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…
Yesterday I completed three years with Learning Time, and these have been some of the most exciting and fulfilling years of my life! It’s been an opportunity to work with distributors and sales teams in many countries, participate in and organize international events, contribute to the development of some amazing new products, set up a distributorship company in Pakistan, learn many new things, touch the lives of many more, help parents become better and children excel… above all, do what I love doing! Here’s a collection of some of the photos from three years…
Thanks to the founders/partners of Learning Time: Shad, Zishan and Waseem
Thanks to everyone else who have/had been part of this exciting journey:
Bahrain: Ranjan, Abdul, Senthil…
Egypt: Samir, Raghda…
India: Parul, Sagareeka…
Indonesia: Ema, Toni, Efa, Wulan, Akmal, Sylvi…
Mauritius: Armoogum, Keshan, Vidu…
Pakistan: Salima, Jahangir, Sheeraz, Madiha, Sumaira, Sana…
Philippines: Rene, Nic, Ferd, FM, Bernie, Flor, Kaye, Mark, Rahm…
Sri Lanka: Amila…
UAE: Ketaki, Kanchan, Joseph, Naushtath, Ener, Edmond…
To the support team: Nagu, Emad, Zameer, Rini, Albin, Azmath…
And to Jamal and Zoher too!
I am extremely encouraged and humbled to see that Mush Talks have had over 36,000 views on YouTube since the first one in May 2016! This one was recorded at Hong Kong airport this morning, edited during the flight, and uploaded during transit at Dubai airport…
This talk was inspired by how Mashal (my 19-year daughter) fulfilled her dream of going to the US with her own money, through the 4-steps I’ve been using and teaching for many years: Dream, Goal, Plan and Action. She had been working part-time and on weekends, with her full-time studies, and saving for over two years. What made it possible was her focus on small goals – the number of hours she needed to work every week and the amount she had to save every month – and doing it consistently. She left yesterday for three weeks of holiday and three months of studies at the Savannah campus of SCAD!
Here are some quotes about ‘small steps’ for further inspiration:
- Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent Van Gogh
- Each step you take reveals a new horizon. You have taken the first step today. Now, I challenge you to take another. ~Dan Poynter
- It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward. ~Old Chinese Proverb
- Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. ~Robert Collier
- Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. ~Chinese Proverb
- Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. ~Indira Ghandi
- I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. ~Helen Keller
- It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~Confucius
- The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~Lao Tzu
- The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking you complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. ~Mark Twain
While packing for the move, I saw some of my childhood pictures that reminded me how scared I used to be, of so many things – darkness, loneliness, dogs, water/drowning, heights and more. And I realised how so many people go through their entire lives with one or more fears. That inspired this blog post. Sorry, no ‘Mush Talks‘ this Sunday.
I am not an expert on overcoming fears, but have successfully applied a simple strategy for anything I was scared of: Jump right in. That’s what made it possible not only to overcome many of the fears, but enjoy some of the most memorable adventures like scuba diving, skydiving, zip-lining, swimming with whale sharks etc. I hope these quotes and the skydive video inspire you to overcome at least one of your fears. If they don’t, then just jump right in!
- There is no illusion greater than fear. Lao Tzu
- The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela
- He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life. Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. Karl Augustus Menninger
- Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. Unknown
- I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today. William Allen White
- Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. Japanese Proverb
- Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Helen Keller
- The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear. Gandhi
- Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the ability to act in the presence of fear. Bruce Lee
You may view some more of my travel videos here.
Last week I talked about how happiness affects our relationships, work, health and success in life. So this week, I start talking about ways to increase our level of happiness – starting with gratefulness. Not mentioned in the video, but being happy and grateful for everything we have doesn’t mean we can’t strive for more and better.
Some beautiful quotes on gratitude:
- Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. –Charles Dickens
- Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. –Eckhart Tolle
- If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. Frank A. Clark
- If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. –Gerald Good
- Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. –Melody Beattie
- He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. –Epictetus
- Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. –Oprah Winfrey
- Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. –Buddha
- It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment. –Naomi Williams
- This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before. –Maya Angelou
You may watch Mush Talks 1-8 here, and please feel free to share 🙂
A decade of research reveals that happy people are 31% more productive, 19% more accurate, 37% more successful in sales… – Shawn Achor in ‘The Happiness Advantage’
We don’t go to work to be happy… you are at work to do the best possible job you can and to constantly excel and improve your performance. But we happen to do that much better when we are happy at work. -Alexander Kjerulf in ‘Happy Hour is 9 to 5‘
I look forward to the next three talks in which I’ll share the three steps to increase our happiness. Thank you for watching 🙂
You may watch Mush Talks 1-7 here.
Yay, I just completed a 4-day program on ‘Happiness at Work’ by Woohoo Academy in Copenhagen – the only happiness academy in the world! Besides gaining in-depth and latest information on the subject, I have also learnt to pass on the knowledge and tools to professionals and leaders through short keynotes or full-day workshops.
The following 5-minute video captures some of the many exciting moments of the 4-day program. It was one of the best training events, and included field trips, sightseeing and lots of fun and games, while constantly focusing on the concepts of relationships and results to achieve happiness at work.