A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while they are eating breakfast, the young wife sees her neighbor hang the wash outside.

"That laundry is not very clean," she said to her husband. "The neighbor doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor hung her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the young woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on her neighbor's line and said to her husband, "Look! She has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?"

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows!"

Can you see how it might be a good idea to check first, to see if your windows are clean? What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the windows through which we look.

Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask ourselves if we are ready to see the good rather than just look for something wrong in the people we encounter."

As you can already sense that I am experimenting with an all new blog-theme and it is in halfway. Mostly by this weekend I will finalize and update the theme. I liked this theme as it is cool, professional and pleasant color combination. Well, all the credit goes to its developer and thanks to him for sharing it.

By this weekend I will have a nice-cool blog with Three-column structure. Yahoooo..

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question may reflect your outlook on life and whether you're optimistic or pessimistic.
In fact, studies show that these personality traits —optimism and pessimism — can affect how well you live and even how long you live.
Need an attitude adjustment? Find out how to reduce your stress by halting negative thoughts and practicing positive self-talk.

Be positive: Live longer, live healthier

Self-talk is the endless stream of thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist.
Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

Researchers continue to explore the effects of optimism on health. The health benefits optimism may provide are:
  • Decreased stress
  • Greater resistance to catching the common cold
  • A sense of well-being and improved health
  • Reduced risk of coronary artery disease
  • Breathing easier if you have chronic obstructive lung disease, such as emphysema
  • Improved coping ability for women with high-risk pregnancies
  • Living longer
  • Better coping skills
It's unclear why optimists experience these health benefits. But one theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the effects of stress on your body.

How to put a Positive spin on Negative thoughts
Remember, any conversation with near-n-dear would only be a temporary relief unless you do a self-talk. Talking with them will ignite the rational thoughts in you and would definitely a good input to Self-talk — the inner monologue sometimes referred to as automatic thinking — can be positive or negative. When the theme of your self-talk is mostly negative, your own misconceptions, lack of information and distorted ideas have overpowered your capacity for logic and reason. But if you weed out misconceptions and irrational thinking and challenge them with rational, positive thoughts, your self-talk will gradually become realistic and self-affirming.

Some common forms of irrational thinking are:

Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.

Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.

Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. You refuse to go out with friends for fear that you'll make a fool of yourself. Or one change in your daily routine leads you to think the day will be a disaster.

Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad, or black and white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or you're a total failure.
You can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. The process is simple, but it takes time and practice.

Throughout the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else.

Examples of typical negative self-talk and how you might apply a positive twist include:

Negative self-talk Positive spin
I've never done it before. It's an opportunity to learn something new.
It's too complicated. Let's look at it from a different angle.
I don't have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
There's not enough time. Let's re-evaluate some priorities.
There's no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
I don't have the expertise. I'll find people who can help me.
It's good enough. There's always room for improvement.
It's too radical a change. Let's take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me. I'll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I'm not going to get any better at this. I'll give it one more try.
I'm never going to learn how to manage my stress. I'm going to try to learn how to manage my stress.

Practice makes perfect

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But eventually your self-talk will automatically contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance.
Practicing positive self-talk will improve your outlook. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you're able to handle everyday stress in a realistic and constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of being an optimist.

A man once visited a temple under construction, where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, "Do you need two statues of the same idol?" "No," said the sculptor without looking up, "We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage." The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. "Where is the damage?" he asked. "There is a scratch on the nose of the idol." said the sculptor, still busy with his work. "Where are you going to install the idol?" The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. "If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?" the gentleman asked.

The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, "I will know it."

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. "Excellence" is a drive from inside, not outside.

Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction.

"HI I see that the house next door has now become an office. It has a nice name too. Silent World."
"Silent World, indeed. It's a misnomer."
"A what?"
"M..i..s..n..o..m..e..r. The first syllable sounds like the word "miss", while the second sounds like the word 'no'.""The final 'e' is like the 'a' in 'china', I suppose? But what does the word mean?"
"It means that something has been given the wrong name or designation."
"A wrong word has been used to describe something. Is that what you are saying?"
"I guess you could say that. For example, Silent World is a misnomer for the office next door. It should be called 'Noisy World'. It is anything silent."
"Calling Agarkar an 'all rounder' is a misnomer."
"That's a pretty good example. But the stress in 'misnomer' is on the second syllable. Here's another example. 'First class restaurant' is a misnomer for the run down place we have down the street. And do you know..."
"...what's the matter with you today? Why do you look so grumpy?"
"Haven't you told me a million times that I always look grumpy?"
"Not this grumpy. Something go wrong with the presentation you made yesterday?"
"You're smarter than you look. But yes, the presentation went down like a lead balloon."
"Went down like a lead balloon, eh? Is that another way of saying that your presentation flopped?"
"That's right. When you say that something went down like a lead balloon, it means that it was a total disaster. It failed to be funny."
"You tried to make a funny presentation? That was a big mistake. You have no sense of humour. Everyone knows that. Your jokes always go down like a lead balloon."
"They do not. Nobody has ever told me that my...."
".... remember the play you wrote a couple of years ago. You thought it was really funny. But nobody else did. It went down like a lead balloon."
"Well if you keep insulting me like that, you will go down like a ton of bricks."
"Sorry. I didn't mean to insult you. But you ...."
"...Oh never mind. I guess it's about time I forgot all about the presentation."
"Your presentations are usually good. At least that's what you claim. What went wrong this time?"
"I just didn't have time to prepare. I'd spread myself too thin, and...."
".... spread yourself too thin? You certainly don't look it. If you ask me, you have put on weight."
"Spreading oneself too thin has nothing to do with putting on or losing weight. When you say that you have spread yourself too thin, what you are implying is that you are doing too many things at the same time."
"I see. And if you are doing too many things at the same time, then it isn't possible for you to focus on anything in particular."
"Many of the students in my class have spread themselves too thin."
"Bala is teaching five courses this semester. I am afraid that he has spread himself too thin."
"I make it a point never to spread myself too thin."
"You are a completely different case. You make it a point to work as little as possible. Now then,...."
"...o.k. Grumpy, did you ask the people what they thought of your presentation?"
"I did try to sound out a couple of people, but they weren't very...."
".... `sound out people'. That's an interesting expression."
"When you sound someone out, you...."
"....I think I can guess the meaning. When you sound someone out, you probably try and find out what he/she thinks about something."
"Excellent. That's exactly what it means."
"Suresh was keen on knowing what Suparna thought of his new movie. He wanted me to sound her out."
"That's a good example. My boss is planning to bring about big changes in our company. He wants me to sound everyone out."
"...this presentation that you were making was for some private company, right?"
"That's right."
"Are you going to get paid for it?"
"Get paid for it? You must be joking. The poor owner is running it on a shoestring budget."
"A shoestring budget? What does that mean?"
"When you run something on a shoestring it means that you running it at a very low cost. You are running it on a small or inadequate budget."
"I see. And does this...."
"....let me give you another example. The ...."
"....let me try. My cousin started a restaurant on a shoestring budget."
"My uncle's company was able to produce high quality material on a shoestring budget."
"That's great! What's the company called?"

Source: The Hindu