Coffee Wagera founded by Mush Panjwani completed two years, and continues to grow!

What started as a dream few years ago is a now a success story many wish to learn from. The blog post on CW site highlights the contributions of the team, suppliers, service providers, franchisees and other supporters.

What I wish to share here are the 20 unique things about Coffee Wagera. We may be the only (or the first) café in Pakistan to…

  1. Support women empowerment by buying most of our snacks from female entrepreneurs, and to further support the community through Brunch Wagera
  2. Hire transgender as a barista, and to offer a free training program for transgenders
  3. Have a menu in Braille for the visually impaired
  4. Learn sign language to communicate with customers with speech/hearing impairment
  5. Say ‘no’ to plastic bottles, and provide free drinking water to all customers
  6. Implement ten steps to reduce waste, support clean-city and be eco-friendly
  7. Support students and startups, by providing a fully functional workbench, with individual power/USB socket for a minimum spending of just Rs.248 per day
  8. Provide three WIFI connections (and free coffee if WIFI doesn’t work)
  9. Provide low-cost franchise opportunities to promote entrepreneurship
  10. Support local artists by displaying and selling their ‘coffee paintings’ at every outlet
  11. Run innovative events like Coffee Tour in collaboration with other cafes, Brunch Wagera to support female entrepreneurs, Coffee Workshops to share coffee skills/knowledge, free training programs for personal development, Open Mic to encourage new talent…
  12. Provide “happiness” training to all staff
  13. Greet every customer with the most enthusiastic “Salam Alaikum! Welcome to Coffee Wageraaaaaa!”
  14. Open 5 outlets in 2 years (the last four opened within a span of six months)
  15. Operate a cafe without any kitchen/cooking
  16. Implement ‘no free beverages/snacks’ policy that applies to all owners, family members, friends, bloggers, influencers, celebrities… and everyone else who wishes to support CW
  17. Offer a 10% discount to students and senior citizens
  18. Offer free coffee to non-Pakistani visitors, when they buy any snacks
  19. Offer free coffee on your birthday, when you buy any snacks
  20. Have a founder with an official designation of ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ – Mush Panjwani also teaches happiness at corporates and non-profits, and is also a published author.

And we are very proud to receive the ‘Best Coffee Place of the Year 2019‘ award by APRA (All Pakistan Restaurant Association).

The lockdown due to Corono did not allow us to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary with a party, but we had a virtual meeting with 30+ team members, complete with a flashback slideshow (inserted above), an address by Mush and many special Awards of Appreciation.

Extremely grateful to have achieved the first goal of opening five outlets in Karachi in two years, and moving forward with a lot of faith for the next goal: 20 across Pakistan in five years. Thank you everyone for your support.

Mush Panjwani just completed an extensive happiness training assignment at Pak Suzuki Motors!

Mush Panjwani training at Pak Suzuki Motors

I moved back to Pakistan at the end of 2017 with two dreams: Launch my coffee shop/chain** and introduce ‘happiness training’ for corporates and individuals. And I am so grateful that both are on track! So far, I have done ‘happiness training’ at Engro Energy, Pakistan State Oil, K-Electric and now at Pak Suzuki Motors, apart from the non-commercial talks at Karachi University, NED University, Dawood University and a few others.

The happiness training at Pak Suzuki Motors was part of an employee wellness program called ‘StayWell’ – designed by the HR/Training team of Suzuki in collaboration with Cube Consulting. The program was run at Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan during Sep-Nov 2019. We trained over 1500 employees in 25 batches of 20-40 participants each!

My contribution was towards the ’emotional wellness’ aspect which included:

  • Developments in positive psychology and why it matters so much
  • Why we should learn to become happier, and how that affects every area of our life
  • What contributes to happiness/unhappiness at work, and what can we do about it
  • Tool and tips to raise our happiness level at work, and in life

Here’s what some of the organizers had to say…

Mush Panjwani knows how to spread positivity. The objective of making people realize how happiness enhances productivity and wellbeing was not easy… but I am really grateful for this True Happiness Expert whose practical approaches with real life examples made it possible. Mush’s session really strengthened our Workplace Wellness drive and made this transformation journey successful. Keep Inspiring! ~Muhammad Noman Ayub, Team Lead -Training & Development

It was a life-changing experience with Mush Panjwani! The way he involved and engaged our employees, and provided insights and tips on happiness and positivity. As a result, our employees are trying to become a higher version of themselves and are more grateful in their lives. ~Sohaib Bhatti, Head of Training & Talent Acquisition

Click the play button to see some of the many exciting moments captured during or after the sessions…

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**More about Mush’s coffee chain at www.CoffeeWagera.com or Facebook/CoffeeWagera

Mush Panjwani speaking at Pakistan American Cultural Center

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Absolutely loved the opportunity to speak to a group of students at PACC! We covered:

  • Two foundations to (entrepreneurial) success:
  • Happiness First – how our happiness affects productivity and everything else in life
  • The Four Steps – dream, goal, plan, action

The audience was extremely engaged and the feedback from the organizers was awesome…

Today’s guest speaker session at our English Works: The program by Mush Panjwani was amazingly awesome in terms of presenting practical life changing tips to the audience. Throughout his talk he created the aura of influence; the anecdotes from his life and humor kept the audience mesmerised! ~Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Evolution

A very energetic and full of learning session was conducted by Mr Mush Panjwani, who shared his amazing journey of life, with the lessons he learned and designed a wonderful foundation program. It was a session full of happiness. It will make a positive change in others life! ~Ehtesham, PACC

“Supercharge Your Positivity and Productivity” by Mush Panjwani at K-Electric

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So grateful to conclude the first four batches of training at K-Electric. These were 2-hour sessions that covered:

  • Latest in positive psychology – the science of happiness
  • How our positivity affects our productivity, relationships, health… life
  • Steps to become more positive
  • Causes for unhappiness at work
  • Two essentials for enhancing happiness at work

The audience included a mix from various departments, but mostly from customer service. Everyone participated very well, and the feedback was quite awesome:

Wow… really happy to attend this training session!

Very motivating and inspiring!

I learnt a lot today and will apply at work and life!

We need more of these to enhance our productivity and positivity!

Few pictures below. Looking forward to contributing more to the many other divisions of K-Electric!

PS. Very impressed by their new building at IIC, with full equipped training rooms and facilities for learning and development.

“Supercharge Your Positivity and Productivity” by Mush Panjwani at PSO Karachi!

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Extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to an open-to-all session at the PSO Head Quarters in Karachi last week. There were managers and teams from various departments. The organizer commented:

I’ve heard many trainers on happiness and positivity, but without much substance. This was different and full of useful contents and tips!

And some of the audience found the session to be…

Extremely energizing!

Very much needed, and useful!

We need more of this!

Looking forward to doing more with PSO!

Mush Panjwani speaking at Dawood University of Engineering & Technology, Pakistan

Mush Panjwani at Dawood University of Engineering and Technology

There’s something special about talking to the youth – their open minds, their energy and their level of ambition to do great things!

Some of the students of Dawood University of Engineering & Technology had heard me at a recent conference in NED University, and decided to organize the same talk at their own university. And that happened today! They had done a great job of promoting the event, so we had about 500 students in the auditorium, giving up on their lunch break (1-2pm) to listen to me. So honored and grateful!

I spoke about happiness as the foundation for all success and the four steps to achieve anything! And came away very excited about the impact this may have on their lives.

Looking forward to more opportunities to work with the youth and other universities!

One year in Pakistan, and no looking back! (3 Tips to Manage Change)

Mush Panjwani with Shanzeh

It’s been more than a year since I left half my family and a very comfortable life in Hong Kong, and moved to Pakistan, in September 2017. And I am often asked how can anyone willingly move back after spending over 20 years abroad; how has the experience been; and how do I manage to stay so happy and positive. It was a combination of things I’ve learned over the years and have applied in many situations, particularly in dealing with any change…

Manage your expectations: I didn’t expect anything in Pakistan to be similar to HK – effective government, efficient systems, easy public transportation, organized traffic, law-abiding people, beautiful weather or the basic stuff like security, electricity, water, Internet etc. Those are the luxuries that most countries/people do not experience in a lifetime. So I rarely found myself getting frustrated about the weather, traffic, government or lack of any of those things I often took for granted in HK. Everyday I experienced what I had expected, so there was no disappointment.

Focus on the positives: An essential part of being happy in any situation is to be grateful for what you have, which is only possible if you are always looking for, acknowledging and appreciating all the good things in your life. And there are a lot of good things about life in Pakistan, which we did not have in HK, or may not have in many parts of the world e.g. local fruits, vegetables and meat (instead of imported); varieties of great food from around the world; beautiful country with lots to see and do, from Karachi to Kashmir and everything in between; lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs (and businessmen too); good people (mostly nice, kind, friendly, helpful, awesome); hardly any natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados, typhoons, volcanoes, tsunamis, or even flooding!

Be the change: Instead of complaining about things, we can try to be the change we want to see in Pakistan. At a personal level, it’s things like following traffic rules (very difficult though), reducing power/water consumption, being more tolerant with people who are different (Sindhi, Panjabi, Pathan, Shia, Sunni, less educated or civilized). At business level, we can do that by supporting good causes – e.g. equal opportunities for the transgender, women empowerment; minimizing disposables and reducing waste. And most importantly, being positive and spreading cheer!

Few other things that made the change exciting for me were:

  • Starting Coffee Wagera as a hybrid of social-commercial enterprise that becomes a force for good and a model for other businesses.
  • Introducing the concepts and teaching the principles of ‘Happiness at Work’ in Pakistan for the first time, through my training programs.
  • Supporting Hur with his training at Special Olympics – one of the best non-profits in Pakistan! They are preparing him and many others for the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
  • The excellent support of family, friends and the business community. And finally, the secret: the love of Shanzeh (my granddaughter) and the opportunity to spend time with her 🙂

 

 

Inspiration from one of Pakistan’s top cyclists: Ali Laghari

I have been lucky to get to know a few running and cycling groups in Karachi, since I started Coffee Wagera. It’s always inspiring to meet these people, because I know how much passion, commitment and discipline it takes to come out for a run or ride before sunrise.

Ali Laghari is part of “Cycologists“, one of the most active cycling groups in Karachi. And I met him during World Heart Day on 29th September. That’s when I found out about his record 4900km of cycling in one month, and asked him a few questions… his responses were very inspiring indeed, as you can see from the video above. The highlights were:

  • He wasn’t competing with anyone else – just himself!
  • Cycling and healthy living is a way of life for him, which he is trying to promote.
  • He cycled all the way to Mubarak Village and back – 100km in a day!
  • He started small. Just one ride, on a rental bicycle. Then another…

Bonus: Commentary at by Zeeshan Khalid, another Cycologist, at the end of the video.

 

First full-day public workshop on “Happiness at Work” in Pakistan by Mush Panjwani

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I had put all my training work on hold while focusing on Coffee Wagera since the opening in April this year. Coffee Wagera is indeed very exciting and engaging, but I miss my training work. So I have reached out to a few training companies and corporate contacts for opportunities to contribute with my ‘Happiness at Work’ training programs in Pakistan.

Dellsoft, a new division of Dellsons, organized the first full-day public workshop at Movenpick Hotel Karachi on 5th September. We had about 25 participants from five different banks and other corporates. We covered:

  • The latest in positive psychology – the science of happiness
  • Effects of positivity on all areas of life
  • Job satisfaction vs. happiness at work
  • How happiness at work enhances productivity and profits
  • The two essentials of happiness at work
  • Common causes and results of unhappiness at work
  • How to create happier workplace, at organizational and individual levels
  • Work session: key ideas and action steps for immediate implementation

Some of the feedback from participants:

One of the best training sessions ever…

Amazing topic and great energy!

Extremely relevant, effective and lots of fun!

The promotional flyer can be downloaded here.

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Sales/Motivational Training for Ferd Ventures in Davao, by Mush Panjwani

Mush Panjwani training in Davao

Ferd Ventures is one of the non-exclusive distributors for Learning Time in Philippines. And they had organized a 2-day training for the entire sales team from Davao, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. We covered:

  • Positivity and happiness as the foundation for success
  • The four steps to achieve anything: dream, goal, plan, action
  • 13-step sales process, from prospecting and appointment to closing the order
  • Roleplaying of the ‘awareness’ and ‘product presentation’

Mush is not just a trainer, but a life coach! The 2-day Training Program was an eye-opener for the sales team. Mush taught us a very important life lesson… that despite all of life’s challenges, we still have a lot to be grateful for.. and that is one of the keys towards happiness and success.

We admire his training methodology which is simple, practical and very effective. His attitude and body language is his distinguishing characteristic.

~Ferdie Mangubat Jr., CEO

The other highlights of the trip were Filipino hospitality, with lots of good food, desserts and coffees 🙂

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Why am I opening ‘Coffee Wagera’?

I have spent a lot of time working from coffee shops since losing my job in early 2013. In Hong Kong, my favorites were Holly Brown for its great coffee, happy staff, wifi and quiet space; and then Pacific Coffee for its comfortable seating, good coffee, loyalty card/app and number of convenient locations. In Pakistan, it was Gloria Jeans for it’s convenient locations (Sindhi Muslim and Dolmen in Clifton), quiet space and good coffee. Around the world, my favorites are Costa, Lavazza, Illy and Tim Hortons…

And I always looked for that one perfect coffee shop where the staff was cheerful, coffee was great, prices were reasonable, wifi always worked, power sockets were enough for at least half the customers and the seating was comfortable. Never found one. So that was my #1 inspiration to make that perfect coffee shop.

Reason #2. Like many businesses, a coffee shop can have a huge positive impact on a lot of people – the potential to make people happy is so big, and not all that difficult. A good coffee can alleviate moods; cheerful customer service can make somebody’s day; a quiet, comfortable and functional work space can help produce big results! In short, a great coffee shop can make this world better, in a small way.

Reason #3. One of the many opportunities in Pakistan to set up a business and expand it across the country. In Pakistan: there are very few good barista training places; coffee culture hasn’t yet developed; most coffee shops are actually restaurants. And there aren’t many low-cost franchising opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

Mush Panjwani on Coffee Wagera

And the biggest reason: It’s been one of my dreams for more than 10 years. First it was a juice shop, which was later changed to a coffee shop. First I used to imagine this coffee shop on Lamma or one of the outlying islands of Hong Kong – with a little room on top with a view of the sea. Then about two years ago, I started imagining this as a chain of coffee shops in Pakistan, starting with the first one in Hyderi North Nazimabad – which will probably be the second one. I did a couple of coffee courses in Hong Kong last year, just to see if I enjoy making coffee. And I loved it!

I still have a job with Learning Time, but thanks to the management, they have allowed flexible hours which makes it possible for me to dedicate some time to Coffee Wagera, continue contributing to A Better Chance, and also pursue training opportunities while in Pakistan. Wish me luck 🙂

Why I celebrate the day I got fired…

Mush Panjwani's Coffee WageraToday is the 5th Anniversary since I got fired from Time Life / Educational Technologies in 2013, after working with them for 16 years! I was very positive that day, and every year it becomes more obvious why that was one of the best things that could happen. Losing my job made it possible to:

  • Start my own training and consulting company, Dinchack – and positively influence the lives of 2000+ people through 50+ training sessions in 5 countries in the first year alone.
  • Join Learning Time as a Director Sales, Marketing & Training – and help develop and launch awesome early learning products in 18 countries in 3 years; travel to many new places and work with many more wonderful people.
  • Start a direct sales company, A Better Chance in Pakistan – and help make it one of the top three distributors of Learning Time in two years.

And I am thrilled to reveal my next venture, a coffee shop in Karachi! Coffee Wagera is scheduled to open on 1st April. More about this dream in the next blog post 🙂

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change. At such moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back…” ~Paolo Coelho

PS. Thanks to my family, friends, clients, everyone at Learning Time and A Better Chance for their tremendous support during these years, without whom none of the above was possible.

The three symptoms of killing our dreams

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A repost from Paulo Coehlo’s blog, it’s a piece from one of my favorite books, The Pilgrimage.

The first symptom of the process of killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the Good Fight.

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the Good Fight.

And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams – we have refused to fight the Good Fight.

When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a short period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being.
We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychoses arise. What we sought to avoid in combat – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice.

And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breathe, and we actually seek death. It’s death that frees us from our certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of our Sunday afternoon.

[Photo from this year’s best collection, taken at Sai Kung, Hong Kong]

3 more tips to avoid clutter

 

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I continue to believe that a minimalistic and uncluttered life can lead to more productivity, increased efficiency and greater happiness. I’ve written several blog posts on my experiments with minimalism and tips to reduce clutter – at work, at home and life in general. Here’s a short version, because I think it all starts with buying stuff…

Buy mindfully:

  • Only buy what you need – really need. If it’s a temporary need, see if can be borrowed or rented.
  • Go with a shopping list and stay focused. Don’t be distracted by displays or special offers.
  • Don’t buy anything ‘just in case’ you might need it. Trust that you’ll find it ‘just in time’.
  • Always buy quality. It lasts longer, so costs less in the long run.
  • Don’t compromise on your style, size or color, otherwise you may be discarding it too soon.

Discard ruthlessly:

  • Once you buy a new something, get rid of the old one. Not tomorrow, not later, right now.
  • Find local charities or Salvation Army stores where the old stuff could go. If it’s too bad or old or broken to go to charity, then recycle it.
  • Give yourself limited space to keep your stuff. Once that space fills up, you know it’s time to reduce.

Use gratefully:

  • Whether it’s clothing, gadgets, books or other possessions, be grateful every time you use them. Remind yourself that millions of people do no have access to such luxury.
  • One of the biggest reasons for buying and accumulating stuff is being ungrateful for what we already have – that feeling of not having enough.
  • When we are grateful, we take good care of our stuff, and don’t discard/replace them easily.

If that sounds too difficult, just take one step at a step. And perhaps developing the attitude of gratitude would be a good start.

20 Inspiring Quotes for Salespeople

Mush Panjwani, Selling Quote

Today, I went through a few of my favorite blogs to read 100s of quotes from successful people, authors, trainers and businessmen. Here’s a collection of the 20 that I liked best… and hope they inspire a few people:

  • Make a customer, not a sale. ~Katherina Barchetti
  • Your life can only get better when you do. Do something every day to improve your key skill. ~Brian Tracy
  • If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking. ~Jack Canfield
  • Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ~Jim Rohn
  • Begin by always expecting good things to happen. ~Tom Hopkins
  • Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. ~Tony Robbins
  • Sales success comes after you stretch yourself past your limitations on a daily basis. ~Omar Periu
  • Sales depend on the attitude of the salesperson, not the attitude of the prospect. ~Clement Stone
  • Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. ~Henry Ford
  • Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time. ~Thomas Edison
  • There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you. It’s hard work. ~Jeffery Gitomer
  • For every sale you miss because you are too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you are not enthusiastic enough. ~Zig Ziglar
  • Treat objections are request for further information. ~Brian Tracy
  • Obstacles are necessary for success because victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. ~Og Mandino
  • We are all somebody’s prospect; we are all somebody’s customer. ~Chris Murray
  • Selling is serving, helping others find solutions, impacting lives positively with passion and integrity. ~Farshad Asl
  • No trade will be made unless they want your product more than they want their money. ~Roy Williams
  • It’s about listening first, then selling. ~Erik Qualman
  • Selling is something we do ‘for’ our clients – not ‘to’ our client. ~Zig Ziglar
  • Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something 🙂 ~William Goldman

Please share your favorite quotes about selling in comments below.

6 Key Ideas on Simplifying Your Life (and fit all your belongings in an 18kg bag or less)!

mush-panjwanis-possessions-in-an-18kg-bag.jpgDuring a recent move, I was proud to put together all of my personal stuff (everything that I own) into an 18kg bag. And the FB post got a lot of interest – some wouldn’t believe, some wanted to know what’s in it, some curious to learn how or why. And that inspired this blog post, and I am happy to share why I do it and how.

It’s a lifestyle! Accumulating less stuff; getting rid of unwanted things; keeping within a pre-defined space; staying organized… is not a one-time project. It’s a lifestyle. I started the process about ten years ago, and wrote the first blog post on the subject five years ago. That post covers how I got rid of all the books, reduced the amount of clothes, minimized all accessories, simplified and organized everything, and then applied the same principals to my office and desk.

Why de-clutter and simplify?

  • Easy to find what you are looking for, whether it’s a file on your computer or a travel adaptor
  • Take less space, whether it’s a wardrobe, cabinet or a shoe rack
  • Focus on quality instead of quantity
  • Spend more on experiences (books, travel, personal development, causes) and less on things (except those you buy for others)

Buy less, of everything

  • Buy only what you need, and only when you need it, not whatever is on sale.
  • Wait and see if you really need it. Then see if you can borrow it, before you buy.
  • Buy good quality so it lasts longer and you buy less often.
  • Buy only if there’s space to keep it, not find a space after you buy it.

Continue getting rid of stuff

  • When you buy a new one, get rid of the old one – clothes, shoes, bags, stuff
  • If you bought something but not using it, either due lack of interest or wrong purchase, get rid of it.
  • If you get a gift that you know you are not going to use, get rid of it.
  • If you haven’t used it in 6 months, get rid of it.
  • Only keep stuff that’s essential, makes life easier, or inspires you. Get rid of everything else.
  • When getting rid of anything, try to sell or give away to somebody who can make use of it or recycle. Trash bin should be the last option.

Use technology

  • Unless you can’t live without the touch and smell of physical books, go digital. There’s a long list of pros and cons, but I only buy ebooks and only read on my iPad.
  • Covert all important documents, photo and videos into digital copies and put them all on Dropbox or iCloud. In my recent round, I took photos of loads of ‘emotional-value objects’ and threw them all out. These included large photo frames, desk gifts, crystals, accessories and more… all with thank-you notes, names, or messages printed/engraved on them. These were in a large box, which I don’t have any more!
  • I’ve stopped using notebooks or diaries and pens for a long time. All notes are digital.

Learn to live with less

  • So what do I have in that suitcase? Clothes: formal, casual, summer, winter, gym and swimming gear. Shoes: just two pairs. Gadgets: MacBook, iPad, cables. Lots of socks and underwear; last few copies of my book to give away; pack of business cards; travel toiletries in mini sizes; travel adaptors. No ties, accessories, notebooks, stationery or camera.
  • Living with less inspires gratefulness; helps you keep organized; reduces stress; gets you more focused… is extremely easy to pack and move and unpack!

I know it’s easier said than done. I understand this may not be for everyone. I am sure there are people who can be happier with more, but for me, less stuff equals more happiness. I am happy to answer any questions and offer further advice to anyone who is starting on this journey or wants to get to the next level of minimalism.

 

 

Everything I know about delegating

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Delegating must be one of the toughest leadership/management challenges, considering that almost everyone seems to struggle with it. Delegation affects people development, business growth, team motivation and success of the organization. Here’s a summary of what I’ve learnt about delegation…

Why we don’t delegate:

  • Insecurity – if they do it well I won’t be needed
  • Status – it’s ‘my’ job
  • Fear – what if they do it well; what if they can’t do it well
  • Love – it’s my favorite task

Why we must delegate:

  • To be a leader/manager, instead of a doer
  • To develop people – build trust, improve their self esteem, opportunity to reward/recognize others
  • To manage our time better; get more done in less time; focus on our own strengths
  • To build happy, motivated and successful teams

How to delegate effectively:

  • What – pick the tasks to delegate (considering the reason to delegate)
  • Who – find the best person to delegate to
  • How and when – communicate and establish clear objectives, expectations and deadline
  • Track – monitor progress and offer support if required; be patient
  • Recognize – give credit

And finally, some quotes to inspire you to delegate more and better:

Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.

When you delegate work to a member of the team, your job is to clearly frame success and describe the objectives.

The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then guide the horse with loose reins and seldom use the spurs.

When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders.

If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.

And a final word: You can do anything, but not everything.

Everything you want to have, do or be… is possible!

I have this birthday ritual to look at my dreams, goals and plans, and make any necessary adjustments. During this year’s exercise, I also updated my travel list and learnt that I have been to 39 countries and at least 133 cities. I have around 20 more countries in the to-go list. I hope this post inspires you to follow your dreams, and reminds you that the four steps do work, starting with a list.

Mush Panjwani's Travel Dreams

While I was at it I couldn’t help thinking about how it all started. I think it was April 1986, around my 21st birthday. I was juggling with university, three tuition jobs, my first sales job, a newly married life, and a lot of dreams. It was no coincidence that I found an audiocassette by Zig Ziglar about dreams and goals. He ended the motivational talk by suggesting buying a notebook and making three lists: everything I want to have; everything I want to do; everything I want to be. And I did. I think there were 89 things on the three lists, considering that I did not have much and had not done much.

Over the years, my lists have become more specific with dreams and goals related to personal development, well being, relationships, money, contribution etc. I have added, deleted and edited hundreds of dreams, fulfilled many and still have many to go. Writing and publishing my first book, trekking to see Mount Everest, raising happy and successful kids were some of the most fulfilling goals which all started under one of the dream lists. The four steps usually work, if you have the faith and commitment to your dreams.

Looking forward to any comments or questions 🙂

Train to Lhasa
Train from China to Tibet (Lhasa). Another travel dream!

Mush Talks #13: Julia Wong of ‘Triple Lanterns Cafe’ talks about dreams, happiness and slowing down

Triple Lanterns Café is one of the stilt houses in Tai O Village (Hong Kong), offering beautiful views of the canal, the bridge and sunset, besides great pizzas, cakes and coffees. What makes this café really special though is Julia, the owner, who is always happy and cheerful, and ready for a conversation with every customer. During our visit to Triple Lanterns yesterday, we talked about the story behind the café, dreams, happiness, success, customer service and the importance of slowing down to enjoy life… parts of which were also captured on my phone. Here’s an edited version, and I hope it inspires somebody to follow through on their dreams…

More about achieving your dreams, happiness and positivity at Mush Talks #1-12

5 More Tips to Get Results!

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I continue to apply the four steps to achieve anything with great results. I also get excellent feedback from people who have learnt this and accomplished much! When I see someone struggling with four steps without much success, it is usually due to a dream they don’t believe in, a goal not specific enough, a plan not detailed/clear enough, actions not consistent or persistent enough. The most common challenge is with the action (or lack of). So here are five additional tips to get result while working on your dreams, goals, plans and action:

  1. Make it a priority. Once you have figured out what you need to do every day, make it a priority. Allocate a particular time of the day for the action necessary to achieve the goal. Whether it’s time for exercise for your fitness goal, time for phone calls to achieve your sales goal, time for study for your personal development goal, or time for family for your relationship goal, you must block off the required time to do what’s necessary. And do nothing else in that time.
  2. Get back to routine. If you miss a day of the necessary action, get back to the committed routine the very next day, not next week or next month. It’s so easy to tell ourselves, ‘I missed a few days this week, so what’s the point; I’ll start properly next week, or next month.’ Never listen to that crap!
  3. Be persistent. You can’t plant a seed today and expect a tree tomorrow. You need to water it every day for a few days/weeks before you see the first bud. If it took years to put on that weight, it will take months to get rid of it. If you are learning something new, commit to the plan and stick to it until you succeed. Giving up is not an option if you are really committed to your goal.
  4. Change the plan. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal. If your consistent and persistent actions are not producing the expected results, stop and think, get some advice, check if you are doing it right. Maybe you need a different strategy, a change of direction or a modified plan. Make the necessary adjustment and go after your goal with renewed commitment.
  5. Stay positive and happy. Happiness is the foundation for all success, and positivity is essential for self-motivation. While you are working towards your goals, continue to acknowledge and be grateful for what you already have. Get inspiration from your dreams, and your ability to pursue them. Believe in your self and be positive about the outcome of your actions.

A little progress each day adds up to big results!