Harvard Business Review: Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson writes:

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer β€” that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others β€” is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

The details of each item can be found here: Harvard Business Review.Β  I didn’t exerpt the entire article, because I don’t copy and paste people’s work. The nine items listed are as follows:

1. Get specific

My response: I’ve assumed that goals I’ve accomplished didn’t require specificity. Yet, now that I think of it, when I was specific (even down to the date of achievement) I got what I wanted. So I will go back to my list(s) and include details.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals

My response: That is so correct. The years can fly by, especially in my case, when one doesn’t jump on the ball. Even acting on it a few minutes a day gets the goal(s) accomplished.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go

My response: This is a great project management point: Where am I in achieving this goal(s)?

4. Be a realistic optimistic

My response: So I cannot be a billionaire and master of all domains? Dang. I’ll take off a few zeroes, that should do the trick. πŸ™‚

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good

My response: I don’t see myself as a perfectionist. Yet I do get into that mindset of “it has to be much much better than this” and as a result nothing will get started or finished.

6. Have grit

My response: I’m a wimp sometimes. Gotta work on that. πŸ™‚

7. Build your willpower muscle

My response: Still wimpy.

8. Don’t tempt fate

My response: No! But I’m different! I’m not like everyone else. I’m special! The rules of reality don’t apply to me. πŸ™‚

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

My response: That is perfect. I think a lot of us spend too much time and mental energy on what (or who) we don’t like. I think the hardest thing to do is keep your mind engaged on the positive. Focusing too much on the negative drains your energy, drains your spirit, and then nothing gets done.

Harvard Business Review: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/nine_things_successful_people.html

Spring Cleaning

It’s coming! Time to clean out the cobwebs from our mental and emotional closets! πŸ™‚

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My Inner Nerd Gets Excited: IBM’s Watson Wins Jeopardy

If you are not into computers, this topic might put you to sleep. πŸ™‚

From Valentine’s Day, Monday February 14, until Wednesday February 16, 2011, two former Jeopardy Champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter battled a computer. And not just any computer. It was a machine hundreds of people from IBM and several prestigious colleges across the country worked on for over four years in order to create a Jeopardy Champion.

In hindsight, it sounds almost ridiculous that a massive corporation listed on the NYSE (as it’s still known of as for now) would devote over $30 million for a chance to have its software, hardware, staff and reputation devoted to one challenge: beat humans on a televised game show.

It seemed simple, Watson was going to perform the same feat as Google did for millions, right? You enter a query and it’ll return the first hit. However, the difference is massive. Watson never accesses the internet. It doesn’t phone home. It is a standalone machine. All the data it needs is stored in its database. Practically the entire Library of Congress is stored inside its hardware. That is millions of books. Millions and millions of words. Google finds data based on page ranking, web sites with the most links which determines popularity, and other unknown algorithms.

Plus, Google doesn’t respond with the nice voice that Watson has.

Yeah, that’s one of the key differences with this machine: Watson speaks! He, er, it asks for the next clue when its turn is up! It even says, Please!

Watching the show for the three days it aired, all I thought of was inquisitive HAL from the movie 2001, the Cyborg from the first Terminator movie (that scared the daylights out of me), the fussy sounding, talking car named Kitt from the television show Nightrider, and the informative, perfunctory computer from Star Trek (the original) and Star Trek: TNG.

Watson was able to understand the near intuitive based quirk of a Jeopardy “answer” in order to submit a “question”. It understands natural (spoken) language and the nature of a riddle. I read that the machine used to take two hours to process a question eventually getting down to under three seconds, because it can learn.

After Watson calculated an answer, he ranked it, indicating a level of self-confidence. If it was over a threshold like 50%, Watson pressed the buzzer. The machine also wagered for the last round – the final Jeopardy question.

It received all questions via text, but in the future Watson will be able to listen and probably see. That’s creepy.

I celebrate the technological advance, but I’m also freaked out by it.

I wasn’t surprised to see HAL, er, Watson win. He spanked both men with $77147, much higher than the combined winnings of $24,000 (Jennings) and $21,600 (Ruttner). However, no one went home empty handed. Watson received $1 million, all of which was donated to charity. The two men split their winnings with charity 50-50: Jennings won $300,000, and Rutter won $200,000. I liked the joke Ken Jennings offered during the final question, “I, for one, welcome our computer overlords.”

I don’t know if I do. However, I do appreciate this technological breakthrough in computing power. In a few years, we may all have our own personal Watson on our smart phones, smart pads, and whatever other technological tools come our way. The danger and the reward in this new technology, is that the more it helps us think, solve problems and delves deeper into complex situations – the less human beings and our intuitions are required.

With one hand technology giveth, and with the other it taketh.

I suppose the only way to stay ahead is to adapt, find the areas where we can offer assistance, be innovative, and continue to do things in areas where technology cannot take our place: creativity and ingenuity. Well, at least for now.

Let’s hope they keep Watson from becoming self-aware, emotional … and away from the military. Especially predator drones. πŸ™‚

Geek Notes: I found out it was mostly programmed in Java and C++. Wow. I had Java and a bit of C++ in school. Those aren’t easy languages to understand. Maybe I’ll take another shot at Java one day.

Update: Video Clip – How Watson Works by Dr. Ferrucci of IBM. Mentions the compter from Star Trek: TNG, which he wanted to emulate.

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Goals Reset: Where Has the Time Gone? It’s May Already!!!!

Oh my goodness! This is crazy. I mean we are almost at the half point of this year already!

Where did the time go? I’m scared I will look around and it’ll be Christmas again.

Time for me to start my New Year’s Resolutions all over again.

Gym Rat / Weight Loss

I’ve been at the gym 5 days out of 7. My body can’t handle the daily grind as I initially thought, but at least the aches and pains are gone. Boy, do I love weight lifting. I do that every time I go, and I alternate the treadmill and bike riding. Based on my body type, which is Mesomorphic / Mesomorph. I’ve lost 10 lbs since April 1, not bad. Usually, I can only drop 2 lbs a month, but I think my updated routine has made it easier to lose.

Why Me, Lord?

Why does everything necessitate talking to people who don’t like me,Β  and I don’t like them? Seriously, I’m not talking blog land. I mean out in the “real world.” No one ever leaves intermediate or high school. It’s the same people over and over again.

Nice People

It’s interesting to hear about people you’ve met only once or twice inquiring after you. I don’t know, I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling from it. Well, I’m always asking after them. Good vibrations go both ways.

It’s Too Warm To Hide

It’s like when the personal trainer and I were talking and he asked, “So why now?” Dude! Because by June, you will have nowhere to hide. The clothes wont cover the butt or hips. Part of what makes me look really big is my chest. Some women don’t like losing weight there: I look forward to it! I’ve got enough bosom to spare. I can barely run because of it. Ugh.

I Love the Summer, I Hate the Summer

I actually find it more boring than the winter. I like mild weather, like how it is now in the Northeast. But when it gets hotter. I dunno. I don’t like festivals, street parties or outdoor events. I loved them as a child. Man, those were the greatest years of my life. Today, the only thing I truly find interesting is traveling to different countries. That takes time and money. My goals is to get going by September. Again.

Money

I love what it can do for you. I don’t have this mindset that it is the “root of all evil.” Its purpose is to be used like the TOOL (in a positive meaning) that it is. I think people get confused with what money does. If you don’t have money, remember that BARTERING is what existed before coinage came about. Always remember that favors / good advice are basically priceless, in essence, especially coming from the right people.

I Gotta Hurry Up

The only thing that irritates me about myself is the inability to rush things. I’m not an efficient multitasking type of person. I’m an old fashioned needle-style record player: one track at a time. I need things to be just right. Although I am aware that a perfectionist streak is a good mask for hiding fear of failure. I take too long. My goal is get it done. I will fix is as I go along, but things must get done. Otherwise, we stagnate, right?

Breaking the Introvert Habits

I remember being more outgoing as a kid. I took a class that said Introverts become more “closed” as they get older. Hey, for people like me, the daily exercise is to talk to someone (in the real world) everyday. Even if it is to ask the time. Co-workers don’t count. People I already know don’t count.

That’s the one constant I have to maintain: talking to people!

Feedback

As always is welcome, if you have any goals, spell ’em out. I like cheering people on. Have a good one.

Cheers everybody.

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Remember "Total Recall"? Coming Soon, Robotic Bus Drivers and Cabbies


If you ever saw this movie, and since I love Sci-Fi, so yes, I have, this was one of my favorite scenes.

Well, the future is coming sooner than you think.

The video clip of a mini-cab, minus the cab driver. I think robot should be included, just to enrich the experience.

Look, Ma! No hands!
The approaching extinction of bus drivers and cabbies….

Grabbed from Reuters:

May 26 – Driverless cars — using technology similar to that used for cruise missiles, but more advanced — are showing firsthand what public transportation could look like in the near future, through the European Union’s vehicle program CyberCar.

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