Category Archives: Books

A Year of Mindfulness Training

2 weeks ago, the Islamic new year started and I was thinking about whether I need to build any new habit in this new year. Normally, I am not a person who sets goals for habit changes only at the New Year, but I do it throughout the year. If I see a need for a change in any area of my life, I work on it immediately and over time, I have had hundreds of habit changes, some easy and some hard. Some have become permanent habits and some still require upkeep. As of now, I am actively tracking around 10 habits on a daily basis. But as I was reflecting, I realised that there is a mother-habit, if I can call it that way, that can make all other habit changes easy and it would also have the highest impact on me and the people around me – that is the habit of mindfulness. Continue reading

Do you want to improve your communication? Then understand the curse of knowledge

You might wonder “What? The curse of knowledge? Did I read it right?”. Yes, you have read it right and we are not talking about knowledge as a blessing, but knowledge as a curse. This is a popular concept and an extremely effective tool to improve any aspect of your communication – writing, presenting to others, talking and even writing a simple email. Let me explain.

Please recall a situation in your life in which you were interacting with an expert in a field that you didn’t know much about. Did you understand the expert’s language? How did the expert make you feel? Let me talk about a situation that I have recently encountered. Before reading this story, it would be better if you know that I am engineer running an IT consulting startup.

I was talking to an accountant about some transactions that I have to do in my accounting software to comply with the Swiss regulations for filing my company’s financial statements in Geneva. He told me that I have to debit this account, and credit that account and blah…blah… and it went straight over my head. I said “What? What? Can you please repeat that slowly?”. He repeated it not once but multiple times.

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Reading Book: Start with Why?

It has been a long time since I have posted anything in this blog. Lot of things are going on in my life – managing the new startup, moving my family from Geneva, Swiss to India and setting up a new team in India. The blog has taken a backseat in the middle of all these changes. Once in a while, I think of something interesting to post on the blog, but never got around to doing it.

Around 2 weeks back, one of my clients has recommended me to take a look at a book called ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek. There is a short TED talk here that explains the entire book in a nutshell. I watched that video and was hooked onto the idea and I bought the book. Now, I am reading the book and finding it to be quite insightful in a number of areas. In the coming days/weeks, I will share with you the ideas that I found useful in that book.

The crux of the book is this:

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What can you expect from this blog?

These days, I am getting new visitors to this blog and I thought it would be appropriate to let them know what they can expect from this blog.

In this blog, you will find:

  1. Tips – Tips to save time, Tips to do something faster/better, Tips to make better use of technology and software tools, etc.
  2. Books – Everything from Book Reviews to Book Summaries and Book Recommendations. And the digital tools related to books like Kindle, online book sites, etc.
  3. My Language Learning journey especially French – I have started learning French in 2012. I plan to document my journey, the mistakes I have made and the courses and tools that I have used. I plan to learn more languages in the future after I reach fluency in French.

My overall objective is to share practical and valuable tips on a variety of topics that is of interest to a normal person. I plan to invite my friends and colleagues who have interesting things to share with others to do guest posts on my blog.

If you want to read more about why the above 3 topics interest me and who I am, please check the About page

How I lost weight while eating more deserts than ever: Book Review ‘French Kids Eat Everything’

I and my wife had a problem with our kids’ eating habits. We did not know how to make them eat certain vegetables. My son Safwan, who is generally very cooperative, has started hating some vegetables. We thought that it was natural and that he would get over it. We did not want to force him.  However, the number of vegetables on his aversion-list was growing and the aversion was also growing stronger. On the days when my wife cooked items that my children liked, they ate quickly and happily. On most other days, the eating sessions were taking too much time and we were starting to lose patience and sometimes had to force them to eat. We were concerned that our kids start to prefer only junk foods – french fries, ketchup, etc. That is when I came across this book – French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon and it solved all the problems that we had with our kids’ eating habits and it also ended up changing our entire outlook on food.

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This $15 book on negotiation has helped me save $560 in the last 2 months: Book Review ‘Getting More’

It has been about 2 months since I have read the book Getting More by Stuart Diamond. The back cover of this book reads:

This new model of human interaction has been chosen by Google to train the entire company worldwide (30,000 employees), is the #1 book for your career chosen by The Wall Street Journal’s website,….

The hype about the book is true and I do think that this is one of most helpful books I have read in my entire life. I have tested the strategies outlined in the book in many situations. Here are the 5 situations where I have gained financially by applying these strategies. I did not expect that these strategies will work so well, but they did.

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How to find a price cheaper than the cheapest Amazon Store?

Image representing The Book Depository as depi...

Image via CrunchBase

In my last post, I have talked about how to find the cheapest Amazon store. Question for you now – can you find a price better than the best price offered by Amazon? The answer is yes and the seller is BookDepository. For Michel Thomas French Perfect Audio course, I got it about 18% cheaper than the best price offered by any Amazon store,  at a whopping discount of 52% to the list price.

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