I was surfing the net when I got a Skype call from a friend in India. He said “Hi – I am driving and thought of connecting with you through Skype.” Last Thursday while driving on Emirates road I noticed a long line of vehicles ahead hence I decided to turn towards the city to avoid the traffic. Alas the situation was worse; the traffic had come to stand still. That’s when I realized the traffic in Dubai will continue to grow grim over the next few years. And there are numerous reasons contributing to Traffic jams and am sharing few of them:
Why Traffic jams:
- Population increase.
- Increase in number of vehicles on the road.
- Limitation of infrastructure to handle increase in traffic.
- Global events such as Expo 2020 and other regional events taking place in UAE are contributing towards increased movement of vehicle on DUBAI roads.
- More and more people using cars and not carpooling.
- People from other Emirates not encouraged using Metro services.
- Car owners not using Metro unless it connects direct office to residence.
What can Dubai government do to minimize traffic jams?
- Expand and build road infrastructure to support future growth.
- Develop a feeder Metro; bus and taxi services to connect main metro stations
- Restrict traffic on certain commercials zones.
- Restrict type of traffic or vehicles during certain time periods or days
- Support car pool services and make it simpler.
- Build multi-storied parking zones next to metro stations.
- Work with other Emirates to ease entry and exit choke points.
The traffic jam cost sweat equity in terms of man-hours lost. So what is the solution ? Well I am sharing my thoughts to minimize and add value to your time on the road and or tips to utilize your time when stuck in traffic jam.
- Identify a suitable less traffic time to travel such as leaving early from home to office and office to home.
- Use metro to reach faster and Fresh in Dubai
- Buy your groceries and essential items online to be delivered to your home. And save general purchase commute time.
- Cut down on Commute Time:
- Find residence next to your office.
- Use digital tools such as video conference for meetings.
- Replace onsite with online seminars and web events
- Identify convenient meeting places for business meetings in the city such as coffee shop or restaurants equipped with WIFI
- Things to do when in the car:
- Listen to audio program – Create your University in car
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Touch base with business and friends
- Utilize time to fix up meetings.
- Call on Radio Stations and participate in contests
- Practice breathing exercises – my favourite
- Practice Memory exercises
- Use time to plan your next day
- Set aside travel time for brainstorming new ideas – my favourite
Good luck on your road journey in Dubai
2013 is going down and 2014 is on the horizon. Hence it’s time to examine what did I learn and what do I expect from 2014. Having said that 2013 was a year of learning and I believe year 2014 would be an year of consolidation.
During the 2013 passage I learnt to accept risks and failures. Four deep and powerful messages I learnt were
- Every human engagement is an exchange. The challenge is to understand what is being given and what is being received. For example I met a person who thought she had nothing to offer – but on the flip side I learnt and enjoyed her storytelling, her slangs and her appetite for learning and good eating.
- 2nd most powerful message I learnt was that every day, yes daily I must add value to myself. And when you begin adding value you begin garnering respect from the people around. There is no powerful activity in the world but to gain structured and planned knowledge.
- 3rd powerful message I would like to share is – share your learning, the more you share more in-depth you understand the lesson. 2013 I shared my learning of Twitter, LinkedIn, Big Data and in the process learnt what I would have taken a life time to learn..
- 4th powerful learning “Always Give your best” – go the extra mile to give your best – to others and yourself. This is important and continue raising your bar – what is your best?
Having said that in this post I will share activities that make me HAPPY and may be you will benefit from modelling them. Share it; apply it and be HAPPY.
- Practice Smiling for 10 minutes after your get up in the morning
- Practice silent Laughter for 2 -3 minutes when you are driving.
- Practice Meditation for 20 minutes just before your lunch time.
- Every evening count and write your lessons for the day.
- Shake your body, bend arch and develop elasticity in your body.
- Begin visiting museums and forms of learning.
- Deliver on your commitments always.
- Look for the 5 best things in others.
- Perform conscious act of helping others.
- Watch baby laughter clips – Download from YouTube.
- Read an uplifting book once every month.
- Listen to an inspiring music or a song.
- Attempt what you have never attempted before.
- Introduce yourself to 5 Strangers preferably of opposite gender every week.
- Learn digital tools and automate your digital engagements.
- Daily allocate 30 minutes of your time to think about your family, hobby, job, Goals and Health.
- Gift books to others.
2014 what’s in store for you? You can PLAN, DECIDE and CONQUER
Confidence is your belief in yourself and nurturing it is a continuous process. Another important thing I would like to share is that lack of confidence is the biggest impediment in our growth be it school, University or work life. So it make Life sense to develop and nurture your self-confidence. I am sharing “18” tips to nurture your self-confidence, chose one activity a day and perform it to craft your “BURJ KHALIFA” in CONFIDENCE
- Smile and smile 200% more during the day
- Take up front row chair during a seminar
- Walk and sit straight – no slouching for the next 10 hours.
- Exercise your abdomen muscles for an hour today
- Introduce yourself to 10 strangers during the day
- Befriend the most intimidating person you always feared.
- Go help out 10 people around. It could be helping someone with their grocery bags, opening the door, extending meaningful advice, be creative.
- Take a different route to your work and back home. Dress different, eat different, socialize different and do everything different during the day.
- Go deliver a 5 minute speech in your office get together.
- Fake it till you make it – Think, Act and Speak confident. Your beliefs are your STRENGTH. Your beliefs are your Weakness. The dichotomy is the choice of your beliefs
- Practice eye contact: Increase the duration of your eye contact when talking to others and be the last to break the eye contact.
- Compliment 5 people at your work and then go on to compliment 5 more.
- Practice delivering 5 jokes among your colleagues
- Call up your “3” of your neighborhood supermarket and tell them how happy you are with their services.
- Don’t respond to questions or statements but ask question.
- Visit your neighborhood social organization and volunteer for free work.
- Organize a get together for 10 of your acquaintances and get to know them better.
- Ask for a “5” favours or request for help from “5” different people but not your family members.
Enjoy reading and practicing the tips.
This Friday morning I heard a project speech wherein the speaker mentioned few of the stalwarts who had sacrificed their comfort to comfort others. And in the process they had reached realms of immense respect and honour.
It always happens that few words lubricate your thinking and so was my thinking engine too. And a question popped into my mind. How can I help 10,000 people? Further is it feasible and how much time will it take me to achieve 10,000 milestone?
I set about thinking and defined my formula “WHAT CONSTITUTES HELP?”
- Listening to someone and offering words of support
- Opening or holding the door for a stranger
- Helping a stranger carry his overloaded arms with shopping bags
- Helping someone with directions
- Referring a stranger for a job
- Helping someone get up when they stumble
- Stopping your car to help someone change his car tyre
- Donating blood
- Distributing your old books to the labour camps
- Dropping someone to the hospital
- Helping a fellow passenger fill out immigration form.
- Distributing water bottles to the construction workers across your office
- Teaching blue collar worker people skills. ………………... The list could be endless and is only limited by our thinking.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge is to find people to help. And your 2nd challenge is to identify areas you can help. You have the blue print for your 2nd challenge and now begin finding 10,000 people 1 by 1 to help in next 20 year of your life. Is it feasible? Very much so.
What is your moment of Happiness?
The above two are powerful questions and your answer will differ from your neighbor, your colleague, your friend, your sibling. Because HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND. For some..
- Happiness is watching your favourite movie
- Happiness is accidently meeting your school friend after 20 years at a shopping mall.
- Happiness is finding parking space on the first attempt
- Happiness is getting up without an alarm and raring to go out
- Happiness is enjoying a fresh glass of orange juice
- Happiness is helping out your house boy write a letter to his family
- Happiness is wishing your parents happy Birthday
- Happiness is recovering your misplaced mobile phone in a Taxi
- Happiness is getting the best seat in the restaurant of your choice.
- Happiness is taking your loved ones out for dinner
- Happiness is posting your photograph on FB and getting 250 likes
- Happiness is reading newspaper early in the morning
- Happiness is spending time with yourself away from the noise pollution
- Happiness is leaving early from office to meet someone special
- Happiness is receiving a surprise call from your kids to say that they miss you
- Happiness is getting no traffic to reach your office.
Happiness is a state of mind and so is otherwise. Choice is yours
This morning when I switched on my computer, I promptly posted a quote “Confidence comes from failing and not fearing to fail. And thereafter I browsed through the FB posting of my connections. The most active FB connections had posted inspiring quotes and phrases on Love, happiness and Success.
When I rewind to my school days; what I recollect vividly is bunking hostel to eat aloo paratha in the dhaba next to Oberoi Hotel, blowing up crackers in the class room, throwing up invisible ink on the white uniforms of my class mates, being beaten up by the two un-friendly friends or eating Razma – Rice in the canteen. And I still romance those experiences.
Fast forward when I look at my library, the books stocked reflect topics such as Outliers, The message that stick, Blink, Tipping point, Thinking Big so on.
When I ruminate my early morning thoughts they were “how do I lose 2 more kg”; how do I motivate my son to ace his SAT; how can I make my daughter believe that what I said was a reflection of how much I love her?
Now this led me into deep thinking; yes deep thinking. None of my connections had posted anything on Algebra, Chemistry, Physics, Arts or Commerce. None of memories, early morning thoughts and library books reflected such topics. And when you come to think of it I spent 20 years of my life learning those subjects and I can hardly remember any of those chapters nor do they carry any significance in my life.
My objective of writing this post is to make you think what is wrong?
Greek Philosopher Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) identified five human senses; SIGHT, SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH, and HEARING. Each of the “5” senses are refined based on your experiences. Chef has a fine sense of taste, artist has a fine sense of sight, mother has a fine sense of touch and musician has a fine sense of hearing whereas perfume or coffee smellers have a fine sense of smell. You master sense that you often use. But what if we practice our senses consciously just the way we visit gym to develop our abs. Last fortnight I wanted to experience the senses and for the next 5 days practiced it; you too can replicate the experience.
Day # 1: SIGHT: Begin your day with an early morning walk just before the sun rise. Sit down relax watch sun rising. Closely see the plants, trees, leaves. In the evening switch off the TV volume and watch silent movie. Focus on visuals & consciously continue this ritual throughout the day closely observing things and people around.
Day # 2: SMELL: Begin your day with early morning walk just before the sun rise. Sit down, close your eyes and smell the ambience around. Practice deep breathing and consciously focus on sense of smell around your ambience.
Day # 3: TASTE: Begin your day with bed tea or coffee and enjoy the taste. Make time for your meals and enjoy the taste of every morsel you eat. Drink your food and eat your liquids.
Day # 4: TOUCH: Begin your day with early morning bare feet walk. Touch the plants, trees, leaves. Come back and hug your kids. Shake hands with energy and practice two hand clasping handshake.
Day # 5: HEAR: Begin your day with early morning walk just before the sun rise. Relax, close your eyes and listen to the sound bites around. Try to recognize the various sound bites. Listen to your favorite music and end your day with a soothing music.
Day # 6: Recollect what you Saw, Smelled, Tasted, Touched and Heard. And enjoy your gift of 5 senses.
Last Sunday I accepted an invitation for a full day seminar. During the lunch time a 7 course buffet was served. Audience crowded around the buffet table; people filled up their plate to the top and few snacked on the healthy food.
Buffet table and the diners around reflect our life. We are bombarded with so much information and distractions that we begin believing in filling our plate to the brim. And consequently we develop clutter in our life; clutter of INFORMATION (including TV time; Facebook time, Internet browsing time), clutter in THINKING, clutter in WORK, clutter in HEALTH and clutter in our FAMILY RELATIONS. And finally we are dull into mediocrity. The question is what activities will trigger your right brain thinking and motivate us to get out of the clutter mode. I am sharing few organic activities and there is no better time than your weekend time to begin the experiment. If you find change in yourself repeat it often.
- Practicing thinking your goals in PICTURES and visualize yourself achieving your goal. Time 15 minutes a day
- Begin conversation with yourself, questions yourself and demand answers. What is my goal in life; what activity gives me the greatest pleasure; what is the best use of my time now; what gives me the greatest high? The objective of this exercise is to find your sweet spot and repeat it often. Time 30 minutes a day
- Get up half an hour early and go for a 30 minute brisk walk around the park.
- Join Yoga or a Meditation group. Time 20 Minutes a day
- Lunch out with your family.
- Write a post card to your parents and tell them how much do they mean to you.
- Find four people to help, even holding a door for someone is help, giving a direction to hyper market or even helping your kid solve a math problem is a help.
- Attend an educational event on Meet up and introduce yourself to the group.
- Spend an hour deep reading a book on future Trends.
- Invest an hour on memory training.
- Invest two hours on your Hobby.
- Get in touch over phone with two of your friends that you have not called for over a month.
- Identify two people that you would like to express gratitude, call them up and tell them how they have impacted your life.
- Rearrange your reading table or your sitting room
- Go out for an hour walk in the evening and admire the beauty of your city in lights.
- Purchase inspirational picture, frame it and hang it in your study room.
- Identify a cause and spend time with less fortunate people. Use your creativity to identify their pressing skill or educational need and train them.
- Learn to create a video blog ( Youtube)
- Get out of the house: Visit an Art Gallery; visit a museum, go fly a kite. Prepare yourself to be out in the morning hours.
- Go on digital diet & disconnect for the next 12 hours – no phone, no TV; no computer.
Good luck and happy upcoming weekend.
For many centuries people believed that Sun revolved around the Earth. But in 1543 Nicolas Copernicus shattered the belief when he published papers that it’s the Earth that moves round the Sun. For many years people have believed and still believe that HAPPINESS follows SUCCESS; but research proves otherwise and says that SUCCESS is the shadow of HAPPINESS. If you are HAPPY, SUCCESS will find you.
Another research tracked success and happiness of nuns through their gratitude notes written before 1917 in their twenties. And found that sisters who were happy in their early years lived 10 years longer. Research also proves that happy people are less likely to take sick leave, they are more productive and creative. Happiness does not take much, in a controlled environment even a small candy given to kids made them perform better in maths test. (Candy was not consumed). Work made fun gets done; Fortune 500 companies understand the Happiness advantage adds to the company BOTTOM-LINE. And hence they employ activities to keep their employee happy and engaged.
The good thing is you don’t require large financial or time investment to be happy. Rather simple change can make you HAPPY. And these simple changes can be practiced anywhere any time.
1. Smile it improves your face value.
2. Practice laughing and laughter Yoga early morning for 3 – 5 minutes
3. Fake and practice being happy
4. Find and be among happy people. Research says it will rub on you and will change your outlook in just 2- 3 minutes
5. Watch comedy movies
6. Watch & join standup comedy workshop
7. Read jokes and practice telling them at least one joke a day
8. Look for humour in others & why people laugh
9. Stick smiley happy pictures around where you can see them often
12. Write your daily gratitude book
13. Read uplifting book
14. Learn a new hobby
16 Help Others
Be Happy and Be Successful.
This morning I was talking to my younger daughter Alisha who has moved in to join Law College Hostel. No sooner we finished the long distance conversation I became nostalgic and movie of my days in Delhi Public School – Mathura Road began playing. I was SKINNY & SKINNY and wished for a MUSCULAR body.
I joined DPS hostel when I was in the 7th standard and distinctly remember sitting down in the playing field when two burly boys came up and pushed me over. I was hurt not physically but emotionally because I did not challenge them and you know why? “Being mere outnumbered in size and numbers.” This game continued whenever they would spot me and when they had time to prey. Those were the moments I wished, if I had known Karate or Judo and I could simply swing the two away.
Now whenever I would spot the two burly boys they would take an about-turn. And whenever I met them on the turn of the corridors, they would gaze down and avoid eye contact as if I did not exist in their vision.
I was pushed down, my ego was bruised. And wished if I had known karate and judo so that I could beat them away. On the flip side I would have never picked up the holds and tricks in wrestling. I would have never achieved my DREAM to be MUSCULAR if I was not motivated by the two burly friends who would prey until I joined the Wrestling team.
Message: Dreams are dreams unless you take the first step or it would be REMINDED as a BEATING – Choice is yours.