Deciding To Argue Effectively

Succeeding is just a bonus. The key to a successful argument lies in our ability to understand that an argument is not a competition, as opposed to what almost all people might believe.

Why Hobbies Are Good for Us?

Hobbies reduce stress, says Alice Domar, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. They distract you from everyday worries...

Get Fit and Healthy With Fruit Vinegars

If traditionally, fruit vinegars were only considered as food ingredient or as delicate flavor enhancer, these new findings and information suggest that they can also be regarded as potential functional foods.

Can Money Buy You Happiness? | Learn From What Experts Say

The secret to using money to buy happiness is to spend money in ways that support your happiness goals. There are ways to spend money that are likely to help give you enduring happiness.

What Piggy Banking Taught Me?

Teach your kids the importance of money, start with piggy banks then get them a savings account later when they are ready. Let them understand the basics of savings before infusing a more complicated concept.

28 September 2007

Decorated Drop Caps

After laboring extensively for my archive calendar, I started browsing the net again, this time, in search of common typographical effects, such as those used widely in print materials like magazines, books, news papers, journals, photo albums, movie posters, letterheads, scrapbooks, manuscripts, etc., to further enhance the appearance of my posts in this blog.

This typographical effect is called Drop Cap and can be effectively employed in a blog or any website using CSS snippets.

The first thing I did was to locate any site which have entries with easy instructions on how to do it. It didn’t take long enough, though, for me to find suggestions from LateNightEngineer’s How to Display Drop Caps with CSS? & Beautiful Beta’s Magazine Style Drop Caps. Both sites gave the CSS snippet definitions to use and where these instructions must be pasted on the blog template. I quickly followed the recommendations and came up with what I initially desired. I found out later, however, that the basic and default PC fonts are the ones being used by popular browsers and that if one needed fancy, unusual or decorative fonts the use of embedded fonts have to be exercised and executed instead.

In Larisa Thomason’s CSS Tip: Get Any Font You Want at NetMechanic® she clearly described the reasons why embedded fonts have to be implemented when one needed to further use decorative fonts. As a result of these learnings, I followed the tips along with creating an EOT file using Microsoft WEFT for the font style I wanted to carry on in my blog.

With minor changes, just a little tweaking here and there I saw a takeoff that goes like what you see in my decorated drop cap.

From here on, you will see that these decorated drop caps will become an integral part of all my posts to come.


21 September 2007

Archive Calendar

I have been in pain searching for a perfect calendar widget that works with Blogger. Finally, I chanced upon one that is very slick which suits my taste. Phydeaux3 has created the codes and gave along easy to follow instructions. My calendar has been on since 16 September 2007 and has caused me no single trouble in the implementation, despite my complete ignorance on CSS & JavaScript programming.

In addition, he further created a set of variables (whatever it means)/css so you can use the Blogger Font/Color page to pick and choose your calendar look with the WYSIWYG approach, for idiot-proof personal styling.

So, what are you waiting for? Log on to this calendar widget post and see & feel for yourself how straightforward it is to implement the widget.

Meanwhile, I will keep myself tuned at his site to wait for any major development or update on this brilliantly crafted Blogger tool.

Many thanks, phydeaux3, for saving me from my long agony.

09 September 2007

Adversity Quotient (AQ): An Emerging Determinant of Success and Superior Performance

The information you are about to read is a clip of the introductory concepts and principles of Adversity Quotient (AQ) developed by Dr. Paul Stoltz. Complete information on this subject can be further accessed through his website at

Definition & Concept

Dr. Paul Stoltz defines Adversity Quotient as “the capacity of the person to deal with the adversities of his life. As such, it is the science of human resilience.”

For many years, researchers have devoted a great deal of their studies to Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ), which are considered to be determinants of success and superior accomplishment. A decade ago (1997), Paul Stoltz introduced a new yet interesting & intriguing concept – Adversity Quotient (AQ), which tells how well one withstands adversity and his ability to triumph over it. In fact, more researches recently have shown that measurement of AQ is a better index in achieving success than IQ, education or even social skills.

By understanding the concept of AQ we can better understand how we and others react to challenge and adversity in all aspects of our lives. In fact, how people respond to adversity is a strong indicator of ability to succeed in many endeavors.

Scientific Backbone of AQ

AQ is rooted in three sciences: psychoneuroimmunology, neurophysiology, and cognitive psychology. They are its building blocks. Hundreds of research studies lend support to the role AQ plays in determining one’s ability to triumph over obstacles.

Psychoneuroimmunology is a field in science that examines the mind-body relationship. In essence, it studies the relationship between what one thinks and feels and what goes on in the body. How do thoughts and feelings affect the body and its overall health?

Bottom Line Your thoughts and emotions determine the strength of your body chemistry down to the cellular level.

Neurophysiology is a field in science that focuses on the brain. It studies how the brain learns and functions. How are habits formed and what must occur to change habits once they are established?

Bottom Line The brain is ideally equipped to hardwire habits of thought and behavior.

Cognitive Psychology is the most popular aspect of psychology focusing on the relationships between thoughts and feelings associated with one’s mental health. While there are many aspects to cognitive psychology, of particular importance to AQ is the research examining the human need for control or mastery over one’s life.

Bottom Line Learned Helplessness, considered to be the “Landmark Theory of the Century,” explains why many people give up or stop short when faced with life’s challenges.

Measurement Tool

To measure AQ, Stoltz developed an assessment instrument called Adversity Response Profile (ARP).

The Adversity Response Profile is the only scientifically-grounded tool in existence for measuring how effectively one deals with adversity, or one’s AQ. AQ, according to him, is a valid predictor of one’s success, stress-threshold, performance, risk-taking, capacity for change, productivity, perseverance, improvement, energy, and health.

The ARP is a highly valid assessment instrument based on 25 years of research and 1000+ studies at more than 150 universities and organizations worldwide. Unlike IQ, AQ can be improved!

AQ scores fall into 3 broad bands, with an expected normal distribution.

Low (0-59) AQ characteristics:
• Low levels of motivation, energy, performance, and persistence.
• Tendency to ‘catastrophize’ events.

Moderate (95-134) AQ characteristics:
• Under utilization of potential.
• Problems take a significant and unnecessary toll, making climbing difficult.
• A sense of helplessness and despair arises from time to time.

High AQ (166-200) characteristics:
• Able to withstand significant adversity and continue forward and upward progress.
• Maintains appropriate perspective on events and responses to them.

AQ response is comprised of four CORE dimensions. Understanding them is the first step toward improving your response to adversity, expanding your capacity, and, ultimately, increasing your overall AQ.

Now, look at your CORE breakdown and determine which aspects of the AQ you need to improve.

C = Control
To what extent can you influence the situation?
How much control do you perceive you have?
Those with higher AQs perceive they have significantly more control and influence in adverse situations than do those with lower AQs. Even in situations that appear overwhelming or out of their hands, those with higher AQs find some facet of the situation they can influence. Those with lower AQs respond as if they have little or no control and often give up.

O = Ownership
To what extent do you hold yourself responsible for improving this situation?
To what extent are you accountable to play some role in making it better?
Accountability is the backbone of action. Those with higher AQs hold themselves accountable for dealing with situations regardless of their cause. Those with lower AQs deflect accountability and most often feel victimized and helpless.

R = Reach
How far does the fallout of this situation reach into other areas of your work or life?
To what extent does the adversity extend beyond the situation at hand?
Keeping the fallout under control and limiting the reach of adversity is essential for efficient and effective problem solving. Those with higher AQs keep setbacks and challenges in their place, not letting them infest the healthy areas of their work and lives. Those with lower AQs tend to catastrophize, allowing a setback in one area to bleed into other, unrelated areas and become destructive.

E = Endurance
How long will the adversity endure?
Seeing beyond even enormous difficulties is an essential skill for maintaining hope. Those with higher AQs have the uncanny ability to see past the most interminable difficulties and maintain hope and optimism. Those with lower AQs see adversity as dragging on indefinitely, if not permanently.

Note: The average ARP score is 147.5.

Responding to Adversity

At the highest level people fall into two groups:

A. Pessimists
• Consider any adversity to be permanent, all pervading, and deeply personal.
• They believe that any crisis will never end, and that it will destroy everything.
• They also believe it is their fault.

B. Optimists
• See adversity and problems as challenges
• See problems as temporary, limited, and external to themselves.
• Do not internalize issues, and have a ‘This too shall pass’ philosophy.

How to Improve AQ?

Listen to your response to adversity.
Explore all origins and your ownership responses.
Analyze the evidence.
Do something.

Additional Information

At the time (8 September 2007) I was collecting information for this blog, I found the following helpful figures online. I used these data to describe how dynamic the subject matter is today. I searched for "Adversity Quotient" and the results are shown in Table 1 below.

The results suggest that AQ is a relatively new topic with no entries from major online references. The exact definition and scientific basis are almost always redirected or referenced to Dr. Paul G. Stoltz’s website. This is interesting to note since it implies that Stoltz is not only an advocate of AQ but can also be considered the father of AQ and the man who coined the term. The major search engines, on the other hand, provided global search results figure ranging from nearly 7000 to 38000 & 3-16 on the local engine counterpart but, again, mostly linked to, which is Stoltz’s main site.

Google Trend, which is currently used as a tool when searching relatively popular topics, also raveled no record.

Amazon has three (3) books & one (1) audio CD available in its list and are enumerated below, for your reference.

1. Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities by Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D. (Wiley, 1997)
2. Adversity Quotient @ Work: Make Everyday Challenges the Key to Your Success--Putting the Principles of AQ Into Action by Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D. (Morrow, 2000)
3. Adversity Quotient at Work: Finding Your Hidden Capacity for Getting Things Done by Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D. (Collins, 2001)
4. The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles Into Everyday Greatness (Audio CD) by Paul G Stoltz & Erik Weihenmayer (Tantor Media, 2007)

Photo Credits: Adversity

All of this knowledgebase indicates that AQ is fundamentally a new and an emerging concept.