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Traveling abroad to meet your loved one, here is a simple way you can save in online air fares

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Many folks take the internet for granted and they happily open up their browsers and go hunting for cheap online fares. What you don’t know and not always astute to is the ways browsers and websites interact with each other and they can paint a different picture when it comes to pricing.

Airline fares accurate - cookies

Airline fares accurate? - use of browser cookies

For example, let’s say you went to these online airfare checker sites and they are many of these and you decide to look up fares but have not decided. You will most likely see the fares change with each day. However, the question is, are the fares a reflection of the market movement in prices or because the website knows you through your cookies when you come and visit the site.

You won’t be surprised at the alarming way that Google is able to track you when it comes to pushing ads to your face. Say, you went to an online ecommerce store and you surf around the net, you will most likely see the same ad show up time and time again. These are all done through the cookies.

In the same way, websites that offer you deals on airline prices will most likely be able to tell if you are revisiting the site from looking up the cookies that is embedded to your browser. Remember cookies are not a bad thing, they are a way to enable websites to hold your last session and as such and can be used by websites (safely) to provide you with richer user experience. However, the airline fare checker sites can leverage this knowledge to push ‘new prices’ to you based on how frequently you have visited the site. They will also consider the fear-mongering trick of how late you leave the ticket towards your flight date to push higher prices. Heck, airline, hotels, cars and other businesses have been doing this for years!

So how to overcome this ‘shadowing’ that airline, hotel price checker sites use? Very simple, just open up a new browser and do the same search again. I usually have Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera on my Windows 10 machine. I can also delete the browser history which will also clear your cookies cache, check with the browser that you are using. Just today, I saw a price hike from a company (who I won’t bad mouth) from the yesterday’s prices and then I did the same search on another browser and lo and behold completely different prices!

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Some personal qualities to learn from the Rio Olympics 2016

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

The Rio Olympics of 2016 are filled with excitement as we see great feats of skill, strength, endurance and determination. We almost find ourselves in the same shoes as the olympian who crosses the 100m line to break the world record or the frustration of the high jumper who hits the bar on the third time.

Reach greatness in your own field

Reach greatness in your own field

I find it particularly fascinating to watch the short interviews that take place after an event, it reveals their thinking and often the purpose of why they go through such enduring hardship to reach the top. If we take mankind as a whole, we have excelled at being the masters of our world and we have a deep craving for progress and what lies ahead. This is so true for anyone who competes for a medal in the world cup.

Maybe to a lesser extent, we all have a deep sense of purpose and achievement that we strive for and the perception of how we internalize these feelings can propel us forward or keep as stagnant. We can associate all the athletes that participate in the Olympics have gone through gruelling exercise and constant practise along with much sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of their sport. Why do they do that? To many of us we cannot imagine being subject to the same constant routine day after day to just to get the satisfaction of having 1 billion people or so watching you hold your medal.

If we take that same philosophy of thinking to heart and apply it to our daily lives we should theoretically also achieve greatness in our endeavors. But many will forgo that desire to be ‘great’ because the ‘struggle’ and ‘sacrifice’ is far too much to bear in the pursuit of that goal. Nevertheless the sense of high achievement and greatness has never come without a price. But I would say to those naysayers that when you are living the dream and greatness the slog and effort that one tends to think is not the way one thinks. In fact, if those people did not ‘enjoy’ or feel ‘fulfilled’, they would not be able to maintain the path they put themselves through.

The ‘euphoria’ of living your dreams propels one to a new level of thinking where the tasks does not seem like tasks at all but inches them towards glory.

Jumpdates ThinkTank Labs

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An interesting set of conundrums for Bill at the Barber Shop

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

One of our employees called Bill was telling us about an interesting event that occurred whilst visiting a barber shop that led to many conundrums.

Typical barber shop - place of many conundrums?

Typical barber shop - place of many conundrums? image courtesy

This was his second visit to this particular shop. As he was entering the barber shop a little boy of about seven beat him to the door and inside there was the same barber who cut his hair over a month ago and gave Bill the hi-five. Meanwhile the kid approached two ladies sitting down and seemed to know them and then went to the barber’s chair to sit down to have his haircut. Bill thought he would wait, plus there were three other barbers there and they seemed to be finishing off haircuts to the customers there.

Bill sort of pointed to the kid while looking at the barber as though he was going to get the hair-cut first and proceeded to sit down on a bench facing the barber. After about 5-10 mins. one of the barbers about 2 seats down had finished and Bill thought there was a chance that he would have his turn now. It turns out that this barber didn’t even exchange eye contact with Bill and went to the back of the shop. Bill’s first conundrum was whether there was some kind of mistake and whether the man had just gone to the back for a break. Bill waited and the man came back and just sat with his other barber friend. Bill’s second conundrum - the barber must have assumed that Bill wanted a haircut with the barber that greeted him with a hi-five. Bill also concluded that various customers liked to have their haircut by selected barbers and he would not want to offend anyone by taking the customer away. So Bill didn’t say anything and made the decision to wait.

About 15 mins. elapses and two women with a kid walk into the shop and asks the barber whether he would cut the child’s hair. The barber looks at Bill and speaks in Spanish, Bill replies that he doesn’t understand Spanish and the barber asks whether Bill was going to get the haircut. Bill simply nodded without thinking and the barber says that it would be after Bill but he turned around and saw a free barber and asked him whether he could cut the kid’s hair. Some of our astute readers might have picked up the cue of what was happening here but Bill was unaware of what was going on as he already felt that he ‘belonged’ to this barber. So the new kid gets his haircut by one of the free barber. Here is another conundrum - maybe Bill should have spoken out and asked why they were getting a haircut after him but Bill assumed that he needs to honor the barbers code of conduct. After all, he didn’t know any better.

After about 30 mins in where Bill was becoming increasingly impatient as the barber seemed to be taking so much time, two guys walk into the shop. They seemed to know the barber that was supposedly going to cut Bill’s hair and asked about getting a haircut for his friend he was with. He (Bill’s barber) called out to another free barber and asked whether he could cut his hair. Around this time the woman who seemed to be related to the kid that was having his haircut came and sat near Bill. The conundrum started to sink into Bill and he looked at his clock and made a decision that if the barber went beyond another 5 mins. he would simply walk out of the shop. His frustration was that not that the other people were getting his haircut but the barber seemed to take a lot of time over this kid. It was nearing 40 mins. when Bill was about to walk out of the shop but luckily the barber just finished.

So a very interesting conversation ensued as the kid got of the salon chair and the barber pointed to Bill to sit down. As he was doing so the ‘mother’ of the kid was having a conversation in Spanish. Bill got the jist of this conversation when the barber seemed to imply that Bill was with the mother and the kid and she swung her head and the barber gave a big sigh in surprise and patted Bill on the head. Bill knew that this was a mistake on the part of the barber to assume that Bill had come into the shop with the kid. Bill now wondered how the barber was going to behave but the barber did not provide an apology or say anything about the matter. Bill finally got his haircut and measured on his watch how long the barber took to cut his hair compared to the previous kid that he did. Bill’s time was 28 mins compared to the kid before him which took 45 mins. Maybe the barber wanted to speed things up knowing that Bill had waited patiently all this time.

The readers may want to get involved in this episode of conundrums. There were many possibilities and both parties maybe to blame for Bill not getting his haircut in a timely manner. Maybe the waiting game was not a big deal in the culture that the barber grew up in. What would you do and why?

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Couples behavior to each other has a profound psychological effect on children

Friday, August 12th, 2016

It is not difficult to see that children growing up in a household develops personalities based around the family members. At an early age say 5-10, children have no references to base their opinion on and naturally they look to their parents or elders to satisfy their curious minds. What many parents fail to realize is that the part they play in those tender ages can have a profound psychological bearing on the upbringing of the child. We often hear of stories where troubled people going into their adulthood almost always blame how they came to be on their parents. You may have heard cases where the ‘mature’ adult has blamed his aggressive nature because his father used to beat him up badly. Or the case where the ‘mature’ woman finds it difficult to make important decisions since the mother always used to remind her of that.

Parenting requires understanding your own behavior

Parenting requires understanding your own behavior

I put apostrophes around the word mature, because maturity would indicate knowing your shortcomings and trying to do something about it rather than blame another for the situation you are in. Many people go through life without ever realizing their shortcomings and this becomes even more important when it comes to raising children. We may feel that what we do or think should not have any bearing on the child, but it has a huge effect! Unless you pay attention to the small subtleties that children are picking up from the conversations and actions you have with them or your spouse, you may be sending mixed signals which will affect them for years to come. Your actions will be all important to the development of your child. I will give you another example of a careless approach that parents overlook on no fault of their own but the damaging effect it can have on their children.

Take the case of a young woman who wants to buy a house and to move out of the family protection to be more independant. Unfortunately, the parents have their own views on the cost of a home and upon finding out that their 28 year old daughter had gone and made an offer on an house that they feel to be too high, there is naturally tension between them. However, the odd thing is that the parents encouraged her to go and look for a house that she wants to buy. However, it pains them to think that their own daughter has paid too much on the house and she should relinquish it. The father then decides that he will take on the responsibility of finding a house for her daughter and so she agrees. You may be wondering, what is wrong with that? There are several problems with this..for a start the parents have given her freedom and then almost immediately took it away. This is why you are going to get children into adulthood who are insecure in their decision making. The whole idea of buying a house in the first place was the decision of the daughter. Secondly, the parents are dearly wanting the daughter to see her find her own happiness in being independent and eventually settling down to get married. The parents have always griped about how she can’t do this or do that and not able to stand up for herself. So now you can understand the damage that parents are unknowingly bringing to their children. These actions only creates a cyclical event within the family time and time again, in one hand you have parents who want their children to be independant but on the other they are incapable of making important decisions in their lives.

What the parents have failed to realize is that their actions came about on the factor of money and thereby giving more importance to that and taking away the important factor of independent thinking. Their daughter who obviously also with the same mindset like their parents does in fact agree and ends up also making a wrong decision herself and so the cycle repeats.

There is no single solution to parenting, but the most important thing to understand is when you say something, really mean it. Otherwise whatever you say will be empty in substance because you would be prepared to retract from it if something does not meet your expectations.

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Working with professionals - How to produce the right result with the right price!

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

The world of today moves so fast that we often overlook or do not find the time to ponder over the relationships we have with everyone around us. It is true to say that over time we come to trust our closest members such as our spouse, children, friends etc. However, we often overlook the people that come and go who also play an important part in our lives. I am talking about the attorneys, realtors, contractors, car mechanics etc. They are essential to our everyday needs and as much as we hate using them, they are a necessity in our everyday lives. So what can we do to ensure there is trust amongst these groups of people since many have heard horror stories in their dealings with these groups of people or have experienced it yourselves.

Working with professionals requires some thinking

Working with professionals requires some thinking

Attorneys, accountants, realtors and even doctors are in a niche that allows them to exercise power over the naive clients they interact with. It is a sad fact that some of these people who have this specialist knowledge can often abuse it with their clients. In my experience it’s a rarity that you find people good people who stand on moral grounds and this especially falls upon lawyers. It is odd that such an esteemed profession should also have the worst rap amongst the general populace. But we can almost always equate this to the money factor The underlying motivator for them is to make money at the minimum time possible and as quickly as possible. This would mean that they will go to lengths to achieve that which is basically say an outright lie without feeling any remorse. Many attorneys will initially be genuine and sincere about the rates and work they do but the general consensus is to see how much they can milk you once you come under their wing. You maybe wondering why someone like myself could have such distaste for this profession and my reply would be that I have had experience with not just one buy many lawyers.

Some of these attorneys are very well dressed and give an outwardly shiny personality to their clients. Unfortunately, it does not always translate to good work or a genuine empathy to your predicament and work. The truth of the matter is that many clients have become a bit smarter in the approach with attorneys and other groups of people. One can learn from those people who have worked with these difficult types of people in conducting a business and have come out as winners. The problem is that many attorneys shy away from those people and would rather go for the naive and innocent or ‘green’ type of people.

One can easily develop the skills required to work with these people but you just need to know how. We will show you in simple steps in Part 2 of this post on how to protect your own interests and produce an outcome that is more desirable to you when dealing with such people. It is basically an exercise in developing positive relationships.

Stay tuned!

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