Power of Giving!

Big red meadow. Nature composition.

By the end of Nido Qubein’s (my coauthor on “Life Balance the Sufi Way”) sophomore year at Mount Olive College, he had managed to save $375 in an effort to buy a car.  However, the cheapest one he could find cost $750. Although disappointed, he was not discouraged.  He knew that if he could just save a little more he would eventually buy a car. He shared his story with Verta Lawhon, his housemother, and a great listener. She herself of little financial means only making $100 a month from Social Security, and receiving $100 a month more from the college for serving as mother-in-residence. At the end of that month, Nido received his bank statement which, to his surprise, reflected a balance of $750, when it should have read only $375.

He told Miss Lawhon about it, thinking that perhaps the bank had incorrectly deposited an amount into the wrong account. Or had it?  Could it be that this woman, making only $200 a month, had contributed $400 to a struggling student to buy a car? She had indeed! She explained: “I’ve decided it’s much better for me to invest my money in the life of a budding young man than to park it in my savings account.”

That was a huge turning point for Nido. Miss Lawhon taught him about sacrifice and generosity. Nido has since given multi-millions of dollars to charity. He is the President of High Point University and serves on the boards of several national organizations, including BB&T (a Fortune 500 company with $185 billion in assets).

For Nido, it all started with a single act of giving by someone who cared!

How will you be remembered?

Grandparents and Grandchildren Walking Along BeachToday marks a year since I lost my Dad. Actually, it was not a loss. He was always a gain; still remains so, and will continue to be forevermore. 

He was a man of few words who taught through action, not words. He was confident and strong yet humble and gentle. He never missed a moment to say a kind word; provide positive feedback or notice something good.

He served one and all and found it a joy and a blessing to get the opportunity to contribute. He had very little need for recognition; fame or credit. For him, making a positive impact was the biggest reward.

He was insightful and wise; an effective leader in the community; a family man, and a sound businessman. For my Dad, his greatest happiness came from making others happy! He was always a joy to be around.

I miss you, Dad. Thank you for your love and inspiration!

These are just some of my fondest memories of my father. Thus, I find myself asking: “What kind of memories will my children have of me?”

How about you? What kind of memories will you leave for your loved ones?


Creating your Destiny!

Beautiful autumn forest mountain path autumn mountain landscape. asphalt road going to mountains passes through the forest

Each human being is a microcosm of the Universe. To know oneself can be a lifelong journey. Some of the steps will include:

– Know who you are, what you want, and how you want to lead your life. Invest the time to prepare your personal mission statement.

–  Keep a daily journal to help you evaluate your actions and behavior. Through this process, you will be able to align your actions and behavior with your mission.

– Make wise choices that are consistent with your mission.

– Remember you are free to make choices, but not free to choose the consequences of your choices.

Life is not predestined. You are creating your own destiny as you choose and work toward that destiny!


When Efficiency is Inefficient!

Father and baby in dining room with laptopBeing efficient is good especially in the time-starved world we are living in. However, when it comes to relationships being efficient can sometimes be counter productive.

If people close to you feel that you are just trying to fit them in (as in ticking the checklist) instead of genuinely wanting and enjoying to spend time with them this can create mistrust and lead to a withdrawal instead of a deposit in a relationship.

When you are present and genuinely want to spend time with people you care about being slow actually becomes fast! Close ones feel valued and you create open and transparent communication.

In your pursuit to be efficient in a relationship watch out that you don’t end up being inefficient.

Our state of mind is our own choice

Businesswoman walking in the tunnel between scyscrapers towards the light in the end at the sunset

Our pain and misery are our own creation. And so is our state of happiness and bliss. Outside situations merely present an outlet for our internal state of being. For example, whenever you squeeze a lemon, you get only lemon juice, never apple juice, irrespective of the kind of outside pressure.

And it is the same with us.

When our inner state is calm and balanced, we live in the present moment and act from our natural state of bliss. Our response is then mindful, balanced and positive.

Hence in any stressful situation, always look inwards before giving an outward response.

Are you calm and balanced that moment within? Is your response in tandem with who you are and who you want to be?

If yes, then go forthright and express it.  But if there is even the slightest doubt, wait.

Give yourself some time to reclaim your true self. Then with this mindful awareness of self, contemplate over the situation and you will notice that the right response will arise within you.

Remember your response is completely your responsibility. No one else is responsible. And whatever response you choose will set into motion another chain of events. Hence always be mindful of your response.

Once you take complete responsibility for self, including your emotions, outside events lose their power to affect you. And once you reclaim this inner power, real change begins to happen around you and within you. That is when true empowerment begins.


Detachment sets you free

“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” – Viktor Frankl

Dandelion with seed flying away over b;ue sky.

We all have goals we aspire to. But sometimes this aspiration becomes an attachment and we are unable to let go of our goals even if we have achieved them or have realized that they no longer serve us. This prevents us from moving forward in life.

So how can you have goals, which are so important and yet be detached from them? To achieve this detachment we need to do the following:

  1. Have crystal clear clarity of goals – Often our dreams and ideas remain just that, vague bits of thought floating purposelessly in our mind-space. Having crystal clear goals is the first step in actualizing them. So write down your goals in graphic detail right down to the feeling you want to experience once you achieve them. This way you formalize your goals and lend them substance. And once you have a clear vision of what your goals look like, break it down into annual, six monthly, monthly, weekly mini-goals. This imparts a sense of immediacy and commitment to your goals.
  1. Understand that goal should be larger than self – When we confine our goals to our self, we limit their scope to the limited interpretation of our self, including our perceived strengths and weaknesses. But once we release them to the universe and tie in their effect to the whole world we invite the universe to support their fruition with its unlimited abundance. This also relieves the fear we generally attach to the outcome and frees up energy for the task at hand.
  1. Have confidence that the achievement of the goals is the done deal – The law of attraction states that like attracts like, or energy seeks a similar energy – meaning that if we are feeling despondent, we attract people and situations that are despondent, thus further increasing our misery. The reverse is also true. If we mirror or personify the crux of what we desire, we increase our chances of attracting it. This doesn’t mean faking our feelings – it means looking for situations and people in our life that exemplify that experience for us. For example, if you are looking for a job, ask yourself: What do I want from my dream job? Maybe feelings of success, or personal accomplishment, or a channel to explore your talent. Once you have identified those feelings, explore avenues to experience them. Maybe volunteering your skills, or taking a refresher course to enhance your skills, or simply practicing might be good ways to heighten your feelings. Once you start living out your core feelings, you will start to attract situations and incidents to support your desire.
  1. Ensure a singular focus on the task or assignment at hand – Singularity of focus is the most important reason for success, because we only achieve what we focus our attention on. And attention is a scarce resource. The more distracted we get, the more energy we waste and weaken the outcome. Meditation is a good way to attain focus.
  1. Savor the journey – Irrespective of our journey, we are going to be on this path only once, meaning this very moment, this very place, this very state of mind will never co-exist ever again. And the moment to experience all of this is right now. If we do not savor this moment we have lost it forever. So learn from it and revel in it.

Excerpt from our latest book, ‘What You Seek is Seeking You’, co-authored by Azim Jamal & Brian Tracy. Read more about the book @ http://blog.corporatesufi.com/books/what-you-seek-is-seeking-you/

10 Signs that you are living an Authentic life

Our authenticity is our unique point of difference in a sea of people. Authenticity does not stem from our religion, culture, gender or nationality because all of these are external references.

Our authenticity stems from within us and is a reflection of the enormous imagination of creation. No one was like you, is like you or will ever be like you.

It’s about ‘what makes you, you’ It is what gives you the freedom to express who you truly are and can become.

Steve Jobs said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Do you think you are authentic? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you genuinely believe everything you say to your family, team, customers, and stakeholders?
  1. Do you go deep to explore your motives in what you do at work, at home, in the community, with your friends?
  1. Have you discovered your innate gift and passion?
  1. Are you clear as to what is unique about you and your work (your personal and corporate brand)?
  1. Do you accept yourself unconditionally, imperfections and all?
  1. Do you walk your talk?
  1. Are you transparent?
  1. Do you genuinely care about your team and customers?
  1. Do you admit to mistakes and apologize as required, (building trust vs. defensiveness)?
  1. Before embarking on something, do you ask yourself: Does this feel right to me?

Your inner light shines through you when you are credible and trustworthy, and honest enough to admit your limitations. The reality is that even with all your limitations, you are still unique and special.

Embrace who you are, flaws and all. If you try to be someone else, you only become a ‘second-best someone’.

As they say: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

For more tips on creating an inspired living, read our latest book, ‘What You Seek is Seeking You by Azim Jamal & Brian Tracy