Thursday, September 28, 2006

Improving Customer Service Processes

People, processes and problems in service

I get a call from a call centre customer executive that there is a problem with my payment against my credit card. This is the beginning of the numerous calls, mails, personal visits which will be carried out by me in the next few days to resolve the problem. Different parts of the bank are handling different things for the same customer that’s me. Poor me I am told to do different things by different people. Poor customer executives of the call centre, they get bombarded by me for nothing they can do. They just are following a process. They cannot solve problems

We are getting letters from the DPs asking us to present ourselves in person with our PAN cards for verification as per SEBI guidelines. Now, my friend is overseas. I ask the bank executive what do we do in his case. He has no clue. His manager, ditto.

The cell companies are worse. Wrong bills, wrong addresses, the small enterprise of ours has faced all these problems. Account manager, account executive, Collection executive, Call centre executives, no no one has resolved the problems. They occur month after month.

Mails come with the standard reply – “This is an automated response. Your complaint id is 420. You will be contacted shortly” How short is the shortly supposed to be. Is anyone tracking the duration fo the shortly.

Calls from the call centres are a gem in customer service, the starting and the end that is. Starting – “Welcome to One-more-cell-company, what can I do for you Sir?”. The ending – “Is there anything else I can do for you Sir? Have a good day Sir.” Everything between the start and the end is a mess.

Problems are remaining problems. I feel things are getting worse as far as service to customers are concerned.

The main reason for all this is a mess up between processes and people. We are failing to differentiate the two. The purposes, advantages, capabilities and limitations of people and processes are confused.

Processes are met to ensure the policies, initiatives are carried out in a manner where there is least amount of problem to the customers.
Yet problems will occur.
People should be meant to solve these problems which come inspite of processes.

If we expect processes to take care of problems too it will not happen. That’s where the trouble starts.

The main reason for all the problems in poor customer service is that there is little harmony in the engine supposed to serve and earn business.

First, the processes are not in place. We are used to announcements on policies first. New initiatives are announced. No process is in place. This is a day to day affair across organisations, public and corporates. It is easy to announce new products, initiatives, policies, but without the processes in place they don’t take off or create a mess. Worst affected by this callous attitude of “policy first, process later” are the executives who are directly facing the customers. They are flooded with all sorts of queries. But they have no clue about these. They are not told what is happening. They do not know how to answer the queries of the customers.

Second, the processes which are created are not dynamic. If there is any change in the assumptions or the environment, and it will be there, the process is not able to take care. Response required to make the changes in the processes are slow. Again the people at the customer end are left to face the tune.

Third, the people who are facing the customers are not quipped to solve problems, provide solutions. They have between trained to speak courteous words and give data. No, they are not problem solvers. You ask them anything beyond data and how you need to resolve your problem and all they can do is record your problem and someone will in their opinion get back.

Problems will occur. Organisations should build the assumption that processes will not suffice. There will special situations, special individual cases which will not be common and not foreseen. However, these will have to be handled and for this we need people who are equipped with good knowledge and holistic view of the processes, good analytical and problem solving skills and empowered to take decisions and make exceptions.

Fourth, let us keep room for face to face interaction. Smiles, eye contacts, discussions go a long way in resolving problems than the emails and phone calls (different people at different times for the same issue).

Processes should ensure problems are minimal. People should be able to solve the minimal problems when they come up.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Let us have a moratorium on new policies, products and initiatives till we know that the existing ones are working fine.
  2. New policies, initiatives, products should be announced only after the process is in place. In fact when announcing the policies, products and initiatives, the process should be announced.
  3. The date of roll out for the customers should be only after all staff at the customer level is fully equipped about the process and procedures related.
  4. We should have a certain percentage of executives/managers at different places who are specialists empowered problem solvers. Like what we have in the police. The normal policemen are meant to ensure law & order. But to handle special situations there are specialists trained personnel.
  5. We should have contact centres at different locations where people can walk into. Even the distance learning universities/institutes/centres have contact centres to ensure there is this personal touch and contact. Where there is service, personal touch cannot be done away with.

Longing for Love

Three passions ... have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.

Bertrand Russell

Lessons from Life

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Author Unknown

Monday, September 25, 2006

Best Friendship Quotes

Do not save your loving speeches
for your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones,
speak them rather now instead.

Anna Cummins

How to Save a Life lyrics

Step one you say we need to talk
he walks you say sit down it's just a talk
he smiles politely back at you
you stare politely right on through
some sort of window to your right
as he goes left and you stay right
between the lines of fear and blame
and you begin to wonder why you came
Where did i go wrong, i lost a friend
somewhere along in the bitterness
and i would have stayed up with you all night
had i known how to save a life
Let him know that you know best
cause after all you do know best
try to slip past his defense
without granting innocence
lay down a list of what is wrong
the things you've told him all along
and pray to god he hears you
Where did i go wrong, i lost a friend
somewhere along in the bitterness
and i would have stayed up with you all night
had i known how to save a life
As he begins to raise his voice
you lower yours and grant him one last choice
drive until you lose the road
or break with the ones you've followed
he will do one of two things
he will admit to everything
or he'll say he's just not the same
and you'll begin to wonder why you came
Where did i go wrong, i lost a friend
somewhere along in the bitterness
and i would have stayed up with you all night
had i known how to save a life
Artist: The Fray

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hope of Tomorrow

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

Author Unknown

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Quotable Quotes by Famous People

We know what we are, but not what we may be.


In the end, will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King, JR.

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.


Romantic Sayings and Love Sayings

Sayings about Romance abound in history, literature and life. Read this collection of an author in love with life.

The love we give away is the only love we keep.

Elbert Hubbard

Love is to great not to be shared.

Author unknown

When you're in love you never really know.

Natalie Clifford Barney

I have nothing more to give you than my heart.

Love does much, money does everything.

Love will find a way.

Spanish sayings

Where there is love there is life.

Mahatma Gandhi

Small streams of caring become large pools of love.

Love is happeiness in a box and trust is the key.

Anonymous love sayings

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.

Victor Hugo, French author, Les Misrables

To love is nothing.... to be loved is something... to love, and be loved is everything.


The course of true love never did run smooth

William Shakespeare

Here is my heart, guard it well.

French saying

Special people know how to give good hugs, but people in love give backrubs.


The truly important things in life - love, beauty, and one's own uniqueness - are
constantly being overlooked.

Pablo Casals

Whom the gods love die young.

Spanish saying

It is when we earn love least that we need it the most.


Of all pains, the greatest pain, is to love, but love in vain.

Spanish saying

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

There are no goodbye's in any love, just a time till you see or talk to the love again.

To love abundantly is to live abundantly.

Henry Drummond

To love someone deeply gives you strength.

Lao Tzu

Most Read Love Quotes

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  • Friday, September 22, 2006

    Right People are the Resouces to Take Companies Forward

    Enterprises, associates and employees

    We keep hearing this – people are our biggest asset. It is clichéd. I don’t think people mean or meant it so much as it was propogated. Maybe people were trying to believe in it, internalize it by saying and hearing this more and more.

    Nevertheless, I have had the experience of experiencing this first hand. Enterprises are made of two kinds of people – associates and employees. There is a lot of difference in the two.

    Starting an enterprise has taught be many more things than I had learnt before, not the least of which was about myself. Biggest learning about an enterprise was the need for quality people. Enterprises are not about capital, ideas, plans, other resources. It is all about having the right people. The capacity of the organisation or enterprise is purely based on the people we have. I could have a great idea, kicked up with exciting innovations, I could find people ready to fund (this is easy to find these days), could draw a great business plan, but if I do not have the right people nothing will take off. In fact I have dealt with failed plans for lack of people to run with me to carry it forward. Some of my ideas have remained just that for the same reason.

    I come to believe that getting the right people is the starting point for an enterprise. If you have the right people you can accomplish what you want. If you do not have them, you cannot achieve the best of plans. Today I am wiser in that sense. No point is crying and getting frustrated that I am not able to progress. I have to calibrate my plans and aspirations based on the people around me and people I can find.

    Get me a business plan and to know whether it is going to work or not, I will ask who are the people who are going to carry out the plan, what are their capabilities – not necessarily “have done it before” experience. If you think you have the right people, rest is not necessary. You can be sure it will take off. If you do not have the right people, you can skip the plan totally. It will not take off. Period.

    Now the biggest issue is finding these “good”, “right” people. People who share a common spirit and attitude to a cause, but an uncommon and not common approaches and capabilities. These people can then be able to put their different mental make-ups to create, execute, operate, run, manage the enterprise.

    These people are what I call associates. Because they need to get associated to the cause.

    Getting these people are the biggest challenge. These cannot be hired or recruited. They have to get associated. Hiring or recruiting is a professional process where skills are deployed for a task. Association is an engagement where the heart and the soul are in it for a cause. Tasks come to an end. Causes do not. Hiring/deployment is an impersonal process. Association is a personal process. Hiring is about tasks, association is about relationships.

    Yes, associates cannot be many. But the few will make all the difference. The rest, apart from the few are employees, employed to perform tasks. Not everyone in an enterprise can be associates. But without a certain critical mass of association organisations cannot take off. If there are enough number of associates, you can always hire for tasks. But hiring for tasks without enough associates will not take off.

    Did you say enterprise? Ok, where are your associates?

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Do People Change or Adapt Their Attitudes

    People do not change, people adapt. I look at so many people I know around me. Childhood friends, school mates, college mates, colleagues from career, family members and so on. I find most of the people have not changed. Their basic attitudes remain the same, their strengths and weaknesses remain the same, their likes and dislikes have remained the same. What then has happened to them? What is different in them? They have been adapting; adapting to changes in life. They have been adapting to changes in their phase of life, from student to work life, one job to another, one career to another, bachelorhood to family life. Things that come with age, time, and phases of life. They have been adapting, learning to manage using their basic inherent qualities and do things differently and different things.

    This is fundamental difference. People do not change, people adapt. Change is a long drawn process and is influenced by strong factors over time. Adaptation is natural to human beings.

    This difference is critical for human resources professional. We are expected to be change managers, we are expected to bring change in people, change in organisation. We maybe should be taking a different approach where we do not focus on change but on adaptation.

    Let us take the case of training. There is so much of effort which is put on training people. HR professionals are asked why don’t you design a training programme for this and that. Essentially we are told why don’t you change this person. But is it possible? Is there a better way of handling this – improving performance to meet certain objectives?

    I think instead of asking how do we bring a difference in people by way of training them, we should focus on how do we use people strengths. How do we help people adapt to different perspectives? How do we sharpen the skills in the contexts of the business. Some of the ways in which we need to do is, change people’s roles/ assignments to suit their natural characteristic, traits. Give people different roles where they can try and see if they are able to adapt and grow. For example giving change in function, assignments, roles etc. This is what we call exposure, perspective etc. This is not something new. We need to do more of this and make it a core of people development.

    Basic skills ability to solve problems, analytical skills, ability to perceive situations, eye for detail, emotional intelligence, natural instinct for numbers, people, creativity, innovation, interests in people, tasks, social skills, remain what they are. Yes they may get sharpened, or accentuated.
    What changes are newer technologies, using new tools, ability to handle greater level of complexity, risk taking, judgment, These again cannot be taught, but are leant with facilitation from the outside.

    When two people are tough to drive a car, they learn how to drive using the various tools in the car like the gears, clutch, brake etc. With some practice, they both become conversant in driving the car with ease, make judgments while they drive. But then how they really drive the car is based on the difference in the mental make up. For example the speed, apitite for driving long distance, etc. differ.

    There is a difference between teaching and learning. Training is more an external process, driven from the outside. Whereas learning is an internal process driven from the inside. The focus has to be on learning. It is wrong to emphasise on training. It will just not help. Look at the countless training programs people go to. They remain that - programs. What do we people learn from these programs? How much change does it bring in them?

    People should be allowed to exercise their natural abilities, adapt themselves to newer contexts learning through their natural inherent process. Organisations should facilitate the adaptation, and use the natural abilities and create environment for sharpening the skills and tools.

    Somewhere along changes in jobs, careers etc are linked to this aspect of change and adapt. It may be worthwhile to ponder into this aspect.

    People want to handle newer things, greater level of complexity and something they see as meaningful and truthful to them

    Disgruntlement crops us when these seem either unfulfilled or they are eroded. One of the reasons most HR people are frustrated are when they see that they are doing things which are meaningful or truthful. They know they are doing things which are not adding value. They are unable to do things in the manner they would prefer to. Executives after some point get frustrated when they feel that their organisation is not willing to change, take risks, adapt. Executives get disgruntled when they are not able to handle complexity in terms of business, technical problems etc.

    Only two of the HR guys in my reasonably big circle of HR guys say they are happy. Most of the others are “looking out”. Both of them are handling roles and doing things they have not done before. That’s what makes sense and gives them the excitement. They are seeing global areas, greater level of complexity, making a difference to the business etc.

    At the same time we also have to bear the fact that the organisation wants to accomplish more, wants to grow, wants people to take on more and do more, do differently. So on the one side we have a desire coupled with disgruntlement due to non fulfillment of the basic urges and on the other hand we have the organisations which are crying for capable resources. We need to be able to allow the natural process of adaptation to yield to both rather than focus on something unnatural a nd long drawn such as change to become the focus of attention.

    If we could make facilitation of adaptation the key then the what we will do and how we do in HR will be different

    In conclusion:
    We should focus on adaptation and not change. People do have an inherent nature and urge to adapt to higher level of things – complexity, newness, meaningfulness etc. HR should facilitate in the process of adaptation and not indulge in bringing change in people. They can do a lot in this direction which will thus be of more use to the organisation as well as the individual.

    Skills a Good Recruiter must Develop

    The other day someone in my team of recruiters wanted to know what it takes to be a good professional in recruitment. Here are my views:

    Competencies expected of a professional in recruitment

  • Communication
    Ability to write good mails which are clear, grammatically correct and formatted correctly
    Ability to speak in a manner which is polite courteous and appealing

    Multi tasking
    Ability to handle different tasks at the same time either through self or through others
    Ensuring adequate effort and progress is made on all activities

    Making calls, connecting to the client representative to clearly understand requirements
    Making calls even when it is not purely for a particular requirement
    Meeting personally the client representatives once in a while to build a personal rapport

    Being organized on mails, documents, spreadsheets etc. Having data and information on tips
    Using time effectively
    Using various tools very effectively including MS Outlook (contacts), Google desktop, messengers etc.

    Measure oneself against tasks and results achieved, for instance, closures to requirements, time to closures, closures to joinees
    Put the extra effort needed to fulfill the requirements
    Building database pro-actively so that it will be useful at a later point in time

    Knowing the various clients and requirements which are being worked on by others in the organisation
    Giving help to others for their requirements
    Taking help from others

    Deadline focus
    Giving feedback when committed; if you say you will get back by certain time getting back by that time
    Following up with others to ensure the tasks are committed on time

    Bringing up new ideas to help in achieving higher levels of results
    Building awareness of what is happening outside this organization in the industry we are in

    Build connections with newer people (not just candidates for current requirements) who could be HR people, potential candidates in different organisation, other consultants, other business leaders etc.

    Ability to make judgments based on past experiences of self and others to take decisions / risks which more often than not yield results
    Judgment on people – who will click, who will not etc.

    Ability to persuade people based on facts, perceptions to make decisions in your favour
    Ability to persuade client representatives to look at things in a different (your) perspective
    Being knowledgeable enough to make the other person listen to you
    Handling different people differently

    Carefully attention to what is being communicated to you, picking up the facts and perceptions to act upon and make judgments on.

    Emotional intelligence
    Ability to handle negative emotions including anger, No, disappointments, stress
    Aggression, fire in the belly, aspiring, ability to push oneself
    Being open, transparent, inclusive

    Grip on numbers
    Have eye for details on numbers
    Chase numbers, like revenue, profitability, costs etc.
    Reasonably good in Excel
  • Muhammad Ali Quotes

    Muhammad Ali, the boxer's best quotations, quips, wits. Collected by me. I've met and interviewed him in 1990.

    I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

    Muhammad Ali, American boxing legend

    It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.

    Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.

    If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam. Whoever performed, or is behind, the terrorist attacks in the United States of America does not represent Islam. God is not behind assassins. Anyone involved in this must pay for their evil.

    The American flag is a symbol of freedom and hope for citizens around the globe. It is a daily reminder of the values and liberties promised in our Constitution.

    My mother once told me that my confidence in myself made her believe in me. I thought that was funny, because it was her confidence in me that strengthened my belief in myself. I didn't realize it then, but from the very beginning, my parents were helping me build the foundation for my life.

    Muhammad Ali, quotation from his latest book Soul of a Butterfly.

    I am the greatest. It's not bragging if you can back it up.

    I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.

    It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself. The dignity of human beings and their direct connection with God, not labels and differences, was the central focus of his life.

    Muhammad Ali, American boxing legend, on the death of Pope John Paul II

    It is time to pass on the values, beliefs and principles that made me a champ to the next generation of champions. I believe that better nutrition and respect for the mind and body will give everybody today the opportunity to rise above and be the best they can be.

    I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong" and "no Vietcong ever called me nigger.

    I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.

    Women are not made to be hit in the breast, and face like that... the body's not made to be punched right here. Ali on women in boxing, pointing to his chest

    Athlete of the Century
    , Sports Illustrated

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Even the nonbeliever is precious to God

    I mean, you don't have to believe in God to know that loving is better than hating. We are trying to remind them that all of us are fundamentally good. The aberration is the bad person. God is not upset that Gandhi was not a Christian, because God is not a Christian! All of God's children and their different faiths help us to realize the immensity of God. No faith contains the whole truth about God. And certainly Christians don't have a corner on God. All of us belong to God. Even the nonbeliever is precious to God. And one simply tries to remind them that they are made for transcendence. They are made for goodness.
    Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Points to Ponder in Children’s Behavior Problems

    Your child will learn a lot from your behavior, choose how you want him to grow up. Improving your personality has a bearing on the child. Set an example and the child will follow suit.

    Write down clearly how you’d want your son to be

    At home
    At work
    At social life

    Points to ponder

    Character and values are vital to happiness in life
    Attitude is key to success
    Relationships are critical

    Behavior problems - Never forget that
    1> Its unwise to confront the child with a behavior problem.
    2> First, confirm that he has made a mistake.
    3> You must first follow the rules.
    4> Threatening or spanking should be the last resort.
    5> Rewarding good behavior ensures repetition of the same.
    6> Children love to please their parents
    7> Love, care and understanding alone can help your child.
    8> Degrading your son in front of other children will only worsen your problem.
    9> Complaining to others will affect his self-esteem.

    Bernard Shaw Quotes on Life

    If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

    The fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

    The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact
    that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

    A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.

    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

    Do you know what a pessimist is? A person who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.

    I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.

    George Bernard Shaw

    A day's work is a day's work, neither more nor liess, and the man who does it needs a day's sustenance, a night's repose and due leisure, whether he be painter or ploughman.

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

    When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.

    GB Shaw

    There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it.
    Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

    There is no love sincerer than the love of food.

    There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.

    He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

    Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

    Silence is the perfect expression of scorn.

    A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.

    It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.

    No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

    The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.

    The secret of success is to offend the greatest number of people.

    When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.

    You use a glass mirror to see your face: you use works of art to see your soul.

    Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

    What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.

    If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange apples, we both still only have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange ideas, we each now have two ideas.

    As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.

    G B Shaw on Women
    The fickleness of the women I love is only equaled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.

    The test of a man or woman's breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.

    I don't want to talk grammar, I want to talk like a lady.

    Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another.

    George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Keeping pace with socio-economic-techno trends

    The purpose of the blog is to explore how people learn and grow. This is based on:
    1. my experiences and observations in the HR function
    2. my experience from running a placement company wherein we get to interact with a cross section of employers and employees
    3. interest in exploring the changes which are taking place in the manner and behaviours related to learning which to me is a very wide field in itself; and can be viewed from so many different persepctives and is the key to the progress of the humankind.

    Without learning there is nothing, learning is everything.

    While learning is the key aspect, the environment which organisations create are essentially driven towards facilitating learning and growth. I believe the central theme of any organisation is creating such an environment.

    Therefore while exploring learning and growth, we need to also touch upon issues pertaining to the creation of such an environment in the organisations. This takes us to the domain of the function called HR. However, HR as is practised, more or less, in my view is from a very narrow perspective. Not that it is not important, but that it will need to go through a radical change. My idea of the blog is to ideate, put thoughts on aspects of HR (not from the narrow perspective but from the human behaviour perspective) which I believe should lead to the learning and growth of human beings.

    Let me now put on one such thought for discussion. One of my biggest grouses against HR in the manner it is practised today is that it has not kept pace with the socio-economic-techno trends of the external environment.

    Let us take some trends:
    . re-definition of loyalty, commitment
    . greater level of individualisation
    . dissipation of energy in various areas
    . availability and easy access to choices
    . increasing earnings and lowering of cost of life style and easy access to money
    . exponential reduction in speed of reaction/responses time
    . shorter spans of attention, shorter memories

    Let me take some time to explore each of these points.
    Re-definition of loyalty, commitment
    What do we expect people to be committed to? Is it commitment to

    Miss World Quotes

    The best Miss World quotes from the world's most beautiful and famous women.

    I don't think I'm the most beautiful girl in the world...I am the most beautiful girl here.

    Catharina Lodders, 1962 Miss World after winning the Miss world crown

    No, I did not. I was totally shocked when my name was announced as the name of Miss World 2005. In the weeks before the big final I knew that a few people considered me a favorite, including Global Beauties, but there is a huge gap between being a favorite and actually being the winner. But it was the most awesome and fulfilling surprise ever for me, I am enjoying every minute of it!

    Unnur Birna, Miss World 2005, on being asked if she expected to win.
    I always knew I would be successful. So there was no element of surprise.

    I'm just average woman with average concerns.

    I don't believe in proving a point to anybody. Nobody is that important.

    Life will take its toll on all of us. We get injured, we get old. It's really sad to try to run away from these harsh realities of life. Looks are not everything. I am not going to look beautiful all the time.

    Aishwarya, Miss World 1994

    I did not hear my name at first, I just heard it echo around the room. I only knew it was me because nobody else moved! Then it all came true “It is wonderful to know that so many people voted for me in the text vote and put me through to the top two in Northern Europe. I was pleased to win the title of Miss World Northern Europe. Then to win Miss World is incredible. I just feel wonderful. It came as a big shock but the feeling is incredible. I am numb.

    Favorite Quote:
    You are what you do or You are what you make.

    Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, Miss World 2005

    The Miss World crown is an immense responsibility. I'm looking forward to every bit of it.

    Priyanka Chopra, 2000

    You also have to remember you know that you're a 'celebrity', for want of a better word, People don't have to care what you're doing or look up to you or want to emulate you, admire you or all of that. It is a tremendous gift and a privilege and I think that you have a responsibility if you find yourself in that position because, remember, you know you did a number of things to put yourself in that position. So having made your bed, you must now find a way to lie down in it. I believe that.

    Cindy Breakspeare, Jamaica, Miss World 1976

    I hope to represent the women of the world in a good way. I wish people in the world would be more respectful to each other.

    Azra Akin, Turkey, Miss World 2002

    I am so happy. It's a wonderful feeling and it’s indescribable ..… I have made history .. Black is beautiful.

    Agbani Darego, NIgeria, Miss World 2001

    I could see the amazed look on their faces when they announced my name.They were jumping up and down punching the air with joy. I don't know who was more happy - them or me.

    Rosanna Davison, Ireland, Miss World 2003, referring to the joy of her parents.

    The fact that I am the first Miss World to be decided by a global vote makes this award unbelievably precious. I will cherish the memories of tonight. Now that I have become a genuine world ambassador I intend to do everything in my power to promote the good causes that have been the driving force for Miss World for over half a century. I only hope that I can do the job with the dignity and panache that Rosanna Davison has done for the last year.

    Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia, Peru, Miss World 2004

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    Friendship and Friends' Love

    A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

    Elbert Hubbard

    Friends are God's way of taking care of us.


    Friendship is one mind in two bodies.


    My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life.

    Lee Iacocca, one of America's corporate icons

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    Martin Luther King Speeches and Quotes

    The complete Inspiring Speech of Martin Luther King, rated as one of the most Famous and Inspirational Speeches in the history of mankind. A rare example of excellent public speaking skills. Read and be inspired.

    l am happy to join with you today in what will go down In history asthe greatest demonstration for freedom In the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whtue symbolic shadow westand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon of hope to millions of Negro slaves, whohad been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred yeanlater, the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the Life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

    One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today todramatize a shameful condition.

    In a sense we have come to our Nation's Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our great republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing apromissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as whitemen, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life liberty and thepursuit of happiness.

    It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory noteinsofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds.

    "But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are Insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunityof this nation. So we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of thefierce urgency of Now. This is not time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

    Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.
    Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregationto the sunlit path of racial justice.

    Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injusticeto the solid rock of brotherhood.

    Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God's children.

    It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the momentand to underestimate the determination of it's colored citizens. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass untilthere is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixtythreeis not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

    There will be neither rest nor tranquilily in America until the Negro isgranted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue toshake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

    But there is something that 1 must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of ourwhite brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom Is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

    And as we walk, we must make-the pledge that we shall always marchahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devoteesof civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied aslong as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs slating "for white only."We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of your trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality.

    You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

    Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina,go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our modern cities, knowing that somehow th is situation can and will be changed.

    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. Is still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of formerslaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit downtogether at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis offreedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by thecontent of their character.

    I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interpositionand nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

    I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

    This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair astone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords ofour nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

    This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to singwith new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee Ising. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from everymountainside, let freedom ring!"And if America is to be a great nation, this must became true.

    So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring fromthe mighty mountains of New York.tet freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenles of Pennsylvania.Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

    Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.Ut freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside.

    And when this happens, when we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black menand white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be ableto join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, "free at last, free at last.

    Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Friday, September 8, 2006

    Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's Quotes

    He certainly did die doing something he loved doing, and that's a lot better than being hit by a bus.

    Steve Irwin's father

    Nothing fazed him - not the sharks or killer jellyfish, nor the man-eating crocodiles, nor the dozens of snakes and spiders capable of delivering a fatal bite. For Irwin, Australia's animals were "like a magnet", and he acquired fame, and considerable fortune, by getting up close to them. He appeared to have no fear. And it was, perhaps, that sense of invulnerability that killed him yesterday.

    Kathy Marks, Independent

    He was a wonderful character. He was a passionate environmentalist. He brought joy and entertainment and excitement to millions of people.

    I really do feel Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son.

    Australian PM John Howard

    Nothing would ever scare Steve or would worry him. He didn't have a fear of death at all.

    Stainton, Irwin's producer

    All his veins are full, he's full of adrenalin and he's got this great short haircut. He looks sexy and hot. Like Tarzan.

    Terri, Steve's wife

    We were good mates. I'll remember Steve as my best mate ever.

    Steve Irwin's father

    He was a hero. He saved my life.

    Scott Jones, American diver who was saved at sea by Steve Irwin.

    Crocodile Hunter exploited crocodiles. It’s no surprise that he came to grief.

    Greer, award-winning author and critic

    Steve's fear of parrots

    I have a deep-seated respect for parrots. As gifted as I am with all other wildlife, parrots have this uncanny desire to kill me. I'm not sure why, but they're like my kryptonite!

    Steve on BBC

    On his zany attitude

    It excites them, which helps me to educate. I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message. That's the main aim in our entire lives is to promote education about wildlife and wilderness areas, save habitats, save endangered species, etc. So, if we can get people excited about animals, then by crikey, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to save them.


    I've probably saved thousands of peoples' lives with my educational message on snake bites, how to get in around venomous anything. Yeah, I'm a thrill seeker, but crikey, education's the most important thing.

    Steve on how knowledge saves lives

    No matter where you go and what you do in America, you turn the tele on and you're confronted with violence. I think we're instrumental in giving kids something very exciting to look at—so I do catch western diamondbacks—but I talk to the kids of Arizona and say, "Please don't play with western diamondbacks like I do." I think that's a heck of a lot safer than a kid watching or playing a video game where you're killing all the time.

    On violence on TV

    Steve Erwin's Last Moments Described

    It's a very hard thing to watch because you're actually witnessing somebody die ... and it's terrible, he said.

    It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he's gone.

    That was it. The cameraman had to shut down.

    John Stainton, Steve Erwin's Friend

    Poems in praise of Steve Irwin, 1962-2006, legendary Crocodile Hunter

    We've all shed tears!
    But now we say cheers!
    To the man we've grown up with on our telly!
    And now i say here's to the one and only croc man himself...
    Mr Steve IrwinR.I.P
    Some will remember him as the croc hunter.
    Terri will remember him as her 1 true love!
    Bindi and Bob will remember him as DAD!
    But most of all he died doing what he loved doing the most,
    and we will alwalys remember him( how could we forget mr crikey)
    and we will always love and cherish the loving memories of

    We have lost 1 of our own!!
    His name was Steve!
    He had 2 kids and a loving wife!
    Terri, Bindi and Bob
    We all pray to god,
    that the 3 that are left carry on his job.
    We know he died doing what he loved the best.
    So we all want him to be happy like the rest!
    We love you Steve dont you ever forget!!!!
    STEVE IRWIN, 1962-2006, legendary Crocodile Hunter


    Thursday, September 7, 2006

    Zen Quotes

    If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

    Zen proverb

    Wednesday, September 6, 2006

    Love Quotes by Famous People

    Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.

    Albert Einstein

    If you smile when you are alone, then you really mean it.

    Andy Rooney

    Positive Quotes

    A collection of the best and most famous Positive Quotes from across the world. Hand-picked by an inspiring author to give you that positive dose of energy early in the morning.

    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    I have simply tried to do what seemed best each day, as each day came.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Slow down and enjoy your life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also may miss the sense of where you are going and why.

    E Cantor

    Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

    Sir Winston Churchill

    Genius is eternal patience.


    Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.

    Orison Swett Marden

    Monday, September 4, 2006

    Best Solutions on Children's Behavior Problems

    Solution on Lying Problem. Let’s get it straight right away. All children lie or steal at some point of time. Only the frequency may vary. Parents needn’t worry if the child lies, but must take care to explain that one must always speak the truth. And by doing that the child’s parents can find a solution to the actual problem.

    Every child must be taught that to lie isn’t accepted behavior. And if one wants to be loved and cared for, one must always speak the truth. Rigid rules and over expectant parents are often the cause for persistent lying in children. Its very difficult indeed for a child to confirm to every rule. So whenever he / she flouts a rule, he resorts to lying fearing a reprimand by the disciplinarian father. So it undoes what a parent actually wants of the child.

    Its wise for parents not to confront the child, “Don’t lie. Tell me why did you lie….. will you lie again”. That’s a typical reaction of an overanxious parent. Do not instill guilt in the child over small matters. His character hasn’t been damaged because he lied once or twice. And the same time don’t let the child feel it isn’t wrong. Encourage him to express his actual problem. And in earnest see the solution. Just make him feel it’d be a lot better if he didn’t repeat that.

    Some parents may laugh over an incident where the child lies. That could be a tragedy. Do not send wrong signals. Above all, you don’t lie to each other or to the child over anything. Speak the truth. Remember, the truth frees us all.

    Solution on Stealing Problem
    Just another common behavior problem associated with slightly grown up children, say about seven years onwards. As children begin to grow up, letting go of the hem of the mother’s sari, they learn to be individuals with thoughts of their own. And things of their own. Picking up signals from those around, children begin to identify things as their own and somebody else’s. They develop a deep attachment for certain toys and definitely pride too.

    It all starts with toys. Toys draw the admiration of friends and give endless joy. And hence, the occasional ‘stealing’ of a neighbor’s toy shouldn’t shock the parents. If ever they discover this they could politely hand it over. Cool your nerves. Don’t reprimand or spank the child. This is a normal thing that happens universally. Let not the child feel he’s done a grave crime or broken one of your Ten Commandments. Be tactful in explaining that the toy belongs to the other child. And that he can play with it when they are together, but shouldn’t bring it home. Moreover, tell the child he too has a lot of toys and he could share it with friends.

    Although sharing isn’t a habit acquired easily. Slowly but persistently (and certainly not forcefully) the joy of sharing can be put across. But never ask a child to share something he’s isn’t letting go easily. A child must first of all enjoy possession of his toys, before he / she is willing to share. And as parents you must understand this.

    In older children, stealing (lets say of toys) may be creep in as a result of deprivation of the same at home. Or because that toy card, game, pen or ball is the cynosure of all kids in the neighborhood. The resulting envy may force the child to ‘steal’ the toy, at other times, older children do a ‘heroic act’ stealing chocolates or smaller items from shops. This is more of a ‘gang act’ as several children go to the shop to buy and one of them ‘does the act’.

    Don’t bring the roof down if your son is caught red-handed. You may have to call upon all your patience to handle this Embarrassing problem. Gently tell the child that he could have always asked you if he needed that. And you cold have bought it. Put it across that its not accepted behavior to do this. Tell the child you’ll be very happy if he didn’t repeat the mistake.

    Friday, September 1, 2006

    Fear Quotes

    Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman.

    Marian Anderson

    Values and Principles

    A collection of the best quotes on values and principles, hand-picked by indianyogi.

    It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
    Alfred Adler
    Beauty, truth, friendship, love, creation – these are the great values of life. We can’t prove them, or explain them, yet they are the most stable things in our lives.

    Jesse Herman Holmes.

    Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

    Warren Buffet, legendary American investment manager

    To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

    Confucious, Chinese Philosopher

    Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.

    Jane Addams

    The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.


    A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

    We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.

    Aristotle (384 B.C.-322) B.C., Greek philosopher

    Love Lines

    No man is worth your tears. The one who is worth it, won't make you cry.

    A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

    Never Give Up Quotes

    Finding it tough. Never ever give up. Read these motivational never give up quotes.

    Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.

    Jane Addams

    When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

    You are never a looser until you quit trying.

    Pray to God, sailor, but row for the shore.

    Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.

    Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

    10 Best Never Give Up Quotes from Rajasekar KS

    Galatians 6:9

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

    It's not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or whether the doer of deeds could have done them better...The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and often comes up short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. And who, if at best in the end, knows the triumph of higher treatment and high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his soul shall never be with those cold and timid ones, who know neither victory nor defeat.
    Theodore Roosevelt

    Don't Quit
    When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
    When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As every one of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about
    When he might have won had he stuck it out;
    Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
    You may succeed with another blow,
    Success is failure turned inside out--
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far;
    So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
    It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
    Edgar A. Guest

    Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
    Winston Churchill

    Look, these are desperate and chaotic times. History has left us no operating manual, no step-by-step instructions. Nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed, everything we have ever fought for is in danger or already in ruins. We have to find our own way -- maybe a new way. That can be scary, that can definitely be lonely.
    But there is a way in which we are not alone. When we stand on principle -- no matter how unpopular that principle may be, no matter how much it separates us from the crowd -- and I mean principles like socialism, like racial and gender justice -- we are sending a message to people we do not know -- to people who are far away (as far as Chiapas or Nigeria perhaps) and to people who are not born yet. And that message is: You are not alone. We too have worked and dreamed for something better. That message is: Never give up
    Barbara Ehrenreich

    The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    Abraham Lincoln, a powerful never give up attitude speech

    But, I can't help it. Now I'm fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how's your day, and nothing is changed for me. As Dick said, I'm a very emotional and passionate man. I can't help it. That's being the son of Rocco and Angelina Valvano. It comes with the territory. We hug, we kiss, we love. When people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it's the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."Don't give up, don't ever give up." That's what I'm going to try to do every minute that I have left. I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. If you see me, smile and give me a hug. That's important to me too. But try if you can to support, whether it's AIDS or the cancer foundation, so that someone else might survive, might prosper and might actually be cured of this dreaded disease.
    Jim Valvano

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