I am not a relationship expert. However, I do run into relationship issues while I coach business executives.

What I have noticed is that the biggest lament for women in a relationship (marriage, common law) is the lack of expression, appreciation, and priority from the man in her life.

Women find men to be misers in expressing their love and appreciation and give priority to other things (business, sports) compared to the relationship.

Men, on the other hand, are confused. No matter what they do, women can find fault with them.

If men started to take every opportunity to express their love and appreciation and assign priority to their relationship things would get much better.
If women, on the other hand, picked their battles instead of making every battle a big one, things are bound to improve.

It would be good to do a weekly checkpoint of how this is working as follows:

– what worked well last week?
– what could have been done better?
– what are the goals for the coming week?

I believe when an important relationship is rock solid in terms of communication, respect and understanding the rest of the challenges are far easier to handle. When the foundation of an important relationship is shaky, the rest of your life gets impacted!

”Corporate Sufi” Leader

*Finding Your Purpose*

Once you find your life mission, the one thing you need to do, then fuse it with all of your activities—personal and corporate. By so doing, you unleash your potential and find fulfillment on your journey.

*Embracing a Principle-Centered Approach*

Listen and trust the voice of your conscience and work with integrity, principles, and respect.
You have a social conscience, and you ensure that your corporate work creates a better society all round. You do not engage in any activity that is detrimental to the overall well-being of society or the environment.

*Making a Difference*

It is not just what you have that matters; rather, the value of your life is determined by who you are and what you give. You treat life as a precious gift and use this gift to give and to make a difference.

*Embracing Life-Long Learning*

You learn from cradle to grave. You learn from all, including nature which offers immense wisdom. You know that, in order to succeed in life, competence is the key which comes from life-long learning.

*Having Faith in the Unknown*

You do not fear the unknown. You are willing to take risks and to persevere in realizing your dreams.


You never give up. You persist until you succeed in achieving what you believe in.
Perseverance and patience go hand in hand.

*Being Effective*

You are a role model inspiring your team through your example.
You eliminate insecurities by trusting and believing in the inherent abilities and gifts of team members.
You are results-oriented, not task-focused.
You empower your team—you do not overpower them.

*Having a Positive Attitude*

You keep confident expectations. What you expect is what you invite into your life.
You are solution-oriented, not problem-focused.
You are non-judgmental, giving people the benefit of the doubt.
You do not worry about criticism. You believe in doing your best and leaving the rest.

*Balancing your Life*

Real success is holistic and caters to your body, mind, and soul. You allocate your time wisely and do not compromise on a tight set of priorities, which brings you balance and synergy.

*Savouring the Path*

You know that destiny lies in the path. You love the challenges and hurdles because they enhance your strength and tenacity.
You regard each day as the most important day of your life. Thus, every day—every moment—is a gift that you cherish and savor. You go with the flow without taking your eye off your goals.

*Taming Our Ego*

You strive for positive pride and shun egotism.
You let the subject disappear in the object by letting the self disappear in the higher purpose of your work.
You accept your shortcomings. You do not have a need to become defensive or take things personally.

*Igniting your Spirituality*

You make spirituality the centerpiece of your life, including your corporate life, so that 24 hours of your day are grounded in spirituality.
You know the corporate soul—the real reason for the corporation’s existence.

*Understanding Life and Death*

You realize that there is a beginning and an end to everything in life. Every beginning is an end of the old, and every end a beginning of the new.
When you die, you know that you do not take what you have but, rather, what you gave.

*Experiencing the Divine in Corporate Life*

You know that all success happens by the Divine’s work. Hard work and struggle pay dividends, but without grace you cannot go too far. You invite the Divine into your corporate life and make the Divine your partner in everything you do.
You become co-creators with the Divine by creating something beautiful in this world through your work.
You see divinity in all. You understand that everything and everybody is a signpost to the Oneness of creation.

These principles are universal and practical. They are founded on love and act as a bridge between your personal and corporate life. If these principles are implemented by you and other leaders in your team, your corporation would be a more happy, peaceful, and loving place where each person is given the space and the opportunity to flower to his or her potential and to contribute to society and to the world.  Your corporate life will, thus, be materially rewarding, as well as spiritually enriching.

Choosing the middle path

To live a life that honors all aspects of your being, you must have a clear vision and a commitment to make the vision a reality.  You can’t waste motion pursuing all the possibilities that are out there for you.  You must decide which possibility you want to zero in on and focus everything you do on this objective.

You must also understand all the aspects of your life, and keep them in balance. Taoists represent this as a balance between Ying and Yang.  Ying and Yang represent the balance of opposites in the universe.  When Ying and Yang are in balance, all is calm.  When one outweighs the other, confusion and disarray set in.

Buddhism recommends the “middle path” – the one between the opposite extremes of luxury and hardship.  Buddha believed that we all must take responsibility for ourselves and must practice self-control. The laws of the “Eightfold Path” were designed to guide people without making life too strict or too easy.  They represented a “Middle Path” of living for Buddhists.  They represent balance.

Staying in balance requires that you understand your whole being.  You must know your physical, mental and spiritual needs, and you must bring them into congruence.  If you don’t understand how each contributes to the whole of your being, you may end up catering to one facet of your life at the expense of the whole.  If you understand the whole in relation to its parts, you can determine the amount of time and effort to invest in each facet.

To acquire balance means to achieve that happy medium between the minimum and the maximum that represents your optimum.  The minimum is the least you can get by with.  The maximum is the most you’re capable of.  The optimum is the amount or degree of anything that is the most favorable toward the ends you desire.

My co-author Nido Qubein (“Life Balance the Sufi Way”) points to the example of the Marathon runner who goes all-out for the first mile.  This person will take an early lead, but the victory will go to the runner who strikes the highest sustainable pace.  If your pace is too slow, the others will pass you.  If it’s too fast, you’ll run out of energy before you reach the end of the race.  You have to choose a happy medium.

Creating Rapport

Creating a rapport with others is not only a human need but also crucial for the success of any endeavor, because we exist in an interconnected web of life. When people feel connected with each other, they are more likely to work enthusiastically and cohesively, building on each other’s strengths.

In fact, research indicates that 70% of workplace learning is informal, meaning that when people are talking to each other at work, they are actually learning to do their jobs better.
Friendlier workers are more effective communicators, more productive and trusted. However, our different backgrounds, values, and prejudices often get in the way of building rapport.

So how do we bridge this gap?

Here are 8 ways:

1. Smile your way in – A smile is the easiest way to establish rapport. It instantly lowers defenses on both sides. In short, the other can’t help but smile back. Research shows that when you smile you’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. In addition, a study from Neuropsychologia journal reported that seeing a smiling face activates the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards, meaning that when you see a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.

2. Repeat their Name – Everyone likes the sound of their name. Make it a point to use the name of the person you are talking to. Avoid pronouncing their name incorrectly.

3. Pay complete Attention – Be alert to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Often we are so busy noting the words that we miss the tone or body language. Use all your five senses to glean insight. Ask open-ended questions and encourage people to express themselves freely. This will make them feel valued.

4. Compliment often – We all seek appreciation from our fellow humans. Irrespective of our apparent differences there is always something which can be admired in others.

5. Use the ‘Sandwich technique’ to give critical or unfavorable feedback – Whenever there is a legitimate need to criticize or bring to light something you are not comfortable with, first pay a genuine compliment. Then explain what’s bothering you, with relevant facts. Finally, end with a possible solution. In this way, you do not attack the person, but rather define the problem and encourage resolution.

6. Find Common Ground – People like people who are similar to them. Often finding a common area of interest like sports/hobbies/education or admiring something you like in the other can serve as a good start for conversation and camaraderie.

7. Empathize – Putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes is the best way to grasp their perspective. This understanding can help you to not only create better rapport but also frame the best possible response for a given situation.

8. Be Authentic – When your actions are consistent with your values and principles you inspire trust and admiration in others, even if they do not agree with you. Trust is the fundamental building block of rapport building and it plays a key role in establishing a healthy long-term relationship.

Meditation & Work

Meditation at work seems like an anomaly. But the busier we are the more there is the need to be meditative. Companies the world over are now recognizing its effect on employee well-being and productivity. For instance, Google, Twitter and Facebook regularly hold in-office meditation sessions to enhance mindfulness.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that meditation can revamp brain circuitry and change the way we perceive stress and deal with it. People who regularly meditate have better focus, are more creative, are less prone to anxiety and have a heightened sense of self-awareness. Plus, meditation is also known to slow down the aging process and enhance immune function.

One paper cited by Google even implies that meditators are more resistant to the flu.
Other than incorporating meditation as part of your daily routine, there are several mind-body techniques which you can practice during your work hours to center yourself in the midst of a busy day. This will help you feel calmer and more empowered to deal with any situation.

So select one or all of the following depending on what suits you best.

➢ Root yourself – Imagine yourself as a giant oak tree, with your torso embodying the trunk and your feet the roots.

➢ Create your own special mantra of life affirmations. Maybe it’s your favorite prayer or mantra or even a compliment given by someone. Use the phrase that you feel instantly connected to and uplifted by. Repeat it at least 5-6 times every day.

➢ Take a Zen walk – Anything done with conscious awareness can become a meditation. Walking is one of the simplest ways to center yourself, and the best part is you can do this anywhere. Start by walking slowly. Feel each step. Imagine that your feet are talking to the ground.

Finally, remember that learning how to center yourself is different from actually feeling centered. Just as you can’t learn to swim by reading about it, you cannot experience the benefits of being centered until you practice the techniques.

Big Picture First!

There are two ways to approach something important. Either start with a lot of details and get everyone overwhelmed or agree on the big picture first and let details be worked out later.

I have found in many business deals, when we focus on agreeing on the big picture, the rest becomes easier as you narrow down on the key areas of contention.

When you start with details you can end up all over the map that by the time you come to the crux you are exhausted.

Corporate Sufi?

What is Corporate Sufi?

I use the word Sufi as a symbol for the esoteric side of all people. It goes beyond labels and focuses on the essence. On the outside people are different, on the inside not that different. Rumi the Sufi giant says, “We are all fellow travellers on the journey of life and we all face the same seasons of life.”

Why is this approach important in the corporate world? It gets rid of toxicity, egotism and turf wars – all of which is highly detrimental for the business.

I use the word “Corporate” in Corporate Sufi to symbolize the drive to excel in business, profession or career.

Corporate Sufi thus reflects someone who is driven, focused and goal-oriented, yet
heart-centered, principle-centered and balanced – a person who aspires both material and spiritual abundance.

I believe that success without happiness is a failure, that balance leads to more success, not less. It is about taking your life from success to significance!

Corporate Sufi Worldwide’s mission is to inspire and empower leaders at all levels to achieve material success, blended with a deep sense of purpose, passion and happiness.

We call this the synergy of Business, Balance & Beyond.