Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unemployment is an opportunity of a Lifetime

“Hunger is not the worst feature of unemployment; idleness is”. Author Unknown

In recent times, one of the most important issues in the world market has been that of unemployment. Each and every country and its people have been a victim of this issue and are struggling to somehow manage, survive and go through this extremely rough period. Experienced people are losing their jobs, the recently hired are being laid off and the already unemployed see negligible hope of being employed and going forward with their lives in a positive direction.

In these testing times, unemployment is arguably one of the toughest and depressive situations that one could ever experience. Only a person who goes through it knows how difficult and hard it is. It is a situation where people lose their identities, feel useless and fall to the lowest ebbs of depression.

Thomas Carlyle says,

“A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun”.

It is a time where there are financial losses, loss of an opportunity to gain more experience, loss of peace of mind, loss of extremely valuable time and most importantly, a loss of one’s sanity.
In these circumstances, people tend to lose hope to an extent where they start thinking that there is nothing left in their lives and this situation would remain forever. Therefore, to survive in such testing times is a huge challenge in itself where people not only need to have the right attitude and the right mindset in order to prevent the damage that this lean period brings but also to convert this into a positive aspect and to be taken as an opportunity of a lifetime. People need to act and take this life situation in their hands and do something that is beneficial for them in the long haul.

Having been through this horrid time myself, I know how tough it is. During my ordeal, I figured different ways through which this period can be passed with much more positivity and enthusiasm. Let us see what some of the different things there are that we can do to use this time constructively so that we can change and propel our lives in a positive and meaningful direction.

1. Give time to your family

First of all, this precious time that GOD has gifted you with must be utilized to the fullest and should be spent with your family as much as possible. Life is hectic and tough and we seldom get the time to spend quality time with our families and to show them our respect, love and affection. Such times should be taken as a golden opportunity to let your loved ones know how much you love them.

2. Relax, Rejuvenate and enjoy your time

One should try to relax, take the time off and rejuvenate. Exercise, go for a walk, enjoy nature, observe the creations of GOD, energize yourself, sleep well, eat well and take care of your mind, body and soul. Refresh yourself and make up for all the stress you have been taking all these years while you have been working hard and providing for your families and for yourself. Enjoy the pleasures of life and be thankful.

3. Improve existing skills

Take the time to learn and improve your existing skills. Use the time to cover up your weaknesses. Attend seminars and workshops, learn computer skills, practice and improve languages, complete distant academic courses and refresh the existing skills. Once you utilize this time to the best of your abilities, you would be able to put them to use and in practice as soon as you get your feet into a new challenge. The hard times will not remain forever and these skills will take you a long way, personally as well as professionally.

4. Indulge in healthy activities

Pursue your passion and play a sport that you have always wanted to learn. Maybe you have lost touch of the sport you had loved in school and never got the time to pursue once you got into your practical life. Fall in love with that sport all over again, be a kid, enjoy the little successes and feel proud of your skills and abilities. I assure you, it feels great.

5. Conduct a SWOT analysis of your life

Carry out a SWOT analysis of your life. Map out on a piece of paper, all the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats that you have in your life. Use the strengths and opportunities to your benefit and work towards reducing and gradually eliminating the weaknesses and threats that you feel will hinder your progress and will become road blocks in your life.

6. Create a Life Plan

Use this time to decide what you want in life. Decide, plan, develop an action plan, see, believe and you are well on your way. As the great people say, ‘Seeing is Believing’. Once you know what you want to achieve in life, you automatically know what needs to be done in order to achieve your goals and your wants. Design your life and develop smaller goals, the attainment of which will lead to your larger goals in life. Slowly work towards your goals one by one and a day will come when you would have finally reached your goals and that sense of achievement will give you the contentment, fulfillment and satisfaction that you would never have experienced in your entire life.

7. Find your spiritual self

Get close to your GOD, find your spiritual self and move in a direction that will do you good in the present world and the world hereafter. Use this time to pray, to contemplate, to think, to thank and to talk to GOD. Believe me, you go one step towards GOD and GOD will come 10 steps towards you. You will differentiate between right and wrong, you will have a clearer conscience, you will be happier, your mind, body and soul will be at peace and you will discover a whole new side of yourself that you had never known.

8. Discover the purpose of your life

Everyone human being has been sent on earth to accomplish a certain purpose in life. Discover that purpose of your life, ask the questions, look for the answers, work towards your purpose and I am sure you will accomplish the purpose you have been designed to accomplish.

9. Work on your personal development

Like professional development, one must also work on continuous personal development. This is a development and improvement that should never stop at any stage of life. This is a process that should go on until the end of life. Strive to live a balanced life, balance all the aspects of life and remember that there is always room for improvement no matter how good you are.

10. Keep looking for better opportunities

Last but not the least, keep looking for better opportunities. Without your sincere efforts and hard work in anything you do in life, you will not reach your destination. You put in the effort and GOD will take care of the rest. Believe in GOD and the world shall be yours.

The above mentioned points are not by any means the be all and end all of discovering life. There is a lot more to it. It is different for different people and personalities and it is your job to find ways that will best be of benefit to you and your well being.

So keep working hard, keep a positive mind set, look for good in the bad, the positive in the negative, opportunity in the difficulty, light in the dark and you shall convert catastrophe into harmony. GOOD LUCK!

Creating Balance is Creating Success

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony”. Thomas Merton

One of the most important aspects of our existence is having a balance in life. It is common sense that creating and maintaining a balance in anything we do is extremely important. However, this is rarely the case. Life is tough, hard, hectic and busy where everyone is running after their own set of goals, desires and wishes. No one has time for their friends, their families, their own selves and even their GOD. Everyone has their auto pilot switched on and they just keep on going on and on until it is too late to realize what they have missed out on.

It is only after the damage is done that we become aware of what has been missing and what we have been neglecting all throughout our lives. Therefore, it is important that we identify the areas of life that need to be taken care of. Once these areas have been identified, we then set our targets and see where our strengths and weaknesses lie. It is essential that we know what needs to be done and then it is our duty to be conscious of these facts and implement them in our daily lives. You will see that once we start doing all the right things, it gives us major confidence as we feel complete as human beings and improve and prove ourselves better then our surroundings. Our target should always be to become better and superior at whatever we do in life.

It is important to note that all areas of our lives are interconnected and interwoven. If one aspect of our life is neglected, it will affect another aspect of our life and therefore, the balance will be broken. It is more like a table standing on 4 legs. Even if one leg is damaged or broken, the whole table loses its balance and is useless. Similar are our lives.

Haider Al-Mosawi’ writes: “You can advance your career by having good social connections and you can enhance your family life by having good health and vitality.”

“Your family life can also suffer if you are neglecting your health and live in a state of exhaustion.”

There are different aspects of life that need to be balanced. You can also depending on your preferences and priorities change the order of these or even reduce or add more aspects to better understand and better control your lives. I have personally divided the aspects of my life into 10 divisions. These include the following:

1. Health & Fitness
2. Mental development and Education
3. Work, Career and Finances
4. Home & Family
5. Social Life and Relationships
6. Life Purpose and Contribution
7. Character, Integrity, Ethics and Virtues
8. Daily Habits and Routines
9. Emotional Control and Development
10. Spiritual and Personal development

Looking at the above, we see that these divisions more or less cover all aspects of our lives. In order to simplify life, we only need to focus on these 10 factors. The lesser the aspects the easier it is to simplify life. Even if you add more aspects, those will more or less always fall under the above categories so it is better to stick to less yet cover every aspect.

To start off with, attach a certain percentage to each and every of the above aspects. For example, think what level of accomplishment you want to reach in every aspect and where you stand at present. If you are satisfied you can give 90% satisfaction in that area and if you feel that you have not quite reached there yet, you can maybe say 50%.

Once that’s done, you know which areas you are satisfied with and which areas need improvement. Then slowly we need to start working on the aspects that are not right. As we commence balancing the rest of the components of our lives, they help in achieving even better results in the other components. We start to feel that our life is under better control and we feel comfortable and confident within ourselves. We start performing better at work, our behavior with colleagues and family improves dramatically, we are relaxed as our guilty conscience has a sudden relief and we start to have more confidence in our way of life. All this gradually converts into a calmness and peace within our minds and soul. This positivity and change takes us in a constructive direction and ultimately has a huge effect on our overall happiness, success and helps us enhance our life to an altogether higher level.

We all need goals and a particular direction in life. We need to have these goals created in all the different aspects. We have certain major goals to attain and then we develop smaller steps, actions and achievements that will combine together to help us obtain the final goal.

Personally, taking the above mentioned components into consideration, the smaller goals that will help me reach my final goals include things like, I need to exercise daily and reach a certain weight by a certain deadline. Similarly I have my goals mapped out as to what education I want, what skills I want achieve, what financial status I need to obtain, how I want to treat my family and what kind of relationships I want to have with them, my social life, my purpose of life (like contributing to the world through my writing and by helping the poor), the way I want to live my daily life, the principles and virtues I want to live by, the character I want to have, the closeness I want to have with my GOD and the improvement that I constantly need to make every day to make my life a life worthwhile.

When assessing my life, I assess my day. When I see that my day includes work, learning and development, health, 3 healthy meals, prayers, social life, time for hobbies and my passions, my family, friends, daily routine and chores, my spiritual and personal development and that all these components are carried out with integrity, honesty, values, ethics and good character, it gives me the greatest pleasure in the world to know that I am striving to live a balanced life and once this much needed balance is obtained, everything starts to fall in place. I will finish by quoting the following quote that summarizes the whole message.

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them”. Thomas Kinkade

Achieving Targets

Life goes on unabated without let or hindrance, be it good or bad. We grow from infancy to adolescence to youth to middle age and then comes old age and eventual departure. There is no stopping and the vagaries of time are known to all and sundry.

As is known that we need to plan our lives because if we do not have a plan then it is a life devoid of direction, a life tending to go haywire which can lead in any way, a way good or bad. In order to have a direction we require to have a purpose, an aim and an eventual target in mind.
Once we decide what our target in life is and which way we want to move then it becomes a bit easy for us to make plans, to take decisions, to analyze our weaknesses and strengths as then they are all geared towards achieving a certain target.

Planning, working and eventual achievement of this achievement can be difficult, but once you have prepared yourself, done your planning and since everything is now directed in a given direction, things should start falling in place, but do they? No, they don’t fall in place as pieces of puzzle, things become complicated and you get frustrated, dejected and stressed as things are not working out the way you had planned. We have all heard the saying “ Man proposes, God disposes.”

Bearing the above scenario in mind, we have a plan gone berserk; we are lost and are not beginning to lose direction. In all these happenings, beyond our control, we start losing sight of our eventual target, as we get involved in damage controls whereas we should have done and taken care of issues earlier under the surmise of preventive measures, but again, what are we, mere pawns in the wheel of this great universe are.

Given our frustrations, disappointments and stresses, we continue to struggle, we do not give up and we continue trying to make things work according to plan. Here is where we go wrong!
We are ignoring the basic necessity of a plan and this is to make adjustments as you go on. No plan is fool proof, you need to reassess, step back, review and adjust. Or in other words, show flexibility; never ever forget the eventual aim that we started with. If we do not adjust, we will keep on getting frustrated, stressed out and we will start thinking negatively, which will affect all parts of our life, including our personal and family life. The fault lies not with the plan, but with us, as we forget the target, get involved in problem solving and refuse to be flexible and make adjustments.

We should take cue out of the way a river flows. It has a target to fall into the sea from its original point of origin. In order to achieve its aim, it goes around cities, mountains, forests, thus making its own way. If it does not, it will destroy forestation, flood land and make it useless, destroy human life and habitat. The river achieves its aim by being flexible and not by being stubborn and obstinate.

We should act the same way, by being flexible, ready to make adjustments and not to get stuck with a given plan. The aim and target should always be kept in mind because that is the ultimate goal.

This will help us in achieving the end result we desired, whatever they may be and not get stressed, fatigued and frustrated if things do not go according to plan. Let us be innovative, flexible and ready for all eventualities as the ultimate is having your cake and eating it too.
Having said and explained the benefits of being flexible in our planning, I would like to mention here that this trait is a very valuable trait if one can set aside his or her ego. Flexibility can be applied to anything we do in everyday life.

I have always tried to be flexible in my life as this was one of the first lessons taught to me by my father when I was still a child. I did not comprehend it in the beginning, nor as I grew up. I was strong willed and felt that the world was at my feet. I was good at everything I did; in studies, in sports, debates etc. at school and high school. I felt that I could do anything I want, the way I want, but then things started to happen in the opposite of what I had planned and foreseen. This lead to me getting depressed initially, then I decided to fight and more of these helped as I started to get rebellious and argumentative leading to further problems. All this started to affect my personality, behavior and my general outlook, then I returned towards God and suddenly I recalled what my father had told me when I was still a kid; I remembered “Flexibility”.

I began to think of ways to get out of my situation, continued and enhanced my contact with God and tried to be flexible and reasonable. As time went by I started to notice my different approaches starting to work and the jigsaw pieces started to fall in place and eventually I sorted out my problems and issues.

Going by hindsight, I now realize that I was wrong in trying to bulldoze my way as I kept coming up against one hurdle after another, leading to stress, depression, rebelliousness. How wrong all that was, I realize now. Had I shown flexibility in the beginning, I would have been spared all the anguish and pressure. I have learnt my lesson, but the hard way.

Let us take cue out of my own personal experiences and move towards making adjustments and being flexible as these will help in achieving our end goals as that is what we strive for and that is what counts in the end.

Positive Attitude is the Key to Success

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you”. Brian Tracy

When we observe our surroundings, the environment and the people living within and around us, we learn that the world is a difficult place to live. It is not an easy task for anyone on this earth to survive and live a peaceful life. Wherever we see we find people struggling and fighting each day and each moment in order to achieve their goals and to be successful. Every human being has their set of problems and difficulties which they are trying to overcome in order to obtain what they are striving to obtain.

This constant struggle and all the obstacles that occur at every step we take become a huge cause of depression and people tend to lose heart. Then the only way to go ahead is to just keep persevering with the tasks at hand so that you could progress and finally achieve what you have set your foot out for and not leave anything half way through. At this moment, the power and force that drives us is our attitude. A positive attitude is something that makes or breaks a person. If you have a positive outlook on life, you will always look at the positive side of things.

Looking for the positives in everything you do and see will ensure that you are content and happy and live a life full of optimism and hope. Hope is of course what we all live by as no one knows what GOD has kept in store for us. Therefore, there is absolutely no use being negative and spreading the negativity around. By doing this we will not only damage ourselves but also damage our surroundings and the people we are related to in some way or the other.

Problems are there and they will remain there and will never go away. We will solve one problem and another one will arise, then another and another. This is a cycle that will continue throughout our lives until we live. Therefore, it is important that we face this life and the difficulties that arise with a positive attitude and with good will and enthusiasm. It is all about how we view the world. When things are not going good and everything seems messed up, it is only our positive attitude that keeps us going and ensures us that it is just a phase that will pass.

Thomas Jefferson says:

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

It is actually all about our mindset. If we decide that everything is good and look for the positives, we will find that things are actually great. Similarly, if we want to see all negative, then we would find negatives and discrepancies in even the positive things in life. Hence, it is important to keep a positive mindset and outlook on life.

Kahlil Gibran says:

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens”.

What needs to be done has to be done. We can either choose to do it with an unthankful and ungrateful attitude or we can do it with a smile on our face, but we have to do it in either case. Therefore, the obviously right way to go about it is to do it in a positive light and with the hope that this hard time will pass and everything will be sorted out eventually. We just need to be patient, wait for the right time and believe in our GOD.

There is a famous saying that states:

“Seeing someone happy does not mean that everything in his/her life is perfect. Rather he or she has chosen to overlook the imperfections in their life”.

That is exactly the way how one should go about life. Humans are imperfect and therefore the world is imperfect and this is something we should learn early in our lives. If we do not accept this fact and keep getting depressed and angry about what people or external factors do to us, it will all eventually lead to total depression and total disaster.

We cannot control others and we cannot change others. The only thing that we can control and change is our attitude. Once we alter our own attitude, the world all of a sudden looks a rosy place and everything seems to fall into place.

As human beings, we need to learn to be thankful and happy in all situations. No matter what the circumstances, we should always give it our best shot and should try to see things in a positive light. Positivity literally takes all the unhappiness, pain and negativity away from our life. We always have a choice. There is nothing in this world that happens to us without our will and desire. If we feel good, it is because we chose to feel good and if we feel bad, it is because that’s the way we want to feel.

Similarly, attitude is a choice that we need to make. We can choose to alter our attitude towards positivity or negativity and all that happens to us is because of us only. We cannot blame anyone else for the way we feel and the way we see the world. All that really matters is the fact that we give it our best shot and should not have any regrets.

So please, keep a positive attitude on life, work hard towards your goals and keep the positive attitude going under all circumstances. Eventually, we will all reach our destination and achieve our desired goals and the world will be a much better place.

In the end, there is one absolutely brilliant saying that sums up everything:

“"Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellow man, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God.” William A. Ward

Friday, May 1, 2009

PARENTS: A Gift to be Cherished Forever

Your parents, they give you YOUR life, but then they give you THEIR Life. Chuck Palahiuk

It feels weird, sad, awkward and increasingly depressing when we see the world and the surroundings we are living in. Where is all the love and respect disappearing? Let alone the strangers we meet everyday, we do not even have any respect for our parents any more. These are the people who brought us in this world and it is horrifying to see the distress the parents of today are going through.

From the day we are born, parents spend their lives trying to bring up, nourish, teach and develop their children into the greatest human beings they can possibly make them. They do whatever is in their hands to see that the needs of their children are met. Parents make unconditional sacrifices and give up their lives for us.

When we are young, parents sacrifice their sleep and rest. They are the first ones to wake up and the last ones to go to sleep. They are focused only on one goal, to provide for their children. They go through continuous hard work all day just to make sure that they have done everything for their children, from giving us food and shelter, to teaching us how to prepare for the world, to teaching us how to prepare for judgment day, to teaching us how to be a good citizen and most importantly, how to be great human beings.

Parents do all this not to get any benefit from their children, but only with the hope and belief that their children will become pious, educated, and respectful to their parents, useful to their family, society, country and a living example of success.

You see, we leave our beloved parents heartbroken every single day of our lives. When we hurt our parents, we are actually hurting ourselves. Who in the world is crazy enough to do harm to themselves? Taking into consideration the love they have given us, have we ever for a moment thought what they have been through to make us happy? Are we grateful for what they have done for us? Have we shown them our gratitude? Unfortunately, instead of loving them back, respecting them, being grateful and showing gratitude, we have always been complaining, blaming and hurting them. By refusing to choose a positive attitude and thinking that whatever they have done for us is to restrict us in one way or the other is the biggest mistake of our lives.

We forget that parents are the ones who have taught us the meaning of life; they have taught us how to live this life and lead a life of contentment. They are the ones who have given us everything, from A to Z. Yet, we are ungrateful and disrespectful towards them. We do not even pay heed to what they have to say and take them for granted. Is this humanly possible? How can we be so cruel & shrewd?

It is our moral responsibility to take care of our parents. We should make sure that we be good human beings as whatever we do in this world reflects upon our parent’s personalities and their upbringing. Listening to and obeying your parents is the only way we can show our parents that we really love them and care for them. It is a way to show them that their precious time that they have spent in making us great human beings has not gone in vain and they have been successful. This is all they want from us and we should do everything in order to assure this to them.

Personally, I make sure that I think of my parents while doing anything in daily life. Even though I have been away from them for a few years now and do not have their watchful eye over me, I think how my parents would feel or react if I did a certain thing and they knew about it. I do it if I feel my parents would be happy and I don’t if I feel the other way round. This way, I make sure that I do the right thing in whatever I do, which is first of all, of benefit to me and secondly, it makes them the proudest parents when they come to know and realize that their child cares for them and has so much respect for what they want you to be in life.

No feeling in the world is as great as the one which we get when we act in accordance to our parent’s wishes and desires. One feels on top of the world when a child’s parents are happy. When your parents are happy and satisfied with you, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks, does or says. Parents are everything that matters.

We are in insurmountable debt when it comes to the amount of unconditional love we have received from our parents. We cannot even repay one minute of their lost sleep that occurred as they were caring for us, let alone a life long duration of continuous sacrifices that they have made for us.

Parents are the Angels of our lives and we should make sure that we do our best to make them happy, fulfill their desires and their wishes. Without respect for ones parents, a human being’s life is meaningless and whatever success he may have achieved in life is of no value if the people who brought him in this world are not happy. Parents are a gift of GOD who are to be cherished forever. There is nothing we can do to repay them. The least we can do is to respect them, love them and live our lives according to their wishes.

I dedicate the following poem to my beloved parents, as this special month brings their 28th Wedding Anniversary. May they live long and may their huge shadow of love and protection always remain with us. Amen

Dear Parents,

God has already blessed me

For having parents like you
Which makes me want to live my life
All the way through
I would like to say a prayer
For you to always know
How much I care for you
Which sometimes I never show
I'll for always love you
For taking care of me
I'll forever remember the few
Who aren't so lucky
You have taught me so much,
That so little I know
That will help all the way through my life
Your advice will never go
Thank you for what you have done for me
Thank you for what you have made me see
Although sometimes I don't agree
I have come to realize
That your words are like a guarantee

Author Unknown

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life is like a Railway Station

What is life? What is the purpose of life? What are we here for? Why were we sent? I am sure that we have all asked this questionin our lives, around or within ourselves at some stage or phase of life or the other. This is an extremely deep quest that manypeople are in search of but seldom find.

Leaving aside the first few years of life when we have no clue orrecollection of what is happening or why it is happening, the moment one starts to realize starting from minor memories of Pre-school, then kindergarten to school to college to university, it has been one struggle after another. This includes parental & peer pressure, cultural pressure, educational excellence or otherwise, sports and competing in all areas with others. Then comes the search for a suitable job and it starts all over again, learning, competing and excelling in whatever you do or try to do, then marriage, kids, helping kids grow, look after their futures, save money at the same time for your own old age and hoping to leave some for the children and this struggle continue still we leave this world. In between we do get periods of relief, enjoyment and happiness at our achievements, our excellence and relaxation during vacations. This is of course coupled with periods of disappointment, loss and dejection. It seems that itis useless as it is a struggle all the way.

In order not to generalize, this is the pattern of most people around the world until and unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth but then these people have their own set of issues, difficulties and problems.

The main purpose of saying all this is the fact thatachievements, satisfaction, contentment, challenges, problems, disappointments and obstacles are all part of every human beings life. These have to occur at different stages no matter what. These are things that will happen even if we don't do anything to make them happen. It is all part of a normal life and that is how life goes on. What we need to understand is the fact that we need to make our lives different from these normal lives. We need todo something different in life and contribute to the world we live in. I am not saying that we should not do the above, but weshould add something even more valuable. Something that is different, worthwhile and beneficial in the long term, even afterdeath.

I have tried to think out of the box and keep religion out of the discourse, but this is not always possible as the main basis of life boils down to your belief in your GOD. We are created in God's image and bear a strong relationship with Him. Being in this relationship is the only thing that will satisfy our souls. We have done many noble deeds in our lives but did we do what we were designed for, what are we designed for.? Only God knows butsince we are created in His image we are designed to do good.

As the saying goes:

'True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness'. Albert Einstein.

What we need to do is that we identify a greater purpose in life then just living it like every other human being does. We need to live life consciously and act in a way that it benefits humanity and indulge in life purposes that prepare you for death and the life thereafter.

In the topic of this particular article I say that, 'Life is likea Railway station'. What do I mean by this? I mean to say that when we come to a stop at a railway station, we do not stop and start decorating our waiting rooms, but, we prepare for our final destination. Similarly, life is a waiting room and our final destination is yet to be reached, that is the life hereafter. We need to prepare ourselves for that and not have ALL ourconcentration on fulfilling our desires and wishes.

How we prepare for it depends on our personalities, qualities, talents, the opportunities and the resources that we have access to. We need to identify how we can best give back to this world given our strengths and limitations. We can do social service, help the poor and needy, preach, give charity, be a teacher and give knowledge to the future generations, write articles and books providing valuable life changing advice and food for thought, protecting our country, protecting our family, loving our family, living life in the way of God and what not. The list just goes on and on.

It is up to us to identify what we are capable of doing and howwe can bit by bit, contribute to the world and give back something valuable. We can only say that we have lived a life of purpose when you leave a mark and people remember you after you have left this world.

If we analyze, all this good can only be done through realization of goodness and righteousness and this comes only by being close to your God. Since God is perfect, we are supposed to be perfect and we have been created to implement that perfection, that is, a world without hunger, hatred, war, illness, ignorance and depression. A world full of nourishment, love, peace, health, knowledge and joy. A world, that, not only reflects God's goodness but His pureness, too. Have we done that? We have not, unfortunately and instead of creating and living by God's mandate we have lived and continue to live with our desires and do not try and mirror God's infiniteness but reflect our own limitation's.

So let's work together to make this home of ours, the Earth, a heaven by working towards making it a place reflective of God Almighty's goodness and make it our purpose in life instead getting bogged down in our own mundane day to day activity.

Let us contribute towards making this world a better place tolive for all of us by sharing, living conscientiously, courageously, to resonate with love and compassion, to awaken the great sprits within others and ourselves and to finally leave this world in peace and a better place for those who will follow, not only among our near and dear ones but spread God's goodness that is reflected in us to every corner and to everyone.

Let us reflect God's image as it should be by reaching to him andnot the one we have created for ourselves of war, hunger, illnesses and strife. This, to me, is our purpose in life other than our self-serving interests necessary to survive in this world.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What You Can Do to Improve Yourself

The importance of doing well in life cannot be denied. Everyone has been given a life and everyone exists but the main difference between the way you live your life and the way others do it is to live a fulfilling and content life. At the end of the day, when you look back at your life, you should be able to see it in a positive light and should be satisfied with the fact that you did whatever you could to make it worthwhile.

How can you make sure that your life was well lived? Well, to determine that, you do not need to wait for your life to pass by in front of your eyes and not realize what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. You need to slow down a bit and analyze all the happenings in your life. It is actually a SWOT analysis of your life. You remember how we studied the SWOT analysis in that case study we did in school. There we were analyzing our business. Why were we analyzing our business? So that we could identify our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and once we had done that, we knew where we stood and what needed to be done to improve the business.

Similarly, in order to improve ourselves, we need to identify the strengths that we possess, the weaknesses that hinder our progress, the opportunities that give you the hope to move forward towards contentment and the threats that we face in our lives. Once this is done, like our business we are also in a position to better understand our life and then we can plan accordingly as to what needs to be done to improve our life.

I attempted to do exactly the same thing with my life. I was going through a rough phase where things were not going right and negative thoughts and feelings were arising too often for my liking. Although this is all but natural, I decided that I need to take life into my own hands. As mentioned above, once I had conducted a SWOT analysis of my life, I had a much clearer view of where I stood. Identifying the positive part first, the strengths & opportunities, to my surprise it actually opened my eyes as to the innumerable number of strengths that I possessed personally and the several opportunities I was blessed with. This acted as a catalyst that boosted my self confidence to a higher level altogether.

Next, when I went through my weaknesses and the threats that I faced I discovered that these were things that actually had solutions. I mean, they were so minor as compared to my strengths and opportunities that I started thinking that it wasn't all that hard and these were just minor kinks in my armory that needed to be fixed in order to function to the maximum level.

Believe me, once you go through this brain storming process, you will feel a lot better when you discover the amount of positives GOD has blessed us with. My father always gives this example that like a piece of cloth we also have wrinkles in our personality and these wrinkles can always be ironed out. So it is not such a big deal. You are not actually as bad as you think you are and all you need to do is to iron these wrinkles and drive them out of your personality. Sure it takes persistence and perseverance to do the same but it happens, provided you have the desire and will. So, I set out to fix these kinks in my armory, the wrinkles in my personality, I stuck to the task and was well on my way and I still am.

Over a prolonged period of our life time we do certain things which are either right or wrong. When we keep on doing the same thing over and over again, it actually becomes a habit and a major part of our personalities.

Therefore, it is not all that easy to get rid of the negatives all at once and requires most importantly realization, a conscious effort and the desire and will to accomplish what you have set out for. If you do not fully believe in what you want you would not be able to do justice to yourself and therefore, we first need to believe ourselves that these things need to be corrected. Once that's done, you are ready to give it your 200% and will see that you succeed in it.

One of the major things that I wasn't all that happy about with myself was my spirituality. I was dissatisfied with the fact that I didn't pray regularly, I had lost my connection with GOD and as a result I figured that my faith was becoming weak. When you lose faith, you can't face life with all the force you should face it with. One of the important ways of improving ourselves is by getting rid of the bad habits and establishing new ones. I had attempted to break my bad habits several times before as well but I always ended up doing it for a few days and then I was back to square one. This time I finally figured that in the beginning self discipline was the key. Once you stick to a task through self discipline for some time, it eventually automatically becomes a habit. I identified why I wanted to establish the good habits and what benefit it would give me and then used my true desire and will power to tell myself that I had to stick to each task at any cost. I had the desire, belief and motivation and that helped me fight my inner self and the evil devil within me telling me to fall for my shallow wishes and desires. It was a bit daunting in the beginning but once I decided to be patient and persevere, I succeeded and it has been months ever since and I am proud to say that I have stuck to the task in hand and am succeeding beyond my expectations.

I kept a constant track of my progress. When I saw the positive results and the difference it made to my life, I just kept on getting more and more motivated and this constant motivation has helped me develop the new habits and they are fast becoming a part of my personality. Everyone sees the difference and are most appreciative and at the end of it all, you succeed at your goals, are happy and content with yourself and keep moving in a positive direction ensuring that we achieve even higher heights and this ultimately results in eternal confidence and satisfaction making the world look a lot more beautiful.

I have done it and now it is your turn to do it. Let your creative and positive juices flow and see how your sincere desire, belief and motivation makes you the King of your world.

Try it and let me know. Good Luck!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Designing Life: Strategy for Life

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are that you will fall into someone else’s life plan. And guess what they have planned for you? NOT MUCH!
Jim Rohn

I have experienced and seen this throughout my life and have recently started to seriously wonder how people cannot have a plan for life. It is astonishing to say the least but, living a life without a plan or even without the slightest of ideas as to what you want to make of it, is literally like a blind person walking in the middle of a busy highway. Sooner or later, you are bound to get hit and suffer the consequences.

It is of paramount importance that one identifies the most significant and important aspects that encompass one’s life. There are several things we need to keep in mind. These may include your education, career, health, family, social life and personal development to mention a few. We will talk about these as well as other aspects of life in more detail in another article but first we need to identify the importance of designing and planning your life. Remember, it is your life and only you know how you want to live up to this great gift given to us by GOD. So make the most of it and do not let it go to waste. We are only going to end up with regrets later. It is always better to live a life of purpose and with your own aspirations rather then to let it go about blindly and later cry over spilt milk.

So, let us see and try to work out what the real benefits and drawbacks of having a life plan are and what the consequences might be if you do not have one at all.

Benefits of having a strategy for Life

Focus on Goals & Life: You will have goals for your life and a central point to focus on. This will result in you not falling for the petty worries and unimportant issues in life that so many of us have fallen into without reaping any rewards or any sort of satisfaction from them. You will live a balanced life and with focus on goals and life, you will see yourself where you want to be and seeing it is half the job done.

Direction: A life plan reassures you and keeps you conscious to the fact that you take care that you are on the right track at all times and even if you are not at some stage, you know what you need to do to set things right. You know exactly what needs to be done to achieve what you want to achieve.

Discipline: A designed life plan will ensure that you are disciplined and are living by solid and concrete principles. Hence, you become an unforgettable example for the world.

Accomplishment of Dreams: When you have a focus, you move forward and you move in the right direction. Moving in the right direction means achieving the real purpose and accomplishing your dreams.

No Regrets: You would have lived a life which was chosen by you and was not out of mere coincidence or directed by someone else. Your life would be yours and would have been lived according to your will and desire. This will lead to contentment in your efforts and would be a life without regrets. At least you chose it and you lived it the way you wanted to.

Happiness & Contentment: When you have finally accomplished and achieved your goals, it is going to result in the ultimate peak of satisfaction with life and that is all what we are living our life for, Happiness & Contentment! This happiness would be in the present life as well as in the life hereafter.


Thinking of the drawbacks, I really can’t think of too many drawbacks except one major one, and that is the fact that things might not go according to plan. What fun would life be if everything went according to plan? Having said that, you would at least have a direction in life if nothing else.

See, we plan a trip, a wedding and even an uneventful day in our lives but we are never sure if it is going to be the way we plan it to be. This doesn’t mean that we do not plan. We do the best we can and have no choice other than to leave the rest to destiny. This drawback is too insignificant compared to the benefits. I say it is worth taking the risk and giving yourself at least a chance to live the life that was lived on purpose and was lived consciously.

As the common saying, ‘MAN proposes GOD disposes!’

So what happens when you live a precise, designed and planned life? When you plan, you plan good and you plan big and you live it consciously. When you do that, you will most probably then not, achieve it and even if you don’t, you would be remembered for the way you lived. With discipline, dignity and principles! Therefore, leaving an example for others to live by and we would have lived according to our wishes, we would be satisfied, our family would be proud of us and most importantly our GOD would be proud of us. We all would be the ultimate winners! Hence, we prosper in the world and also in the world that awaits us after death.

But remember, the plans need to be realistic. Having wild plans that are not practical and not realistic is almost always going to lead you to disaster.

Hotelier of the Future

Welcome to my Professional Career!

I’ll briefly introduce myself to you so that you can get to know me a bit better। I am a 23 years old guy, born on October 18th, 1985 in Lahore, Pakistan. I have graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management from the ‘Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS)’, Leysin, Switzerland, one of the Top 10 Hotel Schools of the World. I completed my dissertation in Destination Marketing.

I have lived most of my life in the Middle East and attended high school (H.S.S.C) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I received my BTEC EDXCEL Higher National Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Management from the 'Gulf College of Hospitality & Tourism Management' (GCHT), Kingdom of Bahrain and was the topper student for 2 consecutive years. I have completed a couple of internships from Bahrain as well.

Among my other achievements and accomplishments till date, I hold a European hospitality qualification; holder of the ‘Swiss Hotelier Certificate’ & ‘The Swiss Connoisseur Series’ and have also had a paper published in the Atlas HotelPlan Conference 2008, in Belgrade, Serbia. I am an associate of the ‘Institute of Hospitality’, United Kingdom, the most prestigious hospitality organization in the world, a member of ‘Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’ (HSMAI), USA and ‘Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) Alumni’, Switzerland as well.
I have worked for International Hotel chains like ‘Starwood’ & ‘Rezidor Hospitality’ and was also among the Top 10 hotel graduates shortlisted from the Middle East for the ‘Starwood Vita Futura 2008’ program. I have lived in Europe, Middle East & South Asia and visited 5 countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, U.A.E (Abu-Dhabi & Dubai) & Switzerland. I love to travel and hope to see the world some day. I speak 6 languages including Urdu, English, Punjabi, Hindi and basic knowledge of Arabic and French.

'Following the Noble Path is like entering a dark room with a light in the hand; the darkness will all be cleared away, and the room will be filled with light।" May the path you follow light up your life and the lives of everyone you meet'.

Purpose of the Website: Discovering Life

“Dedicate your life to a set of principles.”

Welcome to my Den!

My name is Talha and as the title suggests, this is my den for life discovery, self discovery and personal development. It is an absolute pleasure to see you here and I am most grateful to you for taking out the time to visit my website. I have big plans for you as well as for myself which I am hopeful of achieving through the use of this highly effective avenue.

I hope to reach out to those people who are thoughtful, conscious of their surroundings and the world they live in and those who want to find the real purpose of life and want to do well in the real sense. We all are curious at some point in our lives as to why we exist? What we are here for? How to make the best use of it? How to succeed in life? How to succeed in the life hereafter? In short, how to be happy and content with life? Like you, I also am in a constant quest to learn what this life is about and ways to make the best use of it so that I can die with content or at least without any regrets.

Why I am I doing this? I have recently developed this urge and deep desire to be the best human being and citizen that I could possibly be. If I succeed in fulfilling this desire, I would be able to please my GOD, my parents, my family, myself resulting in success in life. I have always had the desire to be a considerate and decent human being and I have done that to a certain extent but this recent desire is much stronger and needs to be met with renewed spirit and energy in order to reach the required level of satisfaction, contentment, happiness and success I hope to obtain.

I have always placed great emphasis on balance, on moral values, on principles and on good character and therefore, I have often found myself questioning others and thinking about the meaning of life, religion, philosophy, what constitutes a good human being, a good citizen and a good life.

Therefore, the aim of this website is to basically try and discover the different aspects of life and to successfully go through each phase of life as it progresses gradually and unfolds in front of us. Each day brings a new challenge that needs to be faced, that needs to be dealt with and that needs to be resolved. Through this blog, I wish to observe, think, ponder and constantly improve my understanding of how life works, working on my personal growth and development in every aspect of life and ultimately try to enhance self knowledge and identity.

This blog would cover a variety of themes, subjects or topics as you may call them including quality of life, life plan, life design, purpose of life, goal setting, principles, motivation, achievements and accomplishments, aspirations, positivity, education, career, finances, developing potential, relationships, habits and routines, moral values, ethics, character, transcending negative qualities, emotional intelligence (managing emotions) and spiritual development to mention just a few.

All in all it is an attempt at personal development, dealing with daily life that includes self development as well as methods, tools and techniques used to reach the highest human potential possible. Through this, I also wish to obtain purely personal benefit through the expression of my thoughts, saying things that I never said, things that people were not ready to listen to and except and the way I have always wanted to live my life.

Success in the above would result in the cleansing of the mind, body, heart, soul and the spirit!

As the famous quote,

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”