20 Ramadan 2016: Here we go …

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.― Charles Dickens

RLSo we are in the last 10 days (or 9) of this beautiful month and parting is such sweet sorrow.

In preparation for the last stretch, as we hope to experience and see more of god’s mercy, love and generosity, one thing is important – purification of the heart.

Purification is about removing any ill feelings, negative associations, unnecessary judgements, and nagging suspicions about others in our hearts.

This purification is key to be fully aware and present in moments of blessings and moments of forgiveness and light.

May god open our hearts and keep us light as we embrace god’s presence and god’s blessings on us, our families and all of you humanity.


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19 Ramadan 2016: Don’t wait for it, Just do it!

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. – Abraham Lincoln

RLYou have some advice? Give it! You have something someone can benefit from? Offer it! You have ideas worth sharing? Go ahead! You have a solution to someone’s problem? Tell them! You have a piece of knowledge that affected you in a positive way? Share it!

One day … everything you gave, offered, shared, or taught, will be remembered by all and will be important when it really matters and when it really counts be it in life or in the life hereafter.

Don’t worry about what people might “think”. Don’t worry about how people will take it. Don’t worry about looking self righteous. And no … you are not a hypocrite! unless you are totally doing the opposite of what you advise or share.

Have a clear, sincere intention to make the world a better place for the sake of god and leave shyness and worry aside, and be the best you can be under god’s light and guidance using the best of manners and the best of language.

On this blessed day of Ramadan, I wish us all strength, courage and generosity to share with others what we wish others can share with us.



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18 Ramadan 2016: Cross that bridge when you get there

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever. – Dalai Lama XIV

RLSometimes all we need to do is breath … be silent … and wait it out.

Why do we now feel we have to control the past, the present and the future?

Why can’t we let go and think positive and believe that we can surely handle anything that comes our way in the future?

Let us not overly dramatize things and let us just take things as they come with no problem too big to handle.

I keep today’s post short because the quote says it all. All I would add is a prayer –

may god, in this blessed month and as we get closer to the last 10 days, bless us with the enjoyment of today and the benefit of the now, leaving tomorrow to god’s infinite wisdom


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17 Ramadan 2016: Negativity breeds Negativity

Speak good or remain silent – Prophet Muhammad PBUH

RLSome fears are justified. We have some control over them and are directly related to our actions.

There are fears however, that seem to float around us, nagging at us without truly knowing if they are justified or not. They just linger and become more or less prominent depending on places, people and situations around us.

“Everyone is losing their job” … “Robots are replacing us” … “All these graduates will not find jobs” … “Debts are increasing” … “Crime is on the rise” … “No one cares anymore” … “Social Media is so bad” … “racism is increasing” … etc etc etc

These are some examples of spreading negativity today that breed further negativity and fear.

Let me ask you this, what would telling people that everyone is losing their job accomplish? What would telling people anything that is negative and out of their control benefit them?

Artificial intelligence, recession, unemployment, crime, society … there is no way any one person can predict and plan for them. In fact, the more people talk about them, the more people fear living life in abundance and enjoying the blessings that they have while others don’t.

The truth is that …

… you have a job!

… your role is important!

… there are effective and mature graduates who plan their education journey well and find jobs!

… some people are making more money!

… crime has gone down in some areas!

… you are surrounded by people who love you!

Let us not let negativity and fear take over our lives, and let us embrace the blessings we have and cross the “bridge” when we need to … believe me, you can handle anything that comes your way!

Speak good … share happiness … give hope to both yourself and others!

… otherwise, keep silent and be thankful for you for what we have.




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16 Ramadan 2016: Resilience

When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives. – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

RLThere has never been a more opportune time to remember that we all have resilience within us that is beyond our imagination.

From increasing poverty, war, death, starvation, racism, pressures, inflation, mental illness, useless talk, lies, etc…. resilience is what will get us through.

But what is resilience? Is it something learned or something innate?

I believe that resilience springs from the belief that everything that we experience or befalls us is not coincidental. Whatever happens to us or whatever we see, do or hear is always met with equal strength that is naturally within us.

Resilience can’t be learned, but like muscle strength, it can be exposed.

We can handle anything that comes our way … for god created us like that.

From our fears to our dreams, we have it within us to bounce back.

Can we be any stronger?



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15 Ramadan 2016: Time for Resolutions

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.  – Tony Robbins

RLWhile we might not always achieve them, setting goals guides us in terms of where we should at least intend to direct our energy.

Without goals, there is no accomplishment, and without accomplishment, one doesn’t move forward, and without moving forward, one is definitely moving backwards, and moving backwards means that we are not making our short time on earth really count.

People typically set resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I used to do that, but defining them mid-Ramadan, I have found, is the most optimum time to do so.

It is believed that Ramadan is not only a physically bounded time, be it in hours or days, for fasting. Ramadan is believed to be a time when everything, in the heavens and on earth, change to accommodate for greater goodness and less evil, satanic whisperings are at a minimum and what we are left with is a raw form of ourselves.

So having experienced the first 15 days of Ramadan, I am always astounded with learnings about who I am. I am more clear headed, more accepting of things and more calm … but at the same time, situations expose my weaknesses more than any other time of the year. Of course, I am talking about weaknesses that become barriers to us achieving our dreams, goals and living the best life we can and being the best that we can be.

So at mid-Ramadan I ask myself, what are my weaknesses and what am I going to do about them from now until next Ramadan?

So take a moment and look at yourself, what have the past 15 days telling you?



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14 Ramadan 2016: Cherish them

But she wasn’t around, and that’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going in to every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone. ― Mitch Albom

RLJust like in everyday life, I recently had an important career decision to make, and I didn’t know what to do. In my mind, all I saw was difficulty in every possibility.

I thought, I procrastinated, I worried, I complained … just unnecessary fear and unnecessary confusion.

I asked god to show me the way and I got my support from the strangest of people.

Ok, well, it is not that strange, but it was interesting to see that after losing my mom a year ago, I found a sense of support and comfort in my dad.

My dad was always wise and smart but mothers often are the first and main source of support, a role which seems like my dad is slowly assuming.

I can tell you that we don’t only need our parents, but we are never the same without them, it is like losing a part of you that you can never get back, creating a gaping whole that never ever ever closes.

With our parents, we never have to go anywhere alone.

With our parents, we never have to decide alone.

With our parents, we never have to worry or celebrate alone.

With our parents, near or far, close-knit or not, we are NOT alone.

In this Ramadan, I ask god to give all surviving parents a long life full of wisdom and bliss.

In this Ramadan, I ask god to forgive the mistakes of our deceased parents and help us always remember them in our hearts and minds.

Love your parents



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13 Ramadan 2016: No to news, Yes to life

If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly. – Thomas Sowell

RLFive years ago, I started to get the sense that news, both written and spoken, had a negative impact on me even if sub-conciousely.

Three years ago, I tried a pilot project to not read or listen to any news for 30 days of Ramadan 2014 and I continued that way until Ramadan 2015 when I started to allow news back into my life, minimally.

Now, Ramadan 2016, I can tell you that my experience in the past couple of years confirmed a few important things, news:

  1. Takes the exception and presents it as a norm
  2. Breeds fear in the hearts of people
  3. Exaggerates other people’ actions and words
  4. Subconsciously makes one negative about the future
  5. Dramatises events and/or other people’s actions

In other words, news is a source of poor mental health be it consciously or subconsciously.

Other than knowing main headlines, I ask god to help us turn off our TVs and stay away from online news which hurt more than benefit us.

The truth is that life is beautiful and:

  1. is filled with universal truths as a norm irrespective of differences
  2. there is nothing to fear is we continue to be ourselves in our decisions
  3. all of people’s actions and words are equally important and it is always best to either say good or say nothing at all
  4. positivity breeds positivity
  5. there is no drama over people’s actions and words, there are just decisions that other people take within their capabilities

Life is real … news is not!




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12 Ramadan 2016: Change *Signal*

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. – Earl Nightingale

RLI heard an interview with a *now* coach and consultant who was asked why he left his previous prominent function which was well paid, highly respected and prestigious. His answer was simple, he did not feel that he could not serve well in that role.

WOW! He could not serve well …

We are commonly guided that it is time to change a job or role we hold or responsibility we have when we feel restricted, unmotivated, unhappy, not supported etc… but in this interview, it is when we do not feel like we are serving well.

This means that if we are in a job or carry out a responsibility and we do not feel like we are serving others in a way that suits us and in the greatest way possible, then we are or we will eventually feel restricted, unmotivated, unhappy, not supported etc…

In this Ramadan, and in these blessed days, it is not a bad idea to take stock of how we spend our time between jobs and responsibilities and identify where are not serving well … and either let go or change our mindset. For example, as parents our responsibilities includes taking care of our kids, and while we cannot let go of that responsibility, we can start look a this role as a role of service and focus on doing our best in it to revive motivation.



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11 Ramadan 2016: Before asking about your purpose

If you don’t know who you are, a university is an expensive place to find out. – A. Armstrong

RLI heard it from a scholar on a show today, before asking about what your purpose is, ask about who you are first.

Who you are is the how, when, where and circumstances of your creation.

Knowing who we are in nature illustrates for us where we stand in both the cycle of life and level of creation amongst others.

Once we know this information, our purpose, our destiny, our dreams become more easily identifiable and clear.

Man, know thyself. – Socrates

Knowing the how, when, where and circumstances of our creation opens for us new avenues to what our purpose may be and provides us with the humility to understand where we stand in the middle of it all and set goals and dreams that align with who we are.

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