“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!

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 🙂

 

 

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.

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.

Three Years with Learning Time: ‘Thank-You’ by Mush Panjwani

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…
Ghana: Luke…
India: Parul, Sagareeka…
Indonesia: Ema, Toni, Efa, Wulan, Akmal, Sylvi…
Kuwait: Furqan…
Malaysia: Subra…
Mauritius: Armoogum, Keshan, Vidu…
Nigeria: Margaret…
Oman: Zafreen…
Pakistan: Salima, Jahangir, Sheeraz, Madiha, Sumaira, Sana…
Philippines: Rene, Nic, Ferd, FM, Bernie, Flor, Kaye, Mark, Rahm…
Qatar: Noel…
Singapore: Jay…
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!

Mush Talks #12: ‘Goal-Setting Made Easier’ by Mush Panjwani

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:

  1. Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent Van Gogh
  2. Each step you take reveals a new horizon. You have taken the first step today. Now, I challenge you to take another. ~Dan Poynter
  3. 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
  4. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. ~Robert Collier
  5. Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. ~Chinese Proverb
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~Confucius
  9. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~Lao Tzu
  10. 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

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 #10: Become Happier by Making Others Happy

Wow, I am so happy with myself – 10 videos in 12 weeks! Also quite surprised and extremely grateful at the number of views, particularly Mush Talks #2 (6800 views) and Mush Talks #9 (4100 views). Thank you for watching and sharing!

Five related quotes:

  1. The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up.
  2. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. And the way to be happy is making others happy.
  3. The happiest people are the ones who make others happy.
  4. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.
  5. Give what you want to receive. If you want happiness, make others happy.

You may watch Mush Talks #1-9 here.

10 Inspiring Quotes on Overcoming Fear + Bonus Video of My Skydive!

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.

Mush Talks #9: Become Happier through Gratefulness

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:

  1. Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. –Charles Dickens
  2. Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. –Eckhart Tolle
  3. 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
  4. If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. –Gerald Good
  5. 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
  6. He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. –Epictetus
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment. –Naomi Williams
  10. 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 🙂

Mush Talks #8: Three Reasons to Pursue Happiness

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.

Mush Panjwani is a ‘Woohoo’ Partner and a Certified Trainer for ‘Happiness at Work’

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.

You may view some more photos on Facebook, and my other videos here.

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Mush Talks #7: Three Essentials of Parenting

Today’s talk was recorded in Hong Kong, during a long drive with the family – Salma driving, Mashal recording, Hur fully entertained! Then edited and uploaded now from the airport, just before I fly out to Dubai and Copenhagen. I know all this effort is worthwhile because there are many of you who are now looking forward to these Sunday videos, and finding them useful or inspiring.

Thanks again to Salma, for being such a great parent and role model to our four wonderful kids! Happy Father’s Day… thank you for watching!

Mush Talks #6: Blame Somebody or Accept Responsibility

Today’s talk was recorded in Laguna (Philippines) when I and the Learning Time team stopped for lunch, on our way back from the gorgeous Pagsanjan Falls! I hope to blog about that amazing experience soon. Right now, let’s watch this 3:36-minute talk…

One of the most common examples of blaming something or somebody is when people say, ‘I am late because of traffic’ (or rain) instead of saying, ‘I need to plan better’ or ‘I should leave on time to reach on time’. It’s just a small shift in the attitude that can make a huge difference to everything in our life!

Inspiring the Summer Interns of Dream Careers – “4 Steps to Achieve Anything” by Mush Panjwani

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One of my ‘contribution’ goals is do pro bono talks for organisations I support or an audience that’s keen to learn. Dream Careers fulfils both. They provide university students in the US with summer internship programs in many parts of the world, including Hong Kong. It’s a unique experience for students, an opportunity for employers and good business for the company!

Last night I spoke to this year’s interns about ‘the 4 Steps’ and went away quite excited myself – about the opportunity to make a difference, about the potential of students who learn the principles of goal-setting and planning at an early age, and about the beautiful business model of Dream Careers!

What is Happiness to You?

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Sorry, no video today! I decided not to spend the last Sunday in Karachi recording, editing and uploading another video. But here’s one of my popular posts from a year ago.

‘Hector and his Search for Happiness’ was a movie about a psychiatrist who feels guilty of dispensing recommendations to his patients that never change their conditions or make them any happier. So he sets out on a journey to find out what makes people happy. During his interesting and inspiring trip, he makes the following 22 observations:

  1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.*
  2. Happiness often comes when least expected.
  3. Many people only see happiness in their future.
  4. Many people think happiness comes from having more power or more money.
  5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
  6. Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.*
  7. It’s a mistake to think that happiness is the goal.*
  8. Happiness is being with the people you love; unhappiness is being separated from the people you love.
  9. Happiness is knowing that your family lacks for nothing.
  10. Happiness is doing a job you love.*
  11. Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own.
  12. It’s harder to be happy in a country run by bad people.
  13. Happiness is feeling useful to others.*
  14. Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.
  15. Happiness comes when you feel truly alive.*
  16. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.*
  17. Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.*
  18. Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think.
  19. The sun and the sea make everybody happy.*
  20. Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.
  21. Rivalry poisons happiness.
  22. Women care more than men about making others happy.
  23. Happiness means making sure that those around you are happy.

* These are my favourites. Which one is yours?

Mush Talks #4: Problem or Situation?

4th Sunday, 4th video… though it seems to be getting harder every week. In this 3-minute video, I share a principle that I’ve lived for over 20 years. It’s about differentiating between problems and situations, and focusing all our focus, time and energy on problems instead of situations. Fighting with situations can only lead to anger, frustration and disappointment. This simple practice has the potential to change your life by increasing your happiness, motivation and success. Have a look and let me know what you think.

Mush Talks #3: 4 D’s of Time (Life) Management

This was recorded at the Hong Kong Airport at 7AM this morning, just before boarding for Bangkok… then edited on the flight, and uploaded soon after reaching the hotel! I know it’s not going to be easy to do this every Sunday, but I am going to do my best. I hope this helps somebody improve his/her quality of life!

This is part of another one of my 2-hour workshops on ‘Time (Life) Management’, which also covers the concepts of ‘The Wheel of Life’ for work-life balance, and ‘Rocks and Pebbles’ for prioritizing and doing first things first. Thank you for watching!

You may want to subscribe to my YouTube channel or the Blog for auto-notifications of upcoming blog posts and videos.

Mush Talks #2: 4 Steps to Achieve Anything

This has been one of my most popular and effective training programs for over 20 years. It has helped students, fresh graduates, entrepreneurs, salespeople and managers. It’s a 2-hour workshop which I have condensed into a 4-minute video. Thank you for watching and sharing

You may want to subscribe to my YouTube channel or the Blog for auto-notifications of upcoming blog posts and videos.

Mush Talks #1: Gratitude

During a recent review of my ‘dreams list’ I decided to fast-track a few items to ‘goals, plans and action’. One of them was to share my knowledge and experience about happiness, motivation and success through short videos. These video will be 5-10 minutes, focusing on one topic. It’s a non-commercial activity, just for the sake of contribution. To ensure I can do at least two per month, I am doing my own amateur recording and editing. Thank you for watching and sharing…

You may want to subscribe to my YouTube channel or the Blog for auto-notifications of upcoming blog posts and videos.