“Virallypositive” is a blog where positive stories and editorials of success are posted. The idea of the blog was derived from a marketing technique called “viral marketing”, which uses pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral process, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses.

I have always believed that feelings are contagious. Negative feelings are stronger than positive ones. This is a truth that can be felt in our everyday life. Last week I was at the gym at 7.00 am. I was very invigorated and active, I felt like a butterfly on the pull-up bar until a young guy started yawning. At that moment my arms were unable even to hold my weight, I felt so sleepy and for a second all the pictures of a worm bed in a dark room were rushing in front of me. He killed my energy. Anna Gibbs says: “Bodies can catch feelings as easily as catch fire: affect leaps from one body to another, evoking tenderness, inciting shame, igniting rage, exciting fear – in short, communicable affect can inflame nerves and muscles in a conflagration of every conceivable kind of passion”.

This blog will try to virally spread positive feelings through readings about successful people who could reach their dreams, some shared ideas on how to improve our lives, tricks on how to protect yourself with a positive aura. All “positive” comments, stories and editorials are welcome. Let’s walk together towards success, let’s extract positivity from our surroundings, let’s follow the footsteps of those who made it.

Together we can get there.

Mohanned Qassar

Kelly Burke
September 15, 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald

EMPLOYEES who walk 10,000 steps a day and work out in the gym three times a week can give their employer an extra $2500 worth of productivity a year, an Australian clinical trial has found. In addition, they can add five years to their lifespan in the process.

The Body-Brain Performance Institute, in conjunction with Swinburne University’s Brain Sciences Institute, took 40 employees of the Melbourne branch of the global software company SAP in April this year, gave them pedometers and then split them into two groups.

The control group was given the task of achieving 10,000 steps a day, compared to the 2000 to 3000 steps of an average office worker.

The second group also had to clock up 10,000 steps, but in addition undergo three resistance training sessions each week designed by the researchers.

Over the following eight weeks, the employees’ measurable components of brain function, including the ability to plan, remember, simulate future scenarios and make decisions, were measured using a neuropsychological test battery developed by the Swinburne institute.

Employees’ alertness and energy levels were also measured, along with their levels of anger and stress.

The research showed a clear link between vigorous physical activity, increased brain function and reduced stress levels at work.

While the control group showed a 2 per cent improvement in their level of fitness and brain function by achieving 10,000 steps a day, the trial found that when more vigorous exercise was added three times a week, an employee’s bioage – a figure based on the level of a person’s health and fitness, as opposed to their chronological age – increased by five years.

Brain function also increased significantly, to the level of 4 per cent.

Using Harvard University’s Productivity Questionnaire to translate the physical and cognitive improvement into a dollar value, the trial concluded that each member of the exercise group had contributed an additional $2500 worth of productivity annually to the company.

Professor Paul Taylor, who led the research, said the findings confirmed previous studies which showed vigorous exercise significantly increases happiness, productivity and cognition, and employers should be harnessing the advantages of exercise more in the workplace.

“I see that 10,000 steps a day and three trips to the gym per week will increase productivity at work only because the employee’s spouse will kick him/her out of home as they spend most of their time away; so the employee will spend the night at work and this eventually increases his/her productivity ; )”

Mohanned Qassar

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley

She is an 85 years old woman of my family. She lives a happy life with no medical problems whatsoever. The only problem she has is being illiterate!


This lady got married when she was 15 years old, she did not have the chance to study due to some social barriers at that time. Despite this, she decided to succeed in another social field. She determined to be the best wife and mother no matter what. After World War II she travelled with her businessman husband to Iraq to start a new business. “I was part of his success” she always says, “I was famous as the best cook in Baghdad, Adnan (her husband) used to invite Iraqi businessmen to seal their deals over dinner at home”.
Nihad (this old lady) has four boys and two girls. She used to encourage them to study by saying: “Education is the best weapon in life, it is the key for your future”. She taught them that school is their beehive and books are the nectar flowers. Saeed, her first son, is now an architect. Samer, the second, was one of the top students in Baghdad. Now he is a plastic surgeon. The rest of the children are a biologist, a lawyer, and two businessmen. “I made them. I taught them. I am proud of them” she used to say with no fear that people would comment on her illiteracy.
She was not only the best wife and mother; she was the centre of love among her community. Spreading peace and tranquility was her charm. One day I was tired and feeling down, I met her at my in-laws’ when she started telling me about her daily morning routine : “I wake up every day at 5.30 a.m., I pray to God and make two cups of coffee for Adnan and myself. We drink our coffee on the balcony in summer and behind the window in winter. I watch the sunrise and enjoy birds singing. Then when the gardener comes and starts watering trees in the park across from our house, I spend some time watching him messaging the leaves of the trees while whistling some tunes. I always pray to God to bestow His blessings on us and let us enjoy Paradise in the Hereafter”. Her words changed the way I look at life. She is an illiterate old woman who spends most of her time doing housework and socializing with her neighbours, but enjoys life more than young people.
Nihad’s only misfortune is that she cannot read or write. When she needs to call the butcher to order some meat, she opens her telephone book and looks for the drawing of meat next to the butcher’s phone number! Her favorite TV programs are documentaries and news bulletins. When she sees Hillary Clinton on TV she always says: “If I were literate, I would have been better than Clinton; but unfortunately, I am not”.
This lady is the centre of her society, the tutor of her children, the love of her husband and the joy of humanity. Life was her school and love was her career. God bless Nihad the mother of human innocence.

Failure in one side of life is not the end, but rather the beginning of success on the other end.

Mohanned Qassar

Most of us chalk it up to having too much to do and not enough time to do it in, especially during extra-busy periods. But often the true culprits are our everyday habits: what we eat, how we sleep, and how we cope emotionally. Read on for some simple, recharging changes that can help you tackle all of the energy stealers in your life.

Energize Your Diet

Why is it that filling up on pasta or Chinese food for lunch leaves us snacky and sleepy an hour later? Or that falling short on fluids makes us forgetful and foggy? Fact is, eating habits play a powerful role in how well we function on every level. Below, six top fatigue-fighting nutrition strategies to chew on.

•Have breakfast… even if you don’t feel hungry. You’ll be a lot perkier: Studies show that people who eat breakfast feel better both mentally and physically than those who skip their morning meal.
•Eat every three to four hours. Having three smallish meals and two snacks throughout the day can keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable all day long, says Roberta Anding, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
•Fill up on more fiber. Fiber has a time-releasing effect on carbs, so they enter your bloodstream at a slow and steady pace, giving your energy staying power
•Fuel your brain with omega-3s. Found in fatty fish (such as tuna and salmon), walnuts, and canola oil, these essential fatty acids play a role in keeping brain cells healthy and helping you feel mentally alert.
•Stay hydrated. Water makes up the majority of your blood and other body fluids, and even mild dehydration can cause blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to your cells and organs and resulting in fatigue.
•Watch caffeine intake after noon.. But when caffeine is consumed in large quantities — or anytime in the afternoon or evening — the quality of your sleep that night can take a nosedive, leaving you with heavy eyelids the next day. One caution for those who are highly sensitive to caffeine:

Energize Your Spirit

•We’re all familiar with physical exhaustion, but mental strain — sadness, boredom, worry, anger, and general stress (the biggie) — can take an even heavier toll on vitality, completely wearing you out. Life happens, and these difficult emotions will, too. But if you react wisely, your brain and body will rebound — along with your vim and vigor.
•Splash some water on your face or take a shower when you’re feeling burned-out. Some 55 percent of study participants reported using these types of “water therapy” to successfully increase their energy
•Suit up in a “power” outfit to beat the blahs. Fight the tendency to throw on sweats when you’re feeling sluggish.
•Vent your feelings. Keeping fear, anxiety, and stress pent up inside may seem like a grown-up way to deal with these emotions. But discussing negative feelings with another person can ease them far better than keeping them bottled up; by airing them, you reduce their ability to sap your stamina
•Turn on some tunes. Listening to music is one of the most effective ways to change a bad mood, decrease tension, and increase energy.
•Let go of grudges. Nursing a grudge prompts your mind and body to react as if they’re under chronic stress, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure and potentially resulting in an impaired immune system and exhaustion over time
•Take belly breaths. When we’re under stress, we’re prone to take “chest breaths” — short, shallow ones,
•De-clutter a corner. Go through that teetering pile of papers or overflowing closet and clear it out. Clutter can make you feel out of control and overwhelmed
•Do some good. Acts of altruism can lend a little pep to your step

Sleep Well

When you have a lot to do (um…always), usually the first thing to get squeezed off your agenda is sleep. But miss out on shut-eye and your energy, positivity, productivity, and memory are sure to suffer.

•Cut back on TV and computer time after 8 p.m. If you’re already a night owl (you go to bed late and sleep in on weekends), the bright light emitted from television and computer screens can make falling asleep at a decent hour even harder.
•Skip the nightcap. Alcohol depresses the nervous system — the system of cells, tissues, nerves, and organs that controls the body’s responses to internal and external stimuli. So while sipping a glass of wine before bed may help you nod off, the sedative effects wear off as your body metabolizes the alcohol, which may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back to sleep.
•Get your exercise. While scientists don’t yet understand why, aerobic exercise has been proved to help you fall asleep faster at bedtime, spend more hours in deep sleep, and wake up less often throughout the night,
•Follow the 15-minute rule. If you can’t fall asleep, or if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep within about 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing that will help clear your head, such as reading, meditating, or knitting (but not watching TV or surfing the Web). Then, once you feel sleepy again, go back to bed.
•Write down your worries. During the day, jot down any stressors that are weighing on you

Adapted from WebMd.com  – http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/your-guide-to-never-feeling-tired-again?page=2&print=true

By Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0 and the founder of Millennial Branding, a full-service personal branding agency. He’s spoken about personal branding at Google, Harvard, Time Warner, IBM, and CitiGroup.

Social media is making it easier to find the right jobs, and for you to connect to the right people that can help you get those jobs. Many job seekers are still using traditional job search methods that are yielding poor results. The New York Post reported that one woman applied for more than one thousand jobs over 99 weeks, getting only two interviews. Nearly one in three job seekers has been out of work for more than a year, and the average job seeker gives up after five months.

But you don’t have to end up like these professionals! By understanding who you are, what differentiates you in the marketplace and establishing your personal branding online, you can compete in the new talent marketplace. Once you’ve built your own website and established your social network profiles, you’re ready to start leveraging your relationships and talents to get the job of your dreams, not just one that pays the bills.

More and more companies are recruiting using social media, and 40% of young professionals are using social media to get jobs, reports Elance. You can have a successful job search by following these five new ways to get a job using social media.

 
1. Leverage Your Social Graph

People get jobs through other people, not computers. By having a personal connection to the company you’re applying for, your chances of getting a job multiply. If all you do is submit your resume blindly on job boards, you won’t have much luck. Ten years ago, it would take you a lot of effort to ask your friends who they know and to remember where all your friends work. Now, you can tap your social graph on social networks and have all of that information at your fingertips. For job seekers, this means that you can get introductions to people who work at companies you’re interested in. For companies, this means growing your business through introductions instead of cold calls. The internet is your personal research laboratory. Here are a few tools that will help you tap into your social graph during your job search:

     1. LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you access to hiring managers through your close connections. After creating your profile, upload all of your email contacts so that you have a foundation to build upon. Then, search for a company or position, filter your results by location and see who in your immediate network can introduce you to a hiring manager. LinkedIn forces us all to do more research on employees and companies before interviews. All of their information is online, so it’s created an expectation that you’re doing your homework.
     2. InTheDoor.com. Think of InTheDoor.com as a job board overlay on your Facebook social graph. It connects Indeed.com’s aggregated job board database and your Facebook social graph to show you who in your network can connect you with specific openings. You can find jobs at your friends’ companies, search for jobs in different cities by preference and search by company and job title.
     3. BranchOut.com. Much like InTheDoor.com, BranchOut utilizes your Facebook social graph. The main difference is that you access BranchOut from within your Facebook profile, and it gives you more of a professional identity. It was always hard to build a professional identity on Facebook but BranchOut has tried to solve that. With $18 million in a recent venture capital round by Redpoint Ventures, more than 3 million job listings and 20,000 internships listings, this site is serious business. Like LinkedIn, you can get recommendations on your page, and like Foursquare, you can earn badges.
 

2. Use Augmented Reality and Job Search Apps

People are starting to use mobile applications to see job openings near them and apply with just a few touches of an iPhone or Android. In fact 20% of job seekers use their smartphone in their search for a job, reports LinkUp. “Augmented reality” blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. If you have an iPhone, you should download the “Layar” application. Once installed, click on “Layars” from the bottom menu and search for “JobAmp Mobile.” When you use this layar, you will be able to see all the companies near your current location and what positions are open at them. This information is very useful if you see a company you’re interested in when walking around your city.

In 2009, I wrote a post for Mashable on the top iPhone job search applications. Since 2009, I’ve found a number of other good applications that will assist you in your search, wherever that may be:

CareerBliss (Free). It has company reviews, salary information, and about three million job listings.
Good Job ($4.99). Organize your job search by tracking jobs from multiple sites, contacts, interview schedules, resumes and more.
Real-Time Jobs (Free). Attach a social network profile and video to Twitter job postings.
BusyBee (Free). If you’re a freelancer, then you can find contract opportunities nearby with this app.
 

3. Build Your Online Influence

More than a decade ago, if you had the right “hard” skills (i.e., C++ programming), you were almost guaranteed a job. You could almost trade your college diploma for a job upon graduation. Then, as the economy changed and became more competitive, companies started to pay attention to a new set of skills. Soft skills (i.e., communication, organization, leadership, etc) became increasingly important as a way to choose one candidate over another. Companies were interested — and still are — in passion, teamwork and cultural fit. In today’s world, not only do you need strong hard and soft skills, but you need to develop online influence. When two candidates look the same on paper and are both good communicators, the differentiator will be their online influence.

Online influence is measured in how many connections you have, who those connections are (and how influential they are), who and how many people are sharing your content and backlinking to your website and more. Klout.com, a site that measures online influence and gives you a “Klout score,” is becoming increasingly popular with employers. If you have a high Klout score, it can help you get hired over the next person. Online influence attracts employers, who are increasingly looking to hire professionals who are already well-known by their target audience. Companies understand that those with larger networks are more productive and can generate new business, recruit top talent and market their brand better than someone who lacks a big network.
 

4. Use Multimedia Instead of a Paper Resume

A recent OfficeTeam survey noted that 36% of companies think that it’s at least somewhat likely resumes will eventually be replaced by profiles on social and business networking sites. More and more professionals are using creative ways to promote themselves online. I’ve seen rap videos, dedicated Facebook Pages, a blog saying “hire me” and SlideShare.net presentations. These promotional tactics can be effective and even land some media attention, which could turn into a few job offers. Since very few job seekers take the time to invest in these tactics, they stand out and are shared widely.

SlideShare.net. Develop your own PowerPoint presentation, upload it to SlideShare.net and promote it through your networks and on your website. Your slides can include information about your technical skills, projects you’ve completed, an endorsement from a manager and more. Here is an example.
QR codes — Share a quick response (QR) code on your social networks to direct an employer back to your website. You can also put the code on print materials. Here is an example.
Viral videos — Create a video about yourself, or multiple videos linked together, and use YouTube to promote it. You can also develop a video resume which will showcase your personality to employers, in addition to your skills. Here is an example.
Creative websites — Use your creativity and establish a creative website under your full name (yourfullname.com). Here is an example.
 

5. Turn Yourself Into an Advertisement

Another way to get people’s attention is to advertise yourself to the specific people and companies you’re looking to work for. The four most common ways to advertise yourself are through Facebook social ads, Google AdWords, blog advertisements and LinkedIn Ads. These are all offerings used primarily for businesses, but can be applied to your job search.

You can see an example of this being done by Alec Brownstein in 2010, when he advertised himself by targeting specific executives at companies he wanted to work for. Since people Google themselves, the executives saw his advertisement and he landed interviews. You want to create an advertisement that catches a recruiter’s attention and make sure that it links back to your main website or LinkedIn profile. Your advertisement should be specific and have your expertise clearly identified.

 

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” Walt Disney

“Good laughter makes a positive fighter” Mohanned Qassar

There is always a debate on who is more intelligent; men or women. I have had this debate many times with girls, and I was of course trying to prove that men are the ones. Am I right? I resorted to some academic studies to find out how I can support my view. Unfortunately, I could not find any study that 100% supports my views. It seems that all those who are doing such studies are women!! The general spirit of all literature about this matter is that men might slightly score higher in an IQ test in some areas, while girls score better in other areas.

The Newsweek magazine published an article in which Joan Raymond says: “An analysis of some 30 studies by British researcher Adrian Furnham, a professor of psychology at University College London, shows that men and women are fairly equal overall in terms of IQ. But women underestimate their own candlepower (and that of women in general), while men overestimate theirs.”

Professor Richard Lynn has some different views on this as he might be the only one who stands next to me with my debate!! He argued in an article published in the Mail Online on May 8th 2010 that men are more intelligent than women by an average of 5%, but this margin is still influential in the practical life as only two women won the Noble Prize in the 110 years of the prize history.

I might not agree with him in this point. In order to apply natural intelligence to real life experiences and compare it between sexes, an equal set of conditions must be maintained. No one can deny that men are or at least were more fortunate in enjoying some kind of freedom to study, work and achieve.

Professor Lynn says: “Ever since the Frenchman Alfred Binet devised the first intelligence test in 1905, study after study has confirmed the same result. When it comes to IQ, men and women – at least once they’ve gained adulthood – simply are not equal.

Boys and girls may start out with the same IQ but by 16 or so boys are starting to inch ahead. The ever-growing success of girls at GCSE, A-level and now at university would seem to refute this – but the blame lies with our exam system, with its emphasis on coursework, which rewards diligence more than it does intelligence.

The undeniable, easily measurable fact remains that, by the time both sexes reach 21, men, on average, score five IQ points higher than women. ” he adds: “In all of these, men outperform women – although women hold their own when it comes to verbal reasoning and have a definite edge in foreign language skills and spelling.”

I agree that every sex has its areas of power. Men are better with spatial intelligence, while women are better with languages. British researcher Adrian Furnham, a professor of psychology at University College London, says: “Universally, men tend to score higher on certain specialized skills, such as spatial awareness. In the real world, that means they might be better at reading maps or navigating. Women score higher in terms of language development and emotional intelligence

From my own experience, I can say that I am more intelligent and more reliable than my wife in a time of crisis, when she loses control and starts dealing with matters emotionally. But on a long run matters, especially those related to culture, memory and deep analysis I rely on her decisions. I also admit that her memory is like an elephant; especially when I do something wrong!!

You can always train your brain to function better.  Joel Saltzman, author of Shake That Brain insists that you can always stimulate your brain with some techniques, one of which is: “Play with your brain. Learn a new language, master a new hobby or engage in friendly debate. Playing with your brain stimulates blood flow and strengthens the connections (synapses) between nerve cells in the brain. Read challenging books, do puzzles—and whatever you do, use your other hand to comb your hair or brush your teeth.

My daily brain exercise is a TV program called Letters and Numbers. Here’s the link for those who like to challenge themselves or their mates. http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/lettersandnumbers

Talking about IQ scores, I have had an IQ test recently and scored 139 points, one point shorter than my score three years earlier. I would like everyone who reads this blog to do the test and give us a feedback with their gender and profession. Here’s the link for the test: http://www.free-iqtest.net/

Mohanned Qassar