The Great Equations

Breakthrough in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg – by Robert P. Crease is vivid, entertaining and full of science for the inquisitive mind.

Mastering them to explain to general and scientific audience is great skill and every science and engineering student should aspire to and keep it in his intellectual repertoire.

The equations dealt were:

  • The Gold standard for mathematical beauty is Euler’s equation
         e + 1 = 0

  • The most significant event of 19th century – Maxwell’s Equations:
        δ . E = 4πp
        δ x B – 1/c * δE/δt = 4π/c J
        δ x E + 1/c * δB/δt = 0

        δ . B = 0
  • Celebrity Equation by Einstein:
        E = mc2

 

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The Key to the Gate

This guide by EksAyn Aaron Anderson is very practical and noteworthy to emulate.

For most of the CEOs, gatekeepers like personal secretaries and receptionists guard access. It is their job to keep those barriers and filter who is worthy of the decision maker’s time. With the gatekeeper, your goal is to positively differentiate yourself. While the gatekeeper holds the key to gate and then beyond to the decision maker. You need to leave a positive, memorable impression that lets you stand out from all other salespeople that contact him each day. The distinguishing factors come when you act with solid principles: treat everyone with respect and as a friend, act with integrity, and be genuine and gracious. Some of the principles listed here:

Aim High:
Water flows downhill-so does influence. Sell to the people who can actually make decisions: Research and find the real decision maker and the gatekeepers

It’s a Process and not an event:
Getting an appointment is not an event, it is a process and you may or may not get the appointment at first call or after few rejections, the key is to try al possible ways

Treat Gatekeepers like Gold:
Acknowledging and recognizing a gatekeepers effectively is a three step process:

  1. Find something that you can honestly and sincerely compliment her on
  2. Write a note to the decision maker or boss
  3. Copy the gatekeeper on the email
    The principle of recognizing others is timeless. Again be sincere and honest. Most gatekeepers of high –level executives ate professional, helpful and polite – that’s why they are gatekeepers of high-level people. There may be times when you may chose not to compliment a gatekeepers when his/her conduct did not merit it.

Jujitsu Emails:
Jujitsu is an ancient Japanese fighting technique that uses skill to outmaneuvered the opponent. It is the art of using people’s weight and momentum against them. If II  am 150 pounds, and a 300 pounds solid guy is charging me, the outcome doesn’t look very promising for me. However, if I can use his 330 pounds of force against him by tripping him or getting out of the way of his momentum where he can’t stop, I can use my smallness to my advantage and his bigness to his disadvantage. The same principle can be applied to emails. As you start with the top person emailing, it is better to follow up with the gatekeeper and enquire on it. if the gatekeeper suggests to talk to a lower level, as her send that email to recommended person and copy you or alternatively you can do as well keeping the top level and gatekeeper in loop. this carries more weightage on the recommended person to act.

Chase and Dance:
Best salespeople are the best salespeople because they act nothing like a stereotypical salesperson. They act real, honest human – like a friend – who just wants to help. They are willing to admit that they may not have all the answers, their product may not be a fit, etc. They are willing to step back, remove the pressure and create space. They are conscious to reflect the tone and intensity level of the gatekeeper.

Chase:

  1. Gatekeeper: I think that we already have a product that oes what you’re selling. I don’t thnk we need your product. (stepping back)
  2. Salesperson: But I don’t think you understand how good our product really is. It beats the competition, It’s awesome. I really want to talk to mike so he can see how much money he is wasting using your current product. (steps in again and pushes).
  3. Gatekeeper: Like I said, I think that what we have works just fine (Stepping back and starting to run)

Dance:

  1. Gatekeeper: I think that we already have a product that oes what you’re selling. I don’t think we need your product. (stepping back)
  2. Salesperson: Great. Maybe you’re right. Maybe our product isn’t for you. We don’t want you to do business with us unless it is good for you. That’s why I wanted to talk to Mike. I wanted to find out his needs and the needs of your organization, and then let him know what we offer and see if there’s a fit. If there is a fit, great. If not, no big deal. (mirrors the emotion the gatekeeper shows of “we don’t need you”. Notice that the salesperson doesn’t “need” the sale either. This is mirrored emotion while stepping back.)
  3. Gatekeeper: I might be able to squeeze you in week after next (stepping in)

Chase:

  1. Gatekeeper: He is not gong to be able to meet with you for few weeks. We have quarterly numbers to do plus prepare for an annual conference (Stepping back)
  2. Salesperson: Well, I am only going to be in your area on those days. Is there any way to squeeze me in? Plus, of he likes our product he will need to take advantage of it very soon or he will miss out on our current promotion. (steps in and pushes)
  3. Gatekeeper: Sorry, it isn’t going to work this month. (Stepping back and holding onto her position)

Dance:

  1. Gatekeeper: He is not gong to be able to meet with you for few weeks. We have quarterly numbers to do plus prepare for an annual conference (Stepping back)
  2. Salesperson: Perfect. That is fine. I’m very busy myself. Whether it is now or next month, no big deal. Take your time (Mirrors the emotion and steps back too)
  3. Gatekeeper: Great. I will set up for the first week of next month. However, if things change, it might work for me to get in a bit earlier. I will let you know. (Stepping in)
  4. Salesperson: Perfect. If he can meet earlier, I will try to accommodate his schedule. (Mirrors the emotion and steps in, too.)

The Art of Getting Your Way:

Diplomacy is the art of letting others have your way – Daniel Vare. The principles here are:

  1. Listen more. You have two ears and one mouth
  2. Aim to understand others first

A Negotiation Example:

  1. My friend asked me to help in the purchase/negotiation of a car. In car dealership, after test driving a mustang, I made sure to mention the car was good and we are serious.
  2. I told the salesperson that we would need a great price for the car. “What o you need”? replied the salesperson (this was his way of asking me to name my position first). What If I said him, “I need $3000 off of the price?” Why could that be a compromising position? Because he may be willing to come down more than just $3000. What if he is willing to discount $4000 or $5000 from the sticker price. I stood my ground using a simple two step process: Compliment and Turn it around and ask a question
  3. My response: Great question, how low can you go? (maintaining control by asking another question. Notice I didn’t answer his question at all)
  4. The salesman replied, “I can o back to my boss an ask him how low he can go? but what do you need? (he was gain asking me ti name the position)
  5. Wow you’re a great negotiator. I still need you to go to your boss and ask him how low can he go? (this went on further and I didn’t name mine and answered all questions diplomatically and politely and calmly. It went on for few minutes before the salesman went to ask his boss)
  6. He came back with an answer: $246000. (that was $3000 from the sticker price)
  7. I replied “That’s trouble”
  8. Salesperson said, “we can do for $20600” (Much of what we say we do not say with words but with our body language and tone of voice).
  9. We walked towards the door, then a plea came that we do it for $19600

In the example above, we used negotiation principles by not naming our position first, and we used positive reinforcement by appreciating the gatekeeper for moving us in the direction of a sale. This could be applied in any negotiation situation.

Assumptive Questions:

During any negotiation, the way you ask questions is crucial and can mean the difference between getting the appointment/sale or not. It is imperative to speak confidently when asking for the appointment. Timid questions are asked in Yes/No format and is to be avoided. Confident salespeople phrase their questions confidently and assumptively as if the person has already said yes!?
Assumptive questions are just that – assumptive. You don’t ask if you can meet with her, you ask when. When it comes time to ask for the appointment, a confident and successful salesperson does not say, “So can I get an appointment with Mark?” Notice that this is yes/no question and easily opens up the door for the reply to be no. If you have done all the ground work, you have a right t ask the question assumptive. Being too assumptive may lead you to be deemed pushy!!.

Yes/No question: Can I get an appointment?
Powerful/Assumptive Question: Thanks for helping me out. Does this week or next week work for Tim? or What time works best so I can accommodate his schedule?

The Conquest of Happiness–Continued

Causes of Happiness:

Zest:
If more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has, and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he losses one thing he can fall back upon another. Life is too short to be interested in everything, but it is good to be interested in as many things as are necessary to fill our days.
Genuine zest, not the sort that is really a search for oblivion, is part of the natural make-up of human beings except in so far as it has been destroyed by unfortunate circumstances. Young children are interested in everything that they see and hear; the world is full of surprises to them and they are perpetually engaged with ardor in the pursuit of knowledge, bit of course, of scholastic knowledge, but of the sort that consists in acquiring familiarity with the objects that attract their attention.

Affection:
General self-confidence towards life comes more than anything else from being accustomed to receive as much of the right sort of affection as one has need for.
The habits of mind formed in early years are likely to persist through life. Many people who fall in love look for a haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy. To many men home is a refuge from the truth; it is their fears and timidities that make them enjoy a companionship in which these feelings are put to rest. They seek from their wives what they obtained formerly from an unwise mother.
Affection received has a twofold purpose. One is security but in the adult life it has an essential biological purpose, namely parenthood. To be unable to inspire sex love is a grave misfortune to any man or woman, since it deprives him or her of the greatest joys that life has to offer. This deprivation is almost sure sooner or later to destroy zest and produce introversion.
The best type of affection is reciprocally life giving; each receives affection with joy and gives it without effort, and each finds whole world more interesting in consequence of the existence of this reciprocal happiness.

Family: I didn’t much interesting to capture

Work:
Two chief elements make work interesting: first, the exercise of skill, and second, construction. An even more important source of happiness than the exercise of skill, is the element of constructiveness. II n some work, though by no means in most, something is built upon which remains as monument when the work is completed. The terms of construction an destruction needs to clearly differentiated. The satisfaction to be derived from success in a great constructive enterprise is one of the most massive that life has to offer, although unfortunately in its highest forms it is only open to men of exceptional ability.

Effort and Resignation:
Resignation, however, has also its part to play in the conquest of happiness, and it is a part no less essential that the part played by effort. Even in pursuit of really important objects, it is unwise to become so deeply involved emotionally that the thought of possible failure becomes a constant menace to peace of mind. Efficiency in a practical task is not proportional to the emotion that we put into it; indeed, emotion is sometimes an obstacle to efficiency. The attitude required is that of doing one’s best while leaving the issue to fate.
Resignation is of 2 sorts, one rooted in despair, the other in unconquerable hope. The first is bad and the second is good. The man who has suffered fundamental defeat that he has given up hope of serious achievement may learn the resignation of despair, and , if he does, he will abandon all serious activity. He may camouflage his despair by religious phrases, or by the doctrine that contemplation is the true end of man, but whatever disguise he may adopt to conceal his inward defeat, he will remain essentially useless and fundamentally unhappy. The man whose resignation is based on unconquerable hope acts in a quite different way. Hope which is to be unconquerable must be large and impersonal. Whatever my personal activities, I may be defeated by death, or by certain kinds if diseases;,I may be overcome by enemies;I may find that I embarked upon an unwise course which cannot lead to success. In a thousand ways the failure of purely personal hopes may be unavoidable, but if personal aims have been part of larger hopes of humanity, there is not the same utter defeat when failure comes.
Resignation in certain cases are much easier compared to most difficult situations like a big reform or progress of science. These are cases in which only subsidiary purposes suffer a check, while major purposes of life continue to offer a prospect of success. A man, for example, who is engaged in important work shows a failure in the desirable kind of resignation if he is distracted by matrimonial unhappiness; if his work is really absorbing, he should regard such incidental troubles in the way in which one regards a wet day, that is to say, as a nuisance about which it would be foolish to make a fuss.


The Conquest of Happiness

A timely companion for troubling times and a classic by Bertrand Russell, describes in his own acerbic wit the way to happiness – as all our lives are mired in unhappiness in some sort.
After briefly dealing with causes of unhappiness and Byronic unhappiness, he jumps into the details:

Competition:
In modern times, struggle for life is struggle for success. The fear that they’ll fail to outshine others is the root cause. Perhaps a business’s glory demand that he should make much money and therefore like a Hindu widow suffer this torment gladly. The root of trouble springs from too much emphasis upon competitive success as the main source of happiness. There is no denial that the feeling of success makes it easier to enjoy life. What I do maintain is that success can only be one ingredient of happiness, and is too dearly purchased if all the other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain it. It is not only work that is poisoned by the philosophy of competition; leisure is poisoned just as much. The kind of leisure which is quiet and restoring to the nerves comes to be felt boring. There is bound to be a continual acceleration of which the natural termination would be drugs and collapse. The cure for this lies in admitting the art of sane and quiet enjoyment in a balanced ideal of life

Boredom and Excitement:
Boredom, however, is not to be regarded as wholly evil. There are two sorts, of which one is fructifying, while the other is stultifying. The fructifying kind arises from the absence of drugs and the stultifying kind from the absence of vital activities.
There is an element of boredom which is inseparable from the avoidance of too much excitement, and too much excitement not only undermines the health, but dulls the palate for envy kind of pleasure, substituting titillations for profound organic satisfactions, cleverness for wisdom, and jagged surprises for beauty. A certain power of enduing boredom is therefore essential to a happy life.
The capacity to endure a more or less monotonous life is one which should be acquired in childhood. A child develops best when, like a young plant, he is left undisturbed in the same soil. Too much travel, too much variety of impressions, are nt good for the young, and cause them to grow up to become incapable of enduring fruitful monotony.
Consider the difference between love and mere sex attraction. Love is an experience in which our whole being is renewed and refreshed as is that of plants by rain after drought. In sex intercourse without love there is nothing of this. When the momentary pleasure is ended, there is fatigue, disgust, and a sense that life is hollow. Love is part of the life of Earth; sex without love is not. The special kind of boredom from which modern urban populations suffer is intimately bound up with their separation from the life of Earth.

Fatigue:
A better way to treat anxieties:
When some misfortune threatens, consider seriously and deliberately what is the worst that possibly could happen. Having looked this possible misfortune in face, give yourself sound reasons for thinking after all it would be no such very terrible disaster. Such reasons always exist, since at the worst nothing that happens to oneself has any cosmic importance. When you have looked for some time steadily at the worst possibility and have said to yourself with real conviction, ‘Well, after all, that would not matter very much’, you will find that your worry diminishes to a quite extraordinary extent. It may be necessary to repeat the process a few times, but in the end, you’ll find that your worry disappears altogether and is replaced by a kind of exhilaration. Worry is  form fear and all forms of fear produce fatigue.

Envy:
Of all the characteristics of ordinary human nature envy is the most unfortunate, not only does the envious person wish to inflict misfortune and do so whenever he can with impunity, but he is also himself rendered unhappy by envy. Instead of deriving pleasure from what he has, he derives pain from what others have. Envy if of course closely connected to competition. Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful. The instability of social status in the modern world, and the equalitarian doctrine of democracy and socialism, have greatly extended the range of envy. Fatigue is also frequent cause of fatigue. If a man feels inadequate to the work he has to do, he feels a general discontent which is exceedingly liable to take the form of envy towards those whose work is less exacting.

Next article to carry excerpts on the ways to happiness after understating causes to unhappiness.