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.


Mush Talks #11: ‘Three Benefits of Waking up Earlier’ by Mush Panjwani

I could script these talks, do a few rehearsals, record professionally with mics and lights, edit better, put music and effects and titles and captions… but then I wouldn’t be able to do one a week. I hope these zero-cost productions are still good enough to inspire some.

You may watch Mush Talks #1-10 here. And please feel free to leave comments below 🙂

Mush Talks #5 (Koffee with Karishma): Happiness is the foundation!

I was extremely encouraged when so many of you asked about the ‘Sunday video’ that I missed last Sunday. I had done a blog post instead, which is here, if you missed it. For today’s video, I am posting a recent interview in which I talked about happiness, motivation, success… goal-setting, planning, prioritisation and part of my life story. This is a 7-minute version about the foundation for all success.

Karishma is a Philippines-born Indian, based in Hong Kong. Karishma coins herself as a “multi-passionate” creator, as she is a designer, performer, presenter and has a great interest in human potential and the power of the mind. She runs a digital design & videography business, Kranberry Studio. One of Karishma’s current projects, Koffee with Karishma is a show that dives deep into ways to stay inspired and making your dreams come true, in a fun, light-hearted manner. And I was happy to be her first guest 🙂

Thank you for watching!

20 Chinese quotes that pack 4,000 years of wisdom

Year of the Monkey

  1. A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.
  2. Better to be a diamond with flaws than a pebble without imperfections.
  3. Be not afraid to move slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
  4. A gem will not be perfect without carving and polishing, nor a man perfected without trials.
  5. Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom.
  6. When you drink water, remember the spring.
  7. If heaven made him, earth can find some use for him.
  8. Dig the well before you are thirsty.
  9. If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t do it.
  10. Teachers open the door; you enter by yourself.
  11. A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
  12. A book holds a house of gold.
  13. A filthy mouth will not utter decent language.
  14. A thousand cups of wine do not suffice when true friends meet, but half a sentence is too much when there is no meeting of the minds.
  15. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
  16. Do good, reap good; do evil, reap evil.
  17. A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
  18. One generation plants trees, the next enjoys the cool shade.
  19. Studying is like rowing a boat upstream; if you don’t move forward, you move backward.
  20. Be patient in one moment of anger, to save yourself hundred days of sorrow.

The image is of one of the best Chinese New Year cards I received this year, from none other than the most creative Stepworks team; click to see the beautiful animated version.

Wishing you a happy Year of the Monkey!

10 Inspiring Quotes about Traveling

201507 iCard

  1. The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
  2. We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfilment.
  3. You will go further and faster when you travel alone.
  4. It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times.
  5. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
  6. Life is short and the world is wide.
  7. Do not follow where the path leads; go where there’s no path and leave a trail.
  8. A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
  9. Travel makes you modest; you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
  10. Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

Which one did you find most inspiring?

Inspiration from Hal Lasko: 98-year old Pixel Painter

Also check out the other blog for news and updates on Dinchack. And the Dinchack Facebook page for daily tips on happiness, motivation and success.

10 of the shortest and the most inspiring Buddha quotes


Today is a celebration of Buddha’s birthday in Hong Kong. And here’s a collection of the shortest but very inspiring quotes by Buddha. Each one seems so simple, yet is so deep.

  1. You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.
  2. What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.
  3. Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.
  4. Until he has unconditional and unbiased love for all beings, man will not find peace.
  5. We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
  6. Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.
  7. Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others.
  8. It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
  9. Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
  10. Live every act fully, as if it were your last.

Do you have a favorite Buddha quote, or any other short inspiring quote to share?

[Photo of a wall hanging in a store – probably unauthorized]

For daily tips on happiness, motivation and success, join the Dinchack Facebook page.

10 more inspiring birthday quotes


1.  Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.  -Mahatma Gandhi

2.  The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. –Michael Althsuler

3.  The way I see it, you should live everyday like it’s your birthday. –Paris Hilton

4.  God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. -Voltaire

5.  The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. –Oprah Winfrey

6.  Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new. –Sammy Hagar

7.  How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? –Satchel Paige

8.  You were born an original. Don’t die a copy. –John Mason

9.  There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. –George Santayana

10. Don’t just count your years; make your years count. –Ernest Meyers

Which one did you find most inspiring? Please share your own inspiring birthday quotes too. Also see 10 inspiring birthday quotes.

What’s a 3-day monk?

I learnt a new phrase today: Being a 3-day monk. It’s a direct translation of a Japanese term, “Mikka Bouzu” (me-kah boh-zu). A 3-day monk is a person who starts a new project with a lot of commitment and passion, only to give it up soon and move on to something else. It could be a new diet plan, exercise routine, language course, music lesson, quitting a bad habit, starting a good habit… anything that takes time and consistency to be effective.

We are all guilty of being a 3-day monk for one thing or the other. Why do we quit so easily? Why is it so difficult to pursue anything with consistency? What would it take to be a 30-day or 300-day monk?


[Photo of a Shaolin Monk demonstrating his superior balancing skills learnt over years of practice]

PS. My first book, Dhinchak Life, was written over a period of two years – one piece per week.

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

Inspiring quotes about Change

“If there’s no difference between your tomorrow and today, you are as good as dead.” (Imam Ali AS)

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr)

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” (Maria Robinson)

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“Growth mean change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”

“When you are finished changing, you are finished.” (Benjamin Franklin)

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and the willingness to change. At such a moment, there’s no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready.” (Paolo Coelho)

“Life is too short to try and change others.” (yours truly)

[Photo of Danxia Peaks in ShaoGuan, China – taken yesterday]

4 Tips for Instant Happiness!

The happy cobbler“If you want to be happy, be.” Leo Tolstoy

Feeling sad, depressed or unhappy? Does life look gloomy, and the world seems dreary? Try one of the following tested and proven tips to achieve an instant shift in your emotions and feelings:

1. Be grateful for the things you usually take for granted…

  • Being alive and healthy
  • For the basic stuff: food, water, clothes, shelter, electricity…
  • Your skills: reading, writing, thinking, driving, writing, and other
  • People in your life: family, friends, people you love, people who love you, those who had a positive influence in your life

2. Make someone happy…

  • Compliment people: for their appearance, intelligence, skills…
  • Appreciate others: for what they do for you, for their helpfulness… your family, co-workers and others; say ‘thank you’
  • Listen without interrupting, without offering advice, without judging Continue reading

Inspiration from Aimee Mullins: Another Athelete on Prosthetics!

TED has become a regular source of inspiration for me. You can watch and learn from so many wonderful people!

Aimee Mullins was born without fibular bones, and had both of her legs amputated below the knee when she was an infant. She learned to walk on prosthetics, then to run — competing at the national and international level as a champion sprinter, and setting world records at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. Aimee built a career as a model, actor and activist for women, sports and the next generation of prosthetics. She tells her story in this inspiring video:

The Power of a Dream – true story of faith and courage!

I received this essay through a friend of this family:

On 21st January, 1991, my parents were overjoyed on the arrival of their first baby, my elder brother. But the happiness was short-lived as within a few hours of delivery my mother noticed that his eyes were prominently protruding and were dull grey in colour. The doctor gave the terrible news that my brother was suffering from Congenital Glaucoma. This disease is incurable and with each passing day he would lose his sight if the eye pressure was not under control. My mother was totally shattered but she had to accept Naqi’s problem as a challenge. My mother had a dream that Naqi should go to normal school and never pity himself nor be pitied by others. So from that day she took up this challenge to accomplish her dream.

In Pakistan there were very few facilities for visually impaired children and I saw mother struggle since the beginning even though in the early years I was too young to understand the circumstances. My mother’s family is in India which meant that she had no support and it seemed to be very difficult to cope with Naqi’s problem. My mother went to all good schools but they refused to admit Naqi as he had a great difficulty in facing light or recognizing colors. She was determined and fortunately went to one of the best schools in Pakistan, Springfield where they offered her a job plus admitted Naqi on a trial basis. Continue reading

Coffee with David

I shared a table with an old wise man while having coffee today. After telling me a lot about himself, he asked me the two questions that I think every Chinese asks every non-Chinese in Hong Kong: How long have you lived in Hong Kong? And do you speak Cantonese? My answers are: More than 10 years, and no. David went on to ask the dreaded question: Why not? I explained why it’s never been my priority. He then offered the most profound advise: Just learn two new words every day!

Achieving big goals through small steps has long been established as a success principle. Imagine what could happen if every day we

  • exercised for just half an hour
  • replaced just one unhealthy snack with a healthy one
  • walked down the stairs instead of taking the elevators just once
  • spent just 15 minutes to breathe, or think, or unplug, or pray
  • noticed just five good things in our day/life
  • complimented just one person, or said one thank-you, or one I-love-you
  • saved just x$ for that special something or that special someone
  • read one useful piece of information or inspiration
  • took one small step towards one of our goals

It all starts with one small step! What will be yours?