Sunday, November 27, 2022

First steps in Consulting!

We few friends have decided to study Consulting. 

Though we all have gone through research training, and possess skills required for consulting. 

That training was more from an academic research perspective. 

Now we wish to revisit these concepts in consulting context. 

After speaking to colleagues in consulting, doing some basic googling, and looking at course outlines of a few courses, We have gathered some resources. This blog post is outcome of that. 

One of the first things one can do while studying a new topic/subject is to join a course available on the topic. 

We found one available on Coursera offered by faculty who worked as a consultant. It's a specialization (series of few courses).

Coursera Course on Consulting 

Seth Godin's course on freelancing for consultants is available on Udemy. 

Seth Godin on Udemy 

Specifically on presentations skills for consultants

Presentation Skills for Consultants 

Some books are available on the subject (collected from various course outlines). . 

The basic principles of effective consulting. 

The Advice Business 

Peter Block's following book is suggested by many. 

Flawless Consulting Book carries a field book or workbook too. 

FieldBook on Flawless consulting 

On structuring one's thought process - particularly for reports and presentations, Barbara Minto's book is highly recommended 

The Pyramid Principle 

A few more books are also suggested on consulting. 

And on top of it - a host of HBR cases and articles are available on the subject. 

Material is collected. Now time to read and study it. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Diabetes Code - A quick summary/review!

 


Essentially book talks about diabetes as an epidemic. and how it has grown to it.

1. One central claim is most of Dr treat it in the wrong way.  Often patients find that over the period medicine dosage goes on increasing and often there is no respite from disease.

2. Book says it's not a body disease, but caused by diet n hence can be reversed or treated by only diet.

3. It explains the technical mechanism of how it occurs in the first place.  

4. Systematically it shows how it's not a sugar problem but is caused by insulin resistance.

5. Very persuasively and with a lot of research, it shows oral medication and insulin don't solve the problem. But in fact, enhances it. As it doesn't address the underlying cause. (I kind of agree as I see many folks around me). Insulin or medicine that secretes Insulin results in weight gain. The author argues that Insulin is a lifesaver in type 1 but not a very effective remedy for type 2. 

 

6. It advises an LCHF diet that's low carb n high fat. (I bit disagree here on high fat, though the book advises natural fats. But I feel it may be bad for cardiac issues). It shows the below analogy. So, stop/reduce the input of Sugar in all forms (even via carbohydrates), and existing/stored body sugar – shall be eliminated with Fasting.  



                                                   (Image - Taken from the book)

 

Lastly, it advises intermittent fasting. Almost alternate day. In severe cases, up to 48 to 72 hours. I am not sure here whether this is doable. It advises it under medical supervision, particularly if you are taking medication. See below the sample meal plan this is with 36 hour fasting. Book has multiple such meal plans. 



                                                  (Image: From the book)

 

One diagram in the book – compares how much sugar increases in various foods – it almost enlightens why Rice has got a bad name!  



                                                    (Image: From the book)

 

One interesting note in the book is that fructose is much worse than sucrose. Both are found in Sugar in equal amounts. Because Fructose goes directly to the liver like a guided missile.  

I personally have two issues with the argument. 

1. Just with the idea of fasting - I start craving for food and feel starved. 😢 

2. Book cites lot of research, This book itself is published in 2018. However Dr. Neal Bernard's book published in 2006 isn't referred or cited in the book nor the Dr. Dean Ornish research. Both is relevant to this subject. 

Finally a disclaimer note: 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical or healthcare professional, this post is a summary/review of Dr. Jason Fung's best-seller "Diabetes Code". So anyone who want to follow the book suggestions – please consult your doctor or healthcare advisor!


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Studying Gita - Step by Step!


 

Bhagavad Gita (referred as Gita). 

A sincere sadhak Vinba Bhave had referred to it as Gitai (Gita + AAI – Mother Gita – AAI is a mother in Marathi).

I always had a longing to study it.

Even I bought a couple of editions – including explanations, etc. in English. Even have three-volume sets of Swami Ranganathananda’s writings on Gita. 

But somehow, I never had an appetite to read it. 

Then I worked on a seminar course (during my doctorate) on Karma Yoga.

Again, I felt the deep need to at least read and get the crux of what Gita is. [Karma Yoga origins are in Gita]

But it always sounds monumental task and slipped away.

Moreover, I don't have any Sanskrit background. I feel it is a handicap.

I think such Everest may be conquered with some structure.

And I came across the Chinmaya Mission course on Gita. 

It's 30 sessions spread over 15 months, each month two lessons. Details are available here:  https://chinfo.org/home/course/bhagavad-gita-course-online/9  .

It is written for beginners and thoroughly in English.

I have decided to take it up.

I plan to start on the Gita Jayanti on 3rd Dec.  [Suggested by Fellow reader]

Long back -while in college I did Chinmaya Mission’s basic Vedanta course developed by Swami Chinmayananda. Not only I enjoyed that course in the pre-internet era (lessons used to come by post – a snail mail), but I learned systematically the basic building blocks of Vedanta.

Making it easy for me to approach other spiritual literature & discussions with confidence. [Incidentally, a friend who did the same program, became a monk and pursued spiritual life] 

Hence it makes sense to look at the Gita course – also developed by the same Institution.

I am certain - structure and chapter-wise lessons will help me to take learning steps slowly but confidently. 

You can find the detailed syllabus here: https://chinfo.org/uploads/include_files/course_9_Bhagavad%20Gita_Syllabus.pdf 

Though the course is paid, if someone has difficulty paying, then you can write to homestudycourses@chinfo.org to make your case and get funding/help. 


Any long or short journey becomes enjoyable if you have companions on the path.

Fortunately, few friends are willing to join the journey with me. 

( If you are also interested in joining this study group – do let me know.)

As of today, we have decided that - learners/readers

1.       Will join this Chinmaya Mission Course mentioned above. Subscribe/buy or get access to it before 3rd December.

2.       Will read and study. The guideline says one lesson in 15 days. Sample lessons are available online. Please take a look. It shall be comfortable to study one lesson in 15 days.

3.       We have a WhatsApp group, but the group will be strictly used to talk about the readings on Gita and nothing else.

4.       We may schedule group discussions. 

5.       If the number of group members increases, we may think of scheduling additional activities related to Gita Study.

Do connect!

Thanks!