Free eBook: 12 Things You Need to Know About Happiness at Work!

Two of my colleagues and best friends from the training at Woohoo Academy, Fennande van der Meulen and Maartj Wolff of Happy Office, have just created this fantastic and comprehensive ebook, together with Gea Peper of HappinessBureau. And you can download your free copy here!

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-7-57-53-pmHappy people are more productive, both in everyday life and at work. Paying attention to a happy work environment generates many benefits for employees, as well as the organisation itself.

Research shows that happiness at work results in less absence, fewer workplace accidents, reduced stress, more grati cation, happier clients and a higher quality of service. Reasons enough to put happiness on the agenda of every organisation. However one question arises: ‘How do you accomplish this?’ In this concise booklet, HappinessBureau and Happy Office will look at twelve topics that delve into the answer to this question. We provide a number of tools to achieve happiness at work…

The book covers many important aspects of happiness, including goal setting; measuring happiness; creating a culture of happy habits, fun and optimism; the value of passionate employees; leadership… and most importantly, how to get started on creating a happy office. Download it now, read it, apply it, share it… the world needs more happy offices 🙂

What is Success?

For many years, I have struggled to come up with a perfect answer to this question. The following piece from Paulo Coelho’s “Manuscripts Found in Accra” is the best answer I’ve ever read. I hope it inspires you too:

Manuscript found in Accra

Success does not come from having one’s work recognised by others. It is the fruit of the seed that you lovingly planted. When harvest time arrives, you can say to yourself: ‘I succeeded.’

You succeeded in gaining respect for your work because you did not work only to survive, but to demonstrate your love for others.

You managed to finish what you began, even though you did not foresee all the traps along the way. And when your enthusiasm waned because of the difficulties you encountered, you reached for discipline. And when discipline seemed about to disappear because you were tired, you used your moments of repose to think about what steps you needed to take in the future.

You were not paralyzed by the defeats that are inevitable in the lives of those who take risks. You didn’t sit agonising over what you lost when you had an idea that didn’t work.

You didn’t stop when you experienced moments of glory, because you had not yet reached your goal. And when you had to ask for help, you did not feel humiliated. And when you learned that someone needed help, you showed them all that you had learned, without fearing that you might be revealing secrets or being used by others. 


“Starting Today!” by Pido Aguilar


During my last talk at the 7th HR & Training Congress in Manila, I was honored to have a few great international speakers watching and listening to me. At the end of the talk, I was obviously thrilled to hear extremely positive feedback from all of them, but the highlight was a note and two books that Pido Aguilar had left for me before he went backstage to get ready for his own talk.

The feedback note said: “Energetic, poised, infectious, life-related!” And it had three ticks under ‘strongly agree’ for Relevant, Effective and Fun. The two books he had left for me were his own: “The 7 Heartsets of True Abundance”, and “Starting Today!” And each had inspiring and personalized messages he had written for me! I was deeply touched by this beautiful act of kindness and encouragement.

Both the books are extremely inspiring and totally dinchack!. “Starting Today!” is a collection of 1001 affirmations that ‘bless your life, touch your heart and nurture your soul’. I often pick it up, open it randomly in the middle to ‘see what’s my affirmation for today’ and each one is usually more inspiring than the other e.g. Starting Today…

  • I improve myself; I improve my work.
  • I assume less; I presume less.
  • I rise every morning with gratitude; I retire every night with gratitude.
  • I take nothing personally.
  • I allow nothing and no one to block my dreams.
  • I keep the past in the past.
  • If I need an increase in income, I increase my giving.
  • I grow my money best by adding value to other people’s lives.
  • I know that now is the time. Now is my time.

Many thanks, Pido! ‘May everything in your life get better, starting today’ to use your words!

Book Recommendation: Manuscript Found in Accra

IMG_2337I just finished reading this wonderful book by Paulo Coelho, and recommend to anyone looking for inspiration. Some excerpts:

“Losing a battle or losing everything we thought we possessed will bring us moments of sadness. But when those moments pass, we will discover the hidden strength that exists in each of us, a strength that will surprise us and increase our self-respect. We will look around and say to ourselves: ‘I survived.’ And we will be cheered by our words. Only those who fail to recognise that inner strength will say: ‘I lost’, and be sad.”

“Defeat ends when we launch into another battle. Failure has no end; it is a lifetime choice.”

“Stay close to those who sing, tell stories, and enjoy life, and whose eyes sparkle with happiness. Because happiness is contagious and will always manage to find a solution, whereas logic can find only an explanation for the mistake made.”

“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it – just as we have learned to live with storms. For those who cannot learn to do so, life will be a nightmare.”

What’s your favorite Paulo Coelho’s book? Or any inspiration book. Please share through comments.

Dinchack Facebook page crossed 2500 fans! Check it out for daily tips on happiness, motivation and success.

‘Dhinchak Life’ launched at Dymocks in Hong Kong today!

My book, Dhinchak Life, has been selling at over 30 online stores, including Amazon, for about six months now. And from today, it’s on the book shelves of Dymocks in Hong Kong! The whole experience of talking about the book to an audience, watching them review and buy, then signing copies… was just something else! Thanks to all the supporters, participants and sponsors…

Thanks again to my wonderful family, friends and readers of this blog for the support and encouragement! [Photo of the organizers with the Store Manager] See some more photos here.

Book launch: Dhinchak Life

It’s finally happening! Dymocks is a leading book store chain in Hong Kong, and the book will be available at all of it’s 14 stores after the launch. If you think Dhinchak Life is worth spreading, here’s how you can help:

Thanks to Kash Events & Entertainment, Dymocks, YantoYan, and most importantly, Sara for putting everything together while in the middle of her own launch of Sara’s Henna Couture!

The Paleo Diet for health and fitness

Inspired by Hamza (my son who is a bigger health and fitness freak than I am) and his results with the Paleo diet, I started reading about Paleo a few weeks ago. But it wasn’t until I read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf that I was inspired to try the diet for 30 days.

Robb’s book outlines the benefits of eating Paleo, the specifics of how to follow the protocol, the evolutionary basis for it, all while providing evidence found in scientific studies. At its core, Paleo intends to imitate an ancestral human diet, with a focus on foods that are available today including meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, while specifically excluding grains, legumes, dairy products, salts, refined sugars and processed oils.

Considering my current diet, I just had to stop eating bread, cut down on fruits and add some lean meat. It seems like a very sensible long-term plan. I’ve been on the diet for exactly one week, and will report by results at the end of 30 days.



Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom

Have you ever been inspired by Nelson Mandela’s stories of the struggle for freedom, his perseverance over the 27 years in prison, his reforms during presidency, or the 250 awards he received over the last 40 years? You can read more about his inspiring life in his book, Long Walk to Freedom, or in this summary at Wikipedia. Today is Mandela’s 94th birthday, and the Nelson Mandela’s International Day. Here’s my selection of ten quotes by Mandela, starting with the one I find the most inspiring:

  1. There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
  2. A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
  3. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
  4. Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
  5. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  6. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
  7. It always seems impossible until its done.
  8. Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
  9. There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
  10. We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

Which one did you like best?

[Photo of Cape Town City Hall, taken during my trip in December 2011. This is where Mandela gave his first public speech after being released from the prison.] Another related post.

Another review of Dhinchak Life!

Just saw this in a local magazine in Hong Kong…

If you have read my book, I would love to hear from you. You can:

If you haven’t read it yet, you may order it from:

If you are in Hong Kong, you can also buy it directly from me.

Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement!

The first review of Dhinchak Life!

I was thrilled to see the first review of my book on a website. The following appeared on a site called ‘Bravo Your City’:

There exist inspirational books a plenty but when one, a spectacular one, is written by a Hong Kong author – it’s a moment of pride! This article is about such a book:

The newly released Dhinchak Life by Mush Panjwani raises the bar for all other inspirational books. The short yet insightful monograph takes you through a journey of how to achieve happiness, simple steps to maximize productivity, and the secrets of achieving great health and staying fit. Unlike the rather didactic approach that may brand other inspirational books, the author does not tell you what you shall do, but rather, what one can do to achieve their goals. Here’s a snippet of what I found to be the most valuable lesson in the book:

Problems vs. situations 

There are things you can change (problems) and there are things you can’t change (situations).
Most people seem to go through life fighting with, and agonizing over, things they can’t change e.g. weather, traffic, economy, their appearance, sickness, death, accidents.

On the other hand, focusing on things we can change, improves the quality of our lives. We can change our attitudes, health, fitness, quality of our relationships, spending habits, level of our knowledge and skills, and many other things in life.

Life is too short to try and change situations.

The beauty of the book is that you don’t have to pick it up and read it start to finish (notwithstanding the fact that it’s hard to put down!). Rather, with every page Mush starts a new story that inspires or at least leaves you thinking.  Pick up a copy of my new favourite, Hong Kong author’s first book here.

Read more about Dhinchak Life here.

‘Dhinchak Life’ Kindle Edition, and 10 benefits of ebooks!

Many of you had asked about the ebook version of my first book, Dhinchak Life. The Kindle edition is now available at Amazon! And here are ten of the many benefits of ebooks over printed books:

  1. You can buy it now, without leaving your computer, as long as you have Internet access and a credit card. Kindle apps are now available for PC, Mac, Android, Windows phone, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone and iPod, for free.
  2. Ebooks are usually half the price of softcovers and one third the price of hardcovers. Dhinchak Life is USD15 for the softcover (plus shipping) while the ebook is just USD5.99.
  3. Ebooks are environmentally friendly – since you save on the paper, ink and chemicals.
  4. Ebooks don’t take up shelf space. Less stuff = less clutter = more happiness.
  5. You won’t lose your Kindle ebooks even if you lost the device you store them on. There’s always a copy on Amazon server.
  6. You can touch a word and look up the meaning instantly in the dictionary.
  7. You can highlight your favorite passages and go back to them later; you can also see what other Kindle readers have highlighted in the book you are reading, if you wish.
  8. You can share your highlighted pieces with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
  9. You can increase or decrease the font size, adjust the brightness and the background color to suit your eyes and the lighting conditions. No need for a reading lamp.
  10. You can carry all your books, those you have finished and those you are reading, with you while traveling.

Of course, you can’t share ebooks with friends and family as you share printed books. And you still have to go to bookshops if you miss the smell of printed pages. I look forward to your comments.

The End of Illness – by David Agus

I’ve been reading this very interesting book that introduces a whole new way of looking at illness and health. It’s filled with practical suggestions, including:

  • How taking multivitamins and supplements could significantly increase your risk for cancer over time.
  • Why sitting down most of the day, despite a strenuous morning workout, can be as bad or worse than smoking.

Here are a couple of pieces from the book:

“Globally, more than 1 billion adults are overweight, with at least 300 million of them obese. Obesity in adults and children, male and female, has doubled over the past forty years, with the biggest increase seen since 1980. Obesity and being overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. In fact, it’s estimated that every third person born in 2000 will have type 2 diabetes as an adult.”

“Why, in this age of plenty, do we have to rely on manufactured pills to get our vitamins and other nutrients? Why are we so out of touch with our own reality? One of the main reasons we are estranged from real meals today that are close to nature is because fast and processed foods abound. Another is we are led to believe that we will be healthier and feel better if we boost our intake of vitamins and nutrients through pills, powders, elixirs, juices, and the like. Antioxidant in particular has become a buzzword of the boomer generation, and antioxidant products, alongside other formulas such as resveratrol, which promise to reverse all the signs and symptoms of aging, are marketed today as though they represent the fountain of youth. Ironically, it is estimated that one-third of adults in high-income countries (which means that they have access to the best, most nutrient-dense foods that money can buy) consume antioxidant supplements. But what, if anything, does taking antioxidant supplements really do? The answer might surprise you.”

I have never been a fan of multivitamins or supplements, and the material presented in this book leaves no doubts. Here’s a link to buy the Kindle edition from Amazon.

Read about my first book, Dhinchak Life, here.

4 reasons why today is your best day!

A piece from “Today is Your Best Day” by Roy Lessin:

It’s not your best day because you feel like it is, or because you prevent that it is. It is not your best day because everything is going perfectly, or because you are living in ideal circumstances. It is not your best day because you are in optimum health, or because everything is going you way.

Here are four reasons why today is your best day:

  1. Today is your best day because you are here. God has placed you in this moment of time for a purpose, and the things that happen to you today will be an unfolding of that purpose.
  2. What happened to you yesterday, however easy or difficult, was used by God to help prepare you for what he has for your today.
  3. God will use what happens today to prepare you for what he has for you in future days.
  4. God has used your past and worked it all together for the good, and he will use this day to add to the good that he has already worked on your behalf.

God doesn’t make bad days for your and good days for you. God makes each day fit perfectly into his plans for you.

[Photo of sunrise from one of the McLehose Trails in Hong Kong]

Read more inspiring pieces in my new book, Dhinchak Life

Free ebook: 47 Tips for Enhancing Life

Today (April 12) I turn 47 years old. It amazes me that I’ve been around that long. I feel like I’ve barely begun. As always, it’s an opportunity to reflect on what I’ve achieved, what I’ve learnt, and where do I want to be in five or ten years from now.

Through this photo book, I am sharing 47 tips on happiness, health, relationships and productivity – all of which can enhance life. The photos used in the book are from my personal collection. You can download the book by clicking on the book cover, or from this link. If you find this useful, please share with others too. I will consider that your birthday gift to me.

Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Current books on my iPad

I just finished reading this wonderful biography of Steve Jobs, and recommend this to anyone interested in leadership, management, business, marketing, sales, creativity, design… or just general inspiration about making the best of life. Here’s one of my favorite pieces from the book about Steve’s popular ‘reality distortion field’:

A lot of people distort reality, of course. When Jobs did so, it was often a tactic for accomplishing something. Wozniak… marveled at how effective it could be. “His reality distortion is when he has an illogical vision of the future, such as telling me that I could design the Breakout game in just a few days. You realize that it can’t be true, but he somehow makes it true.”

When members of the Mac team got ensnared in his reality distortion field, they were almost hypnotized. “He reminded me of Rasputin,” said Debi Coleman. “He laser-beamed in on you and didn’t blink. It didn’t matter if he was serving purple Kool-Aid. You drank it.” But like Wozniak, she believed that the reality distortion field was empowering: It enabled Jobs to inspire his team to change the course of computer history with a fraction of the resources of Xerox or IBM. “It was a self-fulfilling distortion,” she claimed. “You did the impossible, because you didn’t realize it was impossible.”

Here’s the link to order the digital, hard copy or audio version from Amazon. Any other great books you’d like to recommend?

The best tips on productivity, motivation and dealing with depression

I recently had the privilege of connecting and interacting with one of the happiest and most successful people I’ve ever known. He started as a salesman and built one of the biggest direct sales companies in the region. I always admired how he found time for leisure and everything else that he enjoyed doing, even during the busiest times of his business. He retired early and rich, while the company runs on the systems he had built. In the following note, he shared with me his thoughts on motivation, productivity and dealing with depression:

Books: Two books that helped me greatly are:

  1. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne
  2. The Happiness Purpose by Edward De Bono

And my favorite now for ageless wisdom is The Portable Thoreau edited Carl Bode.

Work Habits: 

  • Keep a ‘time diary’ for 10-30 days. Log everything you do from wake-up to sleep – every phone call, every meeting, every cup of coffee. Review and you will find there is much wasted and unproductive time, which could be spent constructively on work or quality leisure. Make the adjustments.
  • Do jobs IMMEDIATELY and FINISH them.

By doing these two things I accomplished the same in one third of the time than most people! Now I am stress-free and have lots of leisure. Continue reading

How to choose your allies…

Just finished reading another wonderful book by Paulo Coelho: The Way of the Bow. It’s a short and simple story that covers many of the values which inspire our daily work: innovation, flexibility, adapting to changes, enthusiasm, team work etc. Here are some inspiring pieces from the chapter on ‘Allies’…

“The best allies are those who do not think like everyone else. When you seek companions, trust your intuition and pay no attention to what anyone else may say. People always judge others by taking as a model their own limitations, and other people’s opinions are often full of prejudice.”

“Join with those who experiment, take risks, fall, get hurt and then take more risks. Stay away from those who affirm truths, who criticize those who do not think like them.”

“Join with those who are flexible as the wood of your bow. They are people who do not hesitate to change direction when they encounter some insuperable barrier. They have the qualities of water: flowing around rocks, adapting to the course of the river…”

“Join with those who sing, tell stories, take pleasure in life, and have joy in their eyes, because joy is contagious and can prevent others from becoming paralyzed by depression, loneliness and difficulties. Join with those who do their work with enthusiasm.”

[Photo of a river in Qing Yuan, China]

Check out Mush’s photosvideos and Facebook page


Live your dash

[Repost from April 2009] This poem continues to be one of the most inspiring pieces for over ten years. It’s been published in many forms. Here’s part of it:

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth…
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars….the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

Read the full poem here. And watch a short movie here.


Virtuous until proven otherwise

Richard Stengel writes in Mandela’s Way, the biography of Nelson Mandela:

“Some call it a blind spot, other naivete, but Mandela sees almost everyone as virtuous until proven otherwise. He starts with an assumption that you are dealing with him in good faith. He believes that, just as pretending to be brave can lead to acts of real bravery, seeing the good in other people improves the chances that they will reveal their better selves.”

My humble additions:

  • People are mostly good, honest and helpful – regardless of their origin, religion or race.
  • There’s some good and bad in every person, place and situation. We can choose to focus on the good or the bad.
  • We don’t have to smile only when we are happy. Smiling makes us happy.
  • We don’t have to wait for motivation before we act. Action brings motivation.
  • We don’t have to see evidence/results before we believe. Belief produces results.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts through comments.

[Photo of a friend, tour guide, driver and mentor-for-the-day in Rotorua NZ. More photos here.]

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss

I’ve been reading this fascinating book for the last few days, by the same author who wrote the #1 bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek. It says you’ll learn, in less than 30 minutes each:

  • How to prevent fat gain while bingeing
  • How to increase fat-loss 300% with a few bags of ice
  • How to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
  • How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
  • How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
  • How to reverse “permanent” injuries
  • How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months

Most of these appear to be tall claims, but I’m going to try a few things and see. I’ve already gone on the ‘slow-carb’, high protein diet to convert the few inches of fat into muscle. Will post the results in a few weeks.

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