Living the Past and Missing the Present

When you think of R&R, the first thing that comes to mind is Rest and Relaxation.

That is true if you’re in the army, but when it comes to life in general, R&R can stand for:

Regretting the past

Rehearsing for the future

Regretting the Past

Most people tend to live in the past and regret.

They replay, over and over again, events that have taken place in their lives that left them unable to move forward.. When you hold on to something you have no control over, you are frozen in time and helpless.

You can’t make a positive change or grow as a result.

Although it can seem impossible to let go, it’s essential to your spiritual growth that you do. When you give yourself permission to make a commitment, to take from the past only loving memories and life lessons and move forward with your life, you are making a monumental change in your life.

Recognize that there is nothing you can do to change the past. It doesn’t serve you in any way and it robs you of your energy and emotional strength. You are powerless when it comes to the past and it’s best to move on to new destinies. Ask spirit to help you heal in all directions of time and to light the way for you to pave a new path to the future.

Rehearsing For The Future

It’s amazing how many people live for the future and it hasn’t even happened yet!

The future will come before you know it, it’s important that you focus on this very moment. The point of power is in the present moment, not in the future. Yes, it’s nice to plan vacations and set goals, but the future is unable to transpire without right now.

Now is where the future lies and what you do this very moment shapes your future. if you were able to see the future, would you enjoy your life right now? Would you learn valuable life lessons? Chances are you wouldn’t.

When you look back at the past and look ahead to the future, you’re missing all of the blessings and beauty of the present moment. We can only live for right now, because that’s all there is.

Presentation Design – The Death of Bullet Points

When was the last time you went to a presentation and came away impressed by the slides?

It is, of course, fashionable these days to speak negatively about PowerPoint, and how most on-screen presentations put audiences to “death” with an onslaught of one bullet-pointed paragraph of words after another. It is also true that the same people who like to trash PowerPoint often create mind-numbing program themselves, and then claim that it’s not their fault – their bosses make them beget slides that turn brains to butter.

Although businesspeople are pretty much stuck with PowerPoint these days, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, there have been a few pioneers out there who are trying to change the ways we use slides to convey information or persuade others to see things our way. And so even though PowerPoint is still very much alive and kicking, we think that bullet points as knowledge builders might be doomed: some designers at the cutting edge are trying new forms and structures.

One person whose work you should know if you don’t already is Cliff Atkinson. According to Michael McLaughlin, coauthor with Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants, “Cliff Atkinson believes he’s built a better mouse trap. He wants us to dump boring, bullet-riddled slides, and he has a creative solution: he taps Hollywood-style storytelling to transform PowerPoint presentations from endless lists of bullet points into compelling communications.”

Atkinson’s book Beyond Bullet Points shows you how to use the power of storytelling to make PowerPoint presentations effective communication tools, not just speaker notes. With Atkinson’s method, you not only produce presentations that are not boring, but you are also forced to think about what you are saying in a way that all audiences relate to: telling them a story.

You should also be aware of Lawrence Lessig, who has created a buzz over the last couple years with what he believes is a “minimalist” presentation design approach. It’s interesting, and definitely worth getting up to speed on it if you’re in the presentation business. The best example of this style that we’ve seen is in a keynote given by a guy named Dick Hardt. You really need to watch this performance to appreciate its power as an antidote to the common business presentation. Here is just one link:

The problem I have with this approach is that while its followers consider it minimalist because there is typically no more that one word or image on the screen at a time, virtually EVERY word in the narrative is projected, so that with a little practice, the presenter simply delivers a completely pre-written script. It is interesting to watch and definitely holds your attention throughout, but rather than putting the presenter at the center of the process, the result is that 99% of the audience’s attention is drawn to the screen.

The really scary thing here is that it probably will have huge appeal to NewGens and younger, who unfortunately have no idea how to relate to another human except through the interface of some electronic device. So this is presentation as video-game / hip hop / text-message-me-from-the-end-of-the-bar. The presentation IS the screen, and the presenter gets kudos for his electronic design skills rather than her ability to be human.

Of course, your Master of the PowerPoint Universe here has not been asleep at the switch for the past couple years, this year you will see the World Premiere of what we are offering up as a whole new language of presentation design, with its own very tight grammar, all based on using minimalism to focus the audience on the presenter.

We haven’t yet decided how to brand it (“Beyond Bullet Points” is already taken, and “Pointless” doesn’t sound very value-added). Internally we’ve been referring to it as The Language of the Bar because we use vertical lines (bars) instead of bullet points to both set off paragraph levels and also presage to both the presenter and the audience how much more (if any) will follow on the screen after the last reveal.

It occurred to us a while ago that whereas bullet points do work to set off one huge group of words from another huge group (the 3-line ‘paragraphs’ we usually see), they don’t make a lot of sense when you do what you should do and never have more than a few words on each line. The line itself sets off the one point from the next. So if you’re using PowerPoint properly, that is, to simply key the audience where you’re going and key you to what you’re going to say, bullets become superfluous. Bonus: your slides look a lot cleaner without them.

Back to this new presentation language: although both Atkinson and Lessig dispense with bullet points, we believe that rather than just throwing out structure altogether, there are increases in both comprehension and retention when the presentation conforms to a set of predictable rules – a grammar, if you will. We believe that when your grammar presages what’s to come (in a haiku, for instance, you know exactly how many words are coming next), you create both heightened expectation and the comfort of knowing how much brain RAM you have to reserve.

Long-term readers know we’re committed to showing the world that PowerPoint (and also Apple’s Keynote, which we’ve been using lately) is NOT the problem. We don’t know if this is the answer, but we know you’ll really, really like what you’ll see.

Cook Like a Chef, Present Like a Chef

While reading books of renowned recipes, do you wonder how they actually do it. Do you aspire to cook like a chef? Well, with some tricks you will be cooking like a chef. Many of us, attempt to cook food recipes shown on TV programs or from magazines. However, the point of interest is that how can you succeed in cooking like your favorite chef. Actually, many times, we miss out small things, and these things are often the secrets a Chef will know that we won’t.

While listening to a chef, you must know what exactly they mean by de-glaze the pan, jellied chicken stock, adjust the seasoning, reduce it to a syrup, marinating etc. Several really good home cooks may find problems when following chef’s recipes. However, most of the times, these are really simplified versions of intricate restaurant chef dishes.

If you love to watch cooking shows on TV, the first and most essential thing that you perhaps notice is, how simple the experts make everything appear. There are many ways to enhance and improve your cooking techniques. This can surely aid you in preparing the meal faster and in a finer way.

Even if it is tempting to just toss something in the oven for your lunch or dinner, it is worth learning techniques that will make your dish tastier. First of all, do bear in mind that a recipe you choose does not need to be intricate. If you intend to produce a delicious result, even a simple recipe can make you create miracles. It is possible to make the simplest meals even better by using the secrets of restaurant chefs.

Cooking is an art. Like any other art, your culinary skills will improve with experimentation and practice. Becoming a chef is not easy, but with patience and persistence it will become easy. If you intend to cook like a chef, you must identify how recipes work. Professionals read more in their recipes than just measurements, time, cooking method and other specifications, this is what matters a lot in your recipe. This is usually the difference between a professional Chef and a domestic cook.

Following are some tips that will help you to learn how to cook like a chef?

• Season a dish. This will make you to bring out the natural spices and flavors.
• Confine and strengthen aromas and flavors
• Bring pans to the precise heat.
• Caramelize and serve desserts with a blowtorch
• Garnish your dish and present it hot/ cold (as required) perfectly.

What you need to do is find some good recipes. Be precise at ingredients, measurements and timings. Follow the steps properly and serve your dish in a tempting and fascinating way. All these tips can help you serve delicious and appealing dishes.

So what are you waiting for? Put your apron on, get in the kitchen and get ready to present a scrumptious and lip smacking dish, just like a chef!

Marsher Smiman is a qualified chef, a previous owner of a successful catering company and is passionate about food, cooking and creating beautiful dishes from scratch.