What is the Happiest Day?

I was in Puerto Rico just after Hurricane Irma, and just before Hurricane Maria. Being there really had me thinking about how we often take our health and safety for granted.

The islands near Puerto Rico incurred vast devastation from Hurricane Irma and Puerto Rico was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Combine this with the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico – leaving so many dead – it was a wake-up call for all of us.

We now have the hurricane Florence. A few days ago, this storm sent a tree came crashing down onto a house in Wilmington, North Carolina, where a family of three were caught inside the home. Emergency responders worked for hours to try and save them. But, in the afternoon, authorities sadly confirmed that a woman and her infant daughter were dead. The two were the first known deaths attributed to Florence. The father was taken to a local hospital. A group of firefighters who had rushed to the scene was shaken. They knelt outside the home in a circle and began to pray.

We take our health and safety for granted. Every day that we are safe and sound can be the happiest day of our life – if we choose to make it so. The happiest day is when you have an awakening to this realization!

One minute video from Azim

The Respect you Garner!

Mid adult multiethnic man and woman sitting in Namaste position on exercise mats with eyes closed and hands at heart center.

The respect you garner from others is determined by the respect you have for yourself. It is hard to imagine that someone else will have higher respect for you than
you have for yourself.

Begin by looking at all your good qualities and express gratitude. Next, respect others and expect respect back. If others show disrespect to you choose not to associate with them. When you show respect for yourself, others will follow too.

The respect you garner from others is a reflection of self-respect. The higher your self-respect, the higher the respect that you will receive from others.

Watch Azim’s video message on the topic

Appreciate & Aspire Success!

Silhouette of sedan car with girl on the background of beautiful sunset

Many of us do not spend enough time reflecting on how far we have come in our work, business, professional and/or family lives. We are so consumed by what still needs to be done that we keep going without contemplation. Thus, the more we achieve, the more we feel lack!

Setting audacious goals and being ambitious is great! However, if you fail to acknowledge your achievements, deep down you are quietly telling yourself it is not worth succeeding. Therefore, your pursuit of success does not lead to fulfillment.

If we reflect on our successes, we feel good about our accomplishments. We savour the taste of victory and the joy and comfort of our successes stay registered in our minds. This subconscious euphoria helps us give constant birth to new energies and drives to aim for even more success without sacrificing our balance in life.

So, don’t forget to acknowledge, appreciate and savour your achievements whilst still aspiring for more success!

Please see Azim’s video message on this topic


Being Right not Crucial!

IMG_0049Have you found that some people are the most difficult to deal with? Not because they necessarily want to be difficult, but because their outlook on life is different from yours.

Such individuals can easily make you frustrated or angry because they appear unreasonable, and as such you will feel justified to react. This is when you need to remind yourself of Viktor E. Frankl’s message: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

If you react with frustration or anger, things are bound to get worse. But, if you choose your response by showing that you understand where the person is coming from, you will find peace and a much better outcome.

A frustrated or angry reaction may make you feel you are right. However, a thoughtful response will make you feel happy. In the end, it is you who decides whether you want to be right or be happy.

If you ask me – I’d choose to be happy over being right, hands down!

Stress worth it!

Portrait Of Happy Family Sitting On Sofa In at Home

More often than not, the family is a great source of joy, happiness, and support. It is easy to take this support for granted. However, if you imagine life without their assistance you would begin to appreciate the enormous source of encouragement they provide.

There are also those times when everyone in the family needs your attention at the same time, and you find it stressful to cope.

The key to resolving such a challenge is to simply remember the support the family provides you on an ongoing basis and in times of need. This feeling of unity will naturally motivate you to lovingly and willingly return the favour.

Finding a balance can get challenging, especially when you have multiple connections – spouse, children, parents, siblings. However, having these many connections only adds to the bedrock of great support. The alternative, on the other hand, would be loneliness.

If you ask me – I would choose stress and support over loneliness any day!

Happy Father’s Day!

Man and young boy playing piano and smiling




As a father, you have a very important role!

Recent early childhood development discoveries further confirm the investment in early childhood development has extra importance for a parent. However, regardless of the age of your child or of the father for that matter, a father’s positive influence can play a huge role.

Here are some important things a father can do to be a great dad:

– Love unconditionally, and practice, “I love you the way you are, not the way I want you to be”. The more children are loved  the way they are, the better their self esteem. In this way they feel more secure later on in their life.
– Be a great role model. The best way to teach a child is to model the behaviour. Children do not listen to what you say, they learn from what they see in you!
– Inspire in your children strong and deeper “roots”! Roots imply – model principles, ethics and values. Once children have strong roots they will not succumb to temptation and compromise their own principles, ethics and values.  This will give them a strong foundation of integrity – leading to deeper relationships that are built on rapport and trust!
– Inspire your children to acquire “wings”. Wings implies modelling self esteem and belief in the self. Once children have wings they will have the confidence and positive pride to aim high and tap into their genius.
– Create memories by spending quality time with your children.  Kahlil Gibran beautifully said:
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give!”
– Be a good, loving husband, partner, sibling, and human being! If you want your children to be the same, model that behaviour by being that person.
With words, you can only preach, with action, you teach! Saint Francis of Assisi was the preacher who said preach always, and if you must, use words.  Francis preached through his actions, he taught by the life he lived!

For me personally, today is not only Father’s Day, but also the second anniversary of my dad’s passing. He was all of the above and more. I aspire to be like him, and I have no excuse not to be because I had a great role model. Thank you, Dad. I love you and miss you!

So remember, it’s never too late to be an even greater father than you are today.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers everywhere!

Team Morale

Vietnamese mid-adult woman standing in front of cheering business group during a presentation.

Team morale is often a leading challenge for companies worldwide. So how do you, as a leader, create excitement and confidence in a team?

1. Align your company with a bigger purpose – Instead of emphasizing what you do as a company; focus on why you do it. Forum for the Future’s, Stephanie Draper, argues that if companies are to move beyond incremental environmental change, they need to create a strong sense of purpose.

2. Display integrity at all times – Integrity creates trust, which in turn boosts morale and engagement. We all like to work with people we can trust. So, as an individual and organization, keep your promises and act from your highest self at all times. If you make a mistake, admit it and never back away from doing what’s right.

3. Create a stimulating workplace – Whether it’s providing breakout spaces to socialize and collaborate or offering healthier food options, or onsite yoga classes or individualized training sessions, make the office a place your employees come to where they feel connected, empowered and productive.

4. Build engagement and connection – Find out what your employees are most passionate about and then create opportunities/platforms where they can connect and feel a sense of belonging with others. Whether it’s volunteering for a favorite charity together or going out for group treks create a roster of regular events for people to connect with in an informal space.

5. Encourage a culture for a free and uninhibited flow of communication – Create a culture where people are not afraid of expressing their doubts, ideas, and concerns. Allow free flow of discussions without frequent interruption and judgment to enable participation from each team member. The report of the Columbia accident investigation board found that the Columbia space shuttle disaster could have been averted by NASA had it not ignored the valid concerns of low-level employees.

6. Offer opportunities for self-development – Instead of mandated standard training programs, take time to profile the individual skill set of every employee and then help to bridge the performance gaps. An organization that provides a good learning environment with an emphasis on identifying and nurturing individual skills is more likely to have a motivated workforce.

7. Define clear end objectives and guidelines – Based on Gallup’s work with companies worldwide, only about half of the employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work. Once you set clear goals, ensure everyone is clear about their individual role, relative priority, and timing of that goal, as well as the team’s role in reaching it.

8. Don’t micromanage – Bosses tend to micromanage when they fear accountability from their team members. And this distrust further builds an expectation of poor performance from employees, creating a vicious cycle of bad outcomes. The best solution is to hire the right people, set clear goals and then let them figure out the best way to achieve them.

9. Foster creativity – Each one of us is born with special talents and abilities. People feel most productive when they are working on a project which actualizes their creative potential.

10. Acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate – We all seek approbation and praise. Hence, take time out to pinpoint, share and celebrate individual successes with the entire team. This not only builds individual confidence and self-esteem but also nurtures a sense of belonging and connection.

11. Resolve issues promptly – Do not allow tensions, altercations or differences in opinion to linger or fester. Resolve the issues promptly by taking a fair overview of individual viewpoints, and then taking just action – giving a clear basis for the action taken. And ideally, address all such issues behind closed doors. Do not rebuke an employee in a public forum.