Just Like The Four Cs Of Good Diamonds

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Photo by Jaden Barton on Unsplash

Did you know that there was no consistent way or system to grade diamonds until the early forties?

Diamond merchants used various, usually broad- terms to talk about the quality of a diamond. Words like “river” or “water” were used to describe colorlessness. The term “Cape” was used to describe pale yellow diamonds from South Africa following the 1867 discovery of diamonds in the Cape Colony. The terms “Without flaws” or “imperfect” were used to describe clarity. And subjective terms such as “Well-made” or “made poorly” were used to describe the cut of a diamond.

As a result, it was challenging for jewelers to communicate a diamond's value to the customers. …

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Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

Irving Naxon, the inventor of the crockpot, once revealed the inspiration behind his invention.

Naxon’s grandmother grew up in a small village in Lithuania. Each Friday, she would go to the local bakery with a pot of uncooked “cholent” to be put in the oven. The pot would sit there for the whole day. While the family observed the Sabbath, the dying fire of the oven would cook the stew. At sundown, she will bring back the pot, and the family would have the steamy, delicious stew for dinner.

That simple story stayed with Naxon for the rest of his life. …

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Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Imagine that you are in year twelve, and the Education Board decides to introduce entrance test to Medicine School. You are to be tested on four subjects in a single three hours test. You are to recap two years’ worth of Zoology, Botany, Physics, and Chemistry in a day.

It-can’t-be-done,’ you would think. Wouldn’t you?

That is what I thought too.

So strong was my conviction that I thought none of my friends would be able to do it either. I was certain we were all going to fail. And no one will get a seat in Medicine.

Guess what happened? …

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Photo by Andy Art on Unsplash

Last week I stumbled upon Cameron Herold’s work by quite an accident. I listened to a YouTube video just before going to sleep (listening because I turn my phone upside down and don’t watch). Chase Jarvis was interviewing Life coach Marie Forleo on CreativeLive. I must have dozed off, but when I got up, Marie Forleo was referring to use A Painted Picture to choose which passion, out of several, you really want to pursue.

I was intrigued.

For some time, I have been struggling with my focus. I think I have spread myself too thin, and I wanted to cut down on a few things so that I can actually finish a few projects. …

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Photo by Robert Keane on Unsplash

The United States Navy SEALs go through some of the most intense and rigorous training you can think of. The dropout rate in basic training is pretty high. Over the years, the Navy found that those who succeed are not the ones who can focus on the big picture, but the ones who can micro-focus.

While crawling through mud with barbed wire fences over you, and there’s a thunderstorm, and it’s raining like cats and dogs, recruits who have the ability to micro-focus, that moving one arm and then the other are the ones who survive the boot camp.

Micro-focusing can be applied to writing as well. If you are stuck in a murky middle of your book, focusing on writing one sentence at a time and then following it with another one can help you power through. …

And how can I fix them?

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Photo by Heyerlein on Unsplash

Imagine if you were a woman who was cat-called — and you decided to interview your cat-caller.

This is exactly what Eleanor Gordon-Smith, an Australian journalist, did.

Cat-calling or eve-teasing is nothing new to women. Every one of us has so many stories tucked away in our memory vaults.

Why men cat-call? What they hope to get from it? Eleanor decided to confront her cat-callers to find out. What she discovered left her dumbfounded.

Most of them didn’t mind being interviewed. When she thrust her mean-looking tape recorder under their faces, they gave her inconsistent reasons behind their motivation. …

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Photo by Noelle Otto from Pexels

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President, had hopelessly scattered attention. He had, what his friends called an “amazing array of interests” — a list that contained boxing, wrestling, bodybuilding, dance lessons, poetry readings, and a lifelong obsession with naturalism. While studying at Harvard, his landlady was not pleased with her young tenant tendency to dissect and stuff specimens in his rented room.

To support his extracurricular exuberance, Roosevelt restricted the time he spent on studies. He applied a unique approach. …

A Case For Standing Up While Creating

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Photo by Brian Gordillo on Unsplash

Standing desks at workplaces are becoming increasingly prevalent. Despite complaints about aching legs and strain on spines, more and more people are choosing them. The pay-off is just not in health benefits but also in productivity.

An average person sits for approximately twelve hours a day. The doctors are warning that sitting is the new smoking.

In the most clicked article on standing desks, Cia Bernales writes that she used to have tight shoulders, lower back pains, and bad posture. Now she is not slouching, walks around the office more, and is more productive.

The advice to make sales calls while standing up has been around for a long time. Now there are calls for stand up meetings and stand up schools. …

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Why is everyone so obsessed with being happy?

Why can’t we accept that happiness is a feeling which comes and goes just like sadness, anger, love, and frustration?

None of these feelings last forever, not even love.

Why would happiness?

How many of us have stayed in a state of bliss forever? We all have experienced joy from time to time, but it disappears. Then we are back to our default state, whatever that is for each one of us. For many of us, it is melancholy.

Some of us are happy, being sad.

So much so that we try to hide our happiness because we are too afraid that misery is just around the corner, waiting to step in as soon as she finds the door ajar. …

Your writing should reflect your true self.

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Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

I once got caught cheating on a final examination.

In the year-nine maths exam, our examiner gave us five minutes to help each other from the goodness of her heart. The whole room burst into talking. Girls helped each other by giving hints or showing how they had solved certain sums.

I was stuck on an equation. I sought the help of the girl sitting ahead. She was one of the brightest students in the class and was tipped to top. She told me how to solve the equation in a roundabout way that didn’t make sense. …


Neera Mahajan

I write about writing, creativity, productivity, life and personal growth. Subscribe to my newsletter at www.neeramahajan.com.

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