Category Archives: life

ONE STEP AT A TIME – HOW TO BE HAPPY PART 2

Letting go has never been easy. But often letting go is the only option to survive.

Normally when we do let go, we feel an acute sense of guilt – For no reason. However believe me it is only temporary and time will heal it.

Why would you want to let go ?

Every day you will come across people and issues that will give you only stress and nothing more. If you stop to think about them you will realise that there is no “solving” them. There is no recourse that will lead to happiness in these people or issues. These are the ones to let go.

There will be useless “problems” , illogical issues, fake and selfish friends, backstabbing colleagues / classmates etc where we find ourselves involved due to the simple sincerity of thought and honorable purpose. But really ? Is it worth it?

Be happy my friends and let go of your individual poison that is leaching onto you and draining your positive energy.

Let’s be clear on this. Life is not easy and it’s not a fairytale. One rarely gets a choice in the issues we get to tackle. So, in the challenges you do get, reconsider the importance of that challenge in your life or the life of your loved ones… then maybe its worth it. The issues or people may be a mix of fortune and misfortune and you can decide which one is more important based on logical arguments.

Then, there are others which we choose to keep in order to torture our own selves 🙂 Yes, I would say it’s our choice when we do this.

So there are 2 options:

  1. Let go and carry on with the positive life
  2. Try to handle it while keeping your own sanity and happiness intact.

My next post will be on how we can accomplish number 2 🙂

Till then – Be Happy !

One step at a time – How to be Happy Part 1

We are surrounded by people. People we perceive as friends. There are varying categories of this, however at one level or another our friends include our buddies from childhood, partners in crime from the college days and so on …

One significant “friend” category includes our colleagues that we spend a major amount of time every day with at work. One cannot simply discount this category.Good_Bad

As with all relations in life, a key to being happy is to remove selfish friends from your circle as soon as possible.

Now, I am no one to lecture you. Your call… If you love torture – please retain all your selfish friends…Why not even go out now and make a few new ones 😉 – To everyone his/her own poison 🙂

Here are a few signs to identify “friends” to let go of :

  1.  They believe they deserve special treatment.
  2. You are not a priority for them.
  3. They make shady plans or cancel with you for no real reason.
  4. You never met his/her friends!
  5. He/She is not able to sustain long term friends and is usually making new friends as they don’t really know him/her.
  6. They act like polite / cordial people.
  7. They try to confuse you – as if their failing is YOUR fault !
  8. They don’t care enough to stay in touch with YOU – even thou they can with their NEW “Friends” 😉
  9. They are not willing to change for you at all.

Life is all about learning and applying. No one can survive without changing and even less so without a few true friends.

My parting words – Take care of your true friends before they start to feel you are taking them for granted and immediately get rid of the selfish ones around you.

Result : You will be happier and probably live longer 🙂

Part 2 coming next week !

Remember-you-do-not-need-a-certain-number-of-friends-just-a-number-of-friends-you-can-be-certain-of.

 

 

Anarkali

Baa Adab Ba Mulahiza Hoshiyar ….

Zilay Subhani … Sirajudaula … Sultan E Hindustan … Sultan E Azam …

Baadshah E Hind … Sahib e Zaman….Jalal Ud Din Muhammad Akbar …

Jalwa feroz Ho Rahay Hain !!!

In the midst of the glory and intimidating architecture of the Mughal Empire lays a dirty little secret lost to reality and time to be more famously known as a work a “fiction”. The Emperor enters the darbar only to be presented with a criminal …. Anarkali.

Her crime …. Theft. Well as they say Theft is theft may it be big or small and in this case it was huge. She had inadvertently stole the heart of the Crown Prince Jahnagir. Oh My God. What every will become of her 🙁

One can always see the Indian movie Mughal E Azam to get an idea of what happened … or allegedly happened.

History as we know is only a perspective of the one who writes it. When the memory of Anarkali was fresh …it was Akbarnama and of course he did not mention anything of her. Later when Jahangir become emperor and his reign produced Tazkir E Janagiri … I believe the memory of a love affair long ago was forgotten or replaced by new and more approachable one(s)…so we do not find anything there of her either. All we have is the tomb of Anarkali. I don’t wish to elaborate on that.

What is my point… well I imagine or wish to imagine what was going on in Anarkali’s mind when she was standing against the wall being “built” in to it brick by brick, line by line by the Royal mason while Akbar and his courtiers looked on.

What was going on in her mind??

I sense that every brick she saw being added was a reminder to her of the hopelessness of her adventure. Every inch that the wall grew closer to trap her inside she felt she had nothing and she had sacrificed everything for Nothing. Then she may have been thinking of the good times with the prince. Remembering the promises made by him and now the hollowness of those promises. She must have felt like being reborn and starting life again.
She may even have thought about how Jahangir could have tackled the situation where the result was not her gruesome death. He could have talked to his father he could have kept the affair in wraps like one of the wazirs she knew of.

No, he had to go and confront the King..his father and evoke all wrath that comes with standing against the king no matter waht the topic.

There she stood being trapped and at one point her tears stopped. She could see that she had nothing and that is where her hopelessness was coming from and the one she blammed well he had everything and now without her he had nothing and that is where his dejection was coming from . He was not to blame.

It was fate and this is how their love was to be immortalized — she smiled.

She smiled because now she no longer feared death. She KNEW now that it is from this moment on that she will actually begin to live.

This is how I think she felt. She may have been just standing there drugged and unconscious…I don’t know but I think she was strong and she was fearless and this scared the life out of Akbar.

Coming back to the moment, I am sure if she had a mobile she would have liked to slip one with her secretly and called Jahangir after being trapped to let her loose ..or … I imagine her sending a selfie to Jahangir from inside the walls 😉

We do many things in our own frame of reference and we live our entire lives within that frame of reference. Absolute in our mind and yet always fluid and dynamic.

While making decisions in life I feel it important to not have too many absolutes as they will sub-consciously and perhaps in a pre-determined manner reject the many choices that might exist in any situation showing only one?

Next time I would like to talk about …. Till next time 😉

5 simple clues to spot a liar

A part of my job involves interviewing candidates for various positions and at different levels. The other day while writing some stuff on body language I started to think about the many aspects of a candidate that we tend to evaluate during the interview process. One aspect that we look at, or at least try to determine to the best of our ability is whether the candidate is being honest or not.
Here are 5 simple clues that you too can watch for in your daily lives and learn how to spot a liar:
<![if !supportLists]>1-      <![endif]>Observe the body language
Does the body language match what the person is telling you? Very often we communicate more from our physical gestures than our words. It is the gap between what is being said and what the body is trying to portray which will give a liar away. You do need to watch for it thou as many expressions can be as slight as an eye blink.
<![if !supportLists]>2-      <![endif]>Watch the smile
A smile can convey many things. However a true smile will always incorporate the lips and the eyes. If you watch carefully you may be able to detect any hidden emotion that a liar is trying to hide such as anger, fear or even disgust.
<![if !supportLists]>3-      <![endif]>Not what but how it is spoken
Experts believe and to some extent I have personally observed that whenever a person is lying their speech rate (words per minute) and breathing pattern changes. It may either increase or decrease, but it does change. Noting this may also help you identify if someone is hiding something from you.
<![if !supportLists]>4-      <![endif]>Against usual behavior
In case the person is reasonably known to you, one indication of lying can be uncharacteristic behavior. The above points need to be weighed in along with the observation of a different behavior pattern to make sense and / or pass any judgment.
<![if !supportLists]>5-      <![endif]>Type of query and its response
Ask simple question and get a simple reply. When you note that someone turns their eyes or starts to show uneasy body language when asked a simple question it means there is something they are hiding. Of course in case a tricky or hard / uncomfortable question is asked it is natural for the other person’s body language to reflect the uneasiness or prolonged processing time.
I hope this is some help and do feel free to add any observations that you have made during the course of your interviews etc.

9 to 12 Rule

Its been a while since I wrote my blog. A lot has happened since my last update.

I am working with a different company now. I have another little princess in my family. I have gained weight.

Now back to what I was thinking about.

I have found it almost impossible to focus on my strategic tasks at work due to the incessant visitors I get to my office. So after seeking advice from a few very wise mentors I have decided to implement the 9-12 Rule.

The 9-12 rule stipulates that my “visiting hours” so to speak are from 9am to 12pm. After which I work dedicatedly on my research and strategic policy matters.

I shall keep updating my blog with the results I get out of this in due course.

Stay tuned.

The key to life

A bright day of August,  I would be around 14 or 15 years old at that time. I was vacating in Pakistan after having appeared in the O/Levels exams…The memory is clear thou saddened by the fact that the other person from the memory is now dead…My Dada jee.

He was in one of his lecture moods and well, I figure, he guessed right that I wasn’t 🙂

So, he started telling me a story of Batala (India – Pre-partition)

The story goes….

Rana ( My Dada jee used to call me so)….. When I was a very young boy, I went with my father to attend a wedding in a different town ( he knew the name of that town..I don’t recall it now). My mother, sisters and mostly everyone else in the house had already left a few days ago ( as was traditional back then).

Lock with Key

While leaving, my father (your great grand father) did something different….Once he had locked the house he gave me the big lead (metal) key to me for safe keeping 🙂 I was very happy at being given this responsibility. It was the first time that my father had given me the key to the home. Now the locks you kids have are different from the ones we used to use. He then proceeded to go to his cupboard and after a 2-3 minute ritual of locks, padlocks, etc etc etc… he recovered a lock (that looked quite like the picture here on the right).

He continued…

This key, your great grand father gave me and told me to keep it safely in my pocket. Once we started on our journey (via train)…soon i forget about the key in my pocket.

Jasmine

I still remember when we got to ( the city where the wedding was) there. While exiting the Railway station, my  father took a handful of Jasmine flowers and smelled them. He had me smell them too..it was very refreshing….He then gave me a few of the jasmine flowers and I placed them in my pocket so that I would smell fragrant…Artificial perfumes were not IN back then … (and we smiled at me.)

Then my Dada jee proceeded to tell me about the events at the wedding… girls … dances … food … and of course the all important family politics 🙂

Eventually coming back…

My Dada jee continued his story….

So finally we all returned to our home in Batala, Gurdaspur and my father asked me to produce the key….. When I reached for the key …(contrary to what I was thinking…the key was still in his pocket…hehe … no thriller there)….. I took hold of the key and brought it out. Along with the key some of the old jasmine flowers , now dry and brownish color came in to my hand.
I blew the dry flowers away and proudly gave my father the key…

My father took the key and then opened the lock… he asked me to stay at the door while all family members walked in to the home.

Finally we were the only two remaining standing…. My father took the lead key and gave it to me and said….
“Putar Khurshaid” smell this 🙂

Would you believe… The lead key was giving off the same fragrant jasmine smell. It was very amusing indeed.

My father simply said…. Son, you are getting older now and will soon enter more practical life where you have to choose friends and directions in life. Always remember just as the fragrant jasmine has penetrated the lead key , similarly no matter how strong we think we are…we always risk having habits from our company rub on us.
So instead of putting yourself on a silly test every other day to prove that you cannot be spoiled …. its better to avoid company of people that have negative behavior and be close to people who are good.

After that my Dada jee was silent for a bit and then he gave me that Key ….. and he said “I hope I do not need to say anything more now…..Do I?”

I was amazed and happily influenced at that time….I took the key…I still have it deep inside my own little ritual of locks and padlocks and such and I intend to share it with my daughter when she is old enough to understand this or when she needs to.

My Dada jee, passed away on 15 January 2005 ….. My daughter was born on 15th January 2010 ……. Ironic thou, I feel its just a way of nature telling me not to forget the important things in life.

Things rub off on us at all times… Try being influenced by the good.

Good Luck.

Life is too short…

Life is too short to spend in depression over anything. We get to live only once and if I have learnt anything in this life… it is that the good or bad times do not last forever.

Life is a sine curve. The good follows the bad and vice versa. Of course unlike the sin curve, life does not follow a formula of predictability. This is where such values as perseverance, patience, belief, trust and adaptability come in.

I have had my share of blunders in life. Well honestly using the word “blunder” is an understatement. Imagine being stuck in -35 temperatures in the suburbs of Ontario in a jeep that’s stuck in 3 feet of snow. Now extend your imagination – not only is the jeep stuck you yourself are stuck up to chest level in snow trying to figure out a way to get the jeep out  That was me and my 2 dorm mates from York.
Anyhow, let’s not get carried away with little tidbits of life. The real concern is that one needs to find the little shred of motivation to keep oneself going when the depression sets in. When life is full of joy and beauty seems to be in everything – there is nothing to worry about. However when things take a turn towards the bad and then the worse, we always feel like this is the end. Only to give up right before things start to get better.
My advice to anyone and everyone who reads this blog is that “PLEASE, treat this life as a gift. Cherish it and never lose hope. Neither should you get overwhelmed when joy shines on you.”
“You will be surprised what you can live thru”

Spend a few minutes to look at this picture. Thats all I ask.

Tit Bits

A couple were being interviewed on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. “In all that time – did you ever consider divorce?” they were asked. “Oh, no, not divorce,” one said. “Murder sometimes, but never divorce.”

It’s a safe bet you know all the advantages of your product or service. But it isn’t product advantages that close the deal – it’s customer satisfaction. Product advantages don’t mean a thing unless and until your prospects visualise what the products mean to them personally. The more you appreciate this fact, and the more firmly you keep it in mind, the more effective your sales presentation will become. Talking in terms of product advantages is like trying to sell a man a sports jacket without letting him try it on. He simply isn’t going to buy it until he puts it on and looks in a mirror. Then he can see what the jacket does for him and generate a real desire to own it.

Translating product advantages into customer satisfaction isn’t difficult. It’s merely a matter of customising your approach, of presenting your product or service in terms of the desires and satisfaction of this particular prospect. Yet it’s amazing how many salespeople are content to generalise. They talk endlessly about what a wonderful sports coat they offer, but neglect to have the prospect put it on.

The most important thing you can do to close any sale is to paint the prospect a vivid, realistic picture of future satisfaction – so vivid and appealing that he or she can’t wait to grab your pen and sign the order. That’s what selling is all about. People don’t buy product or services – they buy the expected satisfaction of using and owning them. Paint a picture of each prospect’s satisfaction at the start of your presentation and keep it up till the order is signed. Don’t talk in terms of product advantages, talk in terms of future satisfaction – until your prospect can see it, feel it, and taste it.

To believe with certainty, we must begin with doubting.

Ever come across an article about your product or a similar product in a trade journal or newspaper? Cut it out, have it laminated with plastic, and carry it with you to show to prospects or clients. If the article talks about the product in positive terms, it will help reinforce your sales presentations. If it points out negative aspects as well, use it to show how your product differs or how the product has been changed to eliminate those problem areas. If you want to include copies of the article with the literature you give to clients, write to the publisher and ask for reprints of the article. They’re often printed with the masthead of the publication across the top and make impressive pieces to leave behind.

Scientists estimate that the average person’s impression of the world is 87 percent visual. Hearing, taste, touch and smell make up the other 13 percent. What this means is that salespeople can’t afford to concentrate solely on the verbal aspects of their presentations. If they do, they won’t be making the most of their product or service.

It’s not the words alone, but the total picture you and your company present to a prospect that counts. This includes the attitudes, actions, and visual impressions made by everyone who contacts the prospect. Take the way you handle your product, for example. If you take worn, dusty samples out of an old battered sample case and dump them casually in front of prospect, what kind of impression are you making? Obviously the prospect won’t think much of your wares if you treat them with disrespect. On the other hand, if you treat your company’s products as if they had great value, you’re more likely to instil that feeling in the prospect.

Everything the prospects “see” has a tremendous effect on them, consciously or unconsciously. This includes your appearance, the quality of your presentation materials, your briefcase, the pen you give them to sign the order with, and the cleanliness of your car when you take them for a ride, the smile or the frown on your face. The top salespeople in every field take pride in their products, their company, and themselves. And they reflect this pride in everything they do, visually as well as verbally.

They also do everything they can to show prospects the benefits they can expect from using their products. The salespeople know that words are not enough. If you want your customers to think your products and services are valuable, you have to treat them that way, every chance you get. Don’t think people don’t notice these things. They do. And it will make a difference.

Most people don’t plan to fail – they fail to plan.

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

A famous teacher once said that if he saw a pupil in despair over his work he always gave him a higher mark than he deserved. The following week the student always made a higher mark himself.

In a poem “Ode to Retirement” by Len Ingebrigtsen, is this line: “The reason I know my youth is spent? My get and go and got up and went.”

Franklin Roosevelt started his career as a lawyer in New York. One of the first cases he was retained to represent was a particularly difficult civil suit. The opposing lawyer, a notable orator, did well in his pleadings before the jury. However, he made one big mistake: he talked on for hours.

Roosevelt, noticing the inattention of the jury, decided his strategy. When his tun came to sum up his client’s side of the case, he merely said: “Gentlemen, you have heard the evidence. You have also listened to my distinguished colleague, a brilliant orator. If you believe him and disbelieve the evidence, you will have to decide in his favour. That’s all I have to say.”
Within five minutes the jury returned. It had ruled in favour of Roosevelt’s client.

Somebody asked the owner of a small country store why he didn’t advertise. “Oh, I tried it once,” he replied, “but people came from all over and bought nearly all the bloody stuff I had.”

A leading business authority makes an interesting distinction between those in an organisation who have power and those who have authority.

Power, he says, is something earned, a sharpening of abilities and talents within the individual, generally over a long period of time. Authority, on the other hand, is something which is conferred on an individual. It usually accompanies a certain job level or position and can be withdrawn at any time. Not so with power. It is something you “give” yourself by making the most of your talents and abilities. Only you, therefore, can deny it. Authority, concludes this expert, is always insecure unless it is based on a real and positive power, that is, on ability.

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers – Voltaire.

What was I to be…

Like many kids, I too aspired to be a part of the armed forces, the Air force until the time I came to my O/Levels, that’s when I decided to be a doctor. However, a little later after speaking to a friend’s father who was a doctor, I decided to pursue engineering as a career. Why? Well uncle said “prioritize your life…If your personal / family life is the lead, then the medical profession is not for you”. I analyzed myself, and yes I prioritized.

Later, I developed a passion for electrical engineering, and since I wasn’t able to meet the sky high merit for the chosen field, I had to opt for CS. A long story short … Eventually I land up… in HR 🙂

This is something I have always wanted to do. Career development, analysis, prognosis and diagnosis, solutions and counseling. So, how did I end up in a profession that was a true calling? I have absolutely no idea.

Just a matter of luck!

Dynamics of relations

Does our behavior in our personal relations affect how we behave in our professional relationships? Interesting question that just came to me.
I am thinking I should look up some research on the subject. For the moment, I am going to rely on my own experience. It seems true that most people apparently behave differently in their personal lives compared to their professional lives. However, if we were to probe deeper, we may be surprised to note that the inherent ethics and values are the same.
For instance, a person may not be in a position to be bossy at work, he may be very bossy and dominating at home thou. Now, this person may exhibit his bossy nature in a more subtle way at work. The trick would be to take note of such little things as stepping in front of a line and not excusing themselves. Generally it is small little things like this that give away the real values.