11 facts about your Thyroid

With the recent challenges of Levothyrox in France and the recent video from Arte on the drop of IQ for the last 20 years. I found useful to learn more about thyroid and wanted to share this infographics from Positive Health Wellness. Thyroid is a vital gland and plays a huge role in our well-being. I am preparing a post about how the world lost common sense. Science has made incredible progress of the last century and we have a better understanding of health related issues now than we never had. However, with science comes powerful lobbies that want to protect their own short-term financial interests.

11 Facts About Your Thyroid

We all know that knowledge is a two-edge swords. It’s what you do with it that can become a weapon of mass destruction or an opportunity to increase people well-being. We know more know about the positive role of iodine and the negative ones of endocrine disruptors than ever. However, the chemical industry wants us to believe all this is much ado about nothing! Some really simple things and behaviors can have a tremendous effect on our health, longevity and well-being. Knowing your thyroid and what it do for you is important.

The world is a wonderful place. Let’s spend some time to learn more about how it works and how the human body works so we can make more informed choices. It’s nothing complex. It’s just time and little effort, for huge rewards!

50 Thoughts That Can Motivate You to Do Anything

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate oneself. We all have bad days. Those mornings when we are faced with tons of stuff to do and not a clue where to start (although, just starting anything is the best decision on those mornings). Those situations when the guy you are talking to is so negative and sends you so many bad things, you think your world is gonna end (hey, you know, his/her day does not need to be yours, just ask what is the source of their grief, be empathetic and move on). Anyhow, for those bad days, and all the other numerous good ones, just keep this list handy. It’s the best 50 self-motivating ideas you can have a look at in the morning, before going to bed or just use in your next meditation.

It’s not about Coué’s method or funky positive thinking mumbo-jumbo. It’s a simple reminder that discipline, hard work and passion are the better engines for success. And as a friend of mine used to say: either you win or you learn. This helps you looking at failure as a great opportunity to learn and make progress!

A while back I wrote 7 simple ways to get motivated on Monday. Those 50 thoughts that can motivate you to do anything are a wonderful add to my post, I encourage you to print them, to get them handy in your OneNote or just to read them every day. Nothing can resist passionate people. Yes, there will bad days, there will be learnings, just stay put and continue believing in yourself whatever the morons tell you. And my experience has taught me that there are many, many morons out there. Just ignore them!

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

 

How to lose a customer forever, in less than two minutes!

Customer service can nurture customers and make them loyal for life, or make them fly away and lose them forever. This depends on the way customers are treated. With today’s plethora of offering, power of choice and social media, customer service has become totally critical. Let me tell you about a personal story that happened a couple of days. Although I had prior reservations due to relatively poor service, location was just great and this was a favoring factor for choosing this hotel again. This is where they lost me!

I booked it online, through our internal travel booking system. I realized no more than two minutes later that the chosen dates were wrong. Hey, sh*t happens, I just mixed up things in my mind! I therefore cancelled this booking exactly at the time I realized my mistake. However, because it was an online booking, my credit card was charged of the full amount of the booking. In case you wonder, what the booking dates were, they were almost a month ahead. It was not like I cancelled for the same day, no, the hotel has plenty of time to rebook the room . It was therefore not a net loss for them, however, this booking had a NO CANCEL, NO REFUND policy. I just did not pay attention to the fine prints.

NO REFUND POLICY SUCKS!

A NO REFUND policy is a clear customer rip off to get people to book at a higher price to pay for a partial/total refund policy. Of course, you can say I should have read the fine prints before clicking the Book button. Would it have changed something, probably not, as at that time, I had not realized my dates mistakes, and I was 100% committed to be at that place at that time. On top of this, my credit card has a cancellation insurance attached to it, so the risk was almost nil!

Despite the fact I’m stupid and should have read the fine print, I find having such kind of policies sucks. It feels a way to make money on mistakes. Of course, I’m not completely stupid and know there are some frauds on the markets. People will abuse some lose policies, however applying a no refund policy a month before the actual booking is a clear message to me: this particular company is either not successful and need to make extra money, or is just not customer oriented. In both cases, it triggers a red flag!

GOOD BYE!

This experience reminded me two things: 1. Read the fine print, morons will continue to exist and will continue catching stupid people like me, just because they want to catch flies with honey. 2. Run away from vendors who apply those kinds of policies if possible, since this attitude will tell you how their customer service work, and you are at risk of being deceived later if not sooner. Customer service needs to think how to “service customers”, not to maximize profits at the benefit of customers. This sounds obvious, however, very often forgotten . I’ve always seen this in many industries. Very stringent policies are never pro-customer, they are pro-vendors, and to me it’s a total deterrent. So, here’s a hotel that I will not book in anymore. It just lost me, forever!

If you have to set policies for your commercial activities, ask yourself who they protect? Yourself or your customers? Putting yourself in the shoes of your customer will generally give you the right answer. A company lives thanks to its customers, not because of them. So easy to forget!

8 men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world

The title of this post is the one of an article found on the World Economic Forum web site. Everybody wants to be wealthy, it’s all a matter of the size of the wealth. Another article on the same web site, written by the Executive Director of Oxfam, goes into some additional details. The video below, embedded in both articles, illustrates the basic idea of the gaps that exist between the richest and the poorest.

Wealth sharing

Even though the poorest are less and less, which is a good thing, because it brings more stability and health for everybody, the richest people get richer. You can see this in the below chart showing the share of global wealth in the last 6 years.

Share of global wealth, 2010-2015
Image: Oxfam

A lot of food for thoughts, that need to drive the governments across the planet to change the way they tackle this share of wealth, and how to continue creating a more human economy.

Basic Income

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by [Piketty, Thomas]Although I do not see the creation of a basic income for everybody as the solution to this reduction, I’m not an economist and I do not have the knowledge to make a decision, but at least to have an opinion. When you cross this with the reading of the Capital in the 21st Century, by Thomas Piketty, it makes you think that our current economic model is doomed.

So what is the solution? Well, read Piketty, makes yourself your own opinion and start something, even small. I think we have all the tools to change the world dramatically. As Ghandi said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world”, so what change do you want to be?

Not only those two articles are interesting, the video that you will find at the end of the first is really insightful. I look forward to your comments.

Top Photo by Madi Robson on Unsplash

Best airline, really? SAA come on!

Everybody loves to be informed when any delay happens right? With modern technology, sending a SMS or an email has never been so easy. This is what happened yesterday to my flight from Mauritius to Joburg on my way to Dakar. Flight was supposed to depart a 3:35PM, but we got pushed back 45 minutes later. It was unfortunately nor planned nor predictable. As the captain explained, the delay was caused by missing paperwork that should have been dispatched by the ground personnel. Anyhow, we got delayed, took off, landed safely and I could catch my connection, so happy ending.

However, I just laughed my ass off when I had a look at my mailbox the next day. Right there was a message from the airline informing me about my flight’s delay. Now, look at the top right of the window: “17:36”. The message was received at 5:36 PM. Then look at the message: “the new expected time of departure is 16h10”. That is 4:10 PM. So tell me, what the purpose of sending a message one hour after the delay has happened, informing me of something I already knew. If I appreciate the intention, the message could have been tweaked apologizing for the delay and thanking me for being a loyal member of the frequent flyer program, but not for informing me about something I already knew.

Now, I may sound negative, as I said, the intention was good. But come one, when you brag largely about being the “Best Airline in Africa” for the 14th consecutive year, it leaves you wonder where the others are. Customer service, particularly automated customer service, like this email message should be easily configured to leave a positive and customized experience, not a laughable one.

To continue on the analysis of the above message. Let’s look at the disclaimer:

  • The information in the e-mail is confidential and is legally privileged. WTF! The information in the e-mail is just an information about a flight delay, it’s nothing confidential nor privileged.
  • If this email is not intended for you, you cannot copy, distribute or disclose information to anyone and request that the email be deleted. Now, does this imply that because this email was intended for me, I can copy, distribute or disclose information to anyone? I suppose so… but let’s face it, this is just an information about a flight delay!
  • Any disclosure of confidential or privileged information transmitted herewith may result in legal proceedings being instituted against the recipient thereof. Now, since the first sentence states that the information in the e-mail is confidential and privileged, I presume that putting this on my blog puts me at jeopardy!
  • While all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all data transmitted electronically, SAA does not accept liability if the data, for whatever reason, is corrupt or does not reach its intended destination. In other words, we are brilliantly good, but shit happens and if it does, we are just not responsible. So we have the right to sue you, but you have not!
  • Please note that this e-mail
    and the contents thereof is subject…. Email. Not only it should be are subject and not is – it’s just grammar, hey – but yes all big corp are paying lawyers to create disclaimers policies… But the best is yet to come…
  • Should you not have access to the internet, send an e-mail to requestdisclaimer@flysaa and a copy will be sent to you. I do not know for SAA lawyers but for me, if I do not have access to internet, it will be hard to send an email to anyone… This leaves me speechless at the overall legal quality of this disclaimer.

I am sure there are good legal reasons to include this piece in any email (I am not a lawyer, but generally common sense tends to prevail even in court), but come on, to use any piece of email as court evidence, it needs to be proven it has not been forged or tampered, and this requires more than a useless disclaimer.

To close on this, after this huge image showing wonderful muscles of SAA (who is losing money every day BTW… interesting that what forms the best airline is not judged as well on its ability to generate profits for its shareholder), you find the list of Directors. WTF? What has this information to do in a customer service email. Give me the email address of these people so I can send them this message or just get rid of all this clutter.

To end on a positive note, as it’s easy to throw away the baby with the wash basin, thank you, SAA! You flew me comfortably and safely to Dakar! But please, please, change your CMO, change you Customer Service director, allow to request business upgrade online like any modern airline, have a website that is user-friendly and not cluttered with useless information, that makes it very difficult to find what you are looking for, and send correct, customized and timely email!

Good luck!

Turn On Reality

Geoff Lewis, partner of Peter Thiel who supported Trump, writes an incisive post on Donald, titled Turn On Reality. Of course it’s a pun, the word reality is referring to both our own reality – Trump has been elected -, the reality the world is in and Trump comes from – Reality TV -.

It’s a call to people to wake up, to lift their head from their smartphones, to talk to their neighbor. I wrote multiple times on this blog to unplug the TV, to unplug social medias, the worst time consumer of this world. People do not live for themselves anymore, they live to look like others, they think TV is the real life, that social media delivers the right news.

Like-minded people have always find ways to gather. The discussions they have together reinforces their belief, It’s no surprise that religious people go to church, it’s necessary to reinforce their belief. Social networks and Reality TV have become the new churches of the 21st century on which you will always find a priest to sermon!

“Sure enough, it’s almost always impossible to discern the authenticity from the agenda”.

This is one of the biggest concerns I have when people do not realize TV is fake! They think TV, whether Reality TV, debates, etc is the real life! But no! It’s scripted! If it were not, advertising company would not buy space. The only purpose of any given show today it to sell advertisement space! Once you’ve understand and realized this, you just switch the TV off FOREVER! Same with Facebook! The only good use of those sh*t is to TURN THEM OFF!

“Presidents reflect our culture, and since the dawn of Hollywood, our culture has been celebrity-obsessed”. There has been Reagan, now the US has Trump. They had Schwarzenegger too in California, France had Sarkozy, who is definitely a show man. People do not elect the most capable, but the best liar!

“If we take Trump seriously, it may not be safe for me to write a post like this a year from now”

I still remind everybody that Nazi is short for National Socialist (It’s actually National Socialist German Worker’s Party, does not really sound evil, does it?), nothing frightening… at the beginning. History loves to repeat itself, because very few know history and learn from it. The vast majority ignores it! We cannot deny that Trump has been elected by the workers left on the street by globalization, by those people who rejected the elite and had their voice heard on the resounding board of nationalism. Will free press will continue to exist in the US?

“The antidote to fear is empathy”

Trump was elected on fear: fear from the others, fear from the globalization, fear from the difference, fear from the reality. But the reality is others, is difference, is right now, here, outside, in the real world, not the one created by a screen.

So Reality is here and now, and we have a duty to draw a clear line and to start taking care of each other, including those who do not have the same opinion. Diversity is a blessing, not a curse. Difference creates beauty, uniformity creates ugliness. There’s a lot to be learned from this election, people will wake up with a hangover, so what? We just need to continue to listen, to teach, and to love others.

 

Enough small things by enough people coalesce into the next big thing

The title of this post comes from today’s post of Seth Godin titled Resilience. And yesterday, a lot of small things (votes) by enough people (the people of the United States of America) coalesced into the next BIG thing (sending Donald Trump in the White House) that the world commented today.

Sometimes, ideas and reality collide. And this creates the next firework of ideas made reality. What will come out of it, nobody can predict. However, the topic was in every discussion. But what will change in your own life? Now, right now? Nothing! We will see next year when Trump is really in Power, but for the time being, business as usual!

Enough is enough, if you’re not close to the Donald and do not expect a job in the coming government, go back to work, switch the TV off, unplug the social networks, shut the noise up! The Earth is still spinning, coffee is grinding and the sun rose this morning! Enjoy!

Crisis, what crisis is back online…

After long weeks of silence, due to a faulty plug-in, the site is back online and accessible. A big thank you to the GoDaddy team, my hoster, who was able to find the culprit and bring the site back on its feet.

I will then, after huge popular demand (okay, I’m slightly exaggerating, but not that much… :-)), be capable to post some new posts. With the victory of Donald Trump today, the crisis news will intensify!

Happy reading and see you soon under the sun of the internet!

You get what you inspect, not what you expect

This is one of the favorite sentence of Kevin Turner, Microsoft COO. And unfortunately, it’s the reality. Due to the law of the path of least resistance, people do not tend to do what is expected, but what is inspected.

Now, there are two ways to approach inspection: coaching and managing. The difference is subtle and critical. Managing is telling people what to do. Coaching is asking people what to do. In the first case, it’s an order. It works well at a certain level and particularly in a military setting. However, orders in the corporate world do not work at all, particularly with millennial.

Keep orders for the military

Orders may work well as well with apprentices, as long as they understand it’s part of the journey and they accept it. Beyond this, giving, or worse barking, orders is a no-no. Coaching may seem to require more work and thinking, but you can look at it from prevention/cure point of view.

If you give and order and this order is not apply, you will need to cure the situation and eventually get rid of the employee, resulting in loss of productivity, energy and money. If you coach, you help the employee/colleague to grow and prevent bad things to happen. You eat healthy to stay fit or you eat junk and get sick. Your choice!

Inspect by coaching

So inspecting by coaching is the way to go. However, coaching may sometimes require tough love and the coach need to move to a mentor position in which he/she gives advice and potentially orders. Coaching is not cajoling. Coaching is helping the other grow by finding the right answer for him or her.

Of course, some people may say that coaching is manipulating, because generally the coach is influencing the coached person. And this is where the fine line is. The coach should not manipulate or influence, otherwise it will rapidly be felt and the coaching will fail. Coaching is not easy but it’s massively rewarding for both parties. It’s definitely a good investment of time and money to get on the bandwagon. I will provide some insights of my coaching practice with my peers in coming posts.

Have a wonderful day and remember, you and yourself are in charge of your present and future!

 

Gravity’s not just a good idea, it’s the law – Seth Godin

This makes my day. As I was reading the last but on post from Seth Godin titled Actually, the truth isn’t up to them, this last sentence (the title of this post) made my day! It made me create a new category too under my Misc one: Truth.

Truth is an interesting concept. It’s generally linked to undisputable facts. It’s anchored in reality. However, it’s subject to interpretation. God is real is a truth for believers. However, proving the existence of God is factually impossible (at least as of today). I am not saying it’s impossible, it’s “factually” impossible. There are no facts that prove the existence of God (a book or a man does not prove the existence of God, and I know I am on a slippery slope).

However, everyday we hear so-called truth on TV, on radio or over the Internet. In most cases, those are not truths. Those are facts that lead to creation of fake truths. Gravity existence is true. The moon’s existence is true. A plane that flies is a truth. However, as for the God’s example, truth is subject to deep-rooted beliefs and emotions, and generally very little science backs those truth up.

Have a read a Seth Godin’s post. It’s not only enlightening, it makes you think about the what the truth is and how some powerful medias or people manipulate the truth. Ponder the following quote from Blaise Pascal : “The truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other”. The Pyrénées being a mountain chain that separates France from Spain.

However, IMHO, truth should be objective, not subjective, otherwise it’s just an interpretation of facts or emotions. If the world was governed by real truths, it would probably not be in this current state. However, it’s in the best possible state with the knowledge and the wisdom (or lack of) we have. So our only subjective truth is to enjoy what we have and look at improving oneself and the world.