech writing, voice clarity, and presentation skills. This is identifying short-term objectives to achieve long-term goals.

    Be curious about life. Many successful people have an insatiable curiosity. If they don’t understand how something works or don’t know the answer to a question, they find out. Often, this takes them on a quest of self-discovery, one in which the journey is just as important as the destination.

    Identify the skills you need to sharpen and the skills you can outsource.Outsourcing is all about time-management. You may think of yourself as a superman or superwoman, but there are limits to your powers. Outsourcing certain less essential tasks gives you more time to focus on the things that are absolutely essential to your craft.

    ·        Use the last example as a template; to become a great speaker, you need to improve voice and presentation skills as these are the basic skills needed for a speaker. But if you are lacking speech writing or subject knowledge skills, you can try to outsource them to an expert. This is called working smart. Many great leaders don’t write their own speeches; they focus on delivering it right.

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  • Don’t Miss the Bus!

    How often have you been left at a bus stand because you were late by a minute? The bus just left, and you saw the bus going. Now you have to wait for a long time for the next bus to come. If you miss the bus, it’s OK. But in life, if you miss the bus, then you’re missing success!

    Successful people know this secret – “Don’t miss the bus!” This means – don’t miss the opportunity and don’t miss striking at the right time. Successful people are alert; they come before the opportunity comes. They are ready for the opportunity when it comes, and when they’ve got to be there to make it happen, they are there. They are never late.

    A successful person is punctual, ready, and alert, and never misses the opportunity. They catch every opportunity and convert it into success. Do you ever miss the bus? Remember that if you miss the bus, you will miss success!

  • Focus on Solutions, Not on Problems

    Do you focus on solutions or do you focus on problems? Well, everybody has problems… Who doesn’t? The difference is that successful people don’t focus on the problems; instead, they focus on the solutions.

    Once you fail, if you keep on rehearsing the problem, you repeat the problem. At times, people who have failed let the problem occupy their mind and life. Those who want to succeed understand and analyze the problem and focus on solutions. This is the way to succeed and live.

    Do not let your problem blow up like a balloon and then make it look so big that it looks impossible to solve. Yes, keep your problems in proper perspective and then don’t focus on them. Instead, focus on the solutions. Those who focus on the solutions get them, and they are on their way to success!

  • Creativity in Business

    Creativity in Business

    Logical thinking involves a series of progressive steps. The new knowledge we get is a logical forwarding of the facts that we already have with us. In that sense, it is not something really “new”, but more of a conclusion of thoughts. That is exactly where organizations have begun understanding the value of creative problem solving.

    There is now a dearth of ideas at the top level of the management as to which new direction a company can be taken in. In other words, the secondary creativity has been all but depleted. There is a huge demand for original ideas. They may be impractical, but they should be unique and original.

    The process of Creative Problem Solving uses complex tools of memory associations and mechanisms to produce alternative insights onto an existing problem. This is not possible by using the conventional methods of problem solving.

    In the world of business, new scenarios are created every day and each one of them needs a novel way to deal with it. This is because the existing rules and guidelines won’t be sufficient in providing the perfect solution to any problem. To tackle the new scenarios, there is a lot of innovation needed in problem solving. A lot of research has gone over creative problem solving in the last decade and almost every organization has a creative team looking for the next big idea. Earlier, a good academic background and experience was sufficient to build a successful career.

    Now, the most valued asset of a candidate for selection is his/her creative problem solving, especially if he/she is being considered for any leadership profile.

    Business houses now know that they can never have complete contingency planning for all possible sudden scenarios. New contingencies can create unfavorable working conditions for people working in the organization, hence they need a competent person at the top who can come up with solutions. It is not only about finding solutions to problems.


  • The CPS Process

    The CPS Process

    If you search the Internet for “Creative Problem Solving,” you’ll find evidence of many variations, all of which may be traced back to the work that was started by Alex Osborn in the 1940s, developed with Sid Parnes in the 1950s, and nurtured at SUNY Buffalo State and the Creative Education Foundation.

    The diversity of approaches to the creative problem solving process that have developed since is a testimony to the power of the idea. While many models exist, the Creative Education Foundation focuses on an evolution of the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process called the CPS Learner’s Model.

    Based on the Osborn-Parnes process, the CPS Model uses plain language and recent research. The basic structure is comprised of four stages with a total of six explicit process steps. Each step uses divergent and convergent thinking.





    Explore the Vision

    Identify the goal, wish, or challenge.


    Gather Data

    Describe and generate data to enable a clear understanding of the challenge.


    Formulate Challenges

    Sharpen awareness of the challenge and create challenge questions that invite solutions.


    Explore Ideas

    Generate ideas that answer the challenge questions.


    Formulate Solutions

    To move from ideas to solutions. Evaluate, strengthen, and select solutions for best “fit.”


    Formulate a Plan

    Explore acceptance and identify resources and actions that will support implementation of the selected solution(s).

    Learner’s Model based on work of G.J. Puccio, M. Mance, M.C. Murdock, B. Miller, J. Vehar, R. Firestien, S. Thurber, & D. Nielsen (2011)

    Core Principles of Creative Problem Solving

    CPS begins with two assumptions:

    ·         Everyone is creative in some way.

    ·         Creative skills can be learned and enhanced.

    The core principles are:

    ·         Divergent and Convergent Thinking Must be Balanced – Keys to creativity are learning ways to identify and balance expanding and contracting thinking (done separately), and knowing when to practice them.

    ·         Ask Problems as Questions – Solutions are more readily invited and developed when challenges and problems are restated as open-ended questions with multiple possibilities. Such questions generate lots of rich information, while closed-ended questions tend to elicit confirmation or denial. Statements tend to generate limited or no response at all.

    ·         Defer or Suspend Judgment – As Osborn learned in his early work on brainstorming, the instantaneous judgment in response to an idea shuts down idea generation. There is an appropriate and necessary time to apply judgement when converging.

    ·         Focus on “Yes, and” rather than “No, but” – When generating information and ideas, language matters. “Yes, and” allows continuation and expansion, which is necessary in certain stages of CPS. The use of the word “but” – preceded by “yes” or “no” – closes down conversation, negating everything that has come before it.


  • Creative Problem Solving – Introduction, Web view

    Creative Problem Solving – Introduction

    CPS is a proven method for approaching a problem or a challenge in an imaginative and innovative way.

    It’s a process that helps you redefine the problems and opportunities you face, come up with new, innovative responses and solutions, and then take action. The tools and techniques used make the process fun, engaging, and collaborative. CPS not only helps you create better solutions, it creates a positive experience that helps speed the adoption of new ideas.

    Scholars Points;

    ·         Creative specifies elements of newness, innovation, and novelty.

    ·         Problem refers to any situation that presents a challenge, offers an opportunity,
    or represents a troubling concern.

    ·         Solving means devising ways to answer, to meet, or to satisfy a situation by changing self or situation.

    C = fa(K,I,E)

    Creativity is a crucial factor in business today and any manager without creative insights into a business cannot handle the multiple requirements of an increasingly malleable customer base. In this tutorial, we will understand the meaning of Creativity and Focus based on the values and significance of creative problem solving in relation to building situation handling abilities in working professionals and business executives.

    Before we move on with that, we need to first give a proper meaning to the word “Creativity”, and then explain the difference between “Creativity” and “Innovation”, as these are the most interchangeably used and easily mistaken terms.

    Creativity is a Priceless Gift

    Creativity brings inside an individual some significant skills to analyze any discussion from multiple points of view. It cultivates the ability of dismantling any information and processing it in different ways, so that newer facts can be explored and understood.

    All of us must have some creativity because we can manage to find ways to handle new situations when faced with it. Creativity is closely associated with the skills of imagination and often a creative thought is difficult to put in words, because it involves thinking deeply about a subject and coming up with different facets to it.

    What is Creative Problem Solving?

    Defining creativity is not easy, as there are multiple points which involves an ability to come up with new and different viewpoints on a subject. It involves breaking down and restructuring our knowledge about the subject to gain new insights into its nature. However, any definition of creativity is complicated because the concept has many dimensions.

    Creativity is the process of organizing our learning, reasoning and logic in such a manner that we can get a better understanding of the situation that we are considering. Maslow, the famous American Psychologist, had envisioned Creativity in two levels of evolution −

    ●      Primary and

    ●      Secondary

    As per him, Primary Creativity was the reason behind all new ideas, innovation, etc. and Secondary Creativity is more induced in nature and was obtained through working together and observing other people’s behavior and functioning. He also observed that the primary creativity was found abundantly in children, but the same children lost this creativity when they became adults.


  • Top Tips

    10 Tips to Start Meditating

    Now that you’ve been introduced to the benefits and advantages of meditation, you’re probably eager to start. At the end of this article, we’re going to help you start meditating and build a daily, consistent habit. But first, keep these meditation tips in mind.

    1. Start Small

    There are thousands of meditation techniques out there and some instruct you to sit for hours at a time, while others can be effective in just under five minutes. Don’t start out with the long meditations first. Focus only on meditating 2-5 minutes each day, then after seven days, add 2-5 more minutes. It’s not the length of time that matters, it’s merely the consistency and commitment to doing it every day that counts.

    2. Remember, It’s Easy

    Speaking of techniques, don’t get caught up in the details of “how” you should meditate. It’s easy to get lost in the idea that you have to have the perfect space, the perfect meditation cushion and be in the perfect position. All of this is periphery stuff. Meditation should feel natural and easy, even if that means just sitting in your car on your lunch break.

    3. Stick With A Method

    It can also be easy to get caught up in finding the “perfect” technique. Instead of trying a new meditation every day, it’s best to choose one type of meditation and stick with it for at least a month. If, after that time, you don’t feel like it’s working for you, explore something else.

    4. Be Kind To Yourself

    This might be the most important tip to help you start meditating. Meditation is a respite, a quiet time, a time to be at peace with yourself. Treat yourself with complete compassion and kindness when you meditate.

    5. Be Patient With Yourself

    We love to put pressure on ourselves to be perfect all the time, but meditation is definitely not the time and place for that. Allow yourself room to breathe and practice patience along with compassion for yourself.

    6. Practice Non-Judgement

    There is no right or wrong when you meditate. It’s easy to think that being distracted, fidgeting, or having your mind wander are negative experience. But they are totally natural, and meditation isn’t about fighting or resisting those natural occurrences. It’s about experiencing them and allowing them.

    7. Make It A Morning Routine

    The best way to start a meditation habit is to practice every single morning. It’s a great way to start your day, and it’s much easier to convince yourself to do something first thing in the morning than it is after a long, hard day.

    8. Use Guided Meditations

    Guided meditations are audio tracks where someone walks you through each step of a meditation, and they are enormously helpful. They do exactly as they say: guide you through a meditation so you don’t have to think or worry about what to do. You can just sit back, relax and follow the instructions.

    9. Find A Meditation Buddy

    Everything is easier with a friend. You can practice meditations together and share your experiences, or you can simply hold each other accountable. We’re more likely to commit to something when we’ve told someone else we’re going to do it.

    10. Join A Community

    Even better, join a group of people committed to meditating. Not only will you find friends who share a common interest, you’ll be more motivated to participate when you feel the support of a community behind you.

    Building a Habit of Meditation

    If you follow along with the 10 meditation tips above, you’ll be off to a great start. So, how can you turn that great start into a daily habit?

    For any habit you want to start, there are a series of steps you can follow that will make the habit stick. How many times have you tried to start a habit, only to practice it a few times and then never do it again?

    Forming habits is actually fairly formulaic. Your brain creates patterns in a very recognizable and predictable way, so if you follow along with a natural habit-making formula, the habit will be more likely to stick.

    You can use this formula to start any habit, but we’re going to customize it in six simple steps to form the habit of a daily meditation.

    Step 1: Choose Your One Habit & Commit To It

    It’s easy to get excited about becoming a healthier happier person and before you know it you’ve committed yourself to yoga, meditation, a new diet and a workout routine. And then, before you know it, none of them are a part of your life anymore.

    This is because habits form one at a time. So take it slow. Commit to meditating every day and don’t start another new habit for at least 30 days, though depending on your personality, you may want to extend that to 60 days.

    Step 2: Attach Your Habit To An Established One

    Habits stick better when they become part of an already established routine. Whatever you do first thing in the morning — brush your teeth, take a shower, go for a walk — attach meditation to your morning routine. Immediately before or after your daily morning ritual, commit to practicing meditation. Remember, you only need to commit 2-5 minutes at first, then gradually increase that time to something that’s comfortable for you.

    Step 3: Tell Someone

    As mentioned in Tip #9, accountability makes us more likely to follow through. Announce it on social media or tell a good friend. The act of simply saying, “I am committing to meditating every morning” is extremely powerful for building a habit.

    Step 4: Reward Yourself

    The biggest reason most people fail to solidify a habit is that they don’t find motivation early on. Here’s how most habits go… You start out strong with a lot of energy to make the good habit, that initial energy dies out, your motivation to continue eventually dies out, and in the end, you don’t actually build that habit. Break this pattern by giving yourself a reward every time you meditate. If a healthy reward doesn’t work for you, find something else to keep you motivated after the initial energy spark dies off.

    Step 5: Make Meditation Part Of Who You Are

    Instead of thinking of meditation as a something you’re going to add to your life, try imagining yourself as a meditator. This is a very small, but very powerful perspective shift. Owning the identity of someone who meditates strengthens and solidifies the habit.

    Step 6: Meditate Every Day

    Of course, the most important step in building a habit is to practice every single day. In the first 30 days, there will be times where it feels tedious and boring, but power through. Eventually, your brain will recognize the habit and it will become a natural part of who you are and what you do.

  • Step by Step

    How to Stock a First Aid Kit | First Aid Training

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    So what do you have in your first aid kit? It can be very simple to very extensive. You can go online and you can look on check lists for everything from the minimum to extensive giant first aid kits. So what I would have is some band aids, some gauze, some fabric tape. You can make your own band aids if the stickiness of the band aids has gone out. Some antibacterial ointment, some antibacterial gel for your hands and I would also have a pair of gloves. You can get those over the counter. They’re very easy to get.
    5 Oct 2012 – 20:28
    First Aid with Registered Nurse Mary | First Aid Training

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    My name is Mary. I’m a registered nurse in New York City. I’ve been practicing here in Labor and Delivery for the past five years. I also have 19 nieces and nephews who get cuts, scrapes and all sorts of hijinks in their lives. So, I feel like I know what I’m talking about when I can help people out. I love what I do. I love practicing in medicine. I love helping people and, hopefully, that’s what I can do today with these videos.

    The best thing is knowledge. Knowledge can help you in any kind of situation. Any kind of knowledge. And that’s what I hope I can give to you today. A little bit of knowledge about the medical world and what you can do in first aid. Remember prevention is always better than a treatment and never be afraid to call out for help. Hopefully, you won’t have to use any of the advice I’m giving you today, but it’s always better to know. Let’s get started.
    5 Oct 2012 – 20:28
    How to Treat an Asthma Attack | First Aid Training

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    If you’re with someone who’s having an asthma attack, the best thing for you to do is to stay calm and to help them out. Have them sit down. Sitting is the best position for them, rather than lying down. Find their inhaler. Often times they will have it on their person, or nearby. Give it to them to administer their own medication. It’s easier for them to do. They’re used to doing it, they know how to do it, they know when to breathe in to get the medicine into their lungs. Sometimes people will try to help and they’ll just spray, spray, spray, and it’s not in time with breathing. Don’t be alarmed by how many puffs the person is taking. It may be more or less than you’re used to seeing them take. Just let them do it and stay with them, reassure them, keep them safe. If their breathing does not return to normal, or if they’re having increased difficulty in breathing, call 911 and get help right away.
    5 Oct 2012 – 20:23
    How to Recognize & Treat a Concussion | First Aid Training

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    So, when do you know when a head injury is a concussion? The truth is you don’t really know until you’ve been checked out by a doctor. Any kind of head injury weather it being hit by a baseball bat, falling on the ice and hitting your head, tripping on the concrete and hitting your head, running into a wall, having someone open a door really quickly, falling off your bike with or without a helmet. You never know. You need to get it checked out. People have been hit in the head, gotten up, walked around, acted fine like nothing were wrong, seemed like they were fine and then it turned out to be something fatal. It’s much better to be safe than sorry. Don’t think that you can muscle through it. Always get checked out if you have a head injury. If you find someone whose unconscious, if you see evidence that they were hit in the head, their head is bleeding, they have a bruise on their head, no matter what, if they’re unconscious call 911. But, also tell them that this is what you see. Always call for help. If you find someone unconscious and they’re not responding to you, call for help. It is better to be safe than sorry. You never know when a little bump on the head can turn into something fatal.
    5 Oct 2012 – 20:23
    How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting | First Aid Training

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    So, what do you do when you’re with somebody who gets a jellyfish sting? Number one, stay calm. Number two, get them out of the water, and get yourself out of the water. Stay safe. If you get stung, you’re not going to be able to help your friend who being stung as well. Rinse off the tentacles. They’ll be stuck to the person’s legs. Saltwater is best. Warm water. Fresh water can make the sting even worse. Peel off any remaining tentacles. Use tweezers or something else. Don’t use your own hands because you’ll get stung. You can still get stung after the tentacle has been unattached from the jellyfish. You can use over the counter medications to help with the pain. You can use ice packs to help with the pain. If it looks like it’s an allergic reaction, if the person is having trouble breathing, gets hives, has wheezing, shortness of breath, call a doctor right away. Call 911. If the welts are more than half the size of your arm or your leg, or about that size. A big size like that. Call your doctor for some help.
    5 Oct 2012 – 20:23
    How to Treat Alcohol Poisoning | First Aid Training

  • Treating Immediate Issues

    How to Treat Severe Bleeding During First Aid

    While most people don’t want to find themselves treating severe bleeding, you may need to learn how to stop blood loss in an emergency. Unlike minor wounds, a severe wound may gush or spray blood. It may not clot as quickly and will need medical attention

    Treating Immediate Issues

    Get help. Call for emergency medical help or ask someone else nearby to do it while you begin caring for the injured person. Do this as soon as possible, so that help will quickly arrive. This is the key to survival for a severely injured person.
    If you suspect the person has injuries that are causing internal bleeding, let medical help know when you call. There might be internal bleeding if you notice the person coughing up blood, vomiting, or bleeding from the ears, eyes, nose, or mouth. Any sudden bruising along with swelling of the back, abdomen, or an arm or leg are also further signs of internal bleeding

    Evaluate the injured person using the ABCDE mnemonic. ABCDE stands for Airways, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, and Exposure/Environment and serves as a reminder of the order in which you should evaluate the trauma of the injured person.Knowing the source of the trauma will help in deciding how to proceed with first aid as well as inform emergency personnel, such as 911 operators, to address the problem more accurately.
    Airways: Check for obstructions to the injured person’s airways. Is there a foreign object in the way? Are there external or internal fractures preventing airflow?
    Breathing: Check if they are breathing. Is their chest rising and falling? Do they need additional oxygen?
    Circulation: Check that the injured person has adequate blood circulation. Do they have a pulse? Are they conscious?
    Disability: Check for signs of brain trauma. Are they conscious? Are their pupils dilated?
    Exposure/Environment: Check to see if they are injured elsewhere or at further risk. Are they protected from cold or hot? Are they restricted by their own clothes or dangerous elements?

    Make sure that there is no immediate danger of further injury. Do not move the injured person if you do not have to. However, if there is immediate danger of other injury (from traffic, falling objects, etc.), try to form a barrier, keeping the injured person and others safe, such as by directing traffic around an accident site. If you absolutely must move the injured person yourself, immobilize the wound site as best you can.

    Wash your hands if possible. If you can, you’ll want to sanitize your hands by washing them with soap and water. Put on surgical gloves as well, if they’re available. This will not only protect you from the risk of getting diseases, but also prevent the injured person from becoming infected.
    Always be careful when handling someone else’s blood. Since blood can carry disease-causing pathogens, take steps to wash your hands and protect yourself.
    Never re-use plastic or surgical gloves, since doing so can spread infection.
    If you do not have disposable gloves, try using something like plastic wrap to put a barrier between your hands and the wound

    Clear the wound site. If there is obvious dirt or debris in the wound, remove it if possible. However, do not try to remove large objects, or ones deeply embedded in the wound, since this can make bleeding worse. If you must leave an object in the wound, avoid pressing on it, as this may push it deeper into the wound.

    Apply pressure. Use a sterile or clean cloth, bandage, or gauze and apply firm pressure directly on the site of the bleeding. Use your hands only if you have nothing else. Do not put pressure on an eye wound, or if there is an object embedded in the wound.
    Keep applying pressure without removing the cloth to check on the bleeding. If you take the bandage off, you could disturb clots that are forming to stop the bleeding

    Secure the bandage. You can fix the bandage in place with tape, gauze strips or whatever you have on hand, like a necktie or strip of cloth. Take care not to tie the strips too tightly, or you could cut off circulation.

    Elevate the wound. If a bone does not appear to be broken, raise the wound site so that it is above the heart.For instance, if a leg is injured, raise it on a chair or place a pillow under it. Elevating the wound can keep blood from rushing to it and intensifying the bleeding.

  • Stopping Further Blood Loss

    Stopping Further Blood Loss

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    Apply pressure to a pressure point if the bleeding does not stop. A pressure point is a location where you can squeeze an artery against a bone, which can slow the flow of blood. There are two major pressure points on the body; choose the one nearest the site of the wound.
    If the bleeding is near a leg, press and hold against the femoral artery in the groin, where the leg bends at the hip.
    If the bleeding is near an arm, press and hold against the brachial artery, along the inside of the upper arm.

    Help the injured person lie down, if the injury permits. Cover the injured person with a blanket or similar material to keep in body heat. Resting the injured person can help prevent him or her from going into shock.

    Apply more dressing to the wound, if necessary. Don’t remove the cloth covering the wound even if it soaks through with blood, as this can make the bleeding worse. You can place another layer of cloth or bandage over the soaked one. The important thing is to keep applying pressure.

    Use a tourniquet only if you have proper training. If bleeding does not stop, even after prolonged pressure, you may need to make a tourniquet. Because there are severe dangers from incorrectly placing or applying a tourniquet, you should only use one if you’ve been trained to do so.
    An easy-to-use combat tourniquet is now available for civilian purchase. If you can get one, buy a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) and learn how to use it.
    When paramedics or other help arrives, let them know how long the tourniquet has been in place.

    Keep calm. Dealing with severe bleeding can be shocking and stressful. While you wait for medical help to arrive, calm yourself by focusing on the steps necessary to stop the bleeding. Calm the injured person by talking to him or her, and giving assurance that help is on the way.

    Get the injured person proper medical attention. If you’re waiting for an ambulance, continue to stay with the injured person. Keep applying pressure to the wound. Or, if the bleeding has stopped and help is not on the way, try to get the injured person to the emergency room as quickly as you can.
    Remember, if you must move the injured person yourself, immobilize the wound site. If possible, wait until after the bleeding has stopped to move the person.
    Don’t remove any bandages before taking the person to the emergency room.Removing them could cause bleeding to restart.
    If the person is alert, ask about any medicine they are taking or any known medical problems, also any known drug allergies. This can keep them distracted while you wait for help and is important information you can then pass on to medical professionals.

  • What is anger?

    What is anger?

    Anger is an emotion that we all feel at times. It can become a problem if it is too extreme, occurs at inappropriate times, or lasts too long. Anger can be just a simple irritation with something. At the other extreme, it can result in hysterical shouting, screaming and lashing out. Anger can often have a negative impact on our relationships and our work. It can also change the way that we feel about ourselves. We might tend to blame other people or a particular situation for our anger. Often we feel angry when we feel let down in some way or denied of something that we feel entitled to.
    Physical feelings are experienced when your body reacts to stress, fear or anxiety. These symptoms are often referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This reaction quickly and helpfully prepares the body for action. It prepares us to either protect against or escape danger.

    • Making our heart beat faster – to supply more blood to our muscles.
    • Producing more sweat – to cool us down.
    • Tensing our muscles – getting them ready for action.
    • Taking deeper and quicker breaths – to supply oxygen to our muscles.
    • Shutting down body functions that aren’t needed at the time e.g. digestion.
    • Racing thoughts – quickly narrowing the available options to make a quick response.

    In the past such a reaction would have offered us some protection. Preparing us to react quickly in case of predators, and aiding survival as we hunted and gathered food. These days we do not depend so much upon running or fighting as we negotiate difficult circumstances. The symptoms described above are therefore less helpful. They may even end up being quite confusing. Threats like money problems, difficulties at work, unhelpful staff or rude drivers do not require such an extreme physical reaction. These symptoms are not dangerous in themselves. In many ways it is a useful response, but at the wrong time. We need not fear the fight or flight reaction. It is our body’s healthy protection system. Understanding this can help you to manage the physical symptoms. You need not worry about them or feel that you need to respond or react. You can allow them to pass, as they will do quite quickly.

  • The Angry Cycle

    Anger Self Help 

    Anger is a normal reaction.   It energises us into action and can help us make life saving  and vital actions.  Anger can be very useful.   However, it can become a problem if it seems like we’re getting angry very often, and it is affecting our mood, working life, relationships or mental wellbeing. 

    Anger is a result of thinking that we have been unfairly treated or disrespected, or something is unjust, and we won’t stand for it.

    Thinking this way leads us to feel angry, which stimulates the body’s adrenaline response which is our body’s way of helping us to cope with either fighting, or running away (‘fight or flight’ response).    We respond to those thoughts and feelings, by acting, or feeling an urge to act, in threatening or aggressive ways.


    Typical Thoughts

    I’m being treated unfairly

    I’m being disrespected

    They’re breaking a rule

    This is unjust

    I won’t stand for it

    Physical Sensations – Alarming Adrenaline
    When there is real, or we believe there is a real, threat or danger, our bodies’ automatic survival mechanism kicks in very quickly. This helps energise us to fight or run away (‘fight or flight response’). The action urge associated with anger is the urge to attack. We will notice lots of physical sensations, which might include:

    heart racing or pounding – enabling good blood supply around our bodies

    breathing quickly – allowing more oxygen around the body

    tense muscles – a state of readiness to fight or flee


    hot, sweating


    stomach churning or butterflies

    fist or teeth clenching

    physical urge to go towards whatever is making us angry

    Angry Behaviours

    • attack
    • aggressive body posture
    • staring & facial expression
    • move towards what is making us angry
    • hit out (or urge to hit out)
    • argue
    • shout
    • run or storm away
    • don’t talk
    • sulk
    • sarcasm

    The Angry Cycle

    We all feel angry some times. Some people tend to become angry easily (a “short fuse”), and some have problems controlling their anger. Anger has consequences, and they often involve hurting other people – more usually their feelings, but sometimes physically.

    Anger can cause problems in our personal lives, and affect work and study. After an angry outburst, we can think very critically of ourselves and our actions, leading us to feel guilty, ashamed and lower our mood, which might result in our withdrawing from others, not wanting to do anything (see depression cycle).

    To help overcome a persistent anger problem, we need to understand what we are REALLY angry about – which may well be NOT what we are directing our anger towards at that time.  It is often due to something related to something from our past, and the current situation FEELS similar, so it triggers our angry response now.

    Vicious Cogs of Anger


    By looking at the “cogs” that keep the central problem going, we can target and make positive changes in each of the cogs, which will at least, slow down, and at best, stop, the central problem, for example:

  • tips to tame your temper

    tips to tame your temper

    Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. Use simple anger management tips — from taking a timeout to using “I” statements — to stay in control

    Do you fume when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure rocket when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.

    Ready to get your anger under control? Start by considering these 10 anger management tips.

    1. Think before you speak
    In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

    2. Once you’re calm, express your anger
    As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

    3. Get some exercise
    Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

    4. Take a timeout
    Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

    5. Identify possible solutions
    Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

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    6. Stick with ‘I’ statements
    To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”

    7. Don’t hold a grudge
    Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.

    8. Use humor to release tension
    Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

    9. Practice relaxation skills
    When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

    10. Know when to seek help
    Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you

  • The Fat Burning Soup Recipe

    The Fat Burning Soup Recipe

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    6 large green onions or large red onion1-2 cans of tomatoes1 large head of cabbage2 green peppers1 bunch celeryrosemary & tarragon for flavoringshitake mushrooms for flavoring1 hot pepper2 or 3 cloves of chopped garlicvegetable bouillon Cut vegetables in small to medium pieces, sauté in and cover with water. Boil fast for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Spices, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, tarragon or oregano, may be added as desired toward the end of cooking. This soup can be eaten any time you are hungry. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want. This soup will not add calories. The more you eat, the more you will lose. Fill a thermos in the morning if you will be away during the day. However, if eaten alone for indefinite periods, you would suffer from malnutrition. The Fat Burning DietDay One: All fruits except bananas. Cantaloupe and watermelon are lower on calories than most fruits. Eat only the soup and fruits. For drinks – unsweetened tea, cranberry juice or water.Day Two: All vegetables. Eat until you are stuffed with all the fresh, raw or canned vegetables. Try to eat green, leafy vegetables and stay away from dry limns peas, and corn. Eat along with the soup. At dinnertime on day two, reward yourself with a big baked potato and butter. Do not eat any fruits.Day Three: Eat all the soup, fruits and vegetables you want. Do not have a baked potato.If you have eaten for three days, as above, and have not cheated, you will find you should have lost 5 – 7 lb.Day Four: Bananas and skimmed milk. Eat as many as 3 bananas and drink as many glasses of skimmed milk as you can on this day along with the soup. Bananas are high in calories and carbohydrates along with the milk, but on this particular day your body will need the potassium, carbohydrates, proteins and calcium to lessen your cravings for sweets.Day Five: Beef and tomatoes. You may have 10-20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes or as many as 6 fresh tomatoes on this day. Try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water on day five to wash away the uric acid in your body. Eat the soup at least once on day five.Day Six: Beef and vegetables. Eat to your heart’s content of the beef and vegetables on day six. You can even have two or three steaks if you like with green leafy vegetables, but no baked potato. Be sure to eat the soup at least once.Day Seven: Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and vegetables. Again, stuff yourself and be sure to have the soup at least once.  By the end of the seventh day, if you haven’t cheated on the diet, you should’ve lost 10-17lbs. If you’ve lost more than 15lbs, stay off the diet for two full days before resuming the diet again from day one. If correctly followed, it will clean your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well being like never before. After only seven days, you should feel lighter and have an abundance of energy. This diet is for fast fat burning, and the secret is that you’ll burn more calories than you realise. Because everyone’s digestive system is different, this diet will affect everyone differently. RememberDO NOT drink any alcoholic beverages. This is due to the removal of the fat build-up in the system. Go off diet at least 24 hours before any intake of alcohol. DO NOT consume any carbonated drinks (including diet drinks). Stick with water, unsweetened tea, black coffee, unsweetened fruit juices, cranberry juice, or skimmed milk. DO NOT eat any bread or fried foods Although you can have black coffee with this diet, you may find that you don’t need the caffeine after the third day. You can eat grilled or baked chicken (with no skin) instead of the beef. You can also substitute grilled fish for the beef on ONE of the days. You’ll need the high-protein in the meat on the other days

  • Soup Recipe for Weight Loss

    Vegetable Soup: 7 Day Diet Meal Plan

    Recipe for Vegetable Soup both Nutritious and Low Calorie
    Who doesn’t want to start on a vegetable soup diet? Follows is a simple and effective vegetable soup recipe to get you started if that is what you want. Remember you may want to add tomato and ginger for best results.

    DAY 1
    On the first day you are going to stick to eating soup and fruits. Eat as much soup as you like. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to set limits for the amount of food you eat. Keep it under 80 percent of what you can really eat. Develop a sense of what is good for your diet and eat it. Whatever you do, stay away from eating bananas.

    DAY 2
    On the second day you are going to concentrate on eating soup with vegetables. Whether you eat steamed vegetables are raw vegetables, there shouldn’t be a problem. Just stay away from frying with oil. On this day you are going to add a little extra to your evening meal. That is either Satsumaimo Japanese sweet potatoes or Jagaimo potatoes. Any tuber works! Don’t forget to keep your diet in mind. Day 2 is the only day you are allowed to eat baked potatoes that depending on the preparation method is 130 calories per potato. Eating 1 baked potato versus 3 is highly recommended.

    Recipe for vegetable soup

    DAY 3
    The third day is filled with soup, fruits, and vegetables. Notice how day 3 is combines day 2 and day 1. This will make it easy to figure out what you eat. Like day 2 where you concentrated on eating vegetable, avoid fatty foods cooked with oil. The same goes for bananas. Whatever you do don’t eat bananas. You will see why as you move through the 7 day diet plan eating soup.

    DAY 4
    On the fourth day you are going to finally get to eat that banana you put aside for later. Eat soup and bananas topped off with 500mL of milk (fat free or skim) for best results. Have a banana with every meal. That means you are allowed 3 bananas a day. Don’t push it. As you would expect, a banana isn’t going to be enough to pin down your appetite. That’s where soup comes in. Having a healthy bowl of soup puts you over the edge for enough to push hunger pains aside.

    DAY 5
    It’s day 5 and finally time to start eating meat! As you would expect from eating only vegetables and fruit, your body is starting to feel the effects of lack of protein and fat in your diet. In fact, you may be feeling a little dizzy by now. You are going to need to get some animal protein in your body right away, this instant! Just because you feel like you can eat a cow after obtaining from eating meat for 4 days straight doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up with soup containing meat such as chicken soup or beef stew. In addition, to getting more meat in your diet, eating tomatoes may be a good idea. As long as its within 6 tomatoes you have nothing to worry about.

    DAY 6
    In the sixth day we revert back to soup, veggies, and… yes meat! To be precise you are going to want to pick up some stake. It doesn’t matter how much you eat as long as it is within 2 to 3 stakes. The amount of veggies you eat doesn’t change, except for the part of not eating potatoes. This is not a day to be eating potatoes. Keep it under control.

    DAY 7
    On the last day you finally get to eat some carbs. That means busting out your favorite bread or bowl of rice. In addition to getting back on board eating carbohydrates you are going to want to pick up some 100% fruit juice, vegetables, and carbs to complements the soup you will be eating.

  • How to Be Successful in Life

    How to Be Successful in Life

    Regardless of how old you are, where you live, or what your career goals are, it’s likely your ultimate goals in life are to be happy and successful. To be successful means more than just having money and making your mark. It means following your passions, living purposefully, and enjoying the present moment.

    Developing a Path to Success

    Identify your passions. Before you can achieve success, you will have to define what success means to you. While it may take years to realize what you want to do with your life, identifying your passions, interests, and values will help you set goals and give your life a sense of meaning. If you have trouble identifying these things, then ask a friend or family member to help you. Ask yourself the following questions:

    ·        What do you want your legacy to be?

    ·        How would you like to be remembered by others?

    ·        How do you want to make your community a better place?

    ·        What are some favorite subjects of interest in your life? For example, think of subjects you enjoyed studying in school. Ask why you liked them.

    ·        For instance, you may have loved musical theater. Think: was it because you loved the music, or was it because you loved working with a big group towards a common goal?

    Make a list of your goals, and what you might do to achieve them. Be sure to address both short-term and long-term goals; try to think beyond financial and career goals, such as relationship goals, personal goals for bettering yourself, things you would like to experience, or things you want to learn. Draw up a timeline that says when you want to achieve each part.

    ·        Set SMART goals; goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

    ·        Break big goals down. For instance, if your goal is to see the world, you can set the goal of saving money and visiting certain countries.

    Live purposefully. In order to achieve your dreams and be the person you want to be, you will have to start paying attention to your actions. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing going to lead me to where I want to be in life?”

    ·        If you find yourself constantly bored, daydreaming about the future or past or counting down the minutes until the day ends, it is probably because you feel disconnected from what you’re doing.

    ·        Cherish your time. Try to spend your free time doing things that you enjoy doing, rather than wasting time. For example, rather than spending your weekends watching television, spend them partaking in your hobbies or spending time with loved ones and new friends.

    ·        Measure your productivity by engagement, not achievement. Not everything you do has to be productive in the conventional sense, but activities should be engaging and enjoyable.

    ·        Keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to spend some time doing nothing and just being lazy each day. This can actually help with your imagination and self-awareness. Strive for a balance between doing things you want to do and allowing yourself to just “be.”

    Stick to your commitments. Planning is not sufficient; keeping your word is also important. If you tell someone you will do something, do it. Similarly, don’t tell someone you will do something if you’re not sure you can. Be honest about your limits.

    ·        Avoid canceling plans and try not to cancel twice on the same person.

    ·        Make commitments to yourself, and stick to them. Write down your commitments and hang them in places you can see.

    ·        Make sure that your commitments are gradually moving you towards your goals. Review your goals now and then to make sure you are moving in the right direction.

    Need a little extra motivation?

    Let us help you with your goal to be successful-in-life. Sign up for reminders and tips that will help you make progress and stay focused.

    Achieving External Success

    Be educated. Education gives you the knowledge, skills, and credibility to, achieve your maximum potential. In terms of financial success, statistics have shown that the more education you have (i.e. the higher degree you achieve), the more money you are likely to make.

    ·        In 2011, the median weekly earnings for high school graduates was $638 while those with bachelor’s degrees made $1053. That same year, those with masters or doctoral degrees made $1263 and $1551 respectively.

    ·        Not all education has to be formal. Apprenticeships and long-term training programs are also positively correlated with higher incomes. Obtaining a Certificate in your field can help to increase your salary.

    ·        Educate you for pleasure as well. The more you know about the world you live in, the more questions you will have and the more interested you will be.

    Manage your finances. Learning how to manage your money will help ensure your financial stability over time, regardless of your income.

    ·        Keep track of your expenses. Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income to determine how much spending money you have available each month. Also, review your bank statements often and notice where you spend your money. This will help you prevent over-spending and ensure that your bank statements are correct.

    ·        Understand your income. When calculating your income, be sure to take into account the federal, state, and social security taxes that will be deducted from your gross pay. Don’t overlook miscellaneous deductions, such as health insurance premiums, savings bonds, and loan payments. The resulting number is your net pay, which is what you end up taking home with you.

    ·        Cut back. If you are not earning enough money to cover your net expenses, then look into your expenses to see where you might be able to cut back.

    ·        Save money. Every month, you should deposit some of your money into a savings account. Consider asking your employer to directly deposit a portion of your income into your savings account.

    ·        Invest cautiously. If your workplace offers a retirement savings plan, put your excess incomes in that.

    Manage your time. Putting off important tasks until the last minute can cause you unnecessary stress, and increase the likelihood of errors and negligence. Manage your time so that you have enough time to complete tasks effectively.

    ·        Use a planner to help keep you organized throughout the day, week, and month.

    ·        Set reminders on your smartphone and make use of its electronic timer for better time management.

    ·        Make a list of all the things you need to do on a given day and check off each task as you complete it. This will help you stay organized and motivated.

    Achieving Internal Success

    Enjoy the present moment. If you are constantly dwelling on the past or daydreaming about the future, you are missing out on the present moment. Remember that the past and the future are simply illusions and that real life takes place here and now.

    ·        Start paying attention to negative thoughts so that you can move on from them and enjoy the present moment. If a negative thought arises in your head, then acknowledge it, label it a negative thought, and then let it fade away. Regular meditation or mindfulness exercises can help to make this feel more natural for you.

    ·        Get in the habit of paying attention to small details around you. Appreciate the feeling of the sun on your skin, the sensation of your feet walking on the ground, or the artwork in the restaurant you are eating in. Noticing things like these will help you silence a rambling mind and appreciate every moment.

    Don’t compare your own life to other peoples’ lives. Unfortunately, many people measure their own success by comparing it to the success of those around them. If you want to feel accomplished and happy, you will have to value your life for its own sake.

    ·        Many people have the tendency to compare the low points of their own lives with the high, points of other peoples’ lives. Remember that no matter how perfect somebody’s life may seem, behind closed doors everybody deals with tragedy, insecurity, and other difficulties. Pay attention to and limit your use of social media to help you remember this.

    ·        Rather than comparing yourself with people who are “better off” than you, think about all of the people who are homeless, chronically ill, or living in poverty. This will help you appreciate what you have rather than feeling sorry for yourself. Try engaging in volunteer work to help make this more apparent. This can help to boost your happiness and confidence as well.

    Count your blessings. No matter how much you achieve in life, you will always feel unhappy if you constantly focus on what you don’t have. Instead, devote time every day to appreciating the things you do have. Think beyond material items; appreciate your loved ones, and cherish happy memories.

    Cultivating Success in Every Aspect of Your Life

    Look after your health. A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Eat a balanced diet and ensure that you aren’t lacking in any necessary nutrients. Establish the cause of any problems you may experience, such as a lack of energy or a lack of concentration and deal with them by discussing with a doctor, nutritionist, and related health professionals. Get plenty of exercises too but make your fitness choices according to what you enjoy.

    Follow up on opportunities. If you have a chance to shine, take it. If you are worried you won’t have time and energy for a good opportunity, ask yourself: would this contribute to my end goals? If it would, then get rid of other commitments in order to pursue this opportunity.

    ·        Remember, some chances only come around once. You can’t bank them.

    ·        This doesn’t mean you should throw away all your savings or get rid of your safety net. It just means you should say yes when you are given an offer to move ahead.

    Surround yourself with positive people. Make friends with people you admire for various reasons: because they are happy, kind, generous, successful at work, or successful in other ways. Join forces with those who have achieved things you want to achieve, or who are on their way to a common goal. Don’t let jealousy get in your way: nobody’s success is a threat to yours.

    ·        When making friends with someone, ask yourself if the person makes you feel motivated, positive, and confident, or if they make you feel tired, overwhelmed, or incompetent. Choose to spend time with the positive people, not the ones sucking your energy.

    ·        If you have friends or family members who always make you feel bad about yourself, limit the time you spend with them. Also, make sure to identify relationships that are not helping you to move towards your goals, that stress you out, or that require too much of your time and energy without being reciprocal.

    ·        Look for mentors among the people you admire. If you think you could learn from someone, ask for their advice.

    Set boundaries with others. Advocate for your own needs. Be caring towards others, but don’t accept abuse from anyone. Remember, being a good person does not mean you have to take violent or disrespectful language or actions from anyone.

    ·        Respect the boundaries others set for you, too. Listen to your loved ones when they tell you they need space, or want to do something alone.

    Many people want to achieve success in life, but it’s easier said than done. While they like to be successful, others accept to live their lives anyhow. The simple fact that you’re reading this article indicates that you want to be different from others, and be successful in life. However, there are so many distractions that it can be challenging to discipline oneself to accomplish a monumental goal. By keeping the following advice in mind, however, you can dramatically increase your chances of becoming successful in whatever you choose to, pursue.

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  • Fundamentals Of A Wonderful Life, selected

    Fundamentals Of A Wonderful Life

    Recently I had my first golf lesson with a professional golfer. Now, this is not the first time that I had played golf – I picked up a golf club for the first time approximately 9 months ago and subsequently played on and off with friends. I studied a few golf books and received a few good tips from my friends, but frustration finally sent me in search of professional help.

    At the lesson, the first thing I did was hit some golf balls whilst the coach watched. Then, he told me this: “first, we are going to work on the 4 fundamentals of golf: grip, stance, posture, and alignment”. If you think about each of the – grip, stance, posture, and alignment – you can imagine why it was that I did not hit too many golf balls in that first lesson. The swing – that all-important element that is the final determinant of how the ball is hit – would not be the focus until I had the fundamentals under control.

    This golf lesson got me thinking. It seems to me that there are certain fundamentals not only in golf but in life, that we should have under control before we turn our attention to loftier ambitions. For example, many people who desire wealth will begin investing (the swing) without developing any financial intelligence (the fundamentals).

    For the non-golfers out there, another great metaphor is the construction of your dream home. Imagine you are wanting to build a beautiful, multi-level home (your life). Once the site is prepared and you are ready to build, the first step is the laying of the foundation (the fundamentals). It is crucial that this foundation is strong, for if it is upon this that the rest of the house is built.

    Here then are what I consider to be 30 fundamentals of a wonderful life. Yes -I’m sure there are more, but if you can manage to get each of these under control you will have a strong foundation upon which to build a wonderful life.


    Defining what success means to YOU: success will mean different things to different people. In these modern times, traditional ideas of success involving impressive job titles and high salaries are being challenged by such ideas as “time affluence”. Decide what is important to you, and don’t waste time chasing someone else’s idea of success.

    Strong work ethic: expecting great success without being willing to work hard for it is a recipe for mediocrity. If it seems that others just get lucky, remember the following quote from the famous golfer Gary Player:

    “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player

    Focus on adding value: stop focusing on what you want, and start thinking of how you can add value to other people. When you help other people get what they want, they will be more willing to help you.

    Abundance mentality: this is the understanding that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. With this mentality, you are willing to share prestige, recognition, and profits.

    Motivation: what drives you to succeed? When you understand the reasons behind what you do (eg to provide for your family), you will gain purpose and clarity.

    Goals: there have been numerous studies that have shown people who set goals are more likely to succeed than people who do not. By setting goals, you focus your attention on a target which, in turn, focuses your mind on finding ways to get there.


    A curious mind: a curious mind loves to learn new things. If you have ever watched a small child play you will know exactly what I mean. So instead of just accepting things “as is”, ask yourself the questions: What? How? Why? Who? When?

    An open mind: some of our beliefs and actions are so ingrained that we automatically disregard any evidence that we should think or act otherwise. Keep an open mind, and you may just come across a better way of seeing or doing things.

    A willingness to change: it is one thing to want to live a better life, but are you really willing to make the necessary changes? The following quote explains this concept perfectly:

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

    Defining your values and principles: who are you? What are you about? And what do you value? If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend taking the time to write a personal mission statement.

    Awareness: are you on autopilot? If so, turn it off and decide to live consciously. In short, this means to be committed to awareness as a way of existing in the world. Awareness of your beliefs, awareness of your own power, and awareness of your freedom to choose your own destiny.

    Self-discipline: you may have the best intentions in the world, but without self-discipline, you will fall victim to the temptation. If you have problems with self-discipline, burn the following quote into your memory and recall it whenever temptation arises:

    “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”


    The ability to enjoy the now: it’s important to plan for the future, but too many people have “destination addiction” which means they can’t enjoy the present. Stop. And enjoy this very moment….

    Find your purpose: in his book Happier, author Tal Ben Shahar defines happiness as:

    “The overall experience of pleasure and meaning.”

    Different people find different ways to fill their life with meaning. One thing is clear though: meaning comes from developing a sense of purpose.

    Gratitude: instead of focusing on what you don’t have, try appreciating what you do have. If you are reading this, chances are you are better off than the vast majority of the world’s population.

    Quality relationships: happiness is closely linked to the quality of your relationships in your life. Take the time to keep in touch with friends and family.

    Perspective: when things get tough, it is so important to be able to step back and gain some perspective on life.

    Accepting those things that cannot be changed: I have always loved the profound wisdom of the following quote, commonly known as the Serenity Prayer:

    God, give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.


    Financial intelligence: before investing in real estate or the stock market, invest in yourself by developing your own financial intelligence. As they say, knowledge is power.

    Spend less than you earn: to gain wealth, you must spend less than you earn. Just consider the opposite for a moment: if you spend more than you earn, you are accumulating debt.

    Proper management of debt: have you ever felt up to your eyeballs in debt? It’s not a good feeling. There are circumstances where debt is good, but if you fall into the debt trap you can become a slave to making the repayments.

    Patience: Without patience, you will be drawn towards high-risk investments such as speculative stocks or get rich quick schemes. Sure there are some winners who get rich quick, but there are also a lot of people who get hurt (especially if they haven’t taken the time to develop their financial intelligence). Be prepared to get rich slowly.

    Adequate protection of assets: it is one thing to accumulate assets, but if they are not adequately protected you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Life does go awry every so often, so be prepared.


    Recognize the importance of your health: it is often said that “your health is your wealth”. Many people do not, however, appreciate their health until it is gone. Save yourself a lot of pain, and learn from others’ mistakes.

    Exercise: if you want to be fit and healthy, you must exercise.

    A healthy diet: there is truth to the old saying “you are what you eat”. If you want to live a long and healthy life, make sure you maintain a healthy diet. Yes, this is common sense – but common sense does not necessarily, translate to common practice.


    Treat others as you would like to be treated: this is known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, or the “Golden Rule”. Imagine if everyone lived by this principle.

    Love yourself: I don’t mean this in a vain sense. I just believe that before asking another person to love you, you should take the time to find things you love about yourself.

    Have good manners: good manners are said to be the lubricant of social interaction. Saying “please” shows you respect someone, and saying “thank you” tells them you appreciate them.

    Be real: show a genuine interest in other people. And don’t be afraid to let them see the real you, even if it means you feel vulnerable. I believe it is when you are at your most vulnerable that people fall in love with you.

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  • Increase Your Faith

    Increase Your Faith

    As Mr. Hill said, Faith is indeed, the head chemist of the mind. When your thoughts are combined with faith, your subconscious mind takes these vibrations and it instantly translates them in their spiritual counterpart by transmitting them directly to the Universal Subconscious Mind.

    There is only one way to develop REAL Faith, not merely motivation that will vanish the very next day. This method can be summed up in one sentence: “The repetition of the same thoughts over and over and over again is what leads to increased faith. You do this by affirmations and by constant repetition”

    Even if you repeat a lie to yourself, over and over again, your subconscious mind will eventually start to believe in those things and they will become real for you! So start to use your faith in a right way and never again let fear, doubt and indecision enter your mind!

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  • Watch “Talking Tech and AI with Google CEO Sundar Pichai!” on YouTube

  • Chanakya Niti, , Web view
    Chanakya Niti


    “It is imprudent to advise a fool, care for a woman with bad character and to be in the company of a lethargic and unhappy person” ― Acharya Chanakya

    A man shouldn’t live in a place where people are not afraid of the law, are shameless, and there is no clever man, where people lack in kindness, and where exists no creativity or art” ― Acharya Chanakya

    “Do not spend even a single day where you can not find five things: Successful businessmen, educated brahmins, soldiers, a river and a doctor” ― Acharya Chanakya

    “Test your wife when your wealth is lost, a friend in need, relatives at the time of crises, and your servant after allocating him an important duty” ― Acharya Chanakya

    “Whoever helps you at the time of illness, misfortune, famines, and invasion is your true brother in the real sense” ― Acharya Chanakya

    “A person who cannot decide his goal, simply cannot win” ― Acharya Chanakya


    “A man must act as per the situation instead of day dreaming (assuming what may happen). Chanakya advises not to trust everyone” ― Acharya Chanakya

    “A true son is obedient, a true father is loving, and a true friend is honest― Acharya Chanakya

    “a person must stay away from the people who act as flatterer in front of you but speak ill behind your back. They cause you irreparable damage. Such friendship is like poisonous milk. One must simply stay away from such people― Acharya Chanakya

    “Always keep your biggest plans as a secret. The simplest suggestion is to continue the task without grabbing much attention― Acharya Chanakya

    “A man must act as per the situation instead of day dreaming (assuming what may happen). Chanakya advises not to trust everyone― Acharya Chanakya

    “A wise person grooms his child carefully because only an educated person with high morale is given true respect in society― Acharya Chanakya

    Chanakya advises not to overindulge with your child, pupil, and students. It will spoil them.

    • tree standing on the bank of a river
    • a woman in the house of a stranger
    • king with a stupid advisor
    • scholar lies in his knowledge
    • king lies in his army
    • trader lies in his money
    • a servant is in his service.

    “People leave a weak king, a prostitute deserts her improvised customer, and birds leave a withered tree. In the same manner, the guests must leave the house of host after eating― Acharya Chanakya

    “End is near for anyone who befriends a person of bad character or lives in the company of an evil fellow― Acharya Chanakya


    “You can guess the origin of a person through his behavior, his native place via his tone, and his food intake by looking at the size of his belly― Acharya Chanakya

    “If you have an evil person on one side and a snake on the other; better opt for the snake as it will bite only for self-defense but the wicked person will not spare any chance of hurting you― Acharya Chanakya

    “A young person, with a beautiful face and of a higher origin, however, uneducated is always ignored like a scentless flower― Acharya Chanakya

    “A hard working person cannot remain poor, a person who continuously remembers God is unlikely to perform a sin, a person with peace cannot quarrel. Similarly, a vigilant person has no fears― Acharya Chanakya

    “Excess of beauty resulted in the kidnapping of Sita, extreme ego of Ravana got him killed, and unnecessary charity caused massive trouble to Raja Bali. Extremes are never good!― Acharya Chanakya

    “Just like a tree laden with scented flowers spreads fragrance in the whole forest. Similarly, a worthy son brings glory to the whole family, community, and the country― Acharya Chanakya

    “A dried tree, when catches fire, burns the whole forest; so does a bad son born in a family― Acharya Chanakya

    “When faced with natural disasters, famine and unstoppable enemy invasion; one must run away and the save life. Don’t worry, You would get another opportunity― Acharya Chanakya

    “The best place to live is where fools are not honored, grains are preserved, where husband and wife don’t quarrel. Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) resides at such locations― Acharya Chanakya


    “Knowledge is like holy kamdhenu and is like a tree that bears fruit in every season. In unknown territories, it provides protection and brings you rewards― Acharya Chanakya

    “A king orders once, a great scholar speaks once, and daughters are married once. Therefore, one must be very careful regarding those― Acharya Chanakya

    “Meditation is performed best when alone, education by two, singing by three, traveling with four persons, farming with five, and battle with as many possible.― Acharya Chanakya

    • a person whose knowledge is confined to books
    • a meal without an appetizer
    • living life in a community of poor people
    • an old man marrying a young woman


    “Infatuation is the biggest disease, greed is the worst enemy of an individual, Anger is the endless fire and among all possessions, knowledge is supreme― Acharya Chanakya

    “The test for purity of gold is performed by rubbing, heating, pounding and cutting. Similarly, the true character of a person is revealed at the time of intense trouble. His manners, voice, and actions will reveal a lot about him― Acharya Chanakya

    “After execution of the commander, his army becomes ineffective― Acharya Chanakya

    “For a person with absolute knowledge, heaven is of least significance. A true warrior gives a little importance to his life. For a true sage woman is of no use, and for a person with control of his desires, the whole world loses its significance― Acharya Chanakya

    “Raining over the ocean, helping the capable, and lightening a lamp in daylight are nothing but useless acts― Acharya Chanakya

    “A brass pot is purified by treating it with ash and copper by citric. A woman after her periods and rivers gets purified after passing through rapids― Acharya Chanakya

    “A person born blind is unable to see things nor do people in love. An alcoholic cannot differentiate good and bad. Similarly, a selfish person gets blinded by his selfish goals― Acharya Chanakya

    You can win a greedy by offering money, a proud person by pretending your devotion, you can win a fool by agreeing with him, and you can win a scholar by truth and only truth.― Acharya Chanakya

    It is better not to have a kingdom than having it in a bad state. Similarly, it is better to have no friends, pupils, and wife than having bad ones― Acharya Chanakya


    Chanakya says to learn from the following:

    • Lion: teaches us to perform actions wholeheartedly and not to relax until the completion of the task.
    • Crane: teaches a man to focus and concentrate on the task and act instantaneously upon requirement.
    • Cock: to rise early in the morning, being ready to defend and attack, grabbing one’s share and sharing with other.
    • Crow: makes love privately, does not get scared easily, collects things for use in future. is always alert and never trusts anyone.
    • Dog: It can go without food for a while but when finds can overeat in moments. Is alert even in sleep and wakes with the slightest sound. It is loyal and fights ferociously when defending his master..
    • Donkey: It works tirelessly and even in tough weather conditions.


    “If you are facing loss in business or your heart is broken: don’t share such information with others, One must not discuss scandals of family and incidents of insult. People often try to exploit your weaknesses. Beware!― Acharya Chanakya

    “You should be shameless while learning, negotiating in business, and having food― Acharya Chanakya

    “A relaxed mind is the happiest, running after money all the times is simply foolish― Acharya Chanakya

    “One must be satisfied with whatever he has as wife, wealth, and income. But, one must never get satisfied with the knowledge and acts of charity― Acharya Chanakya

    “Just like it is not safe to put yourself between a plow & oxen. Similarly, one must never come between two scholars, fire, husband & wife, and master & servant― Acharya Chanakya

    “A Brahman becomes happy with the tasty food, a peacock on listening rumble of clouds, a person with good soul becomes happy with the happiness of others, while an evil person gains happiness from misfortunes of others― Acharya Chanakya

    “The power of a king lies in his sword, of a scholar in his knowledge, and that of a woman in her beauty― Acharya Chanakya

    “Money earned must be circulated and put to good use as the water of a pond with inflow and outflow system is clean. whereas, the water logged in a pond is always dirty― Acharya Chanakya

    “A tail of a dog cannot protect its shame nor does it offer any effective protection against ticks and flies. So is the condition of a man with little knowledge― Acharya Chanakya


    “There is No blessing bigger than peace, No joy bigger than contentment and There is no religion bigger than mercy. For a man, greed is the worst disease― Acharya Chanakya

    “Everyone respects wise men. They are rewarded with honor and money. A person can attain everything through knowledge. It is worshiped everywhere― Acharya Chanakya

    “The Earth is in great pains as it is being crushed by animals (humans) like drunkards, idiots and uneducated― Acharya Chanakya


    “Any person aiming at deliverance must quit his bad habits and addictions as if they are poison. One must develop qualities like tolerance, forgiveness, patience, kindness, and trust as nectar― Acharya Chanakya

    “A student, servant, guard, starving person and a traveler must be woken up when they are on duty― Acharya Chanakya

    “One must never disturb them while sleeping. They are the tiger, king, child, others dog, serpent, and pig. Let them sleep― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 10

    “A man without money is not poor in comparison to a man without knowledge― Acharya Chanakya

    “A crow can eat anything, a poet is capable of imagining anything, a woman can do anything, and a drunkard can say anything― Acharya Chanakya

    “You must give up the hope of finding comfort If you are looking for knowledge― Acharya Chanakya

    “Fate plays a significant role in the life of a person. It can turn a king to beggar and vice-versa― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 11

    “A person who leaves his community to join another one is likely to face quick destruction. Same will be the case with king who doesn’t care for his kingdom― Acharya Chanakya

    “If the mind of a person is filled with evil thoughts then any number of pilgrimages won’t remove his/her sins― Acharya Chanakya

    “A true student refrains himself from love, flattery, anger, infatuations, entertainment, and oversleeping― Acharya Chanakya

    “A wise men will never impure any type of water. Be it in a well, pond, river, garden, or temple― Acharya Chanakya

    “Even the bees have to repent for storing too much honey which they collect after putting so much courage and hard work. In the same manner, the people who don’t do charity face heavy losses. The Kings gain glory on helping the needy and their names survive till eternity― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 12

    “Finding a green pasture is a festival for the cow, A Brahmin’s festival is to receive an invitation for a meal, and recovery of her husband is the festival for a woman, but for me, the festival is to have faith in God― Acharya Chanakya

    “A person who considers women of others as a mother, wealth of others as dirt, and one who sees his own soul in all living creatures; is the person who has really found the truth― Acharya Chanakya

    “One must learn decency from the princess, speech from scholars, the art of bluffing from gamblers, and cunningness from a woman― Acharya Chanakya

    “One who overspends money without planning, who provokes the stronger opponent, and one who desires a relationship with all kinds of women will definitely meet a quick destruction― Acharya Chanakya

    “A pitcher can be filled drop-by-drop and so is the case with your wealth― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 13

    “It is better to live a small life doing good deeds than living a sinful life of thousands of years. It is your acts that count, not your life span― Acharya Chanakya

    “One must not be afraid of future, nor shall regret upon the past. Wise men concentrate on utilizing the present to frame a brighter future― Acharya Chanakya

    “The nature of noble people is quite strange i.e. instead of acting arrogant upon attaining wealth they bow down in humility and act more modestly and respectfully― Acharya Chanakya

    “In the end, the mighty Sumeru mountain will be uprooted from its base and the land will be wiped away by the sea. Even then the superior people will be stand firm in their resolve to keep their promises― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 14

    Multiple straws reunite together to make a thatch to provide protection against rain. In the same manner, when men unite together to form an army they can easily conquer the enemy― Acharya Chanakya

    “You can earn money after losing it, you can make new friends, and also you can get another wife, but this is not the case with the body― Acharya Chanakya

    “One becomes very enlightened and awake after listening to the religious talks, on attending some funeral, and on falling sick severely― Acharya Chanakya

    “Only a capable man who lives life as per principles of religion is alive in real senses. If not, then the person is living a life of no use― Acharya Chanakya

    “A cuckoo bird will not sing until the arrival of spring i.e. there is a right time for performing every task― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 15

    “There are two ways to deal with thorns and wicked people. One is to crush them and the other, to stay away from it― Acharya Chanakya

    “A wrong act done by a person with power is hailed and many times is justified. On the other hand, a good task done by a poor might not grab that much attention― Acharya Chanakya

    “Even if a gem is placed on the foot and a mirror on the head, The gem will not lose its value― Acharya Chanakya

    “Greed is the root of all evil. A black bee enjoys nectar from a lotus flower, but in search of more it goes to forests and paddy fields where it gets hurt by thorns― Acharya Chanakya

    “The fragrance of sandalwood remains even after cutting/grinding it, a bull-elephant does not stop mating even in old age, and sugar cane tastes sweet on being crushed. Such is the nature of high-class men that remains unchanged even in poverty― Acharya Chanakya

    CHAPTER 16

    “A foolish man easily falls in love with a whore and then becomes her toy. She will use him, betray him, trick him, and finally destroy him.

    “A man might acquire some big position after putting few efforts, but that is not everything. A crow sitting on the steeple of a palace is not honored but an eagle is― Acharya Chanakya

    “I am not interested in money earned by; bringing pain to others, anti-religious activities, and by begging before an enemy― Acharya Chanakya

    “You cannot get satisfied with the money you have, with women, and tasty food. More you enjoy the desire grows even more. Hunger and thirst cannot be satisfied― Acharya Chanakya

    “One must not act as miser when it comes to speaking politely. A polite talker is appreciated by all and speaking politely costs you nothing― Acharya Chanakya

    “This world is like a tree with two life-giving fruits hanging from it. One is to speak politely and other is to be in the company of good people― Acharya Chanakya

    “Like Money in hands of others is of no use and in same manner knowledge confined to books is also of no use to a person hence one must be prudent enough― Acharya Chanakya

    “A snake stores venom in his Fang, a bee in its sting, a scorpion in its tail, but everything of an evil person is poisonous― Acharya Chanakya

    “A man with good intention to help others receives a blessing at each step and his troubles get blown away― Acharya Chanakya

  • Article title:Current Article: Blind man has sight partly restored after pioneering treatment | Neuroscience | The Guardian

    Blind man has sight partly restored after pioneering treatment | Neuroscience | The Guardian A blind man has had his sight partly restored after a form of gene therapy that uses pulses of light to control the activity of nerve cells – the first successful demonstration of so-called optogenetic therapy in humans. The 58-year-old man, from Brittany in northern France, was said to be “very excited” after regaining the ability to recognise, count, locate and touch different objects with the treated eye while wearing a pair of light-stimulating goggles, having lost his sight after being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa almost 40 years ago. The breakthrough marks an important step towards the more widespread use of optogenetics as a clinical treatment. It involves modifying nerve cells (neurons) so that they fire electrical signals when they’re exposed to certain wavelengths of light, equipping neuroscientists with the power to precisely control neuronal signalling within the brain and elsewhere. Christopher Petkov, a professor of comparative neuropsychology at Newcastle University medical school, said: “This is a tremendous development to restore vision using an innovative approach. The goal now is to see how well this might work in other patients with retinitis pigmentosa.” This group of rare, genetic disorders, which involves the loss of light-sensitive cells in the retina, affects more than 2 million people worldwide, and can lead to complete blindness. The new technique aims to restore visual function at the late stages of the disease, by injecting a harmless virus that has been modified to carry the genetic instructions for making a light-responsive algal protein, into the eye. These instructions are inserted into specific eye cells called retinal ganglion cells, bypassing the damaged retinal cells, and allowing visual information to be transmitted to the brain when the modified cells are exposed to light. The light is delivered into the patient’s eye using goggles that capture images from the real world and transform them into pulses at the specific wavelength the gene therapy protein responds to in real time, enabling the man to see. The study, published in Nature Medicine, describes the first patient treated as part of an international study investigating the safety and tolerability of the treatment. Two patients have also had the treatment in London. It takes time for the eye cells to start producing the protein and for the brain to become accustomed to the new system. Prof José-Alain Sahel at the University of Pittsburgh school of medicine, who co-led the study, said: “Initially, the patient couldn’t see anything with the system, and obviously this must have been quite frustrating. And then spontaneously, he started to be very excited, reporting that he was able to see the white stripes [of a zebra crossing] across the street.” His vision improved with further training, although it is not completely restored and he still cannot recognise faces. However, the treatment was well tolerated, and the results expected to be long-lasting. “I think there’s a new scientific field [being] born here, namely visual rehabilitation,” said the study co-leader Prof Botond Roska at the University of Basel in Switzerland. “What these ganglion cells are telling the brain is not the normal activity of the ganglion cells. What we are getting into is [teaching] the brain of a 60-year-old a new language.” Prof Gero Miesenböck, the director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford, who co-won the Brain prize in 2013 for the invention and refinement of optogenetics, said: “The study represents a significant milestone in therapeutic applications of optogenetics. There has been much speculation – and also a rather large amount of hype – about such applications since the early days of the technology, which originated 20 years ago as a research tool.” There are still major obstacles to overcome before optogenetic treatment can be used more widely, including identifying the relevant brain cells to be modified, and finding ways to safely introduce light sources into the brain. Miesenböck said: “If optogenetic treatments for other neurological and psychiatric indications are to become a reality, we need to advance our fundamental understanding of the relevant brain structures. This, not technological issues, is the most serious obstacle to wider optogenetic applications.”

  • Watch “The Power of Mindfulness | Simerjeet Singh in conversation with Mindset Coach Alok Taunk” on YouTube

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  • Who are these Guidelines for? ……………………………………………………

    Preamble ………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
    Introduction and rationale for the Guidelines ………………………………………. 6
    What is meant by ‘accessible information’? ……………………………………….
    Who are these Guidelines for? ………………………………………………………. 8
    What support is provided through the Guidelines? ……………………………… 9
    Step 1: Making different types of information accessible ………………………. 12
    Section 1: Making your text accessible ………………………………………….. 12
    1.1 How to make your textual information accessible ……………………… 12
    1.2 Resources to help make your textual information accessible ………… 14
    Section 2: Making your images accessible ……………………………………… 15
    2.1 How to make your image-based information accessible ………………. 15
    2.2 Resources to help make your image-based information accessible…. 15
    Section 3: Making your audio accessible ………………………………………… 16
    3.1 How to make your audio information accessible ……………………….. 16
    3.2 Resources to help make your audio information accessible ………….. 16
    Section 4: Making your video accessible ………………………………………… 18
    4.1 How to make your video media accessible ………………………………. 18
    4.2 Resources to help make your video media accessible …………………. 18
    Step 2: Making the delivery of media accessible ………………………………… 19
    Section 1: Making your electronic documents accessible…………………….. 19
    1.1 How to make your electronic documents accessible …………………… 19
    1.2 Resources to help make your electronic documents accessible ……… 20
    Section 2: Making your online resources accessible ………………………….. 22
    2.1 How to make your online resources accessible …………………………. 22
    2.2 Resources to help make your online resources accessible ……………. 23
    Section 3: Making your printed material accessible …………………………… 25
    3.1 How to make your printed material accessible …………………………. 25
    3.2 Resources to help make your printed material accessible ……………. 25
    Applying the Guidelines to different media and specific formats ……………… 26
    Slideshows and presentations …………………………………………………….. 26
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 4
    Step 1: ……………………………………………………………………………… 26
    Step 2: ……………………………………………………………………………… 27
    Online or e-learning tools ………………………………………………………….. 28
    Step 1: ……………………………………………………………………………… 28
    Step 2: ……………………………………………………………………………… 28
    PDF documents ………………………………………………………………………. 30
    Step 1: ……………………………………………………………………………… 30
    Step 2: ……………………………………………………………………………… 30
    Glossary …………………………………………………………………………………. 31
    Key terms …………………………………………………………………………….. 31
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 5
    The Guidelines for accessible information are an open educational resource
    (OER) to support the creation of accessible information in general and for
    learning in particular. These Guidelines do not aim to contain all available
    information on accessibility or cover every aspect of the field, but to
    summarise and link to existing and useful resources which can be helpful for
    non-information and communications technologies (ICT) experts.
    The purpose of developing such Guidelines is to support the work of
    practitioners and organisations working in the field of education to provide
    accessible information to all learners who require and will benefit from more
    accessible information. The procedure for creating accessible information is
    universal. Therefore, these Guidelines support all individuals or organisations
    wishing to create information that is accessible in different formats.
    The justifications for the development of such Guidelines are very clear in both
    European and international policy, which highlight access to information as a
    human right. The ICT4IAL website includes a summary of these key policies.
    Within the Guidelines you will find:
     a general introduction, description of the main terms, the target group
    and scope of the Guidelines;
     steps to make information and media accessible, including
    recommendations and relevant resources;
     examples of accessibility checklists for specific formats; and
     an extensive glossary providing working definitions of relevant terms.
    The Guidelines include two steps for action that build upon each other. By
    following the Guidelines in Step 1 to make different types of information
    accessible, Step 2 becomes easier, as already accessible information is
    available to be used within the different media.
    The Guidelines give guidance on actions to be taken and resources are
    provided which give more in-depth information.
    The Guidelines have been developed as an OER and are intended to be
    adapted to varying contexts and technological developments, as well as to
    grow with usage.
    Throughout all sections of the Guidelines, you will find links either to an
    explanation of a key term within the glossary or to external resources.
    These Guidelines were developed through the ICT for Information Accessibility
    in Learning (ICT4IAL) project, which was co-funded by the Lifelong Learning
    Programme of the European Commission.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 6
    During this time of technical innovation, every person can potentially become
    an author of information that is used for learning, but not everyone needs to
    be an expert in making information accessible. However, it is important for
    everyone to be aware that information may not be accessible to different users
    depending on the way it is presented.
    Currently the World Health Organization (WHO) states:
     Over a billion people, about 15% of the world’s population, have some
    form of disability.
     Between 110 million and 190 million adults have significant difficulties in
     Rates of disability are increasing due to population ageing and increases
    in chronic health conditions, among other causes (WHO, 2014).
    Some 15% of the world’s population cannot access information, unless it is
    made accessible.
    Within the Guidelines, the term ‘learners with disabilities and/or special needs’
    is used to refer to the potential target group of people who can benefit from
    more accessible information provision. This phrasing respects the terminology
    of both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
    Disabilities – UNCRPD (2006) and agreements reached with the ICT4IAL
    project partners, as the term ‘special needs’ often covers a broader range of
    learners with additional needs than those identified as having disabilities as
    defined under the UNCRPD.
    It is now technologically possible for many people to create and share
    information. In addition, there are numerous resources for these authors to
    learn how to create documents that do not exclude anyone from accessing and
    using them. This does not require every author of information to become an
    expert in information accessibility for all forms of disabilities and/or special
    needs, but it does mean that all authors should aim to achieve a minimum
    standard of information accessibility that is universally beneficial for all users.
    It is crucial to provide information in general – and information for learning in
    particular – in a way that is accessible to all users. Providing information that
    is not accessible creates an additional barrier for learners with disabilities
    and/or special needs. Information that is not accessible does not support
    people in the best way possible and excludes them from benefiting from and
    participating in knowledge exchange.
    With this rationale in mind, the ICT for Information Accessibility in Learning
    project developed a set of Guidelines to support practitioners in creating
    accessible material.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 7
    As an open educational resource (OER) – which permits free use and repurposing by others – these Guidelines aim to provide easy and practical
    instructions for authors to create accessible information that can be shared
    through accessible media. The Guidelines can be applied to all types of
    information produced, but will be especially beneficial to learners with
    disabilities and/or special needs when applied to information for learning.
    However, accessibility of information is not only beneficial for learners with
    disabilities and/or special needs, but has the potential to benefit all learners.
    Therefore the Guidelines also take an inclusive approach and do not focus on
    single disabilities.
    What is meant by ‘accessible information’?
    Within the Guidelines ‘accessibility’ is understood as described in Article 9 of
    the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as:
    … appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on
    an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation,
    to information and communications, including information and
    communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and
    services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas
    (United Nations, 2006, p. 8).
    This is a wider concept covering many environmental and physical factors. The
    Guidelines focus on one area within this definition – the accessibility of
    Within the Guidelines, information is understood to refer to a message or data
    that is communicated concerning a specific issue. Specifically, these Guidelines
    focus on the aim of sharing messages to inform learners and build knowledge
    in a learning environment.
    Within the Guidelines the different types of information considered are text,
    image, audio and video. These types of information can be shared or delivered
    through different media channels, such as electronic documents, online
    resources, videos and printed material.
    These media channels usually contain different types of information
    In relation to media channels, the Guidelines consider how information is
    converted or packaged into a certain format using (for example) text-editing
    programmes – and delivered or presented to the user.
    In education, the types of materials this applies to include (but are not limited
     Learning materials
     Course content
     Course descriptions
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 8
     Registration information and registration systems
     Research material
     University and library websites
     Catalogues and repositories
     e-learning software and learning platforms.
    Accessible information is understood as information provided in formats that
    allow every user and learner to access content ‘on an equal basis with others’
    (UNCRPD). Accessible information is ideally information that:
     allows all users and learners to easily orientate themselves within the
    content; and
     can be effectively perceived and understood by different perception
    channels, such as using eyes and/or ears and/or fingers.
    Accessibility is not the same as usability. Accessibility is about ensuring people
    with disabilities and/or special needs have access on an equal basis as
    everyone else. Usability is about creating an effective, efficient and satisfactory
    user experience.
    Full 100% accessibility of information for every user or learner is an ideal that
    is not easy to achieve. However, technology allows us to create and share
    information in a way in which the content is adaptable by the user, which
    means users may change the content according to their needs.
    Numerous additional terms related to accessibility appear throughout this
    resource. All relevant terms are defined in the glossary.
    Who are these Guidelines for?
    The intended audience for these Guidelines is any individual or organisation
    that creates, publishes, distributes and/or uses information within a learning
    environment. This includes, but is not limited to, information providers such
     School staff
     Librarians
     University staff
     Communication officers
     Publishers
     Support groups and non-governmental organisations.
    It is important to note that, although an individual author or information
    provider can initiate many actions to improve accessibility, providing accessible
    information in general and for learning in particular may require the
    involvement of a wider group of stakeholders, for example:
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 9
     Decision makers in schools and universities who support accessible
    approaches and have agreed policies on accessibility;
     Computer scientists and information technology (IT) experts responsible
    for establishing accessible internet platforms, tools, sites and repositories
    where accessible information can be shared.
    The Guidelines focus on possibilities for non-expert practitioners to create
    accessible information within their working environments. Recommendations
    for organisations on how to support accessible information provision at an
    organisational level have been developed in the Accessible Information
    Provision for Lifelong Learning project.
    What support is provided through the Guidelines?
    The Guidelines aim to be content and context free, but offer some concrete
    examples of how they can be applied to different learning situations.
    The Guidelines consider different levels of information accessibility, ranging
    from easy instructions to professional instructions, and include some aspects
    for ICT and accessibility experts. There are many steps an average IT user can
    take to achieve a certain degree of accessibility. However, the creation of some
    materials – such as e-books and interactive learning materials – requires more
    sophisticated software than the average user may have access to. These
    Guidelines focus on the steps every practitioner can take to make the learning
    information they produce as accessible as possible.
    These Guidelines are available as a stand-alone document, as well as an OER
    that supports searching across different types of information and media. The
    Guidelines as OER are open for users to adapt to their context, as well as to
    comment on and contribute to.
    The Guidelines build on a set of premises:
     The general steps to achieve accessible information are universal.
    Therefore the Guidelines apply to information in general and to
    information for learning in particular.
     The Guidelines take an inclusive approach and do not focus on particular
    disabilities or special educational needs.
     The challenges regarding the accessibility of content vary hugely
    according to the structural complexity of the content. For example, a
    typical bestseller book is structurally less complex than
    educational/scientific material.
     The accessibility of learning materials has specific challenges, for
    example interactivity between the learner and the content, filling in
    forms or usage of formulas for which technology does not yet offer easy
    solutions for non-ICT experts.
     In some cases, providing accessible information is not enough. Many
    users and learners with disabilities and/or special needs also require
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 10
    access to assistive technologies. The use of assistive devices is not made
    redundant by the provision of accessible information, but complements
     Providers of information in general and information for learning in
    particular do not have to be accessibility experts in order to achieve a
    basic level of information accessibility.
     The Guidelines do not encompass every step in the production of
    accessible information, nor do they replace existing resources. The
    Guidelines are a carefully considered and validated starting point for
    producing accessible information that leads to more detailed resources
    including descriptions, tutorials, recommendations or standards.
     The Guidelines are not a static resource, but are intended to be adapted
    to varying contexts, technological developments and to grow with usage
    (for example, adaptations could be made for texts with a right-to-left
    reading direction).
     The Guidelines can support the creation of new, accessible content, as
    well as support the review of existing material.
     Currently technology is in a transition phase regarding the production,
    distribution and reading of accessible information. Software allows users
    to create most material in an accessible format. However, in newer
    technologies, such as e-books, games and mobile applications, software
    for average users to create this is not always available. Therefore there
    are currently limits to what the average user can create with accessibility
    in mind.
     Given the limits of producing accessible information with average
    software, there are actions which can be outsourced to third parties,
    such as IT specialists or web developers. These Guidelines can support
    requirements to be mentioned as criteria in the procurement process.
    These Guidelines build on two steps for action:
    Step 1 describes how to create accessible information via text, images, and
    Step 2 considers how media can be made accessible – for example, electronic
    documents, online sources or printed material.
    These two steps build upon each other. By following the Guidelines in Step 1 to
    make different types of information accessible, Step 2 becomes easier as
    already accessible information is available to be used within the different
    For each step, the Guidelines provide recommendations on how different types
    of information can be made accessible. Each recommendation is accompanied
    by a list of resources available to support this process. The resources listed in
    the following sections are categorised into:
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 11
     ‘easy’: actions which can be completed with a general knowledge of
    common software programmes;
     ‘advanced’: actions which can be completed with an in-depth knowledge
    of common software programmes; and
     ‘professional’ levels: actions which can be completed with a more
    professional knowledge of software and general knowledge of
    Unless otherwise specified, the online resources linked to in the Guidelines are
    in English. Applying the Guidelines by making use of the recommendations and
    resources will lead to more accessible information for learning.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 12
    Section 1: Making your text accessible
    One of the most important issues in making text accessible is its structure and
    the ability to navigate it (navigability).
    ‘Text structure’ usually refers to whether the paragraphs are in the right order
    for the user to follow, making it easier to read. When it comes to text
    accessibility, structure has a slightly different meaning: it refers to what makes
    it easy to navigate around that text. Each chapter heading and any subheadings are set out in the table of contents, just as they are in this document.
    In an exam paper it could refer to the individual questions. Each element that
    is important – for example, chapter heading, table, figure, exam question –
    may be given certain attributes and labelled.
    Once structure is applied, a document’s accessibility is enhanced in two ways.
    First, it makes it easier for any user, including those using assistive
    technologies, to find their way around it. Second, it allows a different user to
    transfer the text to a different format more easily.
    Structuring textual information (a text) is essential in order to make it
    accessible to all users. Textual information is structured by logically labelling
    different elements within it, such as sequential use of headers, captions and
    tables. A properly structured document can be easily converted to the format
    that is preferred by the user; for example, a well-structured text document can
    be read out loud and navigated by screen readers or other assistive
    technologies, maintaining the logical order embedded in the text.
    The more complex the visual layout (tables, footnotes, boxes, icons, etc.), the
    more important it is to indicate the logical reading order within the structure.
    With very complex texts, it is important to know who the target audience is
    and structure it accordingly. In many instances a more simplified version of the
    text may be more useful to a wider range of users.
    It is particularly challenging to make interactive features within text-based
    learning material accessible.
    1.1 How to make your textual information accessible
     Use the simplest language that is appropriate for your document.
     Use a point size of minimum 12.
     Use a sans-serif font such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana.
     For online texts, use the fonts Verdana, Tahoma and Trebuchet MS,
    which are specially designed for reading on a screen.
     Allow the user to change font and point size as needed in online texts.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 13
     Left align text instead of using block text (full justification).
     Provide the full name the first time you use abbreviations and acronyms.
     Provide a text structure by using pre-defined headings (‘styles’) and
    body text offered by the used software. These headings should follow a
    logical order.
     Use headers only where they define structure, not for font effects that
    should highlight content.
     Use ‘Bullets and Numbering’ functions for lists.
     State the primary natural language of your document in the metadata for
    the document. Mark changes to another language in the text.
     Identify and provide keywords for your text.
     Add short summaries of content or chapter where possible.
     Make navigation in online texts possible with keyboard only or keyboard
     Ensure that colours and the use of bold and italics are not your only
    method of conveying meaning.
     Ensure that text and background colour combinations provide a very
    good contrast.
     Ensure that your text and graphics are easily understandable when
    viewed without colour. Ensure that all information conveyed with colour
    is also available without colour. Do not rely on colour alone to highlight
    different content.
     Provide non-text equivalents (e.g. pictures, videos, and pre-recorded
    audio) of your text. This is beneficial to some users, especially nonreaders or people who have difficulty reading.
     Footnotes and links that are particularly relevant to complete/clarify the
    information in the main elements of the text structure should be
    numbered and the numbers should be specifically associated with these
    main elements.
     Give data tables row and column headers and describe their content in a
     Make sure that the layout supports the reading direction which makes
    sense in relation to the content (left-to-right or right-to-left, depending
    on the language used).
     Make sure that each link and element has a unique and well-described
     Give form fields a label.
     Make navigation in online texts possible with keyboard only or keyboard
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 14
    1.2 Resources to help make your textual information accessible
    Easy instructions
     Load2Learn video tutorials: creating structured documents and
    accessible portable document format (PDFs) in Microsoft Word
     Books for All – Accessible Text: Guidelines for Good Practice: A teacher’s
    guide to creating accessible learning materials
     Inclusive Learning Design Handbook – Introduction: resource to assist
    teachers, content creators, web developers, and others in creating
    adaptable and personalisable educational resources
     Accessible Digital Office Document Project: accessibility in word
    processing, spreadsheet, presentation, PDF and e-book applications
    Advanced instructions
     Understanding content structure: W3C guideline on creating content that
    can be presented in different ways without losing information or
     Use of colour: W3C guideline on making content distinguishable
     Inclusive Learning Design Handbook – Inclusive EPUB 3: resource for
    content creators and educators who wish to use EPUB 3
     National Center for Accessible Media: resources for creating accessible
    educational, TV, web and multimedia materials
     DIAGRAM Center: creating and using accessible digital images
    Professional instructions
     Creating adaptable text structure: creating content that can be
    presented in different ways without losing information or structure
     Separating information and structure from presentation to enable
    different presentations
     Aligning text to one side on web pages
     Allow navigation with keyboard shortcuts to allow content to be operated
    through a keyboard or keyboard interface
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 15
    Section 2: Making your images accessible
    Images can help to convey meaning. In order for images to be useful for all,
    the visual input must also be presented using an additional description of the
    information. Images could be photographs, drawings or diagrams.
    The main task for making images accessible is to give them alternative text.
    2.1 How to make your image-based information accessible
     Avoid adding images that do not provide any additional, meaningful or
    valuable information.
     Avoid using images to represent text.
     Give your images alternative text – a description that shares the same
    message as the visual image. State what is being portrayed and avoid
    descriptions such as ‘image of’ in the alternative text.
     Provide alternative text for every non-text element.
     Avoid use of red, green and yellow, and lighter greys.
     Use sufficient contrast of colours between text and background.
     Avoid unnecessary backgrounds with too many images, shapes or
     Avoid hyperlinks or text being hidden behind other objects such as
     Allow the size of online images to be scalable as needed.
    2.2 Resources to help make your image-based information accessible
    Easy instructions
     WebAIM accessible images: accessibility principles and techniques for
    Advanced instructions
     WebAIM alternative text for web images
     Making complex or dynamic images representing processes accessible
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 16
    Section 3: Making your audio accessible
    An audio version of information can be beneficial for a larger group of users,
    who cannot access information which is purely shared through visual channels.
    In order for audio to be accessible to all, it needs to be shared in combination
    with another type of information, such as text, or replaced by a sign language
    3.1 How to make your audio information accessible
     Give your audio a text equivalent. This is text which shares the same
    information as the video, without important content being lost.
    Transcripts and captions are examples of a text equivalent.
     If possible, provide the option of word highlight in the text equivalent.
     Provide volume controls.
     Provide visual equivalents to audio alerts.
     Provide alternatives for audio media.
     Avoid automatic playing of audio or video.
     Provide keyboard-accessible fast forward, rewind and pause functions.
     Give the user the possibility of inserting bookmarks.
    3.2 Resources to help make your audio information accessible
    Advanced instructions
     IMS Global Learning Consortium: Guidelines for Accessible Delivery of
    Text, Audio, Images and Multimedia for learning
     International Standard – ISO/IEC 40500:2012 – Information technology
    – W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 – Abstract:
    recommendations for making web content more accessible
     Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 – W3C
    Recommendation 11 December 2008: providing alternatives for audio
     How to Meet WCAG 2.0: quick reference to WCAG 2.0 requirements and
     Understanding WCAG 2.0: detailed technical description of the WCAG 2.0
    guidelines and their Success Criteria
     DAISY Consortium: creating navigable audio books
    Professional instructions
     W3C: Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content
     W3C: Examples of text equivalent given for non-text information
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 17
     W3C: Success Criteria For Providing Alternatives For Audio
     W3C: Provide alternatives for time-based media
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 18
    Section 4: Making your video accessible
    Users who cannot access visual media channels need an audio description of
    what can be seen. Users who cannot access audio media channels need closed
    captions about the dialogues and all important audio information. Users who
    do not understand the language being used in the video need subtitles of the
    dialogue. Scripts about the video are required for users who cannot access
    visual or audio media channels.
    4.1 How to make your video media accessible
     Give video either a text equivalent or captions. Aim not only to provide
    captions of the words spoken, but also a brief description of what is
    taking place.
     Ensure the text equivalent/script or captions are synchronised with the
    video. Captions are an alternative way of showing what people can hear.
    Scripts contain all the information that the video gives.
     Ensure the user can control the video: adjust volume, pause the video.
    Provide fast forward, rewind and pause functions.
     Ensure the video can be played in different media players.
     Ensure the video can be downloaded.
     Provide alternatives for video.
     Avoid automatic playing of video.
    4.2 Resources to help make your video media accessible
    Easy instructions
     Introduction to captions, transcripts and audio descriptions
    Advanced instructions
     Guidelines on accessible video applications
     AccessGA captioning: principles, techniques, resources and
     W3C: Providing closed captioning
    Professional instructions
     OFCOM / ITC Guidance on Standards for Audio Description
     YouTube video accessibility: embedding an accessible YouTube video and
    YouTube player on a website
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 19
    Increasingly, information that is shared contains all of the information types
    mentioned in step 1: text, image, audio and video. Information is delivered as
    a mix of types within electronic documents, online-based resources or printed
    If the various types of information are made accessible according to the
    Guidelines in Step 1, it is easier to create media – for example, websites – that
    are accessible. Therefore, the accessibility of the types of information is
    considered a prerequisite for delivering accessible information and is not
    repeated below. It is assumed that Step 1 has been addressed.
    Section 1: Making your electronic documents accessible
    The electronic document is one of the most common mixtures of the types of
    information. Electronic documents allow authors to embed pictures, tables and
    videos, for example.
    Information in electronic documents can be delivered in text documents – such
    as Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, presentations or slideshows – or in audio
    format – such as MP3 or analogue tape. While the steps to achieve full
    accessibility may vary depending on the approach used, the ease with which
    these electronic documents can be made accessible grows with the inclusion of
    accessible types of information.
    It is important to note that many authoring tools now offer accessibility
    features and checking tools to ensure documents are created in an accessible
    An accessible PDF, for example, often begins its life as an accessible text
    document. Most accessibility features are transferred into different formats.
    However, depending on software versions, it is still possible that individual
    accessibility features may not transfer across.
    In the future, enhanced e-books will considerably improve access to all kinds
    of content in special standards such as EPUB 3 and, more specifically, EDUPUB.
    E-books present new challenges with regard to accessibility as they can include
    interactive functionalities, animations and other advanced features.
    1.1 How to make your electronic documents accessible
     Specify the language of your document.
     Tag your document to give it structure, using the function in the
    software you are using.
     Use the accessibility checker offered by your software as a simple check
    before sharing the document.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 20
     Use the most up-to-date versions of software to create a PDF. Newer
    software versions include more up-to-date accessibility features.
    However, make sure that your electronic document is also usable in
    older versions.
     Fill in the metadata information to help users find the information
    through internet searches. Minimum information to be included are the
    document title and the main natural language of the document.
     Include all relevant elements in your document structure.
     Avoid horizontal scrolling (scrolling from left to right or vice versa).
     Provide descriptions for form fields.
    1.2 Resources to help make your electronic documents accessible
    Easy instructions
     Introduction to Accessible Instructional Materials for educators,
    producers and users
     Books for All – Accessible Text: Guidelines for Good Practice: teacher’s
    guide to creating accessible learning materials
     Inclusive Learning Design Handbook: resource to assist teachers, content
    creators, Web developers, and others in creating adaptable and
    personalisable educational resources
     Tingtun PDF accessibility checker: upload or link to a PDF to check its
     WebAIM PDF accessibility: introduction to and instructions for accessible
     CATEA guidelines on accessible PDF documents
     Load2Learn video on how to create accessible PDFs from Microsoft Word
    2007 and 2010
     Load2Learn video tutorials: accessible documents, structured
    documents, audiobooks, text-to-speech, e-books, productivity and
     WebAIM guidance on accessible Microsoft Word documents
     CATEA guidelines on accessible Word documents
     CATEA guidelines on accessible Excel documents
     WebAIM guidance on PowerPoint accessibility
     CATEA guidelines on accessible PowerPoint files
    Advanced instructions
     Adobe Acrobat X accessibility support for creating accessible PDF forms
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 21
     PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC2) based on the Matterhorn Protocol
     WebAIM guidance on creating accessible forms
     WebAIM guidance on creating accessible tables
     Load2Learn video on creating a DAISY book from Word
     Accessible EPUB 3 by Matt Garrish: free e-book from O’Reilly
     DAISYpedia: information resource to assist in and support the
    implementation of the DAISY standards
     Contrast-A contrast checker for finding accessible colour combinations
    Professional instructions
     WebAIM guidance on creating accessible frames
     EPUB accessibility forum at global trade and standards
    organisation dedicated to the development and promotion of electronic
    publishing and content consumption
     DIAGRAM Center Top Tips for Creating Accessible EPUB 3 Files
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 22
    Section 2: Making your online resources accessible
    Online resources, such as web pages, databases and online platforms, are also
    likely to include all types of information – text, images, audio and video. There
    are many resources to help making online resources accessible and there are
    international standards which are widely recognised and adopted.
    When creating online resources, the most important step towards accessibility
    is to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). These are
    guidelines for advanced users.
    Information providers are likely to outsource the development of online
    resources. In this case, the items below can act as a list of criteria for
    procurement and the selection of contractors.
    2.1 How to make your online resources accessible
     Provide metadata. Labelling resources with relevant vocabulary or
    accessibility features makes it easier for the user to find relevant and
    accessible information.
     Use responsive web design, which allows the content to adapt to the end
    users’ output device.
     Create your website according to the User Centered Design (UCD)
     Provide a site map. Give users a sense of where they are within your
     Use navigation mechanisms consistently.
     Provide a breadcrumb to determine where users are (navigation).
     Allow links and headings to be navigated using the Tab key. Provide
    keyboard shortcuts to important links.
     Provide ways to help users to find content. Include a search feature on
    each page.
     Offer a logical order of links and headers for users to navigate.
     Divide your information into manageable blocks.
     Use style sheets to control layout and presentation. Organise your
    documents so they may be read without style sheets.
     Create a style of presentation that is consistent across pages. Give each
    page a structure by using predefined headings. Your headings should
    follow a logical order.
     Include alternative text descriptions (alt text) for images.
     Check colour contrast with free tools.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 23
     Allow all page functionalities to be device independent, meaning they can
    be used through a keyboard or voice control for example.
     Ensure that moving, blinking, scrolling or auto-updating objects or pages
    can be paused or stopped.
     Ensure the keyboard focus is not lost when a page refreshes.
     Include a Skip Navigation feature on each page.
     Separate information and structure from presentation to enable different
     Use a semantic structure for title, heading, quotations, block quote
    emphasis, list.
     Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until user
    agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group.
     For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column
    headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.
     Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the
    dynamic content changes.
     Check your web pages for accessibility issues using a three-step process:
    o Manual check.
    o Automated check using free resources provided below.
    o Test by trusted users of assistive technology, like screen readers,
    screen enlargement software and voice-input dictation.
     Test your pages in a speech browser.
     Avoid horizontal scrolling (scrolling from left to right or vice versa).
     Provide descriptions for form fields.
    2.2 Resources to help make your online resources accessible
    The following list of resources includes a selection of automated tools which
    can be used for accessibility checks. These tools are extremely valuable and
    useful, but can give false positives and negatives so please do not solely rely
    on them.
    Easy instructions
     W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: strategies, guidelines and resources for
    web accessibility
    Advanced instructions
     WebAIM WCAG 2.0 Checklist: checklist presenting recommendations for
    implementing HTML-related principles and techniques for those seeking
    WCAG 2.0 conformance
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 24
     W3C markup validation service: checks the markup validity of Web
    documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc.
     WAVE: web accessibility evaluation tool
     Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE): website accessibility evaluation
     The Paciello Group Colour Contrast Analyser: provides a pass/fail
    assessment against WCAG 2.0 colour contrast success criteria and
    simulates certain visual conditions to demonstrate how web content
    appears to people with less than 20/20 vision.
     TAW: WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 and mobileOK web checker (in English,
    Spanish, Catalan and Galician)
     ACHECKER: web accessibility checker
     Total Validator: all-in-one (X)HTML validator, accessibility validator, spell
    checker and broken links checker
     AccessMonitor: web accessibility checker (in Portuguese)
     Examinator: web accessibility checker (in Spanish)
     MSF&W colour contrast ratio calculator: to check the contrast of colours
    on web pages
     Pause, Stop, Hide: guidance on mechanism for users to pause, stop or
    hide animated content
     TRACE Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT): free, downloadable
    resource to identify seizure risks in web content and software
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 25
    Section 3: Making your printed material accessible
    Although printed documents are difficult to access for many users with print
    disability, the continued usage of printed documents in general – and
    especially in learning environments – will continue for the foreseeable future.
    Print cannot be made as accessible as electronic information. Electronic
    information has the potential to integrate multimedia; therefore content can be
    shared through different media. For example, text can be replaced by audio or
    sign language video. Depending on a user or learner’s specific disability and/or
    special need, they may need a different perception channel or a mix of
    channels that print material cannot offer.
    However, there are also users/learners that find printed material more
    accessible than electronic. Therefore print remains important, but cannot be
    made universally accessible.
    One alternative to print material – with the same restrictions – is Braille.
    3.1 How to make your printed material accessible
     Use 12 or 14 font or larger.
     Use sans-serif fonts.
     Provide an electronic copy of your file as an alternative.
     Use font and paper colour depending on user preference.
     Provide alternate modalities of your document, such as Braille (upon
    request) or large print versions. To create large print documents from an
    electronic file: first, use the keyboard shortcut ‘ctrl shift A’ to select all
    text, and then use the keyboard shortcut ‘ctrl shift >’ to increase the font
    size proportionally.
     Create and insert descriptions or alternative texts for hyperlinks, images,
    tables and all other types of content that cannot be seen by people with
    visual disabilities for Braille printers.
    3.2 Resources to help make your printed material accessible
     Load2Learn video on producing accessible files
     Load2Learn video on producing large print
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 26
    The checklists below are designed for practitioners and are examples of how
    the Guidelines can be applied to specific media and formats.
    For each specific format a combination of actions from Step 1 and Step 2 are
    combined to demonstrate how the recommendations can be applied. These
    checklists can be used to check or audit created materials.
    Slideshows and presentations
    Step 1:
     Text:
     Use the simplest language which is appropriate for your document.
     Use large fonts.
     Use a sans serif font such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana.
     Use ‘Bullets and Numbering’ functions for lists.
     Avoid excessive amount of information on one slide.
     Use text and background colour combinations that provide a very
    good contrast.
     Ensure text and graphics are also understandable when viewed
    without colour.
     Image:
     Give your images an alternative text to describe the image.
     Use a sufficient contrast of colours between image and
     Avoid backgrounds with too many images, shapes or colours.
     Avoid links or text being hidden behind other objects such as
     Audio:
     Give your audio a text equivalent.
     Allow volume control, fast forward, rewind and pause functions.
     Make sure captions are synchronised with your audio.
     Video:
     Ensure captions are synchronised with your video.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 27
    Step 2:
     Use the slide layouts offered by your software.
     Copy the text from the slide into the notes area.
     Fill in the metadata information to help users find the information
    through internet searches.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 28
    Online or e-learning tools
    Step 1:
     Text:
     Use the simplest language which is appropriate for the target
     Divide your information into manageable and equal blocks.
     Use ‘Bullets and Numbering’ functions for lists.
     Adopt accessible templates for consistency.
     Ensure your online training materials are also available in print.
     Ensure online training can be paused, stopped and resumed.
     Images:
     Give your images alternative text to describe them.
     Avoid use of red, green and yellow, and lighter grey colours.
     Use a high contrast of colours between image and background.
     Avoid backgrounds with too many images, shapes or colours.
     Audio:
     Give your audio a text equivalent.
     Video:
     Ensure captions are synchronised with your video.
    Step 2:
     Give each page a structure by using predefined headings. Your
    headings should follow a logical order.
     Offer a logical order of links, headers and all page functions for
    users to navigate.
     Provide metadata when offering a range of resources. Labelling
    resources with relevant vocabulary or accessibility features makes
    it easier for the user to find relevant and accessible information.
     Give users a sense of where they are within your website by
    ensuring that there is a visible or audible cue to show them where
    they are within the navigation.
     Give video either a text equivalent or captions. For videos do not
    just give captions of the words spoken, but also provide a
    description of what is taking place.
     Provide descriptions for form fields.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 29
     Include a search feature on each page.
     When using interactive scenarios or cases, ensure a text equivalent
    is also available and can be accessed using a keyboard only.
     Use responsive web design, which allows the content to adapt to
    the end users’ output device.
     Allow all page functionalities to be used through a keyboard only,
    including login, launch and print functions.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 30
    PDF documents
    Step 1:
     Text:
     Use the simplest language which is appropriate for your document.
     Use large fonts.
     Use a sans-serif font such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana.
     Use ‘Bullets and Numbering’ functions for lists.
     Image:
     Give your images alternative text to describe them.
     Use a high contrast of colours between text and background.
     Avoid backgrounds with too many images, shapes or colours.
     Avoid links being hidden behind other objects such as images.
    Step 2:
     Specify the language of your document under ‘properties’.
     Avoid saving your PDF document as an image.
     Tag your document.
     Use the accessibility checker offered by your software as a simple
    check before sharing the document.
     Use the most up-to-date versions of software to create a PDF.
    Newer software versions include more up-to-date accessibility
     Fill in the metadata information to help users find the information
    through internet searches.
     Include all relevant elements in your document structure.
     Provide descriptions for form fields.
     Ensure accessibility is not compromised when protecting PDF
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 31
    This glossary of key terms aims to support a shared language for all users of
    the Guidelines. Different sources for definitions have been used for this
     Existing definitions that are already in use at the international level, in
    particular key terms defined within:
    (1) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    (UNESCO) / Microsoft ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (2011)
    (2) UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education /
    European Agency ICTs in Education for People with Disabilities: Review
    of innovative practice (2011)
     Key literature quotations and citations
     Operational definitions developed within the i-access and ICT4IAL
    Key terms
    Accessibility – Article 9 of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights
    of Persons with Disabilities defines accessibility as: ‘appropriate measures to
    ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the
    physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications,
    including information and communications technologies and systems, and to
    other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and
    in rural areas’ (United Nations, 2006, p. 8) (2).
    Accessible information – information provided in formats which allow every
    learner to access content ‘on an equal basis with others’ (United Nations,
    2006, p. 8).
    Assistive technologies (ATs) – ‘adaptive devices that enable people with
    special needs to access all manner of technical products and services. ATs
    cover a whole range of ICTs, from customised keyboards and speech
    recognition software to Braille computer displays and closed captioning
    systems for TV’ (European Commission, 2011, E-inclusion) (2).
    Captions – are intended for audiences who cannot hear the dialogue. In
    contrast to subtitles, captions also include a description of who is speaking as
    well as sounds.
    Closed captions – captions that can be selected to be visible or not versus
    captions that are visible by default.
    Digital – (as in digital content, digital devices, digital resources, digital
    technology) – essentially, another word for computers and computer
    technology. (Computers store and process information by converting it all to
    single-figure numbers – digits.) (1).
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 32
    The ‘skills required to achieve digital competence. It is underpinned by basic
    skills in ICT and the use of computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce,
    present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in
    collaborative networks via the Internet’ (European Commission, 2008, p. 4)
    e-accessibility – ‘overcoming the barriers and difficulties that people
    experience when trying to access goods and services based on ICTs’ (European
    Commission, 2005) (2).
    EDUPUB – adapts ‘the functionality of the EPUB 3 format to the unique
    structural, semantic and behavioral requirements of educational publishing’
    (International Digital Publishing Forum, 2015).
    e-inclusion – ‘both inclusive ICT and the use of ICT to achieve wider inclusion
    objectives. It focuses on participation of all individuals and communities in all
    aspects of the information society’. e-inclusion policy ‘aims at reducing gaps in
    ICT usage and promoting the use of ICT to overcome exclusion, and improve
    economic performance, employment opportunities, quality of life, social
    participation and cohesion’ (European Commission, 2006a, p. 1) (2).
    e-learning – any forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. (2).
    e-learning/online tool – tool or system that supports online learning.
    Electronic – used to refer to materials that are accessible by a computer or
    other digital devices. It may include text, images, audio, video or a
    combination of these.
    EPUB – a format of electronic or e-books. More specifically the ‘.epub is the
    file extension of an XML format for reflowable digital books and publications’.
    EPUB is composed of three open standards produced by the IDPF
    (International Digital Publishing Forum) (DAISY, 2015).
    Font – a typography used in text-editing software. A san serif font is a font
    without curls or strokes at the end of each character. Times New Roman is an
    exception of a sans serif font.
    Format – how information is converted or packaged – such as text-editing
    programs or presentations – and delivered or presented to the user. The
    ending within file names usually shows the format it is saved in, such as .doc,
    .docx, .rtf, .xls, .csv, .jpg, .pdf, etc.
    Information – generally understood to refer to a message or data that is
    communicated concerning a specific issue. Specifically, these Guidelines focus
    on the aim of sharing messages to inform and build knowledge in a learning
    Within the Guidelines the different types of information considered are text,
    image, audio and video.
    Information and communication technology (ICT) – ‘consists of all
    technical means used to handle information and aid communication, including
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 33
    both computer and network hardware as well as necessary software. In other
    words, ICT consists of IT as well as telephony, broadcast media, and all types
    of audio and video processing and transmission’ (FOLDOC, cited by European
    Agency) (2).
    Information providers – any individual or organisation that creates and
    distributes information.
    Information society – ‘a society in which the creation, distribution and
    treatment of information have become the most significant economic and
    cultural activities’ … The information society is ‘considered as a necessary
    previous step to build Knowledge Societies’ (UNESCO/IFAP, 2009, pp. 20–22)
    Learners with disabilities and/or special needs – the potential target
    group of people who can benefit from more accessible information provision.
    This phrasing respects the terminology of both the United Nations Convention
    on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – UNCRPD (2006) and agreements
    reached with the ICT4IAL project partners.
    Media – a channel through which information can be shared. Media usually
    contains different types of information simultaneously. Examples include
    electronic documents, online resources and online learning tools.
    Metadata – a digital label given to information. It is machine-readable and
    aids the search and categorisation of information, thereby improving
    Open Educational Resource (OER) – defined by the European Commission
    as ‘learning resources that are usable, adaptable to specific learning needs,
    and shareable freely’. Another widely used definition, promoted by the William
    and Flora Hewlett Foundation, defines OER as ‘teaching, learning, and research
    resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an
    intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by
    Print disability/impaired – persons ‘who are not able to use printed books,
    newspapers and magazines – including those with dyslexia, motor disabilities
    or age related macular degeneration’ (DAISY, 2015).
    Scalable – the ability to change size and zoom of information according to the
    needs of the user/learner or the device used.
    Semantic – literally ‘meaning’. When used in connection with giving
    information structure, it stresses the necessity to give a meaningful structure.
    Screen reader – a software program designed to give access from a
    computer, tablet, mobile or other digital device by reading the presented
    information with the use of a synthetic voice. In addition to reading text, a
    screen reader also allows a user/learner to navigate and interact with the
    content using their voice. For Braille users a screen reader can also supply the
    information in Braille.
    Guidelines for Accessible Information 34
    Structured text – text information which has been organised with an
    established reading order and headings using software functions such as
    applying styles or tagging.
    Subtitles – are intended for audiences that do not understand the language
    used in a dialogue.
    Tagging – process which embeds information about the reading order, flow
    and organisational structure within an electronic document.
    Technology – often used as another word for ICT, although strictly speaking
    ‘technology’ can mean almost any type of tool or applied knowledge. For
    example, pencil and paper, slates, blackboards and whiteboards are all types
    of writing technology (1).
    Usability – ‘extent to which a product can be used by specified users to
    achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a
    specified context of use’ (International Organization for Standardization,
    ISO 9241-11:1998(en)).
    User-centred design – a design approach that focuses on making systems
    and tools usable. The goal is a high degree of usability.
    WCAG – ‘Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through
    the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the
    world, with a goal of proving a single shared standard for web content
    accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and
    governments internationally’ (World Wide Web Consortium – W3C, 2012).
    Web 2.0 – ‘web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing,
    interoperability, user-centred design, and collaboration on the World Wide
    Web. A Web 2.0 site gives its users the free choice to interact or collaborate
    with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated
    content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users
    (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for
    them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social-networking sites, blogs, wikis,
    video-sharing sites, hosted services, web applications’. The term ‘Web 2.0’ can
    be traced back to Tom O’Reilly and the O’Reilly Media Conference in 2004 (2).
    World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – ‘an international community where
    Member organisations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to
    develop Web standards. […] W3C’s mission is to lead the Web to its full

  • eIntroduction toAccessible Education

    Introduction to
    Accessible Education
    Do students learn as much as they can from your teaching?
    Accessible Educationi
    is the process of designing courses and developing a teaching
    style to meet the needs of people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and learning
    styles. Just as there is no single way to teach, people learn in a variety of ways; using
    different instructional methods will help meet the needs of the greatest number of
    learners ii
    The Educators’ Accessibility Toolkit provides guidelines and tips on how to make your
    courses and your teaching more accessible to students. These tips are in line with
    research on best practices in teaching and learningiii .
    What are the characteristics of
    Accessible Education?
     Takes into account a variety of
    student characteristics, including
    ethnic background, race, abilities,
    disabilities, age, gender, language
    abilities and preferred learning style.
     Does not compromise academic
     Is a proactive and inclusive way of
    teaching and designing courses and
     Removes barriers to learning before
    they can affect anyone.
     Reduces the need for specialized
     Identifies and clearly expresses the
    essential course content, while
    recognizing that students can
    express understanding of essential
    course content in multiple ways.
     Is consistent with universally
    recognized principles of good
     Is consistent with the spirit of the
    Accessibility of Ontarians with
    Disabilities Act, 2005.
    Advantages for educators
    (e.g. faculty, teaching assistants,
    course instructors and developers)
     Often improves student learning.
     Reduces the work associated with
    arranging individual and specialized
     May improve student engagement as
    it reaches a broader audience, which
    could lead to improved course
    Advantages for students
     Less time spent on figuring out
    individual accommodations and
    more time focusing on course
     Greater inclusion of students from a
    variety of backgrounds and abilities,
    which could lead to increased
    student retention.
     Students are not singled out for
    being different.
    Accessible Education is based on the social model of disability, as opposed to the
    medical modelv
    Medical model versus the social model of disability
    Medical model Social model
    Disability is a deficiency or abnormality. Disability is a difference.
    Being disabled is negative. Being disabled, in itself, is neutral.
    Disability resides in the individual. Disability arises from interactions between the
    individual and society.
    The remedy for disability-related
    problems is cure or normalization of the
    The remedy for disability-related problems is a
    change in the interactions between the
    individual and society.
    The agent of remedy is the
    professional who affects the
    arrangements between the individual
    and society.
    The agent of remedy can be the individual, an
    advocate, or anyone who affects the
    arrangements between the individual and
    As an educator, you have no
    responsibility to ensure accessibility;
    that is the job of the experts.
    As an educator, you are responsible for
    creating an accessible environment where all
    your students can learn.
    Accessible Education aims to reduce dependence on the accommodation approach and
    move toward inclusionvi.
    Accommodation approach versus Accessible Education approach
    Accommodation Accessible Education
    Access is a problem for the individual and
    should be addressed by that person and the
    disability service program.
    Access issues stem from poorly designed
    environments and should be addressed
    by the designer.
    Access is achieved through special
    accommodation and/or retrofitting existing
    As much as possible, the system or
    environment is designed to be used by
    Access is reactive. Access is proactive.
    Access is often provided in a separate
    location or through special treatment. Access is inclusive.
    Access must be reconsidered each time a
    new individual uses the system, i.e. is
    Access, as part of the course design and
    curriculum, is sustainable.
    More resources on Accessible Education:
    Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST):
    Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT Centre):
    National Center on Universal Design for Learning:
    University of Guelph, Teaching Support Services, Centre for Open Learning and
    Educational Support, Universal Instructional Design Project:
    To obtain this document in an alternative format, please contact:
    Council of Ontario Universities
    180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
    Tel: 416-979-2165
    Fax: 416-979-8635
    Created in September 2012

    The term Accessible Education has been adopted to capture the value of two frameworks in improving
    the accessibility of university education: Universal Instructional Design (UID) and Universal Design for
    Learning (UDL). Both were informed by the architectural concept of Universal Design, which is “the
    design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without
    the need for adaptation or specialized design.” (Center for Universal Design, The Principles of Universal
    “UID is not just about accessibility for persons with a disability – it’s about truly universal thinking –
    maximizing learning for students of all backgrounds and learner preferences while minimizing the need
    for special accommodations.” (University of Guelph, UID Implementation Guide).
    “UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
    UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work
    for everyone – not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be
    customized and adjusted for individual needs.” (Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), Universal
    Design for Learning).
    ii Nilson, Linda B. (2010). Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (3rd
    ed). John Wiley and Sons.
    iii University of Guelph, UID Project, and the National Centre on UDL, Research Evidence.
    iv Chickering and Gamson (1987). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.
    v Table is adapted from Gill, C. (1994). Two Models of Disability. Chicago Institute of Disability, University
    of Chicago, cited in University of Ottawa, Access Service – Student Academic Success Service. (no date)
    A guide for professors: Minimizing the impact of learning obstacles,
    vi Ibid.
    Developing Courses
    Are you designing a new course or rethinking an existing one?
    Designing your course with Accessible Educationi
    in mind can have benefits for all your
    students, including people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and learning styles.
    Just as there is no single way to teach, people learn in a variety of ways; using different
    instructional methods will help meet the needs of the greatest number of learners ii
    When you design your course to be accessible, you anticipate that people will have
    diverse needs, and so ensure that everyone in your class will be able to learn
    What is Accessible Education?
    Accessible Education is the process of
    designing courses and developing a
    teaching style to meet the needs of
    people from a variety of backgrounds,
    abilities and learning styles. It takes into
    account a range of student
    characteristics, including ethnic
    background, race, abilities, disabilities,
    age, gender, language abilities and
    preferred learning style.
    You can apply Accessible Education to
    all aspects of instruction — for example,
    course delivery methods, physical
    spaces, information resources,
    technology, personal interactions with
    students, evaluation and assessmentiii
    What are some best practices in
    Accessible Education?
     Identify and clearly convey the
    essential course content.
     Recognize that students can express
    understanding of essential course
    content in multiple ways.
     Present core material through a
    variety of mediums; for instance,
    lectures, readings, hands-on
    activities and visuals.
     Choose course materials that all
    students can use. Digital textbooks
    may be selected and digital course
    packs created in easily convertible
    electronic formats, videos may be
    captioned, and transcripts made for
    audio files.
     Make course materials — notes,
    slides, descriptions of assignments,
    syllabi — available online in
    accessible formats for all students.
     Provide students with clear
    expectations of course requirements,
    as well as feedback on assignments.
     Design long-term course projects or
    assignments, so that students have
    the option of handing in components
    and getting feedback on them prior
    to delivering the final product.
     Consider having multiple methods of
    student evaluation, such as exams,
    presentations, papers, etc. There
    may be more than one appropriate
    way to meet and measure learning
     Include an accessibility statement on
    your syllabus (see below).
     Promote interaction and
    collaboration among students. Help
    them form study groups or set up an
    accessible online forum where
    students can collaborate, share and
    evaluate one another’s work, either
    formally or informally.
     Consult with colleagues and experts
    at your institution on best practices
    that you could adopt in your courses.
    Sample course accessibility
    Below is a sample accessibility
    statement from the University of
    “The University provides academic
    accommodations for students with
    disabilities in accordance with the terms
    of the Ontario Human Rights Code. This
    occurs through a collaborative process
    that acknowledges a collective
    obligation to develop an accessible
    learning environment that both meets
    the needs of students and preserves the
    essential academic requirements of the
    University’s courses and programs.”
    Getting Started
    To get started, consider using an
    accessibility checklist, such as the one
    available through the Universal Design
    for Learning Universe as part of its
    Faculty Development Guide or the
    University of Guelph Universal
    Instructional Design Project Checklist.
    You can also consult with a curriculum
    developer or education specialist at your
    university in the faculty development
    office or teaching and learning centre,
    as well as staff in the disability services
    You should also refer to any related
    university senate policies at your
    More resources:
    Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST):
    Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT Center):
    National Center on Universal Design for Learning:
    University of Guelph, Teaching Support Services, Centre for Open Learning and
    Educational Support, Universal Instructional Design Project:
    To obtain this document in an alternative format, please contact:
    Council of Ontario Universities
    180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
    Tel: 416-979-2165
    Fax: 416-979-8635
    Created in September 2012
    The term Accessible Education has been adopted to capture the value of two frameworks in improving
    the accessibility of university education: Universal Instructional Design (UID) and Universal Design for
    Learning (UDL). Both were informed by the architectural concept of Universal Design, which is “the
    design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without
    the need for adaptation or specialized design.” (Center for Universal Design, The Principles of Universal
    “UID is not just about accessibility for persons with a disability – it’s about truly universal thinking –
    maximizing learning for students of all backgrounds and learner preferences while minimizing the need
    for special accommodations.” (University of Guelph, UID Implementation Guide)
    “UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
    UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work
    for everyone – not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be
    customized and adjusted for individual needs.” (Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), Universal
    Design for Learning)
    ii Nilson, Linda B. (2010). Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (3rd
    ed). John Wiley and Sons.
    iii Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Centre at the University of
    Washington, Universal Design of Instruction (UDI): Definition, Principles, Guidelines, and Examples.
    iv This sample accessibility statement is taken from the University of Toronto, Tip Sheet on Developing
    Course Syllabi.
    Writing a Course Syllabus
    Are you designing or revising a course syllabus?
    All students benefit from an organized, well-written and complete syllabus. They are
    also better equipped to plan their semester if they have a clear idea of their educators’
    expectations, the demands of their courses, and the due dates of their assignments.
    With these tips you can make your course and syllabus accessible to the greatest
    number of students.
    General tips on writing an
    accessible course syllabus
     Communicate clearly the essential
    requirements of the course to all
    students, including learning
     Include a course outline that covers
    the required readings, assignments
    and defined expectations.
     Encourage students to tell you about
    any accessibility concerns.
     Describe your teaching philosophy.
     Highlight any outings, labs and all
    deadlines. Specify any activity that
    might be out of the ordinary, such as
    changes in time or class location.
     Provide contact information and
    office hours for all instructors
    involved in the course (for example,
    professors and teaching assistants).
     Give students more than one option
    for getting in touch with you — via
    email, by phone or visits during
    designated office hours.
     Consider having multiple methods of
    student evaluation, such as exams,
    presentations, papers, etc. There
    may be more than one appropriate
    way to meet and measure learning
     Ensure ample time between
    assignments for students to receive
    feedback before the next assignment
    is due. Consider the time required for
    your students to complete
    assignments, and for you and your
    teaching assistants to mark and
    return assignments.
     Review your syllabus throughout the
    course. Send any updates to
    students, or post them where the
    class can receive them in an
    accessible format.
     Review your syllabus on an annual
    basis. What could be changed?
     Learn from your peers and discuss
    what works well.
     Your university offers services to
    help you create an accessible
    environment for learners. Consult the
    teaching and learning office and/or
    centre for students with disabilities
    for more tips and to find out about
    supports that are available.
    Make the document accessible
    Some students use assistive technology
    to adapt information into a usable format
    for their learning needs. Some examples
    of assistive technology are:
    Screen readers: These read aloud
    information on a computer screen, such
    as written text, or the description of an
    image provided through alternative text
    or Alt Text.
    Screen enhancement software: This
    allows users to magnify the computer
    screen or change the contrast to make
    the content easier to see.
     Your syllabus will be one of the first
    contact points that students have
    with your class. Providing the
    document in an accessible format
    — one that can be read easily and
    used by an assistive technology
    such as a screen reader— will
    demonstrate that your course is
     Make the syllabus available
    electronically to all students, and
    update it if there are revisions
    during the course; this could be
    done through a learning
    management system, such as
    Blackboard, Web CT, Desire2Learn,
    Moodle or Sakai; by email or on the
    course website.
    List campus supports and
     Use the syllabus to inform students
    about other services on campus that
    could assist them — for example, the
    centre for students with disabilities,
    counselling services, writing centre,
    library services, etc.
     Include relevant university policy
    statements on issues, such as
    academic integrity, student code of
    conduct and accessibility for people
    with disabilities.
    Include an accessibility
    Including an accessibility statement as
    part of your syllabus gives you an
    opportunity to demonstrate your
    willingness to provide reasonable
    accommodations in your class for
    students with disabilities.
    Sample course accessibility
    Below is a samples accessibility
    statement from the University of
    “The University provides academic
    accommodations for students with
    disabilities in accordance with the terms
    of the Ontario Human Rights Code. This
    occurs through a collaborative process
    that acknowledges a collective
    obligation to develop an accessible
    learning environment that both meets
    the needs of students and preserves the
    essential academic requirements of the
    University’s courses and programs.”
    Choosing course materials
     Choose course materials early. If
    you are assigning a number of
    readings, this will allow you enough
    time to have the documents
    converted into alternative formats or
    for students to request the formats
    they need from the bookstore.
     It’s useful to cover core material
    through a variety of mediums — for
    instance, lectures, textbooks and/or
    visual presentations.
     If possible, choose accessible
    electronic versions of course
    readings. This will allow students the
    ability to convert the reading into the
    format required, whether they use a
    screen reader, an enlarger or other
     Note that some PDFs (Portable
    Document Format files) are not
    accessible to students using a
    screen reader; when possible,
    choose tagged PDFs, which may be
    read by assistive technology. (Look
    for the related Tip Sheet: “Using
    Word documents and/or PDFs” for
    more information.)
     If you use video or audio files,
    consult with your disability services
    office. Captioning or transcripts must
    be provided on request for students
    with disabilities. They may also be
    beneficial for students whose first
    language is not English and for the
    entire class.
    More resources:
    University of Guelph, Teaching Support Services, Centre for Open Learning and
    Educational Support, Universal Instructional Design Project:
    Creating a Syllabus using the Principles of Universal Instructional Design.
    UDL-Universe, A Comprehensive Faculty Development Guide: Syllabus Rubric.
    The University of Toronto Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation has a
    Tip Sheet on Creating Syllabi.
    To obtain this document in an alternative format, please contact:
    Council of Ontario Universities
    180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
    Tel: 416-979-2165
    Fax: 416-979-8635
    Created in September 2012
    This sample accessibility statement is taken from the University of Toronto, Tip Sheet on Developing
    Course Syllabi.
    Creating Accessible Lectures
    Are students getting the most out of your lectures?
    How you prepare, organize and deliver your lecture affects its accessibility and how
    much students learn in your class.
    Lecturing is an effective way of disseminating information and helping people to learn,
    especially in large classes. Enthusiasm, expressiveness, clarity and interaction are all
    characteristics of effective lecturing.i
    Other teaching strategies may be used in large or
    small classes to help you meet students’ various learning styles. These include
    presentations by guest speakers, inviting a panel of experts, or scheduling short
    discussion breaks among smaller groups of students. Research on best practices in
    teaching and learning shows that people learn in a variety of waysii – so mix it up and
    everyone can benefit!
    Tips on lecture structure
     Limit each lecture to one major topic.
    If this is not possible, state clearly
    when you are changing topics.
     Put the lecture in context. Give
    students the “big picture” of where it
    fits in to the overall course and how it
    relates to earlier material.
     The old adage – “Tell them what
    you’re going to say, say it, then tell
    them what you’ve just said” – is
    especially true for lectures.
    Everyone benefits when you provide
    a clear outline, a well-structured and
    informative lecture, and a good
    summary of the key information
     Consider taking short “active breaks”
    in your lecture. Studies show that
    even highly motivated students have
    attention spans of only about 20-25
    minutes. During active breaks, they
    could compare notes with a
    neighbour, discuss a question in
    small groups, solve a problem or
    write a reaction. (For more detail,
    see pages 117-120 in Teaching at Its
    Best: A Research-Based Resource
    for College Instructors.)
    Tips on lecture delivery
     Face the students when you speak
    and make sure you’re not in shadow.
    If you are backlit, it might be difficult
    for students to see your face.
     Pause frequently to allow students to
    keep up with their note-taking and to
    absorb information.
     Try not to move around too much.
    Besides being distracting, this can
    make it difficult for students who are
    trying to lip-read, and/or limit the
    effectiveness of a microphone if
    you’re using oneiv.
     Give examples of key concepts.
     Provide definitions for new concepts
    or vocabulary.
     Share your enthusiasm for the topic.
    If your research touches on the
    lecture topic, share your successes
    and challengesv
     Verbally explain any visual aids,
    such as charts, graphs, images or
    tables. Describe what they show.
     Consider allowing students to audiorecord lectures, or create audio
    podcasts of your lectures and make
    them available. While these may be
    especially helpful for students with
    disabilities and for students whose
    first language is not English, they
    could be a useful study aid for
     Mix it up: is there a video, audio clip,
    cartoon, graph, image or chart that
    sums up or illuminates what you’re
    trying to say? Using multiple
    methods to convey information is
    one of the best ways to reach as
    many students as possible and keep
    them engaged. Make sure all the
    formats are accessible (for example,
    using captions, transcripts or
    alternative text).
     Encourage and support different
    ways for students to interact with
    you, the material and one another
    through hands-on activities,
    discussions or technology- / internetbased interactions including clickers,
    or using a learning management
     Consider incorporating other
    teaching methods, such as inviting
    guest speakers or a panel of experts,
    holding discussions, or using
    whiteboards, handouts,
    presentations, videos and audio
    clips. As always, ensure everything
    is available in accessible formats.
     Give students options for
    participating in activities and
    discussions; for instance, let them
    submit written questions or
    comments rather than speaking in
    Large classes
     Use a microphone if one is available;
    there is always a risk that your voice
    will trail off, or that students at the
    back of the room cannot hear.
     If you allow questions or comments
    from the class, repeat each into the
    microphone so everyone can hear.
    Mid-sized classes
     Use a variety of approaches for
    student engagement.
     Encourage students to ask questions
    and seek clarifications. You can do
    this verbally, online, by e-mail or
    through note cards; it’s best to give a
    number of options for responses.
     Follow up with students who appear
    to be struggling, and suggest
    methods of support.
    Small classes, seminars and
     Use open-ended questions to check
    whether students comprehend the
     Consider giving a participation grade
    for students who post their notes
    online for the entire class. Share
    information on how to do this
    accessibly. This duty could be
    shared on a rotating basis.
     Get to know your students and
    understand what works best to meet
    their learning needs.
    Other general tips
     At the beginning of term, make an
    announcement inviting students with
    disabilities to approach you to
    discuss any accessibility needs.
     Make your lecture notes, slides or
    other handouts accessible and
    available electronically to students
    before class. This can be done
    through a learning management
    system, such as Blackboard,
    WebCT, Desire2Learn, Moodle,
    Sakai, by e-mail or on a course
    website. Students may wish to take
    notes on your slides, and it can help
    them follow the flow of the class.
     If you make your lecture notes
    available for each class, students
    might not need a note-taker, and you
    can ensure they will receive highquality information.
     If you make an important verbal
    announcement in class, such as a
    change in venue or time, consider
    sending it via e-mail or posting it on
    the course website as well.
     If you use video or audio files,
    consult with your disability services
    office. Captioning or transcripts must
    be provided on request, but could be
    beneficial for the entire class.
     Check out your classroom before the
    semester begins: is it accessible to
    students with mobility-related
    disabilities? Does the layout allow
    you to do what you need to in class?
    Are there distracting background
    noises? See what you can do to
    minimize barriers or distractions in
    the space that might make it difficult
    for students to hear, pay attention or
    take notes.
     Insist on professional, civil conduct
    between and among students to
    respect people’s differences and
    create an inclusive environment.
    More resources on lecturing:
    See the University of Ohio’s Fast Facts for Faculty for a list of teaching methods and
    their strengths and limitations.
    The DO-IT Center at the University of Washington has suggestions on accessible
    delivery methods, as well as A Checklist for Inclusive Teaching.
    For tips on varying your instructional method, see pages 117-120 of Teaching at Its
    Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (3rd ed.) by Linda B. Nilson.
    John Wiley and Sons, 2010.
    Teachability Project at the University of Strathclyde. Scottish Higher Education Funding
    Council. Resource for Academic Staff on Accessible Curriculum For Students With
    Disabilities: Creating Accessible Lectures for Disabled Students.
    University of Guelph, Teaching Support Services, Centre for Open Learning and
    Educational Support, Universal Instructional Design Project: UID Quick-Start Checklist
    and the UID Workbook
    University of Oxford, Equality and Diversity Office: Creating Accessible Lectures.
    University of Waterloo, Centre for Teaching Excellence, Teaching Tips: Lecturing
    Effectively in the University Classroom.
    To obtain this document in an alternative format, please contact:
    Council of Ontario Universities
    180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
    Tel: 416-979-2165
    Fax: 416-979-8635
    Created in September 2012
    Murray in Perry and Smart in the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Lecturing Effectively in the University
    Classroom, Teaching Tips.
    ii Nilson, Linda B. (2010) Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (3rd
    ed.) John Wiley and Sons.
    iii Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo, Lecturing Effectively in the University
    iv University of Oxford, Equality and Diversity Office, Creating Accessible Lectures.
    v University of Guelph, Teaching Support Services, Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support,
    UID Quick-Start Checklist.
    Using PowerPoint
    Do you use PowerPoint slides in your lectures for students?
    All students benefit from an organized, clear, concise and well laid-out PowerPoint
    presentation. These tips will help you make your presentations accessible to the
    greatest number of people and limit the amount of work you need to do to
    accommodate students with disabilities.
    What makes a PowerPoint
    presentation accessible?
    An accessible PowerPoint presentation
    is one that can be followed and
    understood by any student. Additionally,
    it can be easily read by a screen reader,
    has effective alternative text (Alt Text),
    and contains captioning or transcripts
    for any embedded audio or video.
    Some students use assistive technology
    to adapt information into a usable format
    for their learning needs. Some examples
    of assistive technology are:
    Screen readers: These read aloud
    information on a computer screen, such
    as written text, or the description of an
    image provided through alternative text
    or Alt Text.
    Screen enhancement software: This
    allows users to magnify the computer
    screen or change the contrast to make
    the content easier to see.
    Mac users should be aware that many
    versions of PowerPoint for Mac have
    serious accessibility limitations. For
    example, you cannot assign Alt Text to
    images or export the presentation as an
    accessible PDF file in the versions until
    and including 2008. Similarly, Apple’s
    Keynote presentation software is not
    recommended if you need to create an
    accessible presentation.
    General tips
     Ensure that the type is large enough
    to read easily. If your presentation
    will be viewed via projector, the type
    should be larger than on printed
    handouts; 30-point type is
     Make sure there is a high contrast
    between the background and the
    text. If your presentation will be
    viewed via projector, the contrast
    often needs to be more pronounced
    than on printed material.
     If you use colours, use ones that are
    highly contrasting.
     Make sure the content can be
    interpreted in grey-scale, in case
    someone prints it in black and white.
     Use the slide layout templates
    provided by PowerPoint. They have
    been designed to be accessible.
     Use titles on each slide, so the flow
    of the presentation is easy to
     Use simple slide transitions or avoid
    animation-like effects altogether.
    Complex transitions, such as
    checkerboards, can be distracting
    during presentations; they may also
    cause problems with screen readers
    or other assistive technologies if
    someone views the presentation
     Use simple language.
     Don’t overcrowd slides with text.
    Three to seven bullet points per slide
    is a good rule of thumb.
     If you embed video, make sure it is
    captioned and that the player
    controls — start, pause, stop — are
     If you embed audio, make sure a
    transcript is available.
     If your slides contain animations,
    make sure they are brief and do not
    distract from the most important
    content on the page.
     Use hyperlinks, and insert a
    descriptive title for the link rather
    than a long web address (see
    resource below).
     Use Alt Text to explain pictures,
    images, graphics, graphs, tables and
    flowcharts, so that a screen reader
    can access them.
     Use the notes pane to insert your
    lecture notes.
     Make the slides available
    electronically to your students on a
    learning management system, such
    as Blackboard, WebCT, Desire 2
    Learn, Sakai or Moodle, on the
    course website or by e-mail.
    Not everyone will have the software
    required to view PowerPoint
    presentations on their computer, so it is
    best to convert your file to an accessible
    PDF before sharing via email. (See
    “Using Word documents and/or PDFs”.)
    What is alternative text?
    Alternative text describes an image so
    that the user’s assistive technology may
    convey what information is being
    provided. It appears when you move
    your cursor over a picture or object. In
    situations where the reader cannot see
    the image, Alt Text ensures that no
    information is lost. For lecture
    presentations to be accessible, Alt Text
    must be assigned to all photos, images,
    multimedia, graphs, charts, text boxes,
    ClipArt, SmartArt, AutoShapes, etc.
    Effective Alt Text:
     Communicates the purpose of the
    image accurately and succinctly.
     Contains a short description of the
    image that is important to the user’s
    understanding of the information
    conveyed and a longer description
    for complex or detailed diagrams and
     Does not repeat the text of an
    adjacent caption. Screen readers
    read both the caption and the Alt
    Text, so avoid having the same
    details in both.
     Does not contain the words “Image
    of” at the start of the Alt Text. Screen
    readers tell the user that there is an
    image and then read the Alt Text.
     Does indicate “Screen shot of…” if it
    is an image taken from a computer
     Does indicate “Photo of…” if it is a
     Requires no text if an image is purely
    decorative. Simply provide two
    quotation marks (“ ”) as the Alt Text.
     Uses punctuation for full sentences.
    The method for adding Alt Text varies
    from version to version of PowerPoint,
    but typically you will start by rightclicking on the image and then making a
    selection from the menu that appears
    (for instance, “Format Picture” or “Size
    and Position”). Earlier versions of
    PowerPoint for Mac don’t have an
    option for adding Alt Text to images.
    Consult your software manual for
    detailed instructions.
    More resources:
    The WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) site offers detailed information on how to
    create accessible PowerPoint presentations and effective use of fonts. We used the
    article PowerPoint Accessibility to compile the “General tips” section of this document.
    The Teaching Commons at California State University has guidelines as well as a series
    of videos on creating accessible PowerPoint presentations. These explain how to add
    Alt Text and hyperlinks, use the notes pane, and how to format tables and charts.
    The Accessible Digital Office Documents project (ADOD), part of the Inclusive Design
    Research Centre at OCADU, has a number of resources, including step-by-step
    instructions for Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This
    resource includes information on adding hyperlinks, Alt Text and using other
    accessibility features.
    Microsoft has an online guide, Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations.
    To obtain this document in an alternative format, please contact:
    Council of Ontario Universities
    180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
    Tel: 416-979-2165
    Fax: 416-979-8635
    Created in September 2012
    Using Word documents
    and/or PDFs
    Do you distribute information to students using Microsoft Word documents or PDFs?
    Everyone benefits from organized, clear, concise and well laid-out assignments, syllabi
    and handouts. These tips can help you make your Word documents and PDFs
    accessible to the greatest number of students.
    What makes a Word document
    An accessible Word document is one
    that can be followed and understood by
    any student. Additionally, it can be read
    by a screen reader, has effective
    alternative text (Alt Text) and contains
    captioning or transcripts for any
    embedded audio or video.
    Some students use assistive technology
    to adapt information into a usable format
    for their learning needs. Some examples
    of assistive technology are:
    Screen readers: These read aloud
    information on a computer screen such
    as written text, or the description of an
    image provided through alternative text
    or Alt Text.
    Screen enhancement software: This
    allows users to magnify the computer
    screen or change the contrast to make
    the content easier to see.
    What makes a PDF accessible?
    PDF stands for portable file document, a
    format that looks the same on the
    screen as it does in print, regardless of
    the software program used to create it
    or on which computer system it is being
    viewed. The free Adobe Reader
    software is used to view and print PDFs.
    To create an accessible PDF, you
    should start by creating an accessible
    Word document. Step 2 is to convert the
    Word document to a properly tagged
    PDF, and Step 3 is to check the PDF’s
    accessibility and fix any problems.
    Step 1: Create an accessible
    Word document
    General tips
     Text should be at least 12-point type;
    fonts should be simple and sans serif
    (e.g. Arial, Comic Sans MS, Georgia,
    Courier New, Tahoma, Trebuchet
    MS or Verdana).
     Maintain a high contrast; black text
    on a white background, or white text
    on a black background are easiest to
     If you use colours, select those that
    are highly contrasting.
     Make sure the content can still be
    interpreted in grey-scale if someone
    prints the document in black and
     Use a bold font to show emphasis.
    Italics or upper-case letters is not
     Avoid using the “Enter” or “Return”
    key to create space between
    paragraphs. To change the spacing,
    select the paragraphs and change
    their spacing-before and spacingafter settings. Newer editions of
    Word add a blank line after each
    paragraph, and insert space before
    headings by default, so this may not
    be required.
     Avoid using Word text boxes. Screen
    readers cannot see inside them.
     Use hyperlinks, and insert a
    descriptive title for the link rather
    than a long web address (see
    resource below).
     Avoid using watermarks or other
    background images that obscure the
    text. If the information is important,
    include it elsewhere in the document.
    Use Word styles and headings
    Visual cues, such as headings, make it
    easier for all readers to use your
    document. Also, screen readers can
    interpret Word styles and headings
    when they are applied properly, and
    help the user navigate your document.
     Design your document by using
    Word’s “Styles” menu, rather than by
    applying formats to the text directly.
    For example, if you enlarge a font
    and make it bold, a screen reader
    will not see it as a heading; but if you
    apply a heading style to the text, the
    screen reader will recognize it.
     Use “Styles” to create a logical
    hierarchy that makes your document
    easy to navigate: “Title”, “Heading 1”,
    “Heading 2”, etc.
    Tables, columns and lists
     Avoid nested tables, merged or split
    cells inside tables.
     Ensure that the tab order within a
    table is logical. To test the
    navigation, select the first cell of the
    table, then press the “Tab” key
    repeatedly to ensure that the focus
    moves across the row and then
    down to the first cell of the next row.
     Do not use tabs or the spacebar to
    create columns of text with space
    between them. To create multicolumn documents, always use
    Word’s “Columns” layout feature.
    Add Alt Text to images
    Alternative text (Alt Text) describes an
    image so that the user’s assistive
    technology may convey what
    information is being provided. It appears
    when you move your cursor over a
    picture or object. In situations where the
    reader cannot see the image, Alt Text
    ensures that no information is lost. For
    websites, documents and lecture
    presentations to be accessible, Alt Text
    must be assigned to all photos, images,
    multimedia, graphs, charts, text boxes,
    ClipArt, SmartArt, AutoShapes, etc.
    Effective Alt Text:
     Communicates the purpose of the
    image accurately and succinctly.
     Contains a short description of the
    image that is important to the user’s
    understanding of the information
    conveyed and a longer description
    for complex or detailed diagrams and
     Does not repeat the text of an
    adjacent caption. Screen readers
    read both the caption and the Alt
    Text, so avoid having the same
    details in both.
     Does not contain the words “Image
    of” at the start of the Alt Text. Screen
    readers tell the user that there is an
    image and then read the Alt Text.
     Does indicate “Screen shot of…” if it
    is an image taken from a computer
     Does indicate “Photo of…” if it is a
     Requires no text if an image is purely
    decorative. Simply provide two
    quotation marks (“ ”) as the Alt Text.
     Uses punctuation for full sentences.
    How to add Alt Text
    Remember, you must provide Alt Text
    for all graphics, images and multimedia

    1. Right click on the image.
      (Control+click if using a Mac.)
    2. Depending on the edition of Word
      you’re using, select “Size”, “Format”
      or “Format picture”. For tables, click
      “Table properties”.
    3. Select “Alt Text” and type in the text
      that describes the image (e.g. “Logo
      of Council of Ontario Universities”).
      Use clear but concise descriptions.
      There is no option for adding Alt Text to
      images, charts or graphs using Word for
      Mac 2004 or 2008.
      Step 2: Convert to PDF
      Once you have prepared your Word
      document with accessibility in mind, you
      are ready to convert it to a PDF. For
      assistive technologies to be able to read
      it properly, the PDF must be tagged with
      an additional layer of information that
      allows the devices to determine how to
      navigate the file, and how to identify
      images, headings and paragraphs,
      among other items.
      If you are working with Microsoft Word
      2007 or 2010, this tagging will be done
      automatically when you save a file as
      PDF format. (Under “Options”, make
      sure that the “Document structure
      tags for accessibility” box is checked.)
      However, on the Mac operating system
      and in earlier versions of Word, using
      this method will create an untagged, and
      therefore inaccessible PDF. In this case,
      to create a tagged PDF you will need to
      use the plug-in that is available within
      Word if Adobe Acrobat is installed:
    4. In the top toolbar, click the
      “Acrobat” tab.
    5. Select “Create PDF”.
    6. In the “Save” box, select the
      “Options” button. Select the “Enable
      Accessibility” and “Reflow with
      Tagged Adobe PDF” options.
    7. Name the file as desired, select a
      destination folder, and click “Save”.
      Step 3: Check and fix
      If you have followed all of the above
      guidelines for creating your Word
      document, the resulting PDF has a
      basic level of accessibility. However, it is
      important to note that this document
      might not be fully accessible to all
      screen readers or assistive
      technologies; you may need to provide
      additional information using Adobe
      Acrobat software. For detailed
      information about creating accessible
      PDFs, see the Adobe Acrobat
      Accessibility Training Resources.
      Recent versions of Word (after 2010)
      have an Accessibility Checker that
      operates much as a spellchecker does.
      It can be found under “File”, “Info”,
      “Check for Issues”, and then “Check
      Accessibility”. It inspects your file and
      alerts you to issues that could make it
      difficult for a user with a disability to
      More resources:
      The WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) site offers more information, including how to
      create accessible Microsoft Word documents for PC and Mac users and effective use of
      The Accessible Digital Office Documents project (ADOD), part of the Inclusive Design
      Research Centre at OCADU, has a number of resources including step-by-step
      instructions on many word processing programs. This resource includes information on
      adding hyperlinks, Alt Text and using other accessibility features.
      Microsoft’s guide, Create Accessible Word Documents, offers online video tutorials and
      a reference sheet that may be used offline.
      California State University offers a number of online tutorials on making accessible
      The CNIB Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines provide useful tips on print documents.
      Chronicle of Higher Education blog post: How to Create Accessible Documents.
      To obtain this document in an alternative format, please contact:
      Council of Ontario Universities
      180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
      Tel: 416-979-2165
      Fax: 416-979-8635
      Created in September 2012
      Microsoft Corporation, Check for Accessibility Issues.
      Evaluating Students and
      Giving Feedback
      Do you grade students on their performance and offer feedback on how they can
      What you choose to evaluate in your courses and how you critique students’ work can
      have an impact on their learning, as well as their long-term learning practices and study
      and work habitsi
      Research shows that getting the right kind of feedback helps students stay engaged.
      Feedback is most constructive when it is relevant, accessible, consequential and
      . Furthermore, providing feedback that guides students toward mastery, rather
      than toward a fixed conception of performance, helps sustain motivationiii
      Whether you are grading papers, lab reports, tests, exams or other assignments, all
      students can benefit from evaluation and feedback that is clearly communicated.
      Tips on evaluation
      (Selections taken from the University of
      Guelph’s Universal Instructional Design
      project, A Faculty Workbook)
       Identify and clearly express the
      essential course content.
       Recognize that students can express
      understanding of essential course
      content in multiple ways.
       Clearly communicate all deadlines,
      assignments and expectations well
      in advance.
       Ensure ample time between
      assignments for students to receive
      feedback. Consider the time required
      for your students to complete
      assignments, and for you and your
      teaching assistants to mark and
      return them.
       Consider having multiple means of
      student evaluation, such as exams,
      presentations, papers, etc. There
      may be more than one appropriate
      way to meet and measure learning
       Design course assignments so they
      are integrated. Long-term projects
      that build skills and understanding
      through a series of smaller,
      cumulative assignments are most
      beneficial for student learning.
       If you use multi-part assignments,
      make sure students are required to
      build upon past work.
       Consider asking students to assess
      themselves and their peers on both
      learning processes and outcome.
      Use accessible online conferencing,
      e-mail or file exchange to organize
      peer review of assignments.
       When grading written work, use
      rubrics to ensure consistency of
      assessment criteria and feedback.
       Consider using accessible, webbased practice exercises/quizzes
      with automated marking for students
      to self-assess their understanding.
      Give explanations for correct and
      incorrect responses.
       When selecting online quizzes,
      check if there is flexibility in the time
      limit in case a student requests an
       Consider using an exam review
      game to demonstrate the type of
      questions that will be asked. Give
      students feedback on how well they
      have learned the material.
       Use e-mail or the course website to
      facilitate the submission and return
      of assignments.
       If you post grades, use a passwordprotected course website instead of
      a sheet of paper. Electronic and
      accessibly formatted documents will
      allow as many students as possible
      to obtain the information readily.
       Avoid allowing external factors such
      as penmanship to affect your
      Tips on giving feedback
      (Selections taken directly from the
      University of Guelph’s Universal
      Instructional Design project, A Faculty
      Workbook, the National Center on
      Universal Design for Learning section
      on mastery-oriented feedback, and the
      University of Toronto Scarborough’s
      Universal Instructional Design: Creating
      an Accessible Curriculum.)
       The most accessible and useful
      feedback is frequent, timely and
       Allow students to contact you by
      more than one method — an officehours visit, e-mail, a phone call
      during office hours — if they would
      like more in-depth feedback or want
      to discuss their performance.
       Feedback that is typed and delivered
      electronically in an accessible
      format, by e-mail or through a secure
      sign-in to a course website, is
      accessible to the majority of
       Provide clearly legible (i.e. typed),
      informative and prompt feedback on
      both the student’s demonstrated
      strengths and areas for
      improvement. Ensure the privacy of
      this feedback.
       Encourage mastery of material and
      the use of specific supports and
      strategies in the face of a challenge.
      Provide information on resources
      and supports available on your
       Provide feedback that is substantive
      and informative, rather than
      comparative or competitive.
       Identify patterns of errors and wrong
      answers, and demonstrate how to
      incorporate evaluation into positive
      strategies for future success.
       Consider allowing students to turn in
      components or drafts of large
      projects for feedback before the final
      project is dueiv.
       Give explanations for correct and
      incorrect responses if you’re giving
      computer-generated feedback, or
      use accessible web-based practice
      exercises and quizzes with
      automated marking for students to
      self-assess their understanding.
       Help students form study groups or
      set up an accessible online forum
      where students can collaborate,
      share and evaluate one another’s
      work, either formally or informally.
       Meet with students who don’t do well
      on graded work to see if you can
      help them develop strategies to
      overcome the problems identified.
      More resources:
      National Center on Universal Design for Learning: Checkpoint 8.4: Mastery-Oriented
      Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center at the
      University of Washington: Universal Design of Instruction (UDI): Definition, Principles,
      Guidelines, and Examples.
      University of Toronto at Scarborough: Universal Instructional Design: Creating an
      Accessible Curriculum.
      National Center on Universal Design for Learning. Checkpoint 8.4: Mastery-Oriented Feedback.
      ii National Center on Universal Design for Learning. Checkpoint 8.4: Mastery-Oriented Feedback.
      iii National Center on Universal Design for Learning. Checkpoint 8.4: Mastery-Oriented Feedback.
      iv Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center at the University of
  • Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is an awareness day focusing on digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people with disabilities and impairments. It is marked annually on the third Thursday of May. Upcoming GAAD events will be celebrated on: May 20, 2021.

     Lecture Notes – Accessibility and Usability

    Web Accessible

    It is very important when you are designing a website to think about accessibility and usability. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities or assistive technology can use the web. Making your website accessible can be simple or complex, depending on many factors such as the type of content, the size and complexity of the site, and the development tools and environment. Since the web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities.

    There are a few different web page accessibility checkers, but in order to check web pages that require a log-in, such as learning management systems usually do, you will need a browser based checker. Below are some tools that would be useful to have when you are developing your website to check for accessibility.

    What do you need to make your web site accessible?

    1. Headings and Structure
    2. Alt text and long descriptions
    3. Tables and forms

    Below is the Infographic from WebAIM to highlights a few important principles of accessible design:

    Web Accessibility for Designers infographic with text description from WebAIM site


    Firefox Browser

    1. WebAIM WAVE accessibility add-on for the Firefox browser.
    WebAIM WAVE toolbar image

    The WAVE Toolbar provides button options and a menu that will modify the current web page to reveal the underlying accessibility information. It provides an easy-to-use, yet powerful mechanism for evaluating the accessibility and usability of web content for people with disabilities. Just click the “Errors, Features, and Alerts” icon to see what accessibility errors you have on the page. If you hover over the error icon, more information on the error will appear. To return to the page without the error alerts, click the “Reset Page” icon on the toolbar. There’s a lot more you can do with this toolbar too, but this is how you do an accessibility error check with it. For more information on the toolbar, see the WebAIM website.

    • Fire Vox. Fire Vox is a free text to speech talking browser extension for Firefox that can not only read web page text, but it can read the Firefox user interface as well including the main menus and sub-menus. This extension is helpful for those who have poor vision and for those who may be blind. The keyboard shortcuts are easy to learn and are customizable to suit the user’s needs.
    • Favelets to check Accessibility.

    Internet Explorer Browser

    Opera Browser

    Despite its small market share, the Opera browser is in many ways the most advanced browser on the market, and the most accessibility friendly. Much of what other browsers use add-ons and plugins to accomplish, Opera can do natively.

    1. Using Opera to check for accessibility.
    2. The Paciello Group – Web Accessibility Toolbar.
    3. Opera Accessibility Features.

    Google Chrome  Browser




    • Orca
      “Free, open source, flexible, and extensible screen reader that provides access to graphical desktop environments via user-customizable combinations of speech, braille, and magnification.”
    • Accessibility on Linux desktops (article)


    • VoiceOver
      “VoiceOver 3 includes groundbreaking new features such as gesture support, braille display mirroring, web spots, and spoken hints. It also offers frequently requested features including autospeaking web pages, “read all,” web page summary, web table support, user-created labels, customizable verbosity, and more.”
    • Mac Accessibility Information on


    1. Are ALT tags present and sufficiently equivalent to the graphic content?
    2. Does the page use structural elements such as headings effectively?
    3. Can all links, navigational elements, and controls be accessed using the keyboard?
    4. Does link text provide a reasonable description of the link target?
    5. Are form elements explicitly associated with labels?
    6. Is information in PDF available either as tagged PDF or in other more accessible formats?
    7. Does the site avoid conveying meaning with color alone?
    8. Is there sufficient contrast between text and background?
    9. Are data tables marked up as required?
    10. Is multimedia content captioned (or if audio only, transcribed)?
    11. Is flickering content avoided?
    12. Is the page functional when scripts are disabled?
    13. Is the page functional when style sheets are disabled?
    14. Does the page pass HTML validation?


    1. WebAIM WAVE web accessibility evaluation website. You can enter the URL of your website or upload a file or paste your HTML code to this website and it will evaluate whether your page is accessible or give you suggestions on what to fix.
    2. WebAIM WAVE Dreamweaver Extension BETA. This tool gives you flexibility inside Adobe Dreamweaver to evaluate content being developed in Dreamweaver and get a full WAVE report with one click. The only requirement is you need to use a minimum of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3.
    3. Accessify website. This website has a collection of accessibility tools and news update that would be useful.
    4. Complete list from W3C of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools.
    5. Accessibilty information from Microsoft to test your website using Internet Explorer 8.
    6. Accessibility Tutorials for Microsoft Products.
    7. Firefox Accessibility Project. Access Firefox presents and showcases some of the many accessibility tools and features that are available for the free Firefox web browser.
    8. PennState Accessibility and Usability. This website has a list of techniques of accessifying Web page for multiple HTML objects as well as additional Web page technologies.

    Web Usability

    Web Usability is working to make website more usable for everybody, including those with disabilities. It is important to think about web usability when developing your website. Think about your target audience or people who access your website:

    • How do they read your page?
    • How do they navigate your page?
    • Is your content easy to read?
    • Is it easy to find information on your page? etc.

    If the answer to one of the questions above is negative, then you would easily lost your audience. With other competing website only a click away, poor usability drives away your audience, which could means losing revenue. Strong usability lets people easily accomplish their goals, including finding product information, requesting a quote, or making a purchase. A great website needs to have at least these three elements:

    • Consistency and cohesiveness. All the pages on a Web site should be visually similar enough that even first-time visitors can tell that they’re on the same site, has designs that use standard elements like most other Web sites.
    • Navigable. Your visitors usually have a specific goal when visiting the Web site, so they would like quickly find information they need. Thus, it is important to create links that clear for your visitors on how to navigate the Web site.
    • Understandable. The Web site content needs to make sense for your visitors by using simple and straighforward sentence, unless you have a special target audience who understands it. Limit your design elements, since too many choices may confuse your visitors and prevent them from getting what they need from your site. Simple is better.

    For larger Web sites, it is crucial to improve a site’s usability by doing usability testing, in which a developer sits down with potential or actual users of the site, asks them to accomplish a task, notes how they go about it and whether they are successful, and asks for their feedback. Usability testing often giving developers good information about things that they may have overlook.

    Usability Test video: Campus Food Website (4:11)

    Examples: PCC main website did usability testing when they first launch the new design. The developers received some feedback from faculty, staff, and students. PCC library website also did usability testing before they launch the new re-design because of its complex design of using database system.

    Steps to conduct usability testing:

    1. Prepare the questionnaire or tasks ahead of time.
    2. Make sure everything is set properly, such as having internet connection, no computer issue, etc.
    3. Begin the session by introducing yourself and explain the process, how you’re going to set the stage.
    4. Take notes of your observation. You can use the sample observation form, listed below in the “Resources for Web Usability.”
    5. Be neutral and don’t be prejudice of the participants and their answers. You are only observing and not to help them.
    6. Keep them comfortable during the session and stay on track with your tasks.
    7. Participants can ask questions and you may answer if neccessary, don’t give hints or answers directly to them. You may be tempted to rescue them, but the session will be useless if you do that.
    8. It may be good to videotape the session so you can always go back and even show it to other development team members.
    9. Have the participant complete a post session survey after the testing is complete. You can use the post session survey listed below in the “Resources for Web Usability.”


    1. Steve Krug, who is an expert in usability wrote the following books:
      1. Dont Make Me Think – A common sense approach to web usability.
      1. Rocket Surgery Made Easy – The Do-It-Yourself guide to finding and fixing usability problems.
    2. Dr. Peter J. Meyers, wrote this 25-point Website Usability Checklist.
    3. A practical guide to Usability Testing – by Joseph Dumas and Janice (Ginny) Redish, Intellect, 1999. Best how-to book on user testing.
    4. Sample observation form. Use this sample observation form to help take notes during usability testing session.
    5. Post Session Survey. Have the participant from usability testing complete this survey after the testing is done. Post-test feedback and comments are an excellent way to understand user preferences.

    Accessibility and Usability

  • Untitled
  • software for Independent Living.

    software for Independent Living.
    Super Vision:
    Here to Read:
    Simply Reading:
    Whatsapp Messenger:
    Google Brailleback:
    @voice aloud reader:
    Dolphin Easy Reader:
    Microsoft One note:
    Microsoft Office Lense:
    Text Fairy:
    Place Saver:
    Amazing MP3 recorder:
    Music Folder Player:
    Dainik Bhaskar:
    Total Commander:
    Daily GK:
    Nuance Talks And Zoom Software For Second Generation Phones(Nuance TALKS app for mobile handsets converts text on the screen to highly intelligible speech. Nuance ZOOMS is a sophisticated screen magnifier app. Together they provide blind and low-vision impaired individuals access to the digital world.) click here download.
    Vital Source Bookshelf (Access your course materials on any laptop, tablet, or smartphone device with VitalSource Bookshelf, the textbook app for smarter reading, studying, and learning.) Click here to Download.
    Dolphin Easy Reader (Dolphin Easy reader (Accessible reading app for Windows designed for students with dyslexia, low vision or blindness) click here download and more details.
    Simply Reading App (Simply Reading: A simple to use app for reading EPUB books compatible with screen reading software. This app is usable by all including persons with disabilities. The app aims at providing an example of simple to use interface accessible to all for reading books on a touch screen device.) you can download it from google play store.
    Tobi(Tobi is an authoring tool geared towards re-purposing published material. It allows users to add audio narration to a text-only document, to synchronize a podcast with a structured script, or to review and improve an existing Digital Talking Book. To create text from scratch, we recommend popular editors such as Microsoft Word or Open Office, which can both produce DTBook markup thanks to their respective Save as DAISY add-ins. Support for EPUB 3 has been added.) click here to download and please visit the official website of DAISY for more details.
    Obi(Obi is a free software application – audio production tool. Obi brings the benefits of DAISY technology to a broader range of consumers. In situations where time and cost constraints limit the use of sophisticated synchronized multimedia production tools (e.g. classroom environment, people and organizations in developing countries), Obi can unlock the potential of producers and consumers (e.g. teachers and students).) click here to download and read more about it.
    Save As DAISY (The “Save as DAISY” add-in for Microsoft Office Word incorporates a “Lite” version of the DAISY Pipeline. Users can select to generate the DAISY XML for further processing, or generate a fully conforming DAISY file set with full navigation and full text synchronized with audio. The audio is generated by the default text-to-speech (TTS) engine on your Windows computer. Click here download and for more details.
    Zoom App – for conference call and meeting
    Talking wristwatch :
    Talking Calculator :
    Tactile Calliper :
    Saksham EVO- E5 :
    Orbit Reader 20 :
    Liquid Level Indicator :
    EVO- E10 :
    Braille me :
    Braille and Talking wrist watch :
    Talking Bathroom scale :
    Talking Blood pressure :

  • Ch. 13: Problems and Solutions, heading 1

    I preface this chapter by stating that as long as you live, problems are going to occur. If you do not have any problems, you may want to consider whether you are truly living life. When a problem occurs, it is usually during the most intense time of the project, or one-day or one hour before deadline. Don’t panic. Keep in mind if the problem had shown up any earlier in the process, you could have come up with an alternative. However, you do not have that leeway at this point. You have only the realities that have been given to you. At this critical time, here is what you need to do: Take a Deep Breath Always remain calm and resist the urge to overreact. Now is not the time to dramatize or appear scared or paralyzed. Remember that everyone is looking to you for guidance; they will follow your lead. Use phrases, such as “let’s work through this” or “stay focused” or “everything is going to be okay.” Keeping a level head in a hectic or chaotic situation is very important. The true art of calmness comes from believing everything is going to turn out for the best — even when it does not go according to plan. Gather the Facts Begin to gather the facts. This can come from almost any source: the person you delegated the responsibility, a vendor, or your own experiences. You are looking for the facts only. It is human nature at this stage of the problem for people to start blaming others or concentrating on the problem and not the solution. It is your job to gather the facts quickly to develop a workable and acceptable solution. Run the Scenarios Once you have all the facts, it is time to run the scenarios. What do I mean by that? Unlike the cycle of decision-making, you do not have the time to write down information or do research to make a decision. In one thought, you brainstorm a solution, assess the probable result in your mind, and determine whether or not that result is acceptable. You keep doing this exercise until you come up with at least two end results that are acceptable. These two or three scenarios are going to be the solution to accomplishing your plan. For example3 Full stop A musical artist was to have shown up an hour ago as entertainment for a networking event, and it is now one hour before the event starts and your artist has not yet arrived. Calmly you begin to gather the facts by calling the artist’s manager and asking why he has not shown up. It appears the artist was overbooked, his manager left a message on your staff member’s voicemail (who was called out of town for a family emergency), and no one realized the artist was not coming until this moment. Instead of placing blame on why the message was not forwarded or dwelling on the overbooking error, you begin to run the scenarios. Here are a few possibilities: 87. Play the artist’s music on a CD player during the event and announce the artist was not able to attend due to a previous engagement. 88. From your previous research, call another artist on your list and see if he available to fill in. If the back-up artist cannot come until later than you planned for a performance, play his music until his arrival. 89. Go without any music and exclusively focus on the occasion as a networking event. What is the key to success here? You must act as if it was all planned this way. Never admit failure unless it is absolutely necessary. Hold it together! Do not let others know what you are feeling or berate anyone during the event. Your breakdown and analysis of the situation can wait until the event is over and the guests have left. After each project, you must take the time to reflect on the lessons learned and bring about closure. It is a vital step to your success as a project manager and can be done in four easy steps: 90. Consider some of the processes and formulas you found about the process that you will consistently implement in the future for projects that you are responsible for managing or completing? 91. Take this opportunity to examine the impact of, what has been learned. Reflecting back on earlier projects, identify any mistakes or breakdowns in process that will need to be fixed or addressed next time. 92. If you have not already done this, you need to create a master file. This file can be in the form of an electronic database, address book or rolodex. The purpose of this file is to gain easy access to already established contacts for future projects. This file should include vendors or contacts that you would feel comfortable calling upon again. Continued affiliation with these contacts is valuable because they: 93. Gave above satisfactory service 94. Provided competitive pricing 95. Served as a valuable reference and resource 96. Lastly, do not forget to say “Thank You” to those people you made contact with during the course of the project. You do this for two reasons: · Because it is the courteous thing to do · You never know when showing your appreciation might benefit you in the future Although, you may have significantly decreased the “You Need This When?” moments, there will be some issue or problem that happens that is beyond your control. It is at that moment, the vendor or contact will remember your appreciation for their services and make an extra effort to help you out with this situation. What are some of the things you found about the process that you will consistently implement in the future for projects that you are responsible for managing or completing? List them below. Let us take this opportunity to examine the impact of what has been learned. Reflecting back on earlier projects, identify any mistakes or breakdowns in process that will need to be fixed or addressed next time. Good Luck with your Journey to becoming a Successful Project Manager. It has been my pleasure to give you the benefit of my experiences. Please let me hear from you on your, success!

  • (no title)

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  • Article title:Current Article: A Data-Driven Approach to Identifying — and Retaining — Top Employees

    A Data-Driven Approach to Identifying — and Retaining — Top Employees The so-called “war for talent,” bandied about in the media since it was coined by McKinsey & Company in 1997, is taking on a whole new meaning post-Covid. The competition to find and retain talent has only been exacerbated as workplaces have moved to virtual and hybrid configurations, held tenuously together by remote collaboration. The expansion beyond brick-and-mortar operations essentially nullifies many former practices for identifying and nurturing talent, and “management by walking around” just doesn’t work anymore. At the same time, mountains of new data are suddenly available to help companies answer key questions about their workforce and its needs. The rise of digital collaboration platforms and new methods for harvesting data, along with new technologies and novel approaches for finding and managing talent, are redefining how companies will build their workforces going forward. As an information management company with expertise in big data, we often find ourselves implementing new approaches to identify talent for more innovative organizations. And as a CEO in constant search for talent, I’ve seen firsthand how data can elevate a company’s hiring practices beyond the typical “intuition-based approach” to an evidence-based decision using meaningful but easy-to-miss indicators. In the spirit of illuminating the path ahead, I’ve compiled some of our key insights into this new paradigm. Before Looking Elsewhere, Search Within While “building” rather than “buying” is not a new concept in talent acquisition, the inherent difficulty lies in scouring the current ranks of your workforce to find the best fit for the new position. Internal hires, on average, receive higher performance reviews and cost less than their external counterparts, but 60% of hiring managers suggest internal recruiting could be improved by better identifying skills in existing employees. Thankfully, two digital trends have coalesced in the past year to make the task of identifying internal talent much easier. First, remote work has increased the sheer volume of digital communications and work product generated by employees, propelled by the mass adoption of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Second, since organizations are usually obliged to manage this “unstructured data” for litigation, compliance, records-keeping, and privacy, some have taken the next step of leveraging it to glean insights, or “people analytics. ” Employee data represents the keys to the human side of the corporate kingdom, and from it, practically every aspect of performance can be analyzed using technology available today. The utility of people analytics has only recently surfaced, but organizations have already started analyzing email and other messages to drive better internal hiring and promotion decisions. For example, high-performing employees often leave electronic communication trails that cross departmental boundaries and place them in the center of informal networks — which can be identified through people analytics. Similarly, subject-matter experts can typically be found through lexical analyses and by examining criteria such as who gets asked the most questions by other employees. Organizations that harness these insights can significantly reduce the level of difficulty involved in finding internal talent and matching them with promotion opportunities. Modify the Corporate Organizational Puzzle Beyond performance assessment, fundamental questions can now be addressed through people analytics. The flow of communication can tell us a lot about how an organization truly operates, but it’s often obscured by a rigid and outdated org chart. But by looking at the whole puzzle, companies can start to understand the pieces they have, the pieces they need, and how they fit together. What informal networks are at play that contribute to individual, departmental, and company-wide performance? How can the company identify and nurture the “movers and shakers” and ensure they are not overlooked, or worse, inadvertently lost? This type of human resource analysis can have an impact on corporate performance that is significant and immediate. The possible use cases are limited only by the imagination. For example, HR’s sales recruiting policies can change drastically when management is able to track and analyze the quality and quantity of activity of new salespeople, thus predicting the probability of success or failure within a mere month or two. Put simply, the risks and costs of hiring errors are dramatically reduced when a company can gauge performance quickly and confidently. One cautionary note: Employee privacy should always be top of mind. While technology can pose both opportunity and challenge, it’s worth pointing out that strong control of data technology can be used to dial the degree of privacy toward one’s comfort zone. The (Virtual) Road Ahead in Talent Management Technology is revamping talent acquisition and management. We should be aware of the ramifications and embrace or brace for the impact. On the plus side, there is a new transparency in human dynamics which can enable the next level of management, especially in our new Covid-impacted virtual environments, where technology now spins the invisible web that holds the human network together. Other benefits include the hope that analytics will be more neutrally balanced toward workforce equity and diversity than many of the subjective methods used today. On a more cautionary side, it’s important to keep in mind that the power of such technology can be easily abused without diligent oversight. Kon Leong is co-founder and CEO of ZL Technologies, Inc., a software and cloud vendor to large enterprises for information governance and analytics solutions. Previously, he was co-founder in several high tech startups. {{quota.remaining}}/{{quota.limit}} REMAINING REGISTER You’ve read all of your free articles. Subscribe and never run out again. You’re out of free articles for this month. Need help getting access? Contact Customer Service: 800.988.0886 (U.S./Canada) 617.783.7500 (International) We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

  • Resume Writing

    Resume Writing
    A resume is a document that you—the jobseeker—uses to promote your skills, abilities, and knowledge to a
    potential employer. It uses your past experiences and accomplishments to position you for future opportunities.
    From an employer’s perspective, resumes are used to identify qualified candidates to
    invite to an interview. Resumes do not generate job offers, but well written resumes
    do facilitate interviews. They are a marketing tool. The resume is important, but just
    one of several steps that make up a successful job search.
    Things to know before you get started:
    • Your resume will be among a stack of resumes that will be viewed for no more
    than 30 seconds.
    • Applicant tracking systems scan resumes for keywords that match the company’s job descriptions. Use
    words in your resume that match the job description. If the keywords/skills are missing, your resume
    may be rejected.
    • Don’t be vague, you need to do more than simply list functions you had at a previous job. What did you
    accomplish? What problem did you solve? (see accomplishment worksheet)
    • Don’t lie or embellish the truth (employers will check your references)
    • Rules of the English language are forgotten
    o Avoid first person pronouns “I” “Me” or “We”
    o Keep sentences short. Sentence fragments are acceptable.
    • Assemble all personal and factual information before you construct your resume.
    • Work on your resume one section at a time.
    • Use a dictionary or thesaurus to avoid repetitive wording.
    Choose a standard font (Times New Roman, Ariel, Helvetica)
    Keep the font size between 10-12 pt.
    (10 pt. is only recommended to keep to one page)
    Resume should be 1 page- every line is valuable real estate
    Print resume on 24 LB Bond paper (white or cream)
    Components of a good resume:
    Personal Information
    Your name, address, city, state, cell phone number and email address should be highly visible,
    centered at the top of the page. *Note: E-mail address and cell phone voicemail must be
    Objective (optional)
    Not all employers require an objective. An objective identifies which position you are seeking.
    Place an objective on your resume when you are applying for a specific position.
    Highlights of Qualifications
    The qualifications section delivers an impact at the top of your resume – it’s your first impression. The qualification
    statements should match your skills to the target job description. You want the employers to read the summary and say
    “we have to meet this person.” Information in this section must be customized to fit each position you apply for. Place
    most important words first since the scanner may be limited in the number of words it reads. List hard skills not soft skills
    (see skills sheet).
    Use separate headings for Internship and Work experience List in reverse chronological order, specifying employer
    name, city and state, job title, and dates of employment. Use action verbs (see sheet) to describe your tasks, hi-lighting
    your accomplishments and skills (review accomplishment sheet) and relating these to individual job requirements. If you
    have not completed an internship, you may consider adding a section titled “Career Related Experience”.
    List all collegiate experiences (degree received) in reverse chronological order. Include school name, city and state,
    degree, anticipated graduation date, majors, minors, GPA (optional). You may also list relevant course work, Dean’s List,
    and scholarships. Study abroad would also be listed under this section using the same format.
    Employers have indicated that involvement in extracurricular activities demonstrates leadership, time management and
    organizational skills. The following is a list of activities that can be included in this section: organizations/associations,
    volunteerism, community involvement, and athletic teams, (if you have held a leadership position, be sure to include this
    with the activity). You may choose to have a leadership section if you have several experiences.
    “Reference available upon request,” can be omitted. It is understood that you will supply references. Create a
    separate reference page and bring it with you to the interview. Include the reference name, title,
    organization/company name, business address, phone number, and email of each reference. Include only those
    persons who have agreed to serve as a reference for you. List all your personal information at the top of this
    Managing time
    Trouble shooting
    Group facilitating
    Handling details
    Setting up
    Carry out requests
    (Adapted from Quick Job Hunting Map-The Beginning Version, by Richard N. Bolles and Victoria B. Zenof)
    Accelerated Closed Developed Explained Inventoried Pinpointed Reviewed
    Accomplished Coached Devised Facilitated Lectured Placed Revised
    Achieved Collected Diagnosed Fired Led Planned Scheduled
    Acquired Compiled Directed Formulated Lobbied Posted Screened
    Adapted Completed Discovered Found Logged Presented Selected
    Adjusted Conceived Dispatched Founded Made Processed Simplified
    Administered Conducted Displayed Generated Maintained Produced Sold
    Advertised Consolidated Distributed Guided Managed Programmed Solved
    Advised Constructed Documented Headed Manufactured Promoted Steered
    Analyzed Contacted Earned Hired Mastered Proposed Streamlined
    Appraised Controlled Edited Identified Modified Provided Studied
    Approved Coordinated Elicited Implemented Monitored Purchased Suggested
    Arranged Copyrighted Eliminated Improved Motivated Recognized Supervised
    Assembled Corresponded Engineered Increased Negotiated Recommended Supplied
    Assisted Counseled Enhanced Influenced Obtained Reduced Taught
    Audited Created Enlarged Initiated Operated Referred Tested
    Augmented Cultivated Established Inspected Ordered Reinforced Trained
    Authored Debugged Estimated Installed Organized Reorganized Transcribed
    Balanced Decreased Evaluated Instituted Originated Repaired Translated
    Budgeted Delivered Examined Instructed Packaged Replaced Utilized
    Built Designated Executed Interpreted Patented Reported Vended
    Calculated Designed Expanded Interviewed Performed Represented Wrote
    Catalogued Determined Expedited Invented Persuaded Restored
    Accomplishments Worksheet
    The best measurement of the future is to show what you have accomplished in the past. Hiring professionals
    already know what the job duties are; your resume should highlight your accomplishments in that position.
    As you evaluate your past experiences, work or otherwise, consider the following:

    1. Try to list accomplishments that are specific and measurable.
    2. Quantify whenever possible. (Examples: Increased sales by 50 percent over
      the previous year; Built a customer base of 150, the largest in the firm’s
      customer-service team.
    3. Use superlatives and “firsts.” Use words such as “first,” “only,” “best,”
      “most,” and “highest.”
    4. Consider the “so-what factor.” For every accomplishment you list, ask
      yourself, “so what?” Does the item you’ve listed truly characterize your
      abilities and your potential for contributing to your next employer’s success?
      A series of brainstorming questions are asked below to consider when evaluating experiences from your work
      history. Respond to as many of the questions as you can for each job.
      ♦What special things did you do to set yourself apart? How did you do the job better than anyone else did or
      than anyone else could have done?
      ♦What did you do to make this job your own? How did you take the initiative? How did you go above and
      beyond what was asked of you in your job description?
      ♦What special things did you do to impress your boss so that you might be promoted? And were you promoted?
      Rapid and/or frequent promotions can be especially noteworthy.
      ♦List any awards you won, such as Employee of the Month, President’s Club?
      ♦What are you most proud of in this job?
      ♦What tangible evidence do you have of accomplishments — publications you’ve produced, products you’ve
      developed, software applications you’ve written?
      ♦How did you contribute to operational efficiency in this job, such as through cost reduction percentages? How
      did you help this employer or a part of the organization to save money, save time, or make work easier?
      ♦How did you contribute to productivity, such as through successfully motivating your team?
      ♦How did you build relationships or image with internal and/or external constituencies? How did you attract
      new customers or retain existing ones?
      ♦If you had to ghostwrite a letter of recommendation about you from your boss, what would be in it?
      ♦How did you solve one or more specific problems in this job? What were the problems or challenges that you
      or the organization faced? What did you do to overcome the problems? What were the results of your efforts?
      Hint: Use the SAR or PAR technique, in which you describe a Situation or Problem that existed in a given job,
      tell what Action you took to fix the Situation or Problem, and what the Result was.
      Vague Claims vs Accomplishments
      • “Experience working in fast-paced environment”
      “Registered 120+ third-shift emergency patients per night”
      • “Excellent written communication skills”
      “Wrote jargon-free User Guide for 11.000 users”
      • “Team player with cross-functional skills”
      “Collaborated with clients, A/R and Sales to increase speed of receivables and prevent interruption of
      service to clients.”
      • “Demonstrated success in analyzing client needs”
      “Created and implemented comprehensive needs assessment mechanism to help forecast demand for
      services and staffing.”
      VAGUE Example
      Senior Commercial Loan Underwriter
      September 2005 to Present
      Lotsa Bucks Trust, St. Louis, MO
      • Took commercial and construction loan applications
      • Negotiated terms
      • Five direct reports in commercial loans division
      • Trained new hires on loan research methods
      • Organized company softball team
      GOOD Example
      Senior Commercial Loan Underwriter
      September 2005 to Present
      Lotsa Bucks Trust, St. Louis, MO
      • Processed $10 billion in commercial construction loan applications for the top commercial lender in
      Eastern Missouri
      • Managed a team of five junior underwriters who exceeded departmental goals consistently for past six
      • Facilitated professional training on loan research methods to shorten learning curve for new hires
      • Applied professional team-building skills to development of successful company softball team, resulting
      in higher corporate visibility in local community and enhanced employee morale
      There is no one single resume format. The information contained in this booklet was obtained from various
      resources and opinions acquired from a variety of hiring professionals. It should be used as a guideline in creating
      a resume that you are comfortable with.
      477 Maple Drive, York, IL 60538
      (630) 123-4567,
      To obtain a position in the field of marketing utilizing my creativity and communication skills to enhance
      the organization.
      • Exceptional oral and written communication skills with experience in public speaking
      • Demonstrated creativity by initiating and implementing programs for residence hall
      • Strong time management and organizational skills balancing full academic schedule, active participation in
      campus community, member of Women’s Tennis Team, and working part- time
      • Enhanced global perspective and language fluency strengthened through living and traveling abroad for a
      Kendall Publishing Company, Elmhurst, Illinois
      Marketing Intern (June 2012 – August 2012)
      • Developed package insert program for a new product line
      • Assisted Creative Services in the redesign of new package insert materials
      • Collaborated directly with advertisers to increase sales of new inserts by 22%.
      Gail’s Office Supply, Oak Park, Illinois
      Customer Service Staff (2009 – present, part- time during school breaks)
      • Facilitate tracking of “Frequent Buyers” program creating new customer incentives
      • Design in-store displays to market merchandise; complete sales analysis to determine effectiveness in
      marketing plans
      Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois
      Residence Assistant (August 2011 – May 2012)
      • Planned, marketed and implemented educational and social programs within hall budget parameters
      • Created “Shirts for Sticks” program which raised $3000 for local charities
      • Led and administered functions in a coeducational residence hall housing approximately 200 students
      • Provided informational counseling, assisted with crisis management, enforced campus policies, and
      conducted conflict mediation sessions
      ELMHURST COLLEGE, Elmhurst, Illinois
      Bachelor of Science Anticipated: May 2013
      Major: Communications Minor: Spanish
      Concentration: Marketing GPA: 3.75/4.00
      Universidad De Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain August –December 2010
      IES Abroad-Barcelona Center
      • Habitat for Humanity, Elmhurst College, Sept 2011- present
      Chairperson for spring trip to New Orleans to build homes
      • The Speakers Club, Elmhurst, Illinois, September 2010 – present
      • Bacchus Peer Educator, Elmhurst College, April 2010 – present
      • American Marketing Association, Elmhurst College, August 2009 – present
      Creative Committee Chair for national Marketing Research competition
      • Women’s Tennis Team, Elmhurst College August 2009 – present RESUME SAMPLE
      Bart Prospect
      111 North Avenue, Apartment 3, Elmhurst, IL 60126
      (630) 555-5555,
      To obtain a summer marketing internship which would make use of proven abilities in sales and
      event planning.
      Elmhurst College Elmhurst, Illinois
      Bachelor of Science Anticipated May 2014
      Specializations: Marketing, Minor: Economics, GPA: 3.7/4.0
      Elmhurst College Academic Dean’s List, Recipient 2010 – 2012
      National Society for Collegiate Scholars 2011 – 2012
      • Participated in volunteer and community service activities
      Elmhurst College – Marketing Project Fall Semester 2011
      Team Leader
      • Researched the historical background of Mrs. Fields’ Cookies
      • Developed a marketing strategy for the company to implement for further success
      The Body Shop Chicago, IL
      Sales Associate August 2010 – Present
      • Project and calculate daily and weekly sales reports for management review
      • Aid and consult customers in a friendly manner
      • Perform daily re-stocking and inventory counts of over 1,000 product types
      Sawmill Golf Course Stillwater, MN
      Food and Beverage Services Summers 2010, 2011
      • Assisted in planning tournaments, benefits, and corporate events through the coordination of food
      service, marketing, and customer service during the event
      • Inventoried food and beverage stock for re-ordering on a continual basis
      Seasons Tique Stillwater, MN
      Sales Associate May 2007–April 2010
      • Interacted closely with management through weekly sales reporting and team meetings
      • Established long-standing relationships with frequent customers
      • Conducted annual inventory of all products including clothing and accessories totaling $975K
      Elmhurst College, Student Ambassador September 2011– Present

    I. Basic Facts
    A. Writing Skills
    o Hiring personnel likely to hold a poorly written resume against the applicant
    o Used as a weed-out tool
    o Should use minimal wording, thus making sure each carefully chosen fact produces a lasting
    impression on an employer
    B. Time Allotted and Length
    o Average time spent on a resume is 10 to 30 seconds
    o Should be one page
    C. “Does it Help” Rule
    o When adding information, ask yourself “does it help?”
    o Will the piece of information help get the interview
    o Is it relevant to the position I want
    o Does it solve their problem
    o Is it more important than something else
    II. Resume Defined
    A. Purpose
    o A resume is a summary of your experiences and skills relevant to the field of work you are entering.
    o It highlights your accomplishments to show a potential employer that you are qualified for the work
    you want. It is not a biography of everything you have done.
    o Its purpose is to get you an interview.
    o A resume can and should reflect more than just your paid work experience. Include the details of your
    more important extracurricular, volunteer, and leadership experiences.
    B. Tailored Resumes
    o Tailor separate resumes to fit each career field in which you are job searching. You can create slightly
    different resumes tailored to each job opening.
    III. Resume Types:
     Chronological Resume
     Most common
     Objective statement followed by chronological job history, including some highlighted achievements at
    each position
     Shows progress in a single profession, thus puts emphasis on work experience (may not be the best choice
    for a college graduate)
     Functional Resume
     Emphasis on abilities instead of work history
     Objective statement followed by list of skills an employer wants with a brief example of the qualifications;
    employment history follows at the bottom in a brief format
     Chrono-Functional Resume
     Combines the strengths of both resumes
     Objective statement followed by a list of a few key skills followed by an in-depth employment history
    similar to a chronological resume
     Good for students who have internship experience and career-oriented extracurricular activities
    IV. Getting Started
    Step 1: Make a list of your various activities over the years
     Include paid work, volunteer positions, extracurricular activities (especially those in which you had a
    leadership role) and internships.
     Can go as far back as four or five years. Graduating seniors will often have one or two items from high
    school on their resume if those items stress an important skill.
    Step 2: Write a paragraph about each important item in your list.
     “Important items” would include most paid work, internships, extended volunteer activities, and activities
    in which you had a leadership role.
     Don’t worry about the wording of your paragraphs at this point ; “resume language” will come later
     Describe accomplishments as well as duties (provide a skill and its result)
     An example of a duty might be “I maintained ten computers, loading new software and resolving problems
    as needed,” while an example of an accomplishment might be “I created two self-paced PowerPoint
    presentations to train people in our office on the new company software, and it was so successful that my
    manager asked me to present it to five other managers in the company.”
    Note: You will eventually change your wording into “resume language,” dropping any
    “I’s” and making your phrases more concise. For now, use whatever language you want.

    Step 3: Pick the items that you will highlight or emphasize on your resume.
     Give this some thought. Consider two factors here:
    o What are your greatest strengths, and how can you demonstrate those strengths through your
    experience? All employers value certain qualities: team player; good communication skills; leadership
    abilities. In addition, you have particular skills that you consider your strong points, you would
    generally try to bring those to light, as well.
    o What are the requirements and needs of this particular industry, this particular employer and this
    particular job?
    Here’s an example of the needs of an industry and a job:
     Advertising industry – account executive:
     The industry tends to value creativity, high energy, and the ability to work in a hectic, deadline-driven
     The job of account executive demands that you be detail-oriented, good with people and able to handle
    many projects at once.
     Your task, then, would be to demonstrate those qualities through the activities described on your resume.
    Step 4: Create the sections of your resume.
     Section 1: Name and Address
     Put your name in at least 14-point. Recruiters often must look through stacks of resumes in search of a
    particular one. Make it easy for them to see your name.
     Include both your school address and phone number, as well as the address and phone number where you
    can be reached during school vacations or after you graduate.
     Include your e-mail address. If you check your e-mail during school vacations, you may want to center the
    address on your resume in a way that implies it is not just associated with your school address.
     Section 2: Objective
     Objective: An objective is optional, but should be included. If you have worked out a clearly targeted job
    objective, then definitely include it.
     1-2 sentences about the job sought and why you would be a valuable part of the team
     Avoid pronouns and flowery language; don’t be too general (“a challenging position enabling me to
    contribute to organizational goals while offering an opportunity for growth and advancement”)
     Focus on what you have to offer rather than on what the job can offer you. Employers want to know if you
    fit their needs, not what you hope to get out of a job.
     Example: “OBJECTIVE: Editorial assistant position in the publishing industry, utilizing my academic
    background in literature and my three years of experience writing for campus and local newspapers.”
     Section 3: Education
     This section always goes first on your resume, as long as you are in school.
     Include major, minor, type of degree, honors distinctions, GPA
     If you are still an undergraduate and applying for an internship, list your high school below your college in
    this section. Note: Your significant activities from high school can be listed in this section, though many
    students benefit more from listing those in more detail in their Experience or Activities sections.
     Once you have graduated from college, your education section goes first on your resume from one to three
    years, depending on such factors as whether your education was relevant to your career field and how
    impressive your work experience has been in the intervening years. If you have recently received a
    graduate or professional degree, your education would usually go at the top of your resume.
     As a graduating senior, your GPA should always be mentioned, as long as it is above 3.0. Most recruiters
    will assume that it is below 3.0 if they do not see it on your resume.
     “Courses studied” or Relevant Coursework” is an optional section. If you have taken courses outside your
    major that are relevant to the job (or if you simply want to emphasize your academic training relevant to
    the job or internship), you would definitely benefit from including this section. For example, if you were a
    Philosophy major trying to find work in the computer industry, and you had taken three courses in the
    Computer Science department; you would definitely include them in a “Relevant Courses” section.
     Significant honors and awards can be included as a sub-category of your Education section.
     Section 4: Experience
     Don’t limit this section to paid work experiences. Employers understand that the most valuable or most
    challenging experiences often occur in internships, volunteer work or other extracurricular activities.
     Opportunity to show how transferred skills learned in the classroom to the workplace.
     Student Teaching Experience – Include name and location of placements, dates involved, and grade level of
    assignment. Major responsibilities in teaching area should be emphasized.
     How should you describe your experiences?
     Consult the paragraphs you wrote about each of your jobs or activities: choose from one to eight sentences
    that encapsulate the skills you used at this job or activity, your duties and your significant
    accomplishments. (skill and result)
     Include both your duties and your accomplishments.
     Duties tell the employer you can do the job. Accomplishments indicate that you will go above and beyond
    the call of duty:
     Duties alone can sound bland: “Wrote articles, researched topics, filed documents”?
     When you add your accomplishments and contributions, you set yourself apart from the other applicants:
    “Researched and wrote weekly Music Notes for local arts newspaper. Created archival database that saved
    staff several hours of work per week. Chosen from among seven interns to represent newspaper at
    MusicFest 2001 festival; wrote feature story that ran on front page.”
     Use action verbs (“wrote,” “managed,” “researched,” “coached,” “planned,” etc.).
     Where possible, use keywords.
     Cite numbers to make a point (e.g. number of people supervised; size of event created).
     Be concise; use telegram rather than narrative style.
     Include “buzz” words only if you are sure of their meaning.
     Include employment dates (month and year).
     Section 5: Activities, Volunteer work, Interests
     If you choose to separate your work experience from your extracurricular activities or volunteer work, they
    can go in a separate section, but they don’t have to go in a separate section.
     You do not need to demote these activities to the bottom of your resume. What’s left at the bottom of
    your resume may not get any attention.
     Listing your “interests” or hobbies on a resume is okay, but generally you should not do so at the expense
    of leaving out other, more important information.
     When should you list your interests?
     When your interests or hobbies are so unusual that they are bound to attract positive attention.
     When your interests or hobbies reflect positively on your job skills. For example, if you are applying for
    work as a paralegal and you love chess, the recruiter may equate your hobby with analytical abilities.
     Section 6: Skills
     This is an optional section depending on the type of resume written.Computer skills:
     You may wish to list the systems (Macintosh, IBM, UNIX, etc.) and applications (Filemaker Pro, Microsoft
    Word, PageMaker, HTML, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) with which you are capable.
     List specific programming languages
     You may even want to use italicized sub-categories:
     Systems:
     Applications:
     Programming Languages:
     Languages:
     List languages in which you are proficient or conversational and indicate your level of ability (“basic
    conversational ability,” “proficiency,” “near-fluency,” “fluency”) or the number of years of college-level
     Laboratory skills:
     If you are applying for scientific or laboratory positions, you may want to create a list of your lab skills. A
    biology major student might break those skills down into sub-categories such as “histology,” “cell culture,”
    and “staining.” Of course, the sub-categories and skills mentioned should be relevant to the particular job.
     Always check your skills list with a professor or mentor, unless you have significant professional experience
    in that career field.
     Section 7: References
     Don’t write “References Available on Request” on your resume.
     Do create a references list as soon as you can and have it available, in case an employer asks for
    Step 5: Format your resume.
     Direct the employer’s eye to the most important information: (remember, 10-30 seconds)

    1. Leave plenty of white space on your resume – don’t make your resume look crowded.
    2. Emphasize job titles by boldfacing them (except where the name of a prestigious organization you
      have worked for will grab their attention first).
    3. Place the most important information closer to the top of your resume. (For example, if you are a
      student and your paid work has been fairly mundane, but you have great computer skills or excellent
      extracurricular leadership experience, then put the skills or the extracurriculars near the top of your
    4. Where appropriate, descriptive category headings can attract an employers attention (for example,
      “Counseling and Tutoring Experience” or “Leadership Experience” instead of just “Experience”).
    5. Leave blank space between the separate sections and items on your resume.
       Other formatting details:
       Condense to one page. Exceptions: two-page resumes for nursing, for education and for those alumni who
      have over two years of experience in that field (however, before going with a two-page resume, check with
      others in your career field).
       Center and balance your resume on the page, leaving approximately 1 inch margins.
       Design your resume for easy skimming: emphasize by boldfacing, capitalizing and italicizing.
       Use 8 1/2″ x 11″ white, off-white or very light-gray bond paper. Do not use colored paper.
       Proofread carefully and have others review your final draft.
      V. General Resume “Don’ts”
       Include information for leaving a job
       Letters of recommendation
       Race, religion, age, sexual orientation
       Starting date (should be included in the cover letter)
       Photographs
       Inflated jargon
       Use “I”
       Use clichéd adjectives like “dynamic” or “self-starting”; use detailed descriptions of accomplishments to
      convince employer;
       Just use job duties—prove what you have done
       Send a resume without a cover letter
       Use a resume wizard or place your resume in a table
       Use elaborate fonts (Arial or Times New Roman will suffice)
       Avoid unnecessary personal information such as marital status and date of birth.
      VI. General Resume Do’s
       Use consistent format and alignment
       Keep in plain text
       Vary sentence structure to avoid bored
       Keep sentences to under 25 words; average about 18 words, but change it up so the resume is not the
      same line after line
       Shorter sentences: start with a clause: follow with a colon, then add bullets of information relating to the
      introductory clause
       Add bullets to accomplishments to make them stand out
       Proofread by you and other people; watch out for spelling and grammar—spell-check does not catch
      everything (manger v. manager)
       Use quality paper (at least 50% cotton); no scented or decorative paper
       Potentially include preferences on job location and personal hobbies
       Revise, revise, revise
      VII. Electronic Resume Formats
       Never attach a resume or cover letter to your e-mail unless specifically requested. Some employers
      automatically delete e-mails with attached resumes. Always put your cover letter and resume as text
      within the body of your e-mail message.
       Though the content of your resume remains the same, whether you send it by e-mail, by fax, over the Web
      or by snail mail, you will need to put your resume into several distinct formats:
      o A fully-formatted text resume (created in word-processing software, such as Microsoft Word). Most
      people start by creating a fully-formatted resume and then convert that resume to the other two
      electronic formats.
      o A plan-text resume, (also know as an ASCII resume) when applying for jobs by e-mail or submitting
      your resume via a form on the Web.
       Use a plain-text resume for the following situations:
       When you are applying for a job through an e-mail link (or when an employer has asked you to e-mail them
      a resume). You place your plain-text resume in the body of the e-mail message, preceded by your cover
      letter. Never send a resume as an attachment to your e-mail, unless an employer specifically instructs you
      to do so.
       When entering a resume onto most resume databases on the Web. (A few job sites, such as Net-Temps
      and, allow you to upload your Microsoft Word resume to their database.)
      o Scannable resumes are printed on paper, in a format that can be easily scanned into a computer
      database (rarely used today).
       This is a paper resume that an employer can physically scan into a resume database, to be retrieved later
      by computer. Scannable resumes contain no extra formatting – no bullets, no italics, no bold, no
      underlining, no fancy fonts and no tabbed columns.
       Few employers go to the trouble and expense of scanning paper resumes into a computer database. When
      an employer requests that you send a resume through the postal system, ask if they would prefer a fullyformatted resume or a scannable resume. If you do not know the answer, you may want to send both
      types, and add the words “Scannable Resume” at the bottom of that resume.
      VIII. Using Resume Keywords
       Many employers use database technology to store and search the resumes that are sent to them by
      potential employees. Employers and recruiters search these databases using industry-specific keywords.
      Keywords are nouns and phrases that highlight technical and professional areas of expertise, industryrelated jargon, achievements, projects, task forces, job titles, etc.
       If your resume does not contain at least some of the keywords that the employer is using, then your
      resume will be skipped by the computer, even if you have all of the experience and skills required by the
       Some experienced job seekers may enhance their resume by including many of these keywords in a
      “Summary of Qualifications” near the top of their resume. This section may also be called a “Professional
      Summary” or “Skills.” And while most graduating seniors’ resumes do not benefit from such a summary, it
      is still imperative to include the appropriate keywords in the text of your resume.
       Here a few basic principles for using keywords in your resume:
       The best source of keywords is the actual job listing, which is likely to contain many, if not all, of the
      keywords that an employer will use to search the resume database.
       Talk to people in the career field you are targeting, and ask them what keywords are appropriate to the
      positions you are applying to.
       Visit professional association Web sites, and read the content carefully. Many of these are loaded with
      industry-related jargon which may be appropriate for your resume.
       Link: Galenet-Association search (be sure to unclick the ALL box, and click on “National Associations,” THEN
      enter a career field in the “Description of Purpose and Activities” or “Subject Descriptor” lines.)
       Find a copy of Electronic Resume Revolution, by Joyce Lain Kennedy
       Try the Occupational Outlook Handbook, an excellent resource produced by the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
       Try Rebecca Smith’s “eResumes and Resources”.
       Include plenty of keyword nouns and noun phrases throughout your resume. If you have a “Summary of
      Qualifications” section at the beginning of your resume, try not to repeat verbatim the contents of this
       In some fields, a simple list of skills does not sufficiently describe the job seeker’s background. Where
      appropriate, include accomplishments, as well, but be sure to include enough keywords to satisfy the
      computer searches.
       Here are two examples, taken from Job Searching Online for Dummies, by Pam Dixon:
       Keyword summary, example 1
       PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: Award-winning corporate controller with more than ten years’ experience in
      two $500 million corporations. Impressive record in implementing financial record database architecture
      that saved over $2 million annually. Proficient in Oracle, Prism, Red Brick, and SAP systems, as well as MS
      Project, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and FrontPage.”
       Keyword summary, example 2
       SKILLS
       Languages: C, SQL, C++, Assembler, Pascal
       Software: Oracle Developer 2000, Informix NewEra, FoxPro
       OS: UNIX, Windows NT/95/3.11, MS-DOS
       RDBMS: Oracle7, Informix 7
       Other important ideas:
      o If you’re still in college, try to get at least one internship in the career field you’re targeting. Even if
      you’re internship lasts only a few weeks, you will significantly increase your keyword count.
      o You should have a minimum of 4 industry- or job-specific keywords. The ideal is to have at least 12
      o Choose both general and specific keywords: For example, general = psychology; therapist;
      psychologist. Specific = addiction; behavioral therapy.
      IX. Online Resume Banks
       Resources
      o – highly recommended – topics include “Descriptions of Major Resume Banks,” “Should You
      or Shouldn’t You? Evaluating Resume Banks,” and “Let’s Get Electronic: Why Employers Use Resume
      o – Great advice, well-organized. Also, links to select resume databases.
      o – enter your resume on this site, and the site posts your resume to multiple major
      job sites. NOTE: There is a fee of $59.95 for this service.
       Cautions
      o Confidentiality of your resume.
      o Marketing surveys – many resume databases include marketing surveys on their Web sites, often
      integrating them into the forms used to post your resume. If you start seeing questions about your
      age, your gender or how you heard about their Web site, you are responding to a marketing survey.
      You may even be asked about your race or nationality. Skip all these questions. If the Web site is set up
      so that you must respond to them in order to proceed with your resume submission, ditch that Web
      site (there are plenty of others that won’t make you respond to those questions).
      o Upgrades for a fee – some resume databases now offer you an “upgrade” for your resume, charging a
      fee so that your resume is in front of others who do not pay the fee. We recommend not using these
      databases – why should you pay extra when any good resume database system will allow your great
      resume with great keywords to stand out?
      o Co-branding agreements – some employment sites on the Web have joined forces with one or more
      other Web sites. When you post your resume to one site, you might be sharing that resume with up to
      fifteen other databases. Always read the privacy agreement at any Web site where you’re considering
      posting your resume.
      o Cover letters – don’t submit a cover letter with a resume you send to an online resume database. Cover
      letters are discarded from most of the employment databases that accept resumes.
       Don’t depend solely on resume databases. Maybe they will help in your job search, and maybe not. But
      your best bet is to proactively network with professionals in your targeted career field, and use a wide
      variety of other job search strategies.
       If your resume does not contain at least some of the keywords that employers are using to search the
      database, then your resume will be skipped by the computer, even if you have all of the experience and
      skills required by the job.
       Specialized vs. general resume banks – The large commercial resume databases are easy to locate. BUT – in
      many fields, the smaller, career-specific databases are more effective (seek out the Web sites of the
      professional organizations in your career field, or ask other professionals for recommendations).
       Cost – Most resume databases are free (if you find a database that charges a fee, and you are considering
      using it, ask for information on number of searches the database receives before paying any fee; the
      number of resumes on the system; etc.).
       Should you use resume databases? The main consideration is the time it takes to enter your information.
      o On the one hand, people in a wide variety of career fields attract good job leads this way (it’s not just
      the techies’ world anymore).
      o On the other hand, many resume databases have specialized forms through which you must
      painstakingly enter your information. Others allow you to upload an ASCII-formatted resume version,
      but unless you know what you’re doing, your resume may appear misaligned or almost unreadable to
      the viewer.
       Keeping your resume and job search private
      o The Problems:
       If you are currently employed, your current employer may be searching for your resume on the
      Internet (many employers do this).
       Your resume is pirated by other databases and by recruiters, and it may float around the Web for
      months or even years.
       Identity thieves may use the personal information in your resume to establish credit in your name
      or to post inflammatory messages to the Internet.
      o The Solutions:
       Don’t put your full name or address on a resume you post to an Internet resume database. But
      remember that potential employers need some way of getting in touch with you, so list an e-mail
       As a general rule, only post your resume to databases that offer password protection, which limits
      viewers to legitimate employers. Otherwise, anybody can view your resume.
       Many employers and recruiters still prefer to contact you by phone, so if you don’t include a phone
      number, you may be overlooked.
       Reports are circulating that identity thieves have been placing fake job postings on online job
      boards in an attempt to trick job seekers into giving out personal information. The perpetrators
      then contact those job seekers who have replied and ask for personal information, such as social
      security numbers and bank account information, supposedly for the human resources department.
      Never give out social security numbers or bank account information to someone over the phone or
      via email or the Internet.
       Set up a separate e-mail account to receive correspondence from employers. This way, when you are done
      with your current job search, you can simply close out the e-mail account, rather than continue to receive
      messages from recruiters and employers for months or even years to come.
       If you are currently employed and don’t want your employer to know you are job-hunting, don’t list your
      current company name on your resume. Instead, list the industry. ( recommends this
       If you want to be as safe as possible, don’t post your resume onto Usenet (otherwise known as
      “newsgroups” or “bulletin boards”), and don’t post to resume databases that are not password protected.
      Only legitimate employers are allowed access to most password-protected resume databases.
       Put a date on your resume. Your resume may float around in cyberspace for months or years after you
      have found a job, bouncing from one resume database to another, while you receive unwanted phone calls
      or e-mails.
       If you have a Web site that includes your resume, you may want to protect it with a password, which you
      then only give out to the employers you choose. Be sure to sign up for a Web-hosting service that offers
      password protection.
      X. Curriculum Vitae
       What is the difference between a resume and curriculum vitae (CV)?
      o A resume is a one-to-two-page document that lists your experience and education in a concise form.
      Often your resume will only receive up to sixty seconds of attention, and so it must convey the most
      relevant information in an easily grasped format.
      o A CV usually contains three or more pages and, in addition to the items on a regular resume, can
      include separate sections for your teaching experience, research, publications, presentations, grants
      and fellowships, professional affiliations, associations and licenses, awards and any other information
      relevant to the opportunity for which you are applying for.
       When do you use a CV rather than a resume?
      o A CV may be required when:
       Applying to graduate or professional school
       Applying for research positions
       Providing information related to professional activities (e.g., applications for professional
      memberships and leadership positions, and presentations at professional conferences)
       Creating proposals for grants or fellowships
       Applying for academic positions, including
       Elementary or secondary principals, superintendents, deans of schools,
       Institutional research positions,
       Teaching, research, and upper-level administrative positions in higher education.
      o Though the CV has traditionally been limited to those who have completed a Ph.D. (or are pursuing
      one), many more employers and organizations are asking for CV’s from their applicants with only a
      Masters or even a Bachelors degree.
      o A CV should only be used when specifically requested. If you have any uncertainty about whether to
      submit a resume or a CV for a particular position, don’t hesitate to call the organization and ask which
      they would prefer.
       Details
      o Cover Letters – your CV should always be accompanied by a cover letter which focuses on those skills
      and accomplishments that are most relevant to the opportunity at hand. The cover letter is your
      opportunity to draw out key abilities on which you want the reader to focus. Though you often can
      ignore the “one-page cover letter” rule, you still must be concise and focused in your letter.
      o Proofreading – always have your CV and cover letters critiqued by both an experienced career advisor
      and by someone with experience in your field of expertise. In addition, be sure to have all your
      application materials carefully proofread.
       Possible Sections To Include In Your CV
      o NOTE: These are suggested categories, and most CV’s will not include every category included below.
      Just as with a resume, you should tailor your CV to the particular opportunity for which you are
      o You have a great deal of flexibility in the choice, naming and placement of your categories. While your
      heading and education will usually be listed first, other categories can be place in virtually any order,
      based on your strengths and the requirements of the position or opportunity.
       Heading: Name, address(es), phone number(s) and email address.
       Education: list academic degrees, beginning with the degree most recently earned or in progress. You may
      wish to include the title any thesis or theses you have written, using the format appropriate to your
      discipline (check with a professor in your field if you do not know the proper format).
       Certifications: list all relevant certifications and the year received.
       Honors and Awards: Receipt of competitive scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships; names of
      scholastic honors; teaching or research awards.
       Relevant Experience: Listing of positions (part-time, full-time, volunteer, temporary and permanent)
      related to the type of work sought. The section of your CV is written following the same principles of a
      strong resume — list accomplishments as well as duties; use action verbs; wherever possible, quantify
      accomplishments. List in reverse chronological order.
       Other Experience: Groupings of other experiences (including volunteer work and/or internships) can
      enhance your CV. Your experience can also be broken into other categories such as: Teaching, Counseling,
      Administration, Volunteer, Community, Internship, etc. Entries within each section should be in reverse
      chronological order.
       Publications:
      o Give bibliographic citations (using the format appropriate to your particular academic discipline) for
      articles, pamphlets, chapters in books, research reports, or any other publications that you have
      authored or co-authored.
      o If you have more than a few publications, you would generally divide your publications section into
      o In fine arts areas, this can include descriptions of recitals, performances and art exhibits.
       Presentations: Give titles of professional presentations (using the format appropriate to your particular
      academic discipline); name of conference or event; dates and location; if appropriate in your discipline,
      also include a brief description. Presentations should be listed in reverse chronological order.
       Areas of Expertise: Particularly appropriate when applying for teaching positions.
       Grants Received: Include name of grant; name of granting agency; date received; title or purpose of
      research project, etc.
       Professional Associations: Memberships in national, regional, state, and local professional organizations
      should be listed Also list significant appointments to positions or committees in these associations. Student
      memberships in professional associations are appropriate.
       Recent/Current Research: Description of research projects recently conducted or in progress. Include the
      type of research and a brief description of the purpose.
       Institutional Service: List institutional committees you have served on, including offices held, student
      groups you have supervised, or special academic projects you have assisted with.
       Courses Taught: List the names of courses you have taught, institution and dates where taught, and brief
      course descriptions.
       Community Involvement: Appropriate and relevant volunteer work, church work, community service
      organizations, etc.
       Educational Travel: Names of countries, dates, purpose (typically, only include if relevant to the
      position/grant for which you are applying).
       Qualifications or Skills: A summary of particular or relevant strengths or skills which you want to highlight.
      Typically, this is not included as a separate section, but addressed in other sections. Occasionally, however,
      it may be appropriate to list special computing, language or laboratory skills.
       References: Optional to end vita with statement “References Available upon Request.” If you are
      responding to an advertisement that asks for references, include those requested on a separate addendum
       Sample CV’s and CV templates
      o The best resource we know of is “How to Prepare Your Curriculum Vitae,” by Acy L. Jackson, Kathleen
      Geckeis, and C. Kathleen Geckesis, 2003, McGraw-Hill Companies.
      o University of California website for a CV
  • How to write a resume that is informative, attractive and easy to read:


    How to write a resume that is informative, attractive and easy to read:
    Please review this information thoroughly and prepare your resume draft before bringing your resume to be
    reviewed by a career counselor. Look at resume samples, even those in other fields. Start with a blank Word
    document – NEVER use a template!
    The resume should be a brief but informative summary of your education, employment or volunteer experience,
    and any specialized skills. The layout should be attractive and easy to read or scan. It should generate the kinds
    of questions you want to answer during an interview.
    Chronological: The most accepted format, it lists education history and work experience in reverse
    chronological order, i.e., with the most recent items first. This format is best for most candidates, especially
    those entering the job market or changing jobs within a career field. Career Services recommends the
    chronological format, since it is more straightforward.
    Functional: This format organizes your experience into skill areas, regardless of the specific job in which the
    skill was demonstrated. Employment history is then briefly summarized in reverse chronological order.
    Functional resumes are occasionally helpful for candidates with complex work histories or for those who are
    changing careers or re-entering the job market. Most employers regard functional resumes as hard to decipher,
    and they suspect the writer is hiding or exaggerating things.

    1. Length?
    2. Content?
    3. Sections?
    4. Appearance?
    5. Objective?
    6. Features?
    7. Typing?
    8. Paper?
    9. Scanning?
    10. Internet?
    11. Critiques?
    12. Curriculum Vitae?
      1) How long should my resume be?
      Most recent graduates should confine their resumes to one page. If your resume goes to a second page, make sure
      your margins are not too wide (no more than 1” left and right and as little as ½” top and bottom). If the headings
      are on the left, stack the words (e.g. “TEACHING” with “EXPERIENCE” under it, rather than next to it). If your
      resume runs over a little bit, don’t worry – a counselor will be able to help you reduce it to one page without
      losing anything important.
      “. . .make sure your margins are not
      too wide (no wider than 1” left / right
      and as narrow as ½” top / bottom)…”
      2) What should I include?
    13. Name: Start with your NAME (we suggest upper case bold for name only), and complete contact information
      (address, phone and email address).
    14. Certifications: List professional certifications or licenses with dates received.
    15. Education: Summarize your education in reverse order, starting with your last degree or the one you are
      working on now. Include school name, city, state, degree, major, date degree was – or will be – conferred and
      honors. Include GPA only if 3.0 or higher.
    16. Courses: To tailor your resume to a specific job, you may include a list of “relevant courses.” This also fills
      space if you have little experience.
    17. Honors/Awards/Activities: Use one or more categories as appropriate, highlighting achievements such as
      scholarships, Dean’s List, leadership roles in clubs, campus/community organizations, sports or other
    18. Research: If applicable, you may include special projects or research, highlighting significant relevant
      classroom learning experiences such as research projects, independent study, special presentations, major papers.
    19. Experience: Your experience, regardless of how you acquired it (full time or part time jobs, internships,
      community or college service) is usually of chief interest to the reader. For each position, include: Job Title
      (followed by dates of employment), Employer, City, State. Emphasize (put first) either employers or job titles,
      but be consistent! Describe responsibilities, duties and accomplishments, preferably using list format with bullets.
    20. Skills: Of great interest to employers! Indicate computer hardware and software knowledge, fluency in
      foreign languages, or other technical skills. If you have several of each, use separate categories.
    21. Interests: List interests only if you are really knowledgeable about something or very good at it.
    22. Affiliations: List professional or volunteer affiliations/memberships (if applicable). Include any offices held.
      “The headings on your resume
      function like
      headlines in a newspaper.”
      3) How do I name the sections?
      The headings on your resume function like headlines in the newspaper. They can show the reader where certain
      information is located, give a summary of content, and catch the reader’s interest. If you glance at a resume with
      a section heading Honors and Awards, you will reasonably assume this candidate has received honors and awards
      and that may motivate you to read this resume. Since almost every employer wants people with computer skills,
      some may scan a pile of resumes for those with Computer Skills in bold headline type.
      The exact heading you choose is important and allows you to tailor your resume and place the most important
      experiences first. If you have worked in your field, name the field in your heading (e.g., Social Work Experience,
      or Marketing Experience). Work in related fields can be headed Related Experience. If the work is not related to
      your objective but you want to include it, call it Other Experience or use the name of the field. Fieldwork,
      Volunteer Activities, Summer Employment, or Internships are other possible headings. If you include only some
      of your jobs, you can call it Selected Experience. Select and order the major categories so that the most relevant
      information is placed early on the resume (top 2/3 of the first page).
      “Avoid using ‘assisted.’
      Say what YOU did.”
      4) How do I make my resume look professional?
      Include no personal information: age, health, marital status, height, weight, religion.
      Never use the first person “I.” Do not use full sentences. Eliminate all unnecessary words (a, the).
      Never lie or exaggerate.
      Add to the eye appeal of your resume by varying the typeface for emphasis: bold, underline, italic, UPPER
      CASE, etc. (Use italics for emphasis only – perhaps your job title – never for the entire resume.) Use an
      attractive legible typeface such as Times or Arial, not an old-fashioned font such as Courier.
      Use “bullets” (•, ♦, *, −) for listing items under a heading description, such as experience.
      Proofread carefully. Grammatical, content and typographical errors may eliminate you immediately from
      consideration for an interview. Ask others to proofread the resume as well.
      The successful resume is one that results in interviews. Does yours present you as an accomplished person?
      Is it easy to read, pleasing to the eye, devoid of all errors, current, honest?
      “Use an objective only if it is
      very specific, unique or necessary to
      clarify your job target.”
      5) Do I need an objective?
      Most recent graduates don’t need one. Include an objective only if it is very specific, unique, or necessary to
      clarify your job target. The objective is already clear with certifications (e.g., teachers) or majors (e.g., nursing).
      Some candidates may want to tailor the job objective for a specific job application. Be sure your objective
      addresses what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you. Most employers do not care
      that you want a “challenging” position or one that “provides career growth.” They do care about additional skills
      or experience beyond the basic qualifications. Remember that your job target will be addressed very specifically
      in your cover letter. Candidates with several years of professional experience and skills related to the job may
      prefer to use a Summary or Profile in place of an objective.
      6) What is the most important feature of a successful resume?
      Most applicants for a particular job often have similar degrees and work histories. People who get interviews are
      perhaps those who convey on their resumes that they have personally done many of the things that need to be
      done, and have demonstrated the needed skills. Claiming that you have a skill is not as convincing as
      demonstrating how you have used the skill. Here are some pointers:
      ⇒ Use action verbs to describe your duties and accomplishments, depicting yourself as someone who gets
      the job done: one who “created . . . published . . . solved” – not one who merely “participated in” or was
      “responsible for.” Avoid using “assisted” – say what you did. Vary the vocabulary. (See list of action
      verbs on page 6 of this guide.) For present jobs, use present tense verbs and for past jobs, use past tense.
      ⇒ Emphasize skills and experience related to the job you want and to the employer’s needs.
      ⇒ When describing your experience, use detailed descriptions that give the reader a picture of you as an
      individual (“Adapted lesson on dinosaurs to learning styles of autistic children”) rather than vague
      descriptions that make you sound like everyone else (“Followed the curriculum of cooperating teacher”).
      ⇒ Avoid self-serving and subjective descriptions. Do include occupation-specific words related to the job,
      especially if resume will be scanned for an electronic resume bank.
      ⇒ Quantify accomplishments by citing numbers, dollars, percentages, etc., where appropriate.
      ⇒ Put the most related and impressive accomplishments first within each job description.
      7) Can you type this for me?
      ABSOLUTELY NOT. We believe that you should do your own resume on a word processing program, so that you
      can make frequent updates and tailor it to specific jobs. We do not advocate having anyone else do it for you, and
      you should not waste your money on a “professional” resume typing service. Also avoid using a resume
      template – they usually look awful and limit the ways you can lay out your resume. Using a standard word
      processing program will give you the greatest flexibility and usefulness.
      “Most job searches today include applying for a job online.”

    8) What color paper should I use?
    Using a laser or printer of similar quality, print your resume on 8.5″ x 11″ heavy (22-25lb) white, light gray or
    ivory paper with some cotton content. Purchase extra paper for cover letters and thank you letters and don’t
    forget matching envelopes. Avoid very heavy papers that jam in the printer and marbleized papers that don’t look
    clear when photocopied. Plain paper is more professional then paper with cute borders.
    “Use detailed descriptions that give the reader a picture
    of you as an individual, rather than vague descriptions
    that make you sound like everyone else.”
    9) What if my resume is scanned by a computer?
    An increasing number of employers now scan resumes into their databases so they can search for candidates with
    the right skills and experience. For resumes that may be scanned by computers, do not use hollow bullets,
    columns, italics, borders, shading or underlining. Use standard fonts, plain white paper and laser printers. Be
    sure to use key words related to the field. To maximize “hits” (i.e., matches of your resume to job vacancies) in
    cases where the employer scans all resumes, we suggest that you describe your experience in very concrete, rather
    than vague, terms; be concise; use more than one page if needed; use terms and acronyms specific to your field
    (but spell out acronyms too); be specific with software and programs.
    “Is your resume easy to read, pleasing to the eye,
    devoid of all errors, current, honest?
    10) How do I use the Internet to send out my resume?
    Most job searches today will include applying for a job online.
    • Prepare your resume using a word processing program (we suggest Microsoft Word). Send an email with
    the cover letter and resume as separate attachments. Employers may also provide special instructions on
    their sites for sending your resume in response to an ad.
    • Another method used by some organizations is an online application, which may be called a “resume,”
    but bears little resemblance to the professional resume we have described, and will not substitute for a
    professional resume for other uses. These are generally “read” by computers to select candidates based
    on their ‘key words’, so their appearance is not important. You will probably have to cut and paste all
    needed information each time you respond to one of these applications.
    • There are also resume databases on the Internet where you can upload your resume for employers to review.
    “Like your resume, your CV is a work in progress.
    Instead of merely keeping it current, delete things
    that no longer relate to your objective,
    create new categories to show achievements,
    and reorganize sections to emphasize strengths
    related to the job you seek.”
    11) Got a minute to look over my resume?
    After you complete your resume according to guidelines in this Resume Guide, you may make an appointment
    with a counselor for a review, OR you may email it to us as a Word attachment to Career Services.
    “You should do your own resume
    on Word or WordPerfect
    so that you can make frequent updates
    and tailor it to specific jobs.”
    12) What’s the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae?
    A curriculum vitae (often called a ‘CV’) is a special type of resume traditionally used within the academic
    community, and sometimes in the medical and legal communities. It is useful not only for a job search, but also
    for tenure review, grant applications, fellowships or consulting. Academic hiring is frequently a long process
    done by a committee. Thus, the CV may be reviewed by many individuals.
    The CV need not be confined to one page, like the typical business resume, nor does it have to be any longer than
    necessary to highlight your strengths and achievements. It generally includes degrees, teaching and research
    experience, publications, presentations and related activities. When applying for positions outside of academia, a
    resume will represent you better than a CV. The details of your teaching and research will probably be of less
    interest to the reader. Converting your CV to a resume will usually require major revisions.
    Like your resume, your CV is a work in progress. Instead of merely keeping your CV current, you should delete
    items that no longer relate to your objective, create new categories to show your achievements, and reorganize
    sections to emphasize strengths related to the job you seek.
    Never use a resume template!
    Some Action Verbs
    Begin each description of your activities and accomplishments using an action verb.
    There are many other “occupation-specific” verbs not mentioned here, but this list should
    help you vary your vocabulary. Remember that present jobs will use present tense. Past
    jobs use past tense.

    References References
    It is no longer necessary to state on the bottom of one’s resume that “References are available upon request” since it is understood
    that employers will ask for references if they are interested in you, whether or not you state this. Use the limited space on your
    resume to provide essential information. Job seekers should, however, prepare a typed list of references like the one below:
    PHONE / EMAIL REFERENCES: Many employers want to be able to check your references by phone and,
    increasingly these days, by email. Ask three or four people who know your work – professors, supervisors, officials,
    coaches, advisors, etc. Include their full name, their title, organization, address, phone numbers and email addresses.
    Always get permission from these individuals before putting them on the list and prepare them for potential calls
    from employers. (Send them a thank-you letter for being a reference, update them on how your job search is
    progressing and enclose a resume.)
    WRITTEN REFERENCES: In addition to asking for permission to list someone as a professional reference, you
    may ask for a written recommendation letter from the individual.
    When you are asked for references, you can use the list and/or any letters you believe are relevant. Offer them at an
    interview or – IF references are requested in the job posting – you may include them with your resume. This is what
    we mean by References furnished upon request. As mentioned, including this phrase on your resume is not
    necessary and, since space is at a premium, you can use that space for something much more informative.
    Your Name
    Street Address
    City, State Zip Code
    Phone Number
    Email Address
    Dr. John Jones, Professor
    Vaughn College
    Flushing, NY 11369
    Bus. Tel. (516) 877-0000
    Mr. Robert Lehman, Branch Manager
    Nickel Savings Bank
    1234 Steward Avenue
    Franklin Circle, NY 11000
    Bus. Tel. (516) 222-0987; Fax (516) 222-1987
    Ms. Frances Storm, Principal
    Tip Top Day School
    77 Jericho Turnpike
    Jericho, NY 11555
    Bus. Tel. (516) 555-1999; Home Tel. (631) 999-1043
    The Cover Letter
    A cover letter is really a form of business letter. Each resume you mail, email or fax must be accompanied by a wellwritten cover letter. When responding to posted vacancies, each cover letter should show how your background meets the
    employer’s needs (as stated in their job description), as well as why you want to work for that organization, in that
    position or with that situation. When sending a resume to an organization for which you have not seen posted vacancies,
    write a letter of inquiry, in which you ask about current or potential vacancies, state why you are interested and what
    makes you a good candidate.
    Ensure that your resume gets to the right person in the organization.
    Make clear the position for which you are applying.
    State how you found out about the organization or the vacancy.
    (If appropriate) mention the name of the person who suggested you send the resume.
    Emphasize specific skills you have which are required for this particular job.
    Say why you are interested in this job and/or want to work for this organization.
    Demonstrate your writing abilities, attention to detail and research.
    Include relevant motivation (why you have chosen this field), attitudes (how you view your long-term
    goals) or personal traits (your unique qualities) – all of which don’t belong on a resume.
    Make mention of any future communication.
    The best cover letter is one that results from thorough research and is tailored very specifically to the organization. If
    you can send the same letter content to two employers, it is probably not a great letter. Your letter should show that you
    know about that particular organization and are interested in working for them.
    Sending dozens or hundreds of unsolicited resumes with the same cover letter usually nets a very poor response. Instead,
    target your inquiries to a carefully chosen, select group of employers that you have thoroughly researched and identified
    as those who might need your skills, education and background.
    The Internet: It is not unreasonable for any employer to assume that you have at least visited their web site!
    Try the name of the school or organization (or its initials) followed by .edu, .org, or .com. Use a search
    engine (Yahoo, Google, AltaVista, About, etc.) to locate a company’s website. Find industry profiles on such
    sites as, or to keep you informed about your
    field and specific organizations. For employment outlook and trends, try
    Periodicals: Use library research to locate any recent articles about the organization. You should be aware
    of any recent mergers, acquisitions, leadership changes, advances in the industry or problems.
    Information Interviews: Identify people who can give you information about the organization before you
    call, write or visit. These people can be considered part of your “network” and they may lead you to
    additional contacts.
    Request Information: Call for brochures, newsletters, reports.
    Visit: If it’s a store or service operation, visit them in person. Find out what people think about the
    organization. See what people who work there are like.
    Cover Letter Format Cover Letter Format

    Your name: at bottom of letter only
    Your Address
    City, State, ZIP Code
    Phone and Email address
    Mr./Ms./Dr. First and Last Name
    Employer Organization
    Street Address
    City, State, ZIP Code
    Dear Mr. Last Name: _, or if there are any entry-level positions available in the area of __. Summarize the primary accomplishments that qualify you for the
    position such as: your degree, major, years of related experience. Note somewhere in the
    letter that you have enclosed a resume. Don’t start too many sentences with the word “I.”
    Middle paragraph(s): State why you are interested in the position and/or their
    organization. Explain how your academic and/or experiential background qualifies you for
    the position/organization. Point out any related experience or special training. Show how
    your skills fit the job description or how they relate to the organization’s needs, based on
    your research. Do not just repeat or summarize what is in your resume.
    Concluding paragraph: Express your appreciation for their consideration and request the
    opportunity to meet. Provide specific information about how you may be reached. (Be sure
    your voicemail greeting sounds professional.) You may state that you will contact the person
    in a week to ten days to discuss the possibility of an interview. (In either case, follow up to
    confirm receipt of your correspondence – as well as to promote yourself for the job.)
    Your Signature
    Your First and Last Name goes here only, unless you use personal letterhead with your
    pre-printed name at the top of page.)

    A career counselor will review your
    cover letter if it is to a real cover letter if it is to a realperson
    at a real at a realorganization for a organization for a organization for a real
    job. L job. Letterswritten to imaginary written to imaginary
    employers or to “whom it may
    concern” are not advisable. concern” are not advisable.
    Some cover letter Some cover letter cover letter writing basics writing basics:
    • Good cover letters are brief and to the point. (For example, a phrase such as “I would like to take this
    opportunity to inform you that . . .” does not say anything.)
    • Make it clear that the letter is addressed to a specific person at a specific place for a specific job. Do
    not use generic “one-size-fits-all” ideas such as, “I can make a valuable contribution to your
    organization.” What specific contributions? How are these important to this organization? Show how
    your skills meet the requirements of this employer (as learned from your research, or from the job
    descriptions, or from an information interview).
    • Be sure to say why you want to work for that organization and be sure you say why you feel qualified
    to perform the functions of that job. (Make sure you change any named organization or job title from a
    previous cover letter.)
    • You should not put “My name is _” in your letter.
    • Do not start every sentence with the word “I.” (Instead of “I received my Bachelor of Avionics degree
    in May. . .” – say “In May, I received . . .”)
    • The letter should sound like you, not like you have lifted the verbiage from a cover letter manual. The
    tone should be professional without sounding overly formal. Imagine what you would say when asked
    about what you do, rather than what you think “sounds good.”
    • Relate your specific experience to the job, but do not restate each item from your resume.
    • Use industry “jargon” sparingly, especially when changing fields. Many initial screeners won’t be able
    to interpret obscure-sounding statements. Your aim is to get this letter past the initial contact – directly
    to the person who will be making hiring decisions.
    • Read your letter aloud. Does each sentence make sense? Do all the sentences in a paragraph share
    related ideas? (Most paragraphs should be more than one sentence.)
    Use standard business format:
    • All text is usually left-justified for this type of letter.
    • Do not indent the first sentence in a paragraph (all text aligned with left margin).
    • Use single space within paragraphs and double space between sections and paragraphs.
    • Put your address and phone on top with date immediately below.
    • Put the name, title of the person to whom you are writing. Under that, put the organization
    name, then the street address followed by the City, State and Zip.
    • Write “Dear LAST name” followed by a colon (never a comma for a business letter).
    • If there is no possible way to identify the individual, address the letter “Dear Recruiter” (or
    Manager, Director, or whatever seems most appropriate.)
    • Apostrophes indicate possession, contraction or pluralized letters and numbers. It’s easy to confuse it’s
    (it is) with its (possessive of it). Generally when nouns are possessive, the placement of the apostrophe
    indicates whether or not the noun is also plural. (Student’s indicates that something belongs to one
    student, while students’ indicates something belongs to more than one student.)
    • A verb must “agree with” its subject: Marie supervises, not Marie supervise. He does, but they do.
    These rules apply even when subject and verb are separated by other words and phrases. Pronouns
    must agree with the nouns to which they refer: “A student must type their own resume” does not make
    sense because only one student is represented by their in this case. The correct sentence would be, “A
    student must type his or her own resume.”
    • Are any of your sentences overly long or overly short? Some short sentences can be combined with
    other sentences that have related ideas. Some, but not all, overly-long sentences are “run-on,” which
    means that two independent clauses (a group of words containing a subject and predicate that can stand
    alone as a sentence) are fused together.
    The sentences were too short I combined them. The sentences were too short. I combined them.
    The sentences were too short; I combined them.
    The sentences were too short and I combined them.
    Because the sentences were too short, I combined them.
    The sentences were too short however I combined them. The sentences were too short; however I combined them.
    Does your computer screen have green squiggles under words which may indicate grammatical
    errors? (Sometimes the squiggles are indicating spacing errors.)
    Are there red squiggles under any words which may indicate spelling errors? Remember that ‘spell
    check’ will not catch every error. As long as the letters make up a real English word, it is okay with
    ‘spell check.’ This does not mean it will be okay with the reader! We see letters that contain grate
    ideas. Such writers may not get two far with there poor writing skills. (Note that my computer spell
    check totally misses the three outstanding spelling errors in the last two sentences.)
    Proofread. Does each sentence have a clear message? Is this exactly the message you want to
    convey? Are the related ideas grouped together? Proofread again. Ask a friend to proofread it too.
    Cover Letter Critique
    A counselor at Career Services will review one of your cover letters AFTER you:
    o Follow the guidelines on these pages.
    o Research the position (perhaps on O* to know the skills that you should write about.
    o Research the organization (via internet and/or information interviews) to know very specifically how
    you and your specific experience and skills will contribute.
    o Address the letter to a real person, with a title, if this information is available.

  • Tips for resume writing

    Skip to content PERFECT RESUME WRITING Full course on how to write the perfect resume, get overall resume review and proffesional resume Menu TIPS FOR CONCEALING JOBLESSNESS GAPS IN THE RESUME Advertisement Figure out an ideal explanation for the gaps in between your job history, opt for the one that feels most genuine and convenient to you, method of declaring it out loud, and putting your past behind you. Tip # 1: Be transparent and declare it If you have voids in your work history, it’s less likely that you’re going to make it through the entire hiring procedure without somewhere addressing those gaps. Thus, if you have a permissible reason, you might as well consider simply bringing it up. The truth is versatile, but don’t bend it so far that it breaks. Getting caught red-handed in a lie during an interview can ruin the likelihood of you winning the job. Declaring it can be an effective move for a few reasons. For one, it eliminates any kind of tension and worries you may have around it as you have actually laid everything out on the table. Putting it on your resume makes it extremely likely that you’ll be questioned about it directly, so if it’s a matter you can mention with eagerness, it can be favorable in an interview. Tip # 2: Specify the years instead of months This resembles falsifying points, as there is a huge difference in specifying you were employed in ‘2014’ when you only actually worked there ‘Feb-Mar 2014’. That being said, we are on your side. The reality is flexible but avoid flexing it so far that it breaks. Getting caught out in an interview is an effective way to not get the job. Advertisement Tip # 3: Acquire a few other qualifications Consider taking some courses available on the internet through sites like Udemy, Stanford Online, or Khan Academy. Showing that you are interested in training courses reveals that you are an enthusiastic learner. It can contribute to your relevant skills and expertise and can even be taken advantage of to shed light on a few of the gaps in your work history. Tip # 4: Stop stressing about it Put your energy in ensuring that the other sections of your resume will draw much more attention than the gaps during the interview. Also, stop worrying so much about the gaps. You can’t do anything about those right now and, in fact, a lot of people have them. Come up with an ideal explanation addressing the gaps, the one that really feels most truthful and convenient to you, practice declaring it aloud, and, most importantly, put it behind you. The future remains ahead of you! Next lesson, Best Resume review Services and resume Writing Services Advertisement Please note, Every step and every decision you make as a result of using the application or site is at your own risk and responsibility .Our Privacy Policy

  • Article title:Current Article: How to Lead in the Stakeholder Era

    How to Lead in the Stakeholder Era Focus on purpose and people. The profits will follow. by Hubert Joly 01 How to Lead in the Stakeholder Era 02 Video: Walk the Talk of Stakeholder Capitalism 03 Power Sharing Can Change Corporations for the Better 04 The Myth of the CEO Hero 05 Why Today’s Startups Pursue Both Ideas and Ideals 06 The Big Benefits of Employee Ownership 07 The Climate-Equity Connection Summary.    The world is clearly facing multifaceted crises: a health crisis, an economic crisis, a societal crisis, a racial crisis, an environmental crisis, and rising geopolitical tensions. In the face of these challenges, there is a growing realization that business and society cannot thrive if employees, customers, and communities are not healthy; if our planet is on fire; and if our society is fractured. More and more leaders believe that creating a better and sustainable future requires corporations to serve all their stakeholders — not just their investors — in a harmonious fashion. To make this transition, leaders need to evolve how they think about their mission and how they lead. According to Hubert Joly, the former chairman and CEO of Best Buy, we need leaders who, in both good times and bad, are keen to pursue a noble purpose, are ready to put people at the center of it, and are dedicated to creating an environment where every employee can blossom. In short, we need leaders who will embrace a declaration of interdependence. This is how we can create a more sustainable future. This is how business can be a force for good and do well by doing good. The past year has heightened a realization that had started to gain ground prior to the devastation of 2020: Business does not exist in a vacuum. Even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a growing number of business leaders were shifting away from Milton Friedman’s assertion that the sole purpose of business is to maximize shareholder returns and embracing the idea that business should serve all stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers, and communities as well as shareholders. Although making money was of course an imperative, many leaders were focusing on why they were in business and who they were serving. Then a pandemic turned the world upside down. As so many corporations now struggle to emerge from the health crisis and its economic fallout, will businesses and their leaders abandon principles that serve more than just a share price? I hope not. Now is not the time to retreat. Instead, it is the time to accelerate. The profound multifaceted crisis we are facing has made it even more obvious that business and society cannot thrive if employees, customers, and communities are not healthy; if our planet is on fire; and if our society is fractured. Doing the same things we have been doing for decades while expecting different results would be, in Einstein’s words, the very definition of insanity. What we need today is a refoundation of business and capitalism so that we can build a more sustainable future. It is time for business leaders to embrace a declaration of interdependence that prioritizes the common good and recognizes the humanity of all stakeholders. Find meaning at a personal level. Work is a key part of our search for meaning as human beings, a path to our fulfillment, and a means to contributing to the common good. It is incumbent upon each of us to discover who we want to be as human beings and leaders, our purpose in life, and how we want to be remembered, and then to align what we do and how we lead with that vision. It is equally important that we seek to understand what drives the people around us and how that connects with the purpose of the organization. Define a noble purpose for the company. The purpose of a business is to make a positive difference in the work, serving all stakeholders — customers, suppliers, the community, and shareholders — in a harmonious fashion. Turning a profit is an imperative and an outcome but not the ultimate goal. Companies must be designed as “human organizations” that are guided by a noble purpose and that put people at the center. This applies not just in good times but also when times get tough. Unleash human magic. Leaders must learn to create an environment that enables each person to connect their individual purpose with the purpose of the company. They must foster the development of genuine human connections that make everyone feel that they belong and matter. And leaders must develop an organization that encourages autonomy, supports the development of mastery, and nurtures a growth environment. This is what will create extraordinary outcomes. Reimagine leadership. As leaders, we need to follow five Be’s: I know, based on my own experience and reflections over the past 40 years or so, that shifting a business from maximizing profits to serving employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and shareholders is not easy. It requires leadership. In this article, I share the philosophy I have developed throughout my career and that was at the core of the resurgence of Best Buy. Ultimately, it is about much more than piecemeal CSR or ESG. It is about fundamentally redefining your company around purpose and learning how to unleash the best people have to offer. It’s about putting purpose and people at the heart of business. For business to be part of the solution to our collective challenges, we leaders must see companies not as soulless moneymaking entities but as “human organizations” made of individuals working together in support of a shared goal. This goal must contribute to the common good by making a positive difference in people’s lives — what author and consultant Lisa Earle McLeod calls a “noble purpose. ” In this approach, making money remains an imperative, but profits are not the ultimate objective; rather, they are the outcome of a successful strategy rooted in purpose. This is how Best Buy turned its fortunes around and rebounded to heights that, back in 2012, few would have imagined possible. Best Buy is not an exception. Like-minded companies described as “firms of endearment” have outperformed the S&P 500 14-fold over a period of 15 years. Multiple studies have confirmed that purpose indeed pays. Sometimes a company’s stated purpose can feel divorced from its operations — just a fancy way to tell the world who you aspire to be. It needs to be more than that. Take Best Buy’s investment in products and services to help aging seniors stay in their homes independently. In working toward its goal to serve 5 million seniors in five years, the company has the potential to significantly accelerate growth. How likely is it that we would have tapped this growing market had our purpose been simply to sell electronics to consumers? Not very. But when your purpose is to enrich lives through technology, that market not only seems possible, it makes total sense. Unleash Human Magic A noble purpose must be something every employee can relate to in their day-to-day job. For far too many people, work is viewed as a chore, a curse, a punishment, or a means to an end — something you do to pay the bills, go on vacation, and retire. And too often, this is the reality at organizations that put profit ahead of everything else. Sadly, the result is an uninspired workforce; we see that in study after study, including 2020 research by ADP Research Institute in which only 16% of people globally reported being “fully engaged” at work. This is a tragedy of unfulfilled personal and economic potential. But what if we choose to view work in a radically different light? What if leadership becomes about creating an environment where every employee can blossom and become the best, biggest, most beautiful version of themselves? Brian Stauffer There aren’t standard operating procedures at Best Buy — or a memo from me as leader — detailing how to deal with sick dinosaurs. Instead, this moment was the result of creating an environment that recognizes and values such human creativity. Work for the two employees was not just about collecting a paycheck or selling a new toy. It was about putting a grin back on a little boy’s face. Work was for them, in the words of poet Khalil Gibran, love made visible. How can we as leaders transform companies into places where all employees are willing and able to give their very best, not only to customers but to each other, to suppliers, to their communities, and to shareholders? The foundation or spark of this magic is to treat work as an essential element of people’s humanity and as a way of finding meaning and fulfillment in life. Start by asking yourself and people across your organization, “What drives you?” — a question that I find rarely gets asked in corporate environments. The answer helps people discover a sense of personal purpose, which in turn determines how they relate to their work. When I was at Best Buy, I always found the simplicity and humanity of people’s answers striking. Often, managers talk about friends, family, and colleagues — real people who matter to them and motivate them. These are not soft practices. The link between personal and collective purpose and how much people are willing and able to invest themselves at work is well-documented. This is the dimension that powers corporations as purposeful human organizations and, when coupled with a sound strategy anchored in a noble purpose, results in extraordinary performance. This is human magic. So, ask yourself: How can you help connect your team members’ search for meaning with the company’s noble purpose? A simple way to start is by treating people as individuals who are valued for their unique talents — not as “human capital.” This sounds simple and basic, but it has an enormous impact when you actually practice it. I still remember a young employee who explained to me that he felt seen as an individual at Best Buy and what a difference that made to him. He had been hired at 18 years old, shy and unsure of himself. When asked about meaningful experiences at Best Buy, he immediately recounted a visit by his district manager to his store. The manager, who had met him back when he was hired, recognized him and knew his name. That one small moment of connection left a lasting impression. He wasn’t just a “Blue Shirt. ” He was an individual who was known and who mattered. Two years in, the once shy, unsure kid was flourishing and confident. Purpose and People When Things Get Tough Putting purpose and people at the center is not a luxury reserved for good times. It is even more crucial for leaders to stay the course during challenging crises like the pandemic, which test the spirit and humanity of purposeful organizations. During my time as CEO of Best Buy, few moments tested us as meaningfully as when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. The storm knocked out the island’s electrical and communications infrastructure. Homes were blown apart or flooded beyond repair. Roads were impassible. Hospitals were inaccessible or evacuated. Best Buy had about 300 employees on the island in our stores and our distribution center. At first, we could not locate any of them. Brian Stauffer This was in mid-December 2017. If you work in the retail sector, you know what that means: Our stores were closed during key weeks of holiday shopping. But I couldn’t have cared less about that. Our employees felt cared for and we were open for business a mere three months after Maria — a case study in resilience and purpose. And much like we helped our employees, they in turn, helped Best Buy. Within a year, the stores and our distribution facility on the island were open again. Remarkably, our year-on-year sales in each of those locations soared 10% to 15%. But in my mind, our employees’ commitment to helping each other through the trauma of losing everything overnight was the real achievement. Mariana Mazzucato on the four things companies must do to help solve the world’s biggest problems. Clearly, none of this is easy. Businesses will face obstacles and difficult choices. But, in good times as in challenging ones, it is one of our main responsibilities as leaders to create, nurture, and embody a collective spirit that puts people at the center of everything we do. The End of Zero-Sum Leadership Putting people at the center of business means fostering caring and authentic relationships. This should occur within a company but also with all the company’s stakeholders — customers, vendors, local communities, and shareholders — in a way that not only contributes to the company’s purpose but also creates great outcomes for each of them. The corporations that will thrive coming out of the pandemic are those that will treat customers as human beings with needs, not walking wallets. They will connect and collaborate with vendors as partners, benefiting both sides and serving customers. They will contribute to their communities in a way that aligns with their noble purpose. They will reject the view of shareholders as soulless and obsessed with short-term profits at all costs. This shift in investor mindset, still in process and led by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, prioritizes investing in companies that care about their impact on the environment and their communities, and it reinforces the belief that purpose and people (and planet) are at the heart of successful, sustainable business. The companies that will thrive will refuse to see the world as a zero-sum game. They will choose “and” instead of “or.” It won’t always be easy; there is the temptation to simply “greenwash” and say you’re sustainable but not behave as such. Leaders must resist this temptation and serve all stakeholders in word and deed. This is how, together, we can begin to reinvent capitalism so that it contributes to a more sustainable future. Mariana Mazzucato on the four things companies must do to help solve the world’s biggest problems. Hubert Joly is the former chairman and CEO of Best Buy, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and the author, with Caroline Lambert, of The Heart of Business. He has been recognized as one of the top 100 CEOs in the world by Harvard Business Review, one of the top 30 CEOs in the world by Barron’s, and one of the top 10 CEOs in the U.S. by Glassdoor. Joly is now keen to add his voice and his energy to the necessary refoundation of business and capitalism around purpose and people. The Big Idea Series / Getting Serious About Stakeholder Capitalism 01 How to Lead in the Stakeholder Era 02 Video: Walk the Talk of Stakeholder Capitalism 03 Power Sharing Can Change Corporations for the Better 04 The Myth of the CEO Hero 05 Why Today’s Startups Pursue Both Ideas and Ideals 06 The Big Benefits of Employee Ownership 07 The Climate-Equity Connection

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