Mush Panjwani spoke with team Emerge about ‘Secrets of a Happy Marriage’

And they have a done a very good job of editing the long talk into two small episodes…

The “45 tips” that Mush has mentioned can also be accessed in this blog post

And you may watch other interesting videos by Emerge here.

Never Be Late Again!

Someone recently asked me how I always manage to be on time. My response was, ‘It’s not how, it’s why’. Being on time is easy, if you really want to. Few reasons why being late is bad, whether it’s for business, personal, family or social commitments:

  1. It shows our lack of interest, commitment or passion. Why would anyone hire a person who is late for an interview? Or do business with someone who can’t keep the first commitment? How could a relationship be a priority if our appointments with our loved ones are the first to be compromised?
  2. It demonstrates lack of respect for other people’s time. How do you feel when you somehow manage to show up on time, and then have to wait for the other person?
  3. It sets the wrong example for our family, friends and co-workers – especially for people who look up to us e.g. our children, students or subordinates.

Now some tips on how to be on time:

  1. Give importance. Decide to be on time. Don’t participate in anything half-heartedly.
  2. Plan ahead. Be realistic about how long does it take to get ready and get there. Expect the traffic and other things to go wrong.
  3. Positive affirmations. Telling yourself, ‘I am always on time’ works better than ‘I am always late!’

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” (Charles Dickens)

[Photo of the clock tower in Cardiff]

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Two Words That Can Hurt: ‘Never’ and ‘Always’

As in:

  • “You never listen to me!”
  • “You never come on time!”
  • “You never return my calls!”
  • “You always forget my birthday!”
  • “You are always on the phone/computer!”
  • “You always argue with me!”

You get the point? Such use of the words ‘never’ and ‘always’ exaggerate the reality and blow the situation out of proportion. It usually sparks an argument, or at best, affects the self-esteem of the other person. Next time you are tempted to use these words, try replacing them with ‘usually’ or ‘often’ if you really must use an adverb.

And what if you are at the receiving end of such criticism with one of these words?

  • Don’t take them seriously – you know it’s just an exaggeration.
  • Avoid the temptation to pick on these words and start a heated argument.
  • Simply ask: ‘Do you really mean it?’ or ‘You mean often, not always, right?
  • Don’t let it hurt you or ruin your day or affect your self-esteem – you are stronger than that!

The words always and never can also be used in very positive ways to enhance your communication, increase your commitment, and to motivate yourself and others. Please share your views through comments.

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Happy Marriage Tip #46

The post on 45 Tips for a Happy Marriage continues to be one of the most popular on this blog. Here’s #46 – actually an extension of ‘go on dates’…

We have another ritual that we call Friday Dates. Once in a month or two, we both take the afternoon off from whatever we are doing. We meet at our favorite soup/salad place for a long lunch. Then we usually go to a nearby reflexology place for an invigorating foot/shoulder treatment. The rest of the afternoon is either shopping or movie or just chilling out at a coffee shop.

Why Friday? There’s something about leaving important work behind in the office to meet that special someone. It’s a great start to a wonderful weekend. There’s no rush to go back home to kids – they are at work or in school. The long hours together encourages lot of talking. We share our dreams and goals, address important issues, and even resolve any differences. Try it out. It’s very different from the usual dinner dates, and is sure to strengthen the relationship.

[Photo of sunset from Cococabana beach on Lamma Island, Hong Kong]

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35 Steps to an Enhanced Life

We all want more happiness, better health, increased productivity and improved relationships. We want to be able to motivate ourselves to do the things we know we should do to enhance our lives. I try to help myself and others to achieve all that through this blog.

Here’s a collection of posts from the last couple of years that I consider to be the best, considering the popularity and comments from the readers. Most articles are short, and take only a few minutes to read. Please let me know through your comments if this collection could form a useful ebook…






Please take a few minutes to tell me about your most favorite articles, through comments below. Thanks.

[Photo of Kuk Po hike near Tai Po in Hong Kong, taken last week]

45 Tips for a Happy Marriage!

0909 coupleWe just celebrated our 24th marriage anniversary and it’s been over 25 years since we started seeing each other. We consider ourselves very fortunate to enjoy a great relationship and still be in love. Considering that we are so different from each other in so many ways and that we rarely agree on anything, we often wonder what has kept us so happy together. It’s a few things.

We realize and accept the fact that everyone is different; everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses. We don’t try to change the other. We choose to focus on the strengths and accept the weaknesses – unless one needs help and encouragement in overcoming a certain weakness. We have come to understand that being in love is not enough for a happy marriage. Happy partners choose to be happy, and they do certain things in a certain way. We have been following a certain unwritten code of conduct about how we treat each other and how we deal with our differences.

Communication is the key. Like in any other relationship, good communication is the key to a happy marriage. You don’t need a degree in communications; it’s mostly common sense. It’s Ok to argue, but you must follow certain rules. Few tips to enhance communication with your partner: Continue reading

Relationships Make Us Happy!

Our poll on What Makes You Happy? has got over 200 votes so far. And ‘relationships’ has continued to be the winner, followed by health and career. Interesting, isn’t it? Question is, why most of us don’t spend most of our time, energy and money trying to enhance our relationships?


What makes you happy? Preliminary results!

Here’s what it looks like, so far:

poll-resultsBut that’s just based on 81 votes! Do you think the results would change much if we had 800 votes instead? Please help get some more votes, and let’s find out.

A respected friend of mine asked me the purpose of this survey, and whether I guarantee confidentiality. Yes, absolutely. I can only see this chart – no names or anything else. And the purposes of the survey are a) personal curiosity and b) obtain interesting statistics to share with my readers. Fair enough?