Celeste Headlee: 10 ways to have a better conversation

I just heard one of the best TED talks about conversations. Celeste Headlee covers everything I try to include in my 1-3 hours of training on communication skills, and even more, in just 12 minutes!

The ten tips are:

  1. Don’t multi-task. Be fully present.
  2. Don’t pontificate. Set aside your personal opinions.
  3. Use open-ended questions.
  4. Go with the flow. Let your own thoughts come and go.
  5. If you don’t know, say you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs. It’s not about you.
  7. Don’t repeat yourself.
  8. Stay out of the details.
  9. Listen! Be interested.
  10. Be brief.

I also loved these quotes from the talk:

  • “If your mouth is open, you are not learning.” -Buddha
  • “No man ever listened his way out of a job.” -Calvin Coolidge
  • “Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand; we listen with the intent to reply.” -Stephen Covey

Mush Panjwani interviewed about Romantic Relationship

One of Hong Kong’s top hypnotherapists, an image consultant and a fellow trainer, Sonia Samtani has been producing a series of videos called Raising the Bar. She interviews people who have done something extra-ordinary that can inspire others.

I was happy to be chosen to talk about romantic relationships, and my love story that started at the age of 15! And I hope this talk inspires people, or even one person, to improve their relationships. Great relationships can often mean more happiness, increased motivation and greater success in everything else.

An exciting first week – after losing my job!


The only reason I posted the news last Friday, within hours of getting fired from my job, was because it was the fastest and most efficient way of letting everyone in my world know what had happened and that I was actually excited about the situation. I never expected to receive 200+ beautiful messages through comments on the blog, Facebook, emails, SMS, whatsapp and phone calls! I can’t express in words how thrilled, excited, blessed and grateful I felt reading those messages. I smiled, laughed and cried. It would be a huge understatement to say that ‘you made my day/week’. You made my life! Thank you.

To those who keep saying ‘is that true?’ ‘how did it happen?’ ‘but why?’ ‘i still can’t believe’ etc., I can only say, ‘get over it, move on’!

To those who think they have lost a leader, mentor, guru, hero (and all those amazing words I didn’t think I was worthy of), I am very much alive and will continue doing what I do best. Feel free to connect with me through this blog, Facebook, or Twitter. I will also continue to post my photos and videos on Flickr and YouTube.

So what am I up to?

  • I have freelance work from the company till the end of April, to complete the ongoing projects and fulfill my travel commitments to the distributors. That means I get to see some of you soon!
  • I am working on my first CV ever, while also developing certain business plans. Absolutely over the moon about the possibilities!
  • I am doing more reading, more writing and more thinking! I’m still following the diet, and have more time for exercise too.
  • We have leased a much cheaper apartment at one of the edges of Hong Kong, and shifting in a few weeks. It’s much farther from the city but a bit bigger and right on top of a beautiful beach!
  • The family is totally supportive and positive, and we have never been closer!

Thanks again for your wonderful support and encouragement!

Happy Women’s Day! 10 quotes women would love…


I am not a big fan of “days” – New Year day for resolutions, Valentine’s Day to show your love, Clean-up Day to un-clutter or Women’s Day to acknowledge that women rule… But here’s a collection of quotes for all the women in my life and the female readers of this blog. I know you’d love these:

  1. Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him. –Groucho Marx
  2. Women like silent men. They think they’re listening. -Marcel Achard
  3. Women have always been the strong ones of the world. The men are always seeking from women a little pillow to put their heads down on. They are always longing for the mother who held them as infants. –Coco Chanel
  4. The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think. -Author Unknown
  5. Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.  Luckily, this is not difficult. -Charlotte Whitton
  6. Can you imagine a world without men?  No crime and lots of happy fat women. -Nicole Hollander
  7. A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction. -Oscar Wilde
  8. When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. Women go right on cooking. -Gail Sheehy
  9. Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember. -Author Unknown
  10. Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man and work like a dog. -Caroline K. Simon

Please tell me which one did you like best. And share your own favorite quotes about women too.

[Photo of two of the most wonderful, amazing, funny, friendly, beautiful and inspired women in my life.]


The lies we tell…

201301 sunrise

The lies we tell ourselves and others…
Lie: I am late because of traffic
Truth: I am late because I got up late; I am late because I am not organized…

Lie: I don’t have time to read/exercise/call…
Truth: I am not really interested or committed

Lie: I am not good enough for…
Truth: I haven’t learnt how to…

And some more…
There’s plenty of time/life for…
It’s just one bite…
People are no good…
I’ll be happy when…

What other lies can you add?

[Photo of sunrise in Hong Kong. Some more photos of the sun and moon between 31st Dec and 1st Jan here]

It’s not them; it’s you!

Who is bothering you today?

Kids who don’t think or behave exactly as you do? Or your spouse due to his annoying habit? Or the driver in front of you that’s too slow? Or someone else who is incompetent, rude, inconsiderate, uncaring…? If other people’s behavior is going to bother you, chances are you will always be angry, hurt, disappointed or frustrated… because ‘they’ are not going to change any time soon.

So there are only two choices: accept everyone as they are, and focus on your own imperfections. Or continue to be annoyed at everyone who is not ‘perfect’ by your standards. Hint: One of the choices will give you lots of stress!

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change; courage to change the one I can; and the wisdom to know that it’s me.”

Inspiring moments in Laos
Inspiring moments in Laos